Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Best Seller - "The Violet Flame" An Integrative Holistic Complementary Therapy

Prof. Dr. Teodor Vasile, from Romania, is associated with Indian Board of Alternative Medicines for a long time. His tremendously successful work "The Violet Flame – an integrative holistic complementary therapy”, which has been the best seller of 2008 in Romania is published in English version.

We wish similar success to this version also.

This book has been dedicated to Dr. Suresh Kumar Agarwal, President, Indian Board of Alternative Medicines which reads as:

" I wish to dedicate the first English edition of this book to His Excellency Prof. Dr. Suresh Kumar Agarwal, President of the Indian Board of Alternative Medicines, at the same time thanking him for the trust, support and care he and his family have always shown me so that every time I have gone to India I have felt as if I were coming back to my second homeland, to discover it, to admire all its marvels and to receive the wisdom of its spiritual Masters."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Homeopathy for day to day Problems!

To err is human and we all commit many errors in our day to day life, the result of which is bodily and mental discomforts that we may encounter. Every person is the author of his health, as rightly said. Similarly every person can be a care-taker of his own body and health with mild homeopathic medicines. Yes, homeopathy can always be thought as the primary mode of therapy for smaller problems at home. Certainly one needs to know about homeopathic philosophy and principles before one starts prescribing even for family members and others.

But with practice and in-depth reading of homeopathic material medica, one can safely use homeopathic medicines, especially while traveling, at night when the doctor’s help cannot be sought, etc. This is obviously true in case of minor problems. For major ones, it is better to visit doctor as soon as possible.

Here are some of the problems for which you can help yourself-

(1) Minor cuts and bruises-
Calendula- For minor cuts and bruises this medicine prepared from Marigold is truly the powerful healing agent. Give a single dose internally and you can also go for local application in case of cut. If you are using tincture, make sure you dilute it with water before using locally.
Arnica- For cuts and bruises where the internal blow is prominent with soreness of the part; Arnica Montana is the remedy that tops the list. Arnica is a very powerful remedy also to stop excess bleeding and to prevent hematoma in case of mild to moderate head injury as well. In any case of head injury, Arnica is the baseline remedy that must be given in high potency as far as possible, to avoid future complications.
Ruta- for sprains, this is the remedy to be thought after Arnica. Wrist and ankle sprains top the list, along with sore bruised pain.
Rhus tox- This is one of the most frequently indicated remedy for sudden sprains due to reaching for high objects or lifting heavy weights. One also needs to differentiate between Bellis perennis while treating sprains due to lifting heavy weights. Pelvic soreness due to lifting heavy weights goes more in favor of Bellis perennis.

(2) Minor eye problems-
Euphrasia- Mild or moderate conjunctivitis that feels better in open air calls for Euphrasia.Bland coryza (cold) and acrid lachrymation (burning eye discharge) are the key symptoms.
Symphytum- Blow to the eyeballs leading to black eye is the key symptom of Symphytum. You will notice positive change within a single dose too fast.
Ruta- Eyestrain with headache and painful hot eyes due to reading fine print or sewing, etc calls for Ruta. Bruised sensation and weariness of eyes are to be noted. Differentiate between Argentum nitricum though. Ruta is aggravated from cold, while Argentum aggravated by warmth, so you have the point to differentiate.

(3) Spasmodic dysmenorrhea-
Mag phos- This is the chief remedy as far as mere pain in abdomen is concerned. For immediate relief, you can even try Mag phos 12X, tablets, dissolved in warm water. You may enhance the potency if sure of the similimum. ‘The girl bends forwards to press the abdomen to feel better’ is Mag phos.
Viburnum opulus- This is one of the rarely thought but frequently indicated remedy for sudden onset of spasmodic dysmenorrhea. Very scanty offensive menses with crampy pains running down the thighs indicated Vib op.
Belladona- Suddenly increasing and lessening pain goes in favor of Belladona. Hot, offensive, bright red and profuse bleeding is characteristic.

(4) Colds-
Sabadilla- When the symptoms are acute and sneezing is profound, Sabadilla is the choice of remedy. Watery and profuse nasal discharge is characteristic.
Dulcamara- Windy weathers and rains leading to coryza may call for Dulcamara. Dryness of nasal mucus membrane despite having colds is characteristic. Wants to cover the nose to keep it warm!
Belladona- When the symptoms are acute after the localization, Belladona may be indicated. The person goes in rains or cold weathers and catches up cold with dryness itchy throat the next day; Belladona is the remedy many times. Headache and feverishness associated with colds and suddenness of symptoms are to be noted.
Hepar sulph- Usually indicated after 2 to 3 days of starting cold and cough. Rawness of throat is the chief symptom that gets aggravated by least cold. Just a single dose acts as anti-infectant in most cases.

