Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment for Behcet’s Syndrome

Behcet’s syndrome is a disease more frequent in people from the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia. This condition classically involves a triad of symptoms including recurrent mouth ulcers, genital ulcers and inflammation within the eye, known as uveitis. This condition is believed to be caused due to genetic and environmental factors and mainly involves inflammation of different organs of the body including the arteries, veins, retina, brain, joints, skin, and intestines. Symptoms differ according to the distribution of inflammation and the pathophysiology of the disease occurring in affected individuals.

Behcet’s syndrome is a typical disease for which steroids are described in the modern system of medicines and usually do not provide a satisfactory long-term solution; in fact, after some time, the side-effects of steroids override the beneficial effects seen from these medicines. Such patients usually look for alternative treatments in order to effectively obtain a solution to this medical condition. Judicious use of Ayurvedic medicines can provide a highly satisfactory solution to the symptoms resulting from this disease; regular and long-term use of medicines can gradually control the disease and prevent a recurrence of symptoms.

While commencing treatment, it is of important to address environmental factors which may contribute to the symptoms of this disease, since this can significantly reduce the aggressiveness of the disease. If genetic factors are at play, the severity of the disease as well as recurrence of symptoms can prove to be frustrating for affected individuals. It is important to start Ayurvedic treatment on an aggressive basis in order to control symptoms at the earliest, so that the patient can develop confidence and faith in Ayurvedic therapy. This is important since long-term treatment is necessary in order to completely treat this disease and prevent recurrence of symptoms. Most affected individuals require treatment for periods ranging from 8 to12 months, depending upon the severity of the disease.

Anti-inflammatory treatment as well as immunomodulation forms the mainstay of Ayurvedic treatment in the management of Behcet’s syndrome. Regulation of diet is also an important part of the management of this disease, since in this condition, food can be responsible for regular recurrence of ulcers in the mouth as well as on different parts of the skin. Spices, especially green chillies, are usually responsible for a relapse in patients on good control with Ayurvedic medication. Stress is another factor which can contribute to regular recurrences of symptoms.

Individuals with chronic and severe form of Behcet’s syndrome may require treatment for longer periods, after which the dosage of medicines can be reduced gradually, so that the patient can be maintained on a minimum dose of medicines. The frequency of medication is gradually reduced from thrice daily to twice daily and then only once daily, after which the medicines can be stopped altogether and the patient is just observe on a long-term basis. Any recurrence of ulcers may be treated with booster treatments of one or two months, after which therapy can again be discontinued and given only as and when required. Most individuals with refractory symptoms also benefit significantly by donating blood once or twice in a year.

Ayurvedic treatment thus has a significant role to play in the management and treatment of the refractory symptoms of Behcet’s syndrome.

Foods That Cause Acid Reflux – Your Key to a Successful GERD Diet

There are some specific diets for acid reflux disease or GERD that can be used for those who have this problem. It’s important that you recognize and reduce your intake of foods that cause acid reflux. Therefore, your GERD diet needs to be extremely simple and shouldn’t have a lot of spices or fats as this can lead to a sluggish digestion. This adds all the more to the trouble. Since acid reflux and diet are related, your diet should follow the following principles:

Fruits, vegetables and drinks that should be avoided

Caffeine and other drinks should be avoided. Soda and aerated drinks should be completely avoided. Also, alcohol should be taken sparingly because it loosens the muscle strength of the LES and makes it sluggish. This can then cause stomach acids to move back into the esophagus from the stomach. Alcohol also increases the amount of stomach acid which is also disadvantageous.

Chocolate and peppermint should also be avoided. These foods can also relax the LES muscle leading to more of a buildup in the esophagus. For example, chocolate contains theobromine which relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter.

Tobacco and citrus fruits should be completely avoided as well when considering acid reflux and diet since they also relax the LES. But fiber rich fruits should be taken such as apples for acid reflux, as it helps in bowel movement and reduces the stress levels. Water should also be taken in plenty. Fatty and oil rich foods like hamburger should also be avoided because they are high in saturated fat which take longer for your body to digest inviting GERD to flare up.

Apples are great but apple cider is not

Apples for acid reflux work great as do bananas. Some fruits like grapes, peaches, raspberries and strawberries can for a part of GERD diet but should be taken in moderation. Apples for acid reflux are fine but apple cider isn’t a great idea.

Remember that vegetable that can cause gas should be avoided at this time, since they add to the problem. Some of the vegetables that shouldn’t form a part of the a GERD diet include cauliflower, cabbage, leeks, sauerkraut, beans and many more. Tomatoes and tomato base sauces should also be completely avoided.

By avoiding foods that cause acid reflux, you stand a far great chance of improving your acid reflux and diet. Interestingly, something as simple as apples for acid reflux can be a great start towards better health not just for GERD but for other ailments as well.

Emotions, Thoughts and Acidity

Acid in the blood is called oxidation. Oxidation exhausts you, depresses you, saddens you, weakens your immune system, causes arthritis, creates dark moods, reactiveness and violent feelings. Anger and resentment are the result of oxidation in the blood.

There are so many anti oxidants available. Those are sold in pharmacies, health food shops and natural therapies practitioners. These include; herbal medicines, teas, Chinese medicines, ayurvedic medicines, acupuncture and yoga, to name a few.

But if your thinking is all screwed up. Then acid is going to be produced as you are taking the pill or walking out of the acupuncture clinic. Can you see, the foolishness of separating the mind and the body in healing? If you walk around thinking acidic, then treating the body only, is just a money spinner for the practitioner.

Most people don’t want their mind treated. They walk around thinking they are right and that their body is reacting to their ex husband or the city. So they change jobs, meditate, become Buddhist or do something in order to be different. But underneath all that healing, acid continues to be produced.

Stress causes acid. Emotion causes acid. If you are stressed or emotional allot, you will need a mountain of therapies and time in retreat to recover. And the recovery will be short, if you go back to being emotional and stressed. It’s all in your head, but acid is all in your body. It builds up in knees and spines, and muscles, and wrinkles, and lungs and kidneys and feet and hands. Then what?

Acid is, for the greater part, irreversible. Acid build up attaches to bone and calcium. Then calcium deposits in cells. Those deposits we call scar tissue, arthritis, depression, heart blockage, cholesterol, dementia, asthma, cancer and the list goes on. Acid builds and attacks our cells. Why?

In nature anything that is not fulfilling its purpose, gets recycled. Easy. A tree stops producing oxygen, it’s function is inefficient, nature takes it, recycles its minerals, and grows a new tree, smarter, smaller and more efficient. This is evolution. Well, same with you. Blocked evolution is witnessed by acid. Acidic people are achieving everything on the ego plane, but zero in the true measure of natures law.

A stressed executive making millions of dollars is, in natures estimate, like the tree. Still there, but not producing. That person’s body decays through acidity, they get recycled. Sometimes we measure the value of our lives poorly don’t we? We measure our worth in production. Hours, days, years spent pedalling the machines. Making money. Building reputations. Nature measures it differently. She measures your value in acid. Too much acid, this person is wasting natures resources. Pain and discomfort will be the warning. Death, emotionally, physically or spiritually will be the ultimate price.

Acidic Work – the norm

There are many men, and an increasing number of women who believe that unless they are struggling with their work, unless their business life is mindlessly intense, un-enjoyable, they are not doing their job.

