Tag Archives: Xeroderma

Jajoba

Botanical Name ;Simmondsia chinensis
Family :Simmondsiaceae – Jojoba family
Genus : Simmondsia Nutt. – goatnut
Species: Simmondsia chinensis (Link) C.K. Schneid. – jojoba
Kingdom :Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class:Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Euphorbiales

Synonyms:
Simmondsia chinensis (Link) C.K. Schneid.

BUCH Buxus chinensis Link
SICA14 Simmondsia californica Nutt.

Common Names: Jajoba, goat nut, deer nut, pignut, wild hazel, quinine nut, coffeeberry, and gray box bush.(The name “jojoba” originated with the O’odham people of the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern United States, who treated burns with an antioxidant salve made from a paste of the jojoba nut)

Habitat : Jajoba is  native to areas of northern Mexico, Lower California, on the Islands off the coast of California, New Mexico, and Arizona. It inhabits the mountains bordering the Salton Sea basin in the Colorado Desert in California, and the southern portion of San Diego County. In Arizona, it is found in the mountains around Tucson, near Phoenix, and north of Yuma. In nature, it grows between 600 and 1500 m elevation in the desert, down to sea level near the coast, between latitudes 25° and 31° N. There is a major effort underway in the U.S., Mexico, and Israel to domesticate jojoba. There are reports that it has been planted in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Egypt, Haiti, Israel, Paraguay, Rhodesia, the Sahel, and South Africa for example. The Israeli examples are bearing fruit. We are anxious to hear more success stories. There seems to be no major difficulty in growing the plant in frost free, arid, subtropical, and tropical zones, but not many success stories have materialized.

Ranging from Warm Temperate Desert (with little or no frost) to Thorn through Tropical Desert Forest Life Zones, jojoba is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of 2 to 11 dm, annual temperature of 16 to 26°C, and pH of 7.3 to 8.2 (Duke, 1978). Jojoba is usually restricted to well-drained, coarse, well-aerated desert soils that are neutral to alkaline, with an abundance of phosphorus. It grows best where the annual rainfall exceeds 30 cm, but does exist where less than 12.5 cm occurs. Where rainfall is ca 75 mm, the jojoba grows to ca 1 m tall, where rainfall is 250–400 mm, it may attain 5 m. It tolerates full sun and temperatures ranging from 0° to 47°C. Mature shrubs tolerate temperatures as low as -10°C, but seedlings are sensitive to light frosts just below freezing.

Description:
Jajoba  grows to 1–2 metres (3.3–6.6 ft) tall, with a broad, dense crown. The leaves are opposite, oval in shape, 2–4 centimetres (0.79–1.6 in) long and 1.5–3 centimetres (0.59–1.2 in) broad, thick waxy glaucous gray-green in color. The flowers are small, greenish-yellow, with 5–6 sepals and no petals.

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Each plant is single-sex, either male or female, with hermaphrodites being extremely rare. The fruit is an acorn-shaped ovoid, three-angled capsule 1–2 centimetres (0.39–0.79 in) long, partly enclosed at the base by the sepals. The mature seed is a hard oval, dark brown in color and contains an oil (liquid wax) content of approximately 54%. An average-size bush produces 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of pollen, to which few humans are allergic.

Jajoba  foliage provides year-round food opportunity for many animals, including deer, javelina, bighorn sheep, and livestock. The nuts are eaten by squirrels, rabbits, other rodents, and larger birds. Only Bailey’s Pocket Mouse, however, is known to be able to digest the wax found inside the jojoba nut.

In large quantities, the seed meal is toxic to many mammals, and the indigestible wax acts as a laxative in humans. The Seri, who utilize nearly every edible plant in their territory, do not regard the beans as real food and in the past ate it only in emergencies.

Despite its scientific name Simmondsia chinensis, Jojoba does not originate in China; the botanist Johann Link, originally named the species Buxus chinensis, after misreading Nuttall’s collection label “Calif” as “China”.

