Health Quaries

Some Medical Questions And Answers By Dr.Gita Mathai

How much can I drink?

Q: I like my drink in the evening and I don’t think it does any harm to me or anyone else. However, I do not want to wind up an alcoholic. What are the safe limits? Some guidelines say one drink, some two. The exact quantity (small or large pegs) is not specified.

Current guidelines state that men should consume no more than three or four units of alcohol a day; women should consume no more than two or three units. The limits for women are less than for men because their body composition is different with more fat and less muscle. Some physicians feel that these limits are too high. They think it should be reduced to three units a day for men and two units a day for women. Two days a week should be drink free.

A unit is not the same as a drink. Most alcoholic drinks contain more than one unit. A premium pint of lager, bitter or cider (5 per cent alcohol), contains 3 units. A large 250 ml glass of wine (12 per cent) contains 3 units, a large double measure of spirits (2 x 35ml at 40 per cent) contains 3 units.

The long-term effects of uncontrolled drinking include cirrhosis and mouth, esophageal, liver and breast cancer. The risks are increased if drinking is combined with smoking.

Also, even controlled drinking takes its toll on the wallet. Your family may not be happy with the money you spend on your “social drinking”. Always remember, no matter how sober you feel, drinking and driving can be a fatal combination.

Itchy vagina

Q: I have repeated attacks of itching in my vagina. I am 27 years old. Please advise.

A: You probably have an infection caused by an yeast called Candida. It tends to occur in overweight people, in pregnancy, or if you or your partner have diabetes or HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection. It occurs if the normal bacterial flora of the vagina changes. This can take place after treatment with certain antibiotics, corticosteroids or hormones. It occurs in some women when they take oral contraceptive pills.

Correction of any underlying precipitating factor will reduce the recurrences. Treatment of the infection is simple. Oral antifungal agents (usually single dose therapy) can be used. Vaginal tablets or pesssaries can deliver the medication directly to the source of infection.


Q: I feel giddy and dizzy and sometimes I feel I am going to vomit or lose my balance and fall down. I am very worried.

A: I think you are describing vertigo, a sense that the room is spinning around you. It can occur normally if you suddenly change the position of your head relative to your body. If it is frequent and recurrent you need to have it evaluated by an ENT (ear nose and throat) physician. You also need to have an X-ray of your neck bones. A physician can also do relevant blood tests to rule out anaemia.

There are several possibilities like benign positional vertigo, inner or middle ear infections or Meniere’s disease. Some of these require medication. Others need positional exercises.

Treatment of the disease will remove the precipitating factor and cure you.

You may click to see also:->An article on Giddiness

Dry, itchy skin

Q: I have very dry skin that is also very itchy. If I scratch, it sometimes bleeds and becomes infected. The dermatologist says I have icthyosis and that I must apply oil. If I stop, my skin becomes dry and itchy all over again.

A: Icthyosis is a hereditary condition of the skin. It can be mild or severe. You need to apply oil regularly as your skin requires a lot more oil than those of other people. A small quantity of a mixture of 500 ml of coconut oil, 500 ml of sesame oil and 100 ml of olive oil can be applied half an hour before bathing. A tablespoon of coconut oil can also be put in the bath water. A non-drying emollient soap like Dove or a glycerine-based soap like Pears will help to keep the skin moist. Baby oil or Vaseline can be applied at night. Both these will not stain the bed clothes.

You may also click to see:->

Winterizing Dry Itchy Skin

8 Home Remedies for Dry Skin

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Herbs & Plants News on Health & Science

Kokum to the rescue


A molecule in the popular spice can help prevent the spread of the AIDS virus in the human body.
The fight against the deadly human immuno deficiency virus (HIV) is all set to get a desi flavour. Indian researchers have isolated a compound from kokum  a berry widely used as a flavouring agent in Goan cuisine ” that has a remarkable anti-HIV potential. But the compound may have to cross several hurdles before it becomes a potent weapon in the war against AIDS, an epidemic that has already killed millions and may kill several millions more in the near future.

