Herbal Teas for Insomnia

Sleep is one of the vital needs of our body. Sufficient sleep can boost our immune system, relax and clear our mind and reinvigorate our body to perform daily tasks. Lack of sleep can lead to health disorders, mental imbalance, and loss of energy. Insufficient sleep is caused by many factors such as stress, problems, neurotransmitter imbalance, excitement, and emotional and psychological anxiety as well as some external factors like loud noises, bright lights, and movement. These factors can cause insomnia or chronic lack of sufficient and healthful sleep.

There are several herbal remedies that can help you deal with insomnia. One of these herbal remedies is tea which can be prepared by simmering the choice plant part in a cup of water.

Chamomile tea

Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) tea is a long known and popular herbal tea used for relaxation and sleep. It calms and soothes a person, acting like a mild sedative and allowing the body to become receptive of sleep. Tea made from chamomile flowers can be taken 2-3 times per day or an hour before going to sleep.

Valerian tea

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) tea together with chamomile tea is the two best herbal teas for insomnia. Valerian tea reduces the time it takes for an individual to sleep, and prevents frequent waking. This sedative also calms and soothes the nerves, giving a long, uninterrupted and relaxing sleep. Much more potent sedative than chamomile, valerian root tea doses should only be taken to induce sleep, preferably 30 minutes to an hour and a half before bedtime.

California poppy tea

California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) is an analgesic, mild sedative that helps promote relaxed sleep. It is used to relieve minor anxiety in both adults and children. It gives relaxing, healthy sleep that leaves the user energized upon waking.[ad#728-90 after post]

Hops tea

A hop (Humulus lupulus) is primarily known for its use in making beer, yet it is also capable of inducing sleep. It can help calm the nerves, relieving stress, calming fears and worries and reducing nervousness. A cup of hops tea should be taken 2-3 times throughout the day for a calming effect and a relaxed sleep during the evening.

Lavender tea

Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) is an herbal tea that cures sleep disorders. It improves mental wellbeing and protects the body against mental disturbance. Taking 2-3 cups of lavender tea per day can steadily improve sleep.

Passion flower

Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) is an herbal tea that invigorates the nervous system relieving the effects of stress, exhaustion, and anxiety. It protects against sleep disorders, and can be taken frequently to fully exploit its benefits.

Combine herbs

Blending a combination of herbs could also provide an herbal remedy for insomnia. In addition to the plants mentioned above, strawberry, lemon balm, fennel, peppermint, basil, hibiscus and licorice are all plants with insomnia relieving effects.

There is no best herbal tea for insomnia. Preference and cause are two factors to consider when choosing the herbal tea right for you. Insomnia due to indigestion can be relieved by tea made from peppermint, basil, linden, chamomile, papaya leaf, hibiscus, lemon balm or a combination of these herbs. A combination of valerian and chamomile tea can help you relax before bedtime while chamomile together with strawberry, catnip and peppermint helps reduce stress.

The sheer number and variety of herbal tea that can remedy insomnia is of great benefit to its sufferers. Knowing the benefits of each tea, and finding one right for your palate and condition can be made easier by consulting any herbalist or alternative medicine practitioner. Taking tea, together with a moderate lifestyle and proper diet could make fulfilling sleep obtainable for anyone.[ad#afterpost]

Citronella Oil: Uses in Aromatherapy

Citronella grass

Citronella grass

Aromatherapy utilizes airborne compounds and odors made by heating an oil or substance for a variety of purposes. Citronella oil is derived from plants of the genus Cymbopogan. There are two species that serve as a source of citronella oil, Cymbopogan nardus (Ceylon type) and Cymbopogan winterianus (Java type or maha pengri). They are cultivated in several countries including Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Africa, Vietnam, Central and parts of South America for use in aromatherapy. The oil is obtained via steam distillation from fresh to partly dry blades of the grass. The plant itself is known as a natural insect repellant and extracts were used as a natural spray for crops. It can repel mosquitoes, ants, moths, flies, and fleas.

