Mar 9, 2011







 Thyme may be better than prescription creams for a
AYURVEDIC Herbal preparations of thyme may provide a better treatment for skin acne than prescription creams, scientists have revealed.

Researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University tested the effect of thyme, marigold and myrrh tinctures on Propionibacterium acnes – the bacterium that causes acne by infecting skin pores and forming spots, which range from white heads through to puss-filled cysts. The group found that while all the preparations were able to kill the bacterium after five minutes exposure, thyme was the most effective of the three.

In addition, they discovered that thyme tincture had a greater antibacterial effect than standard concentrations of benzoyl peroxide – the active ingredient in most anti-acne creams or washes.

The researchers used a standard in vitro model that is used to test the effect of different substances applied to the skin. The effects of the tinctures were measured against an alcohol control – proving their antibacterial action was not simply due to the sterilizing effect of the alcohol they are prepared in.

These initial findings pave the way for more research into the use of tinctures as a treatment for acne.

 Alternative therapies are more effective in chronic sinusitis
There are some alternative therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure and dietary changes may spell significant relief for patients battling chronic sinusitis, a new pilot study suggests.

The authors said that their study is the first to explore the potential of combining Western medicine with Eastern therapies among these patients, who experience swollen and inflamed sinuses, facial pain, headaches and impaired breathing.

The acute symptoms of the disease is typically due to infection, experts say. However, the chronic form is thought to stem from a variety of environmental and anatomical causes, thereby complicating treatment efforts.

During the study, all previous treatments were continued. However, patients were offered eight weekly 20-minute sessions of therapeutic acupuncture and acupressure massage, performed by licensed therapists. Counseling was also offered to teach patients how to self-administer acupressure at home.

The team found that when applied alongside modern medicine, the use of such so-called "staples of Eastern medicine" appeared to be both safe and effective. After two months, all the patients showed a statistically significant gain in terms of quality of life, with a drop in feelings of frustration and restlessness and a boost in their ability to concentrate.

What's more, patients were found to have less of a problem with runny noses, reduced sneezing and a subsequent reduced need to blow their noses. Facial pain and pressure also appeared to drop off somewhat.

 Ayurveda can cure Alzheimer
 A cure for Alzheimer's - a degenerative disorder of the brain - may be around the corner, going by the results achieved in studies at the National Brain Research Centre (NBRC). The disorder marked by memory and judgment loss usually occurs in people older than 65, and has defied a cure so far. But researchers working with the extract of a herb used in Ayurveda since ancient times have reported promising results. Using an extract of the Ashwagandha root on mice with Alzheimer's disease, NBRC scientists found it can reverse memory loss and may prove to be an effective cure for the disease in humans. RASAYANA THEREPY IN ALZHEIMERS DISEASE
NBRC neuroscientist Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath tested the semi-purified sample extracted at Delhi University on genetically modified mice with Alzheimer's disease. Two sets of test mice - middle aged (9-10 months) and old (2 years) - were given oral doses of the extract for 30 days and monitored. Over the month, scientists found a reduction in amyloid plaques (a symptom of Alzheimer's) in the mice brains and improvement in the animals' cognitive abilities. Their study was published recently in the Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and the Nature India Journal. The mice used for the experiment carry the mutation that is characteristic of Alzheimer's disease and produce the amyloid in greater quantities.

"We got the mice from Jackson Labs in US. They were tested on a radial arm maze, where they are trained to go and pick food from four of the maze's eight arms. Since the mice had Alzheimer's, they were neither able to learn nor retain the learning. But after 20 days of the Ashwagandha treatment, we noticed a difference, and after 30 days they had started behaving normally," said Ravindranath, former founder-director of NBRC, and chairperson of Centre of Neurosciences, Indian Institute of Science.

She explained that the extract didn't work directly on the brain. It enhanced a protein in the liver that is thrown out in the blood and acts like a sponge to pull out the amyloid from the brain.

The NBRC's results have also boosted morale at DU's Natural Products Laboratory. "Professor Vijayalakshmi had approached us to evaluate some plants and their effect on neurological disorders. Most medicines that are currently being used for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are synthetic drugs that have some side effects," said professor Subhash Chand Jain of Delhi University. The team at DU selected the root of Ashwagandha and followed up with a series of extractions at the lab.

