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Conium maculatum

Botanical Name : Conium maculatum
Family: Apiaceae
Subfamily: Apioideae
Genus:     Conium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Apiales

Synonyms: Herb Bennet. Spotted Corobane. Musquash Root. Beaver Poison. Poison Hemlock. Poison Parsley. Spotted Hemlock. Kex. Kecksies.

Common Names :Hemlock. In English “Poison hemlock” and the Irish “Devil’s Bread” or “Devil’s Porridge”, there are also Poison Parsley, Spotted Corobane, and Spotted Hemlock. The seeds are sometimes called Kecksies or Kex.

Habitat:Conium maculatum is native in temperate regions of Europe, West Asia, as well as North Africa. It has been introduced and naturalised in many other areas, including Asia, North America, Australia, and New Zealand.It has been introduced into North and South America. It is often found on poorly drained soils, particularly near streams, ditches, and other surface water. It also appears on roadsides, edges of cultivated fields, and waste areas. It is considered an Invasive species in twelve U.S. states, including California.

Description:
Conium maculatum  is a herbaceous biennial plant that grows between 1.5–2.5 metres (5–8 ft) tall, with a smooth green hollow stem, usually spotted or streaked with red or purple on the lower half of the stem. All parts of the plant are hairless (glabrous). The leaves are 2-4-pinnate, finely divided and lacy, overall triangular in shape, up to 50 centimetres (20 in) long and 40 centimetres (16 in) broad. t of parsnips.

click & see the pictures

The leaves are numerous, those of the first year and the lower ones very large, even reaching 2 feet in length, alternate, longstalked, tripinnate (divided along the midrib into opposite pairs of leaflets and these again divided and subdivided in similar manner). The upper leaves are much smaller, nearly stalkless, with the short footstalk dilated and stem-clasping, often opposite or three together, more oblong in outline, dipinnate or pinnate, quite smooth, uniform dull green, segments toothed, each tooth being tipped with a minute, sharp white point.

The flowers are small, white, clustered in umbels up to 10–15 centimetres (4–6 in) across.  When crushed, the leaves and root emit a rank, unpleasant odour often compared to that. The umbels are rather small, 1 1/4 to 2 inches broad, numerous, terminal, on rather short flower stalks, with 12 to 16 rays to the umbel. At the base of the main umbel there are 4 to 8 lance-shaped, deflexed bracts; at the base of the small umbels there are three or four spreading bractlets. The flowers are small, their petals white with an inflexed point, the stamens a little longer than the petals, with white anthers.

The fruit is small, about 1/8 inch long broad, ridged, compressed laterally and smooth. Both flowers and fruit bear a resemblance to caraway, but the prominent crenate (wavy) ridges and absence of vittae (oil cells between the ridges) are important characters for distinguishing this fruit from others of the same natural order of plants.

The entire plant has a bitter taste and possesses a disagreeable mousy odour, which is especially noticeable when bruised. When dry, the odour is still disagreeable, but not so pronounced as in the fresh plant. The seeds or fruits have very marked odour or taste, but when rubbed with a solution of potassium bi-oxide, the same disagreeable mouse-like odour is produced.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts Used: Leaves, fruit, seeds.

Constituents:By far the most important constituent of hemlock leaves is the alkaloid Coniine, of which they may contain, when collected at the proper time, as much as 2.77 per cent the average being 1.65 per cent. When pure, Coniine is a volatile, colourless, oily liquid, strongly alkaline, with poisonous properties and having a bitter taste and a disagreeable, penetrating, mouse-like odour.

There are also present the alkaloids, Methyl-coniine, Conhydrine, Pseudoconhydrine, Ethyl piperidine, mucilage, a fixed oil and 12 per cent of ash.

Hemlock fruits have essentially the same active constituents, but yield a greater portion of Coniine than the leaves.

