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Bursitis

Definition:
A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that usually overlays a bone or a joint and acts as a shock absorber. There are two types:

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Anatomical bursae normally occur around the body where tendons cross bones or joints. The complex knee joint has 15 bursae, for example.

•Adventitious bursae are not part of the normal body structure but develop when the soft tissue overlying a bone suffers repeated friction or trauma. An example of this type is over the pelvic bone in the buttock muscles because someone has been sitting on a hard chair for several hours a day.

Bursitis is inflammation of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) that lies between a tendon and skin, or between a tendon and bone. Certain occupations predispose people to this. The condition may be acute or chronic.
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Causes:
The most common causes of bursitis are trauma, infection, and crystal deposits.

Trauma
Trauma causes inflammatory bursitis from repetitive injury, which results in widening of the blood vessels. This allows proteins and extracellular fluid into the bursae and the bursae react against these “foreign” substances by becoming swollen.

•Chronic: The most common cause of chronic bursitis is minor trauma that may occur to the shoulder (subdeltoid) bursa from repetitive motion, for example, throwing a baseball. Another example is prepatellar bursitis (in front of the knee) from prolonged or repetitive kneeling on a hard surface to scrub a floor or lay carpet.

Acute brusits: A direct blow (let’s say you accidentally bang your knee into a table) can cause blood to leak into the bursa. This rapid collection usually causes marked pain and swelling, most often in the knee.

Infections:
Bursae close to the surface of the skin are the most likely to get infected with common organisms; this is called septic bursitis. These bursitis-causing bacteria are normally found on the skin: Staphylococcus aureus or Staphylococcus epidermis. People with diabetes or alcoholism and those undergoing steroid treatments or with certain kidney conditions, or who may have experienced trauma may be higher risks for this type of bursitis. About 85% of septic bursitis occurs in men.

Crystal deposits
People with certain diseases such as gout, rheumato:id arthritis, or scleroderma, for example, may develop bursitis from crystal deposits. Little is known about how this process happens. Uric acid is a normal byproduct of daily metabolism. People who have gout are unable to properly break down the uric acid, which crystalizes and deposits in joints-a mechanism for causing bursitis.
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Symptoms:
Bursitis causes pain and tenderness around the affected bone or tendon. The bursae sacs may swell, often making movement difficult. The most commonly affected joints are the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, knee, and foot.

Shoulder…...click & see

The subacromial (subdeltoid bursa) separates the major tendon (known as the supraspinatus tendon) from the overlying bone and deltoid muscle. Inflammation of this bursa is usually a result of injury to surrounding structures-most commonly the rotator cuff. This is often referred to as “impingement syndrome.” It is often difficult to tell the difference between this type of bursitis pain and a rotator cuff injury. Both cause pain in the side or front of the shoulder.

•Overhead lifting or reaching activities are uncomfortable.

•Pain is often worse at night.

•The shoulder will usually have decreased range of active motion and be tender at specific spots.

Elbow. click & see

Olecranon bursitis is the most common form of bursitis. Goose-egg-like, tender red swelling may appears just behind the elbow. This area is at the top of one of the forearm bones called the ulna and is known as the olecranon process.

•The pain may increase if the elbow is bent because tension increases over the bursa.

•This bursa is frequently exposed to direct trauma (bumping your arm) or repeated motions from bending and extending the elbow (while painting, for example).

•Infection is common in this bursa.

Knee....click & see

•Kneecap (prepatellar) bursitis: Swelling on the front of the kneecap is usually associated with either chronic trauma (from kneeling) or an acute blow to the knee. Swelling may occur as late as 7-10 days after a single blow to the area, usually from a fall.

•Anserine bursitis: The anserine bursa is fan shaped and lies among 3 of the major tendons at the knee. The name anserine (gooselike) comes from the shape of the swollen bursa. When restrained by the 3 tendons, the bursa looks like a goose’s foot.

This type of bursitis is most often seen in people with arthritis, especially overweight middle-aged women with osteoarthritis.

*The pain is typically produced when the knee is bent and is particularly troublesome at night. People often seek comfort by sleeping with a pillow between their thighs.

*The pain can radiate to the inner thigh and midcalf and usually increases on climbing stairs and at extremes of bending and extending.

