Leaves - Low Country

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Wel Penela

Wel penela Leaves for Better Marriage Life


Botanical name:-Cardiosprmum halicacabum

Sinhala name:- Wel penala
Tamil name :-Kottavan,Mutakkarran
Sanskirt name :-Bunu-uchchhe,Indravalli, Jyotishmati 
Grows in:-Sri Lanka,India,
tropical and subtropical Africa and Asia.
Edible parts:-Whole plant 
Ayurvedic usage:-
Treatment for:-Dysentery,Hernia,Rheumatoid arthritis

Parts used to make medicine: -Whole plant

Propagation: -Seeds


Penela is an annual herb which is very common in the low country and throughout the tropics. It is small delicate, smooth, climber. Its leaves are alternate and the leaflets are coarsely toothed. The lowest pair of flower stalks Are converted into spiral tendrils and the seeds are in three tangled capsules.
It was very largely used the Sinhalese settlers to alley pains due to sprains and contusions about the joints. The roots and the leaves are commonly used in medicine. A decoction of the Wel- penela roots is given in half tablespoon- ful does twice a day for bleeding piles. The leaves are used for rheumatism, nervous diseases, hemorrhoids and chronic bronchitis. The juice of the leaves are put into the ear for ear-ache. Equal parts of Wel penel leaves, Shinda-lunu .the root bark of Hin-kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna) Vadakaha (Acorus Calanus) are pounded and made into a paste with milk.

Wel-penela is a cooling drink when prepared as a canjee. You prepare it just like gotukola kanda. It can be taken in the morning as a drink for breakfast. The external use of Wel penela ,The leaves are applied as a poultice for srineruption. They arecoated with castor oil and are applied on swellings and tumours. Wel penela is used in preparing an oil for infants when they find it difficult to breath through the nose.

 

Wel penela for Better Marriage Life

 

Wel penela(Cardiospermum halicacabum) commonly known in sri lanka is small plant which can be found in tropical and subtropical Africa and Asia countries including Sri Lanka.

Wel Penela is a cooling drink when prepared as a canjee. It can be prepared similar to gotu kola herbal drink (kenda).

Wal penela is mostly used as herbal medicine in Aruveda. It is used to increase male sperm count or sperm motility. It is also used for the treatment of back pains, joint pains and general body aches. Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are vascular structures in the anal canal. In their normal state, they are cushions that help with stool control. They become a disease when swollen or inflamed. According to In Sinhala aruveic practice by crushing wal panela together with Kohila Roots and Shallot (small onion) and taking the extract and drink every morning is very good treatment for hemorrhoids.

Apart from benefits mentioned above there are many other values in Wal penela. You can also try this invaluable herbal and get all the benefits. If you want to get wal penela, Cino Ceylon is good place to buy quality dehydrated wal penela. Cino Ceylon supplies other herbals also.

 

 Wel Penela for body aches and pains

 

Cardiospermum halicacabum(Wel penela in Sinhala), known as the balloon plant or love in a puff, is a climbing plant widely distributed in tropical and subtropical Africa and Asia. Often found as a weed along roads and rivers, it has been examined for antidiarrhoeal as well as homoeopathic medicinal properties.

Penela is an annual herb which is very common in the low country and throughout the tropics. It is small delicate, smooth, climber. Its leaves are alternate and the leaflets are coarsely toothed. The lowest pair of flower stalks Are converted into spiral tendrils and the seeds are in three tangled capsules.

It was very largely used the Sinhalese settlers to alley pains due to sprains and contusions about the joints. The roots and the leaves are commonly used in medicine. A decoction of the Wel- penela roots is given in half tablespoon- full does twice a day for bleeding piles. The leaves are used for rheumatism, nervous diseases, hemorrhoids and chronic bronchitis. The juice of the leaves is put into the ear for ear-ache. Equal parts of Wel penel leaves, Shinda-lunu. the root bark of Hin-kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna) Vadakaha (Acorus Calanus) are pounded and made into a paste with milk.

Wel-penela is a cooling drink when prepared as a canjee. You prepare it just like gotukola kanda. It can be taken in the morning as a drink for breakfast. The external use of Wel penela, The leaves are applied as a poultice for srineruption. They arecoated with castor oil and are applied on swellings and tumors. Wel penela is used in preparing an oil for infants when they find it difficult to breathe through the nose.

 

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Thampala

The unique health benefits of amaranth include its ability to stimulate growth and repair, reduce inflammation, prevent certain chronic diseases, boost bone strength, and lower blood pressure. It helps improve the immune system, reduce the appearance of varicose veins, maintain healthy hair, and ease weight loss efforts.

 

What is Amaranth?

Scientifically categorized in the Amaranthus genus, the seeds of the amaranth plant have been valued for thousands of years, particularly by the indigenous cultures of Central America and Mexico. [1] Ancient cultures depended on it as a major staple of their diet, due to its high concentration of proteinminerals, and vitamins. It has since been exported to other parts of the world, including Europe and North America, but it is still primarily grown and consumed in Central America.

Although many varieties of amaranth are considered a weed, there are some varieties in the genus that are cultivated as leafy vegetables and types of cereal grain, as well as for the perennial plant’s valuable essential oils.

Both the leaves and the seeds of amaranth are valuable in terms of human health. Whether you choose to consume it as a leaf vegetable, a cereal grain or grain flour depends on what health benefits you are seeking out. The root itself is also consumed as a root vegetable and has a rich mixture of minerals and nutrients. [2] Considering the versatility and high concentration of antioxidants and phytosterols, amaranth is one of the most valuable foods that you may have ever heard of.

Health Benefits of Amaranth

Let’s take a closer look at the amazing health benefits of amaranth.

Rich in Protein

This is definitely the most well-known aspect of amaranth that makes it such a valuable food source for so many cultures. A high protein concentration means that the body can break those plant proteins down into usable amino acids which can be reformed into usable proteins. Protein is essential for growth and the creation of new cells and tissues, as well as for more immediate energy needs and metabolic functionality. [3] It contains a higher protein concentration than almost any other grain on the market. Moreover, even the leaves of the amaranth contain beneficial proteins.

Antioxidant Agent

Most people pay attention to amaranth because of its high protein content, making it a crucial nutrient source for certain cultures. There has been new research revealing that it contains a certain peptide, which has also been identified in soybeans as it can reduce inflammation in the body and even prevent the activity of free radicals that can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells. [4] This lesser-known benefit of amaranth is one of the most exciting new developments in recent amaranth research. This anti-inflammatory molecule can also help alleviate conditions like arthritisgout, and other inflammation-related issues.

Improves Bone Quality

Amaranth leaves contain a wide range of minerals, including a high concentration of calcium. There are very few leafy vegetables that contain higher levels of calcium, making it a veritable superfood in terms of boosting bone strength and preventing osteoporosis[5]Calcium is a crucial mineral for preventing demineralization of the bones, extending your active life well into your old age.

Improves Digestion

There are a number of gastrointestinal benefits to eating amaranth including its high fiber content, which results in smooth digestion of food and facilitates an efficient uptake of minerals. [6]

Gluten Free

Amaranth is also a gluten-free substance, which means that for the millions of people suffering from Celiac’s disease or gluten intolerance, it provides a viable alternative as a grain source.

Lowers Cholesterol Levels

The dietary fiber mentioned above also helps balance cholesterol in the body by eliminating LDL or bad cholesterol from the cardiovascular system. [7] Furthermore, amaranth contains a huge amount of vitamin K, which is a well-known booster for heart health.

Prevents Atherosclerosis

The potassium content in amaranth helps lower blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels and reducing the strain on the cardiovascular system, thereby lowering the chances of developing atherosclerosis. The high content of phytosterols found in it also contributes to a reduction in LDL or bad cholesterol.

Eliminates Varicose Veins

While this condition may not affect everyone, varicose veins can be unsightly and embarrassing as we age. Amaranth contains numerous flavonoids, including rutin, which has been directly connected to eliminating varicose veins by strengthening capillary walls. [8] This is also aided by its high concentration of vitamin C, an integral component in the production of collagen, which also helps repair and strengthen the blood vessel walls.

Improves Vision

The significant level of carotenoids and vitamin A found in amaranth leaves is a major boost for eye health, as these antioxidants can prevent macular degeneration and slow/stop the development of cataracts. [9] By lowering oxidative stress in the ocular system, it can help keep your vision healthy and strong for years to come.

Reduces Birth Defects

Folate is often overlooked in terms of essential minerals, but it is particularly important for pregnant mothers. Folate deficiency can result in neural tube defects in new-borns. [10] So add some amaranth grains or leaves to your diet and protect your newest little addition to the family!

Weight Loss

Considering that an influx of protein in the diet releases a particular sated hormone that suppresses the appetite, eating amaranth grains and leaves can help you remain true to your weight loss goals. [11] The dietary fiber is also bulky in your stomach and reduces your appetite by lowering your likelihood to snack between meals and pack on those extra pounds.

 

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Taro Plante - Wel Ala Kola

22 Scientific Taro Leaves Benefits (No.18 Shocking You)


Taro is a tropical plant originally from Southern India and Southeast Asia. It’s usually consumed as a root vegetable or as its leaves vegetables. Both its root and leaves have many health benefits for the body because it is rich in nutrients.

 

Taro Leaves nutrition

Per 1 cup (145g) steamed taro leaves (without salt) contain the nutrients as follow:

Calories 35

Calories from fat 5

% Daily Value

Total carbohydrate 5.8g

2%

Dietary fiber 2.9g

12%

Total fat 0.6g

1%

Omega-3 fatty acids 74mg

Omega-6 fatty acids 170mg

Protein 4g

8%

Vitamin A 6145 IU

123%

Vitamin C 51.5mg

86%

Thiamin (vitamin B1) 0.2mg

13%

Ribovlavin (vitamin B2) 0.6mg

32%

Niacin (vitamin B3) 1.8mg

9%

Vitamin B6 0.1mg

5%

Folate 70mcg

17%

Calcium 125mg

12%

Iron 1.7mg

10%

Magnesium 29mg

7%

phosphorus 39.2mg

4%

sodium 3mg

zinc 0.3mg

2%

copper 0.2mg

10%

manganese 0.5mg

27%

cholesterol 0mg

0%

 

From its nutrient contents, we can get the taro leaves benefits as follow:

  1. Act as an antioxidant to prevent cancer.

Taro leaves are rich in vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant. This will help to prevent many diseases and fight again free radicals that cause cancer.

  1. Boost your immune system.

Vitamin C in 1 cup of taro leaves (145mg) can reach 86% daily value that the body needs. You can boost your immune system effectively with this plant.

  1. Keep the healthy eyes.

Besides the vitamin C, taro leaves are rich in vitamin A. It reaches an amazing daily value until 123%. It is very good to keep your eyes stay healthy, maintain the visual acuity, and prevent the eyes diseases such as cataract, myopia, and blindness.

  1. Help the digestive process and treat the digestive problems.

Taro leaves are high in dietary fiber which helps to absorb and digest the food well. Taro leaves can make you stay away from the digestive problems such as indigestion, constipation, and also diarrhea.

  1. Reduce the cholesterol level.

Taro leaves have no cholesterol and have only 1% of total fat. This is the best diet for reducing cholesterol. The dietary fiber and methionine contained in taro leaves can reduce the cholesterol effectively by binding and break down of fat and cholesterol especially triglyceride.

  1. Aid to weight loss diet.

Taro leaves are low in fat and high in protein. This is the best choice for diet menu to reduce your fat and get your muscle mass.

  1. Help to reduce inflammation.

Omega 3 in taro leaves play the role in inflammation process which can inhibit the release of inflammation substances. It can help to treat diseases like arthritis, gastritis, or lupus disease.

  1. Control the blood pressure.

Taro leaves contain omega 3, an essential fatty acid which provides making material hormones to control the contraction and relaxation of arteries wall. If this mechanism is going well, the blood pressure can be controlled in normal level.



  1. Protect the nervous system.

Taro leaves contain vitamin B complex including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6 which have the action to protect the nervous system. If you feel the symptoms like tingling, numbness, or pain in your limb, you can eat taro leaves to reduce those symptoms. They will boost your immune system also.

  1. Help the development of the fetal brain and nervous system.

If you are in pregnant, it is good to consume taro leaves. Besides its rich in nutrition, it contains folate which is essential for the development of your fetal brain and nervous system. However, you should cook the taro leaves well before you eat them.

  1. Keep the healthy bone.

The calcium contained in taro leaves bring the health benefits for the healthy bone. It helps the bone formation and it works with phosphorous to strengthen the bone and teeth.

  1. Help in the fetal bone and teeth development.

Besides its folate content which is beneficial for the fetus, taro leaves contain also manganese. This mineral helps in the fetal cartilage, bone, and teeth formation during pregnancy.

  1. Help to prevent anemia.

Taro leaves contain iron mineral which helps in red blood cell formation. In addition, its vitamin C content helps to absorb the iron well. This will meet the need of red blood cells in the body and anemia can be prevented.

  1. Help to prevent preeclampsia in pregnancy.

The magnesium mineral in taro leaves helps to prevent preeclampsia during pregnancy. Magnesium has the mechanism in muscle relaxation so it can be used to prevent preeclampsia.

  1. Help to treat diarrhea quickly.

Taro leaves contain zinc, a mineral that protects intestine mucosa. When diarrhea happens, the intestine wall will lose its mucosa. Zinc help to relieve the mucosa quickly so diarrhea can stop immediately.

  1. Help to reduce wrinkle in the skin.

Taro leaves contain the amino acid called threonine. This protein compound aids the formation of elastin and collagen which are good for the healthy skin. It will prevent the skin from wrinkle and rejuvenate skin as well.

  1. Bring the best energy source.

Taro leaves bring the best energy source for the body through its essential amino acid called isoleucine. This protein regulates the blood sugar and increases the muscle strength and energy levels. This is the best diet for people who love to work out.

