Slash Your Prostate Cancer Risk — With Sunlight!

Men with prostate cancer are as much as seven times less likely to die if they have high levels of the “sunshine vitamin” — vitamin D — according to a new study.

The research looked at 160 patients with prostate cancer who were classified as having either low, medium, or high blood levels of vitamin D. Over the course of the multi-year study, 52 of the patients died of prostate cancer. Low vitamin D levels were found to significantly affect chances of survival.

The study’s authors theorized that since vitamin D has a similar structure to androgen, it might amplify the therapeutic effects of lowering androgen levels and improve the survival chances of men with prostate cancer.

Sources: British Journal of Cancer 2009; 100: 450-454

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Manjishtha (Indian Madder)

Botanical Name : Rubia cardifolia
Family Name: Rubiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales
Tribe: Rubieae
Genus: Rubia
vernacular Name: Sans-Mnajistha ,Hind - Manjith , Eng-indian madder

Habitat:Native to the Old World, Africa, temperate Asia and America.

Description:Rubia is a genus of the madder family Rubiaceae, which contains about 60 species of perennial scrambling or climbing herbs and sub-shrubs. It is prickly creeper or climber with a wide range of morphological characters.

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The Common Madder can grow to 1.5 m in height. The evergreen leaves are 5-10 cm long and 2-3 cm broad, produced in whorls of 4-7 starlike around the central stem. It climbs with tiny hooks at the leaves and stems. The flowers are small (3-5 mm across), with five pale yellow petals, in dense racemes, and appear from June to August, followed by small (4-6 mm diameter) red to black berries. The roots can be over a metre long, up to 12 mm thick and the source of a red dye known as rose madder. It prefers loamy soils with a constant level of moisture. Madders are used as food plants for the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Hummingbird hawk moth.

Species
Rubia akane
Rubia alaica Pachom.
Rubia angustifolia L.
Rubia chinensis Regel & Maack
Rubia chitralensis Ehrend.
Rubia cordata Thunb
Rubia cordifolia L. : Indian Madder
Rubia cretacea Pojark.
Rubia deserticola Pojark.
Rubia dolichophylla Schrenk
Rubia florida Boiss.
Rubia fruticosa
Rubia jesoensis (Miq.) Miyabe & Miyake
Rubia komarovii Pojark.
Rubia krascheninnikovii Pojark.
Rubia laevissima Tscherneva
Rubia laxiflora Gontsch.
Rubia pavlovii Bajtenov & Myrz.
Rubia peregrina L. : Wild Madder
Rubia rechingeri Ehrend.
Rubia regelii Pojark.
Rubia rezniczenkoana Litv.
Rubia rigidifolia Pojark.
Rubia schugnanica B.Fedtsch. ex Pojark.
Rubia sikkimensis Kurz
Rubia syrticola Miq.
Rubia tatarica (Trevir.) F.Schmidt
Rubia tibetica Hook.f.
Rubia tinctorum L. : Common Madder
Rubia transcaucasica Grossh.
Rubia yunnanensis (Franch. ex Diels) Diels
Poultice of Rubia ( Rinias in Kurdish) and yolk of eggs is used to treat of bone fraction in Traditional Kurdish Medicine in Iran (Ref. Kurdish Ethnopharmacology Group; Mohammad Amirian).

Constituents:
The roots contain a mixture of purpurin (trihydroxy anthraquinone) and munjistin (xanthopurpurin-2-carboxylic acid), and small amounts of xanthopurpurin or purpuroxanthin and pseudopurpurin (purpurin-3-carboxylic acid). Several substituted naphthoquinones and hydroxy anhraquinones and their glycosides have been isolated from the roots. Aldehyde aceate, dihydromollugin and rubimallin showed antibacterial activities.

The roots contain the acid ruberthyrin. By drying, fermenting or a treatment with acids, this is changed to sugar, alizarin and purpurin. Purpurin is normally not coloured, but is red when dissolved in alcalic solutions. Mixed with clay and treated with alum and ammonia, it gives a brilliant red colourant (madder lake).

History
Early evidence of dyeing comes from India where a piece of cotton dyed with madder has been recovered from the archaeological site at Mohenjo-daro (3rd millennium BCE).[1] Dioscorides and Pliny the Elder (De Re Natura) mention the plant (Rubia passiva). In Viking age levels of York, remains of both woad and madder have been excavated. The oldest textiles dyed with madder come from the grave of the Merovingian queen Arnegundis in St. Denis near Paris (between 565 and 570 AD). In the “Capitulare de villis” of Charlemagne, madder is mentioned as “warentiam”. The herbal of Hildegard of Bingen mentions the plant as well. The red coats of the British Redcoats were dyed with madder.

