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patchouli

Botany
Aromatic, erect, branched and hairy herb, growing to a height of 0.5 to 1 meter. Leaves are oblong-ovate to ovate, 5 to 11 cm long, with coarse and doubly-toothed margins, a blunt or pointed tip. Flowers are pinkish-purple, crowded and borne in hairy, terminal, axillary spikes, 2 to 8 cm long, 1 cm in diameter, with a corolla 9mm long with obtuse lobes.

Chemical constituents and properties
Leaves yield a volatile oil, 6-10% – Patchouli alcohol, cadinene, coerulein, benzaldehyde and eugenol.
Diuretic, carminative, stimulant, emmenagogue.
The oil may have antibactericidal activity and pogostone may have antibacterial and antifungal activities.
Components eugenol, cinnamaldehyde and benzaldehyde have insecticidal activity.
Important components of the essential oil are patchoulol and norpatchoulenol.
Study on the chemical constituents of an essential oil of PC yielded 22 compounds, 18 sesquiterpenes and three oxygenated sesquiterpenes; among these, patchouli alcohol was the major component, followed by germacrene.

Parts used and preparation
Leaves, flowering spikes, roots.

Uses
Folkloric
Arthritis and rheumatism: Crush leaves and apply on affected part.
Infusion of fresh leaves for painful menses.
Infusion of leaves, dried tops or roots used for scanty urination.
In Malaysia and Japan, has been used as antidote for venomous snake and insect bites.
In traditional Chinese medicine, used for colds, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Patchouly oil
Essential oil of patchouli used in perfumes and cosmetics.
Also called: Huo xiang, Putcha-Pat.
Oil also used as ingredient in foods and beverages.
An ingredient of East Asian incense.
Had a surge in the commerce of oil and incense during the free love and hippie decades of the 60s and 70s.
Others
Leaves and tops used as insecticide repellant for cockroaches, moths, ants, etc.
Leaves used with gogo for washing hair.
In some countries, used as ingredient in tobacco smoking.
Juice of leaves used to repel leeches in climbing mountains.
Used as hair conditioner for dreadlocks.

Studies
ROS-scavenger: Pogostemon cablin as ROS Scavenger in Oxidant-induced Cell Death of Human Neuroglioma Cells: Study suggests the beneficial effects of PC on ROS-induced neuroglial cell injury possibly as a ROS-scavenger.
Antimutagenic: Antimutagenic Activity of Flavonoids from Pogostemon cablin: Study of methanol extraxct of P cablin showed suppressive effects against furylfuramide, Trp-P-1, and activated Trp-P-1. Test isolated suppressive compounds (7,4′-di-O-methyleriodictyol among others) plus three flavonoids, mobuine, pachypodol and kumatekenin.
Mosquito Repellent Activity: Study of the mosquito repellent activity of 38 essential oils from plants against Aedes aegypti on human subjects showed the undiluted oil of patchouli, together with citronella, clove and makaen, to be effected in providing 2 hr of complete repellency.
H Influenza Adhesion Inhibition: Study has shown inhibition of H Influenza on oropharyngeal cells to be inhibited by aqueous extracts of P cablin and A rugosa; a mixture also effective in preventing otitis media and sore throat.
Anti-Platelet Aggregation: Study isolated a-bulnesene, a sesquiterpened from the water extract of P cablin. It showed a potent and concentration-dependent effect on platelet-activating factor (PAF) and arachidonic acid (AA) induced rabbit platelet aggregation; a first study demonstrating a-blnesene as a PAF-receptor antagonist and anti-platelet aggregation agent.

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Kabling.html

Health Benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil

The health benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties like anti depressant, anti phlogistic, anti septic, aphrodisiac, astringent, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, deodorant, diuretic, febrifuge, fungicide, insecticide, sedative and tonic.

Essential Oil of Patchouli is extracted by steam distillation of leaves of Patchouli, whose botanical name is Pogostemon Cablin or Pogostemon Patchouli. The basic components of Patchouli Essential Oil are Alpha Patchoulene, Beta Patchoulene, Alpha Guaiene, Alpha Bulnesene, Caryophyllene, Norpatchoulenol, Patchouli Alcohol, Seychellene and Pogostol. The insecticidal and insect repellant properties of this oil were known from a long time ago and were particularly used in protecting clothes from insects. Then later on, its other benefits were discovered.

Its medicinal properties include;

