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Viola yezoensis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Viola_yezoensis
http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Viola+yezoensis
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874116303026
https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/VIOYZ

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

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Top Ten Therapeutic Benefits of Ginger

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1.Helps Digestion:
Ginger has been used as a digestive aid for thousands of years by ancient cultures. Its carminative properties promote the elimination of intestinal gas to prevent bloating and flatulence, while its intestinal spasmolytic properties relax the gastrointestinal muscles to soothe an upset stomach.
Eating slices of ginger sprinkled with salt before meals can increase saliva flow to aid digestion and prevent stomach issues. It is also helpful to drink ginger tea after a large meal to reduce bloating and flatulence. If your stomach problems are more severe, you can also take ginger to help alleviate the various symptoms of food poisoning.
Ginger is frequently recommended to treat dyspepsia (chronic indigestion), provide relief from colic in children, and help in the treatment of bacteria-induced diarrhea.

2 . Therapy for nausea: Reduces motion sickness and more:
Ginger is very good at subsiding various types of nausea and vomiting, including morning sickness in pregnant women, motion sickness in travellers, and even nausea in chemotherapy patients.
70% of patients who undergo chemotherapy report struggling with nausea, despite being given anti-emetics during treatment. A recent study on adult cancer patients found that supplementing a daily dose of 0.5 to 1 gram of ginger before chemo, significantly reduced the severity of acute nausea in 91% of the participants.
The herb also helps reduce the dizziness and nausea associated with vertigo. Research in this area indicates that the spice’s therapeutic chemicals work in the brain and nervous system to control the effects of queasiness.

3.  Powerful anti-inflammatory: Reduces joint pain and relieves arthritis:
Ginger contains a very potent anti-inflammatory compound called gingerol, which is the substance responsible for alleviating joint and muscle pain. According to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, ginger affects certain inflammatory processes at a cellular level. It shares pharmacological properties with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, making it an effective treatment for both acute and chronic inflammatory diseases.
Many other scientific studies support the effectiveness of ginger for its pro-analgesic effect on the joints, particularly in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis. Many patients suffering from osteoarthritis have also reported reduced pain and improved mobility by consuming ginger on a regular basis.
Research in Hong Kong suggests that massage therapy using an oil of ginger and orange seems to reduce short-term stiffness and pain in patients with knee issues.
Ginger can also reduce inflammation and muscle pain caused by exercise. In a study carried out by the University of Georgia, researchers administered raw and heat-treated ginger to two groups of 34 and 40 volunteers, over 11 consecutive days. The results, published in The Journal of Pain, concluded that daily use of ginger supplements relieved exercise-induced muscle pain by 25%.

4 . Provides Pain Relief: Soothes migraines and menstrual pain:
Research has shown that ginger can provide pain relief from migraine headaches. A study performed in Iran and published in the Phytotherapy Research journal, found that ginger powder is as effective in treating migraine symptoms as sumatriptan – a common medication for the illness.
In the clinical trial, 100 migraine sufferers with acute symptoms were randomly selected to receive either sumatriptan or ginger powder. The researchers found that the efficacy of administering both were similar, while the adverse effects of ginger powder were less than sumatriptan – making it a safer remedy for migraines.
Ginger works on migraines by blocking prostaglandins, which stimulate muscle contractions, control inflammation in the blood vessels, and impact some hormones. Drinking ginger tea at the onset of a migraine attack stifles prostaglandins to block the unbearable pain, and stop the associated nausea and dizziness.
Ginger can also help women effectively reduce the pain associated with dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation). A research study in Iran divided 70 female students into two groups. One group was administered ginger capsules and the other was given a placebo – each for the first three days of their menstrual cycles. The researchers found that 82.85% of the women taking ginger capsules reported improvements in pain symptoms, compared to 47.05% of those on placebo.
Many cultures also pour fresh ginger juice on their skin to treat burns, and topical application of ginger oil has been found to be very effective in treating joint and back pain.

