Tag Archives: Melbourne

Tanacetum vulgare

Botanical Name :Tanacetum vulgare
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Tanacetum
Species: T. vulgare
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names:Tansy , Bitter Buttons,Common Tansy, Cow Bitter, Mugwort, or Golden Buttons.

Habitat :Tansy is native to Eurasia; it is found in almost all parts of mainland Europe. It is absent from Siberia and some of the Mediterranean islands. The ancient Greeks may have been the first to cultivate it as a medicinal herb. In the sixteenth century it was considered to be “necessary for a garden” in Britain.

Description:
Tansy is a flowering herbaceous plant with finely divided compound leaves and yellow, button-like flowers. It has a stout, somewhat reddish, erect stem, usually smooth, 50–150 cm tall, and branching near the top. The leaves are alternate, 10–15 cm long and are pinnately lobed, divided almost to the center into about seven pairs of segments, or lobes, which are again divided into smaller lobes having saw-toothed edges, giving the leaf a somewhat fernlike appearance. The roundish, flat-topped, button-like, yellow flower heads are produced in terminal clusters from mid-to-late summer. The scent is similar to that of camphor with hints of rosemary. The leaves and flowers are toxic if consumed in large quantities; the volatile oil contains toxic compounds including thujone, which can cause convulsions and liver and brain damage. Some insects, notably the tansy beetle Chrysolina graminis, have resistance to the toxins and subsist almost exclusively on the plant.

click to see the ;pictures…>…..(01)....(1)..(2).…..(3).….…(4)..……..(5)..…(6)…..

Edible Uses:
Tansy was formerly used as a flavoring for puddings and omelets, but is now almost unknown. The herbalist John Gerard noted that tansy was well known as “pleasant in taste”, and he recommends tansy sweetmeats as “an especial thing against the gout, if every day for a certain space a reasonable quantitie thereof be eaten fasting.” In Yorkshire, tansy and caraway seeds were traditionally used in biscuits served at funerals.

During the Restoration, a “tansy” was a sweet omelette flavoured with tansy juice. In the BBC documentary “The Supersizers go … Restoration”, Allegra McEvedy described the flavour as “fruity, sharpness to it and then there’s a sort of explosion of cool heat a bit like peppermint.” [25] However, the programme’s presenter Sue Perkins experienced tansy toxicity.

According to liquor historian A. J. Baime, in the 19th century Tennessee whiskey magnate Jack Daniel enjoyed drinking his own whiskey with sugar and crushed tansy leaf.

Medicinal Uses:
* Amenorrhea * Insect Repellent * Parasites/worms * Scabies

Properties::  * Abortifacient * Antiparasite * Aromatic * Bitter * Bitter * Carminative * Emmenagogue * Stimulant * Vermifuge

Parts Used: The leaves and tops. The plant is cut off close above the root, when first coming into flower in August.

Constituents:  volatile oil (containing up to 70% thujone), bitter glycosides, sesquiterpene lactones, terpenoids including pyrethrins, tannin, resin, vitamin c, citric acid, oxalic acid

Tansy was once a widely grown herb with a number of traditional medicinal uses, but one that has lost favor over time with the modern herbal community. Older herbals recommend the use of tansy for many purposes including as an anthelmintic, for migraine, neuralgia, rheumatism and gout, meteorism( distended stomach due to trapped gas), and loss of appetite. Mrs. Grieve highly recommends an infusion of tansy be given to children to kill worms among other things.4 This is an excellent example of how we need to filter our readings of the wisdom of our elder teachers with today’s better understanding of plant chemistry. The danger with using tansy is primarily with it’s thujone content, which is responsible for much of tansy’s medicinal actions, but which is toxic in large doses. The amount of thujone contained can vary from plant to plant making safe dosing problematic. According to the German Commission E ” Uncontrolled usage of tansy, depending on the quality of the herb, can result in the absorption of thujone in toxic amounts, even at normal dosages.” 3

Tansy was a popular strewing herb in times past because it’s clean, camphorous scent repelled flies and other pests. It is still a good custom to plant tansy outside the kitchen door and around the garden for the same reasons. Although tansy is useful as a vermifuge, and can be used externally as poultice to treat skin infections, it might be wise to look to less dangerous herbs that can serve the same purposes.

