Tag Archives: Malaria

Artemisia caruifolia

Botanical Name : Artemisia caruifolia
Family :
Asteraceae or Compositae
Subfamily:
Asteroideae
Tribe:
Anthemideae
Genus:
Artemisia
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Asterales

Habitat : Artemisia caruifolia is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Himalayas. It grows on moist river banks, floodlands, waysides, outer forest margins, canyons and coastal beaches from low elevations up to 4600 metres.
Description:
Herbs, annual or biennial, 30-150 cm, much branched, glabrous. Basal and lowermost stem leaves usually withering before anthesis. Middle stem leaves: petiole 5-10 mm; leaf blade oblong, oblong-ovate, or elliptic, 5-15 × 2-5.5 cm, abaxially green, 2- or 3-pinnatisect; segments 4-6 pairs, pectinate or lanceolate; lobules pectinate, acutely or acuminately serrate; rachis serrate. Uppermost leaves and leaflike bracts 1(or 2)-pinnatisect and pectinatisect. Synflorescence a moderately broad panicle. Capitula many; peduncle slender, 2-6 mm, nodding. Involucre hemispheric, 3.5-7 mm in diam.; phyllaries oblong, radiately spreading or not, scarious margin yellow. Marginal female florets 10-20; corolla ca. 1.5 mm. Disk florets 30-40, bisexual; corolla yellowish, ca. 1.8 mm. Achenes oblong or ellipsoid, ca. 1 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun-Sep….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
The plant can be easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in spring or autumn.

Edible Uses: …..Young plants – cooked in the spring. They are also used as a flavouring for tea

Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is depurative, febrifuge, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge. It contains abrotanine which is antiphlogistic and antifebrile. The plant is said to prevent malaria, or to drive away mosquitoes. It inhibits the maturation of malaria parasites in the body. It is also used in the treatment of low-grade fevers, tidal fever, summer heat stroke, chronic diarrhoea, phthisis, purulent scabies and intestinal troubles. A decction of the root is used in the treatment of asthma. This plant can be used interchangeably with Artemisia annua. The medicinal virtues of that plant are as follows:- Qing Ho, better known in the West as sweet wormwood, is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine. An aromatic anti-bacterial plant, recent research has shown that it destroys malarial parasites, lowers fevers and checks bleeding. It is often used in the Tropics as an affordable and effective anti-malarial. The leaves are antiperiodic, antiseptic, digestive, febrifuge. An infusion of the leaves is used internally to treat fevers, colds, diarrhoea etc. Externally, the leaves are poulticed onto nose bleeds, boils and abscesses. The leaves are harvested in the summer, before the plant comes into flower, and are dried for later use. The plant contains artemisinin, this substance has proved to be a dramatically effective anti-malarial. Clinical trials have shown it to be 90% effective and more successful than standard drugs. In a trial of 2000 patients, all were cured of the disease. The seeds are used in the treatment of flatulence, indigestion and night sweats.

Other Uses : The plant can be used as an insecticides.

Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+caruifolia
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=242420542

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_(genus)

 

Foot order or Smelly foot

English: Grown male right foot (angle 1)

English: Grown male right foot (angle 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Description:
Our foot sometimes gives out an unpleasant smell which is very much embarrassing.         ( medical term bromohidrosis)

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It is a type of body odor that affects the feet of humans.The quality of foot odor is often reported as a thick smell. Some describe the smell like that of malt vinegar. However, it can also be ammonia-like. Brevibacteria are considered a major cause of foot odor because they ingest dead skin on the feet and, in the process, convert amino acid methionine into methanethiol, which has a sulfuric aroma. The dead skin that fuels this process is especially common on the soles and between the toes. The brevibacteria is also what gives cheeses such as Limburger, Bel Paese, Port du Salut, Pálpusztai and Munster their characteristic pungency.

Propionic acid (propanoic acid) is also present in many foot sweat samples. This acid is a breakdown product of amino acids by Propionibacteria, which thrive in the ducts of adolescent and adult sebaceous glands. The similarity in chemical structures between propionic acid and acetic acid, which share many physical characteristics such as odor, may account for foot odors identified as being vinegar-like. Isovaleric acid (3-methyl butanoic acid) is the other source of foot odor and is a result of actions of the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis which is also present in several strong cheese types.

