Sjogren’s syndrome

 

Alternative Names: Mikulicz disease” and “Sicca syndrome

Definition:
Sjögren’s syndrome (SHOW-grins)is a systemic autoimmune disease in which immune cells attack and destroy the exocrine glands  that produce tears and saliva.In some cases, other organs of the body are also affected, including the:
•Kidneys
•Liver
•Pancreas
•Lungs
•Blood vessels
•Brain

CLICK & SEE

It is named after Swedish ophthalmologist Henrik Sjögren (1899–1986), who first described it.

Nine out of ten Sjögren’s patients are women  and the average age of onset is late 40s, although Sjögren’s occurs in all age groups in both women and men. It is estimated to strike as many as 4 million people in the United States alone, making it the second most common autoimmune rheumatic disease.

Sjogren’s syndrome may be classified as primary or secondary. Primary Sjogren’s syndrome occurs alone; secondary Sjogren’s syndrome is seen alongside another disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE).

CLICK & SEE

The disorder should not be confused with the Sjögren–Larsson syndrome, which was also denoted T. Sjögren syndrome in early studies.

Symptoms:
There are many different symptoms of Sjogren’s. However, not everyone experiences the same ones or to the same degree.
The characteristic dryness of Sjogren’s means the eyes often feel very uncomfortable and may burn, itch or feel gritty. Mouth dryness makes talking, chewing and swallowing difficult.

YOU MAY CLICK & SEE THE PICTURE

Other symptoms include:

•A sore or cracked tongue
•Dry nose and skin
•Digestive problems
•Joint pains
•Fatigue
•Dental problems are more likely (because of the lack of saliva)
As is often the case with any long-term condition, a person’s quality of life may be adversely affected. This may result in depression and make social life, work and relationships more difficult to maintain and enjoy.

Sjogren’s is also associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, Raynauds phenomenom and adverse reactions to medication such as antibiotics.

 

Causes:
Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder. This means that your immune system mistakenly attacks your body’s own cells and tissues.

Scientists aren’t certain why some people develop Sjogren’s syndrome and others don’t. Certain genes put people at higher risk for the disorder, but it appears that a triggering mechanism — such as infection with a particular virus or strain of bacteria — is also necessary.

In Sjogren’s syndrome, your immune system first targets the moisture-secreting glands of your eyes and mouth. But it can also damage other parts of your body, such as your:

*Joints
*Thyroid
*Kidneys
*Liver
*Lungs
*Skin
*Nerves
Risk Factors:
Although anyone can develop Sjogren’s syndrome, it typically occurs in people with one or more known risk factors. These include:

*Age. Sjogren’s syndrome is usually diagnosed in people older than 40.
*Sex. Women are much more likely to have Sjogren’s syndrome.
*Rheumatic disease. It’s common for people who have Sjogren’s syndrome to also have a rheumatic disease — such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Complications:
The most common complications of Sjogren’s syndrome involve your eyes and mouth.

*Dental cavities. Because saliva helps protect the teeth from the bacteria that cause cavities, you’re more prone to developing cavities if your mouth is dry.

*Yeast infections. People with Sjogren’s syndrome are much more likely to develop oral thrush, a yeast infection in the mouth.

*Vision problems. Dry eyes can lead to light sensitivity, blurred vision and corneal ulcers.

Less common complications may affect your:

*Lungs, kidneys or liver. Inflammation may cause pneumonia, bronchitis or other problems in your lungs; may lead to problems with kidney function; and may cause hepatitis or cirrhosis in your liver.

*Unborn baby. If you’re a woman with Sjogren’s syndrome and you plan to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about being tested for certain autoantibodies that may be present in your blood. In rare cases, these antibodies have been associated with heart problems in newborns

*Lymph nodes. A small percentage of people with Sjogren’s syndrome develop cancer of the lymph nodes (lymphoma).

*Nerves. You may develop numbness, tingling and burning in your hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy).

 

Diagnosis:
Diagnosing Sjögren’s syndrome is complicated by the range of symptoms a patient may manifest, and the similarity between symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and those of other conditions. Nevertheless, the combination of several tests can lead to a diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome.

