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Monday, January 31, 2011

The infamous dishes on Grilled Stingray

Wow...... how my mouth waters at the sight of these succulent dishes (pictures above) and their marvellous tastes are simply superb.

These dishes are abundantly available in Singapore and Malaysia, sold at an extreme reasonable cost, as stingray is commonly found in the South China Sea around these 02 countries.

Most gourmet lovers would target the grilling method of cooking, as spicy topping are added (every seller will have their own family secret recipie for the dressing) and spread all over the surface, after the fish is grilled over a hot sizzling plate. Usually, stingray will be grilled over a piece of banana leaf. Probably, this is to remove the raw fishy smell.

However, the best part of the fish will be the 'fins' where all the soft meat are located. Stingray flesh is also known to possess plenty of Omega 3, Protein and also, with the least Purine content.

Health benefits of Kobe Beef ?

[Extracted from the webpage of]

If you have health problems like a heart condition or a fatty liver, most likely your physician will ask you to avoid eating red meat.  Red meat is one of the greatest temptations when it comes to food.  It is delicious, yet it can be bad for you.  Those with health problems usually have no other choice but to just go with their doctor’s recommendations and avoid red meats at all costs.  But these days, there is a way for them to eat red meat without the risk of making their conditions worse.

Kobe beef is one of Japan’s best exports to the world’s food industry.  This is also known as wagyu beef as they are produced from wagyu cattle.  Wagyu beef is best known for its intense marbling as a result of genetic predisposition.  This marbling produces more unsaturated fat and has a better ratio of monosaturated and saturated fats.  This means fats melt at lower temperatures.  If you cook them the right way, you’ll get less fat in the red meat you eat.  Moreover, wagyu beef contains high percentages of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, as compared to regular beef.  Kobe produces the best black wagyu beef in Japan.

There are other reasons why Kobe beef is very beneficial to one’s health.  Aside from the fat and fatty acids content of the Kobe beef, one other benefit from it is the way it helps the immune system.  Wagyu cattle are well taken care of all through their lives.  Because of this, they produce the best quality red meats in the world.  Kobe beef contains only the highest quality of fats.  Recent studies discovered that high quality fats actually promote good living, enhancing your immunity.  Wagyu beef, when consumed regularly, can help fortify your health against external elements that may cause illness.

Wagyu cattle are also bred in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.  Eventually, though, they are sent back to Japan for slaughtering.  Wagyu cattle and Kobe beef have a lot of benefits.  Not only do you get a ton of health benefits, you’ll also taste the best red meat you’ve ever tasted in your life.  No other type of beef is tenderer than wagyu beef.  They produce the best steaks and, if cooked perfectly, they practically melt in your mouth when you eat them.  They are chock full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

In order to achieve the optimum potential of wagyu beef, consume it a couple of times a week, along with a glass of milk.  This is will unlock the meat’s potential.  The milk will distribute the nutrients throughout your body faster, plus contributing calcium for your bones.  Wagyu beef is really the best.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Health information about Bamboo Shoots

[Extracted from the web page of]

In many countries of the East, bamboo shoots can send people salivating on their plates. Those who have tried bamboo shoots swear by the sweetness and crunchiness it provides to the dishes. And bamboo shoots are very versatile. They can go along quite well in almost any type of dish. The fact that it is a grass doesn’t hinder bamboo shoot eaters much. However, many people have only a faint idea of all the health benefits that the bamboo shoots come loaded with. The Chinese, who have perfected the art of cooking bamboo shoots, knew only of its property in curing infections. Its various other benefits came to light only with the progress of science. Bamboo also find a mention in ayurveda, where the silicious concretion found in bamboo stems is said to act as a cure for various respiratory diseases. There are a host of other medicinal properties in the bamboo shoots, the knowledge of which can perhaps goad the people in the West to include bamboo shoots in their diet, as its use in the culinary traditions of the West is very limited. To familiarize yourself with all the health benefits of the bamboo shoots read below.

Health Benefits Of Bamboo Shoots 
  • Bamboo shoots can be used to clean up wounds. Sores that are maggot infested can be cleaned with the juice of bamboo shoots. A poultice made of tender juice is also very effective in this.
  • It can also be used to treat ulcers. About 120 ml of bamboo shoot juice taken twice daily can be very beneficial for this. The bamboo shoot juice can also be applied to the ulcer or wound.
  • Bamboo shoots also enhance the digestive action of the stomach. It is also beneficial in various types of stomach disorders. It is especially effective in treating diarrhea.
  • Bamboo shoot soup can speed up the measles cycle in children. Having bamboo shoot soup, twice a day can speed up the appearance of measles rashes and so the recovery will also be fast.