Other implicated micro-organisms include Micrococcaceae, Corynebacterium and Pityrosporum.

Bart Knols, of Wageningen Agricultural University, the Netherlands, received an “IG Nobel” prize in 2006 for showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae “is attracted equally to the smell of limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet”. Fredros Okumu, of Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania, received grants in 2009 and 2011 to develop mosquito attractants and traps to combat malaria. He uses a blend of eight chemicals, which is four times more effective than an actual human.

Causes;
The feet and hands contain more sweat glands than any other part of the body, with roughly 3,000 glands per square inch. Smelly feet are not only embarrassing, but can be physically uncomfortable as well.

Feet smell for two reasons: 1) shoe wear, and 2) sweating of the feet. The interaction between the perspiration and the bacteria that thrive in shoes and socks generates the odor.

Smelly feet or excessive sweating can also be caused by an inherited condition, called hyperhidrosis, which primarily affects men. Stress, some medications, fluid intake, and hormonal changes also can increase the amount of perspiration our bodies produce.

The main cause is foot sweat. Sweat itself is odorless, but it creates a beneficial environment for certain bacteria to grow and produce bad-smelling substances. These bacteria are naturally present on our skin as part of the human flora. Therefore, more smell is created with factors causing more sweating, such as wearing shoes and/or socks with inadequate air ventilation for many hours. Hair on the feet, especially on the toes, may contribute to the odor’s intensity by adding increased surface area in which the bacteria can thrive.

Given that socks directly contact the feet, their composition can have an impact on foot odor. Polyester and nylon are common materials used to make socks, but provide less ventilation than cotton or wool do when used for the same purpose. Wearing polyester or nylon socks may increase perspiration and therefore may intensify foot odor.[1] Because socks absorb varying amounts of perspiration from feet, wearing shoes without socks may increase the amount of perspiration contacting feet and thereby increase bacterial activities that cause odor

Treatments:
The best home remedy for foot odor is to soak feet in strong black tea for 30 minutes a day for a week. The acid in the tea kills the bacteria and closes the pores, keeping your feet dry longer. Use two tea bags per pint of water. Boil for 15 minutes, then add two quarts of cool water. Soak your feet in the cool solution. Alternately, you can soak your feet in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water.

Persistent foot odor can indicate a low-grade infection or a severe case of hereditary sweating. In these cases, a prescription ointment may be required to treat the problem.

Treating Excessive Sweating:
A form of electrolysis, called iontophoresis, has been shown to reduce excessive sweating of the feet. However, it is more difficult to administer. In the worst cases of hyperhidrosis, a surgeon can cut the nerve that controls sweating. Recent advances in technology have made this surgery much safer, but may increase sweating in other areas of the body.

Prevention:
Methods of extinguishment may be used even before onset of the odor as prevention. However, a very effective and cheap way to prevent foot odor is with sodium bicarbonate (a mildly basic white salt also known as baking soda, bread soda, cooking soda, bicarbonate of soda, sodium bicarb, bicarb soda, or simply bicarb). Sodium bicarbonate

will create a hostile environment unsuitable for the bacteria responsible for the bad smell. Four pinches of it on each foot everyday are usually enough (two inside the sock and two on the insole of the shoe). Sometimes it might take one or two days before the shoes completely lose their old smell. Washing your feet and applying the sodium bicarbonate daily are also potentially useful solutions.

While there are a number of other remedies, sodium bicarbonate, if bought in a supermarket, costs approximately 20 times less than common odor-eaters or odor-killer powders.

Swabbing feet twice daily with isopropyl alcohol, found at your local drug store, for two weeks is a cheap and highly effective cure. One can also periodically remove their footwear, to reduce foot moisture and thereby reduce bacterial spawn.

