Healing Spices

 Alternative Medicine, Indian Cooking  Comments Off on Healing Spices
Mar 042011


Most people in India are aware of the healing effects of the spices they use. Or they are just very accustomed to their use in everyday cooking and take for granted the additional health benefits they receive. It has been an interesting observation that the incidence of Alzheimer’s in India has not been very common. This phenomenon has been attributed to the widespread use of turmeric, a key ingredient in curry powder and mustard.

The author of Healing Spices, Bharat B. Aggarwal, states that there are 50 spices that may help prevent or heal particular diseases or conditions. For instance, cooked bay leaf releases antioxidants and is a natural medicine for arthritis, cancer, ulcer, mosquito bites and wounds. He points out to look for whole, dark, and larger leaves.

Cumin has been considered to “be as effective as an anti-diabetes drug in controlling diabetes in lab rats.” It can also protect bones and prevent food poisoning. “Agarwal recommends buying cumin as whole seeds rather than ground.”

Ginger and garlic is normally found in most Indian dishes and also has medicinal properties such as enhancing our immune system. Other uncommon beneficial spices include lemongrass, nutmeg and thyme.

It’s good to know that in addition to enhancing the flavor of our foods, spices can be a natural source of healing.

Source: USA Weekend, my column


Alternative Guru Deepak Chopra

 Alternative Medicine, Books  Comments Off on Alternative Guru Deepak Chopra
Apr 012010

Deepak Chopra is a superstar of alternative medicine and spirituality. He makes me more proud of being Indian! 😉 I have some of his books and appreciate his thoughts. He was on Dr. Oz recently and offered the following insightful thoughts and helpful tidbits:

-Get rid of emotional toxins

-Quiet the mind

Introduce positivity – “you can’t just expect someone to think happy thoughts and create happy molecules.”

Meditation: “Close your eyes, watch your breath, be aware of your body, don’t have expectations or worry about any noises or thoughts. Surrender yourself to the moment.”

Meditation for Kids: Start at 5 years of age for 5 minutes. Add 1 minute for each subsequent age.

Insomnia: Even when lying down and your head is full of speeding thoughts, you are getting the metabolic rest of “almost sleep.” You are 90% there even if not sleeping. You go further when watching your breath. “So the worst thing you can do is worry about sleeping because the more you will not sleep.

The best way to get the best sleep (good quality) is to make your day really interesting – to make your day dynamic, full of activity, and exercise. Then the night will follow spontaneously.”

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