Monday, April 23, 2007

Indian herbal supplement may harbour pancreatic cancer cure
April 18: Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute have demonstrated that a commonly used Indian herbal supplement, triphala, has the potential to slow down the growth of human pancreatic tumours grafted onto mice.

The findings offer hope that one day a treatment for the disease may be developed, though the experts have warned that the study is still at a very early stage. Triphala is a herbal preparation used in the traditional Indian medicine system Ayurveda. It contains the dried and powdered fruits of three plants, and it is said to ease intestinal-related disorders and promote good digestion. The current research confirms the findings of previous studies that have shown triphala to have an anti-cancer activity in cell cultures. It also shows that the herb does not damage normal pancreatic cells. During the study, mice grafted with human pancreatic tumours were administered a triphala solution five days per week. When the researchers carried out their comparison with those in control group of mice after four weeks, they found that tumours in triphala-treated mice were half the size of those in the untreated mice. They also noted that the tumour cells in treated mice had higher levels of proteins associated with apoptosis, the process by the which the body normally disposes of damaged, old of unneeded cells. "We discovered that triphala fed orally to mice with human pancreatic tumors was an extremely effective inhibitor of the cancer process, inducing apoptosis in cancer cells," said Sanjay K. Srivastava, Ph.D., lead investigator and assistant professor, department of pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine."Triphala triggered the cancerous cells to die off and significantly reduced the size of the tumors without causing any toxic side effects," he added. The study also revealed that though triphala had activated tumour-suppressor genes, but did not negatively affect normal pancreatic cells. "Our results demonstrate that triphala has strong anti-cancer properties given its ability to induce apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells without damaging normal pancreatic cells," said Dr. Srivastava. "With follow-up studies, we hope to demonstrate its potential use as a novel agent for the prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer," he added. The study is being presented in a late-breaking session at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ayurveda enhances immunity
Tuesday April 10 2007 16:50 IST
Dr Remya Krishnan
Infectious diseases continue to be a major health problem today, and still rank very high as a cause of death in India. The major reasons behind them include illhealthy life-style in a polluted environment, development of new drug resistant strains and constant administration of immunosuppressive therapies.
The term ‘infection’ reflects the process of successful invasion and establishment of pathogenesis in the tissues of the host, which are capable of being transmitted to another host. Once established, the pathogenesis will manifest in the form of a disease, often as a minor form or as a typical illness. Sometimes it will not manifest, depending upon various factors of the host. In Ayurveda, the host factor is considered prior to the microbe factor; though the role of several pathogens in the causation of infections is mentioned. Even if a person gets exposed to the chances of infection, he could be or not be a victim of the disease, depending on several factors.Impaired state of digestion and metabolism in the individual, more commonly occur as an outcome of an erroneous diet and lifestyle and by exogenous factors like climatic variations.

Ayurvedic approachThe mode of approach of management in Ayurveda is two-folded - prevention and cure. The following principles are adopted.Promoting digestion and metabolism of cellular toxins and metabolites by appropriate medication and specific food habits.Increasing the efficiency of natural drainage mechanism of the body by medicines and often purifactory therapies which will check the chances of a further infection.Enhancement of patient’s own immune power to combat infections by administering immunomodulatory drug formulations and a specific diet regimen.Combating infections with mere symptom alleviators like antipyretics in the case of raised body temperature and antibiotics never fight against the exact cause of pathogenesis. Irrational and prolonged use of antibiotics which include bactericidal and bacteriostatic drugs, which are used to inhibit the growth of bacteria, may often cause gradual alarming resistance against these pathogens.
Impaired drainage mechanism of the body and declined immunity combined with the neglected diet and lifestyle congenial to the disease makes the individual susceptible to a more severe form of infection, even if the present one seems to be suppressed for a while.
Prevent infections
Maintenance of proper hygiene by taking daily shower in luke warm water in an empty stomach.Adoption of healthy lifestyle and food habits. Consumption of bakery foods, canned foods, drinks, too much fatty and spicy food are to be reduced to the minimum.A person most prone to a microbial attack is the person with worst digestion and excretion.Getting aware of one’s own gut and switching over to foods which favour the digestive power with moderate intake of fats and spices in normal conditions is ideal for health.Drinking warm water boiled with crushed dried ginger and coriander seeds are excellent to drain off the cellular wastes and toxins from the circulation. These drugs are immunomodulatory as well.Frequent medication fumigation with neem leaves, guggulu or asafoetida maintains the purity of atmosphere and checks the spread of infections.
Ayurveda stresses the importance of having a balanced mind in preventing and combating infection.The patient should seek medical help at the earliest and should stick on to the medications and wholesome regimen advised by the doctor for a healthy and speedy recovery.
Interesting reading- AIDS & Ayurveda

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Now, Gomutra in powder form
Saturday April 7 2007 12:56 IST
BELGAUM: ’Gomutra’ -urine of cow in powder form? Seems to be impossible? A doctor from Kittur village in the district has made this possible. He claims that the powder can cure several chronic ailments. Gomutra has a special place in Ayurveda. However S P Hiremath, who has ‘transformed’ Gomutra in to powder says that though Gomutra was a ‘Ram Baana’ for several diseases, nobody succeeded in transforming it in the form of powder.The 56 year doctor, who lives in village, says that he has been doing research on Gomutra since three decades and now the research has paid him expected results. Hiremath earlier served in Army and returned to his hometown after his retirement and took up farming.However he developed interest in Gomutra as each and every villager considers Gomutra as holy and at the same time it can cure diseases.He started his research on Gomutra and he found that Gomutra has enormous power to cure several diseases including skin diseases. Hiremath told this website's newspaper that the powder can cure cancer and is a best medicine for heart disease. It can also cure kidney stones, liver stones. It is best to increase potency too, he said. He also claimed that he had cured epilepsy with Gomuthra. Hiremath said the powder can increase the memory power of the children if it was given regularly along with the milk. He said he experimented on himself before prescribing it to others. Hiremath said only Gomutra of usual cows - seen in the country side is useful to prepare the powder. The Gomutra of Jersy cow has no medicinal value he added. Food habits like non-vegetarian, alcohol consumption, smoking, chewing gutkha and other habits have to quit to see results of the powder.