(5) Cough-
Spongia- Dry irritating cough with breathlessness calls for Spongia. Night aggravation must be considered and give just a single dose.
Ipecac- If there is sputum production with irritating cough with clean tongue but nauseating feeling, Ipecac may be of help.
Antim tart- In children where there is chest congestion with excessive sweating and sour food aggravation, Antim tar is of help. Especially when the child gets cough after eating sour citrus fruit, Antim tar is the remedy in many cases. If the chest is wheezy and cold aggravates, Antim ars may be thought.
Drosera- Excessively irritating cough that ends in vomiting may need Drosera. It is a very potent remedy indicated even in whooping cough. Give just a single dose in 30C potency and see the marvelous results when indicated.

(6) Constipation-
Nux vomica- Distended abdomen after meals with ineffectual urging for stools calls for Nux vomica. Patient wants to go for stools recurrently without satisfactory feeling after defecation calls for Nux. There might be associated hyperacidity without the actual vomiting.
Bryonia- Dry hard stools absolutely without an urge to stools calls for Bryonia. Assiciated with excessive thirst.
Magnesium mur- Constipation in infants and children. Knotty scanty stools in children during dentition calls for Mag mur.
Plumbum- Should be considered in chronically constipated. Hard, lumpy, black stools with spasm of anus. Constricted feeling at anus calls for Plumbum.

(7) Diarrhea-
Nux vom- It may be surprising for beginners in homeopathy that Nux vomica is one of the chief remedies for both constipation and diarrhea. The principle symptom is the unsatisfactory urging to stools. And upon this very symptom, this remedy can be used for both the problems.
Aloe soc- Watery stools after beer consumption and they are so forcibly passed that at times passed without notice.
Pulsatilla- Rich fatty food leading to diarrhea with rumbling in abdomen calls for Pulsatilla. Fruits aggravate during diarrhea or they may be the cause. Stools of varied colors.
Chamomilla- Esecially indicated in children when the child has excessively offensive, greenish, watery stools with crampy pain in abdomen. Extreme irritability must be looked for before prescribing.
Croton tig- Summer diarrheas with nausea and forcible yellow stools calls for Croton tig. Better on taking hot water is the principle indication.
Podophyllum- Profuse watery stools with prostration may need Podophyllum. During dentition too it is indicated when no two stools are alike.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Stress-Free Holiday Travel

Long delays and canceled flights ... traffic jams ... inclement weather ... crowds ... all these factors and more can make traveling during the hectic holiday season a nightmare for many people. Yet, getting together with friends and family is part of what makes the holiday season so special.

It's possible to travel stress-free. Once you understand what imbalances are caused in your physiology by travel, you can take steps to protect yourself and prevent the imbalances from developing. Ayurveda, the 5000-year-old science of healing from India, offers practical ways to travel without stress.

Imbalances Caused by Travel

Vata dosha, the Ayurvedic principle that governs movement in the physiology, tends to get disturbed during travel. In particular, continuous sitting disturbs Apana Vata, which controls the downward movements of elimination and purification. Traveling in fast-moving vehicles and an unpredictable routine aggravates Prana Vata, which controls mental and emotional balance. Pachaka Pitta, responsible for digestion, can also get disrupted by an irregular schedule of meals and sleep.

Steps to Stay Balanced

These practical suggestions can help you maintain your physical, mental and emotional equilibrium through travel and hectic times:

Before Travel
(for at least a week before departure)

Be meticulous about adhering to a regular routine. Taking pains to keep Vata in balance before you begin your journey will help you withstand stress, time pressure, multiple demands and unpredictability better. This means eating your meals at about the same times each day, with lunch being around noon and dinner about 3 hours before you go to bed. It means going to bed by 10:00 p.m. and getting an adequate amount of sleep. It means planning tasks in advance so you are hurrying around less.

Eat Vata and Pitta pacifying meals. Sweet lassi is an excellent lunchtime beverage. Avoid extremely sour foods such as pickles and vinegar and very spicy foods such as cayenne or hot chili peppers. Eat plenty of sweet juicy fruits, warm milk blended with rose petal preserve, light proteins such as mung beans.

Do a daily self-massage with an herbal or aroma massage oil. Massage helps boost circulation, enhances mind/body coordination, keeps the skin lubricated and tones muscles. The aches and pains and minor stiffness from sitting for long hours in cramped places that tend to crop up during travel will be minimized, and your resilience and energy levels during and after travel will be higher.

A scalp and head massage at least three times a week can be very helpful. Use a light oil such as almond or coconut. Gently warm a couple of teaspoons of the oil. Persons with longer hair may need more, to cover all the hair as well as the scalp. The oil should be warm enough to be soothing, not uncomfortably hot. Pour the oil on your palm and apply it evenly all over the scalp and the back of the neck close to the hairline. Using your fingertips, gently massage the oil into the scalp, working the oil in for about 4-5 minutes. Ideally the oil should be left on overnight (use a shower cap to protect your bed-linens) and shampooed off the next morning. If leaving it on overnight is impractical for you, leave it on for 2-3 hours, then shampoo your hair well to rinse it off.

