Jan 092020

As per various sources, Ayurveda was started around 6000 BCE; however, according to other concepts, Ayurveda has existing since Indus valley civilization. In Indian Vedas, Ayurveda has been recorded a medical text as a health care tradition.

Ayurveda is one of the worlds’ ancient holistic medical therapy for the whole body. Which has a deep belief that a healthy body and wellness depend on a balance between body, mind, and soul? Ayurveda believes that all things are composed of five basic elements: — earth, fire, space, water, and air, which are known as “doshas.”

According to the Vedas, the human body has been divided between three-part:

  1. Vata doshas: A combination of air and space
  2. Pitta doshas: A combination of fire and water.
  3. Kapha dosha: A combination of water and earth.

Read full article here: https://indianvaidyas.com/articles_details/what-is-ayurveda

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Oct 272019

The Mediterranean diet is one style of eating that has proven its validity and benefits study after study. The Mediterranean diet is one of the most studied diets in modern nutrition and it’s health benefits appear to stretch across all populations and health concerns.

One of the biggest questions I get asked by clients is what is the best diet to eat. Firstly I don’t like to encourage people to assign themselves to one particular diet and feel that they have to a there to this, otherwise they are failing. I am all about eating what is intuitively right for your body type. As much as people say that they love junk foods and processed foods, I find it hard to believe that if these people stopped and listened to their bodies, they would know that these types of foods are not what their bodies are asking for.

Having said that, I am going to give you the rundown on the Mediterranean diet so that you can see why it is so good for you, and how you can take inspiration from it. Over the next few blog posts, I will also give my opinion on other ‘diets’ and why they are beneficial. From this, you can really pick and choose what style of eating appeals to you most and be confident that you are eating for optimal health.

The Mediterranean diet draws upon the culinary practices of southern Europe, North Africa, and the Mediterranean Middle East, all areas where food is prepared to be savoured and enjoyed, not rushed. Taking the time to sit and eat with family and friends is considered to be just as important as the food.

Researchers found that people eating a Mediterranean diet were exceptionally healthy and had a low risk of many lifestyle diseases. The Mediterranean diet can cause weight loss and help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes and premature death. Recent studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial to gut health as it supports beneficial bacteria and reduces inflammation.

There is no one right way to follow the Mediterranean diet, as there are many countries around the Mediterranean sea and people in different areas may have eaten different foods.

The diet is primarily plant-based with small portions of healthy proteins and fats. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and herbs make up the foundation of this diet’s “pyramid,” and every meal is centred around them. Fish is eaten at least twice a week, while poultry, eggs, and dairy are eaten less often, perhaps just a few days a week. Meats and sweets are eaten in moderation. Healthy fats, like olive oil, should be used in place of others, like butter and vegetable oil. And red wine can even be enjoyed in moderate amounts. 

The Mediterranean diet is not only good for your health, but it is also good for the plants. The reduction in animal-based foods reduce our environmental footprint, and, food is more likely to be locally sourced and eaten in season. By doing this, food transportation is reduced and local farmers are supported. 


Eat These Foods

  • Eat Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, bread, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Eat-in moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese and yoghurt.
  • Eat only rarely: Red meat.
  • Don’t eat Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.

Avoid These Foods

  • Added sugar: Soda, candies, ice cream, table sugar and many others.
  • Refined grains: White bread, pasta made with refined wheat, etc.
  • Trans fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods.
  • Refined oils: Soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil and others.
  • Processed meat: Processed sausages, hot dogs, etc.
  • Highly processed foods: Anything labelled “low-fat” or “diet” or which looks like it was made in a factory.

What to Drink

  • Water always should be your main beverage of choice. Choose from spring or sparkling water. Flavour it up with some lemon wedges and fresh mint.
  • Red wine is a big feature of this diet, with 1 glass a day being enjoyed for its potent antioxidant content.
  • Tea and coffee are also drunk but generally taken black, with no milk or sugar.

A simple menu plan for a day might look something like this –

Breakfast – Oats with fresh berries and Goat’s milk yoghurt. Black coffee

Lunch – Fresh salad with seasonal produce, topped with Feta, sunflower seeds and olive oil dressing. Slice of crusty sourdough bread.

Dinner – Chicken cacciatoire served on a bed of quinoa.

Snacks – 1 piece of fresh seasonal fruit, 1/4 cup nuts or olives.

Recipe Inspiration

Lamb Kofta with Zucchini Spirals

Crispy Chickpea Salad

Warm Zucchini and Tuna Salad

Green Goji Salad

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Oct 142019

It might be irritating to wake up early in the Diwali vacations just to take a bath. But this bath has a special significance in Diwali as it is considered as a holy bath during Diwali. According to early ancient mythology, Narak Chaturdashi implies the victory of good over evil. And thus, this early morning bath signifies the elimination of evil within us. It is also believed that since Abhyanga Snan is taken before the sunrise, it is as pure as bathing in the River Ganga.

Importance of Abhyanga Snan in Diwali

Here’s how to perform the ritual:

  • Wake up early in the morning (before sunrise).
  • Massage your entire body with sesame or any ayurvedic oil.
  • Also, apply a few drops of oil on the scalp and massage your head.
  • Keep massaging and wait for around 30 minutes before you go for a bath so that the oil is absorbed by the body.
  • Before bathing, apply Ubtan (a powdered mix of Ayurvedic herbs and natural ingredients) and massage it thoroughly over the entire body.
  • Scrub it and rinse with water properly so that the mixture is washed off.
  • Now, bathe as you usually do.

As it includes a full body massage with ayurvedic oil and in some regions, a special ayurvedic herbal soap is used for bathing. However, many people use sesame oil, sandalwood oil, coconut oil and then scrubbing the body with Ubtan. Ubtan consists of besan, turmeric oil, and sandalwood powder. As Abhyanga Snan is an ancient ayurvedic therapy that is said to be the most beneficial for health, it leads to an increase in Sattva Guna and decreases Rajas and Tamas. During the days of Diwali, an Abhyanga Snan reaps 6% more benefits than the other days.

Winter is the season where the body runs out of moisture. Abhyanga Snan moisturizes the body and helps in the flow of blood circulation with tightening the muscles, lubricating the joints, eliminating the toxins from the body & boosting up the stamina. The Ubtan helps in healing the damaged or dull skin, shedding the dead skin; ultimately resulting in soft, smooth & glowing skin. The head massage with warm oil relieves you from stress & calms your mind. It also stimulates the hair follicles which results in hair growth. It also stimulates the nerves, prevents neurological problems and relaxes the mind and soul.

With this holy & simple ritual, heal your complete body so that you can stay healthy for the entire year. Prepare yourself to welcome this festive season with Ayushakti’s proven ayurvedic therapies. Visit http://bit.ly/2Mp18Nn to know more and to book an appointment online. Find the nearest Ayushakti Clinic simply by searching ‘Ayushakti’ on Google! You may contact us on our toll-free numbers 18002663001 (India) & +18002800906 (Global) or email us at info@ayushakti.com for more details.

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Oct 142019

Diwali is the most auspicious festival celebrated by the Hindus across the Indian land. We clean & decorate our house, light it up with Diyas and many more. But every Diwali is incomplete without the special Diwali sweets and snacks. From scrumptious yet yummy Karanjis to Anarsas dipped in Ghee and spiral Chaklis, making sweets and savories that will probably be going to fulfill your sweet tooth.

