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Archive for the ‘Diseases and Their Natural Treatment’ Category

Psoriasis

In Diseases and Their Natural Treatment on December 6, 2007 at 6:45 am

Psoriasis is one of the most stubborn skin diseases. It is a chronic disease characterised by thick, red, silvery, scaled patches of skin. This disease affects both sexes equally and usually first appears at the age ranging from 15 to 30 years, although it may appear at any age. It is, however, rare in infancy and old age. Psoriasis is not contagious.

Symptoms

Generally, the skin of the person suffering from psoriasis appears red and irritated and may be covered with bright silvery scales. Sometimes there is also a little itching. Areas usually involved are elbows, knees, the skin behind the ears, trunk and scalp. The disease may also affect the underarm and genital areas. The lesions vary in size from minute papules only just visible, to sheets covering large parts of the body. Quite often, they are discs from 1.5 cm. to several centimeters in size. The lesions of psoriasis are always dry and rarely become infected.

Causes

The modern medical system has not been able to establish the exact cause of psoriasis. Recent studies have shown that psoriasis involves an abnormality in the mechanism in which the skin grows and replaces itself. This abnormality is related to the metabolism of amino-acids, the protein chemicals which are nature’s basic building blocks for the reproduction of cell tissues. Heredity also plays a role in the development of psoriasis as it tends to occur in families. About 30 per cent of the patients have a family history of the disease.

The factors that aggravate and precipitate the outbreak of psoriasis are injury to the skin in the form of cuts, burns, minor abrasions, changes in the seasons, physical and emotional stress, infections and use of certain medicines for the treatment of other diseases.

Treatment

Since psoriasis is a metabolic disease, a cleansing juice fast for about seven days is always desirable in the beginning of the treatment. Carrots, beats, cucumbers and grapes may be used for juices. Juices of citrus fruits should be avoided. The warm water enema should be used daily to cleanse the bowels during the fast. After the juice fast, the patient should adopt the diet of three basic food groups, namely (i) seeds, nuts and grains, (ii) vegetables and (iii) fruits, with emphasis on raw seeds and nuts, especially seasame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and plenty of organically grown raw vegetables and fruits.

All animal fats, including milk, butter and eggs should be avoided. Refined or processed foods and foods containing hydrogenated fats or white sugar, all condiments, tea and coffee, should also be avoided. After noticeable improvement, goat’s milk, yogurt and home made cottage cheese may be added to the diet. Juice fasts may be repeated after four weeks on diet.

Vitamin E therapy has been found effective in the treatment of psoriasis. The patient should use this vitamin in therapeutic doses from 200 to 800 I.U. a day. It will help reduce itching and scabs.

Lecithin is considered a remarkable remedy for psoriasis. The patient may take six to nine lecithin capsules a day – two or three capsules before or after each meal. In the form of granules, it may be taken four tablespoonfuls daily for two months. It may thereafter be reduced to two tablespoonfuls.

Too frequent baths should be avoided. Soap should not be used. Regular sea water baths and application of sea water externally over the affected parts once a day are beneficial. The hot Epsom salts bath has proved valuable in psoriasis. Three full baths should be taken weekly until the trouble begins to subside. The number of baths thereafter may be reduced to two weekly and finally to one. The affected areas should also be bathed twice in hot water containing Epsom salt. After the bath a little olive oil may be applied. The skin should be kept absolutely clean by daily dry friction or sponge.

In many cases, psoriasis responds well to sunlight. The affected parts should be frequently exposed to the sun. The daily use of a sunlamp or ultra-violet light are also beneficial. Cabbage leaves have been successfully used in the form of compresses in the treatment of psoriasis. The thickest and greenest outer leaves are most effective for use as compresses.

They should be thoroughly washed in warm water and dried with a towel. The leaves should be made flat, soft and smooth by rolling them with a rolling pin after removing the thick veins. They should be warmed and then applied smoothly to the affected part in an overlapping manner. A pad of soft wooden cloth should be put over it. The whole compress should then be secured with an elastic bandage.

