Herbs

herbs gallery

Moringa Oleifera

Definition/Short Discription: 

Moringa is a plant that is native to the sub-Himalayan areas of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. It is also grown in the tropics. The leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, seeds, and root are used to make medicine.

Moringa is used to treat anemia; arthritis and other joint pain (rheumatism); asthma; cancer; constipation; diabetes; diarrhea; epilepsy; stomach pain; stomach and intestinal ulcers; intestinal spasms; headache; heart problems; high blood pressure; kidney stones; fluid retention; thyroid disorders; and bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections.

Moringa is also used to reduce swelling, increase sex drive (as an aphrodisiac), boost fertility, boost the immune system, and increase breast milk production. Some people use it as a nutritional supplement or tonic.

Moringa is sometimes applied directly to the skin as a germ-killer or drying agent (astringent). It is also used topically for treating pockets of infection (abscesses), athlete’s foot, dandruff, gum disease (gingivitis), snakebites, warts, and wounds.

Oil from Moringa seeds is used in foods, perfume, and hair care products, and as a machine lubricant.

Moringa is an important food source in some parts of the world. Because it can be grown cheaply and easily, and the leaves retain lots of vitamins and minerals when dried, moringa is used in India and Africa in feeding programs to fight malnutrition. The immature green pods (drumsticks) are prepared similarly to green beans, while the seeds are removed from more mature pods and cooked like peas or roasted like nuts. The leaves are cooked and used like spinach, and they are also dried and powdered for use as a condiment.

The seed cake remaining after oil extraction is used as a fertilizer and also to purify well water and to remove salt from seawater.

How does it work?

Moringa contains proteins, vitamins, and minerals. As an antioxidant, it seems to help protect cells from damage.

Tags:

By Austine on 27 January 2015

Milk Thristle 'Supper liver Herb'

Definition/Short Discription: 

Liver pills that really works !

Whose liver needs help? Just about everybody’s Liver damage is a plague of modern life. Here s nature’s way of curing it.

Pity your poor liver. All those awful poisons you take in must pass through this chemical factory of detoxification. If the toxins are more than your liver can handle, liver incredibly important organ can eventually shut down. Even if, like most Americans, you don’t worry much about your liver, you should. Your liver is burdened by the toxic offspring of modern civilization: environmental chemicals, air pollutants, pesticides, auto exhaust, prescription and nonprescription drugs, and alcohol, all of which can inflict severe unexpected liver injury. Indeed, alcohol causes 80 percent of all liver disease in Western countries. Even moderate drinkers frequently have a fatty liver, indicating incipient liver damaged, you will find little hope for recovery in conventional mainstream medicine. The treatments of choice: powerful steroids and immuno suppressant’s, and, as a last resort, liver transplant

That’s why if you drink a little more alcohol than you should; or take drugs that can damage your liver, such as cholesterol-lowering medications, acetaminophen, and antidepressants; or use pesticides; or work around industrial chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride; or already have signs of impaired liver function, you should know about the marvelous seeds of a special plant called silybum maranum, or milk thistle. This herb is natures answer to modern life’s constant bombardment of the body by toxic substances.

In Europe, where the liver gets more attention and respect and people vigorously guard the liver with tonics and treatments, milk thistle is a popular botanical liver medicine supported by solid scientific evidence showing it can reverse liver damage, regenerating cells and large areas of liver tissue. Most of the research has been done in Germany, where the herb is government endorsed as a supportive treatment for chronic inflammatory liver conditions and cirrhosis.

Milk thistle deserves serious attention as a way to fore stall a liver catastrophe brought on by the perils of modern life. The herb could be your best hope miracle cure or for avoiding the need for a miracle cure.

What is it?

Milk thistle, as its name implies, is a weed, a thistle topped by a prickly purplish flower containing seeds, packed with potent pharmacological benefits to the liver. It has been long heralded as a liver medicine; pliny, the first century Roman naturalist, recommended it, as did doctors in the middle ages and well into twentieth century, until its recent revival, thanks to groundbreaking research in Germany.

What’s the Evidence?

In the 1970s German researchers at the University of Munich validated milk thistles along reputation as a hepatic folk medicine by identifying its liver-protecting pharmacological agents in the seeds or fruits of the flower and even detailing how they work against the most lethal liver toxins known. In a landmark series of studies, they showed that feeding rats a slow-acting liver destroying chemical killed 100 percent of them in 130 days. But when animals simultaneously got milk thistle, 70 percent of them survived!

Since then, more than 200 experimental and clinical studies suggest that thistle is effective therapy for various liver diseases, including fatty liver common in even moderate alcohol consumers acute and chronic hepatitis, damage from drugs and exposure to toxic chemicals, and even advanced cirrhosis, which is usually irreversible and for which few pharmaceutical drug do any good at all. One large scale German study in 1992 reported phenomenal benefits from milk thistle in 2,637 patients with liver disorders, such as fatty liver, hepatitis, and cirrhosis. After eight weeks of taking standardized milk thistle capsules daily, 63 percent of the patients said their symptoms (nausea, fatigue, lack of appetite, abdominal distention) had disappeared. Lab tests confirmed that elevated liver enzymes, a sign of liver damage, had declined dramatically, as much as 46 percent. Further,27 percent of enlarged livers had returned to normal size, and 56 percent had dramatically shrunk in size. Moreover, less than 1 percent of the milk thistle takers stopped taking the herb because of side effects, such as stomach upset, nausea, and light diarrhea.

