Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Skin Colour

Indians are very conscious of their skin colour. There is great alarm and anxiety if the skin suddenly develops white patches. About 1 per cent of the population is affected by this condition — called leukoderma (white skin) or vitiligo (“streaked calf” in Greek). The patches usually appear between the ages of 12 and 40. The disease affects people in all socio-economic strata. Michael Jackson was affected by it. Other rich and famous sufferers are Amitabh Bachchan and Gautam Singhania, the chairman and managing director of Raymonds.
……..click to see the picture
The sudden loss of pigmentation causes 25 per cent of these people to become obsessed with their skin colour, depressed or even suicidal. Money does not make the disease disappear; it only makes it possible to consult the world’s best dermatologists.

The de-pigmentation often starts on the hands and feet. In the case of Jackson, it first appeared on his hands. This was the reason behind his signature white glove. In others it may start around orifices like the nose, mouth, eyes, umbilicus, genital areas and rectum. The patches may remain stationary, increase in size or spread over the whole body. They are symmetrical on both sides of the body. Some areas may suddenly re-pigment while the white patches continue to spread.

The loss of colour is due to the mutation of one of the genes on chromosome 17. This is usually inherited. The mutations may remain unexpressed and the person may be normal all through life. However, if a family member is affected, the risk of vitiligo developing eventually in another member is increased five-fold. The same gene is responsible for premature greying. Some members may have patches, others may develop grey hair in their twenties while still others may appear perfectly normal. The gene may start to express itself and cause de-pigmentation as a result of a trigger like a stressful event. It may also be precipitated by an injury or constant friction in shoes or clothing.

The mutated gene triggers an autoimmune disorder and the body forms antibodies against melanocytes (pigment producing cells). The latter are thus destroyed. Vitiligo may be associated with other autoimmune disorders which affect organs such as the thyroid, stomach and adrenal glands. It may form part of the spectrum of systemic lupus (an autoimmune disease that affects all the organs in the body, and is thus difficult to diagnose).

Sometimes a white baby is born to a “normal” family. The entire skin, hair and even the eyes lack pigment. This condition is called albinism and the person is referred to as an albino. It occurs because the melanocytes are unable to produce melanin, the colouring pigment. This is also an inherited condition but since the gene is recessive it does not express itself and manifest itself as a “white baby” unless it is inherited from both parents. A person who carries the gene may look normal and not be aware of it. If he or she incidentally marries another carrier, the child can be albino.

The pigment producing melanocytes may be absent from birth in certain areas. This hereditary condition is called piebaldism. It can occur anywhere, and can result in just a white forelock — like in the case of Indira Gandhi.

Owing to the similarity in symptoms, vitiligo is sometimes confused with piebaldism, albinsim or even leprosy. White scars may give rise to a similar appearance. A diagnosis can be reached by a skin biopsy.

It is better to avoid sunlight when vitiligo first appears. As the skin tans, the areas without melanin become obvious. Use an umbrella or apply SF (sunfilter) 30 sunscreen on the exposed areas.

Small patches can be camouflaged with cosmetics. They can also be treated under supervision by applying steroid creams. Constant use of these creams, however, can damage the skin texture.

Physicians in India and Egypt documented vitiligo as early as 1,500 BC. They treated it by applying and administering extracts of the fruit, seeds and leaves of two plants — Psoralea coryifolia Linnaues and Ammi majus Linnaeus. Even today, isolates of these plants are successfully used topically and orally. Synthetic compounds are also available. They act by increasing sensitivity to light and augmenting pigmentation in the affected areas (photochemotherapy). Treatment usually involves exposure to a measured amount of natural sunlight (PUVASOL) or artificial UV radiation (PUVA) to induce re-pigmentation. Phototherapy (without light-sensitising chemicals) can also be used. Sunburn is a common complication.

Surgical treatment can be tried by using skin grafts from pigmented areas. The success rate varies between 65 and 90 per cent. If the de-pigmented areas are extensive, some patients bleach the remaining dark portions of the skin to achieve a universal white colour.

