Wednesday, 26 April 2017

8 Top Hair, Skin & Health Benefits Of Spinach juice | Palak Juice


I love spinach and try to include it often in my diet and one of the ways I consume it is in the form of spinach juice. The scientific name of spinach is Spinacia Oleracea, it belongs to the Amaranthaceae family and genus Spinacia. We call it Palak in Hindi, Pasalai Keerai | Palak Keerai in Tamil, Palakura in Telugu, Vasala Cheera in Malayalam, Basale Soppu in Kannada, Palak in Punjabi and Palang Sag in Bengali. Spinach Juice Nutrition: Spinach juice is in vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 along with significant amounts of vitamin C, K and E. It is also rich in minerals like manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and sodium. Here are some of the health benefits of spinach juice: 1. Spinach juice Anti Cancer properties: Spinach juice is rich in flavonoids. Foods high in beta carotene and vitamin A like spinach juice reduces the risk of breast, prostate and colon cancers. 2. Spinach juice Antioxidant & Anti Inflammatory Properties: Raw spinach is full of antioxidants and consuming it regularly will help improve immunity. Spinach juice also reduces inflammation and is good to take while suffering from any kind of inflammation. 3. Spinach Juice For gastric Problems: Spinach juice is good for wound healing especially stomach ulcers. It also has a soothing effect on the stomach. You can read the study that proves it here. 4. Spinach Juice For Hair: I have been always been advised from my young age to consume spinach so I could have thick hair. Spinach juice is rich in vitamin B, C, E, magnesium, iron, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids all very essential for hair growth and for arresting hair loss. 5. For Skin: Spinach is rich in antioxidants and consuming spinach juice regularly will greatly prevent free radicals which is the main cause for premature skin ageing. Raw spinach juice both when taken internally and applied externally will help. To apply externally take 1 tbsp of besan and 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder in a bowl. Add enough spinach juice to form a paste and apply as a face pack. Regular use of this face pack will result in fair and glowing skin and will greatly prevent acne too. 7. For Eye Health: Spinach juice is rich in antioxidants that protects the eyes and especially lutein present in spinach juice prevents age related macular degeneration of the eyes. 7. Spinach For Weight Loss: Spinach juice is low in calories, fat and high in nutrients, perfect for including it in a weight loss diet. Spinach juice made with 100 gms of raw spinach has around 23 calories and less than .4 gm of fat. 8. For Bone Health: Spinach is a good source of vitamin K which is essential for healthy bones. Regularly consuming spinach juice will ensure that we maintain our bone mass and to a great extent will prevent osteoporosis. 9. For Reducing Blood Pressure: Spinach juice is rich in nitrite and increase intake of nitrate rich food increases circulating nitrite and nitric oxide which results in reduction in blood pressure. You can read the research that supports this claim here. 10. Spinach Juice For Immunity: Since it is rich in vitamin C, it will help improve immunity and will greatly help prevent common health problems like cold and cough. Spinach juice can be consumed by diabetic patients and can be given even to children too but make sure to use organic spinach. Side Effects Of Spinach Juice: Raw spinach contains iron inhibiting substance called oxalic acid so it is best to consume cooked spinach for treating anemia. If you are consuming raw spinach juice, I would suggest taking it along with iron absorption enhancers like amla, lemon or orange like in the spinach juice recipe given below. Spinach is rich in purines and if you are suffering from gout and kidney stones avoid consuming spinach in large quantities. If you are taking anticoagulant medications, spinach might interfere with it....

