Archive for 8,June, 2013

How to get rid of liver spots

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If you have liver spots, it is up to you to get rid of them.


May be you took too much sun, without using the proper precautions like sunscreen, gradual exposure, etc. If you continue ignoring your skin in this way, you might end up looking like a lizard!


Liver spots can also result from a thyroid deficiency. The thyroid gland must therefore be stimulated through a variety of means. For example, brown seaweed tablets: take one a day every morning, for fifteen days a month.


Or apply a cream composed of 1 teaspoon oxygenated water and 4 1/2 tablespoons lanovaseline every morning and night.


Aloe vera (see previous chapter) is very effective in treating skin disorders. Daily application of aloe vera over a period of time can eliminate liver spots completely.


Also take a look at your nutrition: the real problem might lie in what you do or don’t eat, like a diet too high in fat.

Categories: HEALTH TIPS

A few tricks for treating insect bites

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You dont have to sit back and just passively put up with insects, especially those that like to bite (mosquitoes, wasps etc.). Eat asparagus and your sweat will develop an odor that repels insects. Or apply lemon oil to your skin.


If you are bitten, there are natural substances to soothe the irritation. Aloe vera has extraordinary powers of soothing skin disorders. It is available in forms for both internal and external application in most health and beauty stores.


If you have one of these amazing plants growing at home, cut the tip off one of the leaves (the leaf will heal itself). Apply the pulp and juice to the itching or swollen area.


Lightly boiled cabbage or leek makes an excellent analgesic poultice. Of course, if you are hiking in the woods, you might have a little trouble finding cabbage! Plantain also works well. Cut it and rub it to get to the juice then apply it to the affected area.

Categories: HEALTH TIPS

ASSAM STATE GOVT-Senior Food Inspector posting as DO

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Illegal starch issue: Taiwanese govt to devote efforts to ensure safety

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The government will devote every effort to ensuring that food is safe for citizens, according to Taiwanese vice premier Mao Chi-Kuo.
He said this in reference to recent discoveries of illegal industrial starch (maleic anhydride-modified starch) and expired ingredients in various food products in the country.
According to a press release issued by the Taiwanese authorities, Mao convened an interagency meeting of the food safety task force followed by an Executive Yuan food safety meeting. Government officials, experts, and representatives from private consumer and nutrition advocacy groups and scientific research organisations gathered to discuss the developments and worked out specific plans for handling the matter.
At the meetings, the ministry of economic affairs (MOEA), Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and department of health (DOH) separately reported on their strategies for finding the source of the banned starch and for increasing oversight of food additives. As with other recent food safety incidents, government agencies will act swiftly to determine the source and flow of illegal additives, remove contaminated products from store shelves, and identify the manufacturers responsible. The government is also mulling law amendments to impose heavier penalties on repeat violators.

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI releases document differentiating between cassia & true cinnamon

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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) – the country’s apex food regulator – recently released a document on cassia (known locally as taj) and cinnamon (locally known as dalchini). Among its contents were a brief description of coumarins and the differences between cassia and true cinnamon.

Cassia is botanically known as Cinnamomum cassia blume; Cinnamomum burmannii; occidentalis; cassia tora; cassia obtusifolia; Cinnamomum cassia; Cinnamomum Cassia (nees) ex blume; Cinnamomum aromaticum (nees) syn; Cinnamomum burmannii (C G nees) blume and Cinnamumum loureini nees.

Cassia – which is incorrectly referred to as Ceylon cinnamon – is a member of the same family  to which cinnamon (which is also known as Chinese cinnamon, Java cinnamon, Padang cassia and Saigon cinnamon) belongs. However, what cassia and cinnamon do not have in common is their coumarin content.

Although cinnamon and cassia are related, they are not obtained from the same plant. They should be treated as separate foods, both from a nutritional and a health standpoint. Scientifically, there is only one true cinnamon, which is most commonly called Ceylon cinnamon and comes from the plant Cinnamomum zeylancium.

“In fact, cassia is often misnamed and mistaken for cinnamon, and is even marketed to the consumers through retail outlets as cinnamon. Since the price of the former is far lower than that of the former, traders have the tendency to mislabel cassia as cinnamon deliberately and encash the opportunity for their gain. Cassia is often used to adulterate cinnamon,” the FSSAI document pointed out.

Coumarins are naturally-occurring plant components present in cassia. They are chemical compounds from the benzopyrene family. While the level of naturally-occurring coumarins in Ceylon cinnamon appears to be very small and lower than the amount that could cause health risks, the level of naturally-occurring coumarins in cassia is higher and may pose a risk if consumed in large quantities regularly.

