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 550 to 600 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.


Tuesday, 28 February 2017

10 Top Medicinal Uses & Health Benefits Of Kalonji Seeds (Nigella Sativa) | Karunjeeragam



Kalonji seeds also called as Nigella seeds | Black Cumin | Black Seeds in English are very popular in India as they are used to season certain dishes. They look almost like our black sesame seeds but kalonji seeds are more intensively black and the seeds are slightly oval. Kalonji seeds are used in Unani, Siddha & Ayurvedic system of medicines and is quite popular throughout India. It is an annual flowering plant that produces delicate flowers and large fruits. It is native to North Africa, Southern Europe and Southern parts of Asia. Black seeds have been described in certain religious (Islam) texts like Quran as a miracle ingredient that cures everything except death, this itself signifies it's medicinal importance. The botanical name of kalonji seeds are Nigella Sativa and it belongs to the genus Nigella. It is called Karunjeerakam in Tamil, Karinjeerakam in Malayalam, Nalla Jeelakarra in Telugu, Krishna Jeerige in Kannada, Kalo Jira in Bengali and Kale Til in Marathi. Nutritional Information: 100 grams of kaloji seeds have around 345 calories, 15 grams of fat, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 40 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein. It is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin C, magnesium and vitamin B6. CHEMCAL COMPOSITION: The wonderful healing powers of this plant is due to the presence of a bioactive compound called thymoquinone. They have a pungent bitter taste. In India kalonji seeds are used mostly in Northern Indian cuisine and very rarely in South India. It is one of the five spices used in Panch Phoran (meaning a blend of 5 spices) which is used to spice all the curries in Bengali cuisine. Since it looks very attractive kalonji seeds are usually sprinkled over breads like sesame seeds especially it is usually sprinkled over the Indian bread called Naan. At home, I have a small box of this wonderful seeds for sprinkling when I make naan bread at home. Kalonji seeds are in use for more than 2000 years so it has been widely used for medicinal purposes for a very long time. Both the oil and the seeds have been used for treating headache, deworming, cold related diseases and diarrhoea. It is also used for increasing immunity and breast milk production, liver tonic and for fighting off parasitic infections. In addition to below mentioned uses, kalonji also has a positive effect on our thyroid and patients suffering from thyroid problems will benefits consuming kalonji seeds. Nigella Seeds Dosage: The general dosage is around half tsp of the seed powder and the duration is around 2 months. SIDE EFFECTS: It has anti fertility properties so pregnant women should not consume it. It  also reduces blood sugar levels and blood pressure so people taking blood pressure medications and diabetic medications should monitor their blood and pressure levels closely. It also has drug interactions so if you are on any long term medications please mention about taking kalonji seeds. Where to Get Kalonji? You get kalonji seeds in almost all the departmental stores in India. How To Make Kalonji Powder? To make kalonji powder, sun dry the seeds till crisp and powder in a dry mixer, sieve and store in an airtight box.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

