As you age, arthritis dogs your footsteps and if you are not careful it could cripple you mentally and physically. The joints are usually affected especially the knees and elbows.

Synovial fluid is the name given to the lubricant present in the joints and the cartilage is the special tissue, which absorbs shocks and ensures that the ends of the bones are protected. When this is damaged, then the ends of the bones rub against each other and cause pain. This is known as osteo-arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder which means the immune system which is supposed to defend the body starts attacking the body’s tissues and causes abnormal growth of tissue.. This could be because of infection or injury to the tissue.

So, if you want to ward off the ill effects of osteo arthritis, anti oxidants is the key – the natural cure for arthritis. They ensure that the cartilage remains fairly intact. It is apparent then that the treatment of arthritis can be accomplished by eating fruits and vegetables as they are very good sources of antioxidants.

Consumed in adequate amounts, they can minimize the effects of joint damage. Processed foods, carbohydrates and sugar are taboo. High fiber foods, minimum fat and flavonoid rich foods like cherries help to minimize destruction to the joints.

Vegetable juices especially a mixture of carrot, beet and cucumber is very beneficial. Green salad with lemon juice, cooked vegetables like pumpkin, spices like ginger, coriander, asafetida, and turmeric all contribute to the well being of the joints.

Fruits like apples, oranges, grapes, papaya should be taken liberally. In this context it is seen that Vitamin E is helpful not only in preventing breakdown of cartilage but also in generating the components necessary for the manufacture of cartilage. Collagen, which is an important constituent of cartilage, requires the presence of vitamin C. In some individuals, tomatoes, potatoes and peppers can prevent collagen repair, so the diet needs to be suitably altered to exclude these. It has been found that allergic foods can trigger joint pain, so the first step is to identify these foods and eliminate them from your diet. Be sure to go low on tea, sugar, yogurt, chocolate and tempting spicy and fried foods. A radical change in your lifestyle can do wonders for arthritis.

Ultrasound heat therapy is also known to benefit individuals suffering from arthritis. Ultrasound energy uses a gel or mineral oil as a conducting agent. What ultrasound actually does is to first warm the areas and then invade the body and reach the inner tissue. Muscle tissue and ligaments are very receptive to this form of energy while fat tissue is sluggish in acceptance. The relief this form of treatment provides is long lasting.

Diathermy has always been a popular mode of deep heat treatment. An insulated wire coil is used to transfer heat to the affected part. As it uses a magnetic field on the connective tissues ,even fat tissues are receptive to this form of energy. Diathermy on a regular basis provides relief. In addition to diet and physical therapy, exercise is a must. Of course, confine yourself to those activities, which cause least strain.

One very effective cure for osteo-athritis is the naturally occurring glucosamine sulfate, because it helps connective tissue to be formed. As it consists of hydrogen, glucose and nitrogen amine, it is often referred to as an amino sugar. Rather than providing energy as sugars usually do, it helps in construction of body tissue of bones, ligaments, digestive system and several other areas. Unfortunately as you age, the ability to manufacture this wonder substance also decreases. The cartilage is hence destroyed and the ends of the bones rub against each other causing pain. However, external supplements of glucosamine sulfate in combination with Chondrotin sulfate has been known to work wonders when combined with exercise and proper nutrition.

In India, Ayurveda focuses on “doshas” and in the case of Rheumatic joint pains it believes that “vata” dosha has in some way been aggravated. In addition, the toxins of improper indigestion deposit itself in areas, which are weak. Ayurvedic treatment strongly advocates massage with mustard or sesame oil on the areas of concern. Light exercise is also advised. Vitamin C and the herb Guggul taken twice a day is said to produce beneficial effects. Turmeric, which is used freely in Indian cooking is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties and ginger either in the form of oil or extract is used for treating rheumatoid arthritis.

Here again diet plays an important part in controlling arthritis. A low protein diet, no milk or milk products, no polyunsaturated oils, an increase in omega3
fatty acids, walnuts and flaxseeds should go a long way in affording relief.
Yoga, relaxation techniques, and meditation have also known to be effective natural remedies for arthritis.

