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Herbs & Plants

Nutmeg ( Myristica fragrans)

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Botanical Name : Myristica fragrans
Family: Myristicaceae
Genus:     Myristica
Species: M. fragrans
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Magnoliales

Synonyms: Nux Moschata. Myristica officinalis (Linn.). Myristica aromata. Myristica.

Common Name :Nutmeg, Jatiphal, Jajikaya, Jatiphala, Jayaphala.

Bengali:  Jayphal

Manipuri: jayfal
Marathi: jatiphala, jayaphala
Nepali: jaiphal
Oriya:  jaiphala
Punjabi: jafal
Sanskrit: jatiphala
Tamil: cati-k-kay
Telugu: jajikaya
Tibetan: dza ti pha la
Urdu: jayaphal

Habitat: Nutmeg  is native to Banda Islands, Malayan Archipelago, Molucca Islands, and cultivated in Sumatra, French Guiana. It is widely grown across the tropics including Guangdong and Yunnan in China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Grenada in the Caribbean, Kerala in India, Sri Lanka and South America.

Description:
Myristica fragrans is a small evergreen tree, usually 5–13 m (16–43 ft) tall, but occasionally reaching 20 m (66 ft). The alternately arranged leaves are dark green,5–15 cm (2.0–5.9 in) long by 2–7 cm (0.8–2.8 in) wide with petioles about 1 cm (0.4 in) long. The species is dioecious, i.e. “male” or staminate flowers and “female” or carpellate flowers are borne on different plants, although occasional individuals produce both kinds of flower. The flowers are bell-shaped, pale yellow and somewhat waxy and fleshy. Staminate flowers are arranged in groups of one to ten, each 5–7 mm (0.2–0.3 in) long; carpellate flowers are in smaller groups, one to three, and somewhat longer, up to 10 mm (0.4 in) long.

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Carpellate trees produce smooth yellow ovoid or pear-shaped fruits, 6–9 cm (2.4–3.5 in) long with a diameter of 3.5–5 cm (1.4–2.0 in). The fruit has a fleshy husk. When ripe the husk splits into two halves along a ridge running the length of the fruit. Inside is a purple-brown shiny seed, 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) long by about 2 cm (0.8 in) across, with a red or crimson covering (an aril). The seed is the source of nutmeg, the aril the source of mace.

The tree  has a greyish-brown smooth bark, abounding in a yellow juice. The branches spread in whorls – alternate leaves, on petioles about 1 inch long, elliptical, glabrous, obtuse at base – acuminate, aromatic, dark green and glossy above, paler underside and 4 to 6 inches long. Flowers dioecious, small in axillary racemes. Peduncles and pedicles glabrous. Male flowers three to five more on a peduncle. Calyx urceolate, thick and fleshy, covered with an indistinct reddish pubescence dingy pale yellow, cut into three erect teeth. Female flowers differ little from the male, except pedicel is often solitary. Fruit is a pendulous, globose drupe, consisting of a succulent pericarp – the mace arillus covering the hard endocarp, and a wrinkled kernel with ruminated endosperm. When the arillus is fresh it is a brilliant scarlet, when dry more horny, brittle, and a yellowish-brown colour. The seed or nutmeg is firm, fleshy, whitish, transversed by red-brown veins, abounding in oil. The tree does not bloom till it is nine years old, when it fruits and continues to do so for seventy-five years without attention. In Banda Islands there are three harvests, the chief one in July or August, the next in November, and the last in March or April. The fruit is gathered by means of a barb attached to a long stick. The mace is separated from the nut and both are dried separately. The nutmeg or kernel of the fruit and the arillus or mace are the official parts.
After the mace is removed, the nutmegs are dried on gratings, three to six weeks over a slow charcoal fire – but are often sun-dried for six days previously. The curing protects them from insects.

When thoroughly dried, they rattle in the shell, which is cracked with a mallet. The nutmegs are graded, 1st Penang, 2nd Dutch (these are usually covered with lime to preserve them from insects), 3rd Singapore, and 4th long nutmegs.

Nutmegs have a strong, peculiar and delightful fragrance and a very strong bitter warm aromatic taste.

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Edible Uses:
Nutmeg and mace have similar sensory qualities, with nutmeg having a slightly sweeter and mace a more delicate flavour. Mace is often preferred in light dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like hue it imparts. Nutmeg is used for flavouring many dishes, usually in ground or grated form, and is best grated fresh in a nutmeg grater.

In Penang cuisine, dried, shredded nutmeg rind with sugar coating is used as toppings on the uniquely Penang ais kacang. Nutmeg rind is also blended (creating a fresh, green, tangy taste and white colour juice) or boiled (resulting in a much sweeter and brown juice) to make iced nutmeg juice.
In Indian cuisine, nutmeg is used in many sweet, as well as savoury, dishes (predominantly in Mughlai cuisine). It is also added in small quantities as a medicine for infants. It may also be used in small quantities in garam masala. Ground nutmeg is also smoked in India.
In Indonesian cuisine, nutmeg is used in various dishes,  mainly in many soups, such as soto soup, baso soup or sup kambing.

