Categories
Herbs & Plants

Psyllium

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Botanical NamePlantago psyllium/ Plantago ovata
Family : Plantaginaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Genus: Plantago
Common Names :  Psyllium,ispaghula, isabgol

Habitat : P. ovata is a 119- to 130-day crop that responds well to cool, dry weather. In India, P. ovata is cultivated mainly in North Gujarat as a “Rabi” or post–rainy season crop (October to March). During this season, which follows the monsoons, average temperatures are in the range of 15–30 °C (59–86 °F), and moisture is deficient. Isabgol (P. ovata), which has a moderate water requirement, is given 5 to 6 light irrigations. A very important environmental requirement of this crop is clear, sunny and dry weather preceding harvest. High night temperature and cloudy wet weather close to harvest have a large negative impact on yield. Rainfall on the mature crop may result in shattering and therefore major field losses.The state of Rajasthan in India provides 60% of the world’s production, while the Jalore district alone accounts for 90% of Isabgol production in Rajasthan. Bhinmal agriculture Mandi is declared Isabgol special Mandi. Bhinmal area gives about 2,500 tons per year of Isabgol.

It is cultivated in 50,000 hectares in Mehsana, Banaskantha and Sabarkantha districts of Gujarat and Jalore, Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer, Nagaur and Sirohi districts of Rajasthan.

Description:
Plantago ovata is an annual herb that grows to a height of 30–46 cm (12–18 in). Leaves are opposite, linear or linear lanceolate 1 × 19 cm (0.39 × 7.5 in). The root system has a well developed tap root with few fibrous secondary roots. A large number of flowering shoots arise from the base of the plant. Flowers are numerous, small, and white. Plants flower about 60 days after planting. The seeds are enclosed in capsules that open at maturity.

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Cultivation
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The fields are generally irrigated prior to seeding to achieve ideal soil moisture, to enhance seed soil contact, and to avoid burying the seed too deeply as a result of later irrigations or rainfall. Maximum germination occurs at a seeding depth of 6 mm (1/4 in). Emerging seedlings are frost sensitive, therefore planting should be delayed until conditions are expected to remain frost free. Seed is broadcast at 5.5 to 8.25 kg/hectare (5 to 7.5 lb/acre) in India. In Arizona trials, seeding rates of 22 to 27.5 kg/ha (20 to 25 lb/acre) resulted in stands of 1 plant/25mm (1 inch) in 15 cm (6 inch) rows produced excellent yields. Weed control is normally achieved by one or two hand weedings early in the growing season. Control of weeds by pre-plant irrigation that germinates weed seeds followed by shallow tillage may be effective on fields with minimal weed pressure. Psyllium is a poor competitor with most weed species.

Plantago wilt “Fusarium oxyspirum” and downy mildew are the major diseases of Isabgol. White grubs and aphids are the major insect pests.

The flower spikes turn reddish brown at ripening, the lower leaves dry and the upper leaves yellow. The crop is harvested in the morning after the dew is gone to minimize shattering and field losses. In India, mature plants are cut 15 cm above the ground and then bound, left for a few days to dry, thrashed, and winnowing.

Harvested seed must be dried below 12% moisture to allow for cleaning, milling, and storage. Seed stored for future crops has shown a significant loss in viability after 2 years in storage.

History:
The genus Plantago contains over 200 species. P. ovata and P. psyllium are produced commercially in several European countries, the former Soviet Union, Pakistan, and India. Plantago seed, known commercially as black, French, or Spanish psyllium, is obtained from P. psyllium L., also known as P. arenaria. Seed produced from P. ovata is known in trading circles as white or blonde psyllium, Indian plantago, or Isabgol. Isabgol, the common name in Pakistan and India for P. ovata, comes from the Persian words asb and ghol, meaning “horse flower,” which is descriptive of the shape of the seed. India dominates the world market in the production and export of psyllium. Psyllium research and field trials in the U.S. have been conducted mainly in Arizona and Washington state.