In layman’s language cellulite is nothing but fat cells being trapped by fibers that have formed a network. These fibers are constantly cleansed by body fluids and poor circulation retards this cleansing process. The result is disastrous. Waste materials accumulate; they slowly thicken and become hard pockets of immovable fat. This is what causes the “orange peel effect” or dimpling as it is often called. Feeling of heaviness or tightness in the legs, tenderness when pressed or massaged is common. That is the downside of cellulite. The good news is that it is not a disease or illness in the real sense of the word, but a sign that your lifestyle is unhealthy.

There is no quick fix solution for cellulite reduction, and the obvious and most inexpensive way to treat cellulite is to watch what you eat and drink, and burn those calories by exercising on a regular basis. Thousands of OTC potions, creams and pills to combat cellulite have flooded the market but the fact remains that Cellulite is stubborn and refuses to budge easily.

Liposuction removes the deposits of fat which lie trapped between the skin and muscle. It is a surgical procedure that is done under general anesthesia. A cannula connected to a suction pump is allowed to penetrate the skin through small incisions. Suction breaks through the layers of deposited fat. Tumescent liposuction avoids general anesthesia by using a dilute solution of lidocaine (a local anesthetic) in combination with epinephrine. This being a vasoconstrictor, loss of blood is minimal. The endermologie machine also targets cellulite. It massages affected areas with rollers and gently suctions fat molecules. As it elongates the connective fibers that hold the fat cells, toxins and water are expelled. When the machine is used on you, be prepared to have your body encased in a huge stocking.

Tri-Active Laser Dermology is a high tech new fangled massager. It uses laser technology and has 3 different functions. Like any other machine, it first breaks up fat molecules and collagen, and then smaller lasers generate new collagen making surface skin smooth. Then it offers localized cooling to prevent bruising and swelling. Micro massaging is rendered possible by cellulite hosiery that effectively massages even as you wear it thereby improving circulation and increasing lymphatic drainage. It reduces cellulite, tones the muscles and makes skin look firm. A truly promising form of cellulite treatment.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage increases the functioning of the lymphatic system, and helps to remove and filter waste, toxins and excess fluids from the body. Good lymph fluid circulation prevents the fluid from solidifying and binding with collagen fibers of the fat cells. Heat and Water Treatments, which include hydrotherapy, saunas, and steam baths, help to increase circulation. This brings the toxins closer to the surface of the skin. During the process of excretion, these toxins find their way out and the pressure on the lymph system is greatly reduced. The principle involved in Hydrotherapy is pretty much the same. Baths, showers and hydro massage treatments encourage weight loss; increase circulation and boosts lymph flow. All this impedes the formation of cellulite.

Cellulite treatment is as varied as it can get. Water, suction, laser, massage and now there is the electric muscle stimulation. Electric currents passing through pads placed on the body cause the muscles to contract and relax alternatively. A good work out no doubt to build the muscles, but to what extent it is good for cellulite is really hard to say. Body Brushing removes dead cells from the surface of the skin, making it easy for toxins to be removed. The new Vibratory Endermatic system for cellulite treatment increases blood circulation, stretches the connective fibers and reduces dimpling of skin. These systems can conform to different body shapes and the main advantage is that it does not cause harm to the collagen, does not destroy subcutaneous tissue nor does it damage the elastin layers of the skin. A combination of massage techniques with endermatic applicators is known to have produced specific body results.

Patch contour deals with the application of patches which contain Celidium cartilagineum that converts fat into energy and eliminates unwanted toxins. Used like a sticking plaster, it has produced good results by reducing stubborn cellulite.

New therapies like the jet therapy, which breaks fat cells with the help of compressed air blown onto the skin through a small filtration system, is yet to gain credibility. Gene therapy works on the principle of an inherited cellulite gene on the x chromosome. Replacement of the cellulite-causing gene engineered to follow a different pattern could prove to be the ultimate breakthrough. New ones that would augur cellulite free frames will replace old cells. This however is a long way off. Both the therapies are only airborne and need to surface.

