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Parsnip

Botanical Name: Pastinaca sativa
Family:Apiaceae
Genus:Pastinaca
Species:    P. sativa
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:Apiales

Common Name :Parsnip

Habitat : Parsnip is native to Eurasia. It has been used as a vegetable since antiquity and was cultivated by the Romans, although there is some confusion in the literature of the time between parsnips and carrots. It was used as a sweetener before the arrival in Europe of cane sugar. It was introduced into the United States in the nineteenth century.

Description:
Parsnip is a biennial  plant with a rosette of roughly hairy leaves that has a pungent odor when crushed. The petioles are grooved and have sheathed bases. The leaves are once- or twice-pinnate with broad, ovate, sometimes lobed leaflets with toothed margins; they grow up to 40 cm (16 in) long. The flower stalk develops in the second year, growing to a height of 40 to 200 cm (20 to 80 in). It is hairy, grooved, hollow (except at the nodes), and sparsely branched. It has a few stalkless, single-lobed leaves measuring 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 in) long that are arranged in opposite pairs. The yellow flowers are in a loose, compound umbel measuring 10 to 20 cm (4 to 8 in) in diameter. There are 6–25 straight pedicels, each measuring 2–5 cm (1–2 in) that support the umbellets (secondary umbels). The umbels and umbellets usually have no upper or lower bracts. The flowers have tiny sepals or lack them entirely, and measure about 3.5 mm. They consist of five yellow petals that are curled inward, five stamens, and one pistil. The fruits, or schizocarps, are oval and flat, with narrow wings and short, spreading styles. They are colored straw to light brown, and measure 4–8 mm long….click & see

Parsnip  is a biennial plant usually grown as an annual. Its long tuberous root has cream-colored skin and flesh and can be left in the ground when mature as it becomes sweeter in flavor after winter frosts. In its first growing season, the plant has a rosette of pinnate, mid-green leaves. If unharvested, it produces its flowering stem, topped by an umbel of small yellow flowers, in its second growing season. By this time the stem is woody and the tuber inedible. The seeds are pale brown, flat and winged.

Parsnips are grown for their fleshy, edible cream-colored taproots. The roots are generally smooth, although lateral roots sometimes form. Most are cylindrical, but some cultivars have a more bulbous shape, which generally tend to be favored by food processors as they are more resistant to breakage. The plant has a apical meristem that produces a rosette of pinnate leaves, each with several pairs of leaflets with toothed margins. The lower leaves have short stems, the upper ones are stemless, and the terminal leaves have three lobes. The highly branched floral stem is hollow and grooved, and can grow to more than 150 cm (60 in) tall.

Cultivation:
The wild parsnip from which the modern cultivated varieties were derived is a plant of dry rough grassland and waste places, particularly on chalk and limestone. Parsnips are biennials but are normally grown as annuals. Sandy and loamy soils are preferable to silt, clay and stony ground as the latter produce short, forked roots.. Parsnip seed significantly deteriorates in viability if stored for long. Seeds are usually planted in early spring, as soon as the ground can be worked to a fine tilth, in the position where the plants are to grow. The growing plants are thinned and kept weed free. Harvesting begins in late fall after the first frost, and continues through winter. The rows can be covered with straw to enable the crop to be lifted during frosty weather. Low soil temperatures cause some of the starches stored in the roots to be converted into sugars, giving them a sweeter taste.

Propagation :   
Seed – sow from late winter to late spring in situ. Seed can be slow to germinate, especially from the earlier sowings, it is best to mark the rows by sowing a few radishes with the parsnips. The seed has a short viability, very few will still be viable 15 months after harvesting

Edible Uses:
The parsnip is usually cooked but can also be eaten raw. It is high in vitamins and minerals, especially potassium. It also contains antioxidants and both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.

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Parsnips resemble carrots and can be used in similar ways but they have a sweeter taste, especially when cooked. While parsnips can be eaten raw, they are more commonly served cooked. They can be baked, boiled, pureed, roasted, fried or steamed. When used in stews, soups and casseroles they give a rich flavor.  In some cases, the parsnip is boiled and the solid portions are removed from the soup or stew, leaving behind a more subtle flavor than the whole root, and starch to thicken the dish. Roast parsnip is considered an essential part of Christmas dinner in some parts of the English-speaking world and frequently features in the traditional Sunday Roast.  Parsnips can also be fried or thinly sliced and made into crisps. Parsnips can be made into a wine that has a taste similar to Madeira.

