Thursday, 30 November 2017

Simple steps to keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright all day

A bright smile can open doors.  It may be the bridge that takes you from one point to another.  Sparkling white and healthy-looking teeth build up your confidence and self-image, and can be a good aid in building lasting and happy relationships. But not everyone has the confidence to flash their teeth in a big bright welcoming smile. The power to do this begins with knowing that your teeth are healthy and in great shape. But good oral health goes beyond having a nice smile or great looking dentition.
Besides depriving you of the joy and confidence of flashing a charming smile, unhealthy teeth can also lead to diseases. Notably, it can affect your ability to speak or eat well. So how can you prevent such awkward situations or unpleasant oral conditions? A starting point is to seek professional examination or consultation.

Here are tips that can help keep your teeth healthy and your smiles bright all day long;

Get a good toothbrush and brush regularly: A simple basic way to achieve this is to brush your teeth at least twice a day.  Always brush your teeth first thing in the morning and last thing before going to bed. Brushing the teeth before sleep at night prevents buildup of plaque, decay and diseases that can affect your gum.  It is also good practice to brush after eating.  However, if this is not possible, rinse your mouth well.  This helps remove food particles that may be lodged in-between your teeth.

Brush the right way: Brushing the right way requires the use of a good toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride.   This also entails brushing both the outer and inner part of the tooth with a gentle back and forth stroke.  It is also important to clean the tongue, the top and in-between the teeth. Always remember that the tongue is a key component to keeping your teeth and mouth looking and feeling healthy and fresh, so never forget to brush your tongue very well as brushing your teeth without brushing your tongue is as good as nothing. Brushing the tongue helps to fight bacteria in the mouth.

Change your toothbrush after 3 months: Toothbrushes don’t last forever. The American Dental Association recommends that you change your toothbrushes every two to three months to avoid germs spreading and bacteria festering on your brush. Once a toothbrush is worn, it should be replaced immediately.

Pay close attention to your diet and dental health: To enjoy good dental health, it is important to avoid unhealthy habits.  A big no-go area is tobacco, which can lead to oral cancer and many other health complications. In addition, beverages such as alcohol, soda or coffee can lead to dental health issues. They can cause tooth decay or gum diseases. Some beverages also contain additives and food colouring substances, which can leave your teeth discoloured.  It is important to limit their intake if you cannot avoid consuming them.

Take calcium and other vitamins: Calcium aids in the development of the bones and is good for the teeth as well.  By taking milk, orange juice and other dairy products, you increase your calcium intake. Vitamin D also helps in improving the health of the gums and teeth, while Vitamin B complex helps to prevent the gums and teeth from bleeding and cracking.

Visit your dentist: It is recommended that you visiting your dentist at least twice a year especially if you have dental health issues. During these visits, a detailed examination may be conducted and this can help detect any problem before it gets out of hand, and also take care of existing dental issues in the future. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is a big step towards that bright and friendly smile.

To improve your dental health, follow these tips and thank me later.

By Mercy Kukah 

Amazing Health Benefits of Mulberries

Mulberries are the sweet, hanging fruits from a genus of deciduous trees that grow in a variety of temperate areas around the world. Thought to possibly have originated in China, they have spread throughout the world and are highly praised for their unique flavor and impressive composition of nutrients. Mulberries are filled with nutrients that are important to our body, including iron, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, phosphorous, and calcium, as well as a significant amount of dietary fiber and a wide range of organic compounds, including phytonutrients, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, anthocyanins, lutein, and various polyphenolic compounds.

The berries are delicious and ideal for consumption as they contain some unique nutritional elements that can have various health benefits some of which are:

Increase Circulation: The high levels of iron content in mulberries can significantly boost the production of red blood cells. This means that the body will increase its distribution of oxygen to important tissues and organs, thereby helping to boost metabolism and optimise the functionality of those systems.

