Scientists tested lavender oil and found it to be lethal to a range of skin-pathogenic strains known as dermatophytes, as well as various species of Candida. Dermatophytes cause infections of the skin, hair and nails, and Candida species can cause mucocutaneous candidosis, also known as thrush.
Science Daily reports:
“Currently, there are relatively few types of antifungal drugs to treat infections and those that are available often have side effects … Essential oils distilled from the Lavandula genus of lavender plants are already used widely, particularly in the food, perfume and cosmetic industries. Studies of the biological activities of these oils suggest Lavandula oils have sedative and antispasmodic properties as well being potent antimicrobials and antioxidants.”
The word fungus conjures up visions of mold and dirty, damp unhygienic surroundings. Many of us may cringe at the thought of developing a fungal infection. But these infections are common and most people suffer from several attacks during the course of a lifetime. Click to see the picture
In babies, small curd-like white patches can form in the mouth. These are difficult to remove. If scraped off, a raw red area is exposed. This is commonly called “thrush” and is caused by a fungal specie called candida. It may occur if the child is bottle fed, uses a pacifier or has recently had a course of antibiotics. It may make the child irritable while feeding.
Oral thrush may occur in adults too if they have ill-fitting dentures, suffer from diabetes, have had a course of antibiotics, consumed steroids, are on anti-cancer drugs, are smokers, or are immuno compromised as a result of medicines or HIV infection.
In adults as well as children, oral thrush can be treated with applications of anti-fungal medication like clotrimazole two or three times a day. Dentures must be cleaned regularly. Feeding bottles and artificial nipples should ideally not be used. If thrush has occurred, they must be rinsed with a solution of equal parts of vinegar and water and air dried prior to sterilisation.
Candida and some bacteria like lactobacillus normally live in perfect harmony in the vagina. The lactobacillus produces acid, which prevents the overgrowth of candida. If this balance is disrupted, candida can overgrow, resulting in infection. Imbalance occurs as a result of diabetes, pregnancy, hormonal tablets, antibiotics, steroids or immuno suppression. Frequent douching or using “feminine hygiene sprays” may also lead to infection. Vaginal fungal infections owing to candida affect almost all women. It causes redness, an uncontrollable itch and an odourless white discharge. You may click to see :Natural solutions for Candida Albicans: Candida diet
Treatment involves the application of creams or insertion of vaginal tablets for one, three or six days. Sometimes oral medicines have to be taken. The bacteria-fungus balance in the vagina can be restored by eating lactobacillus. This is found in homemade curd. A tablespoon a day usually restores the balance.
Men can develop candida infection on the foreskin, especially if they are diabetic. The skin is itchy and may develop fissures. Topical anti-fungal creams work well.
Men are also prone to developing “jock itch” (or dhobi’s itch), an infection of the groin area where the skin is usually warm and moist. Infection is precipitated by wearing tight undergarments, or not changing sweaty exercise clothes promptly. Treatment involves bathing regularly, wearing loose-fitting clothes and application of anti-fungal creams.
The warm moist areas between the toes may also develop a fungal infection called Tinea pedis or athlete’s foot. It causes itching, burning, cracking and at times blisters. It occurs with wearing damp socks and tight airless shoes, especially of a non-porous material like plastic.
To prevent Tinea pedis, the feet need to be aired and socks changed regularly. Once infection has developed, the feet should be soaked in equal quantities of water and vinegar for 10 minutes a day. After wiping them dry, an anti-fungal cream needs to be applied. The infection may take two to four weeks to clear up.
The warm and moist areas of the inner thighs, genitalia, armpits, under the breasts, and waist may also develop fungal infection and become red, itchy, oozy and sore. This is common in overweight individuals and those with diabetes. Treatment is by bathing regularly and keeping the area dry. Talcum powder aggravates the problem. Instead, the area should be patted dry after a bath and a combination of a “diaper rash” cream containing zinc oxide and an anti-fungal medication must be applied.
Toe nails and fingernails can also get infected by fungus. The nail then hurts, breaks easily and becomes discoloured. This occurs if the nails are constantly exposed to moisture or are immersed in water, if non-absorbent socks or shoes are used, or if the person has diabetes. Treatment is with applications and medications for one and a half to six months. Soaking the feet in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water for 10 minutes daily and then applying Vicks VapoRub has anecdotally been shown to be effective.
The outer layers of the skin can develop scaly white patches of Tinea versicolor infection. Moist climates, sweating, humidity and hormonal changes have been blamed for this. The infection responds well to Selinium sulphide (Selsun) or Ketoconazole (Nizral) shampoo.