Jojoba was briefly renamed Simmondsia californica, but priority rules require that the original specific epithet be used. The common name should also not be confused with the similar-sounding Jujube (Ziziphus zizyphus), an unrelated plant

Cultivation
Jojoba seeds retain nearly 99% germinability after 6 months, and 38% after 11 years stored in an open shed. Germination is good in alkaline sands at temperatures of 27°–38°C. Seedlings are frost sensitive. Field seeding can be done with a modified cotton planter. Seedlings need two or three irrigations during the first summer and must be protected from animals. Weeding is recommended after each irrigation. Adventitious roots may form on 50–80% of the cuttings treated with growth promoting substances. Plants could start producing seeds in 5 years, but full production would not be attained for 8 to 10 years. Using a 2 x 4 m spacing in planting would permit the planting of about 500 female and 50 male pollinating plants per hectare. Apomictic plants are known, lessening the need for male non-fruiting plants in the orchard. Suggested methods for planting include: Close spacing, ca 15 cm apart, resulting in hedge rows, with the seeds planted in flat borders or in a slightly depressed ditch so as to keep them moist until they germinate (ca 10–14 days). Male plants should be thinned out to about a 5–1 ratio, finally allowing about 2,500 plants per hectare, with possible annual yields of 2.5 MT/ha seed. Propagation by cuttings from selected shrubs could increase seed and/or oil yields. Generally flowering nodes and leaf nodes alternate, but some plants flower at nearly all nodes; some plants produce more than one flower per node. Transplanted seedlings survive readily, if the roots are pruned. Hence, cuttings could be made in a nursery for later transplanting in the field. The more efficient spacing for this method of planting is in rows 4 m apart, and the bushes in the rows 2 m apart. Male bushes should be interspersed throughout the grove (about 1,500 female and 250 male plants per hectare), possibly yielding ca 2.75 MT/ha seed. When softwood cuttings were treated with IBA, 4 mg/g of talc, they rooted 100% in 38 days.

Chemical constituents:
The seed contains liquid wax rather than oil, sort of unusual for the conventional analyses. Verbiscar and Banigan (1978) approximated a proximate analysis, some of which follows: per 100 g, the seed is reported to contain 4.3–4.6 g H2O, 14.9–15.1 g protein, 50.2–53.8 g fat, 24.6–29.1 g total carbohydrate, 3.5–4.2 g fiber, and 1.4–1.6 g ash. Seeds contain 2.25–2.34%, seed hulls, 0.19%. Core wood, 0.45; leaves, 0.19–0.23%; twigs, 0.63–0.75%; an inflorescence, 0.22%; simmondsin, a demonstrated appetite depressant, toxicant. Three related cyanomethylenecyclohexyl glucosides have also been isolated from the seed meal. The acute oral LD50 for crude jojoba oil to male albino rats is higher than 21.5 ml/kg body weight. Strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus can ameliorate this toxicity. The amino acid composition of deoiled jojoba seed meal is 1.05–1.11% lysine, 0.49% histidine, 1.6–1.8% arginine, 2.2–3.1% aspartic acid, 1.1–1.2% threonine, 1.0–1.1% serine, 2.4–2.8% glutamic acid, 1.0–1.1% proline, 1.4–1.5% glycine, 0.8–1.0% alanine, 1.1–1.2% valine, 0.2% methionine, 0.8–0.9% isoleucine, 1.5–1.6% leucine, 1.0% tyrosine, 0.9–1.1% phenyalanine, 0.5–0.8% cystine and cysteine, and 0.5–0.6% tryptophane. Detailed analyses of the wax esters, free alcohols, free acids, are reported in NAS (1975). Per 100 g jojoba meal, there is 1.4 g lysine, 0.6 g histidine, 1.9 g arginine, 2.6 aspartic acid, 1.3 threonine, 1.3 serine, 3.2 glutamic acid, 1.5 proline, 2.4 glycine, 1.1 alanine, 0.6 cystine, 1.5 valine, 0.1 methionine, 0.9 isoleucine, 1.8 leucine, 1.1 tyrosine, and 1.2 g phenylalanine. The two major flavonoid constituents of the leaves are isorhamnetin 3-rutinoside (narcissin) and isorhamnetin 3,7-dirhamnoside.

Edible Uses:
Seeds were said to be palatable and were eaten raw or parched by Indians. Recent studies suggest they are toxic. They may also be boiled to make a well-flavored drink similar to coffee, hence the name coffeberry.

