Monthly Archives: June 2011

MRSA

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, MRSA

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, MRSA (Photo credit: Microbe World)

Definition:
MRSA(Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)   is a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans. It may also be called multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (ORSA).

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MRSA is, by definition, any strain of Staphylococcus aureus that has developed resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics which include the penicillins (methicillin, dicloxacillin, nafcillin, oxacillin, etc.) and the cephalosporins.

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Most MRSA infections occur in people who have been in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. When it occurs in these settings, it’s known as health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). HA-MRSA infections typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints.

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Another type of MRSA infection has occurred in the wider community — among healthy people. This form, community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA), often begins as a painful skin boil. It’s spread by skin-to-skin contact. At-risk populations include groups such as high school wrestlers, child care workers and people who live in crowded conditions.

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MRSA is capable of resisting Beta-Lactamase resistant Antibiotics via the mecA gene. This is a gene that encodes Penicillin-binding-protein 2a (PBP2a). ?-lactam antibiotics have a low affinity for PBP2a, therefore cell wall synthesis is able to proceed in their presence.

Symptoms:
S. aureus most commonly colonizes the anterior nares (the nostrils), although the rest of the respiratory tract, open wounds, intravenous catheters, and urinary tract are also potential sites for infection. Healthy individuals may carry MRSA asymptomatically for periods ranging from a few weeks to many years. Patients with compromised immune systems are at a significantly greater risk of symptomatic secondary infection.

 

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In most patients, MRSA can be detected by swabbing the nostrils and isolating the bacteria found inside. Combined with extra sanitary measures for those in contact with infected patients, screening patients admitted to hospitals has been found to be effective in minimizing the spread of MRSA in hospitals in the United States,  Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands.

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MRSA may progress substantially within 24–48 hours of initial topical symptoms. After 72 hours MRSA can take hold in human tissues and eventually become resistant to treatment. The initial presentation of MRSA is small red bumps that resemble pimples, spider bites, or boils that may be accompanied by fever and occasionally rashes. Within a few days the bumps become larger, more painful, and eventually open into deep, pus-filled boils.  About 75 percent of community-associated (CA-) MRSA infections are localized to skin and soft tissue and usually can be treated effectively. However, some CA-MRSA strains display enhanced virulence, spreading more rapidly and causing illness much more severe than traditional healthcare-associated (HA-) MRSA infections, and they can affect vital organs and lead to widespread infection (sepsis), toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing (“flesh-eating”) pneumonia. This is thought to be due to toxins carried by CA-MRSA strains, such as PVL and PSM, though PVL was recently found to not be a factor in a study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the NIH. It is not known why some healthy people develop CA-MRSA skin infections that are treatable whereas others infected with the same strain develop severe infections or die.  The bacteria attack parts of the immune system, and even engulf white blood cells, the opposite of the usual.

The most common manifestations of CA-MRSA are skin infections such as necrotizing fasciitis or pyomyositis (most commonly found in the tropics), necrotizing pneumonia, infective endocarditis (which affects the valves of the heart), or bone or joint infections.  CA-MRSA often results in abscess formation that requires incision and drainage. Before the spread of MRSA into the community, abscesses were not considered contagious because it was assumed that infection required violation of skin integrity and the introduction of staphylococci from normal skin colonization. However, newly emerging CA-MRSA is transmissible (similar, but with very important differences) from Hospital-Associated MRSA. CA-MRSA is less likely than other forms of MRSA to cause cellulitis.

Causes  :
It’s all about survival of the fittest – the basic principle of evolution. Bacteria have been around a lot longer than us, so they’re pretty good at it.

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There are countless different strains of a single type of bacteria, and each has subtle natural genetic mutations that make it different from another. In addition, bacterial genes are constantly mutating.

Some strains’ genetic makeup will give them a slight advantage when it comes to fighting off antibiotic attack. So when susceptible strains encounter antibiotics they die, while these naturally resistant strains may prove harder to kill. This means the next time you encounter S.aureus, it’s more likely to be one that has survived an antibiotic encounter, (i.e. a resistant one). Eventually, the strain becomes resistant to different antibiotics, even though they work in slightly different ways.

When you are prescribed antibiotics, you are advised to finish the entire course. If you don’t do this, there’s a chance that you’ll kill most of the bugs but not all of them – and the ones that survive are likely to be those that have adapted to be more resistant to antibiotics.

Over time, the bulk of the S.aureus strains will carry resistant genes and further mutations may only add to their survival ability. Strains that manage to carry two or three resistance genes will have extraordinary powers of resistance to a range of different antibiotics.

The reason hospitals seem to be hotbeds for resistant MRSA is because with many vulnerable patients, infections are common and easily spread. So many different strains are thrown together with so many doses of antibiotics, vastly accelerating this natural selection process.

.Risk factors:
At risk populations include:

*People with weak immune systems (people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer patients, transplant recipients, severe asthmatics, etc.)

*Diabetics

*Intravenous drug users

*Use of quinolone antibiotics

*Young children

*The elderly

*College students living in dormitories

*People staying or working in a health care facility for an extended period of time

*People who spend time in coastal waters where MRSA is present, such as some beaches in Florida and the west coast of the United States

*People who spend time in confined spaces with other people, including prison inmates, military recruits in basic training, and individuals who spend considerable time in changerooms or gyms.

*Hospital patients

*Prison inmates:

*People in contact with live food-producing animals

*Athletes

*Children

Diasgnosis:
A century or more ago people knew that an infection was bad news and could rapidly kill a patient. But these days, since the rapid development of antibiotics after World War Two, we often take the power of antibiotics for granted, and expect them to work without question. MRSA is dangerous because it takes us back to the days when little could be done to stop an infection.

MRSA is particularly dangerous in hospitals. It’s a fact of life in the NHS that hospital patients are at higher than normal risk of picking up a S.aureus infection on the wards.

This is for two reasons. Firstly, hospital populations tend to be older, sicker and weaker than the general population, and therefore more vulnerable to infection. Secondly, conditions in hospitals involve a great many people living cheek by jowl, examined by doctors and nurses who have just touched other patients – the perfect environment for the transmission of all manner of infections. This is why there are strict hand-washing and hygiene measures when entering and leaving wards, and between seeing different patients.

Once these patients develop an infection they’re less able than a healthy person to fight it and urgent treatment with antibiotics may be critical. But because MRSA is resistant to many antibiotics, it may quickly overwhelm a weak patient, or cause a festering infection (for example in a wound or a joint implant) that causes tissue destruction and chronic disability.

