Ashwagandha is aptly named on its characteristic smell. It does smell like the horse but is also traditionally known to give you strength like one. It is a powerful adaptogenic herb known in Ayurveda for over 3000 years as an energising herb having amazing benefits for the body. It is also known internationally as Indian ginseng and winter cherry.
It is a complex herb with a lot of active compounds which include a host of alkaloids and the active withanolides. Sitoindosides and acylsterylglucosides in Ashwagandha are anti-stress agents and reduce cortisol levels in the body thereby reducing stress. Withanolides have shown activity to fight inflammation and tumour growth.
Ashwagandha also helps reduce blood sugar levels in healthy as well as diabetic population. Active components in ashwagandha also help in boosting testosterone levels and improves sperm quality and viability. Studies have shown ashwagandha to help improve muscle growth and lead to greater muscle gains when undergoing resistance or weight training. Ashwagandha also helps to reduce levels of C reactive protein (CRP) which is a major cause of heart disease.
It is a treasure trove of active components that can help reduce inflammation and oxidation in the body. Some studies suggest regular use of ashwagandha improves memory, cognition and reaction time.
With all the benefits this herb has, it is not easy to take ashwagandha directly in food as it is bitter and pungent and not everyone may like the taste. Its recommended daily dose is 3 grams of raw herb powder. But a standardised extract of 500 mg will also do the trick.
Here are a few ways you can incorporate it into your diet:
1. Add it in your post-workout regimen. Adding ashwagandha in your post work out shake is an easy way to take your daily dose. Make a combination of whey protein, ashwagandha and water or milk. The sweetness and foam of the protein will mask ashwagandha’s bitter taste.
2. Make green smoothies with it. Add a combination of spinach, kale, strawberries (or any other fruit) and ashwagandha for an amazing green energy boost, a little honey to it will add sweetness and the chlorophyll will help mask its pungency and bitterness.
3. Make healthy laddoos with it. Make laddoos with dry fruits, shredded coconut, ashwagandha and peanuts. You may use a healthy base gum Arabic (gond) laddoos.
4. Add it to chocolates. Add ashwagandha (500 mg/serving), a little bit of salt and chilli powder as per taste and make homemade chocolates. The sweet and spiciness from the ingredients will mask the taste and make for an amazing snack.
5. Add it to milk along with your favourite malt powder or Cocoa powder.
6. Perhaps the easiest and most convenient way is to take a tablet or a supplement with ashwagandha in it.
Ashwagandha is an excellent herb for growing kids, teenagers, adults and geriatric people alike. It will help destress body, improve and balance hormone levels and improve cognitive well-being and overall performance of your body.
The writer is an Ayurvedic expert at Nisarga Herbs.
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Conducting an Internet Search For ‘Optical Shop Near Me?’ Get these 7 Pair Of Glasses Instead
Shopping for personal items be it apparel, or accessories has become increasingly accessible and easy with ecommerce websites that offer door-step delivery. You have the luxury of browsing through endless options, sizes, brands, colours and even styles from the comfort of your home. The extent to which online services have evolved can almost seem unfathomable to the casual shopper, especially when one talks about online shopping for eyeglasses.
When you have eye care needs or might need to invest in new eyewear, you might search for ‘an optical shop near me’ to go to for an appointment, repair, or purchase. What if you had an option to look through endless options for eyewear and other eye care essentials, all from the comfort of your home? Instead of searching for ‘an optical shop near me’ you can through the range of eyewear offered by reputed brands like Titan on their website. To understand the kind of options and customizations you can have access to, let us go through the glasses below before you search for an ‘optical shop near me.’
The Classic Rectangles
Looking for “spectacles shop near me ”is a search that mostly ends in vain, where lack of trust and navigation difficulties can get in the way. Investing in this pair of glasses, however, can be a solution to your problems from the comfort of your home. The design of these glasses is the standard, and conventional rectangles which are meant to flatter most face shapes and not hinder any power needs for the eyesight requirements within the glasses.
