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5 natural ways to remove black spots at home



5 natural ways to remove black spots at home


For many black spot sufferers, the prospect of living blemish-free can easily lead to a medicine cabinet full of chemical creams and oral medications.

While these treatments may offer immediate and powerful results, they also tend to carry a long list of side-effects. For those who desire a safe alternative to get rid of the scars left behind from pimples and acne, try some of these clever natural solutions.

Aloe vera gel is a fantastic remedy to get rid of acne scars. It regenerates damaged tissues and decreases swelling on the affected area. Regular usage of aloe vera gel also helps prevent breakouts, resulting in smoother skin.

Take an aloe vera leaf, peel the outer covering and extract the gel from inside

Apply the gel on the scars and leave it for 30 minutes, and wash it off with cold water

Apply the gel two times a day for best results.

Just mix a few teaspoons of baking soda with enough water to form a thick paste then massage into skin where scars are present. Once applied, you should leave the mixture on for a minute or two.

This will allow the soda to cleanse pores and help prevent further blemishes. After a couple of minutes, wash your face in lukewarm water and apply a good natural moisturizer like, jojoba, coconut, or olive oil.

Coconut oil is at the top of the list when it comes to natural moisturizers with healing properties.

There is no need to wash coconut oil away as the vitamins and essential fatty acids will continue to work and improve skin health as long as you wear it. However, if the oil is too heavy for your comfort, leave it on for at least thirty minutes before removing with an all-natural cleanser.

Onions are an age old remedy for scars and they are even used in some commercial scar fading creams.

Simply apply onion juice to the affected area and leave it on for fifteen minutes, it will reduce inflammation and, over time, fade scar tissue.

Another natural moisturizer which can help heal scars is honey. It is best to use raw honey, not the processed kind found on the shelves of most chain grocery stores.

Lemon is the best remedy for oily skin. The juice contains citric acid which can neutralise and control the oil secretion of oily skin.

It has the capacity to reduce pimples effectively. The acid quite well works to kill the harmful acne causing bacteria along with reducing the scars.

Simply squeeze the juice from one organic lemon into a small bowl. You can use this treatment undiluted or mixed with water if you have sensitive skin. Dab juice over scars with a cotton ball and let it dry completely. Then rinse your face with cool water and follow up with a natural moisturizer. Repeat this treatment once every two or three days.

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The Òrìsà-worshipping people of Brazil



The Òrìsà-worshipping people of Brazil


Salvador, Bahia state, is one of the many Brazilian areas influenced heavily by West African Slaves, birthing traditional worship of Yoruba gods, festivals and food.

The African slaves from the west, carried along their Yoruba religion with them when they were brought to Brazil. This religion is referred to as Candomblé by Afro-Brazilians — a religion that seeks harmony with nature.

Mode of Òrìsà/orixá worship

Afro-Brazilians worshippers cherish these gods and have been doing so for over 500 years. Somehow, they realised the fusion of Catholicism with this traditional worship, doctrines and beliefs. In the religious ceremonies, worshippers dress in the colours of the orixás (white) and place food at the altar before singing special songs and dancing precisely choreographed steps to the sacred drums.

There are other variations of African traditional worship across Brazil, and this reflects the different beliefs brought by different groups of slaves from Africa.

Òrìsà worship is best explained after explained, so a visit to one of the terreiros in Bahia is encouraged.

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Why is paternity fraud high in Nigeria? The answer to this is complex



Why is paternity fraud high in Nigeria? The answer to this is complex


In 2015, Mike tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend. Shortly after, they gave birth to a bouncing baby girl.

Mike’s marriage could have been a fairy tale, but two years later, through a series of unfortunate events, Mike found out that the child he called his daughter wasn’t his. His world crashed in an instant.

To deal with the pain of knowing that the little girl in his house wasn’t his, he moved to South Africa.

While Mike found out early on in his marriage, some men, unfortunately, discover that they have raised another man’s child much late in their lives.

In February 2017, a Nigerian man identified as Oscar found out that 32-year-old Valentine wasn’t his biological son. The clip was from the Jeremy Kyle Show in the United Kingdom which later went viral.

The two stories above are examples of paternity fraud.

Paternity fraud is when a mother deliberately misidentifies her partner as the biological father of her child. If you let the Internet tell it, paternity fraud is high in Nigeria backed up with unverified stats.

This leads Pulse to ask an expert if paternity fraud is truly high or is it one of the fake news stories online.

