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News on Health & Science

Indoor Plants Cut Formaldehyde

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Indoor plants can reduce formaldehyde levels in the air, according to a new study.

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The sources of the toxic gas formaldehyde are building materials including carpeting, curtains, plywood, and adhesives.

As it is emitted, it deteriorates the air quality, which can lead to ‘multiple chemical sensitivity‘ and ‘sick building syndrome‘, medical conditions with symptoms such as allergies, asthma, and headaches.

The prevalence of formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOC) is greater in new construction.

In the study, lead author Kwang Jin Kim of Korea‘s National Horticultural Research Institute compared the absorption rate of two types of houseplants, Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) and Fatsia japonica, an evergreen shrub.

During the study, equal amounts of formaldehyde were pumped into containers holding each type of plant in three configurations: whole, roots-only with the leafy portion cut off, and aerial-only, with the below-ground portion sealed off, leaving the stem and leaves exposed.

The results showed the combined total of aerial-only and roots-only portions was similar to the amount removed by whole plants. Complete plants removed approximately 80 percent of the formaldehyde within 4 hours.

Control chambers pumped with the same amount of formaldehyde, but not containing any plant parts, decreased by 7.3 percent during the day and 6.9 percent overnight within 5 hours. As the length of exposure increased, the amount of absorption decreased, which appeared to be due to the reduced concentration of the gas.

Aerial parts of reduced more formaldehyde during the day than at night. This suggests the role played by stomata, tiny slits on the surface of the leaves that are only open during the day.

The portion of formaldehyde that was reduced during the night was most likely absorbed through a thin film on the plant’s surface known as the cuticle. Root zones of ficus removed similar amounts between night and day. However, japonica root zones removed more formaldehyde at night.

Researchers consider micro-organisms living among the soil and root system to be a major contributor to the reduction. Japonica was planted in larger pots than the ficus, which may account for the lower night reduction rate of the latter.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Bad Breath

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This bothersome complaint affects literally millions of Americans and has fueled a billion-dollar-a-year industry. Strict oral hygiene and natural remedies can provide relief. And if bad breath persists, careful dental or medical detective work often uncovers a correctable underlying cause..CLICK & SEE

Symptoms
Regularly experiencing a disagreeable taste is a sign that the breath leaving your mouth probably has an unpleasant odor.
Many people with bad breath don’t taste or smell it themselves, so look for possible clues from others: They step back when you speak, for instance. If you suspect a problem, ask someone you trust for an honest opinion.
Bleeding gums signal gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that can sometimes cause bad breath.

When to Call Your Doctor
If bad breath does not improve despite self-care measures — your dentist or doctor can check for an underlying medical cause, such as gum disease or a chronic sinus infection.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
Whether it’s called bad breath or halitosis, nobody wants an unpleasant odor emanating from his mouth. In the simplest cases, this problem can be traced back to smoking, drinking alcohol, or eating foods notorious for their lingering odors, including garlic, onions, and anchovies. But sometimes, the condition can become chronic, caused by an underlying medical condition.

What Causes It
Bad breath usually results from the multiplication of odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. The drier your mouth, the more bacteria thrive. Any condition that reduces saliva production can contribute to bad breath — including Avancing age, breathing through the mouth, crash diets (the less food you chew, the less your salivary flow), certain medications, even the time of day (“morning breath” occurs because salivation is considerably reduced during sleep). Bacteria may also collect on the tongue, in food debris that accumulates on dentures, and on the teeth — especially when plaque or cavities are present. If bad breath persists, underlying gum disease or a chronic sinus infection is often the cause.

How Supplements Can Help
Natural strategies for bad breath work best in combination with regular and thorough oral hygiene, including flossing and brushing the teeth, as well as brushing the tongue (especially the back part), where odor-causing bacteria are likely to flourish.
Place just a drop or two of peppermint oil on the tongue a couple of times a day — larger amounts of the pure oil may cause digestive upset. Beyond its pleasant taste and aroma, peppermint oil is effective in killing bacteria. Drinking peppermint or spearmint teas, as well as plenty of plain water, may also help to fight bad breath by keeping the mouth moist.

Another approach is to chew on several fennel seeds, anise seeds, or cloves to freshen the breath; they can be conveniently carried in a small, sealed container. Fresh parsley has a similar effect; it’s also high in chlorophyll (the chemical that gives plants their green color), which has long been recognized as a powerful breath freshener. Chlorophyll is also found in commercially available “green” drinks containing spirulina, wheat grass, chlorella, or other herbs. These chlorophyll-rich liquids are best swished around the mouth, then swallowed. Alternatively, try spirulina tablets, which should be chewed thoroughly.

What Else You Can Do
Brush your teeth after each meal and floss at least once a day. When you can’t brush, rinse your mouth out with some water.
Use a moist toothbrush, a tongue scraper (available at some pharmacies and health-food stores), or a metal spoon held upside down to scrape off any coating on the back of the tongue and cleanse that area.
Avoid strong-smelling foods and alcohol; don’t smoke.
If a chronic sinus infection or postnasal drip is contributing to bad breath, consider using a sinus irrigator-a device found in most health — food stores that delivers a saltwater solution into the nostrils –to clean sinuses regularly.
Licorice-flavored anise seeds can easily be made into a breath-freshening mouthwash or beverage. Boil several teaspoons of seeds in one cup of water for a few minutes, then strain and cool.
Ensure that your toothbrush remains bacteria-free by storing it in grapefruit seed extract or hydrogen peroxide; rinse it well before brushing. An electric toothbrush sanitizer may also be effective.
Some practitioners believe that poor digestion may contribute to some cases of bad breath. They advise adding extra fluid and fiber (such as psyllium) to the diet to avoid constipation. Colon-cleansing herbal formulas, available at health-food stores, may


Supplement Recommendations

Peppermint
Fennel
Parsley
Spirulina

Peppermint
Dosage: 1 or 2 drops essential oil of peppermint, placed on tongue.
Comments: Drinking peppermint tea may also be helpful.

