Sunday, 16 February 2020

The Benefits of Reverse Breathing

Most of us think that running cycling, swimming, jogging, aerobics and workouts in Jims and other activities that demand hard labor are the types of exercises. But in reality, it is not so.

But just to breathe at a place in a peaceful sitting posture is also an exercise. Go for breathing exercise, if you wish to remain healthy and fit.  One of the best exercises is the exercise of Reverse Breathing. It is different from the normal exercise and is also called the Yogic Exercise.

During the Normal and the Reverse Breathing, both the diaphragms are used, but the movement of the stomach is different.

In Reverse Breathing the coordination of the opposite movement of the stomach is done during inhaling and exhaling.

Interestingly we all unknowingly resort to Reverse Breathing during the blowing the balloons, or lifting and pushing the heavyweights, or during fear, panic or nervousness.

Here in this article the importance and necessity of dong Reverse Breathing daily is highlighted.

Beneficial For the Lungs

Fill the lungs with the air as much as possible and then start the Reverse Breathing. In this way, a large amount of air reaches the lungs and improves their performance. This type of breathing is very beneficial for the athletes because the lungs need sufficient energy and expansion to support the other parts and organs of the body. This type of breathing is more beneficial for the people who breathe from the mouth.

Beneficial For Internal Organs

Reverse Breathing is very good for the proper functioning of the digestive system and the optimum functioning of the internal organs. The Reverse Breathing helps to tighten the muscles of the stomach with each inhaled breath; and removes the harmful bacteria and versus from the body with each exhaled breath. More and more oxygen reaches the body in Reverse Breathing.


Reverse Breathing also helps in meditation, as it increases the energy in the body. The students who learn the art of meditation could be further trained to use and channelize this extra energy.

Stress may be the reason for becoming ill again and again. The stress weakens the immune system and makes a person prone to becoming ill. The Reverse Breathing pacifies the mood, removes stress and provides overall health.

Strengthens the Stomach Muscles  

Reverse Breathing helps to strengthen the muscles of the stomach. The muscles of the perineum or the pelvic region of the abdomen contract as and when the air is inhaled and these muscles get relaxed when the air is exhaled. The Reverse Breathing brings the muscles of the stomach in the forward and outward direction. This exercise is very beneficial for the digestive system and overall fitness.

Seated Buddha
Wikimedia Commons by British Museum

How to Perform the Reverse Breathing  

Sit on the floor in Padmasana or Lotus position i.e., by folding the legs and placing each foot on the opposite thigh as the image of sitting Buddha.  

But here reverse the direction of hands. Put both the hands flat on one another with palms pointing downwards in the lap below the lower part of the stomach so that both the thumbs touch the naval. 

Now fully inhale the breath and simultaneously, slowly and completely pull the stomach inward towards the spine.

Now exhale and release the breath slowly with simultaneously expanding the stomach to its normal outward position.

Repeat this action 5 to seven times.

It is advisable to perform the Reverse Breathing every day for at least 15 minutes to get the maximum benefits.

Friday, 14 February 2020

How to Get Rid of Cough

The problem of cough is very common in winters and anyone can become its victim. There are several antifungal and antibacterial household things that can help to alleviate and get rid of the problem of cough. 

Here are the few herbal remedies for cough available at home.

1. Honey, Ginger and Lemon water

Mix half a tablespoon of ginger powder and a tablespoon of honey in lukewarm water in which few drops of lemon has been added. Sip this mixture two or three times a day to get relief from cough.

2. Raisins or Kishmish

Boil half a handful of a raisin in water for few minutes. Drink the mixture twice a day to alleviate the effect of coughing.

3. Jaggery or Gur

Jaggery is actually unrefined and solidified sugar prepared by boiling the raw, concentrated juice of sugar cane, coconut, beetroot, or date palm. The brown-colored sugarcane jaggery is commonly used. Instead of preventing constipation and help in digestion, it also gives relief in cough.

Grind a piece of ginger with an equal amount of jaggery and add a tablespoon of basil juice to it. Take it twice a day to get relief in coughing.

4. Fenugreek Seeds or Methi

Boil 1-2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in water and drink twice a day to reduce and later get complete relief from coughing.

5. Black Pepper

Add a pinch of black pepper in a tablespoon of honey and eat slowly by licking it Do it twice a day to get relief from cold and cough.

6. Turmeric Powder

Drink a glass of warm milk in which a tablespoon of turmeric powder has been added. It is antibacterial and gives relief in cough and cold.

