door safety - door stoppers kids

Door Safety – Child Safety Products For Doors

Door safety is a twiddly bit that gets the least attention when planning a baby. Toddlers and preschool going kids can end up pinching their fingers and hands when they  slam the door shut. They can also accidentally lock themselves in. You should be aware of these baby friendly products for door safety. These must be purchased if you have toddlers and preschoolers around.

Door Safety – Best Child Safety Products

Door Stoppers

door safety - door stoppers kids

Wooden Door Stoppers By Vividha–Everything Kids

Check out these cute guard door stoppers from Vividha. Ideal for your kids room, they make sure there is no accidental slamming of doors. These little fellows protect your toddlers’ tiny fingers from getting pinched. You can even use these door stoppers in all the rooms of  your house. Made of wood, these door stoppers come in different  designs and colors. Their dimensions are 13.5 x 2.7 x 6.3.

You can buy these from

Door Knob Covers

door safety - child door safety

dreambaby Door Knob Covers

Many toddlers open bathrooms, store rooms, kitchen and laundry areas when parents are asleep or busy with something. This can turn out to be dangerous. They can get locked in accidentally. Door knob covers are an absolute must in case you want to avoid this. These cover the door handle lock avoiding accidental lock outs.

They can be bought online at or

Sliding Door Safety Guard

door safety - child door safety

Use these to prevent injury to children by collision of sliding doors, windows or sliding door closets. Safety guards must be installed in case of sliding doors of balconies in multi-storey apartments. You can keep the sliding windows slightly open to let in fresh air and at the same time prevent kids from going out when no one is looking. Remove the suction cup when the door needs to be opened. Door sliding safety guard from Farlin and dreambaby are the best. Get it at Check out the video by to find out how sliding door safety guards work.


Door Safety –  Security Gates For Kids

door safety - child safety

dreambaby Swing Closed Security Gate

Install dreambaby door safety gates for babies and toddlers at the top of stairways and across doorways. This gate opens in both directions and swings shut on its own. It cannot be opened by your baby. This is a must have product if you have stairs at home.

Buy from

Farlin Safety Door Gates

door safety - child safety

This cute safety gate for babies, by Farlin can be bought online at

Locks For Cabinet And Cupboard Door Handles And Knobs

dreambaby Secure-A-Lock

door safety child door safety

This is an adjustable lock for different handles and knobs, ensuring proper door safety. Inquisitive toddlers can get locked in stuffy kitchen cabinets, pull down things and injure themselves, without your knowledge. Your toddler cannot open kitchen cabinets, doors and cupboards after installing this. Ideal for mushroom shaped locks and D-Shaped handles, it closes with a sliding action. Buy this product at

Online shopping sites in India have brought us closer to virtual stores and access to much needed baby safety products at home. Why compromise on child safety when you can order child friendly products for door safety online, from the comfort of your home?

Kids bunk beds disadvantages

Are bunk beds safe? – Kids bunk beds – Disadvantages

Are bunk beds safe – for kids? Now everyone knows that bunk beds are excellent for maximum utilization of space in kids bedrooms. This is particularly true in case of apartments and urban spaces where you have to buy furniture keeping in mind space constraints. Kids bunk beds are available in a myriad of colors, designs and patterns. Parents of two or more kids are often attracted towards bunk beds. However, there are many disadvantages of kids bunk beds which you must be aware of. Take a look at these top negative points you come across while managing bunk beds for kids.

are bunk beds safe? Kids bunk beds - disadvantages

Are bunk beds safe for kids?

Disadvantages of  bunk beds – Accident prone for kids

Bunk beds are inconvenient for kids occupying the upper bunks. Going to the bathroom or getting a drink is difficult as kids have to get down before doing so. In case they are sleepy, they may even miss a step while getting down. Bunks closer to the ceiling are dangerous. Kids may stand up and hit their heads on ceiling lights or any electrical equipment on the ceiling. It is particularly dangerous if kids frequently fight with each other, climbing up and down these bunks.

Bunk Beds Gobble Up Vertical Space

Kids bunk beds may save floor space but they look like giant pieces of furniture taking up vertical space or wall space. They make bedrooms look compact and small. The top bunks may prevent ceiling light from reaching the lower bunks. Even if bunk beds are well illuminated with artificial lights, they reduce the amount of natural light in a room.

