Friday, October 30, 2015

KARVA CHAUTH / KARWA CHAUTH



Karva Chauth / Karwa Chauth, one of many Hindu festivals, is a fasting ritual observed by all married Hindu women who seek the longevity, prosperity and well-being of their husbands. This festival is very popular amongst married Hindu women in the western and northern parts of India, primarily in Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh. During the Karwa Chauth festival, married Hindu women dedicate the day to their husbands. Normally, women who observe this festival are called "Saubhagyavati" meaning "joyous and happy status of wifehood." The festival was emerged also as a day for celebrating autumn. Hindu married women enjoy the company and companionship of relatives and friends. As of recently, the celebration has been given a more religious touch.

 Karwa Chauth is glorified and also widely solemnized by Hindus and Sikh living in the northwestern part of India. Karva means clay pot while chauth means fourth. Karwa chauth commemorates the fourth day that follows the full moon in the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar. This festival is typically celebrated immediately after the autumn harvest. This is the best time to meet friends and relatives and exchange gifts. During this festival parents send various gifts to their married daughters.

 Karwa chauth is known for its extraordinary observance rate among married women in certain parts of India. Karwa chauth is celebrated in different ways depending on the region where a person lives. During this festival, jewelry, clothes and gifts are received from both the woman's mother-in-law and mother. All married women wear wedding day outfits once again and apply mehndi.

 There are many similar stories that are associated with karwa chauth from one part of India to another. During this particular day various items such as karwa, which is an earthen pot that has spout are actually collected and worshiped, is offered to the Goddess Parvati and Lord Siva. Usually the festival does not end until the moon is fully seen at night. During this festival an elderly woman is supposed to narrate a karwa chauth story before this fast is over.

 Karwa chauth is a very important as well as a difficult fast that all married Hindu women observe. The festival begins just before sunrise and ends after worshiping the moon and doing prayers at night. No water or food can be consumed once the sun rises. The fast is only broken after seeing the moon and after all rituals of that particular day have been performed. When the moon has appeared, women break the fast after they have offered water to the moon.

 Women dress in special clothes during this festival. A pink or red sari with a gold woven pattern is worn by many women as part their custom and is worn only in the evening. New brides will wear their wedding costumes. The karwa chauth fast sets a merry tone of frolic and fun, feasting and festivity and is amongst the biggest festivals celebrated by Hindus.

Source - Calendarlabs.com 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Eat Half a Teaspoon of Turmeric and These 10 Things Will Happen to Your Body


Turmeric is a spice used commonly in Indian foods like curry. The spice has significant benefits for the body. Below are 10 ways the body will benefit from your use of Turmeric in foods you eat regularly.

 Inflammation will Decrease 
 Short-term inflammation is helpful to prevent and fight disease. However, long-term inflammation actually has been linked to diseases that cause long-lasting damage and eventually lead to death. Therefore, having additional help in decreasing inflammation means your body can retain overall health. Since the Curcumin in Turmeric blocks NF-KB, it works to fight inflammation.

Antioxidants begin Working More Efficiently
 Curcumin also acts as an antioxidant, which neutralizes free radicals. Free radicals react with fatty acids or DNA, with negative effects on the body. Therefore, minimizing the effects of free radicals is a great benefit for the body. It also helps the body’s own antioxidant enzymes to work more efficiently and have more effect on the body. This has numerous benefits.

 Improved Brain Function 
The hormone BDNF, or Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, is vital to the division and multiplication of neurons in the brain. This in turn means decreased brain function in adulthood. However, with Turmeric in your diet, this hormone is increased. This helps the brain function, improves memory and increases intelligence.

 Decreases Risk of Brain Disease
 In correlation with the increase of the BDNF hormone in your brain, the risk of brain diseases are decreased. This is due to the improved functioning of the brain and may even reverse the effects already present in the brain.

 Delays Aging, Fights Chronic Diseases associated with Age
Most aging and diseases associated with that process can be traced back to inflammation. Therefore, the anti-inflammatory qualities of this herb can mean the difference for various diseases that tend to hit a person as they age.

 Lowers Risk of Heart Disease 
The lining of the blood vessels decreases function and heart disease is a significant risk due to issues with regulating blood pressure. However, Turmeric in the diet means improved function for this lining (called endothelium).

 Prevents and Treats Alzheimer’s Disease 
This goes back to the effect on inflammation. Since inflammation is a big factor in the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, Turmeric in the diet can delay the onset or even treat the disease by clearing Amyloid plaques that occur in the body.

 Helps with Arthritis Pain 
Inflammation of the joints is a common arthritis issue. With Turmeric acting as an anti-inflammatory, it makes sense that it would also address this issue and help with the pain and decreased function caused by arthritis.

 Helps Prevent Cancer
 On the molecular level, the growth and spread of cancer has been stopped by Turmeric. Cancers of the digestive system in particular seem to be preventable with the addition of Turmeric to the diet .

 Treats Depression, Improves Mood 
Studies have shown Curcumin to have a similar effect to Prozac, a commonly prescribed anti-depressant. Therefore, the use of Turmeric in your diet can be beneficial to your mental health and mood.

 Source - http://www.viralalternativenews.com/

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A UNIQUE CASTE SYSTEM OF SINDHIS



