Is life getting to you? Here are 5 effective ways to de-stress and let it go

Meditating for just 10 minutes every day can help you de-stress and prevent the mind from wandering.

Stress is an inescapable part of daily life. Yet, if you are persistently stressed over a period of time, it can increase risk of cardiovascular disease. But don’t get worked up just yet. Research also shows that how we deal with stress is more important than the level of stresswe face. To put it simply, irrespective of how many or how few stressful events a person faces, it is how they think of the event that matters. Those who experienced a greater spike in negative emotions had lower heart rate variability and may be at a higher risk for heart disease.

So, if you are keen to deal more effectively with stress (no, hitting the bottle is not a good idea), here are some things that you can do:

1) Meditation: It is for a reason that meditation is suggested as an effective tool to de-stress. It can help you identify and consequently avoid negative thoughts, as well as improve concentration. It can also help the mind to stop wandering. And the best part: it can be practised anywhere. You can try sitting cross-legged and focus on your breathing or visualise a happy scene or chant.

Meeting friends can offer you new perspective on your problems. (Shutterstock)
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2) Socialise: Misery enjoys company, and so does stress. Meeting and talking to friends and family about your life might offer a new perspective to your problems, and make them seem not so insurmountable. Several studies have shown that people with fewer family and close friends have shorter life expectancy, with loners experiencing the stress of loneliness equivalent to a lifetime of smoking.

Leafy vegetables and nuts are stress-busting foods. (Shutterstock)

3) Eat well: You can’t beat stress on an empty stomach. Instead, why not load up with stress busting foods such as leafy vegetables, oatmeal, yoghurt, nuts, chocolate and blueberries.

Sleep can help us manage difficult experiences. (Shutterstock)

4) Sleep it off: When you sleep, your mind works in putting things in perspective. Previous research by UC Berkeley suggested that sleep helps us manage difficult experiences and dreams help sort events.

Music can lower levels of stress hormones. (Shutterstock)

5) Listen to music: Change the soundtrack in your head by listening to music that you like. It can relax your mind and lower the levels of stress hormones. There are also meditation sound apps that play calming sounds that help you centre yourself.

5 Effective Home Remedies to Get Rid of Dandruff

5 Effective Home Remedies to Get Rid of Dandruff

Dry skin, yeast infection, unhealthy diet, or any other skin-related ailments, dandruff is caused due to several reasons but the tricky part is that it can be incredibly difficult to treat. To do away with the white flakes, here are some effective home remedies

. Manoj Khanna, owner of Enhance Clinic, shares some common ingredients and substances you use at home that can save the day.

1. Baking soda:

Wet your hair and then rub a handful of baking soda, massaging it into the scalp. Rinse thoroughly, using a mild shampoo. Baking soda will counter the growth of overactive fungi and leave you with a cleaner mane.

2. Aspirin: What makes this work? A special substance called salicylic acid that also forms an essential ingredient in a host of medicated anti-dandruff shampoos. For freedom from dandruff, crush two aspirin tablets to a fine powder and add it your shampoo. Apply this solution and leave it for a minute or two and then rinse thoroughly.

3. Mouthwash:

Surprised? Don’t be because it really works. Try mouthwash for that dash of freshness and much needed respite from dandruff. First, wash your hair with regular shampoo and then give it a final rinse with an alcohol-based mouthwash. Its anti-fungal properties will inhibit the growth of dandruff-producing yeast and leave you with shiny hair. Don’t forget to use a conditioner.

4. Salt: The abrasive quality of salt can work wonders

. Just sprinkle some salt directly on to your scalp. Then, massage it using circular motions like you would with a scrub. This will cleanse the scalp and leave it spic and span, ready to be shampooed as usual.

5. Garlic: Barring the pungent smell, this is one of the best ways to beat dandruff. Its potent anti-fungal properties can fight dandruff like nothing else. To cut the odour, you can mix crushed garlic with honey. Apply this paste liberally on to the scalp before shampooing.

How to Remove Stretch Marks: 7 Effective Natural Remedies

How to Remove Stretch Marks: 7 Effective Natural Remedies

Most women suffer from stretch marks usually after pregnancy, but that’s not the only cause for it. Men too have stretch marks and so do women who are not pregnant. Stretch marks occur due to a sudden weight gain or weight loss.

There are various natural products that can help reduce stretch marks and lighten them if not make them disappear completely. However, it requires a regular skin care programme and strict discipline.

