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Health Problems & Solutions

Let’s Talk About Schizophrenia

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People sometimes change inexplicably in their late teens – they behave bizarrely, argue unnecessarily with everyone, imagine events, become suspicious or withdraw into a shell. This is actually a disease called schizophrenia and these forms are classic, delusional, paranoid and catanonic. The word itself means “split mind ” in Greek as it was confused with a multiple personality disorder by earlier physicians. Today, these two illnesses are classified separately.
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Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that is likely to affect one in 100 men and women (0.5-0.7 per cent respectively). It strikes people usually in their late teens and twenties. It is rare for schizophrenia to set in after the age of 40 and children are rarely diagnosed with it. They can, however, go on to develop it as adults if they have some other mental illness such as autism.

The onset of schizophrenia is so gradual that it mostly goes unrecognised and untreated, especially in developing countries with inadequate healthcare. In addition, people baulk at the idea of admitting they or a loved one is suffering from schizophrenia though no one has a problem saying they have an incurable chronic illness like diabetes or hypertension.

Schizophrenic patients may be delusional or hallucinate — that is see and hear things that are not real. Their speech may be disconnected, dressing and behaviour may be socially inappropriate and they may cry and laugh for no reason at all. Sometimes the person may be “catatonic” or unresponsive to any external stimulus.

Unreasonable behaviour and a quarrelsome nature may affect relations with friends, family and colleagues. The person may be unable to keep a job. Insomnia and morning drowsiness affect efficiency. The appetite may be poor.

The diagnosis of schizophrenia is difficult as the symptoms evolve gradually over a period of months or years. It is often difficult to pinpoint the exact date at which the changes were noticeable. The symptoms should be present for a month for schizophrenia to be suspected and remain for six months for the diagnosis to be established. The patient or a caretaker can report the symptoms. They should be substantiated by evaluation by a qualified medical professional.

PET scans also do not strictly conform to normal parameters. The brains in schizophrenics have smaller temporal and frontal lobes. The levels and ratios of certain brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and glutamine are altered.

The exact reason for these behaviour altering brain changes is not known. However, seven per cent of persons with schizophrenia have a family member who suffers from a similar disease. Many have been born to mothers who suffered several viral illnesses during pregnancy. Environmental factors also play a role — the incidence of the disease increases in persons who are financially insecure or from dysfunctional families with a history of childhood abuse.

Schizophrenics tend to gain weight because their lifestyle is sedentary. Patients also have a predilection for addiction — to tobacco products, alcohol and drugs like cannabis. They are often unwilling to check the addictions to control lifestyle diseases like diabetes or hypertension. Also, they do not adhere to diet modifications or medications needed to keep their disease in check; so this shortens lifespan. They eventually die 10-15 years earlier than their peers. They are also 15 per cent more likely to commit suicide.

Gone are the days when schizophrenics were locked up, immersed in cold baths or given electrical shock therapy. Today there are a plethora of drugs that can be used singly or in combination to control the symptoms of schizophrenia and help the person function fairly normally. These drugs act by correcting the enzyme and chemical imbalances in the brain. Response to medication may be slow and this may be frustrating for the patient as well as caregivers but medication can be increased only gradually to optimal levels. Drugs, combinations and dosages have to be individualised and vary from person to person.

The side effects of medication are weight gain, menstrual irregularities and drowsiness. Some people become very stiff and have abnormal smacking movements or grimaces but doctors are able to tackle this with other medications.

Rehabilitation is important. Once the symptoms are controlled, patients can function in society and even hold down jobs. They need to be trained to handle money and in personal care and hygiene. Medication needs to be continued even when the symptoms have disappeared. The involvement of the whole family helps as the person is then more likely to follow medical treatment and less likely to relapse.

People often ask for a “miracle drug” — a single tablet to treat all diseases. The only universal ingredient to improve health in all diseases (even mental problems) is physical exercise. So go take a walk.

