Traditional Kokum juice to beat the summer heat

We all love summers, don’t we? This season, the nature gifts us with most of our favourite fruits like mango, jamun, watermelon, muskmelon, bael fruit, kokum, cashews to name a few. So when the summers are hottest and draining what do we do? Use one of these super fruits to cool down our body. Here is one such recipe that is healthy, cooling and tangy+tasty so it it’s enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

In our group we often discuss about various holistic ways to maintain health. It is important to replace tamarind in our kitchen with naturally grown kokum to balance various dosha in the body.

Learn why it is important to replace tamarind from kitchen to Kokum by clicking on the below link.

https://youtu.be/pXuPszQnSKM

So here goes the recipe of Kokum juice. I have prepared thick syrup of Kokum that can be consumed by diluting in water as juice whenever thirsty. This can also be stored in the refrigerator for over 2 months.

Ingredients:

  1. Traditionally grown Kokum from Konkan belt (trusted source we recommend https://www.greenhands.in/product/kokkum-best-tamarind-puli-garcinia-indica-250-gm/) – 1 large cup
  2. Natural black pepper (https://www.greenhands.in/product/natural-black-pepper-whole-100-gm/) – 1/2 teaspoon
  3. Himalayan pink salt (https://www.greenhands.in/product/pink-rock-salt/) – 2 teaspoon
  4. Jeera – 1 teaspoon.
  5. Natural sugar/brown sugar/palm sugar (https://www.greenhands.in/product/palm-sugar/) – 500 gms – 750 gms depending on the sweetness of the sugar.
  6. Water – 2 cup

Recipe:

  • Wash and soak the Kokum for 3-4 hours in 3/4 cup of warm water.
  • Grind the soaked Kokum into fine smooth paste. The consistency of the paste must be thick and not watery.
  • Now, into the paste add pepper, salt and jeera and grind it smooth.
  • Take 1 cup of water in a vessel, put sugar and the ground Kokum paste and boil it on a stove.
  • Boil the mixture for about 10-15 mins until the syrup turns thick.
  • You can test the consistency of the syrup by pressing between thumb and index finger as shown in the picture below. The syrup consistency must be one thread sticky.
  • Switch off the flame and let the Kokum syrup cool down.
  • Now sieve the syrup using a siever to filter the excess solid Kokum paste to obtain a thick liquid syrup.
  • The liquid Kokum syrup is ready as a concentrated syrup.
  • To make the Kokum juice, add 2-3 tablespoons (4-5 teaspoons) of Kokum syrup in a glass and add cold water (best one is the water cooled in the earthen pot)
  • Kokum juice is ready to be served. Serve in earthen cup for the extra rustic touch.

Important tips while preparing the juice:

  • If the Kokum syrup/juice turns out to be too sour, add a bit more salt to it to reduce the sourness
  • You can add more sugar if the juice turns out to be less sweet. Usually the traditional sugar will be less sweet compared to white sugar (we don’t recommend using white sugar as it is unhealthy).
  • After sieving the Kokum syrup, don’t throw the solids away as they are precious. You can reuse them when you prepare Sambar/Rasam, just add the Kokum solids instead of tamarind.
  • Alternatively you can use the Kokum syrup to prepare chaats at home or any tangy snacks like Also tikki etc.

Do try the recipe and share your views.

Author: Rakhi Kashyap

Once was a normal human whose life was sanctified and purified by the entry of two tiny souls blessed by God. As a result of this, ardent follower and encourager of Ayurveda, Slokas to evoke bhakti and healing, ancient wisdom, traditional cooking and Sanskrit.

HOLISTIC APPROACH TO BABY’S TEETHING PHASE

Teething also termed as dentition is a phase for babies that is painful. Indian Ayurved Acharya Scholar Vagbhatta quotes in his ancient script Asthanga Sangraha that during teething, the child may suffer from various disorders like diarrhoea, fever, headache, thirst, vertigo, inflammation of eyes, vomiting, respiratory troubles and skin disorders. 

SIGNS OF TEETHING:

Just like every baby is unique, so are their teething symptoms. But largely babies tend to start biting anything they get their hands upon including mother’s breasts while feeding to show their early signs of teething. Babies get itching sensation in their gums before the tooth erupts, hence they seem cranky. It is said that babies experience almost the same pain in teething phase as women experience during their labor.

Below are some effective and ancient remedies that can be incorporated in the routine of the baby during teething

GARDENIA GUMMIFERA HERB:


This is also called Gummy Gardenia in English. Nadihingu in Sanskrit, Dikamali/ Dikemali in Hindi & Marathi, Bikke/Bukke in Kannada.
It is a magical herb for most disorders caused due to teething in babies and also good medicine for postpartum women.
HOW TO USE:
This herb is available in most ayurvedic shops in powder form usually called as Dikamali powder which is dark green in colour and has distinct aroma.
1. Take some powder (1 small teaspoon of it) and mix mother’s milk if baby is less than 6 months or clean drinking water (for 6+ months) to make thick paste like consistency. Rub this paste onto the gums of baby in similar way how we brush our teeth with fingers. Initially some babies may reject the flavour of the herb, but the good news is they will soon learn to like the taste of it.
2. Massage various joints of the baby using this powder. Age old women claim that teething pain in babies is equal to the labor pain of mother! Most of the joints of babies ache during this phase along. To heal this, take some dry powder of the herb and massage onto the temple side area of the head, joint under the knee, joint of the arm and ankles of the feet. The massage has to be gentle but firm.
The above massage can be done twice daily or just once depending on the severity of teething issues.

TLISMI MOTI

Tlismi Moti

Tlismi moti is made up of 5 metals that helps to harmonize energy around oral cavity and face. Hence this is usually tied around the neck of the baby using traditional black thread to ensure painless or less itchy teething phase. It is absolutely safe and effective remedy than the commercially available teethers made up of silicon/plastic/polished wood. Though there are some unpolished neem wood teethers available in the market, but the cost is definitely huge for each piece.
HOW TO USE:
Tlismi moti is available in local markets, ensure you buy a genuine one. Take two such motis to have full effect and slip it in a thin black thread (this is usually included from the buyer) and tie around the neck of the baby usually a little below the neck near to the chest cavity.

HOME REMEDY FOR DIARRHOEA DUE TO TEETHING:
Often watery poop is caused due to teething in babies . If you have baby who is experiencing watery poops and you can also see teeth coming out of their gum, then below remedy  provides relief. This remedy is for baby older than 8 months only.
If diarrhoea is mild to moderate:
1. Take a ripe Bael fruit (refer pic), remove peel, boil it in water till half quantity.
Dosage: 2 teaspoonfuls 6 hourly.

Ripe Bael fruit

If diarrhoea is severe: Take unripe Bael fruit (refer pic), remove peel, take 10 g+coriander powder 10g+dry ginger powder 10 g boil it in 400 ml water till it reduces to 100 ml

Dosage: 2 teaspoonfuls 6 hourly

Unripe Bael fruit

Bael fruit is also known as Golden apple/stone apple/ wood apple. It is used as go to remedy ranging from digestive issues to respiratory problems. It is consumed in juice form in hottest of summers in India.

While teething is temporary phase for baby ensure to give her/him full attention so they don’t bite inedible things, sooth them emotionally by singing a song, taking for a stroll in the park or just cuddling them. Above all breastfeed as often as baby demands, it compliments the above remedies and keeps their immune system strong.
If the symptoms of diarrhoea, vomiting, appetite loss continues inspite of the home remedies, please consult doctor immediately.

Wishing parents healthy teething phase for babies.

Author: Rakhi Kashyap

Once was a normal human whose life was sanctified and purified by the entry of two tiny souls blessed by God. As a result of this, ardent follower and encourager of Ayurveda, Slokas to evoke bhakti and healing, ancient wisdom, traditional cooking and Sanskrit.

Sustainable pregnancy for healthy and happy progeny – Part 1


Congratulations on deciding to nurture a new life within you.  It is a blessing to let God create and sustain a soul that will soon become your lifeline. While we speak so much about sustainable living, farming, gardening, recycling plastic etc, why no one ever talks about Sustainable pregnancy that enables and empowers parents-to-be with right knowledge, guidance and support that is beyond supplements, blood tests, scans and injections? Isn’t this the most wonderful and cherished part of couple’s life? Sustainable pregnancy not only makes them tide through this phase healthily, but also ensures they bring into this world healthy, happy babies. The next generation with good immunity, mind and spiritual inclination is all that our world needs right now.

Pre pregnancy care: Before you decide to embark on pregnancy journey, consider body and mind detox, essential lifestyle changes and listening to body. While all creatures have ability to reproduce, humans have been blessed with knowledge and thus we must responsibly care, nurture and develop the young life inside the womb and safely bring them into our world. To enable this, our body and mind must be free from  all kinds of toxins, wasteful and destructive things.

