Monthly Archives: June 2007

Teens, Drugs, and Violence

Teens who use drugs are more likely to engage in violent behavior, steal, abuse other drugs, and join gangs. But you, as a parent, are the most powerful influence on your teen when it comes to using illicit drugs. Here are some tips to keep your teen drug-free and prevent delinquent behavior down the road:

Monitor your teen. Know who your teen’s friends are and make a point to meet their parents. Know where your teen is and what he/she is doing during unsupervised time, especially after school between the hours of 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The rate of violent acts committed during this period is nearly six times greater than the rate committed during night-time hours (10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.). 1

Be a role model to your teen. Teens join gangs for a variety of reasons: some seek excitement; others are looking for prestige, protection, income, or a sense of belonging. But, research shows that teens who are engaged with their family or community are less likely to turn to drugs or violence. Set a good example for your teen by being a consistent, positive presence in his/her life.

Get your teens involved in after-school activities, such as sports and volunteer opportunities. It is an excellent way to reduce the likelihood of them falling into negative behaviors. For ideas on volunteer opportunities, visit TheAntiDrug.com’s Partner section.

During the summer, when teens are typically not in school, it’s important to create some type of structure for a daily routine. To learn more about how to create structure for your teen’s life while school’s out, visit TheAntiDrug.com’s School’s Out section.

Source: ParentingTips@TheAntiDrug.com

Medicinal herb to prevent cold

PARIS: Echinacea, a medicinal herb that came to prominence thanks to its use by Sioux Indians, can more than halve the risk of catching a cold, a wide-scale study has confirmed.

Taking Echinacea supplements can reduce the risk of a cold by 58 percent and may also shorten the duration of a cold almost one and a half days, according to the paper, published on Sunday in the July issue of the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The study is a “meta-analysis” comparing the outcome of 14 published trials using Echinacea…..

One of the trials combined with Echinacea with vitamin C, which showed the two together reduced the incidence of a cold by 86 percent. The analysis was led by University of Connecticut pharmacist Craig Coleman.

Echinacea is a term for nine related daisy-like plant species that are native to North America and feature in the traditional medicine of the Sioux and other Plains Indians as remedies for infection, snakebites and rabies. Other names for the plant are black Sampson, Kansas snakeroot and purple coneflower.

Coleman’s team said they had counted more than 800 products containing Echinacea, which come in the form of tablets, extracts, fresh juice, tincture and tea.

Three of the nine species are commonly used (Echinacea Purpurea, E. Angustifolia and E. Pallida), and different parts of the plant are used for different products.

The authors say it is still unclear how Echinacea appears to stimulate the immune system against the cold virus.

Its three major ingredients are alkamides, chicoric acid and polysaccharides, but it is unclear whether these work by acting separately or together, or with the help of other constituents.

And the authors sound a word of caution, saying more work needs to be done on the plant’s safety before doctors can recommend Echinacea as a standard option for preventing or treating the common cold.

Source:The Times Of India

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Leadwort

Description:
Leadwort, sometimes called plumbago, is a late summer and fall gem that is easily forgotten the rest of the year. Its green foliage is fairly nondescript until the blue flowers open on red stems in late August. These are leaf-losing (deciduous), flowering shrubs that can be grown in a greenhouse in the North and outdoors in the far South. P. capensis, the more popular kind, is from southern Africa. In a greenhouse it needs a winter temperature of 45-50 degrees. It will flourish outdoors in a sunny area in mild climates such as Florida and California. In a greenhouse this plant can reach a height of 8 feet or more. It bears clusters of beautiful pale blue flowers, mostly in the summer, but it more or less continues throughout the autumn months. The long shoots can be trained up onto a trellis or other support. A white flowered variety, P. capensis alba, is also grown. Another kind P. indica (rosea), produces rose-colored blooms in the winter and spring. It needs a higher temperature (55-60 degrees) than P. capensis. The plant blooms through and beyond light frosts. Frosts only add to its interest in the Garden by inducing a rich, red, leaf in the fall.

leadwort.jpg

Though a fall knockout, plumbago is best planted in the spring. It spreads slowly from rhizomes that need time to get established before winter. The upright stems with woody bases grow to 18 inches. The plant is rated hardy to USDA zone 5 for Front Range Gardens.

Leadwort is very shade tolerant, blooming in spots that receive only a couple hours of sunlight daily. It also thrives in full sun. Plants prosper in average soils and require only occasional watering once established.

Try planting leadwort in combination with feather reed grass, tufted hair grass, asters, buff-red flowered sedums, purple coneflower, and yellow, red or lavender-pink mums. This plant also goes well with yellow, late-summer blooming black-eyed Susans and other sunflower relatives.

Varities: P. capensis; P. capensis alba; P. indica.

Propagation: Cuttings are used to increase these plants. New shoots are taken and inserted in pots of sandy soil in the spring or early summer. The pots are set in a propagating case for a few weeks, kept moist, and provided with shade from bright sunlight. P. indica can also be increased by root cuttings.

