Amber Necklaces to Treat Symptoms of Teething in Babies - A Superstition or Scientific Fact?

pictures of 3 babies smiling

The current trend of using Amber to relieve the toothache of babies is not only based on superstition, but also might endanger the lives of children


The process of teething usually begins at three to six months. Many parents describe these months as a difficult period, full of crying and sleepless nights. Many parents are looking for solutions that will alleviate the distress of their daughter or son, from popsicles to various medications. Marketers take advantage of this distress to offer magic solutions that promise everything, but often without a solid scientific basis. Such are the Amber chains, whose manufacturers often claim that they can ease the pain of babies and protect them from harm.

Dangerous "remedies" amber necklace science


The pain that the babies feel is not due to the tooth's own tear through the gums, but from the swelling of the gums three or five days before. Studies have shown a connection between the eruption of teeth and symptoms such as fever, increased urination, diarrhea, and more, which occur almost immediately with the eruption of the tooth. Other studies indicate that teething does not have systemic symptoms such as fever and diarrhea, but only a local effect such as redness, swelling and increased mucus.

In the Middle Ages, when infant mortality was very high and there was overlap between teething ages and mortality, the result was that the eruption of teeth was a life-threatening disease. In fact, until the 19th century, people considered teething as a process that disrupts the nervous system and thus brings the baby a disease.

Many methods were used on children in those days, from honey and minerals to toxic metals such as mercury. Often they even cut the gums to reveal the teeth that were coming out. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, it was estimated that about 50 percent of French children died from toothpaste. It is difficult to determine how many of the tragic cases are related to this, and how many were caused by the toxic and dangerous treatments. Most of these methods have long since disappeared from the world when they realized they were not necessary, but there are still cultures that preserve some of them to this day.

Magic necklaces


The use of medicinal teething necklaces began at the latest in the 16th century. In 1597, the use of necklaces made from Peony roots was first documented to cure toothache. In a 1633 article in the UK, a writer named Galen notes that due to the enormous infant mortality in his day, a market of magic solutions developed for almost every real or imaginary death factor, and also for teething.

The target audience for the healing necklaces was varied and included mothers, toddlers at the age of teething and any individuals suffering from any head related diseases. The chain sellers purported to cure any disease: diarrhea, fever, cuts and even tick fever. Gailen added that the chains of medicinal plants were relatively expensive and children from affluent homes wore them. Their survival rates were higher, but Gailen attributed this to the fact that rich children lived in a cleaner environment rather than chains of medicinal plants.

A similar alternative was the Amber necklace, which is supposed to be a natural and magical remedy for the pain of tooth growth. The Amber is a fossil made from a pine tree resin that has undergone mineralization deep in the soil. The trees secrete the resin as a self-healing device when something bad happens to the tree tissue due to breakage or insect damage. The hard resin seals the tree and protects it from diseases and infections.

Amber, was used for decoration 13 thousand years ago. In the 18th century it was used, among other things, as a source of fragrant oil and as a controversial treatment against "hysteria" and female infertility. The Baltic amber, which is the raw material for most amber chains today, consists of 8 to 3 percent of Succinic acid, oils and alcohol.

Therapeutic resin?


In recent years, the trend of using Amber necklaces to ease the toothache of babies has been reviving. Supporters of the practice claim that the chain was designed specifically for babies who grow teeth. The common belief is that the warmth of the baby's body warms the amber and causes it to secrete oils containing Succinic acid, which is absorbed in the body and soothes its pain.

Does it have a scientific basis?


  • First, amber is molten at temperatures of 375-200 ° C, well above the baby's body temperature, which of course is only 37 ° C. So it is doubtful whether it will discharge any material at such a low temperature from its melting point.
  • Second, one must understand what Succinic acid is. This is a weak acid that was first isolated in 1546 from Amber. In 1937, the Hungarian researcher Albert Szent-Györgyi discovered that it played an important role in the process of cellular respiration, and even won the Nobel Prize. The material is widely used in the food and plastic industries and serves as a basis for many medications.
The acid also exists naturally in all tissues of our bodies and is involved in the process of energy generation in the cell and in many metabolic processes. It has been found to increase inflammation and contribute to the immune system. Research shows its involvement in many other different processes.

