Archive for July, 2016

Simple Blood Test To Tell If Patients Need Antibiotics

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

In a breakthrough, researchers, including one of Indian-origin, are developing a simple and low-cost blood test that can accurately identify which patients need antibiotics.

Antibiotics have saved millions of lives and created a world in which complex and lifesaving surgeries are possible.

But the overuse of antibiotics threatens to create a global scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens, researchers said.

“A lot of times you cannot really tell what kind of infection someone has. If someone comes into the clinic, a bacterial or a viral infection often look exactly the same,” said Timothy Sweeney from Stanford University in the US.

“The idea to look for a diagnostic test came from our previous paper in Immunity last year. In that paper, we found a common response by the human immune system to multiple viruses that is distinct from that for bacterial infections,” said Purvesh Khatri from Stanford.

Tango Therapy May Cut Risk Of Falls In Cancer Patients

Friday, July 29th, 2016

Argentine Tango dance has the potential to significantly improve balance and reduce falls risk among cancer patients post treatment, finds a study that addresses the prevalent side effects of cancer treatment.

According to researchers nearly 70 per cent of cancer patients treated with chemotherapy will experience peripheral neuropathy as a side effect post treatment.

Peripheral neuropathy is weakness, numbness or loss of sensation in the hands, fingers, feet and toes and pain from nerve damage.

The findings revealed that after just five weeks of Argentine tango, medial and lateral sway decreased by 56 per cent indicating that this is a promising balance intervention for cancer survivors experiencing impaired balance post treatment.

“The study showed that Argentine Tango has measurable effects on balance — but our patients report really enjoying dance as therapy. It is a fun, social way to do the necessary work and our initial data shows it has some positive impact for restoring balance,” said Mimi Lamantia from The Ohio State University in the US.

In addition, the patients also found that the Argentine tango was more easier to adhere than the traditional physical therapy.

“So many patients tell us that it is difficult to stay committed to physical therapy because it is hard and feels like work,” Lamantia added.

Long-term neuropathy in the feet and toes can be especially problematic because it affects a person’s balance and gait. This puts them in an elevated fall risk when they are engaging in daily life activities.

“That’s a big deal because many more people are surviving cancer. Dealing with the issues that impact a person’s quality of life after cancer is extremely important,” noted another researcher Lise Worthen-Chaudhari from The Ohio State University.

For the study, the team designed a dance intervention course that involved 20 sessions of adapted Argentine Tango. Patients participated in one-hour sessions twice a week for 10 weeks.

Researchers measured patients’ standing postural sway (eyes closed) with a computer-aided force platform at the beginning of the dance intervention series and at completion of the 10-weeks of instruction. Patients were also asked to report satisfaction with the intervention.

Initial data from the first three patients who participated in the Argentine Tango study will be presented at the 2016 annual meeting of American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine in Chicago.

High Body Mass Index May Increase Spread Of Blood Cancer

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Researchers have found that as body mass index (BMI) increases, so does the growth and spread of the blood cancer multiple myeloma.

“Once a person with cancer is out of the normal weight category, their BMI is contributing to multiple myeloma growth and progression,” said Katie DeCicco-Skinner from American University.

Researchers examined BMI of normal, overweight, obese and morbidly obese patients, and the effects on multiple myeloma. Obesity is believed to be a risk factor for many cancers, and each 5 kilogramme per metre square increase in BMI is associated with an increase of 10 per cent in cancer-related deaths, studies show.

In the multiple myeloma study, normal weight was defined as a BMI of no more than 25 kilogrammes per square metre, and morbidly obese was in the range of 35 to 40 kilogrammes per square metre.

Researchers obtained stem cells from the discarded fat of liposuction patients who underwent elective surgery. They turned them into fat cells and cultured the fat cells with multiple myeloma.

In bone marrow, where multiple myeloma often takes root, fat cells play an important role in the proliferation, survival, progression and drug resistance of the cancer cells.

As a patient’s BMI increases, fat cells communicate with multiple myeloma cells, researchers found. Fat cells grow larger, gain additional lipid and secrete proteins linked to cancer.

Researchers also found a correlation between BMI and angiogenesis and adhesion, key indicators of progression.

“We know multiple myeloma cells will anchor into bone marrow, and fat cells in the bone marrow will support the growth and spread of the cancer,” said DeCicco-Skinner.

“In our study, as BMI increased, we started seeing an

increase in the ability of multiple myeloma cells to adhere, which causes the cancer to better anchor,” DeCicco-Skinner said.

“With angiogenesis, cancer cells cannot exist without their own blood supply. We also found the amount of blood vessels that developed was directly proportional to a patient’s BMI,” she added.