The Daily Wayfarers
Before going online and searching for daily-wear ‘spectacles near me’, it always helps to look at options closer to home, on your mobile or desktop. This pair of Wayfarers is the symbol of simplicity with a spirited aura. While the spunk of a Wayfarer is more subdued in its eyeglass counterpart, it still retains its versatility when it comes to being donned diverse types of face shapes and genders. These glasses are great for a first time investment or purchase, as they are fit to flatter everyone.
The Round and Classy
Some eyeglasses wearers lean towards eccentric get classy designs when they look for a nearest optical shop, but their needs might be left unsatisfied as the places may have limited options for them to look through. These round and classy eyeglasses are available to be bought online, where your lenses can also be customised to your power requirements. These glasses are great for everyday looks, making you look like the chic and intellectual person you are.
Break Away in Grey
Navigators are rare finds, and one will most certainly not find this pair of grey navigators when they search for an ‘optical shop near me’. These glasses are exclusively for the adventurous and the disruptors, where they embody the spirit of thinking outside the box. These glasses are more angular when compared to most eyewear designs on the market, which makes them a perfect fit for those with round features and jawlines that can be balanced out with these eyeglasses.
Painted in Purple
Cateye lenses are often considered a ‘blind buy’ for most first-time customers when it comes to online ‘spectacles near me’, as they are one of the most universally flattering styles on women. The upswept look given by a good pair of Cateye eyeglasses is incomparable, as it can make you look youthful and chic at the same time. These glasses are a must-have for your eyewear collection, for your daily needs and slight makeovers when innovative designs become an eyesore.
Bold in Gold
The combination of gold and rimless is one that you will not find when you are looking for ‘an optical shop near me’. These glasses encapsulate many of the new-age trends along with the old ones, especially the sleek glasses with a rimless twist. The gold accents on this pair of eyeglasses make them even more memorable, as they have become synonymous with those achievers who mean business and have every aspect of their life in control.
Novelty in Hexagons
Urban trends often take time to find their way to local stores and opticians. Therefore, when you look for an ‘optician near me’, you might set yourself up for disappointment when they do not have the wide range of hexagonal eyeglasses that have slowly made an incredible place for themselves in eyewear collections across the globe. The playful symphony of angles and large lenses make them a perfect pair for the spontaneous and easy-going.
Searches like ‘an optical shop near me’ can often lead you to a dead end, or dicey shops that might not even have trustworthy reviews. Since eyewear can often be a long-term and pricey investment, it is important to seek out trusted brands that offer a guarantee of the best products at reasonable prices. Therefore, reputed brands like Titan Eyeplus are the best place to start when looking to buy eyewear online. From curated collections and eyewear essentials being available at the same place, to reviews that ensure complete customer satisfaction; Titan Eyeplus is the place to be.
How to Handle a Stressful Schedule
Life can be hard. You’re trying to handle everything that comes your way, but, no matter how hard you try, things still keep piling up more and more. There always seems to be a never-ending list of things you need to do or should have already done, acan as you are able to check several things off of the top of your list, more to-do’s are added to the bottom. It’s like having a Mary Poppin’s bag of to-do lists. Does this sound familiar? While staying moving and productive can be a good thing, if not handled with intention, a stressful schedule can easily become too much. Burn-out is all too common and it can happen to anyone. Keep reading, however, for some effective and easy ways to avoid burnout and handle that stressful schedule with care.
How you start your day is incredibly important. If you wake up and feel instantly bombarded with a barrage of thoughts and anxiety about all of the things you have to do that day, instantly that puts you in a fight or flight mode. Staying calm and present is vital to staying level-headed and focused regarding your schedule. Taking time in the mornings, even if it’s just a few minutes, to center yourself and calm your mind can make you more efficient and honestly just happier, throughout the day. Instead of rushing immediately to your to-do list, take a few minutes and meditate, journal or even just some deep breaths while you do your skincare routine. Intentionally setting up a little bit of time to do this will set you up to make your day even better.
