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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Learn body language techniques

It is important to learn to read non-verbal cues(body language techniques) to understand people and their intentions. Learning body language not only helps in making a good impression but also helps immensely in figuring out the ‘unsaid’. Indeed other than the words we speak, our body language best conveys our thoughts, confidence and honesty.
Body language a proven way to accurately decode people's thoughts, emotions or mood. People may lie, but their body silently and unconsciously speaks the truth. The most effective way to uncover hidden desires, thoughts, or emotions is by reading and interpreting body language correctly.
Actress and playwright Mae West had once commented, ‘I speak two languages: English and Body’.
Body language goes both ways:
  1. Your own body language reveals your feelings and meanings to others. 
  2. Other people's body language reveals their feelings and meanings to you.
You can change your body language but as all new habits it takes a while. Especially things like keeping you head up might take time to correct if you have spent thousands of days looking at your feet. And if you try and change to many things at once it might become confusing and feel overwhelming. Take a couple of these body language bits to work on every day for three to four weeks. By then they should have developed into new habits and something you’ll do without even thinking about it. If not, keep on until it sticks. Then take another couple of things you’d like to change and work on them. 

Body language techniques: 
 1. Don’t cross your arms or legs – You have probably already heard you shouldn’t cross your arms as it might make you seem defensive or guarded. This goes for your legs too. Keep your arms and legs open.
 2. Have eye contact, but don’t stare – If there are several people you are talking to, give them all some eye contact to create a better connection and see if they are listening. Keeping too much eye-contact might creep people out. Giving no eye-contact might make you seem insecure. If you are not used to keeping eye-contact it might feel a little hard or scary in the beginning but keep working on it and you’ll get used to it.
 3. Don’t be afraid to take up some space – Taking up space by for example sitting or standing with your legs apart a bit signals self-confidence and that you are comfortable in your own skin.
 4. Relax your shoulders – When you feel tense it’s easily winds up as tension in your shoulders. They might move up and forward a bit. Try to relax. Try to loosen up by shaking the shoulders a bit and move them back slightly.
 5. Nod when they are talking – nod once in a while to signal that you are listening. But don’t overdo it and peck like Woody Woodpecker.
 6. Don’t slouch, sit up straight – but in a relaxed way, not in a too tense manner.
 7. Lean, but not too much – If you want to show that you are interested in what someone is saying, lean toward the person talking. If you want to show that you’re confident in yourself and relaxed lean back a bit. But don’t lean in too much or you might seem needy and desperate for some approval. Or lean back too much or you might seem arrogant and distant. 8. Smile and laugh – lighten up, don’t take yourself too seriously. Relax a bit, smile and laugh when someone says something funny. People will be a lot more inclined to listen to you if you seem to be a positive person. But don’t be the first to laugh at your own jokes, it makes you seem nervous and needy. Smile when you are introduced to someone but don’t keep a smile plastered on your face, you’ll seem insincere.
 9. Don’t touch your face – it might make you seem nervous and can be distracting for the listeners or the people in the conversation.
10. Keep your head up – Don’t keep your eyes on the ground, it might make you seem insecure and a bit lost. Keep your head up straight and your eyes towards the horizon.
 11. Slow down a bit – this goes for many things. Walking slower not only makes you seem more calm and confident, it will also make you feel less stressed. If someone addresses you, don’t snap your neck in their direction, turn it a bit more slowly instead.
12. Don’t fidget and try to avoid, phase out or transform fidgety movement and nervous ticks such as shaking your leg or tapping your fingers against the table rapidly. You’ll seem nervous and fidgeting can be a distracting when you try to get something across. Declutter your movements if you are all over the place. Try to relax, slow down and focus your movements.
 13. Use your hands more confidently instead of fidgeting with your hands and scratching your face use them to communicate what you are trying to say. Use your hands to describe something or to add weight to a point you are trying to make. But don’t use them to much or it might become distracting. And don’t let your hands flail around, use them with some control.
 14. Lower your drink. Don’t hold your drink in front of your chest. In fact, don’t hold anything in front of your heart as it will make you seem guarded and distant. Lower it and hold it beside your leg instead.
 15. Realise where you spine ends – many people (including me until recently) might sit or stand with a straight back in a good posture. However, they might think that the spine ends where the neck begins and therefore crane the neck forward in a Montgomery Burns-pose. Your spine ends in the back of your head. Keep you whole spine straight and aligned for better posture.
 16. Don’t stand too close –one of the things we learned from Seinfeld is that everybody gets weirded out by a close-talker. Let people have their personal space, don’t invade it.
17. Mirror – Often when you get along with a person, when the two of you get a good connection, you will start to mirror each other unconsciously. That means that you mirror the other person’s body language a bit. To make the connection better you can try a bit of proactive mirroring. If he leans forward, you might lean forward. If she holds her hands on her thighs, you might do the same. But don’t react instantly and don’t mirror every change in body language. Then weirdness will ensue.
 18. Keep a good attitude – last but not least, keep a positive, open and relaxed attitude. How you feel will come through in your body language and can make a major difference.

Related and reference:

Useful links:
'Do you make these body language mistakes?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Immune booster - Echinacea tea

Echinacea tea has been proven to boost the immune system by stimulating the white blood cells. The tea is often used to treat individuals suffering from mild viral infections. These include the flu, the common cold and other mild infections. According to Holistic Online, some professional herbalists consider liquid echinacea to be the most effective because of its ability to coat the internal parts of the body most negatively affected by colds and congestion.                        

Echinacea also known as purple coneflower, is one of the top selling herbal supplements in American. Echinacea comes from an herb found in the southern section of the United States.

