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We are settling into our new home and discovering the wonders of living close to nature. Something which would be lacking in a city, where urban dwellers aiming to lead a greener lifestyle end up paying much more for a product and are often left with quality that’s not up to the mark.
Maybe there is a chance to escape part of this system with the help of the divine cactus, Aloe Vera. You would have heard of Aloe Vera, often used in shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, medicines, toothpaste and much more.
Recently we tried using the juice of the plant to apply on the skin as a moisturizer. Bhavika being a little skeptical wanted to do a little research before using it, thanks to her we stumbled upon the umpteen reasons to use this divine cactus.
The juice acts like a natural moisturizer on the body, when applied on the hair it stops irritation of the scalp, reduces hair fall, and makes the hair soft and shiny. It also has a cooling effect on the body, this were few benefits we discovered after using Aloe Vera.
We now plan on testing if Aloe works as a sun screen as well, Bhavika has really sensitive skin so she is the guinea pig for now.
You can get a good quantity of Aloe juice from a big fat leaf, we took a couple of pictures of the steps involved in extracting Aloe juice.
Firstly you need to get an Aloe plant, and yes they can grow in pots as well so its easy to have one anywhere. When you cut out a leaf, you notice a yellow latex or sap oozing out of it, this is not suppose to be used as its an irritant.
So you basically hang the leaf or keep it in a tilted position until the oozing stops. Once thats done you can slice off the thorny sides of the leaves.
Then slice off the flat side of the leaf with a knife, you will see good amount of juice beginning to drip out when you do that. You can then scoop out the inside gel with either a spoon or slice out as much as you can with a knife.
The first time we extracted aloe juice we directly put the gel in a muslin cloth and squeezed it, we collected a good amount of gel and juice. By blending the gel and then using a muslin cloth you get a lot more juice with very little gel remaining.
We managed to get a little more than 400 ml of the divine cactus juice from 5 medium sized aloe leaves. If you don’t want to extract you can simply cut off a leaf, drain out the yellow sap and apply it directly on your skin.
Aloe has been used for over 500 years
Aloe Vera is known as Ghrit Kumari in Sanskrit and has been used in Ancient Indian Ayurveda. Its use as a healing agent goes back thousands of years, for the Egyptians its the ‘plant of immortality’ and supposedly placed as a burial gift in tombs of the pharaohs. Strange that a plant with so many qualities has not made its way into all our homes a long time ago.
According to Ayurvedic medicine, Aloe Vera has several health benefits –
- Antibiotic Properties that can be used to treat various skin ailments, sun burns, healing of cuts, wounds and scratches.
- Analgesic Properties that inhibit pain, thus Aloe Vera gel is used in dental treatments and the treatment of mouth ulcers, sores, blisters etc. Its also used to treat piles, hemorrhoids, indigestion, constipation
- Growth Stimulating Properties that stimulate the growth and formation of new cells. So it helps in curing burns as aloe penetrates the skin and removes the dead cells caused by infection, and forms new cells.
- Halts the growth of cancer tumors
- Heals the intestines and lubricates the digestive tract.
- Stabilizes blood sugar and reduces triglycerides in diabetics.
- Alkalizes the body, helping to balance overly acidic dietary habits.
- Nourishes the body with minerals, vitamins, enzymes and glyconutrients.
Swedish researchers have made a fascinating discovery with regard to short wavelength blue light that suggests that it could be used as a natural therapy to help improve cognitive function and boost energy levels. In a test comparing the effects of blue light to caffeine and several other modalities, a team of scientists from Mid Sweden University in Ostersund found that simple exposure to blue light actually outperforms caffeine in helping people to think more clearly, focus on the task at hand and have enough energy to get through the day.
While previous research has shown that exposure to blue light, especially right before bed, can obstruct the natural sleep cycle by interfering with hormone production, this latest study found quite the opposite in terms of how it affects brain and motor function. Not only does exposure to blue light help promote better focus, according to the latest data, even in the presence of distractions, but it also enhances overall psychomotor function and alertness.
To arrive at this conclusion, a group of 21 healthy individuals was instructed to perform a computer-based psychomotor vigilance test both before and after undergoing one of four randomly assigned trial conditions. These conditions included exposure to the following: white light and a placebo, white light and 240 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, blue light and a placebo, or blue light and 240 mg of caffeine. Following the exposures and the test, the research team analyzed the results using the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale.
What they found was that both the caffeine only and the blue light only groups experienced enhanced accuracy when taking a visual reaction test that required making a decision. Not only were the participants in these two groups better equipped to make the decision, but they were also able to make it faster than those in the other two groups. Additionally, the blue light and caffeine groups were found to have improved overall psychomotor function compared to the other groups.