Source : The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Herbs & Plants

Ranabili

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Botanical Name : Cipadessa baccifera
Family: Meliaceae (Neem family)
Synonyms: Melia baccifera, Cipadessa fruticosa
Common name: Ranabili

Hindi : nalbila

Kannada :  cheduveera, chittunde, hanoyi, hanumana thoppalu, mandala kaayi, padavali, sidigolu, sitthunde gida, sidugoli, adusoge, hanumantatoppalu, adasaage, bettadabaevu, chaedu beera, chithunde, hanumantatap, mendala kaayi, minnamunni, narachalu gida

Malayalam :   pulippanchedi

Marathi : ranabili, gudmai

Oriya ; pittamari

Tamil : savattuchedi, pulippanchedi, pullipamcheddi, cannatturukka vempu, cevvattai1, pulippan#, pulippan@

Telugu : chedubira, chedu bira, chend bera, rana beri, turaka vepa, hanumantha-bira, chandbera, chanduvira, pottu vepa, purudona, purudonda, ranabilla, thabate, thavitegu

Habitat :Indomalaysia; in the Western_Ghats- throughout.This species is globaly distributed in Indo-Malesia. It is said to be cultivated in Hawaii and under glass in Europe. Within India, it has been recorded in Bihar, Orissa and in the eastern Himalayas up to 1500 m., Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is found in ravines, rock crevices and in thickets and forest edge habitats.

Description:
Ranabili is a shrub 1-4 m tall, with coarse bark. Young branches are grayish brown, ribbed, and covered with yellow velvety hairs and sparse grayish white lenticels. Leaves are compound, 8-30 cm long, with leaf-stalk and spine either hairless or yellow velvety. Leaflets are usually 9-13, opposite, ovate to ovoid-oblong, 3.5-10 × 1.5-5 cm. Flowers are born in clusters 8-15 cm long. Flowers are white, 3-4 mm in diameter. Flower stalks are 1-1.5 mm long. Sepal cup is short, yellow velvety outside. Sepals are broadly triangular. Petals are white or yellow, linear to oblong-elliptic, 2-3.5 mm, outside covered with sparse appressed velvety hairs. Stamens are shorter than petals, with hairy filaments. Fruit is purple to black when mature, round, 4-5 mm in diameter. Flowering: April-October.
click to see the pictures…

 

Medicinal uses: Juice of the root is given in cases of indigestion. It is also used in treating cough and cold. A paste of bark is pressed against the teeth for about 15 mins to relieve bleeding and swelling of gums.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Ranabili.html
http://envis.frlht.org.in/botanical_search.php?txtbtname=Cipadessa+baccifera&gesp=2522%7CCipadessa+baccifera+%28ROTH.%29+MIQ.
http://www.biotik.org/india/species/c/cipabacc/cipabacc_en.html

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News on Health & Science

Throw Away Your Shoes

Wearing shoes alters the shape and normal functioning of the feet, researchers have found.
…………………..BARE FOOT WALKING
Barefoot walkers in south India, who have never worn a pair of shoes or sandals in their entire lives, are teaching a lesson or two about footwear — that constantly using shoes alters the normal form and function of the foot, and that this may even lead to the development of an undesirable peak pressure under the sole, which in some cases could become life threatening.

Nearly 100 barefoot walkers from the interiors of Mandya, Kolar and Bangalore districts in Karnataka, India, left a footprint in the world of academics when a multinational team of researchers from Belgium, India and the UK descended on them to record their footfall.

Team leader Kristiaan D’Aout, a biologist at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, had always wanted to study the changes that footwear brings to the human feet. The idea was to gain an insight into normal foot functioning, which has evolved over millions of years.

However, with no barefoot walkers in Europe, D’Aout was forced to keep the idea in cold storage until he met Vinaya Anand Suratkal, a doctor from the Bangalore-based Jain Institute of Vascular Sciences (JIVAS), at a conference in Vienna about two years ago. JIVAS, which is part of the Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain Hospital in Bangalore, runs a mobile clinic that travels to rural areas in and around Bangalore to screen and treat those suffering from foot ulcers associated with diabetes.

The study, which won this year’s Nike Research Award — instituted by the sports goods giant Nike — studied the morphology and biomechanical functions of the feet in three distinct healthy populations: barefoot walkers, habitually shod Indians, and Europeans who have always worn footwear. It found that barefoot walkers have a relatively wider forefoot and the pressure is distributed more evenly over the entire surface of the sole than in the other two groups.

