Monday, November 24, 2014

CASHEW NUTS


Cashews are a crunchy, yet delicately sweet nut that is treasured around the world for its flavor and health benefits. Cashews are high in protein and are a rich source of vitamin B-complex and essential minerals such as iron,selenium, zinc, and copper. They are also packed with anti-cancer compounds called proanthocyanidins that have the ability to starve tumors and stop cancer cells from dividing. Cashews are highly beneficial for lowering blood pressure, preventing heart attacks, preventing gallstones, reducing the frequency of migraines, providing energy boosts, strengthening bones, and promoting healthy skin and hair. Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts and contain a high amount of oleic acid which is a heart healthy monounsaturated fat that is great for the cardiovascular system. They are also excellent for the nervous system and they are known help keep muscles and nerves relaxed and free from tension and constriction. They can also help the body become more flexible and aid in elasticity of the tendons, muscles, and joints. Cashews have the ability to satiate hunger which decreases overeating and aids in weight loss and weight management. They are also good for overall eye health and they contain a bioflavonoid called zea-xanthin that helps to prevent age-related macular degeneration. For the maximum health benefits try to find raw cashews that are unsalted. Cashews can be eaten as a snack or added to salads, and vegetable or rice dishes. Cashews can also be ground into a nut butter and used to spread on celery sticks, apples, cucumbers, or mixed with dried coconut, honey and spices for a delicious and healthy dessert. Good quality cashews can be readily found online or at your local health food store

Source - Medical Medium
Image - Google

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Creative Uses For Orange Peels


1. Clean stainless steel
Fresh orange peels can be used to clean and shine stainless steel objects like the sink. Simply take some fresh peels and use them as you would use your sponge to scrub. The steel will also become water-spot resistant. You can use natural oil as a waterproof barrier. Avoid dish-washing liquid.

2. Soften brown sugar
Now you can keep your brown sugar from drying out. Place orange peels in the container of brown sugar and it will soften it.

3. Smelly shoes
You can get rid of smelly shoes by putting orange peels in them. Face the inside portion of the peel towards the sole of your shoes and they will absorb moisture and leave them smelling wonderful.

4. Cleaner
Keep leftover orange peel in a lidded jar and add white vinegar to it. Keep this jar in the fridge for a few weeks and shake it occasionally. Transfer it to a spray bottle and use to clean your windows, counter tops, or floors.

5. Use as a cup
While pulling off the peel if you have been able to keep at least half of the peel intact you can use it as a cup and put jellies or snacks in it.

6. Orange tea
You can use orange peels in your tea. Next time you make tea add orange peels and enjoy the result.

7. Mosquito repellent
Keep mosquitoes away by spraying orange peels on your skin and rub the outside portion of the orange on your skin before heading out.

8. Body scrub
You can use the peels as a scrubber. Wrap them in gauze and rub them on your skin while you are in the shower. It will make your skin glow and give you brighter skin.

9. Lower blood pressure
Chinese medicine uses bitter orange peels as natural medicine. Herbalists suggest eating bitter orange peel to lower your blood pressure naturally.

10. Relieve anxiety and depression
The oil from orange peels can be used to relieve anxiety and depression naturally. Massage with the oil and feel the difference.

11. Emergency oil Lamp
Fill a half-orange intact peel with olive oil for an emergency lamp. Use the pith as candle wick. This is easy to do and a great alternative when there is no other arrangement.

12. Light fire
Orange oil is flammable and catches fire easily. Next time you want to light a fire use orange peels instead of newspaper to start the fire. Burning orange peels in your fireplace will also remove any creosote.

13. Deodorizer
You can use orange peels as deodorizer. Put some in your fridge to make it smell good. You can also keep some in your garbage bin to eliminate stinky odors.



