Thursday, December 24, 2015

Benefits of Tulsi

Do you love nature? Do you want to keep yourself fresh, healthy, and active, if yes then tulsi herb is for you. It is a small plant and is also called as Ocimum tulsiicum. It is famous for its fresh and natural fragrance and spicy aroma. It is liked by lovers of good food and is well known worldwide for its important therapeutic properties and many health benefits.

In India, the holy tulsi is a popular natural remedy. It belongs to the family Labiatae also known as mint family and is an annual herbal plant which has a stem of up to 40 cm tall and the size of leaves is up to 2 to 5 cm. The leaves of this herb are stalked and slightly toothed. The flowers are white or light purple that are arranged in elongated spikes in the top or at the ends of the stem.
The fruit of tulsi is usually soft, small, and smooth. The varieties of tulsi herb are graded according to the size of the leaves for example great green is used in decoration, thin green with leaves up to 1 to 2 cm is the Ocimum minimum which contains medicinal properties and is used for curing many types of diseases.

Tulsi plant grows in sunlight and should be well watered. Due to many types of medicinal properties of tulsi in India, it is worshiped as a form of incarnation of God. It is recommended that if you will take 5 leaves of Tulsi or basil on a daily basis dipped in tea, then you do not need to go to the doctor. This herb is best to cure ailments of nervous and digestive system.

History and Symbolism
Tulsiicum word comes from Greek and means "real." Since thousands of years, tulsi was considered as the king of herbs. Its seeds were used in Persian and Galenic medicine and thought that for the plant to flourish, it had to be grown outside temples with pure air, sunlight, and water. In ancient Egypt, its leaves were scattered all over the graves and were used as a component of balsam used in mummification. It is a sacred plant for Hindus and grown in pots near the temples and outside almost every Hindu home. It is attributed to Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna according to Hindu mythology and is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine.

Origin and Distribution
Tulsi originally belongs to India and was then introduced in Europe and then turned to the Greeks and the Romans. Today, tulsi herb is cultivated in temperate regions, especially in the countries of the Mediterranean basin. Tulsi is produced in India, France, North Africa, Cyprus, and the Seychelles. Its essential oil is extracted from its leaves by distillation.

Medicinal Benefits of Tulsi Herb

  1. A well-known antiseptic, analgesic, and antidepressant.
  2. A carminative with antispasmodic properties.
  3. An herbal remedy for nervous and digestive system problems.
  4. An emmenagogue (herb which stimulates blood flow.
  5. A natural expectorant and treats chronic and acute cough.
  6. A natural febrifuge (a medication that reduces fever).
  7. Stimulates the adrenal cortex and stomach.
  8. Is a natural tonic and aphrodisiac.
  9. Is also used to treat respiratory tract problems such as cough, cold, bronchitis, and asthma and improves blood circulation.

Benefits of Tulsi Oil Massage

  1. In Nervous System, it treats depression, stress, fatigue or tiredness, anxiety, headaches, neuralgia, and migraines. It is also used to treat the brain numbness with essential tulsi oil by inhalations, massage, etc.
  2. In Circulatory System, it helps in stimulation of blood circulation and works as a tonic.
  3. In Digestive System, it cures indigestion, nausea, and gastric spasm.
  4. In Respiratory System, Tulsi treats asthma, cough, cold, phlegm in the lungs, sinus congestion, and loss of smell with the use of tulsi oil by inhalations, massage, dilution in the chest.
  5. In skin, Tulsi works as an insect repellent and makes the skin smooth, flaccid, and toned.
  6. In Reproductive System, tulsi helps in stimulation of the delay or lack of menstruation. It relieves cramps. It is taken in form of oil with massage and dilution.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Beauty, Varieties and Benefits of Geraniums

If you love naturally scented and perfumed flowers loaded with amazing health benefits then geraniums are the best plants for you. Geranium plants love to be in part shade and part sun, an environment which is easily available in home gardens. The fancy geranium flowers are beautiful and adorable. You will love to grow them in your home garden.

Amazingly adorable dark pink geraniums variety

Now before sharing some important information on geraniums, let us fly through their amazing history.

The name ‘geranium’ has come from the Greek word, ‘Geranos,’ which means ‘crane’ because the seed pods of geraniums are shaped like the beak of a crane. Geraniums were formerly considered major curative plants. They have been used since ancient times as a natural remedy for tumours and wounds.

Geraniums are also good in treating cholera. Also, ancient people treated skin problems and ulcers with geraniums. They also help stop bleeding and helped in keeping away evil spirits.

Geraniums were first introduced to Europe in 1690 from the region of Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. They were then cultivated by French industry for rose geranium essential oil due to its excellent perfume and as a substitute for expensive pink oil. Geraniums were also grown extensively in different countries of the world such as Spain, China, Egypt, Morocco, Italy, Japan, and Switzerland due to their use in perfumery and excellent medicinal benefits.

