The meaning of the symbols of dreams/ seen in a dream.


A term applied to a group of substances which exist in minute quantities in natural foods, and which are necessary to normal nutrition, especially in connection with growth and development. Some – A, D, E and K – are fat-soluble and can be stored in the body. The remainder – C, B12 and other members of the B complex – are water-soluble and are quickly excreted. Most vitamins have now been synthesised. When they are absent from the food, defective growth takes place in young animals and children, and in adults various diseases arise; whilst short of the production of actual disease, persistent deprivation of one or other vitamin is apt to lead to a state of lowered general health. Certain de?ciencies in DIET have long been known to be the cause of SCURVY, BERIBERI, and RICKETS. A diet containing foods such as milk, eggs, butter, cheese, fat, ?sh, wholemeal bread, fresh vegetables and fruit should contain su?cient vitamins. Details of the various vitamins are given in APPENDIX 5: VITAMINS.... vitamin


Inflammation of the vagina... vaginitis


In infectious disease epidemiology, an insect or any living carrier that transports an infectious agent from an infected individual or its wastes to a susceptible individual or its food or immediate surroundings.... vector

In Vitro

In an artificial environment.... in vitro

Seminal Vesicle

The dilated lower part of the vas deferens of cestodes which opens into cirrus.... seminal vesicle


A preparation of dead particulate or weakened bacteria or viruses prepared for injection into the body so that antibodies are formed to prevent disease (eg polio). Detoxi fied but genetically potent toxins (called toxoids) can also be used (e.g. tetanus and diphtheria)... vaccine


Pertaining to blood vessels... vascular


Inflammation of one or more blood vessels... vasculitis


An agent that narrows blood vessel openings, restricting the flow of blood through them... vasoconstrictor


An agent that expands blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow through them... vasodilator

Ventricular Fibrillation

A very fast ‘flickering’ of the heart with no measurable circulation of blood by the heart. This usually occurs after a heart attack (or electrocution).... ventricular fibrillation


Dizziness... vertigo


A fluid-containing blister on the skin, often quite itchy.... vesicle


Presence of a virus in the blood.... viraemia


Viola odorata. N.O. Violaceae.

Habitat: Damp woods and other shady places.

Features ? This is, perhaps, best known of all wild plants, with its long-stalked, heart- shaped leaves, and delicate, characteristically-scented and coloured flowers.

Part used ? Leaves and flowers.

Action: Antiseptic and expectorant.

Remarkable claims have been made for violet leaves in the treatment of malignant tumours. The case of Lady Margaret Marsham, of Maidstone, was reported in the Daily Mail for November 14th, 1901. This lady, suffering from cancer of the throat, used an infusion, which was left to stand for twelve hours, of a handful of fresh violet leaves to a pint of

boiling water. After a fortnight of warm fomentations with this liquid the growth was said to have disappeared.

The same newspaper, under date March 18th, 1905, told its readers that violet leaves as a cure for cancer were advocated in the current issue of the Lancet, where a remarkable case was reported by Dr. William Gordon, M.D. Such accounts as these, although interesting, should be read with considerable reserve.... violet


The relative infectiousness of a microorganism, or its ability to overcome the defences of the host.... virulence


An opening of the female reproductive system, may be situated at the anterior, middle or posterior parts and on the ventral side of the body according to groups of nematodes.... vulva

Double Vision

See SQUINT.... double vision

Epstein Barr Virus

The virus that causes glandular fever or infectious MONONUCLEOSIS. It is similar to the viruses that cause herpes and is associated with BURKITT’S LYMPHOMA. It has been suggested as precipitating some attacks of MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS (ME), also known as CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME (CFS).... epstein barr virus

Factor Viii

A coagulative blood protein that is a constituent of the COAGULATION cascade – an essential component in the clotting of blood. Those people with the inherited disorder, HAEMOPHILIA, have abnormally low amounts of factor VIII and so bleed more when cut. They are treated with a concentrated version to reduce the tendency to bleed.... factor viii

Gentian Violet

A dye belonging to the rosaniline group. It is a useful super?cial antiseptic for use on unbroken skin.... gentian violet

Genu Valgum

The medical term for knock-knee – a deformity of the lower limbs in such a direction that when the limbs are straightened, the legs diverge from one another. As a result, in walking, the knees knock against each other. The amount of knock-knee is measured by the distance between the medial malleoli of the ankles, with the inner surfaces of the knee touching and the knee-caps facing forwards. The condition is so common in children between the ages of 2–6 years that it may almost be regarded as a normal phase in childhood. When marked, or persisting into later childhood, it can be corrected by surgery (osteotomy).... genu valgum

Genu Varum

Genu varum is the medical term for BOW LEG.... genu varum

Hallux Valgus

Outward displacement of the great toe – always associated with a bunion (see CORNS AND BUNIONS). It is due to the pressure of footwear on an unduly broad foot. In adolescents, this broad foot is inherited; in adults it is due to splaying of the foot as a result of loss of muscle tone. The bunion is produced by pressure of the footwear on the protruding base of the toe. In mild cases the wearing of comfortable shoes may be all that is needed. In more severe cases the bunion may need to be removed, while in the most severe the operation of ARTHROPLASTY may be needed.... hallux valgus

In Vivo

In a living body.... in vivo

Lymphogranuloma Venereum

(LGV) A tropical sexually transmitted disease caused by Chlamydia trachomatis serotypes L1, L2 and L3.... lymphogranuloma venereum

Mitral Valve

The mitral valve, so-called because of its resemblance to a bishop’s mitre, is the valve which guards the opening between the ATRIUM and VENTRICLE on the left side of the HEART.... mitral valve

Sodium Valproate

A drug of ?rst choice for the treatment of several forms of EPILEPSY, including primary generalised epilepsy, generalised absences and myoclonic seizures; it may also be tried in atypical absence, atonic and tonic seizures. Usually taken orally, the drug has shown promising initial results from controlled trials in partial epilepsy. It probably has similar e?cacy to CARBAMAZEPINE and PHENYTOIN SODIUM.

Sodium valproate has widespread metabolic effects and may have dose-related side-effects. There has been concern over severe hepatic or pancreatic toxicity, but such adverse effects are rare. Other adverse effects include digestive upsets, drowsiness, muscle incoordination and skin rashes. Rare reports have been given of behavioural disturbances, with occasional aggression. Initiation and withdrawal of treatment should always be slow. Patients should reduce their alcohol intake; any other drugs they are taking that are metabolised by the liver should be carefully monitored.... sodium valproate

Tricuspid Valve

The valve, with three cusps or ?aps, that guards the opening from the right atrium into the right ventricle of the HEART.... tricuspid valve


Injection of a vaccine to prevent certain diseases. (Syn. immunisation).... vaccination


The lower part of the female reproductive tract (see REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM) through which a baby is delivered. It is a muscular passage leading from the labial entrance to the UTERUS. It is lined with mucous membrane and receives the erect PENIS during sexual intercourse. The semen is ejaculated into the upper part of the vagina; from there the sperms must pass through the cervix and uterus to fertilise the ovum in the Fallopian tube.... vagina


Spasmodic painful, involuntary contraction of the opening of the VAGINA on attempted coitus (sexual intercourse). It is usually psychological in origin – due, for instance, to fear that penetration by the penis will be painful, or because of some previous traumatic incident of sexual intercourse such as rape or sexual abuse as a child. It may also be due to some local, painful condition such as in?ammation.... vaginismus


The operation of cutting the ?bres of the VAGUS nerve to the stomach. It was once part of the routine surgical treatment of DUODENAL ULCER, the aim being to reduce the ?ow or acidity of the gastric juice. The operation is now performed on those patients who fail to respond to drug treatment. (See also STOMACH, DISEASES OF – Gastric ulcer).... vagotomy

Vagus Nerve

Also called the pneumogastric nerve, this is the tenth cranial nerve, with many fibers leading to parasympathetic ganglia in internal organs, and can be considered the presynapse starter for the upper parts of the parasympathetic functions.... vagus nerve


Valeriana officinalis. N.O. Valerianaceae.

Synonym: Capon's Tail, Great Wild Valerian.

Habitat: Found in many damp places such as low-lying meadows and woods, about the banks of rivers and lakes, and in marshy, swampy ground generally.

Features ? A handsome plant, growing from two to four feet and more high, whose stalks are round, thick, furrowed, and of a pale greenish colour. The leaves are pinnate with lance-shaped leaflets, growing opposite each other from the stem. The pink-white flowers (June to August) blossom in large tufts at the stalk head. A sweetish, disagreeable taste and unpleasant characteristic odour are given from the short, thick, greyish, many-fibred rootstock, which is the part used medicinally.

Action: Nervine and antispasmodic.

Valerian promotes sleep and is much valued in hysteria, neuralgia and nervous debility, especially when combined with Scullcap, Mistletoe and Vervain. An infusion of 1 ounce to 1 pint of boiling water is taken in wineglass doses three or four times daily. Larger doses should not be taken.... valerian


The extent to which a measurement, test or study measures what it purports to measure. There are various types of validity: construct validity: The degree to which an instrument measures the characteristic being investigated; the extent to which the conceptual definition matches the operational definition. content validity: Verification that the method of measurement actually measures what it is expected to measure, covering all areas under investigation reasonably and thoroughly. criterion validity: Verification that the instrument correlates with external criteria of the phenomenon under study, either concurrently or predictively. external validity: The extent to which study results can be generalized beyond the sample used in the study. face validity: A type of content validity, determining the suitability of a given instrument as a source of data on the subject under investigation, using commonsense criteria. internal validity: the extent to which the effects detected in a study are truly caused by the treatment or exposure in the study sample, rather than being due to other biasing effects of extraneous variables.... validity


An operation that opens a stenosed heart valve (see STENOSIS; HEART, DISEASES OF) and allows it to function properly again. Various techniques are used, including a dilating instrument, a balloon or open-heart surgery.... valvotomy


An operation to repair or reconstruct a defective heart valve (see VALVES). It may be done as an open-heart procedure (with the patient temporarily connected to a HEART-LUNG MACHINE that maintains the circulation of oxygenated blood); alternatively, valvuloplasty can now be performed using a specially designed balloon-ended catheter (see CATHETERS) passed through the skin into a blood vessel and on to the heart. The balloon is in?ated and the ?aps of a narrowed (stenosed) valve are prised apart.... valvuloplasty


A measure of the variation shown by a set of observations, defined by the sum of the squares of deviations from the mean, divided by the number of degrees of freedom in the set of observations.... variance


Another name for CHICKENPOX.... varicella


A condition in which the veins of the TESTICLE are distended. (See TESTICLE, DISEASES OF.)... varicocele

Varicose Veins

VEINS that have become stretched and dilated. (See VEINS, DISEASES OF.)... varicose veins


Another name for SMALLPOX.... variola


A term meaning inward displacement of a part of the body – for example, the knee (genu varum) or the ankle (talipes varus).... varus


The surgical operation performed to render men sterile, or infertile. It consists of ligating, or tying, and then cutting the ductus, or vas, deferens (see TESTICLE). It is quite a simple operation carried out under local anaesthesia, through a small incision or cut (or sometimes two) in the upper part of the SCROTUM. It has no e?ect on sexual drive or ejaculation, and does not cause impotency. It is not immediately e?ective, and several tests, spread over several months, must be carried out before it is safe to assume that sterility has been achieved. Fertility can sometimes be restored by a further operation, to restore the continuity of the vas; this cannot be guaranteed, and only seems to occur in about 20 per cent of those who have had the operation.... vasectomy


Narrowing of blood vessels which results in the blood ?ow to a particular part of the body being reduced. Cold will cause vasoconstriction of the vessels under the skin, thus reducing heat loss. SHOCK due to injury or loss of blood will also provoke vasoconstriction.... vasoconstriction


The fraction isolated from extract of the posterior PITUITARY GLAND lobe which stimulates intestinal activity, constricts blood vessels, and inhibits the secretion of URINE. It is also known as the antidiuretic hormone (ADH) because of this last e?ect, and its only use in medicine is in the treatment of DIABETES INSIPIDUS.... vasopressin