 Ayurveda a positive hope for HIV+ patients
 An ongoing study by the KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India to find out the efficacy of ayurvedic drugs in improving the life expectancy of HIV positive patients has yielded some positive results.

The Medicine Department of the hospital has been studying the potency of an ayurvedic drug on 700 HIV patients since April last year. After little more than a year, the institute found a significant boost in the count of CD4 cells in these patients, and that it could probably push the initiation of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART), known to have many side effects, by a few years.

The count of CD4 cells is directly proportional to the health of a person for these cells are the most important part of one's immune system. Anyone with less CD4 count is more prone to ailments as the body's defence mechanism starts giving way. The ART for HIV patients is started only after the CD4 count falls below 250.

After administering the ayurvedic drug, the doctors found that the CD4 count in patients on an average went up from 448 to 546 within six months and up to 590 in a year's time. Besides, many patients had weight gains, increase in haemoglobin count and a sense of well-being.

However, the study solely focused on CD4 cells and did not check if the drug could bring down the viral load in a patient. Another hitch remains that ayurvedic drugs cannot be consumed simultaneously with the ART drugs.

 Vegetables cut down diabetes risk
 A new study says, eating leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, sprouts and cabbage can reduce by 14 percent your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The vegetables are a rich source of anti-oxidants and magnesium, linked to lower levels of diabetes.

Regularly sampling salads, including spinach could help reduce diabetes risk, the study has shown.

University of Leicester researchers reviewed six studies based on 223,000 people and compared intake of green leafy vegetables. They found those who consumed more than one serving daily had a lower risk of diabetes than people who barely ate any.

 Eating berries protect brain against ageing
 Eating berries helps in protecting the brain against ageing and memory loss. Strawberries, blackberries and blueberries are rich in compounds called polyphenolics, which help the brain carry out its functions.

Taking fruits with deep orange, red or blue pigments can even reverse brainpower loss; according to a new study. The natural compound called polyphenolics found in fruits, vegetables and nuts have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect that may protect against age-associated decline.

Polyphenolics help microglia, which cleanse toxic proteins linked to age-related memory loss and other symptoms of mental decline. Besides, "the microglia become over-activated and actually begin to damage healthy cells in the brain.

 Grapefruit helps in treating diabetes
 Grapefruit has shown promise in the treatment of diabetes due to presence of antioxidants in it. Naringenin, which gives grapefruit its bitter taste, can do the same job as two separate drugs used in managing Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce enough insulin to properly regulate blood-sugar levels. Naringenin helps to increase the body's sensitivity to insulin. It also helps sufferers maintain a healthy weight, which is a vital part of diabetes treatment.

The blood is flushed with sugars after a meal, causing the liver to create fatty acids, or lipids, for long-term storage. Weight gain puts diabetics at risk of health problems and reduces the effectiveness of insulin.

Scientists found that naringenin makes the liver burn fat instead of storing it. Its effect mimics the action of fenofibrate and rosiglitazone, two lipid-lowering drugs used to control Type-2 diabetes.

 Broccoli may help to prevent Crohn's disease
 Eating broccoli and plantain can help fight Crohn's disease, an inflammatory disease of the intestines that affects any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus.

A research team from Liverpool University has found that certain types of soluble fibre can help prevent bacteria from sticking to the gut's walls, and hence reduce the progress of the disease.

Researches found soluble fibre from plantain and broccoli - dubbed a "superfood" for its abilities to fight cancer and prevent furring of arteries - had a marked effect.

Bananas, from the same family and more commonly available, were also likely to be beneficial. However, it contained less soluble fibre so people would have to consume more.

 Plant agents helps in preventing skin cancer
 Scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio report that certain plant substances, which occur naturally in grapes, berries, walnuts and a number of other plant-based foods have shown promise to prevent skin cancer.

The compounds, which occur naturally in a number of plant-based foods, were tested and had been engineered to develop skin cancer. The natural cancer fighting agents include resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes and grapeseed extract.

These agents include resveratrol (found in the skin of red grapes and grape seeds), calcium D-glucarate (present in many fruits and vegetables) and ellagic acid, found in a host of berries and in walnuts.

Others are calcium D-glucarate, a salt of D-glucaric acid, which is present in the human bloodstream and in many fruits and vegetables, and ellagic acid, found in a host of berries and in walnuts. Each of these compounds work in a different way, so giving them in combination is most protective.