Recent interest in psyllium has arisen primarily due to its use as an ingredient in high-fiber breakfast cereals, which is claimed to be effective in reducing blood cholesterol levels in those who consume it. Several studies point to a cholesterol reduction attributed to a diet that includes dietary fiber such as psyllium. Research reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concludes that the use of soluble-fiber cereals is an effective and well-tolerated part of a prudent diet for the treatment of mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia. Research also indicates that psyllium incorporated into food products is more effective at reducing blood glucose response than use of a soluble-fiber supplement that is separate from the food. Although the cholesterol-reducing and glycemic-response properties of psyllium-containing foods are fairly well documented, the effect of long-term inclusion of psyllium in the diet has not been determined. Cases of allergic reaction to psyllium-containing cereal have been documented.


Constituents
: ascorbic acid, aucubin, beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, calcium, chromium, cobalt, fiber, linoleic acid, magnesium, manganese, mucilage, niacin, oleic acid, oxalic acid, phosphorous, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, sodium, stigmasterol, thiamine, tin, zi

Medicinal Uses:
Common Uses: Cholesterol Control * Constipation * Weight Loss *
Properties: Astringent* Demulcent* Laxative* Antitussive*
Parts Used: Seeds and seed husks

The seeds of the Plantago ovata contain copious amounts of mucilage that are able to treat diarrhea, constipation and act as a safe and effective weight loss aid. Psyllium seed has been used since ancient times, with no ill effects. These seeds and their husks are a great source of natural fiber. The seed has less fiber than the husk but a wide range of nutrients the husks do not. Although it is traditionally used to treat constipation, research shows that psyllium seed reduces high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Exactly how it does isn’t known, but it appears to bind with dietary cholesterol and fat to prevent their absorption.

Credit mother nature for devising a substance that can treat both constipation and diarrhea. The seeds soak up fluids, adding bulk to the stool and inhibiting diarrhea. The same absorption of fluids softens the stool, and the larger volume helps pass it through the colon. This easier action makes this herb a good choice for those suffering from hemorrhoids,inflammatory bowel disease or diverticulitis. By bulking the stool, the seeds also relieve pain caused by ulcerative colitis. Unless you have a desire for sugar, artificial flavors and higher prices, try natural psyllium before turning to one of the name brand products such as Metamucil or Fiberall, or any number of commercial laxatives.

Psyllium is mainly used as a dietary fiber, which is not absorbed by the small intestine. The purely mechanical action of psyllium mucilage absorbs excess water while stimulating normal bowel elimination. Although its main use has been as a laxative, it is more appropriately termed a true dietary fiber and as such can help reduce the symptoms of both constipation and mild diarrhea.

Psyllium is produced mainly for its mucilage content, which is highest in P. ovata. The term mucilage describes a group of clear, colorless, gelling agents derived from plants. The mucilage obtained from psyllium comes from the seed coat. Mucilage is obtained by mechanical milling/grinding of the outer layer of the seed. Mucilage yield amounts to about 25% (by weight) of the total seed yield. Plantago-seed mucilage is often referred to as husk, or psyllium husk. The milled seed mucilage is a white fibrous material that is hydrophilic, meaning that its molecular structure causes it to attract and bind to water. Upon absorbing water, the clear, colorless, mucilaginous gel that forms increases in volume by tenfold or more.

The United States is the world’s largest importer of psyllium husk, with over 60% of total imports going to pharmaceutical firms for use in products such as “Metamucil”. In Australia, psyllium husk is used to make “Bonvit” psyllium products. In the UK, ispaghula husk is used in the popular constipation remedy “Fybogel”. In India, psyllium husk is used to make “Gulab Sat Isabgol” psyllium products. Psyllium mucilage is also used as a natural dietary fiber for animals. The dehusked seed that remains after the seed coat is milled off is rich in starch and fatty acids, and is used in India as chicken feed and as cattle feed.

Psyllium mucilage possesses several other desirable properties. As a thickener, it has been used in ice cream and frozen desserts. A 1.5% weight/volume ratio of psyllium mucilage exhibits binding properties that are superior to a 10% weight/volume ratio of starch mucilage. The viscosity of psyllium mucilage dispersions are relatively unaffected between temperatures of 20 and 50 °C (68 and 122 °F), by pH from 2 to 10 and by salt (sodium chloride) concentrations up to 0.15 M. These physical properties, along with its status as a natural dietary fiber, may lead to increased use of psyllium by the food-processing industry. Technical-grade psyllium has been used as a hydrocolloidal agent to improve water retention for newly-seeded grass areas, and to improve transplanting success with woody plants.