Diwali is the most precious in the vision of Ayurveda as it is one of the festivals to nurture health & peace along with joy. In Ayurveda, one believes in maintaining the balance between health elements (Doshas)- Vata, Pitta & Kapha. Ayurveda recommends a properly balanced diet as the festival falls in between the seasonal change and therefore, a change in diet is necessary.

Celebrate Diwali With Healthy Snacks | Health Benefits Of Diwali Sweets

When it comes to Diwali diet, we need to make the snacks meant for celebrating the holy festival. It is also necessary because we need to perform the ‘Bhog‘ ritual when we worship Lord Ganesha during Laxmi Poojan. In Diwali, we mainly prepare sweet and fried food. During the winter season, the Vata gets aggravated which leads to cramps in joints, muscles. Hence, to relieve such pain, one should consume a lot of Ghee & oil in their diet to balance aggravated Vata. Ghee or oil in sweets acts as a lubricant to provide nourishment to the bones and helps in maintaining Vata in the body.

Every snack in Diwali is made with Ghee as it not only helps in nourishing the bones but also aids in proper digestion of food, strengthens the sensory organs, detoxifies & rejuvenates the body, improves the immune system, memory & vitality. Along with the Ghee, cane sugar has its benefits that increase seminal fluids and helps in regulating Pitta & Vata. Wheat & Rava used in sweets strengthens the tissues & energizes the body.

This Diwali, nourish your body with the richness of Diwali sweets and get blessed with good health. Happy Diwali!

Prepare yourself to welcome this festive season with Ayushakti’s proven ayurvedic therapies. Visit http://bit.ly/2Mp18Nn to know more and to book an appointment online. Find the nearest Ayushakti Clinic simply by searching ‘Ayushakti’ on Google! You may contact us on our toll-free numbers 18002663001 (India) & +18002800906 (Global) or email us at info@ayushakti.com for more details.

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Sep 272019

  • What are the benefits of ghee?
  • Is ghee fattening for you or is it a source of good fat?
  • How much of ghee should one have; how much is too much?
  • What happens if you eat too much ghee?
  • What should ghee be eaten with/what works with ghee and what doesn’t?
  • Is ghee good for cough and cold, heart health and digestion?

Benefits of Ghee:

  • Reduces the vitiated piita and body vata
  • Beneficial for all the dhatus-each and every cellular level
  • Reduces heat, burns ,softens the cells lubricates and nourishes mind and body
  • Improves the functions of the body
  • Improves speech, skin, eyesight, strength of mind and body, intellect
  • Improves fertility, strength and vigor
  • It reduces ageing, degeneration of body cells
  • Improves digestive fire, metabolism
  • Beneficial for all age group

Is Ghee Fattening For You Or Is It A Source Of Good Fat?

  • Vitamin A helps in cellular growth, healthy teeth as well as improving bone health
  • Vitamin D improves calcium absorption and can help preventing body inflammation
  • Vitamin E enhances wound healing processes and also helps the immune system
  • Vitamin K helps in regulating blood-clotting activities
  • Vitamin A, it is good for the eyes. The Vitamin A helps the eyes in adjusting to light changes. In fact, the moistness in the eyes depends on the presence of vitamin A in your body
  • Ghee contains rich in omega-6 fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid (CLA),which is found to be helpful in different heart-related risks. Reducing body fat levels and having good results on the glycemic profile
  • Source of short chain fatty acids,Studies of ghee nutrition show that is naturally rich in butyric acid which makes it an immune building agent
  • Gastric juice contains enzymes that help breaking down
  • Membranes have fats or phospholipids in them,By consuming essential fats found in ghee, you can ensure good INNER AND EXTERNAL MEMBRANE

How much of ghee should one have; how much is too much?
One should consume ghee according to one digestive capacity Person of vata pand pitta prakruti can consume more ghee than a person of kapha prakruti or constitution.

> What happens if you eat too much ghee?

If one consumes ghee more than ones digestion it will lead to indigestion Excess ghee consumption-excess thirst, nausea, vomiting. Lethargy,flatulence,fever,stiffness,skin issue,itching,swelling,piles,loss of sensation, lack of feeling of hunger. It can increase pain, swelling when consumed excessively.

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Jul 152019

Written and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor

How to Make a Soothing Calendula Poultice


Herbal poultices are simple, traditional remedies used topically on the skin to relieve pain, infection, and swelling. They are water-based, which makes them especially choice when oil-based remedies (that hold in moisture and heat) are contraindicated. Herbal oils and salves shouldn’t be applied to weepy skin conditions or bacterial and fungal skin infections because they can hold in moisture and reduce airflow. Additionally, I find that herbal poultices are often more effective topical remedies than oil-based herbal preparations, simply because poultices are more concentrated, as they contain plenty of fresh herbal material.

In general, herbal poultices are beneficial for poison ivy rashes, weepy eczema, hives, insect bites, psoriasis, pimples, boils, fresh sunburns, and fungal and bacterial skin infections. The specific herbs used affect the exact medicinal properties of each poultice.


Ingredients for a soothing herbal poultice: calendula flowers, plantain, violet leaves, clay, water, and essential oils

Ingredients for a soothing herbal poultice: calendula flowers, plantain, violet leaves, clay, water, and essential oils


Poultices are prepared by blending therapeutic plants (fresh or dried) into a green slurry or paste, after which they are applied directly to an afflicted area. The slurry is then covered with a clean, dry cloth or bandaging material, depending on the size of the area being treated. Adding a binder such as clay makes the poultice easier to apply and helps it stay put. Clay has its own skin-healing benefits as well and is especially helpful for drying weepy skin conditions such as poison ivy.

As you might surmise, poultices can be a messy business. A tamer version involves wrapping the moistened herbal material into a loose-weave, permeable cloth and placing it on the area to be treated. The most primitive version of a poultice is the aptly named chew and spit poultice, which is applied, as you might imagine, solely on one’s own body.


Place poultice ingredients in a food processor or blender

Herbal poultice ingredients are placed in a food processor and blended until the mixture has a pesto-like consistency


Below, you’ll find one of my favorite poultice recipes. Take note that this recipe uses fresh herbs. If you’re working with dried herbs, bring a small amount of water to a boil, turn off the heat, and add a sufficient amount of the dried herbs until the herbs rehydrate and forms into a thick paste. Stir and let cool for comfort of application.

Soothing herbal poultice-

Soothing Herbal Poultice Recipe

This cooling and moistening poultice is helpful for dry, irritated skin conditions such as psoriasis, rashes, chicken pox, and chafed skin. It can also be used to soothe insect bites, mild abrasions, cuts, and scrapes. The combination of herbs provides a soothing blend of healing properties that are demulcent, anti-inflammatory, and vulnerary (wound-healing).

  • 1 handful fresh calendula flowers (Calendula officinalis)
  • 1 heaping handful fresh violet leaves (Viola sororia and V. odorata)
  • 1 heaping handful fresh plantain leaves (Plantago spp.)
  • 4 to 6 ounces very hot water (not boiling hot)
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered clay
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia), optional

Yield: About 2 cups

Using a food processor or a blender, combine four ounces of hot water with all other ingredients until the poultice is smooth, with the consistency of pesto. You may need to add more herbs, clay, or water to achieve the desired consistency. Refrigerate for up to three days, and apply as needed. If using dried herbs, substitute ¼ cup (60 ml) of the dried herb for one handful of fresh herb.

