Oct 092017
 
4000 years ago, the ancient Sumerians made a surprising discovery: if they scraped the bark off a particular kind of tree and ate it, their pain disappeared. Little did they know that what they’d found was destined to influence the future course of medicine. Krishna Sudhir, of TED-Ed, traces the history of aspirin.

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 042017
 

A pill’s color can affect how it’s judged by patients, how it’s marketed, and even how well it works.

The Color Of Feeling Better

When you take a pill, it makes its way to your stomach where it eventually dissolves. The stuff the pill is made of (or for capsules and the like, the stuff inside the pill) makes its way into your bloodstream. Some cause chemical reactions which block pain, reduce swelling, open blood vessels, or which go to war against infections. Regardless, taking a pill — beyond putting it in your mouth and swallowing — doesn’t take much, if any, thinking. It just works on its own.

Except that it doesn’t. Before we put the pills into our mouths, something happens: we look at what we’re taking. And, perhaps subconsciously, we notice something about the pill that shouldn’t matter:

We see what color the pill is.

The color of the pill shouldn’t affect how effective the pill is, of course — by and large, what a pill’s design is decided only after we determine the pill’s medicinal value. But, studies have shown — here’s one of many — that while we shouldn’t judge a pill by its cover, we can’t help ourselves. It’s a pretty standard example of the placebo effect — we already associate certain colors with certain moods, outcomes, etc., and those associations don’t disappear simply because the colored item is our medication. As a result, different colored pills thrive at reaching different medical goals. The Atlantic shares the basics of the color code:

Blue pills [ . . . ] act best as sedatives. Red and orange are stimulants. Cheery yellows make the most effective antidepressants, while green reduces anxiety and white soothes pain. Brighter colors and embossed brand names further strengthen these effects—a bright yellow pill with the name on its surface, for example, may have a stronger effect than a dull yellow pill without it.

And, as the Atlantic further explains, that color system isn’t universal — our cultural differences can have an impact:

For instance, the sedative power of blue doesn’t work on Italian men. The scientists who discovered this anomaly think it’s due to ‘gli Azzuri’ (the Blues), Italy’s national soccer team—because they associate the color blue with the drama of a match, it actually gets their adrenaline pumping. And yellow’s connotations change in Africa, where it’s associated with better antimalarial drugs, as eye whites can turn yellowish when a person is suffering from the disease.

The good news is that drug manufacturers are aware of this quirk of our consciousness and act accordingly. (That’s why you don’t often see black pills, which we’d associate with darkness, despair, and death.) It’s not foolproof, of course; there’s no way to account for how we, individually, associate colors with the world around us. But the only other solution is to take your pills without looking at them first, and that would be a very, very bad idea.

 
 
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Home Remedies Our Grandparents Shared With Us That Actually Work

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Jun 272017
 

10 unorthodox home remedies our grandparents shared with us that actually work

Home Remedies Our Grandparents Shared With Us That Actually Work

Modern science has gotten us to the point of utilizing various chemicals to cure nearly everything, but back in the day, people were using home remedies to fix some common bodily issues. Surprisingly, a lot of these actually treat issues!

From spider bites to chapped lips, we’ve listed 10 DIY remedies that have actually been proven to work.

1) Use a potato for a spider bite

This one easily might be one of the weirdest things we’ve read about, but multiple sites note that this actually works! Take a slice of a potato, place it on the bite, and hold it with medical tape. You’ll need to change that every few hours until the bite subsides.

2) Vodka soak for foot odor

Vodka was used back in the day to help with foot odor. Just soak your feet into vodka and wipe them with a towel afterwards. Rubbing alcohol also apparently works great just as well!

3) Yogurt for your breath

Yogurt is apparently great for preventing bad breath. Probiotics in the yogurt fight the bacteria that causes bad breath. Prevention.com also notes gargling with lemon juice can also help fight bad breath.

4) Olives for motion sickness

Have a problem with motion sickness? Try some olives. Olives contain tannins, a compound that helps dry out the mouth and ease queasiness.

5) Sugar for hiccups

If you’ve got hiccups that just won’t quit, consider taking a teaspoon of sugar for relief. Supposedly, the dry granules stimulate and help resets the nerves that are making your diaphram spasm.

6) Olive Oil for chapped lips

This one makes a lot of sense, and we’re definitely going to try this one out. Just simply rub some oil onto your lips when they are chapped. It should feel instantaneously better, even if it takes a few days for it to fix itself naturally. Use olive oil

7) Black Tea for puffy eyes

Black tea also contains tannins, which deflates and tightens the bags under eyes. Put the teabag

8) Cure nausea with ginger chips

Frozen ginger chips can help with nausea. To make these chips, infuse fresh ginger in hot water, and then strain and freeze water in ice cube trays. Suck on these ice chips throughout the day to ease any issues with nausea.

