Tag Archives: Health


  By Neyal J. Ammary-Risch, MPH, MCHES

I was searching across the internet for some info on eyesight for the aging adult and came across this article. It’s a lot of great information and thought I would share.

You lock away your valuables to keep them safe. But there’s one valuable you may have forgotten: Your sight. If you are African American age 40 or older, have diabetes, or have a family history of glaucoma, you are at higher risk.

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the optic nerve of the eye and result in vision loss and blindness. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form. In this condition, fluid builds up in the front chamber of the eye, and the optic nerve is damaged by the resulting increase in eye pressure.

“Glaucoma affects more than 2 million people nationwide and is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in African Americans. In fact, African Americans are at risk of developing it at an earlier age. Glaucoma has no early warning signs or symptoms, and most people don’t know this,” said Dr. James Tsai, chair of the Glaucoma Subcommittee for the National Eye Institute (NEI) National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP). “It’s very important that people don’t wait until they notice a problem with their vision to have an eye exam.”

As glaucoma progresses, a person may eventually notice his or her side vision decreasing. If the disease is left untreated, the field of vision narrows and vision loss may result. “Most studies show that at least half of all persons with glaucoma don’t know they have this potentially blinding disease,” said Dr. Paul Sieving, director of NEI, National Institutes of Health.

“Glaucoma can be detected through a comprehensive dilated eye exam. NEI encourages all people at higher risk of glaucoma – African Americans age 40 and older; everyone age 60, especially Mexican Americans; and those with a family history of glaucoma – to get a dilated eye exam every one to two years, because early detection and treatment may save your sight.”

A comprehensive dilated eye exam is a painless procedure. Drops are placed in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupils. This allows your eye care professional to see inside your eye and examine the optic nerve for signs of damage and other vision problems.

If you have Medicare, are African American age 50 or older, and have diabetes or a family history of glaucoma, you may be eligible for a low-cost, comprehensive dilated eye exam through the Medicare benefit for eye health. Call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov for more information. To find out about other possible financial assistance for eye care, visit www.nei.nih.gov/health/financialaid.asp.

Keep vision in your future. For more information about glaucoma, visit www.nei.nih.gov/glaucoma or call NEI at 301-496-5248.

Neyal J. Ammary-Risch, MPH, MCHES is the director of the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


