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It is believed that every aspect of life is sacred, so each important stage, from conception to anteyeshti (death cremation) is distinguished as special rituals. These series of rituals are known as samskaras. According to the classical hindu texts, there are 16 special rituals, termed as Shodasha Samskara. They are connected with the major events of life such as pregnancy, childbirth, naming ceremony, education, marriage, etc. These samskaras enables us to live a complete fulfilling physical and spiritual life.
In Ayurveda, the word samskara introduced as “Samskaro hi Gunaantaradhanam” means qualitative improvement is carried out by incorporating the specific qualities.

Samskara described in Ayurvedic texts are based on the various stages of child growth and developments and hence provide a rational guideline toward his care during celebrating different ceremonies from very conception to childhood.

Through this article lemme delight you people with the concept of Swarna Prashana.
Swarna Prashana is one of sixteen samskaras mentioned in ancient texts for paediatrics.

( Swarna means gold & Prashana means administration.)
The term Swarna Prashana was coined by Acharya Kashyapa.

Sometimes known by other names like, Swarna amruta prashana, Swarna prashana, Swarna prashan, Swarn prashan, Swarna bindu prashana or Suvarna prashan.

Administration of processed gold in children is a unique practice mentioned in Ayurveda as “Swarnaprashana” by Acharya Kashyapa thousands of years back.

Ayurveda propounds that prevention is an equally important aspect of disease management as cure and thus strengthening the immune system is a natural way to help the body fight against the diseases causing ailments.

Basically, childhood is the period of growth spurts. In Ayurveda texts, various acharyas described countless useful dravyas (drugs), yogas (formulations) and mode of conducts for adult to enhance the immunity (Bala and Vyadhikshmatva) & similarly for the healthy ksheerapa (infantile period), ksheerannada ( 1-2 year age period) and annada awastha ( age period from 2-16 years).

Swarnaprashana in children can be mainly implicated in two contexts of Ayurveda; Lehana (supplementary feeds) and Jatakarma Samskara (newborn care).


Different Acharyas views on Swarna Prashana.

According to Acharya Charaka,

atō’nantaraṁ jātakarma kumārasya kāryam |

tadyathā- madhusarpiṣī mantrōpamantritē yathāmnāyaṁ prathamaṁ prāśituṁ dadyāt |

stanamata ūrdhvamētēnaiva vidhinā dakṣiṇaṁ pātuṁ purastāt prayacchēt |

athātaḥ śīrṣataḥ sthāpayēdudakumbhaṁ mantrōpamantritam ||          –   (Charaka Samhita Sharirsthana 8/46)

On first day of birth, the child should be given first feeding of honey and ghrita consecrated (or blessed) with mantra as given for this purpose. Thereafter, firstly milk from the right breast should be offered (or given) to the child. A water filled pitcher and consecrated with mantras should be kept near the head of baby, probably to maintain proper humidity in Kumaragara (maternity home).

Acharya Sushruta mentions on natal rites as:

tasmāt prathame’hni madhusarpiranantamiśraṃ , mantrapūtaṃ trikālaṃ pāyayet, dvitīye lakṣmaṇāsiddhaṃ sarpiḥ, tṛtīye ca; tataḥ prāṅnivāritastanyaṃ madhusarpiḥ svapāṇitalasammitaṃ dvikālaṃ pāyayet || – (Sushruta Samhita Sharirsthana 10/15)

The baby should be made to lick an electuary composed of honey, clarified butter and the expressed juice of Brahmi (Centella asiatica) leaves, Vacha (Acorus calamus L.), mixed with (half a Rati weight of) gold dust and given with the ring-finger of the feeder.

Acharya Kashyapa describes Swarnaprasahana in the context of Lehana.
Lehana depicts administration various herbal drugs, ghee preparations, and gold alone as supplementary feeds wherein precise indications are stated. This unique formula has been explained wherein gold should be triturated along with water, honey, and ghee on a clean stone facing eastern direction and made the Shishu (infant) lick the same.

Acharya Kashyapa has not mentioned the dosage for Swarnaprashana in specific. However, he has given general dosage of children according to age in the same context from birth. The same can be followed to fix the dosage of Swarnaprashana. A few other available references regarding per day dose of Swarna Bhasma from various texts are as listed below:

  • 1/4th–1/8th Ratti (15–30 mg) Swarna Bhasma.
  • 1 Gunja (125 mg)/As per age
  • 5–62.5 mg of Swarna Bhasma.
  • 2-4 drops

By taking these adult dosages as reference standards, dosage in children can be calculated.

When to take Swarnaprashana?
  1. On an empty stomach preferably in the morning.
  2. Do not have food at least for 30 minutes after consumption of Swarnaprashana.
  • On the day of Pushya Nakshatra.
Why Gold is indicated ?

