Thursday 17 October 2013

The magic of methi for your hair and skin


The magic of methi for your hair and skin

by Kriti Saraswat

Methi or fenugreek is widely used in Indian cooking to add a distinct flavour in various dishes. Not only does this green-leafed wonder have various health benefits like controlling diabetes, reducing cholesterol levels, and aiding digestion, it also comes in handy as a beauty tool. It can help solve everyday hair and skin problems in an expensive way. The reason it is so good for our hair and skin is because it has a compound with oestrogen-like properties called diosgenin. It is also rich in proteins, vitamin C, iron, fibre, etc. Here's how to use it in home-made packs. (Read: 15 health benefits of methi)

To get rid of dandruff

Methi can help reduce dandruff. In order to make a paste out of it, soak a handful of its seeds overnight in water and then grind to a coarse paste in the morning. Now apply this mixture on your scalp and leave it for a few hours. Then wash your hair with a mild shampoo or shikakai.

Another variation to this paste is to heat mustard oil with a few leaves of henna in it. Then strain it. Once it cools down, add the methi paste to the oil and apply on the scalp. Keep it for half-an-hour before washing your hair.

To reduce itchiness on scalp

Methi can help reduce the itchiness and small bumps on the scalp which are a result of heat or dryness. In order to counter these, soak fenugreek seeds overnight in water. In the morning, strain the water and rinse your hair with this solution.

You can even use other ingredients in addition to methi seeds to get relief from itchiness. First, chop and grind some tulsi leaves and then mix sesame oil (til ka tel) in it. Heat this on a low flame and add a few fenugreek seeds to it. Once they start to crackle, turn off the gas. Apply the solution only once you've let it cool and strained it.

To control hair fall

Hair fall can be detrimental to one's personality and self-esteem. In order to control it, make a paste of curd (dahi) and methi seeds. You can grind them before you mix them in curd and then apply on your scalp. Do keep it for about 30 minutes and then shampoo your hair. (Read: Home remedies for hair loss that actually work)

To lighten acne scars

Your pimples have disappeared but have left pesky scars on your face. In order to lighten them, boil a few seeds of methi in water for 15 minutes and allow it to cool. Strain the seeds and apply the liquid on the scars with a cotton ball. Follow this ritual at least for a week to see results.

To get rid of burn marks

Burn marks are tough to get rid of but methi can help fade them over time. First, make a paste but grinding seeds soaked overnight. Apply this mixture on the marks and let it dry completely. Now wash the area with water and continue its use on a regular basis.

To prevent pimples

Methi can prevent the eruption of pimples as well as help treat blackheads. For this, instead of the seeds, use the methi leaves. Grind them with a little water to make a paste. Now apply it on your face at night. Wash it the next morning with lukewarm water. if your skin is prone to acne, it is best to use this paste regularly to keep pimples at bay. (Read: Why do we have acne)

Remember, home remedies take time to show any effect. Using them just once will not show any marked improvements. So use them on a regular basis. 

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Tuesday 15 October 2013

Singer Avril Lavigne


Los Angeles:

Singer Avril Lavigne, who loves traditional Christmas songs, is keen to make a record on the theme of the festival.

"I'm definitely going to keep working. There's lots of stuff I'd like to try, like a Christmas album. I would have to do covers though. I love really traditional Christmas songs," quoted Lavigne as saying.

Meanwhile, she will release her self-titled album Nov 4. She worked on it with her husband and singer Chad Kroeger of Nickelback band.

"I mean it! Even if this one isn't called 'Best Damn Thing'. I think it's because we spent such a long time writing it. It's really diverse," she said.


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Sunday 13 October 2013

5 home remedies for mouth ulcers


5 home remedies for mouth ulcers

by Anusuya Suresh
Mouth ulcers can be quite painful and depending on their specific location in the oral cavity, often interfere with your ability to eat and speak. Often, these ulcers put in an appearance at times of extreme stress and the discomfort they cause only adds to your misery. Sometimes, such an ulcer indicates the deficiency of certain vital nutrients and therefore, taking multivitamin supplements can be useful; however, it can take a few days for the effects to start showing. In such situations, it is possible to find relief faster by using a few of these home remedies.

Remedies to Reduce Pain

If the mouth ulcer is causing a lot of pain, gently rub a small ice cube over the spot or rinse your mouth with ice-cold water. This won't make the ulcer disappear, but it can help reduce the pain. Similarly, you could also chew on a clove bud (lavang) and direct the juice so generated to the area where the ulcer is located. The mild anaesthetic effect of the clove will reduce the pain you feel. To prevent the ulcerated area from getting infected, make it a point to rinse your mouth with a little salt water.


The leaves of the tulsi plant have amazing medicinal properties and one of the important actions of tulsi is as an adaptogen – a substance that aids the body to adapt to stress. Chew a few leaves of tulsi along with some water about three to four times every day. This will help the ulcers go away faster and also have a preventive action against their recurrence. (Read: Top 10 health benefits of tulsi)


Honey is a natural humectant – that is, it helps to retain moisture and prevent dehydration. It also helps reduce scarring and hastens the process of new tissue growth. This, along with its anti-microbial effect ensures faster healing of the mouth ulcer. You can either dab a little honey onto the mouth ulcer or mix in a little turmeric to make a paste that can be applied to the affected area. 

Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds – khus-khus in Hindi – are said to have a cooling effect on the body. According to Ayurveda, too much heat in the body manifests as mouth ulcers and therefore, poppy seeds are a good remedy to overcome this problem. To make this palatable, mix in a little dry coconut and sugar candy; to make it delicious, make a paayasam by grinding coconut and poppy seeds and cooking this mix in a solution of jaggery garnished with cardamom, cashewnuts and raisins.


Dry coconut, coconut oil and coconut water are the three products of the coconut tree that are very useful in treating mouth ulcers. Drinking tender coconut water helps to cool the body down. Applying a little coconut oil directly onto the mouth ulcer or chewing some coconut (fresh or dry) helps to reduce pain and inflammation and this helps the ulcers heal faster. (Read: The coconut controversy – is it really all bad?)


Called Mulethi in Hindi, Yashtimadhu in Sanskrit and Adhimadhuram in Tamil, licorice has several medicinal properties. Scientific studies have found that it contains ingredients with marked anti-inflammatory properties which are responsible for its action against painful mouth ulcers. Mulethi is available as stem pieces as well as in powder form. Rub the stem with a little water on a grinding stone and apply the paste to the ulcerated area. Or, if you buy the licorice powder, disperse it in some honey or medicinal quality glycerin and apply to the mouth ulcer. You can also mix a little licorice powder with turmeric into a glass of warm milk and drink three or four times in a day for good results.

Other Cooling Agents

In keeping with the logic that mouth ulcers are due to excess body heat, other substances with cooling properties can help get rid of them. For example, you could apply a little ghee directly to the ulcerated area, or drink a glass of butter milk two or three times everyday. Castor oil also has wonderful cooling property; apply a little oil to your scalp and the soles of the feet, allow the oil to soak in for a few hours and then wash with warm water using shikakai and reetha paste.

Mouth ulcers left untreated generally go away in a week or so; with these home remedies, you can expect faster relief. However, if you notice an ulcer in the mouth that is persistently present although it does not cause you any pain, do not neglect it or try to treat it with home remedies beyond a few days. Make it a point to see a doctor soon because often, a painless mouth ulcer is one of the earliest signs of oral cancer. (Read: Oral cancer: Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment)

For more articles on diseases and conditions, check out our diseases & conditions section and for videos, check out our YouTube Channel.


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‘Fire In The Blood’: A real story of man versus pharmaceutical companies


'Fire In The Blood': A real story of man versus pharmaceutical companies

by Editorial Team

Have you ever though of how you would feel if your loved one was dying of a preventable disease, that had a cure and whose medications were widely available, but you had no access to them — because you were poor? Well, that is the kind of heart rending reality that millions lived with in developing nations. They fought against AIDS without any arms simply because they did not have the money. Would you be interested to know how a drastic change was brought about? You should probably watch 'Fire in The Blood'. 

Normally, we overlook a documentary, when we are lookign for cinematic entertainment. It would be a mistake, a big mistake, to miss 'Fire In The Blood' because we would rather have a good time watching 'Grand Masti' or 'Chennai Express' at a theatre near us.

'Fire In The Blood' is not entertainment. It's much more. It's not a feature film. But the issue it deals with – how the criminal racket allegedly enforced by large pharmaceutical companies to block life saving drugs from third world countries, mainly Africa, touches all our lives.

We could be one of the victims, and we don't even know it!

Indeed director Dylan Mohan Gray – God bless the vistas of visionary velocity that he breaks open in this jolting expose – takes us into a journey through a drama that beats the fictionalised flamboyance of fantasy films by a fabulous margin. There are the specifically-targeted villains and the greed motivated pharmaceutical companies, shown almost as drug cartels operating to stop the process of healing and saving lives of the poor.

