Sunday, 20 March 2011

Bambusa arundinacea: Bamboo keeps off baldness

By Syed Akbar
Many think that bamboo helps only in construction and paper industries.  But what many do not know is that bamboo has a number of medicinal properties too.  Apart from its famous medicinal property to cure stomach problems, which incidentally even animals know, bamboo helps in regeneration of hair on the scalp. It is indeed a boon for those suffering from baldness.
Bamboo has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It is also used in Ayurveda and Unani preparations too. Bamboo is used for a number of ailments ranging from simple tooth problem to venereal diseases like gonorrhea. It has been found to increase sperm count, reduce infertility and improve the overall reproductive system
Research studies have shown that bamboo contains a number of minerals and vitamins, besides trace elements to improve the functioning of the body. It is thus believed to serve as a general health tonic. Ayurveda and Unani doctors often prescribe bamboo, especially Bambusa arundinacea, for tuberculosis, leprosy and internal bleeding. Bamboo leaves, tender shoots and its roots are used in herbal formulations. A sugary substance called manna obtained from bamboo is also useful. Bamboo churna is readily available with 
herbal stores.

Home remedies
Those suffering from hair loss and baldness try bamboo root ash and jasmine oil. Take bamboo root, clean it with water, dry it and obtain its bhasma by burning it. Filter the bhasma and keep it in a clean and dry bottle. Take a little quantity of bamboo root ash and mix it with a table spoon of jasmine flower oil. Gently rub it against the scalp. It promotes hair growth and prevents hair fall.
Manna obtained from bamboo if taken in small quantity will help in increasing the sperm count. Bamboo manna is available with herbal stores. Bamboo root ash can be used as a natural tooth power for good gums and healthy teeth.
Those suffering from indigestion may try bamboo shoot juice. Even fresh bamboo leaves are good for fighting stomach ailments. Animals like tigers, cats, lions and even dogs often eat grass (bamboo belongs to the grass family) to get rid of hairballs from their stomach. Decoction obtained from bamboo leaves helps in controlling diarrhea.  Bamboo decoction is also helpful in fighting parasites in the digestive tract.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

China root or Chopchini: Smilax china controls white discharge

By Syed Akbar
Chobchini or China root has been used for ages in various tribal and folk medicine for a large number of health issues. Technically called Smilax china, Chobchini is hailed as a wonder medicine in Ayurveda
and Unani too. The root or rhizome of Smilax is used in herbal formulations in India, China, Japan, Iran, Indonesia and in many countries in Africa and South America.
The rhizome of Chobchini can be used in the form of powder or paste, cooked or raw. The daily intake of the rhizome should not exceed 10 grams a day, as heavy dosage may result in nausea and vomiting. Pregnant and lactating women should avoid Chobchini formulations as it may affect their health.
Ayurveda and Unani doctors prescribe Chobchini for white discharge or leukorrhea in women. It has been found to be quite effective in controlling the problem. Chobchini contains several medicinal properties including control of swellings (anti-inflammatory), removal of pus from wounds, promotion of urine (diuretic), bringing down high body temperature, removing gas (flatulence) and clearing bowels.
The most important medicinal properties of Chobchini however, are its ability to fight psoriasis, syphilis and leprosy. It is a preferred herbal treatment for psoriasis.
Home remedies
Leukorrhea or white discharge can be controlled effectively by taking Chobchini with milk. Take Chobchini rhizome from a herbal shop, powder it and keep it in a dry and clean bottle. Take 5 mg of Chobchini
powder, mix it in milk and drink it.
Chobchini powder is also prescribed as a general health tonic. Chobchini is bitter in taste. A little quantity of Chobchini power can be taken after meals to tone up the body system and purify the blood.
Ready-made Chobchini churna is available in herbal stores and it can be used for skin ailments like psoriasis, leprosy and venereal diseases like syphilis.
There are Chobchini formulat
ions which serve as aphrodisiac, besides improving the sperm count.

Kamala: Mallotus philippinensis controls tuberculosis activity

By Syed Akbar
Kamala or Mallotus philippinensis is widely used in Ayurveda and Unani for treatment of stomach-related problems and skin diseases. Its main action has been found against tuberculosis and leprosy sores.
Kamala is also called monkey face tree and some herbal doctors recommend it as an appetiser. The leaves are considered as natural coolant.
Though no scientific records exist, herbalists argue that Kamala is a good aphrodisiac and fights infertility. The fruit is found to possess certain natural chemicals which kill worms in the intestines and keeps
the digestive system free of helminth parasites. Other medicinal properties of Kamala include relief from constipation, flatulence, spleen enlargement and cough.
Often it is prescribed for treatment of gastric ulcers and skin diseases, particularly leprosy. Research studies have shown that Kamala is capable of killing bacteria like Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and even Salmonella typhi. It is not recommended for young women as it prevents pregnancy. Also, it should not be taken by those suffering from appendicitis.
Home remedies
Kamala powder is readily available in herbal stores. It can also be prepared at home from Kamala fruit. It provides relief from tuberculosis and sores caused by leprosy. But one has to take extreme caution as Kamala in higher doses causes severe nausea and vomiting.
Crushed leaves and bark of Kamala are advised for skin problems including wounds and cuts.
Kamala contains a chemical called rottlerin, which is a known anti- filarial agent. Those diagnosed with filaria may try Kamala preparations sold in herbal stores.
Organic extract available in herbal stores is often prescribed to kill the pathogen that causes TB.
Oil obtained from Kamala is often mixed with hair oil for cosmetic purpose.