Habitually shod Indians wear shoes less often than Westerners do. Also, their shoes are less constraining. Yet, the scientists found significant differences when compared to their habitually barefoot peers, both in the foot shape and pressure distribution.

“The evolutionary history of humans shows that barefoot walking is the natural situation,” D’Aout told KnowHow. While the use of shoes remains a necessity when one walks on unsafe surfaces and in athletics, footwear fails to respect the natural shape and function of the feet.

The researchers hope that the findings will not only help clinicians who treat foot ulcers, but will also lead to the designing of better footwear that will not hamper the feet’s biologically normal functions.

D’Aout’s chance meeting with Vinaya, who was in Vienna to present a paper on the work being done at JIVAS, seemed like a golden opportunity to the Belgium biologist. Realising that many in India still do not wear shoes for religious or financial reasons, he decided to collaborate with the researchers at JIVAS. “Kristiaan approached us with his idea and we thought it was fascinating,” says Kalkunte R. Suresh, director of JIVAS. “When our mobile van goes into the villages, the patients generally do not come alone; they are accompanied by a few other healthy relatives. We requested these healthy individuals, who have never worn shoes or sandals in their life, to participate in the study and walk on a foot scanner,” says Suresh.

D’Aout is not saying that people shouldn’t wear footwear. “Footwear is a wonderful invention. But the human foot is adapted to barefoot walking,” he says.

The study has shown that wearing shoes lifelong leads to an increase in peak pressure under the sole. “This is certainly bad in some people (it causes ulceration in diabetes patients), and it remains to be seen whether it is a real problem in healthy people. It does make sense to have low pressures though, but nobody knows exactly if there is, for example, a threshold value of pressure that should not be exceeded,” he explains.

“We have shown that footwear does change the foot, and so it makes sense to walk barefoot every now and then (at least for healthy people and, of course, ensuring that the walking surface is safe),” adds D’Aout. This, he says, will keep the feet in shape and the muscles trained.

According to D’Aout, people in India have better footwear habits than those in the West. They often wear open shoes and wear them less often (for example, many prefer to walk barefoot in the house). Besides, children too mostly walk barefoot.

The study also found that wearing shoes throughout makes one’s feet narrower and leads to poor load distribution. Besides, it is better not to wear shoes that constrain the toes (like do some fashionable women’s footwear) or are overly protective (like mountaineering boots) for everyday use.

So be careful about what footwear you use, and when to fling them off. Go ahead, just do it.

Source:
The Telkegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Eggplant

Eggplant::ja:??????
Image via Wikipedia

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Botanical Name:Solanum Melongena
Family: Solanaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. melongena

Other common Name: Brinjal,Aubergine

Habitat: Native to India and Sri Lanka.Now growing throughout the world.


Synonyms:

The eggplant is quite often featured in the older scientific literature under the junior synonyms S. ovigerum and S. trongum. A list of other now-invalid names have been uniquely applied to it:

*Melongena ovata Mill.
*Solanum album Noronha
*Solanum insanum L.
*Solanum longum Roxb.
*Solanum melanocarpum Dunal
*Solanum melongenum St.-Lag.
*Solanum oviferum Salisb.
An inordinate number of subspecies and varieties have been named, mainly by Dikii, Dunal, and (invalidly) by Sweet. Names for various eggplant types, such as agreste, album, divaricatum, esculentum, giganteum, globosi, inerme, insanum, leucoum, luteum, multifidum, oblongo-cylindricum, ovigera, racemiflorum, racemosum, ruber, rumphii, sinuatorepandum, stenoleucum, subrepandum, tongdongense, variegatum, violaceum and viride, are not considered to refer to anything more than cultivar groups at best. On the other hand, Solanum incanum and Cockroach Berry (S. capsicoides), other eggplant-like nightshades described by Linnaeus and Allioni respectively, were occasionally considered eggplant varieties. But this is not correct.

The eggplant has a long history of taxonomic confusion with the Scarlet and Ethiopian eggplants, known as gilo and nakati and described by Linnaeus as S. aethiopicum. The eggplant was sometimes considered a variety violaceum of that species. S. violaceum of de Candolle applies to Linnaeus’ S. aethiopicum. There is an actual S. violaceum, an unrelated plant described by Ortega, which used to include Dunal’s S. amblymerum and was often confused with the same author’s S. brownii.

