Eyes are one of the most important sense organs we have, and caring for them is just as important as caring for other parts of the body. In Ayurveda, there are several natural ways to improve eyesight and maintain good vision. In today’s corporate world we spend hours together at the computer, and this causes a lot of strain to our eyes. There are some healthy habits to inculcate that will help you maintain good eyesight. Here are some of them:
- Natural eye tonic: Take 250g each of almonds, fennel (saunf), and mishri (crystallized sugar). Soak the almonds overnight, and make a powder of it after peeling. Fry fennel with a few drops of ghee and powder it as well. Mix the three together and store in a glass bottle. Mix two spoons of this in milk and drink to improve eyesight within three to six months.
- Diet for good eyesight: Diet plays a very important role in Ayurveda, for your overall health. For better eyesight, your diet should include fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin A such as carrots, oranges etc. You can also include cabbage, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, soya beans, dates and green peas in addition to fresh milk and cheese. Almonds are great for eyesight as well.
- Herbs that improve eyesight: In Ayurveda there are certain herbs that have many intrinsic benefits. Triphala is one of these, and bhringraj or amla oil when applied over the eyes helps in enhancing eyesight. A teaspoon of powdered asparagus, and half a teaspoon of honey mixed together with milk is a wonderful natural tonic to help improve eyesight.
- Easy exercises for eyesight: There are a few simple exercises that you can do every day that will benefit your eyes. Close both your eyes by shutting them firmly, and then open them suddenly. After you open them, stretch your face and arch your brows – practice this every day a few times. You can also rotate your eyes in different directions and slowly concentrate on one eye at a time. Try doing this a dozen times in a day. You can also rub your palms together and then place your hand over your eyes without touching the eyelids to reduce strain on the eyes and improve eyesight.
- Triphala Rasayana: Triphala Rasayana is made by combining 100g of yellow myrobalan, 200g of bahera myrobalan, 400g of amla, and 700g of liquorice. Combine these ingredients after powdering them and store them in a glass bottle. Half a spoon of this mixed with ghee and a spoon of honey should be taken twice a day. This is a wonderful herbal mixture that is proven to enhance eyesight over time.
The above tips will help you improve your eyesight and maintain healthy eyes over time. Incorporating these good habits for the eyes into your routine is a great way to ensure that no issues arise for you when it concerns your eyes. In addition, whenever you use technology, do not forget to blink at regular intervals. If you have been working for a very long time, take a break and focus on another object or close your eyes for sometime – it helps your eyes take a break from being focused on the computer or smartphone screen.
Interested in herbal, side effect-free solutions to health issues? Check out our range of herbal Ayurvedic products here.
Navratri is a time for spiritual reflection and physical and mental detoxification. However, for those who are working professionals, it can be very difficult to manage a proper schedule and work efficiently while fasting. Ayurveda focuses on a Sattvic diet consisting mainly of fruits, milk and preparations made from vegetables to cleanse and detoxify the body and focus the mind. Here are some great tips to keep your energy levels up at work while you fast during Navratri:
- Don’t overwork yourself: Set a clear schedule for your work, and don’t let fatigue overcome you. Navratri fasts are supposed to help your body rest and detoxify, and burdening yourself too much will have a detrimental effect on your health over the 9 auspicious nights. Make sure that eating too little doesn’t affect your performance at work.
- Make healthy food choices: Fasting is not an excuse to make up for not having your regular food by snacking on potato chips or other unhealthy snacks. Opt for fruits like bananas, apples, guavas and oranges that will keep your energy levels in check. Bananas provide instant energy so keep some handy at your desk.
- Maintain fluid levels: Avoid getting dehydrated – drink lots of herbal teas, vegetable juices and fruit juices during Navratri fasting to replenish your body fluids and salt levels. During the fast, food devoid of spices and salt is usually taken, so you can replace salt with rock salt so that your body does not become weakened during the fast.
- Prevent acidity: Not eating for extended periods of time can cause acidity. Keep acidity in check by always having a handful of fruits or nuts handy to snack on through the day when avoiding regular meals during the fast. It will provide you with energy and tide you through till the evening when you break the fast.
