Ginseng Differences and Benefits – How to Choose the Best Ginseng for Your Needs

Ginseng is known as an adaptogenic herb. An adaptogen is an herb that regulates and helps the body handle stress and maintain vitality. Adaptogens are used for long term revitalization and not for immediate energy like central nervous system stimulants such as caffeine.

Ginseng is grown in many parts of the world. The roots are the part of the plant used for all Ginseng products. Each variety has its own health benefits. Ginseng benefits are cumulative. Taking the herb for several months to a year is far more effective than short-term doses. Ginsengs are used in many Eastern formulas to complement other herbs.

Ginseng in general provides energy to all body systems, is a stimulant for brain and memory centers, helps lower cholesterol and regulates sugar use in the body. Ginseng also promotes regeneration from stress and fatigue. All Ginsengs contain measurable amounts of germanium, a trace mineral also in mushrooms.

Panax Ginseng, (Also known as Asian Ginseng, Korean Ginseng, Chinese Ginseng, Ren Shen, Xi Yang Shen, or Say Yang Sum), grown in Korea is the broadest spectrum of all adaptogenic herbs. It is also considered one of the most prized and expensive herbs. Panax ginseng stimulates both long and short-term energy, so is know as a yang tonic replenishing Qi (energy.)

Panax is rich in phyto-hormones for both men and women’s problems. For men it helps in the formation of testosterone and for women it protects against breast cancer, hence the term adaptogenic (it will adapt to the needs of the body no matter what is needed and no matter what sex.) For this reason, Panax also fits into the aphrodisiac category. Panax Ginseng is used for enhancing the immune system, impotence and premature ejaculation, poor sleep and nervous exhaustion. It is especially useful for older bodies with debilitating conditions.

Contraindications: Panax, meaning panacea, is NOT universally applicable in every illness like its name implies. Yang Ginsengs should not be taken during acute inflammatory disease or for bronchitis. Use the yin American Ginseng for bronchitis. The yang Ginsengs are used in combination with other herbs to temper their powerful nature.

American Ginseng (Also called Panax quinquefolius, Xi Yan Shen) is a yin tonic. Yin tonics are cooling and slowing in nature. American Ginseng is used in China for fevers and for exhaustion due to chronic wasting diseases. It is also used for coughs related to lung weaknesses (such as tuberculosis, bronchial infections or asthma.)

Siberian Ginseng (also called Eleuthero or Eleutherococcus senticosus) comes from China. It is known for its long-term energy effects on the adrenal glands and circulation. In this day and age, most of our American population is overtaxing their adrenal glands with excess stress. There are just too many tasks enticing us to utilize our available time. We are spending less and less time with our families and doing what nourishes us (our Life Purpose or God Path.) Siberian Ginseng is a yang tonic herb, so it stimulates fast, hot, male energy type of function. Siberian Ginseng has been used for rheumatic complaints, low vitality, and weak liver and kidney energy for about 2000 years. It is considered less heating (less yang) than the Panax varieties (therefore safer.)

I use Siberian Ginseng in my “Old Dog Formula” to increase the circulation to the butt muscles and lower spine. I once had a client who came in regularly for Old Dog Formula for their two very aged shelties. I noticed that they came in a bit more regularly than they should for the dosage I had recommended. When I asked them about it, they confessed that they were also using the product with fabulous results. I like it too and use it occasionally for gardening season.

Panax notoginseng (Also known as Pseudoginseng or San Qi) is grown in China and is used as an analgesic and to stop internal and external bleeding. It is also added to treatments for coronary heart disease and angina. Quite interestingly, San Qi was used extensively by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War to increase recovery rates from gunshot wounds. Avoid this one during pregnancy. It could harm the fetus.

Wild Ginseng, from Manchuria, is considered the best, but is extremely expensive. For centuries in the East, top-grade Ginseng roots have been valued more than gold.

Ginseng comes in two varieties, red and white. Red Ginseng is cured by steaming which gives it its color and yang attributes.

So, next time you go to the health food store, don’t just ask for Ginseng, be specific.

Beyond Self Esteem – What is Actualizing Tendency?

Actualizing Tendency works on the premise that everything living, no matter how simple or complex that organism is, it will do its best, that all living organisms are programmed to survive and do as well as they possibly can.

Have you ever wondered how a potato left in a dark space, with no water of food still manages to sprout new growth? It has the very minimum, only its self, yet against all the odds, it does what it is meant to do, it grows and creates new life, it reaches it’s full potential. This is a good example of Actualizing Tendency.

Against all of the odds and with all of the problems us Humans encounter in life, we overcome most of them on our own. We do this by using our inner resources and we create supportive mechanisms to assist us when we need help. Yes, there are times when things get tough, however we mostly get through tough times in a remarkable manner.

There are times when our Actualizing Tendency is not as efficient as it could be. If we have low Self Esteem, we cannot believe that we have within ourselves the resolve and skills required to get us out of some difficult situations. Maybe we have never had to rely on ourselves and therefore are not aware of the power within, either way, many people find it difficult to understand the concept that we can mostly solve our own problems.

Often people have to tune into their inner resources and understand how to harness it for their everyday life. Many find that working with a Therapist or Life Coach helps them to understand the concept of Actualizing Tendency and to learn how to use the gift we were born with.

When a person can believe and understand Actualizing Tendency, it is powerful for them to have that self belief, knowing that they can succeed and reach their full potential, what that potential is, is a matter of choice and is ultimately the individuals decision or choice.

Lords Of Dogtown – The Real Story Of The Z-Boys

The site of the former Pacific Ocean Park in the beach district on the Venice and Santa Monica border is something of a sacred legend within the skateboarding and surfing community. The area, which is nicknamed Dogtown, was immortalised in the 2001 skateboarding documentary, Dogtown and Z-Boys, and later in the 2005 feature film, Lords of Dogtown, which was based on the characters and events introduced in Dogtown and Z-Boys.

