Tag Archives: American Chemical Society

Agrimonia parviflora.

Botanical Name : Agrimonia parviflora.
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Agrimonia
Species:A. parviflora
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names :  Small Flowered Agrimony, Harvestlice Agrimony, and Harvestlice

Habitat : Agrimonia parviflora is native to Eastern N. America – Connecticut and New York to Florida, west to Texas and Nebraska. It grows on the damp thickets and the edges of low woods, growing in clumps. Moist or dry soils.

Description:
Agrimonia parviflora is a wildflower plant. It is 2½–5′ tall. The stout central stem is unbranched, terete, and light green, reddish green, or brownish green; it is covered with long hairs that are white or light brown. Along each stem, there are widely spreading alternate leaves. These leaves are odd-pinnate and up to 2′ long and ½’ across; each leaf has 9-17 primary leaflets and smaller secondary leaflets. The secondary leaflets are located between pairs of primary leaflets. Individual primary leaflets are 2-3″ long and about one-third as much across; they are narrowly lanceolate, narrowly oblanceolate, or elliptic with wedge-shaped bottoms and acute tips. Leaflet margins are coarsely dentate. The upper surface of each leaflet is yellowish green and hairless, while the lower surface is short-pubescent. Secondary leaflets are similar to the primary leaflets, but they are much smaller in size (less than 1″ long). Both the petiole and rachis of each compound leaf are pubescent; quite often, they have sparse long hairs. At the base of each leaf, there is a pair of large stipules that are fan-shaped and either coarsely dentate or cleft with pointed lobes.

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The central stem terminates in a long spike-like raceme about ¾–2½’ long. Robust plants also produce secondary racemes from the axils of the upper leaves that are shorter than the terminal raceme. These racemes are usually more or less erect, although longer racemes sometimes bend sideways to become nearly horizontal with the ground. The central stalk of the raceme is light green, terete, and short-pubescent. Numerous small flowers about ¼” across occur along the length of the raceme on short stalks about 1/8″ long. Individual flowers consist of a tubular green calyx, 5 yellow petals, about 10 stamens, and a central pistil. The tubular calyx is turbinate in shape and 10-ribbed. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late summer and lasts about 1-2 months. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by 1-2 seeded fruits about ¼” across. These small fruits have numerous hooked prickles along the upper rims of their persistent calyxes. Immature fruits are green, while mature fruits are brown. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. Clonal colonies of plants are often produced.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a calcareous soil. Prefers a sunny position. Plants self-sow when growing in a suitable position.

Propagation:
Seed – can be sown in spring or autumn, either in pots in a cold frame or in situ. It usually germinates in 2 – 6 weeks at 13°c, though germination rates can be low, especially if the seed has been stored. A period of cold stratification helps but is not essential. When grown in pots, prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division in autumn.   Very easy, the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.

Medicinal Uses:
A tea made from the whole plant is astringent. It is used in the treatment diarrhoea, bleeding, wounds, inflammation of the gall bladder, urinary incontinence etc. It is gargled as a treatment for mouth ulcers and sore throats. An infusion of the seedpods is used to treat diarrhoea and fevers. An infusion of the root is used as a blood tonic and is given to children to satisfy their hunger. The powdered root has been used to treat pox.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/wetland/plants/sw_agrimony.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrimonia_parviflora
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Agrimonia+parviflora

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Solidago canadensis

Botanical Name: Solidago canadensis
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Solidago
Species: S. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : Aster canadensis. Doria canadensis. Solidago anthropogena

Common Name: Canadian Goldenrod, Shorthair goldenrod, Harger’s goldenrod, Rough Canada goldenrod, Common Goldenro

Habitat:Solidago canadensis is native to northeastern and north-central North America but established as an invasive plant in in other parts of the continent and in other countries as well.
It grows in dry to damp thickets, roadsides, slopes and clearings, avoiding acid soils.

Description:
Solidago canadensis is a perennial plant growing to 1.8 m (6ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a medium rate. The plant is erect, often forming colonies. Flowers are small yellow heads held above the foliage on a branching inflorescenc It is in flower from Aug to October, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Seashore, Specimen, Woodland garden. Succeeds in any moderately fertile moisture retentive soil in sun or semi-shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A rather greedy plant, it is apt to impoverish the soil. The flowers attract butterflies and moths. The plant also attracts various beneficial insects such as ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies to the garden, these insects will help to control insect pests in the garden. Special Features: Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on for their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves; Oil; Seed.
Edible Uses: Oil; Tea.

Young leaves and flowering stems – cooked. Seed. Used as a thickener in soups. The seed is very small and is only used as a survival food when all else fails. A tea can be made from the flowers and/or the leaves.
Medicinal Uses :

Antiseptic; Haemostatic; Kidney; Salve; Styptic.