When I make the suggestion to clients that work can be enjoyable, that tiredness is a sign of bad work practices, they look at me in disbelief like I am from outer space. But I have met many people who have a wonderful, kind and joyful disposition in their work. These people are not acidic, nor do they need to waste valuable time running off to health spas to recover from bad practices. You see;

We put our energy into everything we do. What we do today causes tomorrow. The reason is, that our thoughts today produce the chemicals that are running around in our body tomorrow. If you are tired, you are acidic. If you are frustrated, there’s more acid. And if yesterday, you overexercised, drank too much alcohol, coffee and too little alkalising water (not plain water) and didn’t get good quality sleep, and ate chocolate before bed, and a big steak hours before that. You have predetermined the quality of your mood, productivity and emotion by what you did yesterday.

WE blame today. WE say “they annoyed me” but really, under normal non acidic circumstances you probably would have handled that fine. Acid comes from yesterday. Poor recovery, acidic thinking, poor diet and lack of alkalising balance.

Rather than run around treating today’s problems, which we caused by yesterdays behaviour, diet, attitude and unawareness, surely the wiser process is to make sure that we act today in a way that will make tomorrow, great. (not acidic)

It all begins with the way you think

There was a book called the art of positive thinking. It should have been called the “art of acidity” Positive does not go unpunished, just as we know negative does not go unpunished. Positive thinking always creates its nemesis, negativity.

WE have learned in business that being positive is really important. Showing clients the benefit of products is a sales skill, that guarantees client interest. Show them the positive, and they will buy.

So, where’s the negative? The answer is either within ourselves (self critical) or at home with the family. All one sided thoughts create acid. Extreme judgements, whether justified by a religion, culture, group or philosophy cause acid.

Peaceful thoughts are as acidic and violent thoughts if they are extreme. A person who hates war and loves peace will become acidic. A person who hates peace and loves war will become acidic. The more extreme your emotion, the more acid. Extreme high, high emotion, high thoughts, high pumped up, the more acid. Extreme sexy, extremely looking forward to some thing, extremely rejecting, extremely attracted.

Some emotions and thoughts produce more acid than others. We call them low thoughts, but they are not morally low, the are low in consciousness, like an animal. These low thoughts and emotions simply produce huge quantities of adrenalin and therefore acidify, exhaust and age us.

Do you know what those low thoughts and emotions are? It is very easy to find them. Look at the 10 commandments of Christianity, the Yama and Niyama of Hindu practices, The Dharma of the Buddha, the teachings of Mohamed, Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna. They are all the same, in different languages. Basically they suggest you avoid, grow out of or transform low thoughts and emotions.

Evolve they cry. But we rarely do. We sacrifice this wisdom in order to feed our ego, self esteem.

The Value of Time – Self Esteem or Self Worth – Acid versus Alkaline

If someone says to you “value your time” what would you say, that is? Some of us would sit down and meditate, others would rush off to work, some would go home and play with the children. Yet, others would go shopping for a new pair of boots. Some would rescue people, some would spend their time imitating another religious leader.

But really, if you want to know how people value their time. Just watch their normal day. What time do they get up? What do they spend their life doing, and why? How much effort do they put into that which they are born good at, versus that which makes them wealthy? You do not need to ask people about the value of their time, you can see it.

Is my mantra “Make every moment count” a call to be more busy, make more love, be more intense, achieve more? What does it mean to make every moment count? Everybody has their own version of this truth. Make every moment count. Some read books and talk about being in the moment, but are they are mistaken, mimicking another myth, have they really been able to be in the moment. Which moment and when is/was it. And what about the future, doesn’t that matter? How can they think about others if they are in the moment? All they know is themselves, in the moment.

Acid is caused by thoughts. Thoughts are caused by reactions to life. Our reactions to life are cause by our beliefs. If I believe death is just a change of state, then my reaction to death are different to yours. What causes one person acid, does not even affect another person. What we think, how we interpret the world is the criteria that ultimately determines the length, quality, happiness and intimacy of our life. Acidity is the barometer of our delusion.

The Ultimate choice

We make choices all day. And those choices are our truth. They reflect how we value time, and time as a mirror of self. We cannot measure self worth, it is hidden in our unconscious awareness. WE can only measure the way we act, and from that, interpret the light from which this shadow is cast. Self worth is hidden, but the result of it, can be clearly observed, in the way we value our time.

Then if self worth is the fulcrum of a balance scale, marking the centre, then self esteem are the ends of that scale. Emotional uppers, and downers, self esteem, measured on how we feel, a counterbalance we are unaware of, up, the down, we rarely observe the connection.

Self esteem is vastly different to self worth. You cannot measure self esteem by the valuation of time, because self esteem is seeking, it may be imitating a book, emulating a teacher, following some rules, and therefore, on a temporary high. Unsustainable fashions leads people to mark their self esteem as their true self, and suffer the bitterment of the consequences. A person who values their self esteem, will imitate, emulate, fake it till they make it. Self esteem is therefore the opinion we have of ourselves, or want to have of ourselves. WE measure self esteem, not by the value of time but in material terms, success, achievement, emotion, attachment and abundance. Self esteem is the appetite of the ego.

Self esteem needs to feel right, good, correct, intuitively inspired by activity. Self esteem needs to feel good in order for it to survive. Self esteem is a marvellous motivator. If we desire to feel good, our self esteem (ego) is demanding attention. It therefore motivates me into some sort of action depending on what we describe as feel good. Advertising agencies know this and promote products and their benefits. The benefit always appeals to some part of your self esteem being raised.

Self Esteem creates acid

Self esteem is the search to value who we are based on how we feel about ourselves. If someone makes us feel good about myself, then our self esteem goes up, and we say we like them. The better they make us feel, the more we love them.

There are many ways to build self esteem. Greed, possession, blame, victim, power, self importance, righteousness, hate, anger, resentment. You can see, that most of these cause acidity. This is why, in spirituality at least, self worth is heralded over self esteem.

So, the desire for high self esteem makes people addicted to feeling good, like: peace, being liked, approved of, admired, pursued, pleasured, succeeding, applauded, wanted, desired, God, spirituality, money, drugs, lovers, self; But is it real?

I think that when you are really facing the end of all your moments, I think, that you’d know what to do with them. I doubt that you’d seek self esteem!

I doubt you’d hold back love. I doubt that you’d judge and criticize, or worry and work on low priorities.

To say “I learned from the past” is foolish. What we mean is I wasted time in the past, and now I know it.

Intimacy is the perfect anti dote to acidity

If our ego fell away, and we were left naked, spiritually raw, we would have intimacy. Intimacy is where we meet without emotion or thought. Intimacy is where we collide, accidentally meet when self esteem, and all our trying to be and not be, just doesn’t matter. Intimacy are those moments when we actually “turn up” we arrive and, by absolute mistake, we are able to meet. When you are playing with your child, not even trying to make it a good play, or a bad one, not trying to stop trying or trying to not try to try. You are so there, there is no there. Then this is intimacy.

There is no acid in intimacy. We are not emotional in this moment because there is no awareness of time. We are not afraid of the future, or guilty about the past. We are here. And by accident we turn up, without expectation, we arrive.

Sometimes we meet over and over with one person. We call this intimacy a relationship. Sometimes that relationship lasts a few weeks or a few years, or even a few decades. Intimacy comes and we are there. Intimacy goes and we are not.

Intimacy lengthens our life. Lack of intimacy acidifies our life. Wanting is acidic, striving is acidic. Turning up is not acidic. When we exercise or work we can do so without making much acid, if we know how to be intimate with our exercise or work. Then, we are not worried or striving, or stressed, or panicking. We are enjoying. Making the best of it.

