This Sweet, Christmas-ey Spice Has Side-Effects You Never Knew About

Cinnamon this, cinnamon that. Yes, of course cinnamon makes everything nicer, but a coin has two sides.Cinnamon rolls, bread, tea, cookies, waffles, lattes, and puddings; biryani, and shahi pulao – the best of food across the world has cinnamon, and why shouldn’t it? Cinnamon is not only fragrant and flavourful; it’s also known to be good for health.Here’s how cinnamon is beneficial for you:
  • Loaded with antioxidants.
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Helps lower blood sugar levels.
  • Helps fight bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Has anti-ageing properties.
  • Is good for teeth and gums.
  • Boosts alertness and memory.
  • Helps ease PMS in women.
But as in every story, this little cinnamon-story also comes with a twist – a condition. Noted experts recommend an intake of not more than 5 grams per day. Along with flavonoids and cinnamaldehyde (which are the good health-promoting contents of cinnamon), cinnamon also contains coumarin, which is known to be toxic in relatively high doses. Here’s why your favourite dalchini may not seem so nice anymore:
  • Toxicity – A continuous cinnamon usage for over 6 months will cause a build-up of coumarin and other toxins in the body. In fact, doctors suggest taking a 1 month break from regular cinnamon use every 6 weeks. This will allow your body time to void itself of these toxins, and rejuvenate.
  • Premature labour – Cinnamon is known to induce uterine contractions and premature labour in pregnant women. So while cinnamon provides great relief from uterine cramps during menstruation, cinnamon oils and teas are believed to be better avoided during gestation.
  • Allergies – A lot of people remain allergic to cinnamon without realising it. For people who are allergic, a slightly higher intake of cinnamon can cause symptoms such as a runny nose, watery eyes, upset stomach, swelling in the hands, or even anaphylactic shock. But to be fair, these are possible reactions of any allergy; this point is just to state that cinnamon can cause it too.
  • Skin irritation – Cinnamon isn’t only used as a spice. In fact, another popular derivative of it is cinnamon oil, which is equally favourable for a number of reasons.  But when used in a concentrated quantity, it can cause an acute burning sensation, much like chilli powder. It is advisable to wear gloves while using cinnamon oil.
  • Increased heart rate – Too much cinnamon can be fatal for heart patients, as it is known to increase the heart rate and thin the blood. But this danger only exists when the usage is in more than a 2 per cent concentration.
  • Body heat – Cinnamon is great for winters, as it is known to increase body temperature, just like alcohol, black pepper, lobster, coffee, garlic, and ginger. But it is better avoided in women going through menopause, and in extremely hot weather.
The take home message here is that as long as you’re not overdoing it, you can happily enjoy an occasional cup of cinnamon tea or a roll without worrying, and absorb its benefits.