Citronella oil is composed of different compounds depending on the species used. Cymbopogan nardus contains geraniol, limonene, citronellal, citronellol and methyl isoeugenol. Cympbopogan winterianus contains higher percentages of geraniol and citronellal.

Citronella oil can be applied topically to wound to hasten healing and prevent infections. It can be drunk diluted to water to cleanse the digestive system and can act as a diuretic to induce urination. Drinking it as a tonic could also help expel intestinal worms and other parasites. Application of the oil in the scalp and skin would get rid of body lice and fleas as well as repelling mosquitoes for up to an hour. Used on the face, it can help to tighten the pores and shield against bacteria. Applied to the underarms, it can be a refreshing alternative to commercial deodorants.The oil is used in aromatherapy to aid in the remedy of various illnesses as well as to prevent the onset of disease. It is similar in odor to citrus but less heavy. It is sometimes used to mask strong odors around the house or inside a particular room. Inhaling the fragrance made by citronella oil can improve resistance to common flu, cough and colds. It can clear a room of insects particularly mosquitoes and flies while imbuing the room with a pleasant odor. Smelling citronella oil can also boost the immune system as well as improving blood circulation. It produces a feeling of warmth and vigor to most users.

Experiencing aromatherapy using citronella oil would help against infections, both fungal and bacterial. It can also help improve the digestive process. The fragrance of citronella oil helps ease away stress and improve one’s mood. Inhaling the fragrance can also ease chest congestion.

For women with irregular periods or for those who experience menstrual cramps, citronella oil can ease the pain of severe menstruation while regulating the periodicity of the menstruation cycle (emmenagogue).

Citronella essential oil can be combined with other essential oils like lemon, Scotch pine and geranium to achieve the desired fragrance and to make a remedy for a particular illness. Cedar wood, rosemary and eucalyptus essential oils would also blend well with citronella oil.

The oil itself can be used to massage sore areas, like joints and muscles to relieve swelling and ease pain. It can protect against skin infections from both fungi and microbes.

Citronella oil has many health benefits, especially when used in aromatherapy. Cheap, easy to obtain and versatile, citronella oil is a very good choice when it comes to aromatherapy. Its various other uses make it a beneficial asset in any household. Having a handy bottle of citronella oil will clear your house of pesky insects, while imbuing it with a wholesome fragrance that will certainly uplift spirits. If you’re looking to star an aromatherapy experience, citronella oil is a good one to start since it can accommodate various other oils.

References

  • Falsetto, Sharon (2009) Citronella Essential Oil: The properties and use of Citronella Essential oil in aromatherapy; retrieved from http://www.suite101.com/content/citronella-essential-oil-a98528
  • Lawless, Julia (1995). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils UK.  Thorsons
  • Mukherjee, Aparup. The health benefits of Citronella essential Oil. Retrieved from http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-citronella-essential-oil.html

Home Remedies For Thrush In Adults

Oral thrush

Oral thrush

All of us at one point or the other come across thrush, a yeast infection which mostly causes white lesions in the inner cheek and tongue making it difficult to eat, drink and sometimes even swallow. They are painful and often bleed if accidentally hit while brushing teeth. However, sometimes the infection can also occur near and over the genitals creating itchy and sore spots.

Mostly children and elderly fall victim to thrush because of their weak immune systems but even seemingly healthy adults can experience the problem every now and then.

Weak immunity main cause

Thrush is caused by yeast called Candida, which is always present in our bodies but is controlled by our immune system. Candida is found in intestines, stomach, throat, mouth and genitals. Whenever the immunity goes weak, there is an increased chance of Candida multiplying and resulting in yeast infection.

The infection, though mostly confined to the cheeks and tongue, can spread to the back of your throat, gums and tonsils if not checked on time. In fact, the yeast infection can also originate on skin of the genitals resulting in itching, burning and soreness.

