Category Archives: Herbal Plants

6 Benefits of Herbal Medicines

What do you think when you hear about a herbal medicine? Do you trust herbal products? Everyone of us have encountered herbal plants in some point of our life. In our home, our elders like grandparents always advice us to go for a natural therapy before going for an Allopathy. Isn’t it?

How many times have you trusted these herbal remedies and how many times you have just ignored it? In this post, I am going to list 10 benefits of herbal medicines with their scientific evidences.

Introduction

Herbal plants, as the name suggests are the plants (mainly herbs) that have some medicinal properties and are listed under herbal medicines and herbal remedies. There are hundreds and thousands of herbal remedies that use herbal plants to make medicines till date.

There is a branch of science that is especially dedicated to traditional knowledge of using plants and herbs in medicinal and other remedial purposes. This scientific study is known as Ethnobotany.

This knowledge is termed traditional because the use of herbs in medicine, religion and remedies are with us since mankind. It has now become a part of our tradition.

According to Fokunang CN, Ndikum V, Tabi OY, et al., NCBI, “Traditional medicine refers to health practices, approaches, knowledge and beliefs incorporating plant, animal and mineral based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises, applied singularly or in combination to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses or maintain well-being.

Without going into further details of herbal medicines and traditional medicine lets focus on the benefits of these herbal plants.

🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱

6 Benefits of Herbal Medicines

Nature has blessed us with numerous plants that have enormous therapeutic benefits. Holy Basil, fennel, turmeric, ginger, garlic, tea tree, etc are to name a few. Their benefits are well known. The popularity of herbal plants can be estimated by the high usage or demand of herbal products in the market.

PC: Pexel

Herbal remedies can be in the form of tea, concoctions, tinctures, oils, powders, tablets, etc. Now a days herbal products are also mixed in beauty products to make shampoos, soaps, conditioners, oil, toothpastes, etc.

The benefits of herbal plants cannot be ignored because their demands are high and people love using them. Ayurveda, an ancient or rather oldest medical system has listed many herbal plants for the holistic development and cure of human illness. Ayurvedic medicines are still considered powerful in treating human diseases. Ayurveda strongly suggests the therapeutic benefits of herbal plants. Here are 6 benefits of these herbal plants.

  1. Herbal medicines are safe to use
  2. Herbal medicines enhance human health
  3. Herbal medicines prevent illness
  4. Herbal plants are easy to grow
  5. Herbal remedies are affordable
  6. Herbal remedies or plants can be used as dietary supplements

Lets understand these benefits one by one in detail.

🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱

Herbal Medicines/Plants Are Safe To Use

Many medicines that we use today have plant derivatives or plant products in them. 11% of the 252 drugs, considered essential by WHO are of plant origin. Herbal remedies or plants are considered safe to use in treating common health issues such as cough, cold, headache, acne, skin rashes, indigestion, etc.

For example, herbal tea made up of Holy Basil or Tulsi is effective in treating cough and it is very safe for internal consumption. Ginger is also strongly recommended for treating common cold and cough.

PC: Amazon.com

Long term and short term uses of herbal remedies are considered safe. Many of the herbal plants are widely used in our kitchen in the form of tea, tonic, spices, and other food forms.

Having said that, there are always some exceptions. If you are allergic to some medication or some chemical constituents or if you don’t feel good after using any herbal remedy, the usage must be stopped immediately.

Herbal Medicines Enhance Human Health

Herbal plants have numerous compounds known as phytochemicals that are considered good for human health. This is why green teas or herbal teas, and essential oils are so popular these days. Herbal plants act as tonic for human body. Herbs enhance the physical and mental health.

Human health is related with the diet and the environment. If the diet is more plant based and clean, there are less chances of contracting any disease. Medicinal plants are considered important in sustainable human health.

🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱

Herbal Medicines Prevent Illness

Herbal plants and herbal remedies are known for their medicinal role since centuries. Today, scientific evidences also available that strongly prove the association of prevention of disease in humans and the herbal plants.

PC: Pexel

Have you ever tried a herbal remedy to cure a disease? I have used Hing (Asafoetida) in treating constipation. Ajwain (Carom seeds) are also used to treat problems related to digestive system. Plants derived components are considered anti-viral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, etc.

Herbal Plants are Easy to Grow

Herbal plants are easy to grow in the kitchen garden or in lawn. They need little space and less maintenance. Yo can have your own herbal corner in your kitchen to plant these herbs for personal use. Some of the herbs that can be easily cultivated at home are: Holy Basil, coriander (cilantro), mint, fennel, parsley, thyme, lavender, etc.

