Category Archives: Herbal Care

Ajuga chamaepitys

Botanical Name :Ajuga chamaepitys

Family: Lamiaceae

Genus:Ajuga

Species: A. chamaepitys

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Lamiales

Synonym:  European Ground Pine.

Habitat:Ajuga chamaepitys is a native of many parts of Europe, the Levant and North Africa, is common in sandy and chalky fields in Kent, Surrey and Essex, but otherwise is a scarce plant in England.

 

Description: A. chamaepitys is a small herbaceous perennial that reaches 10–40 cm in height. The leaves have an opposite arrangement. It’s flowering season is generally in late spring. Ground pine is a plant whose richness has been severely reduced by changes to downland farming. At first sight, A. chamaepitys looks like a tiny pine tree with a reddish purple four-cornered hairy stem. The leaves can get up to 4 cm long, and the leaves are divided into three linear lobes which, when crushed, has a smell similar to pine needles. Ground pine sheds its shiny black seeds close to the parent plant and the seeds can remain alive in the soil for up to 50 years. click to see…………..(01)………...(1).…….…..(2).

Both in foliage and blossom it is very unlike its near relative, the Common Bugle, forming a bushy, herbaceous plant, 3 to 6 inches high, the four-cornered stem, hairy and viscid, generally purplish red, being much branched and densely leafy. Except the lowermost leaves, which are lanceshaped and almost undivided, each leaf is divided almost to its base into three very long, narrow segments, and the leaves being so closely packed together, the general appearance is not altogether unlike the long, needle-like foliage of the pine, hence the plant has received a second name- Ground Pine. The flowers are placed singly in the axils of leaf-like bracts and have bright yellow corollas, the lower lip spotted with red. They are in bloom during May and June. The whole plant is very hairy, with stiff hairs, which consist of a few long joints. It has a highly aromatic and turpentiny odour and taste.

Medicinal Uses: A. chamaepitys has stimulant, diuretic and emmenagogue action and is considered by herbalists to form a good remedy for gout and rheumatism and also to be useful in female disorders. Ground pine is a plant well known to Tudor herbalists who exploited the resins contained within the leaves. The herb was formerly regarded almost as a specific in gouty and rheumatic affections. The plant leaves were dried and reduced to powder. It formed an ingredient of the once famous gout remedy, Portland Powder. It was composed of the leaves of A. Chamaepitys, which has a slightly turpentine-like smell and a rough taste, with properties described as being similar to diluted alcohol.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajuga_chamaepitys http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bugley83.html

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Natural Remedies of Aching Muscles

If you are like millions of Americans who are constantly roused from a peaceful slumber with painful muscle cramps, backaches and stiff joints, then you know the agony these conditions can bring.

……………..Aching Muscles

Instead of turning to those toxic pills, creams and solutions that can do more harm than good, reach for a combination of these essential ingredients and feel the difference these all-natural remedies can have on your strained muscles and over-worked joints:

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
—This flowering plant contains key substances like aloenin, magnesium lactate, barbaloin and succinic acid, which all may help reduce inflammation.

Camphor—This ancient herbal remedy has been used for centuries to treat minor sprains and muscle inflammation by acting like an anesthetic and antimicrobial substance.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)—This essential ingredient can help increase blood supply, relieve muscle spasms, soften scar tissue and reduce inflammation.

Eucalyptus Oil—This fragrant extract has been used for centuries to ease minor pain in muscles and joints. This remarkable nutrient also has strong antiseptic and disinfectant properties.

Vitamin E—This essential vitamin has been shown to help relieve minor muscle and joint pain associated with cramps.

Methyl SalicylateThis fragrant extract from the leaves of the wintergreen tree relaxes your muscles and eases your minor joint pain. This cooling analgesic was first used by native people as a poultice for overtaxed muscles, minor joint pain, minor strains and sprains.

Menthol
—This pungent ingredient is found in peppermint oil and has been used for centuries to relieve minor muscle aches, sprains and similar muscle problems.

By adding these safe and effective solutions to your treatment regimen you can finally say goodbye to your muscle strains, backaches, joint pain and inflammation once and for all. Plus, after enjoying everyday activities again you can rejoice knowing you’ll get a good night’s rest, too!

Source:    http://www.betterhealthresearch.com/health-articles/soothe-your-aching-muscles-with-these-all-natural-remedies/

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A Healthy Way to Use Alcohol

Marinating steak in beer or wine before cooking it dramatically reduces levels of chemicals that can cause cancer. Beer is more effective than wine at lowering the cancer-forming chemicals (and also apparently often makes for a better-looking and tastier meal.)
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Cooking food increases its levels of chemical compounds called heterocyclic amines (HA’s), which can cause cancerous tumors. Frying and grilling meat is particularly dangerous, because the intense heat turns sugars and amino acids into high levels of the compounds.

