Fungi are increasingly resistant to drugs. It is urgent to explore alternatives to combat fungal infections. Lavender (Lavendula) is an herbal plant whose essential oil have been used for centuries to heal skin tissue from burns, often used as a mild antidepressant and for its anticeptic qualities and as an exotic edible condiment. Finally modern western medical research is being forced to study how it works for its significant clinical benefits.
Lavender oil derived from pressing the leaves and distilling the essence from the volatile oils could be used to combat the increasing incidence of antifungal-resistant infections, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology.
The essential oil shows a potent antifungal effect against strains of fungi responsible for common skin and nail infections.
Scientists from the University of Coimbra in Portugal distilled lavender oil from the Lavandula viridis L’Her shrub that grows in southern Portugal. The oil was tested against a range of pathogenic fungi and was found to be lethal to a range of skin-pathogenic strains, known as dermatophytes, as well as various species of Candida.
Dermatophytes cause infections of the skin, hair and nails as they use the keratin within these tissues to obtain nutrients. They are responsible for conditions such as Athletes’ foot, ringworm and can also lead to scalp and nail infections.
Candida species coexist with most healthy individuals without causing problems but may cause mucocutaneous candidosis – or thrush – in some people. In immunocompromised patients, Candida species are able to cause serious infection if the fungal cells escape into the blood stream.
Currently, there are relatively few types of antifungal drugs to treat infections and those that are available often have side effects. Professor Ligia Salgueiro and Professor Eugenia Pinto who led this study explained why novel fungicides are urgently needed.
“In the last few years there has been an increase in the incidence of fungal diseases, particularly among immunocompromised patients,” they said.
“Unfortunately there is also increasing resistance to antifungal drugs. Research by our group and others has shown that essential oils may be cheap, efficient alternatives that have minimal side effects.”
Essential oils distilled from the Lavandula genus of lavender plants are already used widely, particularly in the food, perfume and cosmetic industries. Studies of the biological activities of these oils suggest Lavandula oils have sedative and antispasmodic properties as well being potent antimicrobials and antioxidants.
This group has demonstrated that these oils work by destroying fungal cells by damaging the cell membrane. They believe that further research into the mechanisms by which this essential oil works could have significant clinical benefits.
“Lavandula oil shows wide-spectrum antifungal activity and is highly potent. This is a good starting point for developing this oil for clinical use to manage fungal infections. What is now required is clinical trials to evaluate how our in vitro work translates in vivo,” said Professor Salgueiro.
This group has demonstrated that these oils work by destroying fungal cells by damaging the cell membrane. They believe that further research into the mechanisms by
Other uses for lavender include lavender oil used for inhalation therapy to treat headaches, nervous disorders, and exhaustion. Herbalists treat skin ailments, such as fungal infections (like candidiasis), wounds, eczema, and acne, with lavender oil. It is also used in a healing bath for joint and muscle pain. One study evaluating treatments for children with eczema founded it was therapeutic touch from the mother that improved symptoms; in other words, massage with and without essential oils (including lavender) both reduced the dry, scaly skin lesions. Another study found that lavender oil may improve pain control after surgery. Fifty patients undergoing breast biopsy surgery received either oxygen supplemented with lavender oil or oxygen alone. Patients in the lavender group reported better pain control than patients in the control group.
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/f3pCWC
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/golefR
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/elmsi9
Image courtesy of Nature’s Crusaders library
Gunning for success
Burn care and healing has been fraught with extreem pain and long crueling amounts of time to heal. Now the prayers have been answered with a gun. Until now burns have usually been treated with skin grafts, which involve taking skin sections from uninjured parts of the patient’s body, or growing sheets of skin artificially, and grafting them over the burn. The grafts can take several weeks or even months to heal, and during the recovery period patients are prone to infections because of the damage to the skin, which is the body’s first line of defense against pathogens.
Scientists have been able to regenerate skin in the laboratory for decades, but the process takes two to three weeks and the sheets of skin produced are fragile. When grafted on, blisters can form beneath it due to secretions, and can push up against the sheet and damage it. Scaring scars lives.