In Middle Eastern cuisine, ground nutmeg is often used as a spice for savoury dishes.

In original European cuisine, nutmeg and mace are used especially in potato dishes and in processed meat products; they are also used in soups, sauces, and baked goods. It is also commonly used in rice pudding. In Dutch cuisine, nutmeg is added to vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and string beans. Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in mulled cider, mulled wine, and eggnog. In Scotland, mace and nutmeg are usually both essential ingredients in haggis.

In Italian cuisine, nutmeg is almost uniquely used as part of the stuffing for many regional meat-filled dumplings like tortellini, as well as for the traditional meatloaf.

Japanese varieties of curry powder include nutmeg as an ingredient.

In the Caribbean, nutmeg is often used in drinks such as the Bushwacker, Painkiller, and Barbados rum punch. Typically, it is just a sprinkle on the top of the drink.

The pericarp (fruit/pod) is used in Grenada and also in Indonesia to make jam, or is finely sliced, cooked with sugar, and crystallised to make a fragrant candy.

In the US, nutmeg is known as the main pumpkin pie spice and often shows up in simple recipes for other winter squashes such as baked acorn squash.

Essential oils:
The essential oil obtained by steam distillation of ground nutmeg is used widely in the perfumery and pharmaceutical industries. This volatile fraction typically contains 60-80% d-camphene by weight, as well as quantities of d-pinene, limonene, d-borneol, l-terpineol, geraniol, safrol, and myristicin. In its pure form, myristicin is a toxin, and consumption of excessive amounts of nutmeg can result in myristicin poisoning. The oil is colourless or light yellow, and smells and tastes of nutmeg. It contains numerous components of interest to the oleochemical industry, and is used as a natural food flavouring in baked goods, syrups, beverages, and sweets. It is used to replace ground nutmeg, as it leaves no particles in the food. The essential oil is also used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, for instance, in toothpaste, and as a major ingredient in some cough syrups. In traditional medicine, nutmeg and nutmeg oil were used for disorders related to the nervous and digestive systems.

After extraction of the essential oil, the remaining seed, containing much less flavour, is called “spent”. Spent is often mixed in industrial mills with pure nutmeg to facilitate the milling process, as nutmeg is not easy to mill due to the high percentage of oil in the pure seed. Ground nutmeg with a variable percentage of spent (around 10% w/w) is also less likely to clot. To obtain a better running powder, a small percentage of rice flour also can be added

Nutmeg butter:
Nutmeg butter is obtained from the nut by expression. It is semisolid, reddish-brown in colour, and tastes and smells of nutmeg. About 75% (by weight) of nutmeg butter is trimyristin, which can be turned into myristic acid, a 14-carbon fatty acid, which can be used as a replacement for cocoa butter, can be mixed with other fats like cottonseed oil or palm oil, and has applications as an industrial lubricant.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Use: Dried kernel of the seed.

Constituents: They contain lignin, stearin, volatile oil, starch, gum and 0.08 of an acid substance. By submitting nutmegs and water to distillation, a volatile oil is obtained. The small round heavy nutmeg is the best. Those that are larger, longer, lighter, less marbled, and not so oily, are inferior.

The tonic principle is Myristicin. Oil of Nutmeg is used to conceal the taste of various drugs and as a local stimulant to the gastro-intestinal tract.

Powdered nutmeg is rarely given alone, though it enters into the composition of a number of medicines. The expressed oil is sometimes used externally as a gentle stimulant, and it was once an ingredient of the Emplastrum picis.

The properties of mace are identical to those of the nutmeg.

Both nutmeg and mace are used for flatulence and to correct the nausea arising from other drugs, also to allay nausea and vomiting.

Nutmeg is an agreeable addition to drinks for convalescents.

Grated nutmeg mixed with lard makes an excellent ointment for piles.

In some places roasted nutmeg is applied internally as a remedy for leucorrhaoea.

It is  carminative, stimulant, and tonic, mace aids the digestion, is beneficial to the circulation and is used to mollify febrile upsets and in Asia to relieve nausea.  Mace butter is employed as a mild counter-irritant and used in hair lotions and plasters.  As with nutmeg, large doses of mace can lead to hallucination and epileptiform fits, myristin being poisonous, but dangerous doses are unlikely to be taken in the course of everyday use.  Taken in a toddy, it was a cure for insomnia, but prolonged over-indulgence is now avoided as addictive.

Click & see :

* Herbal remedies using nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
also known as jatiphala:

*Health Benefits of Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans):

*Different medicinal uses of Nutmeg  :

Medical research:
Nutmeg has been used in medicine since at least the seventh century. In the 19th century, it was used as an abortifacient, which led to numerous recorded cases of nutmeg poisoning. Although used as a folk treatment for other ailments, unprocessed nutmeg has no proven medicinal value today.