Body detox for healthy pregnancy: Ayurvedic panchakarma is one of the ancient, proven and effective way to dispel toxins (Ama) from the body.    Invest time in searching for an experienced Ayurvedic Vaidya who does panchakarma, prepares his own medicine, oils and also provides specific diet based on your body type during this phase. Any panchakarma done without proper diet doesn’t dispel all toxins and thus is waste of efforts. Please be aware of some panchakarma centres that don’t do the process under doctor’s guidance and diet. It is best to get panchakarma done for both (mother to be and father to be) a minimum of 6 months before conception.

Another important point is if you have had a miscarriage or medical termination of pregnancy, do wait for atleast a year for next conception. This time gap ensures body adequate rest and also remaining waste blood goes through menstrual cycle for a year.

Mind detox for healthy pregnancy: Just as Panchakarma frees body from toxins, meditation, gratitude and forgiveness frees mind from toxins. Everyday dedicating 20 mins of time to meditate, thanking the Universe, praying with devotion to beget a good baby and practicing forgiveness does relieve mind of all fearful thoughts we usually get in pregnancy.  Let go of all the grudge, revengeful thoughts, various fears, too much of overconfidence and ego out of the mind by simple meditation, pranayama and chanting and listening to Vedic mantras like Garbha Sanskar, Vishnu Sahasranama. Sudoku, Mandala design colouring, knitting, drawing are some of stress busting activities during pregnancy.

Listen to body:  If your body asks for a good exercise, practice yoga atleast for 30 mins daily, if it needs rest, food, water, simply do so. Don’t go overboard with mental and physical work in the name of being active and do not control the natural urges of the body, let it go out as it is a part of removing unwanted substances from the body.  Striking the right balance between work and rest is the key that is achieved by listening to your body.

Essential lifestyle changes to be made daily for optimum health: In our various blogs, WhatsApp groups, we always stress upon lifestyle corrections and habits to be done in our daily lives to benefit long lasting good health.

  1. Avoid/stop all 5 whites – White rice (replace with traditional, naturally grown rice, sometimes millets, no wheat), White flour/Maida (replace with Jowar flour, traditional rice flour, Millet flour), White sugar (replace with jaggery, honey, palm sugar), White milk (replace with Ragi milk, almond milk, desi cow humped milk that can be consumed as medicine if advised by Ayurvedic doctor), White table salt (replace with Himalayan pink rocksalt).
  2. Let us throw out all plastic, aluminium, non-stick cookware that can lead to various diseases and replace with mud, iron, bronze, copper, glass or steel cookwares.
  3. Oil bath twice a week with gingelly (sesame oil) is such an important and amazing way to ensure restful sleep and calm mind.
  4. Replace any kind of refined oil to cold stone pressed or woodchurned oils.
  5. It is also needless to say that naturally and locally grown food is best to health and environment.

Why is above process  important before embarking on pregnancy journey?  In our generation of bad health, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, digital addiction etc, we often forget to take care of ourselves, so how will we beget a healthy progeny? There is no gain without pain. Our efforts in the right direction will definitely yield good results. If the above process seems time consuming and expensive, then let’s wonder about how taking care of an unhealthy mother and baby seem? Isn’t it disheartening to see anyone suffer out of ignorance. It is time we spread the light of right knowledge.

Stay healthy and keep tuned to our next part that will cover pregnancy trimester wise nutrition through food, secret recipes, natural remedies and much more.

Author: Rakhi Kashyap

Once was a normal human whose life was sanctified and purified by the entry of two tiny souls blessed by God. As a result of this, ardent follower and encourager of Ayurveda, Slokas to evoke bhakti and healing, ancient wisdom, traditional cooking and Sanskrit.

Weaning baby to solid foods as per Ayurveda

As a mother, when you start researching on weaning first foods, methods of starting, how gradual it should be, whether traditional weaning or baby led weaning, whether a high chair or sitting on lap, whether 6 months as a benchmark or the first tooth there is a lot of confusion on the internet. So as I absorb a lot of information, it stresses a lot on “digestion”. So the first basic step to any food is it needs to be digested.

While reading several blogs, articles on this topic and joining quite a few weaning groups, plus having experience of weaning my first baby (learnings of dos and don’ts, with first we make a lot of mistakes and learn from it), I am posting below baby weaning step wise as per a good Ayurvedic doctor

murong mother

GOLDEN RULES FOR WEANING FIRST TIME:

  1. Introduce food stepwise and gradually. Observe for any gases, indigestion, constipation on the introduction of any new food. Discontinue that particular food, then restart after a gap when baby’s activity increases (like starts crawling, walking etc)
  2. Start new food in the morning only as it will be easy for day-long digestion and never in the evening or night.
  3. Feed only fresh homemade food, which means no cerelac etc as the powders are normally full of sugar and salt. These foods would’ve been kept in the box for long which might have lost a lot of nutrients then later artificially fortified with vitamins which may affect the digestion of the baby.
  4. Feed water slowly starting with 1 small spoon and increase as per their thirst and need.
  5. When the first time you introduce water, ensure you boil it with “Balant shop” or Dill seeds, Vavding (a herb that prevents and heals gases) and kadi sakkar/kal sakre (white variety and pure one, no refined or chemical sugar). This is a homemade gripe water that is effective in reducing colic.
  6. Wait for 8-10 days before introducing”any” new food to the baby. This means start with one food, give for 8-10 days observe the baby’s digestion and then start with new food after this.
  7. As and when the baby grows and the activity increases change the consistency of the food from watery to thick soupy, then mashed and then solid boiled vegetable consistency.

STEPWISE BABY WEANING:

  1. Exclusive MOTHER’S MILK for the first 18 to 24 months.
  2. COW’S MILK – The cow must be desi local variety fed on healthy grass, left for free grazing and exposed to sunshine. If not possible to find such cow, skip giving this as the packet milk you get nowadays have dangerous adulteration and is far from healthy. These packet milk is the leading cause of lactose intolerance in children. Avoid this step of healthy desi cow is not available near you.
  3. RICE WATER – Start with traditional white rice water (no brown rice please, check the link to know about traditional rice at our green hands community project). Boil few spoons of rice with more water and add very little amount of pink rock salt/ Himalayan rock salt. (No white salt as it has a lot of sodium content) Check this video to understand why white salt is dangerous.
  4. Organic Native MOONG DAL WATER – After digestion of rice water, start with moong dal water. Try and ensure the moong dal is naturally grown without pesticides.
  5. VEGETABLE WATER AND FRUIT JUICE – After the introduction of moong dal, start slowly with boiled veggie water with a pinch of pink rock salt or a spoon of fresh (non sour) fruit juice.
  6. One can add Ayurvedic ghee or homemade desi cow ghee (a drop) to rice water or dal water as well.

WHICH VEGETABLES TO BE GIVEN IN THE FIRST YEAR:

  • Sweet Pumpkin.
  • Bottle gourd.
  • Carrots.
  • Potatoes.
  • Spinach or Palak.
  • Fenugreek leaves or Methi leaves.

WHICH FRUITS TO BE GIVEN IN THE FIRST YEAR:

  • Seasonal fruits are the best except some fruits that needs to be avoided in the first year (This will be covered in the foods to be avoided)
  • Papaya – Cook it, mash and give once you increase the consistency to mashed foods
  • Pomegranate – Make juice, filter the seeds and give 1-2 spoons
  • Sweet Lime/Musambi – Make juice
  • Grapes – Make juice
  • Apple – Since apple is a bit hard to digest, please introduce only after baby starts walking. Ensure the apple is naturally grown and cooked and mashed while introducing for the first time.

FOODS TO BE STRICTLY AVOIDED IN THE FIRST YEAR AS PER AYURVEDA:

  • BANANA- Due to it’s kapha property that induces cold and cough in young children.
  • GUAVA – Due to it’s kapha property that induces cold and cough in young children.
  • STRAWBERRY – Due to it’s kapha property that induces cold and cough in young children.
  • SITAPHAL OR CUSTARD APPLE- Due to it’s kapha property that induces cold and cough in young children.
  • WHEAT – Yes please avoid giving wheat based foods like chapatis, suji etc in the first year as gluten is hard to digest for the young gut.
  • MAIDA – No maids products for one year.
  • MANGO – Both raw and ripe to be avoided for the first year
  • PEAS – Due to vata nature of the food.
  • BEANS – Due to vata nature of the food.
  • FERMENTED FOODS – Due to vata nature of the food.
  • CHOCOLATES, CHIPS, BISCUITS, CERELAC, FORMULA MILK, SNACKS FROM SHOPS, MINTS ETC.

FACT:
Baby is open to new tastes from 6 months to 1.5 years, so try to introduce different TASTES within this period so they don’t reject a particular taste later.

Author: Rakhi Kashyap

Once was a normal human whose life was sanctified and purified by the entry of two tiny souls blessed by God. As a result of this, ardent follower and encourager of Ayurveda, Slokas to evoke bhakti and healing, ancient wisdom, traditional cooking and Sanskrit.

Pushya Nakshatra For Suvarna Bindu Prashana – 2019

LotuS

Given below are the details of few countries as a request by parents and doctors. If you could not find your country let us know  (through the comment box below). We will work with our astrology team to get the right details.

Did you know why on a Pushay Nakshatra? 

