Category Archives: Health

A Solar powered machine that converts salt water into drinking water

A solar-powered system can turn salt water into fresh drinking water for 25,000 people per day. It could help address the world’s looming water crisis.

Freshwater from salt water using only solar energy

Modular, off-grid desalination technology could supply families, towns

A federally funded research effort to revolutionize water treatment has yielded an off-grid technology that uses energy from sunlight alone to turn salt water into fresh drinking water. The desalination system, which uses a combination of membrane distillation technology and light-harvesting nanophotonics, is the first major innovation from the Center for Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT), a multi-institutional engineering research center based at Rice University.

NEWT’s “nanophotonics-enabled solar membrane distillation” technology, or NESMD, combines tried-and-true water treatment methods with cutting-edge nanotechnology that converts sunlight to heat. The technology is described online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More than 18,000 desalination plants operate in 150 countries, but NEWT’s desalination technology is unlike any other used today.

“Direct solar desalination could be a game changer for some of the estimated 1 billion people who lack access to clean drinking water,” said Rice scientist and water treatment expert Qilin Li, a corresponding author on the study. “This off-grid technology is capable of providing sufficient clean water for family use in a compact footprint, and it can be scaled up to provide water for larger communities.”

Rice University researchers (from left) Naomi Halas, Qilin Li, Peter Nordlander, Seth Pederson, Alessandro Alabastri and Pratiksha Dongare with a scaled up test bed of the NEWT Center’s direct solar desalination system. (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)

The oldest method for making freshwater from salt water is distillation. Salt water is boiled, and the steam is captured and run through a condensing coil. Distillation has been used for centuries, but it requires complex infrastructure and is energy inefficient due to the amount of heat required to boil water and produce steam. More than half the cost of operating a water distillation plant is for energy.

An emerging technology for desalination is membrane distillation, where hot salt water is flowed across one side of a porous membrane and cold freshwater is flowed across the other. Water vapor is naturally drawn through the membrane from the hot to the cold side, and because the seawater need not be boiled, the energy requirements are less than they would be for traditional distillation. However, the energy costs are still significant because heat is continuously lost from the hot side of the membrane to the cold.

Naomi Halas

“Unlike traditional membrane distillation, NESMD benefits from increasing efficiency with scale,” said Rice’s Naomi Halas, a corresponding author on the paper and the leader of NEWT’s nanophotonics research efforts. “It requires minimal pumping energy for optimal distillate conversion, and there are a number of ways we can further optimize the technology to make it more productive and efficient.”

NEWT’s new technology builds upon research in Halas’ lab to create engineered nanoparticles that harvest as much as 80 percent of sunlight to generate steam. By adding low-cost, commercially available nanoparticles to a porous membrane, NEWT has essentially turned the membrane itself into a one-sided heating element that alone heats the water to drive membrane distillation.

“The integration of photothermal heating capabilities within a water purification membrane for direct, solar-driven desalination opens new opportunities in water purification,” said Yale University ‘s Menachem “Meny” Elimelech, a co-author of the new study and NEWT’s lead researcher for membrane processes.

Read the full article at News.Rice

Is Inflammation the enemy of Dopamine?

Why do we feel listless when we are recovering from an illness? The answer is, apparently, that low-grade chronic inflammation interferes with the dopaminergic signaling system in the brain that motivates us to do things.

This was reported in a new paper published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

The research carried out at Emory University explains the links between the reduced release of dopamine in the brain, the motivation to do things, and the presence of an inflammatory reaction in the body. It also presents the possibility that this is part of the body’s effort to optimize its energy expenditure during such inflammatory episodes, citing evidence gathered during their study.

The authors also published an experimental framework based on computational tools, devised to test the theory.

The underlying hypothesis is that the body needs more energy to heal a wound or overcome an infection, for instance, both of which are associated with low-grade inflammation. To ensure that energy is available, the brain uses an adaptive technique to reduce the natural drive to perform other tasks which could potentially drain away the energy needed for healing. This is essentially a recalibration of the specialized reward neurons in the motivation center of the brain, so that ordinary tasks no longer feel like they’re worth doing.

According to the new study, the mechanism of this recalibration is immune-mediated disruption of the dopamine pathway, reducing dopamine release.

The computational technique published by the scientists is designed to allow experimental measurements of the extent to which low-grade inflammation affects the amount of energy available, and the decision to do something based on the effort needed. This could allow us to better understand why and how chronic inflammatory states cause a lack of motivation in other disease conditions as well, including schizophrenia and depression.

