Wednesday, 28 March 2018

These 19 foods are natural remedies that can be used to alleviate many types of pain.


People take a lot of pills today. And sometimes that's ok. But using too many painkillers can really cause damage to your body. So, if your pain is mild to moderate, you should know that nature has provided us with quite a number of natural painkillers. These 19 foods are natural remedies that can be used to alleviate many types of pain. 
Muscle Pain – Ginger
Danish researchers found that regular consumption of ginger could reduce chronic muscle and joint pain, as well as swelling and stiffness within just a couple of months. The credit goes to the main ingredient in ginger – Gingerol, which inhibits the production of pain-inducing hormones. A teaspoon of dried ginger or 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger every day will do the trick. 
Toothaches – Cloves
Powdered cloves are a known home remedy for toothaches and gingivitis. Furthermore, a recent research from the University of California proved it scientifically by isolating the active ingredient that reduces the pain. It is an organic compound called eugenol – a powerful natural anesthetic. ¼ teaspoon every day will help keep your heart healthy, and scientists are saying that it also aids in stabilizing blood-sugar levels and even starts lowering cholesterol levels within three weeks. 
Acid Reflux – Apple Cider Vinegar
If heartburn constantly plagues you, you can stop it with apple cider vinegar. The active ingredients in the vinegar that treat reflux are malic acid and tartaric acid, which quicken digestion and help your body break down fats and proteins. Faster digestion means fewer chances for the stomach to overflow with acids, causing the reflux. By adding just a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water before every meal can prevent acid reflux within 24 hours. 
Earache – Garlic
Often referred to as “nature’s antibiotics”, garlic indeed possesses powerful anti-inflammatory qualities. Experts from the Mexico School of Medicine claim that applying two drops of warm garlic oil into the ear can cure an ear infection in five days. Garlic contains minerals such as selenium, germanium and sulfur, which are all very toxic to most kinds of bacteria. To make your own garlic oil, slowly cook (do not boil) three garlic cloves in half a cup of olive oil for two minutes. Filter the oil and use it as instructed (make sure it’s not too hot). The oil can keep for up to two weeks in the fridge. 
Headaches and join pains – Cherries
Michigan State University found that the daily consumption of a bowl of cherries is highly beneficial for people who suffer from headaches and various joint inflammations. Anthocyanin is the pigment that gives cherries their bright red color. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, ten times more powerful than ibuprofen or aspirin. Anthocyanin actively paralyzes the enzymes that cause tissue inflammation, making cherries the perfect treatment. Eating about 20 cherries every day will do the trick.

PMS – Yogurt
80% of women suffer from PMS-related pain before and during their periods. The reason for the pain is the nervous system’s sensitivity to the changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. A study conducted at Columbia University found that eating two servings of yogurt daily can reduce the intensity of PMS pain by almost 50%. Yogurt is rich in calcium, a mineral that naturally soothes the nervous system, thus preventing painful symptoms despite the hormonal changes. 
Chronic Pains – Turmeric 
Turmeric was found to be three times more powerful than ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. Researchers from Cornell University found that turmeric can heal up to 50% of people suffering from arthritis and fibromyalgia. The active ingredient in turmeric – curcumin, paralyzes the enzyme that causes serial pain. A ¼ teaspoon of turmeric every day will reduce your chronic pain considerably.  
Endometriosis – Oats 
When the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows outside the uterus, it may cause a severe and painful inflammation that drags on long after the end of the period. Luckily, an oats-rich diet can reduce up to 60% of the pain within six months. The reason is that oats don’t contain gluten, which can induce inflammation in many women.
 Ingrown Toenails and Toothaches – Salt
An ingrown toenail is a common ailment that affects millions of people around the world. Luckily, it’s easily treatable by using salt-water. Stanford University researchers found that soaking your feet in salt water can heal ingrown-related infections in just four days. Salt is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. To make use of its benefits, add just a teaspoon to a cup of warm water, and then add it to your foot bath to use twice a day until the infection is gone. Additionally, dentists recommend gargling with salt water to treat and prevent gingivitis. Doing this can also help when you’re suffering from a throat infection.
 Indigesti on – Pineapple
Pineapples are a delicious tropical fruit that are rich in protein-breaking enzymes. These enzymes help the body with the digestion processes, speeding it up and reducing stomach pains that come from gas buildups. Researchers at Stanford University found that one cup of fresh pineapple every day can treat pain caused by gas within 72 hours. 
Muscle Pains – Mint
Cramped muscles can be painful for months, especially if they originate from incorrect posture or reoccurring overexertion. A hot bath with ten drops of mint oil, three times a week, is 25% more effective than prescription drugs. The hot water helps relax and loosen the muscles while the mint oil soothes the aching nervous system. Such treatment will also help reduce the frequency of future pain.
 Backaches – Grapes
In a study conducted at the University of Ohio, researchers found that one cup of fresh grapes per day can help improve blood flow to the damaged tissue in the back, sometimes within as little as three hours. The spine is highly dependent on the nutrients and oxygen in the blood, making eating grapes a highly beneficial act.