Like the potato and Solanum lichtensteinii—but unlike the tomato which back then was generally put in a different genus—the eggplant was also described as S. esculentum, in this case once more in the course of Dunal’s work. He also recognized varieties aculeatum, inerme and subinerme at that time. Similarly, H.C.F. Schuhmacher & Peter Thonning named the eggplant as S. edule, which is also a junior synonym of Sticky Nightshade (S sisymbriifolium). Scopoli’s S. zeylanicum refers to the eggplant, that of Blanco to S. lasiocarpum.

Description:
It is a delicate perennial often cultivated as an annual. It grows 40 to 150 cm (16 to 57 in) tall, with large coarsely lobed leaves that are 10 to 20 cm (4-8 in) long and 5 to 10 cm (2-4 in) broad. (Semi-)wild types can grow much larger, to 225 cm (7 ft) with large leaves over 30 cm (12 in) long and 15 cm (6 in) broad. The stem is often spiny. The flowers are white to purple, with a five-lobed corolla and yellow stamens. The fruit is fleshy, less than 3 cm in diameter on wild plants, but much larger in cultivated forms.

click to see the pictures.>…..(01)....(1)…..(2).…....(3)..…..……………….

The fruit is botanically classified as a berry, and contains numerous small, soft seeds, which are edible, but are bitter because they contain (an insignificant amount of) nicotinoid alkaloids, unsurprising as it is a close relative of tobacco.

Cultivated varieties
Different varieties of the plant produce fruit of different size, shape and color, especially purple, green, or white. There are even orange varieties.
click to see the pictures…>...(1).…..(2)...…..
The most widely cultivated varieties (cultivars) in Europe and North America today are elongated ovoid, 12–25 cm wide (4 1/2 to 9 in) and 6–9 cm broad (2 to 4 in) in a dark purple skin.

A much wider range of shapes, sizes and colors is grown in India and elsewhere in Asia. Larger varieties weighing up to a kilogram (2 pounds) grow in the region between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, while smaller varieties are found elsewhere. Colors vary from white to yellow or green as well as reddish-purple and dark purple. Some cultivars have a color gradient, from white at the stem to bright pink to deep purple or even black. Green or purple cultivars in white striping also exist. Chinese varieties are commonly shaped like a narrower, slightly pendulous cucumber, and were sometimes called Japanese eggplants in North America.

Oval or elongated oval-shaped and black-skinned cultivars include Harris Special Hibush, Burpee Hybrid, Black Magic, Classic, Dusky, and Black Beauty. Slim cultivars in purple-black skin include Little Fingers, Ichiban, Pingtung Long, and Tycoon; in green skin Louisiana Long Green and Thai (Long) Green; in white skin Dourga. Traditional, white-skinned, egg-shaped cultivars include Casper and Easter Egg. Bicolored cultivars with color gradient include Rosa Bianca and Violetta di Firenze. Bicolored cultivars in striping include Listada de Gandia and Udumalapet. In some parts of India, miniature varieties (most commonly called Vengan) are popular. A particular variety of green brinjal known as Matti Gulla is grown in Matti village of Udupi district in Karnataka state in India.

Click to see:->

Watch your garden grow;

Growing Guide: Eggplant ;

Varieties
*Solanum melongena var. esculentum common eggplant (Ukrainian Beauty)
*Solanum melongena var. depressum dwarf eggplant
*Solanum melongena var. serpentium snake eggplant

Cooking
The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste, but becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. Salting and then rinsing the sliced fruit(known as “degorging”) can soften and remove much of the bitterness though this is often unnecessary. Some modern varieties do not need this treatment, as they are far less bitter.  The fruit is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, allowing for very rich dishes, but the salting process will reduce the amount of oil absorbed. The fruit flesh is smooth; as in the related tomato, the numerous seeds are soft and edible along with the rest of the fruit. The thin skin is also edible, so that peeling is not required.

