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Kanuka

Botanical Name :Kunzea ericoides
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Kunzea
Species: K. ericoides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Common Names:Kanuka, White tea-tree or Burgan

Habitat :Kanuka (or Manuka as it was mostly known until the 1930s) occurs in Australia and New Zealand. In Australia it occurs in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

Description:
It is widespread particularly in coastal scrub and colonizing land recovering after a fire or reverting to a natural state after being used for agriculture. However it has been recorded growing to altitudes of 2000 metres above sea level. With its small but abundant flowers it can colour a whole hillside white, almost giving the appearance of snow cover. The wood is very hard and although not durable in the ground it is used for wharf piles and tool handles. It is particularly popular as firewood, burning with a great heat.

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In New Zealand, Kanuka can grow up to 30 metres high with a trunk up to one metre across. K?k?riki parakeets (Cyanoramphus) use leaves and bark of kanuka and the related M?nuka tea trees to rid themselves of parasites. Apart from ingesting the material, they also chew it, mix it with preen gland oil and apply it to their feathers. Manuka and K?nuka are superficially similar species and they are often confused with one another -the easiest way to tell the difference between them is to feel the foliage, K?nuka leaves being soft, while Manuka leaves are prickly. K. ericoides may occur in the understory of certain rimu/nothofagus forests in the South Island. Typical associate understory species may include Crown Fern, Blechnum discolor and Cyathodes fasciculata.

Kanuka flowers have a musty, heady scent and smother the tree like a white blanket through summer. They are smaller than the similar manuka, and carried in greater abundance.

Kanuka is also taller than manuka, growing to 10m+. It is a tough coloniser of poor soils and tolerates harsh conditions; excellent for native revegetation projects or shelter planting.

Medicinal Uses:
The Maori people were very adept at using native trees and plants for food and for curing many illnesses that inflicted the people. Originally knowledge of medicinal plants was held exclusively by the tohunga (Maori Doctor) but the Maori could soon realise by the plants that he ordered them to use what special value a plant had for a certain disease. This knowledge was kept alive and passed down by the older women of the tribes who continued to use their old remedies today.

Both manuka and kanuka were used extensively by the Maori and later by the early European settlers as a medicinal plant -alone and in combination with other native plants.

Captain Cook gave manuka the name of “tea tree” and wrote of it… “the leaves were used by many of us as a tea which has a very agreeable bitter taste and flavour when they are recent but loses some of both when they are dried. When the infusion was made strong it proved emetic (induces vomiting) to some in the same manner as ‘green tree”‘. Early settlers gave it the name “tea tree” as they too made a drink of it.

Kunzea Ericoides (kanuka) was also used by Maori people with both plants having similar virtues. The leaves and bark were used in a variety of ways to cure their ailments and illnesses.

A decotion of leaves was drunk for urinary comlaints and as a febrifuge (reduces fever). The leaves were boiled in water and inhaled for head colds. Leaves and bark were boiled together and the warm liquid was rubbed on stiff backs and rheumatic joints. The leaves and young branches were put into many vapour baths. Polack wrote. – – “an infusion of the leaves of this herb is regarded as peculiarly serviceable to persons in a reduced state, whose previous mortalities will not admit of the strictest investigation. It is very astringent ·’. And this from James Neill. – “It is a well known diuretic when drunk in quantity; and I remember hearing of a doctor in Dunedin in the early days, who told a patient who had dropsy to go into the bush, gather a handful of manuka leaves, put them in a quart jug and fill up with boiling water and drink it often. she did this and was cured”.

Young shoots were chewed and swallowed for dysentry.An infusion of the inner bark was taken internally as a sedative and promoted sleep. It was also given as a sedative to an excited person or one in pain. Externally, this was rubbed on the skin to ease pain and was said to help heal fractures. The crushed bark was steeped in boiling water and the water used for inflamations, particularly for women with congestion of the breasts. A decoction of the barks of kanuka and kowhai, mixed with wood ash and dried, was rubbed Into the skin for various skin diseases. For constipation, pieces of the bark were bailed until the waler darkened in colour and the liquid drunk. The inner bark was boiled and the water used as a gargle, mouthwash and for bathing sore eyes.