Medicinal Uses:
Folk Medicine
This shrub is first mentioned in the literature by the Mexican historian Francisco J. Clavijero in 1789, who noted that the Indians of Baja California highly prized the fruit for food and the oil as a medicine for cancer and kidney disorders. Indians in Mexico use the oil as a hair restorer. According to Hartwell (1967–1971), the oil was used in folk remedies for cancer. Reported to be emetic, jojoba is a folk remedy for cancer, colds, dysuria, eyes, head, obesity, parturition, poison ivy, sores, sorethroat, warts, and wounds. Seri Indians applied jojoba to head sores and aching eyes. They drank jojoba-ade for colds and to facilitate parturition.

The leaves are good tea for chronic mucus-membrane inflammation, ranging from chronic colitis,vagnitis and hemorrhoids to stomach and esophageal ulcers.In Mxico it has been widly used as a floke medicine for asthma and emphysema, but it is a more matter of adding the injured pulmonary  membranes than addressing any underline causes.A tea for the  seeds will decrease inflamation in phryngitis,tonsillitis and various types sore throat.Two to three ounces of the infusion drunk every several hours decreas  the irretability of bladder and urithra membranes and painful urination.

Other uses:
Simmondsia is unique among plants in that its seeds contain an oil which is a liquid wax. Oil of Simmondsia is obtained by expression or solvent extraction. It is light yellow, unsaturated, of unusual stability, remarkably pure, and need not be refined for use as a transformer oil or as a lubricant for high-speed machinery or machines operating at high temperatures. The oil does not become rancid, is not damaged by repeated heating to temperatures over 295°C or by heating to 370°C for four days; the color is dispelled by heating for a short time at 285°C, does not change in viscosity appreciably at high temperatures, and requires little refining to obtain maximum purity. Since Simmondsia Oil resembles sperm whale oil both in composition and properties, it should serve as a replacement for the applications of that oil. The CMR (Nov. 28, 1983) reports that a new oil from the fish known as orange roughy is “attempting to make inroads on the jojoba and sperm whale markets.” Jojoba oil can be easily hydrogenated into a hard white wax, with a melting point of about 73°–74°C, and is second in hardness only to carnauba wax. The oil is a potential source of both saturated and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids and alcohols. It is also suitable for sulfurization to produce lubricating oil and a rubber-like material (factice) suitable for use in printing ink and linoleum. The residual meal from expression or extraction contains 30–35% protein and is acceptable as a livestock food.It is an important browse plant in California and Arizona, the foliage and young twigs being relished by cattle, goats and deer, hence the name goatnut.

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.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/simmondsia_chinensis.html
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SICH
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jojoba

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Simmondsia_chinensis_form.jpg

http://www.delange.org/Jojoba/Jojoba.htm

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Care Your Skin

  Learn some natural skin care tips. Do not waste money on cosmetics and skin care products. Get flawless skin and beauty naturally and harmlessly.

Skin Care : Cleansing
Clean your skin every evening – The skin pores get blocked dut to exposure to air pollutions, wind, sun, air conditioning, dirt and grime from our fingers.It is really important to remove stale make-up, perspiration, dirt, dust, excess oil etc. Use a good, natural cleanser that removes only the impurities without stripping the skin of nutrients and moisture.

Wipe your face with a piece of cotton wool dipped in milk (unboiled or not heated). Almond oil is a good cleanser for skin under the eyes.

Skin Care : Exfoliating
It is important to help the skin renewal process by removing dead skin cells. Exfoliate at least twice a week to get rid of dead skin cells. Care should be taken if you have broken capillaries/surface veins.

Clay Masks
Clay helps to deep cleanse and draw out impurities and to soften and condition the skin.(It has several minerals in it which help the skin to disinfect and get rid of external pollution)

Skin Care : Moisturising
Moisturing helps to protect your skin from daily pollutants. Moisturising morning and evening with a natural moisturiser will hydrate, moisturise and protect your skin.

For a moisturizing and nourishing mask, blend a mashed banana with white cosmetic clay and apply.

For normal skin care, mix 1 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon orange juice and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and apply it on your face. Clean it off after 20 minutes.

