Hammer Toe

Description:
A hammer toe or contracted toe is a deformity of the muscles and ligaments of the proximal interphalangeal joint of the second, third, or fourth toe causing it to be bent, resembling a hammer. In the early stage a flexible hammertoe is movable at the joints; a rigid hammertoe joint can’t be moved and usually requires surgery.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Mallet toe is a similar condition affecting the distal interphalangeal joint.

Claw toe is another similar condition, with dorsiflexion of the proximal phalanx on the lesser metatarsophalangeal joint, combined with flexion of both the proximal and distal interphalangeal joints. Claw toe can affect the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes.

Signs and symptoms:
A hammer toe causes you discomfort when you walk. It can also cause you pain when you try to stretch or move the affected toe or those around it. Hammer toe symptoms may be mild or severe.

Other Symptoms:
*A toe that bends downward
*Corns or calluses
*Difficulty walking
*Inability to flex your foot or wiggle your toes
*Claw-like toes

Causes:
Woman soothing her feet after wearing high heels
Wearing high heels can cause hammertoe.
Hammer toe occurs from an imbalance in the muscles surrounding the middle toe joint. These muscles, tendons, and ligaments work together to bend and straighten the toes.

If one of the muscles weakens, it cannot bend or straighten the toe. If the toe stays bent long enough, the muscles tighten and the toe will not be able to straighten out.

These muscle weaknesses and imbalances are caused by a variety of factors. Because some of the causes for hammer toe are avoidable, it is possible to minimize risk of developing hammer toe.

Causes of hammer toe include the following:

*Certain shoes – wearing high heels or shoes that are too tight through the box can force toes into a flexed position. When worn repeatedly, the toes may not be able to straighten, even when barefoot.

*Sex – women are more likely to develop hammer toe than men.

*Injuries – When a toe is broken, stubbed, or jammed, it may be more likely to develop hammer toe.

*Age – risk increases with age.

*Toe length – if the second toe is longer than the big toe, hammer toe is more likely to occur.

*Certain diseases – people suffering from conditions like arthritis or diabetes are more likely to develop foot problems, including hammer toe

*Genetics – sometimes, hammer toe is hereditary and may run in families.

Due to footwear styles, women are more likely than men to develop hammer toe. The risk of hammer toe also rises with age.

Diagnosis:
A doctor can usually diagnose a hammer toe during a physical exam. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, may be necessary if you’ve had a bone, muscle, or ligament injury in your toe.

Treatment:
The severity of your condition determines the treatment options for a hammer toe.

Treatment for a mild hammer toe:
You can correct a hammer toe caused by inappropriate footwear by wearing properly fitting shoes. If a high arch caused the condition, wearing toe pads or insoles in your shoes can help. These pads work by shifting your toe’s position, which relieves pain and corrects the appearance of your toe.

Shop for shoe insoles.:
You can usually use over-the-counter (OTC) cushions, pads, or medications to treat bunions and corns. However, if they’re painful or if they cause your toes to become deformed, your doctor may opt to surgically remove them.

Don’t pop any blisters on your toes. Popping blisters can cause pain and infection. Use OTC creams and cushions to relieve pain and keep blisters from rubbing against the inside of your shoes.

Gently stretching your toes can also help relieve pain and reposition the affected toe.

Treatment for a severe hammer toe:
If you’re unable to flex your toe, surgery is the only option to restore movement. Surgery can reposition the toe, remove deformed or injured bone, and realign your tendons and joints. Surgery is normally done on an outpatient basis, so you can return home on the day of your surgery.

After treating the cause of your hammer toe, it usually goes away without complications. However, waiting too long to seek treatment can cause your surrounding toes to become deformed as the hammer toe forces them out of position. It’s best to get treatment as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed.

The 8 Best Hammer Toe Straighteners of 2019

Prevention:

Hammer toe, like many other foot problems, can be avoided with wearing proper footwear. Proper footwear should have the following:

Low heels – higher heels force the feet into unnatural positions and often bend the toes.

