Pelvic pain

Definition:
Pelvic pain is pain in the lowest part of your abdomen and pelvis. In women, pelvic pain may refer to symptoms arising from the reproductive or urinary systems or from musculoskeletal sources. Pelvic pain can occur suddenly, sharply and briefly (acute) or over the long term (chronic). Chronic pelvic pain refers to any constant or intermittent pelvic pain that has been present for more than a few months. It can affect both women and men.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Depending on its source, pelvic pain may be dull or sharp; it may be constant or off and on (intermittent); and it may be mild, moderate or severe. Pelvic pain can sometimes radiate to one’s lower back, buttocks or thighs.

Common causes in include: endometriosis in women, bowel adhesions, irritable bowel syndrome, and interstitial cystitis. The cause may also be a number of poorly understood conditions that may represent abnormal psychoneuromuscular function.

Most women, at some time in their lives, experience pelvic pain. As girls enter puberty, pelvic or abdominal pain becomes a frequent complaint.
Sometimes, it is noticed that pelvic pains only at certain times, such as when  urinating  or during sexual activity.

According to the CDC, Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) accounted for approximately 9% of all visits to gynecologists in 2007. In addition, CPP is the reason for 20—30% of all laparoscopies in adults.

Causes:
Several types of diseases and conditions may cause pelvic pain. Often chronic pelvic pain results from more than one condition.

Pelvic pain may arise from one’s digestive, reproductive or urinary system. Recently, doctors have recognized that some pelvic pain, particularly chronic pelvic pain, may also arise from muscles and connective tissue (ligaments) in the structures of the pelvic floor. Occasionally, pelvic pain may be caused by irritation of nerves in the pelvis.

The different conditions that may cause pelvic pain includs:

*exaggerated bladder, bowel, or uterine pain sensitivity (also known as visceral pain)
pelvic girdle pain (SPD or DSP)

Gynecologic:

*Dysmenorrhea—pain during the menstrual period

*Endometriosis—pain caused by uterine tissue that is outside the uterus. Endometriosis can be visually confirmed by laparoscopy in approximately 75% of adolescent girls with chronic pelvic pain that is resistant to treatment, and in approximately 50% of adolescent in girls with chronic pelvic pain that is not necessarily resistant to treatment.

*Müllerian abnormalities

*Pelvic inflammatory disease—pain caused by damage from infections

*Ovarian cysts—the ovary produces a large, painful cyst, which may rupture

*Ovarian torsion—the ovary is twisted in a way that interferes with its blood supply

*Ectopic pregnancy—a pregnancy implanted outside the uterus

Abdominal:

*Loin pain hematuria syndrome

*Proctitis—infection or inflammation of the anus or rectum

*Colitis—infection or inflammation of the colon

*Appendicitis—infection or inflammation of the bowel

Internal hernias are difficult to identify in women, and misdiagnosis with endometriosis or idiopathic chronic pelvic pain is very common. One cause of misdiagnosis that when the woman lies down flat on an examination table, all of the medical signs of the hernia disappear. The hernia can typically only be detected when symptoms are present, so diagnosis requires positioning the woman’s body in a way that provokes symptoms.

Female reproductive system:
Pelvic pain arising from the female reproductive system may be caused by conditions such as:

*Adenomyosis
*Endometriosis
*Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)
*Ectopic pregnancy (or other pregnancy-related conditions)
*Miscarriage (before the 20th week) or intrauterine fetal death
*Mittelschmerz (ovulation pain)
*Ovarian cancer
*Ovarian cysts
*Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
*Uterine fibroids
*Vulvodynia

Other causes in women or men:
Examples of other possible causes of pelvic pain — in women or men — include:

*Colon cancer
*Chronic constipation
*Crohn’s disease
*Diverticulitis
*Fibromyalgia
*Interstitial cystitis (also called painful bladder syndrome)
*Intestinal obstruction
*Irritable bowel syndrome
*Kidney stones
*Past physical or sexual abuse
*Pelvic floor muscle spasms
*Prostatitis
*Ulcerative colitis
*Urinary tract infection (UTI)

Diagnosis:
The diagnostic workup begins with a careful history and examination, followed by a pregnancy test. Some women may also need bloodwork or additional imaging studies, and a handful may also benefit from having surgical evaluation.

The absence of visible pathology in chronic pain syndromes should not form the basis for either seeking psychological explanations or questioning the reality of the patient’s pain. Instead it is essential to approach the complexity of chronic pain from a psychophysiological perspective which recognises the importance of the mind-body interaction. Some of the mechanisms by which the limbic system impacts on pain, and in particular myofascial pain, have been clarified by research findings in neurology and psychophysiology.

Differential diagnosis:
In men, chronic pelvic pain (category IIIB) is often misdiagnosed as chronic bacterial prostatitis and needlessly treated with antibiotics exposing the patient to inappropriate antibiotic use and unnecessarily to adverse effects with little if any benefit in most cases. Within a Bulgarian study, where by definition all patients had negative microbiological results, a 65% adverse drug reaction rate was found for patients treated with ciprofloxacin in comparison to a 9% rate for the placebo patients. This was combined with a higher cure rate (69% v 53%) found within the placebo group.

Treatment:
Many women will benefit from a consultation with a physical therapist, a trial of anti-inflammatory medications, hormonal therapy, or even neurological agents.

A hysterectomy is sometimes performed.

Spinal cord stimulation has been explored as a potential treatment option for some time, however there remains to be consensus on where the optimal location of the spinal cord this treatment should be aimed. As the innervation of the pelvic region is from the sacral nerve roots, previous treatments have been aimed at this region; results have been mixed. Spinal cord stimulation aimed at the mid- to high-thoracic region of the spinal cord have produced some positive results.

The sensation of pain travels through nerves up the spinal cord to the brain. Mild antidepressants like amitriptyline and gabapentin can block these transmissions and relieve the pain. They are especially effective if combined with anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen.

IBS and food allergies should also be tackled. Sometimes avoiding milk or wheat or both, and tackling abnormal gut motility works.

Physical activity reduces pain to an extent. Walking, jogging or running for 40 minutes a day is important. This should be combined with stretching and pelvic exercises. And if there is stress, cut it down with yoga and meditation.

Click to see :.—>..Homeopathic Treatment for Pelvic Pain

 Ayurvedic Treatment..(1) ...(2)

The treatment of pelvic pain with acupuncture

Pelvic Pain Recovery: Getting Your Life Back with Yoga  :

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/Pelvic_pain

http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/pelvic-pain/basics/definition/sym-20050898

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1141103/jsp/knowhow/story_18992189.jsp#.VFmWH2d2E1I

Heel pain

Alternative Names: Pain – heel

Defination:
Heel pain is a very common foot problem. The sufferer usually feels pain either under the heel (planter fasciitis) or just behind it (Achilles tendinitis), where the Achilles tendon connects to the heel bone.

click & see the pictures

Even though heel pain can be severe and sometimes disabling, it is rarely a health threat. Heel pain is typically mild and usually disappears on its own; however, in some cases the pain may persist and become chronic (long-term).