In Roman times, parsnips were believed to be an aphrodisiac.  However, parsnips do not typically feature in modern Italian cooking. Instead, they are fed to pigs, particularly those bred to make Parma ham.

Medicinal Uses:
In traditional Chinese medicine, the root of Chinese parsnip is used as a herbal medicine ingredient.

Poultice;  Women’s complaints.

A tea made from the roots has been used in the treatment of women’s complaints. A poultice of the roots has been applied to inflammations and sores. The root contains xanthotoxin, which is used in the treatment of psoriasis and vitiligo. Xanthotoxin is the substance that causes photosensitivity .

Other Uses:
Insecticide;  Repellent.

The leaves and roots are used to make an insect spray. Roughly chop the leaves and roots, put them in a basin with enough water to cover, leave them overnight then strain and use as an insecticide against aphids and red spider mite.

Known Hazards:
While the root of the parsnip is edible, handling the shoots and leaves of the plant requires caution as the sap is toxic.  Like many other members of the family Apiaceae, the parsnip contains furanocoumarin, a photosensitive chemical that causes a condition known as phytophotodermatitis.  The condition is a type of chemical burn rather than an allergic reaction, and is similar to the rash caused by poison ivy. Symptoms include redness, burning, and blisters. Afflicted areas can remain discolored for up to two years.  Although there have been some reports of gardeners experiencing toxic symptoms after coming into contact with foliage,  these have been small in number compared to the number of people that grow the crop. The problem is most likely to occur on a sunny day when gathering foliage or pulling up old plants that have gone to seed. The symptoms have mostly been mild to moderate.  The toxic properties of parsnip extracts are resistant to heating, or a storage period of several months. Toxic symptoms can also affect livestock and poultry in parts of their bodies where their skin is exposed.  Polyacetylenes can be found in Apiaceae vegetables such as parsnip, and they show cytotoxic activities  In sunlight, handling the stems and foliage can cause a skin rash…...click & see

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsnip
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Pastinaca+sativa

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Onychomycosis

 

Definition:
Onychomycosis (also known as “dermatophytic onychomycosis,” “ringworm of the nail,” and “tinea unguium”) means fungal infection of the nail.  It is the most common disease of the nails and constitutes about a half of all nail abnormalities.

Click to see the picture

This condition may affect toenails or fingernails, but toenail infections are particularly common. The prevalence of onychomycosis is about 6-8% in the adult population.

Clasification:
There are four classic types of onychomycosis:

*Distal subungual onychomycosis is the most common form of tinea unguium, and is usually caused by Trichophyton rubrum, which invades the nail bed and the underside of the nail plate.

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*White superficial onychomycosis (WSO) is caused by fungal invasion of the superficial layers of the nail plate to form “white islands” on the plate. It accounts for only 10 percent of onychomycosis cases. In some cases, WSO is a misdiagnosis of “keratin granulations” which are not a fungus, but a reaction to nail polish that can cause the nails to have a chalky white appearance. A laboratory test should be performed to confirm.

*Proximal subungual onychomycosis is fungal penetration of the newly formed nail plate through the proximal nail fold. It is the least common form of tinea unguium in healthy people, but is found more commonly when the patient is immunocompromised.

*Candidal onychomycosis is Candida species invasion of the fingernails, usually occurring in persons who frequently immerse their hands in water. This normally requires the prior damage of the nail by infection or trauma.

Symptoms:
The nail plate can have a thickened, yellow-brown , or cloudy appearance. The nails can become rough and crumbly  , or can separate from the nail bed. This thickening, discolouration and disfigurement are clearly visible.There is usually no pain or other bodily symptoms, unless the disease is severe.

Dermatophytids are fungus-free skin lesions that sometimes form as a result of a fungus infection in another part of the body. This could take the form of a rash or itch in an area of the body that is not infected with the fungus. Dermatophytids can be thought of as an allergic reaction to the fungus. People with onychomycosis may experience significant psychosocial problems due to the appearance of the nail. This is particularly increased when fingernails are affected.

The effects of onychomycosis aren’t simply cosmetic. A thickened nail may limit usual activities. It may press on the inside of footwear, for example, causing discomfort and pain. This in turn can cause problems when walking, and reduce mobility.