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However, scientists are gathering increasing amounts of evidence to show that the levels of HA’s in cooked meat can be lowered by treating the food beforehand. Marinating steak in red wine or beer for six hours before frying can cut levels of two types of HA by up to 90 percent compared. Beer was also efficient at reducing a third type of HA, cutting levels significantly in just four hours.

Previous research has shown that a red wine marinade has a similar effect on HA levels in fried chicken. A sauce made of olive oil, lemon juice and garlic can also lower HA levels in grilled chicken by as much as 90 percent.

Cooking meat on lower heat and for a shorter period of time also prevents dangerous levels of HA’s from forming.

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Olive Leaf Extract Lowers Blood Pressure

Taken by Nick Fraser in 2005. The fruit of an ...

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The leaves of the olive tree have been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times, and research has suggested that olive leaf extracts have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Now it also appears that a supplement containing olive leaf extract could help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

A study looked at 20 sets of identical twins with “borderline” hypertension — blood pressure that is above the optimal level of 120/80, but below the cutoff of 140/90 used to diagnose high blood pressure. One member of each twin pair was given tablets containing olive leaf extract, while the other received no supplements but did get lifestyle advice on lowering blood pressure.

After eight weeks, supplement users taking 1,000 mg of olive leaf extract per day showed a substantial dip in their blood pressure overall, and lowered levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol. The twins who received no supplements showed no significant change in their blood pressure and a smaller improvement in cholesterol.

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Broccoli Boosts Aging Immune Systems

A chemical in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables may help to restore your immune system as you age. UCLA researchers found that the chemical, sulforaphane, switches on a set of antioxidant genes and enzymes in specific immune cells, which fight the damaging effects of free radicals.

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Free radicals are a supercharged form of oxygen that can cause oxidative tissue damage — for example, they can trigger the inflammation process that causes clogged arteries. Oxidative damage is thought to be one of the major causes of aging.

According to researchers, treating older mice with sulforaphane increased their immune response to the level of younger mice.

The ability of sulforaphane to reinvigorate the immune system abilities of aged tissues could play an important role in reversing much of the negative impact of free radicals.
Sources:
Science Daily March 10, 2008
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology March 6, 2008

Can Anise Cure What Ails You?

The licorice-flavored herb anise contains high levels of health-boosting compounds called phenylpropanoids.

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A team of researchers isolated 22 compounds in anise essential oils, and found some phenylpropanoid compounds that were unique to anise, and four of the compounds had never before been identified in any plant.

Aside from effectively controlling aphids and the plant fungus Colletotrichum, the compounds also showed promise for human health problems. Specifically, some of the compounds were effective against:

Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria in humans.
Mycobacterium intracellulare, a bacterium that can cause illness in people with compromised immune systems.
Further, some phenylpropanoids had anti-inflammatory and phytoestrogen properties.

The researchers suggested that compounds in anise essential oils may be useful for developing pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals.
Sources:
Science Daily March 12, 2008
Pure and Applied Chemistry 2007, Vol. 79, No. 4, pp. 539-556

Some General Hair Care Tips

Proper hair care can give you fabulous, shining, thick, beautiful, gorgeous, and dandruff free hair:

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Tips:
1.Oiling hair regularly will prevent various hair problems.
2.Trim the split-ends of the hair regularly.
3.Do not over brush your hair.
4.Brush your hair regularly with a good quality hairbrush/comb. Use a broad toothed comb brush on wet hair. Wash your brush or comb regualrly with soap or shampoo.
5.Avoid the use of other’s comb. Always clean your comb.
6.Do not use very hot air for drying wet hair. Avoid over-exposure to the sun.
7.If you color your hair, try to organic dyes such as henna(mehndi)or coffee and avoid non-organic dyes like peroxides.

HAIR CARE RECIPES:
1.Olive Oil Hair Mask
Mix 5 tablespoon of olive oil with 2 eggs. Apply throughly to hair. Wrap head with plastic wrap or a shower cap. After 15 minutes rinse well.

2.Honey & Olive Oil Hair Mask -1
Mix 2 tablespoon honey with 3 tablespoon olive oil. Apply throughly to hair. Cover hair with plastic wrap or a shower cap. After 15 minutes shampoo and rinse well.

3.Beautiful Gorgeous Hair Mask -2
After you shampoo your hair, pour 1 cup fresh lemon juice or vinegar through hair and massage and rinse with water. Apply your usual conditioner and wash with water. It will remove all the dirt and your hair will be shine sparkling. Do not repeat this method before 2 weeks.