  • Bamboo shoots can also stimulate menstruation.
  • It is also believed that bamboo shoots can also be used to induce labor in the last month of pregnancy.
  • In Chinese medicine, bamboo shoot is extensively used to treat infections.
  • Bamboo shoots also have beneficial effects in treating bleeding piles and gonorrhea.
  • The fresh juice of bamboo shoots can be used to kill intestinal worms.
  • Bamboo shoots are rich in nutrients and low on calorie and fats. The shoots are also an excellent source of fiber. A single cup of bamboo shoot is enough to meet the body’s daily fiber requirement.
  • Bamboo shoots are also rich in potassium. So, it is excellent for boosting the health of the heart. The bamboo shoots also help in keeping the blood pressure to normal levels.

  • Bamboo shoots are also a rich source of lignans. Lignans have anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. As such, including bamboo shoots in the diet is a good way to include all these health benefits.
  • Bamboo shoots also have anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidants. So, bamboo shoots are very effective in reducing the risk of cancer and also prevent any injury to blood vessels.
  • There are also seventeen types of amino acids in bamboo shoots and over ten types of minerals. It is also a good source of the element selenium.
  • The element germaclinium is also present in bamboo shoots. This element activates the human cell.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Health benefits of Chlorophyll

[Extracted from the web page of]

Chlorophyll is actually responsible for the green pigmentation in plants. What does chlorophyll do ? Chlorophyll is what absorbs energy from the sun to facilitate photosynthesis in plants. Chlorophyll to plants is like blood to humans. It is important in many plant metabolic functions such as growth and respiration.

Interestingly, chlorophyll is chemically similar in composition to that of human blood, except that the central atom in chlorophyll is magnesium, while iron is central in human blood. This, and the fact that chlorophyll is central in plan metabolism, had prompted scientists to find out if chlorophyll can offer similar benefits to humans. A number of chlorophyll researches have been focused on finding out the potential chlorophyll health benefits in humans.

Chlorophyll has been seen to provide health benefits to those who take them. It has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. Here are some of the known chlorophyll benefits :

• It has been seen to help in the growth and repair of tissues.

• Chlorophyll helps in neutralizing the pollution that we breathe in and intake everyday - a good supplement for smokers

• It efficiently delivers magnesium and helps the blood in carrying the much needed oxygen to all cells and tissues.

• It is also found to be useful in assimilating and chelating calcium and other heavy minerals.

• It had been seen to have a good potential in stimulating red blood cells to improve oxygen supply.

• Along with other vitamins such as A, C and E, chlorophyll has been seen to help neutralize free radicals that do damage to healthy cells.

• Chlorophyll is also an effective deodorizer to reduce bad breath, urine, fecal waste, and body odor.

• It may reduce the ability of carcinogens to bind with the DNA in different major organs in the body.

• Chlorophyll may be useful in treating calcium oxalate stone ailments

• It possesses some anti-atherogenic activity as well.

• It can be used to treat infected wounds naturally.

• These are only a few of the multitude benefits that chlorophyll can do to the body.

• It has antimutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties so that it may be helpful in protecting your body against toxins and in reducing drug side effects.

The only obvious chlorophyll sources are green leafy plants. However, cooking destroys much of the chlorophyll. If you want to enjoy the aforementioned benefits of chlorophyll, it is best to get your regular supply through chlorophyll supplements. Chlorophyll extracts, chlorophyll liquid solutions and chlorophyll tablets are now widely available and can be bought in local drug and health stores. Whether they are in liquid of tablet form, chlorophyll benefits can allow you to enjoy a stronger immune system, strong set of tissues and organs, and a naturally healthy body and life.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What do you know about Propolis ?


[Extracted from the web page of Wikipedia - the free encyclopedia]

Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. Propolis is used for small gaps (approximately 6 millimeters (0.2 in) or less), while larger spaces are usually filled with beeswax. Its color varies depending on its botanical source, the most common being dark brown. Propolis is sticky at and above room temperature (20° Celsius). At lower temperatures it becomes hard and very brittle.