Causes:
Onychomycosis is caused by 3 main classes of organisms: dermatophytes (fungi that infect hair, skin, and nails and feed on nail tissue), yeasts, and nondermatophyte molds. All 3 classes cause the same symptoms, so the appearance of the infection does not reveal which class is responsible for the infection. Dermatophytes (including Epidermophyton, Microsporum, and Trichophyton species) are, by far, the most common causes of onychomycosis worldwide. Yeasts cause 8% of cases, and nondermatophyte molds cause 2% of onychomycosis cases.

•The dermatophyte Trichophyton rubrum is the most common fungus causing distal lateral subungual onychomycosis (DLSO) and proximal subungual onychomycosis (PSO).

•The dermatophyte Trichophyton mentagrophytes commonly causes white superficial onychomycosis (WSO), and more rarely, WSO can be caused by species of nondermatophyte molds.

•The yeast Candida albicans is the most common cause of chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (disease of mucous membrane and regular skin) of the nail.

Risk Factors:
Risk factors for onychomycosis include family history, advancing age, poor health, trauma, living in a warm climate, participation in fitness activities, immunosuppression (can occur from HIV or certain drugs), bathing in communal showers (such as at a gym), and wearing shoes that cover the toes completely and don’t let in any airflow.

People with diabetes are at greater risk, as are those whose immune system is suppressed.

It’s possible to reduce your risk of onychomycosis by practising good nail care. This reduces the risk of other nail and foot-related problems, too.

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Diagnosis:
Onychomycosis (OM) can be identified by its appearance. However, other conditions and infections can cause problems in the nails that look like onychomycosis. OM must be confirmed by laboratory tests before beginning treatment, because treatment is long, expensive, and does have some risks.

•A sample of the nail can be examined under a microscope to detect fungi. See Anatomy of the Nail for information on the parts of the nail.

•The nails must be clipped and cleaned with an alcohol swab to remove bacteria and dirt.

•If the doctor suspects distal lateral subungual onychomycosis (DLSO), a sample (specimen) should be taken from the nail bed to be examined. The sample should be taken from a site closest to the cuticle, where the concentration of fungi is the greatest.

•If proximal subungual onychomycosis (PSO) is suspected, the sample is taken from the underlying nail bed close to the lunula.

•A piece of the nail surface is taken for examination if white superficial onychomycosis (WSO) is suspected.

•To detect candidal onychomycosis, the doctor should take a sample from the affected nail bed edges closest to the cuticle and sides of the nail.

•In the laboratory, the sample may be treated with a solution made from 20% potassium hydroxide (KOH) in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) to rule out the presence of fungi. The specimen may also be treated with dyes (a process called staining) to make it easier to see the fungi through the microscope.

•If fungi are present in the infected nail, they can be seen through a microscope, but the exact type (species) cannot be determined by simply looking through a microscope. To identify what exactly is causing onychomycosis, a technique called culturing is used. Using a fungal culture to identify the particular fungus is important because regular therapy may not work on nondermatophyte molds.

…#The infected nail is scraped or clipped.

…#The scrapings or clippings are crushed and put into containers. Any fungus in the samples can grow in the laboratory in these special containers.

…#The species of fungus can be identified from the cultures grown in the lab.

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Treatment:
Medications
In the past, medicines used to treat onychomycosis (OM) were not very effective. OM is difficult to treat because nails grow slowly and receive very little blood supply. However, recent advances in treatment options, including oral (taken by mouth) and topical (applied on the skin or nail surface) medications, have been made. Newer oral medicines have revolutionized treatment of onychomycosis. However, the rate of recurrence is high, even with newer medicines. Treatment is expensive, has certain risks, and recurrence is possible.

•Topical antifungals are medicines applied to the skin and nail area that kill fungus.

…#These topical agents should only be used if less than half the nail is involved or if the person with onychomycosis cannot take the oral medicines. Medicines include amorolfine (approved for use outside the United States), ciclopirox olamine (Penlac, which is applied like nail polish), sodium pyrithione, bifonazole/urea (available outside the United States), propylene glycol-urea-lactic acid, imidazoles, such as ketoconazole (Nizoral Cream), and allylamines, such as terbinafine (Lamisil Cream).

…#Topical treatments are limited because they cannot penetrate the nail deeply enough, so they are generally unable to cure onychomycosis. Topical medicines may be useful as additional therapy in combination with oral medicines.

