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Ajuga chamaepitys

Botanical Name :Ajuga chamaepitys

Family: Lamiaceae

Genus:Ajuga

Species: A. chamaepitys

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Lamiales

Synonym:  European Ground Pine.

Habitat:Ajuga chamaepitys is a native of many parts of Europe, the Levant and North Africa, is common in sandy and chalky fields in Kent, Surrey and Essex, but otherwise is a scarce plant in England.

 

Description: A. chamaepitys is a small herbaceous perennial that reaches 10–40 cm in height. The leaves have an opposite arrangement. It’s flowering season is generally in late spring. Ground pine is a plant whose richness has been severely reduced by changes to downland farming. At first sight, A. chamaepitys looks like a tiny pine tree with a reddish purple four-cornered hairy stem. The leaves can get up to 4 cm long, and the leaves are divided into three linear lobes which, when crushed, has a smell similar to pine needles. Ground pine sheds its shiny black seeds close to the parent plant and the seeds can remain alive in the soil for up to 50 years. click to see….(1).…….…..(2).

Both in foliage and blossom it is very unlike its near relative, the Common Bugle, forming a bushy, herbaceous plant, 3 to 6 inches high, the four-cornered stem, hairy and viscid, generally purplish red, being much branched and densely leafy. Except the lowermost leaves, which are lanceshaped and almost undivided, each leaf is divided almost to its base into three very long, narrow segments, and the leaves being so closely packed together, the general appearance is not altogether unlike the long, needle-like foliage of the pine, hence the plant has received a second name- Ground Pine. The flowers are placed singly in the axils of leaf-like bracts and have bright yellow corollas, the lower lip spotted with red. They are in bloom during May and June. The whole plant is very hairy, with stiff hairs, which consist of a few long joints. It has a highly aromatic and turpentiny odour and taste.

Medicinal Uses: A. chamaepitys has stimulant, diuretic and emmenagogue action and is considered by herbalists to form a good remedy for gout and rheumatism and also to be useful in female disorders. Ground pine is a plant well known to Tudor herbalists who exploited the resins contained within the leaves. The herb was formerly regarded almost as a specific in gouty and rheumatic affections. The plant leaves were dried and reduced to powder. It formed an ingredient of the once famous gout remedy, Portland Powder. It was composed of the leaves of A. Chamaepitys, which has a slightly turpentine-like smell and a rough taste, with properties described as being similar to diluted alcohol.

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/Ajuga_chamaepitys http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bugley83.html

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Kalo Jam (Eugenia Jambolana )

Botanical Name:Eugenia Jambolana
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Syzygium
Species: S. cumini
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Syn. Syzygium jambolanum, Eugenia cumini

Common Names:Kalo jaml(in bengali), jambul/jambhul/jambu/jambula/jamboola, Java plum, jamun, jaam/kalojaam, jamblang, jambolan, black plum, Damson plum, Duhat plum, Jambolan plum or Portuguese plum. Malabar plum may also refer to other species of Syzygium. This fruit is called Jamun in Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi, Neredu Pandu in Telugu, Naaval Pazham in Tamil, Naaval Pazham in Malayalam, Nerale Hannu in Kannada, Jam in Bengali, Jamukoli in Oriya and Jambu in Gujarat. In the Philippines, common names include duhat in the Tagalog-speaking regions, lomboy in the Cebuano-speaking areas and inobog in Maguindanao.  It is called Dhanbu in Maldives and Dhuwet/Juwet in Javanese. Among its names in Portuguese are jamelão, jambolão, jalão, joão-bolão, manjelão, azeitona-preta, baga-de-freira, brinco-de-viúva and guapê, always with lower case, the early four derived from the Konkani name jambulan. They are called rotra in the Malagasy language (Madagascar).

Habitat:
Kalo Jam  is  native to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

The tree was introduced to Florida, USA in 1911 by the USDA, and is also now commonly grown in Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. In Brazil, where it was introduced from India during Portuguese colonization, it has dispersed spontaneously in the wild in some places, as its fruits are eagerly sought by various native birds such as thrushes, tanagers and the Great Kiskadee. This species is considered an invasive in Hawaii, USA. It is also illegal to grow, plant or transplant in Sanibel, Florida.

Description:
Kalo Jam  is an evergreen tropical tree in the flowering plant. It is  a slow growing species, it can reach heights of up to 30 m and can live more than 100 years. Its dense foliage provides shade and is grown just for its ornamental value. At the base of the tree, the bark is rough and dark grey, becoming lighter grey and smoother higher up. The wood is water resistant. Because of this it is used in railway sleepers and to install motors in wells. It is sometimes used to make cheap furniture and village dwellings though it is relatively hard to work on.
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The leaves which are an aroma similar to turpentine, are pinkish when young, changing to a leathery, glossy dark green with a yellow midrib as they mature. The leaves are used as food for livestock, as they have good nutritional value.

Kala Jambul trees start flowering from March to April. The flowers of are fragrant and small, about 5 mm in diameter. The fruits develop by May or June and resemble large berries. The fruit is oblong, ovoid, starts green and turns pink to shining crimson black as it matures. A variant of the tree produces white coloured fruit. The fruit has a combination of sweet, mildly sour and astringent flavour and tends to colour the tongue purple.