REVERSING ALCOHOL DAMAGE

Milk thistle; fortunately, most strongly address the problem exactly where it is most needed. It does its best work in cells damaged by alcohol. According to research, it actually helps rebuild the ruined architecture of wounded liver cells, returning them to functional health. In one well conducted (double-blind) study of 116 individuals with alcohol-induced liver damage, German researchers tested milk thistle in doses of 420 milligrams a day. The herb had a profound curative within two weeks, as measured by favorable changes in enzymes, the markers of toxic liver cell damage. Indeed, investigators noticed improvement within seven days. Thus milk thistle helped restore normal liver function and curtail the course of disease, researcher’s concluded. In another similarly high quality study published in German medical journal in 1981, investigators tested milk thistle in twenty-nine individuals with alcohol –induced liver disorders, including fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis. The users improved significantly after two months on milk thistle, as shown by liver function tests. They also were much stronger, with better appetites and less nausea. In another investigation of fifty seven patients with fatty liver, in those cases due to alcohol abuse, milk thistle depressed elevated GOT enzyme levels, a sign of liver damage, by 80 percent.

WHAT ABOUT HEPATITIS?

There’s good evidence that milk thistle can help speed recovery in cases of hepatitis caused by a virus or alcohol. According to German research, milk thistle helped heal hepatitis B, the common form of hepatitis, most often resulting from a virus. It may also be successful in treating hepatitis C; studies to confirm it are under way. Considerable evidence shows that milk thistle helps in the treatment of chronic viral hepatitis. In a string of German studies, doctors gave patients with such hepatitis 420 milligrams of silymarin (milk thistle) daily for an average of nine months; it reversed liver injury, as measured by biopsy and decreased blood transaminase levels; transaminase is a liver enzyme that is elevated in hepatitis and is a primary marker of the intensity of the disease. Researchers deemed milk thistle effective for chronic hepatitis.

Italian investigators have also tested a relatively new milk thistle product, said to be particularly readily absorbed; silybin, the most highly active component of silymarin, combined with another chemical, phosphatidylcholine, and is known as IdB 1016 or Silipide. In 1993 it was tested on sixty patients with either viral or alcohol-induced chronic hepatitis by researchers at the Institute of clinical Medicine in Florence and produced remarkable decreases in enzymes resulting in greatly improved liver function. In a small test of eight older patients with chronic active hepatitis B and hepatitis C, the same milk thistle product improved liver function, as determined by enzyme levels, by 15 percent.

WILL IT WORK FOR CIRRHOSIS?

Milk thistle does not seem to reverse advanced cirrhosis in which in which symptoms are evident, such as ascites (abdominal accumulation of fluid) and esophageal or rectal bleeding. However, studies of excellent design (double-blind) have found that long-term use of milk thistle does slow down progression of the disease, which causes about 30000 deaths in the United States annually. When taking milk thistle, cirrhotic patients are apt to survive longer, researchers have found, as illustrated by one large German study in 1987 involving 170 patients with cirrhosis. For two years the patients got either 420 milligrams of silymarin a day or an inactive placebo pill. After two years the death rate of those getting the dummy pill was a striking 60 percent higher than that of those on milk thistle. The herb worked best in those with cirrhosis due to alcohol abuse.

Obviously milk thistle works best in cirrhosis when alcohol is eliminated. You can’t continue to damage a weakened cirrhotic liver with alcohol and count on the herb to save you.

If you’re taking pharmaceutical drugs, milk thistle may counter some of the drugs ability to harm your liver. In an Italian test of sixty women in a hospital psychiatric ward, 400 milligrams of silymarin twice a day for three months softened the liver-damaging effects of the psychotropic drugs phenothiazines and butyrophenones, which they had been taking for at least five years. Milk thistle appears protective against the liver toxicity of acetaminophen or Tylenol. The analgesic in high doses can damage liver cells. According to Canadian and German studies in human cells, milk thistle blocks the drugs toxicity. In mice the herb has also inhibited damage from acetaminophen and the anticancer drug cisplatin.

There is good news for those who work around hazardous chemicals and breathe the vapors: milk thistle helps protect against liver damage. About 25 percent of a group of 200 Hungarian workers in a chemical plant who had been exposed to toluene and xylene vapors for five to twenty years showed signs of liver damage. Some of them were given milk thistle for thirty days; others were not. Liver function test found a definite improvement in the herb takers.

WHAT ABOUT CANCER?

Chronic inflammatory hepatitis is often a prelude to liver cancer, thus treating the inflammation, as milk thistle could, would be expected to help stop the development of cancer. Whether milk thistle can help treat liver cancer, a particularly difficult cancer, is unknown. Some people, as reported on the internet, are using milk thistle to treat liver cancer, but no studies have been done to test its effectiveness.

The herb has protected mice from kidney and skin cancer. Incidentally it has been noted that milk thistle stimulates regeneration of only healthy cells, not cancerous cells. Thus it would not be expected to encourage the spread of cancer. In Germany some doctors do recommend milk thistle to patients with liver cancer, believing it can do no harm and might help, especially in case where mainstream medicine has little to offer.

How Does It Work?

Milk thistles active components are a complex of antioxidant bioflavonoids know as silymarin. This unique antioxidant complex exerts its curative powers by both preventing damage to healthy liver cells and stimulating a regeneration of injured liver cells, according to extensive research. Specifically, silymarin stands guard on outer receptor sites of cells, barring toxins from breaking through fatty cell membranes and entering cell interiors. It also neutralizes toxic substances that manage to penetrate cells.