•Newer oral medicines are available. These antifungal medicines are more effective because they go through the body to penetrate the nail plate within days of starting therapy.

…#Newer oral antifungal drugs terbinafine (Lamisil Tablets) and itraconazole (Sporanox Capsules) have replaced older therapies, such as griseofulvin, in the treatment of onychomycosis. They offer shorter treatment periods (oral antifungal medications usually are administered over a 3-month period), higher cure rates, and fewer side effects. These medications are fairly safe, with few contraindications (conditions that make taking the medicine inadvisable), but they should not be taken by patients with liver disease or heart failure. Before prescribing one of these medications, doctors often order a blood test to make sure the liver is functioning properly. Common side effects include nausea and stomach pain.

…#Fluconazole (Diflucan) is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of onychomycosis, but it may be an alternative to itraconazole and terbinafine.

•To decrease the side effects and duration of oral therapy, topical and surgical treatments may be combined with oral antifungal management.
Surgery

Surgical approaches to onychomycosis treatment include surgically or chemically removing the nail (nail avulsion or matrixectomy).

•Removing the nail plate (fingernail or toenail) is not effective treatment on its own. This procedure should be considered an adjunctive (additional) treatment combined with oral therapy.

•A combination of oral, topical, and surgical therapy can increase the effectiveness of treatment and reduce the cost of ongoing treatments.

Research:
Most drug development activities are focused on the discovery of new antifungals and novel delivery methods to promote access of existing antifungal drugs into the infected nail plate. Active clinical trials investigating onychomycosis:

Phase III
*A topical treatment, AN2690, is being developed by Anacor Pharmaceuticals.  It is active against Trichophyton species.

*A medicinal nail lacquer, MycoVa from Apricus Biosciences,[40] contains terbinafine as the active ingredient and a permeation enhancer DDAIP which facilitates the delivery of the drug into the nail bed where the fungus resides.

*A comparison of delivery methods for itraconzole

*Safety and tolerability of topical terbinafine

*Laser-based treatments

*Topical IDP-108

*Bifonazole cream application after nail ablation with urea paste

Phase II
*Posaconazole, taken orally.

*A topical treatment, NB-002, is being developed by NanoBio Corporation. It has completed Phase II trials

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onychomycosis
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/onychomycosis/page7_em.htm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/onychomycosis1.shtml

http://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0215/p663.html

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Fungus on Skin


The word fungus conjures up visions of mold and dirty, damp unhygienic surroundings. Many of us may cringe at the thought of developing a fungal infection. But these infections are common and most people suffer from several attacks during the course of a lifetime.
Click to see the picture
In babies, small curd-like white patches can form in the mouth. These are difficult to remove. If scraped off, a raw red area is exposed. This is commonly called “thrush” and is caused by a fungal specie called candida. It may occur if the child is bottle fed, uses a pacifier or has recently had a course of antibiotics. It may make the child irritable while feeding.

Oral thrush may occur in adults too if they have ill-fitting dentures, suffer from diabetes, have had a course of antibiotics, consumed steroids, are on anti-cancer drugs, are smokers, or are immuno compromised as a result of medicines or HIV infection.

In adults as well as children, oral thrush can be treated with applications of anti-fungal medication like clotrimazole two or three times a day. Dentures must be cleaned regularly. Feeding bottles and artificial nipples should ideally not be used. If thrush has occurred, they must be rinsed with a solution of equal parts of vinegar and water and air dried prior to sterilisation.

Candida and some bacteria like lactobacillus normally live in perfect harmony in the vagina. The lactobacillus produces acid, which prevents the overgrowth of candida. If this balance is disrupted, candida can overgrow, resulting in infection. Imbalance occurs as a result of diabetes, pregnancy, hormonal tablets, antibiotics, steroids or immuno suppression. Frequent douching or using “feminine hygiene sprays” may also lead to infection. Vaginal fungal infections owing to candida affect almost all women. It causes redness, an uncontrollable itch and an odourless white discharge.
You may click to see :Natural solutions for Candida Albicans: Candida diet
Treatment involves the application of creams or insertion of vaginal tablets for one, three or six days. Sometimes oral medicines have to be taken. The bacteria-fungus balance in the vagina can be restored by eating lactobacillus. This is found in homemade curd. A tablespoon a day usually restores the balance.

