Microwaves Harmful During Pregnancy

It is hard to believe but true that the microwave oven you use to make food could be harmful to your unborn child, especially when the device is old or is wrongly used. Tests have shown that microwaves emit harmful electromagnetic radiation which could harm embryos and could lead to miscarriage.

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Microwaves can be harmful if they are leaking radiation,” says Dr Shivani Sachdev Gaur of Phoenix hospital. The waves of a microwave oven can travel up to 12 cm, so it is harmful for a pregnant woman to stand near a microwave oven, especially if it is old and damaged, she says.

If the door of the oven is damaged or if the user uses it with the door opened, then the leakage is more. In old microwave ovens the leakage levels of radiation could be more.

A survey conducted among Professional Service Associates, a group of US microwave repair servicemen, indicated that over 56 per cent microwave ovens two years or older leaked levels of radiation 10 per cent higher than the safety standards set by the FDA.

These radiations may lead to cell death, infertility, malnourished babies, damaged DNA and even miscarriages.

Source: The Times Of India

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Red Wine Beneficial for Health

A polyphenol present in red wine, called resveratrol, has been found to have a large number of health benefits for drinkers, say researchers.
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Red wine contains a complex mixture of bioactive compounds, including flavonols, monomeric and polymeric flavan-3-ols, highly coloured anthocyanins, as well as phenolic acids and the stilbene polyphenol, resveratrol.

Lindsay Brown, an associate professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Queensland and corresponding author for the study, says that some of these compounds, particularly resveratrol, appear to have health benefits.

“The breadth of benefits is remarkable – cancer prevention, protection of the heart and brain from damage, reducing age-related diseases such as inflammation, reversing diabetes and obesity, and many more,” said Brown.

“It has long been a question as to how such a simple compound could have these effects but now the puzzle is becoming clearer with the discovery of the pathways, especially the sirtuins, a family of enzymes that regulate the production of cellular components by the nucleus. ‘Is resveratrol the only compound with these properties?’ This would seem unlikely, with similar effects reported for other components of wine and for other natural products such as curcumin. However, we know much more about resveratrol relative to these other compounds,” he said.

One of the main points of the review included that resveratrol exhibits therapeutic potential for cancer chemoprevention as well as cardioprotection.

“It sounds contradictory that a single compound can benefit the heart by preventing damage to cells, yet prevent cancer by causing cell death. The most likely explanation for this, still to be rigorously proved in many organs, is that low concentrations activate survival mechanisms of cells while high concentrations turn on the in-built death signals in these cells,” said Brown.

The study suggests that resveratrol may aid in the prevention of age-related disorders, such as neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

“The simplest explanation is that resveratrol turns on the cell’s own survival pathways, preventing damage to individual cells. Further mechanisms help, including removing very reactive oxidants in the body and improving blood supply to cells,” said Brown.

The researchers also said that low doses of resveratrol could improve cell survival as a mechanism of cardio- and neuro-protection, while high doses increase cell death.

“The key difference is probably the result of activation of the sirtuins in the nucleus. Low activation reverses age-associated changes, while high activation increases the process of apoptosis or programmed cell death to remove cellular debris. Similar changes are seen with low-dose versus high-dose resveratrol: low-dose resveratrol produces cellular protection and reduces damage, while high-dose resveratrol prevents cancers,” said Brown.

She concluded that current scientific research is starting to explain reports from the last 200 years that drinking red wine improves health.

However, the researchers added that low to moderate drinking, especially of red wine, appears to reduce all causes of mortality, while too much drinking causes multiple organ damage.

The findings will be published in the September issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Source: The Times Of India

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Green Tea Reduce Stroke Risk

Two cups of green tea a day may reduce a person’s risk of having the most common form of stroke, say researchers.

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According to researcher Professor Colin Binns, of the School of Public Health at Curtin University in Western Australia, the study shows that people who drink at least one cup of green tea a day reduce their risk of ischemic stroke, reports ABC Online.

“We can say if you are going to drink a beverage, then tea is the healthier option,” said Binns. “We believe other kinds of tea are half as effective as green tea in reducing risk,” he added. The findings have been published in the journal Stroke.