History of echinacea herb:                       
The echinacea herb has been used as an herbal medicinal treatment for hundreds of years, especially among Native American Indian tribes. Native Americans and Europeans have used Echinacea purpurea (and other species of the plant) to boost the immune system, prevent colds and flu, and fight infections.

Health benefits of achinacea tea:
Echinacea tea is a great source of vitamins and minerals. Echinacea includes iron, maganese, selenium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B, and several other vitamins and minerals.

Echinacea may also help fight off urinary tract infections, herpes, ear infections, strep throat, staph infections and bronchitis. It is recommended for those suffering with chronic respiratory infections and patients with cancer. Drinking the Echinacea can heal joint and muscle issues as well as reduce inflammation. Echinacea tea is the best herbal tea which contains infection-fighting natural anti-inflammatory properties.

Echinacea works to increase activity of our immune system by stimulating white blood cells. White blood cells attack viruses and bacteria that can lead to illness or infection. For this reason, research shows that its medicinal properties are very beneficial to those that suffer from AIDS since the disease attacks the immune system.
You can boost your immune system by adopting a healthy lifestyle and starting your day with a cup of Echinacea Tea.

How to prepare Echinacea Tea?
2 cups cold water
1 teaspoon dried Echinacea fresh edible flower (or roots)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon honey
Preparation: Place the Echinacea leaves and ginger in a teapot and pour 2 cups of boiling water over the leaves.
Cover and steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain into tea cups. Add lemon juice and honey and stir to blend.

Be advised that people suffering with diseases, such as HIV or AIDS, tuberculosis or multiple sclerosis, using Echinacea can irritate these diseases by making their symptoms worse. Check with your health care practitioner first before using Echinacea in any form.

 Echinacea tea has a number of known benefits to a person's health, though you should never use an herbal supplement, even in the form of tea, without consulting your health care practitioner.

Useful links:

* Echinacea May Boost Immune System More Than Previously Thought

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Reality behind the purity of honey we get from shelves

Honey is an amazing natural food, prepared by the bees from the nectar of various plants. It has occupied a prominent place in traditional medicines throughout world history.

We use honey in daily diets as a nutritional food but do we get the benefits from it?
And is the honey sold at super markets is really a nutritional food?
Reality is that the honey we get from shelves is not the 'pure honey' which can provide us health benefits,  Honey has many health-promoting qualities. It contains natural antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Tests Show Most Store Honey Isn't Honey                               

More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn't exactly what the bees produce, according to testing done exclusively for Food Safety News. The results show that the pollen frequently has been filtered out of products labeled "honey." The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world's food safety agencies. The food safety divisions of the World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of others also have ruled that without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources

Why Remove the Pollen? 
Removal of all pollen from honey "makes no sense" and is completely contrary to marketing the highest quality product possible, Mark Jensen, president of the American Honey Producers Association, told Food Safety News.

Raw honey – which has not been pasteurized or filtered, and ideally taken directly from the hive – is a treasure chest of nutritional value and medicinal remedies. It contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals and is a natural and powerful medicine, both internally and externally.

How can we differentiate 100% pure honey and adulterated honey?
The term "adulterated honey" means that the honey has been added glucose, dextrose, molasses, corn syrup, sugar syrup, invert sugar, flour, starch, or any other similar product, other than the floral nectar gathered, processed, and stored in the comb by honey bees. Legal standards and requirements for foods, including honey quality, and tests for honey adulteration vary widely amongst countries and some may not meet the wish of every consumer around the world.

* It is hard to find pure honey, but may be we can still try to find best quality or pure quality honey.

* When selecting a raw honey for you and your family, make sure the word “raw" is on the label. Or "un-pasteurized."

Source: 'food safety news'

Useful links:

* Medical benefits of honey

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Health benefits of herbal teas

Drinking herbal teas is a perfect way to consume water, vitamins and minerals all at the same time. Herbal tea usually contains one or many herbal ingredients, which have several therapeutic functions. Herbal tea helps in relaxation, improves heart health and the immune system, and cleans the body's toxic matter. It also acts as an antioxidant and energy booster. It is effective for losing weight as well as getting a good night's sleep.
What are herbal teas?                                             
Herbal teas are actually infusions, and are properly called tisanes. Tisanes are made from mixtures of dried leaves, seeds, grasses, nuts, barks, fruits, flowers, or other botanical elements that give them their taste and provide the benefits of herbal teas. Unlike other forms of tea, herbal teas contain no caffeine. They can be a concoction made from fruit, herbs, flowers, spices and other botanicals. Herbal teas are usually blended to bring about a specific purpose or benefit, such as relaxation, rejuvenation, relief from a specific condition, amongst other things.
Benefits of Herbal Teas 
Firstly, it is important to note that there is a huge array of herbal teas available on the market – each one designed to have a specific therapeutic or medicinal benefit. However, there are some general benefits that can be obtained from herbal teas, and these include:
  1. Achieving a more calm and relaxed state of mind
  2. Supporting heart health
  3. Aiding with stomach and digestive problems
  4. Providing cleansing properties for the body
  5. Promoting energy and wellness
  6. Nourishing the nervous system
  7. Strengthening the immune system
  8. Providing antioxidants to the body
  9. Boosting energy levels and
  10. Invigorating the body relieving stress helping to avoid colds
  11. Stimulating the internal organs promoting a good night’s sleep
  12. Herbal teas are caffeine free and taste great
There are numerous herbal tea ingredients or herbs used, each having significance of its own.
Various kind of herbal teas and their benefits:                             
  • Cinnamon: It helps in healthy blood circulation and digestion. Cinnamon tea is usually a seasonal drink had in winters to warm the body. It also lowers blood sugar and cholesterol. You can have cinnamon tea as a tisane or pour cinnamon-flavored water on regular teabag and allow it to infuse for a couple of minutes. 
  • Ginseng: It maintains the vitality of the body. For several centuries, ginseng was considered some sort of a miracle herb in China. Today, various studies have revealed the rich medicinal properties of this root, making it one of the most preferred herbal teas. 
  • Chamomile: It is anti-inflammatory and has antiseptic properties. Chamomile tea is a well known sedative and it helps relieve anxiety. Due to its sleep promoting qualities it is usually preferred by people suffering from insomnia. 
  • Parsley: It helps in the proper functioning of the kidney. It also acts as a diuretic.
  • Lemon Grass: It has calming and relaxing properties.
  • Ginger Root or ginger Tea: For those who suffer from car sickness, ginger tea can help. It also aids digestion, eases flatulence, and relieves nausea. It provides relief to people suffering from lung congestion and arthritis.
  • Pepper Mint: It acts as a stress buster. Peppermint is more than a popular flavor for mouth fresheners. It relaxes your muscles, aids digestion, and relieves flatulence and stomach cramps. Of course, it tastes great too
  • Hawthorne: It improves heart health and blood circulation.
  • Rose Hips: It is rich in Vitamin C and acts as a tonic for the kidney, liver and blood.
  • Slippery Elm: It relieves stomach cramps and various gastrointestinal problems.
  • Allspice: It relieves common cold as well as stomach problems
Related: and other sites

