The Hidden Culprit Behind Anxiety And Depression Might Be In Your Gut

Feeling depressed or anxious? It might be a gut flora imbalance, one of the main hidden culprits that leads to anxiety.

There are times when you feel restless, anxious, even a tad depressed, and are unable to pinpoint the root cause of this anxiety. But did you know, the bad bacteria housed in your gut plays a huge role in contributing to this anxiety? In recent years, neuroscientists have been studying the link between the brain and bacteria in the gut, and there is enough evidence to prove that your gut health and mental health have a close connection.

What is gut flora?

The gut is made up of both good and bad bacteria. They play an important role in digestion, and are also responsible for the overall health of a person. Healthy or good bacteria keep the tummy strong, and ensure that the intestinal tract is primed for any trouble. If there are not enough good bacteria in your gut, you could get ulcers and that, in turn, could lead to digestive issues, such as food that cannot be broken down passing into the bloodstream and disrupting the body's normal functioning.

Suggested Read - https://www.healthhunt.in/do-you-have-a-healthy-gut-the-vital-significance-of-healthy-gut-flora/

The brain link 

Recent research suggests that this bacteria actually influences, and even changes, your brain chemistry and overall behaviour patterns. It is a known fact that those who have digestive issues, or suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and the like are prone to be more anxious than others. There is also evidence to suggest that if you add good bacteria to your diet in the form of probiotics, anxiety levels reduce. While preliminary studies have focused on conducting these studies on mice, there is now enough evidence to suggest that the same applies to humans as well. In the case of mice, when the vagus nerve, which connects the stomach to the brain, was severed, anxiety levels came down drastically, further cementing the belief that the two are closely linked.

Influencing production of the happy hormone 

It has been noted that microbes and bacteria that are housed in the gut influence production of both serotonin and dopamine. Since more than 90 per cent of the serotonin in our body is found in the gut, and is what keeps you happy and healthy, this neurotransmitter’s role in mental health is crucial. A 2014 study used rats, who exhibited signs of depression, to study the role of probiotics in making the gut whole again, and in turn, influencing the happiness quotient. When given a strain of probiotics, these rats were less anxious and depressed.

Role of probiotics 

Probiotics are essentially good bacteria, and are often used to combat poor intestinal health. A study, conducted at UCLA in 2016, found that women who ate yoghurt and other foods with similar probiotics almost every day, had an ‘altered brain function in both a resting state and when performing an emotion-recognition task’. So while the evidence is still sketchy, more and more studies are pointing towards the connection between the two. So give probiotics a thumbs up, cultivate good bacteria, and watch your mood lift!

Do You Spend At Least 2 Hours Of Your Day Driving? You Could Be Making Yourself Dumb

Driving constantly, for 2 hours a day or more, has a rather unpleasant impact on your brain. It makes you dumb!

If the drive to and from your job involves a time span of 2-3 hours per day, every day, then you could be heading for trouble. A recent study, conducted by scientists in the UK, suggests that driving for 2 hours every day steadily reduces intelligence.

When you drive, there is no stimulation to the brain, and you’re sitting in one place for an extended period of time. This sedentary lifestyle affects both your heart and your brain.

Who gets affected the most

The study shows that the decline in IQ is faster in middle-aged people who drive 2-3 hours every day. The authors studied and analysed more than 500,000 Britons, aged between 37 and 73, over 5 years, during which, they were tested using intelligence and memory tests. The scientists have compared this to the effect that watching TV has on the brain. If you watch more than 3 hours of TV daily, the cognitive decline is faster, especially in middle-aged and older people. It’s a mindless activity, and your brain is not getting any ‘food’ to stay fit. When you drive for hours, it has a similar effect. Smoking and a bad diet are 2 more things that adversely affect a person’s brain power.

What you can do to boost cognitive functions

Kishan Bakrania, a medical epidemiologist at Leicester University in Britain, suggests playing or working on computers as a way of boosting brain power. People who use computers for 2-3 hours a day have higher brain power than those who watch TV for the same amount of time. Computer games or working on a computer stimulates the brain, and keeps it active. Basically, there is not enough stimulation when you’re watching TV, and this sedentary lifestyle plays a huge role in the IQ decline. Driving causes stress and fatigue; combined with a sedentary lifestyle, it leads to cognitive decline.

Staying mentally and physically active helps keep our brain and body healthy, so if you’re not getting enough of that, then your memory is likely to take a beating.

#MatLife: How Yoga Impacted My Life

“You may not be there yet, but remember that you are definitely closer to it than you were yesterday.”

They say that, “One’s daily bath is external, asanas and prayanama cleanse one internally”. This is one of the many lines that jumped out at me in Patanjali’s Sutras*.  

But I don’t want to jump the gun here, or sound like a cliché.  

Due to my lower back pain, I visited half a dozen physiotherapists, chiropractors, and acupuncturists, blaming my pain on a burn scar from when I was a kid, sciatica, or bad posture. Their diagnosis being, “You need to visit us twice a week, and then it’ll be okay”. It wasn’t.  

Then, out of desperation, I started yoga. It went from a necessity to an obsession.  

Phase 1

I was born incredibly inflexible, hence, every asana felt like I was pushing all my limits. The only thing I could actually do, was to sit in a cross-legged position, courtesy of my grandmother. The aches and pains from twisting my body became an excruciating part of my life; suddenly my back was the least of my concerns. I will, however, admit that there were quick results, which excited me to do more. I would end up pulling an obscure muscle and rush back to my doctor, trying to get back on the mat in pursuit of that hot yoga bod.  

Phase 2

I spoke with friends and aspiring yogis, who, having been through the same cycle, ended up at their doctor’s office with some injury or the other – this helped me to stay determined, and not let my muscle pulls draw me away from my mat. I felt that every asana was almost like a challenge, just to get to the level I wanted for my back. My competitive self accepted the challenges, after which I planned every day around my yoga class.  

