Tag Archives: Homeopathy

Siddha

Introduction:
Siddha  is usually considered as the oldest medical system known to mankind.  Contemporary Tamil literature holds that the system of Siddha medicine originated in Southern India, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Siddha is reported to have surfaced more than 10,000 years ago.

“Siddhargal” or Siddhars were the premier scientists of ancient days.  Siddhars, mainly from Southern India laid the foundation for this system of medication. Siddhars were spiritual adepts who possessed the ashta siddhis, or the eight supernatural powers. Sage Agathiyar is considered the guru of all Sidhars, and the Siddha system is believed to have been handed over to him by Lord . “Agathiyar” was the first Siddhar,   and his disciples and Siddhars from other schools produced thousands of texts on Siddha, including medicine, and form the propounders of the system to the world.

The Siddha science is the oldest traditional treatment system generated from Dravidian culture. The Siddha flourished in the period of Indus Valley civilization.  Palm leaf manuscripts says that the Siddha system was first described by Lord Shiva to his wife Parvati. Parvati explained all this knowledge to her son Lord Muruga. He taught all these knowledge to his disciple sage Agasthya. Agasthya taught 18 Siddhars and they spread this knowledge to human beings.

The word Siddha comes from the Sanskrit word Siddhi which means an object to be attained perfection or heavenly bliss.  Siddha focused to “Ashtamahasiddhi,” the eight supernatural power. Those who attained or achieved the above said powers are known as Siddhars. There were 18 important Siddhars in olden days and they developed this system of medicine. Hence, it is called Siddha medicine. The Siddhars wrote their knowledge in palm leaf manuscripts, fragments of which were found in parts of South India. It is believed that some families may possess more fragments but keep them solely for their own use. There is a huge collection of Siddha manuscripts kept by traditional Siddha families.

Generally the basic concepts of the Siddha medicine are almost similar to Ayurveda. The only difference appears to be that the siddha medicine recognizes predominance of Vaadham, Pitham and Kabam in childhood, adulthood and old age, respectively, whereas in Ayurveda, it is totally reversed: Kabam is dominant in childhood, Vaatham in old age and Pitham in adults.

According to the Siddha medicine, various psychological and physiological functions of the body are attributed to the combination of seven elements: first is ooneer (plasma) responsible for growth, development and nourishment; second is cheneer (blood) responsible for nourishing muscles, imparting colour and improving intellect; the third is oon (muscle) responsible for shape of the body; fourth is koluppu/Kozhuppu (fatty tissue) responsible for oil balance and lubricating joints; fifth is elumbu (bone) responsible for body structure and posture and movement; sixth is elumbu majjai (bone marrow) responsible for formation of blood corpuscles; and the last is sukkilam (semen) responsible for reproduction. Like in Ayurveda, in Siddha medicine also, the physiological components of the human beings are classified as Vaadham (air), Pitham (fire) and Kabam(earth and water).

Concept of disease and cause:
It is assumed that when the normal equilibrium of the three humors — Vaadham, Pittham and Kabam — is disturbed, disease is caused. The factors assumed to affect this equilibrium are environment, climatic conditions, diet, physical activities, and stress. Under normal conditions, the ratio between Vaadham, Pittham, and Kabam are 4:2:1, respectively.

According to the Siddha medicine system, diet and lifestyle play a major role in health and in curing diseases. This concept of the Siddha medicine is termed as pathiyam and apathiyam, which is essentially a list of “do’s and don’ts”

Diagnosis:
In diagnosis, examination of eight items is required which is commonly known as “enn vakaith thervu”. These are:

1.Na (tongue): black in Vaatham, yellow or red in pitham, white in kabam, ulcerated in anaemia.
2.Varnam (colour): dark in Vaatham, yellow or red in pitham, pale in kabam.
3.Kural (voice): normal in Vaatham, high-pitched in pitham, low-pitched in kabam, slurred in alcoholism.
4.Kan (eyes): muddy conjunctiva, yellowish or red in pitham, pale in kabam.
5.Thodal (touch): dry in Vaatham, warm in pitham, chill in kapha, sweating in different parts of the body.
6.Malam (stool): black stools indicate Vaatham, yellow pitham, pale in kabam, dark red in ulcer and shiny in terminal illness.
7.Neer (urine): early morning urine is examined; straw color indicates indigestion, reddish-yellow color in excessive heat, rose in blood pressure, saffron color in jaundice, and looks like meat washed water in renal disease.
8.Naadi (pulse): the confirmatory method recorded on the radial art.