Strains:
In the UK, where MRSA is commonly called “Golden Staph”, the most common strains of MRSA are EMRSA15 and EMRSA16.  EMRSA16 is the best described epidemiologically: it originated in Kettering, England, and the full genomic sequence of this strain has been published.   EMRSA16 has been found to be identical to the ST36:USA200 strain, which circulates in the United States, and to carry the SCCmec type II, enterotoxin A and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 genes.  Under the new international typing system, this strain is now called MRSA252. It is not entirely certain why this strain has become so successful, whereas previous strains have failed to persist. One explanation is the characteristic pattern of antibiotic susceptibility. Both the EMRSA15 and EMRSA16 strains are resistant to erythromycin and ciprofloxacin. It is known that Staphylococcus aureus can survive intracellularly,   for example in the nasal mucosa   and in the tonsil tissue ,.   Erythromycin and Ciprofloxacin are precisely the antibiotics that best penetrate intracellularly; it may be that these strains of S. aureus are therefore able to exploit an intracellular niche.

Community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) is more easily treated, though more virulent, than hospital-acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA). CA-MRSA apparently did not evolve de novo in the community but represents a hybrid between MRSA that spread from the hospital environment and strains that were once easily treatable in the community. Most of the hybrid strains also acquired a factor that increases their virulence, resulting in the development of deep-tissue infections from minor scrapes and cuts, as well as many cases of fatal pneumonia.

In the United States, most cases of CA-MRSA are caused by a CC8 strain designated ST8:USA300, which carries SCCmec type IV, Panton-Valentine leukocidin, PSM-alpha and enterotoxins Q and K, and ST1:USA400.  Other community-acquired strains of MRSA are ST8:USA500 and ST59:USA1000. In many nations of the world, MRSA strains with different predominant genetic background types have come to predominate among CA-MRSA strains; USA300 easily tops the list in the U. S. and is becoming more common in Canada after its first appearance there in 2004. For example, in Australia ST93 strains are common, while in continental Europe ST80 strains predominate (Tristan et al., Emerging Infectious Diseases, 2006). In Taiwan, ST59 strains, some of which are resistant to many non-beta-lactam antibiotics, have arisen as common causes of skin and soft tissue infections in the community. In a remote region of Alaska, unlike most of the continental U. S., USA300 was found rarely in a study of MRSA strains from outbreaks in 1996 and 2000 as well as in surveillance from 2004–06 (David et al., Emerg Infect Dis 2008).

In June of 2011, the discovery of a new strain of MRSA was announced by two separate teams of researchers in the UK. Its genetic make-up was reportedly more similar to strains found in animals, and testing kits designed to detect MRSA were unable to identify it.

Treatment:
Antibiotics are not completely powerless against MRSA, but patients may require a much higher dose over a much longer period, or the use of an alternative antibiotic, often needing intravenous administration or with less tolerable side-effects, to which the bug has less resistance.

MRSA is just one of a number of infections causing major challenges for health workers, and some are concerned that the situation can only get worse. There is no doubt that there is an urgent need to develop new and better antibiotics and, more importantly, to work harder to prevent infection spreading and use the antibiotics we already have more efficiently.

There is some evidence that MRSA in hospitals is already decreasing, as a result of better protocols to deal with the bacteria and prevent infection developing (with strategies such as regular screening of patients and use of eradication treatments).

Prevention:
To keep MRSA and other infections at bay, prevention is your best weapon. It is highly recommended that all individuals keep their immune system functioning to its best ability.
This can be done most efficiently by:

* taking a good daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement

* drinking a minimum of 32 oz. of pure water every day

* practice good hygiene methods

* take a good immune system booster like astragalus or ashwagandha every day (be sure to check for allergic reactions)

* only take echinacea if you feel like you are fighting off some bacterial or viral infection AND…..do not take echinacea for longer than 3-4 weeks at a time (it will loose its effectiveness if taken regularly as a preventative).

* you can use a hand sanitizer, which is mostly alcohol, or an effective substitute is Aloe Gel. Aloe is an excellent anti-bacterial and is also a wonderful skin lotion, where as alcohol can be drying.

* the following herbs have proven beneficial in the treatment of MRSA:

For Pneumonia: usnea, garlic, goldenseal, cryptolepsis, eucalyptus, boneset, wormwood, juniper, grapefruit seed extract, oils of thyme or oregano and olive leaf extract.

For surgical/skin infections: any of the above plus honey or sage.

For Bacteremia: echinacea, garlic, usnea or boneset, all given in massive doses.

* A complementary treatment that should not be overlooked is LIGHT THERAPY. A blue light with a frequency of 470nm (nanometers) has been shown to kill MRSA in as little as 2 minutes when shown on the skin at the infection site. This is an extremely useful therapy for those exposed to this infection. Please contact a CAM practitioner for more information on light therapy and other therapies for the treatment of MRSA and other health conditions.

MRSA is a serious medical condition that, unfortunately, has become more prevalent in recent years as this bacteria becomes more resistant to antibiotics.

Research;
ClinicalIt has been reported that maggot therapy to clean out necrotic tissue of MRSA infection has been successful. Studies in diabetic patients reported significantly shorter treatment times than those achieved with standard treatments.

Many antibiotics against MRSA are in phase II and phase III clinical trials. e.g.:

Phase III : ceftobiprole, Ceftaroline, Dalbavancin, Telavancin, Aurograb, torezolid, iclaprim…
Phase II : nemonoxacin.

Pre-clinicalAn entirely different and promising approach is phage therapy (e.g., at the Eliava Institute in Georgia[98]), which in mice had a reported efficacy against up to 95% of tested Staphylococcus isolates.

On May 18, 2006, a report in Nature identified a new antibiotic, called platensimycin, that had demonstrated successful use against MRSA.

Ocean-dwelling living sponges produce compounds that may make MRSA more susceptible to antibiotics.

Cannabinoids (components of Cannabis sativa), including cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC) and cannabigerol (CBG), show activity against a variety of MRSA strains.

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:

http://www.healthalternativesonline.com/MRSA.html

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mrsa/DS00735

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methicillin-resistant_Staphylococcus_aureus

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/mrsa.shtml

http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/mrsa_initiative/skin_infection/mrsa_photo_003.html

http://www.suite101.com/view_image_articles.cfm/1307955

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Lyme disease

Definition:
Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans by ticks that feed on the blood of animals such as deer or sheep, mice, hedgehogs, pheasants, hamsters and squirrels. It was first recognized in the United States in 1975 after a mysterious outbreak of arthritis near Old Lyme, Connecticut. Since then, reports of Lyme disease have increased dramatically, and the disease has become an important public health problem.
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It is an inflammatory disease and is the most common tick-borne disease in North America, Europe, and Asia. Connecticut has the highest annual rate of new cases of Lyme disease each year. The name Lyme disease was used because of the number of children in Lyme, Connecticut who first developed this problem back in the late 1970s.