The film's premise is appalling in its ramifications. As Gray's tale of avarice and drug-deprived deaths in Africa unfolds, we become shocked witnesses to the abysmal immorality that has gripped all large businesses in the world.

Money doesn't only make the world go round, it flattens every moral consideration. And let's face it, medicines and drugs are a business proposition. To see how pharmaceutical companies ruthlessly operate in non-developed under privileged areas to deny rather than save lives is a process that this film explores and exposes with meticulously researched material and the authoritative voices of people who care about what happens to the poor.

Because the film (I refuse to give it the genre-limiting name of a 'documentary') goes into an area of global concern that has never before been dealt with on film, the narrative does get top heavy with information at times. Bear with it. Deal with the situation that the film so shockingly exposes: that the medicines we so blindly trust to heal us and make us healthy are often used to blackmail and mock mortality.

The singular concern of Gray's film establishes the enormity of the wrongdoers' death-inducing syndicate early in the narrative. The unlikely heroes show up later. They are an Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla and vocal activists which went that extra mile to counter the damage done by the greedy global players in the business.

'Fire In The Blood' is an important treatise on the troubled diseased times we live in when the healers become the destroyers and medicines are turned into malicious money-making agents of destruction.

Very frequently in the course of the narration I was conscious of how little we know about the world that controls our daily lives. It's an intrinsically contaminated world that we live in, a world devoid of heroes and acts of heroism, a world governed by greed. 'Fire In The Blood' opens up that world to show us the festering innards of a wounded civilisation.

Some of the world's most high profile spokespersons like Desmond Tutu, Zackie Achmat and Bill Clinton give their voices to make a cogent powerful impact on us. William Hurt's wry cynical saddened narration certainly adds a valuable dimension to the frightening poignancy of the narration.

Watching 'Fire In The Blood' is not a a breezy experience. It make us sit up, think hard and reconsider the quality of our lives. In other words, it does everything cinema is supposed to, but seldom does.

Who is Hamied?

Also called the modern day Robin Hood, Dr. Yusuf K. Hamied, is the chairman of the Indian drug giant Cipla Ltd. He is the man who took the first step in the fight towards providing people medication, regardless of their ability to pay. His aim was to conquer AIDS in developing nations and to give patients life saving medicines, regardless of their economic status. Regarded as a God in Africa – where he brought a world wind of change in the availability of medicines – he was able to help people live with AIDS instead of considering it a death knell. According to Hamied, he did not want to profit from a disease that was eating away at people and more importantly, the very fabric of society.

Dr. Yusuf K. Hamied, chairman of the Indian drug giant Cipla Ltd. took the decision not to profit from ARVs (Anti Retroviral drugs), and brought down the cost of providing these medicines to patients from a whopping $12,000 to a meagre $ 100 per year. Even though this sum was still very large for people in developing countries, it was easy for organisations to help bridge the gap. The next step was to beat the monopoly created by companies who had patented certain generic drugs. Cipla then proceeded to make a one of its kind combination drug called Triomune that combined three drugs in one. This was a big achievement in itself since the three constituent drugs were patented by three different companies.  Another break through was the production of another combination drug caller Duovir –N. Cipla also produced generic versions of many antiretroviral drugs that were now much more cheaper.

All-in- all, Cipla made life saving drugs more accessible to the poor and needy especially in the third world countries. When Dr Hamied said that he would make a cocktail of drugs for AIDS patients, that would cost $1 per day, the industry scoffed at his pipe dreams, but today he has not only fulfilled his promise he has done one better by making these drugs available for less than 20 cents. Dr Hameid has now provided over six million people in developing countries treatment at a fraction of the cost, saving countless lives.

With inputs from IANS

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iPosture – the dangers of using a smartphone or tablet


iPosture – the dangers of using a smartphone or tablet

by Agencies

Handheld gadgets like smartphones and tabs are a major cause of iPosture a condition that is caused due to hunching over tech devices causing severe backpain.  In fact, Dr Nikhil Arbatti, consultant minimally invasive and endoscopic spine surgeon, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, says, 'Problems of the musculoskeletal were more commonly seen in the older age group before due to aging, but nowadays due to the work culture, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, not enough physical activity, smoking and various other medical reasons, problems of back and neck pain are more predominantly seen in the young population. Atleast 40-50 per cent of the young generation suffer from back or neck pain before they reach 40.'
What's iPosture?
The term is used to describe the stooped body shape adopted by those texting, emailing or playing games on their iPad or smartphone. According to a health survey conducted recently,  84 per cent of 18-24 year olds have admitted to suffering back pain in the last 12 months. (Lower back pain – why you shouldn't ignore it)

What it revealed?

Over 55 per cent spent an average of 6.64 hours a day in front of a computer screen A typical 18-24 year old spends 8.83 hours a day in front of a screen 66 per cent of this younger age group agree they either slouch or hunch in front of their PC.

What's causing it?

Orthopaedic specialist and joint replacement surgeon from Jupiter hospital, Dr Ashish Phadnis, says, 'We as are seeing an alarming rise in the number of patients with back pain and neck pain related to workplace ergonomics, use of laptops, touchscreens  and iPads. On an average I see at least three to four patients daily with these issues,  the symptoms can vary from a diffuse dull ache to a sharp pain in the back, neck and shoulder region, stiffness of the various joints, lack of flexibility and a poor posture are the effects seen over a period of time. More and more people are using  smartphones, tablets as they are engrossed in their work they do not pay attention to the neck which is flexed, shoulders which are stooping and a bent lower back. People tend to work in these postures for long hours, on top of it all after they come home, they resort to the same devices for social networking or recreational purposes.  This affects people across all ages especially  about 25 to 55, which is the population who are exposed to these gadgets devices and are also less involved in physical activity as compared to other age groups.' (Which of these five technology-related problems do you have?)

Why it is a cause of concern?

If ignored, it could result in severe disc degeneration, which may require surgery. Also they may cause muscle weakness and sometimes nerve damage.


Be aware of your posture, avoid hunching. Frequent stretching can also help. Make sure tech devices are  at the eye level. The mouse should not be far away from the person. Don't work continuously for more than an hour. After every hour, stand and stretch your back, neck, arms and legs. Phones should be at an arm's length  and if you have to use the phone for a long time then use a headset. (Is your workplace making you ill?)

Content source: DNA/Melissa DCosta

For more articles on diseases and conditions, check out our diseases & conditions section and for videos, check out our YouTube Channel. 

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Saturday 12 October 2013

Plants vs Zombies 2 Game Officially Released for Android


Plants vs Zombies 2 Game Officially Released for Android

by Ponmalar S
Tech Stumps - Tech News | Blogging | Internet |

Plants vs Zombies is a popular action strategy video game developed by PopCap Games. They released a latest version of Plants vs Zombies 2 for Android devices in Australia and New Zealand last week. Now this game is available for all Android users globally. This is a sequel of first Plants vs Zombies game and you can play this game free in your tablets and smartphones.

Plants vs Zombies 2 game lets you join Crazy Dave on a crazy adventure where you'll meet, greet and defeat legions of zombies from the dawn of time to the end of days. You have to destroy the zombies with an army of powerful new plants, supercharge them with Plant Food and power up your defenses with amazing new ways to protect your brain.

Plants vs Zombies 2 Game features:

• Meet powerful new plants that will defend your lawn through time
• Go toe-to-missing-toe with dozens of new zombies
• Supercharge your floral friends with healthy doses of Plant Food
• Fire up amazing Finger Powers to pinch, flick and zap zombies
• Defeat brain-teasing challenges that will test your zombie-zapping skills
• Gather keys to play valuable side missions
• Collect coins to purchase potent power-ups
• Earn stars to take you to new worlds
• Connect to Game Services to unlock achievements and compete against friends on the leaderboards
• Look out! Zombie chickens!

Download Plants vs Zombies 2 for Android
Download Plants vs Zombies 2 for iOS
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Tuesday 8 October 2013

If you could design your own child, what characteristics would you choose?


If you could design your own child, what characteristics would you choose?

by Nirmalya Dutta

Imagine a world where you could choose what your baby would look like. Would you want him to have green eyes like Hrithik or a musculature like John Abraham? How about the ability to sprint like Usain Bolt or box like Floyd Mayweather? Also how about making sure that he/she will have a longer lifespan, not suffer from cancer and will have no congenital defects?

Designers babies may sound like something out of a utopian novel like Brave New World or sci-fi flick Gattaca but it could soon be our reality. About 10 days ago when the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted a patent to the firm 23andMe for a process called gamete (egg or sperm) donor selection. This essentially means that this would allow parents to choose genetic traits like eye colour in children born from donor eggs or sperm.

The reality sounds scarily similar to  Gattaca where the entire society was driven by eugenics (the practice of improving genetic quality in human beings). Children were given the best hereditary characteristics and the entire society was divided between valids (genetically-modified people) and the invalids (people born naturally). The valids always had better options – professionally or otherwise – and the invalids with their susceptibility to disease are relegated to menial jobs.

