It is said that 10 percent of the population suffers from toenail fungal infections. But the likelihood of your becoming infected increases as you get older. Fungal nail infections or onychomycosis may be hard to cure. If you suspect that you have this infection, it would be best to see the physician right away.
What causes the infection?
Nail fungal infections are most commonly caused by fungal organisms that are known as dermatophytes, which are found on the skin, hair, and nails. There are various types of fungi. That’s why the infection may appear differently as well. It could start as white chalky spots or streaks on the nail’s surface. The more advanced infections may occur as yellow or brown in color. It also comes with chalky debris underneath the nail. The nail may become crumbly when it is trimmed.
How does one get infected?
Fungal infections easily grow in places that are warm, dark, and damp. The nail structure may also be weakened by a repetitive and blunt force trauma to the nail or toe. A weak nail structure is susceptible to a fungal infection. Elderly people are more prone to infection, particularly those who suffer from conditions like cancer, diabetes, psoriasis, and others. Some immunosuppressant medications may also increase the risk of infection.
How is the infection treated?
It takes time to treat a nail fungal infection. In adults, treatment may take 12 to 18 months while for children it’s 6 to 12 months. The doctor or podiatrist may prescribe an oral nail fungus treatment which will be taken for several months. Topical medications may also be prescribed although they can be less effective than oral antifungals.
Laser therapy is also available now for treating nail fungal infections. This treatment is pain-free and there is no need for local anesthesia.
1All about the Surinam Cherry (Eugenia Uniflora)
Surinam cherry is a tropical shrub or small tree that bears fruit. It belongs to the Myrtaceae family. It goes by several common names such as cayenne cherry, pitanga, Brazilian cherry, Florida cherry, cayenne, red brazil cherry, pitanga cherry, and French cherry.
Surinam cherry is native to South American countries such as Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, and Northern Argentina. It is cultivated more in tropical regions, and it thrives more in well-drained soil. There are several varieties of the surinam cherry. These are the common ones which are commonly bright red and those that are rare dark crimson to nearly black ones.
This plant tends to flower during September. It bears fruits around two to three times annually. This tree was naturalized in Colombia, Argentina, and Venezuela. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in places like India, Samoa, Ceylon, and Hawaii. This shrub is also occasionally grown in Africa, Southern China, and the Philippines.
As an Antifungal
The essential oil that is extracted from the Surinam cherry tree leaves has shown antifungal properties against Candida. Antimicrobial properties of the surinam cherry in both gram-negative and positive bacteria as well as against yeasts. This essential oil was also reported for its antibacterial activity against E. aerogenes and E. cloacae.
Surinam cherries are highly nutritious and it is loaded with powerful nutrients that can benefit one’s health. Surinam cherries may contain the following nutrients: calcium, niacin, magnesium, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin C, protein, potassium, sodium, iron, phosphorous, and others. Its fruits also contain gamma-carotenes, rubixanthins, antioxidants, and lycopene.
How Is It Consumed?
Surinam cherry may vary in its taste which may range from sweet, sour, to tangy. The ripened deep purple variety is the juiciest, tastiest, and it comes with a fruity taste. The fruits can be eaten straight after picking them up from the tree. It can be made sweeter when placed in a refrigerator. This can be used in jellies, salads, fruit salads, and desserts. Its fruits and leaves are known for smelling like resin.
Other Health Benefits
The following are the most significant benefits of the surinam cherry:
A published study in 2015 on the journal Antioxidants revealed that the aqueous extract of surinam cherry dried leaves can help preserve pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. The main cause of this is its anti-inflammatory compounds like flavonoids and phenols.
Surinam cherries have several anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. These are known to reduce bloating, inflammation, acidity, and diarrhea keeping one’s digestive system healthy.
Blood Pressure Control
A studypublished in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology revealed that pitanga leaf extract can reduce blood pressure in lab rats.
Surinam cherries contain vitamin A. Vitamin A is known to enhance the body’s immune system to fight off infections caused by lymphocytic responses towards antigens. This is the source of moisture for the mucus membranes, providing a robust immune system. It also helps in the functions of the white blood cells. This helps prevent infections and ensures double-core protection.
Surinam cherry is loaded with antioxidants that prevent free radicals from getting in. Free radicals are the main cause of inflammation and diseases. Its fruits are rich in riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, iron, and vitamin C. This has astringent, antiseptic, antitumor, antibacterial, and astringent properties.
Fever and Cold Remedy
In Brazil, surinam cherry leaves can be steeped in water to use as a febrifuge. The American author and botanist Julia Morton, in her book titled “Fruits of Warm Climates,” revealed that the tea from the leaves may also be used as a cold remedy. Lemongrass may also be added to the leaf tea, and this can be used as an infusion to get rid of fever. Such leaf extracts are also known to stimulate appetite.
Vitamin A is known to free the body from toxins and free radicals that are known to cause skin damage. This can provide supple and soft skin through moisture retention, dryness prevention, keratinization, as well as, skin conditions like psoriasis.
Eye Ailment Prevention
Cataracts are vision-related problems. People who suffer from this condition have shown a decrease in vitamin C levels. High consumption of vitamin C may increase the supply of blood to all ocular areas.
Muscular Dystrophy Prevention
This helps maintain bone shape and health. Vitamin A also makes sure of the proper muscle growth. Furthermore, this prevents the development of muscular dystrophy.