  • Anti Depressant: This oil works great on people suffering from depression. It helps them to get over from the feeling and fills them with new hopes. That is why it is very much in use in aromatherapy. It uplifts mood, drives away disappointment and relaxes tension.
  • Anti Phlogistic: It soothes inflammation, particularly those resulting from fever and gives relief.
  • Anti Septic: Protects the wounds and ulcers from infections and from being septic.
  • Aphrodisiac: Patchouli Oil is also good for treating sexual problems such as impotency, loss of libido and interest in sex, erectile problems, frigidity etc. and acts as an aphrodisiac.
  • Astringent: It induces contractions in muscles, nerves and skin. This helps strengthening hold of gums on teeth, preventing shagging of skin, hair fall and loosening of muscles. This astringency of Patchouli Oil also helps stop haemorrhage by contracting the blood vessels.
  • Cicatrisant: It helps heal cuts and wounds and also speed up the fading of their scars. This is equally effective in vanishing marks left by boils, acne, pox, measles etc.
  • Cytophylactic: This property of the Essential Oil of Patchouli promotes growth by helping generation of new body cells. This helps in production of red blood cells too. It was seen mainly helpful in regeneration of new skin cells, thus keeping the skin healthy, young and vibrant.
  • Deodorant: The strong sweet, spicy and musky aroma of this essential oil keeps away body odor. But it should be used in dilution as sometimes the aroma of Patchouli Oil might feel too strong to bear.
  • Diuretic: It increases the tendency of urinating as well as the frequency of urination and quantity of urine. This helps loose weight, lower blood pressure, increase appetite, lower cholesterol and removal of toxins from the body.
  • Febrifuge: Reduces body temperature in case of fever by fighting the infections causing the fever. Being an Anti Phlogistic, it gives relief from the inflammations caused by fever and this way too helps bringing down the fever, since fever can be reduced to some extent if the pain and inflammation associated with fever are taken care of.
  • Fungicide: Patchouli Essential Oil has been found quite effective in inhibiting fungal growths and infections, thereby providing protection from some of the notorious infections like athlete’s foot.
  • Insecticide: As said earlier, the insecticidal property of Patchouli Oil was recognized long ago. Despite smelling sweet, it is very effective in keeping insects away. It may be used in sprays, body lotions, fumigants, vaporizers, incense sticks or can be mixed with water to wash clothes and bed linen to drive away mosquitoes, ants, beg bugs, lice, fleas, flies and moths.
  • Sedative: It calms down inflammations and sedates convulsions, coughs and epileptic attacks resulting from hype sensitivity or hyper reactivity of nerves. It can also stop eruption of allergies by sedating the hyper sensitivity of body towards certain elements.
  • Tonic: This property of Patchouli Oil tones up the whole body. It makes right the metabolic functions like decomposition of food and absorption of nutrients by toning up the liver, stomach and intestines, helping you grow stronger and healthier; takes care of proper excretion; regulates the endocrinal secretions of hormones and enzymes and also tones up the nervous system, thus making you more alert and active, and finally, boosts the immune system, protecting you from infections.
  • Other Benefits: Helps treat eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and sores. Gives relief from constipation. Can be used as an antidote against insect bites temporarily.

Few Words of Caution: The long lasting aroma of Patchouli Essential Oil, though sweet, may not be welcome for a few.

Blending: Patchouli Essential Oil blends well with essential oils of Bergamot, Clary Sage, Geranium, Lavender and Myrrh.

This article was contributed by Aparup Mukherjee

http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-patchouli-essential-oil.html

See also:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/784699/the_health_benefits_of_patchouli.html?cat=5
http://www.ehow.com/facts_4868081_uses-patchouli-oil.html
http://www.articlesbase.com/alternative-medicine-articles/patchouli-essential-oil-a-great-way-to-relax-1086472.html
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/patchouli-rediscover-the-peace-oil.html
http://wapedia.mobi/en/Patchouli
http://www.gardenology.org/wiki/Patchouli

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kamias2

Parts utilized
Whole plant.

Properties and constituents
• Considered antibacterial, astringent, antiscorbutic, febrifuge, antidiabetic, stomachic, refrigerant.
• Study on volatile components of AB fruits showed 6 mg/kg of total volatile compounds; 62 compounds were identified, nonanal and (Z)-3-hexenol were dominant.

Uses
Nutrition
Eaten raw.
Prepared as a relish and food flavoring.
Folkloric
· Skin diseases, especially with pruritus: Reduce the leaves to a paste and apply tolerably warm to areas of affected skin.
· Fruit juice used as eye drops.
· Post-partum and rectal inflammation: Infusion of leaves.
· Mumps, acne, and localized rheumatic complaints: Paste of leaves applied to affected areas.
· Warm paste of leaves also used for pruritus.
· Used for boils, piles, rheumatism, cough, hypertension, whooping cough, mumps and pimples.
· Cough and thrush: Infusion of flowers, 40 grams to a pint of boiling water, 4 glasses of tea daily.
· Fever: Fruit as a cooling drink.
· The fruit has been used for a variety of maladies: beriberi, cough, prevention of scurvy.
· Infusion of leaves also drank as a protective tonic after childbirth.
– In Malaysia, leaves are used for venereal diseases.
· In Indonesia, leaves used for boils, diabetes, mumps, fever.
· In French Guyana, fruit decoction or syrup use for hepatitis, diarrhea, fever and other inflammatory conditions.

Others
· Because of high oxalic acid content, fruit used to remove stains from clothing and for washing hands, removing rust and stains from metal blades.

Studies
Hypoglycemic / Hypotriglyceridemic / Anti-Atherogenic / Anti-Lipid Peroxidative: Effects of Averrhoa bilimbi leaf extract on blood glucose and lipids in streptozotocin-diabetic rats: Study showed that AB extract has hypoglycemic, hypotriglyceridemic, anti-lipid peroxidative and anti-atherogenic properties in STZ-diabetic rats.
Antioxidant / Antimicrobial Activities: The scavenging of NO by the extract of AC fruits was dependent on concentration and stage of ripening. Extracts showed antimicrobial activity against E coli, Salmonella typhi, staph aureus and bacillus cereus.
Phytochemicals / Antimicrobial: Phytochemical screening of fruit extracts yielded flavonoids, saponins and triterpenoids but no alkaloids. The chloroform and methanol fruit extracts were active againsxt Aeromonas hydrophilia, E coli, K pneumonia, S cerrevisiae, S aureus, Strep agalactiae and B subtilis. In conclusion, AB fruits possess potential antibacterial activities that warrants further studies.
Anti-diabetic: Study showed the aqueous fraction was more potent than the butanol fraction in the amelioration of hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia in a high fat diet-fed STZ diabetic rats and suggests the AF as the potential source for isolation of the active principle for oral antidiabetic therapy.
Anti-bacterial: Study of the aqueous extract of AB leaves and fruits showed antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The antibacterial activity could be associated with the presence of bioactive compounds of the flavonoids type, like luteolin and apigenin. The results suggest further studies to isolate and identify the responsible compounds.