As post partition Sindhis,we had often heard of Sindhi names/labels like Amils, Bhaibands, Sindhiwarkis, Hyderabadis and so on, but could not make sense of these so called ‘castes’ of the community. Sindhishaan requested veteran researcher Shri Sahib Bijani to simplify and explain the various ‘types’ to the Sindh community. Here is a summary of the extensive research conducted by Shri Bijani.
Sindhis don’t follow any caste system, but there are certain loosely defined ‘castes’ or ‘zaats’ that are distinct from each other as they have come to be associated with distinct cultural and behavioral characteristics. These qualities or traits arose either from their professional differences or from the cities and places of living. For example Hyderabadis are known because they lived in Hyderabad which was comparatively an advanced and prosperous city. Similarly Shikarpuris are people from Shikarpur. This way there are many classifications in the Sindhi community. We have tried to enumerate some of the better known types in this article.
AMILS – The word Amil comes from amal which means to practice. These are Hindu Kshatriyas who worked as accountants in the governments of Mirs and Kalhodas in Sindh. Nowadays their descendants are also known as Amils even though they may not be in service. Amils residing in Hyderabad would be known as Hyderabadi Amils. Some of the Amils also resided in Khairpur, Larkana and Sevanh. Hyderabadis are supposed to be of a higher Zaat, well educated and fair skinned because the city of Hyderabad in those days was an education and cultural hub.
BHAIBANDS – In Sindh, the business class of Sindhis was known as Bhaibands. These people were into trading and business activities in the kingdom of the Mirs. It would be possible to find one Amil brother and one Bhaiband brother in the same household. In those days Amils would marry only Amils and Bhaibands would marry only Bhaibands. Nowadays even though they may be in service, yet they are known as Bhaibands if their ancestors belonged to this caste.
SINDHWARKIS – Sindhwarkis are those Bhaibands of Sindh who traded in the materials made in Sindh and then exported it. In 1843, the British conquered Sindh and at that time, the Hyderabadi Bhaibands supplied the materials for daily needs to the British soldiers. Because of their contact with the British army they supplied all types of material to them, even from the villages of Sindh. Then these Bhaibands went to Bombay, from there to Columbia and Rangoon. In 1869 the Suez Canal was opened and many Sindhwarkis went to Europe and Singapore and then spread all over the world, and began trading from many other ports and cities. This is the now known category of Sindhi NRIs
CHHAPRUS – The word Chhapru comes from the word Chhappar meaning mountain. These people usually lived in the mountain regions in Sindh and later came down to stay in Karachi. Chhaprus have followed their own distinct rituals and customs. Some of the Chhaprus are also known as Saprus.
BHATIAS – Bhatias are descendants of Shri Krishna. There are thousands of Sindhi Bhatias all over the world today. They usually marry among themselves and are strict vegetarians. Many don’t even eat onions and garlic. Some of their sub-castes are Gajria, Kajria, Parmal etc.
MASANDS – Masands were appointed to spread Sikhism by the fourth Guru, Guru Ramdas. They would spread the message of Gurbani in small towns and villages and collect funds. Then on Diwali day they would go and meet their Guru and hand over the collection. They would then be honored by their Guru. Even today there are around 300 Masands in India; some of them are brilliant educationists and social workers.
THAKURS – These are the descendants of Lord Jhulelal. They are the official Brahmins of the Sindhi community. They head many Sindhi Tikanas and Durbars.
BHAGNARIS – There were two small villages in Baluchistan known as Bhag and Nari which explains the name of this Bhagnari community. They were the community of dry fruits and spice merchants of those days. Some Bhagnaris were also wine merchants. They strictly married in their own community. Some of the famous Bhagnaris are Popleys, Nanomal Issardas and so on.
LOHANAS – Lohanas are the descendants of Luv, the son of Bhagwan Ramchandra. They are the Kshatriyas who lived in an iron fort built by them in Punjab known as Loh-Ghar, which later came to be known as Lahore. They came to Sindh from Lahore from where many Lohanas migrated to Kutch. They are usually engaged in trading and other business.
There are many more such Jaatis in Sindhis and it is not possible to describe each and everyone in this small article. Efforts must be made to research, classify and tabulate these various castes and sub-castes because it has importance for the future generation..

By- Sahib Bijani
Image - Courtesy Google

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The 9 different avatars of Goddess Durga / Nine colours of nine days / Navratri


Navrati – one of the most popular festivals celebrated all around the globe. Devotees worship Goddess Durga and chant various mantras. The occasion starts with Ghatasthapana wherein devotees place picture of Goddess in to the kalash (pot). Here we bring to you nine different avatars of Goddess Durga.
Navrati word in itself holds a special significance which refers to nine nights and nine different forms of Goddess Durga. Each and every Goddess hold importance and is worshipped with religious fervour. There is a myth which says that performing special pujas lifts divine spirits and God grants one with happiness for the rest of his/her life. The tenth day is celebrated as Vijayadashami , wherein devotees immerse idols of Goddess Durga into the water.

Navratri Day 1 : Godess Shailaputri  (Red)



‘Shailaputri’ means the daughter of mountains also known as Sati Bhavani, Parvati or Hemavati. ‘Shail’ means mountains and ‘Putri’ means daughter. She is the first among Navadurgas and devotees worship her on the first day of Navaratri. Goddess Shailaputri symbolizes the power of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. She is quite recognizable as she rides a bull and carries a trident along with a lotus in her hands. According to Hindu mythology, Shailaputri is believed to be the rebirth of Sati. She was the daughter of Daksha and the wife of Lord Shiva. Shailaputri is associated with Lord Shiva.

 Navratri Day 2: Goddess Brahmacharini  (Royal Blue)



 Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped on the second day of Navratri festival. This is the second form of Durga who took various births to attain Lord Shiva as her husband. Brahmacharini also known as Tapashcharini, Aparna and Uma. She symbolizes spirituality and meditation. Goddess Brahmacharini holds a rosary in her right hand and a water utensil in her left hand. On this day, women in India observe a rigorous fast to attain peace, prosperity and happiness.

 Navratri Day 3: Goddess Chandraghanta (Yellow)



 Goddess Chandraghanta is worshipped on the third day of Navratri. She is also known as Chandrakhanda, Chandika or Ramchandi. Her name resembles crescent moon which is worn by her on the head. Chandraghanta, totally different from that of Durga, who shows her angry side when provoked. Devotees believe that this Goddess blesses them with a lot of courage and bravery.

Navratri Day 4: Goddess Kushmanda (Green)



 Goddess Kushmanda the fourth form of the Hindu goddess Durga worshipped on the fourth day of Navratri. Ku means little, Ushma means energy and Anda means cosmic egg. It is believed that the darkness in the universe ended with her divine smile and then there was the beautiful beginning of creation.

Navratri Day 5: Goddess Skanda Mata (Grey)



 Goddess Skanda Mata, is the fifth form of Goddess Durga and Skanda means Kartikeya and Mata means mother. She grants her devotees with wisdom, power and prosperity. She is also regarded as The Goddess of Fire.

