Categories
Herbs & Plants

Campanula trachelium

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Botanical Name ; Campanula trachelium
Family: Campanulaceae
Genus: Campanula
Species: C. trachelium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Common Name :Nettle-leaved Bellflower,bats-in-the-belfry

Habitat ;Campanula trachelium is a Eurasian blue wildflower native to Denmark and England and now naturalized in southeast Ireland. It is also found southward through Europe into Africa and is also found in North America and Germany.

Description:
Life cycle : perennial (Z4-9)
Flowers: violet-blue
Size :18″
Light full : sun-part shade
Cultural notes: well-drained soil, not too dry


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Typical bellflower, with blue flowers on an upright but fairly small plant, with dark green leaves. Close-up inspection shows that the flowers and stems are slightly hairy. The flowering plants from last year didn’t return this year (although last year’s seedlings did, and are blooming now) – so it seems to have a biennial habit at least in our climate.

Medicinal Uses:
For pains in the ear, the blossoms of bellflower were gathered, boiling in a covered pan and after steeping the liquid, used to wash the ears.  If one had pain in the stomach, the root of this plant was cooked and spirits added.  After steeping for three hours, a small drink helped ease the pain.  In the smaller villages of Poland, children suffering from consumption were bathed in this herb: if the child’s skin darkened after such a bath, it was a sign that he/she would live.  If it didn’t, the disease would take them.

The alternate name Throatwort is derived from an old belief that Nettle-leafed campanulas are a cure for sore throat, & the species name trachelium refers to this old belief. There never was an actual medical benefit from the plant, which had no observable effect on the throat. But in past centuries, belief in the occult Doctrine of Signatures was very deeply stamped on superstitioius “believers.”

Other folknames include Our Lady’s Bells because the color blue was identified with the Virgin Mary’s scarf, veil, or shawl; Coventry Bells because C. trachelium was especially common in fields around Coventry; & “Bats-in-the-Belfry” or in the singular “Bat-in-the-Belfry,” because the stamens inside the flower were like bats hanging in the bell of a church steeple. Web site reference: http://www.paghat.com/gardenhome.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://www.robsplants.com/plants/CampaTrach
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campanula_trachelium

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Alternative Name: Coxsackievirus infection

Definition:
Hand-foot-mouth disease is a relatively common infection viral infection that usually begins in the throat.

A similar infection is herpangina.

Many people panic when they’re told they have hand, foot and mouth disease. They think they’ve got the infection that affects cattle, sheep and pigs, but the animal infection is called foot-and-mouth disease and is completely unrelated.

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It is a mild, contagious viral infection common in young children. Characterized by sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most commonly caused by a coxsackievirus.

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There’s no specific treatment for hand-foot-and-mouth disease. You can reduce your risk of infection from hand-foot-and-mouth disease by practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands often and thoroughly

Symptoms:
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease may cause all of the following signs and symptoms or just some of them. They include:

*Feeling of being unwell (malaise)
*Painful, red, blister-like lesions on the tongue, gums and inside of the cheeks
*A red, nonitchy, possibly blistery rash on palms of the hands and soles of the feet, and sometimes the buttocks
*Irritability in infants and toddlers
*Fever
*Headache
*Loss of appetite
*Rash with very small blisters on hands, feet, and diaper area; may be tender or painful if pressed
*Sore throat
*Ulcers in the throat (including tonsils), mouth, and tongue

The usual period from initial infection to the onset of signs and symptoms (incubation period) is three to seven days. A fever is often the first sign of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, followed by a sore throat and sometimes a poor appetite and malaise. One or two days after the fever begins, painful sores may develop in the mouth or throat. A rash on the hands and feet and possibly on the buttocks can follow within one or two days.

Causes:
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) is most commonly caused by coxsackievirus A16, a member of the enterovirus family.

The disease is not spread from pets, but it can be spread by person to person. You may cacth it if you come into direct contact with nose and throat discharges, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stools of an infected person. You are most contagious the first week you have the disease.

The time between infection and the development of symptoms is about 3 – 7 days.

Oral ingestion is the main source of coxsackievirus infection and hand-foot-and-mouth disease. The illness spreads by person-to-person contact with nose and throat discharges, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stool of someone with the infection. The virus can also spread through a mist of fluid sprayed into the air when someone coughs or sneezes.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most common in children in child care settings because of frequent diaper changes and potty training, and because little children often put their hands in their mouths.