Andrew Miller, co-author of the study, says, “If our theory is correct, then it could have a tremendous impact on treating cases of depression and other behavioral disorders that may be driven by inflammation. It would open up opportunities for the development of therapies that target energy utilization by immune cells, which would be something completely new in our field.”

It is already known that immune cells release cellular signaling molecules called cytokines, which affect the functioning of the dopamine-releasing neurons in the area of the brain called the mesolimbic system. This area enhances our willingness to work hard for the sake of a reward.


Image Copyright: Meletios, Image ID: 71648629 via

Recently, it was discovered that immune cells also enjoy a unique capability to shift between various metabolic states, unlike other cells. This could affect cytokine release patterns in such a way as to signal the brain to conserve available energy for the use of the immune system.

Read the full article at news-medical written by Dr. Liji Thomas

Benefits of He Shou Wu

He Shou Wu is a popular herbal remedy, common in traditional Chinese medicine.

It’s used to treat a variety of ailments and has been linked to a number of health benefits, such as healthy aging, longevity, and virility.

However, despite its widespread use, this herb has come under scrutiny as it may cause serious side effects, such as liver damage (1Trusted Source).

This article reviews He Shou Wu, its potential benefits, side effects, and dosage.

What Is  He Shou Wu?

He Shou Wu is a Chinese herbal medicine, derived from the Polygonum multiflorum Thunb plant (Trusted Source).

The name “He Shou Wu” translates to “the black-haired Mr. He.” It’s said that the remedy was named due to the transformational, youth-restoring effects it had on “Mr. He” when he discovered the herb.

It’s also referred to as Chinese knotweed and known as Fo-Ti in America.

This popular herbal remedy is used worldwide — often to promote good health and virility, as well as to treat a variety of different health conditions ( Trusted Source).

He Shou Wu is a versatile herb in traditional Chinese medicine.

Many people take it to promote general good health, especially in old age ( Trusted Source).

However, this herb is also used to treat various health conditions, such as diabetes, hair loss, heart disease, constipation, and cancer (Trusted Source).

The plant itself is a type of vine. Once harvested, the leaves, roots, and root tubers are separated and combined with other ingredients to create remedies to treat different ailments.

Source – HealthLine 


Organic Cold Remedy ( Rasta Style)

They come to see hummingbirds to bloodcleet! Matthew’s caught a cold so Mokko is boiling up a magical Rasta style tea remedy with Medina & Chigani & Aurelia leaves. We discover a hummingbird nest, we chat dangerous air conditioning, see some of the herbs growing on the yard, bamboo fence engineering, what grows at the Bob Marley Museum and why in Jamaica everyone like’s their own variety of bush. Bless up,

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Introducing the Cube 001 : Blessons From The Pope

Introducing the Cube: “Blessons” From The Pope

In this episode we visit the Pope! Somehow some way I came across Pope on instagram and her magnetic personality would always have me laughing so I made sure our paths would cross with a touch of effort. Fast forward a year or so and here we are!

We planned to link up, roll up, and paint up some canvases. I didnt plan on talking about mushrooms or any psychedelics it just happened to unfold in that manner. Pope remembered she had some mushrooms in the back of her closet she had been reluctant to eat so we decided to make a little tea while we paint.

This episode I placed the audience in more of a fly on the wall atmosphere.  It goes in and out of conversation, giggles and paint strokes so listen close or click around. The time stamps are below if you would like to listen directly to the conversational parts below.
Enjoy Peace

3:00 Difference between LSD & Mushrooms?
8:22  Pope has mushrooms
20:20 Making Tea / Tea Complete
23:10 Liquid vs Eating
25:02 Long term effects of eating mushrooms
26:15 Problem Solving & Decision Certainty
32:19 When Do you feel it?
42:21 ??? Sound Ringing ( Phone Rings Loud)
54:00 Painting
1:00:07  The Health Benefits of Eating Mushrooms ?
1:10:00  How it all started…. The Juice
1:26:57  What is your best  mushroom memory
1:46:33  Why are you a mushroom advocate?
1:48:18  What changes have you seen in yourself?
1:55:33 Mushroom Tour 2019 ?
1:55:00 Impromptu Mushroom Meets / Black Friends vs White Friends | Sober Demons
2:03:00 How many freak outs have you had? Weed Moment
2:07:00 Mushroom Freak out
2:12:35 Sex On Mushrooms / Mushroom Head
2:16:56 What is your advice for first time mushroom takers?