Metabolic disorders like diabetes and diseases including AIDS and cancer as well as stress can compromise the immunity thus putting some individuals at greater risk of thrush than others. Use of irritants like some soaps and hormonal fluctuations can also result in spread of the infection. Moreover, indiscriminate use of antibiotics ends up killing the beneficial bacteria which can inhibit the growth of yeast infection.

However, quite contrary to popular perception, it’s easy to control thrush without the use of medications. Our body naturally controls thrush with the help of good bacteria and a healthy immune system so there’s a need  to strengthen our defenses up and deal with thrush naturally.

Using medications like anti-fungal creams can treat thrush but can’t prevent its recurrence. For that, you need to support your immune system by having a healthy diet and lifestyle. There are also home remedies for thrush that you can use to deal with current infection. Thus don’t limit yourself on spending on medications which may cause side effects besides burning a hole in your pocket and head towards your kitchen for a soothing solution.

Treat the thrush with natural remedies

There are various home remedies for thrush which can be relied on to treat the infection. For the lesions in mouth, use apple cider vinegar with some salt in water. It can work as a great mouthwash. Garlic and onions can be added to your regular meals because they not only enhance the flavor but also have great anti-fungal properties. If you are in a hurry, just put some cloves in the mouth instead of waiting till the meal time.

Grapefruit is a great anti-fungal food item. The seed extract of grapefruit is very popular treatment for oral thrush. Using the mix of distilled water and grapefruit extract to swab the mouth can help deal with thrush.

Yogurt is considered a probiotic because it contains good bacterias for your tummy but the same bacteria can also help in dealing with thrush. The cool texture also provides relief in case of irritation in oral lesions.  Salt water and baking soda solution are other very reliable home remedies.

Maintaining good oral hygiene including brushing of teeth twice and flossing once in a day can do wonders to your defenses against thrush.

If you or any elderly person in your family wears dentures, ensure daily cleaning of the mouth and dentures. Put the dentures in prescribed cleaner overnight and rinse them before putting them on. Putting off thrush is not difficult as you think provided you are determined to take the preventive steps.

 

Dangers of Vegan Diet

Vegan meal

Vegan meal

Dangers of a vegan diet can give way to deficiencies when the right regimen is not observed. There are many benefits of being a vegetarian. However, negative effects of an elevated vegan diet are not far from impossible.

Vegan diets, well most of them, are not created equally. Getting rid of animal products from the diet does not give any assurance to a health promoting diet. A little meat, fish, dairy products, poultry products, fruits and vegetables every now and then are the true ingredients of a healthy diet. So forget that notion that a strict vegan diet is healthy.

Dangers

Malnurtition– The primary repercussion of an unmonitored vegan diet is malnutrition, which denotes an inadequacy in a person’s nutrient intake. A vegan can put himself on the hazards of overlooking important vitamins and minerals the body needs to perform its functions normally.

Since vegan diet excludes animal products, it can rob you off substantial amounts of vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, fatty acids, and proteins. Right, some of them are found in vegetables, yet the fact cannot be denied that most of them are also acquired from a diet containing meat, milk, fish and everything else a vegan diet does not include.

Fiber Overload– In adequate amounts, fiber is beneficial to our health. However, too much of it can rip the body of the essential nutrients it needs for healthy function. Some vegan diets are overflowing with fiber but take note that fiber is not absorbed by our body and offers no nutritional value.

Excessive Salt Intake Among all else, vegan diet can potentially put you at increased risk of stroke or hypertension from high sodium intake. Many meat substitute products catered to vegans contain alarmingly high amount of sodium.  Salt can make you bloat, so observing a vegan is like eating tons of French fries and chips that are loaded with plenty of calories. High sodium intake can lead to fluid retention in the body, one of the most prominent causes of high blood pressure.

Sugar, Oil and Flour Splurge– Vegans often consume large quantities of highly processed foods containing large amounts of oil, sugar, and flour to substitute their no-meat diet. If they believe that their avoidance of animal products alone will give them enough dispensation from the harmful consequences of the dietary pleasure trap, they may be utterly disappointed. They say that some vegans get headaches — from their halos being too tight. Uhmmm, that is probably true!