*The area of tenderness is on the middle part of the knee.

*Anserine bursitis also occurs as an overuse or traumatic injury among athletes, particularly long-distance runners.
Ankle.click & see

Retrocalcaneal bursitis occurs when the bursa near the Achilles tendon in the ankle becomes inflamed. This is commonly caused by local trauma associated with wearing a poorly designed shoe (often high heels) or prolonged walking. It can also occur with Achilles tendonitis.

Bursitis in this part of the body often occurs as an overuse injury in young athletes, ice skaters, and female adolescents transitioning to higher heels. The pain is usually on the back of the heel and increases with passive extension or resisted flexion.

Buttocks....click & see

Ischiogluteal bursitis causes inflammation of the ischial bursa, which lies between the bottom of the pelvic bone and the overlying gluteus maximus muscle (one side of the buttocks). Inflammation can come from sitting for a long time on a hard surface or from bicycling.

•The pain occurs when sitting and walking.

•There will be tenderness over the pubic bone, which may be made worse by bending and extending the leg.

•The pain may radiate down the back of the thigh.

•Direct pressure over the area causes sharp pain.

•The person may hold the painful buttock elevated when sitting.

•The pain is worse when person is lying down and the hip is passively bent.

•The person may have difficulty standing on tiptoe on the affected side.

Hip click & see

The iliopsoas bursa is the largest in the body and lies in front of, and deep to, the hip joint. Bursitis here is usually associated with hip problems such as arthritis or injury (especially from running).

•The pain of iliopsoas bursitis radiates down the front and middle areas of the thigh to the knee and is increased when the hip is extended and rotated.

•Extension of the hip during walking causes pain so the person may limit the stride on the affected side and take a shorter step.

•There may be tenderness in the groin area.

•Sometimes a mass may be felt resembling a hernia. The person may also feel numbness or tingling if adjacent nerves are compressed by the inflamed bursa.

Thigh click & see

The trochanteric bursa, part of the thigh, can be associated trochanteric bursitis, which occurs most frequently in overweight, middle-aged women.

•It causes deep, aching hip pain along the side of the hip that may extend into the buttocks or to the side of the knee.

•Pain is aggravated by activity, local pressure, or stretching.

•Pain is often worse at night.
Diagnosis:
Exams and Tests:

•History: The doctor will usually take a detailed history about the onset of symptoms and will want to know what movement or activity makes you feel more or less pain. You will need to report other medical problems you may have.

•Fluid removal: The doctor may remove synovial fluid from the joint with a needle (aspiration) and send it to the lab for analysis for possible infection. Bursitis in the knee and elbow are especially prone to infection.

•X-rays: They are usually not helpful, but the doctor may get them if any other disease process is suspected such as a fracture or dislocation. MRI and CT scans are obtained only to exclude other causes.

•Blood testing: The doctor may take blood from your arm for lab testing to rule out infection or other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or hyperthyroidism.
Treatment:
The doctor will probably recommend home care with P-R-I-C-E-M: protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation, and medications .

At first  doctor may recommend temporary rest or immobilization of the affected joint.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen may relieve pain and inflammation. Formal physical therapy may be helpful as well.

If the inflammation does not respond to the initial treatment, it may be necessary to draw out fluid from the bursa and inject corticosteroids. Surgery is rarely required….

Exercises for the affected area should be started as the pain resolves. If muscle atrophy (weakness or decrease in size) has occurred. Your health care provider may suggest exercises to build strength and increase mobility.

Bursitis caused by infection is treated with antibiotics. Sometimes the infected bursa must be drained surgically.

Prognosis:
The condition may respond well to treatment, or it may develop into a chronic condition if the underlying cause cannot be corrected.

Complications:
Chronic bursitis may occur.
Too many steroid injections over a short period of time can cause injury to the surrounding tendons.

Prevention:
Avoid activities that include repetitive movements of any body parts whenever possible.