Dogtown and Z-Boys, directed by Stacy Peralta (himself a member of the original Z-Boys) and narrated by Hollywood star Sean Penn, tells the history of skateboarding. The documentary charts the story of a group of teenage surfer/skateboarders in Santa Monica, known as the Z-Boys, and their influence on the history of skateboarding (and to a lesser extent surfing) culture, using a mix of film of the Z-Boys shot in the 1970s and more recently conducted interviews.

The aerial and sliding skate moves that the Z-Boys invented were the basis for the aerial skateboarding and surfing still popular today. These were just twelve ordinary teenagers who hung out in the Santa Monica neighbourhood of Dogtown who just wanted to surf and skate. They could never have known that they would start a revolution by turning what was a recreational past-time into an extreme sport.

Considered the most influential skateboard team in history, the Z-Boy movement continues to this day as an expression of performance, innovation and style.

Known officially as the Zephyr Skateboard Team, the Z-Boys began when they transferred their surf skills to drain pipes and empty swimming pools with stunning results. Their acrobatic maneuvers inspired generations of teens to join the skateboarding frenzy and catapulted them to fame and fortune; the majority of the original Z-Boys went on to compete professionally. Bob “Bullet” Biniak retired from skating in 1980, but went on to play golf professionally, while the only female member of the Z-Boys, Peggy Oki, rejected skating in favour of surfing, and has competed in surf contests all over the world. Jim Muir and Tony Alva both rejected deals from major skate companies to set up on their own, and were the first skateboarders to ever do so.

In 2005, Stacy Peralta wrote the screenplay for Lords of Dogtown, which dramatically retold the Dogtown days. Starring Heath Ledger and Rebecca De Mornay, and featuring a cameo from perhaps the world’s most famous modern day skateboarder Tony Hawk, Lords of Dogtown focused more on the relationships between the Z-Boys, looking at their friendships, how they coped with fame, and how they grew more and more competitive towards one another. It also focused heavily on the tragic loss of Z-Boy associate Sid, who lost a battle against brain cancer.

Skateboarders or surfers keen to make a pilgrimage to the legendary and iconic Dogtown for themselves can find a hotel in Santa Monica for their accommodation needs, and thankfully, the area has improved a lot since the Dogtown days.

The story of the Dogtown and Z-Boys is an inspiring tale of determination, rebellion, and friendship, and even those who have no interest in skateboarding or surfing, and been won over by this fascinating little piece of American sub-culture.

Top 10 Guinea Pig Care Mistakes Or How To Extend Your Piggie’s Lifespan

Guinea pigs, originating from Peru and Bolivia, are wonderful pets – cute, social, yet inexpensive and relatively easy to take care of. However, most beginner guinea pig owners don’t know much about the animals. In fact, guinea pigs, like other small rodents, are rather delicate and an illness contracted for instance by a cold draft can be fatal for them within a very short period of time.

The most common mistakes made by inexperienced guinea pig owners include the following:

10) Wrong cage placement. Both too hot or too cold temperatures are bad for guinea pigs. They can easily get heatstroke at temperatures of above 90F (30C), but can also freeze at temperatures below 70F (10C). Drafts are to be avoided as well, since they can cause pneumonia.

9) Mistakes when handling. The correct way to pick up and hold a guinea pig is by placing one hand below the body, with the thumb around a front leg, and supporting the weight with the second hand below the hindquarters. A guinea pig should never be pulled by the fur or by a leg.

8) Not clipping nails. This should be done regularly, at least once a month, since the nails grow and get in the way of the guinea pig. If a long nail breaks, it may lead to infections and abscesses.

7) Using a wire mesh bottom cage. This is not a good idea with guinea pigs, since their small feet slip through the mesh and get irritated by the metal, causing foot sores and an illness called bumblefoot. A solid floor cage with a soft bedding like pelleted paper is much better.

6) Placing a boar and a sow together without being prepared for the consequences – a bunch of little guinea pigs. If not neutered, male and female guinea pigs put together will in all likelihood mate and cause offspring. Breeding guinea pigs is in general not recommended if you are not fully aware of the consequences.

5) Not making the house guinea-pig-proof. There are numerous danger in a typical household for a guinea pig on the loose. The most obvious ones include anything that moves – be it people, doors, things that can fall down, or anything that can squeeze a guinea pig. Another one is cables – guinea pigs chew everything in sight, and electric cables are not very good food! Green plants are another potential threat to guinea pig health – a lot of them (such as ficus or azalea) cause food poisoning if chewed on.

4) Not cleaning the cage regularly and often enough. Guinea pigs are clean animals and feel miserable in a dirty cage. Bad hygiene is also often the reason for infections and various serious diseases. A guinea pig cage should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a week (better twice), with the whole

bedding renewed. Food bowls and the water tube should be cleaned daily.

3) Not providing enough space and exercise. A sight seen very often is a guinea pig hunched in the corner of a small cage, barely moving from that spot all day. Combined with unrestricted dry food access, this is a sure way to make a guinea pig overweight and thus significantly reduce its lifespan. For guinea pigs, the same basic principle applies as for humans – leaner is better. A healthy guinea

pig should feel firm to the touch, not soft and wobbly. Methods to ensure that your guinea pig is in good shape and not overweight include enough space (at least 3-4 sq.ft for an adult guinea pig), toys to play with, regular exploration forays outside of the cage, and restricted food access (for instance, feeding twice a day).

2) Incorrect bedding. Wood shavings in particular, although very frequently used, are not a good bedding for guinea pigs. They can cause foot sores, injuries to the cavies’ delicate eyes, and wood dust which often accompanies shavings causes respiratory (lung) problems. Some kinds of wood, such as

cedar or redwood, also contain oily components that can also cause allergies and illnesses with guinea pigs.