All said and done, a good balanced fat free diet, drinking plentyof water, eating fiber and wholegrain foods, and consuming fresh fruit and vegetables does not allow fat tissues to form. Coupled with 30 minutes of exercise everyday will ensure that you maintain the shape of your body. Avoid smoking and unnecessary medication, and de-stress by doing yoga. This is be the easiest way to lead a cellulite free life.

The Flaxseed plant also called Linum Usitatissimum has its origin in Europe where it was a source of fiber. Gradually it came to be used as a healing herb and was often used in the place of what is now a multi vitamin supplement. It is rich in omega 3 acids, fatty acids (EFAs) and is touted to be useful in treating cardiac ailments ands even lupus.  The EFAs are the key components present in flaxseed oil because similar acids are required to protect cell membranes. The omega 3 acids are good for the heart and the omega 6 are similar to the ones found in vegetable oils.

Flaxseed oil contains lignans, which can be used to counter hormone related problems and ward off the ill effects of certain, bacteria and fungi. Studies, which have been conducted show that the health benefits of flaxseed oil are extensive. It controls high blood pressure, helps to lower cholesterol and guards against heart disease. Flaxseed oil also protects against angina and could prevent a second heart attack. The health benefits of flaxseed oil also extend to combating inflammation due to gout, lupus and also inflammation in the joints and kidneys. Flaxseed oil reduces the intensity of joint pain and also reduces joint swelling. The omega 3 acids present in flaxseed oil helps to absorb the iodine and this is very useful in treating conditions where this element is present in small amounts.

Surprisingly, flaxseed oil is also useful in controlling constipation. The dietary fiber content in the oil is considerable and helps to ease bowel movements. As it has been known to combat inflammation, it is useful in repairing any intestinal tract damage. It has been known to keep those gallstones at bay and sometimes dissolve existing stones.

Problems associated with the skin have a ready remedy in flaxseed oil. The EFAs target the sites of inflammation and brings about an overall soothing. Acne, eczema, psoriasis, sunburn and rosacea have all been known to respond favorably to flaxseed oil. The omega 3 acids ensure healthy hair and nails and it also helps to revitalize skin and prevents nails from cracking and breaking.

Flaxseed oil helps to reduce the severity of nerve damage and also aids in the triggering of nerve impulses. As it nourishes the nerve, it may possibly be of some use in the treating of Parkinson’s disease. It helps to combat the effects of aging and the lignans present in the oil guard against cancer. Sprains and bruises heal faster on the application of flaxseed oil. Another important area where it is of great help is the brain. The omega 3 fatty acids help retain emotional health of a person, helping to tackle depression and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. Used externally, it can soften dry skin. The gel of flaxseed has been used as a poultice on injured areas in many Indian homes.. In fact, rural India  has been advocating the use of flaxseed oil for quite a long time.

The oil is used in cooking and is ingested in the capsule form for various other disorders. 2-3 grams of flaxseed oil is good although no side effects have been detected with people who consume more. Flaxseeds themselves can be crushed and used along with beverages, bread and other baked products. The oil should however be kept away from heat and light. In the light of so many advantages, it actually seems worthwhile to do away with vegetable oils and replace it with flaxseed oil. The health benefits afforded by flaxseed oil almost makes it out to be a miracle oil.

Category editors : M.Hemdev, Karishma Bajaj, Lata. S Batra, F. Peris, Monica Khatri…

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Insomnia is a common feature and is prevalent in young and old alike. A decreased level of melatonin in the brain is one reason why people are not able to sleep.

Stress, depression or a deficiency in magnesium or iron could be other causes for insomnia. Sometimes there is a hormonal imbalance or individuals suffer from RLS(restless leg syndrome) which prevents from getting adequate sleep.

There are other reasons but what is more important is how to treat insomnia? The more natural the cure is for insomnia, the better it is, for drugs can have many side effects.

What you eat or drink before retiring for the day may have an impact on your sleep pattern. So do ensure that you do not overeat and also that you do not take any stimulating beverage like coffee. Stick to the good old glass of warm milk. It contains Tryptophan, which gets converted into serotonin (the good feel chemical) and then to melatonin—the sleep-inducing chemical. Avoid eating sweets and try to eat magnesium rich foods for dinner. Magnesium is a natural sleep-inducing element and is found in legumes, dark leafy vegetables, almonds, and whole grains.