For centuries, beekeepers assumed that bees sealed the beehive with propolis to protect the colony from the elements, such as rain and cold winter drafts. However, 20th century research has revealed that bees not only survive, but also thrive, with increased ventilation during the winter months throughout most temperate regions of the world.

Propolis is now believed to :
  1. reinforce the structural stability of the hive
  2. reduce vibration
  3. make the hive more defensible by sealing alternate entrances
  4. prevent diseases and parasites from entering the hive, and to inhibit bacterial growth
  5. prevent putrefaction within the hive. Bees usually carry waste out of and away from the hive. However if a small lizard or mouse, for example, found its way into the hive and died there, bees may be unable to carry it out through the hive entrance. In that case, they would attempt instead to seal the carcass in propolis, essentially mummifying it and making it odorless and harmless.


The composition of propolis varies from hive to hive, from district to district, and from season to season. Normally it is dark brown in color, but it can be found in green, red, black and white hues, depending on the sources of resin found in the particular hive area. Honey bees are opportunists, gathering what they need from available sources, and detailed analyses show that the chemical composition of propolis varies considerably from region to region, along with the vegetation. In northern temperate climates, for example, bees collect resins from trees, such as poplars and conifers (the biological role of resin in trees is to seal wounds and defend against bacteria, fungi and insects). Poplar resin is rich in flavonoids. "Typical" northern temperate propolis has approximately 50 constituents, primarily resins and vegetable balsams (50%), waxes (30%), essential oils (10%), and pollen (5%). In neotropical regions, in addition to a large variety of trees, bees may also gather resin from flowers in the genera Clusia and Dalechampia, which are the only known plant genera that produce floral resins to attract pollinators. Clusia resin contains polyprenylated benzophenones. In some areas of Chile, propolis contains viscidone, a terpene from Baccharis shrubs, and in Brazil, naphthoquinone epoxide has recently isolated from red propolis, and prenylated acids such as 4-hydroxy-3,5-diprenyl cinnamic acid have been documented. An analysis of propolis from Henan, China found sinapic acid, isoferulic acid, caffeic acid and chrysin, with the first three compounds demonstrating anti-bacterial properties. Also, Brazilian red propolis (largely derived from Dalbergia ecastaphyllum plant resin) has high relative percentages of the isoflavonoids 3-Hydroxy-8,9-dimethoxypterocarpan and medicarpin

Occasionally worker bees will even gather various caulking compounds of human manufacture, when the usual sources are more difficult to obtain. The properties of the propolis depend on the exact sources used by each individual hive; therefore any potential medicinal properties that may be present in one hive's propolis may be absent from another's, and the distributors of propolis products cannot control such factors. This may account for the many and varied claims regarding medicinal properties, and the difficulty in replicating previous scientific studies investigating these claims. Even propolis samples taken from within a single colony can vary, making controlled clinical tests difficult, and the results of any given study cannot be reliably extrapolated to propolis samples from other areas.

Medical uses

Propolis is marketed by health food stores as a traditional medicine, and for its claimed beneficial effect on human health.

Natural medicine practitioners use propolis for the relief of various conditions, including inflammations, viral diseases, ulcers, superficial burns or scalds.

Propolis is also believed to promote heart health, strengthen the immune system and reduce the chances of cataracts. Old beekeepers recommend a piece of propolis kept in the mouth as a remedy for a sore throat. Propolis lozenges and tinctures can be bought in many countries. Though claims have been made for its use in treating allergies, propolis may cause severe allergic reactions if the user is sensitive to bees or bee products.

Some of these claims are being clinically investigated and several studies are published in the biomedical literature. Since the chemical composition of propolis varies depending on season, bee species and geographic location, caution must be applied in extrapolating results (as above).

As an antimicrobial
Depending upon its composition, propolis may show powerful local antibiotic and antifungal properties.
As an emollient

Studies also indicate that it may be effective in treating skin burns.

As an immunomodulator

Propolis also exhibits immunomodulatory effects.
As a dental antiplaque agent

Propolis is a subject of recent dentistry research, since there is some evidence that propolis may actively protect against caries and other forms of oral disease, due to its antimicrobial properties. Propolis can also be used to treat canker sores. Its use in canal debridement for endodontic procedures has been explored in Brazil.
As an antitumor growth agent

Propolis' use in inhibiting tumorigenesis has been studied in mice in Japan.

