Monthly Archives: January 2007

Owning Your Emotions

Our feelings can sometimes present a very challenging aspect of our lives. We experience intense emotions without understanding precisely why and consequently find it difficult to identify the solutions that will soothe our distressed minds and hearts. Yet it is only when we are capable of naming our feelings that we can tame them by finding an appropriate resolution. We retake control of our personal power by becoming courageous enough to articulate, out loud and concisely, the essence of our emotions. Our assuming ownership of the challenges before us in this way empowers us to shift from one emotional state to another-we can let go of pain and upset because we have defined it, examined the effect it had on our lives, and then exerted our authority over it by making it our own. By naming our feelings, we claim the right to divest ourselves of them at will.

As you prepare to acknowledge your feelings aloud, gently remind yourself that being specific is an important part of exercising control. Whatever the nature of your feelings, carefully define the reaction taking place within you. If you are afraid of a situation or intimidated by an individual, try not to mince words while giving voice to your anxiety. The precision with which you express yourself is indicative of your overall willingness to stare your feelings in the face without flinching. Naming and claiming cannot always work in the vacuum of the soul. There may be times in which you will find the release you desire only by admitting your feelings before others. When this is the case, your ability to outline your feelings explicitly can help you ask for the support, aid, or guidance you need without becoming mired in the feelings that led you to make such an admission in the first place.

When you have moved past the apprehension associated with expressing your distressing feelings out loud, you may be surprised to discover that you feel liberated and lightened. This is because the act of making a clear connection between your circumstances and your feelings unravels the mystery that previously kept you from being in complete control of your emotional state. To give voice to your feelings, you must necessarily let them go. In the process, you naturally relax and rediscover your emotional equilibrium.

Source:Daily Om

Vanilla

Botanical Name:Vanulla planifolia

Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Vanilloideae
Tribe: Vanilleae
Subtribe: Vanillinae
Genus: Vanilla

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Habitat :Central America, West Indies, Northern South America
Mostly Cultivated In:Madagascar, Comoros Islands, Reunion, French Polynesia, Tahiti, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mozambique, Seychelles, Uganda, Guatemala, Mexico.
Description:
For many people in countries where quality ice cream is readily available, vanilla is the most popular of the non-pungent spices. It has been regarded as one of the most expensive spices along with saffron, cardamon and green peppercorns. The cost of vanilla reflects its historic importance as a flavor used in the royal drinks of the Mayans and Aztecs that were based on chocolate. The Aztecs called vanilla tlilxochitl, and they used it with chile peppers to flavor their drink.

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Vanilla is found in the seeds of the orchid vine, Vanilla planifolia (V. fragrans), which is native to Mexico. The Spaniards likened the bean pods to a little sheath or vaina, which is derived from the similar Latin word, vagina! Obtaining the flavor can be a several month long process, resulting from slowly fermenting the beans, which contain many small seeds; the ground-up bean is then used in similar fashion to coffee. People who enjoy the strong vanilla taste want to use freshly cured bean, while others accept the commercial extract. True vanilla in ice cream contains tiny dark flecks resulting from the presence of the seeds. However, the vanilla flavor, which is mainly due to vanillin, can be readily chemically synthesized from eugenol or guaiacol, or from lignin derived from tar, wood, or tonka beans. This product lacks the quality of the natural vanilla flavor that develops during the curing of the best beans when glucosides are converted to vanillic aldehyde, which is vanillin, since other aromatic chemicals are also produced.

Vanilla trees are grown in Mexico, Central America (Guatemala and especially Costa Rica), and in some Caribbean islands (especially Jamaica). However, it is difficult to grow since it is only pollinated by native bees and hummingbirds. It requires artificial fertilization outside its natural habitat, but it can be cultivated through the use of cuttings. Following its introduction to the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, a method of hand pollination was introduced in 1841. Reunion is still an important site of vanilla production; the variety is called Bourbon vanilla, after the former name of the island. Madagascar is now the major producer of Bourbon vanilla.

When vanilla became popular in 17th century Europe, it was used for many indications, varying from stomach ulcers to sedation. As was the case with many spices, it was extolled as an aphrodisiac. Today, it may fulfill its latter function when used in high quality baked goods, confectionary and desserts, although most users regard it more prosaically as a delicious flavor that may help digestion. Vanilla is used to flavor tobacco and as a fragrance in the cosmetic industry. It is of interest that sensitive workers in the vanilla industry may develop vanillism, resulting in headaches and skin rashes.

