Category Archives: Health

Ayurvedic Treatment

Ayurvedic medicines have long been used to strengthen and improve eyesight. One has to no longer depend on artificial tear drops or ointments to treat eye conditions like dry eyes. Ayurveda provides a number of methods to heal dry eyes at the earliest. Ayurvedic eye care is fulfilling that rejuvenates and nourishes the eyes to the core.

Before we actually delve into the different Ayurvedic treatments, it is necessary to know about dry eyes. In this condition, the eyes are unable to produce tears in sufficient amounts. This failure to provide adequate moisture may lead to a persistent burning sensation. Decreased tear production has been attributed to a wide range of reasons, the most common being failing to blink regularly.

Ayurvedic Cure for Dry Eyes

It might not be overly obvious, but to facilitate the healing of eye conditions, you need to follow a healthy diet and stay away from smoking. Here are some Ayurvedic treatments that can help you from the condition of dry eye.

Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Ghee has proven to be very effective in promoting eye health. Simply massaging the eyes externally with ghee can soothe the eye and provide relief. Ghee is a powerhouse of nutrition, hence simply adding a drop of lukewarm liquid ghee into each eye can help heal the condition.

Triphala Powder
Triphala powder, made up of 3 herbs – amla, harada, and baheda, can also work wonders in treating dry eyes. Prepare a mixture by adding a teaspoonful of Triphala powder in a glass of water and leave it overnight. In the morning, strain it with a cheesecloth and use this water to wash your eyes.

Triphala Ghrita
This Ayurvedic medicine, that essentially consists of ghee and numerous herbs, can also help relieve itchy sensation in the eyes. You can drink a solution containing water mixed with half a teaspoon of Triphala Ghrita, preferably before meals, twice a day, or else you can simply add a teaspoon or two of Triphala Ghrita to warm milk in the morning. Drinking this milk can provide a substantial amount of relief from dry eyes.

Honey
Honey too is good for the eyes, and can help relieve dry eyes. Just add a drop of honey to your eyes every week and you will feel better. Honey is full of minerals and displays antioxidant activity. It acts as an excellent antimicrobial agent, hence its application can work wonders in healing eye problems. Another way of using honey is to dilute it with water. Prepare a mixture by adding honey to boiled water in equal proportions. Allow the water to cool; you can either use it as an eyewash, or else apply it gently on the eye with a cotton ball.

How to Treat Burns Effectively Using Aloe Vera

I am sure everyone of us must have been burnt at least once in life – the first time you tried to cook your mom a meal when she was unwell, that cold night you tried to light a fire in the fireplace, during the campfire on a school or college trip, or while doing something as simple as lighting a match stick or a candle! You look around, and almost NEVER is there anything within reach that you can quickly apply on the burn to soothe the pain! An aloe vera plant nearby could have done the trick though, did you know? These hardy plants can grow in almost any kind of soil and do not need any special care. Having a potted aloe vera plant on your kitchen window sill or in the balcony could be a good idea!
How to Use Aloe Vera to Treat Burns
► First and foremost – DO NOT PANIC if you get a burn! Most of the pain we feel is all in our heads!

► Cut off a part of the aloe leaf with a sharp scissor. You can even simply break it off by hand, but scissors are better; especially if you have burnt your hand!

► Take a clean bowl and squeeze the leaf. The gooey aloe vera gel will come out of the leaf.
► Scoop the gel off the bowl and apply it on the burn site.

► Alternatively you can squeeze the aloe leaf gel directly onto the burn.

► Massage gently on the burn. Do not rub too hard. If it burns more on massaging, DO NOT PANIC! It is not because of the gel, but most probably because of the friction caused by rubbing.
If massaging causes the burning sensation to intensify, just gently dab the gel onto the burn. You can even blow over the burn, it helps.If massaging causes the burning sensation to intensify, just gently dab the gel onto the burn. You can even blow over the burn, it helps.
Why Aloe Vera Works

Aloe vera is in fact the scientific name of the plant. It belongs to the genus Aloe and is referred to as true aloe or even medicinal aloe. There are many medicinal uses of aloe known to us. However, it would be rather surprising for some of you to know that there is no documented reference as to why aloe vera works, or what the mechanism of action of aloe vera gel is! However, sometimes experience teaches us more than a ‘documented reference’! Aloe vera is very commonly used in beauty products, incense and a lot of other things. Aloe juice is consumed as well! Those who actually consume it claim that there are indeed several benefits of this herbal juice and that it helps cure inflammatory diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, and even helps tackle diabetes.

Horse Chestnut

The beneficial horse chestnut extracts are concocted using the bark and the nut of the tree.

