Monday, December 23, 2013


Green tea to beat stress
Green tea has compounds that help your brain use blood sugar for fuel and stimulate the production of energising hormones called endorphins. So the next time you're feeling sapped of energy, docs say, sip on green tea.

Honey to kill virus 
Unpasteurised honey is packed with natural antibiotics and healing enzymes, and eating it when you're ill can cut three days off your sickness. It also kills the virus that causes sinus infections and other cold complications.

Walnuts for a strong heart
Cardiologists recommend eating five to six walnuts daily to cut your risk of a heart attack by half and add almost three healthy years to your life. Turns out these crunchy treats are one of the richest natural sources of artery-healing monounsaturated fats.

Turmeric for good memory 
Adding turmeric to your diet could sharpen your memory by at least 30 per cent, say experts. This happens because of turmeric's active ingredient — curcumin — is one of the most powerful brain-nourishing antioxidants ever discovered.

Veggies strengthens immunity 
Eat plenty of colourful veggies to prevent illness. Carrots, peppers, and okra are great for boosting immunity. The more colourful the better. It's what's in the plant's pigment that keep the lining of your respiratory tract healthy so viruses can't get a foothold and increase the production of disease-fighting immune cells.

Quell stress with breathing 
Take to belly breathing to ease stress and anxiety. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose for a count of six, allowing your belly to relax and expand as you do. Hold for a count of four, then slowly exhale through your mouth for another count of seven. Repeat until you feel fine.

Seafood for ageless skin
Eating fish three times a week cuts wrinkling and sagging by 30 per cent, as seafood is rich in protein, minerals and omega-3 fats — nutrients that nourish the collagen and muscles that keep skin smooth. Salmon, for one, is also rich in astaxanthin — an antioxidant that reduces fine lines and wrinkling.

Nix pains with naps 
Have frequent headaches, backaches, sore joints or other pain problems? Don't worry, just go off to sleep. Studies suggest getting a little more snooze could cut your discomfort by half within one month. Sleep boosts your production of growth hormones, which reduce inflammation and speed healing of damaged tissues.

Cinnamon to maintain BP
According to researchers, adding 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to your daily diet could improve your blood sugar control by 29 per cent or more — it slows carb absorption in your small intestines.


Blocked milk ducts occur quite commonly in mothers who breastfeed their babies. The milk ducts extend from the cells that produce milk to the nipples. When a milk duct gets plugged, a tender lump develops under the areola. There could be redness around the area of the lump that is likely to extend to the chest wall. A blocked milk duct can lead to bouts of pain. Usually this condition does not lead to any other feelings of illness. But if treatment is not administered early, the duct can become infected and lead to mastitis. Mastitis is generally caused by Staph bacteria, but can also occur due to Strep when it develops in both breasts. A breast abscess may also develop.

Symptoms of Blocked Milk Duct

The most prominent sign of a blocked milk duct is a small hardened area in the breast. The area may feel sore when touched and may cause pain and tenderness. Redness may also be noticed in some cases and the lump may feel warm or swollen. Usually, the discomfort eases after nursing. However, nursing on the affected side may also sometimes be painful. A blocked milk duct generally tends to occur on just one breast at a time and tends to harden progressively. Due to the blockage, milk supply may reduce temporarily. Some women notice the appearance of some amount of thicker milk that is grainy in texture. There may be some amount of bruising even after the lump goes away. A blocked milk duct generally does not cause a fever, but if this does occur it is essential to consult a doctor. Symptoms such as feverishness, aching and overall illness could be indicative of infection and hence should not be ignored.

When there is a blocked duct, the milk flow will be reduced and this may unsettle your baby a bit while he/she is nursing on the affected side. But otherwise, a blocked milk duct will not affect your baby at all. Even when there is an infection, breast milk is not believed to pose a threat to the baby because of its anti-bacterial properties.

Causes of Blocked Milk Duct

There can be various causes of a blocked milk duct. They are most likely to occur because the breasts are not drained of milk regularly. This may happen if the baby is not able to latch on to the nipple properly or is not consuming enough of milk. An oversupply of milk or having to nurse twins is known to increase the risk of milk duct blockage as well. Women who use pumps that are not adequately powerful may also develop a plugged milk duct. Incomplete drainage of the breasts may also occur when the baby is weaned abruptly or when the duct is damaged or strained. Compression of the duct is likely to occur if the nursing bra does not fit properly or due to sleeping continuously on the stomach. Vigorous arm exercises could be another cause of duct blockage. These factors can cause the milk to buildup in the duct. Sometimes mothers may reduce nursing when they are affected with illness. This can also make the milk ducts prone to blockage. Another cause of this condition could be stress, which reduces the production of oxytocin in the body. This is the hormone that stimulates the release of milk from the breasts. Women who have undergone surgical procedures such as a breast biopsy may also experience blockage of the milk ducts.

Remedies for Blocked Milk Duct

There can be various causes of a blocked milk duct. They are most likely to occur because the breasts are not drained of milk regularly. This may happen if the baby is not able to latch on to the nipple properly or is not consuming enough of milk. An oversupply of milk or having to nurse twins is known to increase the risk of milk duct blockage as well. Women who use pumps that are not adequately powerful may also develop a plugged milk duct. Incomplete drainage of the breasts may also occur when the baby is weaned abruptly or when the duct is damaged or strained. Compression of the duct is likely to occur if the nursing bra does not fit properly or due to sleeping continuously on the stomach. Vigorous arm exercises could be another cause of duct blockage. These factors can cause the milk to buildup in the duct. Sometimes mothers may reduce nursing when they are affected with illness. This can also make the milk ducts prone to blockage. Another cause of this condition could be stress, which reduces the production of oxytocin in the body. This is the hormone that stimulates the release of milk from the breasts. Women who have undergone surgical procedures such as a breast biopsy may also experience blockage of the milk ducts.