Saturday, August 9, 2014

VARALAKSHMI VRATHAM


Sarvamangala Mangalye|
Shive Sarvarthaka Sadhike|
Sharanye Thriyambake Devi/Laksmi|
Narayani Namosthuthe||

The above shloka is in praise of goddess Lakshmi and offering salutations .
The Hindu festival going by the name 'Vara Lakshmi Vratha' is celebrated on the Friday before the full moon in the Tamil Month 'Aadi' which corresponds to the English months of July-August. It is a festival to propitiate the goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, one of the Hindu Trinity. Varalakshmi is one who grants boons (Varam)
The name Vishnu really means pervading everywhere, and Lakshmi, his consort, is symbolical of the forces found everywhere. Eight forces or energies are recognised and they are known as Sri (Wealth), Bhu (Earth), Sarasvati (Learning), Priti (Love), Kirti (Fame), Santi (Peace), Tushti (Pleasure) and Pushti (Strength). Each one of these forces is called a Lakshmi and all the eight forces are called the Ashta Lakshmis or the eight Lakshmis of the Hindus. As health, wealth and prosperity depend upon the rythmic play of these forces, the worship of Lakshmi is said to be to obtain these three. Hence this festival is observed, invoking the blessings of Lakshmi.
Varamahalakshmi Festival is celebrated on the second Friday of Shravana month. The previous day of the festival, all the required puja items will be collected. On the puja day, the women wake up at Brahmamurtham and after bath, clean the puja area and decorate with a kolam or rangoli. Then they prepare the kalasam. A bronze or silver pot is chosen for this purpose, and a swastika symbol is drawn and smeared with sandalwood paste. The pot is filled with raw rice or water, coins, a single whole lime, five different kinds of leaves, and beetle nut. Items like turmeric, comb,mirror, small black bangles and black beads are also included.
The kalasham is sometimes covered upto the neck with a cloth, and then mango leaves are placed on the mouth of the kalasham. Finally, a coconut smeared with turmeric is used to close the mouth of the kalasham, and an image of Goddess Lakshmi is fixed. Now the kalasham symbolically represents Goddess Lakshmi. Pongal is made and offered to the Goddess, and the aarti is performed.
The next day before rahu kalam, the kalasam is kept on a bed of rice, and it is considered that the Goddess has entered the house to bless the family members. Then the puja is performed, first invoking Lord Ganesha, and then praising the Goddess. Various sweets are prepared and distributed on this occasion.
The next day, that is on Saturday, after taking a bath, the kalasham is dismantled and the water in the kalasham is sprinkled in the house to bless the house. If rice is used then it is mixed with the stored rice in the house.
Festival Recipes
Baked or boiled pulses, Holige, kadubu, sundal, kosambri, and vade are the delicacies made during this festival. In some other places, people make deep fried dishes like kadabu (a bengal gram and jaggery dish), chakuli, bajji and shankar paale, as naivedya ( Prasadam) for this festival. In some places, pongal is also made as special dish.
Legend
There are many stories about the importance of Varamahalaskhmi Vratam. As mentioned in Skanda Purana, once Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva about a vratam that will be most beneficial to women. Lord Shiva then mentioned the importance of Varalakshmi Vrata, narrating the story of Charumati. Pleased with Charumati’s devotion to her husband and family, Goddess Lakshmi appeared in her dream and asked her to perform the Varalakshmi Vratha and explained the procedures of the Vrata. Charumati invited all her neighbors, friends and relatives and performed the Varalakshmi puja as directed by Goddess Lakshmi. Soon after the puja, all the people who participated in the puja were blessed with wealth and prosperity.
Another story is about Shyamabala, daughter of King Bathrasiravas and Queen Surachandrika. The princess Shyamabala noticed her mother chasing away an old woman who advised her to do Varalakshmi Puja. The kind hearted princess called the old woman back who advised her about the importance of Varalakshmi vratam and to do the puja. After her return to her country she performed Varalakshmi puja and soon her country started prospering and the princess was appreciated for her good governance.
At the same time, her parents lost their wealth and were undergoing misery in their country. Shyambala sent them pots of gold, but surprisingly they all turned to ashes. Shyamabala realized that all this is the result of her mother driving out the old woman from the palace. She realized that the old woman was Goddess Lakshmi in disguise.
Shyamabala asked her mother to ask forgiveness to Goddess Lakshmi and perform the Varalakshmi Vrata. She did so and was able to attain the previous glory.
There is also another legend behind this great festival. During a small tiff between Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvathi while playing a game of dice, as to who is the winner, Chitranemi was asked to opine. His reply was in Shiva's favor, which made Parvathi angry and cursed him to become a leper.
When Shiva pleaded with her, she gave in and said the day women in the world observed Varalakshmi puja, Chitranemi would be relieved from his sickness. Chitranemi got relief when he observed some women performing the puja. Ever since then, this vratham has been observed.
Pic and source hindu.com


