10 NATURAL REMEDIES TO CLEAN YOUR LUNGS – SMOKERS AND NON-SMOKERS | LUNG DETOX

In Today’s post we will list out 10 steps to naturally cleanse or detox your lungs. Lung cleansing techniques may benefit smokers, people who get regular exposure to air pollution, and those with chronic respiratory conditions.

The idea of cleaning out your lungs might sound very appealing. But if you’re tempted to buy vitamins, teas, or essential oils that say they will “detox” your lungs, Save your money!
Here are 10 steps you can take to keep your lungs as healthy as possible:

No 10: Stop Vaping: Vaping means smoking electronic or e-cigarettes. Vaping is less harmful than smoking, but it’s still not safe! E-cigarettes heat nicotine, flavouring agents and other chemicals to create a water vapor that you inhale. There has also been an outbreak of lung injuries and deaths associated with vaping. This is especially true for vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). And moreover, Electronic Cigarettes Are Just As Addictive As Traditional Ones.

No. 9: Avoid Passive and Active Smoking: Cigarette smoking is the cause of death for one in every five people in the United States, And this includes passive or second hand smoking. The combination of the smoke coming from the end of a cigarette, plus the smoke that comes out of the smoker’s mouth, contains hundreds of toxic chemicals which can accelerate development of Lung Cancer.

No. 8: Steam Inhalation: Inhaling water vapor opens up the airways and help the lungs drain out mucus and mucus plugs. Steam adds warmth and moisture to the air, which may improve breathing and help loosen mucus inside the airways and lungs. Inhaling water vapor can provide immediate relief and help people breathe more easily.

No.7: Controlled Coughing: Coughing is the body’s natural reflex or defence mechanism to expel toxins trapped in mucus. Controlled coughing loosens excess mucus in the lungs, sending it up through the airways.
You can follow these steps for controlled coughing:

  • sit on a chair upright and relaxed
  • slowly inhale through the nose
  • slowly exhale while leaning forward, pushing the arms against the stomach
  • cough 2 or 3 times while exhaling, keeping the mouth slightly open
  • slowly inhale through the nose
  • rest a while and repeat if necessary.

No. 6: Green Tea: Green tea contains many antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation in the lungs. These compounds may even protect lung tissue from the harmful effects of smoke inhalation.

No.5: Anti-inflammatory foods: Foods that help fight inflammation include turmeric, leafy greens,   cherries, blueberries, olives, walnuts, beans and lentils.

No. 4: Keep your lungs strong with exercise. There is some evidence that cardiovascular exercise — anything that makes your heart beat faster — can help your lungs work better! It also makes the heart and muscles more efficient, so when you do physical activity, there is less demand on the lungs, so you feel better and breathe more easily.

No.3: Prevent Infections: Protect your lungs from further harm by getting flu and pneumonia vaccines. Also, frequently washing your hands, and avoiding contact with anyone who has a sniffly nose or other illness are helpful points to remember.

No.2: Avoid Air Pollution both Indoors and Outdoors: Keep your house clean! Make it a habit to vacuum your home regularly. You can also use Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters and Even Air Purifiers with HEPA filters to get rid of those toxic carcinogenic gases.
If you are going outdoors, avoid spending time outdoors on days with poor air quality and use good quality pollution masks. You can check air pollution index in your zone using some standard apps on your phone.

No.1: Breathing Exercises: We already discussed how exercise and physical activity can improve our lungs and heart. Taking a step further, Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as “belly breathing,” is an effective technique that can be used to strengthen the diaphragm and increase the oxygen carrying capacity of the lungs.  This technique is performed by taking a deep breath in, almost as if you were attempting to breathe all the way in your stomach. As the inhalation occurs, you will feel the diaphragm contract. Then you can exhale slowly through pursed lips. This create back-pressure in the alveoli which is great for improved lung compliance and detoxifying your lungs.

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Reduce DHT in Scalp and Reverse Hair loss Naturally

Androgenetic Alopecia or Male Pattern Baldness is the commonest cause of Hair loss and balding in both men and women. The hormone DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) produced in the body is responsible for this type of hair fall and ultimately leads to baldness.

DHT accumulates in the scalp and miniaturises hair follicles and ultimately kills the hair follicles which are sensitive to it. Lucky people are those who do not have DHT sensitive hair follicles.  This sensitivity depends on hereditary or genetic factors.

Now, we will discuss on the natural remedies for hair loss that reduce the DHT levels in the scalp or prevents its accumulation and damage by splitting the topic into three methods:

  1. Increase blood circulation to prevent accumulation in the scalp.
  2. Provide essential nutrients to damaged hair follicles.
  3. Reduce DHT levels in the scalp.