Herbal Remedies are Affordable

Herbal medicines are more affordable that the modern medicines. These are cost effective and easier to obtain.

Herbal Remedies can be Used as Dietary Supplements

Herbal plants can be easily used in our diets and consumed. These can also be used as dietary supplements. For example, many of you might have heard about Stevia (a plant) used as a sweetener in tea or other sweet dishes. Stevia is a dietary supplement for common household refined sugar.

PC: Amazon.com

🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱

Things To Keep In Mind

There are few things that should always be considered before using a herbal medication.

  1. Consult a Doctor: Before using a herbal medicine it is advisable to consult your general physician for the benefits and side effects.
  2. Do not mix 2 Medications: Do not mix and match medicines. If you are using allopathy medicines, do not start using herbal medicines.
  3. Purchase Herbal Medicines from a Reputed Supplier: It is always recommended to purchase herbal medicines from a trusted and reputed supplier only. Do not trust any online or offline herbal medicine suppliers.
  4. Stop Using Medication If Noticing any Ill Effects: The herbal medication should be stopped immediately if the user experiences any side effects.

Herbal medicines generally take weeks and even months to show some results. So it is advisable to be patient and wait for the results and not to discontinue the medicines in the middle of the treatment.

Herbal plants are gaining popularity day by day. People are always looking for some natural and holistic approach to treat any disease especially if the diseases are minor such as headache, skin rash, cough, etc. Due to insignificant side effects, herbal plants are considered safe and natural.

What is your thought on the use of herbal medicines? Do you use any form of herbal products now or used recently? Please let me know in the comment section.

🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱🌱

Read More: I have already published several posts on my blog regarding benefits of some herbal plants. You can read about them in the links provided below.

1. Benefits of Holy Basil

2. Benefits of Aloe vera

3. Herbal remedies for Hair

4. Herbal remedies for Hair: 2

Holy Basil: Tulsi a Therapeutic Plant

Hello everyone,

This is just a video of an informative post that I posted last year. Many of you might not have read it. I hope this video might help you in getting more information about the Tulsi or Holy Basil plant.

If you want to read the post please click on the link provided here (https://penofhearts.com/2019/10/30/tulsi-more-than-just-a-plant/).

Please let me know whether you liked the video or not. Please give your suggestions in the comments below. I will try to make improvements.

Thank you 😊

Namrata

Know More About Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are in trend these days. Anyone looking for weight loss must have heard about these amazing seeds. Chia seeds are widely available in local market and online stores throughout the world.

Chia plant, scientifically known as Salvia hispanica, is native to Mexico and Central America. Chia seeds and chia oil from this plant are being used by humans as food from thousands of years. Chia seeds are smooth and shiny varying from from white to grey and black in color.

Chia Seeds

The medicinal values of chia seeds are known since ages. Chia seeds are used to control diabetes and hypertension. These are also excellent laxative thus used to treat diseases related to digestive system. These are rich in omega 3 fatty acid, omega 6 fatty acid, linoleic acid and alpha linoleic acid. Chia seeds are highly nutritious as they are rich in essential fatty acids, iron, calcium and antioxidants. Chia seeds are also rich in fiber and that’s why these are so beneficial in weight loss.

Note: Chia seeds have higher content of omega fatty acids compared to any other plants or seeds.

We know that plant based food or products are less risky on human body. The antioxidants present in plants have beneficial effects on human health.

Chia seeds are small edible seeds full of nutrition and medicinal properties. In past one decade, chia seeds have gained popularity.

How to Use Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds can be easily incorporated in our diet. It can be mixed with other food or can be consumed alone. The ideal way to consume chia seeds is to first soak them in water for at least one hour so that they absorb water and become jelly like. Chia seeds can be added in pudding, smoothies, baked products, juices, salads and yogurt.

Many people also make chia seed powder and add them in other flour to make multigrain flour. Only 1-2 teaspoons of chia seeds should be used daily as it is high in fiber and our body cannot digest too much fiber.

As chia seeds are rich in fiber, these might lead to constipation if fluid intake is not increased. Thus, it is always advised to drink plenty of water when you consume chia seeds.

Picture Curtsey: Pexel

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds:

Chia seeds are super food rich in fibers and less in calories. There are countless benefits of chia seeds known till date. Let’s list out some health benefits of chia seeds here.

