Nice post on Momocardia Cymbalarea. We locally call it Kaasara Kaayalu. Small bitter guard. Thanks for the information sir
Thanks for sharing nice post ,sir.
Very nice and useful.
Thanks Dr.for introducing us to a new herb with complete taxonomy,pharmacodyamics....and therapeutics...in a lucid manner as usual..
Nice illustration & informative on herbal remedies. .
Thanks for sharing this Informative post sir
महत्त्वपूर्ण जानकारी हेतु आभार व्यक्त करता हूं
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Take 2 cashews daily for lowering your blood pressure. .. maintain ur blood pressure think healthy and live healthyDr. Kousar Bakshi1 Like15 Answers
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ABC OF : NAIL DISORDERS. ( I ). MAY BE USEFUL. *** ANONYCHIA is the absence of nails, an anomaly, which may be the result of a congenital ectodermal defect, ichthyosis, severe infection, severe allergic contact dermatitis, self-inflicted trauma, Raynaud phenomenon, lichen planus, epidermolysis bullosa, or severe exfoliative diseases....... *** PSORIASIS can also affect the fingernails and toenails, leading to thick fingernails with pitting, ridges in the nails, nail lifting away from the nail bed, and irregular contour of the nail....... *** LICHEN PLANUS of the nails can cause brittle or split nails, and the affected nails may have ridges running lengthwise....... *** FUNGAL nail infections are common infections of the fingernails or toenails that can cause the nail to become discolored, thick, and more likely to crack and break. Infections are more common in toenails than fingernails.....by some dermatophytes, Candida (Monilia) species, etc....... The technical name for a fungal nail infection is “ONYCHOMYCOSIS.”....... *** SPOON-SHAPED or spooning fingernails refers to a concavity in the fingernail itself, resulting in a depression in the nail that gives an appearance of a spoon shape to the entire nail. This growth disturbance in the nail is known as KOILONYCHIA....... In particular, koilonychias is associated with IRON DEFICIENCY. *** Fingernails are made by living skin cells....... So a skin condition such as eczema may lead to fingernail ridges. Skin dryness can also cause these ridges. If the body is low in protein, calcium, zinc.......or vitamin A, a deficiency can sometimes be revealed by ridges in the fingernails. ** HORIZONTAL RIDGES run from side to side on nails and are often referred to as BEAU'S LINES may be a sign of previous injury, underlying health conditions, or in rare cases, arsenic poisoning....... Horizontal ridges can be caused by trauma to the nail and may be deep or discolored. The can also indicate malnutrition, psoriasis or a thyroid problem....... ** VERTICAL RIDGES are usually harmless and a consequence of ageing.......nail injury, or trauma, or underlying medical conditions....... *** The ECTODERMAL DYSPLASIAS (EDs) are genetic disorders affecting the development or function of the teeth, hair, nails and sweat glands....... ** ED is not a single disorder, but a group of closely related conditions of which more than 150 different syndromes have been identified....... *** Nail CLUBBING, also known as digital clubbing, is a deformity of the finger or toe nails associated with a number of diseases, mostly of the heart and lungs. ... Hippocrates was probably the first to document clubbing as a sign of disease, and the phenomenon is therefore occasionally called "Hippocratic fingers"..... ** Lung cancer is the most common cause of clubbing. Clubbing often occurs in heart and lung diseases that reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood. ... Heart defects that are present at birth (congenital) Chronic lung infections that occur in people with bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, or lung abscess....... *** While the NAIL BITING and picking seems to be such a common problem, the psychological and medical research does not agree on the exact motivation for the action. However, it suggests that nail biting can be the result of STRESS, VARIOUS MEDICAL DISORDERS, LEARNED BEHAVIORS, OR JUST PLAIN HABIT....... *** SPLINTER HEMORRHAGES : They run in the direction of nail growth. They are named splinter hemorrhages because they look like a splinter under the fingernail. The hemorrhages may be caused by tiny clots that damage the small capillaries under the nails. Splinter hemorrhages can occur with infection of the heart valves (endocarditis)....... *** YELLOW TOENAILS in an infection by a fungus that attacks the nails..... or, in some cases, they may be a sign of skin cancer. The fungal infection is caused most often by dermatophytes, which eat keratin to grow....... One of the MOST COMMON CAUSES of YELLOW NAILS is a FUNGAL INFECTION. As the infection worsens, the nail bed may retract, and nails may thicken and crumble. In rare cases, yellow nails can indicate a more serious condition such as SEVERE THYROID DISEASE, LUNG DISEASE, DIABETES or PSORIASIS....... *** WHILE NAILS ( LEUKONYCHIA ) : CAUSES : Iron deficiency anemia. Cirrhosis of liver. Kidney disease. Heart failure. Diabetes. Problems with the digestion of proteins. An excessive loss of proteins in the intestines. zinc deficiency........etc....... *** RED NAILS :- CAUSES : LUPUS patients get quirky, angular blood vessels in their nail folds. PSORIASIS starts in the nails up to 10 percent of the time and CAUSES SPLITTING and PITTING of the nail bed. HEART DISEASE can turn the nail beds red....... ** If the NAIL BED is RED, it could be caused by a high content of fatty acids and cholesterol, due to an excess of dairy products, sugar and salt in the diet. This can lead to an underactive liver and blocked arteries....... To keep the system healthy by replacing refined foods with wholegrain rice and bread, and flush out the system with plenty of fresh vegetables and at least five glasses of water a day....... *** HALF PINK and HALF WHITE nails can be a sign of kidney disease....... *** BRITTLE NAILS :- CAUSES : AGING. CHEMICAL/TOXIN EXPOSURE. LONG-TERM USE OF NAIL POLISH AND POLISH REMOVE. LOW HUMIDITY ENVIRONMENT. MALNUTRITION. NAIL-PATELLA SYNDROME. PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO WATER. TRAUMA. ** B complex vitamins (especially biotin), calcium, and zinc have all been implicated. There are other medical conditions which can cause brittle nails such as ANEMIA (low blood count), THYROID DISORDERS, and skin disorders such as LICHEN PLANUS and PSORIASIS. ** ONYCHOSCHIZIA includes splitting, brittle, soft or thin nails. Onychoschizia is MORE COMMON IN WOMEN. Only VERY RARELY are INTERNAL DISEASE or VITAMIN DEFICIENCIES the reason (IRON DEFICIENCY is the MOST COMMON).......Dr. Puranjoy Saha43 Likes39 Answers
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Amazing Benefits Of Shallots (Chota Pyaz) For Skin, Hair And Health stylecraze.com Oct 9, 2017 12:00 PM ￼ Shallots are long, thin bulbs like vegetable. They are smaller in size and grow in clusters of bulbs in the root system. The bulbs have a mild pungent taste and a distinct smell as compared to onions and garlic. This is a popular ingredient used by the chefs around the world. Besides adding flavour to your dishes, shallots have various health benefits and a high nutrient content. They’re also great for your hair and are widely used as an ingredient in hair treatment products. Shallots belong to the onion and allium family. They contain vital nutrients like vitamins B & C, calcium, iron and potassium. There are many varieties of shallots such as French Grey Shallot or Griselle Genus Allium Oschaninii, Pink Shallot or Jersey Shallot, Banana Shallot, Green shallot. Shallots are also known as ‘Chota Pyaz’ in Hindi, ‘Sambar Ullipayalu’ in Telugu, ‘Chinna Vengayam’ in Tamil, ‘Cheriya Ulli’ in Malayalam, ‘Sambar Eerulli’ in Kannada, ‘Sambara Cha Kanda’ in Marathi, ‘Gundhun’ in Bengali. Benefits of Shallots: 1. Iron: Shallots contain iron which is required for proper functioning of your red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells contain a good amount of hemoglobin that helps them transfer oxygen from the lungs to the other tissues of your body. It is also essential for your proper metabolism, brain function and to make your tissues strong. 