Maintenance Of Bunk Beds Is Difficult

Kids bunk beds are particularly disadvantageous when it comes to maintenance. For one, it is not an easy task to make the beds of upper bunks, everyday. Certainly not for kids. You have to do it yourself. Mattresses from the upper bunks have to be moved down. Else you end up kneeling on the same bed that you are going to make. Procrastination will lead to dusty beds with dust mites triggering skin allergies. Dust is also a problem with the lower bunks. Dust accumulating underneath a bunk can spell disaster for the occupant under that bunk. Dusting and wiping under the bunks with occasional vaccumming must be done on a daily basis. That is a lot of time wasted every day, don’t you think?

Relocation Of Bunk Beds Is Difficult

You can’t relocate kids bunk beds easily. This is difficult to do within the same room as well. You need to consider the placement of lights, air conditioners and any furniture that is wall mounted. Relocation is possible only by disassembling and reassembling kids bunk beds. People buy kids bunk beds to save up on space and the combined cost of two separate beds. However, you must be aware of the disadvantages before planning to buy them. I would suggest you buy trundle beds for kids. These save up on wall space, floor space and keep your kids closer to the floor. Accidents in the dark can be avoided.


Photo Credits: goldberg

Autobiography For Kids - Autobiography Speech Example

Autobiography Of Mother Earth

Check out the video for an interesting Autobiography Of Mother Earth. Autobiography competitions conducted in school are usually in two formats. It would either be an Autobiography Essay Competition or an Autobiography Speech Competition. In either case, you need to keep in mind a few points.

Select A Topic

Autobiography topics for kids can focus on any inanimate object, a tree or an animal or they could speak or write on their own life so far, their aspirations, likes, dislikes and so on.

Prepare A Write Up

Jot down a few details about the selected object in the following format.


Give a basic introduction about the object or person. Speak in first person. Include details like birth, a few features, history.

Main Passage

Move on to likes and dislikes and major life transforming events. Add a touch of drama to keep the audience interested – For Example, in the video below, Mother Earth talks of being harassed by elements contributing to Global Warming.


End the autobiography for kids with a message like a social cause or social message.

Duration Of Speech or Length Of The Essay

Make sure the speech  lasts for 2 minutes. In case of  essays on autobiography for kids, the content should not exceed one and a half or two pages. This is for kids in the age group 5 years to 7 years. Do check with the grade teacher if you are not sure of the time limit or word limit.


Video : Autobiography Of  Mother Earth


Autobiography For Kids – How To Prepare Children

Once the write up is ready, you must start preparing your kids for the speech. Begin a few days in advance. Make sure your kids understand the matter first. This way, they can speak in their own words and  stay rooted to the context even if they forget the lines. Make them learn their lines in front of a mirror, with expressions.  3 lines a day is sufficient if kids find it boring. Appreciate them for their efforts. This encourages them to perform better.

Check out the video for more details on autobiography for kids. And yes, it won the little boy in the video, the second prize for the autobiography speech competition at school.





7 Best Magazines For Kids In India

Looking for popular magazines for kids in India? Kids magazines that cover everything from Science, Maths, Activities for kids, Culture, Amazing Facts, Nature, Animals and plants, Literature and the like, are many. You just need to know which one is right for your kids according to their age group. Most kids have short attention spans. It is important that kids magazines are fun and engaging instead of being preachy with long descriptive stories that will elicit nothing but a loud yawn from your little one.

Check out this list of children’s magazines that enhance your child’s learning abilities and grasping power in a wacky, fun manner. These magazine subscriptions for children offer high value for money with lots and lots of fun activities and valuable information for kids.

7 Popular Magazines For Kids In India

RobinAge : Weekly Children’s Newspaper

This is a popular weekly newspaper targeted at children in the age group of  4 and 15 years.  This newspaper carries information on science, social studies, current affairs,  sports, culture, careers and environment in addition to puzzles, activities and interactive projects.

Each issue has  a special Jr RobinAge supplement for very young  readers. Ranked no. 1 here as I found it to be the best kids newspaper for my child.

Subscribe to RobinAge.

