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News on Health & Science

Abortion Leads to Next Premature Delivery

 

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Women who have an abortion could be risking the health of their next baby, it  emerged last night. Those who terminate a pregnancy are subsequently more likely to give birth prematurely, with two or more abortions more than doubling the odds.
Premature babies are at greater risk of health problems, with one in ten having lung disease, cerebral palsy, blindness or deafness.

Fertility doctors said the study did not prove abortion caused premature births because some of the reasons why women choose to terminate a pregnancy  –  such as unemployment or money worries  –  are also linked to early birth.

But other experts said the evidence was ‘compelling’ and insisted women seeking abortions should be warned of the risk. The data, revealed at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Amsterdam, comes as abortion rates hit record levels.

More than 200,000 women a year in England and Wales choose to terminate pregnancies  –  second only to the U.S. in the West.

The link between abortion and premature birth emerged during a review of dozens studies on pregnancy complications. Combining the results revealed that having one abortion raised the risk of the woman having her next baby prematurely, which is defined as before 37  weeks, by 20 per cent.


The risk of a very premature baby before 34 weeks rose by 50 per cent.

Women who had two or more abortions were almost twice as likely to have a premature baby and two and a half times as likely to have one very prematurely.

Dr Robbert van Oppenraaij, of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, said it was not clear what caused the link, suggesting that abortion may harm the womb or create infection.

Smoking, drug use, unemployment and low income are also associated with abortion and premature birth. However, others said it made ‘total sense’. Josephine Quintavalle, of the campaign group Comment On Reproductive Ethics, said: ‘There’s a logic. The body is protecting a healthy baby. By producing a abortion, you destroy that protection and make the cervix  –  the neck of the womb  –  more vulnerable.

‘And if you make the cervix more vulnerable, you are more at risk of a premature baby. ‘You don’t need a degree in biology to understand that.’

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which carries out almost a third of abortions in Britain, said leaflets it gives patients mention the link to premature birth.

Medical director Dr Patricia Lohr said: ‘Abortion is extremely safe. When we counsel women, we provide them with information about the potential for a slightly higher risk of miscarriage or early birth.’
TERMINATIONS FOR GIRLS OF
Scores of girls as young as 12 have abortions every year, Government figures show.

More than 450 under the age of 14 terminated pregnancies between 2005 and 2008, including 23 aged 12, Department of Health statistics reveal.

In the same period, 52 had at least their fourth termination before they were 18. Across all age groups, 64,715 repeat abortions were carried out last year, the most on record.

The figure included 46 women who had terminated at least eight pregnancies.

Research this year found that abortions on teenagers who have already had at least one termination had risen by almost 70 per cent since 1991.

Sources:
MailOnline 29th. June.’09

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News on Health & Science

Statin Cuts Heart Attack Risk in Healthy Too

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Should all over-50s take anti-cholesterol drug?

Statins cut the risk of heart attacks by 30 per cent even in healthy people, researchers say.

The cholesterol-busting drugs also reduce the chances of death from all causes by 12 per cent.

The findings, from a review of studies involving people without heart disease, will renew the heated debate over whether everyone over the age of 50 should be prescribed the powerful drugs.

At present they are given only to those at significant risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Many experts say wider access to the cheap drug could save hundreds of thousands of lives while also saving the NHS billions every year.

More than six million adults already take statins, saving around 10,000 lives a year.

The Government’s heart disease czar Roger Boyle says all older people should ideally be taking statins or a polypill, new tablets being developed which contain the drugs.

And last month heart expert Professor Malcolm Law wrote in the British Medical Journal that everyone over 55 should be given statins in the same way that everyone would be offered a vaccine against swine flu if it became serious.

Although low dose statins can be bought over the counter, effective versions of the drugs cannot legally be purchased without a prescription.

The latest review analysed the results of ten large trials involving more than 70,000 patients who did not have established cardiovascular disease.

The trials compared statin therapy with placebo agents or no treatment and tracked patients for an average of four years.