7. Steam

The steam helps in the ejection of cough. Add one or two drops of eucalyptus oil or peppermint oil to water and inhale the steam to get relief from the congestion of cough and the cough comes out.  

8. Lemon and Ginger Tea

Boil tea leaves, a small piece of ginger, a pinch of salt and the juice of half lemon in a cup of water. Sip it slowly to get relief in cough. 

Precautions during Cough

Avoid eating fried foods.

Do not eat spicy foods as it increases the formation of cough.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Aging: Weak Muscles in Old Age

Naturally, our muscles start becoming weak around the age of 40 to 45 years. But due to the present lifestyle, food habits, immobile living, lack of physical work or exercise, this problem has started appearing at a younger age too.
Gym Workout
Wikimedia Commons by Scott Webb

In medical terms, this problem is called Sarcopenia. This syndrome is related to the progressive and overall loss of the mass and strength of skeletal muscles. 

What is Sarcopenia
As a process of aging, we start to lose muscle mass and function at some point in life. The people who are physically inactive can lose as much as 3 to 5 percent of their muscle mass with the passage of each decade after age 30 years.

It is associated with the aging process, physical disability, poor life quality, and death. The loss of muscle mass and strength affects balance, gait and overall ability to perform daily chores.

Sarcopenia, also known as this common condition of muscle loss affects 10% of the adults over the age of 50. By the time a person reaches the age of 60 years, the body becomes loose and weak; the skin also loses its elasticity. The muscles get reduced and weak.

Why We Lose Muscles
The tissues, muscles, nerves, and bones are healthy at the time of birth. But with the passage of time and aging, the amount and number of muscle fiber go on decreasing. This is the reason why a person becomes skeletal or thin-skinned with aging.
Another reason for muscle loss is that the synthesis of amino acids gets reduced in the body with aging. 
Out of 20 different amino acids needed to maintain good health and normal functioning of the body, we obtain nine of these (called the essential amino acids) through food like meat, eggs, tofu, soy, buckwheat, quinoa, and dairy.

Symptoms of Sarcopenia
The symptoms include weakness and loss of stamina. It interferes with physical movement. The reduced activity and sedentary life further shrink muscle mass.

Risk Factors
The risk factors include age, gender and low level of physical activity. A sedentary lifestyle, including prolonged desk work, may increase the risk of developing sarcopenia.

It can decrease the expectancy of life and its quality including functional impairment. 

But the condition could be prevented and even reversed by taking certain actions including a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Cachexia and Sarcopenia 
Both Cachexia and Sarcopenia are due to inflammation and oxidative stress. But they differ in the basic mechanisms that cause the decay of muscles. The former involves the release of inflammatory cytokines due to cancer, while the latter comprises of inflammation due to aging.

It is a very miserable thing that we lose muscles when we need them the most. The muscles shrink with aging and muscle loss after the age of 65 becomes more serious.

A recent study found that the growing age requires more effort to maintain the muscles. The researchers found that in order to maintain the mass and size of muscles, people over the age of 60 have to lift weights more often than the young ones. 

Another study suggested that with the passing of each decade after the age of 40, the adults generally lose up to 8 percent of their muscle mass. 

New research suggests weight training may help older people retain muscle.

Eat Healthy Foods
In order to save the muscles from becoming weak, include natural foods in the diet like fruits, vegetables, fat grain, pulses, dry fruits, nuts, milk, chicken, fish, etc.

All-natural foods contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Physical activity 
Physical exercise, especially the resistance or strength training is extremely effective for preventing the decay of muscles. The muscles become weak when the neuromuscular system, proteins, and hormones work do not work together normally. Strength training affects the neuromuscular system, protein synthesis, and hormones. It also helps in the overall health of muscles.

How to Prevent Muscle Loss with Aging
Take enough sleep.
Eat protein-rich foods. 
Limit the intake of alcohol.
Take sufficient carbohydrates.
Change the lifestyle from sedentary to active.
Exercise regularly and go to the gym for weight lifting.
Take enough amount of vitamin D by being in the sunlight.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

The Benefits of Star Fruit

Star fruit or Kamrakh has a sour taste and is used to prepare sauce and pickle. 
It looks like a star. 
Star Fruit
Wikimedia Commons by Andres Berrocal Soto
Star the fruit has little calories in it but contains several nutrients.
It is full of antioxidants potassium, vitamin C, Sugar, sodium and citric acid.  
The polyphenols in it have antioxidant and antibacterial properties.   
It is a rich source complex vitamin in the form of folate, riboflavin and Vitamin B6.