Source: The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Categories
Healthy Tips

Nutrition for Healthy Skin

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Along with hair and nails, skin is the fastest growing and most superficial tissue in the body. As such, it has a high demand for nutrients in order to continuously replenish itself with rapidly developing immature skin cells from the layers below. Even a marginal deficiency of nutrients such as vitamin A, the carotenoids, vitamin D, vitamins B1 and B2, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin E, vitamin C or essential fatty acids can result in impaired development of skin cells, resulting in skin that is less smooth, prone to lesions, less elastic and more likely to suffer accelerated aging.

…….CLICK & SEE 

Here are some of the more common skin problems and the nutritional supplements that can help you get rid of them:

For sun- and chemical-induced free-radical damage that causes premature aging of the skin, wrinkling, cancerous conditions, other forms of skin damage, the appropriate supplement contains optimal levels of antioxidants to help protect your skin from the aging and damaging effects caused by the sun: Antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium and zinc intercept and neutralize free radicals and defend skin cells from these damaging effects. Antioxidants also protect skin from ultraviolet light damage.

For skin disorders such as dermatitis (skin inflammation problems), lack of smoothness, seborrhoea-like scaly lesions, irregular pigmentation, the appropriate supplement contains B vitamins at sufficient doses to ensure the healthy development of skin cells: B-vitamin supplementation corrects these skin problems and successfully treats a wide range of dermatitis problems. B vitamins also help to improve the smoothness and texture of the skin.

For unhealthy skin, acne and other conditions, the appropriate supplement provides adequate daily doses of zinc and selenium to enhance your skin’s vitality and appearance: Zinc improves oil gland function, local skin hormone activation, wound healing, inflammation control within the skin and tissue regeneration of skin cells. Selenium plays a key role in antioxidant protection and in the prevention and management of various skin conditions.

Healthy skin is an important step toward a healthy, happy you, so what are you waiting for? Ask your doctor about how to give yourself an “inner facial” with the right nutrition.

You may click to  learn more

Source:to your Health : April 13. 2010

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Categories
News on Health & Science

Skin Color Reveals Clues to Health

Researchers have found that your complexion affects how healthy, and therefore how attractive, you appear. What’s more, your diet may be crucial to achieving the most desirable complexion.
………………….woman with good skin
Using specialist computer software, study participants were asked to manipulate the skin color of male and female Caucasian faces to make them look as healthy as possible. They chose to increase the rosiness, yellowness and brightness of the skin.

Skin that is slightly flushed with blood and full of oxygen suggests a strong heart and lungs, supporting the study’s findings that rosier skin appeared healthy. Smokers and people with diabetes or heart disease have fewer blood vessels in their skin, and so skin would appear less rosy.

But the preference for more golden or ‘yellow-toned’ skin as healthier might be explained by the ‘carotenoid pigments’ obtained from vegetables in the diet. These plant pigments are powerful antioxidants that soak up dangerous compounds produced when your body combats disease. They are also important for your immune and reproductive systems and may help prevent cancer.

Source: Eurekalert November 16, 2009

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Categories
Healthy Tips

Simple Guide to Sexy Legs

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Unfortunately, most women have to think twice before sporting a sexy mini, thanks to cellulite, varicose veins and excess fat. But you can proudly flaunt your limbs too; just follow this guide.

BEAUTY TRICKS :
Brush off cellulite: The hormone oestrogen is partly to blame for fatty deposits, as well as lack of exercise and poor circulation. So give nature a helping hand with a body brush. In the shower, massage your calves and thighs with a brush that has rounded teeth. Have a close shave: Waxing is all very well, but the easiest and cheapest way to keep legs fuzzfree is with a razor. Shave downwards in the direction that the hair grows, then upwards for a close finish. Prevent ingrowth by massaging with an exfoliating cloth every day.