Good old H2O – we need it to survive, but researchers at Manhattan College in New York found that water can also ease pain from injuries. When body tissue is damaged, it produces a chemical compound called histamine, which causes pain. Water dilutes the amounts of histamine in the blood, thus effectively reducing the level of pain. Water is also essential for the health of the cartilage tissue between our bones, as well as lubricating our joints and the soft tissue in our spine. A well-hydrated body is a well-lubricated machine, which prevents joint pains. Doctors recommend drinking 8 cups of water per day. 
Sinus Pain – Horseradish
Sinusitis is a chronic disease that affects many people. It is effectively a state of infection of the cavities in the skull. Sinusitis causes severe headaches, face pains and can even hinder breathing. German researchers discovered that horseradish can increase the blood flow to the sinuses, decongesting them and draining any obstructions that may cause the infection. Eat a teaspoon of horseradish every day until your symptoms are gone. 
Oral Infections – Honey
Experts from the Dubai Center for Health recommend treating mouth sores, cold sores and other oral infections with honey. Honey contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that destroy viruses and speed up the healing process. To effectively treat such sores, it is recommended that you apply unpasteurized honey directly onto the wounds four times a day. The healing process will take 43% less time compared to OTC ointments and creams. 
Chest Pains – FlaxSeeds
Flaxseeds contain phytoestrogen, a compound that prevents changes in estrogen levels that cause some women pain. All you need to do is to add three tablespoons of flaxseeds to your daily diet. This should help with the pain within 12 weeks. 
Migraines – Coffee
People suffering from chronic headaches or migraines can benefit from drinking coffee. Caffeine improves the stomach lining's ability to absorb medication, increasing its effectiveness by up to 40%. If you’re taking headache medication – take it with a cup of coffee. Cramped Muscles – 
Tomato Juice
Our muscles tend to cramp when our bodies don’t have enough potassium. Diuretics or excessive sweating can cause potassium deficiency. Potassium is a mineral that is essential to our muscles’ health. A study conducted by the University of California found that drinking one cup of tomato juice every day can help ease cramped muscles and prevent future occurrences, thanks to the high levels of potassium in it.

Monday, 26 March 2018

International Seabed Authority: Seabed Mining: Council President Olav Myklebust

“The world is watching and we have to deliver.” This opening remark by incoming Council President Olav Myklebust (Norway) made reference to the highest-profile issue on the agenda of the International Seabed Authority (ISA): the draft regulations for deep-seabed mining. The Council was tasked to consider the regulations together with Member States’ and stakeholders’ comments submitted in 2017 on the current draft, as summarized and thematically grouped in a note issued by the Secretariat. Even before arriving in Kingston, very few participants doubted that the “draft regs” would dominate discussions, given their role in unlocking the flow of monetary benefits into the ISA. Equally, quite a few Member States and stakeholders saw this meeting as an opportunity to ensure that the “regs” put in place the necessary environmental safeguards for a risky activity in the least known global ecosystem: the deep sea.

This brief analysis will assess progress in developing the “building blocks” of the draft regulations, and the priorities identified by the Council in moving forward in the context of the Authority’s transition towards assuming the role of “regulator” of mining activities in the deep seabed.

The exploitation regulations have to “deliver big” in terms of detailing the rights, responsibilities, and obligations needed to manage the transition from exploration (assessing the mineral potential) to commercial exploitation of deep-seabed minerals. The ISA will have to operationalize the concept of the common heritage by regulating all aspects of commercial mining activities in the Area, providing a level-playing field for contractors and sponsoring states, while safeguarding the marine environment. To accelerate progress, the Council opted for an informal format for discussions on the draft regulations. Instead of negotiating a formal decision binding on the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC), the output was a President’s statement with guidance to the LTC. 

