Does Gestational Diabetes result in Obesity and Diabetes in Children?

Gestational diabetes is a condition wherein the blood sugar level becomes high during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually resolves after the delivery, although one is at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, gestational diabetes affects 3 to 8 percent of pregnant women in the United States. The GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus) rate in India is 26.3%, which is highest in the world, according to Dr. Nam Han Cho, of the International Diabetes Federation. It is estimated that 4 million women in India are affected by GDM in India at any given time.

The Effects on the health of the child

Gestational diabetes may have long term consequences on the health of both, mother and child. Research has found that affected babies are likely to be born large and with birth defects. They also are at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life and childhood obesity. The study was published in the British Medical Journal and was funded in part by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The lead author Cuilin Zhang, of the Institute’s Epidemiology Branch, Division of Intramural Population Health Research says that the researchers found numerous links between unhealthy babies and diabetes during pregnancy. The women who were overweight/obese before pregnancy were the ones most at risk.

Researchers at US National Institutes of Health (NIH) noted that previous studies have linked diets high in refined grains to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. They compared records from 918 mother-child pairs in a study that followed the pregnancies of more than 91,000 women in Denmark. They found that children born to women with gestational diabetes who consumed the most refined grain (over 156 grams per day) were twice as likely to be obese at age 7, compared to those born to women with gestational diabetes who ate the least amount of refined grain (less than 37 grams per day). The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The link between grain consumption by women during pregnancy and obesity by age 7 persisted even when the researchers controlled for factors that could potentially influence the children’s weight – such as physical activity level and consumption of vegetables, fruit and sweets. Additional studies are needed to confirm these results, and to see if obesity risk persists later in life in these children, the researchers said.

Another study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) looked at the impact that gestational diabetes had on the risk factor to the child. Researchers from McGill University studied 73,180 mothers between 1990 and 2012. The study revealed that children born to mothers with gestational diabetes were twice as likely to develop Type I diabetes by the age of 22. The study says, “Future studies are needed to examine longer-term outcomes in patients with pediatric diabetes with a maternal history of gestational diabetes mellitus, to ascertain how they compare with other patients with childhood- or youth-onset diabetes, in terms of disease severity and outcomes.”

Dr. Zhang says in a podcast, “we found that low-risk lifestyle before pregnancy (that is, maintaining healthy body weight, consuming a healthy diet, exercising regularly (at least 150 minutes a week, and not smoking) was related to a substantially lower risk of gestational diabetes. And women at low risk for all these four factors had more than 80% lower risk than those without any of these low-risk factors.”

“We also found that the combination of the four highest risks: smoking, inactivity, overweight or obesity and poor diet could account for nearly half of gestational diabetes events. And, importantly, among both normal weight and obese or overweight women, a healthy diet and lifestyle were related to a lower risk.”

So, preventing gestational diabetes at the very beginning could be an important strategy in curbing its adverse health effects for future generations. Eating a healthy diet and living a healthy lifestyle before pregnancy will play an important role in lowering GDM risk.

References:

Mithal A, Bansal B, Kalra S. Gestational diabetes in India: Science and society. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2015;19(6):701–704. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.164031

Zhu, Yeyi, et al. Maternal dietary intakes of refined grains during pregnancy and growth through the first 7 years of life among children born to women with gestational diabetes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.136291

Gestational diabetes associated with incident diabetes in childhood and youth: a retrospective cohort study Andrea L. Blotsky, Elham Rahme, Mourad Dahhou, Meranda Nakhla and Kaberi Dasgupta
CMAJ April 15, 2019 191 (15) E410-E417; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.181001

Canadian Medical Association Journal. “Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190415081822.htm>.

Red onions may help combat cancer

red onion health benefits for cancer
Image courtesy of Nein Arimasen – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

New research suggests that dark red onions, which are known as the richest source of dietary flavonoids may help fight off cancer of the colon and the breast. “We found that onions are excellent at killing cancer cells,” said Abdulmonem Murayyan, a doctoral student at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. The findings, published in the journal, ‘Food Research International’, showed that red onions contain high levels of quercetin which has benefits such as lowering inflammation and fighting allergies and is also believed to have the power of stealing iron from cancer cells, which they use to grow. Quercetin has the power to shrink cancer cells.