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Kamias.html

gotukola

Gotu Kola comprises a rich amount of vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). The principal bio-active chemical constituent of gotu kola is saponin. It is believed that this herb improves brain function and the mental ability as well as improves memory and learning performance. The herb heals chronic wounds, varicose vein, stomach ulcers, skin disorders i.e. eczema, psoriasis or leprosy, dreaded viral infections i.e. hepatitis and syphilis.

Asiatic pennywort, Gotu Kola,  (English), Bacopa monniera,  Chi-hsueh Ts’ao, man t’ien hsing, Brahmi, Brahma-manduki, Bemgsag, (Hindi), Mandooka Parni (Sanskrit), Vallarai keerai (Tamil), Centella asiatica (botanical name) family, Umbelliferae is commonly found near river banks, water streams or water ponds or reservoirs. This herbaceous plant grows well in moist soil conditions. The perennial herb is abundantly found in swampy, tropical regions. You can easily identify this slender, long stemmed creeping plant and its small, kidney shaped (reniform) lobed, green leaves as well as its pinkish red or white flowers. The plant has no taste or smell.

Nutritional Values

The herb comprises rich amount of vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin) vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). This will help you to convert carbohydrates into glucose as well as to improve the functioning of your nervous system. It has also good amount of vitamin K. It has an excellent source of minerals i.e. calcium, magnesium, sodium, manganese and zinc.

Bio-active Chemical constituents (Phytochemicals)

The principal bio-active chemical constituent of gotu kola is saponin. The two saponins present in this plant are brahmoside and brahminoside. The saponins restrict from excessive formation of scars. The triterpenoids comprises asiaticoside, madecassoside and madasiatic acid. It also has two triterpene acids i.e. brahmic acid and isobrahmic acid; betulic acid and stigmasterol. The tripene acids show excellent wound healing properties. The plant also comprises important amino acids i.e. asparate, glutamate, serine, threonine, alanine, lysine and histidine. The other bio-active chemical constituents are sugar, glycosides, sterols, alkaloids (hydrocotyline), tannin, and few other inorganic salts

Medicinal Values

In India the roots, stems and leaves has been traditionally used as an herb for treating acute and chronic diseases for thousands of years. The indigenous Siddha system of medicine recognizes gotu kola as ‘Kaya Kalpa’ or ‘elixirs of life’. Many of the ‘Ayurvedic Rasayana’ preparations use gotu kola as an important ingredient. The traditional physicians of ancient Indian have recognized the plant’s ability in healing chronic wounds, varicose vein, stomach ulcers, skin disorders i.e. eczema, psoriasis or leprosy, dreaded viral infections i.e. hepatitis and syphilis. The herb has ability to balance your excessive BP to near normal level. It is highly recommended as a de-worming agent. The herb is also prescribed as an expectorant since it clears phlegm from your respiratory system.

It is a tonic and has ability to tone up your muscular tissues. . It improves hemoglobin percentage, RBC, serum cholesterol and blood sugar in your blood. It activates fast growth of your hair, skin and even nails. It is identified as an excellent brain and nerve stimulant. It is believed that this herb improves brain function and the mental ability as well as improves memory and learning performance. You are able to overcome easily all your negative effects related with fatigue and stress. The herb has potentials to improve I.Q. among children. It is also recommended for mentally retarded children. People often compare this herb with Chinese ginseng.

http://healthmad.com/nutrition/health-benefits-of-gotu-kola-brahmi-or-vallarai/

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Uses

Nutrition
Rich in Vitamin B, it can be eaten as a salad or vegetable dish.
Folkloric
· Infectious hepatitis, measles, respiratory tract infections – colds, tonsillitis, laryngopharyngitis, bronchitis.
· Fresh material: 60 to 260 gms, dried material: 30 to 60 gms: Take in form of decoction.
· Counterirritant: Pound fresh leaves, mix with vaseline or oil and apply over affected area as poultice.
• Wounds and sore: The sap of the leaves is used on wounds and skin sores.
• In many folkloric systems, used for tuberculosis, syphilis, dysentery, hypertension, venous extremity probolems and common cold.
· In India and Fiji, roots used forskin inflammation, to improve blood circulation, to treat bloating, congestion and depression.
· Also considered to be a brain and memory stimulant, used for Alzheimer’s disease and senility.
• In Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, used for depression and anxiety.
• In Sri Lanka and Madagascar, used for a variety of mental and neurological problems.

Studies

Anxiolytic: Rat studies have shown decrease in locomotor activity, enhanced maze performance and attenuated started response. This placebo- controlled studysuggest Gotu Kola has anxiolytic activity in humans as shown by the ASR (acoustic startle response).
Bactericidal: In vitro study on the effect of CA on enteric pathogens. The alchol extract was bactericidal against V cholera, Shigella spp, and Staph aureus and suggests further studies in its potential as an antidiarrheal drug.
Wound Healing: Study on albino rats showed the leaf extract of CA significantly promoted wound healing and was able to overcome the wound-healing suppression of dexamethasone.
Antioxidant: Study showed CA extract and power may ameliorate H202-induced oxidative stress by decreasing lipid peroxidation.
Immunomodulatory: Study revealed immunomodulatory activity of C asiatica and R nasutus extracts in both non-specific cellular and humoral immune responses. Results suggest a chemoproventive or anticancer potential.
Nerve Regeneration: Study indicates components in CA ethanolic extract may be beneficial for accelerating repair of damaged neurons.
Scleroderma: Single study found gotu kola decreased joint pain and skin hardening and improved finger movement. source
Periodontal Healing : Study results indicate that the combined use of extracts of CA and P granatum pericarp significantly reduced the clinical signs of chronic periodontitis.
Larvicidal: Crude extract of leaves of CA showed larvicidal and adult emergence inhibition against mosquite Cules quinquefasciatus, possibly through various biogically active compounds–phenolics, terpenoids and alkaloids.

http://www.stuartxchange.org/TakipKohol.html

Gotu kola is a perennial creeper found in swampy areas of the tropics and subtropical areas worldwide. Gotu kola is also known as Centella asiatica, Indian pennywort, marsh penny, white rot, thick-leaved pennywort, hydrocotyle, Indian water navelwort, and talepetrako.

