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Luffa Acutangua (Bengali Jhingha)

Botanical Name : Luffa Acutangua
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Luffa
Species: L. acutangula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales

Common Names: Angled luffa, Chinese okra, Dish cloth gourd, Ridged gourd, Sponge gourd, Vegetable gourd, Strainer vine, Ribbed loofah, Silky gourd, Ridged gourd, Silk gourd, and Sinkwa towelsponge

Names in other languages:

Assamese: Jeeka
Bengali : Jhingge , Jhinga and Sataputi
Burmese: Bjuda; also Boun Loun
Hindi: Torai, Turai
Gujarati: Turiya
Kannada: Heere kayi
Tagalog: Patola
Lao: Mark noy
Vietnamese: Muop Khia
Tamil: Peerkangai
Telugu: Beera kaaya
Thai: Buap liyam
Marathi: Dodaki
Konkani: Gossale
Indonesian: Gambas, Oyong
Javanese: Oyong
Mandarin Chinese: Pinyin: Guangdongsigua
Cantonese Chinese: Sin qua or sing kwa(Australian spelling), Ling Jiao Si Gua, You Lin Si Gua, Sze Gwa, Sigwa
Hokkian: Kak kuey
Malayalam: Peechinga
Malay: Petola segi
Sinhalese: Watakolu
Japanese: Ito uri, Tokado hechima

Habitat : Luffa Acutangua is native to India and naturalized throughout tropics and subtropics of the world.

Description:
Luffa Acutangua is a large climber, with usually 3-fid tendrills. Leaves orbicular in outline, 15-20 cm long, palmately 5-7 angled or sublobate, scabrid. Flowers yellow, large; male flowers in axillary 12-20 flowered racemes; female flowers solitary. Fruit 15-30 cm long, clavate-oblong, tapering towards the base, longitudinally ribbed.
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Chemical Constituents:
The plant contains a bitter substance luffin. Seeds contain 20% of a saponin glycoside, enzyme and a fixed oil (Chopra et al., 1992). Flowers and fruits contain free amino acids, arginine, glycine, threonine, lysine, alanine, asparagines, aspartic and glutamic acids and leucines. Ripe seeds contain bitter glycosidic principles, cucurbitacins B, D, G and H (luffins) and oleanolic acid; roots contain cucurbitacin B and traces of C (Ghani, 2003).
Edible Uses: 
The young fruit of some cultivars are used as cooked vegetables or pickled or eaten raw, and the shoots and flowers are sometimes also used……..CLICK  & SEE

Young fruit can be eaten raw like cucumber or cooked like squash, while the young leaves, shoots, flower buds, as well as the flowers can be eaten after being lightly steamed. The seeds can be roasted as a snack, or pressed to produce oil.

Medicinal Uses:
Luffa Acutangua plant is bitter tonic, emetic, diuretic and purgative and useful in asthma, skin diseases and splenic enlargement. It is used internally for rheumatism, backache, internal hemorrhage, chest pains as well as hemorrhoids. Externally, it is used for shingles and boils. The dried fruit fibers are used as abrasive sponges in skin care, to remove dead skin and to stimulate the circulation. The fruits are anthelmentic, carminative, laxative, depurative, emollient, expectorant, tonic and galactagogue and are useful in fever, syphilis, tumours, bronchitis, splenopathy and leprosy. The vine is most commonly grown for the fibrous interior of the fruits. Kernel of seed is expectorant, demulcent and used in dysentery. Seed oil is used in leprosy and skin diseases. Fruit is intensely bitter and fibrous. It has purgative property and is used for dropsy, nephritis, chronic bronchitis and lung complaints. It is also applied to the body in putrid fevers and jaundice.

Other Uses: Like Luffa aegyptica, the mature fruits are harvested when dry and processed to remove all but the fruit fibre, which can then be used as a sponge or as fibre for making hats
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.mpbd.info/plants/luffa-acutangula.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luffa_acutangula
http://www.hear.org/pier/species/luffa_acutangula.htm
file:///C:/Users/COOLE_~1/AppData/Local/Temp/lnc85ewj.tmp/JNPPR-2012-2-1-127-134.pdf

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Blood Clots

Alternative Names: Clot; Emboli; Thrombi

Definition:
Blood is a liquid that flows within blood vessels. It is constantly in motion as the heart pumps blood through arteries to the different organs and cells of the body. The blood is returned back to the heart by the veins. Veins are squeezed when muscles in the body contract and push the blood back to the heart.