  1. Promote the bone and skin healing.

An essential amino acid called leucine is contained by taro leaves. It promotes the bone and skin healing by releasing the natural painkiller called enkephalins. It does not only facilitate the bone healing but also relieve the pain as well.

  1. Help to enhance the memory and mood.

Taro leaves release dopamine which acts in the brain and nervous system. It is synthesized by phenylalanine to enhance your brain memory and control your mood.

  1. Help to treat nicotine addiction.

Taro leaves contain tyrosine, a crucial amino acid in the human body. It becomes an adaptogen substance which helps to minimize the effect of nicotine, cocaine, and coffee addiction.

  1. Increase the sperm production.

Taro leaves are good for men because of its arginine content. This amino acid can help to increase the sperm production.

  1. Act as the detoxification agent.

Histidine, one of the essential amino acids is contained in taro leaves. It acts as detoxification agent that helps to remove the heavy metals from the body and protect the body from radiation damage.

22 taro leaves benefits have been explained above in a scientific way. However, you can’t consume taro leaves in a raw condition because it has a dangerous toxin. You should soak them first in the clean water before you cook about 10-15 minutes. After that, you have to cook them well to remove its toxic substance

 

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Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato Leaves (Fat- and cholesterol-free)


Fat- and cholesterol-free, sweet potatoes are high in vitamins B6, C and D, and contain sufficient sources of iron, magnesium and potassium. Everyone knows that Sweet Potatoes have health benefits… but did you know that Sweet Potato Leaves are healing? Sweet potato leaves can be a great source of multiple water-soluble vitamins in the human diet, making them an attractive choice for your next dish.

 

Antioxidant properties

Sweet potatoes have been found to contain a high amount of antioxidants, making it suitable in combating inflammatory problems like asthma, arthritis, gout, etc. Also, vitamin C makes it great for fighting off free radicals thus preventing premature aging and disease.

The significant amount of dietary fiber, especially when eaten with the skin, helps to promote a healthy digestive tract, relieving constipation and also helps prevent colon cancer. Making a drink of the Sweet Potato Leaves really works wonders for GI distress.

The high beta carotene content in sweet potato is the key anti-inflammatory compound that makes it a natural painkiller. You can eat it steamed, or juiced to benefit from its painkilling properties.

The leaves of sweet potato are suitable for diabetic consumption as it contains a very good blood sugar regulator that helps to stabilize and lower insulin resistance.

Sweet Potato Leaves can lower blood pressure and also help with anxiety and stress. The dietary fibers present in these magical leaves regulate the flow of blood and prevent any fat deposition in arteries and veins.

 

Reasons to Include Fava Beans in your Diet

 

If you’re not eating fava beans, you’re missing on the benefits these beans have to offer. Here is why you should include fava beans in your diet. 

According to studies, consumption of these fibre rich beans not only keeps your cholesterol levels in check but also controls your blood sugar. Besides, including these fiber variants in your diet that happen to help in lowering the levels of bad cholesterol, thus, you’re keeping your heart away from diseases. A cup full of fava beans can provide your 36 grams of soluble fibre.

As per a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, as fava beans are loaded in high protein and high fiber, their consumption provide better results than high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.  The total fat loss is reported to higher in people who consume fava beans along with a dip in net cholesterol levels.

It may sound strange that these beans could help in combating depression but studies have shown that these beans being rich in amino acid dopamine, can do wonders in improving your mood and thus help in alleviating depressive conditions.

As fava beans are loaded with vitamin C, these beans have amazing powerful antioxidant properties. Thus, consumption of fava beans help eliminate the free radicals, which common culprits of causing premature ageing signs such as fine lines, wrinkles, cancers and even weaken your immune system. You get 1.4 mg vitamin C from 100 grams of the raw beans.

Pregnant women can get their iron and calcium requirements easily from fava beans. While the beans meet about 14% of RDA of iron, they are also known to render adequate amount of calcium. Besides, consumption of fava beans also helps keep constipation experienced during pregnancy at bay as these beans are packed with soluble fiber.

 

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Spring Onion

Health Benefits of Spring Onions:(Rich in vitamins including )


Spring onions

Spring onions are a very popular vegetable and they come in different varieties including white, yellow and red. These tender onion bulbs are great in taste and also rich in nutrients. From a long time spring onions have been used in Chinese traditional medicines. Like onions spring onions are also high in sulfur. High amounts of sulfur provide many health benefits. These tender onions are low in calorie. Spring onions are a variety of scallion and also called green onions.

 

Spring Onions Nutrition – Nutrients in Spring Onions:

Spring onions are rich in vitamins including Vitamin C, Vitamin B2 and thiamine. They also contain Vitamin A and Vitamin K. In addition, these are good sources of copper, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, chromium, manganese and fiber. Spring onions are a strong source of flavonoids such as quercetin. A health promoting organic compound allyl propyl disulphide can also be found in spring onions.

Health Benefits of Spring Onions:

With so many health promoting vitamins, minerals and natural compounds, spring onions are bound to be great for the health. Given below are some of the outstanding health benefits of spring onions.

  1. Spring onions are good for cardiovascular health. They lower the oxidation of cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
  2. Sulphur compounds in this vegetable help in reducing and controlling blood pressure levels.
  3. Spring onions help to reduce cholesterol levels as well.
  4. The chromium content in spring onions provides health benefits of diabetics. It controls the blood sugar levels and improves glucose tolerance. Allyl propyl disulphide is also very helpful in lowering blood sugar levels.
  5. Anti-bacterial properties in it help to fight against cold and flu.
  6. Anti-bacterial properties also provide relief from digestive discomforts.
  7. Vitamin C in this vegetable boosts the immunity.
  8. Pectin (water-soluble colloidal carbohydrate) in spring onions reduces the chances of developing cancers especially colon cancer.
  9. Quercetin in spring onions provides anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine benefits. It’s a good vegetable for treating arthritis and asthma.
  10. It is a good food for regulating metabolism and keeping macronutrients.
  11. Spring onions are good against eye disease and eye problems.
  12. Allicin in this vegetable is good for the skin as it protects from skin wrinkling.

Besides all of the above health benefits, spring onions are also good for speeding up blood circulation. They provide protection against fungal infections and works as an appetizer as well. Regular intake of spring onions is extremely good for the health as these can protect us from many health problems and diseases.

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Spinach

21 Amazing Benefits Of Spinach (Palak) For Skin And Health


Spinach (Spinacia oleraceae) also known as ‘Palak‘ in Hindi, ‘Pachchali Koora‘ or ‘Palakura‘ in Telugu, ‘Vasala Cheera‘ in Malayalam, ‘Pasalai Keerai‘ in Tamil, ‘Palang Sag‘ in Bengali and ‘Palak‘ in Punjabi. Spinach is a dark green leafy vegetable belonging to the Amaranthaceae family. Native to Central and Southwestern Asia, spinach plant grows up to a height of about 1 foot. It has a slightly bitter taste but is considered as one of the functional foods due to its nutritional, antioxidants and anti-cancer constituents. Its tender, crispy, dark green leaves are used as ingredients in a variety of cuisines. Though it is available all the year round, fresh greens are best after the winter season from March through May.

 

This green vegetable comes into the category of healthiest plant based foods. Besides being rich in iron, it is one of the principal resources of pigments, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Thus, it is a promising food with an array of health benefits. In this post, you will know what is spinach good for, spinach nutritional value and fun facts.

 

Types of Spinach:

Generally, two varieties of spinach are cultivated for their edible leaves, savoy type with dark green crinkle leaves and flat leaf type with smooth surfaced leaves. Modern varieties of spinach have been introduced which grow more rapidly and do not bolt easily to warm conditions. The older varieties have narrower leaves and a stronger and bitter taste than the newer ones. There are generally three different types of spinach.

Savoy: This variety has dark green crinkly (wrinkly) and curly leaves. It is widely sold in supermarkets in the United States. Savoy also has several varieties such as “Bloomsdale” which is resistant to bolting, “Merlo Nero”-a variety grown in Italy and “Virology”- a very large spinach with great yields.

Flat or Smooth-leaf Spinach: This variety has broad, smooth leaves which are quite easy to clean. It is widely sold in the form of canned and frozen spinach and used in soups, baby foods and processed foods.

Semi-savoy: This is basically a hybrid variety with slightly crinkled leaves. It is similar to savoy in texture but it can be cleaned easily. It is used for both fresh market and processing. “Five star” is the most commonly grown variety that is resistant to running up to seed.

Health Benefits Of Spinach

We all have seen Popeye eating it and building big muscles. This is, indeed, true because spinach is a super food promising a range of spinach benefits for health given below.

 

  1. Benefits Of Spinach For Weight Loss:

Spinach leaves benefits in weight reduction as it is low in calories and fat. It is very nutritious and has a good quality of fat soluble dietary fibre. This fibre aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar and curbs overeating. Thus, this leafy vegetable is often recommended to dieters because in dieting, it is important to avoid repetitive eating.

  1. Anti-cancer:

Spinach is rich in flavonoids- a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties. Thus, it has been found to be effective in slowing down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells. Moreover, spinach has proven to be effective in providing protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.

  1. Promotes Eye Health:

Spinach contains antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin in plentiful which protect the eye from cataracts and age related macular degeneration(ARMD). Zeaxanthin is an important dietary carotenoid which is absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes, providing light filtering functions. Spinach also contains vitamin A which is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and essential for normal eyesight.

  1. Maintains Healthy Bones:

Spinach is rich in vitamin K which is vital for maintaining bone health. A cup of boiled spinach provides around 1000% of the RDA of vitamin K which lowers and controls the over activation of osteoclasts. These are the cells that aid in breaking down the bone structure over a short period of time. Vitamin K also promotes the synthesis of osteocalcin, the protein that is essential for maintaining the strength and density of bones. Spinach is a good alternative to dairy products as it gives proper substitute to calcium, thus preventing the occurrence of osteoporosis. It is an important protein diet for vegans as it helps in building the muscle tissues as well as supporting the collagen growth.

  1. Lowers Hypertension:

Hypertension or high blood pressure is responsible for causing kidney disease, heart ailments and stroke. Consuming spinach is beneficial in lowering hypertension as some of its constituents help to reduce stress and anxiety. The nutrients in spinach play a critical role in keeping the balance of Na- K pump by lowering the K (potassium) in your body. Vitamin C also plays an important role in lowering hypertension.

  1. Relaxes the Body:

Spinach keeps the body relaxed and completely stress free. It contains tremendous amounts of zinc and magnesium which enable you to sleep better at night, thus making way for more effective healing. Magnesium helps in replenishing your lost energy within seconds. A good quality sleep rests your tired eyes, thus relaxing your body as a whole.

  1. Promotes Gastrointestinal Health:

Consuming more of spinach promotes gastrointestinal health. The beta-carotene and vitamin C present in it protect the cells of the body’s colon from the harmful effects of free radicals. Besides, folate prevents DNA damage and mutations in colon cells.

  1. Brain and Nervous Function:

Spinach maintains proper brain functioning specially during old age. Consumption of spinach on a daily basis makes your brain young and active, thus enabling you to think intelligently. Spinach contains folate, vitamin K and vitamin C which help in modulating the hormone production of our nervous system. Vitamin K promotes healthy nervous system and brain function by facilitating the synthesis of sphingolipids, the crucial fat that makes up the Myelin sheath around our nerves. Thus, spinach can prove beneficial for correcting behavioural and cognitive issues.

  1. Prevention of Atherosclerosis and Heart Attack:

Excessive fat deposition can cause thickening of the human artery wall resulting in Atherosclerosis. Heart attacks are caused due to the hardening of the artery walls. Spinach is rich in Lutein content which prevents thickening of the walls of arteries, thus reducing the risk of heart attack. Besides, spinach contains a high quality nitrite which not only helps in preventing the occurrence of heart attack but also cures the heart diseases associated with fat deposition.

  1. Lowers Blood Pressure:

Peptides contained in spinach are effective in lowering blood pressure as they inhibit the angiotensin I-converting enzyme.

  1. Anti-inflammatory Properties:

Spinach contains Neoxanthin and violaxanthin, the two anti-inflammatory epoxyxanthophylls that regulate inflammation. Thus, it is beneficial in preventing inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, migraine headaches and asthma.

  1. Aids in Calcification:

Being rich in vitamin K, spinach aids in calcification. This is because this vitamin is a crucial component of the process called carboxylation which produces the matrix Gla protein. This directly prevents calcium from forming in tissue, thus fighting atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

  1. Boosts Immunity:

Vitamin A in spinach protects and strengthens the entry points into the human body, such as mucous membranes, respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts besides being a key component of lymphocytes (white blood cells) that fight infection. One cup of spinach provides as much as 337% of the RDA of vitamin A.

  1. Prevents Anaemia:

Regular consumption of spinach can prevent anaemia as it is an excellent source of iron. This mineral is particularly important for menstruating women and growing children and adolescents. Moreover, it is much better than red meat as it provides a lot less calories and is fat and cholesterol free. Iron is also needed for good energy as it is a component of haemoglobin which carries oxygen to all cells of the body.

Spinach Benefits For Skin

Skin is the largest and the most sensitive organ of our body. We all crave for healthy and glowing skin as it enhances our appearance to a great extent. Thus, even our skin needs certain nutrients for maintaining its health. Green leafy vegetables are great for skin and spinach is no exception.  Loaded with most useful vitamins like Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K as well as vital minerals, this vegetable plays an important role in skincare. Following are the benefits of spinach for skin.

  1. Cures Acne:

Spinach is effective in clearing up acne, thus maintaining healthy skin. To get rid of acne, you can make a face mask by blending spinach with little water and applying it on your face for 20 minutes. This will remove dirt, oil and inflammation from your skin, thus refreshing and rejuvenating it from within. You can also drink spinach juice with other vegetable juices mixed in the following proportions, ½ tomato, ¼ cucumber, 1 carrot, 1 celery, ½ red pepper, ½ cup cabbage, 1 green onion and a handful of spinach. Blend these ingredients to get the juice and drink it daily. This is effective for skin healing and prevents acne.

