“Eczema”- That Irritating Itch!

Eczema is a strange disease. If you have it, the frustrating itching and scratching starts and then just never seems to go away. The number of people with eczema is increasing. One in five now develops it in childhood. Many factors, such as early weaning, chemicals (preservatives and pesticides) in the human diet, perfumes and pollution, have been blamed. The fact is no one really knows the cause of eczema, but we do know that exclusively breast-fed infants are less prone to it.

You may click to see the pictures.

Eczema vaccinatum infant.

Eczema on face

Eczema on back

 

 

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Eczema appears as red, itchy, dry and flaky skin, with or without small pustules. A few months of constant itching may make the skin permanently rough, thick and hyperpigmented.

The classification of eczema is not very clear. It can be due to atopy (tendency to develop allergy), allergic contact, infantile seborrhoea (dandruff-like condition of the head that occurs in infants) or varicose veins.

Atopic eczema is the commonest form. It usually occurs in childhood as an itchy rash distributed on the head and scalp, neck, inside of elbows, behind the knees and on the buttocks. It has a hereditary component and runs in families.

Infants can develop an eczema variant called cradle cap — with a greasy, itchy flaky scalp. This can extend to the eyebrows, face and the trunk. Although the condition is self limiting and harmless, the physical appearance can be distressing to the family.

Irritant contact eczema can be distinguished from the atopic form by the typical distribution and family history. It occurs as an immediate or delayed reaction to contact with an allergen. It may be nickel in the safety pins used on clothes, fashion jewellery containing unacceptable metals or colouring, plants in the garden or chemicals in the workplace. Makeup or face powder can cause an idiosyncratic reaction. Sometimes the contact eczema may be photosensitive and flare up only when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Eczema caused by a specific chemical or disease process can be cured if the underlying factor is removed.

Bacterial, viral or fungal infection of the skin, or infestations with skin parasites like scabies or body lice can cause secondary itching and eczema. Poor blood circulation to the legs as a result of varicose veins can lead to itching and discolouration, particularly near the ankles. These forms are totally curable and tend to disappear forever when the infection is treated or the blood circulation is improved.

Unfortunately most varieties of eczema do not fall into the curable category. They recur time and again, and sometimes become self perpetuating as scratching and picking the skin becomes a habit.

Dry skin aggravates eczema. Therefore it pays to keep the skin moist and oiled. Coconut oil can be applied to the skin half an hour before a bath. A teaspoon can also be added to the bath water. Mild and non-perfumed soaps should be used. The body should not be scrubbed with a loofah. The skin should be patted dry, and not wiped. After the bath a non-greasy oil or lotion can be applied.

There are several baby oils, aloe vera preparations, ceramide (a natural oil in the skin) and vaseline-based creams available in the market. If it says “non greasy” it means that it is unlikely to stain your clothes.
Traditional oils, like coconut, stain the clothes and that is why they need to be applied before a bath.

Salt water reduces eczema. People who immerse themselves regularly in the sea improve gradually over a period of time.

Detergents are widely used to wash clothes. Most contain chemicals like sodium lauryl sulphate, which remain behind in the clothes in small quantities. They can penetrate the skin when sweating occurs, aggravating eczema. Commercially available “hypoallergic” or “doctor tested and recommended” detergents have unsubstantiated claims and have not been proven safer. Since clothes have to be washed and kept clean, it is preferable to use non-allergic soaps made from neem oil. They are marketed in India by the government run chain of khadi stores.

Eczema disappears when steroid creams are applied. These should be used under medical supervision for a short period, till the symptoms subside. After that antihistamines (to control itching) and moisturisers should be continued. Patients, unfortunately, purchase and apply the ointments themselves. Prolonged use of topical corticosteroids causes side effects like thinning of the skin and secondary bacterial or fungal infection. Small quantities of the more potent steroid creams can become absorbed in the body through the skin. If they are inadvertently applied to the eye, cataracts and glaucoma can result.

Specific pinprick allergy testing can be done to identify allergens. Without this, drastic potentially harmful changes should not be made to the diet (particularly a child’s) presuming that the eczema is precipitated by allergies to milk, fish or certain vegetables.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Vegetables Aren’t as Good for You as They Used to Be

According to new research, produce in the U.S. not only tastes worse than it did in your grandparents’ days, but also contains fewer nutrients. In fact, the average vegetable found in today’s supermarket is anywhere from 5 percent to 40 percent lower in minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc than those harvested just 50 years ago.
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Today’s vegetables are larger, but do not contain more nutrients. Jumbo-sized produce actually contains more “dry matter” than anything else, which dilutes mineral concentrations.