The use of mud packs in the treatment of psoriasis has also been found highly beneficial. The packs are made by mixing the clay with a little water and applying to the affected areas. After the clay has dried, it is removed and fresh pack applied. Mud packs are eliminative in their action. They absorb and remove the toxins from the deceased areas.

The patient should undertake plenty of regular exercise in fresh air, especially exposing the affected parts, and deep breathing exercises. He should avoid all nervous tension and should have adequate rest.

Prostate Disorders

In Diseases and Their Natural Treatment on December 6, 2007 at 6:44 am

Nearly one-third of all men over 50 years suffer from prostate troubles of one form or another.

The percentage rises with age and reaches 75 after the age of 80 years. Prostate and bladder disorders can lead to numerous other ailments such as arthritis, kidney disorders and uremia. The prostate gland is a male gland, comparable in shape and size to a large chestnut. It is reddish brown in appearance. It measures approximately 3.8 cm. in width and about 2.5 cm. in length and weighs approximately 25 grams. It is situated at the base of the urinary bladder and around the commencement of the urethra, the membranous tube for the passage of the urine. It is thus vital in relation to the emptying of the bladder and bears a close relationship to the rectum. The gland plays an important role in normal sexual life and its function is to secrete a fluid which is added to semen during sexual intercourse.

Various Disorders

There are various types of prostate disorders. Of these the most important are prostatitis or inflammation in the prostate gland and hypertrophy or enlargement of the prostate gland. Prostatitis may be acute or chronic. It is a painful and distressing disorder, but can be cured with proper treatment without any adverse effects.

Enlargement of the prostate gland or hypertrophy is the most common complaint affecting the gland. This occurs mostly in men of middle or advanced age. The enlargement develops so gradually over a long period that it often assumes serious proportions before it is detected.

Symptoms

There are two warning signals to indicate the possibility of prostate disorders. The first is the interface with the passage of urine and the second is the need to void the urine frequently during the night’s sleep. Other symptoms are a dull aching pain in the lower back and pain in the hips, legs and feet. Prostate enlargement affects the glandular system as a whole. The patient experiences all the symptoms of disturbed health such as lack of energy and physical , mental and nervous disturbances.

Causes               

The position of the prostate gland makes it liable to congestion and other disorders. In an erect position, pressure falls on the pelvic region just where the prostate gland is situated. With ageing, the body gets heavier and loses its flexibility which makes the pressure on the pelvis even greater and increases the vulnerability of the prostate gland. Prolonged periods of sitting down, as in certain occupations, also increases the pressure on the pelvic region resulting in congestion of the tissues in and around the prostate gland. With the passage of time, changes such as inflammation or enlargement occur in the gland. Acute prostatis may also result from exposure to cold and chill and from an infectious disease. Chronic prostatis is an after-effect of the acute condition. It may also result from continual irritation of the gland due to excessive sexual excitement.

Another important cause of prostate disorders is constipation. In constipation , the faeces becomes hardened and the rectum or lower bowel overloaded. This causes undue pressure on the prostate gland. It also entails a great deal of straining at stools and this adversely affects the prostate gland due to its proximity to the rectum.

Treatment

To begin with, the patient should forgo all solid foods and subsist on water only for two or three days. The intake of water should be as plentiful as possible. Nothing should be added to the water except a little lemon juice, if desired. The water may be taken cold or hot and it should be taken every hour or so when awake. This will greatly increase the flow of urine.

An enema may be taken once a day during fasting to clear the lower bowel of accumulations.

After a thorough cleansing of the bowels, hot and cold applications may be used directly on the prostate gland and its surrounding parts. The heat relieves the tissues and a brief cold immersion tones them up. The patient should take alternate hot and cold hip baths. These are of great value in relieving pain and reducing congestion. The hot bath should be taken first for 10 minutes, followed by a cold bath for one minute daily.

