Ash Gourd Or Winter Melon Health Benefits

Ash gourd (Benincasa Hispidia) is a well-known name in the field of Ayurvedic treatment. It is also known as white gourd or wax gourd. It is also called as Petha in Urdu language. Wax gourd was used by the Chinese 2000 years ago. Its Chinese name is ‘preserving gourd’. In India it has been in use from the last 1000 years. Native to tropical Asia and Africa, ash gourd is also called as winter melon or white melon. Ash gourd is a very nutritious vegetable. Its plant has a great medicinal value.

Ash gourd and its plant are beneficial for dealing with urinary dysfunction. Its seeds are a good remedy for excessive vaginal discharge. Ash gourd is also used by people in India and south Asian countries to make dishes and sweets. It is available in summers and is very beneficial for treating summer fever. Herbal scientists use ash gourd for treating epilepsy, lung diseases, asthma, cough, cold and urine problems. The peel of ash gourd is useful for the patients of diabetes and the paste of its seeds is effective in treating tapeworms. Ash gourd is very much in use in areas, which are near open places or a forest because its juice is effective in case of snakebite and other insect bites.

Ash gourd is beneficial for those who want to reduce their body weight. It is a low calorie vegetable and is a rich source of potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, magnesium, vitamin C and B6, riboflavin, thiamine, amino acids, sodium, and dietary fiber. Due to its nutritious value, you can lose your weight without the loss of health. The sweet dish made of ash gourd, which is well known as petha, is very useful for those who want to increase their weight. It is good for treating the patients of anemia. The recipe of petha is very simple. To make it, you should boil ash gourd in sugar syrup for 30 minutes.

Ash gourd is also good for the health of your hair. Its juice is effective in lessening dandruff problem, which can cause hair loss. By applying its juice on your scalp, you can get freedom from dandruff. Ash gourd gives a shiny look to your hair. It gives enough moisture to your hair and helps them grow in a healthy way. The paste of peel and seeds of ash gourd gives moisture and shine to your hair that stays for a long time.

Ash gourd is also good for diabetic patients. Intake of ash gourd with sweet potato leaves is an effective recipe for the patients of diabetes. Normally, the medicines for diabetes are bitter in taste but the taste of this medicine is quite good. It is also effective in improving the digestive system.

Ash gourd is also effective in treating peptic ulcer. For sure relief from peptic ulcer, grind a gourd and then squeeze its water from it. Add equal quantity of water in it and drink it empty stomach regularly. However, if you don’t feel like drinking it, you should consult a qualified herbalist before consuming it.

Benefits Of Olive Oil For Skin And Hair Growth

For centuries olive oil has been used as a product to aid the health and beauty of people. Besides being a healthy tonic for skin and hair, it is a very good taste enhancer and used extensively for cooking. The benefit of cooking with olive oil is not only that it enhances taste but it also provides a number of nutrients to our body. Due to these reasons it is sometimes called liquid gold. Being a natural produce it is high in oleic acid and antioxidants necessary for healthy living. The places where palm oil plants grow give a beautiful look which is very soothing to human mind. You can see miles and miles of thick green vegetation. The benefit for hair can be enumerated as follows:

Foe hair care, in case you have dandruff you can banish it with olive oil. Before you wash your hair, apply olive oil in hair and gently massage at night before going to bed. Let this oil remain in your hair overnight. Next day wash using mild shampoo and slightly warm water. This will help eradicate dandruff, provide hydration to your hair and strengthen hair follicles for beautiful hair.

In case you have time in the morning and were unable to apply oil at night, you can apply olive oil in hair follicles and on scalp. Massage using your fingers for about five minutes so that the oil penetrates deep into skin and follicles. After washing with mild shampoo and slightly warm water, wrap the hair in a warm wet towel for about thirty minutes. This will seal oil and moisture in your skin and follicles. After thirty minutes, rinse normally. Massage of the hair with olive oil also helps hair growth, strengthen hair cuticles and repairs damage, if any, to your skin.