1) Improper food. This is probably the most frequent cause of illnesses and deaths among pet guinea pigs. In particular, feeding a lot of moist vegetables such as lettuce can cause diarrhea, which can be lethal for a guinea pig within one or two days. Insufficient access to water (for instance, failure to notice that a gravity water bottle’s ball was stuck and the guinea pig cannot drink enough) leads to dehydration and is also quite dangerous. Providing water in open bowls instead of a bottle can lead to contamination with droppings and bedding material and various infections as a result.

What Is the Best Lingerie for Winter?

So you are looking for what is the best lingerie for winter? And who said your choice of lingerie during winter is not important? Just because you are always wrapped up and are always wearing layers and layers of clothing on top of each other, doesn’t mean you have to wear just any lingerie you have in your wardrobe. Remember, your choice of lingerie is important whatever the season is. The secret to feeling sexy whatever you’re wearing on top is what you’re actually wearing underneath! So read on and learn about the best types of lingerie to wear during winter.

For lingerie to wear underneath your going out clothes, a nice corset will do the trick. Corsets have always been sexy, both in the eyes of the observer and in the eyes of the wearer. Since corsets enclose the middle torso, it also gives you this seductive look as it pushes your chest up and sculpts the shape of your waist. There’s also enough coverage to keep you warm which makes it perfect for winter! Corsets are perfect for every body type, even if you’re a plus size as these are adjustable anyway.

When it comes to color, the best colors for winter would be black, blue, violet or just any dark color. Dark colored lingerie or just any dark colored material absorbs heat more, compared to light colored ones, making it suitable for cold weathers.

In the bedroom, of course you wouldn’t want to freeze to death so pajamas are your best option! You might think that pajamas do not look appealing at all especially in the bedroom but there are actually a lot of pajamas out there that come in sexy styles! Try getting a set that comes with a fitted camisole top that would show off your décolletage. This would sure keep you looking sexy and at the same time keep you warm on a winter night.

Other great lingerie choices for the bedroom would be camisoles and fitted sweats. Like what’s been said before, not all pajamas are un-sexy at all! There are a lot of good finds out there that will keep you looking sexy while keeping you warm and cozy on a winter night. While you can also wear babydolls and teddies, cami sets in long pants would definitely be a better choice especially when it comes to keeping you warm through the night.

There’s no need to worry anymore about feeling un-sexy for wearing layers and layers of clothing during the winter season because you can still feel sexy underneath! Just make sure you wear the right lingerie with a sexy style so you’d feel sexy inside and out no matter how cold the weather is!

Cystic Fibrosis – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited disease of the mucous and sweat glands, which affects mostly the lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, sinuses and sex organs. This condition is also known as CF, Fibrocystic Disease or Mucoviscidosis. CF is caused by a defect in the CFTR gene which makes a protein that controls the movement of salt and water in and out of the cells of the body. A dysfunction of this gene causes the thick, sticky mucous and very salty sweat, which are the main features of this condition. CF is an inherited disease, which is more common in people from Northern Europe, Latin Americans and Native Americans.

Common symptoms of CF include frequent coughing with thick sputum; bronchitis; pneumonia; salty skin; dehydration; male infertility; diarrhea or bulky, foul smelling or greasy stools; stomach pain and discomfort; and failure to thrive. CF can also cause sinusitis, bronchiectasis, pancreatitis, recurrent intestinal blockage, nasal polyps, clubbing, collapsed lung, rectal prolapse, liver disease, diabetes, gall stones and low bone density. The sweat test is the most useful diagnostic test for CF.

The Ayurvedic treatment of CF is aimed at liquefying the thick sticky mucous, preventing blockage in secretory organs and preventing or controlling infections. Medicines which act on the ‘Ras’ and ‘Rakta’ dhatus (tissues) of the body are useful in this condition. These medicines include Indrayav (Holharrhina antidysentrica), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Patha ( Cissampelos pareira) and Musta (Cyperus rotundus). Other medicines which are useful in this condition are Arogya-Vardhini, Triphala-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Gokshuradi-Guggulu and Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu. Medicines like Sunthi (Zinziber officinalis), Marich (Piper nigrum) and Pippali (Piper longum), which are collectively called Trikatu; and medicines like Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Behada (Terminalia bellerica) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), which are collectively known as Triphala; are very useful in this condition, and have to be given on a long term basis, or probably life long, in very small doses.

Since this is an inherited disorder, life long life-style changes need to be made. Good self care includes eating a healthy diet, washing and exercising frequently, drinking lots of fluids, doing chest physical therapy regularly and taking medicines as prescribed. It is important that all such patients be under the regular care and supervision of a medical team which specializes in CF.

TMJ Symptoms – 7 Warning Signs of TMJ Symptoms

The temporomandibular joint or TMJ is ball and socket joint responsible for the way your jaw moves, and can be found on the side of your face. Due to TMJ disorders being so common, it is important that you are able to recognize the TMJ symptoms and warning signs so that they can be treated correctly.

Here are the 7 most common warning signs of TMJ symptoms:

1. Headaches

Headaches are by far one of the most common complaints of TMJ disorder. Often, these headaches are so severe that they can easily be mistaken for migraines. However, with TMJ symptoms, TMJ headaches are often felt behind the eyes, the temple area, and the back of the head. In some cases, the pain will also radiate to the neck and shoulders.

2. Tenderness

One of the other major TMJ symptoms is tenderness. This tenderness is often experienced in the jaw area and can be localized to the joint itself or it could radiate up to your ears.

3. Congestion or ringing ears

In the absence of ear infection, congestion or ringing in the ears can relate to a TMJ disorder. Other things that can accompany this, is the loss of hearing, loss of balance, or dizziness. This often happens when the condyle (top of the lower jaw), is too far back, and the disc dislocated forward. The muscle responsible for chewing can go into spasm, causing the above mentioned TMJ symptoms.

4. Clicking and popping

Are you experiencing clicking or popping sounds when you open and close your mouth? These are probably the most common TMJ disorder symptoms known to people. The clicking or popping sound you hear is the condyle (top of the lower jaw), slipping on and off the dislocated disc. In some cases, you may also experience a grating sound. This is caused by bone rubbing on bone. However, only occurs on a later stage when the disc becomes completely deformed.

