NEWS BLOG: FOR YOUR HEALTH & WISDOM – CURE ALL DISEASES
Friday 18th February, 2011
Coconut Oil, just like many other oils are important to the human body. In consumption or external use, coconut oil has its great benefits. In the past, in Asia and in South East Asia and the Far East and the islands of Indonesia and The Phillippines, coconut oil was and is still widely used daily, in cooking and for external applications. It was the American or US companies which downgraded coconut oil as unhealthy because they wanted to promote their soya oil and soya based products. All this while in the past century, coconut oil was a healthy natural oil which saw no extraordinary production or appearance of any particular diseases like cardio-vascular diseases for the matter. However, when marketing strategies were used by these companies to downgrade the actual good qualities of coconut oil, it lost its good name and fame and Soya Oil tok precedence. Later Palm oil became well known as it was produced in great quantities when plantations mushroomed all over tropical Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, etc and some African countries too; when soya oil lost its fame. When coconut oil was very common in use in the East, there were unheard of diseases relating to the heart. Thus coconut oil should, rightfully, find its place again to where it truly belongs, the Asian and world kitchens and also for its external uses. Thank you. Dr Gurdial Singh Sandhu
The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.
How is Lauric Acid Used by our body?
The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia. As a result of these various health benefits of coconut oil, though its exact mechanism of action was unknown, it has been extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system. The Coconut Research Center has compiled various references on scientific research done on coconut oil.
Before we move on to the benefits of coconut oil in detail, let us understand its composition.
Composition of Coconut Oil: Coconut oil consists of more than ninety percent of saturated fats (Don’t panic! First read to the last word. Your opinion may change), with traces of few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Virgin Coconut Oil is no different from this. Let us have a bit detailed study of this.
Let us now explore the benefits of coconut oil in detail:
Hair Care: Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrition for hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair providing them a shiny complexion. Regular massage of the head with coconut oil ensures that your scalp is free of dandruff, lice, and lice eggs, even if your scalp is dry. Coconut oil is extensively used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. It is therefore used as hair care oil and used in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Coconut oil is normally applied topically for hair care.
Stress Relief: Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying coconut oil to the head followed with a gentle massage helps in removing mental fatigue.
Skin Care: Coconut oil is excellent massage oil for the skin as well. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry skin. The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. Further, unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin with the application of coconut oil. Coconut oil therefore is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. Therefore coconut oil forms the basic ingredient of various body care products such as soaps, lotions, creams, etc., used for skin care.
Premature Aging: Coconut oil helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.
Heart Diseases: There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for the heart. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. However, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as it happens in case of other vegetables oils. It does not lead to increase in LDL levels. It also reduces the incidence of injury in arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.
Weight Loss: Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.
Pancreatitis: Coconut oil is also believed to be useful in treating pancreatitis.
Digestion: Internal use of coconut oil occurs primarily as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Immunity: Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
Healing: When applied on infections, it forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil is most effective on bruises as it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.
Infections: Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, etc. Coconut oil is also effective on fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, etc.
Liver: The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids helps in preventing liver diseases as they substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing work load on the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat.
Kidney: Coconut oil helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones.
Diabetes: Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.
Bones: As mentioned earlier, coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium which are necessary for development of bones. Thus coconut oil is very useful to women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age.
Dental Care: Calcium is an important element present in teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in getting strong teeth. Coconut oil also stops tooth decay.
HIV and Cancer: It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing viral susceptibility of HIV and cancer patients. Preliminary research has shown indications of the effect of coconut oil on reducing the viral load of HIV patients (Reference).
Finally, coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps in boosting energy and endurance, and enhances the performance of athletes.
Courtesy: This article and its title was written by Kiran Patil of Maxnews
|Friday 18th June, 2010
SOME COMMON HOME REMEDY TIPSMake Your Kitchen Your Medicine Cabinet
Almost 45% of Americans say they’ve relied more on home remedies or OTC drugs in the last year to save money on doctors’ visits, according to a Kaiser Health Tracking poll. While you should always see the doctor for serious ailments, you may be able to soothe minor complaints with these inexpensive products already in your pantry, from The Big Doctors Book of Home Remedies.Salt Use it for: Athlete’s foot
A saline solution provides a hostile environment for fungus, decreases excess perspiration, and softens skin so antifungal meds can penetrate deeper. Soak your foot for 5 to 10 minutes in a mixture of 2 teaspoons of salt per pint of warm water, recommends paediatric surgeon Suzanne M. Levine, DPM.