You may Click to see :List of Burn Centers in  US

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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://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/bursitis.shtml
http://healthtools.aarp.org/adamcontent/bursitis?CMP=KNC-360I-GOOGLE-HEA&HBX_PK=bursitis&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=bursitis&utm_campaign=G_Diseases%2Band%2BConditions&360cid=SI_148893841_6495451981_1
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/bursitis/article_em.htm
http://www.medicalook.com/Joint_pain/Bursitis.html
http://activemotionphysio.ca/article.php?aid=246
http://www.bursitisinshoulder.com/
http://www.bursitis.ws/Knee-Bursitis.html

http://www.aidmybursa.com/foot-ankle-bursitis.php

http://www.sportlink.co.uk/hip_bursitis.php

http://www.bursitistreatment.info/ischial-bursitis_8.html

http://www.steadyhealth.com/articles/Hip_Bursitis___Trochanteric_Bursitis_a246.html

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Acalypha fruticosa

 

Botanical Name :Acalypha fruticosa Forssk.
Famille :   Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Acalypha

Synonyms:Acalypha betulina Retz, Acalypha capitata Wall. , Acalypha chrysadenia Suess. & Friedrich, Acalypha fruticosa var. villosa Hutch, Acalypha paxiana Dinter ex Pax & K.Hoffm.

Common Names: Cinna, Birch-leaved acalypha, Chinni, Sinnimaram, Sinni, Chinniaka.

Habitat :Africa, East Tropical Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda , Northeast Tropical Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan  , Southern Africa, Namibia, Asia-Temperate, Arabian Peninsula, North Yemen, Saudi Arabia Asia-Tropical, Indian Subcontinent, Sri Lanka

Description:
An aromatic shrub up to 4 m tall.Stems pubescent and greenish at first, later glabrescent and reddish-brown.Petioles 0.53 cm long.Leaf blades 27 14.5 cm, ovate to rhombic-ovate, shortly caudate-acuminate at the apex, crenate-serrate to dentate on the margin, rounded to wide-cuneate or subtruncate at the base, membranous to thinly chartaceous, sparingly or evenly yellowish-pellucid gland-dotted beneath, sparingly to evenly pubescent on both surfaces, and usually more densely so along the midrib and main nerves beneath, 5(7)-nerved from the base; lateral nerves in 24 pairs.Stipules 34 mm, narrowly lanceolate, puberulous, chestnut-brown.Plants usually monoecious.Inflorescences rarely exceeding 2 cm in length, spicate, axillary, usually androgynous with a densely congested terminal male portion and with 14 bracteate female flowers at or near the base; male bracts 1 mm long, ovate, densely white-pubescent; female bracts foliaceous, accrescent to c. 810 1015 mm, broadly ovate to reniform, crenate or repand-dentate, sparingly yellow gland-dotted and often fairly prominently ribbed on the lower surface, sparingly pubescent, 1-flowered.Male flowers subsessile; buds tetragonous-subglobose, densely pubescent or white-tomentose.Female flowers sessile; sepals 3, 1 mm long, ovate-lanceolate, ciliate; ovary 0.7 mm in diameter, 3-lobed to subglobose, smooth, yellow-glandular in the grooves, densely pubescent; styles 4 mm long, free, laciniate, pink or red.Fruits 2 3 mm, 3-lobed, yellow gland-dotted, evenly pubescent-pilose.Seeds 1.52 11.3 mm, ellipsoid-ovoid, smooth, brown, with an elliptic vulviform caruncle.

You may click to see the pictures of  Acalypha fruticosa  

 CLICK & SEE

Leaves: Ovate to rhombic-ovate, shortly caudate-acuminate at the apex, crenate-serrate to dentate on the margin . Stems: Pubescent and greenish at first, later glabrescent and reddish-brown . Flowers: Female flowers are arranged singly or up to threes in the inflorescence . Flowers: Female flowers are broadly ovate to reniform, crenate or repand-dentate, sparingly yellow, gland dotted and often fairly prominently ribbed on the lower surface . Flowers: Male flowers are ovate, densely white-pubescent . Fruits: Yellow gland-dotted, evenly pubescent-pilose, 3-lobed . Height: 0.1-2 m [5104]. Height: 1-2 m . Height: Up to 4 m tall.