An additional problem is the “genetic dilution effect,” in which selective breeding to increase crop yield has led to declines in protein, amino acids, and minerals. Breeders select for high yield, effectively selecting mostly for high carbohydrate content.

And finally, as a result of the growing rise of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, modern crops are being harvested faster than ever before, meaning that produce has less time to absorb nutrients either from synthesis or the soil.

Sources:
Time February 17, 2009
The Journal of HortScience February 1, 2009

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Rudraksha(Elaeocarpus sphaericus)

Botanical Name : :. Elaeocarpus sphaericus
Family Name: Elaeocarpaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Oxalidales
Genus: Elaeocarpus
Species: E. ganitrus
vernacular Name: Sans,.Rudraksha; Hind: Rudraki; Eng : Ultrasum-bead tree

Habitat :
The Rudraksha tree grows in the area from the Gangetic Plain in foothills of the Himalayas to South-East Asia, Indonesia, New Guinea to Australia, Guam and even Hawaii. Rudraksha trees are also found in middle areas of Nepal.

Description:
Rudraksha Plant Elaeocarpus is a large genius of evergreen trees. It has nearly 36 sister species, including Rudraksha. All trees bearing white flowers with fringed petals developing into drupaceous fruit resembling olive. The main trunk of rudraksha tree is cylindrical. Its section is circular. Bark is grayish white and rough in texture with small vertical lenticels and narrow horizontal furrows. The branches of Rudraksha spread in all directions is such a way that when growing in natural habitat, the crown takes the shape of a pyramid. The leaves of rudraksha are shining green above and dull coriaceous below. The flowers are ovoid, conical, elongate, nearly 1 to 2 cm in diameter. These appear in April-May. The fruit is globose and drupaceous having a fleshy exterior. The beads inside is hard and tubercled. The fruit starts appearing in June and ripens by august to october.Farming of Rudraksha is a difficult process due to its slow sprouting from the beads which usually takes about 1 to 2 years depending on the humidity of soil. Rudraksha is basically grown in subtropical climatic region with temperature ranges from 25to 30degree centigrade. Once Rudraksha are planted it starts giving fruit after 7 years and thereafter for long time. In the single tree Rudraksha beads comes in all different faces at the same time but higher mukhis or faces are vary rare to find where most of Rudraksha beads are five faces Rudraksha beads come in seasonal pattern every year around mid august to mid october from the tree.The Himalayan Beads simply seem to be larger, heavier and more powerful due to the environment they grow in. So it is a certainty that environment and specifically the location of the Rudraksa Trees plays a key role in their growth.Rudraksha tree are easy to grow and once established,a rudraksha tree will last for years with a little care.

.Click to see picture of  Rudraksha tree.,,,,,....

a rudraksha fruit, from the trees at Kauai's H...

a rudraksha fruit, from the trees at Kauai’s Hindu Monastery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rudraksha Tree starts bearing fruit in three to four years. As the tree matures, the roots buttress rising up narrowly near the trunk and radiating out along the surface of the ground giving a gnarly and prehistoric appearance.Rudraksha seeds are covered by an outer shell of blue color when fully ripe, and for this reason are also known as blueberry beads. The blue colour is derived not from pigment but is structural.

Rudraksha Beads:-

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Rudraksha beads are the material from which sacred garlands (108 beads in number) are made. The term is used both for the berries themselves and as a term for the type of m?l? made from them. In this sense, a rudraksha is a Saivite rosary, used for japa mala. Repetitive prayer (japa) is a common aid to worship in Hinduism, and Rudraksha m?l? are worn by many Hindus. Rudraksha is also used for treatment of various diseases in traditional Indian medicine.

The berries show variation in the number of grooves on their surface, and are classified on the basis of the number of divisions that they have. A common type has five divisions, and these are considered to be symbolic of the five faces of Shiva.

The Rudraksh seeds are brittle in nature and so should be protected from chemicals.

The best way to find the authenticity of a rudraksha is to get it X-rayed and count the number of compartments inside. If they are equal to the number of lines outside the rudraksha is real.

This rudraksha mala is made from fine (not rough), ripe and hard “real” rudraksha seeds that “SINKS IN WATER”.

Rudraksha seeds (beads) are used for spiritual mala or rosary such as in Hindu and Buddhism. Rudraksha trees are grown in the Himalayan villages of Nepal (the native homeland of Rudraksha) which are favored and valued more than other Rudraksha malas.

