Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Halitosis (Bad Breath)

Have you ever had that awful feeling when you’re at a fancy party and the person talking to you has really bad breath? Or even worse...do you have bad breath? If yes, the read on...

Halitosis is typically caused by poor dental hygiene. However, other causes could include gum disease, tooth decay, heavy metal build-up, infection of the respiratory tract (throat, lungs, nose, and windpipe), improper diet, constipation, smoking, fever, diabetes, foreign bacteria in the mouth, indigestion, inadequate protein digestion, liver or kidney malfunction, postnasal drip, stress, and too much unfriendly bacteria in the colon.

Dieting, alcohol abuse, or fasting can cause bad breath as well. “Morning breath” results from dehydration and reduction in the amount of saliva, which is needed to wash away bacteria in the mouth. 

  • Chewing a sprig of celery or parsley after meals is an excellent treatment for bad breath. Parsley and celery are rich in chlorophyll, the active ingredient in many popular breath mints.
  • Other herbs that may be helpful for bad breath include star anise, cloves, and fennel (saunf).
  • Drink generous amounts of water.
  • Avoid spicy foods, whose odours can linger for hours. Foods like garlic, onion, some cheese, salami and tuna leaves oils in the mouth that can release odours for up to twenty-four hours, no matter how much you brush or gargle. Beer, coffee, whiskey, and wine leave residues that stick to the soft, sticky plaque on teeth and get into the digestive system. Each exhalation releases their odour back into the air.
  • Avoid foods that get stuck between the teeth easily or that cause tooth decay, such as meat, stringy vegetables, and sweets, especially sticky sweets and toffees.
  • Brush your teeth and tongue after every meal. 
  • Use a tongue scraper to help remove bacterial plaque and shed dead cells and food debris from the surface of the tongue. 
  • Replace your toothbrush every month, as well as after any infectious illness, to prevent bacteria build-up.
  • Use dental floss and a chlorophyll mouthwash daily.
  • Keep your toothbrush clean.
  • Do not use commercial mouthwashes. Most contain nothing more than flavouring, dye, and alcohol. While they may kill the bacteria that cause bad breath, the bacteria soon return in greater force. Mouthwashes can also irritate the gums, tongue, and mucous membranes in the mouth.
  • Have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months.

Bad breath may be the sign of an underlying health problem. Consult your health care provider for a thorough check-up if our suggestions do not improve the condition.

Stay blessed with good health .…always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Tuesday, 13 February 2018


An extremely common disease, gout is a kind of arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up in blood and causes joint inflammation. Acute gout is a painful condition that typically affects one joint, while chronic gout is repeated episodes of pain and inflammation, which may involve more than one joint.

Gout is caused by having higher-than-normal levels of uric acid levels in your body. This may occur if:
  • Your body makes too much uric acid
  • Your body has a hard time getting rid of uric acid
  • If too much uric acid builds up in the fluid around the joints (synovial fluid), uric acid crystals form. These crystals cause the joint to swell up and become inflamed.

People with diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, anemia, leukemia and other blood cancers are susceptible to gout.

The big toe, knee or ankle joints are most often affected. The pain starts suddenly, often during the night and it is often throbbing. The joint may appear warm and red. It is very tender...it hurts to lay even a thin cloth over it.

Gout can be prevented by:
  • Drinking plenty of water to flush out uric acid.
  • Eating foods rich in folic acid, like cabbage, spinach, methi, mint, coriander etc
  • Eating vitamin C -rich foods grapefruit, celery, pineapple, cherries and citrus fruits
  • Avoiding liver, kidney, red meat, fish, shellfish, oats, yeast, mushrooms, vinegar and alcohol

Remedies for Gout:
  • Make a mix of equal parts of dried mint powder, cumin powder, flax seed powder, dried parsley, fennel and turmeric powder.Have 2 tsp of this mix after lunch and 1 tsp after dinner.
  • Drink 2 liters of water infused with 15 mint leaves and 10 basil leaves.

