Monthly Archives: June 2010

Excessive Calcium Could be Harmful

Excessive intake of calcium supplements may have adverse effect on health, notes a study.
Postmenopausal and pregnant women, transplant recipients, patients with bulimia (an eating disorder) and individuals on dialysis face the highest risk of developing the calcium-alkali syndrome.

The incidence of the calcium-alkali or the milk-alkali syndrome is growing in large parts, because of widespread use of over-the-counter calcium and vitamin D supplements.

Study authors Stanley Goldfarb and Ami Patel from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (UPSM) recommend changing milk-alkali syndrome’s name to calcium-alkali syndrome because it is now associated with a large calcium intake, not just milk.

The syndrome arose in the early 1900s when patients ingested abundant amounts of milk and (alkaline) antacids to control their ulcers.

This practice increased individual risk of developing dangerously high levels of calcium in the blood, which could cause high blood pressure and even kidney failure.

The incidence of the milk-alkali syndrome declined when newer ulcer medications became available, but it appears to be on the rise again.

Thanks to the increased use of over-the-counter calcium and vitamin D supplements, used mainly as preventive and treatment measures for osteoporosis, many patients with the syndrome now require hospitalisation.

The obvious preventive strategy against the calcium-alkali syndrome is to limit the intake of calcium to no more than 1.2 to 1.5 grams per day, the study co-authors said.

“Calcium supplements taken in the recommended amounts are not only safe but are quite beneficial. Taken to excess is the problem,” said Goldfarb, according to a University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine release.

“Even at the recommended dose, careful monitoring of any medication is wise and yearly determinations of blood calcium levels for those patients taking calcium supplements or vitamin D is a wise approach,” he added.

These findings will appear in the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN).

Source:The Times Of India

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Cacalia atriplicifolia

Botanical Name : Cacalia atriplicifolia
Other Scientific Names in use: Arnoglossum atriplicifolium
Family : Compositae
Genus : Cacalia
Synonyms: Arnoglossum atriplicifolium – (L.)H.E.Robins.
Common Name: pale Indian plantain

Habitat: Eastern N. America – New York to Minnesota, south to Florida and Oklahoma. Dry open woods, thickets and openings.
Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Deep Shade;

Herbaceous  Perennial growing to Height: 3 to 6 feet and    Spread: 2 to 4 feet.   White

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It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) , white in colour and are pollinated by Insects.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It requires moist soil.

Pale Indian plantain is a tall Missouri native herbaceous perennial which grows 3-6′ (less frequently to 8′) tall and typically occurs in open and rocky woodlands, thickets, slopes, wet meadows and along streams throughout the State. Features flat-topped clusters (corymbs) of tiny, white tubular flowers atop thick, rigid, leafy flowering stalks rising from the basal foliage. Blooms in summer. Fan-shaped basal leaves (to 12″ wide) are thick, leathery, and coarsely toothed and lobed, somewhat resembling very large sycamore leaves. Stems and lower leaf surfaces are covered with a grayish-white bloom hence the “pale” part of the common name. Synonymous with Arnoglossum atriplicifolium.

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a moist peaty or leafy lime-free soil in shade or semi-shade. Plants tend to be somewhat invasive, they are best suited to naturalizing in the wild or woodland garden. Pale Indian Plantain is aggressive and therefore may not be suitable for small landscape plantings.

Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in spring in a cold frame. Surface sow or only just cover the seed and do not allow the compost to dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade until they are large enough to plant out. Division in spring.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Edible Uses: Condiment.

Young leaves – cooked. Used as a potherb. The powdered leaves are used as a seasoning.

Medicinal Uses
The leaves have been used as a poultice for cuts, bruises and cancers, and also to draw out blood or poisonous materials.