There are 26 bones in the human foot, of which the heel (calcaneus) is the largest. The human heel is designed to provide a rigid support for the weight of the body. When we are walking or running it absorbs the impact of the foot when it hits the ground, and springs us forward into our next stride. Experts say that the stress placed on a foot when walking may be 1.25 times our body weight, and 2.75 times when running. Consequently, the heel is vulnerable to damage, and ultimately pain.

Heel pain is usually felt either under the heel or just behind it.
There are 26 bones in the human foot, of which the heel is the largest.
Pain typically comes on gradually, with no injury to the affected area. It is often triggered by wearing a flat shoe.
In most cases the pain is under the foot, towards the front of the heel.
The majority of patients recover with conservative treatments within months.
Home care such as rest, ice, proper-fitting footwear and foot supports are often enough to ease heel pain.
To prevent heel pain, it’s recommended to reduce the stress on that part of the body

Symptoms:
Pain typically comes on gradually, with no injury to the affected area. It is frequently triggered by wearing a flat shoe, such as flip-flop sandals. Flat footwear may stretch the plantar fascia to such an extent that the area becomes swollen (inflamed).

In most cases, the pain is under the foot, toward the front of the heel.

Post-static dyskinesia (pain after rest) – symptoms tend to be worse just after getting out of bed in the morning, and after a period of rest during the day.

After a bit of activity symptoms often improve a bit. However, they may worsen again toward the end of the day.

Causes:
In the majority of cases, heel pain has a mechanical cause. Heel pain tends to occur if a person has flat feet or high arches, is overweight, diabetic, wears poorly fitting or worn out shoes, runs or jogs on hard surfaces or has an abnormal gait.  Quite often the pain is due to a “spur” or extra bone growth.It may also be caused by arthritis, infection, an autoimmune problem trauma, a neurological problem, or some other systemic condition (condition that affects the whole body).

Heel pain is not usually caused by a single injury, such as a twist or fall, but rather the result of repetitive stress and pounding of the heel.

The most common causes of heel pain are:

*Plantar fasciitis (plantar fasciosis) – inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a strong bowstring-like ligament that runs from the calcaneum (heel bone) to the tip of the foot. When the plantar fasciitis is stretched too far its soft tissue fibers become inflamed, usually where it attaches to the heel bone. Sometimes the problem may occur in the middle of the foot. The patient experiences pain under the foot, especially after long periods of rest. Some patients have calf-muscle cramps if the Achilles tendon tightens too

*Heel bursitis  - inflammation of the back of the heel, the bursa (a fibrous sac full of fluid). Can be caused by landing awkwardly or hard on the heels. Can also be caused by pressure from footwear. Pain is typically felt either deep inside the heel or at the back of the heel. Sometimes the Achilles tendon may swell. As the day progresses the pain usually gets worse

*Heel bumps (pump bumps) - common in teenagers. The heel bone is not yet fully mature and rubs excessively, resulting in the formation of too much bone. Often caused by having a flat foot. Among females can be caused by starting to wear high heels before the bone is fully mature

*Tarsal tunnel syndrome - a large nerve in the back of the foot becomes pinched, or entrapped (compressed). This is a type of compression neuropathy that can occur either in the ankle or foot..

*Chronic inflammation of the heel pad—caused either by the heel pad becoming too thin, or heavy footsteps
Stress fracture – this is a fracture caused by repetitive stress, commonly caused by strenuous exercise, sports or heavy manual work. Runners are particularly prone to stress fracture in the metatarsal bones of the foot. Can also be caused by osteoporosis

*Severs disease (calcaneal apophysitis) - the most common cause of heel pain in child/teenage athletes, caused by overuse and repetitive microtrauma of the growth plates of the calcaneus (heel bone). Children aged from 7-15 are most commonly affected

*Achilles tendonosis (degenerative tendinopathy) - also referred to as tendonitis, tendinosis and tendinopathy. A chronic (long-term) condition associated with the progressive degeneration of the Achilles tendon. Sometimes the Achilles tendon does not function properly because of multiple, minor microscopic tears of the tendon, which cannot heal and repair itself correctly – the Achilles tendon receives more tension than it can cope with and microscopic tears develop. Eventually, the tendon thickens, weakens and becomes painful.

Treatment:
Treatment for heel pain usually involves using a combination of techniques, such as stretches and painkillers, to relieve pain and speed up recovery.
Most cases of heel pain get better within 12 months. Surgery may be recommended as a last resort if your symptoms don’t improve after this time. Only 1 in 20 people with heel pain will need surgery.

Rest:
Whenever possible, rest the affected foot by not walking long distances and standing for long periods. However, you should regularly stretch your feet and calves using exercises such as those described  in the pictures...>…..click & see

To learn more click to see :

Prevention:
Maintaining flexible and strong muscles in your calves, ankles, and feet can help prevent some types of heel pain. Always stretch and warm-up before exercising.

Wear comfortable, properly fitting shoes with good arch support and cushioning. Make sure there is enough room for your toes.

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.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/181453.php

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003181.htm

Syphillis

Other names:
Other names that people use for syphilis include:
*Pox
*Bad blood
*The great imitator
*Siff.

Description:
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infective diseas caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis. Other human diseases caused by related Treponema pallidum include yaws (subspecies pertenue), pinta (subspecies carateum), and bejel (subspecies endemicum)……....click & see the pictures

Symptoms:
The signs and symptoms of syphilis vary depending in which of the four stages :primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary.

Primary stage of Syphilis:
The primary stage of syphilis typically begins with a sore (called a “chancre”) on the skin that’s initially exposed to the infection — usually the genitals, rectum or mouth. The sore has been described as feeling like a button: firm, round, usually measuring half an inch across, and not tender to the touch. Swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin may occur, but the nodes are not usually tender.

Infected individuals do not usually feel ill in the primary stage of syphilis, and the chancre heals spontaneously after 4 to 6 weeks. This is a problem because the syphilis has not gone away: syphilis continues to spread throughout the body.

Secondary stage of syphilis:
From the primary stage, the disease moves into the secondary stage of syphilis. Secondary syphilis can often occur several weeks after the chancre heals, once the bacteria have spread through the body. An individual may feel sick; common symptoms include headache, achiness, loss of appetite and maybe rash.

The rash in secondary syphilis is usually reddish-brown in color, not itchy and widespread. But the appearance of the rash’s individual lesions can vary dramatically: they may be flat or raised, they may or may not be scaly, and pustules may or may not be present. It’s partially due to the variability of this rash that led to syphilis being called “the great imitator,” because it can resemble many other conditions. The rash can last for a few weeks or months.

Other symptoms of secondary syphilis include sores in the mouth, nose, throat, and on the genitals or folds of the skin. Lymph node swelling is common, and patchy hair loss can occur. All signs and symptoms of the second stage of syphilis will disappear without treatment in 3 weeks to 9 months, but the infection will still be present in the body.

Latent stage of Syphilis:
The latent stage of syphilis, which occurs after the symptoms of secondary syphilis have disappeared, can last from a few years to up to 50 years! There are no symptoms in this stage, and after about two years, an infected man may cease to be contagious. However, a man in the latent stage of syphilis is still infected, and the disease can be diagnosed by a blood test. During the latent stage, a pregnant woman can transmit syphilis to her fetus.

