Health & Wellness - India Herbs Blog

  • RSS
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 9 comments

Hi everyone

India Herbs has moved its blog to wordpress! We have further updates on all things health and wellness!

Visit us at or India Herbs Blog

Share us with your friends and families.

Until then, stay healthy!

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 11 comments

Fix your mood, fast. Researchers have discovered that walking can provide a temporary lift from even major depression.

You know that exercise can chase off the blues. But for the first time, researchers have discovered that just a 30-minute walk can give a temporary lift from even major depression.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin asked 40 men and women recently diagnosed with major depression to walk on a treadmill or rest quietly in a comfy chair. After a half hour, both groups had fewer negative feelings, such as anger, fatigue, and tension, but only the exercisers said they actually felt good.

The walkers got an 85% boost in vigor (liveliness) and a 40% improvement in well-being. The lift lasted about an hour.

Past studies have shown that aerobic exercise increases the brain's levels of serotonin, a feel-good chemical. People also get an extra boost and a sense of accomplishment by knowing that they've done something good for themselves.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 9 comments

Practice these 5 powerful tools that can help us all build resilience.

1. Build mental armor with meditation
Mindfulness meditation works wonders to boost stress resilience. We teach them to focus on the present moment instead of catastrophizing about the future. After 8 weeks of meditation training, Marines became less reactive to stressors—plus they were more alert and exhibited better memory.

Take short mindfulness breaks.

2. Remember the tough stuff
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—which helps you recognize and change knee-jerk reactions to stress triggers—is one of the most effective methods of managing PTSD. In the military, such training can include a technique called "exposure therapy," in which soldiers relive disturbing past experiences in small doses with a therapist until the memories become less overwhelming. Along the same lines, doctors have achieved promising results by asking patients who developed PTSD following an illness to imagine a relapse.

Imagine a moment of tension.

3. Bike for long-term resilience
Researchers are learning that exercise doesn’t just soothe stress, it also fortifies brain cells so they’re less vulnerable to anxiety in the future. Neuroscientists at Princeton University recently discovered that neurons created in the brains of rats that run regularly are less stress-sensitive than those in rats that don’t exercise.

While all exercise adds to your resilience, PTSD experts find that outdoor activities are particularly beneficial—especially cycling.

Sweat outside for 5 minutes.

4. Let a pet boost your health
New research shows that owning an animal is an even more powerful way to cultivate calm than previously thought. An astonishing 82% of PTSD patients paired with a service dog reported a significant reduction in symptoms, and 40% were able to decrease their medications, in an ongoing study at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The specially trained pooches can sense before their owners do when a panic attack is coming, and then give them a nudge to start some preemptive deep breathing. While we don’t yet understand why, we know the dogs’ presence affects serotonin levels and the immune system.

Bond with Dido.

5. Sleep to rebalance stress hormones
Sleep suppresses stress hormones, such as cortisol, and spurs the release of others, like DHEA, which plays a key role in resilience and protecting the body from stress. Yale University researchers tracked the hormone levels of a group of elite Special Forces soldiers who operate in treacherous underwater conditions and confirmed that higher DHEA levels predicted which divers were most stress hardy. Among women with PTSD, those with higher levels of DHEA have fewer negative moods, other Yale researchers found.

Do a nightly stress scan.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 1 comments

Handling your anger and getting into a happier, healthier life.

A grudge is a gift that keeps on giving--misery, that is.

It causes anxiety, depression, anger, paranoia, isolation, insomnia, and physical pain. But by forgiving your transgressor, you take back control of your life, and that brings just as outsized a list of benefits. There are physical payoffs, like lower blood pressure; maybe more important, you feel less anger, anxiety, and depression, and more self-esteem.

1. Understand what forgiveness is--and what it isn't.
A lot of people don't want to forgive because they think it's wimpy, or that it means they're saying the offender did nothing wrong. It's neither: You can send an offender to jail and forgive him. People also think forgiveness requires reconciling with the person who mistreated them.

It can--but it doesn't have to. Forgiveness isn't really about the offender at all. Instead, it's about letting go of the anger that eats at you--accepting that you were wronged but deciding to move on from your hurt. It's an act of profound self-respect and self-care that takes courage and commitment on your part.

2. Grieve for what you've lost.
Premature forgiveness has been compared with squirting whipped cream over garbage. The result may look good, but the underlying problem remains and will fester. To truly forgive, you must feel your sorrow, and that can take time. Even after you've decided to let go of your anger, you may feel it flare from time to time

3. Don't wait for an apology.
Sometimes the person who hurt you isn't even aware that he's done so. In other cases, he's incapable of understanding or caring. The simple words I'm sorry can be healing, but so is deciding that you no longer need to hear them.

4. Try to understand what drove the offender.
Generally speaking, bad behavior is the result of emotional immaturity, a state more to be pitied than judged. For example, studies show that many of the criminals in our federal prisons were abused as children. If your ex-friend betrayed a confidence, what insecurity must have driven her? If your father never showed you love and affection, how damaged must he be? Empathy can force out corrosive anger and transform your life--and sometimes the lives of others.

5. Celebrate who you have become.
In a recent study at the University of Miami, psychologist Michael McCullough, PhD, and his colleagues asked approximately 200 people who'd been hurt by someone to write about either the traumatic aspects of the betrayal or things they'd gained as a consequence, like becoming less selfish or discovering that they had unexpected strength. Those who wrote about what they'd learned or how they'd grown described feeling less bitter than the others did and were also more likely to forgive.

Life is a school for learning, and some of the lessons are painful ones. We can't avoid being hurt. But we can decide not to let our hurt overshadow the rest of our lives. Choosing to let go and move on doesn't leave you the same as you were before. It brings you greater understanding and maturity and more compassion--toward others, and toward yourself, as well.

Smart ways to really move on
Take a calming breath. When an upsetting memory arises, use deep breathing or another stress-management technique to allow yourself to feel your emotions without becoming overwhelmed by them.

Change the way you describe yourself. You were badly hurt--but you're also someone who was brave enough to choose to forgive.

Tell it one more time. Acknowledge your hurt to someone you trust, and then stop telling your grievance story once and for all. These stories keep hurt alive and can prevent you from being fully open to the people you need and love.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 2 comments

Pile your plate with these nutrition superstars.

1. Eggs

Egg yolks are home to tons of essential but hard-to-get nutrients, including choline, which is linked to lower rates of breast cancer (one yolk supplies 25% of your daily need) and antioxidants that may help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Though many of us have shunned whole eggs because of their link to heart disease risk, there’s actually substantial evidence that for most of us, eggs are not harmful but healthy.

People with heart disease should limit egg yolks to two a week, but the rest of us can have one whole egg daily; research shows it won’t raise your risk of heart attack or stroke. Make omelets with one whole egg and two whites, and watch cholesterol at other meals.

2. Greek Yogurt
Yogurt is a great way to get calcium, and it’s also rich in immune-boosting bacteria. But next time you hit the yogurt aisle, pick up the Greek kind—compared with regular yogurt, it has twice the protein (and 25% of women over 40 don’t get enough). Look for fat-free varieties like Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt (90 calories and 15 g of protein per 5.3-ounce serving).

3. Fat Free Milk
Yes, it does a body good: Studies show that calcium isn’t just a bone booster but a fat fighter too. Recent research from the University of Tennessee found that obese people who went on a low-calorie, calcium-rich diet lost 70% more weight than those who ate the least. Vitamin D not only allows your body to absorb calcium, it’s also a super nutrient in its own right. Recent research found that adequate D levels can reduce heart disease risk, ward off certain types of cancer, relieve back pain, and even help prevent depression, but most of us don’t get nearly enough of the 1,000+ IU daily that most experts recommend.

A splash of milk in your morning coffee isn’t enough to provide the calcium and vitamin D you need. Use milk instead of water to make your oatmeal, have a glass with breakfast, or stir some chocolate syrup into it for an after-dinner treat.

4. Salmon
Salmon is a rich source of vitamin D and one of the best sources of omega-3s you can find. These essential fatty acids have a wide range of impressive health benefits—from preventing heart disease to smoothing your skin and aiding weight loss to boosting your mood and minimizing the effects of arthritis. Unfortunately, many Americans aren’t reaping these perks because we’re deficient, which some experts believe may be at the root of many of the big health problems today, like obesity, heart disease, and cancer.

Omega-3s also slow the rate of digestion, which makes you feel fuller longer, so you eat fewer calories throughout the day.

5. Lean Beef
Lean beef is one of the best-absorbed sources of iron there is. (Too-little iron can cause anemia.) Adding as little as 1 ounce of beef per day can make a big difference in the body’s ability to absorb iron from other sources, says Mary J. Kretsch, PhD, a researcher at the USDA-ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, CA. Beef also packs plenty of zinc (even minor deficiencies may impair memory) and B vitamins, which help your body turn food into energy.

If you can, splurge on grass-fed. Compared with grain-fed beef, it has twice the concentration of vitamin E, a powerful brain-boosting antioxidant. It’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids. Because this type of beef tends to be lower in overall fat, it can be tough—so marinate it, and use a meat thermometer to avoid overcooking.

