Website on Pancreatic Cancer

It’s one of the most fatal cancers, yet little is known about it. What’s worse, more and more people are being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in recent years. The numbers may be small — 1-2 new cases per 100,000 people every year — but it’s enough to send alarm bells ringing. As it’s also a silent killer, few are aware of it till it’s late.

……………………………...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

However, the recent launch of a website on the disease could address this problem. Medical experts say there’s a definite rise in numbers, but unlike the west, there are no surveys to cite exact figures.

“If we look at individual hospitals, then there is an increase in the number of patients. In the last 15-20 years, these have grown five to 10-fold in my hospital itself,” says Dr Sudeep Gupta, assistant professor and oncologist, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. National Cancer Registries are the other source of information. There are various reasons for the rise in pancreatic cancer cases. Some feel lifestyle changes and diet have resulted in an increase in all types of diseases. In that respect, pancreatic cancer is no exception. Others feel that more cases are coming to light as more people are reporting the disease.

Pancreatic cancer is a silent killer seldom detected in the first stage. The pancreas lies behind the lower part of the stomach. The symptoms — stomach pain, loss of appetite, jaundice — may not even manifest themselves till the disease has advanced. But once it happens, it’s almost fatal. In the US, pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Unlike certain cancers such as lung or breast, researchers have still not been able to pinpoint the exact reason for pancreatic cancer. “We can only guess that diet, smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity could be the reasons behind the disease,” says Dr Shyam Aggarwal, senior consultant, oncology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.

Surgery is usually the best treatment. “But in most cases, it’s ruled out as the disease is already in an advanced stage,” says Dr Malay Nandy, senior consultant, oncology medical, Fortis Healthcare, Delhi. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are the other options. However, 80% cases are likely to relapse post surgery and after that, survival is a matter of six months only. Experts say only 10% survive after five years of treatment.

The surgery is complicated and involves the Whipple’s procedure, wherein the pancreas are removed. Unfortunately, India has very few oncologists with the expertise to perform this complicated surgery. As so little is known about this disease, the recent launch of a website, , touted as the first comprehensive one in Asia on pancreatic and peri ampullary cancers, is welcome. The interactive website will give patients access to the latest research on the disease and to specialists who will answer queries. “It will help patients get information from the best in the field. What makes it more relevant is that it will be totally in an Indian context,” informs Aggarwal.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Astragalus membranaceusImage via Wikipedia

Botanical Name: Astragalus membranaceus
Family: Leguminosae (legume) – Fabaceae (pea)
Other common names: Locoweed, Milk Vetch Root, Huang Qi, Chinese Astragalus

Common names: Astragalus, Chinese Astragalus, Chinese Milkvetch, Huang Qi, Huang Qui, Huang-qi, Membranous Milk Vetch, Milk Vetch Root, Yellow Vetch

Plant Description: The Astragalus plant is native to the northern and eastern regions of China. It generally grows to a height of 16-18 inches and its leaves can be found in pairs. One plant may have as many as 20 leaflet pairs. Only the dried root of this plant is used in medicinal applications. The plant should be four years or older before harvesting.


Medicinal Properties & Uses: Astragalus has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years for increasing endurance and lowering blood pressure. Clinically, it has been used for gas and bloating. In addition, it has proven effective in the reduction of night sweats, allergies, fatigue, anemia, ulcers and uterine bleeding.

Promote resistance to infection, and hopefully reduce the number of colds and flu with Astragalus Root. Oriental herbalists have used it for centuries to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, treat coronary heart problems and lower blood pressure. Many people also use it as an overall good-health tonic to support healthy digestion and to help increase energy levels and stamina.

Astragalus is a genus which contains a great number of different species of about 2000, which involves the herbs, and also the small shrubs corresponding to the legumes family of Fabaceae. It originates from the Northern Hemispherical temperate regions and includes the common names such as the milk-vetch and the goat’s thorn. Astragalus is used as a food plant by some of the insect larvae of the Lepidoptera specie.

Astragalus has significant impact on the medical cures as it is used as a special medicine called the yellow leader which is a tonic herb and falls under the category of Chinese medicine.

This medicine is now being proved to have the ability of improving the immune system of the human body. One of the products used for this purpose is the natural gum of the Astragalus, which not only strengthens the immune system but also increases the body’s resistance to some viruses.