Medicinal Uses:
Roots, humans, gonorrhoea: In East Africa the root is used for gonorrhoea (Bally 1937) . Leaves, humans, cholera: In Tanzania the leaves of variety villosa are used as a remedy for cholera (Brenan and Greenway 1949) . In East India and Arabia the leaves are used in cholera (Dragendorff 1898) . Roots, humans, venereal diseases (non-specified) : In central Africa venereal disease is treated with the root . Roots, humans, fever: A decoction of the root is used as a febrifuge ( Brenan and Greenway 1949) . Humans, fever: The Sukuma regard the plant as an active febrifuge . Roots, humans, venereal disease (non-specified) , oral ingestion: The Pare drink an infusion of the root for chancre (Bally 1937, 1938) . Humans, fever: The plant is said to be effective for fever.

Digestive System Disorders, leaves, humans, stomach; humans, stomach  Infections/Infestations, roots, humans, venereal diseases (non-specified); humans, fever ; leaves, humans, cholera; roots, humans, gonorrhoea; roots, humans, venereal diseases (non-specified) , oral ingestion; roots, humans, fever Inflammation, leaf juice, humans, eyes ; leaf juice, humans, eyes, inflammation, eye drops  Injuries, humans, wounds, dressings; humans, wounds Pain, humans, chest ; leaves, humans, stomach  Poisonings, humans, snake bites Respiratory System Disorders, humans, coughs Sensory System Disorders, leaves, humans, eyes, eye drops.

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://www.prota4u.org/protav8.asp?fr=1&g=pe&p=Acalypha+fruticosa+Forssk.
http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?423292
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp

http://plants.jstor.org/specimen/b%2010%200153973

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Brusists

Definition:Whether you’re at work or at play, if you overuse or repetitively stress your body’s joints, you may eventually develop a painful inflammation called bursitis.

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You have more than 150 bursae in your body. These small, fluid-filled sacs lubricate and cushion pressure points between your bones and the tendons and muscles near your joints. They help your joints move with ease. Bursitis occurs when a bursa becomes inflamed. When inflammation occurs, movement or pressure is painful.

Bursitis often affects the joints in your shoulders, elbows or hips. But you can also have bursitis by your knee, heel and the base of your big toe. Bursitis pain usually goes away within a few weeks or so with proper treatment, but recurrent flare-ups of bursitis are common.

Symptoms:
If you have bursitis, you may notice:

A dull ache or stiffness in the area around your elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, big toe or other joints:-

*A worsening of pain with movement or pressure

*An area that feels swollen or warm to the touch

*Occasional skin redness in the area of the inflamed bursa

Bursitis of the hip doesn’t cause any visible swelling or skin redness because the bursae are located beneath some of your body’s bulkiest muscles. In this type of bursitis, pain is primarily over the greater trochanter, a portion of your thighbone (femur) that juts out just below where the bone joins the hip.

Causes:
Common causes of bursitis are overuse, stress and direct trauma to a joint, such as with repeated bumping or prolonged pressure from kneeling. Bursitis may also result from an infection, arthritis or gout. Many times, the cause is unknown.

Bursitis in certain locations of your body is caused by repetitive motion related to certain activities:

Shoulder. Bursitis of the shoulder often results from injury to the rotator cuff, the muscles and tendons that connect your upper arm bone to your shoulder blade. Causes of the injury may include falling, lifting and repetitive overhead arm activities. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between the pain caused by bursitis and that caused by a rotator cuff injury.

Elbow. This type of bursitis is associated with actions requiring you to repeatedly bend and extend your Elbow. You may get such an inflammation by pushing a vacuum cleaner back and forth. Throwing a baseball and swinging a tennis racket or a golf club are other examples of repeated physical activities that may lead to bursitis or tendinitis of the elbow or shoulder. Simple repeated leaning on your elbows could lead to bursitis over the tip of your elbow

Buttocks. This type of bursitis describes an inflamed bursa over the bone in your buttocks. It may result from sitting on a hard surface for long periods, such as on a bike.

Hip. Bursitis of the hip is frequently associated with arthritis or a hip injury. The pressure from standing or sitting for a prolonged time also may lead to bursitis of the hip.