Blood tests can be done to determine if a patient has high levels of antibodies that are indicative of the condition, such as anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) and rheumatoid factor (because SS frequently occurs secondary to rheumatoid arthritis), which are associated with autoimmune diseases. Typical Sjögren’s syndrome ANA patterns are SSA/Ro and SSB/La, of which SSB/La is far more specific; SSA/Ro is associated with numerous other autoimmune conditions but are often present in Sjögren’s.

Schirmer’s test measures the production of tears: a strip of filter paper is held inside the lower eyelid for five minutes, and its wetness is then measured with a ruler. Producing less than five millimeters of liquid is usually indicative of Sjögren’s syndrome. However, lacrimal function declines with age or may be impaired from other medical conditions. An alternative test is nonstimulated whole saliva flow collection, in which the patient spits into a test tube every minute for 15 minutes. A resultant collection of less than 1.5 mL is considered a positive result. It takes longer to perform than Schirmer’s test, but does not require special equipment.

A slit-lamp examination can reveal dryness on the surface of the eye. Salivary gland function can be tested by collecting saliva and determining the amount produced in a five minute period. A lip biopsy can reveal lymphocytes clustered around salivary glands, and damage to these glands due to inflammation.

Ultrasound examination of the salivary glands is the simplest confirmatory test and has the added advantage of being non-invasive with no complications. The parenchyma of the gland demonstrates multiple, small-2-6 mm hypoechoic lesions which are representations of the lymphocytic infiltrates. Often sialectasis with calculi are demonstrated if the disease is advanced. The sonographic findings have excellent symptom correlation. The other advantage of ultrasound is that complications of the disease such as extra-nodal lymphomas can often be detected as larger 1–4 cm hypoechoic intra-parenchymal masses.

There is also a radiological procedure which is a reliable and accurate test for Sjögren’s syndrome. A contrast agent is injected into the parotid duct, which opens from the cheek into the vestibule of the mouth opposite the neck of the upper second molar tooth. Widespread puddling of the injected contrast scattered throughout the gland indicates Sjögren’s syndrome.

The Revised Classification Criteria for Sjögren’s Syndrome requires the presence of signs, symptoms, and lab findings.

Patient-reported symptoms must include both ocular symptoms, such as daily, persistent, troublesome dry eyes for more than three months, and oral symptoms, such as needing to drink water to swallow food.

Objective evidence of eye involvement relies on Schirmer’s test and the Rose bengal score (or similar). Histopathology studies should show focal lymphocytic sialadenitis. Objective evidence of salivary gland involvement is tested through ultrasound examinations, the level of unstimulated whole salivary flow, a parotid sialography, or salivary scintigraphy. Autoantibodies against Ro (SSA) and/or La (SSB) antigens are also expected.

SS can be excluded from people with past head and neck radiation therapy, hepatitis C infection, Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), pre-existing lymphoma, sarcoidosis, graft-versus-host disease, and use of anticholinergic drugs (since a time shorter than four times the life of the drug).

 

Treatment:
It’s not possible to prevent Sjogren’s syndrome and there’s no cure, but treatments can help to relieve many of the symptoms. Treatment varies depending on which parts of the body are affected and may include:

•Artificial tears to help with dry eyes
•Saliva stimulants and mouth lubricants for dry mouth
•Anti-inflammatory medication for joint or muscle pain
•Corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs for lung, kidney, blood vessel or nervous system problems

Lifestyle and home remedies:

Many symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome respond well to self-care measures.

To relieve dry eyes:

*Use artificial tears, an eye lubricant or both. Artificial tears (in eyedrop form) and eye lubricants (in eyedrop, gel or ointment form) help relieve the discomfort of dry eyes. Both types of product are available over-the-counter. You don’t have to apply eye lubricants as often as artificial tears. Because of their thicker consistency, though, eye lubricants can blur your vision and collect on your eyelashes. Your doctor may recommend artificial tears without preservatives because the preservatives can be irritating for people with dry eye syndrome.