Moreover, it has a unique ability to stimulate protein synthesis in liver cells by increasing genetic (DNA and RNA) activity. This actually helps regenerate damaged cells. Additionally, milk thistle revs up other antioxidant defenses in liver cells to neutralize toxic invaders. For example, one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body and a major detoxifying substance in the liver is glutathione. In healthy humans silymarin has boosted glutathione concentrations in the liver by 35 percent. Milk thistle also spurs activity of another potent antioxidant, superoxide dismutase, in cells of people with liver disease. Interestingly, this antioxidant appears to be particularly geared to scavenging the type of damaging free radical chemicals that chemical those are generated by alcohol in the liver.

How Much Do You Need?

Milk thistle extract usually come as a pill and occasionally as syrup. The standardized milk thistle extract widely tested in Europe and approved in Germany for liver disease and functional liver impairment contains 70 to 80 percent silymarin. The general recommended dose is 420 milligrams of silymarin taken in three divided doses every day. After you see improvements, as determined by liver function blood tests, you can cut back to a daily dose of 280 milligrams of silymarin. The lower 280 milligrams is also the amount some doctors suggest to help prevent liver dysfunction and damage.

How Quickly Does It Work?

High-quality milk thistle is rapidly adsorbed and reaches maximum concentration in the blood about an hour after it is taken. Amazingly, improvement is often noticeable in five to eight days, with a reduction in enzymes and liver size and a lessening of jaundice, yellowing of the skin. A significant reversal of alcoholic liver damage may take a month or two, studies suggest. Essential in judging recovery are blood tests measuring liver enzyme levels, and liver biopsy. Milk thistle depresses elevated liver enzymes, indicating liver cells are healing. Alcoholic patients generally must continue to take milk thistle extract for several months. Remission of chronic persistent hepatitis has been achieved in six months to a year with thistle.

The Safety Factor

Unlike other drugs that affect the liver, milk thistle causes only mild side effects, such as stomach upset, in less than 1 percent of users, according to studies. Most noted is its mild laxative effect, especially in the first few days of use. There is no evidence that milk thistle is toxic or interacts with other medications. Animal studies find no short-term or long-term toxicity at very high doses, including no adverse impact on reproduction, or mutagenic (pro-cancer) activity. Surprisingly, milk thistle is considered so safe in Germany that there are no government warnings against using it, even during pregnancy and lactation.

Consumer Concerns

Good standardized milk thistle contains 70 percent silymarin.

Should You Try It?

It makes sense if you concerns about potential liver damage if you drink more alcohol than you should, if you have or have had hepatitis or cirrhosis, if you work around industrial chemicals, if you live in an especially polluted environment, and if you are taking pharmaceutical drugs that can cause liver damage, in particular certain cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as Mevacor and Zocor, and certain antidepressants. Indeed, any drug that lists potential liver damage as side effects might be partly offsets by milk thistle extract. If it can strengthen your livers resistance to such perils of modern civilization, it is well worth trying. If you are at high risk of liver toxicity, a reasonable preventive dose is 280 milligrams of silymarin a day. A therapeutic dose is 420 milligrams daily until the problem is resolved, as determined by medical tests.
Caution: if you have been diagnosed with liver disease, such as hepatitis or cirrhosis, or suspect you may have it, use milk thistle with the supervision of a doctor who can order liver function tests to document that you are improving. Also, it’s imperative to curd alcohol intake if you have liver disease or damage.

Tags:

By Austine on 14 January 2015

Nettle

Definition/Short Discription: 

Stinging nettle is the name given to common nettle, garden nettle, and hybrids of these 2 plants. Originally from the colder regions of northern Europe and Asia, this herbaceous shrub grows all over the world today. Stinging nettle grows well in nitrogen rich soil, blooms between June and September, and usually reaches 2 - 4 feet high.

Stems are upright and rigid. The leaves are heart shaped, finely toothed, and tapered at the ends, and flowers are yellow or pink. The entire plant is covered with tiny stiff hairs, mostly on the underside of the leaves and stem, that release stinging chemicals when touched.

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica and the closely related Urtica urens) has a long medicinal history. In medieval Europe, it was used as a diuretic (to rid the body of excess water) and to treat joint pain.

Stinging nettle has fine hairs on the leaves and stems that contain irritating chemicals, which are released when the plant comes in contact with the skin. The hairs, or spines, of the stinging nettle are normally very painful to the touch. When they come into contact with a painful area of the body, however, they can actually decrease the original pain. Scientists think nettle does this by reducing levels of inflammatory chemicals in the body, and by interfering with the way the body transmits pain signals.

General Uses

Stinging nettle has been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. Today, many people use it to treat urinary problems during the early stages of an enlarged prostate (called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), for urinary tract infections, for hay fever (allergic rhinitis), or in compresses or creams for treating joint pain, sprains and strains, tendonitis, and insect bites.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Stinging nettle root is used widely in Europe to treat BPH. Studies in people suggest that stinging nettle, in combination with other herbs (especially saw palmetto), may be effective at relieving symptoms, such as reduced urinary flow, incomplete emptying of the bladder, post urination dripping, and the constant urge to urinate. These symptoms are caused by the enlarged prostate gland pressing on the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). Laboratory studies have shown stinging nettle to be comparable to finasteride (a medication commonly prescribed for BPH) in slowing the growth of certain prostate cells. However, unlike finasteride, the herb does not decrease prostate size. Scientists aren't sure why nettle root reduces symptoms. It may be because it contains chemicals that affect hormones (including testosterone and estrogen), or because it acts directly on prostate cells. It is important to work with a doctor to treat BPH, and to make sure you have a proper diagnosis to rule out prostate cancer.