Phase 3

I started getting better, but to go further I needed the help of pranayama, which teaches the body to breathe correctly during each exercise, amongst other benefits.  Now, not only did my body feel fluid, but my mind also started understanding my body. I started realising what was good for me and what wasn’t, almost like mini-revelations, specifically when it came to food. Lesson: Listen to what your body wants, and what it rejects – it’s one of the best diets!   It takes a little dedication, but for me, incorporating yoga into my everyday life has helped my body and mind understand one another. Vital muscles – of which I had no idea, and which affect the way one sits, stands, and walks – awoke in me. I am far from what I set out to achieve – at least physically – and my goals changed along the way, but what I can say is that I am happy and excited to see where yoga takes me next.

How Not To Suck As An Airbnb Guest - An Open Letter From An Airbnb Host

It’s not too much to put a little effort into being a good guest, for the sake of the host, and yourself.

If you’ve ever travelled a day in your life, you’ve probably used Airbnb. In most cases, it’s cheaper than a hotel, and much more personal. Airbnb offers 3 options – a private apartment, a private room, or a shared room. All options offer great benefits. A private apartment gives you privacy, whereas the other 2 options save you the most money.

Earlier this year, my husband began an unpaid internship, which required us to resort to renting out our spare room on Airbnb, to compensate for the lost income. Anybody who tells you that they host on Airbnb to “meet cool people” is completely lying. You host to make money, period. There is no glam in inviting strangers into your home day in and day out, and it’s certainly put a strain on our own relationship, due to the lack of privacy. However, after hosting hundreds of guests in the last year, I’ve compiled a list of ‘Dos and Don’ts’ for Airbnb guests, specifically for those who rent a room in someone else’s home.

  • Be respectful – First and foremost, please remember that although you’re paying to stay in the room, you are still in sometime else’s private residence, and you are still a guest. Your hosts have schedules and routines, and you really need to respect that. Please don’t expect the hosts to conform to your routines. It’s important to remember to be flexible.
  • Bathroom – Typically, in older apartments, especially around Europe, there is only 1 bathroom that is shared by the guests and the hosts. Spending an hour in the bathroom is a bit ridiculous in any case, especially when there are 3 other people in need of it. Surely, there are grooming practices that can be done in your room instead of the bathroom, such as blow-drying your hair. And while nobody expects a guest to clean the space, it is polite to keep the bathroom clean. If you’re the type of person that leaves chunks of hair in the shower, or on the floor, pick them up and toss them in the bin. Same rules apply to the toilet. In fact, just today, a guest had an ‘explosive emergency’, and left a huge mess all over the toilet, leaving me to clean it up. In addition, the same guest dropped period blood all over the bathroom rug. It should go without saying that you need to be responsible for your own bodily functions. A good host will always keep the bathroom clean for you. Please do the same for them.
  • House rules – Please follow the house rules. As my mom would say, “You were not born in a barn”. Make sure to turn the lights off, and close the windows and doors when you leave your room. Don’t put a host at risk for robbery, a larger electric bill, or sudden flood from a spontaneous rainfall. In addition, make sure to do your own dishes. An Airbnb host is not your mother. If you make coffee, wash your mug. Also, don’t lounge around the house doing nothing for days at a time. I am a homebody as well, so I get that it’s really great to spend a few days in bed. However, 4 people and 1 bathroom does not mix well. If you’re looking for a relaxing, stay-in-the-room vacation, definitely rent a room with a private bathroom, or rent a private apartment.
  • Cooking – Just don’t do it, period. Making coffee, tea, or warming up a slice of pizza are all acceptable, but spending 90 minutes cooking a gourmet meal in someone else’s kitchen, when they need to use it themselves, is just plain rude. Like I said previously, hosts have their own schedules and routines, and this definitely means access to their own kitchen. Setting times for kitchen use doesn’t work either. We’ve asked guests, on occasion, not to use the kitchen until after 8:30 pm, only to have them begin cooking at 7 pm (the very time I told them we need to use the kitchen). Also, be mindful of a host’s property. One guest deep-fried veggies using an entire $20 bottle of imported olive oil – which was meant for salads. If a host has stated that they do not supply food, that includes spices and oils as well.
  • General – An Airbnb host typically doesn’t care if you’ve made your bed, taken out the trash, or cleaned your food out of the fridge, prior to leaving. These are all things that we will take care of after you have checked-out.

All in all, staying at the home of a ‘superhost’, who has really dedicated their time into making sure your stay is awesome, is a real privilege. In addition, the cost of staying in a private room, as opposed to a hotel or a private apartment, is an immense bonus. You will also get massive advice from a local, and an in-case-of-emergency contact for your entire stay. Just remember to be a clean and polite guest, and you’ll be one for the books, for sure.

To The Girls Who’d Rather Catch Flights Than Feelings: A Perspective Of One Who Loves Her Feelings

“Don’t let people associate your flight-taking with escapism. Let them wait in anticipation for a newer, better you, when your feet do touch the ground.”

Volume II.

What I mean is, there’s an article out there on this subject, on Thought Catalog. I like it for its vibe of emancipation, and living life on not just one’s own terms, but on those to which boys, especially in India, feel entitled to.

The article refers to aspects of normal living. The reason it’s speaking to girls everywhere is because girls need reminding that they deserve normalcy. Normal shouldn’t be construed as outlandish, just because there are girls involved. A ludicrous notion, that!

I relate to this article also because it’s honest, and passionate. I come from a similar headspace as the individual who wrote it.

However, it doesn’t do much to guide girls like me, who know when they’re catching flights, and when they’re catching feelings…

And when they’re catching flights away from/towards feelings!

