2010-07-10

Like the other herbs like Dukung Anak and Rodent Tuber there is another plant called Misai Kuching what means ‘cat whiskers’. Indeed, if you look at this herb, you will see its beautiful bluish flowers that resemble the whiskers of a cat. It’s scientific name is Orthosiphon Grandiflorus Boldingh.

Traditional Use:

  • A traditional preparation for the relief of joint aches and stiffness,
  • The plant is said to be effective treatment of arthritis, gout and rheumatism.
  • Misai Kuching has a long history of use in Asia as a safe and effective herbal diuretic, blood purifier and in treating hypertension and kidney stones.
  • Used regularly, it helps to remove excessive metabolic waste and acids from the body.
  • Also known to be effective for diabetic treatment when Misai Kuching is combine with Hempedu Bumi.
  • Also, at times the plant is boiled with pokok temu lawak (Curcuma Xanthorrhiza) for eliminationof stones in the bladder.

This healing herb usually grows on damp soil. Its leaves are commonly consumed as tea. According to the scientific study there are two types of flavone that have been discovered in Misai Kuching: 5-hydroxy-6,7,3,4-tetramethoxyflavone and 4,5,6,7-tetramethoxyflavone. There is one more remarkable compound that is isosinensetin.

2010-07-08

Have you heard of this Malaysian herb called Dukung Anak or what’s in English “to carry a child”? Here are some details:

  • Scientific name: Phyllanthus niruri Linn (P fraternus Webster)
  • Local Names: Pokok Dukung Anak, Amin buah, Keman jolok
  • Characteristics: Grows on open, abandoned land and by the roadside or anywhere around the garden and even in pots with other plants.

Sound astonishing but if you look at this plant, you can actually see row of bead-like berries on the stems underneath the leaves – that’s how it has been accredited with such name. There are also the red  bead-like berries dukung anak which is smaller size than the usual one.

Dukung Anak is widely used in traditional medicine:

  • water boiled with the plant is taken to treat diarrhea
  • reported to lower hypertension and purify the blood
  • effective in healing wounds and scurf.
  • when boiled with goat’s milk and given to children or babies it is said to cure jaundice. It has been reported that hepatitis was cured when goat’s milk boiled with the plant was consumed for a period of 1-2 months.
  • according to scientific study, the plant contains a bitter compound, phyllanthin and hydrophyllanthin. Other compounds are tannin, saponine, phyltetralin, nirtetralin, niranthin and calcium oxalate.

Precaution: as Dukung Anak contains calcium oxalate, it is hazardous if taken by patients suffering from stones in the bladder.

2010-07-07

Babul (Botanical name: Acacia arabica, Indian name: Kihar). Fresh pods of babul tree are effective in sexual disorders like spermatorrhoea, frequent night discharges, loss of viscidityof the semen and premature ejaculation. In Ayurveda, the one preparation is as follows: – firstly about 1 to 1.5 metres of coarse cloth is spread evenly and its corners secured. The fresh pods are pounded and juice squeezed.This fresh juice is pasted on the cloth every morning and evening for at least 20 days until a 5-6 cm thick layer is formed on it. A small piece of this cloth weighing 5 to 9 gram is cut and boiled in a litre of cow’s milk which is taken after adding brown sugar to taste.

Second preparation is the tender seedless pods are dried in shade, powdered and mixed with an equal weight of brown sugar. 6 grams of this mixture may be taken with milk in the morning. Whichever preparation using the abovementioned Ayurveda way, its help to increase the power of retention of the semen. It is believed that even extremly debilitated patients suffering from the bad consequences of masturbation are believed to get rejuvenated by its use and attain normal retentive power. It improves the viscidity of the semen and is an excellent medicine for spermatorrhoea.

Bishop’s Weed (Botanical name: Trachyspermum ammi or Indian name: Ajwain or Omum). Ajwain seeds combined with the kernel of tamarind seeds are an effective aphrodisiac. These should be fried in equal quantity of pure ghee, powdered and preserved in airtight containers. A teaspoon of this powder mixed with a tablespoon of honey,taken daily with milk before retiring, makes an excellent aphrodisiac. It increases virility and cure premature ejaculation.

