Fibroid Fighting Diet – Uterine Fibroids Saints and Sinners

Your diet can do wonders in shrinking your uterine fibroids. That is why knowing the foods that will help you decrease the size of your tumor and the foods that will aggravate it is essential in pursuing a fibroid fighting diet.

A fibroid fighting diet will help you eliminate the toxins in your body and contribute to the decrease in the uterine fibroid’s size. The dishes served on your table each day can make a great difference in your health. Knowing what foods can help you and what can worsen your problem is essential. Let us look into these different types of foods that are usually eaten everyday and categorize them as fibroid saints or sinners.

Uterine Fibroid Saints

These foods are particularly helpful to the body when you have fibroids:-

* Fiber-rich foods.

Fiber helps in eliminating estrogen out of the body. Since estrogen is considered as one of the causes of uterine fibroids, eating beans, cereals, pineapples, avocado, carrots, peas, and green-leafy vegetables are important to keep the estrogen level balanced.

* “Whole” foods.

A fibroid fighting diet must consist of whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Whole foods that are rich in lignins (chemical compounds in wood) have antiestrogenic properties. Rye, flaxseed, oats, wheat, corn, rice and millet are foods rich in lignin.

* Iron.

Iron-rich foods can prevent anemia when heavy bleeding occurs due to the uterine fibroids. Beans, molasses, pumpkin, and bitter gourd are rich sources of iron. Iron should be coupled with vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to increase its absorption, so do eat citrus fruits too!

* Water.

Water flushes away the impurities in the body and it can also decrease the pain related to uterine fibroids.

* Bioflavonoids.

Bioflavonoids are low-potency estrogen substances that are safe to eat when one has fibroids. Foods that are rich in bioflavonoids are tofu, beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, soybeans, and soy milk.

Uterine Fibroid Sinners

If there are saints, there are also sinners. In order to maintain a fibroid fighting diet, the following food groups are to be avoided:-

* Pro-estrogen foods.

As mentioned, estrogen is one of the causes of uterine fibroids. Avoiding foods that supports its proliferation is important. Foods which have been produced with growth hormones or with the use of pesticides can have estrogen mimicking properties.

* Meat.

Meat can intensify symptoms of fibroid such as abdominal pain and bleeding. Beef, pork, and lamb should be strictly taken in very small portions.

* Coffee.

Perhaps doing away with a morning cup of java can save you the pain thereafter. Coffee, even decaffeinated, has phytoestrogen (natural estrogen), and therefore it must be excluded in the diet.

Fighting fibroids take time, effort, and discipline. Now that these foods are on the table, it is your choice to pick. Remember, the perfect start of a fibroid-fighting diet begins with the choices you make everyday.