Good blood circulation is very important to carry the nutrients to hair follicles and it also prevents DHT accumulation in the scalp. To increase blood circulation at the scalp, you can perform the following tasks:

  1. Head Massage: Gently massaging your scalp in circular motion and pressures, can improve the blood flow to the scalp hair follicles. Perform head massage at least twice daily.
  2. Yoga specially the Head down position called “SheershaSan” is very beneficial to increase blood flow suddenly to scalp and wash out any accumulated DHT and prevent damage to hair follicles. Be in this position for atleast one minute and perform 3 sets of this yoga once daily.
  3. Regular Exercise of atleast 30 minutes daily like jogging, treadmill, pushups or any kind of activity is proven to be beneficial to improve blood circulation.

 

Then the next step is to provide some essential nutrients to rejuvenate the damaged and weak hair follicles. Nutrients are carried to hair follicles through the blood stream and hence apart from eating a well balanced diet, you need to include few foods in your diet rich in protein, minerals and anti-oxidants like Eggs, nuts, green vegetables, whole grains, lentils, etc.  We will list out the top 10 foods that can lower DHT levels and fight hair loss in a shortwhile from now.

Then, Avoid alcohol consumption and smoking. And, If you are dieting in order to lose weight then do not overdo it as it can cause hair thinning due to nutritional deficiencies.

 

Lastly, we will discuss on some natural ways to reduce DHT levels in the blood.

 

  1. Stress and Sleep deprivation can accelerate hair loss. So keep your stress levels low and have a sound sleep of atleast 8 hours daily.
  2. Regular Exercise has been shown to lower DHT levels. Perform any form of exercise for atleast 30 minutes daily.
  3. SAW PALMETTO: Studies have shown that this naturally occurring substance blocks the enzyme 5-Alpha Reductase and hence reduces DHT. Sawplametto is approved in many countries and you get capsules of this substance along with multi vitamin and zinc magnesium supplements.
  4. FOODS THAT LOWER DHT LEVELS:

10: Beans and Soybeans: beans are a excellent and an inexpensive source of zinc, which helps in hair growth and hair repair. Studies have shown that compounds in soybeans may promote hair growth. One of these compounds is spermidine, which is abundantly found in soybeans.

9: Meat: Specially Red meat is rich in iron and this increases your red blood cell count, which in turn helps the red blood cells deliver oxygen to all cells in the body, including hair follicles.

8: Oysters: Oysters are one of the best sources of zinc in the diet. Zinc helps in hair growth and repair.

7: Seeds: Specially flaxseeds and chia seeds in addition to vitamin E, zinc and selenium, also provide omega-3 fatty acids and all of these promote hair growth.

6: Nuts: specially almonds and walnuts provide vitamin E, B complex vitamins, zinc and essential fatty acids, all of which promote hair growth and they are also proven to protect your heart.

5: Avocados: They are not only super delicious but also an excellent source of vitamin E and also rich in Vitamin C, K and Omega-3 fatty acids.

4: Fatty Fish: Fatty fish like salmon, herring and mackerel are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improved hair growth and even density.

3: Spinach: Spinach is loaded with folates, iron, and vitamins A and C, which may promote hair growth. A deficiency in these nutrients may result in hair loss. Spinach is a best plant-based source of iron, specially great for vegetarians.

2: Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein and biotin, which are so important for healthy hair and hair growth. Eggs are also a great source of zinc, selenium and other nutrients. This makes them one of the best foods for optimal hair health.

Another Important Nutrient in Egg – Biotin is essential for the production of a hair protein called keratin.  Research has shown that consuming more biotin can help improve hair growth in people with  biotin deficiency.

1: Berries: berries are loaded with beneficial compounds and vitamins that promote hair growth. This includes vitamin C, which has strong antioxidant properties.
For example, strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which help in collagen production and iron absorption which are two factors that can promote hair growth.

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5 MIRACLES OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR FOR HAIR & SKIN

Today we will discuss on the 5 miraculous, scientifically proven benefits of using apple cider vinegar for your hair and skin. We will also learn how to use this properly to improve your hair and also some precautions to take while using apple cider vinegar.

Buy Apple Cider Vinegar on Amazon

Apple Cider Vinegar is a very popular, 100 percent natural health food made from apples using a fermentation process enriching it with live cultures, minerals, and acids.

Without any further ado, We will now list out the 5 scientifically proven benefits of apple cider vinegar for skin and hair.

1: PH balance of Your skin and scalp:
Vinegar is chemically acetic acid – that’s an acid with a PH value of around 3. Dull skin and brittle hair has an alkaline PH. The concept of using an acidic substance, like Apple Cider Vinegar is to help lower this pH and bring back skin and hair health back into balance!

2: Anti-microbial Properties:
Apple Cider Vinegar is also a home disinfectant due to its anti bacterial and anti fungal properties. It may help control the bacteria or fungi that can lead to scalp and hair problems, such as minor scalp infections, dryness, itchiness and dandruff..