Medicinal Properties
1. The wax-like bark of the fruit is a rich source of fiber which stops the formation of LDL cholesterol. The fiber also reduces the risks of cancer-causing toxic material in the stomach. It protects the walls of the stomach from acidity too.

2. The rich content of Vitamin C makes it a powerful antioxidant to reduce the damaging load of free radicals from the body.

3. It contains sufficient amounts of potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and iron. Potassium regulates heartbeat and blood pressure. The intake of star fruit in summer protects from sunstroke and fever.

4. It also acts as a revitalizer.

5. It helps in weight loss as it has low calories and high fiber.

6. The vitamin C in it helps in cold and flu.

7. The extract of the leaves and roots helps in headache and itching.

8. The vitamins and amino acids in the star fruit help to provide healthy hair and skin. The intake of star fruit reduces hair loss and provides the facial glow.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Thyroid Problem Damages the Brain

The patients of thyroid are increasing in India day by day. The disease has no cure, but it could be controlled by medication.
Anterior thyroid in Throat
Wikimedia Commons by  CFCF

The deficiency of Iodine is the chief cause of thyroid and it may lead to brain damage.
The researchers are working throughout the world to find the causes and cures for the problem of the thyroid.

But it is certain that the chief cause for thyroid is genetic. The families having a history of thyroid disease are more prone to get afflicted with the problem. The iodine deficiency is the primary cause of thyroid which may even lead to brain damage.

Regular Monitoring
At present more than 86% of the people of the world have access to iodized salt. The regular monitoring of the levels of the thyroid is necessary to keep the problem under control.

It is necessary to regularly check the presence of thyroid problem during pregnancy and after the age of 30 years.

One out of 10 adults in India is suffering from hypothyroidism, in which the thyroid gland fails to secrete sufficient amount of thyroid hormone. The symptoms are tiredness, pain in joints and muscles, obesity, dry skin, hoarse voice, irregular menstruation etc. here the thyroid is less active.

Safety, Precautions and symptoms
If left untreated the hypothyroidism leads to the problem of goiter. It causes a stiif neck. Besides it also leads to serious problems like atherosclerosis, stroke, cholesterol boost, infertility, and severe weakness.  

In hyperthyroidism the thyroid gland becomes more active and the thyroid hormone is produced in excess which causes grave diseases and even tumor. In grave diseases, the antibodies are produced in the body. As a result, the thyroid gland produces more thyroid hormone and the chain reaction starts. Hyperthyroidism is caused by the excess use of iodine and hormone medicines. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism are excess sweating, increase in the size of the thyroid gland, increased heart rate, swelling around the eyes, hair thinning, skin becomes soft, etc. But the cases of hyperthyroidism are very few.

If left untreated, it may cause serious problems like cardiac arrest, arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat, either slow or fast or irregular), osteoporosis, cardiac dilation. Besides, it may cause symptoms like abortion, premature birth, preeclampsia (increased blood pressure during pregnancy), and improper development of the fetus.    
Wikimedia Commons by Almazi(talk)

It also leads to Hashimoto thyroiditis in which the thyroid hormones are released from the thyroid gland due to the swelling in the thyroid gland and the patient becomes a victim of hyperthyroidism. The size of the thyroid gland increases in goiter and it often happens due to the deficiency of iodine. The symptoms are swollen throat, stiff neck, cough, and a problem in breathing.

Thyroid Cancer
It generally occurs after the age of 30 years. This type of cancer is found in the tissue of thyroid gland. There are often no symptoms and a knot type cyst appears in the throat. It is due to environmental and hereditary causes. The cure includes surgery, hormone therapy, radioactive iodine, radiation and sometimes chemotherapy.  

As a safety measure the experts advise a drastic change in lifestyle, balanced diet, and regular checkup.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Causes of Indigestion

The problem of indigestion is very common and painful. It is generally caused due to reasons like overeating, improper way of eating and eating heavy foods including excess spices, fried food, fast foods. The digestive system fails to properly digest these foods.
Indigestion is also caused when all the enzymes present in the liver fail to function properly.
Gastric, burning sensation in stomach, sour belches, acidity etc., are the symptoms of indigestion.
Diseases caused due to Indigestion
The problem of indigestion is to be taken seriously as it increases the risks of several diseases. The problems like allergy, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, skin infection, pimples, tiredness and mood swing are caused by indigestion.

Reasons for Indigestion
The digestion depends on what nutrients are taken in the foods we eat, and the what toxins we eject out of our body.