Stay blessed with good health .…always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Monday, 29 January 2018

Kidney Stones 

Kidney stones and urinary tract stones are a common problem. They are hard mineral matter formed in the kidneys or urinary tract. However, contrary to popular belief, kidney stones are due to a deficiency of the mineral magnesium, not an excess of calcium. Magnesium helps to keep calcium soluble.
Blood in the urine and severe pain in the abdomen and groin can be attributed to kidney stones or renal calculi.

The kidney and urinary bladder form the urinary system. The kidney is a filtration and excretory organ. The bladder is a temporary storage and elimination organ. The kidneys assist the liver in filtering the blood of toxins such as urea. The kidneys also ensure the resorption of useful organic substances like minerals.

Stones can form for different reasons: 
  • An improper ratio of dietary calcium: magnesium.
  • Excessive vitamin D supplementation.
  • Sugar, salt, oxalate-containing foods like spinach and excessive consumption of calcium-containing antacids, diuretics etc may foster stone formation.
  • People with gout (high uric acid), high blood pressure, inflammatory bowel disease, hyperparathyroidism, and diabetes are susceptible to kidney stones….as are people who have had intestinal bypass surgery.
  • Dehydration is a major risk factor.
  • As is a decrease in the volume of urine excreted.
  • High calcium in the urine can cause kidney stones.
  • Diet and hereditary factors also play a role in stone formation.
  • Pregnancy-related changes can cause kidney stone formation in a small percentage of pregnant women.
  • Frequent urinary tract infections can also lead to stone formation.
  • Alcohol intake will tax the functioning of the kidneys.
  • Damage to the kidneys can also be caused by the harmful effects of certain diseases, such as diabetes, and by some prescription drugs, such as ibuprofen.
  • Uremia, a condition produced by the retention of toxins which the kidneys normally excrete, is a result of severe kidney damage and is treated through dialysis
An appropriate preventive therapy is to drink two liters of pure water daily. Avoid tap water and water softeners. Replace tea and coffee with herbal teas that have a beneficial effect on the urinary tract, and restrict intake of alcohol.

Dietary changes include a vegetarian diet high in dietary fiber. Foods high in oxalates such as beans, cocoa, instant coffee, parsley, and spinach can aggravate existing kidney problems due to a lack of good bacteria in the intestines. Recent studies found that a naturally occurring gut bacterium, Oxalobacter formigenes prevents the formation of oxalates and can help prevent stones. Fermenting these foods will also prevent the formation of oxalates.

The greatest contributors to high sodium content are processed foods, red meats, and cheeses. Urinary tract infection is sometimes successfully relieved by drinking large amounts of cranberry juice and taking vitamin C, because of the acidifying effect of these substances. Canned asparagus (with its juice) is also a good natural remedy. Lemon barley with mint and apple cider vinegar is a beverage that can help kidney stones.

Nutrients that support the kidneys are vitaminB6, pantothenic acid, beta-carotene, magnesium, and potassium.

The kidneys are known as the ‘seat of fear’. When the kidneys are weak or become diseased, it could indicate a fear buried deep in the psyche. There may be a tendency to blame others for one’s own problems. Recognizing personal needs and taking responsibility for one’s life is a good step towards healing the kidneys.

Stay blessed with good health .…always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Monday, 15 January 2018


Tea is the most commonly consumed beverage around the world after water. People have been known to consume herbal teas for as long as they have known how to heat water. Unlike green, black, and oolong teas, herbal teas have been made from virtually any plant, and from any part of the plant, including the roots, flowers, seeds, berries, or bark.
There are some herbs, such as echinacea, ginkgo leaf, saw palmetto, and milk thistle, that are NOT effective at healing when taken in tea form because their active components are not water soluble, and the concentration needed for the medical potency is so high it can be obtained only from an extract, pill, or capsule.
Different herbal teas, have their own distinctive healing uses and are very good for revealing mild to moderate ailments such as upset stomach, sore throat, coughs, stuffy nose, and insomnia.