Conclusion

Vegan diets can either be an important element in short-term healing of certain types of cancers, or useful in purging your body from harmful toxins. Yet a healthy long-term daily diet consists also of some animal-source nutrients – especially animal fats.

Knowledge of which foods to eat is a prerequisite to a healthy transition to a vegan diet. Selecting the food alternatives with vital vitamins and minerals, and which ones you have to avoid is equally crucial. It is true that many vitamins and nutrients can be generally found in a vegetarian diet, yet others can be severely deficient or inhibited from proper absorption. A large intake of other active nutrients may react in a different manner in a vegetarian diet as compared to a typical one. Therefore, if you have been contemplating of abruptly switching to a vegan diet, you might as well weigh its pros and cons properly beforehand. This is something that involves your over-all health and well-being, so do not just turn a blind eye on it. What you do not realize is that all you really need is a well-balanced diet, and not an exclusive and rigorous vegan diet.

Great Exercises for a Pear-Shaped Body

Pear

Pear

What is the fuss about having a pear-shaped figure? Pear-shaped, as the word conveys, refers to having a symmetrically smaller upper torso and getting gradually packed towards reaching the lower part of the body and needing some more toning in the arms and shoulders. The focal point of slimming a pear-shaped body is to get rid of excess body fat around the lower torso. Contrary to what you might have presumed, no single exercise either on the butt or thighs will help you do this in a snap of the finger.

You must basically have to watch what you eat to reduce body fat on specific areas. Keeping an eye on what you eat, when to eat it and counting how many calories are needed to trim down your weight is understandably painstaking. The sheer number of diet books making dieting like a walk in the park is the blatant proof to that. What you need to realize is if you have been dying to be a toned and healthy person, you must carve yourself to be like one. The time and effort you exert in doing so will reward you for many years, and you can pass on the lessons you have learned to your children and loved ones.

Exercises for a pear-shaped body:

In order to shed off a lot of calories, the exercises needed to be done are widely known as compound exercises. Compound exercises involve more than one muscle group and make use of more than one joint. Some examples of compound exercises are:

  • Squats– This type of exercise is considered as the “grandpa” of all exercise.
  • Bench Presses– Bench press works primarily to build the chest and focuses on the development of the pectoral muscles and triceps.
  • Romanian dead lifts – This has been by far the most taken for granted yet effective exercise of all. Learning how to execute this type of exercise properly helps you reach your goal.
  • Hamstring Raises- The simplest and most humbling exercise has the goal of lowering your torso from vertical to horizontal by bending at the knees.
  • Shoulder Presses- This is an exercise also meant for a pear-shaped body that involves pressing weight from the shoulders until it is locked out overhead. Granting you do not want to put too much focus on the legs, what you can do to place some equilibrium on the look of your body is to perform some shoulder press.
  • Sit-ups- This exercise has been preferred to strengthen and tone the hip and abdominal area. 200 sit-ups a day can help you improve your core strength and physical fitness and of course, modify your pear-shaped figure.

Bottomline:One assumption most people fall on is getting a bunch of inner thigh exercises and outer thigh exercises will help slim down their legs. Wrong! The truth is no single exercise can bust fat build-up from any point on your body. You need to perform the right ones so you can achieve an optimum effect. Combined with a balanced diet, hard work and devotion will result in the desired fat loss.

You do not need to be a rocket scientist to be able to come up with the perfect formula that suits you best. Bear in mind, getting an hour glass figure is merely an icing to the cake. You need not put up with the anxiety of having to live with all the dreaded diseases and awkwardness of picking an appropriate outfit anymore. It is all a matter of getting used to all these routines to be able to live a healthy lifestyle.

