Tea lotion could stop skin cancer

A nice cuppa may be a treat at the end of the day - but tea could also be the basis for a lotion to fight skin cancer.

Early tests on animals have suggested tea can stop ultraviolet light rays damaging the skin.

The researchers, who presented their findings to a meeting of the American Chemical Society, say drinking tea could give the same benefits as a cream.

But they say people would have to drink 10 cups a day to get the same effect.

Tea contains chemicals called polyphenols which the researchers from the University of Minnesota say appear to block the formation of non-melanoma skin cancer.

Source BBC News

Slugs take fright at garlic

Garlic could be the new way to drive slugs away from our lettuce without using pesticides.

The smelly herb not only seems to keep vampires at bay, but scientists say it also drives slugs and snails out of the garden.

Biologists from the University of Newcastle, UK, have found that a barrier of garlic oil repelled the molluscs.

Dr Gordon Port, who heads the research project, described at the British Association's science festival in Salford, Greater Manchester, how exposure to refined garlic can even kill slugs.
Garlic has been co-planted as an anti-pest control for hundreds of years.

Source BBC News

Herbal remedy secret uncovered

British scientists believe they may have discovered how the popular herbal remedy arnica works.

Researchers from the Bradford School of Pharmacy say it contains powerful anti-inflammatory agents which can be absorbed into the skin.

Speaking at the British Pharmaceutical Conference in Harrogate, they suggested it may protect damaged blood vessels.

Arnica is used in creams to treat a wide variety of ailments, including bruising, muscle ache and sprains.

Source BBC News

Herbal remedy pregnancy warning

Women should be cautious about using the herbal remedy ginseng in the early stages of pregnancy, say researchers.

A team from the Chinese University of Hong Kong has found evidence that one of the main active components of ginseng can cause abnormalities in rat embryos.

Lead researcher Dr Louis Chan said: "Before more information in humans becomes available, women should be cautious about using ginseng in the first three months of pregnancy."

The study is published in the journal Human Reproduction.

Red wine may protect smokers

Drinking red wine may help to protect against the harmful effects of smoking, a study suggests.

Researchers have found that two glasses of red wine counteract the damage to the arteries caused by one cigarette.

However, smokers have been warned against drinking gallons of red wine in an effort to protect themselves.

Speaking at a major European conference, the researchers, said there was no evidence to suggest it protects beyond a single cigarette.

Dr John Lekakis and colleagues at Alexandra University Hospital in Athens, in Greece based their findings on a study of 16 healthy adults.

Source BBC News

Herb and drug mix alert

Millions may be taking potentially dangerous combinations of herbal and conventional medicines, pharmacists have warned.

Researchers told the British Pharmaceutical Conference in Harrogate many people do not view herbal remedies as medicines.

Two thirds did not admit to taking herbal medicines when they collected prescriptions.

Pharmacists said more awareness was needed of the risks of combining drugs and remedies. ´

Researchers from the Department of Pharmacy at Kings College, London, questioned 929 people visiting four pharmacies in West London in the study.

They found that, even when people were asked what medicines they were taking, 41% did not mention herbal remedies because they did not class them as medicines.

Source BBC News