  • It undergoes natural fermentation and retains its flavour for several years.
  • It is a strong antioxidant and it helps improve heart health.
  • It lowers blood sugar and raises insulin levels after a meal as it stimulates the pancreas to release more insulin.
  • It lowers ovarian cancer risk.
  • It improves the strength of your bones.
  • It helps reduce stomach ulcers.
  • The polyphenols in black tea help lower the risk of Parkinson’s  and Alzheimer’s disease
  • If consumed in large amount then the tannins in black tea can cause constipation.
  • Excessive consumption can also cause anxiety, faster breathing, increased heart rate, restlessness, insomnia, frequent urination and diarrhoea.
  • Due to its high caffeine content, large amounts of black tea can cause seizures or may decrease the effectiveness of drugs that help prevent seizures.
  • It can increase eye pressure and its consumption should be avoided by glaucoma patients.

  • It reduces inflammation, stimulates the appetite and aids digestion and sleep.
  • It acts as a diuretic and nerve tonic.
  • It is helpful for colitis, diverticulosis, fever, headaches and pain.
  • It is good for easing menstrual cramps.
  • It is a traditional remedy for stress and anxiety, indigestion and insomnia.
  • It is useful as a mouthwash for minor mouth and gum infection.
  • It also helps fight diabetes.
  • Do not use if pregnant or nursing.
  • It may interact with warfarin or cyclosporine, so patients taking these drugs should avoid it.

  • It boosts immunity and metabolic rate and aids weight loss.
  • It acts as an anti-viral and anti-inflammatory agent. 
  • It may help prevent cancer. 
  • Green tea can help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. 
  •  It contains vitamin K which can make anticoagulant medication less effective as it reduces the clotting tendency of blood.
  • It contains caffeine so pregnant women or nursing mothers and people with anxiety issues, heart issues and those who are sensitive to caffeine may want to limit their intake of green tea.
  • The caffeine in green tea could cause insomnia, anxiety, upset stomach, nausea or diarrhea.

  • Its antioxidants may reduce the risk of premature aging and protect the skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation.
  • It inhibits the growth of various bacteria that may cause plaque formation. The fluoride content found in this tea may also be effective in reducing the risk of dental caries or tooth decay/cavity.
  • It may be beneficial in preventing cancer especially cancer of the lungs.
  •  If taken in large amounts it can cause insomnia, dizziness and gastrointestinal discomfort due to its caffeine content.

  • It can help reduce blood pressure because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It helps lower ‘’bad’’ LDL cholesterol.
  • It helps cleanse the liver and remove free radicals.
  • It can help prevent cancer because of its antioxidant properties.
  • It is rich in vitamin-C and helps to boost immunity.
  •  Consuming hibiscus tea can lower estrogen levels. This can impair reproductive ability. So skip hibiscus tea if you are planning to conceive, are using HRT or are on birth control treatment of any form. 
  • Avoid if taking blood pressure lowering medications as it can cause BP to plummet further.
  • Hibiscus tea can cause major complications when taken along with cancer medications. So avoid if you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation.

Many herbal teas are available in tea bag form. They can also be prepared from raw herbs. To make an herbal tea, gently crumble leaves and flowers and break roots and bark into pieces (cutting the herbs causes the essential oils to dissipate) and place them in a ceramic or glass container. Cover the herb parts with boiling water (do not bring the herbs themselves to a boil), and allow them to steep. Most herbs should be steeped for four to six minutes, although some herbal teas, such chamomile, need to be steeped for fifteen to twenty minutes in a covered container in order to deliver their full therapeutic effect. 

Enjoy your cup of tea today  !!!

Stay blessed with good health .…always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Thursday, 21 December 2017


As you rummage through your spice cabinet this holiday season, you will find stuff you've barely used and now need to throw away. Don’t ever let this happen again!