6. Beans
It’s hard to imagine a more perfect food than beans. One cooked cupful can provide as much as 17 g fiber. They're also loaded with protein and dozens of key nutrients, including a few most women fall short on—calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Studies tie beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers.

The latest dietary guidelines recommend consuming at least 3 cups of beans a week—3 times the measly 1 cup we usually get. Keep your cupboards stocked with all kinds: black, white, kidney, fat-free refried, etc. Use them in salads, stuffed baked potatoes, and veggie chili or pureed for sandwich spreads.

7. Nuts
In a nutshell: USDA researchers say that eating 1½ ounces of tree nuts daily can reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Walnuts are rich in omega-3s. Hazelnuts contain arginine, an amino acid that may lower blood pressure. An ounce of almonds has as many heart-healthy polyphenols as a cup of green tea and 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli combined; they may help lower LDL cholesterol as well.

The key is moderation, since nuts are high in calories. Keep a jar of chopped nuts in your fridge, and sprinkle a tablespoon on cereal, salads, stir-fries, or yogurt. Or have an ounce as a snack most days of the week.

8. Edamame and tofu
Soy’s days as a cure-all may be over—some claims, such as help for hot flashes, don’t seem to be panning out—but edamame still has an important place on your plate. Foods such as tofu, soy milk, and edamame help fight heart disease when they replace fatty meats and cheeses, slashing saturated fat intake. Soy also contains heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, a good amount of fiber, and some important vitamins.

Soy’s isoflavones, or plant estrogens, may also help prevent breast cancer. Some researchers believe these bind with estrogen receptors, reducing your exposure to the more powerful effects of your own estrogen, says Prevention advisor Andrew Weil, MD. But stick with whole soy foods rather than processed foods, like patties or chips, made with soy powder. Don’t take soy supplements, which contain high and possibly dangerous amounts of isoflavones.

9. Oatmeal
Fiber-rich oats are even healthier than the FDA thought when it first stamped them with a heart disease–reducing seal 10 years ago. According to new research, they can also cut your risk of type 2 diabetes. When Finnish researchers tracked 4,316 men and women over the course of 10 years, they found that people who ate the highest percentage of cereal fiber were 61% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

To reap the benefits, eat 1/2 cup daily—preferably unsweetened. For a versatile breakfast, top with different combinations of fruit, yogurt, and nuts. You can also use oats to coat fish or chicken or add texture to meatballs.

10. Flaxseed
Flaxseed is the most potent plant source of omega-3 fats. Studies indicate that adding flaxseed to your diet can reduce the development of heart disease by 46%—it helps keep red blood cells from clumping together and forming clots that can block arteries. It may also reduce breast cancer odds. In one study, women who ate 10 g of flaxseed (about 1 rounded tablespoon) every day for 2 months had a 25% improvement in the ratio of breast cancer–protective to breast cancer–promoting chemicals in their blood.

Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of flaxseed a day on your cereal, salad, or yogurt. Buy it preground, and keep it refrigerated.

11. Olive Oil
Olive oil is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol. It’s rich in antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, like Alzheimer’s.

Look for extra virgin oils for the most antioxidants and flavor. Drizzle small amounts on veggies before roasting; use it to sauté or stir-fry, in dressings and marinades, and to flavor bread at dinner in lieu of a layer of butter or margarine.

12. Avocado
These smooth, buttery fruits are a great source of not only MUFAs but other key nutrients as well. One Ohio State University study found that when avocado was added to salads and salsa, it helped increase the absorption of specific carotenoids, plant compounds linked to lower risk of heart disease and macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. Avocados are packed with heart-protective compounds, such as soluble fiber, vitamin E, folate, and potassium.

But they are a bit high in calories. To avoid weight gain, use avocado in place of another high-fat food or condiment, such as cheese or mayo.

13. Broccoli
Pick any life-threatening disease—cancer, heart disease, you name it—and eating more broccoli and its cruciferous cousins may help you beat it, Johns Hopkins research suggests. Averaging just four weekly servings of veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower slashed the risk of dying from any disease by 26% among 6,100 people studied for 28 years.

For maximum disease-fighting benefits, whip out your old veggie steamer. It turns out that steaming broccoli lightly releases the maximum amount of sulforaphane.

14. Spinach
We’ll spare you the Popeye jokes, but spinach has serious health muscles. For one thing, it contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in egg yolks. Aside from guarding against age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness, lutein may prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of cholesterol.

Spinach is also rich in iron, which helps deliver oxygen to your cells for energy, and folate, a B vitamin that prevents birth defects. Cook frozen spinach leaves (they provide more iron when cooked than raw) and serve as a side dish with dinner a few times a week.

15. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are our most common source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may protect against heart disease and breast cancer. The only problem with tomatoes is that we generally eat them in the form of sugar-loaded jarred spaghetti sauce or as a thin slice in a sandwich. For a healthier side dish idea, quarter plum tomatoes and coat with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Roast in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes, and serve with chicken.

16. Sweet Potatoes
One of the best ways to get vitamin A—an essential nutrient that protects and maintains eyes, skin, and the linings of our respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts—is from foods containing beta-carotene, which your body converts into the vitamin. Beta carotene–rich foods include carrots, squash, kale, and cantaloupe, but sweet potatoes have among the most. A half-cup serving of these sweet spuds delivers only 130 calories but 80% of the DV of vitamin A. Replace tonight’s fries with one medium baked sweet potato (1,096 mcg) and you’re good to go—and then some.

17. Garlic
Garlic is a flavor essential and a health superstar in its own right. The onion relative contains more than 70 active phytochemicals, including allicin, which studies show may decrease high blood pressure by as much as 30 points. High consumption of garlic lowered rates of ovarian, colorectal, and other cancers, according to a research review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Allicin also fights infection and bacteria. British researchers gave 146 people either a placebo or a garlic extract for 12 weeks; garlic takers were two-thirds less likely to catch a cold.

The key to healthier garlic: Crush the cloves, and let them stand for up to 30 minutes before heating them, which activates and preserves the heart-protecting compounds, according to a 2007 study from Argentina.

18. Red Peppers
Citrus fruits get all the credit for vitamin C, but red peppers are actually the best source. Vitamin C may be best known for skin and immunity benefits. Researchers in the United Kingdom looked at vitamin C intake in 4,025 women and found that those who ate more had less wrinkling and dryness. And although getting enough vitamin C won’t prevent you from catching a cold or flu, studies show that it could help you recover faster.

Vitamin C has other important credentials too. Finnish researchers found that men with low levels were 2.4 times likelier to have a stroke, and Australian scientists recently discovered that the antioxidant reduces knee pain by protecting your knees against arthritis.

19. Figs
When you think of potassium-rich produce, figs probably don’t come to mind, but you may be surprised to learn that six fresh figs have 891 mg of the blood pressure-lowering mineral, nearly 20% of your daily need—and about double what you’d find in one large banana. In a recent 5-year study from the Netherlands, high-potassium diets were linked with lower rates of death from all causes in healthy adults age 55 and older. Figs are one of the best fruit sources of calcium, with nearly as much per serving (six figs) as 1/2 cup of fat-free milk.

Serve by chopping and adding to yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, or green salads. Or enjoy them as a savory snack: Cut a slit in the side and stuff with 1/2 teaspoon of a low-fat version of a soft cheese such as chèvre or Brie.

Blueberries may very well be the most potent age-defying food—they’re jam-packed with antioxidants. When researchers at Cornell University tested 25 fruits for these potent compounds, they found that tangy-sweet wild blueberries (which are smaller than their cultivated cousins) packed the most absorbable antioxidants. Research shows a diet rich in blueberries can help with memory loss, prevent urinary tract infections, and relieve eyestrain.

Add up to 1/2 cup of blueberries to your diet a day for maximum health benefits, recommends Ronald Prior, PhD, adjunct professor of food science at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. This alone provides just about double the amount of antioxidants most Americans get in 1 day.

21. Asian Pears
One large Asian pear has a whopping 10 g of cholesterol-lowering fiber, about 40% of your daily need. People who ate the most fiber had the lowest total and LDL cholesterol levels, according to a recent study of Baltimore adults. The same researchers found that people who ate the most fiber also weighed the least and had the lowest body mass index and waist circumference.

Serve by dicing it into a salad of Boston lettuce, crumbled goat cheese, walnuts, and mandarin oranges. Or make it a dessert: Add peeled and cored pears to a saucepan with 1 cup white wine, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, and enough water to cover the pears. Cover and simmer 40 minutes or until pears are soft.

22. Lychee
A French study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that lychee has the second-highest level of heart-healthy polyphenols of all fruits tested—nearly 15% more than the amount found in grapes (cited by many as polyphenol powerhouses). The compounds may also play an important role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer.

Serve by peeling or breaking the outer covering just below the stem; use a knife to remove the black pit. Add to stir-fries or skewer onto chicken kebabs to add a sweet, grapelike flavor.

23. Apples
One of the healthiest fruits you should be eating is one you probably already are: the apple. The Iowa Women’s Health Study, which has been investigating the health habits of 34,000 women for nearly 20 years, named apples as one of only three foods (along with pears and red wine) that are most effective at reducing the risk of death from heart disease among postmenopausal women. Other massive studies have found the fruit to lower risk of lung cancer and type 2 diabetes—and even help women lose weight.

