Posts Tagged ‘ecofrenhealth’

WHAT IS MARIJUANA?

WHAT IS MARIJUANA?

Marijuana is the word used to describe the dried flowers, seeds and leaves of the Indian hemp plant. On the street, it is called by many other names, such as: astro turf, bhang, dagga, dope, ganja, grass, hemp, home grown, J, Mary Jane, pot, reefer, roach, Texas tea and weed.

Hashish is a related form of the drug, made from the resins of the Indian hemp plant. Also called chocolate, hash or shit, it is on average six times stronger than marijuana.

“Cannabis” describes any of the different drugs that come from Indian hemp, including marijuana and hashish.

Regardless of the name, this drug is a hallucinogen—a substance which distorts how the mind perceives the world you live in.

The chemical in cannabis that creates this distortion is known as “THC.” The amount of THC found in any given batch of marijuana may vary substantially, but overall, the percentage of THC has increased in recent years.

HOW IS IT USED?

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the world. A survey conducted in 2007 found that 14.4 million individuals in the US alone had smoked marijuana at least once during the previous month.

Marijuana is usually smoked as a cigarette (joint), but may also be smoked in a pipe. Less often, it is mixed with food and eaten or brewed as tea. Sometimes users open up cigars and remove the tobacco, replacing it with pot—called a “blunt.” Joints and blunts are sometimes laced with other, more powerful drugs, such as crack cocaine or PCP (phencyclidine, a powerful hallucinogen).

When a person smokes a joint, he usually feels its effect within minutes. The immediate sensations—increased heart rate, lessened coordination and balance, and a “dreamy,” unreal state of mind—peak within the first 30 minutes. These short-term effects usually wear off in two to three hours, but they could last longer, depending on how much the user takes, the potency of THC and the presence of other drugs added into the mix.

As the typical user inhales more smoke and holds it longer than he would with a cigarette, a joint creates a severe impact on one’s lungs. Aside from the discomfort that goes with sore throats and chest colds, it has been found that consuming one joint gives as much exposure to cancer-producing chemicals as smoking five cigarettes.

The mental consequences of marijuana use are equally severe. Marijuana smokers have poorer memories and mental aptitude than do non-users.

Animals given marijuana by researchers have even suffered structural damage to the brain.

http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/marijuana.html

Cannabis sativa, marihuana, hemp, plant

Cannabis sativa, marihuana, hemp, plant Photo/Libor Sojka (CTK via AP Images)

What is Buah DABAI?

Dabai1

What is Buah DABAI?

Dabai is one of many exotic fruits in Sarawak or commonly known as ‘Black Olive’ (Or Kana in Hokkien). Then again, it is not an olive.

 

So what is it anyway?

The Buah Dabai scientific name is Canarium, consists of 75 types of species from tropical and subtropical areas. Surprisingly, the Canarium family tree is under the Burseraceae, which is a native to the tropical Africa, southern Asia, and Australia, as well as places like Nigeria-east to Madagascar, India, Southern China, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The fruit itself is so large and grows on thick green trees up to 40-50 meters height, with alternate, pinnate leaves.

Its furry leaves are thin and twigs covered with golden brown.

How do I prepare?

Buah Dabai is another well-known dish among Malaysians. Its preparation will take a minute or two.

Step one, all what you need is to fill it up with water. Not too much hot water of course. The level of water must be slightly less than the amount of Dabai inside it. Cover the container lid so that heat will be trap inside.

Then you just have to fill it up with black soy sauce. At the same time, you can choose to make it salty or sweet. Just add salt for salty and sugar to make it sweet.

The final step is to wait. After two minutes have passed, you may open it. The smell of Dabai aroma is so strong that you will find it hard to resist. Then again, the very fragrant of Dabai depends on your preparation, either sweet or salty.

If you are creative enough, you might want to try different style. Another method of preparing it is by cooking it with our very well-known elegant yet simplest traditional dish. That is the Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice).

Malaysia is very well-known for the Traditional Nasi-Goreng. Be it Chinese style, Malay Style, Indian Style, Tribal Style and even the Free Style! The dish is so simple and flexible that it has no specific methods of preparing it.

All what you need to do is, while cooking your fried rice, as usual, boil your Dabai first and peel off its outer layer. Then dunk everything inside your fried rice but not the seed. Now, your fried rice is known as Nasi Goreng Dabai.

The seed itself however, is eatable. You will have to cut it into half and dig out the flesh inside it using tooth pick. The Dabai inner seed flesh contains lots of calcium which is good for health!

Where to buy?

Dabai, just like the Durian, is a not your typical seasonal fruit. You will only get it once a year.

The price of Dabai ranges differently in kilograms and depends on the seller.

Normally, the best quality Dabai comes from places in Sarawak such as Sibu, Betong, Kanowit, Sarikei, Oya and Kapit. The freshness of Dabai depends on the how the packaging is done. If you are a far traveller, and you want to try out the Dabai by bringing it back home, you need to pack it properly and make sure that it is not exposed to heat. If you do, the Dabai will eventually cook.

It is a very sensitive fruit even with very little heat exposure, the fruits will be cook! So do pack and wrap it well.

Why is there a yellow and red flesh Dabai?