Understandably, medical ethicists are alarmed beyond measure. A comment by them in the journal Genetics in Medicine reads, 'What 23andMe is claiming is a method by which prospective donors of ova and/or sperm may be selected so as to increase the likelihood of producing a human baby with characteristics desired by the prospective parents.' (Assisted Reproductive Technology – the ugly truth)

Shopping for genetic traits

The parents could actually pick on computer the desirable characteristics they wanted in their baby from the genomic data of the egg or sperm provider. Characteristics on the shopping list include height, eye colour, muscle development, personality traits and genetic susceptibility to certain types of cancer and other diseases. A figure attached to the patent application would allow prospective parents to indicate whether 'I prefer a child with' : 'longest expected life span' , 'least expected life cost of health care,' or 'least expected cumulative duration of hospitalisation,' they said.

There are also more interesting options like '0% likely endurance athlete and '100% likely sprinter' though of course the company has stated it can't guarantee the outcome and it would merely boost the chances of a child having those perceived desirable traits. Commentators are particularly aghast at parents having the ability to choose what characteristics they want that have nothing to do with the child's health. . 'At no stage during the examination of the patent application did the patent office examine or question whether techniques for facilitating the 'design' of future human babies were appropriate subject matter for a patent,' they wrote. The USPTO said it did not comment on issued patents.

23andMe said the patent, applied for more than five years ago, was for a tool dubbed Family Traits Inheritance Calculator that offered 'an engaging way for you and your partner to see what kind of traits your child might inherit from you' — from eye colour to whether the child will be able to perceive bitter taste or be lactose intolerant.

'At the time 23andMe filed the patent, there was consideration that the technology could have potential applications for fertility clinics, so language specific to the fertility treatment process was included ,' it said. 'The company never pursued the concepts discussed in the patent beyond our Family Traits Inheritance Calculator, nor do we have any plans to do so.'

Pros of Family Traits Inheritance Calculator

We would all love to live in a world where our children (even those born via assisted reproduction) resemble us. 23andMe allows people who can't conceive to do that. Also there's absolutely no argument against getting rid of congenital diseases in children or even giving them longer lifespans. It's simply not fair that certain children have some ailments that others don't.

Cons of the Family Traits Inheritance Calculator

What has medical ethicists particularly riled is this seems almost like playing god. You can get rid of undesirable characteristics and only promote the desirable ones. This will essentially mean that some children will have more enhanced characteristics than others which would give them a better chance at life. Of course, we do have a society which is unfair. A child born in a rich, well-off family will simply have more chances of living a higher quality of life than a child born in a poorer family. But assuming this procedure is expensive, we could have a society where the rich can buy the desirable characteristics in their children. Essentially it's like gambling with a loaded dice, getting rid of the genetic lottery all together. No matter how hard or long I practice, I will never run like Usain Bolt. I just don't have the genetic make-up for it, but a parent being able to buy that characteristic for his child is a scary thought indeed.

The final word

In Gattaca, the lead character Vincent is an invalid. He has a life expectancy of 30 years, myopia, congenital heart defect and has a higher chance of developing mental disorders. On the other hand, his brother who has been genetically chosen has all desirable characteristics but Vincent manages to beat him in a swimming race through sheer will power and determination. This lets him believe that he can do anything a valid person can and he lives his dream of going into space. There's no gene for will power, drive and determination (not one we're aware of anyway) and you just can't buy that for your child.

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Monday 7 October 2013

How to wash veggies, fruits the right way and prevent diseases


How to wash veggies, fruits the right way and prevent diseases

by Anusuya Suresh

Full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, vegetables and fruits are one of the vital ingredients of a healthy diet. Unfortunately, the conditions in which they are grown and transported can often cause them to become contaminated with several harmful substances. Therefore, unless you take sufficient care to clean it, the very same natural produce may turn out to be the harbinger of illness.

Common contaminants in produce

Vegetables such as carrots, potatoes and ginger that grow underground and green leafy vegetables are generally found to be coated with a layer of mud that is home to several harmful bacteria. Other vegetables that arise from the aerial parts of the plant also carry dust due to being exposed to the atmosphere. Besides, the water, pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers used to grow the vegetables may also become a source of contamination.

Dangers posed by contaminated vegetables

Dirt sticking to the vegetable surface contains thousands of microorganisms; these are known to be responsible for a wide range of foodborne illnesses that lead to symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, cramps and diarrhoea. Besides, certain chemicals such as the fertilizer and pesticides used to help the plant grow are known as potential risk factors for other diseases such as cancer. (Read: Beware of food allergies!)

Washing vegetables the healthy way

Choosing vegetables that have been grown using organic farming methods is definitely wise but even the simple act of washing produce thoroughly can help cut the risks posed by contaminants. Here are a few tips on the proper procedure to follow when handling raw vegetables.

Use clean water:

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and clean water before you handle raw vegetables. Make sure you use potable (drinkable) water to clean vegetables and fruits . If the quality of your locally supplied water is suspect, make it a point to give the vegetables a final rinse with drinking water from your water purifier, before you begin cooking or eating them.

Keep a brush handy for difficult to clean veggies:

For vegetables and fruits that have a thick and dusty skin, it is good to use a brush or scrubber that is reserved exclusively for this purpose. By gently brushing the surface, such produce can be more effectively freed from dirt and microbes.

Cut vegetables, likely to harbor worms, into small chunks:

Vegetables that have a lot of nooks and corners – broccoli and cauliflower, for instance – may harbor worms, dirt and microbes in places that are difficult to access. The best option in such cases is to cut the vegetable into smaller chunks and then soak them in water for some time before washing under running water. It is a common Indian practice to add a pinch of salt and turmeric to the water used for soaking cauliflower; both these ingredients do have a beneficial antimicrobial effect.

Wash green leafy vegetables the right way:

Pay a lot of attention to the washing of green leafy vegetables. Separate the roots, leaves and stems and soak each in separate bowls of cold water to fully dislodge the dirt. Drain out the water using a strainer and repeat a few times until all the dirt has left the vegetable. Dry the veggies,  using a paper towel to ensure even better removal of bacteria from the surfaces. (Read: 15 health benefits of methi)

Detergent cleaners for your veggies, may do more harm than good:

Never use a detergent, soap or cleaning agent to clean vegetables or fruits. The outer skin may appear hard and impenetrable but the fact remains that most produce can absorb the chemicals present in cleaning agents through pores in the surface. Once these chemicals find their way into the vegetables, they may have an adverse effect on not just their taste but also their safety.

Soak vegetables in water before washing them:

Avoid simply holding vegetables under running water – this is nothing more than a waste of water. Instead, take a little water in a bowl, immerse the vegetable in it and rub to remove the contaminants sticking to the surface. Begin with vegetables that are less soiled and change the water in between to ensure effective cleaning. Give a final rinse with purified water and then pat the vegetables dry with a clean paper towel.

Peel off the preservative coat:

Cucumbers and apples are often coated with a layer of a waxy substance that has preservative properties. Getting rid of this can be quite difficult and therefore, it makes greater sense to simply peel off the outermost skin of such produce before washing and using it.

Most vegetables and fruits have a natural coat on their surface that helps to retain the moisture within. When you wash produce, this coat is destroyed and therefore, such washed foods are more susceptible to further damage and attack by microorganisms. So avoid storing fruits and vegetables for very long after washing; instead, wash just before you need to use them. While these techniques of washing vegetables can help you deal with surface contaminants, they have no control over determining the safety of the contents within. The best way to ensure your fruits and vegetables are free from contamination by potentially harmful chemicals is to buy produce grown by organic farming techniques.

For more articles on diseases and conditions, check out our diseases & conditions section and for videos, check out our YouTube Channel.  

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Home Remedies for Eye Related Problems!


Home Remedies for Eye Related Problems!

by gkarti

Be it cold or cough, or be it fever or be it pain in any part of our body. For any diseases we always look for quick and easy fix and simply run to doctor who would give you long list of prescription which in the long run makes your body vulnerable and massively impacts your body immune.

For almost every small or big disease there is a effective, homemade treatment available which is 100 percent safe and effective and which has absolutely no side effects. Let's look at some of the most common eye related problems some of us face in day to day life as well as their remedy.

Pain in Eyes

There could be multiple reasons for pain in our eyes, it could be on account of over stress on the eyes while seating in front of computer, television or it could be on account of some infection or it could be on account of some swelling.

Since eyes are one of the most important body parts, we need to ensure we don't delay the treatment towards the problem.


Below in the article, I am mentioning multiple remedies, which you may choose from depending upon easy availability of resources, preference and what suits or not suits you:

=> In the month of April, consume fresh flowers of sesame seeds (Til). This mere exercise would ensure that your eyes don't pain throughout the year.

=>Keep harad(Inknut) soaked in the water for entire night. Next morning wash your eyes with the same water. This gives cooling effect to your eyes and ensures that your eyes don't pain.

=>The day your eyes start paining, from that day you may boil leaves of Datura/Dhatura plant. The residual luke warm water from these leaves should be put into the ears. Point to note is, if your left eye is paining, you need to put drops on Right ear and vice versa.