3: As Facial Skin Toner and After Shave Lotion:
It balances the pH level of your skin and makes it healthy. Hence it is a good idea to replace your skin toner with Apple cider vinegar. It can be used as an excellent alternative to a regular after shave lotion.  It is also used in the treatment of Acne and to get rid of warts. We will tell you how much and how to use this, in a while!. Please watch this video till the end.

4: Oral Consumption of Apple Cider Vinegar:
When taken orally it can boost your immune system, help fight against intestinal infections, constipation, aid in proper digestion and helps detoxifying the body.

5: For Healthy Hair:

An after shampoo apple cider vinegar rinse is proven to do wonders to your hair by balancing the alkaline PH of you scalp. It also tames rough hair cuticles and fights split ends. This PH balancing and application of Apple Cider Vinegar keeps hair healthy and prevents hair loss. Regular application of this can not only treat hair loss in many patients but it’s also used for prevention of hair fall and hair thinning.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair rinse?

Step 1: Prepare the Solution by mixing a quarter cup of vinegar to half a cup of water.

Step 2: Apply this solution gently on your scalp after performing your regular shampoo hair wash.

Step 3: Leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly with water.

Use this weekly twice for best results. If scalp irritation start, you can reduce the dose, otherwise you can slowly increase the dose to half a cup of vinegar to half a cup of water depending on your previous results.

Also other precautions to take care of: Avoid contact with eyes. If contact happens, quickly rinse your eyes with water. Scalp irritation if occurs should generally subside within a couple of days. If it doesn’t subside, please consult a doctor.

 

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10 GENUINE HOME REMEDIES FOR HAIR LOSS – THAT WORK AND THAT DO NOT

In Today’s article we will discuss on the 10 Genuine Home remedies for hair loss and hair thinning for both men and women. Some of these are proven to work and have a scientific basis while other natural remedies have no scientific background and either do not work, or act through a placebo effect.

There are many Hair loss solutions and treatments like hair fall shampoos, lotions and pills! There are 100s of products that claim to cure hair loss. Which one can you trust?
Now, Lets list out the 10 natural remedies for hair loss treatment based on research studies conducted in various years. Some of these might be very helpful, whether you’re trying to regrow hair that you’ve lost or simply like to improve your existing hair or to treat hair thinning.  And all Links & references to these research studies on hair loss remedies are provided in description below this video.

10. Head Massage: Gently massaging your scalp in circular motion and pressures, can improve the blood flow to the scalp hair follicles and stimulate hair growth. Doing this at least twice daily is found to be helpful. This can not only strengthen your existing hair, but it also proven to treat hair thinning,  specially if its due to nutritional deficiencies.  Supplements like biotin, collagen, vitamin C, zinc and others, along with scalp massage will revert your hair back to normal within 3 to 6 months if the cause is due to nutritional factors.  In addition, head massage also relieves stress and anxiety!

Before I list out the other remedies for hair loss, you should know that hair growth is primarily determined by genetics and on an individual’s overall health. But the good news is! These are natural remedies and have no side effects! So, why not try these! Whether singly or in combination, these can have an impact on your hair!  And also remember ! any treatment must be followed for atleast 6 months to see any kind of result.

9. Aloe Vera: Fresh aloe vera gel extract from a leaf has great anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces scalp inflammation specially in seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff  and reduces itchiness and scaling to a considerable extent. Studies also say, it stimulates blood circulation and improve delivery of oxygen and nutrition to hair follicles.
So, Now! How to use Aloe vera gel?
– Cut a healthy leaf from aloe vera plant.
– Peel one side of this and Scrape out the gel using a spoon.
– Apply this gel directly to your scalp and massage in circular motions.
– Leave it on for an hour or two and then wash off with a mild shampoo.
– Use this two or three times in a week for atleast 6 months consistently to see any results.

8. Ginseng: Taking ginseng supplements can promote hair growth by stimulating hair follicles and blocking the hormone DHT – DiHydroxyTestosterone.  The active ingredients in ginseng are called Ginsenosides. Ginseng is a special short plant with fleshy roots and the Asian variety is considered the best because it contains these active ingredients for hair stimulation. There are many supplements with ginseng available to purchase online. The link to this research study is provided in description below. And one more point to note: Ginger and Ginseng are not the same!

7. Coconut Oil: Though Coconut oil contains seven different types of fatty acids like the caproic, caprylic, capric, lauric acid, etc, there is no study to prove that coconut oil promotes hair growth. It is only a good conditioner and improves the luster of your hair, especially if you have dry hair. It also protects your hair by coating it and prevents damage to your hair shaft. Some recommend mixing lemon into coconut oil and apply on hair. This is not proven to promote hair regrowth.

6. Onion Juice: Onion juice has been shown to successfully treat patchy hair loss also known as alopecia areata by promoting hair growth in bald areas or patches. But only one such study is conducted in the year 2002 and with a small number of only about 38 patients. Also, it is not proven to grow hair in male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia.  I have discussed about onion juice and hair growth in a detailed episode. You can find that link in the video description below.