According to Culpeper’s herbal, the plant is ruled by Mars and has an opening quality, and will bind and strengthen afterwards. It was used in the treatment of jaundice, obstruction of the spleen, melancholy, palsy, haemorrhoids, sciatica, and of bruises. The root should be boiled in wine, and sugar or honey added. The seed of madder, drunk with vinegar and honey is used for the swelling of the spleen. Leaves and stems are used when the monthly female menstrual bleeding is late. Leaves and roots are squashed and put on freckles and other discolorations of the skin.

Uses:
It has been used since ancient times as a vegetable red dye for leather, wool, cotton and silk. For dye production, the roots are harvested in the first year. The outer brown layer gives the common variety of the dye, the lower yellow layer the refined variety. The dye is fixed to the cloth with help of a mordant, most commonly alum. Madder can be fermented for dyeing as well (Fleurs de garance). In France, the remains were used to produce a spirit as well.

The roots contain the acid ruberthyrin. By drying, fermenting or a treatment with acids, this is changed to sugar, alizarin and purpurin. Purpurin is normally not coloured, but is red when dissolved in alcalic solutions. Mixed with clay and treated with alum and ammonia, it gives a brilliant red colourant (madder lake).

The pulverised roots can be dissolved in sulfuric acid, which leaves a dye called garance (the French name for madder) after drying. Another method of increasing the yield consisted of dissolving the roots in sulfuric acid after they had been used for dyeing. This produces a dye called garanceux. By treating the pulverized roots with alcohol, colorin was produced. It contained 40-50 times the amount of alizarin of the roots.

The chemical name for the pigment is alizarin, of the anthraquinone-group. In 1869, the German chemists Graebe and Liebermann synthesised artificial alizarin, which was produced industrially from 1871 onwards, which effectively put an end to the cultivation of madder. In the 20th century, madder was only grown in some areas of France.

Medicinal Uses:A spreading plant with wines. Paste made of root in honey is applied over freckles, skin discoloration, leucoderma, inflammation, swellings, scaly skin disease, skin ulcers etc. Paste made of roots should be applied on insect bites. On inflammation and swellings due to fractures roots of Rubia cordifolia and glycyrrhiza glabra mixed with rice vinegar is applied.

Ayurvedic Uses:
Parts used – roots

Properties and uses
The roots are sweet, bitter, astringent, thermogenic, anti inflammatory, antiseptic, digestive, carminative, antidysentric, diuretic, galacto-purifier, ophthalmic, rejuvenating and tonic.

Useful in vitiated kapha and pitta, rheumatoid arthritis, neuralgia, cephalalgia, dyspepsia, flatulence, diarrhea, lepsory, skin diseases, leucoderma, pruritus, wounds, ulcers, amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, opthalmopathy, intermattent fever, pharyngitis, cough, diabetes, discolouration of skin, sloe healing of broken bones, tubercular conditions of skin, jaundice, hepatopathy, splenopathy, leucorrhoea, pectoral diseases and general debility.

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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/Madder

http://www.indiavideo.org/text/indian-madder-936.php

http://www.drugdelivery.ca/s33632-s-MANJISHTHA.aspx

http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#kanchanara

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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm(AAA)

 

Definition:
The aorta is the largest artery in your body, and it carries oxygen-rich blood pumped out of, or away from, your heart. Your aorta runs through your chest, where it is called the thoracic aorta. When it reaches your abdomen, it is called the abdominal aorta. The abdominal aorta supplies blood to the lower part of the body. In the abdomen, just below the navel, the aorta splits into two branches, called the iliac arteries, which carry blood into each leg.

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When a weak area of the abdominal aorta expands or bulges, it is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). The pressure from blood flowing through your abdominal aorta can cause a weakened part of the aorta to bulge, much like a balloon. A normal aorta is about 1 inch (or about 2 centimeters) in diameter. However, an AAA can stretch the aorta beyond its safety margin as it expands. Aneurysms are a health risk because they can burst or rupture. A ruptured aneurysm can cause severe internal bleeding, which can lead to shock or even death.

Less commonly, AAA can cause another serious health problem called embolization. Clots or debris can form inside the aneurysm and travel to blood vessels leading to other organs in your body. If one of these blood vessels becomes blocked, it can cause severe pain or even more serious problems, such as limb loss.