 

Here are a few effective home remedies to reduce stretch marks –

 

1. Aloe Vera

 

Aloe vera is a plant that helps regenerate skin tissue and as such it has miraculous healing properties. Take the fresh gel from the leaf and massage onto the area with stretch marks and leave on for 20-30 minutes. Do it daily and wash off with tepid water.

(Looking for chemical free beauty products? Shop on – SmartCooky)

aloe vera

2. Cocoa Butter

 

The use of cocoa butter helps reduce stretch marks and I have seen that if used during and after pregnancy it makes the stretch marks disappear completely. The best time to use cocoa butter is at night, so massage it well into the skin and over a period of time you will find the stretch marks reducing and fading away.

cocoa

3. Cucumber and Lemon Juice

 

Lemon juice’s natural acidity helps heal and reduce scars and cucumber juice provides the cool soothing effect leaving your skin fresh.

 

Mix lime juice and cucumber juice in equal parts, and apply the mixture on the affected areas till it gets soaked up by the skin. Let it be on your skin for approx. 10 minutes after which you can rinse it off using warm water.

cucumber

4. Almond and Coconut Oil

 

Use almond and coconut oil in equal quantities to reduce stretch marks. Massage it on the skin regularly.

5. Apricot Mask and Oil

 

Apricots have great exfoliating tendencies, which make them very effective when it comes to healing stretch marks. Take 2-3 apricots, cut them and take out the seeds. Crush the fruit into a paste and apply this mask on the stretch mark affected areas and leave it on for 15 minutes. Using warm water, wash it off and then repeat the process every day for a month to see results.

 

Pure apricot oil has skin rejuvenating properties and therefore helps in reducing stretch marks. Massage onto the skin with some lemon juice for effective results.

apricot

6. Castor Oil

 

Because of their dried, shrivelled up look, stretch marks need nourishment and moisture. Castor oil when massaged onto the skin will help heal and smoothen the marks slowly. But this is something that you need to constantly feed the skin with.

castor oil

7. Nourishing Skin Mask

 

Over my 20 years of experience in beauty, I have seen the incredible effect of the following nourishing mask in reducing stretch marks –

 

2 egg yolks, beaten

 

Juice of one lemon

 

2tsp oatmeal

 

2tsp almond paste

 

Enough milk to mix to a smooth paste

 

Method: Mix all the ingredients well and apply on the marks and let it dry completely. Wash off with cold water while scrubbing gently. This should be done on alternate days.

face pack

As you may have noticed while reading through my article, treating stretch marks the natural way is not an overnight miracle. It will require your time and patience but the results will be fruitful. So now that you have some easy and useful home remedies to deal with stubborn stretch marks, start right away.

Effective Ayurveda remedies for period problems

From missed periods to menstrual cramps, the period problems are common but usually are not considered serious. The uneasy and uncomfortable situation may make you cranky and can adversely affect your mood. Admit it, you cannot avoid problematic periods but can definitely try some effective remedies to prevent cramps and discomfort. Here we have listed a few Ayurvedic remedies which can help you with period problems.

For Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)

PCOD is a health condition that affects one in every 10 women. PCOS is an aftermath of a hormonal imbalance in women wherein testosterone levels shoot up in the body causing an array of symptomatic reactions. A woman with PCOS is prone to gain weight, pelvic pain, acne, depression and irregular menstrual cycles. In some cases, women with PCOD may even face challenges in conceiving. But with proper treatment, diet and exercise schedule, PCOD is curable.

The most simple and effective treatment for PCOD is Ayurveda. You can rely on Aloe Vera pulp with manjistha (rubia cordifolia) capsule. This helps in purifying blood and gradually restores the health of uterus which results in regular, healthy periods.

For menorrhagia (Heavy Bleeding)

Menorrhagia is defined as menstruation at regular intervals but with excessive flow and duration. This is one of the most common problems in women. Some women have also reported heavy bleeding for 6 to 7 days during periods leading to weakness and other health issues. According to Vaidya Pravin Hirpara, niranjan phal (China Fruit) is best and effective medicine for Menorrhagia.

You can soak Niranjan Phal in water for 1.5 to two hours till the time fruit swells to the size of a lemon. Crush and squeeze the pulp into the water. Add some sugar and drink it. This effectively controls menstrual bleeding.

For foul menstrual blood odour

Many women find menstruation odour unpleasant during and after their periods. You may experience this situation despite maintaining hygiene. A normal vaginal discharge doesn’t have any smell. But a foul-smelling vaginal discharge is a distinctive point between a normal and abnormal menstrual period. The foul odour during menstruation is not normal, thus should be considered a serious problem. It can be the result of infection in the vagina or in the cervix. This foul smell is called aartdushti in Ayurveda and can be treated with manjishta which helps in blood purification.