However, the blue light only group outperformed the caffeine group in several other key areas, one being a test of executive function that involved introducing a distraction into the mix. Those in the blue light only group had improved accuracy and consistently outperformed those in the caffeine only group when both congruent and incongruent distractions were put before them. Visual reaction performance was also substantially improved in the blue light only group, and especially among participants with blue eyes.
“Blue light and caffeine demonstrated distinct effects on aspects of psychomotor function and have the potential to positively influence a range of settings where cognitive function and alertness are important,” wrote the authors about their findings, which were recently published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.
Sea cucumber has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years, but they are relatively obscure in the U.S. This may be soon changing, however, as evidence mounts that sea cucumber extracts can kill cancer cells while stimulating the immune system.
As reported by Ethan Evers, author of “The Eden Prescription, previous research on sea cucumber has demonstrated its ability to kill lung, breast, prostate, skin, colon, pancreatic, and liver cancer cells. These extracts have also proven effective in killing leukemia and gioblastoma cells. Looks like we can add yet another food to the list of anti-cancer foods.
Scientists believe a key compound known as frondoside A to be responsible. Frondoside A is a triterpenoid, diverse organic compounds found in the essential oils and oleoresins of plants.
This latest study, published in PLoS One, has confirmed just how powerful frondoside A truly is. Researchers found it to kill 95% of ER+ breast cancer cells, 95% of liver cancer cells, 90% of melanoma cells, and 85-88% of three different types of lung cancer.
As Evers reports:
“But the benefits of this compound don’t just stop at directly inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis). It also inhibits angiogenesis (the ability of tumors to grow new blood vessels to get their food) and stops cancer metastasizing by impeding cell migration and invasion. Even more intriguing is the ability of frondoside A to activate our immune system’s natural killer cells to attack cancer cells. This has been shown for breast cancer in particular but may also apply to all cancers, because it involves the immune system and not cancer cells directly. This may partially explain why frondoside A was so effective at shrinking lung tumors in mice that it rivaled chemo drugs in performance.”
When given to mice with non-small cell lung cancer, frondoside A was found to shrink tumors by 40% in only 10 days. Traditional chemo drugs shrunk the tumors by 47 percent, but the risks of chemo treatment are far greater than any side-effects or risks of sea cucumber. (Namely because there are no known risks associated with sea cucumbers). In addition, the amount of frondoside A needed to achieve such results was miniscule—less than a single milligram for an adult weighing 165 pounds.
While sea cucumber extracts aren’t currently offered as a treatment for cancer—at least not in your traditional doctor’s office—you can find dried and powdered sea cucumber in health stores. It is packaged as a solution to arthritis and similar conditions because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Sea Cucumber Found to Kill 95% of Cancer Cells, Shrink Tumors
Originally posted on: http://naturalsociety.com/sea-cucumber-shrinks-cancer-cells-95-percent/#ixzz2ljvmN5GC
For over 60 years, the conventional psychiatric industry has systematically ignored the mental health benefits of niacin (vitamin B3) – as a natural way – to treat depression plus many other psychiatric disorders. This ‘mega-vitamin therapy’ eliminates the need for toxic anti-anxiety medications. In fact, along with antioxidants like, vitamin C, E beta-carotene and selenium, niacin provides the ultimate protection against disease-causing free radicals.
Depression is not caused by a pharmaceutical drug deficiency. In truth, we already know that vitamin B3 therapy is a simple, safe, and highly-effective way of improving your mental (and physical) health without the need for toxic chemicals. Learn more about this amazing therapy on the next NaturalNews Talk Hour.
A weird old story I came across in my bookmarks this morning tells a tale of tunnels under the town of Peterborough, England.
The local newspaper, Peterborough Today, refers to a woman described simply as “a grandmother” who claims “that she crawled through a tunnel under Peterborough Cathedral as a schoolgirl.” That experience—organized as a school trip, of all things—was “terrifying”; in fact, it was “so scary that it gave her nightmares for weeks afterwards.”
About 25 of us went down into the tunnel, one at a time; none of the teachers came in. It was pitch black, had a stone floor and was about two feet high and three feet wide. We crawled along on our hands on knees. The girl in front of me stopped and started screaming, she was so scared. The tunnel started in the Cathedral and ended there too; we were down there for what seemed like ages. When I eventually got home I was in tears. Afterwards I had horrible nightmares for weeks about being buried alive underneath the Cathedral.