Although your child is most contagious with hand-foot-and-mouth disease during the first week of the illness, the virus can remain in his or her body for weeks after the signs and symptoms are gone. That means your child still can infect others.

Some people, particularly adults, can pass the virus without showing any signs or symptoms of the disease.

Outbreaks of the disease are more common in summer and autumn in the United States and other temperate climates. In tropical climates, outbreaks occur year-round.

Risk Factors:
The most important risk factor is age. The infection occurs most often in children under age 10, but can be seen in adolescents and occasionally adults.

Children in child care centers are especially susceptible to outbreaks of hand-foot-and-mouth disease because the infection spreads by person-to-person contact, and young children are the most susceptible.

Children usually develop immunity to hand-foot-and-mouth disease as they get older by building antibodies after exposure to the virus that causes the disease. However, it’s possible for adolescents and adults to get the disease

Diagnosis:
A history of recent illness and a physical examination, demonstrating the characteristic vesicles on the hands and feet, are usually sufficient to diagnose the disease.

However the doctor will likely be able to distinguish hand-foot-and-mouth disease from other types of viral infections by evaluating:

*The age of the affected person
*The pattern of signs and symptoms
*The appearance of the rash or sores
*A throat swab or stool specimen may be taken and sent to the laboratory to determine which virus caused the illness.(this test may not always needed)

Treatment:
There is no specific treatment for the infection other than relief of symptoms.Most people need no specific medical treatment and are better within a week or so. Complications are rare, but occasionally it can lead to mild viral meningitis.

Treatment with antibiotics is not effective, and is not indicated. Over-the-counter medicines, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) can be used to treat fever. Aspirin is no longer recommended for children under 16, because of a possible link with a serious problem called Reye’s syndrome.

Salt water mouth rinses (1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 glass of warm water) may be soothing if the child is able to rinse without swallowing. Make sure your child gets plenty of fluids. Extra fluid is needed when a fever is present. The best fluids are cold milk products. Many children refuse juices and sodas because their acid content causes burning pain in the ulcers.

You can also try giving them soft cold foods such as yoghurt or ice cream, and plenty of cold drinks, to ease the discomfort of a soft mouth.

Children are sometimes excluded from nursery or school during the first few days of the illness in an attempt to prevent it spreading, but this can be difficult as the viruses that cause it are widespread in the community.

Prognosis: Generally, complete recovery occurs in 5 to 7 days.

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/handfootmouth.shtml
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hand-foot-and-mouth-disease/DS00599
http://healthtools.aarp.org/adamcontent/hand-foot-mouth-disease?CMP=KNC-360I-GOOGLE-HEA&HBX_PK=hand_foot_mouth_disease&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=hand%2Bfoot%2Bmouth%2Bdisease&utm_campaign=G_Diseases%2Band%2BConditions&360cid=SI_148905163_5812331101_1

http://www.hpb.gov.sg/health_articles/hfmd/

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Cynanchum atratum

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Botanical Name :Cynanchum atratum
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Cynanchum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms : Vincetoxicum atratum. (Bunge.)Morr.&Decne.
Common Name :Bai Wei

Habitat: Cynanchum atratum is native to E. Asia – Northern China, Japan. It grows in the mountains all over Japan. Sunny meadows from the lowlands to elevations of 500 metres.

Description :
Cynanchum atratum is al herbs or subshrubs, often growing to 0.6 m (2ft) from rhizomes. The leaves are usually oppositely arranged and sometimes are borne on petioles. It is in flower from May to June. The inflorescences and flowers come in a variety of shapes.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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Like other species of the milkweed family, these plants bear follicles, which are podlike dry fruits.

Cynanchum is a genus of about 300 species including some swallowworts, belonging to the family Apocynaceae. The taxon name comes from Greek kynos (meaning “dog”) and anchein (“to choke”), referring to the toxicity of these plants. Hence the common name for several species is dog-strangling vine. Most species are non-succulent climbers or twiners.

Cynanchum louiseae, the black swallowwort, is a troublesome noxious weed in parts of the northern United States.

Cultivation:
This species does not need any special process for cultivation as this is probably succeed in most soils in a sunny position.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in the greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring.

Edible Uses:   Young stem and leaves – cooked. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Young seedpods – thoroughly boiled. Some caution is advised.

Medicinal Uses:
The root of Cynanchum atratum is used in Chinese traditional medicine and called Bai wei. Several other species had traditional Chinese medicinal uses.

