Health Tips
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Gram flour has been used in recipes all over India since time immemorial. In fact, I can think of very few states that do not use this amazingly tasting and healthy flour in a variety of dishes, be it pakoras, kadhi, chillas or mithais. So many of us are also familiar with gram flour, or besan as it is more popularly called in India, as a beauty ingredient too. When used in the correct way, and for the appropriate skin-type, besan can work wonders to improve the quality of your skin.

Besan is a very versatile ingredient, and when mixed with certain other ingredients it can treat and take care of many skin issues. Not only can gram flour be used in masks for different skin types, it's also an important ingredient in many natural and homemade body ubtans that are great for polishing and nourishing the skin. Other benefits of besan include removing tan, removing patchiness on the skin and even removal of hair! Versatile and easily available in any grocery store, gram flour should definitely be one of the key ingredients on your beauty shelf!

Gram flour Hair Removal Ubtan
Firstly let me use this magical ingredient to make an ubtan for the body that helps reduce hair growth-

Things You Need:

Half a cup of besan
The juice of 2 lemons
1tsp turmeric
1tsp fresh cream
Water to make a smooth paste

Method:

Mix well and apply onto arms or legs.
When dried completely, rub in the opposite direction of hair growth. This is especially effective in young growing girls who have not entered puberty and should be done as a ritual 3 times a week.

Gram flour Mask- Dry Skin
If your skin is dull and dry and you want an instant wake-me-up mask, try this amazing mask and you will get hooked onto gram flour as an ingredient-

Things You Need:

3tsp besan
2tsp honey
1tsp fresh cream
A little milk to make a smooth paste

Method:

Mix all the ingredients and apply to clean skin and let dry.
When it has dried, dab with cold milk and scrub off to get smooth, soft and lighter skin in no time at all!

Gram flour Oily Skin Scrub
Most people who suffer from T-zone and oily skin problems do not know that gram flour when mixed with the right ingredients can not only reduce oily skin but also whiteheads and blackheads that can be a result of increased sebum production in the skin. Make the following scrub effectively to treat oiliness, blackheads and whiteheads-

Things You Need:

3tsp gram flour
2tsp red masoor lentil powder
The juice of half a lemon
Half a tsp of camphor powder

Method:

Mix with rose water to make a thick consistency scrub and apply onto clean skin.
When dry, dab with water and scrub off in a rotating manner very gently.
After removing this scrub, you can very gently squeeze out stubborn blackheads.

Gram flour Body Polishing Ubtan
The skin very often looks patchy, dry and dull and you yearn for a silky soft feel wanting to get rid of dead skin. This wonderful natural gram flour ubtan will help polish and nourish the body and leave it feeling like baby soft skin!

Things You Need:

Half a cup of gram flour
Half a cup of green moong lentil powder
Quarter cup of rice flour
Half a cup of orange peel powder
2tsb honey
2tsb fresh cream
2tsb almond oil
Full fat cream milk to mix to a smooth paste
8 drops essential oil of rose

Method:

Before bathing, apply this all over the body and let it become semi-dry.
Scrub off and rinse with water and the day you use this ubtan, do not use soap on your body.

Gram flour Neglected Area De-tanner Mask
I have always felt that we often neglect our feet, knees, elbows and hands and these areas are so important for a well-groomed look. Dark patchy areas like hands and feet look so ugly when left unattended. Travelling outdoors and driving can play havoc with the skin and a natural de-tanner with gram flour will work wonders! Apply the following-

Things You Need:

6tsb gram flour
4tsb yoghurt
Juice of one full lemon
2tsp almond paste

Method:

Mix well and apply to the hands, feet, elbows and knees. Let it dry and dab with milk when semi-dry and scrub off.

Most of us underestimate simple, easily available but highly effective ingredients. Use them wisely and to your advantage to see fabulous effects on your skin and I can assure you gram flour will be one of your favourites!

Red wine is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks around. Humans have been consuming the ruby red vino since time immemorial. The drink, which has been an instrument of leisure and relaxation for wine lovers, also comes with a number of health benefits. Some of the most well-known benefits of the red wine are credited to the presence of antioxidants in the drink. Apart from being great for the skin, red wine has also been known to be heart healthy and one of the healthiest drinks to partake in, while on a weight loss diet. This is because it has very less calories and the antioxidants and tannins present in the drink fight inflammation in the body. A number of scientific studies have vouched for the health and beauty benefits of that occasional glass of red wine. It is also used in a number of luxury facials and spa treatments around the world.

However, its most important and direct benefits are for the skin. Red wine is believed to be one of the best anti-ageing drinks, not only because it may reduce risks of heart diseases, strokes and reverse cell damage, but also because it may have long-lasting effects on your skin and hair health.

Here are some purported health benefits of red wine for your skin:

1. Helps fight skin ageing: Red wine may just help you age better. The presence of antioxidants like flavonoid, resveratrol and tannins fight skin ageing by restoring collagen and elastic fibres, reveals Anshul Jaibharat, a Delhi-based nutritionist.