Pushya Nakshatra date and time – Bangalore, India 2019

  • Monday, January 21, 2019, From 5:30 AM to Tuesday, January 22, 2019, Until 2:25 AM
  • Sunday, February 17, 2019, from 4:40 PM to Monday, February 18, 2019, Until 1:54 PM
  • Sunday, March 17, 2019, from 2:12 AM to Monday, March 18, 2019, Until 12:06 AM
  • Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 9:00 AM to Sunday, April 14, 2019, Until 7:39 AM
  • Friday, May 10, 2019, from 2:19 PM to Saturday, May 11, 2019, Until 1:10 PM
  • Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 8:26 PM to Friday, June 7, 2019, Until 6:51 PM
  • Thursday, July 4, 2019, from 6:29 AM to Friday, July 5, 2019, Until 2:28 AM
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019, from 2:40 PM to Thursday, August 1, 2019, Until 12:10 PM
  • Wednesday, August 28, 2019, from 1:09 AM to Wednesday, August 28, 2019, Until 10:50 PM
  • Tuesday, September 24, 2019, from 10:30 AM to Wednesday, September 25, 2019, until 8:48 AM
  • Monday, October 21, 2019, from 5:32 PM to Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Pushya Until 4:37 PM
  • Sunday, November 17, 2019, from 10:54 PM to Monday, November 18, 2019, Until 10:16 PM
  • Sunday, December 15, 2019, from 5:00 AM to Monday, December 16, 2019, 3:55 AM

Pushya Nakshatra date and time – Cape Town, South Africa 2019

  • Monday, January 21, 2019, From 1:51 AM to Monday, January 21, 2019, 10:55 PM
  • Sunday, February 17, 2019, from 1:10 PM to Monday, February 18, 2019, Until 10:24 AM
  • Saturday, March 16, 2019, FROM 10:42 PM to Sunday, March 17, 2019, from 8:36 PM
  • Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 6:17 AM to Sunday, April 14, 2019, Until 4:09 AM
  • Friday, May 10, 2019, from 10:49 AM to Saturday, May 11, 2019, Until 9:40 AM
  • Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 4:56 PM to Friday, June 7, 2019, Until 3:21 PM
  • Thursday, July 4, 2019, from 1:09 AM to Thursday, July 4, 2019, from 10:58 PM
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019, from 11:10 AM to Thursday, August 1, 2019, Until 8:40 AM
  • Tuesday, August 27, 2019, FROM 9:40 PM to Wednesday, August 28, 2019, Until 7:20 PM
  • Tuesday, September 24, 2019, from 7:00 AM to Wednesday, September 25, 2019 until 2:56 AM
  • Monday, October 21, 2019, from 2:02 PM to Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Pushya Until 1:07 PM
  • Sunday, November 17, 2019, from 7:25 PM to Monday, November 18, 2019, Until 6:46 PM
  • Sunday, December 15, 2019, from 1:30 AM to Monday, December 16, 2019, 12:25 AM

Pushya Nakshatra date and time – Dubai, UAE 2019

  • Monday, January 21, 2019, FROM 6:28 AM to Tuesday, January 22, 2019, UNTIL 12:55 AM
  • Sunday, February 17, 2019, from 3:10 PM to Monday, February 18, 2019, Until 12:24 PM
  • Sunday, March 17, 2019, from 12:42 AM to Sunday, March 17, 2019, from 10:36 PM
  • Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 7:30 AM to Sunday, April 14, 2019, Until 6:09 AM
  • Friday, May 10, 2019, from 12:49 PM to Saturday, May 11, 2019, Until 11:40 AM
  • Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 6:56 PM to Friday, June 7, 2019, Until 5:21 PM
  • Thursday, July 4, 2019, from 3:09 AM to Friday, July 5, 2019, Until 12:58 AM
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019, from 1:10 PM to Thursday, August 1, 2019, Until 10:40 AM
  • Tuesday, August 27, 2019, from 11:40 PM to Wednesday, August 28, 2019, UNTIL 9:20 PM
  • Tuesday, September 24, 2019, from 9:00 AM to Wednesday, September 25, 2019, until 7:18 AM
  • Monday, October 21, 2019, from 4:02 PM to Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Pushya Until 3:07 PM
  • Sunday, November 17, 2019, FROM 9:25 PM to Monday, November 18, 2019, from 8:46 PM
  • Sunday, December 15, 2019, from 3:30 AM to Monday, December 16, 2019, 2:25 AM

Pushya Nakshatra date and time – Singapore and Malaysia 2019

  • Monday, January 21, 2019, FROM 7:51 AM Tuesday, January 22, 2019, UNTIL 1:52 AM
  • Sunday, February 17, 2019, from 7:10 PM Monday, February 18, 2019, Until 4:24 AM
  • Sunday, March 17, 2019, from 6:08 AM Monday, March 18, 2019, Until 2:36 AM
  • Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 11:30 AM Sunday, April 14, 2019, Until 10:09 AM
  • Friday, May 10, 2019, from 4:49 PM Saturday, May 11, 2019, Until 3:40 PM
  • Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 10:56 PM Friday, June 7, 2019, Until 9:21 PM
  • Thursday, July 4, 2019, from 7:09 AM Friday, July 5, 2019, Until 2:36 AM
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019, from 5:10 PM Thursday, August 1, 2019, Until 2:40 PM
  • Wednesday, August 28, 2019, from 3:40 AM Thursday, August 29, 2019, Until 1:20 AM
  • Tuesday, September 24, 2019, from 1:00 PM Wednesday, September 25, 2019, until 11:18 AM
  • Monday, October 21, 2019, from 8:02 PM Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Pushya Until 7:07 PM
  • Monday, November 18, 2019, from 1:25 AM Tuesday, November 19, 2019, UNTIL 12:46 AM
  • Sunday, December 15, 2019, from 7:30 AM Monday, December 16, 2019, 6:25 AM

Pushya Nakshatra date and time – London, UK 2019

  • Sunday, January 20, 2019, FROM 11:51 PM to Monday, January 21, 2019, 8:55 PM
  • Sunday, February 17, 2019, from 11:18 AM to Monday, February 18, 2019, Until 8:24 AM
  • Saturday, March 16, 2019, FROM 8:42 PM to Sunday, March 17, 2019, from 6:36 PM
  • Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 3:30 AM to Sunday, April 14, 2019, Until 2:09 AM
  • Friday, May 10, 2019, from 8:49 AM to Saturday, May 11, 2019, Until 7:40 AM
  • Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 2:56 PM to Friday, June 7, 2019, Until 1:21 PM
  • Wednesday, July 3, 2019, from 11:09 PM to Thursday, July 4, 2019, from 8:58 PM
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019, from 9:10 AM to Thursday, August 1, 2019, Until 6:40 AM
  • Tuesday, August 27, 2019, FROM 7:40 PM to Wednesday, August 28, 2019, Until 5:20 PM
  • Tuesday, September 24, 2019, from 5:00 AM to Wednesday, September 25, 2019, UNTIL 3:18 AM
  • Monday, October 21, 2019, from 12:02 PM to Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Pushya Until 11:07 AM
  • Sunday, November 17, 2019, from 5:25 PM to Monday, November 18, 2019, Until 4:46 PM
  • Saturday, December 14, 2019, FROM 11:30 PM to Sunday, December 15, 2019, Pushya Until 10:25 PM

Pushya Nakshatra date and time – Sydney, Australia 2019

  • Monday, January 21, 2019, FROM 9:51 AM to Tuesday, January 22, 2019, UNTIL 6:55 AM
  • Sunday, February 17, 2019, from 9:10 PM to Monday, February 18, 2019, Until 6:24 PM
  • Sunday, March 17, 2019, from 6:42 AM to Monday, March 18, 2019, Until 2:01 AM
  • Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 1:30 PM to Sunday, April 14, 2019, Until 12:09 PM
  • Friday, May 10, 2019, from 6:49 PM to Saturday, May 11, 2019, Until 5:40 PM
  • Friday, June 7, 2019, FROM 12:56 AM to Friday, June 7, 2019, Until 11:21 PM
  • Thursday, July 4, 2019, from 9:09 AM to Friday, July 5, 2019, Until 6:58 AM
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019, from 7:10 PM to Thursday, August 1, 2019, Until 4:40 PM
  • Wednesday, August 28, 2019, from 7:16 AM to Thursday, August 29, 2019, Until 3:20 AM
  • Tuesday, September 24, 2019, from 3:00 PM to Wednesday, September 25, 2019, until 1:18 PM
  • Monday, October 21, 2019, from 10:02 PM to Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Pushya Until 9:07 PM
  • Monday, November 18, 2019, from 3:25 AM to Tuesday, November 19, 2019, UNTIL 2:46 AM
  • Sunday, December 15, 2019, from 9:30 AM to Monday, December 16, 2019, 8:25 AM