Although this is a relatively weak acid, any contact with the skin at high concentration requires that you quickly wash the affected area and contact your doctor immediately, as it can cause burns. Therefore, if the amber had spread it on the baby's skin, there might be conditions where not only was the treatment ineffective but even harmful.

However, studies have shown that Succinic acid has the potential to be effective, at least in laboratory conditions, for diseases related to defects in the cellular breathing process. It is not used as an analgesic and included in medications as a non-active agent only, to regulate the pH of the medication.

Safety considerations


Even if parents have already decided to wear an Amber necklace to their baby, many questions still arise. First, chain distributors market them as "natural remedies" but do not refer to the relative dose according to the age of the child and body weight. It does not seem, for example, that there is any difference between a two-month-old chain and a two-and-a-half-year-old. In addition, there is no real reference to possible side effects and sensitivities, as is the case with real medications. Keep in mind that even "natural" material may still be dangerous.

Another danger concerns the very wearing of a necklaces for toddlers, especially during sleep. Necklace designers claim that the chain has been designed so that it will be torn by a very weak pull to prevent suffocation. They also warn that the necklace should not be worn during sleep and that parental supervision is required while wearing it throughout the day.

Today, choking is the leading cause of death in the first year of life. According to the World Health Organization 23 percent of all child deaths in the world in 2008 were due to suffocation, snake bites or hyperthermia.

Babies and toddlers are curious by nature and explore their world through their mouths. Many warnings have been issued that wires and beads should be removed from their hands because of the danger of choking and that necklaces should not be worn due to documented deaths of suffocation. In recent days, the FDA has issued a warning against the use of amber necklaces to treat infant tooth pain and also to create sensory stimulation in children with special needs. The warning said that such necklaces could cause suffocation due to pressure on the neck, choking as a result of swallowing parts if they rupture, and mouth sores and infections.

It can therefore be safely said that today, when we know that teething is not a disease, there is no need to take exceptional measures against it. It is clear that the dangers of necklaces around baby necks of only a few months are inconsistent with the alleged analgesic effect of amber stones, especially since it itself is controversial at best.

References:



Ferro, Austin, et al. "Short-term succinic acid treatment mitigates cerebellar mitochondrial OXPHOS dysfunction, neurodegeneration and ataxia in a Purkinje-specific spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) mouse model." PloS one 12.12 (2017): e0188425.

Taillefer, A., et al. "Infants wearing teething necklaces." Archives de pediatrie: organe officiel de la Societe francaise de pediatrie 19.10 (2012): 1058-1064.

WHO World report on child injury prevention

Natural Painkiller - A Cactus that has the Potential to Relieve Chronic Pain

a picture of a cactus and a little wooden man

A Cactus from Morocco Produces a Strong Substance that can be Used as a Painkiller.

In contrast to basic flavors such as sour, sweet and salty, caused by the stimulation of specific taste receptors in the mouth, the piquant "flavor" is actually an irritation of the receptors of pain, feel and fever in the mouth. 


Studies have shown that a particularly strong substance produced by a certain type of cactus is strong enough to kill pain nerves. 

The possibility of using it as a long-term analgesic for people suffering from chronic pain is being investigated.


The sensation of heat or burning in the mouth after eating spicy foods is due to the activation of these receptors that would work if our mouth was really burned - if we were drinking boiling liquid, for example. 

The degree of excitability of the material is measured using an index called the Scoville scale, which estimates the concentration of the particles that cause a sense of sharpness. 

Pepper's strength is, for example, about 10,000-2,500 Scoville units, while pure Capsaicin, which is the active ingredient in hot peppers, amounts to up to 16 million on the Scoville scale.

Spicy as a cactus?


Despite the strong reputation of peppers, the sharpest material comes from cacti. Cactus Euphorbia resinifera grown in Morocco naturally produces the substance Resiniferatoxin, or RTX in short. 