10 Top Medicinal Uses Of Rosemary For Hair, Skin & Health


Rosemary is a very aromatic evergreen shrub that has been in use from medieval times. I love all aromatic herbs and rosemary is no exception. I have always been mesmerised with herbs and aromatic herbs holds a special place in my heart because I find them greatly relaxing. The botanical name of rosemary is Rosmarinus Officinalis. Rosemary belongs to the family Lamiacea and genus Rosmarinus. It has needle shaped leaves and produces pink, white, purple or blue flowers that bloom in the month of May and June. It is generally found all over the Mediterranean and here in India it slowly getting available everywhere. The oil extracted from the leaves is called rosemary essential oil and it is widely used in perfumery and as a medicine. Rosemary is a restorative herb, it is a good medicine for treating cold, headache and general lethargy. It greatly improves memory, has a calming effect and is very good if we take it internally in the form of tea while suffering from depression and nervous tension. Rosemary Constituents: Rosemary contains many active constituents like flavonoids which are good in antioxidants, tannins (especially rosmaricine which helps reduce pain) and phenols (notably rosmarinic acid) helps fight off inflammation. Rosemary is called Rusmary in Hindi and it goes by the name rosemary in Tamil, Telugu and Bengali. Hera are some of the health benefits and medicinal uses of rosemary herb: 1. Rosemary For Alzheimer's:  Rosemary has always been used from time immemorial for improving memory and now it has been proven to greatly help patients who are suffering from Alzheimer's as it prevents neuronal cell death. You can read the study that supports this claim here. 2. Rosemary For Improving Memory & Cognitive Function: Cognitive decline is one of the major concerns as we age. Rosemary has been proven to reduce age related cognitive decline and internal consumption of rosemary showed good results and the effect increased with dosage. You can read the study that proves it here. 3. Rosemary For Cold Related Problems: Rosemary tea is great for taking while we suffer cold related problems like headaches, chest congestion, etc. The tea also can used as a mouth rinse for sore throat. 4. Rosemary For Cancer: Rosemary has cancer protective properties especially colorectal cancer. Intake of vegetables in the diet and certain plant extracts seems to help prevent colorectal cancer and rosemary is one among it. You can read the study that proves it here. 5. Rosemary Reduces Withdrawal Symptoms: Another very interesting use of rosemary is it reduces withdrawal symptoms especially for drug addictions. The main problem when people try to stop their drug addictions are the worst withdrawal symptoms which sends most back to using drugs again. Along with regular treatment taking rosemary has been clinically proven to reduce the symptoms greatly. You can read the study that proves it here. 6. Rosemary Anti Inflammatory Properties: Another medicinal use of rosemary that I greatly love is it's wonderful anti inflammatory properties especially it reduces acne inflammation. If you are suffering from acne and need a natural herb to reduce the inflammation, look no further than rosemary, it will reduce the inflammation really well. You can read the study that supports this claim here. 7. Rosemary For Hair: Rosemary has been used for centuries for hair care, it reduces dandruff and regular use greatly treats dandruff, grey hair and to a great extent prevents baldness. At home, I make a rinse with apple cider vinegar and rosemary (recipe below), wonderful for treating all scalp problems very effectively. 8. Rosemary For Stomach Related Problems: Rosemary is wonderful in treating all stomach related problems as rosemary extract increases the flow of bile which is essential for good digestion. Rosemary tea is a good remedy for indigestion, stomach cramps and bloating. 9. Rosemary Anti Microbial Properties: There is a reason why rosemary is included in disinfectants regularly, it is because of it's wonderful anti microbial properties. We can just boil rosemary in water and use the water as a disinfectant. We can also add a sprig of rosemary to white vinegar, let it steep and use it around the house mixed in water as a disinfectant.10. Rosemary For Skin: Rosemary when added to baths not only acts as a natural disinfectant, it also relaxes the mind. According to me, there is nothing more relaxing than a homemade bath with rosemary, milk powder and rose essential oil. Where to get rosemary plant? Rosemary plant can be easily got from any herb nursery, it is also quite cheap. Make sure to keep the plant in warm but sheltered place. Rosemary tea: Rosemary tea sachets are available in the market but it is not easily available in India. Rosemary tea can also be easily made at home with fresh or dried leaves. Rosemary Essential Oil: Rosemary essential oil can be easily ordered online but try to get from good brands. Rosemary Water: Rosemary water which is widely used as a disinfectant can be made easily by boiling the leaves in water. Rosemary Oil: Rosemary infused oil can be easily made at home, I have given the recipe for it below. Fresh rosemary can be shade dried and stored for future use. Rosemary Side Effects: The amount usually added to food will not cause any harm but if you are pregnant or breast feeding try not to take large doses of rosemary like in the form of rosemary tea regularly......