Take vitality-enhancing herbs such as the Amalaki (Indian Gooseberry). Rejuvenative herbs have the ability to boost natural immunity, increase resilience to day-to-day stress and build energy levels. You'll stay fighting fit even if the people sitting around you have fallen prey to the latest bug floating around.

Eat cooked prunes and figs at breakfast to ensure regular elimination. The build-up of toxic matter (ama) in the physiology is what leads to disorders. Make sure that wastes are regularly flushed from the system.

During Travel

Drink a relaxing herbal tea, or sip plain water. Avoid carbonated or ice-cold beverages, because they disrupt digestion. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Eat fresh fruit and light, easy-to-digest foods. These will help keep Vata and Pitta in balance. Avoid "junk" foods or heavy, hard-to-digest foods.

Listen to soothing music or meditate. Diffuse a relaxing aroma through a personal diffuser or aroma locket to help keep Vata dosha in balance. If you feel nausea, eat some fresh ginger or add some fresh ginger to warm water and sip on it. Research has shown that ginger can help prevent motion sickness.

After travel

Drink lots of warm water through the day to replenish moisture levels and assist in cleansing the channels of the body. Eat light yet nourishing foods such as mung bean soup for a few days to allow your digestion to adjust. Continue to drink herbal tea, two or three cups a day.

A daily massage will enhance circulation and calm the mind and nervous system.

Finally, catch up on rest.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Friday, July 16, 2010

Managing Diabetes Naturally

When we eat, our bodies break down the proteins, carbohydrates and fats we consume to be used as the building blocks of our bodies. Carbohydrates, such as those found in bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and cereals are first digested and converted into simple sugars in the intestines and then move from the intestines into the bloodstream. These simple sugars are our body’s first choice for energy production.

Glucose, a form of simple sugar is the basic fuel the body uses for energy. In order for our bodies to utilize this sugar however, it must be transported across the cell membrane where it can be used to feed and fuel our cells. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, and more specifically by the islets of Langerhans, which are scattered throughout the pancreas, stimulates our body’s cells to absorb sugar, thus removing it from the blood stream.

When our bodies cannot properly utilize glucose, thus causing it to stay in the blood, we are diagnosed as having diabetes. Diabetes is a disorder which disrupts the mechanism by which the body controls blood sugar. The build-up of sugar in the blood, characterized by diabetes, can cause the cells of our bodies to be starved for glucose and can, if left unchecked, lead to damage of the eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart.

There are two types of diabetes: insulin dependent or Type 1 diabetes and non-insulin dependent or Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, is often referred to as juvenile or childhood-onset diabetes. Here, the pancreas cannot make the insulin needed by the body to process glucose. For individuals with Type 1 diabetes, while natural therapies may help the body be more receptive to insulin, they require regular injections of insulin to maintain health.

On the other hand, individuals with Type 2 or Adult-onset diabetes, their bodies produce varying amounts of insulin, but more often then not, the ability of their body’s cells to absorb sugar is diminished. While there are "classic" warning signs that often accompany diabetes, i.e., excessive thirst, excessive hunger, excessive urination, excessive tiredness, and unexplained weight loss, many people with type 2 diabetes do not have these symptoms. Individuals who are at a greater risk include people who are: over age 40, are overweight, have a family history of diabetes, have had diabetes during pregnancy, have high blood pressure or high blood fats, have the stress of an illness or injury, are a member of a high-risk ethnic group such as African-American, Hispanic, American Indian and Asian. For these individuals, natural therapies tend to work well.

Recommendations For Wellness

Reduce your consumption of starchy foods that are high in carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, processed cereals, rice or that have a high glycemic index rating. The Glycemic Index is a system that ranks foods based on how they affect your levels of blood sugar.

Consume a high fiber, whole foods diet and work to eliminate preprocessed junk foods from your eating regimen.

Start an exercise program! In most cases, weight reduction can help those with type 2 diabetes. In addition to decreasing body fat, regular exercise has been show to improve insulin sensitivity.

Dietary fiber, such as psyllium has been show to improve glucose tolerance in some studies.

Incorporate brewer’s yeast or a chromium supplement into your health program. Chromium helps improve glucose tolerance by increasing our body’s sensitivity to insulin.

Supplement with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, Vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. Individuals with diabetes tend to have low levels of these important nutrients in their blood. In addition, these supplements have been shown to help to reduce damage to the eyes, nerves and kidneys - health problems that are often experienced by people with advanced or long term diabetes.

Alpha Lipoic Acid has also been show to improve insulin sensitivity.

