Tag Archives: Unani

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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Justicia adhatoda (Bengali :Bakash or Vasok)

Botanical Name: Justicia adhatoda
Family:    Acanthaceae
Genus:    Justicia
Species:J. adhatoda
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Angiosperms
Class:    Eudicots
Order:    Lamiales

Synonyms:Adhatoda vasica, Adhatoda zeylanica,

Common Names:  Adhatoda, Adathodai, Adusoge, Vasaka, Adalodakam, Malabar Nut, Arusa Adulsa, Bakash, Addasaramu.

vernacular names:
*sinhala: pawatta
*Malayalam: Atalotakam
*Sanskrit: Sinhapuri, Vasaka
*Hindi: Adosa, Arusha, Rus, Bansa
*Bengali: Adulsa, Bakash,Vasok
*Gujarati: Aradus?, Adulso, Aduraspee, Bansa
*Kannada: Adusogae
*Marathi: Adulsa, Adusa
*Oriya: Basanga
*Punjabi: Bhekkar
*Tamil: Adathodai
*Telugu: Adamkabu, Adampaka, Addasaram
*Nepali: Asuro, Kalo vasak
*Mizo: Kawldai

Habitat: Justicia adhatoda is native to Asia, widely used in Siddha Medicine, Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine.The plant’s range includes Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and China, as well as Panama where it is thought to have been introduced

Description:
Justicia adhatoda is a shrub with lance-shaped leaves 10 to 15 centimeters in length by four wide. They are oppositely arranged, smooth-edged, and borne on short petioles. When dry they are of a dull brownish-green colour. They are bitter-tasting. When a leaf is cleared with chloral hydrate and examined microscopically the oval stomata can be seen. They are surrounded by two crescent-shaped cells at right angles to the ostiole. The epidermis bears simple one- to three-celled warty hairs, and small glandular hairs. Cystoliths occur beneath the epidermis of the underside of the blade.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Called Simha Mukhi in Sanskrit because the shape of its flowers resembles a lion’s head, Justicia adhatoda is found growing in abundance in plain areas. The bitter taste of this herb is source of its name, a goat will not eat it. There are distinct differences in male  and female  varieties of this plant, it can be found as either a tree with spines (male) or a small bush with spineless leaves (female). In maturity, this herb has dark green leaves with yellow undersides 10 to 16 cm in length. The fruit which holds the most potency of the herb is a small capsule usually with four seeds. The pendulant flowers of this herb are found in white, red and black, with the white flowered variety the most commonly found. Typically found throughout India, and particularly in the Himalayan mountain area, it flourishes at altitudes up to 1.000 meters above sea level.

Medicinal Uses:
Plant Parts Used: Leaves, roots, fruit, stem bark and flowers.
Chemical composition: Several alkaloids are present in the leaves. The most important is vasicine, a quinazoline alkaloid. The vasicine yield of the herbage has been measured as 0.541 to 1.1% by dry weight.

This shrub has a number of traditional medicinal uses in Siddha Medicine, Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine.

*In Ayurveda this herb is called Vasa and traditionally only the female (Mada) variety of Adhatoda vasica were used, with preference for potency to Mada plants with red flowers, which are almost as rare as those with black flowers. It is the white flowered Mada variety of Adhatoda vasica that is most commonly used in medicinal preparations.

* Justicia adhatoda is an herb that has unique properties which support the entire respiratory system, and its bronchial function. The leaves, flowers and root of this herb have been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of chest congestion and inflammation. In addition to mucolytic action, benzylamines, a potent alkaline that is derived from  Justicia adhatoda inhibit the effects of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

*In addition, the fruit of  Justicia adhatoda’s expectorant properties are valued for treating asthma, fever, coughs, vomiting and chronic bronchitis. The leaves are dried and smoked for asthma relief.

*In pharmacology, this herb provides two valuable alkaloids, vasicine and vasicinone, produced by the oxidation process of vasicine has been found to be a more potent broncho-dilator, in addition to decreasing sensitivity to airborne irritants.

