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common herbs

5 Common Herbs And Their Health Benefits

Common herbs have been part of our daily consumption from a long time. Here are some health benefits of 5 such common herbs.

I believe, each one of us like a healthy and green environment in our house, growing common herbs can bring freshness and can bring us more close to nature. As per wikiHerbs refers to the leafy green part or flowering parts of a plant (either fresh or dried).

Common herbs and human beings have a deep connection, from the time we reckon. We all love to be surrounded by nature.  Leafy greens are inherent part of our being, but with hectic schedules in today’s life, we get little time to spend with nature. If we want to connect, stay close to nature, having a herb garden is the best option. We can nurture the below mentioned common herbs in our kitchen garden to recreate the bond with nature.

Natural herbs, vegetables and flowers have different uses and benefits. Here we will discuss about 5 common herbs which are easy to grow, maintain and carry beneficial properties for overall human body.

Common herb – Basil/ Tulsi 

According to Indian Hindu mythology Tulsi is a sacred plant. It is also called as holy basil. Basil is an aromatic plant which finds its origin in Indian subcontinent. Tulsi is grown in most of Indian houses, some grow it for its medicinal properties and some for religious purposes. Essential oil of tulsi is also beneficial for cough and can act as immunity booster. Basil is also used in different cuisine for seasoning. 

Health benefits of Tulsi | basil

Basil helps to cure sore throat, cold and flu. We can use it in tea and give its juice (Tulsi sat) to kids after mixing it with honey. It is useful for patients of asthama as well. Tulsi also acts a des-stressing agent on our body.

Common herb – Mint 

One of the flavorsome and aromatic herbs is mint. Mint is also called as Mentha and pudhina in Hindi. Mint oil is mostly used in various toothpaste and oral wash, mouth fresheners and candies. Mint leaves act as natural mouth freshener.

Health benefits of mint leaves (either fresh or dried)

  • Helps in digestion- Mint is considered as an appetizer which soothes stomach and also helps cure indigestion. The aroma of mint helps our salivary glands to secrete digestive enzymes.
  • Helps cure Nausea – Mint leave are very effective option to treat nausea its strong aroma is efficient in curing nausea and headache related to nausea.
  • Skin soother- Mint leaves are effective skin soothers and help cure skin infections. Mint oil is has antiseptic properties and is a powerful skin cleanser.

Common herb – Coriander Leaves

Coriander also called as Dhaniya in Hindi. It is one of the most widely used herbs all across the globe. Its usage generally involve as finishing ingredients for garnishing various cuisines. All the parts of the coriander plant are edible but generally dry seeds and green coriander leaves are used in cooking frequently. Coriander leaves are also helpful in relieving nausea and indigestion. 

Health benefits of Coriander

  • Helps lower cholesterol- Coriander is quite effective in decreasing cholesterol levels in the blood. 
  • Helps regulate blood pressure – Consumption of coriander leaves help regulate the blood pressure and it is observed in many cases coriander helps reduce blood pressure in patients of hypertension.
  • It prevents anemia – Coriander is rich is iron so its high iron helps people who are suffering from anemia. The iron content also helps in proper functioning of overall organs and promotes energy and strength.
  • Good for bone – Many people are not aware about the calcium content of coriander. Calcium and other essential minerals found in coriander helps in bone regrowth and in turn help preventing osteoporosis.

Common herb – Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a short stemmed plant known for its medicinal use. Aloe Vera is cultivated all around the world and is also a low mentainance plant. It does not need much water to sustain. Aloe vera is majorly used in many beauty and hair care products. Aloe vera is also rich in antioxidant therefore it helps reduce inflammation. It has anti bacterial property and it is useful in treating skin rashes and sunburn.  

Body care benefits of Aloe Vera

  • Beauty products ingredient – Aloe vera is nowadays found in the ingredient list of many beauty products. Aloe vera is rich in vitamin C, E and beta carotene. It can be used for oily skin as well because it can moisturize the skin without making it greasy.
  • Hair care products – Aloe vera acts as a very good conditioner for hair and its correct usage transforms the hair into smooth and shiny texture. Moreover aloe vera helps in hair growth, it also prevents itching sensation on the scalp so it is also useful for curbing dandruff.  Aloe vera usage gives results like keratin treatment thereby helps preventing hair breakage as well.                            

