According to latest study by University of Sydney, ginger helps manage high blood sugar levels that create complications in long-term diabetics, as it has the potential to control blood glucose by using muscle cells, independently of insulin.
Lead researcher and Prof. of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Bail Roufogalis, said that ginger extracts obtained from Buderim Ginger were able to increase uptake of glucose into muscle cells, independently of insulin, thereby helping long-term diabetic patients, and helping them to operate without dependency on insulin.
The main components responsible for the increase in glucose were gingerols, the major phenolic components of ginger rhizome.
Under normal conditions, blood glucose level is strictly maintained within a narrow range, and skeletal muscle is a major site of glucose clearance in the body.
The researchers extracted whole ginger rhizomes from Buderim Ginger, and showed that one fraction of the extract was most effective in reproducing increased uptake of glucose by the whole extract in muscle cells grown in culture. This fraction was rich in gingerols, the major phenolic components of Ginger rhizome.
In the case of type 2 diabetics, the capacity of skeletal muscle to use up glucose is considerably reduced, due to impaired insulin signal transduction and inefficiency of the GLUT4. More, human trials are underway on this subject.
Diabetes is a condition wherein, the amount of glucose in blood is too high, as the body is unable to use it efficiently. This is because the pancreas does not produce insulin, or are not enough to help glucose enter your bodyâ€™s cells, or the insulin produced does not work properly, known as insulin resistance.
Ginger has numerous health benefits even otherwise. But, the fact that ginger controls diabetes particularly comes as good news, to many who suffer from long-term diabetes-related complications, such as cataract, indigestion, irregular bowel movements and much more.
Did you know that one of the best rejuvenation therapies is an excellent relaxing massage, as it also helps boost bodyâ€™s immune system? Our ancient medicine system, Ayurveda, has always believed in magical healing properties of herbs and oils, and the recent research has only confirmed it by saying that it actually boosts your immune system.
Recent research in Cedars-Sinaiâ€™s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, have found that people who actually go in for the massage, experience considerable changes in their immune system and endocrine response.
This indicates that massage, apart from just lending a feel-good feeling, is also good for your overall well-being. People who got the massage experienced measurable changes in their lymphocyte numbers, and percentages of white blood cells, which play a large role in defending body from disease.
It also caused significant reduction in Arginine Vasopressin (AVP), a hormone, thought to be a cause for aggressive behaviour, and also indicated a decrease in levels of stress hormone, cortisol.
Although preliminary tests have been very encouraging, researchers say that a single massage by itself can bring about considerable benefit.
Dr. Meghna Dixit, practising Ayurvedic expert, explains that the massage helps in lymphatic drainage. It leads the toxins and waste products from the blood and serum from lymph nodes, to the kidney and throws it out of the body, thereby purifying the blood and body on the whole.
Further, it increases basic metabolism rate, and activates the cells to perform at their best, boosting immunity.
Dr. Ajiaz Ashai specializing in sports physiotherapy says that a massage has two-fold benefit. It relieves mental and physical stress.
Apart from relieving muscular tension, a nice rub facilitates the release of lactic acid accumulation. However, it is important to differentiate between stiffness from lactic acid accumulation and spasmodic condition, as rest is a must in the later condition.
When it is not possible to give a complete body massage, at least massage of feet, leg and back is required. In fact, â€œChandan bala lakshadi thelâ€ (Chandan bala lakshadi oil) can do wonders for cough, asthma and cold attacks, and boost oneâ€™s immunity, while sesame oil is also good enough, says Dr. Dixit.
To be able to enjoy a massage and obtain its maximum benefits, the choice of oil is also important. While spas use a blend of aromatic oils, for those planning for a soothing home treatment, some options to consider are sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, jojoba oil, fractionated coconut oil and sunflower oil. The sweet almond oil is a popular massage oil among massage therapists.
Apart from being one of the favourite colours for women, did you know that the herb lavender also has healing values?
Drives away Dandruff
Dandruff can be an embarrassing or rather, an annoying problem for men and women alike. Lavender works as a good home remedy for flakes. Apply lavender oil on your scalp. Wet hair with warm water and dry it using a towel. Mix 15 drops of lavender essential oil with two tablespoons of olive or almond oil. Warm gently, and massage it onto the scalp. Leave it on for about an hour or two, and wash your hair with a gentle shampoo. Do this thrice a week for two months.