Astragalus is also popularly used in the western herbal medicinal uses. It is used primarily for the enhancement of the metabolism and the digestion with the tonics made from the Astragalus herbs, which is then consumed in the form of a tea made form the plant roots. Astragalus is also used for healing the wounds and the injuries.

The Astragalus herb is also used for ornamental purposes like for example several species of the plant such as the alpinus which has bluish purple flowers and the hypoglottis with purple flowers. They are very well known for their ornamental uses.

Astragalus membranaceus root is the chief energy tonic of traditional Asian medicine. It is a graceful, flowing plant with long stems bearing paired, pointed leaves and purple flowers, the astragalus is harvested for its roots that are white when dug out of the ground but become yellow as they are dried.

The dried Astragalus root is taken in the form of tea, encapsulated or as an extract
Dosage: 20-60 drops in water or juice, 2-3 times daily. Shake well before using.

Cautions & Interactions:
Keep out of reach of children.


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.

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Some Health Quaries & Answers

Towering disturbance:-…....CLICK & SEE

Q: I own a flat on the third (top) floor of a building. The residents’ association has leased out the terrace to a cell phone company which has erected a tower there. I have a pacemaker and am worried about the impact of the signals from the tower on my heart. What should I do?

A: Signals from microwaves and cell phones do affect pacemakers. Irregularities in the heart rate have been noticed when a phone is held even 15cm away from the pacemaker. When you are living just under a phone tower, the signal is likely to be strong and powerful. The first symptoms of the pacemaker being affected are a feeling of faintness and irregularity in your pulse rate. You can be fitted with a 24-hour monitoring device by your cardiologist. This will document any irregularity, so you know it is real and not psychological.

If there are any changes, it may make sense to move. Your building association is unlikely to cancel a financially lucrative enterprise and get the tower relocated.

Circumcise to protect:-

Q: I read that circumcision offers protection against AIDS. I wonder if I should get my one-year-old son circumcised.

A: Circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves removal of the skin and mucosal tissue that covers the glans, the tip of the penis. Circumcision is unconditionally practised by Jews and Muslims. It is a part of their religious culture. In others it is usually performed if the foreskin gets stuck (phimosis) or infected. It does help in the prevention of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. But it does not give 100 per cent protection.

All operations can have complications. Problems like infection or bleeding, though rare, can arise after the surgery. Unless your son’s paediatrician has advised circumcision for a particular reason, it does not make sense to put him through elective surgery. When he is older, teaching him about responsibility, sexual norms and safe sex may be a better option.

Yellow vs white:-

Q: There are natural and “artificial” eggs available in the market. The colour of the yolk in the two differs. Is there a difference in their nutritive values? Is eating eggs healthy?

A: Eggs contain easily digestible proteins, fats, vitamins and antioxidants. They are a complete food in themselves. The recommended intake is one egg a day for those with a normal lipid profile (cholesterol and triglycerides). If the lipids are raised, cutting down on yolks to a maximum of two per week would be fine. Egg whites do not add to the cholesterol level, and you can eat as many of these as you like.

The colour of the yolk only depends on the type of feed the hen has received. It does not affect the egg’s nutritive value. By natural eggs, I think you mean those laid by hens that roam free, and by “artificial” the ones that are laid in hatcheries. Nutrition-wise, both are the same.

Music mania:-

Q: My daughter listens to music the whole day. I don’t like it, but do not want to put a stop to it unless it is harmful.

A: If your daughter is listening to music instead of doing her homework or studying, perhaps you need to interfere. But do check her academic performance first. Listening to music does have many positive effects. It soothes, pacifies and relieves tension in children and in adults. Music during exercise provides a cognitive boost, in addition to the other benefits of regular activity. Loud music, on the other hand, can damage hearing, increase the heart rate and produce paradoxical excitement.

Unequal feet:

Q: My shoes never fit both the feet perfectly. One is always a little loose or tight.

A: A person’s feet may not be identical in shape and size. One is usually marginally larger than the other. If this difference is marked, footwear will never fit properly. It is better to buy a bigger size and wear two socks on the foot that is smaller. Otherwise, you have to buy two pairs of shoes.

Cauliflower ear:

Q: I pierced my ear in the upper part, in addition to the ear lobe. It has become red, swollen and painful. My ear now looks ugly and deformed. What should I do?