Religious Use:-
Rudraksha mala has been used by Hindus (as well as Sikhs and Buddhists) as rosary for thousands of years for meditation purposes to sanctify the mind, body and soul. The word Rudraksha is derived from Rudra (Shiva—the Hindu God of all living creatures) and aksha (eyes). So, Rudraksha is related to Shiva’s eyes. One Hindu mythology says that once Lord Shiva became so compassionate after seeing the sufferings of mankind that He could not stop to shed tear from his eye. This single tear from Shiva’s eye grew into the Rudraksha tree. Rudraksha fruit is green in color but turns black when dried. The central hard Rudraksha uniseed may have 1 to 21 faces. The five-faced Rudraksha seeds are the most common. Besides as rosary for meditation, the Rudraksha mala is often used as a fashionable necklace or a bracelet. Thus it serves the dual purpose of fashion and protects the wearer psychologically.

Use as Timber
The wood of Rudraksh tree is light coloured almost whitish in appearance. It has a unique strength-to-weight ratio, making it valued for its timber. The wood of Rudraksha Tree was used to make aeroplane propellers during World War I.

The Mantra of Rudraksha
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Japa mantra for Rudraksha mala: Om Hreem Shivaya

Rudraksha rules the planet: Jupiter

Spiritual Belives that Rudraksha Cures: Depression, stress, diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, blood related diseases etc

Japa method:
Hold the mala from the middle finger. Start meditation from the 1st bead next to the guru bead (109th bead outside the mala ring that is closest to the bunch of threads). Pull the bead one by one towards yourself with the thumb while recalling/reciting/chanting “Om Hreem Shivaya” & crossing and pulling the beads by the tip of the thumb. After completing the japa until the 108th bead (the bead just before the guru bead) turn around the mala by your thumb and start the japa again from the 108th bead and continue up to the 1st bead. Repeat the above process. Do not touch the mala with the index finger, little finger and the fingernails.

Medicinal Uses of Rudraksha:-
Rudraksha bead is a natural tranquilizer and it has been proved that wearing Rudraksha around heart controlled heart beat and keeps blood pressure under control. For this, it is necessary that the Rudrakasha bead should touch the heart. People with the problem of high blood pressure can also take Rudraksha as a medicine. Dip two Beads of Five Mukhi Rudraksh in a glass of water in night and let them immersed in water for whole night. Drink that water in the morning, before any other intake. You can use any metal for the vessel except copper.

» Rudraksha also imposes positive effect on Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Palpitations and Lack of Concentration.
» It cools down the body temperature and brings calm to mind. Those who suffer from anxiety should keep big size Five
Mukhi Rudraksh with themselves and whenever they feel nervous, they should hold them tight in their right palm for ten
minutes. It will help them to regain their confidence and their body would become stable.
» Rudrakasha is an excellent bead for pregnant women. Wearing Garbh Gauri Rudraksha helps women who have problems in
conceiving a child and are prone to abortion. Rudraksha is also useful for women suffering from hysteria and coma.
» Rudraksha also help to cure prolonged cough, the paste of ten-faced Rudrakasha with milk relieves prolonged cough. This
medicine should be taken thrice a day. It can be used as a cure for skin diseases, sores, ringworm, pimples, boils and
burns also.
» Rudraksha is also good for children who suffer from frequent fever. Such children should wear three-faced Rudrakasha.
» To cure smallpox equal quantity of black pepper and Rudrakasha should be powdered and taken with water.
» Rudraksha is also useful in mental diseases. Milk boiled with four faced Rudrakasha seed is good medicine for mental
diseases. This also helps in increasing your memory.
» Rudraksha also possess anti ageing property.

You may click to see :->MEDICINAL & SCIENTIFIC VALUE OF RUDRAKASHA

Acording to Ayurveda:-
It is amla, ushna; pacifies demaged vata and kapha; relieves headache; appetizing and beneficial in mental diseases.

Part Used: Fruits.

Therapeutic Uses:

Fruits: In the treatment of headache and epileptic fits.the fruits are sour, thermogenic, appetizer, useful in cough, bronchitis, neuralgia ,cephalgia, anorexia, epileptic fitts, manic conditions, brain disorders.

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/Rudraksha

http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#rudraksha

http://www.india-shopping.net/rudraksha/medicinal_propertiesof_rudraksha.htm

http://www.rudraksha-ratna.com/articledt.php?art_id=129

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Amebic Liver Abscess

Alternative Names:Hepatic amebiasis; Extraintestinal amebiasis; Abscess – amebic liver
Definition :
Amebic liver abscess is a collection of pus in the liver caused by an intestinal parasite.Organisms that carry disease can travel through the blood stream into the liver and form an abscess, a collection of infected tissue and pus.

YOU MAY CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES
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Amebic liver abscess is an extraintestinal manifestation caused by a protozoa Entamoeba histolytica. The disease spreads through the ingestion of cysts in fecally-contaminated food or water. The infection is worldwide, most common in tropical areas usually in developing countries where poor sanitation exist.

