Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Health Benefits of Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon is one of the most popular herbs and spices. Though cinnamon oil has numerous health benefits, it often causes irritations and allergic reactions. Therefore people prefer to use cinnamon directly instead of using the oil. This article, therefore, provides health benefits of cinnamon. The general benefits of cinnamon oil are given at the bottom.

Cinnamon, which has the scientific name Cinnamomum zeylanicum, has originated from tropical Asia, especially Sri Lanka and India. Now the shrub is grown in almost every tropical region of the world. The herb, owing to its vast medicinal uses, had found a prominent position in traditional medicines, especially Ayurveda (the traditional Indian medicinal system). Traditionally cinnamon, due to its medicinal properties, has been used in many cultures for treating a variety of health disorders including diarrhea, arthritis, menstrual cramps, heavy menstruation, yeast infections, colds, flu, and digestive problems.

Now it is being used all over the world for treating a variety of health disorders including respiratory problems, skin infections, blood impurity, menstruation problems, heart disorders, etc. The most widely used part of cinnamon is its bark.

The health benefits of cinnamon can be attributed to its antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, astringent and anti clotting properties. Cinnamon is rich in essential minerals such as manganese, iron and calcium. It is also rich in fiber.

The health benefits of cinnamon include the following:

* Brain Tonic: Cinnamon boosts the activity of the brain and hence acts as a good brain tonic. It helps in removing nervous tension and memory loss. Research at the Wheeling Jesuit University in the US has proved that the scent of cinnamon has the ability to boost brain activity. The team of researchers led by Dr. P. Zoladz found that people who were administered with cinnamon improved their scored on cognitive activities such as attentional processes, virtual recognition memory, working memory, and visual-motor response speed.
* Blood Purification: Cinnamon helps in removing blood impurities. Therefore it is often recommended for pimples.
* Blood Circulation: Cinnamon aids in the circulation of blood due to the presence of a blood thinning compound in it. This blood circulation helps significantly in removing pain. Good blood circulation also ensures oxygen supply to the body cells leading to higher metabolic activity. You significantly reduce the chance of getting a heart attack by regularly consuming cinnamon.
* Infections: Due to its antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties, it is effective on external as well as internal infections. It helps in destroying germs in the gall bladder and bacteria in staph infections.
* Healing: Cinnamon helps in stopping bleeding. Therefore it facilitates the healing process.
* Pain: Cinnamon is also anti inflammatory. It helps in removing the stiffness of muscles. It relieves pain and stiffness of muscle and joints. Cinnamon is also recommended for arthritis. It also helps in removing headache that is caused by cold.
* Cinnamon and Other SpicesDiabetes: Cinnamon has the ability to control blood sugar. Diabetics find it very useful as cinnamon aids them in using less insulin. Research has shown that it is particularly very helpful for patients suffering from type2 diabetes. Type2 diabetes patients are not able to use their insulin levels properly. Researchers at the US Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, studied the effect of various food substances including cinnamon on blood sugar. They found that a water-soluble polyphenol compound called MHCP which is abundant in cinnamon synergistically acted with insulin and helped in the better utilization of insulin.
* Heart Diseases: It is believed that the calcium and fiber present in cinnamon provides protection against heart diseases. Including a little cinnamon in the food helps those suffering from coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.
* Colon Cancer: It also improves the health of colon and thereby reducing the risk to colon cancer.
* Mouth freshener: Cinnamon is used in chewing gums as it is a good mouth freshener and removes bad breath.
* Perfumes: It has a refreshing aroma and is extensively used in making perfumes.
* Indigestion: Cinnamon is added in many ethnic recipes. Apart from adding flavor to the food, it also aids in digestion. Cinnamon is very effective for indigestion, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea and flatulence. Due to its carminative properties, it is very helpful in removing gas from the stomach and intestines. It also removes acidity, diarrhea and morning sickness. It is therefore often referred to as a digestive tonic.
* Respiratory problems: Cinnamon helps in cold, flu, influenza, sore throat and congestion.
* Menstruation: Cinnamon is effective in providing relief from menstrual discomfort and cramping.
* Birth Control: Cinnamon also helps in natural birth control. Regular consumption of cinnamon after child birth delays menstruation and thus helps in avoiding conception.
* Breastfeeding: It is also believed that cinnamon aids in the secretion of breast milk.

Cinnamon is diuretic in nature and helps in secretion and discharge of urine. It is also aphrodisiac and is believed to arouse sexual desire.

Benefits of Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon oil is obtained from the bark and leaves of cinnamon tree. Cinnamon oil does have applications in aromatherapy; however, it is not as popular as other essential oils such as pine essential oil, basil essential oil, rosemary essential oil and lavender essential oil.

The benefits of cinnamon oil include the following:

* Cooking: Many people add cinnamon oil while cooking. Cinnamon oil obtained from the leaves contains a compound named cinnamaldehyde, which is an excellent flavoring agent.
* Room Freshener: The pleasant aroma of cinnamon oil makes it a very effective as a room freshener. It is often added in potpourris.
* Eliminating Mosquitoes: Cinnamon oil is a good mosquito repellent. Research has now proved that cinnamon oil is very effective in killing mosquito larvae. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (a renowned scientific journal) has reported the research conducted at the National Taiwan University. Apart from the leaves of cinnamon, its bark is also a good source of cinnamaldehyde, which is an active mosquito killing agent. This research has paved the way for finding an environmentally solution for solving the global menace problem.

Many companies producing cinnamon oil claim that it is a good antibacterial and antifungal agent making it very effective on infections. It also helps in blood circulation and acts as a sexual stimulant. Research has also proved that cinnamon oil obtained from the leaves and twigs of cinnamon can be used for controlling mites in honey bees.

Cinnamon oil should not be consumed internally. Further, it can have adverse effects on the skin, if used topically in concentrated form and therefore it should be used in diluted form. Moreover before using cinnamon oil, it should be tested if it suits your skin. Hence apply only a small quantity of cinnamon oil initially and check if you get any allergic reaction. Do not apply cinnamon oil on the face and sensitive areas.

Cinnamon blends well with various essential oils and hence it is added to many aromatherapy preparations. It enhances the effectiveness of other herbs and essential oils and thus speeds up treatment of herbal remedies. Further many herbs have an unpleasant taste. Cinnamon or cinnamon oil is added to herbal preparations to make them taste better. The oil blends well with other essential oils such as lemon essential oil, rosemary essential oil, geranium essential oil, lavender essential oil and cardamom essential oil.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cooking Tips for Retaining Nutritional Value of Potato

The nutritional value of potato, like other food items, greatly depends on the way of cooking it. The most nutrititve part of potato lies just beneath its skin.

Here are some tips that will help you in reducing the loss of potato nutrients:

* Avoid peeling the potatoes before cooking them. The outer shell provides a good protection against nutritional loss during the cooking process. The protein and mineral content beneath the skin is very high and if you cook the potatoes after peeling them, most of these proteins and minerals are lost.

