Tag Archives: Cough medicine

Ononis spinosa

Botanical Name : Ononis spinosa
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Ononis
Species: O. spinosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Name :Spiny restharrow or just Restharrow

Other Names; Finweed, Ground Furze, Harrow Rest, Horse’s Breath, Lady-whin, Wild Liquorice,  Rassels,  Whin, Cat Whin.

Habitat :Ononis spinosa is native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.It is found throughout much of Europe but seldom as far north as Scotland. It can usually be found on rough and scrubby pastures, on hillsides and sandy shores.

Description:
Ononis spinosa is a perennial subshrub (usually lower than 1 meter). It has spiny, prostrate stems and tough roots. Leaves are lance-shaped, coarsely toothed. Flowers appear in June, July and August. Solitary or paired flowers are borne in axils. They are either stalkless or on small, short stalks.  Flowers are pink, purple or white in color, being similar to Lotus flower.

You may click to see the pictures of Ononis spinosa

Chemical Constituents: Onocerin, sitosterol, isoflavones, ononin, essential oil

Medicinal use: The plant is considered to be antitussive, diuretic, laxative and lithontripic. Traditionally Rest Harrow had been used in treatment of skin ulcers. A decoction made from the leaves and stem is used in treatment of various skin conditions, and also as a revitalizing skin toner. An infusion made from the root is used in treatment of dropsy, kidney and bladder inflammations. Rest Harrow root is beneficial in treatment of urinary tract infections, gout, joint and muscle pain.
Safety: Rest Harrow shouldn’t be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and in cases of fluid retention and edema. Some herbs could react with certain medication. Therefore it is advisable to contact your doctor/herbalist before consumption of any herb.

For excess fluid retention, Ononis spinosa is best taken as a short-term treatment, in the form of an infusion.  The root contains a fixed oil that is anti-diuretic and an essential oil that is diuretic. If the diuretic action is required then the root should be infused and not decocted or the essential oil will be evaporated. It is also of value in treating gout and cystitis.  An infusion is used in the treatment of dropsy, inflammation of the bladder and kidneys, rheumatism and chronic skin disorders.  A cough mixture is made from

Safety Features:: Ononis spinosa shouldn’t be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and in cases of fluid retention and edema. Some herbs could react with certain medication. Therefore it is advisable to contact your doctor/herbalist before consumption of any herb

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/Ononis_spinosa
http://health-from-nature.net/Rest_Harrow.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

Aristolochia debilis

Botanical Name :Aristolochia debilis
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Subfamily: Aristolochioideae
Genus: Aristolochia
Species: Aristolochia debilis
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Magnoliids
Order: Piperales

Synonyms : A. recurvilabra. Hance.

Common Name : Ma Dou Ling,  Birthwort, Frail

Habitat :Aristolochia debilis is native to  E. Asia – C,hina, Japan. It grows in the roadside thickets and meadows in lowland, C. and S. Japan and in China.

Description:
Aristolochia debilis is a perennial herb growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.

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You may click to see the pictures


The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.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 well-drained loamy soil, rich in organic matter, in sun or semi-shade. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. This species is not very hardy in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c. Most species in this genus have malodorous flowers that are pollinated by flies.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Pre-soak stored seed for 48 hours in hand-hot water and surface sow in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 3 months at 20°c. Stored seed germinates better if it is given 3 months cold stratification at 5°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division in autumn. Root cuttings in winter[

Edible Uses:Leaves are edible.They are cooked. It is said that the leaves of this species are not poisonous but caution is advised.

Medicinal Uses:
Alterative;  Anodyne;  Antibacterial;  Antifungal;  AntiinflammatoryAntitussiveCarminative;  Cytotoxic;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Hypotensive;
Stomachic;  Tonic.

Alterative, antibacterial, antifungal, diuretic. Stimulates energy circulation. The fruit and its capsule are antiasthmatic, antiseptic, antitussive and expectorant. It is used internally in the treatment of asthma and various other chest complaints, haemorrhoids and hypertension. The root is anodyne and anti-inflammatory. It is used internally in the treatment of snakebite, gastric disorders involving bloating, and is clinically effective against hypertension. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The whole plant is antitussive, carminative, stimulant and tonic. The root contains aristolochic acid. This has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Aristolochic acid can also be used in the treatment of acute and serious infections such as TB, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and infantile pneumonia. It also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells. Aristolochic acid is said to be too toxic for clinical use

Internally used for arthritis, purulent wounds, hypertension, snake and insect bites, and gastric disorders involving bloating (roots); for asthma, wet coughs, bronchitis, hypertension and hemorrhoids (fruits). Indications: heat in the lungs manifested as cough with profuse yellow sputum and asthma.  The fruit (Madouling) is used with Loquat Leaf, Peucedanum root, Mulberry bark and Scutellaria root.  Deficiency of the lungs manifested as cough with scanty sputum or with bloody sputum and shortness of breath.  Fruit is used with Glehnia root, Ophiopogon root, Aster root and Donkey hide gelatin.