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This is an Abscess (walled area of infection/pus) in the liver that is caused by the organism Entamoeba histolytica.  It is common in tropical and subtropical areas (southeast Asia, Africa, India, Latin America).  In the U.S., it is most common in young Hispanic adults.  It is also seen in those with recent travels to tropical areas, homosexuals, and among the inhabitants of institutions for the mentally ill.

Causes :-
Travel to endemic areas (as above), where the cysts of the parasite may be ingested by consuming water or food contaminated by fecal matter.
Amebic liver abscess is caused by Entamoeba histolytica, the same organism that causes amebiasis, an intestinal infection. The organism is carried by the blood from the intestines to the liver.

The disease spreads through ingestion of cysts in fecally-contaminated food or water, use of human waste as fertilizer, and person-to-person contact.

The infection occurs worldwide, but is most common in tropical areas where crowded living conditions and poor sanitation exist. Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and India have significant health problems associated with this disease.

Risk Factors :-
*Malnutrition
*Old age
*Pregnancy
*Steroid use
*Cancer
*Immunosuppression
*Alcoholism
*Recent travel to a tropical region
*Homosexuality, particularly in males

Symptoms :-
There may or may not be symptoms of intestinal infection. Symptoms may include:
*Right upper abdominal pain
*Right sided chest pain worse on a deep breath
*Intense, continuous, or stabbing pain
*Chills
*Diarrhea precedes infection in 20% of patients
*Fever
*General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise)
*Jaundice
*Joint pain
*Loss of appetite
*Sweating
*Weight loss
*malaise

Nature of the disease:-
Most infected people, perhaps 90%, are asymptomatic, but this disease has the potential to make the sufferer dangerously ill. It is estimated by the World Health Organization that about 70,000 people die annually worldwide.

Infections can sometimes last for years. Symptoms take from a few days to a few weeks to develop and manifest themselves, but usually it is about two to four weeks. Symptoms can range from mild diarrhoea to dysentery with blood and mucus. The blood comes from amoebae invading the lining of the intestine. In about 10% of invasive cases the amoebae enter the bloodstream and may travel to other organs in the body. Most commonly this means the liver, as this is where blood from the intestine reaches first, but they can end up almost anywhere.

Onset time is highly variable and the average asymptomatic infection persists for over a year. It is theorised that the absence of symptoms or their intensity may vary with such factors as strain of amoeba, immune response of the host, and perhaps associated bacteria and viruses.

In asymptomatic infections the amoeba lives by eating and digesting bacteria and food particles in the gut, a part of the gastrointestinal tract. It does not usually come in contact with the intestine itself due to the protective layer of mucus that lines the gut. Disease occurs when amoeba comes in contact with the cells lining the intestine. It then secretes the same substances it uses to digest bacteria, which include enzymes that destroy cell membranes and proteins. This process can lead to penetration and digestion of human tissues, resulting first in flask-shaped ulcers in the intestine. Entamoeba histolytica ingests the destroyed cells by phagocytosis and is often seen with red blood cells inside when viewed in stool samples. Especially in Latin America,  a granulomatous mass (known as an amoeboma) may form in the wall of the ascending colon or rectum due to long-lasting immunological cellular response, and is sometimes confused with cancer.

Theoretically, the ingestion of one viable cyst can cause an infection.

Diagnosis:
Exams and Tests
Tests that may be done include:
*Abdominal ultrasound
*Abdominal CT scan or MRI
*Complete blood count
*Liver biopsy - rarely done due to high risk of complications
*Liver scan
*Liver function tests
*Serology for amebiasis

Treatment
A medicine called metronidazole (Flagyl) is the usual treatment for liver abscess. Medications such as paromomycin must also be taken to remove intestinal amebiasis to prevent recurrence of the disease.

In rare cases, the abscess may need to be drained to help relieve some of the abdominal pain.

Prognosis:
Without treatment, the abscess may rupture and spread into other organs, leading to death. Persons who receive treatment have a very high chance of a complete cure or having only minor complications.
Possible Complications :In the majority of cases, amoebas remain in the gastrointestinal tract of the hosts. Severe ulceration of the gastrointestinal mucosal surfaces occurs in less than 16% of cases. In fewer cases, the parasite invades the soft tissues, most commonly the liver. Only rarely are masses formed (amoebomas) that lead to intestinal obstruction.

The abscess may rupture into the abdominal cavity, the lining of the lungs, the lungs, or the sac around the heart. The infection can also spread to the brain.

When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if symptoms develop after travel to an area where the disease is known to occur.