Frequent nursing is the best way to get rid of a blockage in the milk ducts. Even if the blocked duct causes pain while nursing, it is important to continue, as complete emptying of the breast will alleviate discomfort and also decrease the inflammation. If the pain is not too severe, it is advisable to begin nursing on the affected side. This is because the sucking action of babies is strongest in the beginning and this can help to remove the blockage. In case nursing is not enough to drain the affected breast, a breast pump may be used. Pumping out the rest of the milk after an incomplete feeding is helpful in reducing the risk of blockage. The soreness and pain caused by a blocked milk duct can be greatly eased through a regular massage of the area. Begin by massaging the area outside the breast and then move towards the nipple. Castor oil may be used to massage the affected area. Remember to also massage the area around the nipple and the side of the breast as well. It also helps to place warm compresses such as a heating pad on the affected side before nursing. Soaking the breasts in warm water to which Epsom salts have been added is also a good way to treat milk duct blockages. The affected breast may be covered with a warm towel in order to retain the heat and once it is sufficiently warm it may be massaged. This can be done just before nursing. Cold packs are also known to help. This helps to open the plugged duct, thereby reducing swelling and discomfort. Another way to obtain relief is to change the nursing position. You can switch from your usual position to a cradle or reclined position. This will help to drain all the ducts. Many women find that the discomfort is considerably alleviated when they hold the baby to the breast, with the chin pointing at the affected spot. Once the baby latches on and begins nursing in this position, the suction is aimed directly at the clogged duct and this will encourage drainage. Doctors may sometimes prescribe medications to reduce pain and inflammation. It is important to consult a doctor before taking any type of medication while breastfeeding. Adequate rest is also very essential when faced with a blocked milk duct as it helps in healing and recovery. The pressure on the affected side can be reduced by sleeping on your side or back. In order to prevent future occurrences of blocked ducts it is advisable to nurse frequently and avoid going for long stretches in between feedings. Also ensure that nursing bras fit comfortably. They should be made of cotton as synthetic fibers can aggravate the condition. Avoid wearing bras that have underwires as these can exert strain on the milk ducts.

In case the clogged duct has developed into mastitis, antibiotic treatment is necessary. Mastitis tends to occur during the initial weeks after delivery. Mothers within the age group of 30 to 34 may also be prone to this condition. Prior to an episode of mastitis, many women experience symptoms such as severe fatigue and increased stress. There is also likely to be cracking in the nipple and this allows the bacteria to enter the duct. A doctor should be contacted immediately if the nipple seems to be infected or if there is blood or pus in the milk. High fever, red streaks around the affected area and blockage in both breasts should also be brought to a doctor’s notice as early as possible.

In case of a bacterial breast infection, medication is likely to continue for a period of 7 to 10 days. It is important to continue with the entire course of medication even if there is improvement in just a day or two. This is because the medication initially destroys the weaker bacteria and hence the symptoms reduce. But there may still be some bacteria remaining and these can cause infection again. Women who experience chronic mastitis may have to continue with a longer course of antibiotic medication. In rare cases, infection in the breast may lead to a breast abscess. An abscess contains pus and may rupture and drain on its own. In some cases an abscess may also require incision and drainage by a doctor.

Mastitis can also be relieved by using natural remedies. A poultice made with calendula flowers and comfrey leaves is known to be beneficial in reducing infection. Raw cabbage leaves are also a helpful treatment for mastitis. The leaves may be placed directly on the affected area in order to draw out the infection. Once the leaves become warm and start wilting, they can be changed.

Diet for Blocked Milk Duct

To prevent infection and inflammation, the daily diet must consist of nutritious foods. It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day. A healthy intake of vitamin C helps to prevent blockage of the milk ducts. It also helps in quick healing if there is an infection. Certain herbs are known to be beneficial in alleviating the problem of plugged milk ducts. Extracts of Echinacea and lecithin are examples of such herbs. These may be consumed in the form of tea. They promote unclogging of the milk ducts and also help reduce pain. Mild exercise such as walking is also beneficial in reducing discomfort.

Suggestion for Blocked Milk Duct

Weaning should not be done too early and should also take place in a gradual manner. This will help to prevent blockages of the milk ducts.


Keeping warm during winter season is not easy. Apart from woollen clothes, people should consume heat producing food items to beat the chill.

Winter is the best season to improve immunity. During this time, people feel hungrier. Amazingly, foods are better digested in winter, thus adding more nourishment to the body. Immunity-boosting foods are those that are fresh, organic, easy to digest, pure and wholesome. These include fresh vegetables and fruits/dry fruits, dairy products, nuts/oilseeds, whole grains/legumes and ghee. Besides these, some spices have anti-microbial properties that protect us from colds and infections. They also act to increase digestive enzymes and cellular metabolic function, and ensure complete assimilation of nutrients. 

Everyone has fat and muscle in their body. Some people have more fat than others. In particular, the average female has a higher percentage of body fat than the average male of the same age. This makes a difference in how people perceive cold. Women have more body fat than men, as a percentage of body weight, and less muscle. The average 30-year old woman's body is 26 percent fat, while a man of the same age has just 21 percent fat, with more muscle. As a result, the mans body will be generating more heat, all other factors being equal, than the womans. On the other hand, women have more insulation due to the layer of fat.

Blood sugar levels, as in the case of a diabetic, do not have much of a role in affecting our body’s ability to keep warm.

All animal foods fall into the warming category, including lean dairy, meat, fish and poultry. Whole-grain cereals, proteins and healthy fats too provide much-needed energy to keep warm.Red meat contains iron, which stimulates the thyroid hormone to increase heat production.

The most warming vegetables that support your body are the root vegetables like carrot, potato, onions, garlic, radish, yams, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, etc, and hearty winter greens like palak, methi, sarson, muli, pudina, etc. 