Haemostatic, styptic. The root is applied as a poultice to burns. An infusion of the dried powdered herb can be used as an antiseptic. The blossoms are analgesic, astringent and febrifuge. They have been chewed and the juice slowly swallowed to treat sore throats. A tea made from the flowers is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, body pains, fevers and snakebites. The plant contains quercitin, a compound that is reportedly useful in the treatment of haemorrhagic nephritis. This plant is said to have similar medicinal properties to S. virgaurea. These are:- Goldenrod is a safe and gentle remedy for a number of disorders. In particular, it is a valuable astringent remedy treating wounds and bleeding, whilst it is particularly useful in the treatment of urinary tract disorders, being used both for serious ailments such as nephritis and for more common problems such as cystitis. The plant contains saponins that are antifungal and act specifically against the Candida fungus which is the cause of vaginal and oral thrush. It also contains rutin which is used to treat capillary fragility, and phenolic glycosides which are anti-inflammatory. The leaves and flowering tops are anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, mildly diuretic, febrifuge and stimulant. A good vulnerary herb, it has also proved of value when used internally in the treatment of urinary infections, chronic catarrh, skin diseases, influenza, whooping cough, bladder and kidney stones etc. Due to its mild action, goldenrod is used to treat gastro-enteritis in children. It makes an excellent mouthwash in the treatment of thrush. The plant is gathered in the summer and dried for later use. The seed is anticoagulant, astringent and carminative. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of kidney and bladder disorders, rheumatism and arthritis. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Solidago canadensis for infections of the urinary tract, and kidney and bladder stones .

Other Uses : Mustard, orange and brown dyes can be obtained from the whole plant. The source of ‘Canadian goldenrod’ oil. We have no further details, but it is likely to be an essential oil.
It is often grown as an ornamental in flower gardens.
Known Hazards : Weak potential for sensitization. Irrigation therapy is contraindicated in cases of oedema due to renal or heart disease. Care needed with chronic kidney disease

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Solidago+canadensis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidago_canadensis

Vitis vinifera

Botanical Name: Vitis vinifera
Family: Vitaceae
Genus: Vitis
Species: V. vinifera
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Vitales

Synonym: Grape Vine.

Common Name: Grape, Wine grape, Purpleleaf Grape, Common grape vine {The name vine is derived from viere (to twist), and has reference to the twining habits of the plant which is a very ancient one; in the Scriptures the vine is frequently mentioned from the time of Noah onward. Wine is recorded as an almost universal drink throughout the world from very early times. The vine is a very longlived plant. Pliny speaks of one 600 years old, and some existent in Burgundy are said to be 400 and over.}
Parts Used: Fruit, leaves, juice.

Habitat: Vitis vinifera is native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, and southwestern Asia, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern Germany and east to northern Iran. There are currently between 5000 and 10,000 varieties of Vitis vinifera grapes though only a few are of commercial significance for wine and table grape production. It grows in riversides and damp woods. Grows on the banks of the Thames at Kew in Britain

Description:
Vitis vinifera is a deciduous Climber growing to 35 yards (32 m) tall, with flaky bark. The leaves are alternate, palmately lobed, 5–20 cm (2.0–7.9 in) long and broad. The fruit is a berry, known as a grape; in the wild species it is 6 mm (0.24 in) diameter and ripens dark purple to blackish with a pale wax bloom; in cultivated plants it is usually much larger, up to 3 cm (1.2 in) long, and can be green, red, or purple (black). The species typically occurs in humid forests and streamsides.

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Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Irregular or sprawling, Spreading or horizontal, Variable spread. It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Arbor. Prefers a deep rich moist well-drained moderately fertile loam. Grows best in a calcareous soil, but dislikes excessively chalky soils. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 to 7 but tolerates a range from 4.3 to 8.6. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though a warm sunny sheltered position is required for the fruit to ripen. Very commonly grown in the temperate zones of the world for its edible fruit, there are many named varieties, some of which have been developed for their use as a dried fruit, others for dessert use and others for wine. Good and regular crops are a bit problematical in Britain, grapes are on the northern most limits of their range in this country and the British summer often does not provide enough heat to properly ripen the fruit. Late frosts can also damage young growth in spring, though dormant shoots are very hardy, tolerating temperatures down to about -20°c. Nonetheless, there are a number of commercial vineyards in Britain (usually producing wine grapes) and, given a suitably sunny and sheltered position, good dessert grapes can also be grown. In general it is best to grow the dessert varieties against the shelter of a south or west facing wall. There are a number of varieties that have been bred to cope with cooler summers. Grapes are very susceptible to attacks by phylloxera, this disease is especially prevalent in some areas of Europe and it almost destroyed the grape industry. However, American species of grapes that are resistant to phylloxera are now used as rootstocks and this allows grapes to be grown in areas where the disease is common. Britain is free of the disease at the present (1989) and grapes are usually grown on their own roots. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. The flowers are intensely fragrant. Grapes grow well in the company of hyssop, chives, basil and charlock. They grow badly with radishes, both the grapes and the radishes developing an off taste. Plants climb by means of tendrils. Any pruning should be carried out in winter when the plants are dormant otherwise they bleed profusely. The cultivated grape is thought to have been derived from V. vinifera sylvestris. (Gmel.)Hegi. This form has dioecious flowers and produces small black grapes. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Six weeks cold stratification improves the germination rate, and so stored seed is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is obtained. Germination should take place in the first spring, but sometimes takes another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in early summer. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, December/January in a frame. These cuttings can be of wood 15 – 30cm long or they can be of short sections of the stem about 5cm long with just one bud at the top of the section. In this case a thin, narrow strip of the bark about 3cm long is removed from the bottom half of the side of the stem. This will encourage callusing and the formation of roots. Due to the size of these cuttings they need to be kept in a more protected environment than the longer cuttings. Layering

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Flowers; Fruit; Leaves; Oil.
Edible Uses: Oil.