5. Limited jaw opening

Limited opening and closing of the jaw is yet another one of the most common TMJ symptoms. It is crucial to treat a dislocated disc early on, and not wait until the grating sounds gets louder.

6. Depression

Depression is very common to patients suffering from TMJ disorder. Since most patients fail to understand the nature and cause of their pain, they often tend to feel helpless. Moreover, since most people suffering from TMJ disorder also experience sleeping disorders, the lack of sleep and feeling of not being well rested, adds more fuel to the depression.

7. Sensitivity to light

This is also commonly known as photophobia. A patient experiencing TMJ symptoms, will often feel a pain inside and behind the eye, which can cause the sensitivity to light.

If you are experiencing any of the above TMJ symptoms you could possibly be having a problem with your TMJ, and you should have it seen to before the disorder progresses.

Nondestructive Examination (NDT) – Hydrostatic Test On Steam Boilers (Fired Pressure Vessels)

Since my area of expertise is in steam boilers, I will not discuss the hydrostatic test (HT) in unfired pressure vessel or power piping.

Hydrostatic test is a form of NDT (nondestructive test) and is the most preferred method to detect leakage and cracks in boiler under water pressure. Other NDT’s such as magnetic particle test (MPT) or penetrant test (PT) are normally done to confirm the extent of damage after the leak point has been discovered. Only water pressure is allowed for HT. Steam or air is not allowed. “Hydro” itself means water. Water for all practical purposes is incompressible, and the pressure developed by the hydrostatic pump can be relieved instantaneously by releasing very small quantity of water, which would happen on leak occurring. Air is compressible and could be dangerous under pressure. The same goes with steam. Under steaming conditions, any failure of the structure would result in the boiler water flashing into steam, or steam leaks, subjected personnel to a danger of burn.

In Malaysia, the local jurisdiction, the Factories & Machinery Act 1970, stipulates that a boiler shall be hydrostatically tested every 7 years in which the authorized inspector will issue a Certificate of Hydrostatic Test in 6th Schedule, stating the date, test pressure, holding time, result, and authorized safe working pressure. The Certificate is valid for 7 years until the next HT. However, this is only a time frame, and your local jurisdictions may require different interval.

As a preparation for the HT, clean boiler waterside and fireside, nozzle flanges, manhole surfaces, and welding joints. Observe all safety precautions (procedures can be obtained from the eBook). The safety valve must be removed. However, if for some reason the safety valves cannot be removed, a test gag may be used following the safety valves’ manufacturer guidelines. Remove electrical connections such as high pressure limit switches and sensors. Note that when a HT is being applied to a boiler, a calibrated test pressure gage must be connected to the hydrostatic pump. This precision test gage shall have the accuracy of 0.5%. Countercheck it with the calibrated pressure gage mounted on the boiler. Blind the nozzles by installing blind flanges or blind plates to fittings connection such as safety valves, main stop valves, feed nozzles, mombrey connections, and gage glasses. Rubber or normal gaskets will do just fine.

Fill up with treated water (at ambient temperature of 26oC) for the entire volume of the boiler and vent air from the system. Use water hose and fill up through one of the top nozzles until water overflows from the nozzle. Because the boiler may remain standby after the test, it is important that the water in the boiler is treated to prevent corrosion pitting. Consult your local chemical vendor for the treating method. The metal temperature for HT shall not be less than 60oF (16oC) and not more than 120oF (50oC). This is as per requirement in ASME Code AT-352. I have heard an engineer used boiler makeup water from the feed tank at 90oC for the HT just because he wanted to use the feed pump. Don’t do this! If the temperature of the water is above the recommended temperature (exceeds 50oC), the boiler metal is subjected to brittle fracture. This brittle fracture is a phenomenon where rapid crack propagation occurs when temperature decreases under extreme stress condition. Moreover, there is a direct relationship between pressure and temperature. As the temperature drops, the pressure also drops, so you will notice a pressure drop from the pressure gage despite there is no leakage.

Make sure all air is removed before connecting the pressure hose from the hydrostatic-test pump to the boiler venting line. If the water overflows from the vent, shut off the valve tightly. Do not allow air pockets from forming inside the boiler. Do not use feed pump during HT although it is the fastest way to build up pressure. You have to standby an operator at the pump and he must be alert enough to stop the feed pump immediately once the test pressure is attained. Any negligence can be catastrophic, so why take chances? Hydrostatic-test pump or hand pump is preferred as the pressure and throughput can be easily controlled whereas the pumping rate of feed pump is high and could subject the boiler to overpressure if there is no precaution. Operate the hydrostatic pump and increase the pressure at the rate of 1 bar per minute and look at the gage carefully. Raise the pressure up to 1.5 times the maximum allowable working pressure (MWAP). MAWP is another term for design pressure. If the MAWP of the boiler is 2,000 kPa (20 bars), the required test pressure is 2,000 X 1.5 = 3,000 kPa (30 bars). Stop the pump operation at the test pressure and close the ball cock of the pump.

Wipe dry or spray with compressed air at all flanges and manholes to get rid of water residue. Hold the water under static pressure for 30 minutes. Visually examine all areas for leaks and cracks, giving particular attention to welds. I recommend you to not spend longer because besides exerting extra stress to the pressure parts, there shall be no leakage if there is no pressure drop within 30 minutes. In addition, 30 minutes is long enough to satisfy the code requirement. Some engineers maintained HT for only 15 to 20 minutes, which is OK IMO. If there is a leak, mark the location, snap photos showing water shooting out from the crack (important for documentation), and if no pressure drop, the HT is conducted successfully. Release the water via the bottom blowdown connection. As a standard procedure, after completion of any repair involving welding at pressure parts of the boiler, carry out a HT at 1.5 X MAWP again.