Honey is also said to promote sleep and is a good wholesome natural cure for insomnia. 2 teaspoons in  a large cup of water should do the trick. In fact a cup of Chamomile tea with honey is even better. Bedtime tea consisting of valerian root, kava kava, chamomile and catnip in the right proportion is  a very calming concoction. Another cure for insomnia, which is supposed to work wonders, is to take a pinch of cinnamon, roast it until it turns black. Boil this in water (a glassful) and take it just half an hour before you want to retire. It is professed to work.

The use of vitamins and minerals in our lives cannot be emphasized enough. Calcium, The B vitamins and Vitamin D contribute in the regulating of the nervous system. So approximately 1000mg calcium, combined with about 400 units of vitamin D and B complex should in the long run ensure that your insomnia is cured. In India, Ayurveda states that insomnia is because of a “vata” imbalance. Massaging with oil on the extremities with either warm mustard or sesame oil is said to cure insomnia. In many parts of India, we see this being done and very effectively too.

Aromatherapy is gaining ground as a natural remedy. Chamomile and lavender oils do promote sleep and also lengthen sleep time, making individuals feel refreshed. A lavender sachet under your pillow, or 2 drops of lavender oil applied to the temples is believed to induce sleep. The oil actually helps muscles to relax, and decreases the metabolic activity. Massaging the neck and shoulders with a few drops of either chamomile, lavender, sandalwood or rose oil is very soothing and calms the nerves. What massage actually does is to increase the levels of Tryptophan, which in turn increases the levels of serotonin and that in turn causes melatonin to be produced. Not only does massage increase the circulation of blood, but also helps to push the lymph fluids into the blood stream thus ensuring optimum utilization of body chemicals.
Acupressure and acupuncture may help to cure insomnia. Acupressure would involve applying pressure to the back of head at the base of the skull while prolonged acupuncture (4-5 weeks) increases the amount of melatonin produced in the evening. PMR or progressive muscle relaxation is a great natural remedy for insomnia.

What is involved here is a constant tensing and relaxing of muscle groups. This in turn relaxes the mind and the body and hastens sleep. Breathing exercises like pranayama hasten sleep.

Learning to breathe deeply and slowly so as to involve the diaphragm as you inhale and exhale and focusing on your breathing encourages you to divert your mind from anything that is stressful. This should soothe and calm your nerves lulling you to sleep. Some yoga postures that you can do lying down without any strain while listening to relaxing music de stresses your body.

Hydrotherapy is stated to set up a rhythm in the body. Stand in the bathtub so that the water covers your ankles and march up and down for about five minutes. It may help you to sleep. Visualization or imagery relaxation when practiced properly helps the body to relax. Visualize smooth motions, peaceful scenes, and relaxing actions in a repetitive manner. It works very much like the proverbial counting sheep. Use cotton bedding and make your bed as comfortable as possible. Remove all the clutter in the vicinity and open the windows to let in the fresh air. Do not look at the clock, it will only reinforce the fact that you are not sleeping when you actually should be. Do not worry if you cannot sleep, the worry itself is enough to keep you awake.

See that the bedroom is dimly lit, bright light can keep you awake and also influence hormone production. Try to shut out outside noise by using a ear plug or by switching on the fan to mask the irritant. Keep bedtimes consistent and do not do any work while in bed. Put an end to those quick catnaps that you tend to have in the afternoon. Learn to combat stress. Set realistic demands, indulge in hobbies and pleasant pastimes, and have a quiet period for introspection. Avoid watching or reading about anything aggressive. In short, do not stimulate the visual cortex.

The incidence of depression has been growing at a phenomenal rate but the positive factor here is that people no longer fell stigmatized by acknowledging that they have a problem. The awareness has set in and once this hurdle is crossed, treating depression is possible.

The effects of depression can be traumatizing and the individual suffering from it feels emotionally, physically and even spiritually assaulted. It is an illness and one that has to be treated before it becomes too late.

Depression can break a weak willed person. When we talk of remedies for depression, you would like to deal with natural remedies and the purpose of this exercise is just to do that.

