Taboos and superstitions for Pregnant Women

Taboo food and drink are food and beverages, which people abstain from consuming because of a religious or cultural prohibition. Many food taboos forbid the meat of a particular animal, including mammals, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, bony fish, mollusks and crustaceans. Some taboos are specific to a particular part or excretion of an animal, while other taboos forgo the consumption of plants, fungi or insects. An ecological or medical background is apparent for many, including some seen as religious or spiritual in origin. On the one hand food taboos can help utilizing a resource more efficiently; on the other it can lead to the protection of a resource.
Taboo food

Pregnancy imposes the need for considerable extra calorie and nutrient requirements. A balanced and adequate diet is very important during pregnancy and lactation to meet the increased needs of the mother, and to prevent “nutritional stress. Various studies show that pregnant women are abstained from nutritious foods as a part of their traditional food habits. There is a need of nutrition education and awareness generation among all stratas of population. More research is required on food misconceptions about food in pregnancy considering cultural backgrounds.

Avoided fruits / vegetables during pregnancy in India

• Papaya
• Mango
• Jack fruit
• Pineapple
• Banana
• Grape
• Guava
• Green leafy vegetables

The food is classified into two categories as Hot and Cold. Hot food items are avoided during pregnancy as it is thought that it will cause abortion. Cold food items are avoided during lactation period as it might affect the quality and quantity of milk production.

Misconception of consumption of food and superstition

• The main constituents of papaya latex are papain and chymopapain. A fully ripe papaya contains very little or a negligible quantity of the latex which will not provoke uterine contractions, so it can be eaten. The unripe or semi ripe papaya contains high concentration of latex that produces marked uterine contractions, may have an adverse effect during pregnancy and should be avoided.
• Consumption of saffron by pregnant woman results in a fairer skin child. The study shows that saffron may reduce blood pressure & mood swings, improve digestion and increase appetite of pregnant woman if it taken in small quantity.
• Any twin fruits or vegetables such as banana, mango, cucumber, any fruit or vegetable, which are attached to each other by default, are not to be eaten by a pregnant woman. Tripuris (People living in Tripura, India) consider that the eating of such twin fruits will cause twin pregnancy.
• A pregnant woman is refrain from hard work, exercise and lifting of heavy objects for the well being of both baby and mother.
• In Cambodia, a woman who dies in childbirth – crosses the river (chhlong tonle) in Khmer is believed to become an evil spirit.
• Pregnant women cannot participate in marriage ceremonies or arrangements, visit sick acquaintances, or sacrifice to gods (Dong Religion)
• Pregnant women should not watch new houses being built. (Dong Religion)
• The real cause of pregnancy is always a baloma, who is inserted into or enters the body of a woman, and without whose existence a woman could not become pregnant; all babies are made or come into existence (ibubulisi) in Tuma. (Trobriand Islands)
• 10 % of all pregnancy and childbirth related deaths are due to eclampsia or convulsion. Eclampsia is caused by and also known as toxemia of pregnancy. The Convulsions or fits are often misinterpreted as spirit possession. Religious medicine practitioners give burns and made pregnant these pregnant women undergo rituals that are demeaning, dehumanizing and life threatening.
• Pregnant women should not take baths. Only if water is broken one should NOT take a bath, as uterus is then vulnerable to infection. Avoid sitting in hot tub above 100 degrees temperature.
• Holding hands above head can hurt baby, as the umbilical cord will wrap around the baby’s neck.
• Drink lot of water for clean baby. Amniotic fluid around baby replenishes every three hours. This has nothing to do with drinking lot of water.
• If woman has Heartburn during pregnancy the baby has a lot of hair. Less room in stomach causes the heartburn as baby is growing and pushing it.
• If the pregnant woman eats fish, her child will be born with scales. (Chinese)
• Pregnant woman should avoid scissors near the marital bed. It will affect the baby in womb and baby will born with missing or incomplete. Anything such as drilling, hammering, chopping, sawing could lead to abortion or fetal deformities.
• Pregnant woman should not see sun or moon eclipse otherwise deformed baby would be born.
• Eating dog meat during pregnancy causes birth defects, miscarriage, may lead a difficult labor, child may bite mother during feeding.
• Eating crab will cause a difficult labor in which the baby is born sideways. The baby will drool with bubbles coming out of its mouth.
• Eating soft-shelled turtle will cause baby born with short neck.
• Eating plum and pear will make child blind.