Tonic Water Use it for: Restless legs
Lemon Use it for: Age spots
Honey Use it for: Cuts and scrapes
Olive Oil Use it for: Eczema
Milk Use it for: Anxiety
Apple Cider Vinegar Use it for: Bruises
Chamomile Tea Use it for: Calluses and corns
Baking Soda Use it for: Urinary tract infection
Ginger Use it for: Stomachaches
Home cure: Vodka
Home cure: Pencil
Home cure: Yogurt
Home cure: Listerine
Home cure: Tennis ball
Home cure: Olive oil
Rub 1 teaspoon per square inch of skin, which creates a seal that prevents skin from drying out. For serious cases, cover oil-slathered skin with plastic wrap overnight to lock moisture in.
Home cure: iPod
Home cure: Olives or lemons
Home cure: Vegetable oil
Home cure: Ice cream
Home cure: Peppermint or cinnamon gum
Home cure: Apple
Home cure: Baking soda
Home cure: Cloves
Home cure: Papaya
Grind 2 tablespoons of washed and peeled papaya in a food processor and add 1 tablespoon of dry oatmeal. Pat this mixture onto clean skin and let it set for 10 minutes before wiping off with a wet washcloth. The enzymes in papaya are gentle, which is why this is an ideal treatment for those with sensitive skin. However, to be safe, do a test spot behind your ear the first time you try it.
Home cure: Duct tape
To use duct tape safely, clean the area. Then cut a piece of duct tape to a size slightly bigger than the wart. Apply the duct tape to the site and rub into place. Every 3 days, remove the tape and file down dead skin with a pumice stone or nail file. Repeat until the wart disappears. Chemicals in the tape suffocate and kill the wart.
But it turns out that some less expected factors—like how quickly you get dressed in the morning, the amount of carbs you eat, or whether you snore—can also affect your BO, breath, gassiness, and more. Here’s how to fix it, fast.
1. You Don’t Towel off After Showering
That’s because moisture can get trapped between folds of skin, like below your breasts, under your love handles, or even between your toes, says Marina Peredo, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in private practice in Smithtown, NY. “There’s no access to air there, and it’s easier for bacteria and fungi to multiply and mix with sweat, causing odor and irritation,” she says.
Fix it: Peredo recommends this trick to her patients: “After you dry off, set a blow-dryer to cool and wave it over your belly, groin, feet—anywhere that gets uncomfortably sweaty.” You can also sprinkle an absorbent powder with antifungal properties onto your skin or in your shoes. Try Zeabsorb-AF, available at drugstores.
2. You Love Chicken Tikka
When digested, these foods produce several stinky sulfur-containing gases. Most of these byproducts are metabolized in the intestines and liver, but some, such as allyl methyl sulfide, are absorbed into the bloodstream and released through your lungs and pores, an effect that can last for a few hours or more, says Debra Jaliman, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.
Fix it: You can temporarily mask bad breath with mouthwash or by chewing a bit of fresh parsley, mint, or fennel seeds, but you’ll have to wait until your body is done digesting before all the odor is completely gone. Sit down to a spicy meal in good company; it’s tough to smell it on others if you all eat the same thing, says Richard Price, DMD, spokesperson for the American Dental Association. Avoid garlic-rich chow in the hours before an important meeting or date.
3. You Brush—But Only Your Teeth
Your tongue is covered with thousands of small hairlike projections called papillae, which can trap and harbor tiny scraps of food. So even if you brush and floss regularly, small remains from your meals can hang behind, collecting bacteria and emitting hydrogen sulfide vapors—aka bad breath.
Fix it: Mouthwashes may help, but the best way to remove bacteria, dead cells, and food debris from the crevices of your tongue is with an inexpensive tongue scraper. Brushing your tongue with a soft-bristled toothbrush works well too. Gently clean as far back as you can without gagging. Also, switch to a toothpaste that contains chlorine dioxide or tea tree oil, a powerful disinfectant with a pleasant, eucalyptus-like smell.