5 . Anti-tumor properties: Successful in killing cancer cells:
Modern research has recently been looking to ginger as a potential remedy for various types of cancer, and has come up with some promising results.
One study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ginger not only killed ovarian cancer cells, it also prevented them from building up resistance to chemotherapy – a common issue in ovarian cancer patients.
In the study, researchers applied a solution of ginger powder and water to ovarian cancer cells. In each and every test, they found that the cancer cells died when they came into contact with the ginger solution. Each of the cells either committed suicide, which is known as apoptosis, or they attacked one another, which is referred to as autophagy.

Ginger has also been proven to effectively treat breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.
Research published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology discovered that chemicals from the ginger plant halted the proliferation of breast cancer cells, without affecting normal mammary cells. This property, known as selective cytotoxicity, is highly significant as it does not occur with conventional methods. And while many tumors respond well to chemotherapy treatment, breast cancer cells can be more difficult. They tend to survive and gain resistance to the treatment.
The use of natural remedies like ginger that are safe and can suppress growth of breast cancer cells is highly desirable. The other advantages of using ginger are that it is easy to administer in capsule form, it has few reported side effects, and it’s a low-cost alternative to conventional drugs.

In 2011, a Georgia State University study set out to explore ginger’s effects on prostate cancer, based on the herb’s proven anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Their results, published in The British Journal of Nutrition, found that ginger extract killed cancer cells in the prostate without affecting any of the healthy cells.

Modern scientific evidence suggests that ginger can also reduce inflammation in the colon to potentially prevent colon cancer. In a University of Michigan study, researchers administered two grams of ginger root supplements or placebo to a group of 30 patients over 28 days. After 28 days, researchers found significant reductions in colon inflammation markers in patients that were assigned ginger root, making it an effective natural prevention method for those at risk of colon cancer.
Ginger compounds have also been studied to inhibit other forms of cancer, including rectal cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, melanoma and pancreatic cancer. It’s also interesting to note that beta-elemene – an anti-cancer pharmaceutical – is derived from ginger.

6.  Anti-diabetic compounds: Lowers blood sugar and increases insulin release:
In the case of diabetes, studies have shown ginger to be effective both preventively and therapeutically.
Research at the University of Sydney in Australia found ginger to be effective in glycemic control for people with type 2 diabetes. The study, published in the Planta Medica journal, showed that ginger extracts can increase uptake of glucose into muscle cells without using insulin, therefore it may assist in the management of high blood sugar levels.

Another clinical trial concluded that diabetic patients, that consumed three grams of dry ginger for 30 days, had a significant reduction in blood glucose, triglyceride, and in total and LDL cholesterol levels.

Overall, ginger works on diabetes by increasing insulin release and sensitivity, inhibiting enzymes in carbohydrate metabolism, and improving lipid profiles. Ginger also has a very low glycemic index (GI), which means it breaks down slowly to form glucose, and therefore does not trigger a spike in blood sugar levels like high GI foods do.
Several other studies have also established ginger to have a preventive effect against diabetes complications. Ginger can protect a diabetic’s liver, kidneys, and central nervous system, and reduce the risk of cataracts – a common side-effect of the disease.

7 . Heals the heart: Treats a variety of cardiovascular conditions:
High in potassium, manganese, chromium, magnesium and zinc, and famous for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger has been used for years to treat heart conditions.
In Chinese medicine, ginger’s therapeutic properties were said to strengthen the heart, and ginger oil was often used to prevent and treat heart disease.
Modern studies indicate that the herb’s compounds go to work by lowering cholesterol, regulating blood pressure, improving blood flow, and preventing blocked arteries and blood clots – all of which help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

8. Relieves respiratory disorders: Effective in treating asthma:
Ginger compounds have shown positive results in treating respiratory disorders, and research indicates it is a promising treatment for patients suffering from asthma. Asthma is a chronic disease that occurs when the muscles in the lungs’ oxygen channels become inflamed and sensitive to different substances that induce spasms.
Recent research published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, demonstrates that ginger works on treating asthma in two ways: first, by inhibiting the enzyme that constricts airway muscles, and second, by activating another enzyme that works to relax the airways.