Zonal Geraniums
It is a common name for a big group of geraniums that are found in gardens during summertime. They have a small ring of dark-coloured inside margins on their leaves. The flowers come in a variety of colours including magenta and lavender and pink and orange, salmon geraniums, red and white geraniums, and also different other variations of tri-coloured geranium flowers. Geranium plants have a tendency to form a mounding habit as they love summertime and full sun.

 A variety of stellar geranium flowers

Stellar Geraniums
Just like zonal geraniums, stellar geraniums also belong to the same group. They are small and tiny bushy plants. They are beautiful star-shaped structures. But unlike zonal geraniums, they do not love sun and this is the reason they are grown in southern regions. Some important cultivars or breeds of stellar geraniums are Peppermint Star, ‘Vancouver Centennial, Exotic Glitter and Chinese Cactus geraniums.

Fancy-Leaved Geraniums
Fancy leaf geraniums belong to the sub-group of zonal geraniums. Fancy-leaved geraniums are able to tolerate part sun and part shade so they need to be planted accordingly. It is interesting to note that even when their flowers are not blooming, their leaves will stand out on their own to look like green flowers. Some important cultivars or breeds of fancy-leaved geraniums are Mr. Henry Cox, Black Velvet Series, and Black Velvet Rose.

Fancy-leaved geraniums - sometimes their green leaves also look like flowers
Ivy Geraniums
They look great in hanging baskets (see the first picture in the beginning of this article). While planting ivy geraniums, they should be put in east-facing location to protect them from the hot sun in the afternoons. The scientific name of ivy geranium is Pelargonium peltatum.
Some important cultivars of ivy geraniums for hanging baskets are Breakaway, Summer Showers Mix, (see pic on the side) and Martha Washington Geraniums.

 Summer showers mix geraniums variety
 Ivy geraniums in hanging baskets in the backyard of a home garden. You can also grow these at home easily.


  1. Essential oil extracted out of geraniums helps in treatment of skin disorders such as hemorrhoids, dermatitis, wounds, bruising, lacerations, oily skin and scalp, loose skin, and insect stings. Their essential oil is also good for wiping out wrinkles. They are beneficial to get rid of acne. Application of geranium flower oil leaves our skin looking radiant, young, and healthy.
  2. Geraniums for endocrine system: Essential oil helps in treatment of menopause and postmenstrual syndrome in the form of baths, massage, and local application.
  3. Geraniums for excretory system: Geranium oil is good in treating fluid retention and cellulites. It works as a tonic for the liver.
  4. Geraniums for circulatory system: Essential oil helps in treatment of bleeding, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins in the form of baths, local area massage, and general dilution.
  5. The purpose of this article is solved if you are tempted to grow at least one variety of these beautiful plants in your home garden. If yes, give it a go and buy geranium seeds for your garden.

Benefits of Badam Rogan: Sweet Almond Oil

In India, sweet almond oil is popularly known as badam rogan. A sweet almond in botanical science is known as Prunus dulcis. This species of Rosaceae family is highly regarded for its beneficial edible seeds and beautiful flowers. Almond oil is famous throughout the world because of medicinal and therapeutic properties. A sweet almond tree is a deciduous tree of Rosaceae family, which grows up to 10 meters of height and its leaves grow up to 12 cm long with irregular boundaries. The flowers of sweet almond tree are grouped in pairs and are usually of three-color types white-pink, total pink, and very rarely white. The fruit of almond has an ellipsoidal shape and is green in colour. Almond fruit’s size is between 3 and 6 cm and is characterized by a woody bone in pits containing two or more edible seeds.

Depending on the variety of almond trees, the almond fruit can be sweet or bitter. Origin of sweet almond is from Latin word Prunus dulcis. Latin name of Prunus is wild plum and Dulcis is a sweet edible fruit. Since ancient times, sweet almond has been cultivated and used to improve the overall appearance of the skin, especially in cases of dehydrated skin, flaky skin or dry skin conditions. Sweet almond is native to western Asia. Sweet almonds are grown chiefly in Southern Europe, California, and Mediterranean hot spots.

Sweet almond oil is extracted by cold pressing of sweet almond seeds and the oil than is termed as a cold pressed sweet almond oil. Sweet almonds are rich in nutrients, protein, sugar, and vitamins and minerals. Sweet almonds contain water, fats, proteins, cellulose, and carbohydrates. Sweet almonds are rich in calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, chlorine, sulfur, copper, zinc, manganese, and niacin. Sweet almonds also contain vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E.

The oil works as a skin lightener and skin moisturizer. It not only nourishes the skin, but it also nourishes hair and nails. It is widely used in natural and alternative medicine because of its medicinal and cosmetic properties. This essential oil is more neutral and naturopathic doctors have found no known contraindications or side effects of almond oil up until today.

Sweet almond oil is implemented as base oil and when combined with olive oil works wonders for the hair. This essential oil helps in maintaining skin tone. It regulates the temperature by reducing the aging process and providing elasticity to the skin.

Moisturizing benefits of sweet almond oil make it suitable for sensitive and dry skin. Famous beauticians, beauty parlours and health spas also use and recommend almond oil as a lubricant because it hydrates the skin and prevents wrinkles.