Many people are in relationships without intimacy. But this is nice for them because their self esteem gets boosted by being in certain relationships. The kids get looked after and the bills are paid. These are very nice reasons for some relationships. We shouldn’t condemn it, especially if we are single. But this is very acidic and arthritis, gout, body aches, liver, kidney and many bladder problems will come about.

When we do not have intimacy, when we are working and living to boost our self esteem (feel good) this to nature is the biggest waste of time. Nature values her time, she simply will not compromise. Depression is another of natures ways of dealing with acidity.

In Buddhist teaching, intimacy is defined as Loving Kindness. It is the closest description that they can find to intimacy, natures intent. In the Bible it speaks of love, love thy neighbour, and there are Hindu references to humility and great compassion (care without rescue)

We cannot teach intimacy to you. That is one thing no one can teach you. Intimacy is when you appreciate things as they are, you see the beauty in things and people as they are. Intimacy is the antidote to acidity. A person who is controlling, aggressive and manipulative, cannot know intimacy other than sex. And this is the shallowest taste of the true depth to which nature offers to take you.

Let nature be your guide. We are not here to repair acidity through herbs and spices. We are here to live as nature intended, with intimacy, loving kindness, a generosity of spirit. Here, all foods and toxin evaporate and a beautiful health is sustained.

With Spirit

Vitamin B Functions – Sources and Deficiencies

Vitamin B refers to a group of 8 vitamins. They are vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), vitamin B7 (Biotin), vitamin B8 (myo-inositol), vitamin B9 (Folic acid) and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin). Vitamin B plays a significant role in cell metabolism. At initial phase, scientists consider it is an individual vitamin much like we call vitamin A or vitamin C. However later in time, several scientific researches proved that they are cluster of chemically distinctive vitamins that may coexist in certain foods. Nutritional supplements containing all of the eight vitamins are referred to as vitamin B complex. On the other hand, nutritional supplement consisting of single vitamin B component is referred to specific name.

Vitamin B Functions

Vitamin B functions effectively for providing a whole host of health benefits. It maintains and boost up the metabolism rate. It also aids in maintaining healthy skin and offers flexibility in the muscle tone. Vitamin B functions well in managing a healthy immune system and it also offers a hale and hearty nervous system functioning. Vitamin B affects cell division and cell metabolism. It also affects the production of red blood cells. A deficiency in vitamin B may lead to anemia. Vitamin B complex is essential for fighting against different symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression and cardiovascular diseases.

All of the B vitamins are water soluble; however, a six year of vitamin B12 storage was seen in the liver, regardless of its water soluble nature.

Vitamin B Sources

The supply of vitamin B is abundant in nature. You can easily add it in your diet list. The natural sources may include potatoes, chili peppers, bananas, liver oil, tuna, lentils, tempeh, turkey and liver. Molasses and nutritional yeast are known sources of vitamin B.

Vitamin B Deficiencies

Inadequate supply of sufficient B-vitamins may lead to vitamin B deficiencies. It may cause different types of health complications. Lack of Thiamin or vitamin B1 may cause Beriberi. The typical symptoms may include weakness, disorder in nervous system, significant weight loss, irregular heart beat, and edema. Vitamin B deficiencies may also result in ariboflavinosis. Poor supply of vitamin B2 in diet may cause this complication. The common symptoms may include hypersensitivity to sunlight, edema, cheilosis, hyperemia and oral mucosa. Pellagra is another health complications occurred as a result of vitamin B deficiencies.

Niacin plays a major role here. Lack of niacin in regular diet may ensure the possibility of this health complication. Common symptoms may include aggression, dermatitis, confusion, insomnia and diarrhea. In severe cases, pellagra may cause mortality also.

Not so common in every day practice, but a deficiency in Pantothenic acid may cause vitamin B deficiencies. It may result in acne and paresthesia. A lack in pyridoxine supply may lead to a whole host of health complications. All of these complications are known health complications arising from vitamin B deficiencies. The common complications are depression, mood disorder, hypertension, anemia, water retention, and increased level of homocysteine. Inadequate supply of Biotin may result in vitamin B deficiencies that largely affect infants. It may lead to developmental disorder and neurological disorder among children. Folic acid deficiency may lead to an increased level of homocysteine, which may lead to birth defects during pregnancy. Deficiency in vitamin B12 may result in megaloblastic anemia, memory loss and cognitive decline.

Several studies are going on in the support of possible health benefits provided by vitamin B supplements. Studies reveal that folic acid may be found beneficial in preventing birth defects and combating against colorectal cancer. Additionally, it is documented that high levels of folate in combination with other vitamin supplements may actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. Typically clinical trials put emphasis on the combination of folate and vitamin B6 that are helpful in minimizing the potential risk factors triggering breast cancer. It is naturally available in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and asparagus.

Cure Your Heartburn – A Reader’s View

Anyone who suffers from heartburn or acid reflux would understand the pain and frustrations of these conditions. Apart from the physical pain, you are also faced with the dilemma looking for the right cure or treatment. I tried many heartburn treatments but in the end, it was the home remedies that worked for me. And here is my story.

I started to feel burning sensations in my chest and pains at my back. The pains got extremely bad. They felt like a heart attack and on a number of occasions, I attended the accident and emergency department of my local hospital.

A doctor decided to carry out a medical test on me. He explained that a camera would be inserted through my mouth into my stomach to determine underlying medical problems. I was relieved heart attack was ruled out.

I couldn’t describe how anxious l felt during the test, which ended up successfully. The doctor diagnosed acid reflux as the cause of my heartburn. This means acidic contents from my stomach re-fluxed upwards into my esophagus, irritating the lining and caused the heartburn. I felt better after I completed a 28 day course of omeprazole that the doctor prescribed for me. But weeks after the treatment the heartburn returned. I was devastated.

Out of desperation I started surfing the internet, digging for information on how to cure my heartburn. During one of these searches, I discovered a website which sells an ebook on how to cure heartburn and acid reflux. I read the sales letter and the testimonials. Amazingly, I discovered that this simple 32-page ebook changed the lives of more than 40 people in different countries around the world.

I found out how this ebook helped these people to cure their heartburn. Without thinking, I bought the ebook and downloaded it instantly within seconds. I read it on the same day and started to apply everything it said within a couple of hours.

Imagine how I felt after 3 days when I woke up one morning and went through the day without a single episode acid reflux or heartburn. I continued to feel better the following day and then the day after. It then dawned on me that the heartburn cure worked. Within one week I said good-bye to my heartburn and acid reflux.

With this positive experience I now decided to review this ebook, which I hope could benefit you too.

This is a 32-page instant downloadable e-book, written in plain simple English, which teaches you how to naturally cure your heartburn, acid reflux and digestive disorders. The author is William Lagadyn, a Natural Health Medical Researcher, Certified Nutritionist and Health Consultant. He suffered from heartburn and acid reflux himself and spent 15 years researching the conditions.

He offers a system that will cure naturally and permanently your heartburn and acid reflux. He presents in simple English what causes heartburn, acid reflux and other stomach conditions such as peptic ulcers.

He also presents a simple step by step plan, which shows you how to naturally heal your damaged esophageal sphincter valve and cure your heartburn within few days. The following are the areas he covered in his ebook:

• What really causes heartburn and acid reflux (pages 1-7)

• How to prevent chronic heartburn (pages 7-10)

• How to fix your heartburn problems fast (page 7)

• How your esophagus and LES got damaged (page 3)

• Why your esophagus is malfunctioning (page 3)

• How to live without drugs… Because you won’t need them (pages 14-32) and many others.

