Syed Akbar Decalepsis hamiltonii or swallow root is an ancient herb that has been used for centuries by tribes deep in the jungles, down the Vindhyas. Though there have been several claims on its medicinal properties, it's only of late that scientific studies are conducted to verify some of them. It has been found to be good against bacterial infection including Salmonella typhii that causes typhoid and Helicobacter pylori that is responsible for ulcers in the stomach and even cancers. The root of Decalepsis is used in herbal medicine, particularly Ayurveda and Unani. It is regarded as a blood purifier and general health tonic to boost the immune system. Research on rats has shown that it has anti-diabetic properties. It is found to protect the liver and prevents formation of cholesterol deposits in the blood vessels. Decalepsis should be used in small quantities as excessive intake may lead to health troubles. Pregnant women and lactating mothers should avoid Decalepsis as a precautionary measure. Those planning for a surgical procedure should stop taking Decalepsis at least 15 days before hospitalisation, as the herb is known to dilute the blood. Those on anti-coagulant and blood thinning medicines should avoid Decalepsis. ------------------ Home remedies ----------------- The root extract of Swallow root works as a general tonic since it has anti-oxidant properties. It also prevents cancers of various types. Ready-made root extract of Swallow root is available in herbal stores. One may also go in for Swallow root tonic to keep the physiological functioning of the body in good condition. Alternatively, one can take a few grams of fresh or dried root and prepare decoction adding it to a glass of water. Filter the decoction and consume it. A little quantity of Swallow root powder daily will help in preventionof complications linked to diabetes. Recent studies have shown that Swallow root can be used in cancer therapy along with the regular medicines. Root extract or powder can be consumed in a little quantity to prevent cancer complications. Swallow root powder is often prescribed to reduce swelling (inflammation), and in treating typhoid. It is regarded as a good appetiser. A little of root powder before the meal will increase the hunger.
Syed Akbar Parsley or Petroselinum crispum is a native of the Middle East. But it is now grownwidely for its medicinal properties and health value. This leafy vegetable is used inAyurveda, Unani and even in the modern medicine. Though it is generally recommended for its ability to fight bad breath, Parsley is usedfor treatment of a number of health issues like stones and calculi in the kidney,infection of gall bladder, boils, sting and bites by insects, flatulence and indigestion.It is also recommended as a natural blood purifier and general health tonic. The leaves of Parsley, both fresh and dried, as also its tap root are used in herbalformulations. The leaves can be chewed raw or consumed as herbal tea, decoction ortincture. Ointment, poultice or leaf paste of Parsley can be applied externally for skinproblems including inflammation. Some herbal doctors prescribe head wash using paste ofParsley leaves to kill head lice. The leaves are rich in vitamin C and thus they help in purifying the blood and keepingthe circulatory system in good condition. Pregnant women should avoid Parsley as it maycreate health problems. Others should use it in prescribed quantities as heavy dosage maylead to complications. -------------------- Home remedies -------------------- Take a few leaves of Parsley, clean them with water and chew them. This prevents badbreath. Parsley is rich in chlorophyll and other natural substances that prevent harmfulbacteria from growing in the mouth and causing bad breath. You can also prepare mouthgargle using Parsley leaves. Take a few leaves, clean them and put them in a glass ofwater. Boil the water, filter the solution and use it for gargling the mouth, twice a day. Prepare solution fresh everyday. Some herbal doctors prescribe Parsley tea for problems like stones and calculi inkidneys. It is also recommended for jaundice. Chewing a few leaves of Parsley daily will help in fighting flatulence and indigestionand keeps the digestive system healthy. Take a few leaves, crush them and apply on painful boils, insect bites or sting forrelief from the trouble. Inflammation or swelling can also be reduced by applying leafpaste or ointment on the affected area.
By Syed Akbar Sapindus mukorossi or soap nut is one of the oldest cultivated medicinal plants in theworld. In fact, some botanists trace it to the period of the Vedas, about 5000 years ago.Many do not know that it has a number of health benefits, besides the famous benefit ofkeeping the hair long and healthy. Sapindus is generally used for external applications. Expert herbal doctors oftenprescribe it for internal use in minute quantities to remove accumulated phlegm or mucousfrom the respiratory tract in the form of vomit. Sapindus has properties that promotevomiting (emetic). Care should be taken to avoid contact with the eyes while applyingSapindus for hair or as a body wash. It is not recommended for pregnant women as there are reports of Sapindus causingmiscarriage. It is an excellent external use herb for a variety of skin problems rangingfrom simple freckles to psoriasis and eczema. Since it has properties to kill insects,regular use of Sapindus for hair wash or Coconut oil mixed with Sapindus will help inkeeping the hair free of lice. It is mucolytic or capable of attacking fungi. It is primarily because of this property, Sapindus is prescribed for treatment of dandruff. Other benefits of Sapindus include its ability to kill sperm (as a contraceptive), fightcommon itch, treat chlorosis (a type of anaemia) and control the infection ofHelicobacter pylori, a gut pathogen. ------------------- Home Remedies ------------------- Take about a dozen soap nuts, gently crack them, and soak in a small bowl of water fortwo to four hours. Gently rub the soaked soap nuts against hands to obtain a good froth.The froth is due to its unique chemical called saponin, which has a number of medicinalproperties. Wash your head using this saponin-rich liquid to promote long hair. It alsokills lice and gives relief from dandruff. You may use readily available Sapindus powderinstead of the nuts. Those suffering from skin problems like eczema and psoriasis may wash the affectedportion using soap nut liquid. Regular use will keep the skin smooth and provide relieffrom the problem. Some Ayurveda doctors suggest Sapindus snuff for migraine. It should be taken under thesupervision of expert doctors. For relief from joint pains, prepare a poultice of soap nuts and apply it on the affectedportion. Instead of soap, Sapindus powder can be used for body wash once in a while to removebacterial and fungal infections from the body.
