Tag Archives: Biology

Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Skin

Coconut oil is famous throughout the world not only as an edible oil and hair tonic but also as an excellent massage oil and a smoothener for the skin. In the tropical parts of the world where coconuts are readily available and used in many ways, natives use coconut oil for skin, as they believe that it protects from the sun’s harmful rays. So this natural oil, without any chemical or additives, can protect the skin in the hottest and sunniest places on earth better than the processed and artificial sun creams.

The best aspect of coconut oil that makes it so beneficial for skin is that it does not become rancid. When it is applied on the skin, it can work for a longer time, unlike many other oils, without getting rancid. Due to these various beneficial properties of coconut oil, it is used as an important ingredient in several skin care creams.

Coconut oil can be used for skin care in the following ways:

Lip Gel:
Cracks in our lips can be a source of worry, discomfort, and embarrassment. Applying chemical gel on the lips can make you consume some of the gel even though it is toxic. Some types of gels are edible, but you still don’t want to eat those chemicals. Coconut oil comes as an ideal alternative in such cases. It acts quickly and even if it goes in your stomach, it will only give you additional benefits!

Skin Softener:
Coconut oil is a great skin softener and helps to do away with dry and hard skin conditions. Taking some coconut oil on palms,rubbing against each other and then on face,and all over the skin to be moisterised, gives very good result.

Coconut oil is also good for hardened and cracked feet, which may happen due to excessive cold or strenuous work that requires standing. The cracks in the feet will not vanish, but the feet will become softer within days if coconut oil is applied to the affected area daily.

As an exfoliant, including coconut oil as an agent with other exfoliating or grainy materials like salt and sugar, can vastly improve the effects. You will successfully be able to scrape off excess dead skin and clean out the substances that have blocked the pores without leaving the skin feeling irritated. The natural soothing nature of the oil combines with the grainy, exfoliating material perfectly, and leaves your skin with an even color, closed pores, and a soft texture.

Makeup Remover:
Coconut oil can also be used as a makeup remover. This is not common, but women around the world have begun using it for removing their makeup, without worrying about the harsh chemicals of other removers getting into delicate or sensitive areas.

Skin Disorders:
It is claimed that coconut oil is good for several skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Several readers have reported this benefit. However, scientific research is ongoing in order to prove or deny these claims. Much of the research speaks of its protein content since the replacement of sick or dying cells that can occur with various skin disorders are quickly replaced by new, healthy cells. In this way, coconut oil not only treats the infection by battling the microbial bodies, they also heal the damage or the visible marks of that skin disorder; it is a two-in-one solution!

Anti-aging Cream:
Traditionally, coconut oil has been praised and popularized for its anti-aging properties.

Stretch Marks remover:
Coconut oil is known remove or reduce the appearance of stretch marks for those who regularly apply the oil, particularly during and after pregnancy, which is when stretch marks most commonly appear.

For those who don’t know, stretch marks are long, narrow streaks or stripes that are a different shade or hue from the skin surrounding them. These streaks usually occur following rapid weight gain or loss, or after a period of rapid growth, such as what happens during puberty. A mentioned, these stretch marks are most commonly experienced by pregnant women after they have their child and their stomach returns to a normal size. However, many people find these lines or stripes to be unsightly, which is why people are so eager to prevent or remove them.

If you are pregnant, it’s a good idea to apply coconut oil to your stomach and torso during the pregnancy to clarify your skin, as well as in the post-partum period when your body is returning to a neutral state. If you have stretch marks for any other reason, simply apply extra virgin coconut oil to the affected areas, thoroughly rubbing it into the skin, and then washing the same area with warm water in the morning.

Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Stretch Marks:
Coconut oil is known remove or reduce the appearance of stretch marks for those who regularly apply the oil, particularly during and after pregnancy, which is when stretch marks most commonly appear.

For those who don’t know, stretch marks are long, narrow streaks or stripes that are a different shade or hue from the skin surrounding them. These streaks usually occur following rapid weight gain or loss, or after a period of rapid growth, such as what happens during puberty. A mentioned, these stretch marks are most commonly experienced by pregnant women after they have their child and their stomach returns to a normal size. However, many people find these lines or stripes to be unsightly, which is why people are so eager to prevent or remove them.

