Visiting God’s own land Kerala after my last trip as a member of the Press Council of India in the eighties unfolded before my eyes some old of triangles in married life, health care and commercialization and visible forces of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism amidst the great Amma phenomenon of the hugging saint whose message of love cuts across global boundaries. The emergence of a fisherwoman as a spiritual leader with a wider social and spiritual message even among foreigners could only happen in the divine setting of Kerala. Equally noticeable are glimpses of money speaks. So do the people. This makes Kerala stand out among the Indian states. Ido not wish to discuss these matters in detail since my agenda this time is not political but to explore Kerala’s natural beauty and splendour during the monsoon and its Ayurvedic and Yoga Power. I am not for golden memories of places and people. That was a professional visit, though I had the privilege of having breakfast with K Karunakaran, then Congress Chief Minister of the state.
Hair is an important part of our body. Healthy hair enhances beauty of the body. People may not be aware that the visible hair called hair shaft or cuticle is non-living part and the living part lies under the skin. To ensure healthy hair production scalp skin must be kept healthy. There are glands in the human skin called sebaceous glands that produce an oily substance called sebum. This sebum protects hair and skin from micro organisms as it inhibits the growth of microorganisms on the skins. This oily substance give moisture and shine to the hairs and is distributed mechanically by brushing and combing. Brushing the scalp also stimulates the sebaceous glands which in turn produce more sebum. Washing of hairs removes excess of sweat and oil. There are various body conditions which influence the growth, color and texture of hairs. Hair may be affected by diseases of various systemic diseases as well as local conditions of the scalp. Diseases like hypothyroidism, hypopitutarism, diseases of supra renal glands, liver disorders and anemia have their influence on hairs. Few drugs and therapies like chemotherapy and radiotherapy which are used in cancer management are related to hair problems.
Appearance of chalk colour macules characterises leucoderma “The more we can get people engaged in understanding what vitiligo is, the better it is for those who are living with it”. “25th June” -The world "Vitiligo Day" A collective effort for extensive global vitiligo/leucoderma awareness helps to ease the psychological effect of vitiligo & to relieve majority of people going through misery and silent pain. This initiative will help to ease all the misunderstandings of general public, underestimations of both the public and medical community and at same time improve the quality of life, self esteem as well as self confidence of patient. What causes leucoderma : It could be accidental as a cut, burn or an ulcer. There are mostly three theories about the underlying mechanism of vitiligo. However the cause of vitiligo could be improper hygiene, inappropriate food combinations and regular junk foods. Insecticide & pesticide treated green vegetable intake regularly. Past history of jaundice or typhoid fever, harsh antibiotic use etc. One important cause of leucoderma could be sudden emotional trauma, stress.
If we trace history of man we find that thousands of years ago before its switching over to so called becoming civilized there used not to exist multispeciality hospitals, kidney or liver transplantation, by pass surgeries or chemo therapy for cancers. Still, man lived disease free life. It was due to his living close to nature. Charak Samhita the original classical text of Ayurveda mentions that when man started deviating from natural living and switched over to living in villages, starting cultivating and dairy farming, diseases started erupting. Hence a need for medical system, Ayurveda got evolved. Now one can well imagine the effect of living in present day civilized way of metro living and its effect on our body i.e. emergence of diseases like cancer, diabetes, thyroidism, heart and brain strokes, etc. etc. So what to do? Should we again start living in forests? No, not at all. Let us explore nature and find out remedies in her only and switch over to yoga, meditation (Kriya yoga) and herbal medicine.
Ashoka tree – The sorrowless tree, is considered sacred throughout the Indian subcontinent, especially in India and Sri Lanka. This tree has many religious and literary associations in the region. Highly valued for its handsome appearance, color and abundant flowers. Often found in royal palace compounds and gardens as well as close to temples throughout India. Ashoka tree has been mentioned in some of the oldest Indian literature apart from ayurveda. Across India ashoka tree is considered to be sacred and apart from Ramayana, ashoka tree is mentioned in Buddhism and Jainism as well. Reference of medicinal benefits of Ashoka tree has been found in Charaka Samhita composed in 1000 BC and is one of the cardinal herbs recommended in scriptures of Ayurveda for umpteen gynaecological problems in women.The herb is aptly said to be a ‘ companion of women ’ as it rejuvenates the female reproductive system and is salutary in treating various gynaecological problems.