After the short fast, the patient should adopt an all-fruit diet for three days. The fruits should include apples, pears, oranges, grape-fruit, grapes, sweet limes, mangoes, melons and all other juicy fruits. This will help to clear toxins from the body and will also enable excess fat to be reduced to some extent.

The exclusive fruit diet should be followed by a diet, consisting of two meals of fruits and one of cooked vegetables for further seven days. The vegetable meal should be taken in the evening and should consist of all kinds of cooked vegetables, preferably steam cooked. Thereafter, the patient may adopt a well-balanced diet of three basic food groups, namely (i) seeds, nuts and grains, (ii) vegetables and (iii) fruits.

The short lemon juice fast followed by an all-fruit diet and a further period on fruits and vegetables may be repeated after two or three months if necessary depending on the progress being made.

Pumpkin seeds have been found to be an effective home remedy for prostate problems and many patients have been helped by their use. These seeds are rich in unsaturated fatty acids which are essential to the health of the prostate.

Heavy starches, sweet stimulants and highly seasoned foods are entirely forbidden, as they cause direct irritation on the prostate gland and bladder. The diet should also exclude spices, condiments, salt in excess, sauces, red meats, cheese, asparagus, watercress, greasy or fried foods, alcohol, tobacco and too much tea or coffee. The patient should avoid hurried meals and must chew his food thoroughly and slowly. Water should be taken between meals and not at mealtime.

The patient should avoid sexual irregularities in eating and drinking, long periods of sitting and vigorous exercise. He should guard against constipation by taking plenty of fruits, bran and nuts.

All efforts should be made to tone up the general condition of the body. With a general improvement in health, the condition will be greatly relieved. Surgery should be resorted to only if the condition does not improve even after the dietary treatment and other measures outlined here.

Premature Greying of Hair

In Diseases and Their Natural Treatment on December 6, 2007 at 6:43 am

The hair has a tendency to lose its natural colour with advancing age. It is therefore natural for the hair to turn grey with age. But premature greying is a morbid condition and it makes even the young look older. This causes a great deal of concern to affected persons, especially women.

The hair is an appendage of the skin. It is composed of the same kind of cells as are found in the outer layer of the skin, known as epidermis. It grows from a hair follicle which is a deep recess in the epidermis. The sebaceous glands of the scalp secrete an oily substance called sebum, which is the source of nutrition, lustre and blackness of the hair. The hair cannot be fed externally, for such nourishment as the scalp requires must come to it from the bloodstream.

Causes of Greying

A faulty diet and mental worries are the two primary causes of premature greying of hair. It is

mainly due to the lack of some of the B vitamins, of iron, copper and iodine in the daily diet that this hair disorder is caused at a young age these days. Mental worries produce an extraordinary tension in the skin of the scalp which interferes with the supply of vital nutrition necessary for the health of the hair. Similarly, anxieties, fear, jealousy and failures have adverse effects on the hair. They dry out the scalpular marrow, the vital sap at the root of the hair.

Other causes of premature greying of hair are unclean condition of the scalp which weakens the roots of the hair as the pores are blocked by the collected dirt ; washing the hair with hot water and drying them with electric dryers which emit a blast of hot air ; the use of hair dyes in the earlier stages when the hair have just started greying ; diseases like chronic cold, sinusitis, anaemia, chronic constipation ; and the use of factory- made hair oils, which are generally cleaned with acids and some of the acids have a tendency to remain in the oil. Heredity is another predisposing factor which gives rise to this ailment.

Treatment

Diet is of utmost importance in the prevention and treatment of premature greying of hair and persons suffering from this disorder should take a diet rich in all essential nutrients. The vitamins considered useful in premature greying of hair are pantothenic acid, para-aminobenzoic acid or PABA and inositol. The minimum daily requirement of these vitamins appears to be 10 mg. of pantothenic acid, 100 gm. of para-aminobenzoic acid and 2000 mg. of inositol. To obtain satisfactory results, all three of these vitamins, belonging to B group, should be supplied at one time preferably in a form which gives all B vitamins, such as yeast, wheat germ and liver. The three anti-grey hair vitamins can be produced in the intestinal tract by bacteria. Thus drinking a litre of yogurt daily with a tablespoon of yeast before each meal will be an excellent remedy for the prevention and treatment of premature greying of hair. If one wishes to take tablets of calcium pantothenate and paba, they should be taken in addition to the yeast and yogurt and not as a substitute for them.