Prioritization is key when trying to tackle the stressful day before you. Figure out what needs to happen first before letting the number of things you have to do overwhelm you. For example, if you need to do a few loads of laundry, you’ll need to clean your room first. If you get home from work and your kitchen is flooded, that should most likely be taken care of before figuring out dinner. If you have a presentation from work a week from now, work backward to figure out what steps you need to take to be ready. You have to walk before you can run.
Lists Are Your Friend
One of the best ways to prioritize the things on your schedule is to make a list. You can even start out by just writing frantically on a piece of paper all of the things that pop into your head that need to get done. From there, take a step back, and look at the list as a whole. If it’s May and you’re already thinking about buying Christmas presents, move that down to the bottom of the list. If your in-laws are coming to stay this coming weekend, maybe move your grocery shopping up to the top of the list. Remember, think small to big. What do I need to do first in order to make all of these other, bigger things, happen smoothly?
Keep Track of Your Time
If you are first starting out with all of this and need a little practice, take a week or so and keep a rough estimate of how long everything you do takes you. Time spent at work? Forty hours every week. Commute time? Thirty minutes every day. Grocery shopping? An hour and a half every week. Keep track of everything as best you can. This will help you plan your schedule in the future, as well as being an excellent way to keep track of if, and how, you may be wasting any idle time throughout the day or week.
You have to take time for yourself! Going non-stop only works for so long. Just like taking a few minutes in the morning is important, so is unwinding at the end of the day. What’s something feasible you can do, that you enjoy, that will help you? Can you watch an hour of your favorite show every night? Can you get a massage every other week? Whatever it is, make sure you get enough time for just you.
Making little tweaks here and there to your schedule can make a world of difference. You don’t have to be perfect right away and you don’t have to do everything right away either. Just slowly build that awareness by incorporating some of these small tricks and, over time, it will get easier.
WHAT IS KRATOM GOOD FOR?
You’ve probably heard of this popular herb’s energy-boosting properties, but what’s its other function? In this article, we’ll look at its effects on anxiety, pain, and sobriety. Kratom is an herbal supplement that contains a high-quality, non-psychoactive chemical known as ketamine. Known for its calming and soothing effects, kratom helps to reduce anxiety and enhance mood.
If you have depression, you might be wondering if you use Kratom powder, was it good for a mood boost? Depression is a serious medical problem that affects a person’s mood, thoughts, and actions. Symptoms can range from feeling tired to loss of interest in various activities. Kratom is a popular supplement for both of these conditions. Here are a few ways to use this herb to improve your mood.
Green Malay is one of the best varieties for people looking for a mood boost. It’s known to reduce anxiety and depression while increasing overall well-being. It also promotes a regular sleeping pattern, which is a key benefit for people with depression and anxiety. Additionally, it can be used as a natural pick-me-up and can help people feel more energetic without caffeine. Regardless of the specific strain, you can find Kratom that works for you.
While there is little scientific evidence that kratom is good for pain relief, heaps of anecdotal evidence point to its effectiveness. Typically, dosages of one to five grams are taken for pain relief in Southeast Asia. The primary effects of kratom are a mild energy boost and an improved sense of focus. However, as with any drug, a higher dosage can have negative side effects.
In Southeast Asia, kratom is used for many medical conditions, including the treatment of opioid addiction. In fact, kratom has been used for decades as a method for treatment of opioid withdrawal. 85% of those who reported using kratom did so without taking prescription opioids or heroin. Other reasons people use kratom include anxiety and depression. Moreover, joint pain is common, particularly of the shoulder and knee.
If you suffer from stress and anxiety, you’ve probably wondered whether Kratom is good for anxiety relief. Kratom is a tropical tree that is widely used as a remedy. It is not a true opioid, but its effects are comparable. The best thing about Kratom is that it doesn’t have a high risk of dependence or abuse. It can be taken as a supplement if you want to reduce your anxiety, or as a standalone treatment.
When it comes to anxiety and depression, bali kratom capsules have a lot to offer. A high-quality strain can act as an analgesic, reducing pain throughout the day. Besides pain relief, this herb can help you sleep better, allowing you to enjoy a restful sleep at night. In addition, kratom’s strong sedative effect can help you get a good night’s sleep and set a healthier sleep schedule.
