The African Mistletoe’s Secret Health Benefits

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Nail fungus also called onychomycosis is a common condition of the nails. By identifying the infection early on, you can prevent it from spreading and becoming worse. This can affect both the fingernails and toenails, but it is more prevalent in one’s toenails. Athlete’s foot may also result in a nail fungal infection when it is not given intervention.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of a nail fungal infection may include thickened nails, the appearance of white and yellow spots under the nails, pain coming from the nails, and having crumbly brittle nail edges.

Causes

Fungi thrive in a warm and moist environment, just like the environment inside the shoes. The most common group of fungi that causes a nail fungal infection is called dermatophytes. Yeast and molds may also cause nail fungal infections.

Risk Factors

Several personal habits and medical conditions can increase the risk of getting infected with nail fungus. Walking barefoot in areas like public swimming pools is one. Having diabetes and a blood circulation disorder may also increase the risk of infection, including sharing personal items like towels and nail clippers.

Treatment

It’s important to start treatment once you notice that your nail or nails have become discolored, misshapen, or fallen off. Most of the time a nail fungal infection requires oral medication. The most effective and popular of these is the Terbinafine. This treatment may last for 3 to 4 months. When taking itraconazole and fluconazole, you must be cautious of drug interactions. The topical nail fungus treatment amorolfine lacquer may be effective in nail fungus that affects the tip of the nail and in children. Antifungal medication must not be taken orally by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Some self-care tips can be done to prevent nail fungal infections. One of these is to trim the nails at least once a week.

1All about the African Mistletoe

Mistletoe or the African Mistletoe (Tapinanthus dodoneifolius) is a plant known for its semblance to the mistletoes found in Europe and Asia. It is a hemiparasitic plant, which means that it grows on parts of trees and plants as hosts. Some of its most common hosts include orange tree, shea tree, neem tree, cocoa tree, and others. By being hemiparasitic, the mistletoe depends on the host for some of its needs but not all of them. It can undergo photosynthesis on its own, but it depends on the host for water and minerals to thrive.

The European mistletoe is harvested, and its leaves, stems, and berries are made into teas, injections, and extracts. The European mistletoe is also known by its other names: all-heal, viscum, birdlime, and white-berry mistletoe.

When people hear the word mistletoe, it usually brings to mind the tradition that is associated with it. This means kissing someone when under the mistletoe during Christmas or New Year celebrations. But this plant is not only for decorative purposes. It is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants, and glycosides and has been known for multiple health benefits.

As an Antimicrobial

In a study, the antimicrobial influence of the African mistletoe against fungus and bacteria was investigated. The results of the antimicrobial screening and crude extraction from the plant exhibited that the extracts inhibited the growth of fungus and Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. These have also shown antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter cloacae, and Bacillus subtilis. The extracts are more potent than kanamycin in fighting off bacteria while they are the same as ampicillin and streptomycin in their antibacterial activity.

Other Health Benefits

The mistletoe has been studied for its multiple health benefits:

Cardiovascular Health

Mistletoe is believed to prevent high blood pressure. Doing this, it can help prevent strokes and coronary heart diseases. According to research, the mistletoe also comes with antioxidants effects, which help improve the body’s circulation and also protect the heart and blood vessels. Mistletoe is also capable of regulating the body’s heart rate.

Diabetes

Mistletoe is known for regulating blood sugar levels. Some studies support mistletoe’s potential capability to treat diabetes. Animal studies revealed that the ​​mistletoe may reduce blood glucose levels as well as stimulate insulin production in pancreatic cells. Another study showed that mistletoe extract may protect the body’s liver cells from free radicals. Further studies have to be done to determine the effects of this plant on humans.

Boosts Immunity

Studies have shown the antioxidant properties of the African mistletoe. Antioxidants are known for eliminating free radicals from the body. They can contaminate body cells, making them cancerous. Furthermore, antioxidants strengthen the body’s immune system. They make the body more resistant to infections and diseases.

Respiratory Health

This plant can be used in improving respiration in numerous ways. As an example, it can soothe irritation in bronchial tubes. It is also capable of calming down harsh coughs and relieves inflamed sore throats. It also helps a lot during asthma attacks.

Anxiety and Stress Relief

When you have persistent anxiety, it can debilitate you in your day-to-day routine. Mistletoe has some properties that can provide calm during an anxiety attack. Studies have suggested that mistletoe can be highly effective in reducing depression and anxiety in people who have cancer. A good night’s sleep is significant for physical and mental health. This helps a lot in managing anxiety. This herb has chemical components that may help in the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine which supports good quality sleep.

Cancer Care

The National Cancer Institute stated that mistletoe is one of the most researched alternative remedies for cancer. Research studies suggest that this plant can stimulate the body’s immune system to fight off cancer cells. Its extracts are known for anti-cancer activity. It can inhibit cancer cell spread and eliminate existing cancer cells in experimental lab tests. It has also been researched as having the potential to raise the quality of life of cancer patients. It has also been observed to increase blood count and reduce tumor size. Some studies have exhibited that mistletoe’s ability to reduce symptoms like fatigue, appetite loss, pain, nausea, and depression or anxiety following cancer treatment.

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