  • Chia Seeds for Weight Loss: As I have already discussed that chia seeds are rich in fiber, these keep us feel fuller for longer duration and thus we eat less. Chia seeds controls our hunger by keeping us satisfied. In this way chia seeds help us in maintaining a balanced diet therefore help in weight loss. It is advised to consume chia seeds in the breakfast for best result.
  • Chia Seeds for Gut Health: We know that fiber rich food are good for the health of our intestine. Fiber helps in flushing out waste from the body. Chia seeds being rich in fiber content help in keeping the gut healthy.
  • Chia Seeds for Immunity: It is interesting to know that the compounds found in chia seeds also helps in boosting immune system. In a study conducted on rats, it was found that the regular consumption of chia seeds for a month led to increased concentration of antibodies.
  • Chia Seeds for Cardio-vascular diseases: Studies have shown that consumption of dietary fiber in food decreases the risk of heart diseases. Since chia seeds are rich in fiber content, they help in reducing the risk of cardio-vascular diseases.
Picture Curtsey: Pexel

Chia seeds are small in size but full of nutrition. You can get all information about chia seeds and oil on internet these days due to their popularity. Chia seeds are known to improve the diseases that are related to our lifestyle such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, etc. If you are looking for an easy solution to solve any of such non-infectious diseases, you can try these super food from today itself.

Note: It should be noted that I am not a dietician nor a certified physician. This post is purely based on my research on chia seeds and also on the basis of my personal experience. Please consult a physician before consuming chia seeds if you are dealing with any serious illness.

Thank you for stopping by and reading.

Health Benefits of Castor Oil

Health benefits of castor oil is known from ages. Even ancient civilizations used castor oil as ointments and for lighting lamps. In India, castor oil is used for medicinal purposes. Castor oil has a special recognition in Ayurveda due to its medicinal properties. Castor oil is native to India. India is the largest producer of castor oil in the world.

Image result for castor oil
Castor Been Plant

Castor oil is extracted from seeds of castor been plant (Ricinus communis). It is a pressed vegetable oil and pale yellow in color with a distinct odor. Castor oil is also used for making soaps, detergents, etc. Castor been plant is also used as an ornamental plant due to its broad leaves.

Castor oil is safe to consume. It can be used for internal and external applications. Ayurveda per its the use of castor oil to treat constipation and problems related to cough. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also considers castor oil safe for human consumption.

Image result for castor oil
Castor Been Seeds and Flowers

Castor oil is high in ricinoleic acid (approximately 90%). This chemical compound makes castor oil so special.

Castor Oil and Benefits to Skin:

In Ayurveda, castor oil is known as the natural channel cleanser. It cleanses the skin deep, removing all impurities from the skin. This also helps in preventing acne. It is also a great moisturizer that penetrates the skin well and brightens the skin. It also provides an even skin tone and helps in preventing pigmentation. Pregnant women also use castor oil to reduce stretch marks occurrence. Being an anti inflammating agent, it helps in treating sun burns and other skin burns. Castor oil can be used for any skin type. It soothes, softens and nourishes the skin from within. The anti bacterial properties of the ricinoleic acid also helps in fighting against acne.

Image result for castor oil
Castor Seeds

Castor Oil and Hair Care:

Castor oil is a natural hair growth promoter. Ricinoleic acid is known for promoting growth. The anti fungal and anti bacterial properties of castor oil helps in preventing dandruff. Castor oil increases blood circulation and improves hair growth. Due to the antifungal and antibacterial properties, castor oil can prevent many scalp related diseases and dandruff. Regular use of castor oil nourishes scalp, hair roots and hair strands.

Castor Oil and Disease Treatment:

According to Ayurveda, castor oil is good for the health of intestine. It is a laxative agent that helps in treating constipation. Castor oil is also used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis. It penetrates through the skin and reliefs pain. Castor oil massage on joints helps loosen the stiffness in joints. The anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil helps in reducing inflammation in joints due to arthritis. The anti-microbial properties of castor oil helps in treating skin infections, wounds and food infection. Castor oil is also used in treating sunburn, migraine, head ache, Multiple Sclerosis, etc.

Side Effects of Castor Oil:

No life threatening risks are associated with castor oil but few people might experience rashes, abdominal cramps, nausea, dizziness, etc. Castor oil should not be swallowed in large quantity. In small quantity it is not considered harmful. Applying castor oil on scalp and skin doesn’t pose any harm.

Henna Does Wonders to Our Hair

What comes first in your mind when you think about a herb for your hair care? There are hundreds of herbs that benefits our hair. I have posts on my blog regarding hair care. You can check those.