Vasovagal Attack

The temporary loss of consciousness caused by an abrupt slowing of the heartbeat. This may happen following SHOCK, acute pain, fear, or stress. A common cause of fainting in normal people, a vasovagal attack may be a consequence of overstimulation of the VAGUS nerve which is involved in the control of breathing and the circulation.... vasovagal attack

Vena Cava

The name of either of the two large vessels that open into the right atrium of the HEART. (See VEINS.)... vena cava


The insertion of a needle into a vein (see VEINS), usually for the purpose of injecting a drug or withdrawing blood for haematological or biochemical analysis. The usual site for venepuncture in adults is the median cubital vein in the forearm.... venepuncture


The study of the VEINS, particularly by means of X-rays after the veins have been injected with a radio-opaque substance.... venography


Venesection, or blood-letting, may be employed for two purposes. Most commonly, small quantities of blood may be required for analysis, as an aid to diagnosis or control of various diseases. For example, knowledge of the plasma glucose concentration is important in the diagnosis and management of DIABETES MELLITUS, or blood may be required in order to test for infections such as HIV or HEPATITIS. Blood may be obtained by pricking a ?ngertip, or inserting a needle into a vein, depending on the amount required. Controlled bleeding of larger amounts may rarely be used in certain cases of acute heart failure, as a rapid and temporary method of relieving the strain on the heart. It is also used in the treatment of POLYCYTHAEMIA.... venesection


See VACUUM EXTRACTOR.... ventouse


Positioned or relating to the front of a body or to the front part of an organ.... ventral


(1) The term applied to the two lower cavities of the HEART, and also to the four main cavities within the BRAIN.... ventricle

Ventricular Septal Defect

An inherited defect of the HEART. The septum (partition) separating the two ventricles is pierced by a hole which, if large, results in blood being diverted to the LUNGS at a greater pressure than normal. This may lead to irreversible PULMONARY HYPERTENSION, which early surgical intervention (repair of the septal defect) should prevent. A quarter of patients with VSD have other cardiac defects. Half of the defects seal themselves spontaneously.... ventricular septal defect


(1) Passage of air into and out of the RESPIRATORY SYSTEM.

(2) The process by which air is puri?ed and circulated in domestic, occupational, industrial, and other settings. Ideally, the air we breathe should be of the right temperature and humidity, and free of dust, smoke, pollen, and other contaminants. Ventilation aims to produce such an atmosphere. Air-conditioning is frequently used in hospitals, o?ces, and other

public places. Special ?lters may be used to reduce the risk of airborne infections and allergies (see ALLERGY), but poorly maintained and contaminated systems may result in outbreaks of serious disorders, such as LEGIONNAIRE’S DISEASE. Sterilisation of air is rarely required, but ultraviolet light is sometimes used to kill pathogenic organisms. (See also ASTHMA; BRONCHITIS; HUMIDIFICATION.)... ventilation


Machinery used to provide arti?cial ventilation. Also called a respirator or life-support machine, it is an electric pump linked to a supply of air which it pumps into the patient through an endotracheal tube passed through the nose or mouth into the trachea (see ENDOTRACHEAL INTUBATION). Sometimes the air is pumped straight into the trachea through an arti?cial hole called a TRACHEOSTOMY. During ventilation the patient’s blood gases are closely monitored and other bodily activities such as pulse and heart pressure are regularly measured. Some patients need to be kept on a ventilator for several days or even weeks if their medical condition is serious. (See also ARTIFICIAL VENTILATION OF THE LUNGS.)... ventilator


Verapamil is a drug used in the treatment of HYPERTENSION, disordered rhythms of the heart, and ANGINA PECTORIS. The drug is one of the CALCIUM-CHANNEL BLOCKERS and acts by reducing cardiac output and slowing the heart rate. It may, however, precipitate heart failure, cause HYPOTENSION and aggravate conduction problems in the heart, so should be prescribed with care. It should not be used with BETA-ADRENOCEPTOR-BLOCKING DRUGS.... verapamil


A drug that expels worms... vermifuge


See WARTS.... verruca


The name given to an operation in OBSTETRICS which consists in turning the FETUS in the UTERUS where the fetus is lying in an abnormal position which may make eventual delivery di?cult. In particular, version (which can take place spontaneously) may be done on a fetus between the 34th and 37th weeks of pregnancy when its buttocks rather than its head are positioned at the cervical end of the uterus. The procedure carries a small risk of precipitating premature labour, and it is not always successful, in which case a breech delivery is attempted or, in di?cult cases, a CAESAREAN SECTION is performed. (See also PREGNANCY AND LABOUR.)... version


One of the irregularly shaped bones that together form the vertebral column. (See SPINAL COLUMN.)... vertebra


Referring to the urinary bladder... vesical


A counter irritant strong enough in some cases to cause blistering... vesicant

Vestibulocochlear Nerve

The eighth cranial nerve. It consists of two sets of ?bres, which constitute two separate nerves. One is known as the vestibular nerve, which connects the semicircular canals and inner ear to the BRAIN and conveys information on posture and movement of the body; it is the nerve of equilibration or balance. The other is known as the cochlear nerve, which links the COCHLEA (organ that responds to sounds) with the brain and is the nerve of hearing. Disturbance of the former causes giddiness (VERTIGO), whilst disturbance of the latter causes DEAFNESS.... vestibulocochlear nerve


One of the minute processes thickly distributed upon the inner surface of the small INTESTINE, giving it, to the naked eye, a velvety appearance, and greatly assisting absorption of digested food. (See also DIGESTION; ABSORPTION; ASSIMILATION.)... villus


The condition in which masculine characteristics develop in the female; it is commonly the result of an overactive suprarenal gland (see ADRENAL GLANDS), or of a tumour of its cortex. It may also result from an ANDROGEN-secreting ovarian tumour (see OVARIES, DISEASES OF) and also from the POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME. The overproduction of male-sex (androgen) hormones can produce excess growth of hair, male pattern hairline, stopping or disruption of MENSTRUATION, enlargement of the CLITORIS and conversion to a masculine body shape.... virilism


The scienti?c study of viruses (see VIRUS).... virology


An extremely small infective agent requiring living cells for replication. Are either RNA or DNA, never both.... virus


The general name given to the larger organs lying within the cavities of the chest and abdomen. The term ‘viscus’ is also applied individually to these organs.... viscera

Visual Acuity

See VISION.... visual acuity


A disease in which small or large areas of skin lose their pigment and become white because of a reduction in the body’s production of MELANIN. The hair may be similarly affected. Probably a consequence of an autoimmune mechanism, vitiligo is associated with other autoimmune diseases such as thyroiditis (see THYROID GLAND, DISEASES OF) and ADDISON’S DISEASE. There is no cure; the vitiliginous skin must be protected from sunburn.... vitiligo


For more than a century the medical profession has aimed at maintaining as high a standard as possible for vivisection. It was the medical profession led by Dr James Paget that was responsible for the passing of the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876, which aimed to eliminate cruelty. The in?iction of pain was reduced to a minimum by the use of anaesthetics (see ANAESTHESIA), and the licensing and surveillance of animal experiments was ensured.

Most experiments are carried out on specially bred mice and rats. Fewer than 1 per cent are done on cats, dogs, non-human primates, farm animals, frogs, ?sh and birds. Control on experiments has recently been strengthened.

The great majority of animal experiments are done without anaesthesia because feeding experiments, taking blood, or giving injections does not require anaesthetics in animals any more than in humans. Universities in Britain are responsible for fewer than one-?fth of animal experiments; commercial concerns and government institutions are responsible for most of the rest. Tests on cosmetics account for under 1 per cent of all animal work, but are necessary because such materials are often applied with great frequency – and for a long time – to the skin of adults and infants.

The use of tissue cultures and computer models instead of live animals are methods of research and investigation that are being increasingly used. There is, however, a limit to the extent to which infection, cancer, or drugs can be investigated on cultures of tissue cells. Computerised or mathematical modelling of experiments is probably the most promising line of development.... vivisection


An obstruction of the bowels produced by the twisting of a loop of bowel round itself. (See also STRANGULATION; INTESTINE, DISEASES OF.)... volvulus


Vomiting means the expulsion of the STOMACH contents through the mouth. When the e?ort of vomiting is made, but nothing is brought up, the process is known as retching. When vomiting occurs, the chief e?ort is made by the muscles of the abdominal wall and by the diaphragm contracting together and squeezing the stomach. The contraction of the stomach wall is no doubt also a factor, and an important step in the act consists in the opening at the right moment of the cardiac or upper ori?ce of the stomach. This concerted action of various muscles is brought about by a vomiting centre situated on the ?oor of the fourth ventricle in the BRAIN.

Causes Vomiting is brought about by stimulation of this nervous centre, and in most cases this is e?ected through sensations derived from the stomach itself. Thus, of the drugs which cause vomiting, some act only after being absorbed into the blood and carried to the brain, although most are irritants to the mucous membrane of the stomach (see EMETICS); various diseases of the stomach, such as cancer, ulcer and food poisoning act in a similar way. Stimulation – not only of the nerves of the stomach, but also of those supplying other abdominal organs – produces vomiting; thus in obstruction of the bowels, peritonitis, gall-stone colic, renal colic, and even in some women during pregnancy, vomiting is a prominent symptom.

Severe emotional shock may cause vomiting, as may acute anxiety and unpleasant experiences such as seeing an accident, suffering severe pain or travel sickness.

Direct disturbance of the brain itself is a cause: for example, a blow on the head, a cerebral tumour, a cerebral abscess, meningitis. Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms that may arise from local disease of the gastrointestinal tract, but they are also associated with systemic illness – for example, DIABETES MELLITUS or kidney failure (see KIDNEYS, DISEASES OF) – and also with disturbances of labyrinthine function, such as motion sickness and acute labyrinthitis.

Treatment The cause of the vomiting must be sought and treatment directed towards this. Symptomatic treatment for vomiting can be dangerous since accurate diagnosis of the cause may be hindered. If antinauseant drug treatment is indicated, the choice of drug depends on the cause of the vomiting.

Granisetron and ondansetron are 5hydroxytryptamine (5HT3) antagonists valuable in the treatment of nausea and vomiting induced by cytotoxic CHEMOTHERAPY or RADIOTHERAPY and prevention and treatment of post-operative nausea and vomiting. Prochlorperazine is valuable in the treatment of severe nausea, vomiting, VERTIGO and disorders of the LABYRINTH of the EAR, although extrapyramidal symptoms may occur, particularly in children, elderly and debilitated patients.

Vomiting may occur after surgical operations and this is due to the combined effects of analgesics, anaesthetic agents and the psychological stress of operation. Various drugs can be used to prevent or stop post-operative vomiting.

Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms in pregnancy. Drugs are best avoided in this situation as they may damage the developing FETUS. Simple measures, such as the taking of food before getting up in the morning and reassurance, are often all that is necessary.... vomiting

Lupus Vulgaris

Tubercula skin disease, with small apple-jelly yellow nodules progressing to ulceration. Distribution: face, neck and mucous surfaces of mouth and nose. Non-itching. Skin thickens and discolours. Nose may be eroded and deformed.

Treatment. Because of plastic surgery deformities are now seldom seen, yet herbalism may still have a case in the absence of conventional drugs.

Teas. Elecampane. Gotu Kola.

Red Clover compound.

Arthur Barker. Liquid Extract Echinacea 1oz; Liquid Extract Queen’s Delight half an ounce; Tincture Goldenseal 30 drops. Syr Senna 2oz. Distilled, or pure spring water to 8oz. Dose: 1 dessertspoon after meals.

Topical. Marshmallow and Slippery Elm poultices or ointment. Oil of Mullein. Aloe Vera. Castor oil packs. ... lupus vulgaris

Aconitum Violaceum

Jacq. ex Stapf. 15

Family: Ranunculaceae. ^A

Habitat: The alpine Himalayas of Sikkim, Nepal, the adjoining parts of southern Tibet, between altitudes of 3,000 m and 4,800 m. Ayurvedic: Prativishaa, Shyaamkan- daa, Patis. Folk: Bikhamaa.

