Nail fungal infection is a common condition of the nails. It occurs when fungi enter the skin in between the nail as well as the skin. Toenails and fingernails are all vulnerable to fungal infections. When the infection spreads in the nail bed, part of the nail may become yellow or white. Bits of the nail may fall off, and debris may build up underneath the nail. The nail may also crumble, split, or separate from the skin. It is likely for the nail to appear thicker than the others. The nail may cause pain and discomfort particularly when you wear shoes. It could also become unsightly. The technical name for nail fungus is onychomycosis. It is known to affect mostly those who are over 60 years old or those with diabetes.
Signs of the Nail Fungus
As the infection progresses the following signs start to occur: thicker nails than the usual, nail discoloration that starts to spread, nails that are ragged in the edges and crumbling, nails with distorted shapes, and a slightly foul odor from the infected nails.
Causes of Nail Fungus
Fungi that develop in between the nail and the skin often cause a nail fungal infection. Yeasts or molds may also cause a nail infection. Several factors may also increase your chances of developing an infection in your toenail or fingernail. These are being older, having diabetes and a circulation disorder, excessive sweating, a history of athlete’s foot, having underlying skin conditions like psoriasis, and walking barefoot in public places like pools and changing rooms.
Treatments of Nail Fungus
Nail fungus treatment may be hard to determine, but there are several options to choose from. At the first sign of infection, treatment must be provided to abet the infection. It is usual for the doctor to prescribe an oral antifungal. At times, a topical nail infection treatment may be prescribed. Combination therapy of topical and oral nail fungus treatments may also be suggested by the doctor in severe cases.
1All about the Bupleurum Root (Chai Hu)
Bupleurum is also known as Chai Hu in traditional Chinese medicine. It has been used as a valuable herb for more than 2,000 years because of its numerous health benefits. The roots of this plant offer multiple health benefits, particularly their ability for liver cleansing and natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Good health in Chinese medicine is based on the free and balanced flow of qi (the vital energy needed by the body) and blood. The liver is what’s responsible for the flow of qi and blood all over the body. When the flow is obstructed, health issues may occur. Bupleurum root helps promote the flow of qi. It also eliminates excess heat from the liver system.
Bupleurum is also being used today in Japanese traditional medicine called Kampo. It is also known as a common medicine for insomnia in Taiwan.
Some Basic Facts
The Bupleurum is a family of 200 herby or shrubby plants that are mostly native to Asia. One of the species is commonly known as thorow wax. Traditional medicine practitioners have been using this plant for centuries for treating various conditions from infections like HIV to stomachaches and cirrhosis. Its roots are also used for medicinal applications while its foliage and flowers could make great decors. The problem with Bupleurum is that there are limited studies on its safety and efficacy.
As an Antifungal and Antimicrobial
Various extracts of the genus Bupleurumwere investigated for their biological activities as well as their chemical compositions. Extracts, essential oils, and other isolated compounds from the Bupleurum have shown antimicrobial activity against Gram‐positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus albus, Streptococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Streptococcus agalactiae.
People often use Bupleurum for treating respiratory infections, liver infections, menstrual problems, digestive problems, and a lot of other conditions; but more scientific studies are required to support these.
Other Health Benefits
Bupleurum root has several other benefits apart from the ones stated above. These include the following:
Enhances the functions of the adrenal gland
Bupleurum when used along with licorice and panax ginseng may stimulate the functions of the adrenal gland. This is beneficial for those who are taking corticosteroid drugs for a long time which may affect the health condition of the adrenal gland. This helps prevent and fight off adrenal insufficiency, allowing the body to increase the body’s energy levels and get rid of the body’s hormones.
Boosts the body’s immune system
Several studies were conducted to explore the impact of Bupleurum on one’s immune system and autoimmune disorders. Some of the findings include: Bupleurum may increase the lymphatic system activity in the body. The lymphatic system does several functions to protect the body from illness. Bupleurum is also used traditionally for boosting the immune system. Due to its antiviral properties, Bupleurum could complement western medicines for flu like oseltamivir. Bupleurum also supports the functions of cytokines, which help in regulating the body’s immune system.
Diabetes control and management
Bupleurum has been used in Japanese traditional medicine as a staple diabetes cure for a long time. This is why it has gained global interest. In mainland China, a medication called Tangminling is often prescribed by doctors. This has a formulation that contains bupleurum along with several herbal ingredients. According to researchers, this treatment was highly effective at improving various diabetes biomarkers compared to placebos. They concluded that the Bupleurum could be a promising complement to any type 2 diabetes treatment.
Research revealed that Bupleurum’s main active components are known as saikosaponins. Saikogenins and phytosterols play primary roles. Existing studies revealed that saikosaponins in Bupleurum may function as antivirals, help with sleep, manage cancer symptoms, prevent or reduce fevers, reduce pain, and protect our liver.
Several species of bupleurum are known for being poisonous. This is believed to be brought about by the high levels of neurotoxin (polyacetylene) found in it. Neurotoxin may cause seizures. It is crucial to consume only products that include non-toxic forms of bupleurum. Excessive doses even of nonpoisonous bupleurum can be dangerous to health. An excessive amount of saikosaponins and the bupleurum essential oil may also damage the liver.