Removal of Yeast Infection on skin:
Coconut oil is a highly reliable natural option to treat and eliminate yeast infections, primarily through its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. Coconut oil can prevent the yeast infection from proliferating, deny it access to necessary sugars, speed the healing process, and strengthen the immune system.

Yeast infections are caused by the overgrowth of Candida albicans, a fungus that is present in everyone’s body. In regulated amounts, it is actually important for our overall health, but certain triggers will cause it to spread and proliferate. Some of the most common areas for yeast infections are the vagina, mouth, skin and intestine. When something like hormonal changes, allergies, certain antibiotics, chronic stress, pH destabilization or nutrient deficiency affect the body, it can often cause a yeast infection.

Coconut oil is commonly used to combat this fungal infection, due to the presence of powerful medium-chain fatty acids, namely lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. Lauric acid gives an important boost to the immune system that can defend against the overgrowth of fungal cells, while caprylic acid can break down the membrane of the yeast infection, preventing it from spreading any further. The other vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants present in the oil further stimulate healing and prevent future infections.

Coconut oil can be used as suppository:

Some people choose to use a pure coconut oil suppository, which consists of pouring two tablespoons of coconut oil into a silicon mold and then refrigerating them for approximately 20 minutes. This suppository can then be inserted into the vagina and allowed to dissolve, and be absorbed by the affected membranes.

Baths using this oil are also effective methods of treating the vaginal variety of yeast infections. One only need to drop in a teaspoon or two of oil into the bath, and then soak for 10-15 minutes. Doing this once a day should clear up the infection within a week.

How to use coconut oil:
Many people make the mistake of using too much coconut oil, and since the skin can only absorb a certain amount, the protective layer that the absorbed oil creates doesn’t let any more oil in! This means that if too much is used, too often, the skin will end up as an oily mess, and will look shiny or greasy, not to mention what it might do to clothes!

Now the question is, what makes coconut oil so beneficial for the skin? Before we can understand how coconut oil achieves all of its impressive benefits that people around the world claim, let’s look into the constituents of coconut oil and their respective properties that might make them useful for maintaining skin health.

Constituents of coconut oil:
Saturated Fats: Predominantly, these saturated fats are medium chain fatty acids or triglycerides. When applied on the skin, they keep it smooth to the touch. Due to the presence of these fats, coconut oil also retains the moisture content of the skin, as the fats eliminate moisture loss through the pores on the skin. When ingested regularly, these fats deposit under the skin, thus keeping it healthy and smooth, giving it an even tone and reducing the appearance of the pores.

Capric /Caprylic/Lauric acid: These are not very different from the medium chain fatty acids, but it is still important to mention them separately here since they have their own contributions. These three fatty acids have strong disinfectant and antimicrobial properties. As a result, when applied to the skin, coconut oil protects from microbial infections that can get into open wounds or even enter the body through the pores. This microbial action can be experienced even if coconut oil is taken internally, as the fatty acids boost the immunity when converted to monocaprin and monolaurin.

Vitamin E: The contributions of vitamin E towards skin care are well known. It is essential for healthy skin, keeping the skin smooth, and protecting it against cracking. Above all, it prevents premature aging and wrinkling of the skin, since it has good antioxidant properties. 100 grams of coconut oil has about 0.1 mg of vitamin E, thus enhancing its skin-nourishing properties.

Proteins: Like coconuts themselves, coconut oil is rich in many proteins. These proteins keep skin healthy and rejuvenated, both internally and externally. Proteins also contribute to the cellular health and tissue repair, along with a wide range of other essential activities within the body. For any damaged cells on or near the skin, a healthy flow of proteins guarantees their replacement at a normal rate, whereas people with protein-deficient diets heal slower and often develop more scars due to the extended healing time.


Coconut Oil for Stretch Marks

Coconut Oil for Yeast Infection – Does it Work?