Gold is one of the most ancient metals even used for preventive and curative purposes. It is one among the Sapta Loha (seven metals). Gold is such a noble metal, which is having substantial outcomes in the human body starting before conception until demise. Ayurveda recommends only purified and processed form of gold for internal administration. Its medicinal properties and uses are mentioned at different contexts in Ayurveda classics. Purified gold is indicated for its Vajikarana (Aphrodisiac) and Rasayana (Rejuvenator).

As the child grows, gold is also being recommended to be given alone or along with various herbal drugs for procuring better Agni (digestive power and metabolism), Bala (physical strength and immunity), Medha (intellect), Varna (color and complexion), Ayu (lifespan) etc. Swarna bhasma possesses Anti oxidants, Anti depressants, Anti cancerous, Antibacterial & Anti rheumatoid property.

The action of gold is described in the context of immunity which provides a holistic approach and a potential promise regarding immunotherapy. The pharmacological study showed specific and non- specific immune response which were modified in a positive manner in Swarna Bhasma treated mice. It also has a stimulatory effect.

Research reveals that Swarna Bhasma possesses immunomodulatory, free radical scavenging activity, analgesic antistress activity and safe. 56-57 nm gold ash acts on peritoneal macrophages, phagocytic index, free- radical scavenging activity, brain catecholamines, 5 HT and plasma corticosterone levels.

Shudha svarna also said vatashamaka, rasayana, dipana, netrya, medhya etc.

(Bhaisajyaratnavali 2/99-100 )

Gold compounds have Immuno-modulatory effects (C.K Hashimoto et.al. 1992) (14)

Benefits of Swarna Prashana

“Suwarnaprashanam Hyetanmedagni
Balavardhanam Ayushyam Mangalam
Punyam Vrushyam Varnyam Grahapaham”- Ka. Su. 18/ 4-5

  • Medha (improves intellect)
  • Agni (digestive and metabolic power)
  • Bala (strength)
  • Aayush (gives long life)
  • Mangalam (is auspicious)
  • Punyam (virtuous)
  • Vrushyam (aphrodisiac)
  • Varnya (increases complexion)
  • Grahapaham (eliminates the evil effects of planets).

The specific benefits of Swarnaprashana according to the duration of administration have been mentioned such as:

  • If administered for 1 month, the baby will become Parama Medhavi (highly intelligent).
  • If administered for 6 months, the baby will become Srutadhara (will be able to remember the things, which are just heard).

Swarna Prashana should be preferably given on pushya nakshatra day !!

The day of Pushya Nakshatra (a star in Hindu calendar) is very auspicious and according to Hindu religion all the Nakshatras have their own effect on different metals. The rays radiating on the Pushya Nakshatra day doubles the medicinal values present in gold. Pushya Nakshatra day comes once in 27 days.

Precautions:
  • Even slight negligence in the administered drug can cause serious adverse effects due to their highly sensitive body systems. So the gold used must be well processed.
  • All ingredients are safe and non-toxic but sometimes because of the altered ingredients dose may create side effects.
  • in certain conditions like acute fever swarna bhasma may increase the body temperature.
  • It is always advised to take a doctors opinion in such cases before taking swarna prashana.

Last but not the least, Swarnaprasana is a unique Ayurvedic process which improves your child’s immunity, memory and growth. So, give your growing child this unique advantage. The benefits of Swarnaprashana in children are multidimensional. In a nut shell, for positive health care program for children, Swarna Prashana can be the best option.

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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,

Relieves

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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The edible oil we use in cooking is generally hot pressed oil. However, it is only in the recent period, once people gained awareness about the importance and benefits, cold pressed oil became very popular.
The major difference lies in preparing the input material used to press the oil, rather than pressing techniques. The input we feed to the press the oil has overall influence to a great extent on the properties of the oil. Of course, the way of pressing also impacts the benefits and properties of the oil.
  • Cold pressed oil means the inputs are pressed in a low temperature. To put in a lighter note, the seeds are pressed raw without roasting.
  • Hot pressed oil means the seeds are roasted and pressed under very high temperature.
Benefits of Cold Pressed Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is also known as gingerly oil, extracted from the sesame seeds. Sesame oil is prominent in Asian cuisines, especially Indian cuisine and alternative therapies.
Cold pressed sesame oil is extracted by simply pressing and crushing the seeds without toasting or roasting. It looks pale yellow and carry different flavor than hot pressed one which is darker. It retains the maximum nutrients possible during processing. It has higher quantity of essential fatty acids, which are literally reduced when the sesame seeds are roasted and heated.  Unlike other cold pressed oils, sesame oil has longer shelf life due to an ingredient called Sesamolin prevents oxidation of the oil.
  • Good source of vitamin E and also rich in antioxidant
  • Has the highest concentration of the fatty acids – Omega 3 fatty acid, omega 6 fatty acid and omega 9 fatty acid.
  • Rich in minerals which includes iron, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc.
  • All these minerals support healthy growth of tissues and prevents bones and muscles related deformities like arthritis, osteoporosis etc.
  • Supports cardiovascular health and controls hypertension
It is used widely in ayurvedic therapies as healing oil. It contains antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which nourish the skin, hair and body. It contains nourishing, detoxifying and rejuvenating effect to the body.   It is the best moisturizer and the best massage oil. It helps delay aging process and prevents skin health from sunburn and damages. It is the best remedy for most of skin problems from dryness of skin to eczema.
Needless to say the culinary benefits of cold pressed sesame oil as it is a versatile one to use on regular cooking
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Our bodies are approximately 72% water, 12% earth, 6% air, 4% fire and rest is space. How these five elements behave within you determines your health and wellbeing.
The five element theory