Several delegations felt that this approach allowed a frank and more interactive exchange of views, rather than a search for common ground at this early stage in the development of the regulations. In addition, this format facilitated greater understanding of the multi-layered complexity of exploitation.

One of the biggest challenges is certainly the operationalization of the concept of common heritage itself―a legal construct from another era, the brainchild of the New International Economic Order and the efforts to balance power after decolonization and during the Cold War. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), however, provides scant details on how to put it in practice. To bring it to life, the complexities surrounding the economics of deep-seabed mining operations need to be addressed, as well as the scientific and legal complexities around the roles and responsibilities of contractors, sponsoring states, and ISA organs to regulate sustainable mining in fragile oceanic ecosystems.

Following up on past recommendations to engage more with the scientific community to bring in additional expertise, Richard Roth from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was invited to deliver to the Council what many delegates found an informative and engaging presentation. Roth described an independent financial model prepared for the LTC’s consideration with a view to explaining the costs, risks, and advantages of different economic options.

 Addressing solely polymetallic nodules, Roth’s presentation on possible sources of revenues and various sources of uncertainty was carefully crafted to address an audience of non-economists. Nevertheless, “familiarity with basic economic concepts is certainly needed to effectively participate in these discussions,” commented a negotiator. “Some key notions were not addressed in detail in the presentation, such as upfront capital expenses (CAPEX) and ongoing operational ones (OPEX), revenue accumulation, and price volatility. But these parameters will be decisive for the commercial viability of deep-seabed mining activities.” As Roth reminded participants, “investors will only take on a project if discounted future revenues are large enough to provide a return on their investment that is competitive with other investment opportunities.”

A further basic reality in investment practices to keep in mind, according to another expert, is that the higher the level of risk, the higher the rates of return for any given project would have to be to attract the required capital. And this is even more crucial for commercial deep-seabed mining, which is an activity never practiced before at the envisaged scale with unprecedented technological risks. “So, if we follow the traditional economic theory presented in the Council, a higher rate of return would be required to compensate for these increased risks,” commented a participant.

One of the main policy choices brought to the Council’s attention by Roth was on the different options for revenue sharing between contractors and the Authority as the guardian of the common heritage. As explained, the simplest option would be a mass-based model, where a certain amount of money would be paid per dry ton of nodule removed from the seabed. The relevant calculations for the applicable rates, albeit not trivial, are relatively straightforward and include the mass of nodules removed from the seabed and the rate of return required by investors. While this option provides certainty, since the revenue is calculated on the basis of nodule quantity upon extraction, it does not take into account the metals’ price, leaving no space for additional benefits for the common heritage in cases where the gross revenues of the private enterprises grow.

Price is, however, factored into the other two options: a revenue-based model, which was also referred to as “ad valorem” or “royalty-based” during the negotiations (creating confusion among the initiated participants); or a profit-based model that also takes into account costs. While both of these options allow consideration of additional parameters, like price volatility or profitability, they also have disadvantages. They are much more complex, as they require more data, common rules for calculating profitability, depreciation schedules and rates, as well as reporting and monitoring exercises. 

They further necessitate more forecasting and, consequently, generate more uncertainty. Of the last two mechanisms, a workshop on the draft regs held in London in February underscored that the profit-based model may be unrealistic due to the fact that contractors will have to share data on profits, but such data and profit calculations are usually subject to varying business practices, which may raise transparency issues. Additionally, during the Council meeting, Roth also commented that the profit-based model raises more challenges in terms of monitoring, since contractors would have an incentive to under-report profitability with a view to paying a lower share to the ISA.

 These considerations may explain why several states expressed a preference for considering hybrid options.While forecasting models can provide strong insights, they do not deliver definitive answers. As Roth reminded the Council, “even the most sophisticated statistical analysis can only capture past behavior and does not address structural changes on the supply and demand sides.” 

On challenges ahead, Roth did not hesitate to lay down the inherent limitations of his scientific advice on this economic endeavor: when asked about “how much of the common heritage should be utilized and for how much money,” he responded, “this is not a question you want a natural resource economist to answer.” In addition, as Roth clarified following a question from the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, the model prepared by MIT did not take into account environmental externalities and the valuation of ecosystem services. 

As a senior participant with a background in economics noted, “While these environmental concerns are valid and of utmost importance, trying to incorporate them in an economic forecast model is adding further uncertain parameters and is not going to make our results any more certain.” Yet, as several delegations, including Australia, Jamaica, Chile, and Germany, underscored repeatedly at this meeting, environmental concerns require much more consideration in the draft regulations.