Common herb – Curry leaves

Curry leaves popularly known as kadi patta plant is native to India is a natural flavoring plant generally used for enhancing the flavor and seasoning different cuisines. Many Indian households prefer to nurture this plant because of its benefits. Curry leaves consist of carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, phosphorous, irons and vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E. 

Health benefits of Curry leaves

  • Helps improve digestion- Curry leaves helps improve digestion and also helps change the way, our body absorbs fat, thus helps in losing weight. 
  • Improves hair vitality and prevent greying of hair- Curry leaves are popular for treating damaged hair and bringing vitality to dull and thin hair. It also a natural treatment for dandruff.
  • It also helps reducing congestion in chest due to cough and also helps beat anaemia.

 

Disclaimer: The benefits of herbs discussed here are generic in nature. While the herbs have medicinal properties and health benefits, you should check if a particular herb suits your body before consumption/application.

References:

http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/ten-health-benefits-of-tulsi-the-magical-herb/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-mint.html

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-coriander.html

http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/10-health-benefits-of-kadi-patta-or-curry-leaves-p214/

http://www.speedyremedies.com/curry-leaf-karipatta-benefits.html

 

5 days Diwali

Do You Know How Diwali Is Celebrated For 5 Days?

5 days of Diwali is celebrated in many parts of the country. Read on to know the significance of 5 days of Diwali.

After we are finished with cleaning our houses for Diwali, now its the time to prepare for this auspicious festival. Many follow the tradition of buying new clothes, utensils, gold, set up a new work place, renovate home with furnishing etc, as per one’s interests, beliefs and affordability. Loads of Diwali sweets and Diwali snacks do rounds in all the houses and the market.

Day one of Diwali is Dhanteras 

Dhanteras is the first day of celebration during Diwali, On this day, it is believed that the goddess Lakshmi came out of the churning of ocean  and this day is  marked as birthday of God Dhanwantri. This day is celebrated by lighting diyas, making rangoli and people decorate their house and offices by arranging lights. Shopping precious metals like silver and gold is considered auspicious on this day. Dhanteras celebrated by worshipping Goddess Lakshmi and God kuber and God Dhanvantri.

Naraka Chaturdashi – second day of Diwali

Naraka chaturdashi is day two of Diwali. This is also called as choti Diwali or roop chaudas. It is said that demon Narakasura was killed by lord Krishna. On this day most of the people take bath with holy water and apply homemade scrub. In Hindu tradition it is believed the water kalash of Ahoi ashtami is used to take bath because it makes us more beautiful.

Diwali | Deepavali

It is on this day lord Ram along with goddess Sita reached back to his home Ayodhya after completing 14 yrs of forest exile. Diwali is one of the most important festival of Hindus. Diwali is celebrated by worshipping Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi. Generally people adhere to the auspicious mahurat for Diwali pujan . In all the hindu  households the puja thali is prepared, the mandir is decorated with flower and lights. Mostly people do Diwali pujan at offices and factory as well.  Many beautiful lights, diyas, lamps are lit on this day to welcome Goddess Lakshmi – goddess of wealth and wisdom. All the family members gather and celebrate this festival therefore this is a festival of togetherness. People burst different variety of fire crackers and fire sticks.

Goverdhan and Annakut

The next day of Diwali is celebrated as festival of Goverdhan. Goverdhan is a huge hill which Lord Krishna lifted on his little finger  and gave shelter to save the people of vrindavan from heavy rains, lightning and storm. On Goverdhan small figure of cow dung symbolizing Govardhan hill is made and decorated with flowers and then worshipped by family members by doing  parikrama (circumambulating) around it.Prayers are also made to Lord Govardhan. On this day annakut is celebrated by preparing large variety of vegetarian food as offering to God and goddess. Goddess Annapurna the goddess of food is worshipped on this day.