For me the best herb that I have genuinely tried and tested is henna. Henna is a herb that does wonders to our hair. In India, henna is commonly used to color gray hairs and to condition hair.

I still remember when I was a kid we used to have bushes of henna in our locality. Almost every house used to have henna plants. Whenever someone needed henna to prepare hair mask they used to simply pluck the fresh leaves from the plant, make a fine paste in a mortar pestle and then apply on their hair. In those days, powdered form of henna wasn’t available. People used to make fresh paste from fresh leaves. Some women also used to sundry the leaves and then male powder out of it and store them for future use.

But today we want everything readymade in our hands as no body has the time to pluck the leaves and then make the past. Powdered henna is widely available in the stores that can be made in paste form.

Now the question arises, what’s so special about henna? How henna benefits our hair? Let’s talk about some qualities of henna leaves.

Henna is a conditioning agent and also a natural dye. It helps to fight dandruff and color hair. Henna can also be mixed with other herbs to make hair masks.

Henna is a Natural Dye: One of the most common use of henna is as a hair dye. Henna gives a burgundy color to our hair. It is an amazing hair dye. It will not give the black color to the grey hair as the chemical hair dyes do. Lawsone is a coloring agent present in henna leaves that gives the reddish orange stain to the gray hairs.

Henna Powder

How to use Henna as a Dye?

Henna paste can be easily prepared from fresh leaves or powdered form in an iron pot. When we make henna paste in an iron pot the hair color comes more effectively. I generally prepare the paste in an iron vessel. Take a sufficient amount of powered henna in an iron vessel ( you can also use a stainless steel vessel or a glass vessel). Add water is small quantity and mix well. Do not add more water to make a flowing paste. Make a thick paste so that it doesn’t drip from your hair. Leave the paste for atleast 2 hours. It is better if the paste is left overnight. Apply the henna paste on the hair roots first and then cover the whole length of the hair. Leave the hair mask as it is for 2-3 hours. You may cover the hair with a hair cap so that the mask doesn’t dry easily. Wash your hair with plain water. You can apply shampoo on the next day.

Henna Plants

Note: Never apply henna packs on oiled hair or unwashed hair. It’s better to wash the hair a day before applying henna. Apply henna mask once in two weeks or once in a month because frequent use of henna might dry out the hair.

Henna to Treat Dandruff: Henna is used to treat dandruff. It helps to maintain the pH of the scalp. Various hair masks or hair packs can be made with henna that helps to prevent dandruff. Adding ingredients like lemon, and yogurt (curd) helps fighting dandruff and conditions hair deeply. The anti fungal property of henna leaves helps to get rid of dandruff. It also reduces the excess oiliness of the scalp.

How to make Henna hair pack for Treating Dandruff?

Prepare hair pack as explained above. In the morning, add a whole lemon juice and little amount of yogurt in the mixture. Mix thoroughly and then apply thoroughly on the scalp, roots and strands. You can also oil one tea spoon of coconut oil in the pack to moisturize the hair. Leave the henna pack for 1-2 hours and then wash with plain water. Wash with a mild shampoo on the next day.

Henna as a Natural Conditioner: Henna is an excellent conditioner. It can be mixed with coconut oil, olive oil, mustard oil, and castor oil to enhance the benefits. Henna is a deep conditioning agent that soothes the hair and scalp. You can also add an egg in the henna paste. Always watch the consistency of the pack. The henna pack should not be dripping.

Henna as a Damage a Repair: If you have damaged hair or hair with split ends henna packs can help restoring the strength of hair strands. Henna binds with the hair filament and provides an extra layer of protection. It helps to restore the natural nutrients of the hair and makes the hair stronger.

Side Effects of Henna

No side effects of henna has been reported till date in adults. If you are allergic to cold then you should avoid using henna packs as it cools the scalp and head. It is safe to use henna as a hair pack.

In general I apply henna once in a month. I also add one tea spoon lemon, one tea spoon coconut oil and two table spoon yogurt. This pack conditions the hair and also gives a beautiful color to the hair. It is 100% natural with no side effects. You can also try this wonderful herb to keep your lustrous locks look more beautiful and be more healthy.

Herbal Remedies for Healthy and Beautiful Hair: Part II

Beautiful hair represent healthy hair. Healthy hair represent healthy body. All are interconnected. Some people are genetically blessed with beautiful hair. While others have to work hard to get beautiful lustrous locks.

Blessed or not, we can take care of our hair and maintain what we have. We should actually take care of whatever we have. In my previous post, I have shared some hair masks with you that can be prepared easily and give good results.