The Modern Medical Science: a Journey Through History

The history of Medical Science is very interesting. Centuries before the advent of Islam the Arabs had their own system of medicine in the form of herbs and shrubs (‘Aqaqir wa’l Hashä’ish) which was based on Chaldean medicine and on their own experience. Their first physician was Luqmân and the second Khuzaim. Gradually, Greek medicine attracted their attention. Harith Ibn Kaldah was the first to introduce Greek medicine to the Arabs. After that some books began to be written on the subject. Tiazauq composed a few treatises on pharmacology, and Khalid Ibn Yazid Ibn Mu’awiyah got some Greek and Egyptian books translated into Arabic. This was the condition during the rule of Banu ‘Umayyah. But the science of medicine flourished during the reign of the ‘Abbasis.1
At first the Muslims made arrangements for the translation of Greek, Indian, Persian and Chaldean medical works into Arabic, and thus gained the knowledge of the medical systems of these nations. But they did not accept as such what these systems had offered. They made researches in various branches of the medical science, and accepted what was found to be useful. Besides, they made many valuable new discoveries in the theory and practice of medicine. Then, combining their discoveries and the material sorted out of these systems, they evolved an entirely new system of medicine. When the Europeans learnt this system from the Muslims, generally through the Arabic medical literature, they properly called it Arabian Medicine, acknowledging on the one hand their indebtedness to the Muslims, and on the other putting a seal of testimony to the gigantic and original contributions of the Muslim scientists to medicine. Since the medical knowledge was primarily borrowed from the Greeks, the new system was named by the Muslims of the South Asian Sub-Continent Tibb-e-Yunãni(Greek Medicine). This act gives a proof of the Muslim spirit of liberalism.
When the Muslim world was producing most distinguished medical theoreticians and practitioners in history, the state of medicine in Europe was very poor. The Muslims who came in touch with Frank physicians during the Crusades expressed much scorn for their ignorance and barbaric practices. Thabit, a Christian physician of the Syrian prince Usãmah, observed two cases (C. 1140) ending fatally on account of the barbarous surgery of a Frank. The study of Islamic medicine was made for centuries in all the Western countries, particularly in France, and the Arabic medical writings formed the core of the European medical literature. Until the 17th century these writings were included in the syllabi of the European universities. In France the Arabian Medicine was studied from 1410 to 1789. In Vienna in 1520, and, in Frankfurt on the Order in 1588, the medical curriculum was still largely based on Ibn Sinä’s ‘Qãnun’ and on the ninth book of al-Rãzi’s ‘Al-Mansuri.’ The introduction of this science into Europe is an interesting chapter of history.
According to Dr. Robert Briffault, an eminent western scholar, the Allopathic system of medicine is the outcome of Arabian Medicine. He remarks:
“The Pharmacopoeia created by the Arabs is virtually that which but for the recent synthetic and organotherapic preparations, is in use at the present day; our common drugs, such as Nux vomica, Senna, rhubarb, aconite, gentian, myrrh, calomel, and the structure of our prescriptions, belong to Arabic Medicine”
He also discloses that the medical schools of Montpellier, Padua and Pisa were founded on the pattern of that of Cordova under Jew doctors trained in Arab schools, and the Qãnün of Ibn Sina and the Surgery of Abu’l-Qasim al-Zahrawi, remained the text books of medical science throughout Europe until the seventeenth century.2
The Arabs had a fair knowledge of anatomy as it is obvious from the names of the internal and external organs of the human and animal bodies, found in the literature of the pre-Islamic Arabia. When they became acquainted with the Greek anatomical descriptions, they made investigations on them, pointed out many errors in the work of their predecessors, and made many fresh discoveries in this field. In order to verify the Greek anatomical ideas prevailing at that time Yuhanna Ibn Mäsawaih made dissection of the apes which were supplied to him by the order of the ‘Abbasi Caliph Mutasim Billah. After this verification he composed his work on anatomy. The works of some Muslim physicians and surgeons, like Tashrih al-Mansuri by Mansur Ibn Muhammad contain illustrations of human organs, which are not found in the Greek works. These illustrations also throw light on the Muslims’ practical knowledge of anatomy.3
In opposition to Galen who thought that the human skull consisted of seven bones, the Muslim scholars held that it had eight. They believed that there were ossicles in the ear, which facilitate the hearing capacity.4 The work of the Muslim physicians in the field of physiology, too, is quite valuable. For instance, Ibn Nafis al-Qarshi of Damascus explained the theory of the minor circulation of blood three centuries before William Harvey to whom this discovery is ascribed. Al-Qarshi also suggested that food is fuel for the maintenance of the body’s heat. Abu’l-Faraj held that there are canals in the nerves through which sensations and movements are transmitted.
The contributions of Muslims in the field of bacteriology are quite revolutionary. According to Browne, Muslims were fully aware of the theory of germs. Ibn Sinã was the first to state that bodily secretion is contaminated by foul foreign earthly bodies before getting the infection. Ibn Khätimah of the 14th century stated that man is surrounded by minute bodies which enter the human body and cause disease. In the same century when the great plague ravaged the world, and the chief causes of it, based on superstition, were said to be either the Jews or volcanic eruptions or the birth of a calf with two heads, two Muslim doctors, Ibn Khatib (1313-1374) and Ibn Khätimah (1323-1369), wrote on it treatises which were based on scientific observations.5
Some Muslims also gave new suggestions regarding the treatment of diseases. In this connection Abu’1 Hasan, the physician of Adud al-Daulah introduced the process of bleeding as a treatment of cerebral hemorrhage which is often due to blood pressure. Al-Razi suggested nourishing food for the treatment of general weakness. The Muslim physicians were the first to use the stomach tube for the performance of gastric lavage in the case of gas poisoning. They were fully aware of the principles of opotherapy centuries before Browne Sequard to whom this method of treatment is ascribed. Said Ibn Bishr Ibn ‘Abdus suggested light food and cold producing medicines for the treatment of general paralysis and facial paralysis. Ibn al-Wãfid gave emphasis upon the treatment of diseases through food control. They discovered the treatment for epidemic jaundice, and suggested a reasonable quantity of opium as a treatment of mania. For epistaxis they suggested the pouring of cold water on the head.6
The investigations of Muslim physicians on the causes, symptoms and effects of some diseases are highly remarkable. Al-Razi was he first physician to differentiate between smallpox and measles. His Greek, Indian and other predecessors were unable to differentiate between these two diseases. Abu’l-Hasan al-Tabari was the first to regard tuberculosis as an infiltration, and stated that it affects not only the lungs but also the other organs. The Bright’s disease, the discovery of which is ascribed to Dr. Richard Bright of the 18th century, was in fact discovered by Najib al-Din al-Samarqandi centuries before him.7
In the science of surgery, too, much advancement was made by Muslims. They introduced the cauterizing agents in surgery. They were the first to apply the method of cooling to stop the haemorrhage, and to start the suturing of wounds with silken threads. Ibn Zuhr (11th century) gave a complete description of operation of tracheotomy, which was not mentioned by the Greeks. Abu’l-Qasim al-Zahrawi invented many surgical instruments illustrated in his book ‘al-Tasrif’. In the same book he described the methods of operations for various diseases. While describing the operations of skull and its parts, the Muslim surgeons made a mention of the operation of uvula and nasal polynus. They used the method of tonsillectomy and paracentesis of the drum of the ear. They were also the first to perform the operation of peritoneal cavity, and to use the method of Trocar and Canula for the special drainage. They made use of anesthetic substances in surgery. While performing major operations they kept their patients unconscious for long time, sometimes even for days.8
The Muslim opticians did valuable and original work in the treatment of eye diseases and in the surgery of the eye. All the operations of the eye which are performed these days were performed by the Muslim surgeons of Mediaeval Ages. The method of the operation of cataract was first described by them. They knew that cataract was due to the incapacity of the eye lens. Ibn al-Haitham described the structure of the eye. He gave the revolutionary ideas as regards the mechanism of sight, and described various types of lenses. Later on these descriptions served as the basis for the invention of spectacles used as a remedy for such eye diseases as short-sightedness and long-sightedness. The Muslims wrote valuable books on the treatment of eye diseases.
The art of midwifery was highly developed by Muslims. In this connection Abu’l-Qasim al-Zahrawi was the first to describe the Walcher’s position. He invented the method of Cranioclasty for the delivery of dead foetus and he himself applied it. A book entitled Al-Athär al-Bãqiyyah in the University of Edinburgh contains an illustration showing an Arab physician performing Caeserian operation. A number of new drugs and therapeutic agents were discovered by Muslims, and many herbs particularly those of India were included in their practice. The pharmacology of rhubarb, senna and camphor was discovered, and hyoscyamus was used by them for medical purposes.
The Muslims introduced pharmacopoeia in medical science. Ibn Sahl was the first to write a book on pharmacopoeia. The recipes contained in the writings of Da’ud al-Antaki (16th century) and others were adopted by European druggists. Arabian pharmacology survived in Europe until the beginning of the 19th century. Some of the original Arabic or Persian names of some drugs and chemicals, such as syrup from the Arabic word Sharab, rab’ for a particular mixture of honey and fruit juice, and julep from the Persian word julläb’ (a particular aromatic drink) were included in European languages.
The Muslims wrote books on those branches of medical science on which their predecessors did not. Among such books Yühann Ibn Maswaih’s book on leprosy, Al-Razi’s books on smallpox and measles, Abü Müsä Ibn ‘Isã’s book on piles, and Qusta Ibn Luqa’s book on sudden death are highly valuable.
From the time of the Banu Umayyah rule the Muslims developed the institution of hospitals. During the reign of the ‘Abbasi Caliph Harün al- Rashid, a hospital was built in Baghdad, which was the first in the history of this city. Many new hospitals were established shortly afterwards. Some of them had their own gardens in which the medicinal plants were cultivated. The large hospitals had medical schools attached to them. Beside such hospitals there were a large number of traveling hospitals in the Muslim world.9
The Muslim hospitals served as models for the hospitals established in different parts of Europe particularly in Italy and France. The establishment of hospitals throughout Europe in the 14th century was partly due to the influence of Crusades. The first hospital in Paris, Quinze Vingt, was set up by Louis IX after his return from the Crusades of 1254-60. The Crusaders were inspired by the magnificent hospitals (Bimaris-tans) of the Seljüq ruler Nur al-Din in Damascus, and those of the Mamluk Sultan Al-Mansur Qala’un in Cairo.
Practical education used to be imparted to Muslim medical students in the hospitals. It is said that there as no arrangement for such education in Alexandria before the Muslim era. According to Al-Razi, a physician had to, satisfy two conditions for selection: firstly, he should be well versed in new and old medical literature, and secondly, he must have worked in hospitals as a house surgeon.10
The second ‘Abbãsi Caliph Al-Mansür called to Baghdad from Jundishapur a Christian physician of Persian origin, named Jarjis Ibn Bakhtyishu who remained in charge of the hospital of that city until 765-6. His arrival at Baghdad with two of his pupils marked the beginning of a great activity in the field of medicine. He seems to be the earliest member of the famous Bakhtyishu family of medical practitioners. This family remained attached to the court of a number of ‘Abbãsi caliphs, and exerted a great influence on the progress of Muslim medicine in the eighth and ninth centuries. Jarjis is said to have been the first to translate some medical works into Arabic. The translations were made by the order of the Caliph. 11
In the ninth century of the Christian era the greatest medical activity was shown by the Arabic speaking peoples. Much activity was devoted to translating the Greek medical works into Syrian and into Arabic. All the translators were Christians. One of them, Ibn-Sahda translated some works of Hippocrates into Arabic. Jibril Ibn Bakhtyishu (d. 828-29) patronized the translators, and worked hard to obtain Greek medical texts. He also wrote some medical works of his own. He made a great contribution to the progress of science in Baghdad. He was the most prominent member of the Bakhtyishu family. A Christian Physician, Salmawaih Ibn Bunan. (d. 839-40) helped Hunáin to translate Galen’s medical works. Salmawaih showed that the use of aphrodisiacs, so common in the East, was dangerous. He flourished under Al-Mä’mün. Later he became physician in ordinary to Al-Mutasim.12
Another translator, Ibn Masawaih (d. 857) translated various Greek medical works into Syrian. His own medical writings were in Arabic. His treatise on ophthalmology called Daghal al‘Ayn (disorder of the eye) is the earliest work extant in Arabic on the subject.13
Another important translator of Greek medical works into Arabic was Ayyub al-Ruhawi, a contemporary of the ‘Abbasi Caliphs Al-Mutawakkil and Al-Mu’tazz (d.869). The translation of 35 works of Galen, a Greek physician, is ascribed to him.14
So far as the physicians of the ninth century ate concerned, an important one was Abu’l-Hasan ‘Ali Ibn Sahl Ibn Rabban al-Tabari. He was also a physicist, and had knowledge of the Bible. He was born in Tabaristan where he was brought up. He belonged to a Jewish family, but he accepted Islam at the hand of the ‘Abbsi Caliph Al-Mu’tasim, who made him his courtier. Ali Ibn Rabban is the author of many works, but his main work is an encyclopedia called Firdaus al-Hikmah. It deals chiefly with medicine, but also with philosophy, meteorology, zoology, embryology, psychology and astronomy. It is mostly based on Greek and Hindu sources, and contains a summary of Hindu medicine at the end. His other medical works are on hygiene, and on the use of food stuffs, drinks and herbs.15
The most illustrious physician of the ninth century was Abü Bakr Muhammad Ibn Zakariyya al-Ràzi, (Latin Rhazes). He was the greatest clinician of the middle Ages and probably the greatest Muslim physician. He was also a philosopher and chemist. He was born in Ray (Persia); hence called Al-Razi. The date of his birth is uncertain. He died in 923. In his early age Al-Razi was very fond of music, and used to play flute (‘Ud). When he was of mature age he wished to acquire the knowledge of medicine. His interest in medicine was aroused by an old druggist or dispenser whom he frequently met in the hospital. At last Al-Razi became such an expert physician that he was appointed as the chief physician at the hospital of Ray. Al-Razi regularly attended the hospital, surrounded by his pupils. Whenever any patient came to him he was first examined by his pupils. If the case was found to be complicated, it was passed on to Al-Razi.
Al-Rãzi also served as the chief physician of the hospital of Baghdad which was founded at his own advice. When Al-Rãzi was asked to select some suitable site to build the hospital there, he got some pieces of meat suspended in various localities of the city. The place where the meat deteriorated in the last was selected as the site for the hospital.
Al-Rãzi was the author of 113 major and 28 minor works and of two poems. Some of them have been published in original, and translated into Latin and vernacular languages. Al-Rãzi’s unpublished works are present in the libraries of Asia and Europe. Most of his works have been lost, but from those which are extant one can estimate the depth of his knowledge and ability. His writings are full of personal observations and valuable information. The most important of his monographs is a treatise on smallpox and measles. This work is a masterpiece of Muslim medical literature. It was translated into Latin and English, and enjoyed a great popularity in Europe. It has been published in original, with a French translation in Leyden in 1896.
One of Al-Rãzi’s treatises is on the stone in the kidney and urinary bladder. It has been published in original, with a French translation in Leyden in 1896.
The most important book of Al-Rãzi is Al-Häwi (Continens). It is an enormous encyclopedia of medicine, which contains many extracts from Greek and Hindu medical works. It was translated into Latin. The anatomical part was translated into French and published along with the original Arabic text.
Another important medical work of this author is the Kitab al-Mansüri (Latin Almansoris) named after Mansür Ibn Ishaq, the ruler of Khurasan, who patronized Al-Rãzi while he was living in Persia. This book is largely based on Greek medicine. The French translation of the first part along with the Arabic text has been published. Its ophthalmologic part was translated into German. The second part of the book deals with temperaments and physiology. This subject was of extremely great importance during the Middle Ages.
Al-Rãzi made a valuable contribution to gynecology, obstetrics and Ophthalmic surgery. He also made a considerable contribution to the development of Chemistry, both theoretical and practical. He was the first to apply Chemistry to the preparation of drugs. He is the ancestor of the European iatrochemists of the 16th century.16
Al-Rãzi made a few discoveries in the field of medical science, and invented some drugs. He stated that a sour matter is found in the stomach. He was the first to introduce wet cupping for the treatment of apoplexy and to apply cold water in typhoid. He invented the mercury ointment.17
Al-Rãzi’ was a brilliant and conscious physician. He followed Hippocrates, and was free from the feelings of prejudice and obstinacy. During the reign of the Caliph Al-Mu’tadid (829-902), his stable master, Abü Yusuf Ya’qub Ibn akhi Hizäm wrote a treatise on horsemanship which is entitled as Kitab al-Furusiyyah. It contains some rudiments of veterinary art. It is the first Arabic work of its kind.
Under the patronage of Banü Musä (the sons of Musä) and the Caliph Al-Mutawakkil a Christian physician, Hunayn Ibn Ishaq translated the medical and other scientific works of the Greeks. Banu Musä employed him for the acquisition and translation of Greek manuscripts. The Caliph also appointed him in a school established by him, and ordered him to get these manuscripts translated under his supervision. He became the foremost translator of medical works. The translation made by Hunayn and his disciples was a milestone in the history of the development of science. Hunayn also wrote many medical and astronomical worko.18
In the tenth century nearly all the creative work on medicine was done in the Muslim world, but not by Muslims alone. Some non-Muslims, too, made valuable contributions to the development of this science. But all of them wrote in Arabic. Towards the middle of the tenth century, the number of physicians grew surprisingly large. The research on medicine was carried out throughout the Muslim world. In Muslim Spain the work on medicine was of the same level as in the domain of Eastern Caliphate. Sometimes it was even superior to that.
The Fatimi Caliph Ubaid Allah al-Mahdi (908-934), ordered his physician Ishaq al-Isrã’ili, a Jewish physician and philosopher to compose some medical writings in Arabic. He wrote a medico-philosophical treatise on the elements and another on definitions. His main works are on fever, simple drugs, temperaments, dentology and urine. The last work seems to be the most elaborate mediaeval treaties on the subject. These writings were translated into Latin, Hebrew and Spanish. They exerted a great influence on the progress of medicine in Europe.l9
A great Muslim physician of the tenth century was Abü Sa’id Sinãn Ibn Thãbit Ibn Qurrah. He was also a mathematician and astronomer. He flourished at Baghdad where he died in 943. He embraced Islam in middle age. He was greatly honored by the Abbasi Caliph Al-Muqtadir who appointed him as the chief physician. At that time there were 860 persons of the medical profession in Baghdad. They were forbidden by the Caliph to practice unless they had been examined by Sinãn and received a certificate of registration from him. Besides serving Muq’tadir, Sinãn also served two other successive Caliphs, Qadir Billãh and Radi. Sinãn tried to raise the standard of medical profession, and organized a brilliant administration of the Baghdad hospitals. He is the author of many works on different subjects.20
Another great physician of this period who was one of the three greatest physicians of the Eastern Caliphate was ‘Ali Ibn ‘Abbãs al-Majüsi (Latin Haly Abbas). He was the native of Ahwãz in South-West Persia. He was a close associate of ‘Adud al-Dawlah for whom he wrote an encyclopedia called ‘Kitab al-Maliki or Kämil al-Sanãah al-Tibbiyyah. The people intensely studied it until the appearance of the ‘Qãnün’ (Canon) of Ibn Sinã, which usurped its popularity. It is more practical than the ‘Qãnün’ and more systematic than Razi’s Hawi. The Maliki is divided into 20 discourses, of which the first – half deals with the theory and the rest with the practice of medicine.
The second and the third discourses of Al-Ma1iki deal with anatomy. The French translation of this part of the book has been published along with the Arabic text. The 19th discourse is devoted to surgery. The introduction of this book consisting of three chapters of the first discourse is highly remarkable. The part of the introduction consisting of the criticism of the ancient medical works is particularly interesting. The author explains the plans of his book in which he tries to give a moderate description of the subject treated, and illustrates his method by a specimen description of pleurisy. He begins with the definition of the disease and its aetiology. Then he mentions the four constant symptoms, fever, cough, pain and dyspnoea; whence he proceeds to the prognosis and specially the indications furnished by the supta, and finally give the treatment. In his book the author describes the importance of attending the hospital regularly. He writes: “And of those things which are incumbent on the student of this Art are that he should constantly attend the hospitals and sick houses, pay unremitting attention to the conditions and circumstances of their inmates, in company of the most acute professors of Medicine; and enquire frequently as to the state of the patients and the symptoms apparent in them, hearing in mind what he has read about their Variations, and what they indicate of good or evil. If he does this, he will reach a high degree in this Art. Therefore, it behooves him who desires to be an accomplished physician to follow closely these injunctions, to form his character in accordance with what we have mentioned therein, and not to neglect them. If he does this, his treatment of the sick will be successful, people will have confidence in him, and he will win their affection and respect and a good reputation; nor will he lack profit and advantage from them. And God Most High knoweth best”.
