TwitterFacebookGoogle PlusLinkedInRSS FeedEmail

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Building Immune India , Building Strong India

The topic of Dabur Chyawanprash blogging contest-  ' Building Immune India ' is so pertinent and necessary in today's context. Our fathers and forefathers brought us up as close to the nature as possible; when the air was much cleaner , the water was more potable and the environment was much healthier. They handed us a future that looked rosy , full of material comforts and with immense possibilities.  In the mad rush of growth,  fueled by  industrialization , urbanization and rampant use of machines we have contaminated our surroundings to such an extent that neither the present is healthier nor the future looks any better. In this scenario the concern is how do we ensure that our children grow in a safe and robust environment that helps them develop a strong foundation and a body that is build on a strong immune system.

So first let's understand is simple terms what immunity is. Definition from Wikipedia tells me that "In biology, immunity is the state of having sufficient biological defences to avoid infectiondisease, or other unwanted biological invasion. It is the capability of the body to resist harmful microbes from entering it. Immunity involves both specific and non-specific components. The non-specific components act either as barriers or as eliminators of wide range of pathogens irrespective of antigenic specificity. Other components of the immune system adapt themselves to each new disease encountered and are able to generate pathogen-specific immunity."

From my basic knowledge of biology and human body i know a fact that people are born with some inherent immunity and rest is acquired naturally or artificially. So when the defense can be build against the ailments , germs, infections and  allergies we have a task cut out for our children. What can we as parents do to make them stronger and prepare their bodies to fight these external malicious agents / antibodies ??

I can broadly divide the areas of concentration in the following:

1. Rich Nourishment -  This will involve intake of vegetables , fruits , whole grains that are good source of vitamins , minerals , protein , fiber , carbohydrates and antioxidants. Kids have to eat in small and frequent portions a diet that balances intake of the above mentioned components. Milk Products , Lean meat , Poultry Products , Cereals , Nuts , Fresh fruits and Vegetables are good source of rich nourishment. What is important is everything that is consumed fresh has to be thoroughly washed to eliminate pesticides and chemicals( Read Times of India article mentioned below). There are plenty of health supplements like Chyawanprash , Honey , Horlicks , Bournvita etc available in the market that also aid in growth of children and improving immunity in them.

From the website of Dabur i have gathered this information :

Dabur Chyawanprash has a number of herbs like – Amla known to be one of the best antioxidants, Giloy (Guduchi) known to have immuno-modulatory properties and has many other natural ingredients which helps to boost immunity. Dabur Chyawanprash increases NK cells (Natural Killer Cells) which are an essential part of our body’s immune system and fights germs, bacteria and infections by 3 times hence increasing our immunity by 3 times. Thus Dabur Chyawanprash helps us in fighting against germs, viruses and helps protect against infections, making us free to take on the outdoors, unhygienic surroundings, weather changes, pollution etc.

TOI Article on Pesticides in Vegetables

Plates loaded with pesticides: Survey shows fruit, vegetables are high on chemical content - Report published in Times of India on Nov 8th , 2013

2. Proper & Disciplined Diet -  Not only a balanced diet is important, it is to be ensured that children eat healthy meals at proper intervals and avoid fast foods , aerated drinks and foods laced with preservatives. Sugars and artificial sweeteners should be strictly avoided as they can reduce the  immunity fighting ability of white cells.

3. Physical activity and Exercises- In today's times kids are spending more and more time indoors watching television , surfing internet , playing video games etc. , moreover the stress on studies has also grown manifolds. Lack of physical activity is hampering their growth and again reducing the fighting ability of their white blood cells. Children have to be not only encouraged for outdoor activities but also accompanied frequently for games , picnics , morning walks and school events. Research shows that obese kids are more prone to illness and infections as obesity depresses the production of antibodies.

4. Awareness of the surroundings -  Fighting germs present in the external surroundings needs awareness about them. Healthy habits like washing hands with soap before and after meals, after coming from outside, after handling pets ,while sneezing and coughing  and in general observing hygiene and cleanliness helps to reduce contact with germs that could otherwise cause infections and ailments. The waste bins , toilets , kitchen slabs , mobile phones, laptop/ desktop keyboards have germs all around them. By being aware of the fact that many a household items are good breeding grounds for germs we can keep them clean and also inform and educate our kids about them. Healthy habits and knowledge of the surroundings go a long way in securing sound health and building a very strong immune system.

5. Regular health check ups and understanding of areas for improvement -  Visits to doctors should be kept at minimum unless and until it is strictly warranted . In spite of that kids should undergo regular health check ups and these could include oral and dental health , physical examination , growth measurements , vaccinations & immunizations , eye sight ,hearing and allergies etc.
If there are areas that need improvement and focused care , those should be discussed with the doctor and corrective measures to be taken.