In the five element theory, the first element in this universe is space. The vibration of space creates wind. Blowing wind leads to friction and creates the fire element. Transformation of the fire element creates water and solidification of water elements produce earth. From earth, all organic living creatures, plants, animals, and human beings are created.

Water is highly significant for our health because most of our body is water. Consuming good water is the source of wellbeing and good balance. But for Kaliyuga (the age of ignorance and disease), most of the diseases come from the water. None of the modern chemical and electrical systems can purify the waterenough.

What is the best source of water?

Lake water is considered to be good because it is open to the influence of the sun and the moon. Every day it is purified by the sun energy (fire). In unpolluted environments, rainwater is pure but for most of us living in cities, the pollution in the atmosphere contaminates the rainwater. The local water where you are living is the best water for you providing you sterilise it.

How to purify the water?

According to Ayurveda, only the fire can purify the water elements properly. The main source of fire in this universe is the sun. The next best way to purify our wateris to boil it.

Boiling is an effective way to sterilise and disinfect water. Just taking the water up to the boiling point is enough if the source is pure. Otherwise, it is necessary to boil the water up to 10 minutes.
You can observe the purification process and how it aligns with Ayurvedic philosopy. At first, you will observe bubbles which are heavy like kapha. After some time, they become lighter like pitta and at the end, they become light and airy like vata. When the water reaches the vata level all the toxins have disappeared.

Detox with water

Ancient science says hot water is a universal antidote to every disease. Sipping warm to hot water frequently is vital for treating any health condition. Warm to hot water dilates the channels, removes the blockages, and improves digestion and agni (metabolic fire). Frequency is more important than quantity.

Plain hot water is good enough. But if you want to add flavour or medicinal value to your drink, ginger water is an excellent choice for everyone. It is also pleasant to add turmeric, cumin, fennel, or lemon. Even in the warmer seasons, sipping warm waterin small quantities is good for cleansing and balancing.

Note: Re-boiling water or mixing cool water in hot water is not recommended as it produces ama toxins.

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Many people think, rather assume both lime and lemon are the same or can be used interchangeably. The basic uses of lemon and lime, the properties, as well as the health properties also vary. Lemon and lime, both have acidic properties. However, they vary slightly in terms of flavor and smell.

Every food in Ayurveda comes with certain healing and balancing properties. Lemon and lime come under the category of citrus fruits, which has the sour flavor. Both lemon and lime is used in cooking as well as for other purposes.

Lemon Vs Lime  – The Flavor

Lemon tastes sour and acidic, while lime tastes bitter and acidic. The basic difference between these two fruits lies in the flavor. Why flavor is highlighted here? Flavor is one of the important elements of Ayurveda. Each flavor comes with healing, medicinal and balancing property.

The juice from lime tastes more acidic compared to that of lemon because of the sugar content which is present in lemon. Limes are plucked from the tree when they are green and unripe but fully grown. If they are allowed to ripe, they will turn to yellow color. Because of this many of us will get confused between lime and lemon. The lemons which we buy from the store are unripe one.

Features of Lemon

Not only the whole fruit or the fruit juice but also all parts of the plant are used in natural medicine and home treatment of some common diseases.

Lemon is rich in vitamin C, A, B1, B2. B3, and carotene, citric acid and malic acid. It also contains bioflavonoid, glucose, fructose, sugar, and minerals.

Lemon juice has lots of healing elements and properties like antioxidants, antitumor, alkalizing, detoxification and blood purifying property. It also helps to build body resistance towards infections and wounds.

Lemon juice is not only used as an antacid and immune booster but also used as a fat burner in reducing excess weight.

Features of Lime

Like other citrus fruits, lime also contains adequate amount of vitamins, dietary fiber, and minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorous, etc.

It also acts as antioxidants and bio-flavonoids that helps building immunity. Lime contains fewer amounts of calories, carbohydrates, and zero fats.

Its peel and pulp are also rich in polyphenols and terpenes.

The peel, oil, and juice of the fruit have antibacterial, antiseptic and disinfectant properties.

Lime has many health benefits includes weight loss, proper digestion, respiratory and urinary disorders, cures constipation, piles and peptic ulcer. It also plays a vital role in skin care and eye care. It helps in skin rejuvenation and protects it from infections. Due to the powerful fragrance component in lime, it is used in cosmetic products.

