Tag Archives: Angina pectoris

Visnaga

Botanical Name: Ammi visnaga
Family: Umbelliferae/Apiaceae – Carrot family
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: MagnoliophytaFlowering plants
Class : Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order : Apiales
Genus : Ammi L. – ammi
Species : Ammi visnaga (L.) Lam. – toothpickweed

Habitat: Fields and sandy places, Native in C.Europeto W. Asia and N.Africa

Description:
Annual/Biennial growing to 0.75m by 0.4m.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.The seeds are harvested in late summer before they have fully ripened and are dried for later use.

Cultivation details
Prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position, succeeding in ordinary garden soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.8 to 8.3. This species is not fully winter-hardy in the colder areas of Britain, though it should be possible to grow it as a spring-sown annual. This plant is sold as toothpicks in Egyptian markets.

Propagation
Seed – sow spring in situ

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Leaves – raw. Chewed for their pleasant aromatic flavour.

Medicinal Uses

Antiasthmatic; Diuretic; Lithontripic; Vasodilator.

Visnaga is an effective muscle relaxant and has been used for centuries to alleviate the excruciating pain of kidney stones. Modern research has confirmed the validity of this traditional use. Visnagin contains khellin, from which particularly safe pharmaceutical drugs for the treatment of asthma have been made. The seeds are diuretic and lithontripic.

They contain a fatty oil that includes the substance ‘khellin’. This has been shown to be of benefit in the treatment of asthma. Taken internally, the seeds have a strongly antispasmodic action on the smaller bronchial muscles, they also dilate the bronchial, urinary and blood vessels without affecting blood pressure. The affect last for about 6 hours and the plant has practically no side effects. The seeds are used in the treatment of asthma, angina, coronary arteriosclerosis and kidney stones. By relaxing the muscles of the urethra, visnaga reduces the pain caused by trapped kidney stones and helps ease the stone down into the bladder.

Visnaga is a relative of Queen Anne’s Lace and is commonly known to Arabs as “toothpick” plant. Centuries ago, Arabs found the small grayish fruits of this plant effective in treating numerous complaints such as the stabbing pain of angina pectoris. The main component of Visnaga is khellin, which acts as a selective coronary vasodilator. Khellin expands only the arteries that feed the heart, offering fast relief when angina is brought on by constricted or partly blocked coronary arteries. This substance is also a bronchodilator and was used by Arabs for treating the bronchial spasms that accompany asthma or severe allergies. The asthma drug Intal, is derived from khellin. Visnaga fruit also has diuretic properties.

Visnaga Uses & Scientific Evidence For
Today, Visnaga is used to help improve circulation to the heart, which eases angina. It does not; however, lower blood pressure. This plant is also used safely for treating asthma in children and adults, and even though it does not always relieve acute attacks, it does help prevent a recurrence. It is also used in treating bronchitis, emphysema, and whooping cough. Visnaga increases urine production and helps relax the muscles of the ureter, therefore, it works well in treating kidney stones. In Spain, this plant is used to clean the teeth.

Visnaga Dosage Information
Visnaga comes in many forms and can be found in various products. It is best to consult with your physician before using this herb if you want to use it to treat any of the above listed conditions.

Other Uses
Teeth.
The fruiting pedicel is used as a toothpick whilst the seeds have been used as a tooth cleaner.

Scented Plants
Plant: Crushed
The plant has an aromatic bitter scent and flavour.

Visnaga Safety & Interaction Information
Even though Visnaga is relatively safe for treating many conditions, it is not without its side effects. Prolonged use causes a build up of khellin in the body which can bring on nausea and vomiting. Again, it is best to consult with your physician for the treatment of your condition.

You may click to learn more about Ammi visnaga…………(1)...(2)..(3)(4)

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.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Ammi+visnaga
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=AMVI2
http://www.insensual.com/visnaga.html

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Down With a Cold ?

At some time or another, everyone — even a robust fitness freak — gets felled by the common cold, developing sniffles, sneezing, puffy eyes, fever, body ache and malaise. Children start to develop colds during their first year, the frequency of which may increase to up to six times a year. This leaves the mothers with the feeling that the child is “always ill”. The average adult gets three to four colds a year.

Almost 40 per cent of outpatient medical consultations in a general practice deals with colds and their complications. This is not surprising, as colds are unavoidable infections. They are caused by viruses, 80 per cent of which belong to the rhinovirus family. Not only are there more than a hundred members in this group alone, but the types also mutate at a rapid rate. This makes immunity practically non-existent, or at best short lived. To make matters worse, there is no vaccine available, except for flu or influenza.