1 cup of shallots can provide 1.9 milligrams of iron that gives 24 percent of the daily required iron intake for men and 11% for women. 2. Fiber: Shallots help in a healthy digestion. Due to its dietary fiber content, it absorbs water and fills your stomach after a meal. It slowly releases sugar in your bloodstream and helps soften the stool, thus preventing constipation. It is also useful in reducing the blood cholesterol levels, preventing many heart diseases. One cup of shallots can provide 5.1 grams of dietary fiber that is 20 percent of the daily required fiber for women and 13% for men. 3. Potassium: Shallots are a rich source of potassium. One cup of shallots can provide 534 milligrams of potassium that is 11% of your daily required intake. Potassium is useful to regulate the body’s fluid levels. It also aids in the proper functioning of nerve and muscle cells. This helps the metabolism by breaking down carbohydrates into required body fuel. Potassium helps in maintaining a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure. Deficiency of potassium can lead to cramps and weakness in the muscle. 4. Cooking with Shallots: Shallots are commonly used in cooking, hence they are cultivated extensively. They are used as a condiment in various Asian cuisines in a finely sliced or deep-fried form. Shallots are costlier than onions and are popularly used in cuisines like Malaysian and Thai. Benefits of shallots’ nutrients can be gained by adding them directly to your dish, sautéing, adding to pastas. Fresh shallots can be combined with fruits and vegetables for salsas. Add them to your salads, pizzas, sandwiches and wraps as caramelized shallots. You can also grill, roast, bake, fry, blanch, pickle or boil them. Shallots can also be substituted with onions. 5. Heart Health: One of the most spoken of health benefits of shallots is that they are excellent for the blood and help prevent heart disease. Cycloallin, an anticoagulant, is found in shallots that are useful to protect your body against heart disease. It contains allicicn that can block platelet clot formation in your blood vessels to decrease peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), coronary artery disease (CAD), and stroke. They are helpful in producing an anti-coagulant, which thins the blood to cure symptoms of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, atherosclerotic disease, and stroke. 6. Strong Immune System: Shallots can strengthen your immune system efficiently. Consume them daily to prevent and cure cold, flu and other illnesses. 7. Low in Calories: Shallots contain very less amount of calories and loads of nutrients. Calories in a shallot depend on its cooking procedure. If you’re on a diet, you can add shallots to bland foods and enjoy the delicious flavor without piling on calories. 2 tbsp shallots provide just 14 calories. There are 19 calories present in 100 grams of boiled shallots. 8. Anti-oxidants: Shallots contain more nutrition than onions. They have more anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and flavonoid anti-oxidants like quercetin and kemferfol. 9. Healing Power: Along with various antioxidants, shallots contain sulphur anti-oxidant compounds like diallyl trisulfide, diallyl disulfide, and allyl propyl disulfide. Shallots also have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. 10. Reduces Cholesterol: Allicin present in shallots can be useful to reduce cholesterol production. They inhibit HMG-coa reductase enzyme into your liver cells. 11. Lowers High Blood Pressure: Allicin in shallots is helpful in decreasing blood vessel stiffness, as they release vasodialator chemical nitric oxide (NO) that lowers the high blood pressure. 12. Anti-diabetic: Shallots contain phyto-chemical such as allium and Allyl disulphide that have anti-diabetic properties. Shallot is a useful remedy to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics. It prevents the degradation of insulin and increases the metabolism of glucose. 13. Treats Intestinal Worm: Shallots are found effective in curing and treating intestinal worms in the stomach. Shallot juice helps clear thread worms that occur in children. Grind some shallots to make a juice and drink every morning on an empty stomach. 14. Cold or Fever: Shallots are smeared on a baby’s body during cold or fever since it is a medicinal plant that can effectively cure regular cold or fever. ￼ Image: Shutterstock 15. Reduce Phlegm: Shallots are an effective remedy to dilute the phlegm that causes coughing. 16. Reduces Nervous Irritability: Shallots contain many vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, thiamin, vitamin C pyridoxine, folates, etc. Pyridoxine (B-6) present in shallots is useful to raise the GABA chemical levels in your brain to soothe nervous irritability. 17. Prevents Cancer: 100 g of fresh shallots contain 1190 IU that is 35% RDA of vitamin A. Vitamin A is an effective antioxidant that is useful in preventing lung and oral cavity cancers. Shallots are also helpful in preventing liver cancer and destroy their cells. They help the liver in eliminating toxins from your body and contain saponins that kill the cancer cells. Shallots also help reduce the chances of stomach cancer. 18. Rich in Vitamin A: Shallots are the richest source of vitamin A that is required for your good health. Vitamin A (an antioxidant) helps protect you from the harmful free radical damage. They can also be useful in maintaining membranes, prevent infections, lead to good eye health, promote healthy immune system, and for proper growth and development. 19. Low in Fat: Shallots contain very low amount of fat. Hence, they can be effectively used for low-fat diets. 20. Low in Sodium: Shallots are very low in sodium. Our body requires some amount of sodium for survival, but too much can cause high blood pressure. Many flavoring ingredients are high in sodium content, but shallots can be consumed by high blood pressure or kidney patients as a suitable alternative. 21. Flavonoids: Shallots have two sets of compounds including sulphur compounds like allyl propyl disulphide (APDS) and flavonoids like quercetin. Consume flavonoid in your daily diet to reduce the risk of cancer, heart related diseases and diabetes. They are antiviral, anti-allergenic, anti-cancer, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. 22. Osteoporosis: Consume shallots in your daily diet for the proper growth of the bone tissue and reduce the risk of osteoporosis by 20 %. 23. Younger Looking Skin: Shallots contain sulphur that helps in giving you younger looking skin. 24. Stomach Infection: Shallots are also advantageous in inhibiting stomach problems. Consume shallots in your regular diet to prevent your stomach from various infections. 25. Alzheimer’s Disease: Shallots help in promoting beneficial brain functions. This is proven to be effective for Alzheimer’s disease. 26. Hair Growth: Shallots are the oldest and most efficient home remedy for hair growth. They are rich in sulphur that helps in the production of collagen tissues. This is useful for the re-growth of hair. Chop shallots into small pieces and squeeze out its juice. Apply it evenly on the scalp and keep for 15 minutes. Rinse off with a mild shampoo that helps in hair growth. 27. Baldness and Hair Loss: If you suffer from bald patches you can use the following remedy: Grind pepper powder, shallot and salt into a fine pasteApply on affected areasThis is an effective way to treat bald patches. 28. Cures Scalp Infection: You can utilize shallot juice to treat scalp infections. Fungal infections damage the hair and also lead to severe hair loss. Shallots can also be useful in opening the clogged pores of your hair follicles. 