Going through the Basics: Hepatitis Causes

Hepatitis takes various forms, and the causes of hepatitis vary per type. Etymologically, hepatitis is derived from the Greek word "hepar" meaning liver and the Latin word 'itis' meaning inflammation. Inflammation of the liver is caused by formation of inflammatory cells in liver tissues secondary to presence of viruses. Although most of the cases of hepatitis are self-resolving, a number still leads to progressive liver fibrosis and cirrhosis.

A brief discussion on the anatomy and physiology of the liver will make it a lot easier to understand hepatitis and its causes. The liver, as being the largest internal organ of the human body, primarily functions as a chemical regulator. It produces bile which helps at breaking down fats and eliminating body wastes from drugs or other foreign materials, synthesizes proteins needed for blood clotting, produces chemicals to ward off infection, processes nutrients for body usage, and other important chemical processes. This makes the liver a vital organ for normal living. Because of all these processes, the liver is prone to pathogenic infiltration and inflammation that cause damage to liver tissues. However, because of the organ's ability to self-regenerate, these damaged tissues recuperate and are still able to function.

Hepatitis can be sub classified into 5 major types, A, B, C, D, and E. Since hepatitis is a broad disease process, discussing the causes of hepatitis will be per type as mentioned here.

  • Hepatitis A/infectious hepatitis. This is caused by the hepatitis A virus. This is spread through fecal-oral route; that is ingestion of contaminated water or food or through direct transmission from an infected person. It contracts millions of people yearly and is one of the most common of all types in developing countries secondary to hygiene and sanitary issues.

Going through the Basics: Causes of Hepatitis

Common causes of hepatitis A are ingestion of water or food contaminated with HAV, direct contact with object contaminated with stool of an infected person, and anal-oral contact during intercourse. Intake of shellfish from polluted water; improper food preparation, storage, and handling; and promiscuous sex practices account for majority of the cases of hepatitis A.

  • Hepatitis B. HB is caused by the hepatitis B virus and is generally considered a sexually transmitted infection that is spread through infected blood, semen, body fluids, or skin perforation from contaminants. Unprotected sex records the most number of cases for hepatitis B. Saliva and other body fluids of an HB-positive individual that come in contact with another person during sexual intercourse result in direct transmission. Other causes of hepatitis B include use of unsterilized needles by chronic steroid users and/or drug addicts and also sharing with an infected individual objects like razors or toothbrush. An increasing number of cases for hepatitis B are from medical workers who accidentally prick themselves with needles that are contaminated with the virus. This is one reason why inpatient HB patients are placed in a side room and require strict isolation to prevent spread of the infection. It is also the same reason why extra care should be exerted when handling and capping syringes especially from infected patients. Moreover, vertical transmission is also possible with hepatitis B. A baby can get it from his mother's milk if his lactating mother is positive.

In hepatitis B, the liver becomes increasingly swollen and failure of prompt treatment may result in serious damage predisposing to cancer and/or fibrosis.

  • Hepatitis C/non-A, non-B hepatitis. For hepatitis C, blood is the primary vessel for infection. The causes of hepatitis C are needles or other materials used by drug addicts to inject themselves with, blood transfusion or organ transplantation from unscreened donors, tattooing or piercing with infected blood, and repeated usage of HCV-exposed needles to a number of patients. Unsanitized needles remain as the highest cause for development of hepatitis C. Developing countries whose lack of medical resources and supplies force them to reheat needles for reuse is still a continuing endeavour and such leads the way to further increases in reported hepatitis C cases.
  • Hepatitis D. Development of hepatitis D occurs only in patients who have preexisting hepatitis B. This is so because HDV is least potent and would require HBV strain in order to cause serious inflammation in the liver where it will enter cells and replicate. There, hepatic cells are filled until the virus becomes so confined and eventually die. This makes hepatitis D generally a self-limiting condition. However, it still cannot be excluded that some people tend to have lifelong hepatitis D. This may result secondary to preexisting comorbidities or suppressed immune reaction to get rid of the viral infiltration. In terms of symptomatology, although many patients report yellowish skin or eye discoloration and stomach pain, a number still develops hepatitis D infection with no manifestations at all. 

The causes of hepatitis D are comparable with hepatitis C, exposure to infected blood or unsterilized or reused needles.

  • Hepatitis E. Similar to hepatitis A, hepatitis E's mode of transmission is fecal-oral route. Even minute traces of fecal matter that contaminates water or food are already considered potent enough to cause infection. It is endemic in developing countries but rare in developed ones. Usually, the body's immune system is able to combat the pathogen making it self-limiting and only supportive treatment is recommended like IV rehydration or medications.
  • Hepatitis X/lost hepatitis. This is an axillary type of hepatitis that is initially considered if no clear presentations can be attributed to specifically set the diagnosis. In most cases, upon further examination and diagnostic studies, physicians are able to identify the type of hepatitis but in some situations, this is used as a diagnostic entity to classify hepatitis. A and E share the same causes of hepatitis as with X; however, the latter has the shortest incubation period of 7 to 10 days unlike 15 to 30 days for A and E respectively.
  • Hepatitis G. HGV or GBV-C is similar to hepatitis C and D in that the primarily causes of hepatitis G are infected blood and blood products. This type, however, is usually excluded in the taxonomy as this very rarely affects the general population. Also, almost no reported cases showed symptoms for HGV or GBV-C.

Calories In Red Onions, White, Green, Sweet And Yellow Onions

Onion is such an essential ingredient in the food that its calorie value becomes of utmost importance. Onions are one of the most versatile vegetables. One cannot imagine food without a touch an onion. Luckily, onions are very low in Calories. So it's a healthy and tasty choice in any diet. Onions are considered super-healthy and are used in food abundantly. So it is very essential to measure the calories in red onions, white, green, sweet and yellow onions to make sure you are eating just the right amount.

If you've been eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away, you would be wise to add an onion a day to that regimen. This humble vegetable is a member of the Allium genus, making it closely related to other superfoods like garlic, chives and scallions.

This means onions are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that give them both their characteristic odor and much of their health boosting potential.
Onions are Seasonal and come in several varieties, such as Red Onions, White Onions, Yellow Onions, Shallot Onions, Greens Onions, Sweet Onions.

In the past decade, red onions have gained popularity especially in fast casual dining food items such as pizza, sandwiches and salads.

Nowadays, Organic Onions are getting really popular as a part of healthier selection in food. Onions are used in every cuisine in the world. In every cuisine, how an onion is used changes the calorie value of that dish. So, choosing right kind of onion for right dish gets really important.

Why Should You Care About the Calories In Red Onions, White, Green, Sweet And Yellow Onions

Type of Onions and its Calorie Value

One would be surprised to see so much variety in one vegetable which makes it even more interesting to explore its calorie content, kind and flavor in this one unbeatable vegetable. There are White Onions, Red Onions, Yellow Onions, Green Onions and Sweet Onions. Every type of onion has different calorie value. These differences make onions very versatile.

White Onion

White onions are milder in taste and available throughout the year. 100 gm of white onion has 42 Calories. Thus it is a healthy choice as an ingredient in food. They are golden in color, sweet in flavor and milder in taste. White onions are often used in Salads, White Sauces and popular in Latin American Cuisine.

Red Onion

Red onions are pungent and spicy in taste and extremely great to have it in raw form. 100 gm of Red onion has 36 Calories. Red onions are lower in calories compared to other kind of onions. Red onions are wonderful in color and a good choice for lots of fresh uses or for grilling, roasting, pickling, charbroiling.

Yellow Onion

Yellow onions are mostly used kind of onion and very popular in America. One can cook almost anything with these onions. They are low in calorie. 100 gm of Yellow onion has 36 Calories. And they are best when caramelized. Yellow onions are commonly used to make French Onion Dip for its tangy sweet taste.

Green Onions

Greens onions are the smartest choice among all kinds of onion as it contain only 32 Calories per 100 gm. Green onions are also called as Scallions are very popular amongst health conscious kitchen. It makes healthful addition to wraps and sandwiches or as garnishes for soup and salad.

Sweet Onions

Sweet onions have greater water and sugar content than any other cooking onions. These onions contain 32 Calories per 100gm. Sweet onions has good shelf life around 1 month. These taste best in Burger and Soup.