Each year, physicians diagnose approximately 200,000 people in the United States with AAA. Of those 200,000, nearly 15,000 may have AAA threatening enough to cause death from its rupture if not treated.

Fortunately, especially when diagnosed early before it causes symptoms, an AAA can be treated, or even cured, with highly effective and safe treatments.

Symptoms:
Although you may initially not feel any symptoms with AAA, if you develop symptoms, you may experience one or more of the following:

*A pulsing feeling in your abdomen, similar to a heartbeat

*Severe, sudden pain in your abdomen or lower back. If this is the case, your aneurysm may be about to burst.

*On rare occasions, your feet may develop pain, discoloration, or sores on the toes or feet because of material shed from the aneurysm

*If your aneurysm bursts, you may suddenly feel intense weakness, dizziness, or pain, and you may eventually lose consciousness. This is a life-threatening situation and you should seek medical attention immediately.

Causes:
Physicians and researchers are not quite sure what actually causes an AAA to form in some people. The leading thought is that the aneurysm may be caused by inflammation in the aorta, which may cause its wall to weaken or break down. Some researchers believe that this inflammation can be associated with atherosclerosis (also called hardening of the arteries) or risk factors that contribute to atherosclerosis, such as high blood pressure (hypertension) and smoking. In atherosclerosis fatty deposits, called plaque, build up in an artery. Over time, this buildup causes the artery to narrow, stiffen and possibly weaken. Besides atherosclerosis, other factors that can increase your risk of AAA include:

*Being a man older than 60 years

*Having an immediate relative, such as a mother or brother, who has had AAA

*Having high blood pressure

*Smoking

Your risk of developing AAA increases as you age. AAA is more common in men than in women.

Tests and Diagnosis:
Most abdominal aortic aneurysms are found during an examination for another reason. For example, during a routine exam, your doctor may feel a pulsating bulge in your abdomen, though it’s unlikely your doctor will be able to hear signs of an aneurysm through a stethoscope. Aortic aneurysms are often found during routine medical tests, such as a chest X-ray or ultrasound of the heart or abdomen, sometimes ordered for a different reason.

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Abdominal aortic aneurysms that are not causing symptoms are most often found when a physician is performing an imaging test, such as an ultrasound or CT scan, for another condition. Sometimes your physician may feel a large pulsing mass in your abdomen on a routine physical examination.  If your physician suspects that you may have AAA, he or she may recommend one of the following tests to confirm the suspicion:

*Abdominal ultrasound

*Computed tomography (CT) scan

*Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Modern Treatment:
Watchful waiting
If your AAA is small, your physician may recommend “watchful waiting,” which means that you will be monitored every 6-12 months for signs of changes in the aneurysm size. Your physician may schedule you for regular CT scans or ultrasounds to watch the aneurysm. This method is usually used for aneurysms that are smaller than about 2 inches (roughly 5.0 to 5.5 centimeters) in diameter. If you also have high blood pressure, your physician may prescribe blood pressure medication to lower the pressure on the weakened area of the aneurysm. If you smoke, you should obtain help to stop smoking. An aneurysm will not “go away” by itself. It is extremely important to continue to follow up with your physician as directed because the aneurysm may enlarge to a dangerous size over time. It could eventually burst if this is not detected and treated.
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Open Surgical aneurysm repair
A vascular surgeon may recommend that you have a surgical procedure called open aneurysm repair if your aneurysm is causing symptoms, or is larger than about 2 inches (roughly 5.0 to 5.5 centimeters), or is enlarging under observation. During an open aneurysm repair, also known as surgical aneurysm repair, your surgeon makes an incision in your abdomen and replaces the weakened part of your aorta with a tube-like replacement called an aortic graft. This graft is made of a strong, durable, man-made plastic material, such as Dacron®, in the size and shape of the healthy aorta. The strong tube takes the place of the weakened section in your aorta and allows your blood to pass easily through it. Following the surgery, you may stay in the hospital for 4 to 7 days. Depending upon your circumstances, you may also require 6 weeks to 3 months for a complete recovery. More than 90 percent of open aneurysm repairs are successful for the long term.