Gayelord Hauser, one of the best known world nutritionists, in his book ‘The New Diet Does it’, claims that this treatment will restore the grey hair back to its natural colour. He also advises addition of iron and iodine in the form of sea food, to an otherwise adequate diet for obtaining better results. Besides fish, which is the main source of iodine, the requirement of this mineral can be met by adequate intake of carrots, bananas and similar other vegetables and fruits.

Carrots are especially useful in furnishing fresh blood and maintaining the health of the hair.

Home remedies

Certain home remedies have been found useful in the prevention and treatment of premature

greying of hair. The foremost among these is the use of Indian gooseberry or amla which is a valuable hair tonic for enriching hair growth and hair pigmentation. The fruit, cut into pieces, should be dried, preferably in the shade. These pieces should be boiled in coconut oil till the solid matter become little charred dust. This darkish oil is very useful in preventing greying.

The water in which dried amla pieces are soaked overnight is Indian gooseberry (amla) is considered highly beneficial in the treatment of premature greying of hair. also nourishing to the hair. This water should be used for the last rinse while washing the hair. Massaging the scalp with a teaspoonful of amla juice mixed with a teaspoonful of almond oil or few drops of lime juice, every night has proved beneficial in the prevention and treatment of premature greying of hair.

Liberal intake of curry leaves is considered beneficial in preventing premature greying of hair.

These have the property to give vitality and strength to hair roots. New hair roots that grow are healthier with normal pigment. The leaves can be used in the form of chutney or these may be squeezed in butter- milk or lassi. When the leaves are boiled in coconut oil, the oil forms an excellent hair tonic to stimulate hair growth and bring back hair pigmentation.

The butter made from cow’s milk has the property to prevent premature greying of hair. A small roll may be taken internally and a little quantity may be massaged into the hair root twice a week.

Ribbed gourd, known as torai in the vernacular, boiled in coconut oil is another effective remedy for premature greying of hair. Pieces of this vegetable should be dried in the shade. These dried pieces should be soaked in coconut oil and kept aside for three or four days. The oil should then be boiled till the solid is reduced to a blackened residue. Thisoil should be massaged into the scalp. It will help enrich the hair roots and restore pigment to the hair.

Hair Dye

The paste of henna leaves, boiled in coconut oil to get a darkish oil, can be used as a hair dye to blacken grey hair. The paste itself can be applied to the hair and washed away after a few hours to dye the grey hair. Washing the hair with concentrated tea extract twice a week is also considered useful in colouring grey hair to brown or black.

Piles

In Diseases and Their Natural Treatment on December 6, 2007 at 6:41 am

Piles or haemorrhoids are among the most common ailments today, especially in the Western

world. They are a varicose and often inflammed condition of the veins inside or just outside the

rectum. In external piles there is a lot of pain, but not much bleeding. In case of internal piles

there is discharge of dark blood. In some cases the veins burst and this results in what is known as bleeding piles.

Symptoms

Pain at passing stools, slight bleeding in the case of internal trouble and a feeling of soreness and irritation after passing a stool are the usual symptoms of piles. The patient cannot sit comfortably due to itching, discomfort and pain in the rectal region.

Causes      

The primary cause of piles is chronic constipation and other bowel disorders. The pressure applied to pass a stool to evacuate constipated bowls and the congestion caused by constipation ultimately lead to piles. The use of purgatives to relieve constipation, by their irritating and weakening effect on the lining of the rectum, also result in enlargement and inflammation of veins and bleeding of the mucus lining. Piles are more common during pregnancy and in conditions affecting the liver and upper bowel. Prolonged periods of standing or sitting, strenuous work, obesity and general weakness of the tissues of the body are the other contributory causes of piles.

