Nanoparticle Therapy for Prostate Cancer

The use of nanoparticles and other nanoscale materials has been gathering a lot of significant interest in recent years and has even adapted into its own interdisciplinary field of science known as nanomedicine. Whilst there are still some issues to be ironed out within the nanomedicine field, it has brought about great advances within medicine, including many nanoparticle-based therapies for cancer. Given that the alternative to such treatments is longer periods of intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy (although some therapies still use these processes but the cancer killing effects are more enhanced), there has been a lot of research dedicated to fighting cancer within the nanomedicine sector.

 

Cancer is currently on the rise. Currently, around every 1 in 8 males in the UK will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, with there being a significantly higher risk if the males are older, or if there is a pre-existing history of the cancer in the family. There are a range of nanoparticle therapeutic treatments undergoing developments, some of which are used to enhance the effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, whereas others deliver specific drugs to cancer cells.

Nanocarrier vessels are the most widely used therapeutic treatment for all types of cancer, as it enables the cancer-killing drug payload to be delivered to a specific site of interest (i.e. the tumour), whereupon the drug is released to the cancer cells, thus destroying them, whilst leaving the surrounding healthy cells undamaged. The same is true for prostate cancer, where specific drugs designed to kill prostate cancer cells can be loaded into the nanocarriers. Even though their regulatory viability is questionable, nanocarriers offer a much safer route to killing cancer cells (i.e. without causing unnecessary damage to healthy tissue), but not all nanocarriers are a viable option because of their inability to be excreted efficiently.

A lot of research in the early days of nanocarrier drug delivery systems focused on vessels of an inorganic nature, yet these are the types that are troublesome to break down or excrete. This has caused a shift in the types of nanocarrier vessels undergoing research at the fundamental level nowadays, and the shift has been towards organic-based vessels, such as liposomes. The shift has been attributed to a few factors, such as a much wider range of usable delivery vessels, but the most significant factors as to why organic nanocarriers are being used more and more is due to their much higher bioavailability, biocompatibility and the ability to be excreted by the body.

Another growing area, both academically and commercially, is the use of magnetic nanoparticles, i.e. nanoparticles composed of iron oxide to thermally treat cancer cells. Whilst iron oxide nanoparticles themselves are not highly biocompatible, their surface can be functionalized with biocompatible organic groups, such as polyethylene glycol (PEG), to make them suitable for use within the body. These particles can be directed remotely using an external magnetic field to the site of interest. Once the nanoparticles reach the cancerous site, they can be activated to undergo Brownian motion, which releases heat and destroys the cancer cells.

Nanoparticle Therapy in Recent News

Nanoparticle-based therapies for tackling prostate cancer has recently been in the news since a paper emerged in the Nature open-access journal, Scientific Reports. This new report details that their new therapy can be used to kill cancer cells and make tumours more sensitive to chemotherapy (a two-fold approach) and it is thought that it will reach clinical trials soon. Whilst it is a therapy that can be used with prostate cancer, it has also been stated that it is also usable for breast cancer.

The researchers use a core-shell lipid polymer hybrid nanoparticle to deliver two different drugs, rather than the conventional encapsulation of one drug, to the cancerous prostate. Both drugs used in the therapy are already FDA approved, which makes the transition to the clinic a lot smoother. One drug is an anti-cancer drug, known as docetaxel, and the other is a multiple sclerosis drug, known as fingolimod, that makes tumours more sensitive to chemotherapy treatments.

Both drugs have their disadvantages when used in a traditional capacity. Fingolimod is known to supress the immune system and be toxic in the blood, whereas docetaxel can produce serious side effects if the tumour is resistant to chemotherapy. So, by using a nanocarrier to target the specific area of interest, both drugs can know be administered together, with a much lower risk than ever before, to help kill cancerous prostate cell

Prostate Cancer UK: https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information

Scientific aspects of Yagya

 1.Our ancient texts are full of legends wherein ancient sages performed Yagyas and the demons (asuras) tried to destroy them. The demons then had to pay a hefty price as the godly, valiant prince used to guard the Holy fire and eliminate the nuisance. Whether these are just folklores, myths, legends or history is a debate for some other day, but there is no denying the fact that Yagya was related to slaying negativity since the Vedic times. Let’s explore how and why…

2.How it works

There are two basic energy systems in the physical world: heat and sound. In performing Yagya, these two energies, namely, the heat from Yagya’s fire and the sound of the chanting of the Gayatri and other Vedic Mantras, are blended together to achieve the desired physical, psychological and spiritual benefits.

3.The aroma of Yagya

The surroundings and the smell of a Yagya can be smelt even at a huge distance. In addition to steam, smoke is also given out in plentiful quantities and solid particles existing in a highly divided state offer adequate surface for mechanical diffusion. Thus smoke also functions as a medium for circulation of aromatic substances depending on temperature and direction of the wind.

4.The science behind using fatty substances (Ghee)

Ghee helps in rapid combustion of cellulose of wood and keeps the fire alight. When all the volatile substances are diffused in the surrounding atmosphere, these are further subjected to photochemical reactions in the sunlight. This may be the reason why it has been recommended that Yagya should be performed in the presence of strong sunlight.

5.The shape of the Agni Kunda

The word ‘pyramid’ means the fire in the middle’. This ancient-word meaning for pyramid is closely connected with the enigmatic energies springing from its central shape. The pyramid shape is generally thought to generate and store a special energy field, which possess bacteriostatic properties. The inverted pyramid shape allows controlled generation and multidirectional dissipation of energy. It acts as an initiator of unusual energy fields and spreads them in its surrounding atmosphere

 

6.Chanting of Sanskrit

The power of sound vibrations is long since acknowledged in the field of science. These vibrations can penetrate the energy spheres at the subtle and cosmic levels. All the alphabets of the Sanskrit language are endowed with special vibrational powers, which set out harmonious wave patterns when pronounced. It is interesting to note that an American Scientist has established that recitation of Gayatri Mantra produces 110,000 sound waves per second.

7.Purification of environment

Till recently it was accepted that research into science can furnish answer to all of man’s problems. Today we find increasing number of diseases including malfunctioning of body organs due to increasing severity of pollution in the atmosphere. Experimental studies show that the incidence of physical ailments, sickness and disease are reduced in the houses, where the Yagya is regularly performed.

8.The Hindu fire ritual is a healing process

Yagya creates a pure, nutritional and medicinal atmosphere. It renews the brain cells, revitalizes the skin, purifies blood and prevents growth of pathogenic organisms. Agnihotra is basically a healing process. ‘Heal the atmosphere and the healed atmosphere will heal you’. Purification of environment through the constituent electrons of the substances fumigated in the Yagya is an obvious effect of this process.

9.Scientific research

According to Dr. Shirowich, a Russian scientist, (i) Cow’s milk contains great power of protection from atomic radiation; (ii) Houses having cow-dung covered floors enjoy complete protection from atomic radiation; (iii) If cow’s ghee is put into Yagya fire, its fumes lessen the effect of atomic radiation to a great extent. The medicinal fumes emanating from Yagya have been observed by researchers in the field of microbiology to be clearly bacteriolethal in nature.

10.Removal of foul odors

While performing Yagya, volatile oils get diffused in the surrounding atmosphere along with steam and smoke. Since these oils have distinct good smell, the foul odors are automatically replaced. This aroma can be experienced easily in the surroundings when Yagya is performed due to diffusion of substances like pine, terpinol and oils of sandal-wood, camphor and clove.

11.Removal of Bacteria

As stated under products of combustion, the partial oxidation of hydrocarbons and decomposition of complex organic substances produce formal aldehyde which is a powerful antiseptic. It is also interesting to note that germicidal action of formaldehyde is only effective in the presence of water vapor which is also produced in large quantities during Yagya. The use of formaldehyde spray for disinfecting of walls, ceiling etc., is common and such a spray is automatically produced when Yagya is performed.

12.Disinfectants and antibiotics

The oxidation of hydrocarbons also produces formic acid and acetic acid both of which are good disinfectants. Use of formic acid for preservation of fruits and that of acetic acid in preserving vinegar is a common practice. The antiseptic and antibiotic effects of fumes of Yagya have also been examined by conducting suitable experiments and it has been established that fumes emitted in Yagya are powerful antibiotic.

13.Removal of insects

There are non-bacterial parasites like flies, ringworm, dice, fleas etc., which are immune to bactericides, which are also harmful to other living beings. Such insects, which are generally immune to ordinary reagents either get killed or are driven away, when they come in contact with the fumes of volatile oils like camphor diffused in the environment.

14.Spiritual significance of Yagya

The heat endowed in yagya is a source of immense energy. As this fire inflames, melts or sublimates all the gross substances inside, we too should burn out all our vices, ill-tendencies, lethargy, dullness and despair and energize our personality with the warmth of new zeal, alacrity, awareness and hope. The heat and energy of the yagya should be reflected in the active flow of our blood, our industriousness and our nimble and vigilant courage to fight against all evils.

15.It represents…

The ash produced by fire reminds us of the ephemeral and transient nature of life. We tend to forget this eternal fact and continue on the path of cravings and attachments…adding to our mistakes, infirmities and sins too. While putting the Yagya – bhasm on our head after the Yagya, we should ponder over the end of our present life and realize the importance of the time and breaths available to us now.

16.The sacred texts

The Yajur-Veda contains the knowledge of the principles and methods of performing yagyas as part of spiritual and scientific experiments for global welfare. The Sam-Veda focuses on the musical chanting patterns of the mantras that deal with the subtle forms of yagya pertaining to mental oblation in the deeper core of emotions.

17.Yajur Veda

The hymns nos. 1 to 29 in chapter 18 of the Yajur Veda describe Yagya as the basis of good agriculture, physical, mental and spiritual and intellectual progress, prosperity in the botanical kingdom of the earth, prosperity in food and cereals produce, good health and pure environment through removal of pollution.

18.Four hundred types of Yagyas

Four hundred yagyas are described in the Vedas, of which 21 are deemed compulsory. These compulsory Yagyas are also called nityakarmas. The rest of the yagyas are optional and are performed for kamyakarma (particular wishes and benefits). The Aupasana Yagya, though not a part of these 21, is still compulsory .

19.Rules of Yagya

Out of the 21 nityakarmas, only the Agnihotra and the Aupasana are to be performed twice daily, at dawn and at dusk. The remaining Yagyas are performed over the course of the year. The more complicated the Yagya, the less frequently it is performed. The most complex ones need to be performed only once in a lifetime.

20.Kinds of Yagyas

The first seven Yagyas are called Paka-Yagyas or cooked sacrifices. The next seven are called Havir-Yagyas or oblations (burnt offerings) related Yagyas and the remaining seven are called Soma-Yagyas.

Anti Cancer Spices

1. Turmeric with Curcumin

Turmeric with CurcuminThe turmeric root has been harvested for more than 5,000 years and is popular in Asian dishes, especially those of India. It can be purchased fresh, in its root form (sometimes hard to find), or dried and powdered. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which studies have shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is widely believed to promote optimal liver function.

In addition, there are hundreds of scientific studies demonstrating how curcumin inhibits the growth of various cancer cells including colon, liver, pancreatic, bladder, stomach, kidney, blood (leukemia), prostate, ovarian, bone, brain, breast cancers, and even skin cancer. Curcumin triggers apoptosis, or programmed cell death, which is the body’s natural and necessary way of ridding itself from damaged cells.

In countries where people eat turmeric daily at about 100 to 200 mg (roughly 1-2 teaspoons) over long periods of time, research has shown there to be lower rates of certain types of cancer.

A 2007 US study using curcumin along with chemotherapy to treat bowel cancer showed that adding curcumin to the diet killed more cancer cells than chemotherapy alone. In another study, curcumin helped stop the spread of breast cancer in laboratory animals.

Despite the fact that curcumin has been extensively researched for decades and has demonstrated clear anti-cancer power in clinical trials, it is still not widely prescribed in cancer therapy as there is little financial incentive to do so. Drug companies cannot patent natural substances, and without a patent there is no profit. The good news is that you are still able to benefit from the power of curcumin by using turmeric liberally in your cooking.

Ways to Incorporate More Turmeric into Your Diet

Turmeric root has a light flavor and can be grated or chopped and added to recipes. Turmeric powder can be used on eggs, added to soups and sauces, or rubbed on vegetables or chicken. Chicken Curry is a flavorful dish that includes plenty of this bright yellow spice.

Chicken CurryAdding turmeric to vegetables and then roasting them adds both color and flavor. Coat veggies in olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper, and add turmeric, ginger, and cumin for a flavorful dish. This same recipe also works great as a marinade for grilled vegetables.

Curcumin is not soluble in water, only in fat. Therefore, it’s best to combine turmeric with a healthy oil such as extra virgin olive or coconut oil whenever possible in recipes. (Note: never use vegetable oils such as corn, soy, canola, sunflower, etc. as these are pro-inflammatory oils, contribute to cancer and are often rancid and genetically modified.)

It’s also highly beneficial to add black pepper to any recipe using turmeric. The chemical piperine in black pepper enhances the bioavailability of curcumin, thereby increasing its absorption into cells, including cancer cells.

Be aware that turmeric contains a very strong color that can easily stain your hands, clothes, and countertops. However it’s this intense pigment that also makes it great for adding color to plain white rice or cauliflower by sprinkling some turmeric on top. (Again, combine with a bit of healthy oil and a liberal sprinkle of black pepper for added benefit.)

healing teaTo make a healing tea, you can finely slice or grate fresh turmeric root. Add grated or sliced ginger root and steep in hot water. Sweeten if desired with local honey or green leaf stevia. The longer you steep, the more intense the color and flavor of your tea.

The possibilities are endless with this diverse spice and a little turmeric can easily be included in your daily cancer-fighting diet. 

2. Garlic with Allicin

Garlic belongs to a family of vegetables called alliums which also includes onions, leeks, chives, shallots, and scallions. These vegetables are clinically proven to have antimicrobial, antithrombotic (reduces the formation of blood clots), and antitumor applications.

The most recent research into alliums has focused on their potential anti-carcinogenic influences. Garlic has been demonstrated in studies to lower the risk of developing stomach, colon, prostate, and intestinal cancers. Garlic stops cancer cells by blocking the formation of and halting the activation of cancer-causing substances. Garlic is a strong antibacterial agent and has been shown to speed up DNA repair, kill cancer cells, and induce apoptosis.

GarlicGarlic has also been studied for its sulphur containing compounds, which have been found to be abundant in phytochemicals and flavonoids – both powerful anti-cancer substances.