 Navratri Day 6: Goddess Katyayani (Orange)



 Katyayani, the sixth form of Goddess Durga is also known as a Warrior Goddess. It is said that she eventually led to slaying the demon, Mahishasura and then mounted the lion given to her by Goddess Gauri.

Navratri Day 7: Goddess Kalaratri (White)



 Kalaratri, the seventh form of Durga who is known for destroying ignorance and removing darkness from the universe. Kalaratri or Shubhamkari – is the violent form of Goddess Durga. It is said that she licked the blood of demon Rakta Beeja, who had the potential to create demons from his blood.This form of Goddess depicts the darker side of life.

 Navratri Day 8: Goddess Mahagauri (Pink)



 Mahagauri the eighth avatar of Goddess Durga who is known as a ray of lightning. According to myths, she performed rigid Tapas without moving her body. Due to which heavy amount of soil and dust got collected on her body and Lord Shiva cleaned her with water from Ganga river. Therefore, purity is depicted in this form of Durga.

 Navratri Day 9: Goddess Siddhidatri (Sky Blue)



 Siddhidatri, ninth avatar of Mother Goddess who provides knowledge to her devotees. The knowledge that she provides makes one realise that it is only her who exists, in short she is the supreme power of all perfect things. In this form she is seated on a lotus flower and holds variety of things in her hands including lotus, mace, conch shell and discus.

Source- www.india.com

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Why Indian women wear Toe Rings ?


The toe ring which is also known as ‘Bichiya’ is a type of ring just like finger ring or some others rings that is made by various types of metals and non-metals compounds. And it is most popular traditional as well as modern fashion or trend among Indian women. Most of the Indian girls especially bridals and married women like to wear it on special occasions such as wedding ceremonies, engagement parties, some religious events and even on daily regular routines. And it is also becoming a fashion among Indian women. They show their so much interest in this type of fashion. And many people thought that why is it necessary to wear it? and why women like to wear it? There are many reasons to wear it in Indian women. First and common reason is that wear the toe ring is the sign or identity of married women. The wear it also because of their culture as their ancestors wore it culturally. There is a very amazing search about the wear of toe ring among Indian women.


The science have revealed that the toe ring in the second toe helps to women in some regulations for example a particular nerve passes from this second toe to the uterus and also from uterus towards the heart. This toe ring gives help in circulating blood towards uterus and heart and resulting strengthen the uterus. And also gives help these organs in many other functions. Moreover, when it wears in the both side or in the both second toes of foots or even in one side foot too, it helps in the regulation or maintenance of the menstrual cycle in women during certain interval of menstrual cycle in Indian women. And this is why it is considered as a best way and gives a good scope and help for conceiving to married women. This is why Indian women wear it especially in the second toe of the both foot or even in one foot.
And one is the most important thing is also seen in Why Indian Womens Wear Toe Rings Mostly and likely silver colored toe ring never wear gold toe ring. The main and common reason of this thing is that Indian people especially women are prefer to their ancient culture or tradition. And they considered gold is a respect able and value able thing and this is why they considered it not able or good thought and not fear thing to wear it in toe as toe ring in the foot because it will come behind the foots.. And this is why they like to wear toe ring in silver color and in some other metallic products. And also silver is considered as a good conductor and it is more helpful in the absorption of polar energies and in some other functions. These are the most authentic, valuable and enough reasons to wear toe rings in the foot of Indian girl’s and especially bridals and married women.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Joining Both Palms Together To Greet / Namaste / Namaskar



In Hindu culture, people greet each other by joining their palms – termed as “Namaskar.” The general reason behind this tradition is that greeting by joining both the palms means respect. However, scientifically speaking, joining both hands ensures joining the tips of all the fingers together; which are denoted to the pressure points of eyes, ears, and mind. Pressing them together is said to activate the pressure points which helps us remember that person for a long time. And, no germs since we don’t make any physical contact!
Source - Desinema.com

Friday, October 2, 2015

WHY HAS HISTORY FORGOTTEN THIS GIANT


If we ask any person or any school going children, what is the existence of October 2nd in Indian history; probably they will not even think once and tell that it is Gandhi Jayanti (Birthday of Mahatama Gandhi). The important day October 2 is treated as national holiday for Gandhi jayanthi and international day for non violence. Passing time has eroded our values and principles and also importance of this great day. Times have changed andso has the perception of the present generation regarding the importance of this day. The profound effect of this can be seen clearly in current state of affairs. Today when I saw news paper every page covered with Gandhi jayanthi wishes. However, the importance of 2nd October remains incomplete if we do not remember another great son of India A true Gandhian Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was born on the same date.
We always celebrate 2nd October as Gandhi jayanti but so many people forgetting there's one more celebration on this day of our great leader and best Ex Prime minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri. I know most of the people don't know that his birthday also come on the same day because in our schools, colleges we were only told about Gandhi jayanti on 2nd October, even the television channels also telecasting movies on the eve of Gandhi Jayanthi, but I have hardly witnessed any type of coverage about Lal Bahadur Shastri or his birth anniversary on any TV channels. We observed the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October. Indeed it is highlighted that Mahatma was "one man army" who made the British Empire yield and obtained freedom for India. It is believed that Mahatma is most "read about" and "talked about" person in the contemporary world.
However, very few people know that it is the birth anniversary of Late Lal Bahadur Shastri as well; Except for those of like my father who grew up in the sixties and seventies, Lal Bahadur shashtri was a figure whom we knew little about. He was the little man with iron in his constitution, the man who succeeded Jawaharlal Nehru, honest to the core, the man who won the 1965 War with Pakistan. In a manner we should call this day as Gandhi jayanti as well as Shastri Jayanti. It is pity that the people, who remember and celebrate Gandhi Jayanthi, forget that the same day is the birth day of our former prime Minister - a humble man.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI



Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm in India in the month of July or August. According to the Hindu calendar this religious festival is celebrated on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksh or the 8th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadon.

Sri Krishna is considered as the one of the most powerful human incarnations of the Lord Vishnu. He was born around 5,200 years ago in Mathura. The sole objective of Sri Krishna's birth was to free the Earth from the evilness of demons. He played an important role in Mahabharata and propagated the theory of bhakti and good karma which are narrated deeply in the Bhagwat Geeta.

