Home remedies for menstrual cramps

Introduction:

Menstrual cramps in adolescent girls can be quite incapacitating and it results in a lot of loss of school hours. In our Ayurvedic tradition there are many excellent concoctions for the same and these grandmother remedies are very efficacious and do have a scientific basis.

A Brew:

A brew of the following is quite effective and unnecessary allopathic medications can often be avoided.  

Basil leaves.

Basil leaves (Tulsi) can relieve some of the normal pain associated with menstruation because it contains caffeic acid, which has an analgesic, or pain-killing effect.

Cinnamon powder:

This has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties and can be mixed with Basil leaves and heated in water to form a brew.

Fennel.

This was another sure shot cramp cure.  This spice is said to promote better circulation to the ovaries. Crush fennel seeds into a powder. Add to 1 cup boiling water, keep for five minutes, strain, and drink hot.

Ginger.

This is a cramp reliever, and as an added bonus it sometimes can make irregular periods regular. It can be added to the brew however, put 1/2 teaspoon in 1 cup boiling water, and drink three times a day.

Mint.

 Either peppermint or wintergreen can relieve cramps. Steep into a tea and drink a cup or two a day. Mint in a candy form can also be useful.

Mustard.

Add a tablespoon or two of powdered mustard to the brew and this definitely helps relieve the cramps.

Conclusion:

Finally a word of friendly caution, please consult a Gynecologist if the symptoms do not come down in a few days.

Home remedies for Pimples.

Introduction:

For growing adolescents, especially girls, pimples are catastrophic events. The health care industry preys on this fear and pimples are a billion dollar industry. It is not necessary to invest in such expensive products and many grandmother remedies work wonderfully in getting rid of pimples and giving a glowing complexion…

Natural Remedies:

Sandalwood   Turmeric

Wood sorrel

Leebeck tree flower

Take some sandal wood, and turmeric, wood sorrel and lebbeck tree flower (Lebbeck marattiṉ pū in Tamil) and grind all these ingredients and apply the paste on the pimples.

Quassia indica leaves

You may also add Quassia indica leaves (called as Nibam in Tamil). These leaves have potent antibacterial properties and have ether and ethanol extracts that exhibit antibiotic properties against several skin pathogens

Dry Ginger:

Dry ginger powder cab mixed with water and can applied it on our pimples.

Basil leaves and Camphor:

Grind Basil leaves and camphor and apply it on our pimples. Basil leaves contain volatile oils that have therapeutic effects against pimples.

Basil leaves Camphor

Spinach Leaves(Kerrai in Tamil):

 Sesbania grandiflora

In stubborn pimples, spinach leaves (Sesbania grandiflora)(called Keerai in Tamil)can be ground into paste with water and applies on the pimples.

Abutilon leaves

Mix a dash of black pepper, garlic and abutilon leaves with castor oil and make a paste and apply on the pimples. Abutilon leaves are called as Paniyaratutti in Tamil.

Conclusion:

A note of caution: If the pimples are severe and if there is a flare up (which is extremely rare) after using these home remedies, please contact your dermatologist immediately.

MAGNESIUM AND ITS IMPORTANCE.

Introduction:

Magnesium is mostly found in the bones, while the rest is in the muscles, soft tissues, and fluids. Every cell in your body needs magnesium to function. The role of Magnesium is to act like a helper molecule in the biochemical reactions performed by enzymes; Magnesium is involved in energy creation, protein formation, gene maintenance, muscle movements and nervous system regulation.

Why is Magnesium Deficiency so Widespread?

The soil is depleted and plants are deficient and this in turn results in low levels of magnesium in animals. Further, the use of chemicals, such as fluoride and chlorine, bind to magnesium, making the water supply low in the mineral.  Common substances such as sugar and caffeine deplete the body’s magnesium levels.  In addition stress drains out the endocrine system and causes magnesium depletion.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

Calcification of the Arteries

Calcification of the arteries can occur from low magnesium levels. As a result, one can develop coronary problems, like heart attacks, heart failure, and heart disease.

Muscle Cramping

This is one of the most notable symptoms of being deficient in magnesium. It can cause stiffening of the arteries; it can cause stiffening of muscle tissue, as well. This can result in awful cramps and spasms.

Anxiety & Depression – Anxiety and depression affect millions of people and the culprit could be Magnesium deficiency.  

