Archive for April, 2013

Wild Rock Honey – Health benefit myth

Wild Rock Honey – Health benefit myth

Rock honey, quite similar in shape to rock sugar but comes in various shades of yellow and is always porous in nature. It has the colour and fragrance of honey.  Rock honey is widely sold in Chinese medicinal halls, mini markets and even wet markets.  It is a very popular and cheap alternative to natural liquid honey, a favourite among the aunties.   It is commonly believed by the aunties that rock honey is beneficial to health and can be used for treatment of a number of ailments as claimed by the pamphlet below.

This  “wild rock honey” as the pamphlet says, is supposedly harvested from the bee hives in the jungle. The health benefits as claimed by this pamphlets are for treatment/relieve of lung ailments, cough, phlegm, sore throat, loss of voice, lack of appetite, motion sickness, body heatiness, toothache, improve fairer skin complexion and throat irritation.  The Chinese version even claimed to treat insomia, and urinary problems.

The average content of natural liquid honeys sampled from various parts of the world is:   fructose (fruit sugar):  38.56%,  glucose (single sugar): 32.789%,  sucrose (double sugar): 02.010 and water: 17.168%.  Among these constituents, only sucrose (cane sugar) can be crystalised, the rest are either in liquid form or in powder form.  Honey only exists in liquid form and since honey cannot be crystalised, rock honey does not exist in nature.  The so called “wild rock honey” is man made with cane sugar, and probably artificial essence/colouring and some natural honey.  You won’t believe until you see the bottom photo of the “wild rock honey” in its original form.  It is shaped like a large round dish before it is cut into pieces. Common sense will tell you “wild rock honey” can’t be in this form!!.  It is made by boiling cane sugar in pots (hence the round shape) with some essence and or honey added and to make the rock honey porous, some raising agent (like the one in self raising flour) is added.  Boiling the sugar will turn the sugar to various shade of yellow colours (depend on the degree the sugar is being caramelised).

Now knowing this, would you still think that “wild rock honey” is beneficial to health?  If you ask me which is better,”wild rock honey” or refined cane sugar, my definite answer is 99% pure refined cane sugar!!

Please tell your loved ones, aunties, etc,  if they still believe in the health benefits of “wild rock honey”.

honey_huntingHoney Hunters of Nepal

Cloth Pads VS Sanitary Napkins

Cloth Pads VS Sanitary Napkins

This post discusses the use of sanitary napkins. Please do not find it offensive. It is only directed towards creating awareness. A sanitary napkin is an absorbent fabric worn by a woman while she is menstruating. A cloth menstrual pad is sanitary napkin that is reusable.

I was approached by Tiny Tapir to test using their cloth menstrual pads last week. In return, I will run a giveaway contest in this blog, promoting the use of reusable cloth menstrual pads. I would like to help, but how could I?

Me got 100% man‘hood’, me no using maxi pad.

At least I came to know the existence of cloth menstrual pads. And I could still help to create awareness here.

In early days before the birth of disposable pads, women used some form of cloth to catch their menstrual blood. Some of these clothes were washable and reusable. In some rural areas and poor families, women did not use anything to collect menstrual blood. When they menstruated, they left a trail of blood behind them (source from the Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health).

Disposable menstrual pads were first commercially available around 1888. Back then, they were called Southall’s Pads, which was a wood pulp bandages used to catch menstrual blood and can be thrown away after use. These pads have up to 2 centimeters in thickness and leaks were a major problem.

Cloth Pads VS Sanitary Napkins picture earth song  photo
Southall’s pad (taken from the Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health)

Cloth Pads VS Sanitary Napkins picture earth song  photo
Southall’s ads from the United Kingdom, 1892.

The design has been bettered in the last 20 years by adding “wings” and reducing the thickness of the pad.

Cloth Pads VS Sanitary Napkins picture earth song  photo
Modern disposable sanitary napkins

Introducing here the cloth menstrual pads. Have you ever heard of this one before? Do not get mistaken, these are not the same cloth pads used 2 generations ago. Modern cloth pads have “wings” too and they are so slim you will not realize you are wearing anything.

Cloth Pads VS Sanitary Napkins picture earth song  photo
Cloth pads – decorative too! (courtesy from Tiny Tapir)

Do you know it takes 500 to 800 years for disposable sanitary napkins to biodegrade? Cloth pads are made of 100% organic materials and thus more environmental friendly than disposable sanitary napkins.

