Tag Archives: Centella asiatica

Stachvs Sieboldii

Botanical Name : Stachvs Sieboldii
Family:    Lamiaceae
Genus:    Stachys
Species:    S. affinis
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Lamiales

Other Names: Stachys affinis, the Chinese artichoke, chorogi, knotroot, artichoke betony, or crosne

Habitat :This species occurs wild in Northern China, where it is also cultivated, its native name being Tsanyungtzu, while in Japan it is called Chorogi. It was introduced as a culinary vegetable by the late Dr. M. T. Masters, F.R.S., in 1888. The tubers are eaten more in France than in this country. It grows in wet and submersed areas; 0-3200 m. Gansu, Hebei, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Xinjiang.

Description:
While the plant is easy to grow, the tubers are small, convoluted, and indented, so they are considered very tedious, if not difficult to clean properly. The thin skin ranges from a pale beige to ivory-white colour. The flesh underneath, under proper cultivation, is white and tender. Chinese poets compare it to jade beads. It is in season  generally commencing with October……….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:  It is perfectly hardy and may be left in the ground until required for use. Planting should take place in the spring and the tubers dug through the winter as required. The plants are perfectly easily grown and extraordinarily productive.

Propagation  : Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If sufficient growth has been made, it is possible to plant them out during the summer, otherwise grow them on in pots for their first summer, leaving the tubers in the pots to overwinter in a cold frame and then plant out in late spring when in active growth. Seed is rarely if ever produced on plants growing in Britain. Division. The tubers can be harvest and replanted at any time whilst they are dormant. They do start into growth fairly early in the year so it is better to have moved them by the end of March.

Edible Uses: The flavor of the stem tubers is delicate, and they can be prepared similarly to Jerusalem artichokes in cooking. It is used as a vegetable, in salad compositions, but more so as a garnish. It has a nutty, artichoke-like flavor.

In Chinese and Japanese cuisine, the Chinese artichoke is primarily pickled. In particular, its tuber is a part of Osechi, cooked for celebrating Japanese New Year. Dyed red by leaves of red shiso after being pickled, it is called Chorogi.

In French cuisine, its cooked tuber is often served alongside dishes named japonaise or Japanese-styled.

Medicinal Uses:
The dried and powdered root is anodyne. The entire plant has been used in the treatment of colds and pneumonia.

Chinese artichoke is composed mostly of carbohydrate with some protein. One hundred grams of this vegetable contains 80 calories. The Chinese artichoke plant is very similar and directly related to the European plant, wood betony or lousewort. Wood betony is renowned for its use in traditional European medicine and for the treatment of a number of ailments. They include heartburn, varicose veins, urinary tract inflammation and respiratory tract inflammation. It also has calming effects and is used for headaches and neuralgia. Chinese artichoke, both the root and the plant, are used in Chinese traditional medicine although for different ailments, mainly to treat symptoms of the common cold. So far there has been very little research into the active constituents of the Chinese artichoke plant, although wood betony is know to contain alkaloids, tannins and glycosides.

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/Stachys_affinis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/artic067.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Stachys+affinis
https://food-nutrition.knoji.com/chinese-artichoke-or-crosne-culinary-uses-and-nutrition/

Gotu kola (Hemidesmus indicus)

Botanical Name : Hemidesmus indicus
Family:Apocynaceae
Subfamily:Asclepiadoideae
Genus:Hemidesmus
Species:H. indicus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:Gentianales

Synonyms: Hydrocotyle asiatica – L.

Common Names:Gotu Kola,Centella, March Pennywort, Indian Pennywort, Hydrocotyle, Brahmi (Sanskrit), Luei Gong Gen (Chinese)(Note: Gotu kola should not be confused with kola nut.)

In South Asia, other common names of centella include:

Thalkudi in Oriya;  Sarswathi aku in Telugu;  Kudavan, (Muththil), or  Kudangal  in Malayalam;   Thankuni  in Bengali;  Gotu kola  in Sinhala;  Brahmi  in Marathi:  Ondelaga  in Kannada;   Vallaarai  in Tamil; Brahmi booti in Hindi; Perook in Manipuri;   Manimuni  in  Assamese;Timare in Tulu; Tangkuanteh in Paite;   Brahmabuti or  Ghod-tapre  in Nepali; and  Kholcha ghyan  in Newari  Nepal Bhasa.