=>Crush pomegranate leaves or kikar tree leaves in water and prepare a paste, apply this paste on a cloth and tie on your eyes at night. This is very effective treatment for burning and swollen eyes.

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Saturday 5 October 2013

Beware – worms could be feasting in your child’s tummy!


Beware – worms could be feasting in your child's tummy!

by Dr Zinal Unadkat

Rashi's baby boy had just turned eight months old, and despite all the joys of motherhood, Rashi was grappling with the sudden change in her baby's countenance. Once a happy and energetic child, Aakash was now irritable and refused to eat. Worried, Rashi visited her baby's paediatrician, who told her that her child had intestinal worms.

Wondering what intestinal worms are? We spoke to Dr Zinal Unadkat, leading paediatrician, to get you some answers.

What are intestinal worms?

Intestinal worms are of different types namely ring worms, whip worms, round worms and  are parasitic in nature. That means that they prey on the nutrition of their host – in this case the child – who eventually suffers from symptoms like malnutrition, stomach ache, vomiting, weakness and not gaining weight as per their age.

In order to kill these parasites, peadiatricians recommend a child gets  dewormed regularly – a process where a child is given medication to kill intestinal worms. 

When should children be dewormed?

Ideally a child should get dewormed six months after birth, since this is when they tend to touch various things and put their hands in their mouth. If what they touch is contaminated, it can cause the worms or their eggs to enter the baby's body and grow inside his/her stomach. It is important for parents to remember that the deworming dose should be repeated once every six months even if  the child does not show symptoms of intestinal worms, since the deworming medication kills only adult worms and not their eggs. 

What are the symptoms of intestinal worms?

The most common symptom is itching of the anus region of the child, decrease in the child's appetite and increase in his/her sugar intake and grinding of his/her teeth (while this is not directly due to the worms themselves, it is a sign that something is wrong). Some children may even have worms coming out of their anus while they are passing motion and in some cases they may even have excessive hunger. Excessive hunger is usually a sign that the body is craving nutrition, which is a usually due to a parasitic infection.

What kind of medication is prescribed for deworming?

A doctor will prescribe medication containing albendazole or mebendazole in a syrup form to your child. This is usually a one time prescription.

What precautions can parents take to avoid intestinal worms in their children?

There are simple things that a parent can do, like;

Maintaining proper hygiene in the house.
Keeping an eye on what the child is touching or putting in his/her mouth.
Making sure that they wash the child's hands with soap and water as often as possible (at least ten times) in a day.
Ensuring that the child always wears shoes when he/she is outside the house, especially in muddy areas.
And most importantly they should ensure that if they have house help who handle the child, he/she should maintain hygienic living standards in order to avoid passing on the infection to the child.
 Lastly, a parent is the best judge of their child's health, so keep an eye on your child, make sure their surroundings are as sanitary as possible and your baby should be well on his/her way to good health. (Read:10 expert tips to make the house safe for your baby)

For more articles on diseases and conditions, check out our diseases & conditions section and for videos, check out our YouTube Channel. 

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Friday 4 October 2013

Can papaya leaves help cure dengue?


Can papaya leaves help cure dengue?

by Pavitra Sampath

The capital is grappling with the burden of dengue, and with the numbers steadily rising, people are looking for alternative methods to treat the disease. One such, much talked about remedy is the use of papaya leaf juice to heal the body ravaged by dengue. While some people claim that it is simply a belief, others swear by the remedy. So, what is the truth? In this post we demystify the clutter.

Truth or hoax?

While some people say that it is simply a hoax, there might be some truth to papaya leaf juice's claim to fame after all. A number of scientific papers have proved that papaya leaf juice is actually beneficial for the body. One of the first papers to talk about the benefits of the papaya leaf juice was studied by Dr Nam Dang at the University of Florida, research center [1]. He found that the papaya leaf juice was capable of fighting cancer, was non toxic to the body and had the capability to improve one's immunity. While the plant's leaf is well known for its curative properties in diseases like malaria and cancer, Dr Sanath Hettige, a general physician in Sri Lanka, found that the juice of young leaves can be used to treat dengue. His paper was published in the Sri Lankan Journal of Family Physicians in 2008[2].

How does it work?

Papaya leaves are known to be packed with the enzymes like chymopapin and papain that, according to Dr Sanath Hettige, normalise the platelet count, improves the clotting factor (helps the blood clot normally), improves one's liver function and repairs the damage to the liver done by dengue, therefore helping an ailing person recover from the disease. (Read: Dengue fever: Symptoms, medication and prevention)

How to use the papaya leaf?

The  young leaves from a fruit bearing papaya plant should be used. According to Dr Hettige, the leaves of the Red Lady papaya plant (found commonly in India) are more effective. The important fact is that one should choose leaves that are not too old, neither too young. Now, take only the leafy part and not the stalk and wash them well with water. Crush the leaves using a wooden mortar and pestle without any additives like water, salt or sugar. Once they are crushed, squeeze out the juice with clean hands and drink it two times a day. Do not add any salt or sugar to the drink. According to Dr Hettige,  an adult should have 10 ml of the juice twice a day (or at eight hour intervals), children between the age of five and 12 should have 5 ml of the juice twice a day and those below 10 years of age should be given 2.5ml of the juice. [3]

At what stage should a patient ideally have the juice?

According to Dr Sanath, it is best the patient start having the juice as early as possible. This means that when they notice the first symptoms of dengue fever (when their platelets show a decline in numbers below 150000 cu mm or when the packed cell volume goes above 10%). It is also beneficial at later stages, but if the condition has progressed and has led to organ failure, the juice is not very effective. (Read: Natural remedies to boost your immune system)

This article is only about a home remedy, although it has been certified by a doctor, it is best one visit a physician at the earliest in the case of dengue.

The quotes from Dr Sanath is from an interview given by him to WelcomeToNature.

For more articles on diseases and conditions, check out our diseases & conditions section and for videos, check out our YouTube Channel.  

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Wednesday 2 October 2013

பகிருங்கள்... உதவுங்கள் ... please help share your friends


பகிருங்கள்... உதவுங்கள் ...
by Marikumar

சுதா.... அன்பு தோழி.. பழைய அலுவலக நண்பணின் மனைவியும் கூட .. புன்னகை பூ ..ஓயாமல் சிரிப்பவள்.. எப்போது சென்றாலும் சாப்பாட்டில் அன்பையும் சேர்த்து சமைத்து பரிமாறுபவள்... எனக்கொரு பிரச்சினை வந்த போது சளைக்காமல் போனில் , நேரில் என ஆறுதல் கூறிக்கொண்டே இருந்தவள்... அவளுக்கும் கணவனுக்கும் ஏதோ மனஸ்தாபம் வந்தபோது இரு வருடமாக என்னிடம் என் நண்பனை குறை கூற பயந்து தன்னை ஒளித்து கொண்ட நாகரீகம் தெரிந்தவள் ...

இத்தனை நாளுக்கு பின் என் நண்பனிடமிருந்து போன்.. சுதா மிகவும் கவலைக்கிடம் என்று செய்தி வர ஓடோடி சென்றோம்... புன்னகை அழகி இருபத்தெட்டு வயது பெண் பத்துவயது பெண் போன்ற உருவில் ஒரேயடியாக உருமாறி கட்டிலோடு ஓட்டிக்கிடந்தாள்... இரண்டு சிறுநீரகமும் பழுது அடைந்து விட்டது ... டாக்டர்கள் கை விரிக்க அரசு மருத்துவமனையின் ஒரு மூலையில் கிடந்தாள் ...

நெஞ்சே வெடித்து விட்டது .. மனது பெரும்பாரமாகிவிட்டது .. அப்பாவி பெண்ணுக்கு கடவுள் தந்த பரிசை காணும்போது கடவுளையே திட்ட தோணுகிறது .... இன்னமும் பாதி நேரம் நினைவில்லாமல் இருப்பவள் நினைவு திரும்பியவுடன் நம்பிக்கையோடு சொல்கிறாள்...

" சாகவெல்லாம் மாட்டேண்டா... கண்டிப்பா திரும்ப வருவேன் " எவ்வளவு நம்பிக்கையான வார்த்தைகள்.. ஆனால் அவள் உடல்நிலை மிக கவலைக்கிடம் ... நம்பிக்கையே நல்லது... எறும்புக்கும் வாழ்வு உள்ளது என்பதை அவளுக்கு நாம் கொஞ்சமாவது கருணை காட்டலாமே...

பிளீஸ் நண்பர்களே.. அவளுக்கு சிறுநீரகம் தர ஒருவர் ஒப்புக்கொண்டிருக்கிரார், அதற்க்கான செலவுகள் சுமார் பத்து லட்சம் போல ஆகுமாம் ..எங்களால் முடிந்த உதவியை நாங்கள் செய்துவிட்டு வந்தோம் ...

