Onychomycosis or nail fungus is the most common nail disorder. It comprises 50 percent of all nail disorders. This has been considered a gender-related or age-related nail disease. It is more prevalent among males and it increases in propensity as the person ages regardless of gender. This nail infection has several predisposing factors such as immunosuppression because of HIV, diabetes mellitus, immunosuppressive agents, and peripheral arterial disease.
Understanding the Nail Fungal Infection
Toenail fungus is more likely to occur in toenails compared to fingernails. The fungus that causes this infection can be of varying types, which include molds, yeasts, and dermatophytes. In many cases of nail fungal infection, the cause is dermatophytes. This group of fungi not only affects the hair but also the hair and skin. This is because fungus feeds off keratin found in the tissues.
Toenail fungus is characterized by the white, black, or yellow spots that occur at the base or edge of the nail, which is near the cuticle. While the disease progresses, the spots could spread and appear on the entire nail surface. This is when the infection starts to colonize the nail, causing this to soften, deform, and detach. A nail fungal infection is a contagious disease, and it can spread to the other nails of the person or the nails of the other people through surfaces that have been contaminated with the fungus.
A doctor may examine the infected nails. Nail clippings or a nail sample from the debris that collects underneath the nail could be sent to a lab for a fungal culture. This will determine the type of microorganism that caused the infection. The symptoms of nail fungal infection mimic those of psoriasis and other conditions. This is why diagnosis is important.
The initial nail fungus treatment is often topical, but oral antifungal medications may be given to those who suffer from severe infections.
1All about the Guava Leaves
A lot of people enjoy eating guavas, and many of them are aware of their health benefits. However, only a few people ever ask if guava leaves have health benefits too. It’s a common practice for people to enjoy fruits and vegetables but discard the leaves. It would help a lot of people for us to be aware of the benefits of guava leaves. These leaves are known for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties. Guava leaves may be effective for pain relief and for reducing the symptoms of numerous health conditions because of their tannins, carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, and other therapeutic compounds.
As an Antimicrobial
Based on phytochemical analysis which can be both qualitative and quantitative showed that the guava leaf extract is loaded with a wide range of polyphenols. It was also observed that guava leaves are rich in phenols, tannins, and flavonoids while components like flavonoids, triterpenes, saponins, and alkaloids are also present although in a lesser amount. Polyphenols are known for having a potent antimicrobial property. It can be concluded that because guava leaves are rich in flavonoids, phenols, and tannins, they possess antimicrobial properties.
Other Health Benefits
Scientific studies have established the health benefits of guava leaves. The following are some of them:
For Weight Loss
Obesity has become an epidemic that causes a lot of health problems like heart disease and diabetes. Guava leaves contain a flavonoid called quercetin which is known to inhibit the formation of fat cells. They do this by inhibiting complex starches from becoming sugars. What happens with sugar is that it is metabolized by the liver where it is turned into fat before secreting it into the blood. This is the main cause of weight gain. Some properties of guava leaves have unique abilities to inhibit the absorption of carbohydrates by the body. This results in a decrease in sugar and calories absorbed by the body, aiding weight loss in the process.
For Type 2 Diabetes Cure
Studies have revealed that guava leaf extracts may improve blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and long-term blood sugar control. The extract also contains a phytochemical known as catechin, which can control the blood glucose levels or has a hypo-glycaemic effect on the human body. Guava leaf tea may also lower blood glucose levels in those who suffer from diabetes. It does this by reducing the activity of the alpha-glucosidase enzyme. Moreover, this also averts the sucrose and maltose absorption by the body., hence lowering the body’s blood sugar levels. Another study published in BioMed Research International Journal exhibited that guava leaf extract has the best potential to reduce blood sugar levels not to mention oxidative stress in diabetics.
As Dengue Fever Cure
Guava leaves have been used as a remedy for dengue fever. Thanks to the guava leaf extract that can increase the blood platelets apart from not being toxic too. As treatment for dengue fever, guava leaves have to be boiled in 5 cups of water until only 3 cups remain. Strain and let the concoction cool down. The patient can drink a cup of this three times every day.
For Treating Gastrointestinal Issues
Guava leaves have antibacterial properties that can prevent antimicrobial growth within the intestines, making them more alkaline. They also help reduce mucus production which can irritate the digestive system. This is what makes the guava leaves helpful in treating health problems like diarrhea and gastroenteritis.
For Brain Health Support
Guava leaves help promote brain health because of their high levels of vitamin B3 (niacin). Niacin has been established to increase blood flow and also improve the brain’s cognitive functions and mental focus.
May Help Fight Cancer
Guava leaves are believed to help fight cancer because of their high quantities of the antioxidant lycopene, particularly oral, breast, and prostate cancers. According to research, guava extract helps inhibit androgen production. This male hormone helps promote the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Helps Reduce Acne
Guava leaves contain a high percentage of vitamin C. Guava leaves are crushed and applied to the acne-infected areas. Blackheads may also benefit a lot from this homemade paste with just a few drops of water.