Onions and its Nutritional Contents

Being lower in Calories, onions are always a healthy choice as an ingredient to any cuisine of the world. Onions are high in Vitamin C and Minerals. Onions are Fat-free, yet add abundant flavor to a wide variety of food.

It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese. Onions not only provide flavor, they also provide important nutrients and health-promoting phytochemicals.

One of the most significant sources of antioxidants in the human diet is onions, reports ‘Cornell University' Associate Professor Rui Hai Lui.When it comes to choosing the right kind of onion, one can always select according to the need in terms of Vitamins, Minerals, Fiber and other Micro Nutrients.

Red Onions are very low in sodium and high in dietary fiber. Red onion soup is the healthiest for its low calorie content. White onions contain high amount of Vitamin C.

Green onions are full of Vitamin A. Green onions are very good for eyes. Sweet onions have no cholesterol and saturate fats. These are really good for healthy heart. Yellow onions are high in Manganese, Potassium and Thiamin. Yellow onions help to reduce ulcers and increase bone density.

Attention nursing mothers - You should be careful with consumption of onions as your breast milk may cause colic in your infant.

Health benefits from Onions

"Onions are super-healthy," said Victoria Jarzabkowski, a nutritionist with the Fitness Institute of Texas at the University of Texas at Austin. "They are excellent sources of vitamin C, Sulphuric compounds, flavonoids and phytochemicals."

Onions encourage healthy heart by lowering blood pressure. So there is less risk of having cardiovascular disease, if onions are consumed regularly. Red onions contain antioxidant compounds which help to fight against cancer.

Onions contain Sulphuric acid that works as a natural blood thinner in body. Onions have Anti-Inflammatory properties which are help to fight against Asthma and Arthritis.  These properties work as a remedial in Parkinson's disease. People who consume onion regularly have strong immune system.

As onions are high in fiber, it helps to promote good digestion. 2009 study in the ‘Journal of Menopause' found that daily consumption of onions improves bone density in women who are going through or have finished menopause. Women who ate onions frequently had a 20 % lower risk of hip fracture than those who never ate onions. Overall regular intake of onions can keep one healthy and energized.

Variation in Onion Calories with Cooking Method

Onions are the best and the lowest in calories when consumed in raw form. Onions' nutritional value changes with the way these are cooked. Raw onions have 40 Calories whereas Fried onions have 164 calories.

It's important that onions are consumed in healthier form. One can sauté, grill, caramelize, boil, and pickle onions. Its nutritional value will differ accordingly. It's best to cook onions with less or no oil because onions tend to soak oil quickly. Thus it turns into high calorie dish.

The National Onion Association notes that onion rings, onion blooms, other onion appetizers, caramelized onions, and classic French Onion Soup remain popular restaurant uses for onions. So it's important how onions are cooked. And a large portion of calories in this food comes from sugar. So health conscious people have to be aware of that.

Caution - Onions consist of water, carbs and, guess what, more water! The main fibers in them, Fructose, can feed the friendly bacteria in the gut, but they can also cause digestive problems in some people.

Kinds of Onions Dietary Benefits
Red Onions Low in Sodium and High in dietary Fiber
White Onions Full of Vitamin C
Green Onions Best choice who watch calories in food , with lots of Vitamin A
Yellow Onions Increases Bone density
Sweet Onions Best for Cardiovascular health system

Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Testing

Hepatitis B Surface antibody is one of the series of blood tests for hepatitis B virus infection. Hepatitis B virus testing monitor for components in the blood that indicate if a hepatitis B infectivity is ongoing or had taken place previously. The procedures for testing look for various indicators or markers for infection. Antigens are indicators caused by the presence of a virus or bacteria. Hence, the existence of hepatitis B virus antigens denotes that the virus is present inside the system of the human body. On the other hand, antibodies are actually proteins generated in the body to act against infection.

When hepatitis B virus antibodies are found to be present in the body such as the hepatitis B surface antibody, this would mean that the person had already been exposed to the virus. It is possible that this individual may have had the infection some time ago and recovered, or it is also possible that this person may have an ongoing infection. In addition, the DNA or genetic makeup of the hepatitis B virus indicates that the virus is inside the body. The amount of genetic material can aid in finding out the severity of the infection and how less difficult the hepatitis B virus can be communicated to others. It is imperative to determine the type of virus that causes the infection. This is in order to curtail the spread of the virus and be able to determine the appropriate treatment that can help the patient.

Tests for Hepatitis B virus

Hepatitis B virus is passed on by means of infected fluids that come from the body. These body fluids include semen, vaginal discharges and menstruation, and blood. The virus can also be passed on from the mother to her baby during or close to the time of birthing. There are a number of different testing procedures for hepatitis B virus. One of the most frequently done procedures for testing is Hepatitis B surface antibody or HBsAb.

Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Testing

Hepatitis B surface antibody typically becomes evident at approximately four weeks following the disappearance of the hepatitis B surface antibody. The existence of this antibody denotes that the infectivity is at the last part of the substance’s active phase. This denotes that the person cannot pass to other individuals the virus and he or she is not contagious anymore. This type of antibody provides protection so the person no longer can contract the hepatitis B virus in the future. The testing is performed to know if getting a vaccine is still necessary. The presence of the antibody will be noticeable after being administered with a series of hepatitis B virus vaccine.

This is an indication that the person has been immunized and is protected from the virus. Sometimes a test may provide a result that possibly may indicate that a person has both hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis B surface antibody. When this happens, it means that the person remains contagious and can pass the virus to other people.        

What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver caused by hepatitis B virus. When there is an infection, the liver turns out swollen and sensitive. It may also be observed to have inflammation. Parts of the tissues of the liver may be damaged because of the inflamed condition. Hepatitis is not a typical illness that merely goes away after medication. It is a serious disease and sometimes fatal enough to cause the life of an infected patient. It is also considered a sexually transmitted illness. Hepatitis B virus is found in the blood and when another person gets exposed to it he or she will be infected as well.

Significance of hepatitis B surface antibody test 

The existence of hepatitis B surface antibody in the body system indicates recuperation of the individual after an infection followed by immunity to the virus. The test is valuable when:

  • Assessing if vaccination for hepatitis B is necessary. It important to gauge the immunity of the person prior to vaccination among individuals who work in healthcare settings. They are high risk for getting exposed to hepatitis B. 
  • Assessing if hepatitis immune globulin is necessary following a needlestick injury.
  • Gauging a person’s immunity following a series of hepatitis B vaccination. This is to evaluate the effectiveness of the vaccine in a person.  

For the reason that hepatitis B infections can be passed on by means of sexual contact, people need to engage in safe sex until such time that the results of their tests are available. Hepatitis B virus tests are performed relating to:

  • Determining the type of hepatitis B virus infection. A test can find if an infection took place only recently or previously. Other testing procedures that demonstrate how well the liver performs are typically done to help out in making decisions in terms of treatment. 
  • Monitoring individuals who have increased risk of contracting or communicating hepatitis B infection that includes healthcare workers, dental professionals, and nurses. 
  • Monitoring people who donate blood as well as organs to avoid contagion of hepatitis B virus. 
  • Recognizing that a certain individual has existing antibodies after being vaccinated. The existence of hepatitis B virus antibodies is an indication that the vaccine administered was effective. 
  • Determining if atypical results of liver function testing were related to hepatitis B. 
  • Observing how effective or not chronic hepatitis B treatment is.

Prevalence of HBV infection

There are more than three hundred fifty million individuals around the world who are infected with the hepatitis B virus. This infectivity which affects five percent of the entire world population is evidently a serious public health predicament that needs to be addressed. A lot of patients who have chronic hepatitis B virus infection persist with presence of hepatitis B surface antigen in their body for more than six months. They have the possibility of developing very serious disease conditions such as cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, among others. According to the estimates publicly presented, thirty percent of these individuals will die due to the fatal ramifications of the infection.

Urinary Tract Infection in Children

Urinary tract infection in children is very common. For those who are new to this infection, once it is experienced, suspicion occurs and questions arise regarding its symptoms, cause and prevention.

