Rose Home Remedies and Recipes

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It's rose season. And roses are not only fragrant and beautiful, they are an important Ayurvedic medicine with cooling, pitta soothing, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, haemostatic, nervine and antidepressant properties. Here is a selection of traditional Ayurvedic home remedies and recipes that you can make from your garden roses.

All roses that you intend to eat, smoke etc. must be free of pesticides. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries, or garden centers, unless labeled organic. In many cases these flowers have been treated with pesticides not approved for food crops. The tastiest roses are usually the most fragrant. Many of the newer varieties have been selected for appearance rather than fragrance. Choose old-fashioned fragrant roses for your remedies.

Herbal smoke: Combine rose petals, chamomile flowers, a few drops of ghee and a pinch of nutmeg as a herbal smoke to relive sinus congestion.

Ginger, rose, jaggery nasya (nasal drops): Mix 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger, 1 tsp. jaggery and 1 tsp. rose petals in boiling water and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and allow to cool to room temperature. Instill 5 drops into each nostril (on an empty stomach). Can be stored for a few days in a screw top glass jar in the refrigerator. The jaggery balances vata, rose balances pitta and ginger balances kapha, allowing for a healthy nasal cleanse for all body types.

Anti-wrinkle treatment: Combine rose petal powder with goat's milk and apply as a facial mask, rinsing off after ten minutes. Alternatively, mix a jar of rose petal powder and powdered goats milk (e.g. Meyenberg brand) for a facial mask that is available whenever you need it.

Acne: Combine equal parts of rosewater and sesame oil in a spritz bottle. Shake it well before using and spritz your face. This is easy to keep in your purse so the face can be spritzed frequently.

Nosebleeds: Take a teaspoon of rose petal jam twice daily to alleviate the tendency to nosebleeds.

Constipation: Drink warm milk at bedtime with a teaspoon of rose petal jam or rose syrup.

Menstrual cramps or heavy menstrual bleeding: try rose petal tea or rose and hibiscus tea.

Eye fatigue or 'computer eye': For tired, red or burning eyes, soak two organic cotton balls in rosewater. Lie down and relax, close your eyes and apply one cotton ball to each eye.

Insect bites: Rose water can be applied over insect bites such as mosquito bites to relieve itch and inflammation.

Acne scars: Apply a mixture of sandalwood, lemon juice and rose water.Rose ghee: Good remedy for eyes, skin, pitta.

Make ghee by the normal method. In a rectangular Pyrex dish, place a leyer of rose petals and pour hot ghee over it. When the ghee cools, place on another layer of rose petals and pour hot ghee on again. Repeat a couple more times, then cover and leave for 3-4 days to infuse. Now gently melt the mixture, strain out the roes petals and store in a screw top glass jar.

Laxative Rose Syrup

Source

  • 2 cups water
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 heaping cup red rose petals, rinsed, patted dry and air-dried until crisp.

Bring the water to a boil. Place the dried rose petals in a glass bowl, pour on the water, stir.

Allow to cool and then steep under refrigeration for 12 hours.

Next, strain out the rose petals and place the rose infusion in a pan. Add the sugar and clove. Stir as it comes to a foamng boil and thn simmer for ten minutes.

Allow to cool. It will naturally thicken.

Store in refrigerator in glass bottle for up to two months.

Can be used in milk at bedtime (1tsp) for a delicious laxative drink.

Rose petal jam

Method 1 (Ayurvedic Gulkand)

In a sterile screw top jar, alternately layer clean dry organic rose petals and organic turbinado sugar. Keep in a sunny windowsill for 3-4 weeks, stirring every other day. After this time, it should have a jam-like consistency. Now store in a cool, dark cupboard for another 3-4 weeks to cure.

Method 2 (Western)

1/2 pound pink or red edible rose petals
2 cups turbinado sugar, divided
4 1/2 cups water
Juice of 2 freshly-squeezed lemons (approximately 1/2 cup)

Clip and discard bitter white bases from the rose petals; rinse petals thoroughly and drain.

Place rose petals in a bowl and sprinkle enough sugar to coat each petal. Let set overnight.

