Tuesday, July 17, 2012



Curd which is also known as yogurt is the most valuable therapeutic food. Curds are a dairy product obtained by curdling (coagulating) milk with rennet or an edible acidic substance such as lemon juice or vinegar, and then draining off the liquid portion. The increased acidity causes the milk proteins (casein) to tangle into solid masses, or curds. The remaining liquid, which contains only whey proteins, is the whey. In cow's milk, 80% of the proteins are caseins. Milk that has been left to sour (raw milk alone or pasteurized milk with added lactic acid bacteria or yeast) will also naturally produce curds, and sour milk cheese is produced this way.

Cultural Beliefs:

These are some of the superstitions which are considered as good omen. Eating sweet curd before exams brings good luck. We should take curd at night as curd is having sour mixed sweet property and it increases Kapha dosha in the body. The mucus generation is also attributed to the effect of Kapha. During night period, there is natural predominance of Kapha in the body. So, curd consumption at night will further increase kapha leading to many complications. Curd is larger and heavier to digest and tend to create more incomplete products of digestion at night than midday when the digestive fires are naturally stronger.

Scientific Reasons:

Curd is nutritious. It contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, fluoride and selenium, as well as saturated fats, and oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat. The pro-biotic components of Curd produced by lactic acid bacteria relieve constipation, diarrhoea, colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. It is also known to prevent any infection caused by the H. pylori bacteria. Studies reveal that regular consumption of Curd can drop the LDL cholesterol levels and thereby, preventing any chance of cardiovascular diseases.

Curd is rich in calcium so it is beneficial for strong bones and teeth. Curd is very helpful in curing illness like jaundice. Many surveys results that curd is helpful in reducing the risk of high blood pressure. Curd is valuable for the patients of insomnia. Patient is suggested to take curd and massage it to their head will result to induce sleep. Take a sufficient amount of curd to your diet this will prevent you premature old age and decay. Curd could prove beneficial for the patients of osteoporosis if having daily. People suffering from vaginal infection can found the easy way to have relief if they intake curd. Curd could prove beneficial for the patients of constipation and colon cancer.

Apart from health claims and maintenance of intestinal microflora, they protect against infections, alleviate lactose intolerance, reduce blood cholesterol levels and also stimulate the immune system. The interactive research between physiology, microbiology, food technology and molecular biology followed by clinical trials may produce a multi-functional probiotic strain for human consumption.

Nutritional Value & Calories Amount: 1 cup Weight245 g

Basic Components

8.5 g
215 g
1.8 g
31.9 mg


Total Calories
Calories From Carbohydrates
Calories From Fats
Calories From Proteins


Total Carbohydrates
11 g

Fats & Fatty Acids

Total Fat
8 g
Saturated Fat
5.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat
2.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat
225 mg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
66 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
159 mg


Vitamin A
243 IU
Vitamin C
1.2 mg
Vitamin E
147 mcg
Vitamin K
0.49 mcg
71 mcg
348 mcg
184 mcg
Vitamin B6
78 mcg
17 mcg
Vitamin B12
0.91 mcg
Pantothenic Acid
0.95 mg
37.2 mg


296 mg
123 mcg
29 mg
233 mg
380 mg
113 mg
1.4 mg
22 mcg
9.8 mcg
5.4 mcg
29 mcg

Medicinal properties as explained in Ayurveda
It absorbs water from intestines (hence called as Grahi). By the virtue of this property it is widely used to treat diarrhea and dysentery.
It causes heaviness when used in excess and may cause constipation.
It mitigates vata dosha, increases kapha and pitta. Curd should not be used in diseases where blood is vitiated by doshas.
Regular consumption of this in pure form increases body fat and may cause obesity.
Curd helps to increase quality and quantity of semen.
It strengthens the body.
Consumption of curd accelerates digestion (agni), stimulates taste buds and acts as an appetizer.
It is found beneficial in diseases of duodenum.
It reduces irritability of bladder and helps in emptying bladder easily.


  • Dandruff is a known cause of hair loss. Mix sour curd and green gram as a pack and apply to scalp and hair, Wash it off after 1 hour. Doing this once in a week prevents formation of dandruff. Curd is a good hair conditioner.
  • Dry orange peel in summer and powder it. Mix this powder with little curds massage it on face and neck. This acts as an excellent cleanser and cleanses clogged pores thus preventing acne and pimples.
  • Curds when mixed with sugar acts as an excellent body coolant and instant energizer. It also quenches thirst.
  • A mixture of besan (gram flour) is an excellent face pack to rejuvenate facial skin and body skin.


