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Living with Multiple Myeloma in Hyderabad , India . Random musings .


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3 Best Desi Ghee / A2 Ghee Online , in India

What is Desi Ghee :

Ghee is clarified Butter which is obtained from the milk of Cows and Buffaloes by a process of making curd , then churning the curd to extract butter , the butter is then heated to produce clarified butter/Ghee.

However, the best Desi Ghee is made from the milk of Native Indian Cows and is preferred as it has several health benefits.

Ghee from Native Indian Cows is called ‘Liquid Gold’ as this has a golden color. It is interesting to know that in ancient India, those with the most ‘Liquid Gold’ or more cows , were the richest.

With ‘White Revolution’ , a lot of Dairy farms started rearing Jersey/Holstein cows , as they produce a lot of milk . Not many are aware that these cows are a hybrid variety and not native to India.

Since ancient days , Native Cows of India are revered and treated like a family member.

Indigenous or Desi Cows in India
Native Indian Cows at an Organic Farm, that I visited, near Hyderabad , India.

Lord Krishna says that if one worships a Cow , it is as good as worshipping Him. Lord Krishna was a Cow Herd and loved cows and hence called ‘Go-Pal’ , one who rears Cows.

Lord Krishna , with Cows

What is A1, A2 Milk and why we should consume A2 milk products :

The Milk produced from Native Indian Cows is called A2 Milk , whereas the milk from Hybrid cows like Jersey, Holstein is A1 Milk.

Ghee prepared from A2 Milk of Native Indian Cows has numerous health benefits when consumed in moderation. For that matter everything should be taken in moderation.

The protein in A2 milk is good for our health.

It is observed that the incidence of Cardiovascular diseases and Diabetes is more in those who took A1 Milk products.

I am using Ayurveda Medications since almost 6 years. My Ayurveda Doctor prescribes 1-2 tsps of Cow Ghee per day for me.

Health Benefits of Desi Ghee :

Here are a few health benefits of incorporating A2 Ghee in your diet -Contains Butyric acid which increases the generation of T-cells in the body. It is these T-cells which improves the immunity in the body.

It is good for improving memory.

Lubricates the connective tissue and hence prescribed for Yoga practitioners

Ghee is a yogavahi—a catalytic agent that carries the medicinal properties of herbs into the tissues of the body.

Acts as a medium for absorption of all fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K .

Has antioxidant properties as it contains Vitamin E and Beta carotene and reduces inflammation in the body.

Induces Apoptosis in Cancer cells.

Slows the aging process

Enhances Digestion

Contains antiviral properties

Has high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids which is good for heart health

…and many many more

How is the Best Desi Ghee prepared and what is the price :

I have learnt from various authentic sources that to prepare 1kg of Desi Ghee, around 25-35 Liters of pure Desi Cow’s milk would be required. This depends on the fat percentage in the milk. Fewer liters of milk would be required if the fat content is high. I was told that the price of 1 liter of pure Desi Cow’s milk is Rs200/-.

This works out to a minimum of Rs5000/- for 1kg of pure Desi Cow Ghee. Any price which is drastically different from this is not a genuine product.

No wonder it is called ‘Liquid Gold’.

Where do I buy Desi Ghee Online :

My search for various sources of A2 Ghee began a few years ago , when my Ayurveda Doctor told me to use Ghee daily. I even spoke to a few folks from near by Villages, who worked in the city, if they could help me get Cow Ghee. Unfortunately, none in the villages are into A2 Ghee business as there is no demand .Basically, the knowledge of the wonderful properties of Desi Ghee is lost. Native Indian Cows give a lower quantity of Milk and also has lower fat content. Hence, most people prefer to rear Buffaloes.

Ghee adulteration is rampant and hence one should be aware of the source of the Ghee.

I then started searching for A2 Ghee online . Thankfully, now a days, there are several brands of A2 Ghee online. After checking the reviews , reading about the people who are behind the product and the method used to prepare ghee, I went ahead and ordered.

