Tag Archives: American Family Physician

Chamomile

Botanical Name: Matricaria chamomilla
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Anthemideae
Genus: Matricaria
Species: M. chamomilla
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonym: Matricaria recutita

Common Names:Chamomile, German chamomile, Hungarian chamomile (kamilla), wild chamomile or scented mayweed,

Habitat:Chamomile is native to southern and eastern Europe. It is also grown in Germany, Hungary, France, Russia, Yugoslavia, and Brazil. It was introduced to India during the Mughal period, now it is grown in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Jammu and Kashmir. The plants can be found in North Africa, Asia, North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand. Hungary is the main producer of the plant biomass. In Hungary, it also grows abundantly in poor soils and it is a source of income to poor inhabitants of these areas. Flowers are exported to Germany in bulk for distillation of the oil. It often grows near roads, around landfills, and in cultivated fields as a weed, because the seeds require open soil to survive.

Description:
Chamomile is an annual plant with thin spindle-shaped roots only penetrating flatly into the soil. The branched stem is erect, heavily ramified, and grows to a height of 10–80 cm. The long and narrow leaves are bi- to tripinnate. The flower heads are placed separately, they have a diameter of 10–30 mm, and they are pedunculate and heterogamous. The golden yellow tubular florets with 5 teeth are 1.5–2.5 mm long, ending always in a glandulous tube. The flowers bloom in early to midsummer, and have a strong, aromatic smell. The flowers are 6–11 mm long, 3.5 mm wide, and arranged concentrically. The receptacle is 6–8 mm wide, flat in the beginning and conical, cone-shaped later, hollow—the latter being a very important distinctive characteristic of Matricaria—and without paleae. The fruit is a yellowish brown achene.

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Cultivation:
German chamomile can be grown on any type of soil, but growing the crop on rich, heavy, and damp soils should be avoided. It can also withstand cold weather with temperature ranging from 2°C to 20°C. The crop has been grown very successfully on the poor soils (loamy sand) at the farm of the Regional Research Laboratory, Jammu. At Banthra farm of the National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, the crop has been grown successfully on soil with a pH of 9. Soils with pH 9–9.2 are reported to support its growth. In Hungary, it grows extensively on clayey lime soils, which are barren lands and considered to be too poor for any other crop. Temperature and light conditions (sunshine hours) have greater effect on essential oils and azulene content, than soil type. Chamomile possesses a high degree of tolerance to soil alkalinity. The plants accumulate fairly large quantity of sodium (66 mg/100 gm of dry material), which helps in reducing the salt concentration in the top soil.[43] No substantial differences were found in the characteristics of the plants grown 1500 km apart (Hungary–Finland). Under cooler conditions in Finland, the quantity of the oxide type in the essential oil was lower than in Hungary.

Propagation:
The plant is propagated by seeds. The seeds of the crop are very minute in size; a thousand seeds weigh 0.088–0.153 gm. About 0.3–0.5 kg of clean seed with a high germination percentage sown in an area of 200–250 m2 gives enough seedlings for stocking a hectare of land. The crop can be grown by two methods i.e. direct sowing of the seed and transplanting. Moisture conditions in the field for direct sowing of seeds must be very good otherwise a patchy and poor germination is obtained. As direct sowing of seeds usually results in poor germination, the transplanting method is generally followed. The mortality of the seedlings is almost negligible in transplanting.

Medicinal Uses:
Chamomile is used in herbal medicine for a sore stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, and as a gentle sleep aid. It is also used as a mild laxative and is anti-inflammatory and bactericidal. It can be taken as an herbal tea, two teaspoons of dried flower per cup of tea, which should be steeped for 10 to 15 minutes while covered to avoid evaporation of the volatile oils. The marc should be pressed because of the formation of a new active principle inside the cells, which can then be released by rupturing the cell walls, though this substance only forms very close to boiling point. For a sore stomach, some recommend taking a cup every morning without food for two to three months. It has been studied as a mouthwash against oral mucositis ]and may have acaricidal properties against certain mites, such as Psoroptes cuniculi.

One of the active ingredients of its essential oil is the terpene bisabolol. Other active ingredients include farnesene, chamazulene, flavonoids (including apigenin, quercetin, patuletin and luteolin) and coumarin.

Dried chamomile has a reputation (among herbalists) for being incorrectly prepared because it is dried at a temperature above the boiling point of the volatile components of the plant.

Chamomile is used topically in skin and mucous membrane inflammations and skin diseases. It can be inhaled for respiratory tract inflammations or irritations; used in baths as irrigation for anogenital inflammation; and used internally for GI spasms and inflammatory diseases. However, clinical trials supporting any use of chamomile are limited.

Possible Side Effects:
Chamomile, a relative of ragweed, can cause allergy symptoms and can cross-react with ragweed pollen in individuals with ragweed allergies. It also contains coumarin, so care should be taken to avoid potential drug interactions, e.g. with blood thinners.

