Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Today is Amalki Ekadashi

In Hinduism it is believed that One Universal Spirit pervades all animate or inanimate things. God the Omnipresent dwells in everything and everything is in him. So trees or beasts, rivers or deities are all worshipped. It is this conception of God or Reality that underlies the worship of trees.

India has been and is an agricultural country, and the vital role of the trees in its life is all too evident. Most festivals and rituals in India therefore are closely connected to the seasonal and harvesting cycles.

One such day is the Amalka Ekadashi. On Amalka Ekadashi day the Amla tree (Emblica Officinalis) is worshipped. It is believed that Hari himself resides in this tree.

This day is observed on the eleventh day(ekadashi) of the waxing moon (shuklpaksh) of Phalgun.

After the morning ablutions, Amalaka tree is ceremonially bathed and watered, and then worshipped. A fast is observed on this day and Brahmins are given gifts. It is believed that from the piety observed on this day flows happiness, prosperity and beatitude.

This day also marks the beginning of Holi festival.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Medicinal and Nutritive Value of Paan/Betel leaf

Betel leaf is traditionally known to be useful for the treatment of various diseases like bad breath, boils and abscesses, conjunctivitis, constipation, headache, hysteria, itches, mastitis,mastoiditis, leucorrhoea, otorrhoea, ringworm, swelling of gum, rheumatism, abrasion, cuts and injuries etc as folk medicine while the root is known for it’s female contraceptive effects the essential oil contained in the leaves possesses antibacterial, anti protozoan and anti fungal properties. Therefore, the oil kills or inhibits growth of dreadful bacteria causing typhoid,cholera, tuberculosis etc.

The leaves are also in great demand in several other countries of the world where it is either not grown at all or the demand exceeds the local supply. Consequently, leaves worth about Rs 30-40 million are exported to the countries like Bahrain, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Italy, Kuwait, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arab and many other European countries. This clearly indicates the foreign exchange earning potentiality of the crop. If merely transportation and marketing facilities including the export channels were developed adequately then the revenue generated by this leafy crop would easily exceed that generated by any major crop of the country even with the present level of traditional agronomic practices. In fact, the revenue generated by the crop may be further magnified by many folds if the agronomic practices are scientifically explored .
Betel leaf is one of the most promising commercial crops capable of attracting substantial amount of foreign exchange to the country.

Medicinal Uses of Amla

The fruit is the richest source of Vitamin C and is a diuretic, aperient, Laxative and hair dye. It cures insomnia and is healthy for hair. It is used as the cardio protective, useful in hemorrhage, menprrhagia, leucorrhoea and discharge of blood from uterus. Amla power and oil are used traditionally in Ayurvedic applications for the treatment of scalp. Amla power improves immunity and gives physical strength. It improves complexion and removes wrinkles. Amla is also used to treat constipation and is used as a cooling agent to reduce the effects of sun strokes and sun burns.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pomegranate, Indian Gooseberry and Fenugreek powder for Diabetics

This is yet another wonder powder that we can make from what we have at home for Diabetes care.

I have listed below some details on each of these three fruits that I have used, sourced from internet. I am not able to cite specific site for contributing these details, but in general the information is retrieved from researching on many sites available online. I would like to thank the individual authors for their contribution.

Apart from being healthy, pomegranate is delicious too. Pomegranate consists of antioxidant, antiviral and anti-tumour properties. It is said to be a good source of vitamins as it includes vitamin A, C and E as well as folic acid. This fruit consists of three times the antioxidants of wine or green tea. It is said to be the powerhouse of health. Pomegranates are known mostly for curing the problems related to heart and for maintaining effective and healthy blood circulation. Other health benefits include cure of stomach disorders, cancer, dental care, osteoarthritis, anemia and diabetes.

Indian Gooseberry

In general Indian Gooseberry is considered very healthy due to its high vitamin C content. Amla enhances food absorption, balances stomach acid, fortifies the liver, nourishes the brain and mental functioning, supports the heart, strengthens the lungs, regulates elimination, enhances fertility, helps the urinary system, is good for the skin, promotes healthier hair, acts as a body coolant, flushes out toxins, increases vitality, strengthens the eyes, improves muscle tone and it acts as an antioxidant.