Depression can be caused by many factors both genetic and biological. Individuals may have a genetic makeup that makes them prone to depression or stressful events like the loss of a close one could also be a cause. In addition it is believed that it is also caused by biological factors. We have what are called neurotransmitters in your brains, which are responsible for sense of well being that we feel. Serotonin and other chemicals like dopamine, acetylcholine, norepinephrine largely act as an anti depressants and tranquilizers. Depletion in the levels of these neurotransmitters could lead to depression.

Anti depressants essentially enhance neuro transmission simultaneously increasing the levels of the neuro transmitters especially serotonin.. Medication coupled with natural remedies has been known to be very effective in curing depression.

St.John’s wort extract is a herb which is highly rated as a natural anti depressant. In fact in ancient Greece, this plant was used as a tonic for the nerves. The elements present in this herb help to increase the levels of the important neuro transmitters and it has been found to be very effective in countering mild depression. In fact it helps individuals to sleep more soundly and improves memory. It has proved to be very significant in countering depression which is an offset of SAD (seasonal Affective Disorder).This usually occurs during the months when there is a decrease in the amount of available sunlight(during winter). In conjunction with light therapy what it does is to increase the level of melatonin  which is produced in the body thus helping to regulate the sleep wake cycle.

Amino acid therapy is fast finding patrons. These basic building blocks of which proteins are made actually function as neurotransmitters.  Tryptophan  is one such neurotransmitter which relieves depression but the best part about tryptophan is that it is found naturally in foods that we normally eat. Whole grain cereals, vegetables, fruits and low fat dairy products are all natural sources of tryptophan. Tofu (high in tryptophan), most Soy products, sesame seeds, walnuts, peas, pumpkin seeds are some common sources of this wonder neurotransmitter. When eaten in combination with carbohydrates, the amount of tryptophan taken in is increased. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin (the feel good chemical) and this in turn to melatonin (which is required for good sleep).

Kava is another natural remedy for depression and it has been used for hundreds of years by people living in the islands of the south pacific region. It is often referred to as “ the calming plant” and brings along with a feeling of well-being and contentment. Of course overuse of this herb can cause a rash to break out. Gingko biloba  is another herb, which contributes to mental health. It is essentially an anti oxidant and is very popular to combat depression.

For a long time, depression and nutritional imbalances have gone hand in hand. A deficiency in certain vitamins or minerals could inhibit the production of the neurochemicals —the good feel chemicals. B vitamins have always been in the news and Vitamin B6 is known to have assist enzymes to convert amino acids to serotonin and norepinephrine –the good mood chemicals. So a deficiency of Vitamin B12 or folic acid can cause depression.

It has also been found that a deficiency in magnesium can lead to nonspecific low mood levels. The point to be noted here is that improvement in the levels of serotonin can be set right by eating the right natural foods which contain the above elements. This in combination with other forms of therapy can alleviate depression. In fact ingestion of Vitamin C has been known to catalyze reactions, which lead to the production of serotonin.

The traditional medicine of India -Ayurveda advocates yoga, massage and meditation, which increase “prana”or the energy of life.  A concoction of Ashwagandha and Brahmi powder steeped in water for 10 minutes and drunk twice or thrice a day is said to cure depression. Another natural remedy for depression, which is widely advocated, is drinking a “kasahayam” or tea made from the (Indian basil) tulsi and sage.  Massaging the body and head with herbal oil and then having a hot water bath does wonders for the body and mind. These have been practiced from time immemorial in India and are very popular forms of treatment. In fact there are actually parlors  which offer you this kind of massage.

Yoga exercises helps in the increase of circulation of oxygen in the system, helps the mind to relax, stretches the muscles and helps to restore the neurochemicals. Deep breathing exercises or “pranayama” help the body  and mind to relax. By focusing on calm and peaceful things, the mind tends to counter the negative energy, which is present. Listening to music, playing your favorite songs, doing the things you like– all help to nullify depression. Going out with friends, visiting, going to places you like – in short doing things that break away from the routine and mundane can help to alleviate depression.

