Category Archives: Ayurvedic

Propolis


Defenition:
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Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. Propolis is used for small gaps (approximately 6 millimeters (0.2 in) or less), while larger spaces are usually filled with beeswax. Its color varies depending on its botanical source, the most common being dark brown. Propolis is sticky at and above room temperature (20° Celsius). At lower temperatures it becomes hard and very brittle.
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Propolis is a sticky resin that seeps from the buds of some trees and oozes from the bark of other trees, chiefly conifers. The bees gather propolis, sometimes called bee glue, and carry it home in their  pollen baskets.  They blend it with wax flakes secreted from special glands on their abdomens. Propolis is used to slickly line the interior of brood cells in preparation for the queen’s laying of eggs, a most important procedure.  With its antiseptic properties, this propolis lining insures a hospital-clean environment for the rearing of brood.

Purpose:-
For centuries, beekeepers assumed   that bees sealed the beehive with propolis to protect the colony from the elements, such as rain and cold winter drafts. However, 20th century research has revealed that bees not only survive, but also thrive, with increased ventilation during the winter months throughout most temperate regions of the world.

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Propolis is now believed to :

1.reinforce the structural stability of the hive
2.reduce vibration
3.make the hive more defensible by sealing alternate entrances
4.prevent diseases and parasites from entering the hive, and to inhibit bacterial growth
5.prevent putrefaction within the hive. Bees usually carry waste out of and away from the hive. However if a small lizard or mouse, for example, found its way into the hive and died there, bees may be unable to carry it out through the hive entrance. In that case, they would attempt instead to seal the carcass in propolis, essentially mummifying it and making it odorless and harmless.
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Constituents:
Chemically speaking, propolis is a very complex mixture. Its chemical elements vary according to its source.  Colors range from golden brown to brownish green to reddish brown to blackish brown.  A broad analysis reveals approximately 55 percent resinous compounds and balsam, 30 percent beeswax, 10 percent ethereal and aromatic oils, and 5 percent bee pollen.  Many flavonols contribute to propolis.  Other components include cinnamic acid, cinnamyl alcohol, vanillin, caffeic acid, tetochrysin, isalpinin, pinocembrin, chrysin, galangin, and ferulic acid.

The composition of propolis varies from hive to hive, from district to district, and from season to season. Normally it is dark brown in color, but it can be found in green, red, black and white hues, depending on the sources of resin found in the particular hive area. Honey bees are opportunists, gathering what they need from available sources, and detailed analyses show that the chemical composition of propolis varies considerably from region to region, along with the vegetation. In northern temperate climates, for example, bees collect resins from trees, such as poplars and conifers (the biological role of resin in trees is to seal wounds and defend against bacteria, fungi and insects). Poplar resin is rich in flavonoids. “Typical” northern temperate propolis has approximately 50 constituents, primarily resins and vegetable balsams (50%), waxes (30%), essential oils (10%), and pollen (5%). In neotropical regions, in addition to a large variety of trees, bees may also gather resin from flowers in the genera Clusia and Dalechampia, which are the only known plant genera that produce floral resins to attract pollinators. Clusia resin contains polyprenylated benzophenones. In some areas of Chile, propolis contains viscidone, a terpene from Baccharis shrubs,[8] and in Brazil, naphthoquinone epoxide has recently isolated from red propolis,  and prenylated acids such as 4-hydroxy-3,5-diprenyl cinnamic acid have been documented. An analysis of propolis from Henan, China found sinapic acid, isoferulic acid, caffeic acid and chrysin, with the first three compounds demonstrating anti-bacterial properties. Also, Brazilian red propolis (largely derived from Dalbergia ecastaphyllum plant resin) has high relative percentages of the isoflavonoids 3-Hydroxy-8,9-dimethoxypterocarpan and medicarpin.

Occasionally worker bees will even gather various caulking compounds of human manufacture, when the usual sources are more difficult to obtain. The properties of the propolis depend on the exact sources used by each individual hive; therefore any potential medicinal properties that may be present in one hive’s propolis may be absent from another’s, and the distributors of propolis products cannot control such factors. This may account for the many and varied claims regarding medicinal properties, and the difficulty in replicating previous scientific studies investigating these claims. Even propolis samples taken from within a single colony can vary, making controlled clinical tests difficult, and the results of any given study cannot be reliably extrapolated to propolis samples from other areas.

Properties :   Propolis is another medicinal marvel from the beehive.  Research shows it offers antiseptic, antibiotic, antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral properties.  Propolis is Nature‘s premiere preventive.  It is so powerful in action, it is often called Russian penicillin in acknowledgement of the extensive research the Russians have mounted on this wonder worker from the bees.  Propolis demonstrates strong antimicrobial properties against various bacterial and fungal infestations.  Even streptococcus bacteria have been shown sensitive to propolis.

Medicinal Uses:
Nature’s Preventive Medicine : Propolis has been justly called Nature’s premier preventive.  The immune system is supported and strengthened by the ingestion of propolis.  Modern scientific studies indicate that those who take propolis regularly escape winter colds and sore throats and seem to develop a natural immunity to common viruses, including the various strains of flu.

