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Araroba

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Botanical Name:  Andira araroba
Family:Fabaceae/ Leguminosae
Subfamily:Faboideae
Genus:    Andira
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:Fabales

Synonyms:  Goa Powder. Crude Chrysarobin. Bahia Powder. Brazil Powder. Ringworm Powder. Chrysatobine. Goa. Araroba Powder. Voucapoua Araroba,Vataireopsis araroba
Common Name :  Araroba
Habitat :  Andira araroba is  commonly found in Bahia, Brazil.

Description:
Andira Araroba, is large, smooth, and quite . It is met with in great abundance in certain forests in the province of Bahia, preferring as a rule low and humid spots. The tree is from 80 to 100 ft. high and has large imparipinnate leaves, the leaflets of which are oblong, about 12 in. long and 1 in. broad, and somewhat truncate at the apex. The flowers are papilionaceous, of a purple color and arranged in panicles.

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The yellowish wood has longitudinal canals and interspaces in which the powder is deposited in increasing quantity as the tree ages. It is probably due to a pathological condition. It is scraped out with an axe, after felling, sawing, and splitting the trunk, and is thus inevitably mixed with splinters and debris, so that it needs sifting, and is sometimes ground, dried, boiled, and filtered.
It irritates the eyes and face of the woodmen.

As it darkens quickly, the crude chrysarobin is changed from primrose yellow to shades of dark brown before it is met with in commerce, when it often contains a large percentage of water, added to prevent the dust from rising.

An amber skin-varnish is made with 20 parts of amber to 1 of chrysarobin in turpentine.

Chemical Composition:  Araroba is remarkable for occasionally yielding from 80 to 85 per cent of chrysophanic acid, as shown by Attfield, in 1875, and, according to the same authority, the remainder of the powder examined consists of 7 per cent of a glucoside and bitter matter, 2 of a resinous substance, 5 ½ of a red woody fiber, and ½ per cent of ash. The ashes consist chiefly of silicate of aluminum, and sulphates of potassium and of sodium. Prof J. U. Lloyd examined several specimens upon the market, and, in all cases, obtained a much smaller proportion of chrysophanic acid than stated by Mr. Attfield. Therefore, he concluded that Attfield must have procured an unexceptionally rich specimen of araroba, or that which reached this country was very inferior. Araroba readily yields chrysophanic acid to benzin. When heated in a suitable vessel, a sublimate is obtained, which, doubtless, consists largely of the aforementioned acid, as it is colored red by alkalies in solution. Araroba is chiefly employed for the preparation of chrysophanic acid (which see). Liebermann and Siedler, are authority for the statement that chrysophanic acid does not exist ready-formed in araroba, but is formed by oxidation of a natural constituent, to which they give the formula C30H26O7, and the name Chrysarobin (previously applied to araroba).

The powder is insoluble in water, but yields up to 80 per cent. of its weight to solutions of caustic alkalies and to benzene. It contains 80 to 84 per cent. of chrysarobin (easily convertible into chrysophanic acid), resin, woody fibre, and bitter extractive. Goa Powder is usually regarded as crude chrysarobin, while the purified chrysarobin, or Araroba, is a mixture extracted by hot benzene, which melts when heated, and leaves not more than 1 per cent. of ash when it finally burns.

Chrysarobin is a reduced quinone, and chrysophanic acid (also found in rhubarb yellow lichen, Buckthorn Berries, Rumox Eckolianus, a South African dock, etc., etc.), is a dioxymethylanthraquinone.

Chrysarobin contains at least five substances, and owes its power to one of these, chrysophanol-anthranol.

Lenirobin, a tetracetate,, and eurobin, a triacetate, are recommended as substitutes for chrysarobin, as they do not stain linen indelibly. (Benzin helps to remove the stains of chrysarobin.)

The action of chrysarobin on the skin is not due to germicidal properties, but to its chemical affinity for the keratin elements of the skin. The oxygen for its oxidation is abstracted from the epithelium by the drug.

Oxidized chrysarobin, obtained by boiling chrysarobin in water with sodium peroxide, can be used as an ointment for forms of eczema which chrysarobin would irritate too much.

Medicinal Uses:
The internal dose in pill or powder is a gastro-intestinal irritant, producing large, watery stools and vomiting. It is used in eczema, psoriasis, aene, and other skin diseases.

In India and South Ameriea it has been esteemed for many years for ringworm, psoriasis, dhobi’s itch, etc., as ointment, or simply moistened with vinegar or saliva. The application causes the eruption to become whitish, while the skin around it is stained dark.

In the crude form it should never be applied to the head, as it may cause erythema and oedema of the face. The 2 per cent. ointment is good in ecezema (after exudation has ceased), fissured nipples, and tylosis of the palms and soles after the skin has been removed by salicylic acid plaster, etc.

A drachm of chrysarobin may be dissolved in a fluid ounce of official flexible collodion, painted over the parts with a camel’s-hair brush, and the part coated with plain collodion to avoid staining the clothing; or chrysarobin may be dissolved in chloroform and the solution painted on the skin. For haemorrhoids, an ointment mixed with iodoform, belladonna, and petrolatum is recommended.

It is said to have been used as a taenifuge.

Known Hazards:
Precautions – Adverse reactions
The drug is severely irritating to skin and mucous membranes (redness, swelling, pustules and conjunctivitis, even without eye contact).
External administration on large skin areas could cause resorptive poisonings.
Internal administration leads to vomiting, diarrhea and kidney inflammation (with as little as
0.01 g).