Artificial vanilla (containing vanillin and ethylvanillin) is acceptable to most tastes, and therefore the export of true vanilla may continue to decline, since the culture and manufacture of the quality product is expensive and relatively non-competitive. Moreover, its value as an exotic medicine is no longer accepted. Thus the role of the vanilla bean has declined in significance, with over 95% of the world’s supply of vanilla flavor being synthetic.
Useful Parts:
The cured, dried fruits of the plant impart the flavor.
Medicinal Properties:
Vanillin is in the class of vanilloids, that includes – surprisingly – capsaicin (8-methy-N-vanillyl noneamide) from chile pepper and eugenol from cloves, cinnamon and other spices, and zingerone from ginger. The vanilloid receptors of the central and peripheral nervous systems bind with these compounds, resulting in different sensory effects. Thus, capsaicin can cause a burning sensation while eugenol results in mild anesthesia; vanillin itself is neutral.

Historical View :
“Vanilla is an aromatic stimulant, with a tendency towards the nervous system. It has also been regarded as an aphrodisiac. It has been employed as a remedy in hysteria, low fevers, impotency, etc. But its use as a medicine is obsolete in this country, although still sometimes employed on the Continent and elsewhere.”

You may click to see :Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia Andrews)

Source:Medicinal Spices

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla_(genus)

Eating Close To The Earth

You Must Know Your Food

The food we eat is a multidimensional aspect of our lives. Food provides us with the energy that enables us to grow and prosper. Yet it can be, and frequently is, much, much more. Our food can be an experience in and of itself if we allow it to be. The dishes we remember from childhood offer unmatched comfort. The act of preparing meals can be an art form of the highest caliber. And the nourishment we derive from this fare promotes wellness within us. But many of us, distracted by daily affairs, forget that the profound pleasures of eating go beyond simple sustenance. We eat foods that are convenient or we eat unconsciously, snacking on whatever happens to be on hand. To understand the true value of food and the impact it can have on our lives, we should acknowledge and honor it by eating close to the earth.

If you have ever shelled and eaten garden-grown peas or bitten into a sun-warmed apple freshly plucked from its tree, you likely understand that there is a marked difference between these foods and those that are processed and stacked on supermarket shelves. Food recently picked contains more of its original life force and thus has a greater store of energy and nutrients. You can ensure you are eating close to the earth-and enjoying the many benefits of doing so-by shopping at a local farmers market and getting to know the individuals who grow your food. If you make the experience of shopping in this way enjoyable, you will be more apt to reject more convenient canned, packaged, and frozen foods in favor of the real delight you feel while browsing stalls of fresh foods nourished by the same soil you can find in your own backyard. You will soon learn what foods are in season in your area and how to prepare them.

As you savor the vivid flavors of juicy ripe fruits and the hearty crunch of unprocessed vegetables, you can also take pleasure in the fact that, by eating close to the earth, you are supporting farmers in your region, connecting with your local ecosystem, discouraging those who would waste precious fossil fuels by carting produce cross-country, and helping to preserve healthy culinary traditions that have existed for centuries.

Source:Daily Om

Researchers find key to treating insomnia

WASHINGTON: Researchers studying a disease that causes people to suddenly drop off to sleep are trying to turn what they have learnt into a new way to help insomniacs get some shut-eye…...click & see

They found that blocking brain receptors for orexin, a blood peptide, promoted sleep in rats, dogs and people, according to a paper in Sunday’s online issue of the journal Nature Medicine.

Orexin, also known as hypocretin, is important in maintaining wakefulness. It is absent in the brains of people who suffer from narcolepsy, a chronic disorder in which people cannot regulate sleep-wake cycles normally.

It is estimated to affect more than 135,000 people in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The research team, led by Francois Jenck of the Swiss drug company Actelion Pharmaceuticals, reasoned that they might be able to induce sleep if they could block orexin.

They developed a drug that can block the receptors in the brain that respond to orexin-hypocretin. The researchers reported successful testing in rodents, dogs and men.

The first tests were proof of the concept and the drug is now being evaluated to establish the correct dosage, said Roland Haefeli, an Actelion spokesman.