Catching a flight, literally or figuratively, brings to my mind ideas of taking breaks from the usual grind; in order to approach it with refreshed perspectives.

For this to happen successfully, you need to be enthusiastic (nay, passionate!) about self-preservation, rejuvenation, and personal downtime. Importantly, you have to be unapologetic, but respectfully so. You’re answerable to the people in your life; you can’t just up and leave. For example, the people who’re paying you, so you can pay for that flight. Just saying.

Like the author of the original article, I want to say to all the flight-catching girls out there, I’m with you too.

However, I also wish you the sensitivity and strength to know that the fluid vibrancy of your personalities will never be able to shield feelings out.

‘Feeling’ for you is a way of being. To deny this would be a terrible waste of magick. No, that’s not a typo. Magick isn’t stage-play entertainment by clever misdirection.

Unlike Magic-with-a-c, Magick-with-a-k is the ability to harness Free Will, and in communion with the Universal Source of Existence, to manifest personal wishes/intentions, making them realities. What’s this Universal Source?

Well, if you’re catching a flight because you know your Soul needs it, then you’re dealing with that Source! It’s you, and in everything around you. The more you respect the urgent whispering in your heart, that feels like it’d rip apart your ribcage if you don’t, the more aligned you are with the Source. So, to all the girls who’d rather catch flights than feelings, know this. There are many dull, lifeless souls on the planet who’ve given feelings a bad name, because they’ve caught flight and disappeared.

Don’t let people associate your flight-taking with escapism. Let them wait in anticipation for a newer, better you, when your feet do touch the ground.

Your feet have to touch the ground. Didn’t Mamma raise you with them strong roots?

The Link Between Teenagers, Smartphones, And Mental Health

Smartphones pose a threat to human health, with their extremely high radio-frequency environment. Is it only the smartphone addiction that is worrisome, or do the concerns run much deeper?

The subject of ‘smartphones’ caught my attention and concern when I came across a teenager crying, after her smartphone (the smartest in the race, to be precise) was stolen. Though she was in shock because of the ‘expensive’ loss, yet, her desperation to own the same model made me take up this small study to see where this naïve younger generation is carelessly heading.

Are ‘smartphones’ smart enough?

Smartphones derive their name from the ‘smart’ functionality of providing useful information in time, in a user-friendly format. However, the adage, ‘the excess of everything is bad’, was never more true than when it comes to the addictive use of smartphones by teenagers.

Prime concerns related to the mental health of teens

Age is not a criterion for obsession with this portable tech marvel, yet, a sneak peek into research outcomes clearly highlights the threat posed by smartphones to the younger generations. The prime concerns for teenagers include:

  • Non-malignant tumours in the brain and the ear
  • Retarded development of the nervous system
  • Impairment of learning ability, resulting in behavioural problems
  • Slowdown of learning
  • Reduced physical interactions and play activities
  • Negative impact on a few aspects of advanced cognitive learning

Easy tips to surpass the ‘smartphone’ roadblocks

Since the outcome is much more alarming than it seems, it’s time for parents, educators, and the society at large to acknowledge the concern and act responsibly.

For teenagers and children:

  • Keeping phones away from your bed during nighttime and while studying will help in brain development, as well as improved focus.
  • Fix a daily ‘detox hour’ as a fun activity with your peers. During this hour, the one who is caught using the phone will be given a penalty.
  • Delete your favorite app for a week or a month, and learn a specific skill during that time.

For parents:

  • Do not encourage children to think of smartphones as a symbol of their social identity.
  • Instead of commanding them or enforcing rules upon your children, spending some quality time with them can be effective way of making sure their use is limited to as much is needed. Eliminating the use of phones while spending time together as a family could act as a good example and motivator.
  • Actively listen to them, instead of giving frequent advice. This will heal relationships and will help in building a strong emotional bond.
  • Educate children about the impact of overuse of mobile phones. Motivate them towards strengthening their willpower to restrict its use.

The real culprit is not technology, but its overuse and the resulting addiction. Let’s contribute to empower our younger generation to face this widespread technological havoc, and not compromise on their memory and brain development. After all, teenage smartness is far ahead of these crippling smartphones.

Emotional Eating: Don't Ignore These Everyday Signs

We don’t always eat to simply satisfy hunger. Emotional eating can lead to fatigue, nausea, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Are you an emotional eater? 
  • The obvious one – binge eating when angry/overwhelmed
  •  Eating when not actually hungry
  • Chasing sensations, just because
  • Feeling uncomfortable about discussing body image
  • Describing food like living beings and their circumstances

Music Is Much More Powerful Than You Thought. Here's Why

Every piece of music carries a message – of love and happiness...and so much more.

If you study psychology seriously enough, you find it adds finesse to your vocabulary, and introduces you to new (read: correct) definitions of phenomena.  

For instance, subliminal and subconscious aren’t synonyms! If you hear/see/feel something, you're conscious of it. Therefore, it’s not subliminal, because subliminal stimuli fall below the threshold of conscious awareness. What makes them easy to confuse with subconscious stimuli, is the fact that the former aren't accessible, even if you look for them. In short, not all subconscious stimuli are subliminal.  

Your brain is bombarded with persistent sensory stimuli daily. Those the brain doesn't consider relevant enough for use get discarded, but some do get stored in its subconscious. There are also stimuli that flash by so quickly, they’re missed by your conscious radar. These are the subliminal ones.  

Let’s focus on auditory stimuli that help you relax/rejuvenate – music.

Maybe it's a binaural beat.

Why do you find certain songs invigorating/motivational? Why do you listen to them whilst working/meditating/exercising? When 2 beats of different frequencies are introduced to each ear, the brain tries to reconcile the difference; causing them to blend in and out of a phase variation. The resulting third beat is the binaural one, which represents the difference between the frequencies.