In fact, one of the only things that could make an apple unhealthy is mixing it with sugar, flour, and butter and stuffing it into a mile-high pie. Instead, have one as an afternoon snack with a tablespoon of peanut butter, or add slices to sandwiches or salads.

24. Guava
Native to South America, this tropical fruit is an excellent source of skin-healing vitamin C, with 250% of your RDA per serving. One cup of guava has nearly 5 times as much C as a medium orange (377 mg versus 83 mg)—that’s more than 5 times your daily need. It’s also loaded with lycopene (26% more than a tomato), which may help lower your risk of heart disease. And according to research by microbiologists in Bangladesh, guava can even protect against foodborne pathogens such as Listeria and staph.

You can buy guava juice, or simmer chunks in water as you would to make applesauce. Guava also makes a super smoothie: Blend 1/2 banana, 1/2 ripe guava, a handful of strawberries, 1/2 cup soy milk, and a few ice cubes.

25. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is filled with flavonoid antioxidants (more than 3 times the amount in milk chocolate) that keep blood platelets from sticking together and may even unclog your arteries.It may also help with weight loss by keeping you feeling full, according to a study from Denmark. Researchers gave 16 participants 100 g of either dark or milk chocolate and 2 hours later offered them pizza. Those who consumed the dark chocolate ate 15% fewer calories than those who had milk chocolate, and they were less interested in fatty, salty, and sugary foods.

Try a chocolate with 70% or more cocoa. Two tablespoons of dark chocolate chips with fresh berries as a midafternoon snack or after-dinner dessert should give you some of the heart-healthy benefits without busting your calorie budget.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 6 comments

If you feel tired all the time, don’t blow it off. Give yourself about 2 to 3 weeks to make some lifestyle changes. Get more sleep, trim your social calendar, eat more wholesome foods, drink more fluids, take a multivitamin, and cut back on caffeine and alcohol.

1. Anemia - This condition is more common in women with heavy periods or who don’t consume enough iron.

The fatigue caused by anemia is the result of a lack of red blood cells, which bring oxygen from your lungs to your tissues and cells. You may feel weak and short of breath. Anemia may be caused by an iron or vitamin deficiency, blood loss, internal bleeding, or a chronic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, or kidney failure. Women of childbearing age are especially susceptible to iron-deficiency anemia because of blood loss during menstruation and the body's need for extra iron during pregnancy and breastfeeding, explains Laurence Corash, MD, adjunct professor of laboratory medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

2. Diabetes - More than a million people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every year, but many more may not even know they have it.

Sugar, also called glucose, is the fuel that keeps your body going. And that means trouble for people with type 2 diabetes who can't use glucose properly, causing it to build up in the blood. Without enough energy to keep the body running smoothly, people with diabetes often notice fatigue as one of the first warning signs, says Christopher D. Saudek, MD, professor of medicine and program director for the General Clinical Research Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

3. Thyroid Disease - When your thyroid hormones are out of whack, even everyday activities will make you feel wiped out.

The thyroid gland, about the size of the knot on a man's tie, is found in the front of the neck and produces hormones that control your metabolism. Too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism), and metabolism speeds up. Too little (hypothyroidism), and metabolism slows down.

4. Depression - It is a major illness that affects the way we sleep, eat, and feel about ourselves and others.

Without treatment, the symptoms of depression may last for weeks, months, or even years. So it's important to recognize the warning signs and get help.

We don't all experience depression in the same way. But commonly, depression can cause decreased energy, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, problems with memory and concentration, and feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and negativity.

5. Rheumatoid Arthritis - This autoimmune disease is not always easy to diagnose early, but there are some subtle clues to look for.

RA happens when your immune system turns against itself and attacks healthy joint tissue, sometimes resulting in irreversible damage to bone and cartilage.

Many symptoms (such as fatigue, low energy, loss of appetite, and joint pain) are shared by other health conditions, including other forms of arthritis such as fibromyalgia and lupus. Also, anemia and thyroid disorders, which also cause fatigue, are even more common in people with RA, according to John Klippel, MD, president and CEO of the Atlanta-based Arthritis Foundation.

Rheumatologists look for at least four of the following criteria in diagnosing RA: morning stiffness in and around the joints lasting at least 1 hour before maximum improvement; at least three joint areas with simultaneous soft tissue swelling or fluid; at least one joint area swollen in a wrist, knuckle, or the middle joint of a finger; simultaneous involvement of the same joint areas on both sides of the body; lumps of tissue under the skin; and bone erosion in the wrist or hand joints, detected by x-ray.

6. Sleep Apnea - You could have this sleep-disrupting problem if you wake up feeling tired no matter how much rest you think you got.

Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. In the most common type, obstructive sleep apnea, your upper airway actually closes or collapses for a few seconds, which, in turn, alerts your brain to wake you up to begin breathing again. Someone with obstructive sleep apnea may stop breathing dozens or even hundreds of times a night, says Roseanne S. Barker, MD, former medical director of the Baptist Sleep Institute in Knoxville, TN.

Sleep apnea is often signaled by snoring and is generally followed by tiredness the next day. Because sleep apnea can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke, it's important to be tested.

7. Chronic Fatigue - This baffling condition causes a strong fatigue that comes on quickly.

People who suffer from CFS feel too tired to carry on with their normal activities and are easily exhausted with little exertion.

Other signs include headache, muscle and joint pain, weakness, tender lymph nodes, and an inability to concentrate. Chronic fatigue syndrome remains puzzling, because it has no known cause.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 1 comments

Eat your way to a healthier heart with these delicious superfoods.

1. Oats
If you’re looking to lower your cholesterol, the key may be simply changing your morning meal. Switching up your breakfast to contain two servings of oats can lower LDL cholesterol by 5.3% in only 6 weeks. The key to this cholesterol buster is beta-glucan, a substance in oats that absorbs LDL, which your body then excretes.

2. Red Wine
Scientists are giving us yet another reason to drink to our health. It turns out that high-fiber Tempranillo red grapes, used to make red wine like Rioja, may actually have a significant effect on cholesterol levels. A study conducted by the department of metabolism and nutrition at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain found that when individuals consumed the same grape supplement found in red wine, their LDL levels decreased by 9%. In addition, those who had high cholesterol going into the study saw a 12% drop in LDL .

3. Salmon & Fatty Fish
Omega-3 fats are one of the natural health wonders of the world and have been shown to ward off heart disease, dementia, and many other diseases. Now these fatty acids can add yet another health benefit to their repertoire: lowering cholesterol. According to research from Loma Linda University, replacing saturated fats with omega-3s like those found in salmon, sardines, and herring can raise good cholesterol as much as 4%.

4. Nuts
If you’re looking to lower cholesterol levels, research shows that you should get cracking! In a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who noshed on 1.5 ounces of whole walnuts 6 days a week for 1 month lowered their total cholesterol by 5.4% and LDL cholesterol by 9.3%. Almonds and cashews are other good options. However, while nuts are heart healthy, they're also high in calories, so practice portion control—1.5 ounces is about a shot glass and a half. Use a shot glass to measure out your portion so you can see exactly how it looks.

5. Beans
Beans, beans—they really are good for your heart. Researchers at Arizona State University Polytechnic found that adding 1/2 cup of beans to soup lowers total cholesterol, including LDL, by up to 8%. The key to this heart-healthy food is its abundance of fiber, which has been shown to slow the rate and amount of absorption of cholesterol in certain foods. Try black, kidney, or pinto beans; each supplies about one-third of your day's fiber needs.

6. Tea
While tea has become well known for its cancer-fighting antioxidants, it is also a great defense against LDL cholesterol levels. According to research conducted with the USDA, black tea has been shown to reduce blood lipids by up to 10% in only 3 weeks. These findings were concluded in a larger study of how tea may also help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

7. Chocolate
This powerful antioxidant helps build HDL cholesterol levels. In a 2007 study published in AJCN, participants who were given cocoa powder had a 24% increase in HDL levels over 12 weeks, compared with a 5% increase in the control group. Remember to choose the dark or bittersweet kind. Compared to milk chocolate, it has more than 3 times as many antioxidants, which prevent blood platelets from sticking together and may even keep arteries unclogged.

8. Margarine
Love butter but hate the unhealthy fat that comes with it? Switch to a margarine with plant sterols, such as Promise activ or Benecol, to help lower cholesterol. Plant sterols are compounds that reduce cholesterol absorption. In April 2008, AJCN published a study that found that women who had a higher plant sterol–based diet were able to lower total cholesterol by 3.5%.

9. Spinach
This popular green contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in dark green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. Lutein already has a "golden" reputation for guarding against age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. Now research suggests that just 1/2 cup of a lutein-rich food daily also guards against heart attacks by helping artery walls "shrug off" cholesterol invaders that cause clogging. Look for bags of baby spinach leaves that you can use for salads or pop in the microwave for a quick side dish.

10. Avocado
Avocados are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that may actually help raise HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL. And, more than any other fruit, this delectable food packs cholesterol-smashing beta-sitosterol, a beneficial plant-based fat that reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food. Since avocados are a bit high in calories and fat (300 calories and 30 g fat per avocado), use them in moderation.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 2 comments

You can now adopt these 10 habits to shrink your middle.