There is no need to fret on the colour. If it is yellow, the flesh is usually thicker than the red ones

http://blog.borneotropicaladventures.com/2012/12/black-and-elegant-buah-dabai-canarium/

 

Ka Lang(Olive 橄榄), Buah Dabai

This fruit(or vegetable?) is very common in Sibu or the Sarawak and if you go to central market, you will definitely find stalls selling it. We call it Ka Lang(In Foochow), in Malay it is known as Buah Dabai(Video), if I translate from Foochow to Chinese,it is  橄榄 and again if I translate to English, it is Olive. This is definitely not the one that make the olive oil that you can buy in the market. The taste is totally different from normal Olive and Sarawak Olive. It can be found along the riverbanks in Sibu, Kapit and Sarikei divisions.

Research by ARC, Semongok have shown that dabai fruit is nutritious with high values of energy (339kcal), protein (3.8%), fat (26.2%), fiber, and minerals such as potassium (810mg), calcium (200mg), magnesium (106mg) and vitamin E (257ppm) as compared to other underutilized fruit. Current studies by UPM, Serdang have revealed that the main fatty acid composition of dabai – palmitic acid (37-39%), Oleic acid (38-42%) and Linoleic acid (15-18%) is very similar to that of palm oil. Furthermore, these studies also revealed that fruit possesses high antioxidant properties with the skin exhibiting the greatest concentration. The high antioxidant capacity of dabai fruit is due to its polyphenol components. The phenolic compounds in it include anthocyanins, flavonoids and phenolic acids. Dabai fruit contained 2.05-2.49mg anthocyanin/g dried weight as compared to grape of 0.75-0.80mg. Dabai may be a promising source of natural antioxidant phenolics for nutraceutical and functional food industry.

 

How an African slave helped Boston fight smallpox

How an African slave helped Boston fight smallpox

Centuries before Ebola, Cotton Mather faced down another global epidemic with a health tactic from abroad

By Ted Widmer | OCTOBER 17, 2014

cotton-mather
Cotton Mather’s successful smallpox campaign was based on inoculation advice he received from a slave named Onesimus.
UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE/GETTY

THE SPREAD of Ebola has added a scary twist to one of the clichés of our age: that we live in a world of shrinking distances. Boston isn’t one of the five US airports where officials will aim an infrared thermometer gun at anyone coming off a plane from West Africa. But passengers who reached Logan Airport with flu-like symptoms last week were escorted to hospitals by a team in hazmat suits, and our eyes now scan the horizon nervously, wondering about every new arrival.

New as it might seem, this anxiety about our hyperconnectivity has a long lineage: In the 17th and 18th centuries, Bostonians felt a similar terror. The ships that streamed into Boston Harbor from around the Atlantic world carried a vital lifeblood—the commerce that built Boston—but they also carried the microbes of infectious disease.
The most fearsome of all was smallpox, the disease that wiped out so many Native Americans at the time of European settlement, and that also killed large numbers of the English. A terrible epidemic came in 1721, infecting roughly half of Boston’s 11,000 residents. But Boston’s approach to public health changed that year, thanks to an experimental strategy for inoculating citizens with small traces of the disease.

The idea behind this radical new treatment came from Africa, specifically from a slave named Onesimus, who shared his knowledge with Cotton Mather, the town’s leading minister and his legal owner. Boston still suffered dreadfully, but thanks to Onesimus and Mather, the terror linked to smallpox began to recede after Africans rolled up their sleeves—literally—to show Boston how inoculation worked. The story of how Boston began to overcome smallpox illustrates the strife that epidemics can cause, but also the encouraging notion that humans can communicate remedies as quickly as they communicate germs—and that the solutions we most need often come from the places we least expect to find them.

TO EARLY New Englanders, smallpox was one of life’s many imponderables. No one really knew where the disease came from. Was it carried by bad air, or sent as a form of divine retribution for personal failings? Boston had plenty to fear on both counts—one observer described the town at low tide as “a very stinking puddle.” Medical knowledge was still primitive; a learned scientist, John Winthrop Jr., kept what he thought was a unicorn horn in his cabinet. For most, the first line of defense was the prayer book.

Disease was an inseparable part of the New England story from the beginning. It arrived wirh the Great Migration of the 1630s, aboard the very ships that brought so many families to New England. It returned in 1666, and again in 1678, when an epidemic killed 340 Bostonians. A young Cotton Mather wrote, “Boston burying-places never filled so fast.” With time, local leaders began to develop crude public health policies—burying the dead quickly, flying red flags over houses affected, and requiring ships with sick sailors to stop at Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor. But as Bostonians knew, the next epidemic was always just over the horizon. In 1721, on April 22, the HMS Seahorse arrived from the West Indies with smallpox on board, and despite precautions, a full-blown epidemic started.

This time, however, the city was better prepared, thanks to several unlikely heroes. Cotton Mather is not always the easiest figure to admire. The scion of a dynasty of ministers, he fought a lengthy rear-guard action against time, trying to stanch the ebbing of power among the city’s religious authorities. But he was surprisingly modern in some ways, and paid attention to the new forms of knowledge coming in on those ships. Another contradiction lay in his racial attitudes—his writings suggest that, more than most of his contemporaries, he admired Africans, but he also accepted slavery, and had raised no objections when his congregation presented him with a young slave in 1706. He named him Onesimus, after a slave belonging to St. Paul.

