Sleep on left side, drink water from copper vessel: How to fix indigestion naturally

Swaryog recommends having meals, including spicy or warm food, with activation of right nostril. It helps in controlling excessive body acids generated due to food, thus helping in digestion process

Physical activity helps keep your digestive system working smoothly. But is important to take a nap after every meal to soothe your digestive system. While taking the nap, you should first sleep on the left side for some time and relax for 10 minutes before rushing for work, says an expert.

Pramod Kulkarni, swaryog expert and founder of SwarYog Foundation, Mumbai, lists some tips: Try these for your better digestive health.

1 Swaryog recommends having meals, including spicy or warm food, with activation of right nostril. It helps in controlling excessive body acids generated due to food, thus helping in digestion process.

2 Having sweet or cold or frozen food dishes during activation of left nostril helps in harmonising the body fluids without disrupting the body temperature.indigestion

3 It is recommended to sleep on the left side at night because the longer the right nostril is active during this period, the better for digestion and, hence, for overall health.

 Sit in Padmasana pose for 10 minutes in morning. Concentrate on the Swadisthan Chakra — around navel. Do deep breathing through right nostril for 15 times. It helps in streamlining the digestion flow.

5 Drinking water from copper vessel is recommended as it helps your body maintain its temperature according to outside weather, thus, helping one to feel rejuvenated and energetic throughout the day.

6 One can practise this application daily after having lunch and dinner: Lie down straight on plain surface and breathe in normal breathing pattern for eight times, then turn around to right side and breathe for 16 times and then to left side and breathe for 32 times.

This application helps to make your digestive system stronger and spread out the food particles evenly throughout the system.


Healing Water: 7 Ayurvedic Herbal Waters You Must Have

In the age of modern medicines, where one would run to take a pill to cure even minor health ailments, it’s nice to stop and think if our grandmothers would have done the same thing. Perhaps not. But those days were different, people were naturally healthier and had a stronger immunity. Maybe they did something differently?

Ayurvedic herb infused water is a common ancient practice that has been used for years by naturopaths to heal ailing bodies. Due to the easy availability of herbs and spices, these healing waters can be conveniently made at home. The idea to prepare healing water by infusing ayurvedic herbs and spices is to extract important oils of the plant which have several healing properties.  Water is considered as a powerful therapeutic tool in Ayurveda and soaking certain herbs or spices can enhance its healing power. Here are seven varieties of healing waters with different health benefits as suggested by Shilpa Arora, Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner.

1. Fenugreek (Methi) Water

Slightly bitter and yellow-colored fenugreek or methi seed, which is a commonly used spice for culinary purposes in an Indian household, is a storehouse of medicinal properties and can cure many health problems. Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, soaked methi in water overnight imparts it pale yellow hue. According to Shilpa, “Methi water is very helpful in the prevention of water retention in the body. It also prevents bloating.” The amino acid compounds present in methi seeds help in promoting insulin secretion in the pancreas. This helps in controlling blood sugar levels for diabetics.

fenugreek seeds

Methi seeds are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties


2. Herbal Wood Glass (Vijaysar) Water

Also known as Indian Kino or Malabar Kino, Vijaysar is the most popular for controlling diabetes. It is widely used in Ayurveda for to cure various ailments like obesity, diarrhea, and eczema. It has compounds like Epicatechin, Marsupsin and Pterosupin which help in reducing blood glucose in diabetics. It also regenerates beta-cells of pancreas to produce insulin naturally. Soak vijaysar in water overnight and drink the brownish medicated water early morning to get the best results.

3. Tulsi Water

Apart from being considered holy, Tulsi is revered for its medicinal properties. The leaves when soaked in water do wonders for the skin and heal many health problems. Tulsi has antibiotic, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that help prevent fever and cold and also keep your skin and hair healthy. Tulsi water acts as great diuretic and also detoxifies for kidneys. It helps reduce uric acid levels in the blood further cleansing the kidneys.

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Tulsi helps reduce uric acid in the body


4. Pathimugam (Indian red wood) Water

Pathimugam or Indian red wood soaked in water is a popular thirst quencher  in Kerala. The bark of the tree is used to attain medicinal benefits. The healing water that turns light pink in color is used as a cure for kidney disorders, skin diseases, cholesterol, blood purification and diabetes. All you need to do is to boil the water with pathimugam for 2-3 minutes, strain the water and consume it with your meals or anytime of the day.

5. Cinnamon Water

Cinnamon or dalchini is commonly found in our Indian kitchen, but we rarely talk about its health benefits. True to its name, it tastes sweet and has a very prominent aroma. It is a popular spice made from the inner bark of the tree called cinnamomum. It is loaded with antioxidants and protects the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Its anti-inflammatory properties help protect the body from infections and tissue damage. Cinnamon water is responsible for reducing blood sugar levels by slowing down the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract after a meal. The antimicrobial properties present in cinnamon may also prevent tooth decay and bad breath.

