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Garcinia kola or in simple terms, bitter kola originated from West and Central Africa. Signifying the importance of this second largest continent, it produces many healing wonders for us. Garcinia kola belongs to the species of a tropical flowering plant. It produces brown, nut like seeds, similar looking to kidney beans. Medicinal benefits Lungs, the internal organ carry one of the most critical functions of the body. It helps us to breath. The considerate amount of regular consumption of the seed helps in strengthening the fibers and the lung tissue, stabilising any counter effects. It further assists in maintaining a good respiratory track and treats chest colds. It has a favorably high antioxidant content for a healthy body. So, if you are a smoker or even a passive smoker, definitely this is the ‘cure’. Treating malaria Kolaviron is an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemical. Kolaviron is a major constituent of garcinia seed which helps in treating malaria. No wonder, the traditional healers suggest this for an easy and free cure, straight from the mother nature. There are no definite side effects of having this naturally occurring blissful plant. But, anything in excess or wrong proportion may show its evil side. On certain occasions, consumption of bitter kola is found to have some side effects. Irregular heartbeat Certain bodies might just prove allergic to the plant and develop certain reactions. In such cases, it is advisable to consult a doctor and stop use. Now we know that bitter kola is not actually bitter and has a sweet side which is healthy for us.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 31 suspected cases of monkey pox have so far been reported in seven states across the country. Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer of NCDC, made this known on Monday in Abuja. According to Ihekweazu, following the notification of a suspected monkey pox outbreak on Sept. 22, 2017 in Bayelsa, other suspected cases have been reported from six more states. He listed the affected states as Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun and Cross Rivers. Ihekweazu said that samples had been collected from each suspected case for laboratory confirmation. “Results are still being awaited. So far, there have been no deaths recorded. “It is unlikely that many of the suspected cases are actually monkey pox, but all are being investigated. “All the suspected cases are currently receiving appropriate medical care, and the patients are all improving clinically in their various states,’’ he said. Ihekweazu said that the Federal Ministry of Health, through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), was supporting the affected states to ensure the outbreak is brought under control and to limit further spread. “NCDC has activated an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to coordinate the outbreak investigation and response across the affected states. “The EOC is currently supporting State Ministries of Health in their response to the outbreak through active case finding, epidemiological investigation and contact tracing. “Measures have been put in place to ensure effective sample collection and testing for laboratory confirmation. “Risk communication activities have been heightened to advise the public on preventive measures. All 36 States and the FCT have been notified for preparedness,’’ the NCDC national coordinator said.

The Nigerian Government has described as fake and sinister the report that the outbreak of Monkey Pox in some parts of the country resulted from the alleged free medical care by the government in the affected areas. In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said Nigerians should disregard the report which, apparently, is being spread by some unscrupulous persons to fit into a sinister agenda. ‘The Federal Government has not conducted any free medical service or care in either Bayelsa or Rivers state, as alleged in the fake report being circulated. So that could not have been the cause of the outbreak of Monkey Pox in both states. “Monkey Pox is a virus found only in monkeys and it is rare in human beings. It belongs to the same family as Chicken Pox and Smallpox. ”It is suspected that someone may have contacted it by eating monkey meat, thus triggering the current outbreak,” the Minister said. He gave an assurance that no effort will be spared in curtailing the spread of the disease.

