Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Alternative Medicine - Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the oldest method of alternative medicine. It was first used by Chinese doctors. The theory behind it is that a life force flow through the body along a network of so-called meridians quite distinct from the nervous system. Acupuncturist corrects the energy imbalance by inserting very fine sterilized needles into the skin at specific points along the meridian lines. The needles are are then manipulated or, more rarely, a weak electric current is passed through them. When performed by a professional or expert, the procedure is seemingly painless.

This method is specifically used to relieve chronic pain and stress. First session will be painful but if you do it on a periodic basis to relieve pain and stress, it becomes painless as your skin allows to expand and accept pain.

Most of wellness centers, spa and massage centers now includes acupuncture in their services. This is because acupuncture relieves pain and helps our body to relax. Visit your nearest wellness center now and go for a round of acupuncture and see the wonder of needles.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Agoho (Casuarina equisetlifolia L. Cauanrinaceae)

Agoho is a large tree, reaching 20 meters in height and 65 cm. diameter. Its crown is narrowly pyramidal resembling some of the conifers in appearance. Its bark is dark brown and rough, but the inner bark is light in color and has a bitter taste. The leaves are actually reduced to small sheaths on the needle-like banchlets.

Some of it medicinal wonders are the following;
  • A decoction of its bark, when taken in large doses, is used as an emmenagogue (an agent that promotes menstrual discharge) and ecbolic (alleviates menstrual pains). It is helpful for hemoptysis (expectoration of blood from some part of the respiratory tract) and also an excellent astringent.
  • Its bark is used to arrest diarrhea and dysentery; it's lotion is used for beriberi; a powder of the bark is prescribed for pimples and acne. An infusion of its bark is is used as a tonic.
  • A decoction of the twigs is used as a lotion for swellings; an infusion of the branches is used as a diuretic (an agent that tends to increase the flow of urine).
  • The leaves are used for colic (spasm, obstruction or twisting or abdominal pain.
With its medicinal wonders, no wonder it is widely planted throughout the Philippines. If you still don't have this tree, and you have a wide area to plant on, have one and discover the medicinal wonders of this agoho tree.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Banaba (Legerstroemia speciosa)

Banaba is a deciduous growing from 5 meters to 20 meters in height. Its bark is smoothly gray to cream color and peels off in irregular flakes. Leaves are smooth, oblong to elliptic-ovate and 12 to 15 cm long. Flowers are of six parts, purplish lilac or mauve-pink, rarely pink, 5 to 7.5 cm across and borne in large terminal pinnules up to 40 cm in length,

Its medicianl benefits are the following. Old leaves and ripe fruit of banaba contain the greatest amount of an "insulin-like principle" (20 grams of old leave or ripe fruits, dried from 1 to 2 weeks, in the form of 10 cubic centimeter of 20% decoction), were found to have an equivalent to 6 to 7.7 units of insulin in lowerin blood sugar level. The mature and young leaves and flowers have an activity that ranged from 4.4 to 5.4 units of insulin per 100 cubic centimeter of 205 decoction or equivalent to around 70% of the activity of the leaves or fruits. A decoction of the leaves of all ages is used for diabetes mellitus. It is prepared and taken like tea. Some believed that decoction of dried fruit is even better.

If you have diabetes, this is an alternative way to control and lower down your blood sugar levels. Just plant this banaba in your backyard and you have an insulin supply as long as it lives.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Grow Flowers

Flowers can be very difficult to grow if you have are not use to it or you don't have a green thumb. IF you are new to growing flowers, you might like to grow thick anodyne flowers in you backyard. This will test your skills in growing flowers. If you become successful in growing thick anodyne flower, you can try to move on to the next level and plant. I mean more flowers of different varieties.

Flowers make your area look beautiful and more pleasant to the eyes. It also gives you fresh supply of oxygen and most of all, you are helping our mother earth to regain its beauty.

Start now and enjoy planting. Grow thick anodyne flowers first.

Kapok Tree and its benefits

Kapok tree is a large and erect tree that reaches a height of 15 meters height. Its trunk is cylindrical in shape, usually bearing scattered & large spines. Its branches are distant whorls and spread horizontally. Leaves are compound with 5-8 lanceolate leaflets, 6-15 cm long on both ends.  This tree is native to tropical countries and can be found anywhere in the Philippines.

Its bark is used as a vomitive and diuretic. It is commonly used to treat fever and diarrhea. It is also applied on wounds and swollen fingers. A decoction of its flowers is used to relieve constipation. An infusion of the leaves is cure for cough, hoarseness, intestinal catarrh and urethritis. The tender leaves are administered for gonorrhea.