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

10 Top Medicinal Uses, Nutrition & Side Effects Of Spinach (Palak) | Pasalai Keerai


Like many other greens, we consume spinach (palak) regularly at home and I love it a lot. The scientific name of spinach is Spinacia Oleracea, it belongs to the Amaranthaceae family and genus Spinacia. Spinach is said to have originated in Persia and then later spread to other countries and it is unknown how and when it was introduced to India but it is one of the most consumed greens here in India. 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 Nutrition: 100 grams of spinach has around 23 calories, 3.6 grams carbohydrates, 2.9 grams protein, 2.2 grams of fiber and 0.4 grams fat. It is rich in vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 along with significant amounts of vitamin C, K and E. It is rich in minerals like manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and sodium. There are many varieties of spinach and here in Tamil Nadu, the two common varieties are Kodi Pasalai (creeper) and Tharai Pasalai (one that grows in the ground).  Here in Tamil Nadu we mainly make masiyal or stir fry out it. Since I love spinach very much, I have tried many dishes and some have become family favorites and I have given all the recipes below. If we know how to cook with spinach, it is very easy to incorporate it into our daily diet. Spinach has many health benefits and medicinal uses, it is also cheap and easily available everywhere. Here are some of the medicinal uses of spinach: 1. Anti Cancer properties: Spinach is rich in flavonoids and studies have shown that consuming flavanoid rich foods reduces the risk of ovarian cancer. Foods high in beta carotene and vitamin A like spinach reduces the risk of breast cancer when consumed regularly. Consuming spinach also reduces the risk of prostate and colon cancer too. 2. For Alzheimer: Diets rich in antioxidants, polyphenolic compounds, flavonoids and vitamins are essential for healthy brain and nuerocognitive function. Our humble spinach is rich in all the above mentioned nutrients making it an effective anti Alzheimer plant. Regular consumption of spinach will also reduce age related diseases greatly, you can read the study that proves it here. 3. Antioxidant & Anti inflammatory Properties: Now medical practitioners warn us regularly that most of the modern day diseases we are facing are due to stress. There has to be a balance between free radicals and antioxidants in our body else it will lead to a condition called oxidative stress. The only way to prevent oxidative stress is to eat antioxidant rich foods like spinach. Spinach has wonderful anti inflammatory properties too, it is a wonderful ingredient to have while we suffer from any inflammation. 4. For Reducing Blood Pressure: Increase intake of nitrate rich food increases circulating nitrite and nitric oxide which results in reduction in blood pressure. Green leafy vegetables like spinach are rich in nitrate and will lower blood pressure if consumed regularly. You can read the research that supports this claim here. 5. For Treating Ulcer: Spinach juice is very good for wound healing especially ulcers of the stomach. Most times when we are on antibiotics, we usually end up with stomach ulcers. Next time you are on antibiotics, try consuming spinach juice, it will greatly prevent stomach ulcers. You can read the study that proves it here. 6. For Eye Health: Spinach is rich in antioxidants that protect the eyes especially lutein. Lutein prevents age related macular degeneration of the eyes and spinach contains plenty of it. When I was young whenever I used to refuse to eat spinach I will always be advised that I will have a sharp eye sight if I consume spinach and how right my elders were! 7. For Bone Health: Spinach is a good source of vitamin K which is essential for the healthy bones. It is especially useful for us women, consuming leafy greens like spinach regularly will ensure that we maintain our bone mass and to a great extent will prevent osteoporosis. 8. For Treating Anemia: 100 grams of spinach have 2.71 mg of iron, almost 21 % of the recommended daily recommendation of iron for adults. However 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 or orange. 9. For Hair: I have been always advised from my young age to consume spinach so I could have thick hair. Spinach is rich in vitamin B, C, E, magnesium, iron, calcium and omega 3 fatty acid all very essential for promoting hair growth. 10. For Skin: Spinach is rich in antioxidants and consuming spinach regularly will greatly prevent free radicals which is the main cause for premature skin ageing. Since spinach is rich in vitamins especially vitamin A and vitamin C, it helps improve the skin tone and also helps in skin repair. Spinach can also be given to babies and since it low in calories and rich in nutrients can be included weight loss and body building diet too. SIDE EFFECTS OF SPINACH: Like mentioned before consuming raw spinach will hinder iron absorption. Also don't over consume spinach, it will lead to gas and bloating. 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....

