Massaggio Shirodhara

sabato 6 agosto 2011

Herbal / Ayurvedic treatment for Cervical Spondylosis

( What is Cervical Spondylosis?
Spondylosis is a spinal degeneration or deformity of joints of two or more vertebrae, which occurs with aging. Cervical Spondylosis is the common degeneration of cervical spine that affects the vertebral bodies and inter-vertebral disks of the neck and the nerve roots or spinal cord of the spinal canal. Spondylosis often advances with age and increases at multiple interspaces. In ayurveda the condition is known as ‘Griva Sandhigata Vata’.
Causes of Cervical Spondylosis
Age – Cervical Spondylosis is often associated with age. While only less than 25% of people below 40 years of age experience Cervical Spondylosis, about 60% or more above the age of 40 are affected by it.
Neck injury – A neck injury which may have occurred years back can predispose to Spondylosis. Other precipitating factors such as incorrect body posture, trauma, and excessive intake of sour food (according to ayurveda), can trigger spondylitis attacks.
Genetics – Although the role of genetics is yet to be confirmed, people with above 50 years of age who experience the condition, are more likely to have a sibling with normal or mild conditions of Cervical Spondylosis.
Work Activity – Cervical Spondylosis is often found among people who carry heavy loads on their head or shoulders, than those who do not.
Symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis
Common symptoms include pain in the neck which later radiates to arms or shoulder, weakness on the legs and arms, stiffness in the neck region, numbness of arms, legs or shoulders, loss of balance, headaches (on the back of the head), muscle spasms, loss of control over bladder or bowel movements, and general tiredness and anxiety.
Herbal / Ayurvedic treatment for Cervical Spondylosis
  • Ayurvedic / herbal oils such as Mahanarayana taila can be applied on the affected part and gently massaged twice or thrice a day. Avoid violent massage applying deep pressure, which may do more harm than good. During winter season, this oil could be gently warmed before application.
  • Ayurveda recommends the gum resin extract from the Guggulu plant as best cure for the condition, and this compound, known as Simbananda Guggulu, is given in capsule form four times a day. As the medicine has a laxative effect, the dosage of the medicine will be decided based on the bowel movement of the patient. This should be determined on consultation with an Ayurvedic Physician.
  • The herb ‘Triphala’ in its powdered form (about a teaspoon) can be mixed in a glass of warm milk and given to the patient. The dosage and duration of intake to be decided by a physician and may vary based on individual requirements of the patient.
  • Hot fomentation on the vertebrae of neck, would be helpful for relief from cervical pain. Add 500gms of salt on a big cloth, and place this on a frying pan until it gets heated up. This can then be applied on the neck (but, it should not be so hot as to cause burns). This can be done for half-an-hour a day, and ensure that the affected part is not exposed to cold wind just after hot fomentation.
  • Avoid foods with sour taste, and other fried foods, but, bitter variety of vegetables such as neem flowers, drumstick, and bittergourd are recommended to be a part of diet of such patients.
  • Exposure to cold, such as cold bathe, violent neck muscle exercise, wrong posture while reading or writing or working, should be avoided. Wear a scarf around the neck when going out of the house. (by

venerdì 5 agosto 2011

Stevia (honey plant) herb brings new ray of hope for diabetics

( A tiny herb, just about three feet in height, now brings a new ray of hope for diabetics, as it is said to be a major source of bio-sweetener for the rapidly growing food market.
The herb, ‘Stevia’, better known as the honey plant, is a native of Paraguay, and has the potential to develop as a major source of bio-sweetener in the market, but, despite the potential of the herb, it is yet to be exploited for commercial use. Since ages, Stevia leaves have been used by Guarani Indians in Paraguay as a soothing tonic for stomach ailments and as a healing concentrate when cooked in water.
Stevia is cultivated in several parts of Karnataka including, Bangalore, Chitradurga, Kolar, Tumkur, Chikmagalur, Dharwad, Davanagere, and Bellary, due to favorable climatic conditions in these places.
Being a good sugar substitute, Stevia is good for those on a diet-plan. It is a zero-calorie sweetener and is carbohydrate-free regulates blood sugar levels, and hence is considered ideal for diabetics. Apart from this, it stimulates the release of insulin and regulates the response to glucose, particularly, in cases of type 2 diabetes and hence, is considered to be a far healthier option than other artificial sweeteners.
Studies have revealed that Stevia is a natural, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent. It has also shown promising results in tackling high blood pressure. Steviosides, the intensely sweet glycosides, produced within the leaves make the extract of this herb is about 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Research has indicated that as the body does not digest or metabolize these intensely sweet glycosides, they are not converted into glucose in the body and hence have a glycemic index of zero. Therefore, Stevia is a valuable sweetening source for patients with sugar restrictions and hypoglycemia.
Other health benefits of Stevia:
Stevia is believed to be of immense help in treating obesity, as it contains zero calories, and reduces craving for sweet and fatty food. Preliminary research says that stevia can reset the hunger mechanism in people, as it has the ability to clear the communication pathway between stomach and brain, thereby reducing huger sensations faster.
Stevia curbs growth of oral bacteria and such other infectious organisms. Regular use of Stevia as a mouthwash helps improve problem of bleeding gums. As stevia has the potential to inhibit growth of oral bacteria, there are generally lower cases of colds and flu among stevia users. (by
On topical application, Stevia extracts have therapeutic effect on acne, dermatitis, eczema and seborrhea. When placed directly on cuts and wounds, it has shown rapid healing without scarring.