The chemical compositions of Ceylon cinnamon and cassia are different. In contrast to cassia, Ceylon cinnamon contains eugenol and benzyl-benzoate, but no (or at the most trace amounts of) coumarin. The level of coumarin in the bark of cassia varies considerably. They depend considerably on the respective sub-species or on the climatic conditions.

“The Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 distinguish between cassia [the bark of trees of Cinnamomum cassia (nees) ex blume; Cinnamomum aromaticum (nees) syn; Cinnamomum burmannii (C G nees) blume, and Cinnamumum loureini nees (wherein the edible portion of the tree is the bark)] and cinnamon [the inner bark of trunks or branches of Cinnamomum zeylancium blume], and prescribe standards for both. These have been laid down in Regulations 2.9.4 (1) and 2.9.5 (1),” the FSSAI document stated.

The regulator said, “Coumarin is a natural flavouring which is found in many plants. It occurs in higher concentrations in types of cinnamon grouped together under the name cassia cinnamon.”

“A rough distinction can be made between two types of cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon contains low levels of coumarin, which are safe. By contrast, cassia cinnamon contains high levels of coumarin and large amounts of this should not be consumed,” FSSAI added.

Differences between cinnamon and cassia
According to the FSSAI document, “Varieties of cassia have a stronger, more intense and often hotter flavour than Ceylon cinnamon, owing to the increased percentage of cinnamaldehyde, up to five or six per cent by weight. Cassia also has a significant amount of the blood-thinning phytochemical coumarin. Cinnamon and cassia sticks, however, have obvious visual markers which make them easy to identify.”


True cinnamon



Real or true cimmamon is sweet and delicate

The taste of cinnamon cassia ranges between strong and peppery


Real cinnamon is light brown or tan in colour

Cinnamon cassia’s colour ranges between reddish brown and dark brown


Real cinnamon sticks curl from one side only and roll up like a newspaper. Real cinnamon from Ceylon (Cinnamomum zeylancium) is filled like a cigar

Cinnamon cassia bark is thicker because its outer layer is stripped off. For that reason, cassia sticks curl inward from both sides towards the centre as they dry. Cassia has a hollow tube.


Real Ceylon cinnamon bark is smooth

The surface of Cassia is rough and uneven

Grown in

India and Sri Lanka

China, Vietnam and Indonesia

Coumarin content



In the case of cassia a relatively thick layer of the bark has been rolled into a stick, but the cross-section of a Ceylon cinnamon stick looks more like a cigarette – several thin layers of bark have been rolled up into a cinnamon stick resulting in a comparatively compact cross-section.

The origin of the cinnamon is not normally declared on the packaging. False information has been supplied in the past.

Test to differentiate between powdered cinnamon and cassia

FSSAI’s document said, “It is difficult to tell powdered cinnamon from powdered cassia, but when powdered bark is treated with a tincture of iodine (a test for starch), little effect is visible in case of pure cinnamon of good quality, but when cassia is present, a deep-blue tint is produced, the intensity of the colouration depending on the proportion of cassia.”

Ill-effects of cassia

Coumarin is a chemical compound – specifically, a benzopyrone – found in many plants, particularly in cassia [Cannamomum cassia (nees) ex blume]. Coumarin is moderately toxic to the liver and kidneys, with an LD50 of 275mg/kg. They have strong anti-coagulant properties because our blood needs to maintain its ability to coagulate in times of injury, the excessive intake of coumarins over a prolonged period of time can pose health risks.

According to the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, “One kilogram of cassia powder contains approximately 2,100 to 4,400mg of coumarin. That means one teaspoon of cassia powder contains 5.8 to 12.1mg of coumarin. Species of Cassia like cassia occidentalis, cassia tora and cassia obtusifolia are different from cinnamon, as their barks do not contain the flavoring compound cinnamaldehyde. In fact, these give an obnoxious smell and have severe health effects.”

Reports stated that the repetitive and prolonged ingestion of a health drink made from the herb of cassia genus resulted in hepatoxicity in adults. Another study revealed that in humans, the ingestion of cassia occidentalis can cause severe purging. Cassia toxicity causes acute hepato-myo-encephalopathy syndrome.

FSSAI said, “It is common knowledge that relatively low doses of coumarin cause liver damage in a small group of particularly sensitive individuals if consumed over a few months. In minor cases, this leads to an elevation of liver enzymes in blood, and in severe cases to inflammation of the liver which manifests as jaundice. The exact mechanism of action is not known, but the effects are reversible.”