Prevention:
To help prevent the spread of amoebiasis around the home :
*Wash hands thoroughly with soap and hot running water for at least 10 seconds after using the toilet or changing a baby’s diaper, and before handling food.
*Clean bathrooms and toilets often; pay particular attention to toilet seats and taps.
*Avoid sharing towels or face washers.

To help prevent infection:
*Avoid raw vegetables when in endemic areas, as they may have been fertilized using human feces.
*Boil water or treat with iodine tablets.
*When traveling in tropical countries where poor sanitation exists, drink purified water and do not eat uncooked vegetables or unpeeled fruit.

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.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000211.htm

http://www.ecureme.com/emyhealth/data/Amebic_Liver_Abscess.asp

http://organizedwisdom.com/Amebic_Liver_Abscess

http://organizedwisdom.com/helpbar/index.html?return=http://organizedwisdom.com/Amebic_Liver_Abscess&url=en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amoebiasis#Diagnosis_of_human_illness

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7 Ways to Deal with Annoying People and Still Get Things Done

You can’t get along with everyone. But throughout your life, you’ll be in situations where you simply have to communicate with some of those people you just can’t stand. This may be an annoying boss, an ingratiating fan, a spineless co-worker, a difficult client, an abrasive in-law, and any number of people with any number of faults.

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You don’t always have to be nice — professional and to-the-point will often get the job done just as well — but you do need to make yourself understood clearly or risk letting your dislike translate into inefficient communication that hinders or even entirely undermines whatever projects you’re working on.

1. Listen
A lot of conflicts are based in misunderstandings, so always make sure you’re getting everything. Use careful questioning to focus the other person on the topic at hand so they give you what you need and avoid straying too far.

2. Repeat Everything
Your feelings about another person can color your perception of what they’re saying. To avoid this, repeat back any instructions, questions, or other problems they pose to you to make sure you absolutely understand.

3. Keep Your Cool
It’s tempting to want to argue with people who rub you the wrong way. Don’t do that! Unless they’re wrong  about something  that directly and materially affects you, don’t bother. Save the debates for when you’re with friends whose opinions matter to you.

4. Be Clear About Boundaries
You don’t have to be friends with everyone. Which means you don’t have to do favors for everyone who asks.

5. Fight Fire With Ice
The  worst thing you can do with angry or irrational people is engage them. As hard as it might seem to do, the best thing is to sit quietly and let them spend themselves ranting and raving, and then ask if they’d like to schedule a time to discuss the matter more calmly and return to whatever you were doing. If this sets off another round of yelling, simply wait it out and repeat.

6. Close the Door
Remember that your time is your own — don’t let other people, especially ones you’d rather not interact with, take control of your time. Communication outside of the narrow band needed to fulfill both of your objectives should be minimized.

7. You’re Valuable — Remember That
If you’ve found yourself in a position where you are obligated for some reason to spend time with someone you dislike, remember that most likely, they are in the same position with regard to you. But you wouldn’t be in that situation if you didn’t provide something of value, whether that’s a work skill or talent, specialized knowledge, even things as abstract as emotional support or solidarity.

People that are annoying, difficult, selfish, boring, or otherwise a chore to deal with are that way for reasons that have nothing to do with you — it’s not your job to fix, engage with, or indulge those tendencies. Don’t worry abut figuring them out or correcting them; worry instead about how you’re going to manage their  annoyances without letting it hinder your ability to achieve your own goals.

Sources:

Lifehack January 28, 2009

Related Links:
*Low Self-Esteem Sabotages Relationships
*Profound Thoughts About Relationships And Patience
*12 Ways to Improve Your Relationships and Your Life!

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If Tea is Hot, Wait Four Minutes

Drinking very hot tea appears to increase the risk of oesophageal cancer, a new study has shown, prompting suggestions for a four-minute wait before swallows of freshly boiled tea.
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The study from northern Iran, the largest so far to explore tea-drinking habits and oesophageal cancer, has corroborated earlier research from India, Singapore and South America that linked this cancer to hot beverages.

Researchers from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences studied tea-drinking habits and patterns of oesophageal cancer in Golestan province where black tea is popular. They found that people who consumed very hot tea (defined as 70°C or higher) had an eight-fold higher risk of oesophageal cancer than people who drank tepid tea (65°C or lower).

They found that drinking tea at temperatures between 65°C and 69°C — defined as simply hot — was associated with twice the risk of cancer of the oesophagus. Their research will appear in the British Medical Journal on Friday.

“It’s clear hot beverages are contributing to high levels of oesophageal cancer in this population, Paul Brennan, a research team member from the International Agency for Research in Cancer in Lyons, France, told The Telegraph.