Evidence suggests that supplementation with vitamin D can increase insulin levels in some people.

The herb Nopal can help to strengthen the liver and the pancreas thereby improving our body’s ability to utilize insulin.

Some sources recommend that you avoid the amino acid cysteine which has been reported to break down insulin and interfere with sugar absorption.

Stevia, a naturally sweet plant makes an excellent sugar substitute without the drawbacks of sugar. Stevia can be used in cooking as well.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Managing Mental Stress Overload with Ayurveda

Each of us has a unique stress-tolerance quotient. Rather than attempt to banish stress from your life (is that even possible in today's world?), Ayurvedic healers recommend that you try and balance your stress-tolerance quotient so that you are able to manage stress instead of it taking over your life.

According to Ayurveda, mental distress occurs when the mind and the brain are taxed way beyond their normal ability to handle stress over a period of time.

Restoring balance requires addressing your diet and lifestyle along with balance-restoring herbs and therapies.

Signs of Mental Stress Overload

What are the signs of mental stress overload? If your answers to the following questions are mostly "yes," it is likely you have overtaxed your native ability to deal with stress:

• Do you often feel worried, restless or anxious?
• Do even small additions to your workload -- one additional deadline or one extra chore -- make you feel overwhelmed?
• Do you toss and turn in your bed at bedtime, unable to fall asleep?
• Do you always feel rushed; or feel that your days are too full?
• Do you feel frazzled and find it difficult to focus?
• Do you find yourself spacing out, more forgetful than normal?
• Do you flit from task to task but end up not completing any?
• Does anxiety make you breathe short and fast sometimes?

For many of us, this imbalance is all too common. Vata, the Ayurvedic physio-psychological factor that governs the mind, is thrown out of kilter with increased activity, movement or stimulation. Multi-tasking has become a way of life for us: grabbing a quick bite when trying to complete a project, drinking our morning beverage as we drive to work, talking on the phone while we put away the groceries. Even normally grounded persons can only go so long at a breakneck pace before they feel the effects of an imbalanced Vata. Daily commutes in rush-hour traffic, jobs that come with lots of travel, chauffeuring kids from one after-school activity to another: chopped up days leave many of us feeling fragmented and disoriented. And our senses are victims to a constant stream of stimulation all day long. The result? A cluttered, tired mind, frayed nerves and a brain that is wearing out, cell by weary cell.

Ways to Manage the Stress

Short of retiring to a hermitage in the Himalayas, how can you manage mental stress and stay vital and strong? Put our recommendations to the test--they can be incorporated into your regular day, no matter how full and hectic, and will help you stay balanced even in the midst of an urban jungle:

1. You know the rest of your day is going to be hectic, a stream of deadlines and mad dashes from here to there and back, so eeeeeease into your day with a soothing, grounding 10-minute wake-up routine. The key to success is to follow the routine faithfully every morning, whether you are at home or away.

Wake up at first light, and try and do that without a strident alarm or a DJ to jar you awake. Open your eyes and soak in the morning air and light. Sit up gently in bed, and take long, deep breaths for five minutes. Deep steady breathing will help you get off to a calm serene start. Stretch your arms out and above your head, then lower them gently. Do this a few times. Then, and only then, get out of bed. And when you do, head to your kitchen for a large mug of hot lemon water instead of to your computer to check your e-mail.

2. Sneak some serenity breaks into your regular day with choices that pacify Vata. When you can, choose silence over noise, soothing gentle music over talk radio, an evening stroll over television. Shut your office door or find a quiet spot at work or home after lunch for a few minutes of deep breathing and mental shut-off time.

Silence is a powerful mental rejuvenator, therefore seek it and savor it. Meditate for fifteen minutes every morning and evening when you can, or at least once a day. Meditation quiets mental static, recharges your body and brain, enhances focus, elevates mental performance and is an excellent way to pacify Vata. There are many types of meditation: find a good teacher and get started today.

3. Remember those five minutes of deep breathing you practiced upon awakening? Gradually acclimate yourself to breathing that way all the time. This may take a while, and you'll need to remind yourself often at the beginning, but the dividends will be rich once it becomes routine: rapid shallow breaths diminish prana - life force - and tire the mind and body. As you draw in a long breath, imagine the fresh burst of prana infusing every cell in your brain with new energy and life, and as you expel stale air out, imagine the tiredness and mental clutter emptying out. Proper breathing is free and takes little effort, and it's so important for health!

4. Woo sleep. Adequate quality sleep every night is essential to keep your mind alert, your memory keen, your attention span long and your focus laser-sharp. Diffuse the essential oil of lavender or a Vata-pacifying aroma blend in your bedroom one half-hour before you plan to retire. And retire early when you can--10 pm or earlier is ideal.