The best parts of the book are those which are devoted to dietetics and ‘materia medica.’ It contains the rudimentary conception of the capillary system. It also includes some interesting clinical observations, and gives the proof of the theory that the womb moves during parturition i.e., the child is pushed out. It does not come out itself.21
Another physician of this period, who made pharmaceutical experiments was Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Sa’id al-Tamimi al-Muqaddasi. He was born in Jerusalem, and in 970 he went to Egypt. He wrote on materia medica and other branches of medical science. His main work is a guide (Murshid) on materia medica which supplies valuable information on plants, minerals and other things.22
A Christian physician named Abu Yüsuf Ben Issac Ben Ezra Hasdai flourished at Cordova at the court of ‘Abd al-Rahman III and Al-Hakam II. He was a translator of Greek works into Arabic and a patron of science. He was physician to the Caliph. He discovered a panacea called ‘Al-Fãruq.’ He translated with the help of the monk Nicolas a manuscript of Dioscorides. This manuscript dealing with plants was presented to ‘Abd al-Rahman III by the Emperor Constantinos VII.23
Another physician, patronized by these rulers, was Arib Ibn Sa’id al-Kãtib who died in 976. He was also a historian and wrote a chronicle of Muslim Spain and Africa. He also wrote a treatise on gynecology, the hygiene of the pregnant women and infants, obstetics and calendar. 24
Another treatise on the hygiene of the pregnant women and of babies, entitled Kitab Tadbir al-Habalah wa’l Atfal, was written by an Egyptian physician named Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Yahyã al-Baladi. He flourished under the wazir Yaqub Ibn Kils (d. 990).25
A famous physician and historian of the tenth century was Abu Jafar Ahmad Ibn Ibrãhim Ibn Abi Khalid, commonly known as Ibn al-Jazzar. He flourished in Qairawan, Tunis, and died in 1009. He is the author of many works on medicine, history and other subjects. His most important work is Zäd al-Musäfir. It was translated into Latin, Hebrew and Greek, and was extremely popular. It includes a remarkable discussion on smallpox and measles. He also wrote on simple and compound drugs, the cause of plague in Egypt and the way of treating it.26
In the eleventh century, too, real advancement in the field of medicine was made only in the Muslim world. In the same century the school of Salerno, the scientific school of Christian Europe showed some activity in this field. But the literary works produced there were far inferior to the contemporary ones written, in Arabic. Constantine, the African, made intensive efforts to translate Arabic works into Latin. These translations were helpful in the development of medicine in Europe.
An important physician and surgeon of the 11th century was Abu’l-Qasim Khalaf Ibn Abbas al-Zahräwi. He was born at Al-Zahra in the suburb of Cordova (Spain), the centre of Western Muslim Empire. He was educated in a distinguished university of Cordova. He studied medicine and other sciences with the learned scholars of his time, and increased his knowledge and experience by working in great hospitals. Due to his ability Al-Hakam II made him his court physician. He wrote a book entitled Al-Tasrif, which is an encyclopedic work comprising all branches of medicine and surgery. This book, unparalleled in the medieval times, is considered to be the only source of modern surgery. It is divided into two parts; theoretical and practical. Each part consists of 15 chapters. The last section of the book sums up the entire surgical knowledge of that time, and contains illustrations of more than 300 surgical instruments which are used even today. This section is divided into three parts. The first part deals with cauterization (of wounds) and the instruments used for that purpose. This type of treatment was very popular in Arabia. The advantages of fire have also been fully explained in it.
The second part deals with common surgical operations. It gives the methods for crushing and removing the stone from the urinary bladder, the operations of eyes and teeth, and cutting the organs of the body. It also discusses bandages and the treatment of ulcers and wounds.
The third part deals with bone fractures and the problems of joints. An account of the paralysis caused by some defect in the spinal cord has also been given. In this part the author has given a discussion on midwifery and a description of various stages of the embryo in the womb of the mother, and has mentioned the method for taking out the child from the womb of the mother with the help of instruments.
In the 12th century the book Al-Tasrif was translated into Latin by Gerard of Cremona; and its various editions were published at Venice in 1497, and at Basel in 1541. In 1778 it was published at Oxford along with the original Arabic text. One copy of this edition is present in the British Museum and one in Bodleian Library. Its English translation was published in 1861, and French translation in 1881. The Arabic text of the book was published at Lucknow (India) in 1908, and to explain the difficult words and the complicated terms used in it, an Arabic-Urdu dictionary entitled Lughat-e-Qutbiyyah, was composed and published.
This masterpiece of Al-Zahrawi held its place for centuries as the manual of surgery at Salerno, Montpelliers and other early schools of medicine in Europe. The great European historians admit that for her primary advancement in surgery Europe is indebted to Al-Zahrawi. Dr. Edward Browne and Dr. Joseph Heres have recognized Abu’l Qasim al-Zahrawi as an eminent surgeon. In his book Arabian Medictne, Dr. Arnold Campbell has written a large treatise on Al-Zahrawi, which reveals, the importance of this name in the West. He disclosed that the Western scholars Roger Bacon (1214-49) and Goe De Scholeic (1300-68) gained the knowledge of medicine and surgery from the books of Al-Zahrawi and Ibn Rushd.
Roger Bacon, John Tchanning and other scholars remarked that Al-Zahrawi’s work helped in laying the foundation of surgery in Europe. For centuries the Western scholars made references to this work in their books. It has influenced Muslim scholars also, and it is still being referred to and taught at the centers of Arabian Medicine in the East.27
A great scientist of the 11th century and one of the greatest scientists of all times was Abu Ali Husain Ibn Abd Allah Ibn Sina, commonly known in the West as Avicenna. He was one of the greatest men that this world has ever produced. Although he did not belong to an influential family, and was unable to get the facilities of life, yet he became, while still a youth, the author of an encyclopedic work. His life was full of events, and circumstances often obliged him to travel from court to court where sometimes honours were showered upon him, and sometimes he was cast into prison. But whatever the situation may be, he occupied himself in reading, writing and teaching, and remained always surrounded by a group of his pupils. He was a philosopher, physician, scientist, poet, philologist, logician, statesman and thinker, who made research, and contributed to the development of all sciences, and through whose efforts medicine, recorded an unprecedented progress. He was hailed by the scholars as Al-Shaykh al-Ra’is (the Great Teacher). He possessed so many qualities that, while discussing his life history, we almost fail to decide as to what aspect of his life should be more particularly discussed.
Ibn Sinã, the ‘Prince of Physicians’ as he was called throughout the medieval times, was born in 980 at a village in the Persian Province of Balkh where his father lived. In 985 his family moved to Bukhãrã where, at the age of five, he started his education. At the age of 10 years he had already completed his basic education, and also learnt the Qurãn by heart. He was, then, sent to various teachers under whom, for the next six years, he studied algebra, arithmetic, astronomy, logic, philosophy and theology. At the age of 16 he turned to medicine. In the course of his study of philosophy, Ibn Sinã was confused by those problems which were related to metaphysics, but ultimately he got rid of his difficulties with the help of a commentary by a distinguished philosopher, Al-Färàbi, Ibn Sinä was an industrious student who never spent a whole day or a whole night in sleep or in any other occupation but study, and whenever he came across some obscure point he would go to a mosque where he prayed to Allah to remove his confusion.
Ibn Sinã states that at first he practiced medicine, not for the sake of money; but for his own experience and instruction. He was just 18 years old when he became so much popular as a medical practitioner that he was summoned for the treatment of Nuh Ibn Mansür Sãmäni, when the other physicians failed to cure him. When Nuh Ibn Mansür had recovered he was so much pleased with Ibn Sina that he allowed him to visit the royal library which was well stocked with rare and valuable books, and Ibn Sinã derived the fullest benefit from this opportunity.
At the age of 21 Ibn Sina was to be found at the court of ‘Ali Ibn Ma’mun, the King of Khwärizm, who’s prime minister was a man of scholarly taste. Here Ibn Sina was treated with great respect. At last he fled from there, for the king Mahmud Ghaznawi wanted him at his court, but he preferred liberty to the court of the king. Then hearing about the scholarly taste of Qabus, the ruler of Jurjan, he set out for Jürjan where he eventually reached after undergoing great hardships. But he was too late, because shortly before his arrival Qäbüs was deposed. Ibn Sinä gave expression to his misfortune in a poem which he composed at this occasion. He says: “When I became great no country had room for me; when my price went up, I lacked a purrchaser”.
At last, circumstances caused Ibn Sina to leave this country too. Turning Westwards he came to Ray where a woman named Sayyidah was ruling on behalf of her infant son, Majd al-Dawlah Daylami. Here he was treated with great respect and the young prince appointed him as his minister. The mother being angry at this appointment, Ibn Sinã was obliged to flee once more.
Now Ibn Sinã reached Hamadan and treated Shams al-Dawlah, the ruler of the country, who was suffering from colic. When he recovered he appointed Ibn Sinã as his minister. But only a short while had passed when mutiny broke out among the soldiers, which caused his dismissal and imprisonment. But very soon Shams al-Dawlah was again attacked by severe colic. He, therefore, summoned Ibn Sinã back to undertake his treatment, apologized to him, and restored him to his office of state. The death of Shams al-Dawlah led Ibn Sinä to trouble, for his successor; Taj al-Dawlah did not like him. Ibn Sinä fled and hid himself in a house. His flight gave rise to suspicion with the result that he was sought after and imprisoned. But after four months he escaped in disguise and came to Ispahan where ‘Ala al-Dawlah, often known as Ibn Käküya, was reigning.
Here Ibn Sinã was welcomed by Ala al-Dawlah, and became his confidential adviser. Thus once again he overcame his misfortune, and began to lead a very active life. During the day he attended to the matters of the state, and spent a great part of the night in delivering lectures and in writing his books. At last Ibn Sinã, who was tired of activities and was weakened by overwork, died in 1036 of colic at the early age of 58 years. His tomb lies in the city of Hamadan.
Ibn Sinã was a remarkable scholar who began to write before he was 17, and wrote almost on all subjects. Numerous works are ascribed to him, many of which are voluminous. Brocklemann enlists 99 of his extant works but he is known to be the author of 200 works. Out of these 68 are on theology and metaphysics, 11 on astronomy, philosophy and physics, four on poetry, and 16 on medical science. He wrote mainly in Arabic but his two Persian works are also known. One of them named Danishnama-e ‘Alài which was dedicated to Ala al-Dawlah, is a manual of philosophy. It deals with natural science, philosophy, logic, mathematics, music, metaphysics and astronomy. The other is a small treatise on pulse.
Among the 16 medical writings of Ibn Sinã, eight are versified treatises. They deal with such matters as the 25 signs indicating the fatal end of illness, hygienic precepts, proved remedies, anatomical memoranda, and similar other topics. Among his books the most important and popular is Al-Qãnün (Canon). This is a comprehensive book and contains about a million words. It has been excessively and beautifully divided into major and minor sections. The whole work has been divided into five parts. The first part deals with the general principles of medical treatment, the second describes the simple drugs in alphabetical order. The third part discusses the diseases of all the organs of the human body, and the fourth consists of the description of those diseases which are local in the beginning, and finally affect all parts of the body. The final part is on materia medica. The Qãnün was translated into Hebrew in 1270. It was also translated into Latin by the two Gerard of Toledo, and about 30 editions of this work were published in Europe. Many commentaries on the work were written in the 15th century. A beautiful Arabic edition of the book was published in Rome in 1593. Another edition was published in Egypt a few years ago. The translation of the first volume of the book, with the exception of the anatomical part, was made into English in 1930 by Dr. O.C. Gruner and was commented by him and by Dr. Soubiran in 1935.
Ibn Sinã surpassed both Aristotle and Galen in dialectical subtlety, and his way of reasoning appealed to the scholastics of the middle Ages. The Qãnün formed half the medical curriculum of the European universities in the latter part of the 15th century, and continued as a text book up to about 1650 in the universities of Montpellier and Louvain. It is still the reference book of the men of medical profession in the East. After the appearance of Qãnün, the study of the books of Al-Rãzi and the Kämil al-Sana’at of Al-Majusi, which were standard works, was almost completely abandoned.
Nizãmi Arüdi Samarqandi in his ‘Chahãr Maqalah’ (Four Treatises) after narrating various works, the deep study of which is essential for the acquisition of full knowledge of the medical science, remarked “Whoever has thoroughly understood the first volume of the Qãnün, to him nothing will remain hidden of the fundamental principles of medicine, and were it possible for Hippocrates and Galen to return to life it is sure that they would do reverence to this book”.
Among the other medical writings of Ibn Sinã are Al-‘Urjuzah Fi’l-Tibb, and his treatise on cordiac drugs. The latter lies probably second in importance to the Qãnün. Two other minor works, namely, Qawanin or ‘The Laws’ and the Hudüd al-Tibb (The limitations of medical science) are also known. Ibn Sinã also wrote a treatise on Colic. He is also the author of a book called Mabda’wa’l-Ma’àd, which contains an interesting chapter on the possibility of the production of exceptional psychical phenomena.
Beside Al-Qãnün some other works of Ibn Sinã have also been translated into Latin, and thus they influenced the development of science and philosophy in Europe. In his ‘Arabian Medicine’, Dr. Campbell enlists these translations in detail.28
Another Muslim physician of this period, who also had a knowledge of astronomy, mathematics and literature, was Abu’l-Salt Umayyah Ibn Abd al-Aziz Ibn Abi’l Salt. He was born in 1067-68 at Denis, and lived in Seville. He traveled Eastwards and came to Egypt where he stayed for 20 years. In the middle of this period he was imprisoned and banished by the Emperor Afzal. He went to Alexandria and thence to Mehdiya where he became an associate of Yahyã Ibn Tamim, the ruler of that territory.
About the end of the 11th century he tried to raise a ship sunk at Alexandria but could not succeed. He was the author of several medical, astronomical and mathematical works. He also wrote some treatises called Rasã’il al-Misriyyah which contains his observations on the people and things in Egypt. His main and important works include a treatise on simple drugs (translated into Latin), a treatise on Logic (translated into Spanish) and a treatise on astrolabe. He also composed some verses which are said to be very appealing. Abul-Sa1t also wrote a treatise on music which was translated into Hebrew.29
Now we mention some members of Ibn Zuhr family which was the greatest medical family of Spain. This family belonged to the tribe of Banü Azd. At the beginning of the tenth century it established itself at Shätibah (Jativa) in the East of Spain. The Spanish ancestor of this family was named Zuhr, hence the patronymic Ibn Zuhr.
The most illustrious member, except Ibn Zuhr, of this great medical family of Muslim Spain, was Abu’l-Ala Zuhr Ibn Abu Marwan ‘Abd al-Malik Ibn Muhammad Ibn Marwan al-Ishbili. Abul-Alã’ flourished in Eastern Spain. He lived in Cordova. He engaged himself in the study of Hadith and literature. Later he turned towards medicine. He was a distinguished physician, and had a comprehensive knowledge of medicine. The people of Maghrib felt proud of him and of his family. He was the courtier of Al-Mutamid, the last Abbsi king of Seville, who ruled from
1068-1091. When Seville was conquered by the Berber Murabitin (Almoravides) in 1091, he became wazir to the conqueror Yüsuf Ibn Tashfin who ruled until 1106. His usual name, Al-Wazir Abu’l Ala Zuhr was corrupted in Latin translations in many ways; such as Alguazir, Albuleizer. He died in Cordova in 1130. His body was carried to Seville where he was buried.
Abu’l Ala Zuhr is the author of many medical works. One of them is Kitab al-Nukat al-Tibbiyyah (main principles of medicine) which is a practical guide containing special references to climatological and pathological conditions in Marrakush. It supplies complementary information on deontology and various other medical subjects.30
The most famous and illustrious member of the greatest medical family of the Muslim Spain, Ibn Zuhr family is Abu Marwan ‘Abd al-Malik lbn Abi’l-Ala’ Ibn Zuhr, commonly known as Ibn Zuhr (Latin Avenzoar). He was born about 1091-1094, and died in 1161-62. He was a native of Seville (Spain), and was the greatest physician of his time, both in the East and in the West. He is distinguished from other physicians in that he devoted his entire attention to the study of medicine. He served under Al-Murabitün and when they got defeated by the Almohades (Al-Muwahhidun) he became a physician and Minister to the first Muwahhid ruler (1130-1163) Abd al-Mu’min Ibn ‘Ali. He was the author of at least six medical works. One of these is the Kitàb al-Iqtisad fi Islah al-Anfus wa’l-Ajsäd. It was written for the ‘Murabit’ prince Ibrahim Ibn Yüsuf Ibn Tashfin who was the son of the minister. As the title suggests, it deals with souls as well as with bodies. In the beginning it gives a summary of psychology. Further it deals with therapeutics and hygiene.
The second book which is the author’s most important work is the Kitäb al-Taisir fi’l Mudãwat wa’l Tadbir (Book of simplification concerning therapeutics and treatment) which was written at the request of his friend and admirer, Ibn Rushd. It deals with generalities of medicine and some special topics. It contains an elaborate study of pathological conditions and relevant therapeutics. At the end of this book the author gave an antidotory or formulary called Jämi’ (collector) in which he had collected recipes. The Taisir was translated into Latin and Hebrew.
The Taisir contains many clinical descriptions such as mediastinal tumors, pericarditis, intestinal phthisis, pharyngeal paralyses, inflammation of the middle ear and scabies. The author recommends tracheotomy and artificial feeding through the gullet and rectum. He recognized that the air coming from marshes is nocuous. He greatly advocated venesection. He was the first to describe itch-mitl. (Acarus scaliei). Thus he was the first important parasitologist since Alexander of Taralles (second half of the sixth century).
The third book of Ibn Zuhr is Kitäb al-Aghdhiyyah (Book of the food stuffs) which was written for the first Muwahhid ruler ‘Abd al-Mu’min who ruled from 1130 to 1163. This book deals with various kinds of food and their use according to seasons, with simple drugs and hygiene. It also shows the usefulness of various bezel stones.31
Until the end of the 11th century, all the medical works in the Muslim world were written in Arabic. Arabic language was the only medium for expressing religious and philosophical ideas throughout the Muslim world. Even the works of non-Muslims were written in Arabic. But for the first time, in the 11th century, medical literature was produced in Persian as well. A physician, Zain al-Din Abu’l-Fada’il Ismã’il Ibn al- Husain came to the court of Khwärizm and wrote some works on medicine in Persian. He also wrote in Arabic. Among these the most important was a medical encyclopedia, the Dhakhira-e-Khwarizm Shahi, the treasure of the king of Khwãrizm. It was written for Qutb al-Din Muhammad Shah (1097-1127).
The Dhakhira consists of about 450,000 words. It is very carefully divided into various headings and sub-headings. Primarily, it is divided into nine books. A tenth book on simple drugs had been added later. Secondarily, it is divided into 75 discourses and 1107 chapters. Six chapters of the eighth discourse of the sixth book are devoted to the local diseases of heart, and a part of the 13th discourse deals with Istisqä. The Tadhkirah was translated into Hebrew. A lithographed Urdu translation of this book is used in India and Pakistan.
The author compiled some other comparatively short books. For the wazir of Qutb al-Din successor. He composed a treatise entitled Aqhrad
ai-Tibb. He compiled another treatise on drugs and pharmacy. He also wrote a condensed edition of Tadhkirah entitled Khafi ‘Alä’i. Khafi is a derivative of Khaf, meaning a riding shoe. The book was written in two long volumes so that the traveler could take each one of these volumes in a riding shoe. Ismãil Ibn al-Hunayn is also the author of some other works.32
The greatest physician of the 13th century was ‘Ala al-Din Abu’l-Hasan Ali lbn Abi’l-Hazm Ibn al-Nafis al-Qarshi, who was born in Damascus and died at the age of 80, probably in 1288-1289 in Egypt, He wrote many works on medicine and other subjects. As the source of his writings he used his memory, experience, observations and deductions, and relied very little on other sources. He was often quoted by other writers. He set up an endowment for the Mansuri hospital in Cairo.
Ibn al-Nafis is the author of many commentaries on the Al-Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and on the medical writings of Hippocrates, Hunayn Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Sinã. He also wrote some medical works. One of them is a treatise on eve diseases and another on diet entitled Kitab al-Mukhtar min al-Aghdhiyyah. Among all his writings the best is his commentary on the Qãnün, Kitab Mu’jiz al-Qãnün (also called Al- Mujiz fi’l-Tibb). It is divided into four sections, (1) generalities on the theory and practice of medicine; (2) victuals and drugs, simple and compound; (3) diseases of the individual organs; (4) other diseases, their causes, symptoms and cures. This book enjoyed much popularity. Many commentaries •were written on it. It was translated into Turkish and Hebrew.
Ibn al-Nafis wrote another commentary on the anatomical part of the Qãnün. It is extremely interesting from the physiological point of view. Ibn al-Nafis describes Ibn Sinã’s view on circulation in heart and lungs, and repeats the Galenic fragments as described by Ibn Sinã. He then vigorously contradicted these views. He stated that the venous blood cannot pass from the right to the left ventricle through visible or invisible pores in the septum, but must pass through the venous artery to the lungs, mingled there, with air, pass through the ‘arterious vein’ into the left vertical and form there the “vital spirit”. Ibn Nafis theory is of extreme importance. Ibn Nafis is one of the main for runners of William Harvey and the greatest physiologist of the Middle Ages in the West.33