This sweet fragrance oil made up of almonds provides elasticity to the skin leaving it soft and moist, thereby, preventing the appearance of stretch marks. Ayurvedic physicians use almond oil in treatment of eczema and other skin irritations.

Plastic surgeons use almond oil to help relieve itching and inflammation of the skin caused by burns and dermatitis. Almond is suitable for all skin types and can be used as a daily moisturizer for all types of hair.

Other benefits of sweet almond oil are that it is very suitable in reconstruction of brittle and dry hair. Almond oil can be used for whole body massage. Body massage of sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil combined together in circular motions not only promotes health and vitality throughout the body but it also helps in treatment of stiffened joints and some conditions of arthritis. This oil can be used as a bath moisturizer to apply to damp skin after shower or as a daily moisturizer for dry skin. Almond oil is good for baby’s skin and is famous for treatment of seborrheic dermatitis of babies or cradle cap.

Benefits of Cedar Wood Essential Oil

It is time to relax and calm down your anxiety, build great courage and self-confidence in yourself, dispel feelings of fear, and combat stress, as today I am going to share some interesting information on amazing cedar wood and its essential oil benefits.

The essential oil of cedar wood tree is very aromatic and soothing. This wood has been prized by Mother Nature for its intensely sweet and warm aroma that is balsamic and soothing to our mind and invites meditation.

Cedar Tree Trunk: Image link:

Before discussing the beneficial powers of cedar wood and its healing properties, we must have some general information about cedar wood. Cedar is also known as cedro and cedar atlantic. The word cedar has been derived from Latin word cedrus, which comes from the Greek word kedros which was also known as juniper. Atlantic cedar word originated from Latin word atlanticus-a-um which refers to the Atlantic Ocean or Atlas Mountains. Cedar is a Semitic word which means power of God and spiritual strength.

The cedar word is a symbol of constancy of faith. Cedar tree belongs to Pinaceae family of trees which have great longevity and are of very large size. Cedar tree can reach up to 40 meters in height. Cedar tree has pyramid-shaped ascending branches. Cedar wood tree’s bark is scaly, light gray in color, and is slightly cracked.

Cedar tree has green leaves that are 5 to 8 cm in length with pointed apex. Male inflorescence is greenish-yellow and female inflorescence is pale green hue. The leaves of cedar tree turn brown at maturity. Cedar wood is resistant to insects and climatic influences. Cedar is one of the first aromatic woods that have been used in the temples since 5000 or more years ago for temple incense, which has contributed to its mystical image.

The ancient Egyptians considered cedar wood essential oil a gift from God and used it as a marvel on their cosmetic medicine. Cedar wood oil was also used by them in the processes of embalming usually to make mummies out of dead bodies, and also to complement their temples. Cedar wood essential oil has also been used in oriental medicine for treating gonorrhoea.

Stock photo:

Origin and Extraction of Essential Oil
Cedar mostly grows in parts of North Africa, more precisely in the mountains of Algeria and Morocco. The American variety of cedar wood tree is really good for making perfumes and deodorants, but for therapeutic benefits of cedar wood oil, you must have the oil from a true cedar of Moroccan or Algerian descent. The powerful essential oil of cedar wood is obtained by steam distillation of wood when it becomes very viscous, yellow in color, carrying a warm woody fragrance.

12 Benefits of Cedar Wood Essential Oil

  • Works a natural antiseptic, powerful astringent, herbal diuretic, natural expectorant, and very powerful insect repellant.
  • Used by various naturopathics for treating eczema and dermatitis.
  • Powerful against fungal infection.
  • The aroma and application of cedar wood oil promotes blood circulation in the body thereby removing cellulite and water retention problems maintaining weight at the same time.
  • Good for oily skin and itchy scalp, both dry and greasy. Cedar wood oil words as a natural tonic for our hair.
  • The expectorant properties of cedar wood oil make it useful in conditions of chronic bronchitis. It clears up the chronic phlegm deposited in the lung fields.
  • Beneficial in treatment of urinary tract problems like cystitis and nephritis in the form of warm compresses and Sitz baths. It also has a tonic effect on our kidneys.
  • On the emotional level, cedar wood oil scent creates a soothing, relaxing, and balancing environment that promotes reflection, reduction of anxiety, nervous tension, and stressful conditions.
  • Good for dispelling feelings of fear and anger.
  • Provides comfort and courage in difficult situations by encouraging and building self-confidence.
  • Regular application of cedar wood essential oil helps in positive thinking and staying emotionally balanced.
  • Has aphrodisiac properties.

Cedar Wood Essential Oil for Mind
Cedar wood essential oil for nervous system is soothing and works like an antidepressant. This oil stimulates energy and is inspiring. It also works as an aphrodisiac. For nervous system, cedar essential oil can be used in form of massage, bath, vaporizers, and inhalers.

Cedar Wood Essential Oil for Skin
If you have oily skin, chronic acne scars, acute acne, eczema, and itching of any kind, cedar wood essential oil is the best remedy for you. This oil is also good for treatment of seborrhea and alopecia.