Banana Plant Uses- Nature’s Gift For Your Health

Banana or Plantain is one of the most savored fruits, and though they come in various shapes, sizes and varieties, two of these varieties are widely used:

Musa sapientum – These fruits are small and raw ones are used as vegetable.

Musa paradisica – These fruits are large and eaten when ripe.


In Ayurveda banana is referred by various synonyms like Kadali, Vaarnaa, Mocha, Ambusara, Anshumatiphala. Various varieties are also described – Manikya kadali, Martyak kadali, Amrita kadali, Champak kadali, etc.



Mythological Significance

It is considered as one of the sacred trees and symbolizes Lord Vishnu. The fruit is offered to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi for happiness in family and married life. The Banana leaves symbolize growth and regeneration and in auspicious ceremonies leaves are tied to the pillars and food is served on them.



Banana Plant Uses

According to Ayurveda, all the parts of the Banana tree have healing properties. The banana tree uses are listed as follows:


Flower Of Banana Plant

It is sweet and astringent in taste. The properties are unctousness, heavy and cold. It alleviates Vata, Pitta, blood disorders and emaciation.

  • Juice of flowers with curd helps in meno metrorrhagia (heavy bleeding during menstruation).

  • Flowers are taken as infusion for painful menses.

  • Flowers of Banana and Albizia lebbek (Shirish) mixed with Pippali (long pepper) are pounded with rice water is helpful in Asthma.




Stem Of Banana Plant

  • Juice of stem alleviates Vata disorders and thirst.

  • Juice of stem helps in flushing out kidney stones.

  • Sherbet (syrup) is given in cough.

  • Inner tender stem is eaten as a vegetable.



Leaves Of Banana Plant

  • Kshara (Alkali) prepared from ash of Banana leaves is mixed with flour and made into paste. Intake of this alleviates stomach disorders.

  • Alkali mixed with turmeric is helpful in skin disorders.

  • Leaves are wrapped on wounds for proper healing.


Corm Of Banana Plant

  • It is sweet in taste and cold in property.

  • It increases digestive fire, taste and strength.

  • It alleviates acidity and burning sensation.


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Further reading :


2014 in review

The 2014 annual report for DR BALJOT BHARAJ’S blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it .

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I am really thankful and grateful to everyone who visited my blog and found something useful about health through Ayurveda

These are some of the responses and kind words which are so inspiring that it keeps me motivated to share the virtues of Ayurveda . I am humbled .

  • Thank you so much for posting, Dr Baljot Bharaj! If I ever come to India, I would love to visit your center and see how you serve women with the kayakalpa postnatal (and menopausal?) care.

  • Love this post! Thank you!! There is so much a new mom doesn’t know about breastfeeding, I’m scowering the internet myself to help my friends. I was blessed with it coming easy for me (AFTER we figured out how to latch). – but so many of my friends have struggled. And dried up their supply not knowing they were!

  • Congratulations for nice article and well compare with Ayurvedic reference.


  • Thanks for linking up with the Thirty-One:10 breastfeeding link-up! I LOVE the graphics here of What Moms Can Do and What Dads Can Do – perfect!

  • Very informative and useful . All the parts of Lotus has a medicinal value .

  • Didn’t know so many types of salt existed. Thanks for sharing!

  • One of my sisters gave birth recently, choosing to do it at home with the help of midwife and she was very pleased by the entire experience. During the pregnancy we searched the internet for info and your site was one of those we checked. We really appreciated the valuable information we found there about pregnancy, giving birth and caring for the baby so thank you for that . Keep up the good work.

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                 Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah I Sarve Santu Niramayah II  
                        (May All Be Happy I May All Be Healthy II)

Ayurvedic Management Of Dysmenorrhoea

         One of the major causes of absenteeism from work , decreasing efficiency and quality of life amongst women is Dysmenorrhoea , also called Menstrual cramps . The word Dysmenorrhoea is derived from Greek word : Dys – difficulty , Menorrhoea – monthly flow . Thus it is defined as pain associated with menstruation . It is the commonest gynecological disorder affecting women in reproductive age group .

      In Ayurveda , the diseases in women are described under ‘ Yonivyapad ’ where Yoni means genital organs and Vyapad means diseases . One of them having similarity with dysmenorrhoea is Udavartini Yonivyapad . The cause of painful menstruation is Vata . The pain is before onset of menses which is relieved with start of menses .


