Tag Archives: Pancreas

Diabetics

Definition:
Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.  This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst), and polyphagia (increased hunger).

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There are three main types of diabetes mellitus (DM).

*Type 1 DM results from the body’s failure to produce insulin, and currently requires the person to inject insulin or wear an insulin pump. This form was previously referred to as “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus” (IDDM) or “juvenile diabetes”.

*Type 2 DM results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. This form was previously referred to as non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or “adult-onset diabetes”.

*The third main form, gestational diabetes, occurs when pregnant women without a previous diagnosis of diabetes develop a high blood glucose level. It may precede development of type 2 DM.

Other forms of diabetes mellitus include congenital diabetes, which is due to genetic defects of insulin secretion, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, steroid diabetes induced by high doses of glucocorticoids, and several forms of monogenic diabetes.
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Diabetes has no age bar. It can appear in a newborn, children, young adults, during pregnancy or in older people. If there are suspicious symptoms, tests should be done.

Some families have a tendency to develop diabetes, with many members being affected. This is because it is a genetic disease that an be inherited from both parents. Type 1 and 2 diabetes are inherited from multiple genes. In type 2 diabetes particularly, the environment and family’s dietary and exercise habits also influence these genes. Families that eat “well” and are sedentary with snacking and excessive TV viewing are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Sometimes type 1 diabetes can develop in persons without a family history or genetic predisposition. It may follow viral infections, especially with the mumps and coxsackie group of viruses. The virus attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas responsible for manufacturing insulin.

There is now a third type of diabetes, where the mutation occurs in a single gene. This gene is dominant, so that if either parent carries it, then half the children (male and female) will be affected. It was called MODY (maturity onset diabetes of youth). The diabetes affecting newborn children is of this type.

Initially, MODY was called type 1.5 diabetes and it was presumed that it was caused by only one type of genetic defect. Recent research has shown that there are 13 defects that lead to MODY.

*It is likely to be present in people who have been diagnosed with diabetes before the age of 30.

*It is present in every generation of the family.

*It can be managed with diet, exercise and tablets. Insulin is usually not required (even in children).

*MODY (depending on the type) can result in the affected woman having small or large babies.

* There may be cysts in the kidney.

* Malabsorption can occur.

* Patients may be infertile.

The incidence of MODY is higher in areas where there is a great deal of consanguinity (marrying a close relative) and when people marry generation after generation from the same community.

It is now possible to test for MODY genes in many centres and identify high-risk individuals and families.

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Symptoms:
The classic symptoms of untreated diabetes are loss of weight, polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst), and polyphagia (increased hunger). Symptoms may develop rapidly (weeks or months) in type 1 diabetes, while they usually develop much more slowly and may be subtle or absent in type 2 diabetes.

Prolonged high blood glucose can cause glucose absorption in the lens of the eye, which leads to changes in its shape, resulting in vision changes. Blurred vision is a common complaint leading to a diabetes diagnosis. A number of skin rashes that can occur in diabetes are collectively known as diabetic dermadromes.

Causes:
The cause of diabetes depends on the type.

Type 1

Type 1 diabetes is partly inherited, and then triggered by certain infections, with some evidence pointing at Coxsackie B4 virus. A genetic element in individual susceptibility to some of these triggers has been traced to particular HLA genotypes (i.e., the genetic “self” identifiers relied upon by the immune system). However, even in those who have inherited the susceptibility, type 1 DM seems to require an environmental trigger. The onset of type 1 diabetes is unrelated to lifestyle.

Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is due primarily to lifestyle factors and genetics.[16] A number of lifestyle factors are known to be important to the development of type 2 diabetes, including obesity (defined by a body mass index of greater than thirty), lack of physical activity, poor diet, stress, and urbanization.[4] Excess body fat is associated with 30% of cases in those of Chinese and Japanese descent, 60-80% of cases in those of European and African descent, and 100% of Pima Indians and Pacific Islanders. Those who are not obese often have a high waist–hip ratio.

Dietary factors also influence the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks in excess is associated with an increased risk.  The type of fats in the diet is also important, with saturated fats and trans fatty acids increasing the risk and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat decreasing the risk.  Eating lots of white rice appears to also play a role in increasing risk.  A lack of exercise is believed to cause 7% of cases.

