Excellent article sir.I like to share something more about sleep.Scientists have discovered that, morning walk for 30 to 50 min, helps to provide good sleep at night., provided theperson should not be taken afternoon sleep.Another important point--Sleeping room should be completely dark and silent.Dimlight in sleeping room interferes in production of melatonin hormone so dark room for sleeping is more preferable.Not only caffeine but also tanine found in tea is important cause for sleeplessness.Decreased sleep on regular basis brings on Complaints like fatigue, weakness and fibromyalgia.
Nice and informative post with illustrations
Thanks Sir for your valuable information.regards.out of 90minutes sleep NREM sleep is 15 mts.howtoenjoy sleep
Thanks for Nice Update
Nice information and thanks for sharing
Thanks Sir keep on posting new updates.regards
Top information about SLEEP keep it up
A nice post.
Very nice presentation but as for sleep inducing food why no Indian food is included ?
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Pt. 53/F, C/O pain n jt stiffness in B/L hands n feet since 7-8 yrs. H/O chicken gunia fever 7-8 yrs ago. O/e, stiffness of MCP pIP n dIP jts of both hands. Ankle n MTP jts stiffness. Clinical pic n ixns attached. Advise, Dx n rx plz.Dr. Lukman Sheth7 Likes18 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 Sau3 Likes12 Answers
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18 yr female with 3 weeks of bilateral calf pain right greater than left.Pt. denies any trauma.She is currently playing lacrosse and has continued to try and practice and play despite the pain.Pt has pain while walking, playing,running, jumping.but no pain at rest. DIAGNOSISDr. Ramesh Dutt Gautam1 Like10 Answers
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.HEALTH BENEFITS OF ARNICA YOU have ever tried Homeopathic medicine, you would be aware of the term ‘Arnica’. The fact that it is used as an active ingredient in medicines is itself an indication of the various arnica benefits. In fact, we often come across shampoos, gels, tonics and tinctures bearing the name of arnica. Arnica is basically a perennial herb belonging to the sunflower (Asteraceae) family. It is native to the mountains of Europe and Siberia. Arnica plant grows to a height of 1 to 2 feet and bears yellow-orange flowers resembling daisies. It possesses bright green leaves, the upper leaves are toothed and slightly hairy while the lower leaves have rounded tips. The stalks are round, fleshy, and hairy. The yellow-orange flowers of this herb have medicinal value. Extracts from fresh and dried flower heads are used in Homeopathic preparations for the treatment of several health conditions. The flowers can also be used in their raw form. Today, arnica is extensively cultivated for medicinal purposes in several areas of Europe and North America. It has been used in medicine since the 1500s and is commercially available in the form of topical creams, ointments, pills, tinctures and even injections. Arnica oil is also available, which is used for topical treatments. Direct intake of arnica by mouth is associated with serious side effects but homeopathic medicines use it in a diluted form which is not considered harmful. There are several species of arnica of which Arnica Montana and A. Chamissonis are used in anti-inflammatory preparations. Both species look similar except that A. Chamissonis has somewhat smaller flowers. It can be extremely toxic even in very low doses. Arnica Montana, on the other hand, possesses medicinal properties and is mostly used in herbal products, particularly hair care products. This herb is known by several names such as Mountain Tobacco, Mountain Daisy and even Leopard’s bane and Wolf’s bane. Arnica Benefits For Skin Image: Shutterstock Arnica is an active ingredient in several skin care products. It can improve your skin health and help you get rid of skin problems too. The various benefits of arnica for skin are as follows. 1. Treatment Of Skin Infections And Eczema Arnica can be applied topically to get rid of skin problems. Arnica extracts are used as an ingredient in several lotions meant for the treatment of skin infections, eczema, itchiness and open wounds. They can even be applied on the vagina to treat vaginitis and vaginal irritation. 2. Treatment Of Frost Bites And Chilblains Arnica extracts are used in ointments meant for treating frost bites. Often, frost bites do not appear as open wounds. Application of arnica ointment on frost bitten areas of the body can significantly improve the condition. This herb can also be used in the treatment of chilblains. 3. Skin Nourishment Arnica Montana flowers contain sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids, carbonic acid, coumarins and volatile oils, all of which are beneficial for your skin. A sesquiterpene lactone, called helenalin, is the main restorative compound in Arnica Montana, which along with flavonoid, helps soothe and renew the skin after exposure to stress. The antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of this herb help in preventing inflammatory skin disorders. They also accelerate the healing process by stimulating the formation of granular tissues. Arnica for skin care can effectively heal bruises, sunburns, minor burns and superficial phlebitis. 4. Treatment Of Stretch Marks Topically rubbing arnica extracts reduces the appearance of pregnancy-related stretch marks. All you need to do is gently apply arnica gel on your stomach at least four times a day. [ Read: Olive Oil For Stretch Marks ] Benefits Of Arnica For Hair The anti-inflammatory properties of arnica make it usable in hair care as well. Arnica extracts are often used in conditioners and shampoos. Some of its benefits for hair are as follows. 