Tag Archives: Hemorrhoid

Anal Itching (Pruritus Ani)


 

Definition:
Anal itching is itching around your anus — the canal that’s the outlet for your rectum. The itch, located in your anus or on the skin just around your anus, is often intense and may be accompanied by a strong urge to scratch. You may find anal itching to be an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation.

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Anal itching, also known as itchy bottom, pruritus ani or anusitis, is irritation and sometimes inflammation of the anus – located at the exit of the rectum.

Itching severity varies and is usually exacerbated by such factors as type of clothing worn, whether the patient is seated or upright, moisture levels, pressure and general rubbing of the anal area. Anal itching can become so severe that some people find it intolerable, describing the sensation as one of incredible burning and soreness.

Numerous factors may cause anal itching to be more intense — including moisture, abrasion caused by your clothing and the pressure of sitting.

Anal itching is a common problem that many people have experienced. Don’t be afraid to talk with your doctor about this condition. With proper treatment and self-care measures, most people can achieve complete relief from anal itching.

Anal itching is not a disease in itself, but rather a sign or symptom. In the majority of cases, there is an underlying cause or condition which causes the anal itching. However, sometimes the underlying cause is never found.

Regardless of the cause, virtually every type of anal itching sign or symptom can be successfully treated.

Most humans and other animals sometimes scratch their bottoms. For a person with pruritus ani (anal itching) the urge to scratch around the anus is very strong and persistent. Although the urge may occur at any time of day or night, it is more common after going to the toilet; especially if stools are liquidy. Some patients say the itching becomes more intense just prior to falling asleep in bed at night.

Things that set off anal itching or exacerbate it are:
#Anxiety
#Heat
#Mental stress
Moisture
#Soiling (defecating or pooing in one’s clothing)
#Some clothing or bedding materials, such as wool
#Having nowhere private to go into nearby

According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary, pruritus ani is “itching of varying intensity at the anus; may be paroxysmal or constant, associated with seborrheic candidiasis or moniliasis, with irritated and enlarged hemorrhoidal veins, or may occur independently of any cutaneous lesions in association with systemic disease.”

Symptoms:-

The symptoms of anal itching are self explanatory – “itching of the anus and the anal area”. The patient generally experiences:
#Burning
#Intense itching
#Soreness
#Pain (sometimes)

Symptoms may be short-term or persistent. Some individuals may experience irritation that is so intense that the desire to scratch must be satisfied there and then – this can be bothersome problem. For some people, the irritation is so intense that the urge to scratch is both irresistible and embarrassing.

Causes:-

Most cases of anal itching are caused by a harmless problem. Occasionally, however, anal itching can also be a sign of more-serious medical issues. Possible causes of anal itching include:

#Skin type – if the skin around the anal area is too dry there is a significantly greater risk of developing persistent and sometimes severe anal itching.

#Moisture levels – if moisture levels around the anal area are high, the chances of having anal itching are raised. High moisture levels can be the result of several different factors, including over-sweating, allergies, diarrhea, very wet and sticky stools, inappropriate clothing, fecal incontinence, and not having access to toilet paper or any means of cleaning oneself.

#Abrasive rubbing – cleaning your bottom with toilet paper can aggravate anal itching if the sensitive skin area is rubbed too hard, for too long, or too often.

#Excessive washing. Excessive wiping with dry, harsh toilet paper or excessive scrubbing with harsh soaps can cause or aggravate anal itching. Failure to rinse away the soap completely also may cause irritation.

#Some chemicals
– some substances found in some soaps, douches, laundry detergents and body sprays may irritate the skin and cause anal itching.

#Type of toilet paper – the texture and substances added to toilet paper may irritate and inflame the skin in the anal area, resulting in itching.

#Some foods some people may develop anal itching after consuming certain types of hot sauces or spices. The irritation may occur when the food is anywhere in the digestive system, even when stools are exiting through the anus.
.

#Some medicines – some medications, such as antibiotics can cause diarrhea, which can cause anal itching.