*Rich in vitamin C, carotene and the leaves also yield an essential oil and Adhatodic acid, an organic acid. The juice of the leaves and root are used to relieve symptoms of pyorrhea and bleeding gums and cure glandular tumor, diarrhea and dysentery. The leaves are also powdered and used a poultice for dressing wounds, relief of rheumatism and as an alterative in cases of neuralgia, epilepsy, hysteria and mental imbalance.

*Expectorant action is due to the volatile oil content and the bronchodilator activity of vasicine is used in conjunction with atropine. Vasicine is also the reason for its use in stimulating the contraction of uterine muscles to accelerate or induce labor.

*The leaves are boiled and combined with honey, ginger and black pepper (piper nigrum) to treat coughs and respiratory ailments. A decoction of the herb is used to expel intestinal parasites and wasting of the body (phthisis).

*Fresh flowers of this plant are used to treat eye conditions such as opthalmia. The leaf has also shown significant protective qualities in conditions leading to liver damage

Vasicine, the active compound, has been compared to theophylline both in vitro and in vivo. Another, vasicinone, showed bronchodilatory activity in vitro but bronchoconstrictory activity in vivo. Both the alkaloids in combination (1:1) showed pronounced bronchodilatory activity in vivo and in vitro. Both alkaloids are also respiratory stimulants. Vasicine has a cardiac–depressent effect, while vasicinone is a weak cardiac stimulant; the effect can be normalized by combining the alkaloids. Vasicine is reported to have a uterine stimulant effect. Vasicinone was shown to have an antianaphylactic action. Clinical trials of a commercial drug containing vasicinone and vasicinone have not revealed any side effects while treating bronchial asthma.

Known Hazards: The use of the leaf extract, is considered safe. However, the uterine tonic and abortifacient activity prevents its use during pregnancy, except during childbirth. Due to the potency of this herb it should be taken under medical supervision.

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://ezinearticles.com/?Adhatoda-Vasica&id=730923
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justicia_adhatoda

Myrrh

Botanical Name :Commiphora molmol
Family: Burseraceae
Genus: Commiphora
Species: C. myrrha
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms:  Balsamodendron Myrrha. Commiphora Myrrha, var. Molmol. Mirra. Morr. Didin. Didthin. Bowl.

Part Used ; The oleo-gum-resin from the stem.

Common Name :Myrrh (which is actually  the aromatic resin of a number of small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora, which is an essential oil termed an oleoresin. Myrrh resin is a natural gum. It can also be ingested by mixing it with wine.)

Habitat : Myrrh grows as a shrub in desert regions, particularly in northeastern Africa and the Middle East. The resin obtained from the stems is used in medicinal preparations.

Description:
The bushes yielding the resin do not grow more than 9 feet in height, but they are of sturdy build, with knotted branches, and branchlets that stand out at right-angles, ending in a sharp spine. The trifoliate leaves are scanty, small and very unequal, oval and entire. It was first recognized about 1822 at Ghizan on the Red Sea coast, a district so bare and dry that it is called ‘Tehama,’ meaning ‘hell.’
Botanically, there is still uncertainty about the origin and identity of the various species.

Click to see the pictures :

There are ducts in the bark, and the tissue between them breaks down, forming large cavities, which, with the remaining ducts, becomes filled with a granular secretion which is freely discharged when the bark is wounded, or from natural fissures. It flows as a pale yellow liquid, but hardens to a reddish-brown mass, being found in commerce in tears of many sizes, the average being that of a walnut. The surface is rough and powdered, and the pieces are brittle, with a granular fracture, semi-transparent, oily, and often show whitish marks. The odour and taste are aromatic, the latter also acrid and bitter. It is inflammable, but burns feebly.

Several species are recognized in commerce. It is usually imported in chests weighing 1 or 2 cwts., and wherever produced comes chiefly from the East Indies. Adulterations are not easily detected in the powder, so that it is better purchased in mass, when small stones, senegal gum, chestnuts, pieces of bdellium, or of a brownish resin called ‘false myrrh,’ may be sorted out with little difficulty.