Enough toe room – shoes should be properly sized and pointy-toed shoes should be avoided. Shoes should accommodate for the longest toe, which may not always be the big toe.

Adjustability – shoes with adjustable laces and straps are best.

Proper arch support – arch support prevents a number of foot ailments.

Long-term outlook:
Hammer toe can be treated and prevented with simple exercises and footwear changes. However, if the toe becomes rigid, surgery may be needed to relieve the hammer toe.

Even after treatment, hammer toe may return. The best way to make sure that hammer toe does not reoccur is through choosing proper footwear.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8&fr=aaplw&p=hammer+toe
https://www.healthline.com/health/hammer-toe#prevention
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315600.php

Agoraphobia

Description:
Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by symptoms of anxiety in situations in which a person fears and avoid places or situations that might cause him or her to panic and make him or her feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.As the person perceives their environment to be unsafe with no easy way to escape.These situations can include open spaces, public transit, shopping centers, or simply being outside their home. Peersons fear an actual or anticipated situation, such as using public transportation, being in open or enclosed spaces, standing in line, or being in a crowd. Being in these situations may result in a panic attack. The symptoms occur nearly every time the situation is encountered and last for more than six months. Those affected will go to great lengths to avoid these situations. In severe cases people may become completely unable to leave their homes.

Agoraphobia is believed to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The condition often runs in families, and stressful or traumatic events such as the death of a parent or being attacked may be a trigger. In the DSM-5 agoraphobia is classified as a phobia along with specific phobias and social phobia. Other conditions that can produce similar symptoms include separation anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and major depressive disorder. Those affected are at higher risk of depression and substance use disorder.

Without treatment it is uncommon for agoraphobia to resolve. Treatment is typically with a type of counselling called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT results in resolution for about half of people. Women are affected about twice as often as men. The condition often begins in early adulthood and becomes less common in old age. It is rare in children.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Symptoms:
Agoraphobia is a condition where sufferers become anxious in unfamiliar environments or where they perceive that they have little control.
Typical agoraphobia symptoms include fear of:

*Leaving home alone
*Crowds or waiting in line
*Enclosed spaces, such as movie theaters, elevators or small stores
*Open spaces, such as parking lots, bridges or malls
*Using public transportation, such as a bus, plane or train
*These situations cause anxiety because you fear you won’t be able to escape or find help if you start to feel panicked or have other disabling or embarrassing symptoms.

Panic disorder and agoraphobia:
Some people have a panic disorder in addition to agoraphobia. Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder in which you experience sudden attacks of extreme fear that reach a peak within a few minutes and trigger intense physical symptoms (panic attacks). You might think that you’re totally losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.

Fear of another panic attack can lead to avoiding similar circumstances or the place where it occurred in an attempt to prevent future panic attacks.

Signs and symptoms of a panic attack can include:

*Rapid heart rate
*Trouble breathing or a feeling of choking
*Chest pain or pressure
*Lightheadedness or dizziness
*Feeling shaky, numb or tingling
*Excessive sweating
*Sudden flushing or chills
*Upset stomach or diarrhea
*Feeling a loss of control
*Fear of dying

Causes:
Agoraphobia is believed to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The condition often runs in families, and stressful or traumatic events such as the death of a parent or being attacked may be a trigger.

Research has uncovered a link between agoraphobia and difficulties with spatial orientation. Individuals without agoraphobia are able to maintain balance by combining information from their vestibular system, their visual system, and their proprioceptive sense. A disproportionate number of agoraphobics have weak vestibular function and consequently rely more on visual or tactile signals. They may become disoriented when visual cues are sparse (as in wide-open spaces) or overwhelming (as in crowds). Likewise, they may be confused by sloping or irregular surfaces. In a virtual reality study, agoraphobics showed impaired processing of changing audiovisual data in comparison with nonsuffering subjects.