“But other factors may be associated with oesophageal cancer in other populations,” said Brennan, head of genetic epidemiology unit at the IARC. “We need to investigate different factors in different regions or populations.”

The Iranian study also showed that waiting for tea to cool lowered the risk of the cancer. People who typically drank their tea within two minutes after it was poured had a five-fold higher risk than those who waited for four minutes or longer.

Although previous studies have pointed to the potential danger of hot beverages, Iranian digestive disorder specialist Reza Malekzadeh and his colleagues are among the first to investigate the link through rigorous temperature measurements.

Malekzadeh said the significance of the new research was in the use of statistical techniques to eliminate the effects of other risk factors that could also contribute to oesophageal cancer.

But doctors assert that there is no cause for alarm. “The public health message here is that people should wait four minutes before they begin sipping from a cup of hot tea,” Malekzadeh told The Telegraph.

Eight years ago, Rup Kumar Phukan and his colleagues at the Regional Medical Research Centre, Dibrugarh, Assam, had examined dietary habits in parts of northeastern India and shown that hot beverages and spicy food were linked to oesophageal cancer.

They had suggested that the long-term consumption of exceptionally hot food or beverages could cause chronic irritation and harm the lining of the oesophagus. “But chewing tobacco and smoking are also likely to be among the contributing factors in this region,” said a scientist at the Dibrugarh centre.

The Iranian study measured tea temperatures consumed by more than 48,500 people and studied tea-drinking habits of 300 patients with oesophageal cancer and 571 healthy people, emerging as the largest study on the topic.

Speculating on mechanisms to explain the link, the researchers have pointed out that chronic inflammation by high temperatures may stimulate the release of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species — potentially harmful biomolecules.

Doctors caution that cancer is almost always a multi-factorial disease. The risk may be lowered or increased by several factors. Low consumption of fruits and vegetables, for instance, may increase the risk of cancer.

You may click to see:->Steaming hot tea linked to cancer

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Raktchandan(Pterocarpus santalinus)

Botanical Name : Pterocarpus santalinus
Family Name: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Vernacular Names:Erra Chandanam,  Sans: Hind: Raktachandana; Eng : Red sandalwood…..Bengali:Raktchandan

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Tribe: Dalbergieae
Genus: Pterocarpus
Species: P. santalinus

Habitat: Native to India. It is only found in south India in Cuddhpah and Chittoore on the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh border.

Description: Pterocarpus santalinus is a deciduous tree.It is a light-demanding small tree growing to 8 m tall with a trunk 50–150 cm diameter. It is fast-growing when young, reaching 5 m tall in three years even on degraded soils. It is not frost tolerant, being killed by temperatures of ?1 °C. The leaves are alternate, 3–9 cm long, trifoliate with three leaflets. The flowers are produced in short racemes. The fruit is a pod 6–9 cm long containing one or two seeds


.click to see the pictuires….(01).(1)..….(2).(3).....(4).....(5)...
Bark deeply cleft into rectangular plates, wood dark-red. Leaves 3-foliolate. Leaflets ovate, rounded at both ends, slightly emarginated, appressed.  Grey hairy below. Flowers yellow in axillary and terminal racemes.  Standard ovate. Pod suborbicular, style brought near to the basal corner, narrowly winged, 1-seeded. Blooms once in a year during dry season from late March to late May.

Uses
The wood has historically been valued in China, particularly during the Ming and Qing periods, referred to in Chinese as zitan  and spelt tzu-t’an by earlier western authors such Gustav Ecke, who introduced classical Chinese furniture to the west . It has been one of the most prized woods for millennia .King Solomon was given tribute logs of Almug in Sanskrit valgu, valgum by the Queen of Sheba Due to its slow growth and rarity, furniture made from zitan is difficult to find and can be expensive. Between the 17th and 19th centuries in China the rarity of this wood led to the reservation of zitan furniture for the Qing dynasty imperial household. Chandan, the Indian word for Red Sandalwood which is Tzu-t’an, are linked by etymology. The word tan in Chinese is a perfect homonym of “tan”, meaning cinnabar, vermillion and the cognition is suggested by the interchange of chan for oriflamme, the vermilion ensign of the ancients. Chinese traders would have been familiar with Chandan. Tzu-t’an then is the ancient Chinese interpretation for the Indian word chandan for red sandalwood.

The other form of zitan is from the species Dalbergia luovelii, Dalbergia maritima, and Dalbergia normandi, all similar species named in trade as bois de rose or violet rosewood which when cut are bright crimson purple changing to dark purple again. It has a fragrant scent when worked.

Chemical Compounds Identified:-

*The red wood yields a natural dye santalin.

*Ether, alkalis, and three other crystalline principles Santal, Pterocarpin, and Homopterocarpin, small quantity of tannin, probably kino-tannic acid, has also been found in the wood.

