What To Do If a Tooth is Damaged

Broken Teeth

Steps need to be taken immediately when a tooth is damaged in order to provide appropriate care for the tooth. If you have a tooth is damaged because of chipping, breaking or a fracture or if something has happened to a filling, take steps until you can see your dentist. If you don’t, infection may set in and the tooth will suffer other dental problems up to and including the loss of the tooth.

If your tooth is broken, chipped or fractured in some way, try to see your dentist within hours Most dentists will give emergency appointments. If the damage is due to a trauma of some sort, such as a car accident, you should try to be seen at emergency room right away. Immediately afterwards, you should see your dentist. Damaged teeth can be repaired most of the time. Your tooth may need more aggressive treatment, than they give at the emergency room, such as capping or filling to be restored to its original condition or even in order to be saved.

In the event that bleeding is an issue, this can be stopped by applying direct, but gentle, pressure to the gums, but not to the tooth itself. If an upper tooth is involved, the pressure should be applied above the tooth, and if the tooth is in the lower portion of the mouth, then pressure should be put on the area of the gums just below the tooth. If swelling should present itself, then be sure to rinse your mouth with warm water, applying a cold compress to the area afterward.

If, after you have had damage to a tooth, you find a piece of a broken or chipped tooth, bring the piece or pieces with you when you go to the dentist. Many times the dentist can repair the tooth with these broken pieces, since he has the required skills and equipment. It is cheaper and easier than replacing the tooth to have him cement them back together. However, the dentist can just as easily make a new filling for your tooth, so don’t bother bringing lost fillings if you find them.

Be careful if you have jagged edges on a tooth that was chipped or broken. These sharp ends can often irritate the surrounding soft tissue of the mouth, causing a great deal of pain. To prevent this, as an emergency measure, put a small piece of soft wax in the damaged area. Your dentist can file down the edge when he sees you, but meanwhile, you can prevent unneccessary damage to your gums with this method.

If you must eat, eat only soft foods until you’ve be seen by your dentist. Also be sure to chew on the opposite side of the mouth from the damaged tooth. If you chew on the damaged tooth you will cause further irritation and perhaps even infection, resulting in further damage or tooth loss. Also avoid extremely hot or extremely cold food. Foods that have extreme temperatures cause further pain and can further irritate the damaged area.

You want to make sure that the gums around the tooth close up and the blood is able to coagulate. This is because there is a lot of blood in the area of the gums. Avoid taking any aspirin products because they will interfere with the blood coagulation factor. Take Advil, Motrin or Aleve in small doses. You should be alright, as long as you don’t have any allergic reactions to these OTC medications. You should be able to get this information from your pharmacist, who should have a list of the medications you take.

You will probably not lose the tooth, if you follow these common-sense guidelines and take steps to repair dental damage immediately. You’ll also increase your chances of keeping the damage to a minimum. Plus, If you visit your dentist regularly,and keep your teeth healthy and clean, your chances of healing quickly will increase.


Useful References

What is Memory – How Does Memory Work ?


What is Memory ?

Memory is the power of the brain to recall any information that has been stored in it. It is the power to remember something that has been learnt or experienced. Memory is important because if there was no memory, there would be no learning. We will forget things soon after learning them. We will not be able to recall any experience either.

The efficiency of the recall system is what makes your memory good or bad. As such, there is nothing like good memory and bad memory. It is just the matter of training your brain to recall efficiently. Remembering is a process that must be learned, just like walking, talking, eating, differentiating colors, distinguishing sounds and telling time. You learned these things when you were a child and now you can perform them without effort, without even being conscious of the mental processes involved. You can learn the process of using your memory just as thoroughly, and when you do, you will have hundred times more power of knowledge and experience than what you have now.

Anyone can hone up the memory by training it. In order to make decisions and solve problems, one needs to refer to previous experiences. To refer to the previous experiences, we must remember them. No one really likes to waste time on re-learning. Therefore, it is imperative to improve our memory. Ever since the time of Cicero, men have been developing techniques to improve memory. The fundamentals remain the same; only the modifications keep pace with the changing times.


How Does Memory Work ?

Psychologists have classified the stages of memory process into three main categories. They call them – sensory memory, short­term memory, and long-term memory.

Sensory memory is a very fleeting type of memory, which works only as long as the experience is present. For instance, if you were looking at a bird, you would remember it only as long as it is in front of you. The moment it flies away, you would not be able to remember what it looked like unless you have filed the information away into your short-term memory. In effect, sensory memory holds as long as your senses are experiencing a thing. Whether it is the feel of an object, smell or the sensation of anything, it is all there in the sensory memory for a very brief period while your sense is active.

Short-term memory, on the other hand, can help you recall for a little longer; in fact, as long as you keep thinking about it. Whether it is the telephone number that you have been repeating constantly till you write it down, or the image of the bird, it will remain available as long as you actively think about it. Otherwise, it will be erased within a span of about 20 seconds. To remember, the brain has to transfer it into the long-term memory bracket.

How does the long-term memory work? It is the mainstay of the memory system and can hold unlimited amount of information, which can range from a few minutes old to life-time period. Long­ term memory is like a huge hard disk of a giant computer where unlimited information can be stored for a lifetime. It is this memory that we have to hone, polish and activate.

All this sounds pretty technical and complicated but just think of it in terms of storage tricks. Take the example of an ice-­cream. You can’t keep the ice-cream from melting beyond a few minutes, if you do not keep it in the fridge. Sensory memory is like the ice-cream kept outside. If you keep the ice-cream in the fridge, it will remain in the semi-formed state and that is the short-term memory. Now, put the ice-cream in the freezer and it will harden to a large extent. Even if you take it out and keep it outside, it will take some time to melt. This is the long-term memory. Quite simple, isn’t it?

Read: Memory Improving Foods and Herbs

The Brain and Memory Connection

No one is born with a poor memory. As human beings, we have been gifted with an amazingly powerful brain. And God has not been partial to anyone in making this extraordinary gift. We, however, often make fun of the forgetful people or people with poor memory and tease them by saying – “You must have been standing at the end of the queue when God was doling out the grey matter. ”

It is worthwhile to learn about the fantastic organ called brain, which governs most of our actions as well as thinking. It is like the master controller, rather like the remote control that you use to surf channels on the television. The brain is constantly bombarded with information, which is relayed through all our senses. Just imagine the enonnous task it has in dealing with all this information, which is constantly being passed on to it.

How Does it Handle all the Traffic of Information?

The amount of information that floods in the brain is staggering. The brain has an unenviable job of sifting out the unimportant bits and selecting the important matters that need to be stored. Memory is just one of the facets of the multifarious functions of the brain.

Since this book deals with memory, we will only discuss that facet of the brain function. The human brain is a complex and highly developed organ. It consists of billions of cells that are constantly analyzing, storing and retrieving information. No computer can match the efficient and organized functioning of a healthy brain. An interesting fact about the brain is that although it is just 2 percent of the total body weight, it uses up about 20 percent of the oxygen used by the entire body, when it is at rest. The brain cannot go without oxygen for more than 3-5 minutes without causing serious damage to it.

The most striking feature of the brain is the backup system. It stores each memory in a different slot. The memory system works in unamazing manner. Sometimes you will find that a certain odour brings back memories of your childhood or a visit to a hill station triggers a memory of a childhood vacation in another hill station. At other times, you may spend hours trying to recall someone’s name without any success, only to remember the name suddenly when you are talking to someone or doing something else.

Useful References

Health Benefits And Importance of Pulses


Pulses may be defined as the dried edible seeds of cultivated legumes. They belong- to the family of peas, beans and lentils. The English word pulse is taken from the Latin puls, meaning pouage or thick pap. The pulses are a large family and various species are capable or surviving in very different climates and soils.

Traces of pulse crops have been found from ancient times in archaeological sites of both the Old and New Worlds and they appear to have been among the earliest domesticated plants. These findings indicate an almost simultaneous arrival of cereals and pulses around 10,000 BC.

Pulses are cultivated in all parts of the world, and they occupy an important place in human diet. They however make a much more important contribution to the diet of all classes of society in the East than in the West. In India especially people who are mostly vegetarian depend largely on cereals and pulses as their staple food, which serve as the main source of dietary protein and energy.

