There are many different varieties of trees and plants that are specific to our country India. These are highly beneficial due to their practical applications in healthcare, food and other uses. Some plants are rare, while some are very common, and are found all over the country and in other countries as well, such as the tulsi plant.
One such commonly found plant is Azadirachta indica, commonly known as neem plant or Indian lilac. Neem is a fast-growing, evergreen tree, and reaches a height of 20 meters. The branches are long and wide, with toothed, pinnate leaves. It has white and fragrant flowers, and small, olive-like, drupe shaped fruits that are bittersweet in taste.
The neem plant is native to the Indian subcontinent, and not only does it survive, but also thrives in less water. Furthermore, it can grow in different kinds of soil and is a tropical or subtropical tree. This plant can resist high temperatures, but not very low temperatures. Moreover, it can be found almost everywhere in India, growing in gardens, temples, parks, roadsides, and other public places. Known for its thick foliage, it is grown for its shade in different outdoor seating areas.
A highly versatile plant, it has various uses due to its long list of practical abilities and medicinal benefits. The leaves are used in cooking different vegetables, salads, and pickling. Neem is highly beneficial and possesses many medicinal qualities. Its leaves are used to cure skin diseases, and the oil is used to keep healthy hair, for improving liver function, blood detoxification, along with balancing blood sugar levels. Neem twigs are used as natural toothbrushes and tongue cleaners. It has other applications such as in cosmetics and sanitary products.
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IELTS Cue Card Talk about a magazine or online article about healthy living
Talk about a magazine or online article about healthy living
You should say
Who writes the magazine/Article?
Where do you get this magazine/Article?
What the magazine/Article says about healthy living?
And explain why you agree/ disagree with the message.
Media has a pivotal role in shaping our worldview. Every single thing we know is through the spread of print, online sites and our school system. Our opinions are largely formed from these sources. In fact, some infamous marketing campaigns have been so successful in imparting their opinions that they have shaped unhealthy, illogical now unquestionably integral habits of our society.
Take the weekend magazine that comes attached to our morning newspaper for example. Every single Sunday I am barraged by articles on “Healthy Living!!”, “Newest Fads!!”, “New Study!!” claiming things from the absurd to the plain manipulative and wrong. When reading these articles, I wonder for the sanity of those less fortunate than I, for those less aware and more trusting, for those that take anything written as proof of its factuality.
These articles are written by mere journalists with no license, no qualification, to talk on the trends they seem to swear by. Fad diets are ruthlessly promoted, real health experts willingly misquoted. Studies that should not even be allowed to see the light of day get prime spots just because of their outrageous claims. Those studies that have a sample pool of 5 people followed over 3 days diets that apparently worked miracles get the glory of the cover page. It makes me furious.
The magazine promotes itself as a health capsule and does in fact the devil’s bidding. Promoting processed food one day, Vitamin supplements the next, and organic companies the week after. It’s a blatant advertisement for companies bidding for the best article spots. Absolutely revolting, that people would even fall for this in their desperate times. Please do not even get me started on the fad diet section this magazine displays so proudly.
The Journalist rely so heavily on wispy claims by experts with no knowledge on how to verify the reports or see flaws in the expert’s work. The publishers are unaware of their own reach, rather than promoting critical thinking of the general population they prefer to use consumerism culture to rake in the money. Newspapers devote little to no space to in depth nutrition, despite having all the resources available. It’s purely frustrating to me, and also one of my biggest pet peeves.
Last week I really felt like writing to the publication house to complain, they should at least add a disclaimer box on any speculation rather than presenting it next to factual news. But then I realized it would be a waste of time, rather I made another phone call, a different one, one to cancel my mandatory subscription to those glossy misleading pages.
Q.1 How popular is reading in your country?
Ans: I’m glad to say that love for reading is still alive in my country. In fact, reading is so popular that each town in my state has a fully equipped library. People of all ages, including children, adults and the elderly, throng to these libraries regularly to enjoy their favourite publications.
Q.2 Do you think reading is important?
Ans: Yes, indeed. In my view, reading has a profound effect on human behaviour and personality development. It not only helps us grow mentally, emotionally and psychologically but also broadens our horizons and shapes our characters.
Q.3 Do you think men and women prefer different types of books?
Ans: Yes, generally speaking, male readers are more inclined towards non-fiction books whereas females enjoy fiction and fantasy based reading.
Useful words and their meanings
a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world
a style, activity, or interest that is very popular for a short period of time
(of bad behaviour) done openly and unashamedly.
a cause of annoyance
Another Similar Cue Card
Talk about an article about health which you felt interesting to read.
You should say:
Where and when did you read it?
What was the article about?
And why did you feel it interesting?