Substance induced:
Chronic use of tranquilizers and sleeping pills such as benzodiazepines has been linked to onset of agoraphobia. In 10 patients who had developed agoraphobia during benzodiazepine dependence, symptoms abated within the first year of assisted withdrawal. Similarly, alcohol use disorders are associated with panic with or without agoraphobia; this association may be due to the long-term effects of alcohol misuse causing a distortion in brain chemistry. Tobacco smoking has also been associated with the development and emergence of agoraphobia, often with panic disorder; it is uncertain how tobacco smoking results in anxiety-panic with or without agoraphobia symptoms, but the direct effects of nicotine dependence or the effects of tobacco smoke on breathing have been suggested as possible causes. Self-medication or a combination of factors may also explain the association between tobacco smoking and agoraphobia and panic.

Attachment theory:
Some scholars have explained agoraphobia as an attachment deficit, i.e., the temporary loss of the ability to tolerate spatial separations from a secure base. Recent empirical research has also linked attachment and spatial theories of agoraphobia.

Spatial theory:
In the social sciences, a perceived clinical bias[26] exists in agoraphobia research. Branches of the social sciences, especially geography, have increasingly become interested in what may be thought of as a spatial phenomenon. One such approach links the development of agoraphobia with modernity.Factors considered contributing to agoraphobia within modernity are the ubiquity of cars and urbanization. These have helped develop the expansion of public space, on one hand, and the contraction of private space on the other, thus creating in the minds of agoraphobic-prone people a tense, unbridgeable gulf between the two.

Evolutionary psychology:
An evolutionary psychology view is that the more unusual primary agoraphobia without panic attacks may be due to a different mechanism from agoraphobia with panic attacks. Primary agoraphobia without panic attacks may be a specific phobia explained by it once having been evolutionarily advantageous to avoid exposed, large, open spaces without cover or concealment. Agoraphobia with panic attack, though, may be an avoidance response secondary to the panic attacks due to fear of the situations in which the panic attacks occurred.

Risk factors:
Agoraphobia can begin in childhood, but usually starts in the late teen or early adult years — usually before age 35 — but older adults can also develop it. Women are diagnosed with agoraphobia more often than men are.

Risk factors for agoraphobia include:

*Having panic disorder or other phobias
*Responding to panic attacks with excessive fear and avoidance
*Experiencing stressful life events, such as abuse, the death of a parent or being attacked
*Having an anxious or nervous temperament
*Having a blood relative with agoraphobia

Agoraphobia can also lead to or be associated with:

*Depression
*Alcohol or drug abuse
*Other mental health disorders, including other anxiety disorders or personality disorders

Diagnosis:
Most people who present to mental health specialists develop agoraphobia after the onset of panic disorder. Agoraphobia is best understood as an adverse behavioral outcome of repeated panic attacks and subsequent anxiety and preoccupation with these attacks that leads to an avoidance of situations where a panic attack could occur. Early treatment of panic disorder can often prevent agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is typically determined when symptoms are worse than panic disorder, but also do not meet the criteria for other anxiety disorders such as depression. In rare cases where agoraphobics do not meet the criteria used to diagnose panic disorder, the formal diagnosis of agoraphobia without history of panic disorder is used (primary agoraphobia).

Treatment:
Agoraphobia treatment usually includes both psychotherapy and medication. It may take some time, but treatment can help you get better.

Psychotherapy:
Psychotherapy involves working with a therapist to set goals and learn practical skills to reduce your anxiety symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective forms of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders, including agoraphobia.

Generally a short-term treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on teaching you specific skills to better tolerate anxiety, directly challenge your worries and gradually return to the activities you’ve avoided because of anxiety. Through this process, your symptoms improve as you build on your initial success.

Cognitive restructuring has also proved useful in treating agoraphobia. This treatment involves coaching a participant through a dianoetic discussion, with the intent of replacing irrational, counterproductive beliefs with more factual and beneficial ones.

Relaxation techniques are often useful skills for the agoraphobic to develop, as they can be used to stop or prevent symptoms of anxiety and panic.