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

5 Top Medicinal Uses Of Jujube Fruit | Ber Fruit (Elantha Pazham)


Jujube fruit also called as Indian Dates, Chinese dates, Red Dates, Korean Dates is not a very common fruit sold in shops here in India but it is easily available if you look for it. It's botanical name is Ziziphus Jujuba and belongs to the Buckthorn family. There is a jujube tree in my parent's farm that produces ample fruits that are beautiful red color. Jujube fruit is popularly called Elantha Pazham | Elantha Palam in Tamil, Regi Pandu in Telugu, Baer in Urdu, Ber in Sindhi, Elantha pazham in Malayalam, Yelchi Hannu in Kannada, Kul in Bengali, Ber in Hindi, Bor in Gujarati and Marathi. I have very very fond childhood memories with jujube fruit. Here in Tamil Nadu, we make a wonderful sweet called Elantha Vadai with it. You will rarely find a person who does not love and cherish elantha vadai here in Tamil Nadu, I completely adore it. When I was little, we were not allowed to buy elantha vadai from the shops at all because usually most of the fruits have small worms and it has to be cleaned properly. My mom felt that store bought elantha vadai from local shops will not be cleaned properly of the worms. In our village we have only one small shop and it used to (even now it does) stock elanth vadai in small packets regularly. I was so fond of ilanthai vadai that I used to save my pocket money for sneaking to buy those packets without knowing to my parents. Once my mom found out that I was regularly buying elantha vadai from the shops, she started making them at home and I have to tell you elantha vadai made at home tastes divine and of course has wonderful health benefits. Jujube Nutrition: Jujube is rich in many nutrients, 100 grams around 79 calories, 0.2 grams of fat, 1.2 grams of protein and 20 grams of carbohydrates. It is especially rich in vitamin C, iron, calcium, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Here are the medicinal uses of jujube fruit: 1. Anti Cancer Properties: Can you believe this small fruits have amazing anti cancer properties! I love this amazing fruit mainly for it's taste but I love it even more now after getting to know how effective it is as an anti cancer food. Jujube fruits have bioactive compounds which has been clinically proven to have anti cancer properties and is being researched widely now. You can read the anti cancer properties here. 2. Prevents Neuro Toxicity: Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nervous damage that can occur for diabetic people. Diabetic neuropathy mainly affects nerves of the legs and feet causing intense pain. This amazing fruit has a protective effect and water extract prevents diabetic neuropathy, you can read the study that proves this claim here. 3. Anti Obesity: Jujube fruits also have noticeable anti obesity properties and it has been proven to have positive effect on serum lipid profile. Also this fruit is also well tolerated by most people, you can read the study that supports this claim here. 4. Antioxidant: This wonder fruit is very rich in antioxidants and thus greatly help protect us from free radicals which is the major reason premature ageing. Since it is so rich in antioxidants regular consumption will improve immunity. So happy to know consuming elantha vadai is so good :). 5. For Pediatric Infectious Diseases: Jujube fruits have wonderful anti microbial properties and has been clinically proven to help prevent infections in children. It is especially useful in children who are under going chemotherapy, as they have very low immunity who are under going chemotherapy and are susceptible to infections. It amazed me how a simple unassuming fruit can save so many young innocent children who are already going through very difficult time with cancer treatments from falling ill. You can read the study that proves it here. Along with the above said medicinal uses, jujube fruit also treats constipation, reduces anxiety and improves digestion. Here in our place we mainly consume the fruit in the form of elantha vadai but in some countries jujube tea is famous, it is made by boiling the dried jujube fruit along with spices like ginger and cardamom. Jujube honey is an other famous preparation done in certain parts of the world. I have given the recipe for making elantha vadai | regi vadiyalu at home below. Jujube Side Effects: Jujube fruit has anti fertility properties and so I would suggest not consuming jujube fruit in excess when trying to conceive. I was having this fruit in moderation during pregnancy and would advice the same too...