“Nigeria ranks high in paternity fraud. The current statistic for this puts Nigeria as the second highest in the world with around 30% of cases of paternity fraud in the population” Abasi Ene-Obong, CEO and Co-founder of Stack Diagnostics tells Pulse.

The 30% statistic (or 3 out of 10 Nigerian fathers) is not new. Within the last couple of years, this statistic has bubbled to the surface in social media conversations.

While experts believe that paternity fraud is high in Nigeria, there is a problem holding on to the 30% data as the gospel truth.

Ene-Obong explains further, “As with most health-based statistics in Nigeria, they are either under-reported or exaggerated because the problem typically lies in how the sample is collected. It is possible that there was some sampling bias to this 30% number but even for sampling biases, that number is quite high.”

According to him “it isn’t fake news but at the same time, the only way we can know for sure is if an independent study is done that seeks to eliminate sampling biases.

“In other words, the only study we have about this phenomenon puts it at 3 out of 10, so to a large extent that is factual. An independent study that shows us less or more will also be factual and will dispel the 30% number.”

“I won’t comment on whether spouses cheat or not. But I will say access to paternity tests in Nigeria is very limited, and where available, costs are high. This certainly enables paternity fraud” explains Ene-Obong.

A paternity test at Diagnose Me, a genetic and specialist service provider in Africa, goes for N80,000 ($220.06). With this high cost, male partners and husbands do not necessarily consider doing paternity tests for their kids until the need arises.

And when does this need arise?

Paternity tests in Nigeria are usually done for immigration reasons, health reasons or when there is a clear indication or strong suspicion that a female partner or wife has been unfaithful.

As sensationalist as it sounds, paternity fraud is caused by women who cheat on their husbands. Yet, there is a dissatisfaction with this answer to a phenomenon that suspiciously feels multi-layered.

In troll fashion, some have been quick to point at a shady news article from 2012 that claims that Nigerian women are the most unfaithful in the world. The reported survey was allegedly carried out by Durex, the famous condom brand.

Pulse has reached out to Durex to confirm if the reported survey is true. Durex is yet to respond.

Dr. Abiodun Salami, Chief Medical Director, DNA Centre, Lagos in an interview with Vanguard in 2012 gave his reasons why paternity fraud is high in Nigeria.

Salami further says “I have seen and discussed with women who for one reason or other decide in their own wisdom to give another man’s child to their husbands without the husband’s knowledge.”

A 2018 global family planning report by International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP), Nigeria has recorded over 1.3 million unwanted pregnancies this year so far.

Also, only 13.8% of Nigerian women use contraceptives in the year under review.

A Nigerian feminist by the name of Damilola Marcus offers a complex mix of reasons for the paternity fraud phenomenon in the country.

“It might be tied to our very strong cultural inclination towards reproduction and lineage longevity. Expanding the family unit as a prerequisite for social acceptance may be a cause.

“Our criminalisation of abortion may be an added factor… It may lead to more people having to find other ways to deal with pregnancy as a complication from infidelity or fornication (sex outside of marriage)… which means it can also be linked with pressure on women to marry and procreate only within marriage as well as be linked to our obsession with purity culture particularly in women” she says.

Marcus offers another reason for paternity fraud in Nigeria. “It can also be linked with women’s predisposition by socialisation to protect men’s reputation added to our ignorance of reproductive issues.

“We basically have women protecting their husband’s ‘masculinity’ by giving him a child that isn’t his. Our stigmatisation of adoption is also a factor.”

The study also found that the possible major causes are poorly treated sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and hormonal abnormalities, consumption of excessive alcohol and tobacco smoking.

Dr Abayomi Ajayi, a consultant obstetrician/gynaecologist told news website Leadership that “12% of men who visit clinics in Nigeria do not have sperm even though they have semen.”

In Africa, when a couple struggles to give birth, the wife is considered to be barren first. That a man might be shooting blanks is an afterthought that is usually whispered.

Even with advances in medical science, the patriarchal African society still considers it a taboo to speak about a man coming up in short in the baby making department.

With an immense pressure of Nigerian women to display the ‘fruit of her womb’, some get other men to do deliver the goods.

The underlying factor in this topic is cheating. While Nigeria’s patriarchal society might raise pitchforks and want to slam adulterous Nigerian women, we have to know that cheating is not only exclusive to them.

Nigerian men cheat too and if you let Nigerian women tell it, a whole lot. The phrases ‘men are scum’ and ‘Yoruba demon’ were birthed from the philandering ways of Nigerian men.

Even men in marriages are not seemingly held back by their vows. On Twitter NG, single ladies bemoan how married Nigerian men slide into their DMs frequently.