More than 90 percent of the Lyme disease cases in the United States continue to occur in Connecticut and nine other states including New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Delaware, Maryland, and Minnesota.

However, the link between tick bites and a condition affecting the nervous system has been recognised for much longer and was known as tick-borne meningoencephalitis

Ticks can be tiny, just one or two mm across and their saliva contains painkillers, anticoagulants and immune suppressants. Many bites, therefore, go unnoticed. If undetected, the tick will typically remain in place for several days, and will drop off when finished feeding.

The bacteria are carried in the tick’s gut, and can take some time to move into its mouthparts and then into your body. The risk of infection increases the longer the tick is left in position. Normally, the risk is minimal if the tick is removed or falls off within 24 hours. However, it’s possible to be infected at any time after a bite. A partially fed tick, for example, can pass on the infection relatively quickly. In any given tick population, it’s thought that about 15 to 20 per cent carry Lyme disease. Only a small percentage of tick bites will lead to the condition.

Once the person is infected with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, there are several possible outcomes. The infection may be cleared without problems (some people have no symptoms but develop antibodies showing they have been exposed to the bacteria).

Alternatively the bacteria may spread through the body causing symptoms of infection, or in some cases it may trigger an immune response that leads to symptoms such as arthritis.

Symptoms:
The initial tick bite may be so small that more than half of those bitten don’t even notice or remember a bite. Between two days and four weeks later, an expanding, circular red rash appears in about 40 per cent of cases, usually at or near the site of the bite.

Sometimes several of these rashes appear, which usually don’t itch or burn. Tiredness, headache, joint pains and flu-like symptoms may also occur. If no treatment is given, the rash will typically persist for two to three weeks. After that about one in three people have no further problems.

If no treatment is received, more than 60 per cent of those with Lyme disease will go on to stage 2 of the condition within six months. A wide range of symptoms have been recorded including:

•Fatigue
•Symptoms similar to meningitis
•Peripheral nervous symptoms such as numbness or tingling sensations
•In some cases psychiatric symptoms
These episodes may go on for many years. There may also be problems with nerve palsies (for example, weakness of the nerves to the muscles of the face), inflammation or damage of the nerves, abnormal heart rhythms, and severe malaise.

For some people Lyme disease then persists in a chronic form or Stage 3, where arthritis, neurological damage and fibromyalgia (severe aching and weak muscles) continue to affect them long term.

The symptoms of Lyme disease are partly determined by the particular strain of B burgdorferi bacteria. The strain most often seen in Europe tends to lead to neurological or nerve disease.

Causes:
It’s not just visitors to rural North America who might be exposed to these tick-borne infections. Infected ticks can be found across the UK, and anyone who enjoys exploring UK’s woodlands and uplands may also be at risk. People like gamekeepers, farmers and hunters are also at risk.

Cases have occurred in urban parks and gardens too. The common factor is the presence of deep vegetation and a supply of mammals and birds for ticks to feed on.

Diagnosis
Doctors diagnose Lyme disease based on your health history and a physical exam. Your doctor may order blood tests, but they are only used to confirm the diagnosis. The techniques used to test your blood are called ELISA and Western blot. Both tests can sometimes give false positive or unclear results. If you have had the infection for less than six weeks, your body may not even be making enough antibodies to be detected in the tests.

Lyme disease affecting the knee must be differentiated from septic (infectious) arthritis, which has both a different cause and a different treatment. The two distinguishing features of septic knee arthritis that set it apart from Lyme knee arthritis are refusal to put weight on the knee and fever (more then 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit). Patients with Lyme disease may have a low-grade fever and pain on weight-bearing but do not exhibit the high fever and refusal to put weight on the affected leg observed more often with septic knee arthritis.

When trying to rule out septic arthritis, the synovial fluid (the lubricating fluid of a joint) or spinal fluid may need to be analyzed. Studies show that patients with septic (infectious) knee arthritis are 3.6 times more likely to have a high synovial fluid cell count compared with patients with Lyme disease. But some patients with Lyme disease have elevated synovial fluid cell count, too so this test is just one of many tools used to diagnose the problem. The fluid can also be cultured to identify the presence of bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus (staph infection), streptococcus pneumonia (strep infection), or other less common types of bacterial infections. Bacteria associated with septic arthritis help rule out a diagnosis of Lyme disease.

Treatment:
If you think you may have been bitten, tell your doctor, and mention where you’ve been walking, especially if you know that there are ticks in that area. When infection with Lyme disease is suspected, blood tests can be used to help support the diagnosis, but don’t identify all cases.

Once Lyme disease has been diagnosed, treatment is with antibiotics which need to be at high dose and may need to be given as a prolonged course , sometimes even intravenously for maximum effect. Some complications of Lyme disease need specific treatments – for example if a person develops a slow heart rhythm, they may need a pacemaker

In most cases symptoms settle (even if treatment isn’t given, symptoms may eventually get better) but Lyme disease can cause more serious long term problems. Given the small amount of research in this area, medical opinion is divided as to the cause and best treatment for long term symptoms.

Prevention:
To prevent Lyme disease, avoid grasslands and wooded areas where incidence of the disease is high. When outside in these areas, apply insect repellent containing DEET (n,n-diethyl-m toluamide) to exposed skin. Apply permethrin (kills ticks on contact) to clothes and avoid getting this substance on the skin because it is toxic.

Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants tucked into boots may prevent ticks from reaching the skin. Light-colored clothing makes it easier to see ticks.

Check clothing and skin carefully, especially where clothing touches the skin (e.g., cuffs, underwear elastic). Shower after all outdoor activities; if a tick is on the skin but unattached, it may wash off.

Avoid being bitten. Ticks in the nymph stage are tiny and spider-like (about the size of a poppy seed), so are difficult to see. The larger ticks you might see on your pets are the adult stage of the same species. They can attach to any part of the body, especially to moist or hairy areas in the groin, armpits, and scalp.

When camping or walking in places where the ticks may be, the following measures are helpful:

•Wear long sleeves and trousers
•Tuck trousers into socks
•Wear light-coloured clothing so ticks are easier to see
•Try not to sit on the ground in areas of vegetation
•Consider using insect repellents
•Keep to pathways and, where possible, avoid areas of overgrown vegetation
•Check for ticks regularly during the day and especially before going to bed
•Remove any ticks found attached to the skin straight away

Remove ticks using a purpose made tool, or fine forceps, which hold the tick close to the skin without squeezing its body. Apply antiseptic cream after removal. Don’t use your fingers, or apply heat, petroleum jelly or any other creams or chemicals.