For skin care we use a number of beauty products. Products with olive oil help maintain elasticity of the skin. In addition, it helps retain moisture and facilitates regeneration of the skin. Due to this the skin does not get dry and wrinkled.

For facial skin care, olive oil can be used as a base for massage of essential oils. Mixture of olive oil with a few drops of essential oil can be used to massage the facial skin. This oil can also be used for facial skin massage even without mixing essential oils. This on its own will give beautiful results.

As a skin care product, olive oil helps maintain firmness and shape of your breasts. It is extensively used to reduce thickness of the skin of the soles of feet or skin which has become thick and hard on hands due to nature of work you do.

Olive oil scrub can be used to remove dead skin and make way for new skin cells. Olive oil also helps strengthen nails. If your nails have become brittle due to aging or other effect, just rub olive oil.

Health Benefits Of Acai Berry

Acai berry has been endorsed by many celebrities and has been promoted a lot in the media. These berries grow in countries like Peru and Brazil. These grow on acail palm trees. Acai berries are believed to have a number of health benefits so the use is spreading fast around the world. These berries are the size of grapes and are dark purple in color. These are harvested twice a year and are pulpy and juicy with a large sized seed. These are often used as a drink. The pulp or its extract is mixed with soda or fruit juice.

Being rich with antioxidant properties, if consumed on regular basis it helps the body get rid of harmful toxins. The effect can be felt in about two hours. The person who consumes these berries feels an increase in the energy level. It also helps increase mental activity and clarity, encourages sound sleep and a better digestive system. As the toxins are removed, the blood circulation in the human body increases, improving the general health and encouraging weight loss.

As the Acai berries help improve blood circulation, it reaches in all areas of the body in adequate quantity thus slowing down the aging process. The skin also gets healthier and the cholesterol gets regulated. Our heart, which is made up of the muscles, gets toned up and become stronger. The improved blood circulation also accelerates healing process of injuries caused due to hurting of skin or muscles.

Due to pollution and exposure to chemicals, we are continuously exposed to harmful toxins. Toxins also enter our body due to pesticides used while growing eatables, certain types of fish, heavy metals and chloroform found in washing soaps etc. These toxins are harmful to human system. They restrict the blood circulation in out body and are a major cause of damage to skin. These make the body lifeless and the person feels sleepy and lethargic. Due to restricted blood supply the energy level in brain also decreases. Antioxidants present in Acai berries helps fight these toxins and cures the body of the above stated ills.

Consumption of Acai berries in any form helps to reintroduce nutritional elements otherwise lacking in our diet. Consumption of these nutrients helps the body to function in the manner it should be under normal circumstances.

Acai berries or the juice or pulp of the berries, can be added to everything like cooked food for taste change, in salads as dressing, smoothies and cocktails. The taste is quite different so you need to get used to it before you start to relish this drink or additive in salads. Berries are quite perishable so these are processed and the juice stored in bottles. These products are available in stores all around the world.

Good Fruits For Skin Health

Nature has given us a large number of products which are beneficial for our health, skin and healthy living. A number of fruits are available in the markets which help to provide glow to our skin and make us look beautiful. Different fruits have different effect on our skin. Here are some natural aids for the skin available in your fridge and garden:

Apple juice has been used for centuries as a skin care product. It helps smoothening out wrinkles and heals itching and inflammation. Apple juice is a very good conditioner and toner. If a small quantity is added to bath water and body is soaked in this water for some time, the skin will emerge cleaner and softer. If after using shampoo on your hair it is rinsed with apple juice and it is allowed to remain for some time in the hair, it will give added shine and your scalp will be free from dandruff

Fresh apricot juice is good for treatment of sun burns, itching and eczema.

Banana is an excellent face mask. Banana mask, when applied on the face for about thirty minutes, help to eradicate acne and blemishes. It will moisturise your facial skin.