Your bedroom should be dark and silent, with a window open a crack for fresh air when the weather is not inclement. Drink a cup of warm milk an hour before bed (dairy or rice milk), spiced with a pinch of nutmeg if desired. Massaging your hands and feet with a small quantity of a light non-staining massage oil can be helpful. Once in bed, close your eyes and practice deep breathing for five minutes, letting go of whirling thoughts and worries and focusing your mind instead on a serene mental picture - a calm pond bathed in morning sunlight, a snow covered mountain range against a cloudless blue sky, gentle rain falling on green leaves, a deep velvety yellow rose in full bloom - as you consciously let go of Vata-aggravating mental clutter, you will drift off into sleep and awake refreshed and ready for another day.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Green Tea - The New Health Drink

An ancient Chinese proverb goes thus – “Better to be deprived of food for three days than tea for one”. Of the three major beverages of the world – tea, coffee and cocoa – tea is the most popular. Tea has a long and ancient history and has been associated with man since time immemorial.


China is known as the homeland of tea. India and China are probably the first countries to cultivate tea. It is believed that tea shrubs existed in China as early as 5000-6000 years ago. Once when Emperor Shen Nung was sitting under a camellia tree, a few leaves accidentally fell into a cauldron of boiling water. The resulting fragrance tempted the Emperor to sip the brew. This is believed to be the beginning of Chinese tea culture.

Basically there are three types of tea – black, oolong and green tea. Green tea today has become very popular worldwide. Made from the dried leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, green tea came from China between 4000-5000 years ago. In oriental countries green tea has been used for many centuries for its therapeutic and medicinal qualities. People in China and Japan have known the positive aspects green tea brings to our health for centuries and Asians on an average drink 1-2 cups per day as a cleanser for the body. The global consumption of tea is about 3 billion kilos annually with India alone accounting for the largest contribution (about 30%).

The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times, using it to treat everything from headaches to depression. It has been used as a medicine in China for at least 4000 years. The difference between green tea and other teas is that green tea is not fermented, thus keeping the powerful antioxidants lost in the fermenting process. Green tea is not oxidized at all, the leaves are steamed, rolled and dried. Green tea has a more delicate taste than black tea. Green tea is the variety that keeps the original color of the tea leaves without fermentation.

Health benefits

The use of green tea as a beverage dates back to 3000 BC. Green tea is believed to have several wide ranging health benefits now supported by recent research. There are four primary polyphenols in green tea and they are often collectively referred to as catechins. Powerful antioxidants, catechins have been shown in recent studies to fight viruses, slow aging and have a beneficial effect on health. The principal catechin is EGCG whose composition in green tea is believed to be 100 times more potent than vitamin C and 25 times better than vitamin E as an antioxidant.

The production of free radicals is the body in the main cause of many ‘lifestyle’ diseases like diabetes, cataract, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and skin cancer. The antioxidants in green tea fight these free radicals and therefore these diseases.

Studies on animals and humans in various places, as well as ongoing research suggest the following health benefits of consuming green tea.

Cardiovascular diseases

The antioxidants in green tea decrease the risk of blood clots, blood pressure, blood sugar and bad cholesterol and so provide protection against cardiovascular diseases. A series of animal and human studies have highlighted the heart-friendly activity of green tea. The EGCG in green tea is believed to slow the build-up of artery-clogging plaque. Green tea is also believed to improve the LDL-HDL cholesterol ratio, triglycerides and fibrinogen – all blood indicators of heart disease. Green tea helps to reduce cholesterol levels.

Compounds other than EGCG in green tea have been found to be heart protective as well. An amino acid called theanine, which helps reduce blood pressure is present in green tea.

Good for teeth

Green tea contains fluoride which is good for teeth. It can kill the bacteria that causes dental plaque. It checks dental decay by inhibiting the growth of oral bacteria and so fights cavities. When used as a mouth rinse, this herbal drink reduces plaque formation. It also counters bad breath.

Cancer fighting properties

A new study published in the Clinical Cancer Research reveals how green tea works to curb the development of bladder cancer. Green tea extract inhibits the growth and proliferation of cancerous cells, the study claims. Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have found that green tea was able to target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. The cell movement depends on a bio-chemical process called actin remodeling. When it is activated the cancer cells move and invade other healthy cells. Green tea extract affects actin remodeling.

Population studies suggest that green tea consumption may be one of the reasons why the incidence of cancer is so low in Japan. Studies have shown that people who drank more green tea were less likely to develop tumors. Emerging animal and clinical studies suggest that EGCG could play an important role in the prevention of many types of cancer including breast, skin, lung, stomach, prostrate, ovarian and colon cancer.

Stress buster

Catechin, present in green tea removes sleepiness and works as a stress buster. If you are in need of an extra boost, then green tea with the caffeine content is a good stimulant for short time energy. The drink has got a diuretic effect and prevents rashes, indigestion and disease called beriberi. Green tea chemicals destroy harmful microbes only.

Helps in losing weight

New evidence is emerging that green tea can even help dieters. It contains no calories – so is useful to those who want to lose weight. Researchers have found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo. Green tea is less processed than black tea and contains rich sources of antioxidants which protect the body’s cells from damage. The steaming process maintains more of its pharmacological properties. It burns calories and speeds up body mechanism.

Scientists believe that EGCG could probably bring about weight loss by three mechanisms; increasing metabolic rate, preventing the digestion of carbohydrates and reducing appetite. No wonder the Japanese have been drinking green tea before, during and after a high carbohydrate meal for centuries.

Anti aging properties: Current research has revealed that green tea extracts can be used in anti-aging medicines. Green tea is healthy and helps in the body’s healing. Green tea may delay aging by its strong antioxidant action, preventing the accumulation of free radicals and the resultant damage to the DNA over time.

Other health benefits

Green tea helps to reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis, cataract, diabetes and impaired immune infection. It fights viruses and can help protect your joints and stave off arthritis in two ways – by reducing inflammation and by protecting against cartilage breakdown. It can even help improve joint mobility. It is believed to help boost immunity with its stimulating effect on the immune system. It acts as a herbalist for aiding in the circulation of the blood, a detoxifier for the blood and an aid in curing liver ailments. Green tea is also good for women experiencing menopause, being a good source of vitamins and minerals. Green tea helps to prevent or delay the formation of cataract and macular degeneration.

As a beauty aid

Many skin preparations contain green tea extracts – from deodorants to creams. Recent research suggests that green tea may protect your skin from against the damage caused by ultraviolet rays. Green tea is also being widely used to dispel the heat and bring on an instant cool together with a feeling of relaxation. It is also very useful to quench the thirst.

How to prepare green tea

Take one teaspoon of green tea leaves to one cup of just below boiling temperature water, let stand for 10 minutes and then strain. You may add lemon or honey for taste. Green tea is to be sipped slowly, not gulped down. Today green tea is commercially available all over the world and is a favored gift in an attractive basket or packet.

The only negative side effect of green tea is that it may induce insomnia. Hence it is advisable to take the evening cup at least 3-4 hours before bedtime. Ideally one should have 10 cups of green tea a day in order to get all its benefits. Green tea capsules are also available in the market but they are pretty expensive.

Already green tea extracts have found a place in cholesterol lowering drugs, dietary supplements and among popular beverage brands across the world. EGCG is being promoted for good health in popular staple food items like biscuits and cookies.

In conclusion

Few herbs go back in time as much as tea does. Tea has been one of the daily necessities in China since time immemorial and the art of growing, processing, brewing and drinking tea evolved in China. Today a wide variety of brews adorn the supermarket shelves. But a wealth of research suggests that green tea can be a welcome addition to your stock of brews. Today scientific research in both Asia and the West is providing hard evidence for the health benefits long associated with drinking green tea. So go ahead and enjoy this magical drink which has myriad therapeutic and medicinal properties.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Monday, July 5, 2010

Homeopathy First-Aid Remedies

What Is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine that aims to promote general health by reinforcing the body's own natural healing capacity. It doesn't have treatments for diseases it has remedies for people with diseases. It is about why a remedy is given and not about what is given.
It was founded by Samuel Hahnemann, in 1790. He believed that the symptoms and signs of an illness are in fact attempts on the part of the organism to heal itself. So when a substance capable of producing a similar symptom to that of a disease is used it encourages a powerful strengthening of the defense mechanism.

Bites And Stings

For bites and stings you can use Apis Mellica, Ledum, Natrum muriaticum, Staphysagria, and Urtica urens.

Apis Mellica is made from honeybees. To prepare this remedy, the entire live honeybee is crushed and highly diluted by mixing it into a water-and-alcohol base.

Ledum is the number one remedy for bee stings. It's also known as wild rosemary and is sometimes called marsh tea. It's found in bogs across Northern Europe, Canada, and the United States. This remedy is prepared from the whole plant. It is gathered, dried, and crushed into powder. Then it's diluted to nontoxic levels in a water and alcohol mix.

Natrum muriaticum is a good remedy for bee and wasp stings. It's basically salt, or sodium chloride. It's prepared by adding pure sodium chloride to boiling water. After the salt has dissolved the solution is filtered and crystallized by evaporation. The final product is diluted in water to the desired potency.

Staphysagria works really good in children who get mosquito bites, which become large and irritating. It's also known as palmated larkspur and grows in Southern Europe and Asia. The seeds are used to make ointments and antidotes.

Urtica urnens is for people with hives. It's also known as annual nettle. It has a long tradition of use for many ailments in Western herbalism and it's still highly valued today. To prepare this remedy the whole flowering plant, including the root, is steeped in alcohol.

