Medical Hotline: October 2005

 
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Medicinal Fruit

Mandarins have a variety of medicinal qualities. It is a special fruit, and was the traditional gift presented to the Mandarin lords of China for centuries. It is used in aromatherapy for stretch marks, scars, stress and irritability, insomnia, restlessness and general tension. It may be used in massage, baths, inhalations and a variety of “slimming massages.” A few drops of essential oil in the bath are claimed to be relaxing and refreshing. Like oranges, it is rich in vitamin C in its traditional use as a food.

Relaxation Therapy

Many children and young people become embarrassed at some stage in public. Now there’s a label for it: social phobia. Many doctors do not believe it exists, however, saying it’s simply part of growing up. For those who do, some prescribe drug therapy, others, relaxation therapy. Behavioural therapy is also effective.

Teenage Blight!

For teenagers suffering pimples, Roaccutane may work when all else fails. But sufferers should seek a referral to the skin specialist for an an exam and prescription. In the meantime, a daily cleansing using a non-alkaline soap then dabbed dry with a soft towel, along with a healthy diet low in fats (no chips), and freedom from stress will all be helpful.

Honey Helpers

It’s long been known that honey has medicinal properties. Manuka dark honey from New Zealand has been recommended for years, and is claimed to have antibacterial properties. But any dark honey is probably just as good. Bee-agra is a very dark Australian honey, gathered in NSW, with added pollens, and probably offers health properties.

Travel Advisory

People have developed hepatitis B from an inadvertent needle prick while travelling on public transport or walking on a beach. Leaving potentially infected syringes in public places is a criminal offence. For a variety of health reasons, inspect the seat. I use a spoon, which I run around the gap at the seat edge, where a syringe can easily reside undetected. Vaccination against hepatitis A and B is strongly advised, and can be started in infancy.

Shin Splint

Shin splints occur fairly often in school students. It is caused by overactivity of the shin muscles, either front or back. Treatment is simply the cessation of exercise. Physiotherapy, massage, hydrotherapy (alternate hot and cold packs), analgesics and anti-inflammatory treatment may all help. Gradual resumption of exercise can then occur. A muscle tear takes longer to heal.

Botox Use

Botox, or botulinum toxin, comes from the botulism germ, which is highly toxic. The dilution used for beauty intervention is said to be safe and is now the most widely performed cosmetic procedure in the world, with tens of thousands having their wrinkles injected each day. While initially the effect is positive, it diminishes, with re-injections needed to maintain the original positive result.