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

10 Top Medicinal Uses & Side Effects Of Kalonji Oil | Black Seed Oil

Black cumin seed oil | Kalonji oil | Black seed oil has amazing healing properties and has been used from ancient times. Prophet Muhammad has stated that kalonji oil is cure for all diseases except death which by itself signifies it's medicinal importance. The botanical name of the plant producing the seeds is Nigella Saiva and it's important bio active compound is thymoquinone. Nigella Sativa is an annual flowering plant producing pale blue or white flowers and jet black seeds which are popularly called by many names like black cumin seeds | nigella seeds | black seeds | kalonji. The seeds are used to season curries and and is used to sprinkle over naan bread. The oil extracted by pressing the seeds is called kalonji oil and it has wonderful medicinal uses. Kalonji Oil Nutritional Value: Kalonji oil is rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamins and several amino acids. It also contains a type of saponin called melathin. Medicinal Uses: 1. For Blood Pressure: Kalonji oil has been traditionally used as a remedy for people suffering from high blood pressure. When taken internally it lowers blood pressure, you can read the study that proves it here. 2. Kalonji Oil For Skin: Kalonji oil has anti microbial properties and treats all skin infections really well. It can be mixed with unrefined coconut oil in equal amounts and can be used as a massage oil for face and body. Regular use will greatly prevent acne resulting in glowing face. It can also be used to massage the feet to treat cracked heels and can be used as a home remedy for eczema and psoriasis 3. For Knee Pain: Kalonji oil has wonderful anti inflammatory properties and has been traditionally used as a massage oil for treating knee pain. This traditional use has also been backed by research, you can read it here. 4. Kalonji Oil Hair Growth: Kalonji oil has been used as a hair massage oil from ancient times for treating all scalp problems. It treats all scalp problems like dandruff really really well and helps regrow hair. If used regularly will greatly prevent all the problems of the scalp and result in shiny and healthy hair. 5. Kalonji Oil For Cancer: Kalonji oil has anti cancer properties and has been proven to be very effective against pancreatic, cervical and lung cancer. Thymoquinone present in black seed oil is very effective against cancer cells. You can read the study that proves it here. 6. Kalonji Oil Improves Immunity: Kalonji oil improves immunity without doubt and will greatly prevent us from falling sick often. 7. Kalonji Oil And Weight Loss: Kalonji oil has been used as a remedy for obesity but  I could only find one study and in the study people were given low calorie diets so it is not clear whether the weight loss is due to the diet or whether kalonji oil supplementation had an effect, you can read the study here. 6. Kalonji Oil For Preventing Kidney Stones: Kalonji oil has antilithiatic properties and if you are suffering from kidney stones, consuming kalonji oil will greatly help. You can read the study that proves it here. 7. Kalonji Oil For Digestion: Kalonji seeds have carminative properties and traditionally has been used for treating digestion related problems like gastritis and bloating. 8. Kalonji Oil For Diabetes: kalonji oil has also been used traditionally for treating diabetes and this has been backed by research. Kalonji oil does lower blood sugar levels and if you are on diabetic medications please keep a close watch over the blood sugar levels. 9. Kalonji Oil For Asthma: Kalonji has bronco dilatory properties and will greatly help asthma patients. To use, add few drops of kalonji oil to boiling water and inhale the fumes. 10. Kalonji Oil For LDL Cholesterol: Kalonji oil consumption reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, you can read the study that proves it here. How To Take Kalonji Oil ? Kalonji oil can be mixed with hot water and had for all the above mentioned uses, honey also can be added to it. Dosage: 2 to 3 ml of kalonji oil daily is the general recommended dosage. Where To Buy Kalonji Oil: Kalonji Oil? Kalonji oil can be got from medical shops and it can also be ordered online. Kalonji Oil Side Effects: Kalonji oil is considered safe in normal dosage but it contains glucosides which is toxic above a certain dosage so never over consume or over use kalonji oil even externally for long duration's of time. Pregnant women should not consume kalonji oil..........


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

5 Top Medicinal Uses Of Gomphrena Globosa | Globe Amaranth (Vadamalli)


Gomphrena Globosa (botanical name) commonly called Globe Amaranth | Bachelors Button in English is an annual plant that produces beautiful flowers in purple, white and red. We call these beautiful flowers Vadamalli in Tamil and the purple variety is very commonly found here in Tamil Nadu. It is mainly used for stage decorations during marriages and it is also widely used during Onam, the famous Kerala festival to decorate pookolam. Many think of it as an ornamental plant but it has wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits too. It is called Botam Phul in Bengali, Raktha Mallika in Sanskrit, Gul-e-Makhmal in Hindi, Ummigonde in Kannada and Vaadamalli in Malayalam. Here are some of the health benefits of Gomphrena Globosa: 1. Anti Bacterial Properties: It has wonderful anti bacterial properties. The whole plant methanol extract has been clinically proven to have anti bacterial properties against 5 "gram positive" bacteria that includes Bacillus Cereus and Staphylococcus Aureus. It has has anti bacterial properties against 8 "gram negative" bacteria that includes Escherichia Coli and Salmonella Typhi. 2. Anti Fungal Properties: the methanolic extract has has anti fungal properties against 3 fungal strains that includes Candida Albicans, Aspergillus Niger and Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. 3. Antioxidant Properties: The methanolic extract of the whole plant showed significant anti oxidant properties. Gomphrena globosa tea is very famous in many places and is consumed for it's wonderful antioxidant properties. 4. Detoxifying & Purifying Properties: Gomphrena globosa is truly a detoxifying herb and helps get rid of toxins and helps purify our body. 5. For Treating High Blood Pressure & Diabetes: It has been traditionally used for reducing high blood pressure and blood sugar levels and this use has been proven through clinical research. Apart from the above mentioned medicinal uses, it has been traditionally used for treating gall stones, nose bleed, cough and oliguria (low amount of urine production) but I couldn't find any research proving it and I also couldn't find the dosage for long term use. If you know, I will be happy if you can leave the information in the comment section below...