Differences between Lemon and Lime

There is no big difference between lime and lemon despite size, flavor, and color. The shape of lemon is ellipsoidal but the shape of lime is slightly smaller, ellipsoidal or oval.

Lemon have more sugar content which give sweet flavor compared to lime which is more sour and acidic in flavor. Lemons are rich in vitamin C content compared to lime which has slightly more carbohydrate. Lemon has sour, acidic taste while lime has bitter, acidic taste.

Why Lemon and Lime – An Overview

People think that lime and lemon can be interchanged. Yet, as given above, there is lots of difference in size, flavor, and color between these two fruits. These two fruits are like unity in diversity. They share some unique nutritional health benefits too.

They have low calories and a wide source of dietary fiber. They are also rich in vitamin C and B-9. In addition to the nutritional benefits, they also contain limonoids that helps in preventing cancer.

Lemon Vs Lime – In Cooking

Lemon is more common household ingredient, than Lime. Lemon juice is a favorite thirst quencher and a refreshing drink. It is used in salads, and other dishes. On the other hand, lime juice is also used in rice, meat and flour based dishes like pastas. Thin shavings of Lemon / lime skin are used as toppings for extra flavor and to add tangy punch.

In case of desserts, lemon is predominantly used from ice creams, meringues, cakes and cookies. Lime is quite acidic and it is used very sparingly.

Lemon Vs Lime – in Drinks and Cocktails

Many drinks use the extracts of both lemon and lime, at appropriate places. Lemonade is very common drink and limeade is a part of other drinks.

In cocktails and alcohol, addition of lemon juice and / or lime juice is popular. The subtle to tangy flavor profiles add additional zest to the drinks and cocktails.

Lemon Vs Lime – Other Uses

While lemon is the most common cooking, food and drink, lime comes with uses other than cooking also. It is used on scented products, aromatherapies and perfumes.

Lemon Vs Lime comparison chart
Lemon Lime
Calcium 26mg per 100g 33mg per 100g
Vitamin C 53 mg per 100g 29 mg per 100g
Iron 0.6mg per 100g 0.6mg per 100g
Kingdom Plantae Plantae
Magnesium 8mg per 100g 6mg per 100g
Vitamin A 22 IU per 100g 50 IU per 100g
Family Rutaceae Rutaceae
Taste Sour bitter/sweet/sour
Other minerals Traces of selenium, zinc, manganese and copper Traces of selenium, zinc, manganese and copper
Potassium 138mg per 100g 102mg per 100g
Phosphorous 16mg per 100g 18mg per 100g
Folate (important during pregnancy) 11mcg per 100g 8mcg per 100g
Order Sapindales Sapindales
Genus Citrus Citrus
Species Citrus x limon, among others Citrus x latifolia, among others

Conclusion:

Lemon and Lime contain almost similar nutritional value and health properties. However, due to high quantity if Vitamin C, antioxidants and folate, and versatile uses, lemon has an edge over lime.

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Water is the essence of life. Most of us have come across this rhetorical many a times. Every well-wisher has an opinion or advice to share, each different from the other of course. Why are there so may varied thoughts?

Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated. Keep aside the hydrating juices, liquids and other stuff. Water is the core for human beings. We cannot survive without water. What could be effect of dehydration? Well, death. While water is essential for life, too much water can also turn detrimental and fatal.

What can be the best way or rather the right way to go about? Let’s Find out!

Water- Nectar of Life

All life forms require water to survive. A human body is made up of 70% water on an average. When we say human body, we denote all the parts; the cells, the glands, the organs and every other component of the human body need water for function.

The brain is made up of 85% water. Any fall in this equilibrium may cause the tissues of the brain to shrink. Water content in blood is 82% and lungs are 90%.

Do you know? Just a 2% drop in the body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration. Water is the lubricating oil for the smooth functioning of the engine that is our body.

Right from the moment food enters the body to its final residual excretion, water is a requisite. Water acts as a lubricant in the cartilages and joints gifting us the fluidity in movement. The movement of water within our cellular systems helps to maintain proper body temperature. Water is responsible for the absorption and distribution of nutrition throughout the body. Water is essential to flush out the unwanted toxins from the body as urine, sweat and regular bowel movements.

Going on water fasting for a day, perhaps once a month can bring you miraculous changes in improving your health and immunity.

Nectar indeed!

How much water should you drink?

The most widely circulated recommendation for the quantity of water intake per day is eight glasses, which approximately count to 2 liters.

You can see many charts and calculations to consume specific quantity of water according to your height, weight, etc. But just like any other health requisite, there can be no hard and fast rules as

  • some people live in tropical regions, perspire more, therefore requires more water intake
  • sports person will require more water than an office admin
  • people involved in physical work would require more water

In addition, the body type aka Prakriti also counts on intake of water. If your body type is Pitta (heat) or Vata (air) or combination of any of these, you would need more water intake. Nevertheless, one can always follow a few simple do’s and don’ts to stay out of trouble.