5. Garlic: Similar to onion juice, a 2007 research study found that applying garlic paste along with betamethasone valerate cream on bald areas produced more hair regrowth than using a placebo treatment with the steroid cream betamethasone. Again, this study was conducted only in 40 patients with alopecia areata and not androgenetic alopecia.  Much like onion, garlic is also full of minerals and vitamins that might help, but no proper scientific evidence found.  Applying a paste of blended garlic cloves can be tried as a home remedy for hair loss without any adverse effects. Do let me know the results if you have tried by commenting below!

4. Viviscal: Viviscal is an oral hair growth supplement containing a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids said to combat hair thinning. The key ingredient in Viviscal is the AminoMar Marine Complex, which contains shark cartilage and oyster extract powder. Studies have been conducted on this many times and all studies have shown its efficacy in hair thinning patients in both male pattern baldness and female alopecia. I recommend using this for stage 2 and 3 and to treat hair thinning in combination with minoxidil.

You can read stage wise treatment of male pattern baldness here.

3. Biotin: Biotin, zinc, copper and collagen supplements  or from foods rich in these sources are also very useful for hair regrowth if used in conjunction with other treatments like minoxidil.

2. Jojoba Oil and Rosemary Oil or any other Oil: These have no effect on hair growth and hair regrowth and these work similar to coconut oil as already discussed!

1. Licorice roots:  Licorice is thought to opens skin pores and strengthens weakened hair follicles by its antiandrogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, angiogenic, and hair-stimulating features.  It is also found to be helpful in hair loss due to telogen effluvium.

One last and very important natural DHT blocker to mention is Saw Palmetto. This is a proven remedy for androgenetic alopecia. This is also used for the treatment of prostate enlargement. There are many supplements available which contain this substance.

Links to all these research studies are provided in description below,  for your reference.

Garlic: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17314444

Oils and hair: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12715094

Viviscal: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3509882/ and

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27506633

Licorice root – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29945259

 

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IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME – Diagnosis Symptoms and Treatment

Today’s article is on one of the most common digestive disorder – the irritable bowel syndrome. We will look into the signs and symptoms of IBS and discuss on the management or treatment of Irritable bowel syndrome.

 

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) ?

IBS is also known as spastic colon, irritable colon, mucous colitis, and spastic colitis.

It is one of the most common digestive tract disorder causing mild to moderate abdominal pain or discomfort associated with either loose stools or constipation. This means its of two types:

  1. Diarrhoea Type – IBS-D
  2. Constipation type – IBS-C

Remember IBS is different from IBD – which is inflammatory bowel disease like Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. We will have a separate episode on that shortly.

IBS affects about 10 to 15% of the population and it is the most common disorder diagnosed by a gastroenterologists worldwide. IBS is a functional or motility disorder of the gastro intestinal tract, and there is no structural abnormality in IBS and all tests like endoscopy, xray, ultrasound, blood tests, stool tests are all normal in IBS.

What is the Cause for IBS?

As I told you, it’s a functional or motility disorder with no structural problems in the gastro intestinal tract or anywhere in the body. IBS is most common in the 20 to 40 year age group and more common in females.
The causes or the factors linked with IBS are:

  1. Stress, Anxiety, Depression and fear are most important psychological factors invariably common in patients with IBS.
  2. Improper sleep can be a trigger to IBS.
  3. Hormonal fluctuations specially in women during monthly cycles.
  4. Improper Diet specially high calorie meal like a fatty diet can trigger IBS.
  5. Use of laxatives can flare up IBS.
  6. For some people milk and diary products, wheat, chocolate, coffee, tea can flare up IBS.
  7. And sometimes, eating a meal too quickly can trigger IBS.

 

How do you diagnose and treat IBS?

Diagnosis is mainly based on symptoms: The symptoms vary in severity and duration from person to person and include:

  1. Abdominal Discomfort or Pain – often in lower abdomen, cramping in nature and relieved by defaecation.
  2. Diarrhoea or Constipation or both alternating constipation and diarrhoea.
  3. Feeling of passing motions soon after a meal or due to some fear or anxiety.
  4. Urgency to pass motions, straining to pass stools, feeling of incomplete evacuation even after passing motions daily.
  5. Passing mucus in stools,
  6. Gas and Bloating sensation.
  7. Fatigue or tiredness.
  8. Remember Whatever the Symptoms of IBS in day time, they hardly arouse the patient from sleep.

How to you Diagnose IBS?

This is is based on Romes criteria and also as I said earlier other structural or organic causes have to be ruled out with basic laboratory tests and colonoscopy  or endoscopy, ultrasonography , etc.