Today I am going to share some more hair care recipes that really help. We can try one hair care recipe at a time and we should stick to it of 2-3 months to that recipe. Some of the hair care recipes I am explaining below.

Take 1 tablespoon of bhringraj powder in a cup of coconut oil. Mix well and heat it in a thick panned vessel keeping at low flame. Once oil starts to boil, switch off the flame and allow the oil to cool down. Strain the oil and store in an air tight glass bottle. Massage this oil on your scalp at night and leave it overnight. Repeat the process at least twice a week. You can observe the benefits after a month. This oil improves blood circulation, promotes regrowth of hair follicles and helps in getting better sleep.

Another easy method is to take a capsule of Vitamin E and open it. Add the content of the capsule in any oil that suits you such as coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc. Mix it well and apply on hair and scalp massaging in a circular motion. Leave the oil overnight and wash with a mild shampoo in the morning. You can apply this oil twice a week.

Take equal amount of fresh aloe vera gel and organic coconut oil in a bowl. Heat the mixture on low flame keeping the bowl in a thick panned vessel containing water in it. After 10 minutes, switch off the flame, remove the bowl and allow it to cool down. Store this oil in a dark bottle and use it within 2 weeks. Apply this oil on your hair and scalp by gently massaging it. Leave the oil for an hour and wash with a mild shampoo. Repeat this process twice a week. This home remedy stops hair fall and hair breakage.

Herbal Remedies for Healthy and Beautiful Hair: Part 1

Beautiful hair is what we dream of. Hair adds to the beauty of an individual regardless of age, race and gender. Unhealthy lifestyle, stress and pollution cause too much harm to our hair. To repair the hair damage we try for shortcut remedies. But the shortcut remedies are not helpful in long run.

We should always remember that there can be no shortcut to good health. Thus, moving towards a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet can help us getting rid of many health problems.

Plants are loaded with phyto-hormones, vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients that benefit human health amazingly. Some herbal plants have there names mentioned in Ayurveda for their benefits to hair.

In this article, I will share some remedies for hair care that can be easily prepared at home. These herbs are easily available in market or can be grown in home garden. These are basically hair masks that you can make at home.

Take bhringraj powder, amla powder and methi (fenugreek) powder in equal amount. Add curd (yogurt) to the mixture and make a paste. Apply this paste on the scalp and hair as hair pack. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo and normal water after 15 minutes. Use this method twice a week to stop hair fall.

Take one onion, peel it and cut into pieces. Blend in a blender and squeeze the juice. With the help of a cotton ball, apply the juice onto the scalp. Leave it for 15 minutes and wash off with a mild shampoo. The strong smell of onion juice might irritate you or stop you from using it but it works wonders on your hair. You can add a drop of any essential oil to the juice or a spoon of honey and mix well.

Make a hair pack using henna powder and yogurt. Keep the consistency thick and apply apply it on your scalp and hair. Leave the pack for 30 minutes to an hour. Wash with water or a mild shampoo if you want. You can also soak henna powder in normal water overnight and then add yogurt in the morning for better results. Henna is an excellent hair conditioner andΒ  strengthens the roots. Repeat this method once a month. If you are allergic to cold then avoid this method.

Take a fresh aloe vera leaf and cut open it. Scoop out the gel and simply apply it on your hair. Leave it for an hour. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo. This is the easiest of all the herbal remedies and improves the texture of your hair.Β 

If you want to use henna for dying your hair, take henna powder in an iron vessel and add tea water or coffee water to it. Make a thick paste. Leave it overnight. You can also add yogurt in the morning and apply on your hair and shaft. Henna is a natural hair colorant. Apply this mask once in a month.Β 

Take an egg, break it and keep the content in a bowl. Add one teaspoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of organic honey. Mix well to make a paste. Apply this paste on hair and scalp as a mask. leave it maximum for 30 minutes and wash with a mild shampoo. Many people do not like the smell of raw egg but it acts as a good conditioner to your hair. Honey is a natural antibiotics. All the ingredients of this hair mask promotes hair growth and strengthens the hair follicles.

Take 2-3 tablespoons of turmeric powder and 2 teaspoons of organic honey. Mix them well to make a thick paste. Add raw milk to the paste to make a smooth paste. Apply the paste onto the hair and scalp. Leave it for 30 minutes and wash with a mild shampoo. You can repeat this remedy once or twice a week.

You can try one herbal remedy at a time or a maximum of two. Be patient and never lose hope. These remedies are definitely going to work in long run.

