Monthly Archives: February 2014

Find the doctor at home; in your kitchen

herbal remediesMedicine…. life saver for many; but habit for some. Do you belong to pop the Medicine like candy group? If yes, then you should tone down your habit because your body is slowly getting immune to the medicines. The medicines might not work when you would really want them to. Many of the world’s healing traditions have their roots in the kitchen. Hippocrates the father of medicine rightly said ‘Let food be thy medicine’. So for minor hiccups try these herbal remedies which might even save few of your trips to doctors’.

Sore Throat: a common problem faced by many of us during winter months or even when we have too much to talk. A simple problem and a simple cure; gargling with salt water and taking in ginger-honey paste. Grate ginger and extract its juice. Mix this juice with honey (1:1 or 1:2 if you cannot take bitterness of ginger) and take for immediate relief. Ginger has been also considered useful for bronchitis, colds, cough, digestion and flu.

Toothache: Try clove oil or a paste of cloves if clove oil is unavailable. Clove will immediately numb the gum and would also fight if there is any infection. Make a thick paste of cloves and apply as a pack on the affected area for a few minutes. Spit and repeat if needed. Clove oil if available can be used in place of clove paste. Cloves also work in nausea, vomiting and other digestive problems. Sucking on a clove can prevent bouts of cough.

Cold: First line of defence to treat cold is keeping you warm, rested and hydrated. Apart from this, ingesting raw garlic with honey (either by chewing or swallowing) works wonders in cold. But it works best when taken at the onset of cold. Garlic is also useful for asthma, bronchitis, blood circulation, cough, gas, and high blood pressure to name a few.

Cough: Anise (choti saunf) is very useful for breaking up mucus and is used for hard, dry coughs where expectoration is difficult.  Make a concoction by adding a cup of boiled water to three teaspoons of crushed seeds and steep for 20-minutes. Taking in a paste of powdered licorice (mulatthi) mixed with honey or drinking concoction of licorice is also excellent in breaking mucus stuck in the system.

Indigestion: one of the most common remedies is to take two spoons of lime and ginger juice, and honey mixed in a glass of warm water, after a heavy meal. Another effective remedy is to have a teaspoon of roasted Carom (ajwain) seeds along with a pinch of black salt.

Urinary Tract Infections: Lots of researches have given thumbs up on the consumption of cranberry juice for the treatment of UTI. Though it cannot replace antibiotics, still it can prevent or cure minor infections effectively. Research indicates consumption of 1 cup of cranberry juice 3 or more times a day till symptoms subside. A doctor should be contacted in case there is no improvement after 2 days of treatment.

Skin troubles: use turmeric to soothe acne, scrapes, cuts, wounds, blemishes and sunburns. Make a thin paste of turmeric using water / rose water / aloe-vera juice and apply on the affected area. Leave for some time and rinse. Turmeric also acts as a blood purifier and antiseptic. It can be used internally and externally to heal wounds, relieve pains in the limbs and break up congestion in chest.

Few other herbs of advantage Coriander Seeds (sabut dhania / dhaniye ke beej): Steeped in tea, it is useful to relieve fevers. Cinnamon (dalchini): Very helpful for digestive problems especially when accompanied by gas and cramping. Cinnamon can also be used to treat colds, flu and arthritis. Bay Leaf (tej patta): good to stimulate appetite, promote digestion, relieve colic and flatulence. Black Pepper: The mixture of pepper and honey is useful to overcome cold mucous diseases and sore throats. Cardamom: Cardamom is often used to treat indigestion and gas.

Home remedies are often considered safe and effective but they should only be practiced till the disease is in the nascent stage. When the disease is acute or takes a serious form then doctors should definitely be consulted for timely intervention.

Image Courtesy: infoallergy.com

Nutrition on the go…

A frequent traveler always has an excuse when it comes to follow a diet or eating healthy… what is the use of starting when I will not be able to maintain it? A person living out of the suitcases finds it really difficult to follow a certain diet schedule which can be because of many reasons, not enough time to take proper diet or non-availability of foods. Still by few judicious selections even a tour cannot stop you from eating healthy.

Typical trips include fast food, lots of fried stuff and loads of soft drinks. These foods are almost full of bad fats, calories and do not contain much valuable nutrition. Also, eating junk food for a couple of days can leave you feeling fatigued and might even lead to an upset stomach. With a little bit of effort and willpower, you can navigate your way away from the junk food and maintain your healthy diet.

While Travelling

If you are travelling by plane the first thing you need to do is to avoid the unhealthy foods served during flying. Carry your own food. Airport security rules prohibit passengers from taking liquids in the hand baggage. But you may carry fruits like banana, apple, pear, guava, salads or roasted mixed seeds and nuts, whole grain crackers or sandwiches or high protein bars. A good protein bar is the one which is made from whole and minimally processed ingredients and is high in proteins and low in fat and sugar. If you are unable get food from home you may buy these at the airport (need to pick them judiciously), after you pass through security check. Avoid soft drinks as they can dehydrate you besides adding on to extra calories. Water is always the best bet for staying hydrated and sticking to your diet. It is important to stay hydrated while travelling, especially on long flights. Dehydration can lead to headaches, muscle cramps and fatigue.

In case you are travelling by road / rail, long hours of sitting and eating fast food at every rest stop can create havoc to your healthy eating schedule. Carry food and water with you to prevent the urge to fill you up with fast foods.

At the hotel

Start with breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal which keeps you alert for the entire day. Having breakfast at the buffet of the hotel you are staying or at the conference; wherever you may be just try and avoid excess sugar. High carbohydrate meals may improve your mood for a short time, but lots of sugar can also make you sleepy which is unacceptable at work.

Few tips for making a correct choice:

  • Choose a stuffed omelette filled with vegetables along with whole wheat toast.
  • A bowl of oats with fresh fruit is filling and good for you.
  • A whole grain cereal with low-fat milk.
  • Yogurt or hard-boiled eggs are good sources of protein.
  • Whole wheat toast with peanut butter.
  • Choose meat and fish items that are steamed, baked, grilled or roasted.
  • Choose vegetables that have been steamed or sautéed

Stock your hotel room with bottled water, fresh fruits and healthy snacks like high fiber cookies or roasted seeds, nuts, chana, murmura. Doing so helps remove the temptation to raid the room’s mini bar which is stuffed with chocolates and sugary juices.

 Workout while touring

Apart from eating healthy including exercise while on travel is of utmost importance. Nowadays hotels house gymnasiums, services of which can be utilised during the stay. As an alternate option exercise programs can be downloaded on laptop or other storage devices and you can work out in your room. As a lower-tech option, you can always jog/walk/run around the local neighbourhood.

So you see, travelling does not come in the way of eating healthy because it is rightly said where there’s a will there’s a way.