Mental tension is also one of the main causes of harmorrioids. Persons who are always in a hurry often strain while passing stools. They rush through defecation instead of making it a relaxed affair. The pressure thus exerted by the anal muscles affect the surrounding tissues. The extra rectal pressure and the resultant congestion of veins ultimately leads to haemorrhoids.

There is probably a hereditary factor also involved in the development of piles.

Treatment

The treatment of the basic cause, namely, chronic constipation, is the only way to get rid of the

trouble. To begin with, the whole digestive tract must be given a complete rest for a few days

and the intestines thoroughly cleansed. For this purpose the patient should adopt an all-fruit diet

for at least seven days. After the all-fruit diet, the patient may adopt a diet of natural foods aimed

at securing soft stools.

The most important food remedy for piles is dry figs. Three or four figs should be soaked

overnight in water after cleansing them thoroughly in hot water. They should be taken the first thing in the morning along with water in which they were soaked. They should also be taken in the evening in a similar manner. This treatment should be continued for three or four weeks. The tiny seeds of the fruit possess an excellent quality of stimulating peristalic movements of intestines. This facilitates easy evacuation of faeces and keeps the alimentary canal clean.

The pressure on the anus having thus been relieved, the haemorrhoids also get contracted.

Mango seeds are regarded as an effective remedy for bleeding piles. The seeds should be collected during the mango season, dried in the shade and powdered and kept stored for use as medicine. It should be given in doses of about one and a half gram to two grams with or without honey.

The jambul fruit is another effective food remedy for bleeding piles. The fruit should be taken

with salt every morning for two or three months in its season. The use of the fruit in this manner in every season will effect a radical cure and save the user from bleeding piles during his / her entire life.

White radish is considered highly valuable in the treatment of piles. Grated radish mixed with honey may be taken in this condition. This vegetable can also be taken in the form of juice mixed with a pinch of salt. It should be given in doses of 60 to 90 ml. in the morning and evening. White radish well ground into a paste in milk can also be beneficial applied over inflammed pile masses to relieve pain and swelling.

The patient should drink atleast six to eight glasses of water a day. He should avoid straining to pass a stool. Cold water treatment helps the veins to shrink and tones up their walls. The treatment is done by sitting in a tub filled with cold water for two minutes with knees drawn up to your chin. The water level should cover the hips. This should be done twice a day. Other water treatments beneficial in curing piles include cold perennial douche and cold compress applied to the rectal area for an hour before bed time.

A patient with piles must make an all out effort to tone up the entire system. Exercise plays an important corrective role in this condition. Movements which exercise the abdominal muscles will

improve circulation in the rectal region and relieve congestion. Outdoor exercises such as walking and swimming are excellent methods of building up general health. Yogic kriyas like jalneti and vamandhouti and asanas such as sarvangasana,viparit karani, halasana, gomukhasana are also useful. Sarvangasana is especially beneficial as it drains stagnant blood from the anus.

Peptic Ulcer

In Diseases and Their Natural Treatment on December 6, 2007 at 6:39 am

Peptic Ulcer refers to an eroded lesion in the gastric intestinal mucosa. An ulcer may form in any part of the digestive tract which is exposed to acid gastric juice, but is usually found in the stomach and the duodenum. The ulcer located in the stomach is known as gastric ulcer and that located in the duodenum is called a deudenal ulcer. Usually both are grouped together and termed peptic ulcer.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of peptic ulcer are sharp and severe pain and discomfort in the upper central abdomen. The pain is commonly described as burning or gnawing in character.

Gastric ulcer pain usually occurs an hour after meals, but rarely at night. Duodenal ulcer pan usually occurs between meals when the stomach is empty and is relieved by food, especially milk. It is often described as hunger pain and gets the sufferer out of bed between 2 and 4 a.m.