Meet the Green Mastermind Behind Blog Castanea:

JULIET BLANKESPOOR founded the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine in 2007 and serves as the school’s primary instructor and Creative Director. She's been a professional plant-human matchmaker for close to three decades. Juliet caught the plant bug when she was nineteen and went on to earn a degree in Botany. She's owned just about every type of herbal business you can imagine: an herbal nursery, a medicinal products business, a clinical practice, and now, an herbal school.

These days, she channels her botanical obsession with her writing and photography in her online programs and here on her personal blog, Castanea. She's writing her first book: Cultivating Medicinal Herbs: Grow, Harvest, and Prepare Handcrafted Remedies from Your Home Garden. Juliet and her houseplants share a home with her family and herb books in Asheville, North Carolina.

Want to take a deeper dive into medicinal herbs and their uses?

Our 1,000-hour Herbal Immersion Program is the most comprehensive handcrafted online herbal course available, covering botany, foraging, herb cultivation, medicine making, and therapeutics.


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Jun 262019

Written and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor

Calendula’s sunny blooms are an external remedy for practically every manner of skin complaint. The flowers are used topically as a wound healing, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory herb. For optimal strength, be sure you’re using the whole flower—including the green flower base—instead of the “petals” only (the herb is sometimes sold this way). Calendula-infused oils and salves are some of my favorite topical applications for soothing and repairing the skin—see my recipes below.

Calendula is also an edible flower, a cheerful garden medicinal, and an internal remedy for the digestive and lymphatic systems. Take a peek at our article on Growing and Using Calendula for more on this plant’s floral intrigue. It’s incredibly easy to grow your own calendula, and it’s one of the most beautiful medicinals for the garden.

A fresh bouquet of calendula (Calendula officinalis)

A fresh bouquet of calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Calendula’s Skin-Healing Benefits:

  • Rashes
  • Stings
  • Wounds
  • Burns
  • Sunburns
  • Abrasions
  • Swellings
  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Insect bites
  • Scrapes
  • Bruises
  • Chicken pox
  • Cold sores
  • Cracked nipples from nursing
  • Bacterial vaginosis (douche)
  • Yeast infections (douche)
  • Cervical dysplasia (douche)
  • Postpartum perineal tears (sitz bath)

Calendula’s Herbal Actions:

  • Vulnerary (wound-healing)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antifungal


Safety and Contraindications: Do not use calendula internally during pregnancy since it has traditionally been used to bring on menses. As calendula is in the aster family, it may cause a reaction for people who are highly sensitive to plants like ragweed (Ambrosia spp.) and chamomile (Matricaria recutita); this possibility is rare, but sensitive individuals should proceed with caution when using calendula for the first time. Rare incidences of allergic contact dermatitis have occurred with the topical use of calendula.

How to Make Herbal-Infused Oils

Herbal oils are made by infusing plants into high-quality oils that have a long shelf life and readily dissolve into the skin. I typically use extra-virgin olive oil. If your oil is for massage or broad application, consider using sesame, sunflower, coconut, jojoba, or sweet almond oil. Look for oils that are unrefined and cold-pressed or expeller-pressed. Preparing herbal oils is quite easy, especially if you follow a few basic guidelines (see our recipe below).

After preparing an herbal-infused oil, you may then use it as a stand-alone oil or transform it into an herbal salve by adding beeswax or carnauba wax (a vegan alternative), and other optional amendments like essential oils and vitamin E.

In general, herbal salves are beneficial for soothing skin irritations, dryness, and inflammation. We share our recipe for Calendula Salve below.

As mentioned previously, take care that you use the whole dried flowers when making oils and salves, as calendula’s medicinal resinous oils are found mostly in the involucres (green bases of the flower heads). Sometimes calendula is sold as “petals” only; this is a weaker medicine for topical use.

When to Use Water-Based Applications Versus Infused Oils and Salves:

In certain situations, the application of herbal oils and salves is not recommended. Oils and salves hold in moisture and heat and are thus contraindicated in weepy skin conditions, infections, and fresh burns.

Avoid the use of oils and salves on poison ivy rashes, weepy eczema, pimples, boils, fresh sunburn, and fungal and bacterial skin infections. Another contraindication includes deep wounds and cuts. Instead of oil-based preparations, use water-based applications such as herbal compresses, soaks, baths, and poultices. Also note that if oils are used as a sexual lubricant, they can degrade and break most condoms.


Infused Calendula Oil

This is a wonderful all-purpose herbal oil. It can be used as a base for salves or prepared into a cream or lotion. Combine it with other skin-healing herbs for a soothing anti-inflammatory and wound-healing remedy. I keep calendula oil stocked in my refrigerator, as it’s a handy stand-alone remedy. I like to combine the flowers with plantain (Plantago spp.), chickweed (Stellaria media), Saint John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), and violet (Viola sororia and others), but calendula oil can just as easily stand on its own as a versatile skin-healing preparation.

  • 1 cup whole dried calendula flowers (Calendula officinalis), or combination of herbs mentioned above (equaling to 1 cup)
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or substitute jojoba or almond oil)

Yield: ¾ cup (360 ml)

Note: You can double or triple this recipe by following the same proportions outlined above: 1 part herb (or combination of herbs) by volume to 1 part oil by volume.


Step 1: Dry your herbs. If you're using homegrown or gathered herbs, gather your plant material and dry thoroughly. If purchasing dried herbs, make sure they are fresh and high quality. It’s important to remember that oil can ferment or mold in the presence of water. If you are new to preparing medicinal oils, I recommend using dried herbs rather than fresh herbs. You’ll also want to make sure all your tools are completely clean and dry.

Step 1: Gather and dry your herbs

Step 1: Gather and dry your herbs


Step 2: Combine the whole dried flowers with your oil of choice in a blender, food processor, or Vitamix and aim for a thick, pesto-like consistency (see the photo in Step 3 for an idea of the desired texture). This increases the surface area of the herb(s), leading to a stronger oil (concentrated). 

Step 2: Measure out your herb(s) and add to blender or food processor

Step 2: Measure out your herb(s) and add to blender or food processor

Step 2: Add your oil to the herb(s)

Step 2: Add your oil to the herb(s)


Step 3: Heat the herb/oil mixture in a double boiler for four to eight hours. You can improvise a double boiler by nesting two pots together or placing mason jar bands upside down in a saucepan filled with water. The trick is to nest one pan (for your herbs and oil) inside the other (filled with water) without the bottoms touching. Heat slowly and keep on low heat for four to eight hours. Try not to let the oil get hotter than 110°F, or 43.3°C (a little warmer than bath water). Watch closely to make sure the water does not completely evaporate and the oil does not get too hot. You do not want deep-fried herbs!

Step 3: Add your herbal slurry to a double boiler

Step 3: Add your herbal slurry to a double boiler


Step 4: Strain your oil. After your oil has infused for four to eight hours, strain it into a glass jar or measuring cup using a muslin cloth, fine-weave cloth or cheesecloth. If the oil is slightly warm, it will be easier to strain. Place the cloth in a stainless-steel or ceramic strainer and pour in the oil/herb slurry. After the oil ceases to run through the cloth, wring out the herbal material with clean, dry hands or press with a potato ricer.