4. You’re Under Serious Stress
Our bodies are smart. The famous fight or flight response mechanism—yep, the same one that helped our ancestors outrun saber-toothed tigers—increases sweating so that we don’t overheat while we’re battling it out. Fast-forward a few thousand years, and hectic days at the office can produce those same sweaty palms and sticky underarms. Read up on our flagship product DHMF A & B. It works to solve these problems
Fix it: Try sage tea. It contains the astringent tannin and several antiseptic compounds that may act to calm down the sympathetic nervous system, which is what triggers all those stressy symptoms. Sage tea should reduce overall perspiration if sipped frequently in small quantities throughout the day. To make it, steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of coarsely powdered dried sage leaves in hot water and leave covered for 10 minutes to ensure all the active ingredients have been released.
5. You’ve Upped Your Fiber Intake
Here, healthy bacteria in your gut break down the fiber, which produces hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and even methane. Eventually, these smelly gases have to go somewhere—and they often exit in the form of flatulence.
Fix it: Add these foods to your diet over a few weeks so your body can adjust. If you use a fiber supplement, be sure to take it with at least 8 ounces of water and drink plenty of liquids throughout the day—fiber won’t move easily through the digestive system without it.
6. You Snore Like a Banshee
Fix it: Skip the nightcap. Alcohol before bed can make snoring worse. Placing an adhesive snoring strip across the bridge of your nose can help by enhancing breathing. In the morning, in addition to brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing, gargle with a small cup of acidic lemon juice to kill odor-causing bacteria. Then eat plain unsweetened yogurt, which contains healthy lactobacillus bacteria, a probiotic that competes with and replaces the reeking bacteria in your mouth. The lemon-yogurt combo instantly neutralizes odor and lasts 12 to 24 hours, says Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, Jenkens/Pokempner director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center.
7. You Eat on the Run
Chewing too fast and drinking through a straw can cause you to swallow too much air. You release most of this air, which contains nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide, from the stomach by burping. What’s left makes its way through the digestive tract until it is eventually expelled through the other end—as gas.
Fix it: An hour lunch break may be unheard of these days, but do give yourself enough time to chew properly, without gigantic bites. Put down your fork while you munch to slow down, if necessary. Also, don’t eat when you’re anxious, upset, or stressed—it can interfere with digestion.
On hectic days where you know you’ll eat quickly, take two enteric-coated peppermint capsules (500 mg each) three times daily, recommends Ronald Hoffman, MD, author of Alternative Cures that Really Work (Rodale, 2007). Peppermint kills bacteria that cause bloating and relaxes gastrointestinal muscles for smoother digestion.
8. You Only Use Deodorant
Deodorants only temporarily mask your BO—they don’t prevent your body from releasing sweat, says Peredo. “Antiperspirants actually plug your sweat glands, which stops you from excreting sweat,” she says.
Fix it: You really need only an antiperspirant, but if you want that ocean breeze scent, at least pick a product that has both deodorant and antiperspirant. If you’re a big-time sweater (especially in sticky summer months), apply it before you go to sleep. You perspire less at night, so more of the antiperspirant’s aluminum-based active ingredient is pulled into sweat glands. The effect can last 24 hours or longer, even if you shower in the morning. If this doesn’t help, ask your doctor about prescription-strength antiperspirants, such as Drysol or Xerac, which contain aluminum chloride.
9. Your Scalp Is Flaky
“It’s a common misperception that dandruff occurs when your hair scalp is too dry,” says Peredo, a myth that makes people wash their hair less. This, combined with the fact that an irritated scalp may be more of a bacteria breeding ground, can make your tresses smell. “In fact, dandruff happens when your hair is too oily.”
Fix it:Washing your hair with shampoo regularly may help get the flakes in check. If not, try an OTC dandruff shampoo. Look for ones with zinc pyrithione, an antifungal/antibacterial agent that can de-germ your scalp (found in Head & Shoulders or Selsun Salon), or with coal tar, an ingredient that slows down your skin cell–shedding process (like Neutrogena T/Gel). If the dandruff still doesn’t go away after a few weeks, see your doctor or derm. You may need a stronger prescription-strength product or steroid lotion.
