Category Archives: Medicine & Health 疗池

Stem Cells

By Professor Melissa Little

Theme Director of Cell Biology and heads the Kidney Research laboratory at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute


Researchers move one step closer towards functioning kidney tissue from stem cells.

Researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) are one step closer towards making human kidneys from stem cells that they one day hope can be used to treat kidney disease!

This research, led by MCRI’s Professor Melissa Little in collaboration with The University of Melbourne and Leiden University Medical Centre is part of a regenerative medicine project in which human stem cells are used to develop kidneys with functioning tissue as an alternative for renal replacement.

In 2015, Prof Little and her team grew kidney tissue from stem cells that can be used in drug screening and disease modelling. Researchers across the globe now use this method.

In this new research, scientists transplanted the stem-cell derived kidney organoid under the protective layer surrounding the kidney of a living mouse. They were able to see blood flow through the filtration units of the human kidney organoid by making this tissue using gene-edited stem cells lines of different colours. After four weeks of transplantation, the kidney tubules and blood vessels showed evidence of fully developed adult kidney tissue.

“The fact that we can make kidney tissue from human stem cells and have this develop into mature kidney tissue after transplantation is a very promising step towards developing this further for treatment,” said Prof Little. “There is a long way to go to make the tissue large enough for treatment, but knowing that it will begin to function is an important step along the way.”

Convenient Confinement Care

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Becoming a mum is indeed a beautiful and unforgettable experience, but with it also comes a new life and some challenges.

Business partners and mothers, Nicole Pay and Shirley Ho understood the crucial importance of postpartum recuperation and nutrition, but were concerned that many new mums in Australia did not have the support to care for themselves after giving birth.

Coming from a South East Asian background, Nicole and Shirley wanted to help women understand the importance of postpartum confinement with an emphasis on nutrition, so they started importing Taste For Life (Zi Jin Tang 紫金堂) from Taiwan to Australia, a range of pre-packaged confinement soups and herbal teas specially formulated by a panel of TCM doctors and nutritionists.

“Traditional herbal soup usually requires long hours of brewing since they consist mostly of dry herbs. Our concentrated soups are already pressure-cooked using HPP (High Pressure Processing) methods and packaged individually using premium quality pouches to ensure all nutrients and vitamins are retained. Each meal takes less than 10 minutes to prepare,” explained Shirley, who markets the business while Nicole, who has an International Maternal and Infant Health Care Certificate, handles its operations.

They started Taste For Life in late 2016 and are the sole distributors for Victoria and South Australia. “This is a brand which we trust wholeheartedly in terms of industry reputation and product quality; the central kitchen in Taiwan is accredited with double verification of HACCP and ISO22000,” said Nicole.

The business duo holds monthly workshops in both English and Mandarin hoping to share science based information on postpartum care and nutrition, and participates in most pregnancy and baby expos in Melbourne and Adelaide.

Visit Taste For Life’s stand at the Pregnancy Baby and Children Expo on 19-21 October 2018. Meet Nicole and Shirley in person for a free consultation on postpartum diets plus a free tasting on selected soups and herbal teas.


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CONFINEMENT MEAL: SIMPLE DIY RECIPE

Li Guo Soup with Pork Kidney and Chinese Vermicelli (Mee Sua)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 serve of Mee Sua (Chinese Flour Vermicelli)
  • Ghee Hiang Sesame Oil
  • 1 portion of pork kidney (can replace with pork liver or lean pork)
  • A few slices of old ginger
  • 1 egg, fried (optional)
  • 1 packet of Taste For Life Li Guo Concentrated Soup
  • 200 ml Taste For Life Glutinous Rice Water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Wash the mee sua and cook it in boiling water for 30-45 seconds or until mee sua loosens. Do not overcook.
  2. Add a dash of Ghee Hiang Sesame oil into serving bowl.
  3. Drain mee sua and mix it well together with the sesame oil. Set aside.
  4. Fillet the pork kidney into half and remove the veins. Cut the pork kidney into chequerboard patterns and slice thickly.
  5. Add sliced pork kidney into ice water.
  6. Slice a small knob of ginger into pieces.
  7. Add 1 teaspoon of Ghee Hiang Sesame Oil into a frying pan and fry the ginger slices. Add egg if using.
  8. Fry egg till well cooked. Remove the egg and place it on top of the mee sua.
  9. Add Li Guo soup pack and glutinous rice water into the same pan, cook until boiling.
  10. Drain the pork kidney and add into the soup. Pork kidney is cooked when it starts to curl.
  11. Remove the pork kidney and place them on the mee sua.
  12. Add the soup into the mee sua and finish with a dash of Ghee Hiang Sesame Oil.