Gotu kola is a tasteless, odorless plant that thrives in and around water. It has clusters of red flowers and bears fruit. The leaves and stems of the gotu kola plant are used for medicinal purposes.

Gotu kola contains triterpenoid saponins (asiaticocide, brahmoside, thankuniside, madecasosside), volatile oils, bitter principles (vellarin), alkaloids (hydrocotyline), flavonoids, an alkaloid hydrocotyline, amino acids, resins, tannins, sugars, manganese, sodium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin A.

The triterpenoid saponins have antioxidant benefits and an ability to stimulate collagen synthesis for tissue regeneration. These saponins may increase collagen formation and also to have anti-inflammatory effects.

They prevent excessive scar formation by inhibiting the production of collagen at the wound site. Triterpenes also help to keep blood vessels strong and assist in producing essential neurotransmitters.

Medicinal uses and health benefits of gotu kola

When applied externally, gotu kola expediates the healing of burns, wounds, and various skin irritations by stimulating the production of keratin in the skin.

Taken internally, gotu kola is widely used to minimize varicose veins, boost memory, sharpen the mind in general, and stall memory loss related to Alzheimer’s disease. Gotu kola is most useful in building healthy connective tissue, thereby reducing formation of scar tissue.

The triterpenoids in gotu kola aid in wound healing, support faster healing of skin sores, wounds, and cuts. Because of these properties, gotu kola has been used externally for burns, psoriasis, prevention of scar formation, and treatment of external fistulas.

Gotu kola may help improve blood flow in leg veins and may help with blood vessel damage and nerve damage caused by diabetes.

Gotu kola improves the strength and tone of blood vessels and may help to improve vein problems, particularly varicose veins, haemorrhoids, spider veins and skin ulcers. Gotu kola has also been used reduce edema in patients with diabetes and in at-risk patients during long flights.

Gotu kola is an excellent mental stimulant. Gotu kola dilates the peripheral blood vessels, so mental performance is improved through increased blood flow to the brain. It relieves mental fatigue and senility, and aids the body in defending itself against toxins.

http://www.dailynutritionals.com/gotu-kola.html

The health benefits of gotu kola are quite extensive. Gotu Kola in its various forms has been used extensively over several thousand years in treating a lot of physical conditions like syphilis, hepatitis, stomach ulcers, mental fatigue, epilepsy, and diarrhea. Herbalists and natural medicine practitioners strongly believe that Gotu Kola has several curative qualities. There are a huge number of them who uphold that the Gotu Kola herb has properties that help reduce fever and relieve congestion caused by colds and upper respiratory tract infections.

Women have been using Gotu Kola for the purposes of birth control, and some herb specialists have established that Gotu Kola is an antidote for poison mushrooms and arsenic poisoning. They also claim that Gotu Kola preparations can be used to treat snakebites, herpes, fractures, and sprains.

Traditionally Gotu Kola benefits include the herb being used to treat some extremely serious conditions like syphilis, rheumatism, leprosy and mental illness. It is also used to stimulate urination and to relieve physical and mental exhaustion, eye diseases, inflammation, asthma, high blood pressure, liver disease, dysentery, urinary tract infections, eczema, and psoriasis.

During the recent past, Gotu Kola has gained popularity as a natural remedy for disorders that cause connective tissue swelling such as scleroderma, psoriatic arthritis (arthritis occurring in conjunction with psoriasis), anklylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the spine), and rheumatoid arthritis. However, its use in connection with these conditions is not supported by clinical trials.

More recent studies confirm many of Gotu Kola’s traditional uses and also suggest possible new applications for Gotu Kola, such as lowering high blood pressure, treating venous insufficiency (pooling of blood in the veins, usually in the legs), boosting memory and intelligence, easing anxiety, and speeding the healing of wounds and burns.

While treating stress-related disorders like panic attacks and problems related to anxiety Gotu Kola has shown some extremely remarkable results. Scientists have established that compounds in Gotu Kola known as triter-pene acids bind to receptors in your central nervous system and reduce your startle response.

One of the many benefits of Gotu Kola include its effectiveness in treating various skin conditions and it is also felt to be very helpful in the treatment of cellulite and keloids. The hardening of connective tissue cells below the skin’s surface causes cellulite and Gotu Kola seems to be very effective in slowing down this process. Having said the above, it should be noted that it isn’t possible for cellulite to go away just by taking a few Gotu Kola capsules. The Gotu Kola herb is highly beneficial mainly because it contains certain substances and properties that work on the general strengthening and toning effect on the connective tissue. By itself it might not work wonders but can certainly contribute towards cellulite reduction when combined with diet, exercise, and massages.

http://www.all4naturalhealth.com/benefits-of-gotu-kola.html

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Benefits of Gotu Kola

The benefits of Gotu Kola come from a slender creeping plant. The herb grows in the swampy areas of India, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar. Its Latin name is Centella Asiatica.
Gotu Kola is also grown in Australia, South America, and even the south eastern United States.

