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Chronic ear infection – How to deal with it

An ear infection is caused when a viral or bacterial infection hits the middle part of the ear – the area just behind the eardrum. Essentially, ear infections can be either acute or chronic. Acute ear infections are more painful but shorter in duration. The symptoms of chronic ear infection surface mildly, but keep coming back, or do not go away at all. This is where the problem arises, hence chronic ear infections need to be paid attention to or the condition could have serious repercussions.

Causes of chronic ear infection:

Chronic ear infection is a recurring ear infection or an acute ear infection that did not completely go away. Eustachian tubes that drain fluid made in the middle ear become swollen or blocked that leads to fluid build up. This condition gives way to an ear infection and when this does not go away or happens again and again, it causes chronic ear infections. Chronic ear infections are painful as fluid buildup presses on the eardrum. In cases of severe infection, the eardrum can also be ruptured.

Symptoms of chronic ear infection:

The symptoms of chronic infection are milder as compared to an acute condition. These include a feeling of pressure in the ear, pain in the ear, difficulty in hearing, fever, fluid draining from the ears or even trouble sleeping at night.

The symptoms are often recurring and may affect one or both ears. If an acute ear infection does not seem to be healing, or the symptoms are becoming worse it could lead to chronic ear infection so consult your doctor immediately.

Diagnosis and treatment:

Chronic ear infection most often involves a hole in the eardrum that does not heal. That can be taken care of taking medicines orally. When the infection is little heightened, certain antibiotic ear drops might also be prescribed. Taking painkillers also relieves symptoms though only temporarily. Holding a warm or cold washcloth to the affected area also provides relief. However, following the prescribed course of treatment is necessary as complications can be severe. Apart from hearing loss, you could also be causing damage to bones in the middle part of your ear. Rare cases have also led to facial paralysis or inflammation around the brain. Any kind of complication would have to be handled surgically, which can in most situations be avoided.

The Eustachian tubes in children are smaller and more horizontal, hence they are more vulnerable to chronic ear infections. The pressure on the eardrum increases when they lie down hence discomfort increases. Whether it’s you or your kid suffering from a chronic ear infection, seek medical help immediately. Apart from that, practice good hygiene and wash hands regularly to completely eliminate any growth of an infection.

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Eye drops and their functions – which eye drops are best for you?

Eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of the body. There are some common eye disorders that people suffer from. The good news is that certain eye ailments can be treated with the right eye drops. Over-the-counter eye drops are cheap and accessible, however, since its the eyes in question self-medication should be avoided.

If symptoms are mild and do not seem to be hampering everyday functioning, then common knowledge of these eye drops would certainly be helpful.

Eye drops for redness

Red eyes can be fought with decongestant eye drops that shrink the blood vessels of the white part of the eye. Sometimes, artificial tears meant for dry eyes can also do the trick but decongestant eye drops are specifically meant to target redness. These eye drops need be used with caution as overuse could be harmful to the eye.

Eye drops for dry eyes

Artificial tears are your go-to drops for dry eyes as they keep them healthy and moist for as long as their effect lasts. They work by adding some tear elements that are already there in the eyes thereby providing comfort and lubrication. Long hours at the laptop and being outside in the sun brings strain to the eyes that can be reduced with artificial tears.

Eye drops for contact lens wearers

People who wear contact lenses often complain about tired or dry eyes and discomfort once the contact lenses are removed. You can purchase lubricating over-the-counter eye drops but make sure they are compatible with your contact lens type. Mast cell stabilizer eye drops are also good for contact lens users as they help users wear them longer without any side effects.

Eye drops for allergies

There are different types of eye drops for allergies, they fall into the following categories –


They work to reduce the histamine in the tissue of your eyes thereby combating any kind of allergic reaction. If puffy eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes have been troubling you then antihistamine eye drops would be helpful. Trouble is that the effect lasts for only a few hours so you would need to keep reapplying the drops till the allergy symptoms subside.


These eye drops are used to stop the itchiness of the eyes. They affect the nerve endings of the eye. Long-term use is not advised by doctors unless a person suffers from severe eye issues.

Eyes drops for ‘pink eye’/other infections

Any kind of infection would mean a visit to the doctor who would analyse root cause of the infection and might recommend certain prescription eye drops. In the meantime, you could help yourself with over the counter eye drops to alleviate symptoms and provide temporary relief to yourself.