Although there are herbal teabags available quite easily in supermarkets, it is more fun to make your own infusion at home with leaves, berries, herbs or flowers of your choice.

Useful links:

'History of the herbal tea'

Monday, March 12, 2012

Your favorite color and your personalilty

Your favorite color reveals your character, says a pioneer in the field of color study.
In 1940s, Mas Luscher determined that colors affect human emotions. He claimed that colors represent certain behaviors in individuals. When choosing the color of things such as clothing, cars or paint, people reflect their personality traits or mood either positively or negatively.

Faber Birren, author of 24 books about color, said, “It is possible to make fairly accurate judgments about the meaning of color preferences and their revelations of personality traits.”

For those of you who don't think you have a personality color, look at the clothes you wear and the way you choose to decorate your home or office.
Are there one or more colors you consistently choose? Then these will be the colors that reflect your personality and your deepest needs.

Colors, their meanings and your personality:

White: Symbolic of purity, innocence and naivete, white has strong connotations of youth and purity. If you are an older person, your preference for white could indicate a desire for perfection and impossible ideals, maybe an attempt to recapture lost youth and freshness. It may also symbolize a desire for simplicity or the simple life.
Simply choose your overall favorite color from the nine featured here – and read the results below;

Red: The color of strength, health, and vitality, Red is often the color chosen by someone outgoing, aggressive, vigorous and impulsive—or someone who would like to be! It goes with an ambitious nature but those who choose it can be abrupt at times, determined to get all they can out of life, quick to judge people and take sides. Red people are usually optimistic and can’t stand monotony; they are rather restless and not at all introspective, so they may be unaware of their own shortcomings. They find it hard to be objective and may blame others for any mishaps. Quiet people with a preference for red may feel the need for the warmth, strength and life-giving qualities of the color, or they blanket their true feelings under a sober exterior. Red is usually chosen by people with open and uncomplicated natures, with a zest for life.

 Maroon: Harsh experience has probably matured the Maroon person into someone likable and generous. It is often a favorite color of someone who has been battered by life but has come through. It indicates a well-disciplined Red personality—one who has had difficult experiences and has not come through unmarked but who has grown and matured in the process.

Pink: This color embodies the gentler qualities of Red, symbolizing love and affection without passion. Women who prefer Pink tend to be maternal. Pink desires protection, special treatment and a sheltered life. Pink people require affection and like to feel loved and secure, perhaps wanting to appear delicate and fragile. Pink people tend to be charming and gentle, if a trifle indefinite.  

Orange: This color of luxury and pleasure appeals to the flamboyant and fun-loving person who likes a lively social round. Orange people may be inclined to dramatize a bit, and people notice them, but they are generally good-natured and popular. They can be a little fickle and vacillating, but on the whole they try hard to be agreeable. Orange is the color of youth, strength, fearlessness, curiosity and restlessness.

Yellow: The color of happiness, wisdom and imagination, Yellow is chosen by the mentally adventurous, searching for novelty and self-fulfillment. Yellow usually goes with a sunny and shrewd personality, with a good business head and a strong sense of humor. It is the color of intellectuality and all things to do with the mind. Yellow folks are usually clear and precise thinkers who have a good opinion of their own mental capacities and who have lofty ideals. They may at times tend to shun responsibility, preferring freedom of thought and action.

Green: The color of harmony and balance, Green symbolizes hope, renewal and peace, and is usually liked by the gentle and sincere. Greens are generally frank, community-minded people, fairly sociable but preferring peace at any price. Green people can be too self-effacing, modest and patient, so they may get exploited by others. They are usually refined, civilized and reputable

Blue: Soft, soothing, compassionate and caring, Blue is the color of deliberation and introspection, conservatism and duty. Patient, persevering, conscientious, sensitive and self-controlled, Blues like to be admired for their steady character and wisdom. They are faithful, but are often worriers with somewhat inflexible beliefs and can be too cautious, and suspicious of flamboyant behavior.

Blue-Green: Exacting, discriminating, poised and attractive, the Blue-Green person tends to be sensitive, intellectual and refined, persevering and stable if rather detached. Blue-Greens have excellent taste, and are usually courteous and charming, capable but often refusing help or guidance.

Turquoise: Complex, imaginative and original, Turquoise people drive themselves hard and may be in a state of turmoil under their outwardly cool exterior.