The roots are used to treat fever, coughs, blood in urine, inflammation of the urethra. Cardiac tonic ingredients of bai wei stimulate the heart muscle and improve contraction and slow down heart rate.  Bai wei can inhibit pneumococcus. Toxic amount: 30-40 grams.  Koreans use the root to treat women in pregnancy and parturition, for fever and micturition, and to apply externally to rounds..

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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynanchum
http://www.nutraherbalsolutions.com/Herb%20Garden,%20Guangxi,%20China.htm

http://detail.en.china.cn/provide/detail,1071445520.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cynanchum+atratum

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Erythrasma

Definition:
Erythrasma is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium minutissimum. It occurs most often between the third and fourth toes, but it can also frequently be found in the groin, armpits, and under the breasts. Because of it’s color and location, it’s often confused with a fungal infection like jock itch. Erythrasma is more common in the following populations:

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It is prevalent among diabetics, the obese,elderly, and People in warm, moist climates   and is worsened by wearing occlusive clothing.

Symptoms:
The main symptoms are reddish-brown slightly scaly patches with sharp borders. The patches occur in moist areas such as the groin, armpit, and skin folds. They may itch slightly and often look like patches associated with other fungal infections, such as ringworm.

Erythrasmic patches are typically found in intertriginous areas (skin fold areas – e.g. armpit, groin, under breast) – with the toe web-spaces being most commonly involved.

The patient is commonly otherwise asymptomatic.

Causes:
Erythrasma is caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium minutissimum.

Erythrasma is more common in warm climates. You are more likely to develop this condition if you are overweight or have diabetes.

The patches of erythrasma are initially pink, but progress quickly to become brown and scaly (as skin starts to shed).

Diagnosis:
At times, your doctor can diagnose erythrasma based on its typical appearance. But more often, your doctor will need to perform other tests to help make the diagnosis. The best way for your doctor to tell the difference between erythrasma and a fungal infection is to do a Wood’s Lamp examination on the rash. Under the UV light of a Woods Lamp, erythrasma turns a bright coral red, but fungal infections do not.

Other tests that may help include:
*A simple side-room investigation with a Wood’s lamp:It is additionally useful in diagnosing erythrasma. The ultraviolet light of a Wood’s lamp causes the organism to fluoresce a coral red color, differentiating it from fungal infections and other skin conditions.

•Gram Stain: A way to identify bacteria from a sample of the scale. Unfortunately, this bacteria is difficult to get to stick to the slide so it requires a special technique.

•KOH Test: This is a test used to identify fungal elements. This test might be done to confirm that there is no fungus present.

•Skin Biopsy: A sample of tissue is removed and evaluated under a microscope. In erythrasma, the bacteria can be seen in the upper layer of the specimen.

Treatment:
Since this is a bacterial infection, erythrasma is best treated with antibiotics, and fortunately several antibiotics fit the bill.

The following are antibiotics that are typically prescribed for erythrasma:
•Erythromycin 250mg four times a day for 5 days
•Clarithromycin 1gm once
•The antifungal creams miconazole, clotrimazole and econazole, but not ketoconazole
•Topical antibiotics like clindamycin or erythromycin twice a day for 2 weeks

Gently scrubbing the skin patches with antibacterial soap may help them go away.

Prognosis:
Complete recovery is expected following treatment.

Prevention:
These measures may reduce the risk of erythrasma:

•Maintaining good hygiene
•Keeping the skin dry
•Wearing clean, absorbent clothing
•Avoiding excessive heat or moisture
•Maintaining healthy body weight

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/erythrasma1.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythrasma
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001470.htm
http://dermatology.about.com/od/infectionbacteria/a/erythrasma.htm

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Argyreia nervosa

Botanical Name : Argyreia speciosa
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Argyreia
Species: A. nervosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales
Synonyms: Argyreia speciosa, Convolvulus nervosus, Convolvulus speciosus.
Common Names: Baby Hawaiian Woodrose, Baby Woodrose, Cordon Seda, Coup D’Air, Elephant Creeper, , Adhoguda or Vidhara, Liane A Minguet, Liane D’ Argent, Samudrasokh, Silver Morning Glory, Woolly Morning Glory.

Habitat : Native to eastern India and Bangladesh, Argyreia nervosa, Baby Hawaiian Woodrose has become panTropical.  Now introduced to numerous areas worldwide, including Hawaii, Africa and the Caribbean, it can be invasive, although is often prized for its aesthetic value. Common names include Hawaiian Baby Woodrose,

Description:
Perennial climber, height of  vine is  10m.