To conclude I am very grateful that this simple easy to follow ebook has helped me to cure my heartburn and acid reflux in less than a week. More than 40 people living in different parts of the world also testified how this simple ebook had changed their lives. The simple plan presented in this ebook does not require a long drawn process of a special diet, more exercise and other things others that you probably found in other books.

The Mediterranean Diet in a Nutshell

The Mediterranean Diet is based on the diet of people living in Greece, Italy, Southern France and Spain. Mediterraneans consume about the same amount of fat as Northern Europeans and Americans yet live longer, have a lower incidence of heart disease and cancer, and lower cholesterol levels.

An American doctor called Ancel Keys was the first person to comments favourably on the Mediterranean diet, way back in 1945, but its current popularity is based on research and observations from the last twenty years. The surprising thing is that people living in the Mediterranean typically consume more fat than North European countries and the USA, but have much reduced incidence of heart disease – the exact reasons are unknown, but it is likely that the main reason is that most of the fat in the Mediterranean Diet comes from olive oil and that there is more physical labour involved in their lives.

Nevertheless, we can all use Mediterranean diet recipes in our daily lives to be more healthy.

The Mediterranean Diet is rich in olive oil, fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, fish and unrefined cereals. Mediterranean people have a moderate consumption of dairy products and wine, and a low consumption of meat, meat products and saturated fat. The typical constituents of a Mediterranean diet are:-

Olive Oil

People living in the Mediterranean use olive oil, a monounsaturated oil, instead of saturated fats. They drizzle olive oil on their bread instead of butter, they use it as a salad dressing and cook with it.

Olive oil is rich in vitamins and antioxidants which help to prevent cancer, clogging of the arteries and heart disease. Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol and increases the amount of good cholesterol, keeping our arteries healthy. It helps to keep our digestive systems healthy, is good for brain development and is thought to help dissolve blood clots.

Look in your recipe collection for diet recipes using olive oil and substitute olive oil for saturated fats.

Fish

Northern Europeans and Americans eat a diet high in red meat, Mediterraneans eat a diet high in fish and shellfish. Red meat is a source of saturated fat which can cause heart disease whereas fish and shellfish are high in minerals and proteins, and low in fat. Oily fish such as salmon, fresh tuna, anchovies and swordfish are a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids which help to prevent heart disease.

Browse online for free recipes and Mediterranean diet recipes to incorporate more oily fish into your diet.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

The Mediterranean Diet is high in fresh fruit and vegetables. Mediterranean people shop at markets and buy fresh, seasonal produce. Fruit and vegetables are high in fibre, vitamins and minerals including antioxidants and do not contain cholesterol. A diet high in fruit and vegetables helps to protect us against cancer and heart disease, and also keeps our digestive systems healthy.

Wholegrains

Wholegrains are rich in essential vitamins and fibre. The fibre helps to keep our digestive systems in good working order. Wholegrains help to reduce cholesterol, reduce our risk of heart disease, some types of cancer and diabetes.

Legumes

Legumes are a good source of vitamins, minerals and soluble fibre. They help to reduce cholesterol, keep our digestive systems healthy and help to balance blood sugar levels. Look for diet recipes which use dried beans and pulses and add beans to stews and casseroles.

Red Wine

Mediterraneans enjoy drinking red wine in moderate amounts. Red wine is rich in flavanoids which contain antioxidants.

It is fairly easy to find Mediterranean diet recipes to add to our recipe collection, and even easier to modify our normal recipes to include more of the above foods, so why not give it a try.

Understanding Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a condition that is passed down from generation to generation. Parents pass it down to their children, their children’s children and so on and so forth. This condition is caused by a defective CFTR gene. A normal CFTR gene functions by regulating the movement of salt and protein in our body. In a defective CFTR gene, the protein being produced will also be defective, thus, causing the production of thick and sticky mucus. Studies have shown that more than 12 million Americans are considered to be carriers of the disease, while 30,000 manifest the condition.

People with cystic fibrosis can either be the carrier or the affected person. The carrier does not manifest the symptoms of the disease but just carries the defective gene. He will need another carrier so that they can both produce a child that is affected. Two carriers having four offsprings, hypothetically speaking, will produce a child that is both not affected and not a carrier, two children that are carriers, and one affected child. If one of the parents is not a carrier, their children would have a 50% chance of being a carrier and a 50% chance of being unaffected.

The affected child or person would be the one exhibiting symptoms of cystic fibrosis. It is not a very pretty picture, and the expected survival age would be around mid-30s. However, there are newer and better treatments that have been developed so people are optimistic.

The following would be the symptoms exhibited by a person affected with cystic fibrosis:

• Respiratory System

People with cystic fibrosis will have very thick and sticky mucus. This will make it hard for them to breathe properly. Due to the mucus build-up, they will be more prone to developing bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory infections.

• Digestive System

The mucus build-up does not only affect the respiratory system, but all other systems as well. In the digestive system, the mucus can block the ducts found in your pancreas and cause a malabsorption of protein and fats. This can lead to diarrhea and/or greasy, foul-smelling stools. Children with cystic fibrosis will exhibit malnutrition and poor weight gain.

• Reproductive System

In males affected with cystic fibrosis, they will not be able to have children because they do not have a vas deferens. Females, however fertile, will have a hard time conceiving a child because of the blockage of mucus plugs in her cervix.

• Integumentary System

A person affected with cystic fibrosis will have salty sweat or skin. The defective CFTR gene causes a malabsorption of salt content in the body, causing it to be released through the skin. One of the functions of salt is to retain fluids in the body. Without salt, your body will be losing large amounts of water and fluids, thus causing dehydration.

There are some people who confuse cystic fibrosis with black lung disease. These two conditions are very different. Black lung disease is an occupational hazard for coal miners. It is caused by inhaling too much coal therefore, it is not hereditary.

As mentioned earlier, cystic fibrosis is a very common condition among Americans – Caucasians in particular. It is best to have stock knowledge of the condition so that when the inevitable happens, you will be prepared.

The History And Evolution Of Banana Hybrids

Bananas are the world’s favorite fruit and many nations depend on banana trees to supply its citizens with this delicious food product to save them from famines. Bananas are available on markets year round and are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, containing only small hollow seed that are infertile. Ornamental bananas, ‘Musa ensete’ and ‘Musa nana’ are inedible but in high demand for landscaping.

India is the world’s largest producer of bananas and Alexander the Great found them growing there in 327 BC, when he conquered India. Soldiers of Alexander the Great returned to Greece and Persia with bulbs from banana plants, ‘Musa accuminata,’ where they were distributed and planted.

Antonius Musa, the personal physician of Augustus Caesar, imported the first banana trees, ‘Musa accuminata,’ to Rome from Africa in 63 BC. Later, slaves from Portugal brought bananas to Europe from Africa in the early 1400’s. Even though the banana is believed to have originated in India, (Eastern Asia), it was established in Africa and Europe as a staple food product many centuries ago and came into North America through Spanish missionaries.

Those first bananas that people knew in antiquity were not sweet like the bananas we know today, but were cooking bananas or plantain bananas with a starchy taste and composition. The bright yellow bananas that we know today were discovered as a mutation from the plantain banana by a Jamaican, Jean Francois Poujot, in the year 1836. He found this hybrid mutation growing in his banana tree plantation with a sweet flavor and a yellow color-instead of green or red, and not requiring cooking like the plantain banana. The rapid establishment of this new exotic fruit was welcomed worldwide, and it was massively grown for world markets.