Drugs:
The drugs used by the Siddhars could be classified into three groups: thavaram (herbal product), thadhu (inorganic substances) and jangamam (animal products). The Thadhu drugs are further classified as: uppu (water-soluble inorganic substances or drugs that give out vapour when put into fire), pashanam (drugs not dissolved in water but emit vapour when fired), uparasam (similar to pashanam but differ in action), loham (not dissolved in water but melt when fired), rasam (drugs which are soft), and ghandhagam (drugs which are insoluble in water, like sulphur).

The drugs used in siddha medicine were classified on the basis of five properties: suvai (taste), gunam (character), veeryam (potency), pirivu (class) and mahimai (action).

According to their mode of application, the siddha medicines could be categorized into two classes:

Internal medicine was used through the oral route and further classified into 32 categories based on their form, methods of preparation, shelf-life, etc.
External medicine includes certain forms of drugs and also certain applications (such as nasal, eye and ear drops), and also certain procedures (such as leech application). It also classified into 32 categories.

Treatment:
The treatment in siddha medicine is aimed at keeping the three humors in equilibrium and maintenance of seven elements. So proper diet, medicine and a disciplined regimen of life are advised for a healthy living and to restore equilibrium of humors in diseased condition. Saint Thiruvalluvar explains four requisites of successful treatment. These are the patient, the attendant, physician and medicine. When the physician is well-qualified and the other agents possess the necessary qualities, even severe diseases can be cured easily, according to these concepts.

The treatment should be commenced as early as possible after assessing the course and cause of the disease. Treatment is classified into three categories: devamaruthuvum (Divine method); manuda maruthuvum (rational method); and asura maruthuvum (surgical method). In Divine method, medicines like parpam, Chendooragyhtyjm, guru, kuligai made of mercury, sulfur and pashanams are used. In the rational method, medicines made of herbs like churanam, kudineer, or vadagam are used. In surgical method, incision, excision, heat application, blood letting, or leech application are used.

According to therapies the treatments of siddha medicines could be further categorized into following categories such as purgative therapy, emetic therapy, fasting therapy, steam therapy, oleation therapy, physical therapy, solar therapy, blood-letting therapy, yoga therapy, etc.

Sidda education:
Siddha has lost its popularity after modern medicine was introduced, as a scientific medical system, even in Tamil Nadu. Still, there are a few ardent followers of the system who prefer Siddha for only a few diseases like jaundice. After some modern doctors, such as Dr. Ramalingam, IMPCOPS, president, Chennai, C.N. Deivanayagam, tried to popularize the Siddha system, a few modern doctors have started suggesting Siddha. In 2012, VA Shiva Ayyadurai, a Tamilian and MIT systems scientist, launched an educational program for medical doctors through the Chopra Center with Deepak Chopra which integrates concepts from traditional systems medicine such as Siddha, Ayurveda, and traditional Chinese medicine, with systems science and systems biology.

The Tamil Nadu state runs a 5.5-year course in Siddha medicine (BSMS: Bachelor in Siddha Medicine and Surgery). The Indian Government also gives its focus on Siddha, by starting up medical colleges and research centers like National Institute of Siddha  and Central Council for Research in Siddha. There has been renewed interest in Siddha, as many started feeling modern medicine is not complete and changing its stands/theories frequently. The health minister of Tamil Nadu in 2007 claimed that Siddha medicine is effective for chikungunya

Educational institutions:
Government of Tamil Nadu runs two Siddha medical colleges:

Government Siddha Medical College, Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli district
Government Siddha Medical College, Anna Hospital Campus, Arumbakkam, Chennai – 600106

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Government of India runs a Siddha medical college:

National Institute of Siddha, Grand Southern Trunk Road, Tambaram Sanatorium, Chennai – 600047

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Colleges available in Kerala:

*Santhigiri Siddha Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram
*Private Siddha colleges (approved by Dept. of AYUSH, Govt. of India and affiliated to TN Dr. MGR Medical University, Chennai):