Some types of powders and activated charcoal insoles, such as odor eaters, have been developed to prevent foot odor by keeping the feet dry. Special cedarsoles can be recommended for this purpose because of their antibacterial characteristics. Hygiene is considered important in avoiding odor, as is avoidance of synthetic shoes/socks, and rotation of the pairs of shoes worn

In general, smelly feet can be controlled with a few preventive measures:

•Always wear socks with closed shoes.
•Avoid wearing nylon socks or plastic shoes. Instead, wear shoes made of leather, canvas, mesh, or other materials that let your feet breathe.
•Bathe feet daily in lukewarm water, using a mild soap. Dry thoroughly.
•Change socks and shoes at least once a day.
•Check for fungal infections between toes and on the bottoms of your feet. If any redness or dry, patchy skin is observed, get treatment right away.
•Don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. If you frequently wear athletic shoes, alternate pairs so that the shoes can dry out. Give your shoes at least 24 hours to air out between wearings; if the odor doesn’t go away, discard the shoes.
•Dust your feet frequently with a nonmedicated baby powder or foot powder. Applying antibacterial ointment also may help.
•Practice good foot hygiene to keep bacteria levels at a minimum.
•Wear thick, soft socks to help draw moisture away from the feet. Cotton and other absorbent materials are best.

Extinguishment:

Once foot odor has begun, it can be extinguished, or at least alleviated, by either aromatic deodorants that neutralise the odor by their own smell, or by absorbers of the odor itself.

Among the earliest foot deodorants were aromatic herbs such as allspice, which nineteenth-century Russian soldiers would put in their boots.

Odor absorbers include activated charcoal foot insert wafers, such as Innofresh footwear odor absorbers.

General Tips: To tackle this problem, wash your feet with an antibacterial soap such as Neko and use a fresh pair of cotton socks daily. You can also apply deodorant to the soles of your feet. The best thing would be to buy another pair of work shoes and alternate wearing the two pairs so that the shoes have time to dry out.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_odor
http://www.wolfpodiatry.com/library/1932/SmellyFeetandFootOdor.html

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Alstonia scolaris

Botanical Name :Alstonia scolaris
Family: Apocynaceae
Tribe: Plumeriae
Subtribe: Alstoniinae
Genus: Alstonia
Species: A. scholaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Echites scholaris L. Mant., Pala scholaris L. Roberty

Common Names :Blackboard tree, Indian devil tree,Saptaparni, Ditabark, Milkwood pine, White cheesewood and Pulai

Bengali name: Chhatim

Habitat : Alstonia scholaris is native to the following regions

*China: Guangxi (s.w.), Yunnan (s.)
*Indian subcontinent: India; Nepal; Sri Lanka; Pakistan
*Southeast Asia: Cambodia; Myanmar; Thailand; Vietnam, Indonesia; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines
*Australia: Queensland

It has also been naturalised in several other tropical and subtropical climates. Alstonia scholaris (Saptaparni in Bengali) is declared as the State Tree of West Bengal, India

Description:
Alstonia scholaris is an evergreen small tree that grows up to 40 m tall and is glabrous. The bark is greyish; branchlets are copiously lenticellate.The upperside of the leaves are glossy, while the underside is greyish. Leaves occur in whorls of 3-10; petioles are 1–3 cm; the leathery leaves are narrowly obovate to very narrowly spathulate, base cuneate, apex usually rounded; lateral veins occur in 25-50 pairs, at 80-90° to midvein. Cymes are dense and pubescent; peduncle is 4–7 cm long. Pedicels are usually as long as or shorter than calyx. The corolla is white and tube-like, 6–10 mm; lobes are broadly ovate or broadly obovate, 2-4.5 mm, overlapping to the left. The ovaries are distinct and pubescent. The follicles are distinct and linear.

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Flowers bloom in the month October. The flowers are very fragrant similar to the flower of Cestrum nocturnum.

Seeds of A. scholaris are oblong, with ciliated margins, and ends with tufts of hairs 1.5–2 cm. The bark is almost odourless and very bitter, with abundant bitter and milky sap.

Medicinal Uses:
Alstonia or devil tree or Saptaparni is genus of evergreen trees or shrubs with white funnel-shaped flowers and milky sap. In India the bark of Alstonia scholaris is used solely for medicinal purposes, ranging from Malaria and epilepsy to skin conditions and asthma.