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For more information, visit – http://www.tasteforlife.net.au or call 1800 113 118 or http://www.facebook.com/tasteforlifeaustralia/

Women’s Reproductive Health

by Dr. Mecherl Lim

MD (MA) Naturopath (ND), Holistic Kinesiology


This is lower abdominal pain that commences just before or during menstrual flow, the first 24 hours being the most painful. 

About 70 percent of women experience some degree of menstrual pain.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS?

The pain may be gripping, cramping or a constant ache, and it ranges from mild to severe.  Sometimes it spreads to the back and down the legs.  Period pain may sometimes be accompanied by scanty or heavy flow with clots, headaches, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, sore breasts or dizziness and fainting.

HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?

A medical diagnosis is required to find out if the pain is menstrual or something else.  Primary dysmenorrhoea is normal menstruation that is accompanied by pain.  Secondary dysmenorrhoea is linked to a cause such as endometriosis, fibroids or polyps.

WHAT CAUSES IT?

Primary dysmenorrhoea is caused when the uterus contracts to eliminate its lining.  Women with period pain probably have high levels of prostaglandins and these compounds over stimulate the uterus.

Secondary dysmenorrhoea has a medical cause such as fibroids (obstructive internal uterine growths) that cause the uterus to contract more powerfully than normal.  Intrauterine contraceptives are also linked to period pain.

HOW ALLOPATHY DOCTORS TREAT IT?

  • Primary dysmenorrhoea
    • Painkilling drugs, such as paracetamol
    • Prostaglandin inhibitors, such as ibuprofen
    • Oral contraceptives often eliminate period pain
  • Secondary dysmenorrhoea
    • The medical treatment depends on the cause and may involve hormones, anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals or surgery.

PHARMACEUTICAL USE

All drugs have a long list of cautions and adverse effect, as you will see from package inserts or by looking at the MIMs Annual in your library.  Not everyone experiences side effects and you may need to take a strong, quick acting medication for severe symptoms and particularly for pain. If a few over the counter painkillers, such as paracetamol, prevent period or other pain, then that’s the simplest most effective and economical treatment-and it’s unlikely that you will experience side effects from taking, say, two to six tablets a month.

THE HOLISTIC APPROACH

Bed rest with abdominal heat (such as a hot water bottle) is a standard recommendation. This works better if you gently massage about six drops of lavender oil onto your abdomen before applying the heat and lie on your back with a large pillow under your knees.  A combination of eucalyptus and peppermint oils also helps some women and this combination may prevent a headache if you put a few drops on the back of your neck and one drop at the end of your nose.

Herbs : Specific herbs such as cramp bark and wild yam, Chaste tree, Dong Quai, Red Raspberry leaf, False Unicorn, Feverfew, Cinnamon that helps to relieve pain and inflammation and reduce the need for pharmaceutical painkillers.

You can also use Dr. Mecherl SHE 18 which is already a combination of the above herbs and you can also see the tea recipe under “Endometriosis” Supplements.

A combination of evening primrose and fish oil works well (and even more so if vitamin E is in the formula), such as Dr Mecherl Femi Vita M or Femi HH.  Neuromous (Magnesium) is sometimes helpful,  I recommend these daily for three months, and if effective relief is relieved, reduce the dose to two weeks, then re-evaluate every few months to find the lowest helpful dose.

This type of schedule works for a number of natural remedies and the aim is to find the lowest helpful dose that works in your case. Subsequently, some women stop taking all remedies, although their pain may recur following illness or major stress.

Other remedies are exercise such as easy yoga may help ease abdominal tension and improve blood flow and therefore reduce pain.  Some women say a glass of wine or a nip of brandy helps!

HOW CAN YOU PREVENT?

Regular exercise throughout each month generally relieves congestion and stress.  Also, you will see under “Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that a scientific trial showed that a vegetarian diet helps reduce period pain.

GOOD ADVICE

Always do something about pain, because it increases inflammation, prevents sleep, may cause depression and blocks enjoyment.


Dr Mecherl Lim

An Intuitive Medical Practitioner in Alternative Medicine (MD) (MA), Naturopath (ND), Holistic Kinesiology (HK), and Functional Medicine (FM)

Next  No 52 Issue : CANDIDIASIS

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