What’s fascinating about the story, though, is the fact that not everyone even agrees that these tunnels exist. A “city historian” quoted in the same article says that, while “there are small tunnels under the Cathedral,” they are most likely not tunnels at all, but simply “the ruins of foundations from earlier churches on the site, dating from Saxon times.” The girls would thus have been crawling around amongst the foundations of ruined churches, lost buildings that long predated the cathedral above them.
But local legends insist that the tunnels—or, perhaps, just one very large tunnel—might, in fact, be real. To this end, an amateur archaeologist named Jay Beecher, who works in a local bank by day, has “been intrigued by the legend of the tunnel ever since he was a young boy when he was regaled with tales that had been passed down the generations of a mysterious passageway under the city.” This “mysterious passageway under the city” would be nearly 800 years old, by his reckoning, and more than a mile in length. “Medieval monks may have used the tunnel as a safe route to visit a sacred spring at Holywell to bathe in its healing waters,” we read.
Although Beecher has found indications of the tunnel on city maps, not everyone is convinced, claiming the whole thing is just “folklore.” But it is oddly ubiquitous folklore. One former resident of town who contacted the newspaper “claimed that a series of tunnels ran between Peterborough and Thorney via a secret underground chapel.” Another “said that he recalled seeing part of a tunnel in the cellar at a home in Norfolk Street, Peterborough,” as if the tunnel flashes in and out of existence around town, from basement to basement, church cellar to pub storage room, more a portal or instance gate than an actual part of the built environment. And then, of course, there is the surreal childhood memory—or nightmare—recounted by the “grandmother” quoted above who once crawled beneath the town church with 25 of her schoolmates, worried that they’d all be buried alive in the center of town (surely the narrative premise of a childhood anxiety dream if there ever was one).
No word yet if Beecher has found his archaeological evidence, but the fact that this particular spatial feature makes an appearance in the dreams, memories, or confused geographic fantasies of the people who live there—as if their town can only be complete given this subterranean underside, a buried twin lost beneath churches—is in and of itself remarkable.
(If this interests you—or even if it doesn’t—take a quick look at BLDGBLOG’s tour through the tunnels and sand mines of Nottingham, or stop by this older post on the “undiscovered bedrooms of Manhattan”).
Image credit: Geocaching
— Don’t look for ISON during the day on Nov. 28. NASA spacecraft will watch it and we’ll post photos here. As always, never look directly at the sun.
— If it doesn’t break up, ISON will be visible near the horizon in early December. Look to the East before sunrise and to the Northwest after sunset.
Image credit: Dakotalapse
Predicted hour-by-hour position of Comet ISON in various instruments on one of NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory spacecraft between 1 a.m. EST on Nov. 26, 2013, and 7 p.m. EST on Nov. 29, 2013. The blue field of view is from the outer coronagraph and green from the inner coronagraph. Image Credit: NASA/STEREO/Goddard Space Flight Center
Right now, Comet ISON is making that journey. It began its trip from the Oort cloud region of our solar system and is now travelling toward the sun. The comet will reach its closest approach to the sun on Thanksgiving Day — Nov. 28, 2013 — skimming just 730,000 miles above the sun’s surface. If it comes around the sun without breaking up, the comet will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere with the naked eye, and from what we see now, ISON is predicted to be a particularly bright and beautiful comet. Cataloged as C/2012 S1, Comet ISON was first spotted 585 million miles away in September 2012. This is its very first trip around the sun, which means it is still made of pristine matter from the earliest days of the solar system’s formation, its top layers never having been lost by a trip near the sun. Scientists will point as many ground-based observatories as they can and at least 15 space-based assets towards the comet along the way, in order to learn more about this time capsule from when the solar system first formed. Even if the comet does not survive, tracking its journey will help scientists understand what the comet is made of, how it reacts to its environment, and what this explains about the origins of the solar system. Closer to the sun, watching how the comet and its tail interact with the vast solar atmosphere can teach scientists more about the sun itself.Hubble’s view of Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) on April 10, 2013. This image was taken in visible light. The blue false color was added to bring out details in the comet structure. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, J.-Y. Li (Planetary Science Institute)
NASA has initiated a Comet ISON Observing Campaign to facilitate a massive global observation campaign incorporating both space-based and ground-based telescopes and encouraging citizen scientists and both professional and amateur astronomers to participate. Read on for a timeline of observations expected of Comet ISON on its perilous journey.