As the disease progresses there is distension of the stomach due to excessive flatulence, besides mental tension, insomnia and a gradual weakening of the body. It may also cause constipation with occasional blood in the stools. If an ulcer bleeds slowly, there is anaemia.

Causes                   

Peptic ulcers result from hyperacidity which is a condition caused by an increase in hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This strong acid, secreted by the cells lining the stomach, affects much of the breakdown of food. It can be potentially dangerous and, under certain circumstances, it may eat its way through the lining of the stomach or duodenum producing, first, irritation of the stomach wall and eventually an ulcer.

Dietetic indiscretion, like overeating, taking of heavy meals or highly spiced foods, coffee, alcohol and smoking are the main factors contributing to this condition. The ingestion of certain drugs, particularly aspirin, food poisoning, infections like influenza and septicaemia and gout may also cause ulcers. Emotional stress or nervous tension also plays a major role in the formation of ulcers.

Treatment

Diet is of utmost importance in the treatment of ulcer. The diet should be so arranged as to provide adequate nutrition to afford rest to the disturbed organs, to maintain continuous neutralisation of the gastric acid, to inhibit production of acid and to reduce mechanical and chemical irritation. Milk, cream, butter, fruits, and fresh, raw and boiled vegetables, natural foods and natural vitamin supplements are the best diet for an ulcer patient.

The most effective remedy for peptic ulcers is bananas. They are said to contain an unidentified compound called, perhaps jokingly, vitamin U (against ulcers). Bananas neutralises the over acidity of the gastric juices and reduces the irritation of the ulcer by quoting the lining of the stomach. Banana and milk are considered an ideal diet for the patients who are in an advanced state of the disease.

Almond milk made from blanched almonds in a blender is very beneficial as it binds the excess of acid in the stomach and supplies high quality proteins. Raw goat’s milk is also highly beneficial. It actually helps to heal peptic ulcer.

Cabbage is regarded as another useful home remedy for peptic ulcers. Cabbage is boiled in water. This water is allowed to cool and taken twice daily. The leaves of kalyana murangal tree, which is a variety of drumstick found in South India, have also proved helpful in the healing of the ulcers. The leaves of this tree are ground into a paste and taken mixed with yogurt daily.

Raw vegetables juices, particularly carrot and cabbage juices are beneficial in the treatment of

the peptic ulcers. Carrot juice may be taken either alone or in combination with spinach or beat and cucumber. The formula proportions in the case of the first combination are 300 ml. of carrots and 200 ml. of spinach and in case of the second combination, 300 ml. of carrots and three ounces each of beets and cucumber to make half a litre of juice.

The observance of certain rules by an ulcer patient with regard to eating habits are essential. He should never eat when tired or emotionally upset, nor when he is not hungry even if it is meal time, nor when his mouth is dry. He should chew every morsel thoroughly. He should eat only natural foods and take food in as dry a form as possible. Meals must be small and frequent. All foods and drinks which are either too hot or too cold should be avoided.

The ulcer patient should drink eight to 10 glasses of water every day. However, he should not drink water during or with meals, but only half an hour before or one hour after he has eaten. He should bathe, preferably in cold water, twice daily. Alternate hot and cold hip baths for 10 to 15 minutes and a mud pack applied over the lower abdominal for half an hour daily will help the ulcers to heal. The hip bath or the mud pack should be taken on an empty stomach and should be followed by a walk. In case of haemorrhage in the stomach, a rectal enema should be administered four times daily with water temperature at 110 to 115 o F. In case of abdominal or stomach pain, hot pack should be placed on the abdomen with water temperature at 120 o F. A hot pack should also be placed between the shoulder blades.

Daily massages and deep breathing exercises also help. Above all, the patient must try to rid himself of worries and stay cheerful. He should also cultivate regularity in his habit – be it work, exercise or rest. 

Hyperacidity does not appear suddenly ; it develops gradually and its cure is also a gradual process. The patient should not lose patience but must continue the regimen suggested ; this will help him get relief from his ailment.