Chemical antibiotics
destroy all bacteria in the body, both the friendly, (necessary flora required for healthy functioning in the entire gastrointestinal tract) and the bad intestinal flora.  An individual who constantly takes prescribed antibiotics for one condition after another soon learns to his sorrow that the drugs may no longer work as well as they once did.  As invading bacteria get “smarter,” the drugs become less and less effective.

Propolis, the natural antibiotic, works against harmful bacteria without destroying the friendly bacteria the body needs.  Propolis has also been proven effective against strains of bacteria that resist chemical antibiotics.

The field of influence of propolis is extremely broad.  It includes cancer, infection of the urinary tract, swelling of the throat, gout, open wounds, sinus congestion, colds, influenza, bronchitis, gastritis, diseases of the ears, periodontal disease, intestinal infections, ulcers, eczema eruptions, pneumonia, arthritis, lung disease, stomach virus, headaches, Parkinson’s disease, bile infections, sclerosis, circulation deficiencies, warts, conjunctivitis, and hoarseness.

Propolis helps regulate hormones and is an antibiotic substance that stimulates the natural resistance of the body.  Propolis may be used by everyone, sick or healthy, as a means of protection against microorganisms.  Propolis is also efficient against conditions caused by bacteria, viruses, or different fungi.  Propolis cures many diseases because it is a special natural substance with strong effect.
You may use it as part of your daily program of supplementation.  It has helped the bee society survive and thrive for over 45 million years.  It may well help you survive … for a long time!

Other Uses:

In musical instruments
Propolis is used by certain music instrument makers to enhance the appearance of the wood grain. It is a component of some varnishes and was reportedly used  by Antonio Stradivari.

In food

Propolis is used by some chewing gum manufacturers to make Propolis Gum.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propolis

http://www.draperbee.com/info/propolis.htm

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Hasna hana (Cestrum nocturnum)

Night-blooming jasmine Cestrum nocturnum
Image via Wikipedia

Botanical name: Cestrum nocturnum
Family: Solanaceae (potato family)
Common name: Night-blooming cestrum, Night blooming jasmine, Rat ki rani (Hindi), Thabal lei (Manipuri), Hasna hana (Bengali), Raatrani (Marathi, Konkani)
Habitat:Native to Mexico, Central America, India and Cuba, Bangladesh.

Description:This sprawling shrub has glossy, smooth, simple leaves 4″-8″ long. Vine-like stems reach up to 12′ in its native habitat, but it seldom reaches more than a 4′ mound in a single season. It blooms in cycles throughout warm weather. Greenish-creamy white tubular flowers rise from above leaves along the stem, followed by shiny white, fleshy berries. Although the flowers are not showy to the eye, their sweet scent can overpower. The perfume is distinctly powerful at night – this feature has had its influence on its common name in all languages. The Hindi name translates to queen of the night, while the Manipuri name means moon flower. No fragrant garden should be without this nocturnal beauty. While night blooming jasmine is a gorgeous plant with charming blooms, the scent also produces severe allergic reactions in some individuals.

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Cultivation and uses:
Cestrum nocturnum also known as Night Blooming Jasmine, is grown in subtropical regions as an ornamental plant for its strongly-scented flowers. It grows best in average to moist soil that is light and sandy, with a neutral pH of 6.6 to 7.5, and is hardy to hardiness zone 8. Feed bi-weekly with a weak dilution of seaweed and fish emulsion fertilizer.

All parts of the plant are highly poisonous.

Adverse factors
Common pests Poisonous parts Poisonous indications Internal poison no Dermatologic poison no Livestock poison no Mechanical injury no Hay fever pollen Hay fever season Adverse qualities

Herbal medicine
Medicinal properties Medicinal parts Has medicinal uses no Do not self-administer no Do no use if pregnant no Legally restricted no Toxicity precautions Medicinal notes

Traditional uses
Parts used Traditional uses Contemporary uses Fragrance intensely sweet musk and Heliotrope scent at night. Fragrance parts Flowers Fragrance intensity Mild Fragrance category Perfume Dye parts Dye color

Nutrition
Is edible no Culinary uses Nutritional value Edible parts Description of edible parts Flavor / texture

Invasive potential:
It has become widely naturalised in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world, including Australia, southern China and the southernmost United States, and is difficult to eradicate. It is classed as a weed in some countries.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:

http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Night%20Blooming%20Jasmine.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cestrum_nocturnum

http://www.crescentbloom.com/plants/specimen/ce/Cestrum%20nocturnum.htm

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How Green is This Medicine?

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Ayurveda, the oldest health system in the world, is going in for a makeover, but is it all for the good? Till now, the biggest innovation had been coloured ayurvedic pills and capsules. But the government’s recent amendment of the 63-year-old Drugs and Cosmetics Act appears to allow a more fundamental change — ayurvedic medicine can now contain anti-oxidants, flavouring agents, preservatives and sweeteners. So is ayurveda about to lose its unique organic wholesomeness?

Ayurveda practitioners and drug-makers don’t think so. They say the additives, natural or synthetic, must be in permissible quantities in order that the medicine retains its natural properties. “The purpose of allowing the use of anti-oxidants or sweeteners is to increase the shelf life of the ayurvedic medicines,” says Dr S K Sharma, advisor to the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). The reasoning is that once they last longer, it would be easier to market ayurvedic medicines nationally and internationally.

