Senna (Cassia angustifolia Vahl)

Senna alexandrina (= Cassia senna). Tab. 80

Senna alexandrina (= Cassia senna). Tab. 80 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Botanical Name:Cassia Senna(Cassia angustifolia or Cassia acutifolia)
Family: Caesalpiniaceae /Leguminosae
Latin Name : Cassia Angustifolia or Cassia acutifolia.
Latin: Folium Cassiae
Common Names: Alexandrian Senna, Cassia lenitiva, Cassia lanceolata, Cassia officinalis, East Indian Senna, Nubian Senna, Tinnevelly Senna,Cassia senna, Senna, Rajavriksha, Fan xia ye,American senna,locust plant
Trade Name: Senna
Parts Used : Leaves and pods
Habitat :  Senna is a shrub native to Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria and Nubia in North Africa, as well as India,Pakistan and China,Sennas are herbaceous subshrubs and both varieties used, Alexandrian and Tinnevelly, have desert origins.

Description:
A small shrub, about 1 m in height with pale subterete or obtusely angled erect or ascending branches. Leaves usually 5-8 jugate, leaflets oval, lanceolate, glabrous. Racemes axillary erect, waxy many-flowered, usually considerably exceeding the subtending leaf. Bracts membranous, ovate or obovate, caducous. Sepals obtuse, cuncate compressed,cotyledons plane. The pods are 1.4 to 2.8 in long, about 0.8 in wide, greenish brown to dark brown in colour and contain 5-7 obovate dark brown and nearly smooth seeds.

You may click to see the picture.…...(1)…...(2)..…...(3)..…………………..

A shrub with winged leaves, each being made up of six pairs of smaller leaves. The yellow flowers, produced in longish spikes at the tops of the branches, are moderately large and are striped with red.

Cultivation : The crop can thrive on a variety of soils, but is largely grown on red loams and on alluvial loams. The texture of the soil, which account for the major hectarage under senna varies from sandy loam to loam, while the black cotton soils are heavier and more fertile. The average pH ranges from 7 to 8.5. It is very sensitive to water logging. Hence, it is grown only in well-drained soils. Senna requires sunlight for its proper growth. It can be growth in early summer(February-March) or in winter(October-November). North Indian states like Delhi and Gujarat where there is moderate rainfall is reported to be ideal for the luxuriant growth of the plant. Heavy rains and cloudy weather during growth are harmful to the crop. An average rainfall of 25-40 cm. distributed from June to October is sufficient to produce good crop.

Propagation : Seeds

Characteristics and Constituents :
Leaves contain glycosides, sennoside A, sennoside B, sennoside C and sennoside D. Two naphthalene glycosides have been isolated frofn leaves and pods. Senna also contains the yellow flavonol colouring matter kaempferol, its glucoside kaempferin and isorhamnetin.


Medicinal Uses :

It cleanses and purifies the blood and causes a fresh and lively habit of the body. It is used in  constipation,abdominal disorders,leprosy,skin diseases, leucoderma, splenomegaly, hepatopathy, jaundice, helminthiasis, dyspepsia, cough, bronchitis, typhoid fever, anaemia & tumours.

Composition&Application:
Senna is the most widely used anthranoid drug today and has been used for centuries in Western and Eastern systems of medicine as a laxative, usually taken as a tea or swallowed in powdered form.Its medical use was first described in the writings of Arabian physicians Serapion and Mesue as early as the 9th century A.D. The name senna itself is Arabian.
Besides its wide use in conventional Western medicine, senna leaf remains an important drug used in traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Indian Ayurvedic and Unani medicine

You may click to see & learn more uses of senna in medicines:

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.sbepl.com/cassia-angustifolia.html

http://apmab.ap.nic.in/products.php?&start=20#

http://www.mdidea.com/products/new/new040.html

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Video-Asisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)

Introduction:
Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is a recently developed type of surgery that enables doctors to view the inside of the chest cavity after making only very small incisions. It allows surgeons to remove masses close to the outside edges of the lung and to test them for cancer using a much smaller surgery than doctors needed to use in the past. It is also useful for diagnosing certain pneumonia infections, diagnosing infections or tumors of the chest wall, and treating repeatedly collapsing lungs. Doctors are continuing to develop other uses for VATS.
..VATS->.
When compared with a traditional open chest procedure, VATS has reduced the amount of chest wall trauma, deformity, and post-operative pain. While an open procedure generally requires a 30-40 cm incision, video-assisted biopsies can be performed through three 1 cm ports , and a VATS lobectomy, a resection of one lobe of the lung, is performed using a 5-8 cm incision.