Source:
The Times Of India

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Nanoparticle May Cause Lung Cancer

Scientists have identified how a type of tiny nanoparticle can cause lung cancer – and blocked the process.

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The fledgling science of nanotechnology promises huge advances in science and medicine, but there are concerns about its safety.

In particular, the microscopic particles it employs have been shown to have toxic effects on the lungs.

The research, by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, appears in the Journal of Molecular Cell Biology.

However, experts said it was not possible to draw general conclusions about all nanoparticles from a study focusing on one specific type.

Nanotechnology involves the modification of atoms and molecules to create new materials which may have unusual physical, chemical, and biological properties.

“This provides us with a promising lead for developing strategies to prevent lung damage caused by nanoparticles” says Chengyu Jiang, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences

In medicine alone it is hoped it could be used to develop more effective and better targeted drugs, and new ways to detect and treat disease.

The market is potentially huge, but safety concerns threaten to hold progress back.

Research has shown that most nanoparticles migrate to the lungs, but there is also concern about potential damage to other organs.

The latest research focused on a class of nanoparticles being widely developed in medicine – polyamidoamine dendrimers (PAMAMs).

In tests on cells in the lab, the researchers found the particles cause lung damage by triggering a type of programmed cell death known as autophagic cell death.

Autophagy plays a normal part in cell growth and renewal, but over-activity can lead to unwanted cell death.

However, the researchers also found autophagy could be blocked by using a drug inhibitor.

The findings were confirmed in tests on mice. Animals exposed to PAMAMs showed higher levels of lung inflammation, and higher death rates.

But those that were first injected with the inhibitor were less badly affected.

New strategies
Lead researcher Dr Chengyu Jiang said: “This provides us with a promising lead for developing strategies to prevent lung damage caused by nanoparticles.

Nanomedicine holds extraordinary promise, particularly for diseases such as cancer and viral infections.

“But safety concerns have recently attracted great attention and with the technology evolving rapidly, we need to start finding ways now to protect workers and consumers from any toxic effects that might come with it.”

“The idea is that, to increase the safety of nanomedicine, compounds could be developed that could either be incorporated into the nano product to protect against lung damage, or patients could be given pills to counteract the effects.”

Dr Laura Bell, of the charity Cancer Research UK, said: “It’s great to see new advances being made to ensure the safety of nanomedicine but this research is still at an early stage and has yet to be tested in people.

“Nanotechnology is an expanding area of research with exciting potential and establishing its safety is essential if we are to realise its potential to treat people with cancer.”

It is not clear at this stage whether other types of nanoparticles cause lung damage via the same route.

Professor Ken Donaldson, an expert in respiratory toxicology at the University of Edinburgh, said PAMAMs were highly specialised, and it would be wrong to draw any general conclusions about nanoparticles in general from the study.

Professor Donaldson said PAMAMs were made by the drug industry in tiny amounts, while other nanoparticles were made in much bigger quantities, and potentially posed much more of a risk of accidental exposure.

He said: “The problem is that all nanoparticles are lumped together as if they are one thing and they most certainly are not.”

You may click to see->
*Nano device ‘times drug release’
*Nano-treatment to torpedo cancer
*Gold nanoparticles to trap toxins
*’Nanoparticles’ could carry cancer drugs


Source:
BBC NEWS:11Th. June,’09

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Problems are Solved by Sleeping

Sleeping on a problem really can help solve it, say scientists who found a dreamy nap boosts creative powers.

…………………SLEEPING~LADY~FOR~WEB

They tested whether “incubating” a problem allowed a flash of insight, and found it did, especially when people entered a phase of sleep known as REM.

Volunteers who had entered REM or rapid eye movement sleep – when most dreams occur – were then better able to solve a new problem with lateral thinking.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has published the US work.

We propose that REM sleep is important for assimilating new information into past experience to create a richer network of associations for future use
The study authors

In the morning of the test day, 77 volunteers were given a series of creative problems to solve and were told to mull over the problem until the afternoon either by resting but staying awake or by taking a nap monitored by the scientists.

Compared with quiet rest and non-REM sleep, REM sleep increased the chances of success on the problem-solving task.