A study done at the Amala Cancer Research Centre in India showed that garlic extract inhibited two-stage chemical carcinogenesis on the skin of mice. These results indicate garlic has the potential as an anti-cancer agent as well as an anti-tumor promoter.

The World Health Organization recommends eating approximately one clove of garlic every day. When preparing garlic, it is best to let it sit for 5-10 minutes after slicing, chopping, crushing, or mincing. This is because garlic contains two enzymes (alliin and alliinase) that are separated when the garlic clove is whole. When the cells are ruptured (through cutting, chopping, etc.) these two enzymes interact to form a new compound called allicin which has cardiovascular, antibacterial, and anti-cancer benefits. Allowing the cut garlic to sit for several minutes before adding other ingredients will increase allicin production.

Ways to Use More Garlic

Garlic is versatile and can be lightly sautéed with olive oil or butter and used in many dishes – meats, soups, sauces, or spreads.

Garlic is a wonderful addition to mushrooms, bell peppers, and onion as a topping for any meat dish. Alternatively, use chopped garlic and ginger together for an Asian-inspired taste in any stir fry. Crush or chop several cloves of garlic and finely chop a thumb-size piece of fresh organic ginger. Lightly sauté the garlic and ginger in some coconut oil in a wok or large frying pan and add in your vegetables of choice. (Eg. bell peppers, snow peas, mushrooms, broccoli, bok choy, etc.)

 

Salsa Verde with Raw GarlicSalsa Verde with Raw Garlic

Another way to add some raw garlic to your diet is in homemade salsa verde.

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Zest & juice from 1 lemon
  • 1½ cups of chopped parsley
  • ½ cup capers (drained)
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 1 anchovy fillet

Directions:

Finely chop the garlic in a food processor and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes. Then add the anchovy, capers, lemon zest and juice. Add olive oil, then parsley and pulse a couple more times, leaving it somewhat chunky. Serve over plain chicken, fish, lamb, beef and vegetables. It can also be used to dress a green salad, or even eaten as is. Store leftover salsa in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator and aim for a serving size of approximately two tablespoons per day.

3 – Hot Peppers with Capsaicin

Hot PeppersA powerful antioxidant called capsaicin can be found in cayenne pepper and other hot peppers including habanero, chipotle, jalapeno, Anaheim, ancho, and Scotch bonnet peppers. Capsaicin has been shown in several laboratory studies to be toxic to cancer cells.

A study conducted by the American Association for Cancer Research reports that capsaicin is able to kill prostate cancer cells by forcing them to undergo apoptosis without harming healthy cells.

Another study in 2007 at the University of Nottingham in the UK found that capsaicin killed laboratory cultured lung cancer cells and pancreatic cancer cells. Researchers reported that capsaicin did no harm to surrounding tissue.

An earlier study in 2002 found capsaicin effective in inhibiting the growth of adult T-cell leukemia cells through the induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.

In addition to its cancer-fighting properties, capsaicin is also being studied for a wide variety of other medical uses including arthritis pain, neuropathic pain, and as a topical treatment for dermatologic conditions that have a painful itch such as psoriasis.

The hotter the chili pepper, the more capsaicin it contains. This is a case where you need to let your taste buds be your guide. If you’re not used to eating hot peppers, go slowly at first and build up your tolerance. Also be aware that there can also be a range of “hotness” between pepper varieties and even within the same variety of pepper. Therefore you may need to adjust the quantities used each time you cook with peppers.

The hottest varieties of peppers include habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers. Jalapenos are next in their heat and capsaicin content, followed by the milder varieties, including Spanish pimentos, and Anaheim and Hungarian cherry peppers. Since the capsaicin primarily resides in the seeds and fleshy white inner membranes of peppers, you can control much of the heat by removing these parts. Just remember that it’s capsaicin (the heat) that is considered responsible for most of pepper’s healing and anti-cancer properties.

Ways to Tap into the Anti-Cancer Heat with Hot Peppers

Hot peppers such as cayenne are great for adding some spicy kick to any dish. If you can find fresh that is best. If not, opt for organic dried powder. Hot peppers are great on fish, eggs, chicken, and in any of your favorite savory dips or snacks, including popcorn. Cayenne pepper and lemon juice also make great complements to cooked bitter greens such as kale, collard greens, and mustard greens.

A little chili pepper powder can perk up an omelet, add heat to a black bean or sweet potato soup, or transform an ordinary salad dressing. Add minced chili peppers to plain organic yogurt and use as a condiment or dip.

Pick up some fresh organic tomatoes and make your own homemade salsa using fresh jalapenos or other types of peppers.

Make your own version of the condiment Harissa, popular in some North African and Middle Eastern countries. Purée fresh chili peppers together with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, onion, coriander seeds, cumin, and caraway seeds. Harissa can be used as a condiment for grilled meat or fish, added to roasted vegetables, or mixed with cooked rice.

How to Make Your Own Hot Pepper Flakes

make your own hot pepper flakesInstead of buying hot pepper flakes, why not make your own? Either grow or purchase a selection of organic peppers (eg. chili peppers, cayenne peppers, jalapenos, Thai, habaneros, poblanos – mix & match whatever kinds you like).

Dehydrating hot peppers extends their shelf life and makes them easy to throw in recipes. Simply wash peppers and dry them out in your oven at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (on bake) until crisp (approximately eight hours) and then crush them up with a mortar & pestle.

Alternatively, if you have a food dehydrator, you’ll want to dehydrate them under 118 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius) to retain the enzymes within the peppers. Note: Heating food above 118 degrees Fahrenheit denatures the enzymes within foods. This is the basic premise of a raw food diet – to eat food with their enzymes.

Store your homemade dried pepper flakes in an airtight container to maintain freshness. (Small glass mason jars work great for storage). Add pepper flakes to homemade pizza, soups, and salads for extra zing and added cancer armor.

4 – Oregano with Carvacrol

OreganoThe popular Italian spice oregano is extremely antimicrobial, high in antioxidants, and has been shown to be a powerful parasite fighter as well as a cancer inhibitor. Ounce per ounce, fresh oregano has been shown in a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to have higher antioxidants than fruits and vegetables. For example, one tablespoon of fresh oregano was found to contain the same antioxidant activity as a medium-sized apple.

A beneficial phytochemical called quercetin is present in oregano and is known to slow cancer growth as well as promote apoptosis. Oregano also possesses a very special molecule called carvacrol. Carvacrol is a natural disinfectant that stifles the spread of cancer cells. Other herbs that contain carvacrol are thyme, basil, parsley, marjoram, and mint.

When foods are marinated using oregano (along with other ingredients), it helps to reduce the development of heterocyclic amines (HCAs). When meat and other fatty animal foods are cooked at high temperatures, HCAs can form which are carcinogenic.

Ways to Add More Oregano to Your Diet

Oregano tastes great in Mediterranean (Italian & Greek) cuisine. Other ways to include this spice is in chopped meat and on top of chicken. Add oregano to marinades, soups, and sauces. You can use oregano instead of basil to make a robust and savory pesto.

Create a “bouquet garni” (garnish bouquet) with washed fresh oregano leaves still on the stems. Tie the oregano to thyme, basil, parsley, rosemary, tarragon and/or bay leaves with a string. Drop the bouquet in a stock mixture and allow it to simmer until all the flavors are imparted into the stock. Use the stock as a base for chicken or vegetable soup.

Vegetarian options to make protein consumption a healthier process:

Proteins are the building blocks of your body. They are needed to form all your blood cells, making them an essential part of your diet. Proteins not only help keep your hair and nails healthy, they also build and repair tissues. Bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood, all require protein, which is not stored by the body. It is, therefore, important to keep consuming proteins in order to supply your body with sufficient amounts to stay in good health.
There are several reasons to consume vegetarian alternatives for protein, they are usually cheaper, good for the environment and lower in calories. They promote weight loss while providing you with enough protein to keep your cells happy.

1. Quinoa
Quinoa is an edible seed, eaten as a whole grain, which has fast become one of the most popular health foods. It is gluten-free, high in protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids. Packed with nutrition, Quinoa has high quantities of fiber and has a low glycemic Index that keeps blood sugar under control. Quinoa is also high in important minerals like Iron and Magnesium and is filled with antioxidants. Quinoa is high in protein, which increases metabolism and reduces appetite; this means that your body will feel full and you will be provided with all essential nutrients. So, start incorporating quinoa into your diet, to have a healthy weight loss.
quinoa
2. Low fat Paneer
This definitely has to be termed as the favorite food of every Indian household. Relished by almost all age groups. Paneer acts as one of the excellent food to provide our bodies with a high quality of protein. Since the calories and proteins will also differ depending on from which milk it is procured. However, you must choose to have a low-fat panner made from cow’s milk. In addition, paneer is also a rich source of conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid also which will also contribute in the fat burning process giving you satiety and maintaining your weight for the long run.
cottage cheese
3. Pulses and Legumes
An Indian meal is a big miss if you don’t have a serving of a pulse onto your plate. From moong to arhar to rajma and chickpeas, they all are rich sources of protein and provide important nutrients such as fiber, folate, and zinc. These economical and plant – based source of protein can be healthy and a perfect choice for vegetarians and gym enthusiasts looking for that extra ounce of protein in their diet. Make interesting combinations with them by adding them to your salads, soups or pancakes or cheelas or add a bowl of regular Indian dal. Make sure while you prepare them to add don’t forget to add a minimum quantity of oil and a zing of tadka/ herbs making them a perfect meal for the dinner or lunch along with roti/ chapati or veggies. This ideal protein source is essentially recommended to be a part of a well-planned diet.
kidney beans
4. Milk
Milk, the most popular dairy product acts as a high biological quality of protein source. This nutrient – dense food is filled with protein along with an exceptional amount of calcium which can help you build stronger bones and lean muscles. On a weight loss program, one should opt for the skimmed milk or low-fat milk, which will be comparatively low in fat, providing you an adequate amount of protein. Since milk is also known to one of best muscle food, one must not forget to add this to their fitness regime. So add 1-2 glasses of this complete protein to your diet today!
 milk
5. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts such as almonds and walnuts will add a good amount of protein, and fiber to your diet. These heart nuts are packed with healthy fats along with manganese and Vitamin -E which will protect us from the free radicals and fight against inflammation.
nuts

Nanotechnology in Transportation

Nanomaterials exhibit different chemical and physical properties, such as nano range size, size distribution, surface area to volume ratio, various surface properties, shape, chemical composition and agglomeration state. These are not always apparent in bulk materials. Hence, it is not shocking that implementation of nanotechnology techniques in several industrial areas, such as cosmetics, medicine, food, transportation, construction materials, etc., have significantly grown in the last decade.

This article is on the applications of nanotechnology in transportation. When the size of a material is reduced to nanometer range, the chemical, physical and biological properties of the material change. They become entirely different from the properties of their atoms and molecules as bulk materials. These changes are due to a large surface area to volume ratio, spatial confinement, considerable surface energy, and reduced imperfection.

Higher hardness, super elasticity at high temperatures, improved breaking strength and increased fracture toughness are the important mechanical properties that are considerably improved, which results in the extended durability of machines, effective lubrication systems, lightweight materials, etc.

Applications of Nanotechnology in Automobiles

Nanotechnology is applied to car body parts like emissions, chassis, tires, automobile interiors, electrics, etc. Body part applications include paint coatings, lightweight parts, self-cleaning and scratch resistant nanopolymers.

 

Paint Coatings

Every body part is painted with a color, using different methods. Paintings are mostly done for attractive and protective purposes. Usually painting in automobiles has three coats – a primer, a basecoat, and a clear coat. However, in most cases, it varies from four to six layers to impart various properties into it.

Rust shielding, cost, appearance, and strength are the vital performance factors driving the automotive coating technologies. Modern automotive varnish processes mainly consist of five steps – pretreatment electrode positions, a sealer, a primer and finally the topcoats. Pretreatment cleans and removes excess metals and forms a surface for bonding of corrosion protective layers.

The corrosion protection layer is then deposited by the electrode position method. Sealer prevents water leaks and minimizes vibrational noise and chipping. The most common sealer is Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC).

The main purpose of a primer is the adhesion between the basecoat and the surface, and imparts anti-chipping properties. The primer acts as a protector from ultra-violet (UV) rays, corrosion, bumps, and stone chips.

The basecoat gives visual properties and color effects. The clear coat is the translucent and lustrous coating that has an interface with the environment. It can be either waterborne or a solvent and is chemically stable.

Gangotri D. L. et al., 2004 showed some developments in flame-retardant coating like titanium esters with aluminum flakes dispersed into binders. These can resist temperatures of up to 4000C. “Burn off” occurs above this temperature, which leads to the formation of a complex coating of titanium aluminum that deposits on the surface and it enhances the thermal resistance up to 8000C.

However, it is not enough to hold the devastating temperature of fire, and it results in great damage to vehicles and lives. Therefore, the need for better fire-resistant coatings is constantly growing. Chemical properties of flame retardant coatings can be enhanced by incorporating concentrates of nanosized magnesium aluminum layered double hydroxides (LDH). When a specific amount of LDH nanoparticles is dispersed with the paint solution, it improves the char formation and fire-resistant properties of the coating. The nano LDH will absorb the heat and sent out carbon dioxide and water when burns and thereby reduces the temperature of the surface in addition to enhancement in char formation.

Nano-Varnish

It is a challenge for scientists and researchers to develop scratch and abrasion resistant coatings without affecting their other properties. Glasel et al. reported use of siloxane encapsulated SiO2 nanoparticles to produce a scratch and abrasion resistant films. Due to the homogeneous distribution of nanoparticles in the polymer, scratch resistance property can be improved without sacrificing any other properties.

Khanna A.S., 2008 showed the performance of the alumina NPS dispersed coating was compared with the neat coating and is expressed as X times improvement with the neat coating. The alumina NPS significantly improve the performance of the coating (up to nine times) even at a very low concentration of alumina dispersed in the composite coating. These types of nanopaints are already being used in different models of Mercedes Benz.

Light Weight Body Parts

Weight reduction of vehicles is one of the most discussed topics in the automobile research field. On the one hand, by reducing the weight, we can increase the fuel efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions and production cost. It is estimated that by reducing the weight of an automobile by 10%, there will be fuel economy of 7%. On the other hand, while reducing the weight there will be a problem related to stability, crash resistance and smooth working, which is a great concern for the safety of the vehicle.

Many developments had done in this field like reducing the number of engine components and using lower weighted parts, but they failed to coordinate both the efficiency and safety. The materials near to the engine parts should possess high thermal resistance, whereas the exterior and structural parts should be made of materials that have high mechanical strengths.

