Monday, April 30, 2012

What are the Health Benefits of Ginger Root?

Ginger root has a wide range of health Benefits.  It is a very good remedy for digestion and nausea.  

Ginger is a perennial plant which grows in tropical climates. Ginger has been grown for thousands of years across the world and is used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Ginger root is used in alternative medicines like ayurveda, aromatherapy and herbal therapy to treat a variety of diseases. It is also used to flavor food in several cuisines. It is been wide use alternative medicine for its health benefits for a long time
Wikimedia Common: Thamizhpparithi Maari
Ginger for Vomiting and Nausea

Ginger can be eaten powdered or raw to get rid of nausea and vomiting. It can get rid of nausea and vomiting which occurs during the 15-18 months of pregnancy. Clinical trials have shown that ginger is also effective in controlling nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy

Ginger for Digestion

Ginger stimulates digestion and is a very good remedy for digestion problems. It also prevents E.coli from causing diarrhea. Ginger is soothing on the stomach and aids digestion. It can also contribute to weight loss. According to researchers from Maastricht university of Netherlands, it has fat burning properties and boosts metabolism.

Ginger for Cough and Cold 

Ginger is a very good remedy for cold and cough. It can even provide relief for laryngitis. Ginger tea can be prepared with the addition of lemon and honey. Take it several times a day to get rid of colds and cough

Cholesterol and Hypertension

Ginger will help to reduce the LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the blood. Higher levels of LDL can contribute to the formation of plaque on the walls of the arteries and narrow them down. This will increase the blood pressure levels. The plaque can also lead to the reduction of elasticity of blood vessels. The reduction of blood pressure will reduce the chances of the formation of blood clots. This will also help to prevent heart attack and strokes.

Ginger Tea

Ginger tea has several health benefits. Peel ginger and get rid of its skin. Cut it into thin slices. Boil water in a sauce pan. Add the slices to it and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain the tea. Add lemon and honey to it. Drink a cup the tea 2-3 times a day. This will help you to get all the health benefits of ginger.

Other Methods of Using Ginger

- Fresh ginger can be grated or ground and added to your food

- Crystallized ginger candies which can be purchased, can be used like lozenges

-  The commonly available beverage, ginger ale is quite tasty and healthy.

These area some of the important heath benefits of ginger.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Onion Health Benefits

Onion provides a wide range of health benefits. It is useful in the treatment of asthma, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Onion has been used across the world for centuries in a variety of cuisines. It is perhaps the most popular vegetable in the world. It is not only tasty but also helps to prevent and cure a variety of diseases. It is quite nutritious as it contains proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It also contains vitamins and calcium. Some of the minerals that are present in onion are potassium, zinc and phosphorous. There are several onion health benefits.

Onion for Asthma

Onion contains flavonoid called quercetin. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Most of the quercetin is available in the onion skin. The skin should be extracted and boiled in water. The water can be cooled and the skin filtered out before drinking the liquid.

Onion and Honey for Asthma

Onion juice can be extracted by placing onion pieces in a juicer. Mix a tbsp of this juice with a tbsp of honey. Drink it 3-4 times a day. This would reduce the inflammation and the intensity of attacks. It would also prevent further occurrence of attacks. The reason for this is the sulfur content of onions. Sulfur helps to reduce the inflammation of the airways and makes you breathe better. This is one of the important health benefits

Onion for Diabetes

Onion contains allyl polypyl disulphide as an active ingredient. This helps to lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin. Onion also helps to block the breakdown of insulin in the liver. This ensures that the body has more insulin. It is very helpful to patients of type 2 diabetes.

Onion for Heart

Onion helps to prevent cardiovascular(heart) diseases like hypertension and atherosclerosis. Red onions are more effective in reducing cholesterol levels as they contain more quercetin. Onions have anticoagulant properties that help to promote the clot dissolving ability of the blood. They contain chemicals that prevent the platelets from sticking together.

Onion for Insomnia

Providing relief for insomnia is one the important health benefits. Cut raw onion into pieces. Drop it into a glass jar. Smell it deeply several times just before going to bed. The aroma will help you to go to sleep quickly. If you wake up in the middle of the night you can smell onion and get quickly back to sleep again. Drinking onion juice is another method to overcome insomnia. 

Onion for Hair Growth

Rub a raw onion slice on the part of the scalp where you are experiencing hair loss. This will help to stimulate hair growth. You can also apply water boiled with onion skin on your scalp. Wash it off after half an hour to reduce hair loss and promote growth.

These are some of the onion health benefits

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Health Benefits of Grapefruit: Weight Loss: Diabetes

Grapefruit may not be liked by everyone because of its bitter sour taste. But it is highly nutritious and has a variety of health benefits. Grapefruit contains very low amounts of fat, cholesterol and sodium. Grapefruit juice is very good for the heart. It helps to keep the skin healthy and lowers the cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It also aids weight loss. It is highly beneficial to drink a glass of grapefruit juice twice a day along with breakfast and dinner.

