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  • 16 Nov 2017 11:19 AM | Aliya Umm Omar (Administrator)

    Turmeric is a plant that has a very long history of medicinal use, dating back nearly 4000 years. In Southeast Asia, turmeric is used not only as a principal spice but also as a component in religious ceremonies. Because of its brilliant yellow colour, turmeric is also known as “Indian saffron.”



    Today, turmeric is widely cultivated in the tropics. It is a product of Curcuma longa, a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the ginger family Zingiberaceae, which is native to tropical South Asia. As many as 133 species of Curcuma have been identified worldwide. However, Indian turmeric is considered to be the best in the world. India produces nearly all of the world’s turmeric crop and consumes 80% of it.

    The rhizome, from which the turmeric is derived, is tuberous, with a rough and segmented skin. The rhizomes mature beneath the foliage in the ground. Before turmeric can be used, the turmeric rhizomes must be processed. Rhizomes are boiled or steamed to remove the raw odour, gelatinize the starch, and produce a more uniformly coloured product. The rhizomes are then boiled in alkaline water for between 40–45 minutes and then dried in the sun immediately to prevent overcooking. The dried rhizomes are polished to remove the rough surface and ground to a yellow powder with a bitter, slightly acrid, yet sweet, taste.

    Turmeric has been put to use as a foodstuff, cosmetic, and medicine. It is widely used as a spice in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. It lends curry its distinctive yellow colour and flavour. It is used as a colouring agent in cheese, butter, and other foods. Turmeric paste is also applied to the skin of the bride and groom before marriage in some parts of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, where it is believed to make the skin glow and keep harmful bacteria away from the body.

    In Ayurvedic Medicine, turmeric is thought to have many medicinal properties including strengthening the overall energy of the body, relieving gas, dispelling worms, improving digestion, regulating menstruation, dissolving gallstones, and relieving arthritis. Many South Asian countries use it as an antiseptic for cuts, burns, and bruises, and as an antibacterial agent. In Pakistan, it is used as a remedy for gastrointestinal discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders. It is also mixed with milk or water and taken to treat intestinal disorders as well as colds and sore throats.

    It is well-documented to treat various respiratory conditions (e.g., asthma, bronchial hyperactivity, and allergy), as well as for liver disorders, anorexia, rheumatism, diabetic wounds, runny nose, cough, and sinusitis. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to treat diseases associated with abdominal pain.

    Health Benefits

    Turmeric is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. More than 100 components have been isolated from turmeric. The main components of this root is a volatile oil containing turmerone, and colouring agents called curcuminoids. Curcuminoids consist of various forms of the important bioactive compound curcumin. It is the curcumin that produces so many healing properties that currently there are over 10,000 peer-reviewed articles published proving turmeric benefits. Of the 10,000+ studies, the most interesting finding is that when it’s compared to conventional medicine, turmeric benefits equal that of many pharmaceutical medications. In fact, a number of studies have even reported that using curcumin is more advantageous than certain prescription drugs.

    Turmeric has an enormous list of conditions that it helps. However, in this blog only a few of them will be mentioned below:

    Powerful Anti-Inflammatory

    The most powerful aspect of curcumin is its ability to control inflammation. It is so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. The journal Oncogene published the results of a study that evaluated several anti-inflammatory compounds and found that aspirin and ibuprofen are least effective, while curcumin is among the most effective anti-inflammatory compound in the world. Several other studies have shown the same potency against pharmaceutical drugs, except without the side effects.

    Curcumin targets multiple steps in the inflammatory pathway, at a molecular level. It blocks a molecule that travels into the nuclei of cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. This molecule (known as NF-kB) is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases.

    Arthritis is a common disorder characterized by joint inflammation. Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and, again, is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.

    An in-depth analysis of all the studies evaluating curcumin’s ability to manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBS, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis) found that many patients were able to stop taking their prescribed corticosteroids because their condition improved so dramatically by taking curcumin. For many patients with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) corticosteroids reduced their pain symptoms, but damaged their intestinal lining over time making the condition worse. However, supplementing with curcumin did not have these side effects and actually helped heal the gut and supported the growth of good bacteria (probiotics).

    Strong Antioxidant

    Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralise free radicals due to its chemical structure. It can also boost the activity of the body's own antioxidant enzymes. Curcumin may help delay aging and fight age-related chronic diseases which is why it has become very popular as an anti-aging supplement.

    Turmeric is effective at treating various skin conditions which include speeding up wound healing; calming the pores to decrease acne and acne scarring; and controlling psoriasis flares. It can benefit your skin as a home remedy for acne, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes. It also reduces skin inflammation and slows down cell damage. It can also help reduce pigmentation that evens out skin tone.

    Brain Booster


    Neurons are capable of forming new connections, but in certain areas of the brain, they can also multiply and increase in number. One of the main drivers of this process is Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone that functions in the brain. Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of this hormone. Depression is also linked to reduced levels of BDNF and a shrinking hippocampus, a brain area with a role in learning and memory. Curcumin boosts BNDF levels, potentially reversing some of these changes.  It may be effective at delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age-related diseases in brain function. There is also some evidence that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine and the possibility that it could help improve memory and make you smarter.

    Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease. One key feature of Alzheimer's disease is a build-up of protein tangles called Amyloid plaques. Studies show that curcumin can help clear these plaques. Whether curcumin can really slow down or even reverse the progression of Alzheimer's disease needs to be studied properly.

    Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

    Endothelial dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease and involves an inability of the endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors. Curcumin can improve the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels. Several studies suggest that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function. One study shows that it is as effective as exercise, another shows that it works as well as the drug Atorvastatin. Curcumin also reduces inflammation and oxidation, which are also important in heart disease.

    Cancer Intervention

    Researchers have been studying curcumin as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment. A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells where a high dose of curcumin is prescribed. Curcumin in turmeric is not enough to provide a high dose and so a supplemental form of curcumin is used to bring about the desired effect.

    Whether high-dose curcumin can help treat cancer in humans has yet to be tested properly. However, there is some evidence that it may help prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system (like colorectal cancer).

    Also, according to a study published in Planta Medica, taking turmeric in combination with black pepper, which contains piperine, improves turmeric absorbability throughout the entire body. They added 20mg of piperine to 2,000mg turmeric, and it increased the bioavailability of turmeric by 154 percent. You could try swallowing a few whole peppercorns along with your curcumin supplement. Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.

    Diabetes

    A study discovered that curcumin is 400 times more potent than Metformin (a common diabetes drug which improves insulin sensitivity and can help reverse Type 2 Diabetes). In addition to correcting the causes of diabetes, curcumin has also been proven to help reverse many of the issues related to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia. These include diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy, which causes blindness.

    Natural Painkiller

    One of the more widely accepted properties of curcumin in scientific communities is its ability to manage pain. Recently research has discovered that curcumin naturally activates the opioid system in diabetic rats. Typically manipulated by drugs, this natural process serves as the body’s inherent pain-relieving response. However, not limited to diabetic pain conditions, curcumin can have similar pain-relieving effects on other conditions also, such as severe burns. Typically, burn victims are treated with dangerous opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory’s. However, curcumin has shown to treat burns in the same way that conventional medicine does.

    Alternative to Corticosteroids

    Research found that curcumin has the ability to cure chronic inflammation of the eye which would typically be treated with steroids. The researchers stated that although turmeric showed comparable effects, the lack of side effects with curcumin was its greatest advantage compared with corticosteroids. So, if you’re suffering from conditions where steroids are prescribed it might be a good idea to try curcumin as an alternative method of treatment.

    Recipes for Health

    Turmeric Face Mask

    A turmeric face mask is an excellent exfoliating agent and very easy to make right at home with just a few ingredients. However, it is important to note that some people have reported allergic reactions to turmeric after skin exposure. Do a patch test by applying a small amount to your forearm before applying to the face. Be careful not to get it on your clothing as well, since it may stain.

    Ingredients:

    w  ½ teaspoon turmeric powder

    w  ½ teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar

    w  1 tablespoon of organic raw honey

    w  ½ teaspoon milk or yogurt

    w  1 drop lemon essential oil or fresh lemon juice for additional skin brightening [optional]

    Directions:

    1.     Wash face and hands first to remove impurities and any make-up.

    2.     In a small bowl or jar, mix the turmeric powder with the honey, apple cider vinegar, milk or yogurt and optional lemon oil. Try to get a consistency that will stick to your face. Be careful not to make it too thin as it may drip. 

    3.     Apply the mask carefully avoiding your eyes.

    4.     Allow the mask to sit on your face for 15–20 minutes then rinse with warm water.

    5.     If you have any leftover, you can cover and leave in the fridge for your next application.

    6.     Apply twice a week for best results.

    Turmeric Tea

    Turmeric tea is a popular beverage throughout Asia and is known by some as “liquid gold.” This golden turmeric tea recipe will help heal your body from a number of inflammatory health conditions.

    Ingredients:

    w  1 cup coconut milk

    w  1 cup water

    w  1 tablespoon ghee

    w  1 tablespoon honey

    w  1 teaspoon turmeric (powder or grated root)

    Directions:

    1.     Pour coconut milk and water into the saucepan and warm for 2 minutes.

    2.     Add in butter, raw honey and turmeric powder for another 2 minutes.

    3.     Stir and pour into glasses.

    To Sum Up…

    It’s hard to deny the powerful effects turmeric has on our bodies. The strong therapeutic effects, which surpass those of conventional medication demonstrates the extent of its potency. From aiding in inflammatory diseases to numbing intense pain, it should be at the forefront of everyone’s medicine cabinet. More human studies is definitely warranted to confirm all these benefits which our ancestors knew and practiced many years ago.

    Turmeric as a spice and as a household remedy has been known to be safe for centuries. However, in high dose supplemental form, turmeric may cause nausea, diarrhoea, increased risk of bleeding, increased liver function tests, hyperactive gallbladder contractions, hypotension (lowered blood pressure), uterine contractions in pregnant women and increased menstrual flow. Always consult your doctor if you decide to take high doses of curcumin.

    Source

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/

    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric

    https://draxe.com/turmeric-benefits/

    https://draxe.com/turmeric-face-mask/

    https://draxe.com/recipe/turmeric-tea-recipe/

  • 19 Oct 2017 10:25 AM | Aliya Umm Omar (Administrator)

    For thousands of years silver has been used as a healing and anti-bacterial agent by civilisations throughout the world. Its medical, preservative and restorative powers can be traced as far back as the ancient Greek and Roman Empires. Long before the development of modern pharmaceuticals, silver was employed as a natural antimicrobial and antibiotic.

    Before the advent of modern germicides and antibiotics, it was known that disease-causing pathogens could not survive in the presence of silver. History will show that the Greeks used silver vessels to keep water and other liquids fresh. The Roman Empire stored wine in silver urns to prevent spoilage. The Chinese emperors and their courts ate with silver chopsticks. During the Middle Ages, the Royal families ate and drank from silver utensils and were rarely sick. Using the silver utensils and goblets, however, contributed to a bluish hue to their skin tone. For this reason they were called “blue bloods” because their blood had greater levels of silver in it (this condition was known as Argyria).  Bluebloods were also protected from the rampant plagues common to Europe in those centuries. Prior to the invention of refrigeration, it was common practice to drop a silver coin into a container of milk to delay spoilage.

