Monday, January 21, 2013

Catus powder

Botanical Name: Opuntia streptacantha species

Uses of Prickly Pear: Prickly pear has been used to treat wounds, GI complaints, lipid disorders, and diabetes.

Prickly Pear Adverse Reactions: Dermatitis may be the most common side effect from prickly pear.  Side effects may include exacerbation of hypoglycemia if combined with oral hypoglycemic agents.

History: Prickly pear has been used as a food source (conserves) and for alcoholic drinks in Mexico for hundreds of years. Native Americans have applied the pads to wounds and bruises.

Chemistry: Prickly pear fruit is high in nutritional value. Analysis of pulp, skin, and seeds reveals high amounts of calcium, potassium, and carbohydrates. Other reported nutrients include vitamin C, iron, and phosphorus. Mucilage, sugars, and other fruit acids are also found in the fruit.
Prickly pear fruit is nutritious. The cactus pads are used in a variety of cooking preparations, including soups and salads. The taste has been compared with green beans or asparagus, with the sticky mucilage similar to okra. Prickly pear fruit liquid has been studied as a natural sweetener.

Dermatologic effects: Prickly pear cactus flowers have been used as an astringent for wounds and for their healing effects on the skin. The cactus pads have been used for medicinal purposes mainly by Indian tribes in Mexico and the southwestern US, as a poultice for rash, sunburn, burns, insect bites, minor wounds, hemorrhoids, earaches, and asthmatic symptoms.

GI effects: The pectins and mucilage from the plant are beneficial to the digestive system. The flowers are used for GI problems such as diarrhea, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.

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