The impact of binaural music technology.  

  • Research shows that binaural beats cause your brain to resonate ‘in tune’ with them.
  • This can be applied to hemispheric synchronisation, or using harmonically-layered beats to make both hemispheres (of the brain – left and right) operate at the same frequency.
  • Synchronised hemispheric frequencies accelerate neural activity, and spread electrical energy to wider parts of the brain, instead of confining it to specific areas.

What’s subliminal about this exactly?  

  • Without realising, you could be listening to the kind of music all the time that brings you one step closer to hemispheric synchronisation. It explains the mood enhancement you feel; which, in turn, explains your addiction to that music!
  • The clarity, concentration, and creativity you think it brings is in your head – literally. Research proves a connection between these sensations/ideas, and brainwave synchronicity.
  • If subliminal recordings include positive affirmations/chants/anthems, it’s possible to alter your mental conditioning; or train your subconscious mind to inject your conscious activity with positivity/confidence.
  • A subliminal binaural beat, in other words, when combined with appropriate supraliminal language (or language within the threshold of consciousness, but tucked into the subconscious for future use), can progressively result in discarding stagnant/negative thought processes, and the resulting behavioural patterns.

    How to ‘tuck it into your subconscious’.

  • Try listening to music that puts you into calm/meditative states, so that it brings down the gates of your subconscious.
  • Do this before you go to bed, preferably, if you aren't used to meditation. When your physical body says it’s sleepy, your conscious mind is closing down the shutters. It's a good time to prompt the subconscious.
  • If it’s instrumental music, whisper encouraging statements/prayers to yourself. You’ll stop when you’re asleep; but I believe you stop when your subconscious takes over!

Don’t wait for a miracle.

Subliminal music and the subconscious mind aren't fairy godmothers. Your heart’s desires won't be laid out in front of you when you open your eyes. They’ll come to you if you keep practicing with sincerity and purity, because only your subconscious knows that you look for what you really want, in that music. And don't go crazy looking for just binaural music – it's the clarity of subconscious intention that matters.

All You Need To De-Clutter Your Home Now Is Common Sense!

Those toys from your childhood, wrappers of your favourite chocolate, the school books, old clothes, gift boxes, birthday cards, and everything else that you keep saving may be sucking away your energy. Declutter your surroundings, like you must – your mind.

Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs – creative and technical geniuses, all proud owners of very cluttered working spaces. Believe it or not, there is scientific evidence in favour of clutter and enhanced creativity, but it’s a correlation, not a causal relationship. Clutter doesn't make us creative. But, since by definition, creativity essentially requires thinking ‘outside’ of conventional boundaries, this manifests itself quite literally, in the way a creative person, a ‘mad scientist’, would (or wouldn’t) organise the space around them.  

Some food for thought. The same rationale accommodates for the possibility of a brain, multitasking in several directions, manifesting itself in a disorganised, haphazard living space. Interestingly, there’s scientific evidence supporting the connection between physical accumulation of clutter, and mental tendencies to suffer from anxiety, inability to ‘let go’, or the often unrealistic belief that one doesn't ‘have enough’. Such people believe they’re ‘shielding’ themselves with the things they collect, and become hoarders. The prospect of de-cluttering is scary for them, because they connect the remnant empty space with loneliness. Like the mental clutter, the physical clutter:

  • is a continuous assault on our senses and energies;
  • makes us anxious/stresses us out, because it’s a constant reminder that our work isn't ‘done-and-dusted’;
  • induces embarrassment/ guilt, as it indicates unsystematic living, and laziness.

Here are a few pointers on how you can declutter your home, and de-stress yourself:

  • On a daily basis, clean as you go. Get rid of yesterday’s newspapers, or last month’s magazines; don't procrastinate about organising the crockery/spice cabinet.
  • Don’t wait for the change of seasons to conduct a mass household cleaning. Examine your collection of make-up/accessories/clothes monthly. Do you really need things you haven't used in 6 months or more? Discard those past their expiration date, and donate those in respectable condition to charity, or even to your household staff. Something collecting dust in your wardrobe could actually make an underprivileged person’s day.
  • Be creative/resourceful. Recycle items within the house before you decide to bin them. A gift hamper tray could double up as a hand towel tray, empty tins/boxes could hold your hairbrushes/your child’s crayons.
  • Indulge in an inventory exercise before buying more. If you do purchase, allocate space for the item(s) the day you get them. Don’t leave them in their packaging on your table, or in some corner of your room for days!
  • Lastly, don't overwhelm yourself, trying to clear up the entire house in a day. Take out a feasible amount of time daily, covering portion by portion.

Compulsive hoarding shouldn't be confused with opulence, or being house-proud. Simplicity and minimalism are the hallmarks of a harmonious, well-planned home – and lifestyle. In fact, freeing the mind from unnecessary stimuli in the environment only makes more space for the constructive sort of creativity!

These 5 Foods Are Believed To Be Depression-Fighting Champs!

