Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from a Jacobite and Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Themes: Doubting Thomas, Suffering
Volume 7 No. 412 April 21, 2017

IV. General Weekly Features

Health: Four Plants With The Healing Power To Cure What Ails You
Doctor Says More Americans Realize The Effectiveness Of Remedies Found In Nature

A fever, stomach pains or a simple case of the sniffles can send people rushing to the pharmacy for a drug to battle their symptoms.

But Mother Nature provides a number of medicinal plants with healing properties that also can nurse you back to health, a fact more Americans are beginning to discover.

"The use of herbal medicine, although traditional in many Eastern cultures, had been only a minor fad in Western medicine until recent decades," says Dr. Virender Sodhi, founder of the Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Medical Clinic, which provides complementary and alternative medicine.

That trend has been shifting as a growing body of studies and research has demonstrated the effects of traditional remedies on chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, says Sodhi, author of the new guide, "Ayurvedic Herbs: The Comprehensive Resource for Ayurvedic Healing Solutions".

That's not necessarily news to ailing people in other parts of the world, such as Asia and Africa. For centuries, they have found relief through herbal medicines derived from shrubs, vines, trees and other plants, Sodhi says.

Here are four examples, a couple of which are recognizable by better known names and purposes.

Glycyrrhiza Glabra.

licorice plant-Glycyrrhiza Glabra

Most people would recognize this plant by its more common name – licorice. It has been used for centuries in the traditional and folk medicines of Asia and Europe to treat ailments ranging from the common cold to liver disease, Sodhi says. Most Americans likely encountered licorice as children because the sweet root of the plant is used to make candy. Licorice can cure more than a sweet tooth, though. It can protect people from the influenza virus. In cell line studies it was shown to reduce titer of the influenza virus by 90 percent and have strong immune modulation properties. It's an important ingredient in many herbal preparations, Sodhi said, especially for bronchial conditions. Because of its expectorant properties, powdered licorice has been used for centuries to treat coughs. Modern cough syrups often contain licorice extract.

Piper nigrum.

Black Pepper-piper nigrum

This flowering vine's berries, when still unripe, are used to produce black pepper, but spicing up food isn't its only talent. Piper nigrum has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-spasmodic properties that make it ideal for treating digestive disorders, Sodhi says. It doesn't stop there. Drug resistance is a major concern in cancer patients. Piper nigrum can reverse multiple drug resistance many fold and significantly increase the apoptotic effect of many pharmaceutical drugs.

Boswellia serrate.

Indian Frankincense

Commonly known as Frankincense, this herb has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Several patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's colitis have gone in to remission using a Boswellia preparation. In brain tumor patients it has reduced cerebral edema by 75 percent. Sodhi has mentioned case studies of many patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and ulcerative colitis who went into remission.



[Editor's Note:

The local names of bael fruit are  'Koovalam' in Malayalam, 'Kaitha' in Hindi, 'Maredu Pandu' in Telugu, 'Vilam Palam' in Tamil, 'Belada Hannu' in Kannada, 'Kothu' in Gujarati, 'Kavath' in Marathi and 'Koth Bel' in Bengali.]

This fruit-bearing tree indigenous to the hills and plains of central and southern India has numerous uses. The fruit promotes healthy digestion and is used medicinally to treat such conditions as diarrhea, dysentery and cholera. The leaves, roots and bark of Bael also have medicinal value. They help relieve acute bronchitis, heart palpitations, intermittent fevers and many other ailments. Dr. Sodhi has observed 100 percent success in treating patients of clostridium difficile, who did not respond to standard medical protocol of metronidazole (Flagyl), Dificid (fidaxomicin), or vanconycin.

About Virender Sodhi, M.D., N.D.

Dr. Virender Sodhi was the first Ayurvedic and Naturopathic physician in the United States. He is the author of "Ayurvedic Herbs: The Comprehensive Resource for Ayurvedic Healing Solutions," and founder of the Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Medical Clinic. Dr. Sodhi earned his M.D. (Ayurved) in 1980 from the Dayanand Ayurvedic Medical College in Jalandar, India. Dr. Sodhi is a visiting professor at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Scottsdale, Ariz., at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy, and at Des Moines University in Iowa.