Researchers assumed cancer proliferation would benefit from higher-than-normal BMI because of the epidemiological link between obesity and cancer. But the relationship between multiple myeloma and the BMI of obese and morbidly obese patients was drastic, researchers said.

“We found that fat cells from obese or morbidly obese patients secreted a high amount of inflammatory proteins, which contributed to tumour progression,” said DeCicco-Skinner.

The findings suggest a new approach for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Physicians may want to consider tailoring drugs based on a patient’s BMI because a drug may not be as effective in obese or morbidly obese patients, researchers said.


DNA Test May Predict Academic Achievement

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Scientists have found a new genetic scoring technique that may predict a student’s academic achievement from DNA alone and help identify children who are at risk of having learning difficulties.

The technique is the strongest prediction of behaviour from DNA to date, researchers said.

The research shows that a genetic score comprising 20,000 DNA variants explains almost 10 per cent of the differences between children’s educational attainment at the age of 16.

The findings from King’s College London mark a ‘tipping point’ in predicting academic achievement and may help identify children who are at greater risk of having learning difficulties.

Twin studies can tell us the overall genetic influence on a trait in a population. Polygenic scores, however, estimate genetic influence from common variants only, which explains the discrepancy between these DNA-based studies and twin studies (10 per cent vs 60 per cent).

As human traits are so complex and influenced by thousands of gene variants of very small effect, it is useful to consider the joint effects of all of these trait-associated variants – and this principle underlies the polygenic score method.

Calculating an individual’s polygenic score requires information from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) that finds specific genetic variants linked to particular traits, in this case academic achievement.

Some of these genetic variants, known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), are more strongly associated with the trait, and some are less strongly associated.

In a polygenic score, the effects of these SNPs are weighed by the strength of association and then summed to a score, so that people with many SNPs related to academic achievement will have a higher polygenic score and higher academic achievement, whereas people with fewer associated SNPs will have a lower score and lower levels of academic achievement.

The new research examined almost 10 million SNPs and identified 74 genetic variants that were significantly associated with years of completed education.

‘Years of education’ was used as a proxy measure for education achievement and related traits.

Researchers measured academic achievement in Mathematics and English at ages 7, 12 and 16, in a sample of 5,825 individuals from the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS).

Their findings show that what makes students achieve differently in their educational achievement is strongly affected by DNA differences.

On average those with a higher polygenic score would obtain a grade between A and B, while those with lower score obtained an entire grade below at age 16.

About 65 per cent of people in the higher polygenic group went on to do A-levels, whereas only 35 per cent from the lower group did so.

The findings appear in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Chicken Odour Prevents Malaria

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

The smell from a live chicken could help protect humans against malaria, researchers said today after finding that chicken’s odour puts the mosquitoes off.

Ethiopian and Swedish scientists discovered that malarial mosquitoes tend to avoid chickens and other birds.

The experiments, conducted in western Ethiopia, included suspending a live chicken in a cage near a volunteer sleeping under a bed net.

Infection and death rates are declining but health officials are continuing to look for new ways to prevent the spread of the disease.

The malaria parasite, which initially hides in the liver before going into the bloodstream, is carried from person to person by mosquitoes when they drink blood.

The scientists, whose research was published in the Malaria Journal, concluded that as mosquitoes use their sense of smell to locate an animal they can bite, there must be something in a chicken’s odour that puts the insects off.

Addis Ababa University’s Habtie Tekie, who worked on the research, said that the compounds from the smell of the chicken can be extracted and could work as a repellent.

Field trials for this stage of the research are now “in the pipeline”, he said.

Researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences were also involved in the project.

Compounds extracted from chicken feathers were also used in the experiments, as well as live chickens.

Researchers discovered that the use of the chicken and the compounds “significantly reduced” the number of mosquitoes that were found in the trap nearby.

The scientists say that with reports that some mosquitoes are developing resistance to insecticide “novel control methods” need to be embraced.

Breastfeeding May Protect Moms Against Diabetes

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Breastfeeding may be a cost-effective intervention aimed at reducing the long-term risk of developing type 2 diabetes among women with gestational diabetes, scientists have found.

Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen in Germany studied the metabolism of women with gestational diabetes after giving birth.

Along with partners at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the German Centre for Diabetes Research (DZD), they were able to show that breastfeeding for more than three months brings about long-term metabolic changes.

Four per cent of all pregnant women in Germany develop gestational diabetes before the birth of their child, researchers said.

Although their blood sugar levels initially return to normal after delivery, one in two of the mothers affected develops type 2 diabetes within the next ten years.

