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Being Gay is Natural

Homosexuality is widespread in several species, ranging from worms to insects, birds to dolphins, sheep to reptiles. What is more, it serves a purpose:-
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Biologist Nathan Bailey’s recent scientific conclusions may be a shocker for the religious leaders or self-professed moral guardians who are indignant at the recent Delhi High Court ruling decriminalising sexual intimacy between same sex individuals in India.

While some argue that homosexual behaviour is “deviant” or “unnatural”, Bailey, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of California, Riverside, has amassed scientific evidence that it might be as ubiquitous as life itself.

Bailey and colleague Marlene Zuk, who co-authored the study, collected several past research studies that reveal same sex behaviour — males having sex with males, females with females — in diverse species, from worms to insects, birds to dolphins, sheep to reptiles. While some of them are mere flings, others lead to lifelong relationships. Their study shows that it serves a purpose.

The study, which recently appeared in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, has listed as many as 14 animal species that exhibit homosexual tendencies. “It is by no means an exhaustive list, but it provides a starting point for those interested in obtaining further information and examples,” they say.

The variety and ubiquity of same sex sexual behaviour in animals is impressive. They found thousands of instances of same sex courtship, pair bonding and copulation in a wide range of species.

Domestic sheep exhibit it. Birds like the laysan albatross and zebra finch indulge in it. So do bonobo monkeys, chinstrap penguins, bottlenose dolphins and garter snakes. Behavioural biologists have recorded male-male pairing among insects like the flour beetle and African bat bug too.

In the past, researchers, investigating whether gay sex is genetically encoded, found that tweaking certain genes can turn fruit flies and roundworms into homosexuals.

The attempts to find a genetic link to homosexuality have a strong Indian connection. The first-ever such gene manipulation study was conducted by an Indian scientist Kulbir Singh Gill who was a visiting researcher at Yale University in the 1960s. Gill, while studying the genetic causes of female sterility, almost serendipitously found in 1963 that male flies lacking a gene — later named fruitless gene — court other males. Gill’s pioneering work opened the floodgates and many other scientists subsequently discovered several other genes whose manipulation yields varying types and degrees of male-male courtship in fruit flies.

“Same sex sexual behaviour has long been viewed as a fascinating puzzle from the evolutionary perspective. The most obvious mystery is why animals would engage in sexual behaviour that does not directly result in reproduction,” says Bailey who, along with Zuk, seeks to understand the significance of such acts in the evolution of species.

Interestingly, a closer examination by them led to several significant conclusions. Some species use same sex pairings as a social glue for bonding (bottlenose dolphins), while for others (the bonobos, dung flies) it is a tool to resolve intra-sexual conflicts. In certain other species like fruit flies, immature individuals use them as an opportunity for practice, but for flour beetles it is a ploy for indirect insemination. More often than not, male members among the beetles use same sex copulation to deposit sperm in other males, which then transfer it to females during subsequent opposite sex mating.

“The secret of the peaceful bonobo society appears to rest with their sexual behaviour; in their society sex is used to solve conflicts,” writes Morten Kringelbach, psychiatrist at the University of Oxford, in his recent book The Pleasure Center.

The authors of the new study think that there may be many more animal species indulging in homosexual behaviour. It is difficult to know their sexual orientation, as there are no means of knowing what their ‘desire’ is. “We can only observe what they do,” they say.

Qazi Rahman of Queen Mary, University of London, who has been studying homosexuality in humans, says genes responsible for such behaviour have a significant role in evolution. One reason nature keeps these genes intact — although they have no role in reproduction — is that they confer certain other traits. A certain dosage of gay genes is found to be beneficial even in heterosexual people because they might express traits that are more attractive to the opposite sex — like kindness, parental skills and co-operative traits. But a higher dosage of these genes leads to homosexuality, he adds.

“Evolution keeps genes for homosexuality intact because they benefit heterosexual carriers of those same genes,” Rahman, a scientist of Pakistani descent, told KnowHow. For instance, a study by Rahman and others, which appeared in the Journal of Sexual Archives last year, showed that gay men may tend to come from larger families with more fertile females. In other words, the females in gay men’s families “outreproduce” those in heterosexual men’s families.