It has been used from remote ages as an ingredient in incense, perfumes, etc., in the holy oil of the Jews and the Kyphi of the Egyptians for embalming and fumigations.

Little appears to be definitely known about the collection of myrrh. It seems probable that the best drug comes from Somaliland, is bought at the fairs of Berbera by the Banians of India, shipped to Bombay, and there sorted, the best coming to Europe and the worst being sent to China. The true myrrh is known in the markets as karam, formerly called Turkey myrrh, and the opaque bdellium as meena harma.

The gum makes a good mucilage and the insoluble residue from the tincture can be used in this way.

When a tree wound penetrates through the bark and into the sapwood, the tree bleeds a resin. Myrrh gum, like frankincense, is such a resin. When people harvest myrrh, they wound the trees repeatedly to bleed them of the gum. Myrrh gum is waxy, and coagulates quickly. After the harvest, the gum becomes hard and glossy. The gum is yellowish, and may be either clear or opaque. It darkens deeply as it ages, and white streaks emerge.

click to see the picture

Myrrh gum is commonly harvested from the species Commiphora myrrha, which is native to Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea and eastern Ethiopia. Another farmed species is Commiphora momol. The related Commiphora gileadensis, native to Eastern Mediterranean and particularly the Arabian Peninsula, is the biblically referenced Balm of Gilead, also known as Balsam of Mecca. Several other species yield bdellium and Indian myrrh.

The oleo gum resins of a number of other Commiphora species are also used as perfumes, medicines (such as aromatic wound dressings), and incense ingredients. A lesser quality myrrh is bled from the tree Commiphora erythraea. Commiphora gileadensis oleo gum resin is known as opobalsamum, a name it shares with the gum resin bled from a species of parsnip, Opopanax opopanax.

Fragrant “myrrh beads” are made from the crushed seeds of Detarium microcarpum, an unrelated West African tree. These beads are traditionally worn by married women in Mali as multiple strands around the hips.

The name “myrrh” is also applied to the potherb Myrrhis odorata, otherwise known as “cicely” or “sweet cicely”.

Constituents:
Volatile oil, resin (myrrhin), gum, ash, salts, sulphates, benzoates, malates, and acetates of potassa.

It is partially soluble in water, alcohol, and ether. It may be tested by a characteristic violet reaction if nitric acid diluted with an equal volume of water is brought into contact with the residue resulting from the boiling of 0.1 gramme of coarsely powdered myrrh with 2 c.c. of 90 per cent alcohol, evaporated in a porcelain dish so as to leave a thin film.

The oil is thick, pale yellow, and contains myrrholic acid and heerabolene, a sesquiterpenene.

Medicinal Uses:
Traditional Chinese medicine:-
In traditional Chinese medicine, myrrh is classified as bitter and spicy, with a neutral temperature. It is said to have special efficacy on the heart, liver, and spleen meridians, as well as “blood-moving” powers to purge stagnant blood from the uterus. It is therefore recommended for rheumatic, arthritic, and circulatory problems, and for amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopause, and uterine tumors.

Myrrh’s uses are similar to those of frankincense, with which it is often combined in decoctions, liniments, and incense. When used in concert, myrrh is “blood-moving” while frankincense moves the Qi, making it more useful for arthritic conditions.

It is combined with such herbs as notoginseng, safflower petals, angelica sinensis, cinnamon, and salvia miltiorrhiza, usually in alcohol, and used both internally and externally.

Ayurvedic medicine:-
Myrrh is used more frequently in Ayurveda and Unani medicine, which ascribe tonic and rejuvenative properties to the resin. It (daindhava) is utilized in many specially processed rasayana formulas in Ayurveda. However, non-rasayana myrrh is contraindicated when kidney dysfunction or stomach pain is apparent, or for women who are pregnant or have excessive uterine bleeding.

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A related species, called guggul in Ayurvedic medicine, is considered one of the best substances for the treatment of circulatory problems, nervous system disorders and rheumatic complaints.