Soothes the skin
If you live in an area prone to mosquitoes, lavender oil can help soothe the itches and bites. Lavender, with its natural anti-inflammatory powers, can help reduce itching, swelling and redness. Apply few drops in the affected area and wait for 20 minutes for oil to get absorbed completely. Use it every seven hours for effective relief.
Helps you relax
Lavender oil is often used in spas, due to its amazing relaxation effect. Studies say that breathing the smell of lavender helps you get to sleep, lowers heart rate and blood pressure, and puts you in a relaxed state of mind. An effective method to use lavender for this purpose is to take a fistful of dried lavender and place it in a bowl or vase next to your bed. Alternatively, use a fragrance diffuser with lavender oil.
One of the less-known facts about lavender is that, it has plenty of phytonutrients, which are excellent for your health. Sprinkle lavender-based spices in your food. The polyphenols (antioxidants) in lavender helps reduce bad bacteria. Dried culinary lavender can be sprinkled on yogurt, and eaten for relief from bloating.
There are plenty of natural herbal medicines available for prostate diseases. We just have to realize their value, and make use of them.Â Some common herbs used as medicines in ayurvedic treatments for prostate enlargement are given below:
- Add powdered coriander seeds to tender coconut water and drink regularly.
- Try to include raddish in your diet regularly. Another option is to make a decoction of raddish and Njerinjil (Gokshura) and consume regularly.
- Add a pinch of Njerinjil powder to a teaspoon of honey and consume at bed time.
- Make a paste of aloevera leaves and consume by adding a teaspoon of honey to the paste.
- Add a teaspoon of dried and powdered watermelon seeds to lukewarm water, and drink early in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Grind equal portions of drumstick leaves, thazuthama (Boerhavia diffusa), and turmeric. Heat the paste gently, and apply the warm paste on the stomach region.
- Powdered Njerinjil can be added to Shatavari water and consumed regularly.
- Make a decoction with Ashok chal powder, adding equal portions of Ashwagandha, Shatavari and Njerinjil, and drink it regularly.
- To reduce prostate enlargement, grind and make a paste of thazhuthama (Boerhavia diffusa), turmeric, Neermaruthu (Terminalia arjuna), drumstick leaves, and apply the paste on lower abdomen.
- Powder equal portions of Ashwagandha, Njerinjil and Shatavari, and add 5gms of this powder to lukewarm water, and drink thrice a day regularly.
Sinusitis is a common health problem today. Ayurveda believes in treating the root cause of the problem, and trying to prevent it as far as possible. Although there are plenty of reasons for onset of Sinusitis, the foremost is the high pollution levels in cities today. Smoke, dust and humidity in the environment are prime irritants for sinus glands. These can further irritate the already inflamed sinus glands, leading to infection.
Not many of us are aware that food and sinusitis are interlinked. For instance, excessively oily, salty or spicy food can increase the production of fluids that block the sinus glands. Hence, try to avoid foods such as chips, pickles, food prepared by adding excess spices and artificial flavours, and sour food, including fruits.
Further, prolonged use of air-conditioners can cause sinusitis onset. Ayurveda believes that even a change in bath routine can aggravate the condition. It is suggested that the best time to take bath is before 9am or after 5pm. Having a bath at noon and after meals, will do more harm than good to your body. Also, ensure not to keep changing your hair massage oil frequently when washing hair.
Sinusitis can be treated in various ways.
The best method is to avoid situations that trigger the problem in the first place. For this, you may have to sit with your physician and discuss your day to day lifestyle habits and routine including your workplace environment, transportation used to commute to your workplace, food habits and diet, your daily bath routine and time, duration of your sleep, any medications used, and all such details. With the help of your physician, work out on the possible triggering factor, and try to incorporate and follow the physicianâ€™s advice in such matters.
For sudden sinusitis attack
The already inflamed sinus glands may sometimes worsen due to certain triggers, leading to headache, body pain, fever, tiredness, and respiratory problems. In such a situation, the patient should be allowed to take complete rest. Apart from treating fever, the patient needs to be administered medicines to reduce the sinus inflammation. Ayurveda generally recommends Punarnavadi kashayam, Pathyashadangam kashayam, Amrithotharam Kashayam, Amritharistam, Punarnavasam, Suryaprabha tablets, are prescribed as and when required.
