Tag Archives: Anti-inflammatory

Is it necessary to have sugar?

Most of us label sugar as the biggest evil today. We try our best to eliminate it from our diets and feel guilty whenever we ocassionally give in. But did it ever occur to you if these white crystals that were once an inseparable part of our daily diets, may not be that big an evil as they are touted to be? Well, the question did occur to us and we started digging further...

It is surprised to know that World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends having 6-12 teaspoons of sugar every day, much contrary to what most nutritionists and health experts believe.

Let us first distinguish between different kinds of sugars, artificial sweeteners, sugarcane extracted crystallized sugar and natural sugars (sugar we get from our foods and fruits).

Crystallized sugar: This is the sugar we consume on a daily basis. We add a spoonful in our milk, tea, coffee, desserts and often foods like dals and subzis.

Artificial sweeteners: These are sweeteners like stevia, saccharin, sucrose and aspartame, most commonly renamed as “sugar-free” substitutes for dietary sugar.

Natural sugars: All vegetables, seeds, fruits have natural sugar content in them. These vary from food to food and are often the safest kind of sugar to be consumed.

We most commonly consume sugar which comes from Sugarcane or Beetroot is actually beneficial for us.

However, the processed and packaged foods which contain sugar extracted from high fructose corn syrup, is the dangerous kind and should be avoided as much as possible.

According to maney nutritionist we don’t require sugar. “Our body processes glucose from sugar but the same glucose can be extracted from starch, protein and fats that we consume, when required by the body. One should focus on including high fiber diet, which has complex carbohydrates.”

The theory of not consuming sugar has been given in many diets such as GM diet to reduce weight. But this negatively affects our body since our body needs glucose to generate energy.

Sources: The Times Of India

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JOINT PAIN SOLUTIONS

Proper Exercise: An effective prescription for joint pain

Regular movement can help relieve ankle, knee, hip, or shoulder pain

Joint pain can rob you of life’s simple pleasures — you may no longer look forward to walking your dog, gardening, or chasing a tennis ball across the court. Even the basics of getting through your day, like getting into the car or carrying laundry to the basement, can become sharp reminders of your limitations.

But the right exercises performed properly can be a long-lasting way to subdue ankle, knee, hip, or shoulder pain. Although it might seem that exercise would aggravate aching joints, this is simply not the case. Exercise can actually help to relieve joint pain in multiple ways:

*It increases the strength and flexibility of the muscles and connective tissue surrounding the joints. When thigh muscles are stronger, for example, they can help support the knee, thus relieving some of the pressure on that joint.

*Exercise relieves stiffness, which itself can be painful. The body is made to move. When not exercised, the tendons, muscles, and ligaments quickly shorten and tense up. But exercise — and stretching afterward — can help reduce stiffness and preserve or extend your range of motion.

*It boosts production of synovial fluid, the lubricant inside the joints. Synovial fluid helps to bring oxygen and nutrients into joints. Thus, exercise helps keep your joints “well-oiled.”

*It increases production of natural compounds in the body that help tamp down pain. In other words, without exercise, you are more sensitive to every twinge. With it, you have a measure of natural pain protection.

*It helps you keep your weight under control, which can help relieve pressure in weight-bearing joints, such as your hips, knees, and ankles.

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Other Options:

Medications:
For moderate-to-severe joint pain with swelling, an over-the-counter or prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen sodium (Aleve), can provide relief. A newer generation of NSAIDs known as Cox-2 inhibitors (celcoxib) is also good for pain relief, but all except one of these drugs (Celebrex) have been removed from the market because of an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular events. NSAIDs also can have side effects, potentially increasing your risk for gastrointestinal bleeding.

Home Remedies:
You can relieve short-term joint pain with a few simple techniques at home. One method is known by the acronym, PRICE:

*Protect the joint with a brace or wrap.
*Rest the joint, avoiding any activities that cause you pain.
*Ice the joint for about 15 minutes, several times each day.
*Compress the joint using an elastic wrap.
*Elevate the joint above the level of your heart.

Applying ice to your painful joints can relieve the pain and inflammation. For muscle spasms around joints, try using a heating pad or wrap several times a day. Your doctor may recommend that you tape or splint the joint to minimize movement or reduce pain, but avoid keeping the joint still for too long because it can eventually become stiff and lose function.
Topical Agents:

Capsaicin — a substance found in chili peppers — may relieve joint pain from arthritis and other conditions. Capsaicin blocks substance P, which helps transmit pain signals, and it triggers the release of chemicals in the body called endorphins, which block pain. Side effects of capsaicin cream include burning or stinging in the area where it is applied. Another topical option is an arthritis cream containing the ingredient, methyl salicylate (Ben Gay).

