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Is black soap good or bad for the skin? Here’s what science says about it



Many black soaps are marketed as being the cure for a variety of skin diseases. How true is this?

In Osun and Oyo states, Western Nigeria, a study was carried out by Igbeneghu OA to evaluate the antibacterial qualities of 20 different herbal soap brands.

The soaps were gotten from herb vendors and shops in five different marketplaces and then brought to the lab. Here’s what the outcome of his research was:

The amount of ingredients in the soaps was not disclosed by the manufacturers; however, the plant elements included shea butter, aloe vera, honey, cam wood, lime juice, palm bunch ash, cocoa pod ash, avocado oil, and palm kernel oil.

These components are antibacterial, and honey is particularly effective at preventing skin and wound infections. Aloe vera has been shown to be antibacterial, and lime fruit portions have also been shown to be likewise.

Camwood leaves are medicinally useful for treating superficial skin infections like eczema, and stem preparations from the plant have been demonstrated to have antibacterial qualities as well.

We know that soaps play a crucial role in maintaining overall body cleanliness by effectively reducing the presence of microbes on the skin, ultimately reducing the occurrence of skin diseases.

This is achieved by physically removing germs loosely attached to the skin.

So, how effective are black soaps and herbal soaps in combating skin infections?

The assessment of the antimicrobial properties of the soaps showed a clear correlation between their ingredients and their ability to combat bacteria. This shows the presence of antibacterial agents in the herbs or plant components used to make these black soaps.

The majority of soaps were more effective against gram-positive than gram-negative bacteria and fungi. This is important because this group of gram-positive organisms is responsible for many skin infections like acne, impetigo, furuncles, and carbuncles.

Local herbal soap manufacturers often underestimate the importance of this organism specific ingredients when promoting their products as a solution to all types of skin infections and problems, regardless of the organisms responsible. However, it was discovered that this claim is actually false.

The two Gram-negative bacteria, E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as well as the yeasts that were examined, were found to be inactive against about 75% of the soaps.

All the soaps that were studied showed no effectiveness against the yeasts, highlighting the urgent need to intensify the search for antifungal plants that can be used in Nigerian herbal soaps.

The herbal soaps produced by manufacturers who prioritize the quality of packaging not only enhance the overall appeal of their goods but also ensure a strong connection between the ingredients and their effectiveness.

However, it is concerning that the remaining 65% of producers do not prioritize good packaging, as this heightens the chances of environmental contamination, particularly from fungi. Such contamination can potentially compromise the effectiveness of these soap samples in treating skin infections.

The results of this study revealed that Nigerian herbal soaps possess powerful antimicrobial properties, making them highly effective in combating and controlling bacterial-induced skin infections.

To achieve optimal results, these soaps must be carefully prepared using a precise combination of plant materials that specifically target the causative organisms.

In addition, if the soap is packaged attractively and accompanied by clear instructions on how to use and store it properly, it can greatly improve its ability to effectively treat and manage skin infections.


Turmeric may be as effective as medicine in treating indigestion, study says




A study says turmeric, a natural compound found in spice, may be as good for treating indigestion as medicine.

According to the study published in the medical journal, curcumin, a natural compound found in turmeric, may be as effective as omeprazole, a drug used to treat dyspepsia (indigestion).

Turmeric is thought to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and has long been used as a medicinal remedy, including for the treatment of indigestion.

The study involved 206 patients aged 18 to 70 with recurrent upset stomach who were recruited from hospitals in Thailand between 2019 and 2020.

The participants were randomly assigned to three treatment groups for 28 days.

One group received two large 250 mg capsules of curcumin (turmeric) four times a day and one small dummy capsule; another received one small 20 mg capsule omeprazole daily and two large dummy capsules 4 times a day; and the last group received turmeric plus omeprazole.

Patients in all three groups were evaluated for their symptoms after 28 days and then again after 56.

The researchers found that oral curcumin was safe and well tolerated, and that patients in all three groups experienced a similar improvement in symptoms.

“Curcumin and omeprazole had comparable efficacy for functional dyspepsia with no obvious synergistic effect,” the researchers concluded.

