Archive for the ‘world health’ Category

Superbug Medieval Remedy

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Anglo-Saxon cow bile and garlic potion kills MRSA

In the UK, the Telegraph reports:

A thousand-year-old medieval remedy for eye infections which was discovered in a manuscript in the British Library has been found to kill the superbug MRSA.

Anglo-Saxon expert Dr Christina Lee, from the School of English, at Nottingham University, recreated the 10th century potion to see if it really worked as an antibacterial remedy.

The ‘eyesalve’ recipe calls for two species of Allium (garlic and onion or leek), wine and oxgall (bile from a cow’s stomach).

It describes a very specific method of making the topical solution including the use of a brass vessel to brew it, a strainer to purify it and an instruction to leave the mixture for nine days before use.

None of the experts really expected the concoction to work. But when it was tested, microbiologists were amazed to find that not only did the salve clear up styes, but it also tackled the deadly superbug MRSA, which is resistant to many antibiotics.

“We were genuinely astonished at the results of our experiments in the lab,” said Dr Lee.

“We believe modern research into disease can benefit from past responses and knowledge, which is largely contained in non-scientific writings.

“But the potential of these texts to contribute to addressing the challenges cannot be understood without the combined expertise of both the arts and science.”

Dr Lee translated the recipe from Bald’s Leechbook, a leatherbound Old Enlgish manuscript which is kept in the British Library.

The Leechbook is widely thought of as one of the earliest known medical textbooks and contains Anglo-Saxon medical advice and recipes for medicines, salves and treatments.

“Medieval leech books and herbaria contain many remedies designed to treat what are clearly bacterial infections, weeping wounds/sores, eye and throat infections, skin conditions such as erysipelas, leprosy and chest infections,” Dr Lee added.

The scientists at Nottingham made four separate batches of the remedy using fresh ingredients each time, as well as a control treatment using the same quantity of distilled water and brass sheeting to mimic the brewing container but without the vegetable compounds.

None of the individual ingredients alone had any measurable effect, but when combined according to the recipe the MRSA populations were almost totally obliterated: about one bacterial cell in a thousand survived in mice wounds.

Researchers believe the antibacterial effect of the recipe is not due to a single ingredient but the combination used and brewing methods. Further research is planned to investigate how and why this works.

Microbiologists at Nottingham University said they were ‘genuinely amazed’ by the discovery.

“We thought that Bald’s eyesalve might show a small amount of antibiotic activity, because each of the ingredients has been shown by other researchers to have some effect on bacteria in the lab,” said Dr Freya Harrison who led the work in the laboratory.

“But we were absolutely blown away by just how effective the combination of ingredients was.

“This truly cross-disciplinary project explores a new approach to modern health care problems by testing whether medieval remedies contain ingredients which kill bacteria or interfere with their ability to cause infection”.

Scientist Dr Steve Diggle added: “When we built this recipe in the lab I didn’t really expect it to actually do anything.

“When we found that it could actually disrupt and kill cells in (MRSA) biofilms, I was genuinely amazed.”

Dr Kendra Rumbaugh, of Texas Tech University in the US, who was asked to replicate the findings, said that the salve performed ‘good if not better’ than traditional antibiotics at tackling the superbug.

The team at Nottingham is seeking more funding to extend the research so that it could be tested on humans.

The findings were presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for General Microbiology in Birmingham which runs from March 30.


Traditional Medicine

Friday, August 29th, 2014

The World Health Organization definition:
Traditional medicine (TM) refers to the knowledge, skills and practices based on the theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures, used in the maintenance of health and in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness. Traditional medicine covers a wide variety of therapies and practices which vary from country to country and region to region. In some countries, it is referred to as “alternative” or “complementary” medicine (CAM).

Traditional medicine has been used for thousands of years with great contributions made by practitioners to human health, particularly as primary health care providers at the community level. TM/CAM has maintained its popularity worldwide. Since the 1990s its use has surged in many developed and developing countries.


Nanomotors In Living Cells

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Researchers at Penn State University have made amazing advances with nanomotors:

For the first time anywhere, a team of chemists and engineers at Penn State has placed tiny synthetic motors inside live human cells, propelled them with ultrasonic waves and steered them magnetically. It’s not exactly “Fantastic Voyage,” but it’s close. The nanomotors, which are rocket-shaped metal particles, move around inside the cells, spinning and battering against the cell membrane.

“As these nanomotors move around and bump into structures inside the cells, the live cells show internal mechanical responses that no one has seen before,” said Tom Mallouk, Evan Pugh Professor of Materials Chemistry and Physics. “This research is a vivid demonstration that it may be possible to use synthetic nanomotors to study cell biology in new ways. We might be able to use nanomotors to treat cancer and other diseases by mechanically manipulating cells from the inside. Nanomotors could perform intracellular surgery and deliver drugs noninvasively to living tissues.”


Heavy Metals In Your Diet

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Heavy metals can either be an essential part of your diet or toxic and deadly. For instance, iron is needed for blood; however, men can build up toxic levels of iron as they grow older.

Living organisms require varying amounts of “heavy metals”. Iron, cobalt, copper, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc are required by humans. Excessive levels can be damaging to the organism. Other heavy metals such as mercury, plutonium, and lead are toxic metals and their accumulation over time in the bodies of animals can cause serious illness. Certain elements that are normally toxic are, for certain organisms or under certain conditions, beneficial. Examples include vanadium, tungsten, and even cadmium.

Heavy metal toxicity can result in damaged or reduced mental and central nervous function, lower energy levels, and damage to blood composition, lungs, kidneys, liver, and other vital organs. Long-term exposure may result in slowly progressing physical, muscular, and neurological degenerative processes that mimic Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis. Allergies are not uncommon, and repeated long-term contact with some metals (or their compounds) may cause cancer.
– Wikipedia

Do not eat:

  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • King Mackerel
  • Tilefish

Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury… some fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child’s developing nervous system. The risks from mercury in fish and shellfish depend on the amount of fish and shellfish eaten and the levels of mercury in the fish and shellfish.
– The FDA of the United States of America

Heavy Metals Song from the album Food For Thought


Uruguay And Medical Cannabis

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY — The use of marijuana was already legal in Uruguay. Now, it is the first country in the world to legalize the cultivation and sale of the drug.

There has been growing evidence and consensus on the health benefits of cannabis. There are currently 20 US states (and Washington DC) that have legalized the use of medical marijuana. “Cannabis has been used to reduce nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy and people with AIDS, and to treat pain and muscle spasticity.” Recent research has also pointed to a reduction in risk of cancer, as well as, possible cures.

“Our country can’t wait for international consensus on this issue,” said Uruguay Senator Roberto Conde. Rich countries debating legalization of pot are also watching the bill, which philanthropist George Soros has supported as an “experiment” that could provide an alternative to the failed U.S.-led policies of the long war on drugs,” reported Reuters.

South America: Uruguay