Tag Archives: All India Institute of Medical Sciences

Apple Gourd (Tinda)

Botanical Name: Apple Gourd
Family: Cucurbitaceae
SubfamilyCucurbitoideae
Tribe: Benincaseae
Subtribe: Benincasinae
Genus: Praecitrullus  Pangalo
Species: P. fistulosus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales
Common Names: Tinda, Indian round gourd , Indian baby pumpkin, Meha (in  Sindhi language),  Dhemase (in Marathi)
Habitat : Apple Gourd is native to South Asia. Specially grown in India & Pakinthan
Description:
The plant is, as with all cucurbits, a prolific vine, and is grown as an annual. The fruit is approximately spherical, and 5–8 cm in diameter. The seeds may also be roasted and eaten. Tinda is a famous nickname among Punjabi families in India. This unique squash-like gourd is native to India, very popular in Indian and Pakistani cooking with curry and many gourmet dishes. Green colored, apple sized fruits are flattish round in shape and 50-60 grams in weight. Plants are vigorous, productive and begin to bear fruits in 70 days after planting.
Cultivation:  Sandy loam soils rich in organic matter with good drainage and pH ranging from 6.5-7.5 is best suited for Tinda cultivation. This crop requires a moderate warm temperature.
Propagation: Sow the seeds on one side of the channel. hin the seedlings after 15 days to maintain two/pit at 0.9 m spacing.
Uses:
Tinda is famous vegetable in India and Pakistan and regarded as super food due to its numerous health benefits. It contains antioxidants like carotenoids and many anti-inflammatory agents, which are effective for controlling blood pressure, heart diseases, and strokes and prevent cancer formation.
It is very mild and soothing vegetable for intestinal tract. A lot of fiber helps in digestion, helps in diarrhea by increased water absorption, relieves stomach acidity, and prevents constipation. Some researches indicate that they are good food for healthy skin and hairs, its consumption result in very long and healthy hairs. It increases the urinary flow and excretes toxins from the kidney.
It is very effective in prevention of prostitutes and prostate cancer. Prostate is male gland present near bladder and its inflammation and cancers are becoming common now a days, it is also very effective in urinary tract infections.
Carotenes present in pumpkins slow the aging process and prevent age related changes in body like cataract formation, grey hairs, thickening of blood vessels bone degeneration, and age related brain cell degeneration. Over all this vegetable, have magical effects on body if used regularly.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinda
http://desiclinic.com/roman/tinda-156.html
http://www.agritech.tnau.ac.in/horticulture/horti_vegetables_tinda.html
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Fritillaria Cirrhosae


Botanical Name:Fritillariae Cirrhosae
Family:Liliaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Order: Liliales
Genus: Fritillaria
Pinyin Mandarin Name:Chuan Bei Mu

Common English Name :Fritillaria

Habitat: Fritillaria cirrhosa is  native to E. Asia – Himalayas – Nepal to China. It grows on  mountain slopes in alpine and sub-alpine meadows and scrub, usually on open stony moist hillsides Forests, alpine thickets, meadows, flood lands and moist places, 3200 – 4600 metres.

Description:Fritillaria is a genus of about 100 species of bulbous plants.  The name is derived from the Latin term for a dice-box (fritillus), and probably refers to the checkered pattern, frequently of chocolate-brown and greenish yellow, that is common to many species’ flowers. Collectively, the genus is known in English as fritillaries; some North American species are called missionbells.

They often have nodding, bell- or cup-shaped flowers, and the majority are spring-flowering. Most species’ flowers have a rather disagreeable scent, like feces or wet fur. The Scarlet Lily Beetle (Lilioceris lilii) eats fritillaries, and may become a pest where these plants are grown in gardens.
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Several species (such as F. cirrhosa and F. verticillata) are used in traditional Chinese cough remedies. They are listed as chu?n bèi (Chinese) or zhè bèi (Chinese), respectively, and are often in formulations combined with extracts of Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica). F. verticillata bulbs are also traded as bèi m? or, in Kamp?, baimo (Chinese/Kanji, Katakana). F. thunbergii is contained in the standardized Chinese herbal preparation HealthGuard T18, taken against hyperthyroidism.

Most fritillaries contain poisonous alkaloids such as imperialin; some may even be deadly if ingested in quantity. But the bulbs of a few species – e.g. Checker Lily (F. affinis) or Yellow Fritillary (F. pudica) – are edible if prepared correctly.

They are not generally eaten in large amounts however, and their edibility is therefore still somewhat debatable.

At least one species, F. assyrica, has a very large genome. With approximately 130,000,000,000 base pairs, it equals the largest known vertebrate animal genome known to date – that of the Marbled Lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus) – in size.