Experiencing pain while urinating could already be a sign of having urinary tract infection in children. Signs of this are usually unclear due to the fact that most kids cannot exactly express or say what hurts and how they feel so that their parents would able to distinguish what their child is undergoing. Symptoms may consist of having a high fever, an irritability of some sort, a low-grade fever, nausea and vomiting. This is why children should be carefully monitored even when making the slightest unusual move knowing that kids tend to play in dirty places and eat things unique to them, because one of the main reasons for having urinary tract infection in children is bacteria, which can be found everywhere including in a common playground. These are felt for the reason that organisms too small to be visibly seen by the naked eye - including fungi, viruses, and bacteria had entered the urinary tract and cannot be normally removed by the body’s natural defenses.

Urinary Tract Infection in Children

The risk of urinary tract infection in children is at least 2 percent for boys and 8 percent for girls. Having an anomaly in the urinary tract, such as urine reflux, where urine backs up to the ureter from the bladder into the kidney, causing a child to be prone to the risk of UTI.

Circumcision plays a big role in a boy’s childhood in preventing the event of UTI due to improved hygiene. In addition, suitable dieting with minimal intake of food with salt, good exercise, proper hygiene and most importantly a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day are a few prevention tips to avoid urinary tract infection in children.

Health Facts: Can Hepatitis C Be Cured?

A number of hepatitis C virus subtypes are already identified and no dramatic difference in terms of pathogenicity or virulence can be determined for all these known strains so can hepatitis C be cured then?  In order to answer this, it is vital to understand the disease process of hepatitis C, evaluate symptomatology, and dispel myths or beliefs about the condition.

Hepatitis C (previously termed as non-A, non-B hepatitis) is an often asymptomatic infectious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. It affects an estimate of 150 million people yearly with about 300,000 of mortality cases. Mode of transmission is basically through blood.  Transfusion and IV drug use are the most commonly reported causes.

It is interesting to note, however, that even shared razors or shavers or other instruments that lead to accidental prick or cut are potential hepatitis C causes.  This makes it more transmissible than any other blood-borne viruses like HIV, but can hepatitis C be cured still? Remember that about 70% of the cases of hepatitis C experience hardly any symptoms. The few remaining only reports of appetite loss, myalgias, fever, or lethargy which are constitutional symptoms that may appear in any other disease process and may not totally give justice to diagnosis of hepatitis.  Further, jaundice usually does not present at the early onset of hepatitis C and may only manifest once the condition becomes chronic and gradual liver scarring and loss may ensue.

Misconceptions on hepatitis C are common. A number of individuals believe that it is a kind of sexually transmitted disease and that STD medications help on how can hepatitis C be cured.  Although there may have been reported cases of transmission of hepatitis C by infected individuals through sexual activity, it is still blood as the primary route of transmission.  It is hepatitis B, however, that may develop after sexual intercourse and is considered a serious kind of STD.

Also, hepatitis C is not caused by chronic alcoholism as some may say.  It is alcoholic hepatitis that is the direct result of excessive alcohol usage and is an entirely different disease process.  The similarity between hepatitis C and alcoholic hepatitis lies in the fact that both could lead to progressive cirrhosis and liver failure if untreated.

Health Facts: Can Hepatitis C Be Cured?

Another misunderstanding is that herbal and homeopathic cures are available for hepatitis C. Up until this point, however, only sustained virologic response (SVR) medications are accepted treatment for hepatitis C. Even these combination medications do not provide 100% disease cure with only 60 to 80% chances and so other remedies must be cautiously considered before even trying.

These misbeliefs on hepatitis C limited people’s notions on what really this infection is.  Dispelling all these can gauge up to what extent can hepatitis C be cured.

Being an asymptomatic liver infection, hepatitis C may be very difficult to detect initially.  Diagnostic tests are usually performed to screen for hepatitis C especially for high-risk individuals. These include but may not be limited to patients with deviated liver function studies, those who reported contact with HCV-positive patient, those who inject street drugs, and those manifesting chronic liver disease symptoms as jaundice, inexplicable weight gain or weight loss, or dark urination.  Based on the above description of the disease process and accompanying fallacies if can hepatitis C be cured, it is safe to ascertain that there truly is standard management for hepatitis C infection.

For screening, only two tests are used for HCV. First is anti-HCV test. It detects antibodies in the virus to evaluate HCV exposure.  The drawback to this test, however, is that it could not classify active from prior HCV infection and some results could yield weakly or falsely positive interpretation.  For these outcomes, HCV RIBA test becomes the confirmatory exam for HCV.  HCV RIBA (recombinant immunoblot assay) determines as to whether positive anti-HCV screen is secondary to HCV exposure or just a false signal.

For guiding treatment if can hepatitis C be cured, three tests are considered standard tools for HCV. Viral genotyping is ordered before initiation of cure in order to predict the likelihood of positive response to treatment, length of management, and prognosis.  It primarily identifies the strain of HCV virus present in the blood and is very useful since there are 6 major genotypes of HCV and each genotype has differing virulence.  For example, genotype 1 is more potent than genotypes 2 and 3 and management is usually longer for cases of this causality.  Instead of 24 weeks for genotypes 2 and 3, sometimes it extends up to 48 weeks of therapy. Quantitative HCV viral load measures RNA particles of the virus found in the blood. This is often ordered before and during treatment to compare patient’s response with management. Detection of decreased viral load can be accurately identified after the first or second month of hepatitis C treatment, and through the third month, this may become undetectable. Finally, qualitative HCV RNA test distinguishes current from previous HCV exposure and is ordered after treatment to ensure that the bloodstream is totally free of the virus.

Medication-wise, the only established treatment for hepatitis C is a combination of ribavirin and peginterferon, although in more chronic cases telaprevir or boceprevir is given in conjunction with the previous.  Ribavirin is considered a broad-spectrum antiviral that inhibits RNA virus’ replication creating hypermutations which are lethal for RNA viruses including HCV.  This is administered orally at 800 to 1400 mg in 2 split dosages but dosage still depends on genotype of HCV.  Pegylated interferon (peginterferon), on the other hand, is an injectable protein that primarily combats viruses to restore body health.  The drug is expensive and is only administered once weekly.  Only through these can hepatitis C be cured.

Other palliative treatment is given to cover other symptoms. Prompt detection through periodic liver function studies is highly recommended for at-risk individuals because, as identified, hepatitis C is initially asymptomatic and progressive irreversible liver damage (like cirrhosis) may develop if undiagnosed or untreated. Ultimately, through the abovementioned diagnostic studies and medications can hepatitis C be cured and prevent long-term complications.

Advances in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Sinusitis

Sinusitis may be as benign as the common cold, but that has not turned away researchers from coming up with medical advances to easily diagnose and cure the condition. Technology is especially useful, since millions of people in the United States alone suffer from the uncomfortable symptoms of sinusitis. Especially cumbersome is its chronic form which can last for more than 12 weeks. The condition is also a component of other, more serious diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Kartagener Syndrome, and may indicate immune system disorders such as HIV-AIDS.

Advances in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Sinusitis

The commonly used method of physicians in diagnosing sinusitis is also the simplest: a physical examination and an interview of medical history. The method has its shortcomings: the factors that come together contributing to the development of the condition is not addressed and coming up with a treatment plan requires further testing. A research by the Georgia School of Medicine came up with an objective test that identifies certain proteins in the blood of patients suffering from chronic sinusitis. The study aims to classify patients into groups and evaluate the effectiveness of treatments among them. In the future, this method can rapidly cure sufferers and reduce antibiotic prescription and use.

Another study made use of Doppler ultrasound sensor to determine the viscosity of sinus fluid in patients with sinusitis. This immediately indicated whether antibiotic therapy was needed because a highly viscous sinus fluid is a sign of bacterial infection. In severe cases of chronic sinus obstruction, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital demonstrated the efficiency of balloon sinuplasty. Similar to angioplasty, a balloon-tipped catheter is inserted through the nose and opens up the sinus drainage to reduce pressure. The Doppler technique and balloon sinuplasty eliminates the unpleasant nasal flushing practiced in diagnosis, and both are minimally invasive and do not require surgery.

