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Herbs & Plants

Cynanchum glaucescens

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Botanical Name :Cynanchum glaucescens
Family: Asclepiadaceae

Common Name ;

Habitat : Cynanchum glaucescens is native to  E. Asia – China. It grows in  Mountains, riversides; 100-800. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Zhejiang

Description:
Cynanchum glaucescens is a perennial Climber growing to 0.6m.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from June to October, and the seeds ripen from July to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
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The Herbs is rhizomatous, roots fibrous, fascicled at nodes. Stems erect, to 60 cm, pubescent along 2 lines. Leaves opposite, subsessile; leaf blade glabrous, elliptic, oblong-lanceolate, or oblong, 1-7 cm × 7-12 mm, base cuneate or rounded, apex rounded to ± acute; lateral veins 3-5 pairs, obscure. Inflorescences umbel-like, sometimes with 2 cymules separated by a short rachis, shorter than leaves, glabrous or puberulent. Sepals oblong-lanceolate, ca. 2.3 × 1 mm, glabrous, basal glands 5. Corolla yellow, rotate, ca. 8 mm in diam.; lobes ovate-oblong, ca. 3.5 × 2.3 mm, obtuse. Corona shallowly cupular, 5-lobed; lobes ovate, fleshy, incurved, slightly shorter than anthers and adnate to them. Pollinia ovoid. Stigma head convex. Follicles fusiform, 4.5-6 cm × 6-10 mm. Seeds oblong, ca. 5 mm; coma ca. 2 cm. Fl. May-Nov, fr. Jul-Dec.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) 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:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. It probably does not have any special cultivation requirements and will probably succeed in most soils in a sunny position.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in the greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring.

Medicinal Uses:

Antitussive; Expectorant.

The fragrant root is used in Chinese medicine.  The roots and stems are used to treat coughs, pneumonia, uneasy breathing, and lung diseases.  They are also used in the treatment of asthma with profuse sputum, coughs etc.

The dried root and stem are antitussive and expectorant. They are used in the treatment of asthma with profuse sputum, coughs etc.

Known Hazards:There are some reports of toxins in this genus

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Cynanchum+glaucescens
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.showyourplant.com/Cynanchum_glaucescens/

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200018553

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Swine Flu

Other Names: Pig influenza, hog flu and pig flu.

Description:
Swine flu (also swine influenza) refers to influenza caused by any strain of the influenza virus endemic in pigs (swine). Strains endemic in swine are called swine influenza virus (SIV).

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Swine flu is common in swine and rare in humans. People who work with swine, especially people with intense exposures, are at risk of catching swine influenza if the swine carry a strain able to infect humans. However, these strains rarely are able to pass from human to human. Rarely, SIV mutates into a form able to pass easily from human to human. The strain responsible for the 2009 swine flu outbreak is believed to have undergone such a mutation. This virus is named swine flu because one of its surface proteins is similar to viruses that usually infects pigs, but this strain is spreading in people and it is unknown if it infects pigs.

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It is an infection caused by any one of several types of swine influenza viruses. Swine influenza virus (SIV) or swine-origin influenza virus (S-OIV) is any strain of the influenza family of viruses that is endemic in pigs.As of 2009, the known SIV strains include influenza C and the subtypes of influenza A known as H1N1, H1N2, H2N1, H3N1, H3N2, and H2N3.

In humans, the symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general, namely chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort. The strain responsible for the 2009 swine flu outbreak in most cases causes only mild symptoms and the infected person makes a full recovery without  requiring medical attention and without the use of antiviral medicines.

Of the three genera of human flu, two are endemic also in swine: Influenzavirus A (common) and Influenzavirus C (rare). Influenzavirus B has not been reported in swine. Within Influenzavirus A and Influenzavirus C, the strains endemic to swine and humans are largely distinct.

History:
The swine flu is likely a descendant of the infamous “Spanish flu” that caused a devastating pandemic in humans in 1918–1919. In less than a year, that pandemic killed more an estimated 50 million people worldwide. Descendants of this virus have persisted in pigs; they probably circulated in humans until the appearance of the Asian flu in 1957, and reemerged in 1977. Direct transmission from pigs to humans is rare, with 12 cases in the U.S. since 2005.

