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Herbs & Plants

Saussurea costus

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Botanical Name : Saussurea costus
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Saussurea
Species: S. costus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Saussurea lappa. (Decne.)Schultz-Bip

Common Name: Costus or Kuth. It has a large number of names in other languages, including kustha in Sanskrit; kust or qust in Arabic and Persian; kut, kur, and pachak in Hindi and Bengali, kostum, gostham, and potchuk in Tamil; upaleta and kur in Gujarati; kot or kust in Punjabi; changala in Telugu; sepuddy in Malayalam; kostha in Kannada; kuth or postkhai in Kashmiri; and koshet in Hebrew

Habitat : Saussurea costus is native to South & Eeastern Asia – Himalayas. It grows casually in irrigated areas, 2000 – 3300 metres from Pakistan to Himachel Pradesh. Usually found in moist shady situations in Kashmir, sometimes forming the undergrowth in birch forests.

Description:
Saussurea costus is a tall perennial herb, well known as a medicinal plant. Stems up to 2 m tall, or more. Lower leaves are long-stalked, pinnate, 30-40 cm long, with a trianglular terminal leaflet, up to 30 cm long. Upper leaves are smaller, up to 30 cm long, stem-clasping. All leaves are irregularly toothed. There is a rounded cluster of a few purple flower-heads at the top of the stem. The flower-heads look like balls covered with purple bracts. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects….…CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES 

Cultivation :
Succeeds in most soils in a sunny well-drained position. Cultivated as a medicinal plant and for its use in perfumery in the Himalayas. The dried root has something of the mossy smell of violets when fresh, becoming fur-like or even unpleasantly goat-like with age. Most of the roots are exported to China and Japan and the plant forms quite a large article of commerce in Kashmir, the trade being controlled by the State. Wild plants have been greatly over-collected and the plant has been placed on the CITES I list of endangered species – it is now illegal to dig them up for export.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame in the spring. Surface sow, or only just cover the seed, and make sure that the compost does not dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring might be possible.

Edible Uses:... Condiment……The aromatic root is sometimes used as a spice. It has a characteristic penetrating odour reminiscent of violet, orris and vetiver.
Medicinal Uses:

Anodyne; Antibacterial; Antispasmodic; Aphrodisiac; Carminative; Emmenagogue; Skin; Stimulant; Tonic; Vermifuge.

Costus is used in the Ayurvedic and Unani Tibb traditions in India for its tonic, stimulant, and antiseptic properties. The root is commonly taken, with other herbs, for respiratory system problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and coughs.

It is commonly used medicinal herb in China and is considered to be one of their 50 fundamental herbs. It is also used in Ayurvedic medicine where it is valued mainly for its tonic, stimulant and antiseptic properties. It is said to be aphrodisiac and to be able to prevent the hair turning grey. The root is anodyne, antibacterial, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, carminative, skin, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge. It is used internally in the treatment of abdominal distension and pain, chest pains due to liver problems and jaundice, gall bladder pain, constipation associated with energy stagnation, and asthma. The root is harvested in the autumn or spring and either dried for later use or decocted for the essential oil. It is normally used with other herbs. The root is also used in Tibetan medicine where it is considered to have an acrid, sweet and bitter taste with a neutral potency. It is used in the treatment of swelling and fullness of the stomach, blockage and irregular menses, pulmonary disorders, difficulty in swallowing and rotting/wasting of muscle tissues. An oil from the root is very beneficial in the treatment of rheumatism. It is also used to treat cholera.

Other Uses:
Essential; Hair; Incense.

An essential oil obtained from the roots is used medicinally, in perfumery, incenses and as a hair rinse when it is said to darken grey hair. It has a strong lingering scent. The smell is at first like violets, but as it ages it can become more fur-like or eventually become unpleasantly goat-like. The roots are cut into lengths about 8cm long and then dried before being exported. Smaller pieces of the root are ground into a powder and then used to make incense sticks. The longer clean pieces are cut into very thin slices and then burnt at shrines or used as a tonic in hot baths.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saussurea_costus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Saussurea+costus
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Costus.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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Categories
News on Health & Science

Cod oil ‘Cuts Arthritis Drug Use’

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A daily dose of cod liver oil can cut painkiller use in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a study suggests.

.Cod liver oil can be taken in capsule or liquid form

Taking 10g of cod liver oil a day reduced the need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by 30%, Dundee University researchers say.

Concerns about side-effects of NSAIDs has prompted research into alternative.

Rheumatologists said the study, in Rheumatology journal, funded by Seven Seas, was small but showed fish oil could benefit some patients.

Patients in the trial were either given cod liver oil or placebo and after 12 weeks asked to gradually reduce their use of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen.

Almost 60 patients completed the nine-month trial which found 39% taking cod liver oil reduced their daily dose of NSAIDs compared with 10% taking a placebo.