The plant is used in cuisines from Japan to Spain. It is often stewed, as in the French ratatouille, the Italian melanzane alla parmigiana, the Arabian moussaka, and Middle-Eastern and South Asian dishes. It may also be roasted in its skin until charred, so that the pulp can be removed and blended with other ingredients such as lemon, tahini, and garlic, as in the Middle Eastern dish baba ghanoush and the similar Greek dish melitzanosalata or the Indian dishes of Baigan Bhartha or Gojju. In Iranian cuisine, it can be blended with whey kashk e-bademjan, tomatoes mirza ghasemi or made into stew khoresh-e-bademjan. It can be sliced, battered, and deep-fried, then served with various sauces which may be based on yoghurt, tahini, or tamarind. Grilled and mashed and mixed with onions, tomatoes, and spices it makes the Indian dish baingan ka bhartha. The fruit can also be stuffed with meat, rice, or other fillings and then baked. In the Caucasus, for example, it is fried and stuffed with walnut paste to make nigvziani badrijani. It can also be found in Chinese cuisine, braised , stewed  or stuffed.

You may click to see:->
Eggplant information, recipes, and cooking tips
Nutrition properties of Eggplant, raw including levels of vitamins …
Nutritional Value of Eggplant :

Medicinal  Uses  & properities
Studies of the Institute of Biology of São Paulo State University, Brazil, would have shown that eggplant is effective in the treatment of high blood cholesterol. Another study from Heart Institute of the University of São Paulo found no effects at all and does not recommend eggplant as a replacement to statins.

It helps to block the formation of free radicals and is also a source of folic acid and potassium.

Eggplant is richer in nicotine than any other edible plant, with a concentration of 100 ng/g (or 0.01 mg/100g). However, the amount of nicotine from eggplant or any other food is negligible compared to passive smoking. On average, 20lbs (9 kg) of eggplant contains about the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette.

Medicinal Properties of Eggplant

From yesterday…
Until the 18th century, the eggplant was looked upon in Europe as something nefarious, capable of inducing fever or epileptic fits. It was even called Solanum insanum by the great botanist and taxonomist Linnaeus before he changed it to Solanum melongena .

To today…
Eggplant is not eaten plain nor used in infusions. It can be cooked in various ways to provide medicinal properties without resorting to the rich and heavy method of cooking it in oil.

*Anti-rheumatism

*Cardiac
recommended for those with cardio-vascular illnesses and obese persons whose excess weight is harmful to their heart. See also: cholesterol

*Combats constipation
*Digestive

*Lowers cholesterol
Eggplant contains elements that trap cholesterol in the intestine and cause it to be eliminated from the body. It thus helps prevent the formation of fatty deposits around the heart.

*Diuretic
*Relieves colic
*Reduces stomach ulcers

*Sedative
* Calmative
*Stimulant for the liver and intestines
The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and phytonutrient content in eggplants all support heart health. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating foods containing flavonoids is affiliated with a lower risk of mortality from heart disease. Consuming even small quantities of flavonoid-rich foods may benefit human health.

Several studies show that consumption of the flavonoids known as anthocyanins has played a major role in lowering risk of cardiovascular disease. One particular study revealed that those who consumed more than three servings of fruits and vegetables containing anthocyanins had 34% less risk of heart disease than those who consumed less. In another clinical study, researchers found that increased intake of anthocyanins was associated with significantly lower blood pressure.

Blood cholesterol:
Research on the effects of eggplant consumption in animal studies has shown that rabbits with high cholesterol that consumed eggplant juice displayed a significant decrease in weight and blood cholesterol levels.

Laboratory analyses of the phenolic compounds in eggplant reveal that the vegetable contains significant amounts of chlorogenic acid, which is one of the most powerful free radical scavengers found in plants. Chlorogenic acid has been shown to decrease LDL levels, and also serves as an antimicrobial, antiviral, and anticarcinogenic agent.

Cancer:
Polyphenols in eggplant have been found to exhibit anti-cancer effects. Anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. They protect body cells from damage caused by free radicals and in turn prevent tumor growth and invasion and spread of cancer cells. They also stimulate detoxifying enzymes within cells and promote cancer cell death.
Cognitive function

Findings from animal studies suggest that nasunin, an anthocyanin within eggplant skin, is a powerful antioxidant that protects the lipids comprising cell membranes in brain cells from free radical damage. It has also been proven to help facilitate the transport of nutrients into the cell and wastes out.