The health benefits of amla include the following:

* Eye care: Taking Gooseberry juice with honey is good for improving eyesight. It improves nearsightedness and cataract. It reduces interocular tension.
* Diabetes: Gooseberry contains chromium. It has a therapeutic value in diabetics. Indian Gooseberry or Amla stimulate the isolated group of cells that secrete the hormone insulin. Thus it reduces blood sugar in diabetic patient.
* Heart disease: Gooseberry strengthens heart muscles. So heart pumps blood flawless throughout the body.
* Infection: Due t o its antibacterial and astringent attributes the Indian Gooseberry protects against infection. It improves body resistance.
* Hair loss: Amla is used in many hair tonics. It enriches hair growth and hair pigmentation. It strengthens roots of hair , maintains color and luster. Eating fresh fruit or applying its paste on hair roots improves hair growth and color.
* Improving appetite: Consuming Gooseberry powder with butter and honey before meal improves appetite. It helps in balancing Nitrogen level and thus increases weight in a healthy way.


Due to its estrogen-like properties, fenugreek has been found to help increase libido and lessen the effect of hot flashes and mood fluctuations that are common symptoms of menopause and PMS. In India and China it has also been used to treat arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, improve digestion, maintain a healthy metabolism, increase libido and male potency, cure skin problems (wounds, rashes and boils), treat sore throat, and cure acid reflux. Fenugreek also has a long history of use for the treatment of reproductive disorders, to induce labor, to treat hormonal disorders, to help with breast enlargement, and to reduce menstrual pain. Recent studies have shown that Fenugreek helps lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and may be an effective treatment for both type 1 and 2 diabetes. Fenugreek is also being studied for its cardiovascular benefits.

What you see above is the final ball that is done by drying these skin of Pomegranate, pitted Indian gooseberry and dried fenugreek. All these are sun dried for a day or till they are really dry and powder to a fine powder.

Once a day, the diabetic patient can mix all three powders with little water and consume.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Kashaayam Katu Tiktoshnam
Swaadu Chaamalakam Himam
Param Tridosha hrut Vrishyam.
Jwaraghnam cha Rasaayanam

Dhanvanthari Nighantu.

Amalaki is slightly astringent, pungent, stimulant, heating and sweet. It is cooling in action as compared with Hareetaki. Further, it is Tridosha hara and aphrodisac. It checks fever and is a tonic.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Amla is proving a useful tool in the fight against cancer

Chinese researchers have discovered that amla fruit is a rich source of therapeutic chemicals, including quercetin (which is also found in apples), gallic and ellagic acids (found in green tea), and other less well-known ones such as chebulinic acid, chebulagic acid, corilagin, and isostrictiniin (Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2003 Oct;28(10):940-3).

All of these chemicals are powerful antioxidants, which help protect you from harmful free radicals that can increase the risk of a wide range of serious diseases including cancer.

This is backed-up by preliminary research findings, which suggest that amla may play an important role in the fight against cancer.

For example, in a study carried out by scientists at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nagasaki University, in Japan, amla extracts were found to be able to prevent the growth of cancerous cells in the stomach, skin and womb (Biol Pharm Bull. 2004 Feb;27(2):251-5).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Amla in Ayurveda

The Indian Gooseberry has been given a very important place in Ayurveda. In ancient India it was believed that Amrit/ Ambrosia (heavenly nectar) contained all rasas thereby, it could impart immortality. In that sense Amalaki and Hareetaki stand next to Amrit since they exhibit five rasas. In Ayurveda, the amla fruit by itself is considered a rasayana for pitta.

It has been mentioned in the Charaka Samhita that Of all the rasayanas (ayurvedic formulations revered for their positive influence on the physiology) Amalaki is considered one of the most potent and nourishing. The Charaka Samhita says, "Amalaki is the best among rejuvenative herbs." Charaka specifically mentioned that it is a great rasayana that helps protect people from disease and keeps away the manifestations of premature ageing. .