Star apple

Botanical Name: Chrysophyllum cainito
Family: Sapotaceae
Genus: Chrysophyllum
Species:C. cainito
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonym : Achras cainito.

Common Names: Cainito, Caimito, tar apple, star apple, purple star apple, golden leaf tree, abiaba, pomme de lait, estrella, milk fruit and aguay.

Other names: Star apple is known in Vietnam Vú S?a (literally: milky breast/nipples). In Malayalam it is called “Swarnapathry” meaning ‘[the tree with] golden leaves’. In Cambodia, this fruit is called “Plae Teuk Dos” which means milk fruit due to its milky juices inside.

Habitat: Star apple is native to the Greater Antilles and the West Indies. It has spread to the lowlands of Central America and is now grown throughout the tropics.

Description:
Star apple is a tropical tree. It grows rapidly and reaches 20 m in height.The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple oval, entire, 5–15 cm long; the underside shines with a golden color when seen from a distance. Its trunk is usually straight, cylindrical, but often fluted or spurred at the base; buttresses are small or absent; bark surface is rough, irregularly fissured, and brown and exude white gummy latex. Young twigs are reddish-brown and pubescent.The tree is also hermaphroditic (self-fertile). It produces a strong odor.

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The tiny flowers are purplish white and have a sweet fragrant smell. Flowers are bisexual, fasciculate with 5–35 clustered, small and inconspicuous, yellowish-white flowers. Calyx is 5-lobed; lobes are ovate with obtuse to rounded apex and hairy within. Corolla is 5-lobed with ovate and glabrous lobes. Stamens are 5 along with deltoid filaments and ovoid anthers.

The fruit is globose and typically measures from 2 to 3 inches in diameter. When ripe, it usually has purple-skinned with a faint green area appearing around the calyx. A radiating star pattern is visible in the pulp. Greenish-white and yellow-fruited cultivars are sometimes available. The skin is rich in latex, and both it and the rind are not edible. The flattened seeds are light brown and hard. It is a seasonal fruit bearing tree.The fruit also exists in three colors, dark purple, greenish brown and yellow. The purple fruit has a denser skin and texture while the greenish brown fruit has a thin skin and a more liquid pulp; the yellow variety is less common and difficult to find.

Edible Uses:
The fruits are used as a fresh dessert fruit; it is sweet and often served chilled.

Medicinal Uses:
Infusions of the leaves have been used against diabetes and articular rheumatism. The fruit has antioxidant properties. The bark is considered a tonic and stimulant, and a bark decoction is used as an antitussive.

Star Apple offers 5 percent of the daily recommended values of important vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamin A. It is a wonderful source of calcium, providing you with 10 percent of the daily recommended value of the mineral. The consumption of calcium-rich foods, such as star apple, helps strengthen bones and teeth and also reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome such as abdominal bloating and cramps. Apple star is rich in phosphorus, another mineral bone healthy. So now check out few health benefits of Apple Star for Health.

Star apple is a wonderful source of dietary fiber and thus the fruit is able to keep your digestive system in good health.Another important benefit of star apple is that it helps control sugar levels in the blood and thus is an ideal food for people suffering from diabetes. It was found that the star apple fiber helps keep the blood sugar under control.

Star apple is a fruit having low fat and calories, the star apple is one of the best food choices to include in a weight loss diet.

In fruit, other plant parts such as seeds, leaves and bark are also used as natural remedies for the treatment of various diseases. The cooking of the leaves or bark is used in the Philippines to treat dysentery and diarrhea. According to a survey, the shell of the star apple tree has traditionally been used to treat malaria and yellow fever. The leaves have emollient properties and are used for the treatment of stomach pain, diarrhea and skin rash. In Western Nigeria, the cotyledons of the star apple seeds are used for the preparation of ointments for treatment of vaginal and skin infections.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysophyllum_cainito
https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/star-apple/

Tantrum

Other Names: Temper tantrum and Hissy fit

Definition:
A tantrum is an emotional outburst, usually associated with those in emotional distress, that is typically characterized by stubbornness, crying, screaming, violence, defiance, angry ranting, a resistance to attempts at pacification, and, in some cases, hitting, and other physically violent behavior. Physical control may be lost; the person may be unable to remain still; and even if the “goal” of the person is met, he or she may not be calmed. A tantrum may be expressed in a tirade: a protracted, angry speech.