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Cinnamon water is responsible for reducing blood sugar levels

6. Coriander Seed Water

Cilantro or dhania is widely used to add flavor to various dishes. Coriander seeds contain plant derived chemical compounds that are high in antioxidants and health promoting properties. According to Shilpa Arora, coriander seed water helps in curing water retention and acidity due to its cooling properties. Drinking coriander seed water also helps in curing mouth ulcers due to the presence of citronelol which acts as an antiseptic. Soak the seeds in warm water for 10 minutes, strain it and drink it up.

coriander seeds

Coriander seed water helps in reducing water retention


7. Triphala Water

Triphala is known for curing acute constipation due to its laxative properties. Commonly available in powdered form, triphala is mixed in water and consumed to regulate your bowel movements and cure constipation. Triphala is made with three fruits namely Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki. These three fruits are dried, powdered and mixed  together to make one powerful condiment called triphala. It acts as a detoxifier and makes your skin glow naturally. The presence of antioxidants helps in boosting immunity against cold, flu and other diseases. You can add triphala powder to warm water and consume it regularly.

triphala for home remedies

Triphala acts as a detoxifier and helps you get a glowy skin

These healing waters must be consumed according to the needs of your body. Therefore it is advisable for the patients with diabetes or other ailments to refer to your doctor before kick starting a new routine.


Soothe sunburns with cold presses, plenty of water and loose clothing

Excessive exposure to sun can leave you with bad sunburns. But there is help around. Aloe Vera paste, consuming plenty of water to wearing loose clothing are some ways to deal with them.


Choose an aloe vera moisturiser or soy cream to deal with sunburns.

Even if you take precautions, excessive exposure to sun can leave your skin with a burn, a cool shower or use of an Aloe Vera-based moisturiser can give a soothing effect, say experts.Vivek Mehta, dermatologist at Pulastya and Cadle Skin Laser Clinic, and Rohit Batra, dermatologist at Dermaworld Skin and Hair Clinic, have some tips:

1) Soothe your skin with cool showers and cold presses if you feel the stinging sensation on the affected area. Apply a soothing moisturiser on your skin to help trap moisture on your skin to keep it soft and supple. This will avoid the dryness that might cause itching.

2) Choose an aloe vera moisturiser or soy cream which helps soothe the sun-burnt skin. You can also apply hydrocortisone cream which is easily available in the market. Avoid ‘caine’ products such as benzocaine as they can irritate the skin or may cause allergy.

3) Count on aspirin or ibuprofen as it helps reduce swelling, redness and discomfort caused by sunburn. However, do not buy these without consulting your dermatologist.

Have plenty of water to soothe the skin.

4) Consume plenty of water as a sunburn draws fluid to the skin’s surface. With water you are safeguarding your body against dehydration.

5) In case you notice blisters on your skin after sunburn, it means that you have second-degree sunburn. However, there’s no need to worry as it is a natural process and blisters protect the skin underneath from infection during the healing process. You should not pop or pick blisters.

6) Make sure that you wear loose clothing that covers your hands, feet and face, and especially the sunburnt area. Avoid fabrics like nylon, polyester and go for soft cotton and other breathable fabrics.


Himalayan blunder: Pakistan’s Indus Cascade plan will reduce food and water security

The five dams forming the North Indus River Cascade that China has just promised to finance and build in Pakistan – including Pakistan-administered Kashmir – has the potential to generate over 22,000 megawatts in an energy-starved country. But the dams will also stop the flow of silt, which is the lifeline of agriculture downstream. In non-monsoon months from October to June, they may also reduce the flow of water down the Indus to Pakistan’s Punjab and Sindh provinces.

Climate change is making water flow along rivers more erratic – especially along rivers like the Indus that flow down from the Himalayas. Pakistan’s entire water supply for agriculture, factories and homes is dependent on rivers in the Indus basin. Water availability is already below the 1,000 cubic metres per person per year level at which a country is described as water-scarce, according to the global norm followed by most United Nations agencies.

In this situation, it is critical to look at the food, energy and water together, as a nexus. Instead, the planners of Pakistan appear to be looking at energy alone.Himalayan blunder: Pakistan’s Indus Cascade plan will reduce food and water security


China is providing Pakistan with $50 billion for the Indus Cascade. A memorandum of understanding was signed to this effect during the recent Belt and Road Initiative – previously known as One Belt, One Road – conference in Beijing. China’s National Energy Administration will oversee the funding. China Three Gorges Corporation – which runs the world’s largest hydroelectricity project at the Three Gorges Dam – is the frontrunner to build the five dams that will form the cascade.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by Pakistan’s Water and Power Secretary Yousuf Naseem Khokhar and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong in the presence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

This is in addition to the $57 billion China is providing to Pakistan for a series of infrastructure projects along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a part of the Belt and Road Initiative. The infrastructure projects include the building of coal-fired power stations and the port at Gwadar on the Arabian Sea, at the end of the corridor.