The substance is similar in form to Capsaicin but is 1,000 times stronger: its strength reaches 16 billion Scoville.

Resiniferatoxin is so pungent that it can destroy the nerves it touches. RTX binds specifically to the receptor found in the nerves of pain or heat and causes excessive opening of calcium channels. 


These canals take too much calcium into the cell, poisoning the cell and killing it. This ability to specifically kill the pain nerves has useful potential, and clinical studies are now being conducted on its use as an analgesic.

Experiments were conducted on rats and dogs with bone cancer, which did not respond to painkillers. 


Since RTX is accompanied by pain, as in the case of eating spicy foods, local injection of the substance into the bone in which the cancer is grown was carried out under anesthesia. 

The animals were examined several weeks or months after the injection and showed a dramatic decrease in signs of pain: dogs who could not walk because of the pain returned to running. On average, it took several months after the injection until the animals began to show signs of pain again. 

Now researchers are beginning to investigate the effects of the substance on people with terminal bone cancer.

The painkillers currently on the market, such as Opioid drugs, temporarily reduce pain and need to be taken frequently and over time. 


They also have severe side effects that include euphoria, addiction, and, in the long term, respiratory and bowel damage. 

In contrast, RTX requires only one injection, or at least every few months when necessary, and its effect is limited to the injection site. 

However, it should be remembered that the procedure harms the pain nerves irreversibly, and it is still unclear what the long-term effects of the procedure are.

Is Aubergine Healthy and What is the Best Way to Eat Eggplant?

picture of eggplants

is aubergine healthy?

 

For a long time leading scientists in the world thought that the eggplant had no health benefits at all, but in recent years, it has been discovered that this misconception stems mainly from its conventional method of preparation which involves the discarding of the its peel. 

Here are a few misconceptions about eggplants that were dispelled and a few great reasons to eat eggplant health food. So, is eggplant healthy to eat?

The eggplant is fattening


Not true. The eggplant contains more than 90 percent water, less than half a percent of fat, about 1.5 grams of protein and about 9 grams of carbohydrates, of which 2.5 grams are dietary fiber. 

Since eggplants have very few calories (35 calories per 100 grams cooked eggplant), are low in fat and contain high amounts of fiber, they contribute to a sense of satiety. 

So as long as eggplants are prepared correctly, they might be a good option for people trying to lose or control their weight.

It is not healthy to eat the eggplant with its shell


Not true. Eggplant peel is a source of purple antioxidants called anthocyanins. These can help protect against aging processes and diseases. It is recommended to combine eggplant in the weekly menu as a source of protective components. 

On the contrary, when the eggplant is fried and its peel discarded, many of its important nutrients lose their value or are thrown into the trash. 

If cooked in soups, baked or simply steamed, the eggplant is actually beneficial to our health. Eggplants contain high amounts of antioxidants, are full of vitamins and fiber and have very few calories.

The eggplant has no nutritional values


Not true. Eggplant is rich in antioxidants (various types of polyphenols) that help protect against the development of diseases, soluble and insoluble fiber, and contains B vitamins such as B1 and B6, potassium and others. 

The nutrient fibers in the eggplant contribute to regulating the activity of the digestive system and to slowing down and reducing the absorption of nutrients such as sugar and cholesterol. 

Other eggplant components, such as sapphons, also contribute to lowering cholesterol levels.

It is recommended to consume vegetables and fruits from 5 groups of color on a daily basis: red, orange, green, white and purple. As mentioned before, the eggplant's peel is a source of purple antioxidants called anthocyanins. 


These can help protect against aging processes and diseases. Therefore, combining eggplant in the diet can help to diversify vegetable consumption and provide important purple antioxidants. 

Eggplant is also rich in other important polyphenols, such as chlorogenic acid, that can help reduce the risk of a wide range of diseases.

Eggplants are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber and contribute to intestinal health - 100 grams cooked eggplant contains almost 10% of the recommended daily dietary fiber intake. 