The seed is also used in various alternative healing systems like Ayurveda (to control diabetes, for example.), Unani and Chinese medicine for digestive ailments.

The leaves and bark are used for controlling blood pressure and gingivitis. Wine and vinegar are also made from the fruit. It has a high source in vitamin A and vitamin C.

Syzygium cumini has been spread overseas from India by Indian emigrants and at present is common in former tropical British colonies.

Edible Uses:
The black ripen fruits are delicious to eat and highlt nutritius.

Medicinal Uses:
* Diabetes
Properties: * Carminative * Hypoglycemic
Constituents:  oleanolic acid,

The seed, leaf, bark, and fruit are used to make medicine.

Kalo Jam is widely used in folk medicine for diabetes.

It is also used for digestion disorders including gas (flatulence), bowel spasms, stomach problems, and severe diarrhea (dysentery).

Another use is treatment of lung problems such as bronchitis and asthma.

Some people use Kalo Jam  as an aphrodisiac to increase interest in sexual activity, and as a tonic.

In combination with other herbs, jambolan seed is used for constipation, diseases of the pancreas, stomach problems, nervous disorders, depression, and exhaustion.

Jambolan is sometimes applied directly to the mouth and throat to reduce pain due to swelling (inflammation). It is also applied directly to the skin for skin ulcers and inflammation of the skin.

The fruit and seeds of the Kalo Jam  tree have long been used in Eastern traditional medicine, and are gaining more interest here in the West for the treatment of diabetes. Practitioners of Ayurveda in India value jambul for lowering blood sugar and researchers are investigating its potential as a male contraceptive. Jambul is used in Unani and Chinese medicine for digestive ailments. The leaves and bark are used for controlling blood pressure and gingivitis. Wine and vinegar are also made from the fruit. It has a high source in vitamin A and vitamin C.

click to see to learn more :

Other Uses:
Cultural and religious significance

According to Hindu tradition, Rama subsisted on the fruit in the forest for 14 years during his exile from Ayodhya[citation needed]. Because of this, many Hindus regard S. cumini as a ‘fruit of the gods,’ especially in Gujarat, India, where it is known locally as jamboon.

Lord Krishna has been described as having skin the color of S. cumini. In Hindu mythology several protagonists have been described as having the color of S. cumini.

Maharashtra:
In Maharashtra, S. cumini (locally known as j?mbh?? Marathi :??????) leaves are used in marriage pandal decorations. There is famous Marathi song “Jambhul pikalya zada khali…”. The seeds are used in tisanes for diabetes

Andhra Pradesh:
This tree is called Neredu   in Telugu. Besides the fruits, wood from Neredu tree is used in Andhra Pradesh to make bullock cart wheels and other agricultural equipment. Culturally, beautiful eyes are compared to this fruit. In the great epic of India Mahabharatha Sri Krishnas’[Lord Vishnu] body color is compared to this fruit as well.

Tamil Nadu:
There is a very famous legend that is associated with Auvaiyar (also Auvayar) in Tamil Nadu , a prominent female poets/ethicist/political activist of Sangam period (Tamil literature), and Naval Pazham(Jambu) in Tamil Nadu. Auvaiyar, believing to have achieved everything that is to be achieved, said to have been pondering over her retirement from Tamil literary work while resting under Naval Pazham tree. But she was met with and was wittily jousted by a disguised Lord Murugan (regarded as one of the guardian deities of Tamil language), who later revealed himself and made her realize that there is still a lot more to be done and learnt. Following this awakening, Auvaiyar is believed to have undertaken a fresh set of literary works, targeted at children.

Kerala:
In Malayalam the tree is called njaval and its fruit are njavalpazham. The fruit is particularly plentiful in Kollam.

Kannada:
In Kannada the tree is called Nerale mara and its fruit are Nerale Hannu Nerale hannu is widely used by diabetes patients as they thought it cures the same. The bears like this fruit. This tree is found liberally every where in village areas of Karnataka.

Known Hazards:
Kalo Jam seed and bark contains chemicals that might lower blood sugar, but extracts from jambolan leaf and fruit don’t seem to affect blood sugar. Jambolan also contains chemicals that might protect against oxidation damage, as well as chemicals that reduce swelling. so it is adviced  to Monitor blood sugar levels carefully – do not change insulin dosage without the guidance of a physician.

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/Syzygium_cumini

http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail430.php

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-530-JAMBOLAN.aspx?activeIngredientId=530&activeIngredientName=JAMBOLAN

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Madhavi lata (Hiptage benghalensis)

Botanical Name :Hiptage benghalensis
Family: Malpighiaceae
Genus: Hiptage
Species: H. benghalensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common Names:Hiptage, Helicopter Flower • Hindi: Madhavi lata  • Manipuri: Madhabi • Kannada: Madhvi • Bengali: Madhabilata • Tamil:

Habitat : Madhavi lata is a native of India, Southeast Asia and the Philippines. It has been recorded as a weed in Australian rain forests and is invasive in Mauritius, Réunion, Florida and Hawaii where it thrives in dry lowland forests, forming impenetrable thickets and smothering native vegetation. The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) listed H. benghalensis among Category II plants in 2001, which are species that have shown a potential to disrupt native plant communities

Its habitat is variable and prefers climates ranging from warm temperate to tropical. In Hawai’i, where H. benghalensis is considered a weed, as it is in Australia, Mauritius and Réunion, it grows from sea level to 1,000 m (3,281 ft). H. benghalensis is cultivated for its white-pink scented flowers.