In tantrum children throw, shout, scream, roll on the ground, kick and beat — when their demands, often unreasonable, are not met. Most of these outbursts occur between the ages of one and three years. Thereafter, they slowly subside in normal children.

Tantrums are usually signs of frustration. They can occur when the child is hungry, in pain, sleepy or denied something. Children who are mentally challenged or have autism are more likely to throw tantrums. They are unable to articulate their problem. Taking care of the immediate need or distracting the child usually works.

Problems arise when others interfere. The child very soon figures out that by screaming and rolling on the floor they can get their way.

Children grow out of tantrums when they go to school. If a child continues this behaviour of biting, kicking or throwing things in school, in front of strangers and in public, it is no longer normal. If it continues into middle school, medical evaluation is required. It may be due to unrecognised ADHD, anxiety or depression.

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Causes:
Tantrums are one of the most common forms of problematic behavior in young children, but tend to decrease in frequency and intensity as the child grows older. For the toddler, tantrums can be considered as normal, even as gauges of a developing strength of character.

While tantrums are sometimes seen as a predictor of future anti-social behaviour, in another sense they are simply an age-appropriate sign of excessive frustration, and will diminish over time given a calm and consistent handling. Parental containment where a child cannot contain itself—rather than what the child is ostensibly demanding—may be what is really required.

Selma Fraiberg warned against “too much pressure or forceful methods of control from the outside” in child-rearing: “if we turn every instance of pants changing, treasure hunting, napping, puddle wading and garbage distribution into a governmental crisis we can easily bring on fierce defiance, tantrums, and all the fireworks of revolt in the nursery”.

Intellectual disabilites:
Some people who have psychiatric disorders such as autism, ADHD, and intellectual disability could be more vulnerable to tantrums than others, although anyone experiencing brain damage (temporary or permanent) can suffer from tantrums. Anyone may be prone to tantrums once in a while, regardless of gender or age. However, a meltdown due to sensory overload (which even neurotypical children can experience) is not the same as a temper tantrum.

Aberrations:
Freud considered that the Wolf Man’s development of temper tantrums was connected with his seduction by his sister: he became “discontented, irritable and violent, took offence on every possible occasion, and then flew into a rage and screamed like a savage”. Freud linked the tantrums to an unconscious need for punishment driven by feelings of guilt—something which he thought could be generalised to many other cases of childhood tantrums.

Heinz Kohut contended that tantrums were narcissistic rages, caused by the thwarting of the infant’s grandiose-exhibitionist core. The blow to the inflated self-image, when a child’s wishes are (however justifiably) refused, creates fury because it strikes at the feeling of omnipotence.

Jealousy over the birth of a sibling, and resulting aggression, may also provoke negativistic tantrums, as the effort at controlling the feelings overloads the child’s system of self-regulation.

Solutions:
If there is no medical reason for the tantrum, and it is not due to an epileptic seizure, these personality traits need to be tackled. Beating the child or shouting is not an answer. A “time out” with the premise that the problems will be tackled later on works with older children. With younger ones, discipline needs to be enforced. A firm “no” should remain just that — a “no”. Once it is changed to a “yes”, the child gets confused and soon figures out that there is a higher court of appeal. Structured sports activities and training in martial arts give a child mental discipline, emotional control, physical endurance and channels aggression.

As children grow, they realise the difference between appropriate and inappropriate anger. Parents have a great deal to do with this, showing the child the limits enforced by society. Physically abusive or alcoholic fathers tend to raise similar children.

Anger is not always bad, it can also be good. It activates the body’s natural defences to a dangerous situation, releasing chemicals that raise the heart rate and blood pressure. The muscles become tense and sweating may occur.