2. Helps you catch some beauty sleep: Red wine may also help you sleep better, due to the presence of melatonin, the hormone which regulates our sleep cycles.

3. Improves complexion: Red wine may also help you get an even skin tone and regain that elusive glow on your face, which often gets lost due to excessive stress and pollution.

4. Fights acne: Red wine also has antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties and can help fight acne breakouts. Applying red wine topically on your face can clear pores and hence, prevent acne.

How To Do Red Wine Facial At Home:

A number of salons and spas across the world offer wine facial services and these often tend to be quite expensive. You can re-create the effects of these expensive facials at home, at a relatively lower cost. All you need is a bottle of a good quality red wine and some basic ingredients which are readily available in almost every kitchen. Also, the results of the facial depend on the quality of the wine used, as different types of red wine, have different types and levels of antioxidants. For example, Pinot Noirs have the highest levels of resveratrol. Meanwhile, Shiraz, Cabernets and Merlots are rich in the antioxidant procyanidin. Red wine can be used in all the steps of a facial; right from cleansing, toning, scrubbing and even for normal facial massages.

1. For Cleansing: Start out by cleaning your face with a clean, damp cloth. Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice with three or four tablespoons of red wine. Dip a clean cotton ball into this mixture and apply it all over your face. Gently massage the cleansing lotion on your face and after some time wash it off with a clean tissue paper.

2. For Scrubbing: You can use red wine to create an exfoliating paste as well. Mix the wine with a good natural exfoliator, including ground rice, coffee, sugar, etc. Mix a few tablespoons of red wine with your exfoliator and mix it to make a rough paste. Apply this paste in circular motions to remove dirt and dead skin cells.

3. For Massaging: Take some aloe vera gel or rose water, a few drops of any essential oil of your choice and a tablespoon of red wine. Mix all three ingredients properly and massage it on your face gently. Use your fingertips to massage the paste onto your face and make sure you focus on all areas of the face including forehead, chin and under eyes. This will help improve blood circulation on the face and will also let your whole face benefit from it. Massage your face for at least 10 minutes and then wipe the paste off.

4. For Red Wine Face Pack: Red wine face pack can be made using two tablespoons; each of red wine and yogurt and one tablespoon of honey. Mix all the ingredients, apply it on your face and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash it off with a damp cloth and notice the difference yourself.

So there you have it! You can use any of these steps independently or in combination, to improve the quality of your facial skin.

Not a lot of people are very familiar with black seeds, or kalonji. The unique-looking seeds have a distinctive flavour, which adds a delicious aroma to any food that they are added to. Black seeds are used in a number of Indian preparations, including curries, dals and even savoury snacks like samosas, kachoris etc. They are also added to some Indian flat-breads like kulchas and parathas to add flavour and taste to these breads. Black seeds are incredibly healthful as well and it is used and consumed for medicinal purposes as well. These flavourful black seeds are packed with antioxidants, and hence, have a number of beauty benefits as well.

Black seed oil (or nigella sativa oil) can be applied topically on your facial skin and hair and can also be consumed to fight a number of ailments. The oil is known to have cholesterol-fighting abilities and it may also help in regulating blood sugar and inducing weight loss. But it is very popular among Indians for combating a number of beauty problems as well. Here are some beauty benefits of using black seed oil that you must know about.

Kalonji Oil (Nigella Sativa Oil) For Gorgeous Skin And Hair
Here are some ways that kalonji oil is beneficial for your skin and hair:
1. Anti-Bacterial In Nature
The oil is anti-bacterial in nature and when applied on the skin may prevent acne by fighting off skin infections. A diluted solution of nigella sativa oil may be applied on the skin to reduce acne growth.

2. Packed With Antioxidants
The oil is said to neutralise free radicals in the body, which may improve the quality of your skin and hair. Kalonji oil is, therefore, effective in fighting inflammation, leaving the skin feeling young and healthy.

3. Fights Hair Fall
Kalonji oil is used to fight hair fall and even to induce hair re-growth, due to the presence of Nigellone and Thymoquinone in it. The latter is known to be an inflammation-fighting compound. It also nourishes the hair follicles and prevents the hair from falling off. The application of this oil is said to be a safe and natural way to re-grow hair, without medication.

4. Improve Hair And Scalp Health
Regular application of sativa oil may significantly improve scalp health by combating dandruff and scalp irritation. It is also known to prevent and even reverse graying of hair by preserving pigmentation in hair follicles.

5. Fights Skin Infections
Common skin infections, particularly psoriasis and eczema, can be resolved by applying the oil on your skin. This is because the oil has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and may also soothe irritation on the skin, leaving it soft and moisturised.

You can mix kalonji oil with a number of other natural beauty ingredients like coconut oil, honey, olive oil etc. and apply it on your skin and hair, in order to fight common beauty problems. Include kalonji oil in your beauty regime to reap its benefits today!

