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Herbs & Plants

Milicia excelsa

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Botanical Name :Milicia excelsa
Family: Moraceae
Genus: Milicia
Species: M. excelsa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Chlorophora excelsa (Welw.) Benth., C. alba A. Chev., C. tenuifolia Engl., Maclura excelsa (Welw.) Bureau, Milicia africana Sim, Morus excelsa Welw.

Common Name:African Teak,ioko (Hausa); iroko (Yoruba); mvule (Swahili); rock-elm (Eng.);

Habitat :Milicia excelsa is native to Africa. It is found in Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe

Description:
A large deciduous forest  tree up to 50 m tall and with a diameter up to 10 m. The bole is straight and cylindrical, branch-less up to 20 m or more. Bark is dark, fairly rough and fl aking off in small scales but rarely fi ssured. When cut, the slash exudes white latex. The crown is um- brella-shaped and fairly fl at at the top. Leaves simple and alternate, 10-20 cm long. Young leaves are vel- vety and with serrate margins while older leaves are glabrous and have entire margins.
The species is dioecious and male and female trees are slightly different in appearance, male trees having longer and more slender trunk and crown and forking being more common in male than in female trees. Flowers are born in single spikes; male fl owers white, closely crowded in a slender, pendulous catkin up to 20 cm long; females greenish, in a shorter and wider spike that looks hairy from the projecting styles.

CLICK &  SEE  THE  PICTURES
The fruit is a syncarp, i.e. the entire female in-fl orescence forms one aggregate structure consisting of small nutlets surrounded by the fl eshy perianth. The fruit is green, 5-7.5 cm long, 2.5 cm thick, wrin-kled and fl eshy and resembling a fat green caterpillar.

 

There are about 70 seeds per fruit. Seeds are small and light brown, about 1.5 mm long and 1.0 mm wide. It is thinner at the scar end and has a thin seed coat.

Medicinal Uses:
The bark, its ashes, the leaves, and the latex are all Used in local medicine. The latex is used to reduce tumours and obstructions of the throat and for stomach problems. The bark is used to treat coughs, dysentery, heart problems, and general tiredness.Baka Pygmies use the leaves for lactation failure.

Other Uses:
The high quality timber is often used as a teak substitute. It is of significant commercial value and commands high prices internationally. Locally it is Used for furniture, boat building, and general purpose building timber. It resists termites well.

It is often used as a shade tree and along streets as an ornamental. Its leaves are used as mulch and it is also nitrogen fixing.

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/Milicia_excelsa

Click to access milicia_excelsa_63_int_001.pdf


http://www.mpingoconservation.org/tax_milicia.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm
http://www.fao.org/docrep/X5327e/x5327e1b.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Alchornea floribunda

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Botanical Name :Alchornea floribunda
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Acalyphoideae
Tribe: Alchorneae
Genus: Alchornea
Species: A. floribunda
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common Names:Niando,Iporuru, Iporoni, Macochihua,Christmas Bush, Tekei, Agyama, Mbom, Diangba, Alan, Elando, Mulolongu, Kai, Sumara Fida

Habitat :Alchornea floribunda is  native to Sudan, Uganda, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Description:
Alchornea floribunda is a small evergreen tree that grows up to 10 meters in height.  The flowers are dark red, and the fruit are capsules that are smooth, hairy and ranging from green to red in color. Each fruit contains two  bright red seeds. A. floribunda is found growing primarily in forest undergrowth in Africa.  It may be propagated through seed or stem cuttings and needs very moist soil…….CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

You may click to see : pictures of Alchornea floribunda plant.

TRADITIONAL USES: Members of the Byeri group of the Fang in Gabon, a precursor to today’s Bwiti tribe, are said to have once consumed large amount of the root of A. floribunda, which they called alan, as part of initiation rituals.  It is said that the effects are weaker and not as long lasting as those of iboga (Tabernanthe iboga), the entheogen which they now use most commonly in these rituals. During this initiation ritual, the initiate would be shown the skulls of his or her ancestors, and the alan root was said to help them to communicate with the spirits of these dead invidivuals.  A. floribunda is still used today by the Byeri alongside iboga, and on its own as an aphrodisiac.

The related species A. laxiflora is used by the Yoruba people of Nigeria to deflect negative magical attacks back to the originator.  In Peru, A. castaneifolia has been used as an ayahuasca additive and a treatment for rheumatism by many different tribes.

TRADITIONAL PREPARATION: In order to enjoy the aphrodisiac effects of A. floribunda, the Bwiti macerate the root cortex and steep it in palm wine for several days.  The root is also sometimes combined with iboga to potentiate the effects of both plants.  The root bark may also be sun-dried and powdered, then mixed with food and consumed prior to a ritual or a battle to give strength.

