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Sinusitis: 6 Best Essential Oil Based Remedies

The Kashmir Monitor

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The first symptom is a blocked nose, second is facial congestion, the third one may feel like an intense pressure within the nose and by the end your sinuses dry out; by now you must know that it is a sinus infection also known as sinusitis. Sinusitis is caused due to inflammation of the mucous membranes, the bony cavities behind and on both sides of your nose. Acute sinusitis is accompanied by mild fever, congestion and headaches. However, when it is extended for a long period of time, you are likely to experience a blocked nose. And trust us, it is not something one would look forward to.

Whether it is an acute infection or a chronic on, sinusitis needs a prompt treatment. Turning a blind eye towards it can increase the risk of the infection travelling upwards and this can cause much more harm. While there are medical and conventional treatments available for sinusitis, we recommend essential oils. Yes, some essential oils have the ability to clear nasal passages, reduce congestion and relieve sinusitis symptoms. It is a safer and more natural alternative to other synthetic medicines for the infection.

The best way to use essential oils for sinus infections is to inhale them. You can either add it to your steam therapy and inhale it or simply add a few drops to a handkerchief and keep inhaling it throughout the day. You can also keep an essential oil diffuser in your home so that the aroma is spread all over and you need not go through complicated procedures to inhale it.

 

Some essential oils have the properties of treating sinusitis. Here’s a list of the 6 best essential oils for sinus infections. Keep reading…

1. Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil is popular for its ability to relieve sinusitis symptoms like congestion and headaches. This oil has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties which help in treating sinus infections effectively. Menthol is the main compound in this oil. It has mild sedative properties which make it perfect for sinus symptoms. For topical use, it should be combined with Jojoba or castor oil; peppermint oil can be toxic. This essential oil is effective for acute and chronic sinus infections.

2. Tea tree essential oil

Tea tree oil possesses anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties. This helps in eliminating germs which result in flu-like symptoms. Just like peppermint oil, this one also needs to be mixed with a carrier oil if you plan to use it topically. You can either rub it on your chest, around your nose or behind your ears for the desired effect. You can also take it internally but it should not be swallowed. Add a few drops of this oil to warm water and gargle with it. Keep spitting out the mixture when you are done.

3. Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil has a natural organic compound known as eucalyptol. It has a minty aroma and a spicy yet cool flavor. Anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of this oil can help you relieve sinus symptoms naturally. It can reduce congestion, headaches and open up the blocked airways as well. It also controls the production of mucous and phlegm. Mix it with a carrier oil and rub it on your chest for best results.

4. Thyme essential oil

A large amount of dried thyme is required to produce a small amount of its essential oil. This is why thyme essential oil happens to be more expensive. This oil has anti-septic, anti-bacterial and expectorant properties which make it the perfect remedy for sinus infections. It supports the immune and respiratory systems of the body. This oil should also be diluted in a 1:1 ratio if used topically.

5. Lavender essential oil

Lavender has many other benefits than just treating anxiety and stress. It is a powerful remedy for sinusitis as well. Anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-septic properties of lavender oil help in reducing sinusitis symptoms naturally. It is a natural booster for your immune system. You can either smell it from the bottle or incorporate it in steam therapy. You can also keep it in an essential oil diffuser to get maximum benefits. It may sound like a mild treatment, but lavender oil is no less effective. It breaks mucus membranes and relieves you from nasal congestion.

6. Lemon essential oil

The extracts of lemon rinds are very powerful in terms of treating sinus infections. The properties of this oil support the respiratory functions. They break down mucous and relieve congestion. Further, it strengthens your immune system against such infections and prevents them from occurring again. Lemon essential oil is versatile and can be used in a number of ways. When congestion starts affecting you, take some oil and mix it with a carrier oil in a 1:1 ratio. Rub it on your chest and throat 5 times a day. You can also keep it in an oil diffuser so that the aroma is present in every part of your home.


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Health

Eggs for breakfast benefit those with Type 2 diabetes

The Kashmir Monitor

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People with Type 2 Diabetes (TED) should opt for eggs for breakfast, a recent study suggests. According to the findings, a high-fat, low-carb breakfast (LCBF) can help those with T2D control blood sugar levels throughout the day.

“The large blood sugar spike that follows breakfast is due to the combination of pronounced insulin resistance in the morning in people with T2D and because typical Western breakfast foods – cereal, oatmeal, toast and fruit – are high in carbohydrates,” said Jonathan Little, lead author of the study published in the Journal of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

According to Little, breakfast is consistently the “problem” meal that leads to the largest blood sugar spikes for people with T2D. The research shows that eating a low-carb and high-fat meal first thing in the morning, is a simple way to prevent this large spike, improve glycemic control throughout the day, and can perhaps also reduce other diabetes complications.

 

Study participants, with well-controlled T2D, completed two experimental feeding days. On one day, they ate an omelette for breakfast and on another day, they ate oatmeal and some fruit. An identical lunch and dinner were provided on both days. A continuous glucose monitor – a small device that attaches to your abdomen and measures glucose every five minutes – was used to measure blood sugar spikes across the entire day. Participants also reported ratings of hunger, fullness and a desire to eat something sweet or savoury.

Little’s study determined that consuming a very low-carbohydrate high-fat breakfast completely prevented the blood sugar spike after breakfast and this had enough of an effect to lower overall glucose exposure and improve the stability of glucose readings for the next 24 hours.

