Anisodus acutangulus

Anisodus (Solanaceae) comprises four species and three varieties, e.g. A. luridus, A. luridus var. fischerianus, A. acutangulus, A. acutangulus var. breviflorus, A. mairei, A. tanguticus, A. tanguticus var. viridulus. All of these are distributed in China, and only one (A. luridus) in Nepal, Bhutan, and India. They are perennial herbs or subshrubs. Stems are dichotomous or trichotomous; roots thick and fleshy; leaves simple, alternate or subopposite, entire or large-toothed, petiolate. Flowers solitary, axillary, lateral or between branches, usually pendulous. Calyx campanulate-funnel or funnel-shaped with ten veins, lobes four or five, with varying forms and length; Corolla campanulate with 15 veins, four to five lobed, imbricate. Stamens five, nearly equal length, anther ovate, introrse, longitudinally split, pistil a little longer than stamen, pyramid-shaped ovary. Capsila globose or nearly globose. All four species are raw material for the commercial production of various tropanes, of which scopolamine (also known as hyoscine) and hyoscyamine (atropine) are particularly important drugs. Two drugs are used as a remedy for stomach pains, fractures, rheumatic pains, arthritis, spamolysis etc.. Hyoscyamine has a Read more […]

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

Medical Uses Comfrey is used externally for superficial wounds, sore breasts, and hemorrhoids. Historical Uses In folklore, comfrey was used for healing gastric ulcers and reducing the inflammation around fractures. It is also known as knitbone. Growth Comfrey is a perennial plant that grows to about 2 to 4 feet high. It has huge, broad, hairy leaves and a small, bell-shaped flower. Comfrey: Parts Used • Leaves • Root Major Chemical Compounds • Allantoin • Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (more in the roots) • Mucilage • Tannins Comfrey: Clinical Uses Comfrey is used externally for superficial wounds, sore breasts, and hemorrhoids. Mechanism of Action AUantoin promotes cell proliferation, reduces inflammation, and controls bleeding. Its astringent properties help to heal hemorrhoids. Comfrey is unsafe when used internally. Comfrey: Dosage External Use Only Comfrey may be used externally up to three times daily. It may be applied to the skin in a compress, poultice, or ointment. Do not use for more than 10 days, and do not exceed 100 μg of pyrrolizidine alkaloids each day (Natural Medicines, 2000). Side Effects Comfrey may cause veno-occlusive disease and hepatotoxicity and may have Read more […]

Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is defined as pelvic pain lasting more than 6 months. Some authors add the additional criteria that the pain be noncyclic. It is one of the most common presenting complaints in gynecologic practice, affecting as many as one in seven American women. Chronic pelvic pain comprises up to 10% of outpatient gynecologic visits, accounts for 20% of laparoscopies, and results in 12% (75,000 / year) of all hysterectomies performed annually in the United States. Estimated annual direct medical costs for outpatient visits for chronic pelvic pain in the United States among women 18 to 50 years old is estimated to be $881.5 million. It is often an extremely frustrating condition for both patient and care provider because in many cases an etiology cannot be identified and there is no apparent pathology. Treatment of presumed underlying conditions is frequently ineffective, and the “pain itself becomes the illness.” Because the cause often cannot be identified, chronic pelvic pain is frequently attributed to psychogenic causes. Although these may play a role in chronic pelvic pain for some women with lack of an identifiable cause, this does not necessarily equate with a psychosomatic origin for this complaint. Common Read more […]

A Wound Herb

The topical use of agrimony usually applied in wine or vinegar, also continues to be greatly esteemed, evidenced by its inclusion in a preparation for a new kind of wound. Fernie (1897) tells us that ‘this herb formed an ingredient of the genuine arquebusade water, as prepared against wounds inflicted by an arquebus, or hand-gun, and it was mentioned by Philip de Comines in his account of the battle of Morat, 1476. When the Yeomen of the Guard were first formed in England (1485), half were armed with bows and arrows, whilst the other half carried arquebuses. In France the ‘eau de arquebusade’ is still applied for sprains and bruises, being ‘carefully made from many aromatic herbs’. The value placed on the herb naturally led it to be listed in the London Dispensatory of the Royal College of Physicians (1618) and later in the Edinburgh Dispensatory. Other topical uses come from the Arabic writer Mesue: to draw thorns, splinters and nails, for abscesses in the ear canal and to restrict the seeping of blood into the skin (ecchymoses), to reduce the swelling and pain of fractures and to strengthen subluxated joints. A fistula might be cured by placing the powder of three roots of agrimony into it. In the early 18th Read more […]

Hyperthyroidism

Pathophysiology Hyperthyroidism, or thyrotoxicosis, is the result of excessive levels of circulating thyroid hormones. It is characterized by elevated total T4, free T4, free thyroxine index, and/or tri-iodothyronine and tri-iodothyronine resin uptake. Low thyroid-stimulating hormone and normal levels of tri-iodothyronine and thyroxine characterize subclinical hyperthyroidism, and it has the same causes as overt hyperthyroidism. Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder in which stimulatory anti-TSH receptor antibodies are formed, comprises the majority of hyperthyroid cases. In fact, the strongest risk factor for both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism is the presence of thyroid peroxidase antibodies. These antibodies are directed toward the receptors in the cell membrane of the thyroid gland, causing the gland to increase growth, size, and function. Graves’ disease is characterized by several common features, including thyrotoxicosis, goiter, exophthalmos, and pretibial myxedema. Graves’ disease is eight times more common in women than men, typically presents between the ages of 20 and 40 years old, and the most common presentation is a diffuse nonpain-ful goiter. It may be more prevalent in some genetic HLA haplotypes. There Read more […]