Osteoarthritis

The leaves and stems of nettle have been used historically to treat arthritis and for sore muscles. Studies have been small and not conclusive, but they do suggest that some people find relief from joint pain by applying nettle leaf topically to the painful area. A few other studies show that taking an oral extract of stinging nettle, along with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), allowed people to reduce their NSAID dose.

Hay fever

One preliminary human study suggested that nettle capsules helped reduce sneezing and itching in people with hay fever. Researchers think that may be due to nettle's ability to reduce the amount of histamine the body produces in response to an allergen. More studies are needed to confirm nettle's antihistamine properties, however. Some doctors recommend taking a freeze dried preparation of stinging nettle well before hay fever season starts.

Other

Some preliminary animal studies indicate that nettle may lower blood sugar and blood pressure, but there is not enough evidence to say whether this is also true in humans.

Tags:

By Anonymous on 16 June 2011

Aloe arborescens Leaf

Definition/Short Discription: 

Aloe arborescens (not to be confused with aloe vera) has been shown to shrink cancerous tumors—and has clinical proof of efficacy in treating AIDS?

Aloe arborescens is like the often-overlooked sibling to the more popular aloe vera, a medicinal plant widely used to treat skin ailments such as sunburns, cuts, scrapes and rashes. Deserving of much more acclaim, Aloe arborescens contains none of the usual underdog characteristics, as it is proven to be a more effective anti-cancer agent and immune booster than aloe vera.

Studies conducted by the Palatinin Salzano Institute in Italy indicate that aloe arborescens is 200% more abundant in curative nutrients and 75% richer in anti-cancer compounds than aloe vera is.

The Health-giving Ingredients of the Aloe Plant

Aloe plants are among the world's most biologically active plants, meaning they feed our cells with living nutrients. Cut an aloe leaf open and you will see a thick gel-like substance that is made up of 99% water and only 1% aloe juice. Within that 1% aloe juice, however, are over 200 active plant compounds, such as phytonutrients, enzymes, proteins, oils, polysaccharides and monosaccharides, as well as 12 essential vitamins, 20 key minerals and 18 vital amino acids.

The antioxidant and restorative effects of aloe administer many benefits, such as inhibiting the growth of tumor cells, detoxifying and oxygenating your blood, and much more!

Aloe as an Anti-Cancer Agent

Physicians and clinics around the world have implemented aloe arborescens as a cancer remedy for many years now. After witnessing dozens of patients diagnosed with untreatable cancer enter remission after drinking a potent tonic of aloe arborescens, the Brazilian priest, Father Romano Zago, spent 20 years researching the science behind the herb. Collecting more than 40 corroborative stories, Zago reported his findings in the popular book, Cancer be Cured!

One story tells how a man suffering from prostate cancer was brought back from the brink of death by drinking this aloe concentrate. He was released from the hospital, his massive tumor virtually disappeared, and he lived a long life well into his 80s.

Alternative health expert, Dr. Julian Whitaker, recounts a similar story, explaining how a 10-year-old boy with a rare brain tumor enjoyed a cancer-free life full of normal activities after drinking 8 ounces of whole leaf aloe vera concentrate every day for 3 months.

The medical community has categorized aloe arborescens as a Stage IV supplemental treatment, proven to enhance the efficacy of chemo agents cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). A 2009 study consisting of 240 patients revealed that chemotherapy patients who ingested an extract of aloe arborescens daily showed significantly greater improvement than patients who underwent chemotherapy alone. Researchers concluded that aloe arborescens complements the effects of chemotherapy by slowing down tumor growth and increasing survival time.

Acemannan, a sugar compound present in aloe, both boosts cell communication and stimulates the immune system. It stimulates nitric oxide, the immune system's weapon against cancer. Aloe arborescens also contains glycoproteins that have been shown to suppress the growth of fibrosarcoma tumors (tumors originating in the tissues of bones or muscles) in mice.

The immune stimulating properties of aloe also render the herb a wonderful therapy for AIDS sufferers. One study found that nearly all of the AIDS patients who were administered aloe therapy experienced improved conditions due to a dramatic increase in their white T-cell count.

Want Your Daily Dose of Aloe?

Store bought aloe is typically not nutrient-dense, as the majority has been processed, heated and diluted. Beware: a label of 100% aloe juice may be false, as the government issues no legal ramifications against such a claim.

Aloe arborescens is like the often-overlooked sibling to the more popular aloe vera

Tags:

By Anonymous on 16 June 2011

Warbugia Ugandensis

Definition/Short Discription: 

Warbugia Ugandensis

Warburgia ugandensis is one of the ten species identified as high priority medicinal plants in Kenya for detailed study. Although locally common in some areas, the populations of this species have been wiped out in many areas due to the use of its bark by traditional healers for medicinal purposes against Asthma, Maralia and other ailments as well as skin cream.

Traditional medicinal plant species in Kenya were ranked according to utility value and sustainable use. Warburgia ugandensis was rated as second highest priority medicinal plant species in Kenya after Prunus Africana.