எத்தனையோ நண்பர்கள் எவ்வள்வோ செலவு செய்கிறோம்.. ஒவ்வொருவரும் ஒரு நூறு ரூபாய் அனுப்பினால் கூட அவள் உயிர் பிழைப்பாள். உங்களால் முடிந்தவர்கள் அவள் அக்கவுண்டுக்கு சிறு தொகை அனுப்பி உதவுங்கள்..

நன்றி உள்ளங்களே.. எல்லோரும் வேண்டுங்கள் .. மனிதனே தெய்வம்.. அவனை விட உதவ தெய்வம் யாருமில்லை. அன்பே சிவம்..

Name : D.Sudha

Her account no : 170901000005513

Bank : Indian Overseas Bank ( Rathinapuri branch, Coimbatore )

IFSC code : IOBA0001709 Contact : Aasaithambi (HUsband),

Ph: 9894135368 Mr. Aasai thambi H/O Sudha, 28, Krishnaraj Colony, Siddha Thottam, Ganapathy, Coimbatore - 6410066

Hospital Name: Sthyam Kidney care center

Hospital Phone: 0422 2400401

தமிழால் இணைவோம்

Nagaraj Sweet

Source: Facebook
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Tuesday 1 October 2013

5 tips for apologizing to your partner


5 tips for apologizing to your partner

by vijigermany

5 tips for apologizing to your partner

Learn to own up to your part in disagreements and to say you're sorry in a way that's genuine and meaningful.

Even the best of relationships aren't free of misunderstandings. The good news is that, if handled properly, misunderstandings can often be resolved simply by saying sorry, Before sitting down for a face-to-face talk, though, it's important to plan out your apology.

1. Overcome feelings of embarrassment
Approaching your spouse and owning up to your mistake takes courage.

Apologizing puts you in a vulnerable place, which can make it easy to put off addressing the topic.

Don't let feelings of embarrassment stop you from getting something off your chest.

"When we are embarrassed we want nothing more than to forget or avoid the cause of our embarrassment,".

"Having to apologize means potentially opening the door for a conversation about the embarrassing topic. It's important to recognize that, regardless of how embarrassing a situation might be, avoidance is not going to make it go away."

"The most effective way to get past an embarrassing issue is to repair whatever damage is done and move on,"

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Monday 30 September 2013

Benefits of Vitamins – The Vital Need of the Body!


Benefits of Vitamins – The Vital Need of the Body!!
by gkarti

Vitamins are vital for the growth and development of the body. Vitamin C and all of the B vitamins are water soluble vitamins. Vitamin A, D, E and K are fat soluble vitamins.

Vitamins are vital for the growth and development of the body. There are mainly two types of vitamins – Water soluble vitamins and Fat soluble vitamins.

Water Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin C and all of the B vitamins are water soluble vitamins. They circulate freely in the blood. Water soluble vitamins are vulnerable to losses during cooking as they can easily leach into the cooking water. These are not toxic when consumed in food.

Antioxidant Vitamins
Antioxidant vitamins protect the body from the attack of free radicals. So they are necessary for building the immunity of the body. There are three antioxidant vitamins:

Vitamin C - Click here!
Vitamin A - Click here!
Vitamin E - Click here!

The B Vitamins – the Energy Vitamins
Vitamin B1 -
Vitamin B2-
Vitamin B3 -

Vitamin B5 - Click here!
Vitamin B6 - Click here!
Vitamin B 12 - Click here!

Principal Functions of B Vitamins
1. Energy production
2. Conversion of amino acids
3. Synthesis of fatty acids and hormones
4. Antioxidant protection
5. Helps to heal stress and depression

Deficiency Symptoms of B Vitamins
1. Cracks at the corner of the mouth
2. Sore and red tongue
3. Skin problems
4. Emotional disturbance and stress

The best way to avoid a deficiency of B vitamins is to eat a varied diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, wholegrain, legumes, nuts and seeds.

The B vitamins are synergistic, which mean that they work together. Ensure that you take vitamin B1, B2 and B6 in roughly equal quantity. The vitamin B complex is vital for the synthesis of fatty acids. They help us make and control cholesterol in the body. They are needed to synthesize steroid hormones such as melatonin, the sleep hormone.

Fat Soluble Vitamins
Fat soluble vitamins are found in the liver and fatty tissue of the body where they are stored and used. These are not destroyed through cooking water. There are four fat soluble vitamins:

Vitamin A,D,E and K.

All these vitamins are necessary for the proper physical development and growth. A balanced and nutritious diet is must to get all these vitamins.

Thanks!! Hope This Article helps :)

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Friday 27 September 2013

Do you live a heart healthy lifestyle?


Quiz: Do you live a heart healthy lifestyle?

by Nirmalya Dutta

September 29 is World Heart Day.

Our heart is probably the most important organ in our body but we spend the better part of our day abusing it by making unhealthy lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking excessively, eating junk food and not exercising. Take this quiz to find out how healthy your lifestyle is for your heart?

* How often do you exercise in a week?
About twice a week
More than four times a week

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Thursday 26 September 2013

Beware! Excessive colouring, straightening and perming could lead to hair loss


Beware! Excessive colouring, straightening and perming could lead to hair loss

by Dr Apoorva Shah

Hair styling isn't a fad that just caught the fancy of humans. People in ancient Greece used harsh soaps and bleaches to lighten and redden their hair to the colour that was identified with honour and courage. In fact, even first-century Romans preferred dark hair which was made so by a dye concocted from boiled walnuts and leeks.

Things have not changed much over centuries. More and more youngsters are experimenting with styles, going blonde or simply curling or straightening hair.

The worst hit are probably models and actresses who being under bright lights are prone to dandruff and probably have to get their hair styled every second day. Even air hostesses have to style their hair when on duty hence it is an occupational hazard. But perming, dyeing and straightening hair seem to be becoming increasingly popular even amongst the masses. But before going in for these it is best to recognise the risks involved and how too much of these can lead to hair loss.

Perming and straightening

Girls with curly hair want it straight and silky and those gifted with the latter want them curled. Salons are flooded with clients making requests for weird hair-dos.

When hair is straightened or curled, tremendous heat is applied in order to change its natural shape. This converts the protein cystine (of which the hair is composed) to cysteine and then manipulated into a certain look. However, in the process, some amount of cystic acid is generated. This process results in 20% of the hair getting destroyed. So, if you want to perm your hair or get it straightened, make sure you don't do so too frequently. (Read: Hair straightening – To do or not to do?)

Hair colouring

Regular streaking and dyeing can cause cumulative damage, although it may take years before there are obvious signs of hair breakage. Permanent chemical dyes may damage the hair by breaking through the cuticle shield to invade the cortex. They may also cause an autoimmune reaction leading to alopecia or a skin disease called dermatitis. Instead of using a permanent dye, try a rinse or a temporary dye. (Read: Hair colouring – what you need to know)

Hot rollers and dryers

Applying excessive heat to the hair can damage the scalp and cause the hair follicles to weaken. High heat and the time for which it is used on the hair will also impact its structure. While hair loses its elasticity, damage to the cuticle makes it more breakable. Steam forming inside the hair shaft causes hair breakage. It is therefore necessary to limit the amount of heat as well as the length of time you dry your hair.

If you use a blow dryer, use a moderate heat setting. Never over dry. Cold hair dryers are the best. It is also advisable to towel dry your hair gently before blow drying. 

Hair styling

Avoid tight braids and ponytails as these may cause breakage and tearing of the hair shaft. Though these may look trendy, making tight ponytails every day will make the hair prone to breakage. (Read: Tips to tackle bad hair days)


Thin may be in but definitely not when it comes to hair. Dieting can make your hair root too weak to sustain the pressure of your hair, leading to a form of hair loss called Anagen Effluvium. If you want to lose weight, do so under qualified supervision of a dietician who can help you with a safe and healthy diet plan.

If you ever notice worrying changes in your hair – such as hair loss, itchy scalp, and split ends – contact a trichologist immediately. You may be too fashionable for your hair's liking but with timely help you can rectify the condition.

For more articles on beauty, check out our Beauty section and for videos, check out our YouTube Channel. 

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6 heart health myths busted! by Agencies


6 heart health myths busted!
by Agencies

The source of information, or misinformation, can be anything – a neighbour, a commercial, something you had read 'a long time back' – but over time, it often becomes something we staunchly believe in. Cardiologists say that in the process of treatment of many of their patients, they have to battle myths, some more common than others, which, if cleared, can go a long way in ensuring a healthy heart and a healthy future. Here are some myths surrounding heart health worth busting:

1. All kinds of exercise are good for the heart

Among some of the most common myths related to heart care, according to renowned cardiologist Dr Ashok Seth, is that all kinds of exercise is good for the cardiovascular system.

'A 45-minute brisk walk, or aerobic exercise is good for your heart. But weightlifting and gym exercises are not necessarily good for your cardiovascular health,' Seth told IANS. (Read: Is running bad for your heart?)

2. Women are less prone to heart ailments

It's also a misconception that women are less prone to cardiovascular ailments.