#Laxative abuse – if laxatives are used inappropriately and the patient has diarrhea or very liquidy stools, the probability of anal itching occurring  becomes much greater.

#Hemorrhoids – when the veins around the anus or in the rectum are swollen or inflamed the patient has hemorrhoids . Hemorrhoids can occur both inside and above the inside of the anus. They can also appear externally, under the skin of the anus. People with hemorrhoids commonly suffer from anal itching.

#STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) – also known as STIs (sexually transmitted infections) cause anal as well as genital itching.

#Parasites- some parasites may cause anal itching. Parasites are more commonly a cause of anal itching in tropical countries, or tropical regions of countries.


#Some yeast infections –
this generally affects women. Yeast infections which affect the genital area, may spread to the anus, causing intense irritation.

#Forced bowel movement – if the stool is dry and large and the individual heaves and still pushes it through, there is a risk of an anal abrasion (small tear in the anus). A deeper tear is called an anal fissure, which may also cause itching.

#Food irritants.
Anal itching may be the result of irritating chemicals in some foods, such as those found in spices and hot sauces. Similarly, some foods may directly or indirectly irritate your anus as they exit your colon. Common culprits include chocolate, alcohol, tomatoes, nuts and popcorn. Consuming certain beverages, including milk or caffeinated drinks, may cause some people to experience diarrhea followed by anal itching.

#Medications. Anal itching may be a side effect of certain medications, including some antibiotics, that can cause frequent diarrhea.

#Overuse of laxatives. Excessive or improper use of laxatives can lead to chronic diarrhea and the risk of anal irritation and itching.

#Skin disorders.
Common skin problems — such as psoriasis, seborrhea and eczema — can involve and irritate the area in and around your anus.

#Yeast infections.
This common infection, which usually affects women, can irritate your genital and anal areas.

#Anal abrasions and fissures. An anal abrasion is a small tear in your anus, usually caused by forced bowel movements through a tight anus. An anal fissure

is a deeper tear. Both conditions can cause anal itching, as well as painful bowel movements and bleeding.

#Anal tumors. Rarely, benign or cancerous tumors in or around the anus may be a cause of anal itching.

#Other causes. Anal itching may be related to anxiety or stress. Sometimes, the cause remains undetermined.

Although anal itching is almost never a problem of cleanliness, your own actions may contribute to the problem. Whatever the cause of anal itching, your natural reaction is to scratch the area. But scratching worsens the problem by removing superficial layers of skin. In addition, the natural tendency in response to an irritation is to wash the area frequently with soap and a washcloth. However, excessive washing can aggravate the condition by removing your skin’s natural protective oils.


Diagnosis:

Doctor may be able to diagnose the cause of your itching simply by asking you questions about your symptoms.

Click for Anal eatching Diagnosis Throgh question & answer:

If the cause of your itching isn’t obvious, your doctor may refer you to a skin specialist (dermatologist) or a doctor who specializes in treating rectal and anal problems (proctologist) for further evaluation. A rectal exam may be all that’s required for you to get an answer — and a solution — to a very uncomfortable problem.

Diagnosis can also be made just from a rectal exam. This will involve the doctor checking the anal area for any skin that is inflamed, cracked or bleeding. An internal exam may then be required; the doctor inserts his/her finger into the patient’s anus. Doing this can help determine what is causing the anal itching as well as eliminating more serious conditions, such as colorectal cancer. Sometimes a more detailed exam of the digestive system, such as a colonoscopy or a proctoscopy may be required.

Other tests, such as proctoscopy or colonoscopy to view more of the digestive tract, are sometimes needed to identify an underlying cause of anal itching. However, the precise cause of the itching may never be identified.


Treatment:

Treatment of anal itching depends on the cause of the problem. It may include self-care measures, changes to your diet, treatment of infections or, rarely, surgery to correct an underlying problem.