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

SURYA NAMASKAR


Lord Suryan is the main god in Navagraha Logam.All the other navagraha revolves around him.Lot of temples for Lord Suryan is around India.Famous ones being Suryanayanar Koil in Aduthurai near Kumbakonam,Tamil nadu,Konarak Temple in Orissa.

Two kilometres north of Aaduthurai lies Suryanayanar Koil. It is situated on the road between Kumbakonam and Kadhiramangalam and 15 km to the east of Kumbakonam. There are two other holy places near Suryanar Koil - Thirumangalakudi and Kanjanur. Of the nine grahas, the primary position is given to Lord Surya which is why the first day of the week is said to be Sunday. The seven days of the week refer to the seven grahas, including the Sani Bhagawan. The eighth graha is Raaghu. Of the seven days in a week, 10 hours are reserved for Raaghu, i.e., one-and-a-half hours per day. This one-and-a-half hours is what we call as 'Raaghu kalam'. The ninth graha is called Kedhu. Like for Raaghu, the same amount of time is reserved for Kedhu also. This one-and-a-half hours is called 'Yama kandam'.

Raaghu kalam and Yama kandam are believed to be inappropriate for performing auspicious deeds.
Sree Surya Puranam When the world came into existence, the first sound that reverbrated was 'Om'. Suryan was born from this 'Omkara naadham'. Sree Markandeya Puranam has explained this factor. Suryan was the son of Sage Kashyap and was the grandson of Sage Maarisi. Surya married Soorvarsala, the daughter of Viswakarma. Vaivasvatha Manu and Yamadharmarajan were his sons and Yamuna, his daughter. It should be mentioned here that the chariot of Surya has only one wheel. It is drawn by seven horses in seven colours. Lord Surya, who is the chief of the grahas, appears with a lotus in his divine hands. Surya Bhagawan blesses his devotees with good health, fame and efficient management.


The temple The tower of the temple is 15.5 metre in height and consists of three tiers. At the top of the tower are five domes. To the north of the rajagopuram lies the sacred bathing ghat, called Surya Pushkarni. It is important to bathe in this ghat before offering worship at the temple. If not, one should at least sprinkle its water on one's head.
Special features of the temple All the grahas face Surya Bhagawan in this temple. As soon as one enters the temple, there is a sacrificial platform (bali peetam ). To its east lies a mandap where one can see an idol of a horse. The Lord's vehicle is the horse (vaahanam) which goes by the name 'Saptha, meaning seven in Sanskrit. The one-wheeled chariot is drawn by seven horses.


As soon as one enters the temple one sees the shrine of 'Khol Theertha Vinayakar'. After worshipping the Vinayakar, one can worship Kasi Viswanathar and Sree Visalakshi Ammaiyar. Surya Bhagawan is found in a lying posture inside the sanctum sanctorum with Usha and Parathyusha (Chaya Devi ).


There are steps in front of Guru Bhagwan which leads to the idols of other grahas. After worshipping these grahas, one is supposed to worship Khol Theertha Vinayakar again. Then comes the flag mast, and after worshipping it, one should circumambulate the temple. Those who worship Surya Bhagwan and Lord Siva in this temple are blessed with prosperity. It is the only Navagraha temple where the other eight grahas can also be found along with the main one. Those who are affected by 'Graha Dhosham' can come to this temple for the antidote (pariharam). Those who are afflicted with the malefic influence of Sani, Ashtama Sani and Janma Sani can visit this temple and be relieved of their sufferings.