Food Value of Pulses

Pulses contain more protein than any other plant. They serve as a low-cost protein to meet the needs of the large section of the people. They have, therefore, been justifiably described as ‘the poor man’s meat’. Their low moisture content and hard test or seed-coat permit storage over long periods. In addition to providing dry pulses, many of the-crops are grown for their green edible pods and unripe seeds. Nutritionally, immature fruits have distinctly different properties to those of the mature seed; the protein content is lower but they are relatively richer in some of the crops are used as pot herbs.

In general, pulses contain 20 to 28 per cent protein per 100 gm. with the exception of soyabean which has as much as 47 per cent. Their carbohydrate content is about 60 per cent per 100 gm. except soyabean which has about 30 per cent. Pulses are also fairly good sources of thiamin and niacin and provide calcium, phosphorus. and iron. On an average 100 gram of pulses contain energy 345 kcal, protein 24.5 gm, calcium 140 mg., phosphorus 300 mg., iron 8 mg., thiamin 0.5 mg., riboflavin 0.3 mg. and niacin 2 mg.

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Pulses

The nutritive properties of pulses resemble in many respects those of the whole cereal grains; but there are important differences. First, the pulse protein is low in sulphur containing amino acids, but rich in lysine in which many cereals are deficient. A combination of pulses and cereal proteins may, therefore, have a nutritive value as good as animal proteins. Secondly, pulses as a class are good sources of the B group of vitamins except riboflavin. More important, the greater part of these vitamins present in the harvested seeds is actually consumed. There are no losses comparable with those that may arise in the milling and cooking of cereals. Pulses are therefore, an excellent preventive against beriberi.

Thirdly, although pulses, like cereal grains, are devoid of vitamin C, large amount of ascorbic acid are formed on germination. Sprouted pulses are, therefore, an important food which will protect against scurvy. Dietitians in Asian and African hospitals make beneficial use of sprouted pulses for their menus, especially when fresh vegetables and fruits are scarce or too expensive.

In health, the digestion of pulses and the absorption of their principal nutrients is practically complete and. nearly as effective as is the assimilation of cereals. Their digestion, may, however, be incomplete in gastrointestinal disorders. Only small quantities of well-cooked pulses should, therefore, be included in the diets of patients with stomach disorders.

Uses of Pulses

Pulses are used as a common foodstuff in various forms. Pulses, de husked, decorticated and whole seed, are used as dhal and taken with chappatis and cooked rice, Whole seeds take longer time to cook than the de husked and decorticated ones which are relatively better digestible.

Pulses are also commonly used in the form of flour such as that of Bengal gram, green gram, black gram, known as ‘besan’. It is used for mixing with cereal flour in various proportions for chappatis and other preparations.

The practice of utilizing germinated seed or sprouting or young seedlings of pulses as a fresh vegetable is widespread in the Orient. The storage of dried seed and their sprouting as required enables a continuous supply of fresh vegetable material to be produced. There is an amazing increase in nutrients in sprouted pulses when compared to their dried embryo. In the process of sprouting, the vitamins, minerals and protein increase substantially with corresponding decrease in calories and carbohydrate content.

Sprouting of the pulses not only improves nutritive value but also digestibility. During sprouting, starch is broken down to dextrin and maltose, and proteins are broken down to poly peptides, peptides and amino acids. Some of the bound iron is converted to a more readily assimilate form. Phosphorus is liberated from phytate. The ascorbic acid or vitamin C content rises from negligible levels in the seed to 12 mgs. per 100 grams after 18 hours of germination. Riboflavin and niacin contents increase significantly. These changes are brought about by enzymes which become active during germination.

Useful References

Importance of Grain Cereals

Grain Cereals

Grains are generally classified as the seeds of cereal plants. They are characterized by their smallness, hardness and low water content. Most of them belong to the family of grasses, known scientifically as the family of gramineas.
The ancient Romans called Demeter, the Greek goddess of the, grains and harvests, Ceres. The word cereal is derived from her name. Cereals have been the staple human diet from prehistoric times because of their wide cultivation, good keeping qualities, blend flavor and great variety, Each of the cereals has characteristic properties and uses.

The cultivation of grains for human consumption was probably developed around 10,000 B.C. It signified the commencement of the era of stable civilization from the primitive unsettled nomadic life. Ground cereal converted into bread for meal revolved soon thereafter. Cereals have been modified and improved by centuries of cultivation and selective breeding.

Cereals consist of four essential parts, namely

  1. the husk, hull or chaif, the outer covering loosely attached to the grain.
  2. the bran or the outer coat of the grain itself.
  3. the germ or embryo the endosperm which contains nutrients comprising a considerable volume of starch, a small amount of protein and a little fat.

There are numerous varieties of cereals of which the most important are rice, wheat ,maize, millets, oats and barley.

Food Value of Grain Cereals

The whole grains of all cereals have a similar chemical composition and nutritive value. They are classified as carbohydrate rich foods, for their average carbohydrate content is 70 per cent per 100 gm. They provide energy and also some protein which is usually of good quality. The protein content of grains varies from 11.8 per cent for wheat to 8.5 per cent for rice per 100 gm. Whole cereals are good sources of calcium and iron but they are totally devoid of ascorbic acid and practically devoid of vitamin A activity. Yellow maize is the only cereal containing appreciable amounts of carotene. Whole grain cereals also contain significant amounts of B group of vitamins. For a balanced diet, cereals should be supplemented by other proteins, minerals and vitamin A and C found in nuts, seeds, milk, fruits and fresh green vegetables.

Whole grain cereals play an important role in the diet. It sprouted, they provide an increase in protein balance, as well as in all other nutrients, especially vitamin C. Their complex form of carbohydrate. When in the whole state, is valuable for
digestive needs, especially in providing excellent sources of vital fibre.

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Grain Cereals

All grains can be ground into flour for baking nourishing breads, cookies and cakes, In prehistoric days, flour was used when fresh food was scarce, even then it was only used immediately and being freshly ground, so that it contained most of the original nourishment of the grain. The modern day use of steel mills has resulted in a very fine grade of flour, with the consequence considerable loss of nutrients. Thus the modern grain, loses so much nourishment when hulled, refined, ground,
sterilized and bleached that the result is a grossly undernourished powder.

Wheat is by far the most popular flour, but there is significant difference between whole meal wheat and plain white wheat flour. In the refining process of whole wheat, the precious wheat germ, which is the very life of grain, is removed.
The wheat germ contains the all important vitamin E. The refining of grains to retain only the endosperm has a commercial basis as the refined material appears cleaner, tastes better and is easier in making breads, pastries and other delicacies. But the refined products made after the removal of germ and bran, lack sufficient bulk and leads to numerous degenerative diseases and
even cancer.

Useful References

Vitamins and Their Importance in Health and Disease


The word ‘Vitamins’, meaning a vital amine was proposed by a Polish researcher, Dr. Cacimir Funk, in 1911 to designate a new food substance which cured beriberi. Other terms were proposed as new factors were discovered, but the word vitamin, with the final ‘e’ dropped, met with popular favour.

Vitamins are potent organic compounds which are found in small concentrations in foods. They perform specific and vital functions in the body chemistry. They are like electric sparks which help to run human motors. Except for a few exceptions, they cannot be manufactured or synthesized by the organism and their absence or improper absorption results in specific deficiency disease. It is not possible to sustain life without all the essential vitamins. In their natural state they are found in minute quantities in organic foods. We must obtain them from these foods or in dietary supplements.

Vitamins, which are of several kinds, differ from each other in physiological function, in chemical structure and in their distribution in food. They are broadly divided into two categories, namely fat soluble and water soluble. Vitamins A, D, E and K are all soluble in fat and fat solvents and are therefore, known as fat soluble. They are not easily lost by ordinary cooking methods and they can be stored in the body to some extent, mostly in the liver. They are measured in international units. Vitamin B Complex and C are water soluble. They are dissolved easily in cooking water. A portion of these vitamins may actually be destroyed by heating.

They cannot be stored in the body and hence they have to be taken daily in foods. Any extra quantity taken in anyone day is eliminated as waste. Their values are given in milligrams and micrograms, whichever is appropriate.

Vitamins, used therapeutically, can be of immense help in fighting disease and speeding recovery. They can be used in two ways, namely, correcting deficiencies and treating disease in place of drugs. Latest researches indicate that many vitamins taken in large doses, far above the actual nutritional needs, can have a miraculous healing effect in a wide range of common complaints and illnesses. Vitamin therapy has a distinct advantage over drug therapy. While drugs are always toxic and have many undesirable side effects, vitamins, as a rule are non-toxic and safe.