Blood clotting is an important mechanism to help the body repair injured blood vessels.

Blood consists of:

•red blood cells containing hemoglobin that carry oxygen to cells and remove carbon dioxide (the waste product of metabolism),

•white blood cells that fight infection,

•platelets that are part of the clotting process of the body, and

•blood plasma, which contains fluid, chemicals and proteins that are important for bodily functions.

Complex mechanisms exist in the bloodstream to form clots where they are needed. If the lining of the blood vessels becomes damaged, platelets are recruited to the injured area to form an initial plug. These activated platelets release chemicals that start the clotting cascade, using a series of clotting factors produced by the body. Ultimately, fibrin is formed, the protein that crosslinks with itself to form a mesh that makes up the final blood clot.

The medical term for a blood clot is a thrombus (plural= thrombi). When a thrombus is formed as part of a normal repair process of the body, there is little consequence. Unfortunately, there are times when a thrombus (blood clot) will form when it is not needed, and this can have potentially significant consequences.
….CLICK & SEE

Thousands more people will have long term health problems as a result of a blood clot in the vein. Many of these people would have been completely unaware that they were at increased risk of venous thrombosis, so missing out on treatment which could be life saving.

Clots can form in any vein deep within the body, but most often can be found in the deep veins of the leg. These deep vein thromboses (DVT) form in the calf or lower leg, behind the knee, in the thigh or in the veins passing through the pelvis.
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Each year more than one in every thousand people in the UK develops a blood clot in a vein, known as a venous thrombosis. For as many as 25,000, the clot will prove fatal; more deaths than from breast cancer, HIV and road traffic accidents combined.

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Causes and risk factors:
There are several factors that significantly increase someone’s risk of developing a venous thrombosis:

•Slowing of blood flow through the veins, for example when someone is confined to bed by illness or to a chair on a long journey.
•Damage to the walls of the blood vessels, for example during surgery on the legs, hips or pelvis, or as a result of age-related changes.
•An increased tendency of the blood to clot, because of inherited problems with the blood’s clotting system, cancer, or the hormone changes of pregnancy (or the contraceptive pill).
You may click to see :Family history linked to increased blood clot risk

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Those particularly at risk include:

•The elderly – one in 100 over the age of 80 are at risk.
•Those who are immobile, because of illness, surgery or travel.
•People undergoing surgery on the hips and knees. More than half of those people having a total hip replacement will develop a DVT if not given preventative medicine.
•Heart attack or stroke patients.
•People with cancer, especially after surgery or if they’re having chemotherapy.
•Women during pregnancy, or if they’re using the contraceptive pill or HRT.
•Those with previous blood clotting problems (including inherited abnormalities of clotting which are much more common than most people realise).
•Smokers.
If the DVT damages the delicate valves which help keep blood flowing upwards towards the heart, a condition called post-phlebitic syndrome may develop (occurring in one in five after a DVT). As a result, blood pools in the lower leg, increasing pressure in the vessels, causing swelling of the leg and ankle and a heavy sensation, especially after walking or standing. Skin ulcers may also develop.
Symptoms:
When the clot forms, it blocks the vein, preventing blood from draining from the limb as it should. The result is that the leg becomes swollen and painful, may change colour (turning pale, blue or reddish-purple) or the skin appears tight or shiny.

More worrying is the risk that part of the clot will break away, forming what is known as an embolus which travels around the circulation, through the heart and into the lungs where it blocks a blood vessel. This is known as a pulmonary embolus (PE) and estimates suggest that as many as 50 per cent of those with a DVT will go on to develop a PE.

The symptoms of PE include chest pain and shortness of breath, which may be sudden and severe. Although some people develop a PE without noticing any symptoms, it can be extremely dangerous and cause damage to the lung tissues proving fatal in as many as one in ten unless treated.

Long term complications include chronic pulmonary hypertension, where the pressure in the blood vessels of the lung remains persistently high.

Possible Complications:
Thrombi and emboli can firmly attach to a blood vessel. They can partially or completely block the flow of blood in that vessel.

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A blockage in the blood vessel prevents normal blood flow and oxygen from reaching the tissues in that location. This is called ischemia. If ischemia is not treated promptly, it can result in tissue damage, or death of the tissues in that area.


Diagnosis
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Symptoms of a DVT or PE may be minimal and can often go undiagnosed. When suspected, it can be difficult to reach a definite diagnosis because tests aren’t straightforward and don’t always give a clear result.