Hormone Imbalances

Premenstrual syndromewhere ladies experience crazy “ups” and “downs” before or after your period is thought to be due to deficiency in magnesium.  The higher the estrogen or progesterone levels in a woman’s body, the lower the magnesium. This is also why pregnant women experience more leg cramps.

 High Blood Pressure/Hypertension – 

 A high intake of magnesium results in normal blood pressures.

Pregnancy Discomfort

Low magnesium levels can adversely affect pregnant woman and their moods. Some women report less morning sickness during pregnancy when supplemented with magnesium. Magnesium can also reduce hypertension and muscle cramps during pregnancy. Supplementation can also help to ward off preterm labor and lessen headaches.

Low Energy

Low levels of Magnesium are associated with lack of drive and low energy at the cellular levels.

Bone Health

People regard calcium as the most important mineral for healthy bones. While it is important, magnesium may even be more so

In cases of magnesium deficiency, the bone suffers in the following ways:

  1. Impairment of Vitamin D Absorption 
  2. Magnesium is required to stimulate the hormone calcitonin which draws calcium out of the muscles and tissues and into the bones.

Sleep Problems

Magnesium is required for the proper function of the GABA receptors in the brain. GABA is the neurotransmitter which assists the brain to transition to a restful state.

Other Symptoms

 A number of vitamins and minerals work synergistically, and magnesium tops the list. It is needed for the proper utilization of calcium, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin D and other nutrients.

Foods Abundant in Magnesium

• Dark chocolate

• Nuts and seeds (specifically pumpkin seeds)

• Avocados

• Bananas

• Leafy greens (kale, spinach, and chard)

• Wild-caught fish

• Himalayan pink sea salt

• Sea vegetables

• Sprouts

• Grass-fed dairy (though controversial in certain dietary camps)

Conclusion:

Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the human body, and impacts blood pressure, metabolism and the immune function.

Magnesium deficiency is a relatively simple to correct though taking supplements and/or eating magnesium-rich foods. Increasing the level of this mineral in your body is thought to reduce your chances of experiencing the hardening of the arteries, and has been reported to enhance sleep along with helping to balance an individual’s mood.

THE PEEPAL TREE.

Introduction:

The ‘Peepal tree’ is one of the revered trees in India. This tree is venerated, both by Hindus as well as by the Buddhists.  It is believed that Buddha attained enlightenment under this tree and it is also called as the ‘Bodhi tree’ or the tree of wisdom.  The Botanical name of this tree is FICUS RELIGIOSA.

The tree is found wild in the forests and in the lower slopes of the Himalayas, in Orissa and in Central India. It grows wild in most parts of India, especially on the banks of the rivers and lakes.

Medicinal uses:

Most Ayurvedic masters mention about this plant and concede that this plant has the power to arrest bleeding from the bowels, lungs, stomach, bladder and other parts of the body.

Bhavaprakasa, Charaka, Sushrutha, Viswakasha and many other Ayurvedic physicians of repute vouch for its anti-hemorrhagic property and find it useful in mouth ulcers when used as a paste mixed with honey.  It is also used as a powder in leucorrhoea and in dysentery. The main parts used are the bark, the leaves and the fruit of the plant.

The leaves of this tree are used as a dry powder taken internally to cure constipation. Peepal leaves warmed in Ghee are used as an external application to relieve the swelling and the pain in Mumps.

This remedy is also considered to be useful in Spermatorrhoea, premature ejaculation and to prevent nocturnal emissions.

This remedy is also used in glandular enlargements, where a paste is made from the roots and applied on the enlarged glands.

The bark and the leaves of this plant are used by tribal people, for curing fevers, heart ailments, such as palpitation and cardiac weakness.

This remedy is also used by the tribal people for curing bruises and minor injuries.

Homoeopathic Uses:

It is useful in arresting bleeding disorders such as; bleeding from the lungs, uterus and stomach. This remedy is also useful in controlling dysentery, typhoid and piles.

Conclusion:

The Peepal plant is essentially popular among Ayurvedic and Homeopathic physicians and the tribal people of India.

THE HOLY BASIL (TULSI) PLANT.

Introduction:

The Botanical name of ‘Tulsi’ or the Basil Plant is OCIMUM SANCTUM. This plant is considered to be a sacred plant by the Hindus. It is also known by several other names such as; Vishnupriya, Tulasi, Divya, Bharathi and Krishna Mul.  This is a highly scented plant and is considered to be of great spiritual and medicinal value.