Side Effects of Magnesium Supplements

Nowadays, loads of supplements are found in the market. Most of them are over the counter so doctor’s prescription is not required This is not a good scenario since many supplements like magnesium supplements are not safe to take at all times because they can cause side effects to our body if we take them wrongly. Magnesium supplements can cause dangerous side effects to our body if we over dose in taking them.  This is the reason why it is highly recommended that a doctor’s guidance is needed when we take mineral supplements like magnesium. In this article we are going to learn the functions of magnesium in the body and the possible side effects of taking magnesium supplements.

Magnesium is the  8th most abundant mineral on Earth and 4th in the  human body. It is  estimated that an average human body has 25 milligrams of magnesium and most of it are found in the bones. It is considered as a crucial mineral in the body for it plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis or physiological balance. It participates in several chemical reactions needed for normal functioning of the body. It affects the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and immune system of the body.

In the musculoskeletal system, magnesium helps in the  contraction and relaxation of muscles and in the absorption of calcium used in bone development. When there is low amount of magnesium in the body, there will be muscle weakness because the muscles cannot contract properly. At the same time, there will be bone fragility for calcium cannot be absorbed properly in the absence of magnesium. On the other hand, if the body’s magnesium level shoot up abnormally, by taking magnesium supplements for example,  there will be muscle cramps, muscle spasm, and too much bone deposition.

Neurologically, magnesium affects the mental state of a person if the level of it is too high. It  can cause seizure and personality changes if its level is low.

Magnesium also participates in excitation and contraction of the heart. It maintains the smooth regular heart beat by combating any systemic stress.  Thus, if the level is too high it will cause decreased  blood pressure and irregular heart beat. If the level is low, it may cause cardiac spasm.

Magnesium helps in the relaxation of the respiratory system. When magnesium is low, definitely a person will experience breathing difficulty.

Magnesium also boosts the immune system of a person. If there is magnesium deficiency, a person will have a weak immune system and will be at high risk of being infected.

If a person has kidney disease and taking diuretics, it is not recommended for him to take magnesium supplement because it will be difficult for him to excrete excess amount of magnesium leading to  dangerous increased in magnesium concentration in the body.

Moreover, when a person is having heart problems, he must consult his physician first before taking magnesium supplement because it can cause irregular heart beat, cardiac weakness, and dangerous decrease in blood pressure.

Knowing the various side effects of taking magnesium supplements, we need to be cautious in taking them by following the right dosage prescribed by our doctor. Too much magnesium in our body may lead dizziness, flushing, muscle paralysis, troubled breathing, blurred vision, drowsiness and even coma or death.  It is recommended to take not more than 350 mg of magnesium supplement per day. To avoid magnesium deficiency, we should eat foods reach in magnesium such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, fish and meat. If we eat these foods regularly, we may not need to take iron supplements to avoid side effects.[ad#afterpost]

Ethical Issues Associated With Human Cloning

Dolly's remains are exhibited at the Museum of Scotland.

Dolly's remains are exhibited at the Museum of Scotland. (Wikimedia Image)

In the movie “The Sixth Day”, a clone of Adam Gibson (Arnold Schwarzenegger) takes over his family and professional role forcing the original character to prove his authenticity in the year 2015.

The movie could not be far from reality especially when experiments to produce human clones are being done clandestinely across the globe.

Cloning debate gained momentum since Dolly, the first cloned mammal, walked over the earth in 1996. The birth of Dolly opened the possibility that humans can be also be cloned using the same technique. Today, scientific cloning is yet to go mainstream mainly because it’s a difficult and expensive procedure and till now the clones produced have not been able to live long enough.

While animal cloning is quite acceptable in the society, we are yet to accept the fact that some time in future human clones will be greeting us in neighborhood parks.

Human cloning is possible through various methods. Embryo cloning, one of the methods, involves production of identical twins artificially. A few cells extracted from a fertilized embryo can be induced to develop into a duplicate embryo having DNA identical to its parent embryo. This technique has been used successfully on animals.