  1. Sun Protection:

Spinach is rich in vitamin B which protects your skin from the harmful ultra violet rays that cause sun damage, skin cancer and pre-mature ageing of skin.

  1. Anti-ageing Benefits:

Spinach is loaded with tons of antioxidants that destroy free radicals in your body. These free radicals damage your skin, thereby causing pre-mature ageing. Thus, eating spinach regularly will maintain the youth of your skin and slow down age related degeneration, making your skin look younger and rejuvenated.

  1. Improves Complexion:

Being rich in vitamin K and folate, spinach gives you a clear complexion by minimizing acne, bruising on the skin and dark circles. The bounty of vitamin and minerals in this vegetable give you quick relief from dry itchy skin, thus providing you with a radiant complexion.

  1. Skin Repair:

As stated earlier, spinach is a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A improves skin tone whereas vitamin C plays an important role in the repair as well as growth of skin cells. The amazing antioxidants and nutrients in spinach even out your complexion, making your skin look radiant.

Benefits Of Spinach For Hair

Proper nutrition is vital for getting luxurious hair. For this purpose, it is important to have a balanced diet which provides you with the required nutrients. Spinach occupies an important place in this regard as it is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that promote healthy hair. Here are the following spinach benefits for hair.

  1. Promotes Hair Growth:

Spinach is a super food comprising of vitamins B, C and E, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids all of which are required for healthy hair growth. Iron helps the red blood cells carry oxygen to hair follicles which is essential for healthy hair growth and strong strands.

  1. Combats Hair Loss:

Hair loss is often caused due to the deficiency of iron. This mineral strengthens the hair strands by enabling the blood cells to carry oxygen to the hair follicles. Deficiency of iron causes anemia which results in hair loss among other adverse effects. Spinach is rich in folate and iron. While folate aids the creation of red blood cells, iron helps them carry oxygen, thus combating hair loss.

 

Spinach Nutrition Facts:

 

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea), raw,
Nutritive value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Principle

Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

Energy

23 Kcal

1%

Carbohydrates

3.63 g

3%

Protein

2.86 g

5%

Total Fat

0.39 g

1.5%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

2.2 g

6%

VITAMINS

Folates

194 µg

48.5%

Niacin

0.724 mg

4.5%

Pantothenic acid

0.065 mg

1%

Pyridoxine

0.195 mg

15%

Riboflavin

0.189 mg

14.5%

Thiamin

0.078 mg

6.5%

Vitamin A

9377 IU

312%

Vitamin C

28.1 mg

47%

Vitamin E

2.03 mg

13.5%

Vitamin K

482.9 µg

402%

ELECTROLYTES

Sodium

79 mg

5%

Potassium

558 mg

12%

MINERALS

Calcium

99 mg

10%

Copper

0.130 mg

14%

Iron

2.71 mg

34%

Magnesium

79 mg

20%

Manganese

0.897 mg

39%

Zinc

0.53 mg

5%

s

Carotene-ß

5626 µg

Crypto-xanthin-ß

0 µg

Lutein-zeaxanthin

12198 µg

 

This dark green leafy vegetable is a powerhouse of nutrients comprising of carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamin, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and water. Various spinach health benefits can be attributed to its favorable nutritional profile explained below.

Water: Spinach has a high content of water with 1 cup of cooked spinach providing 164 gram or approximately 5 oz. of water. This is particularly important because our skin cells are also made up of water. Consuming plenty of water keeps your skin cells hydrated, making your skin look young and radiant.

Vitamin A: Spinach is a rich source of vitamin A. A cup of cooked spinach provides approximately 943 mcg of this vitamin which is equivalent to 105% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for men and 135% of the RDA for adult women. However, chronic use of vitamin A in high levels (more than 10 times the RDA) can lead to toxicity. So it is necessary to monitor the consumption of this vitamin.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant which is vital for growth and repair of your skin cells. Since this vitamin is not stored in the body, it has to be provided from your daily diet. Spinach is rich in vitamin C with one cup of cooked spinach providing approximately 17.6 mg or nearly 20% of the RDA for adult men and 23% of the RDA for adult women.

Iron: As stated earlier, iron is a vital component of haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that supplies oxygen to the tissues. One cup of cooked spinach contains approximately 6 ½ mg of iron which is equivalent to 81% of the RDA for adult men and 36% of RDA for adult women.

Magnesium: Magnesium plays an important role in healing skin wounds and infections. A cup of cooked spinach provides about 157 mg magnesium which is approximately 37% of the RDA for adult men and 49% of the RDA for adult women.

Oxilic Acid: Cooked spinach should be preferred to raw one because like most leafy greens, spinach contains oxilic acid. This acid interferes with the body’s calcium absorption but cooking the spinach can eliminate its effects. Therefore, it is advisable to cook the spinach rather than adding it to a salad in the raw form,

So this was about nutritional value of spinach and its amazing benefits. On a whole, this green superfood is packed with numerous healthy attributes, it’s hard to list them all!

 

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Sarana

Sarana Leaves with Coconut Paste (Sri Lankan Watercress Recipe)


Sarana
 is a kind of leaves which is commonly found in Sri Lanka. This leafy green is always a popular choice to cook with dhal curry. As it is a kind of watery leaf, the taste is good if you mix with another vegetable or grains including potato and dhal. However, in this recipe, I cooked sarana leaves (watercress leaves) with a coconut paste. As I added garlic and black peppercorn for the coconut paste, the flavours are different. The same coconut paste I use when I cook pumpkin curry to make it more flavourful.

I learned this way of cooking from my mother and as I remember she mention the name ‘Niyambala’ for the green leaves cook with this coconut paste. She likes to cook pumpkin leaves as niyambalawa (wattakka dalu niyambalawa). However as I can’t find pumpkin leaves, I cooked watercress with this coconut paste.Try this.This recipe is a really great way to add a different flavour to your menu.

 

You will find that I also mention the name ‘Kakkutu Pala’ for this watercress leaves. Although I am also not sure about the correct Sinhala name for watercress, you can use sarana leavesKakkutu pala or any watery leaf in this recipe.

 

Recipe: Sarana Leaves with coconut (Sri Lankan Watercress Recipe / Sarana Niyambalawa)

Ingredients

1 bunch of watercress leaves (or Sarana leaves)

2-3 shallots/small red onions

1-2 green chili

½ cup thick coconut milk

½ cup of fresh grated coconut

1-2 cloves of garlic

1 tspn of peppercorn (or black pepper)

Salt as per taste

 

Method:

First clean and wash watercress. Coarsely Cut into 2-3 inches’ pieces. Keep aside for draining water.

Wash, clean and slice onion and green chilli. Keep aside.

Now it is time to prepare the coconut paste.

Coconut Paste:

Grind coconut, garlic cloves and peppercorns (black pepper) into a thin fine paste. Add pinch of salt for the same paste.

Cooking:

In a pot add chopped watercress leaves (Sarana kola), sliced onion, green chilli and coconut paste. Add 3-4 tbsp. of water. Mix all.

Cook in low heat for about 4-5 minutes until it is cooked. Add thick coconut milk once it is cooked. Check and adjust salt. Remove from heat once coconut milk starts boiling.

Watercress is ready to serve with plain rice or roti.

 

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Pumpkin

About Health and Nutritional Benefits of Fluted Pumpkin Leaves (Ugu)


Fluted pumpkin leaves
 are greenish leafy vegetables grown in Nigeria and other West African countries. They are edible when boiled or cooked with foods; it can also be taken as a vegetable salad or as juice when mashed as fresh leaves and the juice extracted.

It is called sokoyokoto in Yoruba, Ugu in Igbo language, kabewa in Hausa, and Ikong-Ubong in Efik. It contains calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese also provides a good amount of vitamin C, A, B2 and E.

 

Here are some nutritional benefits of fluted pumpkin leaves or vegetables;

 

  1. Good Source of Dietary Fibre

Fluted pumpkin leaves are a source of dietary fibre that helps in the healthy maintenance of the digestive system.

It plays an important role in improving digestion thereby reducing the chances of health conditions like an irritable bowel movement, constipation and those causes by indigestion problems like ulcers and gastroparesis.

Green leafy vegetables such as fluted pumpkin leaves (ugu) are rich in dietary fibre and should form a part of our daily meal to gain the benefits of this fibre.

 

  1. Maintains the Body Tissues 

The vitamin contents present in this vegetable helps in maintaining healthy tissues, cells, membrane as well as maintaining the skin and treating of wounds in the case of vitamin C.

The protein in fluted pumpkin leaves also helps in the improvement and maintenance of the body tissues which includes the connective tissues, muscles and the nervous systems.

 

  1. Rich in Antioxidants

They are rich in alkaloids, resins, hydrocyanic acid, tannins and flavonoids which are powerful antioxidants that offer some immune system and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Foods that are rich in antioxidants are known to be effective in the prevention ofcancer and other associated health conditions like ulcer due to its ability to prevent the damages which should have been caused by the oxidative stress in the body.

Oxidative stress and inflammation are one of the underlying causes of cancer and other age-related illnesses and can cause changes in the DNA which could result in cancer formation.

 

  1. Balances the Hormones

The vegetable is known to have high protein content. Ugu contains the amount of protein needed for hormone balancing; tissue repairs and regulates the acidities of body cells and organs.

This is why consuming fluted pumpkin leaves (ugu) is very essential as its content of protein will also help in improving the body cells as well as replacing broken ones in the body.

 

  1. Serve as Anti-Diabetic Agent

It has an anti-diabetic effect which means that it has the ability to treat diabetes mellitus by reducing the level of glucose in the blood.

This is made possible due to the content of polysaccharides and ethyl acetatewhich have been effective in lowering the blood sugar level. They are also effective in promoting glucose tolerance as well as the levels of serum insulin.

The extract of Ugu leaves have proved effective in this case, and it has been used as an anti-diabetic agent to regulate the blood glucose level.

 

  1. Improves Blood Production

Fluted pumpkin leaves are always recommended for patients who suffer from a shortage of blood due to the effect of certain illnesses; the presence of iron and other important minerals in it contribute in the boosting of blood in the body system and prevent anaemia.

Iron being one of the essential minerals in the red blood cells, can cause adverse reactions such as the one stated above when there is its deficiency. Therefore fluted pumpkin leaves have been used in improving the level of blood in the body.

For the effectiveness of helping boost blood production, ugu is recommended to be pounded, then strain the mashed vegetable to collect the liquid/juice. Most times milkis also added to the juice before drinking.

 

  1. Improves the Bones and Teeth

Fluted pumpkin vegetable contains a good amount of calcium that the body needs for maintaining healthy bones and teeth also keep the skeletal systems in normal functioning conditions.

It also contains magnesium which plays a vital role in making the bone firm and strong, it might be surprising to say that without magnesium, calcium is almost ineffective to bones as it helps the adequate absorption of calcium by the bones.

It also plays the same function on the teeth, as adequate magnesium in the body helps in making the teeth stronger and firm.

Ugu also has potassium as one of the minerals it contains which also help in maintaining the bone mineral density which means that helps to make the calcium content in the bones intact avoiding the leaching of the mineral.

This helps to prevent osteoporosis, which affects the bones especially in the aged.

 

  1. Treat Convulsion

Ugu leaves have been found effective in treating convulsion in children. It becomes medicinal in this case when sliced and mixed with coconut water and with a small amount of salt.

Scientifically there might be no proof of this, but it has been used hundreds of years ago in the treatment of high fever and convulsion, and serve as a remedy to many other health conditions.

 

  1. Effective for Weight Loss

Foods that help in weight loss are recommended for its effectiveness in weight management. Vegetables such a fluted pumpkin leaves (ugu) contain a high amount of dietary fibre which can help you lose weight as it makes one fuller and lowers their appetite.

Not only that, it contains little or no calories which eliminate the chances of storing more calories in the body.

In as much as calories are good for the body which helps provide energy, if they are not totally utilized can start accumulating in the body thereby leading to weight gain.

 

  1. Promotes Fertility

Fluted Pumpkin leaves have been used locally in the treatment of infertility issues in both men and women. 

Its content of many vital nutrients and compounds have proven effective in its use to boost/improve sperm count in men and the overall functioning of their testicles.

It boosts fertility in women and improves post-pregnancy health as it helps nursing mother to adequately feed their babies by increasing breast milk production.

 

  1. Can Improve Memory

Fluted pumpkin leaves (ugu) just as most green leafy vegetables contain certain compounds which help to improve memory.

It also contains vital nutrients such as vitamins and magnesium which aid in the improvement and normal functioning of the brain and nervous system.

This can help in improving cognitive reasoning, memory loss (Dementia) and other health conditions associated to memory health such as Alzheimer's disease.

 

Nutritional Values of Fluted Pumpkin Leaves (Ugu) (90g)

 

Nutrients

Values

Calories

42

Total fat

1.6g

Saturated fat

0g

                            Trans fat

0g

Cholesterol

0mg

Sodium

48mg

Potassium

2500mg

Total Carbohydrate

7g

Protein

3g

Vitamin A

7%

Vitamin C

240%

Vitamin K

136%

Calcium

3%

Iron

78%

 

They are rich in dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins A, B6, C, phosphorus, protein, riboflavin, thiamine, manganese niacin, folate, magnesium, iron, potassium, anti-oxidants and vitamins flavonoid, poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, xanthins and carotene.

 

Where are Fluted Pumpkin Leaves Grown?

Fluted Pumpkin Leaves (ugu) is mainly grown in the southern part of Nigeria where it is used in various local cuisines and soup, but it is also grown in other West African countries like Ghana, Sierra Leona and others.

Its scientific name is Telfairia Occidentalis and is grown for its edible seeds and green leafy vegetable.