Bananas are the world’s best selling fruit, outselling both apples and citrus; each American is estimated to eat 25 pounds of fruit every day. The ‘Cavendish’ banana is the most popular banana in the United States and over 400 cultivars of bananas are available on world markets. The leaves of banana trees are used as wrappers for steaming other foods inside, and the banana flower is also edible.

Each banana comes from a flower maturing into groups of 10-20 bananas called “hands” that circle the stalk, which collectively is called a ‘bunch.’ The bananas can require one year to mature after flowering in the field, and then the mother banana plant dies. The plant is restored the following season by offshoots from the mother plant. An original cluster of banana trees can grow continuously for 100 years, but are generally replaced in banana tree plantations after 25 years. Bananas ripen best and develop more sweetness, if the bunch is removed from the tree, allowing the fruit to ripen off the tree in a shady place to slowly ripen.

The banana tree can grow up to 30 feet tall, and the trunk of the tree grows to a width at the base of over 1 foot. The trunk of the banana plant is made of overlapping sheaths and stems with new growth emerging from the center of the trunk. The size of bananas can range from a fruit the size of a football to one as small as a child’s finger. Some bananas taste sweet, some starchy and some ornamental bananas are loaded with large seed and are considered inedible. The color of ripe bananas can range from green, orange, brown, yellow, or variegated with white stripes.

Most banana trees available today are grown from “mother” bulbs by taking offsets that form shoots. Those can be replanted to multiply and increase a banana tree plantation. These banana sprouts that form at the base of the ‘mother’ bulb can be shipped around the world to many countries, being almost genetically identical to the original banana plant parent of 10,000 years ago that mutated and stopped making seed and became the first naturally evolved hybrid.

Bananas are the largest exported fruit in the world, registering sales of 12 billion dollars a year for Chiquita and Dole. These bananas are imported into the United States from companies and plantations growing banana trees in India, South America and Africa. Many third world countries depend on the production of bananas to feed them as a major food staple, where they eat bananas 3 meals a day. Bananas are rich in sugars such as sucrose, glucose, and fructose, as well as fiber and special minerals containing potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron. Bananas contain tryptophan, a body protein that is converted to serotonin, a mood enhancer. They also are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin C. Doctors claim that eating bananas can cut the risk of sudden stroke by 40%, as published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Orthotic Leg Braces to Help You Walk Better – Benefits of AFOs

Are you looking back on the days when you used to be able to walk with envy?

Do you wish you could walk the way you used to?

1.) Introduction

When you have trouble walking it can be demoralizing. Maybe you already know that your gait has become a problem for you and you are not quite sure what to do about it. Your first thoughts might be, “I have to see a doctor”, while still hoping that you do not have to go in for a surgical procedure to get the problem corrected. – When you consider how many people have foot drop you may be shocked. Just think about it for a second, foot drop can be caused by a stroke, multiple sclerosis, CP, trauma, ALS, a brain tumor, fatigue, and the list goes on. This can add up quickly and you now can see why foot drop is more than just your problem, it is everywhere. – If walking is a problem for you then this free information can help you.

2.) Common Gait Problems

Do you, a friend, or family member have these kinds of gait problems?

A.) High Steppage Gait: This is when the patient lifts their knee high enough to move their foot from behind them, to a location in front of themselves, while walking. This is called “clearing the limb”. The need to move the legs while walking is obvious and if a person has a foot drop then a high steppage gait is commonly utilized to help move a foot that is not working at 100 %.

B.) Circumduction of The Leg: When an individual has a weakness or problem getting their limb through the gait cycle, they may use a gait deviation called, “circumduction”. When this occurs, the individuals will tend to move their leg in a half circle from behind them to a place in front of their body. Usually, people do not think about moving in a straight line and lifting their feet up as needed, to clear their limb. However, when you have weakness or other issues while walking, then circumduction can commonly be seen.

C.) Gait Deviations Can Be A Temporary Necessity

It basically becomes a necessity for many people with foot drop because they have to get from point A to point B and if they are going to do this then they will need to incorporate some kind of gait deviation. Nobody wants to walk like this, but when it comes down to it, these deviations can be what people utilize to walk around.

3.) Common Solutions To Walking Problems

A.) An AFO (Ankle Foot Orthosis): This brace is usually plastic and helps to support the foot and ankle. Typically, the plastic that is used for these braces is called Polypro, or Copoly. These are plastics that are considered to be thermoplastic. What this means is that they can be heated up and applied to a custom mold of your foot and ankle. In this way, this plastic can take the shape of your foot and ankle and you are much more likely to get the best fit possible, than if you just use a prefabricated brace. AFos can also be made from metal and leather as well. These kinds of braces are usually referred to as leg braces, orthotic leg braces, or orthopedic leg braces. The results are the same. These supports can help people walk better and it is best to work with an orthotist in your area to help you get the proper one for your needs. Orthotists are brace specialists that provide these kinds of supports whenever they are needed.

B.) The WalkAide

This is a newly FDA approved device helps people with a condition called foot drop. It uses what is called “functional electric stimulation” to help use your muscles that have been involved in the foot drop problem you currently have. No, this system is not for everyone, but it can be used for many indivudals with foot drop. When an individual has foot drop and they due to certain conditions like MS (multiple sclerosis), a stroke or brain tumor for example, this device can be very helpful. Incomplete spinal cord injury patients can also benefit from the use of this device.

*Note: This is health information. Although it is helpful, it is best to get medical advice on walking braces from your local, licensed orthotist.

The Causes and Risks of Salmonella in Babies

Every year more than 15.000 cases of salmonella in children under the age of 4 are reported in the US. Infants are most likely to get infected with salmonella, compared to all other age groups.

There are several factors that make the difference if a baby contracts salmonella or not:

Breastfeeding protects against most infectious diseases and thus breastfed babies are much less likely to get salmonella. Breastfeeding is so much easier than bottle feeding – and much less work. Think how much more hygienic it is than all those dirty bottles left behind.

Babies that are exposed to reptiles like turtles, snakes or lizards are more likely to contract salmonella. Please note, you should not have reptiles as pets in your home if you have children under the age of five. Go and visit a zoo if you are into reptiles.

If you put your infant into a shopping cart next to raw meat and poultry, he is more likely to get infected. So remember always to carry with you disinfectant wipes and clean the area where your child will sit. Put the unsafe items away from your child.

Babies that drink concentrated liquid infant formula are more likely to get infected. There might be several reasons for that. For once, the formula might not be sterile, or the company did not use clean and boiled water. Whatever the reason, just remember to stick with powdered formula or much better, breastfeed your baby.

A baby that attends a daycare center is more likely to get salmonella than if the child would stay at home. Point out to the caretakers that hygiene is very important to you. Check if they reinforce proper hand washing and proper diaper disposal.

Whatever the reasons, if your baby contracts salmonella, keep him dehydrated. The diarrhea he gets is not very dangerous. But it could get very dangerous if the bacterial infection gets into your baby’s blood. That could then be potentially life-threatening. This can cause pneumonia, meningitis, septic arthritis or a bone infection. So whenever a very young child has severe diarrhea, get to an emergency room as soon as possible. The quicker you treat the much better chances you have for a quick recovery.

To sum up:

Breastfeeding is the number one thing you can do to protect your baby. Not only in connection with salmonella.