Top 10 Tips on How to Dry Hair Fast

Imagine this scenario: it's your first day at your dream job. You excitedly get up early in the morning, eat your breakfast, take a bath, get dressed – and then your hair's still soaking wet. You tried to dry it up, but by the time you think you're done, you're almost late. You travel your way to work anyway and then you realize that your hair ain't dry enough, so the water residue from your hair starts to make the upper part of your beautiful wardrobe look awfully wet, too. When you arrive to the office, your boss skeptically welcomes you, asks if you woke up late on your first day. You were about to defend yourself until he saw your now-awful wardrobe, too. Bad record right out of the gate, huh?

Though there may be no recorded instances of a wet hair jeopardizing someone's career or life, one cannot deny the fact that it can be inconvenient at times. Hair-blowing may be the quickest way for some, but for those with longer hair (obviously), there may be more ways to do it – and here we are, sharing our tips on how to dry hair fast:
Top 10 Tips on How to Dry Hair Fast

Tips on How to Dry Hair Fast

Tip 1: Drip it all off – though it may sound simple, dripping off the water from the hair should be done properly. For obvious reasons, those with longer hair (both men and women) will take more time doing this. After pressing your two hands against each other and running it down from root to tip, carefully hold the middle part of the strands, and gently squeeze the part below it. Imagine squeezing the liquid out when washing your clothes. Do this for a few more times until the dripping goes off. Only then should you rub your hair with the towel in circular motions.

Tip 2: Keep it out in the open – those who want to find out how to dry hair fast may think that covering the hair and twirling it around a towel like a headdress helps dry it fast. Wrong! Covering it will just retain the wetness / water residue of the hair, on top of the residue coming in from the towel itself (which is most likely wet, too.) Let the air from the outside touch base with your hair.

Tip 3: Brush your hair using your fingers, not your comb – what the comb does, regardless if the bristles are narrowly or widely spaced apart, is that it bundles the hair strands together in a linear way. This traps the wet hair strands with the other wet strands and, worse, with the dry hair strands. Using your fingertips as your comb, gently go through your hair strands in circular motions. Instead of just brushing it, gently shake the hair so that some of the residue comes off. While you're at it, try massaging your scalp as well just to improve the circulation of blood in the head, which helps in improving overall hair (and head) health.

Tip 4: Use warm water when washing the hair – since it's easier to cool down warm things, using warm water will help the hair dry quicker once the user steps out from the shower. Nope, it's not going to work vice versa, as the hair washed with cold water won't really be dry that fast when exposed to hot air, and this even only applies if the shower's cooler than the other parts of the house (which is highly unlikely).

Tip 5: Apply conditioner after using shampoo – by now you'd know that water and oil don't mix. While shampoos are directly applied to the scalp, conditioners are applied to the hair so that its moisture is restored with natural and synthetic oils. That's why the hair feels slippery after shower - with water repulsing a surface that's ‘oiled,' it'd be easier to dry a conditioned hair.

Tip 6: Use the lowest setting of the hairblower – more heat and a more powerful blow does not equate to a faster drying time. Just use the low setting of the hairblower and combine it with brushing your hair using your fingertips. Make sure that your start blowing the scalp first and the tip last.

Tip 7: Don't use any hair-fixing products while the hair's wet – hairstyling wax and gels don't really work well in repelling water residue from the hair like a conditioner. Most gels are not water-based, so what they do instead is that they settle into the hair and traps the water residue for a while. This is why it's hard to style the hair while it's wet. Worse, it may make the hair greasier, and another round of washing may be necessary.

Tip 8: Use a separate towel for your hair – the towel that you'll rub your hair against with should be really dry. Using the same towel you used to dry your other body parts won't exactly help. Plus, the risk of spreading bacteria from your other body parts to your hair is high.

Tip 9: Have a balanced diet and exercise – aside from giving the hair a healthy glow and making it stronger, a balanced diet would also mean that the oil from the scalp will also be produced regularly. Fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, almonds, milk, potatoes, poultry, and beans are just some of the best foods to consume. Exercise can help, too, as the exercising will enable the pores in the scalp to flush out excess oils, replacing these with new scalp oils for better nourishment.

Tip 10: Avoid braiding or ponytailing it right away – this will give your hair strands no room to breathe, and it'll make the spread of the residue easier strand after strand. Plus, it would feel really, really uncomfortable.

Despite these reminders on how to dry hair fast, the real key is to allocate time for drying your hair out the natural way. It is best to allocate around 30-40 minutes in totally drying it out, which means that one has to wake up early and be able to manage his time efficiently. Cutting one's hair short is also a good idea, just as long as s/he is comfortable with it.

Aside from these tips on how to dry hair fast, one must also check if the right hair products are being used. Some hair products may be removing the oils away from the hair and the scalp, making the absorption of the water residue easier, and its release harder.

For some, however, having a wet-hair look is very ideal. They do not need to know how to dry hair fast because they believe that they look better with shiny, messed-up coifs. While this can be a conscious choice, those who frequently style their hair using water should be cautious as to how it could damage hair strands (e.g. if the water isn't clean) aside from the fact that the styling doesn't even last longer than 3 minutes. Plus, an always-wet hair will make it easier for the hair to catch bacteria and may even contribute to the person catching some airborne illnesses, e.g. colds.

If for some reason, however, that your hair feels unusually wet or greasy even if you're out of the shower, consult your doctor.

So now you don't have to worry about messing things up with wet hair. The only time you should enjoy your wet hair is when you're taking a shower or if you're dancing in the rain with a special someone. Otherwise, keep it dry; you never know the kind of situation you might be in the next time.

How to Drink Bailey's Irish Cream Like a Pro

Whether in a Warm Winters Drink or an Ice Cold Shooter, Here's How to Drink Bailey's Irish Cream

Bailey's Irish Cream is a great drink for almost all occasions. Made from Irish whiskey and a cream based liqueur the drink sits at a 17% ABV. While this is drinkable straight for some, for others it may be considered a little too heavy.

But what exactly is Bailey's Irish Cream?

It is an Irish whiskey mixed with a cream liqueur, manufactured by the Irish company Gilbey's. However, the trademark is presently proprietary of Diageo. The alcohol content of Bailey's is 17% per volume, and it is comparable to other cream liqueurs such as Sangster's, Amarula and Carolan's.

Bailey's Irish cream was developed by Gilbeys to address the international demand for cream-based liqueurs. The product development took 4 years, from 1971 to 1974, and then it became the very first Irish cream produced in the market. The origin of the name-Bailey's-was inspired by the popular London hotel, Bailey's Hotel.

Now that you know the roots of Bailey's Irish Cream, let's get down to making drinks that you will surely love.

If you are wondering how to drink Bailey's Irish Cream, you'd be happy to know that you can drink it by itself. This is cool if you don't want frills and fuss. But you can also drink it with ice, or as a component of a cocktail. For a more casual angle, you can add it to your coffee instead of sugar or cream.

So if you are one of those people who struggles to get Bailey's down, don't worry, there are a few drinks one can make that are a little lighter yet still have that great Bailey's taste. To start with, here are two of the most popular Bailey's drinks.

Craving a shooter but want something a little sweet? Why not try a Soma Coma. This tasty concoction combines Bailey's, Sambuca and Goldshlager to create quite a palatable shot. In order to make a Soma Coma place ice cubes in a shaker, add 15 ml (½ oz.) Sambuca, 15ml (½ oz.) Goldschlager and then shake for a minute or two.

After shaking, pour the drink into a shooter glass filling it ¾ of the way. Then add a splash of Bailey's Irish Cream and there you have it. Your very own Soma Coma. Looking for something a little larger? Why not try a Cat Eyed or an Irish Hot Chocolate.

Let's begin with the Cat Eyed. Place 30 ml (2oz.) of Baileys, 15ml (1oz.) of White Rum, 15ml (1oz.) Creme de Cacao and 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream in a blender. Blend well then place into a tall glass and enjoy this sweet frozen drink. Looking for something warmer?

Then the Irish Hot Chocolate might just be for you. Take 15ml (1oz.) of Bailey's Irish Cream and pour it into a mug. Next pour the 250ml (8oz.) Hot Chocolate on the top, add a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy. There you have it, three tasty drinks that can let you enjoy the great taste of Bailey's while providing a lighter alternative to drinking it straight.