While it has been shown that lactation can lower this risk by 40 per cent, the reasons for this are not yet understood.

In an earlier study, researchers led by Professor Anette-Gabriele Ziegler, Director of the Institute of Diabetes Research (IDF) at the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen, showed that breastfeeding for more than three months postpartum has a protective effect, which lasts for up to 15 years after gestational diabetes.

In the recent study, they examined whether the metabolism could be responsible for this.

For their analyses, scientists examined almost 200 patients who had developed gestational diabetes.

The participants in the study received a standardised glucose solution and gave a fasting blood sample beforehand, and during the test.

The scientists then compared the samples on the basis of 156 different, known metabolites.

On average, the women had given birth three and half years earlier.

“We observed that the metabolites in women who had breastfed for more than three months differed significantly from those who had had shorter lactation periods,” said first-author Daniela Much from the IDF.

“Longer periods of lactation are linked to a change in the production of phospholipids and to lower concentrations of branched-chain amino acids in the mothers’ blood plasma,” Much said.

This is interesting because the metabolites involved were linked in earlier studies with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, researchers said.

“The findings of our study provide new insights into disease-related metabolic pathways that are influenced by lactation and could thus be the underlying reason for the protective effect,” said Sandra Hummel, head of the Gestational Diabetes working group at the IDF, who led the study.

The research was published in the journal Diabetologia.


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Early Bedtime For Preschoolers Cuts Obesity Risk Later

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Preschoolers who are regularly in bed by 8 p.m., are far less likely to become obese teenagers than young children who go to sleep later in the night, a new research has found.

According to the research published in the Journal of Pediatrics, bedtimes after 9 p.m. appeared to double the likelihood of obesity later in life.

“For parents, this reinforces the importance of establishing a bedtime routine,” said Sarah Anderson, associate professor at the Ohio State University College of Public Health.

Obesity can set kids up for a lifelong struggle with weight and health complications that can accompany it, including diabetes and heart disease, the study revealed.

“It’s something concrete that families can do to lower their child’s risk and it’s also likely to have positive benefits on behavior and on social, emotional and cognitive development,” added Anderson.

For the study, the researchers used data from 977 children who were part of the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development.

The researchers divided preschool bedtimes into three categories — 8 p.m. or earlier, between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. and after 9 p.m. The children were about four and a half years old when their mothers reported their typical weekday bedtime.

The researchers found a striking difference. Only one in 10 of the children with the earliest bedtimes were obese teens, compared to 16 per cent of children with mid-range bedtimes and 23 per cent of those who went to bed latest.

Half the kids in the study fell into the middle category. A quarter had early bedtimes and another quarter went to bed late.

Because the emotional climate at home can influence routines such as bedtime, the researchers also examined interactions between mothers and their children.

Regardless of the quality of the maternal-child relationship, there was a strong link between bedtimes and obesity, the researchers found. But the children who went to bed latest and whose moms had the lowest sensitivity scores faced the highest obesity risk.

The researchers also found that later bedtimes were more common in children who were not white, whose mothers had less education and who lived in lower-income household.



How A Protein Can Cause Blindness In Diabetics Explained

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Researchers have shown how a small protein that can both damage or grow blood vessels in the eye can cause vision loss in people with diabetes, an advance that may lead to better treatment of the disease.

By combining data on optometry patients’ eyes with advanced computational methods, researchers from Indiana University in the US created a virtual tissue model of diabetes in the eye.

The findings show precisely how a small protein that can both damage or grow blood vessels in the eye causes vision loss and blindness in people with diabetes, researchers said.

The study could lead to better treatment for diabetic retinopathy, which currently requires multiple invasive procedures that are not always effective in the long term. Diabetic retinopathy is responsible for 1 per cent of all blindness worldwide, researchers said.

A major way diabetic retinopathy threatens vision is diabetic edema. In this condition, the smallest vessels supplying the retina with oxygen become leaky, causing fluid to swell the central retinal area and impairing the type of vision required for precise activities such as reading.

This happens because the loss of blood flow in a blood vessel causes the local oxygen level to drop, which stimulates local production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein that in most tissues causes the growth of new blood vessels to repair damage, researchers said.

However, in a retina with elevated sugar levels, instead of repairing the damage, physicians observe a cascade of damage that propagates from the initial blocked vessel. The rate and area of the damage’s progression also vary greatly between patients in a seemingly unpredictable way.

The virtual retina model in the study provides the first strong evidence for why this pattern of disease progression is so variable, and it predicts where damage will occur next.

It shows that the blockage of one vessel causes a local loss of oxygen in the retina, which triggers release of VEGF that spreads over a larger region which, in turn, increases the probability of blockage in the surrounding vessels, creating a “domino effect,” researchers said.