One study has shown that the compound macelignan isolated from M. fragrans (Myristicaceae) may exert antimicrobial activity against Streptococcus mutans, and another that a methanolic extract from the same plant inhibited Jurkat cell activity in human leukemia, but these are not currently used treatments.

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://medplants.blogspot.in/search/label/Myristica%20fragrans
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nutmeg07.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myristica_fragrans

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutmeg

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Xerostomia Or Dry Mouth

Definition:
Xerostomia (pronounced as zeer-o-STO-me-uh)  is the medical term for the subjective complaint of dry mouth due to a lack of saliva. Xerostomia is sometimes colloquially called pasties, cottonmouth, drooth, doughmouth or des (like a desert). Xerostomia is also common in smokers.

Lack of saliva is a common problem that may seem little more than a nuisance, but a dry mouth can affect both your enjoyment of food and the health of your teeth. The medical term for dry mouth is xerostomia (zeer-o-STO-me-uh).
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Dry mouth can cause problems because saliva helps prevent tooth decay by limiting bacterial growth and washing away food and plaque. Saliva enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to swallow. In addition, enzymes in saliva aid in digestion.

Xerostomia can cause difficulty in speech and eating. It also leads to halitosis and a dramatic rise in the number of cavities, as the protective effect of saliva’s remineralizing the enamel is no longer present, and can make the mucosa and periodontal tissue of the mouth more vulnerable to infection. Notably, a symptom of heavy methamphetamine use usually called “meth mouth” is largely caused by xerostomia which is worsened by the fact that methamphetamine at recreational doses can cause tight clenching of the jaw, bruxism (compulsive grinding of the teeth), or a repetitive ‘chewing’ movement like the user is chewing without food in the mouth.
Symptoms:
If you’re not producing enough saliva, you may notice the following signs and symptoms:

*Dryness in your mouth
*Saliva that seems thick, stringy
*Sores or split skin at the corners of your mouth
*Cracked lips
*Bad breath
*Difficulty speaking, swallowing
*Sore throat
*An altered sense of taste
*A fungal infection in your mouth
*Increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease

In women, dry mouth may result in lipstick adhering to the teeth.

Causes:
Dry mouth has numerous causes, including:

*Medications. Hundreds of medications, including some over-the-counter drugs, produce dry mouth as a side effect. Among the more likely types to cause problems are some of the drugs used to treat depression and anxiety, antihistamines, decongestants, high blood pressure medications, anti-diarrheals, muscle relaxants, drugs for urinary incontinence, and Parkinson’s disease medications.

*Aging. Getting older isn’t a risk factor for dry mouth on its own; however, older people are more likely to be taking medications that may cause dry mouth. Also, older people are more likely to have other health conditions that may cause dry mouth.

*Cancer therapy. Chemotherapy drugs can change the nature of saliva and the amount produced. Radiation treatments to your head and neck can damage salivary glands, causing a marked decrease in saliva production.

*Nerve damage. An injury or surgery that causes nerve damage to your head and neck area also can result in xerostomia.

*Other health conditions. Dry mouth can be a consequence of certain health conditions — or their treatments — including the autoimmune disease Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS, anxiety disorders and depression. Stroke and Alzheimer’s disease may cause a perception of dry mouth, even though the salivary glands are functioning normally. Snoring and breathing with your mouth open also can contribute to the problem.

*Tobacco use. Smoking or chewing tobacco can increase dry mouth symptoms.

It may be a sign of an underlying disease, such as Sjögren’s syndrome, poorly controlled diabetes, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome, but this is not always the case.

Other causes of insufficient saliva include anxiety,  or the consumption of alcoholic beverages, physical trauma to the salivary glands or their ducts or nerves, dehydration caused by lack of sufficient fluids, excessive breathing through the mouth, previous radiation therapy, and also a natural result of aging, other conditions or factors not mentioned also can have the ability to cause dry mouth. The vast majority of elderly individuals will suffer xerostomia to some degree, although the most common cause is the use of medications. Output from the major salivary glands does not undergo clinically significant decrements in healthy older people and clinicians should not attribute complaints of a dry mouth and findings of salivary hypofunction in an older person to his or her age. The results of one study suggested that, in general, objective and subjective measurements of major salivary gland flow rates are independent of age, gender, and race. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of dry mouth in the elderly regardless of race or gender should not be considered a normal sequela of aging. Playing or exercising a long time outside on a hot day can cause the salivary glands to become dry as the bodily fluids are concentrated elsewhere. Xerostomia is a common side-effect of various drugs such as cannabis, amphetamines, antihistamines, and some antidepressants.

Diagnosis:
To determine if you have dry mouth, your doctor or dentist likely will examine your mouth and review your medical history. Sometimes you’ll need blood tests and imaging scans of your salivary glands to identify the cause.