 Sri Krishna was born in a prison in the custody of Kansa. Vasudev, His father immediately thought of his friend Nand and decided to hand over his child to him to save Krishna from the clutch of Kansa. Krishna grew up in Gokul and finally killed his uncle, King Kansa. The actual celebration of Janmashtami takes place during the midnight as Sri Krishna is believed to be borned on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule and violence of his uncle, Kansa

. All over India this day is celebrated with devotional songs and dances, pujas, arti, blowing of the Conch and rocking the cradle of baby Sri Krishna. The Janmashtami celebration of Mathura and Vrindavan, the places where Sri Krishna had spent his life, are very special. On this day temples and homes are wonderfully decorated and illuminated. Night long prayers are offered and religious mantras are sung in the temples.

Info Source - here 
Image ... Google 

Friday, July 24, 2015

LORD VISHNU MANTRA


Lord Vishnu is deemed the protector of the universe. Described and heralded by thousands of names, Lord Vishnu is one of the most favourite deities in Hinduism. Being the protector of the universe, Lord Vishnu has the divine mission of listening to the prayers of all humans and answering them in the appropriate way. He is all merciful and compassionate. He is easily pleased with the prayers that people do. Chanting Vishnu mantra daily is the way to health, prosperity and happiness and securing all that we desire in life.
Transliteration of Vishnu Mantra
Shantakaram Bhujagasayanam
Padmanabham Suresham
Viswadharam Kagana Sadrisham
Megha Varnam Shubangam
Lakshmi Kantham Kamala Nayanam
Yogi Hrd Dhyana Gamyam
Vande Vishnum Bhava Bhaya Haram
Sarva Lokaika Natham
Translation of Vishnu Mantra
The one with peaceful and highly appealing form; the one that reclines on the five headed serpent Adisesha
The one with a heavenly lotus emanating from his naval; the one who is the head of all the gods
The one who is the supporter of this universe; the one who is so expansive like the space
The one who is dark in complexion like that of the clouds; the one who has a highly auspicious appearance
The one who is the Lord of Lakshmi (goddess of wealth); the one who has eyes like that of the lotus petals
The one who is sought after by the penance of the Rishis
I bow down to Lord Vishnu who is the remover of the earthly bondage and fears
I know him as the Lord of all the worlds
The Efficacy of Vishnu Mantra
Lord Vishnu is so compassionate and merciful. Once sage Bhrigu wanted to test the Trinity (the three gods of creation, sustenance and destruction namely Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) as to who is the most tolerant one. When he used abusive language at the Brahmaloka and Shivaloka, he was duly cursed and punished by them.
Then he went to Vaikunt, the abode of Lord Vishnu. By way of testing the patience and tolerance of the Lord, he kicked the Lord with his foot. At once, Lord Vishnu caught hold of the sage's feet and caressed it saying that by kicking, the foot would have invited some pain and therefore he wanted to ease his discomfort.
The sage was so amazed with the degree to which the Lord can put up with the act of dishonour. This incident was enough for him to conclude that Lord Vishnu was the most merciful, loving and compassionate Lord.
Praying to Lord Vishnu is a way to get his blessings in abundance. Daily prayers to Vishnu is advised to get the most positive results. Those who want to get their wishes fulfilled must chant Vishnu Mantra on a daily basis completing a round of 108 times.
Wake up early in the morning, light ghee lamp and incense in front of the picture or idol of Lord Vishnu and offer some pure water and flowers besides any prasad you might feel comfortable with. Be seated in front of the altar and chat the mantra sincerely contemplating on the meaning. You will find your wishes coming true in due course with the blessings of Lord Vishnu.
Source - Speaking Tree

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Studies Show Fake Honey Is Everywhere – How to test honey


You need a detailed and expert analysis to confirm that honey is honey is completely natural and to list all its ingredients. But only if you want to know if you bought the right one honey and that is really natural, a few tricks for testing will be enough for you.
1. Read the contents
This is the first step that will help you find the right ingredients in order to choose good honey which contains no additives. The producer must appoint the contents and their percentage by a certain amount.
2. Natural honey is not sticky
A good test would be if you take a little honey and rub it between your fingers. Real honey is easily absorbed into the skin. If it remains sticky, It means that It contains sugar or artificial sweeteners.
3. Caramelizing
Put a few teaspoons of honey into a bowl and heat it to a high temperature in a microwave. Real honey gets caramelized, while the false becomes foamy and full of bubbles.
4. Paper
Put a few drops of honey on paper. If the honey does not break the paper after some time, it is a natural one. Otherwise, one that contains water in its composition will break the paper just a few seconds.
5. The trick with bees
Ants pass by real honey, produced by bees. Try this and put some honey in a corner. If ants do not touch it, it means that your honey is natural.
6. Water with honey
This is the easiest indicator of the correct composition of honey. Pure honey, when put in water, makes lumps and falls to the bottom of the cup, while the false one melts.
7. Tingling in the month
Pure natural honey causes tingling and mild inflammation of the tongue, while the false has no effect on the palate.
8. Honey on Bread
Put some honey on a piece of bread. If bread becomes hard, honey is completely natural. If it only dampens the surface of the piece of bread, it is false, because of the large amount of water in its composition.
9. Egg yolks
Mix one egg yolk with a little honey. If honey is natural, the yolk will look like cooked.
10. Crystallization
Pure honey crystallizes with time, while the other honey, even after a long period, keeps its liquid composition in the form of syrup.
Source: Healthy Food House