Kringelbach says homosexual behaviour is a natural phenomenon in all human societies. Quoting American sex researcher Alfred C Kinsey, who studied in the 1940s and 1950s sexual habits, he says 37 per cent of all men have homosexual experiences, 10 per cent have homosexual relationships lasting longer than three years, and 4 per cent are exclusively homosexual throughout life. “The exact numbers have been disputed but it remains a fact that all serious sex studies have found that homosexuality is naturally occurring among both men and women,” Kringelbach told KnowHow.

Bailey hopes that scientific contributions from animal studies will shed more light than heat on the topic of same sex sexual behaviour.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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News on Health & Science

Older Adults’ Sexual Desires Don’t Have to Fade

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New studies on the sex lives of 57- to 85-year-old Americans find that such activity doesn’t have to fade with age, but it helps to stay healthy and positive.

Far be it from us to pick nits with billionaire Warren Buffett in these bleak economic times, but perhaps he knows more about finance than he does about sex. “It’s nice to have a lot of money, but you know, you don’t want to keep it around forever,” Buffett, worth $62 billion at age 78, told Bloomberg News recently. “Otherwise it’s a little like saving sex for your old age.”

His compatriots might disagree.

Nearly 40% of Buffett’s peers — American men between 75 and 85 years old — are sexually active, new studies reveal. More than half of those have sex at least twice a month. A quarter do it every week. (Only 17% of women that age are sexually active, but they’re equally busy.) That might be more positive transactions than Wall Street is seeing these days.

For decades, the medical profession politely averted its gaze from such issues as nursing-home libidos and octogenarian onanism. Many doctors — not to mention patients themselves — assumed that sex must simply fade away quietly over time and, really, who would miss it?

But now the study of aging and sexuality is gaining interest. (Perhaps those sexually pioneering youths from the ’60s, now nearing retirement themselves, have something to do with that?) And the resulting research reveals surprising news: Age itself does not limit our desire and prowess in bed. Rather, the blame goes to aging-related issues — health problems, medication side effects and a lack of steady partners.

If we manage to stay happy, healthy and socially connected as we get older — a tall order but not impossible — chances are good that we can continue to enjoy sex as long as we desire.

Depending on your preferences, that might be a long time indeed. “The oldest person that I ever referred for a penile prosthesis was 98,” says Dr. John Morley, geriatrics professor at St. Louis University. “He used it until he was 101, very happily. Our desire to have sex does not have an expiration date.”

Our bodies’ shelf life keeps extending too. Thirty years ago, medical practice considered people in their 60s to be “old,” Morley says. That’s almost laughable in geriatrics sex clinics these days. “I never see anyone who’s under 70,” he says, “and most of the patients I see are 80 and 90.”

Thank modern medicine and nutrition. In 1900, the average life expectancy was 47 years. Now it’s 75 years for men and 80 years for women. Today’s 65-year-olds can expect to live another two decades or so. And it makes sense that we would want to while away some of those extra hours with sex, especially after former libido-busters — stressful jobs, crying kids, pregnancy worries — have blissfully disappeared.

But if doctors are going to help us keep our sexuality in good shape, they need to know exactly what we’re doing in the bedroom — and how aging and illness change the picture.

“Until recently, we had very little work done on people after fertility,” says Edward Laumann, sociology professor at the University of Chicago and sociology of sex researcher.

That’s quickly changing. In 2004, Laumann and other University of Chicago researchers from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project set out to study the sex lives of “older adults” in the U.S., which they defined as those between the ages of 57 and 85.

Researchers sat in living rooms across America and delicately asked more than 3,000 men and women about a variety of blush-worthy topics: sexual history, masturbation practices, oral sex preference, sexually transmitted diseases and so forth. The participants were carefully chosen to be balanced by race, age, gender and location. Researchers even drew blood and took fluid samples to draw links between physical and sexual health.

This data set will be mined for nuggets of information and trends for years to come. Two reports have been published already: an overview in the New England Journal of Medicine in August 2007 and an initial examination of sexual problems in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in September.