Junior Explorer And Young Explorer by MET Knowledge explorer

kids magazines india

 Junior Explorer is a fun magazine for kids from Std.I to Std.IV, focusing on topics ranging from Science, Maths, Indian Culture, EVS, Places, Nature, History, GK and a lot more! I received an introductory issue via my son’s school. The language is simple yet engaging for younger kids in the age group of 5years to 8years. This kids magazine is full of activities and puzzles that improve logical, analytical and English Language / grammar skills.

Subscribe to Junior Explorer 

Young Explorer

kids magazines india

This kids magazine is targeted at children in the age groups of 10 – 15 years. It provides an insight into topics beyond school curriculum. It covers Science and Technology, Personality Development, Sports, Careers, Current Affairs, Arts and a lot more with interesting puzzles, quizzes and crosswords.

Subscribe to Young Explorer

Champak – Kids Magazines India

Kids magazines India

This magazine for children is one of the oldest in India, I guess. I grew up reading magazines like Champak and Gokulam , in the 1980’s , graduating to Reader’s Digest during the later years. Published in 8 languages, it has a lot of short stories, comic strips, brain teasers and jokes. It has 24 issues per year on a fortnight basis. Ideal for kids from Std I to Std V. You can ask your local newspaper delivery agency for subscriptions or Subscribe to Champak magazine online.

Tell Me Why

kids magazines india

This is a complete reference of 100 plus questions and answers dedicated to a particular topic in each issue. The language is simple and entertaining. Kids will not get bored reading. The printed matter has lots of illustrations, cartoons and pictures making it easier to comprehend things.

Published by Manorama Publications, you can subscribe to Tell Me Why-Kids Magazine online

Magic Pot

kids magazines india

This is a great kids magazine for pre-school and primary school kids in India. It has lots of activities, stories, puzzles and interesting stuff for inquisitive kids. Also published by Manorama Publications, you can subscribe to Magic Pot-Kids Magazine online

Highlights Genies

magazines for kids in india

This is an interesting magazine for kids in the age group of 2 years to 6 years. It helps in building essential skills with the help of fun activities. Developed by childhood development experts, this magazine is a good choice for pre-school goers and first graders. Available for Rs.40 per copy, you can subscribe to Highlights Genies here.

Go take your pick!  The most popular ones have been showcased here. Let me know if I missed out any!

area rugs - do it yourself

Cheap Rugs For Home – DIY

Use area rugs to highlight and accentuate different locations in every room. Use colorful rugs and carpets in your living room, bed rooms and study to add a dash of color and creativity. These are available in a wide range of colors, textures and materials in the market. However, if you have a creative bend of mind and love Do it yourself crafts, then opt for these super frugal area rugs made at home. Listed below are some funky ideas for cheap rugs made of recycled material.

Floor Rugs

Towel Area Rugs

area rugs - do it yourself

Buy two cheap thick towels from an economy store. Stitch them together at all the four ends. Make yarn flowers of another complementing color. Stitch these yarn flowers in the center of the towel in different designs. Also make a border of these yarn flowers to hide the stitches.

Video – Make pretty yarn flowers


Cheap area rugs made of  T-shirts

area rugs - do it yourself

Reuse old t-shirts. Cut 3” by 3” strips of different colored t-shirts. Fold and stitch each strip in half. Then stitch together all these folded strips in varying colors to make a larger cover. For the base, cut 2 or 3 pairs of old jeans, old thick bed sheets or any other thick material into short, broad pieces. Stitch these together. Place the other piece of stitched t-shirt pieces over the bottom thick base and stitch them together at all the ends, leaving one end open. Fill in scraps of cloth to make the rug thicker. Finally, stitch the last end securely. Your t-shirt floor rug is ready.

Pom Pom Floor Rugs

area rugs - do it yourself

Make tiny pom poms with yarn in different colors. Stitch them together. Make a large round layer of tiny yarn balls. As in the t-shirt rug mentioned above, stitch this layer over another layer of thick material, leaving one end open. Fill this with cloth scraps to make the rug thick.


Area Rugs – Benefits

Colorful rugs add warmth and color to any dull looking room. Placing trendy accent rugs to define different areas, is a wonderful idea for people renovating their homes. This is a cheaper alternative to changing everything from furniture to accessories. A single area rug or a couple of floor rugs placed together can cut down unnecessary expenditure during home renovation especially if you are looking forward to change the flooring which is in good condition. An area rug can be an attractive focal point of a room. It is a soft, warm antidote for tired feet after a days hard work.