Lavender: This is often chosen by a person who lives “on a higher plane,” who never notices anything sordid and who is always impeccably and beautifully dressed. Lavender people may be on a continual quest for culture and the refined things of life, high and noble causes but without the necessity of getting their hands dirty. A Lavender person is usually creative, charming, witty and civilized.

Purple: Purples are highly individual, fastidious, witty and sensitive, with a strong desire to be unique and different. Temperamental, expansive and artistic, a Purple person may become aloof and sarcastic when misunderstood. If you chose Purple, you tend to be unconventional, tolerant and dignified, likely to achieve positions of authority.

Brown: A Brown person has stamina and patience, tending to be very solid and substantial, conscientious, dependable, steady and conservative. Browns are not impulsive, and may be inarticulate and tactless but they love responsibility and are reliable and kindly. If you chose Brown, watch out for a tendency to be obstinate and inflexible.

Gray: The color of caution and compromise, diligent Grays search for composure and peace and often work hard without reward. Older Grays like life to run on an even keel with few ups and downs. Young Grays may be withdrawing from life and suppressing their personalities. Grays often have good business ability and tend to work too much.

Black: Dignified and impressive without being showy, Black people want to give the appearance of mystery, but their preference may also indicate a suppression of desires and worldly aims, suggesting hidden depths and inner longings.

Adapted from The Healing Power of Color by Betty Wood (Inner Traditions, 1998)

Useful links:

* What Does Your Color Personality Reveal?

* Download 'The primary colors of personality'

* What does your color preference reveal about you?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

What is a Kneeling chair and do they really help reducing back pain?

Kneeling chairs have become increasingly popular nowadays to remove fatigue at work, while sitting for long hours. Kneeling chairs provide a good comfort and ease to sit while maintain a correct body alignment which doesn’t result in back pain or any discomfort that are caused by normal chairs. Kneeling is one of the most effective ways by which you can become more comfortable if it is well supported.

What is a kneeling chair?
According to wikipedia "A kneeling chair is a type of chair for sitting in a position with the thighs dropped to an angle of about 60 to 70 degrees from vertical (as opposed to 90 degrees when sitting in a normal chair), with some of the body's weight supported by the shins."

The concept of Kneeling Chairs was introduced to the world in the 70's as an innovative ergonomic solution to back pain caused by inappropriate posture. Bad seating was a big part of the problem of back pain sufferers. Prolonged inappropriate posture was the cause to the back pain problems and Kneeling Chair, also called Knee Chair or Posture Chair was the answer!

For centuries, seiza benches have been used by Tibetan monks during extended periods of meditation. Kneeling has also been one of the most popular positions for many prayer rituals. The kneeling position allows the angle at the hips to be increased, helping to alleviate pressure on the spine and increase blood flow throughout the body.

The Danish surgeon Dr. A.C. Mandal was the first to report the potential benefits of a kneeling position. He found that many users, including school children, would lean forward in their seat for comfort and to reduce back pain. He concluded that a forward-angled seat would allow the spine to slip into a natural curve and promote the best posture.
  • The Kneeling Chair is a useful ergonomic aid that:
  • Helps keep the spine in its natural "S" alignment
  • Provides an upright posture by distributing weight on knees, feet and buttocks
  • Helps relieve the buttocks from hours of sitting pressure
  • Changes pressure points and improves circulation
Function of your spine and how kneeling chair is helpful?

The posture encouraged in a kneeling chair is different to traditional seating. By tilting the pelvis forward and lowering the knees in relation to the hips, the spine is encouraged to adopt the correct alignment, such as when standing. This means the weight and compressive forces of the upper body are distributed through the seat and the legs so the discs are not squeezed out of shape and muscle strain is not required to maintain upright.

Compression on the discs of the lumbar spine is relieved by as much as 35% when seated in this kneeling-like posture.

This positioning also allows improved blood flow to the discs, which may delay the process of disc degeneration.
The unique features of a Kneeling Chair combine to induce balanced movement, nourish your spinal discs, enhance posture, reduce the pressure on your spinal vertebrae and diaphragm, relieve tension and improve your breathing capacity and alertness, thus producing a genuine sense of poise and equilibrium.

More studies:

* Benefits for the individuals
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Natural stress remedy -herbal teas

We usually start our day with a warm relaxing tea and at the end of the day again a warm cup of tea helps relieve tension and tiredness. A cup of tea (with some herbs) can help you get relief from stress and calm you down.

Herbal teas are healthy drinks you can get from plants and flowers. They are commonly easy to serve and also taste good. Herbal teas help to support our body system by natural healing for some diseases, providing relaxation, soothing nerves, improving circulatory system, cleansing toxins, and so on.

L-theanine in tea helps regains your tranquility. It has the ability to calm you. Studies show that  L-theanine (known as a amino acid) has the ability to cross through the barrier of the blood-brain and is also a remedy for stress and anxiety.                                                                  

There are many types of herbal teas, among the most popular are Chamomile, Ginger, Ginseng, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Jasmine, Chrysanthemum, Lemon, Orange, Rosella and Green tea. These teas can serve as relaxing as well as healthy drink. For health purpose, they are usually taken from the stems, barks, and roots part of plants. You can also mix some variants of teas as to get the combined benefits and taste.

Green Tea:  Green tea is often used to give us the boost we need to get going in the morning. While green tea is often caffeinated, it also possesses several stress reducing properties. The biggest benefits of drinking green tea are that it clears the mind while calming the nerves so you may continue your day with clarity and energy.

Mint Tea: Mint tea is a great way to unwind at the end of a hard day because of its relaxation properties. Not only do the minty leaves have a wonderful aromatic flavor but they also relax and quiet the mind – great for after those long days staring at a computer screen – and also soothe an upset stomach.