A: The condition you are describing is called “cauliflower ear”. It occurs when a blood clot develops in the cartilage of the ear as a result of injury. The accumulated blood becomes infected and this destroys the cartilage, making it shrunken and shrivelled.

As soon as there is pain and swelling owing to an injury (even piercing), it should be treated with ice packs and antibiotics. Once it becomes misshapen, cosmetic reconstruction by a plastic surgeon is the only option.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Definition:Quercetin belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids that are largely responsible for the colors of many fruits, flowers, and vegetables. Flavonoids, such as quercetin, provide many health-promoting benefits. They act as antihistamines (which are useful in reducing allergy symptoms) and help reduce inflammation associated with various forms of arthritis. Quercetin also works as an antioxidant by scavenging damaging particles in the body known as free radicals. These particles occur naturally in the body but can damage cell membranes, interact with genetic material, and possibly contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of conditions including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants such as quercetin can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Quercetin is a phytochemical that is part of the coloring found in the skins of apples and red onions. It has been isolated and is sold as a dietary supplement.


Apples are an excellent source of quercetin…………image of quercetin.png

Quercetin is a flavonoid and, to be more specific, a flavonol. It is the aglycone form of a number of other flavonoid glycosides, such as rutin and quercitrin, found in citrus fruit, buckwheat and onions. Quercetin forms the glycosides quercitrin and rutin together with rhamnose and rutinose, respectively.

Quercetin is a naturally-occurring polar auxin transport inhibitor.

Foods rich in quercetin include capers (1800mg/kg), lovage (1700mg/kg), apples (440mg/kg), tea (Camellia sinensis), onions, especially in red onions (higher concentrations of quercetin occur in the outermost rings), red grapes, citrus fruits, broccoli and other leafy green vegetables, cherries, and a number of berries including raspberry, bog whortleberry (158 mg/kg, fresh weight), lingonberry (cultivated 74mg/kg, wild 146 mg/kg), cranberry (cultivated 83 mg/kg, wild 121 mg/kg), chokeberry (89 mg/kg), sweet rowan (85 mg/kg), rowanberry (63 mg/kg), sea buckthorn berry (62 mg/kg), crowberry (cultivated 53mg/kg, wild 56 mg/kg), and the fruit of the prickly pear cactus. A recent study found that organically grown tomatoes had 79% more quercetin than “conventionally grown”.

A study by the University of Queensland, Australia, has also indicated the presence of quercetin in varieties of honey, including honey derived from eucalyptus and tea tree flower

Where To Find Quercetin:
To get more quercetin, you can increase your intake of apples and red onions, which will improve your diet. If you need more therapeutic impact, quercetin is available in health food stores and online.

Medicinal properties:
Quercetin is found to be the most active of the flavonoids in studies, and many medicinal plants owe much of their activity to their high quercetin content. Quercetin has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity because of direct inhibition of several initial processes of inflammation. For example, it inhibits both the manufacture and release of histamine and other allergic/inflammatory mediators. In addition, it exerts potent antioxidant activity and vitamin C-sparing action.

Quercetin’s anti-histamine action may help to relieve allergic symptoms and asthma symptoms. The anti-inflammatory properties may help to reduce pain from disorders such as arthritis. Men who are concerned about prostate problems would also benefit from quercetin. Quercetin may also help reduce symptoms like fatigue, depression and anxiety.

Quercetin also shows anti-tumour properties. A study in the British Journal of Cancer showed that, when treated with a combination of quercetin and ultrasound at 20 kHz for 1 minute duration, skin and prostate cancers show a 90% mortality within 48 hours with no visible mortality of normal cells. Note that ultrasound also promotes topical absorption by up to 1,000 times making the use of topical quercetin and ultrasound wands an interesting proposition.

Recent studies have supported that quercetin can help men with chronic prostatitis, and both men and women with interstitial cystitis, possibly because of its action as a mast cell inhibitor.

Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant. It is also a natural anti-histamine, and anti-inflammatory. Research shows that quercetin may help to prevent cancer, especially prostate cancer.

Quercetin may have positive effects in combating or helping to prevent cancer, prostatitis, heart disease, cataracts, allergies/inflammations, and respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma[citation needed]. It also has been claimed to have antidepressant properties, however any claim of quercetin action against neurological diseases should be treated with skepticism due to the fact that quercitin is a neurotoxin in vitIt also may be found in dietary supplements.