|Date||Comet ISON Journey|
|At least a million years ago||The comet began its journey from the Oort cloud, a swath of icy objects that orbit far beyond Neptune. This is Comet ISON’s first trip through the inner solar system.|
|September 2012||Comet ISON was first discovered by Russian astronomers, Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok, using the International Scientific Optical Network in Kislovodsk, Russia.|
|Jan. 17–18, 2013||NASA’s Deep Impact acquired images of Comet ISON. The observations were unable to detect whether carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide was present.|
|January-March 2013||For two months, NASA’s Swift mission observed ISON when it was around 460 million miles away from the sun. (http://1.usa.gov/13E3yg0) Observations showed that ISON was shedding about 112,000 pounds of dust and 130 pounds of water every minute. The lower amount of water represents the fact that the comet was too far away from the sun for its water ice to have begun evaporating. Instead, other materials such as carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide ice were boiling off.|
|April-May 2013||NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope observed Comet ISON at 386 million miles away from the sun on April 10, 2013. (http://1.usa.gov/ZGGitt) Preliminary Hubble observations provided surprising results: The nucleus of the comet appeared to be no larger than 3 to 4 miles across. Since the comet was so bright and so active, scientists had assumed the nucleus was larger. Hubble found the dusty coma, or head of the comet, to be around 3,100 miles across and the tail to be more than 57,000 miles long. HST also observed the comet on May 2 and May 7, and produced an upper limit on how fast the comet was producing carbon monoxide. Hubble also released a movie of the comet from May 8, 2013: http://1.usa.gov/17RuUS1|
|June 13, 2013||NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope observed Comet ISON at 310 million miles away from the Sun. The data are still being processed and no results have been announced yet.|
|July-August 2013||Sometime in late July or early August, the comet will pass what’s called the frost line, some 230 to 280 million miles away from the sun, when it will feel enough radiation from the sun that water will begin to evaporate and the comet will appear brighter. Some comets have broken up upon crossing the frost line.|
|August-November 2013||Beginning in August, astronomers will be able to observe the comet through ground-based telescopes once again. From early June through late-August, ISON was almost directly behind the sun as viewed from Earth, and thus could not be observed from the ground.|
|September 2013||In September, the comet will be visible near dawn in the Southern Hemisphere with binoculars.|
|Sept. 17-Oct. 15, 2013||Launch window for the Balloon Rapid Response for ISON, or BRRISON. This balloon, which with its payload will be 671 feet tall, taller than the Washington Monument, will launch from NASA’s Scientific Balloon Flight Facility in Fort Sumner, N.M. for a single day, carrying a 2.6-foot telescope and other science equipment. It will soar up to 23 miles above Earth’s surface, where it can observe the comet largely unhindered by Earth’s atmosphere. BRRISON will observe ISON in the near-infrared, near-ultraviolet and visible wavelength ranges, and will measure the ratio of carbon dioxide to water emissions from the comet. This ratio will be a vital diagnostic of the comet’s origins. These emissions are blocked by Earth’s atmosphere and cannot be measured from the ground. BRRISON is an unprecedented quick-reaction project to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the discovery of comet ISON, and is the first NASA Planetary Science Division balloon mission to observe a comet.|
|October 2013||Mars Curiosity and Opportunity will have a view of ISON in October, with Oct. 1, 2013, being the comet’s closest approach to Mars. Comet ISON will be close enough to the sun, as of Oct. 10 that it will be visible by an instrument with an extremely wide view on one of the solar observatories: the HI 2 instrument on one of NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatories, STEREO-A. At that point the comet will be around 94.5 million miles away from the sun. Additional Hubble observations are planned to provide new estimates on nucleus size and composition as well as to search for any fragments that have broken off.|
|November 2013||Observations of Comet ISON with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory will be used to study particles streaming away from the sun in the solar wind. These particles from the sun interact with Comet ISON to generate X-rays that are detected by Chandra. The first of two sets of observations is planned for early November, when Comet ISON will be passing through the hot wind produced by regions along the sun’s equator.|
|Nov. 16-19 & 21-26, 2013||Comet ISON will be visible to MESSENGER, which is near Mercury. The closest approach will be on Nov. 19. Once the comet passes Mercury, it will be on the most perilous part of its journey. The intense radiation of the sun causes material to evaporate quickly off the comet. Moreover the very pressure of the solar particles on the comet can cause it to break up. A slew of space and ground-based telescopes will watch the comet as it makes its slingshot around the sun.|
|Nov. 18-24, 2013||Launch window for NASA’s FORTIS (short for Far-ultraviolet Off Rowland-Circle for Imaging and Spectroscopy) sounding rocket, which will measure ultraviolet light from Comet ISON as it nears the sun. Such light can help scientists determine the production rate of volatile chemicals leaving the comet surface and also can be used to search for previously undetected types of atoms or molecules on the comet.|
|Nov. 21-30, 2013||As of Nov. 21, Comet ISON will begin to enter the fields of view of NASA’s space-based solar observatories. Comet ISON will be viewed first in what’s called coronagraphs, images that block the brighter view of the sun itself in order to focus on the solar atmosphere, the corona. Such images – from STEREO and the joint European Space Agency/NASA Solar Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO — will likely be quite visually compelling. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, will view the comet for a few hours around perihelion. SDO’s imagery should be detailed enough to gather information about how the comet evolves through the radiation and pressure of the sun’s atmosphere. All of these observatories will have different views. STEREO-A will be the only one that sees the comet transit across the face of the sun. In SDO’s view, the comet will appear to travel above the sun. The exact dates of view for these observatories is as follows:
In addition, ground-based solar telescopes – observing in optical, infrared and radio wavelengths – will all be able to observe the comet during perihelion. Such observations will provide additional information about the composition of the comet and how material evaporates off it, fueling the dusty cloud that surrounds the nucleus. One last solar effect could impact the comet at this stage in its journey. If the sun coincidentally sends out a giant cloud of solar particles, known as a coronal mass ejection, at the right time and direction to pass the comet, it could pull the comet’s tail right off.