6. Arnica For Hair Loss Usage of arnica extract rejuvenates your scalp and stimulates the hair follicles, helping to strengthen your hair and preventing it from falling prematurely. Arnica is combined with other ingredients like calendula and jaborandi in homeopathic Arnica Montana shampoos to provide soft and manageable hair. 7. Treatment Of Dandruff Arnica cleanses the excess oil and sebum from the scalp, giving it a natural shine. By removing dirt, debris, and oil from the scalp, it also helps combat dandruff and itchiness. This also helps in preventing tangled and rough hair. 8. Treatment Of Split Ends And Premature Greying Of Hair Arnica is used at a concentration of 1% to 2% in hair care products. Being an antibiotic, it can effectively cure scalp infections. It strengthens each and every hair strand and helps prevent split ends and premature graying of hair. All you need to do is massage arnica hair oil on your scalp from the roots to the tips before going to bed and wash off the next morning. This will nourish your hair and prevent these problems by providing the requisite nutrition to your hair follicles. Health Benefits Of Arnica As stated earlier, arnica is used in the treatment of a wide range of internal and external disorders. Though arnica is not FDA approved like other herbal remedies, it does contain several active ingredients and volatile oils. Proper dosage of arnica will definitely provide the following health benefits: 9. Treatment Of Arthritis The anti-inflammatory properties of arnica are praiseworthy. It has been used in topical preparations for healing joint pains, muscle aches and swelling associated with arthritis. A research conducted in 2002 indicated that the use of arnica gel twice daily for 6 weeks resulted in a significant decrease in pain and stiffness in patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee. In the case of osteoarthritis of the hand, arnica gel has proven to be as effective as ibuprofen in lessening pain and improving hand function. The essence of arnica plant is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Being an anti-inflammatory agent, it can be used to massage inflamed or painful joints for relief. 10. Treatment Of Muscle Soreness The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb make it useful for the treatment of muscle soreness. It can be applied topically to reduce pain and inflammation caused by muscle sprain and strains. Thus, it is beneficial for athletes who often suffer from muscle soreness. 11. Healing Qualities Arnica has been used in topical preparations for healing bruises, muscle aches, superficial phlebitis, wounds and swelling due to insect bites and fractures. It can be used as a mouthwash or gargle for treating sore throat and infections. However, it should be used and consumed according to the directions of the physician. It helps in the regeneration of tissues and can heal injuries. It is also effective in healing burns. It improves blood circulation by stimulating white blood cell activity, decreasing the amount of healing time and reducing inflammation. 12. Treatment Of Post-Surgery Pain A study conducted in 2007 observed that taking a homeopathic dilution of arnica resulted in a decrease in pain in patients whose tonsils were removed. Similarly, taking a homeopathic dilution of arnica and topical application of arnica ointment reduces post-surgery pain in patients undergoing surgery for carpel tunnel syndrome. 13. Treatment Of Bruises And Black Eyes Arnica is effective in reducing the appearance of bruises. Topical application of arnica extract on bruises and black eyes can significantly improve the condition. Infusions from arnica plant are effective in the treatment of dark nails caused due to injuries from heavy objects. 14. Oral Health The anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties of arnica make it great for oral health. Arnica mouthwashes are widely available and can treat bacterial infections in the mouth. Washing your mouth with arnica and water regularly can cure conditions like gingivitis and pyorrhoea. It can also reduce wisdom tooth pain. 15. Treatment Of Post Surgery Swelling A study conducted in 2006 has proved that intake of homeopathic dilution of arnica may slightly reduce post-operative swelling in patients undergoing arthroscopy. 16. Treatment Of Stress And Depression In addition to its medicinal uses, arnica is beneficial in alleviating feelings of depression and emotional distress. It is often used in healing sachets to restore emotional balance and a sense of tranquility. Organic and wild grafted arnica flower extract can be massaged to provide warmth which unwinds your taxed and tight muscles and alleviates stress. 17. Other Benefits Arnica has been used in homeopathy for the treatment of an accident or shock as well as illness of the circulatory system. It is also used in the treatment of conditions like a backache, fibromyalgia, influenza, headaches, migraines and hemorrhoids. Nutritional Value Of Arnica Arnica owes its anti-inflammatory properties to a host of active components comprising of antioxidants, tannins, flavonoids, carotenoids and volatile oils like thymol, an active ingredient contained in thyme. The in-depth nutritional profile of arnica can be understood from the table given below. NUTRITION FACTS CALORIES IN ARNICA MONTANA HOMEPATHIC Serving Size: 1 serving Amount Per Serving Calories 0.0 Total Fat 0.0 g Saturated Fat 0.0 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g Cholesterol 0.0 mg Sodium 0.0 mg Potassium 0.0 mg Total Carbohydrate 0.0 g Dietary Fiber 0.0 g Sugars 0.0 g Protein 0.0 g Vitamin A 0.0 % Vitamin B-12 0.0 % Vitamin B-6 0.0 % Vitamin C 0.0 % Vitamin D 0.0 % Vitamin E 0.0 % Calcium 0.0 % Copper 0.0 % Folate 0.0 % Iron 