Area Rugs – Placement

area rugs on wall - do it yourself

Place area rugs in your dining area, living room seating area or under the center table. Use cute, colorful floor rugs in your kids bedroom to highlight activity area or play areas. A great home décor idea is to hang area rugs as wall hangings as seen in the picture above. I have seen this trend in a few in a few designer boutiques and home décor stores. This can be used for highlighting walls in passages leading from your living room to the inner areas of your home. Use beautiful wall hanging accent rugs or modern area rugs on your balcony walls or front porch.

Using Area Rugs – Top Tips

1. When using more than one area rug, make sure they are not of the same size. Same size area rugs make the room appear divided and smaller.

2. Use area rugs which complement each other. For example, use colors that complement each other, or patterns which match like a small navy blue dot pattern goes well with a medium light blue dot pattern. The trick is to avoid patterns and colors that are disgusting to the eyes.

3. Floor rugs must be in sync with walls. For wallpapered and textured walls with intricate designs, the area rugs must be in plain or subtle colors. If the walls are plain, the area can have intricate designs, oriental patterns and interesting colors.

4. Use easy to clean area rugs. They can cause problems for people with dust and mite allergies. The easy to clean aspect is a must for people with small kids and pets.

5. Rectangle is passe. Enhance your apartment therapy with different shapes of area rugs like oval, round, triangle or let your rug be shapeless with an amoeba like form.

6.Experiment with different materials found at home for making cheap rugs you can use on the floors. Use egg cartons, upcycled clothes or bedsheets, coir, ribbons,old plastic wires, plastic straws, colorful sponges etc. for making good looking floor rugs.

sos whistle app for women safety

Top 5 Smartphone Apps For Women Safety

Smartphone apps for women safety are a must for women traveling alone. Disturbed by scary thoughts of some pervert trying to attack you, when travelling alone at at night? Well, there are many other alternatives to carrying pepper spray in your purse. Make your smartphones work as your personal bodyguards, fending off vicious attackers. Listed below are the best smartphone apps that vouch for women safety by sending SMS alerts, Facebook notifications besides alerting passersby, emergency hotlines and your circle of near and dear ones about your location and current situation. This can fend off attackers, perverts and eve teasers.

Top 5 apps for women safety

SOS Whistle

sos whistle app for women safety

SOS Whistle is a loud whistle blowing app for women safety that is easy to access and use in case of emergencies. To use, just press the whistle icon to make a loud whistling sound. Press it again to stop. A loud sound often scares attackers and alerts others, giving you enough time to run or hide. Easy to use and free, you can download it from Google Play


This is another easy to use app that notifies your trusted circle during emergencies, via SMS or Voice. At the time of setup, you have to input the names and contact numbers of people who should be contacted in case of an emergency. When in a dangerous situation, just push the big red SOS button which will automatically notify your selected contacts alongwith the GPS location of  your mobile phone. In fact its emergency alarm combines siren, video and live GPS tracing for women safety. The Follow Me and I’m here features let you share your GPS location instantly. bSafe also allows you to program a fake incoming call to scare attackers. bSafe app is available for iOS, Blackberry and Android in free and paid versions. You can dowload it at bSafe


Circle of 6

Winner of the White House Apps Against Abuse Technology Challenge, this app that lets you add 6 friends to your circle. The Circle Of 6 app sends a pre drafted SMS containing your GPS information to these selected friends with a ‘Come and Get Me’ message. You can SMS your circle to request a call back in case you need an interruption in an odd situation. Circle of 6 can be programmed to call emergency numbers and hotlines. This app is free to use. A must have app for women safety, download this at CircleOf6 .



This app is an India specific women safety app. It needs a Facebook login for download. Fightback sends emergency messages using GPS, GPRS, SMS and Email with a single tap touch. It also updates your Facebook status with current location and an emergency message visible to all friends in your Facebook network. Free to use, it is available for Android, Nokia and Blackberry smartphones. Download this app at Fightbackmobile .