Medicinal Uses:
The root of the plant is acrid and stimulant.It is useful in inducing copious perspiration and in promoting salivation. It also strengthen stomach and aids in the action.Its leaves are almost tasteless, have hard cellulose and are slightly slimy.Raw juice of its leaves can be taken by itself or can be added to mixed green vegetables and lettuces to prepare cake. The herb is useful in the treatment of rheumatic and paralytic affections. Blended with little mild oil such as refined coconut oil , it is applied externally over the affected parts.

Its leaves are useful in dyspepsia,diarrhea and piles. It increases digestive power s and stimulates appetite. The herb is used in the treatment of chronic skin diseases as well as in leucoderma. and baldness. The paste made with the salt and water is useful for obstinate skin diseases such as syphilitic ulcers. scabies varicose ulcers and ringworm.Paste of the root is also used over glandular tumors and abscesses. The fresh juice of the root is very acrid and blisters the skin.

Precautions:
The root of the herb in large dose is narcotic and irritant. It should therefore be given only in small doses.

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

Resources:

Miracles of Herbs

http://www.botany.com/plumbago.html

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1048.html

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Palpitation

Palpitation, a common problem, is a state in which the heart beats forcibly and maybe, irregularly. It enables the person to become aware of the action of his heart. It is a distressing condition but is not always serious.

Palpitations are unpleasant sensations of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart. In some patients with palpitations, no heart disease or abnormal heart rhythms can be found. Reasons for their palpitations are unknown. In others, palpitations result from abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). Arrhythmias refer to heartbeats that are too slow, too rapid, irregular, or too early. Rapid arrhythmias (greater than 100 beats per minute) are called tachycardias. Slow arrhythmias (slower than 60 beats per minute) are called bradycardias. Irregular heart rhythms are called fibrillations (as in atrial fibrillation). When a single heartbeat occurs earlier than normal, it is called a premature contraction. Abnormalities in the atria, the ventricles, the SA node, and the AV node of the heart can lead to arrhythmias.

Click to see the pictures

 

It is an awareness of the beating of the heart, whether it is too slow, too fast, irregular, or at its normal frequency. Palpitations may be brought on by overexertion, adrenaline, alcohol, disease (such as hyperthyroidism) or drugs, or as a symptom of panic disorder. More colloquially, it can also refer to a shaking motion. It can also happen in mitral stenosis.

Nearly everyone experiences an occasional awareness of their heart beating, but when it occurs frequently, it can indicate a problem. Palpitations may be associated with heart problems, but also with anemias and thyroid malfunction.

Attacks can last for a few seconds or hours, and may occur very infrequently, or more than daily. Palpitations alongside other symptoms, including sweating, faintness, chest pain or dizziness, indicate irregular or poor heart function and should be looked into.

Palpitations may also be associated with anxiety and panic attacks, in which case psychological assessment is recommended.

Types of palpitation
People describe their palpitations in many different ways, but there are some common patterns:

The heart “stops”
Those who experience palpitations may have the feeling that their heart stops beating for a moment, and then starts again with a “thump” or a “bang”. Usually this feeling is actually caused by an extra beat (premature beat or extrasystole) that happens earlier than the next normal beat, and results in a pause until the next normal beat comes through. People are not usually aware of the early, extra beat, but may be aware of the pause, which follows it (the heart seems to stop). The beat after the pause is more forceful than normal, giving the “thumping” sensation.

The heart is “fluttering” in the chest
Any rapid heartbeat (or tachycardia) can give rise to this feeling. A rapid, regular fluttering in the chest may be associated with sensation of pounding in the neck as well, due to simultaneous contraction of the upper, priming chambers of the heart (the atria) and the lower, main pumping chambers (the ventricles). If the fluttering in the chest feels very irregular, then it is likely that the underlying rhythm is atrial fibrillation. During this type of rhythm abnormality, the atria beat so rapidly and irregularly that they seem to be quivering, rather than contracting. The ventricles are activated more rapidly than normal (tachycardia) and in a very irregular pattern..

Types:
Palpitations may be associated with feelings of anxiety or panic. It is normal to feel the heart thumping when feeling terrified or scared, but it may be difficult to know whether the palpitations or the panicked feeling came first. Unfortunately, since it can take some time before a clear diagnosis is made in a patient complaining of palpitations, people are sometimes told initially that the problem is anxiety.

Stressful situations cause an increase in the level of stress hormones, such as adrenaline, circulating in the blood, and there are some types of abnormal heart rhythm that can be stimulated by adrenaline excess, or by exercise. It may be possible to diagnose these sorts of palpitations by performing simple tests, such as an exercise test, while monitoring the ECG.

Some types of abnormal heart rhythm seem to be affected by posture. For many people, standing up straight after bending over can provoke a rapid heart rate. Often these attacks can be abolished again by lying down. Many people, if not all, are more aware of the heartbeat when lying quietly in bed at night. This is partly because at that time, the attention is not focused on other things, but also because the slower heart beat at rest can allow more premature beats to occur.