Action: Root—antiemetic, antidiar- rhoeal, antirheumatic, antiperiodic.

The root contains diterpenoid alkaloids and a nitrogenous non-alkaloid compound, benzamide. Alkaloids include vakognavine, palmatisine, vaka- tisine, vakatisinine and vakatidine.

The root is intensely bitter, like quinine, is used with Piper longum for diarrhoea and vomiting; used externally as an application for rheumatism.... aconitum violaceum

Aloe Vera

See Sábila.... aloe vera

Aortic Valve

The valve that controls the ?ow of blood from the AORTA to the left ventricle of the HEART.... aortic valve

Basilic Vein

The prominent vein which runs from near the bend of the elbow upwards along the inner side of the upper arm.... basilic vein

Blood Vessel

Tube through which blood is conducted from or to the heart. Blood from the heart is conducted via arteries and arterioles through capillaries and back to the heart via venules and then veins. (See ARTERIES and VEINS.)... blood vessel

Central Venous Pressure

The pressure of blood within the right atrium of the HEART as measured by a catheter and manometer.... central venous pressure

Cervical Vertebrae

The seven bones of the top end of the backbone that form the neck. The ?rst cervical vertebra is the atlas and this articulates with the base of the skull. The axis is the second vertebra, which contains a shaft of bone that allows the atlas to rotate on it, thus permitting the head to turn. (See SPINAL COLUMN.)... cervical vertebrae

Coxa Vara

A condition in which the neck of the thighbone is bent so that the lower limbs are turned outwards and lameness results.... coxa vara

Dpt Vaccine

Often called the TRIPLE VACCINE, the injections produce immunity against DIPHTHERIA, whooping cough (PERTUSSIS) and TETANUS. The vaccine is given as a course of three injections to infants around the ages of two, three and four months, together with haemophilus in?uenza B and meningococcal C vaccine as well as oral polio vaccine. A booster injection is given at school entry (see schedule in IMMUNISATION).... dpt vaccine


See SLEEP.... dreams

Lily Of The Valley

Mental Powers, Happiness... lily of the valley

Packed Cell Volume

That fraction of the blood’s total volume made up of red cells. The packed cell volume is found by centrifuging blood in a tube and measuring the depth of the column of red cells as a fraction of the whole column of blood. (See also HAEMATOCRIT.)... packed cell volume

Mmr Vaccine

A combined vaccine o?ering protection against MEASLES, MUMPS and RUBELLA (German measles), it was introduced in the UK in 1988 and has now replaced the measles vaccine. The combined vaccine is o?ered to all infants in their second year; health authorities have an obligation to ensure that all children have received the vaccine by school entry – it should be given with the pre-school booster doses against DIPHTHERIA, TETANUS and POLIOMYELITIS, if not earlier – unless there is a valid contra-indication (such as partial immunosuppression), parental refusal, or evidence of previous infection. MMR vaccine may also be used in the control of measles outbreaks, if o?ered to susceptible children within three days of exposure to infection. The vaccine is e?ective and generally safe, though minor symptoms such as malaise, fever and rash may occur 5–10 days after immunisation. The incidence of all three diseases has dropped substantially since MMR was introduced in the UK and USA.

A researcher has suggested a link between the vaccine and AUTISM, but massive studies of children with and without this condition in several countries have failed to ?nd any evidence to back the claim. Nonetheless, the publicity war has been largely lost by the UK health departments so that vaccine rates have dropped to a worryingly low level.

(See IMMUNISATION.)... mmr vaccine

Plummer-vinson Syndrome

Hypochromic ANAEMIA and di?culty in swallowing due to an oesophageal web.... plummer-vinson syndrome

Peripheral Vascular Disease

The narrowing of the blood vessels in the legs and, less commonly, in the arms. Blood ?ow is restricted, with pain occurring in the affected area. If the blood supply is seriously reduced, GANGRENE of the tissues supplied by the affected vessel(s) may occur and the limb may need to be amputated. The common cause is ATHEROSCLEROSIS which may be brought on by HYPERTENSION, excessively fatty diet, poorly controlled DIABETES MELLITUS or smoking – the latter being the biggest risk factor, with 90 per cent of affected patients having been moderate to heavy smokers. Stopping smoking is essential; adequate exercise and a low-fat diet are important measures. Surgery may be required.... peripheral vascular disease

Post-viral Fatigue Syndrome

See MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS (ME).... post-viral fatigue syndrome

Reserve Volume

The additional amount of air that a person could breathe in or out if he or she were not using the full capacity of their LUNGS. (See also LUNG VOLUMES.)... reserve volume

Portal Vein

The vein which carries to the LIVER, blood that has been circulating in many of the abdominal organs. It is peculiar among the veins of the body in that it ends by breaking up into a capillary network instead of carrying the blood directly to the heart – a peculiarity which it shares only with certain small vessels in the kidneys. The PORTAL SYSTEM begins below in the haemorrhoidal plexus of veins around the lower end of the rectum; from this point, along the whole length of the intestines, the blood is collected into an inferior mesenteric vein upon the left, and a superior mesenteric vein upon the right side. The inferior mesenteric vein empties into the splenic vein, and the latter, uniting with the superior mesenteric vein immediately above the pancreas, forms the portal vein. The portal vein is joined by veins from the stomach and gallbladder, and ?nally divides into two branches which sink into the right and left lobes of the liver. (For their further course, see LIVER).

The organs from which the portal vein collects the blood are the large and small intestines, the stomach, spleen, pancreas, and gall-bladder.... portal vein

Residual Volume

The amount of air left in the LUNGS after an individual has breathed out as much as possible. It is a measure of lung function: for example, in a person with EMPHYSEMA the residual volume is increased. (See RESPIRATION; LUNG VOLUMES.)... residual volume

Rift Valley Fever

A virus disease, caused by a phlebovirus and transmitted by mosquitoes, at one time con?ned to sub-Saharan Africa and predominantly found in domestic animals such as cattle, sheep and goats. The only humans affected were veterinary surgeons, butchers and others exposed to heavy infection by direct contact with infected animals; these usually recovered. In the 1970s the disease ?ared up in Egypt, probably owing to a more virulent virus. The illness in humans is characterised by fever, haemorrhages, ENCEPHALITIS and involvement of the EYE. An e?ective vaccine protects both animals and human beings against the disease (see IMMUNISATION).... rift valley fever

Sacral Vertebrae

The ?ve fused vertebrae that link the thoracic spine and the coccyx and form the sacrum (see SPINAL COLUMN).... sacral vertebrae

Salk Vaccine

A vaccine obtained by treating the POLIOMYELITIS virus with formalin. This prevents the virus from causing the disease but allows it to stimulate the production of ANTIBODIES. Salk vaccine is given by injection and protects the recipient against the disease. (See also IMMUNISATION.)... salk vaccine

Slow Virus

See prion.... slow virus

Tab Vaccine

A combined VACCINE administered to produce IMMUNITY against typhoid and paratyphoid A and B (see ENTERIC FEVER). (See also IMMUNISATION.)... tab vaccine

Triple Vaccine

Also known as DPT vaccine, this is an injection that provides IMMUNITY against DIPHTHERIA, pertussis (whooping-cough) and TETANUS. It is given as a course of three injections at around the ages of two, three and four months. A booster dose of diphtheria and tetanus is given at primary-school age. Certain infants – those with a family history of EPILEPSY, or who have neurological disorders or who have reacted severely to the ?rst dose – should not have the pertussis element of DPT. (See MMR VACCINE; IMMUNISATION.)... triple vaccine


Vaccinia is another term for cowpox, a disease in which vesicles form on the udders and teats of cows, due to the same virus as is responsible for SMALLPOX in humans. It is also the term used to describe the reaction to smallpox VACCINATION.... vaccinia


A space inside the cytoplasm of CELLS. It is formed by a folding-in of the cellular membrane when the cell ingests material from the outside – for example, when white blood cells attack BACTERIA.... vacuole


A vaginal infection characterized by a smelly discharge and the presence of Gardnerella, Mycoplasma, and other anaerobic bacteria, with the lack of Lactobacillus species.... vaginosis

Vacuum Extractor

Also called a ventouse. The idea of the glass suction cup applied to the emerging head of the baby to assist in delivery was ?rst considered by Younge in 1706, but it was not until 1954 that the modern (ventouse) vacuum extractor was introduced. The value of the ventouse as against the FORCEPS has been disputed in di?erent clinics, the former being less popular in the UK. Indications are similar for the use of obstetric forceps. Even if the OCCIPUT is not in the anterior position, the extractor may still be applied; many obstetricians would choose forceps or perform manual rotation of the fetus in such cases.

In cases of prolongation of the ?rst stage of labour, the ventouse may be used to accelerate dilatation of the cervix – provided that the cervix is already su?ciently dilated to allow application of the cup. The ventouse cannot be applied to the breech or face; in urgent cases of fetal distress the operation takes too long, and forceps delivery is preferred. There is some doubt about its safety when used on premature babies; many obstetricians feel that forceps delivery reduces the risk of intracranial haemorrhage. The vacuum extractor, while resulting in a slower delivery than when forceps are used, has a lower risk of damage to the mother’s birth canal. (See PREGNANCY AND LABOUR – Some complications of labour.)... vacuum extractor


This term means literally knock-kneed, and is a bending inward at the knees (genu valgum), or at the ankle, as occurs in FLAT-FOOT (pes planus).... valgus


One of the essential (indispensable) AMINO ACIDS.... valine


An antibiotic derived from streptomyces, which is active against a wide range of gram-positive organisms (see BACTERIA; GRAM’S STAIN), including the STAPHYLOCOCCUS. The drug has a limited use by the intravenous route in the prophylaxis and treatment of ENDOCARDITIS and other serious infections caused by gram-positive cocci – in particular, METHICILLINRESISTANT STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS (MRSA). It need be given only every 12 hours, although plasma concentrations should be monitored (especially in patients with renal impairment, when the dose may need marked reduction). It can both damage the middle ear and the kidney. A short course of vancomycin is e?ective in the treatment of antibiotic-associated COLITIS, for which it is given by mouth.... vancomycin


Love, Lust, Mental Powers... vanilla


Any quantity that varies. Any attribute, phenomenon or event that can have different values.... variable


An enlarged and tortuous vein (see VEINS).... varix

Vasa Efferentia

E?erent seminal ducts of the testis (see TESTICLE); these carry SEMEN from the testis to the head of the EPIDIDYMIS.... vasa efferentia

Vasomotor Centre

The description ‘vasomotor’ refers to control of the muscular walls of blood vessels, particularly ARTERIES, dilating or constricting their diameters. The vasomotor centre is a group of neurons (see NEURON(E)) in the MEDULLA OBLONGATA of the BRAIN; they receive messages from sensory receptors in the circulatory system, and engineer re?ex alterations in the heart rate and blood-vessel diameters in order to adjust the blood pressure. The centre also receives transmission from other parts of the brain enabling emotions – fear or anger – to in?uence blood pressure. The vasomotor centre operates through the vasomotor nerves of the SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM and the PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM.... vasomotor centre


A strict form of VEGETARIANISM. Vegans do not eat meat, dairy produce, eggs or ?sh.... veganism


Restriction of one’s diet, for health, cultural or humanitarian reasons, to foods of fruit or vegetable origin. Most vegetarians, while excluding meat and ?sh from their diets, include foods of animal origin, such as milk, cheese, eggs, and butter. Such a diet should supply an adequate balance of nutrients, although people with special dietary requirements – such as pregnant or feeding mothers, and very strict vegetarians – may require dietary supplements (see APPENDIX

5: VITAMINS).... vegetarianism


A pharmaceutical term to describe the medium in which a drug is administered – for example, a ?uid, gel, powder or aerosol.... vehicle

Venereal Diseases



A toxin which usually enters the body by injection through intact skin (e.g. a jellyfish sting or a snake bite bya venomous species).... venom


The process of taking an X-ray photograph of the BRAIN after the ?uid in the lateral ventricles of the brain has been replaced by air; in this way any alteration in the outline of the ventricles

(e.g. from pressure by a tumour) can be detected.... ventriculography


This is a surgical procedure to ?xate a displaced UTERUS to the front wall of the abdomen. It is usually done by shortening the supporting round ligaments either where they are attached to the uterus, or to the abdominal wall.... ventrosuspension


A very small blood vessel that drains blood from CAPILLARIES. Several venules join up to form a vein (see VEINS).... venule


(Latin / Slavic) The truth / one with faith

Verah, Veera, Verra, Viera, Vira, Veira, Vyra, Vere, Vara, Verla, Verka, Verasha, Vjera... vera


Porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis).