It is suggested that the isabgol husk is a suitable carrier for the sustained release of drugs and is also used as a gastroretentive carrier due to its swellable and floatable nature. The mucilage of isabgol is used as a super disintegrant in many formulations.

Adverse Reactions and Warnings:
Possible adverse reactions include allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, especially among those who have had regular exposure to psyllium dust. Gastrointestinal tract obstruction may occur, especially for those with prior bowel surgeries or anatomic abnormalities, or if taken with inadequate amounts of water.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published that psyllium, among other water soluble gums, have been linked to medical reports of esophageal obstruction (Esophageal_food_bolus_obstruction), choking, and asphyxiation.

Specifically, the FDA reports “Esophageal obstruction and asphyxiation due to orally-administered drug products containing water-soluble gums, hydrophilic gums, and hydrophilic mucilloids as active ingredients are significant health risks when these products are taken without adequate fluid or when they are used by individuals with esophageal narrowing or dysfunction, or with difficulty in swallowing.” and “when marketed in a dry or incompletely hydrated form” are required to have the following warning labels:

“`Choking’ [highlighted in bold type]: Taking this product without adequate fluid may cause it to swell and block your throat or esophagus and may cause choking. Do not take this product if you have difficulty in swallowing. If you experience chest pain, vomiting, or difficulty in swallowing or breathing after taking this product, seek immediate medical attention;” and

“`Directions’ [highlighted in bold type]:” (Select one of the following, as appropriate: “Take” or “Mix”) “this product (child or adult dose) with at least 8 ounces (a full glass) of water or other fluid. Taking this product without enough liquid may cause choking.”

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/Psyllium_seed_husks
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psyllium
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail157.php

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Isabgol

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Botanical Name:Isapgaluvittulu / Isapgaluvittulu / Plantago ovata Forsk
Family:Plantaginaceae
Trade Name:Isabgol
Common Name:Psyllium seed husks, also known as ispaghula, isabgol, or simply as psyllium
Synonyms: Bran Buds® cereal, Effersyllium®, Fiberall®, flea seed, Fybogel®, Heartwise® cereal, Hydrocil®, I-so-gel®, ispaghula, ispaghula husk, ispaghula seed, isphagula, Konsyl®, Lunelax®, Metamucil®, Minolest®, natural vegetable laxative,   Plantago arenaria ,  Plantago psyllium , Prodiem Plain®, psyllion, psyllios, psyllium husk, psyllium seed, Regulan®, Serutan®, Vi-Siblin®, Yerba Prima® psyllium husk powder.
Genus : Plantago
Parts Used :  Husk from spikes and seeds

Habitat : Native of India and Pakistan.

Description & Cultivation  :It is an irrigated crop, which grows well on light soils; soil with poor drianage is not conductive from good growth of this crop. Asiltry-loam soil having pH from 4.7 to 7.7 with high nitrogen and low moisture content is ideal for growth of plants and high yield of seeds. Isabgol thrives well in warm-temperate regions. It requires cool and dry weather and is sown during winter. Sowing during first week of November gives best yields. Early sowing makes the crop vulnerable to downy mildew disease, whereas late sowing enhances early growth in winter along with the possibility of scattering of seeds due to summer rains in April-May. At maturity, if the weather is humid, it seeds scatter resulting in the reduction of yield. Heavy dew or even a light shower will proportionately decrease the yield, at times leading to even total loss of the crop. The temperature requirement for maximum seed germination is reported to be 20 to 30’C.
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Chemical Constituents : Fatty acids.
Uses:Psyllium seed husks are indigestible in human beings and are often used as a source of dietary fiber. They are used to relieve constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, and diarrhea. They are also used as a regular dietary supplement to improve and maintain regular GI transit. The inert bulk of the husks helps provide a constant volume of solid material irrespective of other aspects of the diet or any disease condition of the gut. Some recent research is also showing them to be promising in lowering cholesterol and controlling diabetes.

