What's The Buzz


Brazilian mint tea reduces pain

A herb called Hyptis crenata — otherwise known as Brazilian mint, can reduce pain as effectively as leading drugs, a new study suggests.

It has been used as a traditional medicine in Brazil to treat a range of ailments from headaches and stomach pain to fever and flu. Now researchers at Newcastle University say they have scientifically proven its pain-relieving properties for the first time.

Testing this ancient South American herb on mice, the team led by researcher Graciela Rocha was able to show that when prepared as a ‘tea’ — the traditional way to administer the medicine — the mint was as effective as a synthetic aspirin-style drug Indometacin.

Now, the researchers plan to launch clinical trials to find out how effective the mint is as a pain relief for people. “Since humans first walked the earth we have looked to plants to provide a cure for our ailments,” Graciela said.
 
Diesel emissions linked to respiratory symptoms

A new study has shown that exposure shortly after birth to ambient metals from residential heating oil combustion and particles from diesel emissions are associated with respiratory symptoms in young inner city children.

The study by researchers at Columbia University analyses the effects of exposure to airborne metals in this very young population and the findings could have important public health implications. It also contributes to a further understanding of how specific sources of air pollution may impact child health.

The study compared pollutant levels with respiratory symptoms of children between birth and age two living in Northern Manhattan and in the South Bronx, and found that the airborne metals nickel and vanadium, were risk factors for wheezing in young children.

Staying fit in your 40s should become a habit

As we reach the age of 40, our bodies start going rapidly down hill as it goes through a series of key changes. Therefore, a little bit of cycling and some golfing at this age can help in staying active and ward off obesity, diabetes, high BP and some forms of cancer, say experts.

“It confirms that the mid-40s really are a critical point in life,” said Ken Fox, Bristol University. “It’s the time when muscle mass begins to decrease and fat deposits begin to build up. For men fat gathers around the abdomen, for women it’s spread more evenly around the body.”

“A decline in fitness is not inevitable when you reach 45 but if you neglect exercise it’s the time in life when the ageing process causes it to speed up,” Fox added.
Cycling is the best form of exercise in middle age. Golf is also good but you should carry or pull your clubs and not rely on a buggy.

“Exercise should be regular. You can’t just rely on a weekend game of football,” Fox added.

Giving birth can slow MS progression

The progression of multiple sclerosis, a long-term inflammatory condition of the central nervous system, gets slower in women who give birth, according to a new study.

Belgian and Dutch researchers studied 330 women with MS for 18 years to reach the conclusion. It was noted that in women who had children, the severe disability took longer to develop.

MS affects the transfer of messages from the nervous system to the rest of the body. All the women, who were observed, visited a specialist centre. Their first symptoms of the disease was noted when they were between the age 22 and 38.

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