Ringworm causes round, hairless patches on the scalp and skin. They are contagious and spread by contact with infected humans or animals. Medicines have to be taken for six weeks. Topical agents are not effective.
Wormseed, Jesuit’s tea, Mexican-tea, payqu (paico), epazote, or herba sancti Mariæ
Habitat :In the settled areas throughout the Philippines, cultivated and spontaneous, at medium and higher altitudes.
Now pantropic.Chenopodium ambrosioides originated in Central American, long used as an anthelmintic in many parts of the world. Once referred to as Baltimore Oil for that Maryland city’s large oil extraction facility. Although Chenopodium has been replaced by more effective and less toxic anthelmintics, it is still used in many indigenous traditional systems for the treatment of worm infections in both humans and livestock.
An erect or ascending, branched, glandular herb, often nearly 1 m high. Stems angled, smooth or glandular-pubescent.
· Leaves: oblong to oblong-lanceolate 3 to 10 cm in length, with a rank aromatic odor when crushed and with lobed margins.
· Flowers: small and spicate, regular, perfect. Sepals 5, sometimes only 3 and enclosing the utricle, which is less than 1 mm long. Petals none, stamens as many as sepals, hypogynous or somewhat perigynous, filaments distinct, anthers interse. Ovary 1-celled, free, usually depressed, styles 2 or 3.
· Fruits: utricles, the seed horizontal, smooth and shining. click to see the pictures…..(01)..……(1)……....(2).……...(3)……....(4).…..
• Tender leaves sometimes used as potherb.
• Contains oxalic acid which is reduced by cooking. Should be used with caution in patients with gout, kidney stones, rheumatism.
Constituents and properties:
*Plant yields anthraglycosides, cinnamic acid derivatives, mucins and pectins, saponins, amygdalin, volatile oils ascaridol and geraniol, cymene, terpenine.
*The essential oil in the seed and flowering plant is highly toxic.
*Analgesic, antiasthmatic, antifungal, carminative, stomachic, vermifuge.
*Bruised leaves emit a somewhat foetid odor.
*The characteristic smell of the plant is attributed to ascaridol.
· Entire plant.
· Collect during the months of May to October.
· Rinse, dry under the sun and compress.
• Hookworm infections and hookworm inflammatory disease: dose for adults – 2.6 to 3 gms of dried powdered material every morning and every night daily for 3 to 6 consecutive days.
• Decoction may be used as wash for various skin diseases of the lower limbs, eczema, ulcers.
• Prepared drug is sharp and bitter tasting.
• Infusion taken as digestive remedy, for colic and stomach pains.
• Used as a wash for hemorrhoids.
• Poultice for snake bites and other poisons.
• Used for wound healing.
• Anectodal reports of cures in use for uterine fibroids and certain cancers.
• In Mexico, used as emmenagogue and vermifuge.
• Used as abortifacient.
• In the Antilles, used as antispasmodic; decoction as internal hemostatic; the bruised plant for ulcers.
• In Africa, infusion used for colds and stomach aches.
• In the Yucatan, indigenous tribes have used epazote for intestinal parasites, asthma, chorea and other nervous afflictions.
• In Peru, plant soaks used topically for arthritis.
• Used as fumigant against mosquitoes and added to fertilizers to inhibit insect larvae.
• In Latin America, plant is used to treat worms in livestock.
Studies:- • Genotoxic: Study on human lymphocyte cell cultures showed a possible genotoxic effect. • Antitumor: Study on Swiss mice concluded that Chenopoium ambrosioides has potent anti-tumoral effect attributed to its anti-oxidant properties. • Anthelmintic: (1) Although the study did not reduce the number of nematode adults or eggs on short-term treatment, in in-vitro testing, the oil reduced the viability of eggs and suggested a long-term strategy for reduction of parasite loads at a whole farm level. (2) Study suggests the traditional use of CA infusions as vermifuge is safer than use of the herb’s essential oil. • Antimycotic: The essential oil from the leaves exhibited antimycotic activity against dermatophytes Trychophyton mentagrophytes and Microsporum audouinii. Petroleum jelly oil showed to control established ringworm infection in guinea-pigs in preliminary trials. • Trypanocidal: Study yielded four monoterpene hydroperoxides and ascaridole and exhibited trypanocidal activity against T cruzi. • Anti-Leishmaniasis: (1) Study showed the essential oil of CA had potent inhibitory effect against promastigote and amastigote forms of Leishmania amazonensis and presents a potential source of a drug to combat leishmaniasis. (2) Study clearly demonstrated that the essential oil of CA could be an alternative for the development of a new drug against cutaneous leishmaniasis. • Analgesic / Antipyretic: Moroccan study of fresh leaf aqueous extract exhibited marked analgesic effect. Also, the extract produced a significant inhibition of yeast-induced pyrexia in rats, confirming its traditional use as a remedy for fever.