Other advantages of cloth menstrual pad over disposable sanitary napkin are:

1. It is less expensive in long run because it will last for years.

2. It carries fewer odors as it is made of more breathable material (cloth) if compared to plastic.

3. It is more comfortable to wear if compared to plastic.Have I managed to pursuit you to switch to cloth menstrual pads?

Beautiful cups and sauces

Eat only 60% full for long life and health


Eat only 60% full for long life and health

Studies as well as anecdotal accounts have shown that eating less leads to a longer life and a healthier life. So don’t eat till you fell “full” but stop about 40% before that. Of course one cannot try to split hair and attempt to eat exactly 60% from full. Approximate will do. Read the rest below:

What’s wrong with eating too full?

Don’t overeat and don’t encourage your family members and friends to overeat – unless you wish to shorten their healthy living and perhaps die younger!

An interesting article about eating too full….
In Today’s Dr Lee Newsletter Issue:
“What’s wrong with eating too full?”

“The more you eat, the sooner you die. The lesser you eat, the longer you live.” This is what Dr Lee always says in his health talk. He also mentions, “Eating too full causes all sort of health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, stroke, etc.”

Why eating too full is so harmful to your health? What can you do about it?

Mice experiment

To see how eating habit affects life span, a professor from University of Texas did an experiment on mice.

For the first group of 100 mice, he let them eat without any restriction, just like a buffet meal. The second group was fed only 60% full. And the third group was given food without restriction too. But this time, he reduced protein content to half. After 2.5 years, guess how many mice were still alive out of 100?

* First group (eat without restriction) – only 13 mice was alive. Opsss…
* Second group (eat 60% full) – 97 mice was still alive. Only 3 mice died.
* Third group (eat without restriction with protein cut half) – 50 mice still alive.

What can we learn from these results?

Firstly, eating too full is really harmful to your body. Secondly, eat 60% full if you want to live longer and healthier. Thirdly, taking too much protein is harmful to your body too. We don’t need so much protein after all.

Overworking body

Imagine having a small family car. Instead of using it for short travel between home and office, you use it for long distance travel between different cities every day. Instead of using it 1 hour a day, you use it for 10 hours a day. Instead of driving at 70 km/h, you always speed up to 170 km/h, hitting engine’s red line.

Can you estimate your car life span? Do you expect having various problems with your car after a short time?

Driving your car at high speed for a long time is like always eating too full. You force your body to always work at its red line.

Do you know digestion is the most demanding work for your body? Think about the organs involved such as your mouth, stomach, liver, pancreas, duodenum and intestine. Think about the length of digestive tract from your mouth to intestine.

Eating too full zaps up much of your body energy for digestion. Otherwise, this energy may be used for other purpose such as enhancing your immune system.

Do you realize you become very tired easily after a big meal? That is the sign of your body working hard to digest all the food you take in.

If you eat an extra bowl of noodle, your pancreas has to produce extra insulin hormone to process the extra carbohydrates you take.

Your liver, stomach and intestine also have to produce extra enzymes to digest and process specific nutrients from that bowl of noodle.

Therefore the more you eat, the harder your body has to work to process it. Of course, we must eat to survive. But we don’t have to eat that much!

If you drive your car slowly and handle it gently, you can use it for a long time. But if you always floor the accelerator and drive like a rally driver, you know the consequence on your car life span.

Side effect of eating

Your car engine burns fuel to move your car and bring you to anywhere you like to go. As a result, the engine produces exhaust smoke which is toxic. It must be dispersed out from your car. Similarly, your body cell burns nutrient for energy to survive. In the process, it produces free radicals. Since free radical is toxic to your body, it has to be neutralized and expelled.

“Just metabolizing food especially fatty and carbohydrate-rich fare causes the body to produce free radicals, which attack cells and can promote the development of chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes and cancer,” says Ronald L. Prior, Ph.D.

Of course, your body can control free radicals in small quantity. But the more you eat, the more free radicals your body produces. Without adequate control, these free radicals easily attack your body cells and eventually cause all sort of diseases.

Good eating habit

After knowing the harmful effect of eating too full, what’s your choice? Do you want to live longer, just like the second group mice in the experiment? Or do you want to risk ending your life earlier, just like the first group mice? If you wish to live longer, here are some tips you can follow:

1.. Always eat until 70% full. Do not exceed 80% full. You may want to stop eating when you feel slightly full.