Researchers hope to decide this year whether to conduct a phase-three study, a detailed assessment of the drug that would be the final step before seeking US government approval for its use. Such studies can take a few years.

Narcolepsy victims often also experience cataplexy, a condition in which they lose control of muscle tone for a few seconds to minutes. Jenck said in a telephone interview that the drug tests did not prompt indications of cataplexy.

Thomas Scammell, an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard University, said the work was “promising, with a certain amount of caution”.

“I think it may be the beginning of something quite exciting,” said Scammell, who was not part of the research team.

Source:The Times Of India

TIPS FOR RAISING HEALTHY GIRLS

Adolescence is a time of change and upheaval. This can be a challenging time as you watch your daughter grow independent, make decisions and develop into a young adult. Some risks that are unique to teen girls, such as decreased self-confidence, depression and early puberty, can lead to drug and alcohol abuse. Even during this difficult time, parents are the most important influence in their child’s life. You can help your daughter navigate this exciting, but stressful time. Below are tips on how to raise healthy, drug-free daughters.

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MAXIMIZE time together to build a strong bond with your daughter.
Spend time just listening to your daughter’s thoughts and feelings, fears and concerns. Teens who spend time, talk and have a close relationship with their parents are much less likely to drink, take drugs or have sex.

Really listen to what your daughter is saying. Make the time to ask your daughter about her school, friends and activities and interests.
Talk to your daughter about tough issues, such as the dangers of drug and alcohol use.
Make special time each week to talk and enjoy each other’s company.

MODEL coping skills to manage stress and pressure.
Adolescence can be a stressful process for teens. You can be a more supportive parent by understanding where the stress is coming from and model positive, healthy behavior and coping skills.

Set positive examples on how to cope with stress, such as setting realistic goals, learning to prioritize, getting enough sleep and engaging in physical activity.
Teach your daughter skills to handle negative peer pressure, such as how to say no.

MOTIVATE your daughter’s self-confidence by recognizing her strengths, skills, and interests.
Research shows that many girls experience a sharp decline in their self-esteem and self-confidence during early adolescence. Parents can help their daughter develop a healthy sense of worth.

Provide meaningful roles for your daughter in the family. Treat your daughter as a unique individual, distinct from siblings or stereotypes.
Encourage your daughter to develop an identity based on her talents and interests; downplay appearance and weight, and tell her a beautiful body is a healthy and strong one.
Promote healthy activities, such as exercising or doing community service. Teenagers enjoy giving to others, but they need your support.

MONITOR your daughter’s activities and behaviors with love and limits.
Show your unconditional love, but don’t be afraid of setting rules. Parental disapproval of drug use plays a strong role in keeping teens drug-free. Parental monitoring has been shown to be effective in reducing risky behaviors among teens.

Praise your daughter as often as possible. Show love, warmth and interest in your teen, but set clear “no-drug” rules, limit time spent watching TV and using the Internet.
Always know where your daughter is, whom she is with and what she is doing. Know her friends and the parents of those friends. Have regular check-in times.
Attend your daughter’s school events and recreational activities. It will make your teen feel loved, help her maintain good grades and increase her enjoyment of school.

Source:The New York Times

Unexpected Enlightenment

You Never Know Who You Will Meet

Our individual journeys take us into many unexpected situations where we encounter a wide variety of people-some quite like ourselves and some very different. We cannot anticipate these meetings, but we can make the most of them when they take place. When we are courteous as a matter of course and open-minded in our assessment of the individuals whose lives briefly touch our own, we are more apt to stumble upon surprising gems of wisdom that open our eyes to new worlds of possibility. Every person we meet can affect us profoundly, just as every situation we find ourselves in can teach us something new.

To fully embrace this fact, it is essential that we acknowledge that everyone is valuable in their own way and capable of expanding our horizons. Since we never know when we will happen upon those individuals who will unveil truths before us, we should extend to all people the same generous level of kindness, care, compassion, and understanding. When we assume everyone we meet is special and treat them as such, we can develop a strong rapport quickly. By making an effort to adopt a positive attitude toward others at all times, we ensure that our emotions do not blind us to wisdom that may be lurking in difficult or distressing situations. We are accordingly receptive to knowledge that comes to us in the form of examples, advice, and direct teaching.