Tertiary stage of Syphillis:
The final stage of syphilis, which occurs in about one third of those who are not treated, is known as the tertiary stage. Many organs may be affected. Common symptoms include fever; painful, non-healing skin ulcers; bone pain; liver disease; and anemia. Tertiary syphilis can also affect the nervous system (resulting in the loss of mental functioning) and the aorta (resulting in heart disease)…….click & see : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/Tertiary_syphilis_head.JPG

Congenita syphilis:
Congenital syphilis is that which is transmitted during pregnancy or during birth. Two-thirds of syphilitic infants are born without symptoms. Common symptoms that develop over the first couple years of life include: hepatosplenomegaly (70%), rash (70%), fever (40%), neurosyphilis (20%), and pneumonitis (20%). If untreated, late congenital syphilis may occur in 40%, including: saddle nose deformation, Higoumenakis sign, saber shin, or Clutton’s joints among others.

Causes:
The cause of syphilis is a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. The most common route of transmission is through contact with an infected person’s sore during sexual activity. The bacteria enter your body through minor cuts or abrasions in your skin or mucous membranes. Syphilis is contagious during its primary and secondary stages, and sometimes in the early latent period.

Syphilis is transmitted primarily by sexual contact or during pregnancy from a mother to her fetus; the spirochaete is able to pass through intact mucous membranes or compromised skin. It is thus transmissible by kissing near a lesion, as well as oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Approximately 30 to 60% of those exposed to primary or secondary syphilis will get the disease. Its infectivity is exemplified by the fact that an individual inoculated with only 57 organisms has a 50% chance of being infected. Most (60%) of new cases in the United States occur in men who have sex with men. It can be transmitted via blood products. However, it is tested for in many countries and thus the risk is low. The risk of transmission from sharing needles appears limited. Syphilis cannot be contracted through toilet seats, daily activities, hot tubs, or sharing eating utensils or clothing.Once cured, syphilis doesn’t recur. However, you can become reinfected if you have contact with someone’s syphilis sore.

Risk Factors:
One may face an increased risk of acquiring syphilis if he or she:

*Engage in unprotected sex
*Have sex with multiple partners
*Are a man who has sex with men
*Are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS

Complications:
Without treatment, syphilis can lead to damage throughout your body. Syphilis also increases the risk of HIV infection and, for women, can cause problems during pregnancy. Treatment can help prevent future damage but can’t repair or reverse damage that’s already occurred.

Small bumps or tumors:
Called gummas, these bumps can develop on your skin, bones, liver or any other organ in the late stage of syphilis. Gummas usually disappear after treatment with antibiotics.

Neurological problems:
Syphilis can cause a number of problems with your nervous system, including:

*Stroke
*Meningitis
*Deafness
*Visual problems
*Dementia
*Cardiovascular problems

These may include bulging (aneurysm) and inflammation of the aorta —  body’s major artery — and of other blood vessels. Syphilis may also damage heart valves.

HIV infection:
Adults with sexually transmitted syphilis or other genital ulcers have an estimated two- to fivefold increased risk of contracting HIV. A syphilis sore can bleed easily, providing an easy way for HIV to enter your bloodstream during sexual activity.

Pregnancy and childbirth complications:
Pregnent woman  may pass syphilis to her unborn baby. Congenital syphilis greatly increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or her newborn’s death within a few days after birth.

Diagnosis:
Syphilis can be diagnosed by testing samples of:

*Blood. Blood tests can confirm the presence of antibodies that the body produces to fight infection. The antibodies to the bacteria that cause syphilis remain in your body for years, so the test can be used to determine a current or past infection.

*Fluid from sores. Your doctor may scrape a small sample of cells from a sore to be analyzed by microscope in a lab. This test can be done only during primary or secondary syphilis, when sores are present. The scraping can reveal the presence of bacteria that cause syphilis.

*Cerebral spinal fluid. If it’s suspected that you have nervous system complications of syphilis, your doctor may also suggest collecting a sample of cerebrospinal fluid through a procedure called a lumbar puncture (spinal tap).

Treatment:
Early infections:
The first-choice treatment for uncomplicated syphilis remains a single dose of intramuscular benzathine penicillin G or a single dose of oral azithromycin. Doxycycline and tetracycline are alternative choices; however, due to the risk of birth defects these are not recommended for pregnant women. Antibiotic resistance has developed to a number of agents, including macrolides, clindamycin, and rifampin. Ceftriaxone, a third-generation cephalosporin antibiotic, may be as effective as penicillin-based treatment.
Late infections

For neurosyphilis, due to the poor penetration of penicillin G into the central nervous system, those affected are recommended to be given large doses of intravenous penicillin for a minimum of 10 days. If a person is allergic, ceftriaxone may be used or penicillin desensitization attempted. Other late presentations may be treated with once-weekly intramuscular penicillin G for three weeks. If allergic, as in the case of early disease, doxycycline or tetracycline may be used, albeit for a longer duration. Treatment at this stage limits further progression, but has only slight effect on damage which has already occurred.

Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction:
One of the potential side effects of treatment is the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction. It frequently starts within one hour and lasts for 24 hours, with symptoms of fever, muscles pains, headache, and tachycardia. It is caused by cytokines released by the immune system in response to lipoproteins released from rupturing syphilis bacteria

Prevention:
As of 2010, there is no vaccine effective for prevention.Abstinence from intimate physical contact with an infected person is effective at reducing the transmission of syphilis, as is the proper use of a latex condom. Condom use, however, does not completely eliminate the risk. Thus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner and the avoidance of substances such as alcohol and other drugs that increase risky sexual behavior.

Congenital syphilis in the newborn can be prevented by screening mothers during early pregnancy and treating those who are infected. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) strongly recommends universal screening of all pregnant women,[18] while the World Health Organization recommends all women be tested at their first antenatal visit and again in the third trimester. If they are positive, they recommend their partners also be treated. Congenital syphilis is, however, still common in the developing world, as many women do not receive antenatal care at all, and the antenatal care others do receive does not include screening, and it still occasionally occurs in the developed world, as those most likely to acquire syphilis (through drug use, etc.) are least likely to receive care during pregnancy. A number of measures to increase access to testing appear effective at reducing rates of congenital syphilis in low- to middle-income countries.

Syphilis is a notifiable disease in many countries, including Canada the European Union, and the United States. This means health care providers are required to notify public health authorities, which will then ideally provide partner notification to the person’s partners. Physicians may also encourage patients to send their partners to seek care. The CDC recommends sexually active men who have sex with men are tested at least yearly.

Research:
There is no vaccine available for people; however, a vaccine has been developed that is effective in an animal model and research is ongoing.

Click & see:—>
Ayurvedic treatment ofSyphillis….(1).…..(2)..(3)

Homeopathic treatment of Syphillis:....(1)….(2)....(3)

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/Syphilis

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/syphilis/basics/causes/con-20021862

http://menshealth.about.com/od/sexualdiseasesstds/a/syphilis_signs.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/syphilis/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20021862

Goldenseal

Botanical Name : Hydrastis canadensis
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Hydrastis
Species: H. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names:  Goldenseal, yellow paint root, orange root, yellow puccoon, ground raspberry, eye root, yellow Indian plant, turmeric root, Ohio curcuma, eye balm, yellow eye and jaundice root.