Passionflower: Shown in studies, the passionflower extract has the ability to calm you down because it increases the number of the chemical in your brain known as gamma-amino butyric acid or also known as GABA

Chamomile: If you are having trouble falling asleep, consider drinking some chamomile tea just before bed. In addition to settling feelings of nausea, chamomile tea also calms your nerves, thereby allowing you to enter a calm and relaxed state – just what you need when your mind refuses to slow down on its own.

Lavender: Similar to chamomile, lavender is a wonderful natural stress reliever, well known for its soothing abilities. However, lavender packs a bit more of a punch and can reduce everything from tension headaches to anxiety. It is also a great soothing tea for nervous exhaustion which can often be brought about from our busy and often stress ridden lives.

Lemon Verbana: An herbal tea with Lemon Verbena is just the dose you need to an upset stomach and nausea. If you have insomnia problem, you will find it to be just right for your curing this problem. Catnip - This herbal ingredient is well-known for its properties to reduce excitement and palpitations. When stomach is unable to digest properly, it results in digestion-related headaches. At such times, a cup of catnip tea is just the thing you need for relief. It’s very good for quieting the mind.

Linden: This ingredient relaxes muscles and nerves. It’s very good for making the mind calm and reliving headcheese caused by stress. If you are suffering from frequent nervous tensions, include Linden in your daily tea can bring down such problems and keep you calm.

Passiflora incarnate: Drop this ingredient into your herbal teas and see problems like tensions and irritation, vanish just as they came. Passiflora incarnate is well-know for its ability to reduce headaches caused by anxiety and stress. It’s also useful for women with PMS & a menstrual problem as it brings down the irritation and pain experienced during such times.

Skullcap: This ingredient is known for its abilities to relax tense muscles, reduce muscle spasms, calm nerves and reduce headaches. Women will find skullcap tea to be very relieving because it’s also know to bring down irritability associated with Premenstrual Syndrome.

Ginseng: When most people think of ginseng, they think of the miracle supplement that may help your mind stay sharp. While the jury may still be out on whether or not ginseng actually increases brain function, it may help you function better. Ginseng tea is quick to clear up mental exhaustion as well as stress so you are more productive and energetic – or completely relaxed if you so choose.

Tips to get more benefits form your herbal teas:

  • Make sure that the water you boil for tea isn’t from a traditional water softener. These types of softeners balance the minerals in your water by using salt which winds up in your tea. There’s already too much sodium in the typical diet so it’s best to avoid it through your drinking water. Using regular tap water or that from an alternative water softener is a much better way to brew your tea. Not only will your tea taste great, but it will have better nutritional value over all.
  • Teas are always better to drink while fresh.
  • Herbal teas are better to serve wholly, chopping the part of leave or flower will cause the oils and components inside to release
  • For long-term health, you can have one before every bedtime, it will promote your body system to relax and so you can sleep well. You may also drink herbal tea after meal or in the morning.
  • Tea will not interact with any anxiety medications and is safe to take with any conventional medications. Tea bag may also be added to bath water for an overall relaxing moment.

Related: and

* Stress relieving foods

* News at 'BBC' Black tea 'soothes away stress'

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Drinking water and your immune system

Drinking water is critical for a strong immune system and many health benefits.  Adequate hydration has a huge impact on your immune system. Water helps all of your body's systems function at optimum levels.
Research at Tufts University found that dehydration is associated with negative mood and impaired attention.

Link of immune system and drinking water:
Since a healthy immune system allows your body to fight off diseases, you need plenty of fresh, pure water to function properly. Water is everywhere in your body, sort of like a river flowing through your arteries, veins, and capillaries carrying vital, life sustaining nutrients to your cells and transporting waste out of the body. Water basically fills every space in your body and helps build a healthy immune system.

In the book 'Your Bodies Many Cries For Water', Dr F Batmanghelidj postulates that almost all diseases are caused by the simple fact that we don't drink enough water.
Dr Theodore Baroody, author of "Alkalize or Die"  says that we are dehydrated because we are acidic, and we are acidic because of the food we eat and the liquids we drink. He believes, like Dr Batmanghelidj, that we could protect ourselves from almost all major diseases by adequate intake or not just water but alkaline water.

Drinking plenty of water helps keep you healthy in the long term. A surprising number of illnesses can be treated or prevented simply by drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day.

Related studies:
The Amazing Health Benefit of Drinking Water5 Immune System Benefits of Drinking Water

Green tea - As Immunity booster

Green tea has phenomenal metabolism boosting properties and for this reason we can add it into list of best immunity booster. Green tea has more health benefits compared to other teas black tea or oolong tea.

Long times ago, the Chinese people have been using green tea as medicinaltreatment for headaches. In present day there is no shortage of research that has been documented that provides many benefits of green tea such as lowering cholesterol levels, lowering high blood levels, lower stress hormone levels, weight loss, contains anti-cancer properties, contains catechin, epigallochatchin gallate (EGCG) which is powerful antioxidant for inhibit and destroy the growth of cancer cells.  

Green tea as Immunity booster

Researches show that people who regularly drink green tea do not fall prey to common bacterial and viral infections easily, and even if they do, it is far less frequently than those not consuming it. The message is clear. Green Tea boosts immunity. The Catechins present in green tea prevent bacterial and virus from attaching themselves to cell walls and thus infecting them. These Catechins also counter the toxins released by microbes. This anti microbial property also protects from bad breathe, dysentery, diarrhoea, tooth decay, indigestion, flu, cough & cold, colitis etc. which are caused by microbial & fungal action.

Stamina & Endurance Booster: Drink a cup of green tea before exercise. Green tea will speed up your metabolism, so during physical activity, you'll increase the number of burned calories, thus burning more fat.
Further, it effectively counters muscular pain due to over exercise of muscles.