Classification of Dysmenorrhoea :

a)      Primary or Spasmodic :      It is the painful menstruation in the                                                                              absence of pelvic pathology . It is                                                                                  essentially a first day pain .

b)      Secondary or Congestive : It is the painful menstruation secondary to                                                                underlying organic disease of the pelvic                                                                      organs . Pain may continue throughout                                                                        flow.

Risk Factors :

a)      Menstrual Factors : Early menarche ; long and heavy menstrual                                                              cycles.

b)      Cigarette smoking

c)       Behaviourial & Psychological Factors :

  • Just before and during menstruation , most women are less efficient physically and more unstable emotionally – these factors lower the pain threshold .

  • Expectation of pain can be fostered by overanxious parents and by curtailment of normal physical activities during menses .

  • Unhappiness at home or work .

d)      Uterine hyperactivity and incoordinate muscle action of the uterus .

e)      Hormonal Imbalance : It has been observed that progesterone                                                                      induces high tone to the uterus .

f)       Prostaglandins : They increase the sensitivity of the nerve endings to                                              pain .


Sign & Symptoms :

     Primary Dysmenorrhoea :

  • Pain is experienced a few hours before and after the onset of menstruation and rarely lasts for longer than 12 hours .

  • It is colicky in type and causes her to double up .

  • Pain is felt in lower abdomen , inner and front aspects of the thighs .

  • Some low backache may be present .

  • During severe attack , woman looks drawn , pale and may sweat . Nausea , vomiting are common . There may be diarrhea and rectal and bladder tenesmus .

  • In  50 %  of cases the pain does not arise until 6 – 12 months after menarche .

    Secondary Dysmenorrhoea:

  • It usually develops after a phase of painless menstrual cycles and is seen at older age .

  • Pain is worst premenstrually and relieved during menses .

  • It is diffuse , dull ache in the pelvis often accompanied by backache .

  • Most common causes are Pelvic inflammatory disease ( PID ) ,                     endometriosis , IUCD etc .

Management :

a)      General Measures :

i)    Counselling : Explaining young girls regarding the condition and reassurance should be an essential component in the treatment plan . Girls should be taught to have a proper outlook on menstruation and health in general .

ii)    Improvement in nutritional status and dietary changes .

 b)      Physical Activity : It can be in the form of yoga , walk , exercise ,                                                           aerobics etc . The yogasanas which are helpful in                                                           dysmenorrhoea are pavanmuktasana ,                                                                         bhujangasana , paschimottanasana ,                                                                             katichakrasana , Pranayam etc .



 c)      Diet :

  • Do’s : whole grains – wheat , rice , oats , millets , quinoa ; fruits , green leafy vegetables , legumes , nuts , seeds – sesame , pumpkin , flax ;  spices –     ginger , garlic , cumin , turmeric , ajwain etc .

  • Dont’s : Cold , salty , sour , junk food , meats , processed food , soft drinks , alcohol.

 d)      Home Remedies :

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Post Natal Diet And Ayurveda

Post natal period is like a second birth for a woman . It is the period to replenish the vital elements lost during pregnancy and giving birth to the baby . Ayurveda emphasizes on regulated dietary regimen during this period to gain strength and pre-pregnancy state.

Diet : After delivery, intake of medicated rice gruel , fats with herbs ,                           decoctions for 3 – 7 days and from 7th – 12th day medicated meat                     soup along with light and congenial diet is advised.
postnatal diet
Dietary Regimen:

Panchakola (Pippali, Pippalimula, Chavya, Chitrak, Shunthi) with ghrita (clarified butter) or oil mainly sesamum oil , before meals according to the digestive capacity.

After digestion of Panchakola –

a) Rice gruel with ghee medicated with Panchakola


 Rice gruel made with decoction of drugs of Vidarigandhadi group (when ghee is contraindicated)


c) Rice gruel with milk is given for 3–7 days.

From 7th – 12th day:

a) Meat soup prepared  with Yava (barley), Kola (zizyphus), Kulatha (horse gram) is given with cooked rice.

 Soup of Yava (barley), Kola (zizyphus), Kulatha (horse gram) with light diet.

c) Kushmanda (pumpkin), Mulaka (radish), Ervaruka (cucumber) cooked with ghee is included in diet.