Commercial uses

In musical instruments
Propolis is used by certain music instrument makers to enhance the appearance of the wood grain. It is a component of some varnishes and was reportedly used by Antonio Stradivari.

In food
Propolis is used by some chewing gum manufacturers to make Propolis Gum.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

10 Health Benefits of Squid

[Extracted from the web page of]

Squid as food are prepared in different ways in different countries. It can be grilled, added to various cooking preparations including pasta, or fried in cooking oil either plain or battered and served with a choice of dips including lemon, ketchup, mayonnaise, olive oil, and soy sauce. For every 3 oz (85gm) of cooked squid, these are some of the nutrients and health giving goodness it does to the body.

1.       Helps the body  absorb and utilize iron (copper)
Squid can provide the body with 90% of copper,, a trace mineral which plays a role in the absorption, storage and metabolism of iron and the formation of red blood cells (RBC). Copper deficiency may show in the form of anemia.

2.        Lowers inflammation (selenium)
Studies have shown that individuals with rheumatoid arthritis have low selenium levels in their blood. In addition, selenium is also an antioxidant which may help relieve symptoms of arthritis by controlling free radicals. Squid contains 63% of selenium.

3.       Helps maintain healthy skin, muscles, hair and nails (protein)
Protein is one of the essential nutrients that the human body needs to keep it healthy. It has many health benefits, one of the most important is keeping the skin, muscles, hair and nails in top shape. Good sources of complete protein come from animals and that includes the squid.

4.       Helps ease migraine headaches (vitamin B2)
Squid are rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), a nutrient which several studies have shown lowers the frequency and duration of migraines. Although findings were preliminary, research data suggest that riboflavin supplementation may be a good addition to migraine prevention treatment.

5.        Builds bones and teeth (phosphorous)
Just like fish and shrimps, squid is also packed with the mineral phosphorus. Phosphorus aids calcium in building bones and teeth.

6.       Helps lower risk of heart disease (vitamin B12)
Squid are good sources of vitamin B12, one of the nutrients which have shown to lower homocystein levels in the body. Individuals with elevated homocystein levels have shown to have higher rates of stroke, heart attack and death from heart disease compared to those with normal levels.

7.       Helps stabilize blood sugar levels (vitamin B3)
Eating these marine cephalopods may helps stabilize sugar levels with the help of their supply of vitamin B3.

8.       Boost immune system (zinc)
Squid are good sources of zinc. Individuals who are deficient in zinc have shown to be susceptible to a range of infectious organisms.

9.       Relaxes nerves and muscles  (magnesium)
Squid is a good source of magnesium called the “smoothie mineral” because of its ability to relax nerves and muscles.

10.   Helps lower blood pressure levels (potassium)
Being a good source of potassium, squid helps regulate blood pressure levels.
In addition to the 10 nutrients mentioned above, squid also contains vitamin C, folate, calcium, iron and manganese.

Cholesterol alert
If you’re watching your cholesterol intake, you should consider moderating your squid consumption as this cephalopod contains one of the highest cholesterol content among seafoods at 221 mg or 74% for every 3 oz serving size.

Health benefits of Leek

[Extracted from the web page of]
Leeks are a member of the Alliaceae family and are scientifically known as Allium porrum. The main edible portion of the vegetable is the stem or the stalk which is nothing but a bundle of leaf sheaths and also the white onion base. They have a mild onion like taste and are quite crunchy and firm in their raw forms. Different varieties of the vegetable are available and are broadly categorized as the summer varieties and the overwintering leeks. Two of the most popular and commonly cultivated varieties are the Tadorna Blue and King Richard. Physically, they resemble scallions but are much bigger and are usually around 12 inches in length and around 2 inches in diameter. They have a small bulb like structure and a cylindrical stalk of superimposed leaves. Being a high source of vitamins and minerals, the vegetable plays an important role in providing defense against a number of ailments and diseases. It also helps to promote optimal health and strengthens the immune system of the body. Some of the major health benefits of consuming leeks are given below.