2. Avoid having buffet style meal which makes it harder to control how much you eat. Instead, prepare the food you want to eat in a plate. After finishing it, don’t add anymore food.

3. Leaving the dining table earlier may prevent you from picking some extra food to eat.

4. It is always a good idea to prepare lesser food in the first place. Some people are afraid of having not enough food for everyone. Actually, lesser food is beneficial for everyone..In a restaurant, order in small amount first. You can always add in some extra order if necessary. But if you can get by with the original smaller order, that’s great.

Remember this: You have higher chance of overeating if you serve more food on the table. You have better chance of not overeating if you serve less food
5. Avoid stuffing your fridge with ice cream, chocolate or other dessert. You cannot eat what you do not have.

6. When someone prepares a big plate of food for you, look at it first. Ask yourself, “Do I want to stuff it all into my stomach?”

If your answer is no, just put aside some food to another empty plate first. After finishing your food, look back at the extra food on that new plate. Say to yourself, “Phew! Luckily I didn’t stuff that portion into my stomach.”

7. When you get too hungry before your meal time, just take some fruit instead of heavy meal. The tendency to overeat is very high for modern people. Do you know most monks only eat twice a day?

They wake up at 4am, meditate and say their prayer. Later they have their simple breakfast at 7am. Before 12pm, they have their lunch. That’s all for them. They eat no more after that. No tea break. No dinner. No supper. They still look strong and energetic.

Of course, we don’t have to eat like them. But it reminds us we can eat less and stay healthy. So remember to eat only 70% full if you want to stay healthy.

Close WC lid before flushing


Preventive medicine: close WC lid before flushing

Natural remedies include preventive medicine, steps to take to prevent one from getting sick. Below is a screenshot (video capture) which shows numerous bacteria represented by light blue dots that get spread throughout the bathroom via spray caused by the flushing of the WC (water closet, ie. the toilet bowl) after a pee. These bacteria settles not only on the toilet seat but also your toothbrush and other toiletries. So you should also store your toothbrush and toiletries in a closed cabinet:

Poor quality artificial hymen can cause lifelong infertility

Poor quality artificial hymen can cause lifelong infertility 2008-5-5 14:53 Yangcheng Evening News


These inferior products in the security hidden trouble. Experts Caution: girls best to stay away from it!

The number of colleges and universities in Guangzhou ladies’ room and even the accommodation blocks the numerous artificial hymen advertising. After an investigation, the reporters found that these self-proclaimed “no surgery, no injections, no medication, no side effects, offer a few hundred dollars” artificial hymen “is, in fact, some of the adult products market only $ 20 you can buy inferior products. Experts say, because of quality problems, these products will damage the user’s health, a serious cause of infertility for life, should be used with caution!

Advertisement appeared University <br> in a university located in Tianhe District, a teacher, told reporters the artificial hymen ads last month began to appear on campus, at first in the girls toilets, later in the student dormitory can see such as posting ads. An ad posted in the ladies room last week said it was just imported from Japan, the fifth-generation artificial hymen, and introduced this product without any side effects, 100% real “price of 300 yuan a set, such as More than five sets% discount “.

  Another university, a student told reporters that the school “artificial hymen” advertising time for two months, a 11-storey teaching building, almost each floor of the ladies room can be found in this kind of advertising. The campus cleaners who used to rip these ads, but a few days the ad will again appear.

The reporter then dialed the phone on the left in an ad, a woman answered the phone, she told reporters, students soon to be a holiday, so a month all artificial hymen has a special price, such as “red night” a past 280, now only $ 200, “Lady film also dropped from the previous 200 yuan to 160 yuan the Japanese original Joan of Arc Red” by 400 yuan to 280 yuan. She also boasted of these products feel realistic, simple to use, and “Fallen flowers” exactly like the real thing, and will not cause any harm to the body.

No certificate of sale

The reporter went to Station Road, adult products wholesale market, found inside the shops are not artificial hymen on the pavement, I began to ask the shop staff will hesitated to look into the boss. When a reporter said he was a college student, introduced by the familiar customers over the artificial hymen wholesale back to school sales, the boss he called the employee to another place the artificial hymen model of the two brands bring in a shop.

According to the shop owner, the store sold two artificial hymen price difference, the cheaper one is 18 yuan, and another sold at 25 yuan. Allegedly, the campus a few hundred dollars retail, in fact, these around $ 20 product. The boss said, these artificial hymen does not allow the sale of the sale of certificates, and therefore can not be placed in the storefront sale, only regular customers business.