Using kratom is not a substitute for drug rehab. Depending on the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, it is important to go through a medical detox. Once a patient has ceased using kratom, they can go on to work towards regaining sobriety. During withdrawal, they may experience intense cravings. However, these cravings can often be suppressed by engaging in other activities, such as participating in 12-step programs or joining a support group.
While Kratom can be used to combat cravings for narcotics, it is not a substitute for opiates. The main alkaloids in kratom bind to opioid receptors in the brain, so it can produce euphoric, stimulatory effects similar to those of cocaine or alcohol. Users may also feel an analgesic effect. Regardless of its use, it is important to know that the drug may be addictive, and it is not recommended for use by those who are not sober.
If you’re struggling with an addiction, you may have considered trying a detox program that includes Kratom. While this type of treatment isn’t always recommended, there are some proven benefits of kratom. While Kratom has a relaxing and energizing effect at low doses, its effects can range from anxiety to depression after using it. In addition to addiction, you may experience side effects such as aching muscles, jerky limb movements, and excessive tearing. Although research is still needed, some treatment programs use behavioral therapy as an effective method.
Kratom is a naturally occurring substance derived from a tree in Southeast Asia. It contains two active compounds, Mitragynine and 7-a-hydroxymitragynine. Both of these compounds interact with opioid receptors in the brain. In higher doses, the plant produces feelings of pleasure and decreased pain, while lower doses produce an increase in energy and sociability. It is also known to be safe in small doses and may be effective for individuals struggling with addictions to heroin and other opioids.
What are the Facts about STDs and heart health?
Prioritizing heart health is crucial because, even though many heart illnesses are preventable, they are the leading cause of death worldwide. Syphilis and chlamydia, two prevalent STDs, may affect your heart health, influencing your overall health.
In this article, we’ll examine some facts related to heart health and STDs, as well as the relationship between the two. Let’s start by reviewing the STDs facts.
What are the Facts about STDs?
Contrary to what many believe, STDs are significantly more prevalent, and their symptoms are much less noticeable. Let’s look at some of the facts about STDs you might never know.
- Condoms aren’t 100 % foolproof.
They are not entirely immune to genital herpes, even when used correctly. Any sexual interaction puts you at risk since the virus might exist in locations other than those protected by a condom.
- You might not be aware that you have an STD.
Most those between the ages of 15 and 49 have genital herpes, which is preventable but not curable, but most individuals are unaware of it. Since the symptoms are minor, people may not seek treatment or realize they are sick. Even if you are not feeling any symptoms, it is always preferable to get tested for STDs.
- Anyone who engages in sexual activity is susceptible to STDs.
Ages 14 to 24 account for a significant portion of new STD infections, putting senior persons at risk. Sexual activity raises the risk of STDs at any age, so it’s critical to be aware of your status and take precautions constantly.
- Untreated STDs can be fatal.
Medical severe issues can develop due to untreated STDs, including cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, and heart disease. Syphilis has the potential to be fatal and can cause irreparable organ damage. HIV decreases immunity and can lead to AIDS when the immune system of the body as a whole is seriously weakened.
What are the facts about heart disease you should know?
The following are some heart disease facts:
- One in five patients will experience a heart attack without ever knowing it.
Most individuals believe that heart attacks often occur, as shown in movies and television shows. Milder signs of a cardiac event, such as shortness of breath and chest discomfort, are more prevalent than expected.
- Heart failure can be detected by chest pressure, discomfort, and slight neck pain.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) must be administered to the patient in the case of cardiac arrest as a first aid measure before seeking advanced medical treatment to save his life.
Top risk factors include diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
You may be more likely to develop heart disease if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Staying active and eating a nutritious diet are the most significant ways to preserve your health and manage these chronic diseases.
What is the relationship between heart health and STDs?
The following section focuses on the conditions that can arise due to STD infections which may lead to heart-related concerns.
- Stress and heart health.