The reduction in drug use was not associated with any worsening of pain or the disease, the researchers reported.

The research team at the University of Dundee have now completed three studies which have all shown patients are able to cut down their NSAID use when taking cold liver oil.

It is thought fatty acids in the fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties.

Side-effects

Some side-effects of NSAIDs, such as an increased risk of stomach bleeding have been known for a long time.

But more recently, concerns have been raised about an apparent increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in those taking the drugs.

Study leader Professor Jill Belch said the study offered hope to many rheumatoid arthritis patients who wanted to reduce the amount of pain medication they take.

“Every change in medication should be discussed with a GP but I would advise people to give cod liver oil a try for 12 weeks alongside their NSAIDs and then try to cut it down if they can manage it but if they don’t manage it, that’s fine.

“If you can get off NSAIDs it will be much safer.”

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society chief executive Ailsa Bosworth said: “People with rheumatoid arthritis still rely heavily on NSAIDs, even though the safety of these drugs is under scrutiny.

“We look forward to more research in this area.”

British Society for Rheumatology president Dr Andrew Bamji said it was a small study so difficult to draw firm conclusions.

But he added: “Anything that can help to reduce NSAID use is going to be safer for patients.

“It does look as if the results are positive and that is quite interesting.

“I would say to patients by all means take cod liver oil and when you feel ready start to reduce your NSAID dose.”

But he stressed that patients must discuss plans with their doctor because it was important that physicians were aware of all medications and supplements the patient was taking.

“Anything that can help to reduce NSAID use is going to be safer for patients”..says
Dr Andrew Bamji, British Society for Rheumatology

Click to see also :->

Cod Liver Oil Cuts the Need for Arthritis Drugs
Cod liver oil ‘treats depression’
Fish oil urged for heart patients
Cod liver oil benefits confirmed
Cod liver oil ‘slows arthritis’
Sources: BBC NEWS:25Th. March.’08

Categories
Dry Fruit Herbs & Plants

Haritaki(Chebulic myroblan)

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Botanical Name: Terminalia Chabula
Family: Combretaceae
Genus: Terminalia
Species: T. chebula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Common Names: Hadrida,Harar,Chebulic myroblan,Black myroblan,Harada, Yellow- or chebulic myrobalan

Habitat : Terminalia Chabula is native to South Asia from India and Nepal east to Southwest China (Yunnan), and south to Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Vietnam. There appears to be no common name in English but harad which seems to be a variant of the Hindi name haritaki has been used in publications. It is found in the deciduous forests of Indian subcontinent, dry slopes up to 900 m (3000 ft) in elevation

Description:
Terminalia chebula is a medium to large deciduous tree growing to 30-metre (98 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 1-metre (3 ft 3 in) in diameter. The leaves are alternate to subopposite in arrangement, oval, 7–8-centimetre (2.8–3.1 in) long and 4.5–10-centimetre (1.8–3.9 in) broad with a 1–3-centimetre (0.39–1.18 in) petiole. They have an acute tip, cordate at the base, margins entire, glabrous above with a yellowish pubescence below.[citation needed. The fruit is drupe-like, 2–4.5-centimetre (0.79–1.77 in) long and 1.2–2.5-centimetre (0.47–0.98 in) broad, blackish, with five longitudinal ridges. The dull white to yellow flowers are monoecious, and have strong unpleasant odour. They are borne in terminal spikes or short panicles. The fruits are smooth ellipsoid to ovoid drupes, yellow to orange brown in colour, single angled stone.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Terminalia Chebula is a tree with a rounded crown and spreading branches. Its principal constituents are chebulagic, chebulinic acid and corilagin. Its fruits have laxative, stomachic, tonic and alterative properties.

Terminalia chebula is called the “king of medicines” and always listed first in Ayurveda because of its extraordinary healing power. In Ayurveda it is known to prevent and cure of many diseases and eliminate all waste from the body.At the same time it is known to promote tissue growth and health.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES

Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) is a common herbaceous plant, which is very extensively used in the preparation of many ayurvedic medicines.Terminalia chebula is a tree with a rounded crown and spreading branches. Its principal constituents are chebulagic, chebulinic acid and corilagin. Its fruits have laxative, stomachic, tonic and alternative properties and helps in removing toxins and fats from the body, resulting in their reduced absorption.It is also known as an adaptogen, and hepatoprotective drug.
Historical Ayurvedic uses suggest to be used in cough conditions, asthma, abdominal distention, tumors, heart disease, skin disease, and itchin.

Cultivation & Uses:
This tree yields smallish, ribbed and nut-like fruits which are picked when still green and then pickled, boiled with a little added sugar in their own syrup or used in preserves. The seed of the fruit, which has an elliptical shape, is an abrasive seed enveloped by a fleshy and firm pulp. It is regarded as a universal panacea in Ayurveda and in the Traditional Tibetan medicine.