Eye drops for swelling or discharge

For this, you could use lubricating eye drops. These eye drops provide relief when there has been too much stress on the eyes causing swelling or eye discharge due to allergies or inflammation. However, if the eye discharge is thick or the soreness is too much then consult your ophthalmologist to rule out any sight-threatening disorder.

If any of these problems persist and symptoms are worsening with time, then you would need to get in touch with an ophthalmologist immediately. Certain conditions when left untreated could lead to compromised vision so if you have to gamble, don’t do it with the eyes. Practice hygiene and wash hands before putting drops in eyes. Make sure the tip of the dropper does not touch your eyeballs. Close eyes for a few seconds after putting medication to get it fully absorbed. Last but not the least, make sure anything that goes in your eyes has the approval of an ophthalmologist!

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Hair Transplant – Why Wigs are Not Worth it?

The thought of surgery can be spine-chilling for the best of us, even when its a hair transplant in question. The thing that sets hair transplant apart is that even while it requires going under the knife, there is no blood loss involved. Unlike popular perception, it also restores the growth of natural hair. To skip all the drama, most people think of taking to wigs to hide their bald spots. Most times, it adds to the damage already taken place. Here are some of the reasons why a hair transplant surgery is a better option than wearing a wig all your life.

1. Hygiene issues: Wearing a wig all the time causes discomfort and might not be good as far as hygiene of the scalp is concerned. Since the scalp would be covered with a wig most of the time, the sweat and itchiness can cause skin problems. To avoid all this an expert might advise you to up the quality of the wig which wouldn’t always come with hygiene guarantee, and would also burn a hole in your pocket!

2. Wigs do not get the stamp of a practicing surgeon: Permanent hair replacement, on the other hand, is done by an experienced and qualified doctor which restores the growth of your own hair. The donor hair from the back of the head is taken to transplant harvested follicles, called grafts, into tiny incisions made in the bald spot. This method is highly effective and long lasting since the donor area is not affected by baldness.

3. Does not really solve the purpose: A wig is just a quick fix to cover up your bald spots but would impart an artificial look to an extent, no matter how much one invests in it. Surely the wig would hide the baldness but it wouldn’t do much in making the person feel good. There is a constant social anxiety about people discovering the truth, or the wig falling off. The surgery, on the other hand, doesn’t come with any such risks.

4. Can lead to even more hair fall: Pinning, clipping or weaving may exert an additional pull on remaining hair causing them to fall even more than before. Everyone experiences hair fall, but baldness is caused when new hair does not take root in place of the lost hair. If your wig is causing additional hair fall, it can add to the stress that you might already be experiencing due to baldness.

5. Regular maintenance: Any good quality wig would not really be cheap on the pocket. Add to that the regular maintenance cost and the total would be an exorbitant amount, even more than you would be spending on a hair transplant surgery.

The hair is not called crowning glory for anything. It lends a hand in how we look and feel about ourselves to a large extent. Baldness is a common phenomenon, and more and more people are opting for surgery to get rid of the problem for good. After all, it is a permanent solution with minimum side effects and sometimes even with less expenditure than you might have been doing on a wig!

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Hymenoplasty and vaginal rejuvenation

Medical technology has reached levels par excellence. Certain surgical procedures do not just treat maladies and injuries, they have the greater power to make people feel better about themselves. Hymenoplasty is one of such procedure.

Hymenoplasty is a surgical procedure that many women are opting for these days to repair their broken hymen and in certain cases even create one for a woman who was born without one. The hymen is a thin membrane located in the lower part of the vagina famously known as proof of a woman’s virginity. But with more women opting for sporting activities and fitness regimens, more often than not the hymen is broken even before intercourse.

Hymenoplasty is also known as hymenorrhaphy. Surgeons would typically use a flap of vaginal lining for cosmetic restoration or construction of the hymen. Restoration of the hymen is also referred to as revirginization which holds considerable significance across many countries and cultures. Sometimes, the procedure of vaginal rejuvenation is also performed along with restoration of hymen as the vagina may become lax with age.

Why do women go through hymenoplasty?