  • Helps improve the digestion
  • Helps strengthen the immune system
  • Consuming curd increases the capacity to absorb the nutrients and minerals form other food stuffs
  • Especially helpful for those who are lactose intolerant
  • Helps get strong bones and teeth as its calcium content is high. It helps fight against osteoporosis.
  • Helps minimize the risk of high blood pressure
  • If you have high cholesterol, and then consuming curd can help you
  • Curd cures migraine and the biotin, a vitamin present in the curd is very important for mental health.

Home remedies:
  • Regular consumption of curd reduces the incidence of osteoporosis in menopausal women as it contains several essential minerals
  • Curd is good for the nerves and maintains fluid balance in the body as it a good source of potassium and magnesium
  • For people who are lactose intolerant and cannot digest milk, Curd is a great alternative for them in providing health benefits of dairy products. This dairy product contains active bacterial strains, which help in digestion. 
  • The calcium in Curd signals fat cells to pump out less cortisol thereby making it easier to lose weight, while the amino acids aid in the fat burning process.
  • Curd, when applied topically, can effectively cure acne and skin rashes. It also provides a beautiful glow since it reduces dark circles and closes pores. Furthermore, it is also a valuable remedy for poor hair, itchy scalp, and dandruff.
Interesting Facts:

  • Curd should not be eaten at nights.
  • It should not be boiled or heated.
  • Always it has to be mixed with honey or sugar before consuming.
  • Its properties get enhanced when mixed with cooked green gram or ghee or gooseberries
  • Curd should be used only when it is well formed or completely coagulated.
  • Consumption of incompletely coagulated curd may flare up herpes outbreaks, psoriasis, bleeding in hemorrhoids etc. and may cause giddiness.
  • Curd acidifies the blood as it contains high amount of proteins. The body buffers the acidity through bone restoration; calcium is removed from the skeleton and bones and released to the blood, increasing risk of osteoporosis. Curd also has high sodium content.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sun Salutation- The Power of Sun Ray's

Sunlight :

The sun’s rays have been unceasingly carrying out the task of purifying and nourishing grain, water, wind, earth, vegetables, herbs and the mind and body of living beings. The objective of the system of praying to the Sun God, offering libation to the Sun, performing Sun salutation prevalent in Indian civilization, is to attain mental health, physical health and spiritual progress. The most eminent physician of Ayurveda, Charaka acharya gave a very important place to the Sun worship in the category of divine healing. 

Cultural beliefs:

The world was still struggling to live the life still then the sages of Rig-Veda times knew the importance of sun's rays.
The water offered to Sun in the morning/evening converts the drops of water to stones that cause death to the demons. For humans, demons are like all sicknesses like typhoid TB, pneumonia etc. When a devotee takes water in his hands while standing in front of or facing the sun and drops water on the ground the rising direct Sun’s rays fall from the head to feet of the devotee in a uniform flow. This way water heated by Sun’s rays and its colors penetrates every part of the body. This is the reason why the Vedas direct the devotee to offer water when the Sun is about to raise/set. It is also proved in Science that sunlight is a rich source of Vitamin-D.

The sun's rays do penetrate water, but each color penetrates to a different extent. Generally, the more energetic colors, those at the upper end of the color spectrum, the blues and violets, penetrate deeper. The lower frequency wavelengths, the oranges and reds, peter out at shallower depths. But these generalities will vary, as the ability of light to penetrate water is affected by what is in that water. Red light is absorbed within 15 to 20 feet, while blue light can make it down as far as 200 feet or more (this is why the deep water appears bluish), depending on the clarity and turbidity of the water.

Rigved also states - All living beings of the creation depend on the sun. The sun removes physical, mental and spiritual weaknesses and makes one healthy and long lived. For ailments of the heart, eyes, jaundice, leprosy and weak mind sun could be helpful.
Atharvaved states that there are seven names of the sun which represent the seven rays of the sun. One of the names of sun is Sapt Rashmi or seven rays. The Rishis in the ancient times did deep research and Sadhanas and revealed that the sun has seven rays.


Following are the gains of sun ray therapy.
1. Where sun rays are allowed to fall there cannot be any ailment.
2. The sun rays are free of side effects. By the use of sun rays in fact the body could be made active and healthy and one could enjoy life to the full.

Scientific Reasons:

The scientists today are aware of the same. There is unparalleled power in the rays of the sun. Since times immemorial our ancestors have been the worshippers of sun its main reason being the capacity and quality of Sun to purify the environment and make it disease free. The energy manifests through sun and Life in this world and descends down on to us.
If a person wants, he or she can quickly get disease-free through the solar therapy.