The team tested five onion types and discovered that the Ruby Ring variety of onion – tall globe-shaped bulbs of dark red colour was the best. The red onion is said to be full of powerful compounds that help to kill tumours. Red onions also have high amounts of anthocyanin which boosts the scavenging properties of quercetin molecules and is also responsible for its dark red colour. When cells of colon and breast cancer were placed in direct contact with the quercetin extracted from the five different onion varieties, the team found them effective at killing cancer cells. “Onions activate pathways that encourage cancer cells to undergo cell death. They promote an unfavourable environment for cancer cells and disrupt communication between cancer cells and inhibits growth” according to Abdulmonem Murayyan.

Hence any type of onion, regardless of its colour, may help to destroy cancer, though the red ones may be the most potent. Some are wary of the findings as there have been no human trials and it may be different when tried on humans as the human body is more complex.

Reference:

Abdulmonem I. Murayyan et al. 2017. Antiproliferative activity of Ontario grown onions against colorectal adenocarcinoma cells. Food Research International 96: 12-18; doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2017.03.017

Is Oil Pulling an effective remedy for Oral Health

oil pulling
Image Courtesy of The dabblist

Oil pulling seems to be gradually becoming a trend now for its health benefits to the teeth, but the process is quite ancient. It is been in existence for thousands of years as oral therapy in the Ayurveda form of medicine. Studies on oil pulling attest to the health benefits of the practice.

A study on “Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene – A review”, says “mouth is considered as the mirror of the general health of the human body. Oral cavity harbors billions of microorganisms, some of these contribute to the development or progression of systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, etc. Oral health and general health is interrelated. So it is very important to maintain oral health….”

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is nothing but swishing about one tablespoon of coconut oil or sesame oil in your mouth for about 20 mins and then spitting it out. One can start out with 5-10 mins in the beginning. IT is all about gently pushing the oil through the teeth and swishing it around.
Studies show that oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque formation, and bad breath. This is because the cells of the microorganism in the mouth are covered with a fatty membrane and when the cells come into contact with the oil they stick to each other. For children older than five years of age, a teaspoon of oil will suffice.

According to the study, “the oil is ‘pulled’ and forced in between all the teeth by swishing it all around the mouth. At the end of this activity, if the procedure is done correctly, the viscous oil will become milky white and thinner. Then it is spit out and mouth is thoroughly washed with clean warm saline water or tap water and teeth are cleaned with fingers or routine tooth brushing is performed. If the jaw aches, then the procedure can be done just for 5–10 min….”

The study further states that “oil pulling should be ideally performed daily morning on empty stomach before brushing teeth and care should be taken that oil is not swallowed. Swallowing of oil should be avoided as the oil contains bacteria and toxins. Oil pulling is best practiced in a sitting position with chin up. It can be practiced thrice daily in empty stomach before meals to fasten the healing effects.”

Oil pulling is best done with coconut oil as it has lauric acid which is known for being anti-microbial.

Why oil pulling?

It is believed in Ayurveda, that the tongue is connected to various organs such as kidneys, heart, lungs, small intestine, spine, etc. Oil pulling is believed to help in the excretion of toxic heavy metals, chemical, bacterial and environmental toxins by saliva. Thus oil pulling detoxifies and purifies the entire human body.

Health Benefits of Oil Pulling

The study elucidates that “Oil pulling generates antioxidants which damage the cell wall of microorganisms and kill them. These oils will attract the lipid layer of bacterial cell membranes, and cause it to stick or get attracted, and pulled to the oil. During oil pulling, the oil gets emulsified and surface area of the oil gets increased. The process of emulsification of oil begins upon 5 min of oil pulling. This oil will coat the teeth and gingiva and inhibits bacterial co-aggregation and plaque formation. Thus plaque building bacteria responsible for dental caries, gingivitis, periodontitis and bad breath are removed from the oral cavity. Gums become pink, healthier and the problem of bleeding gums is solved. Oil pulling is also of help to resolve symptoms of dry mouth/throat and chapped lips. Also teeth become whiter; breath becomes fresher; oral cavity muscles and jaws become stronger with excellent achievement of oral hygiene.”

Oil pulling is not a substitute for brushing or flossing. It helps and supplements your regular dental care. The good news is that people also claim that it whitens their teeth as well.

Contraindications: The study says, “It is contraindicated for children below 5 years due to risk of aspiration. The practitioner should take care not to aspirate the oil while performing rigorous oil pulling.”