The various functions of common vitamins, their deficiency symptoms, natural sources, daily requirements and their therapeutic uses are discussed in brief as follows:

Vitamin A


Vitamin A is known as anti ophthalmic, vitamin A is essential for growth and vitality. It builds up resistance to respiratory and other infections and works mainly on the eyes, lungs stomach and intestines. It prevents eye diseases and plays a vital role in nourishing the skin and hair. It helps to prevent premature ageing and senility, increases life expectancy and extends youthfulness. The main sources of this vitamin are fish liver oil, liver, whole milk, curds, pure ghee, butter, cheese, cream and egg yolk, green leafy and certain yellow root vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, turnip, carrot, cabbage and tomato and ripe fruits such as prunes, mangoes, papaya, apricots, peaches, almonds and other dry fruits. A prolonged deficiency of vitamin A may result in inflammation of the eyes, poor vision, frequent colds, night blindness and increased susceptibility to infections, lack of appetite and vigor, defective teeth and gums and skin disorders.

The recommended daily allowance of vitamin A is 5,000 international units for adults and 2,600 to 4,000 international units for children. When taken in large therapeutic doses, which are usually 25,000 to 50,000 units a day, it is ,highly beneficial in the treatment of head and chest colds, sinus trouble, influenza and other infectious diseases. It is also valuable in curing night blindness and other eye diseases as well as many stubborn skin disorders. This vitamin can be given up to 1,00,000 units a day for a limited period of four weeks under doctor’s supervision In a recent year-long study. huge doses of vitamin A given twice a year reduced death by about 30 per cent among Indonesian children. This has raised hope in the fight against a significant cause of childhood mortality in developing countries.

B Complex Vitamins

There are a large variety of vitamins in the B group, the more important being B1. or thiamine, B2 or riboflavin, B3or niacin or nicotinic acid, B6 or pyridoxine, B9 or folic acid. B12 and B5 or pantothenic acid. B vitamins are synergistic. They are more potent together than when used separately.


Known as anti-beriberi, anti-neuritic and anti-ageing vitamin, thiamine plays an important role in the normal functioning of the nervous system, the regulation of carbohydrates and good digestion. It protects heart muscle, stimulates brain action and helps prevent constipation. It has a mild diuretic effect. Valuable sources of this vitamin are wheat germ, yeast, the outer layer of whole grains, cereals, pulses, nuts, peas, legumes,dark green leafy vegetables, milk, egg, banana and apple. The deficiency of thiamine can cause serious impairment of the digestive system and chronic constipation, loss of weight, diabetes, mental depression, nervous exhaustion and weakness of the heart.

The recommended daily allowance for this vitamin is about two milligrams for adults and 1.2 mg for children. The need for this vitamin increases during illness, stress and surgery as well as during pregnancy and lactation. When taken in a large quantity, say up to 50 mg, it is beneficial in the treatment of digestive disorders, neuritis and other nervous troubles as well as mental depression. For best results, all other vitamins of B group should be administered simultaneously. Prolonged ingestion of large doses of anyone of the isolated B complex vitamins may result in high urinary losses of other B vitamins and lead to deficiencies of these vitamins.


vitamin b2

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin, also known as vitamin G, is essential for growth and general health as also for healthy eyes, skin, nails and hair. It helps eliminate sore mouth, lips and tongue. It also functions with other substances to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and protein. The main sources of this vitamin are green leafy vegetables, milk, cheese, wheat germ, egg, almonds, sunflower, seeds, citrus fruits and tomato. Its deficiency can cause a burning sensation in the legs, lips and tongue, oily skin, premature wrinkles on face and arm and eczema.

The recommended daily allowance for this vitamin is 1 .6 to 2.6 mg for adults and 0.6 to one mg for children. Its use in larger quantities, say from 25 to 50 mg, is beneficial in the treatment of nutritional cataracts and other eye ailments, digestive disturbances, nervous depression, general debility and certain types of high blood pressure.


Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 or niacin or nicotinic acid is essential for proper circulation, healthy functioning of the nervous system and proper protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It is essential for synthesis of sex hormones, cartisone, thyroxin and insulin. It is contained in liver, fish, poultry, peanut, whole wheat, green leafy vegetables, dates, figs, prunes and tomato. A deficiency can lead to skin eruptions, frequent stools, mental depression, insomnia, chronic headaches, digestive disorders and anemia.

The recommended daily allowance is 12 to 20 mg for adults and 4.8 to 12 mg for children. Large doses of this vitamin say up to 100 mg with each meal, preferably together with other 8 group vitamins, affords relief in case of migraine and high blood pressure caused by nervousness, high cholesterol and arteriosclerosis.


Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine is actually a group of substances pyridoxine, pyridoxine and pyridoxine that are closely related and function together. It helps in the absorption of fats and proteins, prevents nervous and skin disorders and protects against degenerative diseases. The main sources of this vitamin are yeast, wheat, bran, wheat germ, pulses, cereals. banana, walnuts, soyabeans, milk, egg, liver, meat and fresh vegetables. Deficiency can lead to dermatitis, conjunctivitis, anemia, depression, skin disorders, nervousness, insomnia, migraine headaches and heart diseases.

The recommended daily requirement is 2.0 mg for adults and 0.2 mg for children. This vitamin used therapeutically from 100 to 150 mg daily can relieve painful joints and the discomforts of pregnancy and pre menstrual symptoms. Vitamin B6 is now the most intensively studied of all vitamins. Researchers are on the threshold of a number of promising developments involving treatments of various ailments with this vitamin. They include hyperactivity in children, asthma, arthritis, kidney stones, blood clots in heart attack victims and nervous disorders.

Folic acid

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 or folic acid, along with vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of red blood cells. It is essential for the growth and division of all body cells for healing processes. It aids protein metabolism and helps prevent premature greying. Valuable sources of this vitamin are deep green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, brewers yeast, mushrooms, nuts, peanuts and liver. A deficiency can result in certain types of anemia, serious skin disorders, loss of hair, impaired circulation. fatigue and mental depression.

The minimum daily requirement of this vitamin is 0.4 mg. To correct anemia and deficiencies 5 mg or more are needed daily. Some authorities believe that folic acid is contraindicated in leukemia and cancer.

Pantothenic Acid

Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid helps in cell building, maintaining normal growth and development of the central nervous system. It stimulates the adrenal glanris and increases the production of cortisone and other adrenal hormones. It is essential for conversion of fat and sugar to energy. It also helps guard against most physical and mental stresses and toxins and in­creases vitality. The main sources of this vitamin are whole grain bread and cereals, green vegetables, peas, beans, peanuts and egg yolk. It can be synthesized in the body by intestinal bacteria. A deficiency can cause chronic fatigue, hypoglycemia, greying and loss of hair, mental depression, stomach disorders, blood and skin disorders.

The minimum daily requirement of this vitamin has not been established. but is estimated to be between 30 and 50 mg a day. The usual therapeutic doses are 50 to 200 mg. In some studies 1 ,000 mg or more were given daily for six months without side effects. It is useful in the treatment of insomnia, low blood pressure and hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

Vitamin B12

vitamin b2

Vitamin B12 or cobolamin, commonly known as “red vitamin”, is the only vitamin that contains essential mineral elements. It is essential for proper functioning of the central nervous system, production and regeneration of red blood cells and proper utilization of fat, carbohydrates and protein for body building. It also improves concentration, memory and balance. Valuable sources of this vitamin are kidney, liver, meat, milk, eggs, bananas and peanuts. Its deficiency can lead to certain types of anemia, poor appetite and loss of energy and mental disorders.

The recommended daily allowance of this vitamin is 3 mcg. Taken in large therapeutic doses from 50 to 100 mcg., it is beneficial in the treatment of lack of concentration, fatigue, depression, insomnia and poor memory.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is essential for normal growth and the maintenance of practically all the body tissues, especially those of the joints, bones, teeth and gums. It protects one against infections and acts as a harmless antibiotic. It promotes healing and serves as protection against all forms of stress and harmful effects of toxic chemicals. It helps prevent and cure the common cold. It also helps in decreasing blood cholesterol. This vitamin is found in citrus fruits, berries, green and leafy vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, sprouted Bengal and green grams. A deficiency can cause scurvy marked by weakness, anemia, bleeding gums and painful and swollen parts, slow healing of sores and wounds, premature ageing and lowered resistance to all infections.