giovedì 4 agosto 2011

Acupuncture may reduce negative effects of Head and Neck Cancer treatment

( The unpleasant negative effects of treatment for head and neck cancer patients may be relieved by Acupuncture, the ancient Chinese practice.
A recent study found that there was significant reduction in both dry mouth and pain and shoulder dysfunction after neck dissection in patients who received acupuncture.
However, further studies are required to support the potential role of acupuncture, said Dr. David Pfister, the Chief of the Head and Neck Medical Oncology Service, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City.
Neck dissection (removal of the lymph node and surrounding tissue) is a common treatment for head and neck cancers. The dissection could even be severe, involving removal of all lymph nodes, and muscles involved in turning the head, or removal of a nerve or vein that helps patients to lift their arms above their head.
Side effects could vary based on the extent of the procedure. Pain and shoulder dysfunction are common following a neck resection. Although anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed to address pain and dysfunction, postoperative radiation could lead to dry mouth, and several other symptoms.
For the study, Out of 70 patients, acupuncture sessions for four weeks were administered at random, while the others were given the usual care involving physical therapy exercises and anti-inflammatory pain relievers.
About 40 percent of participants receiving acupuncture, showed improvements in pain and mobility, as against a mere 7 percent in the usual care group. Also, it was found that there was a considerable decrease in dry mouth. About five people in the acupuncture group showed improvements, as against none in the usual care group. (by

mercoledì 3 agosto 2011

Binge on mushrooms and remain slim

( Eating mushrooms in large quantities will help prevent obesity, suggests new study. Now, keeping in mind that obesity is the main risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer, this comes as good news to many of us, aged 20 and above, who are obese.
The study, led by Dr. Cheskin, Director of John Hopkins Weight Management Center, suggests that increasing the intake of low-energy density foods, particularly mushrooms, in place of high-energy foods such as ground beef, is an effective way of preventing and treating obesity.
The participants in the study were randomly chosen to receive either mushroom or beef lunch entrees for four days. The subjects they switched entrees to consume the other ingredient (mushroom or beef) the next week. Obviously, the calorie intakes were considerably higher during meat meals than during mushroom meals, a distance which averaged 420 calories and 30 more fat grams per day over the four-day test period.
The subject ratings for palatability, satiation, appetite and satiety did not differ between groups. But the most interesting part was that the subjects seemed to accept mushrooms as a palatable and more suitable culinary substitute for meat. They did not compensate for the low calorie mushroom meal by eating more food later during the day.
Based on the preliminary findings, Dr.Cheskin and team, concluded that men who substitute 4 ounce Portabella mushroom in place of a 4 ounce grilled hamburger, each time they ate a grilled hamburger, during the course of the year, and did not change anything else, could save about 18000 calories and 3000 grams of fat. (by

Herbal cures to combat fatigue

( Fatigue caused by excess work or lack of sleep is one of the most common kinds of fatigue. Caffeine, in its many forms has been the treatment of choice, for such a condition since ages.
Coffee is the strongest natural form of caffeine. However, coffee is addictive and drinking more than three cups a day could lead to problems such as jangled nerves and diarrhea.
Other sources of caffeine include colas, tea, cocoa, and South-American beverages such as yerba mate. Although tea has comparatively lesser caffeine, it contains more of Theophylline, which in its pure form, is used to treat Asthma. Like caffeine, it causes nervousness, insomnia and increased heart rate.
However, in cases of stress-induced fatigue, which could lead to loss of sleep at night an exhaustion during the day, folk practitioners prescribe variety of herbal relaxants, including valerian and lavender.
Black Tea: A cup of black tea contains about 30mg of caffeine. About two doses (60mg) of this tea act as a stimulant increasing activity of central nervous system. The tea can be prepared by pouring a cup of boiling water over one and a half teaspoon of black tea leaves. Allow it to steep for five minutes. Strain and drink.
Valerian: It is a sleeping aid which has been in use for more than 2000 years now, and has been helpful in treating stress-induced fatigue. Pour one cup of boiling water to ½ to 1 teaspoon of minced fresh roots, or mix a few drops of valerian extract or tincture into a glass of warm water. This makes a good bedtime tea. However, it is not advisable to be used for longer than two weeks.
Lavender: The herb has been well-known as a calmative. The dried flowers or an extract of the herb can be added to warm bath water, just prior to bed time. The oil too can be dabbed on to the temples before bedtime. (by

Dandruff remedies

( According to Ayurvedic principle, the condition of one’s hair reflects the constitution of the individual. For instance, an individual with Vata constitution will have coarse, dry and dark hair that are prone to dandruff and split ends, while Pitta constitution individuals have light brown hair that is prone to premature greying, and appears silky, while individuals with Kapha constitution have thick, shiny and wavy hair. The health of hair is dependent mainly on two factors; lifestyle and diet. Deficiency of vitamins, illness, poor diet, dandruff etc., will lead to dull hair and hair loss.
According to Ayurveda, this is caused due to aggravation of Vata. A few easy and simple tips for dandruff prevention are:
  • A teaspoon of camphor can be added to neem oil or coconut oil, and massaged into the scalp at bed time.
  • One teaspoon each of coconut, mustard and castor oil can be mixed and massaged into the scalp.
  • One part of lemon juice can be added to two parts of coconut oil and massaged into the scalp.
    These can be washed after three to four hours or left overnight. (by

martedì 2 agosto 2011

Honey works wonders in improving eyesight too!