Medications:
Antidepressant medications most commonly used to treat anxiety disorders are mainly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Benzodiazepines, monoamine oxidase inhibitor, and tricyclic antidepressants are also sometimes prescribed for treatment of agoraphobia. Antidepressants are important because some have antipanic effects. Antidepressants should be used in conjunction with exposure as a form of self-help or with cognitive behaviour therapy. A combination of medication and cognitive behaviour therapy is sometimes the most effective treatment for agoraphobia.

Benzodiazepines, antianxiety medications such as alprazolam and clonazepam, are used to treat anxiety and can also help control the symptoms of a panic attack. If taken for too long, they can cause dependence. Treatment with benzodiazepines should not exceed 4 weeks. Side effects may include confusion, drowsiness, light-headedness, loss of balance, and memory loss.

Alternative medicine:
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has been studied as a possible treatment for agoraphobia, with poor results.[39] As such, EMDR is only recommended in cases where cognitive-behavioral approaches have proven ineffective or in cases where agoraphobia has developed following trauma.

Many people with anxiety disorders benefit from joining a self-help or support group (telephone conference-call support groups or online support groups being of particular help for completely housebound individuals). Sharing problems and achievements with others, as well as sharing various self-help tools, are common activities in these groups. In particular, stress management techniques and various kinds of meditation practices and visualization techniques can help people with anxiety disorders calm themselves and may enhance the effects of therapy, as can service to others, which can distract from the self-absorption that tends to go with anxiety problems. Also, preliminary evidence suggests aerobic exercise may have a calming effect. Since caffeine, certain illicit drugs, and even some over-the-counter cold medications can aggravate the symptoms of anxiety disorders, they should be avoided.

Certain dietary and herbal supplements claim to have calming and anti-anxiety benefits. Before one takes any of these for agoraphobia, should talk with the health care provider. Although these supplements are available without a prescription, they still pose possible health risks.

Yoga: Regular Yoga exercise with meditation under an expart improves self confidance and may get rid of Agoraphobia.

Prevention:
There’s no sure way to prevent agoraphobia. However, anxiety tends to increase the more you avoid situations that you fear. If you start to have mild fears about going places that are safe, try to practice going to those places over and over again before your fear becomes overwhelming. If this is too hard to do on your own, ask a family member or friend to go with you, or seek professional help.

If you experience anxiety going places or have panic attacks, get treatment as soon as possible. Get help early to keep symptoms from getting worse. Anxiety, like many other mental health conditions, can be harder to treat if you wait.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agoraphobia
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/agoraphobia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355987

Mamoncillo.


Botanical Name: Melicoccus bijugatus
Family: Sapindaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Melicoccus
Species: M. bijugatus

Synonyms: Melicoccus bijuga L. Melicoccus carpopodea Juss. Paullinia sphaerocarpa Rich. ex Juss.

Common Names: Spanish lime, genip, guinep, genipe, ginepa, kenèp, quenepa, quenepe, quenette, chenet, talpa jocote, mamón, limoncillo, skinip, kinnip, huaya, or mamoncillo.

Local names:
It is known by many names around the growth region: mamoncillo or mamón (in Cuba, some parts of El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela), chenette (in Trinidad and Tobago), quenette (in the French speaking islands of the Caribbean including; Guadeloupe, Marie-Galante and Martinique), gnep or ginep (in the United States Virgin Islands, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Antigua and Barbuda), guaya, quenepa (in Mexico and Puerto Rico), skinnip (in St. Kitts), skinup in (Grenada), kenip (in Dominica), canepa, genip, guinep, ginepa, ginnip, kinnip, kenèp (in Guyana, Haiti, Belize, Bahamas, Anguilla, Jamaica, Sint Maarten / Saint Martin, Sint Eustatius, Saba) and in some parts of Central America talpa jocote (in some parts of Guatemala and El Salvador), genepa, xenepa, kenepa (in Curaçao and Aruba), knippa (in Suriname) and Spanish lime (in the United States), and limoncillo (in the Dominican Republic). Also, it is often referred to as anoncillo in central Cuba and southern Florida. It is called “ackee” in the countries of Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, however, in the rest of the Caribbean, the latter name is used to refer to the related Blighia sapida. ((Batanes, Philippines)), Chayi and referred as kosam in chhattisgarh state of India.