Endovascular stent graft
Instead of open aneurysm repair, your vascular surgeon may consider a newer procedure called an endovascular stent graft. Endovascular means that the treatment is performed inside your artery using long, thin tubes called catheters that are threaded through your blood vessels. This procedure is less invasive, meaning that your surgeon will usually need to make only small incisions in your groin area through which to thread the catheters. During the procedure, your surgeon will use live x-ray pictures viewed on a video screen to guide a fabric and metal tube, called an endovascular stent graft  (or endograft), to the site of the aneurysm. Like the graft in open surgery, the endovascular stent graft also strengthens the aorta. Your recovery time for endovascular stent grafting is usually shorter than for the open surgery, and your hospital stay may be reduced to 2 to 3 days. However, this procedure requires more frequent follow-up visits with imaging procedures, usually CT scans, after endograft placement to be sure the graft continues to function properly.  Also, the endograft is more likely to require periodic maintenance procedures than does the open procedure. In addition, your aneurysm may not have the shape that is suitable for this procedure, since not all patients are candidates for endovascular repair because of the extent of the aneurysm, or its relationship to the renal (kidney) arteries, or other issues. While the endovascular stent graft may be a good option for some patients who have suitable aneurysms and who have medical conditions increasing their risk, in some other cases, open aneurysm repair may still be the best way to cure AAA. Your vascular surgeon will help you decide what is the best method of treatment for your particular situation.

…..

Endovascular treatment of AAA
In the recent years, the endoluminal treatment of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms has emerged as a minimally invasive alternative to open surgery repair. The first endoluminal exclusion of an aneurysm took place in Argentina by Dr. Parodi and his colleagues in 1991. The endovascular treatment of aortic aneurysms involves the placement of an endo-vascular stent via a percutaneous technique (usually through the femoral arteries) into the diseased portion of the aorta. This technique has been reported to have a lower mortality rate compared to open surgical repair, and is now being widely used in individuals with co-morbid conditions that make them high risk patients for open surgery. Some centers also report very promising results for the specific method in patients that do not constitute a high surgical risk group.

There have also been many reports concerning the endovascular treatment of ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms, which are usually treated with an open surgery repair due to the patient’s impaired overall condition. Mid-term results have been quite promising.[citation needed] However, according to the latest studies, the EVAR procedure doesn’t carry any overall survival benefit.

Endovascular treatment of other aortic aneurysms
The endoluminal exclusion of aortic aneurysms has seen a real revolution in the very recent years. It is now possible to treat thoracic aortic aneurysms, abdominal aortic aneurysms and other aneurysms in most of the body’s major arteries (such as the iliac and the femoral arteries) using endovascular stents and avoiding big incisions. Still, in most cases the technique is applied in patients at high risk for surgery as more trials are required in order to fully accept this method as the gold standard for the treatment of aneurysms.

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Prevention
Attention to patient’s general blood pressure, smoking and cholesterol risks helps reduce the risk on an individual basis. There have been proposals to introduce ultrasound scans as a screening tool for those most at risk: men over the age of 65. The tetracycline antibiotic, Doxycycline is currently being investigated for use as a potential drug in the prevention of aortic aneurysm due to its metalloproteinase inhibitor and collagen stabilising properties.

Research
Stanford University is conducting research to gather information on AAA risk factors, and to evaluate the effectiveness of an exercise program at preventing the growth of small AAAs in older individuals.

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.vascularweb.org/patients/NorthPoint/Abdominal_Aortic_Aneurysm.html

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

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/aortic-aneurysm/ds00017/dsection=tests-and-diagnosis

 

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Eat Fish, Be Fit

With age, who would not prefer to avoid poor eyesight, cognitive decline, dementia, cancer, diabetes, or death from a sudden heart attack? People would also prefer to have strong bones resistant to fracture and be looked after by healthy children.
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The Inuits of Greenland (Eskimos), the Alaskans and the Japanese seem to enjoy all these benefits. Scientific research has zeroed in on the one thing these populations have in common: their staple diet protein was obtained from fish.

The benefits came from the relatively higher consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are a heterogeneous group of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids — the “essential fatty acids” (EFAs) composed of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The recommended intake of ALA is 1.5 grams a day and DHA 0.5-1.0gm a day. EFAs are essential for the healthy development and functioning of the brain. They make up 20 per cent of the brain’s dry weight.

The human body cannot synthesise EFAs. They have to be obtained from dietary sources. Vegetarians get their quota of EFA in the form of omega-6 fatty acids from whole grains, sprouts, flaxseeds, soyabeans, walnuts, leafy green vegetables and legumes like beans. But this is slightly different in chemical composition from the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish.

The benefits of eating fish begin to appear when 60gm of fish are taken at least once a week. The benefits plateau if the consumption is more.

Combined with soya nuggets, nuts and legumes, when both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are obtained, the benefits increase. The optimal ratio for maximal health benefits is 4:1 (omega-6:omega-3).