Most of the time it is easy to  treat  Anal itching  and   treatment responds very well. However, this may not stop it from recurring in the future. The type of treatment chosen is dependent on the cause of the anal itching. The various methods of treatment may include:

#Anal cleanliness/dryness – When suffering from anal itching, keeping your anus clean and dry is very important. Each time you pass a stool and before going to bed it is advised that the skin around the anus is carefully cleaned using water and then dried thoroughly.

#When drying, be gentle,
avoid vigorous rubbing as this could further irritate the area. Another option is using a hair dryer on low heat or patting with a dry pad.

#Be careful when washing with soap
– When washing the skin around the anus avoid perfumed soap, try using one which is mild and unscented, and be sure to rinse away all the soap with water.

#When trav elling
-The above options may not be possible when on the move or away from home. In this case try using damp toilet tissues to clean yourself.

#If the area keeps getting moist due to sweat – Putting a cotton tissue in your underwear will absorb the sweat/moisture and reduce itching.

#Avoiding consumption of certain foods
– There are a number of food types that can make the anal itching worse. If you notice the urge to itch getting worse after eating a particular kind of food, you should try to cut down on it.

Below is a list of foods that are known to make anal itching worse:

*Chocolate
*Citrus fruits
*Coffee
*Dairy Products
*Nuts
*Spicy food
*Tomatoes
*Too much liquid consumption


#Things you can do yourself – There are some other ways you can keep control of your anal itching symptoms. These are as follows:

*Use colorless plain toilet paper
*Make sure you have a shower every day
*Wear underwear that is made of cotton and not too tight.
*Be sure to wear clean underwear every day.
*Trim your fingernails regularly; scratching the anal area with long fingernails can damage the skin. Ideally scratching the area should be avoided altogether, as it can make the itching worse.


#Prescription Medication
– Doctors can prescribe medication to help relieve the symptoms.

*Creams – Doctors can also prescribe creams or ointments.

*Corticosteroids – Patients with anal itching where the anal area is tender and inflamed may be prescribed a short course of corticosteroids (less than 7 days). It is applied onto the skin around the anus and will relieve the itching impulse and inflammation. It is known on occasion to make the itching worse, if this is the case it you should stop taking it and contact your doctor.

*Antihistamines – This is to be taken at night and can alleviate your itching and help you sleep.

*Treating the underlying cause – If the anal itching is the result of an underlying cause, the doctor will nead to treat that first. In most cases, if that underlying cause is effectively treated, the anal itching will resolve itself.

With proper treatment, most people experience relief from anal itching in less than a week. Anal itching that continues for more than six weeks needs to be evaluated carefully  by your doctor.

Prevention:
Prevention of anal itching mainly involves washing properly and avoiding irritants. If you already have anal itching, try these self-care measures:

#Cleanse gently. Wash the area in the morning, at night and immediately after bowel movements. But don’t scrub and avoid using soap. Instead, use a wet washcloth, wet bathroom tissue, unscented flushable bathroom wipes, cotton balls moistened with water, unscented baby wipes or a small squeeze bottle of water to cleanse the area.

#Dry thoroughly. After cleansing, pat the area dry with toilet paper or a towel. Or dry thoroughly with a hair dryer. Once dry, place a piece of cotton gauze against the anus to help keep the area dry. Replace the cotton as necessary. Nonmedicated talcum or cornstarch powder also can help keep the area dry.

#Use over-the-counter treatments correctly. Apply OTC creams sparingly. Don’t use these treatments unless directed by your doctor. For some people, creams or ointments may cause more irritation, and they may mask a persistent problem.

#Don’t scratch.
Scratching further irritates your skin and leads to persistent inflammation. If you can’t tolerate the itching, apply a cold compress to the area or take a lukewarm bath to find some immediate relief. Keep busy to distract yourself from scratching.

#Switch tissue. The skin around your anus may be sensitive to bathroom tissue that contains dyes or perfumes. Use unbleached, unscented tissue. You may want to use tissue that’s moistened or made extra soft for comfort, or unscented flushable bathroom wipes.

#Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing. This helps keep the area dry. Avoid wearing pantyhose and other tightfitting garments because these can trap moisture. Change your underwear daily and whenever it’s soiled.

