Recent Entries to this Blog
A herbal way to get rid of Ear Wax
Category: Herbs for Health | Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:45 am
Until I began to study Ayurveda, the Indian System of Medicine, the only remedy I knew for cleaning out wax in the ear was a commercially-available mixture of mineral oils.
Even nowadays, these oils rule the roost as far as ear wax is concerned. However, like everything else, the price of ear drops for wax removal has kept going up.
So I thought I should share with you a very effective home remedy described in Ayurveda. All you need is some fresh Coconut oil and a few cloves of Garlic!
Crush five unpeeled cloves of garlic and add them to 30 ml Coconut oil. Bring to boil on a very low flame. Then remove from the flame, cover and keep for a few hours. Strain this oil and preserve it in a small glass (not plastic, please!) bottle.
A few drops of this oil, instilled in the ear canal at bedtime for a few consecutive nights sovles the problem of wax very safely and effectively.
Garlic has wax-dissolving properties. Being anti-fungal and anti-bacterial in nature, it helps to keep the ear free from infection as well!
Caution : This should not be used by a person who has previously had a middle ear infection, until at least two years have passed since the infection was cured.
This blog entry has been viewed 10184 times
Comfrey, a multi-purpose garden herb.
Category: Herbs for Health | Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:38 am
COMFREY : a multi purpose garden herb.
Comfrey, the Latin name of which is Symphytum officinale, grows mostly in North America and Europe, but thanks to globalization it is available in its medicinal form almost all over the world ( I use it in India! ).
It is a shrub that can be very easily cultivated in the garden.
Comfrey root has been used as an external remedy for centuries to heal fractured bones.
It also helps to heal wounds and abscesses in the skin.
A poultice made from roots boiled in water or freshly pounded tender leaves is every effective in these conditions.
Both these properties are due to the high content of allantoin, a mucilagenous substance which encourages rapid growth of epithelial and certain other tissues. Allantoin is found in the roots and leaves of the Comfrey plant.
Though famed for its use in treating fractures and wounds, Comfrey can be used as a mouth wash and throat gargle too.
Internally, Comfrey is used along with other herbs to reduce bleeding from any part of the body - as in Gastric ulcer, bleeding from the Urinary tract, excessive mestrual flow, bloody diarrhea or dysentery.
When fresh Comfrey is not available, you can use it in the form of ointments and pills, available in herbal pharmacies all over.
This blog entry has been viewed 575 times
Calendula and Surgery
Category: Herbs for Health | Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:13 am
Calendula officinalis is a shrub which has beautiful yellow-orange flowers.
(A closely-related spcies grows in India and women wear these flowers woven into a small garland, in their hair. This garland, worn on a bun tied at the back of the head, is considered de rigeur for all auspicious occassions!)
Extract of the leaves and flowers of calendula is medically and surgically useful to control and treat skin infections.
Ointments and creams containing this extract are commonly used in post-surgical dressings.
This extract can be taken internally simultaneously, to hasten healing.
This blog entry has been viewed 563 times
Castor Oil : an excellent remedy for fissures
Category: Herbs for Health | Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:50 am
Oil extracted by cold-pressing Castor seeds, available in Pharmacies as Castor oil, is a thick, sticky, acrid-smelling oil.
Yet, for all its unpleasant acrid smell, is a most excellent remedy for curing fissures of all kinds.
I use it regularly for anal fissures in children and for tiny but very painful fissures which occur around nipples, during early lactation.
The oil helps in reducing pain and pus formation when it is applied on superficial skin abrasions as well.
A drop of this ( clean ) oil put in the eyes serves to alleviate burning of the eyes, as occurs when one stays out in the sun for too long.
Castor oil is a very useful and inexpensive remedy indeed!
This blog entry has been viewed 6193 times
The many uses of ARNICA
Category: Herbs for Health | Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:12 am
Arnica montana is a shrub which grows in the wild, in temperate climates.
It's a lovely-looking plant, with bright yellow flowers.
It's predominant medical use is for reducing pain, especially soft-tissue and tendon pain.
So it is of great benefit to atheletes, who use its pills and ointment to cure various hurts and blunt wounds, a byproduct of their profession.
It is also useful, taken internally, to cure headaches caused by over-tense neck muscles and Fascia of the Scalp. Arnica Hair Oil is very famous for helping to get a good night's sleep, which is due its relaxant effect on these muscles and the Scalp.
Commercially, arnica is combined with a few other locally-acting analgesics, in ointments.
Arnica is one very useful plant for us, indeed.
This blog entry has been viewed 2090 times
Reversal of Lactation failure.
Category: Herbs for Health | Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:29 pm
Being a Pediatrician, I am often confronted with newborns who are not gaining weight adequately.