 Eat more fruits and veggies cut lung cancer risk
 A diverse diet of fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of lung cancer. Using information from the ongoing, multi-centered European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, researchers evaluated 452,187 participants with complete information, 1,613 of whom were diagnosed with lung cancer.

Information was obtained on 14 commonly eaten fruits and 26 commonly eaten vegetables. The fruits and vegetables evaluated in the EPIC study consisted of a wide variety of fresh, canned or dried products.

Previous results from the EPIC study showed that the quantity of vegetables and fruits may decrease risk of lung cancer; in particular the risk of one specific type of lung cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, decreased in current smokers.

The researchers on the current study found that risk of lung cancer also decreased when a variety of vegetables was consumed. In addition, the risk of squamous cell carcinoma decreased substantially when a variety of fruits and vegetables were eaten.

Fruits and vegetables contain many different bioactive compounds, and it makes sense to assume that it is important that you not only eat the recommended amounts, but also consume a rich mix of these bioactive compounds by consuming a large variety.

 Blackcurrant juice can prevent aches and strains
 New study reveals that Blackcurrants juice can help prevent aches and strains during exercise. It has been used for centuries to treat tiredness, arthritis, kidney stones, gout and lung problems. Researchers say compounds called flavonoids in the berries protect the body from the stresses of working out.

The experiment, led by Roger Hurst at New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research, monitored the impact of blackcurrant extract on 10 untrained volunteers.

Those who took the blackcurrant pill before and after daily moderate exercise had fewer signs of "oxidative stress" and muscle damage. Their bodies also had fewer signs of inflammation.

Each pill contained the equivalent of one or two ounces of berries and was taken daily for three weeks before and after exercise.

 Cruciferous vegetables cures stomach infections
 It is found that eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli helps to improve health. Besides, researchers also have discovered new benefits to eating both broccoli and plantains -- two high-fiber foods -- that may help people with Chron's disease and other digestive disorders. According to the recent study, broccoli and plantains contain compounds that help protect the gut from infection and improve overall stomach health.

Broccoli and plantains are not the only foods that provide this benefit, but they are two in particular that scientists found to have exceptional benefit. The compounds in these two foods actually boost the ability of the stomach lining to ward off bad bacteria, passing it through the tract and out of the body before it can cause harm.

The intestinal lining in the gut is coated in M-cells, which are designed to maintain intestinal health. But these cells are often disrupted by processed foods, artificial chemicals and other additives. Long-term ingestion of these substances can severely damage a person's bacterial balance, leading eventually to disease.

 Brahmi herb may help in treating Alzheimer's
 Researchers found that herbs like brahmi, associated with the ayurveda system of medicine, could help ward off Alzheimer's disease and preserve one's mental faculties. Brahmi has an anti-inflammatory effect, is an antioxidant, collates, and removes heavy metals and beta amyloid. Two trials with a brahmi extract called CDRI08, have shown improvements in working memory, particularly spatial memory accuracy. 

Pine bark, lemon balm, American ginseng, rosemary and brahmi, are some of the herbs showing promise in fending off Alzheimer's dementia, causing memory loss, depression and anxiety.

A 50-day trial of a particular pine bark extract supplement for men aged 50 to 65 years has also shown improved speed in spatial working memory and immediate recognition tasks, along with lowering blood pressure.

 Shatamuli Herb can cure kidney diseases
 Shatamuli is an important medicinal plant grows wild in forests and planted in gardens in most of the districts of Bangladesh. It is a stout strangling climber with spiny green stems, filiform leaves, bell-shaped yellow-green flowers and a large number of slender tubers. It also grows throughout tropical and subtropical India and Srilanka, Tropical Africa, Java and Australia. Its Botanical name is Asparagus racemosus Wild. It is used chiefly as a demulcent in veterinary. Shatamuli is said to be tonic and diuretic and useful as a galactagogue.

A mixture of honey and fresh root juice is given as a demulcent in dyspepsia. However, Koman states that The action of the drug when administered in dyspepsia was slow and not highly satisfactory. Its root is largely used in the preparation of medicated oils, prescribed for nervous and rheumatic complaints.

The plant is also used in diabetes, jaundice and other urinary disorders. Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of the plant possess strong molluscicidal property.