The flu virus is perhaps the trickiest known to medical science; it constantly changes form to elude the protective antibodies that the body has developed in response to previous exposures to influenza or to influenza vaccines. Every two or three years the virus undergoes minor changes. Then, at intervals of roughly a decade, after the bulk of the world’s population has developed some level of resistance to these minor changes, it undergoes a major shift that enables it to tear off on yet another pandemic sweep around the world, infecting hundreds of millions of people who suddenly find their antibody defenses outflanked. Even during the Spanish flu pandemic, the initial wave of the disease was relatively mild and the second wave was highly lethal.In 1957, an Asian flu pandemic infected some 45 million Americans and killed 70,000. Eleven years later, lasting from 1968 to

1969, the Hong Kong flu pandemic afflicted 50 million Americans and caused 33,000 deaths, costing approximately $3.9 billion.

In 1976, about 500 soldiers became infected with swine flu over a period of a few weeks. However, by the end of the month investigators found that the virus had “mysteriously disappeared” and there were no more signs of swine flu anywhere on the post.  There were isolated cases around the U.S. but those cases were supposedly to individuals who caught the virus from pigs.

Medical researchers worldwide, recognizing that the swine flu virus might again mutate into something as deadly as the Spanish flu, were carefully watching the latest 2009 outbreak of swine flu and making contingency plans for a possible global pandemic.

Swine influenza virus is common throughout pig populations worldwide. Transmission of the virus from pigs to humans is not common and does not always lead to human flu, often resulting only in the production of antibodies in the blood. If transmission does cause human flu, it is called zoonotic swine flu. People with regular exposure to pigs are at increased risk of swine flu infection.

Around the mid-20th century, identification of influenza subtypes became possible, allowing accurate diagnosis of transmission to humans. Since then, only 50 such transmissions have been confirmed. These strains of swine flu rarely pass from human to human. Symptoms of zoonotic swine flu in humans are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general, namely chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and general discomfort.

In August 2010, the World Health Organization declared the swine flu pandemic officially over.

Cases of swine flu have been reported in India, with over 31,156 positive test cases and 1,841 deaths till March 2015.

Signs and symptoms:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in humans the symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. The 2009 outbreak has shown an increased percentage of patients reporting diarrhea and vomiting.

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Because these symptoms are not specific to swine flu, a differential diagnosis of probable swine flu requires not only symptoms but also a high likelihood of swine flu due to the person’s recent history. For example, during the 2009 swine flu outbreak in the United States, CDC advised physicians to “consider swine influenza infection in the differential diagnosis of patients with acute febrile respiratory illness who have either been in contact with persons with confirmed swine flu, or who were in one of the five U.S. states that have reported swine flu cases or in Mexico during the 7 days preceding their illness onset.” A diagnosis of confirmed swine flu requires laboratory testing of a respiratory sample (a simple nose and throat swab)……click & see

Pathophysiology
Influenza viruses bind through hemagglutinin onto sialic acid sugars on the surfaces of epithelial cells; typically in the nose, throat and lungs of mammals and intestines of birds (Stage 1 in infection figure).

Swine flu in humans:
People who work with poultry and swine, especially people with intense exposures, are at increased risk of zoonotic infection with influenza virus endemic in these animals, and constitute a population of human hosts in which zoonosis and reassortment can co-occur. Transmission of influenza from swine to humans who work with swine was documented in a small surveillance study performed in 2004 at the University of Iowa. This study among others forms the basis of a recommendation that people whose jobs involve handling poultry and swine be the focus of increased public health surveillance. The 2009 swine flu outbreak is an apparent reassortment of several strains of influenza A virus subtype H1N1, including a strain endemic in humans and two strains endemic in pigs, as well as an avian influenza.

The CDC reports that the symptoms and transmission of the swine flu from human to human is much like that of seasonal flu. Common symptoms include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing, while runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. It is believed to be spread between humans through coughing or sneezing of infected people and touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth. Swine flu cannot be spread by pork products, since the virus is not transmitted through food. The swine flu in humans is most contagious during the first five days of the illness although some people, most commonly children, can remain contagious for up to ten days. Diagnosis can be made by sending a specimen, collected during the first five days, to the CDC for analysis.

The swine flu is susceptible to four drugs licensed in the United States, amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir; however, for the 2009 outbreak it is recommended it be treated under medical advice only with oseltamivir and zanamivir to avoid drug resistance. The vaccine for the human seasonal H1N1 flu does not protect against the swine H1N1 flu, as they are antigenically very different.