However, commonly used materials like thermoplastics have limited mechanical properties and thermal resistance; therefore, it can be used only after modified by reinforcements. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) have very less weight and around 150 times stronger than that of steel. Therefore, CNTs are a good substitute for steel in automobile parts which give us more strength and weight reduction.

Addition of nanoscale clay in a polymer matrix can develop a nanocomposite which is used to manufacture automobile parts near to the engine as they have good thermal properties. Clay nanocomposites with PP (Polypropylene), PA (Polyamide), PB (Poly butylene terephthalate), and PC (Polycarbonates) are the commonly used polymer nanocomposites [20]. When these nanoscale clays are mixed with polymers, their flame retardance and thermal resistance will increase.

  • Engines: By coating the cylinder wall with nanocrystalline materials we can reduce abrasion and friction and in turn the fuel consumption. There are research projects going on, which aim to directly coat tracks of the aluminum crankcase with nanomaterials. Iron carbide and boride nanocrystals with size 50 nm to 120 nm are used to coat the engine parts which result in an extremely hard surface with very low friction.
  • Tires: Sanjiv T., 2012 reported the first nanomaterial that added to the tire was carbon black as a reinforcing element and pigment. Silica and soot are the most important ingredients used in the tires as reinforcing element. By adding soot in nanoscale higher fuel efficiency and prolonged durability is achieved as they have coarser surface than those we use in ordinary tires. As nanoparticles have high surface energy, the interaction of the soot nanoparticles with natural rubber in the tires is high which leads to better rolling resistance and reduced inner friction.
  • Reflecting mirrors: Ultra reflecting a thin layer of aluminum oxide having a thickness less than 100 nm is applied to the surface of mirrors and headlights. This makes the mirrors to equip surfaces with fat, dirty water and repellant features. Hydrophobic and oleophobic nanometer layers are applied over the surface of the mirrors by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method. Mainly fluoro-organic material layers of thickness 5–10 nm are used as they have high resistance to friction and are applicable for longer times. To prevent the problems created by the light of other vehicles falling on our eyes at night, nanotechnology and electrochromic properties are applied together.
  • Interiors: We interact mostly with the interior parts of the automobile such as seats, door paddings, dashboard, airbags, seat belts, boot carpets, etc. These are the place where microbial and bacterial infections are most common. Since the interior is the place of an automobile where we interact mostly, it should be free from all bacterial and microbial infections. The most important nanostructured antibacterial and antimicrobial agents are silver, gold, titanium oxide, zinc oxide, titania nanotubes, gallium, liposomes loaded nanoparticles and copper nanoparticles. They are commonly used as incorporated nanoparticles in a matrix such as silica network. The action of these nanoparticles is initiated either by a photocatalytic reaction or by the biocidal process.

 

Application of Nanotechnology in Marine Transportation

The function of marine transportation ranges from passenger traveling, weapon carrying platform, cargo carrier, and numerous others. The main problem in marine transportation is corrosion of the ship by sea water and atmosphere. Stainless steel which is a good corrosion resistant in normal atmosphere even will undergo partial corrosion in sea atmosphere.

Another problem in water transportation is the marine microbial fouling and erosion in the bottom of the ship and waterline area due to a long soak in water. All these will adversely affect the reliability of the ship survivability at sea. US-based researchers have found that usage of advanced nanoscience technology of ‘cyromilling’ in the processing of aluminum gives superior material for light and tough applications.

The cyromilling process introduces nanosized aluminum in the conventional one and forms nanoscale aluminum oxide and nitride particles which makes them stronger and stabilizes its microscopic structure and orientation which makes them an efficient alternative for making aluminum hull where high strength and light weight are highly desirable. Metal oxide nanoparticles of TiO2, ZnO, MgO, and Al2O3 added to paint coatings and fibers increase the ultraviolet blocking and antimicrobial properties which can be used for better coatings and fibers.

By the application of nanotechnology, it is made possible to make transportations more efficient, smart looking, stronger and durable.

कुंडलिनी शक्ति

कुंडलिनी शक्ति: 
मानव का शरीर देव-मंदिर है तथा इसमें इष्टदेव का चिर निवास है.. किंतु अज्ञानवश हम उसे जानने में असमर्थ रहते हैं.. इष्टदेव की अपार शक्ति को अपनी क्रिया शक्ती के द्वारा पहचानने और उसकी सुषुप्ती को चैतन्य बनाकर आत्मकल्याण के लिये पूर्वचार्यो ने अनेक मार्ग खोज निकाले हैं जिनमे एक मार्ग है “कुंडलिनी शक्ती की साधना”।
कुंडलिनी शक्ति का निवास मूलाधार चक्र में है.. यह चक्र रीढ़ की हड्डी के सबसे निचले छोर में अंडकोश व गुदाद्वार के मध्य है.. तंत्र ग्रंथो में इसका जो उल्लेख मिलता है उसमें कहा गया है की यह स्वयंभूलिंग है.. जहाँ साढ़े तीन कुण्डल मारकर कुंडलिनी शक्ति सुप्तवस्था मे होती है.. उसका सिर स्वयंभूलिंग के सिर पर है और वह अपनी पूँछ को अपने मुख में डाले हुए है।
कुंडलिनी शक्ती को “कुल कुंडलिनी, भुजानगिनी, सर्पिनि, प्रचण्ड शक्ति, मूलाधार निवासिनी, वल्याकार सर्पिनि, विद्युत, अग्निमय, मुक्तशक्ति, महादेवी, सप्तचक्र भेदिनी, विश्व शक्ति, विद्युत प्रवाह रूपीनी, सर्व सौंदर्य शलिनी, सर्व सुखदायिनी, कुंडलेय, अपराजिता, विषतंतुस्वरूपा, मूलविध्या, कुटिलरुपनी” आदि अनेक रूपों से जाना जाता है… तंत्र मे इसे “वागेश्वरी” कहा गया है।
“स्वर की उत्स- हे कुंडलिनी तुम्हीं हो पंचाष्टवी”
ऋगवेद में यह वगदेवी स्वयं घोषित करती है.. 
“मैं जिसे चाहती हुँ उसे महान महान शक्तिशाली, संत, ऋिष, और ब्रह्म बना देती हुँ।
इस प्रकार योग, तंत्र, पुराण आदि में जिस कुंडलिनी जी का उल्लेख है, उसकी वास्तविकता और महत्व को भारतीय ऋिषयों ने सृष्टि के आदिकाल से स्वीकार किया।
यह महाशक्ति है.. जब यह जाग जाती है तब इसकी तीव्र गती प्रारम्भ होती है.. और एक तत्व को दूसरे तत्व में लीन करती हुई यह परम शिव से जा मिलती है.. षटचक्र निरुपण में कहा गया है..
मेरोब्रह्म प्रदेशो शिशिमिहिर शिरे सव्यदक्षे निषण्णे।
मध्ये नाड़ी सुषुमना त्रित्यगुनमयी चंद्र्सुर्याग्नीरूपा ।।
मेरुदंड के दाहिने ओर इड़ा नाड़ी व बाईं ओर पिंगला नाड़ी हैं मध्य मे सुषुम्ना है.. जो सूर्य, चंद्र और अग्निरूप हैं।
योग में वर्णित षटचक्रों – मूलाधार, स्वाधिष्ठान, मणिपुर, अनाहत, विशुध, और आज्ञा चक्र का स्थान आधुनिक शरीर विज्ञान की दृष्टि से इस प्रकार किया गया है:- श्रोनि जालिका, अधोजठर जालिका, सौर जालिका, ह्रदिय जालिका, ग्रसनी जालिका, और नासारोमक जालिका..।
सुषुमना गुदास्थि की त्रिकोणीय पीठ पर टिकी है… योगशास्त्रों मे इसी स्थल को “ब्रहमाँड” का द्वार बताया है.. गुदास्थि और त्रीकास्थि के सामने मूलाधार शिरा और उसके ऊपर की पेशी का आकार अंडे जैसा है.. जिसे कुंड कहते हैं.. इसी कुंड के केंद्र में कुंडलिनी शक्ति रहती है।
योग में जिन छः चक्रों का उल्लेख है.. वो सभी सुषुमना नाड़ी में स्थित हैं…
सिर के ऊध्र्र्व भाग में चन्द्रमा का स्थान है.. जिसे सहस्रार कहा गया है.. चन्द्रमा से अमृत समान रस टपकता है.. यह रस शरीर में शक्ती के रूप में रहता है.. नाभि मंडल में सूर्य का निवास है.. सूर्य और चंद्र दोनो अधोमुखी हैं.. सूर्य इस अमृतमयी शक्ती को जलाता और नष्ट करता रहता है.. योगदर्शन सूत्र और वाचस्पति भाष्य में कहा गया है.. सूर्यद्वारे सुषुम्नायाम् नाद्या।
जो प्राणधारा अधोमुखी होकर क्षीण होती रहती है कुंडलिनी जी के जगते ही अशोमुखी सूर्य ऊध्र्व्मुखी हो जाने पर अमृत रूपी रस की वर्षा होने लगती है… इसके बाद कुंडलिनी जी की भी ऊध्र्व्गति आरम्भ हो ज़ाती है.. सुषुम्ना नाड़ी से होकर यह शक्ति सहस्रार की और बढ़ने लगती है। जननी सुषुम्ना कमल नाल जैसी है.. इसकी भीतरी नाड़ी को वज्रा कहा जाता है.. इसके भीतर चित्रिनी नाड़ी है जिससे कुंडलिनी शक्ति संचारित होती है.. इसी चित्रिनी मे षटचक्र हैं।
कुंडलिनी शक्ती जब ऊध्र्व्गामी होती है तब ये चक्र खुलने लगते हैं.. योग में इसे ही चक्र वेध कहा गया है।
कुंडलिनी शक्ति को जागृत करने के लिय ऋिषयों ने कई उपाय बताये हैं.. जैसे- हठयोग, राजयोग, मंत्रयोग, भक्तियोग, कर्मयोग, ज्ञानयोग, लययोग एवं सिद्धयोग आदि। कुंडलिनी न जागने और प्रकृति तथा पुरुष अथवा शक्ति और शिव संयोग न होने तक जन्म और मृत्यु का चक्र चलता रहता है.. जब यह योग हो जाता है तब अमरत्व या मोक्ष की प्राप्ति होती है।
पुराण में एक कथा है- शिव के गले मे मुंड मला देखकर शिवा ने पूछा ये मुंड किसके हैं और अपने इन्हें क्यूँ धारण किया हुआ है?.. शिव ने उत्तर दिया, हे पार्वती तुम कई बार जन्मी और मृत्यु को प्राप्त हुई.. ये मुंड तुम्हारे ही हैं और सूचित करते हैं कि तुम्हारे कितने जन्म हुए.. शिवा ने यह सुनकर अमरत्व की इच्छा प्रकट की और शिव ने उन्हें मंत्र दिया। शिव और शक्ति मिलन फिर उनका कभी वियोग ना होना ही अमरत्व है.. वेदों ने इसे स्वीकार करते हुए कहा है.. उसको जानकर ही मृत्यु को पार किया जा सकता है.. इसका कोई उपाय नहीं।
क्रिया भेद से कुंडलिनी जी चार प्रकार से प्रकट होती है:
1. किर्यावती
2. वर्णमयी
3. कलात्मा
4. वेधमयी
जागृत कुंडलिनी शक्ति सुषुम्ना मार्ग से षटचक्रों को वेधती हुई शिव से जा मिलती है.. शंकराचार्य ने इसका वर्णन आनंद लहरी में किया है।
मही मूलधारे कम्पी मणिपुरे हुतवहम
स्थितम् स्वाधिष्ठाने ह्रदिमरुतमाकाशमुपरि।
मनोपिभ्रूमध्ये सकलमपि भित्वाकुलपथम्
सहस्रारे पद्मे सह रहसी पत्या विहरसि।।
कुंडलिनी शक्ति मूलाधार चक्र से उठकर मणिपुर चक्र से होते हुए हृदयाकाश और भूमध्य को पार करते हुए सहस्रार में मिलती है।

 
 
 
 

Hinduism and Miracles Vindicated Scientifically

Aum

AUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is said that Vedas being too vast, many of them are lost; their knowledge was condensed into Srimad Bhagwad Geeta. Again it needed a great deal of the knowledge of difficult Sanskrit language for a common mass; hence this compendium is further condensed into this monosyllable, “AUM”, beautifully depicted above.

Pranava or AUM is the universally accepted symbol of Hinduism. Literally, the word Pranava means “That by which God is effectively praised”. It also means “That which is never new”. AUM comprises of three independent letters A, U and M, each of which has its own meaning and significance. The letter ‘A‘ represents the beginning or origin (Adimatwa), ‘U‘ represents Progress or sustenance (Utkarsha) and ‘M‘ represents limit or dissolution (Miti). Hence, the word AUM represents that power responsible for creation, development and dissolution of the Universe, namely GOD himself.

 

The most interesting thing about Hinduism is, it has survived the most turbulent and invasive period over the last couple of millennia. The other peculiarity is that it is open for everybody to join in irrespective of any strings and at the same time it enforces no bindings on those who want to leave. There are no conversions, no blaspheme and no apostasy. All these adjectives do not merely exist in Hinduism; but are nostalgic to its very core value of “Sanatana Dharma” concept of Vedas and Upanishads and it’s all other known scriptures.

 

Bell’s Theorem-Vedanta, Quantum Physics, Human consciousness and the physical world is a subject of intense research. Ultimately the scientists and physicists have come to recognise the importance of Consciousness to our being in this universe. Bell’s Theorem of inequality contradicts the very basic foundations laid down by the Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity. The recent controversy centering round the “Speed of Light” as fastest in the Universe known so far to our scientific community is being questioned.