Fruit – raw or dried for winter use. The dried fruits are the raisins, sultanas and currants of commerce, different varieties producing the different types of dried fruit. A fully ripened fresh fruit is sweet, juicy and delicious. The fruit juice can be concentrated and used as a sweetener. This fruit is widely used in making wine. Leaves – cooked. Young leaves are wrapped around other foods and then baked, they impart a pleasant flavour. Young tendrils – raw or cooked. The flower clusters are used as a vegetable. An edible oil similar to sunflower oil is obtained from the seed. It needs to be refined before it can be eaten. A polyunsaturated oil, it is suitable for mayonnaise and cooking, especially frying. Sap – raw. Used as a drink, it has a sweet taste. The sap can be harvested in spring and early summer, though it should not be taken in quantity or it will weaken the plant. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. Cream of tartar, also known as potassium bitartrate, a crystalline salt, is extracted from the residue of pressed grapes, and from the sediment of wine barrels. It is used in making baking powder

Constituents: The leaves gathered in June contain a mixture of cane sugar and glucose, tartaric acid, potassium bi-tartrate, quercetine, quercitrin, tannin, amidon, malic acid, gum, inosite, an uncrystallizable fermentable sugar and oxalate of calcium; gathered in the autumn they contain much more quercetine and less trace of quercitrin.

The ripe fruit juice termed ‘must’ contains sugar, gum, malic acid, potassium bi-tartrate and inorganic salts; when fermented this forms the wine of commerce.

The dried ripe fruit commonly called raisins, contain dextrose and potassium acid tartrate.

The seeds contain tannin and a fixed oil.

The juice of the unripe fruit, ‘Verjuice,’ contains malic, citric, tartaric, racemic and tannic acids, potassium bi-tartrate, sulphate of potash and lime.

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic; Antiinflammatory; Astringent; Bach; Demulcent; Diuretic; Hepatic; Laxative; Lithontripic; Miscellany; Skin;
Stomachic.

Grapes are a nourishing and slightly laxative fruit that can support the body through illness, especially of the gastro-intestinal tract and liver. Because the nutrient content of grapes is close to that of blood plasma, grape fasts are recommended for detoxification. Analgesic. The fresh fruit is antilithic, constructive, cooling, diuretic and strengthening. A period of time on a diet based entirely on the fruit is especially recommended in the treatment of torpid liver or sluggish biliary function. The fruit is also helpful in the treatment of varicose veins, haemorrhoids and capillary fragility. The dried fruit is demulcent, cooling, mildly expectorant, laxative and stomachic. It has a slight effect in easing coughs. The leaves, especially red leaves, are anti-inflammatory and astringent. A decoction is used in the treatment of threatened abortion, internal and external bleeding, cholera, dropsy, diarrhoea and nausea. It is also used as a wash for mouth ulcers and as douche for treating vaginal discharge. Red grape leaves are also helpful in the treatment of varicose veins, haemorrhoids and capillary fragility. The leaves are harvested in early summer and used fresh or dried. The seed is anti-inflammatory and astringent. The sap of young branches is diuretic. It is used as a remedy for skin diseases and is also an excellent lotion for the eyes. The tendrils are astringent and a decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Dominating’, ‘Inflexible’ and ‘Ambitious’.

Other Uses :
Dye; Miscellany; Oil.

A yellow dye is obtained from the fresh or dried leaves. An oil from the seed is used for lighting and as an ingredient in soaps, paints etc. Cream of tartar, extracted from the residue of pressed grapes, is used in making fluxes for soldering. Especially when growing in hotter countries than Britain, the stems of very old vines attain a good size and have been used to supply a very durable timber.

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

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitis_vinifera
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/v/vine–09.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Vitis+vinifera

Prostate cancer

Other Name : Carcinoma of the man’s prostate,adenocarcinoma, or glandular cancer

Definition:
Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in a man’s prostate— a small walnut-shaped gland that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm for  male reproductive system.

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Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, some grow relatively fast.Initially remains confined to the prostate gland,  where it may not cause serious harm. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.

Prostate cancer that is detected early — when it’s still confined to the prostate gland — has a better chance of successful treatment.

Factors that increase the risk of prostate cancer include: older age, a family history of the disease, and race. About 99% of cases occur in those over the age of 50. Having a first degree relative with  the disease increases the risk 2 to 3 fold. In the United States it is more common in the African American population than the Caucasian population. Other factors that may be involved include a diet  high in processed, red meat, or milk products or low in certain vegetables. Prostate cancer is diagnosed by biopsy. Medical imaging may then be done to determine if the cancer has spread to other  parts of the body.