Another method is through removal of DNA from an ovum and replacing it with the DNA of an adult. The fertilized ovum is implanted in a womb and an identical or human clone can be produced. However, studies done on animals show that this technique can result in severe genetic defects in the newborn. Due to these side effects, this technique is banned in several countries but an Italian embryologist claimed to have developed a human clone through this procedure.

Several ethical issues of human cloning crop up through the years. Some people would like to have a clone to have a biological insurance to extract organs from in case their original ones fail or damaged. In this scenario, the existence of a clone just to save the original human being or to act as a replacement for him strongly questions human morality.

While a human clone’s right to identity is jeopardized, questions are raised on his right to inheritance, choice of a life partner, and other crucial life matters.

The safety of cloned humans is also questioned. While most attempts to clone mammals have failed, several of the clones born suffer from debilitating conditions and die prematurely. Moreover, we still don’t know how cloning impacts the brain and other vital organs in the body.

Therapeutic cloning, another technique, differs from reproductive cloning in a way that no offspring is given birth to. Only stem cells are extracted from the pre-embryo for the purpose of developing organs or tissues that can replace the damaged organs of the original DNA donor. The process eliminates the need to wait for the right donor and since the DNA is exactly the same, there are no complications in organ transplantation..

However, many decry such a procedure since the human embryo is destroyed in the extraction of stem cells. They feel that since embryo is equivalent to a human being, he should have rights equal to those of normal humans and killing him just to save the life of another person is simply unjust.

The stem cell proponents, however, claim that the stage at which the stem cells are being extracted is a very nascent stage and the embryo does not have brain to have awareness of the self and also lacks a thought process. They feel it can only be termed as human when it’s aware of the environment and has sensory capabilities, organs and limbs.

Time will tell whether humans are going to accept human cloning technology or not. But many scientists are unstoppable in developing perfect techniques on human cloning and stem cell production.


[ad#afterpost]

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetically Modified Food

Btcornafrica

Kenyans examining insect-resistant transgenic Bt corn (Wikimedia Commons)

There is no love more sincere than the love for food. Food is  a uniting factor among different cultures since everybody likes to taste and enjoy exotic cuisines from around the world. This is also one of the reasons why the issue of genetically modified (GM) food is generating intense debate because we are what we eat. GM food includes crops, fruits and vegetables which are created by combining quality genes of various species and hence have better nutritional and productive value. The difference between this technique and traditional breeding is that latter occurs only between related species and hence is safe whereas there is no final word on safety of mixing genes of unrelated species.

Both sides of GM food debate are equally vociferous in expressing their opinions. While the pro lobby talks about how the GM crop can give a larger and better yield even in inhabitable conditions, the critics talk about risk to health and environment due to genetic alterations and exploitation of the poor by food corporates. Here we have a deeper look at the issue.

Advantages of Genetically Modified Food

Supporters of GM food crops are mostly relying on scientific data claiming that these crops yield much larger quantity and hence can be the solution to the problem of world hunger. The ability of GM crops to be cultivated even in areas with poor soil and harsh weather conditions is one of the advantages of genetically modified food. Another plus point is that the food produced is higher in nutritional value and can also taste better than the traditional variety. GM crops have inbuilt resistance against pests, insects and diseases allowing them to produce higher yield. The proponents are also claiming that genetic modification can even make certain food free of common allergies. This can be done by removing the genes that express the allergens or substances that trigger allergic reactions.

The GM foods are also capable of staying ripe for long hence there is lesser problem of spoilage. This can be done by adding a gene in the crop that expresses an organic compound that will extend the shelf life of the food.

[ad#728-90 after post]

Disadvantages of Genetically Modified Food

While the pros of GM food may seem rewarding, the critics claim that they don’t hold water. First of all, they counter the technique itself by putting forth the argument that scientists still don’t know much about the genetics GM crops. They may identify quality genes but where to introduce them so as not to disturb the natural expression is still unclear. In fact, this lack of knowledge can lead to faulty interventions and irrepressible side effects. Traditional breeding has natural checks and balances due to breeding between related species but these are missing in GM food crops.