Habitat :Goldenseal is native to North America, and can be found growing wild from Ontario to Arkansas, across the southeastern U.S. to Georgia and cultivated in Oregon and Washington. The main growing region used to be Ohio valley, before it became the area fell victim to deforestation and development.
It grows in the rich soil of shady woods and moist places at the edge of wooded lands. Goldenseal prefers open hardwood forests, with rich humic soils, and a slight slope around 5% to facilitate drainage. Plants are found to be most vigorous in stands with 60-65% shade, and pH values between 5.5 and 6.5.

Description:
Goldenseal has a thick, yellow rootstock which sends up an erect hairy stem about 1 foot in height which branches near the top, one branch bearing a large leaf and another a smaller leaf and a flower.The stem is purplish and hairy above ground and yellow below ground where it connects to the yellow rhizome. The plant bears two palmate, hairy leaves with 5–7 double-toothed lobes and single, small, inconspicuous flowers with greenish white stamens in the late spring.

CLICK & SEE :

The rhizome is thick, sarcous, oblong, irregular, and knotted, having a yellowish-brown, thin bark, and a bright-yellow interior; rootlets numerous, scattered, coriaceous fibres.This low perennial herb grows from 6 to 10 inches high, its leaves and fruit much resembling those of the raspberry. The flowering stem, which is pushed up early in the spring, is from 6 to 12 inches high, erect, cylindrical, hairy, with downward-pointing hairs, especially above, surrounded at the base with a few short, brown scales. It bears two prominently-veined and wrinkled, dark green, hairy leaves, placed high up, the lower one stalked, the upper stalkless, roundish in outline, but palmately cut into 5 to 7 lobes, the margins irregularly and finely toothed. The flower, which is produced in April, is solitary, terminal, erect, and small, with three small greenish-white sepals, falling away immediately after expansion, no petals and numerous stamens.It bears a single berry like a large raspberry with 10–30 seeds. The fruit ripens in July and has the superficial appearance of a raspberry, with small, fleshy, red berries, tipped with the persistent styles and containing 1 or 2 black, shiny seeds. However, it is not edible.

Cultivation:
Goldenseal can be grown both from seed and from the rhizome. It requires a partially shaded situation (60 – 70%), in a well draining, rich humus soil. Rootstocks can be divided into small pieces and set at least 8” apart. Planting should be undertaken in the autumn. The plants should be allowed to grow for 2 – 3 years before harvesting, though by the 4th year the roots are said to become too fibrous for medicinal use. Transplanting may be undertaken at any time. According to an American grower 32 healthy plants set per square yard will produce 2 lb of dry root after three years of growth. The fresh rhizome is juicy and loses much of its weight in drying. When fresh, it has a well-marked, narcotic odour, which is lost in a great measure by age, when it acquires a peculiar sweetish smell, somewhat resembling liquorice root. It has a very bitter, feebly opiate taste, more especially when freshly dried. The rhizome is irregular and tortuous, much knotted, with a yellowish-brown, thin bark and bright yellow interior, 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inch long, and from 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. The upper surface bears short ascending branches, which are usually terminated by cup-like scars, left by the aerial stems of previous years. From the lower surface and sides, numerous thin, wiry, brittle roots are given off, many of them breaking off, leaving small protuberances on the root. The colour of the rhizome, though yellow in the fresh root, becomes a dark, yellowish brown by age; that of the rootlets and the interior of the root are yellow and that of the powder still more so. When dry, the rhizome is hard and breaks with a clean, resinous fracture, the smooth, fractured surface is of a brownish-yellow, or greenish-yellow colour, and exhibits a ring of bright yellow, somewhat distant narrow wood bundles surrounding large pith.

Constituents:
Goldenseal contains the isoquinoline alkaloids: hydrastine, berberine, berberastine, hydrastinine, tetrahydroberberastine, canadine, and canalidine. A related compound, 8-oxotetrahydrothalifendine was identified in one study. One study analyzed the hydrastine and berberine contents of twenty commercial goldenseal and goldenseal-containing products and found they contained variously 0%-2.93% hydrastine and 0.82%-5.86% berberine.[18] Berberine and hydrastine act as quaternary bases and are poorly soluble in water but freely soluble in alcohol. The herb seems to have synergistic antibacterial activity over berberine in vitro, possibly due to efflux pump inhibitory activity.

Multiple bacteria and fungi, along with selected protozoa and chlamydia are susceptible to berberine in vitro. Berberine alone has weak antibiotic activity in vitro since many microorganisms actively export it from the cell (although a whole herb is likely to work on the immune system as well as on attacking the microbes and hence have a stronger clinical effect than the antibiotic activity alone would suggest).[citation needed] Interestingly, there is some evidence for other berberine-containing species synthesizing an efflux pump inhibitor that tends to prevent antibiotic resistance, a case of solid scientific evidence that the herb is superior to the isolated active principle. However, it is not yet known whether goldenseal contains a drug resistance efflux pump inhibitor, although many antimicrobial herbs do.

Medicinal Uses:
•The American aborigines valued the root highly as a tonic, tomachic and application for sore eyes and general ulceration.
•It is a valuable remedy in the disordered conditions of the digestion and has a special action on the mucous membrane, making it of value as a local remedyin various forms of catarrh.
•The action is tonic, laxative, alterative and detergent. The powder has proved useful as a snuff for nasal catarrh.
•It is employed in dyspepsia, gastric catarrh, and loss of appetite and liver troubles.
•Goldenseal was used by the American Indians as a treatment for irritations and inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts.
•Its traditional uses include treatment of peptic ulcers, gastritis, dyspepsia and colitis.
•It is said to stimulate appetite and generally have a toning effect on the whole body.
•Its astringent properties have also been employed in cases of excessive menstruation and internal bleeding. It has a stimulating effect on the uterine muscles for which it is sometimes used as an aid in childbirth.
•The decoction is also said to be effective as a douche to treat trichomonas and thrush. As a gargle it can be employed in cases of gum infections and sore throats.
•It was commonly used topically for skin and eye infections.
•It is used for infectious diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infections, and vaginal infections.
•It is used as aremedy for laxative, tonic, alterative, detergent, opthalmicum, antiperiodic, aperient, diuretic, antiseptic, deobstruent.
•Excels for open sores, inflammations, eczema, ringworm, erysipelas, skin diseases, and nausea during pregnancy.
•In combination with skullcap and red pepper it will relieve and strengthen the heart.
•The Iroquois made a decoction of roots for treatment of whooping cough and diarrhea, liver trouble, fever, sour stomach and gas and as an emetic for biliousness. They also prepared a compound infusion with other roots for use as drops in the treatment of earache and as a wash for sore eyes.

Known Hazards:  Goldenseal is considered safe at recommended dosages.But it may cause side effects allergic reaction, headache and many others. Not safe for pregnant women and children.