Symptoms:
Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. Sometimes, however, prostate cancer does cause symptoms, often similar to those of diseases such as benign prostatic hyperplasia. These include frequent urination, nocturia (increased urination at night), difficulty starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine, hematuria (blood in the urine), and dysuria (painful urination). A study  based on the 1998 Patient Care Evaluation in the US found that about a third of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer had one or more such symptoms, while two thirds had no symptoms.

Prostate cancer is associated with urinary dysfunction as the prostate gland surrounds the prostatic urethra. Changes within the gland, therefore, directly affect urinary function. Because the vas  deferens deposits seminal fluid into the prostatic urethra, and secretions from the prostate gland itself are included in semen content, prostate cancer may also cause problems with sexual function  and performance, such as difficulty achieving erection or painful ejaculation.

Advanced prostate cancer can spread to other parts of the body, possibly causing additional symptoms. The most common symptom is bone pain, often in the vertebrae (bones of the spine), pelvis,  or ribs. Spread of cancer into other bones such as the femur is usually to the proximal part of the bone. Prostate cancer in the spine can also compress the spinal cord, causing leg weakness and  urinary and fecal incontinence.

Causes:
The  causes of prostate cancer  is still not very clear.
Doctors know that prostate cancer begins when some cells in your prostate become abnormal. Mutations in the abnormal cells’ DNA cause the cells to grow and divide more rapidly than normal cells  do. The abnormal cells continue living, when other cells would die. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor that can grow to invade nearby tissue. Some abnormal cells can break off and  spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.

Risk Factors:
The primary risk factors are obesity, age and family history. Prostate cancer is very uncommon in men younger than 45, but becomes more common with advancing age. The average age at the time  of diagnosis is 70. However, many men never know they have prostate cancer. Autopsy studies of Chinese, German, Israeli, Jamaican, Swedish, and Ugandan men who died of other causes have  found prostate cancer in 30% of men in their 50s, and in 80% of men in their 70s. Men who have first-degree family members with prostate cancer appear to have double the risk of getting the  disease compared to men without prostate cancer in the family. This risk appears to be greater for men with an affected brother than for men with an affected father.   Men with high blood pressure are more likely to develop prostate cancer.  There is a small increased risk of prostate cancer associated with lack of exercise. A 2010 study found that prostate basal cells were the most common  site of origin for prostate cancers.

Genetic factors :
Genetic background may contribute to prostate cancer risk, as suggested by associations with race, family, and specific gene variants. Men who have a first-degree relative (father or brother) with prostate cancer have twice the risk of developing prostate cancer, and those with two first-degree relatives affected have a fivefold greater risk compared with men with no family history. In the

United States, prostate cancer more commonly affects black men than white or Hispanic men, and is also more deadly in black men. In contrast, the incidence and mortality rates for Hispanic men  are one third lower than for non-Hispanic whites. Studies of twins in Scandinavia suggest that 40% of prostate cancer risk can be explained by inherited factors.

No single gene is responsible for prostate cancer; many different genes have been implicated. Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, important risk factors for ovarian cancer and breast cancer in women, have also been implicated in prostate cancer. Other linked genes include the Hereditary Prostate cancer gene 1 (HPC1), the androgen receptor, and the vitamin D receptor.  TMPRSS2-ETS gene  family fusion, specifically TMPRSS2-ERG or TMPRSS2-ETV1/4 promotes cancer cell growth.

Two large genome-wide association studies linking single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to prostate cancer were published in 2008. These studies identified several SNPs which substantially  affect the risk of prostate cancer. For example, individuals with TT allele pair at SNP rs10993994 were reported to be at 1.6 times higher risk of prostate cancer than those with the CC allele pair. This

SNP explains part of the increased prostate cancer risk of African American men as compared to American men of European descent, since the C allele is much more prevalent in the latter; this SNP is located in the promoter region of the MSMB gene, thus affects the amount of MSMB protein synthesized and secreted by epithelial cells of the prostate.

Dietary factors:
While some dietary factors have been associated with prostate cancer the evidence is still tentative.  Evidence supports little role for dietary fruits and vegetables in prostate cancer occurrence. Red  meat and processed meat also appear to have little effect in human studies.  Higher meat consumption has been associated with a higher risk in some studies.

Lower blood levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Folic acid supplements have no effect on the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Viral factors:
In 2006, a previously unknown retrovirus, Xenotropic MuLV-related virus or XMRV, was associated with human prostate tumors,  but subsequent reports on the virus were contradictory,  and the original 2006 finding was instead due to a previously undetected contamination.

Sexual factors:
Several case-control studies have shown that having many lifetime sexual partners or starting sexual activity early in life substantially increases the risk of prostate cancer. This correlation suggests  a sexually transmissible infection (STI) may cause some prostate cancer cases; however, many studies have unsuccessfully attempted to find such a link, especially when testing for STIs shortly  before or after prostate cancer diagnosis.  Studies testing for STIs a decade or more prior to prostate cancer diagnosis find a significant link between prostate cancer and various STIs (HPV-16, HPV-18 and HSV-2). This evidence could be explained by a yet-to-be-identified sexually transmissible infection and a long latency period between onset of infection and prostate cancer.