* Increase humidity. Increasing the indoor humidity and reducing your exposure to blowing air may help keep your eyes from getting uncomfortably dry. For example, avoid sitting in front of a fan or air-conditioning vent, and wear goggles or protective eyewear when you go outdoors.

To help with dry mouth:

*Increase  fluid intake. Drinking lots of fluids, particularly water, helps to reduce dry mouth.

*Stimulate saliva flow. Sugarless gum or hard candies can boost saliva flow. Because Sjogren’s syndrome increases your risk of dental cavities, limit sweets, especially between meals. Lemon juice in water can also help stimulate saliva flow.

*Try artificial saliva. Saliva replacement products often work better than plain water because they contain a lubricant that helps your mouth stay moist longer. These products may come as a spray or lozenge.

*Use nasal saline spray. A nasal saline spray can help moisturize and clear nasal passages so you can breathe freely through your nose. A dry, stuffy nose can increase mouth breathing.

Oral health:

Dry mouth increases your risk of dental cavities and tooth loss. The following precautions may help prevent those types of problems.

*Brush your teeth and floss after every meal.

*Schedule regular dental appointments, at least every six months.

*Use daily topical fluoride treatments and antimicrobial mouthwashes.

Other areas of dryness:

If dry skin is a problem, avoid hot water when you bathe and shower. Pat your skin — don’t rub — with a towel and apply moisturizer when your skin is still damp. Use rubber gloves when doing dishes or housecleaning. Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants help women who experience vaginal dryness.

 

Prognosis:
Sjögren’s can damage vital organs of the body with symptoms that may plateau or worsen, but the disease does not go into remission as with other autoimmune diseases. Some people may experience only the mild symptoms of dry eyes and mouth, while others have symptoms of severe disease. Many patients are able to treat problems symptomatically. Others are forced to cope with blurred vision, constant eye discomfort, recurrent mouth infections, swollen parotid glands, hoarseness, and difficulty in swallowing and eating. Debilitating fatigue and joint pain can seriously impair quality of life. Some patients can develop renal involvement (autoimmune tubulointerstitial nephritis) leading to proteinuria, urinary concentrating defect and distal renal tubular acidosis.

Patients with Sjögren’s syndrome have a higher rate of non-Hodgkin lymphoma compared to both patients with other autoimmune diseases and healthy people.  About 5% of patients with Sjögren’s syndrome will develop some form of lymphoid malignancy. Patients with severe cases are much more likely to develop lymphomas than patients with mild or moderate cases. The most common lymphomas are salivary extranodal marginal zone B cell lymphomas (MALT lymphomas in the salivary glands)   and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

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://halter4sen.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/sjogren_syndrome.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sj%C3%B6gren’s_syndrome
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sjogrens-syndrome/DS00147
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/sjogrensyndrome1.shtml
http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/archive/mdd/v05/i04/html/04disease.html

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

Piper lolot

Botanical Name : Piper lolot
Family: Piperaceae
Genus: Piper
Species: P. lolot
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Common Name : La Lot

Habitat: Piper lolot is native to the Indochina region and recently introduced to the United States by Lao and Vietnamese emigrants

Description:
Piper lolot is a Tropicals and Tender Perennial herb, grows to a height of 18-24 in. (45-60 cm).It is in the USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)It blooms during
Mid Summer to Late Summer/Early Fall and the blooming color is White to Near White.

Click to see the pictures>……(01).....(1)…..…(2)..…...(3)
Lolot (Piper lolot) is a flowering vine, cultivated for its leaf which is used in Lao and Vietnamese cuisine as a flavoring wrap for grilling meats, namely the bò lá l?t sausages of Vietnam.

The practice of wrapping meat in vine leaves originated in the Middle East, which was taken to India by the Persians. It was subsequently introduced by the Indians to Southeast Asia. However, grape vines do not grow well in tropical climates, so the Vietnamese started to use leaves of lolot instead.