Romes Criteria:

The Rome criteria require the presence of Abdominal pain or discomfort for at least 1 day in a week in the last 3 months along with ≥ 2 of the following symptoms:

  • Pain that is related to defecation.
  • Pain is associated with a change in frequency of defecation.
  • Pain is associated with a change in consistency of stool.

Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

Unfortunately there is no permanent cure for IBS. However some diet and lifestyle changes can help you a lot. Medications can provide symptomatic relief specially if IBS is worse. Just follow some of these step I am gonna mention now.

  1. Eat smaller meals and eat only when hungry and stop when you are still hungry. Avoid foods that trigger IBS as already discussed. Also for constipation type IBS include lot of fiber in diet, whereas for diarrhoea type reduce the fiber containing foods.
  2. Include Probiotics in diet to help relieve gas and bloating. Probiotics are helpful bacteria and yeasts for your digestive system. Lactobacillus in yogurt is the most common probiotic.
  3. Increase physical activity and start exercising daily for atleast 30 minutes.
  4. Reduce Stress and anxiety – Laughter therapy may be very helpful like remembering or uttering your most funny comedy scene or line may instantly releieve anxiety. Just give it a try.
  5. Last resort is medications: these are mainly Anti-secretory Anti-spasmodic drugs like Hyoscine and Dicyclomine. Antidepressants to relieve anxiety and depression and improve sleep. Loperamide is specially useful if you have frequent loose stools.

 

Stay Healthy!

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Dark circles under eyes treatment and Home remedies

In this article, we will discuss on how to get rid of dark circles by medical treatments and some natural home remedies for dark circles that work!  In previous article we discussed on the reasons for dark circles.

We will discuss on the Treatment of Dark circles by splitting this topic into three sections:

  1. Self Care & Prevention of Further Progress
  2. Medical Treatments
  3. Natural or Home remedies that actually work.

SELF CARE & PREVENTION:

  1. You need to rectify or intervene your lifestyle to avoid all those 10 Factors responsible for causing these dark circles like adequate sleep, avoid stress, stop bad habits like smoking and all those 10 factors discussed in my previous episode.
    In addition, you can apply some simple changes in life on day to day basis. like
  2. Head Elevation using an extra pillow specially if you have baggy eyes or puffiness. This is to prevent fluid accumulation or stasis of blood.
  3. 1 Hour of Extra Sleep will help in the long run. Check out some useful Sleep hacks from this article. Short term or Temporary methods to deal with dark circles:
  4. SIMPLE MAKE UP: This according to me should be the first option before you proceed with the actual treatments and remedies for dark circles. You can use makeup foundation or concealer to conceal that darker pigment or color. This makes you feel better and relieves your anxiety and stress to some extent. then
  5. WEAR SUNGLASSES: These not only protect your peri orbital skin from pigmentation from sunlight, but also cover or hide those dark circles.

 

Medical treatment of Dark Circles:

  1. CREAMS: Apply creams containing some important ingredients like Retinols, hydroquinone, green tea, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, peptides, Caffeine, ceramides and hyaluronic acid. These ingredients boost skin elasticity by promoting elastin and collagen production. Use creams containing one or more of these ingredients. Remember these eye creams are formulated specifically for the delicate skin around the eye. You can start with retinol and hyaluronic acid low dose cream for dark circles, because high dose retinol is not recommended to use around eyes. Use Caffiene formulation if you additionally have puffiness.
  2. INVASIVE & NON INVASIVE MEDICAL TREATMENTS:  Will not go into details of these treatments. Will just mention the names of these treatments and then jump to Natural home remedies for dark circles. The non invasive ones include:
  3. Radio Frequency treatment – this non invasive method is actually helpful. You can consult with your dermatologist about this simple OPD procedure.
  4. Other methods include Q-switched Laser and Pulsed Dye lasers.

INVASIVE TREATMENTS like Chemical Peels and Medical Tattoos have their own side effects.

 

Natural remedies for dark circles:

  1. COLD COMPRESS: Take few small ice cubes in a clean piece of cloth or a hanky and apply to your eyes or under eyes. You can also just dip a clean cloth in cold water and apply for about 10 to 15 minutes two or three times in a day. This works by constricting the blood vessels and reduces swelling and dark circles, if followed for few days.
  2. COLD TEA BAGS: Applying cold tea bags to your eyes can actually help. Tea contains caffeine and antioxidants that fight inflammation. Caffiene constricts the blood vessels and reduce fluid retention or stasis beneath the skin.
    Soak two normal tea bags or even green tea bags in hot water for five minutes. Then allow them to chill in the refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes. Once they’re cold, apply the teabags to your closed eyes for 10 to 20 minutes once daily. After removing, rinse your eyes with cold water.
  3. COLD ALOE VERA GEL: Take a fresh leaf from aloe vera plant and extract the gel. Chill it in refrigerator for about 10 minutes and Then apply the gel on the under eye skin and leave it there for 15 minutes and then rinse if you wish.
  4. Other Stuff like Cucumbers, Potatoes, Mint leaves, Coconut oil and even milk are used by many, but the efficacy of these is controversial.