Regulate Blood Pressure: Resveratrol is a very important flavonoid that directly affects the functioning of certain mechanisms in blood vessels, primarily making them less prone to damage by angiotensin, which can cause blood vessel constriction. In fact, resveratrolvincreases the production of nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator, meaning that it relaxes blood vessels and reduces chances of blood clot formation and subsequent heart issues like strokes or heart attacks. Resveratrol is found in many dark-skinned berries including most grapes, which is why this beneficial antioxidant is also found in wines.

Prevent Cancer: Between the high content of anthocyanins, vitamin C, vitamin A, and various other polyphenolic and phytonutrient compounds, mulberries are absolutely packed with antioxidants which are the main line of defense against free radicals that form a dangerous by-product of cellular metabolism that can damage healthy cells, causing them to mutate into cancerous ones. The diverse range of antioxidants found in mulberries means that they can neutralize these free radicals quickly before too much damage is done.

Improve Vision: One of the carotenoids found in mulberries is zeaxanthin, which has been connected directly to a reduction in oxidative stress on certain ocular cells, including the retinal macula lutea. Furthermore, zeaxanthin functions as an antioxidant and prevents certain damage to the retina, including the free radicals that can cause macular degeneration and cataracts.

Boost Immunity: Vitamin C is a powerful defensive weapon against any illness or foreign pathogens in the body that antioxidants don’t take care of. A single serving of mulberries is almost the entire requirement of vitamin C for the day, but combine that with the minerals and vitamins present in this fruit, and you have a true weapon against illness. Add a few mulberries to your morning meal and watch your immune system soar.

Build Healthy Bones: Vitamin K, calcium, and iron, as well as the trace amounts of phosphorous and magnesium found in mulberries, can all be beneficial for the creation and maintenance of bone tissue. As we get older, maintaining strong bones, speeding up the healing process or even reversing the damage of bone degradation is important to prevent like osteoporosis or other age-related bone disorders.

Prevent Premature Aging: Mulberries also boast a high level of vitamin A and vitamin E, along with a range of carotenoid components like lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and alpha-carotene. All of these elements act as antioxidants that specifically affect the skin, tissue, hair, and other areas of the body where free radicals strike. Mulberries can aid in skin care, reduce the appearance of blemishes and age spots, and keep hair shiny and healthy by preventing the oxidative actions of free radicals.

Aid in Digestion: Like the majority of fruits and vegetables, mulberries contain dietary fiber, which makes approximately 10% of your daily requirements in a single serving. Dietary fiber can help to improve digestion by bulking up the stool, thereby speeding up the movement of food through the digestive tract, while also reducing occurrences of constipation, bloating, and cramping. Furthermore, fiber helps to regulate cholesterol levels and can improve heart health when regularly added to diet.

Some mulberries are very good at lowering blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for particular people, but also very dangerous for others. Also, there are rare cases of allergies to mulberry so use them in moderation and monitor your body’s reaction if you are eating them for the first time.

By Mercy Kukah 

How to nail the ‘cat eye’ looks

Getting the perfect cat eye looking can be quite tricky and difficult to achieve but it’s actually easy when you follow the right process using the right cosmetic products. The perfect cat eyeliner is ever fashionable, very flattering for most eye shapes and delivers a sultry, mysterious look even when the rest of your makeup remains low key. You can use any colour pencil or gel eye liner to achieve this look.

The cat eye look gives a lady an instant fierce look without doing much makeup. For a polished look and for when you need one signature to stand your make you stand apart then you needs to make it bolder and drawn neatly. In order to achieve and nail the cat eye look or winged eyeliner, here are 6 easy steps to achieving the perfect cat eye.

1.      Draw a thin slightly upward line outside the corner of the eye. Starting at the middle of you upper lid, begin drawing a line as close to your lashes as possible.  This line determines the width of your eye liner, to create a dramatic look make this line thick, or create a thin line for a more subtle look. Creating a straight line requires a bit of practice. You can either draw a single-stroke line or many short strokes.