Friday, July 17, 2015

This Is Why You Absolutely Need To Stop Wearing Shoes In Your House


Have you ever been to someone’s home and they have all the shoes by the front door outside of the house? I have had several friends mostly from eastern and/or Asian families who do this. I always found it interesting personally considering growing up not many of my friends and family kept all the shoes outside. Most people I know take their shoes off at the door but some people choose to wear shoes in their home. Why would you wear shoes in your home? it’s beyond me! it’s more comfortable to be barefoot and it’s better to develop foot and angle strength also.
Some new information I discovered today is worth sharing though. The University of Houston did a study and found that 39% of shoes contained bacteria C. diff (otherwise known as Clostridium difficile), this is a public health threat that is now also resistant to a number of antibiotics. C. diff infections can cause multiple health conditions such as bad diarrhea which can also progress to colon inflammation and further serious health problems, especially if it doesn’t respond to antibiotic treatment effectively.
In another study done by the University of Arizona 9 different forms of bacteria were found on the bottom of shoes. Good Morning America did a test and found that the bottom of shoes were dirtier than toilet seats also. Furthermore, Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona did a test with a brand new pair of shoes and found that within just two weeks of wearing a new shoe 440,000 units of bacteria were found on the shoe. An astonishing 27% of that total bacteria were deadly E Coli. Klebsiella pneumonia was also found, which can lead to and cause pneumonia and wound and bloodstream infections and another type of infection called Serratia ficaria, which can lead to infection of the respiratory tract.
“Shoes are contaminated from diverse sources, and we are regularly contaminating our doorsteps by shoes,” says study author M. Jahangir Alam, Ph.D.
The Clostridium difficile is only the tip of the iceberg though because only 4 out of 10 people have this on their shoes. There are many different types of bacteria that get into your home from your shoe. For example, most most public restroom floors contain around 2 million bacteria per square inch (interestingly enough the average toilet seat only contains about 50 per square inch). These are two very good reasons to avoid wearing shoes in your home at all. If you have young kid’s who crawl around on the floor all day (whether 2 years old or 4 years old) it’s even more important to not wear your shoes inside your home. Children 2 and under should NOT be playing on floors that shoes have been walked on. It is best to leave your shoes outside the home if you have a one or two year old child.
What’s interesting is that many countries like I previously mentioned earlier in this article leave their shoes completely outside their home with that door closed so you cannot even see shoes in the home. A great idea is to leave them at the front door or in the garage by the door to avoid bringing any unwanted bacteria or germs in the home. What’s worse is that many of us will be barefoot in our homes (especially during the summer time) and to wear your shoes in your home even just once or a few times if you forgot something and are in a rush can potentially bring this dangerous bacteria in your home. Avoid it and do your best to keep the shoes outside for your health and safety.
Not only do shoes contain bacteria but they also contain germs, chemicals and oil or petroleum by-products. The bottom of your shoes are full of plenty of chemicals and pathogens that you do not want to spread all over your home then walk barefoot on later.
It’s uncommon in western countries such as America and Canada for guests to ask to remove your shoes at the door but most cultures around the world ask that you leave your shoes at the door. It will help keep those germs and bacteria out, as well as bacteria C. diff which can be more dangerous. Taking your shoes off at the door is a sign of respect for your home and the home of guests. In many religious traditions shoes are removed for prayer and entering the home. Shoes carry many germs and bacteria and it’s best to leave the outside world just outside your door along with your shoes.
Let’s recap, what’s on the bottom of your shoes? Fecal matter, multiple forms of bacteria causing fecal matter as well as infections and inflammation of the colon, germs, chemicals, petroleum and so much more! Where are you going to leave your shoes from now on? and maybe you’ll rethink that 5-second rule (or 5 BECOMING a 10-second rule) of dropping food on the floor and picking it up to eat it next time.
Source - Healthy Wild and Free

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Home made cleaners for granite, marbles and stainless steel


Granite
One of the best cleaners for granite can be made at home at a very low cost. In a spray bottle, combine ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol with a few drops of mild dish detergent. Fill the bottle to the top with water. Use this by spraying on your granite and wiping it off with a fresh, damp cloth, as often as necessary. Do not leave the solution on the surface of the granite.

Marble
The only cleaner you need for marble on a daily basis is a soft sponge and hot water. Wipe down the marble and dry it with a soft cloth. Purchase a cleaner specifically made for marble if you want to occasionally do a more thorough cleaning. Do not use any generic cleaning products, since many of them will damage marble, no matter how gentle they claim to be.

Stainless Steel
You have several options for cleaning stainless steel. Start with a soft cloth and plain water, then buff with a clean, dry towel. Rub in the direction of the grain for a smooth look. If you still have fingerprints or other marks on the stainless steel, you can use glass cleaner, mild dish detergent, vinegar or club soda. Apply with a soft cloth, again in the direction of the grain, then wipe with a damp or dry cloth. After cleaning, rub the area with baby oil for a high shine.

General Maintenance
On granite and marble, wipe up spills with a soft sponge and hot water immediately. Use trays and coasters for items that will be placed on the surface to help prevent leaks or spills that may stain it or scratches if an item is dragged across the surface. If necessary, seal your marble or granite annually for additional protection. You can tell if the surface needs to be sealed by placing a drop of water on the surface. Wait 20 minutes, and if the drop is still in its original form, you don't have to seal it. If the water drop has spread out, the surface is absorbing some water and should be resealed.

The Powers Of Baking Soda – It Does Miracles To Your Skin, Hair And Body


One of the best products which appear in everyone’s kitchen is the baking soda. It is actually sodium bicarbonate which is a natural substance appearing most often in the form of fine powder. It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties, and is also a powerful medical tool which helps in colds, oral problems, or even skin issues. It is best to use it in short periods as excessive use can damage your hair and skin. These are the benefits of baking soda:
Improves skin complexion – it removes dead cells acting like an exfoliate agent, it also balances pH levels that is very important for maintaining clear skin. Take filtered or rose water and add 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda to make a paste, apply it on your face and let it stay for 1 minute rubbing it off using the tips of your fingers, then wash your face with lukewarm water patting it dry. Repeat this 1-2 times a week. Moisturize your skin before you use the baking soda. Or, you can mix it with lemon juice and 4-5 extra-virgin olive oil and apply it on your face leaving it stay for 5 minutes and rinse off with cold water. Repeat this 2-3 times a week.