Habitat :Centella asiatica is native to E. Asia – India, China and Japan. Australia. Grows on Old stone walls and rocky sunny places in lowland hills and especially by the coast in central and southern Japan. Shady, damp and wet places such as paddy fields, and in grass thickets

Description:
Centella asiatica is an evergreen Perennial plant growing to 0.2m by 1m.
It is hardy to zone 8 and is frost tender.

click to see the picture..

The stems are slender, creeping stolons, green to reddish-green in color, connecting plants to each other. It has long-stalked, green, reniform leaves with rounded apices which have smooth texture with palmately netted veins. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

The flowers are pinkish to red in color, born in small, rounded bunches (umbels) near the surface of the soil. Each flower is partly enclosed in two green bracts. The hermaphrodite flowers are minute in size (less than 3 mm), with 5-6 corolla lobes per flower. Each flower bears five stamens and two styles. The fruit are densely reticulate, distinguishing it from species of Hydrocotyle which have smooth, ribbed or warty fruit. The plant is self-fertile. The leaves are borne on pericladial petioles, around 2 cm. The rootstock consists of rhizomes, growing vertically down. They are creamish in color and covered with root hairs.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist to wet soil in sun or partial shade. Plants also grow on walls in the wild and so should tolerate drier conditions[K]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. It grows and spreads very well outdoors during the summer in most parts of the country and is very easy to increase by division. It can therefore be grown as a summer crop with divisions being taken during the growing season and overwintered in a greenhouse in case the outdoor plants are killed by winter cold.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year, after the last expected frosts[K]. Division is simple at any time in the growing season, though the spring is probably best[K]. We find that it is best to pot up the divisions until they are rooting away well, though in selected mild gardens it should be possible to plant the divisions out directly into their permanent positions

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Leaves – raw or cooked. Used in salads and in curries. Cooked as a vegetable. An aromatic flavour, we have found them to be rather overpowering in salads when used in any but small quantities.

Medicinal Uses:
Adaptogen; Antiinflammatory; Cardiac; Depurative; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Hypotensive; Nervine; Sedative; Skin; Tonic.

Gotu kola is an outstandingly important medicinal herb that is widely used in the Orient and is becoming increasingly popular in the West. Its Indian name is ‘Brahmi’ which means ‘bringing knowledge of the Supreme Reality’ and it has long been used there medicinally and as an aid to meditation. It is a useful tonic and cleansing herb for skin problems and digestive disorders. In India it is chiefly valued as a revitalizing herb that strengthens nervous function and memory. The whole plant is alterative, cardio-depressant, hypotensive, weakly sedative and tonic. It is a rejuvenating diuretic herb that clears toxins, reduces inflammations and fevers, improves healing and immunity, improves the memory and has a balancing effect on the nervous system. It has been suggested that regular use of the herb can rejuvenate the nervous system and it therefore deserves attention as a possible cure for a wide range of nervous disorders including multiple sclerosis[K]. Recent research has shown that gotu kola reduces scarring, improves circulatory problems in the lower limbs and speeds the healing process. It is used internally in the treatment of wounds, chronic skin conditions (including leprosy), venereal diseases, malaria, varicose veins, ulcers, nervous disorders and senility. Caution should be observed since excess doses cause headaches and transient unconsciousness. Externally, the herb is applied to wounds, haemorrhoids and rheumatic joints. The plant can be harvested at any time of the year and is used fresh or dried. Another report says that the dried herb quickly loses its medicinal properties and so is best used fresh.