Injections:
For people who don’t find joint pain relief from oral or topical medications, the doctor can inject a steroid medication (which may be combined with a local anesthetic) directly into the joint every three months to four months. Steroid injections are most commonly used in patients with arthritis, joint disease, or tendinitis. The procedure is effective, but in most situations the effect be temporary. It can also have side effects; if steroid injections mask an injury, you could overuse the joint and damage it even further.

Other injection options include:

*Removing fluid from the joint (and is often done in connection with a steroid injection)
*Injections of hyaluronan, a synthetic version of the natural joint fluid. This is used to treat osteoarthritis

Alternative Treatments options:

Some research has indicated that glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can help with joint pain and improve function. Both of these substances are components of normal cartilage, which helps cushion the bones and protect joints. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are available in capsule, tablet, powder, or liquid form. Although these supplements don’t work for everyone, they are safe to try because they don’t have any significant side effects.

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:
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15b2a220268d8be1
http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/joint-pain#3-7

Viola yezoensis

Botanical Name: Viola yezoensis
Family: Violaceae
Genus: Viola
Species: Viola yezoensis
Kingdom:  Plantae
Phylum:  Magnoliophyta
Class: Angiospermae
Category: Fabids
Order: Malpighiales

Common Names: Arrowhead Herb, English Name : Chinese violet. Japanese: Hikage-sumire, Chinese Name: Zi Hua Di Ding
Habitat :Viola yezoensis is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea. It grows on grassy fields in lowland, C. and S. Japan. Broad-leaved forests, montane thickets, grasslands on mountain slopes.
Description:
Viola yezoensis is a perennial herb growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).

It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay)

soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist

Cultivation:
Prefers a cool moist well-drained humus-rich soil in partial or dappled shade and protection from scorching winds. Tolerates sandstone and limestone soils but becomes chlorotic if the pH is too high. Prefers a pH between 6 and 6.5. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. All members of this genus have more or less edible leaves and flower buds, though those species with yellow flowers can cause diarrhoea if eaten in large quantities.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in the autumn in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in early spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in the autumn or just after flowering. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though we have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.
Edible Uses: Young leaves and flower buds – raw or cooked. When added to soup they thicken it in much the same way as okra. A tea can be made from the leaves.
Medicinal Uses:
Antiinflammatory; Antipyretic.

The whole plant is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and depurative. It is used internally in the treatment of boils, carbuncles, snakebite, skin disorders, mumps etc. The plant is harvested when in flower and dried for later use.

The Chinese herb compound prescription Viola yedoensis Makino Anti-itching Compound (VYAC), which consists of Viola yedoensis Makino, herb, Sophora flavescens Aiton, root, and Dictamnus dasycarpus Turcz, root and rhizome, has been traditionally used to treat various skin allergic inflammatory diseases in clinic.

Clears toxins, reduces inflammation and is antibacterial. Internally for boils, carbuncles, snakebite, skin disorders (especially erysipelas), mumps, and hot disorders with inflammation of the eyes, throat, or ears.

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://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Viola_yezoensis
http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Viola+yezoensis
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874116303026
https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/VIOYZ

..http://herbpathy.com/Uses-and-Benefits-of-Viola-Yedoensis-Cid5348

Zanthoxylum schinifolium

Botanical Name : Zanthoxylum schinifolium
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Species:Z. schinifolium
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms:
*Fagara mantchurica (Benn.) Honda
*Fagara pteropoda (Hayata) Y.C. Liu
*Fagara schinifolia (Siebold & Zucc.) Engl. nom. illeg.
*Zanthoxylum mantschuricum Benn.
*Zanthoxylum pteropodum Hayata

Common Name: Sichuan pepper,Chinese Prickly-ash

Habitat: Zanthoxylum schinifolium is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea. It grows on low mountains, C. and S. Japan. Roadsides in Korea.

Description:
Zanthoxylum schinifolium is a deciduous Shrub growing to 4 m (13ft 1in). The leaves are compound aeromatic & glossy.
It is in flower in August, and the seeds ripen in November. The flowers are dark red and the baries are small & red.The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile. …..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a good deep well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or semi-shade. Flowers are formed on the old wood. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Self-sown seedlings have occasionally been observed growing in bare soil in the shade of the parent plant.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seed may requires up to 3 months cold stratification, though scarification may also help. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Germination should take place in late spring, though it might take 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 them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings, 3cm long, planted horizontally in pots in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers, removed in late winter and planted into their permanent positions

Edible Uses: Seed – cooked. It is used as a condiment, a pepper substitute. Young leaves. No more details are given.

Medicinal Uses:
Anaesthetic; Diuretic; Parasiticide; Stimulant; Tonic; Vasodilator.

