Monday, 31 January 2011

Aconitum heterophyllum or Atis root: Devil's helmet kills malarial parasites

By Syed Akbar
Aconitum heterophyllum or Devil's helmet lives in the footsteps of the Himalayas. It is a poisonous herb but Ayurveda doctors have been using it for almost 2000 years, of course after detoxifying it. Susrutha
had listed Aconitum in his medical herbarium and praised it for its unique herbal curative properties.
Ayurveda doctors recognise Aconitum as Vatsnabh Kul or Atis root. Extreme caution has to be taken while using Aconitum at home. It is highly recommended that "detoxified" Aconitum formulations be
purchased from a reputed herbal stores for safety and quick healing results.
The tuberous root of Aconitum is used in Ayurvedic formulations. Its underground stem and leaves are also used in certain preparations. Aconitum has been hailed as one of the best natural treatments for malarial fevers. It is also useful in improving digestion, fighting nausea, controlling vomiting and diarrhoea, purifying blood, reducing swellings and bringing down body temperature (fever).
Aconitum is also often prescribed for reducing body weight (obesity), treating piles, intestinal problems and as a natural birth control agent. It has been hailed as a divine herb, but it is unpalatable in taste. It should
be taken in extremely small quantity as large quantities could produce undesired results.
Home Remedies
Aconitum can be used both externally and internally. In case of external application, it is considered good in fighting tonsillitis. Take a little quantity of Aconitum seeds, crush them into fine powder. Mix the powder with honey. Apply the paste externally on the throat. Only detoxified seeds should be used.
In case of nasal and bronchial congestion, root powder mixed with milk can be consumed twice a day. The daily intake should never cross three grams of dry root powder.
Root powder in small quantities is recommended for malarial fevers. Root decoction can be used for relief from urinary tract infections.
It is an excellent tonic to boost immunity and general health while recovering from sickness. Root powder formulation can be had as general health tonic from a herbal store.
There have been recorded cases of Aconitum being used as an antidote for insect poisons. In this case it is used externally on the affected portion of the skin.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Malay Tea or Bawachi: Psoralea fights skin ailments

By Syed Akbar
Psoralea carylifolia or Malay tea is a weed growing in asteland. Nevertheless, this weed has been in use in traditional systems of medicine for more than  two millennia. Ayurvedic doctors regard it as a blessed herb as far as skin diseases are concerned. There has been a
mention of Psoralea (Bawachi or Kusthanasi) in Susruta Samhita and
how it controls major skin problems like leprosy.
Ayurveda and Unani doctors prescribe Psoralea as an ointment for skin
diseases including psoriasis and leprosy. It is particularly prescribed for controlling leucoderma or white patches on the skin. Psoralea has also been found effective in skin inflammation, scabies and ringworm.
The fruit, seed and root of Psoralea are used, both externally and internally, in herbal systems of medicine world over. If applied externally it controls skin diseases, and when taken internally Psoralea kills intestinal works, promotes urine and sweat, controls premature ejaculation and bedwetting. It is also effective in controlling cough and curing impotency in men.
Home remedies
Psoralea seed oil can be applied externally on the affected portion of the skin in case of psoriasis. It provides relief from the nagging problem.
Ayurveda and Unani doctors prescribe Psoralea seed oil for internal consumption in treatment of leprosy. The oil is pungent and generally not palatable, but the benefits it gives outweigh its bitterness.
Those suffering from leucoderma may mix Psoralea seed oil with butter and apply it externally to the affected portions of the skin. 
Ready-made Psoralea oil and powder are available in  leading herbal stores in the form of capsules and tablets for easy palatability. One may try them for problems like impotence, bed-wetting and premature
For common skin ailments like scabies and ringworm, Psoralea seed oil mixed with butter is applied as a skin ointment.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Ferula foetida, hing or devil's dung: Asafoetida prevents hysteria attacks

By Syed Akbar

Ferula foetida or hing has been a part of Indian cuisine since times immemorial. It is used in a variety of curries and achaars to enhance the taste and nutritive value of the food stuff. Apart from its culinary benefits Ferula finds its use in a number of traditional systems of medicine the world over. Even modern medicine recognizes its great herbal value in reducing flatulence by sending out excess gas formed in the digestive track.