He or she will do the following:-
Evaluate the patient’s complaint of dry mouth by asking pertinent history questions: When did he first notice the symptom? Was he exercising at the time? Is he currently taking any medications? Is his sensation of dry mouth intermittent or continuous? Is it related to or relieved by a particular activity? Ask about related symptoms, such as burning or itching eyes, or changes sense of smell in or taste.

Next, inspect the patient’s mouth, including the mucous membranes, for any abnormalities. Observe his eyes for conjunctival irritation, matted lids, and corneal epithelial thickening. Perform simple tests of smell and taste to detect impairment of these senses. Check for enlarged parotid and submaxillary glands.  Palpate for tender or enlarged areas along the neck, too.

Treatment:
Treatment involves finding any correctable causes and fixing those if possible. In many cases it is not possible to correct the xerostomia itself, and treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms and preventing cavities. Patients who have endured chemotherapy usually suffer from this post- treatment. Patients with xerostomia should avoid the use of decongestants and antihistamines, and pay careful attention to oral hygiene. Sipping non-carbonated sugarless fluids frequently, chewing xylitol-containing gum,[3] and using a carboxymethyl cellulose saliva substitute as a mouthwash may help. Aquoral or Pilocarpine may be prescribed to treat xerostomia. Non-systemic relief can be found using an oxidized glycerol triesters treatment used to coat the mouth. Drinking water when there is another cause of the xerostomia besides dehydration may bring little to no relief and can even make the dry mouth more uncomfortable. The use of an enzymatic product such as Biotene toothpaste, Biotene mouthwash, and Biotene dry mouth moisturizing liquid has been proven to reduce the rate of recurrence of dental plaque resulting from dry mouth. Of note is that Biotene does not significantly reduce the count of streptococcus mutans.

If your doctor believes medication to be the cause, he or she may adjust your dosage or switch you to another medication that doesn’t cause a dry mouth. Your doctor may also consider prescribing pilocarpine (Salagen) or cevimeline (Evoxac) to stimulate saliva production.

Lifestyle and home remedies:
When the cause of the problem either can’t be determined or can’t be resolved, the following tips may help improve your dry mouth symptoms and keep your teeth healthy:

*Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies.
*Limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine can make your mouth drier.
*Avoid sugary or acidic foods and candies because they increase the risk of tooth decay.
*Brush with a fluoride toothpaste. (Ask your dentist if you might benefit from prescription fluoride toothpaste.)
*Use a fluoride rinse or brush-on fluoride gel before bedtime.
*Don’t use a mouthwash that contains alcohol because these can be drying.
*Stop all tobacco use if you smoke or chew tobacco.
*Sip water regularly.
*Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes. Look for ones containing carboxymethylcellulose or hydroxyethyl cellulose, such as Biotene Oralbalance.
*Avoid using over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants because they can make your symptoms worse.
*Breathe through your nose, not your mouth.
*Add moisture to the air at night with a room humidifier.

Alternative medicine:-
Studies of acupuncture have shown that acupuncture may be helpful for people with dry mouth stemming from various causes. This procedure involves the use of fine needles, lightly placed into various areas of the body, depending on your area of concern. While this treatment looks promising, researchers are still studying exactly how this therapy works for xerostomia. You may click to see:->Acupuncture relieves symptoms of xerostomia


You may click & See also
: Xerosis

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://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dry-mouth/HA00034
http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/x/xerostomia/tests.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xerostomia

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Nishinda (Vitex Negundo)

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Botanical Name : Vitex negundo
Family Name :Verbenacae/Lamiaceae
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Lamiales
Genus:    Vitex
Species:V. negundo

Common Name : CHASTE TREE, HUANG PING, GATTILIER INCISE, HUANG CHING, LENGGUNDI, MAN CHING, NEGUNDO CHASTETREE

Vernacular Names:
Bengali Name : Nishinda, Nirgundi, Samalu
Chinese Name : Huang ping
English Name : Five-Leaved Chaste Tree
French Name : Gattilier incise
German Name : Mönchspfeffer
Gujarati Name : Nagod, Nagad
Hindi Name : Sambhalu, Sawbhalu, Samhalu, Nirgandi, Nisinda, Mewri
Kannada Name : Belenekki
Latin name : Vitex negundo Linn.
Marathi Name : Lingad, Nigad, Nirgundi
Persian Name : Banjangasht, Sisban
Punjabi Name : Bharwan, Maura, Banni, Swanjan
Sanskrit Name : Nirgundi, Nirgumdo
Urdu Name : Tukhme Sambhalu

Habitat: Vitex negundo is native to tropical Eastern and Southern Africa and Asia. It is widely cultivated and naturalized elsewhere.
Countries it is indigenous to include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, and Vietnam.This plant is commonly found near bodies of water, recently disturbed land, grasslands, and mixed open forests

Part Used : Whole plant (Parts Offered : Fruits, Seeds, Leaves, Roots)

Description:
Vitex negundo is an erect shrub or small deciduous tree growing from 2 to 8 m (6.6 to 26.2 ft) in height. The bark is reddish-brown. Its leaves are digitate, with five lanceolate leaflets, sometimes three. Each leaflet is around 4 to 10 cm (1.6 to 3.9 in) in length, with the central leaflet being the largest and possessing a stalk. The leaf edges are toothed or serrated and the bottom surface is covered in hair. The numerous flowers are borne in panicles 10 to 20 cm (3.9 to 7.9 in) in length. Each is around 6 to 7 cm (2.4 to 2.8 in) long and are white to blue in color. The petals are of different lengths, with the middle lower lobe being the longest. Both the corolla and calyx are covered in dense hairs.