Legend has it that Binda, the wife of Sankhachura was favored by Lord Krishna and transformed and immortalized as this herb and it is therefore considered to be a sacred plant.

In Malaysia the leaves of this plant are used to strew over the graves of dead persons for the peace and benefit of the departed souls.

Medicinal Properties:

In Allopathy it has been used as a demulcent, expectorant and the Tulsi leaf powder has been used as a snuff to destroy maggots. In the days gone by the medicated oil was used in the ear for earache. It was also tried with limejuice on common ringworm skin infections.

In Ayurveda, it has been recommended by Masters like Charaka, Harita, Chakradatta and others for colds, coughs, scorpion bites, fevers and constipation.

In Homeopathy, it has been used after potentization for diseases of the kidneys, bladder and urethra.  It has also been found to be useful in persons who are forgetful and have a difficulty in concentration.  It has also found limited use in liver disorders and dyspepsia.  This remedy has been found to be useful in Influenza associated with bone pains, soreness of the muscles and terrible headaches.

Conclusion:

The Holy Basil plant indeed has an ancient traditional background.  But, it has a lot of scientific uses too.  In addition to medicinal properties, it has been used to remove the bad and filthy odor and arrest putrefaction of dead bodies and has the ability to kill pathogenic bacteria and control infections. The Holy Basil plant has also the ability to drive away mosquitoes and finds its use in preventing Malaria. The Holy Basil plant (Tulsi) is an example where the sages of the yore preached hygienic doctrines through spiritual tradition.

A MAGICAL HERB FOR WOMEN.

Introduction:

The Ashoka tree is a noted plant in our country. The Botanical name of this plant is JONOSIA ASOKA.  It is regarded as one of the sacred plants in India.  Married Hindu females worship this plant and the festivity for worshipping it falls in spring. The word Ashoka literally means ‘remover or all ailments.’

It is a sovereign remedy for alleviating all sorts of menstrual troubles and uterine disorders.  Even the ‘rishis’ of the yore have a high opinion about this plant and recommend this to women who should take it on the festive day fixed to get rid of all menstrual disorders and despondency in sterile women. This herb is said to fulfill the craving for sterile women for motherhood.

Medicinal Properties:

The Ayurvedic physicians like Charakadatta have recommended the bark of the Asoka plant in bloody leucorrhoea and also in the suppression and retention of the urine. Surprisingly Charaka, Sushrutha and Rajnirghanta have not mentioned the value of this herb in their writings in its ability to cure leucorrhoea. Charaka has in fact placed it in the list of insipid remedies, which is quite surprising.

But, the modern day Ayurvedic pharmacy is full of remedies containing Asoka Cordial, Asoka Ghrita, Asokarishta and similar preparations for the uterine complaints, ranging from leucorrhoea, menstrual disorders and sterility.

The Homoeopathic Physicians have proved it and have found it useful in correcting menstrual disorders, leucorrhoea, menstrual colic pain, and in symptoms suggestive of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.

Allopathic research has found that the bark of the Asoka tree has Tannins, Catechins, and organic substances containing iron. No alkaloids or essential oils were found during the research.

Conclusion:

The extract from the bark of the Asoka tree has found its place in uterine ailments. It is useful both when the menstrual flow is excessive and uncontrollable and also whenever there is a reduction of the menstrual flow.

It is also useful in complaints of females occurring during menopause.

This remedy is also useful to control bleeding piles when the patient experiences stiffness in the back and suffers from constipation.

ST. JOHN’S WORT EXTRACT – A HERB FOR FIGHTING DEPRESSION.

Introduction:

The twentieth century and the new millennium have seen tremendous strides of science.  It has also seen a population explosion and with it several new disease entities.  Among the diseases that plague this era, is  ‘Mental Depression’.  Mental depression is the cause of many suicides, a lot of morbidity, loss of precious man-hours in industry and a drain on already over-stretched medical resources.

Mental depression is an under-recognized aspect of Medicine.  Off late, Physiologists have understood the biochemical mechanisms in the brain and more information on the neurotransmitters in the brain have resulted in the development of newer classes of Anti-depressive remedies.  We have today come a long way away from Valium           (Diazepam) and there are several allopathic medications for combating depression. But, the allopathic medications are not without their undesirable side effects, prohibitive cost and addictive potential.  At the same time there have been few proven herbal or holistic medications, which have been investigated and proven useful in depression.