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:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/lymedisease1.shtml

http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/hb/hblyme.htm

http://www.healthcommunities.com/lyme-disease/lyme-disease-prevention.shtml?c1=GAW_SE_NW&source=GAW&kw=lymes_disease_signs_and_symptoms&cr5=11776947702

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/19617.htm

http://www.concordortho.com/patient-education/topic-detail-popup.aspx?topicID=a8f19ed4a4860e4dc3e8a8c8b2489cbe

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Umbellularia californica

Botanical Name :Umbellularia californica
Family :Lauraceae – Laurel family
Genus : Umbellularia (Nees) Nutt. – California laurel
Species: Umbellularia californica (Hook. & Arn.) Nutt. – California laurel
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class : Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Order :Laurales

Common Name :California Laurel

Habitat : Umbellularia californica is a large tree native to coastal forests of California and slightly extended into Oregon.It ranges near the coast from Douglas County, Oregon south through California to San Diego County. It is also found in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It occurs at altitudes from sea level up to 1600 m.

Description:
An evergreen shrub to tree. Its final height is 47\’average (in 100+years). It grows only a few inches a year here along the coast it may grow a much as 4\’ or so each year. The leaves are aromatic like its cousin from Greece. Native to the mountains of Calif. and into Oregon. It likes sun in the mountains and along the coast where the rainfall is above 30 inches/year. In the interior give part shade and moderate water. Its leaves used as seasoning. It tolerates serpentine soil. A refined plant. No cold damage at 10 deg., burnt to the ground at 0.Easy to hold at 6-8\’. Good in containers. This species releases terpenes that inhibit seedlings (weeds). (Rice)


It is the sole species in the genus Umbellularia.

Its pungent leaves have a similar flavor to bay leaves (though stronger), and it may be mistaken for Bay Laurel.The fragrant leaves are smooth-edged and lens shaped, 3–10 cm long and 1.5–3 cm broad, similar to the related Bay Laurel though usually narrower, and without the crinkled margin of that species.

The flowers are small, yellow or yellowish-green, produced in a small umbel (hence the scientific name Umbellularia, “little umbel”).

An unripe Bay nutThe fruit, also known as “California Bay nut”, is a round and green berry 2–2.5 cm long and 2 cm broad, lightly spotted with yellow, maturing purple. Under the thin, leathery skin, it consists of an oily, fleshy covering over a single hard, thin-shelled pit, and resembles a miniature avocado. Genus Umbellularia is in fact closely related to the avocado’s genus Persea, within the Lauraceae family. The fruit ripens around October–November in the native range.

In Oregon, this tree is known as Oregon Myrtle, while in California it is called California Bay Laurel, which may be shortened to California Bay or California Laurel. It has also been called Pepperwood, Spicebush, Cinnamon Bush, Peppernut Tree and Headache Tree. This hardwood species is only found on the Southern Oregon and Northern California Coast. It has a color range from blonde (like maple) to brown (like walnut). Myrtlewood is considered a world-class tonewood and is sought after by luthiers and woodworkers from around the world.

Historical usage:
Umbellularia has long been valued for its many uses by Native Americans throughout the tree’s range, including the Cahuilla, Chumash, Pomo, Miwok, Yuki, Coos and Salinan people.

The leaf has been used as a cure for headache, toothache, and earache—though the volatile oils in the leaves may also cause headaches when used in excess. Poultices of Umbellularia leaves were used to treat rheumatism and neuralgias. Laurel leaf tea was made to treat stomach aches, colds, sore throats, and to clear up mucus in the lungs. The leaves were steeped in hot water to make an infusion that was used to wash sores.  The Pomo and Yuki tribes of Mendocino County treated headaches by placing a single leaf in the nostril or bathing the head with a laurel leaf infusion.

Both the flesh and the inner kernel of the fruit have been used as food by Native Americans. The fatty outer flesh of the fruit, or mesocarp, is palatable raw for only a brief time when ripe; prior to this the volatile aromatic oils are too strong, and afterwards the flesh quickly becomes bruised, like that of an overripe avocado. Native Americans dried the fruits in the sun and ate only the lower third of the dried mesocarp, which is less pungent.

The hard inner seed underneath the fleshy mesocarp, like the pit of an avocado, cleaves readily in two when its thin shell is cracked. The pit itself was traditionally roasted to a dark chocolate-brown color, removing much of the pungency and leaving a spicy flavor. Roasted, shelled “bay nuts” were eaten whole, or ground into powder and prepared as a drink which resembles unsweetened chocolate. The flavor, depending on roast level, has been described variously as “roast coffee,” “dark chocolate” or “burnt popcorn”. The powder might also be pressed into cakes and dried for winter storage, or used in cooking. It has been speculated that the nuts of U. californica contain a stimulant;  however this possible effect has been little documented by biologists.

Modern usage
The leaf can be used in cooking, but is spicier and “headier” than the Mediterranean bay leaf sold in groceries, and should be used in smaller quantity. Umbellularia leaf imparts a somewhat stronger camphor/cinnamon flavor compared to the Mediterranean Bay.  The two Bay trees are related within the Laurel family, along with the Cinnamons.

Some modern-day foragers and wild food enthusiasts have revived Native American practices regarding the edible roasted fruit, the bay nut.

U. californica is also used in woodworking. It is considered a tonewood, used to construct the back and sides of acoustic guitars. The wood is very hard and fine, and is also made into bowls, spoons, and other small items and sold as “myrtlewood”.

U. Californica is also grown as an ornamental tree, both in its native area, and elsewhere further north up the Pacific coast to Vancouver in Canada, and in western Europe. It is occasionally used for firewood.

One popular use for the leaves is to put them between the bed mattresses to get rid of, or prevent flea infestations.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is still used a  pain reliever for headaches and rheumatism.  A tea from the leaves is one method of administration.  For rheumatism, early settlers used a hot bath in which they had steeped laurel leaves.  Others blended the oil from the leaves with lard and rubbed the mixture on the body.  The crushed leaves are an excellent herbal “smelling salt,” held briefly under the nose of a person who is faint or has fainted.  Prolonged breathing of the crushed leaves can cause a short-term frontal headache which can be cured, oddly enough, by a tea of the leaves.  The crushed leaves make an excellent tea for all headaches and neuralgia, possessing substantial anodyne effects and they further have value as a treatment for the tenesmus or cramps from diarrhea, food poisoning, and gastroenteritis in general—two to four leaves crushed and steeped for tea, repeated as needed.  California laurel was employed medicinally by some native North American Indian tribes who used it particularly as an analgesic to treat a variety of complaints. It has a beneficial effect upon the digestive system. An infusion has been used by women to ease the pains of afterbirth. Externally, an infusion has been used as a bath in the treatment of rheumatism. A decoction of the leaves has been used as a wash on sores and to remove vermin from the head. They are harvested as required and can be used fresh or dried.  A poultice of the ground seeds has been used to treat sores.  The seeds have been eaten as a stimulant.