The sun (savitar or surya) also known as Hiranyagarbha or the Golden seed is the first teacher of yoga and Vedanta. It also represents the inner self or atman. The great Hindu mantra, the Gayatri mantra is also a solar mantra revealed first to the great Vedic Rishi Vishwamitra in Rigaveda. This mantra itself has many powers. In India the sun is always considered to be an important healer. We all must be aware of sun temple of konarka which is related to healing of Shri Krishna’s Son, Samba of leprosy. Modern health science also advocates that mild exposure to sun is very beneficial for health. We can also have a look on ancient forts, they were built keeping in a view that there should be proper exposure to body of sun rays.
1. Clear your bowels: The way our skin looks and feels are directly related to how well our digestive system functions. Weak digestive system can lead to constipation, which in turn would cause pimples and acne. Eating almonds on a regular basis helps to increase the levels of gut bacteria in abdomen, these gut bacteria are responsible for a healthy digestion, thus giving clear and healthy skin. 2. A rich source of Vitamin E: Vitamin E contains Alpha-Tocopherol, which nourishes your skin and gives you a radiant glow. Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E. So, consume almonds to keep all skin ailments at bay. 3. Anti-ageing properties: Almonds have anti-ageing properties. Massaging pure almond oil on the entire face, especially under eyes, helps in delaying wrinkles. A regular application also lightens dark spots and under eye dark circles, thereby giving a beautiful and even skin tone.
Stress is simply a fact of everyday life affecting almost every age group. However, contrary to popular belief, stress is not always bad. We need some stress to stimulate us. A certain level of stress is beneficial. This type of stress is called eustress. It helps us to achieve goals as well as perform at a higher level. For example, the demands of an upcoming competition, work project or exam can create stress, that stimulates a person to work hard to win the competition & finish the project on time.
We all think that achieving flawless and healthy skin is difficult. But, getting attractive is no longer a challenging task. Instead of going to the salon or picking up beauty products, all you have to do is head to your closest fruit mart. Most fruits have carotenoids, which help in guarding your skin against cell damages. Other than this, various fruits provide different benefits to your skin. So, take a look at some fruits that will give you a healthy and glowing skin. 1. Raspberries- for skin rejuvenation: Rich in antioxidants, fibre and vitamin C. These components help one feel refreshed, give a good texture to skin and slow down the ageing process. Vitamin C helps to rejuvenates skin, thereby making it feel fresh and healthy. 2. Apples- natural doctor for your skin: Apart from numerous health benefits, the fruit is known for its several skin benefits as well. Adding apple to homemade face packs will moisturise skin and improve its overall texture. Green apples are also an effective anti-acne treatment. Apples also help to get rid of under eye dark circles. Whereas, vitamin A and vitamin C in them makes the skin look lustrous.
Benefits of Castor Oil: Once in a while everyone faces hair problems. Be it thinning of hair, dry scalp, hair loss, split ends or any other hair problem. But now you can bid farewell to all these problems with the help of castor oil. Yes, castor oil can do wonders for your hair. Read on to know the amazing hair care benefits of castor oil. Using castor oil can be messy and it gets hard to remove it off. But, due to its amazing benefits the extra efforts will surely be worth.
"10000 times stronger killer of CANCER than Chemo"..do share it.. can save many lives, fill up hopes and build confidence in the patients. The Sour Sop or the fruit from the graviola tree is a miraculous natural cancer cell killer 10,000 times stronger than Chemo. Why are we not aware of this? Its because some big corporation want to make back their money spent on years of research by trying to make a synthetic version of it for sale. So, since you know it now you can help a friend in need by letting him know or just drink some sour sop juice themselves as prevention from time to time. The taste is not bad after all. It’s completely natural and definitely has no side effects. If you have the space, plant one in your garden. The other parts of the tree are also useful.
No other herb has such a rich history of use in every single culture on this planet than garlic. Ancient civilizations of Rome, Greece, China and Egypt devised stellar stories about its origin. Ayurveda, the oldest medical system of the world relates its own - garlic grew as an offshoot of drops of amrita which fell on the earth during the epic battle between gods and demons. Surrounded by an aura of magical and medicinal mysteries, charm of garlic has remained undiminished over the centuries of its use. Garlic’s Sanskrit name rasona literally means lacking one taste; it contains all the six tastes except sour .