Klimom Desi Ghee :

Initially I used ‘KlimOm Ghee’. KlimOm is based in Hyderabad. I found it on Amazon and liked the product. The grass which is fed to the Gir Cows is grown in their farms without using any pesticides. Cows are not injected with any hormones and are milked using hands.

Traditional methods are used to prepare the curd from milk and churned to extract the butter. This butter is heated and then it gets converted to Clarified butter.

A2 Ghee from Isha Vasyam :

I began searching for another product and bought A2 Ghee from Isha Vasyam. The quality is very good. Mr Vivek Sharma , founder of ‘Isha Vasya’ wanted a cure for his parents health issues and rediscovered the ancient vedic remedies for the current age health problems.

Desi Ghee from Amorearth :

I am always on the lookout for Organic/Naturally grown produce. During my search I came across ‘Two Brothers Organic Farms’ . There are some videos about their farms that I watched on YouTube. They are into Natural farming and I am impressed by their farming practices. The brand name of their products is ‘Amorearth’ . They have free range Native cows, which are fed with Organic grass and other feed , from their own farms. The manure from the cows is used to fertilize the plants and the cycle continues. Cows are the basis for Natural farming and they have a symbiotic relationship. They also sell several other Organic products.

Currently , I am using A2 Cow Ghee from Amorearth.

       

Time to switch to Desi Ghee :

It is high time , we revert back to our ancient way of living. Let’s do the best we can to access the healthiest food products. No doubt , such products are in shortage and the demand for these is slowly increasing. There is a shortage of supply, however, the more we purchase , the more will eventually be produced.

It is true that A2 Ghee is very very expensive compared to Ghee from Buffalo Milk. But, Ayurveda recommends 1-2 tsps of A2 Ghee to those who are keen on regaining their health. So, make sure the source is authentic and if you have access to a Goshaala or anyone who is rearing Native Indian Cows , then you are the luckiest.

Let’s spend our hard earned money to buy healthy food for our family. Nothing else is more important than healthy eating habits. Thankfully good products are available.

~ Jai Gomaatha~


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Best DIY Natural All-purpose Cleaner using Soapnuts

Hair shampoo , Detergent , Bath soap , Floor cleaner , Pesticide , Dish washing liquid , Jewelry cleaner , Mosquito repellent , Bath soap for Pets , Kitchen cleaner : Using Soapnuts , an environment friendly and sustainable solution given by Mother Earth.

After having experienced a life surrounded by chemicals and pollution , I have begun rediscovering all the traditional healthy practices that were followed in India since hundreds or thousands of years. In this journey , I have recently rediscovered Soapnuts. The most Eco-friendly , Natural All-Purpose cleaner .

My earliest memories of Soapnuts , also called Soapberries, are from my childhood days when my Mom would give us (me and my sister) a hair wash using the liquid extracted from Soapnuts .

Soapnuts or soap berries grow in India , in the Himalayas and in South India. They are light to dark brown in color when ready to pick and one to two centimeters in diameter with a hard black and big seed. When dry they are shelled and can be used like soap as they give a lot of lather as they contain Saponin which is a surfactant. Soapnuts are a natural cleaner given by Mother Earth.

I remember my late paternal aunt used to get a big sack, full of soapnuts whenever she visited us. She lived in a village adjacent to the Tirumala hills. The soapnut tree grows wild in the forests on the Hills.

Soapnuts for washing Hair :

Ok, So let’s go back in time, almost 3-4 decades ago , when shampoos were unheard of and the soapnut ritual took place every sunday at my home. Come Sunday morning , two big handfuls of soapnuts were broken by placing each one on the floor and breaking them open using a small round granite stone or placed in a Mortar and Pestle which was dedicated for breaking up the soapnuts. The big black seeds would be separated from the shells and the shells would be soaked in water .While the soapnuts were soaking , a copper water boiler would be filled with water and coals would be fired up at the bottom of the boiler drum.

The soapnuts would soften while the water got hot and they were squeezed with the hand to extract the juice from the soapnuts. The soapnut extract would be filtered into another vessel and more water was added to the remaining pulp. If required the soapnuts would be squeezed again.