2.      Draw a line from the top of the eyelid to meet the drawn line in Step starting from the inner corner of your eye and moving towards the line you just drew to draw a fine line.

3.      Extend the liner to go all through the eyelid in a thin line (slightly thicker than the previous ones draw in steps 1 and 2). To create your eyeliner wing, draw a line starting from the last lash outwards. You can now decide the length & angle to your eye liner.
4.      Fill in the space left with the line drawn to meet in steps 1 and 2. After drawing your wing, draw a line back to your upper lash line. This should create an empty triangle on your upper lid. To make your eyeliner thick, draw a bigger triangle, ending at the middle part of your lash line. For a more subtle look, draw a small triangle that finishes in your outer corner.

5.      Colour in the triangle with your pencil.

6.      Finish off this sexy look with 2-3 coats of lengthening, thickening black mascara.

You are good to go after you follow these due processes. You might not get it the first time you try it, but as it is “said practice makes perfect”. Keep trying it until you nail the subtle but daring look.

By Pupwaya Timothy Dibal 

'I took a blood vow with my late boyfriend; now his spirit haunts me'

A lady shared her story of how she took a blood oath with her boyfriend, swearing to each other that none will ever leave nor break each other’s heart. But after sometime her boyfriend died and she is left not only with a broken heart but also in serious troubles because her late boyfriend’s ghost wouldn’t just let her be. It has gotten to the extent that people think she is going insane, but she is the only one who knows what she is going through.
Below is her story.

Disclaimer: Names of people and places have been changed to protect the privacy of the persons involved.

My name is Esther and as I write this, my life is in great danger and if nothing is done on time, I could either run mad or end up committing suicide because I am at my wit's end. People will say I actually dug my grave and allowed love to becloud my sense of reasoning but how was I to know that it would end up this way? If I knew the consequences of what would happen afterwards, I wouldn’t have made that drastic mistake of taking the blood oath.

I met Yusuf about five years ago and we fell in love. He was my first love and everything I did was to make him happy. He was the first man to see my nakedness, and the first time we made love felt like heaven. We were so much in love that many of my friends envy me and wished that Yusuf was theirs. But I always jokingly tell them ‘sorry he saw me first and there is nothing any of you can do about it neither can you come between us’

After a while, Yusuf suggested that we take a blood vow so as to bind us together till death do us part. Crazy and foolish in love as I was, I did not hesitate for fear that he could leave me for another girl. I quickly agreed not knowing that there could be a dangerous implication to the vow until he died two years ago in an accident on his way back to school.

I was devastated because I couldn’t imagine myself without him. I was miserable and I cried everyday wishing he could come back to me but deep down within me I know that is impossible. After a while, I started having trouble with sleep, because the moment I close my eyes I will see Yusuf. Since then, my life has never been the same as his spirit keeps appearing to me and tormenting me. At the initial stage, he came in my dreams and he would be dripping blood and begging me to follow him. Then the apparitions became more brazen as he would appear to me in broad daylight, telling me never to leave him, reminding me of the vows we took while he was alive.
Even when I tried to go into another relationship, Yusuf's spirit has refused to let me be. In the past, he would just be crying and begging me to go with him but in the past seven months or so, he would forcefully have sex with me, always reminding me that I belong to him and any man who tries to sleep with me would die.

My parents have taken me to many places, including spiritual churches and even native doctors but none has been of help.

I feel hopeless and sometimes I think the only way out is just for me to die. How was I to know that taking blood oath will make me miserable? I was only in love and naive; now I am regretting my actions.

How do I free myself from my dead boyfriend?

By Pupwaya Timothy Dibal 

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

African countries to visit while you are young

Travelling and exploring other parts of the world can be so much fun and an exciting adventure while at the same time a challenge. This can be due to some reasons which could be that you are travelling solo, sea sickness, air sickness, road sickness or when you find it difficult to adapt to a new environment.  But the fact that you are going solo shouldn’t stop you from experiencing it as it would be highly rewarding for anyone to explore this continent during which you encounter wide landscapes, unique cultures, wild animals, and friendly communities.