    Between 1900 and 1940 silver was the primary antibiotic used in medical practice. Silver leaf was used to combat infection in wounds sustained by troops during World War I. By 1910, Henry Crookes had documented that certain metals, when in a colloidal state (i.e. suspended in a solution), had strong germicidal action but were relatively harmless to human beings.

    However, by the 1940s modern antibiotics were introduced. The shelf life of colloidal silver was poor, as they had no way to keep the silver particles in suspension for longer than fifteen minutes. Physicians would have to mix silver preparations in their offices and then give to patients either orally or by injection. The impractical use of silver antibiotics gave way to the ‘ready to hand’ sulfa drugs and eventually penicillin. At the time these compounds were deemed more effective and easier to use. Now we know that they cause antibiotic-resistant strains to develop from overuse of these drugs. This is fast becoming a big problem in the medical world today. To date, there have been no substantial findings to indicate that bacteria develop resistance to silver.

    Silver in today's medicine is undergoing a renaissance, with innovative new products that are able to sustain the release of silver ions enabling better surgical and wound-related uses. In Ayurvedic medicine, silver is used in small amounts as a tonic, elixir or rejuvenative agent for patients debilitated by age or disease. Silver nanoparticles are even being incorporated into clothes, like socks and stockings. You can even buy a washing machine that uses silver ions to kill germs in clothes.

    Colloidal Silver Products

    With conventional antibiotics creating resistance and having nasty side-effects, people are looking at natural alternatives to combat their seasonal colds and flu. The ‘alternative medicine’ industry has jumped on the band wagon and taken advantage of this opportunity. However, this has created many different forms of colloidal silver on the market which are relatively less effective and could be considered toxic with long term use (if you class turning blue toxic). Generally, there are three types of products that are marketed as “colloidal silver” today and these can be briefly categorised as follows:

    w  Ionic Silver Solutions - Ionic silver solutions are products whose silver content primarily consists of silver ions. Silver solutions are typically clear like water or have a slight yellow tint. It’s made by a process called electrolysis or some call it the 'electro-colloidal process'. This is where a small electrical current is applied to silver strips placed in distilled water. Although ionic silver is often marketed as colloidal silver, it’s not true colloidal silver. Ionic silver products contain low percentage of silver particles, which render it less effective than true colloidal silver. Ionic silver is still a strong anti-microbial, and can be effectively used in situations where chloride is not present. When chloride is present – such as inside your body – then what little silver particle is present in the solution will survive to produce some benefit. Be aware that most "colloidal silver" generators sold for home use produce ionic silver solutions, and not true colloidal silver. If you take ionic silver products according to the manufacturer's recommended dosage, ionic silver will not cause argyria.

    w  Silver Protein - Silver protein products are the second most prevalent type of so-called colloidal silver products on the market. These products are a combination of metallic silver particles and a protein binder to keep the particles in suspension. One tip-off that it's a silver protein product is if it claims to have high concentrations of colloidal silver (typically in the range of 30 to 20,000 PPM*). These products have the lowest particle surface area for a given silver concentration, making the silver inaccessible for safe and effective absorption by your body. Due to the high concentration of large silver particles, silver protein products are known to cause argyria.

    w  True Colloidal Silver – True colloidal silver is the suspension of sub-microscopic silver nanoparticles in water. These silver nanoparticles can be anywhere from 10 – 100 nm in diameter (around 1/10,000 to 1/1,000 of a human hair!). These silver products are the least prevalent type of colloidal silver on the market due to the high cost of production. In true colloidal silver, the majority of the silver content is silver nanoparticles. This means it has a much greater particle surface area relative to the total silver content so its effects are more powerful. True colloids will typically contain between 50 and 80 percent nanoparticles, while the remaining percentage will be in the form of silver ions. Because of the high concentration of silver particles, true silver colloids are never clear like water. True colloids are brownish in colour as the silver particles block light. Due to the very low concentration of ionic silver and small particle size, true silver colloids do not cause argyria.

    (*PPM is a ratio of the mass of silver relative to the water. For example, 10 PPM means in one litre of water there is 10 milligrams of total silver content.)

    Silver nanoparticles are typically made in two different ways:

    1.     Physically– by grinding silver into very small particles before suspending in water as colloids.

    2.     Chemically– Silver salt is reduced into very small particles using a chemical reducer.

    Many well-studied nanoparticles are generated with a method called “green synthesis,” which is by using a biologically-generated substance to reduce the silver salt into silver nanoparticles.

    Health Benefits

    Using true colloidal silver will harness silvers’ amazing abilities without the side effects. What follows are only a few of those health benefits:

    Antibacterial- Colloidal silver can kill and prevent bacterial growth, including bacteria that are antibiotic-resistant, such as MRSA. It can kill some strains of pathogenic yeasts, including Candida and Cryptococcus. It can effectively fight against cholera and a dangerous strain of E. coli, both of which could cause deadly diarrhoea if left untreated.

    Wound Care/Skin Health - Certain colloidal silver preparations applied topically can treat and repair tissue damage from burns, thrush, periodontitis and other conditions such as ringworm. Applying silver products on cuts, sores, and boils also promotes healing. Applying silver to rashes and insect bites can aid in soothing itches. Silver’s antibacterial properties can provide relief from acne breakouts and treat eczema when applied to the affected area.

    Pink Eye/Ear Infections - When applied on the infected eye, the tiny silver colloids pick up the infected cells by attracting them electromagnetically and sending them into the bloodstream to be eliminated. It soothes and wipes out eye infections such as conjunctivitis and stys. Ten drops of silver in the ear can aid in wiping out ear infections.

    Antiviral- Colloidal silver benefits can be experienced as an anti-viral for HIV/AIDS, herpes, shingles and warts. Colloidal silver suffocates the virus and reduces the activity of the HIV virus in AIDS patients. Silver also has the ability to inhibit both Hepatitis B & C viruses.

    Anti-Inflammatory - Silver nano-particles have shown success in promoting anti-inflammatory properties. Research is showing that colloidal silver can reduce swelling, speed healing, and boosts cell recovery.

    Sinusitis - Widely used to control sinus infections, colloidal silver can benefit people as a nasal spray. Specifically shown to kill Staph aureus, you can add a few drops of silver in a “neti pot” or by applying directly into your nasal cavity and letting it drain down your throat by tilting your head back. Silver’s anti-microbial properties have shown promise in stopping asthma attacks. When ingested, silver has the ability to combat Whooping cough.

    Cold/Flu - Over time, antibiotics lose their ability to combat infection. Silver has been shown to boost the immune system to fight infection. Silver’s antiviral properties help combat the common cold and have shown promise in inactivating influenza. Some claim that colloidal silver helps prevent all types of flu, including swine flu.

    Pneumonia - Colloidal silver can help fight against bronchitis and pneumonia when ingested internally and breathing it into your lungs. The silver directly contacts the germs residing in the lungs, which are causing bronchitis or pneumonia. The most effective method to get the colloidal silver into the lungs is to use a nebulizer. Generally, use one teaspoon approximately three times a day for 10 to 15 minutes.

    Precautionary Measures

    Unlike antibiotics, which are specific only to bacteria, colloidal silver eliminates anaerobic pathogens (bacteria, viruses, yeasts, and fungus) by binding to their cell walls and destroying the enzymes that fend off oxygen molecules, thus oxidizing them to death. Conversely, the silver nanoparticles neutralise the minority of aerobic pathogens by disrupting their ability to use oxygen. This begs the question: will colloidal silver destroy friendly gut bacteria the way pharmaceutical antibiotics do?

    Some colloidal silver advocates claim it is so readily assimilated into the blood through the stomach and gut linings before it can linger in the lower intestines where our friendly bacteria mostly reside. Therefore, it isn’t an issue. However, some colloidal advocates don’t think that the intestinal flora issue has been clearly established. They recommend the following as precautionary measure:

    w  Have probiotics on hand and use them an hour or more after ingesting colloidal silver.

    w  Swish and hold a dose of colloidal silver in your mouth to absorb most of the particles sublingually into the bloodstream through the capillaries under and around your tongue as long as possible before swallowing.

    w  Nebulize the colloidal silver solution, making it go directly into your bloodstream via the lungs blood vessels.

    Because colloidal silver does have some side effects, research suggests using it carefully rather than liberally. In addition, it could interfere with or enhance the effects or side effects of some medications, therefore it is best to consult your physician before using it in conjunction with any medications.

    Recipes for Health

    The best time to use colloidal silver is at the onset of any infection. Keep in mind to never use it for more than 14 days in a row. It needs to be applied differently for each condition. Here are a few suggestions for how to use colloidal silver:

    w  2-5 drops applied directly to the skin.

    w  1 drop taken orally for immune support.

    w  1-2 drops into eyes for pink eye (use a fresh colloidal silver bottle for eye drops).

    w  1-2 drops can help disinfect any wound or sore by applying onto a bandage.

    w  If prepared properly, it can be injected into a muscle, a cancerous tumour, or into the bloodstream.

    w  5 drops added into a neti pot or directly sprayed into the nose.

    w  5-10 drops can be applied vaginally or anally.

    To Sum Up…

    The potential of colloidal silver is just beginning to be discovered. Some environmentalists fear that the widespread use of silver nanoparticles in washing machines, clothes, bedsheets etc, could affect the health of bacteria, yeasts, and other microorganisms in the environment. More research is definitely warranted to look into the long term effects of consistent silver exposure.

    The effectiveness in the use of silver to kill bacteria and fungus is unquestionable. However, this does not mean it kills every type of bacteria, yeast, virus or fungus. The issue is complicated by the fact that not all colloidal silver products are of the same quality. Products made at home or by the use of electrical charges to ionise and suspend the silver may not give you the desired effect. Therefore, use a good quality product from a reputable company. The product is non-toxic when used as directed (and not longer than two weeks). It is always best to consult a health professional before taking colloidal silver regularly for any length of time. If you do find that you want to take it daily for a while then be sure to take some probiotics during or after its use to maintain a proper balance of microflora.