We expected that limiting carbohydrates to less than 10% at breakfast would help prevent the spike after this meal. But we were a bit surprised that this had enough of an effect and that the overall glucose control and stability were improved. We know that large swings in blood sugar are damaging to our blood vessels, eyes, and kidneys. The inclusion of a very low-carbohydrate high-fat breakfast meal in T2D patients may be a practical and easy way to target the large morning glucose spike and reduce associated complications,” he explained.

He does note that there was no difference in blood sugar levels in both groups later in the day, suggesting that the effect for reducing overall post-meal glucose spikes can be attributed to the breakfast responses with no evidence that a low-carb breakfast worsened glucose responses to lunch or dinner.

“The results of our study suggest potential benefits of altering macronutrient distribution throughout the day so that carbohydrates are restricted at breakfast with a balanced lunch and dinner rather than consuming an even distribution and moderate amount of carbohydrates throughout the day,” Little asserted.

As another interesting aspect of the research, participants noted that pre-meal hunger and their cravings for sweet foods later in the day tended to be lower if they ate the low-carb breakfast. Little suggests this change in diet may be a healthy step for anybody, even those who are not living with diabetes.

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Health

Symptoms of liver disease and ways to keep it healthy

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The liver, which measures about 1,00 grams in weight and 15 cm in length, is responsible for the synthesis of various proteins, coagulation factors, cholesterol, triglycerides and bile including glycogenesis. It is also responsible for detoxifications of drugs, alcohol and control of infections. Located in the upper right part of the abdomen separated from chest cavity by the diaphragm, it is one the most vital organs in the body.

However, the graph of liver disease in India has grown over the decade and the dynamics has changed drastically, says Dr (Prof) Gourdas Choudhuri, executive director, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatobiliary Sciences, Fortis Memorial Research Institute.

“Earlier liver diseases were synonyms with Hepatitis B and C only, but today we see lot of cases of liver failure, fatty liver, and every year about 10 lakh people with new liver disease are diagnosed in our country,” he says.

 

On World Liver Day, which is observed every year on April 19 to create awareness and understand the importance of the liver, he lists a few liver diseases and also shares tips on how to take care of the organ:

A few known liver diseases:

  1. Hepatitis A, B or C
  2. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  3. Alcoholic fatty liver
  4. Fatty liver
  5. Cirrhosis of the liver
  6. Alcoholic hepatitis
  7. Hemochromatosis

You must visit a doctor in case you have the follow symptoms:

  1. Unexplained abdominal pain and swelling which is continuous in nature.
  2. Itchy and red skin around the stomach. Regular red patches around the stomach and skin are primary indication of something being wrong inside.
  3. Dark urine is another early sign of liver disease. No matter how hydrated you are, if your urine is dark in colour you must visit a doctor.
  4. Loss of appetite.
  5. Blood in stool, or pale or tar-coloured stool.
  6. Swelling in legs and ankles.
  7. Nausea or vomiting.

To prevent liver diseases you must keep your lifestyle and weight in check, he suggests. Protection is the best cure for liver diseases.

“Protect yourself from hepatitis infected people and alcohol. Vaccination is another important part to avoid liver disease although there are no vaccination for all liver diseases but there are for Hepatitis A & B. Sharing of drugs and needles are also the major cause of liver disease, avoid it at any cost. Unprotected sex, tattoo and piercing from same needles or infected needles with same drugs has the highest risk of liver disease,” Dr (Prof) Gourdas Choudhuri adds.

Tips for liver care:

  1. Adopt a healthy lifestyle and have a balanced diet.
  2. Eat foods from all the food groups: grains, proteins, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and fats. Include green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, apple and walnut in your diet.
  3. Eat foods that have lot of fibre such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, rice and cereals such as quinoa, millet and buckwheat.
  4. Ensure safe blood transfusions to avoid contracting hepatitis A, B, C.
  5. Maintain personal hygiene and be sure to wash hands after using the washroom.
  6. Avoid tap water when travelling.
  7. Say no to alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
  8. Exercise regularly.

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Health

BP drug shows promise for treating Parkinson’s

The Kashmir Monitor

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Felodipine, a prescribed drug to treat high blood pressure, has shown promise against Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and forms of dementia in studies carried out in mice and zebrafish at the University of Cambridge.

In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists have shown in mice that felodipine may be a candidate for re-purposing.

A common feature of neurodegenerative diseases is the build-up of misfolded proteins.

 

These proteins, such as huntingtin in Huntington’s disease and tau in some dementias, form “aggregates” that can cause irreversible damage to nerve cells in the brain.

A team led by Professor David Rubinsztein used mice that had been genetically modified to express mutations that cause Huntington’s disease or a form of Parkinson’s disease, and zebrafish that model a form of dementia.

Felodipine was effective at reducing the build-up of “aggregates” in mice with the Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease mutations and in the zebrafish dementia model. The treated animals also showed fewer signs of the diseases.

“This is the first time that we’re aware of that a study has shown that an approved drug can slow the build-up of harmful proteins in the brains of mice using doses aiming to mimic the concentrations of the drug seen in humans,” said Professor Rubinsztein.

The hypertension drug was able to slow down progression of these potentially devastating conditions and “so we believe it should be trialled in patients,” he added. In healthy individuals, the body uses a mechanism to prevent the build-up of such toxic materials.

This mechanism is known as autophagy, or ‘self-eating’, and involves cells eating and breaking down the materials. “This is only the first stage, though. The drug will need to be tested in patients to see if it has the same effects in humans as it does in mice. We need to be cautious, but I would like to say we can be cautiously optimistic,” said Professor Rubinsztein.

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