Finding out you have an STD is worrying and might make you more stressed out. Stress can exacerbate inflammation in the body, which is connected to heart-harming variables, including high blood pressure.
- Depression and heart health.
Finding out you have an STD can be emotionally trying and increase your risk of depression. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase when you’re depressed, which lowers the amount of blood getting to your heart, and heart disease results from these impacts over time.
You should be aware of any warning symptoms of STDs by working with your doctor to discover when you are infected to avoid situations of worry and stress leading to depression, which is the main cause of heart-related disorders.
RETINOBLASTOMA IS CURABLE AND TIMELY TREATMENT CAN SAVE A CHILD’S LIFE
Retinoblastoma is one of the most common eye cancers in infants and young children. It arises from the retina of the eye that is responsible for visual perception in the eye. In most cases, it occurs in one eye, known as unilateral retinoblastoma, and in some instances, both eyes can be affected, which is known as bilateral retinoblastoma. Retinoblastoma has the risk of spreading to the brain and the whole body through the optic nerve of the eye and the bloodstream, respectively. The myths and misconceptions along with the late diagnosis are the biggest reasons why we come across advanced cases in India, reducing the chances of survival. Otherwise, it is a completely curable eye cancer if detected early and treated in the right way.
RISK FACTORS FOR RETINOBLASTOMA IN CHILDREN
Some variations in the genes or genetic mutations are the risk factors for retinoblastoma. In about 40% of the cases, the genetic form is responsible for this type of cancer and affects very young children, especially those who are 1 year old or younger. The gene responsible for this rare form of cancer is known as RB1, which happens to be the link when retinoblastoma occurs in both eyes. However, the genetic form rarely results in damage to only one eye. Despite that, only 10-20% of the children with the disease have a family history associated with retinoblastoma. Another risk factor for retinoblastoma happens to be a young age. Most children diagnosed with the disease are below the age of five years, and several of them are even infants. Children of any race can develop this condition. However, the underserved communities face the worst outcomes due to inadequate healthcare facilities.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH RETINOBLASTOMA
As the disease is most prevalent in young children and infants, the symptoms go unnoticed. Here are a few signs that one may look out for:
White Pupillary Reflex—In normal eyes, the pupil appears to be red when light is focused on it. However, in eyes with retinoblastoma, the pupil mostly appears white, which in actual is a white tumour, retinoblastoma.
Squint eye—the eye can be seen as squinting, turned inwards or outwards
Some other common symptoms are redness, pain, affected eyes appearing bigger, vision loss, bulging of the eyes, bleeding in the front of the eyes, and shrunken eyeballs.
Precautions and Treatment for Retinoblastoma
Retinoblastoma is not preventable. However, its severity can be reduced by regular eye examinations, especially among children who have a family history of the disease. This helps in the detection of the condition earlier and significantly increases the chances of saving the eye and survival. The treatment varies for different stages of the disease. The common treatments include:
Cryotherapy: During this procedure, an extremely cold liquid and instruments are used to freeze and destroy the abnormal tissue and tumour.
Laser therapy includes thermotherapy, where doctors use lasers to destroy cancer tumours with heat.
Chemotherapy: These drugs are mild and can be tolerated by children; they are injected through a vein or artery. The advancement in treatment modalities recently also includes injecting chemotherapy drugs directly into the arteries connected with tumour.
Radiation Therapy: This therapy kills the cancer cells and prevents them from multiplying. Doctors also recommend a type of radiation therapy called radioactive plaque therapy, where the radiation device is directly applied on top of the eye to treat the tumour.
Retinoblastoma is a curable childhood eye cancer if detected on time. It is important to take the symptoms seriously, undergo eye examinations, and consult an eye specialist in the event of any white reflex in the eye. The doctors, pediatricians, physicians, and general ophthalmologists should be trained and educated to be able to diagnose the condition on time, and referring the patients to retinoblastoma specialists and treatment centers makes it possible to give appropriate care, thereby improving the outcome.