Symptoms:
The main symptom of palpitation of the heart is a kind of ‘thumping’ feeling in the chest .The patient feels a real discomfort in the front of the chest .The pulse rate may become faster than normal.
Many times, the person experiencing palpitations may not be aware of anything apart from the abnormal heart rhythm itself. But palpitations can be associated with other things such as tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness or light-headedness. Depending on the type of rhythm problem, these symptoms may be just momentary or more prolonged. Actual blackouts or near blackouts, associated with palpitations, should be taken seriously because they often indicate the presence of important underlying heart disease.

Probable Causes:

Palpitation of the heart may occur due to a variety of factors, most of which may not be related to the heart itself. Anything, which increases the workload of the heart, may bring on this condition. Some persons may experience palpitations when lying on the left side, because the heart is nearer the chest wall in that position. Many nervous persons suffer from this condition. Although palpitations do occur among other symptoms in serious heart disease, the vast majority of cases is due to anxiety and has no direct connection with heart disease whatsoever. Other causes contribution to this condition is an overfull stomach, flatulence, and constipation. Excessive smoking may also give rise to this disorder.

Diagnosis

The most important initial clue to the diagnosis is one’s description of the palpitations. The approximate age of the person when first noticed and the circumstances under which they occur are important, as is information about caffeine intake. It is also very helpful to know how they start and stop (abruptly or not), whether or not they are regular, and approximately how fast the pulse rate is during an attack. If the person has discovered a way of stopping the palpitations, that is also helpful information.

The diagnosis is usually not made by a routine medical examination and electrical tracing of the heart’s activity (ECG), because most people cannot arrange to have their symptoms while visiting the doctor. Nevertheless, findings such as a heart murmur or an abnormality of the ECG, which could point to the probable diagnosis, may be discovered. In particular, ECG changes that can be associated with specific disturbances of the heart rhythm may be picked up; so routine physical examination and ECG remain important in the assessment of palpitations.

Blood tests, particularly tests of thyroid gland function are also important baseline investigations (an overactive thyroid gland is a potential cause for palpitations; the treatment in that case is to treat the thyroid gland over-activity).

The next level of diagnostic testing is usually 24 hour (or longer) ECG monitoring, using a form of tape recorder (a bit like a Walkman), which can record the ECG continuously during a 24-hour period. If symptoms occur during monitoring it is a simple matter to examine the ECG recording and see what the cardiac rhythm was at the time. For this type of monitoring to be helpful, the symptoms must be occurring at least once a day. If they are less frequent then the chances of detecting anything with continuous 24, or even 48-hour monitoring, are quite remote.

Other forms of monitoring are available, and these can be useful when symptoms are infrequent. A continuous-loop event recorder monitors the ECG continuously, but only saves the data when the wearer activates it. Once activated, it will save the ECG data for a period of time before the activation and for a period of time afterwards – the cardiologist who is investigating the palpitations can program the length of these periods. A new type of continuous-loop recorder has been developed recently that may be helpful in people with very infrequent, but disabling symptoms. This recorder is implanted under the skin on the front of the chest, like a pacemaker. It can be programmed and the data examined using an external device that communicates with it by means of a radio signal.

Investigation of heart structure can also be important. The heart in most people with palpitations is completely normal in its physical structure, but occasionally abnormalities such as valve problems may be present. Usually, but not always, the cardiologist will be able to detect a murmur in such cases, and an echo scan of the heart (echocardiogram) will often be performed to document the heart’s structure. This is a painless test performed using sound waves and is virtually identical to the scanning done in pregnancy to look at the fetus.


Modern medical Treatment

Treating heart palpitations depends greatly on the nature of the problem. In many patients, excessive caffeine intake triggers heart palpitations. In this case, treatment simply requires caffeine intake reduction. For severe cases, medication is often prescribed.

A variety of medications manipulate heart rhythm, which can be used to try to prevent palpitations. If severe palpitations occur, a beta-blocking drug is commonly prescribed. These block the effect of adrenaline on the heart, and are also used for the treatment of angina and high blood pressure. However, they can cause drowsiness, sleep disturbance, depression, impotence, and can aggravate asthma. Other anti-arrhythmic drugs can be employed if beta-blockers are not appropriate.

If heart palpitations become severe, antiarrhythmic medication can be injected intravenously. If this treatment fails, cardioversion may be required. Cardioversion is usually performed under a short general anaesthesia, and involves delivering an electric shock to the chest, which stops the abnormal rhythm and allows the normal rhythm to continue.

For some patients, often those with specific underlying problems found in ECG tests, an electrophysiological study may be advised. This procedure involves inserting a series of wires into a vein in the groin, or the side of the neck, and positioning them inside the heart. Once in position, the wires can be used to record the ECG from different sites within the heart, and can also start and stop abnormal rhythms to further accurate diagnosis. If appropriate, i.e. if an electrical “short circuit” is shown to be responsible for the abnormal rhythm, then a special wire can be used to cut the “short circuit” by placing a small burn at the site. This is known as “radiofrequency ablation” and is curative in the majority of patients with this condition.

Atrial fibrillation has been discussed in a separate article. Treatment may include medication to control heart rate, or cardioversion to support normal heart rhythm. Patients may require medication after a cardioversion to maintain a normal rhythm. In some patients, if attacks of atrial fibrillation occur frequently despite medication, ablation of the connection between the atria and the ventricles (with implantation of a pacemaker) may be advised. A very important risk of atrial fibrillation is the increased risk of stroke. Management of atrial fibrillation usually includes some form of blood thinning treatment.