On the other hand, while the available evidence is weak,  tentative results suggest that frequent ejaculation may decrease the risk of prostate cancer.  A study, over eight years, showed that those  that ejaculated most frequently (over 21 times per month on average) were less likely to get prostate cancer.  The results were broadly similar to the findings of a smaller Australian study

Medication exposure:
There are also some links between prostate cancer and medications, medical procedures, and medical conditions. Use of the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as the statins may also decrease  prostate cancer risk.

Infection or inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) may increase the chance for prostate cancer while another study shows infection may help prevent prostate cancer by increasing blood to the  area. In particular, infection with the sexually transmitted infections chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis seems to increase risk. Finally, obesity  and elevated blood levels of testosterone   may increase the risk for prostate cancer. There is an association between vasectomy and prostate cancer however more research is needed to determine if this is a causative relationship.

Pathophysiology:
The prostate is a part of the male reproductive system that helps make and store seminal fluid. In adult men, a typical prostate is about 3 centimeters long and weighs about 20 grams. It is located in the pelvis, under the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate surrounds part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder during urination and semen during ejaculation.  Because of its location, prostate diseases often affect urination, ejaculation, and rarely defecation. The prostate contains many small glands which make about 20 percent of the fluid  constituting semen.  In prostate cancer, the cells of these prostate glands mutate into cancer cells. The prostate glands require male hormones, known as androgens, to work properly. Androgens  include testosterone, which is made in the testes; dehydroepiandrosterone, made in the adrenal glands; and dihydrotestosterone, which is converted from testosterone within the prostate itself.

Androgens are also responsible for secondary sex characteristics such as facial hair and increased muscle mass.

Prostate cancer is classified as an adenocarcinoma, or glandular cancer, that begins when normal semen-secreting prostate gland cells mutate into cancer cells. The region of prostate gland where  the adenocarcinoma is most common is the peripheral zone. Initially, small clumps of cancer cells remain confined to otherwise normal prostate glands, a condition known as carcinoma in situ or  prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). Although there is no proof that PIN is a cancer precursor, it is closely associated with cancer. Over time, these cancer cells begin to multiply and spread to the  surrounding prostate tissue (the stroma) forming a tumor. Eventually, the tumor may grow large enough to invade nearby organs such as the seminal vesicles or the rectum, or the tumor cells may develop the ability to travel in the bloodstream and lymphatic system. Prostate cancer is considered a malignant tumor because it is a mass of cells that can invade other parts of the body. This invasion of other organs is called metastasis. Prostate cancer most commonly metastasizes to the bones, lymph nodes, and may invade rectum, bladder and lower ureters after local progression.

The route of metastasis to bone is thought to be venous as the prostatic venous plexus draining the prostate connects with the vertebral veins.

The prostate is a zinc-accumulating, citrate-producing organ. The protein ZIP1 is responsible for the active transport of zinc into prostate cells. One of zinc’s important roles is to change the metabolism of the cell in order to produce citrate, an important component of semen. The process of zinc accumulation, alteration of metabolism, and citrate production is energy inefficient, and  prostate cells sacrifice enormous amounts of energy (ATP) in order to accomplish this task. Prostate cancer cells are generally devoid of zinc. This allows prostate cancer cells to save energy not  making citrate, and utilize the new abundance of energy to grow and spread. The absence of zinc is thought to occur via a silencing of the gene that produces the transporter protein ZIP1. ZIP1 is now called a tumor suppressor gene product for the gene SLC39A1. The cause of the epigenetic silencing is unknown. Strategies which transport zinc into transformed prostate cells effectively  eliminate these cells in animals. Zinc inhibits NF-?B pathways, is anti-proliferative, and induces apoptosis in abnormal cells. Unfortunately, oral ingestion of zinc is ineffective since high  concentrations of zinc into prostate cells is not possible without the active transporter, ZIP1.

Loss of cancer suppressor genes, early in the prostatic carcinogenesis, have been localized to chromosomes 8p, 10q, 13q, and 16q. P53 mutations in the primary prostate cancer are relatively low  and are more frequently seen in metastatic settings, hence, p53 mutations are late event in pathology of prostate cancer. Other tumor suppressor genes that are thought to play a role in prostate  cancer include PTEN (gene) and KAI1. “Up to 70 percent of men with prostate cancer have lost one copy of the PTEN gene at the time of diagnosis”   Relative frequency of loss of E-cadherin and  CD44 has also been observed.

RUNX2 is a transcription factor that prevents cancer cells from undergoing apoptosis thereby contributing to the development of prostate cancer.

The PI3k/Akt signaling cascade works with the transforming growth factor beta/SMAD signaling cascade to ensure prostate cancer cell survival and protection against apoptosis. X-linked
inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) is hypothesized to promote prostate cancer cell survival and growth and is a target of research because if this inhibitor can be shut down then the apoptosis cascade  can carry on its function in preventing cancer cell proliferation.  Macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 (MIC-1) stimulates the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signaling pathway which leads to prostate  cancer cell growth and survival.