Enter the Skin-cell Gun
The skin sprayer works like a very high tech paint spray gun. Originally developed by Professor Joerg C. Gerlach and colleages of the Department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburg’s McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Skin spraying have been in use in Australia, where Dr Fiona Wood of the West Australia Burns Unit developed a method called “spray-on-skin.” Dr Wood’s method uses an aerosol system to spray on cultured skin cells.
This system also cuts healing time to days rather than weeks or months, and the technique substantially cut the death toll in the Bali bombings in 2002.
Dr Gerlach said the new method uses an electronically controlled pneumatic device that does not injure the cells, while the other skin spraying devices are hand-pumped atomizers.
In a process taking only an hour and a half in total, a biopsy is taken from the patient’s undamaged skin and then healthy stem cells are isolated from the biopsy and an aqueous solution containing the cells is sprayed on the burn.
The sprayed wound is then covered with a newly-developed dressing with tubes enmeshed within it and extending from each end. One set of tubes functions as an artery, while the second set functions as a vein. The tubes are connected to an “artificial vascular system” and provide electrolytes, antibiotics, amino acids and glucose to the wound. The dressing keeps the wound clean and sterile, and provides nutrition for the skin stem cells to encourage them to regenerate new skin.
After treatment the wound heals in just days, when it would have taken weeks to heal using traditional treatments. Dr Gerlach said patients had been treated at the Berlin Burn Center and they had regrown skin over a burned ear or an entire face in only a few days.
At the moment the technique can only be used on second-degree burns, but Dr Gerlach hopes it will later be able to tackle third-degree burns as well.
The research is funded by the US Department of Defense under the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM) consortium of research institutions, which was formed in 2008 to research better treatments for wounded service personnel.
The Skin-cell Gun was shown on the National Geographic channel in the episode Explorer: How to Build a Beating Heart, which looks at the latest tissue regeneration techniques.
Excerpts and Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/excILy
Battery Safety for hand held devices and cars
WARNING: Leakage of battery fluid can cause an explosion and personal injury. If battery leakage occurs, thoroughly wash the affected skin and clothes.
Keep batteries away from children.Keep battery fluid away from your eyes and mouth.
Leaking batteries may make popping sounds that leakage if from a car or truck can cause an explosion and significant bodily harm. Check out these real life accounts.
The Lead Acid battery is made up of plates, lead, and lead oxide (various other elements are used to change density, hardness, porosity, etc.) with a 35% sulfuric acid and 65% water solution.
This solution is called electrolyte, which causes a chemical reaction that produce electrons. When you test a battery with a hydrometer, you are measuring the amount of sulfuric acid in the electrolyte. If your reading is low, that means the chemistry that makes electrons is lacking. So where did the sulfur go? It is resting on the battery plates and when you recharge the battery, the sulfur returns to the electrolyte.
To avoid battery leakage:
Do not mix used and new batteries (replace all batteries at the same time).
Do not mix different brands of batteries.
Nintendo recommends alkaline batteries. Do not use Lithium ion, nickel cadmium (nicad), or carbon zinc batteries.
Do not leave batteries in the remote or other devices for long periods of non-use.
Do not recharge alkaline or non-rechargeable batteries.
Do not put the batteries in backwards. Make sure that the positive (+) and negative (-) ends are facing in the correct directions. Insert the negative end first. When removing batteries, remove the positive end first.
Do not use damaged, deformed or leaking batteries.
Do not dispose of batteries in a fire.
Recycle batteries safely.
For more technical information on the types of batteries check out.
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/ekljlW
Excerpts courtesy of http://www.batterystuff.com/tutorial_battery.html#1
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/ejoeDY
Soap RX with the Master Soap Maker
Dragnash? Pomegranate? Crunchy Scratchy Lavender? Red Wine & Flax? Pumpkin Pie? Beer? Sandalwood?
This is not a grocery list, but an inventory of the various chunks and pieces of soap that confront me when I step into my morning shower. I am a Soap Maker. So on any given day I may have nine to twelve different soaps in my shower to choose from. It’s not just the odd sizes of these little soaps that make them unique (I use the remnant and irregular pieces), but the fact that each one has it’s own special character and purpose.
