Sunday , 24 March 2019


The Herbal Bath

By Dr Kasturi Desai

Gathing cleanses and beautifies the whole body. It is one that is followed all over the world. A bath not only cleanses the body but also energises it, freshens it up and relaxes the tired body. Besides relaxing the body, it relaxes the mind also. After a bath, a person is able to do perform his/her work better and if one bathes at night, one can sleep deeply and calmly with a relaxed mind. Another thing that is important is the temperature of the water, whether it is warm or cold, which depends upon the climatic conditions and the personal preference. For some, cold water is a relaxant while for others warm water is must for bathing. Generally in cold weather conditions, warm to hot water is used for bathing.

Ordinarily we complete our regular bath by using soap and water. But to make bathing a pleasant and exciting experience a number of herbs can be added to the water. An oil massage followed by a bath makes the body supple, relieves stiffness of the muscles, relaxes one from tiredness and tension, and increases blood circulation. Mixture of oil and water makes the skin smooth and silky.

Different types of oil like til, coconut or mustard can be used for a massage. Usually in cold places mustard oil is used and down south coconut or til oil is preferred. To get relief from irregular menses a hip bath with a handful of crushed til seeds give relief. Some aromatic oil or herbs can be added to the bath water. Herbs possess therapeutic properties that can soothe the skin and relax the muscles and joints, and stimulate the circulation. As an added bonus, many of them also smell good.

Lavender is one such herb found in the Mediterranean region but the essential oil made from it is widely available. It is well known for its sweet aroma. To hot water a few drops of this oil can be added. It helps to soothe the muscles. It is very good for those who are unable to sleep soundly. A hot bath just before going to bed is helpful.

Those who have bouts of cold and flu can use rosewood oil. Rosewood oil is obtained by steam distillation of the wood of the Dalbergia latifolia. The oil relieves all body aches due to cold and fever. This oil also has an anti depressant effect. It is also used as an antiseptic and a bath will help to keep the body free from skin infection. If this oil is not available, the best substitute for relieving aches and pains of the body due to cold and fever is a hot bath with Adulso leaves. Adulso is very common in Goa. It is botanically called Adhatoda vasica.

When considering the antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties. nothing can beat our indigenous Neem. Two trees both referred to as Kadu neem locally are available with similar uses. They are Azadirachta indica and Melia azadarach. A hot bath with the infusion of the leaves is very good for skin diseases. Patients suffering from chicken pox and measles are given bath with neem leaves. It helps to reduce body ache and also acts as an antiseptic. Regular head bath with these bitter leaves help to relieve children suffering from an infection of lice.

Among the Muslims there is a custom of taking a bath on Moharam day with the leaves of the Zizuphus jujuba or bora. In fact bora leaves are effective in treating skin infections, boils and carbuncles.

Another common herb that can be used regularly in our bath is Tulsi. Ocimum tenuiiflorum is the new name for O. sanctum it has a refreshing effect and is best used to treat nervous tension, mental fatigue, migraines and depression. It also gives mental strength and clarity. A regular bath with tulsi tones up the skin and cures acne and skin infections.

If one has rose bushes in one’s garden, gather the petals of the mature flower and keep a handful of them in a bucket or place them in muslin bags and place them in the bucket. Pour hot water on it. A rose bath is not only refreshing and but also gives a pleasant aroma; it is good for all types of skin. It helps in toning the skin and also helps in balancing the natural oil of the skin. We all use ginger in our diet but a ginger bath is very effective on chilly mornings. It helps to stimulate the lymph system and improves circulation. Similarly a bath with Eucalyptus oil or lemon grass also helps to fight cold.

Read More »

A Treasure Trove of Textiles

By K D L Khan

In India we have a reputation for building grand edifices and museums, but do not have the foresight to provide for the proper maintenance of the institutions. The Calico Museum of Textiles at Ahmedabad is a rare exception. Unlike other museums which follow the conventional method of displaying the pieces in glass cases, the Calico Museum authorities have covered the exhibits with a transparent plastic film.

Read More »

Proportion is the Key

The man who takes care with proportion in his suits and dress shirts always looks good.

Unfortunately, this point is woefully under appreciated today; it’s rare to find a man whose style is understated elegance, the kind of man who people feel is always well dressed without knowing why.

Read More »

The Story of Raman Effect

By Dr Nandkumar M Kamat

February 28 has, since 1987, been celebrated as the National Science Day (NSD). The Raman Effect was discovered on that day in 1928. At the meeting of the Indian Academy of sciences at NIO last year, I bought a gem of a book – C V Raman - a pictorial biography compiled by S Ramaseshan and C Ramachandra Rao.

Read More »

The Five Favourites for the World Cup

By Ian Chappell

The 2011 World Cup is potentially the most open since the inaugural tournament in 1975. As many as five teams have a realistic chance of winning the coveted trophy.

Unlike the 2007 tournament where it was simply a matter of: "Who’ll meet Australia in the final?" this time the defending champions are not favourites.

Read More »

The Forgotten Kosambi

By Mário Cabral e Sá

Obviously, he was referring to his father Dharmanand Damodar Kosambi. The great Pali scholar, was born on October 9, 1876 at Sancoale, home to Vaishnavite Brahmins who arrived in Goa in the early migratory batches that sat foot in Goa when their holy river up north silted and desertified, rendering their fields uncultivable.

Read More »

Why Munni is Infamous in India

By Zeenat Zafar

The ire against jeans is not about a piece of apparel but about changing socio-cultural attitudes. Three weeks ago, a khap panchayat (caste council) in Bhenswal village, Uttar Pradesh, issued a diktat banning girls from wearing jeans.

Read More »

The Heroic Bala Mapari

By Prajal Sakhardande

Aala Raya Mapari of Asnoda Bardez was the first martyr in Goa’s freedom movement. He succumbed to the inhuman brutalities of the notorious Agente Casmiro Monteiro on February 18, 1955. He was an active member of the revolutionary Azad Gomantak Dal. He was only 26 when he passed away. He left behind him his young widow Indravati and a daughter.

Read More »

History as Told Through Fashion

By Mário Cabral e Sá

Onions are once again affordable, and inflation is abating. As a result housewives and their daughters can once again plan to buy fashionable clothes. So fashion will be our topic for today’s column, which usually deals with politics and its nauseating twists and turns. As if that was not enough now there are public protests about the higher judiciary, which are loud as never before.

Read More »