29. Overcoming Dandruff: You can easily use shallot juice to cure dandruff problems. Mix shallot with lemon juice, buttermilk, and honey. Apply this mixture on your hair and leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse well with a mild anti-dandruff shampoo to cure dandruff naturally. And that is how you can use shallot for hair. 30. Insect Stings: To treat insect sting, rub the affected area with shallot juice. This will help soothe the pain. Shallots can be applied by crushing or cutting and applied on mosquitoes, bee or wasp stings. 31. Warts: Shallots can be used as a poultice. This will drop off the warts on its own. 32. Bronchitis: Mix shallot juice with honey and consume a teaspoon of this mixture thrice daily. This is an effective expectorant that can give you relief from bronchitis, influenza, cold, cough and sore throat. It is also helps liquefy the phlegm and helps in clearing them. 33. Strengthen Capillaries: Consume 5 shallots every day on an empty stomach for 14 days. This is an effective remedy to strengthen capillaries. 34. Eliminate Toxins: Fry four pieces of sliced shallots in ghee. Eat this frequently for 14 days to help your liver in eliminating toxins from the body. 35. Tooth Health: Chew shallots for 3 minutes every day in the morning. This will destroy the bacteria in your teeth. 36. Good Eyesight: The juice of shallots with its flowers promotes good eyesight. This can be used as eye drops. Shallots are rich in sulfur, cysteine, and lecithin that protect the lens of your eyes from cataract formation. Include shallots in your diet to promote good eye health. 37. Get Rid of Headache: Applying shallots on the head can give you relief from headaches. For this, you can make a poultice of shallots and apply on your head for instant relief. 38. Stimulates Hair Growth: Rub shallot juice everyday on your scalp to get rid of dandruff and promote hair growth. 39. Bruise Dressing: You can also use shallots for dressing your bruises. Burns are often dressed with shallots and salt. 40. Treat Boils: Drink shallot juice mixed in water or carrot juice. This can also be applied to the boils. Nutrition Chart of Shallots: Shallots(Allium cepa var. aggregatum), raw, Nutrition value per 100 g.(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)PrincipleNutrient ValuePercentage of RDAEnergy72 Kcal3.6%Carbohydrates16.80 g13%Protein2.50 g5%Total Fat0.10 g0.5%Cholesterol0 mg0%VitaminsFolates34 µg9%Niacin0.200 mg1.5%Pantothenic acid0.290 mg6%Pyridoxine0.345 mg26.5%Riboflavin0.020 mg2%Thiamin0.060 mg5%Vitamin A1190 IU35%Vitamin C8 mg13%ElectrolytesSodium12 mg1%Potassium334 mg7%MineralsCalcium37 mg4%Copper0.088 mg10%Iron1.20 mg15%Magnesium21 mg5%Manganese0.292 mg13%Phosphorus60 mg8.5%Selenium1.2 µg2%Zinc0.40 mg4% Now you know that shallots are a healthy option for your overall health. So avail its numerous benefits and nutritional properties and tell us how you benefited from them!Dr. Tapan Kumar Sau6 Likes18 Answers
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Panchakarma- Five Teatments -1 Pancha Karma is the cornerstone to Ayurvedic management of disease. Pancha Karma is the process which gets to the root cause of the problem and corrects the essential balance of 'Tridosha' in body. Pancha Karma is not only good for alleviating disease but is also a useful tool in maintaining excellent health. Ayurveda advises undergoing Pancha Karma at the seasonal changes to clean the body, improve the digestion and to improve the metabolic processes. Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word that means "five actions" or "five treatments ". This age-old science of purifying the body is an ancient branch of Ayurveda, The Treatment in Ayurveda consists of two main types. One is Shaman Chikitsa, used to subdue the vitiated Doshas, due to which any ailments may be produced. It is administered by using various medicinal herbo-mineral preparations. However, if the Doshas are vitiated beyond a particular level, they give rise to various endotoxins, which have a tendency to be accumulated in the minute channels. These are beyond the level of pacification and hence need to be eliminated or removed from the body. In such cases, the second type of treatment, which is Shodhan Chikitsa or cleansing therapy, is indicated. Since it consists of the five types of main therapies, it is known as the Panchakarma Chikitsa. Panchakarma has been given a special place in all the ancient Ayurvedic texts. Aacharya Charak, the author of the most important ancient text on internal medicine, has described a wide use of Panchakarma therapy for almost all the major diseases. Two separate sections, Kalpa Sthanam, and Siddhi Sthanam in Charak Samhita describe the details of special decoctions and other preparations used for Panchakarma therapy. Panchakarma includes three parts namely: Poorva Karma (Preparatory Methods)which includes : Paachan (Digestion) Snehan (Internal and external oleation) Swedan (Fomentation) Pradhan Karma (Main methods)which includes : Vaman (Induced vomiting) Virechan (Induced purgation) Basti (Medicated enema) Nasya (Nasal medicine) Rakta Mokshan (Artificial bloodletting) Pashchat Karma (Post-Therapeutic Measures)which includes: Sansarjan Krama (Specific dietetics), DhumaPana (smoking of medicinal cigars) and some rules to follow specific activities. Purvakarma : Pre-purification Measures Before the actual operation of purification begins, there is a need to prepare the body in prescribed methods to encourage the body to let go of the toxins. The two procedures are 'snehan' and 'swedan'. Snehan is the oil massage. Oil is applied to the entire body with a particular type of massage which helps the toxins to move towards the gastro-intestinal tract. Oil massage also makes the superficial and deep tissues soft and supple. Snehan is given daily for three to seven days, as indicated. Swedan is sudation or sweating and is given every day immediately following the snehan. An herbal concoction may be added to the steam to further loosen the toxins from the individual. Swedan liquefies the toxins and increases the movement of toxins into the gastro-intestinal tract. After three to seven days of snehan and swedan, the doshas become well "ripened". A particular panchakarma method is then given according to the individual's constitution and disorder, prakruti and vikruti, respectively. Panchakarma - Five Basic Shodhans: Cleansing Methods 1) Vaman : therapeutic vomiting or emesis 2) Virechan : purgation 3) Basti : enema 4) Nasya : elimination of toxins through the nose 5) Rakta moksha : detoxification of the blood Vaman: Emesis Therapy When there is congestion in the lungs causing repeated attacks of bronchitis, colds, cough or asthma, the Ayurvedic treatment is therapeutic vomiting, vaman, to eliminate the kapha causing the excess mucus. First, after the snehan and swedan, three to four glasses of licorice or salt water is administered, then vomiting is stimulated by rubbing the tongue which triggers the vomiting center through the gag reflex. One may alternatively take two to three glasses of salt water which will also aggravate kapha and then rub the tongue to induce vomiting. Once the mucus is released the patient will feel instantly relieved. It is likely that congestion, wheezing and breathlessness will disappear and that the sinuses will become clear. Therapeutic vomiting is also indicated in chronic asthma, diabetes, chronic cold, lymphatic congestion, chronic indigestion and edema. Emetic Substances: madan-emetic nut, madhuka-yastimadhu-licorice, neem-bitter leaf, bimbi, kutaj-kurchi- conessi bark, murva-clematis, triloba-devdaru-deodar, Cedrus deodara, Salt, NaCl, ela-cardamom, nux vomica. Indications for Vaman : used for all kapha type disorders good for pitta headache, dizziness, and nausea will help to