Fruit; seven types are recognized (i.e. vijaya, rohini, putana, amrita, abhaya, jivanti and chetaki), based on the region the fruit is harvested, as well as the colour and shape of the fruit. Generally speaking, the vijaya variety is preferred, which is traditionally grown in the Vindhya Range of west-central India, and has a roundish as opposed to a more angular shape.

Chemical composition:

Researchers have isolated a number of glycosides from Haritaki, including the triterpenes arjunglucoside I, arjungenin, and the chebulosides I and II. Other constituents include a coumarin conjugated with gallic acids called chebulin, as well as other phenolic compounds including ellagic acid, 2,4-chebulyl-?-D-glucopyranose, chebulinic acid, gallic acid, ethyl gallate,punicalagin, terflavin A, terchebin, luteolin, and tannic acid.[6][5] Chebulic acid is a phenolic acid compound isolated from the ripe fruits.   Luteic acid can be isolated from the bark.

T. chebula also contains terflavin B, a type of tannin while chebulinic acid is found in the fruits

Medical Uses:

It is useful in asthma, sore throat, vomiting, eye diseases, heart diseases, hiccup etc. It is also useful in healing of wounds and scalds. It is used as gargle against inflammation of mucous membrane of mouth. It is also used in tanning of leather and purification of petroleum.

Many ayurvedic medicinal formulations are prepared from the fruits of the Haritaki plant. The extract obtained from Haritaki fruit contains a substance which has antibacterial and anti fungal properties. This substance inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi such as E. coli. Escherichia coli is the most common organism, which is responsible for many types of infections such as infections of the urinary tract. Haritaki extract is very useful in the treatment of infections caused by E.coli. Haritaki is also believed to have powerful effect on parasites such as Amoeba giardia and many others.

The extract for the Haritaki plant is used widely in many ayurvedic formulations. It is used in the preparation of medicines for the treatment of infectious diseases like leucorrhoea, chronic ulcers, pyorrhea and other types of fungal infections of the skin. Many research studies indicated that the oil obtained from the kernel of the Haritaki plant had certain substances, which increased the motility of the gastro intestinal tract. This type of action was similar to that of castor oil. Haritaki is used as a natural cleanser of the digestive system. It improves the functioning of the liver spleen and the colon and hence it is widely used as a digestive tonic.

Many clinical trials were undertaken on patients with chronic constipation problem. From these studies it was evident that the extract obtained from Haritaki has the property of evacuating the bowel and increasing the frequency of stools. Haritaki is also used in combination with other herbs to prepare a formulation called Triphala. This medicine is widely used as Anti aging formula. It is also used for increasing the immunity of the body.

Haritaki is also used as a purgative in ayurvedic treatments. It is also used as a tonic and expectorant. Haritaki is also known to pocess strong anti-mutagenic properties. Haritaki is used in the treatment of mouth ulcers, stomatitis, asthma, cough, candidiasis, gastroenteritis, skin diseases, leprosy ect. It is also used for treatment of intermittent fever, rheumatic pain and fever, wounds and arthritis. Haritaki is one of the best herbs for treatment of Vatadosha. It is used as a natural remedy for Vata disturbances like flatulence, indigestion ect. Haritaki is contradicted in person with weak digestion and also in pregnancy. Haritaki is also believed to improve intelligence and alertness in a person.

Like Chinese rhubarb, chebulic myrobalan may be used as a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery. The fruit’s tannins protect the gut wall from irritation and infection, and tend to reduce intestinal secretions.  Likewise, the fruit helps to counter acidic indigestion and heartburn.  A decoction of chebulic myrobalan may be used as a gargle and mouthwash, as a lotion for sore and inflamed eyes, and as a douche for vaginitis and excessive vaginal discharge.  The dried fruits and seeds are prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine for such illnesses as dermatosis, edema, and urinary infections.  It is also considered an excellent blood purifier.  Finely powdered, it is used as a dentifrice, and for bleeding or ulcerated gums. Coarsely powdered and smoked in a pipe, it is used to relieve asthma.  TCM: Indications: Chronic diarrhea and dysentery; prolapse of rectum; asthma and coughs due to empty lungs; leukorrhea; menorrhagia

Variour uses in Ayurveda:
Terminalia Chebula & The Three Humors:
Haritaki is useful in vitiation of all the three humors. It is better esp. in Vata disorders.

Topical Use Of Terminalia Chebula:
Its paste with water is found to be anti-inflammatory, analgesic and having purifiying and healing capacity for wounds. Its decoction as a lotion is surgical dressing for healing the wound earlier.

Equal parts of three myrobalans and catechu are made in a paste with clarified butter or some bland oil work as an ointment in chronic ulcerations, ulcerated wounds and other skin diseases with discharge. These ointments could be a substitute for Gall ointments used in Britain.