Monday, 3 April 2017

How To Use Amla Powder For Hair Growth, Grey Hair & Hair Loss


Amla also called as Indian gooseberry, Nellikai in Tamil, Amalaki in Sanskrit is a wonderful ingredient to use for hair growth. It has been used in India from ancient times to stop hair fall, treat grey hair and promote hair growth. Here are the top 5 hair benefits and uses of Amla Powder: 1. Using amla in any form conditions the hair really well and greatly prevents split ends. 2. Amla is rich in antioxidants and it helps strengthens the hair follicles and greatly helps prevent hair loss. 3. Amla treats hair problems like dandruff and itchy scalp if used regularly. 4. Regular use of amla both internally and externally helps reverse grey hair. 5. Regular use of amla helps in hair regrowth. Since amla has got these amazing hair benefits, it will be a great loss if we don't use it in hair care. Amla can be used in either fresh form or in dried form. A common question that I get asked in the blog is whether fresh amlas can be substituted with dried amla powder. As many of you know I always go to great lengths to use only fresh produce that is free of pesticides for all my homemade preparations. I feel it gives the best results especially I feel homemade oils made with the fresh extracts are really effective. But powders can be substituted for fresh produce if you don't get it in your place and especially amla powder is equally effective like fresh amla. At home we make amla powder hair mask, this mask is very very effective in stimulating new hair growth and reversing grey hair black. This hair mask has got only 3 ingredients, fresh homemade yogurt, coconut oil and amla powder. We add coconut oil and yogurt as amla powder can be drying if used alone. How To Make Amla Powder At Home? We can easily make amla powder at home. To make amla powder, grate fresh amla finely, spread on a plate and sun dry till crisp covered with a thin mesh. We usually do this during hot summer months, once completely dry, powder it in a dry mixer while still crisp from sun drying. Where to Buy Amla Powder? You can also buy amla powder from the shops too. It is sold as nellikai powder in Tamil Nadu, amla powder in Northern India and Indian gooseberry powder abroad. When buying from the shops make sure to buy pure amla powder that does not have any additions to it....


Saturday, 1 April 2017

5 Top Health Benefits, Nutrition & Uses Of Edible Gum | Gondh Gum (Gond Laddu | Dink Laddu)



Edible gum also called as Indian edible gum | ghatti gum is a natural resin got from axle wood tree. It has wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits. The botanical name of axle wood tree is called Anogelissus Latifolia. The tree is called Vellai Nakai | Vetkali in Tamil, Malakanniram | Vellanava in Malayalam, Shirimanu | Chiru Manu in Telugu, Dhau in Hindi, Daura | Dinkachee in Marathi, Dhava in Sanskrit and Bejalu | Dinduga in Kannada. The resin is yellowish orange colored and translucent and they are sold as small pieces. Many confuse gond with gond katira (Tragacanth Gum), both are different in fact they have opposite effects, gond gum is heat producing whereas gond katira cools the body (it swells up when soaked and is mixed with milk and had as a pudding). Edible gum is called Antu in Kannada, Gond in Hindi, Kothri in Bengali, Gondh in Tamil, Mazhkanhiram in Malayalam, Thumma Jiguru in Telugu, Gaundh in Rajasthan and Dink in Marathi. I have always been fascinated by herbs and natural resins and gond is no exception. Gondh is not used in South Indian cuisine but I make gond ladoo at home during winters, it is a wonderful healthy warming food, perfect for winters. In India gond is synonymous to Gond ke Ladoo (Rajasthan) | Antina Unde (Kannada) | Dinkachee Ladoo (Marathi) | Pregnancy Ladoo as it is mainly used for making ladoo in Indian homes (I have given the recipe below) and then the next way it is used is in the form of panjiri mixture (the ingredients used in both are almost same and in gond ladoo recipe, it is just shaped into balls). In both these recipes, gondh is mixed with whole wheat flour, sugar, ghee and nuts. To use, the resin is deep fried and when deep fried it turns magical. The resin puffs up and has a wonderful crunch to it and I love gondh laddu. Gondh Nutrition: Gondh is rich in calcium, magnesium and almost contains around 3 % of protein. Here are some of the health benefits of gondh gum: 1. Gondh Gum For Pregnant Women: Gond is very nourishing and gond ladoo is one of the healthy sweets given to pregnant women traditionally as it rich in calcium and protein. It helps one develop strong bones and prevent back pain. 2. Gondh For Winters: Gond is considered a warming food and is best taken during winters, it is especially useful for people living in very cold places. 3. Gondh For Cold & Cough: Gond improves immunity and if had during winter months will prevent from cold and cough. 4. Gondh For Energy: A single gond ke ladoo will provide enough energy that will last for hours. Since it is usually made with very nutrient dense ingredients like gond, whole wheat flour, ghee and nuts, it is a perfect energy food for kids. 5. Gondh For Lactating Mothers: Gondh ladoos are given to lactating mothers too as it is said to increase the production of breast milk. I couldn't find any research proving this claim but certainly this wonderful natural gum will only have positive effects on lactating mothers. Side Effects: Since gond is heat producing food, it is best had during winter months. Gond Ke ladoo especially when made with nuts and laods of ghee is rich in calories (One single ladoo has more than 200 calories depending on the amount of ghee and nuts used) so have it in moderation....