* When you boil potatoes, first heat the water to its boiling point and then add potatoes. This will reduce the cooking time and help you maintain Vitamin C content.

* Minimize frying as 75% of Vitamin C is lost during frying. You can use other cooking methods such as baking and steaming. On a different note, have you ever tried barbecue roasted potatoes?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Health Benefits of Clove Oil

Clove is rich in minerals such as calcium, hydrochloric acid, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and vitamin A and vitamin C. The health benefits of clove oil include the following:

* Dental Care: The most prominent use of clove oil is in dental care. The germicidal properties of the oil make it very effective for relieving dental pain, tooth ache, sore gums and mouth ulcers. Clove oil contains the compound eugenol, which has been used in dentistry since numerous years. Gargles with diluted clove oil help in easing the throat. The characteristic smell of clove oil helps removing bad breath. As a result, clove oil is added to numerous dental products and medications, including, mouth washes, and tooth pastes. Dentists also mix clove oil with zinc oxide and prepare a white filling material as a temporary alternative to root canal.
* Infections: Due to its antiseptic properties, clove oil is useful for wound, cuts, scabies, athlete’s foot, fungal infections, bruises, prickly heat, scabies, etc. It can also be used insect bites and stings. Clove oil is very strong in nature and hence should be used in diluted form. Further, it should not be used on sensitive skin.
* Skin Care: Clove oil is often recommended for skin care, especially to acne patients.
* Stress: Clove oil is aphrodisiac in nature and hence serves as an excellent stress reliever. It has a stimulating effect on the mind and removes mental exhaustion and fatigue. When taken internally, in appropriate amounts, it refreshes the mind. Clove oil also induces sleep and is helpful to insomnia patients. It is useful for treating mental problems such as loss of memory, depression and anxiety.
* Headache: Clove oil when mixed with salt, and applied on the forehead, gives a cooling effect and helps in getting relief from headache.
* Respiratory Problems: Clove oil has a cooling and anti inflammatory effect, and thereby clears the nasal passage. This expectorant is useful in various respiratory disorders including coughs, colds, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, and tuberculosis. Chewing a clove bud eases sore throats.
* Earache: A mixture of warm clove oil and sesame oil is a good remedy for earaches.
* Indigestion: Clove oil is effective in stomach related problems such as hiccups, indigestion, motion sickness, and flatulence. Hence, clove one of the important spices added in Indian dishes.
* Nausea: Clove oil is helpful in case of nausea and vomiting and is often used for pregnancy related vomiting.
* Blood Circulation: Clove oil is increases your body metabolism by increasing blood circulation and reducing body temperature.
* Blood Purification: Clove oil also helps in purifying the blood.
* Diabetes: Along with blood purification, clove oil also helps in controlling the blood sugar levels and hence is useful to diabetics.
* Immune System: Both clove and clove oil are useful for boosting the immune system. Its antiviral properties and ability to purify blood increases your resistance to diseases.
* Premature Ejaculation: Research has indicated that clove can be useful for treating premature ejaculation. Further research needs to be carried out to confirm these results.
* Cholera: It is believed that clove oil is useful for treating cholera.
* Sty: Clove and clove oil is a very effective home remedy for treating sty. Sty is an inflammation on the eyelash and is a very irritating condition. Sty is not only painful, but also causes difficulty in the proper functioning of the eye.

Other benefits of clove oil include the following:

* Cosmetics: Clove oil is often added in cosmetic creams and lotions. It is a good massage oil providing relief from pain and stress.
* Clove Cigarettes: Usage of clove in making cigarettes is a new trend all over the world. Traditionally, clove was added in cigarettes in Indonesia. Smokers (wrongly) feel that the numerous health benefits of clove would nullify the ill effects of smoking. Flavoring Agent: Along with its digestive properties, clove oil is added in food items due to its flavor. It is added in many Indian dishes, pickles, sauce, spice cakes, etc.
* Soaps: Due to the characteristic aroma, soothing effect and antiseptic properties, clove oil is added in making soaps.
* Perfumes: Clove oil is also used in making perfumes.

Many people believe that clove oil is useful in preventing and treating cancer. However, the American Cancer Society clearly mentions that there is no scientific evidence on the curative properties of clove oil. It is also claimed by many that clove oil is useful in treating viral hepatitis.

One should be careful while using clove oil. Clove oil is strong in nature and hence should be diluted before application.

Clove oil blends well with many essential oils including basil essential oil, rosemary essential oil, rose oil, cinnamon essential oil, grapefruit essential oil, lemon essential oil, nutmeg essential oil, peppermint essential oil, orange essential oil, lavender essential oil, geranium essential oil, etc.

Monday, August 18, 2008

5 Ways to Beef Up Your Brain

Forget where you left your keys this morning? Or maybe you left your umbrella in the office before a rainy evening.

Don't worry, it's probably not a sign of Alzheimer's — everyone is a little forgetful now and then.

But the prevalence of Alzheimer's and other types of dementia, which slowly deteriorate the brain's capacity to make new memories, retrieve older ones and perform other mental and physical tasks, is on the rise as the baby boomer generation hits retirement age. A 2007 Alzheimer's Association report estimated that more than 5 million Americans were currently living with the disease and that that total could reach 16 million by 2050.

Scientists are still trying to unravel the many mysteries of the brain — how our brain processes information, how memory works, how the brain ages and how diseases like Alzheimer's develop — so that we better understand our own minds and how to keep them healthy.

But while there is still a lot to learn about our noggins, several studies have worked out a few ways to help keep your thinking organ in shape, now and as you age.

1. Eat Your Brain Food

You are what you eat, or at least your brain is. A diet of junk food can junk up your brain, as things like trans fats and saturated fats, common in heavily processed foods, can negatively affect the brain's synapses. Synapses connect the brains neurons and are important to learning and memory. On the other hand, a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids — found in salmon, walnuts and kiwi fruit — can give the synapses a boost and help fight against mental disorders from depression to dementia.

2. Hit the Gym

Giving the rest of your body a workout can also improve your memory, make you think more clearly and decrease the risk of developing cognitive diseases, several studies have suggested. Because exercise is a mild stressor to your body, eating up the precious energy needed by the brain, it triggers the release of chemicals called growth factors that make the brain's neurons stronger and healthier. Half an hour every other day will do it, experts say. And don't forget to stretch: Stretching can help reduce stress, which can impact the memory centers of your brain.

3. Mind Benders

Give your brain a workout, too, with brainteasers, crossword puzzles and memory games — studies have shown that using these tools to stay mentally active can reduce the risks of developing dementia by building and maintaining a reserve of stimulation in your brain. Even following the current political campaign can provide a boost to the systems that control attention and learning that are hard-wired into the brain.

