Food for Health: Ash Gourd Halwa

This halwa is a tasty, sticky treat containing the positive-pranic and healthful ash gourd. Daily consumption of ash gourd greatly enhances one’s intellectual capabilities.

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

Ash gourd (white pumpkin), peeled, grated: 300-400 g 

Ghee: 1 cup

Cashews: 10

Sugar: 1 cup

Green Cardamom powder: 1 tsp

Method

  • Squeeze the grated ash gourd pulp by hand to remove excess liquid or, alternatively, allow the pulp to sit in a sieve/colander for some time until the juice runs out.
  • Heat the ghee and sauté the cashews in it until golden brown. Remove the cashews with a slotted spoon and keep aside until needed.
  • To the same ghee, add the grated ash gourd and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the sugar and cardamom powder.
  • Cook, stirring continuously until the halwa begins to leave the sides of the pan and becomes a homogenous mass. Add the fried cashews and mix well.
  • Cool and serve
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7 Amazing Benefits of Roses

Have you ever wondered that a rose flower can actually shower you with numerous health benefits that you ever thought of? This flower exerts a positive effect on your body, mind and skin and has been used since ancient times. Apart from being a well-known beauty ingredient, you can use rose petals to spice up your sexual life, combat stress and lose weight naturally. Yes, it’s true, here’s how you can reap its wonderful health and beauty benefits.

#1 Aides in weight loss 

The rose petals contain compounds that improve metabolism in addition to clearing toxins from the body, thereby aiding in weight loss. Apart from this, eating a handful of rose petals satiates your senses and prevents you from eating more and thus, helps you lose weight in a natural way.

Benefits of Roses: Weight Loss

TIP: Add around 10-15 fresh rose petals to a glass of boiling water and wait till the water turns pink in colour. You can also add some honey and a pinch of cinnamon powder to this solution. Drink this tea regularly (preferably in the morning) to shed those extra flab!

#2 Acts as a natural aphrodisiac

Roses are not only a universal symbol of love but also a natural aphrodisiac. According to Ayurveda, rose petals are very effective in helping a person feel sexually active by acting on two essential flaws in our body, which in turn regulate heart, mind and the nervous system.

TIP: Pluck some petals, wash them well and eat every day. This will not only help you feel energized and revitalized but will also help you feel more sexually active.

#3 Relieves stress and depression  

With fatigue and stress comes insomnia and restlessness that gives rise to irritability and frigidity. Rose petals and its essence can beat these symptoms too. According to a study conducted by the Department of Physiology and Pathology/LTF, University of Paraíba-Caixa, rose essence when inhaled, has been known to produce a sedative effect.

TIP: Make a hot bath and sprinkle some rose petals in the hot water. The heat releases the fragrance of roses, infusing your bathroom with the scent of the flower and relaxing your mind and body.

#4 Helps to combat symptoms of piles

Yes, you heard it right. Rose petals act as a natural aid to treat piles. This is because, they are rich in fibre and water content and contain compounds that aid in digestion by flushing out toxins from the body. Moreover, they are quite effective against bleeding piles and act as an instant aid to combat pain.

TIP: To a fistful of rose petals, add around 50 ml of water and crush them in a mortar and pestle till it forms a thick solution. Now, drink this solution on an empty stomach (especially in the morning) for 3 days to get rid of bleeding piles.

#5 Is a well-known astringent

Rosewater helps treat skin irritation on sensitive skin, balances out oily skin, softens and tones the skin. Along with being a good choice as an astringent, it serves as a great deep cleanser and toner and thus, make you look younger, naturally. As rose petals contain antioxidants and antibacterial compounds, they soothe the skin, providing relief from excessive irritation and itching.

TIP: A splash of rose water (especially after your routine skincare regime) gives a glowing effect and helps nourish the skin. However, do this regularly to see any results.

#6 Used to treat acne naturally

If you are suffering from acne and are looking out for some natural aids to deal with it, then rosewater might help you out. Apart from being a good moisturiser, rose petals contain antibacterial properties helps to dry the acne. Also the presence of phenyl ethanol, an antiseptic compound, makes rosewater effective against acne.

Benefits of Roses: Treat Acne Naturally

TIP: Soak few seeds of fenugreek in water at night and make a fine paste by adding rose water. Apply this on your face, leave for 20 minutes and rinse with cold rose water.

#7 Lightens your lip colour

Roses exert a stunning effect on your lips. They not only lend a pinkish hue to your lips but also make them soft as they moisturise the skin and enhance colour. Moreover, rose petals exfoliate your lips and make them look fuller.

TIP: Make a paste of fresh rose petals by adding a spoonful of milk cream and few drops of honey to the paste. Now, apply the paste to your lips. Allow it to stay for fifteen to twenty minutes and then wash it off with water.

Benefits of Orange 

1. Oranges contain phytochemicals that protect against cancer.

Oranges are rich in citrus limonoids, proven to help fight a number of varieties of cancer including that of the skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon.


2. Orange juice can help prevent kidney diseases.


Drinking orange juice regularly prevents kidney diseases and reduces the risk of kidney stones. 


Note: drink juice in moderate amounts. The high sugar content of fruit juices can cause tooth decay and the high acid content can wear away enamel if consumed in excess.