Health Benefits Of Eating Leek
  • A particular combination of nutrients in leeks is very helpful in steadying elevated blood sugar level. These include vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, iron and manganese. These nutrients do not slow the absorption of sugars from the intestinal tract. They lower the sugar levels merely by ensuring that the sugars are properly metabolized in the body.
  • A regular intake of leeks has been associated with the raise in the HDL (High Density Lipoprotein or ‘good’ cholesterol) levels and the corresponding decrease in the LDL or Low Cholesterol Lipoprotein levels. Maintenance of this balance in the body is very essential as it helps in the prevention of either the onset or the progression of plaques in the blood vessels in the body. It is this plaque formation that leads to the occurrence of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease in humans. Progression of these plaques can even result in a heart attack or stroke.
  • Intake of Allium vegetables like leeks also cause decrease in high blood pressure levels, another major factor for the occurrence of stroke and heart attack.
  • Leeks are also known to promote optimal health of humans. Consumption of the vegetable has been shown to considerably decrease the risk of colon and prostate cancer.
  • Studies have also shown that the vegetable is beneficial in the prevention of ovarian cancer in females.
  • A good source of dietary fiber, leeks energizes the human body to perform many types of biological functions like digestion and metabolism.
  • Leeks are especially essential for pregnant women as they contain considerable amount of folate (a type of vitamin). Due to this, a number of birth defects are prevented, particularly the ones that are related with the spine and brain of the baby like spina bifida and encephalitis.
  • The use of calcium in the maintenance of a healthy skeletal system has been known since a long time. Leeks, a good source of calcium helps in achieving this effect. Calcium is also used for the proper clotting of blood in the human body.
  • In addition to the health benefits mentioned above, leeks also act as an antiseptic and help the body fight against infection and contamination.

  • People with untreated or existing kidney and gall bladder problems should avoid the consumption of leeks on a regular basis. This is because of the fact that the vegetable contains a considerable amount of oxalates, which, when becomes too concentrated in the human body crystallize and create health problems.
  • Studies and continuous research has also shown that the presence of oxalates interfere with the absorption of calcium from the body.

Cooking Tips
  • Complete and thorough cleaning of the vegetable is very important prior to their cooking. This is vital to remove any forms of dust or dirt that might have accumulated in the different overlapping layers of the vegetable.
  • Before cutting the vegetable, slice away the rootlets and some section of the green tops. Also, remove the outer layer of the vegetable.
  • If the vegetable is required to be cut in cross sections, then start by cutting into the desired pieces and then place the sliced vegetable in a strainer and clean under cool running water.
  • For any other preparations, cut the vegetable longitudinally along the centerline, fold it open and clean under the cool water.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What is Leptospirosis ?

[Extracted from the web page of]

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by a type of bacteria called a spirochete. Leptospirosis can be transmitted by many animals such as rats, skunks, opossums, raccoons, foxes, and other vermin. It is transmitted though contact with infected soil or water. The soil or water is contaminated with the waste products of an infected animal. People contract the disease by either ingesting contaminated food or water or by broken skin and mucous membrane (eyes, nose, sinuses, mouth) contact with the contaminated water or soil.

Leptospirosis occurs worldwide, but it is most commonly acquired in the tropics. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states 100-200 cases of leptospirosis are reported each year in the United States, with about 50% of cases occurring in Hawaii. Although the incidence in the United States is relatively low, leptospirosis is considered the most widespread disease that is transmitted by animals in the world.

A 2010 outbreak in Michigan caused serious illness in numerous pets, raising concern for the local human population. In 2009, typhoons hit the Philippines, causing a leptospirosis outbreak. The Philippines Department of Health then reported 1,887 cases of leptospirosis, which resulted in 138 deaths.

What are leptospirosis symptoms and signs ?

Leptospirosis symptoms begin from two to 25 days after initial direct exposure to the urine or tissue of an infected animal. This can even occur via contaminated soil or water. Veterinarians, pet shop owners, sewage workers, and farm employees are at particularly high risk. People participating in outdoor sporting activities like canoeing, rafting, hiking, and camping can also come into contact with contaminated water or soil.
The illness typically progresses through two phases :

  • The first phase of nonspecific flu-like symptoms includes headaches, muscle aches, eye pain with bright lights, followed by chills and fever. Watering and redness of the eyes occurs and symptoms seem to improve by the fifth to ninth day.
  • The second phase begins after a few days of feeling well. The initial symptoms recur with fever and aching with stiffness of the neck. Some patients develop serious inflammation of the nerves to the eyes, brain, spinal column (meningitis), or other nerves. Right upper area abdominal pain may occur. Less common symptoms relate to disease of the liver, lungs, kidneys, and heart.
Leptospirosis associated with liver and kidney disease is called Weil's syndrome and is characterized by yellowing of the eyes (jaundice). Patients with Weil's syndrome can also develop kidney disease and have more serious involvement of the organs affected.