Medicinal Uses and Indications

Treatment :

Wound Healing and Skin Lesions
Gotu kola contains triterpenoids, compounds that have been shown to aid in wound healing. For example, animal studies indicate that triterpenoids strengthen the skin, increase the concentration of antioxidants in wounds, and restore inflamed tissues by increasing blood supply. Because of these properties, gotu kola has been used externally for burns, psoriasis, prevention of scar formation following surgery, recovery from an episiotomy following vaginal delivery of a newborn, and treatment of external fistulas (a tear at or near the anus).

Venous Insufficiency and Varicose Veins
When blood vessels lose their elasticity, blood pools in the legs and fluid leaks out of the blood vessels, causing the legs to swell (venous insufficiency). In a study of 94 people with venous insufficiency, those who took gotu kola reported a significant improvement in symptoms compared to those who took placebo. In another study of people with varicose veins, ultrasound examination revealed improvements in the vascular tone of those who took gotu cola.

High Blood Pressure

In a study of people with heart disease and high blood pressure, those who took abana (an Ayurvedic herbal mixture containing gotu kola) experienced a significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure (pressure on blood vessels when the heart is at rest) compared to those who took placebo. Further studies are needed to determine whether gotu kola alone, some other herb in the Ayurvedic mixture, or the particular combination of all the herbs in the remedy is responsible for the beneficial effect.
Anxiety
Triterpenoids (active compounds in gotu kola) have been shown to soothe anxiety and boost mental function in mice. A recent study found that people who took gotu kola were less likely to be startled by a novel noise (a potential indicator of anxiety) than those who took placebo. Although the results of this study are somewhat promising, the dose used in this study was extremely high, making it difficult to draw any conclusions about how gotu kola might be used by people with anxiety.

Scleroderma
One study involving 13 females with scleroderma found that gotu kola decreased joint pain, skin hardening, and improved finger movement.

Insomnia

Because of sedative effects demonstrated in animals, gotu kola has been used to help people with insomnia.

Dosage and Administration :

Gotu kola is available in teas, as dried herbs, tinctures, capsules, tablets, and ointments. It should be stored in a cool, dry play and used before the expiration date on the label.

Pediatric :
There is currently no information in the scientific literature about the use of gotu kola for children. Therefore, it is not recommended for those under 18 years old.

Adult
The adult dosage of gotu kola may vary depending on the condition being treated. An appropriately trained and certified herbalist, such as a naturopath, can provide the necessary guidance.

The standard dose of gotu kola varies depending on the form:

Dried herb  to make tea, add ¼ to ½ tsp dried herb to a cup of boiling water (150 mL) for 10 minutes, 3 times a day
Powdered herb (available in capsules)  1,000 to 4,000 mg, 3 times a day
Tincture (1:2, 30% alcohol) 30 to 60 drops (equivalent to 1.5 to 3 mL – there are 5 mL in a teaspoon), 3 times a day
Standardized extract—60 to 120 mg per day; standardized extracts should contain 40% asiaticoside, 29% to 30% asiatic acid, 29% to 30% madecassic acid, and 1% to 2% madecassoside; doses used in studies mentioned in the treatment section range from 20 mg (for scleroderma) up to 180 mg (in one study for venous insufficiency; although, most of the studies for this latter condition were conducted using 90 mg to 120 mg per day).
The recommended dosage for people with insomnia is ½ tsp of dried herb in a cup of water taken for no more than 4 to 6 weeks.

Precautions
The use of gotu kola for more than 6 weeks is not recommended. People taking the herb for an extended period of time (up to 6 weeks) should take a 2-week break before taking the herb again.

Asiaticoside, a major component of gotu kola, has also been associated with tumor growth in mice. Though more studies are needed, it is wise for anyone with a history of precancerous or cancerous skin lesions   such as squamous cell, basal cell skin cancer, or melanoma  to refrain from taking this herb.

Side Effects
Side effects are rare but may include skin allergy and burning sensations (with external use), headache, stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, and extreme drowsiness. These side effects tend to occur with high doses of gotu kola.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Pregnant women should not take gotu kola because it may cause spontaneous abortion. There is little or no information regarding the safety of this herb during breastfeeding, so nursing mothers should refrain from taking this herb.