- Keep energy levels in check: Your energy levels can experience a dip during the Navratri due to fasting and reducing your daily food intake. Always ensure that you take adequate measures to avoid sapping your energy levels. When you break your fast, take protein and whole carb-rich food so that you will have ample energy to begin work the next day.
- Avoid stress: Stress can harm your health and weaken you further during the Navratri fast. Try not to stay hungry for hours together and drink lots of fluids to keep stress levels in check. You can take a breather for 5-10 minutes when work gets too overwhelming. In addition, make sure that you carry adequate Navratri fasting food with you when you are at work to reduce any stressful situations.
Navratri is a time for celebration, inner reflection and spiritual awakening, and fasting is one of the most common ways of channelizing one’s energies towards the divine, in most religions. In Ayurveda, fasting is seen as important to do periodically so that your body and mind keep getting rejuvenated. As working professionals, we often forget to take a break, and Navratri fasting reminds us of just that.
Happy Navratri from Team Pankajakasthuri!
Children are the future, and letting them imbibe the right values and setting a good example for them is the way to ensure they grow up as healthy individuals in body and mind. Ayurveda believes that every person has their own unique constitution that determines their preferences, traits and personality. It prescribes certain kinds of advice for each type that is the Pitta, Kapha, and Vata. For your children, discovering their Ayurvedic constitution can help guide them towards healthy habits right from the start. Here are a few basic ways to inculcate an Ayurvedic routine in your kids:
- Early waking: According to Ayurveda, the purest time of the morning is in between 4:30 to 6:00 a.m. It is when energy levels are high, and the mind is in a state of calm and awakening. Teach your children to set a clear routine, waking up early in the morning so that they have ample time to get ready for school. On waking, let them spend 2-3 minutes saying a short prayer to welcome the day, and then wash their face and eyes well with cold water. Encourage them to use the toilet the first thing after this to regulate bowel movements over time. They should also drink a glass of water first thing in the morning as this flushes toxins from the body.
- Healthy eating: All bodily ailments, according to Ayurveda, arise from imbalances in the doshas. These imbalances increase the buildup of amas or toxins in the body, and cause issues with digestion. According to Ayurveda, processed foods lack the energy and life force of fresh, natural foods and so are not ideal for consumption in large quantities. Encourage your child to reach for a fresh fruit the next time he/she tries to grab a pack of chips. Be creative with presenting raw foods and natural foods to them to make them appealing for them to eat – you could create food in interesting shapes and colours to make it more fun. Some of the healthiest fruits and vegetables you can get your kids to have include asparagus, bell pepper, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumber, lettuce, mushroom, peas, parsnip, potato, squash, zucchini, salads, apples, banana, dates, coconut and grapes.
- Healthy minds: Children today have to face a lot of pressures very early on, including school admission tests, increased academic expectations and a lot of extra-curriculars on top of that. In addition, there are the added stresses of bullying and peer pressure that can really demotivate and demoralize a child. Make your child emotionally strong and stable through regular exercise. Exercise is known to release endorphins that enhance energy and mood. In addition, encourage your kids to spend a few minutes everyday focusing on an object to meditate. Meditation slows down the breathing process, normalises blood pressure, relaxes muscles and helps to
reduce anxiety and stress.
These are the 3 basic steps you can take to inculcate an Ayurvedic routine in your kids. You will see how much of a difference it can make for them during their formative years. Raising physically and emotionally strong and confident children will help us contribute to a better society.
Our cities today are very polluted, and in addition to this, there are also certain natural elements such as pollen, animal fur and dust that can potentially trigger allergies. Most people tend to take anti-hystamines or over-the-counter allopathic medication for their allergies. While they may control the symptoms, they do not actually treat the cause of the allergies and over time your body may also become resistant to them. Ayurveda seeks more to explore ways to prevent illness than to merely cure it after one gets infected. Here are some proven, natural ways to prevent allergic reactions to pollution:
- Keep doors and windows closed: Springtime and autumn are two seasons where pollen and dust-triggered allergies run high. Make sure that you don’t leave your windows and doors open for long periods of time – the wind can carry dust and pollen into your home and bring on allergic reactions.