'Cardiovascular disease is the biggest cause of death in women, six times more than breast cancer,' Seth said. 'But traditionally it's seen that in most Indian families this doesn't appear as a concern vis-a-vis a woman's health. If the man has a slight discomfort, they rush to the hospital, but the women, maybe because they have a high tolerance level, simply ignore any such discomfort'.

'Even while going for health check-ups, a mammogram or a pap smear test is listed (to detect cancer), but not a heart check-up, which is very necessary,' he added.

Agreed K.K. Talwar, cardiologist at Delhi's Max hospital. 'Although women have the protection cover of the estrogen hormone, lifestyle habits like smoking, unhealthy eating habits and contraceptive pills make them prone (to heart ailments). And after menopause, the risk increases,' Talwar said. (Read: Indian women more vulnerable to heart diseases now)

3. Young cannot be affected by heart ailments

That the young cannot be affected by heart ailments is another myth, Talwar says.

'It's no longer true that only those in their 50s and 60s can have cardiovascular problems. Even those in their 30s are coming with such problems these days. In fact, because of lifestyle habits like junk food, alcohol consumption and smoking, plus stress, they are prone to acute heart attacks that can be fatal,' he said.

According to Talwar, about 20 percent of heart attack patients in Max hospital are in the 30-40 age group. In the West this number is 5 to 10 percent lower because South Asians are more prone to cardiovascular problems at a younger age than their Western counterparts. 'Five to seven percent of those who come for angiography are below the age of 35,' Talwar told IANS. (Read: More young people falling prey to hypertension)

4. Heart pain, indicating emergency, will be on the left side of the chest

It's not necessary that heart pain, indicating emergency, will be on the left side of the chest, Sunita Choudhury, another cardiologist, emphasised. 'It may also be in the right arm, upper abdomen, and usually in the left arm,' she said. (See: Ask a cardiologist: First aid for Heart Attack victims (Expert opinion))


5. A particular brand of oil is good for your heart

Much against TV and print commercials promoting a particular kind or brand of oil as being good for the heart, doctors say that such information should be taken with a pinch of salt.

'Trans-fatty acid is bad for the heart, and one should look out for food containing that. Other than that, there is no truth that only a particular kind of oil is good, like the trend is of olive oil. Even mustard oil is good,' Talwar said. But even as the Mustard Research and Promotion Consortium says that mustard oil can prevent coronary artery disease, many doctors say that it's best to keep changing one's brand or kind of oil every few months.

6. Nuts are bad for your heart

Nuts, a rich source of oil, are also not at all bad. 'Almonds and walnuts are good for the heart, and one should have 8 to 10 pieces of almond, soaked in water, every day,' Seth said. But don't go overboard – fried almonds are a big no. As doctors say, it's often a thin line separating information and misinformation.

Source: IANS

This article is a part of our Heart Health Month initiative.

Know your heart, love your heart

More and more Indians are falling prey to heart disease. There are various reasons for this including a sedentary lifestyle, genetic predisposition, pollution, smoking, drinking, a fatty diet and a general ignorance about what causes heart ailments. However, we at intend to fight that by covering every aspect of cardiovascular health including diet, expert advice, exercise, natural remedies, diagnosis and treatment, specific heart advice for women and more this month.

Check out our Heart Health Page for more.

For more articles on diseases and conditions, check out our diseases & conditions section and for videos, check out our YouTube Channel. 



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Is it possible to lose weight by walking?


Is it possible to lose weight by walking?

by Nirmalya Dutta

Of course it's possible to lose weight by walking. See what you've to understand about weight loss is that it's based on simple mathematics. If you eat X calories in a day and burn Y calories, you will only lose weight if Y is more than X. But Y isn't just the calories you burn in the gym or while walking, it's the calories your body burns throughout the day with its normal processes.

But how much weight you burn will depend on a number of different variables – what, when and how much you eat every day; how often you walk and with what intensity. It will also depend on your physical levels throughout the day.

Walking for weight loss

If you want to walk away those extra pounds you will have to keep in mind that when you walk, it's at a fast, brisk pace not a leisurely stroll. Of course you could be out of shape and it won't be extremely easy. If you're just getting some physical activity after a long time, we recommend that you start with at least 30 minutes of walking. In time you can gradually increase your pace and duration. The major problem most people have is that they get bored while walking and this leads to them leaving the activity. You can make it more fun by making walking a group activity or listening to music. If you're doing it in the gym you can always watch TV.     


Walking is a hassle-free activity, free and doesn't require you to do anything other than put on a good pair of sports shoes. It's easy on the joints and is a doable activity for people of all age groups. Research after research has shown that even a 30-minute walk every day is enough to keep obesity-related diseases like diabetes, heart disease, etc. at bay. Walking at 6.5 km/h, a fairly standard pace can help a 65 kg man burn 362 calories per hour. (Read: Could walking be more healthy than running?)


While walking might be good for losing that initial extra flab, it might be hard to get rid of stubborn fat from areas like bellies for men and hips and thighs for women. To lose that stubborn fat you'd need to up your metabolism which you go do through strength training, faster forms of cardio or other more strenuous exercises.  

For more articles on fitness check out our Fitness Section and for videos check out our YouTube Channel.

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Tuesday 24 September 2013

Blood cancer or leukaemia in adults – lifesaving answers to your queries by Dr Shyam Agarwal


Blood cancer or leukaemia in adults – lifesaving answers to your queries by Dr Shyam Agarwal

by Dr Shyam Agarwal

Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) is the most common adult leukaemia in India that affects people between the age groups of 30 and 60. It is more common in males than in females with almost 0.8 to 2.2 males out of 100,000 being diagnosed every year. With these startling statistics, it is about time people woke up to the possibility of contracting this disease. Dr Shyam Agarwal, senior consultant at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, tells us more about the most common form of blood cancer in adults.

What is CML?

 Dr Shyam Agarwal: CML stands for chronic myeloid leukaemia, and it is a type of slow blood cancer. This cancer starts in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow and invades the blood. In CML, leukaemia cells tend to build up in the body over time, but in many cases people don't have any symptoms for at least a few years. With time, these cells invade other parts of the body, including the spleen. CML can also change into a fast-growing form known as acute leukaemia which is capable of invading any organ in the body. (Read: Leukaemia – the blood cancer)

How does it happen?

 Dr Shyam Agarwal: The exact cause of CML is not known, but the patient usually comes to us with symptoms like an enlarged spleen, left-sided abdominal pain, weakness, low grade fever, loss of appetite, and loss of weight. On further testing we find their white blood cell count or total lymphocyte count is raised to a great extent, which is one of the hallmarks of this condition. On further testing we find what is called the 'Philadelphia chromosome'. Here, chromosome 9 and chromosome 22 are interchanged, because of which, the person's genes don't function properly. This leads to the rearrangement of two genes known as BCR and Abl1 gene. Because of this rearrangement the white blood cells within the patient's bone marrow begins to reproduce abnormally leading to the manifestation of symptoms.  

Is early diagnosis important in this condition?

Dr Shyam Agarwal: Yes, definitely, the earlier the better. In this disease there is a scoring system in which the burden of the disease is estimated. But like I said this condition is due to gene rearrangement, so if we control or block this malfunction then most patients suffering from CML recover, even if it is diagnosed a bit late. 

Is there a classic symptom that people should look out for?

Dr Shyam Agarwal: One of the most common symptoms is the enlargement of the spleen, low-grade fever and weakness. These are the hallmarks. One should visit a doctor immediately if they see these symptoms.

Like other types of leukaemia is there any bruising in this form of the disease?

Dr Shyam Agarwal: No, not really. They can happen in about as low as 10 people in the whole population. One will most commonly find bruising in people suffering from acute leukaemia and not this form of the disease.

What are the methods of diagnosis?

Dr Shyam Agarwal: As such a blood test can identify the presence of the faulty genes, but to get a proper diagnosis a bone marrow biopsy is necessary. We usually take a bone marrow aspiration to identify the presence of the Philadelphia chromosome in the bone marrow and confirm the presence of the rearranged BCR gene and Able1 gene by the FISH method (Fluorescence in-situ hybridization) or PCR method (polymerase chain reaction).

What are the complications of not getting treated?

Dr Shyam Agarwal: CML has three phases, the first one is the chronic phase which goes on for about three to three-and-a-half years, after that the disease progresses more swiftly, and this phase is known as the accelerated phase. In this phase the patient's haemoglobin level drops, he/she has an extremely swollen spleen and one can see increased levels of basophils and blasts (types of blood cells) in the person's blood and bone marrow. These numbers increase markedly, and this phase lasts about six to eight months. After this, if the patient does not get treated they get into the blast phase which is also known as acute leukaemia. This is the last phase and is extremely short and the patient usually dies in about two to three days. This phase is untreatable and the most severe part of the disease.

What are the treatment options for patients diagnosed with this condition?

Dr Shyam Agarwal: There are now three medicines in the market to help resolve this disease, they are – Imatinib, Nilotinib and Dasatinib. All three medicines are very potent and almost 99% of the patients diagnosed can recover. These patients have the chance to live a long life, anywhere from 10 to 25 years.  