    Source

    http://www.naturodoc.com/library/medsmats/silver/silver.htm

    https://www.wellnessresources.com/news/the-colorful-history-of-colloidal-silver-other-silver-compounds

    http://www.silver-colloids.com/Pubs/history-silver.html

    https://draxe.com/colloidal-silver-benefits/

    https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2099/12/30/new-guidelines-released-for-safe-usage-of-colloidal-silver-supplements.aspx

    http://www.silver-colloids.com/Pubs/truecolloidalsilver.html

    https://wellnessmama.com/130001/colloidal-silver/

    http://naturalsociety.com/colloidal-silver-health-benefits-truth/

    https://www.honeycolony.com/article/amazing-benefits-of-silver/

  • 18 Sep 2017 10:33 AM | Aliya Umm Omar (Administrator)

    The term ‘herb’ refers to a plant used for medicinal purposes. The medicinal benefits of herbs have been known for centuries, and humans have always been dependent on plants for medicine, food and healing. The healing properties of herbs have not changed through the centuries - what was a healing herb a few hundred years ago is still a healing herb today. The history of herbalism is closely tied to the history of medicine from prehistoric times up until the development of the Germ Theory of Disease in the 19th century. It also overlaps with food history, as many of the herbs and spices historically used by humans to season food yield useful medicinal compounds, and the use of spices with antimicrobial activity in cooking is part of an ancient response to the threat of food-borne pathogens.


    The ancient Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and Native Americans were all herbalists. Dioscorides (c40-c90) and Galen (131-200 AD), both Greek surgeons in the Roman army, compiled ‘herbals’ (a book containing the names, descriptions and medicinal uses of plants) that remained the definitive ‘materia medica’ texts for 1500 years. Through the Middle Ages, herbalism was preserved in the monasteries of Britain and mainland Europe. Before the establishment of universities in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, monasteries served as medical schools. Monks copied and translated many of the works of Hippocrates, Dioscorides, and Galen.

    Meanwhile, as a result of the Islamic conquest of North Africa in the seventh and eighth centuries, Arabic scholars acquired many Greek and Roman medical texts. Iranian physician Ibn Sina, also known as Avicenna (980-1037 AD), combined the herbal traditions of Dioscorides and Galen with the ancient practices of his own people in ‘The Canon of Medicine’ (al-Qanun fi at-tibb). One of the most influential medical texts ever written, Avicenna’s Canon spread through Europe during the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

    Modern medicine from the 19th century to today has been based on evidence gathered using the scientific method. Evidence-based use of pharmaceutical drugs, often derived from medicinal plants, has largely replaced herbal treatments in modern health care. However, many people continue to employ various forms of traditional or alternative medicine. These systems often have a significant herbal component.

    Different cultures have developed different herbal cures. In some countries, such as India and China, herbs have continued to be an important part of medicine over the centuries being widely used in Traditional Ayurveda or Chinese Medicine.  However, we are now seeing an increased acceptance of herbal use in Western countries. Knowledge about the power of herbs has only recently started to re-emerge in the West and it is now becoming a popular alternative form of treatment for many conditions.

    Health Benefits

    The natural chemical properties of certain herbs have been shown to have medicinal value and are used in some modern drugs. However, unlike conventional medicine, herbalists use the whole herb or plant rather than isolating and breaking down chemical compounds and then synthesising them. This is because the plant, being a part of nature, is said to represent perfect balance. Healing requires the natural combination of elements in the plant or herb, not just a single chemical within it.

    Every herb has a distinctive flavour, energetic quality, and healing property with a corresponding healing effect on the body. For instance, marshmallow root with its cooling properties is used to treat high fever, rapid pulse, and excess heat in the body; cinnamon bark and dried ginger are known for their warming and stimulating properties.  The energetic quality of these herbs are present in all their active ingredients and are assimilated more easily to help the body to:

    w  Activate cells

    w  Build tissues

    w  Cleanse the system

    w  Give direct aid to sick body parts and organs

    Herbs contain unique antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, phytosterols and many other plant derived nutrient substances, which help equip our body to fight against germs, toxins and to boost immunity level.

    The essential oils in herbs have been found to have an anti-inflammatory function by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase, which mediates inflammatory cascade reaction inside the human body. The enzyme-inhibiting effect of essential oils in herbs makes it a valuable remedy for symptomatic relief in individuals with inflammatory health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and inflammatory bowel conditions like ulcerative colitis.

    The volatile oils, vitamins, and antioxidants in the herbs have cytotoxicity action against prostate, pancreatic, colon, endometrial cancer cells.

    The chemical compounds in the herbs have also been found to be anti-spasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, analgesic, aphrodisiac, deodorant, digestive, antiseptic, lipolytic (fat burning and weight loss action), stimulant and stomachic effects when taken in a proper dosage.

    Additional health benefits of specific herbs include:

    Basil

    Basil leaves compose of many essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene, and terpineol. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin-A, cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These compounds play an important role in protecting against aging and various disease processes. It also helps with digestive disorders and prevention of osteoarthritis, and is currently being studied for its anti-cancer properties.

    Burdock

    It contains certain diuretic principles, which help expel toxic products from the blood through urine. The herb is used in the treatment of skin problems such as eczema (dermatitis), psoriasis, skin dryness, etc. The plant parts have been used as an herbal remedy for liver and gallbladder problems. Effusion of burdock seeds has been used for throat and chest ailments. Burdock leaves and stems, in addition to their use as a vegetable, have appetite stimulants and are a good remedy for gas and indigestion (dyspeptic) complaints.

    Dandelion

    Certain principle compounds in the herb have laxative and diuretic functions. The plant parts have been used as herbal remedy for liver and gallbladder complaints. Dandelion herb is also a good tonic, appetite stimulant and is a good remedy for dyspeptic complaints. Traditionally, flower stems used as a soothing agent for burns and stings (for example in stinging nettle allergy).

    Dill

    Dill leaves (sprigs) and seeds carry many essential volatile oils such as d-carvone, dillapiole, DHC, eugenol, limonene, terpinene, and myristicin. Eugenol in dill is used as local anaesthetic and antiseptic, as well as reducing blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Dill oil, extracted from dill seeds, has antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, disinfectant properties. It can help increase breast milk secretion in nursing mothers and relieve neurological symptoms like headaches and nervous irritability.

    Feverfew

    It has been used for fevers, headaches, stomach aches, toothaches, insect bites, infertility, and problems with menstruation and labour during childbirth. Feverfew’s pain-easing effect is said to come from a biochemical called parthenolides, which combats the widening of blood vessels that occurs in migraines, thus proving its effectiveness in the prevention and treatment of migraine headaches. The herb is also used to prevent dizziness, relieve allergies, reduce arthritis pain and prevent blood clots.

    Ginkgo Biloba

    Also known as maidenhair, has the ability to improve cognitive function including concentration and memory. It can reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, fight anxiety and depression and help maintain vision and eye health. It also relieves ADHD symptoms, improve libido, and fights against fibromyalgia.

    Ginseng

    Native Americans used the root as a stimulant and headache remedy, as well as a treatment for infertility, fever and indigestion. It is used to reduce stress, help with weight loss, treat sexual dysfunction, improve lung function, lower blood sugar levels, boost the immune system and reduce inflammation as well as improve mood and mental function.


    Milk Thistle

    It contains high levels of lipophilic extracts from the seeds of the plant, which act as bioflavonoids that increase immunity and slow down oxidative stress. The herb is also used for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can aid digestive function, increase bile production, boost skin health, fight the appearance of aging and help detoxify the body. It has protective effects in certain types of cancer, and data shows it can also be used for patients with liver diseases, hepatitis C, HIV, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia.


    Rosemary

    Rosmarinic acid, a natural polyphenolic antioxidant found in rosemary, has been found to have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant functions. Rosemary oil contains camphene, cineol, borneol, bornyl acetate and other esters. These compounds are known to have tonic, astringent, diaphoretic, and stimulant properties. Its oil is also used externally as a rubefacient to soothe painful ailments in gout, rheumatism, and neuralgic conditions. Rosemary herb extractions, when applied over the scalp, is known to stimulate the hair-bulbs and help prevent premature baldness. It forms an effective remedy for the prevention of scurf and dandruff. Rosemary tea is a natural remedy for the nervous headache, colds, and depression.

    St. John’s Wort

    This has been used as a medicinal herb for its antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties for over 2,000 years. It produces dozens of biologically active substances, but hypericin and hyperforin have the greatest medical activity. It has the ability to relieve PMS symptoms, improve mood during menopause, relieve skin irritations and improve symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder.

    Herbs can be dispensed in numerous ways, including:

    w  Pills

    w  Powders

    w  Lotions

    w  Oils

    w  Teas

    w  Salves/Ointments

    w  Syrups

    w  Infusions

    w  Aromatics

    w  Juices

    w  Tinctures or extracts

    w  Whole (dried or fresh)

    Recipes for Health

    Comfrey Healing Oil

    Comfrey has quite the reputation as a healing herb. When infused in oil, comfrey speeds the healing of sores, abrasions and bruises. It’s also very soothing to irritated skin, thanks to its mucilaginous properties.

    Ingredients:

    2 cups carrier oil (such as coconut oil)

    1 cup comfrey leaf (or the herb)

    Method:

    1.     Warm your oven to 200º, then turn it off.

    2.     Put the herbs and oil in an oven-safe dish and let them steep for 3-4 hours.

    3.     Strain the infused oil into a jar, cover and label.

    Calendula Mouthwash

    Calendula has long been used to relieve inflammation of the mouth, throat, and stomach. It is also popular as a topical cream or ointment to relieve rashes and irritation and to help heal wounds.

    Preparation and doses:

    1.     Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 tsp petals.

    2.     Steep for 10 minutes.

    3.     Strain.  Use as needed as a mouthwash, gargle, or tea.

    Catnip Tea

    This tea soothes an upset stomach and reduces anxiety and tension.

    Preparation and doses:

    1.     Pour 1 cup boiling water over 4 or 5 fresh or 1 tsp dried leaves.

    2.     Steep for 5 minutes.

    3.     Strain and sweeten, if desired.

    4.     Drink 1 or 2 times per day.

    To Sum Up…

    Herbs, when properly used, are safe, gentle and effective. Many mild herbs can be self-prescribed for minor conditions, for instance chamomile tea to help you relax, or peppermint tea to help with digestion. However, herbs can be very powerful and care should be taken. The safest course of action is to consult a qualified herbalist.

    Herbs are a great addition to food too. They add distinctive flavour to food, plus provide anti-microbial substances that help keep our food protected from pathogens. They can be used to marinate raw foods, fish, and meat. Fresh herb leaves can be used in the preparation of salads, soups and green sauces. Some herbs and plant parts like mint, and ginger are increasingly being used to flavour juices and refreshing drinks.

    Nature has provided us with many resources, and the versatility in herbs is another means for us to incorporate more nature into our daily living, to secure our health for many more years to come.

    Source

    http://exhibits.hsl.virginia.edu/herbs/brief-history/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_herbalism

    http://exhibits.hsl.virginia.edu/herbs/brief-history/

    http://www.thelivingcentre.com/cms/our-services/herbalism

    http://learn.healthpro.com/herbalism/

    http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/healthy-herbs.html

    https://draxe.com/herbal-medicine/

    https://www.diynatural.com/medicinal-plants-herbal-remedies/

    https://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/25-healing-herbs-you-can-use-every-day/slide/4

  • 18 Aug 2017 2:42 PM | Aliya Umm Omar (Administrator)


    Acupuncture is a very ancient form of healing that predates recorded history.  It is a form of alternative medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the body for a desired effect. Acupuncture improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites--commonly referred to as acupuncture points, or acupoints. The most common method used to stimulate acupoints is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin. Pressure, heat, or electrical stimulation may further enhance the effects. Other acupoint stimulation techniques include: manual massage, moxibustion or heat therapy, cupping, and the application of topical herbal medicines and linaments.

    Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on an ancient philosophy that describes the universe, and the body, in terms of two opposing forces: yin and yang. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy. Energy, called "qi" (pronounced "chee") flows along specific pathways, called meridians, throughout the body. This constant flow of energy keeps the yin and yang forces balanced. However, if the flow of energy gets blocked, like water getting stuck behind a dam, the disruption can lead to pain, reduction in functions, or illnesses. Acupuncture therapy can release blocked qi in the body and stimulate functions, evoking the body’s natural healing response through various physiological systems. Modern research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effects on the nervous system, endocrine and immune systems, cardiovascular system, and digestive system. By stimulating the body’s various systems, acupuncture can help to resolve pain, improve sleep, improve digestive function, and increase the sense of well-being.

    Acupuncture is believed to have originated around 100 BC in China, around the time The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huangdi Neijing) was published, though some experts suggest it could have been practiced earlier. Over time, conflicting claims and belief systems have emerged about the effect of lunar, celestial and earthly cycles, yin and yang energies, and a body's "rhythm" on the effectiveness of the treatment.

    Acupuncture grew and diminished in popularity in China repeatedly, depending on the country's political leadership and the favour of rationalism or western medicine. Acupuncture spread first to Korea in the 6th century AD, then to Japan through medical missionaries, and then to Europe, starting with France. In the 20th century, as it spread to the United States and Western countries, the spiritual elements of acupuncture that conflict with Western beliefs were abandoned in favour of tapping needles into nerves.

    Health Benefits

    An individual who is suffering from chronic pain syndrome, may be analysed in terms of which meridians are blocked and then through the treatment of the appropriate points on the meridian, the pain may be alleviated.

    The same individual may be analysed according to which muscle groups are involved in the painful area and may be treated by acupuncture at trigger points that specifically affect those muscles.

    An individual suffering from an autoimmune disorder may be analysed according to which of the traditional organ systems are involved, with treatment of the associated meridians.

    The same individual may be analysed in terms of the immune system disturbance, and accordingly treated by stimulating points that have been recently identified as immune regulators.

    Case-controlled clinical studies have shown that acupuncture has been an effective treatment for the following diseases, symptoms or conditions:

    w  Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)

    w  Anxiety

    w  Depression

    w  Dysmenorrhoea, primary

    w  Facial pain

    w  Headache and Migraines

    w  Hypertension

    w  Hypotension

    w  Induction of labour

    w  Infertility

    w  Insomnia

    w  Knee pain

    w  Low back pain

    w  Malposition of fetus

    w  Morning sickness

    w  Nausea and vomiting

    w  Neck pain

    w  Pain in dentistry

    w  Periarthritis of shoulder

    w  Postoperative pain

    w  Renal colic

    w  Rheumatoid arthritis

    w  Sciatica

    w  Sprain

    w  Stroke

    Techniques for Health


    In ancient times, the number of acupuncture points was established to be the same as the number of days in the year: 365. These points were mapped to 14 major meridian lines, one meridian for each of the 12 inner organs, one meridian along the spine (called the governing vessel), and another along the midline of the abdomen (called the conception vessel).

    More recently, the number of points identified by acupuncturists has exploded. There are extra meridians (some of them outlined in ancient times, others modern) with their own sets of points, there are special points (off meridians), and there are complete mappings of body structures and functions by points along the outer ears, on the nose, in the scalp, on the hands, on the feet, and at the wrists and ankles. Despite the growing number of treatment zones, most acupuncturists still utilize the traditionally-identified points on the 14 main meridians.

    In this blog, I will go through a few of these meridian points.

    For each point mentioned below, the name of the meridian, the number of the point, the number of standard points on the meridian, its designation by one of the number-based classification systems (two letters and the point number), and the Chinese name are given:

    Large Intestine Meridian, point #4 of 20: LI4, Hegu

    This point is located on the back side of the hand between the thumb and first finger. The dominant uses are to relieve pain and to treat constipation or other bowel disorders. However, this point is also utilized in the treatment of inflammatory and feverish diseases which have symptoms in the throat and head, this is because the large intestine meridian runs from the hand to the face.

    Lung Meridian, point #7 of 11: LU7, Lieque

    This point is located above the wrist on the inside of the arm. It is used to treat several disorders of the upper body, including headache, neck stiffness, cough, asthma, sore throat, facial paralysis, and wrist problems.

    Stomach Meridian, point #36 of 45: ST36, Zusanli

    This point is located on the front of the leg, just below the knee. It is helpful for digestive disorders, including nausea, vomiting, gastralgia, and abdominal distention, and also for general weakness. Recently, numerous clinical trials have been conducted with treatment of this point alone, demonstrating positive effects in treating anaemia, immune deficiency, fatigue, and numerous diseases.

    Liver Meridian, point #3 of 14: LV3, Taichong

    The point is located on the top of the foot, between the first and second toes. It is used to balance emotional energy, to regulate menstruation, to reduce tension and pain in the chest, treat eye disorders, alleviate headaches, and reduce high blood pressure.

    Governing Vessel, point #20 of 28: GV20, Baihui

    This point is located at the top of the head. It is traditionally applied in the treatment of various mental disorders, and for problems that occur in the head: headache, vertigo, ringing in the ears, nasal obstruction, difficulty with speech, etc. It is also used to treat prolapse, such as that of the rectum and uterus.

    Conception Vessel, point #4 of 24: CV4, Guanyuan

    This point is located a little below the navel. It is used for all types of lower abdominal disorders, including urination problems, hernia, menstrual disorders, gynaecological infections, postpartum bleeding, diarrhoea, rectal prolapse, etc.

    To Sum Up…

    The thought of needles entering your body is a horrifying experience for some. Many of us have had blood taken at some point in our lives. However, the needles used here are very different to the daunting big needles at the doctors’ surgery. These needles are ultra-thin and perhaps longer depending on how deep it needs to descend into the skin. Do not be alarmed; unlike the injection needles, acupuncture needles go into the skin relatively unnoticed.

    The subject of needles always brings up the issue of safety. There are very few side effects from acupuncture when practised by a fully qualified practitioner of traditional acupuncture. Any minor side effects that do occur, such as dizziness or bruising around needle points, are mild and self-correcting. Having said that, there is a growing number of people who practice self-needling, especially patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and are taught limited but effective treatment to minimise the side-effects of the drug therapy. To avoid injury to vital nerves and structures I would recommend you see a fully trained practitioner who would have studied the anatomy and their respected meridians in more detail.

    The benefits of acupuncture far outweigh the slight discomfort you may feel when the needles are inserted. Once you have experienced the effect it has on your body, you won’t look at a needle in the same way again.

    Source

    http://cim.ucsd.edu/clinical-care/acupuncture.shtml

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acupuncture

    http://www.itmonline.org/arts/acuintro.htm

    https://www.acupuncture.org.uk/public-content/public-safety-of-acupuncture/is-acupuncture-safe.html

  • 20 Jul 2017 12:28 PM | Aliya Umm Omar (Administrator)


    Massage therapy involves the rubbing and kneading of soft tissues and muscles in the human body. This is to promote healing and enhance a person's health and well-being. It is thought the term 'massage' originates from the Greek word, 'Massein' meaning 'to knead'. It is also linked to the Arabic word, 'mash' which means to 'press softly'. Both aptly describe the treatment, which is now used in healthcare, beauty therapy and sports.

    The practice of using touch as a healing method derives from customs and techniques rooted in ancient history. Civilisations in the East and West found that natural healing and massage could heal injuries, relieve pain, and prevent and cure illnesses. What’s more, it helped reduce stress and produce deep relaxation. Although it began as a sacred system of natural healing, cultural shifts rendered it a disreputable form of indulgence for extensive periods of history. However, massage has experienced resurgence in modern times. Today, massage therapy stands as a highly respected holistic healing method practiced across the world.

    Massage therapy history dates back thousands of years to ancient cultures that believed in its medical benefits. The first written records of massage therapy are found in China and Egypt. In 2700 BCE the first known Chinese text is called “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine.” This book became a staple in massage therapy training. Chinese massage methods originated from the principle that diseases and illnesses arise due to a deficiency or imbalance in the energy in specific pathways or meridians that represent physiological systems. Through massage and other specific bodywork techniques, energy will flow more harmoniously through these pathways, allowing the body to heal itself naturally. Techniques include Tui Na, amno, acupuncture and acupressure, to name a few.

    Egyptian tomb paintings dating back to 2500 BCE, showed that massage therapy was also a part of their medical tradition by depicting individuals being kneaded by others. Hindus used the art of healing touch in the practice of Ayurvedic medicine. It was from this early massage therapy history that the Swedish doctor, Per Henril Ling developed a method of movement known as the “Swedish Movement System.” This system was further developed by Dutchman Johan Georg Mezger who defined the basic hand strokes of Swedish massage.

    As a preventative practice, therapeutic massage is used in spas, gyms and work places all over the country. In the health care industry, massage is commonly used in hospitals, nursing homes and birthing centres. It is also used in physical therapy and in chiropractic clinics to treat pain, increase circulation and expedite the healing of injured muscles.

    Health Benefits

    There are more than 250 variations of massage and bodywork therapies used today. Despite the differences between each modality, all of them involve touch and manipulation techniques to move muscles and body tissue. The aim is to relieve stress, tension, pain and a whole host of other ailments. I will look at a few common techniques in this blog:

    Deep Tissue Massage

    Deep tissue massage aims to realign deeper layers of connective tissue and muscles in order to relieve pain and restore natural movement. It is commonly used to treat chronic aches and pains and tension in the neck, back and shoulders. Chronic muscle tension is caused by adhesions - ligaments and bands of painful rigid tissue. Adhesions can block our circulation, causing inflammation and limiting our movement. A deep tissue massage can help to break down these adhesions via the application of slow, pressurised movements, with deep strokes and finger pressure. This is to ensure all the sub-layer of muscles and the fascia is stimulated.

    Deep Lymphatic Therapy

    Also known as 'lymphatic drainage', deep lymphatic therapy is used to release areas of built-up fluid in the body. The aim is to treat various ailments that are associated with the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a collection of vessels and nodes that collect and neutralise foreign protein or ingested bacteria in the body. When we experience something traumatic, these vessels and nodes can become congested. Over time this congestion builds up until the lymph areas are surrounded by fluid. This swelling is called lymphedema. Deep tissue massage is performed on each part of the body to release this fluid. Hot fomentation (otherwise known as steam heat) is then applied. This helps to liquefy everything the massage has managed to break down. Deep lymphatic therapy enables the body to re-balance and return to its normal state.