These are used for astringent purpose in hemorrhoids as well. Its decoction is used as gargle in oral ulcers, sore throat. Its powder is a good astringent dentrifice in loose gums, bleeding and ulceration in gums.

Terminalia Chebula & Abdominal Disorders:
It is good to increase the appetite, as digestive aid, Liver stimulant, as stomachic, as gastrointestinal prokinetic agent, and mild laxative.

Haritaki has proven gastrokinetic effect i.e. it helps in moving the contents of stomach earlier. So it can be used after surgeries and as adjuvant with other drugs that interfere with gastric motility as antihistaminics, atropine like drugs.

Base on its comprehensive properties, it promotes appetite and helps in digestion.

It stimulates the liver and protects it further by expelling the waste excretory products from the intestines.

The powder of Haritaki has been used in chronic diarrhea, sprue with good results. It should be used as hot infusion in these disorders. It is indicated in Protracted diarrhea with hematochezia and prolapse of rectum.

For persons with excessive gas in intestine, flatulence, it is a good herb that can be taken daily. it will relieve these conditions smoothly.

One compound Chebulagic acid from Haritaki has shown antispasmodic action like that of Papaverine.

Being a mild laxative, it is a mild herbal colon cleanse. With its other properties, it provides some help in conditions with Liver and Spleen enlargement and in Ascites. It is not a strong purgative like other herbs as Senna. It does the cleansing action very smoothly. Further it can be taken for a long time without any ill effects.

In Ayurveda haritaki is the best for ‘Srotoshodhana’ or purifying the channels of body.

Terminalia Chebula & Central Nervous System:
It is a good nervine. It is used in nervous weakness, nervous irritability. It promotes the receiving power of the five senses.

Terminalia Chebula For Heart & Blood Vessels:
It is adjuvant in hemorrhages due to its astringent nature. It helps in edema and various inflammations.

Terminalia Chebula For Lungs & Airways:

It is good for Chronic cough, coryza, sorethroat and asthma. It is used with other herbs in many holistic herbal formulations in Ayurveda.

Haritaki For Reproductive Or Sexual Health:
Being anti-inflammatory, and astringent, it is useful in urethral discharges like spermatorrhea, vaginal discharges like leucorrhea. It can be given as adjuvant in atonic conditions of Uterus.

Haritaki For Kidney & Urinary Bladder:

It is helpful in Renal calculi, dysurea, and retention of urine.

Haritaki For Skin Disorders:
It is useful in skin disorders with discharges like allergies, urticaria and other erythematous disorders.

General Uses Of Terminalia Chebula:

It is given as adjuvant herb in Chronic fever. On long term use it is helpful in gaining weight in the emaciated persons and in losing weight in obese persons.

When taken with meals it sharpens the intellect, increases strength, stimulates the senses, expels the urine, stool and other waste materials from the body. It saves the person from the vitiating effects of bodily humors. Thus it is considered as an alterative and adaptogen.

Haritaki reduces the ill effects of fat rich, creamy and oily food. T. chebula is the definite aid for persons who habitually overeat. Further it can supplement the Cholesterol normalizing drugs.

Haritaki is reputed for its alterative, adaptogenic and tonic effect when used throughout the year with different substances in different six seasons of the year. Want to follow more about Seasonal use of Haritaki – Ritu Haritaki.

You will find the graphics for personal use to get help and motivation for such use of haritaki.

Terminalia Chebula With Other Herbs:
If we review all the herbal formulations in Ayurveda’s all classical texts, we will find haritaki to be one of the most frequently used ayurvedic herbs. In most of the compounds it is used as minor adjunct. In many others it is used as the foundation base of the entire formula – like in most of the electuaries or jams. It is the one of the prominent herb in formulations for asthma, cough, tonics, skin diseases, abdominal disorders.

Ayurvedic Holistic Approach With Terminalia Chebula:

The author Bhava Prakash in his Materia Medica relates haritaki to be used with sugar in Pitta disorders, with salt in Vata disorders, with dried ginger in Kapha disorders.

Modern Clinical Research & Terminalia Chebula:

Haritaki can serve to act as an effective alternative to modern prokinetic drugs like metaclopramide.

anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties

Some preliminary evidence of its capability to be useful in HSV Herpes simplex virus.

Some anti-tumor activity and effect in inhibiting the HIV virus.

Anthraquinone and Sennoside like purgative activity. Ability to evacuate the bowel.

Wide antibacterial and antifungal activity, esp. against E. coli.

We may learn some home remedies for digestive disorder from haritaki from this site.

Click to buy Haritaki

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:

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

http://www.ayurvedic-medicines.com/herbs/haritaki.html,

http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-herbs/terminalia-chebula.html

http://www.holistic-herbalist.com/terminalia-chebula.html

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

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

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