This tree species has a high pharmaceutical value both for humans and livestock, exhibiting a broad spectrum antimicrobial activity (Olila et al., 2001) with sequiterpene dialdehyde, warburganal (Haraguchi,1998), muzigadial and polygodial (Taniguchi and Kubo,1993). For instance in Kenya, as a painkiller and antimicrobial remedy,W. Ugandensis has been used to treat malaria, chest pains, toothache and manufacture of some skin creams in humans.

In animals a cytotoxic sesquiterpine, characterized as muzigadial, has been isolated fromW. Ugandensis against trypanosomiasis (Olilaet al., 2001) and it has been used widely to treat parasitic diseases (Kioyet al., 1990). To enhance biodiversity conservation, a deliberate effort has been geared towards conserving and sustainable use of W. Ugandensis both in-situ and ex-situ in Kenya.

The use of W. Ugandensis has already reached comercialisation scale in Kenya. There is therefore a need for an intensive cultivation programme to conserve it. Due to its medicinal importance, more people are growing them on their farms and it takes about 18 to 45 days to germinate and about 3 to 4 months for seedlings to be ready for planting in the field. Propagation through tissue culture of the species has been successfully done at the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) to support rapid multiplication of planting material. Through tissue culture, one explant is likely to produce over 100 plantlets in four months (Ms Wahu, KEFRI, personal communication, May 2006). Although propagation of the species is on the rise, there was a need to rightly advise the stakeholders
on which provenance would be effective in both active ingredients and site conditions.

This species, commonly used by the traditional practitioners in Kenya, has gained a lot of popularity.

Tags:

By Anonymous on 16 June 2011

Senna Occidentalis( diabetic herb )

Definition/Short Discription: 

In traditional practice, Senna Occidentalis medicinal plant is used in many countries to control diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder resulting from insulin deficiency, characterized by hyperglycemia, altered metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and lipids, and an increased risk of vascular complication.

Diabetes mellitus has recently been identified by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as one of the refractory diseases for which satisfactory treatment is not available in modern allopathic system of medicine.. A large number of plant preparations have been reported to possess antidiabetic activity over the last several decades. Researchers in India have documented the use of over 150 plants in various families with hypoglycemic activity.

Cassia occidentalis Linn. (COL) Family Caesalpiniaceae is a common weed scattered from the foothills of Himalayas to West Bengal, South India, Burma, and Sri Lanka and Africa. The plant is a diffuse (usually annual) under shrub with loosely spreading branches 60–150 cm long, found throughout India and Africa, up to an altitude of 1500 m.[6] Different parts of this plant have been reported to possess anti-inflammatory, antihepatotoxic, antibacterial and antiplasmodial activities. They possess purgative, tonic, febrifugal, expectorant and diuretic properties. The plant is also used to heal sore eyes, hematuria, rheumatism, typhoid, asthma and disorder of hemoglobin and is also reported to heal leprosy. An infusion of the bark is given in diabetes.

A wide range of chemical constituents isolated from C. occidentalis including sennoside, anthraquinone glycoside, fatty oils, flavonoids, glycosides, gallactomannan, polysaccharides and tannins. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the antidiabetic potential of ethanolic extract of C. occidentalis (COL) on fasting blood sugar levels and biochemical parameters such as serum cholesterol, total protein and triglyceride. Histologic examination was also carried out on hematoxylin-eosin stained sections of pancreatic tissue.

It can be concluded that ethanolic extract of S. occidentalis exhibited significant antidiabetic activity in normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rats. The extract also resulted in improvement in parameters like body weight and lipid profile as well as regeneration of β-cells of pancreas and so it valuable in the treatment of diabetes.

Senna Occidentalis.

Tags:

By Anonymous on 16 June 2011

Prunus Africa

Definition/Short Discription: 

Prunus Africana Is Prostate Gland Best Herb Of Choice

If you’re a man age fifty, the chances are fifty-fifty that you have an enlarged prostate, medically known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and the odds escalate as you grow older. A swollen prostate gland can squeeze your urethra, interfering with normal urination. Symptoms range from annoying getting up frequently at night to urinate to serious: pain from obstruction of urinary flow and trouble with erections.

You can treat it several ways. You can have surgery, but carries the risk of incontinence or impotence. You can take prescription drugs that never works and can also depress your libido and make you impotent. You can try various therapies, such as laser or microwave, to zap or vaporize unwanted prostate tissue. You can just “watch and wait,” as some physicians advise, to avoid drugs and surgery as long as possible. You may also get rid of the condition by taking a well researched successful herbal treatment widely used in Europe that costs about one-third as much as conventional drugs and has virtually no risk of side effects. It has worked for millions of men.

What’s the Evidence?
Research on prunus africana has been sufficient to merit scientific approval and status among physicians that make it a best-seller in Europe. Around twenty human studies credit the herbal medicine with as much as a 90 percent success rate in treating enlarged prostate. That’s more cure power than pharmaceutical drugs and surgery can boast.

In Seven well-conducted (double-blind placebo) studies on prunus africana, six deemed the plant superior to a dummy pill after one to three months of use. For example, prunus africana had a super effect in a study of 110 men with enlarged prostate that were given either herbal medicine or a dummy pill, as reported in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 1984. prunus africana in a dose of 320 milligrams a day worked ten times better than the placebo at improving urine flow rate. It was about five times more effective than the dummy pill in promoting emptying of the bladder. The prunus africana takers also did not have to get up at night to urinate as often; nor did they experience as much pain, discomfort, or difficulty in urinating as they had before taking the plant extract. Further, all these benefits happened within thirty days!