FOOD FOR FIRMER PINS :
Beat salt: A high salt diet is known to cause fluid retention, so ditch sodium-rich foods such as crisps, ready meals and Chinese take-out. Eat away the bumps: Oily fish such as salmon, fresh tuna and mackerel are packed with omega-3 fats, which help the body shift flab while maintaining muscle tone. Get your greens: Spinach, broccoli and other leafy green vegetables help beat cellulite. Oats so simple: Tucking into oats in the form of porridge or cereal each morning can help beat the bloat. This is because they’re packed with soluble fibre, which boosts digestion and encourages the body to eliminate excess fluid.

LIMB-HONING EXERCISE MOVES :
Squat for slimmer thighs: Try these ball squats everyday…
1. Place a full water bottle on the floor with feet wide apart. 2. Bend down and pick up bottle up.
3. Bend again, place bottle on floor.
Repeat in sets of six.

Skip for better SHAPE:
Skipping with a rope for 10 minutes every other day is a great way to create some attractive curves, not to mention it’s a fun exercise.

FASHION FIXES:
Get high and waisted: Skirts, shorts and cuffed pants that sit high on your waist will make your legs look longer and your bottom trimmer.

Be well-heeled: Strappy sandals visually cut the leg at the ankle and make it look shorter. Go for pumps and strappy sandals with no ankle straps.

Raise your hemline: If you don’t love your legs it can be tempting to hide them under calf-length skirts or shorts. But cuts that end on the widest part of your calf actually make your legs look thicker. So try and avoid that pitfall. Hemlines that end an inch or two above the knee create the illusion of slimmer legs without flashing too much thigh. Just the thing that you want.

Choose neutral shoes: To elongate the line of your legs, choose shoes in a neutral colour that’s similar to your natural skin tone. Actually, these days, you can even find sandals with sheer straps. Otherwise you can try pearl, beige, tan and brown. Even metallics make the legs look like they go on forever. Silver works for those with fair skin, while those with tanned or wheatish complexion can try bronze and silver.

Source: The Times Of India

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Categories
Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Cucumber

Image via Wikipedia:Cucumis sa[amazon_link asins=’B00HK4PETG,B00E52DDJO’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b5eaabcd-f590-11e6-aff5-bf1ebdc492ed’]

Botanical Name :Cucumis sativa
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus:     Cucumis
Species: C. sativus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Cucurbitales

Other Names:
Burmese: Thakhwa.
Danish: Agurk
Dutch: Komkommer
English: Cucumber, Cultivated cucumber
Finnish: Kurkku
French: Concombre
German: Gurke
Italian: Cetriolo
Hindi: Kheera (khira), Kakri, Kakdi, Tihu.

FAMILY CHARACTERISTICS .
The cucurbit family includes species such as the gourd, watermelons, cantaloupes, squash and pumpkins. Cucurbits are known as the vine crops due to their growth, habit, and culture. Most plants in this species have a spreading growth habit with tendrils at the leaf axils. These plants are warm season, tender annuals, that require hot weather to develop fruit.


Other family members include:

Benincasa hispida L.; Uax Gourd
Citrullus lunatus (Thung.) Mansf .; Watermelon
Citrullus lunatus var. citroides (Bailey) Mansf.; Citron, Preserving Melon
Cucumis anguria L.; West Indian Gherkin
Cucumis melo L. (Chito group); Mango Melon, Garden Lemon
Cucumis melo L. (Conomon group); Melon, Oriental Pickling Melon
Cucumis melo L. (Flexuosus group); Armonian Cucumber, Japanese Cucumber, Uri
Cucumis melo L. (Inodorus group); Melon, Muskmelon, Winter Melon
Cucumis melo L. (Reticulatus group); Melon, Muskmelon, Cantaloupe
Cucurbita maxima Dutch.; Winter Squash, Pumpkin
Cucurbita mixta Pang.; Pumpkin
Cucurbita moschata Poir.; Winter Squash, Pumpkin
Cucurbita pepo L.; Winter Squash, Marrow, Summer Squash, Pumpkin
Lagenaria siceraria (Mol.) Standl.; Bottle Gourd
Luffa acutangula Roxb.; Angled Loofah
Luffa cylindrica Roem.; Smooth Loofah
Momordica charantia L.; Bitter Gourd, Balsam Pear
Sechium edile S.W.; Chayote
Telfairia spp.; Oyster Nut
Trichosanthes anquina L.; Snake Gourd