Knee. In this form of bursitis, a soft, egg-shaped bump occurs on the front of your knee, the result of repetitive kneeling while installing tiles, scrubbing a floor, gardening or doing other activities that place pressure on your knees. A sharp blow to the knee can cause inflammation of the bursae around the kneecap. People with arthritis who are overweight often develop bursitis of the knee.

Ankle.
Inflammation of the bursa in the ankle commonly occurs as a result of improper footwear or prolonged walking or in sports, such as ice-skating.

You may not be able to pinpoint a specific incident or activity that led to your bursitis. In some cases, the inflammation may stem from a staphylococcal infection.

Diagnosis:
Your doctor may have you undergo a physical examination and ask you about your recent activities. By feeling the painful joint and surrounding area, your doctor may be able to identify a specific area of tenderness.

If it appears that something else may be causing the discomfort, your physician may request an X-ray of the affected area. If bursitis is the cause, X-ray images can’t positively establish the diagnosis, but they can help to exclude other causes of your discomfort.

Although you usually can trace bursitis to events of overuse or pressure, there may be no obvious cause. In the latter case, your doctor may want to perform additional screening to rule out other causes of joint inflammation and pain. This may include blood tests or an analysis of fluid from the inflamed bursa.

Treatments :
Bursitis treatment is usually simple and includes:

*Resting and immobilizing the affected area

*Applying ice to reduce swelling

*Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain and reduce inflammation

*With simple self-care and home treatment, bursitis usually disappears within a couple of weeks.

Sometimes, your doctor may recommend physical therapy or exercises to strengthen the muscles in the area. Additionally, your doctor may inject a corticosteroid drug into the bursa to relieve inflammation. This treatment generally brings immediate relief and, in many cases, one injection is all you’ll need.

If your bursitis is caused by an infection, you’ll need to take antibiotics. Sometimes the bursa must be surgically drained, but only rarely is surgical removal of the affected bursa necessary.

Lifestyle and home remedies:
To take care of your bursitis at home:

*Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can provide relief. Use as directed.

* Consult your doctor if you need NSAIDs for an extended period of time.

*Apply ice packs. Use them for 20 minutes several times a day during the first few days, or for as long as the joint area is warm to the touch.

*Apply heat. Use heat after the affected joint is no longer warm or red to help relieve muscle and joint pain and stiffness. But don’t overdo it. Don’t apply heat for more than 20 minutes at a time. Sometimes moist heat seems to penetrate deeper and give you more relief than does dry heat.

*Perform stretching exercises. Stretching can help restore full range of motion.

*Elevate the affected joint. Raising your knee or elbow can help reduce swelling.

Keep pressure off your joint. If possible, use an elastic bandage, sling or soft foam pad to protect a joint until the swelling goes down.

Herbal Remedy:

YOU can promote the healing of inflamed fluid sacs between tendons and bones, and fight the pain and tenderness of “tennis elbow” and “frozen shoulder” with these herbs from Mother Nature’s medicine chest:

Coral calcium with trace minerals, glucosamine sulfate, shavegrass.

Prevention:
To help prevent bursitis or reduce the severity of flare-ups:

*Stretch your muscles. Warm up or stretch before physical activity.

*Strengthen your muscles. Strengthening can help protect your joints. Wait until the pain and inflammation are gone before starting to exercise a joint that has bursitis.

*Take frequent breaks from repetitive tasks. Alternate repetitive tasks with rest or other activities.

*Cushion your joint. Use cushioned chairs, foam for kneeling or elbow pads. Avoid resting your elbows on hard surfaces. Avoid shoes that don’t fit properly or that have worn-down heels.

*Don’t sit still for long periods. Get up and move about frequently.

*Practice good posture. For example, avoid leaning on your elbows.

If your bursitis is caused by a chronic underlying condition, such as arthritis, it may recur despite these preventive measures.

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.mayoclinic.com/health/bursitis
http://www.herbnews.org/bursitisdone.htm

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The Vulnerable Lobes

Medical students have always been fascinated by the story of Phineas Gage, a normal, hard working 26-year-old labourer. He became famous in 1848, when an iron rod pierced his skull and brain and exited on the opposite side. He survived this extensive trauma and was physically normal. His life aroused scientific curiosity as physicians suddenly realised that, contrary to popular opinion at that time, all parts of the brain where not essential for life.

