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Healthy Tips

Menopause

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Menopause or climacteric was considered the end   for many women. Their reproductive years were over Numerous pregnancies, hard work and a poor diet took their toll, and only a few women lived into their sixties or seventies.

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This, however, is no longer true. Life expectancy of women in India has increased. This has spawned a whole new generation of  who spend almost half their life after menopause.

Regular menstruation and reproduction is controlled by the pituitary gland and involves periodic release of eggs from the ovaries. It is mediated by pituitary and ovarian hormones released in the correct proportions.

During menopause, the levels of the pituitary hormones, LH (luteinising hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) rise while the levels of the ovarian hormones, oestrogen and progesterone fall. Eggs are no longer released and the woman ceases to menstruate or be fertile.

Menopause is defined as the cessation of menstruation for a year. It usually occurs between the ages of 41 and 55 years. Menopause often occurs when the woman is already finding life difficult as her children have grown up and left the house and her husband is busy with his career.

Some women sail blissfully through menopause without missing a beat, whereas in others the altered hormone levels makes them symptomatic. Extraneous social factors often aggravate the symptoms.

Typically they complain of   hot flushes.  This is a sensation of heat and burning which starts in the chest, progresses upwards and lasts a few minutes. It is followed by drenching sweats or chills. The flushes may occur several times a day or just a few times a month. They cause sleep disturbances, irritability, mood swings, headaches and memory loss. The result is the stereotyped unreasonable, ill-tempered postmenopausal woman.

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The hormonal changes slow down the metabolism and weight may slowly creep upwards. The skin may also become thin and dry producing itching. Libido may be altered. Vaginal dryness may make sex painful and unpleasant.

Some of the symptoms of menopause may be mimicked by other medical conditions such as thyroid or pituitary malfunctions, or simply weight gain that seems to be a common feature during middle age.

Absence of menstruation may be due to pregnancy. Approaching menopause is heralded by changing menstrual patterns in an older woman.

During the time of menopause :

* Have a complete gynaecological evaluation including a pap smear for cervical cancer.

* Have a baseline mammogram. If it is normal, repeat it every three years. In the interim, perform breast self examinations once a month

* Rule out other medical problems like hypertension, diabetes and lipid abnormalities.

Once menopause has set in:

* Keep yourself busy. Develop new interests, have a hobby, learn something new.

* Weight should be maintained within normal limits. BMI (Body Mass Index — weight in kg divided by height in metre squared) should be as close to 25 as possible. The waist should be 34 inches or less.

* Prevent osteoporosis by doing 45 minutes of aerobic exercises like jogging or fast walking every day. Calcium supplements are also needed as diet is often deficient. A bone density test can be done to determine if alendrolate or raloxifene is needed in addition to calcium.

* Keep the muscles strong by doing muscle strengthening exercises using a “baby” dumbbell weighing ½ to 1 kg. Strong muscles help to maintain balance and prevent falls and injuries.

* Maintain flexibility with regular stretches and yoga.

*To tackle hot flushes, dress in cotton and other natural fabrics. Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol as it aggravates hot flushes.

* Creams containing oestrogen (Premarin Evalon) are safe and can be applied locally in the vagina to overcome dryness, itching and pain during intercourse. They should not be used if there is undiagnosed post menopausal vaginal bleeding.

HRT (hormone replacement therapy) was very popular and widely prescribed. It was assumed that by tackling the deficiency of oestrogen with tablets, all the symptoms and ill effects of menopause would disappear. HRT does help in women who have severe hot flushes. But it should not be continued for more than six months because after that, the risks and side effects may out weigh the benefits.

The symptoms of menopause are apparently less among Japanese and Chinese women. Although this may be cultural, it has been attributed to the consumption of soya, which contains the plant oestrogens called phytoestrogens. Soya is now one of the natural products recommended to control the symptoms of menopause. Soya products can be consumed as chunks, nuggets, flakes, flour, tofu or milk.

Natural supplements with extracts of black cohosh, ginseng and other herbal products are also believed to be beneficial. But they should be taken only after consulting a physician.

Menopause is inevitable but it can be tackled.

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata,India)

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Dizziness

Feeling light-headed? A bit woozy or off-balance? If you’re traveling in a car, boat, or plane, it’s probably motion sickness. But sometimes dizziness, also commonly called vertigo, becomes a lingering or recurrent problem. Regardless of the cause, natural remedies can bring relief. ………... click & see

Symptoms
Unsteadiness or faintness.
A feeling that the room is spinning or that you’re whirling in space, sometimes accompanied by ringing in the ears.
Nausea.