Known Hazards: No specific details for this species is known  but most members of this genus have poisonous roots and stems. The plant contains aristolochic acid, this has received rather mixed reports on its toxicity. According to one report aristolochic acid stimulates white blood cell activity and speeds the healing of wounds, but is also carcinogenic and damaging to the kidneys. Another report says that it is an active antitumour agent but is too toxic for clinical use. Another report says that aristolochic acid has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy and that it also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells

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/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aristolochia%20debilis
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Aristolochia_debilis
http://www.exot-nutz-zier.de/images/prod_images/Aristolochia_debilis.jpg
http://www.georgiavines.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=9_10&products_id=118

http://www.asianflora.com/Aristolochiaceae/Aristolochia-debilis.htm

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Help, I Can’t Breathe…

More and more people today are complaining thus, be it summer, monsoon or winter. And it’s not surprising ; the global incidence of asthma is steadily rising. In India, between 5 and 25 per cent of the population is affected. The wide variation is because statistics are difficult to come by. There is very little unbiased documentation about the true incidence of asthma using instruments and lung function tests...…...click & see
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Asthma — now called reactive airways disease — tends to run in families prone to allergy. Some members wheeze, some sneeze while others may have itchy, red skin lesions. Wheezing may be present all the year round with varying degrees of severity. Attacks may also come and go, precipitated by cigarette smoke, chemicals in the air (mosquito repellents, room fresheners), infections (particularly viral), medication (aspirin, ibubrufen) or food additives (dyes, preservatives), with symptom-free intervals…..click & see

Air enters the body through the main air vessels — the bronchi, which branch out into the lungs as bronchioles. If they are irritated, they secrete mucous which narrows them. In normal people, the bronchioles relax when this occurs so a slight cough expels the obstructing plugs of mucous. In allergic people, the bronchioles constrict further, trapping the mucous and causing a feeling of suffocation…..click & see

Symptoms usually start with a tight feeling around the chest and a cough. But there is no sputum, the cough is ineffective and fails to relieve the feeling of breathlessness and suffocation. More severe, hacking and ineffective cough then sets in.

Doctors do not like to tell a patient or a parent that there is “wheezing” — the latter tend to equate it with asthma and fear chronic lifetime debility. Others confuse it with tuberculosis or primary complex. Neither is true. Wheezing is treatable and the person can lead a normal life.

The mainstay of treatment is bronchodilators, which open up the narrowed bronchi. If a direct delivery system is used, the drug goes straight into the lungs. Nebulisers, inhalers and rotahalors are freely available and efficient. Nebulisers require electricity to work and are not portable. Inhalers and rotahalors can be carried around. Inhalers, unlike rotahalors, require a certain amount of breathing co-ordination to be affective. In young children and the elderly, they become efficient only when combined with a spacer and facemask.

For an acute attack, salbutamol is usually sufficient. If there are repeated attacks, interfering with sleep at night, long-term treatment is needed. There are long-acting medications like salmeterol. When delivered to the lungs, it opens up the airways. This must be combined with a steroid like fluticosone. It prevents the local inflammatory reaction, decreases mucous secretion and helps keep the airways open.

Tablets and syrups do work eventually to control wheezing. They need to reach the stomach, get absorbed, reach the blood and eventually the lungs. They are more likely to produce side effects like nausea, vomiting and tremors. The onset of action is also slow.

Some lifestyle modifications may help to control the disease. Obesity contributes to the severity and frequency of attacks. The “pot belly” reduces the capacity of the lungs, as it tends to push them upwards. The BMI (body mass index) — weight divided by the height in metre squared — must be as close to 23 as possible.

Aerobic exercises like fast walking, jogging, swimming, skipping or stair climbing improve lung function and capacity.

Avoid known allergens that are likely to precipitate attacks. It may be airborne chemicals, like those in mosquito mats, coils and liquids. These should not be used anywhere in the house, as the smoke tends to permeate easily. Some allergens may be present in food or medication. If an attack seems to be precipitated by ingestion of a particular substance, it’s better to avoid it than search for a cure. Desensitisation is offered in some clinics but it’s a laborious and expensive process.