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment has established a tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.1mg of coumarin per kilogram of body weight. The exposure calculation revealed that in the worst-case scenario, children who eat a lot of cassia (cinnamon) exceeded the TDI value for coumarin established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Categories: NEWS

Health officials seize pan masala, gutka from shops in Salem – The Hindu

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Sale of food products containing tobacco, nicotine banned

Stern action:Health officials seize banned gutka and pan masala from a petty shop on Second Agraharam Street in Salem on Friday.-PHOTO: P. GOUTHAM


With the selling of gutka, pan masala and any other food product containing tobacco or nicotine as ingredients banned in the district from Friday, health officials began inspecting petty shops and seized the items that were kept for sale.

They distributed awareness pamphlets to the traders asking them not to sell the products and explained the ill affects of consumption of the products.

A team led by T. Anuradha, District Designated Officer, Food Safety Department, and Sanitary Inspectors from City Municipal Corporation inspected shops in Second Agraharam Street, Chinna Kadai Veedi, Old Bus Stand areas and other parts of the city.

They explained the provisions in the law and also the action that can be taken against them if they were found selling banned tobacco products.

A district level monitoring committee was formed on Thursday to implement the ban in the district, as traders were warned that cases would be booked against them from June 26 after initial warnings.

With consumption of tobacco, pan masala and gutka among schoolchildren increasing, headmasters and teachers will be vested with the responsibility of creating awareness among the students once the schools reopen on June 10.

The benefits of quitting tobacco and other products would be explained to the students apart from organising awareness rallies.

Officials of the education department were also told that they could inform the designated officer if the banned products were noticed being sold near school premises.

Categories: NEWS

Gutka ban to be strictly imposed – The Hindu

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Collector Ashish Kumar addressing the monitoring committee meeting at the Tuticorin collectorate on Friday— Photo: N. Rajesh

    Collector Ashish Kumar addressing the monitoring committee meeting at the Tuticorin collectorate on Friday— Photo: N. Rajesh

The ban on sale of gutka and pan masala will be strictly imposed in Tuticorin district from Friday.

The District Monitoring Committee, led by Collector Ashish Kumar, convened a meeting here with officials of Food Safety, police personnel and other departments to effectively act against those indulging in the illegal sale of the banned commodities.

The Collector said Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had formally announced the ban in the Assembly session on May 8, 2013 and Commissioner of Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration, Kumar Jayant notified the ban in the gazette with effect from May 23, 2013. The ban was effective in 24 States and three Union Territories across India.

Initially, shopkeepers if found storing the product, would be instructed to remove it and warning notices would be issued until June 22. The banned items, if found in shops beyond the stipulated period, would be seized and destroyed as per instructions of Food Safety Standards Act. The committee comprising Food Safety officers, corporation authority, police personnel, transport authority, departments of Health and Education would be involved in conducting raids at public places, he said.

Commercial tax department would also join the committee to carry out mobile-checks. He also added that officials should not harass shop owners under any circumstances but continue to ensure that Tuticorin remains gutka-free district.

Citing the ill effects of chewing gutka and pan masala, M. Jegadeesh Chandrabose, District Designated Officer, Food Safety and Standards Act, said all organs of the body were affected. Gutka, he said was a composition of 700 to 4,000 chemical products and fatality due to the use of this product in the world is about 2.5 million to 3 million according to a World Health Organisation report.

Categories: NEWS

Health activists welcome gutka ban – The Hindu

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Do not politicise issue, they say

‘Don't politicise ban’:Pragati Hebbar, advocacy officer, Institute of Public Health; Prathima Murthy, professor of Psychiatry and head of the De-addiction Centre, Nimhans; and Upendra Bhojani, public health expert; at a press conference in Bangalore on Friday.— Photo: Nithish P. Byndoor

‘Don’t politicise ban’:Pragati Hebbar, advocacy officer, Institute of Public Health; Prathima Murthy, professor of Psychiatry and head of the De-addiction Centre, Nimhans; and Upendra Bhojani, public health expert; at a press conference in Bangalore on Friday.— Photo: Nithish P. Byndoor

Even as the Opposition tried to pressure the government to lift the ban on gutka, a group of public health activists have urged political party representatives not politicise the issue.

Upendra Bhojani, public health expert, told reporters here on Friday that leaders were making exaggerated claims about the threat of the livelihood of arecanut farmers. Referring to the report by University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, on ‘Special scheme on cost of cultivation of arecanut in Karnataka’, he said that arecanut farmers’ share in consumer rupee (how much they earn) for value-added products was only nine to 20 per cent, which is far lower than it is for other crops.