10. You Take a Prescription Drug
Hundreds of prescription and over-the-counter drugs—for everything from allergies to high blood pressure to depression—can cause dry mouth, one of the most common triggers of bad breath. They may block the action of acetylcholine, a brain chemical that tells nerves to switch on the salivary glands.
Fix it: Ask your doctor to adjust your dosage or suggest an alternative medication that doesn’t list dry mouth as a side effect. In the meantime, frequently sip water to stimulate the production of saliva, which keeps the mouth moist and clean. Limit coffee consumption and try to breathe through your nose, not your mouth, to avoid drying it out further. OTC saliva substitutes can also help keep your mouth moist, according to the Mayo Clinic. Look for ones containing carboxymethylcellulose or hydroxyethylcellulose to help thicken saliva.
11. You’re Between Periods
Body temperature rises half a degree midcycle when you’re ovulating, enough to prompt more sweat—and BO, says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine and a Prevention advisor. Vaginal secretions increase then too.
Fix it: Try a stronger underarm antiperspirant/deodorant midcycle (about 14 days from the day your last menstrual period started) and wear cotton underwear, which allows moisture to evaporate. If you’re noticing a persistent, unusual vaginal odor, check with your doctor; it could be an infection that requires treatment.
12. You’ve Cut Out Carbs
In addition, diets high in animal sources of protein may also have too much saturated fat, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Fix it: Cut out overall calories—not just those from carbs—to lose weight. You should consume at least 130 g of carbohydrates daily—ideally whole grains, beans, and fruits and veggies—to stay healthy.
13. You Wear Spandex When You Work Out
Tight, synthetic fabrics, like spandex, rub against skin and can trap sweat. This may cause extra odor, as well as skin irritation, like folliculitis (inflammation around hair follicles) and acnelike eruptions, says Peredo.
Fix it: Opt for moisture wicking fabrics that are antimicrobial too. Wool-containing fabrics, for example, naturally inhibit the growth of stink-causing bacteria (one to try: lightweight, itch-free Smartwool). Newer synthetic fabrics, like Cocona, are spun with fibers from recycled coconut shells that provide odor repellent (find it in brands like New Balance and Merrell).
14. You’re a Gum Addict
Our bodies don’t completely digest the low-cal sweeteners, such as sorbitol, found in sugar-free gum. When bacteria in the large intestine break them down, it can cause gas and even diarrhea.
Fix it: Soothe your sweet tooth with a cup of peppermint tea instead. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which appears to have a soothing effect on the muscles of your digestive tract, providing relief from gas and gas pain. Or drink a half-cup of cranberry juice a day. It contains phytochemicals that suppress the odor-causing bacteria in your gut.
15. You Have Allergies
When nasal fluid drips from the sinuses to the back of your throat, it can stink up your breath. So can breathing mainly from your mouth when nasal passages are blocked because this dries out your mouth. A dry mouth prevents saliva from keeping your mouth moist and clean, making dead cells more likely to accumulate on your tongue, gums, and cheeks. When these cells decompose, they produce an odor.
Fix it: Drink plenty of water—not coffee, soda, or alcohol, which can dehydrate you. Decades worth of clinical tests have also found that nasal irrigation, in which the sinus cavities are rinsed with lukewarm salt water, is a safe, effective, and inexpensive way to flush out the mucous that causes halitosis. Rubber syringes, ceramic Neti pots, a plastic squeeze bottle such as SinuCleanse, or sprays like ENTsol all work well. Use warm, distilled water and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt per 1 cup for the Neti pot.
16. Your Office Has a “No-Sandals” Policy
Closed shoes can act as a bacteria breeding ground, trapping moisture and causing that stinky feet stench, according to The Doctors’ Book of Home Remedies. When you skip out on socks, there’s nothing to absorb the sweat your feet produce.
Fix it: You can rub an antiperspirant on the bottom of your feet and between toes. It’s also a good idea to dab your feet with an antifungal powder, which will help keep your tootsies dry. At night, dunk feet in a bacteria-killing bath of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water. You could also try a black tea soak for about 30 minutes. The tannins kill bacteria and close up pores, which keep your feet dryer, longer. You’ll see results in a few days to a week.