Western Medicines:
In pharmacy, myrrh is used as an antiseptic in mouthwashes, gargles, and toothpastes for prevention and treatment of gum disease.[ Myrrh is currently used in some liniments and healing salves that may be applied to abrasions and other minor skin ailments. Myrrh has also been recommended as an analgesic for toothaches, and can be used in liniment for bruises, aches, and sprains.

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Myrrh is a common ingredient of toothpowders, and is used with borax in tincture, with other ingredients, as a mouth-wash. The Compound Tincture, or Horse Tincture, is used in veterinary practice for healing wounds. Meetiga, the trade-name of Arabian Myrrh, is more brittle and gummy than that of Somalia and does not have the latter’s white markings. The liquid Myrrh, or Stacte, spoken of by Pliny, and an ingredient of Jewish holy incense, was formerly obtainable and greatly valued, but cannot now be identified in today markets. Myrrh gum is used for indigestion, ulcers, colds, cough, asthma, lung congestion, arthritis pain, and cancer. ( Al Faraj S. Antagonism of the anticoagulant effect of warfarin caused by the use of Commiphora molmol as a herbal medication: a case report. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 2005;99:219-20). I would like to single out Cancer because of the significance of this disease but more importanly the information my partner found.

“As part of a larger search for anticancer compounds from plants, the researchers obtained extracts from a particular species of myrrh plant (Commiphora myrrha) and tested it against a human breast tumor cell line (MCF-7) known to be resistant to anticancer drugs. Research data indicated that the extract killed all of the cancer cells in laboratory dishes.”

American Chemical Society (2001, December 5). “Gift Of The Magi” Bears Anti-Cancer Agents, Researchers Suggest. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 12, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2001/12/011205070038.htm. Under “Mechanisms of Action” I added this: In studies done on mice, Myrrh has been shown to have significant inhibiting effects on certain types of cancer. The active constituents of Myrrh being accredited with this property are Sesquiterpenes. These tests were done using the Myrrh species Commiiphora molmol, and were also found to inhibit tumor growth.

Mechanisms of action:
In an attempt to determine the cause of its effectiveness, researchers examined the individual ingredients of a herbal formula used traditionally by Kuwaiti diabetics to lower blood glucose. Myrrh and aloe gums effectively improved glucose tolerance in both normal and diabetic rats.

Myrrh was shown to produce analgesic effects on mice which were subjected to pain. Researchers at the University of Florence showed that furanoeudesma-1,3-diene and another terpene in the myrrh affect opioid receptors in the mouse’s brain which influence pain perception.

Mirazid, an Egyptian drug made from myrrh, has been investigated as an oral treatment of parasitic ailments, including fascioliasis and schistosomiasis.

Myrrh has been shown to lower cholesterol LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, as well as to increase the HDL (good cholesterol) in various tests on humans done in the past few decades. One recent (2009) documented laboratory test showed this same effect on albino rats.

In studies done on mice, Myrrh has been shown to have significant inhibiting effects on certain types of cancer. The active constituents of Myrrh being accredited with this property are Sesquiterpenes. These tests were done using the Myrrh species Commiphora molmol, and were also found to inhibit tumor growth.

Religious ritual:-
Myrrh was used by the ancient Egyptians, along with natron, for the embalming of mummies.

According to the Encyclopedia of Islamic Herbal Medicine, “The Messenger of Allah stated, ‘Fumigate your houses with al-shih, murr, and sa’tar.'” The author claims that this use of the word “murr” refers specifically to Commiphora myrrha.

Myrrh was an ingredient of Ketoret, the consecrated incense used in the First and Second Temples at Jerusalem, as described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. An offering was made of the Ketoret on a special incense altar, and was an important component of the Temple service.

Myrrh was traded by camel caravans overland from areas of production in southern Arabia by the Nabataeans to their capital city of Petra, from which it was distributed throughout the Mediterranean region.

According to the book of Matthew 2:11, gold, frankincense and myrrh were among the gifts to Jesus by the Biblical Magi “from the East.”

“While burning incense was accepted as a practice in the later Roman Catholic church, the early church during Roman times forbade the use of incense in services resulting in a rapid decline in the incense trade.”

Because of its mention in New Testament, myrrh is an incense offered during Christian liturgical celebrations.