The art of choosing the perfect soap to begin your day
With such a wide selection of soaps, how do I decide? What makes me choose a particular soap each morning? I have to admit that there are days, I just stare at them-none of them particularly inviting. That’s when I know it’s time to create a new soap. Soap scents range from beer to Dragnash, Pomegranate, Crunchy Scratchy Lavender to Red Wine & Flax, Pumpkin Pie, Beer, and Sandalwood blends to name a few.
Some days my process is purely logical. I have made a new soap and needed to test it thoroughly before I offer it for sale. In which case, I will use the soap every day for a few weeks to make sure it meets Zen of Soap expectations.
Today, my choice was strictly emotional. The alarm woke me up after a restless night, I was still tired, my sinuses were blocked and I was CRANKY. I instinctually reached for Crunchy Scratchy Lavender. The Chamomile, Lavender and Oatmeal worked to sooth my skin and senses. A hint Eucalyptus Essential Oil managed to help clear my nose. Ahh, my morning has immediately improved-now I can start my day.
Have a Happy Day !
Joyce Speer, Zen of Soap Artist from Dragnass Soap will be glad to answer your questions and teach you how to make Zen soaps.
Contact Joyce or sent your questions to Zen of Soap
Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/g7qg8j
Being green it not just the mantra for Kermit the Frog, but companies have realized the $$ to be had at been green even if you are not.
Companies that for many years had peoples’ respect now have recently come under crutiny for claims of being all natural or organic, but do not walk the walk.
Namely Burt’s Bees has been found to be less than chemical free. Their sunscreen product that contains, among other things, titanium dioxide is a chemical.
In Britain Sainsbury’s, the second biggest supermarket chain, has been taken to task by the Advertising Standards Authority over its claims for organic food, just a month after the biggest supermarket, Tesco, was similarly criticised.
Green chemistry and engineering efforts are working to identify the safest chemicals and their processes (and develop new ones) so manufacturers have an increasing set of the safest ingredients to use for their products.
So time to walk your talk.
Image 1. courtesy of http://bit.ly/9aEfLH
Image 2. courtesy of http://bit.ly/arjLMa
No one likes warts, but how do we get them and more important how can they be removed.
A range of types of wart have been identified, varying in shape and site affected, as well as the type of human papillomavirus involved. These include
Common wart (Verruca vulgaris), a raised wart with roughened surface, most common on hands,
but can grow anywhere on the body; Common warts are different from moles, and they aren’t cancerous. In fact, they’re usually harmless and often disappear on their own. But you may find common warts bothersome or embarrassing, and you may want treatment to remove them.
Treatment helps prevent common warts from spreading to other parts of your body or to other people. But common warts may recur after treatment, and they may be a persistent problem.
Flat wart (Verruca plana), a small, smooth flattened wart, flesh-coloured, which can occur in large numbers; most common on the face, neck, hands, wrists and knees.
Filiform or digitate wart on the lip, is a thread- or finger-like wart, most common on the face, especially near the eyelids and lips.
Mosaic wart, a group of tightly clustered plantar-type warts, commonly on the hands or soles of the feet;
Genital wart (venereal wart, Condyloma acuminatum, Verruca acuminata), a wart that occurs on the genitalia.
Periungual wart, a cauliflower-like cluster of warts that occurs around the nails.
The human papilloma virus (HPV) is the cause of warts. These growths can appear anywhere on the skin of the body. From the head and face to the genital area and feet. They may look like small, fleshy bumps; hard, flat growths with a rough surface and well-defined boundaries; gray or brown lumps with tiny pinprick-size black dots.
There are about 130 known types of human papilloma viruses. HPV infects the squamous epithelium, usually of the skin or genitals, but each HPV type is typically only able to infect only a few specific areas on the body. Many HPV types can produce a benign growth, often called a “wart” or “papilloma”, in the area they infect. To grow the papilloma needs a blood supply to nourish it that is supplied by a network of capillaries.
Treatment for common warts
There are many different treatments and procedures associated with wart removal. One review of 52 clinical trials of various cutaneous wart treatments concluded that topical treatments containing salicylic acid were the best supported, with an average cure rate of 75%, compared with 48% for the placebo in six placebo-controlled trials including a total of 376 participants. The reviewers also concluded that there was little evidence of a significant benefit of cryotherapy (freezing with nitrogen) over salicylic acid or duct tape.
