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Herbs & Plants

Sweet Wormwood(Artemisia annu)

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Botanical Name:Artemisia annu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Precaution:During pregnancy this herb should not used.

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

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is  always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_annua
http://www.crescentbloom.com/Plants/Specimen/AO/Artemisia%20annua.htm

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Categories
Healthy Tips

Probiotics Protect You from Gut Parasites

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The gut health boosting effects of probiotics may also extend to preventing and eradicating parasitic infections.
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Scientists studying Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis, found that bacteria present in the human gut help stimulate the body’s defense mechanisms.

Probiotics may occupy space in the intestine and thus reduce or prevent potentially pathogenic bacteria attaching to the intestinal wall.

Source: NutraIngredients.com August 20, 2009

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Amebiasis

Amoebae in a colon biopsy from a case of amoeb...
Amoebae in a colon biopsy from a case of amoebic dysentery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The intestinal infection amebiasis is caused by the protozoan parasite entamoeba histolytica. worldwide, amebiasis is very common, affecting about 500 million people. it is the common and severe in the tropics but is rare in the us. in most cases, infection results from drinking water or eating food contaminated with the parasite, which is excreted in the feces of infected people. in severe cases, ulcers develop in the walls of the intestine, and the condition is then called amebic dysentery.

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What are the symptoms?
Most infected people do not develop symptoms or have only mild, intermittent symptoms, which may include:

· diarrhea.
· mild abdominal pain.

Click to see…>  Symptoms of Raw fish infection

if you develop amebic dysentery, the symptoms usually appear between 5 days and several weeks after the initial infection. symptoms may include:

· watery, bloody diarrhea.
· severe abdominal pain.
· fever.

in some cases, dehydration and anemia may develop. in addition, there is a risk of infection spreading through the bloodstream to the lever, causing high fever, painful liver abscesses, extreme fatigue, and loss of appetite.

What might be done?
Diagnosis of amebiasis is usually made from examination of a sample of feces under a microscope to look for the parasite. your doctor may also arrange for you to have a blood test to look for antibodies that are produced by the body in response to the parasite. if your doctor suspects that you have liver abscesses, he or she will arrange for you to have imaging tests, such as ct scanning or ultrasound scanning. amebiasis can be successfully treated with antibiotics, which usually kill the parasite within a few days. with drug treatment, most affected people make a full recovery from the infection within a few weeks.

Can it be prevented?
There are several preventive measures you can take against amebiasis if you visit a region where the disease is common. you should drink only bottled or thoroughly boiled water to be certain that it is safe. you should also avoid eating raw vegetables, salads, or fruits with skins that cannot be peeled because their skins may be contaminated with the parasite.

Click to learn more about Amebiasis & its modern treatment

Ayurvedic Recommended Product: Livomyn
Recommended Therapy: Virechan
Herbal treatments of Amebiasis
In Mexico, it is common to use herbal tinctures of chaparro amargo (English: castela). 30 drops are taken in a small glass of water first thing in the morning, and 30 drops before the last meal of the day, for seven days straight. After taking a seven day break from the treatment, it is resumed for seven days. Some mild cramping may be felt; it is claimed this means that the amoebas are dying and will be expelled from the body. Many Mexicans use the chaparro amargo treatment regularly, three times a year. The efficacy of such treatments has not been scientifically proven.

A 1998 study in Africa suggests that 2 tablespoons per week of papaya seeds may have some antiamoebic action and aid in prevention of amoebiasis, but this remains unconfirmed. Papaya fruit and seeds are often considered beneficial to digestion in areas where this plant is common.

Click for Homeopathic view of Amebiasis, its Diagnosis & Treatment

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.

Resources:

http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=133

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

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