The study at the University of California San Diego showed that the volunteers who entered REM during sleep improved their creative problem solving ability by almost 40%.

The findings suggest it is not merely sleep itself, or the passage of time, that is important for the problem solving, but the quality of sleep.

Lead researcher Professor Sara Mednick said: “We found that, for creative problems you’ve already been working on, the passage of time is enough to find solutions.

“However for new problems, only REM sleep enhances creativity.”

The researchers believe REM sleep allows the brain to form new nerve connections without the interference of other thought pathways that occur when we are awake or in non-dream-state sleep.

“We propose that REM sleep is important for assimilating new information into past experience to create a richer network of associations for future use,”…… they told PNAS.

Dr Malcolm von Schantz of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre at the University of Surrey said: “Whatever the importance of the dreams themselves are, this paper confirms the importance of REM sleep, the sleep stage when most of our dreaming takes place.”

Source:BBC NEWS, 9Th. June’09

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Teflon Lawsuit Slides Off DuPont

A federal court has dismissed a group of consolidated cases against chemical and housewares company DuPont. The 22 suits alleged DuPont knew for more than 20 years that cookware containing the company’s non-stick coating, popularly known as Teflon, could make consumers sick, but concealed the evidence.
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The actions alleged that, when heated to normal cooking temperatures, Teflon-coated pans release toxic particles that pose a health risk to consumers. The suits specifically singled out perfluorooctanoic acid, colloquially known as PFOA, as the culprit of the emissions. However, U.S. District Judge Ronald Longstaff found that individual issues differing among the plaintiffs would each require their own inquiry, making the suits improper.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that PFOA is likely a cancer-causing agent in humans. An EPA study has shown the chemical to be present in the bloodstream of 90 percent of Americans.

Resources:

Consumer Affairs May 19, 2009
WTOP May 12, 2009
Reading Tea Leaves May 13, 2009

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Testosterone Replacement Improves Men’s Liver Function

A new study suggests that testosterone replacement for men with low levels of the hormone greatly improves their fatty liver disease
as well as their risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

.testo_importance_figure
“Physicians often are reluctant to prescribe testosterone for conditions not related to sexual function. However, our study shows that testosterone has a much wider therapeutic role than just for improving sexual desire and erectile function,” said the study’s co-author, Dr Farid Saad, of Berlin-headquartered Bayer Schering Pharma.

During a presentation at The Endocrine Society‘s 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, it was revealed that the study included 122 testosterone-deficient men, aged 36 to 69 years.

The researchers found that restoring testosterone to normal levels led to major and progressive improvements in many features of the metabolic syndrome over the 2 years of treatment. They said that, particularly, the men’s weight, waist line and body mass index continued to decline over the full study period.

According to them, the other metabolic risk factors also significantly improved during the first year of testosterone treatment. Of the 47 men who met the criteria for a diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome at the beginning of the study, 36 no longer had the diagnosis after 2 years of treatment, the authors reported.

Furthermore, liver function significantly improved during the first 12 to 18 months of therapy and stabilized for the remainder of the study period.

The researchers said that the treatment also greatly decreased blood levels of C-reactive protein, a measure of inflammation that is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

“We conclude that testosterone therapy in men with testosterone deficiency can largely improve or even remedy the metabolic syndrome, which will most likely decrease their risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” Saad said.

Source
: The Times Of India

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Spinal Stenosis

Vertebral column.
Image via Wikipedia

Definition
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the lumbar (back) or cervical (neck) spinal canal, which causes compression of the nerve roots.This can cause weakness in your extremities as narrowing often results in pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerves. Spinal stenosis can occur in a variety of ways in the spine. Most cases of spinal stenosis occur in the lower back (lumbar spine) and will affect the sciatic nerve, which runs along the back of the leg.

stenosis_home.Spinal Stenosis

The most commonly referred to types of this condition are: lumbar spinal stenosis, occurring in the lower back, and cervical spinal stenosis which occurs in the neck. As mentioned previously, the condition more commonly occurs in the lower back.