Like the appendix, a hymen serves no real purpose. But it holds significant value for women – both physically or psychologically. It is not just about sexual activity, but even with strenuous athletic activities that the hymen may break. There are varied reasons women cite to go through this procedure:

Sexual assault: In this case, the hymenoplasty doesn’t just physically restore the hymen, but also provides psychological comfort to the woman. The woman feels that with this procedure she may lose her virginity to the person of her choice.

Wrong choice of sexual partner: When a woman feels strongly about her wish to bury the past, she may opt for hymenoplasty. She feels that certain bad decisions were made in the past which can be rectified through this procedure. Many women see their revirginization as an opportunity to start over.

Cultural beliefs: For some women, their culture is too important to be true. They want to give this virginal gift of an intact hymen to their husbands which will cause bleeding during post-nuptial intercourse.

A more satisfying sexual experience: Hymenoplasty along with vaginal rejuvenation also tightens muscles that may have become flaccid with age or childbirth. Some women consider hymenoplasty a tool for enhancement of sexual pleasure.

Medical reasons: The hymen is a ring-shaped membrane which can be thin and flexible or thick and rigid. Sometimes it is too thick and covers the entire vaginal opening. For such imperforated hymens, a small hole is made in the membrane to allow blood flow.

What exactly happens during hymenoplasty?

This is an outpatient procedure where any torn skin around the hymen is neatly cut and the remaining tissue is stitched together in a way that it would be impossible to differentiate between a natural and artificial hymen. Sometimes the hymen is constructed using the vaginal skin or a synthetic tissue.

Is it safe?

Hymenoplasty is completely safe and there are hardly any complications. But in rare cases, postoperative symptoms like pain, excessive discharge, abnormal bleeding, dizziness or intense itching is seen. Such cases require immediate medical attention.

While a woman may resume work the next day, any kind of stressful activity should be avoided. Whatever may be the reason for her to undergo this surgery, she should rest assured that doctors these days do their best to make the woman feel comfortable and confident in a way she feels right!

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Neck spasm – Symptoms, Treatment & Exercises to relieve pain

A spasm is the involuntarily tightening and subsequent contractions in the muscles of a body part that causes intense pain. When a spasm happens in a sensitive and functional part of the body like the neck, the person feels an even sharper pain that can hamper everyday normal activities and even lead to loss of sleep. A neck spasm can last for hours or even up to a few days. A spasm would eventually subside and the muscles of the affected part would relax but until that happens you would have to take medication. Some simple home remedies could be taken to temporarily relieve you of the pain.

Symptoms of neck spasm:

Your doctor would typically recognize the neck spasm if you have pain so deep that it is difficult to move the neck. Other signs would be that the pain starts gradually and would become intense all of a sudden so that the affected area becomes hard or tight.

Causes of neck spasm:

  • Overuse or sudden stress on the muscles can cause a spasm. Dehydration, emotional stress and anxiety can magnify the pain.
  • An injury or poor posture
  • Strain during exercise
  • Carrying something heavy with the arms or placing it on the shoulders
  • Placing the neck in an unnatural position for a long period of time
  • Meningitis and Spondylitis are the more serious and less common causes

Treatment for neck spasm:

Medication: Over-the-counter, pain-relieving medication would definitely help decrease the pain and tightness to provide relief. These medicines reduce the inflammation and ease muscle tension. Make sure to complete the course of medication prescribed by your treating doctor.

Exercises: Simple at home stretches have proved to be most effective in the treatment of neck spasms when combined with painkillers.

Sit tall keeping the back straight and then turn and look over your left shoulder. Do the same for the right shoulder.

Scalene stretch: Sit or stand with both hands held together behind your back and push one shoulder down while tilting your head to the opposite side. These exercises would make you feel a gentle stretch in your neck every time you perform them and hit the root cause of the spasm apart from alleviating pain. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds and repeat three times in a day for best results.

Home remedies: Ice packs are a big part of the pain-relieving treatment and help in reducing the severity of the spasm. You can also try massaging the affected part by making small circles with the fingertips. After you are done with the pain-relieving exercises, hold the ice pack on the neck for at least half an hour which will greatly help in reducing the neck pain.