But Sharma cautions that the changed law is not “purely for commercial reasons. There is a strong need for scientific innovation. It’s time that we tried to improve ayurvedic medicines.” So, the anti-oxidants that are being allowed to use will prevent the medicine from decomposing. The additives, says Sharma, will only help in making ayurvedic medicines more stable than ever before.

Some ayurvedic practitioners admit that there are legitimate concerns about additives. Dr V V Doiphode, dean of Pune University’s Department of Ayurveda, stresses the importance of testing any product before it is added to an ayurvedic drug. “The onus is on the drug-makers to ensure these (additives) aren’t detrimental to health,” he says. For that they will have to conduct extensive research and lab testing.

There are other ways of ensuring compliance, not least guidelines issued by the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC), an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The IPC sets strict standards for drugs and other pharmaceutical products. Add to this, the wording of the amended Drugs and Cosmetics Act, which allows “only natural colouring agents as permitted under rule 26 of Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules 1955 for ayurveda, siddha and unani drugs.”

But what if someone wanted to market a flavoured chyawanprash, say chocolate, to attract the international market? Would that be more synthetic than traditional chyawanprash? Not really, so long as it retains its original properties, says Ranjit Puranik, CEO of Shree Dootapapeshwar Ltd, ayurvedic drug-maker and exporter.

The loophole, however, is that a product like chyawanprash, which is made of 54 herbs — of which amla (gooseberry) is the main — can be marketed internationally as a dietary supplement rather than a medicine. If it has to be marketed as a medicine, then all the 54 herbs have to go through a standardisation process that will certify that none of the herbs are harmful to health.

The amended act allows synthetic additives in ayurvedic drugs but insists they “carry a statutory warning stating the name and quantity of the artificial sweetener.” Puranik says it’s up to the individual manufacturer to decide how natural he wants the ayurvedic drug to be. And if he uses a large quantity of synthetic additive “he clearly can’t then sell the product as ayurveda”.

That may affect ayurvedic core market, but the holistic health treatment has a long way to go in persuading India and the wider world of the goodness of its old-style organic approach to healing. Industry experts estimate that the global market for ayurveda is worth $120 billion. But India’s ayurveda exports are a paltry Rs 450 crore or $91 million. China and Sri Lanka lead the world in ayurveda manufacture and export.

India is finally trying to close the gap by adding innovation to the ayurveda mix. “These medicines can be tweaked a bit to suit people’s tastes, but the medicinal properties should be maintained. Say for instance, a popular ayurvedic medicine, kashayam, is now available in the form of capsules and tablets. This has been achieved by spray drying but the original properties are not tinkered with.” says V G Udayakumar, president of the Kerala-based Ayurveda Medical Association of India. He believes the same can be applicable to other medicines too.

But there’s some way to go before the humble hajmola becomes the world’s prescribed cure for indigestion.

Sources:The Times Of India

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Chopchini (Smilax china)

Botanical Name: Smilax china
English Name : China Root
French Name : Sarutori ibara
Arabic Name : Khabsul Seeni, Jazar Seeni
Persian Name : Chobchini
Sanskrit Name : Madhusnuhi
Hindi Name : Chopchini, Chobchini
Chinese Name : Tu Fu Ling
German Name : Chinawurzel
Family:Smilacaceae

Other name:Sarsaparilla, China root
Range :E. Asia – China, Japan.
Habitat :E. Asia,China, Japan. Shrub thickets in hills and mountains. Forests, thickets, hillsides, grassy slopes, shaded places along valleys or streams from near sea level to 2000 metres.

Description:
It is a climbing herbs with a large tuberous rhizome; stem and branches unarmed, polished; Leaves lanceolate, acuminate, rounded at the base, 3-nerved, glaucous underneath; Umbels axillary simple, sessile, solitary.

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It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.


Medicinal Uses:

Antibacterial activity has been observed with the lant extracts. They are useful in skin diseases, vitiated conditions of vata, flatulence, tuberculosis, and general debility. It helps in faster clearance of symptoms.

Roots are aphrodisiac, pseudorific, demulent, alteratively used in rheumatism, syphilis, and skin diseases. The rhizome is made into a paste and applied to painful swellings.

The root is depurative, diaphoretic, stimulant, alterative, resolvent, tonic, diuretic, aphrodisiac, antibiotic, alterative, antisyphilitic, astringent, sudorific and demulcent. Useful in sexual debility and in syphilis, scrofula and other skin diseases. Also useful in rheumatism, gout, epilepsy and chronic nervous diseases.

Useful in Following diseases : Blood Impurities, Epilepsy, Fevers, Gout, Nervous Debility, Psoriasis, Rheumatism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Seminal Debility, Sexual Debility, Syphilis,

Used in Following medicines : Femone, Rheuma, SkinClear Syrup (Raktsafa),

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.dehlvi.com/ingredient.php?section=view&itemID=54

http://www.bicco.com/herb_photo.html

http://www.vasuhealthcare.com/vasusmilaxchina.htm

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Shilajit

Latin Name:Asphaltum

English Name:Mineral Pitch and Shilajit
Sanskrit/Indian Name:Shilajit

The name
Shilajit is a Sanskrit word meaning “conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness.” It is also spelt as Shilajeet, and is known by various other names like Shilajita Mumiyo; Mineral pitch, Mineral wax or Ozokerite in English; Black Asphaltum; and Asphaltum punjabianum in Latin.