 Herbal remedy for high blood pressure
 Sarpagandha is an important medicinal plant used mainly as a remedy for high blood pressure in the Homoeopathic, Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine. It is a rambling shrub with broadly elliptical leaves in whorls, small pink and white tubular flowers, red berries, and prominent taproot system, found to grow wild in many places of rural Bangladesh.

However, this plant is now under threat of extinction because of indiscriminate over use. It is also found in India, Srilanka, Myanmar, Thailand and Java. Its Botanical name is Rauwalfia serpentine.

The roots of this plant is bitter, acrid, heating, sharp, pungent, anthelmintic, cures 'tridosha', ulcers, the poisonous effects of scorpion-sting anke bite (Ayurveda). A decoction of the root is employed in labours to increase uterine contractions. In Java it is used as an anthelmintic. The juice of the leaves is instilled into the eyes by the natives of India and Java, as a remedy for the removal of opacities of the cornea. In Bombay, most of the labours that come from the southern Konkan keep a small supply of the root, which they value as a remedy in painful affection of the bowels. In the Konkan the root with Fristolachia indica is given in cholera, in colic, 1 part of the root 2 parts of Holarrhena root is given in milk. In fever the root the root with Andrographis, Gilger and black salt is used.

Chameli and Neem leaves can cure Gangrene
 Curative power of Chameli and Neem leaves when coupled with Ayurvedic medicated bandage, surgical procedures and modern antibiotics can cure Fournier's Gangrene, a festering bacterial infection that turns fatal in 40 per cent of cases.

Department of Shalya Tantra at Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS-BHU has successfully used a mix of Ayurveda and Modern Medicine to cure 300-plus critical patients of Fourniers Gangrene, a bacterial infection of skin, which affects genitals and perineum. The disease caused by anaerobic bacteria, which survive without oxygen, if not managed properly, can turn deadly within a few hours, causing death due to septicemia complications, including acute renal failure.

Over 300 critical cases of Fournier's Gangrene have till date been cured cent per cent using a prudent combo of modern antibiotics and Ayurvedic herbs along with Ayurvedic Surgery, reveals Department of Shalya Tantra, IMS-BHU. Among those whose life has been saved through this medication, include a youth whose wife abandoned him due to the festering wound, which had put his life in danger.

The surgical and chemical cleaning of the dead tissue from the infectious wound paves the passage for application of decocted solution of Neem leaves to naturally clean the festering wound. Once cleaned naturally, the infectious wound formulation prepared from Chameli leaves is administered either with Ghee or in oil form to naturally heal the wound totally.

Experts at Department of Shalya Tantra have successfully used Ayurvedic wound management practices to save cases of Diabetic Foot from amputation, with assistance of IMS-BHU's Endocrinologists, who help in controlling diabetes during the Ayurvedic management of the Diabetic Foot.

 Hardening of blood vessels can be prevented by Bil
 Bilberry extracts can prevent the build up of plaques in the arteries, thereby preventing hardening of blood vessels and boosting overall heart health reveals a new study in France.

In the study, the fermented bilberry extract, out-performed the standard extract, prompting the French researchers to suggest that yeast fermentation produces new bioactive compounds with heart health effects.

Researchers performed the study on mice, segregating them into three groups. All groups were fed with standard control diet, but two of the groups received one of two bilberry extracts. One rich in anthocyanin extracted from untreated bilberries, and the other extracted from yeast-fermented bilberries.

Bilberry was recommended for diabetics, as the constituents in berries help in improving the strength and integrity of blood vessels and reduces damage to the vessels associated with diabetes and other diseases, such as atherosclerosis. The berries contain flavonoids, the compounds found in the pigment of several plants. The flavonoid anthocyanin protects body tissues, particularly the blood vessels from oxidizing agents in the blood.

Bilberry preparations are also useful in treating eye conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, degeneration, night blindness, and degeneration of macula.

 Grape Juice proves to be good for heart
 The grape juice has proven effective in preventing heart attacks, angina and strokes, a research has revealed. Drinking purple grape juice boosted the nightly dip in blood pressure, offering the heart and veins vital rest, revealed reports of 64 adults in the study.

Such a conclusion has been arrived at because, there already exists evidence that "non-dippers" who do not experience it, are more prone to developing cardiovascular problem.