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

The fruit is a succulent drupe, 4 mm (0.16 in) in diameter, rounded to egg-shaped. It is black or purple when ripe.

Cultivation method: It is raised through seeds and cutting. After harvesting of mature seeds sown in nursery beds. Normally germination commences within 2-3 weeks. Four to six months old seedlings are used to transplant in the field.

Uses : The leaves are astringent, febrifuge, sedative, tonic and vermifuge. They are useful in dispersing swellings of the joints from acute rheumatism and of the testes from suppressed gonorrhoea. The juice of the leaves is used for removing foetid discharges and worms from ulcers, whilst an oil prepared with the leaf juice is applied to sinuses and scrofulous sores. A decoction of the stems is used in the treatment of burns and scalds.

The dried fruit is vermifuge and is also used in the treatment of angina, colds, coughs, rheumatic difficulties etc. The fresh berries are pounded to a pulp and used in the form of a tincture for the relief of paralysis, pains in the limbs, weakness etc. The root is expectorant, febrifuge and tonic. It is used in the treatment of colds and rheumatic ailments. The plant is said to be a malarial preventative and is also used in the treatment of bacterial dysentery – extracts of the leaves have shown bactericidal and antitumor activity. The leaves are used to repel insects in grain stores. Extracts of the leaves have insecticidal activity. The fresh leaves are burnt with grass as a fumigant against mosquitoes.
It is one of the ten herbal medicines endorsed by the Philippine Department of Health as an effective herbal medicine with proven therapeutic value. Lagundi has been clinically tested to be effective in the treatment of colds, flu, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and pharyngitis. Studies have shown that Lagundi can prevent the body’s production of leukotrienes which are released during an asthma attack. Lagundi contains Chrysoplenol D. A substance with anti-histamine properties and muscle relaxant.

The leaves, flowers, seeds and root of Lagundi can all be used as herbal medicine. A decoction is made by boiling the parts of the plant and taken orally. Today, Lagundi is available in capsule form and syrup for cough.

Nirgundi is an important herb in Ayurveda. This herb pacifies the kapha and vata doshas of the body. The roots, seeds and leaves part of this herb are used to prepare medicines.

Nirgundi herb has various properties such as bitter, acrid, astringent, heating, anthelmintic and cephalic. It is used to cure various diseases such as leucoderma, inflammations, spleen enlargement, eye diseases, bronchitis and various other diseases. Some Ayurvedic properties and other benefits of nirgundi herb are discussed in this article.

Medicinal uses: As medicine its leaf, root, flower and fruits are used. Boiled water from its leaves is used to cure chronic pain. Its is a also used for swelling, rheumatism, sores, fever and headache. Leaves and branches are insect repellent so village people are used for preserving stored grains (especially in rice) against insect attacks.
Benefits:
1.  Relief of asthma & pharyngitis

2.  Recommended relief of rheumatism, dyspepsia, boils, diarrhea

3.  Treatment of cough, colds, fever and flu and other bronchopulmonary disorders

4.   Alleviate symptoms of Chicken Pox

5.   Removal of worms, and boils

Preparation:
For 1. For boil half cup of chopped fresh or dried leaves in 1 cup of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink half cup three times a day.

For2.
The lagundi flowers are also good for diarrhea and fever. Boil as with the leaves.

For 3
. The root is specially good for treating dyspepsia, worms, boils, colic and rheumatism.

Other Uses:
It is mainly used as a natural insect repellent. Click for more knowledge…..(1)……..(1a) ……(1b)

Lagundi tablets (300 mg) are available from the Department of Health’s Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) Telephone # (632) 727-6199.
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/Vitex_negundo
http://www.mapbd.com/Mpdes.htm#nishinda
http://www.motherherbs.com/vitex-negundo.html
http://herbal-medicine.philsite.net/lagundi.htm

Vitex negundo Linn.

Categories
Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Mace or Indian Javatri

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Other Names:
French: macis
German: Muskatlute
Italian: mace, macis
Spanish: macía
Indian: jaffatry, javatri, jawatrie

Mace is the aril (the bright red, lacy covering) of the nutmeg seed shell. The mace is removed from the shell and its broken parts are known as blades.