Cardamom (Botanical name: Elettaria Cardamomum, Indian name: Chhoti elaichi). This is a common Indian spice/herb. The herb is useful in sexual dysfunction like impotency and premature ejaculation. A pinch of powdered cardamom seed boiled in milk and sweetened with honey every night would yield excellent results. Excessive used of cardamom at times may lead to impotency.

Ginger (Bontanical name: Zingiber officinale, Indian name: Adrak) is another very common spice/herb. Ginger juice is aphrodisiac. Take half a teaspoon of giner juice, honey with a half-boiled egg to be taken at night for a month. It tones up the sexual organs and cure impotency, premature ejaculation and spermatorrhoea or involuntary seminal discharge.

Nutmeg (Botanical name: Myristica fragrans, Indian name: Jaiphal) is good as a sex stimulant. When mixed with honey and a half-boiled egg it makes an excellent sex tonic. It prolongs the duration of the sexual act if taken an hour before intercourse. Nutmeg should be takne in very small doses; in appreciable doses, it excite the motor cortex and produces epileptic convulsions and lesions in the liver. Even a teaspoon of nutmeg can produce toxic symptoms such as burning in the stomach, nausea, vomiting,restlessness and giddiness with hallucinations.)

Onion (Botanical name: Allium cepa, Indian name: Piyaz) is a common spice/herb. Onion is one of the most important aphrodisiac foods, second to garlic. It increases libido and strengthens the reproductory organs. The white variety of onion should be peeled off, crushed and fried in pure butter. This mixture acts as excellent aphrodisiac tonic if taken regularly with a spoon of honey on an empty stomach.

Wood Apple (botanical name: Feronia Limonida,Indian name:Kaith). Powder of the leaves dried in shade with an equal quantity of sugar candy is useful in spermatorrhoea or involuntary ejaculation, premature ejaculation and functional impotency. One teaspoon of this powder is taken with cold water thrice daily. About 20 grams of gum, dissolved in cow’s milk and mixed with sugar is also effective in spermatorrhoea and premature ejaculation. It can be taken thrice daily.

Garlic (Botanical name: Allium Sativum,Indian name: Lahsoon). Garlic has pronounced aphrodisiac effect. It is tonic for the loss of sexual power from any cause. It also treats sexual disability and impotency caused by overindulgence in sex and nervous exhaustion from dissipating habit especially useful to old men with nervous tension and failing libido.

2010-07-06
  • Local Name: Pegaga
  • Scientific name: Hydrocotyle asiatica Linn (Centella asiatica (L.) Urba)
  • Characteristic: A creeper and a herbaceous plant with long runners and red flowers
  • Parts Used: Leaves and roots

In ancient traditions, pegaga was used to detoxify the blood formula and aid skin condition. Research on pegaga in 1949 indicated the plant’s success in accelerating healing and relieving inflamation on leprosy sores and ulcers. Its other medical uses include treating skin diseases, asthma, hypertension, poor appetite, poor blood circulation, kidney stones, leg cramps, rheumatism and dizziness.

To treat dizziness, boil the leaves with green beans then leave it overnight in the open. Eat the leaves and beans with some sugar the next morning. When the leaves are boiled with onions and drunk, it is effective for treating rheumatism, water boiled with the roots is taken as tonic.

To treat typhoid, pound the leaves finely and apply to the forehead. Water in which the roots have been soaked is used for bathing by mothers after childbirth. The roots when boiled are sometimes used by Malays as a decoction or douche to treat vaginitis and vaginal thrush.

Ayurvedic medicine recommends pegaga for treating asthma, anaemia and other blood disorders, to reduce inflammation and fever. It consider the herb a “balancing” tonic, that increases energy while it relaxes the body, it is held to be effective in combating insomnia and making one calm for yoga and meditation.

According to scientific study, it is also said to improve intelligence and memory retention. The study reveal that tablets made from this plant when taken orally over 12 weeks by mentally retarded children, produced significant capabilities in them Madasiatic acid and brahmic acid have been isolated from the plant also known as pennyworth, jin chian cao ( in Chinese), valarai (Tamil), brahmi (Sanskrit), khulakudi (Hindi) and artaniyya-e-hindi (Arabic). The Malays usually take Pegaga as ulam (raw).