Bhaiya Dooj

This is fifth day of Diwali celebration. On this day the sisters  invite their brothers  and prepare brother’s favourite recipes. On bhai dooj day generally sisters perform aarti for their brother and apply tika with kumkum on their brother’s forehead. Sisters pray for the wellbeing and prosperity of their brother and their families and some may exchange gifts like we do on rakshabandhan day.

All the 5 days of Diwali is celebrated with tradition vigour and happiness. This Diwali we can pledge to save our environment and planet earth by celebrating a no cracker Diwali.

Apart from religious significance, many believe in the spiritual significance of this festival. This is when we welcome light, not just in our houses, but also in our hearts, there by infusing the positive energy in our thoughts. What are your thoughts on Diwali?

 

 

cleaning house for Diwali

Why Do We Clean Our House For Diwali?

Deep cleaning of our houses for Diwali has been an age old custom. Have you wondered why we clean our houses, especially for Diwali?

Diwali also called as Deepavali is an auspicious festival celebrated on the new moon night of Kartik month(autumn season) in India. It is the day when Lord Rama came back to Ayodhya with goddess Sita after defeating the demon king Ravan. This day is considered as the victory of knowledge over ignorance and good over evil. This festival is a 5 days long celebration and there is different significance of each day.

People all across the country believe to prepare and clean their house and offices so as to welcome positivity on this day. Cleaning the house is a day to day work but before Diwali cleaning carries specific significance. We generally consider the following reasons to clean the house before Diwali

Welcome positive energy  

On this day, many worship and offer prayers to the almighty. It is believed that there is a lot of positive energy that will grace the house, which is clean, well lit and adorned as per our interests and beliefs. Hence it is for prosperity and allowing the light to cleanse our house, body and mind and wish good vibes for self, family and friends.

Becoming a good host  

Diwali is one occasion when people pay visit to each other’s house. Many also cook a lot of Diwali snack recipes and Diwali sweet recipes for guests. It is considered a good symbol to welcome guest in a spick and span house. All of us prefer to visit clean and spruce up places, over cluttered or unhygienic places.

Declutter the house

Once a year comes this occasion when, we should remove all the unwanted items lying in the house. Idle things, lying in any space bring dust and attract negative energy. Also, there is more happiness in minimal things and it is always a good to donate items in good condition to the needy. Especially kitchen organization calls for a mention as it is the most usable space in a house.

New year beginning 

As per Hindu calendar Diwali is the beginning of new year, we all want to welcome the inception of anything new with a clean slate. Similarly it goes for this new year we all look forward for clean house and happy space. Cleaning brings commencement of freshness and new environment. Many people paint, renovate their houses and offices before Diwali.

Have you cleaned your house yet? What do you think is the most important reason for cleaning house before Diwali? Do let us know your thoughts in comments section.

how to organize kitchen cabinets

6 Ideas On How To Organize Kitchen Cabinets

How to organize kitchen cabinets is the most sought after question when you need a hassle free cooking space. These ideas on how to organize kitchen cabinets will help you achieve just that.

Kitchen is an integral part of organised households all across the world. The ease of cooking/baking in a structured kitchen is a privilege dream but not achieved by all. Kitchen cabinets mostly form bases to create a systematic cooking work space. Everyone wants a systematic kitchen space, here we have shared few ideas on how to organize kitchen cabinets.

Diwali is here and cleaning is a major act that happens just before the festivities begin. Also when you start cooking many festival recipes like Diwali snacks recipes and Diwali sweets recipes, you need an organized kitchen to keep the cooking process smooth.

Sometimes kitchen can be lagging space to create ample cabinets, then we can use stainless steel racks depending upon the size of room. But these steel racks can be used on a huge wall or along an empty wall. We can also utilize small spaces above sink area or a small gap besides refrigerator. The following ideas/information will help you figure out how to organize kitchen cabinets.

 

Use hooks to organize kitchen cabinets

how to organize kitchen cabinets

We can add small hooks on the inner side of the cabinet door to hang small pans,

Measuring cups, spoons or any sleek shaped utensil as per the space between the cabinet door and shelf inside it.