*  Drinking water should be boiled and cooled.

Significance Of Postnatal Diet:

The Postnatal diet balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It nourishes the tissues and improves the digestive fire. The benefits of dietary articles are given below:


Pippali, Pippalimula (Long Pepper) : It possesses anti inflammatory                                                                                       and potent immunomodulatory  effect  – specific and non – specific, shows anti bacterial activity. It is useful for the recovery of the relaxed organs soon after delivery. It acts on liver and spleen , increases  haemoglobin and appetite. It has mild laxative action . It enhances blood flow towards GI tract which results in absorption of active medicaments.

Chavya (Java Long Pepper) : It is useful in loss of appetite, colic, piles,                                                                    has mild laxative , diuretic , liver stimulant , blood cleansing and rejuvenative properties.

Chitrak (Leadwort) : 
It is useful in nervine weakness , oedema , liver &                                                   spleen disorder , appetizer , digestive , anthelmintic , febrifuge , causes uterine contractions , cures postpartum disorders.

Panchkola copy

Shunthi (Dry Ginger) : It is known to stimulate digestion . It has anti                                                           tumour , anti inflammatory , anti microbial property and is effective against both gram+ ve and gram– ve bacteria . Useful in nervine weakness , increases flow of urine thus decreased chances  of urinary tract infections.

Kola (Zizyphus) :
 It is a good source of calcium , phosphorus , Vitamin A                                         & C . It has anti oxidant , wound healing and anti inflammatory properties . Helpful in hypertension , fatigue and assists action of other herbs , given in indigestion and is mild laxative . It has a tranquillizing and sleep inducing effect.

Kulatha (Horse gram) : It is an excellent source of iron , molybdenum                                                           and manganese . It has antispasmodic activity and is used in uterine disorders , piles and  anemia.

Yava (Barley) :
 It is a good source of fiber . It contains copper,                                                          phosphorus , zinc  and  Vitamin E.

Mulaka (Radish) : It is an appetizer , diuretic , regulates metabolism ,                                                 stimulates liver.


Ervaruka (Cucumber) :
 It has 94% water content , keeps the body                                                                   hydrated , regulates blood pressure , aids in digestion , acts as a diuretic . It contains magnesium , potassium , silica , vitamin A , B , C and K . Vit K has antioxidant and osteotrophic activity (maintains bone health) .


Kushmand (Pumpkin) : It alleviates thirst , is laxative , acts like a                                                                     tranquilizer and brain tonic , has a vasoconstrictor effect i.e stops bleeding.

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Ayurveda And Gynecology

 A woman undergoes various physical and physiological changes during her reproductive period i.e from menarche ( onset of menstruation ) to menopause (Cessation of menstruation ) . Awareness and management of these changes are necessary for a woman to remain healthy.

Ayurveda stresses on the importance of health of woman , as she only , can procreate and thus lay the foundation of healthy society.

Gynecology is the study of female organs of reproduction and their diseases . In Ayurveda , these are studied in ‘Stri Roga Vigyan’.


Causes of Stri Roga ( Gynecological diseases ) are mainly

* Artava dosha ( Menstrual irregularities )

* Bija dosha ( Defect in Ovum / genetic mutations )

* Abnormal diet and habits

* Excessive coitus etc.

Gynecological diseases are described as ‘Yoni Vyapad’ which are 20 in number and cover most of the diseases prevalent in this era. Diseases and their management can be understood as under :

* Yoni Vyapad :       Pittaja ( Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) ,    Shleshmiki                     ( Trichomoniasis) ,    Raktayoni   ( Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding) ,         Arajska   ( Secondary Amenorrhoea) , Upapluta (Candidiasis) ,   Karnini            ( Cervical ectopy) , Vandhya ( Primary Amenorrhoea) , Putraghni ( Recurrent Pregnancy Loss) , Udavartini ( Dysmenorrhoea) , Phalini ( Cystocele) , Mahayoni (Prolapse) etc.

* Asrigdara / Artava Vyapad (Menstrual Irregularities)

Stana Roga ( Diseases of Breast)

* Arbuda & Granthi ( Tumours & Cysts) eg Uterine Fibroid , Follicular Cysts etc

* Vandhyatva ( Infertility)

* Rajonivritti ( Menopause) etc.