This is a life saving family locator app connecting all family members in real time using GPS location of their smartphones. Once all family members download and install this app, you can send alerts via SMS, email and phone calls. Parents can keep track of their childrens’ location. Life360 can be used by women in threatening situations. This is a great app for women safety in times of natural disasters and any other emergency situations. It is free to use. You can download it for Android, iPhone and Blackberry smartphones at Life360.


Photo Credits – SOS Whistle

how to garden for kids

Activities For Kids – Gardening Tips

Kids could do with some gardening tips from elders when playing outdoors, in mud. Take advantage of this fact and nurture in them, a deep love for plants, trees and nature. Teach kids all about planting a garden with seeds and saplings. Teach them a thing or two about landscaping with the help of beautiful miniature gardens.

Activities For Kids - gardening tips

Photo Credits: Woodleywonderworks

Gardening Tips For Kids

Garden Supplies

Get going with some basic garden supplies. You will need a spade, hand gloves, spray bottle, watering can, potting mix, seeds or saplings. Buy them from your local garden store or plant nursery.

Gardening Basics For Kids

Pick a nice sunny spot in your garden that is easy to bring water to. In case you do not have a garden, select a sunny spot by a window or in your balcony, where you can place your plant pot. Make sure your plant does not get too much of exposure from the sun. A spot facing south is the best. Let your child wear hand gloves. Next, teach him to prepare a potting mix with 1/3 parts compost , 1/3 parts of garden topsoil and 1/3 parts sand. This potting mix is healthy for plants and provides good drainage. Take a plant pot with holes at the bottom. Add your potting soil to this pot. Leave an inch of space from the top of the planter. Plant seeds or a saplings in this potting mix. Pour adequate water. Let kids learn more on self watering planters.

Green Gardening Tips

Reuse old plastic containers or small, old earthen pots with holes at the bottom, as planters. Use Organic fertilizers and  effective home made pesticides for gardens.  Inform your kids of the benefits of organic fertilizers and pesticides over chemical ones.

Landscaping With Miniature Gardens

gardening tips for kids - landscaping

Photo Credits: anacik

miniature gardens kids

Photo Credits:gregor_y

This is one of the top gardening tips that can teach kids how to landscape. Teach kids how to build miniature gardens. Use old wooden boxes, desk drawers, plastic trays or crates for the flower bed. Fill this with well drained potting soil. Plant saplings or seeds of flowering plants, wheat grass or ornamental plants. Allow kids to place attractive pebbles, stones and other embellishments to decorate and create pretty borders for this garden. A miniature garden is a great idea for small urban spaces where kids can build one in their balcony or even place it on wall stands. It is also an interesting DIY project for kids.

Garden Maintenance

Do not let your child get away, once he plants the saplings. Garden maintenance is an equally important gardening tip. Let kids use organic pesticides in spray bottles to keep insects and pests at bay. Make your own organic pesticide at home by mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda and half a teaspoon of Neem oil to one liter of warm water. Use a spray bottle to spray this pesticide on plants. Teach kids to add fertilizers to the soil in correct proportions, periodically, along with pruning and weeding, if necessary. Let kids maintain a plant growth chart. Make plant maintenance work, an attractive activity, by rewarding kids with something they like.

Benefits Of Gardening For Kids

Gardening is therapeutic in nature. It heals emotional wounds and inculcates patience in kids. These gardening tips for kids teach scientific facts and contribute to the overall development of your child.

interior paint - types of wall paint

Interior wall paints – types of wall paints

Painting your home interiors is quite an uphill task when it comes to selecting interior wall paints. Confused between emulsion paints, distemper and luster paints? When buying paint for your interior walls, check out the different types of wall paints besides estimating the average cost of a paint job. Asian Paints, Berger Paints, Kansai Nerolac and Dulux  offer a wide range of  interior wall paints in attractive colors.

interior wall paints - types


Interior Wall Paints – Types

Distemper paint

Distemper paints are water based paints, made up of chalk, lime, glue size vehicle and coloring agents. They may have natural or acrylic binders. Ideal for cost effective painting jobs that need to be finished fast enough. They give an elegant, matte finish to the walls. However, distemper paints come without the benefits of other expensive enamel and emulsion paints – Distempered walls cannot be washed or cleaned with water or liquid soap and cannot fight fungal growth.