Stay Blessed Stay Healthy

Tulsi (Holy Basil): An Amazing Plant

Amazingly therapeutic, Holy Basil is commonly known as Tulsi (in Hindi). It is the most common plant seen in almost every Indian houses. Reasons are both religious and medicinal. Our forefathers were well aware of this wonderful plant and that is the reason why Ayurveda calls it “The Queen of Herbs” for its amazing medicinal herb with loads of health benefits. It is popular in India due to its therapeutic values since centuries. It is a well known natural and home remedy for numerousΒ  diseases such as anxiety, cough and common cold, flu, acne, etc.

A Holy Basil

Let’s discuss a little bit of Botany.Β 

Botanical name of Tulsi is Ocimum sanctum L. It is a small aromatic shrub 30-60 cm tall that belongs to Lamiaceae family. Depending upon the species, the leaves can be dark green or blackish green in color. The leaves of this plant have strong smell and taste. Flowers are purple in color and form an inflorescence. Leaves, stem, flower, seeds, roots and the whole plant is sued for making medicines.Β 

Flowers of Holy Basil

Today, we want proof for everything. Whether or not Tulsi effective for treating diseases? We want proof. And now we have proof. Various scientific studies have proven the health benefits of Tulsi. It has been found through clinical trials and research studies that tulsi is effective in treating diseases that are caused by lifestyle disorders such as diabetes, stress, and metabolic syndrome [1].

Let’s discuss some of the therapeutic properties of Tulsi.

Tulsi for Wound Healing

Due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of Holy Basil, it acts as a strong wound healing herb.Β It was found in a study that the aqueous extract of Tulsi leaves have wound healing capacity and it can be used for wound management. It further suggested that Ocimum sanctum has amazing antioxidant properties that might be responsible for the quick wound healing and this plant can be sued for managing abnormal healing [2] . In another investigation it was found that ethanolic extract of Tulsi leaves was effective for normal wound healing and dexamethasone-depressed healing in albino rats [3].Β 

Tulsi as an Adaptogen

What is an adaptogen? Adaptogen is any agent that reduces stress level and anxiety. Tulsi is undoubtedly a stress relieving plant. It is called an adaptogen because it helps the human body to adapt to certain stress level by promoting homeostasis. It is a natural stress reducing agent. A cup of Tulsi tea can help the body to reduce body stress and fatigue. It also lowers the anxiety.  According to Ayurveda, Tulsi is a tonic for the body that works on the overall improvement of the  body by working on the body, mind and spirit [4]. It is also considered as the best medicine in this modern world to solve the health related and lifestyle related diseases.

Tulsi to Cure Fever

Holy basil is an excellent antibiotic, germicidal, fungicidal, and disinfectant agent and very effectively protects our body from all sorts of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.The essential oils present in Tulsi has amazing therapeutic properties. Due to its wonderful healing properties, leaves decoction  is used to get relief from high fever.

Tulsi As an Antidiabetic

Some researchers suggest that Tulsi can be sued to increase insulin level in the body thus help in treating Type II diabetes. The study of ethanolic extract of Tulsi on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats showed that the extract decreased the blood glucose level, glycosylated hemoglobin and even  increased  the level of glycogen, protein and hemoglobin [5]. Yet another study suggested that leaf extracts of Tulsi can stimulate the secretion of insulin [6]. The hypoglycemic effect of Tulsi has been suggested by a study where Tulsi leaf powder was fed to normal and diabetic rats for a month [7].

Tulsi Fights Acne

The antibiotic, antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties of Tulsi plant makes it an amazing home remedy to treat acne. The antioxidant activity helps in scavenging free radicals and treating the acne scars. The anti-inflammatory property helps in reducing the swelling and redness in the affected skin. In a study, Singh et al [8] suggested that the antibacterial activity of fixed oil of Tulsi is due to the presence of high levels of linoleic acid. This oil is effective against Stapphylococcus aureus.

In general, Tulsi has anti-cancer, anti-microbial, anti-insecticidal, anti-malarial, anti-parasitic, anti-fertility, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, anti-ulcer, hepatoprotective, gastrointestinal protective, adaptogenic, cardioprotective, etc activities. You name it and you have it. Such a wonderful little herb it is. 

I have covered only five therapeutic properties of Tulsi in this article. I will try to include other properties of Tulsi in another article. Till then, go and plant a Tulsi plant in your house and see the miracle plant growing just in front of you daily.

Do not forget to share your knowledge on this plant because together we learn and grow. For further reading, please use the references given below.