Other Uses:
•Mixed with bear’s grease it is said to have been used as an insect repellent.
•Native people also valued the yellow roots as a stain and dye

Folklore and Myths:
It is believed that Goldenseal root is a very rare and expensive botanical Curio widely thought to be a powerful Guardian and Healer and to provide Strength and Protection to those who possess it.  Goldenseal root is used by many people for the purpose of Warding off Evil and bringing Good Luck in Health Matters. Some folks says that they place Goldenseal  root in a white flannel bag along with Angelica Root and other Healing Herbs, anoint this conjure hand with 7-11 Holy Type Oil or Blessing Oil and sew it into the mattress of any loved one who suffers chronic pain, serious disease, or acute illness, for Protection and Healing.

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

Resources:

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

http://www.indianmirror.com/ayurveda/goldenseal.html

http://www.medicalhealthguide.com/herb/goldenseal.htm

Milia

Alternative Names: milk spots or an oil seeds

Definition:
Milia are small, white (or sometimes pale yellow) spots that usually appear around the eyes, on the cheeks and on the eyelids. They’re a type of cyst filled with a substance called keratin, a protein that provides strength to the skin…..click & see

Milia are keratin-filled cyst that can appear just under the epidermis or on the roof of the mouth. Milia are commonly associated with newborn babies but can appear on people of all ages. They are usually found around the nose and eyes, and sometimes on the genitalia, often mistaken by those affected as warts or other STDs. Milia can also be confused with stubborn whiteheads.

In children milia often disappear within two to four weeks. In adults they may require removal by a physician or an esthetician.

Symptoms:
Milia are most commonly seen on a baby’s nose, chin or cheeks, though they may also occur in other areas, such as on the upper trunk and limbs.

Sometimes similar bumps appear on a baby’s gums or the roof of the mouth. These are known as Epstein pearls. Some babies also develop baby acne, often characterized by small red bumps and pustules on the cheeks, chin and forehead.

Causes:
No one really understands why they appear or why some people get them while others don’t. They don’t appear to be related to different lifestyles or diets and are certainly not infectious or caused by poor hygiene.

Diagnosis: The doctor can usually diagnose milia just by examining the skin. No specific testing is needed.

Treatment:
Milia typically disappear on their own within several weeks, and no medical treatment is recommended.

The following may help to get rid of milia:

•Hold a hot, wet face cloth over the skin for a few minutes – the temperature should feel comfortable, not painful. This simple facial sauna helps to loosen and remove dead skin cells and debris from the skin.

•Use an exfoliating facial scrub to remove the top layer of skin, which can enable the cysts to fall out. These scrubs are available from the pharmacist and are the kind of facial wash used for treating mild acne. Those containing salicylic acid work well, but always read the label or ask the pharmacist to make sure the one you select is suitable for you.

A qualified beautician may also be able to recommend possible  help.

Most importantly, resist the temptation to pick at them. This will hurt, damage and possibly scar the skin, and may introduce a nasty infection.
.

Lifestyle & Homeremedies:
You may try these tips to help your baby’s skin look its best:

*Keep your baby’s face clean. Wash your baby’s face with warm water daily.

*Dry your baby’s face gently.Simply pat your baby’s skin dry.

*Avoid any other type of treatment. Don’t pinch or scrub the tiny bumps, and don’t use any type of lotions, oils or medicated creams on your baby’s skin.

Prognosis:
In babies & children, milia usually disappear after the first several weeks of life without treatment and without any lasting effects.

In adults, milia removal can usually be done without scarring.

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.mayoclinic.com/health/milia/DS01059

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001367.htm

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

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/picture-of-white-bumps-milia

http://www.bion-research.com/whiteheads_(milia).htm

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Allium przewalskianum

Botanical Name: Allium przewalskianum
Family:    Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily:Allioideae
Genus:    Allium
Species:A. przewalskianum
Kingdom:Plantae
Clade:    Angiosperms
Clade:    Monocots
Order:    Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium jacquemontii Regel
*Allium jacquemontii var. parviflorum (Ledeb.) Aswal
*Allium junceum Jacquem. ex Baker
*Allium przewalskianum var. planifolium Regel
*Allium rubellum var. parviflorum Ledeb.
*Allium stenophyllum Wall.
*Allium stoliczkii Regel

Common Names: Jimbu

Habitat :  Allium przewalskianum  is widely distributed, reported from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Tibet, and parts of China(Gansu, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan)

Description:
Allium przewalskianum has narrow bulbs up to 10 mm across. Scape is up to 40 cm tall, round in cross-section. Leaves are tubular, about the same length as the scape. Umbel is densely crowded with many red or dark purple flowers.
 CLICK B& SEE THE PICTURES
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

Cultivation:  
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. This species is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain, it probably tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation: 
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses:The herb  Allium przewalskianum  has a taste in between onion and chives, is most commonly used dried. In Mustang it is used to flavor vegetables, pickles, meat. In the rest of Nepal it is most commonly used to flavor urad dal or lentils. The dried leaves are fried in ghee to develop their flavor.

Bulb – raw or cooked. A very pleasant onion flavour[K], though rather on the small size and scarcely exceeding 10mm in diameter. Harvested in the autumn, they will store for at least 6 month. Leaves – raw or cooked. Tender and delicious. The leaves are rather on the small and thin side, but have an excellent onion favour[K]. They make a nice refreshing munch when working in the garden and also go very well in salads. They can be harvested from spring until the autumn. Flowers – raw. A pleasant onion flavour, they are used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:

It is estimated that in Asiatic households use jimbu as medicine (mostly as a treatment believed to help flu).Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses: The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards:Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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

Resourcs:

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

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

http://www.amazon.com/Spice-Republic-Jimbu-Himalayan/dp/B006JUSA0M

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+przewalskianum

Syzygium polyanthum

Botanical Name: Syzygium polyanthum
Family:    Myrtaceae
Subfamily:Myrtoideae
Tribe:    Syzygieae
Genus:    Syzygium
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Myrtales

Synonyms: Eugenia balsamea, Eugenia nitida, Eugenia polyantha

Common Names:Indonesian bay leaf, daun salam

Habitat : Syzygium polyanthum is native to  Southeast Asia.:  Indochina, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia (GRIN).It grows in tropical climate.

Description:
Syzygium polyanthum is a medium-sized evergreen perennial tree,it grows up to 30 m tall with dense crown, bole up to 60 cm in diameter; bark surface fissured and scaly, grey. Leaves opposite, simple, glabrous; petiole up to 12 mm long; blade oblong-elliptical, narrowly elliptical or lanceolate, 5-16 cm x 2.5-7 cm, with 6-11 pairs of secondary veins distinct below and a distinct intramarginal vein, dotted with minute oil glands, petiole up to 12 mm long. Inflorescence a panicle, 2-8 cm long, usually arising below the leaves, sometimes axillary, but trees flower very profusely; flowers sessile, bisexual, regular, fragrant, white, in threes on ultimate branchlets of the panicle; calyx cup-shaped, about 4 mm long, with 4 broad persistent lobes; petals 4, free, 2.5-3.5 mm long, white; stamens numerous, arranged in 4 groups, about 3 mm long; disk quadrangular, orange-yellow. Fruit a 1-seeded berry, depressed globose to globose, up to 12 mm in diameter, dark red to purplish-black when ripe”
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Propagation: Through Seed

Edible Uses:
Syzygium polyanthum has been known as a seasoning in various culinary nations Indonesia.  In addition, there are also benefits in terms of bay leaves as a natural treatment.

