Sore point: Ancient Remedies For Toothache Often Worse Than The Pain

If you found a live frog in your mouth in 19th or 20th century Ireland, it probably wasn’t a kiss attempt gone awry. You were just probably trying to draw out its healing powers to cure a toothache.

If that didn’t work, you could try sucking on cloves. Or drinking water from the Holy Well. There was also the option of taking a tooth from a corpse.

These cures are among the many found in new research by Dr. Carol Barron of DCU’s school of nursing and human sciences and her research assistant, Tiziana Soverino, published in the Journal of the History of Dentistry.

Over 400 of the cures addressed in the folklore were for treatment of an aching tooth. They were categorized into plant and mineral, quasi-medical and magico-religious cures.

Other cures were slightly more quotidian than the frog method. Salt and water were two of the most widely used curative substances. Potatoes were kept in pockets acting as an amulet to ward off a toothache, and infected teeth were often packed with tobacco.

Continue Reading at The Irish Times

Can Dietary Changes Help With Microscopic Colitis?

Microscopic colitis is an inflammation of the bowel lining that doctors can only see under a microscope. It is often possible to treat this condition with medication, but dietary and lifestyle changes may also help reduce or prevent symptoms.

The symptoms of MC tend to come and go, and diarrhea can last for weeks or months. In some people, the condition may resolve without treatment. The cause of MC is still not clear.

Researchers are currently studying the possible connection between diet and MC.

There is little evidence to suggest a link between what people eat and the symptoms of MC. Researchers in Sweden published a study in 2016 that followed 135 people with MC over the course of 22 years and monitored their intake of the following:

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrate
  • Sucrose
  • Saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fat
  • Omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids
  • Fiber
  • Zinc

    Read more at Medical News Today

3 Effective Home Remedies To Ease A Sore Throat

Due to the change in weather, seasonal allergies or excessive use of air conditioners, a common problem that most people face from time to time is a sore throat. Just like a cold, a sore throat can be frustrating as you deal with the annoying itch and pain in your throat.

While there are many medications that one can take to get rid of a sore throat, you can also resort to natural home remedies to ease the condition and build your immunity.

1. Pepper water
The fact that black pepper is an incredible ingredient when it comes to fighting cold, cough and flu is not unknown. Thanks to the presence of the essential oil called piperine, which helps in fighting viruses and bacterial infection, and in relieving chest congestion.

2. Ginger, honey and lemon
This has got to be one of the most common remedies you will come across in most Indian households. Gingerol in ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Honey is known as a natural healer and an antibiotic. And lemon with its high Vitamin C content can help boost the immune system and fight off infection.

3. Haldi doodh
Haldi doodh or turmeric latte may be getting a lot of attention in the recent years, but since the ancient times, it has been a part of Indian traditional diet. Turmeric is known for its miraculous properties because of its rich bio active compounds called curcumin. As such it is a great antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunity boosting agent. It also helps in breaking up mucus and provide pain relief.

Swirlster

Sustainable Nutrition: A New Term for An Old Concern

Food security is a most basic human need. Historical accounts show that for centuries, human societies around the world have raised concerns about our food supply. This contemplation has driven innovation and we have, quite successfully, adapted to feed and nourish people.

With increasing constraints on our planetary boundaries — we’re not getting more land any time soon — and a growing world population, the areas of sustainability and human nutrition have merged into a new conversation: sustainable nutrition. This convergence is more of an evolution than a revolution. Thomas Malthus’ 1798 essay on population growth made a similar warning as contemporary concerns about nutrition and sustainability — demand for food will outpace our ability to produce it.

For food insecure populations, this is especially true, and these populations are not only in the developing world but exist even in developed, wealthy nations such as the United States, where one out of every six children is raised in a food insecure household. Yet, growing demand for animal-sourced foods, has been called unsustainable by some who argue that raising demand for nutrient rich animal-sourced foods cannot be met without exceeding environmental boundaries.

According to the USDA Economic Research Service, grazing lands make up nearly 800 million acres or 36 percent of the U.S. land area (Figure 1). Of that 800 million acres, only 12.8 million acres is classified as cropland pasture — grazing lands that could be converted to growing crops without major improvements. In the scenario of converting grazing lands to croplands, negative consequences would be expected. For example, the rates of soil loss on cultivated cropland are over four times greater than pastures, and the loss of grasslands can mean decreased habitat for wildlife.

Read the full article at GreenBiz

Controversy Over Genetically Modified Organisms

It all began in 2004 when Nigeria signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States government to support genetically modified crops after which a Biosafety Law was enacted in in April 2015. Since then the question has bordered on whether Genetically Modified Foods (GMFs) are good substitutes as claimed by some experts? If the GMFs are indeed a boost to crops, they why all the furor about it with several countries imposing a ban on their production?

In attempting to allay the fears about of GMOs, the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) gave a response in one of its policy briefs, saying that “in real life nothing is absolutely safe but a degree of certainty is assured compared to other conventional breeding procedure.

Experts in the health sector have argued that natural foods are the best for healthy living as GMOs are experimental foods that can lead to health complications for humans later in life. As such, they could create more problems than they tend to solve.