Plant Part Used: Aerial parts: leaf, stem, flower.

Dominican Medicinal Uses: Leaf: tea, orally, for indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, anxiety, nervousness, stress and menopausal symptoms and to cleanse the blood.

Safety: Animal studies show low to moderate toxicity; leaves considered relatively atoxic.

Laboratory & Preclinical Data: In vivo: analgesic, antioxidant, antispasmodic, hypotensive, hypertensive (plant/leaf extracts).

In vitro: antioxidant, antispasmodic, insecticidal, nematicidal, spasmogenic (plant/leaf extracts).

* See entry for Verbena in “Part 3: Dominican Medicinal Plant Profiles” of this book for more information, including references.... verbena


The white, cheese-like substance that covers the skin of a newborn infant. It consists of dead cells in a fatty secretion, protects the infant’s skin, and helps lubricate its passage through the cervix and vagina during delivery.... vernix


Verbena officinalis. N.O. Verbenaceae.

Synonym: Verbena hastata.

Habitat: Waste places and on roadsides, particularly near buildings.

Features ? The tough, wiry, quadrangular, many-branched stem averages eighteen

inches high. Roughish, pinnately-lobed, serrate leaves grow distantly and opposite in pairs ; the upper ones clasp the stem. while the lower ones are stalked. Small, light lilac-coloured flowers bloom in May, along thin, wiry spikes. Very bitter in taste, a slightly aromatic odour is given off when rubbed.

Action: Nervine, tonic, emetic and sudorific.

The herb was held in high repute by those who brought the Thomsonian system to this country. Coffin, writing ninety years ago, says ? "As an emetic it ranks next to lobelia ; it is also one of the strongest sweating medicines in nature. It is good for colds, coughs and pain in the head, and some years ago was highly esteemed as a remedy for consumption. As an emetic it supersedes the use of antimony and ipecacuanha, to both of which it is superior, since it not only produces all the good effects ascribed to the others, but it operates without any of the dangerous consequences that ever attend the use of antimonial preparations, and cramps, and even death have been known to follow their use. . . . Vervain will relieve and cure those complaints in children which generally accompany teething; it likewise destroys worms. Administered as a tea, it powerfully assists the pains of labour ; as a diuretic it increases the urinary discharge."

The ounce to pint infusion is now used, and taken in wineglass doses. As a nervine, Scullcap and Valerian are usually added.... vervain

Vesicovaginal Fistula

A false communication between the URINARY BLADDER and the VAGINA. The result is urinary INCONTINENCE. Surgical damage to the bladder during operations for gynaecological disorders is one possible cause. Another is tissue damage following radiotherapy for cancer in the pelvis.... vesicovaginal fistula

Vesicular Breathing

Normal breath sounds heard in the lung by means of a stethoscope. These are soft regular sounds which become altered by disease; the changed characteristics may help the physician to diagnose a disease in the lung.... vesicular breathing


An anatomical term for a cavity positioned at the entrance to a hollow part in the body. An example is the nasal vestibule at the entrance of the NOSE.... vestibule


An adjective referring to an organ which exists in a rudimentary form and whose function and structure have declined during the course of evolution. An example is the appendix.... vestigial


The ability of an organism to survive on its own. In the United Kingdom, the legal age of the viability of a FETUS is 24 weeks.... viable




(1) An instrument used for vibratory massage to improve the tone of muscles and to relax them. It is of help in speeding the healing process after muscle or ligament strains.

(2) A penis-shaped, battery-driven device used by women to attain sexual stimulation and climax.... vibrator


A bacterium with a curved shape, such as the vibrio of CHOLERA.... vibrio

Vinca Alkaloids

A group of powerful CYTOTOXIC (anticancer) drugs used to treat acute LEUKAEMIA, LYMPHOMA and some solid tumours such as breast and lung cancers. Originally derived from the periwinkle plant, the latest vinca alkaloid (VINORELBINE) is a semi-synthetic drug. These alkaloids, which are given intravenously, have potentially serious side-effects on the nervous system and also suppress the production of MYELOID cells in the bone marrow.... vinca alkaloids


A semi-synthetic vinca alkaloid (see VINCA ALKALOIDS) CYTOTOXIC drug recently introduced for the treatment of advanced breast cancer, when anthracycline cytotoxic antibiotics such as DOXORUBICIN have failed. Vinorelbine is also used to treat advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (see LUNGS, DISEASES OF). As with all vinca alkaloids, the drug has neurotoxic effects, usually affecting the PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM and AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM. It may also cause (reversible) hair loss (ALOPECIA). The drug is given intravenously.... vinorelbine

Viral Haemorrhagic Fever

Also called EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE. A usually fatal infection caused by a virus related to that of MARBURG DISEASE. Two large outbreaks of it were recorded in 1976 (one in the Sudan and one in Zaïre), with a mortality, respectively, of 50 and 80 per cent, and the disease reappeared in the Sudan in 1979. After an incubation period of 7–14 days, the onset is with headache of increasing severity, and fever. This is followed by diarrhoea, extensive internal bleeding and vomiting. Death usually occurs on the eighth to ninth day. Infection is by person-to-person contact. Serum from patients convalescent from the disease is a useful source of ANTIBODIES to the virus.... viral haemorrhagic fever

Viral Pneumonia

Infection of the lung tissue by a VIRUS. Causes of this type of pneumonia include ADENOVIRUSES, COXSACKIE VIRUSES and in?uenza virus. Viral infections do not respond to ANTIBIOTICS and treatment is symptomatic, with antibiotics used only if the patient develops secondary bacterial infection. In a previously healthy individual the viral infection is usually self-limiting, but in vulnerable patients – the elderly or those with pre-existing disease – it can be fatal.... viral pneumonia


Complete infective virus particle.... virion

Vision Tests

Most vision tests examine a person’s sharpness of VISION (visual acuity) and often of the ?eld of vision (see VISION, FIELD OF). Refraction tests assess whether a person has an error that can be corrected with glasses such as ASTIGMATISM, HYPERMETROPIA or MYOPIA. Visual acuity is tested using a Snellen chart when the patient tries to read letters of di?ering standard sizes from 6 metres away. The optician will prescribe lenses to correct any defects detected by vision tests.... vision tests


Broadly speaking, vision is the ability to see.

Pathway of light from the eye to the brain Light enters the EYE by passing through the transparent cornea, then through the aqueous humour ?lling the anterior chamber. It then passes through the pupil, through the lens and the vitreous to reach the retina. In the retina, the rod and cone photoreceptors detect light and relay messages in the form of electrochemical impulses through the various layers of the retina to the nerve ?bres. The nerve ?bres carry messages via the optic nerve, optic chiasma, optic tract, lateral geniculate body and ?nally the optic radiations to the visual cortex.

Here in the visual cortex these messages are interpreted. It is therefore the visual cortex of the BRAIN that ‘sees’.

Visual acuity Two points will not be seen as two unless they are separated by a minimum distance. This distance is such that the objects are so far apart that the lines joining them to the eye enclose between them (subtend) an angle of at least one minute of a degree. This amount of separation allows the images of the two points to fall on two separate cones (if the light from two points falls on one cone, the two points would be seen as a single point). There are many tests of visual acuity. One of the more common is the Snellen test type. This is made up of many letters of di?erent size. By conventions the chart is placed 6 metres away from the patient. Someone able to see the lowest line at this distance has a visual acuity of 6/4. If they are only able to see the top letter they have 6/60 vision. ‘Normal’ vision is 6/6.

Colour vision ‘White light’ is made up of component colours. These can be separated by a prism, thereby producing a spectrum. The three cardinal colours are red, green, and blue; all other colours can be produced by a varying mixture of these three. Colour vision is a complex subject. The trichromat theory of colour vision suggests that there are three types of cones, each type sensitive to one of the cardinal colours. Colour perception is based on di?erential stimulation of these cone types. The opponent colour theory suggests that each cone type can generate signals of the opposite kind. Output from some cones can collaborate with the output from others or can inhibit the action of other cones. Colour perception results from these various complex interactions.

Defective colour vision may be hereditary or acquired, and can occur in the presence of normal visual acuity. HEREDITARY DEFECTIVE COLOUR VISION is more common in men (7 per cent of males) than women (0·5 per cent of females). Men are affected, but women convey the abnormal gene (see GENES) to their children. It occurs because one or more of the photopigments of the retina are abnormal, or the cones are damaged. Red-green colour defect is the most common. ACQUIRED DEFECTIVE COLOUR VISION is the result of disease of the cones or their connections in the retina, optic nerve or brain – for example, macular disease, optic neuritis. Col-our vision can be impaired but not lost as a result of corneal opaci?cation or cataract formation (see under EYE, DISORDERS OF).

TESTS OF COLOUR VISION These use specially designed numbers made of coloured dots surrounded by dots of confusing colour (e.g. plates).... vision

Vision, Disorders Of

The list of disorders resulting in poor or dim vision is huge. Disturbance of vision can result from an uncorrected refractive error, disease or injury of the cornea, iris, lens, vitreous, retina, choroid or sclera of the EYE. It may also result from disease or injury to the structures comprising the visual pathway from the retina to the occipital cortex (see VISION – Pathway of light from the eye to the brain) and from lesions of the structures around the eye – for example, swollen lids, drooping eyelids. (See EYE, DISORDERS OF.)... vision, disorders of

Vital Capacity

The amount of air that can be forcibly exhaled from the lungs after a deep inspiration. (See RESPIRATION.)... vital capacity

Vital Sign

An indication that an individual is still alive. Chest movements (resulting from respiration), the existence of a pulse (showing that the heart is still beating) and constriction of the pupil of the eye in response to bright light are all vital signs. Other tests such as assessment of brain activity may also be needed in some circumstances: for example, when a patient is on a life-support machine. (See also GLASGOW COMA SCALE.)... vital sign

Vital Signs

The pulse, respiration, temperature and blood pressure.... vital signs

Vital Statistics

Systematically tabulated information concerning births, marriages, divorces, separations and deaths, based on registrations of those vital events.... vital statistics


A commercially trademarked alloy of cobalt and chromium used to make instruments, prostheses (see PROSTHESIS), surgical appliances and dentures. Its inert properties make it ideal for use in contact with live tissues such as bone and muscle.... vitallium


A term used to describe animal groups – including most mammals – in which the embryos (see EMBRYO) develop inside the mother’s body with the young being born alive (in contrast to, say, birds and reptiles which hatch from eggs).... viviparous

Vocal Cords


Vocal Resonance

The air carrying the voice produced in the LARYNX passes through the throat, mouth and nose. The shape and size of these structures will in?uence the timbre of the voice, or vocal resonance. This will vary from person to person and even within an individual; for example, with a cold.... vocal resonance


A term relating to the palm or sole.... volar

Voluntary Admission

The term applied in the UK to the admission of a mentally ill person to a psychiatric unit with his or her agreement. Patients with mental illnesses that may endanger their own safety or that of others can be compulsorily admitted using special legal powers – this is traditionally called ‘sectioning’. (See MENTAL ILLNESS.)... voluntary admission

Voluntary Muscle

Also known as skeletal muscle, this forms the muscles which are under a person’s conscious control. Muscles that control walking, talking and swallowing are examples of those under such control (see INVOLUNTARY MUSCLE; MUSCLE; NERVOUS SYSTEM).... voluntary muscle


The regular viewing of people who are naked or part-naked or who are taking part in intimate sexual activities. The voyeur’s subjects are unaware that they are being watched. The voyeur, nearly always a man, usually becomes sexually excited and may induce ORGASM by MASTURBATION.... voyeurism