Mather had come close to choosing a career in medicine, and devoured the scientific publications of the Royal Society in London. As the society began to turn its attention to inoculation practices around the world, Mather realized that he had an extraordinary expert living in his household. Onesimus was a “pretty Intelligent Fellow,” it had become clear to him. When asked if he’d ever had smallpox, Onesimus answered “Yes and No,” explaining that he had been inoculated with a small amount of smallpox, which had left him immune to the disease. Fascinated, Mather asked for details, which Onesimus provided, and showed him his scar. We can almost hear Onesimus speaking in Mather’s accounts, for Mather took the unusual step of writing out his words with the African accent included—the key phrase was, “People take Juice of Small-Pox; and Cutty-skin, and Putt in a Drop.”

Excited, he investigated among other Africans in Boston and realized that it was a widespread practice; indeed, a slave could be expected to fetch a higher price with a scar on his arm, indicating that he was immune. Mather sent the Royal Society his own reports from the wilds of America, eager to prove the relevance of Boston (and by extension, Cotton Mather) to the global crusade against infectious disease. His interviews with Onesimus were crucial. In 1716, writing to an English friend, he promised that he would be ready to promote inoculation if smallpox ever visited the city again.

When it did, Mather pursued a determined course of action, asking doctors to inoculate their patients and ministers to support the plan. His call was answered by only one person, an apothecary named Zabdiel Boylston, who began by inoculating his 6-year-old son, Thomas, and two slaves.

As word spread of the new medicine, the people of Boston were terrified and angry. According to Mather, they “raised an horrid Clamour.” Their rage came from many sources; fear that inoculation might spread smallpox further; knowledge that the bubonic plague was on the rise in France; and a righteous fury that it was immoral to tamper with God’s judgment in this way. There was a racial tone to their response as well, as they rebelled against an idea that was not only foreign, but African (one critic, an eminent doctor, attacked Mather for his “Negroish” thinking). Some of Mather’s opponents compared inoculation to what we would now call terrorism—as if “a man should willfully throw a Bomb into a Town.” Indeed, one local terrorist did exactly that, throwing a bomb through Mather’s window, with a note that read, “COTTON MATHER, You Dog, Dam You; I’l inoculate you with this, with a Pox to you.”

Another attack came from the New-England Courant, a newspaper that debuted on Aug. 7, as smallpox raged. The brainchild of a satirical editor, James Franklin, it was unlike anything Boston had seen before, ridiculing an older generation perennially telling everyone else how to behave. Inevitably, it jumped right into the inoculation debate, finding its fattest target in the prig who was always lecturing Bostonians—the Very Rev. Cotton Mather, D.D. At 58, he was the last avatar of a worldview that had exhausted itself in the 17th century, particularly during the Salem witchcraft crisis of 1692, which he had helped to bring about. It must have seemed as if the entire town was against him.

But in this instance, he knew what he was talking about. Through all of the opposition, he and Zabdiel Boylston persevered in their efforts to “Conquer the Dragon.” As the dreadful year continued and smallpox took its toll, the results began to tell. Inoculation was not perfect, but it was a far more effective response than doing nothing at all. When the epidemic had run its course, 5,889 people had contracted the disease (roughly half the town), and 844 people had died, or one in seven. Of the 242 who had been inoculated, only six had died–one in 40.

In the aftermath, Mather and Boylston were lionized for their courage, and Boylston was received with accolades in London, where he went for a long visit. Little is known about the fate of Onesimus, though Mather recorded that he was able to buy his freedom.

GOD KNOWS that Cotton Mather could be hard to take—one reason the New-England Courant found an immediate audience by attacking him. But in his openness to science and evidence, and his willingness to listen to an African living in his household, he showed a capacity for self-correction that redeemed some of his earlier failings. We will never know if he found redemption in the sense of the word he understood; but he found a meaningful second chance in 1721, and embraced it.

Boston was not quite out of the woods—other epidemics would come, often during wars that we remember with more clarity. But a smallpox vaccine, safer than amateur inoculation, was invented in 1796. Nearly 200 years later, in 1979, the World Health Organization declared that smallpox had been eradicated. That immense victory, which took centuries to consummate, was brought closer by the knowledge that an African-Bostonian brought to a city where he was held in slavery at the beginning of the 18th century.

The episode is also fascinating for one final aftereffect. An important witness to the debate over inoculation was a 15-year-old boy, the younger brother of Cotton Mather’s chief tormentor in the Courant. Perhaps the most famous Bostonian of all time, Benjamin Franklin made his fortune, of course, by fleeing the city and its theological disputes for Philadelphia. As an adult, possibly with some acknowledgment that he and James had been too quick to ridicule an elderly minister trying to use science on behalf of humanity, Franklin would become an important advocate of inoculation, especially after his own son died of smallpox.