Fish are also an excellent source of protein. A hundred grams of cooked fish provide 20gm of protein, which is a third of the daily requirement. Fish protein, which is of high quality, is lower in fat content than mutton or chicken, and contains minerals like iron, zinc and calcium.

In pregnant women, seafood provides DHA which decreases the chances of preterm birth, improves visual acuity and helps optimise the development of the nervous system in the unborn child. During lactation, it reduces the incidence of post partum depression and provides DHA to the baby.

We have polluted our earth and the seabeds are contaminated with mercury. This liquid metal is present in fish too. Excess exposure to mercury can harm the development of the nervous system of a baby. Pregnant and lactating mothers should, therefore, limit their intake of fish to 400gm a week.

Not everyone can eat fish. While some are vegetarians, others may be allergic. Or fish may just not be available. The pharmaceutical industry markets supplements of cod liver oil, fish oil and omega-3 fatty acid as capsules and tonics. These, along with other lipid lowering medicines like statins, can be taken to potentiate (enhance) their effect. DHA has also been added to health drinks and to fortified infant formulae. The claim is that the benefits are provided without the toxins, to improve outcome in heart disease, lower blood pressure, optimise lipid levels, reduce inflammation and improve immunity. The claim extends to helping in chronic diseases like diabetes, epilepsy and rheumatoid arthritis, fighting depression, relieving asthma, preventing eczema and producing intelligent children with good visual acuity.

Capsulated EFAs are processed and bottled basically for convenience and commercial advantage. The purity, strength or safety of the products and their effects may vary. Product labels therefore must be read carefully. Prescribed medication should not be discontinued in favour of these supplements. People who are allergic to fish or nuts should exercise caution if they are planning to take these products.

Omega-3 fatty acids should be used only as an adjunct and not as a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise. Their actions in the prevention of cardiovascular disease are still controversial. Their superiority to current drugs is also disputed. Despite all the hype about these capsules and supplements, studies have not yet conclusively proven that they are superior to natural sources of EFAs. The superiority of breast milk is undisputed and it remains the best for the baby.

An overdose of these supplements can be dangerous, as it can produce vitamin D toxicity, bleeding, diarrhoea and leg cramps. This can also potentiate the effects of diabetic medications and insulin, causing blood sugar levels to drop.
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Fish do make a difference. Research has proved that even if you don’t eat fish, keeping an aquarium reduces stress and blood pressure, helps in Alzheimer’s and calms hyperactive children with attention deficit disorder. It does not even have to be a real aquarium. Watching a virtual one, a DVD with moving fish or even having a screen saver with fish has equal benefits at home and in the work place.

There is a clear medical benefit to association with fish, whether you are a “fish eater” or a “fish watcher”.

Sources:The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Spinal Shocks Can Control Parkinson’s

By electrically stimulating the spinal cords of rodents, scientists have reversed some of the worst symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. As long as a  mild current flows up their spines and into their brains, the animals regain the ability to scamper around their cages, as if they were normal.
..
The therapy, described in the journal Science, is a potential alternative to direct stimulation, which requires risky and invasive surgery to implant electrodes deep in the brain, researchers said. Only 30% of severely impaired Parkinson’s patients qualify for the operation.

Spinal cord stimulation would be less invasive and inherently safer, and it would reduce the amount of drugs needed to treat the disease, said the report’s lead author, Miguel Nicolelis, a neuroscientist at Duke. In the new treatment, animals whose brains were depleted of dopamine had tiny electrodes, the size of a fingernail, implanted on their spinal cords. Three seconds after a mild electrical stimulation began, they could move about normally.

The treatment was also effective when combined with L-dopa in further experiments; only two doses of L-dopa were needed to produce movement, compared with five doses when it was used by itself. Spinal cord stimulation represents a “big conceptual change” in how to treat Parkinson’s disease, Nicolelis said. Rather than looking at where things happen in the brain, the approach focuses on when things happen, as in the dynamic firing patterns of large circuits of neurons.

These circuits oscillate in harmony and underlie normal brain function. Parkinson’s patients have abnormal low-frequency oscillations in the brain regions controlling movement, Nicolelis said. Stimulation of the topmost layer of the spinal cord, which conveys touch sensations to the brain, may work by disrupting these abnormal oscillations, restoring normal firing patterns across multiple brain structures involved in the control of voluntary movements.