This extract was the shampoo during those days. At times the liquid would get into the eyes and the eyes would burn and become red. We would sprinkle cold water on the eyes and get some relief. Very soon the eyes were back to normal.

After washing the hair , it was time to dry the hair using towels and letting the hair dry naturally in the sun. We let our hair down and stood under the sun. Mom didnt let us use the Hairdryer which Dad had bought from Italy when he went there on Official work. She felt that the heat from the dryer would damage the scalp and make the hair brittle.

Once the hair is around 70% dried up , Mom would comb our long hair to disentangle the knots and then braid the hair into one or two plaits. All our neighbours envied our long hair.

This was the morning routing every Sunday morning.

It was this ritual which helped in the growth of thick long and healthy hair , soft hair , no dandruff ,no loss of hair and no grey hair.

Very soon , we starting washing the hair ourselves and found a short cut to extract the soapnut liquid. We simply put the soapnuts in a vessel, poured water and heated the water. While the water cooled down , the soapnuts would become very soft and it was very easy to squeeze and extract the liquid. Mom somehow didnt like what we did, and complained that we were too lazy 🙂

Soapnuts as a Body scrub :

I also remember Mom telling us to use the soft soapnut pulp to scrub the skin instead of using a soap. This natural cleaner is good for the skin as they prevent/heal skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. These nuts have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties too.

Very soon we began hearing of shampoos and initially we used these shampoos once in a while when we were in a hurry and didnt have the time to soak and squeeze .

Didnt take very long for all to forget soapnuts and shampoos were here to stay. The comfort , convenience , instant solution for a hair wash was too good. What followed was dandruff, loss of hair, brittle hair , split hair and grey hair.

Having realised the benefits and advantages of soapnuts over shampoos , we are now scrambling back to the traditional methods.

Since a couple of years I had been searching the shelves in the supermarkets for soapnuts and didnt find any. I was surprised that they had disappeared.

To this day , I dont see them yet in the supermarkets, but glad they are available online.

Washing silks and woolens with Soapnut extract :

For my wedding , I had several heavy silk sarees and maintaining silk sarees is an art . While discussing as to how I should clean and maintain Silk sarees with Mom, she told me to soak my silk sarees in soapnut extract diluted in a bucket of water and give them a gentle scrub with the hands.

Delicate and expensive garments can thus be cleaned using natural soapnut extract so they last long compared to using chemical based detergents.

Cleaning Gold jewellery with Soapnut extract :

Mom also once told me to clean gold jewelry with this extract. I just soak the jewelry in the soapnut extract for a while and use an old toothbrush to clean them.

Soapnut extract as an Organic/Natural Pesticide for Plants :

I have been doing some kitchen gardening using Organic fertilizers/pesticides since one year and I watch videos on YouTube whenever I require some information. I also learnt how soapnut extract can be used as a pesticide spray for plants. This is a natural way to control pests.

Mother Nature’s Detergent :

Eco friendly products and sustainable solutions are the need of the hour and soapnuts are the Natural cleaner that Mother Nature has given to humanity.

The soapnuts can be used as a detergent to wash clothes in the washing machine. Tie around 4-5 soapnuts in a cotton pouch or put them in an old socks and toss it into the washing machine.

How to prepare and use Soapnut Extract :

Method 1 : Prepare soapnut extract by soaking the nuts overnight. Next morning , squeeze the soapnuts with your hand for the best results and strain the liquid using a strainer.

Method 2 : Boil the soapnuts in water for 15 mins. Let the water cool down. Now you can squeeze the softened soapnuts and extract the liquid. Strain the liquid using a strainer.

The extract can be stored in a refrigerator. If left outside it will begin to smell bad and has to be discarded.

Fresh extract is recommended.

Other uses of the Soapnut Extract :

The extract can be diluted with water and used for all the following purposes .