An 8-year study found that three flavonols — kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin — were associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer of 23 percent.

You may click ->To learn more about Quercetin

>Quercetin Reduces Blood Pressure in Hypertensive Subjects.

>>Quercetin Research by Ray Sahelian, M.D., Benefit of Quercetin

Drug interactions:
Quercetin is contraindicated with antibiotics; it may interact with fluoroquinolones (a type of medicinal antibiotic), as quercetin competitively binds to bacterial DNA gyrase. Whether this inhibits or enhances the effect of fluoroquinolones is not entirely clear.

Quercetin is also a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4, an enzyme that breaks down most drugs in the body. As such, quercetin would be expected to increase serum levels, and therefore effects, of drugs metabolized by this enzyme


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An Hour Exercise for 5 Days a Week to Loose Weight

Women who want to lose weight and keep it off need to exercise for almost an hour, five days a week, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburgh.


Researchers found that a 55-minute regime was the minimum needed to maintain a 10 percent drop in weight.

During the four-year study, 200 overweight and obese women were told to eat between 1,200 and 1,500 calories a day, and do one of four different exercise programs, which varied in intensity and variety.

After six months, all of the women lost up to 10 percent of their body weight, but only a small percentage was able to maintain it. Those who did keep the weight off were those doing more exercise — about 275 minutes a week, on average.

Research points to a combination of exercise and calorie control as having the best chance of success in weight loss. This latest research once again confirms that plenty of exercise is a key ingredient.

BBC News July 29, 2008
Archives of Internal Medicine July 28, 2008;168(14):1550-1559

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A Viral Illness That Can Be Silent and Hard to Treat but Also Cured

Hepatitis C can take decades to show up as damage to the liver.


Chronic viral hepatitis is now the leading reason for liver transplants.

Current combination therapy can be individualized to cure chronic infections in 40 to 80 percent of cases.

The consequences of being infected with hepatitis C can take years to appear. So while new cases of the disease have fallen sharply over the past few decades, many people infected years ago are only beginning to learn they carry the virus, and to grapple with its potentially serious effects.

For many, there is good news. Half of all chronic infections can now be cured through a therapy using a combination of drugs. But hepatitis C remains a wily virus, often lying low for years and then following a course so unpredictable that doctors sometimes aren’t sure whether to recommend treatment or advise patients to watch and wait.

The biggest obstacle to effective treatment remains the fact that a majority of the estimated 3.2 million Americans who harbor chronic hepatitis C aren’t even aware they have it. In four out of five people, there are no symptoms when the infection first occurs.

“Most of the people we see discovered they have chronic hepatitis C when they went to donate blood or had a physical exam in order to get insurance,” said Dr. Bruce R. Bacon, director of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Almost a third of those exposed to hepatitis C recover fully; their immune systems rout the virus and eliminate it. About 70 percent develop chronic infections, which carry a significant risk of cirrhosis, or scarring, of the liver and liver cancer. Paradoxically, people who become sickest soon after being infected are most likely to fight off the virus, whereas those who have few if any initial symptoms are at greatest danger of suffering persistent infection.

The treatment currently recommended for chronic hepatitis C combines ribavirin, an antiviral drug, with interferon, a substance that increases the immune system’s virus-killing power. The treatment offers a lifelong cure for more than half of patients. But because the drugs are expensive and can have serious side effects, and because the course of disease varies so much from person to person, the decision to start therapy poses tough questions.

“About one-third of people with chronic hepatitis will go on to develop cirrhosis of the liver,” said Dr. Jay H. Hoofnagle, director of the Liver Disease Research Branch at the National Institutes of Health. “Only 5 to 10 percent will develop liver cancer. In other words, many people can live perfectly well with chronic hepatitis infection and never have any problems. The trouble is we can’t tell who will do well and who will die of the disease.”

Nor can doctors predict with certainty how patients will respond to the combination therapy. In 25 to 30 percent of patients, interferon produces anxiety and depression, sometimes so extreme that sufferers have attempted suicide. It can also cause debilitating flu-like symptoms.

“I can usually get anyone through two or three months of interferon and ribavirin. Beyond that, it gets really tough,” Dr. Hoofnagle said. “At least 10 percent of patients can’t make it through the recommended course of therapy.”