Fennel

Dosage: Chew a pinch of fennel seeds after meals or as needed.
Comments: Chew thoroughly for best effect. Anise seeds or cloves can also be used.

Parsley
Dosage: Chew on a fresh parsley sprig after meals or as needed.
Comments: Some natural breath fresheners contain parsley oil as a key ingredient.

Spirulina
Dosage: Rinse the mouth with a commercial chlorophyll-rich “green” drink (follow package instructions).
Comments: Alternatively, tablets can be chewed.

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

Categories
Therapetic treatment

Aromatherapy

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Aromatherapy is the ancient science of healing, relaxing and energizing by the use of plants and their parts. The roots, barks, flowers, fruits, seeds and nuts play a crucial part in this science. It is one of the more popular branches of alternative medicines. The word aromatherapy is derived from two words aroma which means smell and therapy which stands for healing.

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Little to no significant scientific research has proven any combination of cause/effect solutions from aromatherapy aside from relaxation and clarity of mind, all considered similar to that of a nap or pause in conscious thought. Aromatherapy is also associated with astrological pseudoscience, and bases its medicinal beliefs on the alignment of stars, among many other aspects, to prescribe certain olfactory therapies. In truth, any odour can be considered a therapy by aroma, or aromatherapy.So in my openion, this type of Therapy should always be applied alongwith the modern scientific medication for curing a desies. This might speed up healing effect.
Some of the materials employed include:

Essential oils: Fragrant oils extracted from plants chiefly through distillation (e.g. eucalyptus oil) or expression (grapefruit oil). However, the term is also occasionally used to describe fragrant oils extracted from plant material by any solvent extraction.
Absolutes: Fragrant oils extracted primarily from flowers or delicate plant tissues through solvent or supercritical fluid extraction (e.g. rose absolute). The term is also used to describe oils extracted from fragrant butters, concretes, and enfleurage pommades using ethanol.
Phytoncides: Various volatile organic compounds from plants that kill microbes. Many terpene-based fragrant oils and sulfuric compounds from plants in the genus “Allium” are Phytoncides, though the latter are likely less commonly used in aromatherapy due to their disagreeable smells.
Hydrosols: The aqueous by-products of the distillation process (e.g. rosewater). Hydrosol used are limited to plants such as rose and chamomile since most hydrosols have unpleasant smells.
Infusions: Aqueous extracts of various plant material (e.g. infusion of chamomile)
Carrier oils: Typically oily plant base triacylglycerides that are used to dilute essential oils for use on the skin (e.g. sweet almond oil)

The basis of aromatherapy is the Essential oil Oils extracted from different plants and their barks and flowers.. These oils are the extracts of plants and their parts and form their life force. These oils are extracted by the means of steam distillation, cold expression, or fixed oil or alcohol extraction. They are highly concentrated and should not be used directly. These oils can be blended together and this blend is called synergy. The synergy is more potent than the individual oils combined. To reduce the potency of these oils, you can dilute them by mixing them with carrier oils.

These oils affect your mood. They enter through our olfactory system and affect the nervous system, thus improving mood and relaxing or energizing us. This helps is alleviating stress and speeding up healing. Most of these oils also have cosmetic properties and can be used in skincare and hair care products. Many of these oils have known anti-viral, antifungal and antiseptic properties. They are also used in household products for cleaning and antiseptic uses. These oils can be inhaled, massaged onto your body, added to the bath or shower or sprayed in the room.

When aromatherapy is used for the treatment or prevention of disease, a precise knowledge of the bioactivity and synergy of the essential oils used, knowledge of the dosage and duration of application, as well as, naturally, a medical diagnosis, are required.

In the Anglo-Saxon world, among alternative practitioners such as herbalists or naturopaths, aromatherapy is regarded as a complementary modality by some and a pseudoscientific belief by most others.

On the continent, especially in France, where it originated, aromatherapy is incorporated into mainstream medicine. There, the use of the anti-septic properties of oils in the control of infections is emphasized over the more “touchy feely” approaches familiar to English speakers. In France some essential oils are regulated as prescription drugs, and thus administered by a physician. In many countries they are included in the national pharmacopeia, but up to the present moment aromatherapy as science has never been recognized as a valid branch of medicine in the United States, Russia, Germany, or Japan.

Essential oils, phytoncides and other natural VOCs work in different ways. At the scent level they activate the limbic system and emotional centers of the brain. When applied to the skin (commonly in form of “massage oils” i.e. 1-10% solutions of EO in carrier oil) they activate thermal receptors, and kill microbes and fungi. Internal application of essential oil preparations (mainly in pharmacological drugs; generally not recommended for home use apart from dilution – 1-5% in fats or mineral oils, or hydrosoles) may stimulate the immune system.

CLICK TO READ MORE ABOUT  AROMATHERAPY
(Help taken from:……http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aromatherapy and http://www.aromatherapies.net/)