Habitat: Melicoccus bijugatus is native to northern South America and naturalised in coastal and dry forest in Central America, the Caribbean and parts of the Old World tropics. It is believed to have been introduced into the Caribbean in pre-Columbian times and is also found in India. This fruit, known as quenepa in Puerto Rico, grows particularly abundantly in the municipality of Ponce, and there is a yearly celebration in that municipality known as Festival Nacional de la Quenepa (National Genip Fruit Festival). The fruit ripens during the warm summer months.

Description:
Trees can reach heights of up to 25 m (82 ft) and come with alternate, compound leaves. The leaves have four elliptic leaflets which are 5–12.5 cm (2.0–4.9 in) long and 2.5–5 cm (0.98–1.97 in) wide. They are typically dioecious plants, however polygamous trees occur from time to time. Flowers have four petals and eight stamens and produce void, green drupes which are 2.5–4 cm (0.98–1.57 in) long and 2 cm (0.79 in) wide. Their pulp is orange, salmon or yellowish in color with a somewhat juicy and pasty texture.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
The species is also commonly planted along roadsides as an ornamental tree.

Health Benefits:

  • Mamoncillo is full of fiber that helps in lowering the cholesterol levels in the body and prevents constipation.
  • It also contains Vitamin A that improves the immune system and prevents from stones getting formed in the urinary system.
  • Vitamin C in quenepa acts like an antioxidant, and calcium helps in keeping the bones and teeth strong. The calcium in mamoncillo also helps prevent cancer.
  • Phosphorous in this fruit is good for digestion and in regulating hormones.
  • Quenepa also contains tryptophan, which is said to be good for your sleep, and lysine that helps in proper growth and also helps prevent herpes.
  • It helps lower the blood pressure, and is quite beneficial for people with asthma.
  • Since it contains antioxidants, they help in preventing cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and boosts the immune system.
  • Being low in fat and cholesterol, it is helpful for those who are trying to lose weight.
  • The leaves of mamoncillo tree can be boiled and made into tea that is extremely good for intestinal problems.
  • Quenepa seeds when roasted, crushed, and mixed with honey helps in controlling diarrhea.
  • The leaves of the tree can be scattered in the house to keep away the fleas.

Cautions:
Make sure that the Mamoncillo fruits you have is ripe, as the raw ones may contain some toxins. There’s a potential hazard of choking in small children because of the large seeds. The large seeds can be cooked and eaten. The roasted seeds are also used as a substitute for cassava flour in baking in South America. So, these were some benefits of the sweet and delicious Mamoncillo fruit.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melicoccus_bijugatus
https://pfaf.org/user/DatabaseSearhResult.aspx
https://nutrineat.com/benefits-nutritional-facts-of-mamoncillo-fruit

Rambutan


Botanical Name: Nephelium lappaceum
Family: Sapindaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Nephelium
Species: N. lappaceum

Synonyms: Nephelium glabrum Cambess. Nephelium obovatum Ridely. Nephelium sufferugineum Radlk.

Common Names: Rambutan. Hairy Lychee
(The name “rambutan” is derived from the Malay word rambut meaning “hair”, a reference to the numerous hairy protuberances of the fruit, together with the noun-building suffix -an. Similarly, in Vietnam, it is called chôm chôm (meaning “messy hair”)

Habitat : The rambutan is native to the Indonesian region, and other regions of tropical Southeast Asia. It is closely related to several other edible tropical fruits including the lychee, longan, and mamoncillo.

Description:
Rambutan tree is an evergreen tree growing to a height of 12–20 m. The leaves are alternate, 10–30 cm long, pinnate, with three to 11 leaflets, each leaflet 5–15 cm wide and 3–10 cm broad, with an entire margin. The flowers are small, 2.5–5 mm, apetalous, discoidal, and borne in erect terminal panicles 15–30 cm wide.