MEDICINAL USE:
The plant has psychedelic and aphrodisiac properties. The powdered rootbark is used for traditional medicine.Indigenous Amazonian peoples and Venezuelan’s use the Iporuru roots for everything from treating arthritis to an aphrodisiac to an added ingredient for making Ayahuasca.

The leaves of A. floribunda are sometimes eaten in the Congo as an antidote for poison, and the leaf or root sap is applied to the skin to treat irritation and wounds.

In the Ivory Coast, the leaves of A. cordifolia are consumed internally and used in baths as a sedative and antispasmodic.  The root bark and leaves are commonly used treat parasites, venereal diseases, ulcers, and many other ailments.  The leaves may also be chewed to relieve mouth ulcers.  In Nigeria, a decoction of the fruit is taken by women to prevent miscarriage and to treat other reproductive troubles.

TRADITIONAL EFFECTS: Consumption of A. floribunda is said to produce intense excitement and incredible ecstasy.  This is followed several hours later by depression, vertigo and eventual collapse.  At this point in the experience, the Bwiti believe that the soul is able to journey to the land of the ancestors and to communicate with them.  A. floribunda has been known to cause overdose and death in certain situations, which is perhaps why it is no longer commonly used as an entheogen, even by the Bwiti.

Several species of Alchornea, including A. cordifolia and A. hirtella have been found to contain numerous alkaloids, including possibly yohimbine.  When a decoction of powdered A. floribunda was given to dogs, it was found to increase the sensitivity of the sympathetic nervous system to epinephrine.

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:

Alchornea floribunda – Alan Root


http://www.ktbotanicals.com/alchornea-floribunda-iporuru-iporoni-macochihua-niando-p-2.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alchornea_floribunda

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Marburg virus

Definition:
Marburg virus or simply Marburg is the common name for the genus of viruses Marburgvirus, which contains one species, Lake Victoria marburgvirus. The virus causes the disease Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever (MHF), also referred to as Marburg Virus Disease, and previously also known as green monkey disease due to its primate origin. Marburg originated in Central and East Africa, and infects both human and nonhuman primates. The Marburg Virus is in the same taxonomic family as Ebola, and both are identical structurally although they elicit different antibodies.

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Ebola virus and Marburg virus live in animal hosts, and humans can contract the viruses from infected animals. After the initial transmission, the viruses can spread from person to person through contact with body fluids or contaminated needles.

Marburg virus is a severe and highly contagious form of haemorrhagic fever caused by a virus from the same family – the filoviruses – as Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF), although it’s not as deadly as its cousin.

No drug has been approved to treat Ebola virus or Marburg virus. People diagnosed with Ebola or Marburg virus receive supportive care and treatment for complications. Scientists are coming closer to developing vaccines for these deadly diseases.

The virus was first discovered in 1967, during simultaneous outbreaks at laboratories in the former Yugoslavia and Frankfurt and Marburg, Germany. Since 1967 sporadic small outbreaks have been reported but in 2004-5 a major outbreak in Angola led to more than 140 deaths from the Marburg virus.

Symptoms:
During the incubation period, which lasts between five and ten days, no symptoms are apparent.

You may click to see:Marburg Virus Pictures from CDC

Signs and symptoms typically begin abruptly within five to 10 days of infection. Early signs and symptoms include:

*Fever
*Severe headache
*Joint and muscle aches
*Chills
*Sore throat
*Weakness

Over time, symptoms become increasingly severe and may include:

*Nausea and vomiting
*Diarrhea (may be bloody)
*Red eyes
*Raised rash
*Chest pain and cough
*Stomach pain
*Severe weight loss
*Bleeding from the nose, mouth, rectum, eyes and ears

The disease can then become increasingly damaging, causing:

•Jaundice
•Delirium
•Liver failure
•Extensive haemorrhage from multiple sites, which can give rise to bloody diarrhoea and vomiting of blood (known as heamatemesis)

Many people infected with the virus die, usually from haemorrhagic shock or liver failure. In areas where medical support is poor, the death rate can be much higher. The infection can be difficult to diagnose, because many of the initial signs are similar to those of other infectious diseases, such as malaria or typhoid fever.

Causes:
The virus appears to be rare and only found in Africa where cases have occurred in Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Angola. In the natural habitat the reservoir of the virus is the Egyptian fruit bat, which is found in Africa, but how the virus jumps from animals to humans is not known. Some people have developed the disease after visiting caves where the bats are found.

Transmission from animals to humans:
The virus can be transmitted to humans by exposure to an infected animal’s bodily fluids. Examples include:

*Blood. Butchering or eating infected animals can spread the viruses. Scientists who have operated on infected animals as part of their research have also contracted the virus.