release blocked emotions respiratory congestion bronchitis chronic cold sinus congestion kaphagenic asthma Contra-Indications for Vaman : below the age of 12 or over age 65 menstruation pre-menstrual period (one week prior) pregnancy emaciation delicate or sensitive person with too much fear, grief or anxiety hypoglycemia vata prakruti vata diseases heart diseases during vata season acute fever diarrhea obesity Virechan : Purgation Therapy When excess bile, pitta, is secreted and accumulated in the gall bladder, liver and small intestine, it tends to result in rashes, skin inflammation, acne, chronic attacks of fever, biliary vomiting, nausea and jaundice. Ayurvedic literature suggests in these conditions the administration of therapeutic purgation or a therapeutic laxative. Virechan is facilitated with senna leaves, flax seeds, psyllium husks or triphala in a combination that is appropriate for the individual person. Virechan Substances: Senna, prune, bran, flaxseed husk, dandelion root, psyllium seed, cow's milk, salt, castor oil, raisins, mango juice, triphala. Indications for Virechan: allergic rash skin inflammation acne, dermatitis, eczema chronic fever ascites biliary vomiting jaundice urinary disorder enlargement of the spleen internal worms burning sensation in the eyes inflammation of the eyes conjunctivitis gout Contra-Indications for Virechan: low agni acute fever diarrhea severe constipation bleeding from rectum or lung cavities foreign body in the stomach after enema emaciation or weakness prolapsed rectum alcoholism dehydration childhood old age ulcerative colitisAyurveda-Panchakarma Basti & Nasya -2 Basti: Enema Therapy Vata's predominant site is the colon. Ayurvedic basti involves the introduction into the rectum of herbal concoctions of sesame oil, and certain herbal preparations in a liquid medium. Basti, is the most effective treatment of vata disorders, although many enemas over a prescribed period of time are usually required. It relieves constipation, distention, chronic fever, cold, sexual disorders, kidney stones, heart pain, backache, sciatica and other pains in the joints. Many other vata disorders such as arthritis, rheumatism, gout, muscle spasms and headaches may also be treated with basti. Vata is a very active principle in pathogenesis. If we can control vata through the use of basti, we have gone a long way in going to the root cause of the vast majority of diseases. Vata is the main etiological factor in the manifestation of diseases. It is the motive force behind the elimination and retention of feces, urine, bile and other excreta. There are eight main types of basti, according to traditional texts, each with their own indications and contra-indications as listed below. 1. Anuvasana (oil enema) is used in pure vata disorders and when a person is having excess hunger or dryness related to vata imbalances. 2. Niruha-Asthapana (decoction enema) is used, among other conditions, for evacuation of vata, nervous diseases, gastro-intestinal vata conditions, gout, certain fever conditions, unconsciousness, certain urinary conditions, appetite, pain, hyperacidity and heart diseases. 3. Uttara Basti (through the urethra with men or vagina with women) is used for selected semen and ovulation disorders and for some problems involving painful urination or bladder infections. This is not to be used for someone with diabetes. 4. Matra Basti (daily oil enema) is used by someone emaciated by overwork or too much exercise, too much heavy lifting, walking too long of a distance, too much sexual activity or someone with chronic vata disorders. It does not need to be accompanied by any strict dietary restriction or daily routine and can be administered, in the appropriate cases, in all seasons. It gives strength, promotes weight and helps elimination of waste products. 5. Karma Basti (schedule of 30 bastis), 6. Kala Basti (schedule of 15 bastis; 10 oil + 5 decoction) 7. Yoga Basti (schedule of 8 bastis; 5 oil + 3 decoction). 8. Bruhana Basti (nutritional enema) is used for providing deep nutrition in select conditions. Traditionally, highly nutritive substances have been used, such as warm milk, meat broth, bone marrow soup and herbs like shatavari or ashwagandha. General Indications for Basti: constipation low back ache gout rheumatism sciatica arthritis nervous disorders vata headache emaciation muscular atrophy General Contra-Indications for Basti (include but are not limited to the following): Enema therapy should not be used if the patient is suffering from diarrhea, bleeding of the rectum, chronic indigestion, breathlessness, diabetes, fever, emaciation, severe anemia, pulmonary tuberculosis, old age or for children below the age of seven years. for oil enemas: diabetes, obesity, indigestion, low agni, enlarged liver or spleen, unconsciousness, tuberculosis and cough. for decoction enemas: debility, hiccough, hemorrhoids, inflammation of anus, piles, diarrhea, pregnancy, ascites, diabetes and some conditions involving painful or difficult breathing. for nutritional enemas: diabetes, obesity, lymphatic obstruction, ascites. for urethra or vaginal enemas: diabetes Nasya: Nasal Administration The nose is the doorway to the brain and it is also the doorway to consciousness. The nasal administration of medication is called nasya. An excess of bodily humors accumulated in the sinus, throat, nose or head areas is eliminated by means of the nearest possible opening, the nose. Prana, life force as nerve energy, enters the body through the breath taken in through the nose. Prana is in the brain and maintains sensory and motor functions. Prana also governs mental activities, memory, concentration and intellectual activities. Deranged prana creates defective functioning of all these activities and produces headaches, convulsions, loss of memory and reduced sensory perception. Thus nasal administration, nasya is indicated for prana disorders, sinus congestion, migraine headaches, convulsions and certain eye and ear problems. There are six main types of nasya, as listed below. 1. Pradhamana (virechan) Nasya (cleansing nasya) uses dry powders (rather than oils) that are blown into the nose with a tube. Pradhamana nasya is mainly used for kapha types of diseases involving headaches, heaviness in the head, cold, nasal congestion, sticky eyes, hoarseness of voice due to sticky kapha, sinusitis, cervical lymph adenitis, tumors, worms, some skin diseases, epilepsy, drowsiness, Parkinsonism, inflammation of the nasal mucosa, attachment, greed and lust. Traditionally, powders such as brahmi are used. 2. Bruhana Nasya (nutrition nasya) uses ghee, oils, salt, shatavari ghee, ashwagandha ghee and medicated milk and is used mainly for vata disorders. It is said to benefit conditions resulting from vata imbalances such as vata-type headaches, migraine headache, dryness of voice, dry nose, nervousness, anxiety, fear, dizziness, emptiness, negativity, heaviness of eyelids, bursitis, stiffness in the neck, dry sinuses and loss of sense of smell. 3. Shaman Nasya (sedative nasya) is used according to which dosha is aggravated but mainly for pitta-type disorders such as thinning of hair, conjunctivitis and ringing in the ears. Generally certain herbal medicated decoctions, teas and medicated oils are used. 4. Navana Nasya (decoction nasya) is used in vata-pitta or kapha-pitta disorders and is made from decoctions and oils together. 