Anatomy of the Hands

Understanding the basic anatomy of the hand and fingers is useful in understanding different types of finger injuries, broken fingers, and how some treatments differ from others.

The hand is divided into three sections: 1) wrist, 2) palm, and 3) fingers.

  1. The wrist has eight bones, which move together to allow the vast ranges of motion of the wrist.
  2. The palm or mid-hand is comprised of the metacarpal bones. The metacarpal bones have muscular attachments and bridge the wrist to the individual fingers. These bones frequently are injured with direct trauma such as a crush injury, or most commonly, a punching injury.
  3. The fingers are the most frequently injured part of the hand. Fingers are constructed of ligaments (strong supportive tissue connecting bone to bone), tendons (attachment tissue from muscle to bone), and three phalanxes (bones). There are no muscles in the fingers; and fingers move by the pull of forearm muscles on the tendons.
  • The three bones in each finger are named according to their relationship to the palm of the hand. The first bone, closest to the palm, is the proximal phalanx; the second bone is the middle phalanx; and the smallest and farthest from the hand is the distal phalanx. The thumb does not have a middle phalanx.
  • The knuckles are joints formed by the bones of the fingers and are commonly injured or dislocated with trauma to the hand.
    • The first and largest knuckle is the junction between the hand and the fingers – the metacarpophalangeal joint (MCP). This joint commonly is injured in closed-fist activities and is commonly known as a boxer’s fracture.
    • The next knuckle out toward the fingernail is the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP). This joint may be dislocated in sporting events when a ball or object directly strikes the finger.
    • The farthest joint of the finger is the distal interphalangeal joint (DIP). Injuries to this joint usually involve a fracture or torn tendon (avulsion) injury.
Bones of the Hand

Bones of the Hand


What is Bergamot?

Bergamot oil is extracted from the rinds of citrus fruit (Citrus bergamia) that grow on bergamot orange trees. If you’re a fan of Earl Grey tea, you’re already enjoying the distinctive taste of bergamot, which is used to flavor it.

The earliest roots of the bergamot tree can be traced to Southeast Asia. It’s currently grown in many parts of the world, but achieved its prominence and name in the town of Bergamo in southern Italy.

It’s prized for its soothing scent, spicy taste, and wide range of uses.

How to use bergamot oil 

Bergamot’s distinctive, citrusy scent is used in both men’s and women’s personal care products. It can be found in perfumes, cologne, toiletries, and cosmetics. Edible bergamot oil is used as a food and drink flavoring. It also has medicinal value.

Bergamot essential oil should not be used full strength directly on skin. It can be mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or mineral oil, and used as a skin softener. Bergamot oil can also be mixed with water vapor and used as an aromatherapy treatment. Do not swallow essential oils.

Bergamot oil aromatherapy 

Bergamot essential oil is highly touted for its soothing use as an aromatherapy treatment. Here are a few ways you can keep its scent close:

  • Mix bergamot essential oil with a carrier oil to use as a body lotion or for massage.
  • Add two to five drops of Bergamot essential oil to products such as body wash, shampoo, and facial scrubs.
  • Use it as an ingredient in aromatherapy. For example, bergamot essential oil can be added to scent homemade candles and air fresheners. You can also dab it in vaporizers to distribute its scent in a room or add it to potpourri.
  • Dab it on a bandana or handkerchief for a soothing scent on-the-go.

Bergamot oil for acne and skin

Several compounds in bergamot oil have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This may make bergamot oil an effective spot treatment for acne in people who do not have sensitive skin. Its analgesic qualities may also make it effective against painful cysts and pimples.

To use bergamot oil as a spot treatment:

  • Apply bergamot oil mixed with a carrier oil directly to pimples, cysts, and blackheads.
  • Leave on overnight.
  • Do not use or leave this treatment on during the day or in sunlight.

You can also mix the diluted oil into water or your favorite cleanser to use as a facial rinse.

Bergamot oil for hair 

Bergamot oil enthusiasts (and people who love soft, lightly scented hair), swear by this essential oil’s ability to soften and tame curls. Anecdotal evidence indicates that bergamot oil may also be soothing to an irritated scalp.

To use, put a few drops in your usual shampoo. You can also mix one to two drops with a tablespoon of carrier oil and massage it into your scalp as an overnight treatment.

Using bergamot oil with other essential oils

Many other essential oils can provide similar benefits. Try experimenting with the ones you like, and mixing them with each other. Some to try include:

  • Lavender oil. Lavender is a classic scent for aromatherapy. It’s often used in skin, hair, and acne products and treatments.
  • Tea tree oil. Touted for its antibacterial properties, tea tree oil may fight acne and soothe skin inflammation.
  • Chamomile oil. Soothing as a tea or on the skin, chamomile may also elevate mood.