Grape Fruit
Source: Wikimedia Commons: Aleph

Grapefruit Nutrition Facts

Health benefits of grapefruit include its very high nutritional value. It contains

- Vitamin A, C and B5
- Folate
- Calcium
- Dietary fiber
- Antioxidants like lycopene
- Phytochemicals

Grapefruit for Weight loss

Grapefruit has a fat burning enzyme which helps to promote weight loss. It helps to reduce the starch and fat content in the body. It is very low in calories. It is a very good source of vitamin C and potassium. It is said to be a high volume food as it has high fiber and water content. As a high volume, low calorie food, it will lessen your appetite without adding too many calories. It helps to increase insulin resistance. Higher levels of insulin make the body to store excess glucose as fat. Grapefruit helps to keep the blood sugar levels stable and reduce levels of the release of insulin. This helps you to lose weight.

Grape Fruit for Diabetes

Grapefruit helps to flush out excess sugar and starch from the body. It contains certain enzymes that reduce the levels of sugar in the blood. It also has abundance of dietary fiber and low content of carbohydrates. For people with a family history of diabetes, it helps to prevent or at least postpone the advent of the disease.

Immune System

Grapefruit helps to strengthen the immune system. Regular intake of grapefruit juice help to fight a variety of infections. It is very effective against cold and fever. Drinking grapefruit juice helps you to get rid of cough and throat infection

For Digestion

Grapefruit helps to strengthen the digestive system. Its fibre content helps to prevent constipation and improve bowel movement. Grapefruit juice has alkaline properties. It is an excellent remedy for acidity.

 For Fatigue

A glass of grapefruit juice helps to get rid of fatigue. It also helps to rid insomnia. Grapefruit juice before going to bed helps you to sleep better and overcomes insomnia.

 For Atherosclerosis

Grape fruit contains pectin fiber which will help to prevent or slow down atherosclerosis. It helps to lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). It will also lower the levels of triglycerides which is a fat, linked to heart disease. It has very high antioxidant content.

Other Health Benefits

- It is an effective drug poison eliminator
- Offers protection against cancer
- Fights against urinary problems and acidity
- Acts as a natural antiseptic for external wounds
- Aids bowel action
- It contains natural quinine which helps to treat malaria.

These are some of the health benefits of grapefruit.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking: How to Stop

The effects cigarette smoking can be very bad for health. Smoking can lead to a variety of diseases like asthma, emphysema and lung cancer. 

                                                                                                                People start cigarette smoking at a very young age and get addicted. Children pick up the habit, trying to imitate the elders. Movies are another reason why children start to smoke, trying to imitate their favorite actors. The pleasure derived out smoking is imaginary. But nicotine is highly addictive. Quitting the habit is extremely difficult and requires great mental strength but is essential for good health. 

                                Source: Tomasz Sienicki: Wikimedia Commons

Diseases Caused by Smoking

Cigarettes contain a substance that is akin to tar and coat the lungs with a soot like substance. This will reduce the lung capacity and deprive the brain of oxygen. Cigarette smokers are likely developed emphysema and chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). The chances of smokers developing lung disease is ten times more than that of non-smokers. This is because effects of smoking may cause blockage of blood vessels by fat deposits. This may eventually lead to heart disease and heart failure. Cigarette smoking is the single largest cause of lung cancer. Lung cancer due to smoking causes 90% of the deaths. Pipe and cigar smokers who do not inhale much smoke are prone to mouth cancer.

Smoking during Pregnancy

Health effects of smoking by a pregnant mother can include harm to the unborn baby. Nicotine reduces the blood flow and the oxygen carried by the blood is also reduced. This will reduce the nutrients supplied to the unborn baby.

How to Quit Smoking

Mark Twain said “It is easy to give up smoking. I have done it thousands of times.”  This is position of all smokers. You may try your best to give up smoking. But the habit catches up with you again.

Nicotine Patch

Sudden stoppage of smoking can cause withdrawal symptoms like

- Craving for tobacco
- Difficulty to concentrate
- Nervousness
- Headache

A transdermal patch called nicotine patch helps to overcome these problems. Nicotine levels drop in your body suddenly when you stop smoking. Nicotine patch helps to maintain the nicotine levels and manage withdrawal symptoms. The patch is applied on the skin. Nicotine patches are available in different dosages. You can choose a patch that decreases your urge to smoke. The nicotine patch has to be applied on a non hairy area on the skin on the trunk or upper arm. It is better to consult a doctor to choose the suitable patch. Generally a patch stays for 24 hours. The subsequent patches of lower dosage can be used as the craving reduces. These patches may be used for 8-10 weeks to kick the habit.