Do’s

  • Arrange a clean source of water and ensure availability at all times
  • Always carry your water bottle – whether out for a walk or out to work
  • Drink water in sips instead of gulps.
  • Take water at short intervals regularly to answer thirst.
  • Try to keep track of how much water you drink per day.

Don’ts

  • Do not compromise with the purity of water.
  • Do not reuse crushable bottles to drink.
  • Do not force drinking yourself too much water when not thirsty.
  • Do not replace water with beverages. Only water is WATER!

So, what is the best way to drink water?

  • Drink water whenever you are thirsty, don’t skip, don’t postpone, don’t go for alternatives
  • Drink water when you feel hungry, sometimes thirst may appear as hunger
  • Drink a glass of water in an empty stomach to energize the internal organs

The quantity of water you drink or your body require vary with every individual, vary within an individual during different seasons, lifestyle etc. The human body is very much resilient. The body has the ability to health on its own. However, there comes a few things to consider. If you treat you well, giving utmost importance to what you eat, how you drink, and care for your wellness, you will be surprised by your body’s own natural ability to heal itself.

Happy Drinking!

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TURMERIC LATTE OR GOLDEN MILK

Turmeric latte or turmeric milk is also known as golden milk which is the combination of turmeric and milk. The milk can be of any type (almond, cashew, coconut, etc..,).

This golden drink marks an important place as essential drink in the healthy diets. This energetic drink comes with amazing anti-inflammatory and digestion boosting properties. It makes an alternative to caffeinated drinks.

Nowadays people like to sip a cup of golden milk before going to bed and some love to drink it in the morning instead of coffee or tea.

Benefits of Turmeric and Turmeric Latte

Turmeric is mostly used in daily cooking, especially in curry dishes. It adds and leaves yellow stains on utensils and fingernails. Turmeric adds flavour, anti-inflammatory benefits and anti-microbial benefits to the foods cooked.

More than being used as spice, turmeric also addresses itself a healing ingredient, which comes with powerful medicinal features.

Turmeric forms a major part of Ayurvedic medicine that has been practised for centuries in India. The combination of turmeric and milk commonly known as haldi doodh, is a regular drink that most people consume every day. People used to drink turmeric latte for many reasons, from digestion to cosmetic reasons.

From ancient times, turmeric has marked its name for its medicinal properties in both Indian Ayurvedic medicine as well as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Turmeric is used as a primary medicine to treat many health conditions. Some of the severe conditions that use turmeric in the treatment include liver disease, skin problems, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, sprained muscles, joint pains, and general wound healing.

CURCUMIN, the major ingredient in Turmeric

Curcumin, which is present in turmeric, is one of the most effective anti-inflammatory ingredients in nature which lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation.

It also acts as anti-angiogenesis that helps in preventing the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth. Curcumin is also used in the treatment of arthritis, sports injuries, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, tendonitis and various autoimmune diseases.

Consistent use of curcumin can lower the risk of developing diabetes. Those who have diabetes and who took capsules containing curcumin were less prone to develop Type 2 diabetes, compared with people who didn’t take the curcumin capsules.

Milk or Coconut Milk in Preparation of Turmeric Latte

Turmeric latte can be prepared with cow’s milk. Alternatively, you can use coconut milk replacing cow’s milk. Adding coconut milk in turmeric not only gives a soothing feel but also has lots of health benefits.

Coconut milk is nothing but liquid extraction of the fresh coconut scraps. It is easy to extract the milk from the grated coconut. The fat in coconut oil consists of lauric acid, which is hardly found elsewhere. Next to mother’s milk, lauric acid is found only in coconuts.

Our body converts this lauric acid into monolaurin which destroys the lipid-coated viruses such as HIV and herpes.

In addition to using coconut milk to prepare turmeric latte, you can also choose soy milk or almond milk.

How To Prepare Turmeric Latte

Turmeric latte or golden milk is prepared with the following ingredients.

We can also sweeten the turmeric milk with choice of our favourite sweeteners. Traditionally honey is used as a sweetener since the sweetness honey has its own medicinal qualities. Instead of sweetening the milk, we can also add black pepper to turmeric milk as it enhances curcumin’s bioavailability.

  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup whole milk/almond milk/coconut milk/ soy milk
  • 1 tsp honey or your favourite sweetener (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp ghee/coconut oil/almond oil (optional)
  • 2-3 black peppercorns crushed
  • Pinch of cardamom/ cinnamon powder for flavour (optional)

Take milk in a bowl and add all the ingredients in it except coconut oil and sweetener. Heat milk over a low heat and stir it continuously. Bring it to boil and allow simmering for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and pour the milk into the cup and then add ghee/ coconut oil / almond oil. Add 1 tsp of sweetener (honey) once the milk has cooled down. Drink the milk while it is warm.