The hope that GM food can be an answer to the world hunger is another faux pause because they claim that millions of people sleep with empty stomach not because of lack of food but because of improper distribution. Millions of tons of food are wasted every month around the world because they do not reach the needy. Financial, infrastructural and political reasons rather than less production are responsible for the large number of hungry people across the globe.

The GM food may be having inbuilt resistance to common pests and insects but these organisms are known to mutate according to changes in their environment for survival. Thus, disease-resistant crops will only give rise to superbugs which will be more difficult to destroy.

Another big issue with GM crops is that they cross-pollinate with nearby normal crops and lead to ecological issues. Furthermore, if GM crops contain vaccines and antibiotics, human health is in peril as it would contribute to the development of resistance genes to human viruses and bacteria that we normally kill using vaccines and antibiotics.

Opponents assert that GM crops are patented by big biotechnology corporations that make sure that the harvested grains/fruits are not viable source of seeds to force farmers to buy costly seeds every time they want to cultivate the land.

Tests to validate the risks of GM crops are very expensive that most corporations avoid testing each and every food item. This increases the chances of unsafe food getting served to people.

[ad#afterpost]

Health Benefits of Jasmine Tea

Jasmine tea

Jasmine tea (Wikimedia Image)

Jasmine tea has long been a favorite of the Chinese due to its aroma, flavor and numerous health benefits. The tea made from tea leaves and jasmine flowers, exudes a very favorable scent. There are exceptional and numerous benefits in drinking jasmine tea.

Drinking jasmine tea, over time, could reduce the risk of developing some forms of cancer. The tea contains numerous antioxidants that prevent cancer. In fact, studies have shown that taking in jasmine tea reduces the risk of esophageal, breast, and prostate cancer.

Jasmine tea also has the capability of lowering blood cholesterol levels. It is an excellent supplement for an individual who follows low cholesterol diet. High cholesterol can lead to a variety of illnesses like high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke so drinking jasmine tea lowers you risk of these diseases.

Jasmine tea can also reduce body fat and maintain weight loss. A compound in jasmine green tea called catechin has been shown to lower fat content in animals. However, regular daily intake of jasmine tea is necessary to maintain this effect.

Jasmine tea can reduce the chance of blood clot formation as well as numerous diseases and disorders of the circulatory system. Blot clots is a risk factor for stroke and heart attack as it impedes the normal flow of blood in blood vessels.

The antioxidants in jasmine tea are helpful in preventing cancer and reducing the effects of aging. Skin problems like wrinkles, liver spots and fading can be reduced by regular intake of jasmine tea.[ad#728-90 after post]

Jasmine tea’s aroma, together with its compounds can relieve stress while promoting calmness and relaxation. It can be drunk before bedtime to prevent insomnia and ensure a fulfilling rest. It can be used to free one’s self from worries and troubles and helps maintain a positive outlook throughout the day.

Jasmine tea can also reduce the risk of infections because of its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. This helps prevent influenza, cholera, ulcers, and diarrhea. It can also improve mouth odor while cleaning the teeth and strengthening the gums. It reduces the risk of cavity formation and tooth decay. As an anti-bacterial, it helps cleanse unwanted microbes from the digestive tract and also reduces instances of food poisoning by protecting against Listeria and Salmonella species.

Jasmine tea has been taken by diabetics to improve their condition. It lowers the body’s blood sugar levels while augmenting the production of insulin that enables blood sugar level regulation.

Jasmine tea can also help alleviate pain. Pain from muscle cramps, headaches and stomachaches can be eased by enjoying the aroma and taste of jasmine tea. Compounds in jasmine tea  help enhance the feeling of calmness and relaxation. Also, it can relieve several symptoms of allergies, and can help clear nasal blockages.