9) Use a pencil to fix headaches

A lot of our headaches can stem from us subconsciously clenching our jaws through the day. To treat this headache, place a pencil in between your teeth to relax your jaw.

10) Dark chocolate to stifle coughs

If you’re trying to settle your coughing, think about snacking on dark chocolate. It contains a compound called theobromine that’s reportedly better than codeine in suppressing coughs, without the drowsiness attached!

Of course, with all of the advances in science, medicine will be massively important in our lives. However, there are little things we can do to ease everyday pains and annoyances, and all of these are tried and true methods of using noninvasive materials to help. Good luck!

 

 
 
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1930’s Pharmacist Map of Herbal Cures

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Jul 212016
 
1930’s Pharmacist Map of Herbal Cures

Click to enlarge

The map depicts different plant species that grew in each state of the United States in the 1930’s. It was printed by the National Wholesale Druggists’ Association, and serves as a fascinating reminder that, in our not-so-distant past, medicine was one hundred percent natural. Different herbs and plants were prescribed for different diseases, and people knew that healing takes time. When the 1938 Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act was passed, however, the landscape of medicine changed, and a federal regulation was put into place to govern the production of new medicines. The pharmaceutical industry completely took over, and our knowledge of herbal medicines was lost and shunned. As a result of these regulatory changes, medicine relying on synthetic chemistry took over, and pharmacists lost the ability to prepare medicine straight from the earth.

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At Home Cure For Strep Throat

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Jun 202016
 

An at home cure for Strep Throat from instructables.

Enjoy!

At Home Cure For Strep Throat

This is a tried-and-true (by our family and friends–and many others, I’m sure) natural remedy for CURING strep throat at home (including those who suffer from recurring strep throat).

This is also beneficial for ANY bacterial or viral infection that can manifest itself in the throat/mouth. BONUS! :)

NOTE: Each ingredient in this concoction has MANY more healing effects then just this one (and I’ve listed a lot of those out in the last few steps of this instructable). So be sure to stick around to see those!

INGREDIENTS:

*3 cloves fresh garlic or 3 teaspoons minced garlic

*1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

*Raw or pure honey to taste

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENT:

*Apple Cider Vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

1. Peel and crush your fresh garlic cloves (either with a mortar and pestle or a hand-held garlic mincer) and put them in a small bowl or simply put your pre-minced, jarred garlic in a small bowl.

2. Mix in a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper. (Don’t worry about it being too spicy, the honey really dulls it down!)

3. Mix in your honey to taste.

THE REMEDY:

Simply eat 1/2 teaspoon of this concoction every 30 minutes. Make more of this recipe as needed.

NOTE: A large amount of garlic can potentially upset your stomach when eaten this regularly (especially if you’re not used to eating it), so make sure it’s only 1/2 teaspoon (no less than 1/4 teaspoon). You can reduce the frequency of how often you take it in a day, but make sure it’s at least with every meal and snack. If you have an aggressive level of strep, the reduction of consumption could result in it only working partially, so just take that into consideration.

My kids (ages 5-10 at the time) took this, too, and at the same amounts as listed here. This just goes to show that the flavor is definitely NOT too intense and it’s safe for all ages!

ADDING THE BIG GUNS:

In addition to eating this concoction every 30 minutes–if you really want to kick this strep to the curb in a hurry–gargle apple cider vinegar 3 times per day, too.

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American Indian Medical Cures

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Feb 112016
 

American Indian Medical Cures

Great article! These plants have been used worldwide for centuries.

31 Long-Forgotten Native American Medical Cures:

When it comes to herbal remedies, many of us are familiar with the benefits of Echinacea or purple cone flower as an antibiotic, willow bark as a pain killer and aloe as a topical anesthetic and treatment for skin conditions. But that’s common knowledge compared to the insights and treatments that Native American medicine men discovered and used.

Native American medicine men developed a wheel very similar to the yin/yang of Asian medicine. The use of herbal remedies and other alternative forms of treatment was the cutting-edge medicine of their day. This was a holistic approach to medical treatment that relied heavily on plants and their unique benefits.

What follows is list of indigenous plants, trees, fruits and flowers unique to North America that have surprising benefits as defined by Native American tribes. If and when times are tough, it might be good to keep some of these ancient cures in mind. They also are good for everyday needs when you consider how effective some of them can be.