Part of the reason ginger works is due to its potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic compounds, which have properties similar to that of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the negative side effects. While asthma can be a deadly disease, some of the medications used to treat asthma can also carry troubling side effects. Therefore, finding alternative, safe remedies like ginger, is a promising discovery in the treatment of this disease.

9. Immunity-booster: Reduces coughs and colds:
Ginger is a wonderful immune system booster, making it a well-known treatment for colds and flus. And since it helps calm symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection, it also works on coughs, sore throats and bronchitis.

Ginger clears the micro-circulatory channels of the body, including the pesky sinuses that flare up during colds. Drinking ginger with lemon and honey is a popular cold and flu remedy that has been handed down for many generations, both in the east and the west.

Ginger also has thermogenic properties, so it can warm up the body in the cold and, more importantly, can promote healthy sweating. This type of sweating, which helps to detoxify the body and assist in releasing cold symptoms, has also been shown to fight off bacterial and fungal infections.

Recent research in Germany found a potent germ-fighting agent contained in sweat which they named dermicidin. This is manufactured in the body’s sweat glands, secreted into the sweat, and transported to the skin’s surface, where it works to provide protection against bacteria like E. coli and fungi like Candida albicans.
Best of all, ginger has concentrated active substances that are easily absorbed by the body, so you don’t have to use very much to receive its beneficial effects.

10. Potent Antioxidant: Slows down DNA damage:
Many worldwide studies have found ginger to contain potent antioxidant properties, which help protect lipids from peroxidation (rancidity) and DNA damage.
Antioxidants are extremely important as they provide protection against free radicals, which helps reduce the various types of degenerative diseases that come with aging, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and more.

While all spices are known to be powerful antioxidants, ginger seems to be extra-potent. It contains 25 different antioxidant properties on its own. This makes it effective at fighting a variety of free radicals, and in different areas of the body.

Some Important Things to Note:

*Ginger should not be given to children under the age of two
*In general, adults should not take more than 4 grams of ginger per day, including in cooking
*Pregnant women should not take more than 1 gram per day
*You can use dried or fresh ginger root to make ginger tea and drink that two to three times daily
*To reduce acute inflammation, you can massage the affected area with ginger oil a few times per day
*Ginger capsules are said to provide better benefits than other forms
*Ginger can interact with other medications, including blood thinners
*Always consult a doctor for ginger dosage information and potential side effects for specific issues.

Adopted from a very reliable source

Psoriatic arthritis

Other Names: Arthritis psoriatica,Arthropathic psoriasis or Psoriatic arthropathy

Definition:
Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that affects some people who have psoriasis — a condition that features red patches of skin topped with silvery scales. Most people develop psoriasis first and are later diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, but the joint problems can sometimes begin before skin lesions appear.

Joint pain, stiffness and swelling are the main symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. They can affect any part of your body, including your fingertips and spine, and can range from relatively mild to severe. In both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, disease flares may alternate with periods of remission.

It is a type of inflammatory arthritis that will develop in up to 30 percent of people who have the chronic skin condition psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis is classified as a seronegative spondyloarthropathy and therefore occurs more commonly in patients with tissue type HLA-B27.

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No cure for psoriatic arthritis exists, so the focus is on controlling symptoms and preventing damage to the joints. Without treatment, psoriatic arthritis may be disabling.

Classification:
There are five main types of psoriatic arthritis:

*Asymmetric: This type affects around 70% of patients and is generally mild. This type does not occur in the same joints on both sides of the body and usually only involves fewer than 3 joints.

*Symmetric: This type accounts for around 25% of cases, and affects joints on both sides of the body simultaneously. This type is most similar to rheumatoid arthritis and is disabling in around 50% of all cases.