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


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Bois de Rose (Aniba rosaeodora )

Botanicakl Name :Aniba rosaeodora
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Aniba
Common Names :Bois de Rose , Rosewood
Common Names in Dutch: Echt Rozenhout
Common Names in English & French:: Car-Cara
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Laurales
Species: A. rosaeodora

:It is found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Traditions: Central and South America


Shrubs to tall trees , evergreen or rarely deciduous ( Cassytha a parasitic vine with leaves reduced to scales ), usually aromatic . Leaves alternate, rarely whorled or opposite, simple , without stipules, petiolate . Leaf blade : unlobed (unlobed or lobed in Sassafras ), margins entire, occasionally with domatia (crevices or hollows serving as lodging for mites ) in axils of main lateral veins (in Cinnamomum ) . Inflorescences in axils of leaves or deciduous bracts, panicles (rarely heads ), racemes , compound cymes, or pseudoumbels (spikes in Cassytha ), sometimes enclosed by decussate bracts. Flowers bisexual or unisexual , bisexual only, or staminate and pistillate on different plants , or staminate and bisexual on some plants, pistillate and bisexual on others; flowers usually yellow to greenish or white, rrely reddish; hypanthium well developed, resembling calyx tube , tepals and stamens perigynous; tepls 6(-9), in 2(-3) whorls of 3, sepaloid , equal or rarely unequal, if unequal then usually outer 3 smaller than inner 3 (occasionally absent in Litsea ) ; stamens (3-) 9(-12), in whorls of 3, but 1 or more whorls frequently staminodial or absent; stamens of 3d whorl with 2 glands near base ; anthers 2- or 4-locular, locules opening by valves ; pistil 1, 1-carpellate; ovary 1-locular; placentation basal; ovule 1; stigma subsessile , discoid or capitate. Fruits drupes, drupe borne on pedicel with or without persistent tepals at base, or seated in ± deeply cup-shaped receptacle (cupule), or enclosed in accrescent floral tube . Seed 1; endosperm absent.


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Common Uses:
Deodorants/Perfumes * Facial and Skin care *
Properties:  Analgesic* Skin tonic* Aromatic*

Personal Experience, Research, Possible Actions:

Rosewood has a similar nature to Ho Wood and is considered both emotionally uplifting and calming to the mind. Due to its high % of linalol this oil is thought to be deeply nourishing and supportive to the immune system. We use this oil for healing from an infection, cold or flu, as well as for assisting in sleep. Rosewood is a deep sedative.

Rosewood offers the immune system a boost. I use it as a regular part of my preventative health care and feel blessed to have this oil in my life. My favorites uses for Rosewood are in a bath, cream, massage oil, and in shampoo. When I am traveling I will put a few drops on a cotton ball, put it in a plastic bag, and open it up every few hours to smell its woodsy, lightly floral aroma.

Rosewood can be blended with Lavender to relieve a headache. Put both oils into a carrier oil (St. John’s Wort is my favorite for a headache) and rub on the back of your neck and on your throat as soon as the headache begins.

It is also known for its skin-healing ability (antibacterial and anti fungal). I like to steam my face with a drop of Rosewood in a bowl of hot water. Use the same technique for a sinus steam and let your skin soak up the Rosewood.

It has a wonderful anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antispasmodic action and is used for colds and flu, especially when there is muscle pain accompanied with a heavy cough.

Great for insomnia!

Traditional Knowledge


*Anti-inflammatory – reduce inflammation

*Antiseptic – assists in fighting germs/infections
*Anti fungal – inhibits growth of fungus (Candida, athlete\’s foot)
– destructive to bacteria
*Cephalic – remedy for the head (in this case, clears the head)
*Immune support – stimulates functioning of immune system

*Tonic – strengthens and restores vitality
*Nourishing for the skin

Emotional and Energetic Qualities:-
*Assists meditation
*Helps prepare for any spiritual healing
*Calms to the nerves
*Acts as an antidepressant

Rosewood essential oil (Aniba rosaeodora):

A sweet, woody, fruity scented oil which is soothing, relaxing, calming and has a tonic effect. Rosewood essential oil is a good general balancer for the emotions, thus it can have good effects when used as an anti-depressant or when used during periods of stress.Rosewood is said to stimulate new cell growth, regenerate tissues and help minimize lines and wrinkles. It can also help with dry and oily skin, acne and scars. Rosewood essential oil can also be a good oil for helping to clear headaches.