The control of overall health depends upon the digestive system. The internal health depends upon proper digestion, right assimilation of nutrients from food, and appropriate metabolism and disintegration of the food in the stomach.
The liver discards several toxins in the bile as the byproducts of metabolism. These toxins show negative effects and cause indigestion, if not removed from the body.
Another reason for indigestion is the reduced intake of fiber and increased intake of sugar in the food.
The deficiency of nutrients and the intake of high-calorie foods increase the presence of bad bacteria in the body. These bad bacteria disturb the biological balance of intestines.
The excessive intake of certain medicines like aspirin and presolac etc. also disturbs the digestive system.
Increase in the levels of mercury and mold toxins also disturb the digestive system. 
Stress is another reason for indigestion. It disrupts the nervous system and the digestive system together with creating an imbalance in the presence of intestinal bacteria.  

Role of Bacteria in the Digestive System
About 500 species of bacteria are present in our stomach. These bacteria help in the digestion of food. Besides they help in hormone balance, toxin removal, and the synthesis of vitamins and healing compounds.

These bacteria keep the body and the digestive system healthy.
For proper health, it is necessary that this system remains balanced.

The overall is disturbed, if the levels of parasites and other bad bacteria increase or the presence of friendly bacteria like lactobacillus or befedo-bacteria decrease in the body.

For proper digestion and good health, the proper balance of bacteria in the body is very necessary.    

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Home Remedies for Thyroid by Ashwagandha

More and more people throughout the world are becoming the victims of the problem of the thyroid. This problem is very common among women as compared to men.
The fruits of Ashwagandha
Wikimedia Commons by Roger Culos

The thyroid gland is located on both sides of the vocal cord situated above the wind pipe. It is in the shape of a butterfly. This gland produces thyroxin hormone.
Thyroxin hormone controls different things like the energy needs of the body, protein production, and sensitivity towards other hormones.

Several disorders spring up during the thyroid problem. Even the immune system of the body also becomes weak.

This problem could be found among the women by some general symptoms. The early detection of the problem is very effective to help for the complete cure of the disease.

Hyperthyroidism appears when the thyroid gland produces excess thyroxin hormone.
The less production or the reduced levels of thyroxin hormone in the body is called hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism may also be caused by the inactiveness of thyroxin hormone.

Hypothyroidism or the reduced production of thyroxin hormone causes dwarfism among the children and increases the fats among the adults.
Hyperthyroidism or excess thyroxin hormone causes the problem of goiter.  

The deficiency of Iodine or thyroid failure causes tiredness, indolence, and hormone imbalance. If left untreated it may cause swelling in tissues and skin.

Reasons for Thyroid
The thyroid is caused by an increase in the thyroid gland in which the capacity of the gland to form thyroxin hormone gets reduced.

The excessive use of the products containing isoflavones rich soy, protein, and soya in the form of a capsule or powder may cause thyroid problem.

Side effects of certain medicines may become the cause of thyroid.

A thyroid problem can also be due to the pituitary gland because it fails to give a signal to the thyroid gland to produce thyroxin. 
The intake of less or increased amounts of iodine in foods also increases the problem of the thyroid.   

Other causes include radiation therapy around the head, and chest; radiation treatment for pimples; lymph nodes, tonsils, and the problem of the thymus gland.

The increased stress affects the thyroid gland the most. Stress increases the production of thyroid.

The family history increases the chances of the thyroid. Genetics is the most common cause of thyroid.
Ashwagandha Plant
Wikimedia Commons by Hari Prasad Nadig

Treatment in Ayurveda

Ashwagandha is a natural herb known for its powerful properties. The intake of an Ayurveda herb Ashwagandha meaning “the smell of the horse” increases the strength like a horse. Its botanical name Withania somnifera or called Indian ginseng, winter cherry is used in an Indian and Chinese system of ancient medicines. 
This small shrub with yellow flowers is native to India and North Africa. It could be grown in a pot for regular use. This herb is beneficial to cure and control several ailments. 

1. Thyroid
The powder or the paste of the green leaves of ashwagandha or the extract of boiled roots could be used for the desired effects. 

The intake of ashwagandha controls the irregularities of the thyroid. It is very effective for the cure of both hypo and hyperthyroidism.

Take 200 to 1200 mg of the powder of ashwagandha with tea. The leaves of basil could also be added for taste and added benefits of another herb.
In hypothyroidism, ashwagandha is used with Ayurveda tablet Mahayograj Guggulu.

2. Strength of Body
The regular intake of Ashwagandha maintains the energy of the body and increases the work efficiency. It increases muscle mass and muscle strength.