Remember that any vegetable that takes time to grow, and in which the edible part grows beneath the surface of the ground is usually considered warm/hot and a good vegetable to eat in winter. Certain dry fruits (dates), nuts and oilseeds (sesame seeds) are also considered warm/hot. It is also a time of the year when you may want to eat more spices than in the summer months. 

Root Vegetables:
Carrots, white radish, onion and garlic (dry and spring varieties): Rich in isothiocyanates and indoles, phytochemicals that help prevent cancer. Their strong flavour helps to pep up the taste of food. Potatoes and yams: Help to provide much-needed energy.

Garlic not only does act as a cholesterol-lowering agent, it is also a brilliant heat producing food. Garlic contains properties that help fight the flu and other diseases such as bronchitis and asthma.

Leafy greens - Methii (Fenugreek), Palak (Spinach), Sarson( Mustard) : A good source of beta-carotene and Vitamin C - both powerful antioxidants that help fight disease and build immunity. Others in this category are coriander, amaranth, celery, radish greens, etc.

Other vegetables - Green beans and peas: Form a part of high energy and high-protein vegetables. 

Whole Grain Cereals and Pulses - High energy and protein foods provide the required fuel to combat the cold. Many Indian households make sheera {rava (Semolina), whole-wheat flour, moong-dal (green gram), vermicelli, daliaa (broken wheat), badam (almond)}; halwa (Carrot, doodhi (milk-gourd), pumpkin}; paak and ladoos. Makai (maize) and bajra (Pearl millet) rotis have the warmth-giving quality. 

Fresh and Dried Fruits - Papaya and pineapple are believed to provide warmth. Amla is loaded with Vitamin C, and is very good to step up your immunity. Thats the reason why amla juice and amla muraba are available in plenty during winter.Lemon is a very good source of Vitamin C, which helps to build immunity to fight against common cold, cough and seasonal flu.

Dates are warm in nature and are highly recommended in the winter months. Not only are they a good source of fibre, iron, magnesium, calcium and vitamins (C and B3), they are also a good source of energy. Consume them as they are or as a barfi, pulp or in milk. 

Spices - Mustard, asafoetida (hing), black pepper, fenugreek, ajwain and suva (dill) seeds are all warm spices to be used freely. Mustard, Ajwain (carom Seed) and Suva (dill) seeds are a valuable remedy for winter coughs and flu, stimulating appetite and digestion and increasing blood circulation. Methi (dry or sprouted) is very beneficial in bone and joint problems that surface more in winter. Turmeric, especially the fresh light and golden yellow variety (resembles ginger), is a potent anti-microbial immunity builder. 

Herbs and Seeds - Basil (Tulsi) is a herb that protects against colds and fever and helps strengthen immunity. Ginger, (fresh and dry varieties) is very warming. It contains gingerols and shogaols that have thermogenic properties that help keep you warm. It helps to cure common cold and it has been effectively used to relieve sore throat. It is also used as a herbal remedy to relieve headaches and nausea. Sliced ginger with lime and salt is a common accompaniment with meals, while ginger can be added to tea, dals and vegetables. Dry ginger powder made into tiny ladoos with jaggery and ghee is excellent for combating winter chills. Til ladoos and til chikki need no introduction to an Indian. The warmth-giving quality of til or sesame is also tapped when you sprinkle them on salads, breads, pastas and pizzas.

Honey: It is an antimicrobial agent which has been used to treat several ailments since ancient times.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Garlic is one of the most commonly used cooking spices adding aroma and flavor to many food dishes, but it has some impressive health benefits too. The key medicinal ingredient in garlic is allicin, which has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties. In addition, garlic is packed with vitamins and nutrients. Some of these include vitamins A, B, B2 and C, as well as protein, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, manganese and many others.

A little garlic every day can go a long way in helping you to protect, as well as boost, your health. To reap the most health benefits from garlic, eat it in its raw state. Cooked garlic loses a significant amount of its medicinal qualities.

Health Benefits of Garlic

Antibacterial and Antiviral:
Garlic is most well-known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. They help control bacterial, viral, fungal, yeast and worm infections. Fresh garlic is thought to play a role in preventing food poisoning by killing bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella enteritidis, etc.

Reduce Cholesterol Level:
Garlic has the ability to moderately lower our blood triglycerides and total cholesterol and reduce arterial plaque formation.Studies have shown that eating 600mg to 900mg of garlic everyday lowers cholesterol level and reduces arterial plaque formation by 5% to 18%. The antioxidant properties in garlic help scavenge harmful free radicals, which can contribute to damage caused by LDL (“bad cholesterol”) in the blood. Garlic also blocks the liver from making too much LDL. So, when fresh garlic is consumed on regular basis it can significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels without hurting beneficial HDL cholesterol levels.

Reduces Arthritis Pain:
Garlic has also been shown to reduce pain and other symptoms in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Ground garlic mixed with hot aloe lotion calms and eases pain in inflamed and aching joints due to rheumatism. Various chemical compounds present in garlic also are believed to aid in reducing inflammation associated with various forms of arthritis.

Many researchers believe that the anti-inflammatory property in garlic helps regulate the formation of fat cells in the body, one of the primary factors in obesity. Garlic also is highly diuretic in nature due to its essential oils and its low molecular weight sugars.The anti-inflammatory property of 1, 2-DT (1, 2-vinyldithiin) found in garlic may help inhibit this conversion. This may help prevent weight gain. Regular consumption of raw garlic or garlic supplements can help you maintain a healthy body weight.

Inhibits Cancer:
Garlic helps to prevent cancer, especially of the digestive system, while also prevents certain tumors from growing larger and reducing the size of certain tumors. The presence of allyl sulfur in garlic can slow down the progress of cancerous cell growth. This anti-cancer property is due to allyl sulphides found in garlic. PhIP, a type of heterocyclic amine (HCA), has been associated with increased incidence of breast cancer among women. According to studies, diallyl sulphide found in garlic inhibits the transformation of PhIP into carcinogens. Daily intake of garlic is important for those who have a family history of cancer to lower their risk of many types of cancer.