Immune Support
10 drops Rosewood
2 drops Lavender
2 drops Ravintsara
5 drops Sandalwood

Blend these oils without any carrier, making a “stock bottle”.  Add drops to a cream, oil, bath or candle diffuser. Put a drop in your shampoo or add to an unscented liquid soap.

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


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Time to Get Children

A new test can predict the age at which menopause will occur, thus making it easier for couples to plan children.
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It goes against the grain of natural selection, yet in humans it is by and large fixed and universal. Around the age of 50, normal healthy women lose their ability to bear children. After a decade of gentle winding down, the reproductive system comes to a halt. Enhanced life expectancy — thanks to decades of development in healthcare — however, hasn’t been able to budge menopausal age even a wee bit. Today, a growing number of women spend almost half their life in the post-reproductive phase.

Scientists continue to be baffled by the phenomenon of menopause. While it hits all women, some unfortunate ones encounter it much early in life. A study by the Bangalore-based Institute for Social and Economic Change about four years ago showed that nearly 4 per cent of Indian women lose their ability to bear children before the age of 35, one of the lowest thresholds of menopause recorded anywhere in the world. The natural age for the onset of menopause is between 45 and 55.

In today’s world of career women and late marriages, getting to know the expected age of menopause would be a great support. It would help couples better plan their children.

A simple blood test may soon make this possible. A team of Iranian scientists — led by Fahimeh Ramezani Tehrani, who heads the Reproductive Endocrinology Department, Endocrine Research Centre, Tehran — say they have developed a test that can accurately predict the onset of menopause with an average error of four months. Ramezani Tehrani is scheduled to present the findings at the 26th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Rome today. This is the first effort that can predict the age of menopause from a population-based study, say the scientists.

The researchers found that it is possible to calculate the onset of menopause by measuring the concentrations of a hormone called anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH), which is produced by cells in women’s ovaries. AMH controls the development of follicles in the ovaries, which produces eggs (oocytes).

The researchers used blood samples from 266 women, aged between 20 and 49. The women were part of a study that has been going on in Tehran since 1988 to evaluate cardiovascular risk factors. The scientists took the samples at three-yearly intervals and also collected information on each volunteer’s socioeconomic background and reproductive history. The women also were subjected to physical examination every three years.

“We developed a statistical model for estimating the menopausal age from a single measurement of AMH concentration in serum from blood samples,” said Ramezani Tehrani, who is also an associate professor at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran.

AMH, along with the hormone Inhibin B, is secreted by ovaries and is hence a direct reflection of the quality and quantity of the oocytes, said Lakshmi Rao, a scientist at the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology. Rao, who studies the genetic causes of premature menopause, said this is an important observation for the prediction of menopause.

According to Ramezani Tehrani, there is a good level of agreement between the menopausal ages estimated by their model and the actual ages at which menopause occurred. As many as 63 volunteers reached menopause during the study, helping the scientists validate their model.

“The results from our study could enable us to make a more realistic assessment of women’s reproductive status many years before they reach menopause,” said Ramezani Tehrani.

As per their calculation, a 20-year-old woman who has 2.8 ng/ml (nanograms per millilitre) of AMH in her blood will reach menopause between 35 and 38 years. The scientists used this statistical model to identify AMH levels at different ages that would predict if a woman is likely to have an early menopause (that is, before the age of 45). They found, for instance, that an AMH level of 4.1 ng/ml or less in a 20-year-old woman, 3.3 ng/ml in a 25-year-old, and 2.4 ng/ml in a 30-year-old indicated an early menopause.

Similarly, an AMH level of at least 4.5 ng/ml at the age of 20, 3.8 ng/ml at 25, and 2.9 ng/ml at 30 predicted a menopausal age of over 50 years. The researchers found that the average age at menopause for the women in their study was approximately 52.