How do you prepare for the test?
Discuss the specific procedures planned during your chest surgery ahead of time with your doctor. VATS is done by either a surgeon or a trained pulmonary specialist. You will need to sign a consent form giving the surgeon permission to perform this test. Talk to your doctor about whether you will stay in the hospital for any time after the procedure, so that you can plan for this.

You may need to have tests called pulmonary function tests (see page 33) before this surgery, to make sure that you can recover well.

If you are taking insulin, discuss this with your doctor before the test. If you take aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or other medicines that affect blood clotting, talk with your doctor. It may be necessary to stop or adjust the dose of these medicines before your test.

You will be told not to eat anything for at least eight hours before the surgery. An empty stomach helps prevent the nausea that can be a side effect of anesthesia medicines.

Before the surgery (sometimes on the same day), you will meet with an anesthesiologist to go over your medical history (including medicines and allergies) and to discuss the anesthesia.

What happens when the test is performed?

VATS is done in an operating room. You wear a hospital gown and have an IV (intravenous) line placed in your arm so that you can receive medicines through it.

VATS is usually done with general anesthesia, which puts you to sleep so you are unconscious during the procedure. General anesthesia is administered by an anesthesiologist, who asks you to breathe a mixture of gases through a mask. After the anesthetic takes effect, a tube is put down your throat to help you breathe. Your anesthesiologist can use this tube to make you breathe using only one of your lungs. This way the other lung can be completely deflated and allow the surgeon a full view of your chest cavity on that side during the procedure.

If VATS is being used only to evaluate a problem on the inside of the ribcage (not the lung itself), then it can sometimes be done using regional anesthesia. With regional anesthesia, you are not asleep during the surgery, but are given medicines that make you very groggy and that keep you from feeling pain in the chest. This is done with either a spinal block or an epidural block, in which an anesthesiologist injects the anesthetic through a needle or tube in your back or neck. You do your own breathing with this type of anesthesia, but one of your lungs will be partly collapsed to allow the doctors to move instruments between the lung and the chest wall.

When you meet with the thoracic surgeon, a physical exam will be performed and your treatment options will be discussed. The thoracic surgeon will discuss the benefits and potential risks of the surgical procedure that is recommended for you.

In general, preoperative tests include: (links will open in a new window)

*Blood tests
*Pulmonary function test (breathing test)
*CT scan
*Electrocardiogram

Your surgeon will determine if any additional preoperative tests are needed, based on the type of procedure that will be performed. If a cardiac (heart) evaluation is necessary, a consultation with a cardiologist will be scheduled in our internationally-renowned Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute.

As part of your preoperative evaluation, you will meet with an anesthesiologist who will discuss anesthesia and post-operative pain control.

The thoracic surgery scheduler will schedule any additional tests and consultations that have been requested by your surgeon. In general, after your first meeting with your surgeon, all tests are scheduled on a single returning visit for your convenience.

You spend the surgery lying on your side. A very small incision (less than an inch long) is made, usually between your seventh and eighth ribs. Carbon dioxide gas is allowed to flow into your chest through this opening, while your lung on that side is made to partly or completely collapse. A tiny camera on a tube, called a thoracoscope, is then inserted through the opening. Your doctor can see the work he or she is doing by watching a video screen.

If you are having a procedure more complicated than inspection of the chest and lung, the doctor makes one or two other small incisions to allow additional instruments to reach into your chest. These additional incisions are usually made in a curving line along your lower ribcage. A wide variety of instruments are useful in VATS. These include instruments that can cut away a section of your lung and seal the hole left in your lung using small staples, instruments that can burn away scar tissue, and tools to remove small biopsy samples such as lymph nodes from your chest.

At the end of your surgery, the instruments are removed, the lung is reinflated, and all but one of the small incisions are stitched closed. For most patients, a tube (called a chest tube) is placed through the remaining opening to help drain any leaking air or fluid that collects after the surgery.

If you are having general anesthesia, it is stopped so that you can wake up within a few minutes of your VATS being finished, although you will remain drowsy for a while afterward.

