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Monday, August 23, 2010

The history of umbrellas

The umbrella was invented in China. It appeared for the first time in China 3500 years ago. There are several popular legends about the invention of this famous accessory, including the most sent out, concerning Luban. According to the text "Eclats de Jade", the umbrella was invented by the wife of Luban, Yun, who was both very attentive and anxious for her husband who worked hard all the day. According to the folklore, it always rained when Yun brought Luban his daily meal. Therefore Luban built shelters on the way of his wife in order to keep her dry. Then inspired by children who used leafs of lotus to protect them against the rain, Luban contrived the first umbrella creating a bendable structure covered-up with fabrics.

In Ancient China, the umbrella was not only a common daily accessory but it also had a sociological meaning. A the end of the Wei dynasty, the umbrella was used for official ceremonies and rites. It was named the "Luo umbrella". According to the Zuo Zhuan, Jin book, the Luo accessory was the symbol of both the dignity and status, as was the official gown. For instance, the official members of the Han dynasty used green umbrellas and the Emperor of the Song dynasty used red and yellow ones. Emperors and officials used this accessory to show that they protected their nation.

As the umbrella pointed to both the fortune and the honour, it was often used during wedding ceremonies in China. It was also used for opera, song, dance and acrobatic art.

With the increase of exchanges with others countries, umbrellas gradually spread in the whole world. For example, under the Tang dynasty, Japan dispatched nineteen groups of missionaries to learn about the Chinese civilisation. Thus, the technical of umbrellas conception were introduced in Japan. At the middle of the 18th century, English businessman brought back umbrellas after their trip in China, which caused an important "revolution" in the United Kingdom. Nowadays, this famous accessory is indispensable for Great Britain …

Currently, in China, umbrellas may be the most common accessory with bikes. More than 90% are made in this country and then exported all around the world. Chinese use them when it rains as well as sunny days. They have created bikes and motorbikes with a support behind the saddle or on the handlebars, in order to fix their favourite accessory on their vehicles. Thus they can go everywhere whilst being protected against the rain and the harmful sun's rays. You can find in China many different and amazing models of "brollys" as they are used as fashionable accessories for the inhabitants of the country. That is why they provide a wide range of the famous products with many shapes and colours. The most common umbrella in Japan is transparent, made of transparent plastic and you can buy it almost everywhere, in kiosks and supermarkets. The traditional one, named wagasa, is made of bamboo and Washi, a Japanese paper. It is a really beautiful accessory which can be used to protect you against the rain as well as an object of decoration for your house. There are also the wagasa parasols, which are non oil-applied but which are as nice as the other ones and more durable
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Dyshidrosis Treatment: How you Can Help yourself

Dyshidrosis, also known as Dyshidrotic Eczema, is a chronic skin condition which is characterized by small blisters on the hands and feet. The name "Dyshidrosis" comes from the word "dyshidrotic" which means "bad sweating" which was deemed as the cause. Sometimes it is also known as Pompholyx which means "bubble" in Greek referring to the blisters on the skin. In some cases, pmpholx refers to hand dyshidrosis. This skin condition is not contagious to others, but it can cause extreme stress and pain to the sufferers. Not to mention the unsightly nature of the condition can cause social anxiety and low self esteem.

Till today, the definite cause of Dyshidrosis is unknown. It is often associated with other skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, bacterial infection or excessive stress. However, there are several probable factors which can aggravate the condition:

- Nickel allergy may be a significant contributing factor to dyshidrosis. Tests have shown that dyshidrosis sufferers who are given a low nickel diet reported having less flare ups.

- Coming into contact with allergens may be the cause.

- Metal toxicity such as copper, mercury and nickel

- Other possible factors include aspirin ingestion, oral contraceptives, cigarette smoking, and implanted metals.

Unfortunately, since dyshidrosis is a type of eczema, the most common treatment for dyshidrosis is topical steroids which can bring about harmful long term effects such as skin thinning. Other methods include the use of Hydrogen Peroxide (35% strength) and Potassium Permanganate solution. Both of these can work to a certain extend but the side effects include significant burning and itching.

Therefore,it is recommended that to treat Dyshidrosis, it is necessary to go back to the basics, that is to strenghten the immune system and eliminating toxins from the body. You can check out the various methods to achieve a strong immune system via feeding the body the right food at

Having the basics taken care of, here are some of the home remedies you can try to get relief for Dyshidrosis:

- Use emollients frequently to prevent cracking and itching. Avoid petroleum jelly as it does not absorb into the skin.

- Try soaking in sea salts or epson salts. Some found relief in soaking in white vinegar.

- Avoid harsh shampoos and body wash. Stick with gentle bath oil. If you are having flare ups, remember to wear gloves when washing hair or bathing.

- Avoid nickel if you are allergic to it. Nickel can present in certain types of foods, jewelry, computer keyboards, dental filling and even bra.

- Avoid stressful situations or learn stress management

- Avoid scratching. I know it is easier said than done. Try wearing unbleached cotton gloves to protect your hands.

- Plantain (Plantago major) infused in olive or other oil can be soothing.

- Wear cotton gloves while reading newspapers, books and magazines. The lead in the ink may be an irritant.

- Avoid hand sanitizing products which contains alcohol. Alcohol is drying and may aggravate the condition.

- Wash affected hands and feet with cool water and apply a moisturizer as soon as possible.

Although dyshidrosis is not life threatening, this skin condition can cause extreme pain and stress to the sufferes. While there is no definite treatment for dyshidrosis, one can aid the healing of this condition by practising a healthy lifestyle. For more information on this, please visit
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