You can drink this turmeric latte once a day.

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Nuts and seeds are the part of a healthy diet. They play a vital role in preventing disease form our body and keep us healthy as we grow. Nuts and seeds consist of fiber, minerals, vitamins and healthy fats which help to reduce the inflammation in our body and it also reduces the risk of heart disease.

Ayurveda celebrates nuts and seeds as super foods. According to Ayurvedic diet, intake of all types of nuts and seeds in moderation, butters and milks are healthy. Nuts and seeds have been one of the staples of foods for ages across different cultures, various countries all over the world. Nuts and seeds provide lubrication and nutrition to body, skin, joints and hair. Nuts and seeds functions as a good fuel for gastrointestinal fire (heart burn).

Purpose of Soaking Nuts and Seeds

Naturally, a seed or nut normally gets enough moistness from rain to wash-down the acids and enzyme inhibitors so it can take root and yield a plant. By soaking nuts and seeds before we eat, we are imitating nature by neutralizing these toxic growth inhibitors by discharging the natural enzymes and energy within them.

Soaking also makes the nuts and seeds easier to digest. The nutrients in them will be easily and fully absorbed by the body. Nuts and seeds are also soaked to get rid of the dirt, dusts and tannins. Please note we are not supposed to use the water used for soaking nuts and seeds.

The water contains inhibitors and toxic substances like enzyme inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), polyphenols (tannins), and goitrogens.

We can either use warm water to soak the nuts and seeds. Seeds and nuts contain phosphorus in form of phytic acid. It binds to a mineralit and becomes phytate. This process stops nutrients from being engrossed in the digestive system and reduce the digestibility of these foods.

To make these enzymes ineffective we can add little amount of salt in the water before soaking the nuts and seeds.

Benefits of Soaking Nuts and Seeds Remove Phytic Coating

Phytic acid coats the raw nuts externally. It actually benefits the nuts but not humans. It may lead to gastrointestinal problems and obstruct the absorption of nutrients. Especially, nuts are rich in minerals, which are not absorbed. Soaking nuts before eating removes phytic acid coating.

Nuts and seeds are especially high in phytic acid which can be removed through the process of soaking (and sometimes sprouting) and drying to further reduce the anti-nutrient content. Soaking is still recommended for ease in blending and for nutritional purposes.

Remove Tannins

Soaking removes the enzyme inhibitors which coats the nuts and seeds to protect them. It is critical to those who are already suffering from digestive problems. Tannins is another element, which may lead to digestive and gastric problems.  Besides, there are many with allergic reaction to Tannins. Eating it aggravates the health issues, if the individual is sensitive to it.

So, soaking remove the tannins from the nuts and seeds.

Soaking nuts before eating them also helps to rinse out the colon thus removing the harmful toxins. It also helps in the better absorption of nutrients

Process of Soaking Seeds

Soaking nuts and seeds required two major things. You can either soak in normal water or warm water.

  • Warm water
  • Sea salt

Take warm water (enough to cover the nuts completely) in a glass bowl or jar and mix sea salt to it. Soak the nuts and seeds for 10 to 12 hours. Drain out the soaked water and completely rinse the nuts.

You can either refrigerate the soaked nuts, after drying. You can dry the nuts in a dehydrator or under the natural sunlight. Once it is fully dried, store in an airtight container.

Alternatively, you can eat nuts within 24 hours or include in cooking or otherwise.

Why warm water and salt?

Ayurveda highlights, soaking nuts and seeds in warm water give added benefits. Soaking in warm water will deactivate all the enzyme inhibitors. It effectively increases the bio-availability of the micro nutrients.

Salt is natural preservative. Adding salt to the nuts and seeds gives more benefits. The salt helps in activating the enzymes that deactivate the enzyme inhibitors present in nuts.

SOAKING TIME OF COMMON NUTS

     
NUTS &SEEDS SOAKING TIME (Hrs.) SPROUTING TIME (Days)
Almonds 8-12 No sprouting
Barley 6 2
Black beans 8-12 3
Brazil Nuts 3 No sprouting
Cashews 2-4 No sprouting
Chickpeas 8 2-3
Flax seeds ½ No sprouting
Hazelnuts 8-12 No sprouting
Macadamias 2 No sprouting
Pistachios 8 No sprouting
Pumpkin seeds 8 3
Sunflower seeds 8 12-24 hrs
Walnuts 4 No sprouting
Pecans 6 No sprouting
Oat grouts 6 2-3
Quinoa 4 2-3
Wheat berries 7 3-4

 

Points to note after soaking nuts

  • Since the water removes the coatings of enzyme inhibitors, it should be drained.
  • Rinse the soaked nuts and seeds properly
  • It is also recommended to do a final rinse with a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar or salt water rinse.

Include nuts and seeds in any form in your diet, regularly.