1. Calm down.
Too much stress can contribute to a potbelly. Stress increases levels of cortisol, a hormone that seems to direct fat to our middle. To keep levels low, try this 5- to 10-minute stress reducer: Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit. Next, take several slow, deep breaths to help clear your mind. Continue breathing deeply and repeat the word "one" to yourself as you exhale. (If you get distracted, just bring your focus back to the word "one.") Practice this for 5 to 10 minutes once or twice a day.

2. Skip the alcohol.
That glass of wine with dinner may be part of the reason your jeans are too tight. Alcohol also tends to raise cortisol levels, sending fat to your belly

3. Stop smoking.
It keeps me thin," proclaim many smokers. But the truth is that smokers tend to have more abdominal fat than nonsmokers. (The stress hormone cortisol seems to be the culprit here too.) When people stop smoking, the amount of abdominal fat actually decreases.

4. Bulk up on your fiber.
Not only is fiber great for overall weight loss (it fills you up so you don't eat as much), it also prevents constipation, which can cause your tummy to bulge.To stay regular, aim for 22 to 25 g of fiber a day by eating more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; or try a fiber supplement such as Metamucil.

5. Maintain sufficient water.
For premenstrual bloating, drink lots and lots of water. This will actually help flush away bloating, not make it worse.

6. Keep your bones strong.
Osteoporosis can lead to fractured bones in your spine, causing you to slump. That shortens your abdominal cavity, giving your belly no place to go but out. If you're age 50 or over, be sure to get 1,200 mg of calcium every day from the foods you eat and/or from supplements. (If you're age 50 or younger, 1,000 mg a day is the ticket.)

7. Get your heart rate up.
All the ab exercises in the world won't do a thing unless you get rid of the fat hiding your abdominal muscles. The best way is aerobic exercise for 45 to 60 minutes, five times a week.

8. Hit the weights
Aim for two or three weight workouts a week.

9. Maintain regular bonus ab workout.
Stand as much as possible when doing weight-lifting exercises. That way your abs work too. They help to balance and stabilize your body. Concentrate on keeping your abs tight and maintaining good posture, but don't hold your breath.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 1 comments

Serotonin and Melatonin are the hormones which produce calming and relaxing effects on the brain. Tryptophan, an amino acid, acts as a precursor to both these hormones, and the good part is, it is present in some foods. Consuming Tryptophan containing foods along with carbs can boost up the availability of these hormones in the body.

Here is a list of 10 best foods that can get you a good night's sleep -

1. Dairy Products (such as Milk, cheese, paneer or cottage cheese): A cup of warm milk, especially clubbed with a banana, or a cheese or paneer sandwich made using brown bread, or a paneer paratha are the foods that you can consume for a good sleep at night. These foods contain tryptophan as well as carbs which soothe your brain muscles and invite a sound sleep.

2. Nuts: Hazelnuts and peanuts, when consumed in roasted form, can get you a good sleep. Even a peanut butter sandwich can prove to be a good bedtime snack.

3. Eggs: Scrambled eggs with a slice of brown bread can keep you full until next morning. Besides, these foods contain enough tryptophan to induce sleep and to add to the overall health.

4. Whole Grains/Cereals: These food options contain a good combo of tryptophan and carbs. Try having some wheat flakes with milk if you are facing difficulties with sleep.

5. Seafood: You can have a grilled fish with some rice or a prawn salad for your dinner, if sleep has been troubling you quite regularly.

6. Meats: Lean meats have special soothing effects on your nerves. The foods are warm to eat and can help you get a relaxed feeling, which in turn would give you a good sleep.

7. Rice with Beans/Lentils: This food choice denotes a perfect combination of carbs and tryptophan, and hence can induce a good sleep.

8. Soybean/Tofu/Soy Milk: Soy milk contains more tryptophan in comparison to the regular milk. Hence, it can help you sleep better. Soymilk with cereals would make a good bed time snack.

9. Oats: Oats and oatmeal help in increasing the insulin secretion in the body, facilitating the transport of tryptophan to the brain. Have it with soy milk for a better effect.

10. Cookies: Cookies prepared with different nuts/oats/oatmeal taken along with a glass of milk, has an equally beneficial effect on sleep.

Knowing about the sleep inducing foods and eating them won't help much if you continue the consumption of "sleep disturbing" foods. You need to cut down on the consumption of caffeine - which appears in soft drinks, energy drinks, coffee, chocolate and tea - and other items like alcohol, cigarettes and even spicy foods. These foods can keep you awake all night long and you might have to spend the entire night hearing your roommate's or partner's snores!

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 1 comments

5 Signals You are Sleep Deprived.

Our bodies give us plenty of signals when we’re tired.

1. Simple decisions stump you , you get overwhelmed by minor details.

2. You're still hungry - after munching all day. Shortchanging your nightly sleep can make your waistline suffer. Tired people tend to be particularly drawn to sugars and other simple carbohydrates, probably because the body is looking for a quick pick-me-up. Sleep deprivation also tends to erode self-control, making you more likely to choose a brownie over carrot sticks.

3. You keep coming down with colds. Inadequate sleep can leave you more vulnerable to infection than those who are well rested. 8 - the amount of hours you should lock in at night.

4. You are overly sensitive. When we’re sleep deprived, we may also feel glum because tired brains store negative memories more effectively than positive or neutral ones. As a result of all this, if you are chronically sleep deprived, you could act like someone with depression.

5. Klutz is your new middle name. Sleepiness throws off balance or depth perception. In any case, it’s not uncommon for very sleepy people to black out momentarily when the body’s urge to sleep gets too strong. So it’s possible that your klutziness stems from “microsleeps” that last for a second or two, just long enough to trip on the curb or drop a glass.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 1 comments

as we age, all the wear and tear on the eyes will start to weaken the muscles. Also, in today's age of video games, computers, and other electronics; we work our eyes a little too much.

In such cases, the most common way people improve their vision is by wearing prescriptive lenses. But better eyesight without glasses is no longer a dream today. Most people are not aware that you can improve eyesight naturally. Take a look at ways to improve eyesight naturally -

1. Have plenty of fish: Eat oily fish like salmon or tuna at least twice a week. Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which helps to reduce the risk of dry-eye syndrome. You can even have fish oil supplements.

2. Eat raw vegetables: Eat raw vegetables like carrots, broccoli and cucumber as they have Vitamin A which is essential for eye care. You can also drink plenty of fruit and vegetable juice to increase your vitamin A levels. Also, eat spinach (palak) as studies have shown that lutein (a nutrient abundant in spinach), may prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

3. Blink Regularly: Blinking is a natural preserver of your better vision. Blinking is your body's natural way of lubricating your eyes and preventing dry eyes. The more you blink the better it is for your eyes.

4. Avoid Stress: When you are stressed, you will find difficult to focus your eyes on a certain object. In other words, avoiding stress can improve your eyesight.

5. Use sunglasses and goggles: If you are working in a industrial belt or swimming, make sure to wear goggle. While swimming, googles will protect eyes from chlorine, salt and other chemicals used in the water. Wearing safety goggles in a industrial belt will protect your eyes from the flying dust particles or other flying objects. When you go outside, always use sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun as well as from the drying effects of wind.

6. Regularly palm your eyes: Rub your hands together briskly to generate heat. Once warmed, place the palms over your eyes making sure to block all light. Breathe comfortably while palming your eyes. Do this for at least a minute, longer if you have the time available to you.

7. Have a chocolate: The dark variety of chocolate offers flavonoids which are important for the protection of blood vessels in the eyes.

8. Avoid staring: Staring is the most commonly practiced bad habit in regards to poor vision. Avoid sitting for long periods of time watching the T.V. or computer monitor. If your job requires you to work at a computer, stop once in a while (every 30 to 40 minutes) and look around the room at some distant point for 30 seconds.

9. Avoid dry air: Air from hair dryers, car vents, air conditioners and fans can make eyes dry, so avoid situations where air blows into your eyes. When you are in a car, point the air vents away from your face, and when you use a hair dryer, try to keep it away from your face.

10. Eye exercises: The goal of eye exercises is to strengthen the muscles on your eyes. These soothing exercises are a great addition to a healthy vision care routine:
* Squeeze your eye lids together tightly. Open, and blink rapidly several times. Repeat once or twice more.
* Try to move your eyes upwards and then roll the eyes. At first you follow clock rotation. After you make one rotation, reverse the direction
* To counteract the tendency to squint, look up while exhaling with eyes half open.
* Hold a pencil at arms length in front of your nose. Now slowly move the pencil towards your nose while focusing your eyes on the pencil.

11. Relaxation: Better eyesight without glasses also can be gained through eye relaxation. Consciously rest your eye muscles every now and then in order to give sufficient rest to the eye muscles.

It is not an easy task to improve eyesight naturally, at the same time it is not impossible. You can have the eyesight you desire using the above natural techniques. Remember eye care is important and not something that should be ignored even at the slightest discomfort.