Sources: The Times Of India

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What Your Gray Hair Says about You

Gray hair, according to new findings, is caused by a massive build up of hydrogen peroxide due to wear and tear on hair follicles. The peroxide winds up blocking the normal synthesis of melanin, your hair’s natural pigment.

All hair cells make a tiny bit of hydrogen peroxide, but as you age, the amount increases. Essentially, you bleach our hair pigment from within, and your hair turns gray and then white.

Researchers made this discovery by examining cell cultures of human hair follicles. They found that the build up of hydrogen peroxide was caused by a reduction of an enzyme that breaks up hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen.

They also discovered that hair follicles could not repair the damage caused by the hydrogen peroxide because of low levels of the enzymes MSR A and B, which normally serve this function. The high levels of hydrogen peroxide and low levels of these enzymes also disrupt the formation of tyrosinase, another enzyme that leads to the production of melanin in hair follicles.

Sources:

Science Daily February 24, 2009

The FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

The New York Times March 9, 2009

Kanchanara(Bauhinia variegata)

Botanical Name : Bauhinia variegata
Family : Caesalpiniaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
vernacular Name: Sans-kanchanara ,Hind - kancanar ,
Common names: Orchid tree and Mountain-ebony.
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales
Tribe: Cercideae
Genus: Bauhinia
Species: B. variegata
Parts Used: Bark, root, leaves, flowers, seed, gum

Habitat: Native to southeastern Asia, from southern China west to India.

Description:Bauhinia variegata is a species of flowering plant.It is a small to medium-sized  deciduous tree growing to 10-12 m tall, deciduous in the dry season. The leaves are 10-20 cm long and broad, rounded, and bilobed at the base and apex. The flowers are conspicuous, bright pink or white, 8-12 cm diameter, with five petals. The fruit is a pod 15-30 cm long, containing several seeds.
click to see the pictures..>.…(01)...(1).....(2).…...(3)..…..(4)....…(5)....
This is a very popular ornamental tree in subtropical and tropical climates, grown for its scented flowers. In the Neotropics, it can be used to attract hummingbirds – such as Sapphire-spangled Emerald (Amazilia lactea), Glittering-bellied Emerald (Chlorostilbon lucidus), or White-throated Hummingbird (Leucochloris albicollis) – into gardens and parks. On the other hand, in some areas it has become naturalised and invasive.

Propagation: Seeds germinate readily. Orchid tree also can be propagated from cuttings of semiripe wood taken in summer and rooted over bottom heat. Branches can be induced to grow roots if they are layered, either by burying a section in the ground, or scarring a small section and then wrapping it with damp sphagnum moss and enclosing in a plastic bag. The tree sometimes produces suckers which can be dug up and replanted.

Uses: A popular ornamental in subtropical and tropical regions. Often seen as a street tree.

Medicinal  Uses:
Actions

Bark-alterative, tonic

Root-carminative

Flowers-laxative.

Medicinally  it is used in :-
*bleeding hemorrhoids
*cough
*diarrhea
*dysentery
*heartburn
*hematuria
*indigestion
*malaria
*menorrhagia
*skin diseases
*sore throat
*TB
*ulcer
*Worms
As per Ayurveda this plant is useful in haematuria and menorrhagia. Decoction of the roots prevents obesity. Bark preparations used in scrofuluous tumors.

The roots and bark are astringent, acrid, cooling, constipating, depurative, anthelmintic, vulnerary, anti-inflammatory and styptic. They are useful in vitiated conditions of pitta and kapha, diarrhoea, dysentery, skin diseases, leprosy, intestinal worms, tumours, wounds, ulcers, inflammations, scrofula, proctoptosis, hacmorrhoids, haemoptysis, cough, menorrhagia and diabetes

These are two varieties red and white .The bark of both is tonic astringent

1.  The red flowered variety—the bark is acrid, cooling, laxative, appetising, astringent to bowels in some doses; cures biliousness, “kapha” and” vata “, ulcers, tuberculous glands, leprosy.-

The flowers are acrid, dry, sweet; cooling, astringent, galactagogue; cure diseases of the blood, bronchitis, consumption, vaginal discharges, biliousness, headache, “tridosha”.-

2. Whiteflowered variety:- The bark is acrid, sweet; appetising, cooling, astringent to the bowels; cures biliousness, “ka pha “, leucoderma, anal troubles, tuberculous glands, cough, asthma, diseases of the blood, ulcers, vaginal discharges; anthelmintic; used in strangury, thirst, burning sensation .