Tests include:
•A blood test known as a D-dimer (although a negative result means that a clot is unlikely, a positive can occur in a number of other illnesses so it is not specific for a DVT or PE).
•An ultrasound scan (good for showing a clot behind the knee or in the thigh, but not so accurate for a DVT in the calf). A special type of ultrasound, known as Doppler ultrasound, is increasingly used and can show how fast the blood is flowing through the veins.
•An x-ray dye test known as a venogram (more invasive than ultrasound).
•MRI or CT scans.
•Ventilation/perfusion scan, where the parts of the lung being filled with air are compared with those with blood flowing through them.

Treatment and prevention:
Once a DVT or PE has been diagnosed, treatment is started to thin the blood (known as anticoagulant therapy), reducing the risk that the clot will grow or spread.

Immediate treatment is given in the form of injections of a drug called heparin, and warfarin tablets, which take several days to build effect. When the cause of the clot formation is clear, such as after surgery, treatment is continued for three months, but when there’s no obvious cause it may be continued for six months or even indefinitely.

The effects of warfarin can vary. Other illnesses and treatments, or even a change in diet, can interfere and it’s quite easy to become over – or under – coagulated, leading to a risk of either a haemorrhage or further clots. Those taking warfarin must have regular blood tests to monitor their clotting levels, and the dose of warfarin adjusted accordingly.

Newer drugs are being developed which are more consistent in their effect and which one day may replace warfarin.

When someone is known to be at risk of venous thrombosis, clots can be prevented by taking a few simple steps and giving small doses of anti-coagulant drugs.

Herbal Treatment:-There are certain proven herbal treatments for thrombosis. One of the most prominent herbal treatments for thrombosis is sweet potato. Scientifically it is called Ipomoea batatas. However in the US of A it is popularly known as Yam. This herbal fruit is an antioxidant. It is also abundant in Vitamin A and C.  This being the case it is very effective in treating thrombosis. Another very potent herbal treatment for thrombosis is lemon.  The imbibing of 300 ml of lemon juice for 2 months would lessen the symptoms of thrombosis. These herbal treatments have been tried with success by scores of people with success.

During long distance travel, or other periods of immobility, you should:

•Keep well hydrated
•Wear elastic compression stockings to support blood flow through the veins (it’s important that these are put on correctly)
•Take a little exercise at frequent intervals (if stuck in a seat, carry out simple leg exercises in the chair such as flexing your ankles).
Heparin treatment will reduce the risk of DVT following cancer treatment or hip or knee surgery by 70 per cent. People having major surgery have a 30 per cent risk of DVT which is reduced by about 60 per cent with anti-coagulants.

If you’re going into hospital for an operation or other treatment you should be assessed for your risk of developing a blood clot and in most cases will be offered preventative treatment with anti-coagulant injections. Compression stockings may also be used.

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://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/bloodclots1.shtml
http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/deep-venous-thrombosis/overview.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/blood-clots/MY00109/DSECTION=causes
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001124.htm

http://www.herbalgranny.com/2009/08/24/herbal-treatment-for-thrombosis/

Stretch of Imagination

Experts now say that stretching before exercise may actually harm you. ……Lenny Bernstein reports

It’s been a long, hard day at the office, and you need a good workout to blow off all that stress. But before you hit the free weights, the stationary bike or the elliptical machine, you spend 10 minutes carefully stretching all those stiff muscles, just as every coach, trainer and physical therapist has advised for as long as you can remember.

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Now the question is why ?

There’s no evidence that you’ll prevent injury. In fact, some people believe you’re more likely to cause one.

“There is not sufficient evidence to endorse or discontinue routine stretching before or after exercise to prevent injury among competitive or recreational athletes,” concluded the National Center for Injury Prevention Control, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a 2004 study that may be the most thorough look at the research on stretching.

Research and anecdotal information attribute many benefits to stretching: reduced muscle tension, improved circulation, pain reduction and management. Perhaps most important, stretching helps us maintain range of motion as we age, allowing older people to continue with the activities of daily living.

The question is whether “static stretching” — the most common type, which involves holding a muscle in one position for a defined period of time — has been misinterpreted, or oversold, as a preventive for what ails you.

“People believe all kinds of amazing things, and it changes every 10-15 years,” said William Meller, a physician and associate professor of evolutionary medicine at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The merits of stretching are “not based on any science. It’s spread by coaches, trainers and all kinds of people.”