Geriatric Use
People older than 65 years should take gotu kola at a lower than standard dose. The strength of the dosage can be increased slowly over time to reduce symptoms. This is best accomplished under the guidance of an appropriately trained and certified herbalist such as a naturopathic doctor.

Interactions and Depletions
There have been no reports documenting negative interactions between gotu kola and medications to date. Since high doses of gotu kola can cause sedation, individuals should refrain from taking this herb with medications that promote sleep or reduce anxiety.

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/Centella_asiatica

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Centella+asiatica

www.umm.edu/altmed/ConsHerbs

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Umbilicus rupestris

Botanical Name :Umbilicus rupestris
Family: Crassulaceae
Genus:     Umbilicus
Species: U. rupestris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Saxifragales

Synonyms: U. pedulinus. Cotyledon umbilicus-veneris.

Common Names :Navelwort, Penny-pies, Wall Pennywort,Kidneywort

Habitat:
Umbilicus rupestri is native to Europe, from Britain and France south and east to N. Africa and the Mediterraean.    It grows on Crevices of rocks and walls, especially in acid and damp conditions.But it avoids alkaline soils.

Description:
Umbilicus rupestris is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.3 m (1ft).It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan. The pallid spikes of bell-shaped, greenish-pink flowers appear from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects? Self.The plant is self-fertile.
CLICK &V SEE THE PICTURES

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

Both the name “navelwort” and the scientific name Umbilicus come from the round shape of the leaves, which have a navel-like depression in the center.

Cultivation:             
An easily grown plant, succeeding in any near neutral, gritty, moisture retentive but well-drained soil in sun or light shade. Plants are often found growing on walls, even succeeding on old brick and mortar walls Plants are hardy to about -15°c. A very attractive plant for the rock garden[53], the leaves often stay green all winter.

Propagation:  
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. Division in spring. Very easy, pant them straight out into their permanent positions. Leaf cuttings

Edible Uses: Leaves – raw or cooked. A very acceptable mild flavour in the winter and early spring, they can be used in quantity in salads at this time. The leaves become rather stronger-tasting in the summer and are not so pleasant then.

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic;  Diuretic;  Poultice.
The leaves are mildly analgesic. The juice and extract of the plant have an old reputation for the treatment of epilepsy. The leaves are also made into a poultice and used in the treatment of piles, slight burns and scalds. A decoction of the leaves is considered to be cooling and diuretic and the juice taken inwardly is said to be excellent for treating inflammations of the liver and spleen.

Umbilicus rupestris is not the same “Pennywort” as the one used in Asian medicine, which is the unrelated Asiatic Pennywort, Centella asiatica.

Navelwort is also assumed to be the “Kidneywort” referred to by Nicholas Culpepper in the English Physician, although it may actually refer to the unrelated Anemone hepatica. Culpepper used astrology, rather than science, to classify herbs, and as such is not a reliable source. He claimed: “the juice or the distilled water being drank, is very effectual for all inflammations and unnatural heats, to cool a fainting hot stomach, a hot liver, or the bowels: the herb, juice, or distilled water thereof, outwardly applied, heals pimples, St. Anthony’s fire, and other outward heats. The said juice or water helps to heal sore kidneys, torn or fretted by the stone, or exulcerated within; it also provokes urine, is available for the dropsy, and helps to break the stone. Being used as a bath, or made into an ointment, it cools the painful piles or hæmorrhoidal veins. It is no less effectual to give ease to the pains of the gout, the sciatica, and helps the kernels or knots in the neck or throat, called the king’s evil: healing kibes and chilblains if they be bathed with the juice, or anointed with ointment made thereof, and some of the skin of the leaf upon them: it is also used in green wounds to stay the blood, and to heal them quickly.”

Umbilicus rupestris is used in homeopathic medicine. Navelwort is referred to as Cotyledon umbilicus by Homeopaths, since that was the original scientific name of navelwort when Homeopathy was developedCLICK & SEE

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/Umbilicus_rupestris
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Umbilicus+rupestris

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Karanj

Botanical Name:Pongamia glabra
Family : Fabaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Genus: Pongamia
Species: P. pinnata

Other Name:Pongamia pinnata, Indian Beech Tree, Honge Tree, Pongam Tree, Panigrahi

Habitat : Originated in India and is found throughout Asia.