*Arthritis mutilans (M07.1): Affects less than 5% of patients and is a severe, deforming and destructive arthritis. This condition can progress over months or years causing severe joint damage. Arthritis mutilans has also been called chronic absorptive arthritis, and may be seen in rheumatoid arthritis as well.

*Spondylitis (M07.2): This type is characterised by stiffness of the spine or neck, but can also affect the hands and feet, in a similar fashion to symmetric arthritis.

*Distal interphalangeal predominant (M07.0): This type of psoriatic arthritis is found in about 5% of patients, and is characterised by inflammation and stiffness in the joints nearest to the ends of the fingers and toes. Nail changes are often marked.

Symptoms:
*Pain, swelling, or stiffness in one or more joints is commonly present.

*Asymmetrical oligoarthritis (70%) (Involvement of the distal interphalangeal joints (DIP) is a characteristic feature).

*Sacroiliitis/spondylitis (40%)

*Symmetrical seronegative arthritis (15%)

*Distal interphalangeal joint arthritis (15%)

*Hand joints involved in psoriasis are proximal interphalangeal (PIP) + distal interphalangeal (DIP) + metacarpophalangeal (MCP) + wrist
Joints that are red or warm to the touch.

*Sausage-like swelling in the fingers or toes, known as dactylitis.

*Pain in and around the feet and ankles, especially tendinitis in the Achilles tendon or plantar fasciitis in the sole of the foot.

*Changes to the nails, such as pitting or separation from the nail bed.

*Pain in the area of the sacrum (the lower back, above the tailbone).

*Along with the above noted pain and inflammation, there is extreme exhaustion that does not go away with adequate rest. The exhaustion may last for days or weeks without abatement. Psoriatic arthritis may remain mild, or may progress to more destructive joint disease. Periods of active disease, or flares, will typically alternate with periods of remission. In severe forms, psoriatic arthritis may progress to arthritis mutilans which on X-ray gives pencil in cup appearance.

*Because prolonged inflammation can lead to joint damage, early diagnosis and treatment to slow or prevent joint damage is recommended.

*Scaly skin lesions are seen over extensor surfaces (scalp, natal cleft and umbilicus).

*The nail changes are pitting, onycholysis, sub–ungual hyperkeratosis and horizontal ridging.

Causes:
Psoriatic arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system begins to attack healthy cells and tissue. The abnormal immune response causes inflammation in your joints as well as overproduction of skin cells.

It’s not entirely clear why the immune system turns on healthy tissue, but it seems likely that both genetic and environmental factors play a role. Many people with psoriatic arthritis have a family history of either psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Researchers have discovered certain genetic markers that appear to be associated with psoriatic arthritis.

Physical trauma or something in the environment — such as a viral or bacterial infection — may trigger psoriatic arthritis in people with an inherited tendency.

Diagnosis:
There is no definitive test to diagnose psoriatic arthritis. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis may closely resemble other diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. A rheumatologist (a doctor specializing in diseases affecting the joints) may use physical examinations, health history, blood tests and x-rays to accurately diagnose psoriatic arthritis.

Factors that contribute to a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis include:

*Psoriasis in the patient, or a family history of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.

*A negative test result for Rheumatoid factor, a blood factor associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

*Arthritis symptoms in the distal Interphalangeal articulations of hand (the joints closest to the tips of the fingers). This is not typical of rheumatoid arthritis.

*Ridging or pitting of fingernails or toenails (onycholysis), which is associated with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

*Radiologic images indicating joint change.