Here’s a sampling of recent findings on the sex lives of 57- to 85-year-olds:

ACTIVITIES:-

* About 69% of men and 40% of women have engaged in some form of sexual activity with a partner in the last year. Even after the age of 75, rates don’t plummet: 39% of men and 17% of women remain sexually active.

* The most common reason men and women cite for their lack of sexual activity? Men’s physical health. Other top reasons, mentioned by those without a partner, include lack of interest and not having met “the right person.”

* More than half of sexually active men and women have sex at least twice a month. This rate doesn’t change with age. And nearly a quarter of sexually active 75- to 85-year olds report having sex four times — or more — a month.

* Sex is still at least somewhat important to nearly two-thirds of women and 90% of men. While about 1 in 7 men take a medicine or supplement to help restore sexual function, only 1 in 100 women do so. (No prescription drug is approved specifically for enhancing women’s sexual function.)

*Vaginal intercourse is reportedly the activity of choice for most people most of the time. But oral sex is popular too. In fact, among 75- to 85-year-olds, more than a quarter of men and a third of women say they either gave or received oral sex in the past year. (Rates among the under-75 crowd: More than half for both men and women.)

* About half of men and a quarter of women say they have masturbated in the past year. Those in a relationship and those without a partner tend to masturbate at the same rates.

* The studies did not report on alternative sexual practices, such as use of pornography, anal stimulation or sadomasochistic activities. But this might become a larger focus as geriatrics doctors treat successively more sexually liberal generations, Morley says.

He adds that, although we tend to stick with practices we know work for us, sometimes we’re forced to adapt. As we age and lose our longtime partners, for instance, our new partners are more likely to be chosen based on intellectual and emotional factors than on sexual compatibility. So late-life couples could find themselves struggling to bridge gaps in sexual preferences.

PROBLEMS:-

* When researchers controlled for respondents’ physical and mental health status, they found that aging itself didn’t really cause sexual problems — except for erectile strength. After the age of 40, the chances of having erectile problems increase by about 7% every decade. By the time they reach the 75-to-85 age group, more than 40% of men complain of serious erectile problems.

* For women, lack of interest in sex is a common problem (affecting about 45% of them), as is difficulty achieving orgasm (about 35%). But these tend to be lifelong issues; neither increases dramatically with age. Menopause often brings lubrication problems (with chances jumping from 20% to 40%), but increasing age doesn’t bring an increased risk.

* Stressed, depressed or anxious women report less interest and pleasure in sex and more difficulties reaching orgasm. Men in the same mental states also report less interest in sex and more performance anxiety. (Or is it that men and women with sexual problems end up more stressed, depressed and anxious? The study can’t say.) Depression in men is also tied to erectile problems, probably through side effects of antidepressants.

* There is a silver lining to aging: With increasing years, women are less likely to find sex painful, and men are less likely to complain of premature ejaculation.

IRONIES :-

* Although men are more likely than women to pin their overall happiness on having a good sex life, having poor health cuts a man’s chances of being sexually active by a factor of 5, while similarly poor health cuts a woman’s chances only by a factor of 3.

* For women more than for men, having a steady romantic partner strongly determines the quality of their sex life. Yet women are less likely to be married or in an intimate relationship at any age — and it only gets worse with increasing years. Among 75- to 85-year-olds, for example, nearly 8 in 10 men have a steady partner — but only 4 in 10 women do. (Women tend to outlive men of the same age, and men tend to pair up with younger women.)

Laumann notes that aging men are forced to become a bit more like women in their approach to sex. Because they can no longer rely on their own automatic sexual performance, they find themselves needing to ask more from their partners — more cooperation, patience and skillful stimulation, for instance. Women, in turn, must adopt a more traditionally male approach to dating, Laumann says. With a shortage of available males in their age group, women who want a relationship are forced to more aggressively seek out partners and pursue men outside their usual circles.

Other factors

* Contracting a sexually transmitted disease even once increases the chances of sexual problems later in life. For a woman, it nearly quadruples her chances of experiencing pain from sex and more than triples her chances of lubrication problems. Similarly, a man will be about 5 1/2 times more likely to find sex not pleasurable. It’s unclear whether STDs themselves cause these problems, or whether some related factor in people’s lifestyle is at work.