1, Wasiti, Hakim Nayyr, Tibb al-Arab, (Urdu translation of Arabian Medicine, by Edward G. Browne, Lahore, 1954, p. 368.
2. Briffault, Robert, The Making of Humanity, Islamic Foundation, Lahore, 1980, P. 201.
3. Sarton, George, Introduction to the History of Science, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1950, Vol. III, p. 1729.
4. Wasiti, Hakim Nayyr, Muslim Contribution to Medicine, Lahore, 1962, p. 2.
5. Landau, Rom, Islam And the Arabs, George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., London, 1958, p.178.
6. Wasiti, op. cit., p. 4.
7. Ibid.
8. Elgood, Medical History of Persia And Eastern Muslim Caliphate, p. 179.
9. Arnold & Guillaume, The Legacy of Islam, Oxford. 1949, p. 221.
10. Wasiti, op. cit., p. 10.
11. Al-Qifti, ‘Ali Ibn Yusuf, Tãrikh al-Hukama, Leipzig, 1903, p. 158.
12. Sarton, op. cit., p. 573.
13. Ibid. p. 574.
14. Ibid.
15. Wasiti, Tibb al-Arab, pp. 52-56.
16. Ibid., p. 609.
17. Ibid., Wasiti, op. cit., p. 65.
18. Al-Qifti, op. cit., p. 171. Vol. I, p. Sarton, op. cit.
19. Ibid., p. 639.
20. Wasiti, op. cit., pp. 56-57. A1-Qif;i, op. cit., p. 190.
21. Wasiti, pp. 73-77.
22. Sarton, op. cit., p. 679.
23. Ibid., p. 680.
24. Ibid., Haji Khalifa, Kashf al-Zunun, Istanbul, p. 949.
25. Ibid., p. 679.
26. Haji Khalifa, Kashf al-Zunun, Istanbul, 1943, VoL I p. 946.
27. Ibid, p. 411. Wasiti, op. cit. pp, 343-362.
28. Al-Qifti, op. cit., p. 413.; Elgood, op. cit., pp. 203, 205.
29. Al-Qifti, op. cit., p. 80. ; Sarton, op. cit., Vol. 11, Part I, p. 230.
30. Ibid.,
31. Ibid, pp. 231-233.
32. Ibid, p. 234 ; Wãsiti, op. cit., p. 128.
33. Ibid., p. 447. ; Sarton, op. cit., Part II, p. 1099.