Medicinal Uses:
Syzygium polyanthum is used in Gastrointestinal disorders  and other disorders.

Forv diarrhea
Wash 15 fresh bay leaves. Boil in two cups water to boil for 15minutes. Add a little salt. Once cool, strain and filter drinking water well

For diabetes
7-15 Wash fresh bay leaves, then boiled in 3 cups of water until remaining 1 glass. Once cool, strain and filter drinking water well before eating. Apply 2 times a day.

For Lowering high cholesterol levels:
Wash 10-15 fresh bay leaves, and then boiled in 3 cups of water until remaining 1 glass. Once cool, strain and filter drinking water well at night. Do it every day.

For lowering high blood pressure:
Wash 7-10 bay leaves then boiled in 3 cups of water until remaining 1 glass. Once cool, strain and filter drinking water 2 times a day, each half a glass.

For ulcers:
Rinse 15-20 fresh bay leaves. Boil with 1 / 2 litter of water to boil for 15 minutes. Add palm sugar to taste. After chilling, drinking water as a tea. Do it every day until the pain disappeared and a full stomach.

During Hangover
Wash 1 handful of ripe fruit greeting, then mash until smooth. Squeeze and strain, the water collected while drunk.

For Scabies, itch
for external treatment, simply grab a leaf, bark, stems, or roots regards as necessary. Rinse, then milled until smooth dough like mush. And apply to the itchy spot, then wrapped.

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

Resources:

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

http://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/Syzygium_polyanthum.htm

http://herbpathy.com/Uses-and-Benefits-of-Syzygium-Polyanthum-Cid644

http://herbalmedicinalplant01.blogspot.in/2011/09/efficacy-syzygium-polyanthum.html

Sichuan pepper

Botanical Name ; Sichuan pepper
Family  :  Rutaceae
Subfamily: Rutoideae
Gender : Zanthoxylum
Species : Z. piperitum
Kingdom :Plantae
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta, Vascular plants
Superdivision :Spermatophyta, Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta,Flower plants
Class :Magnoliopsida, Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms:  Zanthoxylum piperitum

Common Names:
English: Sichuan pepper, Szechwan pepper or Szechuan pepper, Japanese pepper
Spanish: pimienta de Sichuán, pimienta de Sechuán, Fagara, pimienta anís, pimienta marrón, pimienta china, pimienta de Japón, Sansho, pimentero japonés (arbusto, bonsai).
Catalan: pebre japonès, pebre de Japó, pebre de Szechuan.
French: Poivrier du Japon, poivre chinois.
Italian: Pepe di Sichuan.
German: Japanischer Pfeffer, Anispfeffer, Chinesischer Pfeffer, Szechuanpfeffer.
Japanese: san-shô, shichimi.

Habitat:Sichuan pepper is native to Asia (mainly Caina)It grows in sun or partial shade. It prefers moist soils or heavy clay soils, well drained. Frost resistant up to -15 ° C.

Description:
Sichuan pepper is a deciduous shrub that grows 2 feet high by about 1 meter wide.Stem with rough colored bark, branched and covered with spines.
The leaves are pinnate, with an odd number of leaflets oval opposite (5 to 19), alternate and dark green. In fall, the leaves becom yellow stained.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It flowers from April to June in the northern hemisphere. The Japanese pepper tree is a dioecious species, that’s to say, it has male plants and female plants. The variety to provide fruits must have both sexes.

The flowers are yellowish green, small and aromatic, fruity . They are formed on old wood, in the axils of the new branches.

The fruit is a capsule-sized sessile like peppercorns (3 to 5 mm in diameter), which grow in groups of 4 in the stem end, but only 1 or 2 fruits fail to develop.
CLICK & SEE
The capsules or fruit are reddish-brown.they have many bumps in the bark. They contain a liquid inside responsible for the characteristic pungent spiciness of this plant.

The interior has a black seed, shiny. It is customary that some fruits are empty inside.

Edible Uses:
The plant (fruit) is used as a spice . Its leaves are also edible.

Sichuan pepper’s unique aroma and flavour is not hot or pungent like black, white, or chili peppers. Instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth (caused by its 3% of hydroxy alpha sanshool) that sets the stage for hot spices. According to Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking, they are not simply pungent; “they produce a strange, tingling, buzzing, numbing sensation that is something like the effect of carbonated drinks or of a mild electrical current (touching the terminals of a nine-volt battery to the tongue). Sanshools appear to act on several different kinds of nerve endings at once, induce sensitivity to touch and cold in nerves that are ordinarily nonsensitive, and so perhaps cause a kind of general neurological confusion.”

Recipes often suggest lightly toasting the tiny seed pods, then crushing them before adding them to food. Only the husks are used; the shiny black seeds are discarded or ignored as they have a very gritty sand-like texture. The spice is generally added at the last moment. Star anise and ginger are often used with it in spicy Sichuan cuisine. It has an alkaline pH and a numbing effect on the lips when eaten in larger doses. Ma la (Chinese: ??; pinyin: málà; literally “numbing and spicy”), common in Sichuan cooking, is a combination of Sichuan pepper and chili pepper, and it is a key ingredient in má là hot pot, the Sichuan version of the traditional Chinese dish. It is also a common flavouring in Sichuan baked goods such as sweetened cakes and biscuits.

Sichuan pepper is also available as an oil. In this form, it is best used in stir-fry noodle dishes without hot spices. The recipe may include ginger oil and brown sugar cooked with a base of noodles and vegetables, then rice vinegar and Sichuan pepper oil are added after cooking.

Hua jiao yan is a mixture of salt and Sichuan pepper, toasted and browned in a wok and served as a condiment to accompany chicken, duck, and pork dishes. The peppercorns can also be lightly fried to make a spicy oil with various uses.

In Indonesian Batak cuisine, andaliman (a relative of Sichuan pepper) is ground and mixed with chilies and seasonings into a green sambal tinombur or chili paste, to accompany grilled pork, carp, and other regional specialties. Arsik, a Batak dish from the Tapanuli region, uses andaliman as spice.

Sichuan pepper is one of the few spices important for Nepali (Gurkha), Tibetan and Bhutanese cookery of the Himalayas, because few spices can be grown there. One Himalayan specialty is the momo, a dumpling stuffed with vegetables, cottage cheese or minced yak meat, water buffalo meat, or pork and flavoured with Sichuan pepper, garlic, ginger, and onion, served with tomato and Sichuan pepper-based gravy. Nepalese-style noodles are steamed and served dry, together with a fiery Sichuan pepper sauce.

In Korean cuisine, two species are used: Z. piperitum and Z. schinifolium.

Medicinal uses:
Native North Americans use the ground bark of Szechuan plant as a remedy for toothache.
Like in anise, these peppercorns too found application in traditional medicines as stomachic, anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, stimulant and tonic.

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

Resources:

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

http://www.botanical-online.com/english/pepper_zanthoxylum_piperitum.htm

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sichuan-peppercorns.html

Tasmannia stipitata

Botanical Name : Tasmannia stipitata
Family:    Winteraceae
Genus:    Tasmannia
Species:T. stipitata
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Canellales

Common Names: Tasmannia stipitata, Dorrigo Pepper or Northern Pepperbush

Habitat :Tasmannia stipitata is native to temperate forests of the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia.(North from Barrington Tops to North East of Tenterfield, common on Dorrigo Plateau in New South Wales and into Queensland.) It grows In tall moist eucalypt forest and rainforest, especially Nothofagus moorei forest, the coastal ranges, usually above 1000 m alt.