*Heart wood is known to possess isoflavone glucosidessavinin, calocedrin, triterpene, isoflavone glucosides1-3 , lignan viz., savinin and calocedrin4 & triterpene

Medicinal  Uses:-

*A decoction of the fruit is used as an astringent tonic in chronic dysentry. An infusion of the wood is used in the control of diabetes.6-8

*The wood of P. santalinus is considered astringent, tonic and diaphoretic.

*A paste of the wood is used to give cooling effect, applied externally for inflammations and head-ache.

*It is useful in bilious affections and skin diseases.

*The wood is bitter in taste with a flavour, anhelmintic,aphrodisiac, alexiteric useful in vomiting, thirst, eye diseases, cures diseases of the blood ,vata and kapha , mental aberrations and ulcers.

*The wood is in treating headache, skin diseases, fever, boils, scorpion sting and to improve sight.9

*The wood and fruit is used in treating diaphoretics, bilious infections and chronic dysentry.6

*Heart wood is known to possess isoflavone glucosidessavinin, calocedrin and triterpene.

*The lignan isolated from the heartwood is known to inhibit tumor necrosis factor , alpha production and T-cell proliferation.

*The heart wood contains isoflavone glucosides1-3 and two anti-tumour lignans, viz., savinin and calocedrin.

*A triterpene is reported from the callus of stem cuttings.

*Ethanol extract of stem bark at 0.25 g/kg body weight was reported to possess anti-hyperglycaemic activity.

*The stem bark extract was shown to contain maximum activity against Enterobacter aerogenes, Alcaligenes faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus.

*The leaf extract showed maximum activity against Escherichia coli, Alcaligenes faecalis, Enterobacter aerogenes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

*The ethanol extract of Pterocarpus santalinus L.f. (Fabaceae) at dose of 50-250 mg/kg showed gastroprotective effect in reserpine-induced, pyloric-ligated experimental rats.

Parts used- heart wood, fruits.
It is extremely sheeta (sheelaveerya), tikta; beneficial in opthalmia, dyscrasia, mental diseases, deranged pilla, kapha, cough, fever, vertigo, worms, vomiting and thirst.

Therapeutic uses,
Wood as decoction, tonic, astringent, beneficial in fever, dysentery and haemorrhage, applied externally in the form of paste in headache, inflammations, boils, piles and in opthalmia.

The wood is bitter with a flavour; very cooling; antipyretic, anthelmintic, tonic, aphrodisiac, alexiteric; useful in vomiting, thirst, eye diseases; cures diseases of the blood, .. vata” and” kapha ” biliousness, mental aberrations, ulcers .

*The wood is bitter with a bad taste; inferior to white sandalwood; good for topical application only; if given by mouth causes coughing with expectoration; useful in fever, inflammation, trouble of the head and neck. toothache; cures hemicrania-

*The seeds stop haemorrhage of the urethra; useful in dysentery .

*Red sandalwood is considered astringent, tonic, and is used as a cooling external_ application for inflammation and headache.

*It is a home remedy, useful in bilious affections and skin diseases, also in fever, boils, and to strengthen the sight. It also acts as a diaphoretic, and is applied to the forehead in headache.

*The wood, rubbed up with water.is advantageously employed as a wash in superficial excoriation of the genital organs.

*A decoction of the legume is useful as an a:stringent tonic in
chronic dysentery, after separation of the slough.

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/Pterocarpus_santalinus

http://svimstpt.ap.nic.in/MedicinalPlants/pterocarpus%20santalinus.htm

http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#raktachandana

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The Best & Healthy Way to Eat Eggs

Egg Yolk
Image by bsdubois00 via Flickr

Raw, hands down…. that many of you, especially women, will find this particularly difficult to accept. This is primarily because of the slimy texture but if you whip them up in a shake you won’t even know they are there.

Raw eggs are better because cooking them will damage the valuable nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, bioflavanoids present in egg yolk that are incredibly important for your vision.

Heating the egg protein also changes its chemical shape, and the distortion can easily lead to allergies.

Further, when an egg is overcooked, such as when it is scrambled, the cholesterol in it becomes oxidized, or rancid, and oxidized cholesterol can increase your levels of inflammation and lead to numerous health problems.

So if you want to get the maximum health benefits that eggs have to offer, choose organic varieties and eat them raw. The next best would be soft-boiled and then sunny-side up, with the yolk still very runny.

If you are worried about getting salmonella from eating raw eggs, as many people initially are, please read my past article on the topic – Raw Eggs for Your Health – to address your concerns. The risk is actually very, very small.