Very rarely, palpitations are associated with an increased risk blackouts, and even premature death. Generally speaking, serious arrhythmias occur in patients who are known to have heart disease, or carry a genetic predisposition for heart disease or related abnormalities and complications.

Palpitations, in the setting of the above problems, or occurrences such as blackouts or near blackouts, should be taken seriously. Even if ultimately nothing is found, a doctor should be contacted immediately to arrange the appropriate investigations, especially if palpitations occur with blackouts or if any of the above conditions are noticed.

Ayurvedic & Herbal Healing Options:

Ayurvedic Suppliments: 1. Stress Guard 2. Aswagandharisthra 3.Keshari Kalp 4. Brahmi Bati (Click to buy)

Herbal Home Remedy: Grapes,Aswagandha, Satabari and Brahmi… these herbs helps to get rid of any kind of palpitition.

Click to learn more herbal home remedy

Diet Option: The patient suffering from palpitation of the heart should take a simple diet of natural foods, with emphasis on fresh fruits, and raw or lightly cooked vegetables. He should avoid tea, coffee, alcohol, chocolate, soft drinks, food colorings, white rice, and condiments. He should restrict his diet to three meals a day .He should take fruits, milk, and a handful of nuts or seeds, fresh vegetables.

Life Style:Patient should do meditation every day. Swimming, skipping and cycling is also good for health.

Yoga Option: 1. Basic Breathing Exercise(Pranayama) 2. The Shoulder Stand (Sarvang Asana) 3. Shavasana(Total Body Rest)

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.

Resources:

http://www.allayurveda.com/ail_palpitation.htm

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

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Pumpkin

Description:
A pumpkin is a squash fruit, usually orange in color when ripe (although there are also white, red, and gray varieties). Pumpkins grow as a gourd from a trailing vine of the genus Cucurbita (family Cucurbitaceae). Cultivated in North America, continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India and some other countries, Cucurbita species include Curcurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita mixta, and Cucurbita moschata — all plants native to the Western hemisphere. The pumpkin varies greatly in form, being sometimes nearly globular, but more generally oblong or ovoid in shape. The rind is smooth and its color depends on the particular species (very dark-green, very pale-green, & orange-yellow are common). The larger kinds acquire a weight of 40 to 80 lb (18 to 36 kg) but smaller varieties are in vogue for garden culture. Pumpkins are a popular food, with their insides commonly eaten cooked and served in dishes such as pumpkin pie; the seeds can be roasted as a snack. Pumpkins are traditionally used to carve Jack-o’-lanterns for use in Halloween celebrations.

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Botanically it is a fruit, referring to a plant part which grows from a flower; however, it is widely regarded as a vegetable in culinary terms, referring to how it is eaten.

Butternut squash is called “butternut pumpkin” in Australia, and “neck pumpkin” in parts of Pennsylvania, where it is commonly regarded as a pumpkin and used in similar ways to other pumpkin.

Pumpkins have historically been pollinated by the native squash bee Peponapis pruinosa, but this bee has declined, probably due to pesticide sensitivity, and today most commercial plantings are pollinated by honeybees. One hive per acre (4,000 m² per hive) is recommended by the United States of America (US) Department of Agriculture. Gardeners with a shortage of bees, however, often have to hand pollinate.

Inadequately pollinated pumpkins usually start growing but abort before full development. Often there is an opportunistic fungus that the gardener blames for the abortion, but the solution to this problem tends to be better pollination rather than fungicide.

Pumpkins have male and female flowers, the latter distinguished by the small ovary at the base of the petals. The bright, colorful flowers are short-lived and may open for as little as one day.

 

English: A Pumpkin flower attached to the vine.

English: A Pumpkin flower attached to the vine. (Photo credit: WikiImmature Female Pumpkin FloAlthough in the rest of the world pumpkins are grown for eating, in the US they are grown more for decoration than for food (particularly around Haloween). Popular contests continually lead growers to vie for the world record for the largest pumpkin ever grown. Growers have many techniques, often secretive, including hand pollination, removal from the vines of all but one pumpkin, and injection of fertilizer or even milk directly into the vines with a hypodermic needle

Pumpkin seeds
The hulled or semi-hulled seeds of pumpkins can be roasted and eaten as a snack, similar to the sunflower seed. Pumpkin seeds can be prepared for eating by first separating them from the orange pumpkin flesh, then coating them in a generally salty sauce (Worcestershire sauce, for example), after which the seeds are distributed upon a baking sheet, and then cooked in an oven at a relatively low temperature for a long period of time.

 

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of iron, zinc, essential fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium. Pumpkin seeds may also promote prostate health since components in pumpkin seed oil appears to interrupt the triggering of prostate cell multiplication by testosterone and DHT.Removing the white hull of the pumpkin seed reveals an edible, green-colored seed inside that is commonly referred to as a pepita in North and South America.

Austria is a well-known producer of pumpkin seed oil.