#Avoid irritants. Avoid bubble baths and genital deodorants. Cut back or avoid beverages or foods that you know irritate your anal area. Avoid overuse of laxatives that increase diarrhea and the risk of anal irritation and itching.

Click to see->Home Remedies for Anal Itch and Rectal Burning.

Related articles:

Seeing someone scratch an itch ‘makes you itchy too’

Itching study ‘finds chemical that makes us scratch’

Itching and scratching a ‘vicious cycle’, say researchers

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://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anal-itching/DS00453
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/168728.php

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Anoscopy

Definition:
An anoscopy is an examination of the rectum in which a small tube is inserted into the anus to screen, diagnose, and evaluate problems of the anus and anal canal.

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Anoscopy views the anus and anal canal by using an anoscope. An anoscope is a plastic, tube-shaped speculum that is a smaller version of a sigmoidscope. Before the anoscope is used, the doctor completes a digital rectal examination with a lubricated, gloved index finger. The anoscope is then lubricated and gently inserted a few inches into the rectum. This procedure enlarges the rectum to allow the doctor to view the entire anal canal with a light. If any suspicious areas are noticed, a piece of tissue can be biopsied.
What is the Purpose of the test?
Doctors use anoscopy to diagnose rectal cancer and cancer of the anus. This procedure can also help the doctor:

*:detect any lesions that could not be felt during a digital examination

*determine whether squamous cell carcinomas involving lymph nodes in or near the groin (inguinal lymph nodes) originated in the genital area or in or near the anus or rectum

*confirm the source of malignancies that have spread to the anorectal area from other parts of the body
Doctors also perform anoscopy to determine whether a patient has hemorrhoids or anal:

*growths or nodules (polyps)
*ulcer-like grooves (fissures)
*inflammation
*infection

.How do you prepare for the test?
Before the test, you might want to empty your bladder or have a bowel movement to make yourself more comfortable. The doctor may suggest using:

*a laxative,
*an enema,
*or some other preparationto clear the rectum.

What happens when the test is performed?
This test is usually done in a doctor’s office. You need to remove your underwear.After removing underwear, the patient bends forward over the examining table or lies on one side with knees drawn up to the chest. The doctor performs a digital examination to make sure no tumor or other abnormality will obstruct the passage of a slender lubricated tube (anoscope). As the doctor gently guides the anoscope a few inches into the rectum, the patient is told to bear down as though having a bowel movement, thenrelax.

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By tensing and relaxing, the patient makes it easier for the doctor to insert the anoscope, and discover growths in the lining of the rectum that could not be detected during the digital examination.

Directing a light into the anoscope gives the doctor a clear view of any tears or other irregularities in the lower anus or rectum. A doctor who suspects that a patient may have cancer will remove tissue for biopsy in the course of this procedure.

Slowly withdrawing the anoscope allows the doctor to thoroughly inspect the entire anal canal. As the procedure is being performed, the doctor explains what is happening, and why the patient feels pressure.

Removing tissue samples for biopsy can pinch, but anoscopy does not usually cause pain. Patients do experience the sensation of needing to have a bowel movement.

Risk Factors:
There are no significant risks from anoscopy. Sometimes, especially if you have hemorrhoids, you may have a small amount of bleeding after the anoscope is pulled out.

Must you do anything special after the test is over?
You can return to your normal activities immediately.
How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Your doctor can tell you about your anoscopy exam right away.

RESULTS:

Normal Results

A normal anoscopy reveals NO evidence of:

*tumor
*tissue irregularities
*polyps
*fissures
*hemorrhoids
*inflammation
*infectionor other abnormalities. The size, color, and shape of the anal canal look like they should.

Abnormal Results

Abnormal results of anoscopy can indicate the PRESENCE of:

*cancer
*abscesses
*polyps
*inflammation
*infection
*fissures
*hemorrhoids

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/anoscopy.shtml
http://www.answers.com/topic/anoscopy-1

Anoscopy

Definition:
An anoscopy is a procedure that enables a physician to view the anus, anal canal, and lower rectum using a speculum.A tube called an anoscope is used to look at the inside of your anus and rectum. Doctors use anoscopy to diagnose hemorrhoids, anal fissures (tears in the lining of the anus), and some cancers.