4. Memory tricks

Keeping information stored in your memory banks and retaining that memory with age may also be a simple matter of mind control. For example, confidence in your cognitive abilities could actually affect how well your memory functions, particularly for the elderly. Because some older adults tend to blame memory lapses on age, regardless of whether or not that is the cause, they can keep themselves from even really trying to remember. Prediction can also enhance memory: If you have a good idea of the information you'll need to recall later, you're more likely to remember it.

5. Give it a Rest

Sleep gives your brain a chance to replay the memories of the day and consolidate them for long-term storage. One study suggested that the brain can do its reviewing much faster when you're asleep than when you're wide awake — so no more all-nighters, students. A 90-minute mid-afternoon nap can even help solidify long-term memories, such as events or skills you are trying to master. Siesta anyone?

Of course, none of these mind-enhancing tips is fool-proof. Some studies have suggested that developing Alzheimer's and other types of dementia is partly a matter of genetics.

One such study, presented in July at the Alzheimer's Association's International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease, hinted at a connection between mothers who develop Alzheimer's and the chances their children will become afflicted in old age. Another suggests that having a specific pattern of proteins is a risk factor for the debilitating disease.

But for now, no one can predict exactly who will or won't develop dementia. While scientists work on better indicators and cures, doing your own part to keep your body and brain healthy is probably the best you can do.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

40 tips for better life

1. Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day. And while you walk, smile.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
3. Sleep for 7 hours.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
5. Play more games.
6. Read more books than you did in 2007.
7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
9. Dream more while you are awake.
10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
11. Drink plenty of water.
12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
13. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
14. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
15. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
16. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
17. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
18. Smile and laugh more.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about. Don't compare your partner with others.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
25. Forgive everyone for everything.
26.. What other people think of you is none of your business.
27. GOD ! heals everything.
28. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
29. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
30. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
31. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
32. The best is yet to come.
33. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
34. Do the right thing!
35. Call your family often.
36. Your inner most is always happy. So be happy.
37. Each day give something good to others.
38. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
39. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
40. Please Forward this to everyone you care about.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Take a not - Dont always sleep late

Good rest and sound sleep is very
Important... if u don't sleep well,
The toxic in your body will accumulate..
Affecting your health and your mood...

The main causes of liver damage are:

1. Sleeping too late and waking up too late are the main causes.
2. Not urinating in the morning.
3. Too much eating.
4. Skipping breakfast.
5. Consuming too much medication.
6. Consuming too much preservatives, additives, food coloring, and artificial sweetener.
7. Consuming unhealthy cooking oil. As much as possible reduce cooking oil use when frying, which includes even the best cooking oils like olive oil. Do not consume fried foods when you are tired, except if the body is very fit.
8. Consuming overly done foods also add to the burden of liver. Veggies should be eaten raw or cooked 3-5 parts. Fried veggies should be finished in one sitting, do not store.

We just have to adopt a good daily lifestyle and eating habits. Maintaining good eating habits and time condition are very important for our body to absorb and get rid of unnecessary chemicals according to 'schedule.'

Because: Evening at 9 - 11pm : is the time for eliminating unnecessary/ toxic chemicals (de-toxification) from the antibody system (lymph nodes). This time duration should be spent by relaxing or listening to music. If during this time a housewife is still in an unrelaxed state such as washing the dishes or monitoring children doing their homework, this will have a negative impact on her health.

Evening at 11pm - 1am : The de-toxification process in the liver, and ideally should be done in a deep sleep state. Early morning 1 - 3am : de-toxification process in the gall, also ideally done in a deep sleep state.

Early morning 3 - 5am : de-toxification in the lungs. Therefore there will sometimes be a severe cough for cough sufferers during this time. Since the de-toxification process had reached the respiratory tract, there is no need to take cough medicine so as not to interfere with toxin removal process.
Morning 5 - 7am : de-toxification in the colon, you should empty your bowel.

Morning 7 - 9am : Absorption of nutrients in the small intestine, you should be having breakfast at this time. Breakfast should be earlier, before 6:30am, for those who are sick. Breakfast before 7:30am is very beneficial to those wanting to stay fit. Those who always skip breakfast, they should change their habits, and it is still better to eat breakfast late until 9 -10am rather than no meal at all. Sleeping so late and waking up too late will disrupt the process of removing unnecessary chemicals. Aside from that, midnight to 4am is the time when the bone marrow produces blood.

Therefore, have a good sleep and don't sleep late.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Blood Clots/Stroke‏

STROKE: Remember The 1st Three Letters.... S.T.R.

My nurse friend sent this and encouraged me to post it and spread the word. I agree.

If everyone can remember something this simple, we could save some folks. Seriously..


During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ....she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.

They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening

Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 pm Ingrid passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don't die.... they end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.

It only takes a minute to read this...

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke... totally . He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.


Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR . Read and Learn!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S * Ask the individual to SMILE.

T * Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(i.e. It is sunny out today)

R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 999/911 immediately and describe the
symptoms to the dispatcher.

New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue

NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue.. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other , that is also an indication of a stroke.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mind and Consciousness

Mind and Consciousness
Written by Dr. David Frawley

Published previously in Light of Consciousness magazine and in the
Mountain Path of the Sri Ramanashram, Tiruvannamalai.

What is the nature of the mind? How is it related to our deeper
consciousness? And, above all, who are we in our real being? What is
our true identity or true Self behind the endless stream of thoughts
going on inside us?

These have always been the prime questions that we must ask in order
to discover the ultimate meaning and purpose of our existence. They
are the basis of the seeking of liberation and Self-realization in
the Yoga tradition. In Yoga, the Divine is defined mainly as the
essence of consciousness. The yogic spiritual quest is a practice of
meditation in order to discover that.

Looking at the Mind

Today, we usually look at the mind according to the approaches of
modern psychology. We focus on the subconscious mind, memory and past
experiences as the measure of our mental state, the ground out of
which our thought and emotion develops. Examination of the mind
usually consists of trying to understand our personal history,
including uncovering hidden or repressed traumatic experiences that
may inhibit our functioning in life. In most of current psychology,
the personal mind is our real consciousness and somewhere in it our
true self or identity can be found.

Modern science similarly identifies mind and consciousness, equating
the faculty of thinking with the power of awareness. It takes us back
to the basic Cartesian dictum, "I think therefore I am". It regards
consciousness as primarily self-consciousness, the activity of the
personal self as, for example, the ability to recognize ourselves in
a mirror, which capacity animals, except possibly for some primates,
do not seem to have.

On this basis, modern science identifies consciousness with the mind
and the mind with the brain. This identification has resulted seeking
to improve our mental and emotional functioning through altering
brain chemistry with pharmaceutical preparations. Mainstream science
usually does not recognize consciousness as a spiritual or cosmic
principle apart from the mind, though some trends in the new physics
are beginning to suggest this. It is still a largely physical view of
the mind that we find in medicine today.