How long will you stay in the hospital after thoracoscopic surgery?
The length of your hospital stay will vary, depending on the procedure that is performed. In general, patients who have thoracoscopic lung biopsies or wedge resections are able to go home the day after surgery. Patients who have a VATS lobectomy are usually able to go home 3 to 4 days after surgery.
Risk Factors:
It is easier for patients to recover from VATS compared with regular chest surgery (often called “open” surgery) because the wounds from the incisions are much smaller. You will have a small straight scar (less than an inch long) wherever the instruments were inserted. There are some potentially serious risks from VATS surgery. Air leaks from the lung that don’t heal up quickly can keep you in the hospital a longer time and occasionally require additional treatment. About 1% of patients have significant bleeding requiring a transfusion or larger operation.

Sometimes, especially if cancer is diagnosed, your doctors will decide that you need a larger surgery to treat your problem in the safest manner possible. Your doctors might discuss this option with you ahead of time. That way, if necessary, the doctors can change over to a larger incision and do open chest surgery while you are still under anesthesia. Death from complications of VATS surgery does occur in rare cases, but less frequently than with open chest surgery.

General anesthesia is safe for most patients, but it is estimated to result in major or minor complications in 3%-10% of people having surgery of all types. These complications are mostly heart and lung problems and infections.

Irritation of the diaphragm and chest wall can cause pain in the chest or shoulder for a few days. Some patients experience some nausea from medicines used for anesthesia or anxiety.

What will happen after your thoracoscopic surgery?
Your thoracic surgery team, including your surgeon, surgical residents and fellows, surgical nurse clinicians, social workers and anesthesiologist, will help you recovery as quickly as possible. During your recovery, you and your family will receive updates about your progress so you’ll know when you can go home.

Your health care team will provide specific instructions for your recovery and return to work, including guidelines for activity, driving, incision care and diet.

Most patients stay in the hospital for at least one day after a VATS procedure to recover from the surgery. Most patients have a chest tube left in the chest for a few days, to help drain out leaking air or collections of fluid. You should notify your doctor if you experience fever, shortness of breath, or chest pain.

Follow-Up Appointment: A follow-up appointment will be scheduled 7 to 10 days after your surgery. Your surgeon will assess the wound sites and your recovery at your follow-up appointment and provide guidelines about your activities and return to work.

Most people who undergo minimally invasive thoracic surgery can return to work within 3 to 4 weeks.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Your doctor can tell you how the surgery went as soon as it is finished. If biopsy samples were taken, these often require several days to be examined.

Resources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/video-assisted-thoracic-surgery.shtml

http://www.cancernews.com/data/Article/242.asp

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/thoracic/services/video_assisted.aspx

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Indoor Plants Cut Formaldehyde

Indoor plants can reduce formaldehyde levels in the air, according to a new study.

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The sources of the toxic gas formaldehyde are building materials including carpeting, curtains, plywood, and adhesives.

As it is emitted, it deteriorates the air quality, which can lead to ‘multiple chemical sensitivity‘ and ‘sick building syndrome‘, medical conditions with symptoms such as allergies, asthma, and headaches.

The prevalence of formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOC) is greater in new construction.

In the study, lead author Kwang Jin Kim of Korea‘s National Horticultural Research Institute compared the absorption rate of two types of houseplants, Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) and Fatsia japonica, an evergreen shrub.

During the study, equal amounts of formaldehyde were pumped into containers holding each type of plant in three configurations: whole, roots-only with the leafy portion cut off, and aerial-only, with the below-ground portion sealed off, leaving the stem and leaves exposed.

The results showed the combined total of aerial-only and roots-only portions was similar to the amount removed by whole plants. Complete plants removed approximately 80 percent of the formaldehyde within 4 hours.

Control chambers pumped with the same amount of formaldehyde, but not containing any plant parts, decreased by 7.3 percent during the day and 6.9 percent overnight within 5 hours. As the length of exposure increased, the amount of absorption decreased, which appeared to be due to the reduced concentration of the gas.

Aerial parts of reduced more formaldehyde during the day than at night. This suggests the role played by stomata, tiny slits on the surface of the leaves that are only open during the day.

The portion of formaldehyde that was reduced during the night was most likely absorbed through a thin film on the plant’s surface known as the cuticle. Root zones of ficus removed similar amounts between night and day. However, japonica root zones removed more formaldehyde at night.