Some adults have not matured enough to realise that anger is a negative emotion. They are chronically angry. It may eventually result in “intermittent explosive disorder” when the reaction is out of proportion to the precipitating event. These episodes of increased energy, racing thoughts and palpitations result in tirades and heated arguments. Society does not accept such behaviour. It may result in the loss of a job and a breakdown in personal relationships. It may lead to alcohol or drug abuse and self-harm. Chronic anger over a long time can result in depression.

To manage anger, lead a disciplined life with regular physical activity, yoga and meditation. If these do not work, professional help may be required. Medication like antidepressants may also help.

We need to rule our mind and control it. This has to be learnt from a young age. Otherwise, we are at the mercy of the caprices of our emotions.

Help to prevent tantrum in children:

Try to prevent tantrums from happening in the first place, whenever possible. Here are some ideas that may help:

  1. Give plenty of positive attention.: Get in the habit of catching your child being good. Reward your little one with praise and attention for positive behavior.

2.Try to give toddlers some control over little things.: Offer minor choices such as “Do you want orange juice or apple juice?” or “Do you want to brush your teeth before or after taking a bath?” This way, you aren’t asking “Do you want to brush your teeth now?” — which inevitably will be answered “no.”

  1. Keep off-limits objects out of sight and out of reach.: This makes struggles less likely. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, especially outside of the home where the environment can’t be controlled.

4.Distract your child.: Take advantage of your little one’s short attention span by offering something else in place of what they can’t have. Start a new activity to replace the frustrating or forbidden one. Or simply change the environment. Take your toddler outside or inside or move to a different room.

5.Help kids learn new skills and succeed.: Help kids learn to do things. Praise them to help them feel proud of what they can do. Also, start with something simple before moving on to more challenging tasks.

5.Consider the request carefully when your child wants something.: Is it outrageous? Maybe it isn’t. Choose your battles.
Know your child’s limits. If you know your toddler is tired, it’s not the best time to go grocery shopping or try to squeeze in one more errand.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantrum
https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/tantrums.html
https://www.telegraphindia.com/health/how-to-manage-temper-tantrums/cid/1689765?ref=health_health-page

Mullaca

Botanical Name : Physalis angulata
Family: Solanaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales
Genus: Physalis
Species: P. angulata

Synonyms: Physalis capsicifolia, Physalis lanceifolia, Physalis ramosissima.

Common Names: English common names include: angular winter cherry, balloon cherry, cutleaf groundcherry, gooseberry, hogweed, wild tomato, camapu, and occasionally other common names for the genus Physalis.In Malayalam it is known as njottanjodiyan and mottaampuli.

Alternative Names:
Bolsa Mullaca, Battre-Autour, Camapu, Cape Gooseberry, Capulí Cimarrón, Cecendet, Dumadu Harachan, Hog Weed, Juá-De-Capote, Mullaca, Nvovo, Polopa, Saca-Buche, Topatop, Thongtheng, Tino-Tino, Urmoa Batoto Bita, Wapotok.

Habitat : . It is native to the Americas, but is now widely distributed and naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide

Description:
Mullaca or Physalis angulata is an erect, herbaceous, annual plant belonging to the nightshade family Solanaceae. It reproduces by seed. Its leaves are dark green and roughly oval, often with tooth shapes around the edge. The flowers are five-sided and pale yellow; the yellow-orange fruits are born inside a balloon-like calyx. It is native to the Americas, but is now widely distributed and naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.

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MULLACA PLANT

Medicinal Used of Mullaca Power:
It is helpful in the treatment of arthritis. • Use of mullaca powder is believed to help patients having gout. • Physalis angulata is also believed to have diuretic effects. Therefore, it is also used for the treatment of conditions pertaining to bladder and kidney. • It is also used as a blood thinner. • It is considered an immunity booster. • Mullaca is believed to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects. • Spasms are often treated with the use of mullaca powder.