Description:
Tasmannia insipida  is a  dioecious shrub up to 2.5 to 3 metres high (sometimes taller) with reddish stems,branchlets ± glaucous, purplish when young.
The leaves are lance-shaped from 80 to 200 mm long with a peppery flavour when crushed. The small white flowers occur in umbels from the leaf axils in spring through to summer. Separate male and female flowers are borne on the one plant – male flowers are distinguished by a number of stamens extending from the base of the flower.Flowering during September to November. The flowers are followed by oval-shaped, red berries about 15-20 mm long which darken to deep purple when ripe in summer. In contrast with T.lanceolata and T.stipitata, the seeds of T.insipida are not used commercially for culinary purposes but retain the peppery flavour and are edible.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible Uses:
The culinary quality of Tasmannia stipitata was recognized in the mid-1980s by horticulturist Peter Hardwick, who gave it the name ‘Dorrigo pepper’, and Jean-Paul Bruneteau, then chef at Rowntrees Restaurant, Sydney. It is mainly wild harvested from the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales. Dorrigo pepper has a woody peppery note in the leaves and fruit/seed. The hot peppery flavor is derived from polygodial, an essential oil component, common to most species in the family.

Tasmannia stipitata, Dorrigo pepper, is also used as a spice and was the original pepperbush used in specialty native food restaurants in the 1980s. Dorrigo pepper is safrole free and has a strong peppery flavour.

Medicinal Uses:  Mountain Peppers are said to be  Antiscorbutic, stomachic.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

 

Resources:

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

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

http://floragreatlakes.info/html/rfspecies/stipitata.html

http://anpsa.org.au/t-ins.html

Wasabi (Japanese Horseradish)

Botanical Name : Wasabia japonica or Eutrema japonica
Family:    Brassicaceae
Genus:    Wasabia
Species:W. japonica
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Brassicales

Other Names: Japanese Horseradish
French: Raifort du Japon
German: Bergstockrose, Japanischer Kren
Korean: Kochu-naengi, Gochu-naengi, Gyeoja-naengi, Kyoja-naengi, Wasabi
Thai: Wasabi
Chinese (Canonese): Saan kwai
Chinese (Mandarin): Shan kui

As one of the most prized crops from Japan, this pale green root is grown in cold mountain streams under some of the most closely guarded growing practices in agriculture. Many outside Japan have gone to great lengths to duplicate its wonderfully hot flavour. In fact, most of the commercial wasabi products in the west are fake. Many of us believe wasabi is the eye-watering and sinus-scouring vivid green side dish paste served with sushi, however, most of the time it is a concoction of horseradish, mustard, and artificial colouring.

Plant Description and Cultivation
Wasabia japonica is a slow growing perennial with a rooted, thickened rhizome, long petioles and large leaves. The wasabi rhizome looks much like a brussel sprout stalk after the sprouts are removed. The long stems (petioles) of the Wasabia Japonica plant emerge from the rhizome to grow to a length of 12 to 18 inches and can reach a diameter of up to 1 ½ inches. They merge into single heart shaped leaves that can reach the size of a small dinner plate.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Wasabia Japonoica plants can take as much as three years to reach maturity. Initially, given the right conditions, the wasabi plant produces robust top and root growth, growing to about 2 feet with an overall width about the same. After this initial establishment phase the rhizome begins to build and store reproductive nutrients, reaching a size of 6 to 8 inches in approximately two years.
Wasabi can grow in the ground, but commonly it’s cultivated in water. It’s said that it’s very difficult to grow wasabi. For wasabi cultivation, clean water is essential, and the temperature must be mild (heat must be avoided). When the wasabi plant grows to nearly 20 inches tall, with green leaves on the head, the rhizome grows above the root and the plant is ready for harvesting.

Since the flavor is wonderful, you might want to use fresh wasabi in your cooking. If you want to buy fresh wasabi, there is a place online that sell it.
Click to buy Wasabi
Under optimum conditions, Wasabia Japonica will reproduce itself by seed, though on commercial wasabi farms, plant stock is typically extended by replanting small offshoots which characteristically occur as the plant matures.

Wasabi prefers the cool, damp conditions found in misty mountain stream beds. It generally requires a climate with an air temperature between 8°C (46°F) and 20 °C (70°F), and prefers high humidity in summer. It is quite intolerant of direct sunlight so it is grown beneath a natural forest canopy or man-made shade.

CLICK & SEE

Wasabia Japonica grows in northern Japan, parts of China, Taiwan, Korea and New Zealand. In North America, the rain forests found in British Columbia, the Oregon Coast and in parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina and Tenessee provide the right balance of climate, sunlight and water quality to grow natural wasabi. Limited success has been achieved by firms using greenhouse and/or hydroponic techniques, but the resulting costs are typically quite high. There are two main strategies that are used in growing Wasabi. The higher quality Wasabi, both in appearance and taste, grows in cool mountain streams and is known as semi-aquatic or “sawa” Wasabi. Wasabi known as field or “oka” Wasabi is grown in fields under varying conditions and generally results in a lower quality plant, both in appearance and taste.
Few places are suitable for large-scale wasabi cultivation, and cultivation is difficult even in ideal conditions. In Japan, wasabi is cultivated mainly in these regions:

Wasabia Japonica grows in northern Japan, parts of China, Taiwan, Korea and New Zealand. In North America, the rain forests found in British Columbia, the Oregon Coast and in parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina and Tenessee provide the right balance of climate, sunlight and water quality to grow natural wasabi. Limited success has been achieved by firms using greenhouse and/or hydroponic techniques, but the resulting costs are typically quite high. There are two main strategies that are used in growing Wasabi. The higher quality Wasabi, both in appearance and taste, grows in cool mountain streams and is known as semi-aquatic or “sawa” Wasabi. Wasabi known as field or “oka” Wasabi is grown in fields under varying conditions and generally results in a lower quality plant, both in appearance and taste.
Few places are suitable for large-scale wasabi cultivation, and cultivation is difficult even in ideal conditions. In Japan, wasabi is cultivated mainly in these regions:

Izu peninsula, located in Shizuoka prefecture
Nagano prefecture
Shimane prefecture
Yamanashi prefecture
Iwate prefecture
There are also numerous artificially cultivated facilities as far north as Hokkaidō and as far south as Kyūshū. The demand for real wasabi is very high. Japan has to import a large amount of it from:Mainland China and Ali Mountain of Taiwan, New Zealand.
In North America, a handful of companies and small farmers are successfully pursuing the trend by cultivating Wasabia japonica. While only the Pacific Northwest and parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains provide the right balance of climate and water for natural cultivation of sawa (water grown) wasabi, the use of hydroponics and greenhouses has extended the range. British Columbia in Canada, Oregon in United States and North Carolina in United States.
While the finest sawa wasabi is grown in pure, constantly flowing water, without pesticides or fertilizers, some growers push growth with fertilizer such as chicken manure, which can be a source of downstream.