The brain controls the physical functions of the body, determines our intelligence, memory, personality and ability to respond to change. It has four paired lobes. Of these, the parietal, temporal and occipital lobes have well elucidated mapped areas for functions like sight, speech, hearing and movement. The frontal lobes (through which the rod pierced Gage), situated just behind the forehead, are responsible for subtle psychological functions like mental maturity, recognition of social norms of behaviour, emotional development and appropriate responses to society.

English: Four brain lobes frontal lobe(red) pa...

English: Four brain lobes frontal lobe(red) parietal lobe(orange) temporal lobe(green) occipital lobe(yellow) and insula(purple) is also shown. others are Brain stem(black) Cerebellum(sky blue). Polygon data are from BodyParts3D maintained by Database Center for Life Science(DBCLS). ???: ????? ???(??) ???(?????) ???(??) ???(??) ??? ?????? ? ??(??) ??(??) ????????Database Center for Life Science(DBCLS)???????BodyParts3D??? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The frontal area of the brain is protected to some extent by the skull bones. However, damage to the frontal lobes can occur as a result of accidents. Surgery may be performed on the frontal lobes to remove cysts or tumours, to treat intractable epilepsy, or very rarely for psychiatric disorders. The effects of injury to the frontal lobes are often subtle and difficult to pinpoint as the IQ (intelligence quotient) may remain normal. There may be weakness without actual paralysis, inability to perform sequential movement (like dressing for work), lack of flexibility and spontaneity, poor attention and difficulty in expressing thoughts lucidly despite increased talking. Sexual habits may change with promiscuity or disinterest or socially inappropriate behaviour. The entire personality of the individual may change, making him or her unpleasant, obnoxious and intolerable.

The brain fibres in the frontal lobes mature as we grow older and develop fully around the age of 25. Genetic defects or injury in the uterus, during birth or within this time frame, can result in faulty connections, inadequate development and poor release of brain chemicals like dopamine. This can cause learning disabilities, antisocial personalities and sometimes even major psychiatric illnesses like schizophrenia. Also the size of our brain, particularly of the frontal lobes, shrinks over time. This affects important human abilities such as planning, reasoning and problem solving.

Not all brains age or deteriorate at the same rate. Part of this process is genetic and the degeneration sets in at a certain chronological age triggered by an in-built biological alarm. This apparently inevitable mental decline is further influenced by environmental factors, which can be modified favourably.

The concept of retraining ageing brain circuits has been gaining popularity. There are DVDs and books available on brain exercises. The numbers game Sudoku is in almost every newspaper. Retraining the frontal lobes can also be done quite simply by memorising passages or poetry from books. Repetition of a task makes performance rapid and more efficient with less room for error, as the cascading chemical reactions in the brain then occur on accustomed pathways. Older adults who regularly participate in cognitive activity improve their memory, speed of thought and attention span. This helps them to efficiently manage their day-to-day activities and their finances. The benefits of brain training can be enhanced by regular physical activity.

Look after your brain as it is the only one you have.

* Protect it from injury by wearing seat belts and using helmets.

* Do not hit anyone on the head (this particularly includes corporal punishment).

* If anyone has had an accident or brain surgery, tolerate their idiosyncrasies, changes in personality, unreasonable anger and emotional outbursts.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Sesame seeds

Chung Po MookImage by Pabo76 via Flickr

 

Botanical name: Sesamum Indicum, Sesamum Orientale.
Family: Pedaliaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Sesamum
Species: S. indicum

Other names: Benne, Bene, Oil Plant, Vangloe, Tilseed, Teel, Teel-seed, gingili.

Habitat : Sesamum Indicum is possibly native to Africa

Description:
Magnified image of white sesame seedsIt is an annual plant growing 50 to 100 cm (1.6 to 3.3 ft) tall, with opposite leaves 4 to 14 cm (1.6 to 5.5 in) long with an entire margin; they are broad lanceolate, to 5 cm (2 in) broad, at the base of the plant, narrowing to just 1 cm (0.4 in) broad on the flowering stem……..click  & see the pictures

The flowers are yellow, tubular, 3 to 5 cm (1.2 to 2.0 in) long, with a four-lobed mouth. The flowers may vary in colour with some being white, blue or purple.