The recommended daily allowance is 50 to 75 mg for adults and 30 to 50 mg for children. Smokers and older persons have greater need for vitamin C. It is used therapeutically in huge doses from 100 to 10,000 mg a day. It prevents and cures colds and infections effectively, neutralizes various toxins in the system, speeds healing processes in virtually all cases of ill health, increases sexual vitality and prevents premature ageing. According to Dr. Linus Pauling, a world famous chemist and nutrition expert, “because vitamin C is one of the least toxic vitamins, it is very safe to use in high doses”. Your body will take exactly what it needs and excrete any excess naturally.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary for proper bone and teeth formation, and for the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland. It assists in the assimilation of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals from the digestive tract. This vitamin is found in the rays of the sun, fish, milk, eggs, butter and sprouted seeds. A deficiency can cause gross deformation of bones and severe tooth decay.

The recommended daily allowance of this vitamin for both adults and children is 400 to 500 international units. Therapeutically, up to 4,000 to 5,000 units a day for adults or half of this for children, is a safe dose, if taken for not longer than one month. It is beneficial in the treatment of muscular fatigue, constipation and nervousness. It can be toxic if taken in excessive doses, especially for children. Signs of toxicity are unusual thirst, sore eyes, itching skin, vomiting, diarrhea, urinary urgency, abnormal calcium deposits in blood vessel walls, liver, lungs, kidneys and stomach

Vitamin E

vitamin E

Vitamin E is essential for normal reproductory functions, fertility, and physical vigour. It prevents unsaturated fatty acids, sex hormones and fat soluble vitamins from being destroyed in the body by oxygen. It dilutes blood vessels and improves circulation. It is essential for the prevention of heart diseases, asthma, arthritis and many other conditions. It is available in wheat or cereals germ, whole grain products, green leafy vegetables, milk, eggs, all whole, raw or sprouted seeds and nuts. Its deficiency can lead to. sterility in men and repeated abortions in women, degenerative developments in the coronary system, strokes and heart disease.

The official estimated requirement of this vitamin is 15 international units. Expert nutritionists estimate the actual requirement at 100 to 200 I.U. a day. The therapeutic doses are from 200 to 2400 I.U. daily. It is beneficial in the treatment of various forms of paralysis, diseases of the muscles, artheriosclerosic heart disease by diluting blood vessels. It prevents formation of scars in burns and post operation healing. It protects against many environmental poisons in air, water and food. It also has a dramatic effect on the reproductive organs and prevents miscarriage, increases male and female fertility and helps to restore male potency.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is necessary for the proper clotting of blood, prevention of bleeding and normal liver functions. It aids in reducing excessive menstrual flow. This vitamin is contained in egg yolk, cow’s milk, yogurt, alfalfa, green and leafy vegetables, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage and tomato. Its deficiency can lead to insufficient bile salts in the intestines, colitis, lowered vitality and premature ageing.

Useful References

Role of Pillows in Asthma

Pillows in Asthma

People who are suffering from asthma are very cautious about their surroundings making sure that they do not get an asthma attack. In this endeavor, they take proper care of hygiene in their personal life. You will see many asthmatic patients regularly changing their pillow covers as often as everyday.  However, they do not focus on the pillows, which could be serving as a host to many varieties of allergens. Pillows continue to be used for years before being replaced. Many don’t even get the opportunity to get aired. This is harmful as these pillows act as a catalyst in an asthma attack.

The seriousness of this threat can be gauged by the fact that according to The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, as many as 45% homes have dust mite concentrations that are higher than acceptable allergic sensitivity levels. With such a high percentage, you don’t know what all types of microscopic creatures could be sharing your bed.

While the problem is not too acute for normal people, this is entirely different for patients suffering from chronic asthma, allergies, or respiratory ailments. The percentage does seem to create panic, but with a little bit of care and by following a hygienic lifestyle this problem could be resolved.

To address this problem, allergists and other health experts advise that pillows should be changed every one or two years and should be aired more frequently. Besides this, there are other more cumbersome methods such as weekly washing of all bedding in hot water at 130-160 degrees, and steam-cleaning the bedroom carpet and more frequently. They should also wash their bedding in hot water every week. This would be especially beneficial in bringing down symptoms in allergic and asthmatic patients, preventing the build up of dust mites. curtains frequently. There are also available in the market, options such as the allergen-barrier bedding protectors which can be put to good use.

The mattress and pillow casings infected with house dust mites have a very strong effect on children. As a result, there are great benefits of using bedding, which is covered in allergy-proof material. This has been attested by the study published in January 2003, in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. This bedding was tested on 60 children in Denmark and established that it was helpful in bringing down the medication requirement for children suffering from allergy asthma.

Thus in addition to replacing pillows every six months to two years, many doctors also recommend allergen-resistant pillow and mattress coverings. You might try encasing pillows with zippered plastic or vapor permeable fabrics. Hypoallergenic pillows made from polyester fibers are also a good option. Polyurethane-covered mattress and bedding encasing are impermeable to allergens but absorb perspiration, allowing the body to ‘breathe’. Even allergy sufferers can use down pillows as long as the down is classified as hypoallergenic, which means the down was extensively cleaned with specialized soaps.

The environment of your home also decides the intensity of dust mites and other allergens in your bedding. For example, if you have a dusty climate and an airy home then there would be more dust and hence, more dust mites. On the other hand, if you have an airtight home, then too you are prone to allergens and dust mites, as they will be trapped inside. As a result, people with homes in dusty or humid and moldy climate should think about changing their bedding such as pillows, more often than others.

It is essential for allergic and asthmatic patients to change their pillows at least once every one or two years, perhaps even more frequently. They should also wash their bedding in hot water every week. This would be especially beneficial in bringing down symptoms in allergic and asthmatic patients, preventing the build up of dust mites.

Useful References

Role of Enzymes in Nutrition


Enzymes are chemical substances produced in the living organism. They are marvelous organic catalysts which are essential to life as they control all the chemical reactions that take place in a living system. Enzymes are part of all living cells, including those of plants and animals.

The term enzyme, which literally means in yeast’, was coined following the demonstration of catalytic properties of yeast and yeast juices. Although enzymes are produced in the living cell, they are not dependent upon the vital processes of the cell and work outside the cell. Certain enzymes of yeast, for instance, when expressed from the yeast cells are capable of exerting their usual effect, that is, the conversion of sugar.to alcohol.

A striking feature of enzymes is that while they enter into chemical reaction, they remain intact in the process. They however, act with maximum efficiency at a certain temperature. Lowering the temperature below or raising it above this level slows the reaction. A high degree of heat, that is above 60°C, permanently destroys their action.

It has been estimated that there are over 20,000 enzymes in the human body. This estimate is based on the number pf bodily processes that seem to require action. However, so far only about 1,000 enzymes have been identified. But their great role in nutrition and other living processes has been firmly established. They are protein molecules made up of chains of amino acids. They playa vital role and work more efficiently than any reagent concocted by chemists. Thus for instance, a chemist can separate proteins into their component amino acids by boiling them at 166°C for over 18 hours in a strong solution of hydrochloric acid, bUt the enzymes of the small in­testines can do so in less than three hours at body temperature in a neutral medium.

A feature which distinguishes enzymes from inorganic catalysts is that they are absolutely specific in their actions. This means that a particular enzyme can cause reactions involving only a particular type of substance or a group of closely related substances. The substance on which the enzyme acts is known as “substrate” . The specificity of an enzyme is, however, related to the formation of the enzyme-substrate complex which requires that the appropriate groupings of both substrate and enzyme should be in correct relative position. The substrate must fit the enzyme like a key fits its lock.

Enzymes which are used in the cells which make them are called intracellular enzymes. Enzymes which are produced in cells which secrete them to other parts of the body are known as extra cellular enzymes. Digestive juices are an example of the latter type.



There are few enzymes whose names have been established by long usage such as ptyalin, pepsin, trypsin and erepsin. Apart from these, enzymes are usually named by adding the suffixes to the main part of the name of the substrate upon which they act. Thus amylases act upon starch (amylum), lactase acts upon lactose, lipases act upon lipids, maltase acts upon maltose and protesses act upon proteins. There are, however, several enzymes which act upon many substances in different ways. These enzymes are named by their functions rather than substrates. Thus, an enzyme which causes deaminations is called a deaminase and oxidizing enzyme an oxidase.