Colds are highly contagious. The spread is rapid as the virus, contained in nasal secretions, can be propelled forcefully into the environment by coughing and sneezing. It can also be transferred from the nose to the hands of infected people. Patients can then transfer the virus to door knobs, telephones, banisters, switches and other such objects. The virus can remain dormant but viable for 18 hours or more until it finds a susceptible host. Any person touching the contaminated surface has a 50 per cent chance of picking up the infection.

Infection increases during the rainy season and winter months. People tend to huddle together under umbrellas or shelters. Windows may be kept closed. The close contact and lack of ventilation provide ideal conditions for the spread of the cold virus. Contrary to popular myths, colds are not aggravated by washing the hair at night, eating ice cream or using air-conditioning.

The infection incubates for a day or two before symptoms appear. It may then last a variable period of time, usually 5-14 days. If there is no recovery within two weeks, there may be secondary bacterial infection and complications like sinusitis, ear infection, bronchitis and pneumonia may have set in.

Smokers develop colds more frequently than non-smokers do. Their colds are more severe, take longer to subside and are more likely to be complicated by secondary infection. This is because the cilia — fine protective hairs that line the respiratory passages — are paralysed by nicotine. They, therefore, clear accumulated mucous sluggishly and inefficiently. Also, smokers’ lungs are likely to be scarred, distorted, have a reduced blood supply and function sub-optimally, making elimination of the infection difficult.

Man has reached the moon but a cure for the common cold remains elusive. We still rely on “grandma’s recommendations” of hot drinks like ginger tea, lime juice with honey, rice gruel and chicken soup. These do soothe the irritated throat. Also, resting helps. It reduces the pain in the muscles and bones. Steam inhalations liquefy the secretions and help them to drain, providing relief.

Stuffed and blocked nasal passages can be cleared with saline (not chemical) nose drops. Aspirin and paracetamol reduce fever and pain. Anti histamines reduce itching in the nose and throat and dry up dripping nasal secretions. The older first-generation anti histamines (Avil, Benadryl) are very effective but they cause sedation. The second-generation non-sedating products (loratidine, cetrizine) are less effective.

Many health supplements are advocated to boost immunity and reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. Many are of doubtful efficacy and have not been studied scientifically. Zinc supplements, however, have been proven to be useful. They can be used as lozenges, syrups or tablets. Not more than 10-15 mg a day of elemental zinc should be taken.

Antibiotics do not work and administering them is futile and inappropriate. They do not shorten the course of the infection. Nor do they prevent complications. Antiviral medications used against the influenza and herpes viruses are ineffective against the rhinovirus. If the cold just refuses to go away and there are no bacterial complications, it may not be a cold at all. It may be an idiosyncratic allergic reaction to something inhaled or ingested from the environment. Mosquito coils, liquid repellents, room fresheners and incense sticks are particularly notorious.

The best advice for someone with a cold — “wait it out”.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Better Ways to Fight Cold & Flu

The herb Echinacea, utilized by Native Americans for centuries, is a popular remedy for preventing or reducing the severity of the common cold. Hundreds of studies, primarily conducted in Germany, have provided information on the herb’s chemical and pharmacological characteristics, yet few studies have actually proven its ability to reduce cold severity.

To evaluate the effectiveness of dried, whole-plant echinacea capsules for early treatment of the common cold, approximately 150 students in the early stages of a cold were divided to take either a placebo or echinacea. The echinacea group took an encapsulated mixture of unrefined echinacea root and herbs in one-gram doses, six times on the first day of illness and three times per day on subsequent days, for up to 10 days. The placebo group took capsules containing alfalfa, which has no proven ability to boost the immune system, at the same frequency.

No difference was observed between the echinacea and placebo groups for any cold symptoms, including cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose or headaches. Average duration of the cold was approximately six days in both groups. Also, cold severity measures were “nearly identical” in those taking echinacea or placebo pills.

Although this is certainly not the last word on echinacea, since some previous research contradicts this study, it shows that otherwise healthy people might not obtain as much benefit from the herb as older adults who have frequent colds or viral illnesses. The best advice is to reduce your chances of getting a cold in the first place: wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and boost your immune system by eating lots of fruits and vegetables and getting plenty of sleep.

It’s cold and flu season, and the sounds of coughing, sneezing and runny noses can be heard in nearly every home, office and shopping mall across the country. But don’t run to the doctor and stock up on prescriptions just yet.