The bark is astringent to the bowels, tonic to the liver, cures bilousness, leucoderma, leprosy, dysmenorrhrea, menorrhagia impurities of the blood, tuberculous glands, asthma, wounds and ulcers; used as a gargle in stomatitis.-

The buds are acrid; indigestible; used in piles, cough, eye diseases, liver complaints; astringent to the bowels, styptic in hrematuria and menorrhagia

The juice of the fresh bark with the juice of the flowers of Strobilanthes citrata, 10 tolas of each, is given as an expectorant, and the bark ‘is used with ginger as an internal remedy for scrofula.

The root in decoction is given in dyspepsia and flatulency; the flowers with sugar as a gentle laxative; and the bark, flowers, root triturated in rice water as a cataplasm to promote suppuration.

The dried buds are used in piles and dysentery. They are considered cool and astringent, and are useful in diarrhoea and worms.

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/Bauhinia_variegata

http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/orchid_tree.htm

http://www.floridata.com/ref/B/bauh_var.cfm

http://holisticonline.biz/Herbal-Med/_Herbs/h159.htm

http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#kanchanara

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Four Stones of Extra Weight Can Take Three Years Off Your Life

Carrying four stones of excess weight can cost you three years of life, warn researchers.

A study of almost a million adults has given the clearest indication yet of the mortal dangers of obesity.

Those who are extremely overweight could lose ten years of their life, it says.

New research has shown that people who are carrying too much weight are taking years off their lives

.Scientists from Oxford University assessed the impact of obesity by analysing data from 57 separate studies.
They found a clear link between high body mass index scores and an early grave.

Using BMI gives a good measure of how overweight a person is, because it compares weight to height.

But the scientists also gave an estimate of how much excess weight could be dangerous compared with an ‘ideal’ weight.
Co-researcher Dr Gary Whitlock said ‘Excess weight shortens human lifespan.

‘In countries like Britain and America, weighing a third more than the optimum shortens lifespan by about 3 years.
‘For most people, a third more than the optimum means carrying 20 to 30 kilograms – 50 to 60 pounds, or 4 stone – of excess weight.

‘If you are becoming overweight or obese, avoiding further weight gain could well add years to your life.’
Official UK figures show nearly one in four adults is obese, 38 per cent are overweight and children are rapidly piling on the pounds.

The relentless rise in the obesity epidemic means the number of adults tipping the scales as dangerously overweight has almost doubled over the last 10 years.

The National Audit Office estimates obesity causes at least 30,000 deaths a year in the UK, through conditions such as cancer, heart disease, strokes and diabetes.

It costs the NHS at least £500million a year to treat and the wider economy £2billion.
The BMI measurement is used to calculate whether a person is a
healthy weight, in which an individual divides weight (in kilos) by the square of their height (in metres).

Under 18.5 is underweight, 18.5-25 is healthy weight, 25-30 is overweight, 30-35 is obese and over 35 is very obese.
The study found having a BMI above the ‘ideal’ range of 22.5 to 25 led to higher death rates.

Above BMI of 25, each additional five units on the BMI scale increased overall mortality by around a third.
The investigation, called the Prospective Studies Collaboration, pooled information on 894,576 adults mostly from western Europe and North America with an average age of 46 and an average BMI of 25.

As well as looking at overall death rates, the researchers linked BMI scores with common causes of death through ill health.
Each additional five BMI units corresponded with a 40 per cent increase in deaths from heart and artery disease and strokes.

The same rise in BMI led to an increase in deaths of between 60 per cent and 120 per cent from diabetes and liver or kidney disease, 10 per cent more from cancer, and one-fifth rise from lung disease.
‘Moderate’ obesity, which is now common in western countries in the BMI range of 30 to 35, reduced survival by between two and four years.

Severe obesity in the 40 to 45 BMI range cut lifespans by eight to 10 years, comparable to the effects of smoking, said co-researcher Professor Sir Richard Peto.
The authors stressed even overweight people who cannot slim could extend their lives by avoiding further weight gain.
‘In adult life, it may be easier to avoid substantial weight gain than to lose that weight once it has been gained’ says the report.

It says that by avoiding a further increase from a BMI of 28 to 32, a typical person in early middle age would gain about two years of life expectancy.

Alternatively, by avoiding an increase from BMI of 24 to 32 – a third above the apparent optimum – a young adult would on average gain about three extra years of life, it says.

Dr David Haslam, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said ‘This is a very good study from a first-class institution.
‘It tells us that obesity is going to cut your life short and kill you from a number of diseases, ranging from diabetes through to cardiovascular disorders.