Pushya Nakshatra date and time – Tokyo, Japan 2019

  • Monday, January 21, 2019, FROM 8:51 AM to Tuesday, January 22, 2019, UNTIL 1:52 AM
  • Sunday, February 17, 2019, from 8:10 PM to Monday, February 18, 2019, Until 5:24 PM
  • Sunday, March 17, 2019, from 7:08 AM to Monday, March 18, 2019, Until 3:36 AM
  • Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 12:29 PM to Sunday, April 14, 2019, Until 11:09 AM
  • Friday, May 10, 2019, from 5:49 PM to Saturday, May 11, 2019, Until 4:40 PM
  • Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 11:56 PM to Friday, June 7, 2019, Until 10:21 PM
  • Thursday, July 4, 2019, from 8:09 AM to Friday, July 5, 2019, Until 3:36 AM
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019, from 6:10 PM to Thursday, August 1, 2019, Until 3:40 PM
  • Wednesday, August 28, 2019, from 6:16 AM to Thursday, August 29, 2019, Until 2:20 AM
  • Tuesday, September 24, 2019, from 2:00 PM to Wednesday, September 25, 2019, until 12:18 AM
  • Monday, October 21, 2019, from 9:02 PM to Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Pushya Until 8:07 PM
  • Monday, November 18, 2019, from 2:25 AM to Tuesday, November 19, 2019, UNTIL 1:46 AM
  • Sunday, December 15, 2019, from 8:30 AM to Monday, December 16, 2019, 7:25 AM

Pushya Nakshatra date and time – CST, US 2019

  • Sunday, January 20, 2019, FROM 5:51 PM to Monday, January 21, 2019, 2:55 PM
  • Sunday, February 17, 2019, from 7:24 AM to Monday, February 18, 2019, Until 2:24 AM
  • Saturday, March 16, 2019, FROM 2:41 PM to Sunday, March 17, 2019, from 12:36 PM
  • Friday, April 12, 2019, from 9:30 PM to Saturday, April 13, 2019, Until 8:09 PM
  • Friday, May 10, 2019, from 2:48 AM to Saturday, May 11, 2019, Until 1:40 AM
  • Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 8:56 AM to Friday, June 7, 2019, Until 7:21 AM
  • Wednesday, July 3, 2019, from 5:09 PM to Thursday, July 4, 2019, from 2:58 PM
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019, from 3:10 AM to Thursday, August 1, 2019, Until 12:40 AM
  • Tuesday, August 27, 2019, FROM 1:40 PM to Wednesday, August 28, 2019, Until 11:20 AM
  • Monday, September 23, 2019, FROM 10:59 PM to Tuesday, September 24, 2019, Until 9:18 PM
  • Monday, October 21, 2019, from 6:01 AM to Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Pushya Until 5:07 AM
  • Sunday, November 17, 2019, from 11:24 AM to Monday, November 18, 2019, Until 10:46 AM
  • Saturday, December 14, 2019, FROM 5:30 PM to Sunday, December 15, 2019, Pushya Until 4:25 PM

Pushya Nakshatra date and time – EST, US 2019

  • Sunday, January 20, 2019, FROM 6:51 PM to Monday, January 21, 2019, 3:55 PM
  • Sunday, February 17, 2019, from 6:09 AM to Monday, February 18, 2019, Until 12:18 AM
  • Saturday, March 16, 2019, FROM 3:41 PM to Sunday, March 17, 2019, from 1:36 PM
  • Friday, April 12, 2019, from 10:30 PM to Saturday, April 13, 2019, Until 9:09PM
  • Friday, May 10, 2019, from 3:48 AM to Saturday, May 11, 2019, Until 2:40 AM
  • Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 9:56 AM to Friday, June 7, 2019, Until 8:21 AM
  • Wednesday, July 3, 2019, from 6:09 PM to Thursday, July 4, 2019, from 3:58 PM
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019, from 6:08 AM to Thursday, August 1, 2019, Until 1:40 AM
  • Tuesday, August 27, 2019, FROM 2:40 PM to Wednesday, August 28, 2019, Until 12:20 AM
  • Monday, September 23, 2019, FROM 11:59 PM to Tuesday, September 24, 2019, Until 10:18 PM
  • Monday, October 21, 2019, from 7:01 AM to Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Pushya Until 6:07 AM
  • Sunday, November 17, 2019, from 12:24 PM to Monday, November 18, 2019, Until 11:46 AM
  • Saturday, December 14, 2019, FROM 6:30 PM to Sunday, December 15, 2019, Pushya Until 5:25 PM

Pushya Nakshatra date and time – WST, US 2019

  • Sunday, January 20, 2019, FROM 3:51 PM to Monday, January 21, 2019, 12:55 PM
  • Sunday, February 17, 2019, from 3:09 AM to Monday, February 18, 2019, Until 12:24 AM
  • Saturday, March 16, 2019, FROM 12:41 PM to Sunday, March 17, 2019, from 10:36 PM
  • Friday, April 12, 2019, from 7:30 PM to Saturday, April 13, 2019, Until 6:09 PM
  • Friday, May 10, 2019, from 12:48 AM to Friday, May 10, 2019, from 11:40 PM
  • Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 6:56 AM to Friday, June 7, 2019, Until 3:37 AM
  • Wednesday, July 3, 2019, from 3:09 PM to Thursday, July 4, 2019, from 12:58 PM
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2019, from 1:10 AM to Wednesday, July 31, 2019, from 10:40 PM
  • Tuesday, August 27, 2019, FROM 11:40 AM to Wednesday, August 28, 2019, Until 9:20 AM
  • Monday, September 23, 2019, FROM 8:59 PM to Tuesday, September 24, 2019, Until 7:18 PM
  • Monday, October 21, 2019, from 4:01 AM to Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Pushya Until 3:07 AM
  • Sunday, November 17, 2019, from 9:24 AM to Monday, November 18, 2019, Until 8:46 AM
  • Saturday, December 14, 2019, FROM 3:30 PM to Sunday, December 15, 2019, Pushya Until 2:25PM

Traditional Foods for Improving Nutrition and Food Security!

“A seed is small but rich with possibility, like love, which is as humble as it is powerful.” —Pir Zia Inayat-Khan from “The Seed of Love”

Sacred Seeds
Artistic Display of Native Seeds- Cereal Grains, Millets and Pulses. Picture taken in a recent Seed Festival by Sustainable Livelihood Institute, Auroville

A recent FAO survey shows that less than 60-70yrs ago our ancestors consumed 150 types of foods, the current scenario is appalling to know that our diet has just 2 types of foods- Rice and Wheat.

Here are some questions for you to ponder-

  1. As a consumer, what is your contribution in reversing environment and health deteriorating factor?
  2. What are the benefits of adopting to traditional lifestyle/ traditional foods?
  3. Can preserving Heirloom/Traditional seeds be the solution to global food security?

I had an opportunity to attend ‘2nd Auroville Seed Festival‘ which happened in August 2018 at Bharat Nivas in “Auroville”. The Seed Festival hosted by Sustainable Livelihood Institue (SLI)-Auroville, is a celebration of traditional seed varieties, local farming communities and holistic agricultural practises. The event showcased over 350 traditional varieties. The event also showcased talks by several experts such as Environmentalist & Agriculture Scientist Mr.Pamayan, Mr.Ananthoo of OFM & Tula, seed saving expert Mr.Nel Jayaraman as well as leading Auroville-based farmers and seed savers including Krishna Mckenzie of Solitude Farm.

Seed Festival by Sustainable Livelihood Institute
Seed Festival-2018 in Auroville

Some excerpts from the Seed Festival event-

From the words of Pamayan ji– According to Tamil Sangam Literature the geographical landscapes are: Kurunji (Mountains), Mullai (Forests), Marudham (Agri Areas, Plains, Valleys), Neydhal (Seashore) and Palai (Desert, Parched Wasteland).

Quoting the words of a great Tamil poet and philosopher Thriuvalluvar–(Thirukural- Tamil to English Couplet 742): “maNinheerum maNNum malaiyum aNinhizhaR kaadum udaiya tharaN”.  English Transalation- The wealth of a country is not in its forts/buildings, but in its crystal clear water, an open space, a hill, and shade of beauteous thick forests (Mix of 7 types of crops) where the sunlight does not touch the ground thereby turning the soil into fertile land full of life.

Dating back to before 2000yrs, our forefathers practised Nature based farming in Kurunji landscapes; much importance was given to increase the organic matter in soil by adopting to no-ploughing & no-tilling farming , 7 crop farming (Mix of indigenous trees, small trees, shrubs, herbs, similar to Permaculture). Using manure from farm animals and composting the manure to increase the soil fertility were predominantly a custom in Mullai (Forests) landscapes. Rice & Fish cultivation was traditionally practised in Neydhal (seashore) landscapes. Rain Water harvesting techniques and installing Grand Annicut or Stone Barrier in running rivers/streams were implemented in Fresh Water Ecosystem or Marudham landscapes. Ancient Tamilians used 33 types of man-made structures for water harvesting and saving purposes, they were considered experts in building Stone Barrier structures. It is said that there were approximately 40,000 lakes in Tamil Nadu, and out of which 99.9% have vanished in the name of development- Bus Depots, government buildings, offices, etc..

Why did we loose our ancient Farming Techniques & Heirloom Seeds?