Call your doctor immediately if pain increases even after taking medication and exercising. Sometimes the color of the skin changes and starts to appear like bruises where there is pain, and that could point towards a serious infection like meningitis. Even though you might feel what you’re experiencing is just another neck spasm, it is better to be safe than sorry.

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Foods to avoid to prevent kidney disease

The first step in healthy intake is to have right ingredient in your kitchen. Several food are hidden sources of sodium and sugar, it’s vital to understand the food stocks you have in your home. The 2 leading causes of kidney disease are high-pressure level and diabetes, however, once these conditions are controlled, kidney disease will usually be prevented. Creating healthy food decisions and controlling sugar, fat, sodium and salt intake will help in managing the danger factors for kidney disease and protect the kidneys. Keep these five foods out of your daily diet to healthify your kidneys:

1) Soda:

Steer clear! Soda provides no health benefit profit and is filled with sugars — either natural or factory-made. This equates to additional calories in your diet and might ultimately end in unwanted weight gain. A typical twelve oz. cola has 152 calories, and in some places, this can be taken as a tiny serving of soda! Studies have associated sodas to conditions like pathology, kidney disease, metabolic syndrome and dental issues. Diet sodas could be lower in calories, however still give no organic process worth and infrequently contain additives, as well as artificial sweeteners. Skip the soda and reach for water instead. If you do not just like the style of plain water, add a slice of fresh fruit for flavour.

2) Regular processed meats:

Processed meats are often important sources of sodium and additionally nitrates, which are associated with cancer. Opt for lean meats like recent cooked turkey or chicken and always pick the low sodium, low nitrate meats.

3) Butter:

Skip the spread! Butter is formed from fat and contains steroid alcohol, calories and high levels of saturated fat. Margarine is formed from vegetable oil and has higher “good” fats, however might not be a better selection as it contains trans-fats. If possible, use canola or olive oil instead. If you choose for a spread, choose one that’s lower in calories and saturated fat and contains no trans-fats.

4) Mayonnaise:

One tablespoon of mayo contains an alarming 103 calories! It additionally contains high levels of saturated fat. Lower calorie and light mayonnaises are out there on the market; however they’re usually higher in sodium and sugar, and contain alternative additives. A healthier version of your mayo is non-fat Greek yoghurt, as it is high in macromolecule and mixes uniformly to the salads.

5) Frozen meals:

Studies have shown that processed foods might contribute to the type 2 diabetes and frozen or pre-made meals like frozen food items and microwaveable dinners are usually heavily processed. Highly processed mean hidden sugar, sodium and fat; but, not all frozen meals are created equal! It’s always a safest plan to organize recent and whole foods if you can, but sometimes convenience is a priority, therefore if you choose for frozen meals, browse the labels mandatorily. Seek for those which are “low sodium” or “no sodium added” and avoid frozen meals with added sugar, fillers or the other additives. Balance out the meal by adding in fresh fruit and vegetables if they’re not present in the frozen meal.

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Difference between ER and Non-ER case – When should you panic?

A medical emergency is one of the most stressful situations for a patient as well as their family, and mistakes can often happen in a state of panic. What may be an emergency for you, may not be deemed so by the treating doctor. So this is your guide to differentiating between a situation that directly needs to be reported to the emergency room, and one which would only require immediate care and may not be as serious as you might think!

What are ER cases?

According to medical experts, serious injuries to a body part or a situation that threatens the life of person require the suffering person to be immediately brought to the ER. Heart attack, allergies, serious wounds – they are all emergency situations.

A situation that could also lead to loss of limb needs to be brought to the ER.

Complications due to a disease or severe pain that could hamper body’s normal functions also come under the purview of ER. In such a scenario, the patient suffers from multiple symptoms at a time, and that could be fatal. For instance, liver functioning tests in a person suffering from liver cirrhosis could suddenly spike up. The immediate symptoms would be severe itching and yellowness of skin and eyes. This person needs to be brought to the ER immediately.

Certain other unpredictable and life-threatening events may happen that the patient has no control over. It comes as no surprise that an accident of any kind needs to be brought to the ER. Even if the victim looks fine, there might be internal injuries. If you or someone you know is suffering from a severe case of food poisoning, hypertension or low pressure, seizures, or any condition that goes out of hand, go to the ER immediately.

What are Non – ER cases?