Step 4: After the herbal material has infused, strain and wring with a cloth

Step 4: After the herbal material has infused, strain and wring with a cloth

Step 4: After the herbal material has infused, strain and wring with a cloth


Step 5: Label and store. Make a label and cap your oil when it cools to room temperature (this prevents condensation from developing inside the jar). Herbal-infused oils will typically last two to three years when refrigerated and one year unrefrigerated, depending on the stability of the oil used.

Notes on preparing herbal oils with the stovetop method

I’ve found that in the case of infused oils, it’s beneficial to use a little bit of heat to extract medicine from herbs. This is because oil isn’t the strongest solvent and makes for weaker medicine than other solvents like water, vinegar, or alcohol. Heat is especially helpful for melting and extracting resin into oils.

As mentioned earlier, much of calendula’s healing properties come from the resin, which is concentrated in the undersides of the flowerheads. To prepare the strongest possible oil, you’ll want to optimally extract the resin with heat. Thus, I recommend using a stovetop method for preparing your infused oil.

How to Make an Herbal Salve with Calendula

I always keep a healing salve on hand in my apothecary. Thicker than an infused oil, this remedy has extra staying power that’s amplified by the moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties of beeswax.

  • 4 oz infused calendula oil (Calendula officinalis) by volume
  • 1 oz grated or beaded beeswax (substitute carnauba wax for a vegan salve) by volume
  • Vitamin E oil, optional (For every 5 ounces of salve, add 1 capsule of vitamin E oil, or a ¼ teaspoon of liquid vitamin E oil.)
  • Salve jars (enough for 5 ounces total)

Yield: 5 oz


Step 1: Measure out your oil, and then bring it slowly up to 110°F (43.3°C) in a double boiler (see notes in the Infused Oil Recipe above on fashioning an improvised double boiler).

Step 1: Measure out the herbal infused oil and add it to a double boiler

Step 1: Measure out the herbal infused oil and add it to a double boiler


Step 2: For every 4 fluid ounces of oil, add 1 ounce of grated or beaded beeswax, by volume. (Beeswax beads are also sold as beeswax pellets or pastilles.) Depending on the size of your beeswax shavings or beads, these proportions will yield a salve with a soft consistency. It’s easy enough to adjust the texture by adding more beeswax or more oil. Keep in mind that harder salves will be less likely to melt in a hot car or bag but will be more difficult to apply.

Step 2: Add the grated beeswax to the warm oil

Step 2: Add the grated beeswax to the warm oil


Step 3: Completely dissolve the beeswax into the oil. To test the consistency of your salve, place a spoonful of the mixture in the freezer for two minutes, pull it out, let it come to room temperature, and test its hardness. If it’s too soft, add more beeswax. If it’s too hard, add a little more of the infused oil.

Step 4: Label and store. Vitamin E is often added to salve (right before it’s poured into jars) as an antioxidant to prevent rancidity as well as for its own skin-healing attributes. This is also when you would add any essential oils at the proper dilution rate. While your salve is still warm, pour it into jars, label the contents, and allow it to cool before capping. Salves typically last one to three years unrefrigerated. Refrigeration is not necessary but prolongs the shelf life.

Step 4: Pour the salve into jars

Step 4: Pour the salve into jars

Meet the Green Mastermind Behind Blog Castanea:

JULIET BLANKESPOOR founded the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine in 2007 and serves as the school’s primary instructor and Creative Director. She's been a professional plant-human matchmaker for close to three decades. Juliet caught the plant bug when she was nineteen and went on to earn a degree in Botany. She's owned just about every type of herbal business you can imagine: an herbal nursery, a medicinal products business, a clinical practice, and now, an herbal school.

These days, she channels her botanical obsession with her writing and photography in her online programs and here on her personal blog, Castanea. She's writing her first book: Cultivating Medicinal Herbs: Grow, Harvest, and Prepare Handcrafted Remedies from Your Home Garden. Juliet and her houseplants share a home with her family and herb books in Asheville, North Carolina.

Want to take a deeper dive into medicinal herb cultivation?

Our 1,000-hour Herbal Immersion Program is the most comprehensive handcrafted online herbal course available, covering botany, foraging, herb cultivation, medicine making, and therapeutics.


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Jun 172019

Written and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor

This article was originally written for Mother Earth Living magazine and is published here with permission from the publisher. Mother Earth Living is an American bimonthly magazine about sustainable homes and lifestyle.

The Healing Benefits of Gotu Kola: An Edible and Medicinal Herb

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica, Apiaceae) has been a legendary herb in India and China for over two thousand years, where it’s considered to be one of the best herbs for promoting clarity, focus, and a peaceful, calm nature.

Gotu kola is both a medicinal herb and a food plant. I’m especially fond of the botanicals that are food-herbs for several reasons: one, they’re generally the safest remedies, and two, there are countless ways you can ingest them. You can take gotu kola as a tea, a tincture, or in capsules, and if you’re a culinary creative, try sneaking the herb into broths, vinegars, smoothies, and vegetable juices.

Also called brahmi, gotu kola is one of the easiest tonic herbs to grow, in the garden or in containers. Take note that there is another plant called brahmi: Bacopa monnieri is a low-growing wetland herb in the plantain family (Plantaginaceae), which also goes by the name water hyssop; it has some overlapping uses with gotu kola. This has resulted in copious confusion in the scientific and herbal literature and in commerce. Herbalists debate how their uses differ and overlap. Both are used to increase focus and mental clarity.

If you purchase gotu kola, be sure to double check the scientific name—you’re looking for Centella asiatica.

Gotu kola growing in a broad, shallow pot

Gotu kola growing in a broad, shallow pot

Medicinal Benefits of Gotu Kola

Parts Used:  Leaves; may include small amounts of stem, flower, and fruit

Medicinal Preparations: Tea, tincture, infused oil, garnish, infused ghee, broth, green smoothie, fresh juice, compress, poultice

Tincture ratios and dosage: Fresh leaves 1:2 95%; dried leaves 1:5 50%. Both preparations 2–5 ml (½ to 1 teaspoon) three times a day

Infusion ratios and dosage: 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) of the cut and sifted dried leaves infused in 1 cup (240 ml) of boiling water three times a day

Herbal Actions:

  • Nervine
  • Antianxiety
  • Secondary adaptogen
  • Antioxidant
  • Alterative
  • Vulnerary (promotes wound healing)
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Diuretic

Medicinal Uses: This low-growing member of the carrot family, also known as brahmi or mandukaparni (Sanskrit), is a tonic remedy for assuaging memory loss, stress, worry, and foggy thinking.1In Ayurvedic medicine—the ancient healing system of India—gotu kola is used to increase memory, concentration, and comprehension. In the Himalayas, yogis use gotu kola as an aid for meditation.

Folklore tells us that daily ingestion of gotu kola keeps the mind fresh and promotes longevity and vitality. In Southeast Asia, gotu kola has long been credited as the source of elephants’ long life spans and exceptional memories.

In addition to its effects on the brain, contemporary herbalists use gotu kola as a wound healer, diuretic, antioxidant, nerve tonic, and antibacterial remedy.