 

 

 

Fluted Pumpkin Seeds

The seed can be found in the gourd and is edible, as it can be used as snacks by roasting or boiling it. In some cases, it can serve as a soup thickener by drying and grinding it into fine particles.

The seeds are beneficial as well and contain oil (fats), and other vital minerals and nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fibre and more.

 

Is it Safe to Eat Fluted Pumpkin Leaves Raw?

Pumpkin contains lots of nutrients which can be found mostly in its raw form as some might be killed during cooking. But it is still necessary to be cooked a little in order to destroy some of the bacteria’s which might be present and can’t be seen by the physical eyes.

Except this, it is generally considered safe to eat.

 

Culinary and Medical Uses

They are basically known to be used for culinary purposes but most people are yet to know that they jointly or separately produce effective benefits to human health which are not limited to treating several health issues, replenishing dead cells in the body and maintaining the tissues and membranes.

 

Side Effects

Fluted pumpkin leaves are generally considered safe as there are no recorded proven side effects.

 

Conclusion

Fluted Pumpkin leaves help in protecting the body against disease as well improving the overall health. Therefore it has to form a part of our daily meal in order to gain these necessary benefits that it offers.

 

 

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Pandan

Pandan leaves is some plant that mostly grow in southern Asia and usually grow wild on your garden. In some country such Indonesia Pandan is one of the needed ingredient to make traditional or even daily food so that it can taste more delicious. It’s fragrant also smell good and rise your appetite.

 

Health benefits of Pandan Leaves for some treatment is very potent. Based on many long term studies and observations pandan leaves occur to have so many benefits for health. It can be a natural and safe traditional cure. It also recommended by some doctors to help you boost your health.

Here are the explanations of the surprising pandan leaves benefits:

  1. Lower High Blood Pressure

Pandan leaves benefits for high blood pressure is very impressive. Dizziness and tired are common symptoms of high blood pressure and it can drive stroke. Don’t just ignore this warning if you don’t want to regret that later. To prevent the effect people who have high blood pressure should preserve their diet of some booster blood pressure food. Another way you can do if you find out that you blood is high is pandan leaves.

You can boil two cups of water with 10 grams of pandan leaves. Wait until the remaining water is a half of the first amount. Then you can drink half of potion in the morning and the rest in the evening regularly to normalize your blood pressure.

  1. Eliminate Dandruff

Who doesn’t hate dandruff. It’s can cause our head itchy, scalp flaking, even hair loss. If you find out that shampooing is not really get rid of your dandruff you may wanna try this method. Mash ten fresh pandan leaves until it feel smooth then mix it with approximately 100 ml of water. Then apply the mixture throughout your scalp. Let stand for about 30 minute before rinse it with water or shampooing. Do it regularly. In addition. beside eliminate dandruff pandan leaves can also nourish you hair.

  1. Blacken Hair

Do you want to make your black hair look darken? If you possibly have pandan leaves in you house you can use it to be a treatment. Chop about 7 pieces of pandan leaves and boiled with water. Let the water condense all night. If you have noni fruit you can mix it with the pandan water in the morning and massage to your scalp. Do it regularly to have better effect.

  1. Overcoming Weak nerves

Due to the reduction of exiting nerve stimulation people can undergo frequent cramp. That is indicating your nerves are weaken. Pandan leaves can help overcoming your weak nerves as a herbal cure.

Chop 3 pieces of pandan leaves then boil it with three cup of water. Wait until it just remain 2 cup. Cool down before you drink it in the morning and afternoon.

  1. Rheumatism or Anti-Rheumatic and Stiff

Arthritis actually can affect not only elderly but also the young people as well. If you are too long soak in the water or experience frequent cold you can exposed arthritis.

Cope the effect by pandan leaves! Chop 3 pieces pandan leaves. Then mix it with heated coconut oil. After it’s cooling down, you can use it as liniment to your affected part of rheumatism.

  1. Boost Appetite

Pandan leaves also can help you when you lose your appetite. Just boiled 10 grams of pandan leaves in to 3 glass of water. Wait until a cup remain. Divide it to 2 portions to drink in the morning and evening.

  1. Nourish and Boost your Health

The nourishing essential oils which are contain in the pandan leaves such as glycidudes, alkaloids, traces of tannin  and isoprene esters can boost you health.

  1. Pain relief

Health benefits of pandan leaves also very potent for pain relief. Pandan leaves contain laxative properties that can act as a pain reliever from headache, ear pain, chest pain, and arthritis.

  1. Reduce Cramps

If you feel cramps, you can use pandan leaves as a traditionally cure to help reduce your cramps. Pandan leaves also can help you with gastrointestinal track cramps, especially stomach cramps. You can make pandan leaves tea and drink it to help you reduce your cramps.

  1. Anti-carcinogenic Properties

Another amazing benefits of pandan leaves is anti-cancer. It can counteract the effect of toxins and inhibits cancer cell development. It said that pandan leaf tea can also heal some type of cancer.

  1. Great for anxiety and stress

Drink 2 or 3 cups pandan tea a day will help your anxiety and stress problem.

  1. Gum pain

Even if you have brushed your teeth everyday you may have gum pain or any oral discomforts. Try to chewing fresh or dried pandan leaves. It is one of great ways to get rid your problem.

  1. Natural Mosquito Repellent

One little mosquito can bring worst harm to you. Many diseases caused by mosquito happen in a year. Especially in a rainy season. Rub your skin with extract pandan leaves for better protection against those harmful mosquitoes.

  1. After Child Birth Relaxing Energy

After child birth mothers completely lose their energy and feel tired. Pandan leaf tea can be given to them as a relaxant.

  1. Reduce Fevers

Another pandan leaf tea benefits is can help reducing fever. It can be a traditional cure to help reducing your fever. It also often be recommended by doctors to their patients who have high fever. The effect can be immediately lower patient’s temperature and make recover as fast as your temperature return to normal.

  1. Eliminate Tinea Versicolor

Fungus in your skin can cause tinea versicolor. It can make your skin look awful beside make you want to scratch over and over. For some people who have skin fungus problem pandan leaf can help get rid of it. Just make some extract juice of pandan leaves then mix it to a cup of salt water to consume one cup a day. Do it for at least 3 days to have the best effect.

  1. Detoxing Agent

It is not a secret anymore that your body contain toxins. Even though your liver is in charge of toxins remover but the works of liver can down if you don’t maintain your diet. You can use pandan leaf concurrently as a detoxing agent. It can detox both your liver and your body from unhealthy substance or toxins.

  1. Mild Laxative for Children

If your children have some indigestion you can give them pandan leaf tea. It is a safe and mild laxative natural cure for your children.

  1. Heal Sunburns

Here’s another method to heal your sunburn in summer. Add a lot of pandan leaf tea to your bath. You can soak in while bathing. It can help you sooth away your sunburns.

  1. Natural Cockroach Repellent

Cockroach as harmful as mosquito. Not only the shape of it which can give you a heart attack but it can bring you a millions of bacteria and infectious agents. You have to watch your way to eliminate it. Using some commercial bugs killer spray may cause another problem inside your house. And do not even think to step your foot on them. It will release the bacteria in some radius.

One natural way to deal with it is using extract of pandan. You can add some water and mix it with the extract to a spray bottle. Then spray it anywhere the cockroaches is mostly like to appear. You can get rid away those cockroaches safely.

  1. Antihyperglycemic Effect

Some study in Thailand have been published on Pharmacognosy Magazine in 2015. According to the study pandan leaf tea or extract pandan leaf can help people to lower their sugar blood. Another good news for diabetes patients. Although the experiment involved none of diabetes patients but it’s been proven that the plasma glucose of those people was significantly decreasing. Therefore, further investigation is required.



  1. Treat Muscle Pain

Pandan leaves also have a great effect for treat muscle pains. Drink pandan leaf tea as soon as you feel muscle pains caused by fatigue.

  1. Overcome Men Health Problem

What i mean with men health problem here is premature ejaculation or impotence. Apparently pandan leaves also very effective to be a cure.

  1. No side effect!

The last benefits of pandan leaves is “no side effect” is currently found for your health. So it is the safest, natural, and easy way to help you boost your health.

Pandan Leaf Uses

Not only delicious to eat, pandan leaf is actually great for your health. It contains essential nutrients which can prevent various diseases or even get rid of it. To make it as a natural traditional cure you can make some extract drink or make it as a tea.

Pandan Leaf Tea

First you will need these ingredients below:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 4 pandan leaves
  • 5 grains of cardamom
  • 1 peace of finger ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of palm sugar

How to make:

  1. Boiling 3 cups of water.
  2. After the water boil, add all the other ingredients but sugar.
  3. Boil over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes.
  4. Pour it into a cup or glass
  5. Add the palm sugar
  6. Your tea is ready to be served.

To make some pandan leaf tea is very easy yet beneficial for your health. If you have a lot of pandan leaves on your garden or your kitchen try to make some panda leaf tea. It may change your perception of this fragrant food ingredient.

Those things above is some benefits you can find while enjoying your new tea recipe. Now you may want to start growing pandan leave on you garden after read those amazing benefits. Anyway i will always support you to have some healthy diet for your healthy life.

 

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$2.50
Mugunuwenna

The most widely produced and consumed leafy vegetable in Sri Lanka


Alternanthera sessilis, to the world known as sessile joyweed, dwarf copper leaf is native to Brazil and a common plant in many tropic and subtropical regions throughout the world.

 This perennial plant prefers wet conditions but occurs in both wetlands and uplands and can grow under a variety of soil conditions. The plant is an erect, more or less branched, glabrous, succulent herb that grows up to 1 m tall.

 This plant has some beneficial characteristics. Mukunuwenna is one of our staple food. It is considered a leafy vegetable although it looks more like a herb (such as parsley) than well-known leafy vegetables (such as spinach or cabbage).

 Commonly called "Mukunuwenna" it is the most widely produced and consumed leafy vegetable in Sri Lanka - the most popular of nine leafy vegetables cultivated and sold on a commercial scale in Sri Lanka. It is easy and inexpensive to cultivate, damage during transport is minimal and once cultivated it can be harvested on a monthly basis for about two years. Sri Lankans believe that this vegetable contains high levels of vitamins, protein and fibre and consume the plant several times per week. The plants are shredded finely and stir fried with grated coconut and spices, to be eaten with rice.

 A wild plant that looks much like the edible local Mukunuwenna has been found growing wild on farms and sold in the market.

 The plant, popularly known as “Southern American Alligator Weed”, has been detected growing on land dedicated to Mukunuwenna cultivation. Cause for concern is the fact that the plant is believed to be harmful to animals and possibly humans.

 

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Kohila

Some nutritional aspects of Lasia spinosa (kohila) .


4 G Shefana and S Ekanayake* Department of Biochemistry Faculty of Medical Sciences University of Sri Jayewardenepura Nugegoda "Corresponding author Received on " 24-04-2008 Accepted on " 23-12-2008 Abstract Lasia spinosa (local name - kohila) is a stout, marshy plant with a creeping spiny rhizome, The tender leaves and rhizomes are used as a vegetable and are recommended for a variety of diseases in Ayurvedic medicine, The present study was carried out to determine the total antioxidant activity of Lasia spinosa rhizome and the contribution to antioxidant activity from the polyphenol fraction and ascorbic acid and the dietary fiber content (insoluble & soluble), Rhizomes (n=6) of Lasia spinosa were collected from six different markets in the locality near the university.

 