Cooking
When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked, or roasted, or made into various kinds of pie, a traditional staple of American Thanksgiving, alone or mixed with other fruit; while small and green it may be eaten in the same way as the vegetable marrow. It can also be eaten mashed or incorporated into soup. If you pour milk into a pumpkin and bake it you can make a pudding. In the Middle East pumpkin is used for sweet dishes, a well known sweet delicacy is called Halawa Yaqtin. In South Asian countries such as India pumpkin is cooked with butter, sugar and spices called Kadu ka Halwa.

Pumpkin trivia
The pumpkin is from the Squash (Marrow) family and is related to the zucchini (courgette).
The largest pumpkin on record weighed 1502 lbs (666 kg). The largest pumpkins are really squash, Cucurbita maxima. They were culminated from the hubbard squash genotype by enthusiast farmers through intermittent effort since the mid 1800s. As such germplasm is commercially provocative, a U.S. legal right was granted for the rounder phenotypes, levying them as constituting a variety, with the appellation “Atlantic Giant.” Processually this phenotype graduated back into the public domain, except now it had the name Atlantic Giant on its record (see USDA PVP # 8500204).
Pumpkins are orange because they contain massive amounts of lutein, alpha- and beta-carotene. These nutrients turn to vitamin A in the body.

Activities involving pumpkins:

Halloween

A pumpkin carved into a Jack-o’-lantern for Halloween.
Painted mini pumpkins on display in Ottawa, Canada.Using pumpkins as lanterns at Halloween is based on an ancient Celtic custom brought to America by Irish immigrants. All Hallows Eve on 31 October marked the end of the old Celtic calendar year, and on that night hollowed-out turnips, beets and rutabagas with candles inside them were placed on windowsills and porches to welcome home the spirits of deceased ancestors and ward off evil spirits and a restless soul called “Stingy Jack,” hence the name “Jack-o-lantern”.

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A pumpkin carved into a Jack-o’-lantern for Halloween.

Chucking
Pumpkin chucking is a competitive activity in which teams build various mechanical devices designed to throw a pumpkin as far as possible. Catapults, trebuchets, ballistas and air cannons are the most common mechanisms. Some pumpkin chuckers grow special varieties of pumpkin, bred and grown under special conditions intended to improve the pumpkin’s chances of surviving being thrown.

Pumpkin festivals
Pumpkin growers often compete to see whose pumpkins are the most massive. Festivals are often dedicated to the pumpkin and these competitions.

Half Moon Bay, California, holds the annual Pumpkin and Arts Festival which includes the World Champion Pumpkin Weigh-Off. Farmers from all over the west compete to determine who can grow the greatest gourd . The winning pumpkin regularly tops the scale at more than 1200 pounds. The Pumpkin Festival draws over 250,000 visitors each year

Morton, Illinois, the self-declared pumpkin capital of the world,, has held a Pumpkin Festival since 1966. The town, where Nestlé’s pumpkin packing plant is located (and where 90% of canned pumpkins eaten in the US are processed), hosts a variety of activities during the Pumpkin Festival, including carnival games and pumpkin-related food. In 2006, 70,000 people attended the festival.

Medicinal Value and Uses:

As per Ayurveda:Pumpkin or white gourd is very good for the heart, destroys the excessive humors of bile and phlegm in the body, very nourishing, semen builder and nourishment to the pregnant woman during their pregnancies and also clears away the constipation during that time.

Pumpkin helps to prevent cancer
Pumpkin as World Healthiest Food

Learn more valuable uses of pumpkin

Click for Pumpkin Seeds and Prostate Health

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

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org

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Cinnamon helps check blood sugar

A dash of cinnamon on your daily dessert could help keep your blood sugar under check.
The world’s oldest spice, that was once considered a gift fit for kings, has been found to be highly effective against post-meal blood sugar rise.

Researchers from the Malmo University Hospital in Sweden have found that adding one teaspoon of cinnamon to a bowl of rice pudding helped lower blood sugar rise in a team of healthy volunteers.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on Thursday, add to evidence from past studies that cinnamon may aid in diabetes, a disorder in which blood sugar levels soar because the body cannot properly use the sugar-regulating hormone insulin.

The team led by Dr Joanna Hlebowicz based its findings on 14 healthy volunteers, each of whom had their blood sugar measured before and after eating a bowl of rice pudding having cinnamon.

Post-pudding blood tests, which were taken at intervals of two hours, showed that the volunteers’ blood sugar rose much lesser after consuming cinnamon dessert.

According to Hlebowicz’s team, this could be because cinnamon slows the rate at which food passes from the stomach to the intestines.

Using ultrasound scans, they found that the volunteers showed a slower rate of gastric emptying when they ate the cinnamon rice pudding.

Hlebowicz said previous studies found that when people with type 2 diabetes added cinnamon to their diets for 40 days, their blood sugar and cholesterol levels tended to dip. On the other hand, a recent study found no such benefits among people with type 1 diabetes.

Cinnamon, which has a long history both as a spice and a medicine, is also known to lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

A quarter teaspoon of cinnamon powder added to desserts or sprinkled on hot cereals or buttered toast twice daily is known to be beneficial.