Nutrients contribute to the regulation of gastrointestinal activity, to maintain the health of the intestine and to protect it against cancerous processes, and to slow down and reduce the absorption of nutrients such as sugar and cholesterol. 

Vitamins and minerals - Eggplant contains a significant amount of beta carotene, B vitamins, vitamin C and essential minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, copper and phosphorus. 

It also contains astringent substances that constrict blood vessels and is therefore good for healing hemorrhoids and bleeding wounds.

Source of B vitamins - Eggplant is a source of B1 vitamins responsible for the production of energy for the brain and nervous system activity: Vitamin B6, for example, contributes to lowering homocysteine ​​levels in the blood, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Eggplants may contribute to protecting the body against various diseases


Integrating eggplant in ones diet can help increase the consumption and variety of vegetables and help different natural mechanisms reduce the risk of a variety of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and possibly even diabetes.

Eggplants may nourish the brain and improve blood circulation - Eggplants contain many phytonutrients that improve the blood flow in the body, especially the blood reaching the brain, but it is important to note that these substances are found only in the eggplant peel. 

These are actually compounds that give the plant its color and taste, so the more beautiful the eggplant, the healthier it will be.

Eggplants are nutritious and recommended for diabetics - For centuries, many cultures have used eggplant to control symptoms of diabetes, and recent research confirms its ability to fulfill this role. 


This advantage is due to its high fiber content, compared to the low amount of soluble carbohydrates it contains.

Reduces Cholesterol - Eggplant plays an important role in maintaining our heart and blood system. 


In studies conducted in France over the past 10 years, it is found that the eggplant reduces the amount of bad cholesterol in the body, but this effect only occurs if cooked at a temperature not exceeding 200 degrees.

Eggplant may help to maintain normal blood pressure - In addition to its effect on bad cholesterol in the body, the eggplant keeps our heart healthy in other ways as well. 


The eggplant is a good source of potassium that contributes to maintaining normal blood pressure levels. 

In addition, the eggplant's peel and meat are filled with important flavonoids that contribute to maintain normal blood pressure and relieve stress.

Strengthens the blood vessels - Regular consumption of eggplant may help to prevent blockages in blood vessels, thanks to the high content of vitamin K that strengthens blood vessels in the body.

Is pasta healthy? and why do children get addicted to pasta.

kinds of pasta and a stethoscope
Children have an innate tendency for sweet and starchy foods, a logical phenomenon from an evolutionary perspective, as these foods become an energy source available to their rapidly evolving bodies and brains. 

Many parents want to prevent their children from eating high-carbohydrate foods because they consume too many "empty carbohydrates" like flakes, pasta, etc. 

But children tend to respond differently to food restriction and usually find other ways to get what they want. In older children the situation is even more acute, since they can go eat whatever they like elsewhere.

Is starchy food unhealthy for our children?


turns out that pasta and other starchy foods help children in a lot different ways, such as -  
  • improving mood.
  • maintaining normal body weight.
  • contributing to heart health.
  • and protecting memory abilities.
Although many adults choose to limit their intake of carbohydrates or eat only whole grains due to excess weight and other health reasons, children are generally not advised to do. 

Since pasta has a negative image as a fattening food, many people seek other alternatives Like Quinoa, Kyle, and so on. In fact, eating pasta three times a week does not make you fat or helps lose weight. 

It is important to make it clear that the product itself is not fattening when consumed in a reasonable amount, about half a cup of cooked pasta per day, but eating it in larger quantities together with sauces containing cream and fat cheeses may be a major part of the cause of obesity.

Is pasta healthy?


Pasta is simple and fast food to prepare, nutritious and very tasty. And yet, although pasta is loved by both children and adults, this food suffers from poor public relations. 

Although pasta is considered a carbohydrate dish and is sometimes accompanied by high-calorie sauces, pasta can be a part of a healthy menu if you follow a few simple rules.

Choose your pasta correctly


Prefer whole wheat pasta. The main difference between regular pasta and pasta made of whole wheat flour is the wheat processing method. 