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Hingvastak Churna is one of the most effective remedy for digestive problems. Ayurveda Acharyas (disciples) used “Hingvastak Churna” to increase digestion and relieve indigestion in Ayurvedic practice. It soothes the gastrointestinal tract and increases digestive function. Hing is the major ingredient used to prepare this churna, which carries immense digestive boosting properties.

Hing means Asafoetida, which is the main ingredient and Ashta means 8 indicating that this product contains 8 ingredients. Churna means powder. This is also called as Ashta Churna.

The hingvastak powder helps to digest the body toxin (ama) and prevents its accumulation. Hingvastak Churna mainly contains very safe and easily available herbal spices.

Why proper digestion is important and how Hingvastak powder is helpful

Toxins get accumulated in the body for various reasons. Ayurveda refers accumulation of toxin as “ama” which is caused by food indigestion, which is an imbalance. Ama affects the immune power, causes imbalance in doshas and opens gate for diseases. Indigestion is the major cause of most of the diseases. Foods you consume should be healthy, fresh and easily digestible in time. Besides, indigestion should be addressed naturally.

What is Indigestion

Indigestion (dyspepsia) is a general term for pain or discomfort felt in the upper abdomen and under the ribs that usually occurs after a person has been eating or drinking. Indigestion and heartburn can occur together or on their own. Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. It causes when the food from the stomach travel back to esophagus, the food pipe and reach throat.

What happens if a valve at the top of the stomach doesn’t work properly? Most people have felt heartburn at one time or Indigestion affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s usually not a serious health problem. If it happens often, you may have a more serious condition called GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease.) Left untreated, GERD can sometimes lead to other problems, including:

  • Inflammation and ulcers in the esophagus
  • Hoarseness
  • Lung disease
  • Barrett’s esophagus — a change in the lining of the esophagus that makes you more likely to get esophageal cancer.
Ingredients of Hingvastak Churna or Powder

In this article, we are going to see how to prepare this Hingvastak churna at home. This can be prepared at home easily by using ingredients available on kitchen shelves.  Here is a method of preparing “hingvastak powder or churna”.

Hing – This is the major ingredient in this Churna

Hing is known as an old culinary ingredient which is enriched with various healthy properties. Hing comes in two form, powder and resin. Extracted from the roots ferula, the spice is native to Afghanistan and Iran. Hing has enriching digestive properties and ease away all digestive issues in a short time. It is a common practice to use a pinch of hing in many cultures while cooking. While the raw hing smells unappetizing, it adds rich aroma, savory flavor and aids in digestion.

Dry ginger powder

Ginger is one of the healthiest spices on the planet. Ginger is very aromatic spice, which can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice. Gingerol is the major substance in ginger, which has immense medicinal properties. Ginger is a typical natural digestive aid used for centuries.

Ajwain powder aka Carom

Carom seeds are quite common in Indian household. “Carom seeds help in maintaining and improving your digestive health”. Ajwain is used typically for all types of stomach discomfort from pain to indigestion. These are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Above all these, it contains active enzymes which boost the digestive functions.

Long pepper powder

Long pepper (Pippali) is a very diverse essential, commonly used in the world of Ayurvedic medicine. It increases the digestive capability and burns toxins.

Black pepper powder

Black pepper is the fruit of the black pepper plant. Piperine is the major chemical compound, which is naturally present in black pepper, causes the spiciness, eases digestion and stimulates the secretion of stomach acids for digestion.

Cumin powder

Cumin is a great source of energy, vitamin, and minerals. It balances the body equilibrium. It also contains loads of protein and amino acids, carbohydrates. Besides, a decent amount of dietary fiber and a reasonable amount of fats & fatty acids are found in cumin. Thymol is the special compound in cumin, helps with digestion by preventing the formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract.

Black cumin powder

Black cumin is one of the wonders of the Mother Nature. There is a popular saying, black cumin treats everything but death! In Ayurveda, black cumin is used to address various health ailments.

Rock salt

It is also known as “Halite”, which is a mineral of Sodium chloride. Rock salt is nothing but raw salt, off from chemical processes. It is packed with natural minerals. It is used for digestive disorders as it improves appetite, removes gas and soothes heartburn.

Preparation of Hingvastak Churna

Take 1 teaspoon of all the above-mentioned ingredients and mix it well. The prepared hingvastak powder can be stored in an airtight jar and can be stored for 6 months. Consume ¼ teaspoon of Hingvastak churna with the equal quantity of ghee (clarified butter) before consuming food, two times a day.  It is a boon for foodies who want to relish food without landing up in indigestion.

Benefits of Hingvastak churna
  • This herbal preparation is the mixture of salt, spice, and herbs.
  • Provide relief from gas, bloating, and spasms.
  • Very good to improves metabolism.
  • This medicine helps in reducing fat.
  • For improving appetite, digestion, and assimilation this is very good.
  • This medicine stimulates healthy and unobstructed peristalsis.
  • It balances downward moving energies.
  • Very effective in stomach infection, bloating, indigestion and abdominal pain.