Sinusitis, unlike other health problems, requires long-term treatment for complete cure. Hence, improving the natural defence mechanism of sinuses, and boosting general health and immunity are the prime requirements for long-term relief from sinusitis. Nasya, massaging with appropriate oil, medicated steam inhalation and special gargling solutions are some treatment methods adopted by ayurvedic physicians. Depending on the health condition of each individual, certain medicines such as Thriphalaadi, Raasnadi, Vachadi, Nirgundyadi, and Asanamanjishtaadi, are used for treatment.
One of the main aims of the treatment is to reduce the frequency of onset of sinusitis. Rasayana treatment can help prevent recurrence. The appropriate medicine will be used for the treatment, for certain duration. Thippili, Chyawanprash, Agasthyarasayanam, are normally used for Rasayana treatment. It helps reduce frequency of disease onset and prevents recurrence in the long-term.
A simple home remedy
For relief from sinusitis related headache and respiratory problems, drink fresh ginger juice with honey several times a day. This can help reduce inflammation of sinus glands. Another simple home remedy is to boil water by adding tulsi leaves and turmeric, and use this for steam inhalation.
Adopting the right treatment method, together with necessary lifestyle modification, can help in curing Sinusitis completely. Ayurveda guides you through the right path for complete cure of the condition.
A holistic method involving yoga and herbal medicines can help tackle psychological disorders, reveal latest research by the Dev Sanskriti University, Haridwar.
For the research, 60 patients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD) were subjected to a combination of yoga, pranayamam, Gayatri Mantra recitation (Vedic Sanskrit verse) and herbal medicines.
The participants were given 45 individual sessions of therapeutic intervention of holistic approach, with each session lasting up to an hour. The patients had to do Pranayamam and Gayatri Mantra for 10 minutes each, and yoga for 20 minutes.
It was found that the holistic approach resulted in considerable reduction in OCD levels, the research paper said. The combination of these specific techniques had a collective effect on the patients, causing considerable reduction in OCD symptoms, the University said.
The paper pointed out that some drugs in the market currently being prescribed for such conditions have many side effects, and 90 percent of patients suffer a relapse when they discontinue medication. However, the new holistic method is said to have provided maximum relief to patients.
The holistic approach is based on the principle of Psychology, Yoga and Ayurveda, the journal said.
The researchers said that the nature of psychological disorder is complex and difficult to understand and diagnose until it manifests itself in behaviour.
OCD is a common and often chronic and disabling disorder, and is one of the least understood and least diagnosed and most disabling of the anxiety disorders. OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive, ritualized behaviours that you feel compelled to perform. It usually begins in adolescence or in early adulthood.
Helps in keeping the heart healthy
Meditation helps in controlling various factors leading to heart diseases such as stress, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. It helps in controlling the insulin resistance that leads to Type 2 diabetes. Meditation dilates the arteries, thereby improving blood circulation.
Helps cure insomnia
One of the main reasons for insomnia is the age-factor. With age, there is decreased production of melatonin hormone, which helps in gaining a good nightâ€™s sleep. There are some special meditation techniques that particularly help in improving melatonin secretion in the body.
Helps maintain youthfulness
Researches have established that when middle-aged men and women practice some particular meditation techniques, there is increased secretion of DHEA hormones, which help maintain youthfulness. Further, through meditation, there is decrease in production of ‘cortisol’, the stress hormone that also prevents pre-mature ageing, as excess production of â€˜cortisolâ€™ hormones lead to premature ageing.
Improves memory and concentration among students
Meditation is particularly helpful for students. Apart from improving concentration, it improves their grasping power, keeps them focussed in studies, makes them more determined, and improves communication skills. The type of meditational practice to be adopted by students who are introverts or extroverts are different. To improve memory and retention, the â€˜Gayathri mantraâ€™ and the â€œOm mantraâ€ is quite popular in India. For concentration the â€œSreechakraâ€ meditation is also good.
Keeps mental illness at bay
Meditation helps maintain mental stability. Various types of meditation including â€˜Bhakti yogamâ€™ â€˜Gnanayogamâ€™ â€˜Rajayogamâ€™ and â€˜Karmayogamâ€™, helps in maintaining mental peace and stability. Meditation is an effective treatment for all mental illness, including depression and anxiety, and brings in positive flow of energy into the body.