(Download CUE Card)
SAMPLE ANSWER TWO:
Health is the most crucial element of our well-being. Only by being healthy can we enjoy all other worldly pleasures in life. Poor health is a curse which decapitates the joy of life. Importance of good health and its guidelines are impressed upon us by our parents and teachers in our childhood. Later, we come across various literature and social messages inking the techniques used to attain good health. One such health article that I came across, was published in the Sunday magazine ‘Health Plus’, that was subscribed by my parents. It was during the summers of last year that I read this article.
The article detailed out the causes and preventive measures of lifestyle diseases like hypertension, diabetes, stress and anxiety disorders etc., which are becoming commonplace nowadays. Medical cases related to these disorders are on a high tide rise, due to the increasing work pressures and emotional dissatisfactions. It mentioned that although we have allopathic treatment of these diseases but, they come as an addiction and consequential harmful effects to the body. Yoga and Naturopathy were suggested as the best alternatives, whose results might be slow to appear, but they are permanent with no side effects. Different yoga postures and techniques have been verified to be highly useful in preventing and curing these lifestyle disorders. Moreover, there are several herbs and medicinal plants which could be consumed instead of allopathic medicines, as medicines reduce in their effectiveness over a period of time due to the immunity built against antibiotics.
Evidential results along with testimonies of different people inspired my faith in effectiveness of natural techniques. I affirmed the strong importance of yoga and naturopathy for staying fit and healthy. Apart from that, I felt good to know various yoga techniques and names of plants that can be easily grown in homes. I also developed a firm resistance for medicines, in case of curing lifestyle diseases.
high blood pressure: Hypertension can be handled by meditation.
cut down: King decapitated the head of the rival soldier.
Q. 1 Is there a shift in the health patterns of people over the time?
Sample Answer: Yes, there is a visible shift in the health patterns of people. In the past, many years back, although we didn’t have as good health infrastructure as now but then, there were less number of diseases too. Lifestyle diseases were very rare and even chronic diseases like tumours were very few. People were relatively healthy and disease free in earlier times.
Q. 2 As per you, what is the reason of this declining health graph?
Sample Answer: Food and dietary patterns are the foremost reason for this depreciating trend in the health domain. Nowadays, grains, cereals, vegetables and even fruits are grown with the application of lots of fertilizers and pesticides which are extremely detrimental to our health. Apart from that, lack of physical exercises in our daily lifestyle is another reason for this trend. Outdoors junk food consumption is a rising phenomenon in the youngsters nowadays which is a serious compromise on our good health. Needless to say, growing work pressures and fragile relationships present today, take a heavy toll on the psyche and various stress and anxiety related disorders are peaking as a result of it.
Q. 3 What do you do to stay fit and healthy?
Sample Answer: Most of the times I take my food at home only and try to avoid the outdoor junk. Apart from this, I regularly go for jogging and stretching exercises in the morning. Also, I try to stay calm and composed, free of agitation in all situations. With practice, I have developed this tempo of staying relaxed which doesn’t allow the stress to weigh heavily on me.
Q. 4 How do you verify the bonafideness of an article?
Sample Answer: First of all, it is the magazine and its esteemed brand in which the article is published, that matters the most. Good reputed magazines thriving well for the last many years have proven their credibility and established the faith in the minds of its readers. Then the signatory authorship of the article is also considered for the genuineness of the article. Finally, the testimonies and interviews presented in the article act as major supplements to ensure the truth about it.
A time when you had to change your mind about something you had planned to do.
What was it?
Why did you have to change the plan?
How did you feel about it?
Plans are a very promising phenomenon that occurs regularly in our lives. But they change due to different factors. Many a time I have intended a lot of things with a lot of ambitions but had to cancel or change due to various reasons.
One such incident took place when I had planned a motorcycling trip to a hill station nestled deep in the crevices of the Himalayan Mountains, along with a few friends. On a warm summer day we were sitting at a cafe near my place, and while we enjoyed our drinks, when I suddenly came up with an idea to go to a beautiful location in the hills near Himachal Pradesh on our motorcycles. We all discussed the plan and after a lot of brainstorming, we finalized our visit in the upcoming month of May, during our vacations. I was very excited and took permission from my family as well. After their agreement, I started preparing for the expedition and confirming the trip to the last detail. Sadly, sometimes such things happen due to which our pre-planning goes for a toss. Two days before we had to leave, my friend came to me and told me about a devastating earthquake that happened in the area we had decided to visit.
As a result, I was despaired and had almost reached the point of tears. With a heavy heart, I then called up all my friends and told them about the last minute change and the cancellation of the trip. Even after the change of plan, I had decided to visit the place during the autumn and promised myself that I will propose this trip again.
planned or meant. Example – Julia had intended to gift David a book.