Rambutan trees can be male (producing only staminate flowers and, hence, produce no fruit), female (producing flowers that are only functionally female), or hermaphroditic (producing flowers that are female with a small percentage of male flowers).

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The fruit is a round to oval single-seeded berry, 3–6 cm (rarely to 8 cm) long and 3–4 cm broad, borne in a loose pendant cluster of 10–20 together. The leathery skin is reddish (rarely orange or yellow), and covered with fleshy pliable spines, hence the name, which means ‘hairs’. Furthermore, the spines (also known as spinterns) contribute to the transpiration of the fruit and can lead to affecting fruit quality.

The fruit flesh, which is actually the aril, is translucent, whitish or very pale pink, with a sweet, mildly acidic flavor very reminiscent of grapes.

The single seed is glossy brown, 1–1.3 cm, with a white basal scar. Soft and containing equal portions of saturated and unsaturated fats,[8] the seeds may be cooked and eaten. The peeled fruits can be eaten raw, or cooked and eaten: first, the grape-like fleshy aril, then the nutty seed, with no waste.

Health Benefits:
Neutricianal Value: Rambutan fruit contains diverse nutrients but in modest amounts, with only manganese having moderate content at 16 percent of the Daily Value per 100 g consumed (right table; note data are for canned fruit in syrup, not as raw which may have different nutrient contents)

As an unpigmented fruit flesh, rambutan does not contain significant polyphenol content, but its colorful rind displays diverse phenolic acids, such as syringic, coumaric, gallic, caffeic, and ellagic acids having antioxidant activity in vitro.[19][20] Rambutan seeds contain equal proportions of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, where arachidic (34%) and oleic (42%) acids, respectively, are highest in fat content.

The pleasant fragrance of rambutan fruit derives from numerous volatile organic compounds, including beta-damascenone, vanillin, phenylacetic acid, and cinnamic acid

Rambutan has a very high B3, amounting to 1352 mg. At 1950s, vitamin B3 is used to heart attack prevention therapy and lower cholesterol levels. Men should consume 15-19 mg per day, Women about of 15-18 mg per day, while for children 9-13mg daily.

As the fruit has good amount of Vitamin B3 & vitamin C it has thousands of health benefits that we get by eating this.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambutan
https://pfaf.org/user/DatabaseSearhResult.aspx
https://drhealthbenefits.com/food-bevarages/fruits/health-benefits-of-rambutan

Dragonfruit

Botanical Name: Hylocereus undatus
Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Genus: Hylocereus
Species: H. undatus

Common names:
English: pitahaya, dragon fruit, night blooming cereus, strawberry pear, Belle of the Night, Cinderella plant, Jesus in the cradle
Estonian: maasik-metskaktus
Finnish: pitaija, lohikäärmehedelmä
French: pitaya, fruit du dragon, cierge-lézard, poire de chardon
German: Drachenfrucht, Distelbirne
Greek: ?????? ??? ?????? (fruto tu draku)
Hawaiian: panini-o-ka-puna-hou (“Punahou cactus”) – a famous specimen still grows at Punahou School
Japanese: pitaya (???), dragon fruit (????????),
Portuguese: pitaia, cato-barse, cardo-ananaz, rainha da noite
Spanish: pitahaya roja (Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela); flor de caliz, pitajava (Puerto Rico); junco, junco tapatio, pitahaya orejona, reina de la noche, tasajo (Mexico)
Swedish: skogskaktus, röd pitahaya
Vietnamese: thanh long
Thai:kaeo mangkon
Malay: buah naga. pronounce:boo-ah naa-gaa
Chinese: pinyin: hu?lónggu?
Italian: Pitahaya, Frutto del Drago
Bengali: Dragon fal.
Lithuanian: kertuotis

Habitat :
The native origin of Dragonfruit has never been resolved.It is lithophytic or hemiepiphytic. It is widely distributed through the tropics in cultivation. Like all true cacti, the genus originates in the Americas, the precise origin of the dragogfruit may be a hybrid.