Men can develop candida infection on the foreskin, especially if they are diabetic. The skin is itchy and may develop fissures. Topical anti-fungal creams work well.

Men are also prone to developing “jock itch” (or dhobi’s itch), an infection of the groin area where the skin is usually warm and moist. Infection is precipitated by wearing tight undergarments, or not changing sweaty exercise clothes promptly. Treatment involves bathing regularly, wearing loose-fitting clothes and application of anti-fungal creams.

The warm moist areas between the toes may also develop a fungal infection called Tinea pedis or athlete’s foot. It causes itching, burning, cracking and at times blisters. It occurs with wearing damp socks and tight airless shoes, especially of a non-porous material like plastic.

To prevent Tinea pedis, the feet need to be aired and socks changed regularly. Once infection has developed, the feet should be soaked in equal quantities of water and vinegar for 10 minutes a day. After wiping them dry, an anti-fungal cream needs to be applied. The infection may take two to four weeks to clear up.

The warm and moist areas of the inner thighs, genitalia, armpits, under the breasts, and waist may also develop fungal infection and become red, itchy, oozy and sore. This is common in overweight individuals and those with diabetes. Treatment is by bathing regularly and keeping the area dry. Talcum powder aggravates the problem. Instead, the area should be patted dry after a bath and a combination of a “diaper rash” cream containing zinc oxide and an anti-fungal medication must be applied.

Toe nails and fingernails can also get infected by fungus. The nail then hurts, breaks easily and becomes discoloured. This occurs if the nails are constantly exposed to moisture or are immersed in water, if non-absorbent socks or shoes are used, or if the person has diabetes. Treatment is with applications and medications for one and a half to six months. Soaking the feet in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water for 10 minutes daily and then applying Vicks VapoRub has anecdotally been shown to be effective.

The outer layers of the skin can develop scaly white patches of Tinea versicolor infection. Moist climates, sweating, humidity and hormonal changes have been blamed for this. The infection responds well to Selinium sulphide (Selsun) or Ketoconazole (Nizral) shampoo.

Ringworm causes round, hairless patches on the scalp and skin. They are contagious and spread by contact with infected humans or animals. Medicines have to be taken for six weeks. Topical agents are not effective.

Source : The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Eclipta alba

Botanical Name : Eclipta alba
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Eclipta
Species: E. alba
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
syn. : Eclipta prostrata L.
Common Names: False Daisy , yerba de tago, and bhringraj

Habitat :Eclipta alba grows in E. Asia – China, Japan and Korea to Australia.Wet places in the lowlands of Japan, especially by paddy fields.

It grows commonly in moist places as a weed all over the world. It is widely distributed throughout India, China, Thailand, and Brazil.

Description:
Eclipta alba is an Annual plant growing to 0.6m by 0.6m.  Root well developed, cylindrical, greyish. It is also named ‘kehraj’ in Assamese and karisalankanni in Tamil. Floral heads 6-8 mm in diameter, solitary, white, achene compressed and narrowly winged. .
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It is hardy to zone 9. It is in flower in August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It requires moist or wet soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a damp to wet soil and a position in some shade. This is a tropical species and it might need more summer heat and a longer growing season than is normally available in British summers.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some extra protection, such as a cloche, until they are established and growing away well.

Edible Uses: Tender leaves and young shoots – cooked and used as a vegetable

Medicinal Uses:
Antiseptic; Astringent; Depurative; Emetic; Febrifuge; Ophthalmic; Purgative; Styptic; Tonic.

This species is widely used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine, and in Ayurveda. It is considered to be the best remedy for the hair and is also used as a rejuvenative and liver tonic. The whole plant contains the alkaloids nicotine and ecliptine as well as coumarin. It is astringent, deobstruent, depurative, emetic, febrifuge, ophthalmic, purgative, styptic and tonic. It is used internally in the treatment of dropsy and liver complaints, anaemia, diphtheria etc, tinnitus, tooth loss and premature greying of the hair. Externally, it is used as an oil to treat hair loss and is also applied to athlete’s foot, eczema, dermatitis, wounds etc. The plant juice, mixed with an aromatic (essential oil?), is used in the treatment of catarrhal problems and jaundice. The leaves are used in the treatment of scorpion stings. They are used as an antidote for snake bites in Korea. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and is dried for later use. The roots are emetic and purgative. They are applied externally as an antiseptic to ulcers and wounds, especially in cattle