5. Marshya Nasya (ghee or oil nasya) 6. Prati Marshya (daily oil nasya) This helps to open deep tissues and can be done every day and at any time to release stress. Substances Used in Nasya: brahmi, ginger, ghee oils, decoctions, onion, garlic, Piper longum, black pepper, curry pepper, rose, jasmine, mogra flowers and henna. Indications for Nasya: stress emotional imbalances stiffness in the neck & shoulders dryness of the nose sinus congestion hoarseness migraine headache convulsions Contra-Indications for Nasya: sinus infections pregnancy menstruation after sex, bathing, eating or drinking of alcohol should not be used below 7 years or over 80 years of age Click here to read more about 'Nasyakarma' Raktamoksha : Traditional Ayurvedic Method for Purification and Cleansing of the Blood Toxins present in the gastro-intestinal tract are absorbed into the blood and circulated throughout the body. This condition is called toxemia, which is the basic cause of repeated infections, hypertension and certain other circulatory conditions. This includes repeated attacks of skin disorders such as urticaria, rashes, herpes, eczema, acne, leukoderma, chronic itching or hives. In such conditions, along with internal medication, elimination of the toxins and purification of the blood is necessary. Raktamoksha is also indicated for cases of enlarged liver, spleen and gout. Extracting a small amount of blood from a vein relieves the tension created by the pittagenic toxins in the blood. Bloodletting also stimulates the spleen to produce antitoxic substances which helps to stimulate the immune system. Toxins are neutralized enabling radical cures in many blood born disorders. Bloodletting is contraindicated in cases of anemia, edema, extreme weakness, diabetes and in children and elderly persons. Indications for Raktamoksha: urticaria rash acne eczema scabies leukoderma chronic itching hives enlarged liver or spleen gout Contra-Indications for Raktamoksha: anemia edema weakness young children old age during pregnancy during menstruation Read more about Various Diseases and Indicated Panchakarma procedures for them > @Dr. Tapan Kumar Sau19 Likes27 Answers
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31 Top Benefits Of Prickly Pear (Nagfani) For Skin, Hair & Health stylecraze.com Oct 18, 2017 12:00 PM ￼ A fruit belonging to the cactus family that possesses a wide range of benefits. That’s what the prickly pear is. Do not be intimidated by its look as the fruit pulp is delicious, more than you’d expect it to be. It is often regarded as an excellent cure for a hangover. Let us look at this fruit in detail to know more about benefits of prickly pear, its nutrition profile and also simple ways to include it in your diet. Let’s get started! Table Of Contents What Is Prickly Pear? Prickly pear is a fruit that grows on the leaves of the Nopales cacti, belong to the genus Opuntia, it’s scientific name is Opuntia ficus-indica. It is also referred to as Nagfani in Hindi, Nagajemudu in Telugu, Kallimullpazham in Malayalam, and Dindla in Gujarati. The younger plants are edible and often part of the Mexican diet. The other edible parts of the prickly pear cactus are the flowers, stems, and the leaves. Widely known as “cactus pear”, prickly pear by different names in different countries and regions like Tuna, Nopal, Nopales, Barberry figs, Indian figs. Prickly pear is a cylindrical fruit that has a firm outer skin with barbs and softer inner flesh, which is edible. It is green initially and turns reddish-pink as it matures in most plants (1). It can be eaten raw, boiled, or grilled. It is also used to make juice and jams. These tasty, oval fruits sprout from the tops of prickly cactus leaves and range in various colors from deep red-green to yellow or purple. It’s taste is similar to watermelon/raspberries and it has cucumber-like fragrance. What Is The History Of Prickly Pear? Being a cactus, the prickly pear plant can survive in dry weather conditions. It is said to have originated in Mexico and the northern countries of South America, which fall under the arid to semi-arid climate categories. In these regions, it has been a diet staple for thousands of years. It was later found to be used in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent as well. With increasing popularity, prickly pear cacti are now cultivated in Europe and Australia too. The fruit is relished not just for its flavor but also for its health benefits. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging properties have made this thorny fruit popular. So, why are these fruits food for you? Why Are Prickly Pears Good For You? Prickly pear is rich in many nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. These make it a wonderful and healthy addition to your diet for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Their low cholesterol and saturated fat content make them a suitable option for many people across the globe who are suffering from obesity and heart disease. These versatile fruits are not a hassle to cut or prepare. If you have access to them, go ahead and purchase a few. Let us look at this fruit’s nutrition facts now. Prickly Pears Nutrition Facts When we talk about the nutritional value of prickly pear, it contains magnesium, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins C and B, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, potassium, and many other nutrients. Having one cup of this fruit can be a good source of a considerable part of the daily intake value of many vitamins and minerals. Bear in mind that the calcium found in this traditional desert plant may not be present in its biologically active form. It is present in the form of a non-absorbable complex (calcium oxalate). Nutrition Facts Serving Size 149g Amount Per ServingCalories 61Calories from Fat 6% Daily Value*Total Fat1g1%Saturated Fat 0g0%Trans FatCholesterol 0mg0%Sodium 7mg0mgTotal Carbohydrate 14g5%Dietary Fiber 5g21%SugarsProtien 1gVitamin A1%Vitamin C35%Calcium8%Iron2% Vitamins Amounts Per Selected Serving %DV Vitamin A64.1IU1%Vitamin C20.9mg35%Vitamin D––Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)––Vitamin K––Thiamin0.0mg1%Riboflavin0.1mg5%Niacin0.7mg3%Vitamin B60.1mg4%Folate8.9mcg2%Vitamin B120.0mcg0%Pantothenic Acid––Choline–Betaine–Vitamin C35%MineralsAmounts Per Selected Serving%DVCalcium83.4mg8%Iron0.4mg2%Magnesium127mg32%Phosphorus35.8mg4%Potassium328mg9%Sodium7.5mg0%Zinc0.2mg1%Copper0.1mg6%Manganese––Selenium0.9mcg1%Fluoride––Fats & Fatty AcidsAmounts Per Selected Serving%DVTotal Fat0.8g1%Saturated Fat0.1g0%Monounsaturated Fat0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat0.3gTotal trans fatty acids–Total trans-monoenoic fatty acids–Total trans-polyenoic fatty acids–Total Omega-3 fatty acids34.3mgTotal Omega-6 fatty acids277mg The amount of vitamin C present in one cup of prickly pear constitutes 35% of our daily value intake, whereas magnesium constitutes 32% of the DV. It is also rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are the healthy forms of fats that possess anti-inflammatory properties. Now that we have a brief understanding of the nutrients found in prickly pear cactus fruit, let us look what the presence of these nutrients implies. The many health benefits of this fruit are discussed below. What Are The Health Benefits Of Prickly Pear Cactus? Some of prickly pear health benefits include its ability to lower cholesterol levels, aid in weight loss, improve the digestive process, fight cancer cells, decrease the risk of diabetes, boost the immune system and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s. Read on to know more. 1. Potential Role In Weight Control ￼ Image: Shutterstock Obesity is a global epidemic and needs to be managed at the earliest. Instead of resorting to extreme measures like harmful medications or surgery, a simple solution to this problem could be consuming plenty of dietary fiber. Prickly pear fruit contains fiber that will make you feel full for longer and reduce hunger pangs. It also helps in the elimination of dietary fat by binding it and excreting it from the system. As the intestines do not get a chance to absorb the dietary fat, this fruit effectively helps in weight control and even weight loss (2). 