An earlier study had revealed that drinking eight to ten ounces of red grape juice a day has potent effect on blood cells called platelets, reducing the tendency to form clots, as clots can lead to heart attacks.

This study also revealed that red grape juice may be even more potent than aspirin, and is widely recommended as a way to prevent heart attacks. Even when one is actually suffering from a heart attack, grape juice treatment tones up the heart and is effective in cardiac pain and heart palpitation.

The researchers also compared the results of grape juice with orange and grapefruit juice, but arrived at the conclusion that grape juice is the best heart tonic. Grapes also have several other health benefits, unknown to many. The rich content of glucose in grapes makes it the most valuable fruit. Glucose is pre-digested food, absorbed in the body soon after consumption. It supplies heat and energy to the body within short time and is thus considered a magic fruit for re-energizing the body.

Grapes are rich in Iron, Copper, Manganese and Potassium, but low in sodium. Although grapes are high in acids, they have an alkaline effect on our body. The high potassium and low sodium chloride content makes it good for all kidney problems. Grapes act on the Kidneys and Liver and promote elimination of waste and toxin matters from the system. Moreover, the high iron content helps in improving anaemia too.

The excess alkalinity of grapes and raisins helps by dissolving uric acid and is considered good for arthritis and gout. It is also beneficial in cases of Asthma, Cancer and migraine, wherein the patient is put only on grape juice diet for days.

 Tequila Plant helps to treat diabetes, osteoporosi
 Researchers opine that the agave plant, the key ingredient in Mexico's famous tequila, could help treat diabetes and osteoporosis.

Experiments on rats suggested that a diet rich in fructans from the plant could both help improve the formation of bone tissue and stimulate the production of the GLP-1 hormone which promotes insulin release. Drinking tequila would not give the same health benefits, however, since fructans lose their effect during the fermentation process.

Scientists at the research center of the National Polytechnic Institute in the western state of Guanajuato were to carry out a second stage of research on rodents before testing their results on humans.

 Cherries can use as anti-inflammatory
 Cherry-rich diets are indeed anti-inflammatory, new study confirms. The diets not only reduced overall body inflammation, but also reduced inflammation at key sites. Such inflammations cause heart disease in obese, at-risk rats.

At-risk obese rats were fed a cherry-enriched "Western Diet," characterized by high fat and moderate carbohydrate for 90 days. Cherry-enriched diets, which consisted of whole tart cherry powder as 1 percent of the diet, reduced risk factors for heart disease including cholesterol, body weight, fat mass and known markers of inflammation. While inflammation is a normal process, the body uses to fight off infection or injury, according to recent science, a chronic state of inflammation increases the risk for diseases.

Chronic inflammation is a whole body condition that can affect overall health, especially when it comes to the heart. The study offers further promise that foods rich in antioxidants, such as cherries, could potentially reduce inflammation and have the potential to lower disease risk.

A second pilot study found similar results in humans. Ten overweight or obese adults drank eight ounces of tart cherry juice daily for four weeks. At the end of the trial, there were significant reductions in several markers of inflammation, in addition to lower levels of triglycerides, another key risk factors for heart disease.

Broccoli may combat breast cancer
 New research shows that a natural compound sourced from broccoli may help fight breast cancer. In tests on mice, scientists found that sulforaphane could target and kill stem cells, which are known to promote the growth of tumors, help stop new tumors from growing.

Since scientists have yet to test sulforaphane's effects in humans, the study's authors do not suggest that people looking to treat or prevent breast cancer add sulforaphane supplements to their health regimen at this time.

In previous studies, a number of other natural compounds have shown promise in protection against breast cancer. For instance, test-tube research suggests that resveratrol may help suppress breast-cancer progression in its earliest stages, while a combination of green tea and ganoderma.

 Soy supplements show no diabetes benefit
 Adding soy supplements to the diet may not improve blood sugar control in older women who are at high risk of or in the early stages of type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests. The findings, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, add to the conflicting body of research on soy and diabetes risk.

Lab research has suggested that soy proteins and soy isoflavones -- "phytoestrogen" compounds that are structurally similar to human estrogen -- may help control blood sugar levels. However, so far, the few small clinical trials that have been done have reached different conclusions as to whether soy foods or soy-protein supplements are beneficial to people with diabetes. For this latest study, researchers in Hong Kong recruited 180 postmenopausal women who either had "pre-diabetes" -- blood sugar levels that are elevated but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis -- or were in the early stages of diabetes and had not yet started any treatment.