Sesame fruit is a capsule, normally pubescent, rectangular in section and typically grooved with a short triangular beak. The length of the fruit capsule varies from 2 to 8 cm, its width varies between 0.5 to 2 cm, and the number of loculi from 4 to 12. The fruit naturally splits opens (dehisces) to release the seeds by splitting along the septa from top to bottom or by means of two apical pores, depending on the varietal cultivar. The degree of dehiscence is of importance in breeding for mechanised harvesting as is the insertion height of the first capsule.

Sesame seeds are small. The size, form and colours vary with the thousands of varieties now known. Typically, the seeds are about 3 to 4 millimeters long by 2 millimeters wide and 1 millimeter thick. The seeds are ovate, slightly flattened and somewhat thinner at the eye of the seed (hilum) than at the opposite end. The weight of the seeds are between 20 and 40 milligrams. The seed coat (testa) may be smooth or ribbed. CLICK & SEE

Sesame seeds come in many colours depending on the cultivar harvested. The most traded variety of sesame is off-white coloured. Other common colours are buff, tan, gold, brown, reddish, gray and black.

Sesame seed is sometimes sold with its seed coat removed (decorticated). This is the variety often present on top of buns in developed economies

African slaves brought sesame seeds, which they called benné seeds, to America, where they became a popular ingredient in Southern dishes.

Sesame seeds can be sprinkled on breads or on main dishes and vegetables to add a mild nutty flavor.
Tahini is a paste made of ground sesame seeds which is used in many Near and Far East recipes. You can purchase it prepared in most markets, or make your own.

Sesame seed oil is still the main source of fat used in cooking in the Near and Far East.
.Sesame plant

Plants in the field

Sesame Seeds is neither a herb or a spice but one of the oldest annual plants grown for its seeds and oil. It is native to Africa and Asia but today is grown in China, India, Mexico and southwest United States as a commercial crop.

Sesame seeds come in a variety of colors depending on the plant variety, including shades of brown, red, black, yellow, and most commonly, a pale grayish ivory. The darker seeds are said to be more flavorful.

Cultivation:
Sesame is grown in many parts of the world on over 5 million acres (20,000 km²). The largest producer of the crop in 2007 was China, followed by India, Myanmar, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Nigeria. Seventy percent of the world’s sesame crop is grown in Asia, with Africa growing 26%.

Beginning in the 1950s, U.S. production of the crop has been largely centered in Texas, with acerage fluctuating between 10,000 to 20,000 acres (40 to 80 km²) in recent years. The country’s crop does not make up a significant global source; indeed imports have now outstripped domestic production

Aroma and Flavour: In spite of their high oil content, sesame seeds have little aroma, but when they are dry-fried their nutty aroma is very pronounced and their flavor heightened.

Culinary Use: Sesame oil is used in margarines and as a cooking medium and a flavouring ingredient. The seeds are ground to an oily, beige-coloured paste known as tahini, which is used in hummus, a Middle Eastern dip. Sometimes the tahini is mixed with lemon juice and gralic and used as a dip with hot pitta bread as starter or picnic food.

The Chinese are fond of sesame; sesame oil is widely used in Chinese cooking as a flavouring. The seeds are also used, for example sesame prawn toasts are scattered with seeds before they are deep-fried. They are also sprinkled over Chinese toffee apples, pieces of apple fried in a light batter and coated in caramel. Both oil and seeds are sued in the cooking of other Far Eastern countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Gomasio is a Japanese specialty using sesame seeds: s mixture of the ground seeds and salt sued as a seasoning.

The seeds are popular scattered on bread, sweet and savoury biscuits, particularly in Greece and Turkey.

white sesame seeds

Medicinal and Other Use: Sesame is used in laxatives, as an emollient and in poultices. Sesame oil, also called gingelly oil, is highly stable and it does not become rancid quickly in hot humid conditions; it is used in lubricants, soap, cosmetics and ointments. The mixture or ‘cake’ that remains after the pressing of the oil is full of protein and eaten as a subsistence food.
Sesame is a member of the Pedaliaceae family. It is native to tropical Asian countries. The sesame plant can grow to a height of three feet and is an annual herb. It is an erect plant covered in fine hair and has a square stem. The leaves are flat, lanceolate in shape and grow in clusters of twos and threes. The flowers are pinkish purple in color or white and are bell shaped. Sesame is planted in the month of May and is harvested by fall or autumn. The name sesame is derived from Middle English sisame and from the Latin sesamum.