Uses For Gotu Kola

Some uses for Gotu Kola include the reduction of fatigue, the strengthening of memory, and in treating venous insufficiency. Varicose veins, circulation, and wound healing are also aided by Gotu Kola.
The benefits of gotu kola help increase longevity, prevents memory loss, and it is also used as an aphrodisiac. Substances called Triterpenoid Saponis in Gotu Kola aid in wound healing; this is done by decreasing venous pressure in venous insufficiency.

Benefits of Gotu Kola

Asiatocide and madecassoside have anti-inflammatory properties and may promote wound healing by stimulating collagen and glycosaminoglycan synthesis. The herb has preventative and therapeutic effects on gastrointestinal ulcers.

Gotu Kola be anti-ulcer, as a result of the strengthening action on gastric mucosal lining, and the suppressing of free radical damage. The herb has been used as a sedative, an anticonvulsant, and analgesic (pain reliever). Gotu Kola may also have antibacterial activity against various bacteria, such as pseudo moans, pyocyaneus, trichidermia, and mentogrophytes.

Other areas that might benefit from the use of Gotu Kola include aging, arteriosclerosis, depression, and headaches. High blood pressure, hypoglycemia, chronic venous insufficiency, varicose veins and wound healing can all be helped with the use of Gotu kola.

Further benefits of Gotu Kola

The herb Gotu kola is known widely for promoting healthy skin, and helping in the aid of skin irritations, such as burns, scar tissue, psoriasis, and similar conditions.

Studies have shown recently that Gotu Kolait can have further benefits benefits than the ones mentioned, such as improving mental acuity, combating and aiding in memory deterioration, and improving ones blood flow by strengthening numerous blood vessels.

Many other herbs don’t have much information on them, however, the benefits of gotu kola benefits are shown in various clinical studies.

A book we recently came across from Reader’s Digest called “The Healing Power of Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs” says that: “In one study, 30 developmentally disabled children were found to have significantly better concentration and attention after taking gotu kola for 12 weeks…” and “In more than a dozen studies observing gotu kola’s effects on veins…about 80% of patients with varicose veins and similar problems showed substantial improvement.”

As you can see from above, studies are shown that that the herb has some excellent
benefits for ones health.

Known Side Effects From The Herb

The herb is not an essential nutrient, and because of this, there is no RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) set for this particular herb. We have found some side effects related to this herb, however, they are very rare. Some side effects we did come across are: extra sensitivity to sunlight and more susceptible to headaches. When the herb is applied on the skin, gotu kola can cause rashes on certain individuals.

If you are looking to supplement with Gotu, stay with a reasonable dosage of around 75 mgs to 100 mgs.

Women who are Pregnant or nursing should avoid taking gotu kola extract, unless advised otherwise from their physician. Medical experts advise against using gotu kola if you have a history of squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell skin cancer, or melanoma. People with liver disease should also avoid gotu kola.

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Nutritional-Benefits-of-Gotu-Kola&id=390993

Lemon grass is a perennial plant that is native to India and Nepal; it has a light, lemony scent and flavor, with a hint of ginger. Lemon grass is one of the wondrous herbs; it is very useful as medicinal plant and a delicious food flavoring. Few knows that the other name of Lemon grass is citronella, a popular scent in perfume, candles and soaps. Citronella is known for its calming effect that relieves insomnia or stress. It is also popular as a mild insect repellant.

In a study that was conducted it has shown that every 100g of edible lemon grass, when boiled can contain up to 24.205 micrograms of beta-carotene the powerful anti-oxidant that scientist believe can help prevent cancer. In another study it has shown that lemon grass oil has the potential as topical eye medication against keratomycosis, an inflammation of cornea often associated with burning or blurring of vision. Researchers note that lemongrass oil’s antioxidant qualities and ability to inhibit the enzyme that promotes the growth of cancer cells are promising.

Health Benefits of Lemon Grass:

  • It contains an antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • It helps to detoxify the liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract.
  • Helps boost the immune system
  • Helps reduce uric acid, cholesterol, excess fats
  • It helps alleviates indigestion and gastroenteritis.
  • Helps improve the skin by reducing acne and pimples
  • It helps tone the muscle and tissues.
  • Helps in menstrual troubles
  • Helps reduce blood pressure

    and improve blood circulation

  • Helps reduce cellulite
  • Act as sedative for the central nervous system.
  • May help prevent color cancer.
  • Helps in reducing fevers
  • Help in flatulence and colic
  • Relieves arthritic pain and rheumatism

Lemon grass for Cooking: The leaves and base of lemon grass are used as a food flavoring especially in Southeast Asian dishes. The long thin grey-green leaves are tough and fibrous, the outside leaves and the tips are usually chopped very finely or discarded from the dish before it is served.

How to Use Essential Oil: Apply 2 drops of concentrated lemongrass oil per ounce of organic unrefined almond oil, olive oil or any of you favorite oil. You can use the mixture to your skin as massage oil, lotion and moisturizer. As a relaxing scent add 1 – 2 drops in a cloth and inhale to relax your senses.

How to make Lemon grass Herbal Tea:

  • Fresh Leaves: Pour 2 cups of water to ¼ cup lemon grass leaves, then boil and simmer for 3minutes. Let is cool and drink.
  • Dried Leaves: Pour a cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried lemon grass leaves. Steep for 5-10 minutes before drinking.

Author: By len7288
http://hubpages.com/hub/Health-Benefits-of-Lemon-Grass

Excerpts from other source:

Considered as a sacred herb by the ancients due to its magical healing and protecting properties, lemon grass is valued even today due to its ability to ward off problems like anxiety, headaches and fever amongst others. Along with its health benefits, this tropical grass is usually known for its aromatic citrus flavor which provides taste and unique aroma to turn a food item into an exotic delicacy. The common and popular name of lemon grass is citronella which is used as a common scent in candles, perfumes and soaps. It is also known for its soothing and calming effect which helps in relieving stress, tension and anxiety.