Stop smoking and as far as possible stay away from smokers.

People with reactive airways have poor breathing technique. This can be improved with exercises taught by physiotherapists and yoga teachers. Videos are available on the Internet. Proper breathing techniques go a long way towards improving lung capacity and reducing the duration, frequency and severity of attacks.

Hand-held devices called spirometers are available to measure the amount of air you breathe in and out. These are inexpensive. By documenting the readings daily, it is possible to anticipate an attack and take prophylactic action.

Always use the nebuliser, inhaler or rotahalor as directed. Sometimes a single dose at night may prevent lung damage and keep the lung capacity at a satisfactory level.

Source:The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

Yashtimadhu/Mulethi

Botanical Name : Glycyrrhiza glabra
Family:    Fabaceae
Subfamily:Faboideae
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Fabales
Tribe:    Galegeae
Genus:    Glycyrrhiza
Species:    G. glabra

Vernacular namesSans Yasti madhu, Hind: Jethi madhu, Eng : Licorice

Therapeutic Catagory: Anti-inflammatory, Anti-ulcer

Ayurvedic Names:
Yashtimadhu, Madhuka

Botanical Name: Glycyrrhiza Glabra

Unani Name: Rub-ul-sus

Indian Names: Yashtimadhu, Jethimadhu, Mulethi,Calamus,  Sweet Liquorice, Sweet Wood

Habitat:  This plant can be cultivated in plains of India but the drug is mainly imported from
Afghanistan and Iran.

DESCRIPTION:
Yashtimadhu or Licorice is one of the greatest herbs known to mankind. Egyptian hieroglyphics record the use of Licorice in a popular beverage. Alexander the Great, the Scything armies, Roman Emperor Caesar, and even India’s great prophet, Brahma, are on record endorsing the beneficial properties contained in Licorice. Warriors used it for its ability to quench thirst while on the march, while others recognized Licorice’s valuable healing properties. A very important quality of licorice continues to be its use as a flavoring agent. Glycyrrhiza is Greek meaning ‘sweet root’.

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Liquorice/ Licorice, a perennial herb of the genus Glycyrrhiza, in the family Leguminosae is a tall shrub (4  to  5 feet). This tender, twining plant, woody at the base is native of Asia and Mediterranean region and grows in subtropical climates. Glycyrrhiza glabra is its scientific name
A perennial shrub up to 1m high, violet flowers in racemes, dried roots are the source of liquorice. It is a herb or a small shrub up to 1m high with pinnate leaves having 9-17 leaflets. The leaflets ovate and obtuse. flowers pale blue, arranged in a raceme. Caylx glandular, pubescent. The pods glabrous, red to brown having 3-4 seeds. The root light brown, sweet in taste.

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS:
Principle constituent of liquorice is the sweet tasting Triterpenoid saponin glyccrrhizin
(2-9%), a mixture of potassium and calcium salts of glycyrrhizinic acid. Include other
triterpenoid saponins like glabranin A&B, glycyrrhetol, glabrolide, isoglabrolide, isoflavones, coumarins, triterpene sterols.

MEDICINAL USES:
The medicinally active sweet juice contained in its root, abounds with a constituent, much used in demulcent compositions. The inspissated juice is used as a confection and for medicinal purposes. Acrid resins, however, render the root irritant and poisonous. The word licorice derives from Greek glykeia rhiza “sweet root” – glykys the modern Greek name means sweet and rhiza means root. This herb known in Malayalam as At(t)i madhuram, Iratti madhuram, can be purchased from angadikkada, the shop in the street Ati madhuram/ Iratti madhuram which means excessively sweet (or extremely charming/ beautiful) is a sugar ally.

Eratti/ iratti means doubling. But Eratti/ iratti madhuram, doesn’t  mean doubling of the sweetness. Iratti is transformed into eratti. The characteristic sweet taste of liquorice is also reflected in the Indian names. In Sanskrit, madhu means sweet, pleasant. This element is found in names for licorice not only in Sanskrit (madhuka and yashtimadhu from yashti “stem, stalk”, but also in modern names of both South and North India, e.g., jestamadha (Marathi), yashthimodhu (Bengali), yashti madhukam, madhu yashti(ka), madhukam, yashti madhuram, yashti, yashtee madhu, madhusrava, yashteekam, kleethakam (Sanskrit), jathi-madh, jethi-madh, mulathi (Hindi), ati-madhura, yashti-madhuka (Kannada), ati-maduram (Tamil), ati-madhuramu, yashti-madhukam (Telugu).