Genetic diversity of agricultural crops has reduced at alarming levels which has de-stablised fragile environment Eco-systems. Our ancient and local knowledge of land has been slowly destroyed or conveniently bought-away from us by wealthy corporations and government policies for economic gain. The reasons for wiping out the heirloom seeds and cropping techniques is to capture the highly profitable food market. Through a recent FAO survey, it is shown that less than 60-70yrs ago our ancestors consumed 150 types of foods, the current scenario is appalling to know that our diet has just 2 types of food- Rice and Wheat. How is that possible? You visit any supermarket, you see arrays of shelves with varieties of food items stacked in them, how on earth its just 2 types of food? Sadly, the answer is a yes! The main ingredient used in the manufacture of majority of foods are bi-products of rice and wheat.

The intake of traditional foods, naturally grown foods and wild foods (forest foods) has reduced, but we consume mono-agriculture based foods, industrial foods, fake foods, fast foods, GMO(genetically modified) foods, due to which we suffer from Low immunity and non-communicable (life-style) diseases like diabetes, kidney failure, thyroid, BP, heart disease, cancer, etc. have increased globally.

From the words of Ananthoo Ji– Only one GM crop is officially approved in India which is GM Cotton. However, an alarming report says that over 55 types of foods consumed in India are Genetically Modified. This is due to the imports (wheat, soya, etc) and manufactured foods of foreign origin which reaches our plates without proper health safety parameters from the government.

Traditional Foods for Food Security
A Clipping from a newspaper article.

Traditional foods are the only answer to boost our bodies natural immunity. A monopoly situation has been formulated by the greedy corporations to capture the food market profits by creating a difficulty to access our land based traditional and indigenous foods thereby reducing its consumption and health awareness to the public. Media and Advertisements play a lead role to confuse and favor public choices, especially children become the innocent victims, adults equally. Eg. paste with salt in it, manufactured drink claims to contain all the proteins and vitamins for a child’s growth, processed soya milk, pasteurized Milk, Pepsi ads by famous Sports person/ Actors, Breakfast cereals for weight loss, and the list goes on.

Monopoly through Fertilizer lobby, Industrial Seeds Lobby, GMO Crops:

Fertilizer lobby and Industrial Seeds Lobby is another culprit against Traditional foods. According to the Seeds Act, 1966., it is illegal to sell seeds by an individual farmer, only exchange is allowed. Yes, a farmer may feed the country and its people, may produce the seeds, but not sell ” Seeds”.  When seeds are under siege by laws and large corporations (Monsanto, Bayer) the farmer loses his/her heirloom (open-pollinated) seeds and traditional farming systems to high costing seeds hybrid and GMO seeds. Engineered seeds are those that cannot produce fertile seeds which can be sown again and these seeds require expensive, environmental and health damaging chemical fertilizers (glyphosphate) for very crop cycle. GMO crops are known to contaminate and damage generations of heirloom seeds. Large corporations will start removing the heirloom seeds from the hands of the farmer and establish or monopolize the seed market, thereby pushing the farmer to higher debts and suicide. Example, the GM cotton seed from Monsonta are bought and cultivated by 95% of the cotton growers accross India. Ironically, our country’s National Flag which has to be made to specifications set by our ancestors, including a particular size, measurement, a place to make the flag, and using natural fiber cloth Khadi; is now made by using GM Cotton.

Agrarian Economy, Seed Freedom and Seed Sovereignty:

A country’s economics is in its agrarian economy. We are in a state of seed emergency and the Agrarian economy lies in seed protection, seed freedom and seed sovereignty. Currently, 95% of GM cotton is dominating the Indian market, if a similar situation arises to Rice, Wheat or any other Vegetable crops, then the seed companies will dictate the food market by means of regulating and restricting seed availability to farmers. In not so far future, the seed corporations might refuse to sell seeds for farming activities in our land and instead we will be forced to establish expensive import links by growing food crops in 3rd world regions.

The Great Seed piracy takes control of the seeds of farmers and facilitates seed monopolies, seed regulations through laws, germ plasm (ex-situ), genomic mapping and gene editing through biotechnology and intellectual property rights backed by large corporations. Food security can only be achieved through seed protection. For instance, A traditional Rice variety- Thooyamalli, which has been domesticated through 2000yrs of perfection, and handed down through many generations which has seen many seasonal changes, pests, diseases and climate cycles, has to be revived through continuous growing (in-situ) of the crop and there by preservation of the seed is achieved. What happened to Rice variety IR8, a product of Green Revolution? It is does not exist now. Such is the situation of new age seeds which is released every year by means of biotechnology. Traditional farming practices and indigenous seeds are a valuable cultural heritage and indicators of biodiversity.

There is a local saying which translates to “When a siddhar dies, 100 herbs might risk becoming weeds”, it so happens because of lack knowledge to identify a weed which may as well be a health benefiting herb.

Significance of Re-adopting to Traditional fooDS:

Planting seeds of change in our decisions towards sustainable food choices is the only way forward. Ancestral food celebrates and honors our land and our ties to Mother Earth; indigenous foods are high in nutritional quality and is significant to promote good health outcomes, a means to alleviate poverty and malnutrition, prevents chronic life-style diseases like- Diabetes, Hormonal Imbalances, BP, Cancer, etc.

Significance of Seed Festivals:

Show your support to protect and promote traditional seed crops diversity by attending your neighborhood Seed Festivals. Seed Festivals are a movement, a culmination of passionate people committed to reviving heirloom seeds & traditional foods including Rice, Millets, indigenous foods; and is a way to bring public awareness to the economic and health importance of ancient food systems.

seeds balls
Hands on demonstration for kids to make Seed Balls. “Seed balls” or “Seed bombs” are mixtures of clay, compost and a seed. The mixture is rolled into a ball shape and left to dry for aerial seeding.  Masanobu Fukuoka popularized this ancient method of agriculture, where-by the seeds are thrown or dropped on land for aerial reforestation.

Celebration of Native Seeds
Bi-products of Oil seeds

Palm Leaf Products
Palm Leaf Products Displayed in Seed Festival.

Native Seeds Display
Native Seeds Display for Kitchen Gardening Enthusiasts

Solutions don’t care how the problem started.

Together we can be the Change- Lets Save Traditional seeds by consuming indigenous and local foods, else the future of our food, mother earth and its inhabitants are bleak.

Thank you Velu Anna for the opportunity!

Understand the water

Special heartfelt gratitude to Divya and parents from translation team, who translated various tamil documents for research that we share in our community. This document was created 2 years back. I think now it is time to share it to public.

Bowen Falls Milford Sound NZ.

There is a famous saying in ancient tamil siddha’s _”Andathilullathe Pindam Pindathilullathe Andam Andamum Pindamum Ondre Atharinthuthan Parkkumpothe”_ it means what is in universe is same in our body. That is, our body is made of 5 elements, so does the universe.

Our earth has ⅔ water, so does our body, particularly brain. Water plays an important role in our body, there are countless benefits. At the same time, everyone is unique, so their needs are different. So drinking water with reference to certain benchmark is wrong. You drink water when you feel the need and as per your environment.

We can not say water is just H2O. Water has various nutritional elements that can be validated with scientific tools, but those scientific tools can not find the life force or spiritual energy. Our ancestors were well aware of this, in fact they were able to document various sources of water and their benefits. Though all source has water, but their function and benefits are different. We have to use as per our needs.

Pearson_Falls2

Let’s see what are the sources our ancestors have documented. As you think water comes from cloud, and it is collected and cleaned and sent to us in tap. But the story goes deeper. It will open your eyes, and also you can educate children about water in depth.   