Description:
Shilajit is used in the Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine. Shilajit is a rasayana herb and is an adaptogen. Shilajit contains at least 85 minerals in Ionic form as well as humic acid and fulvic acid. Clinical researches have been in progress and the ancient claims of the drug’s several properties, including anti-aging properties.A similar exudate from the Caucasus Mountains is called Mumiyo but is not considered as strong as the Himalayan Shilajit.

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Origin
Ancient Indian yogis, and practitioners of Aurvedic medicine, on understanding several potent qualities of Shilajit, had attributed divine powers to Shilajit. In essence Shilajit is a natural concentrate of plants of the regions of the Himalayas, and is found in the Himalayan ranges in India, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Tibet, and part of Central Asia and Scandinavia. The flora of the Himalayas is rich and varied, and for thousand of years the plants have come to life, absorbed nutrients from the soil, and then died out. This is a process which has been repeated again and again countless times, and continued for millennia. It is believed that Shilajit found in the Himalayas are the fossilized form of those plants, and the particular biosphere of the Himalayas created them and bestowed medicinal qualities to them. Shilajit, found in the higher altitudes of the Himalayas, are collected during summer months when the ice melts, and Shilajeet lumps are sometimes spotted and collected from the crannies of rocks, and similar places. Shilajit so collected are processed by several drug manufactures and presented in capsule form for human consumption.

Puri (2006) in his book has devoted one chapter to Shilajit. He has given in detail about the study of Shilajit in the last two centuries and the various speculated sources of Shilajit. The Indian workers considered dendroid Euphorbia” as the source but in Ladakh faeces of mountain mouse were considered the source. In Russian literature, it is said to have formed by compaction of Junipers. Scientific studies reveal that it is a humus like compound. Dr Peter Zahler (1998 and 2002) has commented on the relationship of the occurrence of salajit and the Woolly Flying Squirrel and Dr Carman (unpublished) has reported his observations of mammal pellets (Woolly Flying Squirrel and Afghani Pika) in association with salajit deposits in northern Pakistan. These pellets are the so called “pallets’ in photomicrographs described by Faruqi (1997).

Modern discovery:Winston, David & Maimes, Steven. “Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief,” Healing Arts Press, 2007. Contains a monograph on shilajit and health benefits.

Over sixty years of clinical research have shown that shilajit has positive effects on humans. It increases longevity, improves memory and cognitive ability, reduces allergies and respiratory problems, reduces stress, and relieves digestive troubles. It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and eliminates free radicals. The research proves that shilajit increases immunity, strength, and endurance, and lives up to its ancient reputation as the “destroyer of weakness.”

Technically, shilajit is an exudate that is pressed out from layers of rock in the most sacred and highest mountains in Nepal and other areas. It is composed of humus and organic plant material that has been compressed by layers of rock. Humus is formed when soil microorganisms decompose animal and plant material into elements usable by plants. Plants are the source of all our food and humus is the source of plant food. Unlike other soil humus, shilajit humus consists of 60-80% organic mass.

Click to see:->Shilajit-The True Story of An Ayurvedic Formula

Shilajit is truly an amazing medicine.

Shilajit: Antiaging and Aphrodisiac herb

SHILAJIT -FULVIC ACID Rejuvenation elixir.

Sacred Soma of the Alchemists

The most powerful anti-aging substance and Rejuvenator even known to mankind.Feel the power of growing young.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shilajit

http://www.ayurvediccure.com/shilajit.htm

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Ancient Healing Art Becoming More Popular

ayurveda, ayurvedic, healing, healing art, ancientAyurveda is an ancient holistic system of medicine and natural healing from India, and is the oldest known form of healthcare in the world.

We can find historical evidence of Ayurveda in the ancient books of wisdom known as the Vedas, written over 6,000 years ago, of which only a small portion is available to us from that time.1

Tibetan medicine and traditional Chinese medicine both have their roots in Ayurveda. Early Greek medicine also embraced many concepts originally described in the classical Ayurvedic medical texts. Ayurveda has been used and practiced throughout the subcontinent, Indonesia and many other countries in the surrounding region for thousands of years, although it was often suppressed during various occupations in those areas.

Recently the western world, particularly Europe and the United States, has become increasingly fascinated with and interested in Ayurvedic medicine.

The Science of Life

The world Ayurveda roughly translates as “The Science of Life.” It is merger of two Sanskrit words: ‘Ayu’ (the root of ayur & ayus ) which means ‘life,’ and ‘Veda’ which means a combination of ‘science, knowledge and wisdom.’

According to Ayurveda, first noted by the ancient Ayurvedic scholar Charaka: human life is the combination of mind, body, senses and soul.

Ayurveda sees that the senses and the mind work in conjunction with one another and greatly influence our physiology.

Ayurveda is not just a medical system. It sees human beings as an integral part of nature. It believes that human beings should live in harmony with nature just as the animals and plants do, and utilize the laws of nature to create health and balance within. It adheres to this focus in guiding human beings to maintain health by using the inherent principles of nature to bring an individual back into equilibrium with his or her true self.