In a double-blind, randomized and controlled clinical trial at Mayo in 90 adults when transparent duct tape was compared to mole skin, there was no statistically significant difference for resolution of the target wart between patients treated with moleskin versus patients treated with duct tape. Eight of 39 patients (21%) in the treatment group vs 9 of 41 patients in the control group (22%) had complete resolution of the target wart. Fewer of the patients achieving resolution of their wart in the moleskin group had recurrence of their wart.
For Plantar warts often covering them with duck tape for a week up to 1 month then gently soaking off the tape. Drying the area and rubbing it gently with an emery board or pumice stone. Repeat the process over the course of a month or two before the warts disappear, but a study published in the October 2002 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that the duct tape method worked better than having a doctor freeze the warts off with liquid nitrogen, which can be painful and cause scarring.It is as effective as using any drug or over the counter preparation on them.
If a person has a very delicate or sensitive skin do not do this treatment. then soak in water and rub gently with an emery board or pumice stone. You may have to repeat the process over the course of a month or two before the warts disappear, but a study published in the October 2002 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that the duct tape method worked better than having a doctor freeze the warts off with liquid nitrogen, which can be painful and cause scarring.
Other treatments for Plantar warts include Leave them alone. Most will disappear without treatment, sooner or later.
Try a “paint on” solution. Look for an over-the-counter treatment containing a 40 percent salicylic acid, and apply once or twice a day for a few weeks. To help avoid getting plantar warts, avoid areas known to harbor the virus, including warm, moist places such as shower floors, locker rooms and public swimming pools. Always wear shower thongs or sandals when you use a public locker room or shower, and use foot powders and change your socks often to keep feet dry.
Homeopathic medicine has been effective in treating Plantar and figwarts. Contact your local naturopathic or homeopathic health care provider to find the remedy most beneficial to you.
Some have even used visualization to rid themselves of warts. By only seeing the area that holds the wart as perfect skin and the wart shrinking, the frequency of the cells in the area change and if your diet becomes more alkaline then viruses cannot live in an alkaline environment.
For more information on wart removal or to find a natural medicine physician contact Complementary Medicine Association through our email email@example.com.
Excerpts courtesy of http://www.drweil.com
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/c3GO97
Image 1. Common wart courtesy of html http://bit.ly/c5BlII
Image 2. Filiform wart courtesy of http://bit.ly/acc1lT
Image 3. Planter wart courtesy of http://bit.ly/9r8t6a
Image 4. Mosaic wart courtesy of http://bit.ly/cCO9ci
Image 5. Squamous cell layer of a capillary wall courtesy of http://bit.ly/dlUdNw
More than a million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. every year. The incidence of malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of the disease, is escalating. Effective sunscreens are crucial to public health. But EWG’s investigation reveals that they may be hard to find: * 59 sunscreens with SPFs from 55-100+ might tempt you to stay out longer in the sun, but they block just 1-2% more sunburn rays than an SPF 30 sunscreen. * Hundreds of all-day moisturizers advertise SPF protection, but 1 in 5 offers little protection from harmful UVA rays. Some break down well before the day’s end. A surprising new government report attributes an increasing incidence of malignant melanoma among people who work indoors to UVA rays shining through windows onto unprotected skin. * Lip cancer is most common on the bottom lip where sun exposure is most direct. Two of 5 lip balms offer poor UVA protection. One plus for 2009: 19% fewer sunscreens contain oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor approved by FDA as an active ingredient in sunscreen.
Few sunscreens live up to their advertising claims, and the federal government is powerless to make them. The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been promising to regulate sunscreens since 1978, when gasoline was 63 cents a gallon and the BeeGees’ “Saturday Night Fever” topped the charts.
Thirty plus years has gone by without action. Tired of delays and excuses?
Take action: ask FDA to do its job and issue some sunscreen regulations with teeth. email FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg.
In the meantime, EWG’s research team has created this comprehensive guide listing 82 recommended products and other sun safety tips to help you and your family have fun in the sun safely.
Check out your favorites and see how they rate. You will probably be as surprised as I was. Thanks so much for this detailed evaluation.
Image courtesy of http://www.bertagnolli.net/mandalay.2002.05/sunscreen.jpg