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.

Resources:

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=UMCA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbellularia

http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/umbellularia-californica

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Calliopsis

Botanical Name :Coreopsis tinctoria
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Coreopsis
Species: C. tinctoria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name :Calliopsis ,:Plains coreopsis, golden tickseed

Habitat :Calliopsis is common to much of the United States, especially the Great Plains and southern states .

Description:
Calliopsis is an annual forb. The small, slender seeds germinate in fall (overwintering as a low rosette) or early spring. Growing quickly, plants attain heights of 12 to 40 inches (30–100 cm). Leaves are pinnately-divided, glabrous and tending to thin at the top of the plant where numerous 1- to 1.5-inch (2.5-to 4-cm) flowers sit atop slender stems. Flowers are brilliant yellow with maroon or brown centers of various sizes. Flowering typically occurs in mid-summer.
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Cultivation:
Plains coreopsis grows well in many types of soil, but seems to prefer sandy or well-drained soils. Although somewhat drought-tolerant, naturally growing plants are usually found in areas with regular rainfall. It is often grows in disturbed areas such as roadsides or cultivated fields. Preferring full sun, it will also grow in partial shade.

Because of its easy growing habits and bright, showy flowers such as Roulettte (tiger stripes of gold on a deep mahogany ground), Plains coreopsis is increasingly used for landscape beautification and in flower gardens.

Medicinal Uses:
Native Americans chewed the leaves for toothache, and applied a poultice of them to skin sores and bruises.  The powdered root in warm water was used as a wash for sore eyes.  A tea made of the root was used for stomachache, diarrhea, and fever. This plant is an effective astringent and hemostatic, with its effects lasting the length of the intestinal tract and therefore of use in dysentery and general intestinal inflammations.  It may be used as a systemic hemostatic; when drunk after a sprain or major bruise or hematoma will help stabilize the injury and facilitate quicker healing.  The tea will also lessen menstrual flow.  A few leaves in a little water or a weak tea is a soothing eyewash.

Other Uses:This plant is used mainly for landscape beautification.  It has potential for use in cultivated, garden situations, in naturalized prairie or meadow plantings, and along roadsides.

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.

Sources:

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plains_coreopsis

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COTI3&photoID=coti3_004_ahp.tif

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Calea zacatechichi

Botanical Name : Calea zacatechichi
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Calea
Species: C. ternifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales

Common Name:Dream Herb, Bitter Grass,Calea zacatechichi

Habitat:The plant naturally occurs from southern Mexico to northern Costa Rica. It has been scientifically demonstrated that extracts of this plant increase reaction times and the frequency and/or recollection of dreams versus placebo and diazepam.

Description:
Calea zacatechichi is a medium sized shrub that has reportedly been used by the Chontal indians of Mexico as a hallucinogen. Its dried leaves are used before sleep to increase dreaming. Its effects are not well documented.

 

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Cultivation:
Generally Calea is a southern plant. Growing Calea from fresh seed is easy; also cloning this plant is extremely simple. The most common way to grow it is propagation from cuttings or layers, the latter of which is very easy in late summer. The Calea plant likes full sun, well drained soils, and medium irrigation. Anecdotal evidence suggests the flowering or post flowering plant harvested in the dry or cold season yields the best herbal product. A good soil mix for calea cultivation is: 1/3 of a rich substrate, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 of humus, or a light garden soil.

Propagation:
Propagation from seeds can be tried with the following method: Sow the seeds in a pot with the soil mix indicated as above. Don’t cover the seeds, moisten the seeds with water and cover with a plastic bag. This little greenhouse needs from 4 to 6 hours of light to germinate. If the seeds dry out during this period, the plants will not germinate.

Medicinal Uses:
The Chontal medicine men, who assert that this plant is capable of “clarifying the senses” causing euphoria, call it thle-pela-kano, meaning “leaf of God”. Whenever they desire to know the cause of an illness or the location of a distant or lost person, the common ritual is to smoke a cigarette, whilst drinking a tea, both made of Calea Zacatechichi, right before going to sleep. Some also report placing the leaf of God under their pillow before sleeping. Reportedly, the answer to the question comes in a dream

Calea zacatechichi is a plant used by the Chontal Indians of Mexico to obtain divinatory messages during dreaming. At human doses, organic extracts of the plant produce the EEG and behavioral signs of somnolence and induce light sleep in cats. Large doses elicit salivation, ataxia, retching and occasional vomiting. The effects of the plant upon cingulum discharge frequency were significantly different from hallucinogenic- dissociative drugs (ketamine. quipazine, phencyclidine and SKF-10017). In human healthy volunteers, low doses of the extracts administered in a double-blind design against placebo increased reaction time end time-lapse estimation. A controlled nap sleep study in the same volunteers showed that Calea extracts increased the superficial stages of sleep and the number of spontaneous awakenings. The subjective reports of dreams were significantly higher than both placebo and diazepam, indicating an increase in hypnagogic imagery occurring during superficial sleep stages. Sources: Crimson Sage

Chemical composition:
Several compounds have been isolated from the plant, including the sesquiterpenes calaxin, ciliarin (Ortega et al.), the germacranolides 1-beta-acetoxy zacatechinolide and 1-oxo zacatechinolide (Bohlmann and Zdero), caleochromene A and B, calein A and B (Quijano et al.), caleicine I and II (Ramos, 1979), as well as acacetin, o-methyl acacetin, zexbrevin and an analogue, and several analogues of budlein A and neurolenin B, including calein A (Herz and Kumar).

Preparation and dosage:
Crushed dried leaves are steeped in hot water, and the resulting tea is drunk slowly, after which the user lies down in a quiet place and smokes a cigarette of the dried leaves of the same plant. The human dose for divinatory purposes reported by the Chontal people is a handful of dried plant, but effects can be felt with as little as two to three grams of dried leaf matter. The user knows that he or she has taken a large enough dose when a sense of tranquility and drowsiness is experienced and when he or she hears the beats of his or her own heart and pulse. Calea is an extremely bitter herb and is known to induce strong nausea when drunk. Many users prefer to smoke it rather than drinking the tea. Alternatively alcoholic tinctures and placing the leaf matter in algae capsules can be as effective as tea while being much less bitter and much more palatable. There are no reports of hangover or other undesirable side effects. Many report an extremely mild cannabis like state of relaxation from smoking calea leaf or taking calea tincture.