These women were divided in to three classes. All three groups were told to mix the supplement with a drink each morning but otherwise maintain their normal diets.

After six months, team found no clear benefit of either the soy or the milk-plus-isoflavone supplement in the women's blood sugar control or levels of the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin.

However, the findings should not be seen as the final word on soy and diabetes, according to Liu's team. They note that this appears to be the first controlled clinical trial designed to specifically look at the effects of soy supplements in people with pre-diabetes or early, untreated type 2 diabetes.

 Nuts may keep cholesterol in check
 Nuts are an important source of nutrients for both humans and wildlife. They are a composite of the seed and the fruit, where the fruit does not open to release the seed. New research shows that nuts may offer a natural approach to cutting cholesterol. In a review of 25 clinical trials with 583 participants, scientists found that consuming about 2.4 ounces of nuts daily was linked to an average 5.1 percent drop in total cholesterol levels. That same amount of nut consumption was also associated with a 7.4 percent decrease in LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol and an 8.3 increase in HDL ( High-Density Lipoprotein ) cholesterol.

Rich in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, nuts may be helpful in lowering risk of heart disease, according to the study's authors. A number of other foods may also help you achieve healthy cholesterol levels and protect heart health. What's more, some studies suggest that certain natural substances may help keep cholesterol in check as well.

Previous studies revealed that people who consume nuts regularly are less likely to suffer from Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Nuts contain the all important fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acids, which are critical for growth, physical and mental development, healthy hair and skin, blood pressure control, immunological responses and blood clotting.

 Chokeberry may protect against weight gain
 Chokeberry, a bright-red and dark-purple fruit rich in antioxidants may help protect against weight gain and keep blood sugar in check, according to a new animal study.

For the study, researchers focused on a group of rats with pre-diabetes, which is a condition in which blood sugar levels are abnormally high, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. For six weeks, the rats drank either pure water or water infused with high levels of chokeberry extract.

At the end of the six-week period, researchers found that chokeberry-fed rats weighed less and had less body fat than the animals that drank pure water. Compared to the control group, the chokeberry-fed rats also had lower levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, blood fats, and inflammation.

Chokeberry is high in anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant also abundant in natural remedies like bilberry, tart cherries, and elderberry. Chokeberries are low in calories and fats but are rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber. Chokeberries compose significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phyto-chemicals called anthocyanins. Previous studies have shown that consumption of berries on regular basis offers potential health benefits against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections

 Ancient yoga eases sleep problems among cancer sur
 Cancer survivors who participated in a month-long program in the ancient art of yoga reported enhanced quality of life, better sleep, less fatigue and less need for sleep medications.

The study authors involved 410 cancer survivors, average age 54, who had finished treatment two to 24 months before and who still reported greater-than-average sleep disruptions. Almost all of the participants were women, and three-quarters had had breast cancer, although the cancer had not spread. None had done any yoga in the past three months.

Participants were randomized either to receive regular follow-up care for cancer survivors or to receive regular care plus two 75-minute sessions of yoga per week for four weeks. During study, emphasis was on breathing from the diaphragm rather than the chest and on mindfulness, visualization and guided meditation. Yoga participants reported an improvement in sleep quality of 22 percent, while controls reported an improvement of only 12 percent.

Thirty-one percent of participants in the yoga group who had started out with clinically impaired sleep quality recovered vs. only 16 percent in the control group. Fatigue in the yoga group was decreased by 42 percent, compared with only 12 percent in the control group.

Homo imperatorin, molecule isolated from Bael fruit seed

Banaras Hindu University has recently been successful in their attempt to isolate a molecule from the Bael fruit which is known for its high medicinal value. This molecule supposedly shows anti fungal properties and the research study got its recognition on the last two days of the two day seminar on emerging trends in chemical sciences, organised by department of chemistry, BHU, on Sunday, it also marked a breakthrough in the isolation and synthesis of designer molecule with medicinal value.