*Waste products. Tourists in certain African caves and some underground mine workers have been infected with the Marburg virus, possibly through contact with the feces or urine of infected bats.

Transmission from person to person :
Infected people typically don’t become contagious until they develop symptoms. Family members are often infected as they care for sick relatives or prepare the dead for burial.

Once a human is infected they can pass the virus on to others through their body fluids, most commonly blood but also faeces, saliva and vomit. The virus may also possibly be spread via aerosols of tiny infected droplets produced when patients cough and splutter. However, the research suggests that sick humans don’t usually generate sufficient volumes of infectious aerosols to pose a significant hazard to those around them.

Medical personnel can be infected if they don’t use protective gear such as surgical masks and latex gloves. Medical centers in Africa are often so poor that they must reuse needles and syringes. Some of the worst Ebola epidemics have occurred because contaminated injection equipment wasn’t sterilized between uses.

There’s no evidence that Ebola virus or Marburg virus can be spread via insect bites.

Risk Factors:
For most people — including international travelers — the risk of getting Ebola or Marburg hemorrhagic fever is low. The risk increases if you:

*Travel to Africa. You’re at increased risk if you visit or work in areas where Ebola virus or Marburg virus outbreaks have occurred in the past.

*Conduct animal research. People are more likely to contract the Ebola or Marburg virus if they conduct animal research with monkeys imported from Africa or the Philippines.

*Provide medical or personal care. Family members are often infected as they care for sick relatives. Medical personnel also can be infected if they don’t use protective gear such as surgical masks and latex gloves.Prepare people for burial. The bodies of people who have died of Ebola or Marburg hemorrhagic fever are still contagious. Helping prepare these bodies for burial can increase your risk of developing the disease yourself.

Complications:
Both Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers lead to death for a high percentage of people who are affected. As the illness progresses, it can cause:

*Multiple organ failure
*Severe bleeding
*Jaundice
*Delirium
*Seizures
*Coma
*Shock

One reason the viruses are so deadly is that they interfere with the immune system’s ability to mount a defense. But scientists don’t understand why some people recover from Ebola and Marburg and others don’t.

For people who survive, recovery is slow. It may take months to regain weight and strength, and the viruses remain in the body for many weeks. People may experience:

*Hair loss
*Sensory changes
*Liver inflammation (hepatitis)
*Weakness
*Fatigue
*Headaches
*Eye inflammation
*Testicular inflammation

Diagnosis:
Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers are difficult to diagnose because many of the early signs and symptoms resemble those of other infectious diseases, such as typhoid and malaria. But if doctors suspect that you have been exposed to Ebola virus or Marburg virus, they use laboratory tests that can identify the viruses within a few days.

Most people with Ebola or Marburg hemorrhagic fever have high concentrations of the virus in their blood. Blood tests known as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can detect specific genes or the virus or antibodies to them.

It is similar to Ebola using the Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA) test. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique has been successfully used for detection of Marburg virus. PCR detection for Marburg virus by Hänninen 2001

Treatment :
There is no cure for Marburg disease as there is no specific antiviral therapy indicated for treating Marburg, and hospital care is usually supportive in nature. Hypotension and shock may require early administration of vasopressors and haemodynamic monitoring with attention to fluid and electrolyte balance, circulatory volume, and blood pressure. Viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) patients tend to respond poorly to fluid infusions and may develop pulmonary edema.

Prognosis:
If a patient survives, recovery is usually prompt and complete, though it may be prolonged in some cases, with inflammation or secondary infection of various organs, including: orchitis (testicles), hepatitis (liver), transverse myelitis (spinal cord), uveitis (eyes), and parotitis (salivary glands) Recovered patients often have little or no memory of being sick, though only 40-60% survive.

Prevention:
Strict hygiene measures help to prevent spread when an outbreak occurs, and an experimental vaccine is currently being tested.

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://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/marburg_virus.shtml
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ebola-virus/DS00996
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marburg_virus
http://hardinmd.lib.uiowa.edu/cdc/275.html

http://hardinmd.lib.uiowa.edu/cdc/6562.html

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Herbs & Plants

Aerva lanata

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Botanical Name :Aerva lanata Linn
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Amaranthoideae
Genus: Aerva
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Species: A. lanata
Common Names:Cheroola, Chaya, Gorakha ganja, Kapurijadi, Cherupula, Kapur-madhura, Paunsia, Buikallan, Poolai, Pindiconda.