Here's more, the unripe fruit is regarded as a demulcent (soothing medicine; provides a protective coating on mucus membranes) and an astringent. It is also used as emollient. A decoction of the roots is given for chronic dysentery, diarrhea, ascites (abnormal accumulation of serious fluid in the abdominal cavity) and anasarca (edema characterized by accumulation of serum in the connective tissue of the body). Its gum is an astringent and useful as a styptic (having a harsh acrid, acid flavor). It is given with milk as cooling laxative to children. It is also used for incontinence of urine of children.

Aside from its medicinal benefits, its fruits when old enough is used as insert/body for pillows because it has cottony and soft properties. This tree can last 50-75 years, though its not best used as lumber but because of its other unique properties, it is still widely planted across the country.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sponge bath

There are many ways of applying sponge bath to a person with fever. These are hot sponge bath, cold sponge bath, tepid sponge and saline sponge bath. Sponge bathe relieves fever and lowers body temperature and has sedative effect.
  1. Hot Sponge bath - is given to patients with very high fever but whose skin on legs and arms are cold. Water for sponge bath is as hot as can be tolerated. The sponge bath should be made fast and with friction to encourage blood to the surface. Should be done every 1 to 2 hours if fever persist.
  2. Cold Sponge bath - is employed where the skin is dry and hot. Cold water is applied for sponge bath but in case where skin is burning hot, ice cubes may be added in the water. Avoid chilling the patient. A cold compress on forehead or armpits may be made while the sponge bath is being done. Chilling with shivering will cause the temperature to go high. Sponge bath may be done again or prolonged until fever goes down.
  3. Tepid Sponge bath - is provided to restless and very tensed patient with fever, it relaxes the patient. The temperature of the water is 94-98 degrees Fahrenheit or comfortably warm if tested with the elbow. This time there should be no friction or rubbing on the skin. Sponge the dry skin very gently with very slight rubbing. Put off the treatment for relaxing effect and to allow more evaporation.
  4. Saline Sponge bath - is applied to a person having a fever who is inactive and sleeps most of the time. Saline or salt bath has a mild tonic or stimulating effect. It makes the sick person active. Temperature of water should be 96-100 degrees Fahrenheit or a little bit warmer than tepid bath. One half cup of salt is added to a basin of water. Do the sponge bath with friction and repeat till the desired effect is obtained.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Greener the Vegetable, the better

Did you know that the deeper the green color and darker the leaves in vegetables, the fresher, crispier, and more nutritious they are? Hence, the main diet sources of greens are the leafy vegetables.

Green leafy vegetables have rich source of vitamins A and C, and minerals like iron, phosphorous, and calcium that the body needs to become healthy. These vegetables are also a good source of fiber that helps the intestine to have good digestion.

When preparing green leafy vegetables, it is advisable to make it raw because it preserves the bright green color, conserves water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C, and minimizes energy in the form of electricity and manpower.

Here are the following suggested vegetables that are green:
  • Snap beans
  • Malabar nightshade
  • Bitter melon
  • Hyacinth bean
  • Sweet peas or snow peas
  • Toro leaves
  • Swamp cabbage
  • Horseradish
  • Cow pea
  • Fern
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Jute
  • Winged bean
Why not grow green leafy vegetables in your backyard? You can use old car tires, big cans, plant pots, and other container which you can personalized by adding some accessories to make it beautiful. Having vegetables around your home will not only provide you fresh air/oxygen, it can also give you fresh veggies for a healthy meal.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Caballero (Caesalpinia Pulcherrima)

Caballero or Caesalpinia is a small and smooth tree reaching 1.5 meters up to 5 meter in height. It is armed with scattered spines along its branches. Its yellow and red, few flowered clusters are borne on terminal portions. It is commonly planted as ornamental shrub because of its striking beauty especially when flowers starts to bloom.

In some countries, caballero is called peacock flower because of the leaves that forms like a peacock tail. This particular plant is the national flower of the Caribbean Island of Barbados.

Its medicinal properties were used long ago by the medicine men of the Amazon rain forest.
  • Fresh leaves are applied externally to relieve rheumatism. If the leaves are heated, it can remedy stomach aches. 
  • A decoction from the crushed seeds is used as an emetic and believed to be remedy for dysentery.
  • Roots are diuretic and useful in cases of stone formation in the bladder.
  • The juice of its stem and roasted fruits are used for eye ailments.
  • The finely powdered  leaves are given as uterine tonic to women immediately after giving birth.
These are just some medicinal properties of this beautiful shrub. Most of us just use this as ornamental, not knowing its healing touch. Natural and no side-effects.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Narra Tree and its Medicinal Benefits

Narra is Philippines’ national Tree. It grows widely in the remaining forest and some in urban areas. It is known for its value, in making furniture, timber and lumber. But none of us or only some of us know that narra is also used as medicines by our ancestors.

