Fighting Leprosy and its Stigma

A person affected by leprosy often experiences a loss of self-esteem and dignity. He feels fear, shame, hopelessness and guilt. The disease often affects those who cannot afford even the basic necessities like food, water and shelter.

About Leprosy
It is an infectious disease that causes severe, disfiguring skin sores and nerve damage in the arms and legs. The disease that has been prevalent since ancient times is often surrounded by negative stigmas and tales of leprosy patients being shunned as outcasts. The oldest civilizations of China, Egypt and India feared that leprosy was an incurable, mutilating and contagious.
However Leprosy is actually not that contagious. One can catch it only if he comes into close and repeated contact with nose and mouth droplets from someone with untreated leprosy. The younger ones are more likely to be affected by leprosy than adults.

What causes Leprosy?
Leprosy is caused by the bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. It is also known as Hansen’s disease, named after the scientist who discovered M. Leprae in 1873.

Symptoms
Leprosy affects the skin and nerves outside the brain and eventually the spinal cord, called the peripheral nerves. It also affects the eyes and the thin tissue lining inside of the nose.
The person suffering from leprosy eventually starts having disfiguring pale-coloured skin sores, lumps, or bumps. These do not go away even after several weeks or months.
It usually takes about 3 to 5 years for the symptoms to appear after a person even comes into contact with the leprosy-causing bacteria. The symptoms are not visible in some cases event until 20 years. The time between when a person is contacted with the bacteria and the appearance of symptoms is called the incubation period. Leprosy’s long incubation period makes it very difficult for doctors to determine the facts of when and where a person could have got infected with the bacteria.

Types of Leprosy
Leprosy is defined by the number and type of skin sores one has. Specific symptoms and treatment depend on the type of leprosy. There are 2 types of Leprosy:
Tuberculoid, a mild, less severe form of leprosy and Lepromatous a severe one. People suffering from Tuberculoid have a few patches of flat, pale-coloured skin. This leprosy is less contagious than other forms.
Lepromatous on the other hand has widespread skin bumps and rashes (multibacillary leprosy), numbness and muscle weakness. The nose, kidneys, and male reproductive organs may also be affected. This is more contagious.

Myth
1. Unlike the myth that exists, Leprosy can be cured. In the last two decades, 16 million people with leprosy have been cured. The World Health Organization provides free treatment to all people affected with leprosy.
The treatment depends on the type of leprosy that one has. The person suffering is given antibiotics to treat the infection. Leprosy cannot be ignored and left unattended. Without treatment it can permanently damage the skin, nerves, arms, legs, feet, and eyes.
2. Some folklore also believed that leprosy caused the body parts to fall off.
People affected with Leprosy are often outcast from the society giving them a low self-esteem. To educate the public and create an awareness about the disease, World Leprosy Day is observed internationally on January 30 or its nearest Sunday.

Some facts – Situation in India
India declared elimination of leprosy as a Public health problem in December 2005 indicating that there was less than 1 per 10,000 cases of treatment nationally.
According to reports the South-East Asian region (SEAR) has highest prevalence of 116396 (0.63) cases and as many as 8.38 per 1,00,000 new cases detected. India alone accounted for 58.85 per cent of the global leprosy burden.
It is the stigma that is worse than the disease itself. Let’s join hands to fight this disease and show we care.

Advertisements

Your Stress Busted!

stress free info.jpg

Our day is usually spent with trying to complete our chores, meeting those deadlines, achieving our goals, getting things sorted and if there is any time left, we add a list of other things we can do. With umpteen number of activities on our mind, we tend to get stressed out eventually. We have for you 10 ways that can help ease out your stress if not for erasing them completely.

Listen to music

Listening to music that uplifts your mood can have a positive effect on your brain and body. It can lower your blood pressure and reduce stress. Sounds of nature like the wind rustling the trees and birds singing are a few of them.

Call a friend

Take a break and call up a friend and discuss the issues that may be causing the stress. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important for a healthy lifestyle especially when you’re under stress.