A typical and convincing study of thirty men by Italian investigators in 1983 found similar improvements from prunus africana . After one month on the plant extract, men’s urine flow rates increased dramatically, exceeding any benefits from placebo by seventeen fold.

In large “open” tests without placebo, prunus africana is also heralded by its users. In 1993 German investigators gave prunus africana extract to 1334 patients for one month. Eighty percent rated the treatment “good to excellent. ‘Frequency of urination decreased 37 percent, night time urination sank 54 percent, and ability to empty the bladder increased 50 percent.

In a more recent “open” study at several medical centers in Belgium involving 305 patients, prunus africana produced even more remarkable success, as judged by physicians, patients, and objective measurements. After three months 98 percent of the patients said their symptoms were reduced and they felt their quality of life was better; notably, their sleep was not disturbed as frequently by urges to get up and urinate. The physicians agreed with the overall 98 percent effectiveness of the remedy. Rigorous measurements by standard tests also verified the therapy. For example, urine flow rates increased 52 percent; prostate size decreased 60 percent. And most important, scores on a well-respected international prostate symptom test dropped 95 percent.

How Does It Work?
Prunus africana reduces levels of a very active form of the male hormone testosterone known as dihydrotestosterone or DHT, thought to be the primary spur to enlargement of the prostate. It’s a weird situation. An enzyme switches on the DHT, fooling the cells into thinking they are in puberty again and need to get going. So the DHT causes an overproduction of prostate cells, causing the gland to grow bigger. Men with enlarged prostate have exceptionally high levels of DHT; so do men with prostate cancer. Specifically, studies show that prunus africana extract blocks the action of the enzyme that instigates production of DHT. In other words, it is a hormone suppressor.

What are the active agents in prunus africana ?
Many experts credit plant sterols, mainly beta-sitosterol, pentacyclic triterpenes (ursolic and oleanic acids), ferulic acid nesters (n-docosanol and tetracosanol). It has hormonal effects as well as anti-inflammatory activity and may directly inhibit growth of prostate cells. Many believe a combination of compounds working together account for prunus africana therapeutic action.

How much do you need?
The recommended dose, found effective in studies, is 320 milligrams of standardized extract a day, taken all at once or in two doses.

How Quickly Does It work?,
Surprisingly, studies find that prunus africana can bring rapid relief within twenty-eight days, according to one study that used 320 milligrams daily. Compare that with the drug Proscar, which usually does not produce notable benefits until taken for six months to one year. However, the benefits of prunus africana usually accumulate, so using it longer predicts greater improvement. Nationally recognized naturopathic doctor Donald Brown of Seattle advises his patients to take 320 milligrams of prunus africana daily for at least four weeks to see if it’s working. If so, count on it being a part of cure after another 3 months, he says.

The Safety factor.
What makes prunus africana popular with doctors and other health practitioners is the virtual lack of side effects and toxicity. A few cases of stomach upset and intestinal bloating have been reported. As far anyone knows, no acute or long-term toxicity exists. Nor is there evidence of interactions with prescription drugs.

Should You Try It?
If you lived in Germany, it’s almost sure your doctor would prescribe prunus africana , perhaps along with other plant remedies. Prunus africana is approved for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in Germany. Indeed, according to a 1993 report, a whopping 90 percent of patients with BPH in Germany are given plant medicinal, and 50 percent of German urologists prefer the plant extracts to chemically derived pharmaceuticals. Of all plants, prunus africana is most widely used, sometimes as a main ingredient combined with other plant extracts.

Caution: it’s not wise to self-diagnose BPH. If you have prostate symptoms, see a doctor, because the symptoms might indicate other problems, including a treatable cancer. Before trying prunus africana or other herbal treatment, you must have a medical diagnosis of BPH. Even then it is advisable to use the herb under the supervision of a health professional.

PRUNUS AFRICANA OR PRESCRIPTION FINASTERIDE ?
If you are offered the prescription drug finasteride, popular for treating BPH, here are some facts you should know. It Has significant side effects, especially on male sexual function, says Ralph Nader’s Health Research Group. One of twenty men who take it experiences impotence and one out of sixteen has decreased libido, the group says, concluding that taking finasteride, unless you really have to, is a bad idea. Further, the drug may not work any better than a dummy pill, according to a1996 study of 1229 men that compared finasteride with both a placebo and another newly approved drug for BPH, Abbotts Hytrin. After one year finasteride was judged ineffective, no better than a placebo in treating BPH, according to Herbet Lepor, chief of urology at New York University Medical Center, who headed the study. (Hytrin was better than either finasteride or placebo.) Merck, the maker of Proscar, called the study flawed.

Commenting on the study, Dr. H. Logan Holtgrewe, a past president of the American Urological, Association, lamented the high treatment failure for BPH that sends frustrated men from one ineffective treatment to another, driving up the health care costs. “The cascading effect leads to much greater costs than when you had gone to the best treatment to begin with.

Actually prunus africana should be a man’s first choice, says Dr. Michael Murray of Settle, a nationally recognized naturopathic doctor and author of many books, including Natural Alternatives to Over-the-Counter and Prescription Drugs. His reasons: finasteride is effective in less than 37 percent of patients; it takes six months to a year to produce significant improvement; and it has serious sexually related side effects. In contrast, prunus africana is effective in almost 90 percent of men; it works much more quickly, within four to six weeks, and it has no side effects or toxicity. finasteride costs about three times as much $120 compared with prunus africanas $50 a month.