Close-up of gotu kola leaves

Close-up of gotu kola leaves


An Herb to Promote Relaxation and Alertness

Natural healers and researchers debate whether gotu kola is a true adaptogen (a tonic herb that helps balance the body by supporting its ability to deal with physical and emotional stress). Tonic herbs are traditionally taken on a daily basis over a long period of time, as opposed to herbs that are only used on an as-needed basis. In any case, gotu kola has a long tradition of use as a tonic herb for promoting longevity, vitality, and equanimity. I find it to be one of the most useful herbs to help people feel energized, alert, and relaxed. Gotu kola is one of the safest remedies for easing stress and anxiety. See the accompanying tea recipe for inspiration on combining gotu kola with similar tonic herbs.


A Traditional Remedy for Wounds and Injuries

Gotu kola has long been used to heal wounds, both internally and topically. Once famous for its use in treating leprosy in India, gotu kola is used today by herbalists to treat burns, minimize scarring, heal wounds, and promote tissue repair after injury or surgery. It appears to promote wound healing through its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial qualities, in addition to stimulating keratinization (an integral process of nail and hair growth) and epidermal repair (the epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin).2

One in vitro study which used an isolated constituent, asiaticoside, demonstrated the proliferation of fibroblasts, which are specialized cells responsible for producing and maintaining the structure of connective tissue. Fibroblasts are integral to wound healing.3

In my herbal practice, I use gotu kola to promote tissue repair after surgery or injury, such as sprains, bone breaks, bruising, burns, and wounds. In fact, it’s the primary herb I recommend for this purpose! Gotu kola has another benefit in this healing arena: its adaptogen-like qualities help with the emotional and physiological stress of physical trauma. Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is an herb that I frequently pair with gotu kola. Calendula flowers also promote tissue repair and support the lymphatic system in fighting infection.

In addition to its internal use in healing injuries, gotu kola is used topically, in the form of poultices, compresses, soaks, and infused oils (don’t use infused oils on fresh burns). A compress is the simplest preparation: prepare a concentrated tea, strain it, and soak a clean washcloth in the tea when it’s still warm. Apply the cloth to the affected area several times per day. The proportions of tea to water aren’t essential for this herb—simply make the tea about three times as strong as you would make a tea to drink.

Along with gotu kola’s wound-healing properties, it’s also applied topically to mollify a variety of skin conditions, including insect bites, seborrheic dermatitis, cold sores, eczema, psoriasis, and dry, irritated skin. I like to infuse the dry herb into sesame or coconut oil, which can be rubbed into the scalp to calm the mind, deepen sleep, and promote hair growth.4

Safety and Contraindications: Avoid gotu kola in pregnancy or when trying to conceive.5 A small number of people react to the topical use of the herb with dermatitis.6 Be sure to check with your health care provider before ingesting any new herb, paying special attention to any possible contraindications with medications.

Harvesting gotu kola with the hair-cut method

Harvesting gotu kola with the hair-cut method


Eating and Preparing Gotu Kola

Gotu kola is grown in southern Asia as a medicinal potherb and salad green. The fresh leaves are added to green drinks, which are sold as a health and energy tonic on the streets in many tropical Asian countries. The parsley-like flavor of juiced gotu kola pairs nicely with vegetable juices containing apples, ginger, lemon, and kale. Substitute concentrated gotu kola tea for the juice if you don’t have it growing fresh. An innovative way to incorporate gotu kola into the diet is to infuse the dried herb into herbal broths (see the accompanying herbal broth recipe).


Relaxation & Clarity Gotu Kola Tea Recipe

This blend is helpful for promoting relaxation throughout the day, as the herbs aren’t sedating and, instead, typically increase alertness. Tulsi, gotu kola, and milky oats are classic nerve tonics for assuaging anxiety, stress, and forgetfulness. Lemon verbena adds a splash of citrusy flavor and is a traditional remedy for imparting calm.

  •   3 Tablespoons dried milky oat tops (Avena sativa)*
  •   1½ Tablespoons tulsi, flowering herb (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
  •   1½ Tablespoons gotu kola, herb (Centella asiatica)
  •   2 teaspoons lemon verbena, herb (Aloysia citriodora)

Yield: 32 ounces (1 L)

Bring 32 ounces (1 L) of water to boil. Turn off the heat, add all the herbs, and cover for thirty minutes. Strain and enjoy warm or at room temperature. Sweeten with honey or maple syrup if desired. Drink 1 to 3 cups a day. The measurements in this blend are for dried, cut and sifted herbs (store-bought). If you’re using homegrown herbs, or fresh herbs, use larger quantities.

*If you can’t find milky oat tops, substitute oatstraw, which is simply a different part of the same plant.


Healing Herbal Broth Recipe

I help keep my family’s immune systems in tip-top shape by adding dried gotu kola to my herbal broths. This broth is high in minerals due to the seaweed and stinging nettles—fold it into chili and stews to add some of the nutritional benefits of leafy greens into the diets of picky eaters. The flavor of this broth is mild enough that you won’t notice the flavor of the herbs, especially if you add other classic stew ingredients, such as carrots, celery, or onion peels. The broth can also be used as a medicinal base for healing soups and stews when recuperating from injury, childbirth, or surgery. Since this broth is an all-day affair, start early in the morning on a day you’ll be at home, or use a slow cooker set to simmer.

  •   ½ cup gotu kola, herb (Centella asiatica)
  •   ½ cup calendula flowers (Calendula officinalis)
  •   ¼ cup astragalus root, cut and sifted (Astragalus propinquus)
  •   1 cup shiitake mushrooms, whole dried (Lentinula edodes)
  •   1 cup stinging nettles, herb (Urtica dioica)
  •   1 cup seaweed pieces, such as kombu, wakame, kelp, or alaria  

Yield: 1 gallon (4 L)

Add 1½ gallons (6 L) of water to a large stew pot. Add the astragalus, seaweed, nettles, and shiitake. If you’d like, add your classic stock ingredients at this time (see above). For those of you who prepare bone broth, go ahead and add the bones into the pot, alongside the herbs. Bring to a boil and simmer for four to six hours. Turn off the heat and add the calendula and gotu kola. Let steep for a half hour with the lid on and then strain, pressing out the plant material with a spoon and fine-meshed colander.

Use the stock as a base for soups, stews, chili, and marinades. Freeze any unused portions into large ice cubes, which are handy for adding a quick herbal boost to most any dish. The measurements in this blend are for dried, cut and sifted herbs (store-bought). If you’re using homegrown herbs, or fresh herbs, use larger quantities.

Gotu kola makes a lovely herbal houseplant

Gotu kola makes a lovely herbal houseplant


How to Grow Your Own Gotu Kola

I find that gotu kola is one of the most luscious herbal houseplants, and I enjoy its presence in my library, where it keeps me company throughout the winter as I write. When the afternoon doldrums seize my creativity, I nibble on a leaf or two for renewed inspiration.  It’s surprisingly easy to grow, both as a garden herb and as a potted plant. In zones 7b and warmer, gotu kola can be grown outdoors as a perennial ground cover, and in colder climates it can be grown as a frost-tender annual.

Gotu kola prefers moist soils with good drainage. If your soil is compacted or clayey, add finished compost, coarse sand, or pine bark fines. In milder climates, you can grow gotu kola in full sun, as long as the soil stays relatively moist, either through irrigation or by choosing a moist garden site.