Causes
Spinal stenosis mainly affects middle-aged or elderly people. It may be caused by osteoarthritis or Paget’s disease or by an injury that causes pressure on the nerve roots or the spinal cord itself.

Spinal Stenosis-1..Spinal Stenosis-2.Spinal Stenosis-3

The three major causes of spinal stenosis are:

Aging – With age, the body’s ligaments (tough connective tissues between the bones in the spine) can thicken. Spurs (small growths) may develop on the bones and into the spinal canal. The cushioning discs between the vertebrae may begin to deteriorate. The facet joints (flat surfaces on each vertebra that form the spinal column) also may begin to thicken. Aging, coupled with secondary changes, is the most common cause of spinal stenosis. Heredity – if the spinal canal is too small at birth, symptoms of spinal stenosis may show in a relatively young person. Structural deformities of the involved vertebrae can cause narrowing of the spinal canal.

Tumors of the spine – Abnormal growths of soft tissue that may affect the spinal canal directly by inflammation or by growth of tissue into the canal. Tissue growth may lead to bone resorption (bone loss due to over activity of certain bone cells) or displacement of bone and the eventual collapse of the supporting framework of the spinal column.

Trauma – accidents and injuries may either dislocate the spine and the spinal canal or cause burst fractures that produce fragments of bone that penetrate the canal.

Paget’s disease of bone – This chronic (long-term) disorder usually results in enlarged and deformed bones. The disease can affect any bone of the body, but is often found in the spine.
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Blood supply – The blood supply that feeds healthy nerve tissue may be diverted to the area of involved bone.

Fluorosis – An excessive level of fluoride in the body. It may result from chronic inhalation of industrial dusts or gases contaminated with fluorides, prolonged ingestion of water containing large amounts of fluorides, or accidental ingestion of fluoride-containing insecticides. The condition may lead to calcified spinal ligaments or softened bones and to degenerative conditions like spinal stenosis.

Symptoms

* Back pain that spreads to the legs
* Difficulty or imbalance when walking
* Leg pain
* Neck pain
* Numbness in the buttocks, thighs, or calves that is worse with standing, walking, or exercise
* Pain in the buttocks, thighs, or calves that is worse with walking or exercise
* Weakness of the legs

Spinal narrowing doesn’t always cause problems. But if the narrowed areas compress the spinal cord or spinal nerves, you’re likely to develop signs and symptoms. These often start gradually and grow worse over time. The most common spinal stenosis symptoms include:

*Pain or cramping in your legs. Compressed nerves in your lower (lumbar) spine can lead to a condition called pseudoclaudication, false claudication or neurogenic intermittent claudication, which causes pain or cramping in your legs when you stand for long periods of time or when you walk. The discomfort usually eases when you bend forward or sit down, but it persists if you continue to stand upright.

Another type of intermittent claudication (vascular claudication) occurs when there’s a narrowing or blockage in the arteries in your legs.

Although both types of claudication cause similar symptoms, they differ in two important ways: Vascular claudication becomes worse when you walk uphill and improves when you stand still. Pseudoclaudication is usually worse when going downhill and gets better when you lean forward or sit down.

*Radiating back and hip pain. A herniated disk can narrow your spinal canal and compress nerves in your lumbar spine, leading to pain that starts in your hip or buttocks and extends down the back of your leg. The pain is worse when you’re sitting and generally affects only one side.

You may also experience numbness, weakness or tingling in your leg or foot. For some people, the radiating pain is a minor annoyance, but for others, it can be debilitating.

* Pain in your neck and shoulders. This is likely to occur when the nerves in your neck (cervical spine) are compressed. The pain may occur only occasionally or it may be chronic, and it sometimes can extend into your arm or hand. In addition, the spinal cord is sometimes compressed, which can result in lower extremity weakness and difficulty walking. You also may experience headaches, a loss of sensation or muscle weakness.

* Loss of balance. Pressure on the cervical spinal cord can affect the nerves that control your balance, resulting in clumsiness or a tendency to fall.

* Loss of bowel or bladder function (cauda equina syndrome). In severe cases, nerves to your bladder or bowel may be affected, leading to partial or complete urinary or fecal incontinence. If you experience either of these problems, seek medical care right away.