Narra grows up to a height of 40 meter and can reach up to 1.8 meter in diameter. It is known for its large and irregular fluted trunk. It thrives best in flats and gullies, on moist sandy loam or clay loam soil. It is found in association with dipterocarp species and needs sufficient moisture for its growth.

In ancient medicine, its shredded bark is boiled and the fluid is taken orally for the treatment of dysentery (disease of lower intestine caused by infection with bacteria, protozoan or parasites marked by severe inflammation and the passage of blood and mucus) and diarrhea. Narra extracts were made into herbal teas and pills and were popularized in the Philippines for treating diseases and ailments like leprosy, menstrual pain, flu, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. The leaves can also be used to cure small cuts and bruises.

This is the Narra tree, national tree of the Philippines that is not just a simple tree, but with great healing touch.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Natural treatment for sore throat

Letting hot salt solution roll in the throat for a few seconds relieves throat congestion, relaxes throat muscles, reduces inflammation, relieves throat itchiness and relieves sore throat. It also helps to relieve dry cough, tonsillitis, pharyngitis and laryngitis.

In doing hot salt solution, you mat need 1/2 teaspoon of salt (rock salt or iodized salt) into a glass of luke warm water. Temperature of water should be as hot as can be tolerated for drinking. Stir the solution until all salt is dissolved. When you gargle, sip enough water and let it roll freely into the throat for a few seconds before spewing it out. It is recommended that you finish 2 glasses of slat solution for better result.

If sore throat is severe with harsh voice, salt gargle may be repeated every two (2) hours. Throat garle is best done after meals. It is also advised not to take cold drinks while sore throat is present.

There are other natural cure for sore throat. But the most common and most widely used is salt solution.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Malunggay (Moringa olifera)

Malunggay or Moringa is an exotic plant but grows well throughout the Philippines. The tree can grow as high as 3 to 5 meters in a span of 1 year and can reach a maximum height of 30 meters without cutting.

Malunggay  has many medicinal value from its roots to leaves and pods. The leaves when boiled and drink can cure the following ailments;
  1. hicupps
  2. asthma
  3. gout
  4. back pain
  5. rheumatism
  6. wounds
  7. and sores

Pods are cure for intestinal parasites, constipation. Powdered pods and leaves are very helpful in increasing breast milk for moms who breastfed their babies. Six tablespoon of powdered leaf will provide almost all the woman's daily iron and calcium requirement during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Pounded roots are used as poultice for inflammatory swelling while the fruit could increase sperm count. The root barks has sex-hormone related properties.

Today, malunggay or moringa can be purchase over the counter. There are pharmaceutical companies who studied and processed this one of a kind plant and is now being sold worldwide.

Aside from its medicinal properties, malunggay is widely used as ingredients in cooking. I love chicken with malunggay leaves and papaya, it is called "tinolang manok"., 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hot Water or Tea After Each Meal

Have you considered hot water or tea after each meal? You know why Old Chinese people are not sickly? It is because of their habit of drinking hot water or tea after every meal instead of cold or ice cold water.

A study was made in China which proves that there is really a connection
between hot water or tea and sickness. It was concluded that during digestion process, fats and oils are being extracted from our food in our stomach. If after each meal we used to drink cold water, those fats and oils harden and clog the walls of our intestines (walls of our intestines have small pores that absorbs vitamins, minerals and etc.). It obstructs the vitamins and mineral being absorb by our body. Instead of being absorb, it is flush out of our body as waste. On the other hand, drinking hot water or tea after each meal, the oils and fats do not harden and is being maintained as liquid thus it does not harden and clog the walls of our intestines. With this, more vitamins and minerals are absorb by our system and the fats and oils are flush out as waste.

Most of us now are into cold carbonated beverages and this will alleviate the situation. But its not too late to start drinking hot water or hot tea. If we want to be healthy, let us start and change our eating habits. In turn, it will make our body healthy and live longer.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Healing Wonders of Water

Eight glasses of water a day will keep the doctor away. Whenever we feel sick, friends and family will advice you to drink plenty of water. Since water is a universal solvent, it certainly cleanses our body. Research proved that by drinking six to eight glasses of water per day  can cure certain ailments such as:
  1. headache
  2. hypertension/high blood pressure
  3. asthma
  4. constipation
  5. leukemia
  6. kidney stones
  7. sinusitis
  8. cough
  9. arthritis
  10. bronchitis and many more.
So keep on drinking water everyday. Our body needs it, nothing can substitute water for a healthy body.