Relaxation with beautiful cactus blooms

Experts say that some stress is good for us. It can sharpen senses and mind. However, too much stress is bad for mental and physical health. Relaxation can do wonders to restore balance in our life and reduce some of the health risks associated with stress.

Now imagine your low belly, or center, as a deep, powerful place. Feel your breath coming and going as your mind stays focused there. Inhale, feeling your entire belly, sides and lower back expand. Exhale, sighing again as you drop your chest, and feeling your belly, back and sides contract. Repeat this exercise at each cactus, relaxing more fully each time.

John Hopkins Update-very important to read


 Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins :


1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do  
 not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a  
few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no  
more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the  
tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not  
 reached the detectable size.

 2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person’s  

 3.  When the person’s immune system is strong the cancer cells will  
be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

 4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple  
nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic,  
environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

 5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet  
 and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

 6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells  
and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow,  
gastrointestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver,  
 kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

 7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and  
damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

 8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often  
 reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and  
radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

 9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and  
radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed,  
 hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and  

 10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and  
become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause  
 cancer cells to spread to other sites.

 11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells  
by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply..


 a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one  
 important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like  
NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is  
harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or  
molasses, but only in very small amounts. Table salt  has a chemical  
 added to make it white in color. Better alternative is Bragg’s  
aminos or sea salt.

 b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-
intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and  
 substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer cells are being starved.

 c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is  
acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than  
 beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth  
hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people  
with cancer.

 d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains,  
 seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline  
environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans.  
Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed  
and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and  
 enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building  
healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables  
including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a  
day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40  
 degrees C).

 e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green  
tea is a better alternative and has cancer fighting properties.  
Water-best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known  
 toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic,  
avoid it.

 12.. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of  
digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines  
 becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.

 13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining  
from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein  
walls of cancer cells and allows the body’s killer cells to destroy  
 the cancer cells.

 14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence,  
Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the  
bodies own killer cells to destroy cancer cells.. Other supplements  
 like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell  
death, the body’s normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted,  
or unneeded cells.

 15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive  
 and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor.  
Anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful  
and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit.  
Learn to relax and enjoy life.
 16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment.  
Exercising daily,  and deep breathing help  
to get more oxygen down to the cellular level.  
Oxygen therapy is another means employed to  
 destroy cancer cells.
 1. No plastic containers in micro.

 2. No water bottles in freezer.

 3. No plastic wrap in microwave.

 Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This  
information is being circulated at Walter Reed ArmyMedical&  
 nbsp;Center as well. Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially  
breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our  
bodies. Don’t freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this  
releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto,  
 Wellness Program Manager at Cast le Hospital, was on a TV program to  
explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they  
are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the  
microwave using plastic containers. This especially applies to foods  
 that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat,  
and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the  
cells of the body. Instead, he recommends using glass, such as  
Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food You get  
 the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV  
dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the  
container and heated in something else. Paper isn’t bad but you  
don’t know what is in the paper. It’s just safer to use tempered  
 glass, Corning Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of  
the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to  
paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.

 Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as  
 dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As  
the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually  
melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with  
 a paper towel instead.

Sleep and Heart Attack

Sleep and Heart Attack

What killed Ranjan Das and Lessons for Corporate India

A month ago, many of us heard about the sad demise of Ranjan Das from Bandra, Mumbai. Ranjan, just 42 years of age, was the CEO of SAP-Indian Subcontinent, the youngest CEO of an MNC in India. He was very active in sports, was a fitness freak and a marathon runner. It was common to see him run on Bandra’s Carter Road. Just after Diwali, on 21st Oct, he returned home from his gym after a workout, collapsed with a massive heart attack and died. He is survived by his wife and two very young kids.

