Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Garlic as Herbal Antibiotic and Home Remedy

Garlic is one of the best sources of natural medicinal compounds, daily used by many as home remedy for a number of ailments. The botanical name of garlic is Allium sativa and it is a rich source of germanium, a mineral thought to strengthen the immune system. The health benefits of raw garlic are numerous, as are its uses. Use of garlic may play a big role in your overall health. It can protect you from digestive and allergic disorders, and provide prophylaxis against a wide range of infections and infestations. Garlic probably is nature's most potent immune system booster. Its aphrodisiac properties enhance the vitality and libido. Experimental studies have demonstrated that garlic has bactericidal action on over two-dozen bacteria. Though the modern physicians have bypassed the use of herbal antibiotics due to easy availability and reliability of pharmaceutical antibiotics, but the herbal antibiotics have least side effects.

The history of civilization stands testimony to the medicinal properties and use of garlic in a variety of ailments including atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, digestive disorders like dyspepsia and gastritis, stroke, cerebral aging, asthma, cough and cataract. The garlic's power as health promoter probably comes from germanium and rich variety of sulphur containing compounds, mainly allicin-an amino acid. It is a natural cholesterol buster also. Modern physicians have also appreciated its use in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and hyperlipidemia. Some benefits of regular use of garlic are listed below:

  • Garlic boosts the immune system and bone marrow.

  • It provides prophylaxis against bacterial and viral infections.

  • It helps lowering the blood pressure as it relaxes the smooth muscles and reduces the viscosity of blood.

  • It helps to prevent and treat the cancer of digestive system.

  • It is helpful in the management of hyperlipidemia as its regular intake lowers the LDL-cholesterol.

  • Its regular intake can help to prevent atherosclerotic plaques in arteries.

  • Regular consumption of raw or cooked garlic improves brain function and memory.

Important Tips:

  • Chewing raw garlic should be avoided as it may cause very strong burning sensation on your tongue.

  • Paste of raw garlic should be taken with curd, buttermilk (lassi), lemon water or hot curries.

  • Paste of raw garlic and green coriander leaves with lemon juice with salt and pepper to taste is the best recipe to be taken with major meals.

  • Curries and snacks cooked with garlic paste are equally beneficial.

  • Daily intake of raw garlic in any recipe should not be more than 2 gram.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Arthritis is Curable irrespective of Causes

There is nothing to panic with a diagnosis of arthritis. If diagnosed in first two years, arthritis can be treated completely and one can lead a perfectly normal life. However, dietary restrictions are must for those suffering from gouty arthritis. There are a variety of forms of arthritis and it can affect anybody at any age. There are two major forms of arthritis: (1)Inflammatory: Which causes inflammation of joints and may effect any person at any age. Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus arthritis and gouty arthritis fall in this category.(2) Non-inflammatory: Age related degenerative changes causing stiffening of joints are termed as non-inflammatory arthritis. Osteoarthritis falls under this category. Most of the inflammatory forms of arthritis, especially rheumatoid, psoriatic and gouty arthritis are becoming increasingly common in the age group of 20 to 45. Gouty arthritis is caused by increased level of uric acid in blood, is more common in men than women. Regular intake of alcohol, red meat and high protein diet could be the cause of high incidence of gouty arthritis in young men than women. In women, gouty arthritis could be diagnosed during
postmenopausal age.

Symptoms of Arthritis: Swelling with stiffness, pain and redness of joints could be associated with arthritis. In the beginning ankles, wrists or small joints of fingers could be involved. Lupus arthritis represents with fever, skin rash, skin lesions and hair loss, and is more common among women. Skin lesions are also associated with psoriatic arthritis.

Important Note: Accurate diagnosis is a key to the management and cure of arthritis. Disease itself may have more adverse effects on our health than the drugs. Patients should continue the treatment without caring for the side effects of drugs if the treatment is effective and one feels normal.

