Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hibiscus for High Blood Pressure & Cholesterol

The Hibiscus (H. Sabdariffa), one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, is now being sought after by researchers, to help control blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.

A research term from the Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan found that Hibiscus flowers can help in regulating blood pressure, and cholesterol, while increasing circulation. Also, the high levels of Vitamin C in Hibiscus help ward off colds and chest congestions.

The study, which has been published in the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture, states that Hibiscus flowers contain high antioxidants that significantly reduce the dangerous build up of fats inside arteries.

A member of British Heart Health Foundation, Dr. Grifith, in his study revealed that the naturally occurring flavonoids found in red wine, fruit, tea and Hibiscus has sufficient potent antioxidant properties that reduce the oxidation of harmful type of cholesterol, LDL.

On a study conducted to examine the benefits of Hibiscus tea on Essential Hypertension, the researchers prepared hibiscus tea adding a tablespoon of dried hibiscus tea in a quart of boiling water to achieve the lowering effect of blood pressure.

A study carried out in 2004, published in the journal Phytomedicine, states that people suffering from hypertension can actually lower their blood pressure levels by regularly drinking hibiscus tea. The study included 70 people, half of whom drank 16 ounces of hibiscus tea before breakfast daily or ingested 25mg of antihypertensive medication (captopril) twice a day. After one month, the diastolic blood pressure of hibiscus tea drinkers were reduced by at least 10 points in 79 percent of the participants, and the blood pressure in the medicated was reduced at least ten points in 84 percent of participants. The results being, more or less similar, suggests that this herbal tea is as potent as few blood pressure medications.

Hence, it has been concluded that besides lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol, this hibiscus beverage has numerous characteristics that makes it all the more valuable than conventional teas.

Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer in the field of holistic health, and Founder - Director, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, recommends hibiscus as the most promising herb for treating high blood pressure.

Dr. Weil points out that during two controlled clinical trials, which included people with high blood pressure, who went off their medication, were given two teaspoons (6gms) Hibiscus sabdariffa infused in 250ml water, or black tea thrice a day. After 12 days, the hibiscus group reported considerable drop in this blood pressure levels than the black tea group.
Picture by Chaitanya A K Photography

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Could Plastic Surgery Kill Dramatic Performances?

by Monika Bartyzel Mar 9th 2010 // 5:15PM

As hordes of actors attempt to stave off aging, we watch on, amused. It's hard not to laugh or snicker when a person who has clearly had plastic surgery claims that their face is natural. They might as well claim to be a relative of Stretch Armstrong, trying to feed us bull that their skin doesn't fall and change no matter how old they get, that their chin was always that shape, their lips always that puffy, their eyebrows always that arched.

It's also inspired many of us to complain about the lack of emotion these actors can offer, how it affects performances and ruins a role -- emotions desperately trying to escape from the clutches of Botox and injected fat. But It's more than just a threat to random roles. We must ask: could this rampant love of plastic surgery affect or essentially change how cinema is made and performed? New York Magazine recently looked into the issue, inspired by the unmoving faces in the television show Damages.

The most telling piece of the article deals with emotion as a sort of compromise, actors figuring out what facial movements are necessary for their careers. Plastic surgeon Stephen Pincus told the magazine: "I ask them, what expressions, what emotions, are you concerned about losing? They'll say, 'I have to be mad, or surprised, or I'm worried about my eyebrows, I don't want to be a blank stare.' I say, 'I can paralyze your forehead from this point up, but you're not going to be able to wrinkle a good part of the forehead. Is that an issue for you? If it is, we shouldn't do it.' They're more concerned about wrinkles than about the five seconds of emotion people might not notice anyway."

Actors -- who are in the business of portraying life and emotion -- are now attempting to quantify that ever-important range of emotions. Surely, then, if this trend continues as actors age, we must wonder how that will change dramatic acting. Could the age of realism be over, replaced with emoting that doesn't involve furrowed brows and facial angst?

There are -- thank god -- a few thorns in this possibility. For one, James Cameron's new motion capture technology demands facial realism: "No botox. Their faces have to move." If this technology turns out to be even partially influential, it can help keep rampant surgery in check. (Assuming studios don't simply ignore older actors and opt for youth.) Secondly, there are actresses who dare to stay real, and have received love and critical acclaim for their talents, like Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren. While they're in Hollywood power, they are leading a powerful fight for the craft. However, even that thorn isn't so sharp these days. Damages, that show mentioned above, stars Glenn Close, who was surely the queen of older actresses when Streep was still building her career.

So, what will this mean for the future? Will we finally see a plastic surgery backlash as facial reconstruction ruins the fine art of acting? Or, will we see Hollywood film morph to accommodate the rampant facial tightening and removed emotion?|htmlws-main-w|dl2|link3|