Useful links:

* Health benefits of green tea

* 8 foods that boost immunity

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Immune boosters - sleep

Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle and can benefit your body and mind. Experts say that not only does prolonged sleep deprivation wear down immune protection but getting adequate rest can help boost your defenses.

Your body may need anywhere from 6 to 10 hours of sleep each night. Sleep has been linked to balanced hormone levels (including human growth hormone and the stress hormone, cortisol), keeping weight down, clear thinking and reasoning, improved mood, and vibrant, healthy skin.    

 "We don't know the exact mechanism by which sleep impacts immunity, but we do know that a lack of it prevents the body from repairing cells. And when we skip that important physiological step, we get sick more easily," says Tierno.

To help give your immune system an extra boost during cold and flu season, Charnetski says get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. And if you can't sleep … try a little "immune sex therapy." Charnetski says that having sex gives immunity a healthy boost of IGA (a protein from the immune system that helps fight infections), which plays a critical role in keeping pathogens from entering your body -- and capturing those that do sneak in.

In studies of humans and other animals, scientists have discovered that sleep plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions. Researchers looked at how lack of sleep may affect the immune system. Chronic sleeplessness may harm the immune system, since lack of sleep is linked to an increase in cytokine molecules that control immune response.
The resulting inflammation and changes in blood chemistry may be behind a variety of diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and neurological conditions.
"The foundations of good health are good diet, good exercise and good sleep, but two out of three doesn't get you there," said Dr. Anne Calhoun, a neurology professor at the University of North Carolina.

 "Sleep used to be kind of ignored, like parking our car in a garage and picking it up in the morning," says David Rapoport, MD, director of the NYU Sleep Disorders Program.

More links:

* Health benefits of sleep

* 11 surprising health benefits of sleep

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Vitamin C - immune system booster

Vitamin C has been considered one of the best natural supplement for boosting your immune system. By boosting your immune system you can prevent trips to the doctor. There are plenty of foods that will help boost your immune system and keep you healthy. By eating certain foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals that ward off bacteria, germs and free radicals, your immune system will be working at its full potential 24/7.

Vitamin C tops the list of immune boosters for many reasons. There has been more research about the immune-boosting effects of Vitamin C than perhaps any other nutrient.
Vitamin C supplements are inexpensive to produce, and it's available naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Also, you can buy a vitamin-C-fortified version of just about anything.
Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies and increases levels of interferon, the antibody that coats cell surfaces, preventing the entry of viruses.

Vitamin C reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol while lowering blood pressure and interfering with the process by which fat is converted to plaque in the arteries. As an added perk, persons whose diets are higher in vitamin C have lower rates of colon, prostate, and breast cancer. You don't have to take in massive amounts of vitamin C to boost your immune system. Around 200 milligrams a day seems to be a generally agreed-upon amount and one that can be automatically obtained by eating at least six servings of fruits and vegetables a day. See Top Seven Vitamin C-Containing Fruits. If you take vitamin C supplements, it's best to space them throughout the day rather than take one large dose, most of which may end up being excreted in the urine.

Vitamin C is particularly important for helping shorten both the severity and duration of colds and flu, making it well worth stocking up on plenty of green vegetables and citrus fruits this winter. Vitamin C is loaded with antioxidants that have been scientifically proven to support immune health. Taking vitamin C at the onset of a cold can reduce the duration and severity of the symptoms.

Vitamin C also plays a key role in the healthy growth, development and repair of body tissues and is essential to numerous bodily functions including the growth of collagen, the absorption of iron and the maintenance of bones and teeth.                                              

Vitamin C affects healthy brain function by aiding in the synthesis of a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. Recent research suggests it might even lower cholesterol.
A strong anti-viral, this immunity-boosting vitamin  possess the following immune-strengthening properties:
  • leads to increase of T cell production                                              
  • necessary for cell division depressed by flu virus
  • required for cells to produce higher levels of interferon
  • hinders growth of bacteria
  • triggers greater production of antibodies
  • helps detoxify multiple bacterial toxins
  • improves antibiotic performance
Foods rich in vitamin C. 
Nutritionists recommend consuming food which contains more vitamin C, as it burns the fat faster.
You should include this fruits and vegetables in your nutrition:

Fruit: citrus fruits like lemon, grapefruit, lime, watermelon, apples, strawberries.
Vegetables: red peppers, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, cabbage, winter squash and dark leafy greens

It is more important than ever to keep our immune systems strong. Make sure your body has the vitamin C it needs to stay healthy during the coming months.

Remember that it is always best to consult a nutritionist or a doctor before you start using vitamins or making any dramatic changes to your diet.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Why we need to boost immunity?

We know that the immune system is the body’s defense system. It consists of a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs and has a sensitive process of checks and balances that together generate an appropriate immune response that is prompt, accurate, effective and self-limiting.

Your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails: A germ invades successfully and makes you sick. From getting a cold or the flu, to having bad food poisoning ... infected, slow healing injuries to allergies ... from lack of energy to just feeling "not right" ... a proper working immune system is the key to helping you feel better in so many ways.

Why we need to boost immunity?

People who suffer from a simple cold or flu to people who are seriously ill with life-threatening diseases need immune system boosters.

"The strength of our immune system is what makes the difference between who gets sick and who doesn't. The one with the immune system functioning below base-line normal has an increased risk of getting sick," says Woodson Merrell, MD, director of integrative medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.

your immune cells can also lose some of their protective effects when your body is constantly battling poor health habits. As such, it's not surprising that doctors frequently recommend certain lifestyle changes as a way to optimize the function of your immune system.

"The most important thing you can do for your immune system is to achieve lifestyle balance and adopt the fundamentals of healthy living. This will give your immune system what it needs to function at optimal capacity," says Merrell. At the top of that balance list: reducing stress.