Soothing or healing wounds and sores... vulnerary


Surgical excision of the external genitals (see VULVA). In simple vulvectomy the LABIA majora and minora and the CLITORIS are surgically removed, usually to treat a non-malignant growth. A more extensive operation is radical vulvectomy in which there is wide excision of the two labia and the clitoris along with complete removal of all regional LYMPH NODES on both sides and the covering skin. This procedure is carried out to treat cancer of the vulva.... vulvectomy

Blurred Vision


West Nile Virus

A mosquito-borne viral infection that is normally harmless to healthy people who, if infected, develop a mild ?u-like illness. However, if the elderly and those in poor health, particularly immunocompromised patients, are infected, they may develop fatal in?ammation of the brain and spinal cord. In Israel in 2000, 12 people died and more than 155 survived an outbreak; and in New York in 1999, more than 60 people were infected, of whom six died. The disease was ?rst reported in Uganda in 1937 and became ENDEMIC in the Middle East and Africa, recently spreading to Europe, central Asia, Oceania and America. Mosquitoes bearing the ?aviviridae-family virus usually contract it by biting infected poultry, but the infection has been found in mammals, such as cats, dogs and horses.... west nile virus

Bacterial Vaginosis

An infection of the vagina that causes a greyish-white discharge and itching. The disorder is due to excessive growth of bacteria that normally live in the vagina. It is more common in sexually active women and is treated with antibiotic drugs.... bacterial vaginosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis

See thrombosis, deep vein.... deep vein thrombosis

Graft-versus-host Disease

A complication of a bone marrow transplant in which immune system cells in the transplanted marrow attack the recipient’s tissues. Graft-versus-host (GVH) disease may occur soon after transplantation or appear some months later. The first sign is usually a skin rash. This may be followed by diarrhoea, abdominal pain, jaundice, inflammation of the eyes and mouth, and breathlessness.

GVH disease can usually be prevented by administration of immunosuppressant drugs. If the disease develops, it can be treated with corticosteroid drugs and immunosuppressant drugs such as ciclosporin In some cases, however, it can be difficult to control.... graft-versus-host disease

Hib Vaccine

A vaccine administered routinely at 2, 3, and 4 months of age to provide immunity to the bacterium HAEMOPHILUS INFLUENZA type b (Hib).

Before the vaccine was generally available, Hib infection was a common cause of bacterial meningitis and epiglottitis in children.... hib vaccine

Jugular Vein

One of 3 veins on each side of the neck that return deoxygenated blood from the head to the heart. The internal jugular, the largest of the 3 (internal, external, and anterior), arises at the base of the skull, travels down the neck alongside the carotid arteries, and passes behind the clavicle, where it joins the subclavian vein (the large vein that drains blood from the arms).... jugular vein

Chorionic Villus Sampling

A method of diagnosing genetic abnormalities in a fetus using a small sample of tissue taken from the chorionic villi at edge of the placenta. Because the cells have the same chromosome makeup as those in the fetus, they can be used to detect genetic abnormalities. Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is usually performed in the first 3 months of pregnancy in women who are at a higher-than-normal risk of having a child with a chromosomal disorder, such as Down’s syndrome, or a genetic disease, such as thalassaemia. Chromosome analysis of the villi cells takes place in the laboratory. CVS slightly increases the risk of miscarriage. choroid A layer of tissue at the back of the eye, behind the retina. The choroid contains many blood vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen to the retinal cells and to surrounding tissues in the eye. choroiditis Inflammation of the choroid. It is often caused by infections such as toxocariasis or toxoplasmosis, more rarely by sarcoidosis, syphilis, and histoplasmosis. It sometimes has no obvious cause. Treatment includes corticosteroid drugs for the inflammation, and antibiotic drugs for any causative infection.... chorionic villus sampling

Persistent Vegetative State

Long-term unconsciousness caused by damage to areas of the brain that control higher mental functions. The eyes may open and close, and there may be random movements of the limbs, but there is no response to stimuli such as pain. Basic functions such as breathing and heartbeat are not affected. There is no treatment to reverse the situation, but, with good nursing care, survival for months or years is possible.... persistent vegetative state

Retinal Vein Occlusion

Blockage of a vein carrying blood away from the retina.

It usually results from thrombosis in the affected vein, and is more common in people who have glaucoma.

Retinal vein occlusion may cause visual disturbances, glaucoma, or blindness.... retinal vein occlusion

Saphenous Vein

A major vein that runs the length of the leg just under the skin.

It is sometimes removed and used to bypass a blockage in blood vessels of the heart (see coronary artery bypass).... saphenous vein

Transposition Of The Great Vessels

A serious form of congenital heart disease in which the aorta and pulmonary artery are transposed. Open heart surgery is needed to correct the defect.... transposition of the great vessels

Tunnel Vision

Loss of the peripheral visual field to the extent that only objects straight ahead can be seen clearly. Tunnel vision is most commonly caused by chronic glaucoma. Retinitis pigmentosa is another possible cause.... tunnel vision

Valsalva’s Manoeuvre

A forcible attempt to breathe out when the airway is closed.

The manoeuvre occurs naturally when an attempt is made to breathe out while holding the vocal cords tightly together.

This happens, for example, at the beginning of a sneeze.

When performed deliberately by pinching the nose and holding the mouth closed, the manoeuvre can prevent pressure damage to the eardrums (see barotrauma).... valsalva’s manoeuvre

In Vitro Fertilization

A method of treating infertility in which an egg (ovum) is surgically removed from the ovary and fertilized outside the body.

The woman is given a course of fertility drugs to stimulate release of eggs from the ovary. This is followed by ultrasound scanning to check the eggs, which are collected by laparoscopy immediately before ovulation. They are then mixed with sperm in the laboratory. Two, or sometimes more, fertilized eggs are replaced into the uterus. If they become safely implanted in the uterine wall, the pregnancy usually continues normally.

Only about 1 in 10 couples undergoing in vitro fertilization achieves pregnancy at the 1st attempt, and many attempts may be needed before a successful pregnancy is achieved. Modifications of the technique, such as gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), are simpler and cheaper than the original method. in vivo Biological processes occurring within the body. (See also in vitro.)... in vitro fertilization

Oesophageal Varices

Widened veins in the walls of the lower oesophagus and, sometimes, the upper part of the stomach.

Varices develop as a consequence of portal hypertension.

Blood in the portal vein, passing from the intestines to the liver, meets resistance due to liver disease.

The increased blood pressure causes blood to be diverted into small veins in the walls of the oesophagus and stomach.

These veins may become distended and rupture, causing vomiting of blood and black faeces.

There are usually other symptoms of chronic liver disease.

To control acute bleeding, a balloon catheter may be passed into the oesophagus to press on the bleeding varices.

The varices may be treated with an intravenous injection of vasopressin and/or by injection, via an endoscope, of a sclerosant that seals off the affected veins.... oesophageal varices


A structure that allows fluid or semi-fluid material to flow in 1 direction through a tube or passageway but closes to prevent reflux in the opposite direction. The valves at the exits from the heart chambers and in the veins are essential to the circulatory system. There are also small valves in the vessels of the lymphatic system.... valve


A device for converting a drug or water into a fine spray so that medication can be taken by inhalation or so that inhaled air can be moistened.... vaporizer


Enlarged, tortuous, or twisted sections of vessels, usually veins.

Varices is the plural of varix.

A vein affected by varices is called a varicose vein.... varices


A vessel that returns blood towards the heart from the various organs and tissues of the body. The walls of veins, like those of arteries, consist of a smooth inner lining, a muscular middle layer, and a fibrous outer covering. However, blood pressure in veins is lower than in arteries, and the walls of veins are thinner, less elastic, less muscular, and weaker than those of arteries. The linings of many veins contain folds, which act as valves, ensuring that blood flows only towards the heart. Blood is helped on its way through the veins by pressure on the vessel walls from the contraction of surrounding muscles. (See also circulatory system.) A... vein


A serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) drug used in the treatment of depression. Venlafaxine combines the effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants to produce fewer side effects than other types of antidepressant. Side effects may include nausea, dry mouth, and constipation. ... venlafaxine

Ventricular Tachycardia

A serious cardiac arrhythmia in which each heartbeat is initiated from electrical activity in the ventricles rather than from the sinoatrial node in the right atrium.

It is caused by an abnormally fast heart-rate due to serious heart disease, such as myocardial infarction or cardiomyopathy.

It may last for a few seconds or for several days.

Diagnosis is confirmed by ECG.

Emergency treatment is with defibrillation and an antiarrhythmic drug.... ventricular tachycardia


A vinca alkaloid used to treat certain cancers. One particular side effect of vincristine is peripheral or autonomic neuropathy; but, unlike the other vinca alkaloids, it causes very little reduction in blood-cell production by the bone marrow. Other side effects may include abdominal pain, constipation, and reversible alopecia.... vincristine


The development in a woman of male characteristics as a result of overproduction of androgen hormones by the adrenal glands and/or ovaries.

This may be due to various conditions such as certain adrenal tumours, polycystic ovary (see ovary, polycystic) and some other ovarian cysts, or congenital adrenal hyperplasia.... virilization

Visual Field

The total area in which visual perception is possible while a person is looking straight ahead.

The visual fields normally extend outwards over an angle of about 90 degrees on either side of the midline of the face, but are more restricted above and below, especially if the eyes are deep-set or the eyebrows are prominent.

The visual fields of the 2 eyes overlap to a large extent, giving binocular vision.

Partial loss of the visual field may occur in glaucoma or stroke.... visual field

Vitamin A

A fat-soluble vitamin essential for normal growth, for the formation of bones and teeth, for cell structure, for night vision, and for protecting the linings of the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts against infection.

Vitamin A is absorbed by the body in the form of retinol. This is found in liver, fish-liver oils, egg yolk, dairy produce, and is added to margarines. Carotene, which the body converts into retinol, is found in various vegetables and fruits.

Vitamin A deficiency is rare in developed countries. In most cases, it is due to malabsorption. Vitamin A deficiency may also result from long-term treatment with certain lipid-lowering drugs. Deficiency is common in some developing countries due to poor diet. The first symptom of deficiency is night blindness, followed by dryness and inflammation of the eyes (see xerophthalmia), keratomalacia, and eventually blindness. Deficiency also causes reduced resistance to infection, dry skin, and, in children, stunted growth.

Prolonged excessive intake of vitamin A can cause headache, nausea, loss of appetite, skin peeling, hair loss, and irregular menstruation. In severe cases, the liver and spleen become enlarged. Excessive intake during pregnancy may cause birth defects. In infants, excessive intake may cause skull deformities, which disappear if the diet is corrected.

The drug tretinoin (a derivative of vitamin A) is used to treat severe acne.... vitamin a

Vitamin B

See vitamin B; vitamin B complex.... vitamin b

Vitreous Humour

The transparent, gellike body that fills the rear compartment of the eye between the crystalline lens and the retina.

The vitreous humour consists almost entirely of water.... vitreous humour

Vitamin C

A water-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in the activities of various enzymes. Vitamin C is important for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones, teeth, gums, ligaments, and blood vessels; in the production of certain neurotransmitters and adrenal gland hormones; in the response of the immune system to infection; in wound healing; and in the absorption of iron.

The main dietary sources are fruits and vegetables. Considerable amounts of vitamin C are lost when foods are processed, cooked, or kept warm.

Mild deficiency of vitamin C may result from a serious injury or burn, major surgery, the use of oral contraceptives, fever, or continual inhalation of carbon monoxide (from traffic fumes or tobacco smoke). It may cause weakness, general aches, swollen gums, and nosebleeds. More serious deficiency is usually caused by a very restricted diet. Severe deficiency leads to scurvy and anaemia.

If the daily dose of vitamin C exceeds about 1g, it may cause nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, or kidney stones

(see calculi, urinary tract).... vitamin c

Vitamin D

The collective term for a group of substances that help to regulate the balance of phosphate and calcium in the body, aid calcium absorption in the intestine, and promote strong bones and teeth.