Cucumber can be used in a number of ways for facial skin care. It helps remove blackheads and prevent dryness. Cucumber juice is an effective remedy for pimples.Guava and mango leaves, when boiled in water, make an excellent antiseptic solution for application on skin rashes. In case of oily skin, cucumber and tomato juice can be used to reduce oil and make the skin look normal and glowing.

Lemon is another natural produce which is very useful to our skin. A few drops of lemon juice added to water for rinsing of hair will make it look shiny and prevent dandruff. A slice of lemon can be rubbed on elbows or heels to make the skin soft and smooth. A small quantity of lemon juice, if added to bath water, will make you feel fresh the whole day. Similarly lime juice is a natural aid for beautiful skin. Lime juice, when taken with cold water, refreshes and makes your skin glow. Orange juice helps prevent pimples and acne.

Papaya has very good skin care properties. It is used to remove white heads. Papain enzyme present in abundance in papaya pulp. This enzyme whitens the skin.

Pineapple pulp can be used to clean and rejuvenate the skin. In case your skin is dry, apple or carrot pulp can help moisturise dry skin.

In case you have normal skin, avocado will help to increase glow and prevent effects of sunlight.

Green Tea Benefits For Skin And Anti Aging

Free radicals are the root cause of a number of diseases like cancer in our body. In addition to causing damage to the internal organs, they are responsible for visible damage to our skin like wrinkles and hyper pigmentation. Green tea is one of the products that nature has endowed with the power to fight the damage caused by free radicals. Green tea is rich in antioxidants which are the prime weapons with which the harmful effects of free radicals can be lessened. You can drink green tea for internal benefit or use it externally for your hair and skin.

You can use green tea in your bath water. Prepare the tea following instructions on the pack. Pour four cups of this in your bath tub and soak in it for 15 minutes. You can use lesser amount of the tea if you want to soak just your feet or hands. Green tea is imbued with the property of closing pores leading to less sweating. This keeps you fresh longer. Closed pores also make the skin appear smoother.

Green tea can be used as an ingredient in a face mask. Use one table spoon of green tea along with a whole egg and two table spoon of yogurt. Mix well and apply on the face. Allow it to work on your skin for 15 to 20 minutes, and then wash off with lukewarm water. This mask will suit all skin types.

The yolk of the egg in this mask will moisturise your skin and the white of the egg will make your skin firmer. The lactic acid in the yogurt will give natural exfoliation. The green tea has anti inflammatory and anti oxidant properties. This mask is cost effective and has proven skin friendly natural ingredients.

An excellent scrub can be made at home with green tea as an ingredient. Heat half a cup of milk, add two table spoon green tea and leave for 5 minutes. Meanwhile add one tablespoon honey to four table spoons of rolled oats. Strain the tea infused milk into it. Mix well and apply using a circular motion. Rinse with warm water after the whole face has been administered to.

The honey will moisturise your skin and the oats will exfoliate. Milk and green tea’s natural healing properties will help your skin recoup from damage. If you have dry skin, add one table spoon olive oil to the scrub.

A deep conditioning mask for the hair can be made at home. Take three table spoon olive oil an egg and two table spoon green tea powder. Massage well into the hair. After an hour shampoo your hair. The tea and the egg yolk make the hair soft. The olive oil gives lustre. The protein in the egg white repairs damage to the hair shaft making it stronger.

Ayurvedic Foods And Diet Plan

Ayurveda is considered a way of life where a balance of color and flavour in food along with exercise ensure a healthy life free from diseases. Nutrition comes before taste. Pranayama or breathing exercises give exercise to both internal and external organs. Any medicine used is herbal in nature. Fasting is used as a remedy for many ills. Cleansing is aided by drinking a lot of water and then bringing it out. Not everybody is able to make use of these but the principle of a healthy diet can be followed by everybody.