The spread of damage from region to region depends on the detailed pattern of blood vessels in each patient and the amount of blood they carry, both of which vary greatly from person to person, they said.

Based on a patient’s specific vascular structure, the scientists’ new model calculates how much a blockage in one blood vessel will increase the probability of blockage in each neighbouring vessel.

As a result, their programme predicts the specific rate and pattern of cascading vascular damage in the individual. The findings were published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.



Hypertension Biggest Global Risk Factor For Stroke

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Hypertension is the single major risk factor for stroke, which is a highly preventable medical condition globally, irrespective of age and sex, reveals a study led by an Indian-origin researcher.

Stroke which is caused when poor blood flow to the brain results in cell death, is the leading cause of mortality and disability, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries.

The findings showed that 47.9 per cent of stokes were caused as a result of hypertension whereas physical inactivity caused 35.8 per cent.

Poor diet and obesity caused 23.2 per cent and 18.6 per cent of strokes, respectively.

While smoking caused 12.4 per cent, heart diseases was accounted for 9.1 per cent of strokes.

Diabetes resulted in 3.9 per cent and alcohol intake in 5.8 per cent of strokes.

Stress caused 5.8 per cent and lipids 26.8 per cent of strokes.

Further, hypertension was found as the highest reason behind strokes in Southeast Asia (59.6 per cent), whereas in western Europe, North America and Australia it caused 38.8 per cent of strokes.

Alcohol intake was found lowest in western Europe, North America, Australia but at 10.4 per cent and 10.7 per cent it was highest in Africa and south Asia, respectively. Physical inactivity was found as the highest reason of strokes in China.

In addition, ischaemic stroke — caused by blood clots — accounted for 85 per cent of strokes and haemorrhagic stroke — bleeding in the brain — accounted for 15 per cent of strokes, was found as the two major types of strokes.

Governments, health organisations, and individuals should proactively reduce the global burden of stroke, said the paper published in The Lancet.

For the study, the team included 6000 participants from 22 countries and later an additional 20000 individuals from 32 countries in Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Australia.

Chikungunya Virus Is Transmitted Across Mosquito Generations

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

Researchers have found that “Aedes aegypti” mosquitoes that transmit the chikungunya virus, pass it on to their offspring- a feature that allows these mosquitoes to maintain the virus within their population for generations.

In other words, mosquitoes emerging from eggs laid by infected Aedes also carry the virus, thus enabling the virus to keep circulating in nature.

A team from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), National Institute of Malaria Research and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has reported this finding in the reputed journal ‘Acta Tropica.’

“Called transovarian transmission (TOT) or vertical transmission, this is an important feature by which viruses survive in nature until they reach a population large enough to infect human population,” Sujatha Sunil, head of Vector Bourne Diseases Group at ICGEB and principal investigator of the study, told IANS.

In India, chikungunya re-emerged in 2006, after a gap of 32 years and since then it has been occurring either as single infection outbreaks or as co-infections with dengue in different parts of India.

TOT, in which a virus spreads from mosquito to mosquito, is known to occur in the case of yellow fever virus which is also transmitted by A. aegypti mosquitoes.

“However, there have been no reports on TOT of chikungunya virus in field samples till date,” Sujatha said. “The present pilot entomological survey is the first study to confirm this feature in natural population of Aedes mosquitoes.”

In their study, female Aedes mosquitoes collected from the field — that tested positive for the chikungunya virus — were fed uninfected blood in the laboratory and allowed to lay eggs. The progeny that emerged from these eggs were tested and found positive for chikungunya virus, “thus clearly establishing the prevalence of vertical transmission of chikungunya virus in A. aegypti natural populations,” the scientists reported.

Information on vertical transmission of chikungunya virus in natural population of Aedes mosquitoes is important to understand the possible mechanisms of virus survival during inter-epidemic periods, the report said. By confirming the presence of TOT, the “study has provided insights as to the mode by which the chikungunya virus may exist in the population during adverse climatic conditions,” Sujatha said.

For instance, she noted, the pilot survey carried out in Delhi and neighbouring Haryana has revealed that Aedes mosquitoes survive even during peak summer season and their population “explodes quickly once the monsoon starts”.

“Therefore it is very crucial to initiate vector surveillance and control programmes well before the monsoon actually starts,” the scientists said in their report.

They said their study has further demonstrated the importance of identifying permanent breeding sites for proper Aedes species control. “Identification of such sites and timely control of mosquito population in these sites before the onset of monsoon will prove to be extremely important in vector control programmes,” the report said.