Talk yourself through it

The next best thing to discussing with a friend is engaging in talking to yourself. Seems crazy, we know, but works wonders. Just tell yourself why you’re stressed out, what you have to do to complete the task at hand and most importantly, that all will be okay!

Eat right

Stress levels and a proper diet are closely related. Fruits and vegetables are always good, and fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress.

Laugh it off

Laughter releases endorphins that improve your mood and decrease levels of the stress-causing hormones. So keep cracking those jokes and keeping laughing!

Drink Green Tea

It has less caffeine than coffee and contains healthy antioxidants and amino acid L-thearine which improves the brain function and has a soothing effect on the nervous system.

Be mindful

The concept of “being mindful” is a large part of meditative and somatic approaches to mental health. It not only soothes your senses but also keeps you focussed. So practice that!

Exercise

A quick stroll around the office or simply standing up to stretch during a break at work can bring immediate relief during a stressful situation. It is believed that exercise affects a neurotransmitter that has an anti-depressant effect in your brain while helping to decrease muscle tension.

Sleep well

Do not watch the TV before going to bed. Dim the lights and give yourself some time to relax before going to bed. It may be the most effective stress-buster.

Breathe easy

The advice “take a deep breath” holds true when it comes to being stressed. Sit up on your chair with feet placed flat on the ground and hands resting on your knees, take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Continue this process for 3 to 5 minutes and experience the relaxation it brings to you. Breathing mindfully can modify and accelerate the body’s self-regulating physiological and bio-energetic mechanisms.

So, go on and try these out and tell us about how well they worked for you!

All About Oil Pulling

oil-pulling-inside-image.jpg

Oil pulling is an ancient natural remedy used in Ayurveda, a curative method to maintain good oral and overall health. This methodology was dated back to 4th century BC, first mentioned in Charaka Samhita as Kavala Graha or Kavala Gandoosha.

Oil pulling can be done by anybody including children above five years of age, woman can also do this therapy during pregnancy and menstrual cycle.

Method

Best time to do oil pulling is in the morning on an empty stomach. You can use either sesame oil or coconut oil. You achieve best results with cold-pressed sesame oil. Take a teaspoon of oil and swish it slowly for about 20 minutes. The oil will completely mix with the saliva and loses its density, becoming thin and white. Try not to swallow the oil as it becomes completely toxic. Spit the oil after twenty minutes and cleanse your mouth with normal tap water followed by brushing.

This process activates the enzymes which completely draw the toxins in the blood. It also helps in increasing your overall metabolism and leads to overall improved health.

It is important to clean the sink properly after oil pulling as it can contain harmful bacteria and toxic waste.

Health benefits of oil pulling

This procedure is a general detoxifier. When you start oil pulling you tend to feel your teeth and gums becoming stronger thus avoiding gum bleeding. The teeth are unaffected with cavities aiding elimination of sensitivity. When practiced continuously it reduces migraine headaches too. This also helps in reducing inflammation and improves skin related problems like acne.

Precautions to be undertaken

Sometimes during oil pulling, there are chances of nose block due to accumulation of mucus. It is therefore important to completely blow and clean your nose before you start the process. If the same occurs in the middle of the process, spit the oil, clean your nostrils and start afresh.

It is important to do oil pulling in a relaxed state, if not it might cause irritation or bring about a sense of sneezing. In such a situation hold the oil pulling, relax for some time and resume the procedure.

Always have a tissue paper with you when you do oil pulling. There may be dripping of the oil, as the oil turns toxic make sure you do not spit anywhere except the sink where it can be completely cleaned.

If you did not answer your nature calls before oil pulling, there may chances of feeling to urinate or pass stools. Do not panic, you can continue the swishing once you answer your nature calls.