As a part of the treatment, is a bone marrow transplant needed? How effective is it?

Dr Shyam Agarwal: The drugs that we have today are doing a good job in controlling the condition that is why a bone marrow transplant has become the second line of treatment. This is because a bone marrow transplant is an expensive and cumbersome procedure, costs a lot more than the drugs and only about 60% of the patients treated with this surgery recover. Moreover, about 40% of the patients die due to the bone marrow transplant surgery in about four to six months. So, now that we have medicines that work on the root of the problem, that is to block the misplaced gene's functions, and heals about 98-99% of the patients, bone marrow transplants are not the norm.

Are there any newer treatment methods?

Dr Shyam Agarwal: Yes, there are two more drugs that have been introduced, but they are not currently available in India. They are Ponotanib and Bosutinib.

Q: Most people associate leukaemia with chemotherapy. What is the advantage of having medicines for this disorder? 

Dr Shyam Agarwal: The good thing about medicines is that they are easier for patients to deal with than a treatment like chemotherapy. The patient can eat them at home and there are no serious side effects. They are known as targeted drugs. Patients usually have mild side effects like water retention (oedema), swelling in the face and lightening of the skin. In the case of Dasatinib, which is more potent, patients do suffer from a condition called plural effusion (which is the accumulation of fluids in the lungs), but with proper regulation of their dosage this side effect is also controlled. In comparison, these are fairly mild side effects and don't interfere with the patient's quality of life does. Patients have been eating these medicines for a very long time and leading an absolutely normal life. They get married and can also have children. This is one disease where the medicine acts as a magic bullet. We do prescribe other medication along with this to counter side effects, like diuretics to beat the water retention problem so most don't have too much trouble. More importantly these drugs are good in the long run.

Is this condition hereditary?

Dr Shyam Agarwal: No, it is not hereditary. When these patients have children, they are normal. The only precaution a patient has to take is to discontinue the medication during their conception and pregnancy since the medicines have a cytotoxic effect (can harm a developing foetus).

How expensive is the treatment and diagnosis?

Dr Shyam Agarwal: It used to be more expensive earlier. All these medicines are available in about five to ten thousand rupees per month, and they are very readily available. There are also some schemes for poor patients that provide these medicines to them free of cost.

What is the most important thing that patients should know?

Dr Shyam Agarwal: The most important thing for patients is for them to remember that they have to take these medicines as long as they live. They must get regular checkups where we monitor their BCR and Abl1 gene by doing regular blood tests. These patients should remember that they should not discontinue the medicines even after their blood reports become normal.

For more articles on diseases and conditions, check out our diseases & conditions section and for videos, check out our YouTube Channel. 

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Monday 23 September 2013

Cute And Beautiful Brides Just Got Married


Cute And Beautiful Brides Just Got Married
by mahi khan
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Sunday 22 September 2013

அசந்து போகும் உலக அதிசயங்கள் new tamil world records


அசந்து போகும் உலக அதிசயம்
by Marikumar
ஆண் பெண் : சில டிப்ஸ்Yesterday,

1. இரண்டு பெண்கள் அருகருகில் இருந்தும் பேசாமல் இருந்தால் அது உலக அதிசயம்

2. கணவன் பேசும் போது மறு பேச்சு பேசாமல் மு ழுவதையும் காது கொடுத்து கேட்கும் பெண்கள் இருந்தால் அது உலக அதிசயம் .

3. காதலனுக்கு செலவு வைக்காமல் தனது பில்களையெல்லாம்­ தானே செலுத்தும் காதலி இருந்தால் அது உலக அதிசயம்...

4. மேக்கப் போடாமல் வீட்டிற்கு வெளியே போகும் பெண்கள் இருந்தால் அது உலக அதிசயம்

5. உன்னை மட்டும் காதலிக்கிறேன் என்று ஒரே ஒரு பெண்ணிடம் சொல்லும் ஆண்கள் இருந்தால் அது உலக அதிசயம்

6. பேஸ்புக்கில் பெண்கள் சொல்லும் மொக்கைகளுக்கு ஒரு லைக்ஸும் விழாமல் இருந்தால் அது உலக

7. பேஸ்புக்கில் ஆண்கள் சொல்லும் நல்ல கருத்துகளுக்கு சில லைக்ஸாவது கிடைத்து இருந்தால் அது உலக அதிசயம்

8. தமிழ் நலனுக்காக உண்மையாக பாடு படும் ஒரு தலைவர் இருந்தால் அது உலக அதிசயம்

9. இங்கிலிஷில் பேசி பீலா விடாத தமிழ் கல்லூரிப் பெண்கள் இருந்தால் அது உலக அதிசயம்

10. கல்யாணம் ஆகி குழந்தை பெற்று 10 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு பிறகும் கணவனை குறை சொல்லாமல் நேசிக்கும் பெண்கள் இருந்தால் அது உலக அதிசயம்

11. செய்திளை திரிக்காமல் வெளியிடும் பத்திரிக்கைகள் வந்தால் அது உலக மகா அதிசயம்

12 . விகடன் குழும பத்திரிக்கைகளில­் சினிமா நடிகைகளின் கவர்ச்சி படங்கள் வராமல் இருந்தால் அது உலக அதிசயம்

13. ஜெயலலிதா அவர்களின் காலில் விழுந்து வணங்காத அமைச்சர்கள் இருந்தால் அதிசயம்

14. கலைஞர் அறிக்கைகள் விடாமல் இருந்தால் அது உலக அதிசயம்

15. சட்டசபையில் ஜெயலலிதாவும் கலைஞரும் எதிர் எதிராக அமர்ந்து தமிழ்
மக்கள் நலனுக்காக ஆரோக்கிய மாக விவாவதித்தால் அது உலக மகா அதிசயம் .

16. கமலஹாசன் ஆங்கில படங்களை தழுவாமல் இப்போது படங்கள் எடுத்தால் அது உலக அதிசயம்

17. ரஜினிகாந்த வருடத்திற்கு ஒரு முறையாவது வாய்ஸ் கொடுக்காமல் இருந்தால் அது உலக அதிசயம்

18. தீபாவளி , பொங்கல் , புத்தாண்டு தினங்களில் டிவிகளில் சாலமன் பாப்பையா பட்டிமன்றம் இல்லாமல் இருந்தால் அது உலக அதிசயம்.

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Saturday 21 September 2013

More Cleanliness Can Weak Your Memory : A Research


More Cleanliness Can Weak Your Memory : A Research

Many people in the world has habit of cleanliness and they think it half of faith.To keep clean your home and surrounding,save you from many diseases and health problems.Recently a research has been made in this field that much cleaning can be harmful for human brain memory.Now lets see,what's the research says about this:

Cleanliness is half of faith,but most modern scientific research says that a lot of cleanliness pursuant can be risky for your health.And the weakness of human memory or it may be suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Researchers in a study at Cambridge University has warned that a lot of cleaning in the future can cause Alzheimer (memory-related disease) and may increase the risk of suffering from such diseases.

Researchers say that to recover immune system,is very important to have friends with friendly bacteria,and the balance limit should be keep in the cleaning pursuant and much cleaning can also be risky for the life. During this disease,human memory slowly becomes weak and affect his ability to communicate with others.

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Friday 20 September 2013

World Alzheimer’s Day 2013: Early medical help can slow effects of disease


World Alzheimer's Day 2013: Early medical help can slow effects of disease


May 21 is World Alzheimer's Day. 

One fine day, Pradeep Singh Rana, 65, completely forgot the way to the house he had lived for more than 40 years. He had to actually stop and seek help. It was a wakeup call that he perhaps had Alzheimer's, an incurable form of dementia commonly affecting people above 60. When he was consulting his GP, who has been his doctor for 20 years, he realised that this was not the first time that he had forgotten something. He was not able to recall some past memories.

His doctor-cum-friend advised him to undergo a thorough check-up. He was eventually diagnosed to be suffering from Alzheimer's. Doctors said that very few people realise that they have the condition and the best way to slow the process and prevent it from progressing is early medical intervention. Sunil Mittal, director, Cosmos Institute of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences (CIMBS), said Alzheimer's has become a very common problem.

'Initially considered to be uncommon, Alzheimer's is now more common than ever thought to be, thanks to the researches and studies being conducted. People are living longer, and hence are bound to get affected by age-related disorders. The only way forward is early medical intervention,' Mittal told IANS. Alzheimers, which leads to the non-functioning of brain cells, is said to have no medical treatment for cure. It starts with remembering recent events, and goes backwards.

The prevalence of the condition in India is said to be one in 20 for people over 60 years and one in five for people over 80 years. The condition develops slowly, but it slowly gets worse and can become severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.  According to Sanjay Pattanayak, consultant psychiatry and de-addiction, Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (VIMHANS), the prevalence of Alzheimer's increases by five percent every five years after 60 years of age.