Some enzymes work efficiently only if some other specific substance is present in addition to substrate. This other substance is known as an “activator” or a “conenzyme” . “Activators” are usually inorganic ions. They increase the activity of a complete enzyme and may take part in the formation of the enzyme substrate complex. Many of the conenzymes are related to vitamins. This explains why vitamin deficiencies profoundly alter metabolism. Thus, for instance, thiamine, as thiamine pyrophosphate, functions as a conenzyme in at least 14 enzyme systems. Conenzymes, like enzymes, are being continuously regenerated in the cells.

Enzymes playa decisive role in the digestion of food as they are responsible’ for the chemical changes which the food undergoes during digestion. The chemical changes comprise the breaking up of the large molecules of carbohydrates, fats and proteins into smaller ones or conversion of complex substances into simple ones which can be absorbed by the intestines. They also control the numerous reactions by which these simple substances are utilized in the body for building up new tissues and producing energy. The enzymes themselves are not broken down or changed in the process. They remain as powerful at the end of a reaction as they were at the beginning. Moreover, very small amounts can convert large amounts of material. They are thus true catalysts.

The process of digestion begins in the mouth. The saliva in the mouth, besides helping to masticate the food, carries an enzyme called ptyalin which begins the chemical action of digestion. It initiates the catabolism (breakdown) of carbohydrates by converting starches into simple sugars. This explains the need for thorough mastication of starchy food in the mouth. If this is not done the ptyalin cannot carry out its functions as it is active in an alkaline, neutral or slightly acid medium and is inactivated by the highly acid gastric juices in the stomach.

Although enzymatic action starts while food is being chew­ed, digestion moves into high gear only when the chewed food has passed the esophagus and reached the stomach. While the physical action of peristalsis churns and kneads solid food into a semi-solid amorphous mixture called chyme, this mixture undergoes chemical changes initiated by gastric juices secreted by the walls of the Stomach. These juices include mucus for lubricating the stomach, hydrochloric acid and gastric juice. The enzyme or active principle of the gastric juice is pepsin. This enzyme in combination with hydrochloric acid Starts the breakdown of proteins into absorbable amino acids called poly peptides. An additional enzyme, rennin, plays an important role in the stomach of the infant. It curdles milk and allows the pepsin to. work upon it. The gastric juice has no effect upon starches or fats.

When the chyme leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine through the pylorus – the lower escape valve, it still contains much food which is in the form of raw material not yet ready for absorption in the body. Digestion is completed inside the small intestine by several juices. From liver comes a liquid called bile which converts fat globules into a smooth emulsion.

The pancreas contributes various enzymes which continue the breakdown of proteins, help to. divide starch into sugars and work with bile in digesting fats. The small intestine itself secretes enzymes from its inner wall to complete the reactions. When all the enzymes have done their work, the food is digested and rendered fit for absorption by the system.

The following table briefly summaries the chemical digestion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins by various enzymes :

Source of Enzyme
Salivary glands
Salivary amylase (ptyalin)StarchDextrins and maltose
Gastric mucosa
Gastric protease pepsin
Proteins caseinpolypeptides Insoluble casein
Gastric lipaseShort chain and medium chain triglyceridesFatty acids and glycerol
Small IntestinePancreatic Proteases, trypsin chymotrypsin carboxypeptidases

Proteins and polypeptides

Smaller polypeptides and amino acids
Panocreatic lipase Fats (steapsin )FatsMono and diglycerides, fatty acids and glycerol
Pancreatic amylase (amylospin)Amylose and amylopectinMaltose, maltotriose and a-limit dextrins
Intestinal mucosa
Intestinal peptidases
aminopeptideses dipeptideses
Polypeptides Dipeptides
Smaller polypeptides and amino acids
Intestinal saccharidases
dextrinase (isomaltase)a-limit dextrinsGlucose
SucraseSucraseGlucose and fructose
MaltaseMaltoseGlucose (2 molecules)
LactaseLactoseGlucose and galactose

Enzymes form part of the food we eat. Raw foods contain enzymes in abundance; cooking, pasteurizing, pickling, smoking and other processing denature enzymes. It is, therefore, essential to include in our diet, substantial amount of raw foods in the form of fruits, raw salads and sprouts. Studies have revealed that the body without sufficient raw materials from raw foods, may tire and produce fewer enzymes year after year. This may lead to wearing out of body processes and consequent worn-out looks.

Useful References

Mesothelioma And The Dangers Of Asbestos


Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is common among people who have been exposed to asbestos. Because of this causation, most mesothelioma patients tend to be men of retirement age, who may have worked with asbestos in unsafe conditions three to five decades ago. Nowadays there are precautions in place for working with this dangerous substance

The cancer may also be found in those who had close contact with asbestos workers, since particles of it can get trapped in hair and clothes.

Mesothelioma is difficult to treat, and most patients do not respond to the standard cancer treatments. It is also very hard to diagnose since the symptoms – which could include coughing, difficulties with breathing, weight loss, fever and difficulties swallowing – are the same as for many other diseases.

This is why anyone who thinks they may have been regularly exposed to asbestos particles should be sure to tell their physician. Be sure to let your doctor know if you have worked with asbestos in an unsafe environment (fully protective chemical suits and breathing masks are what asbestos workers now must wear, so anything less is considered unprotected), or anyone who spent significant time with someone who worked with the material.

Mesothelioma afflicts the cells in the mesothelium, which is the external layer of the stomach, lungs and heart. That means there are three basic types of mesothelioma, one for each of these organs.

The most common organ to be affected is the lung – probably because the particles were breathed in and trapped in the lung. This type is called pleural mesothelioma and the symptoms that normally come with it are breathing difficulties, short breathing, swallowing problems, weight loss, and fever.

Mesothelioma that affects the abdomen or stomach is called peritoneal mesothelioma. Here the symptoms are somewhat different, including vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, swollen or painful belly, and weight loss.

The third type is the rarest. Pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the heart, has symptoms that include heart palpitations, difficultly breathing, and severe cough.

Prognosis is best if the disease is caught early, as with most types of cancer. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your physician about your medical history and prior exposure to asbestos. But mesothelioma in general has a poor success rate, especially when caught later.

Treatments for this disease range from surgery to radiation therapy and chemotherapy. To help relieve the suffering associated with the disease, there are several palliative therapy treatments available.

As with other cancers, there are many mesothelioma treatment clinical trials currently underway around the globe. Doctors and scientists are constantly searching for new ways to treat even such devastating cancers as this one.

The good news is that mesothelioma is easily preventable. Just make sure to stay far away from asbestos, or from people who work with asbestos in unsafe circumstances. Asbestos itself is not dangerous until it is broken up, which causes its particles to be released into the air.

Since it used to be very common in the construction industry it’s not uncommon to find it in buildings, especially in roofs or walls. If you think you have asbestos in your home, don’t try to fix the problem on your own. Call in a professional, since removing and getting rid of the material yourself is against the law. Getting help with this matter may cost a bit more than doing it yourself, but it’s well worth it.

Useful References

Minerals And Their Importance in Nutrition


The term “minerals” refers to elements in their simple inorganic form. In nutrition they are commonly referred to as mineral elements or inorganic nutrients.

Minerals are vital to health. like vitamins and amino acids, minerals are essential for regulating and building the trillions of living cells which make up the body. Body cells receive the essential food elements through the bloodstream. They must, therefore, be properly nourished with an adequate Supply of all the essential minerals for the efficient functioning of the body.

Minerals help maintain the volume of water necessary to life processes in the body. They help draw chemical substances into and out of the cells and they keep the blood and tissue fluid from becoming either too acidic or too alkaline. The importance of minerals, like vitamins, is illustrated by the fact that there are over 50,000 enzymes in the body which direct growth and energy and each enzyme has minerals and vitamins associated with it. Each of the essential food minerals does a specific job in the body and some of them do extra work, in teams, to keep body cells healthy. The mineral elements which are needed by the body in sUbstantial amounts are calcium, phosphorus, iron, sulphur, magnesium, sodium, potassium and chlorine. In addition, the body needs minute (trace) amounts of iodine, copper, cobalt, manganese, zinc, selemium, silicon, flourine and some others.



