Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis. It is described as a fungal infection that occurs underneath the nail surface. Nail fungus can linger for years without causing pain, discomfort, or any symptoms. This condition is usually characterized by several changes in the nail’s appearance and quality. A nail fungal infection can be mild and doesn’t require treatment, but there are those that may lead to permanent nail damage. When the nail infection becomes severe, the infection may spread to other nails or parts of the body. This is particularly true for those who have compromised immune systems. This is why diabetics are more prone to nail fungal infections.
Causes and Symptoms
The most common fungi that cause nail infections belong to the group called dermatophytes. But nail infections may also be caused by yeasts and molds. The fungi that bring you to nail fungal infections thrive in warm and moist environments. Because of the abundance of this type of environment, almost everyone is susceptible to nail fungus. Public places that are usually damp like swimming pools and changing areas and even nail salons are usually common sources of fungi.
Trauma or continuous trauma to the nail may also make it susceptible to fungus since it can lead to the separation of the nail from the nail bed. Some chronic conditions like diabetes, circulatory issues, and autoimmune diseases may also increase the risk of nail fungus.
Some of the symptoms of nail fungus infections include nail thickening, nail discoloration, brittle, crumbly, and ragged nails, nail distortion, and a foul smell from the infected area.
A nail fungus treatment may include oral antifungal medication, medicated nail cream, and medicated nail polish. Oral medication has to be taken for 6 to 12 weeks. The full results will only be seen when the new nail is fully grown. The medicated cream is rubbed on the nail after soaking. It is more effective when the nail is also thinned. On the other hand, the medicated nail polish is applied directly to the infected nail and its surrounding skin.
1All about the Lily Bulb (Bai He)
Lilies are known for being the oldest cultivated plants around the world. It is native to East Asia, but it is now cultivated around the globe. It has also been used for various herbal concoctions and medications for centuries. As early as the second century BC, lilies have been used in several medical ointments found in certain parts of Asia. Even the ancient Greeks and Romans grew lilies for their medicinal and ornamental value. Until now, lilies are still cultivated in China for food, as an ornamental plant, and for their medicinal value.
It is possible to grow lilies from seeds, but they are often cultivated from bulbs. Bulbs are often used as part of herbal remedies. Traditionally, they are harvested during autumn and cleaned thoroughly. After being cleaned, they are washed with boiled water or steamed. After that, they are slightly baked, fried, or dried. Most of the lily bulbs are white or yellow. They can have a slight or no odor at all.
In traditional Chinese medicine, lily bulbs are known for being sweet and slightly cold. They are also associated with the lung and heart meridians. In Chinese herbal culture, lilies are used as a remedy for dry throats, coughs, and other respiratory conditions, treating insomnia as well as heart palpitations. Lilies possess tonic properties that can help promote sleep and serve as a remedy for restlessness and irritability. A lily bulb is most often combined with other herbs such as rehmannia root, scrophularia, and anemarrhena.
As an Antifungal and Antimicrobial
Lilies are considered a superb source of biologically active compounds. A study exhibited the antimicrobial potential of a bioactive component extracted from red lily and provided a partial characterization of its bioactive compounds. The lilies’ antimicrobial activity was tested for its inhibitory effect against various Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria such as Bacillus subtilis, Acinetobacter bouvetii, Achromobacter xylosoxidans, Candida albicans, Salmonella typhi, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The extract’s phytochemical analysis revealed the following active compounds: tannins, quinones, glycosides, flavonoids, phenols, terpenoids, and coumarins.
Lily bulbs are packed with various significant nutrients in different amounts. Apart from sulfur and protein, lily bulbs are also known to possess iron, calcium, folate, vitamins B1, B2, and C, potassium, and phosphorus.
Other Uses and Health Benefits
Lily bulbs are commonly used as a remedy for respiratory conditions like bronchitis and dry cough. Lily bulbs are said to moisten the lungs and remove heat from the respiratory system, soothing the lungs as a result. Lily bulbs may also serve as an expectorant that can clear up lung congestion. The cooling property of the bulb also remedies chronic low-grade fevers.
People who have insomnia are administered dried lily bulbs to induce restful sleep and reduce irritability. Lily bulbs are also known to contain a sedative effect which helps a person sleep easily. Its sedative effect is believed to be beneficial for the heart as well. It is known to decrease heart palpitations. It can also ease certain strains on the heart.
Lily bulbs are difficult to digest, and they are sticky. This is why people who suffer from stomach problems must exercise extra caution when taking them or avoiding the lily bulbs completely.
The typical dose of a lily bulb is 10 and 30 grams daily. The bulbs are boiled and turned into a decoction for oral consumption. Some practitioners may recommend a higher dose of a lily bulb, depending on the condition of the patient. For those who suffer from coughs with a lot of phlegm, up to 200 grams of the lily bulb is often suggested.
Forms of Lily Bulb
You can find various forms of the lily bulb. Dried raw lily bulbs can be found in many herbal shops as well as traditional Asian markets. You can also buy powdered lily flowers which can be applied externally to treat bruises and cuts.
Precautions and Interactions
Until now there are no known side effects or interactions with lily bulbs. The lily bulb has been given a class 1 rating by the American Herbal Products Association. It means that this can be safe to consume when used appropriately. However, this must not be taken by people who have severe diarrhea. Hence, you have to consult with a health care provider.