Smartweed: More Than Just a Natural Antifungal

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Fungal nail infection is also known as onychomycosis. It’s a dermatological condition that infects the toenails more than the fingernails. Fungal infections result from fungi overgrowth in or under the nails. Fungi thrive in warm and moist environments. Places with this type of environment may increase the rate of fungal spread. You may get infected by someone who has it. Fungi are also naturally present in the body, and they may become nail infections.

What does it look like?

A nail fungus infection makes the nail thick. The nails may have a white or yellow discoloration. This may start from a small spot on the nail and spread to the rest of it. It may even spread to other nails. The infected nail may turn brittle, distorted in shape, and at times a foul odor.

How is it diagnosed?

A diagnosis can be done by using a nail sample which will be sent to pathology. This will establish the specific cause of the infection. If in case a positive pathology is not found, the test called Diafactory Tinea Unguium (kit) can be an alternative.

How is it treated?

A nail fungus treatment aims to eliminate the pathogen that is causing it, restore the nail to its original shape, and prevent reinfection. Managing a nail fungal infection depends on the type of pathogen and the severity of the symptoms. There are instances when a combination treatment is applied. For mild cases, some home remedies can help you get rid of nail infections. These include the use of some herbal medicines and even kitchen ingredients. When the infection is stubborn and persistent, nail removal may be advised.

Examples of treatment include oral and topical antifungals. It takes time to treat a nail fungal infection because the toenails grow slowly.

1All about Dotted Smartweed (Polygonum Hydropiperoides)

Smartweed is a plant that thrives more in low and damp environments all over North and South America. This plant is known to possess nutritional properties that have been used in traditional medicine as a treatment for bloating and gastrointestinal distress and to provide respiratory system support.

Historically, this plant has been used in producing various herbal medicines for treating various diseases due to its anthelmintic, neuroprotective, styptic, astringent, estrogenicity, diaphoretic, antifungal, carminative, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties.

Smartweed is characterized by its fruits that look like black dots. They are as long as perigon, and they look like nuts. The leaves of a smartweed have a pungent bitter taste and are laced with a peppery peppermint flavor, making it great for spicing dishes.

As an Antifungal

Researchers at the Tsinghua University School of Medicine in Beijing examined the effects of smartweed against Candida. They reported that smartweed inhibited the growth of Candida albicans by almost 50 percent. Candida is a kind of yeast that can be found on any person’s skin. When they are at a moderate amount, Candida won’t cause any disruptions. However, you have to be careful when an overgrowth of Candida happens. This is when you need a natural antifungal like smartweed.

Other Health Benefits

Smartweed has been used for its many health benefits. Some of the most popular ones include the following:

Antioxidant

One of the benefits of smartweed to human health is its ability to protect the body from oxidation that comes from toxins and free radicals. Oxidation brings you inevitable aging. Smartweed can be used to delay its effects. Several experiments on the effectiveness of smartweed as an antioxidant gave positive results. This is why this plant has an important role in supporting the body’s health functions.

Excessive Menstrual Blood Flow and Pain

The smartweed plant can be used for creating a decoction, which can be used as a treatment for hemorrhoids and excessive menstrual bleeding. This also helps to stop menstrual pains.

Anti-inflammatory

This herb may also be squeezed and applied to the infected area or body part to relieve it from soreness and inflammation.

Antibacterial

This herb may also be used for creating herbal medicines that can eliminate bacterial infections like Staphylococcus aureus, E. Coli, and Enterococcus faecalis because this herb serves as a toxin to these bacteria.

Gastrointestinal Distress

Smartweed can be used alone for treating gastrointestinal distress or it can be combined with other herbs too. This may function as a treatment for diarrhea and bloating.

Emmenagogue

According to studies, smartweed has emmenagogue properties. Herbs with this property are known for their ability to induce blood flow in the uterus and the pelvic areas of women. Because of the unique characteristics of this herb, women often use it to address menstrual irregularities, prevent pregnancy and ovulation, and even induce abortion. Other herbs that have emmenagogue properties include chamomile, parsley, and mugwort.

Indigestion

This herb is also a good carminative. It can be taken to prevent gas formation in one’s intestines. Smartweed helps to excrete unwanted gas from one’s intestines and prevent flatulence.

Cholera

A hot decoction from this herb’s leaves can help treat cholera. This is a bacterial infection that is caused by drinking contaminated water or food. You can simply soak a soft cloth in the aqueous hot decoction from its leaves. Wrap the cloth around the patient for immediate effects.

Oral Contraceptives

Chinese researchers placed smartweed under anti-fertility drugs. This herb may function as a contraceptive, preventing fertilization and conception.

Epilepsy

Researchers revealed that when combined with tonics and gum myrrh, smartweed can be used as an epilepsy treatment.

Culinary Uses

This herb is also pepperish, which means that it can be used often as a hot spice intended for flavoring and food garnishing. The aqueous ethanol extract of this herb is often used as a food preservative. The smartweed’s sprouted seeds may be used for garnishing salads.

Gastric Ulcer

Smartweed extract functions as a gastric ulcer treatment, thanks to its quercetin content. Quercetin is a flavonoid that contains antioxidant properties.

Precautions

To be on the safe side, pregnant and breastfeeding women must avoid taking smartweed in any form. It is significant to avoid taking this herb when you have ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders. This is because this herb may irritate the tissues that line up the intestines and stomach.

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