Studies have shown that garlic also reduces high blood pressure. Garlic acts as a vasodilator which helps to widen the blood vessels, making blood flow smoother. Also garlic plays a huge role in preventing the formation of blood clots. This helps to lower blood pressure. People with high blood pressure must take garlic capsules daily for up to five months to lower blood pressure level. It is essential to consult a health expert before taking garlic supplements.

Garlic has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that help the body fight different types of allergies. It also has been shown to reduce airway inflammation due to allergies (allergic rhinitis). It is highly recommended that people with allergies take a daily garlic supplement during the allergy season. Raw garlic juice is a good option for rapid relief from itching due to rashes, bug bites or any other kind of allergy.

Garlic is a surprisingly good source of vitamins C, B6 and the minerals selenium and manganese – all of which strengthen the immune system. Also, its antibacterial properties make garlic a wonderful treatment for coughs and other throat irritations. Garlic may also reduce the severity of upper respiratory infections. Garlic supplements can be taken on a regular basis to reduce the frequency of colds. Garlic also is highly beneficial in treating various disorders of the lungs such as asthma. It also promotes expectoration with coughs, making it irreplaceable for those with chronic bronchitis.

Lowers Sugar Level:
Garlic is believed to help regulate blood sugar levels by increasing the secretion of insulin in diabetics. Taking a daily garlic supplement can help stabilize blood sugar levels as well as prevent diabetes among people who have greater risk of developing the disease.

Garlic protects our heart against cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and atherosclerosis. This cardio-protective property can be attributed to various factors. With age, the arteries tend to lose their ability to stretch. Garlic may help reduce this and may also protect the heart from the damaging effects of free oxygen radicals. The sulphur-containing compounds of garlic also prevent our blood vessels from becoming blocked and slow the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The anti-clotting properties of ajoene help prevent clots from forming inside the blood vessels.

The antibacterial, analgesic and anesthetizing properties in garlic can help cure a toothache. Simply put some garlic oil or a piece of crushed garlic clove directly onto the affected tooth and surrounding gum for instant relief. Keep in mind that garlic can be irritating to the gums.

Respiratory problems:
Daily use of garlic might reduce the frequency and number of colds. Its antibacterial properties help in treating throat irritations. Garlic may also reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections. Its benefits in disorders of the lungs like asthma, difficulty of breathing, etc. make it a priceless medicine.  Its ability to promote expectoration makes it irreplaceable in chronic bronchitis.

Aids Digestion:
Garlic helps promote, relax and tone the digestive system. It can prevent blockage of gastric pancreatic and intestinal juices that are responsible for digesting nutrients. Garlic also triggers the liver to release toxins from the body, while at the same time protects the liver from harm.

Improve iron metabolism:
Ferroportin is a protein which helps in iron absorption and release. Diallyl sulphides in garlic increase production of ferroportin and help improve iron metabolism.

Skin Infections:
The chemical ajoene found in garlic may help treat fungal skin infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot.

Effective against warts and corns:
Applying fat dissolving garlic extracts to corns on the feet and warts on the hands is thought to improve these conditions.

Stir up passions:
Garlic’s aphrodisiac property is due to its ability to increase the circulation.

To get the full benefits of garlic, try to eat it fresh and raw. Those who can’t tolerate the taste of raw garlic can take it in powder, flake, paste or pill form. For most individuals, garlic does not cause any serious side effects. However, when consumed in large quantities, garlic may cause stomach irritation, heartburn or flatulence.

Few More Other Benefits of Garlic

Garlic could end your hair loss problems because of its high levels of allicin, a sulfur compound similar to that found in onions, which were found to effectively treat hair loss. Rub sliced cloves of garlic on your scalp, squeezing as you go for the most benefit. You can also infuse oil with garlic and massage it into your scalp.

It might not be a main ingredient in your drugstore acne medication, but garlic makes a great natural remedy to banish unsightly blemishes. Its antioxidants kill bacteria, so rub a sliced clove of garlic on the pimple for an effective topical treatment.

Soothe Psoriasis:
Since garlic has proven anti-inflammatory properties, it could be useful in relieving uncomfortable psoriasis outbreaks. Try rubbing a little garlic oil on the affected area for smooth, rash-free skin.

Garlic could help you control your weight, according to nutritionist Cynthia Sass, who cites a study that showed mice eating a garlic-rich diet reduced their weight and fat stores. Try to cook with garlic daily for tasty and waist-friendly meals.

Remove a Splinter:
Placing a slice of garlic over the sliver and covering it with a bandage or duct tape has been a folk cure for years. As natural remedies gain in popularity, current bloggers swear this one works.

Treat Athlete's Foot:
With its anti-fungal properties, garlic could be a good way to get rid of itchy athlete's foot. Soak your feet in a bath of warm water and crushed garlic. 

Keep Away Mosquitoes:
Scientists aren't sure why, but mosquitoes don't seem to like garlic. One study in India found that people who rubbed a garlicky concoction on their arms and legs weren't bothered by the pesky buggers. Make a solution of garlic oil, petroleum jelly, and beeswax for a natural repellant or place cloves of garlic nearby.

Garlic Conquers Cold Sores:
A popular cold sore home remedy involves holding a bit of crushed garlic directly on the cold sore; its natural anti-inflammatory properties could help reduce pain and swelling. Garlic supplements may also speed up the healing process, according to

Works as a Natural Glue:
Have you ever noticed how sticky your fingers get after chopping garlic? That natural adhesive quality is why some people swear by garlic to fix hairline cracks in glass. Crush some cloves and rub the juice on the crack, wiping away any excess.

De-ice your sidewalk:
A town in Iowa used donated garlic salt to remove ice from roadways. Next time you stumble on old garlic salt in the back of your spice cabinet, save it for an icy walkway.