Cinnamon has unique anti-clotting actions and also qualifies as an anti-microbial food that stops the growth of bacteria as well as fungi.

Cinnamon’s unique scent is known to boost brain activity and is also an excellent source of manganese, dietary fibre, iron and calcium.

Calcium and fibre bind bile salts and thereby reduce the risk of colon cancer.

A recent study published by researchers from the US department of agriculture said cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week.
Further studies focusing on people with diabetes are still needed, Hlebowicz and her colleagues concluded.

Click to see also:->Cinnamon and Diabetes

Source:The Times Of India

Ibuprofen: An Injured Child’s Best Friend

When a child is hurt, parents want to do anything to ease his pain. But often they don’t know what the best course of action is, or what type of pain medication will work best. Of three well-known analgesics, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and codeine, which one, if any, is best for children?

Ibuprofen found in over-the-counter Advil and Motrin was more effective than other two competitors in relieving children’s pain from musculoskeletal injuries to extremities, the neck, and the back, a new Canadian study published in the March Issue of the journal Pediatrics.

The researchers came to the conclusion after they compared ibuprofen with acetaminophen – an active ingredient found in Tylenol and codeine at an equivalent OTC dose in children admitted into an emergency department.

“No one had done comparison studies on the pain medications we use [on children] shift after shift,” Dr. Eric Clark, the lead author and an emergency medicine doctor at the University of Ottawa School of Medicine was quoted as saying by healthday.com

Clark said some doctors have actually used ibuprofen more frequently than other two painkillers, but this study justified such a preference.

In the study, researchers randomly assigned 15 mg/kg acetaminophen, 10 mg/kg ibuprofen, or 1 mg/kg codeine to 330 children aged 6 to 17 admitted to the emergency department of the Children’s Hospital department of Eastern Ontario with pain from a musculoskeletal injury that occurred 48 hours before admission into the hospital.

Children’s pain at the time of admission and at 60 minutes after treatment was evaluated on a pain scale ranging from 1 to 100 and then compared. 300 children were randomly selected for an analysis.

The researchers found that children in the ibuprofen group had a significantly greater improvement in pain score (pain score decreased by 24 mm) than those in the codeine (11mm) and acetaminophen (12mm).

Additionally at 60 minutes, more children receiving ibuprofen achieved adequate analgesia as defined by a visual analog scale less than 30 mm than other two groups.

There was no significant difference between acetaminophen and codeine in change in pain score at any time or in the number of children experiencing adequate analgesia.

Click for Dose of ibuprofen in chieldren and what parents need to know about ibuprofen

Source:www.kidsgrowth.com

Lemon Grass

Botanical Name: Cymbopogon citratus
Family: Gramineae (grass) – Poaceae (haygrass)
Other common names: Oil Grass, Fever Grass, Lemon Grass, Citronella, Capim

Cymbopogon is a genus of about 55 species of grasses, native to warm temperate and tropical regions of the Old World. It is a tall perennial grass. Common names include lemon grass, lemongrass, barbed wire grass, silky heads, citronella grass or fever grass amongst many others.

Lemon grass is widely used as a herb in Asian (particularly Hmong, Khmer, Thai, Lao, Philippines, Sri Lankan, Vietnamese) and Caribbean cooking. It has a citrous flavour and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh. The stalk itself is too hard to be eaten, except for the soft inner part. However, it can be finely sliced and added to recipes. It may also be bruised and added whole as this releases the aromatic oils from the juice sacs in the stalk. The main constituent of lemongrass oil is citral, which makes up around 80% of the total.

Lemon grass is commonly used in teas, soups, and curries. It is also suitable for poultry, fish, and seafood. It is often used as a tea in African countries (e.g. Togo).

East-Indian Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), also called Cochin Grass or Malabar Grass, is native to Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka, Burma,and Thailand while the West-Indian lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) is assumed to have its origins in Malaysia. While both can be used interchangeably, C. citratus is more suited for cooking. In India C. citratus is used both as a medical herb and in perfumes.

Citronella Grass (Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus) is similar to the species above but grows to 2 m and has red base stems. These species are used for the production of citronella oil, which is used in soaps, as a mosquito repellent in insect sprays and candles, and also in aromatherapy, which is famous in Bintan, Indonesia. The principal chemical constituents of citronella, geraniol and citronellol, are antiseptics, hence their use in household disinfectants and soaps. Besides oil production, citronella grass is also used for culinary purpose, such as in tea.

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Palmarosa also called Rosha Grass and Indian Geranium (Cymbopogon martinii) is another species used in the perfume industry. It is a perennial clumping grass which grows to 150 cm with finer leaves and has a smaller bulbous base than the species above. The leaves and flower tops contain a sweet smelling oil which is used for the production of geraniol. It is also distilled into palmarosa oil and used in aromatherapy for its calming effect to help relieve nervous tension and stress.

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One particular alpine grassland variant known as juzai is a staple of Kyrgyz, Dungan and Uyghur cooking.