Description:
Madhavi lata is a vine like plant that is often cultivated in the tropics for its attractive and fragrant flowers. A woody climbing shrub with clusters of pink to white and yellow fragrant flowers and 3-winged, helicopter-like fruits. Flowers have very interesting shape and look like a decorative accessory, with fluffy-toothed edges. The fragrance is very strong and pleasant, resembles fruity perfume. Leaves are narrow and drooping. This plant can be trimmed as a bush, and can be crown in container, too. Used medicinally in India. Make sure to provide lots of light for profuse blooming. The genus name, Hiptage, is derived from the Greek hiptamai, which means “to fly” and refers its unique three-winged fruit known as “samara”. The fruit is carried by wind because of its papery wings.

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Madhavi lata flowers intermittently during the year, and produces fragrant flowers borne in compact ten-to-thirty-flowered axillary racemes. The flowers are pink to white, with yellow marks. Fruits are samaras with three spreading, papery oblanceolate to elliptic wings, 2–5 cm long, and propagate via wind or by cuttings.

Medicinal uses:
Madhavi lata is occasionally cultivated for medicinal purposes in the alternative medicine practice ayurveda: the leaves and bark are hot, acrid, bitter, insecticidal, vulnerary and useful in the treatment of biliousness, cough, burning sensation, thirst and inflammation; it also has the ability to treat skin diseases and leprosy.

The bark, leaves and flowers are aromatic, bitter, acrid, astringent, refrigerant, vulnerary, expectorant, cardiotonic, anti-inflammatory and insecticidal. They are useful in burning sensation, wounds, ulcers, cough, asthma.

Othewr Uses:
Madhavi lata is widely cultivated in the tropics for its attractive and fragrant flowers; it can be trimmed to form a small tree or shrub or can be trained as a vine

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.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Madhavi%20Lata.html

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

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Alepidea amatymbica

Botanical Name :Alepidea amatymbica
Family: Apiaceae
Subfamily: Saniculoideae
Genus: Alepidea
Species: Alepidea amatymbica
Order: Apiales

Common Name:  larger tinsel flower (Eng.); kalmoes (Afr.); Iqwili (Xhosa); ikhathazo (Zulu)
Vernacular names:Kalmoes (A); ikhathazo (Z); lesooko (S), iqwili (Xh)

Habitat :Alepidea amatymbica  occurs mainly in southern Africa are found as far north as Ethiopia.

Description:
Alepidea amatymbica is an erect robust perennial herb to 2m in height with hollow grooved stems and a rhizomatous rootstock; leaves mostly basal on petioles up to 200mm long, with a few stalkless clasping stem leaves;The margins of the leaves are prominently toothed, each tooth ending in a bristle. The inflorescence is widely branched, with a number of small, star-shaped, white flowers, ± 250 mm in diameter.glossy green on upper surface with prominent venation on lower surface; lamina lanceolate to cordate; 300 – 100 × 20 – 75mm, with dentate margin, each tooth terminating in a long bristle; flowers (Jan-Mar) white, borne in heads 10 – 20mm in diameter, arranged in panicles; each head with 5 unequal involucral bracts, the latter white to pale yellow above, olive green on lower surface.

Growing Alepidea amatymbica:This plant is best grown from fresh seed sown in trays filled with a very well-drained seedling mix in late summer or early spring. Once sown, the seed should be lightly covered and kept watered until germination takes place. The seedlings are very prone to damping off and so watering should be carefully monitored. Once potted into individual pots, the plants need to be grown until the underground stem develops, after which they can be planted out.

Medicinal Uses:
Alepidea amatymbica  is a medicinal plant traditionally used for the treatment of various diseases including asthma, influenza, and diarrhea in South Africa. The antimicrobial activities of the acetone and methanol extracts of the leaf, stem, rhizome, and root of the species were assessed in an effort to validate the traditional medicinal uses of this herb, especially for the treatment of infectious diseases. Ten bacterial and three fungal species were bioassayed using the agar dilution method. All the extracts demonstrated appreciable activities against three Gram-positive bacteria. These bacteria have been implicated in different respiratory diseases. The inhibitory activity of some of the extracts against pathogens implicated in diarrhea diseases further validated the use of the herb in traditional medicine. Except for acetone leaf extract against Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger, all the extracts showed more than 50% mycotic inhibition with activity ranging from 51.39% on A. niger to 81.11% on Penicillium notatum at ?5?mg mL?1 which was the highest concentration tested in the study. The ability of the herb to inhibit the growth of various bacteria and fungi species is an indication of the broad-spectrum antimicrobial potential of A. amatymbica; this further validates the use of the herb for various diseases by the people of the Eastern Cape.