Jasmine tea is enjoyed all over the world for its fragrant aroma yet there is more to jasmine tea than just a pleasant odor. The numerous health benefits of jasmine tea make regular consumption a healthy and positive effort towards a productive life. Drinking jasmine tea would reduce the risks of many diseases and conditions, making you live worry free and reducing medical costs. Drinking jasmine tea is a good way to enhance a low fat diet for those losing weight or maintaining it. These benefits and many more that may be discovered in the future makes jasmine tea one of the most viable means of attaining a long and happy life.[ad#afterpost]

Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering in Humans

DNA

DNA, the molecular basis for inheritance (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

Tweaking a gene or two can bring the desired changes in human body but the technique brings along several moral and ethical issues.

You will have a perfect face if that stub of a nose you got from your father is sharpened a bit. Susceptibility to seasonal allergies is another issue that hassles you day in and day out. We all have something which needs to be altered and made perfect. Developments in science may make such modifications a reality through the use of genetic engineering.

However, the technology is still inviting lots of debates and controversies related to its optimum use. Here we discuss the pros and cons of genetic engineering.

Genetic engineering means alteration of your gene structure to replace any dysfunctional gene with a more efficient one. For instance, if somebody is suffering from cancer, his mutated genes can be replaced with healthy ones through genetic engineering. Another use can be to prevent any family disorder from passing on to a child through gene alteration.

Genetic engineering can either happen through intervention in the sperm and egg cells or via introduction of a viral vector carrying the healthy gene into the body of a person.  Not many people know that one of the first uses of genetic engineering was for production of synthetic insulin which has proved to be a great boon for diabetics.

Pros of Genetic Engineering

As explained above, there are several reasons why genetic engineering can work wonders for the human race. Though we have progressed a lot from the times when smallpox, chickenpox and plague used to wipe out entire cities, new and more lethal diseases like cancer, AIDS, cardiac ailments and Alzheimer’s are still a challenge.

Auto immune diseases are another set of disorders which are troubling several people around the world and are still a mystery for scientists.  With genetic engineering, we can hope to weed out these diseases from their roots which means replacing the faulty genes that allow them to exist and flourish in our bodies. Development of medicines specific to genetic makeup of each individual to get the best results can be one of the pros of genetic engineering.

Not only the diseased and hapless but even healthy and sound can look forward to reap benefits of the technique. Scientists are talking about longer lifespans since the ageing process can be stopped by tweaking particular genes. In fact, not only life spans but complete reversal of time – from old age to childhood or youth – may become a reality.

[ad#co-1]

Cons of Genetic Engineering

Though benefits of genetic engineering may seem like our ultimate dreams coming true, it is not so easy. There are various risks as well as moral and ethical dilemmas associated with the technique right now. Scientists are still experimenting with genetic engineering and some of these attempts have resulted in death of the subjects because there is still no clarity on how and in what way the healthy genes can be introduced in a body. In addition, the risks of making such an alteration are also not known. There can be an inherent capacity in human body to resist any attempt for genetic makeover by making corresponding changes in the genes elsewhere.

The risk of creating a seemingly perfect race is also manifold. Due to diversity of genes, there are some people who are more prone to a certain disease while there are others who are completely resistant to it. Since with the ‘perfect gene’ theory, we will all be genetically same, a new and more lethal disease can finish off the whole human population in one go.

On the other hand, if there are only a few who get this benefit of having a perfect gene, there will be discrimination. A few “mentally and physically perfect” people ruling large number of lesser mortals can be one of the cons of genetic engineering.

Parents will start making a beeline to have a “designer baby” who can bend it like Beckham and sing it like Bryan Adams while having the looks of Tom Cruise.

So is it really necessary for scientists to play God and change the genetic character of people to make them healthy or increase their life spans? Maybe with time and greater knowledge, we get to understand things better. Moral and ethical issues aside, genetic engineering holds a great scope in medical field and restricting the use of this technology only to deal with chronic and deadly diseases can be the solution which helps us all.

[ad#afterpost]