Fortunately, physicians are getting better at optimizing the benefits and controlling some of the unwanted side effects, thanks in part to new insights into the virus. Researchers have discovered that hepatitis C occurs in at least six forms, called genotypes. Genotype 1 is the most common and also the hardest to treat, requiring 48 weeks of treatment. Only about 40 percent of people with this subtype get rid of the virus. Genotypes 2 and 3 can be successfully treated in just 24 weeks, eliminating the virus in about 80 percent of cases.

The more rapidly virus levels begin to fall in patients, the better the odds of a cure. By monitoring levels of the virus in blood, some doctors say, it’s now possible to individualize the course of treatment.

“I call it the accordion effect,” said Dr. Ira Jacobsen, chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. “If virus levels drop off very quickly, we can shorten the course of therapy. If the response is slow, we can lengthen it, sometimes to as much as 72 weeks, and improve the chances of success.”

Shortening the course of therapy remains controversial because of the risk of relapse after the treatment is stopped. Relapse occurs when lingering viruses not eradicated by the medication multiply and surge back.

Antidepressant drugs, meanwhile, are being employed to ease psychiatric side effects. And doctors are getting better at predicting who will suffer depression after starting interferon.

“Not surprisingly, people with a history of depression are at greater risk,” said Dr. Francis Lotrich, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. He and his colleagues have also observed that people with chronic sleep problems are also more likely to have trouble with depression. The reason is not clear, but studies are under way to see if improving people’s sleep with the use of insomnia medication or other techniques can lower the risk of psychiatric side effects.

The best medicine is prevention, and it’s here that the biggest gains have been won against hepatitis C. The number of new infections per year in the United States has plummeted from 240,000 in the 1980s to about 19,000 in 2006. Experts credit a screening test that now prevents hepatitis C from spreading via blood transfusions and organ transplantation, as well as public health messages aimed at discouraging the use of shared needles, which is the leading route of transmission.

In the absence of an effective vaccine, such messages, backed up by intensified surveillance, will remain the chief defense against this virus. In 2003, chronic hepatitis B and C became notifiable diseases that must be reported to federal health officials, enabling them to track new cases nationwide. In 2004, New York State began its own enhanced viral hepatitis surveillance network.

Two years ago, the program demonstrated its usefulness when officials in the Erie County Department of Health detected a cluster of cases centered in one zip code in suburban Buffalo.

“All we had at first was a bunch of dots on a map,” said Dr. Anthony J. Billittier IV, the Erie County health commissioner. Investigators went into the community and identified about 20 young people who were injecting drugs and sometimes sharing needles. The county responded by intensifying prevention efforts, including a free needle exchange.

“We’ve made a lot of progress against hepatitis C, but there’s still a lot to do,” Dr. Billittier said. “One one thing we know about this virus is it’s not going away.”

Sources: The New York Times

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Willow Bark (Salix alba and other salix sp.)

White Willow foliage; note white undersides of...Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name:Salix alba
Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Salix
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales

Other Names:-Crack willow; European willow; Liu-zhi; Purple willow; Pussy willow; Salix alba; Salix nigra; Wheeping willow; White willow

Habitat : Willow is found primarily on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

The use of willow bark dates back to the time of Hippocrates (400 BC) when patients were advised to chew on the bark to reduce fever and inflammation. Willow bark has been used throughout the centuries in China and Europe, and continues to be used today for the treatment of pain (particularly low back pain and osteoarthritis), headache, and inflammatory conditions such as bursitis and tendinitis. The bark of white willow contains salicin, which is a chemical similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) and is thought to be responsible for the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of the herb. In fact, in the 1800s, salicin was used to develop aspirin. White willow appears to be slower than aspirin to achieve any effects, but those effects may last longer.

It is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree growing up to 10-30 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter and an irregular, often leaning crown. The bark is grey-brown, deeply fissured in older trees.
The willow family includes a number of different species of deciduous trees and shrubs native to Europe, Asia, and some parts of North America. Some of the more commonly known are white willow/European willow ( Salix alba ), black willow/pussy willow ( Salix nigra ), crack willow ( Salix fragilis ), purple willow ( Salix purpurea ), and weeping willow ( Salix babylonica ). The willow bark sold in Europe and the United States usually includes a combination of the bark from white, purple, and crack willows.

click to see the pictures....(1).…...(2)……..(3)..……………..