It was certainly a wake-up call for corporate India. However, it was even more disastrous for runners amongst us. Since Ranjan was an avid marathoner (in Feb 09, he ran Chennai Marathon at the same time some of us were running Pondicherry Marathon 180 km away), the question came as to why an exceptionally active, athletic person succumb to heart attack at 42 years of age.

Was it the stress?

A couple of you called me asking about the reasons. While Ranjan had mentioned that he faced a lot of stress, that is a common element in most of our lives. We used to think that by being fit, one can conquer the bad effects of stress. So I doubted if the cause was stress.

The Real Reason

However, everyone missed out a small line in the reports that Ranjan used to make do with 4-5 hours of sleep. This is an earlier interview of Ranjan on NDTV in the program ‘Boss’ Day Out’:…2530d7484.html

Here he himself admits that he would love to get more sleep (and that he was not proud of his ability to manage without sleep, contrary to what others extolled).

The Evidence

Last week, I was working with a well-known cardiologist on the subject of ‘Heart Disease caused by Lack of Sleep’. While I cannot share the video nor the slides because of confidentiality reasons, I have distilled the key points below in the hope it will save some of our lives.

Some Excerpts:

· Short sleep duration (<5 or 5-6 hours) increased risk for high BP by 350% to 500% compared to those who slept longer than 6 hours per night. Paper published in 2009.
As you know, high BP kills.
· Young people (25-49 years of age) are twice as likely to get high BP if they sleep less. Paper published in 2006.
· Individuals who slept less than 5 hours a night had a 3-fold increased risk of heart attacks. Paper published in 1999.
·Complete and partial lack of sleep increased the blood concentrations of High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-cRP), the strongest predictor of heart attacks. Even after getting adequate sleep later, the levels stayed high!!
· Just one night of sleep loss increases very toxic substances in body such as Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Tumour Necrosis Factor-Alpha (TNF-alpha) and C-reactive protein (cRP). They increase risks of many medical conditions, including cancer, arthritis andheart disease. Paper published in 2004.
· Sleeping for <=5 hours per night leads to 39% increase in heart disease. Sleeping for <=6 hours per night leads to 18% increase in heart disease. Paper published in 2006.

Ideal Sleep

For lack of space, I cannot explain here the ideal sleep architecture. But in brief, sleep is composed of two stages: REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM. The former helps in mental consolidation while the latter helps in physical repair and rebuilding. During the night, you alternate between REM and non-REM stages 4-5 times.

The earlier part of sleep is mostly non-REM. During that period, your pituitary gland releases growth hormones that repair your body. The latter part of sleep is more and more REM type.

For you to be mentally alert during the day, the latter part of sleep is more important. No wonder when you wake up with an alarm clock after 5-6 hours of sleep, you are mentally irritable throughout the day (lack of REM sleep). And if you have slept for less than 5 hours, your body is in a complete physical mess (lack of non-REM sleep), you are tired throughout the day, moving like a zombie and your immunity is way down (I’ve been there, done that L)

Finally, as long-distance runners, you need an hour of extra sleep to repair the running related damage.

If you want to know if you are getting adequate sleep, take Epworth Sleepiness Test below.
Epworth Sleepiness Test MONITOR MEDICAL STAFFORD, TX (877) 569-9436

Interpretation: Score of 0-9 is considered normal while 10 and above abnormal. Many a times, I have clocked 21 out the maximum possible 24, the only saving grace being the last situation, since I don’t like to drive (maybe, I should ask my driver to answer that lineJ)

In conclusion:

Barring stress control, Ranjan Das did everything right: eating proper food, exercising (marathoning!), maintaining proper weight. But he missed getting proper and adequate sleep, minimum 7 hours. In my opinion, that killed him.

If you are not getting enough sleep (7 hours), you are playing with fire, even if you have low stress.