Saturday, 25 March 2017

7 Top Health Benefits & Nutrition Of Palm Jaggery | Karupatti (Panai Vellam)


Palm jaggery has amazing health benefits and medicinal uses. I love palm jaggery and always stock it at home. We call it Panai Karupatti | Panai Vellam in Tamil, Tale Bella in Kannada, Karipetti in Malayalam and Thatti Bellam in Telugu. I have a great fondness for coconut and palm trees as we depend on them for our livelihood. We always have palm trees in our farm and I have grown up eating their fruits in summer, in fact thinking back of the wonderful days where my sister and I used to sit in the backyard eating palm fruits clumsily always brings a smile to my face. In my humble opinion we should cherish our traditional practices and eating palm jaggery is one of it. Nutritional Value: Palm jaggery is rich in vitamins and minerals and especially it is rich in vitamin B, magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and calcium. How is palm Jaggery made? If you get to know how palm jaggery is made, you will be amazed how simple and close to nature it is. To make palm jaggery, first a earthen pot is coated with slaked lime and then the sap is collected from the palm tree by cutting the tender most part and hanging the earthen pot to collect the sap fully. Slaked lime is coated to prevent the sap fermenting. The collected juice can also be drunk it is and is very very nutritious. Here in our place, we make a small boat shape with the palm leaves and use that to drink the sap fresh from the tree. The collected sap is then filtered and then boiled in huge vats till it thickens and then it is poured into moulds to set. Once set it is removed from the moulds and is ready for consumption. Health Benefits Of Palm Jaggery: 1. Palm Jaggery For Anemia: Most of us Indian women suffer from anemia and consuming white sugar only aggravates the condition. Palm jaggery is rich in iron and consuming it regularly will greatly ensure that we don't suffer from anemia. Since it is rich in iron it will greatly prevent hair loss caused due to anemia. 2. Palm Jaggery For Good Digestion: Here in our place, we make a wonderful tea (recipe below) out of palm jaggery and I love it. Whenever we make evening tiffin like bajji, we also serve palm jaggery tea made with palm jaggery, dried ginger and peppercorns to promote digestion. 3. Palm Jaggery For Energy: Palm jaggery is a wonderful energy booster for both adults and children alike. It is rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin B, iron, calcium and keeps us energized. Encourage children to consume naturals sugar like palm jaggery instead of white sugar which is devoid of any nutrients from young age itself. It can also be given to infants and babies. 4. Palm Jaggery For Immunity: Palm jaggery is full of antioxidants and regular intake helps improve our immunity. Since it is rich in antioxidants consuming palm jaggery prevents free radicals which is the main reason for skin ageing. It is also a wonderful blood purifier. 5. Palm Jaggery For Breast Feeding & Pregnant Women: Here in our place it is a custom to take sweets and fruits for pregnant women. We usually make the sweets at home with either jaggery or palm jaggery. Pregnant and lactating women should try to avoid white sugar completely and instead replace with nutrient rich natural sugars like palm jaggery. Even women who are suffering from PCOS will benefits replacing white sugar with palm jaggery. 6. Palm Jaggery Has a Low Glycemic Index: Any ingredient that has a low glycemic index does not spike up our blood sugar levels and is considered the best. Palm jaggery has a low glycemic index compared to white sugar which has a high glycemic index of 61 and does not spike our blood sugar levels immediately. 7. Palm Jaggery For Common Ailments: Jaggery is generally used in remedies for treating cough and cold. Palm jaggery tea recipe I have given below is a very good remedy for cold and cough. It also treats hiccups and aids digestion. Since palm jaggery is rich in magnesium, it also has a soothing effect on our nervous system. Side Effects: Though palm jaggery is rich in nutrients and is a wonderful substitute for white sugar, we should remember that it is still a concentrated form of sugar. Diabetic patients should be cautious while consuming palm jaggery. Where do you get palm jaggery? Palm jaggery can be got from most departmental stores now and you can also order it online. The price varies between 150 to 300 per kg. Palm jaggery is expensive but I feel it so worth the effort considering the harm that white sugar does to our body. Also palm jaggery is usually made by local village people and by buying palm jaggery we are supporting them. The difference between palm jaggery and palm candy? Both are derived from the sap of palm tree and the difference is palm jaggery is poured into moulds whereas palm candy is poured into large plates, constantly stirred and dried to form small lumps. The temperature in the final stage for both may vary. Palm Jaggery also is considered more nutritious than cane jaggery....