Along with providing scent and aroma, lemon grass is also useful for the various health benefits they provide to its consumers. It has been found that lemon grass has antibacterial and anti fungal properties along with possessing natural cleansing properties which help of the liver, kidneys and bladder. Moreover, it also helps in the healthy functioning of the digestive system as it helps in decreasing problems related to indigestion and gastroenteritis. This is because it helps in cutting down the levels of cholesterol, fat and toxins from one’s body along with aiding in the stimulation of blood circulation in the body. As lemon grass can help in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol, it plays an important role in maintaining the health of one’s heart.

It has been found that lemon grass can prove to be beneficial for women as it helps in treating menstrual troubles and nausea. By mixing lemon grass with pepper, one can get rid of a majority of problems related to women’s menstrual cycle. Along with providing numerous health benefits, lemon grass also aids in the beautification process of the skin as it helps in preventing the formation of pimples and acne along with acting as a useful muscle and a tissue toner.

Lemon grass was usually known only for its aromatic properties. However, it also possesses numerous health benefits which makes it an invaluable herb which was rightly termed by our ancients as a “sacred herb”.

Source: http://www.ayushveda.com/womens-magazine/benefits-of-lemon-grass/

turmeric

Turmeric is one of nature’s most powerful healers. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Tumeric has been used for over 2500 years in India, where it was most likely first used as a dye.

The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.

Here are 20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet:

1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.

5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.

14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.

16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.

17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.

18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.

20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. It is available in pill form in most health food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules.

Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it’s fun to find new ways to use it in recipes. My favorite way to use it is to add a pinch of it to egg salad. It adds a nice flavor and gives the egg salad a rich yellow hue.

Contraindications: Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction. Though turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant.

Eat This!

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html

Chemical constituents, characteristics and Pharmacological Effects

Volatile oil, 3-5% – tumerol (alcohol), d-alpha phellandrene, carvone, camphor, curcumone; fat, 3%; starch, 30%; resin; curcumin (pigment).
Pungent and bitter tasting, warming, carminative.
Improves Ch’i circulation.
Anti -contusion.
Yellow orange color comes from yellow pigment in the rhizomes called curcumin.
Believed to have antioxidant, antiinflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and anticarcinogenic activity.
Antiinflammatory activity has been compared to topical hydrocortisone.
Antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal.

Uses


Folkloric
· Fevers, dysentery, abdominal pain, flatulence, abdominal spasm, arthritis: Decoction of rhizome as tea.
· Menstrual irregularities
· Contusions and associated painful swelling.
· Antiseptic for wounds: Crush rhizome and apply to wounds.
· Externally, rhizomes are applied to insect bites, ringworm, bleeding.
· Dosage: Decoction of 2 to 6 gms dried material.
• In India, used as antiseptic for cuts. Used for leprosy, liver problems, swelling, insect bites, wounds, whooping cough, pimples. Sweetened milk boiled with tumeric is popular as a remedy for colds and cough.
• In Ayurveda, use as stomach and liver tonic and blood purifier.

Culinary
· Condiment and coloring for food.
• In dried or powdered form, used like ginger.

New Age
· Improves Qi (chi) circulation. Chi is the basis of traditional Eastern medicine. In chinese parlance, chi means ‘spirit.’ In new-age speak, good health is synonymous with free-flowing energy through meridian pathways. A blocked Qi flow is associated with disease or ill-health.

Others
Approved by German health authorities for the treatment of dyspeptic complaints.
Recent uses and preparation
Wounds and swelling
Ointment: Wash the unpeeled ginger. Chop the rhizomes to fill half a glass of water. Sauté with one glass of coconut oil on low heat for five minutes. Place in a clean bottle and label.
Antiseptic for wounds: Extract juice of the fresh rhizome and apply directly on the wound or swelling.
Gas pain in adults: Decoction from thumb-sized rhizome in a glass of water reduced to half.

Studies

• Curcumin Suppresses Metastasis in a Human Breast Cancer Xenograft Model: The dietary administration to mice of curcumin and curcumin plus Taxol significantly decreased the incidence of breast cancer metastasis to the lung. The results indicate that curcumin has a potential for breast cancer therapy.
• Hepatoprotective: The study suggests the ethanolic extract of C. longa has potent hepatoprotective effect against paracetamol-induced liver damage in rats and validates its use as a hepatoprotectant agent.
• Antifungal: The study on the ethanolic extracts of Curcuma longa and Alpinia galanga exhibited excellent phytotoxic activity against Lemna minor and good antifungal activities against Trichophyton longifusus.
• Antibacterial: Study showed the essential oil fraction from tumeric possesses significant antibacterial activity against pathogenic Staph aureus bacteria and suggests a potential for use of the essential oil as antiseptic in prevention and treatment of bacterial infections.
• Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic / Antioxidant: Study of Curcuma longa and Abroma augusta found them to be efficient antioxidants and showed significant reduction in glood glucose. Study showed the combination of herbal extracts showed better efficacy compared to individual plant extracts.

Caution

• Anticoagulation Concerns: Ginger may decrease thromboxane production and cause prolong bleeding time and platelet inhibition. Therefore, should be used with caution by patients receiving anticoagulant therapy.

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Dilaw.html

Therapeutic Uses: Turmeric is beneficial in the treatment of Gallbladder problems, hepatitis, indigestion, infections, lack of appetite, scabies, alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, asthma, athlete’s foot, boils, bursitis, breast cancer, colon cancer, cataracts, colic, dermatitis, diarrhea, eczema, fibrosis, gallstones, gas, hardening of the arteries, heart disease, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, inflammation, intestinal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, jaundice, lack of menstruation, lymph gland problems, menstrual pain, morning sickness, pain, psoriasis, sprains, ulcers, wounds, yeast infections.