( Although all of us are well aware of all the medicinal values and beauty care that honey bestows for human body, it has been recently learnt that honey works magic for eyes, by protecting eyes and improving eyesight.
Although the easiest manner to take advantage of honey is to include it as part of one’s regular diet, Perry Kharpuri, a Shillong-based researcher, advices a mix of two teaspoons of honey with carrot juice, which, on regular consumption, improves eye sight and cures watery eyes. This is believed to be an excellent remedy for people working for long hours before the computer.
Also, Amla (Indian gooseberry), taken with honey, apart from improving eye sight helps in treatment of conjunctivitis and glaucoma, reducing intraocular tension in an effective manner.
When suffering from cold, cough or chest congestion, add two teaspoons of honey with an equal quantity of ginger juice, and consume often. This although, one of the oldest, is also one of the most popular remedies followed by millions of Indians.
Another honey remedy is to add a spoon of fresh honey to juice of half a lemon in a glass of lukewarm water, as a cure for hyperacidity, obesity and constipation.
Homeopath, Swapan Debnath, agrees that honey also helps in controlling BP. Two teaspoons of honey, when mixed with a teaspoon of garlic juice, and consumed regularly, helps tackle the problem to a certain extent.
As per research conducted by Madeep Kaur of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Samrala, Punjab, a mixture of honey, ginger juice and black pepper powder mixed in equal quantities and consumed thrice a day, helps relieve symptoms of Asthma.
In short, consuming one teaspoon of honey a day helps lead a long healthy life, states Madeep Kaur in her report.
However, a work of caution to be followed is that honey should not be heated or exposed to high temperature. Also honey should never be taken with hot and spicy food and fermented beverages such as rum, brandy or whisky, as the nectar of various flowers included in honey, could get its poisonous properties enhanced when mixed with hot and spicy foods, which could at times prove to be fatal. (by

Soothe Sinusitis the ayurvedic way

Taking a deep breath through the nose may seem relaxing. However, most of us never think about our sinuses when doing so. But, for others, these tiny air passages are a source of stuffy nose and headaches, associated with fever and infection, which, in serious cases may last up to twelve weeks at a frequency of four times a year.
As per the ayurvedic approach, Sinus problems are caused due to underlying imbalance in Prana Vata (the sub-dosha of vata that govern the head, brain and mind) and Shleshaka Kapha (sub-dosha that governs moisture and lubrication balance).
The imbalance of these two sub-doshas results in another complication. Ama, the sticky waste-product after digestion, gets mixed with Shleshaka Kapha in the sinus area, resulting in an even more toxic and sticky mucus called Shleshma, which settles in the area, clogging the sinuse channels. Due to this restriction, there is an imbalance of Pitta, and this leads to inflammation.
Air pollution, lifestyle pattern, alternating between hot and cold weather, consuming excess amounts of cold, heavy or sweet foods, lack of sleep, insufficient exercise, could all further aggravate the imbalance.
Here are suggestions from Ayurveda that could be followed for effective relief from Sinus problems:
  • Follow a diet that pacifies Prana Vata and Shleshaka Kapha, and follow a Vata-Kapha pacifying diet. The foods consumed should not be too hot or too cold. Avoid ice-cold foods and beverages. The foods consumed should be warm, light, nurturing and easily digestible.
  • A combination of spices such as turmeric (2 parts), cumin (4 parts), coriander (4 parts), fennel (4 parts), ginger (1 part) and black pepper (1 part), could be roasted and then ground into a powder. The ground spices could be sprinkled on to vegetables or grains, or added to your soup and consumed.
  • Steam inhalations performed by adding eucalyptus oil, garlic, cough drops or other medicinal herbs to boiling water will help reduce sinus headaches.
  • Drinking plenty of water, flavored with spices, will de-tox the sinuses and purify them. Boil two quarts of water. Add two leaves of basil, two thin slices of ginger, four mint leaves, two pieces of clove and quarter-teaspoon of marshmallow root. Drink this combination, all through the day.
  • Eat plenty of organic fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid banana, eggplant, bell pepper, tomato, as these clog the channels.Avoid skipping or delaying meals as this will upset digestive balance and cause formation of toxins.
  • Regularize bowel movements, as this helps detoxify the body, apart from re-establishing a balanced environment in sinus area.
  • Other herbal supplements such as the ‘Protection Plus - Sinus’, could be taken on consultation with a physician, as it helps maintain sinus health and boosts resistance to infection, apart from reducing inflammation.