Nutty Bites to keep your heart healthy

Nuts or as we call in India ‘Dry Fruits’ are rich in vitamin and proteins and every nut has a unique healthy, hearty substance like some are rich in omega, some in unsaturated fat, some calcium and some fibre. Nuts make the best of snacks and are season’s best buys. They keep your heart healthy and body alert. Let’s look into specific nutritional contents of a few nuts.

  1. Almonds
    Almonds.jpg
FAT PROTEIN FIBRE
14g 6g 3.5g

Almond, also known as Badam is a species of the tree native to the Middle East. Almond is known for its rich source of Iron, Fibre, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Manganese.

Almond is one of the most nutritional nuts and helps in reducing cholesterol. It helps in weight loss, reducing body fat and lowering blood pressure.

  1. Cashew Nuts
    Cashew Nuts.jpg
FAT PROTEIN FIBRE
13g 4.5g 1g

Cashew Nut, also known as Kaju is grown from a tropical evergreen tree that produces the cashew nut and cashew apple. It is a good source of Magnesium, copper, iron and Protein.

Magnesium helps in building protein and overall energy. Phosphorus helps in building strong teeth and bones. Iron helps in keeping nails, skin and hair healthy.

  1. Peanuts
    Peanuts.jpg
FAT PROTEIN FIBRE
14g 6.5g 2.5g

Peanut, also known as groundnut is widely grown for its edible seeds. It is an excellent source of Protein, Vitamin E, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Manganese and Copper.

Peanut helps in maintaining healthy skin, hair and muscles. It helps maintaining water body levels and metabolism and helps when you have muscle cramps.

  1. Pistachios
    Pistachios.jpg
FAT PROTEIN FIBRE
13g 6g 3g

Pistachio, famously known as Pista is a member of cashew family, originating from Central Asia and the Middle East. It is high in Fibre, Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, Copper and Manganese.

The best part about Pistachio is that it is cholesterol-free and high on mono saturated fats. It contains Copper and Magnesium which aide in strengthening your immune system.

  1. Walnuts
    Walnuts.jpg
FAT PROTEIN FIBRE
17g 7g 2g

Walnut is the nut of the tree Juglans Regia. It is rich in Protein, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Copper and Manganese. It is also high in mono saturated fat and Omega 3 which prevents diseases like arthritis and depression.

  1. Hazelnut
    Hazelnut.jpg
FAT PROTEIN FIBRE
17g 4g 2.5g

Hazelnut is a nut derived from the tree called Corylus Avellena. Hazelnuts are high in Magnesium, Copper, Manganese, Phosphorus, Vitamin E, Selenium and fibre.

Hazelnut helps in preventing premature ageing, produce healthy red blood cells and tissue degradation.

The best ways to consume these nuts are:

  1. As they are
  2. With milk or as shakes/smoothies
  3. Grated in salads, or vegetables
  4. As butter (especially Almond and Hazelnut)

GO HEALTHY! GO NUTS!

Top 5 Cancer Causing Foods You Must Avoid

The food items we consume are processed and prepared by using various methods. Some foods that we eat increase the risk of many diseases, cancer being one among them. Our overall health depends on healthy food we consume. A healthy diet can actually help maintain a healthy living and reduce the risk of cancer. A healthy diet that you follow can actually make a huge difference in fighting against cancer. Most of the foods that are available in market are prone to carcinogenic and we must ensure to make a careful selection of foods to prevent ourselves from the risk of getting cancer.
Below discussed are some of the foods that cause the risk of developing cancer:

1) Processed Meat

Normally there are different methods involved in preserving and processing meat. Most processed meat products include chemical preservatives especially sodium nitrate used as a preservative which is much carcinogenic and increases the risk of colon and pancreatic cancer.
Common methods to preserve meat: Salting, pickling, curing and adding chemical preservatives
Some of processed meat items:
• Hot dogs
• Bacon
• Packaged meat
• Kebab, chicken nuggets
• Fried Sausage
• Hamburgers etc.,