Vernacular Names:-
Bengali: Chaya.
Duk.: Kul -ke -jar, Khul.
Hindi:Gorakhbuti or Kapuri jadi.
Kannada: Bilesuli.
Malayalam: Cherula.
Marathi: Kapuri-madhura.
Punjabi: Bui-kaltan (flowers as sold in bazaars).
Rajasthani: Bhui.
Sanskrit: Astmabayda
Sindhi: Bhui, Jari.
Sinhalese-Pol pala.
Tamil: Sirru -pulay -vayr.
Telugu: Pinde-conda, Pindi-chetter.
Trans-Indus: Asmei, Spirke, Sasai.
Swahili: Kinongo
Akan-Asante bameha
Abure n-tanfa
Akye: munongbe
Baule akopinolé
Guere (Chiehn) ura ore, wore oré (K&B) wulo wulé (B&D)

Habitat :- Native to
Afrotropic:
Northeast Tropical Africa: Ethiopia, Somalia
East Tropical Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda
West-Central Tropical Africa: Cameroon, Rwanda, Zaire
West Tropical Africa: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo
South Tropical Africa: Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe
Southern Africa: South Africa – Natal, Transvaal
Western Indian Ocean: Madagascar
Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia
Indomalaya:
Indian Subcontinent: India, Sri Lanka
Malesia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines
Australasia: Queensland

Description:
A semi erect many branched under shrub grows up to 50 cm in height. Leaves are simple, alternate, short petioled, tomentose, and become smaller in the flowering twigs. Flowers are small sessile, greenish or whitish, often found in spikes. Fruits are greenish round compressed utricle, seeds kidney shaped and small.

Click to see the pictures.>...…(01)...……..(1).………(2).……

Aerva lanata  is a common weed which grows wild everywhere in plains of India. The root has a camphor like aroma. The dried flowers which look like soft spikes, are sold under the commercial name as Buikallan or Boor.

Edible Uses:
The whole plant, especially the leaves, is edible. The leaves are put into soup or eaten as a spinach or as a vegetable. The plant provides grazing for stock, game in and chickens.

Medicinal Uses:

The plant is said to be diuretic and demulcent. Its diuretic action is said to be very effective in the treatment of urethral discharges and gonorrhoea and is of value in cases of lithiasis and as an anthelmintic. A trace of alkaloid has been detected.

As per Ayurveda
Plant pacifies vitiated pitta, urinry infection, vesical calculi, cough, and boils.

Leaves
A leaf-decoction is prepared as a gargle for treating sore-throat and used in various complex treatments against guinea-worm. to wash Babies that have become unconscious during an attack of malaria or of some other disease are washed with a leaf decoction at the same time smoke from the burning plant is inhaled. The leaf-sap is also used for eye-complaints. An infusion is given to cure diarrhoea and in an unspecified manner at childbirth, and on sores.

Decoction of the flowers is said to cure stones in any part of the stomach and that of the root is diuretic and cure for kidney stones

Root
The root is used in snake-bite treatment.

Flowers
For pains in the lower part of the back leaves and flowers are reduced to ash which is rubbed into cuts on the back.

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.

Other Uses:

Spiritual
It gives protection against evil spirits, is a good-luck talisman for hunters, and safeguards the well-being of widows.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerva_lanata
http://enchantingkerala.org/ayurveda/ayurvedic-medicinal-plants/cherula.php
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp

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Suppliments our body needs

Why Sunlight is Your Best Source of Vitamin D

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In fact, vitamin D plays a pivotal role in the immune system. The explanation likely comes from the fact that vitamin D in cod liver oil does not exist in isolation — it comes with a high dose of vitamin A.

Vitamin A and vitamin D compete for each other’s function. For example, even the vitamin A in a single serving of liver can impair vitamin D’s rapid intestinal calcium response.

Unfortunately, Americans tend to consume multivitamins or cod liver oil that contain disproportionately small amounts of vitamin D, but detrimental quantities of vitamin A. One manufacturer sells cod liver oil containing only 3 to 60 IU of vitamin D, but between 3,000 and 6,000 IU of vitamin A.

A separate study by Daniel Hayes, Ph.D., of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene also suggests that a form of vitamin D could be one of your body’s main protections against damage from low levels of radiation. Hayes explains that calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, may protect us from background radiation and could be used as a safe protective agent before or after a low-level nuclear incident.

He points out that calcitriol is involved in cell cycle regulation and control of proliferation, cellular differentiation and communication between cells, as well as programmed cell death (apoptosis and autophagy) and antiangiogenesis.

Calcitriol is the form of vitamin D that activates your body’s Vitamin D Receptor (VDR), which allows gene transcription to take place and the activation of the innate immune response.

It is possible that several of the transcriptions by the VDR will help transcribe proteins that protect the body against radiation.

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