Ayurveda: il guggul sconfigge il cancro alla prostata

( Il guggul noto anche come pianta della mirra è un rimedio tipico della medicina ayurvedica. Si tratta di una gommoresina, estratta dal Commiphora mukul, una pianta tropicale.
Alcuni studi clinici hanno esaminato i potenziali benefici per la salute del guggul che è spesso utilizzato per frenare livelli di colesterolo o per combattere altri disturbi. Secondo un recente studio, il guggul è anche un rimedio naturale contro il cancro alla prostata. Nella ricerca gli scienziati hanno scoperto che la gommoresina inibisce la crescita di cellule del cancro alla prostata e sembra aumentare l’apoptosi (un tipo di morte cellulare programmata che non fa scattare il rilascio di sostanze nocive nella zona circostante).
Se volete assumere il guggul sotto forma di compresse sono consigliabili capsule da 250 mg di estratto secco di guggul al 2,5%, due o tre volte al giorno. Se preferite assumerlo sotto forma di polvere, fate bollire 1 cucchiaino di polvere in una tazza d’acqua per trenta minuti. Filtrate e bevete gli estratti, una volta al giorno per un mese. Prima di ingerirlo seguite bene le avvertenze e fate attenzione ad eventuali effetti collaterali.

Treating Arthritis with Ayurveda

(Avataraline) Arthritis is a medical condition wherein the patient suffers from joint pain, caused mostly due to damage to the joints. This condition is now increasingly common among youngsters too, as is the case with the elderly.
Arthritis is of different kinds, the most common being osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease). Although treatment for arthritis is available in allopathy and homeopathy and other systems of medicine, in recent times, however, ayurveda is gaining immense popularity in treatment of arthritis.
Ayurveda offers several alternatives for arthritis treatment. Several studies lately in the United States, India and other places have confirmed Ayurvedic treatment as the means to natural arthritic pain relief.
According to Ayurveda, Arthritis can be caused by aggravation of vata (air) dosha, and due to excessive collection of ama (toxic substance due to improper digestion) in the body. When ama begins to increase in quantity, it begins to get accumulated in the weaker areas of the body, and an aggravation of vata happens, resulting in arthritis.
Ayurveda believes that every individual is unique, and therefore, although the outer symptoms may be similar, the path to their healing differs. This implies that the remedy for arthritis pain and suffering is different for each individual.
Ayurveda believes that arthritis could be due to excess accumulation of vata, pitta or kapha in the body. Therefore, determining the exact type of arthritis with the help of a physician, and taking specific treatment will offer effective relief.
Vata-type Arthritis
If your arthritis is caused due to vata, your joints could crack and pop and become dry, but may not appear swollen. Apart from general treatment, vata-type arthritis responds well to three-to-five-day detoxification diet and an anti-vata diet.
General recommendations for this type of arthritis are:
  • Yogaraj guggulu tablet could be taken thrice a day, as it cleanses bone tissue, improves bone strength and flexibility.
  • Half or one teaspoons of Haritaki with warm water is recommended.
  • You could also apply mahanaran oil on affected joint, following it up with local moist heat application. Else, after massaging with the oil, you could soak your foot in hot water. Even triphala or castor oil can help in colon cleansing.
  • Practising certain yoga postures, including forward bend, Maha Mudra, chest-knee pose and half-bridge pose may be helpful.
Pitta-type Arthritis
This type of arthritis is characterized by inflammation, with the joint getting swollen and painful even without movement. It may also appear red in colour and may be hot to touch. This type of arthritis responds well to a one-week detoxification diet and anti-Pitta diet.
Some specific herbs recommended for pitta-type arthritis are guggul, aloe, sandalwood, chaparral and saffron.
  • Applying ice-pack on the inflamed part is also recommended.
  • Ayurveda suggests taking 1 tablet (350mg) of kaishore guggulu thrice a day, massaging with Brahmi and sandalwood oils, and herbs such as nirgundi and musta for pain relief. External application of cool castor oil or coconut oil to the painful area is recommended, applying sandalwood powder paste on affected area by mixing one teaspoon of sandalwood powder and adding sufficient water to make a paste and rubbing it onto the joint.
  • Further yoga postures such as bow pose, boat pose, locust pose, cow pose, camel pose and moon salutation is recommended.
Kapha-type Arthritis
In this type of arthritis, the joint gets stiff and swollen, but feels cold and clammy rather than hot. A little movement may tend to relieve the pain in this case. This type of pain responds to a one or two week detoxification diet (light, dry and warm food).
  • Ayurveda recommends pure guggul (Punarnava guggulu tablets 250mg one tab thrice a day), application of a paste of vacha (calamus root) powder to the joint, make a paste of punarnava powder and ginger powder (mix 1 teaspoon each with warm water to make a paste) and apply on the joint), hot herbs including dry ginger, cinnamon, trikatu and turmeric. Even Musta and nirgundi can help relieve pain.
  • Specific yoga postures include triangle pose, forward bend, spinal twist, and tree pose.
In general, ayurveda attempts to remove ama from the joint and bring it back to the colon, and eliminate it. In case, you are not aware about the kind of arthritis (vata, pitta or kapha), take a teaspoon of triphala added to ½ or one cup of warm water.
If you know positively the type of Arthritis, Haritaki is used for vata-type arthritis, amalaki is used for pitta-type arthritis, and bibbitaki is used for kapha-type arthritis.
Diet: The three to five-day detoxification diet is recommended with vegetables, juices, spices and herbs taken on an empty stomach. Enemas and colon cleansing are also done to detoxify the body.
Oil: Several essential oils are applied externally to help the body get rid of toxins, while also relieving pain and improving mobility. Mahanarayan oil, when mixed with sesame oil (1:1) helps improve flexibility, muscle fatigue and stiffness and helps relieve pain. The oil breaks blockages and begins to heal locally. After application of oil, warm heat, yoga, bath or mild exercise improves the condition.
Heat Therapy: The patient may be required to sit in a sauna, or should have steam applied directly on the affected area.
Cold Therapy: Cold Therapy involves using cold packs, soaking in cold water, ice massage, or over-the- counter sprays and heating salve that can cool the joints and skin.
Herbs and Spices: Ayurveda also uses several herbs and spices externally and internally when treating arthritis. It is hoped to cleanse the body and relive pain and stiffness. Golden seal, mint, ephedra, nirgundi, gentian, eucalyptus leaves, quassia, scute, coptis, phellodendrom, aloe, Siberian gingseng, guggul, du huo, myrhh, lugusticum and yucca are few such herbs used for treatment.
Similarly, Chamomila (useful when patient gets restless), turmeric (excellent anti-inflammatory properties and mild painkiller and strengthens connective tissues between joints), Ginger (anti-inflammatory agent), nettle (helps in elimination of waste from kidneys), boswellia (used as natural anti-inflammatory), and devil’s claw (good anti-inflammatory herb for joint and muscular problems) are few other good herbs recommended for arthritis.
Latest research news: The American college of Rheumatology that conducted a trial on 90 people with osteoarthritis. The study showed that 50percent of them took a combination of turmeric, ginger, and ashwagandha and they reported considerable improvement in pain relief and mobility. This is, in contrast to just 20percent of the placebo group that reported arthritis pain relief. Further, the use of same anti-inflammatory herbs offered considerable improvement in pain relief, stiffness and severity of swollen joints and brought about improvement in ability to function among 182 people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Apart from all this, walking, bicycling, controlling weight, relaxation therapy, yoga and meditation to alleviate stress, reducing caffeine intake, occasional fasting, and quitting smoking are other lifestyle measures to be adopted by arthritic patients.
So, with ayurveda offering these many alternatives, it is no wonder that people are turning more towards ayurveda for arthritic cure. (by