When to Call Your Doctor
If dizziness is accompanied by numbness, rapid heartbeat, fainting or a feeling of faintness, or blurred vision; if it affects your ability to speak.
If dizziness comes on suddenly, especially if accompanied by nausea or vomiting.
If dizzy spells increase in frequency or persist.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
The terms “dizziness” and vertigo are often used interchangeably, but they are not synonymous. Dizziness simply refers to a feeling of unsteadiness or faintness, whereas vertigo usually involves a more serious disorientation, as if the world were spinning around you. (If you’ve ever been in a high place and felt as if you were falling, you’ve experienced vertigo.) Unfortunately, for some people, dizziness can persist and become disabling.

What Causes It
Ordinary motion sickness — the queasy, light-headed feeling that comes while traveling — is by far the most common cause of dizziness. The problem arises when the eyes, which try to focus on constantly moving scenery, and the inner ear, which helps orient the body to movement, send conflicting signals to the brain. The result is a confusing, whirling sensation, often accompanied by nausea.

How Supplements Can Help
A centuries-old remedy for delicate stomachs,ginger can act relatively quickly — even within minutes — to combat the dizziness and nausea associated with motion sickness or mild vertigo. In some tests, the herb has proved more effective — and longer lasting — than over-the-counter remedies. Moreover, ginger produces few of the side effects of conventional medications, such as drowsiness or blurred vision.

What Else You Can Do
Stop reading or staring at a computer screen if you begin to feel sick while in a moving car, train, or boat. Instead, face forward and focus on a fixed point, such as the distant scenery or the horizon, to keep your body and eyes simultaneously oriented to the movement.
Opt for the front seat when riding in a car; at sea, stay amidship; and when flying, sit above the wing, where there is the least amount of motion.
Motion sickness is best treated before symptoms start. If you are prone to it, take ginger at least two hours before your departure — and every four hours thereafter.

Supplement Recommendations
Ginger
Ginkgo Biloba
Vitamin B6


Ginger

Dosage: 100 mg standardized extract every 4 hours as needed.
Comments: Or try fresh gingerroot (1/4- to 1/2-inch slice), ginger tea (1/2 tsp. gingerroot per cup of hot water), or powdered ginger (1 gram)-all taken 3 times a day. Ginger ale (8-ounce glass 3 times a day) can be equally effective if made with real ginger.

Ginkgo Biloba
Dosage: 80 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Standardized to have at least 24% flavone glycosides.

Vitamin B6

Dosage: 50 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: 200 mg daily over long term can cause nerve damage.

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)

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Categories
Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Black Pepper

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black pepper
Image by Pinot & Dita via Flickr

Botanical Name :Piper nigrum
Family: Piperaceae
Genus: Piper
Species: P. nigrum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Common NameBlack pepper.

Black pepper : Popularly known as “kali mirch” and a native of the western ghats in India , it is endowed with anti-coagulant properties. It is one of the few herbs which ayurveda describes as helping to open obstructions in different channels of the body. Starting from common cold, cough, sinusitis and bronchitis, black pepper is useful in a number of ailments like abdominal colic and sluggishness of the liver. Its overuse can result in intense burning sensation in the mouth. Desi ghee is considered its anti-dote.

Habitat :Black peppers are native to India and are extensively cultivated there and elsewhere in tropical regions. Currently Vietnam is by far the world’s largest producer and exporter of pepper, producing 34% of the world’s Piper nigrum crop as of 2008.

 

Black Pepper is one of the earliest known spices ever discovered, pepper is used worldwide in almost every household…..

 

click to see the pictures..>…..(0)..(01).(1).……...(2)..…………………………………

 

HISTORY:

Pepper has been used for the last 3,000 years. Native to India, Pepper was first cultivated in the tropics.Trade between India and Europe, introduced the Peppercorn to large audience. Once it arrived in the United States, Pepper become a common household ingredient.