Click to see the picture
The history of mace is closely tied to the history of nutmeg for obvious reasons, though the two items have been treated seperately . Because the yield of mace is much less than nutmeg’s it has had greater value. A pile of fruit large enough to make one hundred pounds of nutmeg produces a single pound of mace. When the Dutch controlled the Moluccas (the Spice Islands), one colonial administator sent orders that the colonists should plant fewer nutmeg trees and more mace trees.

Spice Description:
In its natural state, mace is a bright crimson lace up to 35 mm (1-1/2 in) long, encasing the brown nutmeg in irregular, fleshy lobes. As it is dried, it develops its charcteristic aroma but loses its bright red colour. Mace from the West Indies is a yellowish brown colour and with fewer holes than mace from East Indian nutmegs which are more orange when dried. The mace from either locale can become brittle and horny, though the best quality mace will retain some pliability and release a little oil when squeezed. It is flattened and sometimes roughly broken into ‘blades’. It is also sold ground and sometimes still enclosing the nutmeg.
Bouquet: sweet and fragrant, similar to nutmeg, but stronger.
Flavour: warm. sharp and aromatic, more intense and slightly sweeter than nutmeg
Hotness Scale: 1

The nutmegs Myristica are a genus of evergreen trees indigenous to tropical southeast Asia and Australasia. They are important for two spices derived from the fruit, nutmeg and mace.

click to see the picture

Mace within nutmeg fruitNutmeg is the actual seed of the tree, roughly egg-shaped and about 20–30 mm long and 15–18 mm wide, and weighing between 5 and 10 grams dried, while mace is the dried “lacy” reddish covering or arillus of the seed.

click to see the picture

Several other commercial products are also produced from the trees, including essential oils, extracted oleoresins, and nutmeg butter (see below).

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The pericarp (fruit/pod) is used in Grenada to make a jam called Morne Delice. In Indonesia, the fruit is sliced finely, cooked and crystallised to make a fragrant candy called manisan pala (“nutmeg sweets”).

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The most important species commercially is the Common or Fragrant Nutmeg Myristica fragrans, native to the Banda Islands of Indonesia; it is also grown in the Caribbean, especially in Grenada. Other species include Papuan Nutmeg M. argentea from New Guinea, and Bombay Nutmeg M. malabarica from India; both are used as adulterants of M. fragrans products.

Culinary Uses
Mace and nutmeg are very similar, though mace is somewhat more powerful. Mace is a lighter colour and can be used in light-coloured dishes where the darker flecks of nutmeg would be undesirable. A small amount will enchance many recipes, adding fragrance without imposing too much flavour. Mace works especially well with milk dishes like custards and cream sauces. It contributes to flavouring light-coloured cakes and pastries, especially donuts. It can enhance clear and creamed soups and casseroles, chicken pies and sauces. Adding some to mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes creates a more interesting side dish. Some beverages improve with a little mace, especially chocolate drinks and tropical punches.

In Indian cuisine, nutmeg is used almost exclusively in sweets. It is known as jaiphal in most parts of India. It is also used in small quantities in garam masala.

In other European cuisine, nutmeg and mace are used especially in potato dishes and in processed meat products; they are also used in soups, sauces and baked goods.

Japanese varieties of curry powder include nutmeg as an ingredient.

Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in mulled cider, mulled wine, and eggnog.

Other uses:

Essential oils:

The essential oil is obtained by the steam distillation of ground nutmeg and is used heavily in the perfumery and pharmaceutical industries. The oil is colourless or light yellow and smells and tastes of nutmeg. It contains numerous components of interest to the oleochemical industry, and is used as a natural food flavouring in baked goods, syrups (e.g. Coca Cola), beverages, sweets etc. It replaces ground nutmeg as it leaves no particles in the food. The essential oil is also used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries for instance in tooth paste and as major ingredient in some cough syrups. In traditional medicine nutmeg and nutmeg oil were used for illnesses related to the nervous and digestive systems. Myristicin and elemicin are believed to be the chemical constituents responsible for the subtle hallucinogenic properties of nutmeg oil. Other known chemical ingredients of the oil are α-pinene, sabinene, γ-terpinene and safrole.

Nutmeg butter
Nutmeg butter is obtained from the nut by expression. It is semi solid and reddish brown in colour and tastes and smells of nutmeg. Approximately 75% (by weight) of nutmeg butter is trimyristin which can be turned into myristic acid, a 14-carbon fatty acid which can be used as replacement for cocoa butter, can be mixed with other fats like cottonseed oil or palm oil, and has applications as an industrial lubricant.

Medical Use
Externally, the oil is used for rheumatic pain and, like clove oil, can be applied as an emergency treatment to dull toothache. Put 1–2 drops on a cotton swab, and apply to the gums around an aching tooth until dental treatment can be obtained. In France, it is given in drop doses in honey for digestive upsets and used for bad breath. Use 3–5 drops on a sugar lump or in a teaspoon of honey for nausea, gastroenteritis, chronic diarrhea, and indigestion.