Grouping will help you organize kitchen cabinets

how to organize kitchen cabinets

We can always collect similar objects and keep them together, like spatula, stirrer, ladle, and other such kitchen equipment together in a wide mouth jar or bottle so that when we are in a haste we do not have to search them in the drawer. All the related items for baking can be kept together, various parts of food processor can be kept together. Grilling attachments can be kept together, like wise we can categorize other items.

Label the jars, bottles and containers

how to organize kitchen cabinets

When it comes to choosing between similar looking ingredient kept together, labeling them is the best alternative. We can avoid to become a victim to a situation where while cooking we mix up salt with powdered sugar and create a disaster recipe. Moreover if the jar/container is labelled we can easily refill the same ingredient into it next time.

Avoid wasting space

how to organize kitchen cabinets

We can avoid or minimize the wastage or misuse of the discrete space in our cabinets. By adding a separator or organizer in a broad shelf we can divide it into various parts and use it accordingly. Example, keeping all the lids in steel-wire stand, makes them instantly available when needed. We can also use small self dividers or a basket and stick/hang them to cabinet door to keep all the small bottles of sprinkling spices together.

Reaarange the cabinets

how to organize kitchen cabinets

We cannot conserve our time and energy if we just fill up the cabinet again, rearranging the cabinets is of utmost importance to keep it organized. Keep the daily needs(oil, tea, coffee, spices, flour, grains, cereals etc) in front of /besides the cooking platform and things which are used once in a while can be kept far away. As we start our daily chores we can categorize the serving and cooking utensils pan, kadhai, tawa, bowl at cabinet near platform, some of them can be kept on hook besides the wall near gas cook top.

Declutter periodically

how to organize kitchen cabinets

Many of us keep idle equipment, crockery, jars and utensils  just because we like them. The unused lid is of no need whose jar is broken but still its lying in our cabinet. Sometimes out of  affection we keep non suitable utensils, all these form clutter in our home and dust on these unused items attract negative energy and create space crunch. Regularly removing the unused item can help keep the space clean and organized.

The pot holders, kitchen towels, aprons , wiping sponge , tray liner, foils should be kept close to the cooking platform  so that they are readily available when needed. Water purifier should be enclosed in a covered space to avoid dust. The area below the kitchen sink can be utilized to keep garbage bags, utensil washing equipment, disposable containers, and other dry non edible daily use items.

 

If we want to maintain the structured kitchen, cleaning is ought to be regularly done. With Diwali, most of the households go for a complete cleaning routine and it’s a blessing in the form of festivals that we get to clean and organize our kitchens and thereby our homes. Happy Diwali!

Image source: 

Photo by Chris Scott on Unsplash,  Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash, Photo by Amelia Bartlett on Unsplash, Photo by Jarosław Ceborski on Unsplash, pexels.com, pixabay.com

 

ice cream stick craft ideas

5 Ice Cream Stick Craft Ideas For Home Decor

Ice cream stick craft ideas are fun and add charm to your house. Let’s catch a glimpse of 5 ice cream stick craft ideas for home decoration.

Ever heard of ice cream stick home decor? We all love to adorn our home with different theme and designs.

Small changes in various spaces and corners of house can enrich the attractive look and bring freshness to the whole environment. With changing weather our food pattern also changes, but ice creams are enjoyed all the year round across all seasons. Generally all ice cream/popsicle sticks are immediately thrown in garbage bins. But we can utilize these ice cream sticks for creating different decorative pieces.

Change in the appearance and looks of the room or a particular wall can be brought by using simple craft ideas. We get bored of looking the same things over and over again so these popsicle stick wall decors/frames will look appealing and brighten the space.  

Talking about ice cream stick brings me down the memory lane of my school days. We had a craft class, where we were taught to make best out of waste. The different photo frame, pencil stand, flower vase, mobile stand and lamp shade can be easily made at home without spending much.