These brief relationships ultimately have the potential to enrich our lives in a very concrete way. But the wisdom we gain is proportional to the attention we pay to the world around us. The responsibility is on us to maintain a state of awareness that allows us to recognize when we are in the presence of someone consciously or unconsciously in possession of knowledge that will change us significantly. When we are cognizant of the potential for unexpected enlightenment, we make a habit of turning strangers into friends, thus ensuring that we are never without a font of wisdom from which to draw.

Source:Daily Om

Gallstones

Some 20 million Americans have gallstones, crystallized pellets in the gallbladder that can suddenly cause painful spasms a few hours after eating a rich meal. A high-fiber diet, along with certain supplements, can help prevent, relieve, or even dissolve these troublesome stones.

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Symptoms
Intermittent pain on the right side of the upper abdomen. The pain typically develops after a meal, lasts from 30 minutes to 4 hours, and may move to the back, chest, or right shoulder.
Nausea and vomiting may accompany pain. Heartburn, gas, or bloating may also be present.

When to Call Your Doctor
If you develop severe abdominal pain, or pain with nausea, vomiting, or fever. Either symptom may signal gallbladder inflammation or a blockage of the bile duct. Both are medical emergencies.
If you have upper right abdominal pain and nausea with shortness of breath and sweating — this may be a heart attack. Call an ambulance right away.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
Gallstones are rocklike clumps of cholesterol or other digestive substances that form in the gallbladder, the pear-shaped organ that sits in the upper right section of the abdomen, just under the liver. The gallbladder stores and concentrates bile — a thick greenish yellow fluid that’s produced by the liver — and eventually releases it through the bile duct into the small intestine to aid in the digestion of fats. Gallstones can develop if the bile contains very high levels of cholesterol, bile acids, pigments, or other substances. Whether they’re really tiny or as big as a golf ball, gallstones often produce no symptoms and need no special care. Sometimes, though, they can block the bile duct or inflame the gallbladder, causing intense abdominal pain and requiring prompt treatment.

What Causes It
Though the exact cause of gallstones is not known, several factors may contribute to their formation, including a low-fiber, high-fat diet; intestinal surgery; inflammatory bowel disease; or other disorders of the digestive tract. Gallstones tend to occur in people over age 40 and are three times more common in women than in men. Obesity is also strongly linked to gallstones, as is rapid weight loss. There may be a genetic component as well: Among Arizona’s Pima Indians, nearly 70% of women over age 30 have gallstones.

How Supplements Can Help
The supplements recommended in the list may all aid in preventing or dissolving gallstones. Three months of treatment may be effective in dissolving small existing stones, though Vitamin C, liotropic combination, lecithin, and flaxseed oil can also be used long term to help prevent gallstone attacks.

What Else You Can Do
Eat a diet high in fiber and low in refined carbohydrates, sugar, and fat. Fruits and vegetables, oat bran, and pectin (found in apples, bananas, cabbage, carrots, oranges, peas, and okra) may be especially important in preventing and dissolving gallstones.
Keep your weight down and drink plenty of water daily.

Supplement Recommendations
Vitamin C
Lipotropic Combination
Taurine
Lecithin
Flaxseed Oil
Peppermint Oil
Psyllium


Vitamin C

Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Reduce dose if diarrhea develops.

Lipotropic Combination
Dosage: 1 or 2 pills twice a day.
Comments: Need 250 mg milk thistle (take extra if needed); may also include choline, inositol, methionine, and dandelion.

Taurine
Dosage: 1,000 mg L-taurine twice a day for up to 3 months.
Comments:After 6 weeks, add a mixed amino acid complex.

Lecithin
Dosage: 2 capsules of 19 grains (1,200 mg) each twice a day.
Comments: Or 2 tsp. granular form twice a day before meals.

Flaxseed Oil
Dosage: 1 tbsp. (14 grams) a day in liquid or pill form.
Comments: Can be mixed with food; take in the morning.

Peppermint Oil

Dosage: 2 capsules (containing 0.2 ml of oil each) twice a day.
Comments: Buy enteric-coated capsules. Take between meals.

Psyllium
Dosage: 1 tbsp. powder dissolved in water or juice twice a day.
Comments: Be sure to drink extra water throughout the day.

Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs (Reader’s Digest)

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

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Allspice (Bengali name : Kabab chini)

Botanical Name: Pimenta officinalis
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Pimenta
Species: P. dioica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms: Pimento. Jamaica Pepper.

Common Names  :Jamaica pepper, Pepper, Myrtle pepper, Pimenta, Pimento, English pepper or Newspice

Allspice takes its name from its aroma, which smells like a combination of spices, especially cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. In much of the world, allspice is called pimento because the Spanish mistook the fruit for black pepper, which the Spanish called pimienta. This is especially confusing since the Spanish had already called chillies pimientos.

Various Different Names
English Spice, Jamaica Pepper, Clove Pepper, Myrtle Pepper, Pimenta, Pimento
French: pimenta, tout-épice
German: Jamikapfefer
Italian: pimento
Spanish: pimiento de Jamaica
Indian: kabab cheene, seetful  (Bengali name : Kabab chini)

 Habitat : Pimento officinalis or allspice is indigenous to the West Indian Islands and South America, and extensively grown in Jamaica, where it flourishes best on limestone hills near the sea. In this country, it only grows as a stove plant.

It is also cultivated in Central America and surrounding states, but more than half the supply of the spice found in commerce comes from Jamaica, where the tree is so abundant as to form in the mountainous districts whole forests, which require little attention beyond clearing out undergrowth

Description:
The allspice tree, classified as an evergreen shrub, reaches heights between 10 and 18 m (32 and 60 ft). Allspice can be a small, scrubby tree, quite similar to the bay laurel in size and form. It can also be a tall, canopy tree, sometimes grown to provide shade for coffee trees planted underneath it.The tree begins to fruit when three years old and is in full bearing after four years. The flowers appear in June, July and August and are quickly succeeded by the berries.

The special qualities of the fruit reside in the rind of the berries. It loses its aroma on ripening, owing to loss of volatile oil, and the berries are therefore collected as soon as they have attained their full size, in July and August, but while unripe and green.

Gathering is performed by breaking off the small twigs bearing the bunches; these are then spread out and exposed to the sun and air for some days, after which the stalks are removed and the berries are ready for packing into bags and casks for exportation.

The spice is sometimes dried in ovens (Kiln-dried Allspice), but the method by evaporation from sun-heat produces the best article, though it is tedious and somewhat hazardous, requiring about twelve days, during which the fruit must be carefully guarded against moisture, being housed at night and during rainy and damp weather.

The green colour of the fresh fruit changes on drying to reddish brown. If the fruit is allowed to ripen, it loses almost the whole of its aromatic properties, becoming fleshy sweet and of a purple-black colour. Such pimento, to render it more attractive, is then often artificially coloured with bole or brown ochre, a sophistication which may be detected by boiling for a few seconds with diluted hydrochloric acid, filtering and testing with potassium ferrocyanide; the liquid should assume at most a bluish-green colour.

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Edible Uses:
Allspice is one of the most important ingredients of Caribbean cuisine. It is used in Caribbean jerk seasoning (the wood is used to smoke jerk in Jamaica, although the spice is a good substitute), in moles, and in pickling; it is also an ingredient in commercial sausage preparations and curry powders. Allspice is also indispensable in Middle Eastern cuisine, particularly in the Levant, where it is used to flavour a variety of stews and meat dishes. In Palestinian cuisine, for example, many main dishes call for allspice as the sole spice added for flavouring. In the U.S., it is used mostly in desserts, but it is also responsible for giving Cincinnati-style chili its distinctive aroma and flavour. Allspice is commonly used in Great Britain, and appears in many dishes, including cakes. Even in many countries where allspice is not very popular in the household, as in Germany, it is used in large amounts by commercial sausage makers. It is a main flavour used in barbecue sauces. In the West Indies, an allspice liqueur called “pimento dram” is produced.

Allspice has also been used as a deodorant. Volatile oils found in the plant contain eugenol, a weak antimicrobial agent
Jerked meats like pork, chicken and kid reflect the Spanish/Jamaican background of Allspice. It is a particularly popular spice in European cooking, an important ingredient in many marinades, pickling and mulling spices. Many patés, terrines, smoked and canned meats include allspice. A few allspice berries are added to Scandinavian pickled herring, to Sauerkraut , pickles, soups, game dishes and English spiced beef. Traditionally, allspice has been used in cakes, fruit pies, puddings ice cream and pumpkin pie. Some Indian curries and pilaus contain allspice and in the Middle East it is used in meat and rice dishes. It is also used in liqueurs, notably Benedictine and Chartreuse.
Allspice can be used as a substitute, measure, for measure, for cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg. Conversely to make a substitution for allspice, combine one part nutmeg with two parts each of cinnamon and cloves.