Tapas Kundu and his team at Bangalores Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) knew for at least three years that the rind of kokum (Garcinia indica, a plant indigenous to the Western Ghats) contains a wonder molecule called garcinol. Kokum is also used as a substitute for tamarind in Konkani cuisine and select dishes in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Kerala. In addition to garnishing curries and soups, it is used for its astringent, cardio-tonic, anti-allergic and digestive properties. Kokum seeds yield a unique fat that is used in making ointments, suppositories, lipsticks and chocolates.

click & see

In 2004, Kundu’s team showed for the first time that garcinol has a unique property of impeding a human enzyme that, incidentally, is marshalled by the HIV virus for its own proliferation in the human body. So if one has a compound that inhibits this protein, called p300, one can substantially curb the multiplication of the dreaded virus to such an extent that the human immune cells can take over from there. Garcinol does possess this capability, but there is one problem: it is toxic to normal human cells which in its presence die in a few hours.

It is here that Kundu’s grounding in biochemistry was of help. Kundu, who has a doctorate in biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, chemically tweaked garcinol to create what is known as isogarcinol. Further chemical modification yielded 50 different compounds and one of these   LTK-14   was found to spare human cells but block p300.

“What is remarkable about their work is that they modified this natural molecule in such a way that it has become cell friendly,  says Udaykumar Ranga, a molecular virologist at JNCASR who specialises in HIV. Besides, LTK-14   unlike its parent compound — has the ability to cross the cell membrane with ease, he observes.

According to Kundu, the newly derived molecule was found to reduce the viral load by up to 80 per cent in the infected cells. The work was recently reported in Chemistry & Biology.  We have found that the compound inhibits all p300-mediated gene expressions,  Kundu, who has a basic degree in agriculture from Bidhan Chandra Agricultural University in Nadia, told Know How.

However, Ranga  also a co-author of the paper   thinks it’s too early to be upbeat. The molecule’s action is radically different from that of existing drugs. While anti-viral medicines target the virus itself, this one is trying to destroy a molecule in human cells whose mechanism the virus hijacks to proliferate.  It’s quite like bombing a neighbourhood where enemies are holing up. The bomb has to be dropped in such a way that it kills the maximum number of enemies with bare minimum damage to others,” Ranga explains.

A histone acetyltransferase protein, p300 has several functions in cells. A molecular switch that turns on or off a number of genes inside the cell, it’s pivotal for several key functions such as cell growth, differentiation and its eventual death. “Living cells are remarkable. Our studies have shown that when p300 is absent, others within the cells take over and carry out these tasks,” Kundu observes. On the other hand, the prominent HIV protein — known as TAT — that ensures the virus’ multiplication in the human cells can do so only if p300 is available.

Developing drugs against viruses as wily as HIV is tricky. “They are like volcanoes,” says Ranga. “While some erupt and explode, others lay latent and wait for an opportune time. No weapon in our arsenal today is capable of tackling a dormant virus.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)




[amazon_link asins=’B06XVVMDFD,0761159258,B00IS8RSDI,B00B6HVOQU,1572245379,B01N77Y2NH,1503280462,B01IRPWUTS,B00DDHIA1S’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2106d65b-6ceb-11e7-b4db-9b739e730abf’]

What is meditation?
Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention to help you feel calm and give you a clear awareness about your life. Eastern philosophies have recognized the health benefits of meditation for thousands of years. Meditation is now widely practiced in the West, with the belief that it has positive effects on health.

Two meditation techniques are most commonly used:

1.concentrative.>.CLICK & SEE………. 2.mindful……CLICK & SEE

1.Concentrative meditation:focuses on a single image, sound, mantra (words spoken or sung in a pattern), or your own breathing.
2.Mindful meditation : does not focus on a single purpose; rather, you are aware of all thoughts, feelings, sounds, or images that pass through your mind.
Meditation usually involves slow, regular breathing and sitting quietly for 15 to 20 minutes.

What is meditation used for?
People use meditation to help treat a wide range of physical and mental problems, including:

1.Addictive behaviors, such as drug, nicotine, and alcohol use.
2.Anxiety, stress, and depression.
3.High blood pressure. A report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends meditation as one of the first treatments for high blood pressure.
5.Managing hot flashes, which are sensations of intense body heat that affect women around the time of menopause.
6.Most of these conditions also require conventional treatment for best results.

People also use meditation to relieve anxieties from long-term (chronic) conditions such as HIV and cancer.