Research has also shown that anthocyanins inhibit neuroinflammation and facilitate blood flow to the brain. This helps prevent age-related mental disorders and also improves memory.

Weight management and satiety:
Dietary fibers are commonly recognized as important factors in weight management and loss by functioning as “bulking agents” in the digestive system. These compounds increase satiety and reduce appetite, making you feel fuller for longer and thereby lowering your overall calorie intake. Since eggplant is already low in calories, it makes a great part of a healthy, low-calorie diet.

Click & see :What Are Eggplants Good For?.

As a native plant, it is widely used in Indian cuisine, for example in sambhar, chutney, curries, and achaar. Owing to its versatile nature and wide use in both everyday and festive Indian food, it is often described (under the name brinjal) as the ‘King of Vegetables’. In one dish, Brinjal is stuffed with ground coconut, peanuts, and masala and then cooked in oil.

In Bangladesh, it is called Begun. It, along with the fish Hilsa, is used to cook a famous wedding dish. Slices of the fruit are fried, covered with icing and eaten as snacks. This is called Beguni.

Click to see:-

*Eggplant extract for medical treatments
Allergy to Eggplant ( Solanum melongena ) Caused by a Putative …

Known Hazards: Eggplants  contain oxalates, which can contribute to kidney stone formation. Kidney stones can lead to acute oxalate nephropathy or even kidney death. Consuming foods containing oxalates, such as eggplant, is not recommended for those prone to kidney stone formation, and it is suggested that those suffering from kidney stones limit their intake of oxalate-containing foods.

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/Eggplant
http://www.theworldwidegourmet.com/products/articles/eggplant-or-aubergine-medicinal-properties/

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279359.php

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Herbs & Plants

Raktchandan(Pterocarpus santalinus)

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Botanical Name : Pterocarpus santalinus
Family Name: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Tribe: Dalbergieae
Genus: Pterocarpus
Species: P. santalinus

Synonyms:  Pterocarpi Lignum. Santalum rubrum. Lignum rubrum. Red Sandalwood. Rubywood. Rasura Santalum Ligni. Red Santal Wood. Sappan.

Vernacular Names:Erra Chandanam,  Sans: Hind: Raktachandana; Eng : Red sandalwood…..Bengali:Raktchandan

Habitat: Native to India. It is only found in south India in Cuddhpah and Chittoore on the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh border.

Description: Pterocarpus santalinus is a deciduous tree.It is a light-demanding small tree growing to 8 m tall with a trunk 50–150 cm diameter. It is fast-growing when young, reaching 5 m tall in three years even on degraded soils. It is not frost tolerant, being killed by temperatures of -1 °C. The leaves are alternate, 3–9 cm long, trifoliate with three leaflets. The flowers are produced in short racemes. The fruit is a pod 6–9 cm long containing one or two seeds


.click to see the pictuires….(01).(1)..….(2).(3).....(4).....(5)...
Bark deeply cleft into rectangular plates, wood dark-red. Leaves 3-foliolate. Leaflets ovate, rounded at both ends, slightly emarginated, appressed.  Grey hairy below. Flowers yellow in axillary and terminal racemes.  Standard ovate. Pod suborbicular, style brought near to the basal corner, narrowly winged, 1-seeded. Blooms once in a year during dry season from late March to late May.

Uses
The wood has historically been valued in China, particularly during the Ming and Qing periods, referred to in Chinese as zitan  and spelt tzu-t’an by earlier western authors such Gustav Ecke, who introduced classical Chinese furniture to the west . It has been one of the most prized woods for millennia .King Solomon was given tribute logs of Almug in Sanskrit valgu, valgum by the Queen of Sheba Due to its slow growth and rarity, furniture made from zitan is difficult to find and can be expensive. Between the 17th and 19th centuries in China the rarity of this wood led to the reservation of zitan furniture for the Qing dynasty imperial household. Chandan, the Indian word for Red Sandalwood which is Tzu-t’an, are linked by etymology. The word tan in Chinese is a perfect homonym of “tan”, meaning cinnabar, vermillion and the cognition is suggested by the interchange of chan for oriflamme, the vermilion ensign of the ancients. Chinese traders would have been familiar with Chandan. Tzu-t’an then is the ancient Chinese interpretation for the Indian word chandan for red sandalwood.