The yogic view of the mind, however, is very different. It is based
on meditation and inner experience, rather than outer
experimentation. It tries to understand the mind through
introspection or turning our awareness within, rather than by
analyzing outer mental patterns. It encourages us to observe the mind
rather than follow its reactions. It teaches us to understand the
process of perception and how it conditions us, rather than to merely
examine our memories.

The Yoga tradition also classifies the mind in a different manner. It
defines mind in the broadest sense, what is called chitta in
Sanskrit, as all aspects of conditioned consciousness. Under the
concept of chitta is included reason, emotion, sensation, memory, the
instinctual part of the mind, and the ego; all that we ordinarily
consider to possess some degree of consciousness within us. Yet under
the concept of chitta is also a higher creativity and intuition
beyond the ordinary mind and physical consciousness, which few people
may develop in a significant manner. Chitta moreover extends beyond
the personal mind, to collective and cosmic aspects of mind. Chitta
is mind as a cosmic principle, not simply the human mind.

Mind and Consciousness: Two Different Powers

Even more significantly, Yoga radically distinguishes between mind
and consciousness, which it regards as two separate but related
powers. Yoga regards consciousness, called Chit as something other
than the mind or Chitta. This is very different than modern science
but also most of the world's philosophies, which generally identify
mind and consciousness.

The mind is an instrument of thinking and sensing on various levels.
Mind is called the `inner instrument' or antahkarana in Sanskrit,
related to the body which is our outer instrument. The mind is looked
upon as the sixth sense after the five bodily senses and is regarded
as an organ, not our true being or the basis of our sense of self.

Chit is pure consciousness unmodified by any mental activity. Chit is
awareness of what is called the Purusha, the inner Being, for which
the mind is but a tool of perception and expression. Yoga similarly
regards mind and brain as different though related. The brain is the
physical vehicle for the mind, but not the mind itself.

The Purusha is our inner Self while the mind, we could say, is like
our computer and the body is like the car we drive. Mind and body are
our internal and external instruments but not our real identity. Just
as you are not your computer, so too, your true Self and Being is not
the mind. The light that allows the mind to function comes from the
Purusha. The mind does not have any light of its own. Your sense of
self-being, that you are a unique, whole and continuous center of
awareness, derives from the inner consciousness, not form the mind.

Mind and Psychology

How we seek to heal the mind depends upon how we look at the mind.
The yogic view of psychology, with its emphasis on consciousness
rather than mind as our real being, is also different.

Psychology belongs to the mind and the mind can have psychological
diseases and imbalances, just as the body can have physical diseases
and imbalances. A person's psychology reflects the condition of their
mind, its tendencies, and qualities. The mind always has a psychology
because it is a product of time and outer experiences, which leave
their characteristic marks upon it. They are classified in Ayurveda
and Yogic psychology according to the gunas (sattva, rajas and
tamas), doshas (vata, pitta and kapha), the five elements and other
energetic factors.

Our true Self or Purusha, however, does not have a psychology because
it is unconditioned consciousness, the witness outside of time and
the mind. It is beyond all form and qualities. While the mind has
mental activity, the inner Being consists of pure unmodified
awareness only, like a mirror. This means that if we can go deeply
into our awareness to our inner being and light of consciousness, we
can move beyond all psychological suffering. The ultimate yogic
solution to psychological problems is to raise our awareness to the
inner consciousness beyond the mind and its dualities. Though many
outer factors of diet, behavior, the breath and the senses can help,
it ultimately requires a revolution in our awareness itself from a
mind-based consciousness to pure consciousness itself, from Chitta to

The Question of Self-knowledge

In Yoga, knowledge alone is said to bring about the liberation of
consciousness, specifically self-knowledge or the knowledge of our
true nature in the Purusha. When we speak of self-knowledge for the
personal mind, we are mainly referring to knowledge of one's personal
history, habits and inclinations. Self-knowledge for the inner Being,
however, consists of understanding the essence of awareness beyond
thought and personal history. Though our thoughts are constantly
changing, our inner Being remains the same.

True Self-knowledge is a matter of Being, not of thought or emotion.
It is a state of Being, not of events, experiences or ideas known.
Our inner Being has no conceptual content, nor is it conditioned by
time and action. It is a state of openness, surrender and presence
like a steady thread through all our experiences. Contacting it
brings us into a state of peace in which the mind and its psychology
are naturally put to rest. To reach our inner Being requires a
different orientation of our consciousness, a willingness to let go
of our personal history and dive into the great Unknown within.

From the standpoint of the Purusha or true Self, one could say that
you cannot know yourself. There is no self or personal history to be
known which could define you. From the standpoint of the true Self,
you can only be your Self. But in being yourself, you become one with
all Being. You come to know all things within yourself, in which the
mind becomes but an instrument to be used at will or put to rest.

Our inner Being exists beyond time and space, birth and death, mind
and body. Yet it is present within us as the ground of consciousness
and present all around us as the ground of Being. To truly know one's
Self is to know that inner Being which is the same in all. In that
awareness, the mind becomes quiet and passive and the personal self
loses its relevance.

In that inner Reality, the mind loses its importance. This is just as
when the Sun is shining, one no longer notices the Moon. The reality
is self-evident. Nothing needs to be said, discussed or argued about.
And the reality is so vast it can never be described. One merges into
the experience only.

Self- Realization

The yogic dictum is "I am that I am", "I am that which is, that which
was and that which will be." "I am therefore I can think." Yet
this "I" is neither me nor you, nor anyone else. One could say that
it is God, but it is not the God of any belief, theology or
philosophy. It is the Divine Being that is the being of all. It is
the Self of existence, the Self-being that is the ocean of which all
creatures and all worlds are but waves. In that Self is the
resolution of all our problems, conflicts, stress, anxiety and
agitation. When one has gone home to one's true nature, there are no
more issues left to resolve.

Yoga defines its supreme goal of liberation as the realization of the
inner Self or Purusha. "Knowing only the Purusha can one go beyond
death. There is no other path to transcendence. " So knowledge of the
Purusha or inner Being is the most important thing in life, not just
a knowledge of our mental and emotional tendencies, however valuable
these may be for dealing with psychological diseases.

Unless we know our inner Being, we cannot find lasting peace.
Knowledge of our being depends upon being, not upon mental activity.
The problem is that instead of seeking to know our inner Being, we
get caught in our outer becoming. We run after the mental, emotional
or physical self and lose the Being Self within. This process is
Samsara or the turning of the wheel of sorrow.

Usually we think of Self-realization as the realization of our hidden
personal potentials, some special abilities or talents we might not
have yet developed. However, yogic Self-realization is the
understanding that our true Self is beyond body and mind, which also
means beyond psychology, culture and conditioning. It is the
dissolution of the personal, psychological self into the Being Self
that is not born and does not die.