After the HT is successful, fill up the HT report, stating testing conditions, accessories, and procedures. Include pressure increase and holding time data in the report. This record must be kept for future reference.

Down Syndrome – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Down syndrome is the most common genetic disorder that causes severe learning disability in children. Children with Down syndrome have some distinctive features which include flattened facial features; a protruding tongue; a small head; upward slanting eyes; unusually shaped ears; broad, short, hands with relatively short fingers; and poor muscle tone causing excessive flexibility. Down syndrome is not inherited, but is caused by 3 types of genetic variations involving the 21st chromosome, which include the Trisomy 21, the Mosaic Down syndrome and the Translocation Down syndrome. Advancing maternal age and a family history are risk factors for this condition. Complications of this condition include heart defects, leukemia, a susceptibility to infectious diseases, dementia in later life, and other structural and functional problems in the body.

The Ayurvedic treatment of Down syndrome is aimed at improving physical and cognitive deficits, preventing complications and attempting to normalize life for the affected children, to the extent possible with medicines. Medicines like Trayo-Dashang-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Vish-Tinduk-Vati, Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Sunthi (Zinziber officinalis), Marich (Piper nigrum), Pippali (Piper longum), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Draksha (Vitis vinifera), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Kuchla (Strychnos nuxvomica) and Indrayav (Holarrhina antidysentrica) can be used to improve muscle tone and co-ordination. Massage of the entire body using medicated oils like Mahanarayan oil, Mahamash oil and Mahasaindhav oil is also very helpful.

To improve cognitive performance and prevent dementia, medicines used are: Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Jyotishmati (Celastrus panniculatus) and Kushmand (Benincasa hispida). In order to reduce susceptibility to infectious diseases, medicines used are: Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Pippali, Yashtimadhuk, Abhrak-Bhasma, Laghu-Malini-Vasant, Madhu-Malini-Vasant and Suvarna-Malini-Vasant. Medicines like Laxmi-Vilas-Ras, Shrung-Bhasma, Laxadi-Guggulu, Arjunarishta, Arjun (Terminalia Arjuna) and Amalaki can be used to reduce disability from heart defects. Medicines like Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Laxadi-Guggulu, Suvarna-Bhasma and Heerak-Bhasma can be used to prevent or treat leukemia. In order to improve or correct hearing loss and poor vision, medicines like Tapyadi-Loh, Kaishor-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Abhrak-Bhasma and Ekang-Veer-Ras can be used.

A judicious combination of Ayurvedic medicines can thus help to reduce physical and mental disability and dramatically increase the life span for people with Down syndrome. All such patients should be under the regular care and supervision of a team of physicians specializing in Down syndrome.

Understanding People Better Through "Body Language"

Watching people’s action can bring you a lot closer to the truth than merely listening to what they say (which might be a cover-up).  This is the “science” of kinesics, or “body language”. 

Reading body language is very exciting indeed! If you know how to read and interpret body language, you can predict other people’s mood and thinking process.

Some of us can read it naturally and some of us are notoriously oblivious. Fortunately, with a little extra attentiveness, you can learn to read body language, and with enough practice it’ll become second nature. It can be very revealing….

Some outward expressions of inner feelings:

Openness: Open hands, unbuttoned coat.

Defensiveness: Arms crossed, sideways glance, touching-rubbing nose, rubbing eyes. Buttoned coat, drawing away.

Insecurity: Pinching flesh, chewing pen, thumb over thumb, biting fingernails.

Cooperation: Upper body in sprinters position. Open hands, sitting on edge of chair, hand to face gestures, unbuttoning coat.

Confidence: Steepled hands, hands behind back, back stiffened, hand in coat pockets with thumbs out. Hands on lapels of coat.

Nervousness: Clearing throat, “whew” sound, whistling, smoking, pinching flesh, fidgeting, covering mouth, jiggling money or keys, tugging ears, wringing hands.

Frustration: Short breaths, “tsk” sound, tightly clenched hands, wringing hands, fist-like gestures, pointing index finger, rubbing hand through hair rubbing back of neck.

Noticing the signals that people send out with their body language is a very useful social skill…Don’t isolate yourself by constantly examining body language when interacting with people. Otherwise, there is no reason to gain a social upper hand anyway. This is paralysis by analysis.

Hernia – Causing Strain on Bowel or Kidneys

Hernia occurs when the abdominal wall structure ruptures or an opening takes place there. As a consequence thereof, the wall of the abdomen is destroyed and there is an outcropping via that membrane which is rather thin. The outcropped parts are mainly sections of the fatty tissue that make up the abdomen or certain parts of the intestine (small and large). Mention may be made of Hiatal hernia which happens when the tummy comes out through the diaphragm and rises till the chest. However, hernia can happen anywhere in the human body.

Hernias can lead to pain in the chest besides heartburn. Moreover, hernias can stop blood flow to that affected part, and during such abnormal situations surgeries are the only ways out.

Hernia can be of the following types: Indirect, Direct, Inguinal, Obturator, Spigelian, Umbilical, Incisional and Femoral. Hernia can be caused by many factors. The main ones are obesity, coughing, weight lifting exercises, lung ailments, exertion of pressure on the abdomen during pregnancy and the presence of hernia in the umbilical cord which may then pass on to the baby.

Hernia can occur if anyone keeps on putting too much of strain on the bowel or the kidneys during bowel movement or urination during Straining during a bowel movement or urination. Moreover, hernia may take place if there is too much of fluid in the cavity that makes up the abdomen.

Different types of hernia have different sets of symptoms. The commonly reported symptoms of hernia are belching, heartburn – especially when one lies down or while bending — chest pain, groin pain during bending, groin soreness, appearance of lump which may be painless, esophagus blockage, swallowing problems, and/or protrusion(s) that may be just tender or swollen for that matter.