Whole wheat pasta contains most of the wheat kernel. Besides vitamins and minerals, pasta provides the body with dietary fiber that may reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other health complications. 

Another advantage of eating whole grains is a moderate increase in blood sugar, which contributes to a longer sense of satiety.

The size of the dish matters


Did you know that a pasta bowl (containing about 3 cups) is equal in calories to eating about 6 slices of bread?, 

Pasta contains about 100 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrates. 

Carbohydrates provide the energy needed for the body to perform many physiological processes so it is not recommended to give up eating carbohydrates but to incorporate them moderately in the menu.

Are sauces the problem?


The choice of pasta sauce has great impact on the caloric and health value of the dish. The recommended sauces are sauces that contain vegetables and are based on vegetable oils. 

The priority is for sauces based on monounsaturated and unsaturated oils such as olive oil, sunflower, soy, nuts and almonds.

It is recommended to minimize as much as possible saturated fats such as butter and cream. 


Saturated fat raises the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. Try To reduce the amount of calories in the sauce and to enrich the dish with vitamins and minerals, the sauce should contain a small amount of oils and a large amount of vegetables.

In order to receive a dish that combines all the food groups, it is recommended to add foods to the pasta dish containing protein such as fish, or proteins from tofu, lentils and beans.

Increase the volume of vegetables


A pasta dish is an excellent opportunity to eat vegetables. When vegetables are added to the dish, the volume of the meal increases and the pasta dish becomes rich in important nutrients. 

It is recommended to add a variety of vegetables to the pasta. The tomato sauce containing lycopene, which protects against prostate cancer, green pesto sauce that contains lutein, and more.

Easy to adjust the pasta dish


There are many different shapes and types of pasta, but most are made from a few simple ingredients: flour, water and sometimes eggs. However, pasta can be adapted to many menu types, depending on the sauce and noodle type. 

Celiac patients who cannot eat gluten, can eat gluten-free pasta. On the vegan menu, you can include pasta without eggs in vegetables and legumes sauce. 

For all lovers of pasta who want to reduce the amount of carbohydrates, in recent years there are many recipes for the preparation of spaghetti made from vegetables.

You are not convinced yet?


you should know that Italian research has recently determined that pasta can help in the process of weight loss. 

The research from the Neuromed Medical Institute in Italy, examined about 23,000 subjects from around the country and found that eating pasta as part of a Mediterranean diet could even help weight loss.

Interesting Facts About Pasta:

  • There are over 400 different types of pasta.

Pasta exists today in many different forms, different flavors, varied types of flour, with eggs or without eggs and the list goes on. 

Each form has a name that was invented specifically for it - from the best known spaghetti, through the gnocchi, which also came under the category, to the "radiatore pasta", which you guessed right, designed in the form of a radiator. 

The flavors also have a variety that is difficult to follow: from pastas with different vegetable flavors to chocolate-flavored pasta, which is perfectly suited as a dessert for a traditional Italian meal.

  • Despite the prevailing assumption, pasta usually does not contain eggs.

Fresh pasta usually contains semolina flour, which is made from durum wheat, water and eggs, but the vegans among you will be happy to hear that almost all types of dry pasta sold in the supermarket do not contain eggs in order to prolong their shelf life.

  • The most popular cheese dish in the US is "Mac and Cheese"

The favorite dish came from Italy to the United States in the 19th century and became popular in the 1930s, when it began to appear as a "box product" in supermarkets and was considered one of the 10 most popular foods on the continent.

  • Even after being filtered, pasta continues to be cooked.

You don't want to get a pot filled with a large, sticky block of pasta, you should filter the boiling water and rinse the pasta in cold water. 

Otherwise, the pasta continues to cook from its own heat and the starch in the pasta will turn your favorite pasta dish into a sticky lump.

  • October pasta?

October is celebrated around the world as a month of the pasta, a tradition that began in 1995 when 40 of the world's largest pasta manufacturers gathered for a special conference to raise the status of pasta in the global food industry.

So how are you planning to celebrate the international pasta month?