How is leptospirosis diagnosed ?

The diagnosis of leptospirosis is made by culture of the bacterial organism Leptospira from infected blood, spinal fluid, or urine. However, many doctors must rely upon rising Leptospira antibody levels in the blood in order to make the diagnosis, as the technique required to perform the culturing is delicate and difficult.

How is the treatment for leptospirosis ? What is the prognosis for leptospirosis ?

The treatment of leptospirosis involves high doses of antibiotics. Antibiotic treatment (doxycycline [Vibramycin, Oracea, Adoxa, Atridox], penicillin) is most effective when initiated early in the course of the illness. Severely ill patients may need hospitalization for IV fluid and antibiotic treatment. Severe liver and kidney manifestations of the infection may require intensive medical care and sometimes dialysis treatment. However, even in severe cases, liver and kidney function often does return after recovery from the illness.

Mortality rates for severe illness with leptospirosis can range from 5%-40%, depending on the severity of organ dysfunction and the patient's general health prior to infection. Most previously healthy patients have a good prognosis and will make a full recovery.

Can leptospirosis be prevented with a vaccine ?

A vaccine for leptospirosis is available and used in some countries in Europe and Asia. It must be given every year like a flu shot. A longer-acting vaccine is being investigated in Cuba. It is not currently available in the United States.

Travelers who are going to an area where leptospirosis is common and who will be engaged in activities that increase likelihood of exposure can take 200 mg of doxycycline per week by mouth starting before and during the time period of potential exposure. According to the Leptospirosis Information Center, there are no drug-resistant strains of the bacteria at this time.

Leptospirosis was a reportable disease in the United States, but it was removed from the national CDC list of reportable diseases. It is, however, still reportable in some states, most notably Hawaii.

Can my pets get Leptospirosis ?

According to information from the CDC, your pets (especially dogs, less commonly cats) can contract leptospirosis. Your pet can contract it in the same ways you can (ingesting contaminated soil, water, or through skin wounds). Your pet may exhibit vomiting, refusal to eat, weight loss, decreased activity, muscle pains, or stiffness.

If you suspect your pet is ill, take them to a veterinarian for testing and treatment. Early antibiotic treatment often can limit or prevent organ damage.

If your pet is diagnosed with leptospirosis, you must be careful to try to prevent exposure to yourself or other household members. Remember to wash your hands frequently with soap and water after cleaning up waste from your pet. If possible, use latex or rubber gloves to do the job of cleanup. Use a diluted (1:10 parts) bleach solution to clean surfaces where pet wastes may have contaminated. And make sure your pet receives the full course of antibiotic treatment that is prescribed by your vet. Discuss other pet-care issues directly with your vet should you have any other questions regarding the disease.
Leptospirosis At A Glance
  • Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium.
  • Leptospirosis is transmitted to humans by direct exposure to urine or tissue of an infected animal.
  • Leptospirosis typically progresses through two phases of nonspecific symptoms.
  • Leptospirosis can be diagnosed by culture of infected blood, urine, or spinal fluid, as well as using antibody testing.
  • Your pets may also be at risk for contracting leptospirosis.
  • Leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics and is rarely fatal.
Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria. The illness progresses in two phases. Symptoms in the first phase include headache, muscle aches, eye pain with bright lights, chills, and fever. Symptoms in the second phase begin after a few days of feeling well and include fever, aches, and a stiff neck. Some people develop meningitis and abdominal pain.

What do you know about Calcium ?

[Extracted from the web page of]


Calcium is found in several forms including calcium citrate and calcium gluconate. It is the most abundant mineral in the human body. While an average man contains about 1-1/2 kg of calcium, an average woman has about 1 kg, where 99 percent of that is in bones and teeth. The remaining 1 percent is located in the blood, lymph and other body fluids, cell membranes and structures inside cells.

Calcium participates in the metabolic functions necessary for normal activity of nervous, muscular, skeletal systems and plays an important role in normal heart function, kidney function, blood clotting, and blood-vessel integrity. Additionally, it helps to utilize vitamin B-12. It is available in both natural and synthetic sources, and some forms are only available by prescription.