Planning A Sugar Detox? Here's How To Do It Right

Need to get down from that sugar high? Here are 5 effective ways to cut out sugar from your life.It’s an instant karma kind of thing. Eat some sugar, and in all probability, it will go straight to your hips. Weight aside, there is a reason why sugar is labelled white poison, given how it impacts your blood pressure, overall health, and other organs, in the long run. Been bingeing? Here’s how you can pull the sugar plug, and still stay sane.
  • Go cold turkey – Much like giving up smoking, sugar requires you to make a clean break. Eliminate all types of sugar, additives, and foods that contain hidden sugars, in order to reduce cravings, and boost your flagging metabolism. Give up on packaged foods and grains as well for the initial 2 weeks, to get your body used to the lack of sugar or its substitutes.
  • Eat more protein – Doctors suggest that if you have a diet rich in protein, chances are your sugar levels will be stable, and you won’t experience sudden cravings. From eggs to fish, chicken to all other forms of vegetable protein, stack up your plate, especially first thing in the morning, if you want to keep away from sugar.
  • De-stress, and get more sleep – If you are stressed, chances are you will reach for a bar of chocolate, or a bowl of ice cream. The same goes for those low on sleep. Try and stay calm, do some meditation, and get adequate sleep, so that your body feels well-adjusted, and you are not in a hurry to snack on the first sweet thing you see.
  • Keep a snack handy – Like any other addiction, the sugar habit can get hard to break. Be prepared to slip up, and when you do get a craving, instead of heading to the first pastry shop in your line of sight, ensure you have a stash of healthy snacks at hand that will stave off the sugar bug. Nuts, seeds, and unsweetened fruits often do the trick.
  • Water to the rescue – The best trick to stave off a sugar craving is to keep water handy. Whenever the urge to coat your mouth in sugar arises, have a glass of plain water first. The reason this helps is that most of the times, we confuse thirst with hunger or cravings, leading us towards the unhealthy stuff.
  • Give alcohol, high-sugar fruits a miss – Alcohol contains a ton of sugar, which can be extremely harmful for your system, especially if you are attempting a detox. Give it a complete miss when on a sugar detox. Also remember, that just because fruits contain natural sugars, you cannot binge on them. After all, fructose is a type of sugar, and it could derail your detox plan. In the initial phase, it pays to eliminate high-sugar fruits, such as mangoes, lychees, and bananas, from your diet as well. You can continue to consume fruits that are low in sugar, such as berries and kiwi, in limited quantities.

World's First Probiotic Beer Supports Gut Health And Boosts Immunity

What are probiotics. How does probiotic beer helps in building immunity.

Those who love to chug beer can only ever see the golden halo around a mug of goodness but now, new research supports them too! A new probiotic beer, that’s been created by scientists in Singapore, claims to actually improve your gut health. Cheers!

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are the good bacteria housed in your intestines that ensure that your tummy feels good at all times. These good bacteria try and make sure that harmful bacteria do not make your gut their home, so there is constant competition for space between the good and the bad bacteria. According to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics, one should have “…a minimum of 1 billion probiotics per serving for the maximum health benefits. Foods like yoghurt, miso soup, sauerkraut, pickles, and other fermented edibles have probiotics”.  

What is the new beer all about?

Associate Professors Liu Shao Quan and Chan Mei Zhi Alcine from the Food, Science, and Technology Programme at the National University of Singapore have been working on creating the perfect beer for the last 9 months, and their baby is one healthy chug; one that tastes good, and also has probiotics, which eggs your gut on to stay fit. While in the past it was difficult to create a probiotic beer given that hops (one of beer’s key ingredients) prevent probiotics from growing, the latest experiment goes beyond this and creates a solution to the problem. Something known as ‘lactic acid bacterium’ is found in this beer, and that works as a probiotic. According to the Science Daily website, “By propagating the probiotic and yeast in pure cultures, and modifying conventional brewing and fermentation processes, Miss Chan managed to increase and maintain the live counts of the strain of probiotic”. The beer, which is likely to have an alcohol content of 3.5 per cent, is sour and tart, but reportedly, tastes really good. The team has filed a patent for its product, but it is likely to be a while before it makes its way to supermarket shelves.

Here's Why You Mustn't Take Your Daily Dose Of Vitamin D Lightly

Vitamin D is so beneficial that even vampires are beginning to love it. Here’s why you shouldn’t be ignoring your daily dose of this vitamin.

Summer is here, and we’re all busy trying to stay out of the sun; making sure the sunscreen is slathered on every time we step out – because that’s what the beauty gurus recommend. While this has its advantages, Indians need to embrace the sun, and step out for their dose of sunshine. Here’s why.

Why do we need vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that affects almost every organ of our body. It regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, and the functioning of our immune system. This nutrient is very difficult to get from food sources alone. We have a ‘free’ source – the sun, but most of us just don’t think it’s such a glaring problem that we need to get out there.

Vitamin D is available in 2 forms:

  • Vitamin D2, which is made by plants
  • Vitamin D3, which is made when you’re exposed to the sun

Why are Indians deficient?

