Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Medicinal Properties of the Flame Lilly

Gloriosa Superba . Known as Flame lilly in English, Kajongwe in Shona (Zimbabwe) and Unyawo in Ndebele is a plant which is the national flower of Zimbabwe and was the national flower of Rhodesia.It occurs naturally on tree and rock shades on hillsides in South Africa , Swaziland, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.

Though chemical research has shown that the plant sap from the sterm and tuber is highly poisonous , It has medicinal properties when used correctly. It is claimed to have anthelminthic, Antiperiodic, Antiseptic, Pediculicide; Purgative, libacterial and Antiviral properties.

Accoding to the Tswana of Botswana, the sap from young leaves and leaf tips can applied onto the skin to treat acne and skin disorders . The fresh leaves are crushed and the sap extracted can be diluted with water for senitive skin, then applied to the affected areas.

In Zimbabwe the Flame lilly plant is used as a toothache relief remedy. Cut part of the tuber and boil in water. The water is then applied onto the affected tooth and pain is suppose to subside after a few minutes.

In certain parts in Africa, the plant is used to treat stomach worm problems, digestive disorders and sexually transmitted infections .

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Power Of the Lemon Bush

Lippia javanica , Lemon Plant (English) . Also knwn as Zumbani in Shona (Zimbabwe), Umsuzane in Xhosa (South Africa), Umsutane in SiSwati (Swaziland) is a plant with aromatic leaves and has been used in Africa for generations for its medicinal properties. The plant is purely African and generally grows all year round on grassland and stream banks.

Fresh leaves are sometimes used as a tea subtitute in many parts in Southern Africa. The herb is used to treat coughs, colds, fever and bronchitis, malaria, influenza and measles.

When the leaves and twigs are burned the smoke is said to be effective for treating cough and asthma.

Skin disorders, such as heat rash and other rashes, as well as scratches, stings and bites can also be treated. Here the tea is usually cooled and then applied like a lotion. Even lice and scabies can be treated with it.

The plant is grown as a windbreak on the edges of gardens.

A pesticide can be made from the crushed leaves and branches.

In Zimbabwe, it is used to wash hands when people are immediately from the grave to cleanse "evil spirits". When placed on top of a fresh grave, it is said that the plant protects the corpse from scarenging animals of the night.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Natural Hangover Remedies

Unless you subscribed to my feed, you know you have a hangover when you have nausea, vomiting , headaches , sensitivity to light and nose, and definitely thirst after a hard night out.

While the debase continues of whether hangover is preventable, its inevitable to have hangover once one consumes large amounts of alcohol. Here are a few tips you can quickly try.

1. Drink lots of water. Though it might not be pleasant, this has proven to be the most reliable method. Preferably before going to sleep, drink at least two glasses of water. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect due to the increased urine production during drinking .Dehydration is the cause of headaches and dry mouth .

2. Electrolytes . Cream, coffee, oysters, chili peppers, and aspirin are common, occasionally helpful hangover remedies. And again here the idea is to retain the fluids in the body so water should accompany those remedies.

3.Exercise . It has been proven that a light exercise after intoxication can be helpful.

3. Food .Simple consumption of foods such as eggs, which contain cysteine, may be enough to replenish lost moisture and at least rehydrate the body cells , making a hangover shorter.

4. Peanut butter. Where I come from it is generally believed peanut butter is the best remedy for hangover.

Cream, coffee, oysters, chili peppers, and aspirin are common, occasionally helpful hangover remedies
Cream, coffee, oysters, chili peppers, and aspirin are common, occasionally helpful hangover remedies

Monday, September 1, 2008

Can beer cause acne?

More often than not, many people have complained of breaking out after a night out of heavy drinking and the biggest question that's been asked is. Does beer cause Acne ?. While studies have shown no direct link between beer and acne it certain Indivisuals have developed pimples a day o two after drinking beer.

One line of thought is that certain people may have an allergy to all the yeast in beer. This allergy could lead to a number of things, including your skin drying out and therefore developing acne or some other sort of blemish. The yeast isn’t going to directly cause acne, but the toxicity of it relative to your body will since you are allergic to it and therefore your body views it as a toxin.

If you are one of the people who consumes the nation’s favorite yeast-rich tipple ( Hansa, Heineken, Castle, Amstel) , there might be fringe benefits. Brewer's yeast is rich in B vitamins, which are needed to maintain the nervous system, and metabolize your food. It’s also good for the complexion — so some drinking may help alleviate those acne and spots. But, too much beer increases the body’s vitamin requirements, especially B1 (Thiamine). Excess thiamine is excreted through the skin resulting in breakouts in people with vulnerable skin and change a person's body odor. Most excess thiamine however is excreted in the urine.

Ciders contain high amout of sugar and in my previous article talked about the link between diet and acne. Beer is made with ingredients which contain complex carbohydrates, therefore have a high glycemic index which may result in acne breakout.Wine is known to lower your blood sugar, because of the acidity and therefore less acne.

Looking at the points above its important to note that it depends on the individual's metabolism and its important to investigate to find your link to beer and acne.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Does Diet Cause Pimples ?

whether or not a person's diet affects the presence or absence of acne has been one of the debates for over centuries.

Some Claim there is a direct relationship between diet and acne while some claim there isnt .But which line of thought is correct ?

Will you really break out if you eat too much chocolate or too many greasy, high-fat foods?

Doctors and dermatologists say diet doesn't cause acne because they can't sell you a healthy diet. This may sound cynical, but they are under huge pressure from pharmaceutical companies to prescribe antibiotics, topical creams, Dianette, Roaccutane and other treatments. Also, think about this: why is there little research into diet and acne? Again, because there's no money in it. Drug companies fund most research and if the aim is to find a link between acne and diet, there's no drug candidate at the end of it. This is also why, through no fault of their own, doctors and dermatologists always say there is no link between diet and acne — when they were training in their profession there was little documented research to say diet can aggravate acne. Their argument for this is based around the fact that diet doesn't cause acne — you may have acne and eat relatively healthily, while your friend eats fried food, chocolate, pizza etc and stays blemish-free. This is because there are several factors in why certain individuals get acne and others don't. If you are predisposed to get acne, diet can aggravate it.

Diets rich in fat or diets lacking any fat at all are both bad for acne conditions, as both conditions alter sebum production processes greatly. Some fat in your diet is necessary for the vitamins' absorption. But high fat content increases oil levels in and on the skin (sebum), which increases bacterial growth. Also, the rich Western diet increases sex hormones, which explain precocious puberty in boys and girls. Excess male hormones are well-known to cause and worsen acne by increasing sebum production.

Acne is also promoted by the lack of antioxidants and plant-derived nutrients. These are essential in keeping the skin healthy. High fat diets cause poor blood circulation, making skin susceptible to acne.

People suffering from acne should avoid sugar and sugary foods such as soft drinks, jams, many cereals, biscuits and cakes. They should refrain from eating food containing white flour such as bread, pasta, biscuits and pastries. Chemical additives in canned food are also harmful for acne conditions. Fried, fatty and processed food should be avoided to save the skin and digestive system from toxins getting produced during metabolism. Acne patients should not smoke at all.

In the next article I will be looking at the relationship of beer and acne.

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