*Other symptoms that are more typical of psoriatic arthritis than other forms of arthritis include inflammation in the Achilles tendon (at the back of the heel) or the Plantar fascia (bottom of the feet), and dactylitis (sausage-like swelling of the fingers or toes)

During the exam,the doctor may ask for the following tests:

Imaging tests:

*X-rays. Plain X-rays can help pinpoint changes in the joints that occur in psoriatic arthritis but not in other arthritic conditions.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI utilizes radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce very detailed images of both hard and soft tissues in your body. This type of imaging test may be used to check for problems with the tendons and ligaments in your feet and lower back.
Laboratory tests:

*Rheumatoid factor (RF). RF is an antibody that’s often present in the blood of people with rheumatoid arthritis, but it’s not usually in the blood of people with psoriatic arthritis. For that reason, this test can help your doctor distinguish between the two conditions.

*Joint fluid test. Using a long needle, your doctor can remove a small sample of fluid from one of your affected joints — often the knee. Uric acid crystals in your joint fluid may indicate that you have gout rather than psoriatic arthritis.

Treatments:
The underlying process in psoriatic arthritis is inflammation; therefore, treatments are directed at reducing and controlling inflammation. Milder cases of psoriatic arthitis may be treated with NSAIDS alone; however, there is a trend toward earlier use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or biological response modifiers to prevent irreversible joint destruction.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs:
Typically the medications first prescribed for psoriatic arthritis are NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen followed by more potent NSAIDs like diclofenac, indomethacin, and etodolac. NSAIDs can irritate the stomach and intestine, and long-term use can lead to gastrointestinal bleeding. Other potential adverse effects include damage to the kidneys and cardiovascular system.

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs:
These are used in persistent symptomatic cases without exacerbation. Rather than just reducing pain and inflammation, this class of drugs helps limit the amount of joint damage that occurs in psoriatic arthritis. Most DMARDs act slowly and may take weeks or even months to take full effect. Drugs such as methotrexate or leflunomide are commonly prescribed; other DMARDS used to treat psoriatic arthritis include cyclosporin, azathioprine, and sulfasalazine. These immunosuppressant drugs can also reduce psoriasis skin symptoms but can lead to liver and kidney problems and an increased risk of serious infection.

Biological response modifiers:
Recently, a new class of therapeutics called biological response modifiers or biologics has been developed using recombinant DNA technology. Biologic medications are derived from living cells cultured in a laboratory. Unlike traditional DMARDS that affect the entire immune system, biologics target specific parts of the immune system. They are given by injection or intravenous (IV) infusion.

Biologics prescribed for psoriatic arthritis are TNF-(alfa) inhibitors, including infliximab, etanercept, golimumab, certolizumab pegol and adalimumab, as well as the IL-12/IL-23 inhibitor ustekinumab.

Biologics may increase the risk of minor and serious infections. More rarely, they may be associated with nervous system disorders, blood disorders or certain types of cancer.

Other treatments:
Retinoid etretinate 30mg/day is effective for both arthritis and skin lesions. Photochemotherapy with methoxy psoralen and long wave ultraviolet light (PUVA) are used for severe skin lesions. Doctors may use joint injections with corticosteroids in cases where one joint is severely affected. In psoriatic arthritis patients with severe joint damage orthopedic surgery may be implemented to correct joint destruction, usually with use of a joint replacement. Surgery is effective for pain alleviation, correcting joint disfigurement, and reinforcing joint usefulness and strength.

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Lifestyle and home remedies

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Prognosis:
Seventy percent of people who develop psoriatic arthritis first show signs of psoriasis on the skin, 15 percent develop skin psoriasis and arthritis at the same time, and 15 percent develop skin psoriasis following the onset of psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriatic arthritis can develop in people who have any level severity of psoriatic skin disease from mild to very severe.

Psoriatic arthritis tends to appear about 10 years after the first signs of psoriasis. For the majority of people this is between the ages of 30 and 55, but the disease can also affect children. The onset of psoriatic arthritis symptoms before symptoms of skin psoriasis is more common in children than adults.

More than 80% of patients with psoriatic arthritis will have psoriatic nail lesions characterized by nail pitting, separation of the nail from the underlying nail bed, ridging and cracking, or more extremely, loss of the nail itself (onycholysis).