For dry skin care, use a mixture of cooked oatmeal and honey; it is a very good moisturizer and cleansing agent.
Body Care For Hands: Mash a banana with some butter and rub on your hands. Before Shower: Body brushing helps exfoliate, tone and stimulate the skin as well as helping the natural drainage of our lymph glands. Dry body brushing before a shower with a natural bristle brush. Always brush upwards to the heart in quick, rhythmic strokes and brush down to the heart when you reach the shoulder/neck area.

After Shower: Apply body lotion. Water is a natural hydration for the skin.

Natural Skin Care Tips:

* Avoid excessive exposure to sun. It may result in sunburn. Read the treatment for sunburn.
* Avoid excessive use of cosmetics. Health experts say that excessive usage of cosmetics by children enhances their risk to various types of cancer and other problems later in life. Most of cosmetic products use potentially dangerous chemicals like parabens and phthalates. The parabens chemical have been recently found in breast cancer tissues. This chemical can affect the hormone oestrogen. The phthalates are linked to lower sperm counts in men, premature breast development and allergies.
* Regular sleep gives our body the chance to work on repairing cells.
* Regular Exercising and massage stimulates circulation and blood flow.
* Drinking eight glasses of water a day keeps skin plump, hydrated and healthy. The body is composed of 70% water. Well hydrated skin is healthy and young looking.
* Take only warm showers and stay away from prolonged sauna exposure.
* Stay protected from the sun to prevent the skin from becoming dehydrated and the damaging effects of UV rays on the skin.
* Eat a balanced diet, avoid foods high in fat, cholesterol and sodium.
Follow an anti-aging diet rich in fruits and green leafy vegetables that are full of natural antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent free-radical damageto the body. If you do not get enough antioxidants from your diet, then your skin cells could lose their ability to function well.
The antioxidants include ingredients such as vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids, beta carotene, selenium, glutathione and zinc. Eat foods high in antioxidants.

Do pranayama daily and keep your skin healthy and smooth…….click & see

Source:http://www.fatfreekitchen.com/beauty/skin-care.html

Linseed (Flax or Flaxseed)

Botanical Name :Linum usitatissimum
Family: Linaceae
Genus: Linum
Species: L. usitatissimum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Synonyms:Linseed, flaxseed, common flax, lint bells, winterlien

Habitat: Common flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) was one of the first crops domesticated by man. Flax originated in India, and from its hardiness and usefulness, is generally diffused over the globe. Ancient centers of flax-growing are mountainous areas of India and China, In India flax was cultivated as a fiber crop earlier than cotton. As early as in the 4th or 5th millennium B.C. flax was cultivated for its fiber in Mesopotamia, Assyria and Egypt. Wild narrow-leaved flax and semi-cultured procumbent flaxes grow in Transcaucasia. Many monuments of Ancient Egypt reflect cultivation of flax and spinning and weaving of its fibers. In Russia flax has been cultivated since the birth of the Russian nation

Growing countries :The significant linseed producing countries are Canada ~34% and China ~25.5%, though there is also production in India ~9%, USA ~8%, and Ethiopia ~3.5% and throughout Europe.

Description:The flax plant is an annual herb, it grows   erect to 3 feet with slender stems and entire leaves. The leaves are glaucous green, slender lanceolate, 20-40 mm long and 3 mm broad. The flowers are pure pale blue, 15-25 mm diameter, with five petals. The fruit is a round, dry capsule 5-9 mm diameter, containing several glossy brown seeds shaped like an apple pip, 4-7 mm long, which is indehiscent. Linum is an erect annual herb with a glabrous stem and few branches, growing about 60cm in height and cultivated in most temperate and tropical regions. The stem bears alternate, sessile, simple entire lanceolate to oblong leaves. Each branch produces one or two violet-blue five-petalled flowers in a terminal cluster from June to August, and a globular capsule containing about ten seeds.In addition to the plant itself, flax may refer to the unspun fibres of the flax plant.