Losing weight should carry a lot of dedication, commitment and disciplined lifestyle with it. Majority of people who need to lose weight try different diets, work out but, somewhere down the lane we tend to lose hope getting bored with the training and give it up. The vicious circle goes on and body gets tuned to these activities. Next time when we hit the same program the body takes longer to break the pattern. So, next time when weight loss attempt is made, body needs to put more effort to achieve predetermined goals. One need to sweat it, day in and day out, fight the boredom, shred the inertia to get the fruitful results. Someone is going to smile over a period of time looking into the mirror.
1. However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? Buddha 2. There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. Buddha 3. Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind. Buddha 4. The mind is everything. What you think you become. Buddha
Salutation to Shiva! Whose glory Is immeasurable, who resembles sky In clearness, to whom are attributed The phenomena of all creation, The preservation and dissolution Of the universe! May the devotion, The burning devotion of this my life Attach itself to Him, to Shiva, who, While being Lord of all, transcends Himself. -‘A Hymn to Shiva’ by Swami Vivekananda (CW,IV,502) In Hinduism plants are both worshiped and used in worship. The flora associated with the worship of Shiva synchronizes with the qualities attributed to him. As compared to other deities, his worship does not evolve complicated rituals ( karma kanda) He accepts leaves, flowers or fruit of plants which are normally eschewed, and are easily available in the open or on roadside. One need not always go to market or garden to procure them. His flora represents the eerie, the wild, the weird and the poisonous in life, and is devoid of romantic implications. Says Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa: ‘Shiva requires few articles for worship. White flowers and bel-leaves and a little Ganges water offered with devotion are enough to satisfy the benign Deity and win from Him the boon of liberation.’ (Gospel, 9) Each plant associated with Siva is transformative, as it opens up the heart centre -Anahata Chakra –in the subtle human system, if it is perceived with divine feeling. This is despite the fact that Shiva has no special fascination for red flowers while the colour represented by Anahat Chakra is red. White and blue are Shiva’s favourite – the former signifies the Lord’s purity and all-absorbing nature; the latter represents the spiritual flame radiating from His Being. Shiva begets, sustains and disintegrates the five primordial elements as per His own volition – personifying them all at the same time. Being the expositor of Tantra, some plants dear to Him, like Akka(Calotropis gigantea) and Apamarga (Achyranthes aspera) are used for divination or magical purposes. Ashoka (Saraca indica) is sacred to Shiva because Parvati meditated under it aspiring for union with him. The tall, evergreen Deodar(Polylathia longifolia) is considered to be the Lord’s son as per a popular legend. The Vata or banyan tree ( Ficus benghalensis) traditionally believed to be the abode of Nagas has been the seat of Shiva-yogis. Sal( Shorea robusta) dear to Vishnu, is said to be the abode of Shiva’s kinetic power, Shakti.
Our blood is composed of – the red blood cells, white blood cells and the platelets. The first ones or the red cells contain hemoglobin; an iron rich protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body. Anemia is a condition when our blood doesn’t have enough red cells. Described in ayurvedic literature as ‘Pandu roga’ or commonly referred to as ‘Raktalpta’. Anaemia affects a large number of our population, more commonly the women. Modern medicine describes anaemia according to its causes that range from simple deficiencies of iron, folic acid, vitamin-B to certain conditions where the red cells are damaged due to infections, intake of drugs and some autoimmune or chronic disease process. Ayurveda attributes wrong or under nutritious diet and the doshic imbalance or the physiological malfunctioning as the main reasons for anemia. On an average more than twenty percent of the female population suffers from anemia.
The 'tulsi' plant or Indian basil is an important symbol in the Jewis religious tradition. The name 'tulsi' denotes "the incomparable one". Tulsi is a venerated plant and Hindus worship it in the morning and afternoon. Tulsi grows wild in the tropics and warm regions. Dark or Shyama tulsi and light or Rama tulsi are the two main varieties of Tulsi, former possessing greater medicinal value. Among available varieties, the Krishna or Shyama tulsi is commonly used for worship. Apart from its religious significance it is of great medicinal significance and is a prime herb in Ayurvedic treatment. Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste.Tusli is a kind of "the elixir of life" as it promotes longevity. The plant's extracts can be used to prevent and cure many illnesses and common ailments like common cold, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning and malaria. Essential oil extracted from karpoora tulsi is used for medicinal purposes though of late it is used in the manufacture of herbal toiletry. A Herbal Remedy: Tulsi plant is even known to purify or de-pollute the atmosphere and also works as a repellent to mosquitoes, flies and other harmful insects. Tulsi was used as a universal remedy in cases of malarial fever.