'Genetic in nature, the effects of this degenerative condition can never be zero. However, seeking medical help in the initial stages can definitely slow down the process.  'First, people need to take memory loss or related problems, howsoever trivial, seriously. Patients come to us only after they forget about a recent wedding they attended, or the route back home. It gets too late by then. After turning 60, every little memory-related problem should be taken seriously,' Pattanayak told IANS.

According to Samir Parikh, chief of the Department of Mental Health and Behavorial Sciences, Max Healthcare, medical help is required in the initial stages along with building approaches to create awareness on early indications. 'Sometimes, dementia is nutrition-related, which can be due to the deficiency of vitamin B12, thyroid or at times because of medicines which are likely to make a person forget things, and undergo mood swings. Such types, also knows by pseudodementia, need to be ruled out immediately,' he said. He also said that appropriate medication needs to be started at the earliest. Although, there is no data to show whether Alzheimer's can affect a person below 60 years, doctors say they are getting patients who show the symptoms even when they are in their early 50s. 'There have been cases. But it could be early detection cases. Although there are no clear reasons for its Occurrence,' Mittal said. The doctor said the best way to prevent its onset is by changing one's lifestyle. 'We can try to prevent its onset and progress by altering our eating and lifestyle habits, and taking medicines which increase neurological communication in the brain, increasing its functioning,' he said.

Source: IANS

For more articles on diseases and conditions, check out our diseases & conditions section and for videos, check out our YouTube Channel. 

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10 secrets to great heart health


10 secrets to great heart health

On World Heart Day which is celebrated on September 29, say yes to good eating habits and exercise. Have low fat milk, make your plate colourful by opting for different coloured vegetables and fruits, says an expert.

Sonal Raval, nutritionist at Snap Fitness India, shares dietary and health tips to help people have a healthy heart: 

- Eat a variety of food items, but not in excess: Different coloured vegetables and fruits, pulses and legumes, low fat dairy products are some of the ways to prevent your food from becoming boring.

- Check your weight: Overweight can be the reason behind high blood pressure or disease like diabetes. To avoid such problems, it is best to keep a check on your weight. Eat slowly and take smaller portion, opt for low calories, but rich in nutrients food. (Read: 5 diseases you can prevent with weight loss)

- Keep away from food rich in fat: Use skimmed or low fat milk and milk products. Bake, roast or boil rather than frying.

- Eat food with adequate fiber: Fruits and vegetables like carrot, cucumber and apple have skin. They should be consumed along with it.

- Avoid sugar in excess: White sugar, soft drinks, candies, chocolates, cakes and cookies should be avoided. Don't eat sweets between meals. (Read: 6 healthy substitutes for white sugar)

- Sodium should be taken in less quantity: Use small amount of salt to prepare dish, try more natural ways to add flavour to food items. Go with spices, lemon juice, tomatoes and curds, don't munch chips and fried foods constantly.

- Don't encourage exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups. Such exercises involve straining muscles against other muscles or an immovable object.

- Don't exercise outdoors when the temperature becomes extreme. High humidity may cause you to tire more quickly; extreme temperatures can make breathing difficult, and cause chest pain. Indoor activities such as mall walking are better.

- Exercise in hilly areas is a big no. If you are located in such places then slow down when climbing up the hill. 

- If your exercise programme has been interrupted for a few days due to illness, vacation, or any other reason, start with a reduced level of activity. (Read: Ten tips for a healthier heart)

Source: IANS

For more articles on diseases and conditions, check out our diseases & conditions section and for videos, check out our YouTube Channel. 

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How long should you exercise daily to stay fit?


How long should you exercise daily to stay fit?


Keeping ourselves fit has become increasingly important in today's world where the fast paced lifestyle often leads to stress. A lot of people complain of not having the time to put in hours of work at the gym, but there's some good news for them. Exercising for just 30 minutes on a daily basis, which is the time it takes to watch one TV programme boosts energy and encourages people to maintain a healthy lifestyle, says a recent study.

Interdisciplinary research at the University of Copenhagen explains why moderate exercising is more motivating than hard training. The findings have been published in Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. (Read: 10 awesome fitness workouts for the perfect you!)

The obesity epidemic has massive socio-economic consequences, and decades of health campaigns have not made significant headway, reports Science Daily.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen are pursuing the development of a new integrative methods for preventing and treating this widespread problem.

'Obesity is a complex social problem requiring a multidisciplinary approach. In a new scientific article we combine data from biomedical studies of the subjects' bodies with ethnological data on their experiences during the 13-week trial period. (Read: No country for fit people – every other urban Indian is obese!)

'This enables us to explain the background for the surprising fact that 30 minutes of daily exercise is just as beneficial as a full hour of hard fitness training,' says Professor Bente Stallknecht from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at University of Copenhagen.

'The 'lightweight' group of exercisers appear to get more energy and be more motivated in relation to pursuing a healthy lifestyle.'

Source: IANS

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Viral fever: How to recognize, diagnose and treat it


Viral fever: How to recognize, diagnose and treat it

by Pavitra Sampath

'Oh! You have viral fever', is a common response when someone we know comes down with a fever. The person usually suffers from symptoms like fever, generalised body ache, weakness and a general feeling of discomfort. But could there be more to the condition than just self-medicating and suffering through it? Here are some things you should keep in mind when you suddenly suffer from fever.   

What is viral fever?

Viral fever, as the name suggests, is a condition that is transmitted from one person to another through direct contact with the person's bodily fluids. This is much simpler than you think. When a person coughs, sneezes, yawns or even talks they tend to spray tiny particles of fluid that contain bacteria and viruses from their body. If you are close enough, these bacteria enter your body through your nose or mouth and infect you. Once infected it takes anywhere from 16 hours to 48 hours to turn into a full blown infection.

While this doesn't mean that we all need to become hypochondriacs, it does mean that we should be careful with our personal hygiene. Some common steps to keep diseases like this at bay would be to wash your hands regularly, avoid crowded places and avoid touching your face (mouth and nose) with your hands without washing them. Another thing to remember is that if you do have cold, viral fever or cough, avoid crowded areas, always cover your mouth with a clean hanky while coughing, sneezing or yawning. This not only minimises the number of bacteria/viruses you transmit it also ensures that you don't catch any other disease when you are already ill. 

How is it diagnosed?

Your doctor will most likely listen to the symptoms you have, and come to a conclusion about your illness. But in some cases doctor may tend to prescribe blood tests to rule out any other conditions like dengue, malaria, chikungunya, typhoid, etc. A blood test may also be indicated in cases where your doctor needs to differentiate between the causative organisms. That means he/she wants to know if your fever is caused due a bacteria or virus. Since a virus cannot be detected by a blood test and a bacterium can, the test is mainly to rule out bacterial infection. (Read: Causes of fever you didn't know about)

How can I differentiate between viral fever and something more serious?

Since the symptoms of viral fever often overlap other common and serious conditions it is pertinent to know about the symptoms that can help you differentiate between a viral fever and other diseases. The red flags you need to keep an eye out for are – very high fever that is either of the following:

     Intermittent in nature (occurs at regular intervals)
     Occurs along with chills
     Doesn't subside with medicines
     Has been present for a long time
Other symptoms are severe pain around the joints, vomiting, swelling of the face and a rash. If you experience any of these symptoms make it a point to visit your doctor immediately.

What can you so once you have viral fever?

If you are suffering from viral fever it is best that you take enough rest and have warm soothing food like soup and khichidi till you get better. If you have very severe symptoms like high fever, extreme body ache, etc. you should visit your doctor for some medicines to give you some symptomatic relief. A number of people tend to self medicate during such times, relying on antipyretics, analgesics and antibiotics to help them out, but remember that self-medication is a bad idea. More importantly a viral fever will not heal with antibiotics. Antibiotics are medicines that are made to kill bacteria, they cannot kill viruses; so by taking them, all you are doing is heading towards a bad case of acidity, stomach disturbance and in more severe cases damage to your liver and kidneys.

Can I stop taking antibiotics once I recover?

If your doctor has prescribed you antibiotics after diagnosing you with viral fever, it is usually to help beat any opportunistic or secondary infections you might catch while you are sick. When prescribed it is important to complete the entire course of the medication, even if you are feeling better. This is because discontinuation of antibiotics midway leads to the formation of antibiotic resistant bacteria. This is a risk factor not only for you but also others who might get infected by it.

Can viral fever recur?

No, once a person is infected by a virus, he/she cannot be infected by the same virus again because the body makes antibodies (infection fighters) for that specific virus. These antibodies fight the virus before it has a chance to infect you once again. If you suffer from recurrent viral fever it is likely that you have been infected by different types of viruses at different stages.

Finally, remember that you should not ignore a fever, do not self-medicate and visit a doctor at once if you notice symptoms like high fever with chills, one that won't subside with medication, one that lasts for a long time and one that is intermittent in nature. (Read: 5 reasons the summer could be tough on you)

For more articles on diseases and conditions, check out our diseases & conditions section and for videos, check out our YouTube Channel. 

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