Fish-rich diet reduces kidney damage risk among diabetics

( According to a new study, two servings of fish a week, reduces kidney damage risk, often associated with diabetes.
All the participants involved in the study were diabetic. Among them, those who dined on fish less than once a week were 400 percent more prone to have traces of albumin in their urine, than diabetics who feasted on fish twice or more times a week.
The co-author of the study, Epidemiologist Amanda, says that the protein albumin, signals onset of kidney disease, which is one of the most devastating effects of diabetes. The nutrients unique to fish are more likely to stimulate kidney functioning and enhance control over blood glucose levels.
Adler and her colleagues at the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit, Cambridge’s Addenbrooke Hospital, reviewed data from a broad-based European study of Cancer, to analyze if any of the 22,300 English male/female study participants had any effect of fish and kidney disease.
Out of the participants, only 517 had diabetes Type 2. After reviewing their dietary data and studying urine for albumin, it was found that those eating less than one serving of fish a week, were four times more likely to develop albumin traces in their urine, which indicates failing kidneys, than those eating fish twice a week or more.
The study however, did not categorize the types of fish that the study participants ate or did not consider cooking methods. The regional English cuisine in the area of study often included canned tuna, haddock, plaice and cod.
On the whole, it has been noted that a fish-rich diet would help diabetics in warding off kidney damage, although more detailed studies are required in the matter to prove conclusively. In the meanwhile, researchers do not see any harm in eating little more fish, particularly, when cooked in a healthy manner.
The study has been published in the November issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. (by

Managing Psoriasis with diet alteration

( Psoriasis is a skin condition, rather than a disease. However, it is not contagious, but it can be hereditary. Although there are no exact causes for the condition, it is sometimes an allergic reaction to external influences, including food and environment, and sometimes stress.
One of the first steps to reduce the severity of psoriasis is to drink plenty of water. Thereafter, altering your diet by including plenty of green leafy vegetables can help improve your condition considerably, although this is not a cure. Thereafter, you will have to take treatment with your physician simultaneously.
As there are several treatment methods for psoriasis, diet plays an important part in managing the condition. Foods that are popular triggers for this condition include red wine, red meat, coke, hot spices, junk foods, berries, tomato, oily and acidic foods. In general, people with poor diet have worse cases of psoriasis.
A balanced diet is crucial for overall health. But, certain foods in particular, have specific benefits in managing psoriasis.
It is said that fatty types of fish, including tuna, salmon, herring and sardines, have high omega-3 fatty acid content in them. The healthy fat in these helps fight inflammation. This implies that these could as well be helpful in the case of psoriasis, as this is basically an inflammatory skin condition. Although, there are numerous studies to support this fact, there is no clear cut evidence linking omega-3 to improvement in psoriasis. But, as there is already strong proven evidence about eating fish being good for your heart, you can always give it a try.
Some people with psoriasis have reported worsening of their symptoms when they consume wheat. This could possibly be due to their sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in rye, barley and wheat. According to studies, patients with increased levels of certain antibodies in their blood, also report gluten sensitivity. Therefore, if you have gluten sensitivity and psoriasis, ensuring a gluten-free diet may go a long way in managing your psoriasis symptoms.
In general, food triggers vary from one person to another. But, if you suspect that certain foods make your psoriasis symptoms worse, try getting these foods out of your diet.
The smart food choices in general, are eating more vegetables and fruits, including more of whole grains and olive oil, while limiting saturated fat, trans-fats and added sugar, and refined carbohydrates to promote general health. Combine this with good exercise routine and adequate sleep to combat stress.
Such a routine, apart from fighting infections, can also keep psoriasis symptoms under control, and promote general health.
Other home tips: To reduce stress-triggered psoriasis, turn to meditation and yoga. Acupuncture, though considered safe for psoriasis, it is not known to what extent it actually helps your skin. But, for patients with psoriatic arthritis, acupuncture helps in pain management.
The Chinese herb indigo naturalis is considered effective in treating psoriasis. The powdered herb can be mixed into an ointment and applied to the skin.
Similarly, when Dead Sea salts are applied to a bath, they help remove scales on your skin and reduce itching. Similar results can also be obtained with Epsom salt, but, for best results, soak for 15 minutes.
Aloe vera, when applied directly on the skin, is thought to help in reducing psoriasis plaques. Other natural remedies that can be tried include application of oats, apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil to the skin. (by