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Flax seeds come in two basic varieties: 1. brown; and 2. yellow or golden (also known as golden linseeds). Most types have similar nutritional characteristics and equal numbers of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The exception is a type of yellow flax called solin (trade name Linola), which has a completely different oil profile and is very low in omega-3 FAs. Flax seeds produce a vegetable oil known as flaxseed oil or linseed oil, which is one of the oldest commercial oils. It is an edible oil obtained by expeller pressing, sometimes followed by solvent extraction. Solvent-processed flax seed oil has been used for many centuries as a drying oil in painting and varnishing.

Although brown flax can be consumed as readily as yellow, and has been for thousands of years, its better-known uses are in paints, for fiber, and for cattle feed.

Parts used: ripe seeds and their expressed oil. Linseed oil, obtained from seed of the flax plant, is primarily used in industry; but some is used for edible purposes in eastern Europe.

Collection: when fully ripe in September.

Constituents: 30-40% fixed oil including linoleic, linolenic and oleic acids, mucilage (6%), protein (25%), the cyanogenic glycoside linamarine, bitter principle; the oil contains vitamins A, B, D and E, minerals and amino acids. The seeds contain around 35 to 44 percent of drying oil.

Use: Flax is grown both for its seed and for its fibres. Various parts of the plant have been used to make fabric, dye, paper, medicines, fishing nets and soap. It is also grown as an ornamental plant in gardens, as flax is one of the few plant species capable of producing truly blue flowers (most “blue” flowers are really shades of purple), although not all flax varieties produce blue flowers.

In eastern Europe, the seed is generally first cold pressed, the cold-press oil being used in foods. A later hot press yields additional industrial oil. In the U.S., oil extraction is generally hot press, followed by solvent extraction, and the oil is not used as food. The press cake from hot pressing is a valuable livestock feed. The flax seed contains a cyanogenic glucoside which forms hydrocyanic acid by enzyme action unless the enzyme is inactivated by heat. Flax seed for oil was grown in the U.S. on an average of about 2.7 million acres, 1964-66.
Flax fibers
Flax fibers are amongst the oldest fibre crops in the world. The use of flax for the production of linen goes back 5000 years. Pictures on tombs and temple walls at Thebes depict flowering flax plants. The use of flax fibre in the manufacturing of cloth in northern Europe dates back to Neolithic times. In North America, flax was introduced by the Puritans. Currently most flax produced in the USA and Canada are seed flax types for the production of linseed oil or flaxseeds for human nutrition.

Flax stem cross-section, showing locations of underlying tissues. Ep = epidermis; C = cortex; BF = bast fibres; P = phloem; X = xylem; Pi = pithFlax fibre is extracted from the bast or skin of the stem of flax plant. Flax fibre is soft, lustrous and flexible. It is stronger than cotton fibre but less elastic. The best grades are used for linen fabrics such as damasks, lace and sheeting. Coarser grades are used for the manufacturing of twine and rope. Flax fibre is also a raw material for the high-quality paper industry for the use of printed banknotes and rolling paper for cigarettes.

Medicinal Actions: demulcent, antitussive, gentle bulk laxative, emollient, anodyne, resolvent, relaxing expectorant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, locally drawing, soothing and healing, antitussive, pectoral

Indications: Respiratory catarrh, bronchitis, furunculosis, pleuritic pains

Therapeutics and Pharmacology: Linum may be used in all pulmonary infections, particularly where there is much catarrh, as in bronchitis. It is often applied as a poultice in pleurisy and other pulmonary conditions. A poultice may also be applied to boils and carbuncles, shingles, psoriasis and burns. Linum is also used in chronic or acute, atonic or spastic constipation. Whilst not a true laxative, it acts as a bulking and lubricating agent causing no irritation. Linseed oil is an valuable source of essential fatty acids which can help prevent the build-up of fatty deposits in the tissues. The oil has also been used to help the passage of gallstones.

Combinations: As a poultice for the chest Linum combines well with Sinapsis alba. For boils, localised swellings and inflammations it may be combined with Lobelia, Althaea root and Ulmus as a poultice.

The health benefits associated with flaxseed include:

Protecting against cancer:
Consuming flaxseed may help protect against prostate, colon, and breast cancers. Flaxseed is thought to prevent the growth of cancerous cells because its omega-3 fatty acids disrupt malignant cells from clinging onto other body cells. In addition, the lignans in flaxseed have antiangiogenic properties – they stop tumors from forming new blood vessels.

