For the most part of my life I thought bay leaf was just a kitchen herb. To be pulled out when the biryani was made. While studying alternative therapies over the years I’ve learnt that this humble Laurel leaf was so much more than a flavour enhancer. And has been used for centuries by herbalists, naturopaths and even spiritual ceremonies for its host of powers. Devoid of side effects bay leaves can be used and consumed by everyone but to be avoided if you are pregnant.
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Forgiveness is hard but so rewarding. sometimes it takes a few minutes to do. sometimes we hold on to the pain and anger for years. And sometimes it just happens. And when we do experience the liberating power of forgiveness we feel a different energy, a lightness and a sense of incomparable peace that helps this journey of life become a wee bit more bearable.
One of my favourite spices in my kitchen cabinet has to be the clove. Warm, woody with an intense aroma, cloves are an essential in our kitchens, in our toothpaste, in our medicated oils and have been part of healing and spiritual practices and rituals for over a thousand years. In India, this sacred flower bud is intrinsic to rites, remedies and rituals, believed to bring prosperity, good luck and protection.
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In continuation with my space cleansing series of articles, Sage incense works well as a quick substitute to burning sage bundles. Within a few minutes the energy shifts and it works better if you’ve got the doors or windows open as well. A natural purifier the scent of sage is anti microbial, mood elevating and the quickest way to detox your living space. After experimenting with various brands, I’ve discovered Hem Precious White Sage to be pretty effective. As with all aromatherapy aides, do be cautious if pregnant or allergic to strong smells and smoke.
Salt has been used for centuries as much more than seasoning for our food. Ancient healers have used salt to bless, purify, cleanse, heal and dispel, de-stress and detox our bodies and our living spaces. And it doesn’t have to fragrant or even dyed either. Good old cooking salt will do its job.
Vibrant and stunning the tropical Hibiscus flower has been used for centuries by civilisations across the world for decorative, beauty and medicinal purposes, the Hibiscus flower is much more than what meets the eye. Modern research too has revealed the innumerable medicinal properties of this vibrant flower whose petals, stems, seeds and leaves are used as therapeutic aids.
Physical Health Benefits
Hibiscus contains many beneficial compounds that act as antioxidants, including anthocyanins, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. Hibiscus preparations may also help lower blood pressure, protect the liver, and decrease fasting blood sugar. Studies have revealed that Hibiscus works towards boosting the metabolism, protecting the liver from damage while its antioxidants help repair cells and protect from heart disease, fights bacteria and reduces inflammation.
Hailed as a symbol of beauty, femininity, happiness and hospitality hibiscus flowers are used extensively in the manufacturing of beauty care products around the world and even as DIY face and hair packs.
This high mucilage content of Hibiscus enhances the skin’s ability to retain moisture, and is especially good for dry and sensitive skin. The gentle acids of its petals works as a natural exfoliator, removing dead skin and promoting a youthful glow while its Vitamin C content helps promote collagen. Hibiscus is rich in antioxidants which protect skin against damage caused by harsh sun rays and pollution. In powdered form, hibiscus hair masks fortify strands by bonding to the hair and adding strength and elasticity.
As this flower only blooms brightest for one day, many cultures consider it to be a symbol of ephermality, reminding us to seize the moment. A symbol of the Divine feminine the red flowers are used as an offering to the Goddess Kali as well as Ganesha, the Elephant God. Considered lucky if planted in the North of a household according to Vastu Shastra, and also a sign of welcome adorned on Hawaian garlands, the Hibiscus remains and will remain not only beautiful and magical but also therapeutic.
Considered to be one of the most luxurious oils in aromatherapy, Neroli essential oil is used extensively in healing and in skin care. A personal favourite a few whiffs of pure essential oil and I’m smiling:) Apart from being an uplifting top note, Neroli essential oil works in its gentle and sweet way to reduce pain, suffering, exhaustion and hormone related moods. It blends beautifully with other oils but can be used as is in an aroma burner. Note of caution – Avoid Neroli if you have a citrus allergy and if you need to be alert Eg during an exam as it can make you a little drowsy. And remember aromatherapy is a slow, gentle treatment best used along with allopathy and if not sure, check with your primary doctor. Wishing you happiness 🙂
When was the last time you had a good belly laugh, till your stomach hurt and tears rolled down your eyes. And you felt so light after that because a part of you healed. According to research Children laugh an average of 400 times a day while we adults laugh only 15 times. Science and even holistic healing has revealed that laughing is good medicine. Not only does it make us feel better it reduces pain and lessens the damages of stress and modern day life and builds better bonds with other people. Make laughter a part of your self care practice. Watch a funny video. Read a joke. Call up that crazy buddy who has you cracking up in no time. Use humour to smooth over disagreements while at work today. Be spontaneous. And heal yourself with Life’s best medicine.