Archetypal Rites of Passage in Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima

In Bless Me, Ultima Rudolfo Anaya tells a classic coming of age story by interweaving ancient world symbolism, particularly nature archetypes, with the ritualistic traditions of the Catholic Church in a New Mexico village near the end of World War II. These symbols connect to each other with such historic strength that together they give depth to a tale that becomes not only Antonio Marez’s story of growing up in the Southwest in 1944 but also one that reaches back to the beginning of time and becomes universally an archetypal motif for humanity.

The Sun and the Moon

Although all of the characters contribute to the cohesiveness of the novel, the story belongs to Antonio, who is seven years old when the story opens, and Ultima, the curandera who was present at Antonio’s birth and who has now come to live with his family in her remaining years. While Antonio, or Tony, has two older sisters at home, he also has three brothers who have been serving their country overseas in the war and return home. Tony’s father is a Marez, a man whose traditions cling to the earth, the llano, the large grassy, almost treeless plain where a man can ride his horse and enjoy the camaraderie of his wandering friends, seeking freedom in this open country. His wife is a Luna, a family of farmers who love the rich soil by the river, roots, and the tradition of living by the moon’s cycles. The sun and the moon have come together, but is it a sacred marriage of heaven and earth?

Influence of the Feminine Principle

Tony’s father wants him to take up the Marez ways, but his mother prays every day that Tony will become a farmer-priest and continue the path set by the Luna family. His mother, Maria Luna, embodies the feminine principle associated with her name, holding onto the power of cyclic time, and her source of strength comes from that lunar Queen of Heaven, the Virgin de Guadalupe, whose statue she kneels before every day. The Virgin is the Moon Goddess, the weaver and spinner of the thread of destiny, and it is she whom Maria implores for her son’s destiny in the Catholic Church. It is no coincidence that Saint Anthony is the patron saint of poor people, for Maria Luna prays that her son Tony’s destiny will also be worthy of sainthood, a priest beyond praise. The matriarchal influence that surrounds Tony grows even stronger when Ultima arrives.

Questioning the Matriarchal World

Antonio develops a bond with Ultima the moment she enters their house, addressing her by her first name rather than the respectful Grande, and his mother scolds him for this breach. But Ultima recognizes this connection between them and takes Tony with her every day to gather the plants and herbs she will use in her cures. He learns from her as she speaks gently to the plants she takes, explaining to them why she must take their roots from the earth. She teaches him that all of nature has a spiritual life, a presence. While Tony thrives in this matriarchal world of his mother, the Virgin de Guadalupe, and Ultima, he begins to question the spiritual beliefs of his mother as well as those of Ultima, torn between which one is the true belief, and then he discovers the spiritual presence of the golden carp from his friend Samuel.

The Golden Carp

It is bad luck to fish for the big carp that summer floods wash downstream. Like the big fish fighting their way back upstream to regain their abode and not be trapped, Tony struggles for his own evolution of the spirit. Samuel tells Tony the story of an ancient god who loved the people of the earth so much he turned them into carp instead of killing them for their sins. As the story evolves into a parallel of his own Catholicism, he learns that the god who loved the people turned himself into a fish, the golden carp, so he could take care of his people. Tony is confused about who is right-God, the Virgin, or the golden carp.

Ultima, Curandera

As Tony witnesses Ultima healing his family with her magic cures, he wonders if she is also stronger than the church and her saints. When Maria’s brother Lucas suddenly becomes very ill, feared to have been cursed by one of Tenorio Trementina’s daughters for stumbling onto her witchcraft, the family asks Ultima to use her power as a curandera to heal him. Medicine and the Catholic Church have not been successful. They accept Ultima’s condition: When anybody tampers with fate, a chain of events is set into motion over which they will not have control. They must be willing to accept this reality. They do and the grandfather pays Ultima $40 in silver-silver typifying once more the lunar feminine principle, to cure his son Lucas.

Good Is Stronger Than Evil

Ultima’s requests for supplies and quiet are met, but she also requires Tony’s assistance because, he says, his first name is Juan-John as in Saint John and John the Baptist-whose name means graced by God. Tony watches her rituals, the bathing of his dying uncle, the burning of incense, the ingesting of the potion of herbs, and the long hours of waiting. He knows he is in the midst of evil but he is not afraid. Ultima calms his fears, “Good is always stronger than evil. The smallest bit of good can stand against all the powers of evil in the world and it will emerge triumphant.” Tony will strengthen the good she can do because he is graced by God, a concept that is in alignment with his Catholicism.

Before Ultima forces the cure down Lucas’s throat, she sculpts three dolls from her magic oils and fresh black clay. She dresses them and lets Lucas breathe on them, and then she dips three pins in oil and sticks them into the dolls. Tony does not fully understand what Ultima has done until later when two of the Trementina daughters die. He is confused by her power that seems to be one with and yet greater than God’s.

Narciso, Dionysian Life and Death

Tony’s friend Samuel tells Cico about the golden carp. When Samuel leaves to herd sheep with his father, Cico takes Tony to see the coming of the golden carp, but on their way, they stop at the house of Narciso, a Dionysian figure who gets drunk in the spring and plants at night in the moonlight. When he is away and the two boys slip into his hidden garden, Tony understands what Cico means when he says, “The garden is like Narciso-it is drunk.” Tony is awestricken by the fruitfulness of this garden nurtured in moonlight, but in fear or perhaps superstition he will not partake of the bounty.

Narciso tries to warn Ultima of Tenorio’s intention to kill her in retribution for the alleged curse she has put on his second daughter who is dying. Tony, returning home in the snow from rehearsing the school Christmas pageant, secretly follows him. When Tony’s brother Andrew cannot break away from Rosie’s house of ill repute to help, the aging Narciso must go himself and Tony continues to follow him. Tenorio shoots Narciso, who lies dying under the juniper tree. Even though Tony is confused about his role in the Catholic Church, he makes the sign of the cross over Narciso and takes his confession, acting as the priest his family expects him to become. Succumbing to pneumonia, Tony dreams of the omnipresence of evil in his village as everything in it dies a violent death and is burned while the golden carp swallows all and glows as brilliant as a new sun.

Emptiness: Where Is God?

It is now time for Tony to study his catechism with the other boys at the church in preparation for his first communion, yet he still wonders if the golden carp is more powerful than the God of his Catholic Church. He wonders if the Virgin Mary or the golden carp rules in God’s absence. On Easter Sunday as Tony takes the wafer for the first time, he prays for answers to his question: why is there evil and death and torture? He feels only emptiness. He thinks, “The God I so eagerly sought was not there,” and he later confides to his teacher that growing up is not easy. He tells her, “Ultima says a man’s destiny must unfold itself like a flower.”

Again Tony is witness to Ultima’s power to cure as she performs rituals to lift a curse from Tony’s father’s friend Tellez. That night Tony still has received no communication from God. He asks, what really is God’s power? Cico tells him he must choose between the God of the church and the golden carp. As they watch the majesty of the God-like carp swimming in the creek, they decide that their friend Florence, one who could not take his first communion because he would not confess his nonexistent sins, has earned the right to witness the golden carp for himself. When they go to find him, however, they discover he has drowned in a swimming accident below the Blue Lake.

Tony dreams again, and in this dream everything he believes in dies-even Ultima and the golden carp. Distraught, he is sent to his uncles in Los Puerto to learn about farming. Before he goes, Ultima says, “Life is filled with sadness when a boy grows to be a man.” Tony asks his father if a new religion could be made. Tony’s father Gabriel Marez explains to his son that understanding does not come from God. It comes from experiencing life, and it takes a lifetime to acquire this understanding. He realizes Tony’s confusion about religion and healing, in particular, and he tells him that Ultima has no fear because “she has sympathy for people, so complete that she can touch their souls and cure them.” Tony grows stronger that summer from everything that has happened to him.

Ultima and the Owl: The Blessing of Antonio

But Tenorio’s second daughter dies and in his insanity, he first tries to kill Tony, who escapes him, and then goes to Guadalupe to find and kill Ultima. Instead Tenorio shoots the owl and, as he points the rifle at Tony, Pedro, who is Tony’s uncle, kills him with his pistol. Ultima, whose life is connected to the life of the owl, is dying. She whispers to Tony that she is like the owl, “winging its way to a new place, a new time.” Before she dies, he asks for her blessing. “Her hand touched my forehead and her last words were, ‘I bless you in the name of all that is good and strong and beautiful, Antonio. Love life, and if despair enters your heart, look for me in the evenings when the wind is gentle and the owls sing in the hills. I shall be with you-“

Tony buries the owl under the juniper tree in the moonlight, symbol of his mother’s family. He covers the owl with the earth of the llano, the home and symbol of his father. Whether or not Tony has the maturity to comprehend the totality of the blessings as well as the evil accompanying his rites of passage, he nevertheless has been touched deeply by the feminine archetypes of the moon, the three fates, the river and the fish, the owl and the juniper, and the cyclic changes around him so that he will recall Ultima’s advice with greater understanding and wisdom as he grows into a man: “Take life’s experiences and build strength from them, not weakness.”