According to the results obtained from the study, Lasia rhizome possessed a wide-ranging antioxidant capacity. A total antioxidant activity of 145.0 - 957.0 umol/g TEAC on a wet weight basis was observed. The contribution from polyphenols to the antioxidant activity ranged from 14% - 48%. In addition to polyphenols, ascorbic acid also contributes to the total antioxidant activity (34% - 56%). The rhizome is a rich source of dietary fiber with 40% - 75% oftotal dietary fiber on dry weight basis, (7.2% - 7.5% on fresh weight basis) constituting 35% - 60% and 4% - 18% of insoluble and soluble fiber respectively. The above antioxidants could act independently or synergistically with fiber, since Lasia spinosa is a rich source of dietary fiber to reduce the adverse effects of various diseases. Thus kohila rhizome can be considered as a valuable functional food from the viewpoint of its antioxidant and dietary fibre content. Key words; Lasia spinosa, antioxidant activity, polyphenols, ascorbic acid, dietary fiber 59 She/ana and Ekanayake Introduction A member of the family Araceae, the plant Lasia spinosa is a stout, marshy plant with a creeping spiny rhizome. The plant with origins in India is now spread to New Guinea, China and Malaya peninsula. The plant is grown / cultivated in marshy areas, muddy streams and swampy grounds (Jayaweera, 1981). The tender leaves and rhizomes are used as a vegetable though not frequently. In the indigenous system of medicine the plant is recommended for a variety of disorders such as cholic, rheumatism, intestinal disorders. In addition, stalk and leaves demonstrate profound anticestodal efficacy. The rhizome is used for treatment of lung inflammation, bleeding cough and the whole plant in uterine cancer (Wealth of India, 1992). The rhizome is most frequently used as a remedy for haemorrhoids in Sri Lanka. The protection offered for some of the above conditions in part may be due to its high fiber content and the compounds with antioxidant activity. Antioxidants interact with and stabilize free radicals and may prevent some of the damage free radicals otherwise might cause (Bahorum et aI., 2004). Examples of antioxidants include polyphenols, beta-carotene, Iycopene and vitamins C, E (Harold et aI., 2000). Dietary fiber in the diet plays an important role in the physiology of gastrointestinal tract especially in the patients with hypercholesterolaemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus (Wikramanayake, 1996). The present study was carried out to determine (a) the total antioxidant activity of Lasia spinosa and the contribution to antioxidant activity from the polyphenol fraction and ascorbic acid and (b) the dietary fiber content (insoluble and soluble dietary fiber) of the rhizome. Materials and Methods Materials Rhizomes (n=6) of Lasia spinosa were collected from six different markets in the locality near the university and stored in a freezer (at -20°C) until analysis. All the enzymes; Trolox and ABTS were purchased from SigmaAldrich, USA. Unless otherwise specified all reagents used were of analytical grade. Distilled or deionized water was used in all analysis. Methods Dietary fiber content Dietary fiber content was determined using enzymatic digestion followed by gravimetric method. Edible part of the sample was chopped, homogenized, ultrasonicated and suspended in pH 6-phosphate buffer and digested sequentially with Termamyl at 95°C, pepsin and pancreatin at 40°C respectively. Enzyme 60 Some nutritional aspects of Lasia spinosa digestates were filtered through crucible containing celite for insoluble dietary fiber (IDF). To the filtrate obtained from above step, methanol was added to precipitate soluble dietary fiber (SDF) in the digestates. After 1hour, precipitates were filtered. Crucibles containing IDF and SDF were rinsed with methanol followed by acetone and dried until a constant weight was obtained in a 105°C oven. Finally, IDF and SDF residues were ashed in a Muffle furnace at 550°C for 5 hours (AOAC, 2000). Antioxidant activity The antioxidant activity of the samples was determined using 2, 2'-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazonline-6 sulfonic acid) diammonium free radical cation salt (ABTS) assay. Fresh ABTSo+ solution was prepared each day of analysis. Trolox was used as the standard and the antioxidant activity expressed as umol/g Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC). Blanched (40°C, 6 min) rhizomes were extracted into methanol-water (1: 1) mixture. Extract was divided into 2 portions with one being kept as the control while the other portion was treated with polyphenol oxidase. Accurately measured 1 mL of extract was incubated with 20 ul, of polypheno I enzyme solution and 3 mL of phosphate buffer (pH= 6) for 20 minutes at 25 ° C (Lee et aI., 1983, Christine et aI., 1967). The extracts and standards were then reacted with ABTS cation solution for 15 minutes. The reduction of blue-green ABTSo+ radical by hydrogen-donating antioxidant was measured by the suppression of its characteristic long wave absorption spectrum at 730 nm and the antioxidant activities calculated (Awika et aI., 2003). The same procedure was carried out with ascorbic acid oxidase instead of polyp heno I oxidase to determine the antioxidant contribution from ascorbic acid. Accurately measured extract (500 ul.) was incubated with ascorbic acid oxidase enzyme solution (25 ul.) and phosphate buffer (pH= 6; 1500IlL) for 1 hour at 25 °C (Xianggun et aI., 1984). Results & Discussion Table 1 indicates the dietary fiber content of kohila (Lasia spinosa) on dry weight basis. The rhizome is a rich source of dietary fiber with a total dietary fibre content of 40-74% on a dry weight basis (7-9 % on fresh weight). The insoluble dietary fiber content varied between 35-59 % whereas the soluble dietary fibre content was 4-17%. The most consistent benefit of consumption of adequate dietary fiber is regular laxation. Dietary fiber has proved effective in decreasing symptoms of diverticular diseases, Crohn's disease and hemorrhoids (Klurfeld, 1987). The dietary fiber values obtained in this study indicate that the Ayurvedic recommendation ofkohila for haemorrhoids and intestinal diseases have some scientific basis. Kohila is rich in IDF (about 49%), so it is less available for 61 Shefana and Ekanayoke bacterial fermentation in the gut and produces a significant change in stool bulk. Health authorities and nutrition societies recommend an intake of25 g dietary fiber daily in the diet (Marleff et aI., 2002). The present study indicated that inclusion of25-30 g ofkohila would cover 6-1 0% of this requirement. In addition this would add a considerable amount of antioxidant compounds to the diet. However, the antioxidant activity due to ascorbic acid may decrease depending on the processing method. Table I. Dietary fiber content ofkohila tLasia spinose) on a dry weight basis. Sample lDF'.Va SDF% Total dietary fibrc% A 52.3 4.1 56.4 B 35.6 4.9 40.4 C 36.~ 9.5 46.~ D 53.~ 7.8 61.2 E 43.3 17.4 60.7 F 59.4 14.8 74.2 Range 35.6 - 59.4 4.1-17.4 40.4 -74.2 n = 6; IDF- Insoluble dietary fibre; SDF -Soluble dietary fibre Variation of values obtained from sample to sample showed the biological variation, which could be due to maturity, and genetic and climatic effects among the samples of a plant, which has no cultivated varieties. According to Deepa et al. (2006) cultivars, maturity and growing conditions seem to play an important role in affecting the metabolism of antioxidant components and thus the antioxidant capacity. Data presented in literature indicates that polyphenol content increases with maturity (James et aI., 2002) and ascorbic acid content decreases with storage (Lana and Tijskens, 2006). Table 2. Antioxidant activity of Lasia spinosa rhizome Sample Total antioxidant Contribution of Contribution of Total antioxidant activity activity polyphcnols ascorbic acid (pulyphenols + ascorbic acid) umol/g TEAC umol/g TEAC umol/g TEAC urnol/g TEAC A 666 283 259 542 B 204 72 100 172 C 328 142 183 327 D 145 70 49 120 E 461 65 247 316 F 957 434 353 787 Range 145 - 957 65 - 434 49 - 353 120-787 n = 6; TEAC- Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity; * Each result average of 4 readings 62 Some nutritional aspects of l.asia spinosa The strong association between fruit and vegetable intake and cancer or heart disease prevention is considered to be due to their antioxidant phytonutrients. The results obtained from the study proved that the major contribution to the total antioxidant activity of the rhizome is by polyphenols and ascorbic acid (Table 2). The phenolic compounds present in the rhizome may be phenolic acids, flavonoids, stilbenes or lignans or a mixture of these. In addition, a recent study has shown that carotenoids may also contribute to the total antioxidant activity by a smaller extent (0.4-1.8 ug.g' fresh weight and 0.9-7.2 ug.g' fresh weight for c-carotene and ~ carotene respectively) (Priyadarshani and Jansz, 2006). However, the results of this study indicate the contribution to antioxidant potential is highest from polyphenols and ascorbic acid. Conclusion Amount of antioxidants as measured by ABTS assay shows relative potential of kohila to provide antioxidants for prevention of chronic diseases. These antioxidants could act independently or synergistically with fiber, to reduce the adverse effects of diseases. Thus kohila rhizome can be considered as a valuable functional food from the viewpoint of its antioxidant and dietary fibre content. Acknowledgements The financial support from IPIeS, Uppsala University. Sweden for grant SRI 07 is gratefully acknowledged. References AOAC Official methods of analysis (2000). 17thEdition. Edited by Willam Horwitz: Vol II (45). Awika M, Leyod WR, Prior XRL (2003). Screening methods to measure antioxidant activity of sorghum and sorghum products. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 51: 6657-6661. Bahorum T, Ramma AL, Crozier A, Okezie, Arouma (2004). Total phenol, flavanol, proanthocyanin and vitamin C levels and antioxidant activities of Mauritian vegetables. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 84: 1553- 1561. Christine T, Shanon DE (1967). Apple polyphenol oxidase activity in relation to various phenolic compounds. Journal of Food Science 32:479- 483 Deepa N, Charanjit K, Balraj S, Kapoor HC (2006). Antioxidant activity in some red sweet pepper cultivars. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 19: 572-578 63 Shefana and Ekanayoke Harold EM, RigelhofF, Marquart L, Prakash A, Kanter M (2000). Antioxidant content of whole grain breakfast cereals, fruits and vegetables. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 19:1-12. James A, Mark AM, Andrew LW (2002).Effect of maturity and vine water status on Grape skin and wine flavonoids. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 53:4:268-274. Jayaweera DMA (1981). Medical plants (indigenous and exotic) used in Ceylon.Part I. Colombo: National Science Council of Sri Lanka 134-135. Klurlfeld OM (1987).The role of the dietary fiber in gastrointestinal disease. Journal of American dietetic association 87(9): 1172-1177. Lana MM, Tijskens LMM (2006). Effects of cutting and maturity on antioxidant activity offresh-cut tomatoes. Food Chemistry 97 (2):203-211. Lee CY, Smith NL, Pennesi AP (1983). Polyphenoloxidase from OeChaunac grapes. Journal of the Science 0 food and Agriculture 34: 987-991 Marleff JA, McBurney MI, Salvin JL (2002). Position of the American dietetic association: Health implications of dietary fiber. Journal of American dietetic association 102(7): 993-1000. Nicoletta P, Mauro S, Barbara C et al (2003). Total antioxidant capacity of plant foods, beverages and oils consumed in Italy assessed by three different in vitro assays. Journal of Nutrition: 133:2812-2819. Priyadarshani AMB and Jansz ER (2006). The effect of maturity and in-vitro bioaccessibility after cooking on carotenoids of Lasia spinosa stem. Journal of National Science Foundation 34: 131-136 Wikramanayake TW (1996). Food and Nutrition. 3 rd Edition. Colombo. Hector Kobbekaduwa Centre for Agrarian Research and Training 141-148. Xianggun G, Mario 0,Nilkalas J, Lars B, VictorT (1984). Phytonutrients and their antioxidant effects in fruits of Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoids).The website of the Department of Horticultural plant breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.

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Kathurumurunga
Kathurumurunga Leaves Causes Cancer Is A Baseless Rumour
  1. WASANTHA Dissanayake (MBBS, DM MSc) Medical Officer in Charge of the Cancer Hospital, Maharagama in a letter to the HealthWatch states "Don't get misled by baseless and false rumours that Katurumurunga leaves have an unidentified substance which could cause cancer.

 

"What has been well-proven is that eating red meats and too much animal fat can cause cancers.

"Also using saturated fat in frying chicken can cause bowel, breast and ovarian cancers. Eating fresh fruits, vegetables and dark green leafy vegetables which contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Antioxidant Vitamin E and the element Selenium can reduce the incidence of cancer, so please don't get misled by these false and baseless rumours."

Dr. Dissanayake has been replying to a letter by L. W. Gunawardene of Mampitiya, Galle, we carried in this page on October 22 where he referred to some information he had gathered that Katurumurunga leaves had some cancer causing ingredients and wished to have the correct position in relation to it from a responsible person in authority.

We thank Dr. Dissanayake for the prompt response to the letter, and here we publish Dr. Dissanayake's reply in full, which is very informative.

Is Kathurumurunga safe for consumption

Yes, of course it is safe to eat Kathurumurunga which is a very nutritious dark green leafy vegetable.

When speak of cancer causing substances (carcinogens) we can divide them into three groups.

  1. Carcinogenic - Causes cancer in humans. e.g. Benzopyrene in tobacco smoke causes bronchial cancer (lung cancer).

Blue asbestos cause pleural cancer.

Vinyl chloride cause liver cancer.

Nitrate and Nitrate addictives - bowel cancer.

  1. Probably carcinogenic - Probably causes cancer in humans but more research is needed to be certain.
  2. Possibly carcinogenic - Some research indicate only a potential for human cancer, but more research is needed.

Kathurumurunga or passion fruit leaves does not belong to these three categories. Indeed it is a baseless rumour which is malicious has been spread by group of people who have an axe to grind by stopping people eating these locally found and nutritious food.

It is well-proven that eating red meats and too much animal fat can cause cancers. Also using saturated fat in frying chicken can cause bowel, breast and ovarian cancers.

Eating fresh fruits, vegetables and dark green leafy vegetables which contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Antioxidant Vitamin E and the element Selenium can reduce the incidence of cancer.

So please don't get misled by these false and baseless rumours and give your family Kathurumurunga leaves, Gotukola, Kankun, Mukunuwenna etc.

 

Organ transplantation to become obsolete

CONSULTANT Paediatrician, Dr. A.T.W. Gunaratne MBBS, MD, DCH, (Lond) writing on the stem cell research now in progress in the world, predicts the possibility of organ transplantation becoming obsolete and outdated in the not too distant future.

Researchers are trying to use the special ability of stem cells to produce new cells and tissues to repair and reproduce ailing and damaged tissues and organs. At present damaged or non-functional tissues and organs are replaced by compatible donor tissues and organs e.g. Renal, Liver and Heart transplants.

Sometimes synthetic materials are also used for replacement of heart valves. In future it may be possible to grow the required tissue in the laboratory using stem cells. This may prevent the rejection of donor organ transplants by the recipient. Rejection of donor organs is one of the biggest problems in donor transplants.

Stem cell produced tissues are unlikely to pose this problem. Kidney, Liver or Brain tissue may be grown in the lab and given to the patient. The present transplantation of organs may become obsolete in the future.

When a sperm joins an egg, fertilization takes place. The product of this union is the embryo. Stem cells are cells found in the embryo, which are capable of reproducing any cell type. (pluripotency). In the human, there are about 200 such cell types. Eg. Brain cells, Skin cells, Red cells etc.

Stem cells are also found in adult tissues but in small numbers. E.g. Bone marrow, brain, skin etc. The umbilical cord, which carries nutrients from the mother to the baby also has stem cells.

Achievements in stem cell treatment

At present some forms of Leukaemia, Lymphoma, Sickle cell anemia, Thalassaemia are being successfully treated using compatible bone marrow transplants using adult stem cells. Thousands of patients who were doomed to die are leading normal lives due to this type of stem cell treatment.

Future possibilities of stem cell treatment

Experimenting with mice and pigs embryo stem cells were made to grow into heart muscle cells and when these were injected to mice and pigs with heart disease, they replaced the dead cells in the heart resulting in the recovery of cardiac function.

In the future we could expect patients with myocardial infarction and hear failure to be treated with stem cells.

Similar results were obtained in rats with spinal cord injuries. In the future patients with paralysis following spinal cord injury may be able to walk again.

Research is being done to treat Type I Diabetes and Rheumatoid arthritis patients on similar lines. Research is being done to treat chronic nuro degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease using adult brain stem cells.

At present corneal transplants are done using cadavaric transplants which are sometimes rejected by the recipient.

Stem cell therapy may replace cadavaric corneal transplants in the future. Encouraging results have been obtained in animal experiments in treating retinal damage using stem cells.

