Categories
Herbs & Plants

Pelargonium sidoides

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Botanical Name : Pelargonium sidoides
Family: Geraniaceae
Genus: Pelargonium
Species: P. sidoides
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Geraniales

Common Names :Umckaloabo, South African Geranium,Kalwerbossie, Rabassam

Habitat : Pelargonium sidoides is   native to South Africa.The plant  has a wide distribution. It occurs throughout the eastern Cape, Lesotho, Free State and southern and south-western Gauteng in the Republic of South Africa. It usually grows in short grassland and sometimes with occasional shrubs and trees on stony soil varying from sand to clay-loam, shale or basalt. P. sidoides is found at altitudes ranging from near sea level to 2300m in Lesotho. It is found in areas which receive rainfall in summer (November to March) varying from 200 – 800mm per annum.

Description:
Pelargonium sidoides forms a rosette-like plant with crowded leaves. It is very similar to some forms of P. reniforme, but is easily distinguished by its blackish, rather than pink petals. The long-stalked leaves are mildly aromatic, heart-shaped and velvety. The distinctive dark, reddish-purple (almost black) flowers are present almost throughout the year, but occur mostly from late spring to summer (October – January) with a peak in midsummer (December). The genus name Pelargonium is derived from the Greek word Pelargos which means stork. This refers to the rostrum of the schizocarp (seed capsule) which resembles the bill of a stork. The species name sidoides reflects the resemblance of the foliage to that of a European plant, Sida rhombifolia.

click to see the pictures…>..(01)….....(1).…….(2).….…(3)..….

Cultivation:
Pelargonium sidoides is an evergreen in cultivation, but it probably dies back in nature during droughts and in winter (May to August). The system of thickened underground root-like branches is a special adaptation which enables the plant to survive grass fires which occur almost annually over much of its range.

The plant  can be planted in rockeries in full sun. It is also an excellent pot plant. It is utilized for a variety of folk-medicinal purposes resulting in the colloguial name ‘Rabassam’

Medicinal Uses:

Studies have suggested that extracts from the plant could be used in treating acute bronchitis, acute non-GABHS tonsillopharyngitis (sore throat) in children, and the common cold.

A 2008 systematic review of these findings by the Cochrane Collaboration concluded that extracts of the plant might be effective in treating adults for acute rhinosinusitis and the common cold in adults, but they noted that this conclusion is not certain. They also wrote that it might be effective in relieving the symptoms of acute bronchitis in adults and children, and also the symptoms of sinusitis in adults.

A 2009 systematic review concluded “There is encouraging evidence from currently available data that P. sidoides is effective compared to placebo for patients with acute bronchitis.”

It has been shown to be antimycobacterial with significant antibacterial properties against multi-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains. Gallic acid and its methyl ester present in large amounts in P. sidoides and in its active extracts, were identified as the prominent immunomodulatory principle.

The Pelargonium sidoides extract EPs 7630 is an approved drug for the treatment of acute bronchitis in Germany. Determination of virus-induced cytopathogenic effects and virus titres revealed that EPs 7630 at concentrations up to 100 g/ml interfered with replication of seasonal influenza A virus strains (H1N1, H3N2), respiratory syncytial virus, human coronavirus, parainfluenza virus, and coxsackie virus but did not affect replication of highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus (H5N1), adenovirus, or rhinovirus.

“Pelargonium sidoides extract modulates the production of secretory immunoglobulin A in saliva, both interleukin-15 and interleukin-6 in serum, and interleukin-15 in the nasal mucosa. Secretory immunoglobulin A levels were increased, while levels of IL-15 and IL-6 were decreased. Based on this evidence, we suggest that this herbal medicine can exert a strong modulating influence on the immune response associated with the upper airway mucosa.”

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 200 patients concluded “EPs 7630 was shown to be efficacious and safe in the treatment of acute bronchitis in children and adolescents outside the strict indication for antibiotics with patients treated with EPs 7630 perceiving a more favorable course of the disease and a good tolerability as compared with placebo.

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.

Resourcs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelargonium_sidoides
http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantnop/pelargsidoid.htm

Categories
News on Health & Science

Natural Product Derived From Periwinkle Plant Reduces Inflammation

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A widely and safely used plant extract acts as a novel anti-inflammatory agent that may one day be used for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, as well as other inflammatory conditions. There is an urgent need for new therapies for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases, such as COPD, otitis media (ear infection), and atherosclerosis (chronic inflammation in the walls of arteries), because the most effective and commonly used agents – steroids – often cause serious side effects, such as liver damage, which prevent long-term use.