* Women who drink alcohol every day report more interest and pleasure in sex than their teetotaling counterparts. (Men showed no such link.)

Again, It’s not clear whether a daily nip of brandy leads to better sex, or whether women who have fewer sexual problems also tend to imbibe more freely.

* Men who have had a sexual encounter with another man are five times as likely to lack interest in sex. Women with same-sex experiences show no such tendency.

* Less than 1% of men and women say they’re in a same-sex relationship. Numbers are likely to grow as society becomes more comfortable with homosexuality, Morley says.

Overall, these results show a huge variability in preferences, Morley points out. “There’s nothing wrong with sex as you get older, but there’s also nothing wrong with not having sex. We don’t become different people when we age. We’re still just trying to do what makes us happy.”

Sources: Los Angles Times

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Chlamydia-a Common Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)

Definition:Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, which can damage a woman’s reproductive organs. Even though symptoms of chlamydia are usually mild or absent, serious complications that cause irreversible damage, including infertility, can occur “silently” before a woman ever recognizes a problem. Chlamydia also can cause discharge from the penis of an infected man.

CLICK & SEE

It is one of the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infections. 1 in 10 sexually active people tested have chlamydia, many do not know they have it. Having a simple test can tell you, if you have it.
Men and women can carry the infection. It is easily treated with antibiotics.

What can Chlamydia do to you?
Women: Chlamydia can spread to other reproductive organs causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This can lead to long term pelvic pain, blocked fallopian tubes, infertility and ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that can develop outside the womb).

 

Men: Chlamydia can lead to painful infection in the testicles and possibly reduced fertility. It is thought that in some men it might cause the prostrate to become inflamed.

Men and Women: Inflammation or swelling to the joints can occur (reactive ARTHRITIS). This is sometimes accompanied by inflammation of the urethra (the tube from the bladder to the outside of the body) ad the eye, when it is known as Reiter’s syndrome. This is rare and occurs more in men than in women.

Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted disease in the United States. In 2006, 1,030,911 chlamydial infections were reported to CDC from 50 states and the District of Columbia. Under-reporting is substantial because most people with chlamydia are not aware of their infections and do not seek testing. Also, testing is not often done if patients are treated for their symptoms. An estimated 2,291,000 non-institutionalized U.S. civilians ages 14-39 are infected with Chlamydia based on the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Women are frequently re-infected if their sex partners are not treated.

Causes::Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Chlamydia can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth.

Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. The greater the number of sex partners, the greater the risk of infection. Because the cervix (opening to the uterus) of teenage girls and young women is not fully matured and is probably more susceptible to infection, they are at particularly high risk for infection if sexually active. Since chlamydia can be transmitted by oral or anal sex, men who have sex with men are also at risk for chlamydial infection.

Symptoms: Chlamydia is known as a “silent” disease because about three quarters of infected women and about half of infected men have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after exposure.

In women, the bacteria initially infect the cervix and the urethra (urine canal). Women who have symptoms might have an abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when urinating. When the infection spreads from the cervix to the fallopian tubes (tubes that carry fertilized eggs from the ovaries to the uterus), some women still have no signs or symptoms; others have lower abdominal pain, low back pain, nausea, fever, pain during intercourse, or bleeding between menstrual periods.

Chlamydial infection of the cervix can spread to the rectum.

Men with signs or symptoms might have a discharge from their penis or a burning sensation when urinating. Men might also have burning and itching around the opening of the penis. Pain and swelling in the testicles are uncommon.

Men or women who have receptive anal intercourse may acquire chlamydial infection in the rectum, which can cause rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding. Chlamydia can also be found in the throats of women and men having oral sex with an infected partner.

Complications:If untreated, chlamydial infections can progress to serious reproductive and other health problems with both short-term and long-term consequences. Like the disease itself, the damage that chlamydia causes is often “silent.”

In women, untreated infection can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This happens in up to 40 percent of women with untreated chlamydia. PID can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. The damage can lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus). Women infected with chlamydia are up to five times more likely to become infected with HIV, if exposed.