One US study presented at the 43rd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) revealed that consuming flaxseed can stop prostate cancer tumors from growing. Dr Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, lead investigator of the study said that the team was “excited that this study showed that flaxseed is safe and associated with a protective effect on prostate cancer.”

Lowering cholesterol:
Researchers at the Iowa State University’s Nutrition and Wellness Research Center found that cholesterol levels lowered among men who included flaxseed in their diet. Suzanne Hendrich, lead author of the study, said that for “people who can’t take something like Lipitor, this could at least give you some of that cholesterol-lowering benefit.”

Preventing hot flashes:
A study published in the Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology suggests that a dietary intake of flaxseed can decrease the risk of hot flashes among postmenopausal women. “Not only does flaxseed seem to alleviate hot flashes, but it appears to have overall health and psychological benefits as well,” concluded Dr. Pruthi.

Improving blood sugar:
There is strong evidence to suggest that consuming flaxseed every day improves glycemic control in obese men and women with pre-diabetes4, according to a study published in Nutrition Research.

Protecting against radiation:
A diet of flaxseed may protect skin tissue from being damaged by radiation, revealed researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The investigators concluded that their “study demonstrates that dietary flaxseed, already known for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, works as both a mitigator and protector against radiation pneumonopathy.”

Caution: Only the ripe seeds should be used; immature seeds can cause poisoning as they contain traces of prussic acid. Linseed oil deteriorates rapidly. It is important to stress to anyone taking linseed that at least two glasses of water should be taken at the same time to ensure proper swelling of the linseed in the stomach. In many cases where linseed appears to fail, the reason is that not enough fluid has been taken.

Side effects and precautions:
Even though research on the safety of taking flaxseed during pregnancy is scarce, pregnant women should stay on the safe side and avoid consuming flaxseed because of its estrogen-like properties which doctors believe may affect pregnancy outcome. In addition, people suffering from a bowel obstruction should avoid flaxseed too (because of its high level of fiber), according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.5

Side effects associated with the consumption of flaxseed, include:
*Flatulence
*Stomach pains
*Nausea
*Constipation
*Diarrhea
*Bloating.

Preparation and Dosage:

Regulatory status GSL

Crushed or entire seeds: 3-6g or by infusion

Oil: 5-30ml, in vehicle, as a purgative

Additional Comments: As the source of linen fibre, Linum has been cultivated since at least 5000 BC; today it is mainly grown for its oil. It was used by the Egyptians to make cloth in which to wrap their mummies, and the Bible contains many references to the plant. The medicinal properties of the seeds were known to the Greeks and Hippocrates recommended them for inflammations of the mucous membranes. In 8th century France, Charlemagne passed laws requiring the seeds to be consumed to keep his subjects healthy. Linseed oil is used as a purgative for sheep and horses. Flax is obtained from the stem fibres. The oil has a number of uses in the paint and other industries. It is also used in cooking and has been recommended to help leach toxic heavy metals such as aluminium from the body.

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.purplesage.org.uk/profiles/linseed.htm
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/Crops/Linseed_oil.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flax

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Cracked Heel

Definition:
Cracked heels are a common foot problem that are often referred to as heel fissures. Cracked heels are commonly caused by dry skin (xerosis), and made more complicated if the skin around the rim of the heel is thick (callus). For most people this is a nuisance and a cosmetic problem but when the fissures or cracks are deep, they are painful to stand on and the skin can bleed – in severe cases this can become infected.

What does a cracked heel look like:
The skin is normally dry and may have a thick callus which appears as yellow or dark brown discolored area of skin, especially along the inside border of the heel. Cracks in the skin are usually obvious.

click & see

Consider a tomato on the bench … when you push on it from above, it wants to expand out sideways … eventually the skin cracks. This is what happens to the normal fat pad under your heel … as your body weight pushes down, the fat wants to expand sideways and the pressure on the skin to crack is increased. If the weight is excessive (eg prolonged standing) and the skin is not supple (eg callus and/or dry) and nothing is helping hold the the fat pad under the foot (eg open backed shoes)

The skin is normally dry and may have a thick callus which appears as yellow or dark brown discolored area of skin, especially along the inside border of the heel. Cracks in the skin are usually obvious.