For Leukorrhea (White Discharge)

A white or yellow sticky discharge from the vagina or uterine cavity is referred to as Leukorrhea. This often gets increased at the time of ovulation or before a menstrual period. This situation is also stimulated by sexual excitement, whether or not coitus takes place. Excessive discharge, however, may indicate an abnormal condition. A yellow or creamy white discharge, especially if it is thick, often contains pus and provides evidence of an infection. Eating one or two bananas a day can solve this problem easily.

General problems

According to Ayurveda, cow ghee is an effective medicine for several health-related problems. “Phala-Ghrita, which is prepared using cow ghee is believed to be extremely useful for gynaecology problems. From irregular periods to pregnancy, it works equally effectively. Hirpara adds, “Ayurveda believes that recipe of this Ghee was invented by Ashwini Kumar, the doctor of Gods.”

5 Effective Home Remedies for Swollen Feet

“Swollen feet normally occur at the time of pregnancy or due to foot/ankle injury or edema. Edema is basically swelling that is caused by fluid retention i.e. when excess fluid is trapped in the body’s tissues,” says Dr. Maninder Singh, Sr. Consultant Orthopedics, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC). It is uncomfortable and painful.

“Sometimes swelling can indicate a problem such as heart, liver, or kidney disease. If your ankles swell up in the evening, it could be due to right-sided heart failure,” says Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager at Baidyanath.

5 Effective Home Remedies for Swollen Feet

Here are some ways to cope naturally with five home remedies for swollen feet –

1. Rock Salt to The Rescue

Dr. Ashutosh Gautam suggests, “Soak your feet in a bucket of lukewarm water with rock salt to get rid of inflammation.” Dr. Maninder Singh says, “Do not use hot water as it will cause the swelling to increase.”

home-remedies-for-swollen-feet-1

2. Grapefruit Essential Oil

“According to many studies, grapefruit essential oil is a great way to reduce swelling,” says Dr. Ahuja. In a warm bath, add a few drops of grapefruit essential oil and just relax. You can also add it to a bucket of lukewarm water and soak your feet.

home-remedies-for-swollen-feet-2

3. Cucumber and Lemon Water

“Increase your fluid intake to dilute the salt in your system. Instead of just drinking water to flush things out, add a few slices of cucumber and lemon to the water and enjoy,” says Dr. Gautam. Both these fruits have anti-inflammatory properties and will help you get rid of swollen feet.

home-remedies-for-swollen-feet-3

4. Load Up On Watermelon

Dr. Ashutosh adds, “Snacking on fresh watermelon will help reduce swelling in your feet. Watermelon is a great diuretic as it contains 92% water and stimulates urination.”

home-remedies-for-swollen-feet-4

5. Coriander Seeds

This is a popular Ayurvedic treatment for swollen feet. “Coriander seeds are anti-inflammatory

in nature and reduce swelling,” says Dr. Ahuja. All you need to do is add 2 to 3 teaspoons of coriander seeds to a cup of water, and boil it until the quantity reduces by half. Then strain the solution, let it cool slightly and drink up. Repeat twice a day.

home-remedies-for-swollen-feet-5

Other Additional Tips:

  • Massage Your Feet: “A foot massage creates pressure on the affected area and helps improve blood circulation, relax muscles, and encourages excess fluid drainage which results in reduced swelling. Tip: Gently massage the area for 5-10 minutes in an upward direction, rather than downward,” says Dr. Ashutosh Gautam.
  • Elevate Your Legs: When it comes to swollen feet, gravity is not your friend. “Elevate your legs on a pillow to relax your feet,” advises Dr. Maninder Singh. Try elevating your legs above the level of heart every chance you get. Even propping them slightly higher can make a big difference and reduce swelling.
  • Avoid Salty Foods: “Excess salt is a big contributor to swollen feet, so reduce your salt intake,” says Dr. Ashutosh.
  • Exercise: “Avoid sitting for long hours. Take short breaks and walk around a bit,” advises Dr. Manoj Ahuja, Fortis Hospital. Exercise can help improve blood circulation, lessen swelling and relieve pain.

“Triphala is one of the most effective Ayurvedic herbs”

In India, for the launch of the world’s first ever Genomeceuticals range of products, Dr Dan Gubler, chief scientific officer, Unicity, feels good health is the right combination of nutrition, exercise and science-based supplementation.