Reference:
Shanbhag VK. Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene – A review. J Tradit Complement Med. 2016;7(1):106–109. Published 2016 Jun 6. doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2016.05.004

How You Can Improve Your Emotional and Physical Health as a Senior

How You Can Improve Your Emotional and Physical Health as a Senior
Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com

The golden years should be the best years of our lives. After decades of hard work, this is the time to finally invest in ourselves and our own joy. For some seniors, however, that can be difficult as their mental and physical health begin to decline. While age-related decline is inevitable, it’s how we react to it and care for ourselves when we’re older that can significantly affect our overall wellness. Now is the perfect time to implement ways to achieve better overall health and live your golden years to their fullest.

Invest in Supplements

Unfortunately, the body’s way of processing food changes as we age. It can become more challenging to eat the way we did in previous decades or our taste buds start to lose sensitivity, making food less interesting. When this happens, it’s advisable to add supplements to our diets to ensure we get the vitamins and minerals we need. Calcium, iron and vitamin D are common additions. Another add-on to your wellness regimen to consider is cannabidiol (commonly known as CBD). A derivative of the hemp or marijuana plant, CBD helps soothe many of the issues that seniors commonly face, including chronic pain and difficulty sleeping, but it doesn’t make users feel high or “drugged up” the way marijuana and opioids can. Different supplements provide different benefits, so do some research and speak with your doctor before introducing anything new to your lifestyle.

Aid Your Sleep Habits

Seniors need as much sleep now as they did in their 20s and 30s; the right amount lands somewhere between seven and nine hours. If quality sleep is proving elusive, there are easy tricks you can incorporate in addition to CBD to make your nights better. The first step is to make your bedroom more conducive to sleep. This means making sure your mattress and bedding are comfortable. If you don’t have light-blocking curtains or shades, now is the time to add them. Dark, cool and comfortable is the perfect cocktail for a great night’s sleep. It’s also important to have a faithful nightly routine. Minimize TV watching in the bedroom, avoid caffeine in the afternoon, and stick to the same bedtime and wake time every day. Sleep disorders in seniors are common, so if you try all of these steps and still have trouble, it’s time to speak to your doctor.

Socialize Often

Loneliness is a major issue within the senior community. Isolation can lead to the deterioration of our mental faculties, and it can also increase our likelihood of illness. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of opportunities for seniors to spend time with others, even if family and friends are too far for regular visits. Look for local groups that engage in your favorite hobby, and find out when they meet. You could also sign up for classes at a community college or a senior center. You might even try volunteering with the hospital, library or homeless shelter. If you no longer drive, there are many volunteer-based groups that offer the seniors in their communities rides to social gatherings; you can use Eldercare.gov’s community assistance locator tool to find an organization that can help you get around and prevent you from feeling isolated.

Exercise the Right Way

Fitness is key to maintaining not only a strong body, but a light spirit as well. It keeps our bones dense and strong, immune systems in good condition, and minds sharp. Yet, as we age, we need to take more care with the exercises we choose. Seniors who are already conditioned for running, cycling or weight lifting might find they’re slightly slower but still able to maintain their regular regimens. Seniors who are just starting out with fitness need to take it slow and make sure they have someone guiding them. Walking, yoga, light resistance training, and swimming are all gentle ways to give seniors the activity their body needs.

There are numerous ways you can improve how you feel. Don’t overlook any aspect of your well-being, as every piece plays a role in your overall health. When you take care of yourself, you’re better able to really enjoy what should be some of the best years of your life.

Article by Jason Lewis

Mr. Lewis has firsthand experience as a senior caregiver, in addition to a background in personal training. He’s passionate about helping seniors stay healthy and injury-free.

Natural Home Remedies to Relieve Back Pain

back-pain-home-remedies
Image courtesy of pexels.com

Back pain is a serious problem that many suffer with. It’s not only painful, but can limit you from doing the things you enjoy doing. While there are various ways to help with back pain, such as chiropractic care, there are also a few home remedies you can consider using to help relieve it. Below is more information behind what causes back pain and some natural home remedies you can use to help stop it.

What is Back Pain?

This is a type of discomfort one feels around their spine or back which can range from mild to severe pain. This can be caused by many different problems, such as tingling nerves or a slipped disc. It could also be due to a medical issue.

What Causes Back Pain?

There are quite a few things that can cause back pain.

●    A Slipped Disc

A slipped disc can be very painful as it can press on the surrounding ligaments and nerves. This can cause numbness as well as excruciating pain. A slipped disc can be caused by an injury or general weakness in the area.