Vitamine B-12

Vitamine B-12 is essencial to keep fatigue and forgetfulness away.

If we feel tired even after eight solid hours of sleep, It’s not just because of the long hours we are putting in at work, it could be the sign of a deficiency too. If we also feel depressed without a reason, have a tingling sensation in our hands or feet and have noticed a recent tendency to forget things, it may be that we are lacking in Vitamin B12.

Also known as cobalamin, Vitamin B12 is one of the eight B vitamins and its role in cellular metabolism is closely intertwined with that of folate, another B vitamin.

“Over 50 per cent of Indians have B12 deficiency,” says Sadanand S. Naik, head of the department of clinical biochemistry at Pune’s KEM Hospital.

It can affect anyone and at any age. “The figure is higher among vegetarians, pregnant women (as its requirement goes up during pregnancy) and the elderly (as they do not take adequate nutrition),” says Seema Gulati, head of the nutrition research group at the National Diabetes Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (NDOC), a Delhi-based NGO.

In all age groups, Vitamin B12 should be in the range of 200 pg/ml to 900 pg/ml of blood, where one pg or picogram is one trillionth of a gram. The early signals of a deficiency are anaemia, lethargy, joint pain, loss of memory and laziness. So if we are being plagued by more than one of these symptoms, we should see doctor and get ourselves tested.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is becoming a growing health concern across the world. An article published this year in the journal Nature Reviews – co-authored by Dr Ralph Green of the US, and a group of 14 international experts – states, “Deficiency of B12 is emerging as a public health concern in many low-income countries. A World Health Organization consultation identified infants, preschool children and pregnant and lactating women as the most vulnerable groups.”

The lack of Vitamin B12 for a sufficiently long period of time can lead to sensory and motor disturbances, ataxia leading to lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements, and cognitive decline leading to dementia and psychiatric disorders. “Advanced Vitamin B12 deficiency could also lead to delirium and paranoia,” says Bangalore-based biological scientist Sujata Kelkar Shetty.

Low B12 levels could even spark off coronary artery disease, suggests a 2009 report of the US-based National Center for Biotechnology Information. It states that the incidence of coronary artery disease is increasing at an alarming rate, especially in developing countries such as India. “This may be due to deficiency of vitamin B12, a micronutrient, sourced only from animal products,” it adds.

There also seems to be a connection between lack of Vitamin B12 and the health of the thyroid gland. “Vitamin B12 deficiency and hypothyroidism are inter-related among young females,” says KEM’s Naik. “This is partly due to vegetarianism, a sedentary lifestyle and not enough exposure to sunlight.”

Incidentally, sunlight helps us make Vitamin D. So there is always a possibility that we may be deficient in both vitamins B12 and D3. “Prolonged D and B12 deficiency leads to impaired bone mineralisation, anaemia and neuro-cognitive disorders. Notable D and B12 deficiency prevails in epidemic proportions all over the Indian subcontinent,” reveals Naik.

Unlike Vitamin D, our body cannot make Vitamin B12. “So we have to get it from animal-based foods (dairy or meat) or from supplements [for vegetarians]. And we should do that on a regular basis, because our body cannot store vitamin B12 for a long time,” Gulati says. Since this vitamin is water soluble, any excess amount flows out of the body.

Ensuring we take in enough Vitamin B12 is sometimes not enough, especially if our stomach lining has been compromised as that impairs its absorption of the vitamin. This can happen in certain gastric ailments as well as in certain autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s. Consuming too much alcohol can also increase your risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency as it may lead to severe depletion of bodily stores of the vitamin. Chronic alcoholism also damages the lining of the stomach and intestines, which impairs absorption.

If we are found to have very low levels of B12 then the immediate relief is injectables. After taking a shot every day for five days, we will then be prescribed pills. There are, however, exceptions. “In pernicious anaemia, Vitamin B12 deficiency is persistent, and long-term injectable B12 is warranted,” says Gulati.

So,it is advicible not to wait for a shot when there are mouthful of delicious food that can give the same results.