    Indian Head Massage

    Indian head massage is an Ayurvedic form of healing and relaxation. Thousands of years ago the treatment was applied only to the head and hair area as a remedy for dry scalp conditions. Today it is a much broader therapy, incorporating the upper back, shoulders, upper arms and face. These body parts are considered to be important centres of energy. It can help provide relief from certain physical ailments whilst promoting relaxation, concentration and energy.

    Hot Stone Massage

    This therapy involves the use of hot stones placed on the body to treat a range of health concerns. A hot stone massage will typically begin with a traditional Swedish massage to warm up the body. The stones will be sanitised and heated in water, before being placed along the spine, stomach, or other various points of the body. As a stone begins to cool it will be replaced with another. This massage is thought to have many benefits which include:

    §  Reduced inflammation and swelling

    §  Reduced muscle pain and discomfort

    §  Increased blood flow

    §  Cleaning of the lymphatic system

    §  Enhancing well-being

    It is also a highly rejuvenating, and is thought to encourage the release of pent up emotions. Whilst there is no evidence to support the effects of hot stone massage, it is a popular treatment.


    Sports Massage

    Physical activity can lead to the build-up of stress and tension in the body's tissues. Sports massage is designed to help prevent and treat injuries that can occur as a result of overexertion or poor training exercises. Stretching, compression, toning and trigger point response techniques similar to acupressure may be used. This type of massage can be applied through all stages of training. It can also provide recovery and prevention before and after competitions. Sports massage can also benefit individuals who don’t play sport. It is particularly helpful for those who are experiencing muscle pain and tension as a result of stress. The therapy is thought to improve circulation, boost lymphatic flow and help flush out metabolic waste. 

    Swedish Massage

    As mentioned previously, the Swedish massage is considered to be one of the first types of massage to be developed. Over the years it has evolved into a popular therapy, known for its five core techniques which are:

    1.     Effleurage - Long gliding strokes

    2.     Petrissage - Lifting and kneading the muscles

    3.     Friction: Firm - Deep circular rubbing movements

    4.     Tapotement - Brisk tapping or percussive movements

    5.     Vibration - Rapidly shaking or vibrating specific muscles

    The aim of the Swedish massage is to increase the body's absorption of oxygen, which helps the body to rejuvenate. It also contributes to the detoxification process, which speeds up the rate at which cells eliminate waste. This process involves flushing lactic acid, uric acid and other waste from the tissues. It helps stimulate the skin and nervous system, and exercises the ligaments and tendons to keep them supple. The entire process is very relaxing and is championed for its ability to reduce both emotional and physical stress.

    Other therapies that are popular healing and body re-balancing treatments are acupressure, bowen therapy, reflexology, reiki, and shiatsu.

    To Sum Up…

    With all of the massage therapies out there, it would seem that they could heal practically any condition. Massage is comparatively safe, however, there are a few exceptions. It should not be used if a person has one of the following conditions: advanced heart diseases, high blood pressure, phlebitis , thrombosis, embolism, kidney failure, cancer if massage would accelerate metastasis (i.e., spread a tumor) or damage tissue that is fragile due to chemotherapy or other treatment, infectious diseases, contagious skin conditions, acute inflammation, infected injuries, unhealed fractures, dislocations, frostbite, large hernias, torn ligaments, conditions prone to haemorrhage, and psychosis.

    To get the best massage experience you need to find a good massage therapist. Their personality as well as their qualifications makes all the difference. In terms of qualification, make sure they have successfully completed a course that is recognised by a professional body for massage therapy. In regards to their personality, they should possess good listening skills, have empathy, be professional and have an interest in expanding their massage skills.

    There you have it. An amazing journey through the luxurious world of massage. Next time you book yourself in for a massage be sure to ask about the other beneficial techniques available. It may, in fact, be the healing touch you were always looking for.

    Recipes for Health

    Massages for Relaxation and Stress Relief

    ·       Swedish Massage - Best for: An intro to massage, stress relief, relaxation, releasing cramped or tense muscles, couples massage.

    ·       Hot Stone Massage - Best for: "Centering" yourself, releasing very tense muscles, relaxation.

    ·       Chair Massage - Best for: Quick massages when you've been walking all day, stress relief.

    Massages for Treating Pain and Specific Conditions

    ·       Deep Tissue Massage - Best for: Treating stiff, painful trouble spots like the shoulder and neck.

    ·       Trigger Point Massage - Best for: Chronic muscle pain and tension.

    ·       Neuromuscular Therapy - Best for: Treating injuries and issues like poor circulation or posture problems, lower back pain.

    Massages for Overall Health and Rejuvenation

    ·       Shiatsu Massage - Best for: Ailments such as headaches, back pain, and lack of energy.

    ·       Thai Massage - Best for: Improving energy, increased flexibility, overall health and well-being.

    ·       Sports Massage - Best for: Athletes.

    Source

    http://www.allalliedhealthschools.com/massage-therapist/massage-therapy-history/

    http://www.naturalhealers.com/massage-therapy/history/

    http://www.therapy-directory.org.uk/articles/massagetherapy.html

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/divisions-diagnostics-and-procedures/medicine/massage-therapy

    http://lifehacker.com/whats-the-difference-between-all-these-types-of-massag-1522088430

  • 19 Jun 2017 3:01 PM | Aliya Umm Omar (Administrator)

    Homeopathy is based on the principle that ‘like cures like’ – in other words, it’s an alternative medicinal practice that uses the smallest possible amount of an active ingredient in order to help treat or cure a disease, even if this same ingredient can contributeto an illness in the first place.  This idea dates back to Hippocrates (460-377BC), who also thought that symptoms specific to an individual should be taken into account before making a diagnosis. This is also an important principle of homeopathy, where an individual’s unique symptoms are important in distinguishing the correct medicine.

    The idea of ‘like curing like’ was not to re-emerge in any great way until a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) came to devise the system of medicine that we know as homeopathy. He deduced that an illness could be treated with a very small amount of a substance that, in larger quantities, could cause that illness. To avoid harmful effects from normal doses of the substances, he diluted each medicine until he reached the greatest dilution that would still produce a response. These experiments were called proving’s and led him to observe and describe the basic principles of homeopathic medicine. Thus, a homeopath looks for a substance, that produces those same symptoms a patient experiences, in a healthy person.

    In the late 1800s, students of Hahnemann founded the first homeopathic medical school in the United States. It gained recognition because of its success in treating the many disease epidemics rampant at the time — including scarlet fever, typhoid, cholera and yellow fever. Its popularity was adversely affected by the American Medical Association, as this was also around the time when modern drug companies began releasing drugs that were easy to administer to patients. Although a decline was noticed in the States, its popularity grew in other nations, including countries in Europe and Asia. Today, nearly all French pharmacies sell homeopathic remedies and medicines; and homeopathy has a particularly strong following in Russia, India, Switzerland, Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, and South America.

    How are the remedies made?

    A homeopathic medicine can be made from any substance. There are several thousand different homeopathic remedies, made from an enormous range of sources. From plant/vegetables, fungi, and minerals to animal based products and micro-organisms. Some of these remedy sources may surprise you. The source of the remedy is not as significant as the pattern of illness it represents. The principle of all homeopathic remedies is the same, whatever they are made from. Each remedy represents a particular pattern of illness. If that pattern can be matched to your own pattern of illness, it can stimulate healing.

    In the first stages of preparing a homeopathic remedy, before it becomes a pill, some substances are initially diluted with vegetable alcohol (ethanol). This includes most plant remedies and easily soluble substances. The soluble substances are dissolved in the alcohol to form a “mother tincture”. One part of this tincture is added to 99 parts of alcohol and succussed (shaken). This yields a 1C potency (one part per hundred). This process of serial dilution and succussion is repeated, each step yielding a more dilute but more potent remedy. Repeating the process 10 times yields a 10C potency, one hundred times yields a 100C potency and so on.

    Preparation of less soluble substances, such as minerals, begins with trituration. This means grinding in a pestle and mortar with lactose (milk sugar). This reduces particle size, so that after a while they become soluble, or colloidal, and the preparation then continues with dilution in alcohol.

    Remedies are commonly available in the following forms:

    Flat tablets - based on sucrose and lactose (milk sugar); dissolve rather slowly. Suitable for infants if dissolved in water, but hard to dissolve.

    Round pillules - based on sucrose (plant sugar); dissolve quicker, and suitable for infants if dissolved in water.

    Soft tablets - (trituration tablets) based on lactose. Dissolve very quickly, suitable for infants.

    Liquid remedies - such as tinctures and LM potencies are based on alcohol, as a preservative. Suitable for infants when diluted. Alcohol can be removed by putting the remedy in a little hot water.

    Granules - tiny round grains based on sucrose. Suitable for infants.

    Powders - usually lactose. Suitable for infants.

    Creams - (easily absorbed) and ointments (more oily) may contain lanolin or beeswax, and may contain chemical additives. Some so-called homeopathic creams are actually herbal.

    Another way some homeopaths make remedies is by using digital remedy makers. These devices simulate a remedy using their unique energy pattern and copy it, into blank sugar pills or water/alcohol solutions. Being digital they claim to make remedies which are very precise and provide instant copies which could be adjusted to the correct potency to suit their patient’s needs.


    Health Benefits

    The idea of homeopathy is that this practice helps stimulate the immune system and the body’s natural ability to heal; the School of Homeopathy states, “that which a substance is capable of causing, it is also capable of curing.”

    One of the most important principles of homeopathic medicine is that treatments must be “individualized” and tailored to each person’s specific symptoms, history, body and needs. Even if two people are battling the same illness, they can receive completely different recommendations from their homeopathic doctors based on their unique situation and how their body would be expected to respond.

    As opposed to conventional medicine, homeopathy takes into consideration a patient’s emotional stability and personality. It’s common for a homeopathic doctor to talk in depth with a patient about their stress levels, relationships, personal characteristics, family and so on. Patients respond differently to a range of doses of homeopathic medicines; some needing much higher doses than others based on their current situation. Homeopathic remedies — whether adaptogen herbs, minerals, medicinal mushrooms or animal products — are diluted to a certain potency depending on the patient’s needs, and the goal is to always use the minimum dose possible that will still offer benefits.

    Homeopathy has been most commonly used in patients suffering from:

    Depression

    As depression displays many emotional symptoms, it is important to choose the correct homeopathic remedy which correlates to them. Thus, there are several homeopathic remedies for depression that can complement a natural treatment.

    • Arsenicum album is the best remedy for excessive worriers.
    • Causticum is the necessary homeopathic remedy when the person is depressed after a loss or when grieving.
    • Ignatia amara is often best for sensitive people that tend to suppress disappointment or grief.
    • Lachesis muta is the appropriate remedy when depression is caused by suspicion, jealously, or repressed feelings.
    • Sepia is the best remedy when a person is overwhelmed from loved ones and family members.
    • Staphysagria is the best homeopathic remedy for a person who is sensitive, quiet, and emotional.