This post is my entry for the Dabur Chyawanprash blogging contest ' Building Immune India ' hosted on Indiblogger Website

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Traditional Knowledge - Natural Growth for Children

I am writing this post for the sake of my one and a half year old son who is taking his first steps in life. Be it learning to walk, mumbling few words, developing tastes, doing naughty acts or being playful, he is the center of all our attention. I have realized that in this early stage of my kid’s growth and development there are many external factors that have a great impact and I will touch upon them as I move ahead. To write this post I did some research on internet, read few research papers and tried understanding our parenting methodology in the light of the new information that I collected.

Child’s Growth and Development 

Right from the infant stage to the early years of life the kid undergoes rapid changes and understanding child development is very important. These changes can be broadly classified in physical, cognitive, and emotional development stages. Good nutrition and healthy habits have a long standing effect on all the above stages of a child’s development be it overall health, brain development, growth, muscle mass, analytical thinking, socializing and their capacity to adapt to change. Also learning basic concepts, coordination, acquiring reading and writing skills, balance, agility, learning to express themselves creatively and be socially adaptive are also some gains of good health. Good nutrition is also critical in avoiding and surviving childhood diseases.

We all want to provide the best for our children and to do so we need to be aware of the contents of the products that we use daily on our children. Not being aware of toxic chemicals used in synthetic products can be severely dangerous for children as they are much more vulnerable to these chemicals than adults are. Their immune systems are not fully developed and their bodies can’t fight the toxic chemicals as good as adults . We can, however, reduce our exposure by becoming knowledgeable and making educated, informed decisions for our children and shopping more consciously.

Natural versus Synthetic 

Natural chemicals are produced by nature without any human intervention. Synthetic chemicals are made by humans through industry processes and these chemical structures may or may not be found in nature. Synthetic chemicals can be made from natural product and they will also claim to serve the same purpose. To illustrate Vitamin C can be naturally obtained from orange in the form of ascorbic acid whereas same ascorbic acid can be made from Glucose. Another example could be alcohol derived from natural fermentation whereas artificially this can be prepared from ethane and steam.

Ayurveda follows Nature’s way

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit term, made up of the words “ayus” and “veda.” “Ayus” means life and “Veda” means knowledge or science. The term “ayurveda” thus means ‘the knowledge of life’ or ‘the science of life’. Ayurveda can strengthen the immune system and support the health of children of all ages in a safe and holistic manner using the efficacy of natural remedies. Ayurveda with its use of medicinal herbs and spices offers effective health care and disease prevention for children through diet and lifestyle. Some of the means are:

Oil massage plays an important role in baby’s growth. Massage with oils of herbs like Country Mallow (Bala) and Sesame (Tila) can protect baby’s skin against topical infections, open the pores of the skin, increase circulation, relax muscles, and aide the movement of lymph throughout the body. For e.g. Dabur Lal Tail is an Ayurvedic Baby massage oil that helps in strengthening baby's bones and muscles and facilitates better overall physical growth of babies.
Herbal solutions in Ayurveda aid mental development of a child enhance a child’s concentration ability and intelligence. Health supplements like Dabur Chyavanaprasha(we use it), which contains Amla, Ashwagandha, Pippali, Guduchi,  Kesar, Karkatsringi and Satavari Bala / Vidarikand are indeed beneficial in improving memory and learning abilities.
Ayurvedic medicines with a diverse range of products for fever, cough, cold, abdominal pain etc. contains therapeutic ingredients that very effectively help in combating illness internally in children.

Home Remedies for Common Illness that we have used at home for our kid

Abdominal Pain

Warm Heeng (Asafoetida) rubbed over navel region.
A drink of the powder of jeera (cumin) and rock salt dissolved in water.

Cough & Common Cold

Juice of tulsi leaves and ginger given two to three times with honey.


A tea spoon of ghee mixed in a cup of warm milk given at bed time.

During Teething

Rubbing of honey on the swollen gums facilitates teething.

There is a sea of variety and usefulness of Ayurvedic herbs and home remedies for children. Most herbs are safe and do not have any side effects when used skillfully and in right doses. Promoting healthy habits and strengthening immunity in early childhood can set the foundation for growth and development, not only in short term but also serves good for a entire lifetime.

This post is for the blogging contest ' Traditional Knowledge - Natural Growth' by Dabur. More details on Dabur's Ayurvedic products can be accessed through this link .

Ayurvedic Health Supplements at home 

Ayurvedic Oils at Home
Ayurvedic Medicines at home

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Happy Deepawali 2013

The entire year we walked side by side 
Supporting and matching each other's stride 
The highs and the lows all came
Our understanding of each other still remained the same

Every new day of this year has made me strong
I fought my battles with vigour and aplomb
This would have not been possible and achieved
If your affection and love i had not received.

Let me thank you in simple and honest words
No other occasion will suit it best
A festival of lights and a new year close by
Warm wishes to reciprocate my warmth and personify 

Happy Deepawali to you and your family
To brighten your days and make them more lively
May Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha bless you
With What life has best to offer,all bright and new

May success and good fortune knock at your door
Every endeavor is spectacular that you set to implore
Happiness and content as well come all along
Good health and longevity stays with you yearlong !!

Happy Deepawali 2013
Happy Deepawali 2013