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.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calea_zacatechichi

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

http://www.shamansgarden.com/p-150-calea-zacatechichi-dream-herb.aspx

http://www.erowid.org/plants/calea_zacatechichi/

http://naturalhealingherbs.org/product_info.php?products_id=273

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Lipomas

Definition:
A lipoma is a slow-growing, fatty lump that’s most often situated between your skin and the underlying muscle layer. Often a lipoma is easy to identify because it moves readily with slight finger pressure. It’s doughy to touch and usually not tender

 

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A lipoma is a benign tumor composed of adipose tissue. It is the most common form of soft tissue tumor. Lipomas are soft to the touch, usually movable, and are generally painless. Many lipomas are small (under one centimeter diameter) but can enlarge to sizes greater than six centimeters. Lipomas are commonly found in adults from 40 to 60 years of age, but can also be found in children. Some sources claim that malignant transformation can occur, while others say that this has yet to be convincingly documented
:
Symptoms & Types:
There are several subtypes of lipoma:

*Angiolipoleiomyoma is an acquired, solitary, asymptomatic acral nodule, characterized histologically by well-circumscribed subcutaneous tumors composed of smooth muscle cells, blood vessels, connective tissue, and fat.

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*Angiolipoma is a painful subcutaneous nodule, having all other features of a typical lipoma.
Chondroid lipomas are deep-seated, firm, yellow tumors that characteristically occur on the legs of women.

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*Corpus callosum lipoma is a rare congenital condition which may or may not present with symptoms. Lipomas are usually relatively small with diameters of about 1–3 cm, but in rare cases they can grow over several years into “giant lipomas” that are 10–20 cm across and weigh up to 4–5 kg.

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*Hibernoma is a lipoma of brown fat.

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*Intradermal spindle cell lipoma is distinct in that it most commonly affects women, and has a wide distribution, occurring with relatively equal frequency on the head and neck, trunk, and upper and lower extremities.

*Neural fibrolipoma is an overgrowth of fibro-fatty tissue along a nerve trunk that often leads to nerve compression.

*Pleomorphic lipomas, like spindle-cell lipomas, occur for the most part on the backs and necks of elderly men, and are characterized by floret giant cells with overlapping nuclei.

*Spindle-cell lipoma is an asymptomatic, slow-growing subcutaneous tumor that has a predilection for the posterior back, neck, and shoulders of older men.

*Superficial subcutaneous lipoma, the most common type of lipoma, lies just below the surface of the skin. Most occur on the trunk, thighs and the forearms, although they may be found anywhere in the body where fat is located.


Causes:
The exact cause of lipomas is unknown. Lipomas tend to run in families, so genetic factors likely play a role in their development.But the tendency to develop a lipoma is not necessarily hereditary although hereditary conditions, such as familial multiple lipomatosis, may include lipoma development. Genetic studies in mice from the laboratory of Santa J. Ono have shown a correlation between the HMG I-C gene (previously identified as a gene related to obesity) and lipoma development. These studies support prior epidemiologic data in humans showing a correlation between HMG I-C and mesenchymal tumors.

Cases have been reported where minor injuries are alleged to have triggered the growth of a lipoma, called “post-traumatic lipomas.” However, the link between trauma and the development of lipomas is controversial.
Diagnosis:
The diagnosis for lipoma is a simple physical examination by a health care provider. Because lipoma resembles another tumor which is cancerous, liposarcoma, a doctor may perform a biopsy of the tumor.(A tissue sample removal (biopsy) for lab examination).

An ultrasound or other imaging test, such as an MRI or CT scan,may be required  if the lipoma is large, has unusual features or appears to be deeper than the fatty tissue.

Liposarcomas — cancerous tumors in fatty tissues — grow rapidly, don’t move under the skin and are usually painful. A biopsy, MRI or CT scan is typically done if your doctor suspects liposarcoma.

Treatment:
Usually, treatment of a lipoma is not necessary, unless the tumor becomes painful or restricts movement. They are usually removed for cosmetic reasons, if they grow very large, or for histopathology to check that they are not a more dangerous type of tumor such as a liposarcoma.

Lipomas are normally removed by simple excision. The removal can often be done under local anaesthetic, and take less than 30 minutes. This cures the majority of cases, with about 1-2% of lipomas recurring after excision. Liposuction is another option if the lipoma is soft and has a small connective tissue component. Liposuction typically results in less scarring; however, with large lipomas it may fail to remove the entire tumor, which can lead to re-growth.

There are new methods being developed that are supposed to remove the lipomas without scarring. One of them is removal by the use of injection of compounds that trigger lipolysis, such as steroids or phosphatidylcholine.

Prognosis:
Lipomas are rarely life-threatening and the common subcutaneous lipomas are not a serious condition. Lipomas growing in internal organs can be more dangerous, for example lipomas in the gastrointestinal tract can cause bleeding, ulceration and painful obstructions. Malignant transformation of lipomas into liposarcomas is very rare and most liposarcomas are not produced from pre-existing benign lesions, although a few cases of malignant transformation have been described for bone and kidney lipomas. It is possible these few reported cases were well-differentiated liposarcomas in which the subtle malignant characteristics were missed when the tumour was first examined. Deep lipomas have a greater tendency to recur than superficial lipomas, because complete surgical removal of deep lipomas is not always possible

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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipoma

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lipoma/DS00634

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/1209.htm

http://www.helium.com/items/1297816-lipoma-diagnosis-and-treatment

http://www.mdguidelines.com/lipoma

http://www.kmle.co.kr/search.php?Search=angiolipoleiomyoma

http://www.cholinergicurticaria.net/2008/10/13/could-angiolipomas-or-tumors-cause-cholinergic-urticaria/

http://www.med.uc.edu/neurorad/webpage/eua.html

http://www.lookfordiagnosis.com/mesh_info.php?term=Lipoma&lang=1

http://radiographics.rsna.org/content/19/5/1253.full

http://www.medscape.com/content/2001/00/40/56/405672/art-nf1001.01.fig1.jpg

 

 

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Eryngium aquaticum

Botanical Name:Eryngium aquaticum
Family : Apiaceae – Carrot family
Genus: Eryngium L. – eryngo
Species : Eryngium aquaticum L. – rattlesnakemaster
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class : Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass : Rosidae
Order : Apiales

Common Names:Button’s Snakeroot Eryngo,Rattlesnake master,Button snakeroot eryngo, button snakeroot, corn snakeroot, eryngo, feverweed, rattlesnake flag, rattlesnake weed, water eryngo.

Habitat: Fresh to brackish marshes, streams, ponds and bogs, and wet pinelands. Although sometimes occurring on dry land, button-snakeroot usually inhabits swamps and low, wet ground from Connecticut and the pine barrens of New Jersey to Illinois and South Dakota and south to Texas and Florida.