The ancient texts reveal that Ayurveda was also originally used as a regime to remove obstacles on one’s path to Self-Realization. At some point the medical aspects began to take priority over the spiritual forms of healing.

Today, these spiritual aspects of Ayurveda have taken a back seat to the medical focus. As Ayurveda becomes more commercially viable, the spiritual aspects may continue to lose ground. Yet there are a growing number of practitioners who employ these spiritual therapies and find better results than limiting their approach only to the medical, physical realm.

Understanding Ayurveda

Ayurvedic wisdom offers life-enhancing practices as well as herbal medicinal preparations for the health and well being of the whole human being: body, mind, and soul. It is much more than just a system to treat symptoms or physical illness.

Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that govern our health and well being, and are seen both in our internal and external environments. Called ‘doshas’ these three energies are known as:

  • Vata (Air/Wind)
  • Pitta (Fire/Sun)
  • Kapha (Earth & Water)

Ayurveda sees these primary forces in a unique combination in every individual, and as relating to the characteristics of our mind and body. Every individual has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature.

These doshas also have the characteristic of being: movement (Vata), transformation (Pitta) and structure (Kapha). We are all made up of unique proportions of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The ratios of the doshas vary in each individual. Because of this, Ayurveda sees each person as a special mixture that accounts for our diversity.

Ayurveda gives us a model to look at each individual as a unique makeup of the three doshas (and sub-doshas), and thereby design treatment protocols that specifically address a person’s health challenges.

Herbs are often recommended to supplement the nutritional requirements on a regular basis to build and maintain a healthy physiology. As some of the Ayurvedic herbs are now recognized to be the most potent and powerful adaptogens on the planet — and since stress is now known to be a significant factor in over 80 percent of all illnesses — these herbs are essential in any health program designed to promote and maintain a healthy human body.

When any of the doshas become aggravated, thereby upsetting the natural harmony for the individual, Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines as well as specific medicinal herbs to assist the individual in reducing and rebalancing the dosha that has become excessive or out of balance.

Ayurveda goes into great detail to describe the medicinal attributes of many herbs and their correct usage to compliment and hasten the healing process, and to strengthen the body’s organs and systems.

Ayurvedic Herbs: Controversy Over Pharma Attempts at Patents2

Growing awareness in the west of the efficacy of Ayurvedic herbs and formulations has led to controversy and battles with the western pharmaceutical companies trying to patent these herbs.3

Only recently discovered in the west, Ayurvedic herbs such as Neem, Ashwagandha, Tulsi, Shatavari, Turmeric, Amalaki and Brahmi as well as traditional preparations such as Triphala and Trikatu have long been known to have significant medicinal value without adverse side effects.

Several pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions in the west have come into conflict with Indian academic institutions and traditional Ayurvedic practitioners over the intellectual property rights of herbal products researched by the western agencies.

The Ayurvedic practitioners have known about the efficacy of such products for centuries, and so contend that they carry precedence with regards to patent rights on such products.

Free Trade Industrial Agriculture Rules Threaten the World’s Farmers

Per the World Trade Organization Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement:4

“Indian farmers, traditional practitioners, and traders will lose their market share in local, national and global markets. For example, recently the U.S. government granted a patent for the anti-diabetic properties of karela, jamun, and brinjal to two non-resident Indians, Onkar S.Tomer and Kripanath Borah, and their colleague Peter Gloniski. Yet the use of these substances for control of diabetes is everyday knowledge and practice in India. Their medical use is documented in authoritative treatises such as Wealth of India, the Compendium of Indian Medicinal Plants and the Treatise on Indian Medicinal Plants.

If there were only one or two cases of such false claims to invention on the basis of biopiracy, they could be called an error. However, biopiracy is an epidemic.

Neem, haldi, pepper, harar, bahera, amla, mustard, basmati, ginger, castor, jaramla, amaltas and new karela and jamun have all been patented. The problem is not, as was made out to be in the case of turmeric, an error made by a patent clerk. The problem is deep and systemic. And it calls for a systemic change, not case-by-case challenges. The potential costs of biopiracy to the Third World poor are very high since two-thirds of the people in the South depend on free access to biodiversity for their livelihoods and needs. Seventy percent of seed in India is saved or shared farmers’ seed; 70 percent of healing is based on indigenous medicine using local plants.”

Obtaining Potent, Efficacious, Organic (Heavy-Metal Free) Ayurvedic Herbs

It has been mostly individual practitioners who procure, grow, dry and prepare these herbs and preparations in an effective, potent manner, whereas commercially available Ayurvedic products have been of substandard quality.

It is only recently that a few companies have started producing high quality organic Ayurvedic herbal products, most notably, ORGANIC INDIA Pvt. Ltd. Headquartered in Lucknow, UP. North India.

Ayurveda Moving West

Clinical practice, research and education in Ayurvedic medicine remain the most authentic in India. However, attempts are being made by westerners to export the essence of Ayurveda to complement their own medical systems, where the pharmaceutical industry and allopathic medicine predominates.

As a result of regulations in medical practice in Europe and America, the most commonly practiced Ayurvedic treatments in the west are massage, dietary counseling and herbal advice.

The NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association-USA) is one of several groups seeking to set standards for Ayurveda in the west.