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10 CAUSES to Reverse Dark Circles under Eyes

The phrase Dark circles under eyes, is one of the most googled searches, and people who suffer from this problem of under eye dark circles are desperate to find a permanent cure.  In this episode we will look into the causes of dark circles and eyelid bags, the mechanism of formation of this and Finally on how to get rid of dark circles by medical treatments and some natural remedies for dark circles that work!

What are Under Eye Dark Circles?

They are known by various terms like under eye circles, infraorbital  or peri orbital dark circles, lower eyelid bags, peri orbital pigmentation and so on.

These are equally common in both men and women. These dark circles can make you look older than your actual age. And to make matters worse, they can be actually difficult to get rid of. But, if you carefully pick up the factor that’s causing this problem, then its very easy to treat these dark circles. We will first know the causes or the factors responsible for this and then we will learn the mechanism, and what actually gives rise to this dark color on your under eye skin and finally the best treatments to get rid of dark circles.

  1. Sleep Deprivation and extreme fatigue, or just forcefully staying awake a few hours past your normal bedtime can lead to dark circle formation over a period of time.
  2. Chronic Stress: Any form of stress whether emotional or physical stress from trauma or chronic illness can lead to this problem. We will discuss on the stress hormone or cortisol hypothesis for this shortly.
  3. Natural Aging: This is a natural cause of dark circles because as you get older, your skin becomes thinner and there is loss of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin.
  4. Eye Strain from watching too much television or computer screen can cause blood vessels around your eyes to dilate and cause these dark circles and also eye lid bags and puffiness.
  5. Allergies: like eye allergies. This acts in two ways. Firstly they release histamines which dilate blood vessels and then due to itchiness, you tend to rub or scratch your eyes and in this process you trigger inflammation which can lead to these dark circles.
  6. Over exposure to Sunlight: This results in production of excess melanin pigment which can darken the skin around your eyes.
  7. Nutritional deficiency of vitamins like A, C, K and Vitamin E can accelerate aging and result in dark circles around eyes. And also Anemia specially iron deficiency anemia can also result in dark circles.
  8. Smoking and Alcohol, late night parties, dehydration are also important factors.
  9. Hormonal Changes like in Pregnancy or even menstrual imbalances can result in dark circles. Then last but not the least,
  10. Genetic Predisposition and Family history is another important factor. Remember, If your child is having some degree of dark circles under eyes, this in later part of life can become more prominent.


How are Dark Circles under eyes formed?
 That is the Mechanism of formation.

Lets look at the First explanation or hypothesis on this:

  1. We have very tiny and thin blood vessels, rather a network of blood vessels called capillaries under this loose and thin skin around eyes. These capillaries are so fine that the red blood cells are waiting in queue to pass through them. An in this process, due to statis of blood, there is extravasation or leakage into the surrounding area skin tissues. This stasis causes breakdown of haemoglobin into pigments like hemosiderin and biliverdin which contribute to visible pigmentation or the dark circles under your eyes.
  2. Another theory explaining this is:
    There are a number of reasons that cause dark eye circles as discussed already. Most important ones are Stress and Lack of Sleep. So when you are in stress whether emotional stress or from any reason like lack of sleep, our body produces the stress hormone called cortisol. The action of cortisol is it causes constriction of some vessels as well dilatation of some vessels like those in the loose tissues of our body like the tissues underneath the peri occular skin. The lower eyelid skin is one of the thinnest parts in the body and due to this blood vessel dilatation, there is stasis of blood in this region and then there is breakdown of haemoglobin into pigments like hemosiderin and biliverdin which contributes to visible pigmentation or the dark circles under your eyes. The same stasis also explain the baggy eyelids or eyelid bags. These changes are more exaggerated in an ageing skin.

Lets look at the medical treatments and natural or home remedies for under eye dark circles in my next article.

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Best Dandruff Treatments – Medical and Natural Remedies

In Todays article, we will tell you the best treatments for dandruff. We will split this into three sections.

  1. Prevention of Dandruff or its Recurrence
  2. Medical Treatment of Dandruff
  3. Natural Remedies for Dandruff that really work.

The First thing you should know is Dandruff is harmless except if its severe like the seborrheic dermatitis or secondary infection due to excessive scratching. So Just relax and be stress free. And the good news is you can treat dandruff at home without any prescription from a doctor.

First will look into the Medical Treatment of Dandruff and then some natural cures for dandruff that work and finally important points on how to use these plus how to prevent dandruff from coming back.

So lets begin with:  Medical Dandruff Treatment: the mainstay of medical treatment for dandruff are

Dandruff Shampoos: All dandruff shampoos are not the same. There are different ingredients on medications or a mixture of two or more substances that work wonders to control dandruff.