This has brought the very fundamental basis of science in question. This is unacceptable on the very fundamental concepts of Science and Physics on one hand, while it validates the inexplicable nature of the visible world on the other hand; the Ancient Sages had experienced through their penance and gave us the valuable Srutis and Smritis. Let us examine a few verses from the Indian scriptures as below:

‘Om Isha vasyam idam sarvam, yat kincha jagatyam jagat’

(Decipher: “God pervades in this whole, i.e. everything in this universe is permeated by God”)  – Isa Upanishad

It may be recalled that the Indian Ancients always tried to evaluate everything in this visible world (Pasya in Sanskrit means to see) in terms of Brahman (Para means the Pure Consciousness), a level of infinite possibilities only accessible through a fully realised state of consciousness in what is known as turiya or nirvikalpa samadhi. There is another assertion hereunder to further vindicate the same ‘Truth’ in Srimad Bhagwad Geeta 18:61:

Eeshwarah sarwabhootaanaam hrddeshe Arjuna tishthati bhraamayan
sarwabhootaani yantraaroodhaani maayayaa

(Decipher: “The lord dwells in the hearts of all beings, O Arjuna, causing all beings, by His illusive physical power (maayayaa), to revolve as if mounted or riding on a machine”)

Likewise Isa Upanishad asserts further on the Supreme Consciousness as:

“Om purnamadah purnamidam purnaat purnamudachyate,
purnasya purnamadaya purnamevaavashishyate” Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihee
  – Peace invocation – Isa Upanishad

“That (pure consciousness) is full (perfect); this (the manifest universe of matter; of names and forms being maya) is full. This fullness has been projected from that fullness. When this fullness merges in that fullness, all that remains is fullness.” Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihee

Meaning of ‘purna’ (total or complete): As explained by Jinendra Swami 
Fullness and Completeness are the nearest meanings in the English
language for this word. But, ‘Purnatva’ goes far beyond these meanings. ‘Fullness’ can indicate a state of satiation and the word ‘Completeness’ can denote a state arrived through the ‘Sum of the parts’. But ‘Purnatva’ is far from these two conditional states. It is a state of profound realization arrived at, when the sense of limitation, as “Individuality” drops off, as a redundant vestige from one’s consciousness. … When the microcosm totally dissolves into the state of Macrocosm, as a sugar doll dissolves into water, ‘Purnatva’ is THAT non-verbalized state.

 

The most interesting thing in Hinduism is three times invocation of the peace, (Shanti). It is a profound exclamation for the peace of all the three worlds and its creatures unique only to Hinduism. It is further asserted in “Lokaah Samasthaa Sukhino Bhavantuh”.  Shanti Mantras always end with three utterances of word “Shanti”. The reason for uttering three times is for calming and removing obstacles in three realms. According to the scriptures of Hinduism sources of obstacles and troubles are in these three realms.

  • Physical or Adhi-Bhautika realm can be source of troubles/obstacles coming from external world, such as from wild animals, people, natural calamities etc.
  • Divine or Adhi-Daivika realm can be source of troubles/obstacles coming from extra-sensory world of spirits, ghosts, deities, demigods/angels etc.
  • Internal or Adhyaatmika realm is source of troubles/obstacles arising out of ones own body and mind, such as pain, diseases, laziness, absent-mindedness etc.

These are called “Tapa-Traya” or three classes of troubles. When Shanti mantras are recited, obstacles from these realms are believed to be pacified.

 

In simple mathematical terms, Brahman or Consciousness is equated with the great “Zero (O)”; that when added, subtracted or divided; the result is always “Zero” and thus it represents the unchangeable ‘Highest Self’.

“The Supreme Brahman is the only Reality. The idea of the phenomenal universe is falsely superimposed upon it.” – Asserts Swami Nikhilananda of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Centre, New York.

 

Brahman the Primodial Energy or Ling Deham worshipped in Hinduism as “Shiv Lingam”, has intrinsic power to manifest as ‘Jagat’ (Universe) and ‘Jiva’ (living Beings), this elevates to the level of Consciousness Supreme (Ling Deham). There is only one truth; One Singularity – that is Brahman (monotheism). It has the power to manifest as the Creation.

This power of Brahman is called ‘Maya’. It creates a ‘Veil ‘of ‘Plurality‘. In the worldly life ‘Maya’ can be equated with our shadow, which follows us as just duplicate in our image. It remains unchanged. Christianity theorise the same thing as Eve and Adam eating the apple of discord akin to “Maya”.

 

Adam and Eve: a classic depiction of the biblical tale showcasing the apple as a symbol of sin. Albrecht Dürer, 1507; oil on panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In creational terms, if we look at the foetal stage in embryological life and compare it with our post embryological life; the pluripotentiality and plurimorphism that exist in our foetal stage by the process of which  metamorphosis succeeds in creating a beautiful looking homogeneous baby is unbelievable. Unbelievable because once the foetus is delivered to the outside world, the pluripotentiality of the Brahmanical power is lost. Any further repairs required will result into antecedent disfigurement. We do not know the reality of this lost reparative power postpartum.

 

Take for example a simple case of cleft lip and cleft palate; any attempts at surgical repairs succeed only with repairs accompanied by ugly scarring. How many of the non-medical people know that our lips and palates are created by ‘The Almighty Brahma’ by union with several projections from all around in our face. A look into the knowledge of the Human Embryology will reveal it:

25th day Foetus lateral view (After His). Showing branchial (visceral) arches and clefts or furrows. This is how we all would have looked like on 25th day in uterine life, irrespective of the gender. The bump on the top front will develop into our future forehead, nose and the premaxilla etc. It is called frontonasal eminence or process.

Frontal view of human foetus about four weeks old. (After His).

 

 

Our “Creator” has been very kind to us to give us the loving and attractive look without any perceptible scarring or deformity. Can we deny its rightful place of miracle used by us for situations we fail to explain at our human level in terms of our man made yet deficient science, which even our best scientists are struggling to explain? What we mortals call it miracles are a natural phenomena to Avatars, Sri Sathya Sai Baba used to exclaim?

Creation of other material objects or resurrection of dead and curing the illnesses of the patients are trifle matters for Avatars. The Creator has given us plenty in this world yet we remain poor in that plenty; succinctly expressed in the Latin maxim: inopem me copia fecit, i.e. plenty has made me poor; what a pathetic paradox? Our poverty lies in our spiritual paucity because all the plenty looking worldly things are mere trinkets in terms of spirituality.

Man’s cognition of the world as pluralistic exists only till he realizes the ‘Truth’. He then understands that there is only ‘One Truth’, the Singularity (Brahman), there is no Plurality i.e. “Ekoham Bahusyam”, the Vedas declare. Again it is asserted in this aphorism: Ekam sat viprah bahuda vadanti.

 

The Shocking Implications of the Bell’s Theorem:

In recent years physicists have tried to address the interplay of consciousness and the physical world. In Quantum Physics much has been made over Bell’s Theorem of inequality. The implications of this theorem and the experimental findings that flow from it are shocking. They force us to consider that the entire notion of a purely objective world is in conflict not only with the theory of quantum mechanics (and the limitation of speed of light), but with the facts drawn from actual experiments arbitrarily. These findings point insistently to a profound interaction between conscious mental activity and the physical world itself by priori.

The Rishi’s vision and controversy in Physics:

The Rishi’s vision of a world in which the man participates in a stainless existence, indivisibly united with the universe around him, emerges through a discovery called “Bell’s Theorem“. This discovery, first proposed in 1964 by the physicist John S. Bell was again confirmed …in 1972 by Professor John Clauser at Berkley. Professor Henry Stapp, a physicist and an authority on the implications of Bell’s Theorem at Berkley has called it “The most important discovery in the history of science”.

Bell’s Theorem is the collective name for a family of results, all showing the impossibility of a Local Realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics. In 1935, Albert Einstein, together with Nathan Rosen and Boris Podolsky proposed through flawless mathematical reasoning that if the quantum theory were correct, then ‘A change in the spin of one particle in a two particle system would affect its twin simultaneously, even if the two had been widely separated’. And ‘simultaneous’ is a dirty word in the theory of special relativitywhich forbids the transmission of any signal faster than the speed of light. Obviously, a signal telling the particle ‘what to do’ would have to travel faster than the speed of light if instantaneous changes were to occur between the two particles. As the Latin maxim “amabilis insania” expresses, “a pleasing madness or rapture” aptly applies here.

 

The dilemma into which Einstein, Rosen and Podolsky dragged the quantum theory was a profound one, coming to be known as The ERP EffectEinstein himself had conceded that the theory of quantum mechanics and relativity is incomplete; yet it has been used invariably by the scientific community.

 

Rishi’s (Sages) Vision and World Peace:

Out of this raging controversial uncertainty of Physics, vindication of the ancient scriptural truths is bound to emerge? The theory of nonlocality and inequality of Bell’s Theorem is destined to help in explaining the spiritual experiences in terms of science that the modern scientists mockingly call as miracles, paranormal phenomena, or some kind of delusional cum psychic phenomena as superstitions or magic by them and miracles or supernatural phenomena by their believers. Once the speed of light as the fastest speed for any particle to travel is broken, it creates a congenial atmosphere to validate the various spiritual experiential truths.

An immediate point that floats in my mind is the “Thought Process” with the fastest speed than light that can travel, I can think of! It involves controlling the very wayward thoughtful mind. “Master the mind, be Mastermind”, Sri Sathya Sai Baba

The ridiculous arguments of superstitions or mirage being mocked around will be definitely negated scientifically. This will open up newer educational vistas for proper training and teaching as a set university curriculum. It will also help to counter the pseudo secularists in India posing a communal road block. Its greater impact to the world will be in spreading the gospel of peace, love and brotherhood by enforcing morality and human values. Majority of the problems in the world today can be directly measured in terms of our spiritual bankruptcy.

Reality can also be compared to a hologram, like a brain, where humans are all interconnected one with each other and in turn, all connected to this single entity – Supreme Soul.

O. P. Sudrania 

 

Hazards of pesticides

The term pesticide covers a wide range of compounds including insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides, molluscicides, nematicides, plant growth regulators and others. Among these, organochlorine (OC) insecticides, used successfully in controlling a number of diseases, such as malaria and typhus, were banned or restricted after the 1960s in most of the technologically advanced countries. The introduction of other synthetic insecticides – organophosphate (OP) insecticides in the 1960s, carbamates in 1970s and pyrethroids in 1980s and the introduction of herbicides and fungicides in the 1970s–1980s contributed greatly to pest control and agricultural output. Ideally a pesticide must be lethal to the targeted pests, but not to non-target species, including man. Unfortunately, this is not the case, so the controversy of use and abuse of pesticides has surfaced. The rampant use of these chemicals, under the adage, “if little is good, a lot more will be better” has played havoc with human and other life forms.

Production and usage of pesticides in India

The production of pesticides started in India in 1952 with the establishment of a plant for the production of BHC near Calcutta, and India is now the second largest manufacturer of pesticides in Asia after China and ranks twelfth globally (Mathur, ). There has been a steady growth in the production of technical grade pesticides in India, from 5,000 metric tons in 1958 to 102,240 metric tons in 1998. In 1996–97 the demand for pesticides in terms of value was estimated to be around Rs. 22 billion (USD 0.5 billion), which is about 2% of the total world market.

The pattern of pesticide usage in India is different from that for the world in general. As can be seen in Figure 1, in India 76% of the pesticide used is insecticide, as against 44% globally (Mathur, ). The use of herbicides and fungicides is correspondingly less heavy. The main use of pesticides in India is for cotton crops (45%), followed by paddy and wheat.

 

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Consumption pattern of pesticides.

Benefits of pesticides

The primary benefits are the consequences of the pesticides’ effects – the direct gains expected from their use. For example the effect of killing caterpillars feeding on the crop brings the primary benefit of higher yields and better quality of cabbage. The three main effects result in 26 primary benefits ranging from protection of recreational turf to saved human lives. The secondary benefits are the less immediate or less obvious benefits that result from the primary benefits. They may be subtle, less intuitively obvious, or of longer term. It follows that for secondary benefits it is therefore more difficult to establish cause and effect, but nevertheless they can be powerful justifications for pesticide use. For example the higher cabbage yield might bring additional revenue that could be put towards children’s education or medical care, leading to a healthier, better educated population. There are various secondary benefits identified, ranging from fitter people to conserved biodiversity.

Improving productivity

Tremendous benefits have been derived from the use of pesticides in forestry, public health and the domestic sphere – and, of course, in agriculture, a sector upon which the Indian economy is largely dependent. Food grain production, which stood at a mere 50 million tons in 1948–49, had increased almost fourfold to 198 million tons by the end of 1996–97 from an estimated 169 million hectares of permanently cropped land. This result has been achieved by the use of high-yield varieties of seeds, advanced irrigation technologies and agricultural chemicals (Employment Information: Indian Labour Statistics, ). Similarly outputs and productivity have increased dramatically in most countries, for example wheat yields in the United Kingdom, corn yields in the USA. Increases in productivity have been due to several factors including use of fertiliser, better varieties and use of machinery. Pesticides have been an integral part of the process by reducing losses from the weeds, diseases and insect pests that can markedly reduce the amount of harvestable produce. Warren () also drew attention to the spectacular increases in crop yields in the United States in the twentieth century. Webster et al. () stated that “considerable economic losses” would be suffered without pesticide use and quantified the significant increases in yield and economic margin that result from pesticide use. Moreover, in the environment most pesticides undergo photochemical transformation to produce metabolites which are relatively non-toxic to both human beings and the environment (Kole et al., ).

Protection of crop losses/yield reduction

In medium land, rice even under puddle conditions during the critical period warranted an effective and economic weed control practice to prevent reduction in rice yield due to weeds that ranged from 28 to 48%, based on comparisons that included control (weedy) plots (Behera and Singh, ). Weeds reduce yield of dry land crops (Behera and Singh, ) by 37–79%. Severe infestation of weeds, particularly in the early stage of crop establishment, ultimately accounts for a yield reduction of 40%. Herbicides provided both an economic and labour benefit.

Vector disease control

Vector-borne diseases are most effectively tackled by killing the vectors. Insecticides are often the only practical way to control the insects that spread deadly diseases such as malaria, resulting in an estimated 5000 deaths each day (Ross, ). In 2004, Bhatia wrote that malaria is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the developing world and a major public health problem in India. Disease control strategies are crucially important also for livestock.

Quality of food

In countries of the first world, it has been observed that a diet containing fresh fruit and vegetables far outweigh potential risks from eating very low residues of pesticides in crops (Brown, ). Increasing evidence (Dietary Guidelines, ) shows that eating fruit and vegetables regularly reduces the risk of many cancers, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other chronic diseases.

Lewis et al. () discussed the nutritional properties of apples and blueberries in the US diet and concluded that their high concentrations of antioxidants act as protectants against cancer and heart disease. Lewis attributed doubling in wild blueberry production and subsequent increases in consumption chiefly to herbicide use that improved weed control.

Other areas – transport, sport complex, building

The transport sector makes extensive use of pesticides, particularly herbicides. Herbicides and insecticides are used to maintain the turf on sports pitches, cricket grounds and golf courses. Insecticides protect buildings and other wooden structures from damage by termites and woodboring insects.