There are 26 schools in the US and dozens in Europe which are teaching 500+ hour courses for proficiency at Ayurvedic Health Practitioners, certified but not licensed.

In the United States, the NIH NCCAM expends some of its $123 million budget on Ayurvedic medicine research. In addition, the National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine, established by Dr. Scott Gerson, is an example of a research institute that has carried out research into Ayurvedic practices.

Dr. Gerson has published part of his work on the antifungal activities of certain Ayurvedic plants in medical journals. Other notable researchers on ayurveda in the West include Dr. Bala Manyam, the Maharishi Ayurveda group in Fairfield, Iowa, and Dr. Mano Venkatraman at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Ayurveda is a Recognized Medicine

Ayurvedic practitioners are regularly appointed as an “Honorary Ayurvedic Physician” to the President of India. Every year on the occasion of Dhanvantari Jayanti, a prestigious Dhanvantari Award is conferred on a famous personality of medicine, including a doctor of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is a statutory, recognized medical system of health care like other medical systems existing in India. Ayurvedic medicines have to be approved, registered and licensed by the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), which governs and recommends policies for the research and development of the system.

In India, practitioners in Ayurveda undergo five and a half years of training, including one year of internship in select Ayurveda medical schools, where they earn the professional doctorate degree of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery.

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Herbal Remedies For Cats & Dogs

Just like humans, domesticated animals like dogs and cats are affected by the health hazards of modern living. Pollution, poor nutrition, stress and unhealthy lifestyles can lead to a variety of illnesses and conditions that are very similar to those experienced by humans.

These days, emotional and psychological problems like depression, anxiety, ADHD and behavioral problems are just as prevalent in pets as they are in their owners. Similarly, physical ailments such as diabetes, arthritis, chronic fatigue, digestive disorders, cystitis, kidney and liver disease, skin disorders, obesity, thyroid dysfunction and other problems are becoming more and more common in domesticated animals.

Many, if not most of these conditions can be prevented by helping your pets to live a healthier lifestyle. For pets already suffering from existing conditions, a combination of lifestyle changes and natural medicine can work wonders!

While it has its place, conventional medicine for animals and ‘modern technology’ have failed our pets in many ways.

According to pet expert and author CJ Puotinen, most holistic veterinarians and animal health care professions list annual vaccinations and commercial pet foods as the major contributory cause in the rising rates of chronic illness in pets today.

Similarly, Juliette de Bairacli Levy, respected author and renowned animal breeder, points out that contrary to the belief that mass vaccination and antibiotic use will contribute to a decrease in disease, the opposite has in fact proved true. Like their human counterparts, today’s pets are becoming more and more vulnerable to chronic disease and ill health.

This has led many veterinarians to search for alternatives and to espouse more holistic methods of keeping our pets healthy.

Do herbal and homeopathic remedies work
on pets?

“In the wild, animals instinctively seek out healing herbs to help them when they are ill or undernourished. In fact, Asclepius, the ancient Greek god of medicine, respected dogs very highly for their ability to seek out and eat medicinal herbs in the wild. This ability is shared by other animals, including cats. We are coming to realize that nature often has the answers – but animals have always known this! Natural medicine can help your pet just as it can help you. While there is always a place for conventional veterinary medicine, natural medicine can compliment conventional veterinary care and in many cases cure your pets just as well – without the side effects and damage to health that can accompany synthetic drugs and antibiotics. I have applied the same care and research that have gone into our Native Remedies range for adults and children to the development of pet-friendly, safe and effective natural remedies for animals. As always, all remedies are formulated to the highest therapeutic standards and manufactured under strict pharmaceutical conditions for your peace of mind and the well being of your pets. ” Michele Carelse, Clinical Psychologist.

“When a veterinary surgeon practices the use of homeopathic medicine and is asked why he does so, he may give one of several answers. The simple answer would be that the results are good, an emphatic answer would be that homeopathic treatment has no unpleasant or dangerous side effects, while still achieving successful results.

The PetAlive Homeopathic range has been formulated with this knowledge and is specifically designed to treat your pet in a holistic and natural manner.”

Source:www.nativeremedies.com

Garlic: The Herbal “Wonder Drug”

Discover the benefits of this common kitchen plant.
Garlic has been used throughout history to ward off the Plague and to protect soldiers from gangrene. Today this herbal “wonder drug” is used for a myriad of health problems, including high cholesterol and coughs. More information about garlic’s benefits can be found at this likn.

Know Your Garlic

For those looking to reduce sodium intake, garlic is the answer! The hot, strong taste of fresh garlic gives food a zing no amount of salt can equal. Buy cloves in bulk and store in a cool, dark place. To get the most health benefits out of your garlic:

Always peel it first. Otherwise, some of the disease-preventing compounds might not form.

Give it a break after cutting or crushing it. Leave it there on the cutting board for about 10 minutes to allow the health-promoting compounds to form.

To get rid of garlic breath, chew on fresh parsley, mint, or lemon or orange peels, and use lemon juice to get the odor off your hands.

Healthy Investments

Garlic peelers and garlic crushers are two gadgets that make using fresh garlic not only easy, but fun. A garlic peeler — really, a small plastic tube — takes the work and mess out of peeling garlic. Just put a whole garlic clove inside the tube and roll it back and forth, pressing firmly. Voilà! A naked clove, ready for your garlic crusher.