The husks are used whole in their natural state, or dried and chopped or powdered for easier consumption. In either of these forms, one takes them by mixing them with water or another fluid. They are also available in capsules. Over-the-counter laxatives and fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Serutan, Fybogel, Bonvit, and Effersyllium have psyllium husks as their main ingredient. They may be combined with other ingredients (e.g., Blackstrap molasses is sometimes used with psyllium seed husks for its high mineral and vitamin content, as well as being an excellent carrier). A typical dose is one to three teaspoons per glass of water.

It helps to improve burning sensation, habitual constipation, stangury, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery, colonalgia, dry cough, erysipelas, gout, gonorrhoea, bilious fever, nephropathy, duodenal ulcers, haemorrhoids, emaction and general debility.

Psyllium seeds are very similar to the seed husks and can be used for many of the same purposes, although their use is less common.

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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://apmab.ap.nic.in/products.php?&start=10#
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psyllium_seed_husks
http://www.india-shopping.net/india-ayurveda-products/Plantagoovata-isabgol.htm

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Fistula

Definition:
In medicine, a fistula (pl. fistulas or fistulae) is an abnormal connection or passageway between two epithelium-lined organs or vessels that normally do not connect.Fistulas can develop in various parts of the body. The following list is sorted by the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.

The intestinal tract (or bowel) ends with the rectum. The last part of the rectum is a section about 1 1/2 inches long, known as the anal canal. It ends with the anus — the opening to the outside of the body. There are several common problems, including hemorrhoids, that can occur in the area from the rectum to the anus. While almost everyone has heard of hemorrhoids, the other conditions are not so well known.

Anal Fissure
An anal fissure is a small tear or cut which lines the anus that can cause extreme pain and are normally associated with bleeding. Some anal fissures, however, may not bleed and are known as dry fissures.Anal fissures occur in the tissue that lines anal canal, called anoderm, which contains a large amount of sensory nerves. This is the reason for the extreme pain associated with rectal fissures.

You may click to see:

Duodeno Biliary Fistula

Anorectal fistulas:

Fissures are normally cause by constipation and pressure in the area. However, it is also common to get an anal fissure from diarrhea, inflammation in the area and childbirth.Fissures can cause itching, pain and severe bleeding but are easily treatable.

Most people have experienced a tear or fissure at the corner of the mouth that can occur in cold weather or when yawning. Similarly, an anal fissure is a small tear in the lining of the anus, frequently caused by constipation. A hard, dry bowel movement results in a break in the tissue. However, fissures can also occur with severe bouts of diarrhea or inflammation. This results in the anus becoming dry and irritated, causing it to tear. Injury to the anal area during childbirth and abuse of laxatives may be other causes.

A fissure can be quite painful during and immediately following bowel movements. This is because the anus and anal canal are ringed with muscles to control the passage of stool and to keep the anus tightly closed at other times. When those muscles expand, it stretches the fissure open. There may also be bleeding or itching with an anal fissure.

Diagnosis
A simple visual examination of the anus and surrounding tissue usually reveals the fissure. It is quite tender when examined by the physician. Fissures are most often located in the middle posterior (back) section of the anus.

Treatment
More than half of all fissures heal either by themselves or with non-surgical treatment. Stool softeners can help reduce pain during bowel movements. Antibiotics may be used for a short time. Special medicated creams may also be used, especially if the fissure has become ulcerated or infected. It is important to keep the anus and area between the buttocks clean and dry. After bathing, the patient should gently pat dry with a soft towel. Applying talcum powder is frequently recommended. Sitz baths may help relieve discomfort and promote healing. A sitz bath is soaking the anal area in plain warm — not hot — water for 15-20 minutes several times a day.