Benefits of bergamot oil 

Research on bergamot oil has uncovered multiple benefits. These include:

Stress reduction

A small 2015 studyTrusted Source done on women in Japan found that inhaled bergamot oil mixed with water vapor reduced feelings of anxiety and fatigue.

Similarly, a 2013 article published in the journal Current Drug TargetsTrusted Source reported that aromatherapy with bergamot (among other essential oils) can relieve depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders by signaling the brain to release dopamine and serotonin.

Fights food poisoning

Linalool, a compound found in bergamot, may sometimes be effective at destroying types of bacteria responsible for food-borne illnesses.

2006 studyTrusted Source examined bergamot’s effectiveness at destroying several strains of bacterium on chicken skin and cabbage leaves. The bacterium tested were:

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Bacillus cereus
  • E. coli O157
  • Campylobacter jejuni

Study findings suggested that bergamot essential oil may be effective when used against these types of bacteria, but also indicated that additional studies are needed.

2016 studyTrusted Source tested the effect of different types of bergamot essential oil against strains of Listeria monocytogenes, the bacteria that causes listeriosis infection. Researchers used listeria samples from different sources including fish and poultry.

The different formulations of bergamot had weak to strong effects at stopping the growth of the different bacteria samples. Given the variability, researchers concluded that bergamot essential oil’s effectiveness against bacteria in foods should be estimated.

Source – HealthLine 

The benefits of eating fermented foods

Fermented foods became more accepted due to the achievement of the traditional food movement.

For a long period of time, people have eaten fermented food because of the diverse benefits that they offer. People definitely realized why our ancestors used this kind of foods.

Jillian Levy, a certified holistic health coach, said that for centuries sauerkraut, which is a form of fermented cabbage, has been known all over Central Europe.

Sauerkraut is a combination of one of the most healthy foods that exist, cabbage, and fermentation, a conventional method for food preparation. This method is known to be a popular and old form of conserving the cabbage, as it was a crucial food source in ancient times, according to the Institute for Integrative Medicine at the University of Witten in Germany.

The ancient technique called fermentation is the method that can change the chemistry of any food. Valuable probiotics are being processed by sauerkraut’s fermentation, comparable to cultivated dairy products such as yogurt and kefir. The immune, cognitive, digestive and endocrine function is enhanced due to this probiotics.

Pickling cabbage is used to make sauerkraut in a process called lacto-fermentation. The sauerkraut is a big source of enzymes that can help with digestion and absorbing nutrients in the body.

Large amounts of chemicals are used in the store-bought sauerkraut which is pasteurized. Because of that, it cannot offer all the health benefits that the natural sauerkraut contains.

If you want to make home-made sauerkraut and increase your immune system, here is how to do it:

Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe
  • 6 pounds cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons of sea salt


You have to cut out the big outer leaves of the cabbage and then cut what’s left of it. Then, mix the cabbage with salt in a dish. For around 15 minutes, mix it with your hands, so it can release a huge amount of its healthy juices.

After, put the mix into a large fermentation container and push it down so that the juices will come up on the top. After you do this step, cover the mix with a plate, leaving about 2 inches of space from the top.

Later, place a glass jar filled with water on top of the plate so that it will be pressed down, making the water come out of it. The container must be kept at room temperature in a dark, cool place, covered with a towel.

The process of fermentation will take about a month. After it is done, store the sauerkraut in a fridge and enjoy its benefits daily!


Health Benefits of Coconut Cotyledon

The mature coconuts are collected regularly for their milk.  You can usually crack open a coconut for lunch and in the older, mature coconuts you’ll sometimes find a soft, spongey type formation on the inside of the coconut.  

This happens when the coconut is ready to shoot some leaves out and is an edible, soft predecessor.  This part is actually the Coconut Cotyledon which is sometimes called the ‘Coconut Embryo’ or ‘Coconut Apple’ and is suspended in germination and is generally eaten raw.

Samoans call this part of the Coconut O’o, Tongans, Tahitians and Cook Islanders call it ‘Uto, Niueans name for it is Niu Tupu, the Fijians call it Vara and Hawaiians refer to it as iho or lolo!

We all know that Coconut water and meat are very nutritious so don’t underestimate this one!  


Here are the Top 10 Health benefits of the Coconut Embryo:

1.  Supports immune system health: it is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasite.