Natural remedies to up your health quotient
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Some mighty Superfoods - Moringa is in this list along with Tumeric, Tulsi, Triphala, and Wheat Grass.
Tumeric is also one of my favourites, which I use in my tea brew almost everyday. I did not realise how beneficial it is to the immune system.
I buy tumeric root and cut a slice and put in the teapot. I also add ginger root, 3 whole cloves, rooibos teabag, and now 1/2 tsp moringa powder.
Pressures of urban living often make it difficult to incorporate pure and natural herbs in our daily regime. Here is an array of smartly packaged natural remedies that will help you raise your health quotient.
Remember how our grandparents swore that they could cure the most adamant cough with a spoonful of ginger and honey? Or how a glass of turmeric milk is the "best" painkiller?
Don't dismiss these as old wives' tales. There's enough research to prove that the medical world is indeed finding connections between disease and natural antidotes. Ginger and garlic, for instance, have been proven to fight and prevent cancer. Studies by the University of California, San Diego, suggest that garl ic's antioxidant properties fight free radicals (reactive oxygen species) that cause DNA damage and become a risk factor for developing cancer.
The good news is that now you don't have to think like a food scientist and invent ingenious ways of
including these in your diet. We give you a low-down on what natural herbs work on which ailments, and how easy it is to get your daily fix.
Tulsi: Stress relieving and anti-ageing
If you're the first one to feel under the weather or are battling chronic stress, the holy basil might be the answer to your prayers. Tulsi, the best adaptogen (natural stress fighter), provides relief to those suffering from stress-related ailments such as asthma, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, AIDS and viral diseases.
Apart from boosting your immunity and metabolism, tulsi also has a positive role to play in treating pneumonia, gout, water retention and pulmonary tuberculosis. This sacred herb enhances stamina and is known to beat common cold. Weight watchers can count on green tea infused with tulsi to burn fat and remain healthy.
How to have: 1-2 tulsi capsules a day with meals. Or Tulsi Green Tea twice a day with a few drops of lemon juice and honey.
Moringa: More than 90 nutrients and 40 antioxidants
The leaves of Moringa oleifera are dried, crushed and packaged to provide extra nourishment to lactating mothers, athletes, sportspersons, growing children and those suffering from malnutrition. Its nutritional benefits are manifold and it boasts of packing in 90 plus nutrients and 40 plus antioxidants. This plant has 17 times more calcium than a glass of milk (think cure for achy bones) and 25 times more iron than a bowl of spinach (think beating anaemia). It's also a rich source of vitamin A, C, magnesium and potassium.
How to have: 2-4 moringa capsules twice a day at meal times.
Turmeric: Our immune system's best friend
Often referred to as the "antioxidant breakthrough", turmeric, or "the holy powder" is the next big thing in alternative healing therapies. It's five to eight times more effective than vitamin E and C in boosting your immune system.
Turmeric's anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing properties are also wellknown, as is its contribution in maintaining optimum cholesterol levels. Those with weak digestive system or achy joints and bones may also benefit from a pinch (or a more liberal helping) of turmeric in their meals.
How to have: 2 capsules twice a day with meals, ideally followed by a cup of hot milk (avoid the hot milk if you're suffering from chest congestion and chronic cough).
Triphala: Ayurveda's answer to bad digestion
If you've lived with your grandparents long enough, you'd be familiar with this herbal remedy for constipation, indigestion and skin-related issues. Triphala literally means "three fruits" - amalaki, bibhitaki and haritaki. It's infused with a balancing agent that makes it useful for different skin types (including Ayurvedic compositions such as Vata, Kapha and Pitta).
One of the main ingredients in triphala, Amla, is also known to be the richest natural source of vitamin C. This ensures that it aids in producing enough collagen to keep the skin supple. It also contains calcium and other micronutrients. However, its most trusted and well-known health benefit is that it detoxifies and cleanses the colon and purifies the blood.
How to have: Consult your doctor to determine your optimum laxative dose.
Wheat Grass: Multi-vitamins packed in their natural form
This superfood is made by dehydrating tender wheat shoots. As a multivitamin, it promotes general well-being and keeps ailments and infections at bay. It contains many vitamins that we might be missing out on in our usual diet such as vitamin A, C, B complex, B12, folic acid, calcium, iron and chlorophyll. These nutrients are packed in their natural form in wheat grass which means they are readily absorbed by the body.
Wheat Grass is also said to play a role in promoting general hygiene by improving oral health, strengthening the gums and beating body odour and bad breath. Wheat Grass also helps in detoxification of the body, is antiageing and supports the treatment of cancer by encouraging the regeneration of healthy cells in the body and countering the harmful effects of radiation.
How to have: 2 gm of wheat grass powder mixed in a glass of milk, juice, buttermilk or any other beverage - twice a day.
Leaders of the pack
Turmeric and tulsi can work wonders for your skin. Pick your homemade pack depending on your skin type.
For oily skin
Mix 2tbsp of gram flour (besan) with yoghurt and 1.2 tsp of turmeric (haldi) in it. Apply it on your face. Once it's partly dry, scrub off the pack in a circular motion. Blend freshly plucked tulsi leaves and a few drops of lemon. Apply the paste to your face for 15 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water.
For dry skin
Mix 1tbsp of thick milk cream and add 1.2 tbsp of rosewater to it. Add a pinch of turmeric (haldi) and apply the paste on your face for two hours. Wash off cold water. To a spoonful of dried tulsi powder, add curd to make a thick paste. Apply on the face and leave it on for 15 minutes, then scrub and wash off.