References

[1] Jamshidi N, Cohen MM. The Clinical Efficacy and Safety of Tulsi in Humans: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicineβ€―: eCAM. 2017;2017:9217567. doi:10.1155/2017/9217567.
[2] Shetty S, Udupa S, Udupa L. Evaluation of Antioxidant and Wound Healing Effects of Alcoholic and Aqueous Extract of Ocimum sanctum Linn in Rats. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicineβ€―: eCAM. 2008;5(1):95-101. doi:10.1093/ecam/nem004.
[3] Udupa SL, Shetty S, Udupa AL, Somayaji SN. Effect of Ocimum sanctum Linn. on normal and dexamethasone suppresed wound healing. Indian J Exp Biol. 2006 Jan;44(1):49-54.
[4] Cohen MM. Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. 2014;5(4):251-259. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.146554.
[5] Narendhirakannan RT, Subramanian S, Kandaswamy M, Biochemical evaluation of antidiabetogenic properties of some commonly used Indian plants on streptozotocin-induced diabetes in experimental rats. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2006 Dec; 33(12):1150-7.
[6] Hannan JM, Marenah L, Ali L, Rokeya B, Flatt PR, Abdel-Wahab YH. Ocimum sanctum leaf extracts stimulate insulin secretion from perfused pancreas, isolated islets and clonal pancreatic beta-cells. J. Endocrinol. 2006 Apr;189(1):127-36.
[7] Rai V, Iyer U, Mani UV. Effect of Tulasi (Ocimum sanctum) leaf powder supplementation on blood sugar levels, serum lipids and tissue lipids in diabetic rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1997; 50(1):9-16.
[8] Singh S, Malhotra M, Majumdar DK. Antibacterial activity of Ocimum sanctum L. fixed oil. Indian J Exp Biol. 2005 Sep; 43(9):835-7.

Herbs, Hair and You

Hair fall can be either temporary or permanent. Temporary hair fall is a condition when hair falls due to any physical condition such as air pollution, pregnancy, post-partum, any disease or stress. When the factor causing hair fall is removed, hair grows back. Permanent hair loss is called alopecia in medical terms. It happens when no new hair follicles grow in place of lost hair strands. Alopecia might lead to baldness.

So, here is how you can stop or control hair fall.

The mother nature has given us the solution for every human health related problems. The medicinal herbs are one such gifts of Nature that can be used to cure many human diseases. There are several herbs that are used for centuries to treat hair fall, some of which are listed below.

Amla 

Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry is an Ayurvedic medicine for treating skin and hair problems. It is full of vitamin C and antioxidants that do wonders on hair and skin. Initial stage of hair fall can be reversed by regular use of amla juice. Vitamin C and other active biochemicals promotes growth of hair follicles and nourish them for healthy growth. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activity. It increases blood supply and moisturizes every hair from root to tip. It is an important ingredient of ayurvedic products for hair care like shampoos and hair oil. 

How to use Amla at Home?

Prepare amla hair mask, amla juice and amla powder and apply on your hair. You can also add fenugreek powder for better results. Henna powder is also mixed with amla powder to hair coloring. There are varieties of ways to use amla and the easiest way is to include this wonderful berry in your daily diet.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek or methi seed (in Hindi) also works wonders on hair. Fenugreek seeds prevent hair fall and even stops graying of hair. Lecithin protein is an important protein found in fenugreek seeds that is known to strengthen the hair follicles.  

How to use Fenugreek to Control Hair fall?

You can prepare your own home remedy with fenugreek powder. Make hair mask by soaking the seeds overnight, grinding the nest day and applying it on the scalp and hair. You can also mix methi powder with coconut oil and apply the paste on your hair. Always shampoo your hair after applying methi on your hair as it is very sticky in nature.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to prevent hair loss or baldness. It prevents hair fall and promotes hair growth. It moisturizes the scalp and hair strands and strengthen them. It mimics the oil of the skin, sebum and enters the root tips. Lauric acid found in coconut oil helps in binding keratin protein together and prevent hair breakage. The antimicrobial property of coconut oil also prevents dandruff. 

How to use Coconut Oil at Home?

It is the simplest way to stop temporary hair fall. Massage coconut oil on the scalp twice a week to improve blood circulation and promote hair growth.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is another wonderful plant in controlling hair fall after Amla. It is a home remedy to treat hair fall and naturally moisturizes hair and scalp. It also helps in reducing sebum secretion and prevents dullness of hair. The antioxidant property of Aloe vera prevents any kind of hair damage caused by sun.