Causes:
The cause of the 2009 swine flu was an influenza A virus type designated as H1N1. In 2011, a new swine flu virus was detected. The new strain was named influenza A (H3N2)v. Only a few people (mainly children) were first infected, but officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported increased numbers of people infected in the 2012-2013 flu season. Currently, there are not large numbers of people infected with H3N2v. Unfortunately, another virus termed H3N2 (note no “v” in its name) has been detected and caused flu, but this strain is different from H3N2v. In general, all of the influenza A viruses have a structure similar to the H1N1 virus; each type has a somewhat different H and/or N structure.

Complications Of Swine Flu And Higher Risk Individuals:-

Those at higher risk include those with the following:
*Age of 65 years or older
*Chronic health problems (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease)
*Pregnant women
*Young children

Complications (for all patients but especially for those at higher risk) can include:
*Pneumonia
*Bronchitis
*Sinus infections
*Ear infections
*Death

Diagnosis :-
1. A respiratory sample collected within the first five days of illness will be collected.

2. The sample is sent to the CDC for laboratory analysis and confirmation.

At this time the CDC is recommending the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) for treatment and/or prevention of Swine flu.

Why is swine flu now infecting humans?

Many researchers now consider that two main series of events can lead to swine flu (and also avian or bird flu) becoming a major cause for influenza illness in humans.

First, the influenza viruses (types A, B, C) are enveloped RNA viruses with a segmented genome; this means the viral RNA genetic code is not a single strand of RNA but exists as eight different RNA segments in the influenza viruses. A human (or bird) influenza virus can infect a pig respiratory cell at the same time as a swine influenza virus; some of the replicating RNA strands from the human virus can get mistakenly enclosed inside the enveloped swine influenza virus. For example, one cell could contain eight swine flu and eight human flu RNA segments. The total number of RNA types in one cell would be 16; four swine and four human flu RNA segments could be incorporated into one particle, making a viable eight RNA-segmented flu virus from the 16 available segment types. Various combinations of RNA segments can result in a new subtype of virus (this process is known as antigenic shift) that may have the ability to preferentially infect humans but still show characteristics unique to the swine influenza virus . It is even possible to include RNA strands from birds, swine, and human influenza viruses into one virus if a single cell becomes infected with all three types of influenza (for example, two bird flu, three swine flu, and three human flu RNA segments to produce a viable eight-segment new type of flu viral genome). Formation of a new viral type is considered to be antigenic shift; small changes within an individual RNA segment in flu viruses are termed antigenic drift   and result in minor changes in the virus. However, these small genetic changes can accumulate over time to produce enough minor changes that cumulatively alter the virus’ makeup over time (usually years).

Second, pigs can play a unique role as an intermediary host to new flu types because pig respiratory cells can be infected directly with bird, human, and other mammalian flu viruses. Consequently, pig respiratory cells are able to be infected with many types of flu and can function as a “mixing pot” for flu RNA segments . Bird flu viruses, which usually infect the gastrointestinal cells of many bird species, are shed in bird feces. Pigs can pick these viruses up from the environment, and this seems to be the major way that bird flu virus RNA segments enter the mammalian flu virus population.

Present vaccination strategies for SIV control and prevention in swine farms, typically include the use of one of several bivalent SIV vaccines commercially available in the United States. Of the 97 recent H3N2 isolates examined, only 41 isolates had strong serologic cross-reactions with antiserum to three commercial SIV vaccines. Since the protective ability of influenza vaccines depends primarily on the closeness of the match between the vaccine virus and the epidemic virus, the presence of nonreactive H3N2 SIV variants suggests that current commercial vaccines might not effectively protect pigs from infection with a majority of H3N2 viruses.

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Treatment
In response to requests from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on April 27, 2009 the FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations to make available diagnostic and therapeutic tools to identify and respond to the swine influenza virus under certain circumstances. The agency issued these EUAs for the use of certain Relenza and Tamiflu antiviral drugs, and for the rRT-PCR Swine Flu Panel diagnostic test.

The CDC recommends the use of Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or Relenza (zanamivir) for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine influenza viruses, however, the majority of people infected with the virus make a full recovery without requiring medical attention or antiviral drugs The virus isolates that have been tested from the US and Mexico are however resistant to amantadine and rimantadine. If a person gets sick, antiviral drugs can make the illness milder and make the patient feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).

Antiviral Stockpiles:
Some countries have issued orders to stockpile antivirals . These typically have an expiry date of five years after manufacturing.