Click to learn more about:-> Garlic

Source:Stealth Health

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Herbs That Can Help Ease Stress

Discover all-natural ways to reduce stress and improve your sleep.

Both Siberian and Panax ginseng, which bolster the adrenal glands, may also be effective in coping with stress. These stress-fighting herbs are sometimes called “adaptogens” (because they help the body “adapt” to challenges) or “tonics” (because they “tone” the body, making it more resilient). All can be safely taken together.

Other herbs and nutritional supplements, used singly or together or combined with the supplements above, may be of value in special circumstances. For stress-induced anxiety, try kava, which is best reserved for high-stress periods lasting up to three months. Take melatonin if worry is keeping you up at night, and St. John’s wort if stress is accompanied by mild depression.

Siberian Ginseng:
——————-

Dosage: 100-300 mg 3 times a day.

Comments: Standardized to contain at least 0.8% eleutherosides.

Warnings: Siberian ginseng may interfere with heart medications. Check with your doctor if you’re taking blood pressure or heart medications. Siberian ginseng may cause mild diarrhea and restlessness.

Panax Ginseng :
—————

Dosage: 100-250 mg twice a day.

Comments: Standardized to contain at least 7% ginsenosides.

Warnings: Don’t take Panax ginseng if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or a heart rhythm irregularity. Don’t use Panax ginseng if you are pregnant. Consult your doctor if you’re using blood pressure medications. Panax ginseng increases the risk of overstimulation and stomach upset when taken with neurology drugs such as Ritalin. Don’t use Panax ginseng if you take MAO inhibitor drugs. Long-term use of Panax ginseng may require a change in insulin or other diabetes medications. If you’re taking the diuretic furosemide, Panax ginseng may intensify the blood pressure-lowering effects of the drug.

Kava:
——

Dosage: 250 mg 3 times a day as needed.

Comments: Look for standardized extracts in pill or tincture form that contain at least 30% kavalactones.

Warnings: Pregnant or breast-feeding women should not use kava. Don’t take kava if you have Parkinson’s disease. Possible kava side effects include stomach upset, yellow skin, loss of appetite, labored breathing, blurred vision, bloodshot eyes, walking difficulties, intoxication, and skin rashes. Kava may cause excessive drowsiness if taken with antidepressants, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers, psychiatric drugs (antipsychotics, buspirone), sedatives, or tranquilizers.

Melatonin:
———-

Dosage: 1-3 mg before bedtime.

Comments: Start with the lower dose and increase as needed.

Warnings: Affects hormone levels and the brain. Caution is advised in those using drugs with similar effects, including antidepressants and hormone drugs. May cause excessive drowsiness if taken with sedatives or drugs that have a sedative effect such as antihistamines, muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers. May cause adverse interactions if taken with steroids.

St.John’s Wort:
—————–

Dosage: 300 mg 3 times a day.

Comments: Should be standardized to contain 0.3% hypericin.

Warnings: If you’re taking conventional antidepressant drugs, consult you doctor before adding or switching to St. John’s wort. If you develop a rash or have difficult breathing, get immediate help. Side effects can include constipation, upset stomach, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, and increased sensitivity to the sun.

From: The Healing Power Of Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs.

Herbal Tea As Stomach Soothers

A user-friendly guide to herbs that can help settle your tummy.
If you’re the type of person who keeps Rolaids in her pocket and Pepto-Bismol in her desk drawer, consider adding herbal teas to your stash. Since what we eat and drink (especially dairy products, sugar, alcohol, and coffee) often triggers gas, bloating, indigestion, heartburn, constipation, and diarrhea, how better to treat these common gastrointestinal problems, herbalists say, than by ingesting herbs that naturally offset the culprits?

But with the ever growing variety of herbal teas and home remedies clogging the shelves of health food stores, it’s hard to know which ones will really help. There are numerous herbs that can affect the gastrointestinal system, according to Walter Kacera, Ph.D., an herbalist at the Apothecary Clinic in the Garden in London, Ontario. Luckily, you don’t need to buy out the entire store to get relief. Peppermint, chamomile, and ginger are the three herbs most commonly used to soothe abdominal symptoms. “They’re versatile and a good place to start,” says Jill Stansbury, N.D. (doctor of naturopathy), chair of the botanical medicine department at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Ore.

Peppermint
Chamomile
Ginger
Teas to Ease an Aching Stomach

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) can do a lot more after dinner than just freshen your breath. The herb’s essential oil contains menthol, a volatile substance that has a direct antispasmodic effect on the smooth muscle of the digestive tract. In addition, the pleasing smell of peppermint tea may help soothe nerves (and thus a nervous stomach). The ability to calm cramping stomach and intestinal muscles makes it a superb treatment, herbalists say, for symptoms of indigestion including heartburn, gas, stomachache, and the “I ate too much” feeling. It also makes peppermint a popular alternative treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), an intestinal disorder that causes abdominal pain, bloating, and irregular bowel movements in about 5 million Americans, most of them women.