Brightens yellow teeth – working as a mild abrasive it removes yellow strains from your teeth and plaque as well. Put a bit of it along with a toothpaste on your toothbrush and brush your teeth for 2 minutes doing this only once a day; or you can make a homemade teeth whitener mixing 4 tbsp. of turmeric root, 2 tbsp. of baking soda, and 3 tbsp. of extra-virgin coconut oil and use the mixture to brush your teeth once a day for a few days. Be cautious as baking soda can strip your teeth of its natural protective enamel.
Fights pimples and acne – It treats the cause and reduce the symptoms of acne and other breakouts and balances the skin’s pH levels, too. You can mix 1 tsp of it with a baking soda to make a paste, apply on the affected area and let it stay for 1-2 minutes. After that, rinse it with cold water repeating this procedure 2-3 days and then reduce the frequency to 1-2 times a week.

Treats body odor – it absorbs moisture and sweat from the skin reducing the mild and severe odor. Mix 1/8 tsp. of baking soda, 1 tbsp. of water and couple of drops of any essential oil applying it with a cotton ball on your underarms using it regularly. You can also mix baking soda and cornstarch in equal ratio, dust it onto your dry underarms to prevent sweating and bad odor.
Relieves sunburn and sunburn blisters – it has soothing effect and helps relieve the itching and burning sensations, as well as dries sunburn blisters quickly due to its mild antiseptic and drying properties. Mix 1-2 tbsp. in cold water, soak a washcloth in it, wring it out to excess and apply it on the affected area leaving it stay 5-10 minutes. Repeat this 2-3 times a day until you get relief. Or, add ½ cup of it in a bathtub filled with water, stir well and soak in it for 10-15 minutes, then pat dry or allow your body to air dry repeating this 1 time a day for a few days.

Treats nail fungus – it is an infection when fungi start growing under the nails resulting in crusty, thick, distorted and discolored nails. Mix 2 tbsp. of baking soda in 1 cup of raw, unfiltered apple cedar vinegar, soak toenails for 5 minutes in it and then pat dry them with paper towels repeating this 2 times a day; or you can also make a paste of 1-2 tsp of baking soda and warm water, apply it on the nails for couple of minutes and then rinse off with warm water repeating this procedure once a day.
Treats smelly and oily hair – its alkaline nature balances the pH levels on the scalp keeping healthy and clean. Mix baking soda and water in ratio 1:3, apply on dump hair, let it stay for 5 minutes and rinse it off, repeating the procedure 2 times a month; add 1 tsp of baking soda in your regular shampoo bottle using it to wash your hair 1-2 times a week; or mix equal amounts of baking soda and cornstarch, sprinkle it at the roots of your hair and tousle it around, finally brush your hair with a good quality brush.
Treats stained or yellow nails – it has bleaching and exfoliating properties that remove stains. Mix ½ cup of water with 1 tsp. of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 1 tbsp. of baking soda in a bowl. Stir well and dip your nails 2-3 minutes repeating this once every 2 weeks. Or, mix 2½ tbsp. of baking soda with 1 tbsp. of 3% hydrogen peroxide to make a fine paste and apply on your nails with a cotton swab. Wait for 2 minutes and rinse the nails with warm water. Repeat this once in 2 months
.
Heals skin rashes and itchiness – due to its anti-inflammatory properties it has soothing effect reducing inflammation, swelling and itching. For localized itching mix water and baking soda in ratio of 1:3 and apply on the affected area, let it sit for couple of minutes and then wash it off with cool water, repeat this on regular basis; or, for itching all over your body, add 1 cup of the baking soda in a bathtub of cool water and soak for 10 minutes a day. If your skin is broken or very irritated avoid using baking soda.
Removes dandruff – it balances the pH levels of the scalp to a healthy equilibrium. Rum 1 tsp of baking soda on wet hair and scalp, let it stay for 1 minute and rinse thoroughly, repeat this 1 time at a week. You can also mix 1 tsp of baking soda with freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon, apply it on your scalp and let it stay 2-3 minutes, then rinse it off, repeat it 1 time a week.

Source - Natural Medicine House

Friday, July 3, 2015

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF MORINGA - A MODERN MIRACLE TREE