African Herbs-How To Heal & Nourish

Herbal remedies give you the healing you need the way Mother nature intended. These new herbs from Africa can easily be used in teas, steams, in the bathtub, or in a multitude of other ways to heal your body from the inside out!From the luscious fragrance of real patchouli leaves to the soothing smoke of white ceremonial sage, we know you’ll find an affordable, natural way to a happier and healthier life here.
A Few Easy Ways To Enjoy Your Herbs  African Herbs
Add a few teaspoons of the herbal powders or a small handful of the crushed herbal leaves to a pot of boiling water. Remove the water from the heat and lean over the pot, draping your head with a towel to trap the steam. Hold your face over the steam for 5 minutes, breathing in the herbs and letting them infiltrate your pores. The nutrients in the herbs are caught in the steam and then absorbed by your skin and in your breathing. Each of the herbs has different healing qualities, so steaming can be a great way to get those benefits.
Neem Leaf Powder – Steam neem leaf powder to relieve redness, itching, irritation and acne. After you have steamed your face you can use the cool water to splash your skin with several times during the day. The healing properties of neem will help to soothe, calm, and cleanse your skin with neem’s natural antibiotic qualities. Pat skin dry after splashing. Do not rub.
Patchouli Leaves – Put a handful of crushed patchouli leaves in your steam to relieve anxiety, stress, depression, and to dispel nausea or headache. Many also believe the antiseptic qualities of patchouli help to soothe inflamed, irritated skin.
White Ceremonial Sage – Steaming a handful of crushed sage leaves helps to open up the sinuses, clearing congestion. It was also used by the Omaha Indians to reduce fever and relieve itching or rash in a steam.
Relax With a Cup of Tea!
Using a strainer, steep the herbs in your tea to get amazing health benefits. Please remember that neem leaf powder should not be ingested if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. See the information for each herb to find out how much to use in your tea.
Aloe Powder – Mix 1 teaspoon with your tea to improve digestion, regulate bowel movements, and support the immune system. This is a great way to detox your body and is not meant for long-term use. Two weeks for detoxification is recommended. Do not take while nursing or pregnant.Neem Leaf Powder – Add two teaspoons of neem leaf powder to 3 cups of boiling water to create a healing neem leaf tea. Neem has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities that help it to treat bacterial infections, malaria, pneumonia, and to counter gout and stomach ulcers. Neem tea can also help to regulate digestion.
Patchouli Leaves – It is not recommended to drink patchouli leaves unless recommended by a health practitioner.
White Ceremonial Sage – Crush a few white sage leaves and use in a tea strainer or just add them to a cup of boiling water. Let it stand for ten minutes. Then remove your tea strainer or strain out the leaves yourself. White sage tea is used by Native Americans to help get rid of congestion, to calm the nerves and relieve anxiety. Served lukewarm it is known to soothe sore throats. Served cold it is an excellent stomach tonic and a great way to relieve PMS cramps.
Have An Herbal Bath!
Place a few teaspoons of herbal powder or a small handful of crushed herb leaves in your bathtub to absorb the nutrients into your skin and enjoy their refreshing aroma. Many of the herbs are very good for your skin so it can be a great way to have better skin.Aloe Powder – Bathing with aloe powder will help ease symptoms ofseborrhea, eczema, or psoriasis. Aloe is especially soothing for dry, irritated skin that is scaly or cracked.Neem Leaf Powder – Neem powder has an instant germicidal and anti bacterial action that cures bed sores, prickly heat, rashes, and acne when used in the bathtub. It is also very soothing for insect bites, itchy, irritated skin or yeast infections.

Patchouli Leaves – Sprinkle a handful of patchouli leaves into your bath to heal skin infections, eczema, acne, chapped skin, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins. Patchouli is also known to tighten loose skin, and increase cell renewal which is perfect for healing sagging, aging skin. Patchouli is also used to remove cellulite. Plus the beautiful scent will leave you smelling amazing and feeling free from stress.
White Ceremonial Sage – Sprinkle a handful of crushed sage into the bath to treat coughs and colds. Many Native Americans use white sage in the bath as a general tonic and for relief from fever. White sage is also known to improve the mood, relieve stress and cure insomnia. Plus it is a natural deodorant!
Make a Sachet!
Fill a sachet with patchouli, white sage, or neem leaf powder (or a combination of all three!) to ward away bugs and moths. In many Arabic countries, patchouli is always put in clothing drawers or hung in closets to keep moths from destroying clothes. Put a handful of patchouli or white sage leaves inside your pillow for a more restful sleep or to help with headaches or stress.
Mix Herbs In Your Drinks!
Adding a teaspoon of aloe powder to 8 oz. of juice or water can help with digestion, relieve indigestion and help support the immune system. This is normally used for detoxification of the body and shouldn’t be used for more than two weeks at a time.
‘Sage’ Yourself Or Your Home!
Put a few sage leaves in a bowl and light the tips of the leaves. You can also gather a bundle of sage leaves and tie them together with twine. Light the tips of the leaves and go through your house letting the smoke spread through the corners, closets, and anywhere you want to purify the air. Open up your windows for this! There are many beliefs concerning saging, but it is known to purify the air and to also help rid the air of harmful bacteria. Native Americans always sage a house after an illness has passed to purify the air of the home. You can also sage a person. Light a sage ‘wand’ or the sage in a bowl and spread the smoke around the outline of the person you are trying to ‘sage’. This is believed to purify the air around the person and ward off negativity.