Franklin also had a personal encounter with Zabdiel Boylston in London, not long after the smallpox crisis, that changed his life. The young Franklin had run out of money and options, and Boylston helped him with a crucial loan of 20 guineas, despite the fact that Franklin and his brother had attacked his medical efforts throughout 1721. As an old man in Paris, Franklin met a young relative of Boylston’s and told him that he could never repay what that loan had meant to him at a low moment. “I owe everything I am to him,” he confided, before asking the young man what he could do for him.

Today, as anxiety leads many to see all of Africa as a potential source of infection, it may be time to revive a similar feeling of reciprocity—and an appreciation for what African medical knowledge meant to Boston during the most serious health crisis of its early history.

Ted Widmer is assistant to the president for special projects at Brown University and a senior research fellow with the New America Foundation. He is an Ideas columnist.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/10/17/how-african-slave-helped-boston-fight-smallpox/XFhsMMvTGCeV62YP0XhhZI/story.html?p1=Article_Trending_Most_Viewed

Home to world’s smallest and biggest eggs

China: Home to world’s smallest and biggest eggs – Home – ShortList Magazine

China: Home to world’s smallest and biggest eggs

Insert egg-pun here

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A farmer was surprised to collect a super small egg from the chicken pen at their home in Yangzhou, eastern China’s Jiangsu Province. The tiny egg is just 2.5cm long and weighs 5 grams, equivalent to a 10 cent Chinese coin.

This comes two months after a farmer from Shuangliu in southwest China found that one of her chickens laid a huge 250g egg. Wang Yongbi said: “I’ve been raising chickens for more than 30 years but it’s the first time I’ve seen such a huge egg.” Wang said she fed the chickens no special food, but grains, maize and vegetable leaves. She added: “Normally the eggs are small”.

Which is interesting.

http://www.shortlist.com/home/china-home-to-worlds-smallest-and-biggest-eggs

What is temporomandibular joint (TMJ)?

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders facts

  • The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the site where the upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible) temporomandibular joint meet.
  • TMJ disorders are a group of complex problems with many possible causes.
  • Symptoms of TMJ disorders include headache, ear pain, dizziness, and fullness or ringing in the ear.
  • There are many treatment options for TMJ disorders.

What is the temporomandibular joint?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the area directly in front of the ear on either side of the head where the upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible) meet. Within the TMJ, there are moving parts that allow the upper jaw to close on the lower jaw. This joint is a typical sliding “ball and socket” that has a disc sandwiched between it. The TMJ is used throughout the day to move the jaw, especially in biting and chewing, talking, and yawning. It is one of the most frequently used joints of the body.

The temporomandibular joints are complex and are composed of muscles, tendons, and bones. Each component contributes to the smooth operation of the TMJ. When the muscles are relaxed and balanced and both jaw joints open and close comfortably, we are able to talk, chew, or yawn without pain.

We can locate the TMJ by putting a finger on the triangular structure in front of the ear. The finger is moved just slightly forward and pressed firmly while opening the jaw. The motion felt is from the TMJ. We can also feel the joint motion if we put a little finger against the inside front part of the ear canal. These maneuvers can cause considerable discomfort to a person who is experiencing TMJ difficulty, and doctors use them for making the diagnosis.

What are TMJ disorders, and what are causes of TMJ disorders?

 

TMJ disorders are a group of complex problems of the jaw joint. TMJ disorders are also sometimes referred to as myofascial pain dysfunction and Costen’s syndrome. Because muscles and joints work together, a problem with either one can lead to stiffness, headaches, ear pain, bite problems (malocclusion), clicking sounds, or locked jaws. The following are behaviors or conditions that can lead to TMJ disorders.

  1. Teeth grinding and teeth clenching (bruxism) increase the wear on the cartilage lining of the TMJ. Those who grind or clench their teeth may be unaware of this behavior unless they are told by someone observing this pattern while sleeping or by a dental professional noticing telltale signs of wear and tear on the teeth. Many patients awaken in the morning with jaw or ear pain.
  2. Habitual gum chewing or fingernail biting
  3. Dental problems and misalignment of the teeth (malocclusion). Patients may complain that it is difficult to find a comfortable bite or that the way their teeth fit together has changed. Chewing on only one side of the jaw can lead to or be a result of TMJ problems.
  4. Trauma to the jaws: Previous fractures in the jaw or facial bones can lead to TMJ disorders.
  5. Stress frequently leads to unreleased nervous energy. It is very common for people under stress to release this nervous energy by either consciously or unconsciously grinding and clenching their teeth.
  6. Occupational tasks or habits such as holding the telephone between the head and shoulder may contribute to TMJ disorders.

What are common TMJ symptoms?

 

TMJ pain disorders usually occur because of unbalanced activity, spasm, or overuse of the jaw muscles. Symptoms tend to be chronic, and treatment is aimed at eliminating the precipitating factors. Many symptoms may not appear related to the TMJ itself. The following are common symptoms.

Headache: Approximately 80% of patients with a TMJ disorder complain of headache, and 40% report facial pain. Pain is often made worse while opening and closing the jaw. Exposure to cold weather or air-conditioned air may increase muscle contraction and facial pain.