Description:
This  plant has grasslike, rigid, parallel-veined leaves 1 to 2 feet in length and about one-half inch in width. The stout furrowed stem reaches a height of from 2 to 6 feet and is generally unbranched except near the top. . The insignificant whitish flowers are borne in dense, stout-stemmed heads from June to September. The stout rootstock is very knotty, with numerous short branches, and produces many thick, rather straight roots.

Medicinal Uses:
Indians used this plant to prevent poisoning, reduce fever, and increase urine flow.  They pounded the root, mixed it with water, and drank the potion as a cure for kidney trouble, neuralgia and arthritis, and as a blood purifier.  They also chewed the stems and leaves as a nosebleed remedy, and used a tea of the plants to cure severe dysentery.  A decoction of the plant was drunk at some Indian ceremonials to induce vomiting.  It is used now mainly in the treatment of disorders of the kidneys and sexual organs. It has been used as an antidote to snake poison.  The pounded roots are used as a diuretic. An infusion of them is used to reduce fevers.  The plant is used as an antidote to snakebites. The roots are chewed and applied to the bite.  A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh or dried root.

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.

Resources:

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ERAQ&photoID=eraq_1v.jpg

http://www.scienceviews.com/plants/rattlesnakemaster.html

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/herbhunters/buttonsnakeroot.html

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Hair Colouring

Grey Hair & Wrinkles

Grey Hair & Wrinkles (Photo credit: Bunches and Bits {Karina})

As we grow older several changes take place in our body, some visible, others not so visible. The most obvious one is the hair — and moustache in the case of men — turning grey from jet black. Unfortunately, nowadays it is not just senior citizens who are greying but also those in their twenties or early thirties. Twenty years ago, 18 per cent of adults under the age of 30 had started to grey. According to a recent report, that figure is now close to 32 per cent. Hair care brands have come up with a new mnemonic for grey haired over stressed twenty something — GHOSTS. The first grey hair stresses out GHOSTS even more as the current job market prizes youth — or at least looking youthful — over experience.

The age at which one starts to grey is determined genetically. At that age the hair cells stop producing the colouring pigment melanin. This makes the shaft of the hair transparent. Light reflects off it, giving it its white appearance. Not all hairs stop producing melanin simultaneously. The mixed white and normal black makes the hair appear grey.

People who are exposed constantly to pollution and UV rays can get grey hair even before their genetically determined age to grey. The poisonous chemicals in tobacco kill the melanocytes, making smokers go grey before their non-smoking peers. Deficiency of vitamin B12 can also cause premature greying, as can a a peculiar type of anaemia called pernicious anaemia. Thyroid malfunction can also turn hair grey.

Grey hair has been cosmetically unacceptable for centuries. People used all kinds of natural dyes such as henna, indigo, walnut, curry leaves, gooseberries, tea, coffee, hibiscus flowers and arecanut either alone or in combination to colour grey hair. These natural products are used even today. Most, if used consistently, produce a dark brown colour. They are popular as they are inexpensive, can be applied at home, and are considered safe. But some people are allergic to even herbal products.

Hair can also be dyed with commercially available colouring agents. Temporary colours last a single wash. They can be funky colours like pink, blue or green but dark hair will not take these unless it is bleached first. Repeated use of these dyes without proper conditioning can, however, make hair brittle and lustreless.

Permanent hair colouring is the one usually used to disguise grey hair. It is a two-step process. First the hair is lightened using an agent like hydrogen peroxide or ammonia. Then the dye is applied and fixed. The colouring lasts until the hair grows out. This can be anything between 4 to 6 weeks.

Some people are allergic to hair dyes. Redness, itching, burning or skin rashes can occur either immediately or within 48 hours. To prevent this, before applying a dye for the first time, or switching brands, do a patch test. Take a small quantity of dye and apply it to the skin [usually on the inside of the elbow] for a day to see if there is any reaction. Sometimes a person can turn allergic to a product that they have been using safely for many years.

If hair is being coloured at home, it is important to follow the instructions on the package implicitly. Before using the dye, apply Vaseline to the hairline and ears. This will prevent the skin from staining. Always use gloves to apply the colour. Leave it on the hair for the time specified. Then wash it off with water. Apply a conditioner and leave it on for 7-9 minutes. Shampoo the next day.

Most shampoos (particularly the anti-dandruff ones) are harsh and unsuitable for regular use on coloured hair. Special colour safe shampoos and conditioners should be used to preserve the health of hair and minimise fading.

Hair that has been damaged by excessive and improper exposure to chemicals becomes dry, rough and fragile. The only solution is to stop using chemicals and cut off the damaged bit.

Hair colour should also not be used to darken facial hair because its texture is different and also because using traditional hair dyes so close to the nose can be distressing because of the odour of ammonia and other chemicals. The best thing to use is a range of colouring products labelled “just for men”.

How to delay greying:
*Avoid stress
*Don’t smoke
*Avoid too much exposure to ultraviolet rays
*Exercise regularly
*Eat at least 4-5 helpings of fruit and vegetables a day.
*Take care of your stomach &  liver function
*Try to avoid pollution

You may click to see :

*Grey Hair – Why & How to Treat it

*Experts Uncover Cause of Greyness

*Going gray? Hair ‘Bleaches Itself as People Age’

*Why does hair turn grey?

*What Causes Grey Hair
Source :The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Cyst

Definition:
A cyst is a closed, saclike structure that contains fluid, gas, or semisolid material and is not a normal part of the tissue where it is located. Cysts are common and can occur anywhere in the body in people of any age. Cysts vary in size; they may be detectable only under a microscope or they can grow so large that they displace normal organs and tissues. The outer wall of a cyst is called the capsule.

Click to see the picture

Ganglion Cyst

Ganglion Cyst (Photo credit: Glenn E. Malone)

A collection of pus is called an abscess, not a cyst. Once formed, a cyst could go away on its own or may have to be removed through surgery.

