The richness of Indian culture is not limited to art and aesthetics. The goodness expands to health and lifestyle too, with the simplest of practices sourced from nature.
Chew on a neem leaf or twig
While many offer prayers to the neem tree, many have religiously made it a part of their lifestyle, by means of its daily consumption. The leaves, twigs, bark, seeds, root, fruits or flowers, are all used in traditional Ayurvedic treatment for multiple issues such as inflammation, fever infection, skin disease and dental disorders. Chewing neem leaf or twig is the first thing many people do in morning for the multiples benefits it has. Neem has strong antibacterial properties, which help achieve healthy skin. Its high level of antioxidants, help nourish hair while also stimulating healthy cell division and supporting hair follicle growth. It is also good for eyes and helps improve vision. It also has antiviral properties and helps boost immune system. Neem is also excellent for liver and aids digestion. In a traditional way, chewing neem twigs is what has been used for oral hygiene. However, it is said to produce internal heat and thus pregnant women should steer clear.
Swallow turmeric powder
Turmeric powder is a handy fix for a lot of health problems, which are all combated by the yellow spice’s antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties. Its regular consumption on an empty stomach helps relieve pain from arthritis, as its antioxidants destroy the free radicals in the body that damage the cells. The compound curcumin present in it helps fight cancer. Consumption of turmeric in milk or warm water also aids digestion and helps heals wounds. For added health benefits, some people also consume a concoction of turmeric mixed with other spices.
“Since the last 15 years, every morning I have been taking a mixture of turmeric, ginger, and fenugreek powder, mixed in equal proportion. I take it on an empty stomach and drink water on it. I feel my immunity against seasonal illnesses has improved and my general health is being maintained throughout the years because of this,” says Devadidev Banerjee, an engineer and businessman from Kolkata.
Practice Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar or sun salutation is an ancient way expressing gratitude to the sun, the source of all life on the planet. It is also a technique of maintaining an internal body balance and an excellent exercise, one that alone can be swapped for many other exercises done for a fit body and being. A part of yoga, Surya Namaskar has been practiced since times immemorial. Its regular practice helps improves blood circulation of the body, due to the active process of inhalation and exhalation that it includes. It is thus also an excellent way of detoxing. As a workout, it helps stretches various muscles, and if done at a fast pace, helps reduce excess weight and improve flexibility. It is also good for skin and hair, as it helps in the renewal of cells. For many it helps deal with anxiety and its preachers also claim it improving memory.
Drink water from a silver or copper cup
Storing water in silver jugs overnight and then consuming it in morning is a practice people did in times gone by, for natural techniques is what they relied on to cure groundwater and in the absence of refrigerators or electricity. Water from a silver vessel aids remove free radicals from the body while leaving the intestines cool and prepping the body for digestion. Copper vessels are too used for similar reasons. Copper has numerous antioxidants and antimicrobial properties that help boost the immune system. It is also said to have anti-cancer properties. Storing water in these vessels actually lets water absorb some of the silver and copper, which also aid the body in absorbing iron better. This water also helps detoxify and prevents arteries from clogging.
“Having followed the regime of drinking this water empty stomach, every morning, for about 50 years now, I do believe in its benefits. It has always maintained my immunity against common illnesses, as silver has antibacterial agents. I believe that my brain and heart feel rejuvenated, maybe because of the effect of silver’s properties on blood flow in the body, and the little glass of water refreshes me, breaking the curtain of sleep and tiredness,” says Vinod Kumar Raizada, a former scientist.
Walk barefoot on grass
While taking morning walks is a norm across the globe, many Indians believe in taking a walk on grass, barefoot. An ancient practice, it is still followed by many across the country. The exercise is said to be beneficial for health in more ways than one. Our feet have nerve endings, which are stimulated gently, when set on grass. These nerve endings correspond to various organs in the body and help them keep in a good state. Walking on a grass is also a way of grabbing the goodness of the Earth, which is believed to have certain set of energies. Green, the colour of grass, is a refreshing one and is said to induce calming hormones, thus easing the body into the regime of the day ahead.