To help prevent the serious consequences of chlamydia, screening at least annually for chlamydia is recommended for all sexually active women age 25 years and younger. An annual screening test also is recommended for older women with risk factors for chlamydia (a new sex partner or multiple sex partners). All pregnant women should have a screening test for chlamydia.

Complications among men are rare. Infection sometimes spreads to the epididymis (the tube that carries sperm from the testis), causing pain, fever, and, rarely, sterility.

Rarely, genital chlamydial infection can cause arthritis that can be accompanied by skin lesions and inflammation of the eye and urethra (Reiter’s syndrome).In pregnant women, there is some evidence that untreated chlamydial infections can lead to premature delivery. Babies who are born to infected mothers can get chlamydial infections in their eyes and respiratory tracts. Chlamydia is a leading cause of early infant pneumonia and conjunctivitis (pink eye) in newborns.

Diagnosis:
There are laboratory tests to diagnose chlamydia. Some can be performed on urine, other tests require that a specimen be collected from a site such as the penis or cervix.

Treatment:Chlamydia can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics. A single dose of azithromycin or a week of doxycycline (twice daily) are the most commonly used treatments. HIV-positive persons with chlamydia should receive the same treatment as those who are HIV negative.

All sex partners should be evaluated, tested, and treated. Persons with chlamydia should abstain from sexual intercourse until they and their sex partners have completed treatment, otherwise re-infection is possible.

Women whose sex partners have not been appropriately treated are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple infections increases a woman’s risk of serious reproductive health complications, including infertility. Retesting should be encouraged for women three to four months after treatment. This is especially true if a woman does not know if her sex partner received treatment.

Herbal Treatment: YOU can fight infection causing inflammation of the genitals, vaginal or urethral discharge, difficulty urinating, painful intercourse, itching, or prostatitis with these herbs from Mother Nature’s medicine chest:

Astragalus, red clover, echinacea extract, goldenseal extract.

Quik Tip:
Red clover is a deeply nutritive herb with positive implications in the treatment of hormonal difficulties, infections and even cancer.

Prevention: The surest way to avoid transmission of STDs is to abstain from sexual contact, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.

Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of chlamydia.

CDC recommends yearly chlamydia testing of all sexually active women age 25 or younger, older women with risk factors for chlamydial infections (those who have a new sex partner or multiple sex partners), and all pregnant women. An appropriate sexual risk assessment by a health care provider should always be conducted and may indicate more frequent screening for some women.

Any genital symptoms such as an unusual sore, discharge with odor, burning during urination, or bleeding between menstrual cycles could mean an STD infection. If a woman has any of these symptoms, she should stop having sex and consult a health care provider immediately. Treating STDs early can prevent PID. Women who are told they have an STD and are treated for it should notify all of their recent sex partners (sex partners within the preceding 60 days) so they can see a health care provider and be evaluated for STDs. Sexual activity should not resume until all sex partners have been examined and, if necessary, treated.

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.

For more Information You may contact:
Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/std

Order Publication Online at www.cdc.gov/std/pubs

CDC-INFO Contact Center
1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)
Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov

CDC National Prevention Information Network (NPIN)
P.O. Box 6003
Rockville, MD 20849-6003
1-800-458-5231
1-888-282-7681 Fax
1-800-243-7012 TTY
E-mail: info@cdcnpin.org

American Social Health Association (ASHA)
P.O. Box 13827
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3827
1-800-783-987

Resources:
http://www.asplandsmedicalcentre.co.uk/t11013.html
http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/STDFact-Chlamydia.htm#WhatIs
http://www.herbnews.org/chlamydiadone.htm

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News on Health & Science

Vacation Sex Spices up Love Life

Kiss in Sa PaImage via Wikipedia

Want to pep up your love life? Well, then all you need to do is plan a “vacation” sex with your partner, for it can do wonders for your heart, mind, and soul, according to a new research.

……………………………

Sex on a holiday allows you to get away from pressures, distractions, worries and responsibilities – basically, any of those libido-killers that affect your love life most days of the year.

