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Herbs & Plants

Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

Botanical Name ; Capsella bursa-pastoris
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Capsella
Species: C. bursa-pastoris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms :  Thlaspi bursa-pastoris. Bursa abscissa. Bursa druceana. Capsella concava.

Common Name ; Shepherd’s-purse

Habitat: is native to eastern Europe and Asia minor but is naturalized and considered a common weed in many parts of the world, especially in colder climates,including Britain, where it is regarded as an archaeophyte, North America and China but also in the Mediterranean and North Africa.  It grows in Arable land, gardens, waste places etc, it is a common weed of cultivated soil.

Description:
Shepherd’s-purse  is a small (up to 0.5m) annual and ruderal species, and a member of the Brassicaceae or mustard family. Capsella bursa-pastoris is closely related to the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana and is also used as a model organism due to the variety of genes expressed throughout its life cycle that can be compared to genes that are well studied in A. thaliana. Unlike most flowering plants, it flowers almost all year round. Like many other annual ruderals exploiting disturbed ground, C. bursa-pastoris reproduces entirely from seed, has a long soil seed bank, and short generation time and is capable of producing several generations each year.

CLICK  &  SEE THE  PICRURES
Shepherd’s-purse plants grow from a rosette of lobed leaves at the base. From the base emerges a stem about 0.2 to 0.5 meters tall, which bears a few pointed leaves which partly grasp the stem. The flowers are white and small, in loose racemes, and produce seed pods which are heart-shaped.

Like a number of other plants in several plant families, its seeds contain a substance known as mucilage, a condition known as myxospermy. The adaptive value of myxospermy is unknown, although the fact that mucilage becomes sticky when wet has led some to propose that C. bursa-pastoris traps insects which then provide nutrients to the seedling, which would make it protocarnivorous.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves; Oil; Seed.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Oil.

Leaves – raw or cooked. The young leaves, used before the plant comes into flower, make a fine addition to salads. The leaves are a cress and cabbage substitute, becoming peppery with age. Leaves are usually available all year round, though they can also be dried for later use. The leaves contain about 2.9% protein, 0.2% fat, 3.4% carbohydrate, 1% ash. They are rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C. A zero moisture basis analysis is available. The young flowering shoots can be eaten raw or cooked. They are rather thin and fiddly but the taste is quite acceptable. They can be available at most times of the year. Seed – raw or cooked. It can be ground into a meal and used in soups etc. It is very fiddly to harvest and utilize, the seed is very small. The seed contains 35% of a fatty oil. This oil can be extracted and is edible. The seedpods can be used as a peppery seasoning for soups and stews. The fresh or dried root is a ginger substitute

Constituents: choline, acetylcholine and tyramine, saponins, mustard oil, flavonoids

Fumaric acid is one active substance that has been isolated.. Although Fumaric acid and its derivatives are used with success in many conditions there is no direct evidence that plant extract has been used with similar success.

Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)

*280 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 35.6g; Fat: 4.2g; Carbohydrate: 44.1g; Fibre: 10.2g; Ash: 16.1g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 1763mg; Phosphorus: 729mg; Iron: 40.7mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 3939mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 21949mg; Thiamine (B1): 2.12mg; Riboflavin (B2): 1.44mg; Niacin: 3.4mg; B6: 0mg; C: 305mg;

Parasites
*Capsella bursa-pastoris
*Traditional Chinese

Medicinal Uses:
Common Uses: Abrasions/Cuts * Bladder Infection (UTI) Cystitis * Childbirth * Heart Tonics/Cordials * Menorrhagia *
Properties:  Antiscorbutic* Diuretic* Styptic* Astringent* Febrifuge* Refrigerant*
Parts Used: whole herb.

Shepherd’s purse is one of the important herbs to stop bleeding an effect due to the tyramine and other amines it contains. This property leads to its use is a number of condidtions such as heavy menstrual bleeding, nosebleeds, and as a post-partum herb. The herb is both a vasodilator, and also hastens coagulation and constrict blood vessels.

Shepherd’s purse contains a protein that acts in the same way in the body as the hormone oxytocin, constricting the smooth muscles that support and surround blood vessels, especially those in the uterus. Other chemicals in the herb may accelerate clotting. Still other compounds in the herb help the uterus contact, explaining the long-time use of the herb to help the womb return to normal size after childbirth. Mountain Rose Herbs (2008-07-09)

Herbally, it is primarily used to stop vaginal bleeding, an action which may be attributable to the common parasitic fungus found with it, which is related to the vasoconstrictor ergot.

Other Uses
Shepherd’s-purse is gathered from the wild or grown for food to supplement animal feed, for cosmetics, and for medicinal purposes. It is commonly used as food in Shanghai and the surrounding Jiangnan region as food, where they are stir-fried with rice cakes and other ingredients or as part of the filling in wontons. It is one of the ingredients of the symbolic dish consumed in the Japanese spring-time festival, Nanakusa-no-sekku.

