In today’s world of packaged and artificially made health and beauty products lining supermarket shelves, backed by the constant bombardment of advertising across all possible media, it is easy to forget the age-old inheritances of our ancestors.
The food and many of the drinks served at Dhyān are health-enhanced through the usage of nutrition-rich herbs & spices. We try to incorporate the wisdom of our ancient geniuses. Whereas most of these are Indian origin, we like to use the best from world over.
But, putting food & drinks aside, wouldn’t it be great if we give you some homemade tips which enhance our health & beauty naturally, and cure common ailments? The following are some home remedies and daily practices which people in India have been traditionally known to perform.
NOTE: These tips are both vegetarian and vegan in nature. Unfortunately, the vegetarian remedies are not known to work effectively if replaced with vegan alternatives.
Health & Beauty Tips from India | Indian Home Remedies
1. Water: It is common practice nowadays to store drinking water in plastic containers. Not only here in the west, but also in modern day India. But traditionally, and ideally, water is believed to be better stored in clay or metallic containers at room temperature.
Drinking a large glassful of lukewarm water or at room temperature, early in the morning on an empty stomach, helps clean the bowels. According to Ayurveda, water stored in pure copper vessel overnight is reckoned to be even better for its various health benefits. It helps clean and detox the bowels, aids in weight loss, regulates the thyroid gland and does a lot more than that.
It is important to stay away from cold water. Water consumed at optimum temperature stimulates the nerves and blood vessels, in turn helping the digestive system perform better. Whereas cold water does exactly the opposite.
2. Lemon, Honey, Water: Drinking a glassful of warm water with fresh lemon juice and organic honey helps burn excess fat in the body. It also supplements cleansing of the bowels.
Healthy bowels are utterly critical for our well-being. On one hand it makes us feel better, and on the other hand it enhances our physical appearance – in other words, it makes us look & feel beautiful.
3. Rinsing of Eyes: Every morning when we wake up, thoroughly rinsing our eyes with water (room temperature or cold) helps, at the least, to sustain our eyesight for longer, if not improve it.
4. Turmeric Mask: Tumeric is one of the healthiest and most-prized herbs out there. Apart from its various internal health benefits, it also acts as a brilliant nutrient for the skin – it is antiseptic and antioxidant. Massaging our skin with specially prepared turmeric pastes (tsuch a paste is called Ubtan in Hindi) helps the skin cleanse deeply, and brings about a glow to it – all naturally, without the use of harmful chemicals.
In India its common practise to give the bride & the groom a turmeric massage before their wedding. Typically it’s applied to 5 body parts – feet, knees, arms, hands, face – in that particular order.
NOTE: We will soon be offering100% natural, herbal, to-order Ubtans to our customers for sale.
5. Mustard: Mustard is another excellent beauty enhancer. Its oil can be used (apart from cooking) for massaging the hair & body. Indians have been using the oil for massaging babies (under the sun in winters) for time immemorial. Daily baby massage is believed to strengthen the bones. Adults use the oil to nourish their bodies. This is especially good before shower. Daily hair oiling also helps keep the hair strong and black for longer. Mustard seeds can also be hand-crushed into a paste to use as a deep-cleansing agent of the skin, while nourishing it at the same time.
6. Cold Remedy: Got cold? No problem! Crush some fresh ginger and black pepper, pour some hot water over the duo in a cup, and sip on it. Do this 2-3 times a day and see the magic unfold!
7. Cough Remedy (also Cold): Can’t stop coughing? This is especially effective in case of ‘dry cough’ that just wouldn’t leave your throat alone! Again, crush some ginger and try to take as much juice out of the pulp as possible. Mix it with some organic honey and eat the mixture with a small spoon in small doses. Repeat this 4-6 times a day. This should give you speedy relief.
8. Flatulence Remedy: Swollowing a tablespoon full of Ajowan Seeds mixed with a quarter spoon salt and a glassful of warm water gives almost instant relief from flatulence and the intense pain thus caused.
9. Proper Chewing of Food: Properly chewing our food is important in order to reduce strain on the digestive system itself. In India, it is often said that we should chew each of our bite as many times as the number of teeth we have. Generally speaking, fully grown adults have 32 teeth, so we would chew the food 32 times. The underlying reason is that when we set out a target for ourselves, it becomes easy to track and try to achieve the goal. Essentially what this does is that it brings our full attention (Dhyān) to the food, ensures that the food is ground into very small, easily-digestible pieces, and increases the production of saliva – which is important for digesting food efficiently. All-in-all this yogic practice ensures optimum absorption of all the nutrients and enhances metabolism.
10. Vajrasana: Yoga is not merely a staying-fit exercise regime. In its essence, Yoga is a lifestyle, and is meant to be intricately assimilated to our lifestyles. Vajrasana is a position of sitting which, essentially speaking, enhances the digestive process. Sitting in Vajrasana for at least 10 minutes immediately or a few minutes after a meal should help. Practicers often seat themselves for extended periods of time – as much as half an hour.
This is also where a dining set-up like our Gaddi comes in handy – eating on the floor, sitting cross-legged, is the best posture for eating meals as per ancient Indian traditions. When seated on the floor for dining, it is easy to switch to Vajrasana after finishing the meal.
Ayurveda (Ayur = life + Veda = true or sacred knowledge) is best translated as the Knowledge or Science of Life. Ayurveda was developed by Indian sages thousands of years ago. The system is based on the mind-body connection – the fact that mind and body are inextricably connected, and nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind.
While Ayurveda is an extensive subject, we can try to follow a basic Ayurvedic principle of eating a colourful and flavourful diet. Besides breathing, eating is our most vital bodily function. A way to ensure that we are getting a healthy, balanced diet is by including the six Ayurvedic tastes, namely Sweet, Salty, Sour, Pungent, Bitter and Astringent in each meal of the day. Doing so ensures the presence of all major food groups and nutrients.
You may conduct your own in-depth research on Ayurveda and Ayurvedic food to incorporate in your lifestyle.
Meanwhile, we are working on adding some basic Ayurvedic meals onto our menu. We will certainly be adding on a classic Indian (mini) Thali. However, we are also working on developing some of the deemed comfort foods with a balanced Ayurvedic recipe. Soon, at Dhyān, you can expect an Ayurvedic Pasta and Pizza dish each aside from the Mini Ayurvedic Thali.
DISCLAIMER: These tips are being provided to you on a personal level as a gesture of ‘sharing of cultures’. Nothing stated here should be regarded as a medical advice or an alternative to medical treatments. In case of doubt, please consult with your licensed medical advisor before using any of the above listed ‘tips’ or ‘home remedies’. Using these is at your own risk and the author, Dhyān or any person associated bear no responsibility in any form for any action, reaction, consequence or the likes whatsoever resulting from adherence to any of the above.