Properties of Horse Chestnut

✔ The horse chestnut tree is used in treating conditions, such as stomach cramps, various forms of arthritis, hemorrhoids, and tinnitus — i.e., ringing sounds in the ear. Ringing sounds in the ear is also a major symptom indicating the onset of vertigo. Thus, when the symptom is eradicated with the help of extracts, the question of vertigo being an extension of the ringing symptom, does not arise.
✔ Horse chestnut benefits those who are suffering from an ear infection. Be it swimmer’s ear or excruciating ear pain, the horse chestnut can cure the ailment.
✔ Preparations of horse chestnuts are available in herb stores. They are cream- or gel-based concoctions, or oral tablets. The most essential benefit of the creams or gels is their ability to treat varicose veins. Varicose veins is an extremely painful condition to endure. This may cause the veins in the legs to swell. The swelling of varicose veins also indicates plummeting energy levels. It also leads to the development of blood clots in the legs.
✔ If an individual suffers from a condition called edema, horse chestnuts have the power to cure the pain and the fatigue. The oral pills or tablets are perfect for the treatment. They need to be ingested with a glass of water. Thus, administering horse chestnut in tablet form helps put the individual at rest.
✔ The swelling in the joints, muscles, and tendons lessens and is finally curbed when the horse chestnut cream or gel is applied to the affected area. Ingesting it orally will also serve its inflammatory purposes.
✔ The seeds of horse chestnuts have essential properties that help cease diarrhea.
✔ Horse chestnuts are also known to be effective in ceasing the growth and the inadvertent metastasizing of cancerous cells. However, detailed research is prerogative to deem horse chestnut as a potent measure.
✔ Another benefit is its beauty enhancement property, since horse chestnut is known to promote healthy blood vessels. To lighten the dark circles under your eyes, you could resort to consuming horse chestnut supplements. Horse chestnut in gel or cream form could be an alternative, if you are not too keen on ‘oral swallows’.

Not Meant For …

✘ As it has the property of making the blood thin, horse chestnut should not be administered on people who are prescribed anticoagulants or aspirin therapy.
✘ Nursing mothers or mothers-to-be should not consume or use the horse chestnut in any form.
✘ People with low blood sugar levels should not take the horse chestnut preparation in any form.

The causes and negative effects of xenophobia.

Literally
The word xenophobia is made up of the Greek words ‘xenos’, which means strange or foreigner, and ‘phobos’, which means fear.
What is Xenophobia?

When a person is born, the only people that he/she is comfortable around are the parents. Gradually, the child warms up to other family members and slowly gets used to them. His world, for a few years then, is limited only to his family. A big change is introduced into this world of his when he starts going to school. His circle of comfort now includes his teachers and classmates as well.

What I am trying to say here is that, a person, through the course of his life, meets strangers and makes acquaintances. In this process, there are some inhibitions at the beginning, but soon these are overcome. But this is not the case always. Some people find it difficult to mix with people who they deem are different from them; strangers from a different land. This irrational fear of strangers or foreigners is termed as xenophobia. There are various reasons that lead to this fear, and it brings out a range of emotions that vary from a biased attitude to violence.
Causes of Xenophobia

The fear of foreigners can be attributed to the mismatch in the basic thinking process and culture. However, this reason is not all that there is to it. One of the reasons responsible for painting a negative picture of foreigners is their involvement in various crimes. This can create a feeling of alienation, and strangers are seen as someone who have come to reign chaos in the homelands of the local populace.

Another reason is the increase in competition for jobs because of the incoming ‘aliens’. The locals, along with the already existing competition, have to further face steep odds owing to the influx of foreigners. Even in case of the ones who are already employed, replacements are available, rather easily. Thus, foreigners become a threat to their jobs.

There can be a presence of ‘one bad apple’ among the incoming populace. But generalizing one negative experience from one foreigner or a bunch of them, and applying it to every stranger leads to xenophobia. Further, this hatred is passed along among the locals. Along with this, the hatred towards foreigners can be a reciprocated reaction when the roles were reversed.

The incoming strangers are also deemed as a danger to the culture, traditions, and customs of the locals. This is also the reason for the spread of xenophobia, as foreigners are seen as a threat to the local heritage and legacy. The migrations result in sharing of resources, including the natural ones, which can lead to a stress on the economy and the general lifestyle of the natives.

How to Cope With Anxiety During Pregnancy

These days, pregnant women read a lot about pregnancy, childbirth, health of the child, etc. in order to prepare themselves for the new phase in their life, the phase of motherhood. Relatives and friends provide information on ‘what to do and what not to do during pregnancy’ as soon as they come to know about pregnancy. Pregnant women are confused and even more worried about their health and the health of their baby. Pregnancy can bring on anxiety attacks even in normal women. To understand how to cope with anxiety, one should be aware of the causes and symptoms of anxiety.