What many people are not aware of is that travelling through Africa by yourself is possible because you are more likely to find new friends along the way. Africa has one of the nicest and friendliest people in the world. Actually, most countries in Africa pride themselves on their kindness and 
friendliness to foreign visitors.

Whether you are on the bus to your next destination, taking a sip of a warm tea at a coffee shop, or simply wandering around the town, expect to meet curious locals wanting to talk to you. And honestly, spending some time with locals and learning different cultures through them is definitely one of the best things you will experience when travelling here. On top of this, meeting fellow traveller and solo backpackers is also very easy. Probably the best time to visit Africa is whenever you feel ready to experience its wilderness. But of course, a rough adventure does not mean you have to sacrifice your safety; it is only for you to enjoy what the continent has to offer.

Are you planning on going for a solo journey? Then you may want to consider some of these African countries to visit while you are still young and strong.
Botswana was once a British Colony but since it got freed and became their own nation, Botswana got the steadiest democracy in Africa which makes the place an ideal destination for any kind of traveler. Exploring the country is safe and easy. Actually, you wouldn’t have a problem getting around here as almost everyone speaks English. During your stay don’t forget to try a “mokoro” ride in order to have a unique canoeing experience! Another incredible thing to do here is to watch the everyday life of the zebras, elephants, and hippos in their natural habitats!

Next to Botswana, this is another safe destination for solo travelers due to its good governance. Namibia will not fail to offer you an adventure of a lifetime. When visiting the country, don’t forget to check out Etosha National Park where you can see over hundreds of families’ mammals and different species of birds! Hire a truck that will make you have closer wildlife encounters.

This country is making a lot of noise lately for boosting its tourism sector.  But unfortunately, not a lot of people are aware of how beautiful it is.  Violence in Ethiopia is almost non-existent. Extremely visitor-friendly – you may still expect some predictable hassle and scams along the way. But then, this happens almost anywhere in the world, doesn’t it?

Not even a decade ago, Malawi wasn’t a good place to travel for foreign adventurers. But because of its new Government and economic boom, this country is now one of the best African countries to visit. Most travelers go to the rural parts of the country as getting along with and getting to know the local Malawian can be a once in a lifetime  kind of experience.

Seychelles is another must-visit gem in Africa. The country hardly delivers bad news on TV and the internet and it has beautiful and peaceful places to visit like the Petite Anse and Mahe where you will experience an easy-going lifestyle. Seychelles has converted many of its small islands to national parks. This is the way of their government to preserve the picturesque beauty of the country while allowing travelers to see it for themselves!

Madagascar is known for its wildlife, thanks to the animated movie with the same name. The animals in the movie including the cute but wild lemurs are seen here. In general, it’s a safe country in Africa to visit due to its policies and good governance.

You don’t have to travel to all the countries at once; you can decide to choose any of the country to travel to just to have a taste of their food, make new friends, learn a different language and catch lots and lots of fun.

By Pupwaya Timothy Dibal 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Home remedies for cough and catarrh

I am writing this article out of a personal experience with cough and catarrh, also known as common cold the symptoms of which could be very frustrating. Constant sneezing, blocked nostrils, difficulty in breathing and high temperature amongst others are the general symptoms of cough and catarrh. The experience can be pretty bad for any one because you will have difficulty in sleeping, you will cough all night in the case where the cough and catarrh is severe, you will feel terribly weak, have a headache with a very high temperature. It will affect your daily activities and make you have a bad day.

As the harmattan season is here with the dust, wind and dirt, a lot of children and adults alike come down with a cold (cough and catarrh). Cough and catarrh are caused by viruses known as the flu (common cold) virus. The common cold viruses are airborne, which means they are communicable with air as the source of infection. Also, a healthy person is likely to catch a cold if he or she comes into contact with someone who has cough and catarrh, either through a handshake or sharing things like spoons or towels, and then touches his or her mouth, nose or eyes without properly washing his or her hands.