In a saucepan over low heat, place remaining sugar, water, and lemon juice; stirring to dissolve sugar. Stir in rose petals and let simmer 20 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; continue boiling for approximately 5 minutes until mixture thickens and a spoonful dropped onto a cold plate jells and holds its shape. Remove from heat. After boiling, transfer the jam into hot sterilized jars. Fill them to within 1/4-inch of the top. Wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid, and tighten the ring around them. Cover, label, and store in a cool place. Makes 1 pound of jam.

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!

Home Remedies for Nasal and Sinus Congestion

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It's the season of colds and flus--all to often followed by chronic nasal and sinus congestion. Alandi student Katrina Debs offers some simple home remedies to help you breathe freely all winter long. To learn more about how to take care of yourself when congested, read here.

1.  Turmeric honey – Mix 1 tsp turmeric with 1 tsp honey and eat twice a day.

2.  Tulsi black pepper tea – Boil ¼ tsp black pepper in 1 ½ cup water for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1 tsp tulsi leaf, allowing it to steep for 10 minutes. Add 1 tsp honey and enjoy.

3.  Take ½ tsp Mahasudarshan churna (powder) in hot water in the morning before breakfast. You can purchase it from Alandi’s pharmacy.

4.  Ginger fenugreek CCF tea – Boil 1 tsp grated, fresh ginger with ½ tsp fenugreek seeds, ½ tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp fennel seeds and 1 tsp coriander seeds in 4 cups of water until most of the seeds fall to the bottom of the pan (20 minutes). Strain.

5.  Snort powdered herbs – Mix a tiny bit of equal parts calamus, tulsi and vidanga powders, and snort them. This loosens up stuck mucus.

7.  Clove facial paste – see recipe below.

Ayurvedic Facial Paste

This wonderful facial paste helps the ‘local agni’ (metabolic action) of the sinuses to burn up the mucus, without you having to blow it out your nose. It simply dries it up! You may love this remedy so much that you add it permanently to your winter daily routine. Clove is categorized in Ayurveda as a cooling pungent.

Ingredients

1-2 tsp fine ground clove powder

a tiny bit of hot water, enough to make a paste

Directions

In a tiny bowl or cup, mix the clove powder with enough water to make a thin paste. Being careful not to get it in your nose or eyes, spread the paste on your sinuses--above your eyebrows and on your cheeks under your eyes. Within minutes you will begin to feel a tingling and possibly a burning sensation (this only lasts a couple of minutes). Remember that this is the herbs doing their work—don’t wash it off! Rinse the paste off when dry, carefully avoiding your mucous membranes. This is potent enough that you can leave it on the counter to dry for tomorrow and just add hot water to reinvigorate it.

*Contraindicated for those with high pitta symptoms (headache in temples, burning sensation anywhere on the body, red face, loose stool).

*This is the most basic version of this recipe, but one can make it other ways. For instance, you can add 1 part cardamom, 1 part dried ginger, and ½ part cinnamon powder to 1 part clove.

This piece was written by a student of the Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder, Colorado. Learn more about studying ayurveda at our home school, or access your deep wellness with the support of our student practitioners in the Alandi Ayurveda Clinic.

Cold, Cough and Sore Throat Remedies

Cold, Cough and Sore Throat Remedies

Every winter, there is a common topic of conversation between people: “colds”. Somebody will say “I am just getting over a cold” or “everybody is sick at work”. Even though most of the time colds are not a serious condition, they will keep you out of work or school for several days. Colds can last 2 days to 2 weeks. Here are some remedies to help you to get over a cold as fast as possible in the most comfortable way.

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Home Remedies with Almonds

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Known in Sanskrit as vatāda and in Hindi as badam, almonds are a source of antioxidant flavonoids and phenolics and are revered in Ayurveda for their building, strengthening, nervine and intelligence promoting properties. Here are a few home remedies to make use of this great super-food.

While enjoying almonds, remember that we depend upon bees to pollinate them. So eat your almonds and speak out for honeybees!

Remedies

  1. Asthma, pertussis, bronchitis: mix 10 drops of ginger juice, 10 drops of lemon juice and 1teaspoon of almond oil; take this 1 or 2 times a day.