The human body needs calcium more than any other mineral. A man weighing 70 kg. contains one kg. of calcium. About 99 per cent of the quantity in the body is used for building strong bones and teeth and the remaining one per cent is used by the blood, muscles and nerves. Calcium performs many important functions. Without this mineral, the contractions of the heart would be faulty, the muscles would not contract properly to make the limbs move and blood would not clot. Calcium stimulates enzymes in the digestive process and coordinates the functions of all other minerals in the. body. Calcium is found in milk and milk pro­ducts, whole wheat, leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and cabbage; carrots, watercress, oranges, lemons, almonds, figs and walnuts. A daily intake of about 0.4 to 0.6 grams of calcium is considered desirable for an adult. The requirement is larger for growing children and pregnant and lactating women. Deficiency may cause porous and fragile bones, tooth decay, heart palpitations, muscle cramps, insomnia and irritability.

A large increase in the dietary supply of calcium is needed in tetany and when the bones are decalcified due to poor calcium absorption, as in rickets, osteomalacia and the malabsorption syndrome. Liberal tluantity of calcium is also necessary when excessive calcium has been lost from the body, as in hyper­parathyroidism or chronic renal disease



It combines with calcium to create the calcium-phosphorus balance necessary for the growth of bones and teeth and in the formation of nerve cells. This mineral is also essential for the assimilation of carbohydrates and fats. It is a stimulant to the nerves and brain.

Phosphorus is found in abundance in cereals, pulses, nuts, egg yolk, fruit juices, milk and legumes. Usually about one gram of phosphorus is considered necessary in the daily diet. A phosphorus deficiency may bring about loss of weight, retard­ed growth, reduced sexual powers and general weakness. It may result in poor internalization of bones, deficient nerve and brain function. While taking calcium in therapeutic doses for calcium deficiency conditions or for treating certain ailments, it is advisable to take the calcium supplement in which phosphorus has been added in the correct proportions. This is necessary as calcium cannot achieve its objectives unless phosphors is present in a proper balance.



Iron is an important mineral which enters into the vital activity of the blood and glands. Iron exists chiefly as hemoglobin in the blood. It distributes the oxygen inhaled into the lungs to all the cells. It is the master mineral which creates warmth, vitality and stamina. It is required for a healthy complexion and for building up resistance in the body.

The chief sources of iron are grapes, raisins, spinach, all green vegetables, whole grain, cereals, dried beans, dark colored fruits, beets, dates, liver and egg yolk. The Indian Council of Medical Research has recommended an allowance of 20. to 30. mg. of iron in a balanced diet for an adult. Iron deficiency is generally caused by severe blood loss, malnutrition, infections and by excessive use of drugs and chemicals. Deficiency of dietary iron may cause nutritional – anemia, lowered resistance to disease, a general run down condition, pale complexion, shortness of breath on manual exertion and loss of interest in sex.

Iron is the classic remedy for anemia. However, there are several forms of anemia, and iron deficiency anemia is only one. If one is taking iron pills due to insufficient intake of iron in the normal diet, one should also take at least 40.0 mg. of folic acid or folate every day, along with 10. to 25 mg. of vitamin B12. Both these vitamins are essential in building healthy blood cells.



All living matter contains some sulphur; this element is therefore essential for life. The greater part of the sulphur in the human body is present in the two sulphur-containing amino acids, methionine and cysteine, or in the double form of the latter cystine. The main purpose of sulphur is to dissolve waste materials. It helps to eject some of the waste and poisons from the system. It helps keep the skin clear of blemishes and makes hair glossy. It is also valuable in rheumatic conditions.

The main sulphur containing foods are radishes, carrots, cabbage, cheese, dried beans, fish and eggs. There is no recommended dietary allowance. But a diet sufficient in protein will generally be adequate in sulphur. Deficiency of sulphur may cause eczema and imperfect development of hair and nails. Sulphur creams and ointments have been remarkably successful in treating a variety of skin problems.



All human tissues contain small amounts of magnesium. The adult human body contains about 25 gm’s. of this mineral. The greater part of this amount is present in bones in combination with phosphate and carbonate. Bone ashes contain less than one per cent magnesium. About one-fifth of the total magnesium in the body is present in the soft tissues, where it is mainly bound to protein. Next to potassium, magnesium is the predominant metallic cation in living cells. The bones seem to provide a reserve supply of this mineral in case of shortage elsewhere in the body.

Biochemists call magnesium the “coll, alkaline, refreshing, sleep promoting mineral.” Magnesium helps one keep calm and cool during the sweltering summer months. It aids in keeping nerves relaxed and normally balanced. It is necessary for all muscular activity. This mineral is an activator for most of the enzyme systems involving carbohydrate, fat and protein in energy producing reactions. It is involved in the production of lecithin which prevents building up of cholesterol and consequent arteriosclerosis. Magnesium promotes a healthier cardiovascular system and aids in fighting depression. It helps prevent calcium deposits in kidneys and gallstones and also brings relief from indigestion.

Magnesium is widely distributed in foods. It is a part of the chlorophyll in green vegetables. Other good sources of this mineral. are nuts, soybeans, alfalfa, apples, figs, lemons, peaches, almonds, whole grains, brown rice, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. The recommended dietary allowances for magnesium are 350. mg. per day for adult man, 30.0. mg. for women and 450. mg. during pregnancy and lactation. Deficiency can lead to kidney damage and kidney stones, muscle cramps, arteriosclerosis, heart attack, epileptic seizures, nervous irritability, marked depression and confusion, impaired protein metabolism and premature wrinkles.

Chronic alcoholics often show a low plasma magnesium concentration and a high urinary output. They may, therefore, require magnesium therapy especially in an acute attack of delirium tremens. Magnesium has also proved useful in bladder and urinary problems and in epileptic seizures. This mineral together with vitamin B6 or pyridoxine has also been found effective in the prevention and treatment of kidney stones. Magnesium can be taken in therapeutic doses up to 700 mg. a day.



Sodium chloride, the chemical name for common salt, contains 39 per cent of sodium, an element which never occurs in free form in nature. It is found in an associated form with many minerals especially in plentiful amounts with chlorine. The body of a healthy person weighing about 65 kg. contains 256 g. of sodium chloride. Of this the major part, just over half, is in the extra cellular fluid. About 96 g. is in bone and less than 32 g. in the cells.

Sodium is the most abundant chemical in the extra cellular fluid of the body. It acts with other electrolytes, especially potassium, in the intracellular fluid, to regulate the osmotic pressure and maintain a proper water balance within the body. It is a major factor in maintaining acid-base equilibrium, in transmitting nerve impulses, and in relaxing muscles. It is also required for glucose absorption and for the transport of other nutrients across cell membranes. Sodium can help prevent catarrh. It promotes a clear brain, resulting in a better disposition and less mental fatigue. Because of its influence on calcium, sodium can also help dissolve any stones forming within the body. It is also essential for the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and plays a part in many other glandular secretions.

There is some natural salt in every food we eat. Vegetable foods rich in sodium are celery, cucumbers, watermelon, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, beet tops, cabbage, lettuce, corn, lady’s fingers, apple, berries, pears, squash, pumpkin, peaches, lentils, almonds and walnuts. Animal food sources include shell fish, lean beef, kidney, bacon and cheese. ‘The sodium chloride requirements for persons living in the tropics have been estimated at 10 to 15 g. per day for adults who are engaged in light work and 15 to 20 g. for those engaged in hard work. The requirements of children are from five to 10 g. and those for adolescent boys and girls from 10 to 25 g.

Both deficiency and excess of salt may produce adverse effects on the human body. Deficiencies of sodium are, however, rare and may be caused by excessive sweating, prolonged use of diuretics, or chronic diarrhea. Deficiency may lead to nausea, muscular weakness, heat exhaustion, mental apathy and respiratory failure. Over supply of sodium is a more common problem because of over use of dietary sodium chloride or common salt. Too much sodium may lead to water retention, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, stomach cancer, hardening of arteries and heart disease.

In case of mild deficiency of sodium chloride, taking a teaspoon of common salt in one half litre of water or any fruit juice quickly restores the health. In severe conditions, however, ad. ministration of sodium chloride in the form of normal saline by intravenous drip may be resorted to. The adverse effects of excessive use of sodium chloride can be rectified by avoiding the use of common salt.