While on vacation, you can totally devote yourself to nurturing your sexual needs and desires – and to attending to those of your lover.

This is one of the reasons the vast majority of American marriage counsellors recommend a regular weekend away as the one thing that can help a marriage, especially a struggling one.

Vacation is the best place to get ‘sexperimental’. People love having sex in new places. This is in large part because of the neurotransmitter dopamine. When people have new experiences, dopamine spikes in the brain, triggering lust. And with that, many are willing to try something new and exciting.

In a new, romantic, or exotic place, lovers can rediscover one another. In trying different restaurants or embarking on a variety of nightlife activities, every evening that you’re away feels like a date night, each with its own distinct backdrop.

All of this enhances lovers’ moods, helping them to feel better about one another and more connected.
When you make the time for nothing but loving, that’s hopefully what you’re going to get – and lots of it. Sex will breed the desire for more sex, making both partners feel better about their sex life and the relationship.

This is both for couples already content with their sex life and those hoping their vacation will make for some romance repair.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Herbs & Plants

Indian Sarsaparilla/Anantamul

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Botanical name : Hemidesmus Indicus.

Family: N.O. Asclepiadaceae

Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Gentianales
Genus: Hemidesmus
Species: H. indicus

Indian Name: Magarbu
Sanskrit: Anantamul
Hindi: Kapuri
Telugu: Sugandhi-pala
Common names: Sariva, sarbia, ontomulo, naruninti Nannari, tygade beru, anant-vel, durivel

Synonyms: Hemidesmus. Periploca Indica. Nunnari Asclepias. Pseudosarsa.
Part Used: Dried root.
Habitat: All parts of India, the Moluccas, and Ceylon.

Description: A climbing slender plant with twining woody stems, and a rust-coloured bark, leaves opposite, petiolate, entire, smooth, shiny and firm, varying in shape and size according to their age. Flowers small green outside, deep purple inside, in axillary, sessile racemes, imbricated with flowers, followed with scale-like bracts. Fruit two long slender spreading follicles.

Indian Sarsaparilla (Hemidesmus indicus) is a species of plant that is found in South Asia. It is a slender, laticiferous, twining, sometimes prostrate or semi-erect shrub. Roots are woody and aromatic. The stem is numerous, slender, terete, thickened at the nodes. The leaves are opposite, short-petioled, very variable, elliptic-oblong to linear-lanceolate. The flowers are greenish outside, purplish inside, crowded in sub-sessile axillary cymes.

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This plant has long been used in India as an antisyphilitic in place of Sarsaparilla, but was not introduced into England till 1831. The root is long, tortuous, rigid, cylindrical, little branched, consisting of aligneous centre, a brownish corky bark, furrowed and with annular cracks, odour aromatic, probably due to Coumarin and not unlike Sassafras or new-mown hay, with a bitter, sweetish, feeble aromatic taste. One side of the root is sometimes separated from the cork and raised above the cortex and transversely fissured, showing numerous laticiferous cells in the cortex.

It is a perinial creaping herb,with woody fragrant rootstock.It has a slender hairless stem, variable dark green leaves,greenish flowers and narrow cylinderical fruits. The dried roots constitute the drug. In the ancient Indian literature, the plant has been mentioned as an important medicine. The roots of the plant containt resins, tanin and glycoside.

Constituents-:Unknown. No satisfactory investigation has yet been made of the chemical properties. But a volatile oil has been found in it and a peculiar crystallizable principle, called by some Hemidesmine; others suggest that the substance is only a stearoptene. It also contains some starch, saponin, and in the suberous layer tannic acid.

Chemical analysis of the root showed the presence of coumarins, volatile oil the chief component of which is p-methoxy salicylic aldehyde, two sterols and a pregnane glycoside (Puri 2003).

It is occurring over the greater part of India, from the upper Gangetic plain eastwards to Assam and in some places in central, western and South India.

Uses:
It is a good remedy for venereal diseases, herpes and skin diseases.
It also useful for arthritis, rheumatism.
It purifies the urino-genital tract.
Good remedy for gout , epilepsy, insanity, chronic nervous diseases.
It also effects nervous system.
It also cures intestinal gas, debility, impotence, turbid.
It is a good blood-cleanser.
Indian Sarsaparilla stimulates the production of sexual hormones.
The root extract has antibacterial activity.