“The molecule- homo imperatorin- responsible for anti-fungal properties in the seeds of ‘bael’ fruit (Aegle marmelos Correa) has been isolated for the first time and it has taken five long years of research work,” said Bhuwan B Mishra, one of the members of research team while talking to TOI on Sunday. It was conducted in continuation of work on discovery of bioactive constituents from Indian medicinal plant, especially anti-fungal constituents, he added. The research study for isolation of ‘imperatorin’ and ‘iso imperatorin’ from the seeds of the fruit has been already published in Phytochemistry, a reputed European Journal in its December, 2010 issue.

Saying that special precaution for maintaining purity of the molecule was taken during isolation, Mishra also emphasized that the new molecule was characterized under infra-red (IR) spectrum, mass spectrum and ultra violet (UR) spectrum studies that also helped in analysis of chemical and medical properties of the molecule. The characterization and isolation of the molecule promises a new beginning for emergence of natural products in drug discovery apart from coming up with designer molecules with medicinal value, he added.

The ‘Bael’ plant is considered a sacred plant, commonly grown in temple gardens in the country and the fruit is known to possess significant therapeutic and medicinal value and is widely used in homeopathy and ayurveda.

Guggul to battle Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer has been increasing in occurence in men that has devastating effects on the individual. The regular cancer treatments have a lot of side effects that again are difficult to deal with. Ayurveda seems to have a probable treatment for this. Guggul, a yellowish product produced by the Mukul tree, has been credited to show promising results against prostate cancer, according to a recent research. The study has shown that Guggul helps in inhibiting the growth of the cancerous cells by killing the cells and preventing them from spreading into the surrounding areas called apoptosis.

The study has moved away from the traditional use of Guggul for curbing cholesterol levels in the body. In some earlier studies of natural remedies against prostate cancer vitamin D, lycopene, omega- 3 fatty acids and Green Tea has shown to provide effective results.

Himalaya to fortify research into serious diseases

Himalaya Drug Company is one of the most popular brands for Ayurvedic and herbal products. Seeing the potential for herbal medications not only in the country but also overseas, Himalaya has decided to come out with formulations and increase research in the fields of oncology, hepatitis B, women’s health issues and tropical diseases.

The company aims to provide evidence based research and also strengthen its research base, launch produces and increase accessibility in the markets.
Though allopathic medicine has a niche, herbal medicines have found one for it too. The herbal formulations not only provide effective treatment for chronic conditions but also help in preventive care. When both the medicinal forms come together across different healthcare practices it can create a powerful healthcare partnership.

Himalaya has been the only Indian company invited to present a paper on a drug that it released called Cystone for problems of the urinary tract, at the International Congress on Complimentary Medicine Research held in Norway. It is one of the very few brands known in Ayurvedic medicines in India along with names like Dabur, Baidyanath, etc, despite India being the place of origin for Ayurveda. But Himalaya distinguishes itself from classic Ayurveda and puts itself under the name of Contemporary Ayurveda, changing with time and modernity.

After herbal Viagra, now herbal drinking water

Chennai: After the successful launch of ‘Laboob Sager’, the herbal Viagra, a state-owned corporation of Tamil Nadu government would soon launch yet another health product – herbal drinking water, claimed to be first of its kind in the country.

It contained herbal extracts with useful bio-active properties that play a major role in maintaining good health as evidenced by Siddha and Ayurveda literatures and modern scientific studies, Tamil Nadu Medicinal Plant Farms and Herbal Medicines Corporation Ltd. (TAMPCOL) officials said.

The herbal water, to be sold in 1,000 ml and 500 ml pet bottles and competitively priced in the growing mineral water market, was likely to be launched in the next two months, said company Chairman and Managing Director G A Rajkumar.

TAMPCOL was in the final process of getting the ISI certificate and other related licences, he said.

Ayurvedic Natural Digestive Products Improves Overall Health

With all the talk of the swine flu and the havoc it can wreak, there is a common ailment — swine flu or not — that is sure to continue to plague mankind: stomach and digestive problems. It can be said with a very high degree of certainty that virtually every man woman and child of planet Earth has suffered from some kind of stomach or digestive ailments at some point in their life. Certainly, it played the ancients, which is why some of medicine’s oldest remedies are cures or stomach and digestive problems.

Ayurveda — the oldest form of medicine we have — long ago developed highly natural holistic medicines to help alleviate common intestinal and digestive problems. A system of alternative medicine more than 5000 years old, Ayurvedic products incorporate the use of natural herbal remedies and essential oils to help restore the body to a healthy and balanced state.