CLICK & SEE

How the test is performed:
First, the health care provider performs a digital rectal exam by inserting a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to determine if anything will block the insertion of the scope.

He or she then inserts a lubricated metal or plastic anoscope a few inches into the rectum. This enlarges the rectum to allow the health care provider to view the entire anal canal using a light. A specimen for biopsy can be taken if needed. As the scope is slowly removed, the lining of the anal canal is carefully inspected.

How to prepare for the test:
Before the test, you might want to empty your bladder or have a bowel movement to make yourself more comfortable.
You will be asked to defecate to clear your rectum of stool before the procedure. A laxative, enema, or other preparation may be administered to help clear your rectum.

Infants and children:
A child’s age and experience determine which steps are appropriate to help prepare him or her for this procedure. For specific recommendations, refer to the following topics:

*Infant test or procedure preparation (birth to 1 year)
*Toddler test or procedure preparation (1 to 3 years)
*Preschooler test or procedure preparation (3 to 6 years)
*Schoolage test or procedure preparation (6 to 12 years)
*Adolescent test or procedure preparation (12 to 18 years)

What happens when the test is performed?
This test is usually done in a doctor’s office. You need to remove your underwear. Depending on what the doctor prefers, you either lie on your side on top of an examining table, with your knees bent up to your chest, or bend forward over the table. The anoscope is 3 to 4 inches long and the width of an average-to-large bowel movement. The doctor coats the anoscope with a lubricant and then gently pushes it into your anus and rectum. The doctor may ask you to “bear down” or push as if you were going to have a bowel movement, and then relax. This helps the doctor insert the anoscope more easily and identify any bulges along the lining of the rectum.

By shining a light into this tube, your doctor has a clear view of the lining of your lower rectum and anus. When the test is finished, the anoscope then is pulled out slowly.

You will feel pressure during the examination, and the anoscope will make you feel as if you are about to have a bowel movement. Do not be alarmed by this sensation; it is normal. Most patients do not feel pain from anoscopy.

How the test will feel:
There will be some pressure during the procedure, and you may feel the need to defecate. If biopsies are taken, you may feel a pinch.

Risk Factors:
There are no significant risks from anoscopy. Sometimes, especially if you have hemorrhoids, you may have a small amount of bleeding after the anoscope is pulled out.

Must you do anything special after the test is over?
You can return to your normal activities immediately after the test.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Your doctor can tell you about your anoscopy exam right away.

You may click to see:->Common Anorectal Conditions:

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/anoscopy.shtml
http://www.healthscout.com/ency/1/003890.html

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Dhataki (Woodfordia Fruticosa)

Botanical Name : Woodfordia Fruticosa
Family: Lythraceae
Common Name : Fire-flame Bush, Shinajitea, Woodfordia
vernacular Name: Sans: Dhataki; Hind: Dhai;; Eng : Fire-flame bush.
Other Names : Dhataki, Dhai-phul Agnijwala, Tamrapushpi, Tatiri

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtales
Genus: Woodfordia
Species: W. fruticosa
Part Used : Flowers,leaves
Habitat : Madagascar, India, Pakistan, Ceylon, China, Indonesia. Throughout india but abundantly found in north india upto 1600 m.

Description:Widespread in the foothills. This herb is a large shrub found throughout India. Has bright red flowers.

Click to see the pictures.
Shrub, c. 2.5 m tall. Leaves ovate-lanceolate or ovate, rarely falcate, ± oblique, 1.8-11.1 cm long, 8-30 mm broad. Cymes 3-16-flowered. Hypanthium 9-11 mm long, 2-5 mm broad. Petals 3-4.5 mm long, 0.5-0.75 mm broad, brick-red. Stamens 3-16.5 mm long. Ovary oblong, 4-6 mm long, 1.25-2 mm broad; style 8-15 mm long. Capsule ovate or elliptic, 6-10 mm long, 2.5-4.5 mm broad. Seeds triangular.