  • Dish washing liquid
  • Washing Fruits and vegetables
  • Floor cleaner
  • Mosquito Repellant
  • Glass cleaner
  • Hand wash
  • Glass, Tiles, Kitchen counters
  • Giving a bath to your pets
  • Shaving cream

The water that is left after all the washing, can be let into the water harvesting pit or used for watering the plants in the garden.

I have begun using soapnuts for laundry, washing utensils, floor cleaner, as a bath soap, washing hair, as a pesticide, washing silks and also as a hand wash.

Laundry detergent , Dishwash liquid , Handwash liquid etc are also available online.

With COVID around , I began searching for a good product to sanitize fruits and vegetables, during the ongoing pandemic , I came across one good product named Bubblenut Wash which has soapnut as one of the key ingredients . I began using this before I started using soapnuts as it is very easy to use. Here it is –

Bubblenut Wash-Natural and Organic Fruits and Vegetables Wash :

There are other cleaning products sold by the same company .

Bubblenut wash Laundry Detergent :             

Bubblenut wash – Natural and Organic Laundry Detergent Bar :

…and many more

These products are especially very useful for those who have skin allergies and are unable to use the normal soaps/detergents.

Initially , it is very convenient to buy and start using them. Later on you can buy soapnuts and make your own Natural cleaner.

However, if you wish to buy the soapnuts and use them directly you can use them in the following ways :

  • Full berries can be used directly for Laundry , by placing a few berries in a pouch or old socks and tossing them into your Washing machine.
  • The extract of these berries after soaking in water can be used for washing hair, in the dishwasher, Floor cleaning, cleaning gold jewelry etc
  • The soap berries can be powdered and also used in the washing machine, soak in hot water and use as a shampoo
  • The left over berries from which the extract was prepared can be made into a paste in the mixer-grinder and used for cleaning kitchen counters ,sinks, stove etc

Feel free to experiment and you will not go wrong.

I recently bought the following product and started using them.

I now prepare a batch of soapnut liquid by soaking the soapnuts overnight and use it the next day for all my cleaning jobs.

Take the following precautions while using Soapnuts:

-If the soapnut liquid gets into your eyes while washing hair, do not panic. Just splash cold water over your eyes till you get some relief. There is no danger to your eyes. Your eyes may appear red for a while but do not worry , they will be back to normal soon. To prevent the liquid going into the eyes , just make sure that your eyes are tightly closed 🙂

-Soapnut liquid tastes bitter. It is not poisonous. However, just make sure it is out of reach of small children.

-Freshly prepared soapnut liquid has to be used within a day. Store it in the refrigerator if you wish to use it over a longer period.

Old is gold !!


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Life during and post Covid-19 Lockdown

Had a brief experience of a slow paced life. However, it didn’t last very long and the usual hectic lifestyle is back.

No more stocking up on Groceries :

All of us had started stocking up on Groceries the moment we learnt that a Lockdown would be imposed. Everyone stocked up for a couple of months 🙂 After 6 months of Lockdown , we continue to have some non-perishable food items that are unused as we were able to buy fresh groceries very soon. Now that everything is almost back to normal , there is no need to stock up anymore. Finally , Glad to free up some space in the Pantry and that’s a relief.

Maids are back inside the homes :

In India , most Urban population employ housemaids for doing the day to day household chores. During the Lockdown and also for a long time after the lockdown was withdrawn , everyone were forced to do all the household chores by themselves and everyone in the family contributed. This was one of the best things to happen because of COVID :). However, this didn’t last very long. The maids are now back inside the homes with Masks. Even during the lockdown , I continued to pay my maids/driver some amount.

Home Services are growing faster :

We were hesitant to use the services of househelp, plumbers, electricians, etc during the lockdown and learnt to do everything ourselves and also postponed certain activities. Now , we have House cleaning , Repairs , Beauty treatments etc. being carried out by professional agencies with all Hygienic practices and precautions in place. Organizations like Urbancompany , Housejoy , Quickr etc are growing fast.

Hubby and Son called up ‘Urban Company’ to get a haircut at home after 3 months of No-haircut. They didn’t want to visit a salon.