●    Muscle Strain

Muscle strain is a common cause of back pain and usually results in mild pain. Muscle strain can be due to you twisting your back and spine in an awkward position or using incorrect posture.

●    Arthritis

Arthritis can occur in the spine and cause severe pain. Usually caused by osteoarthritis, this degenerative problem can drastically hurt your body’s lumbar anatomy. While this usually affects the lower portion of the spine, it can also affect other areas as well.

●    Scoliosis

This painful medical condition is when your spine curves to an abnormal position. This position can cause your spine to press against muscles and ligaments in your back resulting in pain. It can also cause inflammation, nerve damage, and even strained joints.

Factors that Contribute to Back Pain

Image courtesy of pexels.com

Below are some factors that can contribute to back pain.

●    Age

Age is one of the most common factors of back pain. Usually, as one starts to reach the age of 40, they will start to feel a slight pain in their back occasionally.

●    Extra Weight

Another factor that can contribute to back pain is extra weight. Extra fat in the body will not only make you feel sluggish, but can distort your spine. Because of this, it can result in spinal pain.

●    Smoking

Smoking can cause many negative impacts to your health, including encouraging back pain. This is because smoking limits blood supply to the spine which can prevent important nutrients from being sent to it. Due to this, your spinal cord will start to become painful and less healthy because nutrients aren’t being sent to the spinal discs in your back.

Natural Home Remedies to Help Combat It

If you’re on the search for some natural home remedies to help stop your back pain, you’ll want to consider the following tips.

●    Try to Exercise

Simple exercises, such as walking, has been proven to help reduce back pain. In fact, low-impact aerobic exercise can prevent inflammation and pressure around the spine. Some low-impact aerobic exercises to consider trying out are using an elliptical machine, cycling, and water aerobics.

You could also consider trying yoga. Yoga will help to keep your body moving while encouraging you to stay relaxed. 

●    Work on Your Posture

Another way to help stop back pain is to work on your posture. While this can be difficult at first, the end result will be well worth it. Keep your shoulders back and aligned with your ears. Also,  keep an eye out on the way you sit and ensure you have proper support. If you plan to sit in a chair often, make sure to move around every 30 minutes to prevent your spine from becoming rigid.

●    Use Hot and Cold Therapy

Hot and cold therapy is a very helpful way to help relieve back pain. Cold therapy (which uses ice) helps to reduce swelling. This is helpful to use once you start to feel back pain happening. Heat therapy (usually through the use of a hot shower or heating pad) prevents inflammation and relaxes tense muscles.

You can choose to use one or both. To do both, you’ll want to carefully alternate between them. For instance, start with cold therapy and keep the cold item on your back for about 20 minutes. Then, move on to heat therapy for about 30 minutes.

●    Keep Moving

While it might seem like sitting down or resting on your bed is helpful for back pain, this can actually make it worse. This is because the muscles and nerves causing back pain will keep tightening. By getting up and moving, you can prevent your muscles from becoming stiff.

●    Drink Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is used to help with many medical issues, including muscle spasms. Because of its multiple flavonoids, it can reduce severe inflammation and soreness. While it might take a few days before you start to see results, it’s a helpful natural home remedy to reduce lower back pain. 

●    Change Your Shoes

Sometimes your shoes can be the cause of back pain. This is because your feet are connected to your spine’s lumbar system. Due to this, improper shoes can result in spinal pain. Bad shoes can also cause your spine to slightly shift which can also cause back pain. Because of this, consider changing out your shoes to ones that will keep your spine aligned. You can also use foot inserts to help keep it aligned when you wear your shoes.

●    Change Up Your Diet

If you suffer from back pain, you should also look to change up your diet. This can help to not only relieve any pain you might be having, but also prevent it from becoming chronic. An anti-inflammatory diet will consist mainly of fruits and vegetables. These include:

  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cherries

In addition to this, you should also try adding herbs and spices to your meals, like rosemary, garlic, and curcumin. This is because they contain pain-relieving properties, such as diallyl disulfide, which stops inflammation and keeps your bones and tissues strong.

You can also try to use more olive oil and almonds in your diet which contain high levels of antioxidants and Omega-3s.

●    Use Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are also a helpful natural way to relieve back pain. One of the best to use for back pain is Vitamin D. Vitamin D is what helps to keep bones strong while preventing inflammation. In fact, it’s believed that most back pain is caused due to a lack of Vitamin D in the body. Due to this, definitely consider taking Vitamin D supplements.