There is an unbreakable relation between human heart and the Sun. scientists believe that taking sun bath daily for 20 minutes in the morning can be done to utilize the good health benefits in every season. Doctors say that refraining from sun rays may be an effective way to be free of skin cancer but it invites other forms of cancer. 

Medicine Preparation through Sun Ray’s:
There are seven colors in sun rays violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange & red. Theses seven colors are full nourishment with whose help you can lead an illness free healthy life. Sun therapy is a natural therapy. According to sun therapy it is believed that a person suffers from a disease when there is a deficiency of a particular color in the body. If these colors are recouped then the body becomes free of disease. 

Assemble blue, green, yellow etc bottles.
Fill the bottles one fourth with pure drinking water.
Keep it in the sun for 6 to 8 hours on wooden plank.
By evening your medicine is ready.
Keep in mind that the sun rays should fall continuously on the bottles and the bottles should be capped tightly so that no vapor escapes.

Similarly oil can be prepared for massage. But this should be kept in the sun regularly for 45 days. Dosage of the Medicine Children should take 1 spoon, adolescent 4 to 6 spoons, and adult’s 5 to 7 spoons. The medicine prepared by sun rays should be given twice daily.

Dosage for different kind of Diseases:
1.     For constipation drink equal quantity of water from green and white bottle twice a day, this also cures wind problems. By keeping a person in a green room and by making him drink water from green bottle eye trouble could be cured and the mind made sharper.
2.     Drink blue water for pimples.
3.     For hair fall do not use chemical soap and massage lightly on the head with blue oil mixed with coconut oil with 2-3 drops of lemon juice. Also put blue light on head before taking bath. Along with this drink green water 5-6 spoon daily.
4.     Massage Blue oil for headache and drink yellow bottle water twice daily.
5.     In case of heart problems drink green water thrice daily. This removes any blood ailment and purifies and cleans the blood.
6.     For vision problems, put water from the green bottle 3-4 times in a day. With the use of this medicine vision problems can be removed and even spectacles can be eliminated.
7.     For dark patched on face massage with the oil from the red bottle. If a patient suffering from small pox is made to lie in a red room and made to drink water from red bottle he becomes cured in a few days. If one suffers from paralysis then too one should be put in a red room and made to drink red bottle water.
8.     For blisters of mouth and throat drink and gargle water from the green bottle·

Interesting Facts:

‘The sun’s rays destroy all diseases. They destroy germs associated with disease.’
Broadly speaking, the four functions of the seven colors present in the sun’s rays are:
1. To stimulate the digestive fire.
2. To stimulate the fires associated with the seven dhÍtus and thereby produce the essential dhÍtus.
3. To balance the three doshas: vÍta, pitta, kapha through the red, green and blue rays respectively.
4. To excrete the gross and subtle waste matter.
It reflects and releases rainbow effect which is useful to eyes and to the body as well when done early morning when the suns' color is orange like.

Sun Bath:

Sun bath is very important for perfect health. It has a mystical antibacterial and antifungal property. The sun showers three types of rays upon us:
Rays of visible (white) light
Infra-red rays
Ultra-violet rays

1. Sunlight helps nourish the muscles. If the skin is deprived of sunlight by keeping it covered, the muscles tend to weaken and degenerate.
2. Sunlight promotes the proper formation of teeth, speedy growth of hair, and quick and deep breathing.
3. Blood pressure is brought down, and the kidneys become more efficient.
4. By the action of sun light, skin diseases are cured, blisters are burst and wounds are healed more speedily.
5. Sunlight maintains and even increases the amount of alkali in the blood.
6. If a pregnant lady takes sun baths regularly, she gets relief from the usual discomforts of pregnancy such as fatigue, backache, nausea, over stimulation and lactation in the post-parturition period is also improved.

How to take sun bath?

You should begin by exposing the body to the sunlight for 5 to 10 minutes, the anterior parts of the body for half this period and the posterior parts for the other half. Later on, the period of exposure can be gradually increased, as convenient, to about an hour.

After sunbath, a cold-water bath should be taken, or the body wiped with a piece of cloth wrung out in cold water. The mild sun of the morning or the evening has no harmful effect on the body. 

