Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
There can be no equality or opportunity if men and women and children be not shielded in their lives from the consequences of great industrial and social processes which they cannot alter, control, or singly cope with.
It is a strange fact that freedom and equality, the two basic ideas of democracy, are to some extent contradictory. Logically considered, freedom and equality are mutually exclusive, just as society and the individual are mutually exclusive.
All men are born equally free.
Real equality is immensely difficult to achieve, it needs continual revision and monitoring of distributions. And it does not provide buffers between members, so they are continually colliding or frustrating each other.
Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.
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Macrobiotic advice on how to use it
The root of the lotus, the beautiful flower symbolizing purity and enlightenment in Buddhism, of spiritual elevation in Hinduism, and rebirth in ancient Egyptian culture, is commonly used in the East as an ingredient in cooking and as a herbal remedy.
The lotus plant is a water lily, so it grows in water and its roots sink into the mud. The symbolism of purity and the ability to live in the world without being contaminated by it is linked to its ability to grow in water, even stagnant, rising above water and mud with an immaculate and beautiful flower.
From a macrobiotic point of view, the ability of this plant to live in water without rotting. And producing leaves and flowers that repel water is very interesting. This lets us guess its ability to “manage humidity”. Here macrobiotics sees in this ability the potential to act in our body in a similar way, helping us to bring out the humidity, in particular the excess mucus.
Lotus root has been used for millennia for mucus problems (phlegm, cold, sinusitis, otitis, fat cough), precisely for its fluidifying and mucolytic action.
But its properties do not end there: it also has the ability to strengthen the lungs and colon. As it is also used to relieve intestinal disorders and strengthen the respiratory system in case of asthma.
From a nutritional point of view, it is rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C. But also mineral salts, folic acid, and fiber, and is low in calories. It is, therefore, an excellent food, to be used together with other vegetables.
Shape and structure: what macrobiotics tells us
Macrobiotics takes into account many aspects of food, including shapes, directions of growth, colors, structures, etc. All these elements have particular energies and analogies with our body, which can give interesting healing indications.
The lotus root has a particular external structure, “sausage”, which recalls the structure of our colon. Based on this analogy, it has been used in the East for thousands of years for disorders of this part of the intestine.
By cutting the root in half it can be seen that its internal structure is made of tubules, which is very reminiscent of that of our respiratory system. It is in fact used to strengthen this system and in particular to thin and eliminate excess mucus.
The roots, flowers, and seeds of the lotus plant are traditionally used. The flowers are dried and used for relaxing infusions or used to extract an essential oil to promote meditation.
The seeds, with calming, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, are mainly used in Indian cuisine, where they are used raw or cooked. They can be added to soups, or they can be reduced to flour.
The root (called Renkon ) is typically used in cooking, but also to prepare healing remedies for intestinal and respiratory disorders, to thin mucus, and strengthen the immune system.
On the market, we can easily find the dried root in slices or in powder. The fresh root is harder to find, but not impossible.
How lotus root is used in cooking
Using the dried root in slices or washers, we must first soak it in warm water for about ten minutes. So we can add it to soups, soups, or pans of vegetables. We can add the whole washer or into small pieces, or chop. The soaking water can be reused.
Using the fresh root, we must peel it and then slice it to taste. And then add it where we prefer, in soups or vegetable pan.
It should be cooked for a long time to make it tender.
The powder can be added to soups as desired.
How is lotus root used as a natural remedy?
In macrobiotic “medicine” the dry or fresh root is used to prepare a decoction, to be used for colds, phlegm, otitis, and sinusitis.
It is cooked in water for about 15 minutes, then a few drops of soy sauce. And a few drops of ginger juice are added and drunk hot, once a day for 2-3 days. Ginger enhances expectorant activity.
The fresh root can also be used to prepare a poultice to be applied on the forehead in case of sinusitis. It is grated and mixed with flour. A few drops of ginger juice are added, placed in a cotton handkerchief, and applied to the forehead. This remedy must be repeated for a few days.
WHAT IS BILE REFLUX
Bile reflux is a condition characterized by the rise of bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, from the intestine to the stomach; in some cases it is associated with gastroesophageal reflux, thus reaching the throat and mouth.
Unlike gastric reflux, biliary reflux does not respond as well to an improvement in diet and lifestyle, often requiring drugs or, in the most severe cases, a surgical approach.
Eating a meal requires subsequent digestion that the gallbladder empties its bile content into the duodenum. The first track of the intestine is found at the exit of the stomach.