Eating is a way to cope with sadness – but not all foods are comforting… Depression destroys, and even kills. And it is a natural tendency in humans to eat more while dealing with depression – why? The body knows that there are foods that help to comfort, and craves for them. Unfortunately, the mind is not aware of what these foods are. Result – bingeing, and weight gain. However, there are some foods that can help fight depression. This is a pointer to the nutrients that the body needs to perk up, and the foods that contain these nutrients.
  • Serotonin – Chocolates! Have you noticed how chocolates are an immense comfort in sorrow? Guess why. Chocolates boost serotonin, a hormone that promotes the feel-good factor. To go a little deeper into the matter, serotonin comes from a compound called tryptophan, and a deficiency of this is likely to cause depression. Along with chocolates, tryptophan is also found abundantly in meat, eggs, beans, and fish. A word of advice – go for dark chocolates over other kinds.
  • Good carbs – By good carbs I mean simple, natural sugars that are found in fresh fruits. Natural sugars come with fibres, which regulate the rate of digestion of these sugars. This ensures a controlled increase in blood glucose, and stability of the body and the mind. If sugars rise and fall sharply in the body (as is the case with refined sugars), a person could experience mood swings.
  • Vitamin D – Have you heard of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? This indicates mood disorders that occur mostly in the winter months, especially when it is dark and cold. Why does bright sunshine make us happy? It’s because the sun’s rays help our bodies produce vitamin D, which is an antidepressant. This important vitamin is also present in green vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, etc. Keep the greens on your plate, and drive away the gloom!
  • Vitamin B – You must be knowing that legumes, bananas, avocados, chard, and greens (for a different nutrient now) are good for you. If you’ve ever wondered why, here is the answer – these foods are rich in B-vitamins, including B6, B12, and folic acid. According to experts, a lack of these nutrients is linked to the onset of depression.
  • Omega-3 – We have all heard of omega-3 fatty acids, haven’t we? It is labelled on oils, supplements, and is much talked about in diet matters. Omega-3 is available in fatty fish, greens, nuts, and seeds, and is an essential nutrient (it cannot be produced by the body). It enhances brain functioning and controls mood swings. Recent studies have shown that communities that are exposed to sufficient omega-3 fatty acids in their diet are less prone to depressive disorders than others. \
Basically, the whole thing boils down to the fact that it is necessary to have a balanced diet – whether it be to counter depression, or deficiency. So the next time you are feeling low and feel like eating to perk up, choose a healthy platter, including the foods mentioned above. Avoid junk food, and remember, there is no substitute for medical help, so don’t skip going to your doctor. Depression is a serious issue, and needs to be treated with seriousness.

Chamomile Tea

Ayurvedic Karpura Pushp Chai - Popularly known as night time tea. Chamomile relieves anxiety and treats sleep disorders such as insomnia.Ayurvedic Karpura Pushp Chai - Popularly known as night time tea. Chamomile relieves anxiety and treats sleep disorders such as insomnia.

Rose Chamomile Tea

Ayurvedic Gulab Karpura Pushpa Chai. Chamomile relieves anxiety and treats sleep disorders such as insomnia. Eases digestive pain or discomfort. Boosts the immune system. Relieves stomach cramps. Rose petals de-stress and calm the mind. Is antioxidant rich.Ayurvedic Gulab Karpura Pushpa Chai. Chamomile relieves anxiety and treats sleep disorders such as insomnia. Eases digestive pain or discomfort. Boosts the immune system. Relieves stomach cramps. Rose petals de-stress and calm the mind. Is antioxidant rich.

Rose Hibiscus Tea

Ayurvedic Gubal Gudhal Phool Chai. Caffeine free , calorie free. Hibiscus and rose are ayurvedic coolants. While hibiscus maintains healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, rose petals de-stress and calm the mind. Delays premature ageing. Ayurvedic Gubal Gudhal Phool Chai. Caffeine free , calorie free. Hibiscus and rose are ayurvedic coolants. While hibiscus maintains healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, rose petals de-stress and calm the mind. Delays premature ageing.

Organic Moringa Tea

Ayurvedic Moringa Tea. Caffeine free, gluten free, GMO free. Broom for intestines - being fibre-rich, it cleanses the intestines. Aids in weight loss - being a diuretic, it helps reduce water retention.Ayurvedic Moringa Tea. Caffeine free, gluten free, GMO free. Broom for intestines - being fibre-rich, it cleanses the intestines. Aids in weight loss - being a diuretic, it helps reduce water retention.

Ayurvedic Ubtan/Kanti Lepa

Ubtan has been used as a part of body cleansing since ancient times. It is also called nalangu maavu in Tamil and utane in Marathi. It has therapeutic and healing properties. A 100% natural and ayurvedic preparation to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin. Ubtan has been used as a part of body cleansing since ancient times. It is also called nalangu maavu in Tamil and utane in Marathi. It has therapeutic and healing properties. A 100% natural and ayurvedic preparation to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin.

Traveller

The perfect blend of warming and intensely comforting oils especially formulated to combat tiredness and fatigue. Designed to awaken your senses and revive you.Indications: Frequent flyers On-the-go city dwellersThe perfect blend of warming and intensely comforting oils especially formulated to combat tiredness and fatigue. Designed to awaken your senses and revive you.Indications: Frequent flyers On-the-go city dwellers

Muscle Spasm Massage Oil

Night cramps/spasms can cause a great deal of anguish from pain. A cramp/spasm is a painful contraction of a muscle, most often occurring in calf muscles. Muscle Spasm Massage Oil has been carefully designed to provide relief from this distressing condition.Night cramps/spasms can cause a great deal of anguish from pain. A cramp/spasm is a painful contraction of a muscle, most often occurring in calf muscles. Muscle Spasm Massage Oil has been carefully designed to provide relief from this distressing condition.

Athlete

This powerful healing blend is highly recommended for those experiencing tired, sore muscles that require deep manipulation to soothe overall body tightness and to unravel tension. A daily post trek recommendation.Indications: High level of muscular tension This powerful healing blend is highly recommended for those experiencing tired, sore muscles that require deep manipulation to soothe overall body tightness and to unravel tension. A daily post trek recommendation.Indications: High level of muscular tension

Relaxing Massage Oil

Pain in the legs and back may be due to sheer exhaustion or rheumatic problems. Massage provides a good way of handling this pain. The regular use of Ma Earth Botanicals Massage Oil helps the essential oils penetrate the blood and deeply relax. Pain in the legs and back may be due to sheer exhaustion or rheumatic problems. Massage provides a good way of handling this pain. The regular use of Ma Earth Botanicals Massage Oil helps the essential oils penetrate the blood and deeply relax.