The next important tip is to avoid contact with any reptiles. (50% of all reptiles are carriers of salmonella bacterias.)

Always buy quality food, especially eggs. Serve the eggs completely cooked and never poached or sunny-side-up.

Always use disinfectant gel or wipes when you are out and about in the supermarket using a shopping cart. You just don’t know what might have been in contact with the child’s seat or in general with the cart.

Don’t offer foods like raw cookie dough, chocolate mousse, ice cream that contains eggs,… to your infant.

One last thing, did you know that you cannot pass salmonella through breastfeeding to your child.

Build a White Cedar Sauna That Will Last a Lifetime

Growing up along the shores of Lake Superior meant that a traditional Finnish sauna was part your life. In fact some homes did not have a shower or a tub in the home. Instead a Finnish sauna with its cold water spicket or shower took their place. Most all saunas were built by the home owner using local designs. A cedar sauna was the most common type that was constructed. However some were also built using Eastern Hemlock.

A Northern white cedar sauna was the most preferred construction. For more than 300 years white cedar was used to line the cedar chests that people store their clothes in. When the clothes were taken from the chest they had the great fresh cedar smell that we all enjoyed. A cedar sauna also provides same great aroma as it was heated. Frequently the sauna stove was fueled with white cedar kindling. A cedar fire will snap loudly and quickly give a hot fire heating the cedar sauna in a matter of minutes even in the dead of winter.

Once the cedar sauna was heated, water was ladled on the stove rocks releasing moisture that further increased the cedar aroma. A white cedar sauna had more benefits that just a great aroma. White cedar is softwood that is very easy to work with but probably one of its best features is that it resists rot even in the wettest conditions. A sauna constructed of white cedar will last a long time despite the recurring cycles of high heat and moisture that would cause most wood products to breakdown and rot. Sauna benches, buckets, main door and ladle all were constructed of cedar as well.

In most cases the sauna walls were double sided with old time saunas having cedar logs on the outside and cedar walls on the inside all of which provide the cedar sauna with great insulation. Floors were also frequently constructed with cedar boards that were spaced to allow the water to naturally drain through them. A cedar floor is a lot warmer during the winter months as well. In some locations that have poorly drained soils a drainage system must be built beneath the sauna to carry excess water away. A good sauna must also have a good door that insulates and seals the heat inside. Because cedar is a good insulator and is a very light weight wood it is ideal for constructing a sauna door.

Choosing a good sauna stove is critical to making your sauna perform to its full potential. A good water proof firebox is important to assure that when you ladle water on the stove rocks it does not put your fire out. A good sauna stove will have the strength to hold enough rocks to provide the radiant heat that gives the cedar sauna all its great health benefits. If you live in an area where a wood fired sauna is not feasible you can still build a traditional sauna that uses an electric sauna heater. There are a number of manufactures that build good quality electric sauna stoves.

A cedar sauna is the best type of sauna no matter what type of heat source you use. Nothing beats the smell and look of a Northern white cedar. No matter what type of sauna you build and operate there is no better way to totally cleanse your body and improve your physical and mental well being. Start checking out the sauna sales and plans today and build your sauna.

Boost Your Immune System Naturally With Garlic, AKA the Stinking Rose!

Boost your Immune System!

Our Immune System – What is it really?

It’s a fantastic mechanism working within us, protecting us against disease by identifying and killing pathogens (infectious agents) and tumor cells. Our immune system identifies a range of nasty agents from viruses to parasitic worms and needs to set these apart from our own body’s healthy cells and tissues so that the healthy cells and tissues can function correctly.

Detection can be complex for the immune system as infectious agents can adapt and evolve to successfully infect us. To endure this challenge, the immune system endevours to develop mechanics to help recognize and neutralize these agents. So let’s give our immune system a helping hand by eating healthily!

“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” – Hippocrates, AD 390

“You cannot achieve environmental security and human development without addressing the basic issues of health and nutrition.” – Gro H. Brundtland

“Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper.” – Ancient proverb

“You are what you eat.” – Ancient proverb

Garlic (Allium Sativum) – The Super Food Germ Buster!

A.k.a. “the stinking rose”, this bulbous perennial grows up to one metre high, with light pink or green-white flowers. Native to Asia, garlic is now grown Worldwide. It is in the plant’s bulb (cloves) that has the antioxidant & medicinal properties.

Constituents:Nutrients: vitamins A, B, C, & E, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, & other minerals. Phyto-chemicals: allicin, alliin (potent sulphur amino acids), beta-carotene, & more!

Garlic’s Key Actions

– antioxidant, antibiotic, anti-viral, antiseptic, anti-parasitic, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, fungicide, expectorant

Garlic’s Key Actions

– antioxidant, antibiotic, anti-viral, antiseptic, anti-parasitic, antispasmodic, diuretic, fungicide, expectorant

Benefits

Garlic provides an excellent defense for our immune system and in turn our lymphatic system (major part of the immune system). It also provides help with other bodily systems, and therefore is a good all rounder for wellbeing.

Respiratory: Garlic has a long and established reputation for helping the immune system especially with sinusitis, asthma, colds, flu, bronchitis and catarrh of the stomach.

Circulatory: Research has shown that garlic can help to protect the cardiovascular system, reducing the risk of blood clotting, heart disease and other related conditions.

Other: Garlic was used to dress wounds during the First World War! It also helps to get rid of intestinal worms, stimulates bile for digestion of fats and helps reduce the occurrence of cancer.

Caution / Concern

Seek medical advice if taking blood thinning medication. Smaller consumption for children under the age of 12. Garlic is considered as a safe herb but as Lucretius said “What is food to one man may be fierce poison to others”. Also, too much of a good thing results in a bad thing. Moderation is usually key! Consider a clove or capsule equivalent for an easy guide to your daily dose for general well being.

The Italian Job by Michele Maes

Here’s a really tasty Italian, healthy food snack, or starter:

Toast a slice of bread, rub a glove of raw garlic (without the skin) onto the toast. Then rub half a sliced tomato on top of the garlic, & add some roughly chopped fresh basil. Drizzle a little amount of good quality virgin pressed olive oil over the toast and then lay very thin slices of Parmesan cheese on top. Delicious & healthy!

Immune Booster Juice

Tomatoes and carrots help contribute to your needed daily intake amount of vitamin C, ideal for maintaining a healthy body. Garlic, ginger and horseradish contain potent antioxidants and antiflammatory properties. All of these ingredients combined create a mighty anti-mucus punch!

The Hot Stuff Juice Mix, by miracle juicesTM

Ingredients:

300 g tomatoes, 100 g celery, 2.5cm fresh root ginger, roughly chopped, 1 garlic clove, 2 cm fresh horseradish, 175 g carrots, 2 ice cubes, celery slivers to decorate on top (optional). Juice all the ingredients (you need a juice extracting machine for this), mix the juice in blender or food processor with the ice cubes and serve. Decorate with celery slivers, if liked. Makes 150ml (1/2 pint).

Some of the Nutritional Values: calories: 189, Vitamin A: 51253 iu, Vitamin C: 87mg, Zinc: 5-52mg

NB: The contents of these articles are for information purposes only. The reader is recommended to think carefully about any difficulties he or she is having with their own health and to consult their doctor if uncertain as to its cause or nature.

Treatment of Cavus Foot Deformity With the DonJoy Arch Rival

The DonJoy Arch Rival Orthotic was developed in collaboration with Dr. Arthur Manoli, II, MD, director of Michigan International Foot and Ankle Center and Brian Graham, C Ped.. According to Dr. Manoli, Cavus Foot Deformities may affect up to 30% of the population.