Deaths from all causes were cut by 12 per cent among those taking statins, and the risk of major events such as a heart attack went down by 30 per cent. The risk of a stroke was cut by 19 per cent.

No significant treatment differences were found between men and women, young and old, and those with and without diabetes. There was no raised risk of cancer, feared as a possible side effect.

Dr Jasper Brugts of Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, which carried out the study, said the findings justify giving statins to those without established cardiovascular disease, but with risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Writing on the BMJ website, he aid: ‘People at increased risk for cardiovascular disease should not be denied the relative benefits of long-term statin use.’
mahood

He said men over 65 with risk factors, or older women with diabetes and risk factors, would probably benefit most.

At present, those with established risk factors including diabetes are eligible for statins because they are being prescribed for secondary prevention of heart and circulatory problems.

The big issue is whether taking statins would benefit ‘healthy’ people for primary prevention.

A drive is planned by GPs over the next five years where adults aged 40 to 74 will be invited for a health check to identify heart and stroke risk, as well as kidney disease. Anyone in this age group who is believed to have a 20 per cent risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke over the next ten years will be eligible for the drugs.

It is thought that 15million people will benefit from checks. The move could prevent a further 15,000 heart ‘events’ each year, such as heart attacks and strokes, in addition to the 7,000 heart attacks already being prevented.

But GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick, author of The Great Cholesterol Con, said the jury was still out on whether statins provide any overall health benefit for people without a history of heart disease.

Dr Kendrick, a long-standing sceptic about statins for those at low risk of heart problems, said: ‘The suggestion that people at low risk should be taking drugs for the rest of their lives is not supported by the trials.

In addition to the lack of benefit and expense, statins carry a substantial burden of side effects.’

The Department of Health said it would study the findings.

Source:Mail Online. 1st. July.’09

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Herbs & Plants

Nishinda (Vitex Negundo)

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Botanical Name : Vitex negundo
Family Name :Verbenacae/Lamiaceae
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Lamiales
Genus:    Vitex
Species:V. negundo

Common Name : CHASTE TREE, HUANG PING, GATTILIER INCISE, HUANG CHING, LENGGUNDI, MAN CHING, NEGUNDO CHASTETREE

Vernacular Names:
Bengali Name : Nishinda, Nirgundi, Samalu
Chinese Name : Huang ping
English Name : Five-Leaved Chaste Tree
French Name : Gattilier incise
German Name : Mönchspfeffer
Gujarati Name : Nagod, Nagad
Hindi Name : Sambhalu, Sawbhalu, Samhalu, Nirgandi, Nisinda, Mewri
Kannada Name : Belenekki
Latin name : Vitex negundo Linn.
Marathi Name : Lingad, Nigad, Nirgundi
Persian Name : Banjangasht, Sisban
Punjabi Name : Bharwan, Maura, Banni, Swanjan
Sanskrit Name : Nirgundi, Nirgumdo
Urdu Name : Tukhme Sambhalu

Habitat: Vitex negundo is native to tropical Eastern and Southern Africa and Asia. It is widely cultivated and naturalized elsewhere.
Countries it is indigenous to include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, and Vietnam.This plant is commonly found near bodies of water, recently disturbed land, grasslands, and mixed open forests

Part Used : Whole plant (Parts Offered : Fruits, Seeds, Leaves, Roots)

Description:
Vitex negundo is an erect shrub or small deciduous tree growing from 2 to 8 m (6.6 to 26.2 ft) in height. The bark is reddish-brown. Its leaves are digitate, with five lanceolate leaflets, sometimes three. Each leaflet is around 4 to 10 cm (1.6 to 3.9 in) in length, with the central leaflet being the largest and possessing a stalk. The leaf edges are toothed or serrated and the bottom surface is covered in hair. The numerous flowers are borne in panicles 10 to 20 cm (3.9 to 7.9 in) in length. Each is around 6 to 7 cm (2.4 to 2.8 in) long and are white to blue in color. The petals are of different lengths, with the middle lower lobe being the longest. Both the corolla and calyx are covered in dense hairs.

click to see the pictures..>…...(01)......(1)……..(2).……..(3).……...(4).……...(5)…..