Problems encountered in stem cell research

Embryonic stem cell research involves taking cells from the embryo on the fifth day, thus destroying it. As such, it is compared to performing an early abortion.

Some religions are against stem cell research as in their view an embryo, a foetus or a baby are the same, while only the time after fertilization is different. But most of the embryonic stem cell research is done on embryos left over at In Vitro fertilization clinics or hospitals.

Only a few embryos are selected for implantations, as most of the unused embryos are disposed of. In such a situation researchers are of the view that it is unfortunate to waste unused embryos as these may be used in research.

In Vitro fertilization is when the ovum and sperm are allowed to unite outside the uterus, in laboratory conditions (Test Tube Babies) and the fertilized ovum (embryo) is then implanted in the uterus. In Vitro fertilization is presently done in a large number of countries including Sri Lanka.

In most countries where embryonic stem cell research is done, strict guidelines are laid to prevent the haphazard destruction of embryos.

There is a fear that if embryonic stem cell research is allowed to go unchecked there may be embryo producing hospitals, like factories producing goods.

There is no restriction of research on adult stem cells, but adult stem cells have so far not shown the potential as embryonic stem cells. In Asia, China, South Korea and specially Singapore are the leading countries doing stem cell research.

The promise of stem cell treatment is an exciting one and with intensive research in the future a new era in medicine may dawn curing deadly diseases which at present has no treatment and invariably causing death.

 

Air pollution tied to increased risk of strokes

NEW YORK - Increases in particles polluting the air are associated with an increase in the number of strokes caused by a blood clot in the brain - but not the type caused by an artery rupture in the brain - new research shows.

Previous reports have shown a link between air pollution and overall risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events, but the specific effect on stroke risk has not been well studied, lead author Dr. Gregory A. Wellenius, from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, told Reuters Health.

"Our study is the first large study in the US to address this topic," he said. The researchers evaluated the link between air pollution and stroke among Medicare recipients in nine US cities.

Specifically, they analyzed data on 155,503 artery-blockage (ischemic) strokes and 19,314 bleeding (hemorrhagic) strokes recorded as hospital admissions between 1986 and 1999.

As reported in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke, the team found that an increase in particulate air pollution from the lowest to the highest levels raised ischemic stroke admissions by 1.03 per cent on the same day.

Further analysis yielded similar results for levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. By contrast, the investigators found no association between air pollution and hospital admission for hemorrhagic stroke.

Wellenius cited three possible mechanisms, which alone or in combination might explain how air pollution promotes stroke.

"One possibility is through inflammatory effects. The other is through pulmonary reflexes that trigger changes in blood pressure or heart rate." A third possibility is changes in clotting factors that tend to promote more blood clots.

Although the increase in ischemic stroke risk is small, the number of excess strokes can be high because pollution affects the whole population.

"Taken together with previous reports, the results suggest that reducing exposure to air pollution is likely to reduce the risk of a number of health problems, including heart disease and stroke," Wellenius concluded.

 

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Kankun

15 Best Benefits Of Water Spinach For Skin, Hair And Health


Water Spinach- we all know this green vegetable as Popeye’s favourite. But it is indeed a fact that water spinach is ranked high among the world’s healthiest foods and there are plenty of reasons for it being so. Also known as ‘kangkong’ or ‘swamp cabbage’, water spinach is one of the popular green leafy vegetables. It is basically herbaceous aquatic or semi aquatic perennial plant that is found in tropical and subtropical regions. There are generally two varieties of water spinach- the ‘Ching Quat’ having green stem, narrow leaves and white flowers and the ‘Pak Quat’ which has arrow shaped leaves and pink flowers. Though, all the parts of the young plant are edible, the tender shoot tips and the younger leaves are mostly preferred. In India, it is commonly known as ‘paani palak’.

Just like other dark green leafy veggies, water spinach is a powerhouse of nutrients that benefit your body as well as your skin and brain. It contains abundant quantities of water, iron, vitamin C, vitamin A and other nutrients and can be eaten cooked or raw. It is mostly used in salads as well as other dishes to boost their nutrient content. Juice of water spinach is also very beneficial.

 

Water Spinach Benefits

Here we give you the benefits of water spinach categorized under health, skin and hair for your convenience. Enjoy!

Health Benefits of Water Spinach:

All dark green leafy vegetables are packed with nutrients and water spinach is no exception. The leaves of water spinach are extremely nutritious, containing abundant quantities of vitamins and minerals. They are excellent sources of dietary fiber, protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C which are evident of its various health benefits given below:

  1. Reduces Cholesterol:

It is an excellent option for those individuals who want to lose weight and reduce cholesterol naturally. A research conducted on rats has proved that consumption of water spinach has resulted in the reduction in cholesterol levels as well as Triglyceride. Thus, this vegetable has a major role to play in the reduction of cholesterol level.

  1. Treatment of Jaundice and Liver Problems:

Water spinach has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of jaundice and liver problems. A research has proved that the extract of this plant can provide protection against chemical induced liver damage due to its modulation of detoxification enzymes; antioxidant and free radical scavenger properties.

  1. Useful in treating Anaemia:

Being rich in iron, the young water spinach leaves are extremely beneficial for people with anaemia as well as pregnant women who require iron in their diets. Iron is an important mineral that is needed by the body, particularly by the red blood cells for the formation of haemoglobin.

  1. Treatment of Indigestion and Constipation:

Water spinach is rich in fiber and hence, it aids in digestion, providing relief from different digestive disorders naturally. Its mild laxative properties are beneficial for people suffering from indigestion and constipation. Juice from boiled spinach can loosen constipation. This vegetable is also used in the treatment of intestinal worm infestation. It contains latex which is used as a purgative agent.

  1. Anti Diabetic:

Researches have demonstrated that regular consumption of water spinach helps in developing resistance against diabetes induced oxidative stress. It is also used in the treatment of diabetes in pregnant women.

  1. Protection against Heart Diseases:

Water spinach has certain essential nutrients like vitamins A and C as well as a high concentration of beta-carotene. These nutrients act as antioxidants to reduce free radicals in the body, thus preventing cholesterol form becoming oxidized. Oxidized cholesterol sticks to the blood vessel walls, causing blocked arteries, heart attack or stroke. Besides, folate contained in water spinach helps to convert a potentially dangerous chemical called homocysteine, which in high levels can lead to heart attack or stroke. Magnesium is a mineral that lowers blood pressure and provides protection against heart disease as well.

  1. Prevention of Cancer:

Being loaded with 13 different types of antioxidant compounds, water spinach is a perfect diet for prevention of cancer. These antioxidants are known to eliminate free radicals from the body, thus altering the conditions in which cancer cells multiply and strengthen the natural cell environment. This vegetable is said to be most beneficial in the prevention of colo-rectal and stomach cancers as well as skin and breast cancers.

  1. Beneficial for Eyes:

Water spinach has a high content of carotenoids, vitamin A and lutein. These nutrients are vital for eye health. Spinach also boosts glutathione levels, which plays an important role in preventing cataracts.

  1. Boosts the Body’s Immunity:

Being a storehouse of nutrients, this leafy green vegetable is an inexpensive and natural way of boosting the body’s immunity in comparison to vitamin C supplements. Consumption of this green leafy vegetable on a regular basis boosts your body’s immune system and promotes healthy development of bones. It also contributes to a healthy body by neutralizing and eliminating toxins.

  1. Other Benefits:

In addition to the benefits given above, water spinach is effective in treating ulcers, menstrual pains, toothache, launched urination, nosebleed etc. It acts as a sedative for people who have insomnia or sleeping difficulty. The juice of spinach mixed with water is used as a cold compress to treat fever. Being anti-venom, it is used to promote vomiting in case of poisoning.

  1. Anti-ageing Benefits:

Green leafy veggies like water spinach are rich in chemical antioxidants which prevent free radical damage of cells in the body, making the skin cells more resistant from damage from exposure to the sun and minimizing wrinkling to a significant extent. It this way regular consumption of this vegetable can prevent and reverse ageing.

  1. Treatment of skin Diseases:

The buds of water spinach can be used as poultice to treat skin diseases such as ringworm, athletes foot etc. This vegetable also helps in the prevention of skin cancer and is used in the treatment of acne, eczema and psoriasis.

  1. Healing Properties:

Due to its healing and detoxifying properties, it helps in providing relief in case of skin itching or insect bites. Add salt to water spinach and grind it into powder. Dab it on the sore spot and wrap it for immediate relief.

Skin Benefits of Water Spinach:

  1. Rejuvenates Skin:

Drinking spinach juice is extremely beneficial for your skin health as it keeps your skin ever rejuvenated by eliminating harmful toxins from the body. Regular consumption of this juice helps in healing skin disorders such as pimples and acne.

The benefits of water spinach for skin have been known for a long time. As stated earlier, this vegetable is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, carotenoids and lutein. These minerals are vital for a healthy and glowing skin. Consuming water spinach in a regular basis helps to maintain radiant and healthy skin.

Hair Benefits of Water Spinach:

  1. As we all know, proper nutrition is a pre-requisite for maintaining healthy scalp and hair. The wide array of nutrients contained in water spinach is beneficial for your hair. Spinach juice is beneficial for hair growth and prevents hair loss besides improving the quality and texture of your hair.

 

You can make a drink combining spinach and lettuce juices for getting healthy and lustrous hair. Here is a water spinach recipe that healthy and delicious!

Wash the spinach and lettuce leaves properly. Alternatively, you can use cabbage leaves in place of lettuce. Slice a lemon and put it in the juicer along with the leaves.

Grind the leaves in a mixer or a grinder and place the mixture in a muslin sieve to squeeze out the juice.

You can enhance the flavour of this drink by adding lemon juice or spices. Black pepper is preferable as it is beneficial for your hair besides providing a spicy flavour to the drink.

You should drink a glass of water spinach juice every day for maximum results.

Hope the article was informative. Please leave your feedback in the comments below.

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Hathawriya

Hathawariya for Common Gynaecological Disorders


A racemosusis commonly known as Hathawariya (Sinhala) and Sangavari (Tamil). It is a woody climber growing to about 1-2 meters in height.The leaves are like pine needles, small and uniform. The flowers are white in colour with small spikes. The plant flowers during February–March leaving a mild fragrance in its surrounding and by the end of April, fruits can be seen with attractive red berries. This plant belongs to the sub family Asparagae in the family Liliaceae. The plants habitat is intropical climates throughout Asia, Australia and Africa. Hathawariya is commonly seen throughout Sri Lanka, India and the Himalayas. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soil. Black, well drained and fertile soil is good for cultivation. It can also be cultivated in loose and medium black soil.Crop responses well to tropical and hot climates. The plant is adapted to semi arid regions of the tropics and can withstand drought conditions quite well. They require minimum irrigation so avoid over-watering.

 

  1. racemosusis a popular herb used in indigenous medicine in Sri Lanka. It is known as "queen of herbs." In India, various languages have its own name for this plant. One of them is "shatawari" meaning cure for hundred diseases. Another name translated means "she who possesses a hundred husbands" implying its ability to increase fertility and vitality. The root is the part that is widely used in Ayurveda medicine.

 

The plant has multiple uses and the demand for A. racemosusisconstantlyon the rise. It is endangered in its natural habitat because of destructive harvesting combined with habitat destruction and deforestation. Therefore, the need for conservation of this plant is crucial.

 

The plant is well known for its effects on the female reproductive system. It is used to increase milk secretion in a lactating woman. Being a rejuvenating herb, it balances the hormonal system of women. Furthermore, it regulates menstruation. The plant decreases morning sickness, infertility, menopause, leucorrhoea, inflammation of sexual organs and general sexual debility. It also tones and nourishes female reproductive organs and greatly regulates ovulation. It treats PMS symptoms just by relieving pain and controlling blood loss. The plant also relieves the menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. By producing estrogens it makes up for low estrogen levels in women who are in menopausal or have had hysterectomies or oophorectomies. The male reproductive system will also benefit from Hathawariya. The plant may be used in cases of sexual debility and impotence.

 

The plant is used for neuro-degenerative disorders and to ease alcohol withdrawal. Besides being used for the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery,the plant also has potent antioxidant, immune-stimulant properties. The root possesses anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antispasmodic properties. The regular use of the plant root treats impotence, leucorrhea, hyperacidity, and certain infectious diseases such as herpes and syphilis. It is also useful in treatment of epilepsy, kidney disorders, chronic fevers, excessive heat, stomach ulcers and liver cancer.

 

The root infusion acts as strong rejuvenating for the body and improves mental functions. The root infusion is traditionally used in treating nervousness, anorexia, insomnia, hyperactive children, and slow growing of humans.Asparagus racemosus aids in digestion, since the plant has anti-ulcer effects. Asparagus racemosus also has antidepressant and anxiety-reducing effects. It endorses positive emotions that are calming and the suppress emotions such as irritability, anger, jealousy, resentment and hatred. It also helps with pain, restless sleep, disturbing dreams, and those who have weak emotional and physical heart.

 

In Ayurveda medicine, asparagus racemosusis used for upset stomach, constipation, stomach spasms and stomach ulcers. It is also used for fluid retention, cancer, diarrhoea, bronchitis, tuberculosis, dementia and diabetes. Asparagus racemosus is recommended in Ayurvedic texts for prevention and treatment of bladder infections, throat infections, cough, gonorrhoea, leprosy, epilepsy, fatigue, hyperacidity, colic, haemorrhoids, cardiac debility, hypertension, abortion, agalactia and general debility.

 

In Sri Lanka, Hathawariya is commonly used to make herbal porridge that is eaten in many Sri Lankan homes. For added convenience, the Hathwariya porridge is now available in easy to prepare instant packets. Countries such as India are producing a root powder that is available in their local market. In additional, herbal supplements in tablet and syrup forms have been made out of this valuable herb. These products are exported overseas for foreign revenue.Local small and medium scale enterprises are now using the plant to produce herbal teas that are exported. However, it is important that people preserve this valuable herb for future use. Small and medium scale Enterprises using Hathawariya to manufacture value added products should make every effort to increase the propagation of the herb and ensure that the plant is protected in its natural habitat.