With the abundant sunshine in our part of the world, you would think that we would not have to worry about vitamin D deficiencies. Wrong. Did you know that the majority of our population is vitamin D deficient? The high levels of melanin (the pigment that gives our skin the colour it has) in Asians makes it difficult for our skin to absorb the vitamin D from the sun as compared to Caucasians, who have lighter skin. A light-skinned person would need to stay in the sun for about 20 minutes to get his daily dosage. A dark-skinned person would need to stand in the sun for at least 2 hours to get the same levels.

The impact of deficiency 

In children, vitamin D deficiency causes rickets, which is weakening of the bones. Kids can become either bow-legged or knock-kneed, neither of which is a good thing.

In adults, this deficiency significantly increases the risk of developing soft bones (osteomalacia), or osteoporosis. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are some other factors that also affect our ability to absorb this vitamin naturally, such as:  

  • Pollution
  • Sunscreen usage
  • Spending most of our time inside

So do you think you’ve been getting enough vitamin D? Are you displaying any of these symptoms?

  • Fatigue and sleepiness
  • Severe bone or muscle pain that affects movement
  • Stress fractures, especially in the lower half of the body
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure

If you are, it’s time to go see a doctor and get yourself checked. A regular blood test will show if you are vitamin D deficient.

Getting more vitamin D

The vitamin deficit can be made up by taking supplements. However, there are some foods which contain vitamin D, including:

  • Fatty fish like cod, salmon, and trout
  • Mushrooms like morels, maitake, and oyster
  • Fortified cereals and dairy products including whole wheat flakes, fortified goats’ milk, and fortified yoghurt
  • Tofu
  • Caviar
  • Eggs
  • Pork

We’re born to spend more time in the sun without our layers of clothes, so get out of your homes and soak up some good, ‘inexpensive’ sunshine vitamin. This will give you more lasting benefits than any supplement you could be taking.  

The Hazardous Chemicals In Your Mac And Cheese Are Making You Really Sick

Mac and cheese lovers, prepare for a heartbreak.

Do your kids love mac and cheese? Mine do, and the easiest thing when hunger strikes is to reach for the mac and cheese that you get in boxes. The convenience factor with packaged food does make life easier. However, a recent study has shown that this processed food is high in phthalates, which put children and pregnant women at high risk.

What are phthalates

Phthalates are chemicals that are known to block the production of male hormones like testosterone, and have also been linked to genital birth defects in infant boys. In older children, this can manifest in their learning abilities and can cause behavioural problems like aggression, hyperactivity, and possible cognitive delays. The chemicals migrate into food from the packaging and the equipment used in manufacturing.

These chemicals were banned in teething rings and rubber toys in the US, as they were found to be potentially dangerous. But now, it’s been found in 10 varieties of pre-packaged mac and cheese that was tested at VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research in Belgium.

Phthalates are not deliberately added to food. They are industrial chemicals used to soften plastics and are used as solvents, in adhesives, and in ink on packaging. The FDA has labelled them as indirect food additives.

So how do they get into your food

The chemicals transfer into food from food processing equipment like plastic tubes, conveyor belts, and gaskets, and other plastic materials used in the manufacturing process. They also leach into the food from printed labels or plastic materials in the packaging.

Phthalates bind with fats. So they tend to build up in fatty foods like cheese, baked goods, infant formula, meats, oils and fats, and fast food.

What scientists say

Phthalates are definitely on their list of top 10 endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Anything that comes out of a box and has a shelf life has been in contact with plastic during its various stages of processing and packaging. So if you have young children or pregnant women in your family, then stay away from these packaged food boxes.

 

Eating fresh fruit and vegetables, using glass or ceramic containers for storing food, and preparing your own mac and cheese at home can help you and your family stay safe and phthalate free. 

If You're Looking To Detox, Then This Lemon, Ginger, And Turmeric Drink Is Perfect For You

Instead sugar, spice, and everything nice; try turmeric, ginger, lemon, and honey. The simple but effective detox drink of the year!