As a medicine, Conium is sedative and antispasmodic, and in sufficient doses acts as a paralyser to the centres of motion. In its action it is, therefore, directly antagonistic to that of Strychnine, and hence it has been recommended as an antidote to Strychnine poisoning, and in other poisons of the same class, and in tetanus, hydrophobia, etc. (In mediaeval days, Hemlock mixed with betony and fennel seed was considered a cure for the bite of a mad dog.)

On account of its peculiar sedative action on the motor centres, Hemlock juice (Succus conii) is prescribed as a remedy in cases of undue nervous motor excitability, such as teething in children, epilepsy from dentition. cramp, in the early stages of paralysis agitans, in spasms of the larynx and gullet, in acute mania, etc. As an inhalation it is said to relieve cough in bronchitis, whooping-cough, asthma, etc.

The drug has to be administered with care, as narcotic poisoning may result from internal use, and overdoses produce paralysis. In poisonous doses it produces complete paralysis with loss of speech, the respiratory function is at first depressed and ultimately ceases altogether and death results from asphyxia. The mind remains unaffected to the last. In the account of the death of Socrates, reference is made to loss of sensation as one of the prominent symptoms of his poisoning, but the dominant action is on the motor system. It is placed in Table II of the Poison Schedule.

Hemlock was formerly believed to exercise an alterative effect in scrofulous disorders. Both the Greek and Arabian physicians were in the practice of using it for the cure of indolent tumours, swellings and pains of the joints, as well as for affections of the skin. Among the moderns Baron Storch was the first to call the attention of medical men to its use, both externally and internally, for the cure of cancerous and other ulcers, and in the form of a poultice or ointment it has been found a very valuable application to relieve pain in these cases.

In the case of poisoning by Hemlock, the antidotes are tannic acid, stimulants and coffee, emetics of zinc, or mustard and castor oil, and, if necessary, artificial respiration. It is essential to keep up the temperature of the body.

Like many other poisonous plants, when cut and dried, Hemlock loses much of its poisonous properties, which are volatile and easily dissipated. Cooking destroys it.

Its disagreeable odour has prevented its fatal use as a vegetable in the raw state.

Larks and quails are said to eat Hemlock with impunity, but their flesh becomes so impregnated with the poison that they are poisonous as food. Thrushes eat the fruits with impunity, but ducks have been poisoned by them.

Coles’ Art of Simpling:
‘If Asses chance to feed much upon Hemlock, they will fall so fast asleep that they will seeme to be dead, in so much that some thinking them to be dead indeed have flayed off their skins, yet after the Hemlock had done operating they have stirred and wakened out of their sleep, to the griefe and amazement of the owners.’

Known Hazards:
The poisonous property occurs in all parts of the plant, though it is stated to be less strong in the root. Poisoning has occurred from eating the leaves for parsley, the roots for parsnips and the seeds in mistake for anise seeds. Many children, too, have suffered by using whistles made from the hollow stems of the Hemlock, which should be extirpated from meadows and pastures since many domestic animals have been killed by eating it, though goats are said to eat it with impunity.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

 

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/hemloc18.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conium

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Holarrhena Antidysenterica

Botanical Name : Holarrhena Antidysenterica
Family : Apocynaceae
Genus:Wrightia
Species:W. antidysenterica
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:Gentianales
Common Name : Bitter Oleander, Connessi Bark, Kurchi Bark, , Dysentery Rose Bay, Tellicherry Bark,Kuda,Kutaj,Kutaja

. It is also known as “White Angel” in the Philippines

Bengali name :Kurchi
Part Used : Bark, Seeds
Habitat :Holarrhena Antidysenterica is native to tropical Himalayas, going up to an altitude of ,1,200 m. Also found throughout many forests  of India, in Travancore, Assam and Uttar Pradesh. Grows wild in mountains

Description:
It is a tall shurb or small tree, evergreen in nature.Leaves are smooth large, ovate in shape; and about 15-31 cms. long and 10 cms. broad.Flowers are cream coloured, fragrant and borne in bunches .The plant flowers profusely during February-March. fruits are thin and cylindrical, with two follicles attached together at distal ends. Special characteristics of Holarrhena antidysenterica. Fragrant flowers and twin fruits….