Hazards of pesticides

Direct impact on humans

If the credits of pesticides include enhanced economic potential in terms of increased production of food and fibre, and amelioration of vector-borne diseases, then their debits have resulted in serious health implications to man and his environment. There is now overwhelming evidence that some of these chemicals do pose a potential risk to humans and other life forms and unwanted side effects to the environment (Forget, ; Igbedioh, ; Jeyaratnam, 1981). No segment of the population is completely protected against exposure to pesticides and the potentially serious health effects, though a disproportionate burden, is shouldered by the people of developing countries and by high risk groups in each country (WHO, ). The world-wide deaths and chronic diseases due to pesticide poisoning number about 1 million per year (Environews Forum, ).

The high risk groups exposed to pesticides include production workers, formulators, sprayers, mixers, loaders and agricultural farm workers. During manufacture and formulation, the possibility of hazards may be higher because the processes involved are not risk free. In industrial settings, workers are at increased risk since they handle various toxic chemicals including pesticides, raw materials, toxic solvents and inert carriers.

OC compounds could pollute the tissues of virtually every life form on the earth, the air, the lakes and the oceans, the fishes that live in them and the birds that feed on the fishes (Hurley et al., ). The US National Academy of Sciences stated that the DDT metabolite DDE causes eggshell thinning and that the bald eagle population in the United States declined primarily because of exposure to DDT and its metabolites (Liroff, ). Certain environmental chemicals, including pesticides termed as endocrine disruptors, are known to elicit their adverse effects by mimicking or antagonising natural hormones in the body and it has been postulated that their long-term, low-dose exposure is increasingly linked to human health effects such as immune suppression, hormone disruption, diminished intelligence, reproductive abnormalities and cancer (Brouwer et al., ; Crisp et al., ; Hurley et al., )

A study on workers (N=356) in four units manufacturing HCH in India revealed neurological symptoms (21%) which were related to the intensity of exposure (Nigam et al., ). The magnitude of the toxicity risk involved in the spraying of methomyl, a carbamate insecticide, in field conditions was assessed by the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) (Saiyed et al.). Significant changes were noticed in the ECG, the serum LDH levels, and cholinesterase (ChE) activities in the spraymen, indicating cardiotoxic effects of methomyl. Observations confined to health surveillance in male formulators engaged in production of dust and liquid formulations of various pesticides (malathion, methyl parathion, DDT and lindane) in industrial settings of the unorganised sector revealed a high occurrence of generalised symptoms (headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, irritation of skin and eyes) besides psychological, neurological, cardiorespiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms coupled with low plasma ChE activity (Gupta et al., ).

Data on reproductive toxicity were collected from 1,106 couples when the males were associated with the spraying of pesticides (OC, OP and carbamates) in cotton fields (Rupa et al., ).A study in malaria spraymen was initiated to evaluate the effects of a short-term (16 week) exposure in workers (N=216) spraying HCH in field conditions (Gupta et al., ).

A study on those affected in the Seveso diaster of 1976 in Italy during the production of 2,4,5 T, a herbicide, concluded that chloracne (nearly 200 cases with a definite exposure dependence) was the only effect established with certainty as a result of dioxin formation (Pier et al., ). Early health investigations including liver function, immune function, neurologic impairment, and reproductive effects yielded inconclusive results. An excess mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases was uncovered, possibly related to the psychosocial consequences of the accident in addition to the chemical contamination. An excess of diabetes cases was also found. Results of cancer incidence and mortality follow-up showed an increased occurrence of cancer of the gastrointestinal sites and of the lymphatic and haematopoietic tissue. Results cannot be viewed as conclusive, however, because of various limitations: few individual exposure data, short latency period, and small population size for certain cancer types. A similar study in 2001 observed no increase in all-cause and all-cancer mortality. However, the results support the notion that dioxin is carcinogenic to humans and corroborate the hypotheses of its association with cardiovascular- and endocrine-related effects (Pier et al., ). During the Vietnam War, United States military forces sprayed nearly 19 million gallons of herbicide on approximately 3.6 million acres of Vietnamese and Laotian land to remove forest cover, destroy crops, and clear vegetation from the perimeters of US bases. This effort, known as Operation Ranch Hand, lasted from 1962 to 1971. Various herbicide formulations were used, but most were mixtures of the phenoxy herbicides 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T). Approximately 3 million Americans served in the armed forces in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Some of them (as well as some Vietnamese combatants and civilians, and members of the armed forces of other nations) were exposed to defoliant mixtures, including Agent Orange. There was evidence on cancer risk of Vietnam veterans, workers occupationally exposed to herbicides or dioxins (since dioxins contaminated the herbicide mixtures used in Vietnam), and of the Vietnamese population (Frumkin, ).

Impact through food commodities

For determining the extent of pesticide contamination in the food stuffs, programs entitled ‘Monitoring of Pesticide Residues in Products of Plant Origin in the European Union’ started to be established in the European Union since 1996. In 1996, seven pesticides (acephate, chlopyriphos, chlopyriphos-methyl, methamidophos, iprodione, procymidone and chlorothalonil) and two groups of pesticides (benomyl group and maneb group, i.e. dithiocarbamates) were analysed in apples, tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries and grapes. An average of about 9 700 samples has been analysed for each pesticide or pesticide group. For each pesticide or pesticide group, 5.2% of the samples were found to contain residues and 0.31% had residues higher than the respective MRL for that specific pesticide. Lettuce was the crop with the highest number of positive results, with residue levels exceeding the MRLs more frequently than in any of the other crops investigated. The highest value found in 1996 was for a compound of the maneb group in lettuce which corresponded to a mancozeb residue of 118 mg/kg. In 1997, 13 pesticides (acephate, carbendazin, chlorothalonil, chlopyriphos, DDT, diazinon, endosulfan, methamidophos, iprodione, metalaxyl, methidathion, thiabendazole, triazophos) were assessed in five commodities (mandarins, pears, bananas,beans, and potatoes). Some 6 000 samples were analysed. Residues of chlorpyriphos exceeded MRLs most often (0.24%), followed by methamidophos (0.18%), and iprodione (0.13%). With regard to the commodities investigated, around 34% contained pesticide residues at or below the MRL, and 1% contained residues at levels above the MRL. In mandarins, pesticide residues were most frequently found at levels at or below the MRL (69%), followed by bananas (51%), pears (28%), beans (21%) and potatoes (9%). MRLs were exceeded most often in beans (1.9%), followed by mandarins (1.8%), pears (1.3%), and bananas and potatoes (0.5%). Estimation of the dietary intake of pesticide residues (based on the 90th percentile) from the above-mentioned commodities, where the highest residue levels of the respective pesticides were found, shows that there is no exceeding of the ADI with all the pesticides and commodities studied (European Commission, 1999). In 1998, four commodities (oranges, peaches, carrots, spinach) were analysed for 20 pesticides (acephate, benomyl group, chlopyriphos, chlopyriphos-methyl, deltamethrin, maneb group, diazinon, endosulfan, methamidophos, iprodione, metalaxyl, methidathion, thiabendazole, triazophos, permethrin, vinclozolin, lambdacyalothrin, pirimiphos-methyl, mercabam). With regard to all four commodities investigated in 1998 (oranges, peaches, carrots, spinach), about 32% contained residues of pesticides at or below MRL, and 2% above the MRL (1.8% for EU-MRLs, 0.4% for national MRLs). Residues at or below the MRL were found most often in oranges (67%), followed by peaches (21%), carrots (11%) and spinach (5%). MRL values were exceeded most often in spinach (7.3%), followed by peaches (1.6%), carrots (1.2%)and oranges (0.7%). The intake of pesticide residues has not exceeded the ADI in any case. It was found to be below 10% of the ADI for all pesticides. The exposure ranges from 0.35% of the ADI for the benomyl group to 9.9% of the ADI for the methidathion group. In 1999, four commodities (cauliflower, peppers, wheat grains, and melon) were analysed for the same 20 pesticides as in the 1998 study (European Commission, ). Overall, around 4700 samples were analysed. Residues of methamidophos exceeded MRLs most often (8.7%), followed by the maneb group (1.1%), thiabendazole (0.57%), acephate (0.41%) and the benomyl group (0.35%). The MRL for methamidophos was exceeded most often in peppers and melons (18.7 and 3.7%, respectively). The residues of the maneb group exceeded the MRL most often in cauliflower (3.9%); residues of thiabendazole exceeded the MRL most often in melons (2.8% of the melon samples). With regard to all the commodities investigated, around 22% of samples contained residues of pesticides at or below the MRL and 8.7% above the MRL. Residues at or below MRL were found most often in melons (32%), followed by peppers (24%), wheat grains (21%) and cauliflower (17%). MRL values were exceeded most often in peppers (19%), followed by melons (6.1%), cauliflower (3%) and wheat grains (0.5%). The intake of pesticide residues did not exceed the ADI in any case. It was below 1.5% of the ADI for all pesticides. The exposure ranged between 0.43% of the ADI for methamidophos and 1.4% of the ADI for endosulfan. The intakes for the highest residue levels in a composite sample for chlorpyriphos, deltamethrin, endosulfan and methidathion were below the ARfD for adults. They range between 1.5% of the ARfD for deltamethrin and 67% of the ARfD for endosulfan (Nasreddine and Parent-Massin, ). In spite of food contamination, most pesticide deaths recorded in hospital surveys are the result of self-poisoning (Eddleston, ). The Global Burden of Disease Study 6 estimated that 798 000 people died from deliberate self-harm in 1990, over 75% of whom were from developing countries (Murray and Lopez, ). More recent WHO estimates showed that over 500 000 people died from self-harm in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific during 2000 alone (WHO, ). Suicide is the commonest cause of death in young Chinese women and Sri Lankan men and women (Murray and Lopez, ; Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, ; WHO, ).

In India the first report of poisoning due to pesticides was from Kerala in 1958, where over 100 people died after consuming wheat flour contaminated with parathion (Karunakaran, ). This prompted the Special Committee on Harmful Effects of Pesticides constituted by the ICAR to focus attention on the problem (Report of the Special Committee of ICAR, ). In a multi-centric study to assess the pesticide residues in selected food commodities collected from different states of the country (Surveillance of Food Contaminants in India, ), DDT residues were found in about 82% of the 2205 samples of bovine milk collected from 12 states. About 37% of the samples contained DDT residues above the tolerance limit of 0.05 mg/kg (whole milk basis). The highest level of DDT residues found was 2.2 mg/kg. The proportion of the samples with residues above the tolerance limit was highest in Maharastra (74%), followed by Gujarat (70%), Andhra Pradesh (57%), Himachal Pradesh (56%), and Punjab (51%). In the remaining states, this proportion was less than 10%. Data on 186 samples of 20 commercial brands of infants formulae showed the presence of residues of DDT and HCH isomers in about 70 and 94% of the samples with their maximum level of 4.3 and 5.7 mg/kg (fat basis) respectively. Measurement of chemicals in the total diet provides the best estimates of human exposure and of the potential risk. The risk of consumers may then be evaluated by comparison with toxicologically acceptable intake levels. The average total DDT and BHC consumed by an adult were 19.24 mg/day and 77.15 mg/day respectively (Kashyap et al., ). Fatty food was the main source of these contaminants. In another study, the average daily intake of HCH and DDT by Indians was reported to be 115 and 48 mg per person respectively, which were higher than those observed in most of the developed countries (Kannan et al., ).

Impact on environment

Pesticides can contaminate soil, water, turf, and other vegetation. In addition to killing insects or weeds, pesticides can be toxic to a host of other organisms including birds, fish, beneficial insects, and non-target plants. Insecticides are generally the most acutely toxic class of pesticides, but herbicides can also pose risks to non-target organisms.

Surface water contamination

Pesticides can reach surface water through runoff from treated plants and soil. Contamination of water by pesticides is widespread. The results of a comprehensive set of studies done by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on major river basins across the country in the early to mid- 90s yielded startling results. More than 90 percent of water and fish samples from all streams contained one, or more often, several pesticides (Kole et al). Pesticides were found in all samples from major rivers with mixed agricultural and urban land use influences and 99 percent of samples of urban streams (Bortleson and Davis, ). The USGS also found that concentrations of insecticides in urban streams commonly exceeded guidelines for protection of aquatic life (U.S. Geological Survey, ). Twenty-three pesticides were detected in waterways in the Puget Sound Basin, including 17 herbicides. According to USGS, more pesticides were detected in urban streams than in agricultural streams (US Department of the Interior, ). The herbicides 2,4-D, diuron, and prometon, and the insecticides chlorpyrifos and diazinon, all commonly used by urban homeowners and school districts, were among the 21 pesticides detected most often in surface and ground water across the nation (U.S. Geological Survey, ). Trifluralin and 2,4-D were found in water samples collected in 19 out of the 20 river basins studied (Bevans et al., ; Fenelon et al., ; Levings et al., ; Wall et al., ). The USGS also found that concentrations of insecticides in urban streams commonly exceeded guidelines for protection of aquatic life (U.S. Geological Survey, ). According to USGS, “in general more pesticides were detected in urban streams than in agricultural streams”, (Bortleson and Davis, ). The herbicide 2,4-D was the most commonly found pesticide, detected in 12 out of 13 streams. The insecticide diazinon, and the weed-killers dichlobenil, diuron, triclopyr, and glyphosate were detected also in Puget Sound basin streams. Both diazinon and diuron were found at levels exceeding concentrations recommended by the National Academy of Sciences for the protection of aquatic life (Bortleson and Davis, ).

Ground water contamination

Groundwater pollution due to pesticides is a worldwide problem. According to the USGS, at least 143 different pesticides and 21 transformation products have been found in ground water, including pesticides from every major chemical class. Over the past two decades, detections have been found in the ground water of more than 43 states (Waskom, ). During one survey in India, 58% of drinking water samples drawn from various hand pumps and wells around Bhopal were contaminated with Organo Chlorine pesticides above the EPA standards (Kole and Bagchi, ). Once ground water is polluted with toxic chemicals, it may take many years for the contamination to dissipate or be cleaned up. Cleanup may also be very costly and complex, if not impossible (Waskom ; O’Neil, ; US EPA, ).