By Syed Akbar Ephedra or desert tea is a double-edged sword. It has a number of benefits if it isconsumed in minute quantities and for a limited number of days. If it is taken in largequantities and for a longer period, Ephedra may cause severe health complicationsincluding cardiac arrest. Those using Ephedra herbal formulations should take extracaution to derive its health benefits to the fullest. Always use the herb in minute quantities and ensure that the usage does not extend to more than five days. Ephedra is an ancient herb and has been in use in Chinese medicinal system for almost5000 years. It is also used in Ayurveda and Unani systems of medicine. It is, however,popular in Chinese system of medicine. It has a number of health benefits, but Ephedra isprimarily used for treatment of upper respiratory tract diseases like asthma andbronchitis. Other uses include treatment of common cold, nasal blockade, low blood pressure, depression, and alleviation of fever. It purifies blood. It is oftenrecommended in the treatment of syphilis, rheumatic pains and for reduction of weight. Those suffering from heart problems, glaucoma, diabetes, and high blood pressure andthyroid issues should avoid using Ephedra. Others may use it in minute quantities. Theleaves and stem of Ephedra are used in medical formulations. Caution has to be exercisedbecause Ephedra contains a chemical called ephedrine, which is narcotic in nature andacts on the central nervous system. ------------------- Home remedies ------------------- Take two grams of dried Ephedra plant, add a cup of water and boil it. Filter thedecoction and consume it thrice a day for relief from asthma and bronchitis. Ephedra is also used as a general health tonic. Ephedra decoction obtained by boiling twograms of its dried stem or leaves in a glass of water can be used once a day to improveblood circulation. Ephedra opens up the wind pipe and air passages in the lungs enablingthem to take extra oxygen and supply oxygen rich blood to the body. Ephedra is prescribed for treatment of depression as it is a powerful central nervoussystem stimulant. A word of caution, Ephedra should never be combined with coffee, tea oranti-depressant drugs. When on use of Ephedra, avoid coffee, tea and anti-depressantdrugs. A little quantity (two to three ml) of Ephedra tincture is often prescribed tofight depression. A little quantity of decoction of root and stem of Ephedra will provide relief fromrheumatic pains.
Syed Akbar We all know that Eucalyptus is a natural remedy for common cold. It has been used in folkand tribal medicines for thousands of years. It is now used in Unani, Ayurveda and modernmedical preparations too. But what many do not know is that Eucalyptus has specialproperties to fight infection (antibiotic), helps in excretion of urine from the body toprovide relief from body swelling and inflammation (diuretic) and prevents formation ofcancerous cells in the body (anti-tumour). Eucalyptus also provides relief from burns, wounds, sores, skin rashes, gum diseases likepyorrhoea, and rheumatic pains. Eucalyptus has a strong and soothing flavour thatattracts one’s attention instantaneously. Coming to its famous anti-cold properties,Eucalyptus contains certain natural chemicals that fight common cold and pneumonia.Ointments, herbal teas and extracts of Eucalyptus are available in the market. Even multinational companies are into herbal preparations based on Eucalyptus. Honey obtained from bees fed on Eucalyptus flowers is said to possess special propertiesthat boost the body immunity and fights infections. Eucalyptus honey is available inleading herbal stores. Here’s a word of caution for those suffering from kidney and liver diseases as alsoasthma. They should avoid Eucalyptus preparations as the herb may aggravate theirproblem. Pregnant women too should avoid Eucalyptus preparations including vapours, ointments and rubs. ----------------- Home remedies ----------------- Take a drop of Eucalyptus oil; mix it in a glass of warm water and gargle. Repeat ittwice a day. You will get relief from gum problems like pyorrhoea. Eucalyptus infusion or tea can be consumed in small quantities twice a day for relieffrom common cold, fever and body aches. Rub Eucalyptus oil gently on affected portion for relief from rheumatic pains and localswellings. Take a few Eucalyptus leaves, crush and put them in a bowl of boiling water. Inhale thevapours for decongestion of the chest and relief from cough and cold. Readymade Eucalyptus ointment can also be massaged gently on the chest and back for quickrelief from “heavy chest” and cold.