Risk factors

Age is the main known risk factor for spinal stenosis. Your risk of this condition increases after age 50.

Also at risk are people with skeletal fluorosis, a sometimes crippling bone disease caused by high levels of fluoride in the body. Although the disease is rare in the United States, several million people worldwide have severe skeletal fluorosis.

Diagnosis
Spinal stenosis can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms are often intermittent and because they resemble those of many age-related conditions. To help diagnose spinal stenosis and rule out other disorders, your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical exam that may include checking your peripheral pulses, range of motion and leg reflexes.

You’re also likely to have one or more of the following tests:

* Spinal X-ray. Although an X-ray isn’t likely to confirm that you have spinal stenosis, it can help rule out problems that cause similar symptoms, including a fracture, bone tumor or inherited defect.
* Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In many cases, this is the imaging test of choice for diagnosing spinal stenosis. Instead of X-rays, an MRI uses a powerful magnet and radio waves to produce cross-sectional images of your back. The test can detect damage to your disks and ligaments, as well as the presence of tumors.
* Computerized tomography (CT) scan. This test uses a narrow beam of radiation to produce detailed, cross-sectional images of your body, including the shape and size of your spinal canal. Because you receive more radiation from a CT scan than from a regular X-ray, you should avoid this test if you’re pregnant.
* CT myelogram. This may be the most sensitive test for detecting spinal stenosis, but because it poses more risks than either MRI or CT, it may not be your doctor’s first choice. If you’re contemplating surgery, however, your doctor may recommend a CT myelogram to assess the severity of the stenosis. In a myelogram, a contrast dye is injected in your spinal column. The dye then circulates around your spinal cord and spinal nerves. A myelogram can show herniated disks, bone spurs and tumors.
* Bone scan. In this test, a small amount of a radioactive material that attaches to bone is injected into a vein in your arm. The material emits waves of radiation that are detected by a gamma camera. The camera then produces images of your bones. In a sense, a bone scan is the opposite of a standard X-ray, in which radiation passes through your body to create an image on film. A bone scan can detect a number of bone disorders, but often can’t distinguish among them. For that reason, it’s usually performed with other tests.
* Other diagnostic procedures
. Sometimes your doctor may inject you with a spinal nerve block or epidural steroids. If your symptoms improve after the injection, spinal stenosis is likely the cause of your discomfort. The problem with this approach is that a negative finding doesn’t mean you don’t have spinal stenosis.

Treatment
Generally, conservative management is encouraged. This involves the use of anti-inflammatory medications, other pain relievers, and possibly steroid injections. If the pain is persistent and does not respond to these measures, surgery is considered to relieve the pressure on the nerves.

Surgery is performed on the neck or lower back, depending on the site of the nerve compression.

The recommended treatment for spinal stenosis is generally open back surgery with high risks, hospital stays and lengthy recuperation time. Laser-assisted surgical procedures can correct the causes of spinal stenosis and relieve painful symptoms. These procedures are called a Foraminotomy or a Laminotomy. These laser spine procedures will remove the portion of the disc or bone spur that is pressing against a nerve causing the symptoms of spinal stenosis. By removing or shrinking the disc with the laser and removing any bone spurs, we can decompress the spinal cord or nerve root that is being impinged. At this point, excess disc material is removed and the symptoms of spinal stenosis typically disappear

Complications of spinal stenosis may include:

* Loss of feeling. Depending on which nerves are compressed, spinal stenosis may cause a loss of feeling in your arms, hands, feet or legs. As a result, cuts or wounds may become seriously infected because you’re not aware of them.
* Loss of bladder or bowel control. In addition, spinal stenosis sometimes interferes with bowel or bladder function — a problem that can affect your quality of life.
* Degenerative changes. Although treatment can relieve symptoms of spinal stenosis, it doesn’t stop degenerative changes. Some of these changes, such as muscle atrophy, may be permanent, even after the pressure is relieved.

Other Complications:Injury can occur to the legs or feet due to lack of sensation. Infections may get worse because pain related to them may not be felt. Changes caused by nerve compression may be permanent, even if the pressure is relieved.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of spinal stenosis.