Soil contamination

A large number of transformation products (TPs) from a wide range of pesticides have been documented (Barcelo’ and Hennion, ; Roberts, ; Roberts and Hutson, ). Not many of all possible pesticide TPs have been monitored in soil, showing that there is a pressing need for more studies in this field. Persistency and movement of these pesticides and their TPs are determined by some parameters, such as water solubility, soil-sorption constant (Koc), the octanol/water partition coefficient (Kow), and half-life in soil (DT50). Pesticides and TPs could be grouped into:(a) Hydrophobic, persistent, and bioaccumulable pesticides that are strongly bound to soil. Pesticides that exhibit such behavior include the organochlorine DDT, endosulfan, endrin, heptachlor, lindane and their TPs. Most of them are now banned in agriculture but their residues are still present. (b) Polar pesticides are represented mainly by herbicides but they include also carbamates, fungicides and some organophosphorus insecticide TPs. They can be moved from soil by runoff and leaching, thereby constituting a problem for the supply of drinking water to the population. The most researched pesticide TPs in soil are undoubtedly those from herbicides. Several metabolic pathways have been suggested, involving transformation through hydrolysis, methylation, and ring cleavage that produce several toxic phenolic compounds. The pesticides and their TPs are retained by soils to different degrees, depending on the interactions between soil and pesticide properties. The most influential soil characteristic is the organic matter content. The larger the organic matter content, the greater the adsorption of pesticides and TPs. The capacity of the soil to hold positively charged ions in an exchangeable form is important with paraquat and other pesticides that are positively charged. Strong mineral acid is required for extracting these chemicals, without any analytical improvement or study reported in recent years. Soil pH is also of some importance. Adsorption increases with decreasing soil pH for ionizable pesticides (e.g. 2,4-D,2,4,5-T, picloram, and atrazine) (Andreu and Pico’, ).

Effect on soil fertility (beneficial soil microorganisms)

Heavy treatment of soil with pesticides can cause populations of beneficial soil microorganisms to decline. According to the soil scientist Dr. Elaine Ingham, “If we lose both bacteria and fungi, then the soil degrades. Overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides have effects on the soil organisms that are similar to human overuse of antibiotics. Indiscriminate use of chemicals might work for a few years, but after awhile, there aren’t enough beneficial soil organisms to hold onto the nutrients” (Savonen, ). For example, plants depend on a variety of soil microorganisms to transform atmospheric nitrogen into nitrates, which plants can use. Common landscape herbicides disrupt this process: triclopyr inhibits soil bacteria that transform ammonia into nitrite (Pell et al., ); glyphosate reduces the growth and activity of free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria in soil (Santos and Flores, ) and 2,4-D reduces nitrogen fixation by the bacteria that live on the roots of bean plants (Arias and Fabra, ; Fabra et al., ), reduces the growth and activity of nitrogen-fixing blue-green algae (Singh and Singh, ; Tözüm-Çalgan and Sivaci-Güner, ), and inhibits the transformation of ammonia into nitrates by soil bacteria (Frankenberger et al., , Martens and Bremner, ). Mycorrhizal fungi grow with the roots of many plants and aid in nutrient uptake. These fungi can also be damaged by herbicides in the soil. One study found that oryzalin and trifluralin both inhibited the growth of certain species of mycorrhizal fungi (Kelley and South, ). Roundup has been shown to be toxic to mycorrhizal fungi in laboratory studies, and some damaging effects were seen at concentrations lower than those found in soil following typical applications (Chakravarty and Sidhu, ; Estok et al., ). Triclopyr was also found to be toxic to several species of mycorrhizal fungi (Chakravarty and Sidhu, ) and oxadiazon reduced the number of mycorrhizal fungal spores (Moorman, ).

Contamination of air, soil, and non-target vegetation

Pesticide sprays can directly hit non-target vegetation, or can drift or volatilize from the treated area and contaminate air, soil, and non-target plants. Some pesticide drift occurs during every application, even from ground equipment (Glotfelty and Schomburg, ). Drift can account for a loss of 2 to 25% of the chemical being applied, which can spread over a distance of a few yards to several hundred miles. As much as 80–90% of an applied pesticide can be volatilised within a few days of application (Majewski, ). Despite the fact that only limited research has been done on the topic, studies consistently find pesticide residues in air. According to the USGS, pesticides have been detected in the atmosphere in all sampled areas of the USA (Savonen, ). Nearly every pesticide investigated has been detected in rain, air, fog, or snow across the nation at different times of the year (U.S. Geological Survey, ). Many pesticides have been detected in air at more than half the sites sampled nationwide. Herbicides are designed to kill plants, so it is not surprising that they can injure or kill desirable species if they are applied directly to such plants, or if they drift or volatilise onto them. Many ester-formulation herbicides have been shown to volatilise off treated plants with vapors sufficient to cause severe damage to other plants (Straathoff, ). In addition to killing non-target plants outright, pesticide exposure can cause sublethal effects on plants. Phenoxy herbicides, including 2,4-D, can injure nearby trees and shrubs if they drift or volatilise onto leaves (Dreistadt et al., ). Exposure to the herbicide glyphosate can severely reduce seed quality (Locke et al., ). It can also increase the susceptibility of certain plants to disease (Brammall and Higgins, 1998). This poses a special threat to endangered plant species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recognized 74 endangered plants that may be threatened by glyphosate alone (U.S. EPA Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, ). Exposure to the herbicide clopyralid can reduce yields in potato plants (Lucas and Lobb, ). EPA calculated that volatilisation of only 1% of applied clopyralid is enough to damage non-target plants (US EPA, 1990). Some insecticides and fungicides can also damage plants (Dreistadt et al., ). Pesticide damage to plants is commonly reported to state agencies in the Northwest. (Oregon Dept. of Agriculture, ; Washington Dept. of Health, ). Plants can also suffer indirect consequences of pesticide applications when harm is done to soil microorganisms and beneficial insects. Pesticides including those of new the generation, e.g., dacthal, chlorothalonil, chlorpyrifos, metolachlor, terbufos and trifluralin have been detected in Arctic environmental samples (air, fog, water, snow) (Rice and Cherniak, ), and (Garbarino et al., ). Other studies have identified the ability of some of these compounds to undergo short-range atmospheric transport (Muir et al., ) to ecologically sensitive regions such as the Chesapeake Bay and the Sierra Nevada mountains (LeNoir et al., ; McConnell et al., ; Harman-Fetcho et al., , Thurman and Cromwell , ). One long-term study that investigated pesticides in the atmosphere of British Columbia (BC), dating from 1996 (Belzer et al., ) showed that 57 chemicals were investigated at two sampling sites (Agassiz and Abbotsford) in the Fraser Valley, from February 1996 until March 1997. Atrazine, malathion, and diazinon, highly toxic chemicals identified as high-priority pesticides by Verrin et al. (2004), were detected as early as the end of February (72 pg/m3) until mid-October (253 pg/m3), with a peak concentration in mid-June of 42.7 ngm−3. Dichlorvos is a decomposition product of another pesticide, Naled (Dibrom) (Hall et al., ). Captan and 2,4-D showed the highest concentrations and deposition rates at these two sites, followed by dichlorvos and diazinon (Dosman and Cockcraft, ). Air concentrations of currently used pesticides in Alberta were investigated in 1999 at four sampling sites that were chosen according to geography and pesticide sales data (Kumar, ). Triallate and trifluralin were the two mostly detected pesticides at the four sites. Insecticides (malathion, chlorpyrifos, diazinon and endosulfan) were detected intermittently with concentrations in the range 20–780 pg/m3. South of Regina, Saskatchewan, in 1989 and 1990, 2,4-D reached 3.9 and 3.6 ng/m3 at the end of June (Waite et al., ). Triallate, dicamba, bromoxynil concentrations were also higher in 1989 (peak concentration of 4.2 ng/m3 in mid-June) compared with 1990 (600–700 pg/m3 in mid-June). In a more recent study, Waite et al. (2005) studied spatial variations of selected herbicides on a threesite, 500km transect that included two agricultural sites—Bratt’s Lake, located 35 km southwest of Regina and Hafford to the North—and a background site at Waskesiu. Some acid herbicides were also investigated in South Tobacco Creek, Manitoba during 1993–1996. Once again, maximum concentrations occurred during periods of local use (Rawn et al., ). A neutral herbicide, atrazine, was also investigated in 1995 (Rawn et al., ). It was first detected in mid-April, peaked mid- June at about 300 pg/m3, and was detected until the end of October. The insecticide dacthal was identified throughout the sampling periods in 1994, 1995 and 1996 (Rawn and Muir, 1999) even though it was not used in this area (<20–300 pg/m3).

Non-target organisms

Pesticides are found as common contaminants in soil, air, water and on non-target organisms in our urban landscapes. Once there, they can harm plants and animals ranging from beneficial soil microorganisms and insects, non-target plants, fish, birds, and other wildlife. Chlorpyrifos, a common contaminant of urban streams (U.S. Geological Survey, ), is highly toxic to fish, and has caused fish, kills in waterways near treated fields or buildings (US EPA, ). Herbicides can also be toxic to fish. According to the EPA, studies show that trifluralin, an active ingredient in the weed-killer Snapshot, “is highly to very highly toxic to both cold and warm water fish” (U.S. EPA, ). In a series of different tests it was also shown to cause vertebral deformities in fish (Koyama, ). The weed-killers Ronstar and Roundup are also acutely toxic to fish (Folmar et al., ; Shafiei and Costa, ). The toxicity of Roundup is likely due to the high toxicity of one of the inert ingredients of the product (Folmar et al., ). In addition to direct acute toxicity, some herbicides may produce sublethal effects on fish that lessen their chances for survival and threaten the population as a whole. Glyphosate or glyphosate-containing products can cause sublethal effects such as erratic swimming and labored breathing, which increase the fish’s chance of being eaten (Liong et al., ). 2,4-D herbicides caused physiological stress responses in sockeye salmon (McBride et al., ) and reduced the food-gathering abilities of rainbow trout (Little, ). Several cases of pesticide poisoning of dolphins have been reported worldwide. Because of their high trophic level in the food chain and relatively low activities of drug-metabolising enzymes, aquatic mammals such as dolphins accumulate increased concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (Tanabe et al., ) and are thereby vulnerable to toxic effects from contaminant exposures. Dolphins inhabiting riverine and estuarine ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the activities of humans because of the restricted confines of their habitat, which is in close proximity to point sources of pollution. River dolphins are among the world’s most seriously endangered species. Populations of river dolphins have been dwindling and face the threat of extinction; the Yangtze river dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer) in China and the Indus river dolphin (Platanista minor) in Pakistan are already close to extinction (Renjun, 1990; Perrin et al., ; Reeves et al., ; Reeves and Chaudhry, ). In addition to habitat degradation (such as construction of dams) (Reeves and Leatherwood, ), boat traffic, fishing, incidental and intentional killings, and chemical pollution have been threats to the health of river dolphins (Kannan et al., 1993b, 1994, 1997; Senthilkumar et al., ). Earlier studies reported concentrations of heavy metals (Kannan et al., ), organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (Kannan et al., 1994), and butyltin compounds (Kannan et al., ) in Ganges river dolphins and their prey. The continuing use of organochlorine pesticides and PCBs in India is of concern (Kannan et al., ; Kannan et al., ; Kannan et al., ; Tanabe et al., ). The Ganges river basin is densely populated and heavily polluted by fertilizers, pesticides, and industrial and domestic effluents (Mohan, ). In addition to fish, other marine or freshwater animals are endangered by pesticide contamination. Exposure to great concentrations of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic contaminants such as DDT (1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis[p-chlorophenyl]ethane) and PCBs has been shown to elicit adverse effects on reproductive and immunological functions in captive or wild aquatic mammals (Helle et al., ; Reijnders, ; Ross et al., ; Martineau et al., ; Kannan et al., ; Colborn and Smolen, ). Aquatic mammals inhabiting freshwater systems, such as otters and mink, have been reported to be sensitive to chemical contamination (Leonards et al., ; Leonards et al., ). 2,4-D or 2,4-D containing products have been shown to be harmful to shellfish (Cheney et al., ) and other aquatic species (U.S. EPA, ; Sanders, 1989) The weed-killer trifluralin is moderately to highly toxic to aquatic invertebrates, and highly toxic to estuarine and marine organisms like shrimp and mussels (U.S. EPA, ). Since herbicides are designed to kill plants, it makes sense that herbicide contamination of water could have devastating effects on aquatic plants. In one study, oxadiazon was found to severely reduce algae growth (Ambrosi et al., ). Algae is a staple organism in the food chain of aquatic ecosystems. Studies looking at the impacts of the herbicides atrazine and alachlor on algae and diatoms in streams showed that even at fairly low levels, the chemicals damaged cells, blocked photosynthesis, and stunted growth in varying ways (U.S. Water News Online, ). The herbicide oxadiazon is also toxic to bees, which are pollinators (Washington State Department of Transportation, ). Herbicides may hurt insects or spiders also indirectly when they destroy the foliage that these animals need for food and shelter. For example spider and carabid beetle populations declined when 2,4-D applications destroyed their natural habitat (Asteraki et al., ). Non-target birds may also be killed if they ingest poisoned grains set out as bait for pigeons and rodents (US EPA, ). Avitrol, a commonly used pigeon bait, poses a large potential for ingestion by non target grain feeding birds. It can be lethal to small seed-eating birds (Extoxnet, ). Brodifacoum, a common rodenticide, is highly toxic to birds. It also poses a secondary poisoning hazard to birds that may feed on poisoned rodents (US EPA, ). Herbicides can also be toxic to birds. Although trifluralin was considered “practically nontoxic to birds” in studies of acute toxicity, birds exposed multiple times to the herbicide experienced diminished reproductive success in the form of cracked eggs (U.S. EPA, ). Exposure of eggs to 2,4-D reduced successful hatching of chicken eggs (Duffard et al., ) and caused feminisation or sterility in pheasant chicks (Lutz et al., ). Herbicides can also adversely affect birds by destroying their habitat. Glyphosate treatment in clear cuts caused dramatic decreases in the populations of birds that lived there (MacKinnon et al., ) Effects of some organochlorines (OCs) on fish-eating water birds and marine mammals have been documented in North America and Europe (Barron et al., ; Cooke, ; Kubiak et al., ). Despite the continuing usage, little is known about the impacts of OCs in bird populations in developing countries. Among the countries that continue to use OCs, India has been one of the major producers and consumers in recent years. As a consequence, wild birds in India are exposed to great amounts of OC pesticides (Tanabe et al., ). Use of OCs in tropical countries may not only result in exposure of resident birds but also of migratory birds when they visit tropical regions in winter. The Indian sub-continent is a host to a multitude of birds from western Asia, Europe and Arctic Russia in winter(Woodcock, ). Hundreds of species of waterfowl, including wading birds such as plovers, terns and sandpipers, migrate each winter to India covering long distances (Grewal, ). While concentrations of OC pesticides in wholebody homogenates of birds have been reported elsewhere (Tanabe et al., ), concentrations of OCs in prey items and in eggs of Indian birds have not been reported.