If you wear contact lenses, change your contact lenses according to your Doctors instructions. Don't be concerned with the cost of contact lenses, there are tons of discount contact lenses available for you, to replace them.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 1 comments

According to a study published in the Obesity journal, people on strict diet and exercise program tend to lose weight more slowly than expected because they ate more on weekends than during the week. Another study found that people eat 40-50 percent more saturated fat on a Saturday or Sunday than the recommended value, all thanks to a diet consisting of pizzas, chocolates, chips, ice cream and cakes.

Weekends may be the time to let loose after a long week at work, but it is important to pay attention to the stuff that you're eating and the quantity you're eating at the weekend so that you don't overeat and ruin all your hard work. Here's some advice to help you enjoy your weekend without falling off your healthy eating plan:

1. Start with a plan: If you don't have a plan, you will end up watching TV and munching on something. So set your schedule on Friday night itself. Make sure your weekends are busy with family activities, socializing with friends, and running errands. Plan your weekend out perfectly, so you know exactly what you are going to eat.

2. Wake up early: Most people have a habit of waking up late on the weekends. But you have to wake up at the same time on the weekends as you do during the week. This way your eating timings are not ruined.

3. Exercise early: Take a walk or go for a bike ride to balance out those extra calories that you will be taking in later. Resist the urge to spend countless hours on the couch. Get the family or friends to go with you.

4. Have breakfast: Start the day with a complete breakfast meal that includes protein and fiber. This will keep you feeling satisfied until lunch. And, since you will not be making frequent visits to the kitchen, this will result in a reduced calorie intake.

5. Avoid alcohol: Alcohol has a lot of empty calories. Instead switch to green tea or plain and simple water. Alcohol also weakens your resolve to make healthy choices when you do sit down to dinner. If it is imperative to have a drink, stick to lower-calorie options such as light beer or wine rather than mixed drinks or cocktails, which can have upwards of 500 calories each.

6. Manage your calories: Many people feel they deserve a treat at weekends after being "good" all week. And for many, that treat is food. But it's important to pay attention to exactly what you're eating and the quantity you're eating on weekends. If you are not careful, even a few treats can easily provide you more calories than you have saved during the week. The golden rule is to make sure you stick to your daily calorie allowance. There are non-food ways also to treat yourself, like catching a movie, meeting a friend for a walk or getting a massage at a spa.

7. Eat less in parties: Instead of grazing the appetizers at weekend parties, portion your appetizers onto a small plate. Otherwise, you may end up in nearly 600 calories you really didn't mean to eat in the first place. Also, it is a good idea to eat a small protein-rich snack before you leave home for the party. This will help you not to overindulge.

8. Cook yourself: Instead of constant nibbling in front of the TV rather make a meal for your family. Stick to the same low-fat ingredients and cooking methods as you normally would. This way you will be busy and will not binge.

9. Shopping: Weekends are also full of shopping activities. So don't shop when you are hungry otherwise you will end up bingeing. Also, if possible, shop on Saturday afternoon so that you can stock up for the rest of the weekend and the week ahead.

10. Weigh yourself on Monday: A great way to gain insight as to what happened in the weekend is to weigh in on Monday morning. You're less likely to overeat on the weekend if you have to step on the scale on Monday morning.

11. Stay active: Most people are more active on weekdays. The whole routine of going to work requires that people move about. So don't let exercise slide off just because it is weekend.

And remember, if you have a blowout dinner or graze on weekend at a family party, simply get back on track on the next weekend. So, this week, stop and re-assess how you did last weekend, and make plans to make the next weekend better.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 1 comments

Hi everyone

Our March Newsletter is out!

Click here to view -

Until then, stay healthy!

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 1 comments

Wrong diet choices can put your health at risk. Just initiating a few changes in your diet would help you to overcome many health related issues like diabetes, heart and gastrointestinal problems and obesity in the future. There should not be any worry because you do not have to go for a 100 percent change in the initial stage. Here's how you can take small steps.

1. Say "No" to protein from animal sources: The foods in this category include cheese, milk, eggs, meat and butter. These animal proteins take a long time to get digested, thereby making you feel bloated after eating them. On top of that, many times you combine these fatty foods with acidic foods. For example, many people think that a cheese pizza would be digested quickly if they take it with a cola drink! And, those who love drinking often choose to have hard drinks with meat! A better option will be to avoid acidic foods and focus on fruits and vegetables which are more alkaline in nature. Acids have the power to cause long term thinning of the bones and to reduce the muscle mass. Additionally, the excess amount of animal fat present in meat can contribute to the bad cholesterol content of the body, thereby increasing the risk of heart diseases and obesity.

2. Limit your consumption of dairy products: Some of us really cannot think of passing a day without milk. Milk has to be there in our breakfast, lunch or even dinner! But in today's world, the dairy products lose most of their nutrient value after these products pass through various processes. And who is not aware of the cases of adulteration of milk and its products? Instead, include healthier alternatives in your menus such as soya milk and almond milk.

3. Cook without refined oils: While the smell of frying onions in refined oil may excite you, oil consumption should be moderated. Instead you can think of frying onions in water! You can add a pinch of salt to onion pieces and fry the same without any oil. If the content sticks, then you can add some water into it. The best way by which you can take in oil is through nuts and seeds. Oil in the refined form provides no benefit because of the lack of fiber.
4. Alter the way you cook: Vegetables can be cooked without oil although it might take a little longer than what it takes for cooking with oil. You can use vegetable broth to cook vegetables and curries. But how can you control the urge of your taste buds which would keep looking for oily, tasty delights like patties and cutlets? You can think of roasting the patties or cutlets after coating these items with fine peanut powder. It takes sometime before the oil gets released from the peanut powder. This oil is enough to cook the foods.

5. Switch over to whole foods: It is a fact that most of the nutrients and fiber are contained in the skin of the foods. But many people ignore this fact and throw away the skin. Also, many people have a tendency to choose white foods and simply raise their eyebrows on brown foods. On the contrary, your diet should consist of fiber-rich brown rice and whole wheat flour. Fibers present in whole foods help in the cleansing of the digestive system by pushing away substances out of the digestive tract, thereby helping in detoxification.

6. Use water minimally: We often think that we should thoroughly wash vegetables, fruits and grains before putting them on the cooking pan. It is a good practice, but the washing procedure might eliminate the nutrients as well. Better option would be to steam the vegetables instead of boiling them. Steaming requires less amount of water and hence more nutrients are retained. Experts suggest that you should refrain from washing the vegetables after you have chopped them into pieces.

7. Different time slot for having fruits: It is good if you avoid consuming fruits with a meal as fruits have a quick digestive mechanism and it is sugary too! Eating fruits after having huge amounts of other foods can cause gas related problems like bloating and discomfort. This is because, other fruits have a slow digestion process which delays the digestion of the fruit. The fruit ultimately cross react, ferment and putrefy (decay) releasing toxic gases causing a lot of uneasiness.

These are pretty common points and the targets are not at all very difficult to achieve. Only you need to rethink your lifestyle for initiating these changes. Would it be that difficult if you decide for an oil-free style of cooking? Would it be an issue to "think brown"? Would it be very tough for you to forget about those cheese pizzas and sandwiches? And what about those Colas which you need desperately while you go out shopping or dating? Giving a try does not require anything but an initiative and patience! But the prices are not that high in comparison to the value of your health and wellness.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 5 comments

With the growing production number of processed food, more people are cashing out on them, indeed they are more affordable. With the rising cost of living, most family would opt for the latter.

This has again led us to think about clean eating which would meet threefold objectives - maintaining good health, keeping up the optimum fitness levels and bringing culinary satisfaction.

1. Stop the Consumption of Highly Processed Staples: There is no need for you to take a giant step by overhauling your inventory completely in the initial stage. You can initiate a change by eliminating the highly processed corn oil and soda/sweetened soft drinks from the stock. You can also think of substituting white breads and pastas with the wholegrain counterparts!

2. Read the Labels While Buying Processed Foods: Highly processed foods come with loads of information about the ingredients. It is not possible for you to omit all the processed foods, but you can still afford to choose the ones with simpler constituents. You should avoid the purchase and consumption of artificial flavors and colors, preservatives, hydrogenated oils and all the processed foods which come with added refined sugar or with additional amounts of fat and sodium.

3. Concentrate on Favorite Foods: You need to find out the food source from where you are deriving the maximum amount of calories. These foods appear in the list of your favorites and are taking up considerable portions of your plate. So you should focus on eating the healthier forms of these favorite foods. For example, if you are a vegetarian, you can focus on the consumption of healthy, organic produce. Omnivores can choose to buy meat which is derived from grass-fed cattle or eggs which are obtained from chickens raised in the pastures i.e., from animals which are raised organically. This would ensure that the foods which are supplying the maximum number of calories are derived from healthy sources. So it would allow you to eat healthy.

4. Consider the Nutrient Value in a Product: You often consider the price of a product rather than giving much importance to its nutritional value. You can assess the nutritional value of a product by weighing the vitamin, fiber, mineral and protein contents against the fat, sugar, sodium and chemical additives.

5. Prepare Meals at Home: When you choose to cook foods at home, you not only save money, but you also turn your attention towards whole food. This would save you from the ill-effects of highly processed foods which contain trans fat, saturated fat, sodium and refined sugar.