The drug posses potent demulcent, expectorant and anti-inflamattory properties, attributed to the presence of glycyrrhizin, which is about 50 times sweeter than sucrose. Besides these, glyrrhizin is also credited with anti-hepatotoxic, anti-viral and anti-bacterial activites. The drug is also beneficial to peptic ulcer.

In India, the crude as well as its dried aqueous extract is mainly used in bronchial
troubles along with Viola pilosa, Adiantum lunulatum and Justicia adhatoda in the form of
decoction or in lozenges, but in Allopathy, its additional use along with anise oil is as
mild laxative and for masking the bad taste of some herbal preparations of senna aloe,
hyoscyamus, etc.

In Ayurveda, Glycyrrhiza glabra is used in “Yastyadi Churna”, “Yastyadi Kwath” and “Yastimadhavadi Taila”. In Unani system, it is an ingredient of “Banadiq-ul-bazur” used as a diuretic in urinary troubles, of lozenges “Hab Awaz Kusha” and “Hab Maqhas Badam” of “Dawa-i-sandal” a cooling agent for such diseases as syphilis, of “Sufuflodh” for threatened abortion, of “Sharbat Aijaz” a cough syrup and of “Laooq Bihdana” and “Laooq Badama” used as cough linctus.

It is madhura, slightly tikta, sheetala, used in opthalmia, deranged pitta, anorexia, emaciation, allays thirst and cures ulcer.

Therapeutic Uses:
Root (powder) : prescribed in coughs, hoarseness and in respiratory troubles; mixed with citrus juice efficacious in catarrhal affections and with honey in jaundice; in combination with ginger and milk, acts as a good tonic during convalescence; infusion,

Decoction or extract is laxative and an useful medicine in urinary diseases, bronchial and gastric troubles. alterative, galactagogue; good for the eyes, in incipient loss of sight, in diseases of the eyelid; removes biliousness, ear diseases due to biliousness; improves taste; lessens thirst, hiccough, vomiting, fatigue; heals ulcers, wounds; improves the voice; cures” vata “, inflammation, consumption, purifies the blood; useful in leprosy, anremia; hemicrania, haemoptysis, abdominal pains, epilepsy
The root is hot, dry, sweet; diuretic, emmenagogue, demulcent; relieves thirst, cough, vomiting, asthma, bronchitis, abdominal colic, headache; good in eye troubles; cures unhealthy humours, ulcers.-

The branches are bitter.-
The leaves are used for scalds of the head, and in foul perspiration of the armpits
The root is demulcent, pectoral, and emollient.used for coughs, consumption, and chest complaints..
The root is. said to be good for sore throats

CONTENTS:
Licorice root contains triterpenoid saponins (4-24%), mostly glycrrhizin, a mixture of potassium and calcium salts of glycyrrhizic acid; falvonoids (1%), mainly liquiritin and liquiritigenin, chalcones isoliquiritin, isoliquiritigenin, and isoflavonoids (formononetin) ; amines (1-2%) asparagine, betaine, and choline; amino acids; 3-15% glucose and sucrose; starch (2-30%); polysaccharides (arabinogalactans); sterols (beta-sitosterol); coumarins (glycerin); resin; and volatile oils (0.047%). Also Vitamins E, B-complex, phosphorous, biotin, niacin, pantothenic acid, lecithin, manganese, iodine, chromium, and zinc have been found.

BIOCHEMICAL ACTIONS:
Liquorice is used both in the Western and Oriental medicines. In western medicine, liquorice has been used since the ancient Grecian age as an expectorant and antitussive agent and as ad additive for sweetening. In old Chinese Materia Medica “Shin Nung Pen T Sao Chung”, liquorice was described as a drug for strengthening muscle and bone, and curing wounds.

Since liquorice extracts were effective clinically for treatment of gastric ulcer, but
caused oedema and hypertension in nearly 20% patients treated. The physiological and
pharmacolgical studies on glycyrrhizin, the main saponin of liquorice have advanced
remarkably. The side effect of liquorice extracts was regarded as a mineral corticoid like
action of glycyrrhizin. It has been reported that glycyrrhizin caused retention of Na+and Cl and excretion of K+.

Glycyrrhizetic acid has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory activity, in 1/8th potency of hydrocortisone by the cotton-pellet method. The activity is potentiated to 1/5th of hydrocortisone when carbenoxolone (Sodium salt of hemisuccinate of glycyrrhetic acid) is used. Glycyrrhizin ointment is employed clinically for aphtha and other inflammatory skin diseases.