In hotter climates, plant gotu kola in part shade; preferably with morning sun and afternoon shade. In my garden, I play the herbal matchmaker by pairing gotu kola with passionflower vine (Passiflora incarnata). Passionflower is trained up a tipi-type trellis, providing shade and holding in moisture for its creeping companion, who, in turn, suppresses weeds.

As a container plant, gotu kola prefers a shallow, broad pot with a saucer underneath to help keep it moist. You may need to water your plants every few days—they’ll readily wilt when they’re thirsty. In the summer, I grow potted gotu kola on my front porch, which receives full morning sun and afternoon shade. Before the first frost, I bring the plants inside, placing them in front of an east-facing window.

Whether your plants are in the garden or a container, harvest gotu kola with the “haircut method,” using kitchen scissors to trim most of its leaves. It quickly grows a new batch, offering a few cuttings per growing season.



For a list of suppliers where you can purchase gotu kola seeds and plants, please see our article on Herbal Seed Suppliers and Nurseries. To find out where to purchase dried herbs and seaweed for the accompanying recipe, see the supplies section of our links page.



  1.  Khalsa, K. P. S. , and Tierra, M. The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs: The Most Complete Guide to Natural Healing and Health with Traditional Ayurvedic Herbalism (Lotus Press, 2008).
  2. Morisset, R., Côté, N. G., Panisset, J. C., Jemni, L., Camirand, P., and Brodeur, A. "Evaluation of the Healing Activity of Hydrocotyle Tincture in the Treatment of Wounds," Phytotherapy Research 1, no. 3 (1987): 117–121. doi:10.1002/ptr.2650010305.
  3. Lu, L., Ying, K., Wei, S., et al. "Asiaticoside Induction for Cell-Cycle Progression, Proliferation and Collagen Synthesis in Human Dermal Fibroblasts." International Journal of Dermatology 43, no. 11 (2004): 801–807. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2004.02047.x.
  4. McIntyre, A. The Complete Herbal Tutor: The Ideal Companion for Study and Practice (Octopus Books, 2010).
  5. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, 2nd ed. (CRC Press, 2013).
  6. Mills, S., and Bone, K. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety (Elsevier Health Sciences, 2005).

Meet the Green Mastermind Behind Blog Castanea:

JULIET BLANKESPOOR founded the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine in 2007 and serves as the school’s primary instructor and Creative Director. She's been a professional plant-human matchmaker for close to three decades. Juliet caught the plant bug when she was nineteen and went on to earn a degree in Botany. She's owned just about every type of herbal business you can imagine: an herbal nursery, a medicinal products business, a clinical practice, and now, an herbal school.

These days, she channels her botanical obsession with her writing and photography in her online programs and here on her personal blog, Castanea. She's writing her first book: Cultivating Medicinal Herbs: Grow, Harvest, and Prepare Handcrafted Remedies from Your Home Garden. Juliet and her houseplants share a home with her family and herb books in Asheville, North Carolina.

Want to take a deeper dive into medicinal herb cultivation?

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Don’t have a garden?

Porches, patios, and sunny windowsills are all prime time real estate for the herb gardener. Take a wink at our Container Gardening Hub for a collection of resources that will have you growing potted plants like a pro.

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Nov 232018
punarnava thazhuthama hogweed

Punarnava (Hogweed) also referred to as Thazhuthama is a popular ayurvedic herb that has been used since time immemorial for its rejuvenating and purifying properties.

Being indigenous to India, the plant grows wild all over the country as a common creeping weed, and is abundant during the rains. The plant grows nearly 2m in length, with the leaves being simple, broad, thick and brittle. The flowers are either purple or white. However, medicinally, the root is the most important part of the herb. It is a bitter, cooling, astringent and purifying herb, but, is highly beneficial in treating various common ailments. The medicinal value of the herb makes it a priceless herb that is capable of rejuvenating the whole body.

Punarnava or Thazhuthama is an ayurvedic remedy, traditionally used in treatment of several diseases, including those of the gastrointestinal tract. Let us take a look at some of the major healing properties of this medicinal herb:

1. Prevents fluid retention

Punarnava is diuretic in nature, which makes it great in curing urinary tract infections. It increases the secretion and discharge of urine. Hence, the herb is a good cure for the treatment of ‘dropsy’, a condition marked by excessive collection of watery fluid in tissues, cavities or natural hollows of the body. Hence, the herb prevents fluid retention in the body. Freshly boiled herb is administered for the treatment of the disease. A liquid extract of the fresh or dry plant can also be administered in doses of 4g to 16gms.

2. Supports respiratory health

Punarnava promotes removal of blockages in mucous membranes and phlegm from the bronchial tubes. Hence, it is beneficial in the treatment of Asthma. The powder of the root can be taken in small dosages thrice a day. It supports overall lung functioning and respiratory health.

3. Aids weight loss

Punarnava is beneficial in treating obesity. Most of the herbal anti-obesity medications have punarnava as an ingredient. The herb aids excretion and removal of excess fluids from the body, without compromising on other electrolytes that are otherwise required by the body. Hence, it is beneficial in your weight loss efforts too.

4. Boosts liver health

Punarnava is helpful in treating certain type of liver diseases caused by ‘Ascites’, thereby helping in maintaining liver health. Ascites is a disease characterised by accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity of the abdomen. It is particularly powerful on the types of ascites that are caused due to liver cirrhosis and chronic peritonitis. It also stimulates secretion of bile, which is vital in keeping the liver healthy.

5. Treats stomach disorders

Punarnava is useful in strengthening the stomach and improving its functioning. It treats several intestinal disorders, including intestinal colic. The powdered root of the herb is administered in dosages of 5grams thrice a day. Furthermore, it kills and expels intestinal worms. Moreover, given the fact that it is a mild laxative, it helps prevent constipation, thereby helping in overall purification of the body.

6. Maintains efficient kidney functioning

Punarnava helps kidneys do their job, as it helps in getting rid of excess toxins, water and fat from the body, thereby ultimately ensuring that all organs are functioning as smoothly as possible. Being a diuretic, there is increased urine output when the herb is used, and hence, it helps in keeping the body clean. Further, regular urination also helps in flushing out the calcium accumulated in the kidneys, thereby preventing formation of kidney stones.

7. Good remedy for urinary tract infections

Urinary Tract Infections are a common condition, experienced by both men and women, particularly seen in women. It is associated with discomforts such as burning sensation when urinating. Punarnava, being anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory, works as a cure for UTIs clearing infection effectively.

8. Cures certain eye diseases

Our eyes, being extremely sensitive, are susceptible to various diseases and infections at any point of time in our life. Hence, it is necessary to protect them and administer the right cure as and when required. Punarnava plays a major role in protecting our eyes from several types of infections and diseases, including conjunctivitis and night blindness. A few drops of the herbal extract are administered ayurvedic physicians, depending on the eye condition of the patient.

9. Beneficial in managing arthritis

Punarnava is also ideal for managing arthritis, as the herb offers relief from joint pain and muscle inflammation. For this, the herb should be ground into a paste and applied topically. Allow the paste to sit on your skin for as long as you can, as it is unlikely to cause any side-effects on your skin.

10. Treats skin diseases

The root of the herb is an effective remedy for various skin diseases. A paste of the root can be applied topically as dressing for oedematous swellings. The root can be applied as a hot poultice with satisfying results to abscesses, ulcers and other skin diseases. It is also used as an ointment for other skin diseases.