Remember the MYTH :Brown eggs are better than white eggs.  Fact:NOT TRUE : The nutritional content of egg has got nothing to do with the outer  shell colour.

Related Links:
Eggs are the Better Breakfast Choice
A Novel Way to Consume Raw Eggs
Eggs-aggerated Health Myth Debunked

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Acute Cholecystitis

Alternative Names: Cholecystitis – acute

Definition: Acute cholecystitis is a sudden inflammation of the gallbladder that causes severe abdominal pain.

click & see the pictures

You may Click  See also: Chronic cholecystitis

Causes :-
In 90% of cases, acute cholecystitis is caused by gallstones in the gallbladder. Severe illness, alcohol abuse and, rarely, tumors of the gallbladder may also cause cholecystitis.

Acute cholecystitis causes bile to become trapped in the gallbladder. The build up of bile causes irritation and pressure in the gallbladder. This can lead to bacterial infection and perforation of the organ.

Gallstones occur more frequently in women than men. Gallstones become more common with age in both sexes. Native Americans have a higher rate of gallstones.

Symptoms :-

The main symptom is abdominal pain that is located on the upper right side or upper middle of the abdomen. The pain may:

*Be sharp, cramping, or dull
*Come and go
*Spread to the back or below the right shoulder blade
*Be worse after eating fatty or greasy foods
*Occur within minutes of a meal
*Shortness of breath due to pain when inhaling

Other symptoms that may occur include:-
*Abdominal fullness
*Clay-colored stools
*Excess gas
*Fever
*Heartburn
*Indigestion
*Nausea and vomiting
*Yellowing of skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
*Stiff abdomen muscles, specially on the right side
*Chills

Diagnosis:
Because the symptoms of acute cholecystitis can resembles symptoms of other illness, it is sometimes difficult to diagnose. If doctor suspects Cholecystitis after a carefull physical examination, he or she may perform some of the following tests:-

Blood Test:-
*Amylase and lipase
*Bilirubin
*Complete blood count ( CBC) — may show a higher-than-normal white blood cell count
*Liver function tests

Imaging tests that can show gallstones or inflammation include:

*Abdominal ultrasound
*Abdominal CT scan
*Abdominal x-ray
*Oral cholecystogram
*Gallbladder radionuclide scan
.

Treatment:-

Seek immediate medical attention for severe abdominal pain.

In the emergency room, patients with acute cholecystitis are given fluids through a vein and antibiotics to fight infection.

Although cholecystitis may clear up on its own, surgery to remove the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) is usually needed when inflammation continues or recurs. Surgery is usually done as soon as possible, however some patients will not need surgery right away.

Nonsurgical treatment includes pain medicines, antibiotics to fight infection, and a low-fat diet (when food can be tolerated).

Emergency surgery may be necessary if gangrene (tissue death), perforation, pancreatitis, or inflammation of the common bile duct occurs.

Occasionally, in very ill patients, a tube may be placed through the skin to drain the gallbladder until the patient gets better and can have surgery.

For Alternative Medication  you may click to see:->
*Cholecystitis as related to Herbal Medicine :
*An alternative approach to acute cholecystitis :
*Acute cholecystitis – Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nature therapy :

Prognosis:-Patients who have surgery to remove the gallbladder are usually do very well.

Possible Complications:-
*Empyema (pus in the gallbladder)
*Gangrene (tissue death) of the gallbladder
*Injury to the bile ducts draining the liver (a rare complication of cholecystectomy)
*Pancreatitis
*Peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the abdomen)

When to Contact a Medical Professional:

*Call your health care provider if severe abdominal pain persists.
*Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms of cholecystitis recur after an acute episode.

Prevention :
Removal of the gallbladder and gallstones will prevent further attacks. Follow a low-fat diet if you are prone to gallstone attacks.

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.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000264.htm

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Will Organic Coca-Cola Be the Next Step?

The intriguing article linked below looks at Coca-Cola’s attempt to reposition itself into the health food market with the introduction of Diet Coke Plus, which is fortified with B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium.
………………………..
The article predicts that more fast food will remarket itself as “health” food, including the giant soft drink industry.

Interestingly, the article points out that in the late 19th century when Coca-Cola was invented by John Pemberton, it was originally intended as a patent medicine, similar to cough syrup. Early marketing slogans included, “For headache and exhaustion, drink Coca-Cola” (1900) and “Coca-Cola is a delightful, palatable, healthful beverage” (1904).

The author posits that Diet Coke Plus, which claims to be a healthier form of Coke, is actually closer to the original Coke than any other version … and perhaps it’s only a matter of time before an even better version of Coke hits the market … one that’s organic.

Sources: Next Nature December 28, 2008

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