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.plantzafrica.com/medmonographs/alepideaatym.pdf

http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Alepidea_amatymbica

http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13880200902817919

http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantab/alepidamat.htm

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Wilson’s Disease

Definition :
Wilson’s disease is an inherited disorder that causes too much copper to accumulate in your liver, brain and other vital organs. Another term for Wilson’s disease is hepatolenticular degeneration.

Copper plays a key role in the development of healthy nerves, bones, collagen and the skin pigment melanin. Normally, copper is absorbed from your food, and any excess is excreted through bile — a substance produced in your liver.

 

Normal absorption and distribution of copper. Cu = copper, CP = ceruloplasmin, green = ATP7B carrying copper.

But in people with Wilson’s disease, copper isn’t eliminated properly and instead accumulates, possibly to a life-threatening level. Left untreated, Wilson’s disease is fatal. When diagnosed early, Wilson’s disease is treatable, and many people with the disorder live normal lives.

The excess copper can build up in the liver and/or brain causing liver damage and/or neurological problems. It can also collect in other parts of the body including the eyes and the kidneys.
Copper begins to accumulate immediately after birth but the symptoms usually appear in the 2nd to 3rd decade. The first signs are hepatic (liver) in about 40% of cases, neurological (brain) in about 35% of cases and psychiatric, renal (kidney), haematological (blood), or endocrine (glands) in the remainder.

The condition is due to mutations in the Wilson disease protein (ATP7B) gene. A single abnormal copy of the gene is present in 1 in 100 people, who do not develop any symptoms (they are carriers). If a child inherits the gene from both parents, they may develop Wilson’s disease. Symptoms usually appear between the ages of 6 and 20 years, but cases in much older people have been described. Wilson’s disease occurs in 1 to 4 per 100,000 people.  Wilson’s disease is named after Samuel Alexander Kinnier Wilson (1878–1937), the British neurologist who first described the condition in 1912


 

Symptoms:
The most pathognomonic sign of Wilson’s disease results from a buildup of copper in the eyes. These rings are
called Kayser – Fleischer rings. Rings are brownish, visible aroound the corneo – scleral junction (limbus).
95% of Wilson’ s disease patients presenting with neurological signs will have Kayser – Fleischer rings and 65% of Wilson’s disease patients presenting with hepatic signs will present a ring.

Wilson’s disease causes a wide variety of signs and symptoms that are often mistaken for other diseases and conditions. Signs and symptoms vary depending on what parts of your body are affected by Wilson’s disease.
Signs and symptoms of Wilson’s disease include:

*Clumsiness
*Depression
*Difficulty speaking
*Difficulty swallowing
*Difficulty walking
*Drooling
*Easy bruising
*Fatigue
*Involuntary shaking
*Joint pain
*Loss of appetite
*Nausea
*Skin rash
*Swelling of arms and legs
*Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

The main sites of copper accumulation are the liver and the brain, and consequently liver disease and neuropsychiatric symptoms are the main features that lead to diagnosis.  People with liver problems tend to come to medical attention earlier, generally as children or teenagers, than those with neurological and psychiatric symptoms, who tend to be in their twenties or older. Some are identified only because relatives have been diagnosed with Wilson’s disease; many of these, when tested, turn out to have been experiencing symptoms of the condition but haven’t received a diagnosis.:

Causes:
Wilson’s disease occurs when a genetic mutation leads to an accumulation of copper in  one’s body.

How the genetic mutation occurs
The genetic mutation that causes Wilson’s disease is most commonly passed from one generation to the next. Wilson’s disease is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, which means that to develop the disease you must inherit two copies of the defective gene, one from each parent. If you receive only one abnormal gene, you won’t become ill yourself, but you’re considered a carrier and can pass the gene to your children.

How the genetic mutation causes Wilson’s disease
The mutation that causes Wilson’s disease occurs in a gene called ATP7B. When a mutation occurs on this gene, it leads to problems with a protein that’s responsible for moving excess copper out of your liver.

Your body collects copper from the food you eat during the digestive process. The copper is transported to your liver where liver cells use it for everyday tasks. Most people eat more copper than they need. In these cases, the liver takes what it needs and excretes the rest in bile, a digestive juice made by the liver.

But in people with Wilson’s disease, the extra copper doesn’t leave your body. Instead, copper builds up in the liver, where it can cause serious and sometimes irreversible damage. In time, excess copper leaves the liver and begins accumulating in and harming other organs, especially the brain, eyes and kidneys.

 

Complications:
Wilson’s disease can cause serious complications such as:

*Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). As liver cells try to make repairs to damage done by excess copper, scar tissue forms in the liver. The scar tissue makes it more difficult for the liver to function.

*Liver failure. Liver failure can occur suddenly (acute liver failure), or it can develop slowly over many years. If liver function progresses, a liver transplant may be a treatment option.

*Liver cancer. Damage to the liver caused by Wilson’s disease may increase the risk of liver cancer.

*Persistent neurological problems. Neurological problems usually improve with treatment for Wilson’s disease. However, some people may experience persistent neurological difficulty, despite treatment.
*Kidney problems. Wilson’s disease can damage the kidneys, leading to kidney problems, such as kidney stones and an abnormal number of amino acids excreted in the urine (aminoaciduria).