The Iranian scientists claimed that their estimates are sufficiently robust and can be used by medical practitioners in their day-to-day practice. They were confident that the findings would be further validated in larger studies.

The findings thus indicate that AMH is capable of specifying a woman’s reproductive status more accurately than chronological age per se. “But considering this is a small study that has looked at women over a period of time, larger studies starting with women in their twenties and following them for several years are needed to validate the accuracy of serum AMH concentration for the prediction of menopause in young women,” said Ramezani Tehrani.

The AMH test is already commercially available and clinicians advise it in case of assisted reproduction, said Rao. “It is not only inexpensive, but also throws useful data,” she added.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata)

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Cup of Magic

Probiotics, prebiotics, antibiotics. The words often cause confusion because they sound similar. But, of course, they mean very different things, although all three are derived from the Greek word “bios”, meaning “life”.


Most people would love a magic pill that would put an end to all their health problems. Preferably one that contains prebiotics (meaning “before life”) and probiotics (“helping life”), along with a few trace elements, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins.

Probiotics are defined by the World Health Organization as microorganisms, which when administered alive in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host. They are advertised by the pharma industry as protective, anti-infection agents that give the body’s natural reserves a boost against disease. They are sold as capsules and powders containing organisms like Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. The products are much hyped, and have fancy names and expensive packaging.

However, what advertisements do not mention is that to be effective, there should be at least 75 million live organisms in each capsule. Food and chlorine in water kill these organisms. They therefore have to be swallowed with non-chlorinated water on an empty stomach
The intestines need to be populated with these organisms. So initially, the capsules have to be swallowed four to six times a day. The minuscule numbers contained in commercially available capsules are insufficient and do not confer any real health benefit.

Probiotics are not new products; they have been around for centuries. Fermented dough and curd (yogurt) contain natural, healthy probiotics. Commercially available yogurt may not contain live lactobacillus (probiotics) unless specifically mentioned on the package.

Natural probiotics like curd have many medicinal properties that are being rediscovered now. Curd starts to act in the mouth itself. It reduces the number of plaque forming bacteria, and prevents bad breath, tooth decay and mouth ulcers.

In the stomach, curd helps neutralise gastric acidity, reducing belching, burning and dyspepsia. It prevents infections, particularly the growth and multiplication of H. pylori, which is implicated in gastric ulcers and stomach cancer.

In the intestine, probiotics live with other protective intestinal flora, reducing gas formation and diarrhoea. The immunological effects reduce the incidence and symptoms of Crohn’s disease (inflammatory condition of the intestines that may affect any part from the mouth to the anus) and ulcerative colitis. Bowel habits become regular and the incidence of colon cancer reduces in those who eat curd regularly.

The action of the probiotics on digested food results in the synthesis of B-complex vitamins. This reduces vitamin deficiencies. Children who are given curd in addition to milk have less diarrhoea than those given milk alone.

Many Indians are relatively lactose intolerant and develop bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhoea when given to drink milk. They thus tend to curtail their milk intake and in the absence of calcium supplementation become susceptible to osteoporosis. In curd, however, the milk is already partially digested, and this reduces the symptoms of intolerance. As little as one cup of curd a day is beneficial in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Studies have also shown that eating curd regularly prevents the development of candidiasis, a common vaginal fungal infection. Other studies have shown conflicting results with no real benefit. But this has not prevented pharmaceutical companies from advocating lactobacillus capsules and vaginal pessaries for candidial infection. Curd also boosts the immune system. Regular eaters swear by it, saying it reduces infections as well as the duration of illnesses.

Prebiotics, on the other hand, are soluble fibres and non-digestible food ingredients that remain in the colon. They selectively stimulate the growth and activity of beneficial microorganisms already present in the large intestine. Prebiotics are found in oats, wheat, onions and garlic. When probiotics and prebiotics are combined, they form “synbiotics”. This probably confers the best health benefits with probiotics acting in the small intestine and prebiotics in the large.