Men and women are equally affected by this condition. Like psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis is more common among Caucasians than Africans or Asians

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/Psoriatic_arthritis
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriatic-arthritis/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20015006
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriatic-arthritis/basics/causes/con-20015006
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriatic-arthritis/basics/definition/CON-20015006

Acmella oleracea

Botanical Name :Acmella oleracea
Family:    Asteraceae
Genus:    Acmella
Species:A. oleracea
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Asterales

Synonyms: Spilanthes oleracea, S. acmella

Common Names:Toothache plant and paracress. In Brazil it is called jambu.

Habitat : Acmella oleracea may be natibe to Brazilian Acmella species.

Description:
Acmella oleracea is a  sprawling and ornamental annual plant,  growing to a height of 12-18 in. (30-45 cm)It has copper tinted foliage and unique golden “eyeball shaped” flowers (it’s really just a composite without the petals).It is a small, erect plant, it grows quickly and bears gold and red inflorescences. It is frost-sensitive and perennial in warmer climates.It blooms repetedly during late summer and early fall.The bloom colour is red and bright yellow……. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation & propagation:
This plant prefers well-drained, black (high organic content) soil. If starting outdoors, the seeds should not be exposed to cold weather, so startING after last frost is better. Seeds need direct sunlight to germinate, so don’t bury them.

Edible Uses:
A small amount of shredded fresh leaves is said to add a unique flavour to salads. Cooked leaves lose their strong flavour and may be used as leafy greens. Both fresh and cooked leaves are used in dishes such as stews in northern Brazil, especially in the state of Pará. They are combined with chilis and garlic to add flavor and vitamins to other foods.

The flower bud has a grassy taste followed by a strong tingling or numbing sensation and often excessive salivation, with a cooling sensation in the throat. The buds are known as “buzz buttons”, “Szechuan buttons“, “sansho buttons”, and “electric buttons”. In India, they are used as flavoring in chewing tobacco.

A concentrated extract of the Spilanthes plant identified as Jambu is used as a flavoring agent in many countries worldwide. EFSA and JECFA reviewed a feeding study in rats conducted by Moore et al and both authorities recognized that the no adverse effect level for spilanthol was 572 mg/kg b.w./day, yielding a safe dose of spilanthol of 1.9 mg/kg b.w./day, or 133.5 mg/70-kg male/day, 111 mg/58-kg female/day, or 38 mg/20-kg child/day.

The use of jambu extract as a food flavor is described as having an odor of citrus, herbal, tropical or musty odor, and its taste can be pungent, cooling, tingling, numbing, or effervescent. Thus, as described, the flavor use of jambu extract includes the ability induce a mouth-watering sensation in the oral cavity and the ability to promote the production of saliva. Spilanthol, the major constituent of jambu extract, is responsible for the perception of a mouth-watering flavor sensation, as well as the ability to promote salivation as a sialogogue, perhaps through its astringent action or its pungent taste in the oral cavity.

Constituents:
The most important taste-active molecules present are fatty acid amides such as spilanthol, which is responsible for the trigeminal and saliva-inducing effects of products such as jambú oleoresin, a concentrated extract of the plant. It also contains stigmasteryl-3-O-b-D-glucopyranoside and a number of triterpenes. The isolation and total synthesis of the active ingredients have been reported.

Medicinal Uses:
Acmella oleracea  is used as a medicinal remedy in various parts of the world. A decoction or infusion of the leaves and flowers is a traditional remedy for stammering, toothache, and stomatitis.

An extract of the plant has been tested against various yeasts and bacteria and was essentially inactive. It has been shown to have a strong diuretic action in rats.