It is also being use for the treatment of bruises, for childbirth, eye inflammation, epilepsy, fever, hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, itching, ringworm.

Therapeutic Properties: Turmeric contains curcumin and curcuminoids it is a first rate natural remedy for arthritis, it has an anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help alleviate pain. It can also help protect the gallbladder and liver and provide a defense against cancer. Curcumin can also help inhibit the formation of cancer in breast tissue. Experiment on animal shows that curcumin slashed the risk of colon cancer by almost 60%, this phytochemical seems to neutralize cancer-causing compounds, stop cancerous changes in the cells and directly fight substances that enable carcinogens to spread and wreak havoc. Turmeric also triggers better bile flow, which helps digest fats and reduces the risk of gallstones. It also helps generates the secretion of several enzymes that assist the liver in breaking down and metabolizing certain toxic substances. Some of these same phytochemicals inhibit the oxidative damage that allows cholesterol to coagulate and cling to the inside of arteries.

Turmeric /curcumin is about half as effective as corticosteroids, but it doesn’t have bad side effect as corticosteroids, this drug is use for the treatment of arthritis, but they can cause fluid retention and bloating, elevate blood pressure, encourage intestinal bleeding, ulcer formation and increase the risk of osteoporosis.

Direction for use / Dosage: 400 milligrams of a curcumin extract three times a day, 445 milligrams of a standardized supplement 2 to 3 times a day, 1tsp of the dried herb in a cup of warm milk daily, 1tsp to 1 tbsp of a liquid extract divided into several dosages over the course of a day, or 1/8 to ¼ tsp of turmeric tincture 3x a day. Your body will absorbed more curcumin if you take it with lots of black pepper. The pipeline in pepper improves the body’s ability to use turmeric perhaps as much as twentyfold, according to studies. Ginger is also a good companion for turmeric.

Caution: Don’t take turmeric if you have bile duct obstruction, people with gallstones should consult a herb physician before taking this. Excessive dosage of curcuminoids could cause ulcers or cancer and reduce the number of red and white blood cells in the body. Too much intake can also cause hair fall. When buying turmeric, always buy from reputable seller since some species are toxic.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Medicinal-Uses-of-Turmeric-Herb

dandelion5227

Nutritional
Used by some as salad component.
A rich source of vitamins A, B, C and D as well as minerals.

Folkloric
• Its multiplicity of uses rates it a herbal cure-all, especially for the treating hepato-biliary disease and as a diuretic.
• in Europe, widely used for gastrointestinal ailments. It is taken as broth with leaves of sorrel and egg yolk for chronic liver congestion.
• Used for its gently laxative effect and as bitter tonic in atonic dyspepsia.
• Promotes appetite and digestion.
• Root preparation used for a variety of conditions: fevers, diabetes, eczema, scurvy, bowel inflammation.
• Pounded poultice of leaves applied to wounds and cuts.
• As a drink: 20 gms of root to a cup of boiling water, take 3-5 glasses a day.
• Juice of the stalk used to remove warts.
• Powdered dried roots used with coffee, and a substitute for coffee when roasted and powdered.
• Extract of dandelion used as remedy for fevers and chills.
• Infusion used to treat anemia, jaundice and nervousness.
• Decoction of root herb taken for scrofula, eczema, scurvy and various skin eruptions.
• Used for eczema and acne.
• Native American Indians have used infusions and decoctions of the root and herb for kidney diseases, dyspepsia and heartburn.
• Traditional Arabian medicine has used it for liver and spleen diseases.
• Chinese medicine used it for hepatitis,bronchitis, pneumonia, as a topical compress for mastitis.

Excerpts from other source:

Dandelion Herbal use and Medicinal Properties

The whole plant is used as a medicinal herb internally and externally.

External Uses

The fresh juice of Dandelion is applied externally to fight bacteria and help heal wounds. The plant has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphococcus aureus, pneumococci, meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, proteus. The latex contained in the plant sap can be used to remove corns and warts.

Internal Uses

Dandelion is also used for the treatment of the gall bladder, kidney and urinary disorders, gallstones, jaundice, cirrhosis, hypoglycemia, dyspepsia with constipation, edema associated with high blood pressure and heart weakness, chronic joint and skin complaints, gout, eczema and acne. As a tonic, Dandelion strengthens the kidneys. An infusion of the root encourages the steady elimination of toxins from the body. Dandelion is a powerful diuretic but does not deplete the body of potassium.

Research is revealing that the many constituents of Dandelion including Taraxacin, Taraxacoside, Inulin, Phenolic acids, Sesquiterpene lactones, Triterpenes, Coumarins, Catortenoids and Minerals, mainly Potassium and calcium, are very valuable in curing a number of disorders and illnesses. Dandelion is traditionally used as a tonic and blood purifier, for constipation, inflammatory skin conditions, joint pain, eczema and liver dysfunction, including liver conditions such as hepatitis and jaundice.

Other Uses

When placed in a paper bag with unripe fruit, the flowers and leaves of Dandelion release ethylene gas ripening the fruit quickly. A liquid plant food is made from the root and leaves. A dark red dye is obtained from Dandelion root. A cosmetic skin lotion made from the appendages at the base of the leaf blades distilled in water, is used to clear the skin and is effective in fading freckles.

Main sources:

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Dandelion.html
http://altnature.com/gallery/Dandelion.htm

Sapan

Folkloric
Decoction of wood and bark used for tuberculosis, diarrhea, dysentery, postpartum tonic, skin infections. and anemia.
Seeds used for stomach aches and nervous disorders.
Decoction of wood used postpartum as tonic.