1. Alfalfa: Relieves digestion and is used to aid blood clotting. Contemporary uses included treatment of arthritis, bladder and kidney conditions and bone strength. Enhances the immune system.

2. Aloe: A cactus-like plant. The thick leaves can be squeezed to extrude a thick sap that can be used to treat burns, insect bites and wounds.

3. Aspen: The inner bark or xylem is used in a tea to treat fever, coughs and pain. It contains salicin, which also is found in willow trees and is the foundation ingredient for aspirin.

4. Bee pollen: When mixed with food it can boost energy, aid digestion and enhance the immune system. If you’re allergic to bee stings you will most likely be allergic to bee pollen.

5. Beeswax: Used as a salve for burns and insect bites, including bee stings. Intended to only be used externally.

6. Blackberry: The root, bark and leaves when crushed and infused in a tea are used to treat diarrhea, reduce inflammation and stimulate the metabolism. As a gargle it treats sore throats, mouth ulcers and inflammation of the gums.

7. Black Raspberry: The roots of this plant are crushed and used as a tea or boiled and chewed to relieve coughs, diarrhea and general intestinal distress.

8. Buckwheat: The seeds are used in soups and as porridge to lower blood pressure, help with blood clotting and relieve diarrhea.

9. Cayenne: The pods are used as a pain reliever when taken with food or drunk in a tea. Also used to threat arthritis and digestive distress. It is sometimes applied to wounds as a powder to increase blood flow and act as an antiseptic and anesthetic to numb the pain.

10. Chamomile: The leaves and flowers are used as a tea to treat intestinal problems and nausea.

11. Chokecherry: Considered by Native American tribes as an all-purpose medicinal treatment, the berries were pitted, dried and crushed into a tea or a poultice to treat a variety of ailments. These include coughs, colds, flu, nausea, inflammation and diarrhea. As a salve or poultice it is used to treat burns and wounds. The pit of the chokecherry – much like apple seeds – are poisonous in high concentrations. Be sure to pit the cherries if you’re considering this for any use.

12. Echinacea: Also known as purple coneflower, this is a classic Native American medicine that is used to strengthen the immune system, fight infections and fever. It also is used as an antiseptic and general treatment for colds, coughs and flu.

13. Eucalyptus: The oil from the leaves and roots is a common treatment when infused in a tea to treat coughs, sore-throat, flu and fever. It’s used to this day as an ingredient in cough drops.

14. Fennel: A plant with a licorice flavor, this is used in a tea or chewed to relieve coughs, sore-throat, aid digestion, offer relief to diarrhea and was a general treatment for colds. It also is used as a poultice for eye relief and headaches.

15. Feverfew: Used to this day as a natural relief for fever and headaches – including severe headaches like migraines – it also can be used for digestive problems, asthma and muscle and joint pains.

16. Feverwort: Another fever remedy that also is used for general pain, itching and joint stiffness. It can be ingested as a tea or chewed, or crushed to a paste as a salve or poultice.

17. Ginger root: Another super plant in Native American medicine, the root was crushed and consumed with food, as a tea or a salve or poultice. Known to this day for its ability to aid digestive health, it also is anti-inflammatory, aids circulation and can relieve colds, coughs and flu, in addition to bronchitis and joint pain.

18. Ginseng: This is another contemporary herb that has a history that goes back across cultures for millennia. The roots were used by Native Americans as a food additive, a tea and a poultice to treat fatigue, boost energy, enhance the immune system and help with overall liver and lung function. The leaves and stems also were used, but the root has the most concentration of active ingredients.

19. Goldenrod: Commonly thought of today as a source of allergies and sneezing, it was actually considered another all-in-one medicine by Native Americans. As a tea, an addition to food and a topical salve, it is used to treat conditions from bronchitis and chest congestion to colds, flu, inflammation, sore throats and as an antiseptic for cuts and abrasions.

20. Honeysuckle: The berries, stems, flowers and leaves are used to topically treat bee stings and skin infections. As a tea, it is used to treat colds, headaches and sore throat. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

21. Hops: As a tea it is used to treat digestive problems and often mixed with other herbs or plants, such as aloe, to soothe muscles. It also is used to soothe toothaches and sore throat.

22. Licorice: Roots and leaves can be used for coughs, colds, sore throats. The root also can be chewed to relieve toothaches.

23. Mullein: As an infusion in tea or added to a salad or other food, this is a plant that has been used by Native Americans to treat inflammation, coughs and congestion and general lung afflictions. It is quite common and you probably have it growing in your backyard or somewhere close.

24. Passion flower: The leaves and roots are used to make a tea to treat anxiety and muscle pain. A poultice for injuries to the skin such as burns, insect bites and boils also can be made from passion flower.