Normally the pylorus, a valve that separates the two organs, prevents the ascent towards the stomach, opening instead only for the discharge of the food present in the stomach; in the event of a malfunction. On the other hand, a displacement in the opposite direction can be observed. Due to the tissues unsuitable to resist the digestive action of bile. The stomach and possibly the esophagus develop a more or less severe inflammatory condition.
When the same mechanism also occurs between the stomach and esophagus. Due to insufficient sealing of the cardia, biliary reflux overlaps with gastroesophageal reflux.
However, it is an uncommon condition in healthy subjects, while it is easier to develop in the presence of gastroesophageal reflux disease, particularly in those with severe esophagitis and/or Barrett’s esophagus.
The main risk factors that can predispose the patient to the development of the disorder include:
- Complications from surgical interventions, for example, bariatric surgery (aimed at weight loss), as in the case of gastrectomy and gastric bypass ;
- Peptic ulcer
- Cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder, typically due to the presence of gallstones ).
In any case, the reason why some patients only develop gastric reflux and others associated with biliary disease is not clear, among the hypotheses two are the most shared:
- The presence of biliary reflux predisposes to the development of the gastric one,
- Formation of an accumulation of bile and gastric acids in the stomach.
Signs and symptoms are in part superimposable to gastroesophageal reflux, also because it is often associated with it; in fact, the most common symptoms of bile reflux include:
- Abdominal pain
- Burning in the abdomen and chest, which in some cases reaches the throat and mouth (where it is accompanied by the sensation of a bitter taste)
- Yellowish-green nausea and vomiting.
- More rarely, hoarseness, dry cough, and weight loss have been reported.
Persistent bile reflux has been linked to an increased risk of developing stomach cancer, possibly due to the irritating action of bile on the organ walls.
Other possible complications include:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (gerd), in which the symptom acquires a systematic and persistent character,
- Barrett’s esophagus is a condition of altered nature of the walls of the esophagus that predisposes to the risk of organ tumor development.
Distinguishing biliary reflux from gastric reflux can be difficult and is rarely possible through a medical examination alone; instrumental tests may be necessary such as:
- Ph-esophageal impedance meter is an examination that allows evaluating the possible presence of acidic (from the stomach) and non-acidic (bile) gastro-oesophageal refluxes.
TREATMENT AND REMEDIES
If lifestyle changes are often sufficient to ensure optimal management of gastroesophageal reflux, unfortunately, the same cannot be said of bile reflux, also due to an objective difficulty in distinguishing the real impact between the two from the patient’s point of view.
Among the drugs that can be used, the most common include:
- Ursodeoxycholic acid (deursil®, ursacol®, …)
- Sucralfate (sucralfin®, …)
- Sequestrants of bile acids, also used as anti-cholesterol as they can prevent or at least reduce the reabsorption of bile at the end of digestion (questran®,)
- Prokinetic agents promote gastric emptying in a short time.
In patients in whom it is not possible to achieve adequate control of symptoms, surgery can be evaluated in this way, also to reduce the tumor risk associated with the disorder. Even if the real evidence of efficacy is not totally convincing to justify all cases.
Bile reflux seems to respond less well than gastric reflux to lifestyle improvement. However, since they are often associated, it is undoubtedly recommended to take the following advice:
- Limit the consumption of fats, which slow down gastric emptying.
- Reduce the consumption of foods that are at risk for gastroesophageal reflux.
- Consume small and frequent meals instead of the traditional 2-3 main meals.
- Reduce or avoid alcohol consumption.
- Avoid going to bed immediately after meals, to make sure that the force of gravity hinders the ascent of bile and acids.
- Lose weight if necessary.
- Stop smoking.
- Lift the bed from the head side, using shims placed under the legs of the bed.
- Reduce the impact of stress on your life.
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Throughout the history of the Solar System, it has been a violent journey getting from the formation of the Solar System to where we are now. When you look up at the stars it may seem serene and peaceful, but it is like a war zone out there! Our own planet has come under attack from the skies many times in its history, and more recently than many people would think!
Tom Macdonald is a Canadian rapper and music patron. In 2014 he released his single reader The Son of LeeAnn. He latterly followed up by releasing See You Hereafter, Conjure People and the Whiskey Wars, Death Pitfalls. He also owns a YouTube channel. His original Youtube videotape was Tom MacDonald‘s Wannabe’. He started his rap career in 2009.