Other uses of Punarnava

Apart from the above-said major health benefits, the uses of this wonderful medicinal herb are plenty. The seeds of Punarnava are beneficial to those suffering from impotence, as it helps increase libido, and revives male reproductive organ, making it a good home remedy for erective dysfunction too. The herb is also helpful in treating general fever, insomnia, tuberculosis, colic, worms, fibroids in women, and being rich in iron, it is beneficial in treating anaemia too.

Note: The herb is administered in various forms depending on the need of the patient. Therefore, it may be effective only if used in the right proportions as specified and guided by an Ayurvedic practitioner.

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Aug 192018

Water is the sustainer of life of all living beings. The entire world is full of it. Water acts like nectar either pure or medicated, cooked or uncooked , hot or cold if used wisely. Ayurveda, a 5,000 years old holistic system, believes that the choices we make on a daily basis effect our bodies ability to develop or destroy disease. Most of us consider cold water as rejuvenator and more energiser and are not fond of drinking warm water unless caught by common cold, fever and other hazards. Well, being an ayurvedic medicine student while going through types and health benefits of all the liquid foods in some classical ayurvedic texts, there I got to find warm water has much of health benefits. I had the crave for it I decided to research it to see whether there were any benefits associated with it. The feel of warm water is amazing; it transforms your whole body system.

Ayurveda views agni as the very source of life and has mentions that impaired agni is at the root of every imbalances and diseases. Ayurveda endorses the fact that drinking warm water the secret to good health and clear skin. Warm water is nature’s most powerful home remedy and minimizes digestive problems.

Acharya Vagbhat has explained about Ushna Jala (warm water) on his text – Ashtanga Hridaya (Classical Ayurvedic Text- 7th century) Sutrasthana chapter 5 as:

dīpanamaṃ pācanaṃ kaṇṭhyaṃ laghūṣṇambastiśodhanam ll (A.H.S 5/16 )

hidhmādhmānānilaśleṣmasadya:śuddhinavajvarekāsāmapīnasaśvāsapāśrrvarukṣuca śasyate ll (A.H.S 5/17)

This classical verse states that:
Warm water has the properties of :
Deepana : Stimulates hunger,
Pachana : helps digestion,
Kanthya : good for the throat,
Laghu : easily digested,
Basti shodhana : cleanses the urinary bladder,


Hidhma : relieves hiccup,
Adhmana : flatulence
Anila : aggrevation of vata
Sleshma : aggravation of kapha
It is ideal on the days of Panchakarma Therapy.

Navavjara: fever of recent origin
kasa : cold, cough
Ama : accumulation of undigested materials,
Peenassa : rhinitis(running nose)
Shwasa : dyspnoea and
Parshvaruja : pain in the flanks.

Acharya Charaka has also described the role of hot water in management of Jvara (Fever):

jvaritasyakāyasamutthānadeśakālānabhisamīkṣya pācanārthaṃ pānīyamuṣṇaṃ prayacchanti bhiṣajaḥ| jvaro hyāmāśayasamutthaḥ, prāyobheṣajāni cāmāśayasamutthānāṃ vikārāṇāṃ pācanavamanāpatarpaṇasamarthānibhavanti; pācanārthaṃca pānīyamuṣṇaṃ, tasmādetajjvaritebhyaḥprayacchanti bhiṣajo bhūyiṣṭham| taddhi teṣāṃ pītaṃvātamanulomayati, agniṃ codaryamudīrayati,| kṣipraṃ jarāṃ gacchati, śleṣmāṇaṃpariśoṣayati, svalpamapi ca pītaṃ trṣṇāpraśamanāyopakalpate; tathāyuktamapicaitannātyarthotsannapitte jvaresadāhabhramapralāpātisāre vā pradeyam, uṣṇena hi dāhabhramapralāpātisārā bhūyo:’bhivardhante, śītenacopaśā, śītena copaśāmyantīti ||               (Cha.Vi. 3/40)

As the fever is relieved by cold articles, hot water is prescribed to the patient suffering from fever instead of cold water to help them with their digestion. Moreover, fever arises from amashaya (stomach) and the remedies usually used for disorders arise from the stomach with digestive, emetic and depletive properties.

Ingestion of hot beverages helps to expel gas, stimulates digestive power, digests (the ingested beverage) quickly, dries up the mucus, and relieves thirst when taken even in a smaller quantity.

Nevertheless, hot drinks should not be administered in fevers which are due to exacerbation of pitta-dominant symptoms such as fevers accompanied with excessive burning sensations, giddiness, delirium, and diarrhoea, since these disorders are greatly aggravated by hot measures. Such ailments require cold fomentation or cold treatments.

Some mentions and indications of warm water are found in classical ayurvedic texts as:

  1. Hot water shouldn’t be used for Achamana (intake of a sip of water). Achamana is done before commencing worship of god and after riding a chariot. (A.S.S. 3/12)
  2. Luke warm water is indicated for Gandusa Therapy (gargling with mouth full of liquid). Gandusa is useful to prevent cracking and roughness of the lips, dryness of mouth, diseases of teeth and disorders of voice. Luke warm water will make the mouth clean and healthy. (A.S.S. 3/31)
  3. Water from different source should not be drunk till the digestion of first water; & if uncooked water taken previously has not been digested, cooked water should bot be taken over it and vice versa. (A.S.S. 6/29)
  4. Water undergoes Madhura Vipaka and sita veerya even though used hot. So, hot water should be avoided as it is Laghu (light) and causes no harm in small quantity. Patients of Ama (indigestion), and other digestive problems should drink warm water to moisten the food. The food liquefied by hot water undergoes quick digestion. (A.S.S.6/35)
  5. Warm water is considered as the best Anupana (after drink) after consuming foods made from pista (flour) and are hardly digestible. (A.S.S. 10/44)
  6. Warm water mixed with salt should be given for emesis to the patient suffering from indigestion. (A.S.S. 11/22)

Many individuals are becoming health conscious and many tends to stay healthy with their daily intakes.I have been prescribing people to drink warm water as it rejuvenates and energizes the body. Also it maintains electrochemical balance in the body and also continues the calorie burning process.

You can maintain your optimum health with regular intake of warm water. Lastly, I’d recommend you to take warm water and be healthy.

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Dec 292017

For thousands of years, lettuce has also thought to contain medicinal properties and its health benefits have been confirmed by science. In this article, Healthy Guide will show you some of the best benefits of lettuce for health and beauty that you should not skip out.

List Of Benefits Of Lettuce For Health And Beauty:

Now, I will show you some of the nutrition facts of lettuce as well as benefits of this leaf veggie for health and beauty. So, if you love this kind of veggie and want to know more about benefits that you can reap from the consumption of lettuce, keep the eyes on this article right now.

  1. Nutrition Facts Of Lettuce

Lettuce is cultivated with ease. It is a great source of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, K, iron, potassium and folate. Although lettuce looks like cabbage, one of the differences between them is the water content, Lettuce is crunchier while cabbage contains less water and is tougher than lettuce.

This leafy green vegetable helps in fighting inflammation, diabetes and cancer. The omega-3 fatty acids found in lettuce help to protect the heart and simultaneously improve hair and skin health.