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/araro052.html
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/andira-arar.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Araroba_powder
http://www.globalhealth.it/xwp1/piante-medicinali/andira-araroba/

 

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Less Carbs Slow Prostate Tumour Growth

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Cutting down on carbohydrates may slow prostate tumour growth, according to a study conducted on animals.

“Researchers believe that insulin and insulin-like growth factor contribute to the proliferation of

prostate cancer,” said Stephen Freedland, urologist at the Duke Prostate Centre and lead investigator on this study.

“Previous work here and elsewhere has shown that a diet light in carbohydrates could slow tumour growth. But the animals in those studies also lost weight and because we know that weight loss can restrict the amount of energy feeding tumours. We weren’t able to tell just how big an impact the pure carbohydrate restriction was having until now,” Freedland added.

Animals in the study were fed one of three diets: a very high fat/no carbohydrate diet, a low-fat/high carbohydrate diet and a high fat/moderate-carbohydrate diet, which is most similar to the diet most Americans eat, Freedland said.

They were then injected with prostate tumours at the same time.

“The mice that were fed a no-carbohydrate diet experienced a 40-50 percent prolonged survival over the other mice,” Freedland said.

Mice on the no-carbohydrate diet consumed more calories in order to keep body weights consistent with mice on the other study arms. “We found that carbohydrate restriction without energy restriction – or weight loss – does indeed result in tumour growth delay,” he said.

Patients are likely to be recruited by Duke and California (Los Angeles) Universities, for further clinical trials within a few weeks, said a Duke release.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Migraine Reduces Breast Cancer Risk

Early signs of breast cancer.
Image via Wikipedia

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In a puzzling twist, women who have a history of migraine headaches are far less likely to develop breast cancer than other women, US researchers said on Thursday.

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The study is the first to look at the relationship between breast cancer and migraine and its findings may point to new ways of reducing a woman’s breast cancer risk, they said. “We found that, overall, women who had a history of migraine had a 30% lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who did not have a history of such headaches,” said Christopher Li of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Li said the reduction in risk was for the most common types of breast cancers — those driven by hormones. Hormones also play a role in migraine.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Clone Cell Cancer ‘Cure’ Hailed

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Scientists claim they have cured advanced skin cancer for the first time using the patient’s own cells cloned outside the body.

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Melanoma can be fatal

The 52-year-old man involved was free of melanoma two years after treatment.

US researchers, reports the New England Journal of Medicine, took cancer-fighting immune cells, made five billion copies, then put them all back.

Scientists in the UK warned that further trials would need to be done to prove how well the treatment worked.

The body’s immune system plays a significant role in the battle against cancer, and doctors have been looking for ways to boost this tumour-killing response.

The 52-year-old man had advanced melanoma which had spread to the lungs and lymph nodes.

“This is another interesting demonstration of the huge power of the immune system to fight some types of cancer”…. says Spokesman, Cancer Research UK

Scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle concentrated on a type of white blood cell called a CD4+ T cell.

From a sample of the man’s white blood cells, they were able to select CD4+ T cells which had been specifically primed to attack a chemical found on the surface of melanoma cells.

These were then multiplied in the laboratory, and put back in their billions to see if they could mount an effective attack on the tumours.

Two months later, scans showed the tumours had disappeared, and after two years, the man remained disease-free.

The new cells persisted in the body for months after the treatment.

‘Immune power’
While claiming this as a world first, the study authors pointed out that their technique applied only to a patient with a particular type of immune system and tumour type, and could work for only a small percentage of people with advanced skin cancer.

Dr Cassian Yee, who led the project, said: “For this patient we were successful, but we would need to confirm the effectiveness of therapy in a larger study.”

A spokesman for Cancer Research UK also said more research would be needed, adding: “This is another interesting demonstration of the huge power of the immune system to fight some types of cancer.

“Although the technique is complex and difficult to use for all but a few patients, the principle that someone’s own immune cells can be expanded and made to work in this way is very encouraging for the work that ourselves and others are carrying out in this field.

You may click to see:->Cancer vaccine target pinpointed

>Hope for tailored cancer vaccine

>Cord blood cancer therapy boost

Sources: BBC NEWS :June 16, 2008

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Eat your greens to cut cancer risk

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New research is strengthening evidence that following mom’s admonition to eat your vegetables may be some of the best health advice around.

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A large study of 500,000 American retirees has found that just one extra serving of fruit or vegetables a day may reduce the risk of developing head and neck cancer.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that diet plays a role in cancer. Cancer experts now believe that up to two-thirds of all cancers come from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet and lack of exercise.

“It may not sound like news that vegetables protect from cancer, but there is actually some controversy in the literature. It is important that we do these large studies,” said Alan Kristal, associate head of the cancer prevention program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute queried men and women aged 50 and older about their diets, then followed participants for five years to record all diagnoses of head and neck cancer, which is the sixth-leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide.

Tobacco and alcohol use increase the risk of head and neck cancers, which affect the mouth, nose, sinuses and throat.
The study found eating six servings of fruit and vegetables per day per 1,000 calories cut the risk of head and neck cancer by 29% compared to eating one and a half servings.

The typical adult consumes around 2,000 calories a day. “Increasing consumption by just one serving of fruit or vegetables per 1,000 calories per day was associated with a 6% reduction in head and neck cancer risk, said Neal Freedman, cancer prevention fellow at the NCI.

A second study of food consumption in more than 183,000 residents of California and Hawaii found that a diet high in flavonols might help reduce pancreatic cancer risk, especially in smokers. Flavonols are common in plant-based foods but are found in highest concentrations in onions, apples, berries, kale and broccoli.

Source:The Times Of India