Good sources include oily fish, liver, and egg yolk; vitamin D is also added to margarines. In the body, vitamin D is synthesized by the action of ultraviolet light on a particular chemical in the skin.

Deficiency may occur in people with a poor diet, in premature infants, and in those deprived of sunlight. It can also result from malabsorption. Other causes include liver or kidney disorders and some genetic defects. Prolonged use of certain drugs, such as phenytoin, may also lead to deficiency. Deficiency in young children causes rickets; long-term deficiency in adults leads to osteomalacia.Excessive intake of vitamin D may lead to hypercalcaemia and abnormal calcium deposits in the soft tissues, kidneys, and blood vessel walls.

In children, it may cause growth retardation.... vitamin d

Vitamin E

The collective term for a group of substances that are essential for normal cell structure, for maintaining the activities of certain enzymes, and for the formation of red blood cells. Vitamin E also protects the lungs and other tissues from damage by pollutants and is believed to slow aging of cells. Sources include vegetable oils, nuts, meat, green vegetables, cereals, and egg yolk.

Dietary deficiency is rare; deficiency is most common in people with malabsorption, certain liver disorders, and in premature infants. It leads to the destruction of red blood cells, which eventually leads to anaemia. In infants, deficiency causes irritability and oedema.

Prolonged excessive intake of vitamin E may cause abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhoea.

It may also reduce intestinal absorption of vitamins A, D, and K.... vitamin e

Vitamin K

A fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for the formation in the liver of substances that promote blood clotting. Good sources are green vegetables, vegetable oils, egg yolk, cheese, pork, and liver. Vitamin K is also manufactured by bacteria in the intestine.

Dietary deficiency rarely occurs.

Deficiency may develop in people with malabsorption, certain liver disorders, or chronic diarrhoea.

It may also result from prolonged treatment with antibiotics.

Newborns lack the intestinal bacteria that produce vitamin K and are routinely given supplements to prevent deficiency.

Vitamin K deficiency may cause nosebleeds and bleeding from the gums, intestine, and urinary tract.

In rare, severe cases, brain haemorrhage may result.

Excessive intake of vitamin K is not known to cause harmful effects.... vitamin k

Volkmann’s Contracture

A disorder in which the wrist and fingers become permanently fixed in a bent position. It occurs because of an inadequate blood supply to the forearm muscles that control the wrist and fingers as a result of an injury. Initially, the fingers become cold, numb, and white or blue. Finger movements are weak and painful, and there is no pulse at the wrist. Unless treatment is started within a few hours, wrist and finger deformity develops.

Treatment is by manipulation back into position of any displaced bones, followed, if necessary, by surgical restoration of blood flow in the forearm.

If there is permanent deformity, physiotherapy may help to restore function.... volkmann’s contracture


Inflammation of the vulva. Infections that may cause vulvitis are candidiasis, genital herpes (see herpes, genital), and warts (see warts, genital). Infestations with pubic lice or scabies are other possible causes. Vulvitis may also occur as a result of changes in the vulval skin. These changes tend to affect women after the menopause, although there is no apparent trigger. They may take the form of red or white patches and/or thickened or thinned areas that may be inflamed. Other possible causes of vulvitis include allergic reactions to hygiene products, excessive vaginal discharge, or urinary incontinence.

Treatment depends on the cause. A combination of drugs applied to the vulva and good hygiene is usually recommended. A biopsy may be taken, if there are skin changes, to exclude the slight possibility of vulval cancer. (See also vulvovaginitis; vaginitis.)... vulvitis


Inflammation of the vulva and vagina. Vulvovaginitis is often provoked as a result of the infections candidiasis or trichomoniasis. (See also vaginitis; vulvitis.)

walking Movement of the body by lifting the feet alternately and bringing 1 foot into contact with the ground before the other starts to leave it. A person’s gait is determined by body shape, size, and posture. The age at which children first walk varies enormously.

Walking is controlled by nerve signals from the brain’s motor cortex (see cerebrum), basal ganglia, and cerebellum that travel via the spinal cord to the muscles. Abnormal gait may be caused by joint stiffness, muscle weakness (sometimes due to conditions such as poliomyelitis or muscular dystrophy), or skeletal abnormalities (see, for example, talipes; hip, congenital dislocation of; scoliosis; bone tumour; arthritis). Children may develop knock-knee or bowleg; synovitis of the hip and Perthes’ disease are also common. Adolescents may develop a painful limp due to a slipped epiphysis (see femoral epiphysis, slipped) or to fracture or disease of the tibia, fibula or femur.

Abnormal gait may also be the result of neurological disorders such as stroke (commonly resulting in hemiplegia), parkinsonism, peripheral neuritis, multiple sclerosis, various forms of myelitis, and chorea.

Ménière’s disease may cause severe loss of balance and instability.... vulvovaginitis

Adhatoda Vasica


Synonym: A. zeylanica Medic. Justicia adhatoda Linn.

Family: Acanthaceae.

Habitat: Throughout India, up to an altitude of 1,300 m.

English: Malabar Nut, Vasaca.

Ayurvedic: Vaasaa, Vaasaka, Vaasikaa, Simhaasya, Simhaparni, Simhavadanaa, Vaajidanta, Vrisha, Aataruushaka.

Unani: Arusaa.

Siddha/Tamil: Aadaathodai.

Folk: Vasaakaa.

Action: Expectorant (used in bronchial, asthmatic and pulmonary affections), antispasmodic, febrifuge.

Key application: As bronchodilatory, expectorant. (Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia.) The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates its use in dyspnoea.

The chief quinazoline alkaloid vas- icine is reported in all parts of the plant, the highest being in inflorescence. It is a bitter bronchodilator, respiratory stimulant, hypotensive, cardiac depressant, uterotonic and aborti- facient. An aqueous solution of va- sicinone hydrochloride, when studied in mice and dogs, was found to potentiate the bronchodilatory activity of aminophylline, also that of isopre- naline. Vasicinone exhibited smooth- muscle-relaxant properties of airways.

Alkaloids present in the plant showed significant protection against allergin-induced bronchial obstruction in guinea pigs.

The leaves are found to activate the digestive enzyme trypsin.

An extract of the leaves showed significant antifungal activity against ringworm.

Adhatoda beddomei C.B. Clarke, found in Kerala, is considered to be more powerful and active than A. vasi- ca. Fresh leaf juice is used in haemoptysis and menorrhagia, also as an antiasthmatic.

Jacobinia tinctoria Henl. is equated with the red-flowered var. of Vaasaa.

Dosage: Leaf—10-20 ml juice. Dried leaves—10-20 g for deoction. Root—3-6 g powder. (API Vols. I, IV)... adhatoda vasica

Adiantum Capillus-veneris


Family: Adiantaceae.

Habitat: All along the Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim between altitudes of 1,800 and 2,700 m.

English: American Maidenhair Fern, Venus Hair, Rock Fern.

Ayurvedic: Hansaraaja, Hansapadi (related sp.).

Unani: Parsiaavashaan.

Siddha/Tamil: Seruppadai.

Folk: Mubaaraka.

Action: Astringent, demulcent, expectorant, antitussive, stimulant, emmenagogue. Fonds used in chronic catarrh (as an ingredient of cough and bronchial medicines); also in cold imposthumes of uterus, hard swellings and hard tumours of spleen, liver and other viscera.

The fern contains flavonoid gluco- sides, including rutin, isoquercetin, as- tragalin, kaempferol; hydroxycinnam- ic acid esters; terpenoids, including adiantone.... adiantum capillus-veneris

African Violet

Spirituality, Protection ... african violet

Ampulla Of Vater

The dilated section of the common BILE DUCT when it is joined by the duct from the PANCREAS.... ampulla of vater

Angina, Vasomotoria

Like the previous, but less dangerous and more frequently caused by purely neurologic stimulus. The pain is more spasmodic and there is usually little actual blood vessel blockage.... angina, vasomotoria

Arterio-venous Aneurysm

An abnormal communication between an artery and a vein. It is usually the result of an injury, such as a stab or a gunshot wound, which involves both a neighbouring artery and vein.... arterio-venous aneurysm

Artificial Ventilation Of The Lungs

When we breathe in, the outward movement of the chest increases the volume of the lungs and the pressure in them falls below that of the outside world. Therefore, air is drawn in automatically. When we breathe out, some air exits because of the normal elastic recoil of the lungs, but we also force air out by using the muscles of the chest and the DIAPHRAGM. Replicating this arti?cially involves using a device to produce intermittent positive or negative pressure ventilation as described below.... artificial ventilation of the lungs

Barmah Forest Virus

A mosquito-borne arbovirus causing symptoms similar to Ross River virus infection in Australia. (See also Ross River virus).... barmah forest virus

Alstonia Venenata

R. Br.

Family: Apocynaceae.

Habitat: Peninsular India.

Folk: Pazh-munipala (Tamil), Addasarpa (Kannada), Palamunpala (Malyalam).

Action: Stembark and fruit— antiepileptic.

The plant is a rich source of indole alkaloids. Major alkaloids in the stem- bark are alstovenine, venenatine, 3- dehydroalstovenine, reserpine (0.0030.3%), venoxidine and kopsinine.

Alstovenine, in lower doses, exhibits monoamine oxidase inhibitor activity; in higher doses, shows marked central stimulant effect (reversal of reserpine effects). Venenatine exhibits reserpine- like profile of activity (sedation, ptosis, reduction in motor activity).

The fruit contains vincadifformine type of alkaloids. Echitovenidine, the major alkaloid, shows monoamine oxidase-inhibitory activity both in vitro and in vivo.... alstonia venenata

Ammi Visnaga

(Linn.) Lam

Synonym: Daucus visnaga Linn. Visnaga daucoides Gaertn.

Family: Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.

Habitat: Cultivated as a garden ornamental; runs wild at many places in Jammu region.

English: Khella.

Folk: Paashaanabhedi (controversial; Bergenia ligulata has been equated with the classical Paashaanabheda).

Action: Antispasmodic in renal colic, bronchial asthma, whooping cough (used by Unani physicians), vasodilator (in angina pectoris).

Key application: German Commission E approved the herb on 13 March 1986, but due to information on potential risks, its status was changed to unapproved on 15 April 1994.

Khella contains khellin (1%), vis- nagin, khellol glycoside, flavonoids, sterols, volatile oil (0.2%). Khellin and visnagin exert a powerful antispas- modic effect on the smaller bronchial muscles, the coronary arteries and on the urinary tubules. Khellin provides relief to asthmatic patients. The drug also relieves painful spasm of stone in kidney and bladder (no more used for expelling kidney stones).

Khella does not reduce blood pressure in spite of being a vasodilator.

Khellin is toxic at 100 mg. (Francis Brinker.)

Khella is used topically for vitiligo and psoriasis. The Khellin constituent is similar to the psoralen nucle

us and might be useful as a photosensi- tizer in patients with psoriasis. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

(Several modern drugs including amiodarone, nifedipine and cromolyn have been developed from Khella.)... ammi visnaga

Artemisia Vestita

Wall. ex DC.

Family: Compositae, Asteraceae.

Habitat: Western Himalayas at 2,100-3,000 m.

Ayurvedic: Gangaa Tulasi.

Folk: Kundiyaa, Chamariyaa.

Action: Leaf—haemostatic. Essential oil—antibacterial, antifungal (in 1:1000 dilution).

The major components ofthe essential oil from leaves and flowering tops are alpha-terpinene, thujyl alcohol, ter- penyl acetate, nerol, phellandrene, ci- neol, neral, thujyl acetate, beta-thujone and artemisol.

Related sp., known as Gangaa Tu- lasi, are Artemisia lacrorum Ledeb. and A. parviflora Wight.... artemisia vestita

Artemisia Vulgaris

Linn. var. nilagirica Clarke.

Synonym: A. nilagirica (Clarke) Pamp.

Family: Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat: The hilly regions of India, also in Mount Abu in Rajasthan, in western Ghats, and from Konkan southward to Kerala.

English: Indian Wormwood, Fleabane, Dungwort, Mugwort, Wild Wormwood.

Ayurvedic: Damanaka, Pushpachaa- mara, Gandhotkata. (Related sp.: A. siversiana Ehrh. ex Willd.)