“Although it is too early, we can see that the arecanut prices have not crashed post the ban. Moreover, the government has promised to protect the interests of arecanut farmers.”

Mr. Bhojani reiterated that the ban on sale of gutka was a welcome move and not a hasty decision. “Twenty-five States and five Union Territories have already banned gutka. Other States are also expected to ban it as per the Supreme Court directive.”

Getting to the root

Explaining that gutka consumption was influenced by a variety of factors, Prathima Murthy, professor of Psychiatry and head of the De-addiction Centre at Nimhans, said several people consume gutka to reduce hunger and stress. “Addressing the root cause such as stress, will go a long way in reducing consumption of gutka,” she said.

Dr. Murthy added there is a tremendous opportunity for users to give up gutka in the wake of the ban, as it would not be easily accessible. “Several patients have come to our de-addiction centre and told us they would consider quitting as gutka is not as accessible as before.”

Withdrawal symptoms

However, she added there was a need for patients to deal with withdrawal symptoms. “People will start experiencing symptoms such as restlessness, loss of attention and cravings. These symptoms are likely to last anywhere between a week and a few months.”

Citing a case study, Dr. Murthy said a nine-year-old, who used to chew tobacco, was referred to her. The boy used to suffer from impulsivity and had difficulties in school.

Asked if people were likely to shift from gutka to other forms of tobacco such as cigarettes, Mr. Bhojani said, “The switch from gutka to cigarettes is relatively less, as not many can afford cigarettes. However, the government can play a proactive role and increase the taxation on tobacco-related products. This will go a long way in reducing consumption of tobacco products.”

Categories: NEWS

விழுப்புரத்தில் ரூ.2 லட்சம் மதிப்புள்ள குட்கா, பான்மசாலா பொருட்கள் கைப்பற்றி அழிப்பு

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விழுப்புரத்தில் ரூ.2 லட்சம் மதிப்புள்ள குட்கா, பான்மசாலா பொருட்கள் கைப்பற்றி அழிக்கப்பட்டன.

குட்கா, பான்மசாலா பொருட்கள் விற்பனை

தமிழக முதல்அமைச்சர் ஜெயலலிதா அறிவித்துள்ளபடி குட்கா, பான்பராக், பான்மசாலா புகையிலை மற்றும் நிக்கோடின் கலந்த உணவுப்பொருட்கள் உற்பத்தி, சேமிப்பு, விற்பனை செய்வது தடை செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது. விழுப்புரம் மாவட்டத்தில் இதுபோன்ற பொருட்களை விற்பனை செய்வதை தடை செய்ய வேண்டுமெனவும் இந்த பொருட்களை ஒரு மாத காலத்திற்குள் அப்புறப்படுத்த வேண்டுமெனவும் அதிகாரிகளுக்கு கலெக்டர் உத்தரவிட்டார்.

அதன் அடிப்படையில் விழுப்புரம் எம்.ஜி.ரோடு, பாகர்ஷா வீதி, காமராஜர் வீதி, கே.கே.ரோடு உள்ளிட்ட விழுப்புரம் நகரில் குட்கா, பான்மசாலா, புகையிலை பொருட்கள் விற்பனை செய்யும் சுமார் 50க்கும் மேற்பட்ட கடைகளில் மாவட்ட உணவு பாதுகாப்பு நியமன அலுவலர் டாக்டர் ஆறுமுகம் தலைமையில் உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அலுவலர்கள் விழுப்புரம் சங்கரலிங்கம், விக்கிரவாண்டி ரவிக்குமார், திருவெண்ணை நல்லூர் முருகன், காணை சமரேசன் ஆகியோர் ஆய்வு மேற்கொண்டனர்.

ரூ.2 லட்சம் மதிப்பில் பொருட்கள் அழிப்பு

அப்போது மொத்த வியாபாரம் மற்றும் சில்லரை வியாபார கடைகளில் விற்பனைக்காக வைக்கப் பட்டிருந்த குட்கா, பான்பராக், பான்மசாலா மற்றும் 2 மூட்டை புகையிலை பொருட் கள் என சுமார் ரூ.2 லட்சம் மதிப்புள்ள பொருட்களை அதிகாரிகள் கைப்பற்றி அவற்றை அழித்தனர். மேலும் புகையிலை சார்ந்த பொருட்களை இன்னும் ஓரிரு வாரத்திற்குள் வாங்கிய கம்பெனிகளுக்கே திருப்பி அனுப்புமாறும் கடை வியாபாரிகளுக்கு அதிகாரிகள் எச்சரிக்கை விடுத்தனர்.

Categories: DISTRICT-NEWS, Villupuram