The following is a comprehensive list of other causes of diabetes:

*Genetic defects of ?-cell function
*Maturity onset diabetes of the young
*Mitochondrial DNA mutations

*Genetic defects in insulin processing or insulin action
*Defects in proinsulin conversion
*Insulin gene mutations
*Insulin receptor mutations

*Exocrine pancreatic defects
*Chronic pancreatitis
*Pancreatectomy
*Pancreatic neoplasia
*Cystic fibrosis
*Hemochromatosis
*Fibrocalculous pancreatopathy

Diabetes has no age bar. It can appear in a newborn, children, young adults, during pregnancy or in older people. If there are suspicious symptoms, tests should be done.

Some families have a tendency to develop diabetes, with many members being affected. This is because it is a genetic disease that an be inherited from both parents. Type 1 and 2 diabetes are inherited from multiple genes. In type 2 diabetes particularly, the environment and family’s dietary and exercise habits also influence these genes. Families that eat “well” and are sedentary with snacking and excessive TV viewing are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Sometimes type 1 diabetes can develop in persons without a family history or genetic predisposition. It may follow viral infections, especially with the mumps and coxsackie group of viruses. The virus attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas responsible for manufacturing insulin.

Diagnosis:
Diabetes is diagnosed with blood tests. Blood sugar count after a 12 hour fast should be less than 100mg/dl and two hours after a full meal less than 140 mg/. Glycosolated haemoglobin (HbA1 c) should be 5.6.

A GTT (glucose tolerance test) can be done in suspect cases. In this the fasting blood glucose level is checked and 75gm glucose given. The blood is checked every 30 to 60 minutes after that. One hour later the blood glucose level should be lower than 180 mg/dL, two hours later less than 155 mg/dL, and three hours later lower than 140 mg/dL.

Complications:
Uncontrolled, untreated, neglected diabetes of all types causes complications with the nervous system, heart, kidneys, eyes and muscles affected.

All forms of diabetes increase the risk of long-term complications. These typically develop after many years (10–20), but may be the first symptom in those who have otherwise not received a diagnosis before that time. The major long-term complications relate to damage to blood vessels. Diabetes doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease. The main “macrovascular” diseases (related to atherosclerosis of larger arteries) are ischemic heart disease (angina and myocardial infarction), stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

Diabetes also damages the capillaries (causes microangiopathy). Diabetic retinopathy, which affects blood vessel formation in the retina of the eye, can lead to visual symptoms including reduced vision and potentially blindness. Diabetic nephropathy, the impact of diabetes on the kidneys, can lead to scarring changes in the kidney tissue, loss of small or progressively larger amounts of protein in the urine, and eventually chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis.

Another risk is diabetic neuropathy, the impact of diabetes on the nervous system — most commonly causing numbness, tingling, and pain in the feet, and also increasing the risk of skin damage due to altered sensation. Together with vascular disease in the legs, neuropathy contributes to the risk of diabetes-related foot problems (such as diabetic foot ulcers) that can be difficult to treat and occasionally require amputation. Additionally, proximal diabetic neuropathy causes painful muscle wasting and weakness.

Several studies suggest a link between cognitive deficit and diabetes. Compared to those without diabetes, the research showed that those with the disease have a 1.2 to 1.5-fold greater rate of decline in cognitive function, and are at greater risk.

Treatment:
The major goal in treating diabetes is to minimize any elevation of blood sugar (glucose) without causing abnormally low levels of blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin, exercise, and a diabetic diet. Type 2 diabetes is treated first with weight reduction, a diabetic diet, and exercise. When these measures fail to control the elevated blood sugars, oral medications are used. If oral medications are still insufficient, treatment with insulin is considered.

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A change in lifestyle goes a long way in preventing the onset of diabetes and controlling it after it sets in. These guidelines are particularly important if you have MODY or feel that you or your family members are in danger of developing it.

Prevention:
To prevent development of the disease as an adult, it is our children who need to be targeted for intervention. Lifestyle changes — a healthy diet and regular exercise — should be implemented at the school level.

