Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lemongrass - Many Uses and an Easy to Grow Plant

Lemongrass, also called fever grass, is a perennial plant with thin, long leaves. While the grass smells like lemon, it tastes milder and sweeter. 
USES:
It is used as a herb in various cuisines as a flavoring agent due to its potent flavor.
It is also useful in alternative or complementary remedies for many ailments. It has many beneficial medicinal properties including analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antipyretic, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, galactogogue, insecticidal, sedative, and anti-cancer properties. The leaves, stems and bulb of lemongrass are used in various treatments.
NUTRITION FACTS:
Lemongrass contains vitamins A and C, folate, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and manganese. It also has minute traces of B vitamins.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The 100th Post - Litchi the wonder fruit

This blog has seen it all - a lot of quick burst posts, some lull and no activity - and now its a great moment to see that its seeing its 100th Blog post. 
I choose this post to write about the "Litchi " fruit. It is called a wonder fruit, and not without reason. 
The fruit is supposed to aid in protection against heart disease and cancer.  
Litchis contains soluble fiber which controls bowel problems and keep the stomach free from toxic compounds and help to clean the colon. Lychee is an amazing source of Vitamin C and other nutrients that are beneficial for your skin.
It helps in bone maintenance, and also leads to weight loss. It helps in strengthening the hair. 



With so many benefits, it certainly deserves to be put in the Wonder Fruit Category.
Happy Litchiying!!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Soaps contain Animal Fats?

Did you know that most commonly used soaps contain Animal Fats?

Its safer to look for soaps that contain a "Does not contain Animal Fat" label / mark and buy them. The store at the link below has a variety of Herbal Bath Soaps without any animal fat content, and in an exotic set of Flavors - Sandal, Jasmine, Vettiver, Lavender, Lemon Fresh, Cool Splash etc.




https://www.payumoney.com/store/buy/itsrainingdeals

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Clean Ganga & other projects - Are we following the right approach?

At the outset, I would like to congratulate all those who have come up with the noble initiatives of cleaning Ganga and other rivers, and wish them well. A National Mission for Clean Ganga has also been established. 

Yes, first-up, we need to get rid of the dirt, and garbage and what not that has already gotten into the rivers. 

The question raised by me is "Are we following the right approach?".  All our policies and initiatives related to water management focus on how to clean and manage good water and water sources like the rivers. But looking upstream, the prioritization would be better if we focus on "how to manage the garbage and dirty water". More often than not, the filth and dirt that are produced due to our everyday living (personal, economic etc.) is bound to be produced. If there were proper disposal systems in place, why would anyone let these wastes into the river? Do we have a proper waste-disposal system? 

As a practical expression of this approach issue, we have "Water Tax" for utilizing water supplied by the local bodies like panchayats. But we never talk about "Garbage Tax" which is more critical, and is an area that requires more investment for building and operating waste disposal units. Let's hope all the talk and brainstorming leads to a better future for our rivers, and ultimately ourselves. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fruit Names in Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi


English
Tamil
Malayalam
Hindi
Apple
Applepazham
அரத்திப்பழம் / குமளிப்பழம்
Apple pazham
Sev
Apricot
Sarkkarai Badami
சர்க்கரை பாதாமி
Khoobani/ khumani
Vennai pazham
 