Researchers consider micro-organisms living among the soil and root system to be a major contributor to the reduction. Japonica was planted in larger pots than the ficus, which may account for the lower night reduction rate of the latter.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Wine Raises Cancer Risk by 168%

Wine drinkers beware! A new study has claimed that sipping just a small goblet of wine every day can more than double the risk of cancer.
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The study by France’s National Cancer Institute (INCA) says that consuming just a 125ml glass of wine increases the chance of developing mouth and throat cancer by 168%, Daily Mail reported.

Other cancers are also more likely to strike regular drinkers, the study claimed. The INCA study warned that consumption of alcohol is associated with an increase in the risk of cancers mouth, larynx, esophagus, colon-rectum, and breast cancer.


Sources:
The Times Of India

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TB (Tuberculosis) Skin Test Or Mantoux Test

Introduction :
The Mantoux skin test consists of an intradermal injection of exactly one tenth of a milliliter (mL) of PPD tuberculin. The size of induration is measured 48–72 hours later. Erythema (redness) should not be measured.The Mantoux test (also known as the Mantoux screening test, Tuberculin Sensitivity Test, Pirquet test, or PPD test for Purified Protein Derivative) is a diagnostic tool for tuberculosis. It is one of the two major tuberculin skin tests used in the world, largely replacing multiple-puncture tests such as the Tine test. Until 2005, the Heaf test was used in the United Kingdom, but the Mantoux test is now used. The Mantoux test is also used in Australia, Canada, Hungary, The Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa and the United States and is endorsed by the American Thoracic Society and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It was also used in the USSR and is now prevalent in most of the former Soviet states

click to see the picture………..(1).…(..2).……..(3)

The Mantoux skin test consists of an intradermal injection of exactly one tenth of a milliliter (mL) of PPD tuberculin.

The size of induration is measured 48–72 hours later. Erythema (redness) should not be measured.
.Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that most often involves the lungs, but can involve many other organs. Although antibiotics can treat most cases, TB remains one of the most common causes of death worldwide. The TB skin test, also called the purified protein derivative (PPD) test or Mantoux test, shows if you’ve ever been infected with the bacteria that cause tuberculosis. Infections with these bacteria can be active or inactive. In active infections, the bacteria are reproducing rapidly, and the person is contagious when he or she coughs. In people with inactive infections, the bacteria are alive deep within the lungs, but “asleep.” Because inactive infections can later “wake up” and become active, it is important to recognize and treat both types of TB infections.

History:
Tuberculin is a glycerine extract of the tubercule bacilli. Purified protein derivative (PPD) tuberculin is a precipitate of non-species-specific molecules obtained from filtrates of sterilized, concentrated cultures. It was first described by Robert Koch in 1890. The test is named after Charles Mantoux, a French physician who developed on the work of Koch and Clemens von Pirquet to create his test in 1907.

In 1939, M. A. Linnikova in the USSR created a modified version of PPD. In 1954, the Soviet Union started mass production of PPD-L, named after Linnikova.

Procedure:
A standard dose of 5 Tuberculin units (0.1 mL) (The standard Mantoux test in the UK consists of an intradermal injection of 2TU of Statens Serum Institute (SSI) tuberculin RT23 in 0.1ml solution for injection.) is injected intradermally (between the layers of dermis) and read 48 to 72 hours later. A person who has been exposed to the bacteria is expected to mount an immune response in the skin containing the bacterial proteins.

The reaction is read by measuring the diameter of induration (palpable raised hardened area) across the forearm (perpendicular to the long axis) in millimeters. If there is no induration, the result should be recorded as “0 mm”. Erythema (redness) should not be measured.

If a person has had a history of a positive tuberculin skin test, another skin test is not needed

How do you prepare for the test?
Because vaccinations and steroids can affect the results of the test, tell your doctor if you’ve recently been vaccinated for an infectious disease or if you’re taking a steroid medication.

Classification of tuberculin reaction:
The results of this test must be interpreted carefully. The person’s medical risk factors determine at which increment (5 mm, 10 mm, or 15 mm) of induration the result is considered positive.[3] A positive result indicates TB exposure.

