Recent Entries to this Blog
Calendula and Surgery
Category: Herbs for Health | Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:13 am
Calendula officinalis is a shrub which has beautiful yellow-orange flowers.
(A closely-related spcies grows in India and women wear these flowers woven into a small garland, in their hair. This garland, worn on a bun tied at the back of the head, is considered de rigeur for all auspicious occassions!)
Extract of the leaves and flowers of calendula is medically and surgically useful to control and treat skin infections.
Ointments and creams containing this extract are commonly used in post-surgical dressings.
This extract can be taken internally simultaneously, to hasten healing.
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Castor Oil : an excellent remedy for fissures
Category: Herbs for Health | Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:50 am
Oil extracted by cold-pressing Castor seeds, available in Pharmacies as Castor oil, is a thick, sticky, acrid-smelling oil.
Yet, for all its unpleasant acrid smell, is a most excellent remedy for curing fissures of all kinds.
I use it regularly for anal fissures in children and for tiny but very painful fissures which occur around nipples, during early lactation.
The oil helps in reducing pain and pus formation when it is applied on superficial skin abrasions as well.
A drop of this ( clean ) oil put in the eyes serves to alleviate burning of the eyes, as occurs when one stays out in the sun for too long.
Castor oil is a very useful and inexpensive remedy indeed!
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The many uses of ARNICA
Category: Herbs for Health | Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:12 am
Arnica montana is a shrub which grows in the wild, in temperate climates.
It's a lovely-looking plant, with bright yellow flowers.
It's predominant medical use is for reducing pain, especially soft-tissue and tendon pain.
So it is of great benefit to atheletes, who use its pills and ointment to cure various hurts and blunt wounds, a byproduct of their profession.
It is also useful, taken internally, to cure headaches caused by over-tense neck muscles and Fascia of the Scalp. Arnica Hair Oil is very famous for helping to get a good night's sleep, which is due its relaxant effect on these muscles and the Scalp.
Commercially, arnica is combined with a few other locally-acting analgesics, in ointments.
Arnica is one very useful plant for us, indeed.
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Reversal of Lactation failure.
Category: Herbs for Health | Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:29 pm
Being a Pediatrician, I am often confronted with newborns who are not gaining weight adequately.
When I see a newborn baby who is howling loudly and angrily and seems ready to suck at everything in sight, the situation is not difficult to diagnose.
In other instances, lactation failure is not so self-evident.
Once I suspect that the new mother is not lactating adequately and when I further confirm that by physical verification, I have to determine whether she has a poor 'let down' reflex that is hampering proper breast-feeding.
A poor 'let down' reflex is the commonest cause of failed lactation.
Unless the newborn baby is able to receive enough milk in his mouth when he begins to feed, he is not going to continue to suckle, and will repeatedly leave the breast as his efforts fail.
This will further reduce milk secretion, and a vicious circle of failure is established within a few days.
This situation can be pre-empted and / or corrected, quite easily, with a few herbs, if they are started in time, before a total failure of lactation occurs.
I prefer to use a combination of Asparagus racemosus, Galega officinalis and Withania somnifera.
Of these, the first two are true galactogogues, while the third potentiates their actions.
They can be given in the form of refined powders, syrups or as Homeopathic potencies.
They usually begin to act within 48 hours, and can be continued for a few weeks or even months, if necessary, without any harm to th baby or mother.
A wider usage of these herbs would most certainly reduce malnutrition in the world very effectively and significantly!
Last edited: Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:51 pm
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Category: Herbs for Health | Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:43 pm
Jasmine Flowers and Mastitis / Breast abscess
This is an oft-used and a proven herbal remedy.
Many mothers develop congestion in the milk ducts of one or both breasts within a few days of their delivery.
The breast becomes turgid, painful and tender.
Suckling the newborn becomes a torture.
Often, fever sets in, along with chills.
If regular feeding is not continued, secreted milk stagnates in the ducts, congeals and clogs them.
This exacerbates the inflammation, which then can progress from Mastitis to a Breast Abscess, spelling disaster.
If the situation is tackled before an abscess sets in, we can avoid using antibiotics altogether.
Once an abscess is formed, antibiotics become almost unavoidable.
In many parts of India, traditional practitioners and midwives use crushed Jasmine flowers as a local liniment application, in the early stages of mastitis.
Flowers are picked just before the buds bloom and are kept wrapped in a banana leaf which is then tightly rolled in a wet cloth.
( In modern times, we simply refrigerate them! ).
They are pounded and crushed coarsely and immediately applied in a thick layer over the affected area.
Relief is obtained within a few hours : the swelling reduces and milk begins to flow again.
The poultice is kept for about an hour and fresh poultices are applied every 3 or 4 hourly, usually for a couple of days.
I have witnessed very satisfactory results in most cases, provided the flowers are used before an abscess has formed, in which case, their action will only be palliative.
Turmeric powder is available in every Indian kitchen because it is an essential ingredient of our cooking.
Being always at hand, we often use it as a first aid measure for a fresh cut : it helps to stem the bleeding and to prevent and treat infection of the wound.
It doesn't sting too much, either.
Turmeric, called 'Haldi' in our language, is supposed to 'purify' the body.
So, we have a custom of applying turmeric water to brides and bridegrooms on the day before their wedding.
Today, this 'Haldi ceremony' has become an elaborate ritual of Hindu weddings and often requires 'Event Management'!
Last edited: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:12 pm
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The BEST Prescription.
Category: Herbs for Health | Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:56 am
There is a wide range of Ayurvedic / Homeopathic / Allopathic medicines which treat the same disease but how do you find out which would work best for you?
This is a common dilemma which people come across from time to time and do not know how to solve.
Most Ayurvedic and Homeopathic medicines are sourced from herbs.
This is something not everyone is aware of.
If you consult an Allopath, he will prescribe allopathic medicines.
A visit to an Ayurved Specialist will get you churnas and kadhas and some diet advice, too.
A Homeopath will delve deeply into your history and come up with a solution according to his analysis of your illness or problem.
If you look at it holistically, there really is no contradiction between these three Medical Systems - they can all be used in co-ordination with each other, albeit with a little adjustment.
It is my intention to show how, on this Blog, as I go along.
I am a Pediatrician in India, qualified in Allopathy.
After passing out of Med College, I settled into pivate practice about thirty years ago, in a small town, which is little better than a village, in rural India.
Along the way I have seen and picked up the use of herbs in Ayurveda and Homeopathy and have taught myself to integrate them into my Allopathic practice.
So successful has this experience been, that I would like to share it with the whole world!
Every week, therefore, I shall write about a medical case I have treated or am presently treating in this manner.
Most of the herbs I use and will be talking about are available world-wide, either in their fresh or dried or processed forms, although a Western audience may not be too familiar with their names or their uses.
But I hope and believe they will still evoke your interest in the days to come.
This blog entry has been viewed 470 times
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