The eyes is one delicate part of the body essential for our sight and awareness of our environment. A healthy eye is key to the function of a human being and overall health.
Poor eye sight can be depressing and frustrating to any human being, and thus eye care is crucial for better health and happiness. In this edition I have selected some herbs that can help one to care for ones eyes naturally.
Milk Thistle is a popular herb used for eye improvement but it’s rare in this clime, but can be replaced with carrots which has lots of carotenes and carotenoids which helps the retina has amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties usually used to detoxify the liver. Fat-soluble vitamins and glutathione present in the liver and are responsible for repairing any eye damage thus the health of the liver plays an important part in the health of your eyes as well.
Green tea really does deliver when it comes to health benefits and disease prevention. The secret superpower of green tea is antioxidants, like vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin which are vital in helping prevent eye disease. Special antioxidants called flavonoids in the tea leaves help protect the eyes against diseases such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and some types of glaucoma. One particular flavonoid known as gallocatechin collects in the retina and actually protects the retina against dangerous UV rays.
Bilberry has a long medicinal history in Europe. It has been used to treat anything from kidney stones to Typhoid fever. During World War 2 British pilots noted that Bilberry jam before a flight dramatically improved night vision. Modern research now supports these claims. Bilberry is known to contain anthocyanosides, which not only have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties but are also good for microcirculation, improving night vision and enable the eyes to adapt to lighting changes. Bilberry, known to contain 10X antioxidants of vitamin C and 50X of vitamin E, is also beneficial for eye disorders like macular degeneration, reducing inflammation of retina and retinopathy.
Gingko is not a common herb in our clime but it can be replaced with garlic which enhances blood circulation in the body and the eyes as well. It has also been used to treat the central nervous system and much other eye disease for centuries. In a study conducted by Korean researchers in 2012, biloba extracts were shown to have improved the vision of many test subjects suffering from normal tension glaucoma. It has also been proven to be beneficial to those suffering from macular degeneration.
Specifically, garlic reduces blood pressure and other high cholesterol challenges that may affect blood circulation to the retina. Eye patients are advised to eat garlic most often in their food, teas and other condiments. Those with ulcer are advised to use garlic cautiously.
Bitter Cola is another herb that has been tested and confirmed by natural health researchers that helps to enhance eye health. Studies have shown that it’s effective for cataracts and glaucoma. The effect is such that it decreases the pressure in the eyes of glaucoma sufferers. One can chew it or extract the liquid as eye drop.
Turmeric is known for its medicinal and anti-inflammatory benefits as well as its positive effects on the eyes. Curcumin, an active compound in turmeric, is known to be effective against inflammation of dry eyes. This well-known spice is also said to reduce the oxidation of the eye lens, which is considered to be a major cause of some eye disorders.
The caution however is that these herbs should not replace the expertise of an optometrist. Rather they are meant to be the sole backer of your eye health, incorporating them into your regular diet is certainly recommended to keep them healthy. Along with this, don’t forget to consult your optometrist on a regular basis.
WPD: Expert Wants Nigerians To Celebrate Unsong Heroes
As the world celebrated the 2020 World Polio Day (WPD), last Saturday, the Rivers State Immunization Officer, Primary HealthCare Management Board, Dr Inwon Joseph Urang, has called for the celebration of people he christened “unsong heroes”.
Such unsong heroes, he said, include mothers who willingly take their children or wards to be vaccinated against Polio and health workers who take it upon themselves to ensure that children generally are vaccinated even in the hard-to-reach areas of the world.
Dr Urang, who spoke in an exclusive interview on the sideline of the 2020 World Polio Day, noted that these unsong heroes are the reasons the spread of polio has been successfully checked so far.
“The celebration this time is about the unsong heroes. In fact, for one the mothers’ who are able to bring their children to be vaccinated are the heroes that are not actually praised.
“Then, the health workers, who placed their lives on the line because of people who feel that vaccination is against their religion and beliefs, etc are the unsong heroes”, he said.
While noting that the Rivers State Government has made immunization services free, Dr Urang called on mothers to take it upon themselves to access any government health facility and private health facilities that are in partnership with the state government to ensure that their children are vaccinated.
“We are encouraging every mother and care giver to ensure that their children are vaccinated against polio and every other vaccine preventable disease”, he stated.
The World Polio Day was established by Rotary International to commemorate the birth of Zonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis.
Commonly known as polio virus, it is spread through person-to-person, typically through contaminated water. The polio virus can attack the nervous system and in some cases, lead to paralysis.
It will be recalled that Nigeria has been declared polio free by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
This year’s theme is “A Win Against Polio Is A Win For Global Health”.
75% Of Goitre Victims Have Iodine Deficiency – Physician
A physician, Dr Idris Giwa says iodine deficiency is the cause of 75 per cent of goitre in victims.
Goitre is a swelling of the thyroid gland that causes a lump in the front of the neck. The lump moves up and down when the victim swallows.
Chances of goitre developing in the thyroid gland increases with age. Women are also more likely to develop goitre.
Other causes of goitre are an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), hormone changes during puberty, pregnancy or menopause and the taking some types of medicines, such as lithium, a medicine used to treat some mental health conditions
Inflamed thyroid gland (thyroiditis), having radiation treatment to the neck or chest area, such as radiotherapy for neck cancer, harmless nodules or cysts within the thyroid can also cause the development of goitre.
Symptoms include coughing, a tight feeling in the throat, and sudden hoarseness in the voice, difficulty in swallowing, difficulty or high-pitched sound in breathing.
Dr Giwa told newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday that goitre affects between 200 million and 300 million people worldwide as of today.
He recommended the intake of between 100 and 150 microgrammes of iodine in diets per day.
“Iodine is not produced in the body and is obtained from iodine-rich foods such as tuna fish, shrimp, dairy, iodised salt, eggs, prune and seaweeds and are readily available,’’ he said.
He also advised goitre victims to avoid consumption of foods like cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens and horseradish as they could worsen the symptoms of goitre.
‘Cancer Research And Treatment Must Be Domesticated’
A researcher at the University of Florida, United State of America, Prof. Folakemi Odedina, declared in Abuja yesterday that cancer research and treatment in Nigeria must be Nigeria-focused.
“No pharmaceutical company should sell any drug in Nigeria without conducting clinical trials with Nigerians. This is the golden standard,” Odedina said.
She was delivering a keynote address at the launch of Nigeria’s version of the 2020 International Cancer Week hosted by the Federal Ministry of Health,
“No more publishing data from Nigeria and not having Nigerian scientists as key authors. Development of research infrastructure and capacity within Nigeria should be compulsory.
“In Nigeria, we are being treated based on therapies from other populations. This is not supposed to be,’’ she said.
Odedina noted that Nigeria currently has more than 3 million dollars research projects on-going in the country and stressed that: “We cannot do cancer prevention without research. No more “Helicopter” research in Nigeria.’’
She said while it was important for Nigerian researchers to collaborate with their foreign counterparts, the thrust must be led by Nigerians.
In her own address, Prof. Ifeoma Okoye, Professor of Radiology at the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka called for concerted efforts to champion cancer awareness and advocacy in the country.
She said concerted efforts were needed as Nigeria needed to address the debilitating disease squarely and rely more on its own research and demographics rather than copying what obtained in other parts of the world.
“We need to carry out research within our populations,” she stressed.
Also, Dr Zainab Bagudu, Chief Executive Officer, Medicaid Cancer Foundation said one main take-away from the COVID-19 pandemic was the wake-up call on the need for improved healthcare infrastructure.
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