A Cavus Foot Deformity is a term that describes a number of foot shapes, with the common factor being a “high arch”. This foot type changes the biomechanics of the foot during gait, causing an array of foot deformities and foot conditions, including bunions, callous formation and hammertoe deformities.

Most people are born with a high arch, just as some people are born with flat feet. There are some neuromuscular diseases such as Charcot Marie Tooth Disease that cause a high arch, but we will discuss the mild to moderate type that are the most common.

A high arched foot can also cause ankle sprains, leg pain and back pain due the position of the heel (varus), and poor shock absorption of the foot/ankle complex.

According to Dr. Manoli, rigid molded orthotics are not indicated for patients with cavus feet, as they tend to aggravate the condition, and reduce shock absorption, causing foot stiffness and stress related metatarsal fractures.

The DonJoy Arch Rival was designed specifically for patients suffering from mild to moderate Cavus Foot Deformities. Its patented , prefabricated orthotic design, ensures natural foot function, stability during gait and improved shock absorption. The unique feature of the Arch Rival is the recessed area under the head of the first metatarsal.

In may patients with a Cavus foot type, the first metatarsal is plantarflexed or below the normal level of the ball of the foot. When a patient lands on the ball of the foot, the first metatarsal strikes the ground first, causing it to elevate. This disrupts the natural gait cycle. In many patients, the first metatarsal complex is rigid and does not elevate, forcing the foot to turn outwards. Painful callus formation occurs under the first metatarsal due to the abnormal pressure that occurs. By creating a recess area or “pocket” under the head of the metatarsal, brings the ball of the foot into a more natural alignment, and therefore improved gait.

The addition of an elevated cushioned heel, improves shock absorption during heel strike, and accommodates patients with tight calf musculature, a common side effect of a Cavus foot type.

The Arch Rival is made of an anti-microbial, thermodynamic material that helps prevent bacteria growth, odor and blister formation.

The DonJoy Arch Rival comes in 7 different sizes that can also be trimmed for a more customized fit.

Please consult with your treating doctor or therapist to determine if the DonJoy Arch Rival is the orthotic device for your condition.

Real Zombies? The Russian Sleep Experiment

Russian researchers in the late 1940’s kept five people awake for fifteen days using an experimental gas based stimulant. They were kept in a sealed environment to carefully monitor their oxygen intake so the gas didn’t kill them, since it was toxic in high concentrations. This was before closed circuit cameras so they had only microphones and five inch thick glass porthole sized windows into the chamber to monitor them. The chamber was stocked with books, cots to sleep on but no bedding, running water and toilet, and enough dried food to last all five for over a month. The test subjects were political prisoners deemed enemies of the state during World War II.

Everything was fine for the first five days, the subjects hardly complained having been promised (falsely) that they would be freed if they submitted to the test and did not sleep for 30 days. Their conversations and activities were monitored and it was noted that they continued to talk about increasingly traumatic incidents in their past, and the general tone of their conversations took on a darker aspect after the four day mark.

After five days they started to complain about the circumstances and events that lead them to where they were and started to demonstrate severe paranoia. They stopped talking to each other and began alternately whispering to the microphones and one way mirrored portholes. Oddly they all seemed to think they could win the trust of the experimenters by turning over their comrades, the other subjects in captivity with them.

At first the researchers suspected this was an effect of the gas itself. After nine days the first of them started screaming. He ran the length of the chamber repeatedly yelling at the top of his lungs for three hours straight. He continued attempting to scream but was only able to produce occasional squeaks. The researchers postulated that he had physically torn his vocal cords. The most surprising thing about this behavior is how the other captives reacted to it, or rather didn’t react to it. They continued whispering to the microphones until the second of the captives started to scream.

The two non screaming captives took the books apart, smeared page after page with their own feces and pasted them calmly over the glass portholes. The screaming promptly stopped. So did the whispering to the microphones. After three more days passed. The researchers checked the microphones hourly to make sure they were working, since they thought it impossible that no sound could be coming with five people inside. The oxygen consumption in the chamber indicated that all five must still be alive. In fact it was the amount of oxygen five people would consume at a very heavy level of strenuous exercise.

On the morning of the 14th day the researchers did something they said they would not do to get a reaction from the captives. They used the intercom inside the chamber, hoping to provoke any response from the captives, whom they feared were either dead or vegetables. They announced: “We are opening the chamber to test the microphones step away from the doors and lie flat on the floor or you will be shot. Compliance will earn one of you your immediate freedom.” To their surprise they heard a single phrase in a calm voice response: “We no longer want to be freed.” Debate broke out among the researchers and the military forces funding the research. Unable to provoke any more response using the intercom it was finally decided to open the chamber at midnight on the fifteenth day.

The chamber was flushed of the stimulant gas and filled with fresh air and immediately voices from the microphones began to object. Three different voices began begging, as if pleading for the life of loved ones to turn the gas back on. The chamber was opened and soldiers sent in to retrieve the test subjects. They began to scream louder than ever, and so did the soldiers when they saw what was inside.

Four of the five subjects were still alive, although no one could rightly call the state that any of them in ‘life.’ The food rations past day five had not been so much as touched. There were chunks of meat from the dead test subject’s thighs and chest stuffed into the drain in the center of the chamber, blocking the drain and allowing four inches of water to accumulate on the floor. Precisely how much of the water on the floor was actually blood was never determined. All four ‘surviving’ test subjects also had large portions of muscle and skin torn away from their bodies. The destruction of flesh and exposed bone on their finger tips indicated that the wounds were inflicted by hand, not with teeth as the researchers initially thought. Closer examination of the position and angles of the wounds indicated that most if not all of them were self-inflicted. The abdominal organs below the ribcage of all four test subjects had been removed. While the heart, lungs and diaphragm remained in place, the skin and most of the muscles attached to the ribs had been ripped off, exposing the lungs through the ribcage. All the blood vessels and organs remained intact, they had just been taken out and laid on the floor, fanning out around the eviscerated but still living bodies of the subjects. The digestive tract of all four could be seen to be working, digesting food.

It quickly became apparent that what they were digesting was their own flesh that they had ripped off and eaten over the course of days. Most of the soldiers were Russian special operatives at the facility, but still many refused to return to the chamber to remove the test subjects. They continued to scream to be left in the chamber and alternately begged and demanded that the gas be turned back on, lest they fall asleep. To everyone’s surprise the test subjects put up a fierce fight in the process of being removed from the chamber.

One of the Russian soldiers died from having his throat ripped out, another was gravely injured by having his testicles ripped off and an artery in his leg severed by one of the subject’s teeth. Another five of the soldiers lost their lives if you count ones that committed suicide in the weeks following the incident. In the struggle, one of the four living subjects had his spleen ruptured and he bled out almost immediately. The medical researchers attempted to sedate him but this proved impossible. He was injected with more than ten times the human dose of a morphine derivative and still fought like a cornered animal, breaking the ribs and arm of one doctor. When heart was seen to beat for a full two minutes after he had bled out to the point there was more air in his vascular system than blood. Even after it stopped he continued to scream and flail for another three minutes, struggling to attack anyone in reach and just repeating the word “MORE” over and over, weaker and weaker, until he finally fell silent.