    Other top remedies for depression include aurum metallicum, calcarea carbonica (calcium carbonicum), kali phosphoricum, cimicifuga, natrum carbonicum, natrum muraticum, pulsatilla nigricans, phosphoric acid, and causticum.

    Allergies

    An allergy is a sudden hypersensitive reaction that presents itself with a number of symptoms following contact with an allergen. The main allergies are nasal allergy, allergic cough, food allergies, dust allergy and skin rash. Again, homeopathic remedies that are best suited are chosen on the basis of the symptoms and characteristics narrated by each patient.

    • Apis Mellifica is used to treat the hives or urticarial rash due to allergic reactions. This is the best remedy for all cases of allergic hives that result in violent itching with burning and stinging sensations.
    • Arsenic Album is great for treating nasal allergy when there is a fluent and burning discharge from nose with a lot of sneezing. This may be accompanied by watery eyes and a burning sensation.
    • Natrum Mur is very beneficial for the treatment of both nasal and skin allergies. The important pointers for using Natrum Mur in nasal allergy are a running nose with sneezing and difficulty in breathing. In skin allergies, Natrum Mur is the ideal for excessive itching that mainly gets worse in a warm room and better in open air. A craving for salt is usually noted in all the patients requiring Natrum Mur.
    • Sulphur is the best remedy for skin allergies with excessive itching and a burning sensation. The skin usually remains dry and the patient gets relief from scratching it.

    Many other remedies are also suggested for different allergy types which have been mentioned in the ‘Recipes for Health’ section of this article.

    Migraines

    Migraine is a disorder characterised by a headache, specifically affecting one side of the head. Migraine headaches are mostly throbbing or pulsating in nature, often accompanied with symptoms of nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and noise.

    • Belladonna is good for a migraine with the following symptoms: intense throbbing, pulsating headache, sensitivity to the light, sensitivity to noise. Only hard pressure over the head relief is felt.  
    • Glonoinum is helpful in treating a migraine with the following symptoms: excessive congestion in the head, the head feels large (as if it would burst), also, heat around the head is unbearable. Uncovering the head relieves the headache. The migraine also gets better with sleep, and walking worsens the migraine headache. It is also good for migraine headaches triggered by sun exposure.
    • Iris Versicolor is useful for a migraine when coupled with intense nausea, vomiting or acidity. Symptoms include vomiting of an acidic, sour and bitter nature and diarrhoea. This medicine is also useful where migraines begins with a blur before the eyes.
    • Nux Vomica is very effective for a migraine with gastric troubles. Migraine due to indigestion, flatulence, constipation and piles shows great recovery with use of this remedy.
    • Epiphegus is valuable for treating a migraine where exhaustion – mental or physical – sets off the migraine episode.

    Other remedies include Spigelia, Sanguinaria Canadensis, Natrum Carbonicum, Natrum Muriaticum, Sepia, Kali Phos, and Cyclamen.

    Other Conditions

    Other conditions for which homeopathy is commonly used are asthma, anxiety disorders, arthritis, dermatitis (and other skin disorders), fatigue, tension headaches, thyroid or autoimmune disorders and digestive problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).


    To Sum up…

    Despite over 200 years of clinical efficacy, the nature of how these remedies work is still a mystery. We do not yet possess the technology or the methodology necessary to unlock homeopathy’s secrets. Homeopathic remedies are not deemed as dangerous, even when made from substances which are dangerous in their original form, as long as they are sufficiently highly potentised (diluted correctly). All remedies are safe when taken according to instructions from a qualified homeopath. Dangerous substances should not be taken in very low potencies. So please be sure to consult with a homeopath about any of the remedies mentioned in this article before taking them.

    Some wonder about the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies; that taking the remedies in such a diluted amount has no effect at all. However, these remedies have been used for centuries, and decades of anecdotal evidence shows that many people’s symptoms do, in fact, improve after receiving homeopathic medicines. Although more long term studies are needed, many studies have been demonstrating that homeopathy is more effective than placebo.

    Recipes for Health

    • Asthma: Arsenic Album, Antimonium Tart, Spongia Tosta, Ipecac, Drosera Rotundifolia.
    • Anxiety: Aconite, Argentum Nitricum, Gelsemium.
    • Rheumatoid arthritis: Rhus Tox, Actaea Spicata, Bryonia, Causticum, Caulophyllum, Kalmia.
    • IBS: Sulphur, Pulsatilla, Nux Vomica, Phosphorus, Lycopodium clavatum, Silicea, Argentum Nitricum.
    • Nasal allergies: Allium Cepa, Arsenic Album, Arundo Mauri, Kali Bichromicum, Gelsemium.
    • Allergic cough: Arsenic Album, Ipecac, Bryonia Alba, Sambucus.
    • Allergic skin rashes: Sulphur, Apis Mellifica, Urtica Urens.
    • Egg allergy: Carbo Veg, Nux Vomica, Sulphur.
    • Shell fish allergy: Urtica Urens.
    • Wheat allergy: Lycopodium, Colocynth, Natrum Mur.
    • Milk allergy: Aethusa Cynapium, Natrum Carb, Pulsatilla.
    • Allergic conjunctivitis: Euphrasia.
    • Dust allergy: Lycopersicum, Bromium and Arsenic Album.

    Sources

    http://www.britishhomeopathic.org/homeopathy/the-history-of-homeopathy/

    http://www.wholehealthnow.com/homeopathy_info/history.html

    http://www.drmasiello.com/homeopathy/how-homeopathic-remedies-are-made/

    http://naturalhealthanswers.co.uk/madefrom.php

    https://draxe.com/homeopathy/

    http://www.homeopathyschool.com/why-study-with-us/what-is-homeopathy/like-cures-like/

    http://www.webmd.com/balance/tc/homeopathy-topic-overview

    http://www.homeopathyschool.com/why-study-with-us/what-is-homeopathy/research/

    http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/brain-function-articles/homeopathic-remedies-for-depression

    https://www.drhomeo.com/allergy/top-homeopathic-remedies-for-allergy/

    https://www.drhomeo.com/migraine/top-five-homeopathic-medicines-to-cure-migraine-headaches/

  • 25 May 2017 10:52 AM | Aliya Umm Omar (Administrator)

    Before the dawn of the pharmaceutical industry, plant based products were the main form of medicine. Oils and pastes from plants were transformed into pills, powders, suppositories, medicinal cakes and ointments. Balsams, perfumed oils, scented barks, resins, spices and aromatic vinegars, made from plants, were used in everyday life.

    Essential oils, or aromatic oils as they were once called, have been used by many cultures around the world for centuries. Their uses varied between customs from religious purposes to healing the sick. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when essential oils gained notoriety as effective healing agents, but eventually the knowledge of essential oils spread around the globe.

    The earliest evidence of human knowledge of the healing properties of plants was found in Lascaux, located in the Dordogne region in France. The cave paintings suggest the use of medicinal plants in everyday life that have been carbon dated as far back as 18,000 B.C. Ancient Egyptians used aromatic gums such as cedar and myrrh in the embalming process, traces of these have been found on mummies today. 

    The particles in essential oils come from distilling or extracting the different parts of plants, including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, resin and peels. In ancient times, Jews and Egyptians made essential oils by soaking the plants in oil and then filtering the oil through a linen bag. However, later around 1000 A.D, Ali-Ibn Sana (commonly known as Avicenna the Arab) was credited for being the first person to discover and record the method of distilling essential oils.

    Today, distillation is still the most common process of extracting essential oils from plants. The advantage of distillation is that the volatile components can be distilled at temperatures lower than the boiling points of their individual constituents, and are easily separated from the condensed water. During distillation the plant material is placed upon a grid inside the still. Once inside, the still is sealed. Steam or water slowly breaks through the plant material to remove its volatile constituents. These volatile constituents rise upward through a connecting pipe that leads them into a condenser. The condenser cools the rising vapour back into liquid form. The liquid is then collected in a vehicle below the condenser. Since water and essential oil do not mix, the essential oil will be found on the surface of the water where it is siphoned off. Occasionally an essential oil is heavier than water and is found on the bottom rather than the top, such as with clove essential oil.

    The benefits of essential oils come from their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These healing oils are rapidly growing in popularity because they act as natural medicine without any side effects. Their uses range from aromatherapy, household cleaning products, personal beauty care and natural medicine treatments.


    Health Benefits

    Here is a list of the six most common essential oils and their health benefits:

    Camomile

    Camomile essential oil is known to cure spasms, protect wounds from becoming septic and infected, curb biotic growth and infections, fight depression and uplift mood, cure neuralgic pain by reducing swelling in the effected vessels, and soothe inflammation from fever. It also eliminates gases, promotes the discharge of bile, helps decrease the visibility of scars, opens up obstructed menses and regulates them, cures pain, reduces fever, and is good for the liver. Furthermore, camomile essential oil sedates inflammation and hyper-reactions, improves nervous system health, aids digestion, reduces spasms, kills bacteria, increases perspiration, improves digestion, and fights infections.

    Frankincense

    Frankincense essential oil protects wounds from becoming septic, fights infections, induces contractions in gums, muscles and blood vessels, and removes excess gas, heals scars, keeps cells healthy and promotes their regeneration. It promotes digestion, increases urination, regulates menstrual cycles, cures coughs and colds, soothes anxiety and inflammation, and ensures good health of the uterus.

    Lavender

    This oil is beneficial for treatment of issues with the nervous system, insomnia, pain relief, urine flow, respiratory disorders, skin care, hair care, blood circulation, indigestion, and immune system health.

    Oregano

    It is commonly used to inhibit viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections. Oregano essential oil also heals damage done by oxidation, soothes inflammations, promotes digestion, opens up obstructed menstruation, and helps cure allergies.

    Peppermint

    It is commonly used in the treatment of pain relief, as a way to induce numbness, protect against sepsis, reduce milk flow and discharge, relax spasm, strengthen gums, stop hair loss, and lifts skin. Also, it induces firmness in muscles, stops haemorrhaging, removes gas, is good for brain and memory health, and promotes bile discharge, clears congestion and eases breathing. Furthermore, peppermint essential oil relieves obstructed menstruation, expels phlegm & catarrh, reduces fever, is good for the liver, nerves, and stomach, while promoting perspiration and slight contraction of the blood vessels.

    Tea Tree

    This oil is often used to inhibit bacterial, microbial, and viral infections, while also killing insects, protecting wounds from becoming septic, promoting absorption of nutrients, speeding up the healing rate of scars and after marks. Finally, it can cure coughs and colds, and it stimulates systemic functions and appropriate discharges.

    To Sum Up…

    Essential oils have a vast amount of benefits, not only to your health but to your home. Some say that there is an essential oil for everything in life. However, not all essential oils are created equal. In fact, most of them are often synthetic and do not give you any health benefits. The brand and manufacturer’s method of production plays a critical role in the quality of the oil. So, when buying essential oils, make sure they are certified pure therapeutic grade from a reputable company, especially when you’re considering them for internal use. It is always best to consult a health professional before you take any essential oils as there are some oils that have the potential to cause irritation, whether it be on your skin or elsewhere. That’s why it is important to choose a quality product that is both safe and effective.