Detox is a fashionable word these days. The world and its grandmother are involved in various kinds of detox diets. But bingeing on food and alcohol and then going on a special ‘detox diet’ isn’t going to help your liver in any way. The problems with such a lifestyle are many:

  • If you have alcohol and food excessively, you are overburdening your liver. At some point, if this continues, you can develop liver problems.
  • Most detox diets are unhealthy, as they require you to cut down on many nutrients and good fats that your body needs.
  • Such yo-yoing with your diet weakens the body, instead of strengthening it. Your body needs a consistent lifestyle, which helps it get stronger and fitter.

That’s not to say that a binge here or there will have a harmful effect on the body. When that happens, you need a good detox drink!

This amazing detox drink with lemon, ginger, and turmeric will not only help with better digestion and improved liver function, it is also an effective anti-inflammatory drink, and can help with joint pains, amongst other benefits.

Serves 1

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp fresh turmeric root, grated, or ⅓ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger root, grated, or ⅓  tsp ginger powder
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • Honey, to taste (optional)

Preparation

  • Boil the water in a saucepan.
  • Add the ginger and turmeric, and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Strain, and add lemon and honey (if using).

For the best absorption of turmeric, add a little pepper to the drink, so as to maximise the benefits.

If you are not very fond of hot drinks, you can add a dash of cinnamon, and chill before serving. You can also replace honey with maple syrup.

You Will Stop Throwing Away Banana Peels Forever, Once You Read This

You will think twice before you throw away that peel the next time.Bananas are one of the most widely available fruits, and an excellent source of nutrients and fibre. But did you know that banana peels are immensely useful as well? Banana peels contain fibre, potassium, magnesium, protein, and vitamins B12 and B6. Not only can banana peels be eaten – raw, or by boiling, chopping, frying, adding to smoothies or soups etc., they also have a host of other uses:
  • Antioxidant properties – Banana peels are packed with antioxidants, especially carotenoids and polyphenols, which counter the damage caused by free radicals. They help in keeping the skin youthful, and combating cancer-causing cells.
  • Fibre benefits – Both soluble and insoluble fibre is found in banana peels. Soluble fibre helps in promoting satiety, while helping to prevent diabetes, and reducing the risk of heart attacks. Insoluble fibre helps with digestion, and hence, with maintaining weight. Bonus – no constipation!
  • Vision health – Lutein, an antioxidant found in the peel, takes care of the eyes by preventing macular degeneration and cataract. Lutein is also great for protecting the eyes from the UV rays of the sun. Banana peels can also be used to reduce the puffiness of the eyes. Just place them for a few minutes over your eyes, and see the difference!
  • Lowers cholesterol – The soluble fibre found in the peel helps to lower LDL (bad cholesterol).
  • Makes you happy – Banana peels contain tryptophan, which helps in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is known to be a mood booster.
  • Skin issues – Banana peels are effective in reducing itching, as they contain antihistamines. So you can use them for relief from bug bites, and even from itching due to psoriasis. It is believed that banana peels can be helpful in treating psoriasis. You can also use them to reduce wrinkles and acne, and to moisturise and brighten the skin by rubbing it directly onto your face.
  • Whitens teeth – Rubbing the inside of the banana peel on your teeth for a few minutes daily is known to help whiten teeth.
  • Polish worthy – Banana peels are great for polishing shoes, leather goods, and silver items.