Cultivation:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings . It is suitable for growing in containers. But for ground planting Spacing should be 18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the root ball
By simple layering

Medicinal Uses:
It is  used for medicinal purposes, to relive a wide range of symptoms from inflammation to snakebites.

You may click to see :Piper lolot eaters cure gout?

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://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/73809/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lolot

Enhanced by Zemanta

Loropetalum chinense

Botanical Name :Loropetalum chinense
Family: Hamamelidaceae
Genus: Loropetalum
Species: L. chinense
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Synonyms  :  L. indicum. Hamamelis chinensis.

Common Name:Lacquer Tree, Fringe Flower, Chinese fringe flower.

Habitat :Loropetalum chinense is native to Japan and southeastern Asia including southern China. It grows on the rocky hills and dry open woods, often on limestone.  Stream banks, hilly slopes and roadsides.

Description:
Loropetalum is a finely textured evergreen shrub. It has a loose open form and will grow as high as 12 ft (3.7 m) and 6-8 ft (1.8-2.4 m) wide. Loropetalum has a spreading habit with branches arranged in horizontal layers. Young shrubs have greater spread than height and are densely branched. When vertical stems are periodically removed loropetalum makes an effective large scale groundcover with some newer varieties selected especially for that purpose. The flowers are arranged in small clusters with each having 4 narrow straplike petals that droop downward. Flowers resemble those of its close relative the witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana). There are white and red flowered forms of loropetalum and both bloom prolifically beginning in late winter into spring and then continue sporadically throughout the summer. The green-leafed varieties have fragrant flowers that are white or yellowish. ‘Rubra’ and ‘Razzleberri’ are among several named red flowered forms and tend to bloom earlier than the white form. The red forms are much showier in bloom than the white whose flowers tend to get lost with the effect that the shrub just looks like it has lighter foliage color when in bloom….

Click to see the pictures>…...(01)...(1)…….(2).……...(3)...
The leaves of loropetalum are oval, 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm) long and about 1 in (2.5 cm) wide and are held alternately on the stem. Foliage of the white form is light green to yellowish-green and lighter on the underside. Red forms typically have leaves that are darker green and have burgundy, red or copper tints depending on the selection.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Screen, Standard, Superior hedge, Specimen. Requires a rich well-drained neutral to acid soil in full sun or light shade. Requires a lime-free humus-rich soil. One report says that it succeeds on a sheltered north wall whilst another says that it needs a sunny position and another says it needs warm summers. Prefers a cool root run. This species is not very cold-hardy in Britain, it is also slow growing. It succeeds outdoors in the mildest areas of the country, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c. Plants do not flower well if the temperature drops below 5°c. The Japanese form of this species might be hardier. Plants grow taller in their native habitat, reaching a height of 3 metres. The flowers emit a delicate sweet perfume. Some named forms have been developed in Japan for their ornamental value. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in a warm greenhouse in late winter or early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some protection from the cold for at least their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Fair to good percentage. Layering in the spring .

Uses:
In the past few years loropetalum has become increasingly popular and is now seen everywhere from commercial properties to streetside plantings to residential. Everyone seems to be discovering the charms of this beautiful and robust shrub. Its graceful, horizontally layered shape makes it a perfect foundation plant and with periodic pruning can be used in hedges. The red flowered forms add beautiful contrasting color and texture in shrub borders and look great massed together. Lower growing varieties are now available for use as large scale ground cover.

Features
Attractive evergreen foliage, fragrant flowers and low maintenance requirements are just a few of loropetalum’s talents. Due to its vigor and adaptability, many new selections have become available in the past several years. This is the only member of the genus Loropetalum which is in the witchhazel family Hamamelidaceae. Other well known members of this large family are witch-alder (Fothergilla major), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and parrotia (Parrotia persica).

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the whole plant is used in the treatment of coughing in tuberculosis, dysentery, enteritis etc. The leaves can be crushed and pulverized for external application on wounds.