Locations:
*Acne cyst – Pseudocysts associated with cystic acne. Actually an inflammatory nodule with or without an associated epidermoid inclusion cyst.
*Arachnoid cyst (between the surface of the brain and the cranial base or on the arachnoid membrane)
*Baker’s cyst or popliteal cyst (behind the knee joint)
*Bartholin’s cyst
*Breast cyst
*Buccal bifurcation cyst
*Calcifying odontogenic cyst
*Chalazion cyst (eyelid)
*Choroid plexus cyst (brain)
*Colloid cyst
*Cysticercal cyst (the larval stage of Taenia sp. (Crain’s backs))
*Dentigerous cyst (associated with the crowns of non-erupted teeth)
*Dermoid cyst (ovaries, testes, many other locations from head to tailbone)
*Epididymal cyst (found in the vessels attached to the testes)
*Ganglion cyst (hand/foot joints and tendons)
*Glandular odontogenic cyst
*Glial cyst (in the brain)
*Gartner’s duct cyst (vaginal or vulvar cyst of embryological origin)
*Hydatid cyst (larval stage of Echinococcus granulosus (tapeworm))
*Hydrocele (testicle)
*Keratocyst (in the jaws, these can appear solitary or associated with the Gorlin-Goltz or Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome. *The latest World Health Organization classification considers Keratocysts as tumors rather than cysts)
*Liver cystic disease
*Meibomian cyst (eyelid)
*Mucoid cyst (ganglion cysts of the digits)
*Nabothian cyst (cervix)
*Ovarian cyst (ovaries, functional and pathological)
*Paradental cyst
*Paratubal cyst (fallopian tube)
*Periapical cyst (The periapical cyst, otherwise known as radicular cyst, is the most common odontogenic cyst.)
*Pericardial cyst
*Peritoneal cyst (lining of the abdominal cavity)
*Pilar cyst (cyst of the scalp)
*Pilonidal cyst (skin infection near tailbone)
*Renal cyst (kidneys)
*Polycystic ovary syndrome
*Pineal gland cyst
*Radicular cyst (associated with the roots of non-vital teeth, also known as Periapical cyst)
*Residual cyst
*Sebaceous cyst (sac below skin)
*Spermatocele (testicle)
*Tarlov cyst (spine)
*Trichilemmal cyst – Same as a pilar cyst. A familial cyst of the scalp.
*Vocal fold cyst

Cystic fibrosis:
Despite being described in 1938 as the microscopic appearance of cysts in the pancreas, cystic fibrosis is an example of a genetic disorder whose name is related to fibrosis of the cystic duct and does not involve actual cysts

Cystic neoplasm:
Most cysts in the body are benign (dysfunctional) tumors, the result of plugged ducts or other natural body outlets for secretions. However sometimes these masses are considered neoplasm:

*Dermoid cyst
*Keratocyst
*Calcifying odotogenic cyst

Symptoms:
Sometimes you can feel a cyst yourself when you feel an abnormal “lump.” For example, cysts of the skin or tissues beneath the skin are usually noticeable. Cysts in the mammary glands (breasts) also may be palpable (meaning that you can feel them when you examine the area with your fingers). Cysts of internal organs such as the kidneys or liver may not produce any symptoms or may not be detected by the affected individual.

Causes:
Cysts can arise through a variety of processes in the body, including

#”wear and tear” or simple obstructions to the flow of fluid,

#infections,

#tumors,

#chronic inflammatory conditions,

#genetic (inherited) conditions,

#defects in developing organs in the embryo.

Most cysts arise due to the types of conditions listed above and are only preventable to the extent that the underlying cause is preventable.

Diagnosis:
Cysts of internal organs such as the kidneys or liver may not produce any symptoms or may not be detected by the affected individual. These cysts often are first discovered by imaging studies (X-ray, ultrasound, computerized tomography or CAT scan, and magnetic resonance imaging or MRI). Cysts may or may not produce symptoms, depending upon their size and location.

Treatment:
The treatment for a cyst depends upon the cause of the cyst along with its location. Cysts that are very large and result in symptoms due to their size may be surgically removed. Sometimes the fluid contained within a cyst can be drained, or aspirated, by inserting a needle or catheter into the cyst cavity, resulting in collapse of the cyst. Radiologic imaging may be used for guidance in draining (aspirating) cyst contents if the cyst is not easily accessible. Drainage or removal of a cyst at home is not advised.

Surgical removal of a cyst is sometimes necessary. If there is any suspicion that a cyst is cancerous, the cyst is generally removed by surgery or a biopsy is taken of the cyst wall (capsule) to rule out malignancy. In certain cases, aspirated fluid from a cyst is examined under a microscope to determine if cancer cells are present in the cyst.

If a cyst arises as part of a chronic medical condition (for example, in polycystic ovary syndrome or fibrocystic breast disease), treatment is generally directed at the underlying medical condition.

Prognosis:
The majority of cysts are benign conditions and do not result in long-term or serious complications. However, cysts that are associated with malignancy or serious infections can have a poor prognosis.

Prevention:
Prevention of cyst formation is only possible to the extent to which prevention of the underlying cause of the cyst is possible. Most kinds of cysts are not preventable.

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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyst

http://www.medicinenet.com/cysts/article.htm

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Pinguicula vulgaris

Botanical Name : Pinguicula vulgaris
Family: Lentibulariaceae
Genus: Pinguicula
Species: P. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name:Butterwort,Common butterwort

Habitat :Pinguicula vulgaris is native to almost every country in Europe as well as Russia, Canada, and the United States.

Description:
Pinguicula vulgaris is a perennial carnivorous plant in the Lentibulariaceae family.It is a small plant with rosettes of light green to yellow green leaves .It grows to a height of 3–16 cm, and is topped with a purple, and occasionally white, flower that is 15 mm or longer, and shaped like a funnel. This butterwort grows in damp environs such as bogs and swamps, in low or subalpine elevations.Being native to environments with cold winters, they produce a winter-resting bud (hibernacula) during the winter

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Small insects are trapped on their leaf surfaces with mucilage secreted by microscopic glands. Since they absorb the insect nutrients, they are considered to be carnivorous! They do well in terrariums with other carnivorous plants such as Dionaeas and Droseras.

Blooming Time: The small ¾ inch (2 cm) flowers have a slender spur that is violet to purple.

Cultivation:Pinguicula vulgaris need full sun to partial shade and prefer to be planted in an acidic, well-drained moist to wet soil. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of equal parts of fine sand and sphagnum. In a terrarium, you will need to add at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of horticultural charcoal before adding the soil mix. If grown in containers, the container should be placed in trays with at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water at all times. They should be watered with distilled water or rainwater because they will not tolerate the chemicals in city water or the hardness of our well water. Do not fertilize as this will also damage the plants. During the winter months, restrict the water somewhat, but never allow the plants to dry completely.

Propagation: Pinguicula vulgaris is propagated from seed, from offsets or by single leaves laid on moist sand.

Medicinal Uses:
Although the plant is protected in Europe, a Swiss medical laboratory used to carry on a profitable traffic, illegally importing hundreds of pounds of butterwort leaves from France, which it used to manufacture a cough syrup.  Whole stations of this uncommon plant were destroyed in the process.  Butterwort is rarely employed in European herbal medicine today.  Its main use is as a cough remedy, with properties similar to those of sundew, another insect-eating plant.  Butterwort may be used to treat chronic and convulsive coughs.  The thick plantain-shaped leaves were used for application to sores and chapped hands.

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.

Resources:

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinguicula_vulgaris

http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week233.shtml

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