But it is advisable to avoid exposing the body to the intense sunlight of the midday. The discomfort experienced during a sun bath, or a burning sensation in the skin, is an indication of excessive exposure to sunlight.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Suraya Namaskara - The king of Yoga Asana's

Surya Namaskara: 

Surya Namaskara is of salutations to the sun. It finds its roots in worship of Surya, the sun god. This sequence of activities and poses can be practiced as a physical exercise or a complete "sadhana" which incorporates exercise postures, breathing exercises, and profound meditation.

The rewards of Surya Namaskara are many. It is the best exercise for achieving fitness. It includes a warm up session as well as the main exercise. In this present day and time, as every individual faces a time-crunch it is difficult to exercise regularly, but with just fifteen minutes of this yoga, maximum results and infinite benefits can be obtained.

These yogic asanas directly affect the endocrine system and the digestive system, balance any hormonal imbalances and give a quick shot of vigor to the body in a matter of minutes. In about three months’ time and with dedicated practice of Surya Namaskara the suppleness and litheness of the body can be increased.

Cultural Beliefs:

If one is devotionally inclined then the exercise can be done with full knowledge of the significance of worshipping the sun. This will purify the heart and mind. Surya namaskara also helps to bring the flow of pranic or bioplasmic energy into balance and remove blockages in the nadis through which it flows. Surya namaskara is an excellent practice with which to start the day.

  • It improves the blood circulation of all the important organs of the body.
  • Increase the level of oxygen in blood, also improves breathing capacity.
  • Improves functioning of heart and lungs.
  • Strengthens the muscles of the arms and waist.
  • Makes the spine and waist more flexible.
  • Helps in reducing the fat around the abdomen and thus reduces weight.
  • Improves digestion.
  • Improves concentration power.

 Scientific Reasons:

Studies showed that the cardio respiratory parameters significantly change after the practice of Surya namaskar. In general, yogic practices have been proposed to reduce resting heart rate and blood pressure.

Surya namaskara increases the heartbeat and the workings of the whole circulatory system, helping to eliminate waste materials from the body. Areas of sluggish blood are also removed and replaced by purified and oxygenated blood. All the cells of the body receive extra nutrition enabling them to function more efficiently.

Most people tend to breathe superficially in short and shallow gasps. This starves the body of the oxygen it requires for perfect health. Carbon dioxide also tends to accumulate in the system. Further underutilization of the lung capacity allows a build-up of germs which can lead to various illnesses. 

Surya namaskara accentuates the exchange of air to and from the lungs, opens and expands the intricate alveoli, or air sacs, of the lung tissue and exercises the muscles of the surrounding chest region. The lungs are emptied of impurities and stale air and the body and brain are revitalized by the extra supply of oxygen they receive. One can almost feel the extra super-charge of energy.

Chanting Mantras

Chanting Mantras:

A Mantra is group of words that are capable of creating spiritual and physical effects. Mantras were originally conceived in the Vedas, India’s oldest and most revered spiritual text. The word Mantra is a Sanskrit word combining the two syllables ‘man’ which means mind and ‘tra’ which means deliverance. So the word “mantra” literally implies “to free from the mind".

Cultural Beliefs: 

In ancient times people believed that mantras had the power to listen to the subtlest of these sounds. They discovered that specific sounds energized specific portions of the brain thereby awakening extraordinary powers (Siddhis). They used these sounds to form sacred words that are called Mantras.

By systematic chanting the root mantra of a god, you create a positive vibration. When the waves of this vibration are touched by the sensory perceptions of the respective god, he is propitiated and becomes happy. As a result of this happiness he blesses the man and re-enters the body which he left due to curse from the planets, etc. Please remember that these vibratory frequencies are ubiquitous and in the form of electro-magnetic waves having unimaginably very high frequency much beyond that of the measurable frequency of Gamma rays/cosmic waves.

Mantras have a profound impact upon us due to two reasons:
1.The vibration effect of the sound; and
2.The effect of the collective emotional energy behind that word due to constant repetition over time.

How to chant:

Mantras must be chanted or recited clearly, accurately and with correct pronunciations and with devotion and motivation. Chanting them as a matter-of-course deprives them of power and is practically useless from the point of view of conscious growth, evolution and subtle effects.

How Often To Chant:

The number of times a mantra has to be chanted is usually specified. Normally, it is considered auspicious to chant a mantra 11 times, or 108 times or in multiples of 108. Once you have fixed upon the number, you can increase it but cannot decrease it.

Where to Chant:

Mantras should be chanted in a quiet place. Once a place has been chosen, it should become permanent for all practical purposes.