However, the body usually heals itself of cough and catarrh in most cases within one week, even without any form of treatment. This is because the symptoms of cough and catarrh are the manifestations of the body's immune system actions against the common cold virus invading the body. Treating cough and catarrh the right way doesn’t mean you should constantly rely on medications, there are some ingredients found in the kitchen which can be used to relieve the discomforting symptoms. The home remedies to use in treating cough and catarrh are as follows:

Garlic: Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with the ability to fight against bacteria and virus. It works as an expectorant and decongests the chest and nasal cavity. The use of garlic helps to battle cough and catarrh effectively. You just have to endure the smell of garlic if you want to get well fast.

Honey & Lime:  Naturally the combination of honey and lime as tea really attacks cold all round. The hot tea burns out congestion and sore throat at the nasal cavity, while the lime gives vitamin c. With this remedy, your days of cold and catarrh are numbered.

Vitamin C: The antioxidant property of Vitamin C has made it a good supplement to fight off common cold. So take enough food rich in vitamin C like oranges, pawpaw, berries, peas and leafy greens.

Robb: Robb is another effective home remedy to treat cough and catarrh. Just put it in a clean piece of cloth and inhale and you can as well rub it as an ointment around your neck, face and nasal cavity once you take your bath, this will ease your cough and catarrh. You can also do a steam inhalation using the robb in hot water and covering your head with a towel and inhaling the steam.  Take deep breaths and inhale in and out, allow the steam to heat your face and chest for 10 minutes. You will feel better in no time.

Okra stream and pepper soup are good home remedies as well try them out.

Flaxseeds for cold and cough: Flaxseeds are another effective remedy to cure common cold and cough. You can boil flaxseeds until it thickens and strain it. Add a few drops of lime juice and honey to it and consume the mixture.

Salt water gargle: This remedy is old as the earth and owes its popularity to the magic effect it might have on one’s body. When used as a home remedy for catarrh, it can help the person recover much sooner. All you need is some warm water; get less than a teaspoon of salt, soda or turmeric. It’s a promise that in just a little bit of time you will feel significantly better.

By Pupwaya Timothy Dibal 

Hidden wonders of Neem Tree

The Neem tree is considered to be just a tree because a lot of people don’t know the wonders behind it. I also didn’t  know much about it until I decided to browse the internet sometimes back and lo and behold I saw a lot of the health benefits it possess.  Known to be a sacred plant, the neem tree is packed with myriad of medicinal benefits. This is the reason, why every part of this plant namely leaves, flowers and twig is used in the preparation of Ayurvedic medicines. Although bitter in taste, neem can be used to prevent and treat various health conditions. Grown throughout India as well as some part of Africa, the neem tree is well known not only for its medicinal properties but also for helping to protect the environment.

Health Benefits Of Neem Leaves:

Cardiac Care: Neem leaves are known to be an effective blood cleanser and drinking neem infused boiled water controls high blood sugar. Neem leaves extract is effective in purifying blood, removing toxins and defending against inflictions and damages from free radicals in the body. Neem leaves helps to dilate blood vessels improving blood circulation and decreases elevated heart rates. It relaxes erratic heart beats and controls high blood pressure.

Fungal disease: Neem is also effective against fungal diseases that affect the human body. These include fungus that causes lung and bronchi infection and mucous membranes. Neem leaves reduce the symptoms of fungal infections and oral thrush.

Malaria: Neem is used to treat malaria fevers. One of the neem components gedunin is very effective for treating malaria. Mosquitoes exposed to odours of crushed neem leaves result in suppression of egg laying. Consuming neem leaves is an acclaimed treatment of malaria. You can consume it by boiling the leaves in water and then drink it when it is warm.

