Tag Archives: Malaria

Sweet Wormwood(Artemisia annu)

Botanical Name:Artemisia annu

Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. annua
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names:Sweet Wormwood, Sweet Annie, Sweet Sagewort or Annual Wormwood.   Annual sagebrush ,  Chinese wormwood,   qing hao

Habitat :Sweet Wormwood is a common type of wormwood that is native to temperate Asia, but naturalized throughout the world.

Description:
It has fern-like leaves, bright yellow flowers, and a camphor-like scent. Its height averages about 2 m tall, and the plant has a single stem, alternating branches, and alternating leaves which range 2.5–5 cm in length. It is cross-pollinated by wind or insects. It is a diploid plant with chromosome number, 2n=18.Sweet Wormwood  has leaves that are mildly perfume scented.
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Medicinal uses:
Medicinal properties: bitter   febrifuge   antimalarial   antibiotic
Parts Used: Leaves

Sweet Wormwood was used by Chinese herbalists in ancient times to treat fever, but had fallen out of common use, but was rediscovered in 1970’s when the Chinese Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergency Treatments (340 AD) was found. This pharmacopeia contained recipes for a tea from dried leaves, prescribed for fevers (not specifically malaria).

Extractions:
In 1971, scientists demonstrated that the plant extracts had antimalarial activity in primate models, and in 1972 the active ingredient, artemisinin (formerly referred to as arteannuin), was isolated and its chemical structure described. Artemisinin may be extracted using a low boiling point solvent such as diethylether and is found in the glandular trichomes of the leaves, stems, and inflorescences, and it is concentrated in the upper portions of plant within new growth.

Parasite treatment:
It is commonly used in tropical nations which can afford it, preferentially as part of a combination-cocktail with other antimalarials in order to prevent the development of parasite resistance.

Malaria treatment:
Artemisinin itself is a sesquiterpene lactone with an endoperoxide bridge and has been produced semi-synthetically as an antimalarial drug. The efficacy of tea made from A. annua in the treatment of malaria is contentious. According to some authors, artemesinin is not soluble in water and the concentrations in these infusions are considered insufficient to treatment malaria. Other researchers have claimed that Artemisia annua contains a cocktail of anti-malarial substances, and insist that clinical trials be conducted to demonstrate scientifically that artemisia tea is effective in treating malaria. This simpler use may be a cheaper alternative to commercial pharmaceuticals, and may enable health dispensaries in the tropics to be more self-reliant in their malaria treatment. In 2004, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health changed Ethiopia’s first line anti-malaria drug from Fansidar, a Sulfadoxine agent which has an average 36% treatment failure rate, to Coartem, a drug therapy containing artemesinin which is 100% effective when used correctly, despite a worldwide shortage at the time of the needed derivative from A. annua.

Cancer treatment:
The plant has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties. It is said to have the ability to be selectively toxic to some breast cancer cells [Cancer Research 65:(23).Dec 1, 2005] and some form of prostate cancer, there have been exciting preclinical results against leukemia, and other cancer cells.

Mechanism:
The proposed mechanism of action of artemisinin involves cleavage of endoperoxide bridges by iron producing free radicals (hypervalent iron-oxo species, epoxides, aldehydes, and dicarbonyl compounds) which damage biological macromolecules causing oxidative stress in the cells of the parasite.[citation needed] Malaria is caused by Apicomplexans, primarily Plasmodium falciparum, which largely resides in red blood cells and itself contains iron-rich heme-groups (in the from of hemozoin).

Precaution:During pregnancy this herb should not used.

Other uses:
In modern-day central China, specifically Hubei Province, the stems of this wormwood are used as food in a salad-like form. The final product, literally termed “cold-mixed wormwood”, is a slightly bitter salad with strong acid overtones from the spiced rice vinegar used as a marinade. It is considered a delicacy and is typically more expensive to buy than meat.