If hernia is diagnosed, strictly follow your physician’s schedule. Some of the commonly prescribed methods to check hernia is to say ‘NO’ to depression, cut down on the regularly taken diet, avoid non-digestible food items, quit smoking or/and alcoholic substances, never to lie down or even bend after meals, and avoid tight-fitting clothes. Moreover, ensure that you do not exert pressure on the abdomen while coughing and stop lifting heavy articles.

The best way to control hernia is to consume fibery items like grains (including millet and barley), vegetables (sweet potatoes, cabbage, artichoke, and dandelion), herbs (aloe vera, arrowroot, parsley, mint, asafetida, cumin, fennel, among others) and lots of fruits. To prevent constipation and thus obviate the possibility of putting undue pressure on the intra-abdominal area is to increase the amount of liquids especially water. Take to regular exercise. Sweating can also help excrete toxic items from the body. Go for six meals in lesser amounts instead of three large meals. But, remember to not consume such items you may be allergic to. Moreover laugh away your blues by enrolling yourself in the local laughter club.

One of the popular remedies for hernia is to consume Cayenne pepper, sweating out a lot by either exercising, brisk walking, or by drinking tea (warm) in a room that is hot. One can also get relief from hernia by placing a rupturewort tea-soaked cloth on the portion that is affected.

Penis Pain, Discharge, and Testicle Pain – 4 Possible Causes

Penis pain, discharge from the penis, and testicle pain that co-present in a male patient are typically caused by one of four common infections. Men who are experiencing any or all of these symptoms should schedule an appointment with a doctor for evaluation and treatment; in general, these conditions can be treated fairly easily with the appropriate medications.

Although not all infections can be prevented, a common-sense approach to personal care and penis health can help men to reduce the risk of contracting a painful condition.

UTI

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is a bacterial infection of the urethra and/or bladder. A UTI is generally caused by bacteria moving up the urethra, or urinary tract. Other symptoms besides penis pain, discharge from the urethral opening, and testicle pain may include burning on urination; frequent urges to urinate without much coming out; and pain in the lower back, under the ribs.

Urinary tract infections are usually not difficult to treat; treatment includes taking antibiotics, drinking plenty of liquids – particularly water and/or cranberry juice, and urinating often to empty the bladder and flush out the infection.

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed STI, or sexually transmitted infection. Because the first sign is often a burning or itching sensation on urination, men may mistake this condition for a UTI. Other symptoms include a watery or slimy discharge from the penis, crusting at the tip of the penis, and pain in the testicles and/or anus.

Chlamydia is treatable with the appropriate antibiotic therapy. However, an estimated 90% of men who are carrying the disease never show any symptoms, so those who are sexually active should be screened regularly to avoid passing the infection to a partner.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is another bacterial infection that is often spread through intimate contact. The highest rates of infection are among teenagers who have multiple sexual partners. Symptoms include itching or burning during urination; cloudy urine; a yellowish-green or white discharge from the tip of the penis; aching or pain in the scrotum; fever and/or sore throat.

As with chlamydia, gonorrhea can be treated using antibiotics. These STIs can generally be prevented by practicing safe sex and frequent screening for common STIs.

Shingles

Unlike the other conditions outlined here, shingles is the result of a viral infection. It generally occurs in adults who have not had the chicken pox, although individuals who have had the chicken pox may also be infected. Aside from penis pain, discharge, and testicle pain, men who develop shingles may have a painful, severely itchy rash that develops into blisters. These may burst and develop a crust. Treatment generally consists of anti-viral and pain medications.

Avoiding infection and caring for the penis

Short of never leaving the house and living in a completely sanitized environment, there is virtually no magic bullet when it comes to contracting the occasional bug that can cause some unpleasant symptoms. However, using common sense when it comes to hygiene and sexual practices can help to reduce the risk of infection.

First and foremost, attention to daily hygiene is essential. Washing away the buildup of body oils and excretions lowers the chances that any associated bacteria will make their way into the urethra or penetrate the outer layers of the skin.

Second, although most men understand the risks of sexually transmitted infections, it can be easy to throw caution to the wind in the heat of the moment. Unfortunately, while unprotected sex may give momentary satisfaction, it can come with long-term consequences. Being open and honest with potential partners about any STIs they may be carrying – and insisting on always using protection – should become a habit for all sexually active men.

Finally, adding a penis health cream (most health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) containing penis-specific nutrients and conditioning emollients can have multiple benefits when it comes to preventing infection. Keeping the skin soft and supple helps to ward off bacteria that could penetrate, and treating the area with the proper vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients can boost the body’s resistance to external invaders. Adding a quality penis cream to the daily care regimen may reduce the chances that men will be affected by painful penis health issues.

7 Supplements and Herbs For Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Hypothyroidism

Many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and other types of hypothyroidism look to take nutritional supplements and herbs to help manage their symptoms naturally. Taking the right supplements and herbs can really do wonders with someone who has a hypothyroid condition. In fact, when incorporating other lifestyle factors as well, many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and other types of hypothyroidism can completely restore their health. So it’s important to understand that while nutritional supplements and herbs can do wonders for one’s health, taking them alone won’t restore your health back to normal, and they might not even do a good job of managing one’s symptoms.

As result, before you decide to take any of the following supplements or herbs, it’s a good idea to speak with a holistic doctor who focuses on endocrine disorders. They will evaluate your condition to determine which of the following supplements and/or herbs you might need, what dosage is appropriate to take, etc. Plus, a good holistic doctor won’t only try to manage your symptoms naturally, but if at all possible will try to cure your condition. While conventional endocrinologists and medical doctors simply tell their patients to take synthetic or natural thyroid hormone for the rest of their life, a good natural endocrine doctor will try to find the underlying cause of the condition.