*5 mm or more is positive in

*HIV-positive person

*Recent contacts of TB case

*Persons with nodular or fibrotic changes on chest x-ray consistent with old healed TB

*Patients with organ transplants and other immunosuppressed patients

*10 mm or more is positive in

*Recent arrivals (less than 5 years) from high-prevalence countries

*Injection drug users

*Residents and employees of high-risk congregate settings (e.g., prisons, nursing homes, hospitals, homeless shelters, etc.)

*Mycobacteriology lab personnel

*Persons with clinical conditions that place them at high risk (e.g., diabetes, prolonged corticosteroid therapy, leukemia, end-stage renal disease, chronic malabsorption syndromes, low body weight, etc)

*Children less than 4 years of age, or children and adolescents exposed to adults in high-risk categories

*15 mm or more is positive in

*Persons with no known risk factors for TB

*(Note: Targeted skin testing programs should only be conducted among high-risk groups)

A tuberculin test conversion is defined as an increase of 10 mm or more within a 2-year period, regardless of age.

False positive result:
A false positive result may be caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria or previous administration of BCG vaccine. Prior vaccination with BCG may result in a false-positive result for many years afterwards

BCG vaccine and the Mantoux test:
There is disagreement about the role of Mantoux testing in people who have been vaccinated. The US recommendation is that tuberculin skin testing is not contraindicated for BCG-vaccinated persons and that prior BCG vaccination should not influence the interpretation of the test. The UK recommendation is that interferon-? testing should be used to help interpret positive Mantoux tests, and that serial tuberculin skin testing must not be done in people who have had prior BCG vaccination. Please refer to the chapter on latent tuberculosis for a discussion of the two approaches. In general, the US recommendation results in a much larger number of people being falsely diagnosed with latent tuberculosis, while the UK approach probably misses patients with latent tuberculosis who should be treated.

According to the U. S. guidelines, latent TB infection (LTBI) diagnosis and treatment for LTBI is considered for any BCG-vaccinated person whose skin test is 10 mm or greater, if any of these circumstances are present:

*Was in contact with another person with infectious TB

*Was born or has lived in a high TB prevalence country

*Is continually exposed to populations where TB prevalence is high.

Anergy testing:
In cases of anergy, a lack of reaction by the body’s defence mechanisms when it comes into contact with foreign substances, the tuberculin reaction will occur weakly, thus compromising the value of Mantoux testing. For example, anergy is present in AIDS, a disease which strongly depresses the immune system. Therefore, anergy testing is advised in cases where suspicion is warranted that it is present. However, routine anergy skin testing is not recommended.

Two-step testing:
Some people who were previously infected with TB may have a negative reaction when tested years after infection, as the immune system response may gradually wane. This initial skin test, though negative, may stimulate (boost) the body’s ability to react to tuberculin in future tests. Thus, a positive reaction to a subsequent test may be misinterpreted as a new infection, when in fact it is the result of the boosted reaction to an old infection.

Use two-step testing for initial skin testing of adults who will be retested periodically (e.g., health care workers). This ensures that any future positive tests can be interpreted as being caused by a new infection, rather than simply a reaction to an old infection.

*Return to have first test read 48–72 hours after injection

*If first test is positive, consider the person infected.

*If first test is negative, give second test 1–3 weeks after first injection

*Return to have second test read 48–72 hours after injection

*If second test is positive, consider person previously infected

*If second test is negative, consider person uninfected [6]

A person who is diagnosed as “infected” on two-step testing is called a “tuberculin converter”. The US recommendation that prior BCG-vaccination be ignored results in almost universal false diagnosis of tuberculosis infection in people who have had BCG (mostly foreign nationals). Please refer to the chapter on BCG for a discussion of boosting. The UK guidelines avoid this error

Recent developments:
As a replacement for the Mantoux test, several other tests are being developed. QuantiFERON-TB Gold is a blood test that measures the patient’s immune reactivity to the TB bacteria and is useful for initial and serial testing of persons with an increased risk of latent or active tuberculosis infection. Guidelines for the use of QuantiFERON-TB Gold were released by the CDC in December 2005. QuantiFERON-TB Gold is FDA approved in the United States, has CE Mark approval in Europe and has been approved by the MHLW in Japan.

Heaf Test:
The Heaf test is a tuberculin skin test formerly used in the United Kingdom, but discontinued in 2005.