In ayurvedic medicine, the leaf extract is considered a powerful liver tonic, rejuvenative, and especially good for the hair. A black dye obtained from Eclipta alba is used for dyeing hair and tattooing. Eclipta alba also has traditional external uses, like athlete foot, eczema and dermatitis, on the scalp to address hair loss and the leaves have been used in the treatment of scorpion stings. It is used as anti-venom against snakebite in China and Brazil (Mors, 1991). It is reported to improve hair growth and colour

The herb Eclipta alba contains mainly coumestans i.e. wedelolactone (I) and demethylwedelolactone (II), polypeptides, polyacetylenes, thiophene-derivatives, steroids, triterpenes and flavonoids. Coumestans are known to possess estrogenic activity (Bickoff et al. 1969) Wedelolactone possesses a wide range of biological activities and is used for the treatment of hepatitis and cirrhosis (Wagner et al. 1986), as an antibacterial, anti-hemorrhagic (Kosuge et al. 1985). and for direct inhibition of IKK complex resulting in suppression of LPS-induced caspase-11 expression (Kobori et al. 2004)

Folkloric:
Plant is bitter, hot, sharp, dry in taste and is used in ayurveda & “siddha” for the treatment of Kapha and Vata imbalances. In India, the plant is known as bhangra, “bhringaraj” or bhringraja. Another plant Widelia calendulacea is also known by the same name, but Eclipta has white flowers so called white bhangra and Widelia has yellow flower so it is called yellow Bhangra (Puri 2003).

The expressed leaf juice, applied along with honey, is a popular remedy for catarrh in infants. A preparation obtained from the leaf juice boiled with sesame or coconut oil is used for anointing the head to render the hair black and luxuriant. An oil prepared with amla, bhringraj and sometimes with brahmi is well known in India as Amla Bhringraj oil, which is said to blacken the hair. Plant is rubbed on the gums in toothache and applied with a little oil for relieving headache and with sesame oil in elephantiasis. Roots of Eclipta alba are emetic and purgative.

In Ayurveda the plant is considered a rasayana for longevity and rejuvenation. Recent studies have shown that it has a profound antihepatotoxic activity. A cardiodepressant activity was also observed in it when used for hepatic congestion. A complete symptomatic relief in epigastric pain, nausea and vomiting in ulcer patients has also been observed (Puri 2003). Also it is one among 10 flowers called as ‘Dasapushpam’ (Ten auspicious flowers) in Kerala, the southern state in India

In Taiwan, entire plant is used as a remedy for the treatment of bleeding, haemoptysis, haematuria and itching, hepatitis, diphtheria and diarrhoea; in China, as a cooling and restorative herb, which supports the mind, nerves, liver and eyes. The leaf extract is considered to be powerful liver tonic, rejuvenative, and especially good for the hair. A black dye obtained from Eclipta alba is also for dyeing hair and tattooing. Eclipta alba also has traditional external uses, like athlete foot, eczema and dermatitis, on the scalp to address hair loss and the leaves have been used in the treatment of scorpion strings. It is used as anti-venom against snakebite in China and Brazil (Mors, 1991).

Other Uses: A black dye is obtained from the plant. It is used as a hair dye and for tattooing.

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Eclipta+prostrata
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclipta_alba

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Jock Itch



Alternative Names:

Fungal infection – groin; Infection – fungal – groin; Itching in the groin; Ringworm – groin; Tinea cruris; Tinea of the groin.

Definition:
Jock itch  is an infection of the groin area caused by fungus. It is  a fungal infection affecting the moist skin on inner thighs, genitals, anal area, or buttocks, appearing in both men and women. Affected skin is covered by red or brown rash that may be ring-shaped. Rash may itch or burn; affected skin may peel off or crack.

You may click to see the pictures

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Causes:
The body normally hosts a variety of bacteria and fungi. Some of these are useful to the body. Others can multiply rapidly and form infections. Jock itch occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and multiplies in the groin area.

English: Photo of Jock Itch around the inner thigh

English: Photo of Jock Itch around the inner thigh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jock itch occurs mostly in adult men and adolescent boys. It can sometimes accompany athlete’s foot and ringworm. The fungus that causes jock itch thrives in warm, moist areas. Jock itch can be triggered by friction from clothes and prolonged wetness in the groin area (such as from sweating).