For many years, tansy has been used as a medicinal herb despite its toxicity. 19th-century Irish folklore suggests bathing in a solution of tansy and salt as a cure for joint pain. A bitter tea made with tansy flowers has been used for centuries as an anthelmintic to treat parasitic worm infestations, and tansy cakes were traditionally eaten during Lent because it was believed that eating fish during Lent caused intestinal worms. Various Tanacetum species are used ethnomedically to treat migraine, neuralgia and rheumatism and as anthelmintics. Traditionally, tansy was often used for its emmenagogue effects to bring on menstruation or end an unwanted pregnancy, and pregnant women are advised to not use this herb. Research published in 2011 identified 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (3,5-DCQA) and axillarin in tansy as antiviral compounds that are active against herpes simplex virus.

Other Uses:
In England, bunches of tansy were traditionally placed at windows to keep out flies. Sprigs were placed in bedding and linen to drive away pests.

Tansy has been widely used in gardens and homes in Melbourne, Australia to keep away ants.

Some traditional dyers use tansy to produce a golden-yellow colour. The yellow flowers are dried for use in floral arrangements.

Tansy is also used as a companion plant, especially with cucurbits like cucumbers and squash, or with roses or various berries. It is thought to repel ants, cucumber beetles, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, and some kinds of flying insects, among others.

Dried tansy is used by some bee-keepers as fuel in a bee smoker.

Known Hazards:
Tansy contains a volatile oil which can cause contact dermatitis in sensitive individuals. If taken internally, toxic metabolites are produced as the oil is broken down in the liver and digestive tract. It is highly toxic to internal parasites, and for centuries tansy tea has been prescribed by herbalists to expel worms. Tansy is an effective insecticide, and is highly toxic to arthropods.  Because it contains thujone, the U.S. FDA limits the use of tansy to alcoholic beverages, and the final product must be thujone-free.

The active components of the volatile oil include 1,8-cineole, trans-thujone, camphor and myrtenol, with the quantities and proportions of each varying seasonally and from plant to plant.

1,8-cineole is a toxin believed to defend the plant leaves against attacks by herbivores. It has many biological activities including allelopathy, anesthetic, antibacterial, carcinogenic, fungicide, herbicide, insectifuge, nematicide, sedative, testosterone hydroxylase inducer, and others.

Thujone is a GABA receptor antagonist that sensitises neurons; it is reputed to be an aphrodisiac, increasing brain activity and causing hallucinations, spasms, convulsions, and even death.

Camphor has various uses, including manufacture of plastics, lacquers and varnishes, explosives and pyrotechnics; as a moth repellent; as a preservative in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics; to relieve itching and pain by creating a cooling effect on the skin; as an injectable antibacterial for root canals in dentistry; as a food flavor enhancer; and as a medical ingredient in chest rubs.

Myrtenol has been used as an insect pheromone in insect trapping, as a beverage preservative, a flavoring and a fragrance

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/Tansy
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail254.php

Wheat,Rye & Barley Triggers Gut Disease

The precise cause of the immune reaction that leads to coeliac disease has been discovered.

CLICK & SEE

Foods like cake are off-limit to coeliacs

Three key substances in the gluten found in wheat, rye and barley trigger the digestive condition, UK and Australian researchers say.

This gives a potential new target for developing treatments and even a vaccine, they believe.

Coeliac disease is caused by an intolerance to gluten found in foods like bread, pasta and biscuits.

It is thought to affect around 1 in every 100 people in the UK, particularly women.

The link between gluten and coeliac disease was first established 60 years ago but scientists have struggled to pinpoint the precise component in gluten that triggers it.

The research, published in the journal, Science Translational Medicine, studied 200 patients with coeliac disease attending clinics in Oxford and Melbourne.