Auto-immune diseases are chronic illnesses resulting from a compromised immune system over a period of time. Many people have heard of these diseases and many more suffer from them; unfortunately, they have become almost commonplace. These illnesses and diseases include arthritis, asthma, celiac disease, colitis, Crohn's disease, dermatitis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Grave's disease, psoriasis and chronic fatigue syndrome.                         

An auto-immune disease is characterized by the inability of the body's immune system to distinguish between healthy tissue and foreign tissue. Therefore, the immune system begins to attack cells which are healthy and are causing no problems. It is thought some people are genetically predisposed to developing an auto-immune disorder, however, it is still not known what causes this reaction.

Immune system boosters often help combat the effects of the diseases, although often there is no definitive cure. The best way to treat these types of conditions is to boost the immune system as much as possible to mitigate the damage.

Other people who have problems with their immune system and may need immune system boosters are those with HIV/AIDS, certain types of cancers, gastro-intestinal diseases and lupus, although there are many illnesses and diseases related to a compromised immune system.


Useful links:

 * How to boost immune system naturally?

* Best Natural Immunity Boosters-Vitamins Strengthen Immune System

Carotenoids to help boost immune system

The immune system is the body's defense against infectious organisms and other invaders. To keep our immune system healthy, we need immunity boosters. Immune system boosters are typically utilized in order to improve the strength of the defense mechanism of the body. Carotenoids (Beta carotene) is one of immunity boosters which increases the number of infection-fighting cells, natural killer cells, and helper T-cells, as well as being a powerful antioxidant that mops up excess free radicals that accelerate aging.

Beta-carotene or carotenoids is perhaps best known for its role as a precursor for vitamin A, or as pro-vitamin A, meaning that the human body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A when needed. The human body is unable to synthesize carotenoids and they must therefore be taken up as a food constituent

What are carotenoids?                                                       
Carotenoids/Beta-carotene is a naturally occurring reddish-orange pigment, responsible for the yellow-orange colour of many fruits. It is one of literally hundreds of carotenoids found in nature, particularly in dark green, deep orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. Beta-carotene is one of the most extensively researched carotenoids and pro-vitamins, and it is highly regarded for its many health-promoting capabilities.

The most common carotenoids in diets are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene. Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin are provitamin A carotenoids, meaning they can be converted by the body to retinol (vitamin A). Lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene have no vitamin A activity.

Beta-carotene rich food – Orange/ Yellow fruits and vegetables
Lycopene rich food – Red fruits & vegetables
Lutein rich food – Green Leafy Vegetable
Zeaxanthin rich food - Yellow/ Orange Colour Fruits and Vegetables
Carrot, pumpkin, water melon,tomato, spinach,Kale,Persimmon,and corn

Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system, which helps prevent or fight off infections by making white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses. Vitamin A also may help lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) fight infections more effectively.
Benefits of Carotenoids on our immune 
Main functions of Carotenoids
  • antioxidant 
  • immunity booster 
  • promotion of cell communication 
  • cancer prevention 
  • eyesight improvement 
  • protection of the skin against oxidative damage
Carotenoids can help boost the immune system by:
  1. Increasing lymphocytes to fight against infection
  2. Increasing T-cells to fight off cancer cells
  3. stimulates macrophages to kill cancer cells
  4. Protect cells against free radicals
Beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant and may help prevent chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, age-related eye diseases, brain disorders and many more. beta-carotene is also known to protect skin exposed to sunlight as it absorbs hazardous ultraviolet radiation.

Useful links:

Vitamin A and Carotenoids

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Vitamin B- As Immunity booster

Vitamin B complex is widely recognised as being necessary for a strong immune system. It has been commonly recommended to help increase energy levels. The vitamin B complex is a collection of eight water-soluble vitamins and are needed in very small amounts for various metabolic processes and other functions. The Vitamin B Complex comprises of the essential B Vitamins – Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B9, Vitamin B12 plus the vitamins Biotin, Choline and Inositol. Vitamin B Complex is needed for the proper functioning of almost every process in the body.

B vitamins are essential for growth, development, and a variety of other bodily functions. They play a major role in the activities of enzymes, proteins that regulate chemical reactions in the body, which are important in turning food into energy and other needed substances. B vitamins are found in plant and animal food sources.

Immunity Boosting B Vitamins                            

Found in liver, whole grains, nuts, yeast and dairy products, B Vitamins are essential for maintaining good health. As highlighted by Holford & Meek, those who are extremely stressed or eat a high sugar diet are most likely to be deficient in this area, with the following immunity actions associated with B vitamins:
  • B12/B6 - necessary for babies to gain strong immune system           
  • B6 - helps body key create amino acid for immunity 
  • B6 - important for cleaning dead cells, getting rid of unwanted invaders 
  • B5 - immune stimulant, necessary for producing antibodies, helps killer cells 
As part of a healthy lifestyle, the B-group vitamins need to be consumed every day because the body cannot store most of them, with the exception of B12 and folate, which are stored in the liver.

Vitamin B foods list: 
  • Nuts –  vitamin B1
  • Oats –  vitamin B1
  • Rice –  vitamin B1 and B2
  • Yeast –  vitamin B1
  • Oranges –  vitamin B1
  • Meat products –  vitamin B1, B2, B6 and B12
  • Almonds –  vitamin B2
  • Whole Grains –  vitamin B2 and B6
  • Mushrooms –  vitamin B2
  • Soy Beans –  vitamin B2
  • Milk –  vitamin B2 and B12
  • Yogurt –  vitamin B2
  • Eggs –  vitamin B2, B6 and B12
  • Potatoes –  vitamin B6
  • Fish –  vitamin B6 and B12
  • Liver –  vitamin B6
  • Poultry –  vitamin B12
  • Cereals –  vitamin B12

Feng shui and stress management by decluttering your surroundings

Mess relief = stress relief
It seems strange but it is true that clutter or mess around our homes or work space makes our lives more stressful.
Feng shui says 'If your home is cluttered, that flow and balance is hampered and the feel of your home is less peaceful than you may desire. In fact, the more cluttered your home, the more stressed you may feel.'