Bupropion (Zyban) is a pill that helps you to reduce your craving for tobacco and withdrawal symptoms. It is taken on prescription from a doctor. Bupropion is taken at least 2-3 weeks before you stop the smoking to build up the levels of the drug in the body. It can be used for 8-10 weeks. By this time the addiction for tobacco will be reduced. This can also be used along with other therapies like nicotine patch.

Meditation to Quit Smoking

Meditation techniques may help you to quit smoking. Meditation helps you concentrate you mind on an object. This will help you to wean your mind away from smoking. Meditation techniques can be mastered with practice. But it is worth the effort as it will help to kick the habit. Meditation will also help to improve your health by reducing stress and blood pressure. It will also help you to increase your levels of concentration.

Hypnosis to Stop Smoking

Hypnosis can help you to stop smoking. You can go to a trained hypnotherapist who can make your mind to relax and make an impression on your subconscious mind that you have to quit smoking

Alternately you can try self hypnosis to get rid of the habit. You have sit in a quiet place and make auto-suggestions that you are quitting smoking. Keep on repeating two or three reasons why you are quitting smoking. Let this seep into your subconscious mind. You have to make mental images of your kicking the habit. You have to do this repeatedly for several days. It will take quite some time to master.

No matter how you go about quitting the habit it will take single minded effort and resolve to succeed.

These are some of the health effects of smoking and how to stop smoking. 

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The habit is very dangerous and can lead to asthma and emphysema. it is very difficult to get rid of the habit

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bitter Melon Benefits: Nutrition: Diabetes

Bitter melon which is also called as bitter gourd has a very high nutritional value. The plant is a climber whose fruits are green in color. The fruit contains iron, calcium, beta-carotene and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C. It does not contain cholesterol and fats. It has been used in traditional medicine in several countries like India, China, Malaysia and also in African countries. The fruit and seeds are very bitter to taste. Bitter melon benefits are quite numerous. Some of the benefits bitter melon include digestion improvement and blood sugar lowering properties.

Source: H.Zell: Wikimedia Commons

Bitter Melon for Diabetes

Bitter melon benefits include blood sugar lowering properties. It is a very good natural remedy for diabetes. It increases insulin production and glucose tolerance of the body.  It also helps to reduce the absorption of sugar. It should be included in the diabetic diet as it blocks the sugar absorption. It also helps to reduce weight. 

Bitter Melon Nutrition

Bitter melon is a highly nutritious food. It is rich in iron and dietary fiber. It contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorous vitamin A, B1 and B3. it also contains folate. It is a very good source of vitamin C,  an antioxidant and has anti-aging properties. 

Bitter Melon Digestion

Bitter melon benefits include improved digestion. It is a very good remedy for people suffering from constipation.

Eating Bitter Melon

It is difficult to eat bitter melon as it is very bitter. It can be consumed in the form of capsules and tincture.

Bitter Melon Tea

Bitter melon tea can be prepared using the leaves of the plant

- Dry the leaves and store it in an airtight container.

- Add 3 tbsp of leaves to half a liter of water and boil it.

- Strain the tea after it cools down

- Divide it into three parts and drink it thrice in a day.

Bitter Melon Juice

The bitterness of the bitter melon juice can be reduced by combining with other fruits to prepare juice which would be more palatable.

Bitter Melon with Lemon.

The tangy taste of lemon combines well with bitter melon to reduce its bitterness. Squeeze half a lemon to a glass of the juice. Add some sugar if you are not a diabetic. You will get all its health benefits with less bitterness.

Bitter Melon Tomato Juice

Remove the skin and seeds. Chop it into small pieces and put it in a blender. Cut two tomatoes into pieces and add them. Add a green chili and blend it well before drinking it. Tomatoes and chilies help to reduce the bitterness.

Drinking bitter melon tea and juice helps diabetic patients.

Other Health Benefits

- Bitter melon has anti-malaria properties and is useful in treating malaria

- Its leaves are useful in shrinking hemorrhoids

- The leaves also help to prevent cold and congestion

- With its anti microbial properties it helps to treat wounds and get rid of round worms.

These are some of the benefits of bitter melon.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Health Benefits of Cloves: Antioxidant

There are several health benefits of cloves. They are very good antioxidants. They aid digestion and help to get rid of bad breath.
Cloves are dried flower buds from the clove tree. Clove bud is pink in color. It turns brown when it dries. Zanzibar is the world’s largest producer of cloves. Clove is also cultivated in other countries like Indonesia, India, West Indies and Madagascar. Cloves have been used for thousands of years in India and China for its medicinal properties and health benefits. Clove is used as a spice in several cuisines across the world. It gives a special flavor to food. It has excellent medicinal and nutritional value.
    Wikimedia Commons: Thamizhpparithi Maari
Nutrition Cloves

Cloves are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, potassium, sodium, calcium, manganese, phosphorous and hydrochloric acid. They also contain dietary fiber and omega 3 fatty acids.