    Adding a small amount of the essential oils to water, lotions or carrier oils (such as fractionated coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil) allows the oils to enter the body in the best way possible. This can be achieved in the form of inhalation using baths and diffusers, and skin application through massages and compresses. Whichever way you decide to use it you will not be disappointed.

    Recipes for Health

    §  Reduce cellulite: Mix five drops of grapefruit essential oil with two teaspoons of coconut oil and massage into dimpled areas.

    §  Itchy scalp: Add lavender, cedarwood or basil essential oil to shampoo to reduce itching.

    §  Reduce wrinkles: Mix 3-5 drops of sandalwood, geranium, lavender and frankincense essential oils with an unscented lotion and apply to face. Avoid applying to eyes.

    §  Reduce stretch marks: Mix five drops of frankincense, myrrh and grapefruit essential oils with coconut oil and apply to stretch marks.

    §  Relieve nausea: Breathe in peppermint oil through your nose to alleviate nausea, and also apply to your neck and upper chest. Ginger and lavender may also help.

    §  Migraine headache relief: Try combining a few drops of lavender oil and peppermint oil and apply to temples to help with headaches and migraines.

    §  Reduce cough or sinusitis: Eucalyptus oil is known for its powerful ability to fight coughs and open airways. Add a few drops into steaming hot water or diffuser. Inhale to help clear nasal passage.

    §  Heal burns: Mix lavender oil with aloe vera to treat burns.

    §  Improve concentration: Inhale bergamot, grapefruit or peppermint oil to increase concentration during the day.

    §  Eczema and psoriasis cream: To treat eczema, psoriasis or red dry skin, apply a mixture of lavender essential oil with shea butter.

    §  Improve circulation: Add 8-10 drops of grapefruit essential oil to warm bath water.

    §  Reduce fever: Add 1-3 drops of eucalyptus, peppermint and lavender to a cool cloth and sponge the body.

    §  Head lice cure: Mix three drops of thyme, lavender and eucalyptus oil with unscented oil and apply to scalp. Cover head with a shower cap and leave on for 30 minutes. Shampoo out.

    §  Achy muscle rub: Mix eucalyptus, wintergreen and cypress with an unscented lotion or coconut oil and apply to muscles.

    §  Reduce morning sickness caused by pregnancy: Add a few drops of wild orange, lemon or ginger oil to a handkerchief and inhale.

    §  Improve allergies: Rub frankincense and lavender on your palms and inhale deeply to relieve itchy eyes and throat.

    • §  Improve digestion: Take ginger oil, peppermint oil and fennel essential oil to support digestion and healing leaky gut.
    • Calm upset child: Help soothe and calm children by adding lavender or chamomile to their stuffed animals.

    Sources

    https://naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/about-aromatherapy/how-are-essential-oils-extracted/

    https://draxe.com/essential-oil-uses-benefits/

    https://healingscents.net/blogs/learn/18685859-history-of-essential-oils  

    https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils

    https://aromaticstudies.com/the-internal-use-of-essential-oils-an-exploration/    

  • 20 Apr 2017 1:26 PM | Simply Hijama (Administrator)


    Hijama has been the subject of intrigue in recent times, specifically Dry Cupping, which is an alternative form of Hijama; used by athletes and sportsmen alike.

    So, what is Hijama?

    The literal meaning of Hijama is ‘sucking’. Hijama is a therapy in which a vacuum is created between the skin and a cup apparatus. This suction creates a negative pressure, allowing stagnant blood in the surrounding areas to be drawn to the area of the vacuum.

    Once the vacuum is released, small superficial scratches are made on the skin to drain this stagnant blood.

    There are various methods and apparatus used to create the vacuum and break the skin barrier, such as the use of fire, bamboo cups, lancets, even animal horns.

    ‘Hijama’ is generally used to refer to wet cupping, the process mentioned above. This is the form used by the Prophet (sallallahu alahi wasallam).

    Narrated Anas bin Malik (radiyallahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: I did not pass by an assembly of Angels on the night that I was taken on the night journey (lailatul israa), except that they said: Oh Muhammad, order your nation with Cupping (to use cupping as a treatment).

    Saheeh Sunan ibn Maajah 3479

    There are also two other forms of beneficial cupping:

    1.     Dry Cupping Cups are applied to affected areas of the body and a vacuum is created. The cups are left on the skin for a certain amount of time and then removed. This type of application, is a form of pain relief as well as relieving stagnation in the applied area.

    2.     Moving Cupping Oil is applied to an area of the body, and a light vacuum is then created between the cup and the skin. The cup is then glided in strokes or circular motions around the area. This method relieves pain, stress, stagnation, and improves blood circulation.

    Cupping has been practiced all over the world, for many centuries. It is still practiced in many countries and is making a big come back in the West in recent years, where its practice had declined completely. Prior to the early 1900s, you could visit the Barber Shop for a haircut and Hijama session! It had been a popular therapy up until this point, after which it started to decline when modern medicine began to take center stage and antibiotics became man’s best friend.    

    Are you thinking of having Cupping Therapy?

    Cupping can be an effective therapy when it is applied safely and correctly. It is important to find a qualified practitioner trained to a high level of expertise. Do not allow any Practitioners, whose certification you find questionable, to perform Hijama on you.  

    As Hijama is a treatment in which the skin barrier may be broken, it is extremely important that practitioners are trained correctly to perform Hijama, adhering to health and safety regulations. If the regulations are not safeguarded, this can lead to cross contamination of blood born viruses and infections.

    The type of cupping and number of sessions required will vary from patient to patient; depending on their medical history, symptoms and conditions. A well trained and experienced practitioner will be able to create an appropriate treatment plan determine the best course of action; as no two patients are the same!

    When you are looking for a Hijama practitioner, you should ask the following questions:

    ·      Which training school did they qualify with?

    ·      Do they have a certificate they can show you?

    ·      Do they have public liability insurance? (although this is not mandatory, it validates the course the Practitioner has studied).

    ·      How many years have they been a Hijama practitioner?

    ·      Do they have experience with your condition/symptoms?

    Also, testimonials from their previous patients will give you a fair idea of the kind of experience you will receive.

    Warning signs:

    If you come across any of the following practiced by a Hijama practitioner, do not go ahead with any treatment with them and report them to their qualifying training school or profession association.

    ·      Reusing plastic Hijama cups

    ·      Questionable hygiene practices

    ·      Use of razor blades

    ·      Not using sharps containers for surgical blades

    ·      Not using clinical waste bags for Hijama wastes

    ·      Performing Hijama on more than one person at a time

    ·      Children being present in the treatment room  

    Are you thinking of becoming a Hijama Practitioner?

    As the awareness of Cupping Therapy has been rising in the last decade, the demand of practitioners has also been rising. This has led to an increase of people interested in learning it; either to provide it as a treatment for their family and friends, or to open their own Practice. Due to a lack of Training Schools, people were learning Hijama casually from practitioners and even from videos on the internet. There was no systematic education for Hijama Therapy. The very little Hijama training that was around, was a good starting point but insufficient at best. Now, there are several reputable Hijama course providers who provide comprehensive training.

  • 19 Jan 2017 12:46 PM | Aliya Umm Omar (Administrator)

    Ashwagandha is one of the most highly prized herbs in the Ayurvedic medical system. The use of this herb in Ayurvedic medicine extends back over 3000 to 4000 years. Ashwagandha is unique as a tonic herb with amazing stress relieving benefits. Unlike any other herb it is very easy to cultivate and is ready for harvest after only one year of growth. Ashwagandha is a small woody shrub or herb in the Solanaceae or nightshade family that grows usually about 2 feet in height and is naturally found in diverse areas ranging from Africa, the Mediterranean and East into India. 

    Ashwagandha in Sanskrit means “horse’s smell,” and is a reference to the scent of its root. It is also known as Withania somnifera where somnifera means “sleep-bearing” in Latin, a popular use of the herb. It is also goes by the name Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, and winter cherry. 

    The commercial supplies of ashwagandha are obtained from both wild and commercial sources. The fresh root of the one-year old plants are harvested from January to March. It is either dried whole or cut in short transverse pieces and dried directly in the sun.


    Health Benefits 

    The unique properties of ashwagandha while being an energy tonic, is very beneficial for calming the mind, relieving arthritis and building sexual energy. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as an alternative for detoxification, an antiseptic, antitussive (alleviating coughs), sedative and as an overall rejuvenative.

    The pharmacological activity of this herb is attributed to certain steroidal alkaloids and steroidal lactones found in the root. A total of twelve alkaloids, 35 withanolides and several sitoindosides have been isolated from Ashwagandha roots. The two main withanolides responsible for the health benefits are withaferin A and withanolide D, plus an alkaloid, Somniferin.

    Ashwagandha contains a relatively high amount of iron (320mcg/g), giving a standard dose around 1 mg of iron.

    An Exceptional De-Stressor

    Ashwagandha is a well known adaptogen. Adaptogens greatly improve the body's ability to adapt to stress, whether it's a hectic schedule, heat or cold, noise, high altitudes or any number of other stressors. This herb imparts strength, energy, stamina, endurance, and improves mental clarity. 

    Ashwagandha is unique among adaptogens in that it has a nerve tonic effect, helping to increase your tolerance to stress that goes beyond what other adaptogens do. So it not only helps minimize excessive cortisol (the body’s stress hormone) output from stress, it helps you perceive events as less stressful! It is an uplifting nerve tonic, so it is wonderful for depression, especially if the depression is stress induced.

    Elevated cortisol levels and chronic stress can affect every physiological system in our body, including our thyroid and adrenal glands. It can make us anxious and irritable, lead to weight gain and bone loss, contribute to diabetes and heart disease risk, and deplete our energy levels.

    Cortisol is also known as the aging hormone. When cortisol gets too high, it puts us into a “fight or flight” response, which stimulates our sympathetic nervous system and our adrenal glands. When this occurs, there is a decrease in our digestive secretions and an increase in blood pressure. This puts our body in a state of constant stress, which will burn out our adrenal glands, stress our digestive tract and cause us to age more rapidly.

    Ageing Gracefully

    Apart from lowering the levels of cortisol, ashwagandha should be considered as the premiere herb for all negative conditions associated with aging. This includes its use for the prevention and inhibition of senile dementia and Alzheimer's Disease, low energy and arthritis. 

    Numerous studies on both animals and humans have attested to the anti-arthritis properties of crude preparations of the herb. The combined alkaloids also seem to exhibit anti-convulsant and antispasmodic properties against many spasmogenic agents on the intestinal, uterine, bronchial, tracheal and blood-vascular muscle. 

    A Great Hormone Regulator

    The withanolides in ashwagandha serve as important hormone precursors which the body is then able to convert into human physiological hormones. For example, if there is an excess of a certain hormone, these hormone precursors occupy the so-called hormone receptor sites, without converting to human hormones. This is in order to block absorption of the excess hormone. In this way, ashwagandha is amphoteric meaning it can serve to regulate important physiological processes, increasing or decreasing as needed. 