*Velumailu Siddha Medical College and Hospital, No. 48, G.W.T. Road, Opp. Rajiv Gandhi Memorial, Sriperumbudur – 602 105
*Sri Sai Ram Siddha Medical College & Research Centre, Sai Leo Nagar, Poonthandalam, West Tambaram, Chennai – 600 044
*R.V.S. Siddha Medical College & Hospital, Kumaran Kottam, Kannampalayam, Coimbatore – 641042
*A.T.S.V.S. Siddha Medical College, Munchirai, Pudukkadai Post, Kanyakumari – 629171
*Sivaraj Siddha Medical College, Siddhar Kovil Road, Thumbathulipatty, Salem – 636307

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Government of Sri Lanka runs three… Siddha medical colleges offering BSMS degrees:

*Department of Siddha Medicine, University of Jaffna, Kaithady, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
*Unit of Siddha Medicine, Trincomalee Campus, Eastern University, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddha_medicine

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Poke Root

Botanical Name :  Phytolacca americana
Family: Phytolaccaceae
Genus:     Phytolacca
Species: P. decandra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Phytolacca Root. Phytolaccae Radix. Phytolacca Berry. Phytolaccae Bacca. Phytolacca Vulgaris. Phytolacca Americana. Blitum Americanum. Branching Phytolacca. Phytolaque. Garget. Pigeon Berry. Méchoacan du Canada. Bear’s Grape. Poke Weed. Raisin d’Amérique. Red-ink Plant. American Spinach. Skoke. Crowberry. Jalap. Cancer-root. American Nightshade. Pocan or Cokan. Coakum. Chongras. Morelle à Grappes. Herbe de la Laque. Amerikanische scharlachbeere. Kermesbeere. Virginian Poke. Poke Berry.

Common Name : Poke root,Pokeweed, American pokeweed, Garnet, Pigeon Berry, Poke

Habitat:
Phytolacca americana is indigenous to North America. Common in Mediterranean countries. (Northern and Central N. America. Occasionally naturalized in Britain ) It grows on the damp rich soils in clearings, woodland margins and roadsides. Disturbed areas, pastures, clearings, thickets, woodland borders and roadsides from sea level to 1400 metres.

Description:
Phytolacca is a handsome  plant growing from 3 to 9 feet high. It is indigenous, with a perennial root of large size, frequently exceeding a man’s leg in diameter, usually branched, fleshy, fibrous, whitish within, easily cut or broken, and covered with a very thin brownish bark or cuticle. When young the stem is green, but as the plant matures it becomes more or less purple. The stem is annual, about 1 inch in diameter, much branched, smooth, stout, and hollow. The leaves are opposite, scattered, ovate, entire, 5 inches long by 2 or 3 wide, smooth on both sides, with ribs underneath. The flowers are numerous, arranged in long racemes opposite the leaves. There are no petals, but 5 rounded, incurved, petaloid sepals, whitish, or greenish-white in color. Stamens 10, shorter than the sepals. Styles 10, recurved. Ovary of 10 carpels, green, and united in a ring. The fruit is a handsome, flattened, black, or blackish-purple berry, 10-seeded, and contains a beautiful crimson juice.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES….>…....(1).….…(2)..…….…..
Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, succeeding in most soils, though preferring a moisture retentive soil in full sun or partial shade. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn. Succeeds in an open woodland garden, growing well under trees. Whilst the dormant plant is hardy in much of Britain, the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. A very ornamental plant, it often self sows when in a suitable position. Cultivated as a dye plant and on a small scale for its edible young shoots, there is at least one named form. ‘White Stem’ has white stems and the berries yield a golden-peach dye instead of purple. It is not yet known (1992) if it will breed true from seed. This plant is an alternative host to a number of viral diseases that affect members of the Amaryllidaceae, Liliaceae (broad view, including plants recently moved into separate families) and Solanaceae. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits.

Propagation:
Seed – sow autumn or spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it might be worthwhile trying an outdoor sowing in a seed bed in early spring. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for their first year and plant them out the following spring. Division in March or October. Use a sharp spade or knife to divide the rootstock, making sure that each section has at least one growth bud. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves.
Edible Uses: Colouring.

Leaves – they must be cooked and even then it is best to change the water once. They are used like spinach[183]. Only the young leaves should be used since they become toxic with age. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Young shoots – cooked. An asparagus substitute, they are delicious. The shoots are sometimes blanched before using, or forced in cellars to provide an early crop. The tender clear inner portion of the stem can be rolled in cornmeal and fried. Although cultivated on a small scale in N. America for its shoots, caution is advised, see notes above. A nutritional analysis is available. Fruit – cooked and used in pies. Poisonous raw, causing vomiting and diarrhoea. Even the cooked fruits should be viewed with caution. The fruit is a berry about 12mm in diameter. A red dye is obtained from the fruit and used as a food colouring

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: Dried root, berries.