But if TOT is taking place in nature, why chikungunya epidemic is not occurring throughout the year?

Sujatha said mosquito population is the deciding factor for disease transmission. “During non-rainy season, the habitats and breeding of the mosquitoes are greatly curbed and the number of mosquitoes is very low. This automatically translates to lesser cases of chikungunya,” Sujatha said.

source :

Pomegranates May Help Fight Ageing

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Researchers have found that a molecule in pomegranates, transformed by microbes in the gut, may enable muscle cells to protect themselves against one of the major causes of ageing.

As we age, our cells increasingly struggle to recycle their powerhouses.

Called mitochondria, these inner compartments are no longer able to carry out their vital function, and thus accumulate in the cell, researchers said.

This degradation affects the health of many tissues, including muscles, which gradually weaken over the years.

A buildup of dysfunctional mitochondria is also suspected of playing a role in other diseases of ageing, such as Parkinson’s disease, they said.

Scientists from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Amazentis company in Switzerland identified a molecule that, all by itself, managed to re-establish the cell’s ability to recycle the components of the defective mitochondria: urolithin A.

“It is the only known molecule that can relaunch the mitochondrial clean-up process, otherwise known as mitophagy. It is a completely natural substance, and its effect is powerful and measurable,” said Patrick Aebischer from EPFL.

Researchers started out by testing their hypothesis on the usual suspect: the nematode C elegans.

It is a favourite test subject among ageing experts, because after just 8-10 days it is already considered elderly, they said.

The lifespan of worms exposed to urolithin A increased by more than 45 per cent compared with the control group, they said.

The results led researchers to test the molecule on animals that have more in common with humans.

In the rodent studies, like with C elegans, a significant reduction in the number of mitochondria was observed, indicating that a robust cellular recycling process was taking place.

Older mice, around two years of age, showed 42 per cent better endurance while running than equally old mice in the control group.

The fruit does not itself contain the ‘miracle molecule’, but rather its precursor.

That molecule is converted into urolithin A by the microbes that inhabit the intestine, researchers said.

Because of this, the amount of urolithin A produced can vary widely, depending on the species of animal and the flora present in the gut microbiome.

Some individuals do not produce any at all, they said.

Researchers are currently conducting first clinical trials to test the molecule in humans.

The findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine.


New Initiative Shows Path To Better Diabetes Control

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

A low-cost healthcare model involving non-physician workers using computer tools can help diabetes patients double their likelihood of controlling the disease.

According to a study conducted by researchers at AIIMS, Public Health Foundation of India, and the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University in Atlanta, the model can help patients to improve their blood sugar levels and manage the disease on their own.

A trial conducted at ten clinical centres across India and Pakistan compared the diabetes-focused quality improvement (QI) strategy versus the usual care alternatives for heart patients with poorly controlled diabetes.

The results suggested that patients in the QI strategy group were twice as likely to achieve combined diabetes care goals and larger reductions for each risk factor compared to traditional care, said Nikhil Mr Tandon, Professor and Head, Department of Endocrinology, AIIMS.

“This intervention doesn’t require new or expensive drugs, but instead it enhances a patient’s likelihood of managing their disease on their own by providing individualised support and enhancing the physician’s likelihood of being responsive,” he said.

The study was published in the July 12th edition of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Mr Tandon, the senior author of the study, said the team compared the effects of multicomponent diabetes strategy (combining a non-physician care coordinator and decision-support electronic health record software) versus traditional care in South Asia, where resources are limited and diabetes is prevalent.

“Approximately 1,150 patients with diabetes and poor cardiometabolic profiles were randomly assigned to a multicomponent QI strategy or usual care for two and a half years. Results suggested that patients in the QI strategy group were twice as likely to achieve combined diabetes care goals and larger reductions for each risk factor compared with usual care.

“This was the first trial of comprehensive diabetes management in a low and middle-income country setting,” Tandon said.

Findings from the trial also showed that the new intervention yielded sizeable improvements in the blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol profiles of participants. Benefits were similar in public and private diabetes clinics, indicating that with structured care, health inequalities can possibly be reduced.


How to Get Flawless Skin: Natural Ways to Treat Blackheads and Open Pores

Monday, July 11th, 2016


Whiteheads are tiny little nodules of trapped oil just below the skin’s surface. They give an uneven and bumpy look to the skin. Try to go to a well-known and good acoustician to get rid of them. Or you could make this natural mix at home and use it daily to clean your face –

2 tsp orange peel
2 tsp rice powder
2 tsp dry pea powder

Mix all the ingredients along with rose water to make a thick paste. Apply it generously on the skin and allow it to dry. Wash your face with cold water and pat dry.