Preparedness
To maintain a secure household during a pandemic flu, the Water Quality & Health Council recommends keeping as supplies food and bottled water, portable power sources and chlorine bleach as an emergency water purifier and surface sanitizer.

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Homeopathy Remedies for Swine Flu

Fight against swine flu by Chinese medicine

Herbal soup  to fight against swine flu

Stay safe from H1N1 Maxican Swine Flu through herbal medication

Fight Swine Flu With Alternative Remedies

Prevention.

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Prevention of swine influenza has three components:-(1) prevention in swine, (2) prevention of transmission to humans, and (3)  prevention of its spread among humans.

(1)Prevention in swine
Swine influenza has become a greater problem in recent decades as the evolution of the virus has resulted in inconsistent responses to traditional vaccines. Standard commercial swine flu vaccines are effective in controlling the infection when the virus strains match enough to have significant cross-protection, and custom (autogenous) vaccines made from the specific viruses isolated are created and used in the more difficult cases.

(2) Prevention of transmission to humans
There are antiviral medicines you can take to prevent or treat swine flu. There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. You can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza by

*Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
*Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. You can also use alcohol-based hand cleaners.
*Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
*Trying to avoid close contact with sick people.
*Staying home from work or school if you are sick.

(3) Prevention of spread in humans
Recommendations to prevent spread of the virus among humans include using standard infection control against influenza. This includes frequent washing of hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially after being out in public. Vaccines against the H1N1 strain in the 2009 human outbreak are being developed and could be ready as early as June 2009.

Experts agree that hand-washing can help prevent viral infections, a surprisingly effective way to prevent all sorts of diseases, including ordinary influenza and the new swine flu virus. Influenza can spread in coughs or sneezes, but an increasing body of evidence shows little particles of virus can linger on tabletops, telephones and other surfaces and be transferred via the fingers to the mouth, nose or eyes. Alcohol-based gel or foam hand sanitizers work well to destroy viruses and bacteria. Anyone with flu-like symptoms such as a sudden fever, cough or muscle aches should stay away from work or public transportation and should see a doctor to be tested.

Social distancing is another tactic. It means staying away from other people who might be infected and can include avoiding large gatherings, spreading out a little at work, or perhaps staying home and lying low if an infection is spreading in a community.

You may click to see the latest information & instruction from WHO about the spread of swine flu

Click to see:-:>Critical Alert: The Swine Flu Pandemic – Fact or Fiction?

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/Swine_influenza

http://diseases-viruses.suite101.com/article.cfm/swine_flu_symptoms_treatment_and_prevention

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/swineflu.html

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Bird Flu

Experts believe a flu pandemic is long-overdue. The most obvious source is bird flu.

Humans have been catching if from birds for the last decade, but as yet it has still not kick-started a global outbreak.

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What is bird flu?

Like humans and other species, birds are susceptible to flu.

There are many types of bird, or avian, flu.

The most contagious strains, which are usually fatal in birds, are H5 and H7.

There are nine different types of H5. The nine all take different forms – some are highly pathogenic, while some are pretty harmless.

The type currently causing concern is the “highly pathogenic” Asian strain of the H5N1 virus.

Scientists have discovered four different subtypes of H5N1, and there could well be more. However, all are deadly to birds, and can cause disease – and death – in humans.

However, it is important to stress that H5N1 is overwhelmingly a disease that affects birds – and not humans.

It is true that humans have been infected, but almost all have been poultry workers who have come into intimate contact with birds. H5N1 cannot pass easily from human to human.

Migratory wildfowl, notably wild ducks, are natural carriers of the viruses, but are unlikely to actually develop an infection.

The risk is that they pass it on to domestic birds, who are much more susceptible to the virus.

How do humans catch bird flu?

Bird flu was thought only to infect birds until the first human cases were seen in Hong Kong in 1997.

Humans catch the disease through close contact with live infected birds.

Birds excrete the virus in their faeces, which dry and become pulverised, and are then inhaled.

Symptoms are similar to other types of flu – fever, malaise, sore throats and coughs. People can also develop conjunctivitis.

Researchers are now concerned because scientists studying a case in Vietnam found the virus can affect all parts of the body, not just the lungs.

This could mean that many illnesses, and even deaths, thought to have been caused by something else, may have been due to the bird flu virus.

Is it possible to stop bird flu coming into a country?