Willows are very cross-fertile and numerous hybrids occur, both naturally and in cultivation. A well known example is the weeping willow (Salix × sepulcralis), very widely planted as an ornamental tree, which is a hybrid of a Chinese species and a European species – Peking willow and white willow.

The willows all have abundant watery sap, bark which is heavily charged with salicylic acid, soft, usually pliant, tough wood, slender branches and large, fibrous, often stoloniferous roots. The roots are remarkable for their toughness, size, and tenacity of life, and roots readily grow from aerial parts of the plant.

Medicinal Uses and Indications:-
Willow bark is used to ease pain and reduce inflammation, and there is good evidence that it is effective as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory. Researchers believe that the chemical salicin, found in willow bark, is responsible for these effects. However, studies have identified several other components of willow bark which have antioxidant, fever-reducing, antiseptic, and immune-boosting properties. Some studies have shown willow is as effective as aspirin for reducing pain and inflammation (but not fever), and at a much lower dose. Researchers theorize that may be due to the other compounds in the herb. More research is needed.

Studies suggest that willow bark may be useful for the following conditions:


Willow bark has been shown to relieve headaches and there is some evidence that it is less likely to cause the same gastrointestinal side effects that other pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, do. However, studies have not shown this conclusively, and people who are prone to stomach upset may want to avoid willow bark. Large-scale studies are needed to fully determine the safety and effectiveness of willow bark for chronic or recurrent headaches.

Low back pain

Willow bark appears to be effective for back pain. In a well-designed study of nearly 200 people with low back pain, those who received willow bark experienced a significant improvement in pain compared to those who received placebo. People who received higher doses of willow bark (240 mg salicin) had more significant pain relief than those who received low doses (120 mg salicin).


Several studies have shown that willow is more effective at reducing pain from osteoarthritis than placebo. In a small study of people with osteoarthritis of the neck or lower back, those who received willow bark experienced significant improvement in symptoms compared to those who received placebo. A similar study of 78 patients hospitalized with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip joint found that patients who received willow bark experienced significant pain relief compared to those who received placebo.

Other Medical Uses :-

Some professional herbalists may recommend willow bark for the following conditions, although at present, no scientific studies have supported these uses:

Menstrual cramps

Dosage and Administration:-

Because of the danger of developing Reye syndrome (a rare but serious illness associated with the use of aspirin in children), children under the age of 16 should not be given willow bark.

General dosing guidelines for willow bark are as follows:

Dried herb (used to make tea): boil 1 – 2 tsp of dried bark in 8 oz of water and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes; let steep for ½ hour; drink 3 – 4 cups daily
Powdered herb (available in capsules) or liquid: 60 – 240 mg of standardized salicin per day; talk to your doctor before taking a higher dose
Tincture (1:5, 30% alcohol): 4 – 6 mL three times per day

Because willow bark contains salicin, people who are allergic or sensitive to salicylates (such as aspirin) should not use willow bark. Some researchers suggest that people with asthma, diabetes, gout, gastritis, hemophilia, and stomach ulcers should also avoid willow bark. If you have any of these conditions, take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) regularly or blood-thinning medication, be sure to consult your health care provider before taking willow bark. Willow bark should not given to children under the age of 16.

Side Effects:-

Side effects tend to be mild. However, gastrointestinal irritation and ulcers are potentially associated with all compounds containing salicylates. Overdoses of willow bark may cause skin rash, stomach inflammation/irritation, nausea, vomiting, kidney inflammation, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:-
Salicylates are not recommended during pregnancy, so pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take willow bark.

Interactions and Depletions:-
Because willow bark contains salicylates, it has the potential to interact with a number of drugs and herbs. Talk to your doctor before taking willow bark if you take any other medications, herbs, or supplements.

Willow bark may interact with any of the following: –

Anticoagulants (blood-thinning medications) — Willow bark may strengthen the effects of drugs and herbs with blood-thinning properties.

Beta blockers — including Atenolol (Tenormin), Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL), Propranolol (Inderal, Inderal LA). Willow bark may reduce the effectiveness of these drugs.

Diuretics (water pills) –– Willow bark may reduce the effectiveness of these drugs.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs –– including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Taking willow bark with these drugs may increase risk of stomach bleeding.

Methotrexate and phenytoin (Dilantin) — Willow may increase levels of these drugs in the body, resulting in toxic levels.