Known Hazards :  Signs of toxicity are sedation, pupil enlargement and breathing difficulty. Avoid if on treatments for high blood pressure. Avoid with thyroid gland disorders or heart disease. Possible addictive sedative effects with other depressants (e.g. Alcohol). Avoid during pregnancy

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/Capsella_bursa-pastoris
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail112.php

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Capsella+bursa-pastoris

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All-about-tooth-and-tooth-therapy

Root canal

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Definition
A root canal is a dental procedure to remove dead or dying nerve tissue and bacteria from inside a tooth.
……………….CLICK & SEE.
The tooth pulp located in the centre of the tooth and in canals withen each tooth root. Pulp, consisting of connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels, nourishes the tooth when it first erupts (emerges through the gum). Once the tooth matures, the pulp can be removed safely from the pulp chamber and root canals and the tooth can be maintained. This is because the tooth also is nourished by a blood supply that surrounds the tooth. Removing the pulp is called endodontic treatment, but it is often referred to as root canal treatment or root canal therapy. Many people refer to this as “having a root canal.” Root canal treatments are quite common. This treatment saves about 24 million teeth every year  in USA  only.

Description
Why  We  Need Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment is needed for two main reasons: infection or irreversible damage to the pulp
. An untreated cavity is a common cause of pulp infection. The decay erodes the enamel and dentin of the tooth until it opens into the root canal system, allowing bacteria to infect the pulp. Infections inside teeth don’t respond to antibiotic treatment. The inflammation caused by the infection restricts the tooth’s blood supply, so antibiotics in the bloodstream can’t reach the infection very well. The reduced blood supply also limits the pulp’s ability to heal itself.

The pulp also can become damaged from trauma, a fracture or extensive restorative work, such as several fillings placed over a period of time. Sometimes, a common dental procedure can cause the pulp to become inflamed. For example, preparing a tooth for a crown sometimes leads to the need for root canal treatment.

In many cases, when the pulp is inflamed, but not infected, it will heal and return to normal. Your dentist may want to monitor the tooth to see if this happens before doing root canal treatment. Sometimes, though, the pulp remains inflamed, which can cause pain and may lead to infection.

Once the pulp becomes infected, the infection can affect the bone around the tooth, causing an abscess to form. The goal of root canal treatment is to save the tooth by removing the infected or damaged pulp, treating any infection, and filling the empty canals with an inert material. If root canal treatment is not done, the tooth may have to be extracted.

It is better to keep your natural teeth if at all possible. If a tooth is missing, neighboring teeth can drift out of line and can be overstressed. Keeping your natural teeth also helps you to avoid more expensive and extensive treatments, such as implants or bridges. If an infected or injured tooth that needs root canal treatment is ignored, not only can you lose the tooth, but also the infection can spread to other parts of your body.

Having endodontic treatment on a tooth does not mean that you’ll need to have it pulled out in a few years. The reason for doing root canal treatment is often a large cavity. The tooth often is weakened, but if the tooth is covered with a crown after the root canal or, in some cases, restored with tooth-colored composite filling material, the tooth can last the rest of your life.
You may click to see:->About Root Canal Treatment
.Signs and Symptoms
If you have an infection of the pulp, you may not feel any pain at first. But if left untreated, the infection will cause pain and swelling. In some cases, an abscess will form. Eventually, the tooth may need to be extracted. Some indications that a tooth may need a root canal are:

*A tooth that hurts significantly when you bite down on it, touch it or push on it
*Sensitivity to heat
*Sensitivity to cold that lasts longer than a couple of seconds
*Swelling near the affected tooth
*A discolored tooth, with or without pain
*A broken tooth

To determine whether your tooth needs root canal treatment, your dentist will place hot or cold substances against the tooth, feel surrounding tissues and gently tap on the tooth. He or she also will take X-rays.

If the condition of the pulp isn’t clear from these tests, your dentist may use an electric pulp tester. This hand-held device sends a small electric current through the tooth and helps your dentist evaluate whether the pulp is alive. This test does not cause pain or a shock, but a tingling sensation that stops immediately when the tester is removed from the tooth.

Caution: An electric pulp tester should not be used if you have a cardiac pacemaker or any other electronic life-support device.

Time takes to do the treatment:-
Root canal treatment can be done in one or more visits, depending on the situation. An infected tooth will need several appointments to make sure that the infection is eliminated. Some teeth may be more difficult to treat because of the position of the tooth, because they have many and curved root canals that are difficult to locate, or for other reasons. An uncomplicated root canal treatment often can be completed in one visit. Once the root canal treatment is finished, you will need to see your general dentist to have the tooth restored with a crown or filling.