  1. Agazhi (Moat) – A moat is a deep, broad trench, filled with water, that surrounds a castle for defence purposes. It has poisonous plants and deadly animals such as crocodile.
  2. Aruvi (WaterFalls) – a steep fall or flow of water in a watercourse from the highest part of a hill or a mountain. Each waterfalls has therapeutic benefits as per season.
  3. Aazhikinaru (Well in Sea Shore) – well dug near a sea shore. Good for stabilizing excess salt in air.
  4. Aaru (River) – Natural stream of water of fairly large size
  5. Elanji (Reservoir for drinking and other purposes) – a natural or artificial place where water is collected and stored for drinking and other purposes
  6. Urai kinaru (Ring well) – an excavation or structure in the form of descending rings created in the ground by digging to access groundwater. It is usually lined with fired clay.
  7. Ooruni (Drinking water tank) – Drinking water tank
  8. Ootru (spring) – water flow from an underground layer of water to the earth surface
  9. Aeri (Irrigation Tank) – water stored from rainfall, springs and rivers, used for agriculture
  10. Odai (Brook) – a small body of moving water from an underlying water body.  It always flows through a channel
  11. Kattunginaru ( Built-in -well) – an excavation or structure created in the red soil ground by digging to access groundwater. It is usually lined with stones and bricks.
  12. Kadal (Sea) – Sea
  13. Kanmai/Kammai (Irrigation Tank) – alternative name for irrigation tank used in the pandya dynasty
  14. Kalingu (Sluice with many Venturis) – Water sources like irrigation tank, built with a strong stone wall(as a precaution to prevent it from overflowing), with a gate at its end for water flow.
  15. Kaal(Channel) –  path of a narrow body of water
  16. Kaalvaai (Supply channel to a tank) – supply channel to the water resources like irrigation tank, bathing tank and drinking water tank
  17. Kuttam (Large Pond) – large pond (see the description of pond below)
  18. Kuttai( Small Pond) –  a small and shallow body of standing water, either natural or artificial,  that is usually smaller than a lake, used for bathing farm animals.
  19. Kundam (Small Pool) – a small water source for bathing.
  20. Kundu (Pool) – bathing water source, small in size
  21. Kumizhi (Rock cut Well/Artesian well) – An aquifer is a geologic layer of porous and permeable material such as sand and gravel, limestone, or sandstone, through which water flows and is stored. A well drilled into such an aquifer is called an artesian well.
  22. Kumizhi ootru (Artesian fountain) – If water reaches the ground surface under the natural pressure of the aquifer,it is called the artesian fountain.
  23. Kulam (Bathing Tank) – bathing water source near a village.
  24. Koovam (Abnormal well) – an abnormal well.
  25. Kooval (Hollow) – a shallow well like pit.
  26. Vaali (Stream) – a small drainage basin built from an overflowing natural water source like river
  27. Keni (Large Well) – a broad and deep well
  28. Sirai (Reservoir) – is an enlarged natural or artificial lake, storage pond or  impoundment created using a dam or lock to store water.
  29. Sunai (Mountain Pool) – natural water source in the mountains.
  30. Sengai (Tank with DuckWeed) – Bathing tank with abundant duckweed.
  31. Thadam (Beautifully Constructed Bathing Tank) – Beautifully Constructed Bathing Tank
  32. Thalikulam (Tank Surrounding a Temple) – water source surrounding the temple similar to a moat
  33. Thaangal ( Irrigation Tank) – In Thondai Dynasty, (dynasty which got separated from chola dynasty), irrigation tank is called so.
  34. Thirukulam (Temple Tank) – a sacred bathing tank near a temple
  35. Theppakulam (Temple tank with inside pathway along parapet wall) – a big sized temple tank with a inside pathway along the parapet wall, where theppam (a kind of boat car for the deities of the temple) is run during a temple festival.
  36. Thodu Kinaru (Dig Well) – water obtained from time to time by digging sand in the river
  37. Nadai Keni (Large well with steps on one side) – A large well which has steps on one side
  38. Neeraavi (Bigger tank with center Mantapam) – a large tank with a center stage. It is also called as aavi.
  39. Pillaikinaru (Well in the middle of a tank) – well in the middle of a bathing/ irrigation tank
  40. Pongu Kinaru ( Well with Bubbling Spring) – Well which has a never drying bubbling spring.
  41. Poigai (Lake) – a natural water source where there are abundant lotus flowers.
  42. Madu (Deep place in a river) – a deep, dangerous pit in a river.
  43. Madai (Small sluice with single venturi) – a small water source controlled by a sluice gate with single opening which controls the water flow.
  44. Madhagu (Sluice with many venturis) – a large irrigation tank controlled at its head by sluice gate with many openings. Sluice gate is traditionally a wood or metal barrier sliding in grooves that are set in the sides of the waterway. Sluice gates commonly control water levels and flow rates
  45. Marukaal (Surplus water channel) – channel where the excess water is diverted.
  46. Valayam (Round tank) – Bathing tank which is round in shape.
  47. Vaaikaal (Small Water Course) – small water sources like irrigation tank/ channel

Each water was treated by the human, or by nature for specific purposes. It is astonished by our ancestors’ depth of knowledge and practice they integrated into our lives, which we forgot by globalization. It is high time we switch back to our roots to save our loved one.

HOT or COLD

Wooden Spoon in Hot Water

Now let’s decode about the drinking water that is hot, warm or room temperature or cold. The answer is this, we just need to use common sense, here, like all living creatures, we should take water in room temperature. Since humans are enabled with 6th sense, we can enhance our body function by changing the water temperature as per our needs. In case of cold weather, we can consume warm water. Our stomach needs fire energy to digest the food. So warm water does enhance its function. But never take HOT water, it will kill the sense in tongue, and affect our lining of walls from mouth to stomach. So does the cold water also affect us. Cold water does the most damage in our body. It numbs the sense, affects our thought process, and extinguishes the fire in gut. So anything cold (milk shake, ice cream) is not good. Unless it is for a specific purpose and for a season as per body and environment.

If you are not convinced, take a pot with hot (hot and cooled later), cold, warm, room temp water. Put a seed or fish. You clearly see which water has a life. So do you want to drink water that has life or what looks good?

In case if you have a skin related problem or obesity or toxin in body regular warm water can help to flush the toxins. Regular water takes 6 hours to enter various channels in the body whereas herbal water does this job in 1.5 hours.

So boiled and cooled water does kill all the things in water including the life force, so it is of no use, rather it makes our body less immune. Check with people around who drink boiled water and normal water. You will find out the answers.

Research on Holy Water

Holy waters

During post world war times. Some German and Japanese scientist were sent all over the world to do research on various holy water bodies, such as ganga, natural springs, etc. in the end of their study they found, ionized alkaline water that has high PH value, and it is the reason for providing positive health, anticancer, and refrain from psychological problem. They could not find the spiritual value, probably they know and have hidden it for public eyes.

Now, those companies make special water treatment machines, that cost us few lakhs.

Human body is at 7.4 PH value. Anything less than 7 is acidic and more than 7 is alkaline, So don’t jump into conclusion that we only take alkaline food, in fact most of the food we eat is not alkaline, our body needs acidic value too. In small number. So the intake should be balanced with higher alkaline intake.

Few months back, I did a test with various waters (who sells those Japanese technologies) I found, something shocking. Few more friend did this with other source shared the result with me for our community.

  • Normal tap water – 7 To 7.5
  • Rain water – 7 to 8
  • Mineral water – 4 to 5.5
  • Soda and packed juice – 2.5 to 3.5
  • Water from ganga and rameshwaram – 9.5 to 11.5
  • Coconut milk – 7 to 8!!
  • Milk – 4 To 5

No wonder, why temples give coconut water during visits, they were trying to increase PH value of the body. As said before, temples where holistic spiritual places never a religious ritual business centers like today. So drinking coconut milk daily does wonder in health. I have seen many parents including myself, observed sea level changes in health. Now, we know which water is safe.

Purifying the water

Somehow we have been brainwashed from birth that water is not safe, germs, bacteria, etc. I do agree that some germs and bacteria does deadly harm to us, but MNCs has exaggerated too high that they created a permanent fear in our mind to drink the water from normal source. What is the solution to get a good water without spending Rs.100000s of money. The answer lies in our traditional lifestyle practices.

Use herbs, Earth Pot, or Copper

Water stored in earthern pot for more than 12 hours in dark does wonders, it in fact increase PH value by 1 or 2 value more. Copper does the same in 4 hours. Pot reduce the body temperature, copper increases the body temperature. So use it as per season and your environment.

If you use, more physical work use pot, if you use more mental work then use pure copper.

To remove dust particles, harmful bacteria, use simple white organic cotton layers of clothes. This is a most simple cost-effective and efficient filter, the water that passes the cotton layers, it will capture the bacteria, I have not done research, could not find anyone doing test. But most of the naturopathy, ayurvedic and siddha dr agree to this.

Enhancing the water

We can add a small piece of wood from guava or amla or drumstick seeds or vettiveru. Once those woods or seed smells bad, change it.  No harm. Good for health.  

Read this blog by Vaijayanthi about various detox waters.

Conclusion
  • Drink room temperature water or warm water as per your need
  • Use copper and mud pot or go for an expensive machine. (nothing in between like RO, etc, it does weak our body in long run)
  • Prefer tap water or save rain water an store in in dark place and use it.

Looking forward, we should work on areas to save rain water.

Author: Velu Jayaprakash

Velu Jayaprakash is a social entrepreneur, product manager, techy, photographer, meditator, father of two angels, ancient wisdom seeker, holistic adviser and Soul coach. You can reach him at velu.jayaprakash AT gmail DOT com

Embracing a chemical-free life with Natural Cleaners

Let’s do a small quiz before you start reading this blog, shall we? It’s very simple – just try to answer the following questions taking as much time as you need.

How many cleaning products do you use in your home? (including your personal care products)
Can you list at least 10 of them? Can you think of more?

Alright, hope you took a minute to pause and actually answer the questions above. A typical urban household today, as you would have realized if you had answered the questions, uses anywhere from 15 – 20 different cleaning and personal care products in their lifestyles. This could range from floor cleaners, dish wash, detergents, fabric softeners, naphthalene balls, bathroom cleaners, glass cleaners, shoe polish, wood polish…to face powders, body creams, moisturizers, nail polish, hair colors, deodorants…the list can literally go on and on. We have come to “depend” so much on these items that life can become unimaginable if you are forced to go without them for a few days.

