The detrimental effects of coronavirus is affecting the livelihood, career, education, and overall lifestyle of numerous people worldwide. Failing to cope up with the pandemic consequences, many people are experiencing stress and anxiety which may drive them into chronic depression. You may know that the immune system of a human body gets weaken due to fear, stress, anxiety, and depression. To get rid of stress and alleviate health status, you can opt for creative ways like rooftop gardening. Read this article to know how rooftop gardening can help in stress release and health improvement.
The human body is designed with a complex natural alarming system. When you come across any perceived threat like facing a violent dog or falling down from the staircase, your brain instigates the release of hormones including Adrenaline and Cortisol.
The release of Adrenaline hormone in the human body tends to fasten the heart rate, increase blood pressure, and boost up energy supplies. And, the primary stress hormone Cortisol increases blood sugars (glucose), activates the brain in using glucose, and promotes repairing tissues. This hormone alters the immune system to suppress the digestive system while communicating with the brain to control the fear.
Usually, the stress-response system of the human body is self-limiting. Once the threat has passed, the stress-hormone levels go down. Then your heart rate and blood pressure return to normal and different organs including the digestive system resume their usual activities. What if, you are undergoing stress constantly?
When you regularly feel anxiety, the stress-response system of your body stays alert for the long-term. It may lead to excess release of cortisol and other stress hormones that can cause diverse health problems including anxiety, chronic Sleeplessness (Insomnia), digestive problems, headaches, heart disease, depression, memory loss, concentration problems, obesity, etc.
Rooftop gardening will not cost you much money. The only thing you need to invest is your time, focus, and creativity. Let’s see what gardening can do to your mind and body.
When you get engaged in any creative activity, your level of cortisol (stress hormone) reduces within 45 minutes. However, you do not need to be a pro in any specific skill. All you need to do is to hold the willpower for waking up the hidden artist inside you.
Rooftop gardening can be a great way to dig up your creativity. Gardening can give you a purpose for living when you are lonely and suffering from depression. If you have a small place on your roof or balcony you can plant some seeds and do some research about gardening. You can take suggestions from diverse online groups.
When you can finally observe the growth of healthy plants it will give you the heavenly pleasure of your own creation which belongs to you. If you can spend some hours in the garden every day, you can gain mental peace and avoid stress which will strengthen your immunity in the long term.
Mindfulness is a scientifically proven way to combat stress and anxiety. When you focus on a special activity like gardening with all your mind and heart, it keeps you away from anxiety for at least some hours. When you spend time in your garden, you allow yourself come to close to nature. It is said that nature is the best healer.
Getting close to nature, you can enjoy priceless moments, like feeling sun-shine over your face, getting enthralled by the beauty and smell of blooming flowers, listening to the chirping of birds, enjoying your own creativity of growing vegetables or flowers, etc. These simple but peaceful moments can not only give you immense happiness but also prevent your brain from getting overwhelmed by tensions of daily life. Thus, you can fight anxiety and improve your mental health.
During the ongoing pandemic situation, the health-experts are advising people to stay at home. However, if you get deprived of enough sunlight for a long time, your body misses the natural source of Vitamin D. You may know that unlike other vitamins, Vitamin D is created through a chemical reaction in the human body when the sun rays bounce off the skin.
Vitamin D promotes calcium storage in the human body, which strengthens the bones and teeth, boosts up the immune system, controls the flow of insulin throughout the bloodstream, and minimizes the risk of diverse diseases like diabetes, heart problems, lungs issues, and even cancer. What is more? Vitamin D can make you feel-good from internally, which assists in releasing stress, fear, anxiety, as well as depression.
When you do rooftop gardening or sit on a bench under the open sky for sometimes, your body gets exposure to natural sunlight and generates Vitamin D. Most importantly, while you enjoy free sunshine in your rooftop garden, you do not need to get worried about maintaining social-distancing and getting contracted by COVID disease.
While the pandemic consequences have confined many people at home, regular physical activities have been minimized which have enhanced the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, etc.