True consciousness is not the embodied mind, which is a conditioned
consciousness, a mere collection of tendencies and activities from
our various births. True consciousness is a universal principle and
power like space. It cannot be limited to any body or mind. The mind
can at best reflect it, which requires that the mind be still, subtle
and sensitive within. We must learn to move from embodied
consciousness or mind, to the non-embodied universal consciousness,
in which we transcend our personal self to the universal Self. This
occurs when we go to the root of the mind and discover the light of
awareness that radiates through it.

Mind and Self-realization

For such higher Self-realization, the mind plays a crucial role. The
mind can be the instrument for either bondage or liberation,
ignorance or enlightenment. If we turn the mind towards the external
world as the reality, it becomes a force of attachment and sorrow. If
we turn the mind within to the inner Being as the reality, it slows
down and comes to reflect that higher reality. The mind becomes a
mirror for the light of the Self to shine.

So turning the mind within is the essence of Yoga and meditation. For
this the mind must be first brought to a one-pointed state. A
fragmented or distracted mind cannot turn within. This inward
turning process can be looked upon very simply as immersing the mind
in the deeper consciousness of the inner Being that dwells within the

The mind's knowledge is conceptual or thought based. It results in
facts, data, information, ideals, theories, opinions, concepts or
formulas. Our inner Being has a higher kind of knowledge, which is
radically different from what the mind can know. Our inner being has
a special "knowledge by identity', in which is not colored by thought
and its preconceptions.

Through one's inner Being, one can merge into the inner Being of all
that one comes in contact to through the body and senses. For most of
us, this is a very difficult condition to imagine. But whenever the
mind becomes totally concentrated, it experiences a quantum leap in
awareness and a special knowledge arises through the inner unity of
the seer and the seen. This inner knowledge through identity is the
real yogic knowledge that frees us from all bondage and suffering.

All that the mind knows is simply thought, which is name and form,
and but a modification of the mind. True knowledge is knowledge of
the Being, which arises through pure consciousness when mental
activity comes to rest, when the mind becomes cool, calm and silent.

From Mind to Consciousness

We must learn to move beyond the mind to pure consciousness, which is
to return to our true nature, our inner Being. It is to rest in the
silence and peace within that no thought, opinion, belief or
conclusion can touch. It is to enter into the realm of Being and
direct experience, where no words can go, which leaves no outer
trace, where one becomes everything and nothing.

The mind is an excellent tool and instrument for consciousness. It
has a wonderful capacity for action, expression, memory and
coordination of our outer actions. But if we try to understand
consciousness through the mind, we fall into spiritual ignorance and
confusion. We wrongly identify our true Self and Being with our outer
being. However, if we abide in pure consciousness, then the mind has
its place to help us function in life. But the mind no longer throws
its tendencies and impulses upon us as our real motivation.

Learn to discriminate between mind and consciousness. Learn to
witness the mind. Dwell as the seer of the mind and its
modifications. This is the Yoga of meditation that empties the mind
of its conditioning and allows us to rest in our true nature, to see
Reality, and to go beyond death.

Eat These Three Things to Live Longer

1. Broccoli
Johns Hopkins researchers found that a broccoli compound, applied to the skin, helps cells fight UV radiation. You can’t buy such a product yet, but experts say it can’t hurt to eat more broccoli. Why? Another one of its chemicals seems to boost the immune system.

2. Grapes
This fruit has lots of resveratrol, a plant chemical that Spanish researchers found can lengthen the lives of flies and yeast. Will it work for you? It’s too soon to know, but red grapes (plus berries, peanuts, and a little red wine) are the best sources of this promising ingredient.

3. Salad
Vitamin K—found in lettuce and spinach—seems to boost skin elasticity in patients with a rare disorder that leads to severe wrinkling. Some researchers think the effect may be universal. Plus, leafy greens help you get more fiber and keep your appetite in check.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pain Relief for Laptop-Lovers

It’s no wonder laptops are now more popular than desktops—they’re just so liberating. But anyone who loves her laptop knows there can be agony in all that ecstasy: Using them regularly can make your neck throb, eyes ache, and shoulders cry uncle. Thankfully, some simple accessories and adjustments can help ease the ache without tying you down.

Baby your eyes with a filter
Anti-glare filters can help reduce the eyestrain you can get from staring at shiny, reflective screens (you tend to blink less when looking at them), says ergonomics expert Alan Hedge, director of Cornell University’s Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory. The Protection Filters from 3M ($35 to $55, depending on monitor size, at Staples) attach to your screen with small plastic clips. If you need both a glare fix and an answer for nosy java-joint neighbors, 3M’s Privacy Filters ($40 to $60 at OfficeMax) make your screen seem black to anyone not looking at it dead-on.

Save your back with a stand
Traded your desktop for a laptop but still feel tethered to your desk? A stand can help eliminate many problems, including the back and shoulder pain that Boston University researchers recently documented in 90 percent of laptop users they studied. Experts say the aches come from squeezing your arms together to finger a laptop’s compressed keyboard and hunching over to see the low screen. The APC Ergonomic Notebook Stand with USB 2.0 Hub ($79.99 at Best Buy) offers relief by elevating your screen to eye level and providing space and hookups for a full-size keyboard and mouse. The stand connects to your laptop via a short USB cable, and you plug the other devices into the stand. Got to run to a meeting or catch a flight? Just unplug the one USB cable from your laptop and go.

Lighten your load
The right laptop case is a must for long airport dashes that can do a number on your shoulders and back. That’s why wheeled bags are so popular with the frequent-flyer crowd. We like the Travelpro Runway Deluxe Brief/Tote ($199.99 at Marshall Field’s and Bloomingdale’s), with single-hand operation and ergonomic zipper pulls. For the nonwheeled, try the American Chiropractic Association–endorsed Kensington Contour Carrying Case line ($59.99 to $129.99, depending on bag size, at Best Buy, Circuit City, or www.kensington.com). Because the case hugs your body, the laptop feels lighter, and the heavily padded strap eases shoulder strain. Another smart option: the classy Pacific Design Urban Executive Case ($99.95 at www.pacificdesign.com), whose vertical style allows you to more evenly distribute the weight of your computer on your hip.

Beat heat with a cooling pad
Most laptops heat up pretty fast, and a cooling pad can protect you from the kind of thigh burns reported by laptop users in a number of medical journals. A pad might also guard against another problem identified in a recent State University of New York at Stony Brook study on men: hikes in scrotal temperature, which can decrease fertility. Take the edge off with the comfortable and lightweight (less than a pound) Targus Chill Mat ($29.99 at CompUSA and Staples), a sleek silver pad that uses ultraquiet fans to suck heat away from your notebook. The mat makes your computer run cooler on both your legs and hard surfaces, and that may extend its life.

Take frequent breaks
Beyond accessories, Cornell’s Hedge says just taking a breather can do wonders for aches and pains. But if you’re so busy blogging that you forget to step away and stretch, try reminder software. Stretch Break 6.0 ($44.95 at www.stretchbreak.com) flashes a box on your screen every 30 minutes (or however often you like) with directions for three quick body and eye stretches. It plays soothing music, too.