This churna regulates apana vayu (vata responsible for moving downwards and eliminating stool, flatus, urine, menses and the fetus).

Note:

This article is composed for awareness and education purpose only. Visit the nearest Ayurveda doctor or practitioner for the proper dosage and prescription of the preparation for the better management.

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Ayurveda is the science of life. It is one of the ancient healing practices, dates back to 5000 years. Ayurveda emphasize on the way of life. It is not just a medication, but a lifestyle. It connects body, mind and spirit. Besides, it harmonizes the system of wellbeing by focusing on physical, psychological and emotional health.

This is about the life changing ayurvedic documentary, Ayurveda – Art of Being. This lifestyle is an art, a healing art, self nourishing art and rejuvenating art.

The documentary beautifully features a poetic journey that travels across India. The viewers will encounter lot of men, who live happily harmonized with nature. The villagers, men of the medicine and even the passerby of the village lives blissfully connected with the nature.

The documentary film narrates about the practitioners of the ayurvedic medicine in India as well as in the western country. Besides, Ayurveda – Art of Being is also throws light on different time zones, from ancient, modern and tribal ways of healing in India. The film is directed by Pan Nalin.

It invites you to discover nature and human nature with poetic images of ancient healing system known as AYURVEDA. The director did a wonderful job of displaying India as the custodian of the ancient science of healing, Ayurveda and covered a lot of ground, both figuratively and literally.

Background score adds life to the movie. The tranquil score evokes another aspect of Vedic knowledge –Ghandharva Veda  the melodious of nature.

Ayurveda: Art of Being – Movie Casting 

DIRECTOR Pan Nalin
YEAR OF RELEASE 2001
CAST Brahmanand Swamigal
Vaidya Narayan Murthy
Dr. Nicolos Kostopoulos
Dr. Ashwin Barot
Dr. Scott Gerson
PRODUCERS Karl Baumgartner (producer)
Christoph Friedel (producer)
Claudia Steffen (line producer)
Christa Saredi (co-producer)
Reinhard Brundig (co-producer)
WRITERS Pan Nalin
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Serge Guez
PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Dilip Shankar (production manager & researcher)
Natasha de Betak (2nd unit director)
EDITING Pan Nalin
Ben von Grafenstein
MUSIC Cyril Morin
SOUND Dominique Davy
About the Director and an Excerpt from his Interview

Pan Nalin is a director, screen writer and a documentary film maker. He is an award winning film maker.

First and most important thing that every film maker should keep in mind is to develop the clarity about the theme on which they want to make a short film. Due to internet, DVD etc. borders are being vanished. Spirituality is in our culture. I came to realize that let it be any kind of story, understanding of spirituality in it has great importance. For example, the latest highly successful commercial film Avatar has the spiritual angle in it. Likewise other films such as Star Wars and Matrix too have the spiritual concept.

But often, people do confuse spirituality with religion. I don’t believe in it at all. I believe that spirituality can exist equally in Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. Those who are highly religious, sometimes, there is no spirituality at all in them and to reverse to it, those who are not religious at all, are highly spiritual. This is actually hard to define. It’s indeed a matter of sadness that the gap between spirituality and religion is increasing day by day.

When I left my home for my passion, my father asked me “If you’ve two paths ahead of you, one quite easier and the second very tough, which one will you chose?” To which I replied “the tougher one.” And he said “Now you’re ready to go ahead.” Take a look at some of the reviews / comments from the movie viewers:

It has been awhile since I last watched this film, but I’ve watched it several times from a standpoint that includes quite a lot of knowledge and direct experience of Ayurveda. Ayus is life and Veda is Knowledge – so Ayurveda is Knowledge or science of life. So-called “modern” or “western” medicine is a relative newcomer – having really only been around for the past 150 years or so, while Ayurveda is thousands of years old. Even in the US there is still a LOT of traditional folk medicine, and increasingly Ayurveda is making inroads and being recognized as holistic and preventative and truly a system of health care – as opposed to “modern” medicine’s fragmented (just look at the specialties) and disease care approach.

It was pleasure to watch this film. I applaud the makers of this film for bringing out this wealth of knowledge; making people aware of this ancient science. Such simple film-making and yet so impacting.

The film is about how the order of the universe, when you have the ability to perceive it, can be used to make individuals right. In essence it is about the practice of understanding cosmic order and the place of entities in that order.

Being a fan of this unique Indian filmmaker, I could not ignore Ayurveda. I watched it twice in theaters and later at home on DVD. One of the most inspiring and thought provoking work.

With “western” medicine – disease care – becoming less affordable every day, “western” drugs costing so much and having so many harmful side effects, and an epidemic of obesity in the US, this refreshing look at a simpler approach is quietly reassuring and shows us the path to integrating the best of western medicine with the time tested Knowledge of Life

Here is the link to the full movie, Ayurveda – Art of Being.

Ayurveda: Art of Being (HD) - YouTube

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