How to use Aloe vera to Treat Hair Fall?

Use fresh aloe vera gel to make hair mask. You can also add other herbal ingredients to the gel for better and faster results. It also works well with other essential oils. For dandruff control you can mix aloe vera gel and lemon juice in equal proportion and apply on the hair. Aloe vera can also be used with fenugreek seeds in the form of paste. This controls hair fall and promotes hair growth.

Henna

Henna is an absolute one stop solution for all hair problems. It is a wonderful natural dye and a scalp moisturizer. It maintains the scalp pH and prevents hair fall.

How to use Henna for Hair Fall?

Prepared henna paste by plucking the fresh henna leaves and blending. You can either use this paste on your hair or add curd or aloe vera gel and then apply on hair and scalp. 

Apart from these herbs, there are other herbs too that promote hair growth and prevent hair fall.  These herbs work well if you have a healthy lifestyle that includes balanced diet, physical activities, stress free life and adequate amount of sleep.

So, for having lustrous locks you need to improve your lifestyle and add these wonderful herbs in your life.

Please comment in the comment section below about your favorite medicinal plant and also let me know about the plants that I should include in my blogs. Your views will be highly appreciated.

Herbal Treatment for Acne

In my previous post, I have shared my knowledge on Acne vulgaris. In this post, I will be dealing with some common herbal treatments that have numerous health benefits on skin and repairs the damaged skin.Β 

Almost each one of us might have experienced acne or pimple issues in our lifetime. It is one of the most common skin problems in the world. In general, teenagers are affected the most but it can also affect elderly people or adults.

Mother nature has gifted us with valuable plants that have phytochemicals and phytonutrients that work miracles on human skin. We generally neglect them or do not prefer to use them because the results take time with organic products. We look for shortcuts and instant results. This harms our skin even more in the long run.

So, let me elaborate on some very common herbal remedies that help to fight acne and soothes our skin. 

Coconut Oil

When it comes to soothing the skin and nourishing the scalp, coconut oil tops the list. The health benefits of coconut oil are numerous due to its antibacterial, antifungal, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities. The essential oils found in coconut oil moisturizes the skin and helps in reducing the inflammation of the skin caused due to acne.Β 

Coconut oil is a natural cleanser that cleans the skin deep inside, cleaning the skin pores and removing dirt. The technique to use coconut oil on acne prone skin is very simple. Take a small amount of coconut oil in your palm and apply it on the skin. Massage the oil with your fingers in a circular motion for 30-40 seconds and then keep a warm moistened towel on the face for another 30-40 seconds. This helps the pores to open. Take another dry towel to pat dry your skin.Β 

Lemon Juice

Lemon is another energy booster loaded with vitamin C and other phytonutrients. Like coconut oil, lemon juice also acts as a natural cleanser cleaning the skin deep within. It is the simplest method to clear acne. Squeeze a lemon, take the juice in a bowl or cup and apply the juice on the skin with the help of a cotton ball. Lemon juice is so gentle on the skin that you can keep it overnight and then wash with normal water in the morning. Lemon juice is a popular ingredient in several herbal products for skin care. 

You can also apply lemon with honey to increase the effectiveness of lemon. Make a face mask with lemon and honey and apply on the sin. Keep it for 20-30 minutes and then wash with normal water.Β 

Green Tea

Green tea is known for its anti-oxidative and antibacterial activities. It acts as a coolant for the skin and soothes the affected area. Green tea can be used as a face wash to treat acne-prone skin. 

Neem

The benefits of neem to human skin is known for ages. In Ayurveda, Neem leaves are used as medicines due to its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory activities. 

You can directly apply fresh neem leaf extract or neem leaf paste on your pimples and see the result in a few weeks. Various herbal products are available in the market that contains neem as an effective and primary ingredient for skin care. 

Cucumber

Cucumbers are loaded with water and vital nutrients that can hydrate our body. Similarly, cucumbers can even hydrate our skin and keep it healthy. Eating cucumbers are the best and easiest way of treating acne. Simply slice a cucumber and place the slices on the affected skin. 

You can even rub the slices in a circular motion. Cucumber face washes and cucumber face masks are readily available in the market.

These are just a few of several herbal plants that work best on human skin. You can try these on your skin to treat acne or acne-prone skin. Try to use fresh and locally grown produce to make your herbal remedies. 

I hope, this post helps you to find herbal remedies for your skin type. The best thing about these herbal remedies is that they have no side-effects on the skin but you need to be very patient to obtain good results because good things take time to happen. 

« Older Entries