Drink only in moderation. If pregnant, avoid alcohol completely.

Adding Bailey's to Food?

So we've talked about how to drink Bailey's but did you know it can also make a great addition to a variety of desserts. For those of you who don't fancy drinking your liqueur, this can make a fantastic alternative. These desserts are bound to please any dinner guests.

Whether in a Warm Winters Drink or an Ice Cold Shooter, Here's How to Drink Bailey's Irish Cream
Merely bring out a Bailey's cake or Bailey's infused ice cream and they'll be bound to leave smiling. Whether it's at a saint patrick's day celebration or just a general get together, you can't go wrong with Bailey's desserts. Here are two  of the best.

Why not give traditional cupcakes or any frosted desserts a run for their money by opting for a Bailey's buttercream frosting. To make this you will need 1 cup of butter, 3 cups of powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

To make the frosting, simply add all ingredients into a large bowl and whisk either manually or with an electric beater until smooth and creamy. It is the simplicity of this Bailey's dessert addition that makes it so popular. Once complete, simply top your cupcakes or other frosted desserts and enjoy. For stronger or weaker frosting adjust the amount of Bailey's Irish Cream accordingly. Not a fan of frosting? Why not try a Bailey's infused pudding.

For the purpose of simplicity we are going to be basing this off of an instant pudding packet. However, if you prefer to make it from scratch (as many do) simply treat any references to instant pudding as your completed pudding batter. To start with you will want to combine the pudding mix with 1 and a ¼ cups of milk and ¼ cup Bailey's Irish Cream.

Beat the mixture for around 3 minutes either manually or electrically. Once complete, pour the ½ of the mixture into 4 parfait bowls, add then add your choice of parfait mixture. Repeat this twice so you end up with parfait mixture on the top. Then all you have to do is allow it to set and you will have a vanilla pudding with a Bailey's Irish Cream twist.

General Ideas for How to Drink Bailey's Irish Cream

None of these ideas take your fancy? Not to worry, as Bailey's Irish Cream is a dairy based liqueur there are things we know it mixes with and things we know it doesn't. The main thing it does mix with is any other dairy based drinks. Too strong? Simply mix it with chocolate milk.

Looking for a caffeine fix? Add it to some coffee. Part of what makes this drink so popular is its versatility. You could even get away with pouring it over your favorite ice cream. So when you are experimenting with a Bailey's drink that works for you, simply add another dairy based drink and you won't run into any trouble at all.

Bailey's is a great drink for any occasion. Its sweet taste and adaptability to most desserts gives you options in its consumption. Whether you add it to a hot winters drink or have it in a shooter it will certainly be enjoyed by most. Bring out an infused dessert at a dinner party and then everyone will be sure to revere your culinary creations. I'm sure even the fussiest liqueur critique couldn't say no to a fresh, homemade, bailey's iced cupcake.

Quiz Time!!! How do You Prefer Your Bailey's?

  1. Straight.
  2. In a shooter.
  3. In a cold drink.
  4. In a warm drink.
Please comment in comment box :)

The Best Answer to When to Plant Bermuda Grass

Do you know when to plant Bermuda grass?

So you've decided to put in Bermuda grass, you've bought the seeds, you know where you want to plant it, now the only question that remains is when. The thing is, you can't just plant Bermuda grass anytime you want. This is due to the fact that for optimal germination, Bermuda seeds require a soil temperature of above 18 degrees (64.4 F) and below 27 degrees (80.6 F).

These temperatures can be found in most areas at Spring and Summer. So if you're going to put in Bermuda grass, those are the times to do it. Spring and Summer here already? Well, these are the next steps in making sure your Bermuda grass is planted successfully. So just when to plant Bermuda grass?

Let's say you're looking at planting Bermuda grass in around 100 square meters (roughly 1000 square feet). For this amount of land you're going to need around a one and a half kilograms of Bermuda seeds.

Once the Bermuda stands have started appearing however, you may want to add more seeds depending on your personal preference. This amount of seeds, for a lawn, should more than cover it but if it doesn't, don't worry, you can always plant more early on in the season. Another important element in the planting of Bermuda grass is the amount of soil placed on top of the seeds.

This is where you have to be careful. Bermuda seeds do not require much soil cover. Too much will hinder the germinating process. You will want to place only half a centimeter or about a quarter inch of soil over the seeds.

Conversely, too little soil cover will also cause damage so make sure your seeds are covered with at least a third of a centimeter (1/8th inch) of good quality soil. With Bermuda seeds you can use most methods of plantation from traditional hand planting to seed spreaders.

The only other thing you have to watch out for is herbicide use during the first 14 weeks. This is not advisable or recommended and has the potential to halt the germinating process completely. Following these steps and making sure you have planted your seeds when soil temperature is optimal you should be on the way to a great patch of Bermuda grass.

External factors regularly impact plant growth. Although you can take precautions which lessen the risks, nothing can 100% guarantee the successful growth of your Bermuda Grass.

The Best Answer to When to Plant Bermuda Grass

It's Summer/Spring and You've Planted Your Bermuda Grass. What Now?

So you've waited for the right soil temperature, planted the seeds in the correct manner, now what? Well there are a few things you have to do in the first weeks to months of your Bermuda grass planting. Let's begin with watering.

In germination, which occurs in the first three weeks of planting your seeds, it is of utmost importance that the soil around the seeds maintains a consistent level of moisture. This can be done relatively easily through a simple sprinkler system. In this fashion you can ensure that your seeds get the water they need in their important first few weeks.

If your seeds don't seem to be germinating in the first few days, don't worry. Maintain the level of moisture as it can take up to 7 days for the germination process to begin.

On top of this, optimally, you should allow up to three weeks after the seedlings emerge for the entire germination process to conclude. So be patient and remember, this is not a completely rigid science, your seeds may take a little longer than most, just maintain moisture levels and before you know it your Bermuda glass should be apparent.

Around 6-8 weeks after first plantation you should achieve full coverage. Again, this is just an estimate, depending on your circumstances and external factors it may be completed early or later. Keep maintaining the grass and be patient. When the Bermuda grass has achieved full coverage, however, there are a few other things you need to understand and know in order to maintain a healthy patch of grass.

Overview of Bermuda Grass Life Cycle

Stage in Life Cycle. Time. Notes.
Germination. 7-10 days up to 14-18 days. Don’t sweat it. Germination may take up to 3 weeks. As long as you are maintaining soil moisture around the planting sites then you shouldn’t run into too many concerns.
First Mowing. 3 weeks after seeding. At around 3 weeks after the seeding process your Bermuda grass should be ready for its first mowing. Only remove a third of the leaf in the first mow as not to cause any long lasting damage to the grass.
Establishment. 6-10 weeks after seeding (possibly more). Roughly 6-10 weeks after planting your bermuda grass should be well established.

Bermuda Grass Maintenance

You've seeded, kept moistened and waited 10 weeks until your Bermuda grass is fully established. Now what? Well, there are a few maintenance aspects that every Bermuda grass owner should be aware of.

Firstly, what about mowing? With Bermuda grass, mowing should be carried out in the spring as soon as the grass turns green. Make sure your mower is set between 1 and 2 inches for common Bermuda grass.

The optimal mowing technique is a higher frequency with lower height. By following these guidelines you should be able to water your Bermuda grass without creating in adverse effects to your lawn. Now that mowing is covered, what about fertilization? Does it need it?

Fertilization is an important element in the growth of most plants and Bermuda grass isn't excluded. The best approach with the planting of any species is to get your soil tested beforehand. What this does is tell you the amount of nutrients already present and the amount of nutrients needed and you can base your fertilizer choice off of this.

If you don't have access to soil testing kits then you should opt for a 3-2-1 ratio fertilizer (nitrogen to phosphorous to potassium). You should be using around half a kilogram or a pound of fertilizer per 100 square meter (1000 square feet) of Bermuda grass every 6-8 weeks depending on the type of fertilizer chosen.

By following these steps you should be able to avoid over or under fertilization for your grass. Watering your grass is also a necessary element of maintenance.