Antibiotics are used to kill harmful microorganisms in the intestine, bloodstream and the various organs. They should be used appropriately in the correct dosage and duration. Unlike probiotics and prebiotics, antibiotics are specific for a particular infection. They are not health supplements.

Antioxidants are found in coloured fruits and vegetables. Oxidation is essential for cell metabolism. During this process a few cells die releasing harmful free radicals. This is prevented by antioxidants.

All said and done, health does not come packaged as an expensive magic capsule containing probiotics and antioxidants to be drunk with a glass of artificial fibre. For good health,

Eat four to five helpings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. The green, yellow, orange and red ones contain antioxidants

Curd reduces infections as well as the duration of illnesses

Eat one tablespoon of homemade curd first thing in the morning on an empty stomach

Eat chappatis four or five times a week

Give these health ingredients an extra boost by exercising one hour everyday.

: The Telegraph (Kolkata)

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Antidepressants and Other Psychotropic Medications Linked to Birth Defects

Between 1998 and 2007, psychotropic medications were associated with 429 adverse drug reactions in Danish children under the age of 17. More than half of the 429 cases were serious and several involved birth defects, such as birth deformities and severe withdrawal syndromes.
Professors Lise Aagaard and Ebbe Holme Hansen studied all 4,500 pediatric adverse drug reaction reports submitted during the study period to find those which were linked to psychotropic medications. The two researchers found that 42 percent of adverse reactions were reported for psychostimulants, such as Ritalin, which treats attention deficit disorder (ADD), followed by 31 percent for antidepressants, such as Prozac, and 24 percent for antipsychotics, such as Haldol.

“A range of serious side effects such as birth deformities, low birth weight, premature birth, and development of neonatal withdrawal syndrome were reported in children under two years of age, most likely because of the mother’s intake of psychotropic medication during pregnancy,” says Associate Professor Lisa Aagaard.

The researchers believe that these tendencies should serve as a warning to doctors and health care personnel.

“Psychotropic medication should not be prescribed in ordinary circumstances, because this type of medication has a long half-life. If people take their medicine as prescribed it will be a constantly high dosage, and it could take weeks for one single tablet to exit the body’s system. Three out of four pregnancies are planned, and therefore society must take responsibility for informing women about the serious risks of transferring side effects to their unborn child,” says Aagaard.

There is a clear indication that use of antidepressants is increasing in Denmark, as well as in many other countries, and the tendency is the same when it comes to pregnant women.

“We are constantly reminded about the dangers of alcohol use and smoking during pregnancy, but there is no information offered to women with regards to use of psychotropic medication. There is simply not enough knowledge available in this area,” concludes Aagaard, suggesting that greater control should be required when prescribing psychotropic medications to pregnant women.

Elements4Health:25 June 2010

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Bai Bei Feng (Buddleja asiatica )

Botanical Name : Buddleja asiatica
Family : Buddleiaceae
Genus : Buddleia
Local names: Alatin (Bag.); amuging (Ig.); anaiop (If.); doknaw (Ting.); dumdumaui (If.); du?galau (Ibn.); lagien-ti-subisub (Ilk.); lagundisalasa (Bis.); malasambung (Tag.); maligus (Bon.); salibug (Tagb.); sambong-gala (Tag.); talikamo (Tag.); tugnang (Ilk.).

Habitat: E. Asia – India to the Philippines. Second growth forest, sandy river banks, grass, savannah, landslips and deserted village sites.Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade.(Malasambung is chiefly found in thickets, in recently cleared places, etc., at medium altitudes, sometimes at sea level and sometimes up to 2,000 meters, from northern Luzon to Palawan and Mindanao. It also occurs in India to China and Malaya.)

This is an erect,evergreen branched shrub 1 to 2 meters in height. The branches and lower surfaces of the leaves are densely hairy, being soft and smooth to the touch on account of numerous, small, grayish or brownish hairs. The leaves are lanceolate, 5 to 15 centimeters long, pointed at the base, tapering to a sharp, pointed tip, and toothed at the margins. The flowers are white, 3.5 to 4 millimeters long, hairy, and borne in large numbers on ample panicles, which grow up to 15 centimeters in length. The fruit is reflexed capsule, oblong, and about as along as the flower.