How to Beat BlackBerry Thumb
Regular use of those Lilliputian keyboards on personal digital assistants (PDAs) like the BlackBerry can lead to thumb tendonitis. “If you’re text messaging ‘R U there?’ you’re probably not going to have problems,” says Cornell University ergonomics expert Alan Hedge. But lengthier missives mean trouble. His advice: Keep your wrists straight while typing, rest arms on pillows, and take breaks. Better yet, connect a specially designed Man and Machine keyboard ($80 to $189 at www.man-machine.com). They’re big enough to let you type with all your fingers, water resistant, and rubbery so you can roll them up for storage.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

10 Ways to Make Your Workout Green

You’ve put in fluorescent bulbs. You recycle your plastic bottles. You even considered (or bought!) a hybrid car. But how eco-friendly is your workout? Here’s our top 10 ways to green your exercise routine.

Throw on eco-friendly threads.
Organic cotton is breathable, absorbent and available in everything from sports bras to socks. Try Patagonia’s organic cotton and recycled polyester Vitali-tee. Add Gaiam’s ActiveSoy track jacket or a pair of soft bamboo yoga pants for a full green ensemble.

Eco Yoga.
Green up your downward dog with a biodegradable yoga mat. Try Plank yoga design shop’s new EcoLITE collection (pictured above) with fun life-like photos. The “Plank” features a half-eaten blueberry muffin—a reminder to reward yourself for being good to the environment.

Make your own energy bars.
Dump wasteful packaging and worrying food additives, and save a little money. Fuel up with homemade recipes from Matisse and Jacks. Do the same with sports drinks by buying in bulk or mixing them yourself.

BYO bottle.
More than 60 million disposable bottles end up in trash heaps every day. Help cut down on that enormous pile of plastic by re-using. Klean Kanteen’s stainless steel water bottle with insulated sleeve ensures safe, cold hydration.

Reduce your carbon footprint by making a few of your own.
Instead of driving to the gym, run or walk there for a great (cheap) warm-up. If the gym’s too far, try biking or carpooling. Keep your workout clothes in the car to cut down on extra
stops and gas.

Take it to the streets.
What’s more green than the great outdoors? With hills and wind providing resistance running and walking on the road can burn more calories than a treadmill. Other activities such as kayaking, hiking and rock climbing can help fend off workout boredom.

Choose your equipment carefully.
Treadmills are gas guzzlers, says Green Microgym owner Adam Boesel. His clients in Seattle put their pedal power to use on elliptical machines or stationary bikes that generate power for radios and DVD players.

L.A. health coach Tanja Djelevic often goes unplugged with her celebrity clients. She says a balance ball, resistance band and glider plates can give you an excellent all-around workout—and you can take them anywhere. Plus, using your body instead of a machine for resistance is oh-so green.

Big gyms, especially those open 24 hours a day, are big consumers. Turn off TV’s that aren’t in use, bring your own towel to reduce laundry and ask the gym to install low-flow showerheads and energy conserving lights.

Recycle—it’s good for your soles.
As the miles add up, so does the wear on your favorite cross-trainers. Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe initiative repurposes worn-out athletic shoes of any brand into sports courts, tracks and flooring—250 since 1993. Find drop-off locations.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Nutritional Value of Peanut and Peanut Butter

Nutritional Value of Peanut
Peanut is a legume used throughout the world for a variety of purposes including production of oil, butter, chocolates, cookies, etc. Peanuts are also eaten raw, roasted or added in various delicacies.
Nutrition Facts and Information about Peanut: Peanuts are a rich source of protein. They are rich in almost all minerals. Peanuts contain excellent levels of manganese, copper and magnesium. It is also a very good source of iron, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, selenium and tryptophan. Peanuts contain traces of sodium.
Vitamin Content: Peanut is a good source of Niacin and folate. Peanuts also contain thiamin, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and riboflavin.
Calorie Content of Peanut: 100g of Peanuts contributes 567 calories of energy. They are a very good source of monounsaturated fats. Peanut is very low in cholesterol and sodium.
Health Benefits of Peanut: Peanuts contribute to brain health, brain circulation and blood flow. In addition to that, peanuts are also good antioxidants. Other health benefits of peanut include protection against colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, and high cholesterol.

Nutritional Value of Peanut Butter
Peanut butter (also known as peanut paste) is made from ground roasted peanuts, with or without added oil. Peanut butter is rich in proteins and hence is a useful part of diet, especially for vegetarians.
Nutrition Facts and Information about Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is an excellent source of potassium, phosphorous and magnesium. It also contains very good amounts of calcium and sodium. Peanut butter contains good amounts of iron, zinc, manganese and selenium.
Vitamin Content: Peanut butter contains excellent levels of niacin and very good amounts of vitamin B3 and vitamin E. It contains good amounts of vitamin k, thiamin, pantothenic acid and riboflavin.
Calorie Content of Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is a high calorie food. The total calorie content in 100 grams of peanut butter is 589 calories. An excellent source of protein, peanuts also contains folate, dietary fiber and arginine.
Health Benefits of Peanut Butter: The benefits of peanut butter include cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart diseases, high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar, cancer, and gallstones.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Benefits of Organic Cotton Clothing

The benefits of organic cotton clothing include better health for consumers and farmers, environment conservation, cost savings for farmers, etc. These benefits have created a boom in the organic cotton clothing industry in the past few years. Parents are increasingly purchasing organic cotton baby clothes such as organic cotton diapers and organic cotton baby blanket.

Young as well as old consumers, men as well as women, are switching to organic cotton jeans, organic cotton pajamas, organic cotton shirt, organic cotton t shirt, organic cotton towel, organic cotton bedding, organic cotton mattress, organic cotton pillow, organic cotton blanket, organic cotton sheet, organic cotton duvet cover, organic cotton sock, organic cotton bath robe, organic cotton underwear, organic cotton bra, organic cotton bag, and other clothes made of organic cotton fabric and yarn.

The benefits of organic cotton clothing include the following:

* Benefits to the consumer: Manufacturers of organic Organic Cottonclothing strongly advertise that organic cotton clothing is better to wear, especially for babies. Many consumers and parents too agree with this. Organic cotton is excellent for the tender developing skin of a baby. It is believed that organic cotton clothing is softer than conventional cotton clothing. Further, since production of organic cotton does not involve use of chemicals, it causes fewer allergies. Organic cotton apparel also reduces respiratory problems and smells pleasant. Please note that these benefits of organic cotton are perceived beliefs, and do not have a strong scientific proof. Organic Facts is a strong proponent of organic food and organic living; however, it is necessary to provide the right kind of information to the readers. Please read benefits of organic food for more details.