Protect Plants:
Garden pests don't like garlic, so make a natural pesticide using garlic, mineral oil, water, and liquid soap. Pour into a spray bottle and mist your plants to keep away destructive critters.

Catch More Fish with garlic:
Fish are so attracted to the scent of garlic that you can buy bait with the smell built in. Or, make your own using food scraps and, of course, plenty of cloves.


Cinnamon bark is a commonly used spice that is obtained from the Cinnamon verum tree found in Sri Lanka and India. The cinnamon bark spice is known to be available throughout the year and is most ideal to be consumed as a tea especially during winter as it has a warm and sweet taste and is also very aromatic. The two main varieties of cinnamon bark are Ceylon and Chinese of which the Ceylon variety is more refined and sweeter as compared to the Chinese variety.

Some of the other names of cinnamon bark are cinnamon, cassia, cinnamon twig , cassia aromaticum and cassia bark.

The useful part of the cinnamon tree is the outer bark which is commonly used as a spice and for various natural medicinal treatments. However the inner bark of the cinnamon tree is known to have more medicinal effects and also contains more essential oil.

Cinnamon has a long history both as a spice and as a medicine. In fact in ancient times, this spice was so highly treasured that it was considered more precious than gold. It is made from the brown bark of the cinnamon tree and is available in a dried tubular form (known as a quills or sticks) or as a ground powder. Cinnamon has a nice fragrance and a sweet, warm taste. There are approximately one hundred varieties of cinnamon.

Key health benefits come from the essential oils found in the bark. These oils contain active components called cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and cinnamyl alcohol.

Cinnamon also contains powerful antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious and anticlotting properties. It is an exceptional source of antioxidants, polyphenols and minerals such as calcium, manganese, iron and dietary fiber – all essential nutrients that help keep your body healthy. In addition, it is a natural source of sugars, carbohydrates, fatty acids and amino acids.

Health Benefits and Nutritional Properties of Cinnamon:

Cinnamon is known to be a very good source of iron, calcium and dietary fiber as well as manganese. There are various nutrients present in cinnamon such as sodium, carbohydrates, sugar, fatty acids, amino acids and so on.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses

The health benefits of cinnamon bark are mostly on account of the three main components found in cinnamon bark namely cinnamyl alcohol, cinnamaldehyde and cinnamyl acetate.

Controls Blood Sugar:
Cinnamon bark is also effective for those suffering from type2 diabetes as it improves the ability of the individual to respond to insulin thereby normalizing the blood sugar levels of the person. In fact cinnamon bark is found to also inhibit the enzyme that inactivates the insulin receptors.

Cinnamon bark is known to have anti-clotting properties that help in preventing the unwanted clumping of the blood platelets. Platelets are basically the constituents of blood that are required to clump or clot the blood in case of an injury so as to minimize and eventually stop the bleeding. Sometimes if the platelets clump together too much then they may restrict the flow of blood. This is taken care of naturally by consuming the cinnamon bark as a herbal treatment.

Improves Colon Functioning:
One of the most important health benefits of cinnamon bark is that helps in improving the health of the colon and the heart. Such conditions are known to be life threatening medical conditions. Cinnamon bark is a very good source of iron, calcium, trace mineral manganese and dietary fiber which tend to bind the bile salts and help in their elimination from the body. The combination of calcium and fiber can improve the functionality of the colon. Both calcium and fiber bind to bile salts and help remove them from the body. By removing bile, fiber helps prevent damage that certain bile salts can cause to colon cells, thereby reducing the risk of colon cancer. The dietary fiber also is very useful in relieving symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome including diarrhea and constipation.

Boosts Brain Function:
Another one of the health benefits of cinnamon bark is on account of its aroma which tends to boost brain activity and also uplifts one's mood thereby acting as a natural treatment for depression and anxiety.Cinnamon has been shown to greatly improve mental alertness. Just smelling the wonderful odor of this sweet spice boosts brain activity! The fragrance can enhance cognitive processing and greatly improve brain functioning related to attention, virtual recognition memory, working memory, and visual-motor speed while working on a computer-based program. People who suffer from exam anxiety or nervousness can drink cinnamon tea for its soothing properties that actually calm the mind.

Protects Against Heart Disease:
Cinnamon bark also helps in lowering the levels of bad cholesterol and hence is also effective in preventing heart disease and arteriosclerosis. Due to its various anti-inflammatory properties, cinnamon is very effective in safeguarding the heart and surrounding arteries from damage and infection. The many fatty foods that people snack on nowadays contain cholesterol and unhealthy fats that are known to clogarteries. The plaque and toxins that eventually build up can lead to cardiovascular disease and various other threats to the heart. Cinnamon helps fight the ‘bad’ cholesterol, significantly lowering total cholesterol levels. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help heal inflammation in internal tissues and reduce the risk of heart attacks and disease.

Reduces Bad Cholesterol:
Cinnamon can significantly reduce the level of triglycerides and LDL (“bad cholesterol”) in your blood, thereby lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease. The active ingredient, methylhydroxychalcone polymers, present in cinnamon also can increase your cells’ ability to metabolize sugar by up to 20 times. To help control your cholesterol level, just sprinkle a bit of cinnamon powder into your coffee or on your oatmeal once a day.

Improves Blood Circulation:
Cinnamon contains a compound called coumarin that has blood thinning properties. This helps improve blood circulation throughout the body. However, it is important to bear in mind that too much coumarin may lead to liver damage and malfunctioning, dilation of the blood vessels as well as changes in your breathing, so it is best to consume cinnamon in small amounts.

Treats Neuro-degenerative Diseases:
Cinnamon has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that reduce constant inflammation of the internal tissues of the brain, thereby protecting it from numerous neurological disorders. Cinnamon’s powerful and natural ingredient also may curb or delay the onset of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors and meningitis.