Saffron for clear vision

( Saffron the common spice used in Indian, Spanish and Italian cuisine (also called the golden spice) has now been found to prevent loss of eye sight in old age, according to a new Australian study.
The researchers at the University of L’Aquila in Italy, and Sydney University in Australia, found that eating saffron on a daily basis helps in protection against some common forms of blindness, by making the delicate eye cells more resilient against the disease.
The study carried out in animals, confirmed that a diet containing saffron can protect eye from damage caused by bright sunlight, and slow down the progress of genetic diseases such as Retinitis Pigmentosa. The researchers also found that saffron had a beneficial effect in humans suffering from age-related macular degeneration, one of the most common forms of blindness in old age.
The scientists are performing clinical trial on humans with age-related macular degeneration. The lead researcher, Prof. Silvia Bisti, who led the study from the University of L’Aquila, mentioned that Saffron seems to possess several properties that protect vision. Saffron, with its strong anti-oxidant properties, seems to block cell death.
“It also affects genes that regulate the fatty acid content of the cell membrane, and this makes the vision cells more resilient and tougher”, he concluded.
Saffron has several other health benefits too. Apart from its culinary uses, it helps in enhancement of one’s overall well-being, by improving digestion and appetite. It is used in treatment of kidney, bladder and liver disorders, enhances circulation to digestive organs, protects against gastrointestinal colic and acidity, is beneficial in dealing with disorders such as atherosclerosis, asthma, and painful menstrual periods.
Saffron also helps relieve inflammation in arthritis patients by offering relief from joint pains, helps in treating fatigue and muscle inflammation among athletes, and is a mild sedative, and can therefore be used for insomnia and to treat depression. Being an excellent blood purifier, it helps increase the oxygen content of the blood, and helps in overall well-being of a person. (by

lunedì 1 agosto 2011

Ghee: il burro chiarificato è il segreto dell’ eterna giovinezza

( Il ghee è il burro chiarificato, ingrediente di base della cucina tradizionale ayurvedica, dalle proprietà rivitalizzanti e ringiovanenti. Un vero elisir di lunga vita che non potete mancare di assaggiare! 

Si fonde a fuoco lento un panetto di burro non salato in una padella dal fondo spesso e si rimuove con un cucchiaio la schiuma biancastra che affiora man mano. Quando il burro raggiunge i 100°C, l’ acqua in esso contenuta sobbolle. dopo alcuni minuti, quando il liquido appare completamente trasparente, si rimuove la schiuma dalla superficie e si filtra il liquido ottenuto con un colino a maglie molto strette. Il ghee deve essere limpido, biondo come il miele e profumato. Va conservato in un barattolo pulito e asciutto, a temperatura ambiente. 

Il ghee può essere usato per cucinare, al posto di altri condimenti, o consumato con latte e mandorle. Secondo l’ Ayurveda, ritarda l’ invecchiamento e promuove la longevità – per tale motivo figura tra gli ingredienti di diverse preparazioni ringiovanenti (Rayasana) -, migliora la memoria e le altre facoltà intellettive e accresce Ojas, il principo che conferisce forza e vitalità alla persona.
Ha un effetto anabolico, agendo in maniera specifica su Madja (tessuto nervoso), Meda (tessuto adiposo) e Shukra (tessuto riproduttivo). E’ considerato, inoltre, l’ alimento che riequilibra Pitta, in quanto ha gusto dolce e potenza fredda. (by