It is good to include as many colors as possible in the fruits and vegetables you eat as this will ensure that you get a wide variety of nutrients. Leafy green vegetables help to remove toxins from the body. Lemon detoxifies and helps digestion. Dry fruit, figs and dates have high energy value and some should be eaten every day. All these will improve blood sugar levels and the condition of your skin. Liver function will improve thereby leading to an improvement in digestion.

Protein is sourced from legumes. A dish called DAL is cooked with lentils and consumed daily. Lentils are boiled in water along with condiments like turmeric, salt and asafoetida till it is soup like in consistency. Moong bean is considered the lightest as it is easily digested. Many other varieties of lentils are available and are cooked either whole or split form. Soya beans and kidney beans are included in this category and are rich sources of protein and calcium.

Refined grains like white rice and bread and pasta made up of refined flour is not considered healthy. Snacks high in sugar and salt should be avoided. Whole grains such as oats, whole wheat, brown rice and barley should be consumed. Porridge can be made out of them or they can be cooked with a little salt and water. Multigrain bread and snacks can be made too. Fibre, which is good for digestion, is plenty full in whole grains and they are rich in Vitamin B group and other minerals. Water should be taken either one hour before or an hour after the meals.

Clarified butter or ghee, especially which is made from cows’ milk, is considered health giving in Ayurveda. It is believed to aid digestion by increasing absorption of nutrients by the body. It also helps to repair damage to body tissues, so it is said to increase life span. It is also used to massage the body. It can be bought in stores or prepared by gently simmering plain unsalted butter till the milk solids separate, become brown and settle at the bottom. The ghee on the top can be poured off and stored.

Health Benefits Of Saffron

Saffron is a well-known spice in the field of medical science, spiritual practices and cooking. It is very expensive and gives brilliant color to food items. It is expensive because it is very difficult to harvest saffron flowers. To make one-ounce of saffron you need more than four thousand and five hundred flowers. In India saffron is also used to worship God. Saffron gives pleasant color to sweet dishes. In the Middle East, Spain, India and Italy saffron is widely used in cooking items due its wonderful color and aroma. Saffron is used by herbalists to treat fatigue, sore gums, heart diseases, depression, asthma, insomnia, whooping cough, stomachache and kidney stones.

It is a magical herb that can treat various types of diseases. Saffron has been used by herbalists since ancient times. It is believed that saffron is good for controlling cholesterol levels and improves the circulation of blood. Some herbalists are of the view that it is also good for improving memory. Saffron is useful in treating the patients of neuro-degenerative disorders and memory loss. It is also believed that American yellow saffron is very beneficial for curing depression, asthma, insomnia and whooping cough. American yellow saffron contains anti-cancer properties also.

Saffron is also effective for treating eye related problems. Due to its anti-oxidant properties, herbalists use saffron for treating patients of poor eyesight. It gives strength to eye muscles and improves vision. Regular use of saffron gives good vision even in old age. Saffron is also known as “Vision Repairing Agent”. Saffron is also effective in dealing with patients of depression. But it is suggested that pregnant women should not consume saffron without consulting doctor. It is also suggested that if you want to give saffron to your child, you must consult with a child specialist about the quantity of saffron because children are very sensitive.

Saffron threads are beneficial than powdered saffron. There is a great possibility of adulteration in saffron powder but you can expect purity in saffron threads. As mentioned earlier, it is very expensive, so be very careful in purchasing saffron. Always go for quality, not for the price tag. It’s better to take an experienced person with you, while you purchase saffron. It is good for stomach and regulates the production of acid in stomach. But you should use saffron in a very small quantity. Its taste is bitter and if we consume saffron in a large amount, our body temperature can rise and we can fall ill. That is why it should not be consumed during pregnancy. It is also beneficial for gums and teeth. Massage with saffron gives strength to gums and prevents gum sores.

Oil of saffron is excellent for the health of heart. Due to its anti-oxidant properties, it keeps blood circulation proper. Saffron oil is also helpful in healing insect bites and stings. Herbalists use saffron oil for curing cold and cough also. Beauticians use saffron to enhance the beauty of their clients. It is applied on face by mixing some quantity in rose water, milk or cream.