Unani: Afsanteen-e-Hindi. (National Formularly of Unani Medicine clubbed it with Baranjaasif.)

Siddha/Tamil: Maasipattiri.

Folk: Daunaa, Damanaa.

Action: Leaf—emmenagogue, menstrual regulator, nervine, stomachic (in anorexia and dyspepsia), an- thelmintic, choleretic, diaphoretic.

An infusion of flower tops is administered in nervous and spasmodic affections. The herb is also used as an antilithic. Oil from leaves— antibacterial, antifungal in 1:1000 dilution.

Key application: As emmenagogue. (The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

The plant yields about 0.34% of an essential oil. Plants at lower altitude had more percentage of cineol, thu- jone, thujyl and citral, whereas from higher altitude terpenes are in higher percentage. The highest amount of cineol was reported to be 30%.

The plant is also used as an inferior substitute for cinchona in fevers.... artemisia vulgaris

Boerhavia Verticillata


Family: Nyctaginaceae.

Habitat: Throughout plains of India.

Ayurvedic: Shveta Punarnavaa, Vrshchiva, Vrshchiraka. (Vrishchira is also equated with Trianthema sp.) B. erecta, synonym B. punarnava Saha and Krishnamurthy, is also equated with the white-flowered species of Boerhavia.

Action: See B. diffusa.... boerhavia verticillata

Barbarea Vulgaris

R. Br.

Family: Brassicaceae, Cruciferae.

Habitat: Subalpine and temperate Himalayas, at altitudes of 1,8003,750 m.

English: Bitter Cress, Hedge Mustard, Yellow Rocket, Winter Cress.

Folk: Cress.

Action: Diuretic, anthelmintic, stomachic, antiscorbutic, (leaves are rich in vitamin C 130 mg/100 g). Pulverised herb is used as an agent for stimulating spermatogenesis.

The roots contain sinigrin; seeds contain a glucoside, glucobarbarin, and myrosin.

The protein and phosphorus contents of the plant decrease with the maturity, whereas the calcium contents increase (tender stems are eaten as a salad). The leaves and buds are a rich source of provitamin A (beta- carotene).... barbarea vulgaris

Bauhinia Variegata


Synonym: B. candida Roxb.

Family: Caesalpiniaceae.

Habitat: Punjab, Western Peninsula and Assam. Also cultivated in gardens.

English: Mountain Ebony, Buddhist Bauhinia.

Ayurvedic: Kaanchanaara, Kaan- chanaaraka, Kanchanak, Kaan- chana, Gandhaari, Sonapushpaka, Ashmantaka.

Siddha/Tamil: Sivappumanchori.

Action: Buds—a decoction is given in piles (also used against tumours), haematuria, menorrhagia. Dried buds are used in diarrhoea, dysentery, worm infestation, piles and tumours. Root— carminative, used in dyspepsia and flatulence (a decoction is reported to prevent obesity). Bark—astringent, anthelmintic; used externally in scrofula and skin diseases. Seeds—possess human blood agglutinating activity. Leaf— antifungal.

Along with other therapeutic applications, The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicated the use of the stem bark in lymphadenitis and goitre. (Ka- anchnaar Guggulu is prescribed for glandular swellings and goitre.)

Water-soluble portion of alcoholic extract of the plant showed preventive effect against goitre in rats.

Flowers gave flavonoids, kaempfe- rol-3-galactoside and kaempferol-3- rhamnoglucoside. The stem bark yields hentriacontane, octacosanol and stigmasterol. Stem contains beta-sitos- terol, lupeol and a flavanone glyco- side.

Dosage: Stem bark—20-30 g for decoction. (API Vol. I.)... bauhinia variegata

Bcg Vaccine

BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) vaccine, which was ?rst introduced in France in 1908, is the only vaccine that has produced signi?cant immunity against the tubercle bacillus (see TUBERCULOSIS) and at the same time has proved safe enough for use in human subjects. BCG vaccination is usually considered for the following groups of people. (1) Schoolchildren: the routine programme in schools usually covers children aged between ten and 14. (2) Students, including those in teacher training colleges. (3) Immigrants from countries with a high prevalence of tuberculosis (TB). (4) Children and newborn infants born in the UK to parents from Group 3, or other newborns at parents’ request. (5) Health workers, such as nurses, and others likely to be exposed to infection in their work. (6) Veterinary workers who handle animals susceptible to TB. (7) Sta? of prisons, residential homes and hostels for refugees and the homeless. (8) Household contacts of people known to have active TB and newborn infants in households where there is a history of the disease. (9) Those staying for more than one month in high-risk countries.

A pre-vaccination tuberculin test is necessary in all age-groups except newborn infants, and only those with negative tuberculin reactions are vaccinated. Complications are few and far between. A local reaction at the site of vaccination usually occurs between two and six weeks after vaccination, beginning as a small papule that slowly increases in size. It may produce a small ulcer. This heals after around two months, leaving a small scar. (See IMMUNITY; TUBERCULIN.)... bcg vaccine

Berberis Vulgaris


Family: Berberidaceae.

Habitat: Distributed in Northwestern Himalayas.

English: Common Barberry, True Barberry.

Ayurvedic: Daruharidraa (var.).

Folk: Chatrod, Kashmal.

Action: Root and bark—used for ailments of gastrointestinal tract, liver, gallbladder, kidney and urinary tract, respiratory tract, also as a febrifuge and blood purifier.

Key application: Listed by German Commission E among unapproved herbs.

An extract with 80% berberine and additional alkaloids stimulated the bile secretion of rats by 72%. (PDR.) As cholagogue. (The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

The main alkaloid is berberine (well tolerated up to 0.5 g). Berries are safe.

Bererine in small doses stimulates the respiratory system; poisonings have been observed from overdoses. Poisonings from the total herb have not been reported. (German Commission E.)

Berberine is bactericidal, amoebici- dal and trypanocidal. Berberine is an- tidiarrhoeal, asitentersinto the cytosol or binds to the cell membrane and inhibits the catalytic unit of andenylate cyclase. It is active in vitro and in animals against cholera.

Berberine stimulates bile secretion and shows sedative, hypotensive, anti- convulsant and uterine stimulant activity in animals. Alkaloid bermarine is also strongly antibacterial. It has been shown to increase white blood cell and platelet counts in animals with iatro- genic leukocytopaenia.

Berberine, berbamine and jatror- rhizine are hypotensive and sedative.

Many of the alkaloids are antineo- plastic.

The alkaloid berbamine (50 mg three times daily for 1-4 weeks) helped reverse leukopaenia induced by benzene, cancer chemotherapy or radiotherapy in a clinical study. (Francis Brinker.)

Berberine, when combined with pyrimethamine, was more effective than combinations with other antibiotics in treating chloroquine-resistant malaria. (Sharon M. Herr.)... berberis vulgaris

Cervical Venosities

Enlarged varicose veins on the cervix of the uterus, often accompanying ulcerations or long-term pelvic congestion. A symptom only of congestion or impaired circulation, they can occur in both semi-trivial and serious conditions.... cervical venosities

Beta Vulgaris

Linn. subsp. cicla (L.) Moq.

Synonym: B. vulgaris auct. non L.

Family: Chenopodiacae.

Habitat: Native to Mediterranean region; cultivated in North India, Maharashtra and South India.

English: Beet Root, Garden Beet, Chard.

Ayurvedic: Palanki.

Folk: Chukandar.

Action: Leaf—used in burns and bruises, also for diseases of spleen and liver. Tuber and seed— expectorant. Leaf and seed— diuretic. Leaf, tuber and seed— anti-inflammatory. Seed oil— analgesic.

Beet roots are eaten raw as salad or cooked. The leaves are nutritionally superior to roots and are a good source of vitamins and minerals.

The plant contains alkaloids ofwhich betaine is a mild diuretic and emme- nagogue.

In research, using rats, chard increased regeneration of beta cells in pancreas. Maximum reduction of blood glucose was after 42 days of administration. (J Ethnopharmacol, 2000, 73: 251-259.)

Beets are used orally as a supportive therapy in the treatment of liver diseases and fatty liver (possibly due to betaine). Ingestion of large quantities might worsen kidney disease. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)... beta vulgaris

Brunella Vulgaris


Synonym: Prunella vulgaris Linn.

Family: Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat: The Himalayas from Kashmir to Bhutan at altitudes of 1,400-4,000 m, in Khasi Hills and hills of South India.

English: Self-heal.

Unani: Substitute for Ustukhudduus. (Lavandula stoechas Linn.)

Folk: Dhaaru.

Action: Wound healing, expectorant, antiseptic, astringent, haemostatic, antispasmodic. Leaf- used in piles; and as a cooling herb for fevers.

The herb contains vitamins A, B, C and K; flavonoids; rutin. Flower spikes are liver-restorative, hypotensive, an- tioxidant.

Lupeol, stigmasterol and beta-sitos- terol are obtained from the unsapo- nifiable fraction from the leaves, the saponifiable fraction gave lauric,... brunella vulgaris

Citrullus Vulgaris


Synonym: C. lanatus (Thunb.) Matsumura & Nakai.

Family: Cucurbitaceae.

Habitat: Cultivated throughout India on sandy river beds, up to an altitude of 1,500 m.

English: Watermelon.

Ayurvedic: Kalinga.

Unani: Tarbuz.

Siddha: Poiychaviral, Tharbuza- palam (Tamil.

Action: Pulp—cooling and refreshing, a rich source of pectin, carotenoids, surcose (as major sugar). Fruit juice is prescribed in strangury and urinary complaints, also in hepatic congestion and intestinal catarrh. Seeds—cooling, purgative, diuretic, demulcent (used in urinary infections). Leaves— febrifuge. The pericarp is given in diarrhoea.

Watermelon juice contains citrullin (0.17%) and arginine, which are thought to increase urea production in the liver, thus increasing the flow of urine.

The seeds possess a high lipase activity comparable to that of wheat germ, in addition to high lipoxygenase, urease and trypsin-inhibitor activities. Aqueous extract of the seeds also exhibit amylase inhibitor activity. The seed oil is used as a substitute for almond oil.

The roots of mature plant contain a triterpene, bryonolic acid. Bryono- lic acid possesses a stronger antiallergic activity with lesser side effects than that of glycyrrhetinic acid, the aglycone of glycyrrhizin, used clinically in Japan for the treatment of allergy and hepatitis.... citrullus vulgaris

Colonoscopy, Virtual

A procedure that links COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY of the COLON (see also INTESTINE) with techniques that produce three-dimensional views of the mucosa of the large bowel similar to those obtained during traditional colonoscopy. Early experience suggests that the new technique produces better results than barium enemas (see ENEMA) and is almost as e?ective as conventional colonoscopy. Virtual colonoscopy o?ers faster results, and image analysis will probably soon be automated. The procedure is easy, non-invasive, safe and complete; once the need for bowel cleansing is eliminated (as seems likely) it will provide a prominent tool in screening for cancer of the colon and RECTUM.... colonoscopy, virtual

Community Visitor Scheme

A scheme utilizing volunteers to visit, spend time with and become friends with an older person in his/her place of residence.... community visitor scheme

Confounding Variable

A variable or fact that confuses a result. A confounder distorts the ability to attribute cause to a treatment, for example, because it is likely something else is confusing the result.... confounding variable

Construct Validity

See “validity”.... construct validity

Content Validity

See “validity”.... content validity

Continuous Data (variable)

See “data”.... continuous data (variable)

Coronary Artery Vein Bypass Grafting (cavbg)

When coronary arteries, narrowed by disease, cannot supply the heart muscle with su?cient blood, the cardiac circulation may be improved by grafting a section of vein from the leg to bypass the obstruction. Around 10,000 people in the United Kingdom have this operation annually and the results are usually good. It is a major procedure that lasts several hours and requires the heart to be stopped temporarily, with blood circulation and oxygenation taken over by a HEART-LUNG MACHINE.... coronary artery vein bypass grafting (cavbg)

Coleus Vettiveroides

K. C. Jacob.

Family: Lamiaceae.