A narrow opening. Example – Robert filled the crevice in the wall with cement.
A productive group discussion. Example – The agents did some brainstorming to produce new ideas.
Another Similar Cue Card
Describe a plan in your life that is not related to the work or study.
You should say:
What is the plan?
How did you make it?
How will you approach in the plan?
And how would you feel if plan is successful?
(Download CUE Card)
SAMPLE ANSWER TWO:
Plan, not related to study or work is a plan that stems out of your interests and passions. That kind of plan is very interesting to be made. Other plans of study and work are merely the derivatives of the compulsions imposed on us by life. Many times, people are so busy in their lives, that it is only at the retirement, when they think that they didn’t plan or do anything to fan out their interests, but rather remained bugged in their work only. I have this plan of learning, how to play a harmonica. I have been very fond of listening to good music. In my childhood, I was gifted a mouth organ by my relative. I used to enjoy playing it for hours together and it is still my best companion. The kind of serenity and calmness that I feel, while I play my random tunes on it, is just out of this world. I feel so immersed and dissolved within myself. Therefore, I have this plan of learning harmonica from a skilled music teacher.
To execute this plan, I am planning to get enrolled in a music class with some good teacher. Because of my job schedules, I happen to travel to different places frequently. This is the reason due to which I am not able to join the class, which will prolong for at least 6 months, for me to be a non-amateur player. This time, due to the company’s assent, I might get the opportunity of staying longer in the present city of Dehradun. I have already started looking for a good music instructor for me. Few of them that I have found hitherto, are masters of hand operated instruments, so I am looking for someone who is better at air driven ones and very soon, I will be starting with it.
If I am able to learn play the harmonica well, I shall be feeling very delighted and cheerful. After proper classes, I shall be having grips on the tones and notes of music, which will enable me to play different kinds of music. I shall be enjoying it fully and will keep on practicing to become better and better.
continue for a period: Prolonged illness can bring severe weakness.
one who is not very skilful: I am still an amateur in singing techniques.
Q. 1 Why do we make plans?
Sample Answer: We generally make plans to execute a purposeful event in life that can be of good significance to us. For instance, if I plan to take up a course that can enhance my software skills, then it is done so as to have better, higher paying jobs in my offing. Similarly, if I plan to learn how to play a music instrument, then it is done to blossom my hobby which I enjoy pursuing.
Q. 2 Do children also make plans? What kind of plans?
Sample Answer: Yes, even a child of 3 to 4 years makes his plans. The only difference is that they involve very simple reasoning in their plain plans. They do not make complex elaborate plans rather simple ones. For instance, a small child may plan how should I convince my father to go to market so that I can have my favourite toy and so on.
Q. 3 Why do the plans fail sometimes?
Sample Answer: A person’s interests keep on shifting with the passage of time. For instance, I liked reading history till the time I was unaware of the past events. But once I knew most of those, I started reading psychology books. To know the what and how of brain and various processes and disorders related with it turned out to be an interesting read for me. Therefore, I think, based on the mind-set and changing interests, I keep on hopping on the subjects of different kind of books.
Q. 4 Do you like reading a story or watching that? Why?
Sample Answer: Most of the times, plans fail due to the lack of proper reasoning and concerted efforts in the right direction. Right mix of all the needed variables along with the right execution will not let a plan fail so easily. But still, some plans fail either due to lack of requisite resources or sometimes, due to reasons uncontrolled by us, can be called as environmental reasons. For instance, I plan to go for boating on the next day and it starts raining heavily then so I would have cancel my plan.
Describe something useful you learned from a member of your family.
What did you learn?
How did this become useful later in your life?
Explain why it was important for you?
(Download CUE Card)
I have been brought up in a joint family with thirteen family members. Apart from my parents, my family consists of my grandparents, two uncles, and their wives and children. My family has always believed in moral values and the strength they can provide to one’s character. Due to this, I have always learned something from every family elder. Apart from this, my elders have also taught me many practical things and activities. My uncle taught me swimming, my aunt taught me painting and art, and my elder siblings taught me how to play outdoor games.
Out of this long list, I have one memorable lesson that I remember is the power of reading that my grandmother taught me. She was a teacher in her early days and has always been a strict academic. Even in such an old age, she still reads many books, mostly spiritual and religious texts. She started teaching me how to read from an early age and helped me incite interest in it. With her help, I used to learn new words, and read something new every day. I understood the benefits of reading due to her.
She started inspiring me to read books other than my academic books. As the days passed and I spent more time with her, I realized that I had gained a lot of knowledge, and that too earlier than other children of my age. I have won many orations, debating, and writing competitions due to this habit. I am grateful to her for giving me inspiration and confidence as I know this habit has helped me with my studies and with my intellectual growth.