Waterchestnuts as Home Remedy

The lotus fruits or waterchestnuts are known as singharas in India. You may find these in plenty with vegetable vendors in the months of May and June. They are geometrically shaped and have green to purple red color. The Asians are very fond of singharas or waterchestnuts as these are a good substitute for potatoes. Seasonal availability of these makes their use limited. These could be eaten raw or boiled as salad. They are rich source of starch and iodine and have aphrodisiac properties. Ayurveda had explored their medicinal properties centuries ago. Intake of fresh or dry waterchestnuts boosts the immune system and helps to cure sore throat and tonsillitis, and is a good home remedy for these ailments. Singhara flour prepared from dry waterchestnuts could be used as blending agent in cooking and its preparations improve the vitality and chances of conception.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Salads may cause Neurocysticercosis

It is well known that infestation with tapeworm in pork-eaters may cause neurocysticercosis when the infection reaches the brain through the blood. In India majority of vegetarians or salad-eaters and non pork-eaters have also been showing the disease. Neurocysticercosis have been found to be more prevalent in salad-eater children as compared to adults. Vegetables like cabbage, carrot, beat and radish, eaten raw could lead to cysticercosis. Farm workers should be educated to wash the vegetables in clean water before marketing or consuming. Contaminated water used for irrigation and washing the vegetable before marketing is the major cause of increasing incidence of neurocysticercosis in the rural and urban population in developing countries. Vegetarians and those who do not eat pork are equally at risk due to their salad eating habit. There is a need to develop healthy eating habit and to avoid eating salads prepared at restaurants and fast food outlets as majority of them avoid properly washing the vegetables during preparation of salads. Be conscious about hygiene.

Symptoms of neurocysticercosis are: Intense headache and seizures if the tapeworm travels to the brain. After the eggs are hatched in the intestine, the worms travel through blood stream to different organs like, brain, heart, eyes and even the spinal chord. In muscles, cysts cause nodules under the skin. Cysts in eyes can impair vision and the lesions caused by tapeworm in heart may lead to cardiac arrhythmias or heart failure.

Fat Bursting Tips

Causes of Fatness:

Fat is an essential component of our body. Medical professionals and nutritionists are trying hard to explore the facts behind the accumulation of fat and possible ways of bursting it. However, fatty persons may be healthier and fit than the lean people of the same height and age. Fatness and fitness are two distinct attributes of general health profile. The cause of fatness may be genetic, metabolic, lifestyle associated or viral infection. The body weight, size, circumference of thigh sand waist could be recorded to evaluate the degree of fatness and to monitor the effect of a slimming regimen. Studies conducted on animals and humans suggest a strong genetic association to obesity. Fatso gene has been documented in some strains of mice. There could be many fat genes in human beings. Excessive craving for food leads to metabolic slowdown and promotes accumulation of fat in the body. Some people keep on eating frequently since 6 am to 10 pm. Some people may have more fat cells. Animal studies have brought to light that persistent infection of adenoviruses may cause obesity. Antibodies to adenovirus-36 have also been demonstrated in the blood of obese patients.

Fat Bursting Tips:

The vast volume of literature available suggests that one could be fat and fit. The weight and size does not matter in defining health. More than 30% of obese people mostly have normal blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol and other health parameters. However, one may follow the following fat bursting tips depending on the degree of fatness or to avoid fatness:

  1. Healthy Eating: Drink 250-500 ml of warm water in the morning; lemon water may be more beneficial. Low fat and low carbohydrate diet would be beneficial. Whole grains are recommended as source of low-carbohydrate and high fibre diet. Saturated fats should be avoided. Pulses, fruits and vegetables should form the major part of your diet.

  2. Avoid Oxidants: Preserved food stuffs contain an extra amount of oxidants and free radicals. Free radicals and oxidants also promote obesity in addition to aging. Antioxidants have anti-aging and anti-obesity properties. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are rich source of antioxidants, so intake of fruits and vegetables would be beneficial for body shaping.

  3. Avoid Craving for Cookies: The normal food does not lead to addiction, however, just a thought of delicious dishes and drinks may activate the brain cells to produce dopamine, the hormone linked to pleasure and motivation. Obese people should avoid craving for such foods otherwise they may have to consume extra than the normal to get the desired level of pleasure and satisfaction.

  4. Pro-anorexia Drugs: Use of drugs to reduce appetite is the new way to tame cravings for food. For instance, vigabatrin has been studied as treatment for controlling drug addiction, do help to reduce weight. Another drug, tesofensine also regulates appetite and metabolism. Warning: Pro-anorexia drugs should not be taken without medical advice as these may have serious side effects.

  5. Exercise: Regular exercise and/or brisk walking for 15-20 minutes daily in addition to customized food and eating schedule is the key to fitness.