General Uses: Leaves and twigs yield a yellow dye used in printing. Petals yield a red dye. Flowers and leaves are used medicinally as astringent and analgesic.

Medicinal Uses :Stimulant, astringent, tonic. The flowers are acrid, astringent, styptic, depurative, utreine sadative, constipating, antibacterial, corrective of urinary pigments, febrifuge and alexeteric. They are useful in the conditions of kapha and pitta, leprosy, burning sensation, skindiseases, diarrhoea, dysentery, fever, headache, hemorrhoids, herpes, internal hemorrhage, leukorrhea, liver disorders, menorrhagia, ulcers, wounds. Juice of leaves are used in bilious sickness. They are also valued as a stimulant in pregnancy. Dried flower powder is used in ulcers and wounds to reduce the discharge and promote granulation.
The juice of its fresh flowers applied on the forehead, reduces the headache.

The herb is used in the treatment of:
*diarrhea
*dysentery
*fever
*headache
*hemorrhoids
*herpes
*internal hemorrhage
*leukorrhea
*liver disorders
*menorrhagia
*ulcers
*wounds

Flowers of this herb are used in dysentery and internal hemorrhages, in lucorrhea, and menorrhagia.

Juice of leaves are used in bilious sickness.

As per Ayurveda:It is katu, ushna, intoxicating, antodotal, beneficial in dysentery , diarrhoea ,efficacious in erysipelas and ulcer.

Therapeutic Uses:
Flowers: (dried) astringent; useful in dysentery :haemorrhoids, impaired hepatic function, leucorrhoea, menorrhagia and considered as a safe stimulant in pregnancy, they are useful in vitiated kapha, pitta, leprosy, skin diseases, burning sensation, haemorrhages, diarrhea, dysentery, foul ulcers, diabetes, hepatopathy, it is an important ingredient in Asava and Arista as they aid in fermentation.

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/File:Woodfordia_fruticosa.jpg
http://www.motherherbs.com/woodfordia-fruticosa.html
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=200014668

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

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Elephant Yam (Bengali Ol)

Botanical name: Amorphophallus Campanulatus
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Thomsonieae
Genus: Amorphophallus
Species: A. paeoniifolius
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales

 

Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe:
Thomsonieae
Genus:
Amorphophallus
Species:
A. paeoniifolius
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Alismatales

Synonyms: Amorphophallus campanulatus (Decne.)
Sanskrit name
: Soorana
English name:
Elephant Yam
Tamil name:
Pidikarunai kizhangu
Bengali Name: Ole,OOL  OR OL
Other Names:
Dragon Arum , Kembang Bangah , Saranah , Soeweg , Whitespot Giant Arum ,
Habitat: Loose leafy detritus in moist shady habitats.Common throughout the Luzon provinces and in Mindoro, in thickets and secondary forests, at low and medium altitudes in settled areas. India, Bangla Desh,Burma, Sri Lanka,Thailand, Philippines
Parts Used:
Corm, roots.

Description:
The plant had three leaves, with one that was smaller and yellowing. The other two healthy and sturdier ones are rather pretty and the leaflets that emerge from each petiole may lead those who are unfamiliar with the plant to think that it is a papaya plant instead. The petioles are also beautifully mottled. The whole plant looks quite ornamental in a strange way.

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· A perennial growing to 0.75m. It is hardy to zone 10. The scented flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Flies. We rate it 2 out of 5 for usefulness.The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil. stemless herb.Corm is globose, up to 30 cm in diameter.The leaf stalk develops from the corm, usually about 1 meter high.Leaves are solitary, blades up to 1 meter in diameter, trisected with dichotomous segments. Spathe is sessile, campanulate, purplish up to 30 cm in diameter.The spadix (a spike of flowers contained in the spathe) sulcate and depressed, up to 15 cms long, are malodorous when flowering.

