Buchu: The Excellent Overall Remedy Apart from Being A Great Antimicrobial

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A nail fungal infection is a more common infection than most people think. This may start with a white or yellow spot that appears on the tip of the nail. Once the infection worsens, it spreads deeper into the nail. This causes the nail to change in color, thicken, and also crumble. The infection may also spread to other nails and even cause an athlete’s foot. This condition is also called onychomycosis, and it can affect both the fingernails and toenails.

Symptoms

As the infection progresses, the following symptoms may start to occur: nail discoloration: the nail becomes black, white, yellow, or green, distortion, and nail thickening: the nail may start to have an unusual shape and texture, becoming difficult to trim, pain and discomfort, especially when pressure is placed on the affected toe or fingernail, and pieces of the nail may chip off or fall off completely. In some cases, the skin may also become infected, making it red, swollen, itchy, and cracked.

Causes

Most nail fungal infections are caused by fungi that belong to a group called dermatophytes. The same fungi bring you ringworm, athlete’s foot, and jock itch. Fungi can thrive naturally on your skin without causing trouble. It only becomes a problem when they multiply and spread. Fungi grow well in a dark, warm, and moist environment like the inside of one’s shoes.

Treatment

You can choose a nail fungus treatment from those prescribed by your doctor or recommended by your pharmacist. Antifungal nail lacquer paint and creams can be bought over the counter. Some of these may also require a doctor’s prescription. Nail softening kits may also be used to make the infected nail easier to scrape off. Prescription antifungal tablets are known to be the most effective, but they may cause side effects on some people. These have to be taken for several weeks up to a year.

6All about Buchu (Agathosma betulina)

Buchu is a bushy shrub that is native to the Cape region of South Africa. It is known to grow on the region’s sunny hills. At present, it is cultivated in some parts of South America. It has small leathery leaves that are wrinkled whose oil glands found on the surface contain the volatile oil which is the major medicinal component of the plant. Buchu is also called the following common names: bookoo, diosma, bucku, buku, and bucco.

As Folk Medicine

Before modern medicine began, buchu was already a trusted herbal remedy for the San and Khoisan for various conditions. The herb was considered “a cure for all ills.” Its most popular uses include stomach problems, general injuries, bladder infections, digestive health, and skin conditions.

During the 1700s, buchu was introduced by the Khoisan to the European settlers. The settlers also introduced the herb to the rest of Europe in the latter part of the century. Buchu was also used during the Crimean and World War I as an antiseptic to disinfect wounds.

As an Antimicrobial

Buchu essential oils and extracts were carefully analyzed to determine the antimicrobial activity of this herb. These were observed to be effective against specific pathogens such as Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, and Klebsiella pneumonia. Buchu extracts have also been effective against several bacteria. A less-researched species of buchu has been seen to be effective against Candida albicans. Buchu species have been known to contain compounds that are effective against various microbes. These compounds include coumarins, phenolic substances that have benzene and α-pyrone rings.

Other Health Benefits

Apart from the folkloric medicinal value of buchu, there are other known health benefits of various species of buchu. These include the following:

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