The most important point to remember while using any anti dandruff shampoo is you leave it for atleast 5 minutes after applying it on your scalp  and then rinse thoroughly with adequate amounts of water. Otherwise this may not be effective.
Also remember, the frequency of application of these shampoos depends on the severity of your dandruff.  The protocol you can follow is: Initially you use it weekly thrice for 1 month, then weekly twice for the second month and then weekly once thereafter to prevent relapse of dandruff.

Well now the Shampoo Formulations that are available over the counter without any prescription:

  1. Ketoconazole Antifungal Shampoo (Common brand is called Nizoral available in 1 percent or 2 percent depending on the dandruff severity).
  2. Selenium Sulfide Shampoo, Again this is also an antifungal shampoo with brand names like Selsun or the famous Head and Shoulders shampoo.
  3. Salicylic acid shampoo (like Neutrogena) specially if its an itchy dandruff or the severe seborrheic dermatitis.
  4. Salicylic acid plus sulfur combination like Sebex shampoo.
  5. Pyrithione zinc like selsun blue or head and shoulders blue, specially for itchy dry scalp.
  6. Coal Tar Preparations (like Denorex). Coal tar causes the skin to shed dead cells from the top layer and slows skin cell growth.

Now

Natural Home remedies for Dandruff that work:

  1. Aloe vera gel: The fresh aloe vera gel in the leaves of the plant is proven to control dandruff. So better start growing aloe vera plant at home. It is a very easy to grow and easy to maintain plant which requires very less watering like about once or twice a week.
  2. Tea Tree Oil, Coconut Oil or Olive oil massage. Be careful using any oil as discussed in my previous episode on the mechanism of formation of dandruff, the fungus malassezia metabolizes the oils and forms more dandruff. If you have not watched those two episodes on dandruff, I will link those episodes at the end screen of this video and also in description below.
    Remember, Use these oil remedies only if you have dry skin with dandruff. If you already have oily skin, it can explode your dandruff and can lead to severe seborrheic dermatitis.
  3. Baking Soda: specially if you have oily scalp. There is a bit of controversy in the use of baking soda for dandruff due to ph changes of the scalp. Try it once and if you see any irritation, then stop using it.  To counter this some advice using 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 spoon baking soda and apply on the scalp and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing.

 

Then To Prevent Dandruff Recurrence, Follow these important points:

  1. Avoid Stress
  2. Exercise
  3. Avoid excessive use of hair styling products like gels and creams.
  4. Using the shampoo or treatment regularly like once a week or so to prevent recurrence.

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ONION JUICE FOR HAIR GROWTH TREATMENT – Does it Work?

Onion Juice for Hair loss treatment? It might sound surprising, but onion juice is considered a cheap home remedy for hair loss. In todays episode, am gonna reveal you the real facts on onion juice as a remedy for hairloss. The most important question whether it works for male pattern baldness, that’s androgenetic alopecia which is the most common cause of baldness and hair loss – over 90 percent of the cases.

Before I reveal you about the efficacy of onion juice for baldness and on which type of hair loss it really works and how? Lets quickly learn some different types of alopecia. Alopecia is a medical term for hair loss. Do not skip this topic, as this is important to understand the role of onion juice for hair fall treatment.

  1. Androgenic Alopecia – or hair loss caused by genetics, or family history. This is the most common type of hair loss pattern in men and also called male pattern baldness in males and again the most common cause of hair loss in women and is called female pattern baldness. We will discuss these types and stages of male pattern baldness in detail in some other episode.
  2. Alopecia Areata – This is a patchy hair loss and is an autoimmune disorder which causes the bodys own immune system to attack the healthy hair follicles. The exact cause of this remains unknown, but it is thought to be triggered by stress and traumatic events.
  3. Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis are rare types: Totalis means the patchy type of hair loss will make the scalp totally bald. Where as the Universalis means loss of all hair from the entire body including eyebrows, eyelashes and all body hair.
  4. Traction Alopecia: This type of hair loss occurs due to traction or excessive tension by pulling of the hair like when vigorously combing hair, applying some hair styling procedures and even tight braiding and tight ponytails.  This type of hair loss is usually reversible when you stop these bad habits that cause hair loss. Please watch my important episode on the 10 common habits that can cause hair loss in men and women from an end screen link after this video.

Now coming straight to the point! Now you know the types of hair loss, we will now know the real facts and myths on onion juice for baldness treatment.