Best Time to Chant: 
The best time for chanting mantras is the Brahmamuhurta (4 a.m.). Other good times are the transition periods i.e. when night is turning into day (dawn and sunrise), when day is turning into night (twilight and sunset). You can also choose the time before going to bed. Having chosen your time, you should be regular about the hours and duration of your chanting.

Position to Chant:
If chanting mantras during the day time, you should sit facing the north or the east. If chanting mantras during the night, you should sit facing the north.       

Rules to follow:  

Have complete devotion and faith in the Mantra. Repose your complete faith in the deity being worshipped.
Keep a peaceful mind.
While chanting of Mantras never let your mind be distracted.(concentrate deeply)
Put your complete will power in the chanting of Mantra.
Never be afraid while the chanting of Mantra.
Never change your place before your Mantrik meditation is complete.
Perform Mantrik meditation as laid down in our scriptures.
From the beginning to the end of the meditational chanting of Mantra does not change incense(Dhoop), lamp(Deepak), asana, beads(Mala) and clothes.
While the chanting of Mantra keep non-vegetarian food and liquor strictly away from your house.
After bathing and with complete purity perform the chanting of Mantra.
Never use Mantra power or attainment for negative purposes.


Mantras Are Energy-Based Sounds, Create Thought-Energy Waves, Have Fire-Like Energy and Eventually Quiet the Mind
Mantras function by stimulating various Chakras in the Human body .Mantras act upon our bodies by reprogramming the vibrations of the cells that have somehow gone. They restore the pattern of sounds at the heart of each and every cell, thus pushing the cells toward harmonious health.
Mantras affect not only our physical body but also our subtle body - our emotions, intellect and soul. They positively affect our aura - the energy shields surrounding our body.

Scientific Reasons:

Chanting the mantras directly lowers blood pressure, normalizes heart beat rate, brain wave pattern, adrenalin level, even cholesterol level. Some believe that the recitation of sacred mantras actually causes the physical and etheric bodies to change their vibrational frequency level—becoming more attuned if you like, with divine energy. Specific healing mantras can be chanted to balance and align the chakras. For ex: Bija Mantras. Chakras are the energetic wheels of light that transduce subtle energy into the body. Modern doctors are also advising the people under high tension to sit and listen to music or mantras for few minutes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Banana Leaves

Banana Leaves: Indian way of eating

In Hindu culture people used to eat from banana leaf. A banana leaf is a long leaf which has a long rib in the middle. Banana Trees are considered to be sacred tree. It is used all celebration like marriages, temple functions etc. Planting a banana tree in front of the house is considered very important. 

The banana leaf is also a practical kitchen tool. As a food wrapper, it functions like a plastic wrap, parchment paper, and aluminum foil to prevent drying, sticking and retaining heat. You can lay a banana leaf down and serve food on it like a plate or placemat, and fold it into various shapes as to-go containers. It's also great for lining steamer trays to prevent sticking. It's bio-degradable too. 

Banana leaves are so large they are used as umbrellas during monsoon season. The leaf also makes an attractive serving platter because of its size and sturdiness. The shrub produces only one leaf per month in winter and three to four per month in summer.

Cultural Beliefs:

A traditional meal on a banana leaf is a must at any South Indian celebration.one has to eat carbohydrates (rice) first, then protein (dal), iron-rich vegetables and fat (curd). This is the order in which food is served and consumed as well. It is even more traditional to sit on the floor on a mat and eat one’s food. One has to squat as if one is sitting in the padmasana (lotus) pose.

Eating from a banana leaf is considered hygienic and healthy. Any guest can be served on a banana leaf which is considered humble and respectful.

  • Eating food served on banana leaf is found to be healthy. Serving hot food on banana leaf will emanate important nutrients from the leaf which will be mixed with the food and will be eaten. This is considered to be very good for health.
  • In the past there were no plates available; banana leaves were easily available and were large enough to contain all the food. Also, there is no particular smell in the leaf that can put you off.
  • Leaves are easily disposable and environment friendly. Even burning the leaves, the ozone layers are not affected.
Scientific Reasons:

Banana leaves contain large amounts of polyphenols such as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, also found in green tea. Polyphenols are natural antioxidants found in many plant based foods. 

According to an article by Augustin Scalbert and colleagues published in the January 2005 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," extensive research is ongoing to help determine the extent of how polyphenols affect human cells, the oxidative process and its impact on disease prevention.

Other Reasons:

As there is no chemical reaction, the food keeps its value intact: it can endure heat and react well without tearing apart from the heat.
The green leaf adds value to food (just like any other greens) and it contains the leafy taste to make it better!