.
History
The cucumber has been cultivated for at least 3,000 years in Western Asia, and was probably introduced to other parts of Europe by the Romans. Records of cucumber cultivation appear in France in the 9th Century, England in the 14th Century, and in North America by the mid-16th Century.

The cucumber was mentioned in the Bible, and was being grown in North Africa, Italy, Greece, Asia Minor, and other areas at the beginning of the Christian era. In England the crop was first introduced in the 1300s, but not cultivated until 250 years later. Columbus planted seeds in Haiti, and by 1539 cucumbers were grown in Florida by the natives, reaching Virginia by 1584. Today cucumbers are grown all over the world for pickling (picklers) and fresh markets (slicers). Cucumbers grown in greenhouses have traditionally been grown near cities, mostly in the northeastern U.S. The southwest has become an ideal place for greenhouse cucumber production because of high light intensities there.
Cucumis sativus Common slicing and pickling cucumber. They are the same species, used differently, yet the flavor and texture are very similar.
Cucumis anguria are the Gherkin type that originated from West India

Botany
The cucumber is a creeping vine that roots in the ground and grows up trellises or other supporting frames, wrapping around ribbing with thin, spiraling tendrils. The plant has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit.

CLICK & SEE PICTURES OF CUCUMBER PLANT

The fruit is roughly cylindrical, elongated, with tapered ends, and may be as large as 60 cm long and 10 cm in diameter. Cucumbers grown to be eaten fresh (called slicers) and those intended for pickling (called picklers) are similar.

Varieties
English cucumbers can grow as long as 2 feet. They are nearly seedless and are sometimes marketed as “Burpless,” as the seeds give some people gas.
.
Japanese cucumbers (kyūri) are mild, slender, deep green, and have a bumpy, ridged skin. They can be used for slicing, salads, pickling, etc., and are available year-round.
Mediterranean cucumbers are small, smooth-skinned and mild. Like the English cucumber, Mediterranean cucumbers are nearly seedless.
.
Slicers grown commercially for the North American market are generally longer, smoother, more uniform in color, and have a tougher skin. Slicers in other countries are smaller and have a thinner, more delicate skin.In North America the term “wild cucumber” refers to manroot.

Click to see the picture

Cucumbers are fruit
Having an enclosed seed and developing from a flower, cucumbers are scientifically classified as a fruit. Much like tomatoes and squash, however, their sour-bitter flavor contributes to cucumbers being perceived, prepared and eaten as vegetables, despite the scientific classification.

As a food
The fruit is commonly harvested while still green, though generally after the fruits outgrow their spines. They are eaten as a vegetable, either raw, cooked, or made into pickled cucumbers. Although less nutritious than most fruit, the fresh cucumber is still a source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium, also providing dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, thiamin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese. Cucumbers are used in the decorative food art, garde manger.

Pickling
Main article: Pickled cucumber
Some people think cucumbers taste better pickled. Cucumbers can be pickled for flavour and longer shelf life. As compared to eating cucumbers, pickling cucumbers tend to be shorter, thicker, less regularly-shaped, and have bumpy skin with tiny white- or black-dotted spines. They are never waxed. Color can vary from creamy yellow to pale or dark green. Pickling cucumbers are sometimes sold fresh as “Kirby” or “Liberty” cucumbers. The pickling process removes or degrades much of the nutrient content, especially that of vitamin C. Pickled cucumbers are soaked in vinegar or brine or a combination, often along with various spices.