Can cause lifelong infertility
A gynecologist said, artificial hymen on the quality and safety there is a big hidden danger, if the blind, easily lead to physical illness and even left a life-long regret, the best girls away from it.

According to experts, the artificial hymen is in private illegal trading of what is inside the red liquid, which ingredients are unclear. The experts cited the artificial hymen may bring a variety of hazards: because of its rough texture, easily lead to scratch the vaginal wall, vascular bleeding; due to poor health, it is easy to bring the the fungal inflammation, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea or pelvic inflammatory disease, sepsis etc.; inside liquid of unknown origin, rupture may produce chemical reactions, burns the vagina, causing infertility, to bring the rest of his life.

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Women Tolerate Pain Better than Men

Women Tolerate Pain Better than Men

May 19, 2003

By Colette Bouchez, HealthScoutNews Reporter

HealthScoutNews — She gets a tooth pulled, then drives herself home, makes dinner for four, does the laundry and helps the kids with their homework.

He gets a tooth pulled and his universe slams to a halt, as he waits for the pain to go away.

Caricatures? Sure. But the debate over who can really stand more pain has been one of the more interesting battles of the sexes, spanning generations.

Now, however, new research is bringing that battle into a whole new arena, with strong evidence that the traditionally “weaker” sex may be hardier after all.

“I think men have always secretly suspected that in order to go through childbirth a woman has to be pretty tough. Now we have some new science to back up the idea that women may be better able to cope with pain than men — at least during certain periods of their life,” says Dr. James N. Dillard, author of the The Chronic Pain Solution and an assistant clinical professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

The secret weapon? Estrogen. Produced by the ovaries in peak amounts during the reproductive years, and in lesser amounts later in life, the hormone’s influence may extend far beyond a woman’s reproductive tract. Its powers may reach straight to the pain centers of the brain.

“Although pain is influenced by many factors, it’s clear that estrogen plays an important role in the individual response,” says Dr. Jon-Kar Zubieta, a neuroscientist at the University of Michigan who has published several studies investigating links between sex hormones and pain.

One way estrogen helps women to cope with pain, he says, is by increasing the availability of endorphins — brain chemicals that help dampen the pain response.

When estrogen levels are high, there’s an increased number of areas in the brain where endorphins can “park.” The more “parking places” available, Zubieta says, the more endorphins there are on call, waiting to flood the body with “feel good” chemicals capable of overriding pain signals.

“That’s one reason why women can get through the pain of childbirth — right before they give birth, their estrogen levels are soaring, so their ability to cope with pain is expanded,” Zubieta says.

Conversely, studies show this same level of pain protection may drop precipitously the closer a woman gets to menopause, a time when estrogen levels can plummet. That fact, says Dillard, may be one reason why so many women begin to feel more aches and pains as they cross the threshold into mid-life.

“It’s not that they are experiencing more things going wrong with their body, as much as they are experiencing a level of pain they were not feeling before,” Dillard explains.

As far back as 1993, an animal study published in the journal Pain found that when their ovaries were intact, female rats were far less likely to experience pain than when the ovaries were removed. More recently, studies conducted at the University of Massachusetts revealed that women may have more muscle endurance during exercise than men, thanks again to estrogen, which works to reduce soreness and pain after exertion.

Research also shows testosterone levels make little difference in how male rats experience pain, indicating this hormone may not have the same effect on men as estrogen does on women.

But when it comes to perceiving pain, it’s not just hormones that matter. Dillard says social and cultural conditioning matters as well.

“We know that pain pathways go directly into the primitive emotional parts of the brain — the limbic system. But the degree to which you react to that pain is culturally learned,” says Dillard.

What can also matter: Previous experience with pain.

Because women are preconditioned to at least some degree of monthly menstrual pain, not to mention a pretty hefty level of discomfort during childbirth, Dillard suspects they may react with less alarm when other types of pain occur. And this, he says, may make a big difference when it comes time to have that tooth pulled.

“Research has shown that the more upset somebody is about pain — man or woman — the more they tend to amplify pain signals and the worse the pain feels,” Dillard says. “So, if a woman is used to pain, she will be less alarmed by pain signals, and that leads to better tolerance.”

The study of gender-based pain is still in its infancy. And while it’s beginning to appear as if women may have some biochemical advantages, ironically, women are also more likely to suffer from pain syndrome illnesses — conditions such as fibromyalgia, lupus, multiple sclerosis and migraine headaches.