The volunteers were asked to eat bread, rye muffins or boiled barley. Six days later they had blood samples taken to measure their immune response to thousands of different gluten fragments, or peptides.

The tests identified 90 peptides that caused some level of immune reaction, but three were found to be particularly toxic.

Professor Bob Anderson, head of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia, said: “These three components account for the majority of the immune response to gluten that is observed in people with coeliac disease.”

Coeliac disease can be managed with a gluten-free diet but this is often a challenge for patients. Nearly half still have damage to their intestines five years after starting a gluten-free diet.

Professor Anderson said one potential new therapy is already being developed, using immunotherapy to expose people with coeliac disease to tiny amounts of the three toxic peptides.

Early results of the trial are expected in the next few months.

Sarah Sleet, Chief Executive of the charity Coeliac UK, said the new finding could potentially help lead to a vaccine against coeliac disease but far more research was needed.

She said: “It’s an important piece of the jigsaw but a lot of further work remains so nobody should be expecting a practical solution in their surgery within the next 10 years.”

The symptoms of coeliac disease vary from person to person and can range from very mild to severe.

Possible symptoms include diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, recurrent stomach pain, tiredness, headaches, weight loss and mouth ulcers.

Some symptoms may be mistaken as irritable bowel syndrome or wheat intolerance.

COELIAC DISEASE
*Continue reading the main story Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease
*Gluten found in wheat, barley and rye triggers an immune reaction in people with coeliac disease
*This damages the lining of the small intestine
*Other parts of the body may be affected
Source: Coeliac UK

You may click to see:-

Coeliac bone loss link uncovered

Hotel Babylon star on coeliac disease

Enhanced by Zemanta

Advancing Towards Baby Making

DNA fingerprinting will revolutionise the practice of IVF and eliminate multiple pregnancies.

Given a choice, Gita Kapoor, a 37-year-old banker in Bangalore, would have preferred just one child. She and her software engineer husband knew that with their busy work schedules raising even one child wouldn’t be an easy job. Two years ago, they opted for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) at a fertility clinic in their city. Today the Kapoors are proud parents of a pair of chubby twins — a boy and a girl.

It isn’t that the Kapoors are not happy to have more than one child. But they have two children not by choice but because of an inherent shortcoming in the assisted reproduction technique they opted for.

“So far there is no technique available to choose a single, viable embryo for implantation,” says Dr Trichnopoly Chelvaraj Anand Kumar, a veteran andrologist in Bangalore.

As a result, fertility doctors normally implant more than one embryo to increase the chances of pregnancy. “With a single embryo, the success rate of IVF is about 30 to 35 per cent. It goes up to 45 per cent with two embryos,” says Dr Indira Hinduja, who is the first Indian doctor to have produced a test tube baby in India in the 1980s.

There are a number of problems associated with multiple pregnancies. Often, babies born in a multiple birth are premature, have low birth weight and are prone to infections. Also, their mortality rate is slightly on the higher side, notes Dr Hinduja.

But thanks to a team of medical researchers in Australia and Greece, doctors may soon be able to find a way of successfully employing genetic screening to identify embryos that can lead to healthy babies.

In a paper reported in the latest issue of the journal Human Reproduction, the researchers say that DNA fingerprinting, a technique more commonly used in forensic applications and in resolving parenthood controversies, can be a useful tool in fertility clinics. The technique can help pinpoint a handful of genes that can help spot a better embryo that would lead to a successful pregnancy, says Gayle Jones, a researcher at Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories, Monash University, Australia.

When a couple attends a fertility clinic for IVF, eggs from the woman are fertilised with sperm from the man and the fertilised eggs are allowed to develop in the laboratory until they reach what doctors call the blastocyst phase, or the early stages of embryo formation. This normally takes about five days.

One of the difficult decisions, even for a better-trained fertility expert, is to decide which fertilised egg is to be chosen. With little help from technology to distinguish a viable blastocyst from a non-viable one, they often resort to implanting more than one to increase the chances. This often leads to multiple pregnancy.