Other helpful vitamins and minerals include:

  • Vitamin C – keeps your immune system strong and decreases inflammation.
  • Vitamin E – stops muscle pain and helps with circulation.
  • Vitamin B-12 – helps with keeping your nerves healthy and reduces symptoms from chronic back pain.
  • Calcium – keeps your bones strong and prevents the development of osteoporosis.
  • Magnesium – helps with muscle and nerve functions while preventing muscle spasms.

Back pain can be very problematic, but with home remedies, you can easily calm its symptoms and prevent it from constantly occurring. By keeping the information above in mind, you can be sure you’ll be able to combat back pain in a simple yet natural way.



Article by Dr. Wells 
Dr. Wells is the founder of Better Health Chiropractor Wasilla AK. He belongs to both the American Academy of Spine Physicians and the American Chiropractic Association.

Micro greens Health Benefits

What are Micro greens?Mustard microgreens

Micro greens are edible seedlings of vegetables and herbs, which are harvested when they are very young, about 2 to 3 inches tall. These baby plants are cut soon after germination and are high in nutrition and health benefits. Some of the most common micro greens consumed are cilantro, mustard, basil, amaranth and beets.

Micro greens Health Benefits

Researchers were surprised to find that the micro greens like red cabbage, cilantro, and radish contain up to 40 times higher levels of vital nutrients than their mature counterparts. Red cabbage had forty times more vitamin E than the mature red cabbage. It also had almost six times more of vitamin C. They found that cilantro micro greens had more beta-carotene than the mature ones. Cilantro micro greens are also the richest in terms of lutein and beta–carotene.

The Study was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. Four groups of nutrients were studied. These included vitamin K, C, E, lutein and beta–carotene in 25 micro greens. It was found that vitamin C, K and E levels were highest in red cabbage, garnet amaranth and green daikon radish micro greens. The researchers believe that the nutrients in the micro greens are very concentrated because they are harvested soon after germination and hence all the nutrients that are needed for growth are still there.

Vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, beta carotene are very important for fighting cancer and also have benefits of skin, eyes and immunity. They have a high antioxidant content, which is why they may help prevent diseases and promote good health.

How to grow Micro greens at Home

Take a flat dish and fill it with soil/coco peat and compost. Sprinkle the seeds on the soil and spray water on to them. Place your seeds in a dark warm place until they germinate. As soon as your seeds have germinated, move your tray to a sunny location. Keep the soil moist and watered and see that the water drains well. The micro greens will be ready in 7 to 14 days. Harvest them when they are 2-3 inches tall.

Watch this video on how to grow micro greens with mustard seeds

Mustard micro greens

6 Foods that keep you hydrated

Our body needs water to function and survive. Water keeps the delicate tissues in our body moist. It also regulates body temperature, lubricates joints and helps flush out toxins. Water is very necessary for good health as it helps in digestion and removes waste products. It also carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells. Our body is made up of 75% of water at birth. Our cells gradually dry up and that is why we need to keep ourselves hydrated.

The easiest way of staying hydrated is to drink plenty of water. The recommended amount is six to eight glasses of water. Again, different people need different amounts of water to keep themselves hydrated. Some may need more and some may need less than the recommended 6-8 glasses. One way to know if you are drinking enough water is to check your urine. If it is light yellow or colourless, then you are drinking enough water. Dark yellow or amber urine shows that you may be dehydrated.

Water is not the only liquid that keeps you hydrated. You can keep yourself hydrated by eating or drinking other food. Liquids like tea, juices, milk, soups and coffee add to the amount of liquid you consume. All food contain water to some extent. Some food contain more water than others like cucumber, watermelon and tomatoes, which contain more than 95% water in them.

Lately, health enthusiasts have been saying that eating water laden vegetables and fruits is better than drinking lots of water, as sometimes water passes straight through and does not get absorbed by the cells which defeats the purpose. Hydration is all about absorbing and holding the water in the body. Eating hydrating food is better than drinking unlimited amounts of water as when you eat these hydrating foods, other molecules in the food help the cells to absorb the water and retain it. The water in the food is absorbed more slowly because the water is inside the structure of the food. This slow absorption also means that we retain it in our body for a longer time.

Another advantage of food with high water content is that it is usually low in calories, which may also help you lose weight. As we all know watery food makes us feel fuller for longer. You are not only eating water, but also lots of fibre and plant nutrients, which are very important for good health, and build immunity against many diseases. Hence it is recommended that these water rich food should be eaten raw, as cooking them leaches out the water and nutrients.