4.Beautiful Gorgeous Hair Mask

Grind fenugreek (methi) seeds soaked in water overnight. Massage this paste on scalp and hair and leave it for15-20 minutes. Wash it off with a mild shampoo. This paste is good for all types of hair problems, viz. dandruffs, falling hair, thinning of hair, baldness, split hair, etc.

5.Hair Rinse for soft and shiny hair
Mix 1 Tbsp of following herbs with enough boiling water and let it stand for 1/2 an hour. Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and mix well. Shampoo your hair. Pour mixture over hair repeatedly. Vinegar will seal the hair cuticle.

6.Use the herbs as following:
For hair general care: rosemary leaves, nettle, burdock root, elder flowers
For dry hair: chamomile flowers, comfre, elder flowersy root, nettle
For oily hair
: lemon peel, , peppermint, lemongrass

7.Shining Hair
Mix juice of one fresh orange, water, 1 tablespoon Honey and a few drops (5-7) of sandalwood oil. Use as an after-shampoo rinse.
Beat two eggs in a tablespoon of milk and apply on your hair. Rinse your hair after 5-7 minutes to get an instant shining.
Add a 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in water and rinse your hair.

8.For Damaged Hair
Mash a ripe banana with a few drops of almond oil and massage into hair. Leave it for about 15 minutes. Rinse with soda water and then shampoo and condition.

9.Dry Hair
Mix 1 tablespoon of honey in half cup of full cream milk. Massage on the scalp and leave it for 15 minutes. Wash with a mild shampoo.

Combine 1 banana, 1 egg, 1/4 cup honey, about 3 Tbs of milk and about 5 Tbs spoons of olive oil. Massage on the scalp and leave it for 15 minutes. Wash with a mild shampoo.

Zinc and essential fatty acids (pumpkin seeds, nuts, vegetable oils) are good for dry hair. Eating the foods rich in zinc help.

10.Falling Hair, Hair Loss
Rub Indian gooseberry (Amla) into the scalp regularly. It can show wonderful results, it will stop hair falling.
Eat a protein rich diet inluding green leafy vegetables, carrots, mango, dried apricots, whole grain cereals, sprouts, lentils in the daily diet for the hair loss and falling hair.

11.Split Hair
Oil your hair twice a week with coconut oil mixed with fresh lime juice.

12.Frizzy Hair
Make an after-shampoo rinse by mixing one tablepsoon of honey to a liter of water. Use it after every hair wash with your usual shampoo.

Source:http://www.fatfreekitchen.com/beauty/hair-care.html

Going The Sunny Way

A rating of 15 means 93 per cent of UV rays are blocked
sunny.jpg

Some studies have shown that people typically apply just 10 percent of the amount recommended (TOI Photo)

Everyone knows that an SPF rating of 60 provides double the protection of SPF 30 or does it? Studies over the years have shown that sunscreen with an SPF, or sun protection factor, of 30 blocks about 97 per cent of ultraviolet rays.

A rating of 15 means 93 per cent of UV rays are blocked, and anything higher than 30 remains in the 97 or 98 per cent range.

In 1999 the US Food and Drug Administration recommended that sunscreens with an SPF higher than 30 be labelled 30+, mostly to prevent people from developing a false sense of security that might lead them to spend more time in the sun. What many people do not realise is that the amount of sunscreen applied plays an enormous role.

A study in The British Journal of Dermatology this year found that applying less than two ounces over the entire body at one time can leave people with an SPF rating far lower than what is on the bottle.

Some studies have shown that people typically apply just 10 percent of the amount recommended. It is also important to look for sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB radiation. SPF ratings apply only to UVB rays, and some sunscreens provide no protection at all against UVA rays, which penetrate the skin more deeply.

For broad protection, look for sunscreens with avobenzone, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, all of which block UVA.

SOurce:The Times Of India

Champagne for Your Skin?

“I drink Champagne when I win, to celebrate… and I drink champagne when I lose, to console myself,” said Napoleon Bonaparte. The loyal patrons of the bubbly look for reasons to toast the flute and then, trivial reasons turn into occasions. Said Dom Perignon joyously, the inventor of the champagne, “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!”

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Champagne has witnessed special moments between lovers, always been there to make victory and merrymaking special! Now, there’s something extraordinary to add to the list: the magical effects of the bubbly on our skin. Find out…

Cleopatra owed her glowing skin to donkey’s milk, Teri Hatcher of Desperate Housewives ’ fame owes it to wine and Cindy Crawford to the leftover milk from her kids’ feed. Celebrities do different things to preserve their vanity, but do you know how the beautiful aromatherapist Blossom Kocchar manages to look radiant always? The secret is a glass of Champagne. Not to cheer her mood, but to cheer up her skin so that it blooms like a flower. Bathing in the rich and bubbly Champagne does wonders to our moods and is magical for our skin.