Prevents Cancer:
Studies have shown that cinnamon may reduce the proliferation of cancer cells, holding promise for cancer prevention and sufferers of the disease. According to research done at the University of Texas, cinnamon may minimize the increase in cancerous cells in the body and, when included regularly in the diet, it can help prevent cancer. Cinnamon also helps reduce the growth rate of leukemia and lymphoma cancerous cells.

Reduces Arthritis Pain
Cinnamon has been shown in studies to reduce cytokines linked to arthritic pain. Patients given one-half teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week, and could walk without pain within one month.

In addition to its various medicinal uses the essential oil from the cinnamon bark is also used in mouthwashes, toothpastes, soaps, lotions, detergents, liniments, pharmaceutical products as well as certain cosmetics. With regards to its culinary uses, cinnamon bark is also used as a flavoring agent in certain beverages and also as a spice.

Although cinnamon is very beneficial to your health, don’t overdo it thinking you’ll get more benefits by consuming large doses at a time. In fact, large quantities of cinnamon may be poisonous and damage your liver. Nursing and pregnant mothers should also be cautious when consuming cinnamon.


A sore throat refers to pain, itchiness, or irritation of the throat. You may have difficulty swallowing food and liquids, and the pain may get worse when you try to swallow. Throat pain is the primary symptom of a sore throat. However, other symptoms may include a dry throat, swollen glands in the neck, white patches on the tonsils, and hoarseness.

Sore throats are common, especially in children and teenagers. This is because young people have not built up immunity (resistance) against many of the viruses and bacteria that can cause sore throats. The risk of a sore throat is higher in some people like smokers, allergy sufferers, and people with a compromised immune system. Sharing a close space with others also increases the risk of upper respiratory infections that can present initially as a sore throat.

Symptoms and Signs of a Sore Throat:

A sore throat is itself a symptom of some infection. This is usually an infection of the upper respiratory tract, such as the common cold, laryngitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, and more serious conditions such as diphtheria and influenza. In most cases, a sore throat is simply the symptom of a common cold, where the soreness is the result of irritation of the throat and pharynx from the nasal fluids

-swollen tonsils (two small glands found at the back of your throat, behind the tongue)
-enlarged and tender glands in your neck
-a painful, tender feeling at the back of your throat
-discomfort when swallowing

If you have a sore throat, you may also experience other symptoms associated with common infectious conditions, such as:

-a high temperature (fever)
-aching muscles
-a headache
-a cough
-a runny nose

These other symptoms will depend on what infection is causing your sore throat.

Causes of Sore Throat

Viral Infection:
The majority of sore throats are triggered by a viral infection. 
These are infections caused by a virus, such as the cold and flu.

Other types of viral infections include:
Mononucleosis: infectious disease typically transmitted through saliva
Measles: contagious illnesses characterized by a distinct rash and fever
Chickenpox: infection that causes skin sores
Croup: infection of the larynx

Bacterial Infection:
A bacterial infection can also cause a sore throat. These types of infections include:
strep throat: inflammation of the throat caused by the Streptococcal bacteria
diphtheria: infectious disease that causes throat inflammation
whooping cough: disease of the respiratory mucous membrane

Acid Reflux (Gastrointestinal):
Acid may also cause your sore throat. This is a digestive condition characterized by the back flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. This condition causes an array of symptoms, such as a sore throat, hoarseness, heartburn, and nausea.However, frequent irritation of the throat caused by acid reflux can also lead to a sore throat.

Environmental Factors:
Not all sore throats are viral or bacterial. There are several other causes of throat pain. If you’re allergic to mold, pet dander, pollen, or other irritants, exposure to these allergens can trigger post-nasal drip. This is when excess mucus accumulates in the back of your throat. This accumulation can irritate your throat and cause pain or inflammation.

Dry air can also make your throat feel raw and scratchy. Smoking cigarettes or exposure to cigarette smoke can trigger persistent sore throats, as well as throat strain from yelling or too much talking.

Other Causes:
In very rare cases, a sore throat may be a sign of HIV or throat cancer.

Prevention of a Sore Throat:

Many underlying causes of sore throats are infectious, and there are certain steps you can help you prevent future infection. Repeatedly washing your hands throughout the day kills germs and bacteria that can cause viral and bacterial infections. Additional steps that you can take to prevent a sore throat include:

Do not share drinking glasses or utensils with others.
Use hand sanitizers whenever soap and water are not available.
Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces.
Reduce exposure to allergens, such as pollen, dust, and mold.
Avoid cigarette smoke.
Keep a humidifier in your house to eliminate dryness.

Remedies for Sore Throat

A sore throat is a common ailment usually caused by infection with any one of a large number of viruses or less commonly bacteria. It is a common ailment during the winter season. However, during the summer, air conditioning can dry out your throat and produce sore throat.

Here are a few natural remedies for sore throat:

- If sore throat is accompanied by fever have raw garlic throughout the day. It's a natural antibiotic, effective against bacteria and viruses. Garlic may not be great for your breath, but it may compensate by helping cure a sore throat. You can take a single clove of garlic and chew on it for a couple of hours. The chewing should be very light ? just enough to release the chemicals inside the garlic, not to crush it completely.

- Clove oil spray is also effective against cold. It not only numbs the pain but will also kill any germ that might aggravate your condition. Clove oil is also a natural antibiotic, with the added bonus of immediately bringing relief from the pain.

-Chamomile tea is also one of the best swollen throat remedies, and is another treatment that you can repeat several times a day.

- The famous old-time remedy is to have chicken soup. A homemade broth of chicken, including the skin, with loads of garlic, is effective for throat pain, flu symptoms and colds.

-A water salt water gargle is one of the oldest and possibly the best - cure for a sore throat. Simply heat a glass of water, add some salt to it, gargle, and spit. You should do this first thing in the morning and last thing before you go to bed. If you can squeeze in a couple of gargles through the course of the day, so much the better.