Pepper PLANT:…..Click to  see the picture

Description:
The pepper plant is a perennial woody vine growing up to 4 metres (13 ft) in height on supporting trees, poles, or trellises. It is a spreading vine, rooting readily where trailing stems touch the ground. The leaves are alternate, entire, 5 to 10 centimetres (2.0 to 3.9 in) long and 3 to 6 centimetres (1.2 to 2.4 in) across. The flowers are small, produced on pendulous spikes 4 to 8 centimetres (1.6 to 3.1 in) long at the leaf nodes, the spikes lengthening up to 7 to 15 centimetres (2.8 to 5.9 in) as the fruit matures.[15] The fruit of the black pepper is called a drupe and when dried is known as a peppercorn.

Pepper can be grown in soil that is neither too dry nor susceptible to flooding, moist, well-drained and rich in organic matter (the vines do not do too well over an altitude of 900 m (3,000 ft) above sea level). The plants are propagated by cuttings about 40 to 50 centimetres (16 to 20 in) long, tied up to neighbouring trees or climbing frames at distances of about 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) apart; trees with rough bark are favoured over those with smooth bark, as the pepper plants climb rough bark more readily. Competing plants are cleared away, leaving only sufficient trees to provide shade and permit free ventilation. The roots are covered in leaf mulch and manure, and the shoots are trimmed twice a year. On dry soils the young plants require watering every other day during the dry season for the first three years. The plants bear fruit from the fourth or fifth year, and typically continue to bear fruit for seven years. The cuttings are usually cultivars, selected both for yield and quality of fruit.

A single stem will bear 20 to 30 fruiting spikes. The harvest begins as soon as one or two fruits at the base of the spikes begin to turn red, and before the fruit is fully mature, and still hard; if allowed to ripen completely, the fruit lose pungency, and ultimately fall off and are lost. The spikes are collected and spread out to dry in the sun, then the peppercorns are stripped off the spikes.

When the yellow-red peppercorns are mature, they produce a single seed. Pepper plants are mature enough to bear seeds at the age of 2-years, and will constantly produce fruit for as many as 40-years.

BERRY PICKING AND BOILING:

As berries turn bright red, they are picked and collected. The berries are then dropped into boiling water, where they remain for about 10-minutes. The water causes the berry to turn black.

DRYING

After the berries have been immersed in water, they are spread out to dry in the sun for several days. Once dried, peppercorns are shipped to pepper manufacturers and factories, where they will be ground and processed.

GRINDING

Grinding of whole peppercorns produces black pepper. After the short grinding process, ground black pepper is packaged and sold to distributors.

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PEPPER VARIETIES

The pepper plant peppercorn can not only be made into common black pepper, but also white pepper. White pepper is made from ripe or overly ripe peppercorns. Instead of grinding the peppercorn, workers remove the outer shell of the peppercorn, after they have been exposed to high levels of moisture. The inside of the berry is then dried in the sun, packaged, and sold.

Green pepper
Green pepper, like black, is made from the unripe drupes. Dried green peppercorns are treated in a way that retains the green color, such as treatment with sulfur dioxide, canned or freeze-drying. Pickled peppercorns, also green, are unripe drupes preserved in brine or vinegar. Fresh, unpreserved green pepper drupes, largely unknown in the West, are used in some Asian cuisines, particularly Thai cuisine. Their flavor has been described as piquant and fresh, with a bright aroma.  They decay quickly if not dried or preserved.

Orange pepper and red pepper
A product called orange pepper or red pepper consists of ripe red pepper drupes preserved in brine and vinegar. Ripe red peppercorns can also be dried using the same color-preserving techniques used to produce green pepper. Pink pepper from Piper nigrum is distinct from the more-common dried pink peppercorns, which are the fruits of a plant from a different family, the Peruvian pepper tree, Schinus molle, and its relative the Brazilian pepper tree, Schinus terebinthifolius.

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Medicinal Uses:
Like many eastern spices, pepper was historically both a seasoning and a medicine. Long pepper, being stronger, was often the preferred medication, but both were used.

Black Pepper (or perhaps long pepper) was believed to cure illness such as constipation, diarrhea, Limonene, Safrole, earache, gangrene, heart disease, hernia, hoarseness, indigestion, insect bites, insomnia, joint pain, liver problems, lung disease, oral abscesses, sunburn, tooth decay, and toothaches. Various sources from the 5th century onward also recommend pepper to treat eye problems, often by applying salves or poultices made with pepper directly to the eye. There is no current medical evidence that any of these treatments has any benefit; pepper applied directly to the eye would be quite uncomfortable and possibly damaging. Nevertheless, Black pepper either powdered or its decoction is widely used in traditional Indian medicine and as a home remedy for relief from sore throat, throat congestion, cough etc.