Here in full swing and so is the need to binge on summer fruit like mango. Mango is not only delicious but also packs a host of health benefiting properties. It can do wonders for your overall health, provided it's consumed in moderation. Other than its consumption, mango can be used on the face as well in the form of face packs. Mango pulp when applied onto the skin can treat a host of skin problems, one of which being tanned skin. With summer comes tanned skin. A lot of us look out for various beauty treatments to get rid of that summer tan. However, not many know that the same condition can be treated using natural stuff like mango. This humble summer fruit can be used to get rid of even the most stubborn tan. In order to get rid of that tanned skin, here are a few mango face packs that can come to great help. Read on to know how they can be applied.

1. Mango Pulp Face Pack

Having an uneven skin complexion could be a nightmare for many. In order to get rid of the same, mango pulp can prove to be quite beneficial. Mango has exfoliating properties that can help in keeping the skin well hydrated. Just extract mango pulp and rub it over your face for around 2-3 minutes. Allow it to stay for 5 minutes and rinse off with cold water. Doing so will help you bring back the glow back after a tan, further improving your skin complexion. Repeat the procedure thrice a week to see effective results.

2. Mango And Besan Face Pack

This particular face pack can effectively keep tanned skin at bay. To make this face pack, you need to have pulp of ripe mango, two teaspoons of besan, 1/2 teaspoon of honey and few ground almonds. Take a bowl and add mango pulp in it. Then add Bengal gram flour (besan), almonds and honey into the pulp. Mix the ingredients properly to get a smooth paste-like consistency. Gently rub over the face and allow it to stay for around 10-12 minutes. Once it is done, rinse off with water. Use this face pack twice and watch out for results.

3. Mango And Curd Face Pack

If you happen to have an oily skin, then this face pack is just apt for you. Apart from the goodness of mangoes, this face pack has curd and honey as well. These ingredients are readily available in the kitchen and can help you fight with pigmentation and tanning in one go. Extract pulp from a ripe mango and add 1 tablespoon of curd and 1 teaspoons of honey in it. Mix the ingredients well. However, make sure that the face pack is of thick consistency. Apply this pack on your face and wash it off after 10 minutes.

So, what are you waiting for? Make the most of this refreshing and healthy summer fruit by making the above mentioned face packs and say bye-bye to tanned skin.

Mosambi, also known as sweet lime, is one the most delicious and nutrient-dense citrus fruits. Apart from being immensely versatile in nature, sweet lime is a rich source of vital nutrients as well. Including it in daily diet can provide you with a lot of health benefiting properties. However, what makes this fruit more versatile is its ability to treat a lot of skin woes as well. Yes, you read that right! Mosambi can be easily used on face, either as a whole or as a face pack. It is an inexpensive way to treat skin problems. Here's how you can use mosambi to get a soft and supple skin that too in the comforts of your kitchen. Just get hold of few ingredients and get going.

Mosambi For Face Cleansing

Mosambi is an excellent source of vitamin C and the citric juice present in it acts as a great cleansing agent. To begin with, cut a mosambi in two halves and use one half to gently scrub your face in a circular motion. Continue doing this for 7-8 minutes and then wash off your face with water. Pat dry your skin and feel refreshed.

Mosambi Face Pack For Stubborn Tan

If you are suffering from summer tan and wish to get rid of the same, then this face pack will come to great use. All you need is ground mosambi peel, just a pinch of cosmetic turmeric, and 1 tbsp of natural honey. Mix the ingredients thoroughly till a fine paste-like consistency is attained. Apply on the face and allow it to stay for 5 minutes. Rinse off with water. Repeat this procedure twice a week and say bye-bye to stubborn tan.

Mosambi For Dark Circles And Puffy Eyes

Sweet lime is known to effectively reduce dark circles. If you happen to have puffed eyes, then apply this mixture on your under-eye skin and watch out for results. For this, you need is 1/2 tsp of sweet lime juice, 1 tsp of banana paste, 1 tsp of cucumber juice and 1 tsp of vitamin E gel. Add the four ingredients in a bowl and combine them to form a smooth paste. Refrigerate the bowl for 3-4 minutes and with the help of a cotton pad, apply this paste on your under-eye are. Let it sit for 10-12 minutes and after that massage for few seconds and rinse off with water.

So, make your skin feel rejuvenated by using this inexpensive home remedy.

Dr. Pallavi U Bhurse
Dr. Pallavi U Bhurse
BAMS, Ayurveda Family Physician, 5 yrs, Pune
Dr. Prashant S Mane
Dr. Prashant S Mane
BAMS, Critical Care Medicine Specialist, 10 yrs, Pune
Dr. Ashwinikumar Kale
Dr. Ashwinikumar Kale
MD - Homeopathy, Homeopath Gynaecologist, 10 yrs, Pune
Dr. Maya Golikere
Dr. Maya Golikere
BAMS, Panchakarma General Physician, 2 yrs, Pune
Dr. Mukund Ghodke
Dr. Mukund Ghodke
BAMS, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 10 yrs, Pune
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