As a bush plant used for treating toothache, the analgesic effect of the Spilanthes plant has been attributed to the presence of constituents containing an N-isobutylamide moiety, such as spilanthol, a substance that has been found to be an effective sialogogue, an agent that promotes salivation. Spilanthol is absorbed trans-dermally and through the buccal mucosa. Spilanthol may activate TRPA1, a specific transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel in the oral cavity. In addition to capsaicin, allyl isothiocyanate, and cinnamaldehyde, spilanthol is also reported to affect the catecholamine nerve pathways present in the oral cavity that promote the production of saliva, which is responsible for its ability to induce a mouth-watering sensation when used as a flavor (and associated with the tingling or pungent flavoring sensation in some individuals).

Since 2000, there are several medicinal activities reported on Acmella oleracea that are highlighted in several journals.

Other Uses:
Biological pest control:-
Extracts were bioassayed against yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and corn earworm moth (Helicoverpa zea) larvae. The spilanthol proved effective at killing mosquitoes, with a 24-hour LD100 of 12.5 µg/mL, and 50% mortality at 6.25 µg/mL. The mixture of spilanthol isomers produced a 66% weight reduction of corn earworm larvae at 250 µg/mL after 6 days

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/Acmella_oleracea
http://plantlust.com/plants/acmella-oleracea/
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/997/

Boswellia serrata

Botanical name : Boswellia serrata
Family: Burseraceae
Genus: Boswellia
Species: B. serrata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Name : Salai guggal,Shallaki. (Boswellia serrata is Indian frankincense or Salai referred to in Sanskrit as shallaki.)

Habitat :Boswellia serrata  is native to India & Pakisthan.It  is a species characteristic of the tropical dry deciduous forests and occurs in very dry teak forests or in dry mixed deciduous forests in association with species such as Terminalia spp., Anogeissus latifolia and Acacia leucophloea. It is characteristically found on the slopes and ridges of hills, as well as on flat terrain, attaining a larger size on fertile soils. It is resistant to drought and resists fire better than other species in its zone of occurrence. The tree is also frost hardy and serves as a nurse tree for other species.

Description:
Boswellia serrata is a moderate-sized to large, deciduous tree with a light, spreading crown and somewhat drooping branches. It usually has a short bole, 3-5 m in length, sometimes longer if grown in a fully stocked forest. Ordinarily, it attains a girth of 1.2-1.8 m and a height of 9-15 m. Bark is very thin, greyish-green, ashy or reddish with a chlorophyll layer beneath the thin outer layer, which peels off in thin, papery flakes. Leaves alternate, exstipulate, imparipinnate, 20-45 cm in length, crowded towards the ends of the branches; leaflets 17-31 cm, opposite, 2.5-8 cm x 0.8-1.5 cm, basal pairs often smallest, sessile, lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate, crenate, very variable in size. Flowers white, in stout racemes, 10-20 cm long, shorter than the leaves, crowded towards the ends of branches, but not terminal. Calyx persistent, pubescent outside, 5 to 7-toothed; teeth small, deltoid. Petals 5-7 erect, free, 0.5 cm long. Fruits 1.3 cm long, trigonous, with three valves and three heart-shaped, 1-seeded pyrenes, winged, along with the margins. The specific name, serrata, comes from serra (a saw) referring to the toothed leaf-margins.

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Medicinal Uses:
Properties:.
Shallaki has potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce the pain and inflammation of joints. The salai guggal gum is used as a diaphoretic and astringent. Other products: B. serrata has been recorded in West Bengal as a new lac host.
Shallaki or Boswellia serrata is an herbal extract well known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic and anti-arthritic activities. Shallaki is effective in the treatment of the common ailments

* Rheumatoid arthritis (In Ayurvedic medicine Indian frankincense (Boswellia serrata) has been used for hundreds of years for treating arthritis.)

* Osteoarthritis (Extracts of Boswellia serrata have been clinically studied for osteoarthritis and joint function, particularly for osteoarthritis of the knee.)