The other form of zitan is from the species Dalbergia luovelii, Dalbergia maritima, and Dalbergia normandi, all similar species named in trade as bois de rose or violet rosewood which when cut are bright crimson purple changing to dark purple again. It has a fragrant scent when worked.

Chemical Compounds Identified:-

*The red wood yields a natural dye santalin.

*Ether, alkalis, and three other crystalline principles Santal, Pterocarpin, and Homopterocarpin, small quantity of tannin, probably kino-tannic acid, has also been found in the wood.

*Heart wood is known to possess isoflavone glucosidessavinin, calocedrin, triterpene, isoflavone glucosides1-3 , lignan viz., savinin and calocedrin4 & triterpene

Medicinal  Uses:-

*A decoction of the fruit is used as an astringent tonic in chronic dysentry. An infusion of the wood is used in the control of diabetes.6-8

*The wood of P. santalinus is considered astringent, tonic and diaphoretic.

*A paste of the wood is used to give cooling effect, applied externally for inflammations and head-ache.

*It is useful in bilious affections and skin diseases.

*The wood is bitter in taste with a flavour, anhelmintic,aphrodisiac, alexiteric useful in vomiting, thirst, eye diseases, cures diseases of the blood ,vata and kapha , mental aberrations and ulcers.

*The wood is in treating headache, skin diseases, fever, boils, scorpion sting and to improve sight.9

*The wood and fruit is used in treating diaphoretics, bilious infections and chronic dysentry.6

*Heart wood is known to possess isoflavone glucosidessavinin, calocedrin and triterpene.

*The lignan isolated from the heartwood is known to inhibit tumor necrosis factor , alpha production and T-cell proliferation.

*The heart wood contains isoflavone glucosides1-3 and two anti-tumour lignans, viz., savinin and calocedrin.

*A triterpene is reported from the callus of stem cuttings.

*Ethanol extract of stem bark at 0.25 g/kg body weight was reported to possess anti-hyperglycaemic activity.

*The stem bark extract was shown to contain maximum activity against Enterobacter aerogenes, Alcaligenes faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus.

*The leaf extract showed maximum activity against Escherichia coli, Alcaligenes faecalis, Enterobacter aerogenes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

*The ethanol extract of Pterocarpus santalinus L.f. (Fabaceae) at dose of 50-250 mg/kg showed gastroprotective effect in reserpine-induced, pyloric-ligated experimental rats.

Parts used- heart wood, fruits.
It is extremely sheeta (sheelaveerya), tikta; beneficial in opthalmia, dyscrasia, mental diseases, deranged pilla, kapha, cough, fever, vertigo, worms, vomiting and thirst.

Therapeutic uses,
Wood as decoction, tonic, astringent, beneficial in fever, dysentery and haemorrhage, applied externally in the form of paste in headache, inflammations, boils, piles and in opthalmia.

The wood is bitter with a flavour; very cooling; antipyretic, anthelmintic, tonic, aphrodisiac, alexiteric; useful in vomiting, thirst, eye diseases; cures diseases of the blood, .. vata” and” kapha ” biliousness, mental aberrations, ulcers .

*The wood is bitter with a bad taste; inferior to white sandalwood; good for topical application only; if given by mouth causes coughing with expectoration; useful in fever, inflammation, trouble of the head and neck. toothache; cures hemicrania-

*The seeds stop haemorrhage of the urethra; useful in dysentery .

*Red sandalwood is considered astringent, tonic, and is used as a cooling external_ application for inflammation and headache.

*It is a home remedy, useful in bilious affections and skin diseases, also in fever, boils, and to strengthen the sight. It also acts as a diaphoretic, and is applied to the forehead in headache.

*The wood, rubbed up with water.is advantageously employed as a wash in superficial excoriation of the genital organs.

*A decoction of the legume is useful as an a:stringent tonic in
chronic dysentery, after separation of the slough.

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/Pterocarpus_santalinus

http://svimstpt.ap.nic.in/MedicinalPlants/pterocarpus%20santalinus.htm

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

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