25. Red clover: It grows everywhere and the flowers, leaves and roots are usually infused in a tea or are used to top food. It is used to manage inflammation, improve circulation and treat respiratory conditions.

26. Rose hip: This is the red to orange berry that is the fruit of wild roses. It is already known to be a massive source of vitamin C and when eaten whole, crushed into a tea or added to food it is used to treat colds and coughs, intestinal distress, as an antiseptic and to treat inflammation.

27. Rosemary: A member of the pine family and used in food and as a tea to treat muscle pain, improve circulation and as a general cleanser for the metabolism.

28. Sage: A far-reaching shrub across much of North America, it is a natural insect repellent and can be used for the standard list of digestive disorders, colds and sore throat.

29. Spearmint: Used consistently by Native American tribes for treatment of coughs, colds, respiratory distress and as a cure for diarrhea and a stimulant for blood circulation.

30. Valerian: The root as an infusion in a tea relieves muscle aches, pain and is said to have a calming effect.

31. White Pine: Ubiquitous and the needles and the inner bark can be infused in a tea. Used as a standard treatment for respiratory distress and chest congestion.

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Why Shouldn’t You Take Medicine With Grapefruit Juice?

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Feb 012016
 

Why Shouldn't You Take Medicine With Grapefruit Juice

If you’ve taken prescription medication, have you ever noticed the strange disclaimer, “don’t take with grapefruit juice”? There is a very good reason for that! Hank Green explains in this episode of SciShow Quick Questions.

Enjoy!

In a recent episode of SciShow, host Hank Green explains why it’s not safe to drink grapefruit juice while taking medication for conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and anxiety.

Grapefruit is full of a type of organic compound called furanocoumarin, which interferes with the activity of an enzyme in your small intestine called CYP3A4. Problem is, that interference means your body will absorb more of certain medicines, for things like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and anxiety, than it’s supposed to. This enzyme’s normal job is to chemically change certain potentially dangerous compounds before they can get to your bloodstream or liver. That way, they’re easier for your body to eliminate. But it also recognizes lots of different medications, and deactivates them the way it would any chemical — meaning that a large amount of the drug you take never actually makes it into your body to do its job.

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Aloe For Acne

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Jul 292015
 

Aloe For Acne
Aloe vera is used to manage mild to moderate acne by diminishing existing spots and treating acne scars with its vast healing qualities. It is not considered to be a cure for acne all together but is definitely one of the few natural remedies that is considered to truly make a positive impact on the effects of acne. The gel can be used anywhere on the body.

Acne is the common skin problem occurred when the pores of the skin become clogged with excess oil, dead cells and bacteria. It appears mostly on the face, chest and back in the pimples that are red in color.

Aloe vera is one of the popular and one of the oldest remedy for Acne. Its not only treats acne but also helps to treat burns, sunburn, heals wounds, minor abrasions and cuts. It is a plant that belongs to cactus-like species and its leaf contain a thick clear pulp that can be applied on the affected area to get faster relief from the skin problem.

Aloe vera has many properties like anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, astringent, pain inhibitor and coagulating agent, scar reducing property and stimulating cell growth which helps to treat the acne very effectively and naturally. It also contains essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids and enzyme which our body and skin need to function properly by boosting up the immune system.

How Aloe Vera actually treats Acne:

  1. Aloe vera contains hormones called gibberellins and polysaccharides and it also acts as anti-bacterial which helps in killing the bacteria causing acne.
  2. It is a natural astringent that helps to remove the excess oil, dirt and dead skin cells which further causes clogs to your skin pores and causes bacterial infection.
  3. It also helps to stimulate the cell growth so that the damaged skin will heal faster and scar less.
  4. It acts as natural anti inflammatory which helps to reduce the redness, inflammation and pain that associated with acne.  It also has a soothing property
  5. It acts as pain inhibitor that reduces the pain when applied on the affected area. It deeply penetrates and blocks the pain in the deep layers and ease inflammation.
  6. It also reduces the scars very effectively why because it contains influential antioxidants that contained in the gel will helps to reduce the pain and mend your skin well.  It also contains zinc, vitamin C and E which helps to reduce the scars from the skin very quickly.

How to apply Aloe Vera to treat Acne:

Aloe vera is used in many ways to treat the acne. Here are some of the remedies to treat acne with aloe vera. If you don’t have aloe vera plant then immediately buy it from the stores as it not costs too much and not occupies too much place and not require too much of water. It’s always better to have an aloe vera plant in your garden. It can treat acne in other areas rather than face like back, chest, scalp, etc.