The Bayelsa Government is investigating suspected cases of monkeypox outbreak in its communities, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, has said. Etebu spoke in Yenagoa on Wednesday following reports that some 11 persons, including a medical doctor, had been placed on surveillance in Yenagoa. Those with the suspected cases had been quarantined at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH) , Okolobiri, Yenagoa Local Government Area. The centre was established by Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the epidemiological team of the state Ministry of Health to control the spread of the virus. It was also learnt that the NCDC and the epidemiological team were tracing 49 persons, who were in contact with persons suspected to have been infected. Etebu said that samples of the virus had been sent to the World Health Organisation laboratory in Dakar for confirmation. He described monkeypox as a viral illness caused by a group of viruses that include chickenpox and smallpox. The commissioner said the first case was noticed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and subsequent outbreaks in West Africa. He said the virus had the Central African and the West African types but that the West African type was milder and had no records of mortality. “Recently in Bayelsa, we noticed a suspected outbreak of monkeypox. ‘’It has not been confirmed. We have sent samples to the World Health Organisation reference laboratory in Dakar. ”When that comes out we will be sure that it is confirmed. But from all indications, it points towards it. ”As the name implies, the virus was first seen in monkeys but can also be found in all bush animals, such as rats, squirrels and antelopes. ”The source is usually all animals. It was first seen in monkeys and that is why it is called monkey pox. ‘’But every bush animal, such as rats, squirrels, antelopes are involved. So, the secretions from particularly dead animals are highly contagious, Etebu said. He listed the symptoms of monkeypox as severe headache, fever, back pain, among others. Etebu said that most worrisome of all the signs were rashes bigger than those caused by chickenpox. The commissioner said the rashes were usually very discomforting and spread to the whole body of an infected person. “We noticed the first index case from Agbura where somebody was purported to have killed and eaten a monkey and after that the people who are neighbours and families started developing the rashes. “We have seen cases from as far as Biseni. We invited the NCDC together with our own epidemiological team from the Bayelsa Ministry of Health. ‘’We have been able to trace most of the people who have come in contact with the patients. “So far, we have 10 patients and we have created an isolation centre at the NDUTH and most of them are on admission and we are following up the 49 cases that we are suspecting might come down with the illness. ‘’As a state we are taking care of all the expenses of all the isolated cases. “The disease has an incubation period and it is also self-limiting in the sense that within two to four weeks, you get healed and it confers you with immunity for life. “We have mobilised virtually every arsenal at our disposal in terms of sensitising the general public and making them aware by radio programmes, jingles and fliers. ‘’So the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control has mobilised fully to Bayelsa State. We are on top the situation.” Etebu said.

People who skip breakfast or eat poorly to start the day are twice as likely to develop hardened arteries, which can lead to deadly heart disease, researchers said Monday. The study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology uncovered signs of damage to the arteries long before symptoms or disease developed. Researchers said their findings could offer an important tool in the fight against cardiovascular disease, the world’s top killer, which took 17.7 million lives in 2015, according to the World Health Organization. “People who regularly skip breakfast likely have an overall unhealthy lifestyle,” said study author Valentin Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. “This study provides evidence that this is one bad habit people can proactively change to reduce their risk for heart disease.” The report was based on 4,000 middle-aged office workers in Spain. Participants were followed for six years. About one in four ate a high-energy breakfast, which included 20 percent or more of the day’s calories. Most people in the study — 70 percent — ate a low-energy breakfast that gave them five to 20 percent of their daily calorie intake. Three percent said they skipped breakfast altogether or ate very little. This group “tended to have more generally unhealthy eating habits and a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors,” said the report. People who skipped breakfast also “had the greatest waist circumference, body mass index, blood pressure, blood lipids and fasting glucose levels,” it said. Researchers used ultrasound technology to scan participants for signs of fatty deposits in the arteries, or early evidence of disease. They found that people who ate less than five percent of their recommended daily calories at breakfast had, on average, double the amount of fatty buildup in the arteries as people who ate a high-energy breakfast. This heightened risk of hardened arteries among people who skipped breakfast or ate little to start the day appeared independently of other factors, such as smoking, high cholesterol and physical inactivity. Previous studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast is linked to good health, including a lower body weight, healthy diet, and lower risk of problems with cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes. Skipping breakfast has also previously been shown to raise the risk of coronary artery disease. According to Prakash Deedwania, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and author of an accompanying editorial in the journal, the study offers more evidence that skipping breakfast can be harmful to one’s health. “Although breakfast skippers are generally attempting to lose weight, they often end up eating more and unhealthy foods later in the day. Skipping breakfast can cause hormonal imbalances and alter circadian rhythms,” said Deedwania. “That breakfast is the most important meal of the day has been proven right in light of this evidence.”