Alternatively a massage oil can be created by diluting 10 drops in 10 ml almond oil. This can be used for muscular pains associated with rheumatism or overexertion. It can also be combined with thyme or rosemary essential oils. To prepare for childbirth, massaging the abdomen daily in the three weeks before the baby is due with a mixture of 5 drops nutmeg oil and no more than 5 drops sage oil in 25 ml almond oil has been suggested.

History of nutmeg as a medicinal agent:
In Arabian medicine:

Arab physicians seem to have used nutmeg as a drug from the first centuries A.D., although just how they used it is not known. Warburg wrote that Myristica was recommended for a variety of disorders in this early period but was taken mainly for diseases of “the digestive organs, from the mouth to the stomach to the intestines, to the liver and spleen, as well as for freckles and skin blotches “.

Later Arab physicians referred nutmeg to the class of “warm and dry drugs” and elaborated on its applications. By the 11th century, for instance, the spice was praised for its effect on the kidneys, was used to combat pain, vomiting, and lymphatic ailments, and was even considered aphrodisiac . According to Ainslie , Vol. I, though, the Arabs were using nutmeg almost solely as a hepatic and tonic by the 19th century. Oddly enough, physicians of the Near East took little notice of mace until the early 1800s when they began to prescribe it as an aphrodisiac and carminative .

At the present time, nutmeg is still important in this part of the world. A pharmacologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem writes :

“The nutmeg is used by Arabs of Israel and people of its oriental Jewish communities, especially Yemenites, as a drug of their folk medicine, as well as a spice and as an important ingredient in love-potions. It is used against vomiting and to regulate the movements of the bowels; it is good for the liver and for the spleen. It is used in the treatment of tuberculosis, against colds, fever, and, in general, respiratory ailments. It is said to be an antihelminthic and is used for that purpose. It is used against skin diseases like eczema and scabies. It is said to be effective for removing blotches from the face. To increase potentia virilis it is pounded well and added to various foods.”

In Indian medicine
Frequent references in the Vedas to nutmeg indicate that the ancient Hindus knew of the spice from early times. They described it as warmth-producing, stimulating, and good for digestion and also used it in their medicinal preparations. Martius [9] said that Hindu physicians prescribed it for headache, nerve fevers, cold fevers, foul breath, and intestinal weakness.

In his Materia Indica of 1826, Ainslie wrote that nutmeg “is considered by the natives of India as one of their most valuable medicines ….” Dymock, in 1883, noted that the Moslems of western India used nutmeg as an aphrodisiac. Burkill, in 1935, stressed nutmeg’s importance in Indian tonics for dysentery. According to an adviser in the Indian Ministry of Health, nutmeg is still used medicinally in India :

“It is prescribed as an analgesic in neuritic pains, as a sedative in highly tense nervous states, and as a sedative and anti-spasmodic in asthma. In view of its reaction resembling opium, it is used to give relief in the cough and hemoptysis of tuberculosis. In traditional Indian folk and domestic medicine, nutmeg is used in small quantities to induce hypnotic effect in irritable children. It is also administered as an hypnotic and sedative in epileptic convulsions.”

In Western medicine
Medieval European physicians followed exactly the precepts of Arabian medicine. Consequently, they called nutmeg a warm, dry drug and recommended it for all the maladies listed earlier. Warburg wrote :

“The importance of nutmeg as a medicine grew hand in hand with the increase in Indian trade during the middle ages; its use spread from the Arabian Empire over Greece and Italy and soon reached central Europe. Nutmeg gradually became a genuine folk remedy, although it was most important as a major ingredient in medicines prepared according to guild rules.”

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Western physicians compiled the writings of earlier authorities on nutmeg. This was the great period of the herbalists, and nearly every herbal contained a summary of nutmeg’s virtues .

Doctors continued for some time to prescribe Myristica for intestinal illnesses, but by 1800 they realized that any of its effects were the same as those of other aromatics. Then, as modern pharmacy developed, older remedies, nutmeg among them, were relegated to positions of lower and lower priority. In summarizing the medicinal uses of the spice in 1897, Warburg wrote :

“Today the employment of nutmeg and mace in medicine is relatively minor. Nutmeg is now used as a stomachic, stimulant, and carminative, especially in

cases of dyspepsia, intestinal catarrh and colic, and as an appetite stimulant, as well as for its ability to control flatulence….”

There is an important omission in the above catalogue of nutmeg uses: sometime later in its history-perhaps as late as the 19th century––nutmeg became known as an emmenagogue and abortifacient. This use has persisted among women into the present century; in fact, Green in 1959 reported the case of 28-year-old Virginia woman who ate “18.3 g of finely ground nutmeg in an attempt to induce the menses, which had been delayed two days”. Some of the older uses of the drug may also be alive in contemporary European and American folk beliefs: McCord [15] , for example, cited a 1962 incident in which a 41-year-old South Carolina man, on the advice of a friend, took two whole nutmegs to relieve a skin infection.