The discussion of the environmental dimension of the regulations, albeit compressed into less than a day, served to identify a few bases upon which to expand the regulations. Certain delegations, however, were caught by surprise on the final day of the session when they saw the outcome document issued by the President, which condensed environmental matters into a single and, for some, vague paragraph. As President Myklebust only allowed two-minute interventions dedicated to any serious concern or gap in his draft, a series of record-speed interventions followed.

Many focused on the need to develop regional environmental management plans (REMPs), which has become a common refrain at ISA meetings. Pressure to deliver REMPs with regard to exploration areas has also been applied on the ISA by the UN General Assembly. 

While the Secretariat is hard-pressed to find extra resources to carry out these exercises, the role of REMPs in the context of the exploitation regulations remains unclear. At the closing of the Council meeting, although certain delegations reiterated the point that REMPs should play a “fundamental role” in the regulations, the outcome merely invites the LTC to assess the written comments put forward by Member States and stakeholders on this issue, with a view to making recommendations to the Council in July.

Additional concerns included the need to improve provisions on best environmental practices, best available technology, environmental monitoring, the coherence between preservation reference zones and impact reference zones, chemical emissions, and seabed deformation. According to a veteran, while these concerns may be remedied with appropriate interventions in the draft regulations, “a more fundamental debate needs to take place that will eventually determine the desired level of environmental protection.” As it was, once again, highlighted in a side-event organized by NGOs and marine scientists, the interactions between deep seabed minerals and the host and neighboring marine ecosystems are still vastly unknown, both in terms of their bioprospecting potential and their life-sustaining functions, like oxygen generation. 

Against this additional uncertainty, regulators will have to decide whether to “err on the side of precaution or on the side of best available science.” A sponsoring-state delegate argued emphatically: “We should impose, at first, very high environmental standards to deal with increased uncertainty. These standards may be progressively lowered as science advances.” But different views emerged on this underlying issue in the final minutes of the Council meeting, with some delegations emphasizing the importance to develop “commercially viable” regulations, and others prioritizing “technically, scientifically, and environmentally viable” ones. 

What this choice arguably boils down to, according to an insider, is the uncomfortable fact that stricter environmental regulations increase upfront costs and reduce the margin for monetary benefits. Another long-standing participant, however, reasoned that UNCLOS calls for the “effective protection” of the marine environment because this is undoubtedly to the benefit of humankind.

The number of uncertainties that the ISA Council and LTC have to face in developing the exploitation regulations is staggering. Limited knowledge on essential elements of deep sea marine ecosystems has direct consequences for economic valuations in case of environmental harm: bioprospecting potential may be forever lost, while some of the functions currently performed by these ecosystems may prove costly or impossible to replace. 

The economic side is not uncertainty-free either.In fact, it is quite the opposite, if one takes into account price volatilities, profit-computation problems, or other uncertainties of economic models. And this does not even take into consideration the complexity of determining how monetary benefits will be shared equitably, which is a separate decision-making process, at even an earlier stage under the Finance Committee.

While it is unlikely that the second part of this session of the ISA in July 2018 will entertain substantive discussions on benefit-sharing, it is expected that the Council will still have its plate full with revised financial models, possibly also for the other two minerals under the ISA’s jurisdiction (cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts and polymetallic sulphides).

 In addition, the Council will receive from the LTC a revised set of regulations, as well as a note identifying matters that require further study and a request for further guidance from the Council on certain issues. The requests for Council guidance, according to an observer, will be the “right place” to initiate a substantive discussion on REMPs. For its part, the Assembly will consider a draft Strategic Plan for 2019-2023, the first version of which was presented at a side-event during the Council meeting and will soon be made available for stakeholder comments.

Already thinking ahead to the second part of this annual session, a delegate pondered: “The draft strategy aims to frame the role of the Authority in a changed world. But other than relating existing obligations to the Sustainable Development Goals, can it also indicate more clearly how the regime will benefit the interest of present and future generations?”



  • Average annual population growth rate
    2,654 %
  • Gross birth rate
    36 per 1,000
  • Gross mortality rate
    per 1,000
  • Men
    23,016,937 inhabitants
  • Population density
    80.9 inhab/km²
  • Resident population in rural areas
    74.8 %
  • Resident population in urban areas
    25.2 %
  • Total population
    46,050,302 inhabitants
  • Women
    23,033,365 inhabitants