Blackheads are hardened sebum, which blackens with exposure to air, and are embedded deep into the pores. These, if not taken care of could lead to pimples and acne. Deep pore cleansing is a must and one could do this after a slight massage using a gentle face scrub, such as 2 tsp of orange juice and 2 tsp of honey mixed with a pinch of camphor. The combination of orange juice, which is slightly acidic, and honey are good for oily skins.

If you have very deep blackheads and have not bothered to clean them or do not want to fiddle with them yourself, seek professional help. In fact, if you have many blackheads, there’s a possibility that the first few times the skin will not look completely clean but with regular treatment, the skin will begin to clear up. If you want to steam your face do so with herbs like lavender, lemon peel and mint leaves added to the water and let the skin soak up their natural goodness. Reduce the oiliness of the skin and blackheads will reduce too.

It is also important that you drink at least 10-12 glasses of water a day and maintain a well- balanced diet. This can be easily done at home. All you need to do is use a little imagination to toss up salads and fruits in delicious dressings so that you don’t get bored of them. Eat whole wheat chappatis and take lots of green vegetables like spinach,cabbage, beans, etc.

To avoid blackheads and whiteheads you have to follow the golden rule of keeping your skin clean and this has to be done as a habit. You need to spend just 5-10 minutes a day cleaning and exfoliating the skin and you will notice the difference in a few days.

Open pores

Open pores or as in a layman’s language ‘holes’ in the skin are very common especially in those with oily skin. Open pores are actually enlarged pores due to excessive oil secretion and lack of using tightening masks that clean and absorb excess moisture.

Using an antiseptic face wash or tonic, which has been refrigerated, will help reduce oiliness. You can mash one banana and apply the pulp on the face for 20 minutes and then wash off or you can rub tomato halves on the face and let the skin soak up its juice. Another effective face pack can be made by mashing 4-5 pieces of refrigerated papaya and applying them for 15 minutes and then washing the face. Bananas, tomato and papaya are also known to have a cleansing and tightening effect on the skin.

Keep one ice tray filled with rose water and use these fabulous rose water ice cubes to keep your skin toned and tightened. Natural clay packs of 4 tsp fuller’s earth and the juice of one lemon are also excellent for women who suffer from this particular problem.

16 Home Remedies for Pimples, Glowing Skin and Dryness

Friday, July 8th, 2016

1. Pimples Due to Dryness

For those of you who sprout pimples in the middle of the cold season and have the driest of skins, stop thinking there’s something wrong with you and blaming your luck. Pimples can happen even due to dryness of skin. So make this wonderful nourishing oil and massage two drops into wet skin for good results -

50 gm neemhoney

50ml olive oil

50ml sesame seed oil

10 drops geranium oil

Method: Mix all the ingredients and massage two drops of it into wet skin.

2. Stabilising Mask for Premature Wrinkles and Acne in Sensitive Skin

If you feel that you are beginning to see those fine lines around the lips and eyes, stop them right away with this super stabilising natural pack that you can conjure up in minutes. This recipe is ideal for people who have extremely sensitive skin.

2 Tbsp gram flour

1 tsp fresh cream

2 tsp water

A pinch of salt

Method: Mix all the ingredients well together and apply on the skin for 10 minutes and wash off with tepid water.

3. Patchy Pigmentation Problem

This annoying discolouration of skin is basically an internal problem which can cause havoc with your appearance. Fret not, this wonderful exfoliator will help reduce dark patchy pigmentation, thus clarifying the skin. You can easily use it daily as part of your skin care routine -

3 tsp oatmeal

3 tsp almond powder

2 tsp honey

The juice of half a lemon

Milk to make a smooth paste

Method: Mix all the ingredients well together and apply on the skin for 5 minutes, dab with milk when semi dry and wash off with water.

4. Forehead Frown Lines

The forehead has nerve endings that make it vulnerable to tension and damage. Worry, stress and tension leads to regular frowning and ultimately causes frown lines. Besides boosting your vitamin intake by including fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, try and consciously relax the forehead muscles by pinching them gently with your fingertips. Also apply the following mask to soothe out lines from this area

2 tsp neem honey

A pinch of turmeric

A pinch of camphor

Method: Mix well all the ingredients and apply on the skin for about 10 minutes. Wash off with cold water.

5. Moisturiser for Very Dry Skin

The skin can often feel leathery and parched and requires nourishment and hydration. Make this wonderful natural moisturiser and be free of all dryness issues.This super skin food promises to make your skin soft in minutes.