Constituents : Phytolaccic acid has been obtained from the berries, and tannin. In theroot a non-reducing sugar, formic acid, and a small percentage of bitter resin have been found. The alkaloid Phytolaccin may be present in small quantities, but it has not been proved. A resinoid substance is called phytolaccin. The virtues are extracted by alcohol, diluted alcohol, and water. The powder is said to be sternutatory.

Composition :
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Shoots (Dry weight)

*274 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 31g; Fat: 4.8g; Carbohydrate: 44g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 20.2g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 631mg; Phosphorus: 524mg; Iron: 20.2mg; Magnesium: 0mg; *Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 62mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.95mg; Riboflavin (B2): 3.93mg; Niacin: 14.3mg; B6: 0mg; C: 1619mg;

A slow emetic and purgative with narcotic properties. As an alterative it is used in chronic rheumatism and granular conjunctivitis. As an ointment, in the proportion of a drachm to the ounce, it is used in psora, tinea capitis, favus and sycosis, and other skin diseases, causing at first smarting and heat.

The slowness of action and the narcotic effects that accompany it render its use as an emetic inadvisable. It is used as a cathartic in paralysis of the bowels. Headaches of many sources are benefited by it, and both lotion and tincture are used in leucorrhoea.

The Lenape chopped the root, poured boiling water over it, and prepared a liniment to reduce swellings.  To reduce fever, they bound the fresh roots to the hands and feet.  Other tribes made a purge from the juice of the root.  The Delaware considered the roasted mashed root of Pokeweed an excellent blood purifier and stimulant.  They were aware of the toxic properties of poke root, and only very small doses were administered.  It was combined with bittersweet by other tribes and used as an ointment for chronic sores and the Pamunkey of Virginia treated rheumatism with preparations of the boiled berries.  The Mohegans of Connecticut ate the young shoots in the spring and used poultices of the mashed ripe berries to relieve sore breasts of nursing mothers.  The large root is a violent emetic and is sometimes used as a substitute for ipecac.  Pokeweed was listed officially in the United States Pharmacopeia for nearly one hundred years, from 1820 to 1916, and in the National Formulary from 1916 to 1947, where it was classed as a slow emetic, purgative and alterative. A fluid extract of the dried root was prescribed for a variety of ailments.  During the early 1900s, it was a major ingredient in a popular over-the-counter obesity remedy, Phytoline, taken six times a day, before and after each meal.  A  cancer cure  was prepared by mixing the juice of the leaves or root with gunpowder, and in the Ozark Mountains, Poke was a famous remedy for a variety of parasitic skin afflictions collectively known as  the itch.   The root was boiled into a thick paste and reputed to work very well, but was quite painful when applied.  Investigators have reported finding a mitogenic substance in Pokeweed that may prove useful in cancer research and treatment.
Poke root treats constipation and glandular and lymphatic congestion.  In the latter conditions it may be taken in regular small internal doses of the tincture of the fresh root.  Take only 2-5 drops two or three times daily.  If it cases nausea, stop and begin again with even smaller doses.  Poke is one of the best blood and lymphatic purifying herbs.  It is excellent for the treatment of cancer, tumors, arthritis and degenerative diseases, but should be used with respect and preferably in combination with other herbs in a formula to offset its powerful detoxifying effects.  Do not take more than 1 gm. per day.
As an external medicine, Poke root is used in a decoction as a wash or made into an ointment for various skin diseases such as eczema, ulcers, scabies, ringworm and other fungus infections. It has been used, in small doses, as an alterative to stimulate the metabolism and to help break up congestion in the alimentary canal, as well as in various organs including the lymph glands.  It has also been used to treat breast cancer, and the excessive swelling of breasts after childbirth which sometimes make nursing impossible.  It has often been a part of the formulas used in treating arthritis and rheumatism.

As a poultice it causes rapid suppuration in felons. The extract is said to have been used in chronic rheumatism and haemorrhoids.

Authorities differ as to its value in cancer. Great relief towards the close of a difficult case of cancer of the uterus was obtained by an external application of 3 OZ. of Poke Root and 1 OZ. of Tincture used in the strength of 1 tablespoonful to 3 pints of tepid water for bathing the part. It is also stated to be of undoubted value as an internal remedy in cancer of the breast.