Controls common health problems in elderly
The main issues generally noticed among the elderly such as insomnia, depression, amnesia, anxiety, dissatisfaction and feeling of loneliness, can be alleviated through practice of regular meditation.
It is natural for the mind to wander when practicing meditation for the first time. However, as we increase the time limit for meditation, we can see that slowly we begin to concentrate completely on meditation. Here are some tips to follow when meditating.
- Begin meditation by sitting down on the floor keeping your back straight, or use a chair, but, take care to keep your spine and head erect, for better concentration, as body and mind are connected to each other.
- It is better to keep your eyes open when meditating, as it helps in focussing better. When your eyes are shut, it is natural for your mind to wander about. However, having said this, ultimately you can adopt what makes you feel more comfortable, as some people find closing eyes more effective during meditation.
- Focus on something soft such as your own breathe, or a soft candle flame, or your favourite idol.
- The mind is constantly moving, and it is difficult to train the mind to stand still. Forcing the mind to remain focused on one object of perception is against the nature of the mind. Try to consider these thoughts as uninvited guests. The technique involves allowing the mind to be aware of thoughts, but remaining uninvolved on the level of meaning. Slowly, you will begin to learn the art of concentration.
- To begin with, meditate only for ten minutes. Stretch this time frame, only if you feel it is insufficient.
- Finding a suitable place to meditate is very important. The place of meditation should be very calm and peaceful.
- It is important to enjoy your meditation. Try to keep aside few minutes every day for practicing meditation. Later, this will grow to be a natural habit.
P.S: To ensure maximum effectiveness, the Transcendental Meditation technique should be learnt through personalized instruction from a certified teacher.
There would be none on planet earth, who wouldn’t crave for a refreshing or energizing drink during scorching summer heat. Here are some nutritious, refreshing and thirst-quenching drinks taken out from the storehouse of ancient Ayurveda that can be easily made at home during peak summer.
- Break empty coconut shell into pieces and add it to drinking water. Boil well and strain before drinking. Drinking this water regularly helps in controlling high cholesterol levels and diabetes.
- Hereâ€™s a honey drink which is high in medicinal value â€“ Add pure honey to water and mix well. To this, add ginger and lemon juice taken in equal quantities. This drink is particularly helpful for those suffering from indigestion and obesity.
- When boiling water, add some coriander seeds (whole or crushed). This helps build immunity, and is an excellent body coolant during summer.
- Take a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, and equal quantity of cumin seeds. Dry roast them in a pan and make a fine powder out of it. Add this to water and boil well. Drinking this regularly provides relief from oedema and inflammation in joints.
- Add 500gms of jaggery to 2 litres of water, mix well, and boil. To this add powdered cumin seeds, dried ginger, black pepper, and cardamom. This drink is excellent immunity booster, and prevents frequent flu attacks.
- Powder equal quantities of ajwain (carom seeds), garlic, cumin seeds, dried ginger, and black pepper. Add a teaspoon of this powder when boiling water, and drink when the water cools down. Drinking this regularly can also provide relief from piles, indigestion, and gastric problems.
- Take five young mango leaves, clean it well, and soak them in drinking water over-night. Drink the water early in the morning. This is more than a body coolant, and helps control diabetes.
- Crush the flesh of tender coconut and add it to tender coconut water, or regular drinking water. Add powdered cardamom to this, and drink. This is said to be an excellent drink for improved digestion and refreshment.
- Place some crushed basil leaves at the bottom of a jar, and combine lime juice and water and pour over the leaves. Add sugar if required, and drink (For more cooling effect and flavour, add some crushed mint leaves too).
- To prevent frequent urinary tract infections during summer, Ayurveda recommends boiling and drink water, to which the medicinal plant leaves Njerinjil (Gokshura) is added. Gokshura is a creeper, which is effective against urogenital ailments, including bladder infections, and kidney stones.
- To prevent fluid retention in the body, Ayurveda suggests drinking water boiled by adding Thazhuthama (Boerrhavia diffusa) root and Njerinjil (Gokshura). The Thazhuthama roots also have diuretic, laxative and expectorant properties.
Use of ayurvedic drinks can control and prevent majority of the common ailments. At present, most of these medicated herbs are available in Ayurveda pharmacies in packaged forms, and can be easily used, as and when required.