There are 43 species of alstonia trees.  The bark of the tree is used medicinally in the Pacific Rim and India.

In Ayurveda it is used as a bitter and as an astringent herb for treating skin disorders, malarial fever, urticaria, chronic dysentery, diarrhea, in snake bite and for upper purification process of Panchakarma . The Milky juice of the tree is applied to ulcers.

The bark contains the alkaloids ditamine, echitenine and echitamine and used to serve as an alternative to quinine. At one time, a decoction of the bark was used to treat diarrhoea and malaria, as a tonic, febrifuge, emmenagogue, anticholeric and vulnerary. A decoction of the leaves were used for beriberi. Ayurveda recommends A. scholaris for bowel complaints. In Sri Lanka its light wood is used for coffins. In Borneo the wood close to the root is very light and of white colour, and is used for net floats, household utensils, trenchers, corks, etc. Extracts prepared from the plant has been reported to possess cytotoxic activity. The active compounds include alkaloids, flavonoids etc. These are present in all parts of the plant. An ethanol extract of the bark of Alstonia scholaris enhanced the anticancer activity of berberine in the Ehrlich ascites carcinoma-bearing mice. This extract also showed cytotoxic activity to HeLa cells. It contains echitamine and loganin as major compounds and could potentially be used as an anti-irritation agent.

Scientific investigation has failed to show why it is of such service in malaria, but herbalists consider it superior to quinine and of great use in convalescence .  It lowers fever, relaxes spasms, stimulates lactation and expels intestinal worms.  Used for chronic diarrhea, dysentery and in intermittent fever; also as an anthelmintic. It is also much used by homoeopaths.

You may click to learn more

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/Alstonia_scholaris
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

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Plectranthus amboinicus

Botanical Name : Plectranthus amboinicus
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Plectranthus
Species: P. amboinicus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names:Cuban oregano, Spanish thyme, Orégano Brujo (Puerto Rico), Indian Borage, Húng chanh (Vietnam), Big Thyme (Grenada) Mexican thyme, and Mexican mint

Habitat : Plectranthus amboinicus is native to Southern and Eastern Africa, but widely cultivated and naturalised in the Old and New World Tropics.

Description:
Plectranthus amboinicus is a tender fleshy perennial plant in the family Lamiaceae with an oregano-like flavor and odor.

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It  is now very commonly grown as a potted plant in many households. Plectranthus amboinicus is a fast growing plant. Propagation is via stem cuttings. To encourage a bushy plant, cut the tip of the top, insert into the soil and instantly, you have another plant as the cutting will grow within days.The Indian Borage ideally should be grown in a semi-shaded and moist location as the leaves will remain a beautiful jade-green colour. If it is getting too much sun, the leaves turn yellow, start curling and look unsightly; if not enough sun, the leaves turn a dark shade of green and spaced out.

Cultivation:
The herb grows easily in a well-drained, semi-shaded position. It is frost tender and grows well in sub-tropical and tropical locations, but will do well in cooler climates if grown in a pot and brought indoors, or moved to a warm sheltered position in winter. Water only sparingly.

Uses:
The leaves are strongly flavoured and make an excellent addition to stuffings for meat and poultry. Finely chopped, they can also be used to flavour meat dishes, especially beef, lamb and game.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves have had many traditional medicinal uses, especially for the treatment of coughs, sore throats and nasal congestion, but also for a range of other problems such as infections, rheumatism and flatulence. In Indonesia Plectranthus amboinicus is a traditional food used in soup to stimulate lactation for the month or so following childbirth.

The herb is also used as a substitute for oregano in the food trade and food labelled “oregano-flavoured” may well contain this herb.

In Kerala in India this is called as “panikoorka” and has various uses in treating cold / cough / fever in infants.

Used traditionally within Ayurvedic and Unani Tibb herbal medicine to help reduce inflammation and is prescribed for bronchitis and asthma. It is reputed to very effective as a treatment for coughs. Old people says that it is often referred to as “pokok asthma”.  The fresh leaves are pounded and the extracted juice mixed with water.  An alternative method recommended is to boil a sprig in water with honey thrown in for added measure.