Causes and Symptoms of Anxiety During Pregnancy

A woman’s body undergoes several changes during pregnancy. Hormonal changes taking place in the body of a pregnant woman exhibit various symptoms. Everyday pressure at the workplace and high levels of chronic stress due to a hectic lifestyle can worsen the situation. A woman too concerned about her family, which many women, by nature are, makes it almost impossible for her to prioritize her own health over everything else. She may find it unnatural or even selfish to take extra care of herself, further increasing her anxiety.

Not sharing your worries is one of the main reasons of anxiety attacks. Women usually feel uncomfortable talking to their doctors about their worries and tensions. Single mothers, divorcees, teen-aged pregnant women and those in their fifties and women with unwanted pregnancy, find it difficult to deal with stress during pregnancy. Lack of correct information regarding the health of the baby or care to be taken during pregnancy results in excessive worrying and women tend to follow wrong advices. These days, many women find it difficult to change their lifestyle on getting pregnant, due to work pressures and the demanding jobs that they are in. Thinking of the desperate need for a ‘helping hand’ after the arrival of her baby can make the woman even more anxious.

Anxiety symptoms during pregnancy may vary from one woman to another. Soreness, muscle ache, tension, unsteadiness, insomnia, nausea, getting tired with even little activity, fatigue, increased irritability, dreadful feelings, difficulty in relaxing, inability to control anxious thoughts, lack of concentration, dizziness, sweating and a fear of miscarriage are some of the common symptoms of anxiety that are seen in pregnant women. Excessive worry about future events and crying spells are also seen in such women. Excessive anxiety can lead to chest pain, abdominal pain, headache, breathing problems, etc.

How to Cope with Anxiety During Pregnancy

Taking antianxiety medications during pregnancy is not a good idea. These medications can prove to be harmful for both the mother and the baby. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and relaxation techniques can help reduce the need for medication. They are generally used to treat anxiety in pregnant women. The pregnant woman should first find out what triggers her anxiety. Only then, she might be able to control it.l

Dietary Supplements and Herbs

Use of Dietary Supplements to Tackle Anxiety

A dietary supplement is simply an add-on or accessory of our usual diet. Dietary supplements are used by people in order to take in specific chemicals, nutrients and substances along with the common dietary nutrients which we consume. It is basically an accessory for the usual diet. Dietary supplements can be consumed in different forms such as capsules, tablets, liquids, powders, softgels and gelcaps. In some cases, the supplement is also consumed in raw form, or as a condiment or garnishment or topping on normal food. In some cases herbs are also consumed. It is essential that you consult a doctor or a dietitian before you consume any kind of dietary supplement.

Herbs

In the recent past, medications in the form or traditional herbs have been revived. Liquids, tablets and small extracts of these herbs are often consumed for their medical properties.
Kava Kava or simply Kava which is scientifically known as Piper methysticum is a herb/crop from the western Pacific regions. The roots of this plant are known for their sedative and anesthetic properties, and upon consumption, the consumer depicts some substantial anxiolytic effects by getting rid of the anxiety, keep the mind at peace, steadying and lowering very high blood pressure and pulse and overall relieving the body of stress and tension. Kava can be consumed in the form of simple herb, Kava beverage, tea cola, and pills
Passion Flower, which is sometimes also known as Passiflora is another herb. The juices and extracts of the Passion flower can be used as medication, especially to curb down symptoms of anxiety such as extreme stress, muscular tension and insomnia. Negative emotions occurring as a result of secretions in large proportions can be soothed by this herb. Spasmodic activity of the muscles are also curbed down by this herb
Peppermint is a great answer for a digestive system which has been affected by the anxiety and stress. The human digestive system often reacts very badly to extreme stress and anxiety. Peppermint soothes the upheaval caused in digestive system. Unexplained diarrhea, vomiting (in some cases) and nauseating acidity can be cured by this herb. Peppermint can be consumed directly, or in the form or extract capsules
Hops is another remedy for stress and anxiety. Hops is a great remedy for diarrhea and anxiety associated digestive problems. It reduced restlessness and nervousness when consumed. The flower is used in the brewing processes, however extracts are often available for medical purposes. Furthermore several alcoholic brews. The herbal form of Hops is often used in collaboration with Valerian
Valerian is another flowering plant which is used as a herb. Extreme nervousness, hysteria, stress and tension which make the body very volatile and the nerves unstable get soothed by the action of Valerian. The calming effect on the nervous system, digestion and respiration and also helps people to fall asleep. Oral formulas dosages of extracts and pills along with raw herb or fresh extract of Valerian are also used

Antibiotics That Will Leave You Intrigued

Antibiotics are natural secretions of one organism which destroy or inhibit the growth of the other. ‘Antibiotics’ was a term coined by Paul Vuillemin in the year 1889, from ‘antibiosis’ which means ‘against life’.