Family Special: Three Myths Your Wife Believes about Marriage

by Rhonda Stoppe

Last Valentine's Day, my husband, Steve and I put on a #NoRegretsMarriage conference. The event was well attended by couples who wanted to learn ways to build a marriage that would stand the test of time, while reflecting a loving union that their children would one day want to emulate.

At the close of the conference, the lights were dimmed as Nathan, our worship leader, sang the song Broken Together by Casting Crowns.

I was standing in the back of the auditorium where I observed the gentle mood of the room. One by one, I watched husbands tenderly wrap their arms around their wives - as they heard the words "broken together."

Deeply moved by this phenomenon, it occurred to me that these husbands knew they were not measuring up to their wives' expectations. And in a small gesture they were asking, "Can we not just love one another in spite of our brokenness?"

Unmet expectations are one of the most destructive contributors to broken marriages.

When you got married, I am sure you believed your marriage would be a happy one. I don't know any man who vows to love, honor, and cherish a woman who he thinks will make him miserable.

So, what happens? Why is it your wife seems to be dissatisfied with you - and what can you do about it?

To help wives dispel some of the myths they believe about marriage, I wrote a book called: If My Husband Would Change I'd Be Happy & Other Myths Wives Believe.

I am amazed at how much husbands are loving this book, because they are relieved someone is helping their wives discern the myths that are holding them back from enjoying a happy marriage.

Let's look at a few myths wives believe about marriage:

1. If my husband would change I'd be happy.

In every happily-ever-after movie your wife has ever watched, she learns that it is the prince's job to make the princess happy. It doesn't take long for most men to realize they are not the key to their wives' happiness - they just don't know what to do about it.

Over the many years my husband and I have done biblical marriage counseling, if a wife can get her husband in for counseling she is often secretly thinking, "Oh good, now he will change and then I'll be happy."

Learning that true happiness lies not in a relationship with a person, but in the One who created you to find your worth and happiness in relationship with Him is the key to finding true happiness.

When your wife realizes that the only way to be genuinely happy is not by looking to you as the source of joy but in knowing intimately the Lord Jesus Christ, she will have found the secret to building a happy marriage.

And since Ephesians 5:26 calls a husband to be his wife's spiritual leader, it is your job to learn firsthand how to find your own joy in loving Christ with all of your being. (This begins when you surrender to Jesus as Lord and Savior. To know more about how you can know God personally, contact

When you and your wife stop believing happiness lies in how well your spouse measures up to your expectations - but in how well you love God, you will have discovered the key to happiness in marriage.

2. All he wants is sex.

Why do wives make husbands feel apologetic for wanting to have sex with them? Across the board I'd have to say this a major myth that is hurting Christian marriages.

Most wives wrongly assume that sex for her husband is purely physical. Wives don't realize that most men struggle with feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. So help your wife understand how intimacy with her is salve for your weary soul. (I talk more about this topic in Chapter 7 of If My Husband Would Change I'd Be Happy.)

Your wife longs to regularly connect with you emotionally. You would do well to remember that this is your wife's God-given need - a need that only you can fill in a Christ-honoring way.

And just as strongly as your need to connect with your wife in the marriage bed, God has given your wife the same intense longing to interact with you through conversation and romantic gestures.

3. I'm falling out of love with him.

How did your wife fall in love with you? By spending time with you and dwelling on the qualities she admired about you–right? In the same manner, the way to stay in love rests in spending time enjoying the company of your spouse, and in choosing to think loving thoughts toward each other.

During courtship, it may have been easier for your wife to focus on your positive attributes, but I'll bet you were also putting your best foot forward too–am I right?

After marriage, it's easy for husbands and wives to stop making the effort to present themselves lovable. What if you put forth the same amount of effort to keep your wife's affections as you did to win them?

When you see a married couple that appears to be deeply in love, you can know that they have discovered the discipline of:

  • Making time to enjoy one another's company
  • Dwelling on their spouse's positive qualities

Rather than responding in an unkind or agitated manner, thinking the best about your spouse is the key to acting in kindness toward them. Wives often take out their frustration by responding harshly to their husbands. If you in turn snap back with cruelty it will only serve to destroy the foundation of your marriage.

So what can you do? Take the advice of Proverbs 15:1: "A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."

By example, help your wife realize that the way the two of you will fall deeper in love over time is by choosing to think on what is good, right, and honorable (see Philippians 4:8).