After all, most thyroid conditions don’t simply develop “out of the blue”. In other words, there usually is an underlying cause which in turn causes problems with the thyroid gland. So while taking synthetic or natural thyroid hormone may do a good job of managing the symptoms (although not always), it will do absolutely nothing for the actual cause of the hypothyroid condition. On the other hand, following a natural thyroid treatment protocol can help to correct the underlying cause. And the following seven supplements/herbs can play a big role in the recovery process:

1. Eleuthero. Most people with hypothyroidism, including those with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, have adrenal problems. Eleuthero, also known as Siberian Ginseng, is an excellent herb that can help people do a better job of adapting to stressful situations. For people who have weakened adrenal glands, this herb will help them to recover and become strong again. This herb also helps with the immune system, which of course will benefit those people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. When I was diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid condition I took Eleuthero, as I had abnormally low cortisol levels and this herb, along with other factors, helped to restore my adrenal health back to normal.

2. Echinacea. Many people are familiar with this herb, which has a primary focus of improving immunity. This once again will be helpful for someone who has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, as well as with other autoimmune conditions. It is important to understand that the quality of this herb is important. While this is true with any other herb or nutritional supplements you take, the reason I bring this up with Echinacea is because this is a very popular herb that is sold in most nutrition stores, health food stores, pharmacies, and many other places. So it’s important to take a high quality supplement in order to receive optimal results.

3. Iodine. Most people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and other hypothyroid conditions are deficient in iodine. However, while people with primary hypothyroidism can take iodine without a problem, those people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can’t take iodine until the autoimmune response has been addressed. If they do take iodine, there is a good chance their symptoms will become worse. So if you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, you need to first see a natural endocrine doctor who will address the immune system component. Once this is under control then the iodine deficiency can be addressed.

But how can someone tell if they have an iodine deficiency? The best method is through an iodine loading test, which is a urine test that involves taking a 50mg tablet of iodine, and then seeing how much iodine you excrete over a 24 hour period. Once it has been determined that you have an iodine deficiency, you will want to take a high quality iodine supplement, and gradually increase the dosage to address this deficiency. I’ve written separate articles on iodine deficiency, and in addition to reading these, there’s an excellent book entitled “Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It.” I highly recommend anyone with a thyroid condition to read this book.

4. Bladderwrack. This is yet another great herb for people with hypothyroidism, including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Bladderwrack is a multipurpose herb, which means that it has many different benefits. This actually describes most herbs, as most of them do more than one thing. In any case, this herb directly impacts the thyroid gland, and also helps to increase the metabolic rate.

5. Ashwagandha. This is another wonderful herb for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Some of its functions include helping the body better cope with stress, as well as help with immunity. It also helps with the conversion of T4 to T3. There are numerous other benefits of this herb as well.

6. Selenium. Selenium is an extremely important mineral, as it is involved in the production of thyroid hormone. It is involved in the enzymatic reaction which converts T4 to T3, and so a deficiency in selenium may lead to the development of a hypothyroid condition. Many people have a selenium deficiency, but this can easily be addressed through supplementation, or by simply eating a handful of raw Brazil nuts each day.

7. Magnesium. Many people are also deficient in magnesium, which also is important in people with hypothyroidism, including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It is especially important for the proper utilization of iodine. So anyone who is iodine deficient should definitely make sure they aren’t also magnesium deficient. There are numerous foods one can eat to address such a deficiency, such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, and unrefined grains. Or you can choose to take magnesium supplements instead.

So these are some of the nutritional supplements and herbs that people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis should consider taking. This of course isn’t to suggest that everyone with these conditions needs to take all of these supplements and herbs, as this is why it is advised to consult with a competent holistic doctor. This way they could determine which nutritional deficiencies you have, see what herbs you can benefit from taking, and come up with a natural treatment plan to help restore your health back to normal.

Your Guide to the Early Signs of Diabetes

Most of the signs of diabetes are similar in Type 1 and Type 2. In both these cases, there are high levels of glucose that are present in your bloodstream; and are not in adequate quantities in your body cells.

In Type 1 diabetes, the heightened levels of glucose can be attributed to the lack of insulin. This is caused by the destruction of your insulin producing cells.

In Type 2 diabetes, the body cells become resistant to the insulin that is being produced by your body.

In both these cases, the cells do not get their designated levels of insulin; and thus, they become prone to giving you these signs.

The Signs of Diabetes

Frequent trips being made to the bathroom:

This is almost always a sure-shot sign that you are heading for diabetes. When there is too much glucose in the blood, you feel the urge to urinate more often. If and when the insulin in your body becomes ineffective, or not existent (depending on whether you have Type 1 or 2); the kidneys will be rendered incapable of filtering glucose back into your blood.

This will lead to them becoming overwhelmed; and they will try extremely hard to get extra water out of your blood, in order to dilute the glucose. Due to this, your bladder remains full and it keeps you jogging back to the bathroom in every half an hour.

Your Thirst Is Insatiable:

The whole bottle of water in one go does not seem enough at times, does it? But if this is happening to you every time you get your hands on a bottle, then something might be up with you. If this goes hand in hand with frequent trips to the bathroom, then you know you are in for diabetes trouble.

Given the explanation rendered to you above, for the cause of frequent urination; it is obvious that the body will tend to get dehydrated soon as well. This will create the urge to drink a lot more water than you would usually; because you have to replace the water that your body is losing.

Unintended Weight Loss:

This symptom is more likely to show up with those suffering from Type 1 diabetes. In this type, the pancreas stop producing insulin. This could be a result of a viral attack that has affected the pancreas cells or a case of autoimmune response wherein the body attacks the cells that produce insulin.

The body cells are not getting any glucose, so they begin looking for an energy source. What it does then is that it turns to fat and muscle tissue for energy; and breaks them down. This causes for the rapid weight loss.

In the case of Type 2, all this happens gradually; and the weight loss, even though present, will not be so noticeable.

Chronic Fatigue and Weakness:

When there is lack of insulin, or in its absence; the cells do not react to it anymore. The glucose will end up staying outside of the cells in your bloodstream. As and when these cells become deprived of energy, you feel tired and weakness sets in.

Watch out for these early signs of diabetes. The earlier you diagnose the condition, the more effective will your treatment be.