-When it comes to age-old home remedies for an irritated throat, the honey and ginger mixture is another great one. Simply take a small piece of ginger, crush the juice out of it, mix it with a teaspoon of honey, and swallow. Some people also recommend adding a few drops of lemon juice to this remedy.

Another remedy for a sore throat remedy is a mixture of honey, apple cider vinegar, and warm water. You need a tablespoon each of the honey and vinegar in a small glass of hot water. This is to be consumed, not gargled with.

Sometimes dryness can make a sore throat feel worse than it really is. Simple remedies such as steam inhalation can help in such cases. Steam inhalation will also clear your nasal passages, thus reducing the postnasal drip that is causing or aggravating the sore throat. If you can control it, avoid sleeping with your mouth open ? this is a common cause of a dry, and therefore sore, throat.

Alcohol does dehydrate the body, but in small amounts it might actually work as an effective sore throat treatment. Whiskey on the rocks is of course ruled out, but you can have a peg of whiskey straight up, or else add it to a glass of warm water and sip it slowly. This will not only ease the pain, it will also fight the infection to some extent.

Diet for Sore Throat

Although a sore throat and the other accompanying symptoms might ruin your appetite, it is important to keep eating healthy. If nothing else, have a bowl of chicken soup or mixed vegetable soup. You can keep sipping hot drinks and soups through the day ? these will nourish you while simultaneously soothing your throat and clearing your nasal passages. Plenty of fluids will also keep your body hydrated and your throat moist and lubricated.

Suggestion for Sore Throat

Apart from these natural remedies don't forget to check on your body temperature. If your cold is accompanied by fever, do fix an appointment with a doctor.

In most cases, a sore throat is a minor problem, and home remedies, along with a little rest for both your throat and your body, will help you recover quite quickly. However, if you get recurrent sore throats or if a sore throat lasts for more than a week, you should get yourself checked by a doctor. A visit to the doctor is also advisable if the sore throat is accompanied by more serious symptoms, such as fever and body aches.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Life span is ultimately determined by the fact that cells can only replicate a certain number of times a genetically predetermined cut-off point that prevents physical immortality. Understanding this, most researchers still believe that humans should live 120 years or more. Why then is the average life span hovering around age 70? We deteriorate mainly due to damage from free radicals, produced as a byproduct of normal metabolism, or created by various toxins, pollutants, allergens, heavy metals, etc. Additionally, 75% of Americans are not getting enough free radical fighting antioxidants, like anti aging remedies such as vitamin E, selenium or even vitamin C. These are quickly used up under stress, while hormonal, immune and neurological imbalances further accelerate aging.

A number of herbs are highly prized and renowned for their anti-aging and longevity-promoting effects. Science has extensively verified that these complex plant medicines have the definite ability to prolong the duration and quality of life. Many of these anti-aging herbs are adaptogens and tonics, normalizing metabolic, hormonal and neurological systems and stimulating cellular regeneration. Others have more focused effects on the brain, heart or immunity. They are safe for long-term use and disease prevention.


Ashwaganda(Withania somnifera):
Tonic that slows aging, rejuvenates tissues throughout the body. Clears the mind, strengthens the nerves, promotes restful sleep. Improves memory, cholesterol, sexual ability; lessens hair graying.

Garlic(Allium sativa):
Protects nervous system, improves brain function, memory, learning. Prevents/treats arteriosclerosis, reduces clotting, lowers cholesterol. Increases life span in animal tests; inhibits viruses, bacteria, parasites.

Siberian Ginseng(Eleuthrococcus senticosus):
Called the “king of adaptogens,” has a wide range of vitalizing effects. Increases hearing, improves eyesight, supports immunity and stress adaptation. Increases mental and physical work capacity.

Ginseng(Panax Ginseng):
Rejuvenating, stimulating adaptogen, yet helps calm nerves, increases vitality; reduces exhaustion; increases stamina, speeds wound healing. Enhances immune system; balances metabolism and stress response.

Gotu Kola(Centella Asiatica):
Rejuvenating, longevity herb in the Ayurvedic and Chinese traditions. Increases intelligence, memory, creativity, learning ability, reduces mental fatigue. Strengthens nervous system, adrenals and immune system. Improves wound healing, reduces scar tissue, increases circulation.

High in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids and especially polyphenols; decreases cellular and tissue damage incurred with aging. Protective against cancer, heart diseases and is an immune stimulant.

Hawthorn(Crataegus Oxycantha):
Heart and circulation tonic; normalizes blood pressure, heart rhythm. Slows aging process, protects connective tissue and blood vessel walls. Reduces atherosclerosis, helps adaptation to physical and mental stress, protects against radiation, improves digestion and assimilation.

Fo-Ti(Polygonum Multiflorum):
Traditional Chinese medicinal herb that promotes longevity, strengthens the blood, improves vitality, sexual vigor and fertility and can reduce hair graying.

Lowers cholesterol, improves arteriosclerosis, regulates blood sugar.

Licorice(Glycyrrhiza Glabra):
Traditional Chinese longevity herb; stimulates adrenal glands, balances and conserves cortisol and energy during stress. Anti-inflammatory. Has potent antioxidants that protect the digestive tract, liver and other tissues from the damaging effects of aging. Inhibits atrophy of thymus.

Maca(Lepidium Meyenii):
Ancient Peruvian herb that increases vitality, strength and stamina. Invigorates libido and is a sexual restorative in both men and women. Alleviates signs of decreasing hormones in middle age and menopause.

Reishi(Ganoderma Lucida):
A traditional “elixir of immortality” in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Treats a wide range of conditions, including heart disease and cancer. Normalizes blood pressure, cholesterol, platelet stickiness. Enhances immune and liver health, helps indigestion, eases tension, improves sleep.

