Toenail fungus is a more common condition than you expected. According to medical experts, toenail fungus which is also known as onychomycosis affects one out of ten people in general. This number increases from 1 to 2 for those who are 70 years old and above. There are four types of toenail fungal infections which are the following: Distal or lateral subungual onychomycosis (DSO), White superficial onychomycosis (WSO), Proximal subungual onychomycosis (PSO), and Candidal onychomycosis.
What are the causes?
It is difficult to avoid any contact with microscopic organisms such as fungi. This is particularly true when you like walking barefoot in damp places like swimming pools and locker rooms. This is also the reason why your toenails are more vulnerable to toenail fungus than your fingernails.
The most common cause of onychomycosis is microorganisms that belong to the group called dermatophytes. Nail infections may also be caused by yeasts and molds.
Several factors may also cause nail fungal infections. Those people who suffer from chronic conditions like diabetes, blood circulation problems, and immune-deficiency medical conditions are more vulnerable to nail fungal infections. Having a nail injury and consistent pressure on the toes from tight shoes may also contribute to the development of a nail fungal infection.
What are the common symptoms?
Nails that have been infected by toenail fungus often show the following changes: the nails become thick, brittle, ragged, dull, and crumbly. They also become distorted in shape and darker or discolored. A debris buildup often occurs underneath the nails. In some cases, the infected nail may separate from the nail bed, and pain may emanate from the infected nail. Some people also experience pain and discomfort from the area of infection.
How is it treated?
A nail fungus treatment may vary depending on the cause and level of severity of the infection. The doctor usually prescribes an oral antifungal medication which must be taken for months. Another possible nail fungus treatment is a topical antifungal medication.
1All about the Wild Rue
The African rue (scientific name Peganum harmala) is a perennial plant that has multiple branches. It grows higher than 2 feet and at a width of 4 feet in diameter. It has a woody base and its roots can branch out and reach up to 20 feet in terms of depth. This is why the wild rue can survive in very dry environments.
African rue or wild rue is native to the eastern Mediterranean region up to India, but it has now spread across countries namely California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Texas. The seeds of the African rue may cause hallucinations and also lead to stimulant effects when they are taken orally.
How does it work?
The seeds of the wild rue are filled with chemicals that are known as beta-carbon lines. Such chemicals have varying effects on the body. The problem is that these chemical constituents also show the same effects as those medicines used for treating Alzheimer’s disease.
As an Antifungal and Antimicrobial
The seeds of the African rue have several alkaloids as well as other phytochemicals that are credited for the different medicinal properties that this multipurpose plant provides. The seeds of the wild rue have an antibacterial activity that inhibits drug-resistant bacteria. The smoke from the seeds eliminates algae, intestinal parasites, molds, and bacteria while its roots are good for eliminating lice and insects.
Another study showed that both seed and root extracts of the wild rue have inhibitory activity against E. coli and S. typhi. The African rue seed extract when combined with extracts from other herbs has been observed to have inhibitory activity against Streptococcus pyogenes, S. aureus, S. pyogenes, Candida albicans, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, Typhi, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus epidermidis.
Other Health Benefits and Uses
Aside from the health benefits and applications of the wild rue stated above, this perennial plant is also known for the following:
The wild rue is known as a good analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent. Harmaline, which is an active ingredient of the wild rue, stimulates the central nervous system. This makes the herb a good treatment for depression. Its seeds when powdered may get rid of tapeworms and heal fevers that recur. A decoction made from the African rue may also be used in the treatment of laryngitis. The seeds are also used in the treatment of skin cancer and subcutaneous cancers. The seed extracts are effective against tumor cell lines. They are also used as an ingredient in fragrances and are used for eliminating insects. A decoction made from its leaves can be used for treating rheumatism. The herb itself is used as a medicinal remedy for coughs, hysterical affections, colic and flatulence, and other related conditions. Traditionally, the wild rue is also used for devil repellant and as a protection against evil eyes. The plant aids baldness, worms, and menstrual pains. It also helps in lactation.
The appropriate dose for taking wild rue depends on a lot of factors which include the patient’s age, the status of health, and other conditions. It’s critical to consult a physician, pharmacist, or any health practitioner who has knowledge of this herb before you take it as a remedy or supplement.
When taken by mouth even in low doses, the wild rue can be unsafe. Consuming 3 to 4 grams of African rue seeds may lead to hallucinations and other stimulant effects. It is likely to be more unsafe when taken in large doses. It may cause serious adverse effects like kidney, heart, and liver problems, issues in the nervous system, and even death. There are reported cases of these.
Syrian rue is dangerous when taken by mouth by a pregnant or breastfeeding woman. It is possible for pregnant women to go into sudden labor with the intake of Syrian rue. Syrian rue is known to contain the chemicals harmaline and harmine. Such chemicals may result in complications for people who suffer from a slow heart rate or any heart disease. People who suffer from these conditions must avoid consuming Syrian rue. The herb may also interfere with a surgical procedure. It would be safest to avoid taking the wild rue two weeks before a scheduled surgery.