Jock itch may be contagious. It can be passed from one person to the next by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with unwashed clothing. Jock itch usually stays around the creases in the upper thigh and does not involve the scrotum or penis. It is often less severe than other tinea infections, but may last a long time. Jock itch may spread to the anus, causing anal itching and discomfort.

Other causes of itching in the groin include:-

*Lichen simplex chronicus
*Eczema
*Pubic lice
*Chemical irritation
You may click & See also: Vaginal itching

.
How  Jock Itch Spreads?
Jock itch is easily spread with sharing towels or sportswear, or with sexual contact.

Who Normly Gets Infected?
Adult men that often have moist groin are often infected. Jock itch may also appear in women. It rarely appears before 15 years of age.

Risk factors for getting jock itch are:

*Wet groin; (male athletes, dhobi itch is known in western washermen)
*Tight underwear
*Obesity; infection occurs in wet skin folds
*Immunodeficiency: AIDS, diabetes

Possible Completications:
Complications are infrequent since jock itch is usually a self-limited skin condition. Rarely, the rash may spread past the groin onto the thighs and genitals. Secondary skin infections from scratching or rubbing can uncommonly deepen, causing cellulitis or abscess formation.

Another potential complication includes temporary skin discoloration called post-inflammatory hypopigmentation (lighter than the regular skin color) or hyperpigmentation (darker then the regular skin color). This altered skin color may occur after the rash has improved or after a temporary flare. Permanent scarring is uncommon.

.Symptoms:
Jock itch usually begins with mild intermittent itching in the groin. The itching can get worse and become unbearable in some cases. The rash is usually on both sides of the groin and affects the folds.

The rash may become dry, rough, and bumpy, develop pus bumps, or begin to ooze. Sometimes, the uppermost skin clears as the rash spreads further down onto the thighs. The itching and rash can spread to the genitals including the labia, vagina, scrotum, penis, and anus.

Women may also develop vaginal white discharge and yeast infections. Men may develop infections on the head of the penis, especially if they are not circumcised.

Severe cases may be very uncomfortable and develop secondary complications such as breaks in the skin, open sores, ulcers, and rarely cellulitis.
.Diagnosis:
Doctor will usually diagnose jock itch based on the appearance of the skin. Tests are usually not necessary. If tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis, either a culture or a skin lesion biopsy (for example, a scraping of the skin) may show the fungus that causes jock itch.

Rash in the groin may be caused by other types of fungi (Candida albicans), viruses (Herpes genitalis), bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus), allergies (itchy pants syndrome, cholinergic urticaria), inverted psoriasis, Darier’s disease, Hailey-Hailey disease (pemphigus), intertrigo, seborrheic dermatitis, etc.
Treatment:-
There are many treatment options and skin-care recipes for treating jock itch. Since the two primary causes of jock itch are excess moisture and fungal infections, treatment depends on the exact cause of the jock itch. Treatment of jock itch associated with skin irritation and excess moisture should address general measures to keep the groin clean and dry. Treatment of fungal jock itch should include antifungal creams used continuously for two to four weeks.

It is important to keep in mind that no therapy is uniformly effective in all people. Doctor may need to help evaluate the cause of your jock itch.

Home Remedy:-
Home remedy for mild jock itch includes:

*washing the groin skin two to three times a day with a gentle soapless cleanser like Dove non-soap cleanser or Cetaphil and water;

*keeping the groin area dry;

*avoiding excess groin skin irritation by wearing 100% cotton underwear;

*avoiding fabric softeners, bleaches, or harsh laundry detergents; and

*applying a mix of over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream and clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex) cream one to two times a day to the affected area.

Holistic jock itch treatments:-
Holistic (nonmedicated) home remedy options for jock itch include:

*Soaking the affected area daily with a washcloth dipped in dilute white vinegar (1 part vinegar to 4 parts of water) and drying the skin and

*Soaking in a bathtub daily or every other day with very dilute Clorox bleach (1 quarter cup of Clorox bleach in a bathtub full of water) and drying the skin.

Fungal jock itch is treated  Normally as follows:-

Mild fungal or yeast jock itch may be treated by:

*Washing groin twice daily with an antifungal shampoo like ketoconazole (Nizoral shampoo) or seleni
um sulfide (Selsun Blue shampoo).