Constituents:

The chief constituent of allspice is from 3 to 4.5 per cent of a volatile oil, contained in glands in the pericarp of the seeds and obtained by distillation from the fruit.

It occurs as a yellow or yellowish-red liquid, becoming gradually darker on keeping and having a pleasant aromatic odour, somewhat similar to that of oil of cloves, and a pungent, spicy taste. It has a slightly acid reaction. It is soluble in all proportions of alcohol. The specific gravity is 1.030 to 1.050. Its chief constituent is the phenol Eugenol, which is present to the extent of 60 to 75 per cent, and a sesquiterpene, the exact nature of which has not yet been ascertained. The specific gravity to some extent indicates the amount present; if lower than 1.030, it may be assumed that some eugenol has been removed, or that the oil has been adulterated with substitutes having a lower specific gravity than that of eugenol. The eugenol can be determined by shaking the oil with a solution of potassium hydroxide and measuring the residual oily layer. The United States Pharmacopoeia specifies that at least 65 per cent by volume of eugenol should be present. On shaking the oil with an equal volume of strong solution of ammonia, it should be converted into a semisolid mass of eugenol-ammonium.

The clove-like odour of the oil is doubtless due to the eugenol, but the characteristic odour is due to some other substance or substances as yet unknown. A certain amount of resin is also present, but the oil has not yet been fully investigated.

Bonastre obtained from the fruit, a volatile oil, a green fixed oil, a fatty substance in yellowish flakes, tannin, gum, resin, uncrystallizable sugar, colouring matter, malic and gallic acids, saline matter and lignin. The green fixed oil has a burning, aromatic taste of Pimento and is supposed to be the acrid principle. Upon this, together with the volatile oil, the medicinal properties of the berries depend, and as these two principles exist most in the shell, this part is the most efficient. According to Bonastre, the shell contains 1O per cent of the volatile and 8 per cent of the fixed oil; the seeds only 5 per cent of the former and 2.5 of the latter. Berzelius considered the green fixed oil of Bonastre to be a mixture of the volatile oil, resin, fixed oil and perhaps a little chlorophyll.

On incineration, the fruits yield from 2.5 to 5 per cent of ash.

They impart their flavour to water and all their virtues to alcohol. The infusion is of a brown colour and reddens litmus paper.

The leaves and bark abound in inflammable particles.

Medicinal Properties
Because of its eugenol content, allspice has attributes similar to clove. It is a digestive and carminative. The oil is classed as rubefacient, meaning that it irritates the skin and expands the blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood to make the skin feel warmer. The tannins in allspice provide a mild anesthetic that, with its warming effect, make it a popular home remedy for arthritis and sore muscles, used either as a poultice or in hot baths.


Medicinal Uses:
The chief use of Pimento is as a spice and condiment: the berries are added to curry powder and also to mulled wine. It is popular as a warming cordial, of a sweet odour and grateful aromatic taste.

The oil inaction resembles that of cloves, and is occasionally used in medicine and is also employed in perfuming soaps.

It was formerly official in both the British and United States Pharmacopoeias. Both Pimento Oil and Pimento Water were official in the British Pharmacopoeia of 1898, but Oil of Pimento was deleted from the British Pharmacopceia of 1914, though the Water still has a place in the British Pharmacopceia Codex.

Pimento has also been dropped from the United States Pharmacopoeia, but admitted to the National Formulary IV. Pimento is one of the ingredients in the Compound Tincture of Guaic of the National Formulary IV.

Pimento is an aromatic stimulant and carminative to the gastro-intestinal tract, resembling cloves in its action. It is employed chiefly as an addition to tonics and purgatives and as a flavouring agent.

The Essential Oil, as well as the Spirit and the distilled Water of Pimento are useful for flatulent indigestion and for hysterical paroxysms. Two or three drops of the oil on sugar are given to correct flatulence. The oil is also given on sugar and in pills to correct the griping tendencies of purgatives: it was formerly added to Syrup of Buckthorn to prevent griping.