  2. Constipation: chew some almonds with rosewater.

  3. To support digestion: eat 2 teaspoons of almond oil daily for 10 days.

  4. Sprains and muscle strains: Gently cook a clove of garlic in almond oil. Strain the oil and apply on the painful area.

  5. Chest pain: combine 2 teaspoons of almond oil and 1 teaspoon of rose oil and rub gently on the chest. (Chest pain should be evaluated by a doctor).

  6. Anemia: soak 10 almonds in water for overnight. Remove the skin and grind them to a paste. Eat this paste daily for about 3 months.

  7. For anxiety: soak 10 almonds in water overnight. Remove the skin and grind them to paste. Add 1 teaspoon of nutmeg and a pinch of dry ginger powder and eat daily.

  8. For improved concentration, soak a handful of almonds in in water overnight, next morning peel and and eat on an empty stomach.

  9. Dark circles: massage the area under the eyes with almond oil daily for at least 2 weeks.

  10. Hair health: massage the scalp with almond oil.

  11. Eye health: Take equal parts of almond, fennel seeds and tubinado sugar and grind to a fine powder in spice grinder or Vitamix. Store the mixture in a screw top glass jar. Take two tablespoons each night with a cup of warm milk, spiced with cardamom.

  12. Ojas Drink: Used for low ojas, pregnancy, low libido, debility and premature ejaculation. See recipes below.

Ojas Almond Restorative Drink

Serves 1, Sattvic, V-P-K+

Ingredients

  • 10 raw almonds

  • 1 cup pure water

  • 1 cup milk (unhomogenized if possible) (milk is highly rejuvenative when digested)

  • 1 Tablespoon organic rose petals (optional - rejuvenative)

  • 1 tsp ghee (rejuvenative)

  • 1/32 tsp saffron (increases digestion & rejuvenative)

  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom (increases digestion)

  • pinch of black pepper (helps control the K)

  • ½ tsp of sweetener (increases lactose digestion)

Directions

  1. Soak almonds and water together overnight

  2. In the morning, drain off the water and rub the skins off the almonds.

  3. Bring the milk to a boil

  4. Pour the milk in the blender with the peeled almonds

  5. Add rose petals, ghee, saffron, cardamom, black pepper, and sweetener

  6. Blend until smooth.

  7. Drink 3-4 times a week as directed. Best done after Pancha Karma as part of rejuvenation.

  8. Watch if any signs of excess mucous/kapha, consult if so.

Non Dairy Almond Ojas Drink

Ingredients

  • 10 raw almonds

  • 2 cups pure water

  • 20 raisins

  • 1 Tablespoon organic rose petals (optional - rejuvenative)

  • 1 tsp ghee (rejuvenative)

  • 1/32 tsp saffron (increases digestion & rejuvenative)

  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom (increases digestion)

  • pinch of black pepper (helps control the K)

Directions

  1. Soak almonds in 1 cup of water overnight, and soak raisins in 1 cup of water either overnight or for several hours

  2. In the morning, drain off the almond water and rub the skins off the almonds

  3. In a blender, add the raisins AND their soaking water with the drained and peeled almonds

  4. Add rose petals, ghee, saffron, cardamom, black pepper

  5. Blend until smooth

  6. Drink 3-4 times a week as directed. Best done after Pancha Karma as part of rejuvenation.

  7. Watch if any signs of excess mucus/kapha, consult if so.

For more nurturing and rejuvenating almond recipes see: Almond Pudding, Almond and Rice Dessert, Soma Horchata.

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!

Home Remedies for Sun Exposure

 Photo by Sadananda

Photo by Sadananda

According to Ayurveda, sunbathing is good for health. However, it is best to bathe in the morning before 10 a.m. to get the best benefit from the sun's rays. If you must go out in the sun later than this, it is traditional to apply some coconut oil to your skin. You can also make your own medicated sun oil. Use 4 tablespoons each of Sandalwood, Manjista, neem and Shatavari. Add 4 cups of water and cook the water down to a cup. Add a cup of coconut oil and slowly cook until all the water has evaporated.