“This multi-centre randomised controlled trial provides highly reliable evidence for the treatment of functional dyspepsia.

“The new findings from our study may justify considering curcumin in clinical practice.”

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5 foods and drinks to avoid while on drugs




Some drinks and foods don’t mix with prescription drugs.

When the doctor prescribes certain drugs, there are drinks and foods you should stay away from so your drugs can work effectively.

Here they are:

Dark chocolate, in particular, might reduce the effectiveness of medications used to relax or induce sleep, such as zolpidem tartrate (Ambien) and methylphenidate (Ritalin) for those with hyperactivity. If you take a MAO inhibitor, which is used to treat depression with chocolate, it can cause dangerously high blood pressure.

Calcium in dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt, can inhibit drug absorption in antibiotics like tetracycline and ciprofloxacin. This compromises the medication’s effectiveness in treating infections. Avoid calcium-containing meals an hour before or two hours after taking these antibiotics.

Grapefruit, a citrus fruit, can affect over 50 drugs in the gut, making some less effective and others too strong, especially cholesterol-lowering drugs like atorvastatin.

Eating grapefruit or grapefruit juice can inhibit an enzyme necessary for statin metabolism, increasing the risk of side effects like muscle pain. The most problematic statins are atorvastatin, lovastatin, and simvastatin, which are commonly used in cholesterol-lowering drugs.

To be safer, patients are advised to avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice entirely while on statins.

Apple or orange juice can decrease levels of beta-blockers like Tenormin and Tekturna which prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.

New-generation antihistamines for allergies can also interact with acidic juices like apple, orange, and grapefruit, affecting absorption and neutralizing the effect of these medications.

For those taking calcium channel blockers, avoid grapefruit juice, as it can render the drug ineffective. Also avoid orange fruit juice if you are on malaria drugs.

  1. Alcohol and most drugs
    Alcohol can impair the efficacy of drugs, weaken blood pressure and cardiac medications, or enhance their effect and produce dangerous adverse effects.
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7 effects of prolonged headphone usage




In our modern world, headphones have become an indispensable accessory which has become more like a necessity.

Whether we’re grooving to our favourite tunes, immersing ourselves in a thrilling podcast, or trying to find some peace in a noisy environment, headphones offer a convenient escape. However, the convenience they provide comes at a cost.

Prolonged headphone usage can have detrimental effects on our physical and mental well-being.

One of the most apparent consequences of excessive headphone usage is hearing damage.

The World Health Organization estimates that over a billion young people worldwide are at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices, including the prolonged use of headphones at high volumes.

When the volume is cranked up to dangerous levels, it can cause permanent damage to the delicate hair cells in our inner ears, leading to hearing impairment.

Wearing headphones for extended periods can also increase the risk of ear infections. The enclosed environment inside the ear cups can trap moisture, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.

Over time, this can lead to painful ear infections and discomfort, potentially requiring medical attention.

Tinnitus, often described as a persistent ringing, buzzing, or hissing sound in the ears, can be a consequence of excessive headphone use. Listening to music or other audio at high volumes can overstimulate the auditory nerves, leading to the perception of these phantom sounds. Tinnitus can be not only distressing but also challenging to treat.

While headphones offer a refuge from external noise, prolonged use can result in social isolation.

When we constantly plug into our own private auditory world, we may unintentionally distance ourselves from friends, family, and the surrounding environment.

This isolation can lead to a decline in interpersonal relationships and a disconnect from the real world.

Listening to calming music can be a great stress reliever, but when used excessively or in noisy environments, headphones can contribute to stress and anxiety.

The need to block out external sounds can indicate a desire to escape from stressors, and this can become a maladaptive coping mechanism, potentially exacerbating mental health issues.

Wearing headphones for long hours can cause physical discomfort, such as ear pain and soreness.

The pressure applied to the ears and the heat generated within the ear cups can lead to irritation and discomfort. This discomfort can be particularly pronounced when using over-ear headphones.

Prolonged headphone usage can also impact cognitive function. Constant exposure to loud music or audio can reduce concentration and productivity levels, making it harder to focus on tasks.

This is especially concerning for students and professionals who rely on their ability to concentrate.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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