Diagnosis:
Wilson’s disease may be suspected on the basis of any of the symptoms mentioned above, or when a close relative has been found to have Wilson’s. Most have slightly abnormal liver function tests such as a raised aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase and bilirubin level. If the liver damage is significant, albumin may be decreased due to an inability of damaged liver cells to produce this protein; likewise, the prothrombin time (a test of coagulation) may be prolonged as the liver is unable to produce proteins known as clotting factors. Alkaline phosphatase levels are relatively low in those with Wilson’s-related acute liver failure. If there are neurological symptoms, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain is usually performed; this shows hyperintensities in the part of the brain called the basal ganglia in the T2 setting.  MRI may also demonstrate the characteristic “face of the giant panda” pattern.

There is no totally reliable test for Wilson’s disease, but levels of ceruloplasmin and copper in the blood, as well of the amount of copper excreted in urine during a 24-hour period, are together used to form an impression of the amount of copper in the body. The gold standard or most ideal test is a liver biopsy

Ceruloplasmin
Levels of ceruloplasmin are abnormally low (<0.2 g/L) in 80–95% of cases. It can, however, be present at normal levels in people with ongoing inflammation as it is an acute phase protein. Low ceruloplasmin is also found in Menkes disease and aceruloplasminemia, which are related to, but much rarer than Wilson’s disease.

The combination of neurological symptoms, Kayser–Fleisher rings and a low ceruloplasmin level is considered sufficient for the diagnosis of Wilson’s disease. In many cases, however, further tests are needed.
Serum and urine copper
Serum copper is paradoxically low but urine copper is elevated in Wilson’s disease. Urine is collected for 24 hours in a bottle with a copper-free liner. Levels above 100 ?g/24h (1.6 ?mol/24h) confirm Wilson’s disease, and levels above 40 ?g/24h (0.6 ?mol/24h) are strongly indicative.[1] High urine copper levels are not unique to Wilson’s disease; they are sometimes observed in autoimmune hepatitis and in cholestasis (any disease obstructing the flow of bile from the liver to the small bowel).

In children, the penicillamine test may be used. A 500 mg oral dose of penicillamine is administered, and urine collected for 24 hours. If this contains more than 1600 ?g (25 ?mol), it is a reliable indicator of Wilson’s disease. This test has not been validated in adults.

Liver biopsy
Once other investigations have indicated Wilson’s disease, the ideal test is the removal of a small amount of liver tissue through a liver biopsy. This is assessed microscopically for the degree of steatosis and cirrhosis, and histochemistry and quantification of copper are used to measure the severity of the copper accumulation. A level of 250 ?g of copper per gram of dried liver tissue confirms Wilson’s disease. Occasionally, lower levels of copper are found; in that case, the combination of the biopsy findings with all other tests could still lead to a formal diagnosis of Wilson’s.

In the earlier stages of the disease, the biopsy typically shows steatosis (deposition of fatty material), increased glycogen in the nucleus, and areas of necrosis (cell death). In more advanced disease, the changes observed are quite similar to those seen in autoimmune hepatitis, such as infiltration by inflammatory cells, piecemeal necrosis and fibrosis (scar tissue). In advanced disease, finally, cirrhosis is the main finding. In acute liver failure, degeneration of the liver cells and collapse of the liver tissue architecture is seen, typically on a background of cirrhotic changes. Histochemical methods for detecting copper are inconsistent and unreliable, and taken alone are regarded as insufficient to establish a diagnosis.

Genetic testing
Mutation analysis of the ATP7B gene, as well as other genes linked to copper accumulation in the liver, may be performed. Once a mutation is confirmed, it is possible to screen family members for the disease as part of clinical genetics family counselling

Treatment:
DietaryIn general, a diet low in copper-containing foods is recommended, with the avoidance of mushrooms, nuts, chocolate, dried fruit, liver, and shellfish.

Medication
Various treatments are available for Wilson’s disease. Some increase the removal of copper from the body, while others prevent the absorption of copper from the diet.

Generally, penicillamine is the first treatment used. This binds copper (chelation) and leads to excretion of copper in the urine. Hence, monitoring of the amount of copper in the urine can be done to ensure a sufficiently high dose is taken. Penicillamine is not without problems: about 20% experience a side effect or complication of penicillamine treatment, such as drug-induced lupus (causing joint pains and a skin rash) or myasthenia (a nerve condition leading to muscle weakness). In those who presented with neurological symptoms, almost half experience a paradoxical worsening in their symptoms. While this phenomenon is also observed in other treatments for Wilson’s, it is usually taken as an indication for discontinuing penicillamine and commencing second-line treatment.  Intolerant to penicillamine may instead be commenced on trientine hydrochloride, which also has chelating properties. Some recommend trientine as first-line treatment, but experience with penicillamine is more extensive.  A further agent with known activity in Wilson’s disease is tetrathiomolybdate. This is still regarded as experimental,  although some studies have shown a beneficial effect.

Once all results have returned to normal, zinc (usually in the form of a zinc acetate prescription called Galzin) may be used instead of chelators to maintain stable copper levels in the body. Zinc stimulates metallothionein, a protein in gut cells that binds copper and prevents their absorption and transport to the liver. Zinc therapy is continued unless symptoms recur, or if the urinary excretion of copper increases.