PRUNUS AFRICANA PLUS
Prunus africana may work even better when mixed with other herbs. Some researchers in Europe and United States are now testing a combination of prunus africana with other herbs such as pumpkin seed, and stinging nettle roots extract. One product combining prunus africana and stinging nettle root, in Germany has been highly effective, in many cases better than prunus africana alone. A U.S. product which is a mixture of 160 milligrams of prunus africana, 100 milligrams of nettle root, also tested well recently.

In the study Dr. Stuart I. Erner, board-certified internist at Albany Memorial Hospital in New York, gave two tablets of herbal mix daily to twenty men with documented prostate disorders either BPH or chronic intermittent prostatitis. Fully 90 percent had improvement of symptoms, ranging in a reduction of symptoms from 12 percent to 79 percent, as judged by standard test measures. Nearly all reported improvement after four weeks of treatment. Dr. Erner notes that those with the most severe symptoms improved the most. None experienced serious side effects, he says.

Visit our clinic for PROSTINE. A blend of Prunus Africana and Nettle root. This is very effective for shrinking swollen prostate. Remarkable Results seen after one week. Call 0710100199

Tags:

By Anonymous on 16 June 2011

Cactus

Definition/Short Discription: 

Cactus is a plant that grows in the most arid and sunny regions on Earth. This is your average cactus plant. Of the different plants that offer medicinal and nutritional benefits to human health, such as the neem tree or the aloe vera plant. In this article, learn about the medicinal uses of cactus plants as well as nutritional benefits of the same.

Cactus Plants That Aid in Health and Medicine

All cactus plants aren't edible. The two main cactus species that are medically useful and suitable for human consumption are:

The Prickly Pear or Opuntia
A tangled mass of vibrant green, spiky paddles protruding from a stem and attractive red, orange or yellow bulbous fruit are two key characteristics of this cactus species. The prickly pear cactus is also called the paddle cactus and belongs to the Opuntia genus of cacti. They are also a distinct cactus species, due to their dual spike system, fixed spines and prickly glochids. The leaves or pads of cactus are called nopales and the fruit is called tuna or pear. On peeling the outer skin, the pear can be eaten raw or cooked to make jellies and sweets. The paddles are used in Mexican cuisine like a vegetable.

Eating the nopal or pad of the prickly pear cactus has the following health benefits:

The nopal contains pectin, a bio-chemical component that reduces cholesterol levels in the body.

Pectin is a useful chemical for diabetic patients, as it helps curb insulin cravings. So the prickly pear's high pectin content makes it nutritious for diabetics.

Nopal is a good source of vegetarian protein that aids with water retention in the body. It is also useful for vegetarians looking to supplement their protein levels. Nopal is an excellent source of fiber and hence aids in digestion by regulating the body's bowel functioning. It also aids with water absorption.

These fleshy cactus pads are storehouses of nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, B6 and K. They also contain high levels of calcium and magnesium.
Just like the nopal, the pear or tuna also contains a lot of fiber in its flesh. So like other fibrous vegetables and fruits, better digestion and a satiated appetite makes both parts of the prickly pear, perfect diet aids in curbing hunger pangs.

Medical benefits of the prickly pear nopal include:

1. Treating constipation and acting as a natural laxative
2. Strengthening the immunity of the body
3. Reducing and preventing inflammation in muscles along the body, from those in the gastrointestinal tract to the muscles in the bladder
4. Reduces cholesterol levels in the body
5. Stabilizes glucose and insulin levels in the body
6. Acts as a source of anti-oxidants
7. Helps treat gastric ulcers
8. Can be applied topically to heal wounds, scrapes and insect bites
9. Helps in reducing the effects of drinking too much alcohol

The Pitaya Fruit
Prickly pear isn't the only fruit-bearing cactus species. Several cactus species, the Hylocereus genus being one example, grow a large, unusual looking fruit called a pitaya or a dragon fruit. Though a native Central American plant, such cacti are also grown in South Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Depending on their area of growth, pitayas are red or yellow skinned with bright red or white inner flesh. They have vibrant green leaf-like growths protruding from their outer surface. The seeds and flesh can be eaten raw, without the skin of the fruit. You can also make pitaya juice or wine.

- This fruit is low in calories but fibrous in content, making it ideal food for dieters. It is also rich in poly-saturated fats, which are healthy fats needed by the body.
- It is rich in minerals and vitamins like Vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus.
Eating this fruit is said to encourage the release of toxins and harmful chemicals from the body.
- It also controls and aids in regulating blood sugar levels in patients of diabetes.
- It is a valuable source of natural anti-oxidants.

This fruit is quickly absorbed and metabolized by the body, when eaten, so the pitaya can be used as a natural Vitamin C supplement instead of a pill.
It has a reducing effect on cholesterol and blood pressure levels in the body, hence proving its usefulness for those suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes.

In summation, the above medical uses of the cactus species, illustrates a characteristic of nature that man should be grateful for: whatever the plant, there is some hidden value or benefit that is useful for man. Even the spiky cactus.

Tags:

By Anonymous on 16 June 2011

Amaranth

Definition/Short Discription: 

Amaranth is a broad-leafed, bushy plant that grows about six feet (1.8 meters) tall. It produces a brightly colored flower that can contain up to 60,000 seeds. The seeds are nutritious and can be made into a flour. Not a true grain, amaranth is often called a pseudocereal, like its relative quinoa. Both plants belong to a large family that also includes beets, chard, spinach, and lots of weeds.