St. John’s Wort Extract is useful in depression:

WORT is an old English word for ‘plant’ and this plant is dedicated to St. John, the Baptist, because this herb blooms every year on his birthday, which falls on June 24th.  This plant is known for centuries, and has been used for healing by various cultures.

The Chemical composition of the St. John’s Wort:

This herb has complex diverse, chemicals such as Hyperforins, xanthones, flavonoids, hypercins and other dianthrones.

HYPERFORINS are modulators of monoamine oxidase inhibitors in the brain and thereby act as mood enhancers.  Hyperforins also exhibit potent anti-microbial activity and help in healing wounds.

XANTHONES have Serotonin boosting properties and thus decrease the Serotonin degradation and this helps in increasing feelings of happiness or pleasure.

Flavinoids act as antioxidants and exhibit anti-inflammatory properties and have anti-viral properties and this helps to bolster the immune system.

DIANTHRONES help fight viruses.

EMBELICA OFFICINALIS is a component that has anti-oxidant and cardiac tonic properties.

Indications for the St. John’s Wort extract:

  • Mild to moderate depression
  • Seasonal affective disorders, where subjects feel depressed during particular seasons.
  • Mood regulation
  • As an Immune system enhancer, antioxidant and wound healing, especially in old age.

Safety of the St. John’s Wort Extract:

This remedy is generally safe and does not interact with other medications and does not have undesirable side effects like other allopathic anti-depressants, some of which cause dryness in the mouth and even some cardiac toxicity.

Precautions:

  • It should not be used in pregnant or lactating mothers.
  • It should not be given to those taking anti-depressant medications.
  • It should not be used in patients who show an increased sensitivity to sunlight, because this herb causes a darkening of the skin.

Conclusion:

The St. John’s Wort is not the ultimate panacea for mental depression.  Although, this herb is holistic in nature, it should be combined judiciously with Yoga, Pranayama, Mental relaxation techniques and proper counseling.

Wheat grass therapy.

“To the uninformed, naturopathic medicine, as well as the entire concept of natural medicine, appears to be a fad that will soon pass away. To the informed, however, it is quite clear that naturopathic medicine is at the forefront of the future.”

-Michael Murray, N.D.

Introduction:

Dr. Ann Wigmore from the Hippocrates Institute, Boston popularized Wheat Grass therapy. Many leading Naturopaths consider wheat grass to be a panacea on the earth.

Wheat grass is a humble weed that is a powerhouse of nutrients and vitamins for the human body. In the form of fresh juice, it has high concentrations of chlorophyll, active enzymes, vitamins and other nutrients. According to Dr. Preety Agarwal a famous Alternate therapist, one ounce of wheat grass juice is equivalent in food value to two and a half pounds of green leafy vegetables.

Chemical composition of wheat grass:

Wheat grass is also called as “Green Blood” because its close structural similarity to Hemoglobin.  Wheat grass contains many nutritious and prophylactic ingredients.  It is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, B, E, K, Laetrile (Vitamin B17 – which has a marked anti-cancer effect) and several useful enzymes.

Clinical uses of Wheat Grass:

Dr. Ann Wigmore found Wheat grass useful in as many as 350 diseases.

Heart and Cardio-vascular system.

  • Anaemia
  • High Blood pressure
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Internal hemorrhage

Respiratory System.

  • Common cold
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis

Digestive system.

  • Constipation
  • Dyspepsia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Peptic ulcer disease
  • Diabetes
  • Worm infestations

Teeth and gums.

  • Caries
  • Septic gums
  • Bleeding gums

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Joints.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis

Brain and Nervous system.

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Weakness
  • Headaches

Skin diseases.

  • Eczema,
  • Pimples
  • Boils
  • Burns

Wheat grass therapy has also been used with great success in kidney, ear diseases and in several cancers.

How is Wheat Grass administered?

Wheat grass can be grown at home and small shallow pots. The wheat has to be sprouted first prior to sowing it.  For a normal person about 100 grams of wheat grass per day are quite adequate to maintain positive health. Wheat grass can be chewed or drunk as a juice and it can also be administered as an enema.  It is very important to note that the juice must be consumed as soon as it is extracted; otherwise the vital elements in the juice will lose its efficacy.

Conclusion:

During the last ten or twenty years there has been a tremendous explosion of information in the scientific literature to support the use of natural medicine.

Wheat grass therapy teaches that is that it is nature, which cures the patient and not the physician. With the progress of civilization, we are perhaps violating the laws of nature and that is why there is an increase in disease.  To be optimally effective, Wheat Grass Therapy must be combined with exercise, a stress free life and proper diet.