* Environment benefits of organic cotton: You will be surprised to know that conventional cotton accounts for nearly 25% of the insecticides and 10% of the pesticides used in the world, though is it grown on only 3% of the total cultivated area. Cotton crop has been plagued by numerous diseases and pests including bacterial blight, ascochvta blight, southern blight, lef spot, bollworm, white fly, crown gall, lint degradation, anthracnose, areolate mildew, powdery mildew, black root rot, boll rot, sting nematode, charcoal rot, escobilla, stem canker, leaf spot, lint contamination, terminal stunt, cotton rust, southwestern cotton rust, tropical cotton rust, verticillium wilt, reniform nematode, abutilon mosaic, anthocyanosis, blue disease, small leaf, leaf crumple, leaf curl, leaf mottle, leaf roll, psylosis, and phyllody. It also ranks fourth in the list of most heavily fertilized crops. The excessive usage of chemicals in conventional cotton production has led to environmental pollution. Organic cotton is grown using organic means without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides and therefore helps improve the quality of land, prevent water contamination, and conserve biodiversity.

* Improved health for farmers: Like conventional coffee production, conventional cotton production also leads to poisoning, causing various health problems for the farmers. The problem of poisoning due to chemical insecticides and pesticides is so acute that thousands of poor farmers in developing countries lose their lives. Organic cotton production, on the other hand, ensures a healthy life for the farmers.

* Cost savings for organic cotton farmers: Studies carried out by the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture in Andhra Pradesh, India have shown that growing organic cotton is cheaper than frowing Bt Cotton as Bt Cotton is more prone to pest attacks.

* Prevention of suicides: Many times, failed crops in chemical cotton production leads the farmers into debts as the input costs are high. In the past few years, numerous farmers in India, especially in the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, have resorted to suicides. The input costs for organic cotton production reduce with time, enabling farmers to remain debt-free even after a crop failure.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Value of Corn and Rice

Nutritional Value of Corn:
Corn or maize is one of the most popular cereals in the world. Corn forms the staple food of numerous people in different countries including, US, India, etc.

Nutrition Facts and Information about Corn: Corn is rich in phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, iron and selenium. It also has small amounts of potassium.

Vitamin Content: Corn has Vitamin B (Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Niacin, Riboflavin, Folate). It has traces of Vitamin A and Vitamin E.

Calorie Content of Corn: Cereals are the prime source of calories for many people. The calorific value of most cereals lies between 330 to 350 calories per 100 gm, the calorific value of corn being 342 calories per 100 gm.

Health Benefits of Corn: There are no particular health benefits of corn, except for the fact that it provides necessary calories for daily metabolism of the body. Corn is good for skin care, boosting nervous system, digestion, and maintaining low cholesterol levels.

Nutritional Value of Rice:

Nutrition Facts and Information about Rice: Rice is a good source of proteins, phosphorus and iron. It also contains some amounts of calcium. Most of the nutrients and minerals in rice are concentrated in the outer brown layers known as husk and germs. Hence brown rice, which is rice from which only husk has been removed, is the most nutritious type of rice. Unfortunately, many consumers prefer pseudo cosmetic preferences and demand white rice or polished rice, in which the germ and bran has been removed.

Lemon Rice Vitamin Content: Rice contains vitamin B in small quantities.

Calorific Content of Rice: There is no other food item that provides calories and energy to the world as provided by rice. It is not wrong to say that most of the people in the world as able to do their daily activities due to rice. Rice has about 345 calories per 100 g. Further, it is very easy to digest rice and hence most of these calories are absorbed by the body. How many times has it happened with you that you have eaten stomach full of rice and have felt hungry just one hour later?

Health Benefits of Rice: The nutritional value of rice makes it good for indigestion, diarrhea, dysentery, nausea, skin disorders and high blood pressure.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Health Benefits of Holy Basil - Tulsi

The health benefits of holy basil or tulsi include oral care, relief from respiratory disorders, fever, asthma, lung disorders, heart diseases and stress.
Holy Basil (scientific name is Ocimum Sanctum) or Tulsi is undoubtedly the best medicinal herb ever known. It has endless miraculous and medicinal values and is being worshipped in India since thousands of years. Even going closer to a Tulsi plant alone can protect you from many infections. A few leaves dropped in drinking water or food-stuff can purify it and can kill germs in it. Even smelling it or keeping it planted in a pot indoors can protect the whole family from infections, cough and cold and other viral infections. These are not at all exaggerated. It has been an age old custom in India to worship it twice daily, water it and light lamps near it, once in the morning and once in the evening. It was, and still is, believed that it would protect the whole family from evils and bring good luck.

Basil leaves have also been an inevitable part of all worships since ages. These are not at all superstitions and have sufficient scientific reasons behind them. Keeping in view the ultra disinfectant and germicidal properties of this legendary herb, the wise people then devised these customs to bring people into contact with this plant daily, so that they may keep safe from day-to-day infections. Recent researches on Tulsi confirm most of these beliefs. In the following paragraphs, we shall see why it deserves to be worshipped.
The health benefits of Tulsi include the following:

* Fever: The miraculous healing properties of Holy Basil come mainly from its essential oils and Phytonutrients. Holy Basil is an excellent anti biotic, germicidal, fungicidal and disinfectant and very efficiently protects our body from nearly all sorts of bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Fever is mainly caused due to infections from protozoa (in case of malaria), bacteria (typhoid), viruses (flu) and even allergic substances and fungus. Actually, fever is not an ailment in itself. It is just a symptom which shows that our body is fighting against infections. The tremendous disinfectant, germicidal and fungicidal properties of Tulsi destroys all these pathogens discussed above and heals fever. It is an old practice in India to have decoction of Tulsi leaves and flowers in cases of fever.
* Respiratory Disorders: Tulsi, apart from curing viral, bacterial and fungal infections of the respiratory system, gives miraculous relief in congestion due to presence of components like Camphene, Eugenol and Cineole in its essential oils. It is very effective in curing nearly all types of respiratory disorders including bronchitis (chronic and acute).
* Asthma: Tulsi is very beneficial in Asthma as it relieves congestion and facilitates breathing. The Phytonutrients and the essential oils, with help from other minerals in it, helps cure the causes of asthma also.
* Lung Disorders: The compounds like vitamin-C, Camphene, Eugenol and Cineole present in the essential oils of Tulsi do not only cure the infections in lungs but also cure congestion of the lungs. They are also found effective in healing damages caused to the lungs due to smoking, tuberculosis, lung cancer etc. It also helps cure tuberculosis due to its anti biotic properties.
* Heart Diseases: The Holy Basil contains vitamin-C and other anti oxidants such as Eugenol which protect the heart from harmful effects of free radicals. In addition, Eugenol, a component in its essential oils, is very beneficial in reducing cholesterol from blood.
* Stress: Vitamin-C and other anti oxidants in Holy Basil, apart from repairing damages done by the free radicals, also minimize the stress induced by these oxidants. They soothe nerves, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and thus reduce stress. One such component is Camphene. Potassium also reduces blood pressure related stress by replacing sodium.
* Oral Care: Tulsi is an excellent mouth freshener and oral disinfectant and its freshness lasts very long in the mouth. Holy Basil destroys more than 99 percent of the germs and bacteria in the mouth and this effect lasts long. It also cures ulcer in the mouth. It is also known to help inhibit growth of oral cancer caused by chewing tobacco etc.
* Dental Care: Holy Basil destroys bacteria which are responsible for dental cavities, plaque, tartar, bad breath etc. and protects teeth. It also has astringent properties which make the gums hold the teeth tighter thereby protecting them from falling. But, Tulsi also has certain compounds mercury (having rich germicidal properties) which can be harmful for the teeth if kept in direct contact for a long. Hence it is advised to avoid chewing of these leaves (discussed in holy books and Ayurveda that chewing leaves robs them of their holiness). But it has no harm if you do not chew it or have its decoction.
* Kidney Stones: Tulsi, being detoxifier and mild diuretic in nature, help reduce uric acid level (main culprit as far as kidney stones are concerned) concentration in the blood as well as helps cleaning of the kidneys through urination. Acetic acid and certain components in its essential oils also facilitate dissolution of the stone. It also has pain-killer effects and help bear the pain from kidney stones.
* Skin Care: A daily bath with decoction of Holy Basil mixed with your bathing water, or washing your face with it or simply applying the paste of its leaves on infected area of the skin in case of skin diseases or simply consuming Tulsi leaves, keeps your skin free from all infections. You won’t believe this but rubbing basil leaves or oil extracted from it on the body keeps mosquitoes and other insects away. It cures skin disorders internally and externally, without any side effects. This property mainly comes from its essential oils which are highly anti biotic, disinfectant, anti bacterial and anti fungal in nature. External application on the skin also removes extra oil from the skin surface. Camphene in it also gives a soothing cooling effect.
* Eye Care: Just wash your eyes daily with a few leaves of basil soaked in water and you will be free from conjunctivitis, boils and many other problems of eyes which are caused due to viral, bacterial or fungal infection. It also soothes eyes and reduces stress. A regular consumption can protect your eyes from all the damages done by the free radicals, such as cataract, macular degeneration, glaucoma, vision defects, opthalmia etc. due to the high anti oxidant properties of its essential oils, vitamin-A, vitamin-C etc.
* Headache: Headaches caused due to migraine, sinus, cough and cold, high blood pressure etc. can be effectively controlled by the use of a single Tulsi. Camphene, Eugenol, Cineol, Carvacrol and Methyl-Chavicol have excellent analgesic, sedative, anti congestive and disinfectant properties.
* Anti Ageing: Vitamin-C, A, Phytonutrients and the essential oils in it are excellent anti oxidants and protects the body from nearly all the damages caused by the free radicals. In traditional Indian medicine system called Ayurveda, it is considered as a tonic to retain youth and avoid aging.
* Immunity: Holy Basil is so good for boosting up the immune system that cannot be explained in words. It protects from nearly all sorts of infections from viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Recent studies show that it is also helpful in inhibiting growth HIV and carcinogenic cells.
* Other Benefits: It can protect from radiation poisoning and also heal up damages from it. It can be given after surgery to help heal wounds quickly and also to protect them from infections. It acts as a vaccine against pox if consumed regularly. It is anti carcinogenic and found to be effective in healing nearly all types of cancer and tumors. Being expectorant is one of the most priced properties of Holy Basil and it is very efficient in curing cough and cold. It is beneficial in reducing labor pain, destroying rabies germs, treating gastroenteritis, cholera, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rheumatism, nausea, septic, urinary and genital infections, destroying worms in stomach and its dried leaves are mixed with food grains to use as an insect-repellant. Apart from these, Holy Basil has numerous other medicinal values on which an encyclopedia can be compiled.

So, I should better stop here and let you find out its values yourself.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

5 Things You Must Know About Sleep

You're tired. You could put your head down on a desk right now and fall asleep immediately. You went to bed late last night, had trouble falling asleep and woke up too early. And let's not kid ourselves: Tonight will be the same unless ... well, read on.

This is the classic not-so-shut-eye experience of many Americans who think they are sleep-deprived and possibly need pills or other treatment to fix their insomnia, teeth grinding, jet lag, restless or jerky legs, snoring, sleepwalking and so forth.

Reality is quite different.

For instance, insomnia is said to be the most common sleep disorder, but these dissatisfying sleep experiences only get in the way of daily activities for 10 percent of us, according to the National Institutes of Health. And in almost half of those cases, the real underlying problem is illness (often mental) or the effects of a substance, like coffee or medication.

Here are five recent findings that might help you rest easier:

1. We sleep better than we think we do

For most of us, sleep deprivation is a myth. We're not zombies. The non-profit National Sleep Foundation (which takes money from the sleep-aid industry, including drug companies that make sleeping pills) says the average U.S. resident gets 7 hours a night and that's not enough, but a University of Maryland study earlier this year shows we typically get 8 hours and are doing fine. In fact, Americans get just as much sleep nowadays as they did 40 years ago, the study found.

2. We need less sleep as we age

We'll die without sleep. The details are sketchy, but research suggests it's a time when we restore vital biological processes and also sort and cement memories. Last year, the World Health Organization determined that nightshift work, which can lead to sleep troubles, is a probable human carcinogen. On the upside, the latest research suggests we need less of it as we get older.

3. You can sleep like a baby (or Thomas Edison)

Multiple, shorter sleep sessions nightly, rather than one long one, are an option. So-called polyphasic sleep is seen in babies, the elderly and other animals (and Thomas Edison reportedly slept this way). For the rest of us, it is more realistic and healthy to sleep at night as best we can and then take naps as needed. EEGs show that we are biphasic sleepers with two alertness dips — one at night time and one mid-day. So talk to HR about setting up a nap room, like they have for NASA's Phoenix mission team members.

4. Animals exhibit a range of sleep habits

The three-toed sloth sleeps 9.6 hours nightly. But newborn dolphins and killer whales can forgo sleeping for their entire first month. However, the latter extreme is not recommended for humans. We grow irritable and lose our ability to focus and make decisions after even one night of missed sleep, and that can lead to serious accidents driving and using other machinery.

5. Get used to being tired, hit the desk

The bottom line is that a good night's sleep is within the reach of most of us if we follow common-sense guidelines for sleep hygiene:

* Go to bed at the same time nightly.
* Set aside enough time to hit that golden 7 hours of sleep.
* Refrain from caffeine, heavy or spicy foods, and alcohol and other optional medications that might keep you awake, four to six hours before bed-time.
* Have a pre-sleep routine so you wind down before you hop in.
* Block out distracting lights and noises.
* Only engage in sleep and sex in bed (no TV-watching, reading or eating).
* Exercise regularly but not right before bed.

But you already know all this and you don't do it. So your realistic plan might be to surrender to the mid-day desk nap.

Source: Live Science

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