The roots are sweet tonic and exercise a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membranes. They are useful in correcting disorders due to malneutrition, purify blood,promote flow of urine and restore normal body functions. The herb is very useful in syphilis, leucorrhoea and other geneto- urinary diseases. A decoction of it’s root is to be adminstered thrice a day . A syrup made from the roots is an effective diuretic. The drug is beneficial in the treatment of fevers. Its diaphoretic properities induces copious perspiration and reduces the temperature of the body.

Hemidesmus root is said to be tonic, diuretic, and alterative. It was introduced into Great Britain from India, and was employed for some time under the name of Smilax aspera . It is used for the same purposes as sarsaparilla, and in some instances it is said to have proved successful in syphilis when that medicine had failed, but it cannot be relied upon. The native practitioners in India are said to employ it in nephritic complaints, and in the sore mouth of children. It is used in the form of infusion or decoction, made in the proportion of two ounces of the root to a pint of water. A pint (500 mils) may be given in wineglassful doses in the course of the day. A syrup was official in the Br., 1898.

Medicinal Action and Uses-:–Appetiser, Carminative, aphrodisiac, Astringent.

It is Tonic, Diuretic, Demulcent, Disphoretic and Blood purifier. Employed in Nutritional disorders, syphilis, chronic rheumatism, gravel and other urinary diseases and skin afections. It is also employed as a vehicle for Pottasium Iodine.

Alterative, tonic and diuretic. Useful for rheumatism, scrofula, skin diseases and thrush; it is used as an infusion, but not as a decoction as boiling dissipates its active volatile principle. Two OZ. of the root are infused in 1 pint of boiling water and left standing for 1 hour then strained off and drunk in 24 hours.

It has been successfully used in the cure of venereal disease, proving efficacious where American Sarsaparilla has failed. Native doctors utilize it in nephritic complaints and for sore mouths of children.

Syrup, B.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm.

It is used to make beverages and also used in traditional medicine. In Ayurveda it goes by the name of ananthamoola or Anantmula. It is also called the False Sarsaparilla. The plant enjoys a status as tonic, alterative, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic and blood purifier. It is employed in nutritional disorders, syphilis, chronic rheumatism, gravel and other urinary diseases and skin affections. It is administered in the form of powder, infusion or decoction as syrup. It is also a component of several medicinal preparations.

It is one of the Rasayana plants of Ayurveda, as it is anabolic in its effect. It stimulates the flow of bile and removes toxins from the body. It is a good diuretic and increases flow of urine three to four times. When used with Tinospora, the herb’s effect is enhanced further. It relieves inflammation of urethra and burning micturition and is also helpful for third or fourth stages of syphilis.

It is sometimes confused with other Ayurvedic herb called white sariva.

The root is a substitute for Sarsaparilla (the dried root of the tropical species of Smilax, Smilacaceae; in India Smilax aspera L., and Smilax ovalifolia Roxb.).It should be distinguished from American Sarsaparilla Smilax aristolochaefolia Mill and Jamaican Sarsaparilla Smilax ornata Hook.f. (Puri 2003)

Particularly indicated for inveterate syphilis, pseudo-syphilis, mescurio-syphilis and struma in all its forms. Also valuable in gonorrhoeal neuralgia and other depraved conditions of the system as well as for other diseases treated by other varieties.

Powder, 30 grains three times daily. Infusion or syrup, 4 fluid ounces.

The herb contains a hair- growing hormone.A decoction of the root can be used as a hair-wash. It promots hair growth.

A paste extracted from the roots of the plant is applied locally in treating swelling, rheumatic joints and boils. Powder of roots which are small and black can be used in tea or syrup.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein by 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:
Miracles of Herbs,
http://botanical.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemidesmus_indicus

http://www.orissafdc.com/products_medicinal_plants.php

http://www.ayurveda-herbal-remedy.com/indian-herbs/sarsaparilla.html

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