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_annua
http://www.crescentbloom.com/Plants/Specimen/AO/Artemisia%20annua.htm

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Memory Loss Does Not Wipe Out Emotions

New research from the US suggests that emotions triggered by events can endure longer than factual recollection in patients with severe amnesia; the researchers hope their findings will increase understanding of Alzheimer’s and related diseases and also bring comfort to caregivers and families in the knowledge that their loved ones may continue to feel the warmth of visits and conversations even if they can’t remember what happened.

………..CLICK & SEE

You can read about the research by scientists at the University of Iowa (UI) in Iowa City in the 12 April early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS.

Lead author Justin Feinstein, a student in the UI graduate programs of neuroscience and psychology, told the media that:

“A simple visit or phone call from family members might have a lingering positive influence on a patient’s happiness even though the patient may quickly forget the visit or phone call.”

However, he also described the downside:

“On the other hand, routine neglect from staff at nursing homes may leave the patient feeling sad, frustrated and lonely even though the patient can’t remember why,” said Feinstein.

Feinstein and colleagues studied five patients with a rare case of memory loss due to damage to their their hippocampus that caused new memories to disappear.

The hippocampus is critical for transferring memories from short-term to long-term storage, and is one of the first regions of the brain to suffer damage in Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers showed the patients short extracts of sad and happy films; although they couldn’t remember details of the films, they retained the emotions elicited by what they had watched.

Each patient watched 20 minutes of a sad film, underwent memory and mood tests, then on another day, they watched 20 minutes of a happy film and had the same tests.

The researchers observed that the films induced the appropriate emotion in the patients, ranging from laughing out loud while watching the happy films to tears during the sad films.

About 10 minutes after watching a film clip, Feinstein and colleagues tested the patients’ factual memories to see how much they could remember about it.

A person with a non-impaired memory would be expected to remember about 30 details from each film clip, but these patients’ memories were severely imparied: one patient couldn’t recall a single detail.

Then they asked the patients another set of questions to gauge their emotional state.

Feinstein said that they still felt the emotion, explaining that “sadness tended to last a bit longer than happiness, but both emotions lasted well beyond their memory of the films”.

“With healthy people, you see feelings decay as time goes on. In two patients, the feelings didn’t decay; in fact, their sadness lingered,” he added.

The researchers concluded that the findings suggest “both positive and negative emotional experiences can persist independent of explicit memory for the inducing event,” and provide “direct evidence that a feeling of emotion can endure beyond the conscious recollection for the events that initially triggered the emotion”.

These results appear to challenge the idea that wiping out a painful memory abolishes the associated emotional suffering, and stress the importance of attending to the needs of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

According to a 2009 report from Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), 35 million people worldwide will have dementia this year, and the number is set to double every 20 years, reaching 115.4 million by 2050.

The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s is age, and there is currently no cure, said Feinstein.

“What we’re about to face is an epidemic. We’re going to have more and more baby boomers getting older, and more and more people with Alzheimer’s disease. The burden of care for these individuals is enormous,” he added, urging that:

“… we need to start setting a scientifically-informed standard of care for patients with memory disorders. Here is clear evidence showing that the reasons for treating Alzheimer’s patients with respect and dignity go beyond simple human morals.”

The Fraternal Order of Eagles, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Kiwanis International Foundation, funded the research.

“Sustained experience of emotion after loss of memory in patients with amnesia.”

Source: Today’s Health News: 13th. April.2010

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Scientists in Sleeping Sickness ‘Breakthrough’

Scientists say they have identified a potential treatment for sleeping sickness, a killer disease that infects about 60,000 people in Africa a year.

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British and Canadian experts say drugs could attack an enzyme the parasite causing the illness needs to survive.

They say the orally-administered drug could be ready for human clinical trials in about 18 months.

The disease, spread by the bite of a tsetse fly,(CLICK & SEE) is caused by a parasite attacking the central nervous system.

It has similar symptoms to malaria, making it difficult to diagnose. Left untreated, it moves to the spinal column and brain, resulting in mental confusion and eventual death.