There is no failsafe way of preventing its spread.

Experts say proper poultry controls – such as preventing wild birds getting in to poultry houses – are vital.

In addition, they say monitoring of the migratory patterns of wild birds should provide early alerts of the arrival of infected flocks – meaning they could be targeted on arrival.

How many people have been affected?

As of January 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) had confirmed 348 cases of H5N1 in humans in Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam, leading to 216 deaths.

For the latest WHO information on the numbers of humans infected and killed by avian flu, see related internet links section on right of page.

How quickly is the disease spreading?

After bird flu claimed its first human victim – a three-year-old boy in Hong Kong in May 1997 – the disease was not detected again until February 2003, when a father and son were diagnosed with H5N1, again in Hong Kong.

Since then it has spread westwards through Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Despite mass culls, exclusion zones and other measures put in place to prevent its spread, the H5N1 virus has continued to travel.

In one week in February 2006, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Germany, Austria, France, Slovenia, India, Iran and Egypt confirmed their first cases of H5N1 in wild birds.

In April 2005, a dead swan in Scotland was found to have the strain.

But it can’t yet be passed from person to person?

For the most part, humans have contracted the virus following very close contact with sick birds.

There may have been examples of human-to-human transmission, but so far not in the form which could fuel a pandemic.

A case in Thailand indicated the probable transmission of the virus from a girl who had the disease to her mother, who also died.

The girl’s aunt, who was also infected, survived the virus.

UK virology expert Professor John Oxford said these cases indicated the basic virus could be passed between humans, and predicted similar small clusters of cases would be seen again.

It is not the only instance where it has been thought bird flu has been passed between humans.

In 2004, two sisters died in Vietnam after possibly contracting bird flu from their brother who had died from an unidentified respiratory illness.

In a similar case in Hong Kong in 1997, a doctor possibly caught the disease from a patient with the H5N1 virus – but it was never conclusively proved.

What would the consequences of a mass outbreak be?

If the virus gained the ability to pass easily between humans the results could be catastrophic.

Worldwide, experts predict anything between two million and 50 million deaths.

However the mortality rate – which presently stands at around 50% of confirmed cases – could decline as it mutates, they say.

Is there a vaccine?

There is not yet a definitive vaccine, but prototypes which offer protection against the H5N1 strain are being produced.

But antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu which are already available and being stockpiled by countries such as the UK, may help limit symptoms and reduce the chances the disease will spread.

Concerns have been prompted by news that patients in Vietnam have become partially resistant to the Tamiflu, the drug that doctors plan to use to tackle a human bird flu outbreak.

Scientists say it may be helpful to have stocks of other drugs from the same family such as Relenza (zanamivir).

Can I continue to eat chicken?

Yes. Experts say avian flu is not a food-borne virus, so eating chicken is safe.

The only people thought to be at risk are those involved in the slaughter and preparation of meat that may be infected.

However, the Who recommends, to be absolutely safe all meat should be cooked to a temperature of at least 70C. Eggs should also be thoroughly cooked.

Professor Hugh Pennington of Aberdeen University underlined the negligible risk to consumers: “The virus is carried in the chicken’s gut.

“A person would have to dry out the chicken meat and would have to sniff the carcass to be at any risk. But even then, it would be very hard to become infected.”

What is being done to contain the virus in the countries affected?

Steps have been taken to try to stop the disease spreading among birds.

Millions of farmyard birds have been culled, while millions more have been vaccinated and confined indoors.

Areas where the disease has been found have been isolated and some countries have banned imports of live birds and poultry products.

In January 2006 international donors pledged $1.9bn (£1.1bn) in the fight against bird flu, while the World Health Organization has devised a rapid-response plan to detect and contain a global flu pandemic.

There are also measures recommended when a wild infected bird is found, including protection and surveillance zones.

However, experts do not recommend culling wild birds. Not only would this be a logistical nightmare, it is unnecessary. It is better to adopt a “wait and see” policy and cull infected farmyard birds if the disease is spreading among these poultry.

You may also click to see:->

Bird Flue Evolution

Quick Guide: Bird flu
Japan vaccinates bird flu workers
Father ‘caught bird flu from son’
Fresh bird flu outbreak in India
Indonesia ‘needs bird flu help’

Bird flu journey: Watch its spread

Bird flu: Still a threat?

Q&A: Your bird flu concerns

Sources: BBC NEWS:Jan.10,’08