A few studies related to the decline in the populations of bats in various parts of the world to OC exposure were also being conducted (Altenbach et al., ; Clark, ; Clark, ; Clark, ; Geluso et al., ; Jefferies, ; Thies and Mc Bee, ). The world population of bats was estimated to be 8.7 million during 1936 and it declined to approximately 200,000 in 1973 (Geluso et al., ) It has recovered slightly to an estimated number of 700,000 in 1991 (Geluso et al., ; Thies and Mc Bee, ). High tissue concentrations of p,p’-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethene (p,p’–DDE) have been found in bats in Carlsbad Caverns in Mexico and in New Mexico in the USA (Geluso et al., ; Thies and Mc Bee, ). Occurrence of stillbirths in little brown bats exposed to high concentrations of PCBs, p,p’–DDE, and/or oxychlordane was documented (Clark, ; Jefferies, ). These observations indicate that bats can accumulate high concentrations of OCs and may be affected by their potential toxic effects. The flying fox or the new world fruit bat, short-nosed fruit bat and Indian pipistrelle bat are resident species and are very common in South India. Their habitat is mainly agricultural areas, rock caves, and abandoned houses in domesticated areas. Insects constitute an important diet for many bats, allowing the passage of OCs in their body (Mc Bee et al., ). Several studies found OC pesticides and PCBs in livers and eggs of birds in developed countries (Becker, ; Bernardz et al., ; Cade et al., ; Castillo et al., ; Mora, ; Mora, ). Similarly, several studies reported OCs in a variety of biota including humans and wildlife from India (Senthilkumar et al., ). However, no study has used whole body homogenates of birds, which is important to evaluate biomagnification features and body burdens of OCs (Mc Bee et al., ). Earlier studies used specific body tissues to estimate biomagnification of OCs. However theoretically, estimation of biomagnification factors requires whole body concentrations rather than specific tissue concentrations.

Conclusion

The data on environmental-cum-health risk assessment studies may be regarded as an aid towards a better understanding of the problem. Data on the occurrence of pesticide-related illnesses among defined populations in developing countries are scanty. Generation of base-line descriptive epidemiological data based on area profiles, development of intervention strategies designed to lower the incidence of acute poisoning and periodic surveillance studies on high risk groups are needed. Our efforts should include investigations of outbreaks and accidental exposure to pesticides, correlation studies, cohort analyses, prospective studies and randomised trials of intervention procedures. Valuable information can be collected by monitoring the end product of human exposure in the form of residue levels in body fluids and tissues of the general population. The importance of education and training of workers as a major vehicle to ensure a safe use of pesticides is being increasingly recognised.

Because of the extensive benefits which man accrues from pesticides, these chemicals provide the best opportunity to those who juggle with the risk-benefit equations. The economic impact of pesticides in non-target species (including humans) has been estimated at approximately $8 billion annually in developing countries. What is required is to weigh all the risks against the benefits to ensure a maximum margin of safety. The total cost-benefit picture from pesticide use differs appreciably between developed and developing countries. For developing countries it is imperative to use pesticides, as no one would prefer famine and communicable diseases like malaria. It may thus be expedient to accept a reasonable degree of risk. Our approach to the use of pesticides should be pragmatic. In other words, all activities concerning pesticides should be based on scientific judgement and not on commercial considerations. There are some inherent difficulties in fully evaluating the risks to human health due to pesticides. For example there is a large number of human variables such as age, sex, race, socio-economic status, diet, state of health, etc. – all of which affect human exposure to pesticides. But practically little is known about the effects of these variables. The long-term effects of low level exposure to one pesticide are greatly influenced by concomitant exposure to other pesticides as well as to pollutants present in air, water, food and drugs.

Pesticides are often considered a quick, easy, and inexpensive solution for controlling weeds and insect pests in urban landscapes. However, pesticide use comes at a significant cost. Pesticides have contaminated almost every part of our environment. Pesticide residues are found in soil and air, and in surface and ground water across the countries, and urban pesticide uses contribute to the problem. Pesticide contamination poses significant risks to the environment and non-target organisms ranging from beneficial soil microorganisms, to insects, plants, fish, and birds. Contrary to common misconceptions, even herbicides can cause harm to the environment. In fact, weed killers can be especially problematic because they are used in relatively large volumes. The best way to reduce pesticide contamination (and the harm it causes) in our environment is for all of us to do our part to use safer, non-chemical pest control (including weed control) methods.

The exercise of analysing the range and nature of benefits arising from pesticide use has been a mixture of delving, dreaming and distillation. There have been blind alleys, but also positive surprises. The general picture is as we suspected: there is publicity, ideological kudos and scientific opportunity associated with ‘knocking’ pesticides, while praising them brings accusations of vested interests. This is reflected in the imbalance in the number of published scientific papers, reports, newspaper articles and websites against and for pesticides. The colour coding for types of benefit, economic, social or environmental, reveals the fact that at community level, most of the benefits are social, with some compelling economic benefits. At national level, the benefits are principally economic, with some social benefits and one or two issues of environmental benefits. It is only at global level that the environmental benefits really come into play.

There is a need to convey the message that prevention of adverse health effects and promotion of health are profitable investments for employers and employees as a support to a sustainable development of economics. To sum up, based on our limited knowledge of direct and/or inferential information, the domain of pesticides illustrates a certain ambiguity in situations in which people are undergoing life-long exposure. There is thus every reason to develop health education packages based on knowledge, aptitude and practices and to disseminate them within the community in order to minimise human exposure to pesticides.

REFERENCES

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  • Ambrosi D, Isensee A, Macchia J. Distribution of oxadiazon and phoslone in an aquatic model ecosystem. American Chem Soci. 1978;26(1):50–53.
  • Andreu V, Pico’ Y. Determination of pesticides and their degradation products in soil: critical review and comparison of methods. Trends Anal Chemistry. 2004;23(10–11):772–789.
  • Arias RN, Fabra PA. Effects of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid on Rhizobium sp. growth and characterization of its transport. Toxicol Lett. 1993;68:267–273. [PubMed]
  • Asteraki EJ, Hanks CB, Clements RO. The impact of the chemical removal of the hedge-based flora on the community structure of carabid beetles (Col. Carabidae) and spiders (Araneae) of the field and hedge bottom. J Appl Ent. 1992;113:398–406.
  • Barcelo D, Porte C, Cid J, Albaiges J. Determination of organophosphorus compounds in Mediterranean coastal waters and biota samples using gas chromatography with nitrogen–phosphorus and chemical ionization mass spectrometric detection. Int J Environ A Chem. 1990;38:199–209.
  • Barcelo’ D, Hennion MC. Trace Determination of Pesticides and Their Degradation Products in Water.Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier; 1997. p. 3.
  • Barron MG, Galbraith H, Beltman D. Comparative reproduction and developmental toxicology of birds. Comp. Biochem Physiol. 1995;112c:1–14.
  • Becker PH. Seabirds as monitor organisms of contaminants along the German North Sea coast. Hel Meerr. 1989;43:395–403.
  • Behera B, Singh SG. Studies on Weed Management in Monsoon Season Crop of Tomato. Indian J Weed Sci. 1999;31(1–2):67.
  • Belzer W, Evans C, Poon A. FRAP study report, 1998. Vancouver, BC: Aquatic and Atmospheric Science Division, Environment Canada; 1998. Atmospheric concentrations of agricultural chemicals in the Lower Fraser Valley.
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  • Brouwer A, Longnecker MP, Birnbaum LS, Cogliano J, Kostyniak P, Moore J, Schantz S, Winneke G. Characterization of potential endocrine related health effects at lowdose levels of exposure to PCBs. Environ Health Perspect. 1999;107:639.

Yogasana

Yoga has a mysterious charm. Reading about its many benefits and looking at the super flexible Yogis practice the asanas with ease can be quite enticing. You might feel that those difficult poses are impossible, and yoga is not your cup of tea. This article will change your perception about yoga. It is easy, and is for everyone, no matter your age or fitness levels. Trust us and read on, and you will know how easy it is to ease into yoga.

Yoga is an incredible practice that is way beyond a regular workout. It works on the mind, body, and soul. It is not just a set of challenging limb-twisting poses. When you combine your breath with movement, yoga becomes something beautiful. It uplifts you both physically and mentally. Eventually, you will realize that yoga is actually effortless and easy.

It doesn’t matter if you are flexible or not. Whether you are 5 or 80, whether you are fit or fat – yoga is for everyone. You need to break free of all the apprehensions, leave behind all the myths and embrace the practice. Your journey through yoga is only going to bring you relaxation and joy. It will help you ease into the practice and shake off the stiffness in your body.

12 Easy Yoga Poses For Beginners

  1. Tadasana
  2. Uttanasana
  3. Virabhadrasana I
  4. Adho Mukha Svanasana
  5. Vrikshasana
  6. Bhujangasana
  7. Marjariasana
  8. Balasana
  9. Setu Bandhasana
  10. Baddha Konasana
  11. Supta Matsyendrasana
  12. Shavasana

1. Tadasana

Tadasana - Easy Yoga Poses For Beginners

Also Known As – Mountain Pose

Benefits – The Tadasana is the mother of all the asanas. Most standing asanas spring from the Tadasana. The very first thing this asana will do is correct your posture. It will strengthen your legs and tone your hips and stomach. It increases the agility of your spine. When you take the right stance, everything else falls in place.

How To Do It – Stand erect, and place your feet slightly apart. Let your hands hang from your shoulders, alongside your body. Firm the muscles in the thighs, but make sure you do not harden the lower part of the abdomen. Strengthen the inner arches of the ankles, and feel the energy pass from your feet to your head. Turn your gaze upwards, and breathe. Feel the stretch in your body as you hold the pose for a few seconds. Release.

 

2. Uttanasana

 Uttanasana - Yoga Poses For Beginners

Also Known As – Padahastasana, Hasta Padasana, Standing Forward Bend

Benefits – Uttanasana, when translated in English, is called the most powerful stretch. This asana improves blood circulation and allows a fresh bath of blood that is filled with nutrients and oxygen to rush to your head. When this happens, you feel instantly rejuvenated. This asana stimulates the kidneys, liver, and digestive system. It also gives your back a good stretch. It calms your mind and relieves headaches and insomnia.

How To Do It – Stand in the Tadasana, and take a long deep breath. Bend as you exhale. Fold your body at the waist. Place your hands on the floor beside your feet that are parallel to each other. Push your torso forward as you extend the stretch and lift the tailbone. Hold for a few seconds and release.

 

3. Virabhadrasana I

 Virabhadrasana-I - Yoga Poses For Beginners

Also Known As – Warrior Pose

Benefits – This asana allows you to explore your upper body. It helps open up your chest. It also works intensely on your back and legs, thereby stretching and strengthening them. It is an excellent asana for those who have desk jobs because not only does it restore the health of the spine, but it also stimulates the metabolism. It relaxes the mind and body and also helps you focus.

How To Do It – Place your feet hip-width apart. Now, pivot on your left foot, and allow your right foot to face forward. Ensure that the arch of the left foot is in the same line as the right foot. Lower the pelvis as you assume a lunge. Lift your arms above your head and look forward. You could pulse and then hold the pose. Maintain your balance and integrity while you hold this graceful pose. Release and repeat with the left foot forward

4. Adho Mukha Svanasana

Adho Mukha Svanasana - Yoga Poses For Beginners

Also Known As – Downward Facing Dog

Benefits – At the outset, this asana is great for your spine. It elongates the spine and removes all the stress and tension that is trapped in the spine. It also gives the hamstrings a good stretch and helps strengthen the legs. This eliminates a whole lot of burden from the back. Blood circulation is improved, and so is digestion. You are left energized and rejuvenated after this asana.

How To Do It – Come onto your fours. Now, lift your knees off the floor, and straighten them. Place your feet flat on the ground. This might be challenging for a beginner. No matter how your feet are placed, ensure that you are comfortable and not in pain. Take two steps backward and move your hands forward so as to create an inverted ‘V’ with your body. Your hips should be higher than your heart, and your head lower. Let your head hang as you hold the pose for a few seconds. Release.

 

5. Vrikshasana

Vrikshasana - Yoga Poses For Beginners

Also Known As – Tree Pose

Benefits – The Vrikshasana is a great balancing pose. It helps you improve your ability to focus and concentrate. This asana strengthens the spine and the legs. It also aids neuromuscular coordination. Through this asana, you can improve your seeing and hearing abilities. It helps deepen the thorax too.

How To Do It – Stand in the Tadasana. Slowly lift your right foot off the floor, and hug your right knee. Once you gain some balance, open up your right hip by turning your folded knee out. Place your right foot against the left thigh and hold the pose. As a beginner, you can use the wall for support. Eventually, you can fold your hands at the center of your chest. Also, remember to set your gaze on a distant object to help you focus and balance better. Once you release, repeat the asana with your left foot raised.

 

6. Bhujangasana

Bhujangasana - Yoga Poses For Beginners

Also Known As – Cobra Pose

Benefits – This asana has countless benefits. Of course, it works on your back, but it also stimulates your digestive, reproductive, and urinary systems, helping them to work better. Practicing this asana regularly helps open up your chest and throat. The Bhujangasana helps regulate your metabolism too.

How To Do It – Lie down with your stomach facing the ground, ensuring that your legs are stretched out. Place your elbows by your side. Slowly lift your chest, and place the body weight on the elbows. Take a long deep breath, and release.

 

7. Marjariasana

Marjariasana - Yoga Poses For Beginners

Also Known As – Cat Pose

Benefits – This asana adds flexibility to the spine and enhances the circulation of blood and spinal fluids. It calms your mind and relaxes your body. This asana is also a great abdomen toner as it slowly burns the pockets of fat. It helps in complete body detox.

How To Do It – Ideally, this asana is done in combination with the Bitilasana and together, the asanas are called the Cat-Cow. To do the Marjariasana, you must come onto your fours. Then, inhale and lift your spine as you round it, making it concave. Bring your chin to your chest. Exhale and lift your chin to look up as your back goes into a convex position. This is the Bitilasana. Repeat these two asanas alternatively, coordinated with your breath. The asanas must be done at least five times each for best results.

 

8. Balasana

Balasana - Yoga Poses For Beginners

Also Known As – Childs Pose

Benefits – This asana is a relaxing pose. It is meant to relax the back and calm the mind. It also massages and flexes the internal organs, thereby stimulating them. It releases trapped stress in the muscles and improves blood circulation. This asana is especially helpful to beginners. If you feel dizzy or fatigued during the practice, breaking into this asana will ease you instantly.

