June 21, 2013

A Monument to Homeopathy in Washington DC

Let's delve into a little history today! 

June 21 marks the day when a bronze statue of Hahnemann was erected in Scott Circle in Washington DC, at the intersection of Massachusetts and Rhode Island Avenues.

Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) was a German physician. He is regarded as the the Father of Homeopathy, who discovered the therapeutic properties of natural substances in minute doses and formulated the principles of homeopathic practice. His book called The Organon of Medicine describes homeopathic philosophy and its guiding principles. The book is considered as one of the most important works of Hahnemann and was published in 6 editions, with the last edition being published after his death.

The American Institute of Homeopathy (the oldest national professional medical association in the US to date) asked Congress permission to erect a memorial to Hahnemann and it was authorized in January 1900. The memorial was unveiled on June 21, 1900. It depicts Samuel Hahnemann seated on a pedestal in deep thought. The panels on the wall behind the statue portray Hahnemann as a student, a chemist, a teacher, and a physician. This monument is visible from the White House.

The next time you are touring Washington DC, be sure to visit the Hahnemann Memorial!


1. National Library of Medicine 
2. American Institute of Homeopathy

Image credit: AgnosticPreachersKid/ Wikimedia

June 17, 2013

Homeopathy for mosquito bites

Ledum palustre or Marsh tea
If you're going to spend any time at all being outdoors this summer, you will need to watch out for mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects. Two remedies that are extremely useful when dealing with insects are Staphysagria and Ledum.

To prevent being bitten, take 2 pills/pellets of Staphysagria 30C half an hour before you head outdoors. Take this dose only once every week. If you're still bitten, then your homeopath may be able to suggest a constitutional remedy for you.

Don't forget to take other precautions like wearing full-sleeved clothing. 

Some other natural things you can do to avoid being bitten:

  • Plant oils like lemon eucalyptus, geranium, lemon balm, or citronella can keep mosquitoes away. Mix one or more with a carrier oil like coconut oil and apply to exposed skin.
  • Use a DEET-free insect repellant. DEET-free repellants are less toxic than those that contain DEET. This is especially important for children who tend to keep their hands in their mouth. There is also the danger of DEET being absorbed through the skin into the blood stream and long-term use may cause adverse effects. Many DEET-free repellants are commercially available.
  • Grow marigold, lemon balm, geranium or other insect repelling plants in your garden.

After being bitten, 2 pills/pellets of Ledum 30C should reduce the irritation from the bites a little; however, if a rash or fever develops within 72 hours, it is advisable to see a doctor.

Toothpaste works very well to reduce the intense itching from mosquito bites. Apply any old-fashioned all white toothpaste on the bites and let it dry. This is safe to use on little kids too; it'll help them forget about the itch long enough for the bites to heal without being scratched.

It's important not to scratch the bites because scratching can introduce infection through the broken skin, and scratching does not help the bites to heal any way.

Also read this post about the use of homeopathy in insect bites

Image courtesy: Sten/Wikimedia

June 3, 2013

Top 10 Benefits of Eating Avocados

It is the season of one of my favorite fruits - the avocado! I was introduced to this 'strange' and 'exotic' fruit when I was in college. Every Wednesday evening, my friends and I used to go to the local juice shop for a cool treat of fresh fruit juice. The owner of the shop asked me if I'd like to try the new 'Butter Fruit' that he brought from Bangalore and offered me the Butter Fruit milkshake. As I slowly sank into its satin smooth texture, I felt incredibly good - and so began my love for avocado, even though I just knew it as Butter Fruit then. After that experience, I have sought out avocados everywhere I have gone, tried new recipes, and used them in all kinds of dishes - appetizer to main course to dessert - and they have never disappointed me. 

Avocados are avoided by some people for being high in fat and calories, and some others for being bland and tasteless. However, it is these very qualities of the avocado that I love, here's why.

1. A whole avocado has about 320 calories, but they come from mono-unsaturated fats which lower cholesterol

2. One avocado contains more than 1/3 of your daily vitamin C requirement, and more than 1/2 of your vitamin K requirement. Vitamin C is required to maintain a healthy immunity, an vitamin K facilitates clotting of blood.

3. Avocados are a major source of potassium - one avocado has about 950 grams (Recommended Daily Intake is 4700 grams). Potassium is important in preventing high blood pressure.

4. One avocado contains 7 grams of fiber. Fiber keeps you full for a longer time and is important for digestive health. See the link to learn more about the benefits of fiber.

5. Avocados provide 1/4 of your recommended intake for folate, which is important for heart health and if you are pregnant, for your developing baby.

6. They are a great source of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant and prevents cellular damage due to aging. Think of all the vitamin E creams, beauty products, and supplements on the market. Eating avocado is a better way to get your vitamin E!

7. Avocados contain carotenoids like lutein, which is important for maintaining eye health, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.

8. The fats in the avocado also help to attract fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) from other foods. So use your avocado in salads or in dishes with other nutrient-rich foods!

9. Avocados protect your health against diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even some types of cancer.

10. I've left the best for last - did you know avocados help in weight loss? The monounsaturated fats in avocados speed up the rate of metabolism and are more easily assimilated by your body than saturated fats. This means that your body prefers to burn the fat in avocados and convert it to energy rather than keep it in storage. Also, avocados boost satiety and have a very low glycemic index - that is helpful in the management of diabetes and obesity.

That's just a small list of benefits of avocados. The big bonus is that they are extremely versatile and because of their neutral taste, they can be used in many ways to create tasty dishes. The easiest way to eat them is to slice them up and sprinkle salt and lemon juice. When I want a more sophisticated dish, here's what I like to make with avocados:
  • Baked avocado fries
  • Guacamole with garlic
  • Avocado-chickpea salad
  • Avocado parathas
  • Avocado mayo
  • Avocado chocolate pudding
  • Avocado milkshake or smoothie

If you're interested in some trivia, this document talks about how the avocado was first introduced in India and cultivated - a very interesting read to say the least!

How do you like to eat avocados?

Image courtesy: Jonesemyr/Flickr CC