Management of Stree Roga ( Gynecological diseases) is by Panchkarma ( five methods of purification ) especially Uttar basti ; Oral medicines and Local application of medicine in the form of oil , decoction , paste etc as vaginal tampoons , douche , fumigation etc.

 The Ayurvedic treatment not only cures the pathology in reproductive organs but with holistic approach , treats the woman as a whole , thereby improving the general health also.


Ayurveda And Obstetrics

Ayurveda describes Prasuti Tantra (Obstetrics) as a comprehensive and scientific management of  Pre Pregnancy Care i.e  Garbhadhan Vidhi ; Antenatal (during pregnancy) i.e Garbhini Paricharya ; Parturition (labour) i.e Prasava Paricharya ; Postnatal Period (after delivery of baby) i.e Sutika Paricharya , for safe and happy motherhood and healthy child.

Obstetrics (Prasuti Tantra) in Ayurveda is as scientific as modern Obstetrics which is the study of child birth and its disorders. Ayurveda describes all aspects related to pregnancy ( normal , abnormal & its management) from pre conception to the care of new born child. These are summarized as below:

 Conception ( Garbhadhan Vidhi)

 Pregnancy (Garbhini Paricharya) & its complications eg

 Vomiting / Hyperemesis gravidarum ( Garbhaja vamana ) , Morning Sickness         ( Hrillasa) , Diarrhoea (Atisara) , Constipation (Vibandha) , Anal Fissure ( Parikartika ) , Cough ( Kasa ) , Oedema ( Shopha ) , Fever           ( Jwara ) , Striae gravidarum ( Kikkasa ) etc.

mother and child

 Normal development of Fetus ( Garbha Vriddhi) & its disorders          (Garbha Vyapad) eg

 Abortion ( Garbha srava / Garbhapata ) ,    Intra Uterine Growth Retardation / IUGR (Garbha shosha) etc.

 Parturition / Normal Labour ( Prasava Paricharya ) & its complications eg

 Delayed Labour ( Garbha Sanga ) , Difficult / Obstructed Labour & Malpresentation of Fetus during Labour ( Mudhagarbha) etc.

 Normal Puerperium ( Sutika Paricharya ) & its complications eg

 Vaginal Tear (Yonibheda) , Backache (Prishtha shula ) , Hemiplegia (Shakhavata) , Jaundice (Kamala) , Fever ( Jwara ) , Retention of Urine (Mutra Sanga) , Constipation (Malarodha) , Bleeding per Vagina (Asrigdara),  Prolapse (Yoni Bhramsha ) , Diseases Of Breast ( Stana Roga) etc.

 Management of New Born Baby (Navajata Shishu Paricharya)

 Normal Breast Milk and Breast Feeding                                                                        ( Stanya & Stana pana Paricharya ) & their disorders

 For a healthy child , healthy sperm and ovum ( Bija ) & genetic status (Bijabhaga ) of both the partners ; nutrition & habits of female during pregnancy and normal labour (delivery of baby ) are important factors.

 So , the main aim of Prasuti Tantra ( Ayurvedic Obstetrics ) is  Shreshtham Apatyam i.e Healthy and Intelligent child , thus Healthy and Intelligent SOCIETY i.e SUPRAJAM.





Shodash Samskaar ( Sixteen Sacraments ) And Their Significance

Ayurveda advocates disciplined life to remain healthy. The life of  a person can be happy   (sukhayu), unhappy (dukhayu), wholesome (hitayu) or unwholesome  (ahitayu) depending on the awareness  and  endeavour  for  what is good and what is bad for self. For personal and social upliftment  certain actions are performed during specific transitional phases of life. These are called Samskaar  ( Sacraments) and are sixteen in number, thus termed Shodash Samskaar or Sixteen Sacraments.

These are the methods of conditioning or purification of accumulated instincts and inculcation of virtuous  disposition. The Shodash Samskaaras  bestow  a positive effect on the subtle levels of human consciousness and hence have an impact on the physical and mental attributes.