Aerva lanata: Astanabayda fights high blood glucose

By Syed Akbar
Aerva lanata is a weed and many can mistake it as a useless plant. But Aerva (astanabayda  in Sanskrit) is a multipurpose medicinal plant whose medicinal properties are quite large. The prominent medicinal properties of Aerva lanata are maintaining blood sugar to optimum level and removing stones from kidneys.
Other health benefits include its ability to fight headache, stomach and digestive problems, neck and back pain, control body temperature, promote urine in case of body swellings, relief from burning urination and regulate body’s metabolic activity.
Ayurveda and Siddha doctors often prescribe Aerva as a general tonic for pregnant women. There have been scientific studies on rats that showed how leaf extract of Aerva brings down high blood sugar levels. Its ability to fight kidney stones has also been documented in rats. All parts of the plant are used in medicinal preparations in Siddha and Ayurveda. Aerva is capable of fighting pathogens both on the skin and inside the body, thanks to its anti-microbial activity.
Home remedies
If you are chronic diabetic and want to keep your blood sugar under control, Aerva lanata is one of the best herbal remedies. Collect the herb, take out the leaves, wash them properly and dry them under shade. Once dry, powder them and keep it in a clean and neat bottle. Use a little quantity of Aerva leaves powder twice daily for relief from high blood sugar.
Extract from Aerva lanata leaves is often prescribed in small quantities for relief from kidney stones.
Take fresh or dried leaves of Aerva lanata wash them properly. Crush the leaves and apply on injuries or inflamed portions of the skin. It gives quick relief from pain.
Root decoction is often prescribed by Siddha and Ayurveda practitioners for relief from headache.
Flowers of Aerva lanata are soft and look like cotton. Take the Aerva flowers, and burn them. Obtain the ash and sieve it in a fine cloth to remove any impurities. The ash thus obtained can be gently rubbed on the back for relief from backache.
The juice obtained from Aerva leaves is said to reduce painful urination. It has to be taken in small quantities to avoid any side effects.

Kulthi or horse gram: Macrotyloma uniflorum removes kidney, gall stones

By Syed Akbar
Suffering from kidney or gall stones? Kulthi or horse gram is the best natural remedy if kidney or gall stones are detected in early stages, and they are not big enough warranting surgical intervention. Macrotyloma
uniflorum, as Kulthi is technically called, is a wonder legume that can cure a number of health problems including fighting kidney or gall stones.
Macrotyloma is used in tribal systems of medicine the world over, while in India practitioners of Unani and Ayurveda often prescribe it for health problems like cough, breathing trouble, ulcers and gas in the
stomach, worm infection and excessive sweating. It is also recognised as a natural health tonic for general well being. Some herbalists consider Kulthi as a good food that controls arthritis.
A word of caution for pregnant women and those suffering from tuberculosis. Macrotyloma may cause severe health complications in pregnant women and TB patients. Even as a food legume, it's better for these groups to avoid it. Since it is a common legume used in kitchen preparations, Kulthi can be obtained from any grocery store. Ready- made herbal formulations based on Kulthi are also available in herbal
Home remedies
Regular intake of Kulthi as food (Ulvala charu, as it is famous in Andhra Pradesh) clears the digestive tract of worm infections including tape worms. It reduces flatulence and acidity and keeps the digestive system in good condition.
Take a little quantity or horse gram, boil it in a glass of water, allow it to cool and filter it. Mix it in a grinder and add pure drinking water to make it semi-solid. Add a pinch of pepper powder and drink the preparation for relief from cold, cough or sore throat.
Those suffering from stomach pain may try a little quantity of finely ground horse gram, dried ginger and asafoetida. You may prepare the mixture fresh as per the need, or prepare it in large quantity for storage
in a clean and dry bottle for future use.
If you are conscious about your weight, you may include horse gram in your regular diet. Herbal doctors point our that eating horse gram in daily meals will help reduce obesity to a large extent.
Herbal doctors recommend that patients of kidney or gall stones may soak a little quantity of horse gram in glass of pure drinking water for about 10 hours. The infusion can be taken twice a day for relief from
stones. Others suggest that the seeds thus soaked in water should be mashed and consumed twice daily.