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes_mellitus
http://www.medicinenet.com/diabetes_treatment/article.htm
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1131118/jsp/knowhow/story_17579340.jsp#.UolfgL4o52Y

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Gymnema silvestre

Botanical Name : Gymnema silvestre

Family: Asclepiadaceae
Genus: Gymnema
Species: G. sylvestre
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Name :Gurmari, Gurmarbooti, Gurmar, periploca of the woods, meshasring.

Alternative names:
Despite the part used being the leaf, one common name of this species is miracle fruit, a name shared by two other species: Synsepalum dulcificum and Thaumatococcus daniellii. Both species are used to alter the perceived sweetness of foods.

In English the species is also known as gymnema, Cowplant and Australian cowplant.

This species also goes under many other names such as; Gurmari, Gurmarbooti, Gurmar, periploca of the woods and Meshasringa. The Hindi word Gur-mar (Madhunaashini in Sanskrit, Chakkarakolli in Malayalam,Podapatri in Telugu), literally means sugar destroyer. Meshasringa (Sanskrit) translates as “ram’s horn”, a name given to the plant from the shape of its fruits. Gymnema derives from the Greek words “gymnos”  and “n?ma” (????) meaning “naked” and “thread” respectively, the species epitheton sylvestre means “of the forest” in Latin.

Habitat :  Gymnema silvestre is   native to the tropical forests of southern and central India where it has been used as a natural treatment for diabetes for nearly two millennia.

Description:
Gudmar or Gymnema Sylvestre is Large climbers, rooting at nodes, leaves elliptic, acuminate, base acute to acuminate, glabrous above sparsely or densely tomentose beneath; Flowers small, in axillary and lateral umbel like cymes, pedicels long; Calyx-lobes long, ovate, obtuse, pubescent; Corolla pale yellow campanulate, valvate, corona single, with 5 fleshy scales. Scales adnate to throat of corolla tube between lobes; Anther connective produced into a membranous tip, pollinia 2, erect, carpels 2,unilocular; locules many ovuled; Follicle long, fusiform1.

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Chemical composition:
The major bioactive constituents of Gymnema sylvestris are a group of oleanane type triterpenoid saponins known as gymnemic acids. The latter contain several acylated (tigloyl, methylbutyroyl etc.,) derivatives of deacylgymnemic acid (DAGA) which is 3-O-glucuronide of gymnemagenin (3, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28-hexahydroxy-olean-12-ene)2. The individual gymnemic acids (saponins) include gymnemic acids I-VII, gymnemosides A-F, gymnemasaponins.

G. sylvestre leaves contain triterpene saponins belonging to oleanane and dammarene classes. Oleanane saponins are gymnemic acids and gymnemasaponins, while dammarene saponins are gymnemasides. Besides this, other plant constituents are flavones, anthraquinones, hentri-acontane, pentatriacontane, ? and ?- chlorophylls, phytin, resins, d-quercitol, tartaric acid, formic acid, butyric acid, lupeol, ?-amyrin related glycosides and stigmasterol. The plant extract also tests positive for alkaloids. Leaves of this species yield acidic glycosides and anthroquinones and their derivatives.

Gymnemic acids have antidiabetic, antisweetener and anti-inflammatory activities. The antidiabetic array of molecules has been identified as a group of closely related gymnemic acids after it was successfully isolated and purified from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre. Later, the phytoconstituents of Gymnema sylvestre were isolated, and their chemistry and structures were studied and elucidated.

Medicinal Uses:
While it is still being studied, and the effects of the herb are not entirely known, the herb has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels when used for an extended period of time. Additionally, Gymnema reduces the taste of sugar when it is placed in the mouth, thus some use it to fight sugar cravings. From extract of the leaves were isolated glycosides known as Gymnemic acids, which exhibit anti-sweet activity.

This effect lasts up to about 2 hours. Some postulate that the herb actually reduces cravings for sugar by blocking sugar receptors in the tongue. This effect was observed in rats in a 2003 study conducted by CH Lemon, et al. It is currently being used in an all natural medication for diabetes with other ingredients such as cinnamon, chromium, zinc, biotin, banaba plant, huckleberry and bitter melon.