But this need not be the case anymore, say researchers at Monash University and the Centre for Human Reproduction at Genesis Athens Hospital in Greece.

For their study, the scientists removed a few cells each from the outermost layer of the resulting blastocysts of 48 women who attended the clinic for IVF treatment.

Of the 48 women, 25 became pregnant, leading to the delivery of 37 babies. Once the babies were born, blood from the umbilical cords or swabs of cheek cells was collected. Subsequently, the scientists used DNA fingerprinting to see which genes were common to the material collected after delivery as well as the blastocyst biopsy.

“By analysing these genes, we have been able to identify those that are key to the processes involved in embryo implantation,” Jones told KnowHow.

Though it is too early, she thinks that they would be in a position to refine the gene set further to a smaller number of genes that are more highly predictive of a viable blastocyst. “The ability to select a single, most viable embryo from a cohort available for transfer will revolutionise the practice of IVF, not only improving pregnancy rates but also eliminating multiple pregnancies and the attendant complications,” Jones said.

The Monash University researchers hope that the technique would be available for clinical use within a couple of years if they achieve further success.

IVF being the most common and cheapest of all assisted reproductive methods in use, such improvements in its success rate will be a boon to a large number of infertile couples, says Dr Kumar.

Sources:The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Disciplined Life Cuts Alzheimer’s Risk

CHICAGO: People who lead a good clean life – those who are conscientious, self-disciplined and scrupulous – appear to be less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, US researchers said .

The finding is the latest from a long-running study of nearly 1,000 Catholic nuns, priests and brothers by Robert Wilson of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. The study appeared in the Archives of General Psychiatry .

Wilson and colleagues defined conscientiousness in the study as people who control their impulses and are goal-directed. These people are often considered dependable. People in Wilson’s study did not have dementia when the study started in 1994.

The researchers asked the volunteers to rank themselves on a five-point scale according to a 12-item inventory, with questions such as “I am a productive person who always gets the job done.” From this, they derived a conscientiousness score, based on a scale of 0 to 48. The average score was 34.

They were also given various medical and neurological exams, including cognitive testing. Follow-up tests were done each year through 2006. A total of 176 people developed Alzheimer’s disease during the study.

People who were highly conscientious – those in the 90th percentile with scores of 40 or higher, had an 89% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those who ranked in the 10th percentile.

Source:The Times Of India

Being thin is in the genes

BLAME YOUR GENES: According to studies, if a person has a family member suffering from anorexia nervosa, he or she is 12 times more at risk of developing the illness.

CLICK & SEE

TULSA, OKLAHOMA: A researcher at a US clinic says that a decade-long study into anorexia nervosa is beginning to reveal that those who suffer from the disease might have a genetic predisposition toward it.

The study, known as the Genetics of Anorexia Nervosa collaboration, is conducted in eight cities in North America and two European cities. It is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Researcher Craig Johnson said that if a person has a family member who has had anorexia nervosa, he or she is 12 times more at risk of developing the illness.

Genetics loads the gun. Environment pulls the trigger,  said Johnson, the director of the eating disorders unit at Laureate Psychiatric Hospital in Tulsa and one of the study’s principal researchers.

Johnson said researchers have devoted much attention during the past 40 years into looking into how a culture that promotes dieting provokes eating disorders.

We now know that the illnesses occur when there is a perfect storm of events that include genetic vulnerability and a culture that is promoting thinness through dieting and exercise,” he said.

People with anorexia nervosa –most of them young females –develop a strong aversion to food and have a distorted body image.

Johnson said the research has helped to identify groups most at risk of developing the disease, such as girls ages 11 to 14.

Girls are expected to gain a third of their adult weight during that time, or about 40 pounds, he said.

If a young woman is uneasy with the weight gain, and a parent, coach, girlfriend or boyfriend says something about their weight, it can provoke an episode of dieting.

Johnson called dieting and exercise   the royal road to eating disorders.

Source:The Times Of India