Ear pain: About 50% of patients with a TMJ disorder notice ear pain and do not have signs of ear infection. The ear pain is usually described as being in front of or below the ear. Often, patients are treated multiple times for a presumed ear infection, which can often be distinguished from TMJ disorder by an associated hearing loss or ear drainage (which would be expected if there really was an ear infection). Because ear pain occurs so commonly, ear specialists are frequently called on to make the diagnosis of a TMJ disorder.

Sounds: Grinding, crunching, clicking, or popping sounds, medically termed crepitus, are common for patients with a TMJ disorder. These sounds may or may not be accompanied by increased pain.

Dizziness: Of patients with a TMJ disorder, 40% report a vague sense of dizziness or imbalance (usually not a spinning type vertigo). The cause of this type of dizziness is not well understood.

Fullness of the ear: About 33% of patients with a TMJ disorder describe muffled, clogged, or full ears. They may notice ear fullness and pain during airplane takeoffs and landings. These symptoms are usually caused by eustachian-tube dysfunction, the structure responsible for the regulation of pressure in the middle ear. It is thought that patients with TMJ disorders have hyperactivity (spasms) of the muscles responsible for regulating the opening and closing of the eustachian tube.

Ringing in the ear (tinnitus): For unknown reasons, 33% of patients with a TMJ disorder experience noise or ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Of those patients, half will have resolution of their tinnitus after successful treatment of their TMJ disorder.

What is the treatment for TMJ disorders?

 

The mainstay of treatment for acute TMJ pain is heat and ice, soft diet, and anti-inflammatory medications.

1. Jaw rest: It can be beneficial to keep the teeth apart as much as possible. It is also important to recognize when tooth grinding is occurring and devise methods to cease this activity. Patients are advised to avoid chewing gum or eating hard, chewy, or crunchy foods such as raw vegetables, candy, or nuts. Foods that require opening the mouth widely, such as a big hamburger, are also not recommended.

2. Heat and ice therapy: These assist in reducing muscle tension and spasm. However, immediately after an injury to the TMJ, treatment with cold applications is best. Cold packs can be helpful for relieving pain.

3. Medications: Anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil and others), naproxen (Aleve and others), or steroids can help control inflammation. Muscle relaxants, such as diazepam (Valium), aid in decreasing muscle spasms. In certain situations, local injection of cortisone preparations (methylprednisolone [Depo-Medrol], triamcinolone [Kenalog], Celestone) into the TMJ may be helpful.

4. Physical therapy: Passively opening and closing the jaw, massage, and electrical stimulation help to decrease pain and increase the range of motion and strength of the joint.

5. Stress management: Stress support groups, psychological counseling, and medications can also assist in reducing muscle tension. Biofeedback helps people recognize times of increased muscle activity and spasm and provides methods to help control them.

6. Occlusal therapy: A custom-made acrylic appliance (mouth guard) that fits over the teeth is commonly prescribed for night but may be required throughout the day. It acts to balance the bite and reduce or eliminate teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism).

7. Correction of bite abnormalities: Corrective dental therapy, such as orthodontics, may be required to correct an abnormal bite. Dental restorations assist in creating a more stable bite. Adjustments of bridges or crowns act to ensure proper alignment of the teeth.

8. Surgery: Surgery is indicated in those situations in which medical therapy has failed. It is done as a last resort. TMJ arthroscopy, ligament tightening, joint restructuring, and joint replacement are considered in the most severe cases of joint damage or deterioration.

 

What is the prognosis (outlook) of TMJ disorder?

The outlook of TMJ disorder depends on its particular cause. Sometimes simple stress management and jaw rest lead to recovery within days. More serious TMJ problems can require corrective orthodontics and surgery.

Can TMJ problems be prevented?

Yes. TMJ problems can often be prevented by using simple nighttime mouth guards. The dentist is the first line of defense in this setting.

REFERENCES:

Klippel, John H., et al., eds. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. New York: Springer and Arthritis Foundation, 2008.

http://www.onhealth.com/temporomandibular_joint__disorder/page4.htm

Ruddy, Shaun, et al., eds. Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2001.

Did you know the benefits of Ginger?

Did you know the benefits of Ginger?

Ginger is one of the world’s seven most potent disease-fighting spices.

 

Ginger has been used for its health benefits for over 5000 years and is a favorite medicinal as well as culinary herb. rhizome by Crystl.

 

 

Unlike most spices, the part that has the most medicinal value grows under ground. Often mistakenly called “ginger root” this is actually the rhizome of the plant which is more of a subterranean stem than a root. Although you can use dried ginger and powdered ginger for health benefits, fresh ginger is preferred.

Roots by 
Amontillada.

 

 

The intake of ginger helps stimulate the secretion of mucus, quieting your cough and soothing any scratchiness in your throat.

 

Ginger has been proven (in multiple studies) to treat feelings of nausea, particularly in the form of seasickness, morning sickness, motion sickness and as a side effect of chemotherapy.

Ginger by 
FotoosVanRobin.

 

 

In pregnancy is to be extra careful!! Never use any herb, including ginger, without first discussing it with your doctor!! As for those suffering from ulcer, or other very serious gastric problems, they should also consult their doctor.
Doctor Hand by Truthout.org.

 

 

Ginger contains anti viral, anti toxic, and anti fungal properties, and is used for the prevention of and treatment against the common cold.

