The use of eucalyptus oils in consumer products

Insect repellents As noted in the introduction, Eucalyptus citriodora oil has been used as a ‘natural’ insect repellent. Depending on the product formulation it is used in, Lemon Eucalyptus (known as Quwenling in China) is up to four or five times more effective and longer-lasting than citronella oil (from Cymbopogon nardus), one of the best known natural insect repellents. p-Menthane-3,8-diol is the main active component of Quwenling and this can be isolated and used as a highly effective insect repellent. Eucalyptus citriodora oil contains up to 80–90 per cent citronellal, along with geraniol, both of which are known to have insect repellent activity but tend to dilute the much higher activity of the p-menthane-3,8-diol. The Mosi-guard Natural insect repellent spray produced by MASTA in the UK contains ‘Extract of Lemon Eucalyptus’ and claims on the label: Approved and recommended by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Field trials have shown effective protection for 6 h after a single application in mosquito infected areas. Also protects against many other biting insects. Mosi-guard Natural is made from a natural and renewable resource. It is kind to your skin and has no adverse effects Read more […]

Citrus in Traditional Medicine

Citrus in traditional Asiatic medicine In a comparative study of the use of herbal drugs in the traditional medicines of India and Europe, Pun () found a marked similarity between the drugs used in the two continents. He attributed this not only to the similarity of the vegetation in the two areas, but also to the influence that traditional Indian medicine, in particular the Atherveda, one of the most ancient repositories of human knowledge, had on Egypt, Greece and Rome. He listed the principal uses of a small number of these drugs, including bitter orange peel, which in India is used as an aromatic, stomachic, tonic, astringent and carminative agent, and lemon, which is used as a flavouring and for its carminative and stomachic effects. In the Valmiki-Ramayana, written after the Vedas and one of the most sacred of all religious books which enumerates the virtues of the medicinal plants that Lord Rama (Vishnu) met during his fourteen-year journey around different parts of India, Karnick and Hocking () identified and listed fifty of these drugs with their use as described in the Ayurvedica (or native Indian) system of medicine. The immature fruit of Citrus aurantifolia (Christm) Swingle was used as an fortifier, Read more […]

Traditional Uses of Neem

The therapeutic efficacy of neem must have been known to man since antiquity as a result of constant experimentation with nature. Ancient man observed the unique features of this tree: a bitter taste, non-poisonous to man, but deleterious to lower forms of life. This might have resulted in its use as a medicine in various cultures, particularly in the Indian subcontinent and later on in other parts of the world. Ayurveda The word neem is derived from Sanskrit Nimba, which means “to bestow health”; the various Sanskrit synonyms of neem signify the pharmacological and therapeutic effects of the tree. It has been nicknamed Neta — a leader of medicinal plants, Pichumarda — antileprotic, Ravisambba — sun ray-like effects in providing health, Arishta — resistant to insects, Sbeetal — cooling (cools the human system by giving relief in diseases caused by hotness, such as skin diseases and fevers), and Krimighana — anthelmintic. It was considered light in digestion, hot in effect, cold in property. In earlier times, patients with incurable diseases were advised to make neem their way of life. They were to spend most of the day under the shade of this tree. They were to drink infusions of various parts of Read more […]

Indian Almond, Katapang

Terminalia catappa L. (Combretaceae) Terminalia catappa L. is a tall tree, up to 25 m tall. Branches are horizontally whorled, giving it a pagoda shape. Leaves are shiny, obovate, 10-25 cm long, tapering to a short thick petiole. Leaves are yellow that turn red before shedding. Flowers are small and white. Fruits have smooth outer coat, 3-6 cm long, flattened edges, with a pointed end. Pericarp is fibrous and fleshy. Origin Native to tropical and temperate Asia, Australasia, the Pacific and Madagascar. Phytoconstituents Catappanin A, chebulagic acid, 1-desgalloylleugeniin, geraniin, granatin B, punicalagin, punicalin, tercatain, terflavins A & B, tergallagin, euginic acid and others. Traditional Medicinal Uses Terminalia catappa has been used to treat dysentery in a number of Southeast Asian countries. In Indonesia, the leaves are used as a dressing for swollen rheumatic joints while in the Philippines, they are used to expel worms. In Karkar Island, New Guinea, juice from the squeezed leaves is applied to sores and the sap from the white stem pith is squeezed and drunk to relieve cough. In Nasingalatu, Papua New Guinea, the flower is crushed, mixed with water and drunk to induce sterility. In New Britain, Read more […]