Monday, 13 March 2017

10 Top Skin, Hair & Health Benefits Of Carrot Juice | Gajar Juice


Drinking carrot juice | gajar juice daily is one of the best things we can do to improve our hair, skin and health. Fresh carrot juice has amazing hair and skin benefits and I have seen the effects fresh carrot juice can have on hair and skin personally. Few years back, one of my cousins left abroad for 1 year study and when she came back we barely could recognize her. Due to the intense work load she had lost a lot of weight and her skin and hair was affected too. My grandma immediately suggested she drink carrot juice everyday and even I was pleasantly surprised at the positive change in her skin and hair in matter of just a few weeks of regularly consuming carrot juice. I also love to drink carrot juice and make it often at home, I have shared the carrot juice recipe that I make at home below. Carrot Juice Nutrition & Calories: 100ml of carrot juice has around 39 calories. It has around .2 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of protein. It is very rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium and also has small amounts of calcium. Here are the health benefits of drinking carrot juice: 1. Carrot Juice For Immunity: Carrot juice is rich in antioxidants and drinking a glass of carrot juice is one of the best things we can do to improve our immunity. 2. Carrot Juice For Cardio Health: Carrot juice protects the cardio vascular system by increasing the antioxidant status and decreasing the free radicals. 3. Carrot Juice For Cancer: It has been proven again and again that consuming vegetables and fruits rich in antioxidants greatly reduces the risk of cancer. Since carrot juice is very rich in antioxidants, consuming it often will help prevent many types of cancer. You can also read the study that proves it here. 4. Carrot Juice For Eyes: I am sure you must heard many times when you were young to eat carrots so you can have sharp eyesight. When I was in hostel, my mom sent me a whole article about how eating carrots often improved eye health insisting that I include it often in my diet. It is because of the high amounts of vitamin A present in carrots. 5. Carrot juice For Hair: The carrot juice recipe given below is very rich in vitamin C as it contains both carrot and orange and greatly helps in iron absorption. Anemia is the leading cause of hair fall in women and drinking fresh, natural juices like this will greatly prevent anemia thus greatly reducing hair loss. 6. Carrot Juice For Smokers: Smoking cigarette increases free radicals and it also a carcinogen that is why smokers are especially asked to consume large amounts of vegetables and fruits rich in antioxidants. Carrot juice is so very high in antioxidants that it will counteract the bad effects of smoking to a certain extent by reducing oxidative stress. You can read the study that proves it here. 7. Carrot Juice For Skin: Drinking carrot juice has wonderful skin benefits and drinking carrot juice will result clear and glowing skin. Since carrot juice reduces free radicals it greatly prevents skin ageing and also it rich in all the nutrients essential for healthy glowing skin. You can also apply raw carrot juice externally on the skin mixed with turmeric and besan, it will help prevent acne and will result in fair glowing skin. 8. Carrot Juice For Weight Loss: Carrot juice is great to include in weight loss diet as it is low in calories (100 ml has only 39 calories), so packed with nutrients and also helps boost our metabolism. 9. Carrot Juice For Lactating Women: Consuming carrot juice improves the vitamin A status greatly in lactating women. Since our immunity is usually low due to lack of sleep and stress of looking after a new born child, including antioxidant rich carrot juice will greatly help. 10. Carrot Juice For Babies: Carrot juice can be given to babies, I was giving my son few teaspoons of carrot juice weekly twice after 6 months after the advice of my son's pediatrician regularly. But when giving it to children make sure to use organic carrots while juicing. Carrot Juice Side Effects: Don't overdose on carrot juice as it can lead to a condition called carotenosis wherein the skin starts taking a slight orange tinge but it only happens with overdosing. If it happens simply reduce the amount of carrot juice you are consuming. Where To Buy Carrot Juice: Here in India we can get fresh carrot juice in most vegetable shops but I would suggest you make it at home for best results.