* Cervical spondylosis

* Ankylosing spondylitis

* Lumbar spine

Rheumatic Disorders :

Boswellia (Boswelya, Salai Guggul) is an Ayurvedic herb that contains anti-inflammatory triterpenoids called boswellic acid. Boswellic acids are effective in anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic agents, for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, soft tissue rheumatism, and low back pain.

Boswellia has a beneficial effect by suppressing the growth of the inflamed tissue, as well as preventing the breakdown of the surrounding connective tissue.

Boswellia Serrata’s anti-inflammatory properties can help to reduce aching and stiffness, especially when associated with low back pain. Although research indicates that boswellia is best taken orally for this purpose, creams appear to be soothing as well.

Inflammatory bowel :
Boswellia may improve symptoms of ulcerative colitis, including abdominal pains, loose stools, and mucus and blood in the stools.

Boswellia may also be beneficial in asthmatics and may also reduce fluid retention associated with brain tumours. This fluid build-up is associated with the action of certain inflammatory chemicals (leukotrienes). Boswellia inhibits the production of these chemicals. Reduction of fluid retention around brain tumours has a beneficial effect on reducing the associated brain damage.

Boswellia gum has been also used for the treatment of diabetes, skin and blood diseases, fever, cardiovascular disorders, neurological disorders, dysentery, diseases of the testes, and myriad of other disorders.

Positive effects of Boswellia in some chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma, osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease have been reported. A Boswellia extract marketed under the name Wokvel has undergone human efficacy, comparative, pharmacokinetic studies.Some see Boswellia serrata as a promising alternative to NSAIDs, warranting further investigation in pharmacological studies and clinical trials.

Boswellia serrata is used in the manufacture of the supposed anti-wrinkle agent “Boswelox“, which has been criticised as being ineffective.

Topical Application:
Boswellia serrata has been recently developed for topical use in a patent-pending formula in Sano Relief Gel.

Potential for anti-cancer activity:
Boswellic acid, an extract from Boswellia serrata, has been studied for anti-neoplastic activity, especially in experimental primary and secondary brain tumors, indicating potential efficacy from in vitro and limited clinical research. Boswellic acid is also undergoing an early-stage clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic.[12]

Research on Boswellia serrata:
Shallaki has anti-Inflammatory and anti-arthritic property that can reduce the pain and inflammation of the joints of the body. efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in the treatment of osteoarthritis of knee – a randomized double blind placebo controlled study by Kimmatkar N, Thawani N, et al. at MS Orthopaedics, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Nagpur, India, Phytomedicine 2003 Jan; 10 (1) ; 3-7

Active constituents:
Boswellic acid and other pentacyclic triterpene acids are present. Beta-boswellic acid is the major constituent.

Mechanism of action:
Animal studies performed in India show ingestion of a defatted alcoholic extract of Boswellia decreased polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration and migration, decreased primary antibody synthesis and almost totally inhibited the classical complement pathway.

Other Uses:
Fodder: It is not readily browsed by cattle, although in India, it is considered a substitute fodder for buffaloes. Fuel: The wood is a good fuel. Charcoal made from it is particularly favoured for iron smelting. Fibre: B. serrata has recently come into prominence as a raw material for pulp paper and newsprint. Experiments show that writing and printing papers of suitable strength can be prepared when 25-40% long-fibred bamboo pulp is mixed in the finish. The bark can also be used for cordage. Timber: It is used in cheap furniture, ammunition boxes, mica boxes, packing cases, cement barrels, well construction, water pipes, matches, plywood and veneers. Gum or resin: The tree yields a yellowish-green gum-oleoresin known as ‘salai guggal’ from wounds in the bark. This gum has an agreeable scent when burnt. A mature tree yields about 1-1.5 kg of gum a year. It is said to be a good substitute for imported Canada balsam. It is also tapped for resin called ‘lobal’, which is used as incense.

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.allayurveda.com/herb_month_may2009.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boswellia_serrata
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/sea/products/afdbases/af/asp/SpeciesInfo.asp?SpID=353

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