Description:
It is a deciduous legume tree that grows to about 15-25 meters in height with a large canopy which spreads equally wide. The leaves are a soft, shiny burgundy in early summer and mature to a glossy, deep green as the season progresses. Small clusters of white, purple, and pink flowers blossom on their branches throughout the year, maturing into brown seed pods. The tree is well suited to intense heat and sunlight and its dense network of lateral roots and its thick, long taproot make it drought tolerant. The dense shade it provides slows the evaporation of surface water and its root nodules promote nitrogen fixation, a symbiotic process by which gaseous nitrogen (N3) from the air into NH3+ (a form of nitrogen available to the plant). Withstanding temperatures slightly below 0°C to 50°C and annual rainfall of 50–250 cm, the tree grows wild on sandy and rocky soils, including oolitic limestone, but will grow in most soil types, even with its roots in salt water…

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Constituents:Seeds contain 27% bitter and dark (sherry) coloured fixed oil (pongamia oil). The oil contains toxic flavonoids including 1.25% karanjin and 0.85% pongamol alkaloid, resin, mucilage and sugar.

Uses:
Known by many names (Indian Beech, Pongam, Honge, Ponge, and Karanj among other) it is a tree that is well-adapted to arid zones and has many traditional uses. It is often used for landscaping purposes as a windbreak or for shade due to the large canopy and showy fragrant flowers. The bark can be used to make twine or rope and it also yields a black gum that is used to treat wounds caused by poisonous fish. The flowers are used by gardeners as compost for plants requiring rich nutrients. Juices from the plant, as well as the oil, are antiseptic and resistant to pests. In addition the Pongam tree has the rare property of producing seeds of 25-35% lipid content. The seed oil is an important asset of this tree having been used as lamp oil, in soap making, and as a lubricant for thousands of years. This oil is rapidly gaining popularity as a source of feedstock for bio-diesel production.

Medicinal Uses: .Seed extract is used for Skin problems, in tanning, Shops, infestation of grains, piscidal, insecticidal, nematicidal and bactericidal activity.

According to Ayurveda, Karanj is anthelmintic, alexipharmic and useful in diseases of eye, vagina, skin. The oil has been used to treat tumours, wounds, ulcers, itching, enlargement of spleen and abdomen, urinary discharges. It also reputed to cure biliousness, piles, head pains, leucoderma, skin diseases and wounds.

The fruits and sprouts are used in folk remedies for abdominal tumors in India, the seeds for keloid tumors in Sri Lanka, and a powder derived from the plant for tumors in Vietnam. In sanskritic India, seeds were used for skin ailments. Today the oil is used as a liniment for rheumatism. Leaves are active against Micrococcus; their juice is used for colds, coughs, diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, gonorrhea, and leprosy. Roots are used for cleaning gums, teeth, and ulcers. Bark is used internally for bleeding piles. Juices from the plant, as well as the oil, are antiseptic. It is said to be an excellent remedy for itch, herpes, and pityriasis versicolor. Powdered seeds are valued as a febrifuge, tonic and in bronchitis and whooping cough. Flowers are used for diabetes. Bark has been used for beriberi. Juice of the root is used for cleansing foul ulcers and closing fistulous sores. Young shoots have been recommended for rheumatism. Ayurvedic medicine described the root and bark as alexipharmic, anthelmintic, and useful in abdominal enlargement, ascites, biliousness, diseases of the eye, skin, and vagina, itch, piles, splenomegaly, tumors, ulcers, and wounds; the sprouts, considered alexeteric, anthelmintic, apertif, and stomachic, for inflammation, piles and skin diseases; the leaves, anthelmintic, digestive, and laxative, for inflammations, piles and wounds; the flowers for biliousness and diabetes; the fruit and seed for keratitis, piles, urinary discharges, and diseases of the brain, eye, head, and skin, the oil for biliousness, eye ailments, itch, leucoderma, rheumatism, skin diseases, worms, and wounds. Yunani use the ash to strengthen the teeth, the seed, carminative and depurative, for chest complaints, chronic fevers, earache, hydrocele, and lumbago; the oil, styptic and vermifuge, for fever, hepatalgia, leprosy, lumbago, piles, scabies, and ulcers.