Embryo Einsteins: Child IQ-Raising Foods For Pregnant Women

A brain boost, right from the start. Just in case you’re super nervous (or super competitive?) about your child getting into the most coveted educational institution in town, you might like to prepare well in advance, and include foods in your pregnancy diet that can help you grow a smart(er) baby!
  • Cover the basic requirement first – oxygen! – Red blood cells carry oxygen to various parts of the mother’s and the baby’s body. It goes without saying, then, that a pregnant woman should eat foods rich in iron, which is necessary for the production of red blood cells, and for the maintenance of a healthy immune system in general. Iron is also an important component of collagen, required for the development of bone, cartilage, and other connective tissues. Red meats (pork, lamb, mutton) are a great source of iron. If you're vegetarian, go for (preferably dark) green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli), grains, and legumes (lentils and beans).
  • Good news for eggs-and-bacon lovers – New animal research shows that eggs are particularly rich in choline, a substance crucial for the healthy development of memory and recall capacities. Nerve cells convert choline into acetylcholine, a chemical ‘messenger’ that aids memory. Whilst eggs and meats are considered the richest sources, choline is found in small amounts in soy, tofu, edamame, green peas, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, dairy products, and fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas.
  • Nothing fishy about a smart baby – Omega-3 essential fatty acids (especially DHA) are absolutely necessary for brain, vision, and neurological development – and they’re called essential, because the body doesn't produce them; and hence, depends on your diet for them. Fatty/oily fish, like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are good sources, although capsule supplements can also be taken on medical advice and supervision. Flax seeds, walnuts, kale, and soybean oil are a few plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • The plan fails without a dash of your own IQ – Don't smoke/consume alcohol when pregnant. Adopt some kind of exercise regime commensurate with your stage of pregnancy. Just because you're eating for 2, doesn't mean you can overeat. In fact, too much of any good thing is harmful during such a delicate stage of life. The last thing you need is to figure out how to fend off, say, obesity or blood sugar problems; both for yourself, and your baby!
A final word of caution on the subject of beauty and pregnancy. Many women are used to taking retinol for anti-ageing, or aloe vera juice for skin cleansing/brightening purposes. An overdose of retinol can cause serious birth defects. Aloe juice (like many others) has laxative effects, causing a dip in electrolyte levels. A little research into how you can tweak your existing diet/beauty regime will go a long way in ensuring the safe delivery of your little Einstein.

These 7 Awesome Tricks Can Get Anyone To Eat Greens!

Struggling with them greens? Here’s an idea - sneak them in like trained ninjas.

Greens are a must for our diet. They provide us with essential vitamins and minerals. Now, apart from vegetarians and vegans, people, many a times, tend to bypass eating vegetables in quantities that are required. Why? Taste issues, of course! Let’s solve this problem for you by introducing a few simple and delicious ways of sneaking greens into your meals:  

  • Stir-fry them in – Fried food is always yummy. Slip in your greens in a stir-fried hot pot, and you won’t mind eating them. My favourite is a mix of broccoli, mushrooms (for texture), spring onions, and tomatoes (for colour) – sautéed with salt, pepper, and butter!
  • Kale chips – Have you had them yet? Mix some salt, pepper, and oil with bite-sized kale, and bake till crisp. Sprinkle some roasted cumin powder, and your tasty greens are ready! This can be a perfect midday snack!
  • Go for a salad – Salads are refreshing, especially when they accompany heavy main courses. Cucumbers, lettuce, broccoli, peas, baby spinach, and Brussel sprouts are some of the green veggies that you can throw in a salad. Top with a nice dressing and some salt and pepper, and you won’t even feel that you are chomping on your greens!
  • Sip a green smoothie – I mean delicious green smoothie – some spinach (boiled), a seasonal fruit (mango or banana), some cocoa powder to give it a chocolatey flavour, or lemon. You can add some water if it is too thick. Smoothies are great as coolers, and provide instant nourishment.
  • Stuff in sandwiches – Sandwiches are great for breakfast. A well-stuffed sandwich will give you the required nutrients and satiety at the start of the day. Now, along with your favourite protein, put some greens into your sandwich – lettuce, rocket leaves, or maybe some shredded cabbage. Be sure to sneak in the greens that you would normally not eat!
  • Pickle ‘em – Pickle your greens – they will definitely become tastier. Mustard greens, collard greens, jalapeno etc. can be easily pickled. Wash and dry these greens. Mix salt, pepper, vinegar, sugar, and water in a pot, and bring to a boil. Add the greens, and cook for a couple of minutes. Cool and refrigerate.
  • Add them to your soup – A tasty chicken soup can be rich in greens, if you know how to make it right. A vegetable soup can be tasty too, with the right mix of seasoning, and a creamy texture. Whichever the case, boil and purée the green vegetables before adding them to the soup, and one won’t get to know that the veggies are present – a trick for a treat!