Sources of Vitamin B12

For Vegetarians:-

*Milk and milk products (yogurt,buttermilk, cheese)
*Fortified cereals
*Nutritional yeast
*Shitake mushrooms

For Non-vegetarian:

*Eggs, Meat and Fish

Source : The Telegraph, Kolkata(India)

Lactuca ludoviciana

Botanical Name: Lactuca ludoviciana
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. ludoviciana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

*Galathenium ludovicianum (Nutt.) Nutt.
*Lactuca campestris Greene
*Sonchus ludovicianus Nutt.

Common Names: Western Wild Lettuce, Biannual lettuce(Biennials are herbaceous plants that live two years, flowering the second)

Habitat: Lactuca ludoviciana is native to Eastern N. America – Manitoba to Wisconsin and southwards. IT grows on prairies, low ground and roadsides. Usually found in calcareous soils.
Lactuca ludoviciana is an biennial herb in the dandelion tribe within the daisy family growing from a taproot a height of up to 150 cm (5 feet). The top of the stem bears a multibranched inflorescence with many flower heads. Each head contains 20-50 yellow ray florets but no disc florets. Leaves on proximal 1/2–3/4 of each stem; blades of undivided cauline leaves obovate or oblanceolate to spatulate, margins denticulate (piloso-ciliate), midribs usually piloso-setose. Heads in paniculiform arrays. Involucres 12–15+ mm. Phyllaries usually reflexed in fruit. Florets 20–50+; corollas usually yellow, sometimes bluish, usually deliquescent. Cypselae: bodies brown to blackish (usually mottled), ± flattened, elliptic, 4.5–5+ mm, beaks ± filiform, 2.5–4.5 mm, faces 1(–3)-nerved; pappi white, 5–7(–11) mm. 2n = 34.

Flowering time is Jun–Sep. Flower color is yellow.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

The plant grows well in light sandy loam. Hybridizes in the wild with L. canadensis and the two species can sometimes be difficult to separate.

Seed – sow spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick.

Edible Uses: The leaves are eatet raw or cooked.

Medicinal Uses:
Most if not all members of the genus have a milky sap that contains the substance ‘lactucarium’ and can probably be used as the report below details. The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts

Known Hazards : Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.

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.


Plumbago zeylanica

Botanical Name : Plumbago zeylanica
Family: Plumbaginaceae
Genus: Plumbago
Species: P. zeylanica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonymous.:   Plumbago zeylanica is a species of plumbago with a pantropical distribution. Carl Linnaeus described the paleotropical P. zeylanica and neotropical P. scandens as separate species, but they are currently considered synonymous.

Common Names: Ceylon leadwort, Doctorbush or Wild leadwort
Vernacular Name:
Hindi……..Cheeta, Telugu……Chitramulamu, English……..Leadwort, Bengali…….Chita, Marathi……Chitramul, Gujrati……Chitro, Tamil……Chittiri,Chittira, Arabian…..Sheetaraj, Farsi…..Sheetar

Sanskrit Synonyms: Anala, Dahana, Pithi, Vahnisajnaka, Agni, Agnika, Jyothi, Nirdahana, Vahni, Sikhi, Vyala, Hutasana……..all these synonyms names suggest towards fire. As because it helps the digestion strength. While collecting the herb, usually the palms get burning sensation due to hotness of this herb.

Habitat : Plumbago zeylanica is native to India. Now it is cultivated in several places in the world.

Plumbago zeylanica is a herbaceous plant with glabrous stems that are climbing, prostrate, or erect. The leaves are petiolate or sessile and have ovate, lance-elliptic, or spatulate to oblanceolate blades that measure 5-9 × 2.5–4 cm in length. Bases are attenuate while apexes are acute, acuminate, or obtuse. Inflorescences are 3–15 cm in length and have glandular, viscid rachises. Bracts are lanceolate and 3-7 × 1–2 mm long. The heterostylous flowers have white corollas 17–33 mm in diameter and tubes 12.5–28 mm in length. Capsules are 7.5–8 mm long and contain are reddish brown to dark brown seeds……...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

Cultivation:  Plumbago requires full sunlight to partial shade with warm temperatures. This plant thrives in well drained with slightly acidic soil. The plants require frequent fertilizers and after flowering the plants should be cut back to let them grow vigorously. It is cultivated extensively in throughout the India.
Main Chemical Constituents: Chitranone, Plumbagin, 3-Chloroplumbagin, droserone, Elliptinone, Zeylanone and Zeylinone, Maritone,
Plumbagicacid, Dihydrosterone, B-Sitosterol etc. etc.