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Flower: clusters of trumpets, 5cm (about 2 inches) violet/lavender inside with a deep coloured throat, white with fine hairs outside. The plant can start growing flowers as early as 18 months from seed. For this to occur, there must be sufficient watering and adequate room for the roots to grow; it can take up to five years for the first signs of flowering to become visible.
Fruit: “Woodrose”; globular berry, 1 to 2cm diameter, with rosette of “wooden” petals. Often sold for dried flower arrangements/pot-pourri.

Foliage: 15 to 40cm long cordate (heart-shaped) prominently nerved leaves, felted (tomentose) beneath with minute silky hairs.

Seeds :
The seeds are found in the pods of dried flowers. These cannot be harvested until the pods are completely dried. There are 3 to 5 seeds, commonly 4, per flower.

Roots

Some people place approximately 1 to 2 inches (2 to 4 cm) in rich potting soil with a good drainage system. It is very important during the first stages of growth to keep the soil moist, though well drained, as saturation will cause root rot and possibly rot. It is important to keep the mix well aerated.

The massive root system of this plant can cause the plant to become rootbound within the first year or so. For example, a 5-year-old plant in a 15-gallon pot (after only six months) will begin to show signs of becoming rootbound. It is suggested to use a 55-gallon drum or a feeding trough (commonly used for livestock and horses).

Cultivation:

Very easy !

Just soak the seeds in water overnight, then keep them on a moist paper towel until the roots start to poke out.

When you can see a little white root starting to push out from one end of a seed sow the seed into a water retaining but free draining growing mix – about an inch (2 cm) or slightly more below the surface with the little root pointing upwards !

Within a few days the first 2 leaves will pull themselves out of the ground.

Chemical constituents — The plant contains tannin and amber-colored resin, soluble in ether, benzole; partly soluble in alkalis; and fatty oil.103

The seeds have shown the presence of alkaloids, viz., chanoclavine, ergine, ergonovine, and isoergine by various workers.10

Pharmacological action — Alterative, aphrodisiac, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, tonic, and emollient.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used — Root and seeds.
Ayurvedic description — Rasa — katu, tikta, kasaya; Guna — laghu, snigdha; Veerya — ushna; Vipak — madhur.

Action and uses—Kapha vatsamak, branpachan,daran, sodhan, ropan, naribalya, dipan, pachan, ampachan, anulomon, rachan, hiridya sothahar, surkrjanan, pramehangan, balya, rasayan.

Powder of the root is given with “ghee” as an alterative; in elephantiasis the powder is given with rice water. In inflammation of the joints it is given with milk and a little castor oil. A paste of the roots made with rice water is applied over rheumatic swelling and rubbed over the body to reduce obesity. The whole plant is reported to have antiseptic properties.1 The leaves are antiphlogistic; they are applied over skin diseases and wounds;109 the silky side of the leaf is applied over tumors, boils, sores, and carbuncles;, as an irritant to promote maturation and suppuration.50 The leaves are also used for extracting guinea worms. A drop of the leaf juice is used in otitis.

The root of this plant is regarded as alterative, tonic and useful in rheumatic affections, and diseases of the nervous system. As an alterative and nervine tonic it is prescribed in the following manner. The powdered root is soaked, seven times during seven days, in the juice of the tubers of Asparagus racemosus ( satamuli) and dried. The resulting powder is given in doses of a quarter to half a tola, with clarified butter, for about a month. It is said to improve the intellect, strengthen the body and prevent the effects of age.1 In synovitis the powdered root is given with milk.2

Ajamod?di churna.3 Take of ajowan, baberang, rock salt, plumbago root, Cedrus deodara, long pepper root, long pepper, black pepper and dill seeds each two tolsa, chebulic myrobalan ten tolas, root of Argyreia speciosa twenty tolas, ginger twenty tolas; powder and mix. Dose, about two drachms with treacle. This preparation is said to be useful in rheumatic affections and hemiplegia

Other Uses:  Psychotropic, in India it is an Ayurvedic medicinal plant, ornamental (dried flower arrangements).

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/Hawaiian_baby_woodrose
http://b-and-t-world-seeds.com/365.htm
http://www.iamshaman.com/hbwr/ayurvedic.htm
http://chestofbooks.com/health/materia-medica-drugs/Hindus-Materia-Medica/Argyreia-Speciosa-Sweet-Syn-Lettsomia-Nervosa-Roxb-Sans.html

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