Honey Lime 
Ginger Drink by Nags The Cook.

 

 

Ginger acts as an antihistamine and

aids in the treatment of allergies.

Giant Ginger 
Root by Damian Cugley.

 

 

Ginger displays anti inflammatory properties and can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and various other muscular disorders.

Ginger Study (1)
 by Ida Christine Kvisgaard.

 

 

The chemical components of the root are instrumental in inhibiting the biosynthesis of prostaglandins which are responsible for causing inflammation.

cid:D2F496746D804D33B03EFFAEE30615D0@DavidWong

 

 

Thus the root has proven to be a highly effective form of treatment, in some cases, even more so than the NSAID’s that are traditionally prescribed.

cid:871516E6BF1643349BF15FB43BD62203@DavidWong

Chewing on fresh ginger,,
can help freshen the breath.
cid:065F5841FEDF45EAB266D2328EFB7CDB@DavidWong

Being a warming herb, ginger can help knock out a fever. This property also makes it effective in stimulating circulation of the blood.

Ginger Root by 
J. Pollack Photography.

 

It can also help relax muscles around the blood vessels and is said to help prevent blood clots from forming. The warming effects make it a natural decongestant as well as an antihistamine, making it the perfect remedy for colds.

Lemon and Ginger
 Drink by Red Snapper9.

 

Some studies show that it can even help inhibit

the replication of the herpes simplex virus.

a ginger root by
 left-handed.

 

Recent studies show that ginger might also have a role in lowering LDL cholesterol because the spice can help reduce the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed.

Curry with 
Zucchini by Jernej K.

 

It has also been shown in animal trials to help slow

or even prevent cancerous tumor growth.

Is it safe to fly during pregnancy?

Is it safe to fly during pregnancy?

Answers from Roger W. Harms, M.D.

 

Generally, commercial air travel during pregnancy is considered safe for women who have healthy pregnancies. Still, if you’re pregnant, it’s best to check with your health care provider before you fly.

Your health care provider might caution against air travel if your pregnancy is considered high risk or you’re at risk of preterm labor. Similarly, your health care provider might restrict travel of any type after 36 weeks of pregnancy.

If your health care provider approves air travel and you have flexibility in your travel plans, the best time to fly might be in the middle of your pregnancy — about weeks 14 to 28. This is when you’re likely to feel your best, and the risks of miscarriage and premature labor are the lowest.

When you fly:

  • Check the airline’s policy about air travel during pregnancy. Guidelines for pregnant women might vary by carrier and destination.
  • Choose your seat carefully. For the most space and comfort, consider requesting an aisle seat.
  • Buckle up. During the trip, fasten the lap belt under your abdomen.
  • Promote circulation. If possible, take occasional walks up and down the aisle. If you must remain seated, flex and extend your ankles often.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Low humidity in the cabin can lead to dehydration.

Decreased air pressure during flight can slightly reduce the amount of oxygen in your blood, but this doesn’t pose risks if you’re otherwise healthy.

Likewise, the radiation exposure associated with air travel at high altitudes isn’t thought to be problematic for most business or leisure travelers who fly during pregnancy.

There’s a caveat for frequent fliers, though.

Pilots, flight attendants and others who fly steadily might be exposed to a level of cosmic radiation that raises questions during pregnancy. If you must fly frequently during your pregnancy, discuss it with your health care provider. He or she might limit your total flight time during pregnancy.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/air-travel-during-pregnancy/faq-20058087

Hepatitis C linked to tattoo ink

Hepatitis C linked to tattoo ink

Researchers are hoping that people will do some research about where to get a tattoo, after a study found a link between body art and hepatitis C.

The new study found that people with the virus were almost four times more likely to report having a tattoo, even when other major risk factors were taken into account, co-author Dr. Fritz Francois of New York University Langone Medical Center told Reuters Health.

Although the study could not prove a direct cause and effect, “Tattooing in and of itself may pose a risk for this disease that can lay dormant for many, many years,” Francois said.

About 3.2 million people in the U.S. have hepatitis C, and many don’t know because they don’t feel ill, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer and most common reason for liver transplants in the U.S. Some 70 percent of people infected will develop chronic liver disease, and up to 5 percent will die from cirrhosis or liver cancer.

For the current study, researchers asked almost 2,000 people about their tattoos and hepatitis status, among other questions, at outpatient clinics at three New York area hospitals between 2004 and 2006.

Researchers found that 34 percent of people with hepatitis C had a tattoo, compared to 12 percent of people without the infection.

The most common routes of contracting hepatitis C, a blood-borne disease, are through a blood transfusion before 1992 or a history of injected drug use. Injected drug use accounts for 60 percent of new hepatitis cases every year, but 20 percent of cases have no history of injected drug use or other exposure, according to the CDC.

Francois and his colleagues only included people with hepatitis C who did not contract it from these two other common sources.

After accounting for other risk factors, the difference between people with and without hepatitis was even greater, with four times as many tattoos in the infected group than for uninfected people, according to results published in the journal Hepatology.

“This is not a big surprise to me,” Dr. John Levey, clinical chief of gastroenterology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, told Reuters Health. Earlier studies had found a link, but they were small and had not taken other risk factors into account as well as this new one did.