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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.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000441.htm#Definition
http://www.laserspineinstitute.com/back_problems/spinal_stenosis/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/spinal-stenosis/

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Tai Chi ‘Can Cure Arthritis’

: Suffering from arthritis? Try out Tai Chi, a form of exercise which is regularly practiced in China, for a study says that it can  reduce chronic pains.

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An international team has found carried out the study and found that Tai Chi helps in mitigating the pain associated with problems like arthritis and lessen disability — in fact, it reduces pain with trends towards improving overall health.

Tai Chi is an exercise that is regularly practiced in China to improve overall health and well-being. It is usually performed in a group but is practiced individually at leisure, which differs from traditional exercise therapy
.

“The fact that Tai Chi is inexpensive, convenient, and enjoyable and conveys other psychological and social benefits supports the use this type of intervention for pain conditions such as arthritis,” lead researcher Amanda Hall.

Hall of George Institute in Australia and colleagues have based their findings on an analysis of systematic review and meta-analysis, the results of which are published in the latest edition of the ‘Arthritis Care & Research’ journal.

In fact, they analysed seven eligible randomised controlled trials that used Tai Chi as the main intervention for patients with musculoskeletal pain and found that Tai Chi improves pain and disability in patients suffering arthritis.

“It is of importance to note that the results reported in this systematic review are indicative of the effect of Tai Chi versus minimal intervention (usual health care or health education) or wait list control,” Hall said.

However, the researchers said that establishing the specific effects of Tai Chi would require a placebo-controlled trial, which has not yet been undertaken.

Source: The Times Of India

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Uncaria Gambir

Botanical Name: Uncaria Gambir
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Uncaria
Species: U. gambir
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales
Common Name: :Catechu Pallidum, Terra Japonica, Gambier, Cutch; Gambir Cubique, Fr.; Catechu, P. G.; Katechu, Gambir-Catechu, G.; Catecu, It., Sp.

Habitat: It is a native of Malacca, Sumatra, Cochin-China, and other parts of Eastern Asia, and is largely cultivated in the islands of Bintang, Singapore, and Prince of Wales.

Description;
This is a climbing shrub with slender stems somewhat thickened at the nodes; leaves ovate or oblong, entire, rounded at the base but abruptly attenuated at the summit, opposite and stipulated, smooth on both sides.
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The stem is woody, often angular; leaves oblong-ovate, 7.5-10 Cm. (3-4′) long, petiolate, acuminate, entire, smooth; flowers small, pinkish, in clusters, calyx and corolla 5-divided, stamens 5, ovary 2-celled; fruit 2.5 Cm. (1′) long, narrow, ovoid tapering at each end, dehiscent, pericarp dry; seeds numerous, minute, pale brown, rough, tailed at each end.
The flowers are small, crowded into a dense globular head on a hairy receptacle; the flower heads are borne on long axillary peduncles which bear in the middle a whorl of bracts. At the point where these bracts occur the peduncle breaks after the falling of the inflorescence and the remainder of the peduncle becomes elongated and curved into hooks by means of which the plant climbs. Corolla gamopetalous, trumpet-shaped, tube slender; fruit one inch long, pericarp dry, dehiscing vertically into two valves; seeds very numerous.

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The gambir is prepared by lopping off the leaves, shoots, and twigs of the plant, chopping them into pieces, and throwing them into an iron pot filled with boiling water. When the leaves are exhausted and the liquid sufficiently thick, it is poured into small wooden tubs, and so soon as sufficiently cool, a half-closed hand is plunged into the semi-fluid mass and a piece of light wood shaped like an elongated dice box rapidly worked up and down in the hollow formed by the hand. The extract begins to thicken by a process which is compared to crystallization. The mass is finally turned out, and cut into cubes, which are put upon trays and smoke-dried. This extract, which is known by the native Malays as pinang or siren was first brought to the attention of the profession by Campbell.

Enormous quantities of gambir are used both in Europe and America in tanning, calico printing, dyeing, as an ingredient in boiler compounds for preventing the hard scaly incrustation caused by certain kinds of water, and other art processes requiring tannic acid.