The following prescription has been recommended: Fluid extracts of Phytolacca (2 OZ.), Gentian 1 OZ.) and Dandelion 1 OZ.), with Simple Syrup to make a pint. One teaspoonful may be taken after each meal.

Infused in spirits, the fruit is used in chronic rheumatism, being regarded as equal to Guaicum.

It is doubtful if the root will cure syphilis without the help of mercury.

Phytolacca decandra – Homeopathic Remedies

Other Uses:
Ink; Insecticide; Soap.

A red ink and a dye are obtained from the fruit. A beautiful colour, though it is not very permanent. It makes a good body paint, washing off easily when no longer required, though the slightly toxic nature of the berries should be remembered. The rootstock is rich in saponins and can be used as a soap substitute. Cut the root into small pieces and simmer it in boiling water to obtain the soap. The plant is currently (1980) being evaluated for its snail-killing properties.

Known Hazards: The leaves are poisonous. They are said to be safe to eat when young, the toxins developing as the plants grow older. Another report says that the seeds and root are poisonous. The plant sap can cause dermatitis in sensitive people. The plant contains substances that cause cell division and can damage chromosomes. These substances can be absorbed through any abrasions in the skin, potentially causing serious blood aberratins, and so it is strongly recommended that the people wear gloves when handling the plant. Avoid during pregnancy. Even children consume even 1 berry emergency poison treatment should be instituted. Up to 10 berries are considered harmless for adults

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytolacca_decandra
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/pokroo57.html
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/phytolacca.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Phytolacca+americana

Umbilicus rupestris

Botanical Name :Umbilicus rupestris
Family: Crassulaceae
Genus:     Umbilicus
Species: U. rupestris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Saxifragales

Synonyms: U. pedulinus. Cotyledon umbilicus-veneris.

Common Names :Navelwort, Penny-pies, Wall Pennywort,Kidneywort

Habitat:
Umbilicus rupestri is native to Europe, from Britain and France south and east to N. Africa and the Mediterraean.    It grows on Crevices of rocks and walls, especially in acid and damp conditions.But it avoids alkaline soils.

Description:
Umbilicus rupestris is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.3 m (1ft).It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan. The pallid spikes of bell-shaped, greenish-pink flowers appear from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects? Self.The plant is self-fertile.
CLICK &V SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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

Both the name “navelwort” and the scientific name Umbilicus come from the round shape of the leaves, which have a navel-like depression in the center.

Cultivation:             
An easily grown plant, succeeding in any near neutral, gritty, moisture retentive but well-drained soil in sun or light shade. Plants are often found growing on walls, even succeeding on old brick and mortar walls Plants are hardy to about -15°c. A very attractive plant for the rock garden[53], the leaves often stay green all winter.

Propagation:  
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. Division in spring. Very easy, pant them straight out into their permanent positions. Leaf cuttings

Edible Uses: Leaves – raw or cooked. A very acceptable mild flavour in the winter and early spring, they can be used in quantity in salads at this time. The leaves become rather stronger-tasting in the summer and are not so pleasant then.

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic;  Diuretic;  Poultice.
The leaves are mildly analgesic. The juice and extract of the plant have an old reputation for the treatment of epilepsy. The leaves are also made into a poultice and used in the treatment of piles, slight burns and scalds. A decoction of the leaves is considered to be cooling and diuretic and the juice taken inwardly is said to be excellent for treating inflammations of the liver and spleen.

Umbilicus rupestris is not the same “Pennywort” as the one used in Asian medicine, which is the unrelated Asiatic Pennywort, Centella asiatica.

Navelwort is also assumed to be the “Kidneywort” referred to by Nicholas Culpepper in the English Physician, although it may actually refer to the unrelated Anemone hepatica. Culpepper used astrology, rather than science, to classify herbs, and as such is not a reliable source. He claimed: “the juice or the distilled water being drank, is very effectual for all inflammations and unnatural heats, to cool a fainting hot stomach, a hot liver, or the bowels: the herb, juice, or distilled water thereof, outwardly applied, heals pimples, St. Anthony’s fire, and other outward heats. The said juice or water helps to heal sore kidneys, torn or fretted by the stone, or exulcerated within; it also provokes urine, is available for the dropsy, and helps to break the stone. Being used as a bath, or made into an ointment, it cools the painful piles or hæmorrhoidal veins. It is no less effectual to give ease to the pains of the gout, the sciatica, and helps the kernels or knots in the neck or throat, called the king’s evil: healing kibes and chilblains if they be bathed with the juice, or anointed with ointment made thereof, and some of the skin of the leaf upon them: it is also used in green wounds to stay the blood, and to heal them quickly.”