I always took pride in my ability to work 50 hours at a stretch whenever the situation warranted. But I was so spooked after seeing the scientific evidence last week that since Saturday night, I ensure I do not even set the alarm clock under 7 hours. Now, that is a nice excuse to get some more sleep. J

Unfortunately, Ranjan Das is not alone when it comes to missing sleep. Many of us are doing exactly the same, perhaps out of ignorance. Please forward this mail to as many of your colleagues as possible, especially those who might be short-changing their sleep. If we can save even one young life because of this email, I would be the happiest person on earth.

Miracle of Honey and cinnamon

Benefits of honey & cinnamon

 I have come across to very useful information on including portion of honey and cinnamon combination into diet.

“It is found that mixture of Honey and Cinnamon cures most of the diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Ayurvedic as well as Yunani medicine have been using honey as a vital medicine for centuries. Scientists of today also accept honey as a Ram Ban (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without any side effects for any kind of diseases. Today’s science says that even though honey is sweet, if taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients also. A famous magazine named Weekly World News published in Canada dated 17 January, 95 has given a list of diseases that can be cured by Honey and Cinnamon as researched by western scientists.


Take one part honey to two parts of luke warm water and add a small teaspoon of cinnamon powder, make a paste and massage it on the itching part of the body slowly. It is noticed that the pain recedes within a minute or two.  Arthritis patients may daily, morning and night take one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. If drunk regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research done at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week out of the 200 people so treated practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain and within a month, mostly all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis started walking without pain.

Hair Loss

Those suffering from hair loss or baldness, may apply a paste of hot olive oil, one tablespoon of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder before bath and keep it for approx. 15 min. and then wash the hair.  It was found very effective if kept for 5 mins. also.

Bladder Infections

Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of luke warm water and drink it. It destroys the germs of the bladder.


Make a paste of one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and five teaspoons of honey and apply on the aching tooth. This may be done 3 times a day daily till such time that the tooth has stopped aching.


Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, if given to a cholesterol patient, it reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10% within 2 hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken 3 times a day any chronic cholesterol is cured. As per the information received in the said journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complains of cholesterol.


Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon luke warm honey with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold and clear the sinuses.


Yunani and Ayurvedic have been using honey for years in medicine to strengthen the semen of men. If impotent men regularly take two tablespoon of honey before sleeping, their problem will be solved.  In China, Japan and Far-East countries, women who do not conceive and to strengthen the uterus have been taking cinnamon powder for centuries. Women who cannot conceive may take a pinch of cinnamon powder in half teaspoon of honey and apply it on the gums frequently throughout the day, so that it slowly mixes with the saliva and enters the body.  A couple in Merryland, America had no children for 14 years and had left hope of having a child of their own. When told about this process husband and wife started taking honey and cinnamon as stated above, the wife conceived after a few months and had twins at full term.

Upset Stomach

Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also clears stomach ulcers from the root. GAS : According to the studies done in India & Japan, it is revealed that if honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

Heart Diseases

Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply on bread or chappati instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast.  It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack.  Also those who have already had an attack, if they do this process daily, are kept miles away from the next attack.  Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that due to the increasing age the arteries and veins which lose their flexibility and get clogged are revitalized.

Immune System

Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks.  Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to  fight bacteria and viral diseases.


Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food, relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.


A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ingredient which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.


Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly arrests the ravages of old age.  Take 4 spoons of honey, 1spoon of cinnamon powder and 3 cups of water and boil to make like tea.  Drink 1/4 cup, 3 to 4 times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age.  Life span also increases and even if a person is 100 years old, starts performing the chores of a 20 year old.


Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it next morning with warm water.  If done daily for two weeks, it removes pimples from the root.

Skin Infections

Eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections are cured by applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts.

Weight Loss

Daily in the morning, 1/2 hour before breakfast on an empty stomach and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup water.  If taken regularly it reduces the weight of even the most obese person.  Also drinking of this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.


Recent research in Japan and Australia has reveled that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully.  Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month 3 times a day.


Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful than detrimental to the body strength.  Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon power in equal parts are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton who has done research says that half tablespoon honey taken in one glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3.00 p.m. when the vitality of the body starts decreasing, increases the vitality of the body within a week.

Bad Breath

People of South America, first thing in the morning gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water.  So their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

Hearing Loss

Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder taken in equal parts restores hearing.