In northern India, in the foothills of the Himalayas, the moringa has long graced the region with its miraculous fruit. Ribbed pods, each a foot in length, hang in clusters from this tree’s wiry branches. These pods, called drumsticks, have attracted the attention of mankind for millennia and for good reason.
While the aptly nicknamed drumstick tree has a rather slender appearance, it is anything but frail. A tropical native, this prolific powerhouse has spread its roots across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. And now, it seems to have anchored itself in American soil.
Part of a new wave of exotic vegetables, Moringa oleifera is a botanical platypus. A member of the order Brassicales, it’s a distant relative of both the cabbage and the papaya. Its roots taste so much like its cousin horseradish, that it’s also earned the nickname the “horseradish tree”. Its fruit, a popular Indian vegetable, looks like a cross between an okra and a pole bean with the flavor of asparagus. Its cooked flowers mimic mushrooms in taste, while its leaves hint at spinach and lettuce. Its immature seeds are used like peas and if fried when mature, resemble peanuts.
In fact, it’s hard to find a part of moringa that isn’t edible. Even the bark is sometimes taken internally for diarrhea. But that doesn’t come as a surprise to the locals, who consider it a living pharmacy. Moringa has proven to be a multipurpose arsenal that dispenses some of the best secrets nature has to offer. For centuries, it has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a host of ailments including anemia, bronchitis, hyperglycemia, scurvy, and skin infections.
Today, several research studies seem to validate this knowledge. In a study conducted by Jaiswal et al. (2009), on diabetic rats, moringa leaf extract was shown to significantly reduce high blood glucose levels. Within 14 days, it also eliminated the presence of sugar and protein in the urine, two important warning signs of uncontrolled diabetes. In another study, moringa leaf extract was shown to notably reduce body weight, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in rats with high levels of fat in their blood. Moreover, it not only lowered bad cholesterol (LDL) but also elevated the good kind (HDL) (Rajanandh et al., 2012).
Furthermore, the leaf extract triples as a potent mosquitocide. At different stages of the life cycle, moringa killed Anopheles stephensi, a major carrier of malaria in India. These effects may be due to the rare and unique combination of phytochemicals found in moringa, including beta-carotene, zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid, and kaempferol.
Overall, the tree possesses numerous anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal effects, among others.
Drought hardy and disease resistant, moringa is a godsend during the dry season, when little food is available. The fresh leaves and branches serve as an excellent source of forage. Indeed, a Nicaraguan study confirms moringa’s ability to boost milk production in cows without affecting its taste, smell, or color.
The leaves also offer a spectrum of nutrition, rich in vitamins A, B, and C, as well as protein, calcium, and iron. They are so nutritious in fact, that they contain more vitamin A than carrots, more vitamin C than oranges, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, more potassium than bananas, and more protein than either milk or eggs! A traditional item in pickles and curries, the raw leaves are also perfect for salads.
As a result, moringa could play a key role as a wholesome food source in impoverished nations, where malnutrition is often rampant. The World Health Organization has stressed the importance of amino acids and protein for growing children. Luckily, moringa leaves are rich in these nutrients, with the added benefit of omega-3 fatty acids and a host of protective phytochemicals.
When mixed in with different cereals, children regained normal weight and health status in 30 to 40 days, while the United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s recipe for malnourished children took 80 days.
“[It] is a very healthy satisfying food that meets all nutritive needs. It is cheap to produce, can be cooked or eaten raw, sold in the market, or dried as a powder to be sold over long distances,” added Nikolaus Foidl, a world leading agricultural researcher on moringa.
Foidl has been studying the tree for over a decade in conjunction with the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. He has traveled to many countries, including Senegal, Honduras, Guinea Bissau, and Argentina, promoting the miracle tree’s cultivation by working with the locals.
In Nicaragua, he helped farmers utilize the leaf extract as a growth spray for other crops.
“Moringa leaves contain the growth factors gibberellin, kinetin, and some lower levels of auxin. We got up to a 25% increase in sugarcane and turnips, onions, and radish.”
Such a bountiful increase should not be ignored, especially in areas where food shortage is an issue. Foidl, who has the financial support of the Austrian government, first came across the tree by accident.
He recounted, “By chance, I had a Jatropha plantation with rows of moringa as windbreaks and the damn cows were always breaking down my fences to get to them. So I wondered, what is so special about this tree that the cows are willing to risk injury?”
That question has now led to a new understanding of moringa’s multifaceted potential. As a vigorous hardy grower, it surprisingly does not require much water or many soil nutrients once established. This makes it one of the most valuable tropical trees in terms of overall utility.
Like the leaves, the flowers, too, are edible when cooked, and are packed with calcium and potassium. As a bonus, they are not only incredibly fragrant, they also support native bee populations.
Moringa roots and bark, on the other hand, are used with caution. The bark contains the toxic chemicals moringinine and spirochin, which can alter heart rate and blood pressure. However, they do show promise in the medical field. The inner flesh of the root is less toxic, and roots of young plants are picked for a hot sauce base while the resin is added as a thickener. Interestingly, blue dye can be obtained from the wood, which is also used in paper production.
The famed moringa drumsticks contain all nine essential amino acids that humans must obtain exclusively from their diet. Oftentimes, the drumsticks are chopped into logs, boiled, and split into thirds lengthwise. The fibrous rind is inedible− rather it’s the soft jellied pulp and seeds that are sought after. These can be scooped out or scraped away by the teeth.
Hidden within the drumsticks are even more remarkable seeds. Loaded with protein, they also contain special non-toxic polypeptides that act as natural Brita filters. When ground into powder and mixed with water, they cause sediments to clump together and settle out. Then when strained through a cloth, they provide cheap access to clean water. Amazingly, just two seeds are enough to purify a dirty liter.
“It has been widely used at the village level in Africa to transform river water into drinking water,” shared Foidl. “I had a project working with the seeds in a wastewater treatment plant in Nicaragua (wastewater from 4,000 people). It was very effective− about 99.5% separation of turbidity in 30 minutes.”
In turn, the seeds themselves yield a valuable yellow oil called ben oil. Sweet, clear, and odorless, it doesn’t spoil easily− perfect for perfumes, cosmetics, and lubrication. It has also found use in cooking due to its high levels of healthy unsaturated fats.
For such a versatile tree, it’s almost hard to believe that moringa is easily grown via seeds or cuttings. Foidl remarked, “It grows virtually better than willow.”
Fresh seeds have the best chance at germination with a success rate of around 60-90%, provided that they have not been in extended storage, and require no special pretreatment. Seeds should be planted ½ inch deep in well drained, neutral to slightly acidic sandy loam and kept moist. Seedlings readily sprout within one to four weeks and do not transplant well due to their long taproot. As an alternative, branch cuttings can be used— these will be genetically identical to the parent tree. For best success, select hardwood cuttings that are 12 inches long and 1-4 inches thick, planting 1/3 of the length below soil.
Given its tropical nature, it is no surprise that moringa has quickly established roots in the southern states, particularly in Florida, California, and Texas where there are large Asian communities. In northern climates, however, the tree can be treated as either a summer annual or as a potted perennial. Moringa can be overwintered indoors where it will often go dormant and shed its leaves, only to re-sprout in spring.
As agriculture becomes more expensive, managing the long-term productivity of the land is essential. Moringa solves this issue through a practice called high density planting. The trees are grown closely together to increase the yield per given area, while at the same time reducing the need for herbicides. Because moringa grows rapidly, it crowds out and suppresses neighboring weeds.
“The optimal density is 1 million plants per hectare (10 x 10 cm spacing), where the losses of plants per cut are around 1% and the losses are compensated through vigorous sprouting,” explained Foidl. “Moringa is cut at a height of 15 to 25 cm for vigorous regrowth.”
This practice allows for cutting every 35 days, totaling 10 harvests per year. In fact, 120 tons of dry matter can be harvested per hectare a year, 10 times more than corn and several times more than soy. As a result, there is a constant supply of fresh food, with little need for storage.
Moringa is in a unique position to address the issues of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and lack of clean water all at once, something no other plant can boast. It is even more valuable considering it is found widely throughout the tropics, in the regions where it is needed most, making this ancient tree a true modern day miracle.
Sources:
  • Jaiswal D, Rai PK, Kumar A, Mehta S, Watal G. (2009). Effect of Moringa oleifera Lam. leaves aqueous extract therapy on hyperglycemic rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 123(3), 392-396.
  • Rajanandh MG, Satishkumar MN, Elango K, Suresh B. (2012). Moringa oleifera Lam. A herbal medicine for hyperlipidemia: A pre-clinical report. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease, 2(2), S790-S795.
  • Prabhu K, Murugan K, Nareshkumar A, Ramasubramanian N, Bragadeeswaran S. (2011). Larvacidal and repellant potential of Moringa oleifera against malarial vector, Anopheles stephensi Liston (Insecta: Diptera: Culicidae). Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 1(2), 124-129.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