Everyday Well-Being Massage Oil

A soothing formulation designed to deeply nourish, comfort, and repair tired muscles. Elevates the mind to a state of calm and peace.Indications: Anxious feeling Mood swings Lack of clarity and focus Premenstrual tensionA soothing formulation designed to deeply nourish, comfort, and repair tired muscles. Elevates the mind to a state of calm and peace.Indications: Anxious feeling Mood swings Lack of clarity and focus Premenstrual tension

Rose Shower Gel

Sulphate-free mild body cleanser for all skin types. Free from SLES, parabens, and petrochemicals, this gel is especially formulated to gently cleanse, moisturise, and rejuvenate skin, without stripping its natural oils. Highly fragrant. Sulphate-free mild body cleanser for all skin types. Free from SLES, parabens, and petrochemicals, this gel is especially formulated to gently cleanse, moisturise, and rejuvenate skin, without stripping its natural oils. Highly fragrant.

Coconut Lime Shower Gel

Sulphate-free mild body cleanser for all skin types. Free from SLES, parabens and petrochemicals, this gel is especially formulated to gently cleanse, moisturise and rejuvenate skin without stripping its natural oils. Highly fragrant with our tropical formula Sulphate-free mild body cleanser for all skin types. Free from SLES, parabens and petrochemicals, this gel is especially formulated to gently cleanse, moisturise and rejuvenate skin without stripping its natural oils. Highly fragrant with our tropical formula

Hair Oil

Our Hair Oil contains a unique blend of natural herbs and oils that work deeply to condition and nourish the scalp. Potent herbal infusions stimulate the hair follicles to promote hair growth and strengthen from root to tip, which helps prevent hair fall.Our Hair Oil contains a unique blend of natural herbs and oils that work deeply to condition and nourish the scalp. Potent herbal infusions stimulate the hair follicles to promote hair growth and strengthen from root to tip, which helps prevent hair fall.

Hair Conditioner

The ultimate hydrating and nourishing conditioner for dry, stressed hair. The unique concentrated blend of plant-based emollients untangle, add volume, and soften hair. Aloe vera and licorice contain enzymes which directly promote healthy hair growth. The ultimate hydrating and nourishing conditioner for dry, stressed hair. The unique concentrated blend of plant-based emollients untangle, add volume, and soften hair. Aloe vera and licorice contain enzymes which directly promote healthy hair growth.

Hair Cleanser

A gentle sulphate-free formulation, designed to carefully cleanse the scalp and hair, while adding body and shine. Prepared using a unique blend of natural herbs and oils, which deeply clean and nourish the scalp. A gentle sulphate-free formulation, designed to carefully cleanse the scalp and hair, while adding body and shine. Prepared using a unique blend of natural herbs and oils, which deeply clean and nourish the scalp.

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TRENDING

7 Out Of 10 Indians: You May Be Vitamin D Deficient, And Not Know It Lakshmi Devan
12 May 2017Array min read

Feeling lethargic? Falling sick too often? Been low lately? Does the word Vitamin D ring a bell?

The body needs vitamin D to ensure healthy bones and teeth, adequate calcium and phosphorus absorption, better insulin level regulation, and thus, optimal diabetes management. It is also believed to have a protective influence against cancer and multiple sclerosis. However, in a recent study by Metropolis Healthcare that examined 14,96,683 patients, 70-100 per cent of participants were found to be vitamin D deficient, varying with the demographics tested. The results paint a rather scary picture, with the deficiency just as prevalent among housewives as in athletes, and even doctors! A vitamin D deficiency has always been linked to high rates of rickets, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and infections such as tuberculosis, in India. Are you in the 7 out of 10 Indians to suffer from a vitamin D deficiency? Here’s how to know:

  • Head sweating – Doctors check for head sweating in newborns, because it is believed to be a classic symptom of a vitamin D deficiency.
  • Bone aches, fragile bones, and fractures – Often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, a vitamin D deficiency causes a defect in the input of calcium into the collagen matrix in the skeleton, leading to throbbing pains and aches. Vitamin D works with calcium for healthy bone renewal, and to ensure strong bones and teeth. A deficiency of such a vital nutrient would then mean a direct impact on the bones and teeth, often leading to fragile bones and fractures, that happen at the drop of a hat.
  • Feeling ‘blue’ – Serotonin is a brain chemical that has been seen to rise with exposure to light, and fall with a decrease in the same. Studies in the past have found that people with low levels of vitamin D are more prone to being depressed. It wouldn’t be a surprise to find out that you are deficient in the vitamin, if you’ve been feeling rather low lately.
  • Flu and infections – Do you fall prey to frequent respiratory infections and flu, in the winters? Results from observational studies revealed an increased risk of both lower and upper respiratory tract infections in people with the deficiency.
  • Fatigue – Even though the exact link between vitamin D and tiredness is not known, it is confirmed to be one of the first few symptoms of the deficiency that shows up.

Those are the symptoms. However, a lot of times, the deficiency is completely asymptomatic and undetectable, until it progresses to severe stages. The best thing to do is to include as many vitamin D-rich foods (e.g.: fatty fish, such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon; milk and milk products; eggs etc.) in your diet as possible, get plenty of sunshine, and most importantly, get regular health checks and blood tests.

Fitness
7 Out Of 10 Indians: You May Be Vitamin D Deficient, And Not Know It
Feeling lethargic? Falling sick too often? Been low lately? Does the word Vitamin D ring a bell?
Pandora’s Box: 3 Homemade Hair Masks, Unearthed Mansi Kohli
12 May 2017Array min read

Hear hear, all hair types, colours, and textures! Fresh from nature, now a gorgeous mane is only 3 hair masks away.