In these cases, glycyrrhizin or its sapogenin glycyrrhetic acid potentiates the
action of glucocorticoid. Glycyrrhizin has been shown to inhibit ulcers in rats and cures
experimental gastric ulcers caused by acetic acid administration. To avoid side effects in
glycyrrhizin in liquorice preparation, such as oedema and hypertension, a glycyrrhizin free
fraction was studied. Later it has been whon that the fraction named FM 100 was found
effective for gastric ulcers and it contains several iso-flavones and chalcones. De-glycyrrhized liquorice extract is now an important substance for treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers.

Click to see    :Liquorice

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://www.maya-ethnobotanicals.com/product_info.phtml/herbid_055/category_/type_latinname
http://www.banlab.com/herb.htm

http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#yastimadhu

Ways to Calm a Cough Of Your Chield

Coughing is one of the most disturbing sounds a parent can hear. It is uncomfortable, tires a child, worries the parents, and robs the entire family of sleep. Yet, a cough is an essential defense mechanism to keep the lungs clear of viruses, bacterial, and other foreign objects.

What causes a child to cough?
Under normal conditions, the lining of the respiratory tract, from the nose to the lungs, continuously traps dust, viruses, bacteria, and other pollutants on a thin coat of mucus (children normally make about a pint a day). Tiny hairlike structures called cilia act like little brooms to keep this mucus and its foreign contents flowing out of the respiratory tract. When children get a respiratory tract infection, the cilia become disabled disrupting nature’s cleaning system. Coughing takes over for the inactivated cilia to help keep the airway clean. The cells of the respiratory tract compensate by producing more thick mucus to defend themselves from an invading germ.

A cough can be best handled in three ways.
The first is to stop all cigarette smoking in the house. By now, anyone with children who smokes and reads these columns should be trying to quit or at the very least smoking outside! Cigarette smoke is an irritant that not only paralyzes the cilia but causes the respiratory cells to produce more mucus. A second way to make the mucus thinner and soothe irritated respiratory cells is to use water in one form or another. So when our mom told us to drink plenty of water when we were sick, she was right!

A third way is to add water directly to a child’s inflamed respiratory tract by putting more moisture in the air. This can be accomplished by using a cool mist humidifier. These devices spin water into tiny droplets propelling them into the room where they eventually land on the child’s respiratory cells making the mucus less sticky. (The newer ultrasonic humidifiers produce a cool mist of a even smaller particle size that land farther down the respiratory tract.) Another benefit of more moisture in the air is that viruses survive better when the humidity is low. That might help explain why Influenza viruses show up more during the winter months when our air has less humidity.

Some parents wonder why pediatricians usually suggest the cool mist humidifier rather than the old standby – hot steam. Cool mist has more moisture than heated water and is more effective in reducing the swelling of inflamed, congested respiratory membranes. In addition, cool mist is better at thinning out the thick secretions that cause the youngster to cough. Furthermore, heated vaporizers pose a safety hazard with the risk of accidental burns or over warming the child.

If a child is wheezing or has asthma, use of cool mist therapy could make the problem worse. Call the child’s physician if the wheezing does not respond to usual treatments. In addition, humidifiers if not cleaned properly can act as incubators for viruses and bacteria present in the air.

The following guidelines will help parents get the most benefit from the humidifier:-

• Only use water – never add medications to the humidifier. Medicines (such as Vicks vaporub eucalyptus oil, etc.) do not help, only smell up the room, and may foul up a perfectly good humidifier. Unless advised by the child’s doctor, medications in the humidifier are unnecessary.

• Set the vaporizer several feet away from the child but not blowing directly onto a youngster’s face. Even if the humidifier blows away from the child, their clothes may become damp so check them frequently and change them as often as necessary.

• Use it primarily at night or naptime. Turn the humidifier on about ten minutes before putting the child to bed. Running the humidifier when the child is not in the room is unnecessary.

Working properly, the humidifier should put out an easily visible column of mist. Do not allow the room to become so we that water drips down the walls and windows; this will encourage the growth of molds.

When filling the humidifier, remove any remaining water and refill with fresh water. When not in use, dry the humidifier before putting it away.

Clean the humidifier thoroughly after each use. Mold can grow in the unit and throw off spores that can wreak havoc with an allergy prone child. Most units come with cleaning instructions. If the model does not have cleaning directions, use the following guidelines:

(1) remove any remaining water in the reservoir

(2) Add one-half cup of household bleach to one gallon of water in the reservoir

(3) Cover the mist port with a cloth towel

(4) Turn on the humidifier for 30 minutes

(5) Remove Water in the reservoir

(6) Rinse the reservoir throughout with water

(7) Repeat the procedure every third day.

Source:kidsgrowth.com