TOMATO TIPS



The small amount of effort it takes is worth the glorious taste of peel-free tomatoes!
Although peeling a tomato is not an extremely common method in many home kitchens, it is a very useful process to be familiar with. Some recipes will call for a tomato to be peeled and seeded in order to rid the tomato of any bitter taste that the peel and seeds can contain. This method can also be used for peeling peaches and plums.
To remove the skin of tomatoes, place them in warm water for about 5-10 minutes. The skin can then be peeled off easily.
In case of over ripe tomatoes, just place them in cold water and add some salt. They will become firm and fresh overnight.
Courtesy - Food Food

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

PURUSHOTTAM MAS (Adhik Mas)


The Hindu calendar is lunar based, unlike the Gregorian (Western) which is solar based. Since the lunar based calendar lags slightly, an intercalary month is added approximately every 2.5 years. This is known as Adhik (extra) mas. It is considered even more auspicious than Shravan.
The lunar month in which the sun does not transmigrate clearly, is called Adhik Mas or Purushottam Mas – additional month.
There are several kathas related about the glory of Purushottam Mas in the Narad Puran
In ancient times, the rishis Asit, Deval, Angira, Vamdev and others gathered at Naimisharanya Kshetra. Soon Sutpurani too arrived, while on a pilgrimage. Welcoming him, the others requested him to do katha which would imbue moksha.
Sutji replied, "Once Naradji visited Nar-Narayan rishi's ashram. He humbly prayed, "O Prabhu! What is the way to moksha in this KaliYuga - age of darkness, which is plunging in ever increasing hedonism?"
The rishi replied, "O Muni! If man was to listen to the divine lila of Purushottam Narayan, then even in Kali Yuga, He will grant moksha."
Therefore the rishis listened to the lila in Adhik Mas, henceforth also known as Purushottam Mas.
There are other similar stories in the Padma Puran extolling Purushottam Mas's glory.
Rituals
In this month, devotees awaken at brahma muhurt – around 4.30 a.m. After the ritual; ablutions, they perform puja.
They should do pranayam for physical and mental purity. If circumstances are favourable, devotees should offer shodshopchar puja – worship with sixteen different types of pujadravya, materials for puja.
Those with robust health should do farar or ektana – one meal a day. One should listen to katha with bhaktibhav.
The merit of this vrat is greater than that of performing a hundred yagnas, since this leads to attainment of Paramatma’s abode (Bruhad Naradiya Puran 22-23).
Bhagwan Swaminarayan has also enjoined the observance of Purushottam Mas by offering special devotion. The unparalleled feature of this month is that each tithi – date of this month celebrates a sacred festival which falls on that tithi during the year.
Hindus worldwide celebrate this sacred month, which arrives every thirty-two months, by performing extra malas, pradakshinas, pilgrimages, scriptural reading and parayans - holding a katha series of a sacred text.
Source - kids.baps.org

Monday, June 29, 2015

FENUGREEK SEEDS



Do u know scrubbing face and breasts with fenugreek seeds powder tightens and shines the skin.
Method - Just take one tbsp fenugreek seeds powder and mix it with plain cold water and make a paste.Rub it on face or breasts for 1-2 minutes and leaves it for 5-10 minutes and wash. You will notice the difference within a week.
Courtesy - Healthy and happy life

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

AMLA



Amla berry, also known as Indian Gooseberry, is an amazing fruit that contains a phenomenal amount of vitamin C and antioxidants such as ellagic acid and quercetin. It is also high in vitamins A & B-complex and minerals such as iron, calcium, chromium, and phosphorus. Amla can significantly boost the immune system and protect the body from chronic illness and disease. It is particularly beneficial for urinary tract infections, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and blood disorders. It also contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties making it essential for autoimmune disorders such as arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, cardiomyopathy, lupus, fibromyalgia, and bursitis. Amla also contains potent anti-mutagenic and anti-proliferative properties which can be vital in the prevention of cancer. It is also very good at alkalinizing the stomach and removing acidosis and is known to enhance food absorption and regulate elimination making it an excellent digestive aid. Amla has been shown to help increase energy and vitality, improve muscle tone, strengthen vision, remove toxins, and enhance fertility. It is also an effective remedy for hot flashes and fever as it has a natural cooling effect on the body and can help to regulate body temperature and fluctuations. Alma has wonderful anti-aging properties and can help to rejuvenate the organs, cells, and tissues and promote good health and longevity. Amla is well known for its abilities to help re-grow hair, nourish the roots, and deepen color and shine. Amla fruit and oil is often found in hair tonics for its healing properties. Amla can be found in powder, tincture, capsule, juice, oil, extract, and cream form at your local health food store..
Source - Medical Medium

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

LEMON DETOX


Yes, you heard it right. How free do you feel every morning? Do you feel detoxified enough?
One thing you should be clear of is you cleanse your system first thing in the morning. One should make it a habit to eliminate all the waste from the body beginning of every day.
Avoid eating anything immediately after you wake up. As if you eat anything as soon as you wake up, your body starts the digestive function of the same diverting the digestive fibers from the elimination function for the day.
The best way to feel free and fresh in the morning is:
– Make yourself a cup of hot water, not necessarily boiling water
– Fresh lime juice
Do not squeeze the lemon in extremely hot water as it may kill the enzymes & vitamins of lemon.
Once you consume this drink your complete system gets a boost as it eases elimination and relaxation of bowels. This fantastic warm lemon dissolves the mucus in the body, supports the liver and aids in the absorption of mineral nutrients.
So, let your taste buds indulge into this warm lemon water first thing in the morning and help you detox.