The androgen receptor helps prostate cancer cells to survive and is a target for many anti cancer research studies; so far, inhibiting the androgen receptor has only proven to be effective in mouse  studies.   Prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) stimulates the development of prostate cancer by increasing folate levels for the cancer cells to use to survive and grow; PSMA increases  available folates for use by hydrolyzing glutamated folates.

Diagnosis :
The American Cancer Society’s position regarding early detection is “Research has not yet proven that the potential benefits of testing outweigh the harms of testing and treatment. The American  Cancer Society believes that men should not be tested without learning about what we know and don’t know about the risks and possible benefits of testing and treatment. Starting at age 50, (45 if African American or brother or father suffered from condition before age 65) the man should  talk to the doctor about the pros and cons of testing so  the person can decide if testing is the right choice for  him.”

The only test that can fully confirm the diagnosis of prostate cancer is a biopsy, the removal of small pieces of the prostate for microscopic examination. However, prior to a biopsy, less invasive  testing can be conducted.

There are also several other tests that can be used to gather more information about the prostate and the urinary tract. Digital rectal examination (DRE) may allow a doctor to detect prostate  abnormalities. Cystoscopy shows the urinary tract from inside the bladder, using a thin, flexible camera tube inserted down the urethra. Transrectal ultrasonography creates a picture of the prostate  using sound waves from a probe in the rectum.

Prostate screening tests :

*Digital rectal exam (DRE). During a DRE, your doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to examine your prostate, which is adjacent to the rectum. If your doctor finds any
abnormalities in the texture, shape or size of your gland, you may need more tests.

*Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. A blood sample is drawn from a vein in your arm and analyzed for PSA, a substance that’s naturally produced by your prostate gland. It’s normal for a small  amount of PSA to be in your bloodstream. However, if a higher than normal level is found, it may be an indication of prostate infection, inflammation, enlargement or cancer.
PSA testing combined with DRE helps identify prostate cancers at their earliest stages, but studies have disagreed whether these tests reduce the risk of dying of prostate cancer. For that reason,  there is debate surrounding prostate cancer screening.

If an abnormality is detected on a DRE or PSA test, your doctor may recommend tests to determine whether you have prostate cancer, such as:

*Ultrasound. If other tests raise concerns,  the doctor may use transrectal ultrasound to further evaluate your prostate. A small probe, about the size and shape of a cigar, is inserted into  the rectum. The probe uses sound waves to make a picture of the  prostate gland.

*Collecting a sample of prostate tissue. If initial test results suggest prostate cancer, your doctor may recommend a procedure to collect a sample of cells from your prostate (prostate biopsy).

Prostate biopsy is often done using a thin needle that’s inserted into the prostate to collect tissue. The tissue sample is analyzed in a lab to determine whether cancer cells are present.

Now to Determining whether prostate cancer is aggressive:

When a biopsy confirms the presence of cancer, the next step is to determine the level of aggressiveness (grade) of the cancer cells. In a laboratory, a pathologist examines a sample of the cancer cell to determine how much cancer cells differ from the healthy cells. A higher grade indicates a more aggressive cancer that is more likely to spread quickly.

The most common scale used to evaluate the grade of prostate cancer cells is called a Gleason score. Scoring combines two numbers and can range from 2 (nonaggressive cancer) to 10 (very aggressive cancer).

For  determining how far the cancer has spread:

Once a prostate cancer diagnosis has been made, your doctor works to determine the extent (stage) of the cancer. If your doctor suspects your cancer may have spread beyond your prostate, imaging tests such as these may be recommended:

*Bone scan
*Ultrasound
*Computerized tomography (CT) scan
*Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
*Positron emission tomography (PET) scan

It is not every person should have every test. The doctor will determine which tests are best for  every  individual case.

Once testing is complete,  the doctor assigns the stage and this helps determination of  treatment options. The prostate cancer stages are:

Stage I. This stage signifies very early cancer that’s confined to a small area of the prostate. When viewed under a microscope, the cancer cells aren’t considered aggressive.

Stage II. Cancer at this stage may still be small but may be considered aggressive when cancer cells are viewed under the microscope. Or cancer that is stage II may be larger and may have grown to  involve both sides of the prostate gland.

Stage III. The cancer has spread beyond the prostate to the seminal vesicles or other nearby tissues.

Stage IV. The cancer has grown to invade nearby organs, such as the bladder, or spread to lymph nodes, bones, lungs or other organs.

Treatment:
Prostate cancer treatment options depend on several factors, such as how fast your cancer is growing, how much it has spread and the overall health  and age of the patient , as well as the benefits  and the potential side effects of the treatment.Immediate treatment may not be necessary for men diagnosed with very early-stage of  prostate cancer. Some men may never need treatment. Instead, doctors sometimes recommend active  surveillance.

In active surveillance, regular follow-up blood tests, rectal exams and possibly biopsies may be performed to monitor progression of your cancer. If tests show your cancer is progressing, you may opt for a prostate cancer treatment such as surgery or radiation.