- Consider Ayurvedic medicine: A herbal formulation like Pankajakasthuri Breathe Eazy helps clear your lungs and enhance immunity in order to prevent allergies and also strengthen you internally, improving your body’s ability to fight off allergens. Taking it regularly 3 times a day after your meals will, overtime, make you more resistant to catching allergic infections.
- Make changes to your diet: Research has shown that a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts like grapes, apples, tomatoes and oranges have fewer allergy symptoms. Make sure that your diet comprises a lot of fresh produce to provide your body with the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs to fight allergic reactions.
- Drink lots of fluids: Water, juice or soup and tea can help ease congestion. The accumulation of mucus in the respiratory tract often occurs due to allergy, and beverages like these can help thin the mucus and eventually drain it out to provide relief.
- Inhale steam: Take a bowl of hot water, sit in front of it and put a towel over your head to trap the steam. Inhale it to ease chest or throat congestion, and also to clear sinuses. You can also take a hot shower, and use this method twice or thrice a day for respite.
- Wash frequently: When you come back home at the end of the day, your clothes are often covered with dust and pollen particles that would not be visible to the naked eye. Ensure that you wash your eyes and face thoroughly and also take a shower once you are back. Leaving shoes outside the door will also help in keeping unnecessary dust and other potential allergens out.
Allergies often hamper one’s ability to go about daily life with ease, and following these tips will definitely go a long way in helping you stay protected from allergies.
Parents often unknowingly pass on many of their habits to their children, and these can stay with them throughout their lives. That is why it is important to inculcate good habits right from the early days. Your child’s food preferences often mirror your own. According to Ayurveda, a diet comprised mostly of fresh and natural ingredients is the most nourishing and the most helpful for your digestion. Here are 7 healthy habits you must get your kids started on:
- Never skip breakfast: It is always ideal to have your first meal within 45 minutes of waking. Breakfast is an important constituent of your day: it enhances metabolism and gives the body energy and sustenance for the rest of the day. Ensure that your kids always have a healthy breakfast consisting of milk, oats and fruits – you can also mix it up with healthy sprouted sandwiches.
- Don’t stay inactive: Encourage your child to be more active. Spend time playing his/her favourite outdoor game. It is better not to let your child spend too much time at the computer, playing video games or watching TV as these encourage a sedentary lifestyle. Limit the time they spend on technology and get them interested in physical activity – you could enroll them in classes for their favourite sport as well.
- Skip the soft drinks: Soft drinks and even your favourite juice brand contain a lot of sugar. With the rise of diabetes both in the adult and in the children’s population, it is better to minimize the consumption of these beverages. Instead, drink lots of water through the day and encourage your child to do so as well. This promotes good health and also keeps them hydrated. To add some flavor to water you can add chopped limes and mint or chopped fruit like peach and strawberries.
- Educate them on food choices: The supermarket can be a very tempting place for young kids as they spot colourfully packaged candy and other unhealthy junk food. Educate your kids on the basics such as spotting which foods can be potentially harmful. For example foods with added monosodium glutamate, saturated fats and trans-fats are not conducive to health. Help them make fresher healthier choices when they pick food to buy. This will be good for them when they are older as well.
- Maintain a positive outlook: Teach your children to look at the brighter side of things in life. Let them confide in you and tell you about their experiences. Help them understand that things can get worse from time to time, but they need to be strong and move forward. This will instill confidence and courage in them which will stay with them long after they have grown up.
Children are impressionable and full of ideas, and it is always a good idea to get them started on a healthy, active and enriching life. Try to incorporate some of these ideas into your child’s life and you will notice the transformation it is bound to have.
One of the principles of Ayurveda is that regular massage promotes good health, better blood circulation, and enhanced muscular health. Ayurvedic principles mention that the body has seven layers of tissue or dhatus. The Sanskrit word sneha refers to love as well as oil, and it is believed that performing regular massage promotes warmth, stability and nourishment to the body.
Abhyanga refers to a thorough body massage with natural oil like sesame, coconut or mustard. Sesame oil is considered as the ‘king of oils’ and is great for those with a Vata constitution. Ashwagandha oil and almond oil are also good options. Take some oil in your palm and gently massage into your body all over, with firm but gentle strokes. It is even better if the oil is a bit heated. Regular Abhyanga imparts firmness, tone and vigour to your limbs and muscles. Over time, it also reduces the effects of ageing, and helps you to sleep better. A warm bath after a good Abhyanga massage once or twice a week is very beneficial for the skin, and nourishes it. It also enhances circulation and stimulates the internal organs.