The active ingredients are thought to be the family of compounds related to gymnemic acid: purified gymnemic acids are widely used as experimental reagents in taste physiology and have also been shown to affect experimental diabetes, reduce intestinal transport of sugars. and fatty acids. Extracts of Gymnema is not only claimed to curb sweet tooths but also for treatment of as varied problems as hyperglycemia, obesity, high cholesterol levels, anemia and digestion. The leaves were also used for stomach ailments, constipation, water retention, and liver disease; historically these claims are not supported by scientific studies.[8] According to the Sushruta of the Ayurveda it helps to treat Madhumeha ie glycosuria.[citation needed]

In 2005, a study made by King’s College, London, United Kingdom, showed that a water-soluble extract of Gymnema Sylvestre, caused reversible increases in intracellular calcium and insulin secretion in mouse and human ?-cells when used at a concentration (0.125 mg/ml) without compromising cell viability. Hence forth these data suggest that extracts derived from Gymnema Sylvestre may be useful as therapeutic agents for the stimulation of insulin secretion in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes.[9] According to research done by Persaud and colleagues in 1999 the raise in insulin levels may be due to regeneration of the cells in the pancreas.  Gymnema can also help prevent adrenal hormones from stimulating the liver to produce glucose, thereby reducing blood sugar levels  Clinical trials with diabetics in India have used 400 mg per day of water-soluble acidic fraction of the gymnema leaves. However, Gymnema cannot be used in place of insulin to control blood sugar by people with either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.

In 2010, King’s College, London, United Kingdom performed another study on Gymnema Sylvestre. OmSantal Adivasi extract, a high molecular weight extract from the plant Gymnema Sylvestre was found to improve the symptoms of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Glycemic control after OmSantal Adivasi administration was related to increased circulating levels of insulin and/or C-peptide. Experimenting with human islets in vitro, there was a rapid onset response to OmSantal Adivasi exposure, continued for extent of exposure to OmSantal Adivasi, and also a rapid reverse if there was a withdrawal of OmSantal Adivasi. OmSantal Adivasi created a biphasic pattern of glucose-induced insulin secretion. This resulted in enhanced rates of insulin secretion being maintained for length of exposure to OmSantal Adivasi. Other Gymnema Sylvestre extracts induce cell damage to the membrane causing pathological and unregulated release of insulin to BETA-cells. OmSantal Adivasi has a low concentration of saponin, what causes damage to cell membranes, which would be degraded during digestion. OmSantal Adivasi directly stimulates BETA-cells of the islets of Langerhans, reducing fasting and post-prandial blood glucose. OmSantal Adivasi experiments, in vitro, initiated insulin secretion at a sub-stimulatory concentration of glucose. OmSantal Adivasi has been shown to effectively reduce blood glucose and increase plasma insulin and C-peptide levels in humans

Indian physicians first used Gymnema to treat diabetes over 2,000 years ago.  . In the 1920s, preliminary scientific studies found some evidence that Gymnema leaves can reduce blood sugar levels, but nothing much came of this observation for decades.  It is a taste suppressant.  By topical application gymnema has been shown to block the sweet and some of the bitter taste, but not salt and acid taste.  By keeping off the sweet taste it helps to control a craving for sugar.  Responsible for this are considered saponins.  Gymnema has also shown mild hypoglycemic effect.  Topically (applied to the tongue, mainly to the tip or by chewing) it is used to control a craving for sugar, recommended as an aid to a weightloss diet and diabetes.  Internally it is used as an adjuvant (tea, h.p.) for diabetes. Gymnema leaves raise insulin levels, according to research in healthy volunteers. Based on animal studies, this may be due to regeneration of the cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin. Other animal research shows that Gymnema can also improve uptake of glucose into cells and prevent adrenaline from stimulating the liver to produce glucose, thereby reducing blood sugar levels. The leaves are also noted for lowering serum cholesterol and triglycerides.  In the past, powdered Gymnema root was used to treat snake bites, constipation, stomach complaints, water retention, and liver disease.