0 reduce the fury of Surya Bhagawan, Guru Bhagawan appears in the standing posture in front of the former.
If one bathes in the nine ghats in this place continuously for 12 Sundays, they will be saved from sufferings and blessed with a happy and peaceful life.


According to Atharvana Veda, one who worships Surya Bhagawan will be relieved from diseases pertaining to the eyes and heart. This temple is open from 6 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on all days.
Requirements for worshipping the Lord Flower - Senthamarai (Red Lotus)
Samith (sacrificial fuel ) - Erukku ( madar plant )
Dhaniyam (grain) - Wheat
Vasthram - Lotus red
Neivedhyam - Sakkarai pongal


SUN is the father of all the planets and it is a clear view god so that only peoples are praying the Sun in their daily life. In olden days peoples are believe ,by praying the sun we can neglect the eyesight problems . In the world each and every things are binding the god Sun. If the sun has produce overheat then people cannot alive in this world and if it is rise later peoples become lazier.

Source - Speaking Tree

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sindh..The Rilli Connection - "Chawro" (Guest House for Travellers).


Sindhi people are known for their unmatched hospitality. Traditionally, tribal elders manage and maintain these 'Chawras' where they welcome the travellers (mostly strangers) to stay during scorching heat of the day and to rest at night. Although strangers, all the guests are treated as blessings of God and accordingly respected and provided with free food, cold water, local drinks and provided with new beds (Charpoys) decorated with Rillis (traditional bedsheets).

This amazing show of hospitality does not go unnoticed due to beautifully hand-crafted 'Rillis' with vibrant colors. The beds (charpoys) are decorated with these neat and beautiful Rillis to ensure the ultimate experience of Royalty for the stranger guests.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

RABINDRANATH TAGORE


Rabindranath Tagore, or Gurudev as he was popularly known, was born in Calcutta on May 7, 1861.We Bengali's celebrate his birthday today according to Bengali calender as Pochishe Boishak. A renowned polymath, Tagore single handedly reshaped the region's literature and music. In 1913, he became the first Indian to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. As part of his works, Tagore introduced new prose and verse forms into Bengali literature and freed from the traditional models that were based on classical Sanskrit.
On his 154th birth anniversary, here are 10 things you should know about the man who gave India its national anthem:


1. Rabindranath Tagore is the only known person to have written the national anthems for two different countries. He wrote Jana Gana Mana, the national anthem for India, and Amar Sonar Bangla, the national anthem for Bangladesh.
2. In March 2004, the Nobel medal that had been awarded to Rabindranath Tagore, along with other valuables and citations, were stolen from a museum in the Uttarayan complex in Santiniketan. On Tagore's 100th birth anniversary, the Nobel Foundation issued a new Nobel medal to Tagore.
3. Rabindranath Tagore loved going on holidays in the Himalayas. On one of his trips to Ramgarh in 1903, after the doctors prescribed clean fresh air for his daughter Renuka who was suffering from tuberculosis, Tagore wrote poems for his collection Shishu, here. Though Tagore was moved by the beauty of the mountains, his daughter's condition deteriorated forcing him to take her back to Bengal. She died in September the same year. In 1914, Tagore returned to Ramgarh. A top what is today known as the Tagore Top in Ramgarh, he wrote parts of his famous Gitanjali, for which he won the Nobel Prize.
4. Tagore began writing poetry when he was all of eight years old. He was 16-years-old when he released his first collection of poems under the name Bhanusimha, or Sun Lion. By 1877, he was writing short stories and dramas under his own name at the age of 16.
5. The youngest of 13 siblings, Tagore resented and avoided classroom schooling. His elder brother Hemendranath tutored and physically conditioned him through various sporting activities such as gymnastics, judo and wrestling apart from trekking. "Rabi" loathed formal education so much that he went to college, the local Presidency College, only for a single day.
6. Tagore began as a poet who blended spiritual and romantic notions in his quest to understand the human soul and the divine, he soon moved on to give voice to the minds of the colonised and oppressed people. This transformation is even reflected in his later works, so much so that WB Yeats who had propagated his works as that of a mystic poet in the West found it difficult to relate to them.
7. Tagore's aversion to the concept of a nation and nationalism is historic. According to Tagore, National is not "a spontaneous self-expression of man as social being," but a great menace which is "supremely dangerous to humanity". During a lecture on Nationalism in the West that he delivered in America during 1916-17, Tagore openly denounced the "fierce self-idolatry of nation worship". He slammed the West for keeping their "neatly compressed bales of humanity. . . bound in iron hoops, labeled and separated off with scientific care and precision," and argued that the Nation with his "magnificent power and surprising appetite" is nothing but an "organization of politics and commerce" which is "incessantly growing into vast stature, out of proportion to all our needs of society - and the full reality of man is more and more crushed under its weight."
8. Tagore loved travelling and as a widely travelled man, he was a curious and keen observer of socio-political life in the countries he visited from 1916 onwards. In his book The Discovery of India, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote, "He (Tagore) has been India's internationalist par excellence, believing and working for international co-operation, taking India's message to other countries and bringing their message to his own people."
9. Rabindranath Tagore took up drawing and painting at the age of 60 and held many successful exhibitions of his works. His works - mostly inspired by the works of scrimshaw from northern New Ireland, Haida carvings from British Columbia and Max Pechstein's woodcuts - usually had strange colour schemes and off-beat aesthetics that led to the belief that he was probably red-green colour blind.
10. On the occasion of Tagore's 154th birth anniversary, Slovenia, a country of just two million people in Central Europe, has planned multifarious ceremonies in honour of Tagore from May 7-12.