In rare cases where none of the oral treatments are effective, especially in severe neurological disease, dimercaprol (British anti-Lewisite) is still occasionally necessary. This treatment is injected intramuscularly (into a muscle) every few weeks, and has a number of unpleasant side effects such as pain.

People who are asymptomatic (for instance those diagnosed through family screening or only as a result of abnormal test results) are generally treated, as the copper accumulation may cause long-term damage in the future. It is unclear whether these people are best treated with penicillamine or zinc acetate.

Physical therapy
Physiotherapy is beneficial for those patients with the neurologic form of the disease. The copper chelating treatment may take up to six months to start working, and physical therapy can assist in coping with ataxia, dystonia, and tremors, as well as preventing the development of contractures that can result from dystonia.

Transplantation
Liver transplantation is an effective cure for Wilson’s disease, but is used only in particular scenarios because of the numerous risks and complications associated with the procedure. It is used mainly in people with fulminant liver failure who fail to respond to medical treatment, or in those with advanced chronic liver disease. Liver transplantation is avoided in severe neuropsychiatric illness, in which its benefit has not been demonstrated
Lifestyle and home remedies:

Doctors sometimes recommend limiting the amount of copper you consume in your diet during the first year of your treatment for Wilson’s disease. As your signs and symptoms recede and the copper levels in your body drop, you may be able to include copper-containing foods in your diet.

Copper-containing foods
Foods that contain high levels of copper include:

*Copper-containing vitamin and mineral supplements
*Liver
*Shellfish
*Mushrooms
*Nuts
*Chocolate
*Dried fruit
*Dried peas, beans and lentils
*Avocados
*Bran products

Copper in tap water
Have your tap water’s copper levels tested if you have copper pipes in your home or if your water comes from a well. Most municipal water systems don’t contain high levels of copper.

If you have copper pipes, run the tap for several seconds before collecting water for drinking or cooking. Water that sits in the copper pipes can pick up copper particles. Running the water flushes that contaminated water out of the pipes.

Copper pots and pans
Don’t use copper pots, pans or storage containers for your food or drinks.

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/Wilson’s_disease

http://www.eurowilson.org/en/living/guide/what/index.phtml

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/wilsons-disease/DS00411

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Try to Avoid 7 Foods Experts Won’t Eat

1. Canned Tomatoes……canned tomato
The expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A

The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Acidity — a prominent characteristic of tomatoes — causes BPA to leach into your food.

2. Corn-Fed Beef….Corn-Fed Beef. roast

The expert: Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of books on sustainable farming

Cattle were designed to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. A recent comprehensive study found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

3. Microwave Popcorn….Microwave Popcorn

The expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group

Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize — and migrate into your popcorn.

4. Nonorganic Potatoes…Nonorganic Potatoes

The expert: Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board

Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting.

5. Farmed Salmon…..Farmed Salmon

The expert: David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany

Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT.

6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones….Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones

The expert: Rick North, project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers.

7. Conventional Apples……Conventional Apples

The expert: Mark Kastel, codirector of the Cornucopia Institute

If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides with Parkinson’s disease.

Source: Yahoo Shine November 24, 2009

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Ear Infection

Alternative Names: Otitis media – acute; Infection – inner ear; Middle ear infection – acute
…………………EAR INFECTION-1
Definition:
Ear infections are one of the most common reasons parents take their children to the doctor. While there are different types of ear infections, the most common is called otitis media, which means an inflammation and infection of the middle ear. The middle ear is located just behind the eardrum.

There are two types of ear infection…Acute & Cronic.

The term “acute” refers to a short and painful episode. An ear infection that lasts a long time or comes and goes is called chronic otitis media.

You may click to learn more about ear infection:

Symptoms
An acute ear infection causes pain (earache). In infants, the clearest sign is often irritability and inconsolable crying. Many infants and children develop a fever or have trouble sleeping. Parents often think that tugging on the ear is a symptom of an ear infection, but studies have shown that the same number of children going to the doctor tug on the ear whether or not the ear is infected.

Other possible symptoms include:
*Fullness in the ear
*Feeling of general illness
*Vomiting
*Diarrhea
*Hearing loss in the affected ear
*The child may have symptoms of a cold, or the ear infection may start shortly after having a cold.

All acute ear infections include fluid behind the eardrum. You can use an electronic ear monitor, such as EarCheck, to detect this fluid at home. The device is available at pharmacies.

Possible Causes:
Ear infections are common in infants and children in part because their eustachian tubes become clogged easily. For each ear, a eustachian tube runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat. Its purpose is to drain fluid and bacteria that normally occurs in the middle ear. If the eustachian tube becomes blocked, fluid can build up and become infected.
EAR CONSTRUCTIONEAR INF. ACUTECOMMON EAR INFECTIONEAR INFECTION INF. OF BONE
Anything that causes the eustachian tubes and upper airways to become inflamed or irritated, or cause more fluids to be produced, can lead to a blocked eustachian tube. These include:

*Colds and sinus infections
*Allergies
*Tobacco smoke or other irritants
*Infected or overgrown adenoids
*Excess mucus and saliva produced during teething

Ear infections are also more likely if a child spends a lot of time drinking from a sippy cup or bottle while lying on his or her back. Contrary to popular opinion, getting water in the ears will not cause an acute ear infection, unless the eardrum has a hole from a previous episode.