Click to see the pictures..………….....(01)........(1).…..(2)......(3)...

Medicinal Uses:
It is one of the best drug for diarrhoea. In chronic diarrhoea & to check blood coming from stool, it should be given with Isobgol, caster oil or Indrayav.

According to Ayurveda, the bark is useful in treatment of piles, skin diseases and biliousness.
The bark is used externally in case of skin troubles. The bark is mostly mixed with cow urine and applies it in affected parts. In treatment of urinary troubles, the bark is given with cow milk. The fresh juice of bark is considered good to check the diarrhoea. In bleeding piles Decoction of Kutaj bark with sunthi checks mucus & blood. Application of this herb is useful in Rh. Arthritis & Osteoarthritis. The bark is used in chest affections and as a remedy in diseases of the skin and spleen. It is a well known herb for amoebic dysentery and other gastric disorders.

Kutaja bark has been used in India in the treatment of amoebic dysentery and liver ailments resulting from amebiasis.  Conessine from the bark killed free living amoebae and also kills entamoeba histolytica in the dysenteric stools of experimentally infected kittens. It is markedly lethal to the flagellate protozoon. It is antitubercular also.  Conessine produced little effect on Trichomonas hominis but was markedly lethal to the flagellate protozoon.  It is a well known drug for amoebic dysentery and other gastric disorders. A clinical study records the presentation of forty cases with amochiasis and giardiasis. The efficacy of kutaja in intestinal amochiasis was 70%. Good response was also observed in Entamoeba histolytica cystpassers when treated with kutaja bark. The flowers improve appetite. The seeds are cooling, appetising and astringent to the bowels.

Today Conessi seed is used as a remedy for dysentery, diarrhea, intestinal worms, and irregular fever, though the actions are milder than that of the bark. Conessi bark is used to treat dysentery, but also is used for treating hemophilia disorders, skin diseases, and loss of appetite. It also works well in treating indigestion, flatulence, and colic.  The British materia medica regards it as one of the most valuable medicinal products of India.

It also has been used to treat various skin and stomach disorders. It is an astringent tonic for the skin. It is used against hot disorder of the gall bladder and stops dysentery.  Relieves cholecystitis and diarrhea associated with fever.   It is used in disorders of the genitourinary system and is helpful in the cases of impotence, spermatorrhea and seminal debilities.

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.motherherbs.com/holarrhena-antidysenterica.html
http://green-source.blogspot.com/2009/06/kuda-kutaj-holarrhena-antidysenterica.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm
http://www.alibaba.com/product-tp/108122069/Holarrhena_Antidysenterica.html
http://www.greenearthproducts.net/ficus-bengalensis.html

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

Giardiasis

Alternative NamesGiardia; Traveler’s diarrhea – giardiasis

Definition:

Giardiasis is an intestinal infection caused by a protozoan and is spread by contaminated water or contact with an infected person.
Giardiasis  or beaver fever in humans is a diarrheal infection of the small intestine by a single-celled organism called Giardia lamblia. Giardiasis occurs worldwide with a prevalence of 20–30% in developing countries. In the USA, 20,000 cases are reported to the CDC annually, but the true annual incidence is estimated at 2 million people. Giardia has a wide range of mammalian hosts besides humans, thus making it very difficult to eradicate. For people with compromised immune systems, such as elderly or AIDS patients, giardiasis can be deadly

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The parasite was first identified in 1681 by Anton von Leeuwenhoek, the ‘father of microbiology’. In 1859 a Bohemian doctor, Vilem Lambl, found giardia in human faeces and from then on it was thought to be a harmless occupant of the intestines. It wasn’t until the 1970s that giardia was given its true status as one of the world’s most common causes of diarrhoeal illness.

Giardia is a type of single-celled organism called a protozoon. It first came to light in the UK as an important cause of diarrhoea among those returning from abroad. It’s a major cause of childhood diarrhoea in developing countries and is also common in Eastern Europe and across the US. However, giardia can be found around the globe and is the most common gut parasite in the

Symptoms:
One reason it can be difficult to control the spread of giardia is that as many as 15 per cent of those carrying the organism have no symptoms. They become a source of the parasite, contaminating the environment without realising it.