Nutritional value

Amaranth greens are a common leaf vegetable throughout the tropics and in many warm temperate regions. See Callaloo

Cooked amaranth leaves are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate; they are also a complementing source of other vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin, plus some dietary minerals including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. Cooked amaranth grains are a complementing source of thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and folate, and dietary minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese - comparable to common grains such as wheat germ, oats and others.[15]

Amaranth seeds contain lysine, an essential amino acid, limited in other grains or plant sources. Most fruits and vegetables do not contain a complete set of amino acids, and thus different sources of protein must be used. Amaranth too is limited in some essential amino acids, such as leucine and threonine. Amaranth seeds are therefore a promising complement to common grains such as wheat germ, oats, and corn because these common grains are abundant sources of essential amino acids found to be limited in amaranth.

Amaranth may be a promising source of protein to those who are gluten sensitive, because unlike the protein found in grains such as wheat and rye, its protein does not contain gluten. According to a 2007 report, amaranth compares well in nutrient content with gluten-free vegetarian options such as buckwheat, corn, millet, wild rice, oats and quinoa.

Several studies have shown that like oats, amaranth seed or oil may be of benefit for those with hypertension and cardiovascular disease; regular consumption reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while improving antioxidant status and some immune parameters.While the active ingredient in oats appears to be water-soluble fiber, amaranth appears to lower cholesterol via its content of plant stanols and squalene.

Amaranth remains an active area of scientific research for both human nutritional needs and foraging applications. Over 100 scientific studies suggest a somewhat conflicting picture on possible anti-nutritional and toxic factors in amaranth, more so in some particular strains of amaranth. Lehmann, in a review article, identifies some of these reported anti-nutritional factors in amaranth to be phenolics, saponins, tannins, phytic acid, oxalates, protease inhibitors, nitrates, polyphenols and phytohemagglutinins.

Of these, oxalates and nitrates are of more concern when amaranth grain is used in foraging applications. Some studies suggest thermal processing of amaranth, particularly in moist environment, prior to its preparation in food and human consumption may be a promising way to reduce the adverse effects of amaranth's anti-nutritional and toxic factors.

Tags:

By Anonymous on 16 June 2011

Acacia Nilotica

Definition/Short Discription: 

The Acacia or Babul Tree is an average size tree that is common to India and Africa. It is quite easily distinguishable by the dark brown or black, longitudinally fissured bark. It belongs to the plant family, Mimosaceae. The leaves are bipinnately compound and 5-10 cm. long. The plant has a good defensive mechanism in its V-shaped thorns that are white or light gray in color. The globose flowers are yellow and the pods are light gray in color. The pods, 7.5-15 cm. long are compressed and constricted at the sutures between the seeds, which range from 8-12 in a single pod.

Medicinal Use:

1. Burns
2. Wounds
3. Anaemia
4. Stained teeth
5. Blood dysentery
6. Gum diseases, loose teeth, and ulcers in the mouth
7. Cough
8. Eczema.
9. Cough, diabetes, excessive urination, impotency, and throat infection
10. Conjunctivitis and sore eyes

How to Use:

1. To take care of burns, mix the gum that oozes from the tree with equal quantities of powdered turmeric (Curcuma domestica) and coconut oil (Cocos nucifera) and apply.

2. For superficial wounds, boil some crushed bark in water and use the decoction for washing the wounds. Grind the tender leaves of the tree into a very fine paste. Apply over the wounds. You could also dust the wounds with some finely powdered bark.

3. For cases of anemia, fry one teaspoon each of the gum from the tree along with sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) and purslane (Portulaca oleracea) in an adequate quantity of olive oil or gingilee oil for 10 minutes. Remove and soak in 1-cup of rose-water for one hour. Use one teaspoon three times a day.

4. To remove the yellow stains from your teeth, grind the following items into a fine powder and brush the teeth regularly with it: 5-7 tablespoons of the charred bark of Acacia, two tablespoons of Aluminum sulfate or Alum and one tablespoon of Sodium chloride or common salt.

5. For dysentery, soak a teaspoon of pounded roots in a tumbler containing water for 3-4 hours. Make it warm and drink this water frequently.

6. To take care of gum diseases, loose teeth, and ulcers in the mouth, boil half a handful of the tender leaves of Acacia in two cups of water. When warm, use the water as a gargle, 4-6 times a day.

7. For common cough, make a paste with a handful of the tender leaves of Acacia, take one teaspoon of this paste, along with one teaspoon of honey and a little warm water.

8. To treat Eczema, boil 3-5 tablespoons each of the powdered bark of Acacia and Mango (Mangifra indica) in 4-5 cups of water. Foment the affected parts with this water. Apply rarefied butter or ghee on the affected skin.

9. For Cough, Diabetes, Excessive urination, Impotency, and Throat infection, chew a small portion of the Acacia gum everyday until the ailment disappears.

10. To treat Conjunctivitis and sore eyes, grind a handful of the tender leaves of Acacia with some water into a fine paste. Fold the paste in a sterilized piece of cloth or bandage and wrap it over the closed eyes at bedtime.

Parts Used: Bark, gum, tender leaves, and root.

Dosage: As recommended above.

Tags:

By Anonymous on 16 June 2011