November 25, 2013

How to Avoid Frequent Upper Respiratory Illnesses

Throughout this season, cold dry weather causes excessive dryness of the throat and nasal cavity, and the dry air from your heater saps the humidity within your home. While the popular belief is that lowered temperatures cause frequent upper respiratory illnesses like the common cold and flu, the lowered humidity plays a big part. 

The throat and nasal cavity are lined by mucus membrane, that releases mucous, which keeps them moist. The mucous also contains some antiseptic enzymes and antibodies which either kill micro-organisms upon contact or activate the immune system to act against them, respectively. 

Dry air causes the throat and nasal cavity to dry out, and most of us make matters worse by drinking less water, resulting in dehydration and therefore less production of mucus. All of these literally open the doors to viruses and micro-organisms into your body, and that is the foremost reason for the increase in upper respiratory illnesses in winter.

Keep yourself and your family healthy this season by following these rules:

  1.  Stay hydrated by drinking enough water throughout the day. Remind yourself to take a sip here and there. 
  2.  Maintain the level of humidity in your home at 25-40% by running a humidifier. 
  3.  To keep your nasal cavity moist, use a saline nasal spray when you are outdoors. 
  4.  Avoid turning the thermostat up in your home (you also save a lot of energy!). 
  5.  We all know this rule, but it can never be repeated enough - always eat a healthy and wholesome diet, stay away from junk food, get enough exercise, and use homeopathy!

Stay warm, and stay healthy!

November 11, 2013

Monday Health Tip - Garlic & Flax seed Chutney powder

It's time again to talk about staying healthy with nutritious food! As the season changes to cold and we acclimatize our bodies, it is important to include in our diet foods that help us to stay healthy. Garlic has historically been used in medicine as an antimicrobial for preventing infections, treating digestive disorders, and lowering blood pressure. The fact that it is found around the world shows its popularity. Garlic is such a powerful herb that everyone should use it all through the year. In this post, I'm sharing a very nutritious recipe that uses garlic and flax seeds - garlic and flax seed chutney powder.

Chutney powders are a convenient side dish used in South India as an accompaniment for breakfast dishes like dosa and idli. Most chutney powders contain split white urad dal (black gram or matpe bean), coconut, dry tamarind, and dry red chillies, in varying proportions. These ingredients form the base of the chutney powder and the main ingredient may be any kind of dal or seed. Every household has its own traditional recipe for chutney powder. Some recipes use garlic, some don't. Some use additional ingredients like peanuts or curry leaves. 

Chutney powders are a simple way to include extra protein or essential nutrients in the diet. Flax seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, especially in plant-based diets. I have already written about the importance of omega-3 fatty acids in this post. Now let's look at the recipe!


Flax seeds, whole - 1/2 cup
Dry coconut, grated - 1/2 cup
Sesame seeds - 1/4 cup
Dry red chillies - 3-4
Garlic, crushed - 15-20 cloves
Dry tamarind - 2 teaspoon
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste


Heat a pan and roast the flax seeds lightly, stir frequently and take care that they do not burn. Remove the flax seeds into a dish and then do the same with the sesame seeds, dry red chillies, and dry coconut. Let the coconut turn light brown. After the first 4 ingredients are done, take 1 tsp of oil in the same pan and fry the garlic until it turns light brown. The other ingredients should have cooled enough by now. Take everything in a coffee grinder or a small Indian grinder with salt and pulse a few times to get a coarse mixture. This should not be ground to a fine powder. Once cool, store it in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a month. Chutney powder is typically served with Indian breakfast dishes or with rice. You could also sprinkle this on yogurt or use as a garnish over other side dishes. Mix it with a little yogurt to make a spicy dip. There are lots of ways to enjoy this chutney powder!


1. Chutney powders are typically coarse and have some texture. However, they can be ground fine if you prefer. 

2. Adding peanuts will give this powder a different taste. If you like peanuts and would like to experiment with them in this recipe, dry roast the peanuts and grind along with the other ingredients. Do not grind them too fine as
peanuts release oil and can make the dish pasty.

November 4, 2013

Homeopathy for Flu - An update

It's that time of the year again... the weather is getting colder and we're preparing ourselves for the winter.

Here's an old post that I wrote about how to tackle the flu with homeopathic remedies. Homeopathy for flu

Homeopathic remedies work very well for flu, but the list of remedies in the linked article is just an illustration of how homeopathy can be used when you have the flu. It is always a good idea to consult a homeopathic practitioner for advice on what remedy would suit you the best and how to take it.

Stay warm! And stay healthy, with homeopathy!