TRIBAL AND HERBAL MEDICINE USES:
Mullaca has long held a place in natural medicine in the tropical countries where it grows. Its use by rainforest Indians in the Amazon is well documented, and its edible sweet-tart fruits are enjoyed by many rainforest inhabitants, animal and human alike. Indigenous tribes in the Amazon use a leaf infusion as a diuretic. Some Colombian tribes believe the fruits and leaves have narcotic properties and also decoct them as an anti-inflammatory and disinfectant for skin diseases; others use a leaf tea for asthma. Indigenous peoples in the Peruvian Amazon use the leaf juice internally and externally for worms and the leaves and/or roots for earache, liver problems, malaria, hepatitis, and rheumatism. Indigenous tribes in the Brazilian Amazon use the sap of the plant for earaches and the roots for jaundice. Mullaca has also been used by indigenous peoples for female disorders. In the Solomon Islands, the fruit of mullaca is decocted and taken internally to promote fertility. A tea is made of the entire plant and/or the leaves in the West Indies and Jamaica to prevent miscarriages. In Peru the leaf is infused and used to treat postpartum infections.

Mullaca is employed in herbal medicine systems today in both Peru and Brazil. In Peruvian herbal medicine the plant is called mullaca or bolsa mullaca. To treat diabetes, the roots of three mullaca plants are sliced and macerated in 1/4 liter of rum for seven days. Honey is added, and 1/2 glass of this medicine is taken twice daily for 60 days. In addition, an infusion of the leaves is recommended as a good diuretic, and an infusion of the roots is used to treat hepatitis. For asthma and malaria, the dosage is 1 cup of tea made from the aerial parts of the plant. In Brazilian herbal medicine the plant is employed for chronic rheumatism, for skin diseases and dermatitis, as a sedative and diuretic, for fever and vomiting, and for many types of kidney, liver, and gallbladder problems.

PLANT CHEMICALS:
Phytochemical studies on mullaca reveal that it contains many types of biologically active, naturally occurring chemicals including flavonoids, alkaloids, and many different types of plant steroids, some of which have never before been seen in science. Mullaca has been the subject of recent clinical research (which is still ongoing), based on the preliminary studies showing that it is an effective immune stimulant, is toxic to numerous types of cancer and leukemia cells, and that it has antimicrobial properties. The new steroids found in mullaca have received the most attention, and many of the documented anti-cancerous, anti-tumorous and anti-leukemic actions are attributed to these steroids.

Various extracts of mullaca, as well as these extracted plant steroids called physalins, have shown strong in vitro and in vivo (mice) activity against numerous types of human and animal cancer cells including lung, colon, nasopharynx, liver, cervix, melanoma and glioma (brain) cancer cells. This cancer research began in the early 1980s with researchers in Thailand and the U.S. and was verified with research performed at the University of Taiwan in 1992 (where they demonstrated a significant effect against five human cancer cell lines and three animal cancer cell lines). Then in 2001, researchers at the University of Houston isolated yet another new chemical in mullaca which demonstrated remarkable toxicity against nasopharynx cancer cells, lung (adenocarcinoma) cancer cells as well as leukemia in mice. The same Taiwanese researchers had already published a separate study on mullaca’s other anti-leukemic phytochemicals in 1992, reporting that two physalin chemicals inhibited the growth of five types of acute leukemia, including lymphoid (T & B), promyelocytic, myeloid and monocytic.

Other researchers in China and Russia independently demonstrated significant immunomodulatory effects against blastogenesis (a process triggered in leukemia) while boosting other immune functions which might account for the anti-leukemic effects in mice seen by other researchers. With tumor cells, research suggests that several of the steroidal chemicals in mullaca act on an enzyme level to arrest the normal cell cycle in cancer cells as well as cause DNA damage inside of cancer cells (making them unable to replicate).

The main plant chemicals isolated in mullaca thus far include: ayanin, chlorogenic acid, choline, ixocarpanolide, myricetin, phygrine, physagulin A thru G, physalin A thru K, physangulide, sitosterol, vamonolide, withaminimin, withangulatin A, withanolide D, withanolide T, and withaphysanolide.

BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES AND CLINICAL RESEARCH:

In addition to mullaca’s anticancerous and antileukemic actions, several research groups have confirmed mullaca’s antibacterial and antiviral activity. Most recently in 2002 and 2000, mullaca was shown to be active in vitro against several strains of mycobacteriums and mycoplasmas (both very stubborn types of bacteria which are not widely susceptible to standard antibiotics). In addition to these actions, mullaca has demonstrated effective antibacterial properties in vitro against numerous types of gram positive and gram negative bacteria, including Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. Other research groups in Japan have been focusing on mullaca’s antiviral actions and preliminary studies show that it is active in vitro against Polio virus I, Herpes simplex virus I, the measles virus, and HIV-I – demonstrating reverse transcriptase inhibitory effects.

Mullaca has also been reported to reduce spasms in guinea pigs, lower blood pressure in cats and to contract isotonic muscles in toads. In the test tube, mullaca was shown to have an anticoagulant effect. Western scientists did somewhat validate the indigenous use for diabetes when they reported a mild hypoglycemic effect in mice fed a water extract of the root. One must wonder what the results would have been if they had followed native customs and employed an alcohol extract instead.

CURRENT PRACTICAL USES:
Interestingly enough, much of the clinical research has ignored the local and indigenous uses of the plant; thus, many of its effective uses in herbal medicine remain unexplained. Its tested antibacterial properties could validate its use as a antiseptic and disinfectant for skin diseases and its use to treat gonorrhea. Its antiviral properties could well explain its long history of use for hepatitis, although scientists have not tested it specifically against hepatitis. Possibly the antispasmodic and muscle contractive properties documented for mullaca might explain its widespread use for asthma and female disorders as well. Yet its widespread use throughout the rainforests for malaria and fevers remains unexplained by science.

Herbal practitioners in both South and North America today rely on mullaca for various bacterial and viral infections as well as a complementary therapy for cancer and leukemia. Although not widely available here in the U.S., it is found as an ingredient in various herbal formulas and in bulk supplies. The animal studies conducted to date indicate no toxicity at any of the dosages used indicating that is a safe natural remedy.

Precautions:
Nothing can be said about the safety of Physalis angulata (Mullaca) due to the shortage of reliable information. Lactation and Pregnancy – Nursing and pregnant females should avoid the use of mullaca powder because there is lack of information that could support the safety of use of this herb during lactation or pregnancy.

Side Effects :
The herbalists from both North and South America depend on the use of mullaca powder for the preparation of a number of anti-viral, anti-bacterial and a wide variety of complementary medicines used for the treatment of cancers and leukemia. Although pure isolated Physalis angulata is not very easily available in the US, but still it is found as a component of countless herbal preparations. Generally it is considered very safe and no serious side effects have been reported so far with the use of mullaca containing products.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physalis_angulata
http://www.amazondiscovery.com/products/mullaca-powder/
http://www.rain-tree.com/mullaca.htm

Iontophoresis

Definition:
Iontophoresis is a process of transdermal drug delivery by use of a voltage gradient on the skin. Molecules are transported across the stratum corneum by electrophoresis and electroosmosis and the electric field can also increase the permeability of the skin. These phenomena, directly and indirectly, constitute active transport of matter due to an applied electric current. The transport is measured in units of chemical flux, commonly µmol/(cm2*hour). Iontophoresis has experimental, therapeutic and diagnostic applications.

Uses:
Laboratory uses:
Iontophoresis is useful in laboratory experiments, especially in neuropharmacology.[5] Transmitter molecules naturally pass signals between neurons. By microelectrophoretic techniques, including microiontophoresis, neurotransmitters and other chemical agents can be artificially administered very near living and naturally functioning neurons, the activity of which can be simultaneously recorded. This is used to elucidate their pharmacological properties and natural roles.