Foods that hydrate the body

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Cellular water loss is also said to cause aging. Our body has 75% water content at birth and it reduces to almost 50% when we reach middle age. When there is lack of adequate water supply, the structure of the skin cell deteriorates and leads to signs of aging. Since skin can only be beautiful when it is healthy at the cellular level, we need to provide our cells with nutrition filled with water.

So go for food with high water content and keep yourself healthy and hydrated.

How Reiki Energy Healing Works

Reiki is a simple hands on technique, which was discovered by Dr. Mikao Usui in Japan in the early 1900s. He called it an energy medicine, which is believed to balance the biofields and strengthen the body’s ability to heal itself.

In quantum physics, it is believed that the universe is composed of energy. Our physical universe is made up of densely vibrating energy particles which vibrate at different speeds and this speed holds the arrangement of their physical form. Physicists see these particles as not isolated but as interconnections in an inseparable cosmic web. Similarly, our own bodies are made up of energy and energy patterns.

In addition to being composed of energy, we also have energy running through us. These energies are said to sustain life. The universal life force energy passes through channels or grids called meridians. These are also called the chakras. When energy flow is powerful through the body, we are healthy, but when we are stressed or unwell, the energy reduces. Reiki is a simple and effective way of restoring this flow of energy, thus leading us to mindfulness, intuition, health, inner calmness, balance, joy and harmony.

The Principles of Reiki

Reiki principles

We need to realize that our thoughts are more primary than our genes. This is because the environment, which is influenced by our thoughts, controls the genes. We have to change our environment, which includes harmful beliefs and attitudes, so that our energy can stay high. Dr. Usui realized that Reiki would be more powerful when the practioner also had the right way of thinking. You can only change a person’s life by changing his attitude towards it. He devised five principles of Reiki, which form an important part of the healing process. The principles are:

Just for today:

Do not worry
Do not be angry
Express gratitude for all your blessings
Apply yourself diligently
Manifest compassion to all beings

How Reiki Works

There are many reasons why illness is caused. In addition to the regular causes, emotions and thoughts affect the body. Positive thoughts keeps the body healthy and supple while negative thoughts and energy cause the body to stiffen up and cause other illnesses. When we have a strong emotional reaction to something, our thoughts and feelings about it are stored in the cellular structure of our body. When issues relating to fear, anger and grief are not dealt with or released, a persons life force energy gets blocked.

Reiki is an effective and simple method to heal emotional blocks and restore balance in the body. When you consistently practice Reiki, a person’s awareness is raised due to the increased energy flow. This process helps to identify unhelpful thought patterns, thus clearing the way for their release. The emotional blockages dissolve, relieving physical symptoms and enabling healing to occur. In the book ‘Heal Your Body’, Louise Hay lists the patterns behind many physical illnesses, that she has learnt from her years of experience with her clients. While metaphysical causes are not definitive and cannot be proved, it is worth considering whether they have contributed to a disease.

The applications of Reiki are extensive and limited only by the imagination. Reiki can be used to calm a person down or energize someone who is flagging. It can boost confidence and revitalize. Reiki can be used to heal relationships, both past and present. As the awareness quotient increases through the practice of Reiki, we become aware of the self limiting patterns in our life. It heals at the cellular level, and its constant practice helps bring up hidden patterns and memories from across space and time that need healing. Reiki can even be sent to someone far away. This is called distance Reiki and it works because energy is not limited to a set spatial distance.

Reiki In Hospitals

Reiki is increasingly being used today, to work along with conventional medicine, even though methodical studies on the efficacy of Reiki is very limited. There is very little scientific proof on how Reiki works. In 1990, a Kirilian photograh showed a beam of light coming from a Reiki practitioner’s hand while he was channeling Reiki. Independent research has revealed that during the practice of Reiki, the practitioner and the receiver become synchronized in a state of deep meditation and relaxation and the bio-magnetic field around the practitioner’s hand is at least 1000 times greater than normal.

Reiki works well as it is a non-invasive therapy that does not affect or manipulate body tissues. It helps the patients relax, while also lowering stress and heart rate. It can be readily integrated with other therapies and there are no known contraindications.