2. Helps Lower Cholesterol Continuing on the weight loss tangent, prickly pear can also help reduce the cholesterol levels in the blood. Its fiber (pectin) content can be held responsible for this as it helps eliminate LDL cholesterol from the body. Experiments have shown that prickly pear can reduce both plasma levels and hepatic levels of cholesterol (3, 4). Also, certain phytosterols found in cactus seed oil can alter cholesterol metabolism in a positive way (5). Hyperlipidemia, the condition of high cholesterol levels, can also be brought under control. 3. Source Of Essential Micronutrients The essential micronutrients found in prickly pear are vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Of these, the highest % DV is held by vitamin C and magnesium (6). Consumption of one cup of this fruit on a regular basis can provide your body with these micronutrients that are required for various physiological and metabolic processes. 4. Fights Cancer Cells The flavonoid compounds in prickly pear lower the risk of breast, prostate, stomach, pancreatic, ovarian, cervical, and lung cancers. They were shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the lab and mice models. They also caused the death of these cancerous cells at higher concentrations (7). These compounds also have the ability to remove free radicals and improve the activities of pro-oxidant enzymes. 5. Prevents Ulcers Both physical and mental stress can cause changes in the gastrointestinal mucosa and result in gastric ulcers. Inflammation occurs as there is an increase in the pro-inflammatory compounds that damage the gastric wall. Prickly pear exerts a positive effect on the gastric mucosa, and this activity is mainly facilitated by a compound called betanin found in this fruit. The gastric mucus production is regulated, and there is also a reduction in the pro-inflammatory chemicals. As a result of this, the chances of developing ulcers are highly reduced by the consumption of prickly pear (8). 6. Blood Sugar Regulation ￼ Image: Shutterstock Cactus pear is often touted for its hypoglycemic activity. This means that the ingestion of this fruit or its extract can lower high blood glucose levels as well as maintain normal levels. Different experiments on both diabetic and antidiabetic rats have shown a decrease in blood glucose levels. The main mechanism of this reduction is a decrease in the intestinal absorption of glucose (9, 10). Prickly pear cactus fruit’s fiber and pectin content are considered responsible for this activity. Once the blood sugar levels are brought under control, type II diabetes can be managed easily. 7. Nopal Cactus Cleans The Colon The high fiber content of prickly pear not only helps in lowering blood sugar/glucose and cholesterol levels but also helps in regulating the general functioning of the colon. Enough glucose is absorbed, and unhealthy fats and excess bile are eliminated from the body. This keeps the colon in optimum health. The inflammation and oxidative stress that the colon is being subjected to are also alleviated. The antioxidants present in prickly pear eliminate the free radicals and inflammation-inducing compounds, thus cleansing and protecting the colon (11). 8. Soothes The Stomach In Mexico, prickly pear is commonly used as a dietary supplement. People consume prickly pear daily to regularize their bowel movements. This helps to maintain a healthy digestive system and prevents constipation. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of compounds found in cactus pear are also responsible for aiding stomach health and soothing it (12). 9. Protects The Liver We often consume carcinogens and other compounds that can damage the liver without realizing the damage they can cause. Here’s a solution. Consume prickly pear as a juice or in the form of jams or jellies to prevent liver damage. It contains plenty of antioxidants that can reduce the oxidative stress caused by such compounds on the liver. It exerts hepatoprotective activity that mainly involves eliminating free radicals and increasing the body’s antioxidant activity against these compounds (13). 10. Reduces Hangovers ￼ Image: Shutterstock This fruit has the ability to reduce the effects of a hangover. Prickly pear juice reduces the production of inflammatory mediators that induce the uncomfortable feeling during alcohol hangovers. It also reduces other symptoms like nausea and dry mouth (14). 11. Immune System Booster The vitamin C content of prickly pear is responsible for this particular health benefit. Vitamin C boosts the body’s immune response against various infections. It increases the production of white blood cells that undertake the process of killing and eliminating infectious microorganisms from the body. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant and reduces the free radical damage throughout the body. This also gives the immune system a boost (15, 16). 12. Reduces Risk Of Colon Cancer Prickly pear contains various types of antioxidants like flavonoids, quercetins, gallic acid, phenolic compounds, betacyanins, etc. The antioxidant activity of these was tested against colon cancer cell lines, and the viability of these cells was greatly affected by them (17). Quercetin, especially, plays a key role in the disruption of a certain pathway involved in the development of cancer cells (18). 13. Protects Against Heart Disease The fiber content of prickly pear helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body and maintain blood pressure. Hence, hypertension and bad cholesterol are brought under control. These factors are associated with atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and other heart diseases. Cactus fruit’s antioxidants also help to enhance cardiovascular health (19, 20). The biologically active flavonoids in prickly pears normalize the blood platelet stickiness, which helps to maintain good cardiovascular health (21). Hence, herbal doctors often recommend consuming prickly pear for alleviating cardiovascular disease. 14. Alleviates Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) Prickly pear is rich in the mineral potassium. When ingested, this mineral can reduce the pressure on the blood vessels and lower the elevated blood pressure levels. Regular intake of prickly pear can maintain normal blood pressure levels and give relief from hypertension. The betalain found in this fruit also strengthens the inner walls of the blood vessels, further aiding in the promotion of cardiovascular health (22). 15. Osteoporosis Protection ￼ Image: Shutterstock This fruit is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antihistamine in nature. It also contains flavonoids that prevent the release of the compounds that help in inflammation of the joints and muscles caused due to gout, arthritis, exercise, fibromyalgia, and allergies. Osteoporosis, which is essentially an inflammatory disease, can be prevented and treated with prickly pear supplementation (23). 16. Stroke Prevention A decrease in total body fat and elevated cholesterol, glucose, and blood pressure levels can all impact cardiovascular health in a very positive way. As these levels are reduced in the body, the risk of stroke or heart attack goes down (24, 25). 17. Reduces Frequency Of Migraine Headaches Migraine is a chronic inflammatory condition that is characterized by the presence of a severe headache (usually on one side of the head) with disturbances in digestion and vision. And to alleviate this inflammation, anti-inflammatory compounds are needed. These are found in abundance in the prickly pear fruit, especially the compound indicaxanthin. This is technically a dietary pigment that can reduce various pro-inflammatory factors in the body (26). If consumed frequently, this fruit can help people deal with migraines. It also reduces their intensity and frequency. 18. Alleviates Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Cramps, back pain, headaches, and breast tenderness are common symptoms that woman experience during PMS. Most of these symptoms are associated with an increase in the levels of prostaglandins (hormone-like chemicals) in the body. Prickly pear is known to inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandins, thus alleviating PMS symptoms (27). 