Diet
Modern diet is bad. It is loaded with processed and fast food. When it comes to diet, one should steer clear of simple sugar. A healthy diet is one that has adequate protein and moderate fat. “We also have a copyright on the 4:4:12 diet. It means there should be a gap of four hours between your breakfast and lunch, another four hours between lunch and dinner and 12 hours between dinner and breakfast.” Dr Gubler tells that when one is constantly eating, their insulin rises and the sugar stays high, which is not ideal for a healthy body.

Fitness
Interval training is very effective for staying fit and active. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Tabata are good. One must try to do it for at least 3-5 days a week. “Having said that, the best exercise is the one you like to do because then you are most likely to include it in your daily routine.”

Ayurveda treatments for weight loss (Thinktock photos/Getty Images)

Supplements
“Poor diet, lack of sleep, stress all impact your health. Regardless of how much you plan to have a balanced diet, your body will suffer without proper supplementation – but it should not be just any supplement. It is important for supplements to interact and maintain health at the human genome level.”
Nature has so much to offer and for our science-based supplements, we extract natural fibers, vitamins and minerals from nature’s offerings.

Focusing on Indian Ayurvedic plants, Dr Gubler talks about the benefits of triphala. “Triphala helps maintain skin health and is a very useful plant used in Ayurveda. We take a science-based approach and standardize the bio-active components of the plant. It requires a very special technique, which cannot be replicated by anyone.”

7 Effective Workouts to Burn Calories

An hour of workout is important daily to be fit and healthy in our busy routine. It takes a lot to figure out which form of workout is the most beneficial and impactful for one’s body. One of the main reasons to workout is to be in shape and burn calories. However, most of us try and work on them without the guidance of a trainer or an instructor. One should know whether the form of workout picked helps in losing weight or not, or being carried out in the right manner. There are a lot of workouts that can be done at home and have resulted positively, however, workouts like kettle bell, yoga and others are recommended to be down under a trainer.

Exercising is a must because it results in a healthy and fitter body, besides releasing those happy hormones to keep you active. Here are some workout forms which are best to burn calories but one might have to be patient to see better and effective results.

1. Walking

Without any particular techniques to follow, walking is one of the easiest and effective ways to burn calories. One requires dedication and discipline to make sure that he or she is walking everyday for a certain amount of time. You can increase the minutes of walking once you have developed stamina. Patience is the key here. Although walking doesn’t give immediate results, it gives effective and long term results.

walking

2. Kettlebell

Kettlebell workout has proven to be one of the best forms of exercise using just one equipment. It doesn’t just burn calories, but also helps you lose weight in a short duration and develop strength. One should use kettle bell under someone’s supervision because of the breathing techniques that have to be followed to perform it correctly and ensure that it doesn’t result in back pain or any other injury.

kettlebell 620x350

3. Strength Training and Crossfit

Strength training or weight lifting as it is more commonly called is a type of physical exertion in which you induce weights to burn and tone muscles. According to Nilparna Sen, a Surat-based strength coach says, “Cardio will burn calories while you are working out, but for overall strength, I will recommend strength training. It helps in the burning of calories even after the workout and in maintaining body composition. By body composition I mean carrying more of muscle mass and less of fats.” One can also opt Crossfit workout, which includes exercises like pushups, sit ups, pull ups, lunges etc.

crossfit

4. Yoga and Power Yoga

A person weighing 90 kg is known to burn 228 calories per hour if he performs yoga. A yoga might be a form of exercise that takes longer to show result but if done correctly, it helps you burn calories and tone up with all the stretching. Power yoga can help in increasing flexibility.

power yoga

5. Swimming

While swimming, the water resistance makes you work harder and faster hence you burn more calories. You can burn about 372 calories in 30 minutes of breast stroke (for a person weighing 70 kg). Since in swimming the entire body is at work, arms through strokes and legs because of the kicking, a person tends to lose weight evenly.

swimming

6. Cycling

Running or cycling can have the same kind of results. Make cycling more effective by adding some resistance when you cycle. It’s easy to cycle down the hill, or on flat roads, but riding uphill and pushing yourself a bit can help you burn more calories (around 350 calories in half an hour), as well as strengthen your muscles. Leisure cycling burns 350 calories in an hour.

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7. Rope Hopping

A person is said to burn 372 calories in half an hour if he or she jumps ropes. The only trick you need is to keep jumping and try not to stop in the middle. You will run out of breath but don’t drink water in the middle of the exercise. When kids jump ropes it may seem effortless but in reality it’s taxing and a great way to burn calories. You can jump ropes in breaks. When taking a break from jumping, you can jog around so as to not completely break from exercising.

skipping