A 35-year-old man who had been in coma and vegetative state for 15 years after a car accident has shown signs of consciousness, This happened after a vagus nerve stimulator was implanted into his chest, researchers said Monday. The outcome, reported in the U.S. journal Current Biology, challenged the general belief that disorders of consciousness that persist for longer than 12 months are irreversible. “By stimulating the vagus nerve, we show that it is possible to improve a patient’s presence in the world,” Angela Sirigu of Institut des Sciences Cognitives Marc Jeannerod in Lyon, France, said in a statement. The treatment, known as vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), is already in use for epilepsy and depression. The vagus nerve connects the brain to many other parts of the body, including the gut, and it’s known to be important in waking, alertness, and many other essential functions. To test the ability of VNS to restore consciousness, the researchers wanted to select a difficult case to ensure that any improvements couldn’t be explained by chance. They looked to a patient who had been lying in a vegetative state for more than a decade with no sign of improvement. After one month of vagal nerve stimulation, the patient’s attention, movements and brain activity significantly improved, they reported. The man began responding to simple orders that had been impossible before. For example, he could follow an object with his eyes and turn his head upon request. His mother reported an improved ability to stay awake when listening to his therapist reading a book. After stimulation, the researchers also observed responses to “threat” that had been absent. For instance, when the examiner’s head suddenly approached the patient’s face, he reacted with surprise by opening his eyes wide. After many years in a vegetative state, he had entered a state of minimal consciousness, the researchers said. Recordings of brain activity revealed major changes in areas of the brain involved in movement, sensation, and awareness, and also showed increased brain functional connectivity. A PET scan showed increases in metabolic activity in both cortical and subcortical regions of the brain, too. The researchers said the findings showed that the right intervention can yield changes in consciousness even in the most severe clinical cases. “Brain plasticity and brain repair are still possible even when hope seems to have vanished,” Sirigu said. The researchers are now planning a large collaborative study to confirm and extend the therapeutic potential of VNS for patients in a vegetative or minimally conscious state. In addition to helping patients, Sirigu said the findings will also advance understanding of “this fascinating capacity of our mind to produce conscious experience.”*Xinhua

An Abuja based herbal doctor, Dr Bamidele Joshua said the consumption of mango leaves helps in the treatment of kidney and gall stones among others. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja that consumption of mango leaves also helps in the treatment of many health conditions. According to him, Mango leaves contain vitamins C, A and B as well as vital minerals such as Copper, Potassium and Magnesium. He explained that the leaves could be boiled to be taken as water or dried into powder form to be used in any food or drink. Joshua added that for medicinal purposes, the use of young and tender leaves was best for optimal benefits. The expert noted that the consumption of the leaves helps prevent and regulate diabetes, lowers blood pressure, fights restlessness and stops hiccups. “Mango leaves are very useful for managing diabetes. The tender leaves of the mango tree contain tannins called anthocyanidins that may help in treating early diabetes. “Soak the leaves in a cup of water overnight, strain and drink this water to help relieve the symptoms of diabetes. It also helps in treating hyperglycemia. “Mango leaves also help to lower blood pressure as they have hypotensive properties that helps in strengthening the blood vessels and treat the problem of varicose veins. “People suffering from restlessness due to anxiety, should add few mango leaves to their bathing water. This helps in relaxing and refreshing the body. “Daily intake of a finely grounded powder of mango leaves with water kept in a tumbler overnight helps in breaking kidney and gall bladder stones as well flush them out. “Put some mango leaves in warm water, close the container with a lid, and leave it overnight. Next morning filter the water and drink this concoction on an empty stomach. ‘’Regular intake of this infusion flushes out toxins from the body and keeps the stomach clean,” he said. He however enjoined patients with serious health challenge to seek medical advice before consumption. (NAN)

Over the years cancer becomes popular disease because many of cancer patients can’t survive this health condition. It requires long-term and expensive medication to be able to get cured but sometimes even you spend all of your money in medication it still didn’t work. But luckily, a recent group of Canadian scientist has discovered a miracle herb that can destroy cancer without any side effects within two days. According to the University of Windsor, since 2009 a scientist has been already examining the effects of dandelion against cancer. It started when one of oncologist discovered a relation between dandelion root tea and lower possibility of cancer. Pamela Ovadje is the one who discovers the benefits of dandelion root. She is a post-doctoral candidate at the University of Windsor. She said that she began to investigate this root tea when one of the oncologists who worked with them tells them the unbelievable improvement of a patient who regularly drinks tea from dandelion root. She wants to see how the other patients respond to the root tea. She thought that dandelion grows all over. They started the project by getting the dandelion root extract and use it to numerous types of human cancer in the lab. They observed the effectiveness of the root tea against leukemia cells, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer, and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. They found out the ultimately strong effect of dandelion root in destroying cancer cells without damaging other healthy cells. To support their study they try the effectiveness of the root in mice with transplanted human cancer cells. One of the leaders in the research and Dr. Sciarra Pandi, a biochemist at the University, consider the dandelion extract as one of the most effective natural remedies against cancer. Since 2015, dandelion root extract is in the first stage of research for treatment of lymphoma and leukemia and has been approved for a human test. The dandelion extract works by bringing on apoptosis in the cancer cells to destroy them without damaging healthy cells. Even the research is still in their first stage they show that dandelion root has a lot of potentials to become an effective treatment in the future.

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