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It is hardy to zone 8. It is in leaf all year, in flower from January to April. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is not self-fertile.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Requires a sunny position, succeeding in most reasonably good soils so long as they are well-drained. Prefers a rich loamy soil. Plants are very tolerant of alkaline soils[200]. Of doubtful hardiness in most of Britain, it is likely to be damaged or killed by temperatures lower than 0°c. However, one report says that it succeeds outdoors in southern Cornwall whilst other reports say that it might be hardy on a south or south-west facing wall in the mildest areas of this country[11, 166, 182, 188]. So long as the plant is well mulched it resprouts freely from the base if cut back by severe weather. A very ornamental plant[1], the cut flowers last well in water. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Any pruning is best done after flowering. An excellent plant for bees and butterflies. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Seed – cold stratify for 4 weeks at 4°c and surface sow the seed in February/March in a greenhouse (the pre-chilling might not be required for this species). Germination usually takes place within 3 – 4 weeks at 21°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Seedlings are inclined to damp off and so should be watered with care and kept well-ventilated. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Use short side-shoots. Very high percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, 15 – 20cm long, October/November in a frame.

Edible Uses
Edible Uses: Drink.

The dried and powdered root is used in the preparation of a fermented liquor.

Medicinal Uses
Abortifacient; Skin.
The plant has been used as an abortifacient and also in the treatment of skin complaints. The juice of the plant is applied as a wash to treat skin diseases.Guerrero states that in Philippines this plant is used locally for abortion. Also it is used in skin diseases and as a cure for loss of weight.

Other Uses


Wood – tough, moderately hard. It could be used for making walking sticks.

Scented Plants
Flowers: Fresh
The flowers, which are produced in the winter, have a wonderful strong aroma rather like freesias.

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


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Spergularia rubra

Botanical Name : Spergularia rubra
Family : Caryophyllaceae
Genus : Spergularia
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Caryophyllales
Species: S. rubra

Synonyms : Arenaria campestris – Auct., Arenaria rubra – L.,Buda rubra – (L.)Dum.
Common names: Purple Sand Spurry, Ruby Sandspurry, Sand Spurry, red sandspurry

Habitat : Spergularia rubra  is native to Europe, including Britain, south and east from Norway to N. Africa and Asia. N. America. It grows on open gravelly or sandy habitats. Sand dunes, heaths and coastal cliffs.

Spergularia rubra, a dicot, is an annual or perennial herb growing to 0.25m.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from May to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies. The plant is self-fertile.

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The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

This plant is often found growing in paving crevices and other impoverished niches in the garden. It is a calcifuge plant, requiring neutral to acid soils.

Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ. Some seed germinates in the autumn in the wild while some germinates in the spring.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Seed.

Seed – cooked. Dried and ground into a meal then used with flour for making bread etc. A famine food, it is only used when all else fails.

Medicinal Uses
The leaves are diuretic and lithontripic. The plant contains a resinous aromatic substance that is probably the active principle. An infusion is thought to relax the muscle walls of the urinary tubules and so it is used in the treatment of kidney stones, acute and chronic cystitis and catarrh of the bladder.

It has long been used as a popular remedy in diseases of the bladder. It was shown by F. Vigier (J. P. C., 1879, ii, p. 371) to contain a resinous aromatic substance which is probably its active principle. It is strongly recommended by Bertherand in calculous diseases and acute and chronic cystitis.

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


Ginger Reduces Pain After Exercise

Ginger may reduce the pain associated with muscle injury after exercising. This could offer athletes a natural pain reliever.


Both raw and heat-treated ginger reduced pain associated with muscle injury by about 24 percent.

