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Jun 05

A natural antibiotic

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Long before modern medicine came out with the magical powers of antibiotics, ancient  systems of medicine including Ayurveda and Unani have benefited from Kalmegha, a natural antibiotic.

Kalmegha is technically called Andrographis peniculata. The herb is also called Kalpanath and Kiryat. Kalmegha is bitter in taste and unpalatable. But it has a myriad medicinal properties including its ability to fight leprosy, boost immunity, kill bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, control fevers of various origins including malarial and typhoid, keep the stomach in good health, and provide relief from haemorrhoids.

Of late, research has been taken up on the medicinal properties of Kalmegha. The studies were centered around Kalmegha’s ability to kill cancer cells, reduce upper respiratory tract infections etc. There are also claims of Kalmegha improving the immunity in people living with HIV/AIDS.

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May 25

Brisk walks fight prostate cancer

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Men who have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer can help keep their disease at bay by taking brisk walks, claim researchers.

Based on their observations, men who power walk for at least three hours a week can halve how much their cancer will grow and spread over the next couple of years.

Strolling does not have the same effect, Cancer Research journal warns.

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May 22

Natural and Safe Anti-Inflammatory Medicines

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An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, according to the American Pain Foundation. That’s a lot of pain. And that adds up to a lot of drug use, notably the category called NSAID’s, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Voltaren) and Celebrex belong to this class of drugs. These drugs are designed to inhibit activity of what is known as the COX2 enzyme, a major factor in pain. This natural enzyme is created in all of us, and is responsible for the production of some of the agents called prostaglandins, which trigger pain and inflammation.

The role of inflammation in pain is pretty straightforward. Any of a variety of insults can cause inflammation in the tissues of our bodies. External insults like burns, bites, scrapes, stings, cuts and bruises cause skin tissue to swell as protective fluids pour into damaged tissue between cells. Nerves may also be directly hurt. All of this activity is accompanied by pain. This is also the case with internal insults that may be diet-related or the result of wear and tear. Aging joints and ligaments can become occasionally or chronically inflamed, resulting in pain. Inflammation is now recognized as a key factor in virtually all chronic and degenerative diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, asthma, neurodegeneration, cancer, and kidney and bowel diseases. The idea behind anti-inflammatory drugs is simple. Stop the inflammation; stop the pain.

The NSAID’s are COX-2 inhibitors. They do accomplish this, but along the way they can also cause liver and kidney damage, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. A recently published study reveals even greater risks to these drugs. In the study Danish researchers found that use of NSAID’s among heart attack survivors greatly increased their risk of a repeat heart attack. This risk persisted even six months after the heart attack, and even if the use of the drugs was brief. Translation: for those who have had a heart attack or stroke, the NSAID’s pose a real danger.

Meanwhile, a recent study of acetaminophen (Tylenol) showed that those who take the drug are at an increased risk of some blood cancers. Acetaminophen use is also the leading cause of drug-induced liver failure in the United States. Though acetaminophen is not an NSAID, it poses significant health hazards nonetheless.

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May 22

Ayurveda Expo 2011

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The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) jointly with the Ministries of Indigenous Medicine, Economic Development, Industry and Commerce and External Affairs and Sri Lanka Export Development Board, Sri Lanka Tourism, Gem & Jewellery Authority and Sri Lankan Airlines will hold “Ayurveda Expo-2011” “Yoga, Meditation, Health Food and Wellness” International exhibition and symposium from 15th – 17th July, 2011 at the BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka.  Ayurveda, the nature friendly treatment system in curing ailments has been practiced in Sri Lanka throughout its history of over 3000 years.  Ayurveda, yoga, meditation and other alternative treatments are extensively used by Sri Lankans since of late as the people now have realized the value of this nature friendly system which has a high capacity to cure ailments with no side effects.  With the complicated  ailments  associated with the modern  lifestyle and food habits,  Ayurveda treatments are becoming more and more popular not only in Sri Lanka but also in many parts of the world.  There are also many foreigners seeking Ayurvedic treatment in Sri Lanka.  Ayurveda goes hand in hand with the nature and Sri Lankan style of holistic way of life.  Ayurveda uses natural herbs, fruits, flowers, roots and bark as ingredients in preparing oils, tonics, creams, body wraps, etc. Sri Lanka is blessed with its rich bio diversity which boasts of having hundreds of endemic plants which are used in preparing valuable Ayurvedic preparations.  Not only medicines and food habits but also the purification of mind through meditation is also a very important aspect of Ayurveda as the mind is considered to be one of the main causes of many a physical ill health.   Yoga is another system used for treatment to balance ones energies. Since of late Ayurveda has become a lifestyle of people so much so that various Ayurveda activities such as medical treatment, serving of health related food and beverages made out of medicinal herbs, yoga exercise, meditation and Spas have been introduced into hotels and resorts to cater to the demand of foreign travelers.  

 

Another important factor in this system is the strength of the knowledge of over thousands of Ayurvedic doctors who are spread throughout the island.  Sri Lankan government has highly recognized Ayurveda so much so that it supports the sector strongly through a Cabinet Ministry with well equipped research centers, Ayurveda hospitals and medical colleges while supporting the growth of the private sector.   

 

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May 22

Survey on AYUSH

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For the first time, the India government will carry out a survey on the use and acceptability of the alternative systems of medicine and employ the results for effective planning of a road map for Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH).

 

The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) has agreed to include some questions, in its Consumer Expenditure Schedule for the 68th annual round of socio-economic surveys, for collecting information on AYUSH.

 

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