Description:
Dragonfruit is a sprawling or vining, terrestrial or epiphytic cactus. They climb by use of aerial roots and can reach a height 10 meters or more growing on rocks and trees. The genus is very variable and closely related to Selenicereus.
The stems are scandent (climbing habit), creeping, sprawling or clambering, and branch profusely. There can be 4-7 of them, between 5 and 10 m or longer, with joints from 30–120 cm or longer, and 10–12 cm thick; with generally three ribs; margins are corneous (horn-like) with age, and undulate.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Areoles, that is, the small area bearing spines or hairs on a cactus, are 2 mm across with internodes 1–4 cm. Spines on the adult branches are 1-3, 2–4 mm long, being acicular (needle-like) to almost conical, and grayish brown to black in colour and spreading, with a deep green epidermis.

The scented, nocturnal flowers are 25–30 cm long, 15–17 cm wide with the pericarpel 2.5–5 cm long, about 2.5 cm thick, bracteoles ovate, acute, to 2.5 to less than 4 cm long; receptacle about 3 cm thick, bracteoles are linear-lanceolate, 3–8 cm long; outer tepals lanceolate-linear to linear, acuminate (tapering to a point), being 10–15 cm long, 10–15 mm wide and mucronate (ending in a short sharp point). Their colour is greenish-yellow or whitish, rarely rose-tinged; inner tepals are lanceolate (tapering to a point at the tip) to oblanceolate (i.e. more pointed at the base), up to 10–15 cm long about 40 mm wide at widest point, and mucronate, unbroken, sharp to acuminate (pointed), and white. Stamens 5–10 cm long, are declinate, inserted in one continuous zone from throat to 35 mm above the pericarpel and cream. The style (bearing the stigma) to 17, they are 5-24.5 cm long, stout, 6–8 mm thick, cream, and up to 26 stigma lobes, they can be whole or sometimes split at the top, cream, about 25 mm long. Nectar chambers are 30 mm long.

The fruit is oblong to oval, 6–12 cm long, 4–9 cm thick, red with large bracteoles, with white pulp and edible black seeds….CLICK & SEE

Health Benefits :
Some studies have already been conducted to determine if dragon fruit plays a role in improving overall health and well-being. One example is a 2011 study from the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, where researchers assessed the relationship between a healthy diet containing fruits and vegetables, lifetime physical activity and oxidative DNA damage linked to prostate cancer .

Dragon fruit contains a surprising number of phytonutrients.6 It is also loaded with antioxidants,7 and is home to carotene, protein, vitamin C (said to be near 10 percent of the daily recommended value), polyunsaturated (good) fatty acids and B vitamins that may be needed for carbohydrate metabolism .8,9 In addition, this tropical fruit doesn’t contain complex carbohydrates, which may allow vitamin B1 (thiamin) along with other B vitamins in the body to break down food more easily in the body.10

The dragon fruit is also a source of other nutrients like calcium that may help develop strong bones and teeth, iron that may assist in forming healthy red blood cells, and phosphorus to aid in promoting tissue and cell growth, maintenance and repair.11,12

A phytochemical called captin is present in dragon fruit too. It is typically used in medicines that may help alleviate heart problems. Other known benefits of dragon fruit include boosting the immune system, promoting quicker recovery from wounds and bruises, and reducing the risk for respiratory problems.13

Eating dragon fruit may also help the body maintain its normal function by helping eliminate toxic heavy metals14 and improving eyesight.15 Lycopene, responsible for the fruit’s red color ,16 has been linked with a lower prostate cancer risk.17 Meanwhile,

seed extracts from dragon fruit are high in polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids)18 that may help reduce triglyceride levels19 and lower the risk of cardiovascular disorders.20 In some cases, oil derived from the seeds may serve as a mild laxative too.21

Caution:
Make sure to consume dragon fruit in moderation because it contains fructose, a type of sugar that may be harmful to your health if consumed in excessive amounts.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hylocereus_undatus
https://foodfacts.mercola.com/dragon-fruit.html