The watering of Bermuda grass should be done on an as-needed basis. You will know when your grass needs watering as it will start to exude certain symptoms. The things to look out for are a dull colour and changes in the leaf structure (if they begin to roll or fold you know the grass needs to be watered).

If you notice these symptoms then watering should be done up to a depth of 15cm or 6 inches. By following these steps, planting in the right time and taking good care of your grasses your Bermuda grass should thrive and provide you with cover for any open space.

How to Make Blueberry Wine, The Perfect Summer Drink

Maybe you saw it that episode of Parks and Recreation wherein Ron Swanson approves of its high alcoholic content, maybe it’s always been one of your favorites and maybe this is the first time you’re hearing about it. Regardless, blueberry wine and the process of making it should be common knowledge for every fruit-wine connoisseur. So how do you go about making this very sweet sounding, summer beverage?

The first step in any fruit wine is the fruit itself. Fruit wine is appealing due to the fact that it can be made from both fresh and frozen fruit. Although some of you may turn up your nose at the idea of using frozen berries it is a very common practice in fruit wine as it enables you to make it at any time during the year and still produces an extremely palatable final product.

To make 19L of blueberry wine you should aim to have around 15 pounds of blueberries. This may seem like a lot, but one does not need commercial equipment to make blueberry wine even at these quantities. So what does the amateur winemaker exactly need to create a tasty batch of fruit-wine?

Equipment Required for Blueberry Wine.

For those who already have all of the necessary winemaking equipment I advise you skip directly to the next section. For those who don’t, this is for you. There are a few things one needs in order to produce blueberry wine. These range from a Fermenter to a Bottling Bucket for the final product.

I am going to take you through all of them now, a brief description of what they do and where to purchase them.

The first thing you will need is a fermenter. Basically fermenters are the homes in which the sugars in the crushed berries will be transformed into alcohol through pectic enzymes and pottasium sulfite.

You can either purchase tubs, jugs or tanks depending on the quantity of wine you want to produce, all of these can easily be found online. As another important step in the production of wine is the density of the liquid, you will want to invest in a quality hydrometer.

How to Make Blueberry Wine, The Perfect Summer Drink

A hydrometer is a device that measures the relative density of a liquid. The importance of this is that the density will affect the end amount of alcohol. The hydrometer is cylindrical and generally made of glass. Once again these can easily be found online.

In order to ferment your wine you will need a Carboy in which to ferment it in. These can be either plastic or glass and it is really up to user preference.

Once fermented, you will also need a bottling bucket in which to keep the wine while it rests for a few weeks before being ready to drink.

Other miscellaneous items you will need to invest in are a mesh bag (used to separate liquids from the fruit), a siphon (for transferring the wine from one location to another) and an airlock (used to keep microorganisms from tainting your wine). These are all relatively cheap and will not set you back very much if ordered from the right websites. Once you have all of these things you’re ready to start making your wine.

When purchasing any product make sure you have done your research on all available options and are convinced it is the right product for you.

Blueberry Wine, Step by Step

Now that you have all of your ingredients the first step in making your very own Blueberry Wine is crushing the fruit. In order to keep the produce in a central location it is advisable to crush the fruit within an airtight bag, but failing this, it is ok to crush them on a clean surface or within a pot.

For this example we will assume that you have used 3-4lbs of blueberries, all following measurements will be relevant to this. Once you have your crushed blueberries you are going to want to mix in 2-2.5lbs of sugar and making sure it is completely dissolved.

Next pour the mixture into your completely sterilized fermenter. Then all you need to do is add 3 gallons of water, half a teaspoon of citric acid and half a teaspoon of pectic enzyme to get the fermentation started.

Leave it for one to two days, stirring twice daily. This is when you will use your hydrometer. You are looking for a value around 1.090 this lets you know that you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Next add your red wine yeast (amount will vary depending on brand). Let it sit, stirring occasionally for a week. After this time is up, there may be some residue on the edges, don’t worry, this is not a problem, just remove it and your mixture will be ready to be strained.

This is where the mesh bag comes in handy. By pouring the wine through this piece of equipment you will make sure to remove any residual fruit. Once you are convinced all residue has been removed, it is time to move the mixture into your carboy. Use the funnel to guide the mixture inside, apply the airlock and your wine is ready to sit for around a month.

Once the month is up, you can transfer the wine to your bottling bucket. To do this, you will want to lower your siphon tube to the bottom of the carboy. Take the other end and suck through it until the wine reaches you.

As soon as it does, place the other end of the siphon into the bottling bucket. Once the wine is transferred, leave it for another month. This process can be repeated until you are satisfied with the taste of your wine. Once you are, you can bottle it up and there you have it. Your own, homemade, blueberry wine.

Make sure all equipment is properly sterilized before use.

Abbreviated Instructions

Instruction Time How Often Notes
Crush blueberries N/A. Once. You can use a pot, crush them in a plastic bag or even use a sterilized surface.
Add ingredients and stir. 1 to 2 days. On addition and then twice daily. Add 2-2.5lbs of sugar, 3 gallons of water, ½ a teaspoon of citric acid
Add red wine yeast. 1 week. Stirring occasionally (once daily). Add amount of red wine yeast specified on the packet
Filter through mesh bag then transfer to carboy. 1 month. Once. Use funnel to transfer liquid.
Transfer wine to your bottling bucket. One month. According to personal preference. Use the siphon to transfer the liquid from the carboy to the bottling bucket. Repeat as required.

How to Care for Air Plants Like the Pros - A Definitive Guide

Air plants differ from regular household plants in that they get most, or all of their moisture from their leaves rather than their root system. This enables you a lot more flexibility with their placement of them throughout your home, apartment or garden.

Air plants are popular as they allow for a fresh take on household plant decoration. They can add an air of sophistication and contemporary design to a space due to their uniqueness but how does one take care of an air plant?

The Basics

The technical name for the genus species that embodies air plants is Tillandsias. Naturally Tillandsias grow throughout America although they can be grown, in the right conditions, anywhere in the world. So what are these conditions? Well, like most plants, there are a few conditions Tillandsias need to be grown in in order to flourish.

One of these is light.

Lighting for Tillandsias can either be artificial or natural. For artificial lighting one would do best to use fluorescent light and place the plant not closer than 6 inches and not further away than 48 inches from the source. You should place them in lighting for around 12 hours a day to achieve the maximum benefit. For natural sunlight, depending on your location, there are a few restrictions.

From April-October and November-March it is best to expose them to light that is bright, but filtered. In the summer months it is advisable to not leave them in direct sunlight as they may become burned.

How to Care for Air Plants Like the Pros-A Definitive Guide
Tillandsias need light and artificial light and natural both work as long as you make sure your plant isn't suffering any adverse effects by being exposed for too long within the summer months. Tillandsias, depending on humidity, may also require minimal watering.

The amount and quantity of watering you should apply to your Tillandsias is dependent on the humidity of the space within which you grow them. An air plant that is in a home that is hot and dry, for example, should garner more watering than one that is in a cooler and more humid environment.

The base standard, however, is watering 2-3 times a week. Post-watering it is important that you allow enough light and air for the plant to cool in less than 4 hours.

To ensure optimum growth and health of your plants you should also ensure the temperature of the environment in which they are placed is at a constant temperature of 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit. If your plant is placed in an environment in which these conditions are met, you should see the maintenance of the health of your air plants.

Individual results may vary due to the unknown nature of external factors. When growing any plants there always should be the consideration of possible failure.

So, Do I Put my Air Plants in a pot?

As previously stated, air plants, unlike other vegetation, have very little use for their roots, absorbing most of their nutrients and water through their leaves. So what does this mean for the air plant owner? Do they have to put these plants in a regular pot or are there other avenues that one can explore?

The answer to this is that part of what makes air plants so popular is their versatility. You can mount them almost anywhere. But without roots and soils, how do you get them to stick?

One of the ways you can ensure your air plants remain on their prospective mount is to use a non-water soluble glue. Yes, with air plants, once you have decided on a fitting location, you can just glue them on. What about fertilizer though, don't plants require fertilizer in order to remain healthy?

The response is that you don't have to fertilize your air plants, but you can if you want to and it may ensure faster growth and better flowering. So which fertilizer do you use and how do you go about implementing it? With air plants it is recommended you use a water soluble fertilizer at a ¼ strength and apply it once a month.