Cloves for Teeth

Clove contains eugenol which has very good analgesic properties. They are very good for the teeth and can get rid of toothache. Hold a cotton ball dipped in clove oil to the gums below the affected tooth. It helps to relieve toothache. It also has antibacterial properties. It is used in the manufacture of dental creams, mouthwashes and mouth sprays.

Antispasmodic and Antiseptic Properties

Due to its antiseptic properties clove oil is used to treat cuts, burns, wounds, fungal infections and bruises. It has to be diluted as it can cause skin irritation. It can be applied topically to relieve muscle pain and spasms.

 Digestion Cloves

Cloves are an excellent remedy for indigestion. They can also help to relieve symptoms nausea, diarrhea, gastric irritability and vomiting.

Cloves Antioxidant Properties

Cloves are very good antioxidants and have the highest antioxidant capability compared to any other food. This helps to protect you against several degenerative diseases. Clove provides a boost to the immune system and helps to provide immunity against of a variety of diseases


Clove oil is used by aroma therapists to treat arthritis and rheumatism. It can help to relieve asthma, colds, cough, bronchitis and sinusitis.

Clove Tea

Add a four freshly ground cloves with tea leaves to half a liter of water and boil it. Let it steep for about 20 minutes. Strain it with a fine mesh strainer. You can drink the tea plain. You can also add milk and sugar for taste. Drink clove tea twice a day to get its wonderful health benefits.

Clove for Bad Breath

Clove has a fresh spicy smell and is an excellent mouth freshener. Keep a few cloves in the pocket and put it in the mouth and chew whenever you want to.It masks bad breath effectively.Clove oil is used in the manufacture of perfumes. Mixed with salt and milk it is used as a remedy for headaches. Eugenol helps to control blood glucose levels. It also helps to prevent blood clots.These are some of the health benefits of cloves.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

How to Dissolve Kidney Stones Naturally

Kidney stones are generally made up of a substance called calcium oxalate.  Certain other types of kidney stones also exist. They are cystine, uric acid and struvite. They are hard and have a sharp crystalline structure. They could be small or even grow up to the size of a golf ball. Small stones may pass out of the urinary tract unnoticed. But the larger stones can cause excruciating pain. They can even block the passage of urine. Several methods are available to dissolve the kidney stones naturally.

Reasons for the Formation of Kidney Stones

There are several reasons for the formation of the kidney stones. Some of the  common reasons are

- Not drinking enough water. The uric acid in the kidney gets concentrated leading to the formation of kidney stones

- Certain diseases like hyperthyroidism, Crohn’s disease, renal tuberculosis and urinary tract infections can cause the formation of kidney stones.

- Hereditary factors

- Diet can also be a reason for the formation of kidney stones.

- Excessive consumption of tea, coffee, spices, sugar products, meat and condiments

Symptoms  of kidney stones

- Severe pain in the groin

- Passing blood in the urine

- Pus cells in the urine

- Reduction in the amount of urine

- Burning sensation while urinating

Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones

Water kidney stones

It is essential to drink at least two liters of water a day. This helps to dilute the levels of uric acid and prevent the formation of kidney stones.  Drinking coconut water also helps to flush out small stones from the kidney

Lemon kidney stones

Squeeze two fresh lemons in a liter of water. Add two tbsp of raw honey. You can mix it well in a blender. Consume small quantities of the liquid at regular intervals. You can also drink this early in the morning on empty stomach. A tsp of olive oil can be added to this. Lemon dissolves the kidney stones and reduces their size. Olive oil lubricates the stones and makes their passage out of the system easier.

Watermelon kidney stones

Watermelon has a very high water content. It also contains potassium salts. It is a diuretic which helps to increase the quantity of urine. Even water melon seeds have properties of a diuretic. Boil water melon seeds in hot water. Strain it and drink it at regular intervals. This not only flushes out the kidney stones but also prevents further formation.

Pomegranate Juice kidney stones

Pomegranate has several health benefits. It is considered to be a diuretic. Pomegranate can be eaten raw or taken in the form of juice. It will help to decrease the acidity of the urine. It also helps to dissolve the small stones.

Basil Juice kidney stones

Basil juice acts as a tonic for the kidney and is very good for its heath. Take a tsp of basil juice with a tsp of raw honey daily for six months.  This will help to dissolve and expel the kidney stones.

These are some of the methods to dissolve the kidney stones naturally and expel them. 

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Tomato juice is a very good natural remedy for kidney stones. Boiling figs in water and drinking it regularly also helps to get rid of them.