If it is possible try and discuss your problem with a friend or a good counselor. When things are verbally expressed, the intensity of negative force is drastically reduced and they may come up with certain ideas,  which helps you to deal with depression. Writing down your actual thoughts and feelings also helps because by doing so, you are able to give vent to whatever is troubling you. This does relieve you to a great extent. Diversify your activities and work till you are tired. This gives the brain the necessary impetus to focus on anything but the problem causing depression.

Aromatherapy has gained popularity of late because of its ability to help the body to relax and revive the nervous system. Inhalation of some herbal oils like rose, jasmine, lime, and grapefruit is a natural remedy for depression. Acupuncture is said to be a great mood enhancer. Eight –10 weeks of acupuncture treatment culminates in mood elevation, which is very similar to the elevation got by the use of anti depressants. Last but not least, prayer is said to have the power to heal. Religious practices and religious beliefs could help the person to cope with depression. All these natural remedies for depression may be sufficient by themselves if depression is not very severe, but in severe cases it needs to be combined with medication.

When one thinks of weight loss, probably the impatient ones immediately think of quick fix solutions like weight loss pills. These pills sometimes do not work and even if they do they either cause side effects or bring back the weight that you think you had lost!

However, losing weight that too losing weight fast without those pills is very much possible. All you need is sheer motivation and dedication to your diet and exercises that will help you in permanent weight loss.

Weight loss is simple, one needs to burn more calories then one consumes. Starting with your breakfast include food items that are low on fat but rich in nutrition. For example: oatmeal. Include lots of veggies and fruits in your diet. Maintain a food diary so that you know exactly how much are you’re eating. This will also help your dietician to know how many calories you are consuming each day. The aim is to reduce the number of calories you consume and burn more calories through exercising.

Walk, walk and walk! Walking is the best form of exercise to lose weight. In case one does not find enough time to brisk walk for an hour, small fifteen minute walks will also help. Yoga exercises will also facilitate weight loss.

For faster weight loss, make cardio is an important part of your regime. Weight training and cardio under supervision is the fastest way to lose weight permanently. Try and go to the gym daily so that your weight loss is faster. If daily is not possible do visit the gym at least three to four times in a week.

A combination of eating the right food, avoiding the unnecessary food items, walking, doing weight training and cardio exercises will all work in synergy to help you lose weight quickly. This is definitely a better and a safe option than to lose weight with weight loss pills that can be harmful for the body. At the end of each week, you will be able to see for yourself how much weight have you lost. This will in fact be a great source of motivation for you to get better and lose more weight.

The aloe plant is a part of the lily family but it is Aloe barbadensis commonly called aloe Vera, which is of great significance. The health benefits of aloe Vera have been propagated throughout the world and there are very few places where it has not made a dent.

Aloe Vera is available as a gel, spray, lotion, liquid, cream and in the form of a capsule. In India, physicians have been recommending creams made from aloe Vera especially for skin eruptions and allergies. Gels and lotions have become very popular in ayurvedic pharmacies Indian cosmetologists are turning to aloe Vera more than ever before.

The gel of aloe Vera has as many as 75 nutrients, which augur good health, has also turned out to be a very popular remedy for burns and wound. One important point to note is that it must be immediately applied in order to get relief from pain. The gel of aloe Vera is potent and it is got from the leaves. In fact, minor cuts, bruises and scrapes heal quickly on application of the gel. Even shingles, which can be very painful at times, responds to Aloe Vera.

Apart from providing relief from itching, it helps to heal the blisters and sores. For people suffering from Psoriasis, aloe Vera has provided relief by reducing the pain and itching. It has been proved that the gel causes considerable improvement in the nature of the lesions.

Although the benefits of aloe Vera are very useful for skin disorders, the juice is used in cases of people suffering from heartburn, ulcers and other digestive disorders. People suffering from indigestion or the irritable bowel syndrome have claimed that the juice of aloe Vera does provide comfort. It is sometimes used as a laxative. This juice acts as an anti inflammatory agent and in some cases is known to reduce the amount of stomach juices that are secreted. Several Japanese studies and clinical trials that have been conducted have shown that aloe Vera does have an impact on digestive system disorders.