But what we don’t realize is that many of these products contain synthetic chemical ingredients which are not as harmless as they claim (yes, even some of the so-called “organic or natural brands” you may know of). To understand this better, the next time you go shopping, make sure to spend a few more extra minutes to go through the ingredients list of EVERY product that you buy. I guarantee you will be surprised if not shocked – you may not even know why some of the ingredients are required!!

So these chemicals, apart from being non-essentials, can cause great harm as well including being hormone imbalancers, migraine triggers, carcinogens, skin allergens, endocrine disruptors (meaning fertility reducers/disease causers!) and so on and so forth.

Let’s back to one more quick quiz.

Imagine not having your favorite detergent to wash your clothes – can you still keep them clean and smelling fresh?
Suppose you run out of your bathroom cleaners and cant go out for a week – would you still spend as much time in the bathroom as you might otherwise?

Well, of course, you can 🙂 Just that you need to find out how our grandparents used to do it a few decades back – it’s as simple as that. And the best part of it? It was totally natural, chemical-free and eco-friendly – as good for us as it was for all the living beings around us. No side effects, no diseases and completely harmless. Sounds fantastic, right? Then why not try to adopt such a lifestyle yourself? Why not shift to chemical-free life and give yourself, your children, your family and all the other beings around a safe and natural environment to live in?

Let us take the first step today. Let’s look at the humble Soapnut that grows right in our backyard (not literally, unless you happen to live just outside a forest – which would be awesome actually!) and see how it can help us move to a natural and chemical-free lifestyle.

Soapnuts – your Natural Cleaner to the rescue

Soapnut, also called Reetha /Boondikottai /Kumkudukaya /Antuvalakay, can be one of your most useful and go-to natural ingredients in your household cleaning mission. Growing abundantly in the Himalayas (and Nepal) and South India, it is easy enough to source these days given the increase in interest around chemical-free living.

Soapnuts can really replace most, if not all, chemicals at your home, especially if used in combination with Bio Enzymes (we will see how to make that in another post). Let us now quickly see how you can use these magic super cleaners for your everyday household cleaning requirements along with few other questions you may have on this nut.

1. What exactly are Soapnuts?
They are the fruits of the Sapindus tree (Sap meaning Soap in Latin and Indus referring to their native India). There are multiple species/sub-species of this tree. In India itself, there are two different species/sub-species that produce two different looking fruits.

2. How are they useful in cleaning?
Soapnuts have a high amount of “surfactants” (the chemical compound good at removing dirt) in the form of naturally occurring saponins in their fruit pulp. If you are familiar with the structure of soaps, you will know that a soap compound has two ends – one tail end that repels water (and attracts dirt) and one head end that attracts water (making them water soluble). Soapnuts have these compounds naturally. So it is this property of them that makes them great for removing dirt. Plus, they are all natural to boot – meaning they decompose back into the soil quickly leaving minimal environmental impact unlike chemicals produced in laboratories such as detergents and shampoos.

3. How do Soapnuts look?

A freshly harvested Soapnut – Observe how they are clumped up

Two different types of Soapnuts found in India (after drying) – the one on right is the South Indian variety and the one on my left hand is the Himalayan variety

4. Is there a difference between the quality/effectiveness of these two varieties?
In my experience, absolutely not. The Himalayan ones look better and are bigger and are more appealing to our senses. The South Indian ones don’t look so neat but they pack quite a punch in their cleaning abilities. While the Himalayan ones are bit costly this side of the Vindhyas (considering they have to be transported so far from their origin), the South Indian ones are available at a bit lesser price here making them economically more feasible. Also, the South Indian ones are easier to soak and smash – the Himalayan ones take a bit longer to get soaked.

5. Why should I use Soapnuts and why not my detergents?
Not a good question, if you are still asking! Your detergents and most other cleaning products that you have at home are made of synthetic chemical compounds that have a high amount of toxins along with all the good things they promise you that gives them the cleaning power you need (and let’s not forget the wonderful oh-so-clean fragrance). These synthetic compounds, in addition to being harmful to you personally in terms of the ill-health and side effects they cause, are also damaging to the environment and the water bodies and the living beings present in the water bodies. Some of these toxins could be formaldehyde, diethanolamine, alkyl benzene sulfonates, ethylene oxide, Sodium hypochlorite, 1-4-dioxane, Benzoxazolyl, Phosphates and so on and so forth. Really, you don’t need to kill a lake full of fishes to get the dirt-free clothes or home you desire. When there is an all natural alternate way, which is also harmless to our fellow living things (not to mention to us as well), why not adopt that method? Soapnuts are the wonderful things God created to give you this option.

6. Okay, great! But how do I use Soapnuts???
That’s an easy one. There are so many different ways you can use Soapnuts depending on the amount of time and energy you have to spend on your cleaning mission. Here are a few ways to use Soapnuts:

Option 1: – Using Soapnuts as-is – The easiest and quickest way

  • Take about 10-12 whole Soapnuts (can be deseeded or with seeds; this measurement is for 6-8 kgs of clothes)
  • Put them in an old sock and tie the mouth of the socks tightly such that no Soapnuts can escape
  • Simple throw in this sock along with your wash load and run the machine on full soak cycle. Pls put it along with the clothes and not in the place provided for detergents. It’s not a problem if the sock stays till the drying cycle is complete.
  • Optionally, please add 100 ml of Bio Enzyme for disinfecting and softening the fabrics. Especially, when you have a lot of whites, Bio Enzyme is good to include.
  • After removing the clothes, remove the sock with the Soapnuts as well and keep it out to dry.
  • You can use it for one more time before opening up the sock and discarding the used Soapnuts. The Soapnut peels can be thrown into your compost bin while you can save the seeds for making seed bombs, seed jewelry or other activities or simply throw them into an empty plot. Alternatively, you can use the Soapnut peels to wash your vessels as well.
  • Please note that when using Soapnuts, you should not overload your machine. Also, when you have really dirty clothes, please pre-soak the Soapnut sock in hot/warm water for 15 minutes and then add the tea of Soapnut along with the Soapnut sock into the machine.

Option 2: – Soapnuts Liquid (works better than the whole pods at times so try both before you decide which one works for you)

  • Take about a 250-500 grams of Soapnuts. Soak it in 1 litre water for a few hours. You can also use Soapnut powder in the place of Soapnuts and follow the same procedure.
  • Heat up the water for 10-15 minutes till the water turns completely dark and the Soapnuts release all their surfactants. You may also simply pressure cook it for one whistle.
  • After the solution cools down, smash the Soapnuts in hand and ensure all the juices are extracted
  • Let it sit overnight
  • Next day morning, filter out all the solids. The resulting liquid is your All natural cleaning liquid which can be used as a floor cleaner, laundry liquid detergent, bathroom cleaner, tile cleaner, dish wash, etc, etc.
  • As we have boiled it, you will need to use it up within a week otherwise the solution may start smelling/fermenting.  Or  you can simply refrigerate it and use it as and when you need it. You may also prepare a large batch and freeze it. Alternatively, you can use Bio Enzyme and water to soak the Soapnuts instead of boiling them, keep it for a week, filter and use the liquid (it will have a really long shelf life as Bio Enzyme will act as a preservative so there would be no need to refrigerate).
  • For about 6 kgs of laundry, you will need 150-200 ml of Soapnut liquid. For one bucket of water to mop your house, you can use 50-100 ml of the liquid. Work with different quantities and see what works best for you.
  • The filtered out pulp can be used once or twice more to extract more Soapnut liquid. Once completely used up, they go to your compost bin.
Option 3: – Soapnut powder
  • Buy Soapnut powder. It’s not very easy to powder them yourself at home so pls don’t try.
  • Take about 2-3 spoons of Soapnut powder for about 6-8 kgs of laundry. Put the powder inside a thick cotton cloth/bag (NOT SOCKS) and tie the mouth tightly
  • Simple throw in this sock along with your wash load and run the machine on full soak cycle. Pls put it along with the clothes and not in the place provided for detergent. It’s not a problem if the sock stays till the drying cycle is complete.
  • Optionally, please add 100 ml of Bio Enzyme for disinfecting and softening the fabrics. Especially, when you have a lot of whites, Bio Enzyme is good to include.
  • After removing the clothes, remove the sock with the Soapnuts and discard the Soapnut powder into your compost bin.
  • Beware of the cloth bag coming apart and the powder spreading across all your clothes. It’s extremely difficult to clean up.
  • Also, the powder MAY dull your whites over time. If that happens, you can wash the Whites in hot water and Vinegar/Bio Enzyme.

Soapnuts also make a great hair wash along with Shikakai and other ingredients. You can explore many more recipes on the net to discover the various other uses of Soapnuts.