NUTMEG or Jaiphal :

* Brain Tonic
* Pain Reliever
* Effective sedative
* Indigestion Relief
* Bad Breath Treatment
* Liver and Kidney Detox
* Skin Care
* Sleep Aid

While you’re grating some over your porridge or eggnog or adding it to your fruitcake batter, don’t forget to give a little thanks for nutmeg, the powerhouse seed that contains anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.

Whole nutmegs are very hard and must be finely grated to release their flavor.

GROUND MACE or Javitri :

* Improves Digestive Health
* Encourages Appetite
* Treats and Prevents Cancer
* Alleviates Anxiety and Depression
* Boosts Blood Circulation
* Pain Relief
* Stress Buster
* Helps with Cold And Cough
* Improves Brain Health
* Treats Insomnia

The taste of Mace is very subtle and should be used quickly to optimise flavor and aroma. Mace enhances the taste of jams, pastries, cakes and Indian sweets.

CELERY SEEDS or Ajmoda beej:

* Powerful Antioxidant
* Relieves Insomnia
* Assists in RBC formation
* Improves cognitive functioning.
* Maintains a healthy blood pressure.
* Fights Infections
* Improves Joint Flexibility

Celery seeds can be used in salad dressings and pickles to add an interesting texture and flavor.

TARRAGON or Naagdauna:

* Good source of  Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, and Calcium
* Rich in Vit A, Vit C and Vit B-6
* Good Antioxidant
* Supports Cardiovascular Health as it  Reduces the Risk of Blood Clots, Stroke and Heart Attack
* Helps lower Blood Sugar Levels
* Contains Health Promoting Essential Oils.
* Natural Diuretic which Reduces Water Retention.

Tarragon is versatile and can be used in potato salads, deviled eggs, tuna wraps, grilled salmon, roast chicken, sauces like lemon sauce, pesto etc

STAR ANISE or Chakri phool :

* Powerful Antioxidant and Antifungal Agent
* Immunity and Energy Booster
* ANTI-Influenza Agent
* Eases Rheumatic and Joint Pain
* Improves Digestion
* Improves Lactation

Star anise is one of five spices used in Chinese 5 spice powder. Make your own five spice powder by grinding star anise and mixing it with the other 4 spices – cloves, fennel seeds, cinnamon and Sichuan pepper.

MARJORAM or Kuthara :

* Protects against Common Illnesses
* Improves Cardiovascular Health
* Anti-Inflammatory
* Relieves Insomnia
* Reducing Stress and Anxiety
* Increases control of Sexual Desire

Grind 1to 2 tsp marjoram leaves into a powder and add 200 ml hot water. Boil the mixture for 15 minutes. Add honey. Drink two to four cups of this tea over the span of two hours for digestive benefits. It also has a calming, antidepressive effect.


* Helps Regulate Blood Pressure
* Reduces Water Retention
* Reduces Constipation, Indigestion, IBS & Bloating
* Reduces Asthma Symptoms
* Helps Purify Blood
* Improves Eyesight

Fennel seed is a common ingredient in lactation teas. It's a key ingredient in five-spice powder, and a regular addition in other spice blends to be used a dry rub for meat and fish. Fennel seeds add a subtle fragrant sweetness in sausage, marinara sauce, homemade bread and cookies.


Baking powder contains baking soda. It is a mixture of baking soda, cream of tartar and cornstarch.

* Eases Sore Throats, Colds and Flu
* Helps with Digestive Issues like Bloating, Gas, Stomach Pain, Hyperacidity
* Reduces Symptoms of Gout
* Promotes Kidney Health
* Treats Urinary Tract Infections
* Reduces Muscle Pain and Fatigue

This common raising agent used in cakes, biscuits, and bread can also be used to whiten your teeth and remove dental plaque.