STRESS CAN CAUSE MANY DISEASES.

Introduction:

The twentieth century has indeed had a western beginning, with great strides in Science and technology, but with the urbanization and over crowding, we have created a stressful and a non-spiritual environment around ourselves and are paying a very heavy price.

Mental stress is today incriminated in several diseases. To enumerate a few;

A)  Endocrine organs

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Menstrual disorders.

B)  Skin and Connective tissue disorders

  • Warts
  • Neuro- dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Lichen Planus
  • Eczema

C)  Lungs

  • Allergic bronchitis
  • Bronchial Asthma

D)  Gastro intestinal tract

  • Peptic ulcer disease
  • Non ulcer dyspepsia
  • Aerophagia
  • Bulimia
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Aggravation of Ulcerative Colitis

E)  Heart diseases

  • Hypertension
  • Cardiac Neurosis
  • Dysrhythmias
  • Tachycardia
  • Can precipitate a Myocardial Infarction in a patient with Ischemic Heart Disease

F)  Psychological

  • Lack of confidence
  • Phobias
  • Hysteria
  • Insomnia
  • Addiction to tobacco, alcohol and drugs
  • Psychosomatic disorders.

How Stress harms the body:

Stress causes an accumulation of Carbon Dioxide within the body rendering it low in the oxygen content.  It can make the brain dull, through a neurotransmitter pathway and result in mental depression, emotional conflict and fear.  Stress makes the breathing shallow and the heart rate faster.  Prolonged Mental stress enhances the aging process and possibly shortens the life span.  Stress definitely elevates the blood pressure.  Stress has an adverse metabolic effect on the Blood sugar and lipid profile levels. Stress promotes the increase in lactic acid and enhances fatigue.  Prolonged Mental Stress definitely reduces the body immunity.  Stress is also seen to derange the normal healthy body aura. (Kirlian photography can see as).

Conclusion:

Controversial as it may seem. The solution to this problem lies in changing the entire world order of greed and materialism. This is possible only, if we incorporated spiritual values in our lives and live a life or truth, love, peace and non-violence.

TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE.

Introduction:

The world is getting complicated and technical and many persons are looking outside the world of Orthodox Medicine for ways of making their lives simpler and healthier. In recent times, many Chinese traditions have become popular in the west and one of them is the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a system that has been popular in China for over 2,500 years.

The idea of a Chinese system of medicine, evokes mixed reactions, one of disgust and one of sheer curiosity. Many people are disgusted at the thought of eating powdered extracts of insects, crocodile’s teeth or a hippo’s horn and so forth.  But Chinese medicine is different from Orthodox Medicine, which tends to view human beings like machines – different organs made of lots of tiny pieces and it is believed that sickness results from a breakages of any of the organs and Orthodox Medicine specialists treat sickness by specifically targeting the broken pieces with medication or surgery.  Conventional Medicine works at a smaller and a specific level, it sometimes forgets that sickness affects the whole person.

How does Traditional Chinese Medicine work?

TCM has a very different approach. Practitioners of Chinese Medicine believe in treating the whole person. They see the whole body as a structure made of energy (‘qi’) that flows through the body in distinct pathways or meridians.  Whenever this energy is blocked or goes out of balance, sickness is the result.  A TCM practitioner looks at many more factors than conventional doctors. For example, they differentiate the pulse of the right arm and the left arm and take the pulse in three different positions on each arm.  Once, they have assessed all the symptoms, they prescribe a treatment that restores the energy balance across the body, rather than treating one specific area.

Famous TCM treatments:

Acupuncture is one method of affecting the flow of ‘qi’. The idea is that the needles can make contact with the meridians running through the body and restore the ‘qi’ or the energy balance. TCM practitioners believe that they can remove blocks in the energy flow or even drain out the negative energy flow and strengthen the positive energy flow.

Herbal medicine is another aspect of TCM and a typical prescription consists of a combination of ten herbs and minerals brewed as tea.

The famous Chinese philosophy is, “One disease, many formulas, one formula, may diseases”. A single illness can be treated with different prescription, while any single prescription can treat lots of different illness because they contain so many herbs and minerals.

Conclusion:

TCM is extremely popular in the west and it is being extensively being researched. In India, we are familiar with Acupuncture, but we hardly know anything about the wonderful Chinese Herbs.