2) GMO foods

The rapid growth of biotechnology has paved way to increased production of GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) foods. These include genetically modified vegetables, fruits, fish etc., which are prone to cause the growth of tumors in humans.
Some of GMO foods
• Corn
• Potatoes
• Tomatoes
• Soybeans
• Sugar
• Salmons etc.,

3) Fried Food Items

Fried food items also fall under the category of unhealthy foods which are likely to be avoided to lead a cancer-free life
• Acrylamide is supposed to be the chemical found in fried food items and that could lead to increase the risk of cancer in humans
• Try to avoid food items that are cooked using re-heated oil as re-heated oil releases aldehyde which is very toxic and causes cancer and other diseases related to nerve cells

4) Microwave Popcorn

Microwave popcorn is one among those foods to be avoided to prevent from being affected by cancer. The bags of microwave popcorn are lined with perfluorooctanoic acid which causes pancreatic cancer.

5) Hydrogenated Oils

Hydrogenated oils are the oils which are commonly used to preserve foods which need a longer shelf life. These oils alter the structure of cell membranes in humans. These oils are used by commercial food manufacturing companies in order to give a long life to the products. You must make sure to check the label if they are free from hydrogenated oils.
If you like to enjoy a cancer risk-free life then try to avoid the above mentioned foods. Make smart food choices and boost your ability to battle against cancer and other diseases. Eat healthy foods and lead a long and relaxed life with your family members.

Tell your cell to live well!

Biologically speaking, we all know that every living organism is made up of cells. Cells group together to form tissues and tissues together form organs. Organs together should function in sync for us to be hale and healthy. Many of us in this tech savvy generation suffer from stress. When the mind feels stressed out, it automatically affects the stomach. That is because they are connected.

The Enteric Nervous System, more widely called the little brain controls digestion, breaks down food, controls blood flow, every functioning from assimilation to elimination. That’s why we have the stomach upset, vomiting sensation, loss of appetite, headache, etc.

Research findings say that trees and plants communicate. When a tree is being cut, it sends signals to the nearby trees. In comparison to tree cells, human cells are more complex and advance. When a signal from the brain is sent to your hands to pick up your keychain, it obeys. We control our body. Similarly, we can instruct our cells to be healthy. Researchers have found that even tumour cells can be controlled. Sending signals to every cell by our thoughts can work miracles on our health and cure ailments. Many Martial Arts schools practice this technique to relax all body muscles and soothe the pain. It is simple to use and practice.

  1. Sit or lie down, make sure you’re comfortable
  2. Close your eyes
  3. Speak in your thoughts, “relax your eyes” in the same tone how ‘OM’ is vibrated. After eyes, think of your nose, face, head and until you cover the entire body
  4. Talk to your cells, tell them to be happy, to be energetic and most importantly – to heal.

As Swami Vivekananda rightly said, YOU are the most wonderful person with whom you need to converse everyday.
Talk to your cells and live well… 🙂

Variety is the spice of life for babies too!

With a baby at home there is a lot of excitement among family members especially among the new parents. Parenting and feeding the baby well are some of the many worries you experience during the first few months. Doctors recommend that mother’s milk is the most important for an infant for at least a year.

However, once the baby crosses 6 months, breast milk alone isn’t enough for the growing child. You need to start with very small quantities of solid foods and balance it with breastfeeding too.

Solid foods provide a variety of:
-Nutrients
-Flavours
-Textures for your baby

When feeding solids, each baby is different. Never compare your baby with other babies. Start new food when your baby is happy and hungry. Start new foods preferably in the morning or during lunch time. This helps easing the digestion process. Involve and include your little one during your supper and feed too. Make sure your baby is fed in a semi-straight position. For example: Rocker!

Here are a few healthy foods to start with. DO NOT add salt in the baby’s diet until he/she turns one.