Potassium is essential to the life of every cell of a living being and is among the most generously and widely distributed of all the tissue minerals. It is found principally in the intracellular fluid where it plays an important role as a catalyst in energy metabolism and in the synthesis of glycogen and protein. The average adult human body contains 1 20 g. as potassium and 245 g. as potassium chloride. Out of this body potassium, 117 g. is found in the cells and 3 g. in the extra cellular compartment.

Potassium is important as an alkalizing agent in keeping a proper acid alkaline balance in the blood and tissues. It is essential for muscle contraction and therefore important for proper heart function. It promotes the secretion of hormones and helps the kidneys in detoxification of blood. Potassium prevents female disorders by stimulating the endocrine hormone production. It is involved in the proper functioning of the nervous system and helps overcome fatigue. It also aids in clear thinking by sending oxygen to the brain and assists in reducing blood pressure. Potassium is widely distributed in foods. All vegetables especially green leafy vegetables, grapes, oranges, lemons, raisins, whole grains, lentils, sunflower seeds, nuts, milk, cottage cheese and butter-milk are rich sources. Potatoes, especially potato peelings, and bananas are especially good sources. Potassium requirements have not been established but an intake of 0.8 to 1.3 g. per day is estimated as approximately the minimum need. Potassium deficiency may occur during gastrointestinal disturbances with severe vomiting and diarrhea, diabetic acidosis and potassium losing nephritis. It causes undue nervous and body tiredness, palpitation of the heart, cloudiness of the mind, nervous shaking of the hands and feet, great sensitivity of the nerves to cold, and excessive perspiration of the feet and hands.

In simple cases of potassium deficiency, drinking plenty of tender coconut water daily, can make up for it. It is advisable to consume plenty of figs, apricots, prunes, almonds and tomatoes during the use of oral diuretics. Potassium rich foods should be restricted during acute renal failure and Addison’s diseases.



In the human body, chlorine is liberated by the interaction of common salt, taken along with food, and hydrochloric acid liberated in the stomach during the process of digestion. It is essential for’ the proper distribution of carbon dioxide and the maintenance of osmotic pressure in the tissues. This food element is necessary for the manufacture of glandular hormone secretions. It prevents the building of excessive fat and auto-intoxication. Chlorine regulates the blood’s alkaline-acid balance and works with Potassium in a compound form. It aids in the cleaning out of body waste by helping the liver to function.

Chlorine is found in cheese and other milk products, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, all berries, rice, radishes, lentils, coconuts and egg yolk. No dietary allowance has been established, but an average intake of daily salt will ensure adequate quantity of chlorine. Deficiency of this mineral can cause loss of hair and teeth.



The chief store-house of iodine in the body is the thyroid gland. The essential thyroxin, which is secreted by this gland, is made by the circulating iodine. Thyroxin is a wonder chemical which controls the basic metabolism and oxygen consumption of tissues. It increases the heart rate as well as urinary calcium excretion. Iodine regulates the rate of energy production and body weight and promotes proper growth. It improves mental alacrity and promotes healthy hair, nails, skin and teeth.

The best dietary sources of iodine are kelp and other seaweeds. Other good sources are turnip greens, garlic, water cress, pineapples, pears, artichokes, citrus fruits, egg yolk and sea foods and fish liver oils. The recommended dietary allowances are 130 mcg. per day for adult males and 100 mcg. per day for adult females. An increase to 125 mcg. per day during pregnancy and to 1 50 mcg. per day during lactation has been recommended. Deficiency can cause goiter and enlargement of the thyroid gland. Small doses of iodine are of great value in the prevention of goiter in areas where it is endemic and are of value in treatments, at least in the early stages. Larger doses have a temporary value in the preparation of patients with hyperthyroidism for surgical operation.



There are approximately 75 to 150 mg. of copper in the adult human body. Newborn infants have higher concentrations than adults. Liver, brain, kidney, heart, and hair contain relatively high concentration. Average serum copper levels are higher in adult females than in males. Serum copper levels also increase significantly in women both during pregnancy and when taking oral contraceptives.

This mineral helps in the conversion of iron into hemoglobin. It stimulates the growth of red blood cells. It is also an integral part of certain digestive enzymes. It makes the amino acid tyrosine usable, enabling it to work as the pigmenting factor for hair and skin. It is also essential for the utilization of vitamin C. Copper is found in most foods containing iron, especially in almonds, dried beans, peas, lentils, whole wheat, prunes and egg yolk. The recommended dietary allowance has not been established but 2 mg is considered adequate for adults. A copper deficiency may result in bodily weakness, digestive disturbances and impaired respiration.



Cobalt is a component of vitamin B12, a nutritional factor necessary for the formation of red blood cells. Recent research in vitamin B12 has shown that its pink color is attributed to the presence of cobalt in it. The presence of this mineral in foods helps the synthesis of hemoglobin and the absorption of food­ iron. The best dietary sources of cobalt are meat, kidney and liver. All green leafy vegetables contain some amount of this mineral. No daily allowance has been set. Only a very small amount up to 8 mcg is considered necessary.



The human body contains 30 to 35 mg. of manganese, widely distributed throughout the tissues. It is found in the liver, pancreas, kidney, pituitary gland. This mineral helps nourish the nerves and brain and aids in the coordination of nerve impulses and muscular actions. It helps eliminate fatigue and reduces nervous irritability. Manganese is found in citrus fruits, the outer covering of nuts, grains, in the green leaves of edible plants, fish and raw egg yolk. No official daily allowance of manganese has been established, but 2.5 to 7 mg. is generally accepted to be the average adult requirement. A deficiency of this mineral can lead to dizziness, poor elasticity in the muscles, confused thinking and poor memory.



There are about 2 g. of zinc in the body where it is highly concentrated in the hair, skin, eyes, nails, and testes. It is a constituent of many enzymes involved in metabolism. Zinc is a precious mineral. Our need for this mineral is small, but its role in growth and well-being is enormous, starting before birth. It is needed for healthy skin and hair, proper healing of wounds, successful pregnancies and male virility. It plays a vital role in guarding against disease and infection. It is’ needed to transport vitamin A to the retina. There are 156 enzymes that require zinc for their functioning. It has long been known that growth and sexual maturity depend on zinc.

The main dietary sources of zinc are milk, liver, beans, meat, whole grains, nuts and seeds. The recommended dietary allowance of zinc is 15 mg daily. Deficiency can result in weight loss, skin diseases, loss of hair, poor appetite, diarrhea and frequent infection. Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may have a zinc deficiency. Heavy drinkers lose a lot of zinc in their urine.



Selenium and vitamin E are synergistic and the two together are stronger than the sum of the equal parts. Selenium slows down ageing and hardening of tissues through oxidation. Males seem to have a greater need for this mineral. Nearly half of the total supply in the body is concentrated in the testicles and in the seminal ducts adjacent to the prostate gland. Selenium is useful in keeping youthful elasticity in tissues. It alleviates hot flushes and menopausal distress. It also helps in the prevention and treatment of dandruff. This mineral is found in Brewer’s yeast, garlic, onions, tomatoes, eggs, milk and sea’ food. There is no official dietary allowance for selenium but, 50 to 100 mcg. is considered adequate. Deficiency of this mineral can cause premature loss of stamina.



This is known as the “beauty mineral” as it is essential for the growth of skin, hair shafts, nails and other outer coverings of the body. It also makes the eyes bright and assists in hardening the enamel of the teeth. It is beneficial in all healing processes and protects body against many diseases such as tuberculosis, irritations in mucous membranes and skin disorders.

Silicon is found in apples, cherries, grapes, asparagus, beets, onions, almonds, honey, peanuts and the juices of the green leaves of most other vegetables. No official dietary allowance has been established for this mineral. Deficiency can lead to soft brittle nails, ageing symptoms of skin such as wrinkles, thinning or loss of hair, poor bone development, insomnia, osteoporosis.



Fluorine is the element that prevents diseases from decaying the body. It is a germicide, and acts as an antidote to poison, sickness and disease. There is a strong affinity between calcium and fluorine. These two elements, when combined, work particularly in the outer parts of bones. They are found in the enamel of the teeth and the shiny, highly polished bone surface. Fluorine is found in goat’s milk, cauliflower, watercress, garlic, beets, cabbage, spinach and pistachio nuts.