Fatal side effects
The “breakthrough” came at the University of Dundee in Scotland, where scientists were funded to research diseases neglected by major drugs companies.

Professor Paul Wyatt, director of the programme, said: “This is one of the most significant findings made in recent years in terms of drug discovery and development for neglected diseases.”

He said the research, published in the journal Nature, represented “significant strides” in the development of a full blown drug against the disease.

The World Health Organization estimates there are between 50,000 and 70,000 cases of the disease a year, with a further 60 million people at risk of infection.

The research in Dundee was backed by partners at the University of York in England and the Structural Genomics Consortium in Toronto, Canada.

The two drugs currently available to treat sleeping sickness both have associated problems.

One is arsenic-based with side effects that kill one in 20 patients and the other – eflornithine – is costly, only partially effective and requires prolonged hospital treatment, the scientists said.

You may click to see:->

Breakthrough in sleeping sickness

Sleeping sickness test ‘promising’

Source: BBC NEWS:March 31st. 2010

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Doctors Welcome Malaria Microchip

Scientists from Glasgow University claim they have created a device which can detect malaria within minutes.

Click to learn more in detail

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Daruharidra (Berberis aristata)

Botanical Name : Berberis aristata
Family: Berberidaceae
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Ranunculales
Genus:
Berberis
Species:
B. aristata

Common name: Chitra
Other Common Names:   Darlahad [H], Hint Amberparisi [E], Indian Lycium [E], Nepal Barberry [H], Ophthalmic Barberry [H] (From various places around the Web, may not be 100% correct.) Barberry, Nepal
Vernacular Name: Sans; Daruharidra; Hind: Darhald; Eng : Indian barberry
Synonyms: Berberis coriaria (Lindl.), Berberis chitria (Hort.)

Sanskrit Synonyms:
Darunisha, Peeta, Daruharidra, Darvi, Peetadru, Peetachandana, Hemakanti, Kashta Rajani, Peetaka, Peetahva, Hemakanta,Hemavarnavati, – All these synonyms explain about turmeric-like yellow coloured stem.
Katankati, Katankateri, Parjanya, Pachampacha, Kusumbhaka,
Habitat :E. Asia – Himalayas in Nepal.(Shrubberies to 3500 metres)Woodland, Dappled Shade, Shady Edge.

Description:

Daruharidra is an evergreen erect spiny shrub, ranging between 2 and 3 meters in height. It is a woody plant, with bark that appears yellow to brown from the outside and deep yellow from the inside. The bark is covered with three-branched thorns, which are modified leaves, and can be removed by hand in longitudinal strips. The leaves are arranged in tufts of 5-8 and are approximately 4.9 centimeters long and 1.8 centimeters broad. The leaves are deep green on the dorsal surface and light green on the ventral surface. The leaves are simple with pinnate venation. The leaves are leathery in texture and are toothed, with several to many small indentations along the margin of the leaf.
It is a woody plant, with bark that appears yellow to brown from the outside and deep yellow from the inside. The bark is covered with three-branched thorns, which are modified leaves, and can be removed by hand in longitudinal strips. The leaves are arranged in tufts of 5-8 and are approximately 4.9 centimeters long and 1.8 centimeters broad. The leaves are deep green on the dorsal surface and light green on the ventral surface. The leaves are simple with pinnate venation. The leaves are leathery in texture and are toothed, with several to many small indentations along the margin of the leaf.