Cautions: Generally non-toxic and non-sensitizing. Use well diluted. Avoid during pregnancy.

Research Efforts:
The seed oil has been found to be useful in diesel generators and, along with Jatropha, it is being explored in hundreds of projects throughout India and the third world as feedstock for biodiesel. It is especially attractive because it grows naturally through much of arid India, having very deep roots to reach water, and is one of the few crops well-suited to commercialization by India’s large population of rural poor. Several unelectrified villages have recently used Honge oil, simple processing techniques, and diesel generators to create their own grid systems to run water pumps and electric lighting.

In 2003 the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy as part of its Biofuel Rural Development Initiative started a campaign of education and public awareness to rural farmers about Pongamia in two Indian states. One of the Himalayan Institute’s partners developed a consistently high yield scion that reduced the time it takes to mature from 10 years to as little as three. To help the farmers in the transition from traditional crops to the Pongamia tree the Indian government has contributed over $30 million in low-interest loans and donated 4.5 million KG of rice to sustain impoverished drought-stricken farmers until the trees begin to produce income. Since the project began in 2003 over 20 million trees have been planted and 45,000 farmers are now involved.

In 2006 the Himalayan Institute began looking at locations in Africa to transplant the Pongamia tree into. Initially they began in Uganda but due to the lack of infrastructure and growing desertification the project has been growing very slowly. They have also begun a project in the Kumbo region of Cameroon where conditions are better. There has been some suggestions that the Pongamia tree could be grown all the way across the continent as a way to prevent the encroachment of the Sahara.

The University of Queensland node of the Center for Excellence in Legume Research, under the directorship of Proffessor Peter Gresshoff, in conjunction with Pacific Renewable Energy are currently working on Pongamia Pinnata for commercial use for the production of Biofuel. Projects are currently focussed on understanding aspects of Pongamia including root biology, grafting, salinity tolerance, and the genetics of the oil production pathways.
Click to see:->
Oil from Karanj tree can be the best option of bio fuel

Known Hazards:   All parts of the plant are toxic and will induce nausea and vomiting if eaten, the fruits and sprouts, along with the seeds.

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.bicco.com/herb_photo.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pongamia_pinnata
http://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/karanj-seed-essential-oil-p-266.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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Seborrhea Dermatitis

An infant with Cradle CapImage via Wikipedia

Definition: Seborrhea (say: seb-uh-ree-uh) is a common skin problem. It causes a red, itchy rash and white scales. When it affects the scalp, it is called “dandruff.” It can be on parts of the face as well, including the folds around the nose and behind the ears, the forehead, and the eyebrows and eyelids. On the body, seborrhea often occurs in the middle part of the chest, around the navel and in the skin folds under the arm, below the breasts and in the groin and buttocks area.

Seborrhoeic eczema (also Seborrheic dermatitis AmE, seborrhea) is a skin disorder affecting the scalp, face, and trunk causing scaly, flaky, itchy, red skin. It particularly affects the sebum-gland rich areas of skin.

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

Who gets seborrhea?
Infants may get seborrhea. It’s known as “cradle cap.” Cradle cap goes away after about 6 months. It may also affect the diaper area and look like a diaper rash.

Seborrhea also affects adults and elderly persons, and is more common in men than in women. Seborrhea occurs more frequently in persons with oily skin.

It affects 3 percent of the general population. It occurs more commonly in older people who are bedridden or have neurologic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Seborrhea also affects almost 85 percent of people with AIDS.