Therapeutic uses:
Therapeutically, electromotive drug administration (EMDA) delivers a medicine or other chemical through the skin. In a manner of speaking, it is an injection without a needle, and may be described as non-invasive. It is different from dermal patches, which do not rely on an electric field. It drives a charged substance, usually a medication or bioactive agent, transdermally by repulsive electromotive force, through the skin. A small electric current is applied to an iontophoretic chamber placed on the skin, containing a charged active agent and its solvent vehicle. Another chamber or a skin electrode carries the return current. One or two chambers are filled with a solution containing an active ingredient and its solvent vehicle. The positively charged chamber, called the anode, will repel a positively charged chemical species, whereas the negatively charged chamber, called the cathode, will repel a negatively charged species into the skin.

It is used to treat some types of palmar-plantar hyperhidrosis. In the treatment of hyperhidrosis, tap water is often the chosen solution for mild and medium forms. In very serious cases of hyperhidrosis, a solution containing glycopyrronium bromide or glycopyrrolate, a cholinergic inhibitor, can be used.

Diagnostic uses:
Iontophoresis of acetylcholine is used in research as a way to test the health of the endothelium by stimulating endothelium-dependent generation of nitric oxide and subsequent microvascular vasodilation. Acetylcholine is positively charged and is therefore placed in the anode chamber.

Pilocarpine iontophoresis is often used to stimulate sweat secretion, as part of cystic fibrosis diagnosis.

Reverse iontophoresis is a technique by which molecules are removed from within the body for detection. The negative charge of the skin at buffered pH causes it to be permselective to cations such as sodium and potassium ions, allowing iontophoresis which causes electroosmosis, solvent flow towards the anode. Electroosmosis then causes electrophoresis, by which neutral molecules, including glucose, are transported across the skin. This is currently being used in such devices as the GlucoWatch, which allows for blood glucose detection across skin layers.

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Therapetic use in excessive sewating:

During this treatment, you sit with your hands, feet, or both in a shallow tray of water for about 20 to 30 minutes, while a low electrical current travels through the water. No one knows exactly how this treatment works, but experts believe it blocks sweat from getting to your skin’s surface. You’ll have to repeat this treatment at least a few times a week, but after several times you may stop sweating. Once you learn how to do iontophoresis, you can buy a machine to use at home. Some people only require a couple of treatments a month for maintenance.

CLICK TO SEE : Iontophoresis in Pain Management

Caution: Reliability of sources needs checking by experts in these fields.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iontophoresis

Mushrooms may ‘reduce the risk of mild brain decline

Eating mushrooms more than twice a week could prevent memory and language problems occurring in the over-60s, research from Singapore suggests.
A unique antioxidant present in mushrooms could have a protective effect on the brain, the study found.

The more mushrooms people ate, the better they performed in tests of thinking and processing.
But researchers said it was not possible to prove a direct link between the fungi and brain function.
The National University of Singapore study’s findings were based on 663 Chinese adults, aged over 60, whose diet and lifestyle were tracked from 2011 to 2017.

Over the six-year study, the researchers found that eating mushrooms lowered the chances of mild cognitive impairment, so that roughly nine out of 100 people who ate more than two portions a week were diagnosed, compared with 19 out of 100 among those who ate fewer than one portion.

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‘Encouraging’
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can make people forgetful, affect their memory and cause problems with language, attention and locating objects in spaces – but the changes can be subtle.

It is not serious enough to be defined as dementia.
The participants in the study were asked how often they ate six different types of mushrooms: oyster, shiitake, white button, dried, golden and tinned.
Mushroom eaters performed better in brain tests and were found to have faster processing speed – and this was particularly noticeable in those who ate more than two portions a week, or more than 300g (10.5oz).

“This correlation is surprising and encouraging,” said assistant professor Lei Feng, the lead study author, from the university’s department of psychological medicine.

“It seems that a commonly available single ingredient could have a dramatic effect on cognitive decline.
“But we are talking about a combination of many factors – tea, green leafy vegetables, nuts and fish are also beneficial.”

The researchers point to the fact that mushrooms are one of the richest dietary sources of ergothioneine – an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which humans are unable to make on their own.

Mushrooms also contain other important nutrients and minerals such as vitamin D, selenium and spermidine, which protect neurons from damage.
But there is still a long way to go before evidence of a direct link can be established.

Resources:
BBC NEWS : (https://www.bbc.com/news/health-47554966)