Absolute Most Fattening Foods and Ingredients

Quick History

The foods that people mainly ate in the early 1900’s were whole dairy products, meats, white flour, fruits, and vegetables. Much more animal fats and butter were incorporated. At the time only 10% of total deaths were linked to heart disease. Between 1920 and 1955, heart disease increased to an astonishing 40% of total deaths.

A “lipid hypothesis” was formed to explain the rapid increase of heart disease. Scientists saw that cholesterol levels rose with increased dietary fat intake, and excess cholesterol was observed in heart disease victims. Therefore they hypothesized that heart disease must result from excess fat consumption.

The USDA issued the first compilation of dietary guidelines in 1977. Americans were advised to avoid refined sugars, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Instead of saturated and animal fats, Americans were led to consume more polyunsaturated fats and fructose. The guidelines clearly say: choose low-fat and non-fat products.

The guidelines in 1982 were changed to reduce fat intake even more. They were upheld by all major health organizations despite the obesity rate increasing to an all-time high of 34% from 15% in 1982.

1. Starchy Foods (Carbohydrates)

Research shows that obesity is linked more-so to carbohydrate intake, not fat. Americans were brought to think that eating fat makes you fat, but quite the opposite is true. Carbs are not the same as fat, but when they enter our body, they get converted into fat under certain conditions.

Blood sugar increases as a result of carb ingestion, and insulin is secreted to bring carbs to cells for energy supply. Carbs are also stored for future energy demands by the liver. Triglycerides get formed as a result, from vLDL creation by the liver.

High amounts of triglycerides have been observed over and over again in obese individuals and heart disease victims. Hardened arteries and plaque formation result from triglycerides in the blood.

Excess carb ingestion leads to so many other complications. After a while the pancreas attempts to “predict” how much insulin is needed. This early stage insulin resistance leads to low blood glucose. The brain can’t function in this state of hypoglycemia, because it needs 30-40% blood glucose for energy. The brain also receives no signal that you’re full, because the hormone leptin is stopped from accessing the brain.

Type 2 diabetes results from metabolic syndrome, which is preceded by insulin resistance. When leptin isn’t functioning correctly, and blood sugar is low, you crave more carbs because the brain needs its fuel. Carb cravings or a “sweet tooth” directly result from this dangerous cycle. Insulin resistance also leads to depression, anxiety, poor sleep, the inability to think clearly, memory loss, and constant fatigue.

“Healthy” foods like brown rice and whole wheat bread still cause insulin surges.

2. Foods High In Polyunsaturated Fat (PUFA)

It is my opinion that the truth, that a diet high in fats is a smart choice, is being hidden from Americans, because it is cheaper to provide foods based on carbs. Protein has been seen to raise insulin levels just as carbs do. If grains are bad, and excess protein is bad, then we are left with fats, but which?

Going back in time again, something must have influenced us to steer away from animal and saturated fats in the 1920’s. A way to extract, refine, and partially hydrogenate oils was devised by Proctor & Gamble in 1911. Consequently, people replaced butter, lard, and animal fats, with margarine and vegetable oils that were deemed “heart healthy”.

Polyunsaturated fat is mainly made up of a combination of omega-3 and mostly omega-6 fatty acids. The omega 6:omega 3 ratio is unhealthy in vegetable oils. Omega-3 can’t do its job when too much omega 6 is ingested, which leads to many complications and health risks.

Clinical studies and statistical experiments link PUFAs to obesity, with linoleic acid (omega 6) as the culprit. A healthy ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is 1:2 – 1:4.

3. Foods That Contain Trans Fats (Hydrogenated Oils)

Trans fats are not unsaturated or saturated, they are partially hydrogenated.. They were used as hardening agents and for shelf life extension.

Many food items have been stripped of trans fats these days since many experts have observed a significant link to obesity and heart disease..

4. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and/or Sucrose

Why is HFCS in so many products when we know it’s bad? Some people see it as toxic, but it has been in food since 1975. Fructose makes up around 50% of HFCS and exactly 50% of sucrose. They can be considered the same in terms of how our body treats them.

When fat was taken out of our foods, fructose was used as a replacement. HFCS was so cheap that it stopped sugar from fluctuating in price.

Low-fat food tasted normal with the addition of HFCS.

What is wrong with fructose?

  • Ghrelin remains unsuppressed, making you hungry.
  • The hormones that tell you you’re full don’t function.
  • Only the liver metabolizes fructose. Just 20% of glucose gets used by the liver, because most gets sent to body cells. Fructose is toxic just like alcohol, and therefore 100% gets metabolized in the liver.
  • Leads to metabolic syndrome in no time.
  • A lot is made into triglycerides by the liver, about 30%.
  • Makes a hazardous waste product, uric acid, that leads to hypertension and gout.
  • Is a major cause of obesity and insulin resistance.

Nobody realizes how bad HFCS is, and it is in all foods from juice to marinated steak. Stay away from fructose if you value your health and don’t want to be obese.

5. Fiber-less Food

Only fiber can counteract fructose. Fiber is hard to cook and eat, so it has been stripped from almost all foods. This helped for storing and freezing food as well. The best way to fight obesity is with fiber and more omega-3. Fiber cancels out carbs, for example, the sucrose in fruits is rendered safe because of the fiber content. People only ingest an average of 12 grams of fiber each day; used to be 100-300 grams.

6. Soy

Soy is the second largest produced crop in the US. American companies use unfermented soy, which is nothing similar to the fermented soy Asian cultures use. Soy is made up of such bad chemicals that to get into each one specifically would double the length of this article.

Soy plays a role in so many diseases and cancers, and damages your organs as well. Minimize intake to the best of your ability, being that it is in just about any regular or “healthy” food item.

Final Thoughts

A diet that minimizes carbs is best. The focus should be on healthy fats coming from some meat and dairy. Avoid all the ingredients that were mentioned here as they only work against you.