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Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center were the first to find that vinpocetine, a natural product derived from the periwinkle plant, acts as a potent anti-inflammatory agent when tested in a mouse model of lung inflammation, as well as several other types of human cells. Results of the study show that vinpocetine greatly reduces inflammation, and, unlike steroids, does not cause severe side effects.

“What is extremely exciting and promising about these findings is vinpocetine’s excellent safety profile,” said Chen Yan, a senior author of the study. “Previously, most drugs tested in this area have failed, not because of a lack of efficacy, but because of safety issues. We’re very encouraged by these results and believe vinpocetine has great potential for the treatment of COPD and other inflammatory diseases.”

Vinpocetine is a well-known natural product that was originally discovered nearly 30 years ago and is currently used as a dietary supplement for the prevention and treatment of cognitive disorders, such as stroke and memory loss, in Europe, Japan and China. The therapy has no evidence of toxicity or noticeable side effects in human patients. Scientists at the University of Rochester hope to reposition this compound as an anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of COPD, and potentially other inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, otitis media, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis and psoriasis in the future.

While steroids successfully combat inflammation, patients often pay a high price when it comes to side effects. Steroids can cause liver damage, and can also suppress the immune system, increasing the likelihood of infections. With such a high risk profile, steroids are usually only used for a short period of time, which is problematic when treating chronic diseases.

“In managing chronic conditions such as COPD, it is crucial to have a therapy that can be used safely over the long term,” said Jian-Dong Li, a senior author of the study. “There is a great need for a drug like vinpocetine, because patients currently have no good options when it comes to long-term care.”

Vinpocetine decreases inflammation by targeting the activity of a specific enzyme, known as IKK. IKK is responsible for regulating inflammation, and does so through the activation of a key protein, nuclear-factor kappaB (NF-?B). By directly inhibiting IKK, vinpocetine is able to switch off NF-?B, which normally produces pro-inflammatory molecules that cause inflammation. Halting the activity of NF-?B ultimately reduces inflammation.

“Inflammation is a hallmark of a wide range of human diseases, so there is great potential for vinpocetine to be used for several indications,” said Bradford C. Berk, co-author of the study. “Given vinpocetine’s efficacy and solid safety profile, we believe there is great potential to bring this drug to market.”

Repositioning a therapy – taking a known compound that has been used safely in humans and testing it for a new application – can be an effective way to bring new therapies to market more quickly than starting the discovery process from scratch.

Inflammatory diseases are a major cause of illness worldwide. For example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. In people with COPD, airflow is blocked due to chronic bronchitis or emphysema, making it increasingly difficult to breathe. Most COPD is caused by long-term smoking, although genetics may play a role as well. Approximately 13.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with COPD each year, and in 2004 the annual cost of the disease was $37.2 billion.

Source: Elements4Health

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Adenophora Verticillata

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Botanical Name :  Adenophora verticillata, Fisch
Family : Campanulaceae
Genus : Adenophora
Synonyms: Adenophora tetraphylla – (Thunb.)Fisch.
Common Name: Glehnia root (yin tiao shen)or adenophora (pao shen)

Pharmaceutical name: Radix adenophonrae seu Glehniae
Japanese Pronunciation: shajin
Korean Pronunciation: sasam

Other Names: Nan sha shen, da sha shen, kong sha shen, pao shen (adenophora), bei sha shen, liao sha shen, tiao sha shen, yin tiao shen (Glehnia) lai yang shen hai sha shen ying sha shen liao sha shen

Habitat :E. Asia – Korea, Siberia.   Broad-leaved forests and shrubby formations.
Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds;

Description:
Perennial growing to 1m.
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

click to see the pictures

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :-
Prefers a light rich slightly alkaline soil that is not too dry, and a warm sunny position. Grows well in the semi-shade of shrubs or in light woodland[88]. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance. The young growth is extremely attractive to slugs, they have been known to destroy even mature plants.

Propagation:-
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed can also be sown in spring. Surface sow 2 – 3 seeds per pot in the spring in order to avoid transplanting[133]. We have found that if transplanted when very small seedlings grow away without difficulty. Germinates in 1 – 3 months at 10°c. Plant out into their permanent positions whilst young. Basal cuttings in spring. Division in spring – very difficult because the plant dislikes root disturbance.

Properties (characteristics): Sweet, cool, slightly bitter (pao shen) or bland (yin tiao shen)

Edible Uses:-
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.