2010-07-06

It’s important to maintain our eyes particularly nowadays our eyes are quite often strained by:

  • Too much internet surfing
  • Too long at playing computer games
  • Watching long hours of television ( football matches and other types of competition)
  • Studying overnight,
  • Lack of sleep coupled with a full day’s work in front of the computer, or reading books may cause eyestrain and fatigue.
  • Too much smoking increases free radicals which accelerate ageing and affects the body’s ability to absorb or extract necessary vitamins and minerals from food. It can also affect appetite which may result in a poor diet. These are known to damage eye tissues and ultimately affect eye health.

Besides a good diet on fresh fruits and vegetables which can help promote eye health since they are rich in vitamins A, C and E and antioxidants. Examples of the fruits and vegetables are found in oranges, kiwifruit, dried apricots, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, spinach.  Besides the above, let’s look at some herbal cure using herbs like the following:

  • Bilberry
  • Eyebright
  • Lycium or (Kei Chi (Chinese word)
  • Lutien  (good sources include vegetables such as spinach, brussel sprouts, cabbage and kale)

Bilberry:

  • Bilberry has been used as a medicinal herb since the 16th century.
  • In Europe, bilberry extracts are now part of the conventional treatment of many eye disorders
  • Bilberry works by improving the microcirculation and regeneration of retinal purple, a substance required for good eyesight.
  • Bilberry contains Vitamins A and C, providing antioxidant protection which can help prevent free radical damage to the eyes (Vitamin A is required for sharp vision, while Vitamin C helps form collagen and is needed for growth and repair of tissue cells and blood vessels).
  • Anthocyanidins found in bilberry fruits may also be useful for people with vision problems. It is believed that British Royal Air Force pilots flying night missions during World War II ate bilberry jam to improve their vision and relieve tired eyes. The jam was made from ripe bilberries which are deep-blue red in colour.
  • Anthocyanidin, which belongs to the class of flavonoids, is a pigment common in fruits and vegetables. Bilberry (vaccinium myrtillus) is one of the richest sources. However, in recent years, hot and dry weather has reduced the harvest of bilberry. This makes the fruits even more precious.
  • Anthocyanidins help protect the retina, the nerve layer that lines the back of the eye and sends nerve impulses to the visual areas of the brain.
  • Studies conducted in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s suggest that the anthocyanidins contained in bilberry fruit preparations improve symptoms of a variety of visual disturbances including nearsightedness, cataracts, and macular degeneration
  • Anthocyanosides support and protect collagen structures in the blood vessels of the eyes, assuring strong, healthy capillaries that carry vital nutrients to eye muscles and nerves.

Benefits of Bilberry:

  • Improves capillary strength and flexibility
  • Increases capillary blood flow in the eyes
  • Increases the generation of enzymes responsible for energy production in the eyes
  • Improving oxygen supply to the eyes, acting as anti-oxidants and strengthening tiny blood vessels.

Eyebright:

  • Eyebright can be orally taken or used as an eye wash for treating conditions of the eye.
  • The tannins in it may decrease eye inflammation, as well as make a protective film over the surface of the eye.
  • The caffeic acid in it may act as an anti-infective agent.
  • Eyebright is a European wild plant.
  • It is traditionally used to treat eye irritation.
  • The whole herb is used medicinally.
  • Eyebright is used primarily as a topical compress of eye inflammation.
  • It is beneficial for reducing redness and swelling. Nowadays, you can find eyebright as a supplement, normally in combination with bilberry for synergistic effects.

Bilberry and eyebright are beneficial for:

  • Glare sensitivity
  • Contact lens discomfort
  • Changes in colour perception
  • Red and burning eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry and itchy eyes
  • Help prevent watery or dry tired eyes.

Bilberry and eyebright are best combined with lycium (also known as kei chi by the Chinese) and lutein (found in vegetables such as spinach) for synergistic effect.