Moong Dal & water:

banner 2.jpg

This is a good combination of a cereal and pulse which is suitable for your baby once the baby has started weaning. This will provide plenty of protein and aid in digestion. It is the best diet to start with.
You can feed the unstrained version after the baby is 9 months & up. To make it tastier you can add a little ghee, jeera powder and turmeric powder a couple of weeks after you start this.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon moong dal (split yellow gram)
Water to pressure cook

Method of preparation:
Pressure cook yellow moong dal with enough water for 2 whistles.
Take it out, mash a little and strain the water well using a sieve.
Variation: Can use masoor dal (split red lentil) instead of moong dal too.

Carrot:

banner 3.jpg

Few pieces of carrot, chopped

Method of preparation:
Chop few pieces of carrot, pressure cook it for 2 to 3 whistles with water and purée it into a smooth soup.
Strain if needed.
No adding salt please, not yet! The baby may eat only a teaspoon or so or even refuse the food. But keep trying to feed for a week or more. Never force the baby.
If the infant likes the taste, then he/she will eat another teaspoon the next day. Please keep a check on the baby’s stools to know if he/she is doing fine with solids. Always try and bring in variety to what you are feeding. Once the baby likes the taste and is getting used to this food, it is time to explore the other vegetables now. Do not hurry at all!
White Pumpkin & Carrot purée: 

banner 4.jpg

2 pieces of white pumpkin, chopped
2 pieces of carrot, chopped

Method of preparation:
Follow the same procedure as for the carrot. Boil both the veggies together and then blend it in the blender. This will have a thicker soup consistency. Feed a few spoons of the purée. Let your baby adapt to the new taste. Again continue this for a week or more.

So go on and try these recipes and see your baby enjoy the variety that you bring in its daily diet!

Our Star Performers of 2016

employee and team of the month blog banner (1).jpg

There’s no better way to start the New Year than by saying good words and bringing happiness to people’s lives. It gets even better when employers appreciate their employees for the hard work put in and reward their efforts. Maleshaa Inc. and its start-up initiative Danvanthiri, together had rolled out the awards across both organisations, ‘Employee of the Month’ and ‘Team of the Month’ awards. This is done to recognize employees who have gone beyond the call of duty and have come out with flying colours with the results achieved both individually and as a team.

The rewards and recognitions do not stop at just this. There are more awards namely the Star Performer of the Year 2016 and the Star Employee of the Year 2016, the highest level of awards at the companies.

The winners are chosen based on their overall performance throughout the year. A special jury reviews the nominations and declares the winner. The winner is eligible for a promotion and a salary appraisal too. If an employee wins any of these awards annual awards for 3 consecutive years he/she becomes a CXO.

Star Employee of the Year – 2016
Om Prasanna Kumar
Prasanna joined Maleshaa Inc. in 2013. He has been a self-driven individual whose commitment towards work has been extraordinary. He has been a role model to many with his strong leadership skills.

Star Performer of the Year – 2016
Vigneshwaran
Vigneshwaran joined Maleshaa Inc. as an intern in 2013. It was his sheer dedication and hard work that paved way for his growth up the career ladder. He has excelled in all the job responsibilities he has taken up till date and has outshone his peers.

Employee of the Month
Each month nominations are sent from the employees on who they believe has outshone themselves and created a success story for themselves and for the company. Employees can nominate their peers and sub-ordinates. The criteria that are considered are:

  • Loyalty to the company
  • Work Performance
  • Commitment to work
  • Leadership qualities
  • Quick learning traits
  • Relationships with peers and superiors
  • Reviews received from colleagues and  department heads
  • Innovator
  • Promotes a pleasant work environment

Team of the Month
The criteria for the best team that works together towards the common goal is rewarded based on their combined performance over each month.
Here are some winners who told us what gave them the adrenaline gush!

Aishwarya: Getting the employee of the month was like having a Gatorade to boost the efforts and soar high!

Sunu: It’s truly a motivational award for me that set a benchmark for my work. It motivated me to work even harder!

Vignesh: I won the month’s performance in August and was excited about it, but the performer of the year was an icing on the cake! I thank my mentor and well-wishers for this. I am even more eager to perform even better!