Source: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/rabindranath-tagore-birthday-10-things-about-him/1/359478.html

Try granny's remedies, say goodbye to skin tan !!!



The onset of summer brings beauty woes like body tanning. This season try sugar-lemon juice pack or fresh coconut water pack or even honey-almond oil pack -- all natural remedies coming from grandma's treasure-trove -- to get a glowing skin.

Not many know that sugar works as the best cleansing agent while lemon juice helps reduce tanning. Buttermilk soothes and softens the skin, while coconut water brings a glow to the skin.

Granny's quick and convenient homemade remedies to keep your skin healthy and glowing during summer:

Cucumber juice-rose water pack
Apply a mixture of rose water, cucumber juice and a dash of lemon juice once a day. Lemon juice helps reduce the tan, while rose water and cucumber work as cooling agents.

Honey-lemon juice pack
Mix two tablespoons of honey with a few drops of lemon juice and apply it on the affected area once or twice in a day. Apply the mixture for few minutes and wash it off with cold water.

Turmeric pack
One can also prepare a paste adding a pinch of turmeric, lemon juice and raw milk. Apply the mixture properly and wait till it dries. Wash it off with cold water.

Oats-buttermilk pack
Buttermilk soothes and softens the skin. Make a pack by mixing a tablespoon of oats with buttermilk and apply it on your face or body to get rid of tanning from body parts. Since oats help in exfoliating the skin, the mixture can prove to be beneficial.

Curd and lemon pack
In olden days, granny used to rely on a mixture of gram flour, lime juice and curd to get a glowing skin. But one needs to slather the mixture regularly to get rid of tanning.

Lemon juice pack for body parts
To keep your knees, elbows and other patchy areas smooth and clean, apply fresh lemon juice. Keep it on for at least 15 minutes and wash it off.

Coconut pack
Fresh coconut water makes the skin soft and fair. Using it twice in a day on hands and face can prove beneficial.

Milk powder and honey pack
Prepare a paste adding equal quantity of milk powder, lemon juice, almond oil and honey. Apply it on the affected portions for at least 20 minutes. It will help reduce tan. One can also store it for a week. If you have time, use it thrice a day for better results.

Sugar-lemon pack
Sugar is considered as the best cleansing agent. Apply the mixture of sugar and lemon juice on your face and wash it after 20 minutes. If you have dry skin, then add a few drops of glycerine to the mixture.



Source - NDTV Cooks