Umbilicus rupestris is used in homeopathic medicine. Navelwort is referred to as Cotyledon umbilicus by Homeopaths, since that was the original scientific name of navelwort when Homeopathy was developedCLICK & SEE

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbilicus_rupestris
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Umbilicus+rupestris

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Strychnos ignatia

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Botanical Name :Strychnos ignatia
Family: Loganiaceae
Genus:     Strychnos
Species: S. ignatia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Gentianales

Synonyms: Faba Ignatic. Ignatia amara (Linn.).

Common Names: Ignatius Beans,  Bean Of St. Ignatius, aguwason, dankkagi (Visayan language) or igasud (in Cebuano language)

Habitat :Strychnos ignatia is native to  Philippine Islands.

Description:
Strychnos ignatia is a large woody climbing shrub, introduced into Cochin China, and highly esteemed there as a medicine. It attracted the attention of the Jesuits, hence its name. In commerce the beans are about one full inch long; ovate, a dull blacky brown colour, very hard and horny, covered in patches with silvery adpressed hairs; endosperm translucent, enclosing an irregular cavity with an oblong embryo; no odour; taste extremely bitter. The fruit of Strychnos ignatii is the size and shape of a pear, and has almond-like seeds known as Saint Ignatius‘ beans. Each fruit contains about twelve to twenty seeds embedded in the pulp from which they have to be separated.
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: Ripe dried seeds.

Constituents: The beans have the same properties as Nux Vomica, but contain more strychnine, also brucine, a volatile principle extractive, gum, resin, colouring matter, a fixed oil, and bassorin; they contain no albumen or starch.

Tonic and stimulant in action like Nux Vomica, which, being cheaper, is nearly always used as a substitute. Old writers lauded these beans as a remedy against cholera. They are useful in certain forms of heart trouble, but must be used with the greatest caution, as they are a very active and powerful poison.
Historically, the pits of the S. Ignacio cured persons who had eaten something poisonous. A small piece of it, eaten and followed down with cold water, expelled the poison. It also stopped stomach cramps and the inflammation of the ileum. It cured lockjaw and helped women giving birth. Scrapped pieces could be ingested when chills started in order to lower the fever. Ground into a powder and placed over the affected area, it cured the effects of hairy worms called “basut.” Sucked as a candy, it eased arthritic pains and watery discharges due to indigestion. Cut into strips and fried in oil, it could be massaged into a paralyzed part of the body. It eased body aches as well.

It appears to possess an influence over the nervous system of a tonic and stimulating character, not belonging to Nux vomica or strychnine. It is never a remedy for conditions of excitation of the nervous system, but its key-note is atony; it is the remedy for nervous debility, and all that that term implies, being one of the best of nerve stimulants and nerve tonics. It was early recognized as a remedy for nervous debility, amenorrhea, chlorosis, etc. As a rule, the dose of ignatia administered is too large, a depressing headache often resulting from its immoderate use. The preparation mostly employed is specific ignatia, of which from 5 to 10 drops should be added to 4 fluid ounces of water, and the solution be administered in teaspoonful doses every 2 or 3 hours. Bearing in mind the condition of nervous atony, it may be successfully administered in anemia, where the patient is cold, and especially when coldness of the extremities is one of the distressing features of the menopause. It should be thought of in anemic states of the brain, and particularly in those cases where the patient exhibits hysterical, melancholic, or hypochondriacal demonstrations. It is a remedy for digestive disorders, such as atonic dyspepsia and chronic catarrh of the stomach, with atony, and gastralgia or gastrodynia. The sick headache of debility is relieved by it. Shifting, dragging, boring, or darting pains, deeply seated in the loins or lumbar region, are those benefited by ignatia. It is an important remedy in atonic reproductive disorders. Eclectics have not found it to be especially adapted to females only, as have the Homoeopaths declare it the remedy for women, while nux and strychnine are remedies for men. Sexual coldness in both sexes, impotence in the male and sterility in the female are remedied many times by the judicious administration of ignatia. The deep-seated pelvic pains of women, particularly ovarian pains and uterine colic are especially relieved by ignatia, which is also indicated in menstrual disorders with colic-like pains, heavy dragging of the ovaries, and an abnormally large and heavy womb. If added to these pelvic weaknesses, the general nervous system is greatly debilitated, there are wandering pelvic pains or pain in the right hypochondrium with constipation, neuralgia in other parts of the body, twitching, of the facial muscles, a tendency to paralysis, and choreic and epileptiform symptoms, associated with a disposition to grieve over one’s condition, the indications for ignatia are still stronger. But to obtain beneficial effects the dose must be small.

