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Herbs & Plants

Sphaeralcea coccinea

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Botanical Name : Sphaeralcea coccinea
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Malvoideae
Genus: Sphaeralcea
Species: S. coccinea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonyms: Malvastrum coccineum

Common Names; Scarlet Globemallow, Alkali Heath, red false globemallow, copper mallow

Habitat : Sphaeralcea coccinea is native to grasslands and prairies of the Great Plains and western regions of northern North America.

Description;
Sphaeralcea coccinea is a perennial plant growing 10–30 cm tall from spreading rhizomes with a low habit. They have grayish stems with dense, star-shaped hairs and alternately arranged leaves. The leaf blades are 2–5 cm long, palmately shaped, and deeply cut, with 3–5 main wedge-shaped segments. The undersides of the leaves have gray hairs. The 2-cm-wide flowers are reddish-orange and saucer-shaped, with 5 notched, broad petals, in small terminal clusters. Plants flower from May to October.Fruits are cheese-shaped capsules composed of 10 or  more 1-seeded carpels. Each carpel about 3 mm long, densely hairy on the back, net-veined on about 90% of the sides.

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Medicinal Uses:
This plant’s Navajo name came from the sticky mixture that occurs when the roots and leaves are pounded and soaked in water.  The resulting sticky infusion is put on sores to stop bleeding and is used as a lotion for skin disease.  The dried powdered plant is used as dusting powder.  It is one of the life medicines and is used as a tonic to improve the appetite, and to cure colds, coughs and flu.  The roots were used to stop bleeding, and they were also chewed to reduce hunger when food was scarce. The leaves are slimy and mucilaginous when crushed, and they were chewed or mashed and used as poultices or plasters on inflamed skin, sores, wounds and sore or blistered feet. Leaves were also used in lotions to relieve skin diseases, or they were dried, ground and dusted on sores.  Fresh leaves and flowers were chewed to relieve hoarse or sore throats and upset stomachs. Whole plants were used to make a sweet-tasting tea that made distasteful medicines more palatable. It was also said to reduce swellings, improve appetite, relieve upset stomachs, and strengthen voices. The Dakota heyoka chewed the plants to a paste and rubbed it on their skin as protection from scalding.  The tea is very effective for a raspy, dry, sore throat; and, like its relative Malva, it will soothe the urinary tract when urination is painful.  The tea is used for bathing infants to prevent or retard thrush, and to soothe chafing.  It is soothing to almost any skin rash in adults and children.  Strong decoction, 4-6 fluid ounces up to 4 times a day for internal use, as needed externally.

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/Sphaeralcea_coccinea
http://montana.plant-life.org/species/sphaer_cocc.htm
http://www.conps.org/slide%20shows/foothills%20wildflowers%20in%20the%20metro-denver%20chapter%20area/pages/sphaeralcea%20coccinea.htm
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SPCO
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/sphcoc/all.html

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News on Health & Science

Protect Your Skin from Infections

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With the onset of the winter season large number of patients suffering from skin infection are visiting the OPD (Outdoor Patients  Department) of the Hospital these days.

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According to Sushil Chandra, head of Skin department (HOD) at Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial (GSVM) Medical College, “The cases of scabies, eczema and other fungal infections are on the rise due to changing weather. Approximately 25 per cent of the patients coming here are suffering from seasonal skin allergy.”

Scabies is a common skin infection that causes small itchy blisters due to tiny mites. The rash appears on head, face, neck and palms. Itching is the most common symptom which tends to become worse during night. Continuous scratching leads to bacterial infections and sometimes pus formation also,” he sad.

“The infection is contagious and is usually transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. The infection spreads more easily in crowded places,” he added.

About eczema, Dr S K Arora, professor in Skin department at GSVM College said that it normally occurs due to dryness. He said, “With the onset of winter season, blood supply to the skin decreases which affects the secretion of sebum (a kind of oil which keeps skin moist) from sebaceous glands. A cycle of itching and scratching begins which prolongs the xerotic eczema.”

About the preventive measures, Dr Arora said, “Scratching makes the skin infection worse. It can also lead to further bacterial infection if you break the skin. It is therefore, better to keep the nails short so that there are less chances of harming yourself accidentally by scratching with dirty fingernails. One should also use moisturiser and coconut oil regularly to keep the skin moist. Drink a lot of water to keep the body moisturised from within and take a bath daily.”

Source:The Times Of India

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Scabies

Introduction:
Scabies is a transmissible ectoparasite skin infection characterized by superficial burrows, intense pruritus (itching) and secondary infection. The word scabies comes from the Latin word for “scratch” (scabere).Scabies is a contagious skin disease caused by a species of mite that is very small. Other name is Sarcoptes scabiei .

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It produces intense, itchy skin rashes when the impregnated female tunnels into the stratum corneum of the skin and deposits eggs in the burrow. The larvae, which hatch in 3-10 days, move about on the skin, molt into a “nymphal” stage, and then mature into adult mites. The adult mites live 3-4 weeks in the host’s skin.

The action of the mites moving within the skin and on the skin itself produces an intense itch which may resemble an allergic reaction in appearance. The presence of the eggs produces a massive allergic response which, in turn, produces more itching.