The emollient whlte gum, called pia manuka, was given to nursing babies and also used to treat scalds and burns- It was also chewed to ease a bad cough and given to children to relieve constipation. Fresh sap was drawn from a length of the trunk and taken as a breath and blood purifier – (Adams)

 

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.manuka-oil.com/uses.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunzea_ericoides
http://www.nzplantpics.com/pics_trees/kanuka_photography/kunzea_ericoides_kanuka.htm

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Lymphatic Filariasis(Elephantiasis)

Lymphatic Filariasis (LF), also known as elephantiasis, is a severely disfiguring disease which affects 120m around the world.

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LF causes severe swelling in the limbs

It can be treated, but the drugs are not always available to those most at need.

What are the symptoms?

The condition is associated with huge and disfiguring enlargement of a limb, or areas of the trunk or head. These swellings are known technically as lymphoedema.

In addition, the skin usually develops a thickened, pebbly appearance and may become ulcerated and darkened.

Other symptoms can include fever, chills and a general feeling of ill health.

The disease may also affect the sexual organs. In a man, the scrotum may become enlarged, and the penis may be retracted under the skin.

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In women the external genitalia may be covered in a tumourous mass.

People with the condition often have to contend with social as well as physical problems.

Communities frequently shun women and men disfigured by the disease.

Many women with visible signs of the disease will never marry, or their spouses and families will reject them.

They are also frequently are unable to work because of their disability.

Other symptoms can include fever, chills and a general feeling of ill health.

The disease may also affect the sexual organs. In a man, the scrotum may become enlarged, and the penis may be retracted under the skin.

In women the external genitalia may be covered in a tumourous mass.

People with the condition often have to contend with social as well as physical problems.

Communities frequently shun women and men disfigured by the disease.

Many women with visible signs of the disease will never marry, or their spouses and families will reject them.

They are also frequently are unable to work because of their disability.

What causes it?

It is caused by microscopic, thread-like parasitic worms invading the body’s lymphatic system – the network of vessels carrying infection-fighting cells.

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The worm is spread by mosquitoes, who pass it on when they take blood from humans.

The bacteria-containing worms lodge in the lymphatic system, producing millions of minute larvae which spread throughout the bloodstream.

Image of the worm that causes the disease
Parasitic worms cause the disease

These worms disrupt the balance of the lymphatic system, which helps maintain the fluid balance between the tissues and the blood.

What is still not clear is how much this is down to the worms causing obstruction of the lymphatic vessels, or the immune response their presence triggers in the body.

However, once the tissues have been damaged, they also become vulnerable to other bacterial and fungal infections, which are often responsible for much of the disease seen in LF patients.

Recent studies have also suggested that the disease may be caused by the red soil on which certain barefooted populations live.

It is believed that small chemical particles found in the soil may enter the skin through the bare feet, lodging in the lymphatic tissues and producing irritation which increases the vulnerability to bacterial infection.

Who is most at risk?

Over 120 million have already been affected by it, over 40 million of them are seriously incapacitated and disfigured by the disease.

One-third of the people infected with the disease live in India, one third are in Africa and most of the remainder are in South Asia, the Pacific and the Americas.

In communities where the condition is endemic, 10-50% of men and up to 10% of women can be affected.

Though the infection is generally acquired early in childhood, the disease may take years to manifest itself.

Diagnosis:
The standard method for diagnosing active infection is by finding the microfilariae via microscopic examination. This may be difficult, as in most parts of the world, microfilariae only circulate in the blood at night. For this reason, the blood has to be collected nocturnally.The blood should be in the form of a thick smear and stained with Giemsa. Testing the blood for antibodies against the disease may also be used.

How is it treated?

Drugs such as albendazole and diethylcarbamazine (DEC) have been shown to be effective in killing the parasites.

Their use not only eases symptoms, particularly among people in the early stages of disease, but also prevents the parasites being spread to others in the community.

A study in the Lancet, published in 2005, found that doxycycline, a widely available antibiotic, is also highly effective at killing the parasites.