The equivalent Mantoux test positive levels done with 10 TU (0.1 mL 100 TU/mL, 1:1000) are

*<5 mm induration (Heaf 0-1)

*5-15 mm induration (Heaf 2)

*>15 mm induration (Heaf 3-4)

Risk Factors:There are no risks.

Results:The result is known two to three days later when the skin is examined. If the test is positive, your doctor may do blood or urine tests and x-rays of the chest and possibly other parts of the body to look for evidence of an active infection. If you do not have an active infection, your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic given over several months, to help prevent you from developing active tuberculosis. If you do have an active infection, a much more intensive treatment involving multiple antibiotics is required.

Sources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/tb-skin-test.shtml

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

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Nalleru

Botanical Name:Cissus quadrangula L.
Family :Vitaceae
syn.: Vitis quadrangula (L.) Wallich ex Wight & Arn.
English Names: edible-stemmed vine
Common (Indian) Names:-
Sanskrit: asthisonhara; vajravalli Hindi: hadjod; hadjora; harsankari
Bengali: hasjora; harbhanga
Marathi: chaudhari; kandavela
Gujrati: chadhuri; vedhari
Telugu: nalleru
Tamil: pirandai
Canarese: mangaroli

Habitat : In India, it grow as wild plant. Also under cultivation in fairly large areas.

Related Species
The genus Cissus include over 350 species. Some important species are:
Cissus adnata Roxb. syn. Vitis adnata Wall. ex. Wight. (Malyalam: nadena; Telugu: kokkita yaralu)
Cissus discolor Blume syn. Vitis discolor Dalz.
Cissus pallida Planch. syn. Vitis pallida W & A. (Canarese: kondage; Telugu: nalltige; Oriya: takuonoil)
Cissus repanda Vahl. syn. Vitis repanda W & A.
Cissus repens Lan. syn. Vitis repens W & A.
Cissus setosa syn. Vitis setosa Wall.

Description: Climbing herb, tendrils simple, opposite to the leaves, leaves simple or lobbed, sometimes 3-folialate, dentate. Flowers bisexual, tetramerous, in umbellate cymes, opposite to the leaves, Calyx cup-shaped, obscurely 4-lobed. Fruit globose or obovoid fleshy berries, one seeded, dark purple to black; seeds ellipsoid or pyriform. Flowering and fruiting time May-June.

Click to see the picture

click to see

Cultivation :In India, it is mainly grown in fence and in between tree plantations. The fence wire and trees act as support to this climbing herbs. In many parts, it is grown as field crop and given support with the help of Bamboo sticks. Propagated by seeds, grafting

Chemical Constituents : Delphinicdin-3-gentiobioside, Malvidin-3-laminaribioside, Petunidin-3-gentiobioside, 4,6-hexahydroxydiphenny glucose, gallic acid, ellagic acid.

Delphinicdin-3-gentiobioside, Malvidin-3-laminaribioside, Petunidin-3-gentiobioside, 4,6-hexahydroxydiphenny glucose, gallic acid, ellagic acid

Medicinal Properties and Uses: It is mainly used as healer of bone fractures. It is one of the very frequently used herb by traditional bone setters of India. (In Hindi Hadj=bone; Jod=to fix). It is also used for piles, asthma, digestive troubles, cough, and loss of appetite.

Ayurvedic formulations: Asthisamharaka juice, powder and decoction of dried stalks.

Other Uses: Stems and roots yield strong fiber. Young shoots are used in curries.

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://apmab.ap.nic.in/products.php?&start=20#

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/CropFactSheets/cissus.html

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Docs Claim Leukemia Cure with Arsenic, Vitamin A

Doctors appear to have safely and successfully treated patients with cancer of the blood and bone marrow with a combination of arsenic and vitamin A, according to long-term study in China.

In an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the doctors said they prescribed the regimen to 85 patients and monitored them for an average of 70 months. Of these, 80 patients went into complete remission and the researchers did not find any associated long-term problems and there was no development of secondary cancers.

“Two years after the treatment, the patients had arsenic levels well below safety limits, and only slightly higher .

Sources: The Times Of India

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Now, Bypass Without Cutting a Single Bone

In what is claimed to be the first of its kind procedure in the country, doctors at Indraprastha Apollo hospital have used a minimally  invasive technique to perform a multiple graft heart bypass surgery on a 53-year-old woman without cutting through a single bone.
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The new procedure, doctors claim, is less painful than conventional bypass surgery and leads to much faster healing. “This is the first time in India multiple grafts have been put, especially at the backside of the heart, through minimally invasive coronary surgery. In conventional bypass, the sternum is cut open and that takes at least 6-8 weeks to heal. In the new method no bone is cut,” said Dr Naresh Trehan, senior cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, Indraprastha Apollo hospital.