 

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Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/allsp025.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allspice

http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail1.php

Your weight can affect earning power

LONDON: Piling on the pounds is not only bad for health it can have a negative impact on earning power. Just a 10% increase in body mass index, a measure of weight relative to height, can cut a man’s real earnings by 3.3% and a woman’s by 1.8%, economists said on Wednesday.

Research from nine European countries shows the negative impact of weight on wages is stronger in the “oil belt”nations which include Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal.

But in the so-called “beer belt” countries of Austria, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium and Finland gaining weight does not have a significant effect on salary.

“We find that BMI affects wages negatively in Europe, and that the size of this effect is larger for males than for females,”said Giorgio Brunello, an economist at the University of Padova in Italy.

But he does not know whether it is due to discrimination against the overweight and obese or to health problems or depression that may limit their productivity.

BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. A BMI between 20-25 in normal, 25-30 is pre-obese and more than 30 is obese.

Public health experts have warned that Europe is facing an obesity epidemic that will increase health costs and hamper economic development.

Up to 23% of men and as many as 36% of women in Europe are obese. It is also a growing problem in children.

Brunello and Beatrice D’Hombres of the European Commission, Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy used information from the European Community House Panel, which is a comparative dataset, in the study published in the journal Economics and Human Biology.

“Our results point out that heavier European workers experience a wage penalty in the labor market,”Brunello said.
The researchers said their findings are in line with the results of a recent survey of Europeans that shows Southern Europeans place a higher concern on gaining weight.

Neville Rigby, the director of Policy and Public Affairs at the International Obesity TaskForce in London, said the findings need to be looked at more closely.

“What is being shown is that there is an income gradient which relates to obesity in the same way that other factors do,”he added.

“If it is perceived that people are more concerned about overweight and obesity in certain areas it may well relate to the fact that they are becoming more aware of the health consequences,”he added.

Source:The Times Of India

Eating less, exercising more equally good

WASHINGTON: Eating less and exercising more are equally good at helping take off the pounds, US researchers said on Friday in a study that challenges many of the popular tenets of the multibillion dollar diet and fitness industry.

Tests on overweight people show that a calorie is just a calorie, whether lost by dieting or by running, they said.

They found there is no way to selectively lose belly fat, for instance, or trim thighs. And their carefully controlled study added to evidence that adding muscle mass does not somehow boost metabolism and help dieters take off even more weight.

“It’s all about the calories,”said Dr. Eric Ravussin of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, part of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

“So long as the energy deficit is the same, body weight, fat weight, and abdominal fat will all decrease in the same way.”

Ravussin said the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism is one of the few done under controlled conditions that can actually show what happens to a human body while dieting and exercising.

Ravussin’s team has been testing volunteers for another reason — to see if taking in fewer calories helps people live longer.

Strict diets have been shown to help animals from worms to dogs live longer, but it takes longer to study monkeys and humans.

They tested 24 people, 12 who ate a calorie-restricted diet, and 12 who dieted and also exercised five times a week for six months.

The dieters ate 25% less than normal, while the exercisers reduced their calorie intake by 12.5% and increased their physical activity to lose an extra 12.5 in calories.

Another 10 volunteers acted as controls. All food was provided in carefully measured portions for most of the study.

The volunteers in both groups lost 10% of body weight, 24% of fat mass, and 27% of abdominal visceral fat. Visceral fat is packed in between the internal organs and is considered the most dangerous type of fat, linked with heart disease and diabetes.

The distribution of the fat on the body was not altered by either approach — helping prove that there is no such thing as “spot reducing”, Ravussin said in a telephone interview. This suggests that “individuals are genetically programmed for fat storage in a particular pattern and that this programming cannot easily be overcome”, he added.

Ravussin has published other studies that also dispute the idea that exercise builds muscle that helps people lose weight.

“If anything, highly trained people are highly efficient, so they burn fewer calories at rest,”Ravussin said. Dieting alone also did not appear to cause the volunteers to lose muscle mass along with fat, Ravussin’s team found.

“There is a concept that if you exercise, you are going to lose less of your muscle,”he said. But his team found no evidence this is true.

Source:The Times Of India