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.floridata.com/ref/l/loro_chi.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loropetalum_chinense

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Loropetalum+chinense

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pueraria mirifica

Botanical Name : Pueraria mirifica
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Pueraria
Species: P. mirifica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Name :Kwao Krua, Khao Krua Kao, or Kwao Kreu Kao (white root) and Kwao Krua Dang (red root Butea Superba),

Habitat :Pueraria mirifica  is a native herb abundant in the jungles of the north Thailand and Burma.

Description:
The Pueraria mirifica plant is found only in Thailand. Even though there have been reports of findings of plants in the same family of “Pueraria” in Asian countries, these plant are of different species and possess different qualities from Pueraria mirifica. From the study, there are nine species [as many as thirteen have now been reported] of Pueraria in Thailand. This article discussing the efficacy and safety study of Pueraria mirifica refers only to Pueraria candollei var. mirifica from central part of the country. Pueraria mirifica is a climbing plant, usually grows in a mountainous area by tiding with trees. There are three small leaves on each branch and purple blooms on the top. The tubers on its root are round, and stay underground. When cut, white liquid like skim milk would come out. The Shape and size of Pueraria mirifica are diverse up to the environment in which it exists. Active ingredients are found at the roots from which extracts are made.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

History:
Arimuttama was the old capital of the Pookham City of Myanmar. They had a sacred Buddhist precinct and one-day the sacred Buddhist precinct was broken down. The Buddhist monks found this ingredient that was inscribed on the palm leaf and placed it in the sacred Buddhist precinct.

To take the tuberous root of Pueraria with big leaves, pound and blend with cow’s milk. The benefits of this medicine is to support memory, talk big, and be able to remember three books of the astrology, make the skin smooth like six year old kid, live more than 1,000 years and parasite diseases are not able to be of trouble

There are 4 varieties of kwao krua that are considered beneficial and can be used for medicinal, food supplementary and cosmetic purposes. They are White Kwao Krua (Pueraria mirifica), Red Kwao Krua (Butea superba), Black Kwao Krua and Dull Grey Kwao Krua. Local communities in Thailand have used Pueraria mirifica for well over one hundred years, specifically for its supposed rejuvenating qualities

Uses:
Pueraria mirifica, also known as ‘white kwao krua’, is a natural tuberous herbal root and contains high levels of natural phytoestrogens including miroestrol, deoxymiroestrol, daidzein, genistin, genistein, B-Sitosterol, stigmasterol, coumestrol, pueraria, campesterol, mirificoumestan, kwakhurin, and mirificine.

Some cosmetic products and herbal supplements claim various health benefits of the extracts of Pueraria mirifica including increasing appetite, enlarging breasts, improving hair growth, and other rejuvenating effects; however, there is no scientific evidence to support any these claims.   The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has taken action against manufacturers who make such fraudulent claims

Medicinal Uses:
Preliminary data from a clinical trial conducted in Thailand to study the beneficial effect of Pueraria mirifica supplement have recently been obtained. Eight female subjects who were having menopausal symptoms received Pueraria mirifica in the form of capsule once daily at the dose of 200 mg for 4 months followed by the dose of 100 mg, for 8 months. Improvement of menopausal symptoms was observed in 5 out of 8 subjects throughout the study period. Physical examinations and biochemical studies revealed that all subjects were healthy. The dietary supplement dose of Pueraria mirifica recommended by the physician for its estrogenic effect in this case is 100 mg per day.

A series of studies involving breast cell lines and the activity of Pueraria mirifica in vitro have been performed by the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Phramongkutklao College of Medicine, Bangkok, Thailand. These studies have shown that Pueraria mirifica root extract (Smith Naturals Co Ltd., Bangkok) has potent anti-estrogenic properties against aggressive cell cancer lines in vitro, especially the proliferative estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer lines (T47-D, MCF-7, and ZR-75-1) obtained from the MD Anderson Cancer Institute (Texas) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Tectorigenin, an isoflavone present in kudzu, demonstrated antiproliferative activity against human cancer (HL-60) cells. The proposed mechanisms are induction of differentiation in the cells and a reduction in the expression of Bcl-2, an antiapoptotic protein. In addition, isoflavones in Pueraria mirifica are thought to be involved in alleviating symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats in perimenopausal women and affect cognitive function in postmenopausal women. The isoflavones present in kudzu root extract are also thought to suppress alcohol intake and alcohol withdrawal symptoms in mice although the mechanism is unclear. The anti-inflammatory property of kudzu is attributed to its ability to decrease Prostaglandin E2 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha release, both of which are involved in inflammatory process. The flowers of Pueraria thunbergiana exhibit protective effects against ethanol-induced apoptosis in human neuroblastoma cells by inhibiting the expression of a protease, caspase-3 that is responsible for proteolytic cleavage of many proteins.