Causes:The cause of seborrheic dermatitis is not fully understood, although many factors have been implicated.. It is likely that a number of factors, such as hormones and stress, can cause it.
The widely present yeast, Malassezia furfur (formerly known as Pityrosporum ovale), is involved, as well as genetic, environmental, hormonal, and immune-system factors. A theory that seborrhoeic dermatitis is an inflammatory response to the yeast has not been proven. Those afflicted with seborrhoeic dermatitis have an unfavourable epidermic response to the infection, with the skin becoming inflamed and flaking.

Acute form of seborrhoeic dermatitis on scalpIn children, excessive vitamin A intake can cause seborrhoeic dermatitis. Lack of biotin, pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) may also be a cause.

It is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder that affects the areas of the head and trunk that have sebaceous glands. A type of yeast that has an affinity for these glands called Pityrosporum ovale may be the cause, but this has not been proven yet. It is believed that the build-up of yeast in these glands irritates the skin causing redness and flaking.

Seborrhea is more common in men than women and affects 3 percent of the general population. It occurs more commonly in older people who are bedridden or have neurologic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Seborrhea also affects almost 85 percent of people with AIDS.

Diagnosis:

Clinical Manifestations
Seborrheic dermatitis typically affects areas of the skin where sebaceous glands appear in high frequency and are most active. The distribution is classically symmetric, and common sites of involvement are the hairy areas of the head, including the scalp , the scalp margin , eyebrows, eyelashes, mustache and beard. Other common sites are the forehead , the nasolabial folds , the external ear canals and the postauricular creases. Seborrhea of the trunk may appear in the presternal area and in the body folds, including the axillae, navel, groin, and in the inframammary and anogenital areas. Figure 7 illustrates the typically symmetric distribution of seborrheic dermatitis.

More severe seborrheic dermatitis is characterized by erythematous plaques frequently associated with powdery or greasy scale in the scalp (Figure 8), behind the ears (Figure 9) and elsewhere in the distribution described above. Besides an itchy scalp, patients may complain of a burning sensation in facial areas affected by seborrhea. Seborrhea frequently becomes apparent when men grow mustaches or beards and disappears when the facial hair is removed. If left untreated, the scale may become thick, yellow and greasy and, occasionally, secondary bacterial infection may occur.

Seborrheic dermatitis is more common in men than in women, probably because sebaceous gland activity is under androgen control. Seborrhea usually first appears in persons in their teens and twenties and generally follows a waxing/waning course throughout adulthood.

UV-A and UV-B light inhibit the growth of P. ovale,9 and many patients report improvement in seborrhea during summer.

Treatment:
Soaps and detergents such as sodium laureth sulfate may precipitate a flare-up, as they strip moisture from the top layers of the skin, and the drying property of these can cause flare-ups and may worsen the condition. Accordingly a suitable alternative should be used instead.

Among dermatologist recommended treatments are shampoos containing coal tar, ciclopiroxolamine, ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, or zinc pyrithione. For severe disease, keratolytics such as salicylic acid or coal tar preparations may be used to remove dense scale. Topical terbinafine solution (1%) has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of scalp seborrhoea, as may lotions containing alpha hydroxy acids or corticosteroids (such as fluocinolone acetonide). Pimecrolimus topical lotion is also sometimes prescribed.

Chronic treatment with topical corticosteroids may lead to permanent skin changes, such as atrophy and telangiectasia.

UV-A and UV-B light inhibit the growth of M. furfur, although caution should be taken to avoid sun damage.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians(AAFP), one treatment that has proven successful, especially when steroid topicals and shampoos aren’t working, and the patient continues to suffer from rapid hair loss and rashes, has been low doses(10mg-30mg daily) of the perscription drug Accutane,(Isotretinoin). The exact mechanism isn’t known, but it is thought to work by reducing sebum, which plays an important role in seborrhoeic dermatitis. Patients should be evaluated monthly, while examing the proper liver functions when putting a patient on accutane therapy. Special screening should be in place for women patients, because of the risk of birth defects. This therapy can last, when the condition is chronic and the isotretinoin does is low, for years. But, patients should be given a one to two month break off this particular therapy every 6 months to see if the condition still is affecting the patient

Adults who have seborrhea usually experience a waxing and waning course. In other words it can’t be “cured”. The good news is with proper maintenance, seborrhea can be controlled. Furthermore, most of the treatments can be found over-the-counter.