 

The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or care.

 

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Gotukola

8 Amazing Benefits Of Gotu Kola For Skin Hair And Health


Gotu Kola is a very small herb, special to India. This particular plant grows in swampy areas and also near natural water. This herb can be eaten as a vegetable every day and it can also be used as a herbal medication. There are a lot of health benefits of eating Gotu Kola. Some of these benefits have been authenticated by the scientists and others are still open to debate! Below are some of the skin and hair benefits attached with this herb.

 

Health Benefits of Gotu Kola:

  1. Cures Bacterial And Viral Infections:

This herb is used for the treatment of common cold, urinary tract infection, influenza, shingles, tuberculosis, leprosy, H1N1 (Swine Flu), dysentery, cholera etc. Gotu Kola can be used for the treatment of all kinds of bacterial, viral and parasitical infection in human beings.

  1. Gets Rid Of Fatigue:

This herb is also used for the treatment of fatigue. On eating this wonder herb, it provides you with a refreshing energy that will cure your weakness.

  1. Improves Memory:

Gotu Kola also helps in the improvement of memory and intelligence, treating Alzheimer’s disease, depression and anxiety etc.

Skin Benefits of Gotu Kola:

  1. Heals The Wound And Burns:

Scientifically this herb is known as Centella Asiatica. It has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory tendencies. Therefore, this herb can easily be used for the treatment of skin burns, psoriasis, dermatitis etc. This herb can easily heal the cut, wounds and burns on the skin because it has properties that increase the blood supply to the affected area and thus, raises the antioxidant level there. A rise in the antioxidant level promotes the production of fibroblasts. Fibroblasts help in synthesizing collagen and thus, help in diminishing the stretch marks and scars that appear on the skin.

  1. Perfect for Aging Skin:

Gotu Kola also acts as a toner for the skin. It tones and tightens the skin if you apply the herb topically. This is the reason why Gotu Kola is found in most of the anti-aging and skin firming creams these days. As this herb can promote the collagen production in human body, it can definitely help in improving the condition of an aging skin, wrinkles and fine lines. The fall of collagen production leads to fine lines, aging and wrinkles. Gotu Kola’s ability to replete the collagen supply in human body makes it a main ingredient in most of the anti-aging formulas.

  1. Fights Cellulite:

Gotu Kola herb is also a classic ingredient to fight cellulite on the skin. Cellulite often causes a lumpy, dimpled and ugly appearance – just like an orange peel! The problem areas of cellulite are upper arms, thighs and buttocks. Gotu Kola acts as a diuretic by increasing the blood flow in the area and reducing the possible inflammation.

 

Hair Benefits of Gotu Kola:

  1. Beneficial For Hair Loss:

Gotu Kola is also very famous for the treatment of hair loss. This herb also acts as a platform for hair re-growth. Hair loss happens when the hair follicles become weak due to malnourishment. This herb plays a very important role in strengthening the hair follicles and nourishing the scalp. It strengthens the blood vessels in the area and allows the small hair follicles to expand.

  1. Improves The Blood Circulation In Scalp:

The circulation of blood becomes better as the blood vessels relax, due to this herb. This makes space for the entry of oxygen and other important nutrients in the scalp. In the end, all that can be stated here is that Gotu Kola plays an important role in nourishing the scalp, preventing hair loss and promoting hair re-growth. It will provide us with strong, lustrous and beautiful hair.

The only slight trouble here is that the efficacy of Gotu Kola as a treatment for hair and scalp has still not been validated by the scientists.

Nutritional Value of Gotu Kola:

 

NUTRIENT

VALUE IN PERCENTAGE

Asiaticoside

40%

Asiatic Acid

29- 30%

Madecassic Acid

29-30%

Madecassoside

1-2%

Calcium

170 mg

Potassium

414 mg

Phosphorous

30 mg

Beta Carotene

6.58 mg

Ascorbic acid 2.1

4 mg

Thiamine

0.15 mg

Niacin

1.2 mg

Riboflavin

0.14 mg

 

It can easily be said that Gotu Kola as a herb is definitely nutritious even though there are certain elements that remain questionable. It is a herb that can be included in the diet. One can also try it as a medicinal herb for treating skin and hair related troubles.

 

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Drumstick

12 Best Benefits Of Moringa Leaves For Skin, Hair And Health


Moringa is known as a “miracle tree” and also as a “mother’s best friend”. It has multiple uses. Every part of the tree – leaves, pod, fruits, sap, seeds, oil, flowers, roots and bark has medicinal properties. Moringa leaves are literally one of the most powerful natural medicines known and Moringa leaves benefits are the one we can’t miss out.

Moringa leaves are a rich source of many nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Vitamin E. In fact, they have many more vitamins than the richest sources such as carrots, oranges and milk. They can be cooked and eaten in many ways. They can be consumed as juice, vegetable, oil, etc.

 

Let us look at the top benefits of this wonderful gift of nature:

Moringa Leaves Benefits:

Check out here some of the amazing benefits of moringa leaves.

  1. Amino Acids:

Moringa leaf contains 18 amino acids which are useful for the basic building blocks of our body, proteins. These help our body to function properly.

  1. Anti-inflammation:

Moringa leaf contains iron, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. This helps to cure minor injuries like bruises, cuts and burns. It also helps in quick healing of injuries.

  1. Lactation:

Moringa leaves have Ayurvedic properties. It is a traditional medicine which is given to nursing mothers to help to increase lactation or milk production.

  1. Cholesterol:

Moringa leaves contain fat burning and slimming properties that nourish and energize your body. These leaves are useful to naturally stop junk food cravings and to boost energy for a healthy and active lifestyle. Lower levels of cholesterol help to reduce heart diseases and many other cardiovascular problems.

  1. Diabetes:

One of the effective moringa leaves benefits is that it helps control diabetes. Diabetes decreases insulin production in the affected patients. Moringa leaves provide energy without sugar. Moringa is considered to be an herbal medicine which reduces sugar levels.

Take a handful of Moringa leaves

Boil in 3 cups of water.

Simmer the stew until it reduces to 1 cup.

Strain the pulp

Drink 3 times daily continuously for 2 months.

  1. Antioxidants:

Antioxidants play a vital role in maintaining healthy cells in our body. These can reduce the risk of cancer and slow down the aging process. Moringa leaves contain about 30 antioxidants that promote healthy skin. The leaves can be included in your diet to stimulate metabolism and trigger weight loss.

  1. Healthy hair:

These leaves are also beneficial for the hair and scalp as it has many vitamins and minerals. They can be used to cleanse the hair and scalp, prevent hair damage, dandruff, dry and lifeless hair. These also increase blood circulation of the scalp and boost hair growth. As the blood circulation increases, hair follicles get more nutrients, leading to strong and healthy hair.

  1. Nervous system:

Moringa leaves help to fight many nervous system disorders. It has shown effective results against migraine, headaches, irritability, etc.

  1. Assists digestion:

Moringa leaves are easy to digest and help to digest food properly. Thus, more nutrients are absorbed by all the parts of the body for maximum benefits.

  1. Detoxify:

Moringa leaves detoxify and cleanse your body so that it can function at an optimal level.

  1. Energy:

Moringa leaves increase energy and give a feeling of overall well-being. The moringa leaf increases energy in a natural way without any sugar.

  1. Acne:

The extract of moringa leaves is widely used in the cosmetic industry as it has many therapeutic and skin purifying properties. It removes impurities from the skin and rejuvenates it. It also enhances fairness and maintains the natural skin colour.

Take a handful of Moringa leaves

Grind with little water.

Make a smooth paste

Apply it evenly on your face as a mask

Leave it for 15-20 min

Wash off with water for beautiful glowing skin.

Hope you like our post on moringa leaves benefits. Include moringa leaves in your daily diet and reap the numerous skin, hair and health benefits. Do share your experience with us. Stay fit, stay healthy!

 

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Curry Leaves

14 Evidence Based Health Benefits Of Curry Leaves


Curry leaves are natural flavoring agents with a number of important health benefits, which make your food both healthy and tasty along with giving it a pleasant aroma.

The health benefits of curry leaves include aiding in weight loss, treating diarrhea, morning sickness, and nausea, controlling diabetes, improving eyesight, and reducing stress among others. They contain various antioxidant properties and have the ability to control gastrointestinal problems such as indigestion, excessive acid secretion, peptic ulcers, dysentery, and an unhealthy cholesterol balance. They are also believed to have cancer-fighting properties and are known to protect the liver.

 

What are Curry Leaves?

Curry leaves or kadi patta are the leaves of the curry tree, scientifically known as Murraya koenigii Spreng and it belongs to the Rutaceae family. The plant is native to India and is usually found in tropical and subtropical regions. It is cultivated in various other countries such as China, Australia, Nigeria, and Ceylon.

The height of the plant ranges from small to medium. The useful parts of this plant are its leaves, roots, and its bark. The leaves have always been sought after for their unique flavor and usefulness in cooking, but there are also a number of health benefits that make them highly appealing. The leaves can be dried or fried, depending on the intended use. The fresh form is also very popular, both for cooking and herbal medicines.

In Ayurvedic medicine, curry leaves are believed to have several medicinal properties. They are considered to have anti-diabetic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and hepatoprotective (capability to protect the liver from damage) properties. The roots are used for treating body aches and the bark is used for snake bite relief.

The leaves, with their vast herbal properties, are used in various local cuisines across India and other parts of Asia as flavoring agents. Curry leaves resemble ‘neem’ or Indian lilac and their name in most Indian languages translates to ‘sweet neem’.

Curry Leaves Nutrition Facts

The main nutrients found in curry leaves are carbohydrates, energy, fiber, calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, copper, and minerals. [1] It also contains various vitamins like nicotinic acid and vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, antioxidants, plant sterols, amino acids, glycosides, and flavonoids. They have nearly zero fat (0.1 g per 100 g).

The other chemical constituents present in curry leaves are carbazole alkaloids. A research study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that alkaloids found in the leaves possess antioxidant properties. [2]

Carbazole alkaloids include mahanimbine, murrayanol, mahanineoenimbine, O-methylmurrayamine A, O-methylmahanine, isomahanine, bismahanine and bispyrayafoline. Further studies conducted by Dr. Russel Ramsewak at the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University suggested that these chemicals have insecticidal and antimicrobial properties as well, specifically mosquitocidal properties. [3]

 

Curry Leaves Benefits

Most people think that curry leaves just add flavor to the food and throw the leaves away while eating their soup or curry. However, they are far more important than many people realize and offer a number of health benefits without any side effects.

Weight Loss

Curry leaves help with weight loss, thanks to the presence carbazole alkaloids in them, which prevents weight gain and also burns LDL cholesterol. You can add dried or fresh curry leaves to your food or you can directly munch on the dried curry leaves for reaching your weight loss goals.

Cure Diarrhea

Research shows that the carbazole alkaloids present in curry leaves have anti-diarrheal properties. Experiments on lab rats showed that carbazole extracts from curry leaves had significantly controlled castor oil-induced diarrhea. A bunch of curry leaves can be ground up and the paste can be eaten or the juice of the leaves can be consumed.

Treat Indigestion

Use of curry leaves is recommended as a cure for gastrointestinal issues in Ayurveda. [4] One important use is due to the fact that they are considered to possess mild laxative properties. You can make juice out of a bunch of curry leaves and add lime juice, and consume the mixture to cure indigestion. A paste made from the leaves can also be added to buttermilk and taken every morning on an empty stomach to serve the same function.

Prevent Nausea & Morning Sickness

Curry leaves help in preventing nausea, vomiting, and morning sickness. They also help provide relief from morning sickness and nausea to women in their first trimester of pregnancy.

Protect Against Pathogen Attack

Research on curry leaves has revealed that they are also effective in fighting bacterial and fungal infections due the presence of carbazole alkaloids in them. This compound is known to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti cancer properties. The leaf extracts from the plant have been comparable to popular mainstream antibiotic drugs.

 

Anti-diabetic Properties

Perhaps one of the biggest health benefits of curry leaves is their use in diabetes control, which is attributed to the presence of iron, zinc, and copper in them.

Another research cited in an International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences showed that the anti-hyperglycemic properties of the leaves were beneficial in controlling blood glucose level in diabetic rats. [5]

Good for Eyesight

Curry leaves contain high amounts of vitamin A, which is good for eyesight, as per a study by Dr. Julie A. Mares, department of ophthalmology and visual sciences, University of Wisconsin–Madison. [6] Vitamin A contains carotenoids which protect the cornea and the eye surface. Deficiency of vitamin A may cause night blindness, cloud formations in front of the eye, and even loss of vision in some cases.

Fight Stress

A research published in the Food Chemistry journal has indicated that curry leaves are a good source of antioxidants. [7] The presence of various vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin E help in reducing oxidative stress and free radical scavenging activity. They are also known to fight depression and anxiety.

Heal Wounds

Curry leaves are also helpful in skin care. The juice or paste of the leaves can be applied to burns, cuts, bruises, skin irritations, and insect bites for a quick recovery and clean healing.

Fight Cancer

The chemical constituents found in curry leaves such as phenols are helpful in fighting cancers such as leukemia, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancers. Research on these leaves showed evidence of cancer-fighting properties in the carbazole alkaloids extracts from curry leaves. [8]

Lower Cholesterol Levels

These leaves are also known to reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that they have the potential to reduce LDL cholesterol levels. [9]

Hair Care

Curry leaves are believed to help in strengthening hair roots. Dry curry leaf powder mixed with oil can be applied to your hair. The paste from curry leaves can also be applied in cases of gray hair. Doing these on a regular basis can improve hair growth as well.