The fertilizer should also fulfil a few other characteristics if you want to ensure optimum effectiveness. Nitrogen within the product should not be of the form Urea. Phosphorus is good in all amounts and can actually help offset an excess of nitrogen and the same goes with Potassium. There should be no Copper, Boron or Zinc or they should be in very minimal quantities (>0.5%). Once you find a fertilizer that you believe fulfils these categories you can happily fertilize your plants.

Air plants are highly susceptible to over-fertilization. Be careful to ensure you have the right fertilizer and the right amount to ensure plant health.

Damaged or Sick Air Plants, is There Any Hope?

So let's say the worst has happened. You've made a mistake in the upkeep of your Air Plants and they have become sick. Is there any use in trying to remedy the situation? The answer to this depends on whether there is any green left on the plant. If there isn't, then throw it away, but if it is, the plant can still be saved. So how does one go about reviving a sick or damaged air plant?

The first thing you want to do when you notice your plant has become sick is to submerge it in water. This will allow it to recover as long as you keep it in their up to a maximum of twelve hours. Following this process you can re-submerge it for 4 more hours a few days later. Your plant may never repair its leaf damage but more often than not it will recover. You can then use its offspring to try again with a new air plant.

You now have the skills and knowledge to successfully care for an air plant. Not only will they make for a great talking piece at dinner parties or gatherings but they will also add a naturalistic design component to your living space. As long as you follow the necessary steps you should end up with a happy, healthy air plant that should stay with you for many years.

Essential Aspects of Care for Your Plants

Plant Essentials Amount Frequency Notes
Water Thoroughly Wet. 2-3 times a week (depending on temperature/humidity). In hotter, drier climates an air plant requires more watering. The plant should be allowed to dry out in no less than 4 hours after watering has occurred.
Fertilizer ¼ the recommended strength. Once a month (optional). Although Fertilizing your air plants will make them grow faster and flower better the process is completely optional.
Sunlight Artificial light (full spectrum preferably fluorescent); Natural light - Bright and filtered in non-summer months. 12 hours a day Air plants need sunlight and this can be achieved either through artificial or natural light. One must be careful, however, in the summer months that the natural light does not cause sunburn damage to the leaves.

Do you fertilize your air plants?
  1. Yes, and I see a noticeable improvement
  2. Yes, but it doesn't seem to work
  3. No, they seem to grow fine without it

Secrets of Essential Oils for Back Pain

If you have back pain that just doesn't seem to go away maybe you should give essential oils a try. Many oils have purported anti-inflammatory and painkiller properties so they might be just what you need but what properties of the oils cause this, and which ones contain them?
In response, there are a few properties of oils that are believed to pain relieving. What you want to look out for is oils with anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties. These will be the most helpful in fighting off backaches. So which essential oils will fulfil this criteria and give you some much needed peace?
Spruce, used for centuries, is renowned for its muscle relaxant properties and reportedly can even stimulate the adrenal glands, causing an energy boost within the body. This oil is quite sweet and enjoyed around the world. A very similar and much better known oil is lavender.
A study found that the use of lavender as an essential oil lowered back pain by as much as 39%. So not only is this oil anecdotally renowned but it also has grounding in the scientific community.
Looking for something a bit more sedative, why not keep an eye out for marjoram? This is the perfect oil for treating tightness around the muscles and if you have a tight, sore back marjoram might just be the oil for you. Not experiencing tightness but having spasms? Don't worry, there are essential oils for that too.
Sandalwood, with its grounded scent, has known anti-spasmodic properties. This is also a slight sedative and will promote deep relaxation. Ginger is another essential oil, that like lavender, has been studied for its positive health effects.
It was discovered that the use of ginger oil in patients with rheumatoid caused lowered pain sensations in 75% of patients. They also benefited from lowered amounts of swelling and pain. Other oils that provide benefit to sufferers of back pain are fennel, clove and copaiba.
So as you can see with essential oils there are a range of great options to choose from all providing great benefits. So what are you waiting for? Start combating your back pain with essential oils today.
Secrets of Essential Oils for Back Pain

Essential Oil Blends for Back Pain
We all know that sometimes things are better in groups, is this the case with essential oils? The answer is yes.
There are many blends of essential oils that can provide cumulative benefits for back pain suffers. By combining the oils you can get the best properties of each in one go. It seems simple, why would you opt for only one when you can just as easily have a few. Many oils have synergy with one another and the following are some of the best combinations for pain relief.
Looking for a soothing combination of oils? Look no further. This blend combines wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, blue tansy, blue chamomile, helichrysum and osmanthus.
This even comes with the option of many different applications so it caters for the tastes of all users. By combining oils with vastly different properties this essential oil can tackle most facets of back pain. So if you're looking for a wide-spread oil, try this soothing combination, it might just work.
Another blend that is extremely effective mixes ginger, cinnamon, cajuput, chamomile and carrier oil to create a highly effective oil that can be used in massage.
The great thing about this mixture is that you can make it at home. Simply combine 2 drops of ginger, 4 drops of cinnamon, 3 drops of cajuput, 3 drops of chamomile and 15 ml of carrier oil inside a bottle and you will have your very own muscle relaxing combination. These oils are perfect for back pain and you will definitely experience success with a blend such as this.
Essential Oil Applications for Back Pain
So now that you know which oils are perfect for back pain, how do you use them? There are actually a variety of applications for essential oils that I will list below. The three major methods of essential oil application are either to the skin, inhalation or digestion. Let's start with application to the skin.
A variety of different essential oils can be applied directly to the skin and the reason this makes a difference to back pain has to do with the way our body absorbs things. This is why when used as a massage oil essential oils are a great way to treat back pain.
You have the the health benefit of the massage alongside the chemicals, which, through skin application actually pass through into the bloodstream where they will be transported to other parts of the body, but what about inhalation, does it work in the same way?
In a way, inhalation does result in the same end product as skin application. When we inhale the oils, the molecules are transported through our olfactory system. This includes our nose, our lungs and the entire respiratory system.
It is here the important qualities of these oils will pass into our bloodstream and can even cross the blood brain barrier. So in essence you are getting the same effect from the two methods of application, they just occur a little differently.
Digestion, while a method of administration used in some countries, is not recommended in the US or most Western nations. This is due to the fact that many oils can be toxic and the results of digestion can be fatal.
A large amount of knowledge is required to safely administer essential oils in this fashion and should not, in any circumstances, be undertaken unless under the advice of a health care professional.

Cervical Mucus Before Period - All Your Questions, Answered

The human body is an amazing machine. Your heart beats without prompting, and your blood flows without any effort on your part. Your reproductive system also functions without thought, and creates its own healthy environment. Cervical mucus, before period or fluid that is expelled via the cervix, is part of this healthy environment.

Cervical mucus before period aids the sperm to reach its goal, to fertilize the awaiting egg. Cervical mucus helps the sperm travel toward the egg, and provides essential nutrients along the way. On the flip side, cervical mucus at the early stages of the cycle prevent sperm motility and create a block to the cervix.

Cervical mucus changes throughout a woman's menstrual cycle. This is important to note, as these changes can signify the peak time of fertility. Whether you are trying to conceive or trying to avoid a pregnancy, understanding the variances of cervical mucus can be of benefit. Differences in color, amount and consistency may change throughout your menstrual cycle.

Cervical Mucus Before Period - All Your Questions, Answered

What is it really?

Your mucus produces mucus, an egg-white colored semi-fluid that is naturally secreted by a woman’s reproductive system. This fluid plays a very important role in the conception of a human baby.

The cervival mucus before period traps the sperm in the uterus, and stores them for up to six days. This is why you can still get pregnant six days after you had sex.

The cervical mucus helps the egg be fertilized, and it also enhances the chances of successful conception. But a lot of women are still concerned about the cervical mucus before period. Which is why we will talk about it further.

The initial stage of the cycle, closest to the time of menstruation, starts with sticky, scant mucus. It is usually somewhat thick in consistency. The thickness of this mucus blocks the cervix and can prevent sperm from traveling through to the Fallopian tubes. This means that the opportunity for fertilization of an egg is extremely limited.