Causes cracked heels:
Some people tend to have a naturally dry skin that predisposes them to the cracks. The thickened dry skin (callus) around the heel that is more likely to crack is often due to mechanical factors that increase pressures in that area (eg the way you walk).

Other factors that can be involved in the cause of cracked heels include:

prolonged standing (at work or home, especially on hard floors)
being overweight (this increases the pressure on the normal fat pad under the heel, causing it to expand sideways – if the skin is not supple and flexible, the pressures to ‘crack’ are high)
open back on the shoes (this allows the fat under the heel to expand sideways and increases the pressure to ‘crack’)
some medical conditions predispose to a drying skin (eg autonomic neuropathy in those with diabetes leads to less sweating; an underactive thyroid lowers the body’s metabolic rate and there is a reduction in sweating, leading to a dryness of the skin)
Some more causes are:
Obesity
Open backed shoes can be a contributing factor
Surgery to the lower extremities
Heel Spurs
Mal-aligment of the metatarsal bones (the bone structure of the sole of the foot)
Flat feet and high arched feet
Abnormalities of gait (walking)
Using excessively hot water is a contributing factor
Eczema and psoriases can also be contributing factors

Symptoms of cracked heels:
If the cracks are bad enough there will be pain on weight bearing, that is not there when weight is off the heel. The edges or rim around the heel will generally have a thicker area of skin (callus). Wearing open or thin soled shoes usually make the symptoms worse.

Treatment of cracked heel.
Flexitol Heel Balm treatment combines 25% urea formula with highly concentrated emollient base. With regular use, your feet will become soft and silky smooth to the touch.You may try this.
Apply Vaseline (petroleum jelly) two to three times daily on the affected heel.
Apply a moisturizing cream twice daily to the affected heels, such as flexitol heel balm
Use pumice stone to reduce the thickness of the hard skin.
Avoid open backed shoes or thin soled shoes
Buy shoes with a good shock absorbing sole
Never try to pare down the hard skin your self with a razor blade or a pair of scissors!

Ayurvedic care and remedy for cracked heel

Home remedy for cracked heel

Podiatric management of cracked heels:
The podiatric treatment of cracked heels may involve the following:

Investigating the cause of the problem, so this can be addressed
removing the hard thick skin by deb riding it (often the splits will not heal if the skin is not removed). This may need to be done on a regular basis. Regular maintenance may be the best way to prevent the problem.
if very painful, strapping may be used to ‘hold’ the cracks together while they heal (a maintenance program after this to prevent recurrence is very important).
prescription and advice regarding the most appropriate moisturizer or emollient.
advice about footwear and self care of the problem.
insoles may be used to alter the way you walk to prevent the thick skin from developing (these are indicated in cases of heel callus and are not suitable for all cases).
a heel cup may be used to keep the fat pad from expanding sideways. This is worn in the shoe and can be very effective at prevention if used regularly.
on rare occasions some Podiatrists and Dermatologists have used a tissue ‘glue’ to hold the edges of the skin together, so the cracks can heal.

Foot care for cracked heel

On line heel repairing cream

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.

Source   :http://www.epodiatry.com/cracked_heels.htm

Eczema

Definition:
Eczema is a skin condition characterized by inflammation of the outer skin layer called epidermis. This may be very uncomfortable and even embarrassing for people because it causes severe itching and red discoloration. It affects people of all ages, and it can occur on any part of the body.
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Symptoms Of Eczema:
*Eaching,often intense and sometimes worsening in the evening and at night,

*acute lesions may be intensely itchy, small red raised bumps

*subacute lesions may be thicker, paler, scaly, red patches

*chronic lesions may be small, thick, round, scaly bumps, dry rough skin

*Often seen as a rash on the face, scalp, and backs of arms and fronts of legs in infants and young children

*often seen as a rash inside the elbows and wrists, backs of knees and ankles in older children and adults

*hand eczema is common in adults

*itching resulting in scratching often leads to secondary bleeding and worsening of the skin condition leading to raw, broken and bleeding patches of skin

*more easily prone to infections .