Gurmar, also known as Gymnema or Gymnema Sylvestre, is often referred to as “sugar destroyer” and has been used in Ayurveda since the 6th century BC. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for several centuries as a safe and natural approach to help regulate sugar metabolism. The key component of Gymnema – Gymnemic Acids – mimics glucose molecules, numbing receptor sites on the tongue. Gymnema contains Gymnemic acid, Quercitol, Lupeol, Beta-Amyrin and Stigmasterol, all of which are thought to help the body maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

Benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre (Gurmar)
Gymnema may:

*Help abolish the taste of sugar*
*Help manage sugar cravings and sugar addictions*
*Help support healthy glucose metabolism*
*Help maintain healthy blood sugar levels*
*Support healthy weight*

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.herbalprovider.com/gymnema-sylvestre.html?src=ggl&w=gymnema-sylvestre&gclid=CLjflMqo8qoCFQHf4AodDghbPA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymnema_sylvestre
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

http://www.nutrasanus.com/gymnema-sylvestre.html

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Banaba

Botanical Name :Lagerstroemia speciosa Linn.
Family: Lythraceae
Genus: Lagerstroemia
Species: L. speciosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtales

Other scientific Names:Munchausia speciosa Linn.,Lagestroemia reginae Roxb.,Lagerstroemia flos-reginae Retz.

Common Names: Agaro (Sbl.),Mitla (Pamp.), Bugarom (S. L. Bis.),Nabulong (Neg.),Banaba (Tag.), Pamalauagon (S. L. Bis.),Duguam (S. KL. Bis.)  Pamarauagon (S. L. Bis.),Kauilan (P. Bis.) Parasabukung (Sub.),Makablos (Pang,Tabangau (Ibn., Neg.),Tauagnau (Ibn.),Pride of India (Engl.) ,Queen’s flower (Engl.)

Habitat: Banaba is  native to tropical southern Asia.Grows wild; widely distributed in the Philippines, in the secondary forests at low and medium altitudes. Cultivated for its beautiful flowers. Propagation by seeds.

Description:
A decidious tropical flowering tree, 5 to 10 m high, sometimes growing to a height of 20 meters. Leaves, large, spatulate, oblong to elliptic-ovate, 2-4 inches in width, 5-8 inches in length; shedding its leaves the first months of the year. Before shedding, the leaves are bright orange or red during which time it is thought to contain higher levels of corosolic acid). Flowers are racemes, pink to lavender; flowering from March to June. After flowering, the tree bears large clumps of oval nutlike fruit…..click & see

Click to see the pictures

 

Cultivation:
It is grown in South East Asia, India and the Philippines.It is also widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical areas.

Chemical constituents:
Rich in tannin: fruit, 14 to 17 %; leaves 13 %; bark, 10%.
• Studies have isolated: (1) corosolic acid (2) ellagitannin Lagerstroemin (3) gallotannins
• Penta-O-galloyl-glucopyranose (PPG) – identified as the most potent of the gallotannins, with a higher glucose transport stimulatory activity than Lagerstroemin. In addition to stimulating glucose uptake in fat cells, it also has anti-adipogenic properties.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts utilized:  Leaves, fruits, flowers and bark.

Banaba extract is used as a natural health supplement and is made from the leaves of the banaba tree. Some research suggests that banaba extract may support blood sugar balance and weight loss. The primary active ingredient is corosolic acid, and there are also numerous possible synergists including lager-stroemin, flosin B and reginin A.

Folkloric:
* Roots have been used for a variety of stomach ailments. Leaf decoction for diabetes; also use as a diuretic and purgative.
* Decoction of old leaves and dried fruit (dried from one to two weeks), 50 gms to a pint of boiling water, 4 to 6 cups daily has been used for diabetes. Old leaves and ripe fruit are preferred, believed to have greater glucose lowering effect. Young leaves and flowers have a similar effect, though only 70% that of matures leaves and fruits. The wood has no known glucose lowering effect; the bark, a very small amount. A decoction of 20 gms of old leaves or dried fruit in 100 cc of water was found to have the equivalent effect to that of 6 to 7.7 units of insulin.
* The bark decoction has been used for the treatment of diarrhea.
* The bark, flowers and leaves used to facilitiate bowel movements.
* Decoction of fruits or roots gargled for aphthous stomatitis.
* Decoction of leaves and flowers used for fevers and as diuretic.
* Leaf decoction or infusion used for bladder and kidney inflammation, dysuria, and other urinary dysfunctions.