Root – raw or cooked. A sweet taste. Leaves – cooked.

Medicinal Actions & Uses:-
Antidote; Antifungal; Cardiotonic; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Sialagogue; Stomachic; Women’s complaints.

This is a commonly used medicinal plant in China. The root is antidote, antifungal, cardiotonic, expectorant, febrifuge, expectorant, sialogogue, stomachic and tonic. It is used in the treatment of women’s diseases, chronic bronchitis with dry cough, pulmonary infections with cough and thick yellow sputum, dry throat.

Very good for lung, stomach

Actions & Indications: Moisten lungs and to stop coughs; nourishes stomach and generates fluids and clears heat, in dryness of mouth and throat due to yinxu (yin deficient); for moisten dry skin.

Cautions: Do not use in cough due to wind cold, or in cases of pixu (spleen deficient). Do not use with li lu or fang ji

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.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Adenophora+verticillata
http://alternativehealing.org/sha_shen.htm
http://search.myway.com/search/redirect.jhtml?qid=7aa4469bac675026ea30e1be9ef56a7d&searchfor=pictures+of+Adenophora+verticillata&action=pick&pn=1&si=&ptnrS=&ss=sub&st=site&cb=DF&pg=GGmain&ord=0&redirect=mPWsrdz9heamc8iHEhldEbLRLiJ5DqL6jDZPuHi2ANDgCmDVWDJeBADIR%2FwjaGwKSdPDmA%2BFr5ik%2F9v8V5xGqxbGumoA3cogQcLApYbvwl4%3D&ct=AR
http://flower.onego.ru/other/adenopho.html

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Categories
Positive thinking

Whole-Self Well-Being

How Our Body Clears Energy
Whole-self well-being is, in part, the result of a harmonious flow of energy between our physical and mental selves. When this flow is thrown out of balance for any reason, the body and mind react to one another rather than act cooperatively. Ongoing stress, sadness, anxiety, excitement, and fear can overwhelm the cerebral self, causing traumatic energy to be channeled into the body. The body then responds by taking steps to organically dispel the energy that has burdened it and expressing it by means of physical symptoms such as illness, fatigue, or disease. In some cases, these symptoms can simply be allowed to run their natural course and recovery will come about naturally. In most instances, however, health and wellness can only be restored by a dual course of treatment that acknowledges both the physical manifestations of energy clearing and the underlying emotional causes.

Many of the ailments we experience over the course of our lives can be indicative of the body’s attempts to process intellectual and emotional energy. Swollen glands, for example, can signal that you are going through a period of emotional cleansing. Even something as simple as a pimple can indicate that your body is ridding itself of toxins and old energy. In Chinese medicine, intense emotions are held in the body’s organs as a matter of course. Grief lurks in the lungs, anger inhabits the liver, fretfulness lingers in the heart, worry is held in the stomach, and the kidneys harbor fright. Particular illnesses and symptoms represent the body’s attempts to clear emotional energy. Coughs or bronchitis can signify that the physical self is clearing away grief while a loss of appetite may signal that worry is being actively addressed.

When you feel ill or imbalanced, treating your whole self rather than treating the physical self alone can empower you to determine the root cause of sickness. Since you understand that your physical symptoms may be an expression of emotional discomfort, you can establish a balanced treatment regimen to ensure that you quickly recover your good health.

Source: Daily Om

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Categories
Yoga

The Plough(Yoga Exercise)

Benefits
Effective for Asthma, Back ache, Depression, Sciatica, Headache, Sexual debility Rheumatoid Arthritis, Bronchitis, Sinus, Congestion,Premenstrual tension etc.
One who practices this Yoga exercise regularly improves his or her splin and lever functions.It helps the Thyroid and Tonsil glands to function properly. This exercise is very suitable for maintening a balanced weight  also.

How to perform the Exercise

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1. Lie down on your back with your legs together and your palms on your sides.
Inhale & raise your legs up.

2. Exhale first and then inhale.

3. Bring your hips up off the floor.

4. Support your back with your hand, keeping your elbows as close to one another as possible.

5. Without bending your knees, exhale and bring your legs down behind your head.

6. If you cannot yet touch the floor with your feet, keep on breathing in this position.

7. If your feet comfortably reach the floor, walk them as far behind your head possible.

8 .With your feet curled under, push your torso up and your heels back.

9. Now clasp your hands together.

10. Breathe slowly and deeply.


Caution

If you have breathing difficulties, hernia or are having nasal congestion, do not attempt this exercise.

Source:Allayurveda.com