The author is Head, Ocular Oncology, Dr Shroff Charity Eye Hospital
How to fix your sleep routine
Our body has its own GPS to rotate between sleep and wakefulness. This 24-hour sleep-wake cycle is called the circadian rhythm. Any dysfunction in this internal clock will inhibit our restful sleep, leading to decreased productivity, stress, high cortisol levels, and metabolic diseases.
It’s important to have a straight, 8-hour sound and undisturbed sleep cycle to lead a normal, functioning day.
The Hypothalamus, a part of the brain, responds to some external cues that tell our body to sleep and go to bed. Sometimes, your circadian rhythm can get thrown off due to
• Night shifts
• Jet lag
• Traveling across time zones
• Late-night coffee shots
• Late-night TV or mobile use
Deficiencies of potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D,
Luckily, there are multiple tips to take care of your sleep cycle and reset your internal clock. Switch off your mobile phones and regulate your exposure to blue light two hours before bedtime.
Avoid electronic screens from TVs, computers, or smartphones because blue light initiates the “fight or flight” response in the body. When you’re exposed to light, your brain stops producing melatonin, the sleep hormone. This makes you feel awake and alert.
Cover your curtains and any blinking red light from A/C transformers or digital displays on A/C panels that are enough to disrupt the hormonal balance at night.
Try to meditate and do breathing exercises. Practice yoga, stretching, or journaling. Avoid caffeine at night. Reducing stress will help bring down cortisol levels, which will help relax your brain to promote restful sleep.
If your sleep is disrupted, it’s better to avoid naps in the daytime. If you wish to, you can take a short nap of 30 minutes. Do household chores, and increase NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis), which can give some fatigue and induce restful sleep.
GET DAILY EXERCISE
Muscle responds by aligning our circadian rhythm and promoting melatonin production. Thirty minutes of cardiovascular fitness can improve our sleep cycle. Aim for 150 minutes of physical exercise per week to get the best results. Keep in mind that even exercise can cause your body to over stimulate. If you want to exercise at night, do it at least one to two hours before bedtime.
Loud distracting noises can be a big culprit in disturbed sleep routines. Better still is to take the TV out of your room. Turn down the volume of the TV as our brain processes all kinds of sounds even while sleeping. White noise is a soothing, steady sound that masks environmental noise. You can create white noise by using a
• Air conditioner
• Air purifier
• White noise machine
You can also wear earplugs to block out outside sounds.
Just before bedtime, your body temperature drops to prepare for sleep. A cool bedroom temperature of 60 to 67°F (15 to 19°C) will help you relax and sleep. The temperature of the room where you sleep is one of the most important factors in achieving quality sleep. Anything below 54°F (12°C) or above 75°F (24°C) may disturb your sleep, so make sure to adjust your thermostat. You can also use an air conditioner or fan during warmer weather or a heater during cold weather. These offer the extra benefit of creating white noise.
MIND YOUR MATTRESS AND PILLOWS
A comfortable bed is the best sleeping environment for a good night’s rest. If your mattress is more than ten years old, please replace it because mattresses and pillows generally absorb the impressions of those sleeping on them, resulting in an uneven level with lumps or depressions that may cause back aches and pains. Replace it after every 10 years, and pillows after 2 years.
Your circadian rhythm also responds to your eating habits. A late dinner can delay sleep, so eat your last meal two to three hours before bed.
This will give your body enough time to digest the meal. It matters what you eat, too. Heavy, high-fat meals might disrupt sleep because they take a while to digest.
INCLUDE MAGNESIUM, AND ZINC-RICH FOODS
At times, when our diet is deficient in some micronutrients like magnesium and zinc, problems with having sufficient sleep occur. Include nuts and pumpkin seeds, legumes, grains, yogurt, and soybeans to have enough magnesium and zinc in your diet to avoid sleep issues.
TAKE MELATONIN SUPPLEMENTS
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleep cycle and is made by the pineal gland in the brain, but it’s also available as a supplement. It can promote relaxation.
The writer is Dietician & Nutritionist and founder of Nutrifybypoonam Diet & Wellness Clinic
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