3 tsp aloe vera gel

3 tsp rice bran oil

1 tsp ghee

2 tsp rose water

Method: Whip all the ingredients well together and massage a small quantity of it well into the skin.

6. Burning of Hands and Feet

Many of us experience a burning sensation in our hands and feet, especially with the change of weather. If you are one of those who suffer from this issue, here’s a simple natural way to ease your suffering in minutes -

2 tsp rose petal paste

1 tsp sandalwood powder

1 tsp aloe vera gel

Method: Mix all these ingredients and apply on the red irritable areas for 5-7minutes and wash off and pat dry.

Body Polishing at Home: Get a Natural Glow

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Body Polish for Improving Blood Circulation

1 cup rice powder

1 cup pounded fresh mint leaves

1 tsp camphor powder

1 cup oatmeal

10 drops of peppermint oil

Mix all the ingredients well and stir in some cool rose water to make a smooth paste. Apply it all over body and when it is semi-dry scrub off by patting a bit of cold milk onto the skin. Rinse with cold water and you will feel a cool tingling sensation all over.

Body Polish for Detoxing

1 cup sea salt

1 cup olive oil

10 drops of geranium oil

4 drops bergamot oil

Mix well together in a bowl and scrub this all over the body. Wash gently with water. Not only will your body feel silky soft but the sea salt will also help draw out toxins from the body.
Body Polish for Nourishing
1 cup almond powder

1 cup barley flour

4 tsp rice powder

2 tsp sandalwood powder

Mix together with milk and a drop or two of almond oil to make a smooth paste. Scrub all over the body and wash off with water. This will give a super soft feel and leave the skin nourished.

Body Polish for Dislodging Blackheads and Whiteheads

A lot of times the inner thighs, buttocks and upper arms are not scrubbed enough leading to a build up of sebum in the pores which results in whiteheads and blackheads. The following body polish will help dislodge them and smoothen the skin.

1 cup daliya powder

1 cup rice powder

Half a cup red masoor lentil, ground

Half a cup of wholewheat flour

Mix well together and stir in rose water to make a smooth paste and apply all over the body.
Scrub when semi-dry especially in the problematic areas.

Onions for Hair Fall: An Inexpensive Way to Promote Hair Growth

Thursday, July 7th, 2016


Here are some tips

1. A mouthful of amla and aloe vera juice first thing in the morning

.2. Two teaspoon flaxseeds everyday.

3. Hair wash at least thrice a week   including oiling (once a week), followed by a hair pack/wrap, shampooing, conditioning and applying serum).

4. At least two litres of water everyday.

5. Combing properly, only wooden comb.

6. Including green tea, nuts, dry fruits and green leafy vegetables in my regular diet; less of caffeine.

7. Ditching hair styling products completely, also hair colouring, ironing, etc.

8. Using only mild, herbal products; no cosmetics.

Onion for Hair-loss

Onion belongs to the Allium family and is very rich in sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for its pungent odour and health-promoting properties. Polyphenols are one of the largest categories of phytonutrients in food and the highest content of it is found in onions! A wide variety of allyl sulfides are found in onion, including the four major diallyl sulfides.

Methylsulfonylmethane is a highly absorbable source of sulfur, found abundantly in onions especially in its outer layers. It facilitates the formation of keratin for hair, resulting in hair growth. It also helps a great deal in autoimmune conditions of hair loss like Alopecia Aereata.

Onion juice can be mixed with crushed methi seed powder and kept overnight with honey. Apply it on dry scalp, or mixed with olive oil for normal scalp. It can also be applied for focal hair loss patches.

Body Spa at Home: Pamper Yourself with Natural Ingredients

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016


Start the pampering session with an amorous body massage using some aphrodisiac massage oils you can create on your own.

Here’s how: take 50ml almond oil, 50ml olive oil, 4 drops sandalwood oil, and 4 drops rose essential oil, and mix well. Use this to massage gently but firmly easing out every tension in the body.

You can create a delicious sugar scrub with the following ingredients:

1 cup granulated white sugar

50 ml of rice bran oi

lA handful of rose petals

3 drops each of the following-Essential oil of jasmine,Essential oil of sandalwood,Essential oil of tuberose,

Mix all the ingredients well together and store in a glass container. After a languorous body massage, you could use the exfoliating grains and gently scrub yourself. Not only will the gentle scrubbing in rotating movements increase blood circulation but the skin will become baby soft and glowing in no time.

Once the scrubbing and kneading come to an end, what better way to end the session than soaking in a tub or jacuzzi filled with aromatic oils and flowers.Once again  essential oils of juniper, rose, sandalwood and jasmine have an erotic fragrance that soothes and heightens the senses. Use mogra, marigold petals and roses to fill up the tub, and enjoy the experience sipping bubbly and munching on strawberries and chocolates.