19. Strengthens Bones And Teeth Our teeth and bones are composed of calcium, and our diet is the only source of this mineral. The body obviously cannot synthesize calcium by itself. One cup of fresh prickly pear fruit contains 83 milligrams of calcium, which constitutes about 8% of the daily intake recommended by the FDA. This calcium intake will strengthen our bones and teeth (28). 20. Promotes Digestive Health ￼ Image: Shutterstock Fiber is an important part of our diet when it comes to digestive health. And prickly pear is loaded with fiber. This aids smooth digestion of various components of the food we eat and enhances the activity of the digestive enzymes. Additionally, the fiber from the fruit can help in the smooth elimination of wastes from the body (29). 21. Makes Your Nails Healthy Prickly pear seed oil can be used to moisturize dry and damaged nails and restore the health of the nails and cuticles. It contains moisturizing fatty acids like linoleic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid. Small concentrations of other fatty acids are also found (30). What Are The Benefits Of Prickly Pear For The Skin? The seeds of this fruit are cold pressed to prepare a beauty oil. It possesses many properties that give it the following benefits: 22. Anti-Aging Properties It contains skin-softening vitamins E and K. It also contains a good amount of skin hydrating and nourishing fatty acids. These prevent the formation of wrinkles and fine lines, thus making prickly pear oil a good anti-aging agent (30). 23. Anti-Inflammatory Agent This xerophytic plant’s oil has great inflammation-fighting capabilities because of the presence of anti-inflammatory compounds. The betalains and phenolic compounds exert this effect when the oil is applied topically on the skin. Swelling and irritation due to insect bites, scrapes, or inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis can be reduced by the application of this oil. 24. Brightens The Skin Tone This oil is also often used for its skin brightening properties. Linoleic acid, which is a fatty acid, not only nourishes the skin but also eliminates dullness. It also protects the skin from UV radiation (31). 25. Helps Achieve Smoother Skin It is super hydrating for dull and dry skin. Linoleic, oleic, and palmitic fatty acids, which are found in major proportions in prickly pear seed oil, supply the skin with the oils it lacks. 26. Heals Cuts, Wounds, And Blemishes Phenolic compounds are also found in good concentrations in prickly pear oil, which exert antioxidant effects on the skin and help repair damaged skin (32). Cut wounds, scars, and other blemishes that may have formed due to various reasons will start healing and fading over time. Apply this oil regularly to reap its healing benefits. 27. Reduces Dark Circles Dark circles under the eyes are formed due to many reasons. Lack of sleep, dehydration, and oxidative stress are the major factors that can cause your under eye area to become dull and get a bluish-purplish tinge. Prickly pear seed oil contains skin nourishing fatty acids that also possess skin brightening properties. In conjunction, these properties can help to lighten your dark circles. All of these properties make prickly pear seed oil an excellent choice for mature, aging, and/or damaged skin. Let us now look at the benefits of prickly pear for your hair. How Does Prickly Pear Benefit Your Hair? Both the fruit and the oil from its seeds can be used to smoothen hair texture, reduce hair fall, increase hair growth, and improve hair health overall. 28. Nourishes Hair We already know that the oil from the seeds of this cactus fruit contains plenty of fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins that can benefit the skin. Similarly, these can also nourish the scalp and hair by providing the healthy oils they may be lacking. A special mention is required for prickly pear’s vitamin E content that can deeply condition the hair. 29. Makes Your Hair Shiny ￼ Image: Shutterstock You can use prickly pear oil to make your hair glossy. This oil can give you double the amount of fatty acids and protein than argan oil, which is a popular oil used for restoring the natural hair shine. 30. Reduces Hair Loss The pulp of this fruit is often added to hair care products as its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds can give relief from many scalp conditions and, in turn, reduce hair loss and stimulate hair growth (33, 34). 31. Natural Hair Conditioner Here’s a simple recipe to concoct your own hair conditioner at home using prickly pear cactus: You Will Need 1-2 large nopal cactus pads1/2 cucumber2-3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil1-2 tablespoons coconut milk (optional) What You Have To Do 1. Wash the cactus carefully and peel it to remove all the thorns and barbs. 2. Dice this into small squares and add chopped cucumber to it. 3. Add the olive oil and coconut milk and blend everything. 4. Apply this on the scalp and hair. 5. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes and then rinse it off thoroughly. Make sure no residue remains in your hair. This cactus pear hair mask will make your hair healthy, silky, and soft. It is also useful to protect your hair from the scorching sun and rejuvenate heat-damaged hair. Those were the benefits of the fruit. Now, let’s see where you can buy these delectable fruits. Where To Buy Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit? Prickly pears can be easily found in regular grocery stores. If you cannot find them there, try the Mexican or Middle Eastern vegetable markets. See the next section to know how to make prickly pear a wonderful addition to your diet. How To Incorporate Prickly Pear Into Your Diet? ￼ Image: Shutterstock The prickly pear cactus plant has different parts that are edible. The pad of the cactus, which is often referred to as the nopal, is used as a vegetable in Mexican dishes. Its texture is similar to that of okra when cooked. It is boiled or grilled and is added to soups and salads mostly. Apart from the cactus pad, the fruit or the pear itself can be eaten. Like any other fruit, you can simply rinse it, peel it, and eat it fresh. The flowers of this plant are often used as garnishing or added to salads for extra flavor. Eating the prickly pear fruit is not a difficult process. All you need to do is peel the skin and eat the fleshy pulp present inside. Be careful of the spines when you are handling the fruit initially and the seeds when you are eating it. Many people also prepare jams and jellies from prickly pear fruit. If you do not have access to a store where you can purchase this fruit from, there are extracts available in the market. The dosage of these extracts would depend on the concentration, and it is best if the manufacturer’s recommendation is followed. Prickly pear water is also available in the market these days. This is prepared from the juice of the fruit and filtered water, along with some additional ingredients like lemon juice. Prickly pear is used in various forms to serve various purposes. These uses are given below. Uses Of Prickly Pear Cactus As A Supplement Due to its benefits for lowering blood sugar levels, supplements for type 2 diabetes patients have been designed. The extract is also used to lower cholesterol, target obesity, and lower the risk of heart disease. This supplement is available usually in a powder or a pill form. People also use the supplement before drinking alcohol to reduce the symptoms of an alcoholic hangover. Juice And Pulp The juice or the pulp (without seeds) of the prickly pear fruit is extracted to make jams and jellies. The juice, by itself, can be very tart. It is often added to lemonade or margaritas for that extra zing. To reduce