The emblematic and often unusually-colored fritillaries are commonly used as floral emblems. The Snake’s Head Fritillary (F. meleagris) is the county flower of Oxfordshire (UK) and the provincial flower of Uppland (Sweden) where it is known as kungsängslilja (“Kungsängen lily”). In Croatia this species is known as kockavica, and the checkerboard pattern of its flowers is held to be the inspiration for the šahovnica pattern on Croatia’s coat of arms. The Kamchatka Fritillary (F. camschatcensis) is the floral emblem of Ishikawa Prefecture and Obihiro city in Japan. Its Japanese name is kuroyuri, meaning “dark lily”. F. tenella is the floral emblem of Giardino Botanico Alpino di Pietra Corva, a botanical garden in Italy.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil. Prefers peat bed conditions, the plant should not be allowed to dry out. In cultivation at Kew and thriving in a sunny stony bed at Keillour Castle in Perthshire, this species does not, however, do well in all gardens. It is much valued as a herbal remedy in China. This species is closely related to F. meleagris.
Propagation:

Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring. Protect from frost. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible and can take a year or more to germinate. Sow the seed quite thinly to avoid the need to prick out the seedlings. Once they have germinated, give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not suffer mineral deficiency. Once they die down at the end of their second growing season, divide up the small bulbs, planting 2 – 3 to an 8cm deep pot. Grow them on for at least another year in light shade in the greenhouse before planting them out whilst dormant. Division of offsets in August. The larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out in the autumn.

Edible Uses:

Bulb – boiled or roasted as a vegetable. The bulb is bitter-sweet. The bulb is about 2cm in diameter.

Medicinal Uses:
This herb is used in. formulas that treat most any type of cough (TCM: except coughs associated with deficient Spleen), and various types- of nodular formations (TCM: phlegm-fire hardening); also used to treat chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, and chronic cough with sparse or hardened phlegm.

The bulbs contain fritimine which lowers blood pressure, diminishes excitability of respiratory centers, paralyses voluntary movement and counters the effects of opium. The dried bulb is used internally in the treatment of coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, feverish illnesses, abscesses etc. The bulbs also have a folk history of use against cancer of the breast and lungs in China. This remedy should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, excessive doses can cause breathing difficulties and heart failure. The Kameng and Lohit peoples in Arunachal Pradesh crush a bulk of Fritillaria cirrhosa to a paste to relieve muscle pains. Research has now confirmed the presence of a chemical similar to cocaine in a related Fritillaria plant that brings relief to muscular pain.

Traditional Usages and Functions

Clears heat, transforms phlegm, and stops coughing; clears heat and dissipates nodules.

Common Formulas Used In

Apricot Seed and Fritillaria; Fritillaria Extract Tablet.

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritillary
http://www.acupuncture-and-chinese-medicine.com/fritillaria.html

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

http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fritillaria+cirrhosa

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Some Health Quaries & Answers

Q: All the people in my apartment block are afflicted by sneezing and skin allergies. Recently I discovered that a neighbour rears parrots. Could it be due to this?

…………………………..

A: Parrots and other birds can cause allergies. Mites that live on the birds’ dander or feathers cause the allergies. The problem will persist as long as the parrots are there. But if they are confined to his apartment, it is unlikely that the allergens will affect all of you. So, before you blame the parrot fancier, please check if there are other allergens in the environment. Many people are allergic to incense sticks, mosquito repellents, burning camphor, or pollen.

Untreated schizophrenia:

Q: My brother has schizophrenia. My parents do not want to have him treated as they are afraid of what our relatives will say if the news leaks out. They are also afraid it will hamper my marriage prospects.

A: Mental illnesses are due to biochemical imbalances in the brain. They are chronic illnesses, like diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis. They require medication, rehabilitation and regular follow up visits to a psychiatrist. Medication is also needed for rectification. Unfortunately 75 per cent of the people do not accept this. The mentally ill are often denied treatment by their families. You need to take a firm stand in this regard and insist on treatment for your brother.

Boils on my face

Q: I get painful boils (not pimples) on my face, and my arms and legs also. After a few days they turn yellow and burst, discharging blood stained yellow pus.

A: Some people carry an organism called Staphylococcus on their skin and in their nose. The bacteria live in harmony with the person. When the skin is injured, they get access to the deeper layers of the skin. They then form these boils.

Bacteria have cell walls that can be broken by certain chemicals like trichlorocarbanilide (TCC). Some soaps like Neko and Dial contain this compound. The total fat content of these soaps is adjusted to be lethal for these bacteria. Bathe twice a day using one of these. On the appearance of a boil, apply a bactericidal ointment like mupirocin or bacitracin after a bath. Apply the same ointment to the nostrils twice a day using buds. Eventually the frequency and intensity of the attacks will reduce.