3. Inflammation
It reduces the inflammation. It increases the activity of natural killer cells or immune cells that fight inflammation.
The rich concentrations of “withanolides” in the herb fight inflammation and tumor growth. The herb also reduces the cancer risks by promoting the death of cancer cells.

4. Reduces Cholesterol
It can reduce the risks of heart disease by bringing down the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

5. Hormone Imbalance
The daily intake of ashwagandha also balances the hormone imbalance in the body. It increases the testosterone and androgen hormones in the body and increases the male fertility.

6. Reduces Stress
It is called an adaptogen that helps the body to manage stress and anxiety and depression. The adrenal glands release the stress hormone “cortisol” during stress or in low levels of blood sugar, and ashwagandha.
7. Diabetes
The regular intake of ashwagandha for a month can reduce the fasting blood sugar in Type II diabetes

Do not stop the medicines being taken for thyroid. Ashwagandha could be taken with the regular tablet. 

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Pollution Causes Asthma

The patients of asthma are increasing due to pollution. The problem is so serious that about 150 Million people suffering from asthma throughout the world.
Asthma Inhaler
Wikimedia Commons by Magnus Manske 

In India there about 20 million people are suffering from asthma.

Every year more than 180,000 people die of asthma.

Asthma is a type of permanent disease in which spasms occur in lungs, the air passage gets contracted and the cough starts being formed.

The chief reasons for asthma are genetic and environmental.

Among environmental causes, the air pollution, pollination, dust mites, fungus and animal dandruff are the chief factors.  Besides, some medicines like aspirin, beta blocker (medicine for blood pressure) etc. also cause an attack of asthma.

Clean environment and Yoga is beneficial for the patients of asthma.

The children who repeatedly suffer from cold also become the patients of asthma. The disease is more prevalent among the children with a history of premature and caesarian births.

Here is no permanent cure for asthma. It is better to avoid the reasons causing the attack of asthma. The common treatments are bronco dilator medicines or the steroid intake through breath. 

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Hybrid Cabbage for Anemia during Pregnancy

Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry Solan is situated in an Indian State of Himachal Pradesh in District- Solan.
Wikimedia Commons  by Dinkum

The Institute is doing pioneer efforts in the fields of horticulture and forestry.

The scientists of the University have developed a new seed of cabbage. This new variety of cabbage can remove the deficiency of calcium, Iron and Hemoglobin during pregnancy.

The scientists of Vegetable Science Department have developed a hybrid variety of Cabbage, the seeds of which are available now in the University.

The demand for the seeds of this hybrid cabbage is increasing. It is proving to be a boon for the farmers. The University is organizing the training camps for the farmers to grow this hybrid variety.

This variety could be grown in winters.

It took more than five years for the scientists to develop this hybrid variety. This new variety of cabbage has been named as Solan Bund Sarsoun.

The researchers of the Department of Agriculture have claimed that a cup of a soup and a little amount of cooked cabbage could replenish the daily needs of vitamin intake by 91.6% out of which 53.6% is vitamin C, B-6, B-2, B-1, potassium, calcium magnesium, Vitamin A, Zinc and folic acid.

This variety could replenish the deficiencies of anemia during pregnancy. It increases the immune system and removes the deficiency of blood in the body. It could transform the inactive cells of the skin. This cabbage could help to strengthen the teeth and bones too.

Dr. H.S. Kanwar from the Botanical Department said that a research was being conducted by the University on the variety of Chinese cabbage for the last 5 years.

This new variety of cabbage could be grown in farms, poly-houses, kitchen gardens and even in the flower pots. 

Monday, 28 May 2018

An Egg a Day Keeps Heart Diseases at Bay

The inclusion of eggs in regular diet keeps the heart healthy.

It has been proved in a recent research that eating 12 eggs a week reduces the dangers of heart-related disease among the patient of pre-diabetes and type- 2 diabetes. The eggs contain proteins and 9 other amino acids. It also contains a nutrient called lutein, which keeps the brain healthy.
Wikimedia Commons by ZabMilenko

A research has found that the daily intake of an egg reduces the risks of heart-related diseases by 12%.

A research was conducted for 9 years on Chinese people within the age group of 30 to 79 years. It was found that the danger of heart diseases was less among those who ate an egg a day as compared to those who did not do so.

The British- Chinese research team the risks of brain haemorrhage was 26% less among those eating an egg a day.

And the risks of death due to heart diseases were 18% less among the daily egg eating category.

According to WHO, the annual death toll throughout the world due to heart diseases is 17.7 Million? The chief reasons for which are smoking, fast food, lack of exercises and insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables in the regular diet.