The resin or gum obtained from Ferula foetida is used by herbalists for stomach troubles including spasms. More importantly, it is recognized for its unique property to keep off hysteria attacks and curing impotency in men and sterility in women. Hing is also prescribed for respiratory health issues including asthma, whooping cough, nasal discharge and common cold.

Hing is obtained from Ferula foetida as well as Ferula asafoetida. It has a unique smell (alliaceous or garlic like odour) which does not go well with many people, and thus it is also called “Devil’s dung”. In fact, the Latin name asafoetida means bad smelling gum (asa, gum; foetida, ill smelling). Its pungent odour notwithstanding, Ferula is a wonder herb full of health benefits. It expels mucous from the respiratory track (expectorant), clears the bowels in case of constipation (laxative), provides relief from intestinal flatulence (through enema), stimulates the nerves (nervine stimulant) and acts as sedative for patients of hysteria.

Home remedies

If you are suffering from flatulence and heavy gas trouble, a little quantity of Ferula gum twice a day will provide relief from the problem. If the trouble persists Ferula enema is prescribed by herbalists. Modern doctors do not, however, favour enema.

In case of whooping cough, take three cm of Ferula gum and mix it with honey. Consume the mixture at least two times a day for a week.

For patients of hysteria vapours from Ferula gum will help bring them to normalcy. If you perceive an imminent hysteria attack, give the patient Ferula gum vapours. It prevents the attack.

Consuming a little quantity of Ferula resin will provide relief from toothache and gum troubles.

Unani and Ayurveda doctors prescribe Ferula for sterility in women and impotency in men. In both the cases, consuming a little quantity of Ferula gum mixed with honey three times a day will enhance the fertility levels.

Urginea indica or Indian squill: Sea onion removes painful corns

By Syed Akbar
Urginea indica or Indian squill is an herbal cousin of the common onion used in kitchen. 
Also known as sea onion or Jangli Pyaz, Urginea has been used in a number of traditional 
systems of medicine the world over, particularly Siddha. The bulb obtained from Urginea  
contains many medicinal properties useful for treatment of health issues ranging from 
painful corns on the foot, to boils on the skin, asthma, bronchitis to decongest the 
heart in case of congestive cardiac failure. Indian squill removes phlegm from bronchi 
and gives relief from common cold and body aches.

It promotes urine and thus helps in reducing body swellings. It is also used as a 
stimulant and tonic to improve the general functioning of the body. It removes blockages 
in the skin pores and promotes secretions. In this way, it helps prevent formation of 
boils and acne. Urginea is often hailed as a natural remedy for removal of water (fluid) 
from peritoneal cavity (ascites).

Herbal doctors use it as an emetic to produce vomit to clear the digestive track in case 
of indigestion or food poisoning. It is a good purgative thanks to its cathartic 
activity. An important property of this herb is its ability to fight cancers, 
particularly of the nose and pharynx. Urginea removes warts from the skin. Those 
suffering from irregular menses may benefit from Urginea as it has unique properties that 
help regulate the monthly ovulation in women.

Home remedies

Practitioners of herbal medicine prescribe Urginea for severe health conditions like 
ascites wherein the peritoneal cavity is filled up with fluids. Prepare decoction from 
the Jangli Pyaz bulb and use it in small quantity twice a day. The fluid is sent out 
providing relief from the problem.

Since Urginea is a diuretic, taking its decoction provides relief from body swellings due 
to accumulation of fluids.

It is considered a good home remedy for corns on the foot. Take a piece of the Urginea 
bulb, warm it and gently apply to the affected portion. Repeat it regularly and you will 
get relief from the painful corns.

For sound sleep, you may apply paste of Urginea bulb to soles. The paste provides a 
cooling effect to the feet and helps in promoting good sleep.

Some herbal doctors recommend powder obtained from dried bulbs of Jangli Pyaz for painful 
problems like piles. Take a bulb of Urginea, clean it with water and dry it. Once dried, 
obtain its powder by using a mixer. Keep this powder in a clean bottle for use regularly. 
Take it in small quantities.