Ear infections occur most frequently in the winter. An ear infection is not itself contagious, but a cold may spread among children and cause some of them to get ear infections.

Risk factors:

*Not being breast-fed
*Recent ear infection
*Recent illness of any type (lowers resistance of the body to infection)
*Day care (especially with more than 6 children)
*Pacifier use
*Genetic factors (susceptibility to infection may run in families)
*Changes in altitude or climate
*Cold climate
*Sudden change of weather

Diagnosis:

Signs and tests
The doctor will ask questions about whether your child (or you) have had ear infections in the past and will want you to describe the current symptoms, including whether your child has had any symptoms of a cold or allergies recently. Your doctor will examine your child’s throat, sinuses, head, neck, and lungs.

Using an instrument called an otoscope, the doctor will look inside your child’s ears. If infected, there may be areas of dullness or redness or there may be air bubbles or fluid behind the eardrum. The fluid may be bloody or purulent (filled with pus). The physician will also check for any sign of perforation (hole or holes) in the eardrum.

A hearing test may be recommended if your child has had persistent (chronic and recurrent) ear infections

Modern  Treatment
The goals for treating ear infections include relieving pain, curing the infection, preventing complications, and preventing recurrent ear infections. Most ear infections will safely clear up on their own without antibiotics. Often, treating the pain and allowing the body time to heal itself is all that is needed:

*Apply a warm cloth or warm water bottle.
*Use over-the-counter pain relief drops for ears.
*Take over-the counter medications for pain or fever, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. DO NOT give aspirin to children.
*Use prescription ear drops to relieve pain.

ANTIBIOTICS
Some ear infections require antibiotics to clear the infection and to prevent them from becoming worse. This is more likely if the child is under age 2, has a fever, is acting sick (beyond just the ear), or is not improving over 24 to 48 hours.

However, for several years there was a tendency to over-prescribe antibiotics, leading to the increasing numbers of bacteria that are resistant to these drugs. Joint guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians are aimed at using antibiotics for ear infections when they are most needed. If the antibiotics do not seem to be working within 48 to 72 hours, contact your doctor to consider switching to a stronger antibiotic. Usually there is no benefit to more than two, or at the most three, rounds of appropriate antibiotics.

SURGERY
If there is fluid in the middle ear and the condition persists, even with antibiotic treatment, a healthcare provider may recommend myringotomy (surgical opening of the eardrum) to relieve pressure and allow drainage of the fluid. This may or may not involve the insertion of tympanostomy tubes (often referred to as ear tubes). In this procedure, a tiny tube is inserted into the eardrum, keeping open a small hole that allows air to get in so fluids can drain more easily down the eustachian tube. Tympanostomy tube insertion is done under general anesthesia. Usually the tubes fall out by themselves. Those that don’t may be removed in your doctor’s office.

If the adenoids are enlarged, surgical removal may be considered, especially if you have chronic, recurrent ear infections. Removing tonsils does not seem to help with ear infections.

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT:
Click to see:-
Alternative Treatment for Ear Infections :
Alternative to Tubes for Ear Infection Treatment:
Natural Cures For an Ear Infection – More Than Home Remedies:

Prognosis:
Ear infections are curable with treatment but may recur. They are not life threatening but may be quite painful.

Prevention:
What can kids do to prevent ear infections? You can avoid places where people are smoking, for one. Cigarette smoke can keep your eustachian tubes from working properly.
You can reduce your child’s risk of ear infections with the following practices:

*Wash hands and toys frequently. Also, day care with 6 or fewer children can lessen your child’s chances of getting a cold or similar infection. This leads to fewer ear infections.
*Avoid pacifiers, especially at daycare.
*Breastfeed — this makes a child much less prone to ear infections. But, if bottle feeding, hold your infant in an upright, seated position.
*Don’t expose your child to secondhand smoke.
*The pneumococcal vaccine prevents infections from the organism that most commonly causes acute ear infections and many respiratory infections.
*Some evidence suggests that xylitol, a natural sweetener, may reduce ear infections.
*Avoid overusing antibiotics.

Click to see:
Taking Care of Your Ears;
What’s Earwax?;
What’s Hearing Loss?

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://kidshealth.org/kid/ill_injure/sick/ear_infection.html

http://healthtools.aarp.org/adamcontent/ear-infection-acute?CMP=KNC-360i-GOOGLE-HEA&HBX_OU=50&HBX_PK=ear_infection_acute

http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/ear-infection-acute/overview.html

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Myths About Asthma

For any type of asthma patient,  country living can be as bad for sufferers as the city.But the belief that they are cure-alls is just one of the myths surrounding the condition, which affects 5.4million people in the UK.
According to Joy Smith of Asthma UK, expensive measures may not be effective if you have not discovered exactly what has triggered the asthma. And this can be easily established by a simple skinprick test from your GP.