According to Julie Gilchrist, a medical epidemiologist who helped conduct the CDC study, “it’s probably important that we maintain some norm of flexibility throughout our life spans, but I don’t think anyone has really defined what that (norm) is.

“Our belief is there are probably people who would benefit from stretching. But then the question is who should stretch, when to stretch,” how much to stretch and, most important, what benefits can be expected.

Even for the elderly, “we don’t have the kinds of controlled intervention studies that we need to make a definitive statement about the benefits of doing flexibility exercises,” said Chhanda Dutta, chief of the clinical gerontology branch at the National Institute on Aging.

Similarly, coaches wouldn’t dream of putting athletes on a field, even for practice, without a battery of stretches that help them take the pounding and awkward landings of contact sports.

“As a coach, if I didn’t do that and somebody got hurt, I would probably have a tough time sleeping at night,” said Paul Foringer, a football coach at a high school in Gaithersburg, Maryland. “It’s kind of common sense. If you take something that’s taut and tough and you yank it, you’re going to tear it.”

But that’s not what studies show. “Stretching was not significantly associated with a reduction in total injuries,” said the CDC study, “and similar findings were seen in the subgroup analyses.”

In static stretching, “you’re taking the muscle to the point where it naturally wants to go, and then you’re taking it a little bit farther,” said Meller. That produces microscopic tears of muscle fibres and does nothing to prevent injury, he said. It also may weaken the muscle slightly, increase the possibility of injury and inhibit performance, according to him and the CDC study.

For those who want to stretch, it should be done after a warm-up or at the end of an exercise routine because warm muscles are more pliable.

Research indicates that warming up before exercise is more valuable than stretching. Specifically, Meller said, you should spend three to five minutes gently putting your body through the actions you’re about to perform, slowly increasing the intensity. If you’re going to play tennis, he said, swing forehands, backhands and serves, and run forward, backward and laterally before you hit the first ball.

Source: The Washington Post

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Digging Deep for Healing

Rooting Down
For many people, apprehension manifests itself in the physical self as a potent feeling of heaviness or nausea situated in the depths of the lower abdomen. And it is there, at the seat of the second or sacral chakra, that we must lovingly and deliberately confront the anxiety. By rooting down into the deepest physical reaches of ourselves, we can cleanse ourselves of unease and replenish the space it has left behind with tranquil awareness. Much of what we encounter in our daily lives has the potential to awaken feelings of nervousness within us or make us question whether we are truly in control of our lives. When you establish a den of peace within your core, you empower yourself to act rather than react in distressing situations. Your balanced second chakra helps you respond productively to the turmoil around you while your inwardly directed attention steadies you.

There are many ways to restore your strength and clear negative energy from your core. To ground yourself and regain your emotional equilibrium, concentrate on the second chakra, picturing it as a funnel of vivid orange light. Reach down toward that light with your awareness and channel your breath into the space it occupies. As you balance the chakra, you will become more adaptive and thus better able to stand strong when faced with rapidly changing conditions. You can channel healing energy into your core by visualizing the area below your belly button as an open space into which you channel white, loving light. Like light and air, sound can be a wonderful tool that helps you find your center. Your voice, when drawn from your core in the form of a deep roar or loud shout, can be the vehicle upon which your anxiety is conveyed into the ether. Take a low stance, much like a football player, root your feet into the earth, and then roar like a lion. Really feel it in your bell! y. It may sound silly, but chances are you will feel much less anxious and much more grounded into your body.

A situation that seems hopeless when viewed from a perspective colored by fear may become easily manageable when approached with a serene heart and mind. As you root down into your core, you’ll discover that the trepidation and helplessness you feel within you is not invincible. Rather, it will respond readily to your efforts to eradicate it, leaving you feeling peaceful and capable of calmly handling any challenging circumstances that arise.

Source: Oaily Om

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Gymnema Sylvestre

Botanical Name: Gymnema sylvestre
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Gymnema
Species: G. sylvestre
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common names:   gymnema, cowplant, Australian cowplant, gurmari, gurmarbooti, gurmar, periploca of the woods, meshasringa , Bedki cha pala  and miracle fruit (also a common name for two unrelated plants). periploca of the woods,gudmar
Alternative names: Gurmari, Gurmarbooti, Gurmar, periploca of the woods and Meshasringa. The Hindi word Gur-mar (Madhunaashini in Sanskrit, Chakkarakolli in Tamil), literally means sugar destroyer. Meshasringa (Sanskrit) translates as “ram’s horn”, a name given to the plant from the shape of its fruits. Gymnema probably derives from the Latin word meaning naked and sylvestre means from the forest.
Sanskrit Name : Meshasringi, Madhinasini, madhoolika Hindi: Gurmar, Tamil:amudhapushpam, Malayalam:Chakkarakkolli