The fruit is a succulent drupe, 4 mm (0.16 in) in diameter, rounded to egg-shaped. It is black or purple when ripe.

Cultivation method: It is raised through seeds and cutting. After harvesting of mature seeds sown in nursery beds. Normally germination commences within 2-3 weeks. Four to six months old seedlings are used to transplant in the field.

Uses : The leaves are astringent, febrifuge, sedative, tonic and vermifuge. They are useful in dispersing swellings of the joints from acute rheumatism and of the testes from suppressed gonorrhoea. The juice of the leaves is used for removing foetid discharges and worms from ulcers, whilst an oil prepared with the leaf juice is applied to sinuses and scrofulous sores. A decoction of the stems is used in the treatment of burns and scalds.

The dried fruit is vermifuge and is also used in the treatment of angina, colds, coughs, rheumatic difficulties etc. The fresh berries are pounded to a pulp and used in the form of a tincture for the relief of paralysis, pains in the limbs, weakness etc. The root is expectorant, febrifuge and tonic. It is used in the treatment of colds and rheumatic ailments. The plant is said to be a malarial preventative and is also used in the treatment of bacterial dysentery – extracts of the leaves have shown bactericidal and antitumor activity. The leaves are used to repel insects in grain stores. Extracts of the leaves have insecticidal activity. The fresh leaves are burnt with grass as a fumigant against mosquitoes.
It is one of the ten herbal medicines endorsed by the Philippine Department of Health as an effective herbal medicine with proven therapeutic value. Lagundi has been clinically tested to be effective in the treatment of colds, flu, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and pharyngitis. Studies have shown that Lagundi can prevent the body’s production of leukotrienes which are released during an asthma attack. Lagundi contains Chrysoplenol D. A substance with anti-histamine properties and muscle relaxant.

The leaves, flowers, seeds and root of Lagundi can all be used as herbal medicine. A decoction is made by boiling the parts of the plant and taken orally. Today, Lagundi is available in capsule form and syrup for cough.

Nirgundi is an important herb in Ayurveda. This herb pacifies the kapha and vata doshas of the body. The roots, seeds and leaves part of this herb are used to prepare medicines.

Nirgundi herb has various properties such as bitter, acrid, astringent, heating, anthelmintic and cephalic. It is used to cure various diseases such as leucoderma, inflammations, spleen enlargement, eye diseases, bronchitis and various other diseases. Some Ayurvedic properties and other benefits of nirgundi herb are discussed in this article.

Medicinal uses: As medicine its leaf, root, flower and fruits are used. Boiled water from its leaves is used to cure chronic pain. Its is a also used for swelling, rheumatism, sores, fever and headache. Leaves and branches are insect repellent so village people are used for preserving stored grains (especially in rice) against insect attacks.
Benefits:
1.  Relief of asthma & pharyngitis

2.  Recommended relief of rheumatism, dyspepsia, boils, diarrhea

3.  Treatment of cough, colds, fever and flu and other bronchopulmonary disorders

4.   Alleviate symptoms of Chicken Pox

5.   Removal of worms, and boils

Preparation:
For 1. For boil half cup of chopped fresh or dried leaves in 1 cup of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink half cup three times a day.

For2.
The lagundi flowers are also good for diarrhea and fever. Boil as with the leaves.

For 3
. The root is specially good for treating dyspepsia, worms, boils, colic and rheumatism.

Other Uses:
It is mainly used as a natural insect repellent. Click for more knowledge…..(1)……..(1a) ……(1b)

Lagundi tablets (300 mg) are available from the Department of Health’s Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) Telephone # (632) 727-6199.
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/Vitex_negundo
http://www.mapbd.com/Mpdes.htm#nishinda
http://www.motherherbs.com/vitex-negundo.html
http://herbal-medicine.philsite.net/lagundi.htm

Vitex negundo Linn.