Interestingly, nutrients from one seed to another vary, but they all contain protein, oils (oleic acid, liuoleic acid, palmitoleic acid, araehidic acid and tetracosanoic acid) lecithin, minerals (Ca, P, K, Fe) saccharide, cellulose, VB2, VE, niacin, folic acid, sterol, sesamd, sesamin and cytochrome C. Unhulled seeds contain more calcium then hulled seeds.

Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man dating back to as early as 1600 BC. They are highly valued for their oil which is exceptionally resistant to rancidity. “Open sesame,” the famous phrase from the Arabian Nights, reflects the distinguishing feature of the sesame seed pod, which bursts open when it reaches maturity. The scientific name for sesame seeds is Sesamun indicum.

Copper Provides Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Magnesium Supports Vascular and Respiratory Health,

Calcium Helps Prevent Colon Cancer, Osteoporosis, Migraine and PMS, Zinc for Bone Health and Sesame Seeds’ Phytosterols Lower Cholesterol

Phytosterols are compounds found in plants that have a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol, and when present in the diet in sufficient amounts, are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.
The oils extracted from pressed seeds are used as cooking oil, as a salad oil and in making margarine. The seeds are sprinkled on top of breads and other baked goods. Dried sesame powder is mixed with hot water and sugar to from a congee that is eaten as a dessert.Sesame oil is also used as a pharmaceutic solvent, and sesamolin is also used as a synergist for pyrethrum insecticides

Sesame is supposed to tonify kidney, liver and relax the bowel. It is used for the treatment of constipation due to hard stools, tinnitus, anaemia, clizziness and poor vision. Mix powdered toasted sesame seeds with ground tuckahoe. Stir one to two teaspoonful into warm water and take in the mornings.

Infuse the leaves in some hot boiling water and use this to gargle and treat inflamed membranes of the mouth. Use only after tea has cooled down.

In traditional Chinese medicine, black sesame seeds have sweet and neutral properties, and are associated with the Kidney and Liver meridians. They function to tonify yin jing and blood, moisten the intestines, and help build the spirit, or shen.

Women of ancient Babylon would eat halva, a mixture of honey and sesame seeds to prolong youth and beauty, while Roman soldiers ate the mixture for strength and energy .

Sesame seeds produce an allergic reaction in a small percentage of the general population (5-13 per 100).

There have been erroneous claims that sesame seeds also contain THC which may be detectable on random screening. This error stems from a misunderstanding of the commercial drug Dronabinol, a synthetic form of THC. The normal delivery mechanism for synthetic Dronabinol is via infusion into sesame oil and encapsulation into soft gelatin capsules. As a result some people are under the mistaken assumption that sesame oil naturally contains THC. In fact, THC, CBD, CBN and the other cannibinoids are unique to the Cannabis genus.

Sesame oil is used for massage and health treatments of the body in the ancient Indian ayurvedic system with the types of massage called abhyanga and shirodhara. Ayurveda views sesame oil as the most viscous of the plant oils and believes it may pacify the health problems associated with Vata aggravation.

Black sesame seeds are an extremely good source of calcium; studies have shown that one gram of seeds contains approximately 85 milligrams of calcium. Black sesame seeds also have high amounts of protein, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. In some patients, black sesame seeds are used to help patients recover from serious illnesses and fevers, treat constipation and promote regular bowel movements. Some practitioners recommend using black sesame seeds with polygonum to keep a person’s hair looking rich and dark.

You may click & read : The sesame wonder

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.hungrymonster.com/FoodFacts/Food_Facts.cfm?Phrase_vch=Herbs&fid=5905,
http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/herbcentral/blacksesameseeds.html and
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=84
http://www.hotel-club-thailand.com/thai-cooking/thai-spices.htm
http://www.lowfatlifestyle.com/flavoring/herbs_spices/sesame.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sesame_seed

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