Low back pain

Q: My mother has terrible backache and the doctor says it is spondolisthesis. Is surgery essential?

A: Spondolisthesis is a term used to describe the slipping forward of the lumbar (back) vertebrae on the sacrum (tailbone). The degree of the slip is measured through CT scans. Surgery is required if it is grade 2 or higher. She can try conservative methods like physiotherapy and a lumbo-sacral support belt initially. As long as she can manage, it may be better to do so as surgery has its own inherent risks. After surgery physical rehabilitation and exercises are essential.

Missing fingers

Q: My daughter was born with the tips of two fingers of her left hand missing. The paediatrician said it is amniotic band syndrome. Will my next child also be affected?

A: The amniotic sac lines the inside of the uterus during pregnancy. The baby floats in this sac in a fluid called amniotic fluid. At times the sac ruptures in a place or two. This results in the formation of fibrous bands in the fluid. As the uterus grows the bands tighten. If it occurs around a finger, that may get severed (congenital amputation). The fingers can be reconstructed through plastic surgery. The condition is non-recurrent and your next child is unlikely to inherit it.

Reconstruction of the fingers with plastic surgery is the remedy.

Martial dad

Q: My father, 70 years, wants to join a Tai-chi class. Is that advisable? I have heard that it is a form of martial art from China which consists of hundreds of combinations of graceful and flowing movements.

A: Taught well by an expert and practised scientifically, Tai Chi improves balance, posture and strength. It provides flexibility and aligns painful arthritic and ageing joints. It also helps focus and improves concentration. Hence it has a positive effect on loss of memory, forgetfulness and mild dementia related to old age. The rhythmic breathing tones circulation, relaxes the mind, eases tension and aids restful sleep at night.

The advantages are many. In short, it is an ideal form of exercise for older people. You should be glad that your father wants to join a class.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Joint pain? It could be fluorosis

The next time you suffer from a persistent backache or an irritating stiff joint, don’t attribute it to long hours spent at the computer. It could well be the result of fluorosis, a disease thought to affect people in rural India with no access to safe drinking water. It’s time to include it in the long list of urban lifestyle diseases.

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While fluoride-rich water is perceived as a major cause for fluorosis, in reality, 50% of fluoride entry into the body is through food. Whether it’s a plate of chaat-papri, liberally sprinkled with black salt, canned fruit juices, black tea, masala powders or Hajmola tablets—all are equally responsible for increasing fluoride content in the body. Of course, regular consumption over a sustained period and the body’s immune system determine how badly the fluoride affects the system.

“Patients come to me with complaints of back-ache, joint pains, fatigue and low energy levels. When I test their drinking water, it’s perfect. But on testing their blood and urine samples, I find high fluoride content. Further examination reveals consumption of food rich in fluoride,” says Dr A K Susheela, executive director, Fluorosis Research and Rural Development Foundation (FRRDF). Since its setting up in 1997, number of urban patients, she says, has doubled.

A recent UNICEF study conducted in smaller towns and rural areas revealed that 66 million are afflicted by fluorosis in India. Out of this, nearly 6 million are children between 6-14 years. The disease is widespread—19 states and 203 districts are affected —but efforts to prevent it are negligible. Unfortunately, no study has been conducted in cities on the numbers affected through food.

“It’s necessary to first diagnose the disease. But no hospital is interested in buying the testing equipment. It costs only Rs one lakh. Is that too much for any hospital?” asks Susheela.

Till two years back, Bijoy De, an MNC executive, suffered from fluorosis symptoms—extreme fatigue, constant back and joint pains. When he visited Susheela, his haemoglobin level was 11. “I travel constantly and had little control over what I ate. On the advice of my doctor, I changed my food habits. Within 3-4 months, my haemoglobin level shot up to 13.”

Similarly, Kanpur-based Ratish Bajpai was constantly fatigued and had regular back pain. On testing, the blood serum level was eight times above normal, while the fluoride level in urine was 20 times higher. ” I had no idea about fluorosis. I vaguely knew it was something to do with water,” he says.

And that’s the level of awareness of most urban Indians—thanks to lack of knowledge among doctors and unavailability of fluorosis testing centres. Only two centres in the country, AIIMS and FRRDF, are equipped to test fluorosis. “As most doctors aren’t trained for the disease, it goes largely undiagnosed or misdiagnosed,” says Dr V B Bhasin, senior orthopaedic surgeon, Gangaram Hospital. In fact, many end up being treated for arthritis as the symptoms for both diseases are the same. In the past few years, Bhasin has had patients complaining of stiff joints and backaches.

When no other treatment works, he sends them for fluoride testing and most end up being positive. Affirms Dr P K Dave, chairman, Rockland Hospital, and a senior orthopaedic doctor, “In most cases, complaints of back pain have been traced to a high fluoride content in the body.”