“So, which hair conditioner do you use?” “Anything that is available in my fridge that day – yoghurt, honey, eggs, or butter”. “I’m sorry? For real?” “Well, technically anything that has nutrient-nourishing properties can be classified as a conditioner, right?” Imagine this being one of the entertaining conversations you have with your hair stylist. He or she will be bamboozled, while you swish your thick, luscious, soft, and silky hair! Today, we are going to tell you how you can nourish your scalp and hair roots, just by mixing together a few readily available organic and natural ingredients. Mentioned below are 3 hair mask recipes that’ll feed your scalp with nutrients provided by Mother Nature to achieve thick, stronger, bouncy, and lustrous hair. Banana, honey, and olive oil mask

  • How to make this mask: Just mash together 1 banana, 1 tablespoon of organic honey, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Whisk all the ingredients well, until you achieve a smooth paste-like consistency. Apply this mixture on your hair, and let it stay for a minimum of 1 hour. Wear a shower cap to avoid drips. Rinse with cold water, and only apply shampoo when the pack has completely left your hair.
  • Nutritional benefits of this mask: Packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and potassium, bananas are great for boosting natural growth, and for moisturising your hair. Extremely effective for thin and weak hair, this mask helps in strengthening hair follicles, while nourishing your dry and brittle hair with vitamin E. Honey and olive oil are packed with healing properties, which helps in regulating natural oil production, while keeping your scalp healthy.
  • Aloe vera, flax seed, and butter mask
  • How to make this mask: Start by boiling 2 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of flax seeds in a pan. Boil them for a good 10 minutes, before straining the flax seeds. Blend together the flax seed water with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel, 1 tablespoon of butter, and 2 tablespoons of honey. Once the mixture has cooled off, cover each strand of your hair with this mixture, from the root to the tip. Let it sit for a minimum of 45 minutes, before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
  • Nutritional benefits of this mask: This protein-rich mask is an intense conditioning gel-cum-pack that helps in boosting the volume of your hair, moisturising rough hair, and making the ends smooth. Flax seeds are a rich source of protein, vitamin B6, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron, all of which are useful for preventing hair loss and promoting healthy and shiny hair growth. Aloe vera, honey, and butter are great moisturising agents, which are sure to leave your hair incredibly soft and voluminous.
  • Homemade egg mask
  • How to make this mask: First, start by separating the egg yolk and the egg white. If you have oily hair, you will need egg whites, while dry hair will need egg yolks. People with normal hair can use a whole egg. Now, beat 1 egg and add 1 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to form a gooey, eggy mixture. Whisk well, and squeeze 1 lime into this mixture. Gently rub this mask onto your scalp for 15 minutes. Cover your hair with a disposable shower cap, and let the mixture sit on your scalp for 15 more minutes. Use an organic, fruit-based shampoo to wash your hair. Use cold water.
  • Nutritional benefits of this mask: Eggs are packed with iron, protein, and vitamins A, B, and D. They are great for nourishing your hair roots, encouraging hair growth, preventing hair breakage, preventing hair loss, and giving a natural, glossy shine to your hair.

Go on, try these recipes and show your hair some much-deserved pampering and love!

Organic Beauty
Pandora’s Box: 3 Homemade Hair Masks, Unearthed
Hear hear, all hair types, colours, and textures! Fresh from nature, now a gorgeous mane is only 3 hair masks away.
The Eye Of Shiva: Rudraksha For The Body, Mind, And Spirit Anjali Nayyar
25 May 2017Array min read

Rudraksha: Rudra + aksha (Rudra’s eye) or the ‘eye of Shiva’ – sound familiar? Rudraksha - the holy bead that is worn to attract wellbeing on physical, mental, and spiritual levels.

Held in utmost reverence by Hindus, rudraksha is a bead worn by people across faiths, all around the world. It has wondrous properties that many swear by. Rudraksha (Elaeocarpus ganitrus) is actually a fruit of the rudraksha tree. According to holy Hindu texts, rudraksha was formed from the tears of Shiva, when he opened his eyes and wept on seeing the plight of humanity. Rudraksha is a boon given to humanity to alleviate the suffering of man.

Body

Scientifically speaking, the rudraksha is made up of many elements that are good for our body – carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, aluminum, gold, cobalt, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous etc. The leaves and bark of the rudraksha tree have medicinal properties. People living near this tree use the leaves, bark, and fruit to make medicine for blood pressure, anxiety, skin diseases, headaches etc. Rudraksha has electromagnetic properties that improve the performance of the heart, and consequently, that of the whole body.

Mind

At a mental level, rudraksha helps bust stress, which is the root of a lot of our troubles – mental and physical. The electromagnetic pulses emitted by the bead soothe the nerves and help relax the mind. This has a positive effect on daily living, behaviour, and interactions. In fact, the quality of one’s life improves, and is infused with positivity – this helps alleviate negative feelings like anger, depression, and anxiety. Also, it has been observed that an extract of the rudraksha helps in improving learning, and in memory development.

Spirit

To speak of the spiritual properties of the rudraksha would need an entire book. However, most sages and yogis have rudraksha beads as their constant companions. Why? Because rudraksha helps one along the path of spirituality. The wearer of this bead becomes a master of enhanced spiritual powers (they first need to be cultivated, though). Powers of meditation, visualisation, yoga etc. get a boost if one wears rudraksha beads.