New Zealand Medicinal Plants

Despite the small area of New Zealand, comparable with that of California, it constitutes a distinctive botanic region. Of the approximate number of two thousand species of higher plants found, 75% are endemic to the country. Many unusual plants occur and the chemical investigations conducted to date have confirmed the unique nature of the flora. In view of these facts it is surprising that only a few native plants have been commercially exploited. Several of the trees, notably Agathis australis, Dacrydium cupressinum, Podocarpus totara, P. dacrydioides, and Vitex lucens yield useful timber, but the stands of these have largely been worked out. New Zealand flax, Phormium tenax, is cultivated for its fibre which is made into ropes and matting. Kauri gum (really a fossil product) up to a value of £21 million has been exported but it is a declining article of commerce. It has been shown that useful dyestuffs can be produced from a number of plants, particularly in the genus Coprosma, but no commercial exploitation has resulted. Pharmacology is probably the most promising field for extending the use of New Zealand native plants and it should therefore be of value to have a check list of those plants reported to have Read more […]

Acne

A common inflammatory pilosebaceous disease characterized by comedones, papules, pustules, inflamed nodules, superficial pus-filled cysts, and, in extreme cases, canalizing and deep, inflamed, sometimes purulent, sacs. (The Merck Manual) Acne is a common, potentially disfiguring skin disease. Unfortunately, it often affects those in an emotionally vulnerable stage of life — adolescents. Acne involves the sebaceous glands in the skin, which secrete lubrication (sebum) for the hair follicles (pilosebaceous follicles) and surrounding skin. These are located in greatest concentrations on the face, back, shoulders, and chest. Acne is most common in adolescents, with a peak in the late teens. Acne may, however, appear for the first time in the mid-20s or later and can persist into the 40s or 50s. Acne lesions are commonly of three types: Blackheads are glands plugged with excessive material that discolors on exposure to air. Whiteheads are small collections of pus within glands. Nodules or, papules are the red and inflamed areas of more extensive infection. A complex of causes underlies acne. Unfortunately, determining underlying causes is rarely as simple as blaming fats, chocolate, and sugar. Important predisposing Read more […]

Damask rose: Preparations And Thei Application

Parkinson, copied by Culpeper, then details the various preparations and their uses, and this list is very impressive. He begins with red roses which, as we now know, ‘strengthen the heart, stomach, liver and retentive faculty’, so they ‘mitigate pains from heat, assuage inflammations, procure rest and sleep, stay whites and reds, gonorrhoea, running of the reins (incontinence or frequency?) and flux of the belly’. The electuary: purges choler, is good in hot fevers and pains in the head and joint ache from hot choleric humours, and for heat in the eyes and jaundice. It is a ‘competent’ purger for weak constitutions. Up to 6 drachms (24 g) can be taken according to the quality and strength of the patient. The moist conserve is very useful for both binding and as cordial; when it is young it is more binding, when over 2 years old it is more cordial. So the young conserve, with Mithridatum, is good for distillations of rheum from the brain to the nose and defluxions of rheum into the eyes, fluxes and lasks of the belly. It can be taken with mastich for gonorrhoea (this is Culpeper’s word, Parkinson has ‘running of the reins’) and looseness of humours. The old conserve is taken with Diarrhodon Abbatis or Aromaticum 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 […]