The mucus changes as you being the ovulatory stage of your menstrual cycle, or, the ideal time for you to conceive. As this time approaches, you will notice that the fluid increases and becomes thinner, similar to the consistency of raw egg whites. You may even see or feel it on your underwear.

You should be able to stretch the mucus between two of your fingers. This is a great sign that you are approaching the time of ovulation. The volume of the fluid may be abundant, but should not cause you any unease or concern.

If you are trying to conceive, checking your cervical mucus may be helpful, but you should do so prior to sexual intercourse or arousal, since these time periods may include other fluids that can affect the consistency of cervical mucus. You may also need to reach up to the cervix to retrieve the fluid, if there is currently no flow to the vagina.

Cervical mucus before period that appears on your underwear is normal, and you should not be alarmed at its volume or consistency.

Cervical Mucus and Your Menstrual Cycle

Menstrual Cycle Timing Cervical Mucus Consistency and Volume Fertility Level Expected
Beginning of Cycle, Post Menstruation. Sticky Feel. Light Flow. Opaque in Color. Low. Conception Not Likely.
Mid Cycle, Early. Thinner. Clearing. Conception Not Likely.
Mid Cycle, Peak. Heavy flow. Clear/Raw Egg Whites. Stretchy/Elastic. Conception Highly Likely.
End of Cycle. Tapering Off. Opaque. Conception Unlikely.


It should be noted that no matter what the consistency of cervical mucus, unprotected sexual intercourse can still lead to conception. Cervical mucus and its consistency and volume are mere indicators of the timing of your cycle. Cervical mucus provides an environment for sperm to travel to the egg for fertilization, but the egg must be present for conception to occur.

Cervical Mucus Before Period and Its Added Benefit

While recognizing that the variances in cervical mucus can help guide you through your reproductive cycle, cervical fluid has an additional benefit. Cervical mucus provides a protective barrier against bad bacteria, keeping your vagina and reproductive system in optimal health.

The acidity in the mucus can protect you against diseases like bacterial vaginosis or cervicitis. As cervical mucus works its way down the vaginal canal, it may carry away stray bacteria, viruses, and sperm. This natural cleansing of the vagina means that there is no need for women to douche or introduce chemicals into the vagina to clean this delicate area. Cervical mucus does the work for you!

When Cervical Mucus Before Period Signifies "Something Else". When to Call Your Physician

While cervical mucus is typically normal and healthy, there may be times when the mucus can signify a problem with your reproductive or vaginal health. If you experience a strong, unpleasant odor, itching or pain, or mucus that is discolored or white, you should consult with your doctor or health care provider as soon as possible.

These changes may indicate a vaginal infection, a sexually transmitted disease such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, or in rare cases, it may even signify uterine or cervical cancer. A blood stained or pink discharge may be a symptom of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

Hostile Cervical Mucus

Though uncommon, some women can produce cervical mucus that is not conducive to pregnancy. When a woman's cervical mucus is not healthy, it is considered “hostile” and it can become difficult for her to conceive.

Hostile cervical mucus can be caused by a variety of sources, including prescription medications such as Clomid, an inappropriate diet, and lack of water consumption. A hostile environment can also be produced by excessive utilization of antihistamines.

Hostile cervical mucus can often be overcome by improvements to the diet and additional water consumption, utilization of a Guaifenesin, such as Robitussin, or a decrease in the consumption of dairy products, sugar or artificially sweetened foods, and acidic foods.

Sperm-friendly lubricants may also be of some benefit to cervical mucus improvement. Be cautious of inappropriate recommendations you may encounter on the internet. Some women, in their quest for healthier mucus, have even attempted to insert egg whites into the vaginal canal. This is not only of no real benefit, but is an unsanitary practice that can lead to additional problems.

In Closing

Now that you have an understanding of cervical mucus before period the role it plays in your fertility and reproductive health, you can use this knowledge to your advantage. While cervical mucus is only part of the story of conception, observing the changes in your mucus levels and its consistency may help you on your journey to build a family, or help to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.

Accepting that cervical mucus is part of a normal, healthy reproductive system can contribute to your health and overall well-being. Learning to identify the differing stages of your healthy cervical mucus is even better!

Mucus Threads in Urine

Everyone has mucus in their urinary tract. It is found in both men and women. Mucus threads in urine can appear in several forms, most notably crystals, threads, or a secretions. It comes from mucous membranes and will often it will appear as a slimy type of secretion.

For the most part, these secretions are perfectly normal and should not be a reason to worry. However, if the mucous becomes too excessive, it could be indicative of a more serious problem, like a urinary tract infection.
Why Are There Mucus Threads in Urine? What Does Normal Mucus Look Like?

What Does Normal Mucus Look Like?

Normal mucus threads in urine are not actually visible in your urine stream because the color of urine masks the actual mucus. Even though you secrete as much urine as you do mucus, you should not be able to notice the mucus at all.

The mucus is a natural occurrence that manifests when the urethra and the bladder shed small amounts of skin cells. It can be a little heavier in women during ovulation and menstruation, but should that should still not cause any concern.

What If There’s Pain When I Urinate?

Pain during urination could be a symptom of something more serious, such as a Urinary Tract Infection. A UTI can also cause mucus threads in the urine, but it can also be accompanied by mild to severe discomfort. Other signs of UTI include lower back pain, an increase in the urgency and frequency of urination, and slight leakage. UTIs are caused when bacteria grows in the genitals and should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.

What If The Mucus Has A Different Color?

A distinct color in urinary mucus threads can be indicative of a sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. In the case of gonorrhea, the mucus will appear as a yellowish discharge and will be visible in the urine.

Chlamydia, on the other hand, may express itself as a whitish discharge. Both of these diseases need immediate medical attention if detected. A cloudy mucus thread could indicate cancer of the bladder and should be taken very seriously.

Did You Know?
Mucous membranes are found on the interior walls of the colon, lungs, uterus and urinary tract. They coat these organs and protect them from damage.

What If There's Excessive Mucus?

Excessive mucus could be present for a number of reasons. Patches of erosions and ulcers on the colon, otherwise known as Ulcerative Colitis, can cause excessive mucus. However, the excess seems to come mostly from a mixture of urine mucus and anal mucus, as Ulcerative Colitis causes most patients to excrete bloody diarrhea.

The mucus becomes excessive because most people with this problem tend to urinate and defecate at the same time. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can also cause excessive mucus. It too is caused by mucus that may be present in the stool combining the urinary mucus.

What If The Mucus Has An Odor?

Mucus threads in urine that is accompanied by a bad smell may be symptomatic of Urinary Stone Disease. UDS, also referred to as kidney stone disease, is also accompanied by dark urine, back pains, and intense abdominal pain.

Should I Seek Medical Attention If I Notice Urinary Mucus?

Yes. Whether the mucus is excessive, yellowish or white in color, or has a bad odor, you should always seek medical attention. Some of the causes of excessive urinary mucus can be treated quite easily by your doctor. STDs and UTIs can be treated with antibiotics and the mucus often clears up within a week.

IBS is often regulated with changes to the diet or fiber supplements. Anti-inflammatory medication is used to Ulcerative Colitis. However, for more serious issues, such as kidney stone disease or cancer, hospitalization may be required.

Did You Know?
There is no need to worry about the presence of normal mucus in urine. However, underlying conditions may be a reason to consult your physician.

Symptom Details
Color Normal: Pale to dark yellow
Abnormal:Many foods and medicines can affect the color of the urine. Urine with no color may be caused by long-term kidney disease or uncontrolled diabetes. Dark yellow urine can be caused by dehydration. Red urine can be caused by blood in the urine.
Clarity Normal:Clear
Abnormal:Cloudy urine can be caused by pus (white blood cells), blood (red blood cells), sperm, bacteria, yeast, crystals, mucus, or a parasite infection, such as trichomoniasis.
Odor Normal:Slightly "nutty" odor
Abnormal: Some foods (such as asparagus), vitamins, and antibiotics(such as penicillin) can cause urine to have a different odor. A sweet, fruity odor may be caused by uncontrolled diabetes. A urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause a bad odor. Urine that smells like maple syrup can mean maple syrup urine disease, when the body can't break down certain amino acids.