Colds, flus, most sore throats and acute bronchitis are caused by viruses, and antibiotics do not help fight viruses. Your prescription medication won’t fight the virus, make you feel better, yield a quicker recovery or keep others from getting sick. In fact, because of the potentially serious side effects, taking antibiotics to treat a virus can do more harm than good.

In addition to failing to solve your problem, taking unnecessary antibiotics can result in an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. This means the next time you really need an antibiotic for a bacterial infection, it may not work.

When the scratchy throat, sinus headache and sniffles get to be too much to handle this season, resist the urge to reach for the easy answer. Talk to your doctor about natural alternatives for treating your cold or flu.

For more information, go to http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=971

Sources:http://www.toyourhealth.com

Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a disease that results in the arteries becoming narrowed. the condition can affect arteries in any area of the body and is a major cause of stroke, heart attack and poor circulation in the legs. the arteries become narrowed when fatty substances, such as cholesterol, that are carried in the blood accumulate on the side lining of the arteries and form yellow deposits called artheroma. these deposits restrict the blood flow through the arteries. in addition, the muscle layer of the artery wall becomes thickened, narrowing the artery even more. platelets (tiny blood cells responsible for clothing) may collect in clumps on the surface of the deposits and initiate the formation of blood clots. a large clot may then completely block the artery and result on an organ being deprived of oxygen.

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Atherosclerosis is much more common in the US and northern Europe than in developing countries in Africa and Asia. the condition also becomes more common with increasing age. In the US, autopsies on young men who have died in accidents reveal that nearly all have some artheroma in their large arteries, and most people who die in middle age are found to have widespread atherosclerosis when autopsied. however, the condition rarely causes Symptoms until age 45-50, and many people do not realize that they have Atherosclerosis until they experience a heart attack or stroke.

The female sex hormone estrogen helps protect against the development of atherosclerosis,, as a result, the incidence of atherosclerosis is much lower in women before menopause than in men. By age 60, the risk of women developing atherosclerosis has increased until it is equal with the risk for men. however, women who take hormone replacement therapy, which contains estrogen, may continue to be protected.

What are the causes?
The risk of developing atherosclerosis is determined largely by the level of cholesterol in the bloodstream, which depends on dietary and genetic factors. Since cholesterol levels are closely linked with diet, atherosclerosis is most common in western counties where people eat a diet high in fat. Some disorders such as diabetes mellitus can b associated with a high cholesterol level regardless of diet. Certain inherited disorders also result in a high level of fats in the blood.

In addition to high blood cholesterols levels, factors that make atherosclerosis more likely are smoking, not exercising regularly, having high blood pressure, and being overweight, especially if a lot of fat is around the waist.

What are the symptoms?
There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of atherosclerosis. later, symptoms are caused by the reduced or total absence of blood supply to the organs supplied by the affected arteries. If the coronary arteries, which supply the heart muscle, are partially blocked, symptoms may include the chest pain of angina. if there is a complete blockage in the coronary artery, there may be a sudden, often fatal, heart attack. Many strokes are a result of atherosclerosis in the arteries that supply blood to the brain. If atherosclerosis affects the arteries in the legs, the first symptom may be cramping pain when walking caused by poor blood flow to the leg muscles. If atherosclerosis is associated with an inherited lipid disorder, fatty deposits may develop on tendons or under the skin in visible lumps.

How is it diagnosed?
Since atherosclerosis has no symptoms until blood flow has been restricted, it is important to screen for the disorder before it becomes advanced and damages organs. Routine medical checkups include screening for the major risks factors of atherosclerosis, particularly raised blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes mellitus. Some current recommendations suggest that all adults should have their cholesterol levels measured at intervals of at least every 5 years after age 20.

If you develop symptoms of atherosclerosis, your doctor may arrange tests to assess the damage both to the arteries and to the organs they supply. Blood flow in affected blood vessels can be imaged by doppler ultrasound scanning or coronary angiography. If your doctor thinks that the coronary arteries are affected, an ecg may be carried out to monitor the electrical activity of the heart and imaging techniques, such as angiography and radionuclide scanning may be used to look at the blood supply to the heart. Some of these tests may be done as you exercise to check how the heart functions when it is put under stress.(TMT)

What is the treatment?
The best treatment is to prevent atherosclerosis from progressing. preventive measures include following a healthy lifestyle by eating a low-fat diet, not smoking, exercising regularly, and maintaining the recommended weight for your height. These measures led to lower than average risk of developing significant atherosclerosis.