Myrrh is mixed with frankincense and sometimes more scents and is used in almost every service of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, traditional Roman Catholic and Anglican/Episcopal Churches.

Myrrh is also used to prepare the sacramental chrism used by many churches of both Eastern and Western rites. In the Middle East, the Eastern Orthodox Church traditionally uses myrrh-scented oil to perform the sacraments of chrismation and unction, both of which are commonly referred to as “receiving the Chrism”.

Myrrh is also used in Neo-paganism and Ritual Magick.

Oil of myrrh is used in The Book of Esther 2:12 in a purification ritual for the new queen to King Ahasuerus:

“Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odors, and with other things for the purifying of the women;)

Ancient Myrrh:
Modern myrrh has long been commented on as coming from a different source to that held in high regard by the ancients, having been superior in some way. Pedanius Dioscorides described the myrrh of the first century AD as most likely to refer to a “species of mimosa”, describing it “like the egyptian thorn”. His description of it’s appearance and leaf structure as “spinnate-winged”. The ancient type of myrrh conjectured was noted for possessing a far more delightful odor than the modern. It was noted in 1837 that “The time, perhaps, is not far distant, when, through the spirit of research, the true myrrh-tree will be found.

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://ayurveda.indianetzone.com/1/ayurveda_herbs.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrrh
http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/myrrh-66.html

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Centratherum anthelminticum

Botanical Name : Centratherum anthelminticum
Family :Asteraceae/Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Chenopodioideae
Tribe: Atripliceae
Genus: Chenopodium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonym(s): Conyza anthelmintica Roxb., Vernonia anthelmintica (L.) Willd.

Common Names :-banjira,somraj,somraji,kalijiri, kalenjiri, jangali jiri, kalen jiri. bitter cumine. etc..

Common Vernacular Names:
Arabic : kamoonbarry, kali ziri
Bengali : somraj, kaliziri, hakuch, bakshie, bapchie, babchi
English: Ipecac
Hindi :  bakshi, buckshi, kalijhiri, kaliziri, somraj, vapchi, jangli jeera, ghora jeera, jangli-jeera, ghora-jeera
Kannada :  kadujirige, kalajirige, sahadevi, karijirige, kaadu-jirige, kaadu jeerige, kaal jeerige, kahi jeerige, krishna shadaevi
Malayalam : kalajirakam, kattujirakam, puvankuruntala
Marathi :  kalajira, kalenjiri, kalijiri, karalye, ranachajire, kaalijeeri, kadu jeeren, kadu karelen, kalenjeeri, ranachejeere, sahadevi
Sanskrit : vanya jiraka, agnibija, aranyajiraka, aranyajirakah, atavijiraka, avalguja, braka, brhatpali, kana, kananajiraka, krishnaphala, kshudrapatra, putiphali, somaraji, somraji, tiktajirakah, vakuchi, vakushi, vanajiraka, vanajirakah, vanyajira, ihanyali
Tamil : kattuchiragam, neychitti, nirnochi, sittilai, kattusiragam, nir nochi, kattu cirakam, kaattu seerakam
Telugu: adavijilakatta, garitikamma, nelavavili, vishakantakamulu, adavijilakara, nela vavili, adavi-jilakarra, adavijilakarra, nelavaavili
Urdu : kalyzeery

Habitat :This species is globally distributed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. Within India, it is found throughout on disturbed sites such as roadsides. It is sometimes cultivated.

Description :
An erect, pubescent, annual herb up to 90 cm tall. Leaves elliptic-lanceolate, 5 to 9 cm long and 2.5 to 3.2 cm wide, apex acute, base tapering into the petiole, margins coarsely serrate, pubescent on both surfaces. Florets violet or purple, in many flowered, homogamous, solitary, axillary or terminal heads, with a linear bract near the top of the peduncle; involucral bracts linear, hairy.Flowers head 1.5-2.54 cm in diameter. & each head with 30-40 minute purplish flowers. Fruits are small  4.4-6.6mm long,cylindrical & hairy with 10 narrow ridges.