Proceedure:

Measuring and Cleaning the Root Canals

Measuring
First, your dentist or endodontist will numb the area around the tooth. You also may receive sedation, such as nitrous oxide, or your dentist may offer other anxiety-reducing techniques if you feel you need them. He or she will make a hole in the top or back of your tooth to get to the pulp chamber. He or she will remove some of the diseased pulp. Then the root canals have to be measured.
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Your dentist needs to know how long the canals are so he or she can make sure all the diseased tissue is removed and the entire canal is cleaned. Also, the material used to fill the canal after it is cleaned needs to fill the entire canal.

Dentists use X-rays to determine the length of the canals or use an electric device called an apex locator. In the first procedure, your dentist will place a file into the canal he or she is measuring then take an X-ray to determine how close the file is to the end of the canal. An apex locator makes a calculation based on the resistance to a small electric current. This gives an accurate measurement of a root canal. Often, the two methods are combined.

Cleaning

After the canals have been measured, your dentist or endodontist will use the specially designed instruments to clean out the diseased pulp. After the pulp has been removed, the canal is cleaned with an antiseptic solution, which helps to treat the source of the infection.

For root canal treatment to be effective, all the canals within the tooth must be cleaned. Generally, the top front teeth have one canal, the bottom front teeth one or two canals, the premolars one or two, and the molars three or four canals. However, the location and shape of these canals can vary significantly. Some endodontists are now using a microscope to see inside the tooth to make sure all the canals have been located and all the pulp has been removed.

Once the canals have been thoroughly cleaned and the endodontist or dentist has made sure that the infection has been removed, the roots are filled. A temporary filling is then placed to cover the new root filling. The crown of the tooth should then be restored with a permanent filling or crown within a relatively short time.

In most cases, the tooth will need a crown, especially with molars that are under stress from chewing. A crown will help to restore the tooth’s strength and protect it from cracking. A crown should be placed as soon as possible, ideally within a month of the root canal. It’s important to get the tooth permanently restored to prevent damage to the tooth later. The temporary filling you receive is not meant to last.

The pulp that was removed during root canal treatment is the part that responds to temperature. The tissues and nerves surrounding your tooth remain, however, so your tooth will still respond to pressure and touch.

After Root Canal Treatment
Your tooth will be sore for two to three days after the procedure, and your dentist will tell you to avoid chewing on the affected side. The worse the infection and inflammation was prior to root canal treatment, the sorer the tooth will be after treatment. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers to ease the discomfort.

Risks Factors:-
•Abscess
•Nerve damage
•Loss of tooth

Complications that may arise sometimes:-


*Sometimes when a root canal is opened for treatment, the oxygen in the air will trigger some bacteria to start growing, causing inflammation and pain.

*Bacteria may get pushed out through the tips of the roots. Blood vessels enter the tooth through a small hole (the apex of the root) at the bottom of the root. Sometimes during a root canal procedure, bacteria are pushed out through this small hole into surrounding tissue. If this happens, the surrounding tissue will become inflamed and possibly infected. This can be treated with painkillers, and sometimes antibiotics, but the site could be painful until it clears up.

*A root canal treatment can puncture the side of the tooth. This can happen if the canal is curved or if the canal cannot be located. The instruments are flexible so that they bend as the canal curves, but sometimes the instrument makes a small hole in the side of the tooth. If saliva can get into the hole, the tooth will have to be treated further or extracted. If the hole is far enough under the gum line that saliva can’t reach it, it may heal.

*A root canal may be missed or an entire canal may not be fully cleaned out. Locating canals within the tooth can be difficult. If a canal or an offshoot of a canal isn’t located and cleaned out, the tooth can remain infected and the root canal procedure will have to be repeated. This also can happen if a canal isn’t measured correctly and pieces of infected or inflamed pulp are left near the bottom. Occasionally, root canals have branches that are not accessible to traditional treatment.

*A file may break. The tip of a file may break off inside the tooth. Usually, it’s possible to leave the piece in the tooth and finish the root canal. But if the cleaning of the canal has not been finished, the file piece may have to be removed. Sometimes this can be done from the top of the tooth. However, in some cases, the file can only be removed through a surgical procedure called an apicoectomy. A small incision is made in the gum to access the root of the tooth, and the portion of the root containing the file piece is removed.

Expectations after surgery
You will need to see your dentist after the procedure to make sure the infection is gone. A dental x-ray may be taken. Regular dental checkups are necessary. For adults, this usually means a visit twice a year.

Convalescence
You may have some pain or soreness after the procedure. An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help relieve discomfort. Most people can return to their normal routine the next day. Until the tooth is permanently filled or covered with a crown, you should avoid rough chewing in the area.

You may click to see:->Myths About Root Canal Treatment

Resources:
http://www.healthprofessor.com/landers/root_canal.php?keywords=root+canals&referrer=Adwords&camp=HealthProfessor-RootCanal&group=root+canals&keyword=root+canals&traffictype=search&creativeid=2792829118&sourcesite=

http://www.colgate.com/app/Colgate/US/OC/Information/OralHealthBasics/CheckupsDentProc/RootCanalTreatments/RootCanalTreatment.cvsp

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