If you are in a good state of health but have been found to have a high blood cholesterol level, your doctor will advise you to adopt a low-fat diet. You may also be offered drugs that decrease your blood cholesterol level. For people who have had a heart attack, research has shown that there may be a benefit in lowering blood cholesterol levels, even if the cholesterol level is within the average range for healthy people.

If you have atherosclerosis and are experiencing symptoms of the condition, your doctor may describe a drug such as aspirin to reduce the risk of blood clots forming on the damaged artery lining.

Ayurvedic Recomendation: Arjunin , Cholecurb
Ayurvedic Recommended Therapy: Virechan

What is the prognosis?
A healthy diet and lifestyle can slow the development of atherosclerosis in most people. if you do have a myocardial infarction or a stroke, you can reduce risk of having further complications by taking preventive measures.

Click to learn about Atherosclerosis

Meditation Helps Reduce Heart Disease Risks

Reduce the risks of heart disease through meditation

Care Your Heart With Herbs

TREATMENT OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES WITH CHINESE HERBS

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.

Source: http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=187

Angina

 

Definition:  Angina pain develops when the muscles of the heart are not getting enough oxygen. This is usually caused by narrowing or blockages of the coronary arteries which deliver oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle (known as coronary artery disease). So angina is a sign of heart disease……….click & see

If the blockage of a coronary artery progresses and becomes complete, then the blood supply to part of the muscles of the heart is lost, causing a heart attack. Angina is a warning sign that the heart is at risk of a heart attack, and should be taken very seriously. One patient in every ten will go on to have a heart attack within a year of diagnosis of angina.

When your heart isn’t getting enough blood and oxygen, the crushing, squeezing pain of angina is typically the result. Usually the pain begins below the breastbone and radiates to the shoulder, arm, or jaw, increasing in intensity until it reaches a plateau and then diminishes. The attack can last up to 15 minutes.

Angina may be an occasional problem or may rapidly increase in severity and duration until a heart attack occurs.

Although conventional medications for angina may help relieve the intense chest pain of this heart disorder, they do very little to halt the physiological mechanisms behind it. Vitamins, minerals, and natural remedies may actually improve the condition — or at least keep it from.

Symptoms:…….

Symptoms include:

*Crushing or squeezing chest pain.
*Weakness.
*Sweating.
*Shortness of breath.
*Palpitations.
*Nausea.
*Light-headedness.

When to Call Your Doctor
If you have any of the above symptoms for the first time.
If there is any change in the normal pattern of your angina attacks — for example, if they increase in frequency, intensity, or duration, or if they are brought on by new activities.
If an angina attack lasts more than 15 minutes, which may be a heart attack — call for an ambulance immediately.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

Causes and risk factors:
Angina is common – about eight per cent of men and three per cent of women aged between 55 and 64 have experienced it, and it becomes more common with age.

It’s most commonly caused by narrowing of the arteries which carry oxygen to the heart muscle by a process called atherosclerosis (sometimes known as hardening of the arteries). This is a common condition where fatty deposits or plaques build up in the coronary arteries. Symptoms don’t usually develop until there is at least a 50 per cent blockage of the artery.

Most people in the developed world will have some atherosclerosis by the time they reach mid-life (and often much earlier), but some conditions can make it worse including:

•High cholesterol levels in the blood (especially if there is an inherited tendency to high cholesterol or a strong family history of heart disease).
•Cigarette smoking.
•Diabetes mellitus.
•High blood pressure.
Other conditions can also interfere with the blood supply to the heart muscle and lead to angina. These include:

•Abnormal heart rhythms (for example when the heart beats so fast that it isn’t pumping blood efficiently around the body).
•Heart valve disease.
•Inherited structural abnormalities of the coronary arteries.
•Severe anaemia (where the blood count is so low that it cannot carry much oxygen to the tissues).
Other important risk factors for angina include obesity, and raised levels of chemical in the blood called homocysteine, or other chemicals involved with clotting.

In another condition, known as Prinzmetal’s angina or coronary artery spasm, the coronary arteries aren’t permanently blocked but intermittently narrowed by spasm. This often develops in the early hours of the morning and may last up to 30 minutes. Those affected may also complain of palpitations and abnormal heart rhythms, or have similar conditions linked to spasm of the arteries such as migraine or Raynaud’s phenomenon.

Events which put extra strain on the heart can make angina worse, such as:

•Fever.
•Infection and serious illness.
•Emotional stress.
•An overactive thyroid gland.
•Sudden extreme exertion.
But angina can come on at rest, even when a person is lying down in bed.

Diagnosis and modern treatment :
There are many problems which can be confused with angina, especially simply indigestion or gastro-oesophageal reflux. There may be no visible signs of angina so it’s important that tests are done to establish the diagnosis, to ensure the affected person gets the right treatment.