Herbal Breast Enlargement by Pueraria mirifica. In 90% of women, the phytoestrogen from Pueraria herbal will induce the increasing of the cell turgidity but not cell multiplication or proliferation.

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:
Siam Natural ‘Kwao Krua Kao’ (Pueraria mirifica)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pueraria_mirifica
http://www.paradisemoon.com/herbal/kwao_krua.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saccharina japonica (Konbu)

Botanical Name : Saccharina japonica
Family: Laminariaceae
Genus: Saccharina
Species: S. japonica
Kingdom: Chromalveolata
Phylum: Heterokontophyta
Class: Phaeophyceae
Order: Laminariales

Synonyms:
Laminaria japonica J.E. Areschoug
Laminaria ochotensis Miyabe

Common Names:Dashi kombu,Kombu or konbu ,also called dashima in Koria,

Habitat :
Saccharina japonica is  native to Japan, but has been cultivated in China, Japan, Russia, France, and Korea. It is one of the two most consumed species of kelp in China and Japan. The harvest is also used for the production of alginates, with China producing up to 10 000 tonnes of the product each year.

Description :
Thallus consisting of root-like holdfast, short stipe and blade. Blade long-belt shaped, up to one meter long, 10-20 cm broad, with margin undulate and overlapping, thick at the middle and thin at the margin. A short and small stipe and holdfast at the base of the blade. Holdfast sturdy (presenting haptera) with which the algae is fixed to rocky substratum.  Colour: thick dark green; blade surface brown, occasionally glaucescent…..CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

Uses:-
Cooking:
Kombu is used extensively in Japanese cuisines as one of the three main ingredients needed to make dashi, a soup stock. Kombu is sold dried (‘dashi kombu’) or pickled in vinegar (‘su kombu’) or as a dried shred (‘Oboro kombu’ or ‘Shiraga kombu’). It may also be eaten fresh as sashimi. Making kombu dashi is simple though kombu dashi powder may also be used. A strip of dried kombu in cold water, then heated to near-boiling, is the very first step of making dashi and the softened kombu is commonly eaten after cooking. It can also be sliced and used to make tsukudani, a dish that is simmered in soy sauce and mirin.

Kombu may be pickled with sweet and sour flavoring and is cut into small strips 5 or 6 centimeters long and 2 centimeters wide. These are often eaten as a snack with green tea.

It is often included when cooking beans, putatively to add nutrients and improve their digestibility.

Kombucha – “seaweed tea” is a beverage brewed from dried and powdered kombu. This is sometimes confused with the unrelated English word kombucha, a neologism for the fermented and sweetened tea from Russia, which is called k?cha kinoko   in Japan.

Kombu is also used to prepare a seasoning for rice that is going to be made into sushi.

Nutrition and health effects:
Kombu is a good source of glutamic acid, an amino acid responsible for umami, the Japanese word used for one of the five basic tastes in addition to salt, sweet, sour, and bitter, identified in 1908. Several foodstuffs in addition to kombu provide glutamic acid or glutamates. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is often used as a food additive and flavor enhancer.

Kombu contains iodine, a mineral that is essential for normal growth and development. However, the high iodine content of kombu has been blamed for thyroid problems after drinking large amounts of soy milk in which kombu was an additive. It is also a source of dietary fiber.