Click to see the picture->…...(01)…….. (1)   ..(2)…....(3)…..(4)(5)
Bitter cumin (Centratherum anthelminticum (L.) Kuntze), is a medicinally important plant. Earlier  it was  reported phenolic compounds, antioxidant, and anti-hyperglycemic, antimicrobial activity of bitter cumin. Now in  In  study it is  further characterized the antioxidative activity of bitter cumin extracts in various in vitro models.

Medicinal Uses:

Bitter cumin is used extensively in traditional medicine to treat a range of diseases from vitiligo to hyperglycemia. It is considered to be antiparasitic and antimicrobial and science has backed up claims of its use to reduce fever or as a painkiller. New research shows that this humble spice also contains high levels of antioxidants.
Used In Ayurveda, Unani, Homeopathy and Sidha

Spermicidal and antiviral (50% EtOH seed extract), antimicrobial (Sharma), anthelmintic, febrifuge, tonic, stomachic and diuretic.

This plant is useful as a refreshment and sterile for promoting urination. Its effectiveness in thread worm infections has been confirmed in test in hospitals.

Anti-diabetic effects of Centratherum anthelminticum seeds methanolic fraction on pancreatic cells, ?-TC6 and its alleviating role in type 2 diabetic rats.

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://impgc.com/plantinfo_A.php?id=577&bc=
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://green-source.blogspot.com/2008/07/centratherum-anthelminticum-kalijiri.html
http://envis.frlht.org.in/botanical_search.php?txtbtname=Centratherum+anthelminticum+&gesp=502%7CCentratherum+anthelminticum+%28L.%29+KUNTZE

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110519202718.htmhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874112005399http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/11/40

http://www.indianetzone.com/38/kaliziri_plant.htm

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Canscora decussata


Botanical Name: Canscora decussata
Family: Gentianaceae
Other Names: Kambumalini, Sankaphuli, Sankh Pushpi, Samkhapushpi, Shankhini
Vernacular names:
Bengali : dankuni
Hindi : kalameg, samkhaphuli, sankhahuli, shankhahuli, shankhini, sankhaphuli
Kannada : shankapushpa, shankha pushpa
Malayalam : kancankora, samkhapuspi, sankhupuspam
Marathi: titavi, yavotchi
Sanskrit: akshapida, danakuni, dandotpala, dridhapada, kambumalinee, kambupushpi, mahatikta, maheshvari, nakuli, netramila, patratanduli, sanhkapuspi, sankhapuspi, sankhini, shankhapushpi, shankhini, sukshmapushpi, tikta, tiktayava, tunduli, visarpini, yashasvini, yavatikta, yavi
Tamil: tantorpalam
Telugu: chitti akchinata
Urdu : sankha holi, sankhaphuli

Habitat : The plant is indigenous to Burma and India.This species is globally distributed in Tropical Africa, Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia. Within India, it is commonly distributed throughout on damp, grassy localities, fields and sal-forests, ascending up to an altitude of 1600 m. in the Himalayas and upto an altitude of 900 m. in Peninsular India.

Description:
A small erect annual herb grows up to 50 cm in height. Leaves simple ovate-lanceolate, acute; flowers white in terminal cymes, fruits membranous capsules, containing powder like seeds. 

click & see the pictures

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used:: Each plant’s part, but primarily the juice, is applied in herbal medicine
Used In Ayurveda, Sidha and Unani

The herb is known to boost metabolic rates and treat nervous disorders

The range of conditions in which the herb is applied includes: scrofula, nervous debility, insanity, and epilepsy.

Sankh Pushpi is thought to be effective in treating nervous disorders, like brain conditions and other, providing better and longer memory, in addition being a metabolic booster. Herbal medications produced from the plant are known to improve memory.

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://enchantingkerala.org/ayurveda/ayurvedic-medicinal-plants/sankhapushpi.php
http://www.oshims.com/herb-directory/s/sankh-pushpi
http://envis.frlht.org.in/botanical_search.php?txtbtname=Canscora+decussata+&gesp=425%7CCanscora+decussata+SCHULTES+%26+SCHULTES.F.

http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp

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