Flowers: When ripe for pollination, the flowers have a foetid smell to attract carrion flies and midges. This smell disappears once the flower has been pollinated.

Cultivation details:
Requires shade and a rich soil in its native habitats, but it probably requires a position with at least moderate sun in Britain.Cultivated for its edible tuber in Asia, plants are not winter hardy outdoors in Britain but are sometimes grown outdoors in this country as part of a sub-tropical bedding display.

The tuber is harvested in the autumn after top growth has been cut back by frost and it must be kept quite dry and frost-free over winter. It is then potted up in a warm greenhouse in spring ready to be planted out after the last expected frosts. The tubers are planted 15cm deep. It is unclear from the reports that we have seen whether or not this root can be divided, it is quite possible that seed is the only means of increase[K].

The plant has one enormous leaf and one spadix annually. It requires hand pollination in Britain. When ripe for pollination, the flowers have a foetid smell to attract carrion flies and midges. This smell disappears once the flower has been pollinated.
Propagation
Seed – best sown in a pot in a warm greenhouse as soon as it is ripe and the pot sealed in a plastic bag to retain moisture. It usually germinates in 1 – 8 months at 24°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least a couple of years. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away strongly.

Chemical constituents and nutritional value:Corm is 74% moisture; 0.73% ash; 5.1% protein; 18% carbohydrate providing about 1,000 calories per kilo; comparable in food value to kalabasa, superior to singkamas.Petioles of young unexpanded leaves are edible when thoroughly cooked.

Medicinal Uses: Corms are Carminative; Expectorant; Restorative; Caustic, Stomachic and Tonic. Roots are emmenagogue.Poultices of corm are antirheumatic. Also used for hemorrhoids.Roots are used for boils and hemorrhoids. Tubers are also used for hemorrhoids.

The Root is dried and used in the treatment of piles and dysentery. The fresh root acts as an acrid stimulant and expectorant, it is much used in India in the treatment of acute rheumatism. Some caution is advised.

Click to see more medicinal uses of Elephant Yam ( Amorphophallus Campanulatus)

Edible Uses: Leaves; Root, Rhizome – cooked. Acrid raw, it must be thoroughly boiled or baked. A very large root, it can be up to 25cm in diameter. Caution is advised, see notes above on probable toxicity.
Leaves and petioles – they must be thoroughly cooked. Caution is advised, see notes above on possible toxicity.

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• Leaves and roots.
• Rhizomes preferably cooked, acrid when raw. May cause perioral burning and itching.
Folkloric
· Poultices of corm are antirheumatic. Also used for hemorrhoids.
· Roots are used for boils and hemorrhoids.
· Tubers are also used for hemorrhoids.
• In India, tuberous roots are used for treatment of piles, abdominal pains, tumors, spleen enlargement, asthma and rheumatism. source

Studies
• Antibacterial / Cytotoxic: Amblyone, a triterpenoid isolated from A campanulatus showed to have good antibacterial activity and moderate cytotoxic activity.
Hepatoprotective: Study on the hepatoprotective activity of AC corm on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.
• Antioxidant / Hepatoprotective: Study on ethanolic and aqueous extracts of Amorphophallus campanulatus showed antioxidant activity. Results showed potent hepatoprotective action against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic damage. The possible mechanism of antioxidant activity may be due to the free radical scavenging potential from the flavonoids in the extracts.
• Analgesic: Study on the methanol extract of A campanulatus tuber showed significant analgesic activity.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a family where most of the members contain calcium oxalate crystals. This substance is toxic fresh and, if eaten, makes the mouth, tongue and throat feel as if hundreds of small needles are digging in to them. However, calcium oxalate is easily broken down either by thoroughly cooking the plant or by fully drying it and, in either of these states, it is safe to eat the plant. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet.

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://gardeningwithwilson.com/2008/06/05/elephant-foot-yam-the-singapore-botanic-gardens/
http://stuartxchange.org/Pungapung.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Amorphophallus+paeoniifolius

http://www.stuartxchange.com/Pungapung.html