The new procedure can be performed on any patient needing a coronory bypass and would be especially helpful for diabetics, who take longer to recover from conventional surgery, Dr Trehan said.

The surgery was performed on Suman Singhal, who was rushed to Apollo after she had radiating pain in her left arm and was diagnosed with multiple blockages last week. Suman was informed about the new technique and was quick to give her consent. “The cosmetic damage is very less. In women, one can’t even see the scar as it is below the breast. We procured specialized instruments on Friday and operated on her the next day,” said Dr Trehan.

Three incisions were made, two of which were used to insert the equipment that stabilized the heart and from the third the surgeon manually performed the bypass. “The equipment is designed such that the two instruments stabilize the heart. One instrument, called an octopus stabiliser, is inserted from the right side and has a suction pump attached to it. This instrument sucks the heart and stabilizes it. The other instrument, inserted from the left, also helps in stabilizing the beating heart. An 8cm-long incision is made underneath the breast through which we manually put the grafts taken from the internal mammary artery and radial artery,” explained Dr Trehan.

The new technique helps put grafts at the backside of the heart. “Accessing the backside of the heart is difficult through minimally invasive surgery. Even in robotic surgery, we can’t put grafts at the backside of the heart, but we are developing it further. But here, the instrument that holds the heart is able to rotate it such that the backside is clearly visible to the surgeon,” he added.

The advantages over conventional bypass are many, say doctors. “We don’t require many blood transfusions. In Suman’s case, we didn’t require any blood transfusion. The hospital stay is also short as compared to conventional surgery in which the patient stays in hospital for 7-8 days and takes 6-8 weeks for complete recovery,” said Dr Yatin Mehta, senior consultant, anaesthesia, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. This surgery costs less than a conventional surgery “as the number of consumables used are less and hospital stay is just for 3-4 days,” said Dr Mehta.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Otaheite Gooseberry

Botanical Name:Phyllanthus acidus
Family: Phyllanthaceae
Other Names:Malay gooseberry, Tahitian gooseberry, country gooseberry, star gooseberry, West India gooseberry or simply gooseberry tree,Kuppanti, Buddabudama / Tankari / Physalis minima, Linn.
In Telugu it is called Nela Usiri
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Tribe: Phyllantheae
Subtribe: Flueggeinae
Genus: Phyllanthus
Species: P. acidus
Parts Used :  Whole plant

Habitat:This tropical or subtropical species is thought to originate in Madagascar, then carried to the East Indies. Now it is generally found in South India, and Southeast Asia countries, such as Southern Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Northern Malaya. It also occurs in the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius, Réunion and Rodrigues and also in Guam, Hawaii and several other Pacific islands. In 1793, the plant was introduces to Jamaica from Timor. From there, it progressively spread to the whole Caribbean region, as far as the Bahamas or Bermuda. It is now naturalized in Central and South America.

In the United States, the tree is occasionally found as a curiosity in Florida. For instance, it is resistant enough to fruit in Tampa.

Description:The plant is a curious intermediary between shrubs and tree, reaching 2 to 9 m in height. The tree’s dense and bushy crown is composed of thickish, tough main branches, at the end of which are clusters of deciduous, greenish, 15-to-30-cm long branchlets. The branchlets bear alternate leaves that are ovate or lanceolate in form, with short petioles and pointed ends. The leaves are 2-7.5 cm long and thin, they are green and smooth on the upperside and blue-green on the underside. In general, the Otaheite gooseberry very much looks like the bilimbi tree.
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LeavesThe flowers can be male, female or hermaphrodite. They are small and pinkish and appear in clusters in 5-to-12.5-cm long panicles. Flowers are formed at leafless parts of the main branches, at the upper part of the tree. The fruits are numerous, oblate, with 6 to 8 ribs, develop so densely that they actually form spectacular masses. They are pale yellow or white, waxy, crisp and juicy, and very sour. It has only one seed in each fruit.