Others
Chiefly used as a dyewood, popular for coloring native fabrics.
In some parts of the Quezon province, a popular colorant for the coconut liquer, lambanog.

Studies
Antimicrobial: Aqueous extract study showed antimicrobial activity against methicillin-sensitive S aureus (MSSA) as well MRSA and suggests a potential to restore the effectiveness of B-lactam antibiotics against MRSA.
Immunosuppressive component: Brazilein, an important immunosuppressive component of CS showed inhibition of T cell proliferation and suppress mice humoral immune response.
Antioxidant: Study results showed significant antioxidant activities of Caesalpinia sappan heartwood extracts.
Anticonvulsant: Study of aqueous MeOH extracts isolated pure compounds sappanchalcone and brazilin which showed remarkable anticonvulsant activity.
Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors: Study of MeOH extract of Vietnamese CS isolated neoprotosappanin and protosappanin A dimethyl acetal which showed xanthine oxidase inhibitory activity comparable to allopurinol.
Anti-allergic: Study of extracts of CS showed potent inhibitory activity against B-hexosaminidase release as marker of degranulation in rat basophilic leukemic cells. Among the compounds tested, sappanchalcone showed the most potent anti-allergic effect.
Cardioactive effects of Brazilein: Brazilein obtained from CS ethanol extracts showed a positive inotropic action with little effect on heart rate and coronary perfusion, an effect achieved through inhibition of Na-K-ATPase system.

Suggested Readings

(1) Inhibitory effects of Caesalpinia sappan on growth and invasion of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus / Journal of Ethnopharmacology Vol 91, Issue 1, March 2004, Pages 81-87 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2003.11.017
(2) Brazilein, an important immunosuppressive component from Caesalpinia sappan L. / International Immunopharmacology
Vol 6, Issue 3, March 2006, Pages 426-432 / doi:10.1016/j.intimp.2005.09.012
(3) Antioxidant Activity of Caesalpinia sappan Heartwood / Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin Vol. 26 (2003) , No. 11 1534
(4) Anticonvulsant compounds from the wood of Caesalpinia sappan L. / Archives of Pharmacal Research. Vol 23, Number 4 / August, 2000 / DOI 10.1007/BF02975445
(5) Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors from the Heartwood of Vietnamese Caesalpinia sappan / Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin Vol. 53 (2005) , No. 8 984
(6) Anti-allergic activity of principles from the roots and heartwood of caesalpinia sappan on antigen-induced -hexosaminidase release / Phytotherapy Research
(7) Study on Cardioactive Effects of Brazilein /

Excerpts from other source:

General Uses: The water kept in Caesalpinia sappan Linn. (Sappan lignum) heartwood is being used in some parts of Kerala as herbal drinking water for its antithirst, blood purifying, antidiabetic, improvement of complexion and several other properties. The use of heartwood as a colouring agent for liquor, wine, meat, fabric, etc. is well established. It has the potential to hit the market as a safe natural colouring agent with good medicinal value for food products, beverages and pharmaceuticals. Sappan is official in India and the Eastern Colonies for use in place of logwood as an astringent. Seeds used for stomach aches and nervous disorders.

Medicinal Uses: Used for purifying blood, quenching thirst, cures jaundice and cough. Good for respiratory ailments, cures wound. As it has medicinal properties similar to Pterocarpus Santalinus it is used in place of this. Its flower is used as a base in fairness creams. It has a capacity to cure Blood Pressure, Heart diseases. The seeds of the plant are used for Stomach aches, and Nervous disorders. This plant is used as a main ingredient in Herbal drinks, widely used in Kerala, and other parts of the country. Indications for treatment include amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, blood stasis after delivery; pricking pain in the chest and abdomen, traumatic swelling and pain. Decoction of wood and bark used for tuberculosis, diarrhea, dysentery, postpartum tonic, and for skin infections.

General Uses: The water kept in Caesalpinia sappan Linn. (Sappan lignum) heartwood is being used in some parts of Kerala as herbal drinking water for its antithirst, blood purifying, antidiabetic, improvement of complexion and several other properties. The use of heartwood as a colouring agent for liquor, wine, meat, fabric, etc. is well established. It has the potential to hit the market as a safe natural colouring agent with good medicinal value for food products, beverages and pharmaceuticals. Sappan is official in India and the Eastern Colonies for use in place of logwood as an astringent. Seeds used for stomach aches and nervous disorders.

Medicinal Uses: Used for purifying blood, quenching thirst, cures jaundice and cough. Good for respiratory ailments, cures wound. As it has medicinal properties similar to Pterocarpus Santalinus it is used in place of this. Its flower is used as a base in fairness creams. It has a capacity to cure Blood Pressure, Heart diseases. The seeds of the plant are used for Stomach aches, and Nervous disorders. This plant is used as a main ingredient in Herbal drinks, widely used in Kerala, and other parts of the country. Indications for treatment include amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, blood stasis after delivery; pricking pain in the chest and abdomen, traumatic swelling and pain. Decoction of wood and bark used for tuberculosis, diarrhea, dysentery, postpartum tonic, and for skin infections.

Here’s a couple gems culled from the inbox chaff:

“Caesalpinia sappan, known as Sibukaw Tree, treats hepatitis problems. It also includes diabetes.”

Excerpt from reply or comment re sibukaw:

“with regards to sibukaw tree, it grow near our city and is sold by local streetside herbalist as a remedy to build blood. a decoction of the wood pieces are used. my friend told me that it cured a filipino doctor who came home from the u.s. because he was dying of cancer.”

Main sources:

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Sapan.html
http://www.freewebs.com/mhmgs/sappanwood.html

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