How This Mineral Works in Your Body ?
  • Helps fight osteoporosis
  • Treats calcium depletion in people with hypoparathyroidism, osteomalacia, rickets
  • Used medically to treat tetany (severe muscle spasms) caused by sensitivity reactions, cardiac arrest, lead poisoning
  • Used medically as an cure to magnesium poisoning
  • Prevents muscle or leg cramps in some people
  • Promotes normal growth and development
  • Builds bones and teeth
  • Maintains bone density and strength
  • Buffers acid in stomach and acts as antacid
  • Helps regulate heartbeat, blood clotting, muscle contraction
  • Treats neonatal hypoglycemia
  • Promotes storage and release of some body hormones
  • Lowers phosphate concentrations in people with chronic kidney disease
  • Helps reduce blood pressure in certain people
  • May aid reduce possibility of kidney stones
  • May ease leg cramps
  • Potential treaent for toxemia in pregnant women
  • May reduce the threat of colon cancer
  • Anyone with inadequate caloric or dietary intake or increased nutritional requirements or those who do not like or consume milk products
  • People allergic to milk and dairy products
  • People with untreated lactase deficiency who avoid milk and dairy products
  • People over 55 years old, especially women
  • Women throughout adult life, especially during pregnancy and lactation, but not limited to these times
  • Those who abuse alcohol or other substances
  • People with a chronic wasting illness �
  • Those under additional stress for extended periods of time
  • Anyone who has recently undergone surgery
  • People with bone fractures
  • Adolescents with low dietary calcium consumption
Where This Mineral is Found ?
  • Almonds
  • Kelp
  • Kale
  • Brazil nuts
  • Milk
  • Broccoli
  • Pudding
  • Calcium-fortified Salmon, canned
  • Canned fish with bones
  • Cereal, rice, juice
  • Sardines, canned
  • Caviar
  • Tofu
  • Cheese
  • Turnip greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Figs, dried
  • Honeydew melon
  • Cauliflower
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Baked beans, canned
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Soybeans
  • Crab meat, canned
How to Use ?
Take tables whole with a full glass of water or other liquid. Do not chew or crush the tablet. Take with meals or 1 to 1-1/2 hours after meals unless otherwise advised by your physician.
Chew chewable tablets well before swallowing.

Calcium is also available as carbonate, citrate, gluconate, and it has varying levels of bioavailability.

Daily recommended intakes

Men 1000 mg
(14-18) 1300 mg
(over 55) 1200 mg

Women 1000 mg
(14-18) 1300 mg
(over 55) 1200 mg

Pregnancy 1000 mg
(14-18) 1300 mg

Lactation 1000 mg
(14-18) 1300 mg

  • Do not take if you have:
  • Allergies to calcium or antacids
  • High blood-calcium levels
  • Sarcoidosis

Consult your doctor if you have

  • Kidney disease
  • Chronic constipation, colitis, diarrhea
  • Stomach or intestinal bleeding
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart problems or high blood pressure for which you are taking a calcium channel blocker
Over 55
  • The likelihood of adverse reactions and side effects is greater
  • Diarrhea or constipation are especially likely

You may need extra calcium while pregnant. Speak with your physician about taking supplements. Do not take super doses.


The drug does pass into milk. Speak with your physician about taking supplements. DO not take super doses.

  • Keep in a cool and dry location and away from direct light, but do not freeze.
  • Keep safely away from children
  • Do not keep in bathroom medicine cabinet. Heat and dampness may alter the action of the mineral.
Safe dosage

It is advised that you consult with your physician for the proper dose for your condition

  • Do not take calcium within 1 or 2 hours of meals or ingestion of other medications, if possible.
  • It is not recommended that you take calcium carbonate derived from oyster shells.
  • Dolomite and bone meal are probably not safe sources of calcium because they contain lead.
Symptoms of Deficiency

Osteoporosis (late symptoms) :
  • Frequent fractures in spine and other bones
  • Deformed spinal column with humps
  • Loss of height
  • Leads to nerve and bone disorders
  • May lead to high blood pressure
  • May cause pre-eclampsia of pregnancy
  • May contribute to colon cancer
Osteomalacia :
  • Frequent fractures
  • Muscle contractions
  • Convulsive seizures
  • Muscle cramps


Signs and symptoms : What to do :

Confusion, slow or irregular heartbeat, bone or muscle pain, nausea, vomiting -> Discontinue mineral use and consult your physician immediately

Heart damage :-> Discontinue mineral use and consult your physician immediately
(signs and symptoms of toxicity have not been viewed, even at doses of 2 to 3 grams/day).