Science is starting to back up some of mint’s claims. A study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology in 1997 found that IBS patients taking peppermint-oil capsules for symptom relief experienced an approximately 40% greater reduction in abdominal pain and a 50% greater reduction in bloating and flatulence than those patients receiving a placebo.

A carminative (gas-relieving) herb, peppermint in the form of tea has long been used as a home remedy for flatulence. A 1996 German study validates this usage, finding that patients with chronic indigestion not caused by an ulcer who were treated with an herbal preparation of peppermint oil combined with caraway oil (a bitter herb also believed to relieve gastrointestinal ailments) experienced about half as much abdominal pain due to gas as did people who received a placebo.

Even in the absence of abdominal symptoms, some herbalists recommend regular consumption of peppermint tea, saying it allows the entire gastrointestinal system to function more fluidly. But, despite the enthusiastic reports, many doctors say that peppermint can lower the sphincter pressure of the esophagus, actually causing some people to have more heartburn. Even Dr. Stansbury avoids treating heartburn with peppermint. If, however, people do experience relief from indigestion with peppermint or any other herbal therapy, Col. Peter McNally, D.O. (doctor of osteopathy), a gastroenterologist at the Evans Army Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colo., sees no harm in continuing to use the herb. “At the very least, the extra consumption of water (through the teas) can be quite helpful in aiding digestion,” he says.

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), considered to be one of the safest medicinal herbs, is frequently recommended as a gentle treatment for common gastrointestinal problems. In Germany, where herbalism has long been considered conventional, tradition holds chamomile to be so useful that it has been dubbed alles zutraut, or “capable of anything.” Indeed, for gastrointestinal ailments, it’s somewhat of a superherb. Antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and carminative, chamomile can act upon the digestive system in a number of healing ways. It relieves flatulence and heartburn by mildly sedating and soothing the mucous membrane of the digestive tract. Its natural sedative properties can also relax the entire body, which may help if your digestive discomfort is caused by stress or worry.

A caveat: While some research has found chamomile to be effective in relieving diarrhea in young children, Dr. Stansbury strongly cautions against self-treating diarrhea with herbal remedies (for children or adults) until you have consulted with a medical professional. “The body may be trying to rid itself of a toxin or harmful substance, and you don’t want to interrupt that process,” she advises.

Though widely used and highly praised as a safe natural remedy, chamomile may cause allergic reactions in individuals with sensitivities to ragweed, asters, and chrysanthemums.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale), like peppermint and chamomile, is a carminative and can be used to treat gas, along with its associated bloating and pain. In botanical medicine it’s considered a warming herb, one that causes the inside of the body to generate more heat. Herbalists say this can help regulate sluggish digestion, though Dr. Stansbury points out that some find this extra warmth uncomfortable and may instead prefer peppermint or chamomile teas.

But what makes ginger a standout among herbs is its effectiveness in treating nausea and vomiting. (Remember Mom giving you ginger ale when you had a stomachache?) Herbalists now know that ginger works against both nausea and vomiting, making it an excellent preventive against motion and morning sickness. And unlike its drug counterparts, ginger doesn’t cause drowsiness. Perhaps that’s why it’s a favorite in many a sailor’s first-aid kit.

Teas to Ease an Aching Stomach

“Teas are the best way to take herbal gastrointestinal remedies,” says Jill Stansbury, N.D. (doctor of naturopathy), chair of the botanical medicine department at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Ore. The warm liquid is easy to digest and allow the remedy direct contact with the stomach and intestinal walls. Herbs in pill form can be hard to digest, and most tinctures contain alcohol, causing them to be absorbed largely in the mouth. The one exception: Irritable bowel syndrome sufferers may use peppermint or chamomile tea and may also take peppermint in capsule form. The capsule allows the mint to maintain its potency until it reaches the intestines, where it calms the spasms characteristic of IBS. Look for enteric-coated capsules containing .2 milliliter of oil; take one or two, up to three times a day between meals.

How to Choose Tea
When selecting a tea, Walter Kacera, Ph.D., an herbalist at the Apothecary Clinic in the Garden, recommends looking for aromatic herbs: Can you smell the peppermint or ginger through the teabag? If not, the herb is probably past its prime. Look for a tea that has the date the herbs were harvested on the box; aromatic herbs should be less than a year old.

Next time your digestive system flares up, try one of these teas:

Peppermint        pepperment tea

For a minty fresh herbal aid, the Herb Research Foundation in Boulder, Colo., recommends the following ratio of peppermint to water: Steep one to two teaspoons of dried peppermint leaves, or one tablespoon of fresh leaves, in one cup of hot water for five to 10 minutes; sweeten as needed with honey; and drink in the morning and after dinner.

Chamomile
Substitute dried or fresh chamomile flowers for the peppermint leaves in the above tea preparation.

Ginger
Steep ¼ to ½ teaspoon of dried gingerroot powder in one cup of hot water. Sweeten with honey and drink at night as a digestive aid, or prepare as needed to prevent motion sickness.

Fresh ginger is delicious and just as effective as the dried kind. Dr. Stansbury suggests simmering three ¼-in. peeled slices of the root in one cup of water for 10 minutes, or to desired strength. Flavor with lemon and honey.

If you need immediate help on hand for your next trip to the amusement park, dried or candied ginger will also do the trick.
Source:Reader’s Digest

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