7. Okay, I am a convert! What else should I know about this wonder nut?
Cool, that’s awesome. I am happy! Here are a few things I can think of:

  1. Always try to buy that year’s harvest for more effectiveness
  2. Store them airtight and dry.
  3. If you find the Soapnuts you have bought are still too fresh and sticky, please ensure you sundry them well for 2 – 3 days. Otherwise, they will tend to catch fungus/green mold and the whole thing will get ruined quickly.
  4. If you are a power user of Soapnuts, you will end up with a lot of Soapnut seeds. You can put them in your compost bin – so save them for your children to make seed bombs or to play with. Or you can string them into a mala and use them to cleanse your aura (don’t ask me more details on that as am yet to find out more!)
  5. You can reuse the grey water from your floor wash/laundry/dish wash after using Soapnuts as it is all natural and will not harm your plants.
  6. Soapnuts also make great pest control. So instead of using synthetic soap in your pest control measures for your plants where you are required to emulsify neem oil, you can use Soapnuts and neem oil. Just a Soapnut water soak once a week will also help you keep out mosquitoes and other insects from your lawns and gardens.

Hope the above information helps you and you are able to make the switch to a chemical-free life as I have!

Author: Vaijayanthi

Vaijayanthi is a freelance business writer and full-time gardener. She coaches people on adopting a chemical-free lifestyle through her initiative called the Kaustubam for Sustainable Living Practices. She also conducts various physical workshops and training sessions on sustainable living and Gardening for children in Bengaluru through the initiative The Happy Child.

Various Whatsapp Groups.

Various Groups

As mentioned in your welcome message, there are various groups the core teams handles. Let share the it, as many parents are confused that we run many group, technically there are many group we do not own, to clarify I am share the group we officially support. They are 🌼 Aloevera 🌼 Brahmi 🌼Chandan 🌼 Amla 🌼 Tulsi 🌼Shatavari 🌼Turmeric

The above group is same where we discuss all holistic topics. Admins make sure any thing interesting from each other group is passed on to others. So you will not miss any action from other group. Since the parents are in large volumes, we created different groups.

Follow are specialized group with specific purpose, To join ping admins. these groups are
👉 Sanjevani group – This is a dedicated group of parents who only seek and offer blessing to each other. To join ping admins.

👉 A2 Milk group – This group is only for A2 users from A2 project and parents who are in waiting list for milk in A2 project. Here there is no discussion about the wisdom, it is only restricted to Accounts & Logistics of the project. solo admin.

👉 Nalla group – This group is a set of dedicated parents, who at a regular interval, use the ancient food ingredients to come up with new recipes. There is no discussion, But moving forward we are open for discussion, once they share the recipes with photo, we blog it. So that other parents who switch to natural / organic food can follow. Unless you contribute, do not join the group.

👉 Parenting group – few parents use this discuss about the next parenting blog, etc. we will add more parents into this group as the survey or based on their passion. You have to be a contributor here. This group is not about parenting discsion, rather, they come up with blogs, workshop etc.. for parenting that needs to feed into the group..

Support Group

Without this group the whole project, community of selfless service will fall. They are the foundation. If you like to join this group and contribute. Feel free to ping the admins.
👉 Accounts group – This is a group, where the team discuss about swp accounts & tracking, etc. This is group is the fuel for all projects. Amazing set of dedicated parents. To join ping @98732 50616 (Esha) @98943 92720 (Arty) and @98867 09180 (Sandhya)

👉 Parent Coordinators – This is a group has parent’s numbers at the blog, basically, they get calls from new parents to know about the group or swp, they usually talk to them in local language and help to understand our group and introduce them the whatsapp group.

👉 The Core Group – This is a mother of all group, all the FW are reviewed, administration related discussion and so on happens here. Currently this group is big with less active parents, we will soon reduce the size, and will add more active parents. to join – ping admins. You can be quite here, it is a committed group.

👉 Greenhands Group – This group is mother of Greenhands projects. Parent discuss in ways to improve this project. No products / support discussion. to join ping @Manikandan.

There are n number of small group created between parents for a specific purpose.

Understanding Baby Food

Granite State Whale Watch

Food for the baby is decided based on the agni the digestive fire which is the most important factor that determines the growth and nutrition of child

Agni indicates the capacity of digestion. It is necessary for the assimilation of nutrients. If the function of Agni is not proper then that will lead to number of health problems for eg colic pain, diarrhoea, skin rashes, food allergies, etc. Food allergies occurs mainly because of poor digestion, accumulation of undigested food and also because of the wrong combination of food. Often skin problems such as eczema and rashes are related to the above reason.

Breast milk -The best food

breastfeeding info graphic posterThe best food for baby is the breast milk.and the baby should be breastfed alone until  6 months and continue upto 2 years. During the period of breastfeeding the mother should be aware that whatever food she takes is transformed to breastmilk can influence the digestion of the baby. If there is undigested food  that is not evacuated from the mothers body then it may putrefy and become Aama (metabolic toxins)  and the breast milk also carries the Aama. This Aama may pass on to the baby which if again remains undigested in the baby’s food causes many health problems especially skin diseases for eg eczema.

The undigested breast milk can create colic pain, loose stools,constipation,distention, gas formulation in the baby.

As long as the  baby’s food is breast milk the treatment is given to mothers and not the baby

Babies are born with the potential of Agni, but their Agni is not yet functioning at birth.So its very important to understand the digestion of the baby.

Ayurveda suggests many formulations to improve the lactation and quality of the breast milk. It also suggests alternatives if breast milk is not available.

If the mother doesn’t have enough milk the baby can be fed with breast milk of another woman known in Ayurveda as Dhatri. But while choosing Dhatri lot of points are to be considered.

Again if this option is not available goats milk should be next choice. Goats milk is considered to be  best substitute for breast milk. Cows milk can be boiled with equal quantity of water with  herbs such  as bruhati and with sugar. Cows milk can be given to babies with Vata and pitta prakriti and goats milk for kapha prakriti.

Introduction to solids

The baby should be fed on breast milk alone until the teeth erupts..Once teeth erupts gradually solids should be introduced reducing the breast milk. Around 10th month Annaprasana samskar is conducted. The baby is made to taste the cooked rice few time the same  day.

Ayurveda says solids or cereals can be  introduced to baby after 6 to 12 months depending upon the baby’s appetite and  the liking of food. Initially solids should be introduced few teaspoons per day and then gradually increase the quantity. Also replacing with too much solids can cause drying up of breast milk.So its always advisable to start with few teaspoons. Breast milk can also  be used to dilute any of the other foods given.

First Baby food

Brother and sister
The ideal first baby food as suggested by all the text of Ayurveda are the cereals and grains.They are generally given as the main food to children.Cereals builds tissue strength and is easy for  digestion digest esp good for the budding Agni of a baby. Old rice, Brown rice, wheat ,barley or ragi are generally the first  cereals introduced to the baby. Barley water from whole grain is given in Chinese tradition from first week.

Brown rice or Navara rice is dehusked, fried and then cooked into thin gruel. Little bit of ghee and salt can be added to  this.Wheat and barley flour can be cooked and given same way.

Wheat esp the Samba variety are soaked overnight .The husk are removed and grains are ground with water .This ground mixture is strained through a cloth. This extract  is cooked with water and cows milk or breast milk .Sugar candy, ghee and dry-ginger can be added to increases the taste and flavor.

Traditionally malt preparations of ragi ,wheat are also given as first baby food.

These preparations generally can be mixed with breastmilk or goats milk or cows milk .Ghee ,sugar candies or palm candies are added to increase the taste. Also can be flavored with gentle digestive seasonings like dry ginger, elaichi, nutmeg powder.Using bit  of spices such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, hing can add taste to food along with helping the digestion of food.

Once the child is comfortable with the cereals  root vegetables such as carrot, beets or legumes  can be added to food. Beans and peas can also be gas forming unless properly prepared.

Dried raw banana powder is also one of the popular baby foods given 6 month onwards. Cooked fruits and purees of vegetables or fruits that are not acidic can be given. Fruits are helpful to prevent the constipation in child.

Depending on your culture, meat can also be introduced along with food around 12 months of age. Its better to start with with poultry, meat soups, then fish. Red meats are harder to digest for the little ones.

Ayurvedic preparation for babies

The Agni or digestive system of the baby needs time to adapt to each food introduced to digest.So it always advised to to keep one food for sometime until you are sure the child can digest it properly and go forthe next food.Different food mixed at the same meal even if given in pureed form can cause indigestion.

This is because the Agni (or enzymes if you like) needs to sort out the different foods in order to transform them, or digest them.

Ayurveda suggests preparations such as modakas that can be given to babies esp who are on solids to improve the digestion as well their immunity.They are given once teeth eruption begins and baby weaining is started.As the baby is given milk and solids chances for  indigestion is more and these modakas made of puffed rice and sugars with herbs is very useful

There are also numerous immunomodulatory formulations mentioned that are given as lehana  such as ghrita, choorna mixed with honey etc.

These medicines not only improve the digestion but also improves the immunity, strength, vital force of the child.They prepare the child physically and mentally healthy.They can be called as Ayurvedic vaccinations. Suvarnaprashan is the one of the most important formulation mentioned in text. This is prescribed especially for babies who are not breastfed enough and born not through natural birth (or cesarean sections).

Most importantly avoiding refined sugar, bottled juices, canned baby foods. Balanced food with proteins and enough fat keeps the baby’s digestive system proper state.

Following these simple steps can reduce the digestive, metabolic, respiratory problem for the infants and children as well improve their strength, immunity and memory of the children.