Here are some tips to be kept in mind while performing Abhyanga:
- Keep a towel beneath you when you apply the oil and use a separate towel to dry yourself off after the bath.
- It is ideal to perform Abhyangae early in the morning. However, with the busy modern lifestyle it can be difficult to make time for it. In case you can do it only in the evening, wear light cotton or linen clothes after you finish and after taking bath. It will absorb any remaining oil from your body. You can also put a towel on your hair to prevent oil from getting on to your pillow when you sleep.
- Use about ¼ to ½ a cup of oil and place it in a pan of hot water to heat it slightly.
- At first apply the oil all over your body and then massage it into your body, beginning at the extremities moving to the middle.
- It is better to use longer strokes on the limbs and circular strokes on the joints while massaging. Massage for at least five to twenty minutes.
- Take some time to massage the soles of your feet, your scalp and your ears. For clean ears, you can take an earbud, put a few drops of warm oil on it and clean the opening of the ear canal with it.
- Be careful not to slip when in the bathroom for taking bath after massaging. Make sure you hold on to something stable to maintain your balance and prevent slipping on the bathroom floor.
Abhyanga should not be performed during the menstrual cycle, or during pregnancy. It should also not be performed on inflamed, swollen or painful areas of the body or if you are suffering from any kind of illness.
The benefits of regular massage or Abhyanga are many, and it will also enhance the body’s capability to fight off infections and cope with stress. To know more about our Ayurvedic treatments, visit us here.
When it’s cold outside, it can be quite easy to catch cold or get into other ailments because the weather makes you more susceptible to these. Cold, flu, cough and fever are some of the common illnesses that the cold and rainy weather makes us vulnerable to. Fortunately, there are natural ways to build up your immunity so that you do not succumb to illness during the monsoon season.
- Daily massage: Daily self-massage with warm sesame or sunflower oil not only strengthens and nourishes your skin but also provides an enhanced sense of well-being and keeps the body warm and safe from any infections.
- Healing spices: Use spices like cardamom, pepper, ginger, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon while preparing food. These power-packed spices have immunity-boosting properties and help you stay protected against seasonal illnesses.
- Rasayanas: The concept of rasayanas relates to healing, rejuvenating herbs that can help your body gain stamina, build up your immunity and strength to fight diseases over time. Some of these include ashwagandha, tulsi, triphala, amla and turmeric. For a great supplement to your diet, you can also try a herbal formulation like the Pankajakasthuri Breathe Eazy range.
- Exercise: Keeping your body active is very important. Exercise reduces the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, and also makes your body more capable of fighting off infections. Try some brisk walking, jogging, yoga or join a gym.
- Relaxing baths: Take a relaxing bath with some essential oils like rosemary, cinnamon, pine or lavender so that you feel refreshed. You can also use Epsom salt. A warm bath always helps during the cold or rainy season.
These were some of the ways in which you can build up your immunity and stay healthy and fit no matter what season it is. If you’d like some more information on natural, herbal products, visit us here.
In Ayurveda, it is believed that it is more important to be mindful of what you eat than to just avoid certain foods. The whole approach to food needs to be taken into account whenever you enjoy a meal. Read on to find out about the points you should keep in mind for better digestion:
- Really enjoy your meal: Look at your plate. Take in the smell, colour and presentation of the dish you are about to eat. When you appreciate the food you eat, your body will too. In addition, if you take in all the flavours and smells of the food, your stomach will also feel fuller and you are less likely to overeat.
- Lunch should have the most: Lunch should be your biggest meal. This is because the digestive fire is the strongest when the sun is high in the sky. So make sure you include lots of healthy options in your diet, and give your body ample time for digesting.
- Eat slowly and relaxedly: In today’s fast-paced world, it is easy to have a hurried meal without really sitting down and taking time out for it – often we eat at our desks or while standing up and running other errands.
- Drink lots of water: Keeping your body hydrated not only helps keep essential fluids in circulation but also allows for an easier digestion process. Sip warm water throughout the day and don’t forget to drink when you feel thirsty. Warm water is easier to digest than cold water as well.