More about the beads

Rudraksha bearing trees are found in the Himalayan belt in India, Nepal, and also in the Indonesian archipelago. The fruit of these trees are bluish-black in colour, and when they dry up, the outer covering is removed to extract the rudraksha bead. The bead has a corrugated skin, and lines or channels (known as ‘mukh’) on it – anywhere between 1 and 21 (maybe even more sometimes). Each bead gets its name from the number of channels present – 1 mukhi (1 channel), 2 mukhi (2 channels), 8 mukhi (8 channels) and so on. The number of channels present determines the significance and healing properties of the rudraksha. Let’s take a look at a few:

For the body: 

  • 7 mukhi (7 channels) for good health, wealth, and happiness.
  • 9 mukhi (9 channels) for energy, power, and dynamism.
  • 10 mukhi (10 channels) shields the body from negative influences.
  • 11 mukhi (11 channels) to alleviate stomach disorders, and liver and breast diseases.

For the mind:

  • 2 mukhi (2 channels) for better relationships – family, friends, business.
  • 3 mukhi (3 channels) for purification of the mind – removal of sin, depression, anger, anxiety, fear, guilt.
  • 4 mukhi (4 channels) for intelligence, memory power, concentration, learning.
  • 5 mukhi (5 channels) for peace – removal of hypertension, and emotional tension.
  • 13 mukhi (13 channels) for name, fame, and power.

For the spirit: 

  • 1 mukhi (1 channel) for spiritual growth.
  • 8 mukhi (8 channels) for all kinds of attainments (riddhis and siddhis).
  • 11 mukhi (11 channels) for practice of meditation and yoga.
  • 14 mukhi (14 channels) for better visualisation, meditation, and sixth sense.
  • 15-21 mukhi (15-21 channels) for attainment of mystical powers.

If you feel inspired by this and want to buy a rudraksh, find an expert who will guide you towards the genuine stuff.

Organic Beauty
The Eye Of Shiva: Rudraksha For The Body, Mind, And Spirit
Rudraksha: Rudra + aksha (Rudra’s eye) or the ‘eye of Shiva’ – sound familiar? Rudraksha - the holy bead that is worn to attract wellbeing on physical, mental, and spiritual levels.
Aloe Clay Cleanser And Mask Tuba Siddiqui
20 Jun 2017Array min read

This is an effective, invigorating, and healing cleanser. Prepared using nutrient-rich river-bed mud from the rainforests of Central India by an elaborate process. The mud is soaked in aloe vera juice several times until completely saturated.

This is an effective, invigorating, and healing cleanser. Prepared using nutrient-rich river-bed mud from the rainforests of Central India by an elaborate process. The mud is soaked in aloe vera juice several times until completely saturated.
Product
Aloe Clay Cleanser And Mask
This is an effective, invigorating, and healing cleanser. Prepared using nutrient-rich river-bed mud from the rainforests of Central India by an elaborate process. The mud is soaked in aloe vera juice several times until completely saturated.
Karela – Momordica Charantia Krishan Singh
29 Jun 2017Array min read

Central nervous system: It dissipates melancholia and gross humors. Liver and biliary system: It is useful in sub-acute cases of liver and spleen. Blood and haematopoietic tissue: It exhibits some remarkable anticancer effects, especially for leukemia.

Central nervous system: It dissipates melancholia and gross humors. Liver and biliary system: It is useful in sub-acute cases of liver and spleen. Blood and haematopoietic tissue: It exhibits some remarkable anticancer effects, especially for leukemia.
Product
Karela – Momordica Charantia
Central nervous system: It dissipates melancholia and gross humors. Liver and biliary system: It is useful in sub-acute cases of liver and spleen. Blood and haematopoietic tissue: It exhibits some remarkable anticancer effects, especially for leukemia.
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Mental Wellbeing

Today, what we all need most is peace of mind, and mind you, it doesn’t come easy. To find tranquility, you must let go, and to learn to do that, you must embark on a journey for your own sake. We know that being healthy means so much more than just a healthy body. It means a healthy mind – a state of complete mental wellbeing. We welcome personal experiences, expert views, meditation techniques, and other holistic ways of achieving mindfulness.

Nutrition

The human body is perfectly designed by nature, and how we fuel it is important. In order to climb the Everest, backpack around the globe, get that promotion, break the world record for baking the largest apple pie, or anything else that you want to do in life – it is important that you and your body are on the same page. And surprisingly enough, of all aspects of health, nutrition is the most ignored or misinterpreted. No more fad diets, ‘magical detoxes’, or weight-loss powders. Nutrition is simple science...and lots of taste. Submissions within this category will include articles on health through foods, recipes, juices and smoothies, and natural and sustainable ways to achieve weight goals.

Fitness

We walk, run, swim, cycle, dance, workout – all to stay fit. Even though the end goals may be different for everyone, fitness, at the end of the day, means something that promises a healthy, fulfilling life. It means training your body to do better each day in whatever ways you want it to. Submit within this category if your article is to do with any form of physical fitness like yoga, running, muscle building, a success story, or any aspect of physical health.

Organic Beauty

Most of what you put on your skin is absorbed right into the bloodstream (Need proof? Think nicotine patches, or birth control patches). This is why a lot of the world is going back to their roots. Think organic. Think of all gifts of nature you could use, that could enrich your body, without all the chemicals and preservatives. Organic beauty is taking a stand for yourself – it is a lifestyle. If you have written about hair, skin, natural remedies, ayurveda, or alternate therapies, this is where you need to be.

Love

Love for a friend, family member, or lover – all such profound, complex emotions and connections. Oh love, love, love! It has the power to heal the soul, make a saint out of a criminal, and basically, just bring a smile to your face even on the most dismal of days. There are no rules, no laws, no policies, and absolutely no one manual when it comes to relationships. But oh, wouldn’t we all like a little help once in a while? Our broad categories include relationships, friendship, dating, sex, parenting, and other aspects of love.

Nutrition
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