Scabies is transmitted readily, often throughout an entire household, by skin-to-skin contact with an infected person (e.g. bed partners, schoolmates, daycare), and thus is sometimes classed as a sexually transmitted disease. Spread by clothing, bedding, or towels is a less significant risk, though possible.

It takes approximately 4-6 weeks to develop symptoms after initial infestation. Therefore, a person may have been contagious for at least a month before being diagnosed. This means that person might have passed scabies to anyone at that time with whom they had close contact. Someone who sleeps in the same room with a person with scabies has a high possibility of having scabies as well, although they may not show

Signs, Symptoms,Exams & Tests and Diagnosis:
The symptoms are caused by an allergic reaction that the body develops over time to the mites and their by-products under the skin, thus the 4-6 week “incubation” period. There are usually relatively few mites on a normal, healthy person — about 11 females in burrows. Scabies are microscopic although sometimes they are visible as a pinpoint of white. The females burrow into the skin and lay eggs there. Males roam on top of the skin, however, they can and do occasionally burrow. Both males and females surface at times, especially at night. They can be washed or scratched off (however scratching should be done with a washcloth to avoid cutting the skin as this can lead to infection), which, although not a cure, helps to keep the total population low. Also, humans create antibodies to the scabies mites which do kill some of them.

*Itching, especially at night

*Thin, pencil-mark lines on the skin

*Rashes

*Abrasions of the skin from scratching and digging

A scabies burrow under magnification. The scaly patch at the left is due to scratching of the original papule. The mite traveled from there to the upper right, where it can be seen as a dark spot at the end of the burrow.A delayed hypersensitivity (allergic) response resulting in a papular eruption (red, elevated area on skin) often occurs 30-40 days after infestation. While there may be hundreds of papules, fewer than 10 burrows are typically found. The burrow appears as a fine, wavy and slightly scaly line a few millimeters to one centimeter long. A tiny mite (0.3 to 0.9 mm) may sometimes be seen at the end of the burrow. Most burrows occur in the webs of fingers, flexing surfaces of the wrists, around elbows and armpits, the areolae of the breasts in females and on genitals of males, along the belt line, and on the lower buttocks. The face usually does not become involved in adults.

The rash may become secondarily infected; scratching the rash may break the skin and make secondary infection more likely. In persons with severely reduced immunity, such as those with HIV infection, or people being treated with immunosuppressive drugs like steroids, a widespread rash with thick scaling may result. This variety of scabies is called Norwegian scabies.

Examination of the skin shows characteristic signs of scabies. Tests include microscopic examination of skin scrapings taken from a burrow.

Scabies is frequently misdiagnosed as intense pruritus (itching of healthy skin) before papular eruptions form. Upon initial pruritus the burrows appear as small, barely noticeable bumps on the hands and may be slightly shiny and dark in color rather than red. Initially the itching may not exactly correlate to the location of these bumps. As the infestation progresses, these bumps become more red in color.

Generally diagnosis is made by finding burrows, which often may be difficult because they are scarce, because they are obscured by scratch marks, or by secondary dermatitis (unrelated skin irritation). If burrows are not found in the primary areas known to be affected, the entire skin surface of the body should be examined.

The suspicious area can be rubbed with ink from a fountain pen or alternately a topical tetracycline solution which will glow under a special light. The surface is then wiped off with an alcohol pad; if the person is infected with scabies, the characteristic zigzag or S pattern of the burrow across the skin will appear.

When a suspected burrow is found, diagnosis may be confirmed by microscopy of surface scrapings, which are placed on a slide in glycerol, mineral oil or immersion in oil and covered with a coverslip. Avoiding potassium hydroxide is necessary because it may dissolve fecal pellets. Positive diagnosis is made when the mite, ova, or fecal pellets are found.

Causes :
Scabies is found worldwide among people of all groups and ages. It is spread by direct contact with infected individuals and less often by sharing clothing or bedding. Sometimes whole families are affected.

The mites that cause scabies burrow into the skin and deposit their eggs, forming a characteristic burrow that looks like a pencil mark. Eggs mature in 21 days. The itchy rash is an allergic response to the mite.

Mites may be more widespread on a baby’s skin, causing pimples over the trunk, or small blisters over the palms and soles. In young children, the head, neck, shoulders, palms, and soles are involved. In older children and adults, hands, wrists, genitals, and abdomen are involved.

Treatment
Prescription medicated creams are commonly used to treat scabies infections. Such products are applied all over the body. It may be necessary to treat the whole family or sexual partners of infected individuals, even if no symptoms are present.

For difficult cases, some health care providers may also prescribe medication taken by mouth to kill the scabies mites.

Itching may persist after treatment begins, but will disappear if treatment continues exactly as your health care provider prescribes. Itching can be minimized by cool soaks and calamine lotion. Your doctor may additionally recommend an oral antihistamine.

Ayurvedic Medication for Scabies

Home Remedy for Scabies

Natural Scabies Treatment

HOMOEOPATHY AND SKIN DISEASES

Prognosis:
Most cases of scabies can be cured and resolve without any long term problems.

Possible Complications:
A secondary skin infection such as impetigo can occur because of intense scratching.

When to Contact a Medical Professional:
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of scabies, or if someone with whom you have close (not necessarily sexual) contact has been diagnosed with scabies.

Prevention:
Avoid contact with infected persons

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/Scabies
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000830.htm

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