We also engaged ‘Urban Company’ for deep cleaning the home and they did a great job. These services are the need of the hour.

Shopping is back to normal :

During the lockdown , we started ordering everything online and avoided going to the stores. Everything , including vegetables were ordered online. Numerous makeshift vegetable vendors mushroomed everywhere by the roadside. People preferred to buy from them as they were in the open, rather than going inside a Supermarket. Supermarkets are now providing sanitizer’s and disposable gloves and visits to Supermarkets have increased. The makeshift vegetable vendors are not seen anymore. Not just groceries , but all kinds of stores are back in business. Festival shopping too has picked up and all clothes stores are doing well.

However, Online Shopping has increased and is here to stay. The comfort and options available are definitely more convenient.

Local transport like Autos, Cabs, buses, Metro :

For several months there was no Public transport. Public transport was permitted much later. Autos and Cabs installed a Plastic Sheet between the Driver and Passenger seats. I too installed a plastic sheet in my car as I have a driver. Initially there were a handful of passengers in Buses and Metro was not operational. I now see Buses are almost 50% occupied and Metro too is operational.

Takeaways , Restaurants and Tea/Tiffin stalls :

Eating out was a No-No for a long time. Roadside stalls selling Tea/Snacks /Street food were the first to make a comeback. Restaurants were later given the nod and instructions given to operate at around 50% capacity. Takeaways were permitted. People who were used to eating out on a regular basis in Pre-Covid era, were tired of eating healthy homemade food and are now glad they can enjoy restaurant food 🙂 .Street Food is something which people cannot resist 🙂 . ‘Panipuri’ carts are also doing good business. Few care about health/hygiene or they are confident of their immunity .

Visits to Religious Places :

The familiar sounds from Temples/Mosques/Churches are back and visitors have also increased.

Noisy world is back :

Loved the peaceful atmosphere during the Lockdown. The only noises that were heard belonged to the birds or someone who was selling their wares , mostly veggies , in a pushcart or a 3 wheeler. Whenever a Vendor was heard , I used to rush outside to see what was being sold and if we needed that item. Not just me but all our neighbors too would be out of their homes to have a look at what was being sold. These Vendors were like a boon and I would look forward to them 🙂 . There were hardly anyone on the street. All the peace has now disappeared and noisy days are back with a bang. Grrr…brrrr…honk honk…

The Sky is BLUE !! :

Finally got to see the original ‘Azure’ Sky. Unpolluted air gave a glimpse of the beautiful Blue sky.

Clicked this from our Balcony , one fine morning during the Lockdown ….

Don’t get this view anymore.

Not much to Spend :

Didn’t have to spend for clothes , fancy stuff , restaurants , outings , attending events . We did survive but at the cost of the economy . Daily wage workers struggled to cope up.

Vacations and Holidaying :

Tourism continues to be affected , however post-Covid travel has just begun and I know friends who have started vacationing with family after being stuck inside the home for several months. Hotels and Resorts are taking all the precautions and giving offers to attract tourists.

Travelling by Air :

Air travel has resumed. Contactless Entry at the Airport , contactless Boarding and other Contactless services are in place. Social distancing in the Terminal and inside the flight is also being ensured.

Nature doesn’t need us , we are dependent on Nature :

Human greed is never ending and we want to show our superiority all the time . COVID-19 and the Lockdown made us realize that Nature is more powerful than humanity. It is now obvious that Mother Earth doesn’t need us and Humanity is the virus that is plaguing the Earth.


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World Environment Day – 5 June 2018 : How to Reduce the usage of ‘Single use Plastic’ and more

What better way to celebrate World Environment Day , than by following/sharing some very useful tips about reducing the use of stuff that is choking life on our dear planet. Yes , its the PLASTIC !!

I have subscribed to a Travel Blogger who has posted an excellent compilation on ways and means to reduce Single Use Plastic and lots of other tips.

https://the-shooting-star.com/2018/06/03/world-environment-day-single-use-plastic-india/

These tips can be followed while travelling and in our day to day life too.