Spice Description
Wasabi a member of the cruciferae family originating in Japan and is related to cabbages. It is a perennial which grows about knee high, is semi aquatic and produces a thickened stem in a similar fashion to a small brussel sprout. As the stem grows the lower leaves fall off. This stem has a very pungent smell and flavour when made into a paste.

The fresh is certainly preferable, but in the West, it’s more commonly found as a dry powder. Premixed pastes are available but none capture the intensity well. Make your own paste from the powder or fresh root.

Preparation and Storage
Treat the fresh root like horseradish, shredding only as much as needed. Traditionally, a sharkskin grater or “oroshi” is used. Using sharkskin as a tool for grating wasabi has been a practice in Japan since the earliest times, and is still regarded as the preferred method of obtaining the best flavour, texture and consistency in freshly ground wasabi. If a sharkskin grater is not available, ceramic or stainless steel surfaces can be used. Ceramic graters with fine nubs are preferable to stainless steel, but in either case, the smaller and finer the ‘teeth’, the better.

Pulsing in a food mill pure will yield a fiery paste, or it can be tempered with other ingredients to make vinaigrettes, mayonnaise or other hot condiments.

Grating wasabi releases volatile compounds, which gradually dissipate with exposure to the air. Using a traditional sharkskin grater and keeping the rhizome at a 90-degree angle to the grating surface generally minimizes exposure to the air. In this way, the volatile compounds are allowed to develop with minimal dissipation. Once you have grated enough for the first ‘session’, pile the grated wasabi into a ball and let stand at room temperature for a few minutes to allow the flavor and heat to develop. The flavor will dissipate within a short period, so grate only what will be used within 15 or 20 minutes.

How To Grate Wasabi.
*Rinse the rhizome under cold running water.
*Scrape off any bumps or rough areas along the sides.
*Scrub the rhizome with a stiff brush.
*Cut the rhizome just below the leaf base and inspect the exposed flesh to ensure that it is a uniform green colour.
*Grate the cut end against the grater surface, using a circular motion.
*After use, rinse the rhizome under cold running water. If you are using a sharkskin grater, rinse it under cold running water as well and let it air dry.

If you have powdered wasabi, make sure to allow some time once it is rehydrated so that the flavour compounds come back to the surface.
Wasabi powder is very convenient for use and storage, when sealed in an air-tight container or bag, and stored in low temperature, the self-life is almost 2 years.

Uses
Wasabi is generally sold either in the form of a root, which must be very finely grated before use, or as a ready-to-use paste, usually in tubes approximately the size and shape of travel toothpaste tubes. Once the paste is prepared it should remain covered until served to protect the flavor from evaporation. For this reason, sushi chefs usually put the wasabi between the fish and the rice.

Fresh leaves of wasabi can also be eaten and have some of the hot flavor of wasabi roots. They can be eaten as wasabi salad by pickling overnight with a salt and vinegar based dressing, or by quickly boiling them with a little soy sauce. Additionally, the leaves can be battered and deep-fried into chips.

For those who mistakenly consume too much of this condiment, the burning sensations it can induce are short-lived compared to the effects of chili peppers, especially when water is used to dissipate the flavor.

Wasabi is often served with sushi or sashimi, usually accompanied with soy sauce. The two are sometimes mixed to form a single dipping sauce known as Wasabi-joyu. Legumes may be roasted or fried, then coated with a wasabi-like mixture (usually an imitation); these are then eaten as an eye-watering “in the hand” snack.

Wasabi Ice Cream is a recent but increasingly popular innovation.

Culinary Uses
The pungent flavour of Wasabi lends itself to a great range of culinary uses. For most people the first introduction to its splendid taste is as a condiment for use with Japanese dishes such as Sushi, Sushimi and Soba dishes, and also with raw fish. For these uses it is ground up into a paste for seasoning.

Wasabi (Japanese horseradish) is an essential condiment in Japanese cuisine. It’s the light green paste that accompanies sushi, seafood, noodle dishes, and more. Typically, people dip sashimi (raw fish) slices in a mixture of wasabi and soy sauce. Wasabi is said to be effective as an antidote to prevent food poisoning. That is one reason that wasabi is served with sushi and raw fish slices.

Ideally, to use fresh wasabi, the rhizome is grated by a metal grater. But the availability of fresh wasabi rhizomes is usually low, and 100 % real, fresh wasabi is rarely used. Wasabi powder, which is used by mixing with water, or tubed wasabi, is substituted for fresh wasabi.
These prepared products are commonly used in Japanese homecooking.
The powdered wasabi is made mainly from seiyo-wasabi (western horseradish) powder, mustard powder, and food colorings. Also, the Japanese brands of tubed wasabi (such as S&B) include both real wasabi and western horseradish. It’s more convenient and cheaper to use the wasabi substitutes than using fresh wasabi. But, the taste and smell of real wasabi can never be matched. If you are using the powdered wasabi, mix with it water right before you intend to use it. You can ensure the best flavor that way.

Increasingly, we are finding that the use of wasabi extends beyond the scope of these traditional dishes. It is a flavour in its own right and can be used to enhance dips, meats and other foods.

Chemistry
The chemicals in wasabi that provide its unique flavor are the isothiocyanates, including:

6-methylthiohexyl isothiocyanate,
7-methylthioheptyl isothiocyanate and
8-methylthiooctyl isothiocyanate.
Research has shown that isothiocyanates have beneficial effects such as inhibiting microbe growth. This may partially explain why wasabi is traditionally served with seafood, which spoils quickly. However, if the quality of seafood is questionable, it should not be eaten raw, with or without wasabi. It is not a treatment for food poisoning.

Attributed Medicinal Properties
Besides its unique role as a food condiment, Wasabi also possesses many potential health benefits. A number of studies have shown that the active ingredients in Wasabia japonica are able to kill a number of different types of cancer cells, reduce the possibility of getting blood clots, encourages the bodies own defences to discard cells that have started to mutate, and acts as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent against food poisons.

Wasabia Japonica owes its flavor and health benefits in part to a suite of isothicyanates (ITC’s) with unique characteristics including powerful anti-bacterial properties, which help mitigate microbial elements or pathogens potentially present. This helps reduce the effects food poisoning, supports detoxification and helps prevent conditions that lead to tooth decay. Rich in beta-carotenes and glucosinolates, Wasabi also kills some forms of E-Coli and Staphylococcus. Studies also indicate it helps reduce mucous, which has made it the focus of experiments relating to its use in combating asthma and congestive disorders.

The unique ITC group found in Wasabi includes long-chain methyl isothicyanates which are uncommon in most American’s diets. Long-chain methyl ITC’s have proven efficacy and potency in supporting natural liver and digestive detoxification functions than other more common types of isothicyanates.

The powerful antioxidant characterisics of Wasabi are also attracting additional scientific study. Evidence suggests that glucosinolates and their hydrolysis products are efficacious in reducing cancer risk by encouraging the immune system to discard mutagenic cells.

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/Image:Wasabi%2C_Iwasaki_Kanen_1828.jpg

http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/wasabi.html

http://japanesefood.about.com/od/wasabi/a/wasabi.htm