வெண்ணைப் பழம்
Makhanphal
Vazhaipazham
வாழைப்பழம்
Yethampazham
Kela
Avurinelli
அருவிநெல்லி
Falsa
Cantaloupe
Parangi pazham
பரங்கி
Kharbuja
Coconut
Thengai
தேங்காய்
Thenga
Nariyal/ Kopra
Custard Apple
Seetha pazham
சீதா பழம்
Seethappazham
Shitaphal/ Saripa
Dates
Pericham pazham பேரீச்சம்பழம்
Eetha pazham
khajoor
Atti Pazham
அத்தி பழம்
Athi pazham
Anjeer
Nellikai
நெல்லிக்காய்
Nelli
Amla
Dratchai
திராட்சை
Dratcha or Munthiri
Angoor
Green Berry / zizyphus
Ber/ Bor
Koiya
கொய்யா
Peraka
Amrud
Palapazham
பழாபழம்
Chakka
Kathal
Jambu fruit / bell fruit
Panchali pazham / பஞ்சலிப்பழம்
Jamun
Kolinchi pazham
Naranga
Galgal/ Nimbu
Elumichai
எலுமிச்சை
Cherunaranga
Nimbu
Lichi
Mam pazham
மாம்பழம்
Mangnga
Aam
mulberrypazham
Shehtooth
Musk Melon (Cantaloupe)
Mulam pazham
Kharbooja
Olive
Jaitun
Naaram
Naaranga
Narangi
Papalipazham
பப்பாளி
Omakka
Papeeta
Pear
Berikkai
பேரிக்காய்
Sabarjil
Nashpati
Annasi
அன்னாசி
kaithachakka
Ananas
Plum
Aloobukara
Pomegranate
Madhulam
மாதுளம்
Maadhala naarnga/ Urumampazham
Anar
Prunes
Kodi Mundiri pazham/ கொடிமுந்திரி
Alubokhara
Raisins
kismis
Unakkamunthiri
Kismis
Sapota/ Sapodilla
Sapota
Chikku
Chikku
Starfruit
Pulichikai
Ilumbi Puli
Kamrakh
Stoneapple
Vilvam or koovilam
Koovalam
Bel/ Siriphal
Sweetlime
Chaatukudi
சாத்துக்குடி
Musambi or Madhuranaaranga
Mosambi
Puli
புளி
Water Chestnut
Singhara
Tarboosni
தர்பூசணி
Thannimathan
Tarbooz / kalingad
White goosefoot
Bathua


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A cheap, but rich vegetable that is also the easiest solution for weight reduction


 

We keep talking about increasing prices of vegetables. All these discussions are restricted to the potatoes, onions and carrots. Why not look at cheap, but richer vegetables or plant products?

Today's generation may not be familiar with the properties of the Banana Stem. 

When bananas are harvested, the stem/tree is cut away. The tender inner stem of the banana plant can be used as food. Not only is it tasty but it also has wonderful medicinal properties.
Layers of hard outer stem are peeled away and only the tender inner stem is used. It is very fibrous, so the thread fiber has to be cleaned. The stem is chopped into small bits and soaked in buttermilk or diluted yogurt for half hour. In Southern parts of India, it is cooked as a vegetable and eaten along with rice.

The banana stem has fiber – this is very beneficial for those on a weight-loss programme.  Forget all those expensive diet-reduction programmes and tablets, this is the cheapest solution. 
It is also a rich source of potassium and vitamin B6 which helps in the production of insulin and hemoglobin. Eating banana stem once a week keeps high blood pressure in control. Banana stem also maintains fluid balance within the body. It is a diuretic and helps detoxify the body. The popular belief is that eating banana stem is very good for kidney stones.


Also called Vazhai Thandu in Tamil, केले का तना in Hindi

A "Make in India" solution to our Farmers' Problems

India is an agrarian country. A good show in the agri. business is vital not only for the individual farmer, but for the entire nation. It is quite disturbing to see all kinds of news on how our agriculture sector is suffering. Of course, it becomes all the more complicated when people tend to view the whole problem with politically coloured eyes. It certainly is no solution to this challenge.


The biggest problem in agriculture today is the soil - the quality of soil needs to be maintained. The easier solution is to dump lots of urea and chemicals and fertilizers to ensure quality soil and thereby quality produce. Like all other quick-fix solutions, this approach has led to the ruining of our soil. 


Why not think about a "Make in India" solution to the problem? The time-tested approach in our country has been to use natural soil nourishing products, and what better than the cows' manure (aka Panchagavya). It is quite natural for the farmer to rear some cows. The cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd and ghee - the FIVE products(even the dung is a product! - such is the beauty of the cow) - together are used to compose the PANCHA- GAVYA (In Sanskrit, Pancha means five(5) and Gavya means that which is produced by the cow). In plants Panchagavya promotes growth, yield and immunity and is also an organic pesticide. 


Panchagavya can also be used for animals and humans. For animals, Panchagavya stimulates the production of anti-bodies increasing immunity. In humans, Panchagavya has been reported to increase appetite, heal wounds, and as a cure for psoriasis and white patches. 

This approach is closer to nature, a true "Make-in-India" recipe for our agri-crisis. It is sustainable in the long term, and absolves the farmer from depending on costly fertilizers and chemicals. 

Go Green- Go Clean- Go Panchagavya
(Incidentally, 'Go' in Sanskrit means COW)

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