Naturopathy: Skincare Tips

6 Oct

Q: I HAVE a dull complexion due to dry skin. I have spent a lot on facial products but nothing seems to work for me. Can you please tell me what I can do to overcome this problem?

A: Skin becomes dry when the moisture evaporates faster than it can be replenished and this occurs when the production of sebum, which contains oils that inhibit evaporation, diminishes as skin ages. Poor diet and environmental factors such as exposure to sunlight, frequent contacts with chemicals and excessive bathing with harsh soaps may aggravate the condition.
A good balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients is essential to maintain healthy looking skin. Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen and connective tissues to firm the skin while vitamin E has been shown to slow down the ageing of tissues. Supplementing your diet with these antioxidant nutrients and evening primrose oil may be a good start. Evening primrose oil provides gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential element of skin structure. GLA is reputed to boost moisture content and strengthen skin cells. Studies have demonstrated that three grammes of evening primrose oil daily improves moisture content, elasticity as well as enhances the structure and function of normal healthy skin.
Avoid extensive use of harsh soaps and detergents. Hot baths or showers and high consumption of caffeinated beverages may also lead to dry skin. You may apply lotions containing aloe vera to restore skin moisture.

Erectile dysfunction

Q: I AM a diabetic patient aged 46 and have been taking medication. During sexual intercourse, I have difficulty in maintaining an erection.
A: Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the repeated inability to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse and it is a common problem among men who have diabetes. According to National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 35 per cent to 75 per cent of men with diabetes experience ED.
The causes of ED in men with diabetes involve impairment of nerves, blood vessels and muscle function. Excess sugar in blood can damage blood vessels and nerves responsible for erection and inhibit the release of nitric oxide which may hamper blood flow to the penis. You are advised to seek medical help for ED.
Horny goat weed, ginkgo, ginseng, puncture vine, muira puama, withania and damiana are traditional herbs shown to be effective in improving erectile function. The combination of these herbs helps to enhance sexual performance by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the genital areas as well as improves the release of nitric oxide and maintenance of an erection.
Healthy nutrition and lifestyle with good blood sugar control are important measures in the management of ED. Include more whole-grains, fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Other nutrients like alpha lipoic acid may help reduce nerve damage due to chronic elevated blood sugar in the body.

New Straits Times

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