Emulsion paint

Emulsion paints are water based paints. For Example, Asian Paints Royale. They impart a rich  matte look to the walls.  They are durable. Most of the stains on the wall can be wiped away with a mild liquid soap solution. Emulsion paints resist fungal growth and mildew.

Enamel  paint

These paints are solvent (usually oil or alkyd) based paints. Thinners are required to clean enamel paints whenever repainting is necessary. They dry very slowly and usually emit strong odors. Enamel paint is available in different finishes – eggshell, satin, semigloss and high gloss. Some enamels are also resistant to heat. They make the walls glossy and washable. Enamel paint is usually used in the kitchens, especially on counters and walls bordering the sink, and in bathrooms where humidity levels are high in addition to the constant washing / scrubbing.

Luster paint

Luster paints are solvent based paints. On drying,  a tough and durable wall coating is formed that is washable, easy to maintain and stain resistant, as it repels water. Luster paint gives off a beautiful soft pearl like sheen. Most expensive of all the above wall paints, luster paint is extremely long lasting.

Texture paint

These paints are used to impart beautiful patterns and special effects on interior walls, when used with texture tools meant for the purpose like rollers, brushes, spatulae or combs. Texture paint is used in combinations of two or three different paint colors. Ideal for highlighting a particular wall in every room.

For people who are allergic to paint odors and VOCs, go for an eco friendly interior paint with low VOC content. Nerolac ‘Eco Clean’, Berger’Breathe Easy’ and ‘Odour-less Premium all-in-1 interior paint’ from Nippon Paints are  eco friendly wall paints that have almost zero levels of VOCs.

Finally it is necessary to get an approximate estimate of the total paint cost plus labor charges. This is even more simple when you use online paint calculator tools provided by Asian Paints, Berger and Dulux.

Berger paints : Paint  Calculator

Asian paints : Paint  Calculator

Dulux : Paint  Calculator

Note: Other factors like natural and artificial light in your rooms and humidity levels must be considered before finalizing the type of wall paints for your interiors. Glossy wall paint in a room with lot of natural light, will reflect more light and will be hard on the eyes. Also, walls in rooms with less natural light must not go in for matte finish with dark shades, as more light will be absorbed and not reflected.


Photo Credits: Maggiejumps 




organic pesticides, homemade pesticides

Organic pesticides – Homemade pesticides for small gardens

Organic pesticides are the best alternatives to harmful chemical pesticides for small gardens. Gardening in urban spaces means either you have a rooftop garden, a simple balcony garden, planters in your window sill  or indoor plants.  These pesticides are very effective in removing a scourge of garden pests and insects.

organic pesticides, homemade pesticides

Check out these super inexpensive and natural organic pesticides to bust harmful pests and insects in your home garden and indoor plants.

DIY – Organic Pesticides

Garlic-Onion-Pepper spray

Finely chop 6 cloves of  garlic along with a small onion. Add a liter of warm water. Keep it aside for 3-4 hours. Add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and one teaspoon of liquid soap. Mix well, strain and use as an insect repellent spray. Make sure you do not add liquid detergent. It must be liquid soap – You can use any liquid hand wash for the task.This will last you for a week, if refrigerated. Garlic – Onion – Pepper organic pesticide spray is an excellent remedy for aphids, flea beetles, caterpillars and other sucking/chewing insects.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is a very powerful organic pesticide and repellent. When used alone, it does ward off pests but the plants get all oily. So mix 8ml neem oil and 5 ml liquid soap with 1 liter of warm water. Shake the spray bottle well. Spray this all over the plants. Neem oil is an excellent remedy for getting rid of spider mites, mealy bugs and practically most of the plant pests.

Basil Tea

Boil 1 cup of fresh basil (Tulsi leaves) in half a  liter  of water. Add 1 teaspoon of liquid soap to this mixture. Spray this on the plants. This acts as an excellent homemade pesticide  for aphids.

Epsom Salt

Dissolve 2 teaspoons of Epsom salt in  1/2 a liter of water. Spray this on the plants. Epsom salt does not harm the plants. It contains magnesium which is nutritious for the plants. This is an organic pesticide that also acts as a nutrient for the soil.

Baking soda spray

Mix together 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon oil and 2 liters of warm water. Put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on the plants. Baking soda gets rid of fungal infections of plants. Baking soda spray must be used regularly till the fungal infection is gone completely. The mixture has to be made fresh for every use.