Keep your head covered and be especially careful if you have a bald spot. If you get burned, cucumber is a great remedy. Blend the cucumber and apply the pulp to the burned area. The cool astringency of cucumber will heal all but the worst burns. Aloe Vera is another well known burn remedy that comes from Ayurvedic tradition. For sun-damaged skin, you can make a medicated ghee (vegans can use coconut oil). Use 4 tablespoons each of sandalwood, manjista, neem and turmeric. Add 4 cups of water and cook the water down to a cup. Add a cup of ghee and slowly cook until all the water has evaporated. This medicated ghee can be applied to sun-damaged skin. If the damage does not clear up, see a dermatologist.

The following home remedies are also great for mild sunstroke, also known as "a touch of sun".

Drink plenty of Rehydration Tea. Recipe: 1 quart of filtered or spring water, 1/4 cup Mint, 1/6 cup Gotu Kola/ Brahmi, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 small squeeze lime.

Take 2 tablespoons of Aloe Vera gel three times daily.

Apply sandalwood oil to the temples and navel.

If you have a headache, lie down in a room with the shades drawn and place a cool cloth on your forehead.

Prevention is better than cure. Wear a straw hat, drink plenty of room temperature water and cool mint tea. If you must do physical labor on hot days, try to start early and take a long lunch break.

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!

Home remedies for bites and stings

Brown Recluse Bites

As soon as you get bitten, apply a paste of clay and turmeric to the bite. Although yellow Ganges mud is the traditional remedy, Bentonite clay is also effective. Ordinary turmeric powder from the Indian grocery or supermarket is better than nothing, but has been stripped of many of its curcumins (active ingredients). Either use organic turmeric powder from your local natural foods store, or buy whole dried turmeric from the Indian grocery store and powder it with a mortar and pestle. Better still, use grated or pulped fresh turmeric root, available at Whole Foods or at good Indian grocery stores. Apply the poultice twice a day until your bite is completely healed. Turmeric will stain your skin yellow, but in a few days it will wear off.

What to do if you don't start the remedy right away:

In this case, your bite may have become severe, with swelling or ulceration. If any of your skin looks black, seek medical help. Necrosis (tissue death) can result from these bites, or a MRSA staph infection can be mistaken for a spider bite. If no blackening or ulcerationhas developed, apply the paste as above two or three times daily. Also drink turmeric tea made from 2 tsp. of grated fresh turmeric per cup of water or 1 tsp. organic or freshly grated turmeric powder per cup. Drink this tea three times daily. A patient of mine juiced fresh turmeric and drank the juice three times daily, using a straw to avoid staining his teeth yellow. You should see a steady improvement every time you apply the poultice. If your bite continues to get worse, or stays the same, without improving, go to the hospital. CAUTION!! If you are pregnant, DO NOT drink turmeric tea.

Bee stings

The above selfcare remedy works well with bee stings. Be sure to drink the turmeric tea as well as using the poultice.

Wasp and hornet stings

I have used this remedy successfully for a terrible hornet sting. Again, it is important to drink the tea as well as apply the poultice, if you have a severe sting.

Ant Bite

You can use the same poultice effectively on ant bites. If you have no clay available, a simple paste of turmeric and water will really help the pain, redness and swelling.

Black Widow Spider Bite

If you apply the clay and turmeric poultice immediately after you are bitten by the spider, it will draw out some of the poison, causing you to have a less severe systemic reaction to the bite. I have been bitten, and had the experience!

ALWAYS keep some medicinal turmeric on hand, both at home and in your backpacking First Aid kit.

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

Enliven your holistic health! Visit Alakananda Ma in Alandi Ashram’s ayurvedic clinic to support the overall rejuvenation of your body, mind, and spirit. In-person and virtual appointments available. Book now!

Peppermint Home Remedies

Peppermint Home Remedies

Peppermint was a favourite home remedy when I was a child in Britain, even though we were unaware of its Ayurvedic properties. My siblings and I all suffered from motion sickness, for which the remedy of choice was sucking on Polo Mints. And our school nurse dispensed peppermint water for everything from stomachaches to headaches to fainting fits to menstrual cramps—and it usually worked! Here are some Ayurvedic peppermint home remedies. 

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