However, most people develop a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms like:

*Indigestion
•Abdominal pain
•Watery diarrhoea,
•Gas or bloating
•Headache
•Loss of appetite
•Low-grade fever
•Nausea and stomach cramps
•Swollen or distended abdomen
•Vomiting

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These symptoms can persist for several weeks and, without treatment, can lead to dehydration and weight loss. In developing countries, where people (especially children) may already be malnourished, an infection can prove fatal.

Causes:
People or animals carrying giardia in their intestines pass it out in their faeces. The parasite is then spread through poor hygiene or contaminated soil, food or water (see box below). With a tough outer shell, the parasite can survive for long periods outside a host body. A person only needs to pic1982k up a few giardia cysts for infection to develop.

•Putting something in your mouth that has been contaminated by faeces from an infected person or animal.
•Drinking contaminated water. Public water supplies in the UK are considered to be at low risk as giardia is killed by adequate chlorination.
•Swallowing water during recreation that is contaminated with sewage – for example, in swimming pools, jacuzzis, lakes, rivers or ponds.
•Eating contaminated food. One report found cases linked to the consumption of lettuce.
•Coming in contact with surfaces or objects that have been contaminated by an infected person.

Giardiasis outbreaks can occur in communities in both developed and developing countries where water supplies become contaminated with raw sewage.

It can be contracted by drinking water from lakes or streams where water-dwelling animals such as beavers and muskrats, or domestic animals such as sheep, have caused contamination. It is also spread by direct person-to-person contact, which has caused outbreaks in institutions such as day care centers.

Travelers are at risk for giardiasis throughout the world. Campers and hikers are at risk if they drink untreated water from streams and lakes. Other risk factors include:

•Exposure to a family member with giardiasis
•Institutional (day care or nursing home) exposure
•Unprotected anal sex

Possible Complications:
•Dehydration
•Malabsorption (inadequate absorption of nutrients from the intestinal tract)
•Weight loss

Diagnosis:.
Giardiasis is diagnosed by checking stool samples for the parasite. It can be difficult to find, though, and it’s often necessary to send several samples for analysis.

Tests that may be done include:
•Enteroscopy
•Stool antigen test to check for Giardia
•Stool ova and parasites exam
•String test (rarely performed)
This disease may also affect the results of the following tests:

•D-xylose absorption
•Small bowel tissue biopsy
•Smear of duodenal aspirated fluid

Treatment:
Some people recover completely from giardiasis without specific treatment. For other, the infection persists for weeks or even months. Treatment with antibiotics will shorten the course of the illness and reduce the risk of spread to others. Antibiotic therapy is particularly important for those, such as young children, who are at greater risk.

Steps should also be taken to treat or prevent dehydration, and people with giardiasis should drink plenty of fluids. Severe dehydration may need hospital treatment, with an intravenous drip.

Cure rates are generally greater than 80%. Drug resistance may be a factor in treatment failures, sometimes requiring a change in antibiotic therapy.

In pregnant women, treatment should wait until after delivery, because some drugs used to treat the infection can be harmful to the unborn baby.

Prognosis:
It is common for the infection to go away on its own. However, persistent infections have been reported and need further antibiotic treatment. Some people who have had Giardia infections for a long time continue having symptoms even after the infection has gone.

Prevention:
Good hygiene should help to keep you safe from giardia. Always wash your hands after using the toilet or changing nappies, and before handling food. Don’t share towels.

Don’t swim, or let your children swim, in pools, rivers, lakes or the sea during an episode of diarrhoea, and for at least two weeks after treatment.

When abroad, make sure the water supply is safe, or drink only purified or bottled water. Also avoid ice in drinks, and fruit and salad vegetables washed in tap water.

Avoid exposure to faeces during sexual activity (homosexual men may be at increased risk of infection).

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

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/giardiasis1.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giardiasis.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000288.htm

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