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

10 Top Medicinal Uses & Side Effects Of Sage (Salvia Officinalis) | Salvia


Sage is a wonderful herb that has been used from ancient times and it has been used in both cooking and as a medicine. Sage has positive effect on our nervous system and has been used traditionally to improve memory and externally it is used to treat ulcer and wounds. Sage tea made by steeping the leaves in hot water is very popular throughout the world and has wonderful health benefits. The botanical name of sage is Salvia Officinalis, the word salvia means to be saved in Latin and even the botanical name shows how effectively it was used as a medicine from ancient times. It belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae) like most other famous herbs like rosemary, thyme and oregano. The plant grows about 2 feet tall and the flowers are either lavender, pink, purple or white colored and have a pleasant smell. The leaves are greyish green colored, the whole plant has a unique and strong smell due to the presence of volatile oils. Sage is called Common Sage, Culinary Sage and Garden Sage in English, Sefakuss | Salvia in Hindi, Bui Tulasi in Bengali, Dharba in Telugu, Sathi in Punjabi, Kamarkas in Marathi, Salvi Tulasi in Malayalam and Salvi Tulsi in Tamil (I am not 100 % sure of the Indian names for sage). As a person who loves herbs, I am always on the look out for trying new herbs and a year or so back, the department store I regularly visit in my nearby city started selling fresh sage leaves regularly. Since I was already aware of the benefits of sage tea, I regularly started buying the sage leaves for making the tea. I have to tell you that fresh sage tea is wonderfully calming and if you are under a lot of stress, I would highly recommend it. Nutritional benefits: Sage is rich in vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin A, C, E, K and riboflavin. It is also rich in minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc. It also contains phytonutrients like carotenes. The volatile oil distilled from sage is called sage essential oil, it also has all the benefits mentioned below. Here are some of the wonderful medicinal uses of sage: 1. Anti Inflammatory Properties: Sage has wonderful anti inflammatory properties and has been especially used for treating inflammations of the throat if used in the form of gargle. Sage tea if used as a gargle is very effective for treating throat inflammations. You can read about the anti inflammatory properties here. 2. Sage For Memory: Another wonderful use of sage is it's ability to increase brain function and memory. Regular intake of sage tea helps improve memory greatly, you can read the research that supports this claim here. 3. Sage For Reducing Hot Flushes in Menopausal Women: Sage has been used as a remedy for hot flushes for a long time and this traditional remedy has been backed by research and you can read the research here. Though sage tincture was used in the research, sage tea also gives the same benefits. 4. Sage For Hair: Sage is amazing for hair, it stimulates new hair growth, prevents premature greying and makes the hair more manageable. I love to use sage extract in my homemade shampoo. You can find the recipe for it below. 5. Sage For Diabetes: Sage tea is a wonderful remedy for people who are at higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes mellitus. Regularly consuming sage for a period of 2 weeks lowered the risk of getting type 2 diabetes greatly as it helps lower the plasma glucose, you can read the study here. 6. Sage For Improving Our Mood: Drinking a cup of sage tea relaxes us and improves our mood greatly and I can guarantee that it does. It reduces anxiety and stress greatly, if you are under a lot of stress try a cup of sage tea for a few days. 7. Sage For Dental plaque: Since sage has anti bacterial properties, if used as a mouth wash treats and prevents dental plaque so very effectively. Next time you make sage tea, reserve some for gargling before adding any sweeteners, such a cheap and effective remedy for preventing dental plaque! You can read the study that proves this claim here. 8. Antioxidant Properties: Sage has wonderful antioxidant properties and drinking a cup of a wonderfully fragrant sage tea will prevent diseases caused due to oxidative stress like neuro degenerative disorders, cancer, etc. 9. Sage For Sweating: Since it has anti bacterial properties, sage extract when used in deodorant formulations work really well in eliminating bacteria and it also greatly reduces excessive sweating. Next time you make any homemade deodorant, try adding sage extract to it to improve the efficiency. You can read the study that supports this claim here. 10. Sage For Skin: Sage is wonderful for using in skin care too, sage tea can be used as a toner. For a simple homemade toner, mix sage tea with apple cider vinegar. Since sage has anti inflammatory properties, it will reduce puffiness and acne very effectively. Sage infused oil has amazing healing properties and can heal scars if used on a regular basis. All you have to do to make sage infused oil is to bruise the leaves and add it to a pure unrefined carrier and heat it under direct sunlight until the oil is infused with sage. Side Effects: Sage should not be consumed in large doses, sage contains a toxic substance called thujone and if taken in large quantities can cause bad side effects. Though there is no clinical study to prove it, sage is said to reduce breast milk due to thujone present in it so it is best to practice caution and not consume sage tea in large doses regularly when feeding and while pregnant. Also it might interfere with certain medications and if you are on certain medications and planning on taking sage tea daily, please mention it to your physician. Where to Buy Sage Leaves? Some departmental stores in big cities stock fresh sage leaves, please ask for it in the herb section. Dried sage is easily available everywhere, you also get sage tablets, sage tincture and sage tea bags too....