The Ingredients of Stacker Fat Burners

Stacker fat burners can be great for burning fat, building muscle, increasing energy and helping with your weight loss program. While stacker fat burners can vary slightly, most have generally the same basic ingredients.

Ephedra is a common ingredient found in fat burners such as Original stacker 2 with ephedra or Stacker 3 Original with Chitosan and Ephedra. You will often see Ephedra listed in the ingredients as Ma Huang. Ephedra works to increase your metabolism which in turn increases your body heat. It works as a stimulant on your brain. It increases your heart rate as well as expanding the bronchial tubes.

White Willow Bark is basically aspirin. It is actually the bark of the white willow tree. It has long been used for medicinal purposes, such as controlling fevers and reducing pain. Aspirin works in combination with ephedra and caffeine in order to produce weight loss.

Kola Nut Extract or Gurana provides caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant as well. It is naturally found in these herbs. Caffeine helps you lose water weight, can work to decrease your appetite, and can also help your body lose weight in a more rapid fashion.

Chitosan is another common ingredient found in stacker fat burners. Chitosan is actually part of the exoskeleton of shrimp and crabs. It is included in fat burners because it is said to have the ability to attract fat and pull the fat out of the body during digestion. Having chitosan included in a stacker fat burner can help you lose additional weight without diet.

Citrus aurantium is often used in products which are ephedra free. It has been used in Chinese medicine for a very long time to treat chest colds. It works in a similar way as ephedra, working as a stimulant to increase energy and metabolism and help to breakdown fat. It has also been shown to help control your appetite.

Guggulsterones come from a tree that is often found in India. It works to increase thyroid output which helps with increasing metabolism.

Green tea is often touted as an ingredient that does not have any negative side effects. It is a strong antioxidant, and also helps to increase energy.

There are many excellent choices as Stacker 2 Lite and Stacker 2 XPLC Fat burners which contain different combinations of ingredients which allow you to pick the stacker fat burner which best fits your needs.

Knowing Angioedema

Angioedema, which is also called by others as Quincke’s edema, is the swelling occurring in the tissue under the skin’s surface. The skin ailment is usually an allergic reaction to a medication or food.

Occurrence of Angioedema should also be given proper attention and focus because it may indicate an underlying condition of more serious ailment or sickness like leukemia or Hodgkin’s disease.

In the medical world, there are two basic divisions or classification of angioedema. One, it can be hereditary angioedema or HAE—this is genetically acquired or inborn and will tend to constantly recur despite intense treatment.

The other is termed ‘acquired angioedema or AAE, which as the name suggests is acquired through other means beyond genetic factors.

Angioedema can take minutes or even hours to completely develop. One interesting thing about angioedema is that it can infect or affect one side or area of the body, while the other side, or other areas, is not affected.

It is important to know basic facts, prevention and treatment of angioedema because the skin ailment could be fatal if untreated.

Identifying angioedema

Symptoms and indications that a person has angioedema vary. Usually, the disease affect the eyelids, the tongue, the lips, the palms, the soles, the throat, and shocking as it may be, in several instances in the genitals. Any from these body areas can feel pain and burning sensation. Often, the infected part is also swollen.

Breathing troubles, especially those instances characterized by swollen or tight-feeling throat with hoarseness can also indicate the presence of angioedema.

In some recorded instances, there were also abdominal pain and diarrhea. These can be accompanied by reduced or diminished appetite and sometimes, nausea or vomiting.

Physically, one can simply tell if a person has angioedema if the area surrounding or around the eyes of a person is extraordinarily swollen. To verify the suspicion, check if the person has discolored rashes or patches in the face, the feet, the hands, and if it will possible to check on this body area, the genital or sex organ.

There is another type of angioedema that is also called angioedema-eosinophilia syndrome, when the person feel like having fever, hives or itchiness. This form of angioedema is also characterized by high level or count of white blood cells, muscle pain, weight gain or decreased or diminished urination.

Treating angioedema

Doctors and hospital personnels’ first and primary concern when treating angioedema is making sure that airway is unblocked or open or that the breathing is practically not disturbed.

There are several drugs that are often prescribed to treat the disease. Among them are antihistamines, corticosteroids and epinephrine.

If the angioedema attack is somehow severe, make sure the patient is rushed to the nearest hospital because professional personnel will have to first open blocked airways to help stabilize the victim’s condition.


There are several food additives and foods that are known to trigger angioedema attacks on several people. If you have an angioedema history, it is important to stay away or eliminate the following food from your daily diet.

– Berries

– Chocolate

– Legumes

– Seafood

– Milk

– Eggs

– Nuts

Some people are also advised not to eat citrus fruits and food and beverage with sulfites, including some fermented beverages.

So What is Up With Ginger – Is it a Spice Or an Herb?

Although most kitchen spice cabinets include a jar of ground ginger, it is usually considered a spice and one does not think of adding ginger herb to a recipe, one would add ginger spice. Ginger spice is added to Ginger Snaps, Ginger Bread, Ginger Ale, Gingered Chicken, and Gingered Pumpkin Cheesecake, face it, the spice “ginger” is called for in many recipes. So, is ginger a spice or an herb? Well, ginger is a spice. . . and. . . an herb.

By definition, herbs are the leafy parts of plants and shrubs used for flavoring foods, medicinal applications or the oil essence harvested for body care products. An example of an herb would be the leafy parts of ginger, parsley, rosemary, lavender and cilantro. Spices are harvested from the flowers, seeds, bark or roots of plants or trees. Examples would include; cinnamon (bark), coriander (seed of the cilantro plant), cloves, saffron and root of the ginger. Your eyes are not deceiving you – I do have ginger listed under examples of both spice and herb. Cilantro is a cross-over also, the leaves of the plant are by definition an herb and the seed of the plant is a spice, named coriander. Coriander really confused me when I first started cultivating herbs. I looked high and low for cilantro seeds at the nursery. When I finally asked the clerk for assistance, I was handed a seed packet with “coriander seeds” boldly written across the top of the package and a lovely picture of a healthy cilantro herb plant on the bottom. That incident prompted my first purchase of a book on herb gardening.

The line of terminology between classification of herb or spice has largely become interchangeable depending upon culinary usage according to the American Spice Trade Association). Plants, seeds and roots used for medicinal properties are commonly termed “herbal” Ground herbs used in cooking applications call for “spice”. Confused yet? Maybe this example will help. Ground ginger (spice) is used in baking cookies. Ginger root (herb) is steeped in boiled water for tea used in a medicinal manner.

However it is classified, ginger is an extremely versatile herb for medicinal purposes. Ginger root may be used to chew on to alleviate nausea (motion sickness), it may be used steeped in teas to alleviate chest congestion, to alleviate gas pains and flatulence (mince the root and add to baked beans), treating asthma, bronchitis and the list goes on. However it is classified, ginger is an extremely versatile spice for culinary applications; dessert recipes, beers, soda flavorings and this list goes on too.

Herb or spice, ginger is one of my favorites!

All Assisted Living Communities Are Not Created Equal

There are two ways to look for a senior living community, aka assisted living. It can either be done while under extremely stressful conditions when your family member has been hospitalized for a major medical event or a functional decline, which often is characterized by a fall or inability to do basic activities of daily living, such as bathing or dressing. The second way to look for an assisted living community is in advance of an emergency in an exploratory sense.

Let’s look at it this way. Your mom or dad just had a heart attack, a stroke or has fallen and fractured their hip or pelvis. You are in total shock, because now they will have an extended hospital stay as well as a stint in a nursing and rehabilitation center. You are still in shock and are not only exhausted, but you absolutely don’t even know what you don’t know. Therefore, you are in charge of a situation that you are completely helpless in defining how to navigate through. If you had the conversation with your parents before, in a more thoughtful, quiet way, you may have already addressed many of the issues surrounding finances, selling the house, renting the house, moving to a senior living community and whether or not mom or dad wants to stay in the neighborhood; not to mention having a durable power of attorney and a living will in place. In an emergency, it often becomes an issue of making these decisions without your parents input.

Now, let’s talk about what you don’t know. There are five or six senior living communities in the neighborhood. They all look the same and have the same basic framework and they all have a State issued standard license. How does each community differentiate themselves?

Here are some things to look for when you visit each community:

• How many residents do they have?

• Do any of the communities have an add-on license, such as limited nursing, extended care, or limited mental health? There are certain regulations governing standard licensed assisted living communities and to provide certain medical services, they may need an LNS or ECC license which means that they will have a registered nurse on premises.

• How do you feel when you enter the community? Do you feel warm and fuzzy or does the environment feel institutional?

• Are there ample activities for physical and social stimulation?

• Is the building well-kept and clean?

• Is there variety in the food and is it served restaurant style?

• Ask what makes the community special and why it would be a good fit for your parent.

• Try the food.

• Did the staff welcome you? Did they take the time to learn about your parent, their likes and dislikes as well as their interests?

These are just a sampling of things you should be aware of in the early days of researching the best community for yourself or your parents. There are many more. If you work with a professional placement person, they are sometimes able to negotiate the monthly fee and act as a buffer between you and the community. They can also take the stress off of you and walk you through the process by eliminating unnecessary steps in what can quite often be a very daunting task of navigating through your newfound role as caregiver.

Can't Lose Weight? Maybe You Have A Thyroid Disorder

A thyroid disorder called hypothyroidism means you have an underactive thyroid gland. If you have trouble losing weight no matter what you do, it could be because you are hypothyroid. There are almost 30 million Americans with thyroid disease and women are 7 times more likely than men to have it. Hypothyroid is the most common thyroid disorder and often misdiagnosed by doctors.

 Most Recommended Tips for Can’t Lose Weight? Maybe You Have A Thyroid Disorder

You may get this because it is inherited, or because of previous problems, such as nodules, goiter, thyroid cancer, previous thyroid surgery, another autoimmune disease.

This is a condition where the thyroid gland, a small butterfly shaped organ located at the base of the neck, does not produce enough hormone to function properly.

What happens is that it takes in iodine, combines it with tyrosine (an amino acid) and converts it into the hormones T4 and T3. If your thyroid is normal, 80% will be T4 and 20% T3. These hormones travel through the bloodstream, converting oxygen and calories into energy. If this process doesn’t work properly, then the calories and oxygen cannot convert the energy properly and you may gain weight or incapability to lose weight.

The symptoms can include : weight gain, depression, forgetfulness, fatigue, hoarseness, high cholesterol, constipation, feeling cold, hair loss, dry skin, low sex drive, tingling hands or feet, irregular periods, infertility. You may even experience recurrent pregnancy loss, resistant high cholesterol, difficult menopause, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, or mitral valve prolapse.

Do you feel sluggish and fatigued on a regular basis, or do you get bouts of depression and sadness? Are you always feeling cold, especially your hands and feet, or do you have brittle nails? These are just some of the possible signs of the disease. There may be other causes, but at least this may give you a clue as to why you do not feel well. Check with your doctor in all cases to be sure.

 Most Recommended Tips for Can’t Lose Weight? Maybe You Have A Thyroid Disorder

When your metabolism doesn’t work right because you have this disorder, you may find that there’s no amount of dieting or exercise that takes the weight off. You may in fact put on extra pounds, even though you are doing just what you are supposed to.

What can you do ? Meet with your doctor and ask if you need a thyroid examination and blood test. These likely will be a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) blood test, along with T4, T3, Free T4 and Free T3 tests.

What Is Williams Syndrome?