You may click to learn more about Willow Bark:->.……..(1)….(2)…..(3)….(4).

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.



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Not Alone In The Dark

Looking At What We Don’t Want To See
It is one of life’s great paradoxes that the things we don’t want to look at in ourselves are the very things we need to look at in order to know ourselves better and to become more fully who we are. The feelings that make us want to run away are buried treasure full of energy and inspiration if we are willing to look. These feelings come in many forms, from strange images or snippets of information to recurring dreams and feelings that rise up seemingly without a reason. Whatever shape they come in, and no matter how scary they seem, these messengers bring the information we need in order to grow.

When we are tired of pushing something down, or trying to run away from it, a good first step is to write down what we think we are avoiding. Often this turns out to be only the surface of the issue or a symbol of something else. Expressing ourselves fully on paper is a safe way to begin exploring the murky territory of the unconscious. The coolness of the intellect can give us the distance we need to read what we have written and feel less afraid of it. It helps if we remember that no matter how dark or negative our thoughts or feelings may be, these are energies shared by all humanity. We are not alone in the dark, and all the gurus and teachers we admire had to go through their own unprocessed emotional territory in order to come out the other side brighter and wiser. This can give us the courage we need to open the treasure chest of what we have been avoiding.

Within the parts of ourselves that we don’t want to look at, there are emotions that need to be felt. Unfelt emotions are stuck energy, and when we leave emotions unprocessed, we deprive ourselves of access to that energy. When we feel strong enough, we can begin the process of feeling those emotions, on our own or with guidance from a spiritual counselor. It is through this work that the buried treasure of energy and inspiration will pour forth from our hearts, giving us the courage to look at all the parts of ourselves with insight and compassion.

Sources: Daily Om

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Some Objects in the Nose

Introduction:-Young children are more likely than older children or adults to put small objects—such as beads, dried beans, popcorn, plastic toy pieces, foam rubber, or small batteries—up their noses. If the child doesn’t tell you about it, your first clue may be a bad-smelling green or yellow discharge or blood (epistaxis) from one of the child’s nostrils. The child’s nose may also be tender and swollen.


Some objects in the nose cause more problems than others. Disc batteries (also called button cell batteries) are more dangerous than other objects and should be removed immediately. The moist tissue in the nose can cause the battery to release strong chemicals (alkali) quickly, often in less than 1 hour. This can cause serious damage to the sensitive mucous membranes lining the nose. Seeds, such as beans or popcorn, can swell from the moistness of the nasal tissue, making removal more difficult.

An object in the nose may cause some irritation and swelling of the mucous membranes inside the nose. This swelling can cause a stuffy nose, making it difficult to breathe through the nose.

Infection can develop in the nose or in the sinuses following the insertion of an object. The longer the object is in the nose, the more likely it is that an infection will develop. The first sign of infection is usually increased drainage from the nose. It is usually from only one nostril. The drainage may be clear at first but turns yellow, green, or brown. The drainage may have an unpleasant odor. As the infection progresses, symptoms of sinusitis or another infection will develop.

An object inserted in the nose may cause a nosebleed if the object irritates the tissues in the nose. The nasal tissue can be damaged from pressure against the object. This is called pressure necrosis.

Older children and adults can also inhale objects while working closely with small objects. Nose rings and metal studs from nose piercings can also cause nose problems. A piece of glass may enter the nose during an automobile accident. You may be unaware of this because of other injuries that occur during the accident.

In Case Of Emergency:-Call emergency services immediately!
Does your child have any of the following symptoms that require emergency treatment? Call 911 or other emergency services immediately.

1.Choking. Do not perform the Heimlich maneuver if the person is still coughing or is able to speak.

2.Moderate to severe difficulty breathing occurs:

*In children.

*In adults and older children.

All your actions are dependent on the symptoms. If following symptoms are there it becomes a health risk and you are advised to contact your health professional immediately:

1. If you have a nosebleed after you have removed an intact object from your nose.

2.If a disc battery stuck in the nose. Disc batteries are found in toys, calculators, hearing aids, cameras, and watches.

3.If an object or part of an object stuck in the nose after attempts to remove it.

4. If you think you have an infection after an object has been removed from the nose.

5.If you have mild to moderate difficulty breathing after removing an object from the nose.