Eucalyptus Oil

Put a  few drops of Eucalyptus oil on the affected areas of plants. It drives insects and pests away immediately. Eucalyptus oil is great for flies, slugs and aphids.

Dried Chrysanthemum flowers

Chrysanthemum flowers(guldaudi or chandramallika in hindi) have a natural pest repellent called pyrethrum. Pyrethrum plays havoc with the nervous system of insects. Boil 50 grams of  dried  chrysanthemum flowers in half a liter of water. Cool, strain and use as a spray. This can be used for a week. This homemade pesticide spray kills mosquito larvae breeding in your home garden or in the water collectors placed under flower pots.

Organic pesticides are the best for home gardens and indoor plants, especially in urban areas. They can be easily made at home, give instant results and come sans the harmful effects of chemical pesticides.

Note: For making small amounts of organic pesticides at home, just halve the proportions mentioned above.


Detox diet – An ayurvedic way to remove toxins

detox diet - ayurvedic

Daily exposure to chemicals, pollution, unhealthy food habits, metabolic waste,drug use, stress and a myriad of other problems leads to toxins in the body. More often than not, these toxins are responsible for sluggishness, skin problems, poor digestion, headaches, body aches and lack of concentration. It is a great idea to opt for an ayurvedic diet regime once in a while to bounce back into optimum health. This article focuses on a detox diet – the ayurvedic way.

What is detoxification?
It is a resting/recovering  phase, where your body is cleansed, nourished and rejuvenated. It stimulates the liver to function well, eliminates toxins from the body, boosting your immune system and protecting you from disease.  The best time to detox is between winter and spring. Follow a seven day detox diet plan to bring your body back on track.

Ayurvedic diet for detox

Following an ayurvedic diet is a safe way to detox your body, as it involves naturally grown herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables. It  does not ask you to resort to extreme fasting measures. An ayurvedic diet requires a few simple changes in your daily food intake. Take a look at the list of recommended food and food that is to be avoided.

Recommended food for an ayurvedic detox diet

  • Vegetables: Have plenty of cooked leafy green veggies. Use spices to flavor your vegetables.
  • Prepare khichdi for lunch – a simple meal of rice and moong dal(split green gram) with a spoon of ghee,cumin,curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida. Ghee lubricates the digestive tract, eases constipation,  asafoetida stimulates digestive juices and moong provides nourishment in the form of  protein.
  • Fruits: Sweet, juicy fruits are excellent body cleansers. Have fruit for breakfast and to satisfy in-between hunger pangs.
  • Grains: Whole grains as Oats, quinoa, rice, barley, amaranth and rice are good. Include flat breads or rotis made of whole wheat flour in your diet. Fiber rich grains like Oats cleanse the digestive system and eliminate constipation. Use  ghee(clarified butter) while kneading the dough for rotis or flat bread.
  • Spices: Use ginger, coriander, cumin, fenugreek and fennel in whole or powdered form liberally while cooking vegetables, soups and dals. These spices assist in proper digestion and flush out the toxins from the body through liver, skin, urinary tract and colon.
  • Include vegetable or moong dal(split green gram) soup in your detox diet.

Foods to be avoided

  • Canned and frozen food, meat,refined sugar, fermented food, dry bread, food made out of refined flour(maida), cheese, yoghurt and food that contains yeast.
  • Avoid tea and coffee. Take lemon juice with honey instead.
  • Avoid pickles and foods containing vinegar.

Other tips

  • Begin your day with a glass of warm water with freshly squeezed juice of a lemon and some honey. This will clear your bowels and clean your digestive system.
  • Cook simple meals which are easier to digest.
  • Avoid heavy food like fried food and desserts.
  • People with poor digestion / constipation can include Triphala churna in their daily intake. It is an ayurvedic churna made of three fruits – bibhitaki, amalaki and haritaki). Triphala has anti oxidant and laxative properties .

Initially the body may show some caffeine withdrawal symptoms, if you suddenly stop the consumption of tea and coffee. But it is vital to finish the detox diet process once you have started it. Keep some fruit juice or lemonade handy. You can sip this whenever you feel the urge to have tea or coffee.

After  the seven day detox diet, you will feel fresh, rejuvenated and healthy.