See a doctor immediately

For bites and stings- If you are bitten or stung by something that is known to be poisonous or if you have bad reactions to bites and stings.

If after the bite or sting your conscious level is impaired or if the swelling is sever and rapid, especially if it affects your mouth and throat or if you have difficulty breathing.


For bruses you can use Arnica, Bellis per, Hypericum, Lachesis, Ledum, Ruta, and Symphytum.

Arnica is the number one remedy for bruises. It's also known as Leopard's Bane, Mountain daisy, and Mountain tobacco. Usually the flowers, leaves, stems, and roots are crushed and mashed into a pulp and then slowly soaked in some alcohol. Then the remedy is made to undergo the homeopathic dilution process. During this process the substance will lose its toxic natute. It is then ready for use.

Bellis per can be used when Arnica isn't working that well. It's good for deep injuries to muscles and joints. It's also known as European daisy, Garden daisy, or Bruisewort. It grows throughout Europe and the eastern part of the United States. The parts used for remedies is the fresh plant in flower.

Lachesis is good for black eyes. It aids blood re absorption. It's a snake that's also known as Bushmaster or Surukuku. It's found in South America. In this remedy the venom is used. To prepare the remedy the venom is extracted from the snake and then diluted in large quantities of milk sugar.

Ledum is also good for black eyes and sever bruises.

Ruta is good for bruises on the elbow, shin or kneecap. It's a plant called Ruta graveciens. It's also known as Rue, Herb of grace, Herb of repentance, Bitter herb, or Rue bitterwort. It has been prescribed herbally since the time of ancient Greece and Egypt. It's native to Southern Europe, but it's cultivated worldwide. To prepare this remedy, the herb is collected just before blossoming. It is then pounded to a pulp and pressed for its juice. The juice is then diluted in a water-and-alcohol base.

Symphtum is used when you have trauma to a cartilage or periosteum. It's good to use when you have a blunt injury to the eyeball. It's also known as Comfrey or Knit bone.


For burns you can use Calendula, Cantharis, Causticum, Phosphorus, and Urtica urens.

Calendula is the number one remedy for first degree burns. It can also be used to dress second degree burns. It's also known as Pot marigold. To prepare this remedy the finely chopped, fresh flowers and leaves are steeped in alcohol. (First degree burns are burns that are red but have no blisters).

Cantharis is the number one remedy for second degree burns. It's also known as the Spanish fly. It's actually a beetle that's found in Southern France and Spain. To prepare this remedy the beetles are collected at daybreak, when they are sluggish. Then they are heated in steam of boiling vinegar until they're dead. Then they're crushed and mixed with successively greater amounts of milk sugar. The resulting powder is highly dilute. (Second degree burns are burns that have blisters but no skin loss).

Causticum is the number one remedy for third degree burns. It's also good for old burns that don't resolve and ill effects of burns. It's also known as potassium hydrate. It's prepared chemically by distilling freshly burned lime, potassium bisulfate, and water. (Third degree burns are serious burns that require medical attention and often skin grafting).

Phosphorus is good for electrical burns or shocks. Phosporus is found in phosphates and living matter. To prepare this remedy, pure phoshorus is diluted in large quantities of milk sugar.

Other preparations that are recommended for minor burns include Nelson's Burn Ointment and Pakua. Pakua is a preparation that aids healing in all sorts of injuries where the skin is damaged.

See a doctor immediately

For burns- For any third degree burn. These burns involve the full thickness of the skin and are likely to be less painful than first and second degree burns. So don't be fooled into underestimating the severity of a serious burn by the lack of pain.

If you have second degree burns and it's blistering and has loss of the top surface of the skin and is very sore and painful.

The second degree burn occurs on sensitive skin such as the face, hands, or genitals.
If the second degree burn is larger than a hand size.

In electrical burns don't forget to isolate the power before touching the person, or you can pull them off using non-conductive materials such as rubber, plastic, or dry wood. Do not dress or interfere with sever burns until you've seen an expert.

Cuts And Scrapes

For cuts and scrapes you can use Calendula, Hypericum, and Staphysagria.

With Calendula use a tincture instead of an antiseptic to clean and dress shallow wounds. Use the tincture topically in a dilution of 1:25 with sterile or boiled water. It's good for excessive pain, in clean cuts with stinging pain, and torn lacerations. You can also use it as a mouthwash after having a tooth pulled.

Hypericum can be used in deep cuts with a lot of pain and hypersensitivity to touch. It's also used for lacerated fingers and any injuries to fingers, toes, anus, spine, coccyx, palms, soles, or teeth.

Staphysagria can be used to clean cuts and after operations for lacerations. It's good for injuries that were made from sharp instruments.

See a doctor immediately

For any puncture wound that has been cause by a sharp object.