The discovery of antibiotics is one of the most important breakthroughs which revolutionized medical science. Though preparations from various plants or molds were used since ancient times, the relation between the treatment of diseases and antimicrobial properties of these mixtures was never given much thought.
It was only in the late 19th century that the germ theory of diseases gained acceptance and explained the role of microorganisms as causative agents of various diseases. This led scientists to venture into the depths of this phenomenon to seek various methods which could destroy or inhibit the growth of these disease-causing pathogens. This article explains the history behind the discovery of these wonder drugs that changed the face of medicine.

History and Discovery of Antibiotics
The late 1800s was an era when the germ theory of diseases was gaining gradual acceptance. According to this theory, microbes were termed as the causative agents of various ailments. This led scientists to discover different drugs in order to kill and overcome these disease-causing bacteria.

Joseph Lister began his research on molds that hindered the growth of bacteria.

Louis Pasteur discovered methods to kill bacteria and laid the groundwork for this important breakthrough in medicine. In 1877, he showed that anthrax―a bacterial disease―can be controlled by injecting soil bacteria.
Later in 1888, the German scientist E. de Freudenreich isolated pyocyanase from bacterium Bacillus pyocyaneus which stunted the growth of other bacteria in cell culture. However, pyocyanase failed the clinical trials and was proved to be unstable and poisonous. Hence, though it was the first antibiotic to be discovered, its development into an effective drug was not possible. Then came Sir Alexander Fleming, a British scientist, who reported in the early 1920s that human tears contain an antibacterial agent called lysozome which can lyse bacterial cells. This would have been the end of the road for antibiotics, had it not been for the serendipitous discovery of penicillin.
It so happened that after returning from a vacation, Fleming looked through a set of Staphylococcus aureus bacterial culture plates that he had left out. He observed that a blue-green mold Penicillium notatum had contaminated the plates and bacteria around that area had ceased to exist. Fleming hypothesized that a substance secreted by the mold was responsible for the breakdown of bacteria.

The Effects of Anxiety on Your Body

Anxiety and a missed period is a problem that a lot of women face, what with life being so stressful and chaotic. Be it at work, at home, making it to appointments or running errands, our bodies and minds are in a constant state of panic and tension it hampers our systems in the long haul. Without knowing it, our eating habits are disrupted, digestion is not effectively processed and skipping meals becomes an all too familiar habit. Anxiety can take over our bodies to such an extent that the effects of it are noticeable over time, especially when put through a very emotionally and mentally distraught time.

Understanding the Effects of Anxiety On Menstruation

Stress can most definitely delay one’s period. Like anxiety, it can trigger the body to switch to a mode that doesn’t allow it to follow its regular course of action. This is turn causes a change in the sequence in events, where in this case it is a woman’s period. A hormone in the body known as the Gn RH or gonadotropin-releasing hormone, controls the workings of a woman’s ovulation time. It brings on her time of the month when it is sufficiently present, where stress decreases the hormone count, thus making a woman miss out on her period on the scheduled day. Relaxation is key here, and needs to be habituated since women tend to get caught up in a whirlwind of events and duties, putting their health away on a forgotten shelf.

What Causes a Missed Period?

Missing your period doesn’t always have to be because of anxiety and bodily stress, where your situation could amount to an entirely different case scenario all together. Seek medical help if this problem tends to repeat itself, so that you know for a fact that it has nothing to do with a bigger matter. Being sure about things like this would put you at a lesser risk of suffering from anything severe. The following causes can also be areas where concern should be directed.
Emotional and mental stress
Asherman’s syndrome
Drug abuse
Excess body weight, or extremely low weight
Strenuous exercises
Traveling
Hormone imbalances when changed can alter one’s menstrual cycle
Falling ill
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Birth control pills
Eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia
Menopause
Imperforate hymen
Breast feeding
Missing out on your period can seem like a tense situation, but you need to be able to calm down and take it easy for a while. If anxiety has been taking over your life, and if you’ve been missing your period as a result, you have to be able to relax yourself at least a week before you’re scheduled to get your period. That way you slow down your entire system that has been on overdrive for weeks now, and concentrate more on getting your cycle back on track. Consult a doctor if this happens too often, and get help on ways of how to keep your period coming when it should. Have a safe tomorrow.