Active surveillance may be an option for cancer that isn’t causing symptoms, is expected to grow very slowly and is confined to a small area of the prostate. Active surveillance may also be

considered for a man who has another serious health condition or an advanced age that makes cancer treatment more difficult.

Active surveillance carries a risk that the cancer may grow and spread between checkups, making it less likely to be cured.

For other cases the the following treatment is recomended:

*Radiation therapy : Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy to kill cancer cells. Prostate cancer radiation therapy can be delivered in two ways:

Radiation that comes from outside of  the body (external beam radiation). During external beam radiation therapy, the patient   lie on a table while a machine moves around the body, directing high-

powered energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, to   prostate cancer.The patient  typically undergo external beam radiation treatments five days a week for several weeks.

Radiation placed inside  the body (brachytherapy). Brachytherapy involves placing many rice-sized radioactive seeds in your prostate tissue. The radioactive seeds deliver a low dose of radiation

over a long period of time. The doctor implants the radioactive seeds in patient’s prostate using a needle guided by ultrasound images. The implanted seeds eventually stop giving off radiation and  don’t need to be removed.

Side effects of radiation therapy can include painful urination, frequent urination and urgent urination, as well as rectal symptoms, such as loose stools or pain when passing stools. Erectile dysfunction can also occur.

Hormone therapy:
Hormone therapy is treatment to stop  the patient’s body from producing the male hormone testosterone. Prostate cancer cells rely on testosterone to help them grow. Cutting off the supply of hormones may cause cancer cells to die or to grow more slowly.

Options of hormone therapy:
*Medications that stop the body from producing testosterone. Medications known as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) agonists prevent the testicles from receiving messages to make testosterone. Drugs typically used in this type of hormone therapy include leuprolide (Lupron, Eligard), goserelin (Zoladex), triptorelin (Trelstar) and histrelin (Vantas). Other drugs sometimes used include ketoconazole and abiraterone (Zytiga).

*Medications that block testosterone from reaching cancer cells. Medications known as anti-androgens prevent testosterone from reaching your cancer cells. Examples include bicalutamide (Casodex), flutamide, and nilutamide (Nilandron). The drug enzalutamide (Xtandi) may be an option when other hormone therapies are no longer effective.

Surgery to remove the testicles (orchiectomy).
Removing  the testicles reduces testosterone levels in the body.
Hormone therapy is used in men with advanced prostate cancer to shrink the cancer and slow the growth of tumors. In men with early-stage prostate cancer, hormone therapy may be used to shrink tumors before radiation therapy. This can make it more likely that radiation therapy will be successful.

Side effects of hormone therapy may include erectile dysfunction, hot flashes, loss of bone mass, reduced sex drive and weight gain.

Surgery to remove the prostate:
Surgery for prostate cancer involves removing the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy), some surrounding tissue and a few lymph nodes. Ways the radical prostatectomy procedure can be performed include:

*Using a robot to assist with surgery. During robot-assisted surgery, the instruments are attached to a mechanical device (robot) and inserted into  the abdomen through several small incisions. The surgeon sits at a console and uses hand controls to guide the robot to move the instruments. Robotic prostatectomy may allow the surgeon to make more-precise movements with surgical tools than is possible with traditional minimally invasive surgery.

*Making an incision in  the abdomen. During retropubic surgery, the prostate gland is taken out through an incision in  the lower abdomen. Compared with other types of prostate surgery, retropubic prostate surgery may carry a lower risk of nerve damage, which can lead to problems with bladder control and erections.

*Making an incision between  the anus and scrotum. Perineal surgery involves making an incision between  the anus and scrotum in order to access  the prostate. The perineal approach to surgery may allow for quicker recovery times, but this technique makes removing the nearby lymph nodes and avoiding nerve damage more difficult.

*Laparoscopic prostatectomy. During a laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, the doctor performs surgery through small incisions in the abdomen with the assistance of a tiny camera (laparoscope). This procedure requires great skill on the part of the surgeon, and it carries an increased risk that nearby structures may be accidentally cut. For this reason, this type of surgery is not commonly performed for prostate cancer in the U.S. anymore.

The Doctor should decide which type of surgery is best for  the specific situation.

Radical prostatectomy carries a risk of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. The riskfactors that the patient   may face based on the situation, the type of procedure the patient may select, according to his age, body type and  overall health.

Freezing of prostate tissue:
Cryosurgery or cryoablation involves freezing tissue to kill cancer cells.

During cryosurgery for prostate cancer, small needles are inserted in the prostate using ultrasound images as guidance. A very cold gas is placed in the needles, which causes the surrounding tissue to freeze. A second gas is then placed in the needles to reheat the tissue. The cycles of freezing and thawing kill the cancer cells and some surrounding healthy tissue.

Initial attempts to use cryosurgery for prostate cancer resulted in high complication rates and unacceptable side effects. However, newer technologies have lowered complication rates, improved cancer control and made the procedure easier to tolerate. Cryosurgery may be an option for men who haven’t been helped by radiation therapy.