Partial species list
Cymbopogon ambiguus Australian lemon-scented grass (native of Australia)
Cymbopogon bombycinus Silky Oilgrass (native of Australia)
Cymbopogon citratus Lemon Grass
Cymbopogon citriodora West Indian lemon grass
Cymbopogon flexuosus East Indian lemon grass
Cymbopogon martini
Cymbopogon nardus Citronella Grass
Cymbopogon obtectus Silky-heads (native of Australia)
Cymbopogon procerus (native of Australia)
Cymbopogon procerus (native of Australia)
Cymbopogon proximus found in Egypt
Cymbopogon refractus Barbed wire grass (native of Australia)
Cymbopogon winterianus Citronella Grass

History:

Lemongrass is a perennial and intensely fragrant herb, native to Asia, and widely cultivated as a commercial crop throughout the tropics and subtropics of the world. The plants grow well in sandy soils in warm, humid climates in full sun with adequate drainage. The narrow foliage of Lemongrass ranges from blue-green to gold, and the flowers are white, cream or green. It ranges in height from about three to five feet and is a bitter, aromatic grass with leaves used in herbal medicines and herbal teas. Lemongrass is also highly valued commercially as a common food flavoring and ingredient in baked goods, confections, cosmetics, perfumes, creams and soaps, and the oil is used in hair oils and herbal baths. The herb’s lemony flavor is widely used in Asian (particularly Thai, Lao, Sri Lankan, Khmer and Vietnamese) and Caribbean cooking. Lemongrass is used in traditional Brazilian medicine

as an analgesic and sedative, a use that is copied around the world. Some of the constituents of Lemongrass include essential oils (including terpineol, myrcene, citral (its most active ingredient), citronellol, geraniol and limonene, among others), alpha-pinene, beta-sitosterol, coumarin, tannin

and ursolic acid. The large amounts of citral and geraniol in Lemongrass are lemon-scented and

rose-scented respectively. Lemongrass also includes nutritious calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc.

Medicinal Uses:
Lemongrass is a mild sedative. Try it for your insomnia, or when you are under stress, or even if you need help to calm a nervous or upset stomach. The herb is also said to relieve headaches, lower intermittent fevers and rid the lungs of mucus. Lemongrass also acts as an effective antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial.

Lemongrass in some cases has been used as a mild depressant for the central nervous system. It is also sometimes used as a weed barrier.

Lemongrass is widely used as an analgesic, an agent that reduces the sensation of pain, and has been effective in relieving painful headaches. Its essential oil, myrcene, is the constituent that produces this effect and confirms the longtime Brazilian use of the herb for pain. The herb is also believed to relieve spasms, muscle cramps and rheumatism.

As a mild sedative, Lemongrass’s myrcene is an effective relaxant that acts as central nervous system depressant and helps people under stress and hypertension. It is also used to relieve insomnia, again confirming the Brazilians’ longtime use of the herb for sedation.

Lemongrass is an aromatic and cooling herb that is used to increase perspiration and relieve fevers and help treat minor, feverish illnesses. Furthermore, it also acts as a diuretic and helps promote urination and relieves retained water.

Lemongrass is considered a bitte and said to help the gastrointestinal tract and ease indigestion, flatulence and stomach discomforts. This grass is rich in a substance called citral, the active ingredient that is also in lemon peel, and this substance is said to relieve digestive disturbances and intestinal irritations.

As an effective antifungal and antimicrobial, Lemongrass is believed to dispel bacterial infections and has been used to treat internal parasites.
The herb has shown strong antibacterial activity against several human pathogens, and a study in 1988, found increased activity against E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Used externally, the herb is an effective treatment for lice, ringworm, athlete’s foot and scabies, and is also an insect repellent.

Lemongrass is used to treat colds, sore throats, and flu (especially with headaches and fevers)
and is reputed to reduce and slow the discharge of mucus in respiratory conditions, due in part to its astringent properties.

Lemongrass is a tonic and supplement that is believed to be of great benefit to the skin and nails and is often used by herbalists to help clear blemishes and maintain balanced skin tone.

Lemongrass may possess anti-mutagenic properties. Recent studies have demonstrated that myrcene has been found to reduce toxic and mutagenic effects.

Rich in geraniol and citral, Lemongrass may contribute to lowering serum cholesterol. It may work by interfering with an enzyme reaction and inhibiting the formation of cholesterol from simpler fats.

Stomach Disorders: It is beneficial in the treatment of indigestion.Lemon grass oil also treats spasmodic affectios of the bowels,gastric irritability and cholera.

Fevers & Cold: The grass induces copious perspiration and brings down the body temperature. It also produces a feeling of coolness. Raw juice or decoction of the grass can also be taken.

Flatulence: Lemon grass and its oil are carminative , valuable in relieving flatulence. It can be taken with sugar as an emulsion. The emulsion is prepared by mixing common lemon grass oil with sugar.

Rheumatism: The grass is used locally over rheumatic joints,lumbago and sprains. Lemon grass oil mixed with coconut oil is a stimulating oinment for rheumatism, lumbago,neuralgia,sprains and other painful affections. It can also be taken internally in the same manner for fevers.

Manstrual disorders: An infusion of the grass, mixed with black pepper , is given in painful and difficult manstruation. Raw juice or decoction of the grass may be taken in such a condition.