Firstly Some Facts on Onions:

  1. Onions and even garlic contain sulfur, which is good for hair because the hair protein keratin need sulfur for its production. It is also said that the sulfur from onions may also help promote collagen production. Collagen in turn helps the production of healthy skin cells and hair growth.
    Here is the catch! You need dietary sulfur intake which is then carried through blood circulation into the hair bulb which then helps in promoting hair growth. So topical application of onion juice has absolutely no scientific basis.
  2. Other theories say that it has anti microbial and anti oxidant properties that help in hair growth.
  3. Some also say it increases blood circulation and promotes hair growth, but nothing is scientifically proved.
  4. And moreover, only one research study was conducted in 2002 on this onion juice and treatment of alopecia areata, mind you it was used only for patchy hair loss and not for the commonest androgenetic alopecia. In alopecia areata it was shown to give some successful results. Although the study said it showed positive results, it was tested in a small number of  only 38 participants.  I have linked two research articles on this topic and both say – the exact mechanism of action of onion juice for hair loss treatment is not known. So that says it all!

And No other scientific study has shown the effectiveness of onion juice for male pattern baldness or hair loss.  If you have patchy hair loss or even traction alopecia, it might work, whether due to a placebo effect or by other means, not sure!

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12126069   2002 study.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/11253462_Onion_Juice_Allium_cepa_L_A_New_Topical_Treatment_for_Alopecia_Areata

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6 Easy Hacks To Sleep Faster and Better

They Say “Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep, was the twin-brother of Thanatos, the greek god of death”. Sleep is such an important part of your life that many scientific studies have shown that a lack of sleep increases your chances of early death.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends these sleep guidelines for adults:
– 7 to 9 hours of sleep for young adults
– 7 to 8 hours of sleep for older adults

Here are the six of the best tips to help you sleep deeper and fuller everyday based on scientific concepts. But remember, You have to start applying these sleep hacks correctly for atleast 2 to 4 weeks to see great results.

  1. Prepare A Sleep Time Table or Schedule:

This is a very important first step to reset your Circadian Rhythm or the Natures Biological Clock built in your body. Go to bed at the same time everyday, even on weekends. And wake up at the same time every morning.
You can either stick a notes on a small piece of paper near bed that reminds you to go to bed at say about 11 pm or you can even set a gentle go to bed alarm reminder in your phone instead of a wake up alarm or set both wake up and go to bed alarm reminders.

 

  1. Avoid these Stimulants before bed:

At least 3 to 4 hours before going to bed, Stop that tea or coffee, chocolates, sodas and nicotine like cigarette smoking.  Quit smoking! Not just for the sake of sleep but to stay healthy and avoid the risk of cardiovascular or lung disorders.

Avoid late evening alcohol. Alcohol initially makes you feel sleepy because it is central nervous system depressant. But as soon as the blood alcohol level drops, it activates your sympathetic system. This wakes you up from the deep phases of your sleep and you will have a very bad confused day ahead.
If you have stopped these stimulants and still find yourself difficult to fall asleep, try sleep meditation programs like the sleep meditation music.

 

  1. Bedroom Rules:

Remember and follow these quick bedroom tips for a better sleep.
a) Never install a TV in your bedroom.
b) Never let your pets into your bedroom.

  1. c) Do not eat or drink or perform any activity like reading on bed. Use it only for sleep.
  2. d) Make sure the bed-sheets and pillow-covers are clean. Change them atleast weekly twice.
  3. e) 15 to 20 minutes before going to bed, dim the room lights and adjust your room temperature to a comfortable level.
  4. f) If you are on bed for 20 minutes or more and getting sleep, therapists suggest you get out of bed and do something non-stimulating like for example reading a boring text book) until you start to feel drowsy.

 

  1. Importance of Daytime Naps:
    A Nap is a very short period of sleep usually during daytime, that helps you refresh yourself and feel energetic for the rest of the day. Taking a nap of about 20 to 30 minutes a day usually between 2 pm to 4 pm not only keeps you energetic for the rest of the day but studies have also shown to reduce blood pressure, stress and anxiety. This inturn helps you in a better deep sleep in the night. And one more thing, do not sleep more than 30 minutes, you may find it difficult to fall asleep in night. Also even if you do not fall asleep in the after noon nap, that’s okay! Just relax !

 

  1. Importance of Exercise:
    The same rule of 30 minutes exercise daily for 5 days a week applies even here. This I have discussed many times in my earlier videos. Exercise definitely enhances your quality of your sleep.

Do not perform any heavy exercise within 4 hours of bedtime. However, light exercise like yoga or walking after dinner is good. You can exercise at around 6 to 7 pm. Start with light exercises and then do some weight bearing ones like sit ups and push ups but gradually increase the intensity. You should get great results within a week.

 

  1. Some Strong Do’s and Don’ts:
  2. Never touch your laptop or phone at least one hour before bed. These blue light emitting screens depress the production of the hormone melatonin, that plays a very important role in sleep.
  3. Dinner – should be light and atleast 3 hours before bed. Also never go to bed on hungry stomach, you will not fall asleep and it can infact disturb your sleep.
  4. You can also try a warm shower 1 hour before going to bed which is believed to increase melatonin production.

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