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/Plectranthus_amboinicus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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Argyi wormwood(Artemisia argyi)

 

Botanical Name : Artemisia argyi
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. argyi
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Commopn Names:Argyi wormwood, In Japan it is known as Gaiyou and in China as Ai Ye.

Habitat :Argyi wormwood   is native to China, Japan and the far east parts of the former Soviet Union.This wormwood is a xerophile, growing on dry mountain slopes, steep river banks, the edges of oak woods, coastal scrub, wasteland and along road and railway verges. The plants do better and are more aromatic when they grow on poor dry soil.It grows on waste places, roadsides, slopes, hills, steppe and forest steppe at low elevations to 1500 metres in most areas of China.

Description:
Argyi wormwood is an upright, greyish, herbaceous perennial about one metre tall, with short branches and a creeping rhizome. The stalked leaves are ovate, deeply divided and covered in small, oil-producing glands, pubescent above and densely white tomentose below. The lower leaves are about six centimetres long, bipinnate with wide lanceolate lobes and short teeth along the margins. The upper leaves are smaller and three-partite, and the bracteal leaves are simple, linear and lanceolate. The inflorescence is a narrow leafy panicle. The individual flowers are pale yellow, tubular, and clustered in spherical turned-down heads. The central flowers are bisexual while the marginal flowers are female. The petals are narrow and folded cylindrically and the bracts have a cobwebby pubescence. The whole plant is strongly aromatic.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow spring in a greenhouse. Do not allow the compost to dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer.

Medicinal use:
Argyi wormwood is used in herbal medicine for conditions of the liver, spleen and kidney.
Wormwood leaves are gathered on a warm dry day in spring and summer when the plant is in flower and dried in the shade. In traditional Chinese medicine, they are considered to have bitter, pungent and warm properties and to be associated with the liver, spleen and kidney meridians. The leaves are used as an antiseptic, expectorant, febrifuge and styptic.  The herb is considered to increase the blood supply to the pelvic region and stimulate menstruation, help treat infertility, dysmenorrhea, asthma and coughs. Another use is in moxibustion, a form of healing in which the herb is burned in cones or sticks or on the tip of an acupuncture needle. Boiling water can be poured onto the ground up leaves and used in a decoction, alone or with other substances, and the fresh leaf can be crushed and blended and a juice extracted. A volatile oil can be extracted from the leaves and used in the treatment of asthma and bronchitis for which purpose it is sprayed onto the back of the throat and brings rapid relief. The leaves have an antibacterial action and have been shown to be effective against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus dysenteriae, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus typhi, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas.

The leaves have been found to have an antibacterial action, effective against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus typhi, B. dysenteriae, E. coli, B. subtilis, Pseudomonas etc.    The leaf stalks used to treat chronic dysentery, eye disease. Seeds are used to treat sweating at night, excessive gas in the system, tuberculosis, indigestion

Research:
*Ninety six volatile constituents have been identified from the leaves of A. argyi and certain other species of wormwood including alpha-thujene, 1,8-cineole, camphor and artemisia alcohol.

*Nearly fifty volatile constituents have been identified from A. argyi flowers and it is suggested that therapeutic use of the flowers may be just as effective as using the leaves.

*A methanol extract prepared from aerial parts of the plant strongly reduced the mutagenicity of Salmonella typhimurium.

*An extract of A. argyiwas shown to have antifungal activity against Botrytis cinerea and Alternaria alternata which cause deterioration of fruit and vegetables in storage.

*Flavones isolated from an extra of the herb were shown to have an anti-tumour effect.

*A study examined the clinical efficacy of moxibustion, analyzed the chemical compositions of the leaf of different strains of A. argyi, examined the best mode of delivery and how to enhance the therapeutic effects of this treatment.
Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.

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/Artemisia_argyi
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia%20argyi

http://www.fzrm.com/plantextracts/plantextract/artemisia%20argyi%20Levl.%20et%20Vant..htm

http://www.asiancancerherb.info/Ai.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+argyi

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