The act of gardening would require you some amount of physical movements that can strengthen different parts of your body. For instance, when you get down on hands or knees while digging into the soil, your joints become supple, back gets stronger, and fingers get nimbler.
These physical activities can reduce the risk of arthritis and associated diseases in later life. Furthermore, while you are working in a garden, your heart rate increases. Thus, gardening labor can compensate for the health-benefit of jogging or pedaling bikes. What is more? Moderate physical activities like gardening can help the senior citizens in improving their body-balance, which may prevent them from accidental falling down.
The biggest benefit of growing vegetables in your own garden is that you know the source of your food. The assurance that no potentially harmful preservatives have been applied to your food, would give you immense mental satisfaction. However, you can buy expensive organic vegetables from the supermarket but it may cost you excess grocery-budget at the month-end. Just think! Why pay somebody else to grow your food, when you could do it yourself enjoying bonus health benefits?
While you spend time outdoors, you are somewhat exposed to diverse diseases and health problems. However, with a little caution, you can avoid such risks. Though you may have been learned many drawbacks of getting hands dirty, it also has some underrated benefits. For instance, when you touch soils, it gets under your fingernails, and you expose yourself to bacteria. Scientists have found that certain types of bacteria called ‘commensal bacteria’ aid in digestion and boost up the immunity system of the human body.
Health experts say contact tracing is key to containing the virus and allowing places to reopen more safely.
The goal of contact tracing is to alert people who may have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus, and prevent them from spreading it to others. But the process isn't easy.
After a person tests positive for the virus, a contact tracer would get in touch with the person and attempt to determine where they have been and who they were around.
The focus is on close contacts, or people who were within 6 feet of the infected person for at least 10 minutes or so. Those people would then be asked to self-isolate, monitor themselves for symptoms and get tested if needed.
For those showing symptoms, the tracing process would start all over again.
Contact tracing is done in a variety of ways around the world. But a common issue is that determining who a person has been around can get harder as gatherings with friends and family resume, and as bars, restaurants and other places start reopening.
Health officials could also become overwhelmed with cases. In the U.S. for example, local health departments may rely on automated texts to alert people who may have been exposed to an infected person. Health officials prefer to call people if possible because it can help build trust. But some people never return calls or texts.
There’s also pressure to act quickly. Ideally, most of a person’s contacts would be alerted within a day.
Covid-19 patients, who have recovered, could lose their immunity to the disease within months and that the virus could reinfect people year after year, like common colds, scientists say.
The study examined more than 90 patients and healthcare workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust and found levels of antibodies that can destroy the virus peaked about three weeks after the onset of symptoms then swiftly declined, reports The Guardian.
Besides, 60 percent of people marshalled a “potent” antibody response at the height of their battle with the virus, said the study after conducting their blood test. Only 17 percent retained the same potency three months later.
Antibody levels fell as much as 23-fold over the period. In some cases, they became undetectable, the study showed.
Dr Katie Doores, lead authoron the study at King’s College London, said that people are producing a reasonable antibody response to the virus, but it’s waning over a short period of time and "depending on how high your peak is, that determines how long the antibodies are staying around".
Researchers say the study has implications for the development of a vaccine, and for the pursuit of “herd immunity” in the community over time.
The immune system has multiple ways to fight the coronavirus but if antibodies are the main line of defence, the findings suggested people could become reinfected in seasonal waves and that vaccines may not protect them for long.
“Infection tends to give you the best-case scenario for an antibody response, so if your infection is giving you antibody levels that wane in two to three months, the vaccine will potentially do the same thing,” said Doores. “People may need boosting and one shot might not be sufficient."
Early results from the University of Oxford have shown that the coronavirus vaccine it is developing produces lower levels of antibodies in macaques than are seen in humans infected with the virus. While the vaccine appeared to protect the animals from serious infection, they still became infected and may have been able to pass on the virus.
Prof Robin Shattock of Imperial College London, said there was no certainty any of the vaccines in development would work, and noted that it is still unclear what kind of immune response is needed to prevent infection.