Natural Eczema Treatments:
Eczema is a syndrome of inflammatory skin reaction most often characterized by itching, redness, blister, or dryness. The skin inflammation is a sign of toxins inside your body. You see it on the skin because your skin is the largest and only visible organ of your body. Therefore, in the case of serious or chronic skin problems, treating from outside with cream becomes insufficient. The better approach is to detoxify your body by expelling the toxins from inside; preventing the problems from coming back.

*Detoxify your body system to control the inflammation of the skin, clear up your eczema by treating the root.

*Reduce itching, redness and crack associated with eczema.

*Improve your blood circulation to nourish your dry skin.

   * To avoid the aggravation of your eczema, you need to eliminate certain foods, which might generate toxins inside your body. These foods include alcohol, coffee, spicy food, dairy products, nuts, tropical fruit (mango, pineapple), seafood and red meats. And try to reduce your stress level by doing exercise; having enough sleep, etc.

   * Dead Sea Salt Bath Restore minerals to your skin. It can help heal damaged skin barrier caused by eczema or improper topical treatment.

*Grape Seed Extract:   Grape is the most potent preventive medicine you can take! Grapes have been used not only for eating and drinking, but have been also used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. A popular red wine is well known for protection against heart conditions, but very few people know that a substance called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC) in grape seed is what provide excellent heart support.Not only OPC support eczema but also improves our immune system and the overall health. Its healing and preventive benefits are simply phenomenal. OPC has been found to be the most potent antioxidant every discovered. It is 20 times more potent than Vitamin C and 50 times more potent than Vitamin E. GSE yields a 95% concentration of OPC, the highest of any source.Here are the benefits that OPC can contribute to our health

*Protection against pollution and environmental toxins. GSE is nature’s most potent antioxidant and will help to reduce and prevent free radical damage.

   Fight skin diseases and other inflammatory conditions including eczema and psoriasis:

*Enhances the immune system and balance the breakdown of proteins. Helps to prevent autoimmune diseases.

*Protection against cardiovascular disease.

* Provide energy, improves joint flexibility and prostate function. Anti-aging properties:-

Fish Oil/ Omega-3: Fish-oil contains omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential to human health. Omega 3 has been found have anti-inflammatory properties and aid in preventing eczema, psoriasis, lupus, yeast infections, and other immune diseases and also best known for its magic against cholesterol and heart diseases.One experiment designed to test the efficacy of fish oil on psoriasis showed that people with inflammatory conditions whom were treated with omega-3 resulted in decrease of overall severity and scaling. Over 50% of patients have shown significant improvements. Not serious side effects were observed.

Echinacea:  This is a very common plant that grows in North America. It has been popular herbs for thousands of years, best know for stimulating the immune system, thus used in treating and preventing eczema, psoriasis, yeast infection, lupus, herpes, and other auto-immune diseases. A great deal of research shows that Echinacea increases the number of activity of key white blood cells and boost the activity of T-cells and the production of interferon.Echinacea can be also used externally for eczema treatment and other inflammatory skin conditions. A study where 4500 patients with inflammatory skin condition externally applied Echinacea Products amazingly resulted in 85% cure rate.When patients with rheumatoid arthritis took 15 drops of the fresh-pressed juice of Echinacea three times daily, they experienced a 21.8% drop in inflammation, without any side effects.

 Aloe Vera This plant, native to Africa, is one of the most popular and effective treat many skin diseases. The juice extracted from Aloe Vera plant is filled with nutrients; contains vitamin B (1, 2, and 6), minerals, 18 amino acids and others. Aloe Vera juice has antibiotic, healing, soothing, and penetrating properties and proven to be effective against various skin diseases such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, insect bites, wounds, burns, skin cancer, and also provides excellent support for our immune system.The problem today with Aloe Vera is that many skin care products contain this ingredient but many of them have been made by over-processing the Aloe Vera juice, thus they do not have the original benefit of the plant’s juice. Those products have somewhat degraded the reputation of the plant’s magic. But there is no denying about the amazing things that it can do for our skin and health.Although it’s difficult, look for Products that contain high quality and fresh Alovera Plant. Its most natural and original form is most recommended for eczema treatment.

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.

 Extracted from:http://www.skindiseasetreatment.com/eczema-treatment.html