Is meditation safe?
Since meditation usually involves sitting quietly for a period of time and breathing deeply, anyone who cannot sit comfortably or who has respiratory problems may have difficulty practicing meditation. Some people with mental health problems, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or schizophrenia, may not be able to use meditation therapy effectively.

Meditation is not thought to have any negative side effects or complications when combined with conventional medical treatment, but it is not considered appropriate or safe for acute, life-threatening situations.

Always tell your doctor if you are using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking about combining an alternative therapy with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on an alternative therapy.


Ailmemts & Remedies

Immunity Disorders

[amazon_link asins=’B00MZFH1B4,032339082X,B01LZKBQVY,B01G5CB442,1455707074,B000MNEFHE,B01BFZ0KXA,B00WZ4VQ52,B0738KJJ81′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7e4c2730-6d0a-11e7-8809-cb1dff3c7e29′]

Disorders in the immune system can cause disease. Immunodeficiency diseases occur when the immune system is less active than normal, resulting in recurring and life-threatening infections. Immunodeficiency can either be the result of a genetic disease, such as severe combined immunodeficiency, or be produced by pharmaceuticals or an infection, such as the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) that is caused by the retrovirus HIV. In contrast, autoimmune diseases result from a hyperactive immune system attacking normal tissues as if they were foreign organisms. Common autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus type 1 and lupus erythematosus. These critical roles of immunology in human health and disease are areas of intense scientific study.

Most modern diseases are caused by prolonged exposure to a combination of faulty lifestyle, food habits and toxic environmental factors. Chronic stress has a vital role in immune disorders.


There are two types of immunity which protects our body from any infection. These are Innate and Adaptive. Innate immunity – this type of immunity is present at birth and provides the first barrier against microorganisms which causes infections. Adaptive Immunity – it is the second barrier to infections and acquired later in life as – immunity after an immunization.

The higher mortality rate is observed due to AIDS, it is the best example of immune disorders.

In Ayurveda it is known as Byadhikshamata “OJA”, and described two types as Par and Apar Oja.

Symptoms of Lack of Immunity
Recurrent infections
Lack of energy without any pathology
Easily trapped by diseases
Less power to fight against diseases
Easily tiered and over stressed

Root Causes
Faulty life style and food habbits
Metabolic disorders

Healing Options
Herbs : 1.Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) 2. Neem (Azadirachta indica) 3.Amalaki (phyllanthis Embelica) 4. Aswagandha (Withania somnifera)

Ayurvedic   Suppliments :1. Giloy Satwa (power) 2.Amalaki Rasayan (powder)
3.Neemguard (capsule) 4.Aswagandhadi churna (powder) 5.Stress Guard

Diet: Patients should drink cold and fresh water, milk , buttermilk, sugar cane juice and easily digestible foods.

Lifestyle : One should follow the recognised conventions and traditions of his family and the religion. The following natural urges should not be suppressed:- passing of flatus, defaecation, urination, sneezing, weeping, vomiting, breathing when fatigued, thirst, hunger, sleep and coitus. Seeing of or reading of sex-stimulating pictures and novels respectively, these acts are harmful to eyes also.

Yoga : 1.The Headstand 2.   The Shoulder Stand 3. Meditation

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.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Herbs & Plants

Cat’s Claw (Uncaria Tomentosa)

Botanical Name :Uncaria tomentosa

Family: Rubiaceae

Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Magnoliophyta


Order: Gentianales

Genus: Uncaria

Species: U. tomentosa

Synonyms: Uncaria surinamensis, Nauclea aculeata, N. tomentosa, Ourouparia tomentosa
Common Names: cat’s claw, uña de gato, paraguayo, garabato, garbato casha, samento, toroñ, tambor huasca, uña huasca, uña de gavilan, hawk’s claw, saventaro

Plant parts used: bark, root, leaves

Uncaria tomentosa (popularly known in English as Cat’s Claw, in Spanish as Uña de Gato or as indian name Vilcacora) is a woody vine found in the tropical jungles of South and Central America, which derives its name from its claw-shaped thorns. It is used as an alternative medicine in the treatment of a variety of ailments.