3. Mandarin oranges fight liver cancer, according to studies. 


According to two studies in Japan eating mandarin oranges reduces liver cancer. This may be due in part to vitamin A compounds known as carotenoids.


4. Oranges lower cholesterol.


Since they’re full of soluble fiber, oranges are helpful in lowering cholesterol.


5. They are rich in potassium and boost heart health.


Oranges are full of potassium, an electrolyte mineral responsible for helping the heart function well. When potassium levels get too low, you may develop an abnormal heart rhythm, known as an arrhythmia.


6. They lower the risk of diseases. 


Oranges are full of vitamin C, which protects cells by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals cause chronic diseases, like cancer and heart disease.


7. Oranges fight against viral infections. 


Studies show that the abundance of polyphenols in oranges protects against viral infections.


8. They relieve constipation.


Oranges are full of dietary fiber, which stimulates digestive juices and relieves constipation.


9. They aid in good eye health and protect vision. 


Oranges are rich in carotenoid compounds, which are converted to vitamin A and help prevent macular degeneration.


10. They regulate high blood pressure. 



The flavonoid hesperidin found in oranges helps regulate high blood pressure, and the magnesium in oranges helps maintain blood pressure.

Amazing Benefits of Lemon 

​Indigestion and Constipation: Lemon juice helps to cure problems related to indigestion and constipation. Add a few drops of lemon on your dish (take care, it does not go well with milk), and it will aid in digestion. It acts as a blood purifier and a cleansing agent, so a good drink after lunch or dinner is fresh lemon soda, which is also called fresh lime soda in many places. The recipe is lemon juice, cold water, soda, salts (common salt or rock salt) and sugar/honey for sweetness. You can also add some mint leaves or crushed fennel seeds for added flavor. Drink this whenever you have a heavy lunch or dinner.

Fever: Lemon juice can treat a person who is suffering from a cold, flu or fever. It helps to break fevers by increasing perspiration.

Dental Care: It is also frequently used in dental care. If fresh lemon juice is applied on the area of a toothache, it can assist in getting rid of the pain. Massaging the juice on the gums can stop gum bleeding, while eliminating the bad odors that can come from various gum diseases and conditions.
Additionally, it can be used in the regular cleansing of your teeth. Keep your eye out for a toothpaste containing lemon as one of the ingredients, or add a drop of its juice onto your normal toothpaste. Some people also rub their teeth with the outer shell (the inner side touching your teeth) of a lemon after removing the juice. But be careful, lemons are highly acidic, so if your mouth starts burning, rinse your gums and mouth quickly with water.

Hair Care: Lemon juice has proven itself in the treatment of hair care on a wide scale. The juice applied to the scalp can treat problems like dandruff, hair loss and other problems related to the hair and scalp. If  you apply lemon juice directly on the hair, it can give your hair a natural shine.

Skin Care: Lemon juice, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can also cure problems related to the skin. The juice can be applied to reduce the pain of sun burns, and it helps to ease the pain from bee stings as well. It is also good for acne and eczema. It acts as an anti-aging remedy and can remove wrinkles and blackheads. Drinking lemon juice mixed with water and honey brings a healthy glow to the skin, and if you thoroughly search the cosmetic market, you will find some soaps containing lemon juice, but they aren’t too easy to find!

Burns: Use lemon juice on the site of old burns can help fade the scars, and since lemon is a cooling agent, it reduces the burning sensation on the skin when you currently have an irritating burn.

Internal Bleeding: It has antiseptic and coagulant properties, so it can stop internal bleeding. You can apply lemon juice to a small cotton ball and place it inside your nose to stop nose bleeds.

Weight Loss: If a person drinks lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water and honey, it can help reduce body weight.

Respiratory Disorders: Lemon juice assists in relieving respiratory problems and breathing problems, such as its ability to soothe a person suffering from an asthma attack. Being a rich source of vitamin C, it helps in dealing with more long-term respiratory disorders as well.

Cholera: Diseases like cholera and malaria can be treated with lemon juice, because it acts as a blood purifier.

Foot Relaxation: Lemon is an aromatic and antiseptic agent and is useful in foot relaxation. Add some lemon juice to warm water and dip your feet in the mixture for instant relief and muscle relaxation.

Rheumatism: It is also a diuretic and can treat rheumatism and arthritis. It helps to flush out bacteria and toxins from the body.

Corns: Lemon juice can dissolve lumps on the skin, so it can be applied at the places where the skin has hardened up, like the soles of feet and the palms of your hands. Drinking lemon juice with water can help patients reduce gall stones for the same reasons.

Throat Infections: Lemon is an excellent fruit that fights against problems related to throat infections, due to its well-known   antibacterial properties.

High Blood Pressure: Drinking lemon juice is helpful for people suffering from heart problems, because it contains potassium. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, and nausea, because it provides a calming sensation to both the mind and body. It is commonly employed to reduce mental stress and depression.


Lemon has proved to be nature’s boon to everyone who uses it. It provides many valuable solutions to health-related problems, because it contains its own set of antiseptic and natural medications. In case of malaria, even though lemon will not cure it, it aids in the treatment. A good practice is to eat anywhere from a quarter to a half of a lemon per day to get the maximum benefits from this powerful little fruit!