6. Retrain your Taste Buds: You might be loving foods with excess amount of fat, sugar, salt and chemical additives and so it might not be possible for you to switch over to the soft tastes of whole foods instantly. If you don't feel like eating brown rice, then mix some portions of the whole grain with white rice. Gradually your taste buds will get accustomed to the taste of brown rice and then you can think about a complete switchover!

7. You Need Not be Perfect: We often fail to strictly adhere to our diet plans. So there is no point trying to be perfect. Instead, you can take up an 80- 20 approach in which you should try to stick to your clean eating goals by 80 percent and maintain a 20 percent buffer for junk foods and processed foods while you are traveling or in a social gathering.

8. Find the True Pleasure in Real Food: You need to be mindful and give importance to minute details like the ways of buying foods, the ways of cooking and the ways of eating. Clean eating simply comes from the pleasure and the interest that you take on food and cooking.

Clean eating is not a science, but it is just common sense. In fact, you have full knowledge about the foods which can harm you! But still your taste buds rule over your urge to switch to healthy foods. But taking these miniature steps would allow you to shift to healthy and clean eating in a very short time.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 1 comments

The computer has definitely served us many wonderful things like online ticketing, extensive information, a library of entertainment. But with the dramatic increase in home and office computer use, complaints of eye fatigue and discomfort have also become common.

The interesting thing to point out over here is that research has established that computer monitors emit little or no hazardous radiation, such as x-ray or ultraviolet rays. So the fatigue is not directly caused by the exposure to the computer screen but rather by the environment surrounding the computer screen, such as poor illumination or improper position of computer equipment and computer furniture. Excessive strain on eyes - Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) - can lead to itchy or burning eyes, blurred or double vision and headaches. All of these symptoms can lead to frustration, increased irritation and an inability to complete work as efficiently as one might without proper eye care.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take to protect your eyes from the strain and fatigue. Here are a few suggestions:

Changes to Computer Station

* Keep the monitor at a distance of 20 to 30 inches or about an arm's length from your eyes.
* Place the monitor in such a way that the top of the monitor is at a level slightly below the horizontal eye level.
* Tilt the top of the monitor away from you at a 10- to 20-degree angle to create an optimum viewing angle.
* Change your lighting to lower glare and harsh reflections. You can also use glare filters over your computer screen. A good test is to turn off the monitor and see what is reflected in the screen. Adjust the angle or position of the monitor to have no competing lights or reflections.
* Background wall or structure behind monitor should not be too loud or shiny as it will distract you and cause more strain trying to focus on the screen.
* Adjust the brightness to have a good contrast between letters and background. Replace the monitor if you notice any flickering.
* Keep monitor screen clean from dust and finger prints.
* Prefer an LCD over a CRT monitor as LCD screens are easier on the eyes and usually have an anti-reflective surface.
* If you spend long hours entering data or reading long documents, try using a larger monitor so you can see the print on your computer screen better. You can also try increasing the font size to reduce eye strain.
* Use proper adjustable chair to fine tune your eye level with the screen.

Eye Relaxing Exercises

* People tend to reduce blink rate while working on computer. Blink your eyes often as it re-wets your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation. The more you blink the better it is for your eyes.
* Look away from your computer at least every 20 to 30 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds.
* Close your eyes for a few minutes when your work requires prolonged data input into the computer.
* Try to massage and relax the muscles around your eyes once in a while.
* Strengthening your eye muscles with a series of eye exercises will go a long way to preventing eye strain.
* Every 30 minutes, rub your palms against each other till they become warm and place them on your eyes making sure to block all light. Do this for at least a minute, longer if you have the time available to you. This exercise will give your eyes the much needed break from the brightness of the computer and your vision will be much clearer.
* Take frequent breaks to stretch a little and to re-energize yourself. Get up from the chair and take a brief walk for a few minutes. A few minutes of walk will not only give your eyes a refreshing break but will also give your body and mind a break.

General Tips

* Have a routine comprehensive eye exam every year with your certified ophthalmologist.
* If possible, remove contact lens and use glasses while using PC.
* Make your diet rich in vitamins (such as vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E) that keep your eyes healthy. Include foods like carrots, spinach, almonds, salmon etc.
* Alternate computer activities with other tasks.

If you use your computer daily then the above tips will certainly help you to relax your eyes and increase your productivity in the long run.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 3 comments

Do you turn on the TV as soon as you get back from work or from anything that you did outside? Do you often go "Oh no! My favourite show is in 15 minutes!" Then you try to figure out how you will get home in time because you don't want to miss it. And when you do miss it, you figure out how you can watch the repeat episode.

In reality, watching television is always considered to be bad for your health. You may find that amusing but doing that for a long time can put your health at risk. Although TV serves as a medium of entertainment and education for all, but it is associated with a number of physical and mental health problems.

1. Increase in the Risk of Heart Diseases: Based on the analysis of the data collected over a period of six years from 8,800 Australian men and women (over age 25 with no history of heart disease), researchers found that every hour of TV watching increased a person's risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 18%, and increased the risk of death from cancer by 9%. This means that people who watched more than four hours of TV had an 80% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease over the 6-year time period as compared to people who watched 2 hours or less each day. The problem normally crops up from a sedentary lifestyle which television offers to you. According to researchers, the human body evolved to move, not sit still for extended periods of time. So sitting in front of a TV or a computer screen for too long poses serious risks to health, and to life.

2. Disruption of Sleep: The light emitted from the television can prove to be too stimulating to our systems. This can reduce the levels of the brain hormone melatonin, which usually increase in the evening as light levels fall. This may effect the body's natural rhythm, keeping you awake longer and results in irregular sleep and extreme fatigue. Reduced levels of melatonin have also been linked to early puberty in girls.
3. Increase in the Risk of Diabetes: When it comes to controlling diabetes, TV watching habit can be included as the risk factor. A 2003 study of women published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that the risk of diabetes increases by 14% for every 2 hours of television viewing in a day. Another study conducted in the same year and published in the journal Lipids found that men who watched more than 40 hours of TV per week were 3 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than men who watched TV less than 1 hour weekly. According to researchers, all this increased risk cannot be explained by the increased snacking and reduced activity linked with sitting in front of the television.

4. Increase in the Risk of Obesity: Prolonged watching of television relates to an absence of muscle movement. If your muscles stay inactive for too long, it can disrupt your metabolism leading to weight gain. Additionally, when you are watching TV, you tend to eat more and eat unhealthy foods due to advertising and other food cues on TV. A study compared the television viewing habits of more than 50,000 women who participated in the Nurses' Health Study from 1992 to 1998, and found that weight gain increased as TV watching increased. For each two-hour increase in television watching per day, there was a 23% rise in obesity.

5. Development of Attention Deficit Disorder: In the 1970s, a Professor named Werner Halperin suggested that the rapid changes of sounds and images on TV may affect the neurological system of a young child and can cause attention problems. Also, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington Child Health Institute found that 3-year-old child who watches two hours of TV per day is 20% more likely to have attention problems at age 7 than a child who watches no television.

6. Increase in the Risk of Asthma: In the UK, a research studied the TV viewing habits of more than 3,000 children ranging in age from infants to 11 years. The results of the study established that children who spent 2 hours or more watching television per day had twice the risk of suffering from asthma.

7. Greater Chances of Mindless Eating: Studies conducted by the Stanford University of Medicine prove that TV viewing is directly linked with mindless eating. You have more chances of eating junk foods while watching TV than in any other activity! It really feels very nice to enjoy burgers, pizzas and French Fries while watching your favorite shows.
8. Negative Effect on the Mental Development: Watching TV for a prolonged period of time has a negative effect on the intellectual development of children. The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages TV viewing for kids under 2 and recommends no more than two hours a day for older kids. Prolonged watching of TV can also lead to a deterioration of the mental processing power in case of older people.

9. Increase in the Eye Strain: Watching too much television is bad for your eyes, especially when watching television in a dark room. Focusing your eyes too long on any one object can strain your eyes.

10. Portrayal of Aggressive Behavior: Young children are more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior after viewing violent TV shows or movies. As part of a study, researchers examined the data on more than 3,000 3-year-olds and found that children exposed to more television, directly and indirectly (exposed to the television while other people in the home are watching), are at increased risk for exhibiting aggressive behavior.

11. Reduction of Social Interaction: Watching television may replace social interaction with friends and family, depriving children of sharing ideas and feelings with others. This may result various social phobias.

It may not be easy to curb your TV viewing habit, but once you are able to do it, you won't have any regret. You wouldn't want to waste your weekend away instead you would go out and spend quality time with your family - a long drive or a family picnic!

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 1 comments

Get to the Bottom of Your Back Pain

Back pain sends more patients to doctors than any condition other than the common cold.
It’s the fifth most common reason for hospitalizations and third most common cause of surgery. And 56% of people with lower-back aches say symptoms disrupt their daily routines, including sleep and sex. Talk about a pain in the...back.

1. You're Chained to Your Desk

Did you know that sitting puts 40% more pressure on your spine than standing?

Let’s be honest: Maintaining proper posture is probably the last thing you’re thinking about when under a major work deadline. And on a jam-packed day, regular stretching breaks may not seem like a wise way to spend your time. But skipping these habits may cause your back to suffer. That’s because back muscles will weaken if you don’t use them; inactive joints lose lubrication and age more quickly.