Parts Used
The edible parts are fruits, seeds and leaves.

Cucumbers grown for pickling (picklers) and those grown for fresh market (slicers) are the same species. Fruit of fresh market cucumbers are longer, smooth rather than bumpy, have a more uniform green skin color and a tougher, glossier skin than fruit of picklers.

Chemical constituents
The dietary value of Cucumber is negligible, there being upwards of 96 per cent water in its composition. The oil in the cucumber contains 22.3% linoleic acid, 58.5% oleic acid, 6.8% palmitic acid and 3.7% stearic acid.

The fresh cucumber is a very good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. It also contains vitamin A, vitamin B6, thiamin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.

Nutritional Value of cucumber:

Calories……………….39……….% Calories from Fat……………7.8
Total Fat (g)…………0.4………..% Calories from Carbohydrates….73.8
Saturated Fat (g)……..0.1………..% Calories from Protein……….18.5
Monounsaturated Fat (g)..0.0………..% Refuse……………………..3.0
Polyunsaturated Fat (g)..0.2………….Vitamin C (mg)……………..16
Cholesterol (mg)………0……………Vitamin A (i.u.)…………..647
Carbohydrate (g)………8.3………….Vitamin B6 (mg)……………..0.13
Dietary Fiber (g)……..2.4………….Vitamin B12 (mcg)……………0
Protein (g)…………..2.1………….Thiamin B1 (mg)……………..0.07
Sodium (mg)…………..6……………Riboflavin B2 (mg)…………..0.07
Potassium (mg)………433……………Folacin (mcg)………………39.1
Calcium (mg)…………42……………Niacin (mg)…………………0.7
Iron (mg)…………….0.8………….Caffeine (mg)……………….0.0
Zinc (mg)…………….0.6………….Alcohol (g)…………………0.0
.

Daily Values:

………………………..% Daily Value (2000 Cal diet)……… % Daily Value (2500 Cal diet)
Total Fat (g): 0.4………………1%…………………………………0%
Saturated Fat (g): 0.1…………..0%…………………………………0%
Cholesterol (mg): 0……………..0%…………………………………0%
Sodium (mg): 6………………….0%…………………………………0%
Carbohydrate (g): 8.3……………3%…………………………………2%
Dietary Fiber (g): 2.4…………..10%………………………………..8%
Protein (g): 2.1………………..4%…………………………………3%

Culinary Uses
They are eaten as a vegetable, raw or cooked, or made into pickled cucumbers.
The cucumber is a common ingredient of salads, being valued mainly for its crisp texture and juiciness.
The fruit is said to be indigestible due to the high cellulose content.

Medicinal Uses
The leaf juice is emetic; it is used to treat dyspepsia in children.
The seed is cooling, diuretic, tonic and vermifuge. The emulsion made by bruising Cucumber seeds and rubbing them up with water is much used in catarrhal infections and diseases of the bowels and urinary passages.
The fruit is depurative, diuretic, emollient, purgative and resolvent. The fresh fruit is used internally in the treatment of blemished skin, heat rash etc, and also used externally as a medicine for burns, sores.
A decoction of the root is diuretic.

Other Uses
The cucumber juice is the base of many beauty products.
The peculiarly refreshing odour of Cucumber has found application in perfumery.
Cucumber skins have been shown to repel cockroaches in laboratory experiments.
The fruit is applied to the skin as a cleansing cosmetic to soften and whiten it.

Plant profile at the Plants Database (http://plants.usda.gov/) – shows classification and distribution by US state.
A very brief history of the cucumber in America
Cucumber as health food
Ancient history of the cucumber
A brief article on cucumbers in Palestine
A brief article on cucumber history
Specifics, including history, on cucumbers and their varieties
Several plants listed from a work by Pliny the Elder
Source noting cucumbers in Ur in 3000 BC

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

Help taken from:en.wikipedia.org and spicesmedicinalherbs.com

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