When I see a newborn baby who is howling loudly and angrily and seems ready to suck at everything in sight, the situation is not difficult to diagnose.
In other instances, lactation failure is not so self-evident.
Once I suspect that the new mother is not lactating adequately and when I further confirm that by physical verification, I have to determine whether she has a poor 'let down' reflex that is hampering proper breast-feeding.
A poor 'let down' reflex is the commonest cause of failed lactation.
Unless the newborn baby is able to receive enough milk in his mouth when he begins to feed, he is not going to continue to suckle, and will repeatedly leave the breast as his efforts fail.
This will further reduce milk secretion, and a vicious circle of failure is established within a few days.
This situation can be pre-empted and / or corrected, quite easily, with a few herbs, if they are started in time, before a total failure of lactation occurs.
I prefer to use a combination of Asparagus racemosus, Galega officinalis and Withania somnifera.
Of these, the first two are true galactogogues, while the third potentiates their actions.
They can be given in the form of refined powders, syrups or as Homeopathic potencies.
They usually begin to act within 48 hours, and can be continued for a few weeks or even months, if necessary, without any harm to th baby or mother.
A wider usage of these herbs would most certainly reduce malnutrition in the world very effectively and significantly!
Last edited: Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:51 pm
This blog entry has been viewed 672 times
Category: Herbs for Health | Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:43 pm
Jasmine Flowers and Mastitis / Breast abscess
This is an oft-used and a proven herbal remedy.
Many mothers develop congestion in the milk ducts of one or both breasts within a few days of their delivery.
The breast becomes turgid, painful and tender.
Suckling the newborn becomes a torture.
Often, fever sets in, along with chills.
If regular feeding is not continued, secreted milk stagnates in the ducts, congeals and clogs them.
This exacerbates the inflammation, which then can progress from Mastitis to a Breast Abscess, spelling disaster.
If the situation is tackled before an abscess sets in, we can avoid using antibiotics altogether.
Once an abscess is formed, antibiotics become almost unavoidable.
In many parts of India, traditional practitioners and midwives use crushed Jasmine flowers as a local liniment application, in the early stages of mastitis.
Flowers are picked just before the buds bloom and are kept wrapped in a banana leaf which is then tightly rolled in a wet cloth.
( In modern times, we simply refrigerate them! ).
They are pounded and crushed coarsely and immediately applied in a thick layer over the affected area.
Relief is obtained within a few hours : the swelling reduces and milk begins to flow again.
The poultice is kept for about an hour and fresh poultices are applied every 3 or 4 hourly, usually for a couple of days.
I have witnessed very satisfactory results in most cases, provided the flowers are used before an abscess has formed, in which case, their action will only be palliative.
Turmeric powder is available in every Indian kitchen because it is an essential ingredient of our cooking.
Being always at hand, we often use it as a first aid measure for a fresh cut : it helps to stem the bleeding and to prevent and treat infection of the wound.
It doesn't sting too much, either.
Turmeric, called 'Haldi' in our language, is supposed to 'purify' the body.
So, we have a custom of applying turmeric water to brides and bridegrooms on the day before their wedding.
Today, this 'Haldi ceremony' has become an elaborate ritual of Hindu weddings and often requires 'Event Management'!
Last edited: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:12 pm
This blog entry has been viewed 488 times
The BEST Prescription.
Category: Herbs for Health | Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:56 am
There is a wide range of Ayurvedic / Homeopathic / Allopathic medicines which treat the same disease but how do you find out which would work best for you?
This is a common dilemma which people come across from time to time and do not know how to solve.
Most Ayurvedic and Homeopathic medicines are sourced from herbs.
This is something not everyone is aware of.
If you consult an Allopath, he will prescribe allopathic medicines.
A visit to an Ayurved Specialist will get you churnas and kadhas and some diet advice, too.
A Homeopath will delve deeply into your history and come up with a solution according to his analysis of your illness or problem.
If you look at it holistically, there really is no contradiction between these three Medical Systems - they can all be used in co-ordination with each other, albeit with a little adjustment.
It is my intention to show how, on this Blog, as I go along.
I am a Pediatrician in India, qualified in Allopathy.
After passing out of Med College, I settled into pivate practice about thirty years ago, in a small town, which is little better than a village, in rural India.
Along the way I have seen and picked up the use of herbs in Ayurveda and Homeopathy and have taught myself to integrate them into my Allopathic practice.
So successful has this experience been, that I would like to share it with the whole world!
Every week, therefore, I shall write about a medical case I have treated or am presently treating in this manner.
Most of the herbs I use and will be talking about are available world-wide, either in their fresh or dried or processed forms, although a Western audience may not be too familiar with their names or their uses.
But I hope and believe they will still evoke your interest in the days to come.
This blog entry has been viewed 459 times
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