How To Do It – Come on to all fours. Bring your feet together, and widen your knees. Rest the abdomen on your thighs, and place your buttocks on your feet. Your forehead must touch the ground. Stretch out your arms. You can also place them next to you, alongside your legs, with the palms facing upwards.

 

9. Setu Bandhasana

Setu Bandhasana - Yoga Poses For Beginners

Also Known As – Bridge Pose

Benefits –This asana works on straightening and strengthening the back. It also helps to open up the chest and reduce thyroid problems. It is an excellent asana for women as it strengthens their reproductive system. It also aids digestion. This asana works wonders for those suffering from insomnia, anxiety, and high blood pressure. The Setu Bandhasana calms the brain and relaxes the body.

How To Do It – Lie flat on your back, and bend your legs at the knees. Lift your hips and back off the floor. Be gentle. Now, straighten your shoulders and stretch out your arms as they rest on the floor such that they reach your feet. Take a few deep breaths as you hold the pose for a few seconds, and release.

 

10. Baddha Konasana

Baddha Konasana - Yoga Poses For Beginners

Also Known As – Cobbler Pose, Butterfly Pose, Bound Angle Pose

Benefits – This is another amazing asana for women to practice. It improves the health of their reproductive system and reduces the symptoms of menopause and menstruation. Practicing this asana also ensures ease of delivery (childbirth). It also works on the kidneys and digestive system. With regular practice, sciatica is relieved. This asana also improves blood circulation and calms the mind. It is a great hip opener.

How To Do It – Sit on the mat with your legs stretched out. Fold your knees, and join your feet at the center. Straighten your back as you make yourself comfortable. Hold your feet with your palms. Now, push your knees down to the ground, as much as you possibly can. Hold the pose for a few seconds and release.

 

11. Supta Matsyendrasana

Supta Matsyendrasana - Yoga Poses For Beginners

Also Known As – Supine Twist, Reclining Lord Of The Fish Pose, Jathara Parivartanasana

Benefits – Twists make for amazing detoxes. This asana relieves sluggish digestion, stifled breathing, and aches and pains. It leaves you with a sense of revived energy. Your internal organs are toned, and your lower body gets a good stretch. Frazzled nerves are eased and relieved.


How To Do It –
 Lie down on your mat, with the back on the ground. Stretch out your arms on either side of your body. Now, lift and fold your right knee. Twist your hip and place it across the left side of your body. Turn your gaze to the right and hold the pose. Release. Repeat the asana with the left leg.

 

12. Shavasana

Shavasana - Yoga Poses For Beginners

Also Known As – Corpse Pose

Benefits – This asana completely relaxes the body and allows it to reap the benefits of the workout. It gives you a boost of energy and also allows you to concentrate better. This asana is perfect to relieve stress and tensions. You can practice it every time you are stressed or feel low on energy.

How To Do It – Lie flat on your back, with your palms resting beside you and facing upwards. Make yourself comfortable and ensure that your body is in a straight line. Close your eyes and concentrate on every part of your body. Do not let go of your breathing. Be fully aware of each sensation in your body. Stay present in the moment. Stay in this asana for a few minutes, and then bat your eyelids open as you prepare your mind and body for the rest of the day

World Health Organization Issues Reverse Osmosis Water Warning

Just about everyone knows that Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems excel at removing water impurities, but few are aware that they also remove the beneficial minerals. In fact, the reverse osmosis process removes 92-99% of beneficial calcium and magnesium. What’s the big deal?

After analyzing hundreds of scientific studies concerning demineralized or reverse osmosis water, the World Health Organization released a report stating that such water “has a definite adverse influence on the animal and human organism.”

Consumers have been so concerned with removing as many things from water as possible that they have forgotten to ask if the resulting water actually improves health or causes health problems. It’s assumed that no toxins equals better health, but there is simply more to healthful water than a lack of toxins, as the World Health Organization clearly points out.

What is alarming is that consuming reverse osmosis water for even just a few months can create serious side effects. “The effects of most chemicals commonly found in drinking water manifest themselves after long exposure.” However “only a few months exposure may be sufficient ‘consumption time effects’ from water that is low in magnesium and/or calcium. Illustrative of such short-term exposures are cases in the Czech and Slovak populations who began using reverse osmosis-based systems for final treatment of drinking water at their home taps in 2000-2002. Within several weeks or months various health complaints suggestive of acute magnesium (and possibly calcium) deficiency were reported. Among these complaints were cardiovascular disorders, tiredness, weakness or muscular cramps.” Again, serious side effects within just several weeks or months.

 

But it gets even worse. Because reverse osmosis water doesn’t have enough minerals, when it is consumed, it also leaches minerals from the body. This means that the minerals being consumed in food and vitamins are being urinated away. Less minerals consumed plus more minerals being excreted equals serious negative side effects and big health problems. In a scientific study performed to see if minerals consumed in food can make up for the lack of minerals in reverse osmosis water, scientists concluded that “reduced mineral intake from water was not compensated by their diets…low-mineral water was responsible for an increased elimination of minerals from the body.”

“It has been adequately demonstrated that consuming water of low mineral content has a negative effect on homeostasis mechanisms, compromising the mineral and water metabolism in the body.” Consumption of reverse osmosis water “leads to the dilution of the electrolytes dissolved in the body water. Inadequate body water redistribution between compartments may compromise the function of vital organs. Side effects at the very beginning of this condition include tiredness, weakness and headache; more severe symptoms are muscular cramps and impaired heart rate.”

I can’t begin to tell you how much pleasure it gives me to write this article. I will never forget being severly chastized a few years ago by a senior executive of a company that sells thousands of RO systems per year for “not knowing what I’m talking about” and that my challenge to him and the industry about RO water being unhealthy was “preposterous”. At the time of the meeting I was not equipped to fend off his accusations because I hadn’t put in the research that I have now.

Despite being torn to shreds by the marketing executive at the meeting, I never believed the RO industry claim that it didn’t matter if their systems removed everything from the source water because the human body couldn’t absorb inorganic molecules anyway. After all, most of the supplements that are available on the market are inorganic, which means that either the RO industry was protecting its “ass-ets” or the entire supplement industry was a scam.

The RO industry has been disseminating inaccurate (that’s about as politically correct as I can get) information for years. Doctors and other health care professionals have unwittingly been endorsing the “RO water is the best drinking water” message for years which makes the myth worse because we trust these people with our health.

Proof that RO water is unhealthy

I could write about the dozens of interviews I have conducted with water industry experts and biochemists, or about the hundreds of scientific articles I have reviewed but nobody would take the time to read it. In order to keep things brief, I offer two sources of evidence that unequivically reveal the fact that the water produced by RO systems is bad for your health if you drink the water over the long term.

I spent several long days poring over numerous studies related to the ability of the human body to absorb inorganic elements such as Calcium and Magnesium. I managed to find 14 scientific studies on the site that provide irrefutable evidence that the human body can and does absorb inorganic matter such as Calcium and Magnesium.

The bottom line of what I learned from reviewing the studies is that your body will absorb anywhere fro 6% to 30% of its daily requirement of essential elements from tap water. In a world where our soil is virtually devoid of nutriets from too many crops and not enough recovery time, and where diets are anything but healthy, it is very important to your long term health that you ingest calcium and magnesium from drinking water.

 

 

Here are some of the highlights from the article:

The final report, published as an internal working document (WHO 1980), concluded that “not only does completely demineralised water (distillate) have unsatisfactory organoleptic properities, but it also has a definite adverse influence on the animal and human organism.”

The potential for adverse health effects from long term consumption of demineralised water is of interest not only in countries lacking adequate fresh water but also in countries where some types of home water treatment systems
are widely used or where some types of bottled water are consumed

The WHO provided recommendations in 2004 as to what they believe should be included in drinking water and in what concentrations:

* For magnesium, a minimum of 10 mg/l (Novikov et al. 1983; Rubenowitz et al. 2000) and an optimum of about 20-30 mg/l (Durlach et al. 1989; Kozisek 1992);

* For calcium, a minimum of 20 mg/l (Novikov et al. 1983) and an optimum of about 50 (40-80) mg/l (Rakhmanin et al. 1990; Kozisek 1992);

* For total water hardness, the sum of calcium and magnesium should be 2 to 4 mmol/l (Plitman et al. 1989; Lutai 1992; Muzalevskaya et al. 1993; Golubev and Zimin 1994).

At these concentrations, minimum or no adverse health effects were observed. The maximum protective or beneficial health effects of drinking water appeared to occur at the estimated desirable or optimum concentrations. The recommended magnesium levels were based on cardiovascular system effects, while changes in calcium metabolism and ossification were used as a basis for the recommended calcium levels

Summary of the research:

Scientific testing and the best “unbiased” brains in the world have repeatedly demonstrated that long term consumption of demineralized (RO) water is bad for your health.

What should you do if you are drinking demineralized “RO” water?

You don’t need to disconnect your RO system and throw it away (unless it is operating ineffectively which often happens if the system is not properly maintained). RO systems do a great job of removing impurities/contaminants from the water and that is a good thing. The problem with RO systems is that they don’t discriminate between good stuff and bad stuff as they remove everything. What you need to do is remineralize the water once it has passed through the RO membrane. Adding back Magnesium and Caclium in the proper concentrations fixes the problem.

The RO industry is just waking up to the reality that long term consumption of demineralized water is bad for your health. The sellers of RO equipment are now racing around trying to find a solution to making their water healthy. From what I can see from the initial offerings, the industry has not done its homework because they are offering Corosex and Calcite solutions. While Corosex and Calcite will remineralize water, they were never designed to work with the aggressive acidic water produced by RO systems. As a result, Calcite and Corosex filters can dump more minerals into the water than your kidneys can digest and result in the formation of kidney stones. Calcite and Corosex filters are obviously not the right solution for remineralizing aggressive acidic water produced by RO machines.

What is the solution?

My focus for the past couple of years has been on natural remineralizing filters which can be used on their own as basic ionizing filters, or in conjunction with RO systems. Intuitively, one would think that the media of the various remineralization filters on the market would be very similar, and to some degree they are. However, I have found that even the smallest changes in the media, or the amounts of media used, and even the way that the media is layered inside the filter can make a big difference in the performance and life expectancy of the filter. 

Clean drinking water filtration has remained almost in the exclusive domain of RO systems for the past 45 years. Today, Nano filtration and Ultra filtration have been gaining market share as the filters are cost effective, are much smaller, and allow for much higher water flow rates.

The best filter for your needs will depend upon your source water. If you are drinking water supplied by a municipality, you don’t really need a RO system unless the municipality adds fluoride to the drinking water.

The popularity of reverse osmosis water (R.O. water) has steadily grown since it was first introduced as a home water purification system in the 1970s.

In addition, the type of treated water most often used by bottled water companies is reverse osmosis water.

The R.O. water purification method involves forcing water through a semi-permeable membrane, which filters out a select number of water contaminants, depending on the size of the contaminants.

In general, if the contaminants are larger in size than water molecules, those contaminants will be filtered out. If the contaminants are smaller in size, they will remain in the drinking water.

Key Health Advantage

Many years ago I drank reverse osmosis water almost exclusively, believing that it was the best drinking water. However, since then I have discovered (through personal experience and research) that the health disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

The main health advantage R.O. water has over tap water is that an R.O. system removes many unhealthy contaminants. 

A good R.O. system can remove contaminants such as arsenic, nitrates, sodium, copper and lead, some organic chemicals, and the municipal additive fluoride.

A Few Disadvantages

You might be interested to know that reverse osmosis was actually developed as a water treatment method over 40 years ago. The process was used primarily to de-salinate water.

The following are three of the main disadvantages of drinking R.O. water:

1. The water is demineralized.

Since most mineral particles (including sodium, calcium, magnesium, magnesium, and iron) are larger than water molecules, they are removed by the semi-permeable membrane of the R.O. system.

Even though you may find some contradictory information online about the health benefits of reverse osmosis water, I am convinced that drinking de-mineralized water is not healthy.

The World Health Organization conducted a study that revealed some of the health risks associated with drinking demineralized water.

Just a few of the risks include gastrointestinal problems, bone density issues, joint conditions, and cardiovascular disease. (See reference below to review the WHO study online.)

Removing the naturally occurring minerals also leaves the water tasteless. Many people thus have to add liquid minerals to their R.O. water to improve the taste.

2. The water is usually acidic.

One of the primary reasons R.O. water is unhealthy is because removing the minerals makes the water acidic (often well below 7.0 pH). Drinking acidic water will not help maintain a healthy pH balance in the blood, which should be slightly alkaline.

Depending on the source water and the specific R.O. system used, the pH of R.O. water can be anywhere from about 3.0 pH (very acidic) to 7.0 pH (neutral). Most of the R.O. water I have tested has been in the range of 5.0 to 6.0 pH. The only time I have ever seen R.O. water testing at 7.0 is when the R.O. system had the added remineralization element.

In the natural health and medical communities, acidosis in the body is considered an underlying cause of most degenerative diseases.

In fact, in 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for discovering the cause of cancer. In essence, he said it was caused by a lack of cellular oxygenation due to acidosis in the body.

Medical research has also determined that drinking acidic water (as well as other acidic beverages) will often cause a mineral imbalance in the body.

According to the WHO study, low mineral water increased diuresis (the production of urine by the kidneys) 20% on average and markedly increased the elimination of sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium ions from the body.

3. Some critical contaminants are not removed.

While reverse osmosis is effective for removing a variety of contaminants in water, the reverse osmosis membrane alone does NOT remove volatile organic chemical (VOCs), chlorine and chloramines, pharmaceuticals, and a host of other synthetic chemicals found in municipal water.

However, some R.O. systems now have multi-stage filtration media (in addition to the R.O. membrane), such as Activated Carbon, which does remove chlorine and certain pesticides.

What to Do If You Currently Have a Reverse Osmosis System

If you currently have a reverse osmosis system and are not ready to give it up, I recommend getting a remineralization cartridge or add-on to your R.O. system.

If that is not possible or too costly, you could add liquid ionic minerals, such as Trace Minerals Ionic Tonic, to your R.O. drinking water.

However, doing so will not be as beneficial as drinking water that contains minerals naturally, but it will help somewhat with the acid-alkaline balance in the body.

References

WHO Study: Health risks from drinking demineralised water

University of Nebraska; Drinking Water Treatment: Reverse Osmosis; 2014. This is a peer reviewed guide by Bruce I. Dvorak, Environmental Engineering Specialist, and Sharon O. Skipton, Water Quality Educator, which has a few good tables that show the types of contaminants that are and are not removed by reverse osmosis.

Further reading

Drinking Demineralized Water – The Health Risks (a brief summary of the WHO study)