Medicinal Uses:
Ocean Plant Extract contains some of the purest nutrients to help you achieve our health goals. These nutrients include the following:

*Alginates absorb radioactive elements and eliminate heavy metals and free radicals from your body
*Organic Iodine supports your thyroid to stabilize metabolism and is essential for expecting mothers and anyone with a thyroid disorders.
*Contains fucose, mannose & glucuronic acid to enhance cellular communication & immune function.
*Laminarin is a polysaccharide that has been shown to be helpful in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases
*Antimicrobial agents like vitamin C, vitamin A and B vitamins.
Ocean plants contain all the above nutrients and have also been shown to reduce cold symptoms, strengthen your immune system and cleanse your body of heavy metals and radiation.

Don’t wait until disaster strikes to take charge of your health

The ancient Chinese, prescribed for goiter a tincture and powder of these plants.  Employed as alterative in the treatment of goiter and other iodine deficiencies.   It is used to induce labor and abortion. Kombu possesses a strong anticancer activity and inhibits the growth of cancer.  Studies have shown that a regular use of Laminaria japonica reduces risk of the breast cancer considerably.
Imbibition is employed in medicine to dilate the ear canals so they will drain properly. A slender porous cylinder called an “ear wick” is inserted into the blocked ear canal where it gradually imbibes water and swells. This same mechanism also involves one of the most unusual uses for brown algae. A slender cylinder of Laminaria japonica called “dilateria” is used to dilate the cervix in routine gynecological examinations. The cylinder of brown algae is inserted into the cervix where it imbibes water and swells. Laminaria has been preferred by many Japanese physicians for more than a century; they have found its gradual dilatation far less traumatic than the rapid dilatation induced by rigid dilators.’

As a dietary supplement, Laminaria is rich in several constituents that can be very beneficial to the health, aside from being a great natural source of iodine for the thyroid gland. It is high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and trace minerals such as manganese, copper, selenium, and zinc. It also provides chromium, which is instrumental in blood sugar control, and vitamins B1 and B2.  Somewhat more interesting are the polysaccharides. It contains alginates, laminarin, laminine, and fucoidan as well as a number of other polysaccharides and simple sugars. The alginates are adept at absorbing toxic heavy metals and radioactive isotopes from the body by binding with them in the gastrointestinal tract when they are present in the bile. Levels of dangerous metals like mercury, lead and aluminum can be significantly reduced in the body if Laminaria japonica is consumed on a regular basis for at least 4 months. This period of time is necessary, as it takes time for the body to cycle accumulated toxins into the bile. Laminaria has been used with great success in treating radiation sickness in the victims of the Chernobyl, Russia disaster via this mechanism.

Fucoidan, a sulphated fucopolysaccharide constituent is the subject of extensive research for its anticancer properties. Studies have shown fucoidan to be effective in stopping the growth of tumors, inducing cancer cell apoptosis (programmed cell death) in leukemia, stomach and colon cancer lines, and in interfering with metastasis by inhibiting interaction between tumor cells and the host tissue basement membrane. Laminarin, another constituent, has been found to assist with this process via a tumor angiogenesis blocking mechanism.  Fucoidan also has some beneficial effects on the immune system. It enhances phagocytosis by macrophages, and helps to reduce inflammation.

Kombu is also excellent for the hair, skin and nails, taken either internally or applied topically in masks and creams. Because of its high mineral content and polysaccharides, the seaweed helps by adding important nutrients to the skin, and by removing toxins. In its extract form, this seaweed can be easily incorporated into a range of skin care products to help give the skin a silky smoothness.

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/Saccharina_japonica
http://search.myway.com/search/GGcached.jhtml?pg=GGmain&ord=1&action=click&searchfor=Laminaria%2Bjaponica&curl=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FKombu&isDirResults=false&tpr=sbt&cid=36NMEGceQzAJ&st=site&ct=GC
http://bodyecology.com/articles/heavy_metal_cleansing_sea_vegetable.php
http://www.fao.org/fishery/culturedspecies/Laminaria_japonica/en
http://www.wellcorps.com/ingredients-benefits-wakame-and-kombu-suringar-and-laminaria-japonica-whole-plant-extract.html

Enhanced by Zemanta