 Classification: The Sixteen  Samskaar can be classified into five categories:

1) Gaarbhika Samskaar  (Related to pregnancy) :

a)  Garbhadhaan Samskaar
b)  Punswana Samskaar
c)  Seemantonnayan Samskaar

(These are done by the couple to become parents)

2)  Shaishavika Samskaar ( Related to child ) :

a)  Jaatkarma Samskaar
b)  Naamkaran Samskaar
c)  Nishkaraman  Samskaar
d) Annaprashan Samskaar
e) Chudakaran Samskaar
f)  Karnavedhana Samskaar

(These are done by  the parents  for the child)

3)Shaikshnika Samskaar ( Related to education ) :

a)  Upanayan Samskaar   
b)  Veda Arambha Samskaar   
c)  Samaavartan Samskaar

(These are done by the teacher for the student)

4) Aashramika Samskaar  (Related to married life) :

a)  Vivaah Samskaar   
b)  Vaanprastha Samskaar    
c)   Sanyaas Samskaar

(These are done by the person for self)

5) Prayaan Samskaar  ( Related to death ) :

a) Antyeshti Sanskaar

(After death this is done by the child)


Let’s have an insight into the significance of the Sixteen Samskaaras.

1)  GARBHADHAN  SAMSKAAR  :  This is performed after marriage. It is the ground work for planning  parenthood. It is a ritual for preparing husband and wife, physically and mentally, to beget a healthy progeny.

2)  PUNSWANA  SAMSKAAR  : This is done before and after conception for fertilization and stability of pregnancy respectively. This strengthens the healthy development of gross (physical), subtle (mental) and astral (conscious) body of child.

3)  SEEMANTONNAYAN SAMSKAAR  : This is done mainly in 4th month , can be done in 6th or 8th month of pregnancy . In this ceremony the pregnant lady is given gruel made with rice and lentils with ghee ( clarified butter ) to eat and encouraging words are whispered in her ears e.g your child is intelligent / healthy etc.

During 4th month, proper development of fetus begins. The heart also starts functioning . During this time period the pregnant lady is called ‘Dauhridini’ i.e having two hearts – one of the fetus and other of herself. The fetus becomes receptive and culminates it’s desires through mother. The development of brain and nervous system also starts.

The blessings and encouraging words create an atmosphere of assurance to the pregnant lady. She is advised to avoid factors that are harmful for the well being of fetus.

As the nutritional requirements of fetus and pregnant lady are increased, the rice gruel is given to eat as it is a complete and balanced food.

4)  JAATKARMA SAMSKAAR  : This is done immediately after birth.
The mouth of the child is cleaned with moist cotton swab . Anterior fontanelle  (Brahma randhra) is covered with tampon soaked in ghrita or oil.  Then umbilical cord is cut. Striking sound or mantras  (hymns) are chanted softly in the child’s ears. Ghrita mixed with rock salt is given orally for clearing mucous.

With these procedures the child is relieved from the troubles caused by compression in the vaginal canal or instruments used at the time of delivery.

5)  NAAMKARAN  SAMSKAAR  :  This is performed on 10th day after birth or within a month. The name to be kept should have auspicious meaning e.g  symbolizing  progress or any great personality etc . By the 10th day child recovers from trauma, if any, during child birth and it is the appropriate time to examine the child properly.

6)  NISHKRAMAN  SAMSKAAR  : This ceremony is done in 4th month after birth. The child is taken to a place of worship.

At birth , a newborn’s vision is immature , brain is not ready to process all the visual information . By 3 – 4 months , baby is able to move the eyes together and can track moving objects .  They also start to gain depth perception and develop full color and distance vision.

At four months the baby reacts to sounds, smile on hearing familiar voice. Tries to reach objects with hands. Holds and let go of an object . Increased  eye  contact with parents and others . So, this is the period when all the motor and sense organs of the baby are becoming mature.

This samskaar is aimed at improving the health of the child and to inculcate the feeling  of respect for the natural powers like sun, wind, moon etc.

7)   ANNAPRAASHAN SAMSKAAR  :  This ceremony is performed in the 6th month after birth . In this ritual , solid food is administered for the first time with the aim of sowing seeds of purity in Annamaya kosha of the child . It increases the healthy growth and development of the baby. By six months , the digestive system is developed and teeth start appearing.

During this ceremony, Kheer ( a porridge  made with milk and rice ) mixed with honey , ghee ( clarified butter), basil and water  of Ganges river is given to eat in very small quantity . With this food, the traits indocrinated in the child are  Kheer–health, Honey–sweetness, Ghee–congeniality, Basil–destroyer of diseases/evils, Water of Ganges river–purity. It teaches piousness of food

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