Habitat:Cat’s claw is indigenous to the Amazon rainforest, with its habitat being restricted primarily to the tropical areas of South and Central America.
Description:Uncaria tomentosa is a liana deriving its name from hook-like thorns that resemble the claws of a cat. U. tomentosa can grow up to 30m tall, climbing by means of these thorns. The leaves are elliptic with a smooth edge, and grow in opposite whorls of two.There are two species of Cat’s Claw, Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis, each having different properites and uses. The two are frequently confused but U. tomentosa is the more heavily researched for medicinal use   and immune modulation, while U. guianensis may be more useful for osteoarthritis. U. tomentosa is further divided into two chemotypes with different properties and active compounds, a fact ignored by most manufacturers that can have significant implications on both its use as an alternative medicine and in clinical trials to prove or disprove its efficacy.

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

An Astounding “New” Herb from the Peruvian Rainforests.
by Phillip Steinberg, certified nutritional consultant
For hundreds of years a rather remarkable plant has been revered and used by the indian natives of the Peruvian Amazon to “cure” cancer, arthritis, gastritis, ulcers, and female hormonal imbalances.

Researchers have determined that this plant, uncaria tomentosa, more commonly called “cat’s claw,” contains a wealth of beneficial phytochemical compounds: alkaloids, proanthocyanidins, polyphenols, triterpines, and plant sterols. Because of these compounds, cat’s claw is a powerful cellular reconstitutor, displaying significant antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties.

According to the available research and experience of doctors working in Peru, Germany, Austria, and the United States, cat’s claw may be helpful in the treatment of: cancer; arthritis; bursitis; rheumatism; all forms of herpes; allergies; asthma; systemic candidiasis; acne; diabetes; lupus; prostatitis; chronic fatigue syndrome; PMS; irregularities of the female cycle; environmental toxin poisoning; organic depression; and those infected with the HIV virus. Evidence also suggests that cat’s claw may be effective in the treatment of numerous stomach and bowel disorders including.

The most exciting research has been the work of Dr. Klaus Keplinger, an Austrian scientist who has obtained two United States patents for isolating the alkaloids responsible for enhancing phagocytosis. This has resulted in the development of a pharmaceutical which is now being used in Austria and Germany to combat the progression of cancer and AIDS. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical is not available in the US, but the herb is available both in tea and in capsule form.

Traditionally in Peru, a decoction is made by boiling the bark and/or root for about an hour and then drinking four or more cups of tea per day. When using capsules, three to six grams per day is considered therapeutic. However, as much as 20 grams per day might be used for several weeks at a time to treat very advanced stages of pathology.

Dr. Satya Ambrose, ND, the co-founder of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, has been using the bark in capsule form with some of her patients for the past several months. She said that excellent results with Crohn’s disease, ulcers, asthma, and fibromyalgia. It is observed that successes with lupus, lung cancer, prostatitis, and one patient who was able to reverse and overcome Kaposi’s sarcoma, a rare form of skin cancer associated with AIDS.

It is also found that the herb to be effective at knocking out the flu, clearing up sinus, ear, and upper respiratory infections, canker sores, lower back pain associated with arthritis, and eliminating the tired, sore muscles associated with heavy physical work and exercise. I was even able to clear up a case of athlete’s foot by putting the powdered bark between the infected toes. It can cure conjunctivitis by putting drops of the tea in eyes several times over the course of two days.

Because of research and first hand experience in using this wondrous and remarkable herb, it is believed that cat’s claw is an effective natural remedy for many of today’s serious health problems.

We can learn more about Cat’s Claw from link 1 , link2

Principal active biochemicals are six oxindole alkaloids and a number of others: ajmalicine, akuammigine, campesterol, catechin, chlorogenic acid, cinchonain, corynantheine, corynoxeine, daucosterol, epicatechin, harman, hirsuteine, hirsutine, iso-pteropodine, loganic acid, lyaloside, mitraphylline, oleanolic acid, palmitoleic acid, procyanidins, pteropodine quinovic acid glycosides, rhynchophylline, rutin, sitosterols, speciophylline, stigmasterol, strictosidines, uncarine A-F, and vaccenic.

The oxindole alkaloids significantly enhance the ability of white blood cells to attack, engulf, and digest harmful microbes or foreign bodies.

Documented Properties& Actions: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antioxidant, antiproliferative, antitumorous, antiviral, cytoprotective, cytostatic, cytotoxic, depurative, diuretic, hypotensive, immunostimulant, immunomodulatory

Medicinal uses
The parts used medicinally include the inner bark and root, taken in the form of capsules, tea and extract.