‘Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, and we’ve seen clear evidence of the health risks over the last 50 years.

‘But the obesity epidemic hasn’t been with us for long enough to see the really bad effects on health in later life and the premature deaths.
‘The message is getting through about smoking and I hope we’ll see the same with obesity.’

Sources:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1162737/How-stones-extra-weight-years-life.html

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Yotishmatee(Celastrus paniculatus Willd)

Botanical Name : Celastrus paniculatus Willd.(Celastraceae)
Family Name: Celastraceae
SYNONYM(S) : Celastrus dependens Wall.
Vernacular Names:-
BENGALI : Malkanjri.
ENGLISH : Black oil tree, Celastrus , Climbing staff plant, Oriental bittersweet, Intellect tree.
GUJARATI : Malkangana, Velo.
HINDI : Kondgaidh, Malkakni, Malkamni, Malkangni, Sankhu.
KANNADA: Kangli, Kangodi, Kariganne.
MALAYALAM : Polulavam.
MARATHI : Kangani, Malkangoni.
SANSKRIT : Jyotishka, Jyotishmati, Kanguni, , Katabhi, Sphutabandhani, Svarnalota
TAMIL : Valuluvai.
TELUGU : Teegapalleru, Malaria teega.

Habitat:It grows almost all over India up to altitude of 1,800 m. It is also found in the middle of south Andamans.Also grows in Indo-Malaysia to China and Australia.

Description: A large, woody, climbing shrub. The leaves are ovate,oblong-elliptic,the flowers are unisexual,small,greenish white or yellowish green,the capsules are globose, yellow,1-6 seeded and transversele wrinkled; the seeds are ellipsoid or ovoid, yellowish or reddish-brown in color, enclosed in scarlet aril, which stains yellowish orange.
......
Bark brown, thin. Branchlets hairless, with many distinct minute white dots called lenticels. Leaves alternate, egg-shaped to oblong-elliptic, about 5-15 x 2-8 cm, base round, apex acuminate, margin toothed with rounded teeth, hairless; lateral nerves 5-8 pairs, slender; leaf stalks about 3 cm long. Flowers unisexual, about 6 mm across, greenish white, collected in terminal paniculate cymes; panicles 5-30 cm long, pendulous. Capsules sub-globose, 5-10 mm across, smooth, yellow when mature, transversely wrinkled, dehiscing by 3-valves. Seeds 1-6, ellipsoid or ovoid, about 6 x 3 mm, yellowish brown, enclosed in crimson-red aril.
Flowering: February to April;
Fruiting: May to December

Main Constituents: The seeds are reported to contain the alkaloids celastrine and paniculatin.

Medicinal Uses:In the East Indies the oil obtained from the seeds of Celastrus paniculatus Willd. is used as a powerful stimulant and diaphoretic in rheumatism, gout, and various fevers. The oil is said to be deep reddish-yellow, and to become thick and honey-like on keeping.

The stem bark is used as an abortifacient and brain tonic. Leaf sap is a good antidote for opium poisoning. Seeds are stimulant, diaphoratic, diuretic, tonic, appetizer, anti-inflammatory and used for abdominal disorders, leprosy, pruritus, skin diseases, paralysis, asthma, leucoderma, cardiac debility, inflammation, amenorrhoea and fever. Also used to stimulate the intellect and sharpen memory. The seed oil is used to cure berbery, sores and to promote intelligence and sharpen memory.

As per Ayurveda:-It is katu, tikta and sara; beneficial in deranged kapha and samira (vata).ushna, emetic, teekshna, gastric stimulant; promotes intelligence and memory.

Parts Used: Seeds and bark.

Therapeutic Uses:

Seeds are acrid, bitter, emollient, intellect promoting, digestive ,laxative, useful in vitiated vata , kapha, abdominal disorders, leprosy, pruritus, skin diseases, paralysis,cardiac debility, for stimulating the intellect and sharpening the memory.,alterative, antirheumatic, aphrodisiac; laxative and nervine tonic;decoction beneficial in gout, leprosy and paralysis:

oil is rubefacient and stimulant; efficacious in beri-beri and oedema; improves memory;, intellect promoting, in abdominal disorders, and sores

The bark is depurative, brain tonic

Leaves are emmenagogue and leaf sap is a good antidote in opium poisoning.

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.himalayahealthcare.com/herbfinder/h_celastrus.htm

http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Celastrus.htmli

http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/usdisp/celastrus.html

http://envis.frlht.org.in/cpaniculatus.htm

http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#jyotishmatee

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