The pericarp is anaesthetic, diuretic, parasiticide and vasodilator. It is used in the treatment of gastralgia and dyspepsia due to cold with vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, ascariasis and dermal diseases. It has a local anaesthetic action and is parasiticide against the pork tapeworm (Taenia solium). The pericarp contains geraniol. In small doses this has a mild diuretic action, though large doses will inhibit the excretion of urine. There is a persistent increase in peristalsis at low concentration, but inhibition at high concentration. The resin contained in the bark, and especially in that of the roots, is powerfully stimulant and tonic

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/Zanthoxylum_schinifolium
http://marcopoloplants.com/Shrubs/Zanthoxylum-schinifolium.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zanthoxylum+schinifolium

Crataegus calpodendron

Botanical Name : Crataegus calpodendron
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Crataegus
Series: Macracanthae
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Crataegus tomentosa. DuRoi.

Common Names: Pear Hawthorn, Late hawthorn

Habitat : Crataegus calpodendron is native to Eastern N. America – Ontario to central USA..It grows in open woods and thickets, especially by small rocky streams.

Description:
Crataegus calpodendron is a deciduous shrub or small tree to 6 m (18 ft) tall. Crown broad, but irregular and open. Bark gray and thickly furrowed. Twigs reddish brown when young, graying with age, densely hairy, becoming glabrous. Spines about 4 cm (1.6 in) long. Leaves alternate, simple, elliptic to ovate, 5-11 cm (2-4.4 in) long, 2.5 – 7.5 cm (1-3 in) wide, often with 3-5 pairs of irregular lobes near the base, pubescent beneath, dull yellow-green with sunken veins above. Petioles stout, occasionally winged and with small glands.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It is not frost tender. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in October. Flowers in corymbs, villose to tomentose, numerous, 1-1.6 cm (0.4-0.6 in) long; calyx tube pubescent, glandular-serrate or pectinate; petals 5, white; calyx 5 lobes; stamens 20, anthers white or rarely pink; flowers appear May to June. Fruits pomes, 0.8 cm (0.3 in), pear-shaped to globose, orange red; nutlets 2-3, pitted on the surface, matures in late summer.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Midges.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.

It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Cultivation:
A very easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained moisture retentive loamy soil but is not at all fussy. Once established, it succeeds in excessively moist soils and also tolerates drought. It grows well on a chalk soil. A position in full sun is best when plants are being grown for their fruit, they also succeed in semi-shade though fruit yields and quality will be lower in such a position. Most members of this genus succeed in exposed positions, they also tolerate atmospheric pollution. Seedling trees take from 5 – 8 years before they start bearing fruit, though grafted trees will often flower heavily in their third year. The flowers have a foetid smell somewhat like decaying fish. This attracts midges which are the main means of fertilization. When freshly open, the flowers have more pleasant scent with balsamic undertones. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Seedlings should not be left in a seedbed for more than 2 years without being transplanted. A very ornamental plant.

Propagation:
Seed – this is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, some of the seed will germinate in the spring, though most will probably take another year. Stored seed can be very slow and erratic to germinate, it should be warm stratified for 3 months at 15°c and then cold stratified for another 3 months at 4°c. It may still take another 18 months to germinate. Scarifying the seed before stratifying it might reduce this time. Fermenting the seed for a few days in its own pulp may also speed up the germination process. Another possibility is to harvest the seed ‘green’ (as soon as the embryo has fully developed but before the seedcoat hardens) and sow it immediately in a cold frame. If timed well, it can germinate in the spring. If you are only growing small quantities of plants, it is best to pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in individual pots for their first year, planting them out in late spring into nursery beds or their final positions. When growing larger quantities, it might be best to sow them directly outdoors in a seedbed, but with protection from mice and other seed-eating creatures. Grow them on in the seedbed until large enough to plant out, but undercut the roots if they are to be left undisturbed for more than two years.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. Sweet and succulent. The fruit can be used in making pies, preserves, etc, and can also be dried for later use[177]. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter. There are up to five fairly large seeds in the centre of the fruit, these often stick together and so the effect is of eating a cherry-like fruit with a single seed.

Medicinal Uses:
Cardiotonic; Hypotensive; Stimulant.

An infusion of the root bark has been used as a stimulant to treat cases of general debility. An infusion of the twigs has been used to treat pains in the side and bladder problems. Although no other specific mention has been seen for this species, the fruits and flowers of many hawthorns are well-known in herbal folk medicine as a heart tonic and modern research has borne out this use. The fruits and flowers have a hypotensive effect as well as acting as a direct and mild heart tonic. They are especially indicated in the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure. Prolonged use is necessary for it to be efficacious. It is normally used either as a tea or a tincture.

Other Uses :
Wood – heavy, hard, tough, close-grained. Useful for making tool handles, mallets and other small items

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/Crataegus_calpodendron
http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/shrub/crat-cal.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Crataegus+calpodendron