Toenail fungus also goes by the medical name onychomycosis. It is a type of fungal infection that infects one or several nails. It may begin as a white or yellow spot often under the nail tip. This may go deeper into the recesses of the nail, causing the appearance of more symptoms and sometimes leading to a total loss of the nail. Fingernails may also be infected, but the infection is more prevalent on the toes because of the atmosphere inside one’s shoes.
The most common symptoms
The symptoms of a toenail fungus rely on the type of microorganism that caused it, the duration, level of severity, and complicating factors that may affect other toes and even other parts of the body such as skin. The most common symptoms include the following: thickened nails, distorted or misshapen nails, having a smelly odor, the nails becoming crumbly, ragged, brittle, and chalky, and having whitish to yellowish discoloration.
The most common causes
The most common cause of a nail fungal infection is fungi, mostly belonging to the group called dermatophytes. Other microorganisms like bacteria may also cause a nail fungal infection. The best treatment plan eliminates the root cause of the infection. More often, the doctor recommends a lab test that requires a nail sample to be collected. This will determine the exact microorganism that caused the infection.
The treatment options
You can find several options for toenail fungal treatments. It is more than likely for the doctor to prescribe antifungal pills for medication. The more popular brands of which are Terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox). These are evidence-based treatments as well. You may also be advised to constantly trim and file your toenails to prevent a nail fungal infection. As an alternative treatment, a topical nail fungus treatment may be prescribed instead. Usually, it’s a medicated nail lacquer that requires a direct application to the nail.
1All about Misai Kucing or Java Tea
Misai kucing (scientific name: Orthosiphon stamineus) is one of the herbs widely cultivated in tropical areas. This is known as misai kucing due to its purple flowers with long protruding stamens that look like cat whispers.
Misai kucing is also called Java tea. This was introduced to the West in the early part of the 20th century. This is mainly consumed as herbal tea.
When you are trying to lose weight or improve your current lifestyle, java tea is a great tea to drink. This tea has been consumed for centuries. This has also been known to possess medicinal benefits which include weight management, boosting one’s level of energy, stress reduction, and fighting off different diseases.
The leaves and stems of misai kucing are used as medicine. The herb is often consumed as irrigation therapy. This means that it has to be taken along with other fluids to improve urine flow. It is also used for treating kidney and bladder problems, including several types of bacterial infections as well as kidney stones, liver and gallbladder issues, including gout, painful joints pr rheumatism, and gallstones. This is all because java tea increases the loss of water in the body through increased urination (diuretic effect). It also stops spasms and fights off bacteria.
As an Antifungal and Antimicrobial
Java tea inhibits quorum sensing by inhibiting biofilms. This helps reduce the vulnerability of bladder or kidney infections. Java is known to possess antibacterial properties against Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Micrococcus luteus. It is also known to have antifungal activity, inhibiting the growth of Candida albicans.
By strengthening the immune system, java protects from Staphylococcus aureusinfection. It also reduces fevers much like the effects of Acetominophen (Tylenol).
Other Health Benefits
The following are some of the known health and medicinal benefits of the misai kucing:
Reduces the Likelihood of Weight Gain
Java possesses anti-obesity properties. Based on animal studies, the subjects were on a high-fat diet and java could help excessive weight gain which could lead to obesity. These anti-obesity properties could be enhanced with the aid of PTP1B inhibitors such as berberine and ursolic acid.
Improves Body Inflammation
Java helps alleviate the symptoms of arthritis and reduces swelling. Because of the reduction of inflammation, java may help with bone formation along with collagen synthesis. This could be highly beneficial for preventing postmenopausal osteoporosis. This herb inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines and COX-2, which helps prevent body inflammation. High doses of java may also reduce pain.
Java may also help with diabetes management. This is primarily because it enhances the release of insulin. This herb also improves HDL cholesterol levels, reduces one’s blood glucose levels, and also inhibits pancreatic α-amylase and intestinal α-glucosidase. α-amylase and intestinal α-glucosidase are two enzymes that affect starch absorption and glucose uptake.
Regulates Kidney Functions
Java is known for its diuretic properties. The herb regulates the output of amino acid and choline metabolism, which allows it to protect the body from oxalate-induced kidney injury.
Protects the Liver
Java may prevent cirrhosis or scarring of the liver. In rat studies wherein they were exposed to Thioacetamide (hepatotoxic chemical), java was observed to reduce ALT, AST, ALP, and Bilirubin as it increases the total Albumin and protein.
Java tea may help manage blood pressure levels. Thus, this could bring a huge benefit to preventing hypertension. This may also reduce blood tension and manage the level of tension to maintain balance.
Enhances Blood Circulation
The tea may help the body manage healthy blood circulation. It may ensure a good blood flow, free from the possibility of blood clot formation. Thus, this may help maintain healthy blood flow throughout the body.
It is a traditional belief of Javanese people that drinking a cup of misai kucing in the morning may be good for their energy level. This is the usual source of energy for Javanese families for them to accomplish their daily chores.
Helps with Digestion
When consumed properly, the java tea may help maintain a healthy digestive system, by helping maintain the peristaltic movement. However, it is also believed that when this is consumed more than what’s appropriate it could cause problems in one’s digestive system. That’s why it is recommended to take this in the morning.