    Powers up the Reproductive System

    Ashwagandha is also useful for strengthening the female reproductive system for which it is commonly combined with another Ayurvedic herb called shatavari (Asparagus racemosa). The uniqueness of Ashwagandha is that it achieves its results through strengthening the nervous system and increasing the potential of reproductive hormones. It can aid other gynaecological disorders, such as female and male infertility, impotence and low sexual libido. 

    Aids Cancer Treatment

    Ashwaghanda has chemo-preventive properties that make it a useful adjunct for patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. Its ability to boost white blood cell counts helps prevent the immune suppression so common with chemotherapy. 

    It’s Not All in the Roots…

    So far, all discussion is about the use of the root which possesses the most valued tonic properties. However, the bitter leaves are used in the treatment of alcoholism and to relax the spasms of the lungs for the treatment of asthma and emphysema. They can also be made into an anti-inflammatory poultice and topically applied for boils and carbuncles. Internally, as with so many other strongly bitter herbs, they are anthelmintic (clearing worms). The seeds of the fruits are diuretic and can be used as a substitute for rennet to curdle milk.

    To Sum Up...

    Ashwagandha presents itself as a herb that adapts to many stressful situations while simultaneously calming the nerves and promoting sleep. Allowing you to age gracefully and regulate your hormones, it seems to combat many common ailments we see today in this modern era. Although this herb seems to be the one stop shop for many conditions there are a few precautions that we need to be aware of. 

    Ashwagandha is relatively safe when taken in the prescribed range of dosage. Large doses, however, have been shown to cause gastrointestinal upset, diarrhoea and vomiting. Large doses of ashwagandha should not be taken during pregnancy unless under the direction of an experienced health professional. It is also contraindicated in conjunction with sedatives or if one is suffering from stomach ulcers. 

    Recipes for Health

    Ashwagandha is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a powder, decoction, medicated tincture, mixed with clarified butter, combined with honey or sugar syrup or as a medicated oil. The most common form is as an alcoholic extract or capsules, of the powdered root.

    Dosage is as follows:

    §  Powder: 500-1000mg of Ashwagandha capsules a day, up to 3-6 grams daily for acute conditions.

    §  Decoction: 2 tsp added to warm cow's milk. 

    §  Alcoholic Extract: 2-4ml of the tincture taken two to three times a day. Up to 2 tbsp, 2-4 times daily for acute conditions.

    §  Mixed with ghee or honey: 1 tsp twice a day. 

    §  Narayana Taila Oil: Internally 3-10 drops or freely applied externally to painful arthritic joints.

    Sources

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Withania_somnifera

    https://www.planetherbs.com/specific-herbs/ashwagandha-wonder-herb-of-india.html

    https://modernherbalmedicine.com/articles/ashwaganda.html

    https://draxe.com/7-adaptogen-herbs-to-lower-cortisol/

    http://www.medicinehunter.com/adaptogens

  • 16 Dec 2016 12:09 PM | Aliya Umm Omar (Administrator)


    Water is an essential part of life. 71% of the earth's surface is water. However, most of it - 98% - is salt water. Only 2% of the earth's water is fresh water that we can drink, and of this, almost all is trapped in frozen glaciers. The human body contains from 55% to 78% water, depending on body size. Your muscles that move your body are 75% water; your blood that transports nutrients is 82% water; your lungs that provide your oxygen are 90% water; your brain that is the control centre of your body is 76% water; even your bones are 25% water. 

    To function properly and avoid dehydration, the body requirement for water varies depending on the level of activity, temperature, humidity, and other factors. The popular claim that "a person should consume eight glasses of water per day" seems to have no real basis in science. It is not clear how much water intake is needed by healthy people, though most specialists agree that approximately 2 litres (6 to 7 glasses) of water daily is the minimum to maintain proper hydration. Medical literature favours a lower consumption, typically 1 litre of water for an average male, excluding extra requirements due to fluid loss from exercise or warm weather. Some even say we should drink only when we are thirsty. However, the big question is how much water do we need to alleviate certain illnesses and provide optimum health. You are not just what you eat; you are what you drink. This is why water is so important to your health.

    Health Benefits

    When I started this blog on water I wanted to talk about how water can heal specific conditions rather than how it improves your skin and helps you lose weight. In my research I came across this interesting book: "Your body's many cries for water" by F. Batmanghelidj. He discusses an interesting theory that certain conditions could be alleviated by just drinking more water. He disregards the medical thirst indicator as being "dry mouth" and says that certain symptoms and pains should be translated as crisis signals of water shortage in the body i.e. emergency thirst signals. When these symptoms take place we need to determine whether they are brought on by dehydration. Non-infectious "recurring" or chronic pains should be viewed as indicators of body thirst. 


    He mentions that pain is a sensation that denotes local chemical changes in the area around the nerves that monitor the acid/alkali balance. The mechanism is designed to prevent excess acid build-up from metabolism. When water is not available to wash the acidic toxic waste, the nerve endings sense the change and report it to the brains pain centres. The brain suppresses it for a while but once the build up is critical the intensity of the pain increases until movement of the area is affected to prevent further toxin production. 

    Some of the pains of dehydration are as follows:

    Dyspeptic pain

    This pain is the most important thirst signal for the body. It can occur in the young and the old. Those associated with gastritis, duodenitis and heartburn should be treated, according to Batmanghelidj, with an increase in water intake alone. He mentions drinking full glasses of water (250ml) at regular intervals to alleviate the pain. In one instance, he mentions how he stopped a 10hr debilitating dyspeptic pain by giving three glasses of water over 20 minutes!

    A large amount of water is needed during the food digestion process. In the stomach, acid and enzymes mix with the food to break it down into a homogenised fluid which can pass into the intestines. The stomach wall is covered in mucus. The mucus is 98% water which forms a barrier from the stomach acid that tries to pass through it. This acid is neutralised by the sodium bicarbonate that is secreted by the mucosal cells. When the body is dehydrated this mucosal layer in the stomach wall is inefficient at protecting it from the acid which passes through and causes damage resulting in pain. Drinking water before every meal is ideal in preventing this problem. 

    Colitis pain 

    We all know that not drinking enough can bring about constipation which is the impaction of solid waste in the large colon. With increased dehydration this causes the hardening of the solid waste causing colitis pain. Drinking adequate water plus consuming fibrous fruits and vegetables will reduce constipation. 

    Rheumatoid arthritis pain

    The cartilage surfaces of bones in a joint contain much water. The lubricating property of this water is utilised in the cartilage, allowing the two opposing surfaces to freely glide over one another during joint movement. In a well hydrated cartilage the rate of friction is minimal due to good lubrication.  However, when a cartilage is dehydrated the rate of friction is increased causing damage to the cartilage and exposing the bone which brings about an inflammation in the joint. This pain can be treated with regular increase in water intake. 

    Low back pain

    75% of the weight of the upper body is supported by the water volume stored in the spinal disc core which also acts as a lubricating agent. An intermittent vacuum is needed to promote water circulation into the intervertebral joints. To prevent back pain, sufficient water needs to be drunk plus doing a series of special exercises to create this vacuum which draws water into the disc space. 

    Migraine headaches 

    According to Batmanghelidj, migraines are brought on by "heat stress", the inability to regulate body temperature. Dehydration plays an important role in the onset of migraine headaches. To prevent them from occurring he recommends regularly drinking water. Cold or iced water may by itself be able to cool the body from inside, including the brain. This may prevent excess dilation of the peripheral vessels which might be the basic cause of migraines. 

    Asthma and Allergies

    Batmanghelidj mentions that histamine plays an important role as a water regulator as well as an immune support. When the body is dehydrated histamine levels increase to preserve body water. For example, asthmatics have high histamine levels in their lung tissue as histamine also regulates bronchial muscle contraction. Since water loss can take place in the lungs through evaporation, histamine causes bronchial constriction so less water is evaporated during breathing. This in turn causes an asthma attack. He says that on average, these conditions respond after three or four weeks of regular water intake. One other factor to mention in asthmatic is the role of salt. Salt shortage is a contributing factor to this condition. It aids in breaking up the mucus build up in the air passages preventing normal breathing. Most importantly salt is a natural histamine, thus taking salt, such as Himalayan or Celtic salt, will prevent excess histamine production. 


    To Sum Up...

    Batmanghelidj discusses many other symptoms of dehydration and how drinking more water can help combat them. He mentions how stress, depression, hypertension, overeating and others, could be due to dehydration. The concern that some have with drinking more water is the fear of hyponatraemia, low sodium in the body. He mentions that this can be easily rectified by introducing half a teaspoon of salt (pink Himalayan or Celtic salt) to every ten glasses of water we drink in the day. The salt corrects the electrolyte balance and the magnesium in the salt assists the water from entering the cells where the water is really needed. 

    A good rule of thumb for water intake is to calculate your body weight in lbs (pounds) and drink half that figure in oz (ounces) of water. For eg. a 70kg person weighs 154 lbs. Half of this is 77lbs. Therefore, you need 77oz of water which converts to about 2.2 litres of water a day. Use this link to easily calculate your estimated water intake: http://www.thecalculator.co/health/Water-Calculator-56.html

    Dr Batmanghelidj proves a very fascinating theory and his book does give a lot of convincing argument about the importance of recognising indirect thirst signals. So the next time you pick up a glass of water think about all the pain you could be avoiding. Bottoms up...

    Tips for Increasing your Water Intake 

    • Start off gradually. Add an extra glass of water a day. 
    • Drink first thing in the morning when you rise from the bed and immediately before you go to bed. 
    • Drink at least 2 glasses of water before every meal. 
    • Add a pinch of Himalayan or Celtic salt on your tongue before every glass of water that you drink. This will help in getting your quota of salt for the day. 
    • Bored of just plain water? Spice it up be adding fruits, herbs etc, to the water such as cucumber, lemon, orange, raspberries, strawberries, mint, ginger, parsley and the list goes on. 
    • Ice it up. Freeze your water, add ice cubes or drink it cold if you find it easier to stomach. 
    • Make a nice warm cup of lemon and ginger tea by infusing lemon slices and grated ginger in warm water. 
    • Eat your water by eating foods with high water content, such as, cucumbers, watermelons, tomatoes, oranges etc. 
    • Set a timer to remind you of having regular water breaks. This sounds strange but it will aid you in maintaining good hydration especially if you are someone who doesn't feel thirsty. 
    • Avoid alcoholic drinks, fizzy drinks, sports drinks, drinks with artificial sweeteners, and caffeinated drinks. These strip your body of it's water supply and causes dehydration. 

    Sources

    http://www.watercure.com/index.html

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water

    http://ajpregu.physiology.org/content/283/5/R993.full


    https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-of-water/

    Your body's many cries for water, F. Batmanghelidj, Global Health Solutions Inc, 2008.

    The ABCs of disease, Philip Day, Credence Publications, 2013. 

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