“This was one of the stragglers, and now we finally have some numbers for it,” said Levey, who was not involved in the study.

Still, the CDC’s Dr. Scott Holmberg said the link may not be quite as strong as the findings suggest, because some people who had used illegal drugs probably would not admit it, even on an anonymous questionnaire. And the researchers didn’t rule out people who contracted hepatitis before getting their tattoo.

What to look for in a tattoo parlor

Holmberg, of the CDC’s viral hepatitis division, recommends people only have tattoos or piercings done by trained professionals.

“In the U.S., there have been no reports of hepatitis C outbreaks linked to professional tattoo parlors,” told Reuters Health by email.

In 2012, 1 in 5 people reported having at least 1 tattoo, according to a Harris poll.

“There are very reputable places that use appropriate standards,” said Francois. Tattoo parlors are not federally regulated, and standards vary by state and region, so it’s up to the consumer to do their homework, he said.

The Alliance for Professional Tattooists recommend finding a tattoo artist who wears disposable gloves, a clean work space without blood spatters and single-use disposable needle kits.

Levey said he wouldn’t prevent his two adult daughters from getting tattoos, but he would make sure they were aware of the hepatitis C risk first.

“A lot of their friends have tattoos, it’s the cool thing to do,” he said. “They’re adults, they can make their own decisions. But I’d mention this to them, because the long-term consequences of hepatitis C are so serious.”

 

Treating back pain

Treating back pain

Treatments for back pain will vary depending on how long you have had the pain, how severe it is and your individual needs and preferences.

Short-term back pain

Most cases of back pain that last no longer than six weeks can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers and home treatments.

Painkillers

Paracetamol is effective in treating most cases of back pain. Some people find non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, more effective. A stronger painkiller, such as codeine, is also an option and is sometimes taken in addition to paracetamol.

If you also experience muscle spasms in your back, your GP may recommend a short course of a muscle relaxant, such as diazepam.

Painkillers can have side effects, some can be addictive and others may not be suitable, depending on your state of health. Your GP or a pharmacist will be able to give you advice about the most appropriate type of medication for you.

Read more about the medicines for back pain.

Hot and cold treatments

Some people find that heat – for example, a hot bath or a hot water bottle placed on the affected area helps ease the pain.

Cold, such as an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables, placed on the painful area is also effective. Do not put the ice directly on to your skin because it might cause a cold burn. Wrap the frozen pack in a wet cloth before applying it to the affected area.

Another option is to alternate between hot and cold using ice packs and hot compression packs or a hot water bottle. Hot compression packs can be bought at most larger pharmacies.

Sleeping position

Changing your sleeping position can take some of the strain off your back and ease the pain.

If you sleep on your side, draw your legs up slightly towards your chest and put a pillow between your legs. If you sleep on your back, placing a pillow under your knees will help maintain the normal curve of your lower back.

Relaxation

Trying to relax is a crucial part of easing the pain because muscle tension caused by worrying about your condition can make things worse.

Research suggests that people who manage to stay positive despite the pain tend to recover quicker and avoid long-term back pain.

 

Keep moving

Most experts now agree that staying in bed, lying down or being inactive for long periods is bad for your back.

People who remain active are likely to recover more quickly. This may be difficult at first if the pain is severe, but try to move around as soon as you can and aim to do a little more each day.

Activity can range from walking around the house to walking to the shops. You will have to accept some discomfort but avoid anything that causes a lot of pain.

There is no need to wait until you are completely pain-free before returning to work. Going back to work will help you return to a normal pattern of activity, and it can often distract you from the pain.

Exercise and lifestyle

Try to address the causes of your back pain to prevent further episodes. Common causes include being overweight, poor posture and stress.

Regular exercise and being active on a daily basis will help keep your back strong and healthy. Activities such as walkingswimming and yoga are popular choices.

The important thing is to choose an enjoyable activity that you can benefit from without feeling pain.

 

Long-term back pain

If you have had back pain for more than six weeks (known as chronic back pain), your GP will advise you about which painkillers to take and recommend the treatments listed below.

  • Exercise – usually take the form of a group class supervised by a qualified instructor. The classes may include exercises to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture, as well as aerobic and stretching exercises. NICE recommend a maximum of eight sessions over a period of up to 12 weeks.
  • Manual therapy – there are different types of manual therapy including manipulation, mobilisation and massage, usually carried out by chiropractors, osteopaths orphysiotherapists (chiropractic and osteopathy aren’t widely available on the NHS). NICE recommend a maximum of nine sessions over a period of up to 12 weeks.
  • Alexander technique – teaches you how to eliminate unnecessary muscular tension from your body. It aims to make you aware of any bad postural habits that you have while sitting or standing, as well as any inefficiencies in the way you move. You’ll learn how to improve the balance and alignment of your body.
  • Acupuncture – an ancient Chinese treatment where fine needles are inserted at different points in the body. It’s been shown to help reduce lower back pain. NICE recommend that an acupuncture course should include a maximum of 10 sessions over a period of up to 12 weeks.

These treatments are often effective for people whose back pain is seriously affecting their ability to carry out daily activities and who feel distressed and need help coping.