Medicinal values of Ash gourd

( Ash gourd, also known as white gourd or wax gourd is an annual, hairy, creeping herb. Modern study has confirmed its effectiveness in the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or prostate enlargement.
The pumpkin seed oil, when used in combination with saw palmetto in human studies, showed effective reduction in symptoms of BPH. Researchers suggest zinc free fatty acid, or plant sterol content of pumpkin seed may prove beneficial in men with BPH. Studies have shown that the pumpkin seed extracts can improve functioning of the bladder and urethra, which might help in achieving BPH symptom relief.
Studies have also illustrated that ash gourd contains plenty of moisture and petite amounts of fat, protein, carbohydrates and fibre, apart from calcium, phosphorous, iron, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin and Vitamin C.
Medicinal values of Ash gourd:
Good diet for diabetics: Ash gourd is known for its medicinal values and healing power. Being low in calories, it is ideal for diabetic patients, and those seeking weight-control. The cooling purgative herb boosts secretion and disposal of urine. Therefore it acts as a good detoxifying agent too.
Cures Peptic ulcer: Ash gourd juice is beneficial for those suffering from peptic ulcer. The juice derived from shredded ash gourd, when mixed with equal amount of water, could be taken every morning in an empty stomach, and thereafter no food should be consumed for three hours.
Kills intestinal worms: The seeds of ash gourd are anabolic and encourages tissue growth, particularly, when consumed with coconut milk. It helps in ejecting tapeworm and other intestinal worms.
Treats constipation: It provides good relief from constipation and tones up the general digestive system.
Beats acidity: Due to its strong ‘antacid’ action, it helps in maintaining the body pH. It counteracts acidity created in the stomach due to intake of acidic foods like fried, soft drinks and denatured food.
Acts as blood coagulant: Ash gourd acts as a blood coagulant. Since ancient times, its fresh juice, when mixed with a teaspoon of gooseberry or lime juice, is used as a specific medicine to stop profuse bleeding from lungs and presence of blood cells in the urine.
Treats common cold: It helps in controlling common cold, cough, fever, sinusitis, bronchitis, influenza and more, without any side effects. It can also be of much relief to chronic asthma patients.
In Ayurveda, ash gourd is used to treat epilepsy, asthma, lung diseases, urine retention, internal haemorrhage, and cough. The fruit juice is also effective in cases of mercury poisoning and snakebites. It can even treat mouth cancer, protecting teeth and gums when a mouth gargle of the juice is done regularly. It is also effective in bleeding of gums. (by

Asthmatics and Insomniacs could turn to “Kukkura Pranayama” for relief

( The term ‘Kukkura’ is the Sanskrit translation of ‘dog’. The breathing technique ‘Kukkura pranayama’ imitates the panting of a dog. It targets the diaphragm, the central muscle for breathing. Diaphragm, known as the phrenos(in Greek), also refers to the mind. This indicates the unity of emotional, physical, spiritual and metal forms of human expression, which is what this form of yoga emphasizes on.
The Kukkura Pranayama energises the solar plexus, which is a group of nerves located close to the diaphragm. The solar plexus gets worn out when subjected to tremendous stress. Persistent stress not only depletes the solar plexus off its energy, but also it’s associated plexus such as the spleenic plexus, pancreatic plexus and the gastric plexus. Hence the disease weakens all these organs.
Constant practice of the Asana helps in release of solar plexus tension, and accumulated pain and stress. It also releases fears and makes way for fresh feelings. This Pranayama is considered extremely useful when practiced with Vibhaga pranayama and other jathis (for exercise of the lungs) and has found to be helpful for those suffering from Asthma and insomnia.
  • Sit in Vajrasana. Bring palms to the ground next to the knees and stretch out the spine.
  • Keeping the arms straight, put out the tongue and start panting like a puppy.
  • Continue for 20 seconds and relax the head.
  • Next stretch out the spine and neck and again put the tongue out and begin panting for 20 seconds.
  • Relax and repeat. (by

Home Remedies for Flatulence

( Flatulence is a common problem that affects everyone at some point of time or the other in their lives. It is caused when there is the need to drive out excess air built up in the body. The gut from the Oesophagus to the Rectum contains various gases, mainly oxygen and nitrogen that are produced in the body during regular activities such as talking or eating. Flatulence, is not an illness, by itself, and is a symptom that could be treated with various home remedies in the kitchen counter.
  • Cardamom seeds speeds up digestion process. These can be sautéed with rice or vegetables used for cooking or just the whole pods can be chewed on or added to tea.
  • Yogurt contains acidophilus, a bacteria that aids digestion and hence alleviates flatulence and indigestion.
  • Adding two to three cloves to rice while cooking helps in eliminating flatulence, while also pepping up digestion.
  • Fennel has excellent digestive powers, and hence can be taken after every meal for digestion and for freshening breath. About ½ tsp. of fennel seeds can be added to a cup of boiling water for ten minutes and drinking the strained liquid is best for flatulence relief.
  • Chewing Peppermint is an effective home remedy for gas. It contains Menthol, which is beneficial in tackling flatulence.
  • Corriander seeds can be powdered and added to foods, as they ease cramps, flatulence, bloating and hiccups.
  • Mix half a teaspoon of dry ginger powder in a glass of warm water. Add a pinch of rock salt and asafetida. This liquid can be consumed several times for reducing problems due to flatulence.
  • Sprinkling rosemary, sage or thyme to food helps in driving out flatulence.
  • Taking two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar every night during bed-time, apart from relieving flatulence, detoxifies body organs.
  • Turmeric is an excellent remedy for flatulence. Including turmeric in regular diet in the form of a powder helps in alleviating flatulence.
  • Garlic is also very effective for flatulence. Even babies with gastric problems will find relief when a clove of peeled garlic is rubbed around the belly button of the babies for about five minutes.
  • When Vitamin C is taken as a supplement in tablet form, it could cause flatulence when consumed in excess. This can be replaced with intake of natural citrus fruits such as sweet peppers, potatoes etc., that are high in Vitamin C. (by