Toxicity and concerns: • Oil: Essential oil in the seed and flowering parts is highly toxic. It can cause dizziness, vomiting, salivation, increased heart rate and respirations, convulsions and death. Inhalation is dangerous.
•Allergic reactions / Dermatitis: Oil of chenopodium can cause skin reactions.
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.
Habitat :Common annual shrub in Indian gardens, backyards of houses and waste place throughout the plains of India.A common weed in and about towns, in thickets and waste places throughout the Philippines.
An erect, simple or branched, slightly hairy annual herb, growing to a height of 40-80 cm. Leaves are ovate. 3 to 6 cm long, shorter than the long stalks, with toothed margins. Flowers are sessile, greenish, borne on numerous lax axillary spikes. The male flowers are very small, clustered at the summit. Female flowers are solitary and scattered, with a large and leafy bract, 5-6 mm long. Capsules are 2 mm long and concealed by the bract, containing one seed which is ovoid and smooth.
Edible Parts: Plant, Leaf, Root
In India during famine it was eaten asfood, leaves eaten as vegetable.
Contains an alkaloid, acalyphine. Anthelminthic, cathartic, emetic, expectorant, laxative.
Medicinal Uses: Folkloric
*Decoction of leaves used for dysentery.
*Juice of the root and leaves given to children as expectorant and emetic.
*The leaves, in decoction or powdered form, is used as a laxative.
*For constipation, an anal suppository of the bruised leaves helps relax the constricted sphincter ani muscle.
*Leaves mixed with garlic used as anthelminthic.
*Leaves mixed with common salt applied to scabies.
*Poultice of bruised leaves used for syphilitic ulcers, to maggot-eaten sores and as emollient to snake bites.
*Powdered dried leaves for bed sores.
*Juice of fresh leaves, mixed with oil or lime, used for rheumatic complaints.
*Decoction of leaves used as instillation for earaches and for periauricular poultice or compress
*Root, bruised in water, used as cathartic.
*Bruised leaves used as “suppository” in constipation.
In Indian pharmacopoeia, used as an expectorant. Also used for the prevention and reversal of atherosclerotic disease.
In Tamilnadu, India, the Paliyar tribes of Shenbagathope use the entire plant for bronchitis, a decoction of the herb for tooth- and earaches and paste of the leaves applied to burns.
Studies:- • Post-Coital Infertility Activity: Petroleum ether and ethanol extracts of A. indica were found to be effective in causing significant anti-implantation activity. • Flavonoids: Four known kaempferol glycosides–mauritianin, clitorin, nicotiflorin and biorobin were isolated from the flowers and leaves of A. indica. • Phytochemicals: Studies yielded fatty acids (eicosatrienoic acid methyl ester, hexatriacontaine, trimethyl undecatriene and trifluoroacetic acid), volatile essential oil (phytol), and flavonoids (naringing, quercitrin, hesperitin and kaempferol; most of the identified components having their own medicinal properties. • Antibacterial: Study have shown it to possess antibacterial activity against Aeromonas hydrophylla and Bacillus cereus. • Anti-ulcer: Ethanol extract has an anti-ulcer property. • Antifungal / Antimicrobial:(1) Study of fresh, dried and powdered samples of leaf, stem and root of Acalypha indica showed activity against Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger and E. coli. An active compound showed more activity than clotrimazole. (2) Study concludes the plant has potential antifungal properties providing a scientific basis for utilization of the plant for treatment of antifungal infections. Results of study were negative for antibacterial activity against E coli and S aureus. • Antimalarial: Results of leaf extract of A. indica show promising larvicidal and ovicidal activity against malaria vector A. stephensi. •Neuroprotective / Neurotherapeutic: Results of water extract study showed A indica has neuroprotective and neurotherapeutic effects ex vivo on m. gastrocnemius frog. • Antioxidant: Ethanol and aqueous extract of root of A indica showed nitric oxide scavenging activity in a dose-dependent manner. • Antibacterial / Antioxidant: Study of Acalypha indica and Ocimum basilicum showed antibacterial activity against E coli, K pneumonia, S aureus, P aeruginosa and Proteus sp, the ethanol more effective than the acetone extract.
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.