Sitting at a 135-degree angle can reduce compression of the discs in the spine, so lean back slightly every now and then. Do it when you take a phone call or a coworker stops by to chat, Sinett recommends. Make sure your office chair supports the curve of your spine, he says: Your lower back should be supported, and your head should be straight—not lurching forward—when you look at your computer screen. Get up and walk around for a couple of minutes every half hour—take trips to get water, use the bathroom, or grab papers off the printer.

2. You Have a Long Commute

Just like at your desk, hunching over a steering wheel can tighten chest muscles and cause your shoulders to round.

Slumping posture can zap energy and make you look heavier, not to mention cause back and neck problems. Back pain is the number one complaint of the patients of Darran W. Marlow, DC, director of the chiropractic division at the Texas Back Institute, and he advises them to first think about their driving posture.

Be sure you sit at a 90-degree angle, close to the wheel so you don't have to stretch," he says. "Extending your leg puts your back in a compromised position, but many people don't even realize they're doing it.

3. You've Been Ditching the Gym

Get moving to alleviate aches and pains and fix back pain faster.

New research shows that 40% of people become less active after back pain strikes—a strategy that's likely to delay healing or even make their condition worse.

n fact, most sufferers would benefit from more exercise—particularly frequent walks, which ease stiffness. For instant relief, he recommends stretching your hamstrings and hips.

4. You're Addicted to Crunches

Sit-ups and crunches may actually cause more back pain than they prevent.

We hear all the time how a strong core protects your back, which is true. But crunches don’t work the ab muscles that stabilize your back. In fact, they can contribute to pain by causing core imbalance, "a condition of excessive compression, which results in the spine curving forward in a C-like shape."

You don’t have to ditch crunches entirely, but you should do them slowly and use proper form. Include them as part of a broader core workout that also strengthens your transverse abdominus. This muscle is particularly important for a strong, steady core that supports your back, and the best way to strengthen it is with (noncrunch!) exercises like these. Added bonus: You’ll whittle your middle and beat hard-to-torch belly fat while improving posture and relieving back pain.

5. You're Not the Healthiest Eater

Research shows that eating habits that are good for your heart, weight, and blood sugar are also good for your back.

Finnish research found that people who suffered from back pain were more likely to have clogged arteries to the spine than healthy control subjects. Healthy circulation brings nutrients to the spine and removes waste, says Sinett. If this doesn’t happen, inflammation can result, and inflammatory chemicals in the back can trigger nerves to send pain signals to the brain.

A back-healthy diet is one that reduces inflammation, according to the The Truth about Back Pain. The book’s plan advises avoiding excess caffeine and processed foods (read ingredient labels for the following: hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, enriched wheat flour, words ending in –ose, and additives that end in –ates or -ites), and eating more whole grains, soy, nuts and seeds, protein (chicken, fish, lean meat), vegetables, and fruit.

6. Your Mattress is from Another Decade
Can’t remember the last time you replaced it? Your back may be in trouble.

A good mattress lasts 9 to 10 years, according to the National Sleep Foundation, but consider replacing yours every 5 to 7 years if you don't sleep well or your back throbs. A study at Oklahoma State University found that most people who switched to new bedding after 5 years slept significantly better and had less back pain.

When you do replace your mattress, take a Goldilocks approach: Pick one that’s not too squishy or too hard. Very firm mattresses can increase pressure on the spine and worsen pain, say Spanish researchers. A study of 313 people revealed that those who caught Zzzs on medium-firm mattresses were more likely to report pain improvement than those on firmer ones. To help ease nighttime discomfort even more, tuck a pillow under your knees if you sleep on your back, between your knees if you're a side sleeper, or beneath your stomach and hips if you snooze on your belly.

7. You Have a Thing for High Heels

Or flip-flops. Both lead to foot instability, which can in turn affect your back.

High heels force you to arch your back, making your spinal muscles work harder. Backless shoes like sandals cause your feet to move from side to side which distributes your body weight unevenly and can cause pain.

You don’t have to forgo trendy footwear—just don’t walk long distances in them. Commute in comfy flats or supportive sneakers, and consider adding cushioning inserts to uncomfy shoes. When Lehigh University researchers gave back-pain sufferers lightweight, flexible shoes with simple cushions, 80% reported significant relief within a year.

8. You Ignore the Pain

Trying to block out pain could make it worse, finds research from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

A better approach: Let yourself consciously experience the hurt. In a standard pain test, psychologists had 68 back-pain sufferers plunge their hands or feet into ice water. When the volunteers were instructed to suppress the shock of the icy water, a key muscle in the back clenched. In contrast, the muscle didn't tense up when volunteers thought only about the shock. Over time, an increase in muscle tension intensifies pain, says lead researcher John W. Burns, PhD.

Accepting pain may be the best way to mentally cope. "Try thinking about the sensory details of the experience, not the negative emotions," says Burns. "If you have a back spasm, describe the pain to yourself—if it's burning or throbbing—and remind yourself that it will pass."

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 1 comments

Reach your goal by giving these top healthy eating and exercise cop-outs the boot.

Stop All Silly Excuses

Losing weight isn’t as easy as pie—or even a piece of cake. We’ve all heard (and invented) plenty of reasons why slimming down just isn’t possible right now. We’re short on time to prep our own healthy meals, extra cash to spend on high-end “health foods,” and besides, it’s way too cold to work out. Sound familiar?

The reality is that healthy eating and regular exercise are not as labor intensive—or wallet busting—as we make them out to be. Here, 6 of the most common excuses that get you off track.

1. "I'm too busy."

You have work deadlines this week, sick kids, and your husband is out of town on business—you eat what’s handy; you can barely bring home takeout, nevermind gathering enough veggies for a decent salad, right?

Wrong. Sticking to healthy behaviors—like making time for meals and squeezing in exercise throughout the day, even when your life feels like it’s going 100 miles a minute, is actually the key to long-term success.

Set an alarm to eat on your phone or computer so you don’t forget and overindulge later; keep certain foods in your freezer for go-to makeshift meals, like a frozen turkey burger you can microwave or grill and frozen veggies; and try to always keep healthy food on hand, like apples and a good-for-you bar containing fruit and nuts such as Kind.

2. "Healthy food is expensive."

Sure, it’s often cheaper to purchase three items for lunch off the Dollar Menu at McDonald’s than to buy a big salad with healthy add-ins, but new research shows that getting your daily recommended allowance of fruits and veggies may be less expensive than you think. The Economic Research Service used 2008 Nielsen Homescan data and found that an adult on a 2,000-calorie diet could satisfy recommendations for vegetable and fruit consumption in the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans at an average price of $2 to $2.50 per day, or approximately 50 cents per cup equivalent. That’s probably less than your afternoon skinny latte!

There are plenty of ways to make healthy food—and your budget—go further. Frozen vegetables and fruits are cheaper and just as healthy as fresh because they’re picked at the peak of ripeness, She recommends buying seasonal produce from farmers’ markets, purchasing whole grains in bulk, and not buying food in individual packages.

3. "Diets make me hungry."

If your diet is making you hungry, it’s probably not a good diet—or sustainable in the long term. Cutting calories the healthy way—trimming portions from meals, skipping caloric beverages, and putting the brakes on mindless eating—should not leave your belly rumbling. Learn to listen to your body’s hunger signals to determine if you really need to eat or are just bored, and eat approximately every 3 to 4 hours so you never become ravenous.

Alexander recommends stocking your fridge with low-calorie healthy foods—like celery and light dips—for when you just want to munch.

4. "I don't have time to cook."

It's not that people do not have time to cook. They don't have time to NOT cook. Twenty minutes of cooking healthy meals will save you excess calories you’d be taking in from oversized restaurant portions and time on the treadmill working that off.

Studies show that people who cook meals at home tend to eat more healthfully and weigh less than those who don’t. Use these healthy packaged foods to cut down on kitchen time and arm yourself with the proper resources.

5. "Exercise wipes me out."

No kidding—that’s why they call it a workout! “Jokes aside, exercise generates energy. The more energy you have, the more you’ll get done every day!” says Freytag.

“You recharge your body through food, sleep, and exercise. Movement creates energy. It gets your heart pumping, blood pumping, cleans out toxins, and gets your engine started. It also gets confidence levels up so you feel better about yourself,” she adds.

Squeeze in movement wherever you can to get an energy boost. Even light stretching throughout the day will help your body feel more energized.

6. "I always gain back the weight."

Starting a new weight loss plan can be daunting when you’ve dieted before, only to gain back the weight. The reason your prior plan didn’t work was because it wasn’t a diet you could sustain and enjoy for life.

Only make the changes that you can stick with. You have to really sit down and analyze your diet. Figure out, ‘What are your cravings, what do you really love, what are you not willing to give up?’” Then build your meals around that and cut calories from other places—like skipping butter on your bread at dinner so you can have a 100-calorie treat that you truly want. Even if you give up only 200 calories a day, you’ll lose 20 pounds a year.

Keep track of the habits that make you successful and kick your weaknesses up a notch. Be consistent with your strongest healthy habits, like always having a nutritious breakfast, and be prepared for your weaknesses, like having healthy foods at the ready for when you know you’ll want to pick in the afternoon.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 1 comments

Improve your flab-burning metabolic rate and start losing weight fast.