The Indus Cascade

The cascade is planned all the way down the Indus from Gilgit-Baltistan to the existing Tarbela dam near Islamabad. It will effectively turn this huge transboundary river into a series of lakes in the last part of its journey through the Hindu Kush Himalayas to the plains of South Asia.

The uppermost of the five dams is being planned at Bunji near Skardu in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan, though both only control parts of it, with China also controlling some.

The 7,100-megawatt Bunji Hydropower Project has been described by Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority as a run-of-the-river project. But the same promotional video (for the entire cascade), which provides this description, also says this project will have a reservoir that will be spread along a 22-km stretch of the Indus and inundate a 12-km stretch of the road between Gilgit and Skardu – the two main towns of Gilgit-Baltistan. So, despite the description, this may not be an run-of-the-river project.

The next dam in the cascade is the big one – Diamer-Basha – with a planned live storage of 6.4 million acre feet of water and a hydropower generating potential of 4,500 megawatts. From Diamer-Basha, the projects run along the Karakoram Highway, which China built in the 1960s through Pakistan-administered Kashmir despite strenuous objections from India. The reservoir that will form behind the Diamer-Basha dam will submerge 104 km of the Karakoram Highway and displace about 30,000 people, according to the Water and Power Development Authority.

The Diamer-Basha dam is being promoted by the Water and Power Development Authority as a sediment trap and therefore good for downstream hydropower projects. But the same sediment – mainly silt – rejuvenates the soil downstream every year and has been the main reason why agriculture has been sustained in the Indus valley for millennia.

Building the Diamer-Basha dam is estimated to cost $15 billion. For years, Pakistan has been seeking the money from multilateral funding agencies, to no avail. Experts at the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have advised Pakistani planners to think of smaller dams instead. Now China has promised funding.

Just downstream of Diamer-Basha is the third dam in the cascade – the 4,320-megawatt Dasu Hydropower Project. This will have a reservoir that will stretch upstream for 74 km along the Indus, all the way to the Diamer-Basha dam, according to the Water and Power Development Authority. It will also submerge 52 km of the Karakoram Highway. Some of the peripheral work for this project has started, and people have already been displaced, with the Water and Power Development Authority seeking contracts for resettlement and providing free transport to resettlement sites.

And immediately downstream of that, the Water and Power Development Authority has planned the 2,200-megawatt Patan Hydropower Project, with a 35-km-long reservoir that goes up to the Dasu dam.

Once again, the fifth dam in the cascade is just a little downstream – the 4,000-megawatt Thakot Hydropower Project in which the plan is to divert the Indus waters through four headrace tunnels to generate electricity.

By the time the Indus emerges from the tunnels, it will be close to the existing dam at Tarbela, which has been in operation since 1976.

The plan, the effect

The electricity that will potentially be generated by the five new projects forming the Indus Cascade adds up to a little over 22,000 megawatts. Officials in Pakistan’s Ministry of Water and Power have been telling the domestic media that experts from the Chinese National Energy Administration conducted a feasibility study of the entire cascade this February and were satisfied about the feasibility of the whole project.

The officials say that now, after the signing of the memorandum of understanding, the Chinese experts will conduct a more detailed study for three months to finalise both financing and execution of the projects. In 2015, China Three Gorges Corporation had said it wanted to be part of a financing consortium with a $50-billion fund to build hydroelectric power projects in Pakistan.

The corporation may be the frontrunner to build the dams, but it is not the only competitor. After the memorandum of understanding was signed in Beijing, several Chinese power sector companies showed willingness to join the project. This will be the first large-scale private sector hydroelectricity project in Pakistan.

At the memorandum of understanding signing ceremony, Nawaz Sharif spoke glowingly of cooperation between the two governments to overcome Pakistan’s energy crisis. “Development of the North Indus Cascade is a major focus of my government and the construction of Diamer-Basha dam is the single most important initiative in this regard,” the prime minister reportedly said. He also said, “Water and food security are of paramount importance for Pakistan keeping in view the challenges posed by climate change.”

The Indus Cascade will reduce water and food security in Pakistan instead.

One proven effect of climate change is an intensification of the water cycle. In lay terms, it means fewer rainy or snowy days but more intense rainfall or snowfall in those days. Pakistan is already suffering the effects. For the first nine years in this century, the Indus failed to reach the sea. Then there was such a cloudburst in 2010 that a fifth of the country was flooded. The floods also brought down, and continue to bring down, huge sediment loads that reduce the working lives of dams. To build more large dams in this situation appears dangerously short-sighted.

A side effect of the cascade project will be the need to rebuild large parts of the Karakoram Highway. Building a road in the mountains always has a strong negative effect on the environment and increases the risk of landslides manifold.

Raising tensions

India has already boycotted the Belt and Road Initiative conference because many of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects are in Kashmir. Addition of a project as big as the Indus Cascade to that list is likely to lead to more protests from India and to raise tension in the region.

This article first appeared on The Third Pole.

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