Minerals thus play an important role in every bodily function and are present in every human cell. Although the amount needed may be small, without even that trace of the mineral, dysfunction is bound to occur at some level in the body. A zinc deficiency may show up in ridged fingernails with white spots. Lack of sulphur can cause lack-luster hair and dull-looking skin. Less obvious deficiencies may surface as fatigue, irritability, loss of memory, nervousness, depression and weakness. Minerals also interact with vitamins. Magnesium, for instance, must be present in the body for utilization of B-complex, C and E vitamins. Sulphur also works with the B-complex vitamins. The body needs all the trace minerals in proper balance. Coffee, tea, alcohol, excess salt and many drugs can rob the body of minerals or make them ineffective. Industrial pollutants cause toxic minerals to enter the body. Minerals at toxic levels also have the effect of destroying the usefulness of other vitamins and minerals. Exercise improves the activity of certain vitamins and minerals while stress and fatigue work against them.

A well-balanced diet provides as abundance of minerals and vitamins. In refining cereals, grains and sugar, we have robbed them of their natural vitamins and minerals. The dietary sources of these nutrients are whole grains, cereals, bran and germ. It is the bran and germ which are removed in processing. To obtain a balance of nutrients, it is, therefore, necessary to avoid refined and processed foods but an intake of adequate green leafy vegetables which are an excellent source of many nutrients should be ensured.

Useful References

Memory Improving Foods and Herbs

herbs for memory

Memory Improving Herbs

The demands on us as individuals are high and the pressure to perform at our best is ever present. Success in professional and social situations comes easier to those who are able to focus, concentrate and learn information quickly. To be able to express our personality and sparkle in conversation, we must fluently and speedily recall the information we have learned. Not just in a rote fashion, but with the ability to pluck gems of loosely connected information from our mind, and to bring it all together in inspired flashes of inventive, creative, and witty conversation.

Having developed our skills to the highest level that our natural potential can reach, it would be sad to lose it all simply through neglect of keeping our brain and nervous system healthy.

There are Herbs that can enhance your powers of memory and concentration. Including herbs in our daily regime is one way in which we can offer our body the required help to keep it healthier.

Here is a list of herbs that contain the qualities that we are looking for :-

Ginkgo Blloba :- One herb that has gained a strong reputation for its influence on the brain, and especially on memory, is ginkgo biloba. It is a tree, which has existed for millions of years, and which has been used since ancient times for its ability to improve memory and concentration. Clinical studies have clearly shown that Ginkgo has the power to address cerebral insufficiency, which ‘often affects an individual

with absent mindedness, poor memory, lack of concentration, decreased physical performance, etc. Ginkgo has also been found very effective in treating age-related memory impairment.

Ginkgo increases the rate at which information is transmitted at the nerve-cell level. Ginkgo increases circulation, especially the circulation in tiny blood vessels, such as those in the brain. It dilates blood vessels by releasing a vessel-relaxing factor. This characteristic is able to improve oxygen and nutrient delivery to the brain, and is one of the reasons that ginkgo has gained a reputation for increasing memory.

The leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree, also known as 1be maidenhair tree, have been used for more than 5,000 years for medicinal- purposes. It’s one of the most widely used herbal extracts in Europe, and has been approved by the German government to treat symptoms of ageing, including cognitive disorders.

Ginkgo has been shown to have the following effects:

  • Improve overall cognitive function and sharpen mental focus.
  • Prevent and treat symptoms of dementia.
  • Slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in its early stages, and progressive decrease in symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Treat “cerebral insufficiency”, a slow decline in mental function associated with ageing and characterized by such symptoms as impaired concentration and memory, confusion, and mood disorders.
  • Ginkgo works primarily by increasing blood flow and, consequentially, the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. As a potent antioxidant, ginkgo helps protect against cellular damage.

Siberian Ginseng : –Siberian ginseng is another quality herb that is beneficial to both the brain and the central nervous system. It is known as an “adaptogen” and serves to balance the internal organs. It has consistently demonstrated an ability to increase the sense of well-being in a variety of psychological disturbances, including depression, insomnia, hypochondrias and various neuroses.

Ginseng not only has powerful antioxidant properties, it has also been found to increase circulation which is associated with improved oxygen delivery and increased energy, similar to the effects of ginkgo biloba.

St. John’s Wort :- This is a herb that is rapidly becoming popular for its effects on mood and anxiety. Recent research indicates that St. John’s wort may be acting by increasing levels of the “feel good” neurotransmitter called serotonin, which actually is “brain food”. St. John’s wort has been effectively used to control depression.

Brahmi (Bacopa monniera) :- Brahmi was traditionally used to treat mental illness, including epilepsy. It can help strengthen memory, elevate brain function, increase concentration and mental focus, enhance mood and reduce the effects of stress. In India, it has long been incorporated in hair oils for massage. It has been used to provide a cooling effect to the scalp and to relax the nerves.

Brahmi contains substances called bacosides, which are responsible for improving memory and memory-related functions by enhancing the efficiency of nerve impulse transmission. Bacosides work by repairing damage to worn-out neurons.

Bllberry :- Bilberry, long known for its ability to improve eyesight, can help brain function as well. By increasing circulation and blood flow, bilberry works in much the same way as ginkgo. Additionally, it’s a potent antioxidant and can prevent free radical damage to the brain.

Ginger :- Has the ability to improve the circulation and to support the central nervous system. It acts as a catalyst herb for other herbs, which are more specific in addressing memory and concentration. It helps them to do their work more effectively.

Gotu Kola :- This herb is suggested for improving thought clarity and memory. It is also considered excellent for promoting a feeling of calm and stress relief. Medicine. Traditionally used as a nerve tonic and a general tonic in times of physical and mental exertion, it is also widely used to assist in pain relief of arthritis. In ayurvedic medicine, the herb is also used for ailments of the nerves and mind including epilepsy, schizophrenia and memory loss. The Chinese value Gotu Kola more as a plant that increases longevity and brain capacity than for any other purpose.

It is able to rebuild energy reserves and for this reason it is called ‘food for the brain’. It increases mental and physical power. It combats stress and improves reflexes. Gotu Kola has an energizing effect on the cells of the brain and is also said to help prevent nervous breakdown. It can relieve high blood pressure, mental fatigue and senility and helps the body defend itself against various toxins. It contains vitamins A, G, and K and is high in magnesium.

Some sources indicate that massive doses of Gotu Kola can produce narcotic effects. The evidence for this effect is sketchy at best and is controversial. No toxic effects are listed and Gotu Kola is considered to be quite safe by nearly all herbalists.

Ho Shou Wu :- In traditional Chinese medicine, Ho Shou Wu is considered an excellent tonic herb, which supports and calms the nervous system. It is considered appropriate for increasing energy levels due to its nutritive. actions.

Linden :- Linden flowers are often recommended for their soothing actions and ability to transform restlessness into productive concentration.

Rosemary :- It is an excellent antioxidant herb, which has traditionally been used to enhance and improve memory capabilities. It is considered a very good brain ‘tonic’, and is recommended for addressing headaches, especially those of a nervous tension origin.

Kelp :- It is one of the very best sources available for minerals. Kelp supplies the body with many of the nutrients required by all body systems, including the brain. When adequate supplies of vitamins and minerals are available, the body can function at a better level, with mental clarity and better mental performance.

Betony :- It is considered to be a very good nervine herb, which offers relief from anxiety and tension. Betony is a cerebral relaxant, that helps to calm a stressful mind.

Peppermint :- It is a traditional herb that is always a topic of research studies. Peppermint is useful for tension-related headaches. It is also considered to be very helpful in promoting mental clarity.

Rehmannia :- This is often used as a tonic in traditional Chinese medicine to relieve nervousness and calm the heart. It is also believed to act preventively against senility.

Skullcap :- It is an excellent herb which offers relief from nervous irritability and tension. It is considered useful for reducing worry and anxiety, thus allowing for clearer and more precise thinking processes.

Flower Essences :- Flower therapy is a method of treating various psychological and emotional imbalances to prevent their manifestation as physical illness. Flower therapies may be helpful in treating various types of mental disorder, including anxiety, depression and stress. One study on flower essences showed that the flower therapy was effective on nearly 90 percent of subjects. Flower essences are thought to work by encouraging a more balanced emotional and mental state.

Herbs should be an integral part of a healthy diet and lifestyle plan, which also includes adequate exercise and relaxation techniques. This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure.

Useful References