*Banaba Tea The leaves of the Banaba and other parts are used widely by the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan as a Tea preparation. This tea is consumed as a natural means for a variety of reasons involving the kidneys, such as dissolving kidney stones, kidney cleanses, and kidney health in general. Research being conducted in Japan shows much promise for this plant and its potential uses in the medical community.

Studies

• Corosolic Acid / Lagerstroemin / Gallotannins: Studies have identified several compounds as responsible for its anti-diabetic activity. (1) corosolic acid (2) Lagerstroemin, an ellagitannin (3) gallotannins, of which PPG – penta-O-galloyl-glucopyranose–was identified as the most potent, with a higher glucose transport stimulatory activity than Lagerstroemin. In addition to stimulating glucose uptake in fat cells, it also has anti-adipogenic properties.
• Inhibition of TNF-induced Activation: Diabetes leads to cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in association with upregulation of vasoactive factors and activation of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB and activating protein-1. Study results indicate L speciosa can inhibit DNA-binding of NF-kappaB which may explain its possible inhibition of diabetes-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy.
Ellagitannins / Insulin-like Glucose Uptake Stimulatory/Inhibitory Activities / Adipocyte Differentiation-Inhibitory Activity: Study yielded seven ellagitannins, including lagerstroemin from the leaves of L speciosa. The ellagitannins exhibited strong activities in both stimulating insulin-like glucose uptake and inhibiting adipocyte differentiation . Also, ellagic acid derivatives showed inhibitory effect on glucose trasport.
• Diabetes: (1) Banaba has been extensively studied for its application in the treatment of diabetes. Early on, Its ability to lower blood sugar was attributed to corosolic acid, a triterpenoid glycoside, belived to facilitate glucose-transport into cells. (2) Studied with abutra, akapulko, makabuhay for antidiabetic activity through activation of gucose transporter activity. One of the active principles from Banaba was the tripertene, corosolic aicd.
• Weight loss: Studies in mice suggest an antiobesity effect. It is becoming a common ingredient in weight-loss supplements / products as a metabolic enhancer.
• Hypertension: It is also being studied for its use in the treatment of blood pressure, renal and immune system benefits.
• Lipid-lowering: Studies in mice suggest a lipid lowering effect – decreasing triglyceride and total cholesterol levels. To date, no toxicity has been identified.
Hypoglycemic Activity of Irradiated Banaba Leaves: Study showed the effects of nBLE and iBLE were comparable to the hypoglycemic effects of insulin.
• Xanthine oxidase inhibitors from the leaves of Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers: Xanthine oxidase is a key enzyme involved with hyperuricemia, catalyzing the oxidation of hypoxanthine to xanthine to uric aicd. The study supports the dietary use of the aqueous extracts from Banaba leaves for the prevention and treatment of hyperuricemia.
• Antidiabetic Activity: Study showed a significant reduction of blood glucose levels with the soft gel formulation showing better bioavailability than a dry-powder formulation.
• Other studies report potential uses: (1) antibacterial effects from seed extracts (2) significant protection of HIV-infected cells by ellagic acid constituents (3) antioxidative activity of a water extract (4) inhibition of xanthine oxidase by aqueous extract, 31 and anti-inflammatory activity in mice.
Anti-Inflammatory / Free Radical Scavenging: Study showed antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities from the ethyl acetate and ethanol extracts of Lagerstroemia speciosa.

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.stuartxchange.com/Banaba.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagerstroemia_speciosa
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_vmRJz7Sp6ds/SlrFszNMJzI/AAAAAAAAIDM/dWCAf3wiv1U/s1600-h/13jul%2709,ls+of+bungor+tree.jpg

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Asteracantha longifolia Nees (Bengali Name : Kuliakhara)

Botanical Name : Asteracantha longifolia Nees

Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Astercantha
Species: A. longifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Syn. / Hygrophila spinosa T. Anders. /Asteracantha longifolia (Linn.) Nees. (Acanthaceae).
English Name : Hygrophila
Sanskrit Names : Kokilaksha, Ikshura, Ikshuraka, Chulli
Hindi Name:Talimakhana
Bengali Name : Kuliakhara

Habitat : It grows throughout India.Throughout the Philippines in stagnant streams, fresh-water swamps, and  ponds.