Decluttering our environment, home or office is a natural stress reliever. It is a surprisingly powerful way to regain simplicity and balance in our thoughts and our behaviors. It seems to clear away the extraneous so that the important and fundamental aspects of our lives can more easily shine forth. Even the simplest acts of cleaning and organizing can make a huge difference in how you feel about the space. Clutter eats away at the sense of peace and tranquility that can exist in the house, as it is a constant reminder of disorganization in life.

Clutter at your work space:

Clutter in your office is the number one blockage of positive energy as it disrupts your focus and concentration. Clutter is both a cause and a symptom of stuck energy. When using feng shui at work getting rid of clutter is the most essential step to creating a smooth, gentle, nurturing flow of chi (vital energy) through your office, and should be the first thing you do to improve the feng shui of your space .

How to start organizing?

Start Small:
Start with the cluttered, disorganized drawer in the side table next to the sofa instead of the entire room.  Start small and then move on to bigger projects. Another step to clearing out the clutter and making your house more feng shui oriented is to clean a little at a time.

Instead of tacking the entire room, start by spending five minutes each day picking up pieces, putting things away, and getting rid of trash.
By taking just a little bit of time each day, by the end of a month, your home will be significantly less cluttered and you will be excited to see what else you can clear out.

Closet Clutter
Another culprit of non-feng shui living is having cluttered closets. Clothing closets are usually the biggest culprits, because many people have trouble getting rid of old pieces of clothing. When you have less cluttered clothing closets, it takes a lot of the stress of trying to find what to wear out of the morning routine.

Start by going through every piece of clothing and determining if it is a piece that has been worn within the last year or will be worn in the very near future. If it has not been worn within the last year, donate it to charity. Your clothing that is no longer being worn, can be a treasure for someone else.

The Top Two Rules for Decluttering are:

1. Don’t add to what you already have.

2. Throw things out as MUCH as you can. (It feels great once you get the hang of it.)
If you can’t throw it away, BOX it and then, months from now, when you don’t even remember that box,you’ll see how much you don’t need that stuff – and you can then toss it out. (Label the contents of the box if it contains anything important.)

Useful links:

* A lot of decluttering tips at 'Declutter your space'

Decluttering your home office

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Significance of zam zam water for muslims

You can learn some facts, history and significance of blessed water 'zamzam' which is also called 'Aab-e-zamzam'.

Zamzam water is special to Muslims. Zam-zam water is one of the many signs of Allah Ta’ala. Zam-zam enjoys a lot of virtues and blessings. Below are some virtues:

 1. Zam-zam water is from jannah (paradise). 
 2. Zam-zam is the best water on earth. 
 3. Zam-zam is a cure for every sickness.

It is a miraculously-generated source of water from Allah (God), which began thousands of years ago when Ibrahim (as) infant son Ismael (as) was thirsty and kept crying for water and was kicking at the ground when water gushed out. Millions of pilgrims visit the Well each year while performing the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages, in order to drink its water.

Zamzam water which is also called 'Aab-e-zamzam is special. To Muslims this blessed water is special in significance and history. This article helps you learn some facts, history and significance of zamzam water. It is a miraculously-generated source of water from Allah (God), which began thousands of years ago when Ibrahim (as) infant son Ismael (as) was thirsty and kept crying for water and was kicking at the ground when water gushed out. Millions of pilgrims visit the Well each year while performing the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages, in order to drink its water.

Significance of zamzam: 

Zamzam water contains fluorides that have an effective germicidal action. It has always maintained the same salt composition and taste ever since it came into existence. Water tastes different at different places. Zamzam water's appeal has always been universal. This water has never been chemically treated or chlorinated as is the case with water pumped into the cities. Biological growth and vegetation usually take place in most wells. This makes the water unpalatable owing to the growth of algae causing taste and odor problems." One of the miracles of Zamzam water is its ability to satisfy both thirst and hunger. One of the Companions of the Prophet said that before Islam, the water was called "Shabbaa'ah" or satisfying. It was filling and helped them nourish their families. After Islam, this powerful ability to quench thirst and fill stomachs remained. Prophet Muhammad said: "The best water on the face of the earth is the water of Zamzam; it is a kind of food and a healing from sickness." During Hajj and Umra, pilgrims are recommended to drink Zamzam water to their fill to quench their thirst. They also continue the tradition of bringing it back for family and friends.

Dr. Masaru Emoto from Yokohama University Japan is famous for his research on the behavior of water. Dr. Masaru Emoto studied the structure of zamzam water and presented at a seminar in Malaysia. The quality / purity of Zamzam water has, will not be find any where else in the water on this earth. The conclusion is that there is no water content in the world to equal the water content of Zam-Zam.

It was revealed that the molecules of water of Zam-Zam is the most beautiful water molecules and beautiful among other water. He found that zamzam water has tremendous healing power. He said that it is always surrounded by prayer, so can cure all diseases.

 Dr. Knut Pfeiffer, a Christian German doctor specialist in internel medicine, has discovered that Zamam water has far more positive effect on human cells than regular drinking water. He also believes that Islamic prayers are more positive effect on the energy and thus health than Christian prayers.
read more at 'Zam Zam Scientific facts'

Useful links:
 * The chemical analysis of zamzam water
ZamZam Water: Scientific Research Findings

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