Careful cleansing can also have a significant impact, helping to heal infected areas, and reversing some of the tissue damage, particularly that associated with secondary bacterial or fungal infections.

Measures to improve the flow of the lymphatic fluid, such as raising and exercising the swollen body part can also help.
Prevention:
Studies have demonstrated transmission of the infection can be broken when a single dose of combined oral medicines is consistently maintained annually, for approximately seven years. With consistent treatment, and since the disease needs a human host, the reduction of microfilariae means the disease will not be transmitted, the adult worms will die out, and the cycle will be broken.

The strategy for eliminating transmission of lymphatic filariasis is mass distribution of medicines that kill the microfilariae and stop transmission of the parasite by mosquitoes in endemic communities. In sub-Saharan Africa, albendazole (donated by GlaxoSmithKline) is being used with ivermectin (donated by Merck & Co.) to treat the disease, whereas elsewhere in the world, albendazole is used with diethylcarbamazine. Using a combination of treatments better reduces the number of microfilariae in blood. Avoiding mosquito bites, such as by using insecticide-treated mosquito bed nets, also reduces the transmission of lymphatic filariasis.

In 1993, the International Task Force for Disease Eradication declared lymphatic filariaisis to be one of six potentially eradicable diseases.

According to medical experts, the worldwide efforts to eliminate lymphatic filariasis is on track to potentially succeed by 2020. An estimated 6.6 million children have been prevented from being infected, with another estimated 9.5 million in whom the progress of the disease has been stopped.

For podoconiosis, international awareness of the disease will have to increase before elimination is possible. In 2011, podoconiosis was added to the World Health Organization’s Neglected Tropical Diseases list, which was an important milestone in raising global awareness of the condition.

The efforts of the Global Programme to Eliminate LF are estimated to have prevented 6.6 million new filariasis cases from developing in children between 2000 and 2007, and to have stopped the progression of the disease in another 9.5 million people who had already contracted it. Dr. Mwele Malecela, who chairs the programme, said: “We are on track to accomplish our goal of elimination by 2020.” In 2010, the WHO published a detailed progress report on the elimination campaign in which they assert that of the 81 countries with endemic LF, 53 have implemented mass drug administration, and 37 have completed five or more rounds in some areas, though urban areas remain problematic.

Prognosis:
About 40 million disfigured and incapacitated by the disease. Elephantiasis caused by lymphatic filariasis is one of the most common causes of disability in the world. In endemic communities, approximately 10 percent of women can be affected with swollen limbs, and 50 percent of men can have from mutilating genital disease. In areas endemic for podoconiosis, prevalence can be 5% or higher.

Researchs:
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) inventors have developed a novel vaccine for the prevention of lymphatic filariasis. This vaccine has been shown to elicit strong, protective immune responses in mouse models of lymphatic filariasis infection.The immune response elicited by this vaccine has been demonstrated to be protective against both W. bancrofti and B. malayi infection.

On September 20, 2007, geneticists mapped the genome (genetic content) of Brugia malayi, the roundworm which causes elephantiasis (lymphatic filariasis). Determining the content of the genes might lead to development of new drugs and vaccines.

You may click to see:->Filaria

Resources:
BBC NEWS:nov 14,’06
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lymphatic_filariasis

 

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Hog Weed

Scientific Name: Boerhaavia diffusa Linn. Syn. B. repens; B. repens var. diffusa
Family: Nyctaginaceae
Family Name: Hog weed, Horse Purslane
Common Indian Names
Gujarati: Dholia-saturdo, Moto-satoda.
Hindi: Snathikari
Canarese: Kommegida
Marathi: Tambadivasu
Sanskrit: Punarnava, Raktakanda, Shothaghni, Varshabhu
Bengali: Punurnava
Tamil: Mukaratee-Kirei
Telugu: Punernava

Habitat: Hog weed is indigenous to India. It grows wild all over the country as a common creeping weed and is specially abundant during the rains. It grows as common weed.

Useful Parts: Root, leaves and seeds.