0.0 % Magnesium 0.0 % Manganese 0.0 % Niacin 0.0 % Pantothenic Acid 0.0 % Phosphorus 0.0 % Riboflavin 0.0 % Selenium 0.0 % Thiamin 0.0 % *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Precautions This herb which provides amazing benefits for your skin, hair, and health, is also associated with several side effects when used excessively. That is why it is important to exercise caution while using it in any form. 1. Stomach Discomfort Arnica can irritate the digestive system and its lining called mucosa. For this reason, arnica is never taken orally. Even taken in low dosage in homeopathy medicine, it causes irritation in the stomach. This irritation further leads to pain and loss of appetite. But, this problem is temporary and goes away within a day or two. 2. Breast Feeding And Pregnancy Arnica usage should be avoided if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Arnica is considered as unsafe for pregnant or breast feeding women. 3. Vomiting As mentioned before, arnica irritates the stomach when taken orally. This irritation may further cause severe nausea or an urge to vomit. This side effect is common among many individuals consuming arnica. 4. Allergy People sensitive to Compositae or Asteraceae family plants, which includes chrysanthemums, ragweed, marigolds, daisies and related plants, might also be allergic to arnica. People who are hypersensitive to such plants should consult the doctor before using arnica in any form. 5. Nose Bleeding Arnica can also cause nosebleeds, which is not considered as a serious effect by American Cancer Society. A bleeding nose is not a problem in itself. Rather, it indicates that there is an internal bleeding that needs to be treated. It is best to discontinue the use of arnica on encountering such side effect and immediately visit your doctor. 6. Dizziness Dizziness occurs as a side effect when arnica is taken for internal issues. When you experience such side effect, consult your doctor immediately. 7. Interactions With Drugs Arnica may interact with a number of corticosteroids, anesthetic, and anti-inflammatory drugs. It can also cause bleeding when taken with anticoagulants. Specific constituents present in arnica might lower serum lipids in the body. Those taking drugs for lowering cholesterol should take arnica with a caution. 8. Heart Problems American Cancer Society indicates that arnica might cause irregularities in heart rhythm. This is a condition where the heart beats irregularly. It might either slow down or speed up, causing palpitations. So, consult your doctor immediately if you experience severe palpitations. This is one of the dangerous side effects of arnica since it can cause death. It needs an immediate diagnosis. 9. Tremors American Cancer Society reports tremor as one of the most common side effects of taking arnica orally. The person might experience uncontrollable movements of legs and hands. Such side effect requires medical evaluation. Tremors signal that your central nervous system has been affected. 10. Other Side Effects Arnica in undiluted form is considered unsafe. According to a report, it causes faster heart beat, cardiac arrest, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rashes and shortness of breath. Its toxicity might also cause dyspnea and gastroenteritis. It might also cause damage to your heart, increase the blood pressure level, and organ failure. Sometimes, its consumption leads to coma and even death. Tips On Arnica Usage After knowing the amazing arnica benefits, its time to know how to use this wonderful herb. Before consuming arnica, it is important to dilute arnica. Taking arnica in undiluted form can lead to chronic side effects. Avoid application of arnica on broken skin. Homeopathic doses should also be used according to specific instructions. Arnica forms an integral part of homeopathy. It offers various benefits. But, if you play doctor and overlook the recommended dosage, you can experience any of these side effects. So, discuss completely arnica benefits and side effects with your doctor before the consumption to stay safe! So, the next time you use arnica in any of its forms, remembers the goodness you are getting and return!Dr. Tapan Kumar Sau7 Likes9 Answers
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27 year old lady having whole body pain and swelling on whole body and not relieved by pain last 7 year and continue Rx. her history and diagnose by rheumatology and clinical immunology. 6/10/2017 diagnosis:1.fibromylagia with rld,2.ruptured ectopic pregancy-operated,3.h/o TB spine with iliopsoas abscess_treated in 2012 with Att/drainage. subjective:-pain have increased ,was better with filistin,bloating in the body has increased,restlessness in leg +,sleep disturbance ++ objective:-wt -58 kg Bp 96/72 mmHg pallor/on/edema/skin-negative chest/CVS/abdomen-normal tender points-present;no synovitis Assessment and plan-no response to approved medication for FM No e/o inflammatory arthritis Medication and follow up.1.tab pramirol as advised (at bedtime) -0.125 mg for 5 days -0.25 mg to continue 2.tab duvanta30 mg once daily (after breakfast)review after 6 wks refer to psychologist. 6/10/2017department of pain medicine and palliative care history and diagnose same and add -irritable,depression,suicidal ideation adv-1.cap duloxetine 30 mg1 bd.2.cap maxgalin 75 mg 1hs 3.tab ultracet sos. 4.physical activity 5.exercise 6.psychology reference.. 6/10/2017 psychology diagnose somatoform pain disorder and other medical condition adv..1.tab lonzep 0.25 mg od×7days 2.tab censpram 5 mg 1 hs×7days 3.yoga and exercise patient have no any relief and now pt think she suicide and she taking medicine last 7 year. sir/mam plz suggest your diagnose and Rx and your opinion.Dr. Joni Yadav3 Likes5 Answers