Tinkle Tells You Why...
…We scratch an itch and more!
Writer: Linta Mary Philip
Illustrator: Shrutika Gorule

…we scratch an itch  

The sensation of itching is the result of a foreign object grazing against our skin. The itch causes us to scratch at the point of contact. This is our body’s way of protecting the skin from insects, parasites and any other objects in the environment. But not every itch creates the urge to scratch. For example, our clothes touch our bodies constantly, but we do not scratch at them. Why? That is because we have a special group of cells called the inhibitory spinal interneurons in our spine. They either allow or stop the sensation of itch from travelling from our skin to our brain. This intelligent behaviour is exhibited by the cells without any conscious input from our side. 

…yogurt is good for your gut 

Our digestive tract, the pathway from mouth to anus, is covered with almost 10,000 species of bacteria, which make up an ecosystem called the microbiome. The microbiome influences both our mental and physical health. Hence it is important that we nourish it by including probiotic-rich food in our diet. Probiotics are bacteria and yeast that are good for the gut. And fermented food such as yogurt contains probiotics. Kombucha, sauerkraut, etc. are also good sources of probiotics.  

…flowers emit scents

Flowers emit scents to attract pollinators such as insects and birds that help in transferring pollen. Some scents attract a range of insects and birds, while others attract specific insects. The mirror orchid produces blossoms that mimic the form and scent of the female of a species of wasp. The wasps that get attracted to the plant then transfer pollen to other orchids, helping in pollination. Some plants such as rose produce scents from their petals. Orchids generally attract an entire group of bees called orchid bees that fly around the forest collecting orchid scents to mix up and create their own unique perfume. 

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