Ice cream stick craft photo frame                            

Many of us like to keep memorable moments of our life right in front of us in form of pictures. Photo frames give us this opportunity to highlight our achievements. If we can make our own photo frame nothing better than that. These ice cream stick photo frames brings out child’s creativity and keeps the child busy during vacation time.  The below mentioned video link shows the step by step process of making beautiful photo frame, and even kids can make it. 

Ice cream stick craft pencil Stand            

Mostly kids do not have habit of keeping things organized and many a times we have to help them find out their lost things. Pencil/ pen stand is one way to organize all the pencil/pen/colours. The idea becomes more interesting when kids themselves can create a pencil stand, it gives them feeling of achievement and confidence. The below mentioned video link show the steps to make a pencil stand.

Ice cream stick craft Flower vase             

Many of us are fond of flower vase. We end up buying metallic or ceramic or antique vase to highlight the corner space in our living room or bedroom. You know what we can save those thousands spent on precious vase and actually create our own original vase. The whole idea to construct our own blueprint and aim at its completion gives us a creativity boost. Here is a step by step video of a unique flower vase made of ice cream stick.

Ice cream stick craft mobile Stand       

Now a days various stylish mobile stands are available in the market. These are mostly metallic or wooden or acrylic. Here we are presenting hand crafted mobile stand that is easy to make and can be gifted to dear ones. Please click the link below to know step by step process of making ice cream stick mobile stand.

Ice cream stick craft lamp shade           

This beautiful looking lamp shade can be made with ice cream stick. We can make it at home and even kids can help making the lamp shade. Generally kids are curious about different things they see around this lamp can be a unique  project for them and will help us teach electric concepts to them. Please click the video link below to learn step by step method of ice cream stick lamp shade.

References

http://trendymods.com/diy/amazing-collection-of-handmade-wall-hanging-with-ice-cream-sticks.php

 

travelling with a baby

Travelling With A Baby? 5 Tips To Manage Baby Food During Travel

Travelling with a baby can be hassle free with these simple baby food ideas. 

Parenthood teaches all of us to plan the travel well in advance. Travelling with a baby, even if it is just for a day of train travel or air travel, mothers have to keep all necessary things handy. When travelling with a baby of 6 – 12 months age, home cooked food is the most feasible option. Travelling with homemade baby food is not as difficult as we think. For a successful trip pre-planning and calculated arrangements are the key. It is not necessary to solely rely on available packaged food. Depending on where we are travelling, and the time of stay we can make necessary travel packing. The following are tips to manage baby food during travel.

 

Carry hot water flask/electric kettle and baby feeding utensils

It is always important to carry hot water flask/electric kettle while travelling in train. Babies till they turn 12 months are more dependent on milk. If your baby is on formula milk, then necessary formula, bottles and water need to be carried. Hot water is also necessary for sterilizing the baby bottles and utensils. Feeding utensils for baby are important to carry to avoid food contamination.

Fresh fruits

Fresh fruits are the most easy to carry baby food. We have to keep in mind that the fruit is almost ripe and not fully ripe to avoid wastage. Banana, chicoo/sapota, papaya and mango are the most preferred travel fruits. If going out for air travel for a short time span, stewed and cooled apple can also be carried.

Homemade baby porridge recipe – instant and quick!

Recipe:

  • Dry roast red rice poha, let it cool down.
  • Now add palm sugar and grind both of them into a powder.
  • Whenever need to feed the child simply add hot water or hot milk and mix well let it stand for a while.
  • Now add more water/milk and mix well.
  • Your instant porridge is ready to feed the child.

Boiled and cooled vegetables (potato, carrot)

While travelling on a train we can carry boiled unpeeled potato and mash it and add some spices like salt and pepper it and feed the baby, can also give cheese slice along with potato.(if cheese is introduced to baby). Boiled potato if not pealed stay edible for up to 5 hours easily. Boiled grated carrot and potato can be mashed together.

Snacks (homemade ladoos, mathri and thepla)

We can always carry homemade ladoos, mathri and thepla if the baby is introduced to these. Freshly cooked idlis and chutney can also be consumed during train travel (it can last up-to 3-4 hours)

 

Always carry extra water, sanitizer and utensil washing liquid while travelling in a train or on a road trip. Baby soothers, wipes and their favourite toys come in handy during feeding while travelling with the baby. 

