Random Facts About The Human Body
In some parts of the world, especially in Asia, charcoal is used to whiten teeth. Despite it being black in colour, charcoal acts as a bleach on tooth enamel. There are many toothpaste's on the market in Asia that contain charcoal, but when tested by some willing American's, the general consensus was that it may whiten teeth, but no-one could prevent themselves from vomiting long enough to find out for sure.
I've never tried charcoal toothpaste, but I have a problem with regular toothpaste! I can't find one that isn't just for kids and not minty. It's the mint flavour that make me feel sick and puts me on the verge of vomiting every single time I brush my teeth. Maybe I should try charcoal toothpaste?!
Why would anyone need to use saline replacement gel? Because there is a rare condition called Sjogren's Syndrom that leaves a person with no body fluids. It's causes dry mouth, increased yeast infections and the inability to cry.
Cattle hearding tribes in Kenya use Leleshwa leaves as a traditional and natural deodorant. Leleshwa comes from Kenya's most arid regions. Young men use them by putting the leaves under their armpits and holding them in place for several minutes. The leaves are used when visiting girls, especially after strenuous dancing or hiking.
Mint leaves are also believed to have a deodorising effect when used in the same way.
If they work, then this is a real eco friendly way to keep smelling fresh. The leaves are disposable and biodegradable. I don't see it catching on here anytime soon though.
Top to Tail
A novel way of combating earache in Columbia is to use a dried armadillo tail. The tip is heated and inserted into the ear until it cools. It's apparently very soothing. As well as soothing earache, it will also clean the ears. It's reusable so long as the tip is kept clean.
I'm befinning to realise why the armadillio is an endangered species in Columbia. I wrote some other uses for them here.
Great Hair, Shame About The Smell
Garlic can apparently cure baldness. In Serbia, fresh garlic rubbed regulary on bald spots is said to stimulate new hair growth. In Hungary, garlic cloves are crushed into a paste and mixed with paprika powder to make Rubefacientia, a concoction said to quicken the circulation in the scalp. There are also pure garlic oil shampoo's on the market which are said to increase blood flow to the hair follicles. The question is, just how bad would you smell?
On The Subject Of Hair...
Marmite is a salty mixture of yeast and vegetable extract, and is usually spread on toast. Thought it is believed that when applied liberally to the scalp, the rich blend of B-vitamins and thiamine restore hair growth. 18 million jars of Marmite are sold in the UK annually, it isn't known how many of these are purchased for external use.
Beauty Enhancing Poop
Some of the most beautiful people in Japan use bird feces to moisturise their skin. Nightingale droppings are a traditional beauty product that has been treated with ultra violet light to eliminate all bacteria. When the powdered droppings are mixed with a little warm water, they cleanse and exfoliate dead skin cells. The treated droppings also contain a natural enzyme that has skin lightening properties.
Kabuki actors and Geisha have been using this method for centuries.
Not For The Squeamish
One of modern medicine's most sophisticated instruments is the leech. The leech assists in reconstructive surgery throughout Europe and North America, and is used to suck out excess blood. This prevents swelling and clogging and enables vessels to grow together again when severed body parts have been re-attached.
A common medical tool until the 1800's, the leech was rediscovered by the medical profession in the 1990's. Today, an estimated one million leeches a year are sold to hospitals in around 30 countries. The leech isn't just effective in high-tech surgery. The saliva that a leech produces contains a natural anesthetic and a rich mix of healing enzymes, most of which scientists have yet to replicate.
If you're trying to lose weight and aren't needlephobic, then acupuncture might work for you. The oriental techique involves inserting needles into special pressure points around the body. When needles are stuck into the earlobes, serotonin is controlled. This hormone is believed to regulate appetitie, taking away the desire to eat.
This should of course only be done by a registered practitioner.
In Turkey, dried cherry stems are thought to aid weight loss. The stems are boiled until the water turns brown, they are then removed, and the water is drank. This should enure many visits to the bathroom as the stems are though to be high in diuretic properties.
Over 12 million people create a lot of sewage. In Tokyo the Sewerage Bureau has been studying practical applications for this waste. One idea is the sludge-ash brick, made entirely from dehydrated sewer sludge. The bricks are pressed into a mold and heated to 1,000C to burn off all organic matter. One 2.5g bricks costs $6.
The Manneken Pis
A 55cm bronze figure that urinates is the most important statue in Brussels. It is sometimes seen naked, but also has 570 different outfits, ranging from an Elvis Presley costume to formal wear for official occasions. Every April 6th, the staue urinates in a U.S. Military Police uniform. This marks the anniversary of the entry of U.S. forces into World War I in 1917.
The statue is of uncertain medieval origins; One theory is that it honours a boy who put out a fire that threatened the city, though this is unlikely. The Manneken Pis has inspired more than 50 different souvenirs.
I decided not to translate 'The Manneken Pis' into English.