Treatment will help keep seborrhea under control. It’s important to keep your body clean.

Dandruff Shampoo
If you have dandruff, use medicated shampoos.

When using dandruff shampoo, first wet your hair. Rub some shampoo into your scalp and hair. Leave the shampoo on your scalp and hair for at least 5 minutes. Then rinse it out. Use the dandruff shampoo every day until your dandruff goes away. Then use the medicated shampoo 2 or 3 times a week to keep dandruff away. Having dandruff does not mean that your scalp is too dry! Dandruff comes because you need to wash your hair more often.

Medicated Shampoos should always be used.For black persons, daily shampooing may not be needed. Ask your doctor about a special steroid preparation in oil that can be used on the scalp like a pomade. Or you can use a steroid-containing shampoo.

Adults who have seborrhea usually experience a waxing and waning course. In other words it can’t be “cured”. The good news is with proper maintenance, seborrhea can be controlled. Furthermore, most of the treatments can be found over-the-counter.

Proper hygiene plays an important role in treatment. Frequent washing with soap gets rid of the oils in the affected areas and improves symptoms. Sunlight inhibits the growth of the yeast; therefore exposure of affected areas to sun is helpful, although caution should be exercised to avoid sun damage. The main medical treatments are antifungal shampoos and topical.

Cradle Cap:
Cradle cap in infants also gets better with daily shampooing. First try a mild, nonmedicated baby shampoo. If that doesn’t work, try an a dandruff shampoo. If the patch of cradle cap is large and thick, first try softening it by rubbing on warm mineral oil. Next, gently brush with a baby hairbrush. Then use shampoo.

Seborrhea Shampoos
There are several good antifungal shampoos on the market that can be purchased without a prescription. The main shampoos are selenium sulfide found in Selsun, pyrithione zinc found inHead & Shouldersulders and Sebulon, coal tar found in Sebutone and Tegrin, and finally ketoconazole found in Nizoral.

All of these shampoos have a medicated smell. The way to use them is to shampoo and leave on for at least 10 minutes then rinse off. The shampoos can be used on the face and other parts of the body as a lotion with the same instructions as long as precaution is used around the eyes. Do this daily until the redness and flaking is controlled then use 2-3 times a week as needed to keep symptoms from returning.

Topical Steroids For Seborrhea
Topical steroids reduce the inflammatory response and help control itching. You can buy hydrocortisone cream 1% over-the-counter, and it’s safe to use on the face. Apply twice a day to the affected area until the redness resolves. Save the hydrocortisone for flare-ups and use the antifungal shampoo for maintenance because long-term steroid use can cause side effects like acne and thinning of the skin.

Herbal Treatment:The World Health Organization mentions Aloe vera gel as a yet to be scientifically proven traditional medicine treatment for Seborrhoeic dermatitis.

*Arctium lappa (Burdock) oil
*Chelidonium majus (Celandine)
*Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice)
*Melaleuca (Tea tree) species
*Plantago (Plantain) species
*Symphytum officinale (Comfrey)
*Zingiber officinale (Ginger) root juice
*Ledebouriella Seseloides (Fang Feng)
*Smilax China (Smilax china)
*Trichosanthes Kirilowii (Snakegourd)
*Glycyrrhiza Uralensis
*Coptis Chinensis (Chinese goldthread)
*Phellodendron Amurense (Huang Bai)
*Sophora Flavescens
*Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola)
*Evening primrose,
*dandelion root
*red clover Norwegian kelp
* berberine (from barberry, Oregon grape root or goldenseal).

Quik Tip: Evening primrose – anti-inflammatory herb of the first magnitude; it helps your

body balance itself hormonally, too.

Click to learn more about Seborrheic Dermatitis

 

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seborrheic_dermatitis
http://www.herbnews.org/seborrheadone.htm
http://dermatology.about.com/cs/seborrhea/a/sebderm.htm
http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000501/2703.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taraxacum

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