Chemotherapy:
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill rapidly growing cells, including cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be administered through a vein in your arm, in pill form or both.

Chemotherapy may be a treatment option for men with prostate cancer that has spread to distant areas of their bodies. Chemotherapy may also be an option for cancers that don’t respond to hormone therapy.

Biological therapy:
Biological therapy (immunotherapy) uses your body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. One type of biological therapy called sipuleucel-T (Provenge) has been developed to treat advanced, recurrent prostate cancer.

This treatment takes some of the patient’s own immune cells, genetically engineers them in a laboratory to fight prostate cancer, then injects the cells back into your body through a vein. Some men do respond to this therapy with some improvement in their cancer, but the treatment is very expensive and requires multiple treatments.

Alternative therapy:
It is believed that regular Yoga exercise with Pranayama  and Meditation under the guideline of some expart  may help a lot to cope with the distress of the patient.

Prevention:
Diet and lifestyle

The data on the relationship between diet and prostate cancer is poor.   In light of this the rate of prostate cancer is linked to the consumption of the Western diet.  There is little if any evidence to support an association between trans fat, saturated fat and carbohydrate intake and risk of prostate cancer.  Evidence regarding the role of omega-3 fatty acids in preventing prostate cancer does not suggest that they reduce the risk of prostate cancer, although additional research is needed. Vitamin supplements appear to have no effect and some may increase the risk.  High calcium intake has been linked to advanced prostate cancer. Consuming fish may lower prostate cancer deaths but does not appear to affect its occurrence.  Some evidence supports lower rates of prostate cancer with a vegetarian diet.  There is some tentative evidence for foods containing lycopene and selenium.  Diets rich in cruciferous vegetables, soy, beans and other legumes may be associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer, especially more advanced cancers.

Men who get regular exercise may have a slightly lower risk, especially vigorous activity and the risk of advanced prostate cancer.

You may click & see :  Prostate  problems
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostate_cancer
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prostate-cancer/basics/definition/con-20029597

Epilobium parviflorum

Botanical Name:Epilobium parviflorum
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Epilobium
Species: E. parviflorumi
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Order: Myrtales

Common Names :Smallflower Hairy Willowherb or Willowherb

Habitat :Epilobium parviflorum grows  in most of Europe, including Britain, from Sweden to Northern Africa and Western Asia up to India, in USA and Canada.

Description:
Epilobium parviflorum  is a herbaceous perennial plant.

The biological form of the plant  is hemicryptophyte scapose, as its overwintering buds are situated just below the soil surface and the floral axis is more or less erect with a few leaves….

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Epilobium parviflorum reaches on average 30–80 centimetres (12–31 in) in height. The stem is erect and densely covered with hairs, especially in the lower part. The leaves are opposite, unstalked but not amplexicaul, lanceolate and toothed, rounded at the base, 4–10 centimetres (1.6–3.9 in) long. The tiny flowers are pale pink or pale purple, 6–7 millimetres (0.24–0.28 in) in diameter, with four petals, eight stamens and a 4-lobed stigma. Flowering occurs from June to August.  The hermaphroditic flowers are either self-fertilized (autogamy) or pollinated by insects (entomogamy). Fruit is a three-to seven-centimeter long capsule containing very small black seeeds (about 1 mm long), with white fibres that allow the dispersal by wind. This species is quite similar to Epilobium hirsutum, but the flowers are very smaller

Medicinal Uses:
Extracts of this plant have been used by traditional medicine in disorders of the prostate gland, bladder and kidney, having an antioxidant and antiinflammatory effect . Extracts of Epilobium have been shown to inhibit proliferation of human prostate cells in-vitro by affecting progression of the cell cycle.

Small-flowered willow herb has been used as remedies in folk medicine, particularly in Central Europe, for the treatment of prostate disorders and abnormal growths. This pleasant herb and flower tea was highly recommended by Austrian herbalist, Maria Treben, for ailing men with prostate abnormalities.  Enlarged prostate, prostatitis, kidney or bladder disorders, gastro-intestinal disorders, mouth mucus membrane lesions, rectal bleeding, menstrual disorders, cystitis, Preliminary (in vitro) studies at the Prostate Center of Vancouver found that very low concentrations of an extract from small-flowered willow herb tea, in the micrograms per ml level, was among the most active ever seen against abnormal cells and growths of the prostate. Several extracts from Epilobium parviflorum, were evaluated in biochemical assays with 5-alpha-reductase and aromatase, two enzymes involved in the etiology of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Aqueous extracts displayed inhibition of these enzymes and the active compounds identified were macrocyclic ellagitannins, oenothein A1, B1 and B2, which can make up to 14% of crude plant extracts. Out of a total of 92 plant phenolic extracts tested, small-flowered willow herb was also found to have high antioxidant activity.  Small-flowered willow herb tea is also recommended for treating urinary tract infections in women. Take as a tea for oral, vaginal, and intestinal candidias.  An ingredient of Swedish bitters.

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/Epilobium_parviflorum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Epilobium_parviflorum_0.7_R.jpg

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