If the fissure is not responding to treatment, the physician re-examines the patient. There are conditions, such as muscle spasm or scarring, that could interfere with the healing process. Fissures that do not heal can be corrected with surgery. It is a minor operation that is usually done on an outpatient basis. The surgeon removes the fissure and any underlying scar tissue. Cutting a small portion of the anal muscle prevents spasm. This helps the area to heal and rarely interferes with the control of bowel movements. Complete healing takes place in a few weeks. However, the pain often disappears after a few days.

Over 90% of the patients who need surgery for fissures have no further problems. Patients can help avoid the return of fissures by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, and maintaining adequate fiber in the diet. This prevents constipation, which is the cause of most fissures.

Anal Abscess and Fistula

An abscess is a localized pocket of pus caused by infection from bacteria. It can occur in any part of the body. When bacteria seep into the underlying tissues in the anal canal, an abscess may develop. Certain conditions, such as Crohn’s disease (chronic inflammatory bowel disease), can increase the risk of abscess in and around the anal canal. Patients with conditions that reduce the body’s immunity, such as cancer or AIDS, are also more likely to develop anal abscesses.

An abscess causes tenderness, swelling, and pain. These symptoms clear when the abscess is drained. The patient may also complain of fever, chills, and general weakness or fatigue.

A fistula is a tiny channel or tract that develops in the presence of inflammation and infection. It may or may not be associated with an abscess, but like abscesses, certain illnesses such as Crohn’s disease can cause fistulas to develop. The channel usually runs from the rectum to an opening in the skin around the anus. However, sometimes the fistula opening develops elsewhere. For example, in women with Crohn’s disease or obstetric injuries, the fistula could open into the vagina or bladder.

Since fistulas are infected channels, there is usually some drainage. Often a draining fistula is not painful, but it can irritate the skin around it. An abscess and fistula often occur together. If the opening of the fistula seals over before the fistula is cured, an abscess may develop behind it.

Diagnosis
Diagnosis of an abscess is usually made on examination of the area. If it is near the anus, there is always pain, and often redness and swelling. The physician will look for an opening in the skin (a sign that a fistula has developed), and try to determine the depth and direction of the channel or tract of the fistula. However, signs of fistula and abscess may not be present on the skin’s surface around the anus. In this case, the physician uses an instrument called an anoscope to see inside the anal canal and lower rectum.

Whenever the physician finds an abscess, and especially a fistula, further tests are needed to be sure Crohn’s disease is not present. Blood tests, x-rays, and a colonoscopy (a lighted, flexible scope exam of the bowel or colon) are often required.

Treatment for Anal Abscess
An abscess must be surgically opened to promote drainage and relieve pressure. This is often done in the physician’s office under local anesthesia. However, patients with a large or deep abscess, or those who have other conditions, such as diabetes, may be admitted to the hospital for the procedure.

Antibiotics cannot take the place of draining an abscess. Antibiotics are carried by the bloodstream but do not reach the pus within the abscess. However, they are usually prescribed along with surgical drainage, especially if the patient has other serious diseases, such as diabetes or those associated with reduced immunity.

Treatment for Anal Fistula
Treatment of anal fistula often varies, depending on whether Crohn’s disease is present. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammation of the bowel, including the small and large intestine. As noted, the physician will often do tests to see if this disease is present. If it is, then prolonged treatment with a variety of medications, including antibiotics, is usually undertaken. Often these medications will cure the infection and heal the fistula.

If Crohn’s disease is not present, it still may be worthwhile to try a course of antibiotics. If these do not work, surgery is usually very effective. The surgeon opens the fistula channel so that healing occurs from the inside out. Most of the time, fistula surgery is done on an outpatient basis or with a short hospital stay. Following surgery, there may be mild to moderate discomfort for a few days, but patients usually have a short recovery period.

Summary

Bleeding, pain, or drainage from the anus can occur with several illnesses, so a physician should always be consulted. Often the diagnosis is anal fissure, abscess, or fistula. These are problems that are usually easy to diagnose and correct. A variety of treatments, including surgery, are available to correct these conditions. Working together with the physician usually assures a good outcome.

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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/Fistula
http://www.gicare.com/pated/ecdgs38.htm
http://www.amoils.com/anal-fissures.html?gclid=CIrF-J37wJQCFQS7sgodkFJSTg

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