Pepper is known to cause sneezing. Some sources say that piperine, a substance present in black pepper, irritates the nostrils, causing the sneezing;[31] Few, if any, controlled studies have been carried out to answer the question. It has been shown that piperine can dramatically increase absorption of selenium, vitamin B, beta-carotene and curcumin as well as other nutrients.

As a medicine, pepper appears in the Buddhist Samaññaphala Sutta, chapter five, as one of the few medicines allowed to be carried by a monk.

Pepper contains small amounts of safrole, a mildly carcinogenic compound. Also, it is eliminated from the diet of patients having abdominal surgery and ulcers because of its irritating effect upon the intestines, being replaced by what is referred to as a bland diet. However, extracts from black pepper have been found to have antioxidant properties  and anti-carcinogenic effects, especially when compared to chili.

Piperine present in black pepper acts as a thermogenic compound. Piperine enhances the thermogenesis of lipid and accelerates energy metabolism in the body and also increases the serotonin and beta-endorphin production in the brain.

Piperine and other components from black pepper may also be helpful in treating vitiligo, although when combined with UV radiation should be staggered due to the effect of light on the compound
Pepper has long been recognized as an ingredient for stimulating the appetite as well as being an aid in the relief of nausea and vertigo.  It was used to treat gastro-intestinal upsets, flatulence, fevers and congestive chills.  It is supposed to be of help in anal, rectal and urinary troubles.  In India it has been used as a medicine since time immemorial for the treatment of anything from paralysis to toothache. East Africans are said to believe that body odor produced after eating substantial amounts of pepper repels mosquitoes.  Black pepper contains four anti-osteoporosis compounds.  It is of singular importance as a metabolic stimulant in Ayurvedic medicine.  Black pepper has the ability to recirculate vital nutrients.  When fasting, grind seven peppercorns and take them mixed with a little honey each morning.

PEPPER FACTS

BLACK PEPPER is a healthy addition to any diet. Pepper aids in stimulating circulation and digestion.

BLACK PEPPER has been used for centuries in Asia to help treat colds and cough and muscle aches and pain.

BLACK PEPPER is know as “The King of Spices” worldwide.

PEPPER is the single, most commonly used spice in the world today.

PEPPER is used in many popular brands of multi-purpose spices.

PEPPER contains minute amounts of essential oil.

Key Benefits of black pepper:

# Aids digestion.
# Improves the appetite.
# Prevents disease since it is anti-bacterial.

# It is beneficial in many diseases. If taken in adequate quantity, a man never suffers from flatulation.
# It helps in digesting the food of those people, who are accustomed to having rich food.
# Using rice in the diet with kidney beans, neutralizes its power of causing the formation of excessive wind. It becomes cool and gives complete nourishment

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

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pepper091.jpg

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

http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail45.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_pepper

Categories
Raikey

Touch therapy or Raikey

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Reiki is a Japanese technique for healing, stress reduction, and relaxation. It is based on the belief that energy flows through living organisms. This unseen energy is typically referred to as “life force energy” or ki. Practitioners believe that ki is all around us and can be harnessed by the mind.

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Many cultures, past and present have shared the belief in this unseen force and in the interconnectedness of all life. It is believed that one is more vulnerable to stress and illness when reserves of life energy are low.

Reiki practitioners believe that they can channel this energy to help their clients. Reiki heals by breaking up negative energy and replacing it with positive, healing energy, which passes through the hands of the practitioner. The hands of experienced Reiki practitioners are said to grow hot when giving a treatment.

Reiki is a simple technique to learn but it is not taught in the traditional sense. Rather, the ability to use reiki is transferred to the student by the Reiki Master. The ability to perform Reiki is not dependent on intellectual capacity or the state of one’s spiritual development, making Reiki universally accessible. It has been taught to thousands of people of diverse backgrounds and ages throughout the world for many years.

Now a days , several Reiki Masters made it a profession, they take class and teach several people at a time the technic of healing diseases through touch therapy or Reiki and charge good amount of money. Once about three four years back I myself underwent such training under a so called Reiki Master but as I was so much dissatisfied I didnot attend more than one class.But my belief on this subject is not lost.I still believe that it may heal certain diseases, reduce stress and it is very good for relaxation.

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