Description:
It is a robust, erect, annual herb. The stems are sub-quadrangular with thickened nodes; the leaves are oblanceolate, with a yellow spine in its axil; the flowers pale, purple blue, densely clustered in  axils; the fruits are oblong, glabrous capsules, 4-8 seeded.
click to see the picture

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A smooth, widely spreading vine, with the stems trailing on mud or floating on water. Leaves are oblong-ovatem 7-14 cm long, with a pointed tip and heart- or arrow-shaped base, long petioled, the margins entire or angular, and sublobed.
The pedcuncles are erect, 2.5 to 5 cm long, with 1 or 2 flowers in the axils of the leaves. Sepals are green, oblong, about 8 mm. The corolla is narrowly bell-shaped, about 5 mm long, and purplish with the tube deeper purple inside.


Principal Constituents:
The seeds contain large amount of tenacious mucilage and potassium salts.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots, leaves and seeds have been used in Indian systems of medicine as diuretics and also employed to cure jaundice, dropsy, rheumatism, anasarca and diseases of the urinogenital tract.
The plant contains abundant mucilage and potassium salts, which ultimately increases blood circulation in the body. The whole plant possesses tonic and diuretic properties. The seeds are given for gonorrhoea. The root, in decoction, is administered in dropsical cases and gravel; The leaves are also used as a diuretic after being boiled in vinegar. The ashes of the dried plants are considered

Click to see :
Kuliakhara herb Asteracantha longifolia plant for liver health and sexual enhancement :
Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia  :
Asteracantha longifolia plant health benefit  :

Folkloric
Tops are mildly laxative.
The purplish variety used for diabetes because of assumed insulin-like principle it contains.
Juice used as emetic.
Dried latex is purgative.
Poultice of buds used for ringworm.
In Ayurveda, exgtracts of leaves are used for jaundice and nervous debility.
Juice used as emetic in opium and arsenic poisoning.
In Sri Lanka, used for liver disease, eye problems, constipation.

Studies :
• Hypoglycemic / Anti-Diabetic: (1) Study showed the boiled whole extract of I. aquatica to exert an oral hypoglycemic effect in healthy, male, Wistar rats after a glucose challenge. (2) An aqueous extract of the green leafy vegetable Ipomoea aquatica is as effective as the oral hypoglycaemic drug tolbutamide in reducing the blood sugar levels of Wistar rats.(3) Inhibitory effect of Ipomoea aquatica extracts on glucose absorption using a perfused rat intestinal preparation: Study showed a significant inhibitory effect on glucose absorption. Furthermore, results suggest the inhibition of glucose absorption is not due to the acceleration of intestinal transit. (3) Study showed the consumption of shredded, fresh, edible portion of IA for one week, effectively reduced the fasting blood sugar of Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

• Antioxidant / Antiproliferative: Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica Forsk) constituents: Study showed the water extract of stems had the highest antiproliferative activity. The ethanol extract of the stems had the highest total phenolic compounds. The ethanol extract of leafves had the highest amount of flavonoids.

Diuretic: Study on the diuretic activity of the methanol extract of Ipomoea aquatica in Swiss albino mice showed good diuretic activty. In all cases, the excretion of electrolytes and urine volue increase was higher than the standard diuretic, furosemide.

• Antioxidant: Study of a methanol extract yielded a compound ( 7-O-B-D-glucopyronosyl-dihydromquercetin-3-O-a-D-glucopyranoside) that exhibited antioxidant activity with an EC50 value of 83 and showed very strong lipid peroxidation-inhibitory activirty in a liposome model system.

• Antimicrobial: Study investigating the antimicrobial efficacy of the leaf extract of three herbs – A longifolia, I aquatica and E fluctuans – on four pathogenic bacterial strains (E coli, P aeruginosa, S aureus and M luteus). Ipomoea aquatica exerted the higher amount of antimicrobial activity against the bacterial strains, better than the two other herb extracts.