Rhodiola(Golden Root/Rhodiola Rosea):
Increases immunity, prolongs life span, increases exercise capacity. Clears toxins, strengthens nervous and digestive system. Reduces fatigue.

Suma(Pfaffia Paniculata):
An adaptogen that is antiviral, antibacterial and immune stimulating. Increases muscle mass, protein production, overall physical endurance. Balances hormones, reduces blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides. Reduces fatigue, promotes liver and kidney regeneration, skin healing.


Green tea is one of the most valued and widely consumed drinks in the world. Besides being a delicious beverage, green tea has many powerful benefits due to its significant antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cavity properties.

The reason that green tea has more health benefits attached to it than black tea is (apparently) due to the processing. Black tea is processed in a way that allows for fermentation whereas green tea’s processing avoids the fermentation process. As a result, green tea retains maximum amount of antioxidants and poly-phenols the substances that give green tea its many benefits.

The compounds present in this beverage provide relief from many common health issues and at the same time reduce the risk of many chronic diseases and serious health problems.

Due to its immense health benefits, green tea can do wonders for your health. Just three to four cups of green tea today can do your health a big favor.

Here are few amazing health benefits of green tea.

Improves Brain Health
Our brains need healthy blood vessels to function properly. According to a Swiss study, people who drink green tea regularly have greater activity in the working-memory area of their brains.

It has also been found that green tea helps block the formation of plaques that are linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, the two most common neurodegenerative disorders.

Green tea even delays the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, due to the bioactive compounds present in green tea that can have various protective effects on neurons. To boost your memory and ward off disease, simply drink one or two cups of green tea daily.

Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Green tea also helps keep blood sugar levels stable in people who suffer from diabetes. The compounds polyphenols and polysaccharides present in green tea can be useful to both types of diabetes.

Green tea can stimulate insulin production in the pancreas, regulate blood sugar levels and absorb glucose in those with Type 1 diabetes.

In Type 2 diabetes, green tea helps reduce the frequent blood sugar spikes that often lead to complications in the eyes, heart and kidneys. In fact, green tea is one of the best things that a diabetic person may include in his or her diet plan.

Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Green tea can also effectively reduce bad cholesterol in the blood and improve the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol. Studies regarding the effect of green tea consumption on cholesterol levels suggest that it lowers the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol.
At the same time, it helps raise the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is considered “good.” There are certain compounds in green tea that help block the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract, while simultaneously aiding in its excretion.

Also, green tea keeps the arteries clean by preventing the oxidization of LDL, which can cause plaque buildup and increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Promotes Oral Health
Green tea consumption is associated with improved dental health and a lower risk of cavities. The natural fluoride in green tea, polyphenols and catechins can effectively kill the bacteria that cause tooth decay, bad breath, cavities and various gum diseases.

According to a study published by the European Journal of Nutrition, consumption of one or more cups of green tea a day can significantly reduce the risk of tooth loss. However, the oral benefits of green tea are lost when sugar, honey, or other sweeteners are added to the tea.

Helps Maintain Body Weight
Several studies have proven that a cup of green tea daily can reduce body fat, especially in the abdominal area. It can also significantly decrease body fat percentage, body weight and waist circumference.

Also, the catechins in green tea help generate heat within the body, which in turn burns extra calories. The polyphenol in green tea works to intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories.

Studies indicate that the combination of caffeine and other compounds in the tea appears to boost metabolism, burn calories and break down fat.

Supports Skin Health
If you wish to look younger than your age, one or two cups of green tea can help a lot. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in green tea protect the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals, which cause wrinkling, brown spots and skin aging.

Studies have demonstrated that green tea applied topically can also reduce sun damage. In addition, green tea helps fight against skin cancer.

Lowers Blood Pressure
Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. It helps keep blood pressure down by repressing angiotensin, which leads to high blood pressure.

In fact, according to study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, people who consumed one-half to two and a half cups of green tea regularly for at least one year reduced the risk of developing high blood pressure by 46% as compared to those who did not drink any green tea.

Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Multiple studies show that the numerous antioxidants in green tea may lower the risk of various types of cancer like breast, prostate, colorectal, pancreatic, esophageal, bladder, lung, and stomach cancer.

In fact, the antioxidants in green tea are 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 24 times better than vitamin E. Drinking as many as four cups of green tea a day may be necessary to reap its anti-cancer benefits.

Keeps Bones Strong
The high fluoride content in green tea helps maintain bone strength. Regular consumption of green tea is associated with a lower risk of osteoporotic fractures.

Loss of bone density is prevented by the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties present in green tea. It helps suppress the breakdown of bone while increasing the amount and activity of bone-building cells. Drink green tea every day to help preserve your bone density.

Fights Against Aging
The antioxidants, especially those known as polyphenols, in green tea help protect the skin from harmful free radicals. In fact, polyphenols help fight against various signs of aging, promote longevity, and treat skin diseases.

Prevents cold and flu
Green tea prevents you from getting a cold or flu. Vitamin C in green tea helps you treat the flu and the common cold.

Ear infection
Green tea helps with ear infection problem. For natural ear cleaning soak a cotton ball in green tea and clean the infected ear.

Treatment of herpes: Green tea increases the effectiveness of topical interferon treatment of herpes. First green tea compress is applied, and then let the skin dry before the interferon treatment. 

Reduces asthma
Theophyline in green tea relaxes the muscles which support the bronchial tubes, reducing the severity of asthma.

For Food poisoning
Catechin found in green tea can kill bacteria which causes food poisoning and kills the toxins produced by those bacteria.

Relive stress
L-the theanine, which is a kind of amino acids in green tea, can help relieve stress and anxiety. 

Also, the high levels of oligomeric proanthocyanidins in green tea are thought to help slow down premature ageing if taken internally. This is one reason green tea is being used in a host of beauty products.

So, a cup of green tea is a good way to start your day and support many aspects of good health.
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