Astragalus herb is prominently found in Chinese medicine

Health Benefits of Astragalus

The health benefits of astragalus are not limited only to common illnesses. It aids in treating and preventing a large number of diseases and disorders. Following are benefits associated with the herb.

Anti-inflammatory Agent

In the ancient times, astragalus was significantly used for treating wounds because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in treating frequent bouts of cold and flu. It helps in treating edema and other skin problems.

Strengthens Immunity

One of the major functions of astragalus is that it helps in boosting the immunity. It is believed to help in forming immune cells. Due to this function of astragalus, it aids in treating many illnesses and infections. It makes a person immune or resistant to diseases.

Treats Digestive Illnesses

It improves digestion and function of the gastrointestinal tract. Astragalus reduces acidity, and helps in treating stomach ulcers and other disorders of the stomach.

Enhances Metabolism

The herb is used to increase energy, enhance metabolism and also boost stamina in individuals. It is used to treat chronic fatigue, lack of energy and appetite in people.

Promotes Heart Health

One of the best known benefits of astragalus root is prevention of heart diseases. It acts as an antioxidant and helps in getting rid of the free radicals. It is used to treat hypertension, improve cardiac function and prevent congestive heart failure.

Other Health Benefits

• It is believed to help in quick recovery after chemotherapy.
• It is used to increase the white blood cell count and also treat anemia.
• It is believed to protect the heart from oxidative damage.
• As it helps in lowering blood sugar, astragalus helps in managing diabetes.
• Although not proven, the root of this herb is believed to aid in prevention of kidney diseases and cancer to some extent.

Astragalus Dosage and Side Effects

There is no standard recommended dose for this herb. You should consult the doctor before consuming astragalus in any form. The herb is not recommended for children, pregnant women, or people suffering from chronic illnesses.

Natural herbs and supplements do not suit everyone and can have potential side effects associated with it. Some of the astragalus side effects observed are rash, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, etc. No other serious or long-term side effects are observed.The herb interacts with other drugs and medications. Therefore, people suffering from chronic diseases or taking medication on a daily basis should avoid using astragalus without the doctor’s consultation.

These are some of the potential health benefits of astragalus as claimed by researchers. However, studies and experiments are yet to be carried out to prove the claims. If they are proved effective, astragalus can truly be called a wonder herb. Until then, consult your doctor before consuming this herb or its supplements.

The Goodness of the Jujube Fruit

Most people prefer to munch on the fruit when it is still raw and green, as then, it is crispy and juicy. When the fruit matures, it leaves its green shade and takes on a brown or purplish color, sometimes bearing mahogany spots. A ripe jujube fruit is entirely red and wrinkled, somewhat similar to raisins.

The rest of the article will brief you on the health benefits this Asian fruit has in store.

The Goodness of the Jujube Fruit
• The jujube fruit is, perhaps, most notable for its abundance in vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant that helps reduce free radical damage in the body, and boosts the immune system.

• The jujube fruit improves blood circulation, thanks to its richness in niacin (vitamin B3).

• An important health benefit is its effect on blood pressure. Since the fruit also contains potassium, it helps in lowering high blood pressure. The fruit’s poor content of sodium, further makes it a desirable and healthy choice for people who are on a low-salt diet.

• Calcium in the fruit helps improve bone strength, and the magnesium in it keeps the muscles more toned.

• The extracts of the Chinese date is known to have been used in breast cancer treatment, in traditional Chinese medicine.

• Traditional Chinese and Korean medicine practitioners have purported the benefits of the fruit in the form of its antibacterial, antifungal, antiulcer, and anti-inflammatory properties.

• Certain clinical trials reported that having jujube fruits may ease the symptoms of chronic constipation, and it may also help in the treatment of jaundice that affects infants in their first month.

• The mention of this fruit has also occurred in the treatment of common skin conditions like dry, itchy skin, wounds, and ulcers.

• It is believed that the fruit may have certain properties that help reduce stress or anxiety. Other conditions whose symptoms may be managed by the fruit include:
Poor appetite
Diarrhea
Anemia
Fatigue
Hysteria
Fever
Asthma
Inflammation
Eye diseases
• An important property of the jujube fruit is linked to healthy liver functioning. Certain antioxidants in the fruit may offer some level of protection to the liver, and help it rejuvenate as well. This was revealed in an animal study, where the liver that was deprived of blood supply for about 40 minutes showed recovery with the help of jujube fruits.

Its effects in strengthening the liver could be linked to the fruit’s use in treating conditions like cirrhosis and hepatitis, in Chinese traditional medicine.