the tartness and still benefit from this amazing xerophyte, jams and jellies are prepared. Medicinal Uses When it comes to usage in medicine, prickly pear is used in medications for: Type 2 diabetesHigh cholesterolObesityAlcohol hangoverHeart diseaseColitisDiarrheaViral infectionsBenign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) (35) Now that we covered the many uses of this fruit, it is also important to know how to select the best fruit and store it so that you can derive the maximum benefits. Read on to know how. How To Select And Store Cactus Pear Mid-August is considered the best time to harvest prickly pear cactus fruit. Once you have located a plant, follow these steps: Using a pair of tongs, gently pluck the fruit from the cactus pad. It should come off easily. Beware of the spines on the nopales and also the glochids (microscopic spines) on the fruit. Using gardening or leathergloves can help prevent any spines from piercing your skin.Transfer the fruits to a large, clean bowl or bucket. Make sure to leave at least one fruit per cactus pad so that your harvesting does not interfere with the plants’ reproduction process.Pick fruits that are ruby colored (or other colors seen in prickly pear). Do not pick the ones that are still green at the ends.Rinse the fruits with water thoroughly. Swirl them around gently while doing this to get rid of the spines. Cactus pear fruits remain ripe for about a week. They can also be refrigerated for 3-4 days in a plastic bag. Here is how you can cut and prepare prickly pear fruit. How To Eat Prickly Pear Cactus Rinse the fruit thoroughly in a colander using cold water. Keep swirling it around gently while doing this to get rid of the all the spines.Once all the spines have been removed, gently pat the fruit dry using a soft napkin.Take a sharp knife and cut the top and bottom parts of the fruit and discard them.Cut lengthwise to peel off the skin, similar to how you would peel an orange with a knife.Chop or slice the fruit, as per your preference, and eat it. Though the seeds are safe to ingest, many people prefer not to as they are too hard. If you are still confused about how to consume this exotic fruit, we have some simple but delicious recipes for you below. Any Prickly Pear Recipes? 1. Prickly Pear Lemonade ￼ Image: Shutterstock You Will Need 1 prickly pear2 tablespoons lemon juice1 cup water1/2 tablespoon sugar5-6 ice cubesMint leaves for garnishing Recipe Add the sugar and lemon juice to water and mix well.Cut the prickly pear in half and remove the pulp present inside. Add this to the lemonade.Blend all of these for 15-30 seconds.Strain the mixture to remove the seeds.Add ice cubes and drink this refreshing lemonade with a twist. 2. Prickly Pear Puree You Will Need Prickly pear Recipe Rinse and peel the fruit. De-seed it.Squash the flesh thoroughly for a couple of minutes until you get a smooth puree.Store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 3. Prickly Pear Ice Cream You Will Need 1 cup prickly pear juice1/8 cup lemon juice1 quart half and half1 teaspoon sea salt2 cups sugar1 teaspoon tangerine zestA pinch of lemon zest Recipe Combine all the ingredients and pour into an ice cream maker.Let it run for about 20 minutes.Freeze the ice cream overnight or for at least six hours. 4. Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly You Will Need 2 1/2 lbs prickly pear fruit3-4 tablespoons lemon juice2 cups sugarPeel of half a lemonWater Recipe Singe off the spines on the fruit and carefully peel them.Cut into inch-long chunks and transfer to a pot. Add enough water to cover the entire fruit.Bring this to a boil and then let it simmer for 10 minutes.Strain this using a cheesecloth to remove all the seeds. Use a wooden spoon to mash the pulp and get all the juice from it.To this prickly pear juice, add the lemon juice, sugar, and lemon peel.Cook this at high heat and keep stirring regularly until you get a jelly consistency.Store in airtight jars in the refrigerator for up to six months. Let me now summarize some key facts about prickly pear for you. What Are The Facts About Prickly Pear I Need To Know? Prickly pear is also known as the nopal cactus and has flat, oval green leaves called pads, which are covered in spines.The fruits arise from the top of the cactus pads and are edible.This fruit, which is also called as the cactus pear, cactus fig or tuna, is usually red.Prickly pear is rich in vitamin C, magnesium, and omega fatty acids. It contains zero cholesterol.Even the pads of this plant are edible. They are commonly used in soups and salads.The fruits can be ingested by themselves or in the form of juice, jams, jellies, and even candy.Cactus fig is beneficial for the treatment of many ailments like high cholesterol, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, and stomach issues. Even though this fruit has plenty of benefits, it can, at times, cause reactions in a few people. Here are the side effects experienced. Side Effects Of Prickly Pear Cactus Upset stomach, diarrhea, bloating, and headache are the most common side effects noticed (36).Nasal inflammation or asthma can be caused due to an allergy to it.Eating broiled nopal stem can have an extreme hypoglycemic effect. This is not seen when raw stems or ripe fruit are eaten.It can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb certain medications due to its diuretic properties.Pregnant or women who are breastfeeding should not intake prickly pear in any form as it can interfere with the fetus’ or child’s development. Let us now look at some of the commonly asked questions by our readers about prickly pear. Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions What can reduce the skin irritation caused by prickly pear contact? The spines (glochids) present on prickly pear can come in contact with the skin and at times, cause allergic reactions such as hives. These usually subside within an hour or so. If the spines have pierced the skin, carefully pluck them using tweezers or cellophane tape. To reduce the itching and irritation, you can use over-the-counter steroids or antihistamines. Does prickly pear/tuna increase hemoglobin? Is it safe to consume? Prickly pear has been known to increase hemoglobin. However, there is no clinical proof for this. However, it is absolutely safe to consume. So, go ahead and try it. Does prickly pear cause constipation? Prickly pear is often used to relieve constipation because of its fiber content. Irrespective of this, excessive intake can actually cause constipation because of the high amount of fiber blocking the intestines. Hence, it is best to consume it in moderate amounts. How to prune prickly pear cactus? Pruning is best done in spring or late summer to remove damaged, poorly formed, or excessive cactus pads. Using protective hand gear and clothing, carefully trim the pads at their bases. It might be best to cut off some of the top parts of the pads first to get better access to the base. If you are unsure about pruning the plant yourself or the cactus has grown out too much, get professional help. Are all prickly pear cactus edible? What kind of cactus is edible? The genus Opuntia consists of different species of cacti that are edible. You can identify these plants by their oval, flattened, green, and spine covered pads. The prickly pear cactus (O. Ficus-indica) is the most commonly eaten species. How many calories are in cactus pears? One cup of cactus pear contains around 61 calories. Is a cactus a fruit or a vegetable? The prickly pear cactus is one of those plants that is a vegetable and a fruit. The green pads are the vegetable whereas the red pear is the fruit. Have you ever tried prickly pear fruit? Or have you had a chance to have one of those delicious Mexican dishes with the cactus pads in it? Share your experience with us in the comments section. Stay healthy! Recommended Articles:Dr. Tapan Kumar Sau4 Likes15 Answers