young girl in country side

Country air: But for some asthma sufferers it may be as bad as the city

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If plant pollen is the culprit rather than house-dust mites, for example, it would be better simply to close windows to keep out the pollen.
But if mites are the cause, the widely advertised, expensive measures may be useless anyway, according to the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, which reviewed 54 studies involving more than 3,000 asthma patients.
It concluded that none of the interventions believed to eradicate dust mites was effective, including the use of specialist cleaning products or washing bedding at temperatures higher than 60C.
A University of Michigan study found that only half of the 1,788 asthma-proofing steps taken by parents of 896 asthmatic children were likely to work.
The others were unproven, unlikely to help or even potentially harmful in a few cases, such as the use of a humidifier. Mites thrive in humid conditions.
Many asthmatics living in cities think their symptoms would be alleviated if they moved to green and traffic-free countryside. But Joy Smith says: ‘There is no best place to live for anyone with asthma, as it depends what your triggers are. There are studies comparing the Scottish Highlands to the city and finding the incidence of asthma the same.’
Asthma myths abound: there’s the belief that steroid treatments stunt growth in children (Asthma UK says that normal doses are fine and while strong doses can delay growth, patients catch up); and that asthmatics cannot exercise or play sports.
Yet exertion is fine as long as the asthma is well managed and a reliever inhaler always at hand. Olympians Lord Coe, Paula Radcliffe and Rebecca Adlington have asthma.
Nor is asthma contagious. ‘Asthma cannot be passed on from one person to another,’ says specialist Vikki Knowles from Asthma UK.
‘It is a condition that develops as a result of complex genetic and environmental factors, although as yet the exact causes remain unknown.’
She also debunks the myth that you can grow out of asthma.
‘A child diagnosed with asthma may no longer experience symptoms when they reach adulthood but the underlying tendency still remains and so symptoms can return in later life,’ she says.
Another widely held belief is that only children get asthma. Says Joy Smith: ‘Asthma can occur at any age – so you could get it for the first time in your 70s. It is often overlooked then.
‘Many people are under the impression that asthma is not a serious condition.
‘And while many people are fortunate enough not to experience severe symptoms, more than half-a-million people in the UK have difficulty controlling it, meaning some cannot do even simple things like running for a bus or dressing themselves.
‘The condition is responsible for 1,200 deaths a year in Great Britain.’

Source: Mail Online.29th.Aug.2009

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Some Fruit Juices Lower Drug Effect

Grapefruit, orange and apple juices can harm the body’s ability to absorb certain medications and make the drugs less effective, said a study.

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The research showed that these juices can decrease the effectiveness of certain drugs used to treat heart disease, cancer, organ-transplant rejection and infection, “potentially wiping out their beneficial effects”, it said.

David Bailey, a professor of clinical pharmacology with the University of Western Ontario and leader of the study, was the first researcher to identify grapefruit juice‘s potential to increase the absorption of certain drugs two decades ago, possibly turning some doses toxic.

The new findings came as part of his continuing research on the subject, and were presented at the 236th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“Recently, we discovered that grapefruit and these other fruit juices substantially decrease the oral absorption of certain drugs undergoing intestinal uptake transport,” said Bailey. “The concern is loss of benefit of medications essential for the treatment of serious medical conditions.”

Healthy volunteers took fexofenadine, an antihistamine used to fight allergies, along with either a glass of grapefruit juice, a glass of water with naringin (which gives the bitter taste to grapefruit juice), or plain water.

Those who drank the grapefruit juice absorbed only half the amount of fexofenadine, compared to those who drank plain water.

Researchers said the water with naringin served to block “a key drug uptake transporter, called OATP1A2, involved in shuttling drugs from the small intestine to the bloodstream”.

Among the drugs affected by consumption of grapefruit, orange and apple juices are: etoposide, an anticancer agent; beta blockers used to treat high blood pressure and prevent heart attacks; and certain antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, itraconazole).

The drug-lowering interaction also affected cyclosporine, a drug taken to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, and more drugs were expected to be added to the list as the research continued.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Permission To Forgive Ourselves

Releasing Guilt
Learning to accept the things that we perceive as wrong can be a difficult task for many of us. Often we have been brought up to accept that it is normal to feel guilty about our actions and that by doing so we will make everything seem alright within ourselves. Even though we might feel that we have a reason to make up for the choices we have made, it is much more important for us to learn how to deal with them in a healthy and positive way, such as through forgiveness and understanding.

When we can look back at our past and really assess what has happened, we begin to realize that there are many dimensions to our actions. While feeling guilty might assuage our feelings at first, it is really only a short-term solution. It is all too ironic that being hard on ourselves is the easy way out. If we truly are able to gaze upon our lives through the lens of compassion, however, we will be able to see that there is much more to what we do and have done than we realize. Perhaps we were simply trying to protect ourselves or others and did the best we could at the time, or maybe we thought we had no other recourse and chose a solution in the heat of the moment. Once we can understand that dwelling in our negative feelings will only make us feel worse, we will come to recognize that it is really only through forgiving ourselves that we can transform our feelings and truly heal any resentment we have about our past.

Giving ourselves permission to feel at peace with our past actions is one of the most positive steps we can take toward living a life free from regrets, disappointments, and guilt. The more we are able to remind ourselves that the true path to a peaceful mind and heart is through acceptance of every part of our lives and actions, the more harmony and inner joy we will experience in all aspects of our lives.

Sources: Daily Om