The consumption of greens is very important for maintaining good health. Use these tips to prod yourself to eat your greens daily. Try these methods, and you will not regret it!

From Alpha To Omega: A Quick Guide To Balancing The Omegas In Your Body

When it comes to fat, it is better to discriminate. What that means is – avoid bad fats, but eat your omegas, if you really want to stay healthy.

In the quest to be healthy, slim, and fit, some of us make grave mistakes by following preconceived, and at times ill-informed, notions. This is true especially when it comes to the subject of avoiding fats, as this is a sensitive issue world-over for men and women who face weight management struggles. Try telling someone they aren’t eating enough fat for daily sustenance, and it probably won’t be a concern for them. This is due to the fact that fats have been vilified by our society in our perpetual quest to stay svelte.  But the truth is, experts cannot stress enough on the importance of omegas for the body. Fats are actually important to become and stay healthy, fit, and strong, which is why we need to learn more about the balancing of these essential fatty acids known as omegas.

Experts’ opinions on omegas Medical experts have spoken volumes on the importance of omegas. They believe omegas are a must-have in order help combat degenerative diseases. Some of these include dementia, Alzheimer’s, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, and even diabetes. Omegas have anti-inflammatory properties, which have a positive effect on the body, especially on women going through menopause. In addition to that, omegas help maintain heart and bone health, along with mood stabilisation. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are eggs, fish, flaxseed, canola oil, walnuts, and seafood. For omega-6, one can choose from the following oils – corn, primrose, soybean, and safflower.

Striking a balance In layman terms, omega-3 is known to be a good fat, while omega-6 is a fat that is good for the body if consumed in moderation, and as a replacement for saturated fats from meats and dairy products. Research says our bodies have too much of the latter as compared to the former, which is why irrespective of age groups, health problems are on the rise. What is needed for a well-oiled body is a good balance of both the omegas, 3 and 6.

What you can do:

  • Healthy fats are good – Consumption of healthy fats is beneficial. Research explains that healthy fats are helpful to the cardio system in our bodies. Right from coconut oil to animal fats, and raw, organic dairy, the body needs building blocks to work well. Healthy fats help all round – for cell development, division, and mitosis.
  • Avoid vegetable oils – Vegetable oils, as many experts point out, tend to create an imbalance in the body, decreasing the protective omega-3, and increasing omega-6. This leads to arterial damage as well as inflammation, which is why consuming less vegetable oils is what is best advised.
  • Benefits of omega-3 – Omega-3 fatty acids also thin blood, which can help avoid blood clotting. This reduces heart-related risks. The triglyceride levels in the body are kept stabilised with an adequate omega-3 intake, and also balances the omega-6 consumption in due course.
  • Don’t forget the basics – We know too well that exercise and good sleep are important factors for feeling rejuvenated. According to experts, lack of sleep and a sedentary lifestyle make the omegas in the body run haywire, omega-6 in particular.
  • Essential for vitamin D absorption – Vitamin D and other fat-soluble vitamins, in moderate amounts, as directed by physicians, help protect organs and tissue in the body. It even helps maintain the cardio system of the body. Omega-3 fatty acids help the body absorb this vitamin. Hence omega-3 fatty acids, in small amounts, should be consumed for internal balance, or else a vitamin D deficiency may occur in the body.

Do consult a physician, and set a diet routine that includes a good mix of omegas for your body. Low-fat diets actually do more harm than good, so it’s best to have the complete information before setting a course for your dietary needs.

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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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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