Any situation that a person thinks he may have, but does not actually have falls under a non-ER case. Like a person may think he is suffering from severe respiratory issues, and there must be something serious if their breathing is constricted, but in most instances, this is the typical case of hyperventilation!
High fever, cold and cough may require urgent care but are not ER cases.

Sprains and fractures would be better handled at a doctors clinic where exhaustive scans and tests would help in proper treatment.

Why is this knowledge important?

When ER doctors and nurses attend to a situation that may not be serious, that takes away attention and resources from the patient who may be dying.

Also, the immediate response of the people who care would be to take the patient to the hospital, while the patient knows that the situation of crisis was somehow averted and that he/she is fine. Doctors have advised to take a moment or two, and properly assess the situation, that could probably save such people a trip to the ER. Having said that whether the case is ER or non-ER – any situation is better managed pragmatically so that root cause of the problem, as well as an effective course of treatment, can be properly determined.

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Detection and management of STDs

A disease that can be contracted through sexual activity is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Many people have heard about STDs and a few of them would know about it too, but actions are rarely taken to prevent it. It is essential for people to learn more about sexually transmitted infections and diseases to better protect themselves. Detecting the symptoms early is essential to getting the disease out of one’s system.


STDs are hard to detect early, particularly because there are no symptoms. However, there are some common symptoms that make it easier for doctors to reach a conclusion. These symptoms include pain, swelling or itching near the private parts. Painful intercourse, yellowing of the skin, skin rash, painful urination could also point towards a sexually transmitted infection. More often than not these symptoms would be accompanied by weight loss, vaginal discharge, body ache, fever, loose stools or even night sweats. Doctors also make a clearer diagnosis after conducting some tests and gaining sufficient knowledge of a patient’s sexual history.

If these symptoms are hampering a patient’s everyday activities then a consultation is required immediately. A blood test or urine test or the fluid samples of the patient will be required for diagnosis and a treatment plan.


HIV is one of the most dangerous STDs as it cannot be cured. Apart from that most STDs are treatable. However, it is imperative to catch them at a benign stage. There are severe implications of leaving an STD untreated like infertility, increased risk of getting HIV among many others.

Treatment includes the prescription of antibiotics. The course has to be strictly completed to avoid further complications. Once the symptoms subside it will be less likely that a patient could spread the virus. A re-test would be conducted to make sure that the patient does not have the infection anymore. Till then, the patient would be advised to abstain from any sexual activity.


Since STD happens by having sexual relations with someone who has the disease, limiting the number of sexual partners is the best shield against it. Abstinence is a sure shot method of preventing the disease from ever happening. People who have an active sexual life (especially with multiple partners ) should get checked for STDs even though there might be no symptoms. Using good quality protection while having sex could prevent the infection from traveling from one body to the other.

Learning more and more about STDs is all the solution needed to the problem. Even if one person properly knows the signs and symptoms, they can look for the same in themselves or their partners, and protect themselves from having the disease in the first place, than to go through the ordeal of the treatment plan!

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6 flu symptoms without fever

The flu virus makes headlines once a year. To ensure that you do not become a casualty of the influenza season, you can take up a few precautionary measures. After all, the most effective offense is a smart defense. Although people usually take action after they notice a fever approaching, this is not the sole sign of influenza. There are a variety of flu-like symptoms without fever that might be indicative of the virus — and they are equally important to be on the lookout for.

Flu is often risky. It’s nothing to scoff at. Although you may not notice a fever, if you are experiencing one of the following symptoms, pay close attention. It might be a symptom of the flu.

1) Sudden and Unexplained Fatigue

It’s difficult to figure out if you are tired or legitimately worn-out (because there’s a difference). It’s also difficult to understand whether the fatigue you are experiencing is due to reasons like a packed schedule or something health-related. However, if you are suddenly tired and feeling weak without reason, it might be due to the flu. This symptom could also be hampering your daily responsibilities, like work, driving, and school. If it is influenza, it is at its earliest stage. The simplest defense would be to take a step back from your regular schedule and provide your body with the right amount to rest. If you let your system do its job, it may fight the virus on its own with external help.