• Antiulcerogenic: Study in an aspirin-induced ulcer model in rats found Ipomoea aquatica to possess potent anti-ulcerogenic and ulcer-healing properties and can act as a potent therapeutic agent against peptic ulcer disease.

• Cytotoxicity: Study isolated a purified bioactive compound from the leaf of Ipomoea aquatica – 7-O-B-D-glucopyranosyl-dihydroquercetin-3-O-a-D-glucopyranoside (DHQG). Results showed DHQG showed cytotoxicity towards cancer cell lines tested.

• Nootropic / Memory Enhancing Potential: Study suggests that MEIA markedly improves brain Ach level. MEIA treatment may be of value in reinforcing depressed cholinergic transmission in certain age related memory disorders and to improve memory and learning in normal individuals.

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.la-medicca.com/raw-herbs-asteracantha-longifolia.html
http://www.stuartxchange.com/Kangkong.html

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

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Jarul (Lagerstroemia speciosa)

Botanical Name : Lagerstroemia speciosa
Family: Lythraceae
Genus: Lagerstroemia
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtales
Species: L. speciosa
Synonym: Lagestroemia reginae.

Common Names:Giant Crape-myrtle, Queen’s Crape-myrtle,Queen’s flower, pride of India, queen’s crape myrtle,
Banabá Plant for Philippines and Jarul for India  Bengladesh.

Habitat : Native to tropical southern Asia.

Description:
It is a small to medium-sized tree growing to 20 m tall, with smooth, flaky bark. The leaves are deciduous, oval to elliptic, 8-15 cm long and 3-7 cm broad, with an acute apex. The flowers are produced in erect panicles 20-40 cm long, each flower with six white to purple petals 2-3.5 cm long.It has smooth rounded leaves.

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The red-orange leaves have higher levels of corosolic acid.The beautiful flowers are racemes and are pink, purple or purplish – pink.The fruit is oval, about one inch long and splits in six pieces when mature; the seeds are small and have winged flaps.


Cultivation:

It is grown in South East Asia, India and the Philippines.It is also widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical areas.This tree should be planted under full sun; can be planted on most soils but it has low salt tolerance. Plant in a frost free location or protect from frost.

Propagation :Seeds.
You may click to see :In Vitro Propagation of Lagerstroemia spp. from Nodal Explants and Gaseous Composition in the Culture Headspace.

Medicinal Uses:
Traditional medicinal applications :
The roots are used for stomach problems.
Tea of the leaves is used against diabetes mellitus and for weight loss.
Banaba leaves are able to lower blood sugar due to, among other phytochemicals; acid (triterpenoid glycoside). This is not the only active phyto-chemical, though.

The phytochemicals in the leaves of Banaba works at the molecular level by fine-tuning the damaged insulin receptor, which is the cause of insulin resistance.

Banaba also contains concentrations of dietary fiber and minerals such as magnesium and zinc.
It helps the body handling glucose and is as such also effective in weight loss and against obesity.
The hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) effect is similar to that of insulin (which induces glucose transport from the blood into body cells).

The tea is therapeutic against ailments such as diabetes, kidney- and urinary problems. The taste is pleasant and smooth; in Japan it is known as “slimming tea.”

Banaba can also be applied against gout (metabolic arthritis); the leaves contain Valoneic Acid Dilactone (VAD). This acts as as an inhibitor of xanthine oxidase to lower uric acid levels.

The effect of VAD is stronger than Allopurinol (brand names: Aloprim®, Zyloprim®) and is without the side effects commonly associated with this drug.

Click to learn more :banabaherb.com :
Antidiabetes and Anti-obesity Activity of Lagerstroemia speciosa :

Other Uses :
The reddish brown wood of Banaba is used for home building, furniture, boats, etc.The Queen’s flower will stand out in every garden and is a beautiful landscape tree.

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.tropilab.com/queen-flow.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagerstroemia_speciosa

http://www.tropical-biology.org/research/dip/species/Lagerstroemia%20speciosa.htm

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