Side Effects:
Signs and symptoms  : What to do

Early signs of too much calcium in blood:

Constipation : Increase fluid consumption. Discontinue use of mineral. Call your physician when

Headache : Discontinue use of mineral. Call your physician when convenient.

Late signs of too much calcium in blood

Confusion : Discontinue use. Call your physician immediately.

Muscle or bone pain : Discontinue use. Call your physician immediately.

Nausea or vomiting : Discontinue use. Call your physician immediately.

Slow or irregular heartbeat : Seek emergency treaent.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What is Limau Purut, or Kaffir Lime ?

[Extracted from the web page of]

Limau purut, the Malay name for Kaffir Lime, or its scientific name Citrus hystrix of the Rutaceae family, is well known for its medicinal properties, not only by the Malays in the old days but also by modern scientific researchers.

In Pahang (3rd Largest State in Malaysia), besides its usage in adding flavor to traditional Malay dishes and cuisines, like the rendang, and tomyam, it is sometimes used as herbal medicine to treat normal skin disorders.

It is not actually used for treatment of chronic skin disorders like psoriasis or eczema, but only for ordinary skin irritations that normally require basic general medications.

Limau purut contains tannin, triterpenouid and saponin.

It is used in herbal medicines and traditional treatments, as the fruit and especially its leaves, have those special properties to encourage the growth of skin.

The Malays of Pahang, in the old days, used limau purut juice to treat hair and promote healthy growth of hair follicles.

Nowadays to achieve this better, hair is first washed with ordinary shampoo, and then the hair and scalp are washed with the juice extracted from the fruit.

The juice is then left for a few minutes on the head to let it soak into the hair follicles, and then the head and hair is rinsed finally with plain water.

To alleviate colds, lack of energy and tiredness, the juice extracted from the fruit is mixed with plain water and drank three times a day. The juice actually tastes very sour and bitter, perhaps a lot more bitter than lemon juice. It is traditionally believed that it is good for blood circulation.
The leaves are also utilised as one of the ingredients in traditional Malay sauna bath or "mandi wap" because of its fragrance, while the essence of the fruit is now popularly used in modern aromatherapy.

Why is Limau Purut used in Silat ?

Limau purut also plays an important part in the rituals of some forms of the Malay art of self-defence, silat.
It is normally used in the ritual of bathing after graduation where the limau purut fruit is cut and blended with plain water and then students are bathed as part of spiritual bathing by their Malay silat master.

The reason it is used in silat is that it is said to have some special qualities, like invigorating the senses during self-defence training.

Perhaps its fragrant and sharp odor contain elements that provide some peculiar and distinctive aromatherapic properties to the brain.

Besides the silat rituals, limau purut is also used in the cleaning of keris, the deadly Malay weapon, and other iron or metal-based utensils. Besides being a good cleanser of rusts, the juice is also a great anti-rust agent.
Cleaning the keris is done by swiping the keris with the half-cut fruit and ensuring its juices are spread on both sides of the keris. The keris is then finally cleaned and rinsed with plain water. Periodic cleaning of the keris will ensure its longevity by keeping rusts at bay.

The Limau Purut Tree

The leaves of this fruit are oblong or egg-shaped, and seemed to be a combination and linking of two leaves, like wings.

The top side of the leaf is dark green and shiny, while the bottom side of the leaf is lighter or yellowish green in color.

The leaf will give a fresh lime (or lemon-like) fragrance when squashed with the fingers. And in traditional Malay dishes, the leaves are added to give the dish the unique taste of lime.

 The flower of this fruit is star-shaped, and reddish white or yellowish in color.

The fruit is smaller than an ordinary apple or orange, and round and pear-like in shape with uneven skin, having sort of big pimples or "mini-volcanoes" on the skin !

Ugly skin, not handsome or pretty at all, but, aww, it doesn't matter. It's what inside that counts, right ?

Well, so much for now on the limau purut, the herbal plant with medicinal and health properties, and used by the Malays in Pahang for many purposes.

It is generally used, as mentioned above, in some recipes of traditional Malay food and dishes, as a cleaning agent for metal parts, as herbal remedies for hair and skin disorders, and many more.

Limau purut or kaffir lime is a very useful fruit indeed and used quite extensively especially in the rural areas of Pahang.

Do look out for it whenever you’re in Pahang (Malaysia).