Interestingly, fluorosis manifests itself slowly. The good news is that it can be easily prevented in the early stages. However, in the advanced stage, called skeletal fluorosis—when the vertebrae partially fuses and moving joints becomes difficult— there’s no cure.

“That’s why,” suggests Susheela, “it’s important not to ignore joint pains and backaches. It’s advisable to do a fluoride test whenever a backache or joint pain persists.”

Thankfully, awareness levels are rising, though slowly.

Source:The Times Of India

Mustard Oil and Mustard Seeds are Good for Health

oils

oils (Photo credit: jacob earl)

Mustard oil can reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases, say experts.Coronary heart diseases (CHD) are a leading cause of death. The use of mustard oil can reduce the risk of CHD,” said S.C. Manchanda, former professor, department of cardiothoracic diseases at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

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Mustard oil is one of the healthiest edible oils as it has the lowest amount of saturated fatty acids and a high amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are good for health.

Manchanda, who was speaking at a conference here, said: “Mustard oil is rich in non-saturated fat or unsaturated fats. This oil has shown to reduce cholesterol.”

Over 200 scientists, oil technologists, mustard processors, farmers, policy makers and trade professionals from across India took part in the conference.

“Renowned cardiologists have now started comparing the nutritional benefits of the mustard oil with olive oil and have conclusive proof about mustard oil’s superiority,” he said.

Mustard oil is healthier than olive oil because it has no trans-fats, has low saturated fats, high mono-unsaturated fats, high polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 and stability at high temperatures, which makes it ideal for Indian cooking and even deep frying,” the cardiologist said.

Trans-fatty acids, commonly termed trans-fats, are a type of unsaturated fat.

M.S. Ganesh, an oncologist, drew attention to the benefits of mustard oil in fighting cancer. Mustard oil has an ideal ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for human health.

“The linolenic acid, which is present in abundance in mustard, is converted in the human body into Omega-3 fatty acid. It helps in preventing common cancers like colon and stomach,” Ganesh said.

Therefore, use of mustard oil as nutritional supplement should be initiated as a preventive measure at an early stage for battling common cancers, he added.

The benefits of mustard oil is tremendous.Mustard seeds emerged from food ranking system as a very good source of selenium a nutrient which has been shown to help reduce the severity of asthma, decrease some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and help prevent cancer. They also qualified as a good source of magnesium. Like selenium, magnesium has been shown to help reduce the severity of asthma, to lower high blood pressure, to restore normal sleep patterns in women having difficulty with the symptoms of menopause, to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks, and to prevent heart attack in patients suffering from atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.
Mustard seeds also qualified as a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as a good source of iron, calcium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, protein, niacin and dietary fiber.
While mustard seeds were used for their culinary properties in ancient Greece, it seems that it was the ancient Romans who invented a paste from the ground seeds, which was probably the ancestor of our modern day mustard condiment. The physicians of both civilizations, including the father of medicine Hippocrates, used mustard seed medicinally.

Like most foods with ancient roots, mustard has been heralded as a curative. It stimulates appetite and digestion, and clears the sinuses in much the same way as chiles, which are said to be as effective as commercial decongestants. Mustard increases blood circulation, hence its use as mustard plaster, a dressing used to bring increased blood flow to inflamed areas of the body. Mustard flour sprinkled in your socks is said to save your toes from frostbite, a claim which is also made about cayenne pepper and other spices containing volatile oils.

One of mustard’s greatest health benefits is that it provides tremendous flavor for few calories and little fat. A gram of mustard flour contains just 4.3 calories and simple mustard preparations can be eaten with impunity by nearly everyone. Mustard itself contains no cholesterol, only trace amounts of vegetable fat, and is between 25-32% protein, depending on the variety of plant. Leaf mustard contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and Vitamin B.

Some Home Remedies :

1. For Hair Growth: Mustard oil, boiled with henna leaves, is useful for healthy growth of hair. About 250 ml of mustard oil should be boiled in a tin basin. About sixty grams of henna leaves should be gradually put in this oil till they are burnt in the oil. The oil should then be filtered using a cloth and stored. Regular massage of the head with the oil will produce abundant hair .

2.For ankle sprain, muscular or arthritic pain or oedema in the legs: Rub mustard oil on sore arthritic joints. Make a hot infusion of 2 teaspoon of mustard seed and apply onto the affected zone.
3. For Arthrities /Gouts
* Boil mustard oil (10ml) with one moderate pack of Garlic bulb, apply on the affected parts 3/4/ times a day.
* Massage with camphor oil few times a day on the affected parts.
* Apply warm mustard oil on the affected parts at the time of bed rest and cover them with Dhatura leaves overnight. Keep doing it for 15 days. Repeat again as per need.