Williams Syndrome, sometimes known as Williams-Beuren Syndrome is a rare genetic condition named after the doctor who first described it.

How rare? Well, different sources estimate that it affects between one in every 8,000 or 25,000 births, depending on which website you read. That’s pretty rare.

It’s a genetic condition, meaning it is caused by something in the genes of the person affected. This is usually a random event. It doesn’t happen because of something a mother did in pregnancy or something you could have avoided. It just happens at random every now and then, though if someone with Williams Syndrome (WS) has children themselves, there is a 50% chance of passing the condition onto one of their children. More information on the genetic basis of WS can be found in other articles in this series and on a number of websites on the internet.

The syndrome was first named in 1961 by a Dr Williams based New Zealand. The fact that this is a “syndrome” means that there are several features and that not all affected people show all of the Williams Syndrome symptoms or to the same degree. I guess this also emphasises that people affected are also unique individuals who have some things in common. Today it is possible to have a genetic test to confirm any suspected Williams Syndrome diagnosis.

Some of the things you might notice are that children often show delayed development and maybe feeding problems such as colic or vomiting. This is often described as a failure to thrive.

Parents may also be worried that children learn to walk later than most toddlers and are slow to develop speech. They do catch up later though so this delay is just a sign to watch out for as it often raises concerns.

As they get a little older you might notice that Williams children have a fascination for music, listening to it, singing along or playing instruments; hearing music can affect them deeply. Their speech also develops fluently after a slow start and children with WS are often described as over-friendly and are very comfortable with the presence of adults, even strangers.

Most people with Williams Syndrome symptoms have some degree of learning difficulty, particularly as applied to math or numbers, and whether as children or adults, they often have a characteristic “look” about them. They are often shorter in height than any siblings and their faces show common features including slightly prominent eyes, a smaller upturned nose, a longer than average gap between nose and upper lip and small or widely spaced teeth are often visible through an open mouth. The overall effect is sometimes described as an “elfin face”.

If you suspect Williams Syndrome symptoms in a child or adult, it is worth getting medical advice and maybe seeking a genetic test. It only needs a small blood sample to be taken and analyzed. There are a number of medical conditions associated with Williams Syndrome, probably related directly to the genetic deletion. These medical conditions will appear at different times and should be monitored in a person with WS to ensure they maintain good health throughout life.

Someone with this syndrome can live a full and happy life if supported appropriately and I’m happy to begin to share some of the information you need to make this happen.

Trasylol Class Action Lawsuit for Trasylol Heart Surgery Stroke Problems

Currently there is not a Trasylol class action lawsuit filed on behalf of all patients suffering from the drug’s side effects.  Trasylol lawsuits are best filed by a drug recall attorney who is familiar with the both the medical and legal issues involved with Bayer’s controversial heart surgery medication. There are many factors that must be taken into consideration when an individual or family member is looking at filing a Trasylol lawsuit. The state where the surgery took place, the year and what injuries the patient suffered must be analyzed before proceeding with a claim.

There are estimates that at least 10,000 patients may unnecessarily have suffered kidney problems including kidney failure due to use of aprotinin during heart surgery.  Many patients throughout the United States may have been injected with Trasylol to reduce blood loss during coronary artery bypass (CABG) surgery.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Aprotinin in 1993, a drug marketed by Bayer as Trasylol. Sales of Trasylol over the past several years have escalated to more than $600 million.

Several serious side effects have been associated when this drug was used during the bypass procedure. The kidneys are likely to be damaged in an irreversible manner thus leading to death. People should become aware of the life-threatening complications that are mainly related to the use of the Trasylol during bypass surgery. Such complications could have been avoided and anyone affected should be aware of their legal rights and the potential of a Trasylol Class Action Lawsuit. This type of lawsuit is started to provide patients and their families with compensation and hopefully provide future patients with the information they need in order to avoid the use of this type of drug during medical procedures.

Most patients and families of loved ones undergoing heart surgery are largely unaware if Trasylol was used during their heart surgery.  The decision to use aprotinin (Trasylol) was made by a patient’s treating doctor.  Aprotinin (Trasylol) affects the way in which blood clots. Trasylol is injected into patients who are undergoing open heart surgery. Excessive bleeding, during and after heart surgery, is a serious complication.  Such bleeding exposes patients to multiple risks. Trasylol is primarily used during repeat coronary artery bypass surgery to reduce the amount of bleeding. The amount of blood transfusion required is reduced by using clotting medications including Trasylol. 

A recent study, published by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) (2006) reported a connection between Trasylol and increased risk of renal (kidney) failure, myocardial infarction, heart failure or stroke in patients who have had heart surgery. The NEJM study concluded that two other generic drugs were available that were safer and less expensive than Trasylol. 

Amicar cost per dose is $11
Cyklokapron cost per dose is $44
Trasylol cost per dose is $1300.

Neither of the generic drugs was associated with increased risk of kidney failure, heart attack or stroke.

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Cardiovascular and Renal Drug Advisory Committee met on September 21, 2006 to review recent data regarding the safety of aprotinin.  On September 29, 2006, the FDA issued a public health advisory stating that it had learned Bayer failed to disclose a study that Bayer had conducted involving 67,000 patients undergoing heart surgery.  Preliminary analysis of the Bayer study suggested that Trasylol use was linked with risk for congestive heart failure, kidney disease, stoke and death.  Bayer did not disclose the study during the September 21, 2006 Advisory Committee meeting. 

There are thousands of former heart surgery patients who are suffering from such side effects without knowing whether they were given Trasylol during their surgery. The primary problem with knowing whether or not Trasylol was used is the surgeon was the one who made the decision. You should contact a drug recall attorney in order to advise you of your legal options.

Metal Fillings – A Ticking Time Bomb In The Mouth?

Harmful metals in the mouth

Metal dental ware is a constant source of poisoning and allergic reaction in the body (especially to milk and its products). All metal corrodes in time, especially in the mouth where there is a high concentration of air and moisture. Among other harmful metals, amalgam fillings contain the extremely toxic mercury.Mercury makes up 50 percent of the filling! Their vapors are being released into the lungs through inhalation and enter the digestive system while eating and drinking. When they enter the blood and lymph, they can cause considerable damage in the body, including the nervous system. Recently, researchers produced a special video that showed constant mercury vapor escaping from the mouths of people with metal fillings in their teeth. That’s not very nice, if you are into kissing.

In Germany, a federal law passed in the mid-90s prohibits dentists to give mercury fillings to their patients. For the same reason, most North-European countries have limited the use of amalgam, and Sweden, Spain, Austria, and Denmark, among others, also banned this product in the year 2000. The amalgam compounds are so toxic that dentists are instructed not to touch amalgam with bare hands and store excess amalgam in tightly sealed containers. If it is so dangerous to touch amalgam, it certainly is dangerous to keep it in the mouth 24 hours a day, year after year, or get it injected in the blood with the flu vaccine!

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a report showing that mercury absorbed from amalgam fillings is up to ten times higher than mercury absorbed from environmental and dietary sources. It is noteworthy to point out that patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’sdisease have up to ten times the normal mercury levels in their brains. Post-mortem studies show that the mercury level in some organs is directly proportional to the number of amalgam fillings in a diseased person.

The most vulnerable of all to mercury poisoning seems to be the developing fetus in pregnant women. A fetus accumulates more mercury than even the mother does, and in amounts directly proportional to the number of her amalgam fillings. [For the same reason, pregnant women should avoid tuna, salmon and other mercury-containing fish]

The gradual, continuous release of mercury and other toxic metals into the body by metal fillings affects particularly the liver, kidneys, lungs and brain. Cadmium, for example, which is used to produce the pink color in dentures, is five times as toxic as lead. It does not take much of this metal to raise the blood pressure to abnormal levels. Yet how many people are aware that they are developing a heart condition as a result of the dental fillings in their mouth?

Thallium,which is also found in mercury amalgam fillings, causes leg pain and paraplegia. It affects the nervous system, skin, and cardiovascular system. All wheelchair patients who have been tested for metal poisoning tested positive for thallium. Many people, who were in a wheelchair several years after they received metal fillings, completely recovered once all metal had been removed from the mouth. Thallium is lethal at a dose of 0.5-1.0 gram.

Other metals contained in dental fillings are known for their cancer-producing (carcinogenic) effects. These include nickel, which is used in gold crowns, braces and children’s crowns. Also chromium is extremely carcinogenic. All metals corrode, (including gold, silver and platinum) and the body absorbs it. Women with breast cancer have accumulated large amounts of dissolved metals in their breasts. When the mouth is cleared of all metals, they will also leave the breasts and the metal-caused cysts will shrink and disappear by themselves. Yeast infections often improve quickly after removal of metal fillings. Some people report complete relief of prostate problems as well as nose and sinus congestion.

Porcelain can be toxic, too. It is made of aluminum oxide, with other metals added. The body’s immune system naturally responds to the presence of toxic metals in the body and eventually develops allergic reactions which may show up as a sinus condition, ringing in the ears, enlarged neck and glands, bloating, enlarged spleen, arthritic symptoms, headaches and migraine, eye diseases, and more serious complications such as paralysis or heart attacks.


Although metal toxicity may not be the only cause for these conditions, replacing all metal fillings with composites certainly assists your immune system in its effort to protect your body against disease. A composite filling is one that is primarily non-metallic. There are a large variety of materials used in composite fillings, but some metals may be present. Ordinary composites are not suitable for large cavities. Whenever used for large cavities, they tend to last no more than five or six years. Indirect composites, on the other hand, can be placed in large cavities. They can even be used in place of gold crowns. They look like a real tooth and last as long as gold. If selected properly, indirect composites are quite non-allergenic and non-toxic. They are fairly new and can be as expensive as gold fillings, but they can save you a lot of trouble and money in the long-term. Since many dentists don’t know how to place them properly, you may need to do a bit of research to find an experienced mercury-free dentist who also works with indirect composites. The fillings should be replaced cautiously and gradually, one or two (if small ones) at a time. It is best not to replace metal fillings more often than once every two months.

Preventing Heavy Metal Toxicity

If you decide to replace your amalgam fillings, make certain that your dentist provides for protection (through a special plastic device) against the inhalation and absorption of the generated amalgam dust. Otherwise, you may end up suffering severe migraine attacks, memory loss, weakening of eyesight, etc. Before attempting to have any larger fillings removed you may need to take selenium (if possible in ionic form) for one to two months. Eat more foods that contain Vitamin C, such as the super grain chia, or red-colored fruits and vegetables, for about ten days. Use cilantro leaves and green leafy vegetables in every main meal to help clear mercury and other metal deposits from the body. Drinking several cups of Pau d’Arco (Lapacho) tea per day, or taking four capsules of its extract three times daily for two weeks may greatly assist you in the detoxification of the blood, liver and kidneys. The kidney cleanse is also very beneficial in preventing injuries from any released metals. The native American tea formula, Ojibwa tea, is also excellent for metal removal. It contains large amounts of vitamins.

Can a Person Become Un-Diabetic?

Yes and no. More people could become un-diabetic than ever succeed in doing so. Other people really don’t stand a chance. Which are you?

Before going on, what does it mean to become un-diabetic? A simple answer would be to say that, without medication, your fasting blood sugar remains below 126 md/dL and your hemoglobin A1c (average blood sugar) remains in the normal range, and that you are able to eat normal foods.