Nerve root blocks

A nerve root block is where a steroid or anaesthetic is injected into your back. If your back pain is caused by a trapped or inflamed nerve in your spinal column, the injection can help relieve the pain in your back, plus any associated leg pain.

To be effective, the injection needs to be made at exactly the right place in your back, so the procedure will be carried out under X-ray or CT guidance.

Facet joint injections

It is also possible to have anaesthetic or steroid injections in the facet joints. The facet joints are the joints that connect one vertebrae to another so that your spine is kept aligned. The joints are sometimes affected by arthritis. Facet joint injections are not always effective at relieving back pain.

Antidepressants

If the painkillers do not help, you will probably be prescribed tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), such as amitriptyline. TCAs were originally intended to treat depression, but they are also effective at treating some cases of persistent pain.

If you are prescribed a TCA to treat persistent back pain, the dose is likely to be very small.  See medicines for back pain for more information.

Counselling

If the treatments described above are not effective, you may be offered counselling to help you deal with your condition.

While the pain in your back is very real, how you think and feel about your condition can make it worse. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) works by helping you to manage your back pain better by changing how you think about your condition.

Studies have shown that people who have had CBT later reported lower levels of pain. They were also more likely to remain active and take regular exercise, further reducing the severity of their symptoms.

Surgery

Surgery for back pain is usually only recommended when all other treatment options have failed.

Surgery may be recommended if your back pain is so severe or persistent that you are unable to sleep or carry out your day-to-day activities. The type of surgery will depend on the type of back pain you have and its cause.

For example, a procedure known as a discectomy may be used if you have a prolapsed disc. The discs are the circular, spongy tissue between the vertebrae that help cushion your spine. A prolapsed disc is where the hard outer membrane of the disc is damaged, causing the soft, jelly-like fluid inside to leak out.

A discectomy involves removing the damaged part of the disc through an incision made in your back. It is now possible for surgeons to carry out the procedure using a very small incision and a microscope or magnifying lenses to find the damaged disc. This minimizes the amount of trauma to the surrounding tissue, reduces the pain and discomfort in the affected area and results in a smaller scar.

Spinal fusion surgery is a less common surgical procedure where the joint that is causing pain is fused to prevent it moving.

As bone is living tissue, it is possible to join two or more vertebrae together by placing an additional section of bone in the space between them. This prevents the damaged vertebrae irritating or compressing nearby nerves, muscles and ligaments, and reduces the symptoms of pain.

Spinal fusion is a complicated procedure and the results are not always satisfactory. For example, you may still experience some degree of pain and loss of movement following surgery.

Before you agree to have surgery to treat back pain, you should fully discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure being recommended with your surgeon.

Other treatments

A number of other treatments are sometimes used to treat long-term back pain. However, they are not recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) due to a lack of evidence about their effectiveness. They include:

  • low level laser therapy – where low energy lasers are focused on your back to try to reduce inflammation and encourage tissue repair
  • interferential therapy (IFT) – where a device is used to pass an electrical current through your back to try to accelerate healing while stimulating the production of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers)
  • therapeutic ultrasound – where ultrasound waves are directed at your back to accelerate healing and encourage tissue repair
  • transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation(TENS) – where a TENS machine is used to deliver small electrical pulses to your back through electrodes (small sticky patches) that are attached to your skin; the pulses stimulate endorphin production and prevent pain signals travelling from your spine to your brain
  • lumbar supports – where cushions, pillows and braces are used to support your spine
  • traction – where a pulling force is applied to your spine
  • injections – where painkilling medication is injected directly into your back

Page last reviewed: 21/02/2013

SWEET POTATO (Kamote)

SWEET POTATO (Kamote) far exceeds the nutrition and health values of rice.
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Here are the benefits of substituting rice with kamote:

 

    1. Sweet potato is more filling and suppresses hunger pangs longer. It is also cheaper than rice.

 

    1. Unlike rice, it is  easy to grow. It grows in backyards with or without fertilizers. Local government executives can provide their poor communities with idle government land for planting kamote which the entire community can share.

 

    1. Unlike rice which needs to be eaten with a dish, Sweet Potato tastes good and can be eaten by itself. Thus, substituting rice with sweet potato saves money for other needs.

 

    1. Rice cannot match the nutritional values of potato. Because rice converts to sugar in the body, the Philippines registers as a top producer of diabetics in the world. The poor tends to load up on rice and less on the dish which are more expensive. That makes them vulnerable to diabetes, an ailment known in developed countries as a rich man’s disease.

 

    1. The nutritional values of a 3 oz. baked sweet potato are: calories 90, fat 0 g, saturated fat 0 g, cholesterol 0 mg, carbohydrate 21 g, protein 2 g, dietary fiber 3 g, sodium 36 mg

 

    1. Too much rice consumption can make you sick, but sweet potato (kamote) can bring you to health and keep away some health problems. These have been proved medically.

 
Sweet Potato (kamote) lowers hypertension, bad cholesterol and even blood sugar when eaten as as a substitute to rice! The purple sweet potato (kamote) is particularly effective for lowering hypertension.

The Korean medical documentary credits the sweet potato (kamote) as high fiber and is one of the best foods that one can eat to prevent cancer!