The flowering season begins in mid-March and lasts throughout the month of April. The yellow flowers that develop are complete and hermaphroditic. The average diameter of a fully opened flower is 12.5 millimeters. The flowers form a racemose inflorescence, with 11 to 16 flowers per raceme, arranged along a central stem. The flower is polysepalous, with 3 large and 3 small sepals, and polypetalous, with 6 petals in total. The male reproductive structure, the androecium, is polyandrous and contains 6 stamens, 5 to 6 millimeters long. There is one female reproductive structure, the gynoecium, which is 4 to 5 millimeters long and is composed of a short style and a broad stigma. The plant produces bunches of succulent, acidic, edible berries that are bright red in color and have medicinal properties. The fruits start ripening from the second week of May and continue to do so throughout June. The berries are approximately 7 millimeters long, 4 millimeters in diameter and weigh about 227 milligrams.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES………>….(01).…….(1)…....(2).………(3)……

Cultivation :   Prefers a warm moist loamy soil and light shade but it is by no means fastidious, succeeding in thin, dry and shallow soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil. Plants are very hardy, they survived the severe winters of 1986-1987 without problems in most areas of Britain.

Plants can be pruned back quite severely and resprout well from the base. The fruits are sometimes sold in local markets in India. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Most plants cultivated under this name are B. chitria., B. coriaria., B. glaucocarpa. and, more commonly, B. floribunda.

Propagation:  Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in late winter or early spring.  Seed from over-ripe fruit will take longer to germinate. Stored seed may require cold stratification and should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for at least their first winter. Once they are at least 20cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seedlings are subject to damping off, so be careful not to overwater them and keep them well ventilated.

Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very difficult, if not impossible. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, preferably with a heel, October/November in a frame . Very difficult, if not impossible.

Edible Uses:  Fruit – raw or cooked. A well-flavoured fruit, it has a sweet taste with a blend of acid, though there is a slight bitterness caused by the seeds. The fruit is much liked by children. It is dried and used like raisins in India. The fruit contains about 2.3% protein, 12% sugars, 2% ash, 0.6% tannin, 0.4% pectin. There is 4.6mg vitamin C per 100ml of juice.The fruit is about 7mm x 4mm – it can be up to 10mm long. Plants in the wild yield about 650g of fruit in 4 pickings.

Flower buds – added to sauces.

Composition:  Fruit (Fresh weight) :In grammes per 100g weight of food:Protein: 2.3 Carbohydrate: 12 Ash: 2

Medicinal Uses:  Alterative; Antibacterial; Antiperiodic; Bitter; Cancer; Deobstruent; Diaphoretic; Laxative; Ophthalmic; Tonic.

The dried stem, root bark and wood are alterative, antiperiodic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, laxative, ophthalmic and tonic (bitter). An infusion is used in the treatment of malaria, eye complaints, skin diseases, menorrhagia, diarrhoea and jaundice.

Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Berberis species, has marked antibacterial effects. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery]. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity.

As per Ayurveda:
It is tikta, katu, ushnaveerya; applied in the treatment of septic wounds and polyuria, pruritus, erysipelas and diseases of skin, eye and ear; antidotal

 Therapeutic uses: Paste of root-bark finds external application for healing ulcers. Extract prepared from root-bark is used as a local application in affected parts of the eyelids and in chronic ophthalmia.The tincture of the root is used against intermittent fever and considered to be advantageous over quinine and cinchona since it does not produce deafness or cardiac depression.

The decoction is particularly useful in the enlargement of liver and spleen associated with malarial fever. It is also used for fever accompanied by diarrhoea. Root combined with opium, rocksalt and alum is considered to be an useful anti-inflammatory agent.

In bleeding piles, application of powdered root mixed with butter is beneficial. “Rasauf’ of the rootprepared withis found useful in stomatitis and leucorrhoea.

Decoction of stem mixed with that of curcuma longa is recommended in’gonorrhoea.

Bark juice is useful in jaundice.

Fruits are edible and prescribed as a mild laxative for children.

 Other Uses:A yellow dye is obtained from the root and the stem. An important source of dyestuff and tannin, it is perhaps one of the best tannin dyes available in India. The wood is used as a fuel.

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.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Berberis+aristata
http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#bringraj
http://www.motherherbs.com/berberis-aristata.html
http://www.ayurgold.com/clinical_studies/indian_barberry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berberis_aristata

 

 

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