The benefits of aloe Vera extend even to stimulating production of collagen and elastin both of which are necessary to prevent aging of the skin. As a moisturizer, aloe Vera is very popular as it removes dead cells and also aids in the penetration of healthy substances. It reduces the intensity of pigmentation and lightens dark spots on the face,. The cosmetic industry is exploring its potential and the world may soon see a mini revolution.

Muscle pain and pain in the joints occurring because of arthritis can be alleviated by the application of aloe Vera gels or sprays. In fact if it is used regularly, it can actually help regress arthritis. The gel of aloe Vera is said to have a beneficial effect in the decrease of total cholesterol, triglycerides and blood fat lipid levels. As these are major factors, which cause coronary heart disease, it is worth exploring its full potential. The extract of aloe Vera is known to steady even blood sugar levels.

The full power of aloe Vera and the health benefits of aloe Vera have yet to be tapped. It contains almost 20 amino acids, vital minerals like calcium, magnesium and sodium in sufficient quantities, enzymes, vitamins, polysaccharides, nitrogen and other components which make it a miracle substance.  .  ~ author Lata Batra..

The number of people suffering from hypertension is growing at an alarming rate and the culprits are the lifestyles that we lead and the kind of food that we eat. So what is this blood pressure that we keep referring to? The blood circulating in the body exerts a certain force on the walls of the arteries, veins and the heart chambers. If the force increases, then the blood pressure increases and high blood pressure can trigger the formation of plaque in the arteries (arteriosclerosis), which can later lead to heart attacks and strokes. So, high blood pressure needs to be controlled. Let us look at some of the natural remedies that may help to combat this condition.

Managing stress, which has become an everyday affair plays an important role in controlling high blood pressure. Breathing exercise like Pranayam, meditation and doing yoga have helped to combat high blood pressure. The benefits of regular exercise cannot be overlooked. It helps to lower blood pressure and decrease the resting heart rate, which is important for the health of the heart. In combination with other techniques, high blood pressure can be controlled.

Aromatherapy is now being associated as a remedy for high blood pressure. The oil of blue chamomile is said to be beneficial under stressful conditions when inhaled directly. A combination of lavender oil and olive or sunflower oil with  blue chamomile massaged under the collarbone every night is said to afford relief from high blood pressure. Next to exercise, managing your diet is the next important step towards achieving control of blood pressure.

Consumption of adequate Sodium, potassium and magnesium help to lower blood pressure. The dietary ratio between sodium and potassium and sodium and magnesium has got to be narrowed. This can easily be done. Bananas, melons, grapefruit, oranges, cabbage and cauliflower and other fresh vegetables and fruits are rich in potassium Magnesium is present in nuts, rice, wheat germ, beans, soy and also in bananas. So go ahead and increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Supplementing with oral calcium will also help. Celery and celery oil helps in the dilation of the muscles that regulate blood pressure and is considered to be very beneficial. Celery juice in combination with carrot juice and water makes a nutritious and beneficial drink..

Cloves of garlic, which we use regularly in Indian cooking, helps to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and increase circulation of blood. Garlic pills or powder help to make blood thinner but you have to be careful when it is combined with prescription drugs.

Ayurvedic treatment of high blood pressure is very common in the Indian set up. The treatment is highly individualized according to what is referred to as”dosha” or in more common parlance one’s constitution. A diet low in salt and fat and herbs like Sankhapuspi and ashwagandha are supposed to be cardio protective and help in the strengthening of heart muscles. The bark of the Arjuna tree is said to induce a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate. Hawthorn leaves, flowers and berries are useful in combating mild high blood pressure by improving heart function and in treating irregular beating of the heart and angina. Dandelion is a popular home remedy which more or less acts as a diuretic and thus helping to lower high blood pressure. As there is no loss of potassium and as dandelion leaves are easy to attain, it does seem an easy remedy. Reishi, the Japanese mushroom reduces the amount of bad cholesterol and also helps to combat high blood pressure. Homeopathy is just as popular in India as Ayurveda or Allopathy.

Sound therapy and imagery are gaining in popularity as  natural remedies for high blood pressure. It has been found that listening to relaxing music  for about 20 to 30 minutes a day slows down the heart rate and lowers blood pressure. Just close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply, lie down in a comfortable position and let your body absorb the sound energy. Use headphones and you will find that the music soothes you and helps you to relax.