Let it Begin with You

Someone has got to make the first move toward building a happy marriage. Let that someone be you. If your wife has wrongly believed myths that are keeping her from enjoying your marriage, rather than pointing out the error of her ways, work to dispel the myths by realizing:

  • Christ is the source of genuine happiness
  • Staying in love is all in your mind
  • Her emotional tank will be filled up through conversation and romantic gestures
  • Putting time into kindly helping your wife dispel the myths she believes about marriage will help you build a no regrets marriage.
  • Seek Godly Counsel

To help you and your wife build a better marriage, take to heart Proverbs 11:14:

"Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety."

Seek out godly counselors. Look to a pastor, older godly Christian couple, or find a Biblical Counselor.

About The Author:

Rhonda Stoppe is a pastor's wife, speaker, and author. As the NO REGRETS WOMAN, Rhonda has more than 20 years experience of helping women live life with no regrets. Through humor, and honest communication, she helps women build NO REGRETS LIVES by applying sound teaching from Scripture. Rhonda appears on radio programs, speaks at women's events, MOPs, and homeschool conventions throughout the nation. Rhonda Stoppe's book Moms Raising Sons to be Men is mentoring thousands of moms to guide sons toward a no-regrets life. Her new book If My Husband Would Change, I'd Be Happy: And Other Myths Wives Believe is helping countless women build no-regrets marriages.

Source: Daily Update

Power of Mind

by Napoleon Hill

Since what you achieve in life depends on what you first conceive, and this depends first of all upon your deep, inner, subconsciously founded belief - you see that your life depends upon your power to believe.

No, your mere life-processes do not depend upon this power. The Eternal has made it possible for the supreme achievement of evolution, man, to stay alive even without knowing he is alive. The beating of the heart, the pumping of the lungs, the processes of digestion and other vital functions are taken care of by a part of the brain which takes care of itself.

Beyond this, man creates an ever better species. He aspires - and climbs to the heights of his aspiration. Seeing heights yet beyond, again he aspires - and achieves that peak, beyond which lies another and another.

Significantly, philosophers always have recognized the power of the quiet mind, the peaceful mind. This is far from being a mind empty of aspiration. It is, rather, a mind which can hold, judge and evaluate the highest forms of aspiration. Nor is a peaceful mind the exclusive property of a person who does not move about in the world and busy himself with the world’s manifold affairs, for some of the most peaceful minds are the busiest. Remember, we speak of inner peace, like a quiet center about which all else revolves, like a great rotating dynamo doing useful work and filled with energy, yet referring its rotation always to the unmoved pivot at its middle.

A mind at peace is a mind that is free to conceive greatly. It bears no great conflicts within its subconscious which may hamper the conscious mind and therefore conscious action. A mind at peace is a free mind. Its power is limitless.

Form your great beliefs on the basis of inward peace and they will be truly great - and they will be possible of achievement. Not possible to everyone, perhaps, but possible to the man who knows that peace of mind and power of mind are the same.

Source: Grow Rich! With Peace of Mind. The Napoleon Hill Foundation. Penguin/Plume. 2007. Pgs. 203-204.

What Makes Us Happy?

by Michael Josephson

There is an ever-growing body of knowledge about the nature and causes of happiness.

For one thing, it's clear that happiness is a feeling, not a circumstance. Happiness is more than just fun or pleasure. It's a more durable sense of well-being.

Our happiness depends not on what happens to us, but what happens in us. In other words, it's the way we choose to think about our lives. Abe Lincoln said, "People are generally about as happy as they're willing to be." A Buddhist proverb tells us that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

So, what are the most common attributes of happy people? Well, it's not money, fame, or good looks. It's not even intelligence or talent. No, the two most important factors are gratitude and rewarding personal relationships.

The formula is simple: count your blessings and enjoy your family and friends.

Sadly, simple is not always easy.

People whose natural instincts produce a gloomy outlook and pessimism need to re-train their minds. It's one thing to say happiness is not getting what you want but wanting what you get; it's quite another to really be satisfied with what we have.

For many people, it takes discipline and practice to think positively.

Sometimes it's just a matter of changing one's perspective, choosing to see and appreciate the silver lining, the half full glass. In other cases, what's required is refusing to dwell on pain, disappointment, or envy, and instead force one's mind toward good thoughts, including all the things we should be grateful for.

Interestingly, the ability to maintain a positive attitude is also important in forming and sustaining meaningful relationships – seeing and bringing out the best.

Michael Josephson


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