Men, who normally don’t get reprimanded for cheating, are not life bearers and pregnancy is not an outcome of their adulterous ways. For women who step out of their marriage, pregnancy is a very possible outcome.

“Focusing on just the transgressions of women is purely patriarchal. Does this mean what these wives have done is justifiable? No. But if we are stressing the issue of paternity fraud then we should express equal outrage on Nigerian husbands who cheat too” 26-year-old Teni (not real name), an accountant tells Pulse.

Should you have paternity tests done on your children?

Abasi Ene-Obong offers his advice. “Love is the key and if there’s anything possibly standing in the way of giving love to your children you should remove it. Sometimes that thing is doubt that the child is really yours.

“Some men love their children regardless and a paternity test won’t change that. The biological father isn’t always the same thing as a father, and what children really need is just ‘father’.

This might be easier said than done.

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Bitter Leaf: The health benefits of this plant are miraculous



Historically, the leaf has been used as a treatment for many ailments from malaria, typhoid, diabetes, diarrhea, tuberculosis, gallstones and kidney disease, to the prevention of cancer and lowering of hypertension. The leaf has also been proven to possess antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Bitter leaf is a well known traditional remedy for stomach aches. A study in the Toxicology Reports journal has also shown that the plant may provide some protection from stomach ulcers. It is thought that the antioxidants in bitter leaf contribute to these positive gastric effects.

Prostate cancer is a relatively common cancer especially amongst older men. While following the treatments prescribed by a medical professional are essential for successful treatment of prostate cancer, bitter leave has shown promise in the prevention of the disease by a study in the Nutrients journal . The same research also noted that the plant may improve survival rates as well.

While some people fall asleep as soon as they hit the pillow, not being able to sleep is an issue for many. Insomnia can range from an occasional inconvenience to a debilitating condition. Bitter leaf has traditionally been used to help with insomnia.

Drinking a Bitter leaf solution at night, before bed is thought to bring on a calmness and relaxation that aids sleep.

A study in the International Journal of Reproductive Biomedicine has shown that the plant may have a positive effect on sperm quality. All in all, the generally high levels of vitamins and minerals in bitter leaf are beneficial to overall health, so will be beneficial to a couple trying to conceive.

Bitter leaf contains flavonoids, which have powerful antioxidant effects, and can help with treating a variety of health issues such as a high fever. In particular, bitter leaf was historically used in traditional medicine for the treatment of the bacterial infection typhoid fever.

A study in the Journal of Food Biochemistry has shown that bitter leaf inhibits particular processes in the body, and as a result, may have a positive effect on high blood pressure. The antioxidants in bitter leaf are also another factor that can further aid with the treatment of the condition.

Vitamin C is a great antioxidant mineral found in bitter leaf, which plays a vital role in the body, including the maintenance of bones and teeth.

It also contains traces of vitamin K which helps the body maintain healthy bones and prevents the weakening of bone tissue, also known as osteoporosis.

Another nutrient in bitter leaf is vitamin E, which serves as an antioxidant fighting against free radicals that have harmful effects on the body’s system.

For traditional medicinal purposes, bitter leaf is often consumed by chewing the tender stem to release a bitter liquid. Alternatively, you can pound the fresh leaves in a mortar and to press out the juice. Add a pinch of salt to three tablespoons of the undiluted liquid and drink.

Remember to always consult with your doctor about any medical concerns, conditions and supplements that you may be taking. Always take the advice of a medical professional on how to proceed with your treatment.

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What's the difference between having sex and making love?



What's the difference between having sex and making love?


One is even tempted to ask, aren’t both of these things supposed to mean the same thing? After all, the bottom line is that in both situations, bodies connect and sexual sparks are sent flying. So what could possibly be the distinguishing factor between these two?

Apparently there is a difference between the act of making love and having sex.

And the singular distinction is in the state of mind of both people engaging in the act; the level of connection and all the situations surrounding and leading up to the act itself.

Chimps, rabbits, bulls, Zebras… they all have sex. That’s exactly the category into which that need belongs. It is a thing devoid of the emotional dimension that sex often comes with.

As Christina Antonyan of Thought Catalogue writes in 2016;

“It’s very easy and ordinary to just have sex, but to know how to connect… on a deeper level, and win over heart, mind and soul takes a little bit of commitment.

“…sex without love is not lovemaking.”

Despite the moral campaigns against it, people have sex with random strangers all the time. Several forms of casual sex is indeed a thing that society brims with. People have been known to explore this anti-social aspect of their humanity to mind-blowing effect. And it’s just fine so far these are consenting adults who recognise all the things that could go wrong and decide to still engage in the act – with or without adequate precautions.