The anecdotal evidence of efficacy of Reiki in healing cancer and various other terminal disorders across the world by Reiki practitioners, indicates a need for a comprehensive study of Reiki as a complementary medicine. Institutes like the NCCAM in America have accepted biofield therapies like Reiki as low risk intervention, which can be used as a preventive measure and for post-operative healing.

The New York Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia University Campus conducted one of the first studies ever performed to determine the effectiveness of Reiki treatments on the autonomic nervous system. It was also one of the first hospitals to offer Reiki as part of their Integrative Medicine Program. There have been other controlled studies submitted to peer-journals and to The Touchstone Process for review. The Touchstone Process is actually a peer review method for analyzing the current state of scientific studies done on Reiki programs in hospitals, clinics and hospice facilities throughout the United States. The disorders that tested favourably to Reiki treatment were post-operative pain after tooth extraction, pain in chronically ill patients, depression, stress and cognition in elderly persons relating to dementia.

The Touchstone Process had evaluated 25 test studies by 2009, that appeared in peer-review journals evaluating the merits of Reiki Treatments. Taking into consideration only the most rigorously controlled studies, the team reported that 83% showed moderate to strong evidence in support of Reiki as a viable,
therapeutic healing modality.

Reiki most definitely opens hearts and minds to infinite possibilities. This healing energy is like an unconditional love, which rises above all barriers to heal and transform even the most difficult situations. It can be considered a spiritual practice which is incredibly versatile. It aligns you with your highest energetic frequency so that you can receive guidance from your own inner wisdom. Those who have practiced Reiki have had the honour of witnessing many transformations and miraculous healing.

Further Reading:

https://rehab.ucla.edu/workfiles/Urban%20Zen/Research%20Articles/Reiki_Really_Works-A_Groundbreaking_Scientific_Study.pdf
https://advancesjournal.com/pdfarticles/miles1.pdf
https://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/act.2008.14108?journalCode=act

Basella alba Health Benefits and Home Remedies

Basella alba is a wildly cultivated, vegetable which is a climbing herbaceous vine, several metres in length. This succulent has fleshy leaves and green or purple stems which are used for medicinal purposes. It is also called Ceylon spinach, Malabar spinach and Indian spinach. In India, it is called pasalai keerai in Tamil and poi in hindi. The plant is known for its anti-fungal, anti-convulsant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and androgenic activities and for the treatment of anemia.

Basella alba health benefits and home remedies
Basella alba

The leaves are low in calories but etremely nutritious. The chemical composition of the leaf extract include: proteins, fat, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B9 (folic acid), riboflavin, niacin, thiamine and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron.

Medicinal Uses of Basella alba in Traditional Medicine

Traditionally the Basella alba has been used in many cultures for a variety of medicinal purposes.  The leaves of B. alba are used in ayurveda to induce sound sleep by applying it on the head for about half an hour before bathing. In Ayurveda, it is also used for hemorrhages, skin diseases, sexual weakness, ulcers and as laxative in children and pregnant women. The leaves and stem of Basella alba has been used in ayurveda  for anticancer treatments such as melanoma, leukemia and oral cancer.

Leaves of B. alba is used for the treatment of hypertension by Nigerians in Lagos, and malaria in Cameroonian folk medicine. The leaf juice is used in Nepal to treat dysentery, catarrh and applied externally to treat boils. The stem and leaf has been used in Bangladesh for acne and freckle treatment. The Bede community of Bangladesh, who since ancient times have always practiced their own traditional medicinal system, eat the stems, leaves and seeds of B. alba to keep healthy, to prevent anemia and to increase body strength.

Basella alba Health Benefits for Boosting Testosterone

Several studies have been made on animals to determine the effectiveness of Basella alba on boosting testosterone. The belief is that, the effectiveness of Basella alba on testosterone levels is because of its ability to stimulate androgen production and also to help increase the amount of free testosterone in the body. Free testosterone helps increase muscle mass, sexual drive and stamina.

Health Benefits of Basella alba

Some of the health benefits of Basella alba are 

  • It is an astringent and the cooked roots are used in the treatment of diarrhea.
  • The leaf juice is a demulcent, used in cases of dysentery.
  • Basella mucilage has been used in Thai traditional medicine as topical application for irritant, bruise and ringworm.
  • Stem and leaves are used as mild laxative, diuretic and antipyretic.
  • Root and leaves has been used for the removal of after birth,
    stomach pains and increase milk production.
  • Basella alba is administered orally for the treatment of anal prolapsed or hernia.
  • Leaves are used in constipation, poultice for sores, urticaria and gonorrhea.
  • It is also used in poultice local swellings and intestinal complaints.