- Don’t multitask: When you’re eating, do just that. We can be tempted to snap a picture of our meal on Instagram, or chat or try and finish work while eating but that’s not ideal. Multi-tasking isn’t good for your body either – it engages your nervous system which can interrupt digestion.
- Eat fresh: There’s a belief that anything that’s naturally grownis good for the stomach. Eat freshly cooked foods as far as possible. Canned or readymade food contains a lot of excess salt and preservatives which can cause acidity and troubled digestion.
- Have something only when hungry: Don’t eat when you’re bored; eat only when you’re hungry. Before you reach out for that chips pack or chocolate bar, think about whether you really need to have it. Drink some water instead, since our body mimics the same feeling when you are thirsty when you’re hungry as well.
- Relax after your meal: Instead of rushing away to get back to work, take a few minutes to breathe. Don’t shift activities so fast that your body doesn’t get time to adjust. Take 2-3 minutes to sit down and breathe for a few minutes once you’ve finished.
- Ginger tea as a post-meal drink: Ginger tea helps reduce bloating after a heavy meal, and helps aid digestion so that you don’t feel uncomfortable. Do not drink too much of it though, and opt for a lightly brewed version.
Finally, eat fruits before meals and not after – a common mistake we all make. Keeping these simple tips in mind the next time you sit down to eat will go a long way in improving your digestion.
The monsoon season is finally upon us, as most parts of the country enjoy the frequent spells of rain, the lush greenery all around and the calming climate. Monsoon is a season of much joy and fun for most of us. Unfortunately though, it also brings with it a lot of seasonal illnesses, and makes us more susceptible to insect bites, seasonal colds, flu, stomach problems and joint problems.
Instead of popping pills to cope with these, it’s better to try natural, side-effect free Ayurvedic remedies and habits. Read on to know how you can safeguard yourself against these seasonal illnesses –
- Prevent skin infections: Add 1-2 spoons of neem oil to half a cup of sesame oil for an easy massage before taking a hot water bath at least once a week – this helps safeguard your skin from infections and keeps it healthy and supple. A hot water bath is preferable during the rains as it helps curb vata.
- Take care of your feet: Since the feet tend to get wet frequently during the rains, people, especially diabetics need to take extra care not to let feet remain wet. Wear slippers when you’re indoors as well, and use footwear with a good grip to avoid slipping. Keep nails trimmed and dry at all times.
- Eat these foods: The best food for digestion and overall health during the rainy season include honey, curd, wheat, lentil soup, water strained from curds and sour, sweet or salty foods. Avoid foods that are spicy as they lead to vata and pitta imbalance.
- Drink this for better digestion: Make an Ayurvedic drink that helps aid digestion. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, long pepper and some ginger to hot water and have it once a day.
- Reduce joint pains: Those prone to joint pains should avoid sitting or lying down on the floor, as skin contact with a cold surface can aggravate joint pains further.
- Don’t avoid exercise: Since outdoor activities need to be limited, don’t stop being active. Do some yoga poses, skip rope, or do some freehand exercises to stay active. Exercise improves blood circulation and makes you stay healthy and strengthens muscles.
- Get proper sleep: Ensure that you get at least 6-8 hours of sound sleep at night. Avoid napping during the daytime – especially after having your meals. It worsens the digestion process.
- Follow hygienic habits: Try covering up as much as possible to avoid insect bites. Trim your nails regularly and keep them dry to avoid fungal infections.
- Do a Panchakarma treatment: Panchakarma is a cleansing, rejuvenating programme that calms your body and mind and relaxes all the 5 senses. It also detoxifies the body, strengthens your immune system and helps your body relax. To know more about this Ayurvedic treatment that is useful during the monsoons, visit this page. We also have a specialized Ayurvedic centre in Kochi that deals in Panchakarma treatments.
- Drink lots of herbal tea: Many herbal teas have anti-bacterial properties, including ginger tea and green tea. They also help soothe the throat and keep you warm during the cool and wet weather in this season.
The above tips are very beneficial for maintaining good health during the monsoon. In addition, following even a few of these will get you used to developing healthy lifestyle habits.