Cultivation:
The Otaheite gooseberry prefers moist soil. Although it usually grows from seeds, the tree can also be multiplied from budding, greenwood cuttings or air-layers. It bears two crops per year in South India: one in April-May and the other in August-September. Elsewhere, it is mainly harvested in January. It is mostly cultivated for ornamentation.

Food Uses:
The flesh must be sliced from the stone, or the fruits must be cooked and then pressed through a sieve to separate the stones. The sliced raw flesh can be covered with sugar and let stand in the refrigerator for a day. The sugar draws out the juice and modifies the acidity so that the flesh and juice can be used as a sauce. If left longer, the flesh shrivels and the juice can be strained off as a clear, pale-yellow sirup. In Indonesia, the tart flesh is added to many dishes as a flavoring. The juice is used in cold drinks in the Philippines. Bahamian cooks soak the whole fruits in salty water overnight to reduce the acidity, then rinse, boil once or twice, discarding the water, then boil with equal amount of sugar until thick, and put up in sterilized jars without removing seeds. The repeated processing results in considerable loss of flavor. Fully ripe fruits do not really require this treatment. If cooked long enough with plenty of sugar, the fruit and juice turn ruby-red and yield a sprightly jelly. In Malaya, the ripe or unripe Otaheite gooseberry is cooked and served as a relish, or made into a thick sirup or sweet preserve. It is also combined with other fruits in making chutney and jam because it helps these products to “set”. Often, the fruits are candied, or pickled in salt. In the Philippines, they are used to make vinegar.

The young leaves are cooked as greens in India and Indonesia.
The juice can be used in beverage, or the fruit pickled in sugar. When cooked with plenty of sugar, the fruit turns ruby red and produces a kind of jelly, which is called m?t chùm ru?t in Vietnamese. It can also be salted.

The fruit is called “Grosella” in Puerto Rico. Since the fruit is tart, it if often eaten in “Dulce de Grosellas”. The preparation of this dessert consist in simmering the berries with sugar until they are soft and turn red in color. The liquid from the cooking is also used as a beverage.

Other Uses
Wood: The wood is light-brown, fine-grained, attractive, fairly hard, strong, tough, durable if seasoned, but scarce, as the tree is seldom cut down.
Root bark: The root bark has limited use in tanning in India.


Medicinal Uses:Enlargement of Spleen, to restore flaccid breasts, to restore lost vigour,Bronchitis, Erysipelas, Ulcers, Ascites,Tonic, Diuretic, Purgative.

In India, the fruits are taken as liver tonic, to enrich the blood. The sirup is prescribed as a stomachic; and the seeds are cathartic. The leaves, with added pepper, are poulticed on sciatica, lumbago or rheumatism. A decoction of the leaves is given as a sudorific. Because of the mucilaginous nature of the leaves, they are taken as a demulcent in cases of gonorrhea.

The root is drastically purgative and regarded as toxic in Malaya but is boiled and the steam inhaled to relieve coughs and headache. The root infusion is taken in very small doses to alleviate asthma. Externally, the root is used to treat psoriasis of the soles of feet. The juice of the root bark, which contains saponin, gallic acid, tannin and a crystalline substance which may be lupeol, has been employed in criminal poisoning.

The acrid latex of various parts of the tree is emetic and purgative.

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/Otaheite_gooseberry

http://apmab.ap.nic.in/products.php?&start=10#

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/otaheite_gooseberry.html

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Chemists Shed Light On Health Benefits Of Garlic

It has long been believed that the organic compound allicin, which gives garlic its characteristic aroma and flavor, acts as the world’s most powerful antioxidant. But until now it hasn’t been clear how allicin works, or how it compares to more common antioxidants such as vitamin E and coenzyme Q10.

…………………………Garlic. Chemists have discovered the reason why garlic is so good for us. (Credit: iStockphoto/Jorge Farres Sanchez)

.A research team investigated whether allicin could be as effective as claimed. Through experiments with synthetically produced allicin, they found that sulfenic acid produced when the compound decomposes rapidly reacts with dangerous free radicals.

Researchers said that the reaction between the sulfenic acid and radicals is as fast as it can get, limited only by the time it takes for the two molecules to come into contact. No other compound has been observed to react as an antioxidant so quickly.

Sources:
Science Daily January 31, 2009

Angewandte Chemie International Edition December 22, 2008, Volume 48 Issue 1, Pages 157-160

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