Vanderkleed and E’we call attention to the fact that the apparent alcohol soluble content of gambir may be unduly raised by the high moisture content of some of the commercial varieties, which they report as containing over 21 per cent. of moisture, all of which would be calculated in the alcohol soluble extractive by the ordinary methods in which no allowance is made for water. (J. A. Ph. A., 1914, 1685.)

Parts used for medicinal purposes:Leaves,Twigs
Constituents. Catechin,Catechutannic acid
Tannic acid 25-38 p. c, Catechin (catechuic acid) 20 29 p. c, ash 9 p. c.

Medical Action & Uses:

Gambir is a serviceable remedy in those cases where astringents are indicated.

The complaints to which it is best adapted are diarrhea dependent on debility or relaxation of the intestinal mucous membrane, and passive hemorrhages, particularly from the uterus. A small piece held in the mouth and allowed slowly to dissolve is an excellent remedy in relaxation of the uvula and the irritation of the fauces and troublesome cough which depend upon it. Applied to spongy gums, in the state of powder, it sometimes proves useful; and it has been recommended as a dentifrice in combination with powdered charcoal, Peruvian bark, myrrh, etc.

Uses. – Diarrhoea, leuchorrhoea, gonorrhoea, cough, chronic sore throat, phthisis, bronchitis, hemorrhages, relaxed uvula, ulcerated nipples, chronic ulcers, relaxed oral mucous membrane and spongy gums (mouth-wash). In the arts for tanning, dyeing.

Dose, from ten grains to half a drachm (0.65—2.0 Gm.), which should be frequently repeated, and is best given with sugar, gum arable, and water.

Extract (gambir)„ usually in cubical or rectangular pieces 20-30 Mm. (4/5 – 1 1/5′) broad, grayish-, reddish-brown, dull, porous, friable; internally light brown, dull earthy color; inodorous; taste bitterish, very astringent; microscopically – numerous acicular crystals, non-glandular hairs, tracheae, few starch grains, .005-015 Mm. (1/5000-1/1650) broad, bacteria (?). Tests: 1. Macerate 1 Gm. with water (50), brownish filtrate, + dilute ferric chloride T. S. – intense green; with copper sulphate T. S. – no precipitate. Solvents: water dissolves 65 p. c; alcohol GO p. c. Dose, gr. 5-30 (.3-2 Gm.).

KNOWN EFFECTS
Shrinks tissues. Interferes with absorption of iron and other minerals when taken internally.

UNPROVED SPECULATED BENEFITS
Decreases unusual bleeding. Treats chronic diarrhea. Is used as gargle for sore throats.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Don’t take if you:
Have any chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract, such as stomach or duodenal ulcers, esophageal reflux (reflux esophagitis), ulcerative colitis, spastic colitis, diverticulosis, diverticulitis.

Consult your doctor if you:
Take this herb for any medical problem that doesn’t improve in 2 weeks. There may be safer, more-effective treatments. Take any medicinal drugs or herbs including aspirin, laxatives, cold and cough remedies, antacids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, supplements, other prescription or non-prescription drugs.

Pregnancy:
Dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Don’t use.

Breast-feeding:
Dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Don’t use.

Infants and children:
Treating infants and children under 2 with any herbal preparation is hazardous.

Storage:
Keep cool and dry, but don’t freeze. Store safely away from children.

Safe dosage:
At present no “safe” dosage has been established.

TOXICITY
Rated relatively safe when taken in appropriate quantities for
short periods of time.
For symptoms of toxicity: See Adverse Reactions, Side Effects or Overdose Symptoms section below.

ADVERSE REACTIONS, SIDE EFFECTS OR OVERDOSE SYMPTOMS
Signs and symptoms:  What to do:
Diarrhea  Discontinue. Call doctor immediately.
Kidney damage characterized by  Seek emergency treatment.
blood in urine, decreased urine
flow, swelling of hands and feet.
Vomiting

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.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/usdisp/ourouparia.html
http://www.healthse.com/vitamins/vitamin148.php
http://chestofbooks.com/health/materia-medica-drugs/Manual-Pharmacology/Gambir-Gambir.html

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

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