Antibacterial activity of eucalyptus oils

The antibacterial properties of plant volatile oils have been recognised since antiquity and have been rediscovered in more recent times. Eucalyptus leaf oils have received attention in a number of studies. Deans and Ritchie () examined the antibacterial effects of fifty volatile oils purchased from a commercial supplier, including eucalyptus, on twenty-five different bacterial genera. The culture collection consisted of food spoilage, food poisoning, human, animal and plant disease types, along with indicators of faecal pollution and secondary opportunist pathogens. Eucalyptus oil was most effective against Elavobacterium suaveolens and the dairy organism Leuconostoc cremoris. However, it was not amongst the ten most inhibitory oils (thyme, cinnamon, bay, clove, bitter almond, lovage, pimento, marjoram, angelica and nutmeg). Leaf oils from eight Brazilian-grown eucalypts were tested against Mycobacterium avium by Leite et al. (): E. botryoides, E. camaldulensis, Eucalyptus citriodora, E. deglupta, Eucalyptus globulus, E. grandis, E. maculata and E. tereticornis. M. avium was sensitive to all the oils at 10mg/ml but only four of them at 5 mg/ml: Eucalyptus citriodora, E. maculata, E. camaldulensis and E. tereticornis. Read more […]

Pepper in traditional medicine and health care

Pepper is one of the most important and unavoidable drugs in Ayurveda, Unani and Sidha, the Indian systems of Medicine. It is used as single drug or in combination with long pepper (Piper longum) and dry ginger (Zingiber officinale) the combination is popularly known as “Trikatu” — the three acrids which cures the three disordered humours-Vata, Pitta and Kapha and helps to maintain normal health. Maricham, the Sanskrit word for pepper literally means that which facilitates numbness of the tongue (“Mriyate Jihwa Anena Iti Maricham” i.e. the pungent property of the drug obstructs the sensory nerve endings of the taste buds). It also has the property of dispelling poison (“Mriyate Visham Anena”). The various Sanskrit synonyms of the drug given in ayurvedic texts of India describe its characters and different uses. According to these classics, pepper is pungent and acrid, hot, rubefacient, carminative, dry corrosive, alternative, antihelminthic and germicidal. It promotes salivation, increases the digestive power, gives relish for the food and cures cough, dyspnoea, cardiac diseases, colic, worms, diabetes, piles, epilepsy and almost all diseases caused by the disorders of vata and pitta. Pepper is prescribed Read more […]

Alkyl Phenols in Ginkgo Biloba

The phenolic lipids are a comparatively little known group of compounds which may be considered as biogenetically derived from fatty acids and containing a benzene ring, one to two phenolic groups and zero to one carboxyl group on the benzene ring. Some of them have had an applied artistic use for centuries for the preparation of Japanese and Chinese lacs, and others, e.g. the Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL) play a vital role in certain modern technical uses for chemical treatments and industrial utilizations. Historically, most of the analytical work on alkyl phenols has been carried out on Anacardium occidentale, because of its commercial value, and the acquired experience was translated to other alkyl phenols containing plants. This paper reviews the literature concerning the characterization of these compounds in Ginkgo biloba plant materials and in pharmaceutical preparations mainly derived from the leaves of the plant. In fact, side effects concerning the allergenic properties of this class of compounds, have been described, and a number of industrial processes have been set up in order to avoid their occurrence in phytopharmaceuticals. A small review on the chemistry and biology of ginkgo alkylphenols has appeared Read more […]

ANTIDIARRHOEAL AGENTS

ANTIDIARRHEAL AGENTS are drugs used to prevent the onset of diarrhoea, or assist in treating it if the symptom is already present. The main medical treatment while diarrhoea lasts should be the replacement of lost fluid and electrolytes, OPIOID RECEPTOR AGONISTS, such as codeine, morphine, diphenoxylate and loperamide, are efficient as antidiarrhoeals: they are essentially antimotility agents, reducing peristalsis of the intestine, which slows down the movement of faecal material and also promote reabsorption of electrolytes and water. Other agents are adsorbent materials that work in to bind faecal material into solid masses. Such mixtures include those containing kaolin or methylcellulose; preparations which may also be useful in controlling faecal consistency for patients who have undergone colostomy or ileostomy. Diarrhoea is also part of some inflammatory disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These may best be relieved by treatment with corticosteroids and aminosalicylates. Diarrhea is commonly associated with bacterial or other pathogenic infections (e.g. food poisoning) and these may require treatment with antibiotics or other antimicrobials. Read more […]

Perilla: Background. Actions

Common Name Perilla Other Names Beefsteak plant, Chinese basil, Purple perilla, wild sesame (English common names), Ban Tulsi (Bengali), Su Zi (Mandarin), Shosi, Egoma (Japanese). Different names are used for the different parts of the perilla plant used as foods or medicines. Botanical Name / Family Perilla frutescens (L.) Britt. There are several botanical variants that seem to be used interchangeably: P. frutescens var. crispa, P. frutescens var. japonica (family Lamiaceae or Labiatae [mint family]). Plant Parts Used Leaf, stem and the fruit (seed) are used. Historical Note Perilla is an annual plant native to Eastern Asia. It was introduced to Japan from China and is now cultivated extensively in Japan, India and Korea. The seed is mainly used for its high oil content, and the leaves of Perilla frutescens var. crispa are used as a vegetable and food colouring. The salty umeboshi plum is coloured by the addition of special red perilla leaves. In China perilla has been used to reduce the risk of food poisoning by cooking seafood with the leaf. In recent times, certain compounds (monoterpines) isolated from the oil are being investigated as an anticancer treatment, and the defatted seed extract is used Read more […]

Herbs and Ailments

Herb Ailments Historically Used for… Alfalfa Arthritis, bursitis, rich in minerals; tooth decay, gout, ulcers, nutritional deficiencies (feeds), deodorizes, allergies, anemia, mild diuretic, kidney cleanser, radiation damage, fatigue Algin Radiation, heavy metal poisoning, detoxing Aloe vera Burns (all types), digestive disorders, gastritis, ulcers, arthritis, laxative, scar tissue, deodorant, hemorrhoids, hiatal hernia, wrinkles, heartburn Arnica Bruises, pain, shock, trauma, distress, injuries Bayberry Diarrhea, indigestion, infections, jaundice, hemorrhage, goiter, prolapsed uterus Bee pollen Allergies, asthma, hayfever; immune system stimulant; provides nutrients for survival; nutritional deficiencies, anti-aging, hypertension, radiation sickness, anemia, increases fitness Bilberry Eyesight; improves night blindness; strengthens blood vessels; works as an antioxidant; varicose veins, kidney problems, light sensitivity Black cohosh Bites and stings, female disorders, menstrual pain, menopause, PMS, lungs (expels mucus), high blood pressure, relaxes nerves, eases hot flashes, stimulates estrogen production Black currant oil Multiple Read more […]