Disclaimer:

These are just general suggestions and never a substitute for your baby’s regular diet. Please check with your pediatrician before introducing any new foods to your baby. Some babies are allergic to certain foods and any new foods to be tried with caution.

References –

http://www.shishuworld.com/feeding-baby-toddler-while-travelling/

http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/travelwithhomemadebabyfood.htm

https://homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/travelling-with-baby/

 

natural sugar substitute

5 Natural Substitutes To Sugar In Your Food

Sugar is largely used to sweeten and satiate our cravings for desserts. Here we bring the five natural substitutes to sugar as a sweetener in day to day life.

A large percentage of the people in India are directly or indirectly eating refined sugar. Healthy lifestyle is need of the common man. The best way to stay healthy while enjoying the sweetness is by opting for natural substitutes. Some of the most commonly available alternatives of sugar are described below.

Dates

Dates (popularly known as Khajoor) are a rich source of minerals & vitamins. It is a good source of energy and fiber. It contains iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. Dates help lower cholesterol and are rich in protein; it promotes digestion, improves skin and also strengthens the nervous system.

We can include it in porridge, cakes, breads and its syrup can be used over crepes .Recipes – Dried dates can be used in energizing shakes. Dates tamarind chutney makes a good side dish for fried snacks. We can use dates caramel as a base for chocolate truffles. Dates paste can be used in pudding, dates brownie sizzler.

Honey

Honey is one of the oldest sweeteners on Earth and is a thick sweet liquid made by honey bees. Honey has distinct characteristic which is unique to season, type of nectar and region where it belongs. It is high in plant compounds. Honey consists of disease fighting flavonoid. Honey has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, it reduces cough & helps improve skin.

Honey is a very good salad dressing ingredient. It can be used in many drinks. Honey glazed carrots make a healthy snack, it can be used in dips, as topping on ice-creams & other desserts like Honey Chia Seed Pudding. It can be used in vanilla honey swiss rolls and cookies and shakes.

Stevia

Stevia is a natural sweetener that has become very popular in recent times. Stevia is a green leafy plant native of South America. It has anti inflammatory and diuretic properties. It helps to fight diabetes and lower blood sugar levels.

We can add Stevia to smoothie, yogurt, tea & coffee. It can be used in baking as sugar substitute. One tea spoon of Stevia has power equivalent to 1 cup of sugar. It can be used in cakes & pan cakes. Lemonade, ice popsicles, cream dip, puddings, pie – all can be made with Stevia.

Sugarcane juice

Sugarcane juice is one of the healthiest drinks. It helps prevent cancer, aids in digestion, prevents stomach infection & heart diseases; it has low glycemic index, hence it works well for diabetic patients. It helps clear skin blemishes. Frozen sugarcane juice with ginger and lemon juice becomes slush. Sugarcane juice can be added to smoothies and popsicles.

 

Jaggery

Jaggery also called as Gur is one of the oldest sweetener. It has many therapeutic & natural properties that help maintain skin glowing & healthy. It helps in maintaining correct functioning of digestive system. It is rich in iron and folate that helps in preventing anaemia. It helps in reducing water retention. Jaggery is used to make ladoos, halwa, modak, pudding, kheer and chikki, etc.

Regular usage of these natural sweeteners instead of sugar – can easily help in attaining good health without compromising one’s taste buds.

Disclaimer:

The information contained on this site is general in nature and for informational purposes. It is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. Tips and recipes here are the experiences of the author.  Everyone is unique and results vary from person to person. Caution must be taken while using honey and stevia.

 

References:

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-dates.html

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-health-benefits-of-honey.html

https://honey.com/recipes

http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/stevia#section1

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-sugarcane-juice-for-skin-hair-and-health/#gref

http://food.ndtv.com/health/15-jaggery-benefits-ever-wondered-why-our-elders-end-a-meal-with-gur-1270883