Medicinal Uses:
Ceylon leadwort root is acrid and stimulates sweating. In Nigeria, the leaves are used in soup as a remedy against intestinal worms and fever. In Ghana the root is administered as an enema to treat piles. In the Ivory coast and Upper Volta, the root is used to treat leprosy. In Nepal, a decoction of the root is used to treat baldness. In Indian herbal medicine, the leaves and root are used to treat infections and digestive problems such as dysentery. The root is used as a vesicant, appetizer, used in skin diseases, diarrhea, dyspepsia, piles and anasarca. A paste of the root made in vinegar, milk or salt and water is an external application in leprosy and other skin ailments. It is also used in influenza and black-water fever. The root bark used as a tincture is a sudorific and antiperiodic. The milky juice of the plant is used in scabies and ulcers. The plumbago root is an emmenagogue and is used to procure abortion by a piece of the root being introduced to Cervex Uteri. Externally, a paste of the leaves and root is applied to painful rheumatic areas or to chronic and itchy skin problems. The paste acts as a counterirritant. By raising blisters and increasing circulation, it speeds the clearing of toxins from the affected area. It is stimulant and strengthens the stomach and aids its action. It increases digestive powders and stimulate appetite

Other Uses:
Plant extracts have shown potent mosquito larvicidal activity against the larvae of Aedes aegypti while showing no toxicity to fish.

Hexane extracts of Plumbago zeylanica have shown activity against canine distemper virus.

Hexane extract of plumbago zeylanicaPlumbagin shows Antimicrobial activity.

Methanol extract of plumbago zeylanicaPositive inotropic activity.

Enzymatic spectrum of herbal Plants Plumbago Linn.

Bioactive spectra of Plumbagin.

methanol extract of plumbago zeylanica shows effect on root- knot nematode Meloidogyne spp

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.


Chitrak – Plumbago zeylanica – Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects



Euonymus americanus

Botanical Name : Euonymus americanus
Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Euonymus
Species: E. americanus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Celastrales

Common Names: Strawberry bush, American strawberry bush,700 Series, Bursting-heart, and hearts-bustin’-with-love

Habitat : Euonymus americanus is native to the eastern United States, its distribution extending as far west as Texas. It has also been recorded in Ontario. It grows in the Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge.

Euonymus americanus is a deciduous Shrub growing up to 2 meters tall. The oppositely arranged leaves are leathery or papery in texture and measure up to 10 centimeters long. Flowers are borne in the leaf axils on peduncles up to 2.2 centimeters long. The yellow-green sepals are 1 or 2 centimeters long and the greenish or reddish petals above are smaller. It is in flower in June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The fruit capsule is about 1.5 centimeters wide with a red warty or spiny covering. The capsule splits into five sections, revealing seeds covered in bright red arils.

Thrives in almost any soil, including chalk, it is particularly suited to dry shaded areas. Prefers a well-drained loamy soil. Requires shade from the midday sun.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 8 – 12 weeks warm followed by 8 – 16 weeks cold stratification and can then be sown in a cold frame. 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm long taken at a node or with a heel, July/August in a frame. Very easy

Medicinal Uses:
Cathartic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Expectorant; Laxative; Tonic.

The seed is strongly laxative. A tea made from the roots is used in cases of uterine prolapse, vomiting of blood, painful urination and stomach aches. The bark is diuretic, expectorant, laxative and tonic. It was used as a tea in the treatment of malaria, liver congestion, constipation etc. The powdered bark, applied to the scalp, was believed to eliminate dandruff. An infusion of the plant has been used to stimulate menstruation and so should not be used by pregnant women.

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.