But if a visit to a health professional is not needed immediately, you may go through the Home Treatment for self-care information as given below:-

Home Treatment:-

First follow these steps to remove an object from the nose:

1.Breathe through your mouth since the nose is blocked.

2.Pinch closed the side of the nose that doesn’t have the object in it and try to blow the object out of the blocked side. You may need to help a child pinch his or her nose.

3.Blow your nose forcefully several times. This may blow the object out of the nose.

4.If the object is partially out of the nose, you may be able to remove it. Hold still and remove the object with your fingers or blunt-nosed tweezers. Be careful not to push the object farther into the nose. If a child resists or is not able to hold still, do not attempt to remove the object.

5.Some minor bleeding from your nose may occur after the object is removed. This usually is not serious and should stop after firmly pinching your nose shut for 10 minutes. See how to stop a nosebleed.

You may be able to remove an object from a child’s nose using the “kiss technique.” Do not try this if you are uncomfortable with it, your child says it hurts, or if your child becomes upset by your attempts:

1.Apply pressure to close the child’s unaffected nostril. You can do this or the child can help by holding his or her finger on the unaffected side of the nose.

2.Blow a puff of air into the child’s mouth. The positive pressure of this puff will help push the object out of the child’s nose. You may need to repeat this activity several times.

Home treatment after removing an object from the nose.

Some tenderness and nasal stuffiness are common after removing an object from the nose. Home treatment will often relieve a tender, stuffy nose and make breathing easier.

1.Drink extra fluids for 2 to 3 days to keep mucus thin.

2.Breathe moist air from a humidifier, hot shower, or sink filled with hot water.

3.Increase the humidity in your home, especially in the bedroom.

4.Take an oral decongestant or use a decongestant nasal spray. Oral decongestants are not as helpful as nasal sprays in children. Do not use a decongestant nasal spray for longer than 3 days. Overuse of decongestant sprays may cause the mucous membranes to swell up more than before (rebound effect). Avoid products containing antihistamines, which dry the nasal tissue.

5.Check the back of your throat for postnasal drip. If streaks of mucus appear, gargle with warm water to prevent a sore throat.

6.Elevate your head at night by sleeping on an extra pillow. This will decrease nasal stuffiness.

Medicine you can buy without a prescription Try a nonprescription medicine to help treat your fever or pain:

1.Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol or Panadol

2.Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs):

*Ibuprofen, such as Advil or Motrin
*Naproxen, such as Aleve or Naprosyn
*Aspirin (also a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), such as Bayer or Bufferin

Some Safety tips:- Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine: Carefully read and follow all directions on the medicine bottle and box.

1.Do not take more than the recommended dose.

2.Do not take a medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to it in the past.

3.If you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take it.

4.If you are or could be pregnant, do not take any medicine other than acetaminophen unless your doctor has told you to.

5.Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.

Symptoms to Watch carefully During Home Treatment:

Use the Check Your Symptoms section to evaluate your symptoms if one or more of the following symptoms occur during home treatment:

1.A nosebleed cannot be stopped with home treatment. See the topic Nosebleeds.

2.An infection develops.

3.Symptoms become more severe or more frequent.


Small children love to explore their surroundings. They are also curious about their bodies. To prevent children from inserting objects into their noses:

1.Caution children not to put any object into a body opening.

2.Supervise young children, especially children younger than age 4, to reduce the risk that they will put objects in their noses or other body openings.

3.Keep all objects small enough to be swallowed or inserted into body openings away from small children.

4.Store all disc batteries in a safe place out of the reach of children. Properly dispose of used disc batteries out of the reach of children.

5.Older children or adults should be cautious when working with small objects or if they have nose piercings.

Sources: MSN Health & Fitness

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Your Granite Countertops Could Be Killing You

Demand for granite countertops has increased tenfold over the past decade. As their popularity has grown, so have the types of granite available. And along with increased sales volume and variety, there have been more reports of “hot” or potentially hazardous countertops, particularly among the more exotic varieties from Brazil and Namibia.

Click to see the pictures

Allegations that granite countertops may emit dangerous levels of radon and radiation have been raised periodically over the past decade. Health physicists and radiation experts agree that most granite countertops emit radiation and radon at extremely low levels.

But with increasing regularity in recent months, the EPA has been receiving calls from radon inspectors and concerned homeowners about granite countertops with radiation measurements several times above background levels.

Sources: New York Times July 24, 2008

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