Man suffered psychotic episode after drinking four cups of St John's wort-laced herbal tea a day

A man lost touch with reality during a psychotic episode after drinking four cups of herbal tea a day, it has been reported.

The Italian was hospitalised after suffering speech problems, delusions and paranoid thoughts – such as believing people could read his mind. Friends sought help for the unnamed 25-year-old who they say had been 'acting strangely' for a few days and behaving as if he were 'under the influence of an illegal drug'. 

For months previously, he had been drinking herbal tea laced with St John's wort – a popular over the counter remedy used to treat depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sleep problems, mild anxiety and jet lag.

The doctors who treated the man at AUSL Modena hospital in Italy say they could not rule out that the herb, known botanically as hypericum perforatum, did not contribute to the man's psychosis.
Source  - Daily Mail

A compound in cannabis is 'significantly' effective in destroying cancerous tumours in leukaemia

A compound in cannabis is 'significantly' effective in destroying cancerous tumours in leukaemia, research suggests.

A new study found that combining existing chemotherapy treatments with cannabinoids – the active chemicals in cannabis – had better results than chemotherapy alone.   The findings suggest that a lower dose of chemotherapy can be used on patients, minimising side effects of the treatment, say researchers.

Furthermore, scientists discovered that order the treatment was administered was crucial - using cannabinoids after chemotherapy resulted in a greater death of the blood cancer cells.

Lead author of the study, Dr Wai Liu, from St George's, University of London, said: 'We have shown for the first time that the order in which cannabinoids and chemotherapy are used is crucial in determining the overall effectiveness of this treatment.'

Eating red onions may help to fight cancer

Eating red onions may help to fight cancer, new research suggests.

The tasty vegetable, commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine, is full of powerful compounds that help to kill tumours. One type known as anthocyanins, which are responsible for its dark colouring, are believed in inhibit the spread of the disease. While a flavonoid called quercetin has the same effects by shrinking the size of cancerous masses, experts say. But any type of onion, regardless of its colour, may help to destroy cancer, Canadian scientists claim.

Study author Abdulmonem Murayyan, of the University of Guelph, said: 'We found onions are excellent at killing cancer cells. Onions activate pathways that encourage cancer cells to undergo cell death.  They promote an unfavourable environment for cancer cells and they disrupt communication between cancer cells, which inhibits growth. It makes sense that the red onions, which are darkest in colour, would have the most cancer-fighting power.'

Source  - Daily Mail

Could honey prevent heart attacks?

A natural sugar found in honey could prevent heart attacks, new research suggests.

The sugar, known as trehalose, activates a protein that causes immune cells to remove fatty plaque from arteries, the study found. Trehalose was found to reduce the size of plaque in mice by around 30 percent. 

Plaque builds up inside the arteries in a condition known as atherosclerosis. This causes the arteries to harden and become less elastic, putting people at risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and even heart attacks. Trehalose is also found in mushrooms, lobsters and prawns.  

Researchers from Washington University injected mice at risk of atherosclerosis with trehalose or a different type of sugar.  Some mice were also given trehalose orally. 

Results, published in Nature Communications, revealed that mice given trehalose had plaques measuring 0.25mm across, compared with 0.35mm in the animals not injected with the sugar. This is an approximate 30 percent decrease in plaque. 

Source  - Daily Mail