The surviving three test subjects were heavily restrained and moved to a medical facility, the two with intact vocal cords continuously begging for the gas demanding to be kept awake. The most injured of the three was taken to the only surgical operating room that the facility had. In the process of preparing the subject to have his organs placed back within his body it was found that he was effectively immune to the sedative they had given him to prepare him for the surgery. He fought furiously against his restraints when the anesthetic gas was brought out to put him under. He managed to tear most of the way through a four inch wide leather strap on one wrist, even through the weight of a 200 pound soldier holding that wrist as well. It took only a little more anesthetic than normal to put him under, and the instant his eyelids fluttered and closed, his heart stopped. In the autopsy of the test subject that died on the operating table it was found that his blood had triple the normal level of oxygen. His muscles that were still attached to his skeleton were badly torn and he had broken nine bones in his struggle to not be subdued. Most of them were from the force his own muscles had exerted on them.

The second survivor had been the first of the group of five to start screaming. His vocal cords destroyed he was unable to beg or object to surgery, and he only reacted by shaking his head violently in disapproval when the anesthetic gas was brought near him. He shook his head yes when someone suggested, reluctantly, they try the surgery without anesthetic, and did not react for the entire six hour procedure of replacing his abdominal organs and attempting to cover them with what remained of his skin. The surgeon presiding stated repeatedly that it should be medically possible for the patient to still be alive. One terrified nurse assisting the surgery stated that she had seen the patients mouth curl into a smile several times, whenever his eyes met hers. When the surgery ended the subject looked at the surgeon and began to wheeze loudly, attempting to talk while struggling. Assuming this must be something of drastic importance the surgeon had a pen and pad fetched so the patient could write his message. It was a simple “Keep cutting.”

The other two test subjects were given the same surgery, both without anesthetic as well. Although they had to be injected with a paralytic for the duration of the operation. The surgeon found it impossible to perform the operation while the patients laughed continuously. Once paralyzed the subjects could only follow the attending researchers with their eyes. The paralytic cleared their system in an abnormally short period of time and they were soon trying to escape their bonds. The moment they could speak they were again asking for the stimulant gas. The researchers tried asking why they had injured themselves, why they had ripped out their own guts and why they wanted to be given the gas again. Only one response was given: “I must remain awake.”

All three subject’s restraints were reinforced and they were placed back into the chamber awaiting determination as to what should be done with them. The researchers, facing the wrath of their military ‘benefactors’ for having failed the stated goals of their project considered euthanizing the surviving subjects. The commanding officer, an ex-KGB instead saw potential, and wanted to see what would happen if they were put back on the gas. The researchers strongly objected, but were overruled.

In preparation for being sealed in the chamber again the subjects were connected to an EEG monitor and had their restraints padded for long term confinement. To everyone’s surprise all three stopped struggling the moment it was let slip that they were going back on the gas. It was obvious that at this point all three were putting up a great struggle to stay awake. One of subjects that could speak was humming loudly and continuously; the mute subject was straining his legs against the leather bonds with all his might, first left, then right, then left again for something to focus on.

The remaining subject was holding his head off his pillow and blinking rapidly. Having been the first to be wired for EEG most of the researchers were monitoring his brain waves in surprise. They were normal most of the time but sometimes flat lined inexplicably. It looked as if he were repeatedly suffering brain death, before returning to normal. As they focused on paper scrolling out of the brainwave monitor only one nurse saw his eyes slip shut at the same moment his head hit the pillow. His brainwaves immediately changed to that of deep sleep, then flat-lined for the last time as his heart simultaneously stopped.

The only remaining subject that could speak started screaming to be sealed in now. His brainwaves showed the same flat-lines as one who had just died from falling asleep. The commander gave the order to seal the chamber with both subjects inside, as well as three researchers. One of the named three immediately drew his gun and shot the commander point blank between the eyes, then turned the gun on the mute subject and blew his brains out as well. He pointed his gun at the remaining subject, still restrained to a bed as the remaining members of the medical and research team fled the room.

“I won’t be locked in here with these things! Not with you!” he screamed at the man strapped to the table. “WHAT ARE YOU?” he demanded. “I must know!”

The subject smiled. “Have you forgotten so easily?” The subject asked. “We are you.” “We are the madness that lurks within you all, begging to be free at every moment in your deepest animal mind.” “We are what you hide from in your beds every night. We are what you sedate into silence and paralysis when you go to the nocturnal haven where we cannot tread.”

The researcher paused, then aimed at the subject’s heart and fired. The EEG flat-lined as the subject weakly choked out “so… nearly… free… “

Care Package After Surgery – What to Include

Any surgery that requires someone to undergo bed rest at the hospital or at home is serious enough to warrant sending him or her a nice care package. Sending a care package says just that – that you care and want them to get better. A care package is warmly-received whether you deliver it in person or send it via the mail.

Being on bed rest or otherwise not feeling up to par during the recovery phase after surgery is no fun for anyone. Whether the surgery was elective or done under a situation of disease or duress, recovery always involves changing one’s routine for a while. Imagine how nice it would be for your friend, family member or colleague to receive a nice package of goodies from someone who cares. Not only does the gesture express warmth – it also can just be a lot of fun to get an unexpected gift.

A good care package is all about what goes inside of it. Even though you will score points for just the thought itself, you will make him or her smile even more big and brightly if you put together a winning package.

If you are looking for what to include in a care package after surgery, here are some tips that can help:

1. Let your inner child help you choose:

Think about the situation your friend or family member is in: they are hanging around the hospital room or bedroom in their robe and PJs. They are wearing slippers. There’s lots of down time. Sounds kind of like a kid on summer vacation, right? While surgery post-op is obviously no vacation, it is definitely a change from “business as usual” for this person. So, throw your logical pre-conceptions out the window and just let your inner child guide your choices for what to include. It’s okay to be a little bit whimsical in your selections.

2. Choose items that will fill their time:

After surgery, one thing a person does have a lot of is time on their hands. The hours can pass awfully slowly when you are used to being active and busy but now are confined to a hospital bed. Choose items like games and puzzles that keep them busy. If you have the money, those little hand-held video games (usually costing $10-$15 or less) can be a great way to pass the time. Sudoku and crossword puzzles are also a kick for people who like games.

3. Pick an unusual or specialty magazine:

Right now, life is not business as usual for this person. So, why not get him or her a magazine that they may not have read in a long time. Did they like Mad Magazine as a kid 10 or 20 years ago? Maybe that would be fun. Or, get them one on knitting or extreme sports or computers or art. Surprise him or her!

4. Bring something that reminds them of friends and family:

Being all cooped up all day can be a little bit lonely. Why not bring your friend a photo album with pics from home, the office, or a recent trip? In today’s world of online photo sharing, the art of making a good physical photo album has been lost for many of us. If you don’t have lots of time to spend making an album, just buy a plastic one at the drugstore and insert 10 or 20 fun photos. The goal is to remind the surgery patient you know of people who care.

5. Include some fun foods:

Include a can, box or bag of their favorite snack food. Remember: don’t go overboard with giving food, since they may be under strict doctor’s orders to stick to a certain diet. If that’s the case, just tell them that the food is for when they get better soon.

A few more gift ideas:

a. an ice pack

b. a box of Thank You notes that they can use to thank people who have brought them gifts or visited

c. a silly piece of jewelry or novelty item

d. a pre-paid calling card so they can call an old friend

e. a prayer book or book of meditations

f. a CD or DVD

When putting together your care package, put on your “creativity” hat and get going. It can be a lot of fun to put together, and it will mean the world to your friend, family member or colleague during their time of need.