Imagery psychiatrists say when practiced for 3-5 minutes a couple of times a day does help to combat high blood pressure. Of course it involves visualization of the sense of coolness pervading every pore of your body and imagining it to enter your blood stream and sensing that your elevated blood pressure is being lowered. Reflexology has its share of helping to stablise  blood pressure by focusing on foot reflexes. No one can deny the power of yogic postures.

“Shavasana” and the Knee squeeze help in the circulation of blood , relieves tension and both in turn help to combat high blood pressure. Grandma’s remedies especially in India still have a following. Equal amounts of melon seeds and khus khus ground into a powder are a favorite. A teaspoon early in the morning and late in the evening is effective.  The juice of curry leaves mixed with water and limejuice has its own potency. It is said that coriander and fenugreek leaves also produce the same effect and as they are harmless it is worth the try. Grandma also says that honey, ginger juice and cumin powder is an excellent natural remedy for high blood pressure. Whatever remedy you choose, the bottom line is this —changing your lifestyle, managing your stress and controlling your diet are all in your hands. author ~ M. Hemdev..

It is not easy being a diabetic. Oral drugs or insulin are of absolutely no use if the person concerned is not willing to change the life style and the eating habits. Diet then is an important part of the daily routine of a diabetic.
All diabetic recipes must avoid Sugar as far as possible. Artificial sweeteners can be resorted to, but remember products high in fat and cholesterol, which have been artificially sweetened by aspartame, or saccharin should not be consumed in the name of a being a diabetic diet. Their high calorific content makes them unsuitable for diabetics.

A vegetarian diet is an inherent part of any diabetic recipe. South Indian dishes like idlis and dosa, which have very little fat content, are good for them. Idlis contain a mixture of rice and Bengal gram dal, which is soaked, ground and then allowed to ferment. As idlis are steam cooked, the question of fats do not arise. Idlis or dosas can be taken for breakfast. A little known but very good for diabetics is porridge made from ragi (nachni). The ragi is ground into flour and this flour is mixed with water and cooked for a while. A semi solid paste when mixed with buttermilk or curd is not only filling but also good to control the blood sugar levels.

In India, Khichidis, which are a mixture of rice and toor dal, are filling and acceptable for diabetics. Broken wheat cooked just like rice is another alternative. It can be eaten in the same way as rice is. However, there is nothing like the ubiquitous Indian roti, which is filling and can be prepared in many ways. Wheat flour made into a dough and rolled into rotis which can be prepared on a tava or tandoori rotis which can be made on a tandoor, bhakris and naan are nutritive and at the same time fat free. The good thing about them is that they raise the blood sugar levels very slowly. Dal is a good protein supplement and vegetables like bitter gourd, tomatoes, lettuce and other leafy greens, carrots, onions, garlic, cabbage can be prepared as dry side dishes. Sprouts are filling and are full of nutrition and should be a part of the meal. They can be cooked with salt and masala and eaten directly or mixed with the juice of lime and a pinch of salt. Both the varieties are tasty and healthy alternatives. Methi (fenugreek seeds) turmeric powder, tender mango leaves can be used liberally in diabetic recipes.

Grapefruit, jambul, apple, orange and mosambi can be made into juice. Diabetics should either eat a fruit or drink juice. While making apple juice, add milk instead of water.. Diabetic recipes include vegetable soups and salads. Vegetables like cabbage, tomato, celery, spinach, can either be cooked together or separately. To the broth of the soup add a pinch of salt and a dash of lime. It tastes wonderful. For salads, finely sliced cabbage, cucumber, capsicum, can be mixed with a pinch of salt. To this mixture add thick curd and sauté the mixture with mustard seeds. A sprig of parsley or dhania adds to the flavor.
With a little perseverance, a little patience and with the right attitude diabetics can actually enjoy the food they eat. It is not easy but at the same time it is not very difficult. Exercise, nutrition, and the correct amount of calories can a go a long way to help regulate blood sugar levels. The advantage of a vegetarian recipe for a diabetic is that diabetics can feel that they control the disease and the disease does not control them.