Homeopathy: The plant is the source of a homeopathic remedy known as ignatia, ignatia amara, or as iamara, which is used to treat grief, depression and other conditions.

Known Hazards:The beans of the plant contain the alkaloids strychnine and brucine. Strychnine is highly toxic, with an LD50 of 1-2 milligrams per kilogram, and was formerly used in rat poisons. Brucine is also toxic, but less so.

(Antidotes:  Same as for strychnine, chloroform, belladonna, aconite, tobacco, chloral hydrate 1 drachm doses, morphia)

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/i/ignati02.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strychnos_ignatia

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

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Eupatorium cannabinum

Botanical Name :Eupatorium cannabinum
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Eupatorium
Species: E. cannabinum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Holy Rope. St. John’s Herb.

Common Name: Hemp-agrimony

Habitat :Eupatorium cannabinum is grows in most of   Europe, including Britain, to N. Africa, western and central Asia.they are found by streams, in low damp sites and in woods, avoiding acid soils.

Description:
Eupatorium cannabinum is a Perennial  herbaceous  plant.The root-stock is woody and from it rises the erect round stems, growing from 2 to 5 feet high with short branches springing from the axils of the leaves, which are placed on it in pairs. The stems are reddish in colour, covered with downy hair and are woody below. They have a pleasant aromatic smell when cut. It is dioecious, with racemes of mauve flowers which are pollinated by insects from July to early September. The flowers are tiny, fluffy and can be pale dusty pink or whitish.It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The fruit is an achene about 2 or 3 mm long, borne by a pappus with hairs 3 to 5 mm long, which is distributed by the wind. The plant over-winters as a hemicryptophyte. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
click to see the pictures

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant,   it succeeds in ordinary garden soil in sun or part shade. Prefers a rich moist soil. Grows well in marshy soils. Plants are hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant, it has a pleasant aromatic smell when cut. Often found as a weed in British gardens, it can be allowed to naturalize in short grass in the wild garden. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. An excellent bee and butterfly plant.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown outdoors in situ. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used:The Herb.

Constituents: The leaves contain a volatile oil, which acts on the kidneys, and likewise some tannin and a bitter chemical principle which will cut short the chill of intermittent fever.

It is Alterative; Antitumor; Cholagogue; Depurative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emetic; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Homeopathy; Laxative; Purgative; Tonic.

Hemp agrimony has been employed chiefly as a detoxifying herb for fevers, colds, flu and other viral conditions. It also stimulates the removal of waste products via the kidneys. Due to its content of alkaloids, the plant should only be used under professional supervision. The leaves and flowering tops are alterative, cholagogue, depurative, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, febrifuge, purgative and tonic. The plant has a long history of use as a gentle laxative that does not provoke irritation, though excessive doses cause purging and vomiting. A tea made from the dried leaves will give prompt relief if taken at the onset of influenza. Recent research has shown that the plant might have anti-tumour activity, though the plant also contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can cause damage or cancer to the liver. The plant is harvested in the summer and dried for later use. The roots are diaphoretic, laxative and tonic. They are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. Recently the plant has been found of use as an immune system stimulant, helping to maintain resistance to acute viral and other infections. A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves. It is used in the treatment of influenza and feverish chills and also for disorders of the liver, spleen and gall bladder.

Other Uses:
Preservative; Repellent.

The leaves have been laid on bread in order to prevent it from becoming mouldy. The leaf juice has been rubbed onto the coats of animals as an insect repellent.
Scented Plants

Plant: Crushed
All parts of the plant have a strong resinous smell when bruised. This has been likened to the smell of cedar when it is burnt.

Toxity : Eupatorium cannabinum contains tumorigenic pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eupatorium_cannabinum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/agrim016.html
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Eupatorium+cannabinum

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