Ringworms: Leaves of lemon grass are useful in treating ringworms as a local application.

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In East India and Sri Lanka, where it is called “fever tea,” lemon grass leaves are combined with other herbs to treat fevers, irregular menstruation, diarrhea, and stomachaches.  Lemon grass is one of the most popular herbs in Brazil and the Caribbean for nervous and digestive problems.  The Chinese use lemon grass in a similar fashion, to treat headaches, stomachaches, colds, and rheumatic pains.  The essential oil is used straight in India to treat ringworm or in a paste with buttermilk to rub on ringworm and bruises.  Studies show it does destroy many types of bacteria and fungi and is a deodorant.  It may reduce blood pressure – a traditional Cuban use of the herb – and it contains five different constituents that inhibit blood coagulation.
Contraindications:
Currently, there are no known contraindications or warnings with the use of Lemongrass, but if you have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease, consult your doctor before using. There have been some reports of allergy to Lemongrass, and if there is any indication of breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest, chest pain, skin rash or itchy skin, discontinue use.

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

Resources:

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

http://www.herbalextractsplus.com/lemongrass.cfm?gclid=CIvBmdWC-owCFQyIPgodjh7lDQ

Miracles odfHerbs

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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Omega 3 acids prevents blindness

NEW YORK: Increasing the dietary intake of Omega 3 fatty acids, found in certain kinds of fish, nuts and vegetable oils, may protect one from blindness, suggests a study conducted on mice.

Scientists in Boston found that they have a protective effect against blindness resulting from abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye, according to the study published in the online journal Nature Medicine.

Human clinical trials will soon begin at a children’s hospital in Boston to test the effects of Omega 3 supplementation in premature babies who are at risk for vision loss, the researchers were quoted as saying by science portal EurekAlert.

Omega 3 fatty acids are already known to be beneficial for heart and brain functions. Short-term studies have indicated that taking dietary supplements of Omega 3 could also lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.

Abnormal vessel growth is the cause of retinopathy – an eye disease that leads to the eventual loss of vision. It begins with a loss of blood vessels in the retina, which becomes oxygen starved, sends out alarm signals and spurs new vessel growth. But the new vessels grow abnormally and are malformed, leaky and over-abundant.

The abnormal vessels finally pull the retina away from its supporting layer, and this retinal detachment ultimately causes blindness.

The researchers, led by Lois Smith and Kip Connor of Children’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School, and John Paul SanGiovanni of the National Eye Institute (NEI) studied retinopathy in mice, feeding them a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Mice on the Omega 3 diet had less initial vessel loss in the retina than those fed with Omega 6 fatty acids. The area with vessel loss was 40-50 percent smaller.

“Our studies suggest that after initial loss, vessels re-grew quickly and efficiently in the Omega 3-fed mice,” Connor said.

“This increased the oxygen supply to retinal tissue, resulting in a dampening of the inflammatory ‘alarm’ signals that lead to pathologic vessel growth.”

Source:The Times Of India

Your Cells Help You Back To Health

She ought to be dead, but adult stem cell therapy has ensured a California woman with Cardiomyopathy continues to live an active life without any further deterioration to her damaged heart.
BANGKOK, Thailand, June 22, 2007 – Clara Chestnut from California has just become one of only a handful who have received her second treatment of adult stem cells for her failing heart. “I’ve been going downhill since 2000, with every year more of my heart being dead,” she said. “But after my first treatment in April 2006 my cardiologists have done a huge attitude shift and now recognize that ‘No change’ is a certificate of my wellbeing. Staying the same is terrific, so if it takes coming back every year I will do that.”
Like many heart patients Clara had experienced several heart attacks without knowing what they were. Her doctor concurred that at 59 the pains she experienced were probably arthritis, so she started carrying her purse on the other arm, but it made no difference. Then in 2000 she had two major heart attacks and started on the downhill slide. Specialists gave her 30days to live without a bypass and also told her she probably would not survive the surgery.

Clara got mad and searched until she found someone who could help her. “I wasn’t ready to die, and I knew that someone, somewhere, knew more than those people,” she said. Her new doctor gave her the first of seven stents and she felt “wonderful”. She read about singer Don Ho and his success story with stem cells, so did her research and in the face of her doctors’ opposition went to Bangkok in the care of TheraVitae, a leading international biotechnology company whose product, VesCell, has now helped hundreds of heart failure and PAD patients. “I was most impressed with the professionalism of the doctors and the nursing staff. Everything went fine and the following February I returned to my specialist for a cardiogram. He told me nothing had changed, so I asked him ‘Would you go back to Bangkok if you were me?’ He said that he would, but that I didn’t have to leave the next morning! That is an enormous attitude change.”

People looking for hope and help, who want to feel better and be more active, are the most outspoken advocates of adult stem cell therapy. “I listen to myself and I feel anybody with any sense would listen to themselves and know it’s something they should do. They know how they are feeling. They know how wonderful it would be to feel better. I don’t see why anybody would be reluctant,” she said.
Source: VesCell eNewsletter | June 22, 2007