Health Benefits Of Myrrh

Myrrh (Guggulipid) is also known as guggul. It is obtained from Commiphora Mukul tree. This tree is an inhabitant of India, Africa and Arab countries. Myrrh has been in use since times immemorial. In ancient Rome, myrrh was used for preventing the smell of dead body during funerals. It is a belief that by burning myrrh you can prevent bad souls from entering your home. Herbalists use myrrh to treat the patients of measles, chicken pox, infectious wounds, cold and cough, mums, food poisoning, fever and poor digestion.

Myrrh due to its aromatic quality also acts as a stimulator. It encourages thoughts, blood circulation, nerves and secretions. Myrrh excites pumping action of heart and brain cells. By activating brain cells, it helps in improving brain system and enhances memory. You can check its purity by its darkness and clarity.

Companies dealing with cosmetics and medicines also use myrrh in their products. Myrrh is added by companies for aroma and health benefits in perfumes, tooth pastes, lotions, toiletries and medicine. The oil of myrrh is very useful for body massage. It gives strength and shine to body and skin. It is also very popular in cosmetic world as it is helpful in reducing age effects and wrinkles.

Due to its anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and anti-depressant properties, myrrh is helpful in curing cuts and wounds. It is also useful in preventing viral infections and fevers. It also cures acidity problem. Anti-spasmodic content of myrrh is very useful for getting quick relief from cramps and aches. It is also useful in treating skin problems. Myrrh oil is useful in clearing dark spots and pimples.

Myrrh oil works like an astringent, which is why it is used in making skin lotions. It is significant in treating ringworm, eczema and itches. It is also helpful in dealing with the problem of hair fall. By massaging scalp with myrrh oil, you can cure all scalp related problems like dandruff, hair fall and lice. Myrrh has anti-fungal quality also and is useful in treating cuts, burns and wounds. You can apply myrrh directly on the wound or can consume myrrh also but it is suggested to avoid intake of myrrh in minor injuries. Instead, use its oil for relief.

Sometimes we eat those things that generate acid in the stomach and cause gastric problem. It creates much embarrassment when one disturbs the surroundings by passing gas. For this problem myrrh is a blessing. Myrrh improves digestion and is also helpful in healing stomachache, headache and chest pain because all the three are often the result of gastric problem.

Anti-microbial and anti-viral agents of myrrh prevent humans from infections, cold, cough and viral fever. One thing is very essential to mention here that myrrh has side effects too. Its excessive use can harm the health of your liver and digestive system. So, it is suggested to use myrrh or other such herbs only after consulting your qualified herbalist.

Health Benefits Of Chamomile

Chamomile is also known as Matricaria in German and Chamaemelum Nobile in the Roman language. Herbalists have been using Chamomile herb for treating insomnia, anxiety, wounds, burns, stomach related problems and migraine for hundred of years. Chamomile is a plant that belongs to the daisy family. Chamomile tea is very much in trend these days. It is made by adding chamomile flowers to hot water.

The oil of chamomile is also known as bisabolol. Bisabolol is an anti-irritant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory agent that is helpful in treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). By drinking chamomile tea empty stomach, cramps, gastroenteritis and stomach flu can be prevented. It relaxes the muscles of intestines and cures the problem of excessive gas and nausea. The anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic compounds of chamomile herb help in treating various stomach related problems also. Two cups of chamomile tea a day can give strength to intestinal muscles.  According to a study, herbalists of ancient Egypt prescribed chamomile tea as a treatment for menstrual cramps. By raising Glycine in urine, chamomile relaxes muscles contractions.

Chamomile is also beneficial for treating the problem of sleeplessness. Intake of Chamomile tea 1 hour before going to bed is helpful in relaxing mind and body and blesses us with a sound sleep. Its relaxing and calming quality help us to sleep unintruptedly. It relaxes brain and prevents anxiety and depression. Chamomile is also useful in treating cold and cough. Antibacterial properties of chamomile improve the immune system and prevent cold and cough.

