When you have a nail fungal infection, the infected nail becomes yellow and thick. It may also show white streaks and spots on the nail surface. This nail condition is also called onychomycosis. This nail infection becomes more common as you get older. This also becomes too challenging to treat.
Defining a Nail Fungal Infection
Toenail fungus is a widespread fungus infection that infects the toenails. Nail fungus also infects the fingernails although less commonly. This infection happens when fungi get in between the toenail and the nail bed or the tissue underneath the toenail. This often happens through a crack or cut in one’s toes.
Is It Common?
Toenail fungus is a common nail condition, which affects older people. According to medical experts, this is a condition that affects 1 in 10 people in general. The ratio becomes 2 to 10 for people who are older than 70 years old.
Causes of Toenail Fungus
More than one type of fungus may infect the toenails, the most common of these are the dermatophytes. This is a type of mold that causes most nail fungal infections. These are fungal microorganisms that feed off keratin, the protein that can be found in one’s toenails and fingernails. It is keratin that makes the nails hard.
How Does the Nail Look Like?
There are many ways for a nail fungus to change the appearance of one’s nails. The toenails may have discoloration, thickening, chalky or cloudy spots on the nails, separate from the nail bed, and show some cracks or breaks in one or more spots on the nails.
How is it treated?
It is difficult to treat a nail fungal infection. It could be necessary for you to treat the infection for months and up to a year to eliminate the fungus. Despite this, toenail fungus still manages to come back. A doctor often prescribes oral antifungals and as an alternative treatment topical medications for nail fungus treatment.
1All about the Kalmegh
Kalmegh in Hindi is known as Nees in English. It is also called Andrographis paniculata. This is known as an important native crop in Sri Lanka and India. Kalmegh has also gained the name BhuiNeem because of its resemblance to neem even if it is smaller and has a bitter taste. It is an erect herb that grows yearly and it is used as a wonder drug in tribal medicine and also in the Ayurvedic systems of medicine.
The Andrographis paniculata has been used for centuries in various countries like India, Thailand, China, and other Asian countries. It is said to be present in 26 polyherbal formulations found in the Ayurvedic traditional health system. The herb is listed in the 1992 Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China as a cold property herb that can help get rid of fever and get rid of toxins.
As an Antifungal / Antimicrobial
A study was done to determine the antibacterial, antioxidant, and antifungal properties of the Andrographis paniculata or kalmegh. The chloroform, ethanol, methanol, hexane, and water extracts and their phenol and flavonoid contents were estimated. It was observed that the extracts had inhibitory effects against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Epidermophyton floccosum, and Trichophyton rubrum. This means that the leaf extract of kalmegh has exhibited powerful antifungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant activities.
Kalmegh is a significant herb when it comes to therapeutic usage since it induces enzymes. The extract acquired from the herb has a couple of therapeutic properties which include antimalarial, antithrombotic, antityphoid, antibiotic, anti-snake venom, anti-inflammatory, and anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), antihepatotoxic, anti-thrombogenic, antityphoid, and immunological.
Because of the presence of the secondary metabolites found in the kalmegh plant, it is an important herb in pharmacology. Several compounds were extracted from the plant which is known for being significant in several medical formulations.
Traditionally, kalmegh is used for treating cough, cold, malaria, fever, diarrhea, and dysentery.
Other Health Benefits
Kalmegh is known for its multiple health benefits. These include the following:
Boosts the Immune System
Andrographis paniculata is known traditionally to boost and support the health of the immune system. Based on a study, kalmegh enhances the immune cells’ ability to take away cellular debris and repair body tissues. Other studies have revealed Andrographis paniculata’s effectiveness in reducing the symptoms of flu and colds, sore throat, as well as lung infections.
Kalmegh helps in improving digestion because of its laxative properties. It also helps in removing bowels. It is also known for being choleretic, which means that it can improve the properties of bile and cause an increase in the flow of bile, helping digestion in the process.
As Ulcer Treatment
The extract from kalmegh showed antiulcerogenic activity. This reduces ulcer development since it decreases the level of acidity in one’s stomach, without incurring any major side effects.
Helps with Brain-Related Disorders
Kalmegh is known for maintaining the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain. This makes it useful in reducing the possibility of memory loss, mental impairment, headaches, dizziness, depression[, and ringing in the ears.
As Treatment for Gastrointestinal Tract Infection
This is remarkably helpful in treating diarrhea and also symptoms that occur because of bacterial infections.
As Treatment for Throat Infections
Kalmegh has been used for treating tuberculosis and tonsillitis. This has also been used in treating chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and lung infection.
May Help with Osteoarthritis
Taking kalmegh extract orally has been seen to reduce the pain and stiffness experienced by people who suffer from mild or moderate osteoarthritis in the knees.
May Help Reduce Inflammation and Ease Pain
Kalmegh may function as a pain killer. The herb is also known for reducing swelling and blood loss. Kalmagh’s inflammatory action may also be mediated partly by its adrenal function.
Helps with Liver Protection
Kalmegh may help prevent liver toxicity as it produces a cleaning solvent and inhibits free radical formation that can destroy cell membranes surrounding the liver cells. Free radicals may also cause liver cirrhosis. This may further result in come or worse death. According to studies, kalmegh can be used as an effective treatment for infective hepatitis. It is also helpful in treating fatty liver disease. It may also reduce the risk of gallstone formation. It may also help in digesting fat.