2) A Painful Body

Body pain is one of the obvious signs of an oncoming influenza attack. But this particular symptom should not be confused with the soreness from the gymnasium, or leg cramps from standing or sitting all day. If indeed it is a case of influenza, you may experience additional severe aches in your muscles and joints. They mostly show up on the back and legs. You can take over-the-counter medication to assist with the pain.

3) Gastrointestinal Problems

Depending on the particular virus you have caught, you may also end up battling diarrhoea, nausea, pain within the abdomen, and even vomiting. Staying properly hydrated is crucial in defending against the flu.

4) Coughing Or Inflamed Throat

Other common flu symptoms happen within the neck and head. Stubborn coughing, wheezing, and tightness within the chest are all warning signs, as are phlegm and mucous secretion. It isn’t uncommon for these symptoms to lead to an inflammatory disease and even swelling of the throat. Drinking warm fluids and gargling salt water will help in relieving the symptom.

5) Headaches

If your head feels heavy or you have painful pounding sensation, it could be a possible symptom of the flu. Flu virus cannot multiply in warmer temperatures, therefore your body raises its own temperature — aka a fever. However, this brings about a headache due to the dilation of blood vessels that in turn increases the pressure in your head.

6) A Stuffy Nose

Another symptom may be a stuffy or runny nose. Due to the expanded vessels and pressure in your head, you’ll probably feel sinus pain, and your sinuses and nasal cavities may become inflamed. The pressure in your face and eyes may also increase. Mucous secretion may increase, and you have got the proper atmosphere for a runny nose. As your immunity kicks into action and continues fighting your flu symptoms, this congestion and swelling subsides, and your runny nose will stop.

Figuring out early on whether you have contracted influenza is the best bet against a prolonged illness. The most important thing to remember is to give your body enough rest and consume hot fluids so that the virus doesn’t multiply.

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6 detox drinks that can be good for the heart and general health!

It is never a bad time to start detoxifying your body. At the same time, it is never too late or too early to take on to smoothies. Smoothies and detox water drinks offer numerous health benefits, and with the right ingredients, they taste great too. According to recent findings, at least 30 grams of fiber is needed each day to keep the detoxification mechanism of the body working smoothly, and most of it needs to come from fruits and veggies. Here are some detox concoctions you can whip up at home to improve heart and general health!

1. Apple, Beetroot and Carrot Detox Drink – This blend works like magic as it is packed with nutrients to keep the heart healthy. As the body is detoxified, blood pressure levels are also kept in check. Apart from that, the high content of carotenoids in the drink also helps in lowering cholesterol levels.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon Juice Detox Drink – Mix some ACV and lemon juice in a glass of water. Throw in some cinnamon powder and honey to add to the taste and also the nutritional value. This drink will keep your blood glucose and blood pressure levels down, aid in digestion and promote weight loss!

3. Green Tea detox drink – This is an oldie but a goodie. You can put other ingredients like mint leaves, lemon juice or ginger water in it but green tea is in itself a fairly powerful weapon to promote detoxification and overall heart health. It will help in keeping cholesterol levels down and fighting oxidants that lead to heart diseases!

4. Ginger, garlic and lemon detox drink – Boil ginger and garlic and strain. Squeeze the juice of one full lemon into it. This is strong detox drink to get rid of bad cholesterol and also flush out all toxins from the arteries.

5. Berry smoothie – Blend frozen berries, low-fat yogurt, ripe banana, with some orange juice and honey and what you get is a smoothie that is definitely good news for the heart. The high antioxidant content in berries would suffice to keep toxins away from your heart. Such smoothies are great to feel fuller for a long time and avoid junk food that is responsible for bringing the maximum amount of cholesterol in the body.

6. Green Juice – Choose from a variety of green vegetables that are rich in immune-boosting antioxidants and minerals for your detox drink recipe. You can make a concoction of spinach, celery, mint leaves, cabbage, bitter gourd, top it off with a squeeze of half a lemon. Cleanse out your body with this powerful drink!

Physical detoxification of the heart is only one half. The remaining half is the mental detoxification that will eliminate all toxins from the heart fully. It’s time to let go of all your fears, take things as they come and just breathe. Maximise this impact and take it to another level by working out for at least 30 minutes each day. As you feel lighter and better, and start a diet that includes detox drinks on a regular basis – that is when the real detoxification starts!