Many people come close to this definition. Their blood sugars are well-controlled – as long as they watch their diet closely. This is then called diet-controlled diabetes mellitus.

A big problem with the definition is that the tendency towards diabetes remains for most people who achieve normal blood sugars through dieting.

A second problem is the underlying etiology of a person’s diabetes. For Type I diabetic patients, the pancreas no longer secretes insulin. Without insulin a Type I diabetic will die, usually within several days of not having insulin. Aside from a pancreas transplant, there is no way to make a Type I diabetic become un-diabetic at this time. Perhaps in the future stem cells may provide a cure – maybe there is a way to make a person grow a new pancreas. Fortunately, Type I diabetes is quite rare compared to Type II.

Type II diabetes is usually, but not always, related to weight. With higher body weight, the pancreas has to secrete more insulin, but in turn the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. Although the pancreas tries harder and harder to keep up with rising blood sugar levels, eventually it loses the battle and blood glucose levels exceed normal values. In most patients this condition persists for months to years before a person is diagnosed.

Who can become un-diabetic? The overweight patient who has had diabetes for a relatively short period of time is the best candidate. Taking medication will not make you un-diabetic, although it may return your blood sugar to normal levels. That does not mean you don’t have diabetes, however. Stop the medicine, and your sugar will likely rise.

Although there are occasional exceptions to this rule, the only way to become un-diabetic is to lose a significant amount of weight fairly early in the course of the disease. A person’s who has had Type II diabetes for a dozen years has probably surpassed the body’s ability to restore normal pancreatic function. The pancreas gets worn out, more and less, and just can’t keep up, like a failing heart.

However, early on in the process, if the body is retrained to use fewer calories, the diabetic process can be reversed. Usually at this stage fasting blood sugars are elevated, but still below 200 mg/dL. If a patient gets serious and loses a good amount of body weight – at least 10% – the process may be reversible. Some patients with higher blood sugars may also be able to become un-diabetic if they lose even more weight – say 50 to 100 pounds, depending on starting weight. Once the body is stabilized at the new, lower weight, the pancreas is again able to keep up with the body’s need for insulin.

Along the way your doctor will probably prescribe medication. It takes time to lose weight, and you don’t want to wait 6 to 12 months to begin medication. As your weight drops, the medication can be tapered.

If you are overweight and have been diagnosed with diabetes in the past several months (or perhaps up to even a few years ago) get serious and lose weight. For anyone in the pre-diabetic phase, the same advice holds true. Take action now before you are diagnosed with a disease that may haunt you the rest of your life.

Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

High carb foods can cause heart attacks

A new study from Tel Aviv University showed what happens in your body when you eat high-carbohydrate foods. And the results show that eating too much bread might be bad for your heart…

Researchers fed healthy volunteers one of four meals: cornflakes with milk, a pure sugar mixture, bran flakes, or a placebo (water). (We’ve told you before, that cornflakes are not good for you. Clearly sugar is unhealthy) Then they monitored what was happening to the patients’ arteries in real time.

The result: People who ate high-sugar foods (cornflakes and pure sugar mixture) showed a sudden thickening of their artery walls for several hours—which can worsen the effects of heart disease by stressing your blood supply. In extreme cases, it could even loosen a clot, potentially causing a stroke or heart attack.

So, not only do foods with high carbohydrate content like cornflakes and sugar result in potential heart attacks, but are also foods that make you fat! See the list of unhealthy high carbohydrate foods, that you should avoid.

Avoid the carb-overload foods that put stress on your arteries: among the worst offenders are cornflakes, white bread, French fries, and sugar-sweetened drinks, even orange juices. See this list of healthy snacks. Carbohydrates aren’t the only enemy. Watch your consumption of these high sodium content foods.


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My Experience Using Raspberry Ketone for Weight Loss

The Beginning of My Journey

I first heard about Raspberry Ketones from a well known TV doctor. This was a little over a year ago when I was first starting my weight loss journey. At the time I wasn’t taking any supplements, I had recently started eating healthier and had started walking and working out at the gym a couple times a week.

Prior to watching the show I had never really believed that a supplement could help me lose weight, I was 100% sold on the “eat healthy and workout” way to lose weight. After watching the show and looking into the supplement a little more I decided to give it a try, its inexpensive and I was willing to try anything (within reason) to lose weight. From research I knew Raspberry Ketone was natural and safe so I didn’t have a lot to lose (other than LB’s).

This one decision, the acceptance of supplements into my weight loss mix no has no doubt helped me lose 30 or more pounds.

How Does it Work

Warning: Please prepare yourself as I may talk a little nerdy in the following paragraphs.

Raspberry Ketone helps with weight loss by starting lipolysis. Lipolysis is the breakdown of fat, in essence Raspberry Ketone takes the fat from a stored state, which is common in overweight and obese people, to a state where the body can use it as energy. Fat is a form of energy that is under utilized in those of us with tons of weight to lose. This ability to start the breakdown of fat is a huge reason why the supplement is effective.

The regulation of adiponectin, which is tied to the above is another reason why Raspberry Ketone is helpful in losing weight. Adiponectin is a hormone that has been found to be tied with obesity. High levels of adiponectin have been linked to being skinny, the reverse is also true, with low levels being linked to obesity. Adiponectin tricks your body into believing it is skinny, so high levels of adiponectin tell your body “Hey Your Skinny, start acting like it” and the body responds by letting go of fat. Raspberry Ketone has been found to increase levels of adiponectin which in turn raises the body’s metabolism and leads to the loss of fat.

This concludes my description of how Raspberry Ketone works, if you are not a fan or talking nerdy you can now start reading again!


Obviously the number one benefit of Raspberry Ketone is weight loss and specifically fat loss. Some have also found that it helps suppress your appetite causing you to eat fewer calories. I have never tried to track this as I feel like it would be rather complicated. I never noticed myself more full than prior to starting the supplement. I would be interested if anyone has actually tested this on themselves.

Side Effects

Raspberry Ketone is natural so it is regarded as safe, there are no known negative side effects. With that being said there are things to look for and people who shouldn’t take the supplement. The supplement was created for adults so it is not recommended that kids or teens take Raspberry Ketone. You should also pay attention to the ingredients as some times companies will add fillers or binders or additional ingredients. Sometimes these ingredients are not safe, or have additional side effects. Personally I stick with pure Raspberry Ketone. Also women who are pregnant or nursing shouldn’t take the supplement, you shouldn’t take any weight loss supplement when you are pregnant or nursing.

My Results

Since I also work out and eat healthy every month, it’s hard to judge how much of my weight loss comes from this one supplement, but I know my losses went up after starting the supplement. I also have tested it in a couple of different ways but nothing 100% definite as to its effectiveness. My goal has always been losing weight so I don’t want to affect that goal by doing a proper test and potentially wasting time not taking a supplement that is helping me. For those reasons my results section of this will be somewhat speculation based on my limited tests and the way I feel about the supplement.

I have been taking Raspberry Ketone ever since I first found out about it. For that reason it is certainly the supplement I have had the most success with. On average I would say I could probably attribute 2-3 pounds of my weight loss to the Raspberry Ketone supplement. On average I have lost around 6-7 pounds a month for the last year, so 2 or so pounds is a decent chunk of that.

Suggested Dosage

There are tons of opinions about the recommended dosage, I have always chosen the highest to maximize my losses. In my research I found that the optimal dosage is 500mg twice per day, so that is what I take. I have also seen lower dosages suggested but since there is certainly no harm in taking 1000 mg a day and very little cost difference I opt for the 1000 mg a day.

Who Should and Who Shouldn’t Take the Supplement

I have already addressed this briefly in a section above but I will clarify below.

Who Shouldn’t Take This Supplement

  • Women who are nursing or pregnant
  • If you are under 18
  • If you take a medicine you feel may be affected (talk to your Doctor)

Who Will Benefit for This Supplement

  • Anyone who wants to lose weight that doesn’t fall into a category above

*Of course for legal reasons I should state that none of this constitutes medical advice, you should always consult your Doctor with any concerns you may have.

My Brand Choices

In this section I will outline any brands I currently take as well as brands I have taken in the past and note whether they were successful or not.

Currently I take a Raspberry Ketone Supplement from Ava Falco. You can find a link to their page in the section below. You can also check out their website

Spa-Worthy Penis Treatment for Every Man – Pampering the Package Can Improve Sensation

For women, the prospect of a spa day means hours of pampering of the skin, as well as a chance to unwind and release their tension in a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere. A day spent like this can leave them feeling vibrant, attractive and youthful. Sadly, although the skin of the penis is subject to some pretty rough handling from day to day, the average spa does not offer this type of luxurious service for the male anatomy. While it may not seem fair, this doesn’t mean that men can’t enjoy the benefits of soft, smooth, youthful skin themselves. An at-home penis treatment can leave the package feeling supple and rejuvenated, and it may even help to boost sensation that has become dulled over the years.

Who can benefit?

A penis treatment like this is meant for men who may have penile skin that has become dry, roughened and keratinzed due to daily wear and tear from rubbing against clothing, as well as dry masturbation and/or prolonged sexual contact. Men who have open sores or lesions, or who have experienced an injury resulting in pain or bruising, should seek professional medical advice and follow their doctor’s recommendations for treatment.

4 steps to a healthy, more youthful penis

1. Soak. A long soak can relieve the soreness that results from a lengthy session with a partner or a little too much solo fun; and of course, it is relaxing for the entire body. Fill the tub with warm – not hot water (overly hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils and leave it feeling dry, tight and itchy). Using fragranced bath oils or salts can seem luxurious, but it is actually not a good idea, as chemical additives can irritate the delicate penile skin.

After soaking in the warm water for at least ten minutes, any built-up body oils, grime and other substances can be easily wiped away with the fingertips. Men who are uncircumcised should be sure to pull back the foreskin and remove any smegma. This white, cheesy substance that accumulates under the sheath is a haven for bacteria and can cause unpleasant skin infections characterized by redness, pain and swelling; on top of this, it can produce a fishy, unpleasant aroma.

2. Exfoliate. After cleansing and relaxing in a warm bath, it is a good idea to exfoliate the penile skin. Exfoliating can remove dead skin cells and improve the appearance of the skin, leaving it looking more vibrant and healthy. Exfoliating the penis should involve no more than a gentle wipe with a soft cloth; scrubbing, using a rough cloth, or applying a chemical exfoliant can damage the tender skin. Some experts recommend using milk as an exfoliant for the penis – simply rub in and wait for 5-10 minutes, then rinse it away.

3. Moisturize. Once these steps are complete, it is important to carefully pat the area dry with a soft towel – never rub it dry. An all-natural moisturizer should be applied to the skin directly afterward, while the skin is still warm and at its most absorbent. A high-quality plant-based emollient such as Shea butter is recommended, as it is suitable for nearly all skin types and has powerful moisturizing and healing properties.

4. Nourish. With all of this work to restore a youthful look and feel to the penis, it is important to remember that even the manhood needs proper nutrition to stay healthy and function at its best. Nutrients such as vitamin C are essential in reducing keratinization, or the toughening of the skin that occurs naturally as a reaction to ongoing friction against the skin. Vitamins A and E leave the skin soft and smooth, while vitamins B and D have overall protective properties. All of these nutrients can be found in a top-shelf penis vitamin cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil). A nutrient-rich penis cream can be used as needed or on a daily basis for optimum penile health.