Blossom Kocchar is my beauty guru who taught me how to look beautiful. Recently I read an article where she talks about the benefits of Champagne on skin. Now, I was curious and to pacify my curiosity I called her up. You will be amazed to know what she said…
Our skin is constantly exposed to pollution, sun, smoke and stress. It needs constant pampering to look good at all times. Champagne can do that task well because it has antioxidants. Antioxidants are components that prevent the free radicals from damaging our cells. These free radicals can react extensively to rob our skin of oxygen, making it look haggard. But an antioxidant prevents the damage and gives our skin an eternal youthfulness.

Champagne contains Tartaric acid, which lightens your skin, i.e., prevent pigmentation. It is a relief to know this as I have eternal complains of pigmentation. Kocchar adds, “The molecules of Champagne are so small that they never sit on our cells.” The thick creams that we get from the market are so heavy that they settle on our cells, doing no good to our skin. But Champagne is so fine that it can seep into our skin and rejuvenate our cells.”

Last but not the least is the fizz that is produced when Champagne is poured into a dry glass. Not only does it look beautiful, but it also does wonders to our skin… helps close pores, making the skin tight, firm and glowing.

Here are a few more tips on Champagne from the herbal world. Dr Pammi Kapoor, a consultant, trainer and manager at Amatrra says, “Champagne helps in detoxifying. It is a good toner but leaves the skin dry, so it works well for oily skin. People with dry skin should avoid it.” Another herbal expert Suman Seth says, “Champagne is great to set your hair.”

Never knew a bottle of bubbly packed so many goodies! In Kochhar’s words, “Drink it and use it.”

Source: The Times Of India

Complexion Lotions/Sunscreen Lotions For All Skins

Every woman wants to look fair and charming.Home made complexion lotions not only improve the colour of your skin but also protect it from the harmful effect of the sun by providing a screen between the skin and the sun rays.Therefore they may be called sunscreen lotions. You may try any one of the following to look you prettier than before and keep your skin safe from the sun.

Lime Completion Lotion:
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Lime Flower…………25 gms.
Distilled Water…….250 ml
Sodium Benzoate……..1/4 tsp

Put the lime flowers in the boiling water for an hour. Strain and let the mixture cool. Add sodium benzoate to it.This is a very good complexion lotion and for better results you may add equal part of rose water to it. Keep it under refrigeration and use it with the help of cotton buds.

Lavender Complexion Lotion:
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Borax Powder…………1tsp.
Rose Water……………1 cup.
Olive Oil ……………2 tsp.
Lavender Extract……..1/2 cup.

Mix borax powder in rose water and add boiling olive oil to the mixture. Keep starring, when cool add lavender extract too.It can be kept under refrigeration for more than 2 months.

Almond Complexion Lotion:
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Almond Oil………………1 tbsp.
Cucumber/Carrot Juice…….1 tsp.
Glycerine……………….2 tsp.
Liquid Paraffin………….1 tsp.
Extract Of Cornflower…….1 tsp.

Heat the almond oil and paraffin togather and add all other ingredients to it. Shake it well, apply it and let it remain till it dries.Rinse off with water proceded by washing with lukeworm water.It leaves the skin looking fairer and smoother.

Sesame Complex Lotion:
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Sesameme oil ……………… 40 ml.
Olive Oil……………………10 ml.
Almond Oil ………………….10 ml.

Mix all the oil togather and apply it on the face and neck.It is an exclusive tonic to protect the skin from scroching heat of sun and is a very effective measure to get rid of suntanning.

Brook Lime Complexion Lotion:
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Leaves/Stems of Brook Lime………….50 gms.
Distilled Water…………………..500 ml.
Sodium Benzoate…………………..1/2 tsp.

Boil the water and put the brook lime leaves/stems in it. Leave it for an hour. Strain and let it cool.Now mix sodium benzoate in it.Apply it on the face and neck with cotton.It removes the spots and blackheads. It can be kept under refrigeration for more than 2 months.
Witch Hazel Complexion Lotion:
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Borax Powder……………………..15 gms.
Distilled Water………………….500 ml.
Alcohol…………………………..1 cup.
Witch Hazel extract………………..1/2 cup.

Dissolve the borax powder in water over a low flame.Let it cool and then stir with rest of the ingredients. Pour the mixture into an airtight bottle and keep under refrigeration.

From:Herbal Beauty & Body Care

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