Chamomile is also helpful in healing cuts, burns and wounds. In Egypt, Rome, Germany and Greece, herbalists prefer to apply chamomile oil directly on the affected area for quick relief. Chamomile tea can also be given for internal healing. Intake of Chamomile tea twice a day cures wounds internally. You can also make a mixture of chamomile at home by boiling 3 bags of chamomile tea in water. When the water gets cool, dip a cloth in this mixture and apply it on the wounded area.

It is useful for treating the patients of diabetes. Now a days diabeties has become a health problem for many families. By drinking chamomile tea regularly, you can control sugar level of the body without any side effects. It is also helpful in treating migraine. Chamomile is a blessing for skin as it lightens the skin tone and gives you a glowing look. You can add chamomile tea in bathing water and can also apply it on the skin directly.

Dark eye circles is a very common problem these days. These appear due to fatigue or sleeplessness. Chamomile tea bags are very useful in removing dark eye circles. One thing should be keep in mind that chamomile has side-effects too. It can cause skin infections or allergies. So, indicriminate use of this herb should be avoided. Moreover, you should consult a qualified herbalist befor using it for a long time. It is suggested that pregnant women should  avoid chamomile tea.

Health Benefits Of Cucumber

Cucumber (cucmis sativus) belongs to the family of zucchini, pumpkin, and watermelon. Cucumbers are a very good source of Vitamin A, C, fiber and folic acid. This nutritious food contains good quantity of minerals also in its outer layer. Magnesium, silica, molybdenum and potassium are present in the hard outer skin of cucumber. Cucumber is used the world over in the shape of salad. Some people also like to eat cucumber as pickle. Cucumbers that are used to be eaten fresh as salad are known as Slicing cucumbers and for pickles Gherkins cucumbers are specifically cultivated.

Cucumbers are native to Africa but are also found in southern Asia.  In ancient Greek, Egypt and Rome, cucumber was used by people not only as a food item but also as a medicine for treating skin problems. Louis XIV was the great appreciator of cucumber. It was also popular in ancient Europe and America. The cylindrical shape and green color makes cucumber a good material to decorate the plate too.

Various varieties of cucumber are available in market. About 6-9 inch in length, cucumbers are available in market in two colors – green and white.  Yellow and puffy cucumbers should be avoided. Cucumber is a little bit bitter in taste so it is advised that before eating cucumber just cut a thin slice of cucumber from the top and rub it on the head of cucumber. Then it releases some foamy water. By applying this method its bitterness can be removed effectively.

As it is the beginning of summers, the intake of cucumber can give you a cooling effect. Most of the part of cucumber contains water. The water element is helpful in lessening the warmness of summers. People eat cucumber especially in the hot months-May to July in India. It gives taste as well as freshness. Cucumber is also suggested for healthy skin.

In summers, skin rashes, inflammation and sunburns are common problems. By applying grated cucumber on the affected part, you can get relief. Cucumber is also eye-friendly. After a tired day you can relax your beautiful eyes by putting slices of cucumber on your eyes for 15-20 minutes. It also gives relief in case of eye swelling. Due to caffeic acid and ascorbic component, cucumber is useful for skin and eyes. It also gives strength to our connective tissues.

Cucumber flesh contains ascorbic acid and the hard skin contains fiber, silica and potassium. The silica element is very beneficial for the health of connective tissues such as muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. Silica is also used in beauty products and is good for improving the complexion of skin. High water content of cucumber keeps your skin lustrous.

Cucumber is also helpful in treating the problem of high blood pressure. According to a study, potassium, fiber and magnesium present in cucumber make it highly useful in maintaining balanced level of blood pressure. Cucumber is also not much costly, is easily available and suits your taste as well.  So, make it a necessary part of your diet. Today only!