1. Don't Diet

It isn't about eating less; it's about eating more—more nutrient-dense food, to crowd out the empty calories and keep you full all day. That's important, because restricting food will kill your metabolism. It sends a signal to your body that says, "I'm starving here!" And your body responds by slowing your metabolic rate to hold on to existing energy stores. What's worse, if the food shortage (meaning, your crash diet) continues, you'll begin burning muscle tissue, which just gives your enemy, visceral fat, a greater advantage. Your metabolism slows further, and fat goes on to claim even more territory.

2. Go to Bed Earlier

A study in Finland looked at sets of identical twins and discovered that in each set of siblings, the twin who slept less and was under more stress had more visceral fat.

3. Eat More Protein

Your body needs protein to maintain lean muscle. Researchers argued that the current recommended daily intake for protein, 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, is woefully inadequate for anyone doing resistance training and recommend that women get between 0.54 and 1 gram per pound of body weight. (If you want to lose weight, use your goal body weight as your guide.)

4. Go Organic Where You Can

Canadian researchers report that dieters with the most organochlorines (pollutants from pesticides, which are stored in fat cells) experience a greater-than-normal dip in metabolism as they lose weight, perhaps because the toxins interfere with the energy-burning process. In other words, pesticides make it harder to lose pounds.

Of course, it's not always easy to find—or afford—organic produce. But in general, conventionally grown items that you peel—avocado, grapefruit, bananas—are fine. But choose organic when buying celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, sweet bell peppers, spinach, kale and collard greens, cherries, potatoes, and imported grapes; they tend to have the highest levels of pesticides.

5. Get Up, Stand Up

Whether you sit or stand at work may play as big a role in your waistline as your fitness routine. Missouri University researchers discovered that inactivity (4 hours or more) causes a near shut-down of an enzyme that controls fat and cholesterol metabolism. To keep this enzyme active and increase your fat-burning, break up long periods of downtime by standing up—for example, while talking on the phone.

6. Drink Cold Water

German researchers found that drinking 6 cups of cold water a day (that's 48 ounces) can raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily—enough to shed 5 pounds in a year, with essentially zero additional effort. The increase may come from the work it takes to heat the water to body temperature.

7. Eat the Heat

t turns out that capsicum, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat, can also fire up your metabolism. Eating about 1 tablespoon of chopped peppers (red or green) boosts your sympathetic nervous system (responsible for your fight-or-flight response), according to a research. The result: a temporary metabolism spike of about 23 percent. Stock up on chili peppers to add to salsas, and keep a jar of red-pepper flakes on hand for topping pizzas, pastas, and stir-fries.

8. Rev Up in the Morning

Eating breakfast jump-starts your metabolism so it's no accident that those who skip this meal are 4 1⁄2 times as likely to be obese. The heartier your first meal is, the better. In one study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology, volunteers who got 22 to 55 percent of their total calories at breakfast gained only 1.7 pounds on average over 4 years. While those who got zero to 11 percent gained nearly 3 pounds.

9. Drink Coffee or Tea

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, so your daily java jolts can rev your metabolism by 5 to 8 percent—burning about 98 to 174 calories a day. A cup of brewed tea can raise your metabolism by 12 percent, according to one Japanese study. Researchers believe antioxidants called catechins in tea provide the boost.

10. Fight Fat with Fiber

Research shows that some fiber can fire up your fat burn by as much as 30 percent. Studies find that those who eat the most fiber gain the least weight over time. Aim for about 25 grams a day—the amount in about three servings each of fruits and vegetables.

11. Eat Iron-Rich Foods

Iron is essential for carrying the oxygen your muscles need to burn fat. Unless you restock your stores, you run the risk of low energy and a sagging metabolism. Shellfish, lean meats, beans, fortified cereals, and spinach are excellent sources.

12. Get More Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for preserving muscle tissue. Get 90 percent of your recommended daily intake (400 IU) in a 3.5-ounce serving of salmon. Other good sources: tuna, fortified milk and cereal, and eggs

13. Drink Milk

There's some evidence that calcium deficiency, which is common in many women, may slow metabolism. Research shows that consuming calcium through dairy foods such as fat-free milk and low-fat yogurt may also reduce fat absorption from other foods.

14. Eat Watermelon

The amino acid arginine, abundant in watermelon, might promote weight loss, according to the Journal of Nutrition. In a laboratory study, adding this amino acid to the diet of obese mice enhanced the oxidation of fat and glucose. Snack on watermelon and other arginine sources, such as seafood, nuts, and seeds, year-round.

15. Maintain Sufficient Water Throughout the Day

All of your body's chemical reactions, including your metabolism, depend on water. If you are dehydrated, you may be burning up to 2 percent fewer calories, according to researchers at the University of Utah. Drink at least eight to twelve 8-ounce glasses a day.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 1 comments

The cause of tension headaches is not clear. In the past, doctors believed that tension or spasms of the muscles of the neck, face, jaw, head, or scalp played a role in causing these headaches. Now they think a change in brain chemistry may also help cause a tension headache.

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. They can be brought on—or triggered—by things such as stress, depression, hunger, and muscle strain. Tension headaches may come on suddenly or slowly.

Your headache may go away after you relax or take a pain reliever such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

Chronic tension headaches often occur along with other health problems such as anxiety or depression. Rarely, serious problems such as tumors or infections may cause a headache.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times

Posted by India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times - - 1 comments

Silent signals you're stressed. 10 body clues that you need more time for serenity.

Prevention is the best cure.

1. Weekend headaches
A sudden drop in stress can prompt migraines, says Todd Schwedt, MD, director of the Washington University Headache Center. Stick closely to your weekday sleeping and eating schedule to minimize other triggers.

2. Awful period cramps
The most stressed-out women are more than twice as likely to experience painful cramps as those who are less tense, a Harvard study found. Researchers blame a stress-induced imbalance of hormones. Hitting the gym can soothe cramps and stress, research shows, by decreasing sympathetic nervous system activity.

3. An achy mouth
A sore jaw can be a sign of teeth grinding, which usually occurs during sleep and can be worsened by stress, says Matthew Messina, DDS, a consumer advisor to the American Dental Association. Ask your dentist about a nighttime mouth guard—up to 70% of people who use one reduce or stop grinding altogether.

4. Odd dreams
Dreams usually get progressively more positive as you sleep, so you wake up in a better mood than you were in when you went to bed, says Rosalind Cartwright, PhD, an emeritus professor of psychology at Rush University Medical Center. But when you’re stressed, you wake up more often, disrupting this process and allowing unpleasant imagery to recur all night. Good sleep habits can help prevent this; aim for 7 to 8 hours a night, and avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.

5. Bleeding gums
According to a Brazilian analysis of 14 past studies, stressed-out people have a higher risk of periodontal disease. Chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol may impair the immune system and allow bacteria to invade the gums, say researchers. If you're working long hours and eating dinner at your desk, keep a toothbrush on hand. And "protect your mouth by exercising and sleeping more, which will help lower stress," says Preston Miller, DDS, past president of the American Academy of Periodontology.

6. Out of nowhere acne
Stress increases the inflammation that leads to breakouts, says Gil Yosipovitch, MD, a clinical professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University. Smooth your skin with a lotion containing skin sloughing salicylic acid or bacteria-busting benzoyl peroxide, plus a noncomedogenic moisturizer so skin won't get too dry. If your skin doesn't respond to treatment within a few weeks, see your doctor for more potent meds.

7. A sweet tooth
Don’t automatically blame your chocolate cravings on your lady hormones—stress is a more likely trigger. When University of Pennsylvania researchers surveyed pre- and postmenopausal women, they found only a small decrease in the prevalence of chocolate cravings after menopause—smaller than could be explained by just a hormonal link. Study authors say it’s likely stress, or other factors that can trigger women’s hankering for chocolate.

8. Itchy Skin
A recent Japanese study of more than 2,000 people found that those with chronic itch (known as pruritis) were twice as likely to be stressed out as those without the condition. Although an annoying itch problem can certainly cause stress, experts say it’s likely that feeling anxious or tense also aggravates underlying conditions like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. “The stress response activates nerve fibers, causing an itchy sensation,” explains Yosipovitch.

9. Worse than usual allergies
In a 2008 experiment, researchers from Ohio State University College of Medicine found that allergy sufferers had more symptoms after they took an anxiety-inducing test, compared with when they performed a task that did not make them tense. Stress hormones may stimulate the production of IgE, a blood protein that causes allergic reactions, says study author Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD.

10. Bellyaches
Anxiety and stress can cause stomachaches, along with headaches, backaches, and insomnia. One study of 1,953 men and women found that those experiencing the highest levels of stress were more than three times as likely to have abdominal pain as their more-relaxed counterparts.

The exact connection is still unclear, but one theory holds that the intestines and the brain share nerve pathways; when the mind reacts to stress, the intestines pick up the same signal. Because of this link, learning to manage stress with the help of a clinical psychologist, meditation, or even exercise can usually help relieve tummy trouble too. However, if you have frequent bellyaches, see your doc to rule out food allergies, lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, or an ulcer.

India Herbs - Ancient Remedies for Modern Times