Arthritis: Certain properties of neem leaf seed or barks naturally cure arthritis and reduce pain and swelling in joints. A massage with neem oil is effective in relieving muscle aches and joint paint and helps alleviate rheumatism, osteoarthritis and lower back pain.

Cures Poison: Neem leaves are also effective in treating poison and insect bites. This is due to anti-clotting agents that reside in neem leaf extract. Neem leaves are also used in treatment of ulcers and inflammation as they have significant anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer activity.

Benefits of Neem Leaves for Skin:
What we eat and use on our skin topically determines how beautiful our skin will be. Having rough, uneven and dull looking skin can affect our self esteem. Using the water or paste of neem leaves will help one to aid beauty and also have a smooth and glowing skin. Neem leaves are of tremendous benefits to the skin in several ways:

Moisturizes Skin: The leaves moisturize the skin keeping it soft and supple. They are effective for lightening scars and pigmentation caused by acne and scabies. If you have pimples on your face, apply the neem leaf decoction. This can even be used to treat minor wounds. To cure any kind of skin infection, mix turmeric with neem paste and apply it on your body. Do this regularly for 3 months and you will be amazed at the result.

Cures Acne: Boil a cup of neem leaves in water till the leaves are soft and discoloured, and the water turned green. Strain and store in a bottle. Add to your regular bathing water to get rid of acne, infection and body odour.

Skin Toning: Neem leaves for skin can also be used as a toner. Just dip a cotton ball in boiled neem water and wipe your face with it overnight. This will clear acne, scars, pigmentation and black heads. You can also prepare a face pack using neem leaves. Boil neem leaves with small segments of orange peel in a little water, add little yoghurt, honey and milk to form a smooth paste. Apply this to your face and wash it off when it dries. This will clear acne and break outs, white heads and even reduce the appearance of pores.

Makes Skin Glow: Regular use of a paste of neem leaves and turmeric, can clear your skin  and give it that lost glow, adding some grated cucumber can make everything better. This mask can be used for face whitening too. You can even leave neem paste on your face overnight. Just make a paste of the leaves and apply on your face. Sleep on your back and take care not to soil your bedspread/pillow. Wash it off in the morning and apply your normal face lotion or oil.

Benefits for the Hair
We all dread bad hair days, but using neem leaves for hair can give you great results. Its antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties keep your hair healthy. Below are the benefits

Enhances Hair Growth: Using neem leaves with coconut oil, can have greater benefits for your hair. Boil neem leaves till they are soft and mash it then add coconut oil. Apply the mixture on your hair and shampoo after 1 hour. Even neem paste does wonders – and if you are wondering how to apply neem paste to your hair, this is it – grind some fresh neem leaves to a paste. Add some more water if required. Apply the paste to your hair, from the root to the tip and to the scalp too. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then shampoo. It is better to use neem water to wash your hair so as to get the desirable effects you want.

Conditions Hair: Just like how neem can be used to moisturize dry skin, it can also be used to condition dry and frizzy hair. Make a paste of neem leaves boiled in a mixture of water and honey. Apply it to the hair, and then follow it up with a regular hair wash. Your dry hair will be well-conditioned, dandruff-free and frizz-free.

Improves Scalp Health: Another hair mask that will help deep condition your hair and improve scalp health can be made by mixing neem powder with amla powder, water, and lemon juice. Apply this to your hair and let it sit for 30 minutes before you wash it off with your regular shampoo. The ingredients in the pack will help keep scalp problems at bay while retaining the moisture of the hair and preventing dryness.

Helps Prevent Baldness: Most of us believe that baldness is a cosmetic issue. But the lesser-known fact is that baldness can also be a result of some long-term treatment with heavy drugs. And such cases of baldness can be cured by using neem. Neem makes the hair stronger and might also restore lost hair. However, consult your doctor on this. Regular use of neem as a hair mask and neem water as a rinse promotes hair growth. Neem also triggers the normal functioning of the scalp to ensure regrowth of hair.

By Pupwaya Timothy Dibal