Ayurvedic Acupressure Therapy

( Acupressure is one of China’s best gifts to the world. It is an ancient technique that combines principles of acupuncture and studied pressure application to cure illnesses and help in overall well-being of a person. It is an ancient medicine practice using the fingers, knuckle or other objects to create pressure on particular points in the body called meridians. It is similar to acupuncture, but the pressure replaces the needles. Acupressure has been practiced since ages to improve the flow of prana or life force through the body. Pressure is applied to certain specific areas of the body for about 30 seconds.
Although, simple reflexology is all that is required to bring about an immediate cure, in chronic cases Chinese acupuncture may be required. But, in the recent past, Ayurvedic Acupressure has been found to be extremely good in treating several ailments including thalasemia, platelet count, RBC count etc.
Ayurvedic Acupressure is a particular kind of massage or an alternative medical treatment, blending two ancient forms of medicine – Ayurveda and Acupressure. Both the approaches to health and wellness have been used by Asians and Indians for ages now. By utilizing both these methods, one can experience considerable relief from pain, improve blood circulation and even relieve stress and anxiety in some cases.
In Ayurveda the pressure points or the meridians are called Marma points. These are considered as energy points, just as Chinese refer them as pressure points, and they help in stimulating not only circulation, but also improve mental and emotional outlook. The Marma points are located throughout the body.
Depending on the location of the Marma, Ayurvedic Acupressure helps relieve pain and stiffness, improving oxygenated blood flow into the area serviced by the pressure point. For instance, the two paired points at the upper level of the shoulder near the neck, called Urdhva Skandha, when pressed simultaneously, can help relieve a pinched nerve, or can treat rotator cuff tendonitis. As for the emotional aspects, applying this sort of pressure at these points can relieve headaches, while also promoting calmness.
According to the ancient Indian ayurvedic text Charak Sanhita, Ayurvedic Acupressure is mainly based on study of ten basic elements. Each finger represents a different element – space, darkness, fire, water, air, time, earth, mind, direction and soul, and they all have a corresponding colour. Acupressure, when combined with colour therapy, can melt anger, relieve stress, induce happiness, and maintain weight. Every emotion is linked to a particular organ, so treating that particular organ is vital.
Research has revealed that acupressure treatment can control several illnesses to a certain extent, including AIDS, cancer, tuberculosis, kidney failure, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, osteophytes, disc prolapse, Pott Spine, paralysis, cerebral atrophy, changes in various spinal segments, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, mania, mental retardedness, depression, mania, anemia deficiency, RBC, haemoglobin deficiency and even trigeminal neuralgia.
There are several acupressure exercises that could be done from home. But, it should be taught only by a trained and skilled practitioner. When executed as instructed, these exercises are sure to have a great impact on one’s lifestyle. (by

Best diet for Kapha type constitution

Braised Curly Kale
Ingredients: 2 cups each of fresh Kale cut into thin pieces, 1tsp chopped Parsley, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/8 tsp each of turmeric and sweet paprika, ground pepper and rock salt to taste.
1) Heat olive oil in a pan. Add Paprika, turmeric and black pepper and stir.
2) Add kale, sprinkle salt and cover with lid on low flame until tender for about fifteen minutes.
3) Garnish with Parsley and serve hot with whole grain.

Detoxifying Soup
Ingredients: ¼ cups each of shredded carrot and chopped celery, ½ cup chopped greens, 4-6 cups water, 1-2 slices of ginger, 6-8nos. black pepper, ¼ tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cumin seeds, rock salt to taste.
1) Mix all ingredients together in a big pot and bring it to boil.
2) Simmer for about sixty minutes and remove from heat.
3)  Mash the ingredients, strain out and discard the solid.
4) Enjoy the warm soup.

Salad with mixed vegetables and sprouts
Ingredients: ½ cup each of peeled, deseeded and diced cucumber and mung sporouts, 1/3 cup of grated carrot, one cup of green or red leaf lettuce, 1 tbsp each of lemon juice and soaked walnut pieces, 1 tsp chopped basil, one tbsp each of Parsley and extra-virgin olive oil, rock salt and ground pepper to taste.
1) Mix the sprouts, vegetables and fresh herbs in a bowl.
2) Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pour over the vegetables and toss gently.
3) Dry-roast with walnut pieces and sprinkle over the salad.
4) Serve at room temperature.

A Mango a day could help meet forty percent of fibre requirement

( Mangoes, apart from being tasty and delightful, are highly nutritious and are loaded with vitamins A, B and C, antioxidants, minerals such as calcium, potassium and iron. They also prevent cancer, says recent studies.
A study carried out by the Department of Surgical Oncology, Medical College in Kerala, found that mango consumption was associated with reduced risk of gall bladder cancer. To keep up the advice of eating five servings of vegetables and fruits a day, even just half a mango could serve one full portion.
Eating various kinds of fruits and vegetables is considered a better option, than sticking on to a few, suggests another study published in Journal of Nutrition. The study is based on the fact that a botanically diverse diet has more to do with greater anti-oxidant activity.
For carrying out this study, eighteen different family’s subjects were provided with eight to ten servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Researchers noticed that a variety diet, controlled unhealthy oxidation in the body, while also lowering the lipid peroxidation indicators (the damage that is usually caused to the cells through free radicals). According to experts, a little of various nutrients is always better than getting lots of few nutrients. (by

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