Anti-tumour promoter activity in Malaysian ginger rhizobia used in traditional medicine.
Zingiberaceae rhizomes commonly used in the Malaysian traditional medicine were screened for anti-tumour promoter activity using the short-term assay of inhibition of 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced Epstein-Barr virus early antigen (EBV-EA) in Raji cells. The inhibition of TPA-induced EBV-EA was detected using the indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and Western blot technique. The indirect IFA detected the expression/inhibition of EBV-EA-D (diffused EA antigen), whereas the Western blot technique detected the expression/inhibition of both EBV-EA-D and EA-R (restricted EA antigen). Seven rhizomes were found to possess inhibitory activity towards EBV activation, induced by TPA; they are: Curcuma domestica, C. xanthorrhiza, Kaempferia galanga, Zingiber cassumunar, Z. officinale, Z. officinale (red variety), and Z. zerumbet. A cytotoxicity assay was carried out to determine the toxicity of the Zingiberaceae rhizome extracts. The rhizome extracts that exhibited EBV activation inhibitory activity had no cytotoxicity effect in Raji cells. Therefore, the present study shows that several Zingiberaceae species used in Malaysian traditional medicine contain naturally occurring non-toxic compounds that inhibit the EBV activation, which, if further investigated, could contribute in the development of cancer prevention methods at the tumour-promoting stage. (+info)
Determination of edible bird's nest and its products by gas chromatography.
A specific gas chromatographic (GC) detection method for edible bird's nest (EBN) based on identifying the composition of the oligosaccharide chain combined with glycoprotein in EBN is developed. Five monoses (D-mannitose, D-galactose, N-acetyl-D-galactosamine, N-acetyl-D-glucosamine, and N-acetyl neuraminate) that constitute the oligosaccharide chain are detected using GC and GC-mass spectrometry techniques; their characteristic GC spectrum can reliably be regarded as EBN's fingerprint. The peak-area ratios in GC spectrum of those five monoses are found to be fixed; therefore, the GC technique developed in this work can conveniently be used to determine various raw EBNs and their products both qualitatively and quantitatively, distinguishing between fake and genuine EBN rapidly. (+info)
Anthropological perspectives on injections: a review.
Qualitative studies from developing countries have pointed to the widespread popularity of injections. In addition to their use by formal and informal providers and traditional healers, there is now increasing evidence of the use of injections and injection equipment by lay people. Epidemiological research links the large number of unsafe injections to serious bloodborne infections such as viral hepatitis B and C and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The present article examines the reasons behind the demand for injections by consumers and the administration of unnecessary or unsafe injections by different types of provider. Interventions aimed at reducing the risk of unsafe injections are discussed in relation to cultural and social factors as well as those factors associated with health systems. Suggestions are made for approaches to the design of such interventions. (+info)
Utilization of health care services among adults attending a health fair in South Los Angeles County.
A bilingual survey was developed to collect information regarding socio-demographics, access to medical and dental care, health insurance coverage, perceived health status, and use of folk medicine providers from 70 adults presenting to a health fair in South Los Angeles County. Ninety-seven percent of respondents were foreign-born. Seventy-nine percent reported having no health insurance during the year prior to survey. Of the uninsured, 61 percent lacked a doctor visit and 76 percent lacked a dental visit during the previous year. The high cost of care was the most frequently cited barrier to seeking medical (58 percent) and dental (67 percent) care even when respondents felt it was necessary. Respondents who felt they needed medical attention but did not seek it had a lower perceived health status (7.0 +/- 2.2) than those who did (8.0 +/-2.0). Among respondents perceiving themselves in poor health, only 17 percent were insured. Relatively few respondents (7.2 percent) reported seeing a folk healer during the past year. Our results support the argument that the medically indigent in some localities face serious financial, as well as less salient, barriers to access. These local conditions reflect inadequate enforcement by local governments in correcting the difficult problems indigent populations face in accessing medical and dental care. (+info)
Mothers' perceptions and knowledge on childhood malaria in the holendemic Kibaha district, Tanzania: implications for malaria control and the IMCI strategy.