The King’s College study is the first to have monitored antibody levels in patients and hospital workers for three months after symptoms emerged. The scientists drew on test results from 65 patients and six healthcare workers who tested positive for the virus, and a further 31 staff who volunteered to have regular antibody tests between March and June.
The study, which has been submitted to a journal but has yet to be peer-reviewed, found that antibody levels rose higher and lasted longer in patients who were severe cases. This may be because the patients have more virus and churn out more antibodies to fight the infection.
There are four other types of coronavirus in widespread circulation, which cause the common cold. “One thing we know about these coronaviruses is that people can get reinfected fairly often,” said Prof Stuart Neil, a co-author on the study. “What that must mean is that the protective immunity people generate doesn’t last very long. It looks like Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, might be falling into that pattern as well.”
Prof Jonathan Heeney, a virologist at the University of Cambridge, said the study confirmed a growing body of evidence that immunity to Covid-19 is short-lived. “Most importantly, it puts another nail in the coffin of the dangerous concept of herd immunity,” he said.
Prof Arne Akbar, an immunologist at UCL, said antibodies are only part of the story. There is growing evidence, he said, that T cells produced to fight common colds can protect people as well. Those patients who fight the virus with T cells may not need to churn out high levels of antibodies, he added.
Many of us love to start the day with a cup of steaming tea. But have you ever thought about what benefit you can get from drinking tea? As a refreshing beverage, teas can be prepared in diverse ways. Not all kinds of teas can provide the same benefit to your health. Masala tea is one of the most beneficial organic teas that offer multifaceted benefits for the human body. Read this article to know what happens to your body, if you drink Masala Tea every day.
Masala Tea has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties which can strengthen your immune system to prevent the symptoms of flu and colds. If you add spices like clove, elaichi, cinnamon, and ginger to you masala tea, the combination can help your body to fight against cough and nasal congestion. Taking at least two cups of masala tea every day can both keep you away from catching a cold and help to recover sooner. To get the best effect try to drink hot masala tea.
Depending on personal preference, Masala tea can be prepared to combine a handful of spices like tulsi, cinnamon, elaichi, clove, ginger, etc. Every spice offers some special health benefits to the human body. When you drink a cup of steaming Masala tea, the combined benefits passed by all spices contribute to lessening inflammation and leaving a soothing effect on the body.
For instance, Ginger can control inflammation by preventing the formation of prostaglandins – inflammation-inducing catalyst – in your body. Moreover, Clove is enriched with an anti-inflammatory compound called 'eugenol' that may alleviate inflammation in your muscles. When you drink Masala tea, these spices can serve as potential painkillers.
Tea is highly acidic by nature. When you add ginger as an ingredient, it neutralizes the natural acidic effect of tea. Adding other spices like clove, elaichi, and tulsi can improve your digestion process by escalating the process of saliva production.
The combined effect of these spices helps peristalsis which induces the movement of ingested food down your digestive tract. If you drink masala tea regularly, your entire digestion system can get better, which would increase the metabolism power of your body.
By improving digestion power, masala tea can help your body to prevent the accumulation of excess air or water into the stomach. This reduces the feelings of bloating or gassiness. Regular consumption of masala tea can help you in shedding some extra pounds. If you are obese, try masala tea for weight loss.
When you feel exhausted after long hours of work, have a hot cup of Masala tea to boost up your energy. Masala tea is rich in 'Tannins' which helps to revitalize your body. Adding to this, Masal tea contains a small portion of 'caffeine' that can improve your alertness by stimulating the central nervous system. When you drink Masala tea the united effect of 'tannins' and 'caffeine' can remove fatigue and heighten your energy level within a few moments.
If you are experiencing high blood pressure issues, masala tea may offer you natural remedies. 'Black tea', the main ingredient of masala tea owns strong anti-oxidant properties. The dilating effect of 'tannins' on blood can regulate your heart rate and blood pressure.
The process of plaque formation on the blood vessels may cause arterial blockages leading to heart diseases. When you put spices including 'clove' and 'elaichi' to your masala tea, these constituents prevent the process of plaque storage by reducing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol in your body. Thus, regular consumption of masala tea can keep your heart healthy!