U. tomentosa is used in nootropic drugs, as well as in treatment of cancer and HIV infection. It contains several alkaloids that are responsible for its overall medical effects, as well as tannins and various phytochemicals. The chemotype of the plant determines the dominant type of alkaloid it produces, and thus its properties in vivo. One chemotype has roots which produce mostly the pentacyclic alkaloids that are responsible for the immune-strengthening effects desired by most consumers. The second chemotype produces tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids known as rhynchophylline and isorhynchophylline which counteract the immune-strengthening actions of the pentacyclic alkaloids, reduces the speed and force of the heart’s contraction, and in high doses produce ataxia, lack of coordination and sedative effects. Since U. tomentosa comes in at least these two different chemotypes, without chemical testing it is impossible to know which chemical compounds will predominate in a plant collected randomly from a natural setting.

Some ingredients appear to act as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer agents.[6] As an herbal treatment, Cat’s Claw is used to treat intestinal ailments such as Crohn’s disease, gastric ulcers and tumors, parasites, colitis, gastritis, diverticulitis and leaky bowel syndrome, while manufacturers claim that U. tomentosa can also be used in the treatment of AIDS in combination with AZT, the treatment and prevention of arthritis and rheumatism, diabetes, PMS, chronic fatigue syndrome, prostate conditions, immune modulation, Lyme disease and systemic lupus erythematosus. A 2005 review of the scholarly literature on Cat’s Claw indicates there is supporting evidence toward its use in treating cancer, inflammation, viral infection and vascular conditions, and for its use as an immunostimulant, antioxidant, antibacterial and CNS-related agent.

In herbal medicine today, cat’s claw is employed around the world for many different conditions including immune disorders, gastritis, ulcers, cancer, arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatic disorders, neuralgias, chronic inflammation of all kinds, and such viral diseases as herpes zoster (shingles). Dr. Brent Davis, D.C., refers to cat’s claw as the “opener of the way” for its ability to cleanse the entire intestinal tract and its effectiveness in treating stomach and bowel disorders (such as Crohn’s disease, leaky bowel syndrome, ulcers, gastritis, diverticulitis, and other inflammatory conditions of the bowel, stomach, and intestines). .

Indigenous use
The indigenous peoples of South and Central America have used U. tomentosa for medicinal purposes for two thousand years or more. Researchers have investigated the use of the plant by the Asháninka tribe of Peru, who use the plant as a general health tonic, contraceptive, anti-inflammatory agent for the gastrointestinal tract, and as a treatment for diarrhea, rheumatic disorders, acne, diabetes, cancer and diseases of the urinary tract.

Individuals allergic to plants in the Rubiaceae family and different species of Uncaria may be more likely to have allergic reactions to Cat’s Claw.Reactions can include itching, rash and allergic inflammation of the kidneys. In one documented case, kidney failure occurred in a patient with Lupus erythematosus but it is not known if this was due to an allergic reaction or another cause.

There are other plants which are known as cat’s claw (or uña de gato) in Mexico and Latin America; however, they are entirely different plants, belonging to neither the Uncaria genus, nor to the Rubiaceae family. Some of the Mexican uña de gato varieties are known to have toxic properties.

Uña de Gato,”cat’s claw”, is a thorny liana vine reputed to be a remarkably powerful immune system booster and effective in treating a wide array of maladies including cancer, systemic candidiasis, genital herpes, and AIDS (SIDA).

Uña de Gato also has anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. It has proven useful in treating arthritis, bursitis, allergies and numerous bowel and intestinal disorders. Anecdotal evidence indicates effectiveness in relieving side effects of chemotherapy.

Wild populations of this woody vine are threatened in some areas by harvesters who dig out the root out rather than simply cutting the vine and allowing regrowth. This is a foolish practice since new growth occurs rapidly when Uña de Gato vine is cut. It grows prolifically under cultivation.

Uncaria tomentosa, reputedly the most effective of several uña de gato species, is endemic to the Peruvian Amazon and is gaining international attention for its documented curative qualities.

You may click to see:->an article  from Herb Library on Cat’s Claw

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.


Enhanced by Zemanta