Remedy – 1: (Aloe Vera)

  • Take a fresh aloe vera leaf and squeeze it to extract its gel
  • Then take that gel and rub it on the acne affected part of the skin.
  • Repeat the process for twice a day for at least one week to get rid of the acne.

Remedy – 2: (Aloe Vera and Lemon)

  • Take a fresh aloe vera leaf and squeeze the gel from it (cut open the leaves to squeeze out the pulp)
  • Put this gel in the blender to make a fine gel
  • Add few drops of lemon or lime and then again blend it to mix all together.
  • Then put this fresh aloe vera lotion in a container and put it in the refrigerator.
  • Now apply some of this paste to your face like face mask every night before going to bed.
  • Leave it on like that for overnight and wash your face in the next day morning.
  • Repeat the process regularly, until you get relief from the acne and its scars.

Remedy – 3: (Aloe vera, Honey, Turmeric)

  • Take a fresh aloe vera gel and add a little of turmeric, honey, milk and few drops of rose water.
  • Mix it well and then apply this paste on the acne affected part of the skin
  • Allow it to stay on for about 15 – 20 minutes and wash it off thoroughly with water
  • Continue doing this process regularly to get rid of the acne soon.

Remedy – 4: (Aloe Vera Based Products)

  • Wash your face regularly twice day by using facial soap containing aloe vera i.e. once in the morning and once at the night time which helps to improve the symptoms and prevents further breakouts.
  • Or use aloe vera containing lotions, gels, soaps, cream to moisturize the entire face and other acne affected part of the skin to reduce the breakouts caused by the buildup of the excess oil, softens the skin and reduces the appearance of acne scars.

Source…

 

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Nature’s Pharmacy

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Jun 072015
 

The medicinal plants you can grow at home.

Medicinal Plants You Can Grow At Home

Nature’s pharmacy is packed with hundreds of medicinal plants used in both Western and Chinese medical practices to treat a variety of conditions. Some plants are very potent and can interact with other medications or trigger an allergic reaction, so always consult your doctor before trying a new remedy. Here are twelve plants worthy of some space in your garden.

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Amazing Uses Of Apple Cider Vinegar

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May 282015
 

Amazing Uses Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been reported to heal many conditions – from minor ailments to serious illness. Some people swear by it. For example, apple cider vinegar is used across the world as a natural/alternative treatment for allergies, and is thought to reduce the risk of cancer.

Vinegar has been in use since ancient times – as a health remedy, cleaning agent and for many other purposes from household to science. Hippocrates (460-377 BC), the revered ancient father of medicine after whom the Hippocratic Oath was named, prescribed it for curing pleurisy, fever, ulcers, and constipation. [1] It was utilized throughout history in other societies as well; for example, the Egyptians are thought to have used it to kill bacteria and the Babylonians relied on it to preserve food and medicines.

In Ancient Rome, Apple cider vinegar was considered the holy grail or fountain of youth. It was commonly consumed for its properties as an elixir; one that has been forgotten in modern times – until recently.

Fast forward to the future: Today, Apple cider vinegar is considered to be useful in cases of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. For example, in 2001 the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study in which it was indicated that alternative or natural therapies like ACV might be more effective than prescription drugs and other western medical treatments. Apple cider vinegar is also useful in emergency situations such as jellyfish stings because it acts as a deactivating agent toward the venom.

Apple cider vinegar is made via fermentation, which is very beneficial for digestion and has in some cases worked as a cure for acne. Apple cider vinegar is also commonly used as a treatment for other skin disorders such as warts. In fact, studies have shown that Apple cider vinegar can clear up blemishes and breakouts – avoiding the need for potentially harmful prescription medications such as Retin A or Acutane.

Another little known fact we found in a scientific report: During the American Civil War, Apple cider vinegar helped to prevent scurvy and also was used as a disinfectant for wounds.

Apple cider vinegar has the potential to balance pH levels in the human body. This process occurs because of the naturally-occurring acetic acid it contains. When PH levels are balanced, the body maintains an alkaline state which reduces the potential for disease. The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar may be too strong for some palates. For this reason, many people drink it with honey and lemon. Others prefer to add 1 Tablespoon to an 8-ounce glass of water.

We were surprised and intrigued to find that Apple cider vinegar has many benefits for hair health. Apple cider vinegar has been known to encourage hair growth and reduce the occurrence of breakage. To improve body and shine of the hair shaft, apply 1/2 Tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 cup water after shampooing.

Another suggestion that is made with regard to consuming Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is to rinse the mouth afterwards. This is because, being acidic, there may be a possibility of harm to tooth enamel with long term exposure.

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