The spice ingredients of masala tea can minimize the risk of diabetes. For instance, Spices like elaichi, clove, cinnamon, etc can augment the insulin sensitivity of your body. When you take Masala tea every day, your body gets equipped in handling sugars in a more effective way. Thus, Masala tea can lower your blood sugar levels and prevent/control diabetes in a natural way.
When you create the habit of drinking Masala tea every day, it can improve your immune system. The spice ingredients like clove and cinnamon can reinforce your immunity against infections. The cinnamon can keep your memory sharp preventing diseases like Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, the clove can help your body to make the best out of sugars.
You may know that the Cancerous cells are formed in the body when rebel cells get multiplied in a huge number and damage other healthy cells. Spices like ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, etc are enriched with cancer-preventing properties. The antioxidizing properties of these spices can help your immune system in preventing cancer. When you drink Masala tea on a regular basis, your immune system can stay alert against antigens and cancerous cells.
Though Masala tea offers numerous health benefits, it should be consumed in moderate amount. As a base of Masala tea, each cup (240 ml) should contain no more than 25mg of caffeine. Consuming more than 400mg of caffeine per day can be harmful to any individual. During pregnancy, the amount of caffeine-intake must not cross 200 mg per day. If consumed in excess amounts, caffeine can cause health issues like nausea and restlessness.
Masala tea is made with a number of spices. Some of these herbs like fennel, star anise, licorice root, etc can create a hormonal imbalance in the body during pregnancy. It would be better for pregnant mothers to avoid this beverage.
Apart from damaging lungs, coronavirus also affects kidneys, liver, heart, brain and nervous system, skin and gastrointestinal tract, a medical team of Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City said in a new report.
The medical team of the center in New York came up with the information in a review report published in the Nature Medicine journal.
Columbia University Irving Medical Center was flooded with patients that provided the medical team some real experiences. However, they collected reports from other medical teams around the world in this regard, they said.
The review by the doctors shows that the coronavirus attacks virtually every major system in the human body, directly damaging organs and causing the blood to clot, the heart to lose its healthy rhythm, the kidneys to shed blood and protein and the skin to erupt in rashes.
It also causes headaches, dizziness, muscle aches, stomach pain and other symptoms along with classic respiratory symptoms like coughing and fever.
Dr. Aakriti Gupta, a cardiology fellow at Columbia who worked on the review, in a statement, said, "Physicians need to think of COVID-19 as a multisystem disease."
"There's a lot of news about clotting but it's also important to understand that a substantial proportion of these patients suffer kidney, heart, and brain damage, and physicians need to treat those conditions along with the respiratory disease," she added.
According to the report, much of the damages wrought by the virus appear to come because of its affinity for a receptor — a kind of molecular doorway into cells — called ACE2.
Cells lining the blood vessels, in the kidneys, the liver ducts, the pancreas, in the intestinal tract and lining the respiratory tract all are covered with ACE2 receptors, which the virus can use to grapple and infect cells, the medical team said.
The medial team also wrote that "These findings suggest that multiple-organ injury may occur at least in part due to direct viral tissue damage."
The report also said the coronavirus infection also activates the immune system. Part of that response includes the production of inflammatory proteins called cytokines.
This inflammation can damage cells and organs and the so-called cytokine storm is one of the causes of severe symptoms, it said.
Dr. Mahesh Madhavan, another cardiology fellow, said, "This virus is unusual and it's hard not to take a step back and not be impressed by how many manifestations it has on the human body."
The researchers said blood clotting effects appear to be caused by several different mechanisms: direct damage of the cells lining the blood vessels and interference with the various clotting mechanisms in the blood itself.
Low blood oxygen caused by pneumonia can make the blood more likely to clot, they said adding that these clots can cause strokes and heart attacks or can lodge in the lungs or legs.
The researchers wrote that the virus affects the immune system, depleting the T-cells the body usually deploys to fight off viral infections. "Lymphopenia, a marker of impaired cellular immunity, is a cardinal laboratory finding reported in 67-90% of patients with COVID-19.”
Read Also: Extrapulmonary manifestations of COVID-19