Description;
Hog weed is a creeping and spreading perennial herb, with a stout root-stock and many erect or spreading branches. It grows upto 2 metres in length. The leaves of the plant are simple, broad, somewhat rough, thick and brittle. The flowers are pink or red in color. The fruits are oval in shape, dull-green or brownish in color and about the size of caraway bean.

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The plant contains a crystalline acid known as boerhavic acid, potassium nitrate and a brown mass consisting of tannins, phlobaphenes and reducing sugars. The active principle of hog weed is the alkaloid punarnavine. The drug contains large quantities of potassium salts, which accounts for its diuretic properties.

Chemical Constituents: Hog Weed contains b-Sitosterol, a-2-sitosterol, palmitic acid, ester of b-sitosterol, tetracosanoic, hexacosonoic, stearic, arachidic acid, urosilic acid, Hentriacontane, b-Ecdysone, triacontanol etc.

Healing Power and Curative Properties
The herb has been used in indigenous medicine from time immemorial. It is laxative and produces a cooling sensation. In large doses it induces vomiting. Medicinally, the most important part of the herb is the root. It has a bitter and nauseous taste. It is beneficial in the treatment of several common ailments.

Medicinal Uses: According to Ayurveda, Hog Weed is bitter, cooling, astringent to bowels, useful in biliousness, blood impurities, leucorrhoea, anaemia, inflammations, heart diseases, asthma, alternatives etc. The leaves are useful in dyspepsia, tumours, spleen enlargement, abdominal pains. According to Unani system of medicine, the leaves are appetizer, alexiteric, useful in opthalmia, in joint pains. Seeds are tonic expectorant, carminative, useful in lumbago, scabies. The seeds are considered as promising blood purifier.

Traditional Medicinal Uses: In many parts of India, different parts of Hog Weed are used as folk medicine.

Ayurveda Properties: Punarnavastaka, Punaravataila, Punarnavaleha etc.
Hog Weed or Boerhaavia diffusa extract curbs experimental melanoma metastasis
Chemical Examination of Punar-nava or Boerhaavia diffusa Linn. Proc Acad

Punarnava Boerhaavia diffusa – Pure Herbal :: Shopeastwest

Uses In Different Diseases:

Dropsy

Hog weed increases the secretion and discharge of urine. It is effective in the treatment of dropsy, a disease marked by an excessive collection of a watery fluid in the tissues and cavities or natural hollows of the body. The fresh boiled herb should be given in the treatment of this disease. A liquid extract of the fresh or dry plant can also be given in doses of 4 to 16 grams.

.Ascities

The herb is useful in the treatment of ascites, a disease characterized by accumulation of fluid inside the peritoneal cavity of the abdomen. Much more powerful effect on certain types of ascites that is, those caused due to the cirrhosis of the liver and chronic peritonitis-than some of the other important diuretics known. The herb can be administered m the same manner as for dropsy.

.Stomach Disorders

The drug is useful in strengthening the stomach and promoting its action. It is beneficial in the treatment of several stomach disorders, particularly intestinal colic. A powder of the root is given in doses of 5 grams thrice a day. It is also useful in killing or expelling intestinal worms.

Asthma

Hog weed promotes the removal of catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes. It is, therefore, beneficial in the treatment of asthma. A powder of the root can be taken in small doses three times a day.

Fevers

Hog weed is beneficial in the treatment of fevers. It brings down temperature by inducing copious perspiration.

Other Diseases

The root of the plant is useful in the treatment of several diseases — particularly of the kidney and heart — as well as gonorrhea. It is also valuable in oedema, anemia, cough, pleurisy, nervous weakness, constipation and paralysis..

Skin Diseases

The root of the plant is a~ effective remedy for several skin diseases. A paste of the root can be applied beneficially as a dressing for oedematous swellings. A hot poultice of the root can be applied with gratifying results to ulcers, abscesses and similar skin diseases. It is also used for extracting guinea-worms. Charaka, the great physician of ancient India, used it in the form of ointment in leprosy and other skin diseases.

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.

Source : http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/CropFactSheets/punanrnava.html and Herbs That Heal

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