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is essential and may show typical changes but can be normal in angina. Blood tests can be done to check for causes such as anaemia and look for chemical enzymes (called Troponins) released from the heart if a heart attack has occurred. Other checks for cholesterol levels, blood fats, diabetes and thyroid disease may be done. In most areas of the UK these tests will be done at the local Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic.

More complex tests such as an ECG during exercise, echocardiogram or other sophisticated x-ray tests may be recommended. However, NICE has recently produced guidelines which direct which tests should be done based on a statistical calculation of how likely to patient is to have angina. For example, invasive coronary angiography (where a tube is inserted into the coronary arteries and dye injected to produce x-rays pictures of the coronary arteries) is usually offered when there is a greater than 61 per cent chance of coronary artery disease.

Treatment of angina includes:

•Lifestyle advice to manage risk factors, such as weight loss, exercise, quitting smoking and a healthy diet.
•Medical treatment, including a drug called glyceryl trinitrate or GTN which can be taken repeatedly as a tablet put under the tongue or as a spray, and medical advice on what to do if pain persists (ie. if there is a risk of a heart attack).
•Assessment and treatment for coronary artery disease, including a variety of drug treatments to help open the arteries or treatments such as aspirin and a statin type drug which help to reduce the risk of a heart attack. More invasive treatments to open up the coronary arteries may be recommended especially when there is severe blockage. These are known as coronary revascularisation. The main two types are either coronary artery bypass grafting, or percutaneous transluminal angioplasty.

How Supplements Can Help
The supplements listed in the chart can all be used together or alone. They can also complement your prescription angina medications; never stop your heart medication without first consulting your doctor, however.
The antioxidant effect of vitamins C and E can help prevent cell damage: Vitamin C aids in the repair of the arteries injured by plaque, and vitamin E blocks the oxidation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, the initial step in the formation of plaque. In addition, some people with heart disease have low levels of vitamin E as well as the mineral magnesium, which may inhibit spasms of the coronary arteries.

Amino acids can benefit the heart in several ways. Arginine plays a role in forming nitric oxide, which relaxes artery walls. One study found that taking this amino acid three times a day increased the amount of time individuals with angina could exercise at moderate intensity without having to stop because of chest pain. Carnitine, an amino acid-like substance, allows heart muscle cells to use energy more efficiently, and another amino acid, taurine, may temper heart rhythm abnormalities.

Like carnitine, the nutritional supplement coenzyme Q10 enhances the heart muscle, reducing its workload, and the herb hawthorn improves blood flow to the heart. Essential fatty acids may be effective in lowering triglyceride levels and keeping arteries flexible.

What Else You Can Do
Eat a low-fat, fiber-rich diet; use canola or olive oil instead of butter.
Don’t smoke and avoid smoky places.
Learn to relax. Meditation, t’ai chi, and yoga may reduce angina attacks.
Join a support group. Determine what brought you to this point in your life and what you can do to begin reversing the disease.

Supplement Recommendations
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Magnesium
Arginine
Carnitine
Taurine
Coenzyme Q10
Hawthorn
Essential Fatty Acids

Vitamin C
Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Reduce dose if diarrhea develops.

Vitamin E
Dosage: 400 IU twice a day.
Comments: Check with your doctor if taking anticoagulant drugs.

Magnesium
Dosage: 200 mg twice a day.
Comments: Do not take if you have kidney disease.

Arginine

Dosage: 500 mg L-arginine 3 times a day on an empty stomach.
Comments: If using longer than 1 month, add mixed amino acids.

Carnitine
Dosage: 500 mg L-carnitine 3 times a day on an empty stomach.
Comments: If using longer than 1 month, add mixed amino acids.

Taurine
Dosage: 500 mg L-taurine 3 times a day on an empty stomach.
Comments: If using longer than 1 month, add mixed amino acids.

Coenzyme Q10

Dosage: 100 mg twice a day.
Comments: For best absorption, take with food.

Hawthorn

Dosage: 100-150 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Standardized to contain at least 1.8% vitexin.

Essential Fatty Acids
Dosage: 1 tbsp. flaxseed oil a day; 2,000 mg fish oils 3 times a day.
Comments: Take fish oils if you don’t eat fish at least twice a week.

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.

Resource:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/heart/angina.shtml
http://www.gulfmd.com/cardiology/Facts_About_Angina.asp
http://indiahealthtour.com/treatments/health-check-screening/treadmill-test-india.html

Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

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