Prior to an intervention on improving the quality of malaria case management, we assessed mothers' abilities to recognize nonsevere and severe/complicated malaria in children when a child has fever with other physiological and behavioural symptoms associated with malaria. Malaria was mentioned as the commonest febrile illness (94. 1%), convulsions the least (11.4%). Fever and enteric symptoms featured as the most important symptoms of childhood malaria at frequencies of 93.5% and 73.8%, respectively. The need for laboratory diagnosis was very high (98.3%), the reason being to get accurate diagnosis and treatment (89.4%). Poor outcome of treatment was ascribed to incorrect diagnosis and prescription, noncompliance at home and ineffective drugs (62.1%). Most mothers (86.6%) would take antipyretic measures first when a child has fever, and subsequently the majority (92.9%) would seek care at a modern health facility. About 50% of the mothers would give traditional treatments for childhood convulsions and wait till fits cease before the next action. A high proportion of the mothers (75%) held the belief that an injection in a child with high fever would precipitate convulsions or death. The implications of these findings for chemotherapeutic malaria control in holoendemic areas within the context of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) strategy are discussed. (+info)
Effects of Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Tongkat Ali) on the initiation of sexual performance of inexperienced castrated male rats.
We studied the effects of Eurycoma longifolia Jack, commonly known as Tongkat Ali in Malaysia, on the initiation of sexual performance and the weights of sexual accessories in inexperienced castrated male rats. The doses of 200, 400 and 800 mg/kg body weight, which were extracted from E. longifolia Jack, were orally administered to the rats twice daily for 10 days prior to the tests and continued throughout the test period. Testosterone was used as a positive control after injecting 15 mg/kg daily subcutaneously for 32 days. Results showed that E. longifolia Jack produced a dose-dependent increase in sexual performance of the treated animals, but the E. longifolia Jack groups showed lower sexual performance in mounting, intromission and ejaculation than the testosterone group. Further results also showed that E. longifolia Jack promoted the growth of both ventral prostate and seminal vesicles as compared with the control, but the growth of sexual accessories at 800 mg/kg of butanol, methanol, water and chloroform fractions of E. longifolia Jack was less than that of testosterone treated group. The present study therefore gives further evidence of the folkuse of E. longifolia as an aphrodisiac. (+info)
Talismans and amulets in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: legendary powers in contemporary medicine.
BACKGROUND: For centuries talismans and amulets have been used in many cultures for their legendary healing powers. METHODS: We asked the parents of every child (Jews and Arabs) admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit over a 2 month period to complete a questionnaire, which included demographic data on the patient and the family, the use of talismans or other folk medicine practices, and the perception of the effects of these practices on the patient's well-being. A different questionnaire was completed by the ICU staff members on their attitude toward the use of amulets. RESULTS: Thirty percent of the families used amulets and talismans in the ICU, irrespective of the socioeconomic status of the family or the severity of the patient's illness. Amulets and talismans were used significantly more by religious Jews, by families with a higher parental educational level, and where the hospitalized child was very young. The estimated frequency of amulet use by the children's families, as perceived by the staff, was significantly higher than actual use reported by the parents. In Jewish families the actual use of amulets was found to be 30% compared to the 60% rate estimated by the medical staff; while in Moslem families the actual use was zero compared to the staff's estimation of about 36%. Of the 19 staff members, 14 reported that the use of amulets seemed to reduce the parents' anxiety, while 2 claimed that amulet use sometimes interfered with the staff's ability to carry out medical treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The use of talismans in a technologically advanced western society is more frequent than may have been thought. Medical and paramedical personnel dealing with very ill patients should be aware of the emotional and psychological implications of such beliefs and practices on patients and their families. (+info)
Universal health care? The views of Negev Bedouin Arabs on health services.
BACKGROUND: This study examines health and health care attitudes, practices and utilization patterns among the Bedouin Arab minority in the south of Israel. Particular attention is given to the effects of the new National Insurance Law that provides universal coverage for the first time, and to the identification of critical issues for further research. METHODS: Focus groups, adapted to Bedouin culture, were the primary method of data collection. Twelve groups (158 participants) from throughout the Negev met for 3-7 sessions each, using specially trained local moderators and observers. Issues discussed and analyzed included experience and satisfaction with the current health system (both modern and traditional), health service availability/barriers, health care needs, influences of social change, and the National Insurance Law. RESULTS: Participants voice dissatisfaction with modern health services in the Bedouin sector and the state of health of Negev Bedouin. They place great emphasis on the connection between health and the rapid social and economic changes, which this traditionally nomadic group is undergoing. Traditional health care is felt to still exist, but its importance is waning. The National Insurance law is having a major impact on the Bedouin, particularly because it provides universal health insurance coverage where only partial coverage had been in effect. CONCLUSIONS: This study, one of the first of its kind in the Bedouin sector, showed that the focus group method, if properly modified to cultural norms, can be a valuable research tool in traditional communities and in health service research. The findings from this research can be used to direct efforts to improve health policy and health services for this group, as well as preparing the way for further qualitative or quantitative studies. (+info)