Radio-protective and Chemo-protective

Studies on the extracts of curry leaves have shown positive results in reducing the effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. They also offer protection against chromosomal damage, protection of bone marrow, and prevention of free radicals becoming active in the body.

Protect the Liver

Your liver plays a major role in the digestive process and it needs to be protected from any attack by free radicals, as well as from viral and bacterial attacks that can result in infection. Research on curry leaves has indicated that the tannins and carbazole alkaloids present in the leaves exhibited good hepatoprotective properties. [10] They are also helpful in protecting the liver from various diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis.

FAQs

Where to buy curry leaves?

Major chains like Walmart and Target have curry leaves in various forms, meaning that you can even grow your own at home! Smaller natural medicine and Ayurveda-oriented stores will also have these leaves for sale. Again, they have a wide variety of uses, so there are plenty of places to find them.

How to store curry leaves?

You should remove the curry leaves from the stems, wash them, and pat them dry. Place them on a large plate with a sieve or mesh cover and set the leaves out in the sun for 2-3 days. Store the dry leaves in a plastic container; you can even keep them in the fridge and simply get one whenever you need!

How to use curry leaves for hair?

Curry leaves are very popular in hair care, primarily because of the antioxidants and amino acids the leaves contain. You can take a handful of these leaves and then mix them with yogurt, smashing them up into a paste. Apply this directly to your hair and leave the mixture in for half an hour. Then, wash the mixture out and clean your hair as usual. This can help rejuvenate hair follicles and prevent hair loss.

How to make curry leaves oil?

You should start with a pan of coconut oil that you heat up before dropping in the curry leaves. Allow this mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes and then let the oil cool down. You can strain the oil at that point, and then use the remaining curry leaf oil whenever you want to massage your scalp or prevent premature graying.

How to make curry leaves powder?

To make curry leaf powder, all you need is a pan, curry leaves, and a pinch of salt. Heat the dried leaves in the pan until they begin to brown and curl/crisp. Don’t burn the leaves. Add the salt gradually and put the leaves in a food processor or blender. The leaves will powder very quickly into a fine green spice that you can add to dishes. Delicious and easy to prepare!

How to use curry leaves?

You can use curry leaves in a number of different ways, either in the preparation of food or for certain health benefits that this unique plant can bestow. You can make curry leaf oil and use it to increase hair growth or prevent premature graying. You can make curry leaf powder and add it to your food to benefit from the antioxidant content of the leaves. You can also grind fresh leaves into a paste and apply it to the skin to prevent infections.

 

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Betel

23 Amazing Medicinal Uses Of Betel Leaf (Paan Ka Patta)


Do you frequently lose concentration or feel drowsy when you are in the middle of something important? Or are acne outbursts robbing you off your looks? Though there might seem there is no connection between the two conditions mentioned above, the two can be easily resolved with just one ingredient! It is nothing but the betel leaf!

 

And not just these, there are a number of other common ailments that can be easily cured by a betel leaf or its oil. Wondering what are the miraculous health benefits of betel leaf? Read on to know!

What is betel leaf? Betel leaf is also known as ‘Paan Ka Patta’ in Hindi and ‘Tamalapaku’ in Telugu. Betel leaf is a heart shaped leaf that exhibits unmatched medicinal properties. Betel leaf’s medicinal uses are hugely underrated, but highly efficient. Take a dive into the world of betel leaf uses and get amazed!

Medicinal Benefits Of Betel Leaf

  1. Analgesic

Betel leaf is an amazing analgesic that offers relief from pain. It can be used to alleviate pain caused due to cuts, bruises, rashes, inflammation (internal as well as external), indigestion, constipation, etc. You can simply make a paste of betel leaf and apply to it the bruised area (meant for external application). You can also chew betel leaves and drink its juice to get relief from internal pain.

  1. Eases Constipation

Betel leaf contains the goodness of antioxidants. Antioxidants clear free radicals from the body. This restores the normal PH level of an upset stomach. As a result, constipation is eased. You can simply chew the betel leaf and ingest its juice on an empty stomach each day to get relief from constipation. Another way is mincing betel leaf with water and storing it overnight. Drink the stored water on an empty stomach the next day.

For children suffering from hard stool problem, a suppository made of the stalk of betel leaf dipped in castor oil can be introduced into the rectum.

  1. Improves Digestion

Betel leaf is good for digestion. Its carminative, intestinal, anti-flatulent, and gastro protective properties made chewing the leaf after a meal very popular. The essential oil can be massaged on the stomach as it helps in the secretion of digestive acids and gastric juices. For children suffering from indigestion, boil betel leaf with a little pepper in water. Strain it, and give two teaspoons of this mixture to children twice a day for an instant cure.

Betel leaf thus increases the body’s metabolism. This triggers circulation and stimulates the intestines to absorb vital minerals and nutrients. Waste gets removed easily through better sphincter performance. Better sphincter performance is also an outcome of the stimulation caused by betel leaf.

  1. Reduces Gastric Pain

Betel leaf is essentially very helpful in improving GERD. It keeps the duodenum free of harmful free radicals and toxins. This further reduces acidity caused due to imbalanced PH levels of the stomach. Optimal PH levels ensure that bloating is eased. Fowl gas passes through sphincter contraction and expansion. This ensures that gastric reflux is eased. Hence, gastric pain subsides easily with constant use.

  1. Increases Hunger

Decreased appetite is also an outcome of an upset stomach. Normal pH levels trigger the hunger hormone to get secreted in optimal amounts. Betel leaf is highly capable of restoring the normal pH levels of the stomach by flushing out all the toxins. Hence, it increases appetite and promotes health.

  1. Promotes Oral Health

The betel leaf helps to refresh breath, protects against germs, bacteria and other oral pathogens in the mouth. When you chew a betel leaf, it cleanses the mouth. It prevents tooth decay. It helps to strengthen the gums and reinforces the teeth. It prevents oral bleeding. This protective shield can be enhanced by gargling, morning and night, daily, with one drop of betel leaf oil mixed in one cup of warm water. You can also boil some betel leaf in water and use it as a rinse and gargle. It also helps to treat sore mouth.

  1. Treats Respiratory Problems

Betel leaf is very good for treating respiratory problems. It helps to treat cough and cold. It also brings much relief to people suffering from chest and lung congestion and asthma. It even helps to cure breathing problems. You can apply mustard oil to the leaf, warm it and keep it on the chest to cure congestion. Alternatively, boil a few leaves with cardamom, cloves, cubeb and cinnamon in two cups of water. Reduce it up to 1 ½ cup. Strain and drink this concoction three times a day to find instant relief.

  1. Relieves Cough

Betel leaves are amazing ways of easing constant cough. They come loaded with the goodness of antibiotics. These antibiotics ease phlegm and also reduce the inflammation caused due to constant coughing.

How To Make?

  1. Simply boil betel leaves in water.
    2. Add cloves and cardamom to it and heat again.
    3. Drink at least three times a day.

This is an amazing anti-whooping recipe that eases cough with constant use.

  1. Eases Bronchitis

One of the best betel leaf medicinal uses is that it also acts as an amazing remedy for bronchitis. It reduces inflammation all along the bronchial chord and lungs. This leads to dilated phlegm. Hence, the chest congestion is eased that further improves breathing.

  1. Antiseptic Benefits

Betel leaf is an amazing antiseptic as well. It is rich in polyphenols, especially chavicol. Thus, it offers dual protection from germs. Being a good antiseptic, it can be applied on cuts to kill germs. And since it is loaded with polyphenols, it is used for treating inflammation such as arthritis and orchids. Local application of the betel leaf acts a pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory agent.

  1. Antifungal Benefits

Betel leaf is also an amazing anti-fungal remedy. Fungal infections commonly occur on moist body parts. Thus, betel leaf makes an amazing natural remedy that prevents fungal infections naturally.

  1. Relief From Back Pain And Muscular Tensions

Betel leaf is a good remedy for people suffering from lower back pain or lumbago. A hot poultice of betel leaves or juice mixed with refined coconut oil applied on the loins gives good relief. Massaging the lower back with betel leaf oil and a carrier oil helps to ease the pain. It also provides relief from muscular tension pains, redness, and swelling.

  1. Treats Water Retention And Urination

Betel leaf is a good diuretic. Crush a betel leaf and extract its juice, mix it with a little diluted milk and drink it. This helps to treat water retention in the body. It also helps in easing urination for people suffering from scanty or obstructed urination.

  1. Heals Wounds And Infection

Betel leaves medicinal properties include healing of wounds and infection. Crush a few leaves, extract the juice, and apply it on the wound or infection. Then put a betel leaf over it and wrap it with a bandage. The wound will heal within two days as it prevents the growth of destructive microbes.

  1. Improves Alertness

If you are feeling sluggish or suffering from nervous exhaustion, the betel leaf is a good remedy to improve alertness. A teaspoon of betel leaf juice with honey acts as a tonic. It can be taken twice a day. It improves mental functioning and treats debility. It also energizes and motivates people, thereby curing them of their sluggishness.

  1. Treats Headache

For people suffering from headache, the betel leaf is a good cure. It has analgesic and cooling properties. You can apply the betel leaf on your forehead to ease headaches. You can also use betel leaf oil for the same.

  1. Acne Cure And Other Skin Disorders

Betel leaf is a good remedy for acne, black spots, etc. Its antimicrobial properties help to treat skin ulceration, allergies, itchiness, and body odor. Crush a few betel leaves and extract its juice, mix with a little turmeric and apply on the acne and allergies to find good relief. Betel leaves boiled in water can be used for washing face and skin to treat and prevent skin problems. Regular usage will help clear spots and acne within a few days. The powerful antimicrobial and antiseptic properties help to treat skin infections.

  1. Stops Earache

Earaches can be irritating and painful. The betel leaf juice or oil is a good remedy for this problem. Mix betel leaf juice or oil and coconut oil and put two drops in the ear. You will find instant relief.

  1. Vaginal Hygiene

For women suffering from vaginal itching and vaginal discharge, betel leaf is a good home remedy. The betel leaves are boiled and are used as a genital wash. In some countries, it is widely used by women after giving birth as it causes genital shrinkage.

  1. Prevents Body Odour

The betel leaf helps to prevent body odour. You can add the juice of betel leaf or oil in your bath water to remain fresh the whole day. You can also drink a concoction made of few betel leaves soaked in boiled water, with a spoon of white sugar added to it. It prevents the unpleasant smell of perspiration and menstruation.

  1. Nose Bleed

Betel leaf is a good remedy for nosebleed. Many young children suffer from it when they play outdoors in the hot sun. The betel leaf helps to stop the blood flow. Roll a fresh betel leaf and insert it in the nosebleed. It takes about 30 minutes to stop the blood flow.

  1. Treatment Of Inflammation

The betel leaf oil has a phenol called chavicol, which has antiseptic properties. It is used for treating inflammation in serious conditions such as arthritis and orchids.

  1. Refreshes Breath

The betel leaf oil helps to refresh breath, protects against germs, bacteria and other oral pathogens in the mouth. It prevents tooth decay. It helps to strengthen the gum and reinforces teeth. It prevents oral bleeding. This protective shield can be enhanced by gargling, morning and night, daily, with one drop of Betel leaf oil mixed in one cup of warm water.

The betel leaf can cure and prevent various ailments and illnesses. It is better to use these home remedies than taking prescription drugs, which can be costly and have various kinds of side effects. Betel leaf is available in most parts of the world, and if not, then the essential oil of the betel leaf too can be used to reap the medicinal benefits of betel leaf. However, be cautious of not consuming it with tobacco and other hazardous products.

So, now you are aware of many benefits of betel leaf. Are you aware of any other medicinal uses of betel leaf? Do share your preferred medicinal use of betel leaf with us in the comments section!

 

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Aguna - Green Milkweed Climber

Sri Lankan Recipe: Kiri Aguna Kola Sambolaya


Kiri Aguna Kola
 (kiri anguna kola) or scientifically called as tylophora pauciflora is a kind of leaf which is also edible. In Sri Lanka there are many edible leaves which we use in different recipes. It can be amallumsalad or even a stir-fry, edible leaves play a major role in Sri Lankan cuisine.

Kiri Aguna kola is popular as a healthy leaf which is also good for many ailments and conditions including diabetic. In this sambolaya (salad), we use kiri aguna leaves raw and mix with other ingredients including onion, green chilies and lime juice.

 

When you prepare this recipe, please remember to mix all ingredients at the time of eating. By doing so, you can easily keep the freshness of the dish. Also Kiri Aguna kola will give some bitter taste. Therefore, when you mix the sambol, do it gently to avoid it getting bitterer.

When I am in Sri Lanka, I am lucky to taste such food from Sri Lankan cuisine. The most enjoyable part of preparing this Kiri Aguna sambolaya is picking leaves from the home garden and to prepare it freshly which is an exciting experience. Instead of buying leaves, we find most of such edible leaves from home gardens in Sri Lanka.

As I am spending another holiday in Sri Lanka, I will write more Sri Lankan recipes which is unique to Sri Lanka.at the same time I am also planning to share the pictures from the home garden which can be helpful for you to identify the ingredients or to enjoy the Sri Lankan food culture!

 

Recipe: Kiri Aguna Kola Sambolaya (A Diabetic Friendly Sri Lankan recipe)

Ingredients: (for 3-4 servings)

1 bunch of Kiri Aguna leaves

2-3 green chilies

4-5 small red onions

½ cup of fresh grated coconut

Salt as per taste

1 tsp. Lime juice

Method:

Wash Kiri Aguna leaves and drain water.

Slice the leaves into thin slices.

Slice green chilies and red onions.

In a dish, mix sliced Kiri Aguna leaves, green chilies, red onions, salt, fresh grated coconut and lime juice.

It is ready to serve with plain rice.

Crop Group

Leafy Vegetables



Scientific Name

Wattakaka volubilis

Family Name

Asclepiadaceae

Plant Code

070400

Name in English

Green milkweed climber

Name in Sinhala

Anguna Kola

 

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