For those unfamiliar with the term, Ayurveda is a system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. The reason you may have never heard of it, however, is due to the fact that a Ayurveda and Ayurvedic medicine was heavily suppressed during India’s years of foreign occupation. But all that is changing. Ayurveda and it’s natural holistic approach has been rediscovered by a Western culture looking for less invasive alternatives for maintaining optimal health.

A significant part of the Ayurveda philosophy of health is the concept of creating an ideal “balance” for the body and its many system. If one part of the body or one of the systems is not working properly, then it will tend to throw the other systems out of balance and thus lead to disease. Ayurveda seeks to use products found in nature in order to restore and maintain optimal health. Digestion, and having a digestive system that works properly is of the utmost importance for anyone who wants a strong and healthy body, and it is a common starting point for many naturalpathic therapies.

» Read more: Ayurvedic Natural Digestive Products Improves Overall Health

Pharmacopoeia Commission

The government has decided to set up a Pharmacopoeia Commission at a cost of Rs. 14.08 crore for developing indigenous medicines with the aim of raising the country’s share in the $62-billion global herbal drug market.
The Commission for development of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicines would be set up in the wake of increasing cost of modern healthcare drugs and demand for herbal medicines, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told journalists after a Union Cabinet meeting.
The Commission, to be housed in Ghaziabad, would set standards for drugs in the Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medical systems.
Earlier, a Committee set up by the Planning Commission for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha) sector approved the setting up of the Commission. The panel will be responsible for publication and revision of standards on Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani drugs, as well as their formulation, development and publishing standards.
The global trade in herbal drugs is worth $62 billion. Of this, China’s share was $19 billion, against a meagre $1 billion of India, a senior official said. The Commission would strive for India increased its market share.
There were 1,000 kinds of drugs and an equal number of compound formulations. The Commission would develop standards and quality specifications of identity and strength of raw material as well. It would define standard procedures for manufacturing Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani drugs, besides maintaining a national depository that would provide authentic reference of the raw material.
The Commission would be an autonomous society headed by an eminent technical person. It should work with immediate effect and would eventually become self-sustainable, the Minister said.

CERS alleges fat free remedies ads of ayurveda firm misleading, plans to move consumer court

The Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), a leading consumer rights organisation based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, is exploring legal options to complain with the consumer redressal forum against the allegedly misleading advertisement of the Thissur -based Sri Bhagavathy Madom Ayurveda Nikethanam, Kerala, for its fitness massage oil and fat free tablets.
The CERS, an not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation (NGO), alleges that the company’s claims on its two products, the Sri Bhagavathy Madom Fitness Massage Oil and the Fat Free, on advertisements published in various publications are misleading the consumers. The society has recently complained to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), a self regulatory
voluntary organization of the advertising industry, against the advertisement.
“The ASCI has advised the company to withdraw the advertisement on dispute from publishing henceforth. However the company seems to carry on with the advertisement and our legal department is examining the issue for further actions,” said Pritee Shah, senior director, CERS and the editor with the society’s consumer magazine, Insight.
According to CERS complaint, “the ad said that the ‘Fat Free’ tablet is scientifically proven as reducing excess fat and cholesterol; and by using ‘Sri Bhagavathy Madom Fitness Massage Oil’ one can get rid of loose fat, wrinkles bulgings, swellings, dry skin, excess sweating and bad odour. ‘Use ‘Fat Free’ tablet and ‘Sri Bhagavathy Madom Fitness Massage Oil’ together and see the magical result within one month”, the ad claimed’”.
The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI found that the advertisement contravened Chapter 1.1 of the ASCI Code and has advised the advertiser to withdraw the said advertisement. The CCC, after considering the clinical data submitted by the advertiser, concluded that the claims mentioned in the ad and cited in the complaint were not substantiated adequately, says a press release from CERS.
The ASCI is the voluntary self-regulatory body dealing with complaints received from consumers and industry, against advertisements which are considered as false, misleading, indecent, illegal, leading to unsafe practices, or unfair to competition, and consequently in contravention of the ASCI Code for self-regulation in advertising.
Though the issue could be challenged with the state drug regulator pointing relevant acts and rules, the society, being a consumer organisation, would preferably move to the consumer redressal forum for a remedy, said Shah. However, management officials from Sri Bhagavathy Madom were not readily available for comments.


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