According to NutraIngredients:
“The rhizome of the ginger plant (Zingiber officinale) is a rich source of antioxidants, including gingerols, shogaols, zingerones and other ketone derivatives … ginger’s pain reducing effects are biologically plausible with both in vitro and in vivo animal studies showing an effect of gingerols, shogaols, and zingerones on inflammatory compounds.”

NutraIngredients June 3, 2010
The Journal of Pain April 23, 2010; [Epub ahead of print]

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Xerostomia Or Dry Mouth

Xerostomia (pronounced as zeer-o-STO-me-uh)  is the medical term for the subjective complaint of dry mouth due to a lack of saliva. Xerostomia is sometimes colloquially called pasties, cottonmouth, drooth, doughmouth or des (like a desert). Xerostomia is also common in smokers.

Lack of saliva is a common problem that may seem little more than a nuisance, but a dry mouth can affect both your enjoyment of food and the health of your teeth. The medical term for dry mouth is xerostomia (zeer-o-STO-me-uh).
Dry mouth can cause problems because saliva helps prevent tooth decay by limiting bacterial growth and washing away food and plaque. Saliva enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to swallow. In addition, enzymes in saliva aid in digestion.

Xerostomia can cause difficulty in speech and eating. It also leads to halitosis and a dramatic rise in the number of cavities, as the protective effect of saliva’s remineralizing the enamel is no longer present, and can make the mucosa and periodontal tissue of the mouth more vulnerable to infection. Notably, a symptom of heavy methamphetamine use usually called “meth mouth” is largely caused by xerostomia which is worsened by the fact that methamphetamine at recreational doses can cause tight clenching of the jaw, bruxism (compulsive grinding of the teeth), or a repetitive ‘chewing’ movement like the user is chewing without food in the mouth.
If you’re not producing enough saliva, you may notice the following signs and symptoms:

*Dryness in your mouth
*Saliva that seems thick, stringy
*Sores or split skin at the corners of your mouth
*Cracked lips
*Bad breath
*Difficulty speaking, swallowing
*Sore throat
*An altered sense of taste
*A fungal infection in your mouth
*Increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease

In women, dry mouth may result in lipstick adhering to the teeth.

Dry mouth has numerous causes, including:

*Medications. Hundreds of medications, including some over-the-counter drugs, produce dry mouth as a side effect. Among the more likely types to cause problems are some of the drugs used to treat depression and anxiety, antihistamines, decongestants, high blood pressure medications, anti-diarrheals, muscle relaxants, drugs for urinary incontinence, and Parkinson’s disease medications.

*Aging. Getting older isn’t a risk factor for dry mouth on its own; however, older people are more likely to be taking medications that may cause dry mouth. Also, older people are more likely to have other health conditions that may cause dry mouth.

*Cancer therapy. Chemotherapy drugs can change the nature of saliva and the amount produced. Radiation treatments to your head and neck can damage salivary glands, causing a marked decrease in saliva production.

*Nerve damage. An injury or surgery that causes nerve damage to your head and neck area also can result in xerostomia.

*Other health conditions. Dry mouth can be a consequence of certain health conditions — or their treatments — including the autoimmune disease Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS, anxiety disorders and depression. Stroke and Alzheimer’s disease may cause a perception of dry mouth, even though the salivary glands are functioning normally. Snoring and breathing with your mouth open also can contribute to the problem.

*Tobacco use. Smoking or chewing tobacco can increase dry mouth symptoms.

It may be a sign of an underlying disease, such as Sjögren’s syndrome, poorly controlled diabetes, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome, but this is not always the case.

Other causes of insufficient saliva include anxiety,  or the consumption of alcoholic beverages, physical trauma to the salivary glands or their ducts or nerves, dehydration caused by lack of sufficient fluids, excessive breathing through the mouth, previous radiation therapy, and also a natural result of aging, other conditions or factors not mentioned also can have the ability to cause dry mouth. The vast majority of elderly individuals will suffer xerostomia to some degree, although the most common cause is the use of medications. Output from the major salivary glands does not undergo clinically significant decrements in healthy older people and clinicians should not attribute complaints of a dry mouth and findings of salivary hypofunction in an older person to his or her age. The results of one study suggested that, in general, objective and subjective measurements of major salivary gland flow rates are independent of age, gender, and race. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of dry mouth in the elderly regardless of race or gender should not be considered a normal sequela of aging. Playing or exercising a long time outside on a hot day can cause the salivary glands to become dry as the bodily fluids are concentrated elsewhere. Xerostomia is a common side-effect of various drugs such as cannabis, amphetamines, antihistamines, and some antidepressants.