On the flip side, love-making is what people aspire to when they get into relationships and marriages. It is that longing for something deeper, a deep-rooted intimacy that surpasses the passionate nights and morning quickies.

You become your authentic self at that moment,” adds Christina Antonyan.

Lovemaking is a summation of the affection you feel towards the person even when they are fully clothed, sharing their dreams with you and you with them. It is the concern for them and their well-being; it is the connection on a greater pedestal which continues even when the adrenaline rush of sex has dissipated. It is the days shared, memories created, problems solved together, losses suffered together, emotions shared, pain together borne, hurdles together crossed and triumphs together won.

And all these things combined make for a closeness so intimate; and this understanding beyond the visceral is what makes for the best sex ever. The type you would call love-making.

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How to have a healthy Vagina



Ladies: Here are 4 tips for an odourless vagina


The Vagina is different from the Vulva. Many people, including women, think they mean the same thing.

The vulva is the part you see on the outside. It includes the lips surrounding the vagina (the labia majora & minora), the clitoris (the orgasm generator that looks like the head of a matchstick), the Bartholin’s glands, the vaginal opening, the hymen and other parts.

The vagina is the MUSCULAR TUBE ON THE INSIDE, that runs all the way to the womb.

Knowing this, let’s go to the main topic

(1) Don’t wash the Vagina

There’s a lot of bad information out there, telling women that they need to get their vaginas to smell and feel fresh.

And so, a lot of women wash their vaginas with soap, feminine products and even water. This act leaves the vagina open to overgrowth of harmful organisms (Read my article on my IG page called “Why you should not wash the vagina” for more info ).

Use protection when having sex. And if you feel that you want to have unprotected sex, ensure that you and your partner get tested for STIs beforehand.

Avoid Condoms that contain Spermicides. Also avoid lubricants that contain Glycerin, Petroleum products, parabens, scents, flavors, non-natural oils & dyes.

When having sex, avoid doing things that move from anal play to vaginal play, so as to avoid transferring harmful organisms.

If you can, pee after sex to reduce chances of getting a UTI.

(3) Choose Underwear fabric wisely

Wearing underwear made out of cotton is usually an awesome choice, because it is breathable & also absorbs moisture down there.

Also, if you know that you sweat often or you engage in physical activity that makes you sweat, try to change out of your sweaty underwear as soon as you can, to limit bacterial growth.

(4) Treat problems promptly

Dear woman, your body is unique. Take time out to understand your vagina, your different normal discharges and the time of your cycle that they come (Check out my reel on “Vaginal discharges” on my IG page).

If you notice any abnormalities around your genitalia (itching, discoloration, rash, abnormal discharge), don’t be quick to use medication without seeing a Doctor first.

Using antibiotics and other medication carelessly can lead to vaginal problems that may be difficult to treat.

(5) Prioritize your health

Whatever affects your general health will ultimately have an impact on your vaginal and sexual health, if not treated promptly.

So eat healthy, keep fit, sleep well and go for regular health checks.

If you are sexually active as a woman, go for regular cervical screening. Prioritizing your health is always a good decision.

Let me give you a small gift for that : If you want your vagina to smell and taste good, instead of scrubbing it like laundry, try eating fruits like Pineapples in moderation.

There’s no definitive scientific evidence that it works, but I have met several women who say that it definitely works.

Do you have a story to tell about Vaginal health?

Or have you had any good/bad sexual experience you’d like to share?

Share them in the comment section!

I’d love to hear from you!

Toluwani Binutu is a Medical Doctor based in the UK. With experience in a wide range of specialties, from Emergency medicine to Health insurance , he is passionate about wellness. He believes that the key to living your best life lies in your ability to stay healthy. For more health tips , you can check out his Instagram handle @tolubinutu

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.

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3 things to know about MBGN 2021 winner



Oluchi represented FCT/Abuja and competed against 36 other girls to emerge the winner. The contest took place on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at Eko Hotels Victoria Island, Lagos.

These are some things to know about her.

Oluchi is a 25-year-old lady who hails from Abia State, although she lives in the United States of America.

Oluchi is a registered nurse who studied at the University of Texas, Arlington where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2017.

She has participated in many pageants in the United States like Miss Africa Texas Pageant where she emerged the winner in 2016. She also contested in Miss Nigeria USA in 2019.

By emerging the winner of this year’s MBGN and being the Miss World Nigeria 2021, Oluchi would represent Nigeria at 70th Miss World Final in Puerto Rico.

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