Basella alba Home Remedies

  • A paste of the root is applied to swellings and is also used as a rubefacient.
  • The sap is applied to acne eruptions to reduce inflammation.
  • A decoction of the leaves is used for its mild laxative effects.
  • Pulped leaves can be applied to boils and ulcers to hasten suppuration.
  • Sugared juice of leaves is useful for catarrhal afflictions.
  • Leaf-juice mixed with butter, is soothing and cooling when applied to burns and scalds.
  • The paste of root of red B. alba along with rice washed water cab be taken in the morning on an empty stomach for one month, to cure irregular periods.

 

Jasmine Oil Health Benefits

Jasmine Oil

The jasmine oil or absolute is produced by collecting thousands of blossoms overnight, when the aroma of the flower is at its most intense. It is said that, it takes 8000 jasmine sambac blossoms to create a single millimeter of oil. A concrete is first made from the jasmine flowers by solvent extraction, from which an absolute is obtained, by separation with alcohol. The essential oil is then produced from the absolute by steam distillation. Absolutes are even more concentrated than essential oils, and their shelf-life is much longer than the essential oil.

Jasmine oil, is one of the the most expensive and exotic oils used in today’s perfumery. Jasmine is considered to be the “King of Oils” as it is the the most masculine of all the floral oils. The colour of Jasmine oil is light or dark amber. It blends with many oils, but to maintain its fragrance, it is best used alone or with a mild oil. It is said to blend particularly well with sandalwood and citrus oils.

Health Benefits of Jasmine Oil

Jasmine oil is beneficial in treating many health problems. It is a powerful antiseptic, sedative and tonic. It is also possesses anti bacterial, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. The antibacterial properties of Jasmine sambac essential oil, helps in combating bacteria and other harmful microbes causing infectious diseases. A 2008 study on ‘Antibacterial potential assessment of Jasmine essential oil against E.Coli’ confirmed that jasmine oil contains antibacterial activity.

It is useful to treat skin infections. It soothes the body, helps to alleviate dry skin and is very good for sensitive skin. It is used as a massage oil in creams and lotions. A study on the antifungal avtivity of Jasminum sambac against Malassezia sp and non-malassezia sp isolated from human skin samples, concluded that, “J. sambac may be used as an alternative treatment against Malassezia-associated skin infections.”

It is also used in aromatherapy to lift up the mood. Jasmine oil increases alertness and improves mood. It is recommended for breathing difficulties, coughing and nervous debility.

At the psychological and emotional level, the sedative property of the jasmine oil is said to soothe and calm the mind and body. It is also considered a strong aphrodisiac.

It is anti-inflammatory in nature and is recommended for any kind of physical pain. ‘Preliminary Studies on Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic Activities of Jasminum sambac (L.) Aiton in Experimental Animal Models’ have proved that Jasminum sambac extracts exhibit anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive (reducing sensitivity to painful stimuli) properties that are helpful in treating muscular aches, rheumatism, back pain, headache and inflammation.

HOME REMEDY

  • Jasmine oil gives relief from poisonous stings. Just apply the oil on the affected area.
  • Jasmine oil is a natural remedy for relief from pain or inflammation. Mix 2 drops of jasmine oil with 1 ml of olive oil and apply gently on the inflammed area.
  • To control negativity and depressed emotions, inhale the aroma of Jasmine sambac essential oil. It helps to pacify the senses.
  • For treating tension, fatigue, anxiety, and postnatal depression, add 2 drops of jasmine oil to a vaporizer or diffuser to inhale.
  • To get relief from pain and inflammation, mix 2 drops of Jasmine sambac oil with 1 ml of olive oil and massage gently on the painful area. You can also add 2 drops of jasmine oil to warm bathing water, or to a hot compress.
  • Add 2 drops of jasmine oil to your regular cream or lotion and massage it gently on your body to treat dry skin, and for getting rid of scars.
  • Jasmine sambac oil is extremely good for the skin and it acts as a natural tonic and improves the skin health. To remove excess oil and blemishes from the skin, add a drop of Jasmine sambac oil to hot water and steam regularly.
  • Jasmine oil is considered a great anti-depressant. Adding two drops the oil in warm bathing water, or to a massage oil, helps to inspire positive thoughts, strengthen the mind and boost your confidence.