To determine if you have dry mouth, your doctor or dentist likely will examine your mouth and review your medical history. Sometimes you’ll need blood tests and imaging scans of your salivary glands to identify the cause.

He or she will do the following:-
Evaluate the patient’s complaint of dry mouth by asking pertinent history questions: When did he first notice the symptom? Was he exercising at the time? Is he currently taking any medications? Is his sensation of dry mouth intermittent or continuous? Is it related to or relieved by a particular activity? Ask about related symptoms, such as burning or itching eyes, or changes sense of smell in or taste.

Next, inspect the patient’s mouth, including the mucous membranes, for any abnormalities. Observe his eyes for conjunctival irritation, matted lids, and corneal epithelial thickening. Perform simple tests of smell and taste to detect impairment of these senses. Check for enlarged parotid and submaxillary glands.  Palpate for tender or enlarged areas along the neck, too.

Treatment involves finding any correctable causes and fixing those if possible. In many cases it is not possible to correct the xerostomia itself, and treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms and preventing cavities. Patients who have endured chemotherapy usually suffer from this post- treatment. Patients with xerostomia should avoid the use of decongestants and antihistamines, and pay careful attention to oral hygiene. Sipping non-carbonated sugarless fluids frequently, chewing xylitol-containing gum,[3] and using a carboxymethyl cellulose saliva substitute as a mouthwash may help. Aquoral or Pilocarpine may be prescribed to treat xerostomia. Non-systemic relief can be found using an oxidized glycerol triesters treatment used to coat the mouth. Drinking water when there is another cause of the xerostomia besides dehydration may bring little to no relief and can even make the dry mouth more uncomfortable. The use of an enzymatic product such as Biotene toothpaste, Biotene mouthwash, and Biotene dry mouth moisturizing liquid has been proven to reduce the rate of recurrence of dental plaque resulting from dry mouth. Of note is that Biotene does not significantly reduce the count of streptococcus mutans.

If your doctor believes medication to be the cause, he or she may adjust your dosage or switch you to another medication that doesn’t cause a dry mouth. Your doctor may also consider prescribing pilocarpine (Salagen) or cevimeline (Evoxac) to stimulate saliva production.

Lifestyle and home remedies:
When the cause of the problem either can’t be determined or can’t be resolved, the following tips may help improve your dry mouth symptoms and keep your teeth healthy:

*Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies.
*Limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine can make your mouth drier.
*Avoid sugary or acidic foods and candies because they increase the risk of tooth decay.
*Brush with a fluoride toothpaste. (Ask your dentist if you might benefit from prescription fluoride toothpaste.)
*Use a fluoride rinse or brush-on fluoride gel before bedtime.
*Don’t use a mouthwash that contains alcohol because these can be drying.
*Stop all tobacco use if you smoke or chew tobacco.
*Sip water regularly.
*Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes. Look for ones containing carboxymethylcellulose or hydroxyethyl cellulose, such as Biotene Oralbalance.
*Avoid using over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants because they can make your symptoms worse.
*Breathe through your nose, not your mouth.
*Add moisture to the air at night with a room humidifier.

Alternative medicine:-
Studies of acupuncture have shown that acupuncture may be helpful for people with dry mouth stemming from various causes. This procedure involves the use of fine needles, lightly placed into various areas of the body, depending on your area of concern. While this treatment looks promising, researchers are still studying exactly how this therapy works for xerostomia. You may click to see:->Acupuncture relieves symptoms of xerostomia

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: Xerosis

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.


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