  1. Benefits Of Lettuce For Health, Skin And Hair

Keep in mind that not all varieties of lettuce are created equal. You just get all of the benefits if you consume the Romaine variety of lettuce. Some of the best benefits of lettuce for beauty and health purposes include:

  1. Reduce Diabetes Risk

This is the first one on the list of benefits of lettuce for health and beauty purposes that I want to mention in this article and want all of my readers to know for good. Studies have found that the consumption of lettuce can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Also, one cup of lettuce has only 5 calories and 2g of carbs, making it a great addition to your diabetes- friendly diet. Moreover, lettuce contains lactucaxanthin that helps reduce blood glucose levels, making it a potential remedy for diabetes.

List of 26 Best Smoothies For Diabetes Treatment and Relief will show you some of the healthiest smoothies that patients with diabetes should drink for good, so check it out!

  1. Improve Vision Health

The omega-3s found in lettuce can help improve vision health and fight off any eye-related ailments. Besides, Romaine lettuce also has a super antioxidant called zeaxanthin, which can promote vision health and prevent age-related macular degeneration. Actually, Romaine lettuce is a great replacement for spinach that is another kind of veggie great for eye health. This is also one of the best benefits of lettuce for beauty and health purposes that we would like to reveal in this article!

Read on Top 19 Healthy and Nutritional Foods for Eyes Improvement to discover some of the best foods you should consume to help you improve eye health.

  1. Reduce Cholesterol Levels

Lettuce can help to reduce cholesterol levels that can cause cardiovascular diseases as well as other health conditions. Actually, the high levels of “bad” cholesterol are harmful and can lead to heart attack and stroke. According to a study conducted on mice, lettuce consumption caused a reduction in cholesterol levels if compared to mice that did not consume lettuce.

  1. Work As An Antioxidant Agent

Studies have found that lettuce contains antioxidants, which are necessary for human health. Actually, these antioxidants work to fight against free radicals produced during cellular metabolism. Studies indicated that these free radicals could attack healthy cells and tissues and then mutate them into cancer cells, resulting in the development of diseases. On the other hand, antioxidants fight against these free radicals and then neutralize them.

  1. Fight Cancer

When it comes to benefits of lettuce for health and beauty purposes, you should not skip its ability to fight cancer. The extract from lettuce leaves can help control some certain types of cancer. Some studies found that human cancer cells could be controlled after being treated with the extracts from lettuce leaves.

  1. Induce Sleep

One of the common uses of lettuce is its use to induce sleep. The white fluid called lactucarium is what you see when breaking lettuce leaves. This contains relaxing and sleep-inducing properties. Therefore, if you are suffering from problems with sleep, simply consume a few lettuce leaves or drink lettuce juice.

  1. Protect Neuronal Cells

Neuronal cells have to form physical connections in order to make up memory. Therefore, the death of neurons can cause memory loss. In some cases, the neuronal death can lead to the onset of mental diseases like Alzheimer’s. The lettuce extracts had a control of neuron cell death thanks to its effect in glucose/serum deprivation. Besides, the research has also shown that lettuce could be used in neuroprotection as a natural treatment for neurodegenerative diseases.

  1. Fight Inflammation

If you are looking for benefits of lettuce for health and beauty purposes, you should know that this leafy veggie can help you fight inflammation. Some certain proteins in lettuce can help control inflammation. According to a study, lettuce is rich in vitamin K that can help lower inflammation. Other veggies that are rich in vitamin K are spinach, kale, broccoli and cabbage. Also, the omega-3s found in lettuce contribute to its anti-inflammatory effect.

  1. Improve Bone Health

Vitamins A, C and K are essential for collagen production and bone formation. And lettuce is a great source of all three vitamins. Vitamin A helps with new bone cell growth, and the deficiency of vitamin A can cause osteoporosis and a higher risk of fractures. Vitamin K supports to build cartilage as well as connective tissues and a lack of vitamin K can cause reduced bone mass and a higher facture risk. And, vitamin C helps fight bone depletion.

  1. Taste Great

Although lettuce is very low in calories, many varieties of lettuce still bring on a sweet taste. Lettuce called Lactuva sativa is often added to salads, soups, sandwiches, grilled and wraps.

There are other benefits of lettuce for health and beauty in this article. So, keep your eyes on this interesting article right now and then consider adding this healthy veggie to your daily diet for good.

  1. Aid Weight Loss

A reason why lettuce can be a great option for weight loss diets is calories. A serving of lettuce has just 5 calories. Besides, lettuce helps make up for the lack of micronutrient on a low-calorie diet. Also, lettuce is low in energy density. For example, Romaine lettuce has 95% water and just offers 1g of fiber per cup. And we all know that fiber keeps you full. Moreover, lettuce is also very low in fat, so it can be an ideal addition to your weight loss diet.

  1. Good For Pregnancy

The benefits of lettuce for pregnancy may come from its high content of folate, which can help reduce the risks of developing birth defects. Besides, the vitamin K found in this leafy veggie can also help reduce the risk of hemorrhaging. And, you do not forget the fiber content in lettuce can help prevent constipation, which is a common problem in pregnant women.

  1. Prevent And Treat Arthritis

When you are looking for a treatment for arthritis, you should not skip lettuce. As we know that patients with arthritis have to avoid consuming foods that are high in calories and fat because they can increase the pain and swelling to the body. With that reason, consuming lettuce may be helpful in preventing and treating arthritis.

In fact, this is one of the best benefits of lettuce for beauty as well as health purposes that I want to mention in this article and want all of my readers, especially those with arthritis to include this veggie in their daily diet as soon as possible.

  1. Improve Digestion Systems

It is very important to keep the digestion systems healthy. And, lettuce may be one of the best options for you thanks to its high content of dietary fiber. It helps to improve the functions of gastrointestinal tract. To use lettuce for promoting digestion system, you just need to combine a lettuce salad with other veggies such as carrots and cucumber to get a healthier digestion system.

  1. Improve Skin Health

If you want to have a perfect skin, you can take a natural action rather than applying chemical substances on your skin. As you know, consuming healthy foods is a natural way to improve the skin health. And, green vegetables like lettuce is known as a great source of essential vitamins and minerals that are good for skin.

Lettuce supplies most of the nutrients that our skin needs. It provides protection against pollutions and ultraviolet rays thanks to the combination of vitamin C and E. Moreover, it makes your skin youthful and prevents signs of aging. Therefore, improving skin health is one of the best benefits of lettuce for beauty and health purposes that you should not look down.

  1. Improve Hair Growth

Another one among benefits of lettuce for beauty and health purposes is that this food can help to improve hair growth. Actually, lettuce has nutrients that can support the hair health. It helps nourish the hair, prevent hair fall and graying of hair thanks to its content of vitamin K and potassium. Therefore, consuming lettuce on a regular basis can help you enjoy a beautiful and healthy hair.

Consuming green vegetables is a great way to get the nutrient that our body needs. Thus, you should consider adding this vegetable to your daily diet to reap all of its benefits for skin and beauty. If you know other benefits of lettuce for health and beauty purposes, remember to share them with us by leaving your comments below.

Author Bio: Lien Nguyen – Writer and Blogger, who has more than 6 years of experience in the industry of Health and Skincare. I work for Healthy Guide – reliable resources that help readers solve all their health, beauty concerning, and many other issues in life. I also focus on nutrition, relationship, fitness, lifestyle, men and women’s issues. Find more of my articles on Facebook.

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