So enjoy your holiday season  ❤

Stay blessed with good health .…always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Cinnamon or Dalchini

Ever wondered why most high-calorie foods such as French toast, cinnamon buns and all the delicious lattes have cinnamon as toppings? Then read on…

Cinnamon is a spice that has been used since ancient times for its medicinal value as is evident from its properties listed below:

  • It is a very powerful antioxidant and an excellent fat burner.
  • It is a great source of vitamins A and B-complex.
  • It provides the body with minerals such as chromium, iron, zinc, and calcium.
  • It helps control diarrhea when added to steamed rice, prevents nausea, stops vomiting, cures indigestion, relieves flatulence, and also controls womb haemorrhage.
  • It decreases the pain associated with arthritis.
  • It helps to lower cholesterol and increase blood circulation.
  • It regulates blood sugar and helps decrease sugar cravings.
  • Compounds found in cinnamon can help prevent Alzheimers disease.
  • Its anti-clotting compounds help to prevent the occurrence of strokes and coronary artery disease.
  • It helps reduce inflammation in the body and should be used as a therapy by people with autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • It helps to stop yeast infections, candida, and menstrual cramps.
  • It has anti-cancer properties and trials are being conducted to verify whether it can reduce the growth of cancer cells.
  • It is a strong antiseptic and it helps reduce pain. Hence it is commonly used in dental treatments.
  • It helps to boost memory, so smell this spice or its essential oil if you want to stay more alert and focused.

Add cinnamon powder to your breakfast cereal, muesli, toast, pancake, dalia, oat or ragi porridge, smoothie, juice or even to your cup of tea or coffee. Pssst..It is also the magic ingredient for an excellent apple pie !!!

Stay blessed with good health .…always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza

Monday, 30 October 2017

It's Halloween... a good time for some healthy pumpkin

It’s Halloween…the first day of a three-day observance of Allhallowtide; the second day being All Saints Day followed by All Souls day. So before you plan your costume parties, go trick-or-treating, or decide how to spook your friends, you have to carve jack o’lanterns from huge orange pumpkins. What better day then, to write about this nutrient-dense vegetable/fruit which is a veritable power-house of vitamins and minerals….and not just a Halloween decoration, or a pie filling for Thanksgiving.

Health benefits of Pumpkin

  • They contain good amounts of potassium which stabilizes blood pressure. In fact the daily consumption of this vegetable will bring down both systolic as well as diastolic blood pressure in just 12 weeks.
  • Increased potassium intake is also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density, and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.
  • They contain vitamin C which is good for improving immunity and also for providing an immunity boost during times of illness.
  • Their fiber content helps maintain proper digestive health and prevents constipation. It also helps you feel fuller for a longer period of time and keeps hunger pangs at bay.
  • The iron in pumpkins has been shown to boost fertility in females.
  • They are a good source of Vitamin A (beta carotene) and antioxidants which could augment eye health and help you see better in dim light, decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration and prevent other types of degenerative damage to the eye.
  • The beta carotenes in pumpkin reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer like cancer of the colon and of the prostate gland.
  • Beta carotenes also protect against asthma and help prevent heart disease. They also help form and maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones.
  • The vitamin A in pumpkin (beta-carotene ) is essential during pregnancy and lactation for the proper synthesis of hormones.
  • Pumpkin seeds are chock-full of nutrients and make an interesting, satiating snack. They are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps the body make serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter hormone that helps you relax and sleep better.
  • The zinc in pumpkin seeds helps improve sexual health and testosterone levels in males.
  • Pumpkin seed oil protects prostate health.

Consuming just one cup of cooked pumpkin daily will provide over 100 percent of your daily requirement for vitamin A !! Apart from this you will also get 20 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, 10 percent for vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese, and at least 5 percent for thiamin, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.

So make a lip-smacking pumpkin curry or sabji, oven-roast cubes of pumpkin to make a hearty soup, add steamed and grated pumpkin to your rotis, theplas, parathas, raitas and salads, puree cooked pumpkin and combine it with herbs/ yoghurt to make an interesting dip or sandwich spread….you can even add it to a smoothie along with soymilk or coconut milk and some chia seeds. A pureed pumpkin face pack will provide an instant glow to your skin and fetch you many compliments.

Happy Halloween !!!

Stay blessed with good health …always !!!

Warm regards,

Charmaine D’Souza