Part Used : WHOLE PLANT, LEAVES

Habitat: Gymnema sylvestre R.Br. is a herb native to the tropical forests of southern and central India

Description:
Large climbers, rooting at nodes, leaves elliptic, acuminate, base acute to acuminate, glabrous above sparsely or densely tomentose beneath; Flowers small, in axillary and lateral umbel like cymes, pedicels long; Calyx-lobes long, ovate, obtuse, pubescent; Corolla pale yellow campanulate, valvate, corona single, with 5 fleshy scales. Scales adnate to throat of corolla tube between lobes; Anther connective produced into a membranous tip, pollinia 2, erect, carpels 2,unilocular; locules many ovuled; Follicle long, fusiform 1.

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Chemical composition:
The major bioactive constituents of Gymnema sylvestris are a group of oleanane type triterpenoid saponins known as gymnemic acids. The latter contain several acylated (tigloyl, methylbutyroyl etc.,) derivatives of deacylgymnemic acid (DAGA) which is 3-O-glucuronide of gymnemagenin (3, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28-hexahydroxy-olean-12-ene)2. The individual gymnemic acids (saponins) include gymnemic acids I-VII, gymnemosides A-F, gymnemasaponins

Extra Information –

G. sylvestre leaves contain triterpene saponins belonging to oleanane and dammarene classes. Oleanane saponins are gymnemic acids and gymnemasaponins, while dammarene saponins are gymnemasides. Besides this, other plant constituents are flavones, anthraquinones, hentri-acontane, pentatriacontane, a and ß- chlorophylls, phytin, resins, d-quercitol, tartaric acid, formic acid, butyric acid, lupeol, ß-amyrin related glycosides and stigmasterol. The plant extract also tests positive for alkaloids. Leaves of this species yield acidic glycosides and anthroquinones and their derivatives.

Gymnemic acids have antidiabetic, antisweetener and anti-inflammatory activities. The antidiabetic array of molecules has been identified as a group of closely related gymnemic acids after it was successfully isolated and purified from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre. Later, the phytoconstituents of Gymnema sylvestre were isolated, and their chemistry and structures were studied and elucidated.

Medicinal Uses:

: The plant is acrid, antiinflammatory, anodyne, liver tonic, emetic, diuretic. It is useful in hepatosplenomegaly, dypepsia, constipation, jaundice, halminthiasis, cardiopathy, amenorrhoea. The fresh leaves when chewed have the remarkable property of paralysing the sense of taste for sweet and bitter substance for some time.

While it is still being studied, and the effects of the herb are not entirely known, the herb has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels when used for an extended period of time. Additionally, Gymnema reduces the taste of sugar when it is placed in the mouth, thus some use it to fight sugar cravings. From extract of the leaves were isolated glycosides known as Gymnemic acids, which exhibit anti-sweet activity.

This effect, however, is short-lived, lasting a mere fifteen minutes. Some postulate that the herb actually reduces cravings for sugar by blocking sugar receptors in the tongue, but no scientific studies have supported this hypothesis. It is currently being used in an all natural medication for diabetes with other ingredients such as cinnamon, chromium, zinc, biotin, banaba, huckleberry and bitter melon.

The active ingredient is thought to be gurmenic acid which has structure similar to saccharose. Extracts of Gymnema is not only claimed to curb sweet tooths but also for treatment of as varied problems as hyperglycemia, obesity, high cholesterol levels, anemia and digestion. According to the Sushruta of the Ayurveda it helps to treat Madhumeha ie glycosuria.

In 2005, a study made by King’s College, London, United Kingdom, showed that a water-soluble extract of Gymnema Sylvestre, caused reversible increases in intracellular calcium and insulin secretion in mouse and human ß-cells when used at a concentration (0.125 mg/ml) without compromising cell viability. Hence forth these data suggest that extracts derived from Gymnema Sylvestre may be useful as therapeutic agents for the stimulation of insulin secretion in individuals with T2DM

Click to see:->Gymnema sylvestre is a plant used in India and parts of Asia as a natural treatment for diabetes

>Gymnema sylvestre – Boosts Your Insulin

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.ayurveda-herbal-remedy.com/indian-herbs/gymnema-sylvestre.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymnema_sylvestre

 

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