|December 2013 – January 2014||If Comet ISON survives its trip around the sun, there’s a good chance that it will be incredibly bright and easily visible with the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere. In early December, it will be seen in the morning, low on the horizon to the east-southeast. In late December and early January, it will be visible all night long. A second set of Chandra observations is planned for the middle of December to early January, when ISON will be passing through a transition region in the solar wind, where the hot wind from the Sun’s sun’s equator is mixed with a cooler wind produced by regions near the poles of the sun.|
|December 26, 2013||Closest approach to Earth will be approximately 40 million miles.|
Nov. 24, 2013: In 2007, astronomers were amazed when a solar storm hit Comet Encke. NASA STEREO spacecraft watched as a CME (coronal mass ejection) struck the comet head on and ripped off its tail.
The same thing could be in store for Comet ISON–only worse.
On Nov. 28th, Comet ISON will pass through the sun’s atmosphere, flying little more than a million kilometers above the sun’s surface. It will be ~30 times closer to the sun than Encke was in 2007 and more likely to encounter a ferocious solar storm.
“For one thing,” says Angelos Vourlidas of the Naval Research Lab and a participant in NASA’s Comet ISON Observing Campaign (CIOC), “the year 2007 was near solar minimum. Solar activity was low. Now, however, we are near the peak of the solar cycle and eruptions are more frequent.”
“I would absolutely love to see Comet ISON get hit by a big CME,” says Karl Battams, an astronomer at the Naval Research Lab who also works with the CIOC. “It won’t hurt the comet, but it would give us a chance to study extreme interactions with the comet’s tail.”
CMEs are magnetized clouds of plasma hurled into space by the explosions of sunspots. The gas inside a CME is not very dense, so its impact would not shatter a comet’s core. The fragile tail is another matter. Comet tails are as gossamer as the CMEs themselves, so the interactions can be intense and unpredictable.
He believes that Comet ISON would experience something more dramatic. “Any CME that hits Comet ISON close to the sun would very likely be faster, driving a shock wave with a much stronger magnetic field. Frankly, we can’t predict what would happen.”
Comet ISON entered the field of view of STEREO-A’s Heliospheric Imager on Nov. 21st. Coincidentally, Comet Encke is there, too. Presently, the two comets are being gently buffeted by solar wind and their tails are wagging back and forth accordingly.
The Heliospheric Imager on NASA’s STEREO-A spacecraft is tracking Comet ISON as it plunges toward the sun. In this movie, which spans a two day period from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22, 2013, the sun is off-screen to the right. Coincidentally, Comet Encke is present too. Movie, Commentary
If the sun erupts, both comets could be engulfed by the same CME. This would turn the two comets into solar probes. Like wind socks, they would sample the storm from two widely separated locations, giving researchers a rare 3D view of a CME’s inner structure.
Comet ISON will be passing over the sun’s equator on Nov. 28th on the same side of the sun where a group of active sunspots was recently clustered. In other words, says Battams, “we’re going to be in the ‘hot zone’ for CMEs.”
NASA’s entire fleet of solar observatories will be watching when ISON takes the plunge. This includes STEREO-A and STEREO-B, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, and the Solar and Heliophysics Observatory (SOHO), which NASA operates along with the European Space Agency. If a CME strikes the comet, all of the spacecraft are likely to see what happens.
“It would be pretty new territory for us,” says Battams.
“…and a nice preview of what NASA’s Solar Probe+ spacecraft might experience when it plunges into the sun in the 2020s,” adds Vourlidas.