The argument sustaining this project are that the process would lift farmers from subsistence to commercial farming, that it helps to develop a variety of crops that repel insects, and that GMOs are not synthetic. It has also been said that it could help to prevent stunted growth in Nigeria, with the country once recording the highest rate of stunted growths.

The issue of GMOs today is still a very controversial topic in Nigeria. It is worth noting that in March 2015 the World Health Organisation (WHO) classified glyphosate, the key ingredient in herbicides and pesticides, as carcinogenic.

Read more at Leadership

5 Food Swaps for a Low Glycemic Index Diet

One key phrase that’s been popping up over the years is low GI, but what does that really mean? And why is it talked about so much?

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a ranking of how quickly foods with carbohydrates are absorbed by the body and how they affect your blood sugar levels.

“Eating high GI foods (think lollies, soft drink, white pasta) can cause a spike in you blood sugar after you eat. Big spikes in your blood sugar levels tend to give you only short-lived energy leaving you feeling lethargic and possibly hungry soon after eating. Foods with a lower GI (wholegrains, fruit, dairy foods) can provide a more steady release of energy helping you feel your best,” says Lyndi.

If you’re scratching your head wondering where to start, here are some easy tips.

  1. Swap white bread for wholegrain bread
  2. Swap jasmine rice for basmati rice
  3. Swap potato chips for nuts
  4. Swap regular potatoes for sweet potato
  5. Swap instant oats for traditional rolled oats

Read the complete article at Now to Love

The Protest Against GMO

Recently, a study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) found that 32% of the 65 tested food products comprised GM materials. These were being sold without any control from health and food regulators.

Numerous persons and organisations — under the banner ‘India For Safe Food’ — met the Karnataka Food Safety Commissioner on Monday demanding the removal of unapproved genetically modified food from the market.

Those in the India for Safe Food had approached the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for action, and receiving little response, they approached the State government’s body on Monday.

Continue Reading at The Hindu

CKD: How This Diet Can Help In Managing Kidney Diseases

Eating a healthy diet is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy weight and good health. Eating healthy foods help in building a strong immunity. People suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD) should consume a balanced diet.

A healthy and balanced diet helps patients with chronic kidney disease to be less dependent on dialysis. It helps in improving their blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Most patients of kidney disease, who do not even need dialysis, don’t consult a dietitian because of lack of awareness of simple ignorance.

According to a latest research published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, most patients of chronic kidney disease remain uninformed about how chronic kidney disease diet influences management and progression of chronic kidney disease.

People on dialysis need to take large amounts of protein from their diet. They need to restrict salt, potassium and water content in order to maintain their blood pressure. “Usually patients with chronic kidney disease should take 0.6 gm to 0.8 gm protein per kg of their body weight, before dialysis. These proteins should be good quality protein, from dietary sources such a milk and milk products or meat. Patients on dialysis need to get 1 gm to 1.2 gm protein per kg of their body weight,” says Dr Vijay.

NDTV

Concerned About GMOs in Your Food?

On the surface, GMOs seem like a change for the good: Genetic modification can help plants resist pests and viruses or grow more quickly. However, since we are essentially combining DNA from different species, there is the potential that the plant will be forever altered. When a species changes, it opens parts of the environment to new competitors, which could have adverse consequences.

Although the FDA approved genetically modified salmon for consumption in 2015, some groups express concern that modified fish could negatively affect other fish populations.

GMO Labeling Gains Steam

The debate surrounding GMOs is not whether they should be legal, but whether they should require labeling. That’s because GMOs are present in a large percentage of the foods we buy at the grocery store.

The argument in favor of labeling genetically modified foods is that consumers have a right to know what they’re eating. 64 countries currently require GMO labeling. The argument against labeling includes increased costs and fear of public backlash over largely unproven risks.

Read more at Earth 911

Science or Snake Oil: Do ‘Rescue Remedies’ Ease Stress?

Bach flower remedies, which you may know as “rescue remedy”, were created in the 1930s by the English physician Edward Bach. He produced 38 remedies for a variety of emotional states such as “for those who have fear”, “for insufficient interest in present circumstances” and “for despondency or despair”.

Bach’s therapeutic claims were supposedly based on his personal connection to flowers. He is said to have determined the therapeutic benefit of a particular remedy by the emotion he experienced while holding different flowers.

The remedies were prepared by floating the cut flower heads in pure spring water and leaving them in the sun, or boiling them, for a few hours. The resulting dilute stock was kept as a 50:50 solution of brandy and water for decanting to his patients as required.

A review of studies evaluating the evidence for claims made by Bach flower remedies was published in 2010. All six placebo-controlled trials failed to demonstrate any differences between flower remedies and placebos.

The Bach rescue remedy is listed as a medicine on the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (although many other Bach flower remedies are not). The listing states it contains “homeopathic ingredients” that have been “traditionally used to relieve feelings of anxiety, nervous tension, stress, agitation or despair and provide a sense of focus and calm”.

Listed medicines are allowed to make “low level” health claims and, although they are meant to hold information to substantiate their claims, unlike registered medicines, they’re not required to produce the evidence prior to marketing. Listed medicines are assessed by the TGA for quality and safety, but not efficacy.

Continue Reading at Cosmos