Myristica remained official in the United States Pharmacopeia through U. S. P. XIII (1947). Myristica oil was kept on for several more editions, principally as a flavouring agent, but was finally dropped from U. S. P. XVII (1965).

The relevance of medicinal uses of nutmeg to the present discussion of nutmeg as a narcotic is that the toxic properties of Myristica must first have been noticed when patients accidentally took overdoses.

Pharmacology of nutmeg:
Early studies
The first pharmacological experiments on nutmeg were performed by van Leeuwenhoek, the Dutch microscopist, around 1676.

As late as 1900, little was known about the action of Myristica, largely because researchers could not agree on which component of the seed contained the active principle.

Reviewing the findings of earlier workers, Shulgin in 1963 [22] wrote that the myristicin fraction of nutmeg oil “is strongly suspect of representing the effective toxic factor for cats …. “but that it appears “ineffective in duplicating the psychological effects of total nutmeg in man “. He then speculated on possible pharmacological activity of other components of the oil:

“The minor aromatic ethers, eugenol and safrol, have been suggested as possible active components. This seems unlikely, as the amounts ingested from a 5 g nutmeg (0.001 g and 0.003 g respectively) are much below the usual therapeutic levels of these substances (3.0 ml and 0.5 ml respectively). The only component, aside from the myristicin fraction, of the volatile oil from nutmeg that deserves serious consideration as an active agent is the pinenedipentene fraction. Many descriptions of the toxic syndromes of representative terpene medicines parallel the common toxic manifestations of nutmeg (i.e., nausea, cyanosis, stupor, cold extremities, often delirium). [However] actual toxic dosages of oils that are of make-up similar to the hydrocarbon fraction of nutmeg (such as oil of turpentine) are as a rule 20 to 60 times higher than that which would be encountered in nutmeg intoxication.”

Shulgin’s conclusion is the best summary of our present knowledge of Myristica; “As yet, no known pharmacology of any known component of oil of nutmeg can explain the syndrome of the whole nutmeg.”

Risks and toxicity:
In low doses, nutmeg produces no noticeable physiological or neurological response. Large doses of 30 g or more are dangerous, potentially inducing convulsions, palpitations, nausea, eventual dehydration, and generalized body pain. In amounts of 5–20 g it is a mild to medium hallucinogen, producing visual distortions and a mild euphoria. It is a common misconception that nutmeg contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). This is untrue; nutmeg should not be taken in combination with MAOIs but it does not contain them . A test was carried out on the substance which showed that, when ingested in large amounts, nutmeg takes on a similar chemical make-up to MDMA (ecstasy). However, use of nutmeg as a recreational drug is unpopular due to its unpleasant taste and its side effects, including dizziness, flushes, dry mouth, accelerated heartbeat, temporary constipation, difficulty in urination, nausea, and panic. A user will not experience a peak until approximately six hours after ingestion, and effects can linger for up to three days afterwards.

A risk in any large-quantity (over 25 g) ingestion of nutmeg is the onset of ‘nutmeg poisoning’, an acute psychiatric disorder marked by thought disorder, a sense of impending death, and agitation. Some cases have resulted in hospitalization.

The use of nutmeg as a psychotropic agent:
Since all aromatic spices contain volatile compounds that affect the central nervous system, these alleged properties of familar substances are plausible. It is interesting that the narcotics-user believes different spices capable of providing different experiences- nutmeg can be “horrible” or ginger “dangerously potent “. Pharmacologists agree that psychological expectations largely determine the form of a narcotic intoxication. Consequently, a person expecting horrible effects from nutmeg may well experience them. This may explain why women poisoned accidentally by nutmeg merely become stuporous, while prisoners have predominantly pleasant times under Myristica; prisoners take the spice to escape reality, and they expect it to be much like Cannabis.

A growing problem in the United States is the use of hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and marihuana by young persons, especially students in secondary schools and universities . There is some evidence that these people also try self-experiments with nutmeg.

Callaway maintains that jazz musicians “have known about nutmeg for some time but will not discuss it except with friends “. Most bohemians, addicts and students who try the spice probably are equally secretive.

Experimentation with nutmeg may be widespread on American university campuses. In the summer 1964 issue of a University of Mississippi student magazine, an article titled “Nutmeg Jag” described a nutmeg party attended by eight persons.

Like prisoners, students who use marihuana may often turn to nutmeg when cut off from supplies of Cannabis. But it would seem that marihuana is obtainable with minimum difficulty around most US universities today, and there is no doubt students (like prisoners) prefer Cannabis to Myristica.

As a final word on the uses of nutmeg, there is the report that the practice of taking this spice to produce “a syndrome comparable to alcoholic inebriety” is “not uncommon among alcoholics who are deprived of alcohol.

Help taken from: www.erowid.org/plants and www.en.wikipedia.org

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