Moderate fungal or yeast jock itch is often treated by a combination of:

*washing the groin twice daily with an antifungal shampoo like ketoconazole or selenium sulfide and

*Using a topical antifungal cream like miconazole (Monistat, Micatin), clotrimazole or terbinafine (Lamisil).
Severe fungal or yeast jock itch is typically treated by a combination of:

*Washing groin twice daily with an antifungal shampoo like ketoconazole or selenium sulfide,

*Using a topical antifungal cream like miconazole, clotrimazole or terbinafine, and

*Taking an antifungal pill like fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), or terbinafine.

Bacterial jock itch is normally treated as follows:-

Mild bacterial jock itch may be treated with:

*Antibacterial skin washes like Lever 2000 soap or chlorhexidine (Hibiclens) soap twice daily.

Moderate bacterial jock itch may be treated with:

*Antibacterial skin washes like chlorhexidine soap twice daily and

*Twice-daily application of a topical antibiotic like clindamycin lotion or metronidazole (Flagyl) lotion.

Severe bacterial jock itch may be treated with:

*Antibacterial skin washes like chlorhexidine soap twice daily,

*Twice-daily application of a topical antibiotic like clindamycin lotion or metronidazole lotion, and

*A five- to 14-day course of an oral antibiotic like cephalexin (Keflex), dicloxacillin, doxycyline, minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin), tetracycline (Sumycin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Cipro XR, Proquin XR), or levofloxacin (Levaquin) for more resistant situations.

Treatment of Inflammatory itching :-
Inflammatory itching from jock itch can be treated with a short course of one of the following:

*Use a short five- to seven-day course of a mild to medium potency, topical steroid cream like prescription triamcinolone 0.025% once or twice a day for inflamed or itchy areas.

*Use a short five- to seven-day course of a mild over-the-counter topical steroid cream like hydrocortisone (Cortaid) one to three times a day for itching.

*Use a topical immunomodulator such as pimecrolimus (Elidel) cream or tacrolimus (Protopic) ointment twice a day. Although these creams are approved for atopic dermatitis and eczema, their use would be considered “off label” (non-FDA labeled use) for jock itch.

Causes of Residual skin discoloration :
Residual skin discoloration in the groin may persist for weeks to months after more severe forms of jock itch clear. This darkish discoloration is called hyperpigmentation and may be treated with one or a combination of

*Hydroquinone 4% cream,

*Kojic acid cream,

*Azelaic acid 15% cream,

*Over-the-counter fading cream with 2% hydroquinone (Porcelana), or

*Specially designed prescription creams for particularly resistant skin discoloration using higher concentrations of hydroquinone 6%, 8%, and 10% may also be formulated by prescription by compounding pharmacists.

Best Drug for Jock Itch:-
Overall, the best jock-itch drug is a topical antifungal cream like miconazole, clotrimazole, or terbinafine. If the jock itch does not improve within two to three weeks of treatment, then a physician should be consulted.

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Homeopathic Treatment.……….(1)

Prognosis:-
The prognosis with jock itch is very good. Overall, jock itch tends to be an easily treated and curable skin condition. Commonly, it is a mild, benign, usually noncontagious, and self-limited skin condition. More widespread, atypical cases of jock itch may be embarrassing, chronically disfiguring, and psychologically distressing for the patient.

Prevention:
Jock itch prevention efforts include good general skin hygiene and keeping your groin clean and dry. The following preventive steps will help:

*Wash groin and buttocks with soap and water after exercise and sweating.

*Wash workout clothes, underwear, and swimwear after each use.

*Minimize groin moisture by using white cotton underwear.

*Change underwear frequently and especially after sweating.

*Wash clothes and undergarments in hot soapy water.

*Use loose-fitting cotton underwear and clothing.

*Avoid undergarments with polyesters, nylon, or synthetic fibers.

*Use an antifungal powder like Lamisil or Zeasorb to keep the groin dry.

*Avoid fragranced or irritating creams or lotions on the groin.

*Avoid going barefoot, especially at gyms, schools, and public pools.

*Treat athlete’s foot if you have it.

*Cover your feet with socks before you put on your underwear and pants.

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.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000876.htm

Jock Itch – Pictures, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment


http://www.medicinenet.com/jock_itch/page3.htm

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