Hemorrhage (bleeding). The severity of the wound and the bleeding will dictate the degree of urgency and need for help.

Dislocated Joints

For dislocated joints you can use Arnica and Ruta.

Arnica is the number one remedy. After the joint has been put back into place you may need to follow with Rhus tox or another remedy.

See a doctor immediately

For joints and muscles- If you lose full range of movement of the joint.

The injured part is distorted, deformed, or unstable in any way.

You have pain or spasm of the surrounding muscles. This might mean that you have a fracture.

If there is marked swelling or bleeding under the skin.

If you have coldness, blueness, or numbness of the injury, or the part beyond the injury. This may mean that you have damage to the blood or nervous supply of that area


For fractures you can use Arnica, Bryonia, Calcium phosphorica, Eupatorium perfoliatum, Silca, and Symphytum.

Arnica helps with the shock, bruising, and swelling. It's usually the first remedy you need to use because of the shock.

Bryonia is sometimes used for fractured ribs when you have pain when you move. It is also known as White bryony or Wild hops. The remedy is prepare from the root, which is harvested in Spring. An extract pressed from the root pulp is mixed with alcohol into a extremely dilute solution.

Calcium phosphorica aids the nutrition of bones. It may be used if the person is malnourished or the bones are not healing. It's a mineral salt that's the main constituent of of bones and teeth. It is prepared chemically from dilute phosphoric acid and calcium hydroxide.

Eupatorium perfoliatum is used when the main symptom is pain and the person doesn't have that much bruising. It's also known as Bone-set and is usually taken as a tea or tincture.

Silica may be used if a small chip has come off the bone. It's also known as quartz, rock crystal, or pure flint. To prepare this remedy Silica powder is mixed with sodium carbonate through a pharmaceutical process of substance dilution.

Symphytum is the number one remedy and is used only after the bones have been set. It may also be used when the bones aren't healing.

See a doctor immediately

For neck or back injury- If you think you have a fracture or serious neck injury. Don't move a person with this type of injury. Wait for expert help to arrive.

Sprains And Strains

For sprains and strains you can use Arnica, Bellis perennis, Bryonia, Calcarea phosphorica, Ledum, and Rhus tox.

Arnica is the number one remedy for muscles. It's used after overexertion of muscles when you have pulled a muscle and have pain and stiffness. It's also good after overexertion or straining of ligaments and joints when you have considerable swelling, bruising, and inflammation around the joint. You often have to use Rhus toxicodendron after Arnica before complete resolution occurs.

Bryonia is used for ligaments and joints when the pain is bad when you barely move and continued movement only makes it worse. It's also good for some swelling.

Calcarea Phosphorica is used when nutrition is a problem and is causing healing to be slow and prolonged.

Ledum is used when the fibrous tissues and joint have been affected.

Rhus tox is the number one remedy for ligaments and joints. It's also used for overexerted muscles. It's used on muscles after the most acute symptoms have gone or when the pain is bad when you first move but gets better after continued movement. It's also known as poison ivy or poison oak. It grows throughout North America and Canada. This remedy is prepared from plants that are gathered at night, when it's said that the oil is at its most potent state. The leaves and stalks are pounded to a pulp then mixed with alcohol. It is then strained and diluted.

Sun And Heat Stroke

For sun and heat stroke you can use Belladonna, Cuprum, and Glonoin.

Belladonna is used for fever, throbbing headache, bright red face, and stupor. It's also known as deadly night shade and devil's cherries. To prepare the remedy, all parts of the plant are used. The plant is crushed and pressed. The extract juice is mixed with alcohol in an extremely dilute preparation.

Cuprum is used for heat exhaustion. It's also known as copper and is found in rocks worldwide.

Flonoin is used for sunstroke, fever, throbbing headache, red face, and stupor. It's also known as glyceryl trinitrate or nitroglycerin. It's prepared chemically by adding glycerin to a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids.

See a doctor immediately

For heat and sunstroke- If you have signs of mild shock which include being cold, clammy, pale tired, have nausea, have a raised heart rate or have muscle cramps.
The level of consciousness is affected. You may feel drowsy or dull.

If you don't show any signs of increased strength and vitality after an hour of cool rest.

For sunstroke- Sunstroke is a medical emergency because the body's temperature mechanism has been overloaded and has failed. Your skin will be hot, red, and often dry. You may show signs of impaired consciousness or confusion and even convulsions. You should do whatever it takes to cool your body below 102 degrees Fahrenheit as quickly as you can while you wait for expert help.

When To See The Doctor

Within 24 hours

If you have a wound that becomes infected. You will have increased pain, swelling, and redness. Especially if the inflammation runs from the wound in red streaks toward the body.

All animal bites should be examined by your doctor.

If you haven't had a tetanus shot in awhile and you have puncture wounds or lacerations.

Any unexpected impairment of use of your injured part.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002