While extremely rare, very large doses of chamomile may cause nausea and vomiting. Even more rarely, rashes may occur. A type-IV allergic reaction with severe anaphylaxis has been reported in a 38-year old man who drank chamomile tea.

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matricaria_chamomilla
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210003/
http://www.drugs.com/npp/chamomile.html

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Waltheria indica

Botanical Name : Waltheria indica
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Waltheria
Species: W. indica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Names: Sleepy Morning, Basora Prieta, Hierba de Soldado, Guimauve, Mauve-gris, Moto-branco, Fulutafu, Kafaki, and Uhaloa (Hawaii).

Habitat :  It is most common in dry, disturbed or well-drained, moist habitats. In Puerto Rico, it grows in areas that receive 750–1,800 mm (30–71 in) of annual rainfall and at elevations from sea level to more 400 m (1,300 ft)

Description:
Waltheria indica is a species of flowering plant.It  is a short-lived subshrub or shrub, reaching a height of 2 m (6.6 ft) and a stem diameter of 2 cm (0.79 in). Stems rather rigid, erect to sometimes decumbent, velvety tomentose throughout, the hairs stellate.  Leaves rugose, broadly ovate to oblong-ovate, 2-15.5 cm long, 1-6 cm wide, tomentose with stellate hairs, lower surface paler, apex rounded, sometimes obtuse, base rounded to subcordate, petioles 0.5-4.5 cm long.  Flowers fragrant, in axillary, sessile or pedunculate glomerules, bracts linear; calyx strongly ribbed, ca. 3-5 mm long, villous; petals yellow, spatulate, 4-6 mm long; style bearded.  Capsules obliquely globose, 2.5-3 mm long” (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1280).
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Medicinal Uses:
It is frequently used to treat asthma and painful coughs, only the Hawaiians are known to use it for sore throats by chewing  the root bark and gargleing the juice.  In Hawaii it  is a very effective treatment for high blood pressure and diabetes. The remedy is made by pounding a bundle of the root bark, stems and leaves with a little lemongrass and ginger for flavoring, then brewing the material into a strong decoction that is consumed over five days.  A traditional plant of the Hawaiian medica, Uhaloa is used for sore throat, common cold, cough, bronchial phlegm or mucous.
In Polynesia the root bark (cortex) is chewed upon for sore throat, while in Hawaii it is used internally for arthritis, neuralgia and chronic cases of asthma.  An infusion of stem and leaves is also used.   Used against the diarrhea, unwanted pregnancy, painful menstruation and fatigue. Also used for dry itchy cough, mucous, chest colds or chest congestion. It is used as a poultice for minor infections.   Root and leaves used as anti-spasmodic, in treating abdominal disorders, as an analgesic in toothache, tonic, in treating joints affections, diarrhea, and ulcers.  The flowers of the ‘uhaloa are considered “good medicine for children” (more than 10 days old).

You may click to read more: http://www.staradvertiser.com/columnists/theurbangardener/20110110_uhaloa_is_a_treasure_of_traditional_medicine.html

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/Waltheria_indica
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.hear.org/starr/images/image/?q=010818-0026&o=plants

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Cause, Effect, And Transformation

Feeling Depleted
There are times in our lives when it seems our bodies are running on empty. We are not sick, nor are we necessarily pushing ourselves to the limit-rather, the energy we typical enjoy has mysteriously dissipated, leaving only fatigue. Many people grow accustomed to feeling this way because they do not know that it is possible to exist in any other state. The body’s natural state, however, is one of energy, clarity, and balance. Cultivating these virtues in our own bodies so that we can combat feelings of depletion is a matter of developing a refined awareness of the self and then making changes based on our observations.

A few scant moments of focused self-examination in which you assess your recent schedule, diet, and general health may help you zero in on the factors causing your depletion. If you are struggling to cope with an overfull agenda, prioritization can provide you with more time to sleep and otherwise refresh yourself. Switching to a diet containing plenty of nutritious foods may serve to restore your vigor, especially when augmented by supplements like B vitamins or ginseng. Consider, too, that a visit to a healer or homeopath will likely provide you with wonderful insights into your tiredness. But identifying the source of your exhaustion will occasionally be more complicated than spotting a void in your lifestyle and filling it with some form of literal nourishment. Since your earthly and ethereal forms are so intimately entwined, matters of the mind and heart can take their toll on your physical self. Intense emotions such as anger, sadness, jealousy, and regret need fuel to! manifest in your consciousness, and this fuel is more often than not corporeal energy. Conversely, a lack of mental and emotional stimulation may leave you feeling listless and lethargic.

Coping with and healing physical depletion will be easier when you accept that the underlying cause might be more complex than you at first imagined. A harried lifestyle or a diet low in vital nutrients can represent only one part of a larger issue affecting your mood, stamina, and energy levels. When you believe that you are ultimately in control of how you feel, you will be empowered to transform yourself and your day-to-day life so that lasting fatigue can no longer gain a foothold in your existence.

Source:Daily Om