5 Easy Anti Aging Tips: It’s More than Just Wrinkles

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016


1. Skin Care Regime

Ask yourself, do you have a skin regime? Do you cleanse, exfoliate, message and moisturise? Experts suggest that a standard skin care regime is of the utmost importance to prevent accelerated ageing.Opt for natural and herbal ingredients. Identify your skin and choose products accordingly. Application matters the most. Apply products with thin consistency followed by the creamier ones.

How to handle your face has a great impact on the creation of fine lines on your face. Always dab your face; never rub with hands, tissue, cotton or towel. Do not sleep on your stomach with your face down, it damages your skin and results sleep creases. Keep a check on dry skin. Do not neglect your hands, feet and neck. Always remove your makeup before going to bed. Yes, that kajal too!

2. Hydrate

Water, water, water! How many times will you turn away from the fact that drinking – at least – 2-3 litres of water is a must for healthy functioning of your body. It is great for skin as well. Just as your skin requires external moisturization and hydration, our body needs enough water to work properly. If drinking plain water bores you, opt for other fluids like coconut water, fresh fruit juices, buttermilk, sherbets, etc.

3. Learn to Say No

Say no to excessive smoking and drinking, prolonged sitting, late working hours, processed foods, excess of caffeine, stress, sedentary lifestyle and obesity.
4. You Are What You Eat

Yellow and purple coloured fruits and veggies especially. These are great for your skin.Avoid red meat and fattening foods, instead, have fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, whole grains, seeds and dairy products on a daily basis. Olive oil can safely be added to your daily diet. Sweets, eggs, poultry and fish should be eaten in intervals during the week. All these should always be teamed with at least 30 minutes of physical exercise.Foods to avoid:- High glycemic load carbohydrates – anything made of refined sugar- Refined starch – maida-based breads and pastas- Refined grains – white rice- High starch – potatoes- Commercially processed vegetable oils, fruit juices, beverages and packaged food material

5. Compromise anything but sleepNeedless to say, eight hours of sound sleep is essential for everybody and should never be compromised.

How to Prevent Body Odour: 8 Tips That Will Help Keep You Fresh

Monday, July 4th, 2016


1. Watch What You Eat
Firstly, you need to watch what you eat. Avoid strong smelling garlic and onion-based foods. You will be surprised but such foods do affect your body in many ways. Start to drink cooling drinks besides plain water. Take plenty of chaas, coconut water, lime water, rhododendron water, etc. Include plenty of salads and fruits in your daily diet. Green vegetables are a natural deodorizer and green salads will not only keep your skin fresh but clear it of impurities.

2. Shower Time
In summer, showering twice a day is a must, even if it’s for just five minutes. Most people cringe at the thought of having a bath, as it may take too much of their time. But it is necessary. Add fragrance and a handful of alum to your bath water, which acts as a powerful anti-bacterial and antiseptic, and will keep a check on body odour.

3. Natural Deo
You can make some wonderful herb-based deodorants at home, as several herbs are helpful in combating body odour. Through centuries, the herbs that have been commonly used for various beauty treatments are sage, rosemary, leaves of chrysanthemum, lovage, celery and parsley. All can be made into a tea, which can then be used as a wash. Celery, parsely, sage, rosemary and lovage should also be included frequently in the diet.

4. Nothing Like Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is also an excellent deodorizer. You can make a strong lavender tea using 250 grams of the herb to 250ml of boiling water, and then adding a few drops of the oil before applying on yourself.

5. Drink Camphor Tea
For those of you who have a chronic problem with body odour, here’s an old fashioned drink which is worth trying. Take -1 rind of lemon250ml milk3 drops of camphor oilMethod: Gently warm the milk and soak the lemon rind in it for 10minutes. Add the camphor oil and drink the milk just before going to bed.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV makes an excellent wash for dispelling body odour and keeping the acid mantle of the skin. Dilute 1tsp apple cider vinegar in 250ml water and use frequently as a wash. Don’t be put off by the smell of vinegar, it evaporates quickly, in about 10 minutes.

7. Say No to Alcohol and Smoking
Alcohol and smoking not only result in bad mouth odour, but also body odour as it builds up toxins in the body. When you smoke, the smell tends to adhere onto your clothes and body for a long time.

8. Wear Light Clothe
Another golden rule and especially for hot climates is to wear cotton, jute, khadi and all other natural fibers. Avoid synthetic clothes that do not allow the skin to breathe and avoid tight fitting clothes. Wear loose airy clothes that allow air circulation, thereby keeping you cool.