Habitat: Native to Sri Lanka. Now under cultivation in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Ayurvedic: Hrivera, Hiruberaka, Ambu, Ambhas, Udaka, Udichya, Jala, Vaari, Toya, Vaalaka, Baalaa, Baalaka, Baala. (Also equated with Pavonia odorata Willd.)

Siddha/Tamil: Kuruver.

Folk: Iruveli (Kerala).

Action: Leaves—cooling and carminative, used for indigestion, dyspepsia, dysentery, also for ulcers, bleeding disorders, dermatitis.

C. zeylanicus (Benth.) Cramer (synonym Plectranthus zeylanicus Benth.) has been identified as a source of Ayurvedic drug Hrivera. The juice of stem and leaves, mixed with honey, is prescribed for diarrhoea.

The plant afforded abietane type diterpenoides and a stereoisomer.... coleus vettiveroides

Coxsackie Viruses

A group of viruses so-called because they were ?rst isolated from two patients with a disease resembling paralytic POLIOMYELITIS, in the village of Coxsackie in New York State. Thirty distinct types have now been identi?ed. They constitute one of the three groups of viruses included in the family of ENTEROVIRUSES, and are divided into two groups: A and B. Despite the large number of types of group A virus (24) in existence, evidence of their role in causing human disease is limited. Some, however, cause aseptic MENINGITIS, non-specicifc upper respiratory infection and MYOCARDITIS, and others cause a condition known as HERPANGINA. HAND, FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE is another disease caused by the A group. All six types of group B virus have been associated with outbreaks of aseptic meningitis, and they are also the cause of BORNHOLM DISEASE. Epidemics of type B2 infections tend to occur in alternate years. (See VIRUS.)... coxsackie viruses

Criterion Validity

See “validity”.... criterion validity

Crotalaria Verrucosa


Family: Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.

Habitat: Tropical regions of India from Himalayas to Sri Lanka.

Ayurvedic: Shanapushpi. Shana (var.).

Siddha/Tamil: Sanal, Sannappu.

Folk: Sanai, Jhanjhaniaa.

Action: Juice of leaves—used for biliousness, dyspepsia, blood impurities, scabies and impetigo, both internally and externally.

Taraxerol, beta-sitosterol and linole- ic, palmitic, stearic, lauric, oleic, lino- lenic, arachidic, myristic and ricinoleic acids have been isolated from fixed oil of the stem.

Dosage: Seed—1-3 g powder. (CCRAS.)... crotalaria verrucosa

Dalbergia Volubilis


Family: Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.

Habitat: Central and Eastern Himalayas, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa.

Ayurvedic: Gorakhi.

Siddha/Tamil: Punali.

Folk: Bankharaa, Bhatiaa.

Action: Leaves—used in aphthae. Root—genitourinary tract disinfectant; used in scalding of urine, also in foetid discharges.

The stem bark afforded isoflavo- noids, dalbergio, tectorigenin. The leaves gave flavonoid glycosides. The wood gave friedelin.... dalbergia volubilis

Deep Vein Thrombosis (dvt)

See THROMBOSIS; VEINS, DISEASES OF.... deep vein thrombosis (dvt)

Delphinium Vestitium

Wall. ex Royle.

Synonym: Delphinium elatum auct. non Linn.

D. speciosum Janka ex Nym.

Family: Ranunculaceae.

Habitat: The temperate Himalaya from Kashmir to Nepal to 2,7004,700 m.

English: Candle Larkspur, Bee Larkspur.

Ayurvedic: Nirvisha.

Action: Whole plant—cardiac and respiratory depressant, emetic, diuretic, anthelmintic. Seed— insecticidal. Used in skin eruptions. Powdered flowers, mixed with mustard oil, are used for destroying lica.

The plant contains beta-sitosterol and alkaloid delpheline; aerial parts contain an alkaloid, elatine.

Seeds are very poisonous; contain several aconitine-like alkaloids. Del- phinidine, isolated from seeds, causes drastic gastro-enteric irritation.... delphinium vestitium

Dependent Variable

In a statistical analysis, the outcome variable(s) or the variable(s) whose values are a function of, or dependent on the effect of other variable(s) (called independent variables) in the relationship under study.... dependent variable

Ducha Vaginal

Vaginal douche; see ducha.... ducha vaginal

Enterobius Vermicularis

A small nematode parasite of humans. Also known as pinworm, threadworm or seatworm. Infection often associated with anal pruritis, especially in children.... enterobius vermicularis

Dodonaea Viscosa

Linn. Jacq.

Family: Sapindaceae.

Habitat: North-western Himalaya up to 1,350 m, in Punjab, South India, ascending to 2,400 m on Nilgiris. Also planted as a hedge plant in Northern India.

English: Jamacia Switch Sorrel.

Ayurvedic: Raasnaa (substitute, used in Andhra Pradesh). (Raasnaa is equated with Pluchea lanceolata C. B. Clarke.)

Siddha/Tamil: Virali, Velari.

Action: Leaves—anti-inflammatory and antibacterial (used in the treatment of swellings, burns, wounds), febrifuge, embrocation of leaves is applied to sprains. Bark— astringent and anti-inflammatory. Aerial parts—hypoglycaemic.

The plant contains bioflavonoids (vitamin P) which are biologically active in improving blood circulation and strengthening capillaries. Aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the plant exhibited cardioinhibitory and coronory constricting, also spasmolytic, sedative and hypotensive activity.

The leaves and pods gave iso-rham- netin-3-O-rutinoside, quercetin-3-O- galactoside and quercetin-3-O-rutino- side. Resin gave a diterpene carboxylic acid (hautriwaic acid). Flowers gave kaempferol.... dodonaea viscosa

Dregea Volubilis

(Linn. f.) Benth. ex Hook. f.

Synonym: Wattakaka volubilis (Linn. f.) Stapf.

Family: Asclepiadaceae.

Habitat: Konkan and Maharashtra, also in Bengal and Assam.

Ayurvedic: Suparnikaa, Madhu- maalati. Muurvaa (substitute). Nak-chhikkini.

Siddha/Tamil: Kodippalai.

Action: Root and tender stalks— emetic and expectorant, cause sneezing, used in colds, sinusitis, and biliousness. Leaves—used as an application to boils and abscesses.

The stems and leaves contain a pigment taraxerol, a triterpenoid, kaem- pferol, a glucoside of kaempferol and saponins. Seeds contain a number of pregnane glycosides which do not exhibit digitalis-like action. Root contains a glucoside which lowered carotid blood pressure in mice and dogs when administered intravenously.... dregea volubilis

Ebola Virus Disease

Ebola virus disease is another name for VIRAL HAEMORRHAGIC FEVER. The ebola virus is one of the most virulent micro-organisms known. Like the marburg virus (see MARBURG DISEASE), it belongs to the ?lovirus group which originates in Africa. Increased population mobility and wars have meant that the infection occasionally occurs elsewhere, with air travellers developing symptoms on returning home.

Treatment As the disease can be neither prevented nor cured, treatment is supportive, with strict anti-infection procedures essential as human-to-human transmission can occur via skin and mucous-membrane contacts. Incubation period is 5–10 days. Fever with MYALGIA and headache occur initially, often accompanied by abdominal and chest symptoms. Haemorrhagic symptoms soon develop and the victim either starts to improve in the second week or develops multi-organ failure and lapses into a coma. Mortality ranges from 25 to 90 per cent.... ebola virus disease

External Validity

See “validity”.... external validity

Face Validity

See “validity”.... face validity

Graft Versus Host Disease (gvhd)

A condition that is a common complication of BONE MARROW transplant (see TRANSPLANTATION). It results from certain LYMPHOCYTES in the transplanted marrow attacking the transplant recipient’s tissues, which they identify as ‘foreign’. GVHD may appear soon after a transplant or develop several months later. The condition, which is fatal in about a third of victims, may be prevented by immunosuppressant drugs such as ciclosporin.... graft versus host disease (gvhd)

Foeniculum Vulgare


Family: Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.

Habitat: Native to the Mediterranean region; now cultivated mainly in Punjab, Assam, Maharashtra and Vadodara (Gujarat).

English: Fennel. (Poison hemlock has been misidentified as fennel.)

Ayurvedic: Mishreyaa, Mishi, Mad- hurikaa, Madhuraa, Shatapushpaa, Shataahvaa. (Shatpushpaa is equated with Saunf and Shataahvaa with Soyaa. Some authors treat these as vice-versa.)

Unani: Baadiyaan, Saunf.

Siddha/Tamil: Sombu.

Action: Carminative, stomachic, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, galactagogue, anti-inflammatory, diuretic. Relieves bloating, nausea, settles stomach and stimulates appetite. Also used in amenorrhoea and enuresis.

Key application: In dyspepsias such as mild, spastic, gastrointestinal afflictions, fullness, flatulence. Fennel syrup or honey can be used for the catarrh of the upper respiratory tract in children. Fennel oil preparations not recommended during pregnancy. (German Commission E, ESCOP, WHO.)

German Commission E reported that fennel seed promotes gastrointestinal motility and in higher concentrations acts as antispasmodic. In experiments anethole and fenchone have been shown to have a secre- tolytic action in respiratory tract. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia report its carminative and spasmolytic property.

Fennel seed contain about 8% volatile oil (about 50-60% anethole, among others 10-15% fenchone and methyl- chavicol), flavonoids, coumarins (including bergapten) and sterols.

The extract of seeds inhibits the growth of micro-organism, especially Streptococcus mutans, that are responsible for dental caries and periodontal diseases.

The essential oil from the seed is reported to be antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, emmenagogue, oxytocic and abortifacient.

The fatty acid, petroselenic acid, obtained from the oil, exhibited antimicrobial activity.

Anethole, a major constituent of fennel seed/oil has been found to be an active estrogenic agent with minimal hepatotoxicity and no teratogenic effect.

The oil also exhibits anticarcino- genic activity and can be used as a che- moprotective agent.

It possesses antioxidant activity close to BHT.

Anethole and limonene are used in pharmaceutical compositions for decreasing the side effects of chemotherapy and increasing the immune function.

Limonene showed the capacity to inhibit mammary tumours in rats.

The boiling water extract of leaves shows hypotensive effect in rats.

The methanolic extract of seed showed antispasmodic activity, while aqueous extract accelerated the spontaneous movement of rabbit stomach.

Dosage: Dried fruit—3-6 g powder. (API Vol. I.)... foeniculum vulgare

Fucus Vesiculosus


Family: Fucaceae. (Laminaria sp.)

Habitat: On the shores of the United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean, North Pacific Coast of America; as a weed; found in Indian Ocean on the Manora Rocks. Allied species—F. distichus Linn., and F nodosus Linn. (Included in Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants, CSIR, also in its second supplement.) F. nodosus is found in India along sea shores.

English: Bladderwrack, Black Tang, Rockweed, Kelp.

Action: Weed—one of the richest source of minerals, chiefly iodine, sodium, manganese, sulphur, silicon, zinc and copper. Effective against obesity, antirheumatic. Stimulates circulation of lymph. Endocrine gland stimulant. Allays onset of arteriosclerosis by maintaining elasticity of walls of blood vessels. Mild diuretic, bulk, laxative, antibiotic. High sodium content may reduce effectiveness of diuretics.

(The herb contains trace metal, particularly iodine from 0.03-1.0%. It may contain waste metals such as cadmium and strontium, when grown in a polluted environment. Variable iodine content and arsenic contamination make the herb unsafe.)

The herb should be used with caution in hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Excess thyroid activity maybe aggravated by the iodine content of the herb; it may disrupt thyroid function. One gram of Bladderwrack might contain as much as 600 mcg iodine (Ingesting more than 150 mcg iodine per day may cause hyperthyroidism or exacerbate existing hyperthyroidism.) (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

Due to the antithrombin effects ofits fucan polysaccharides, consumption of the herb in cases of G1 bleeding disorders is contraindicated.

(Included among unapproved herbs by German Commission E.)... fucus vesiculosus

Haplanthus Verticillatus

(Roxb.) Nees.

Family: Acanthaceae.

Habitat: Hills of Deccan Peninsula and parts of western and central India.

Folk: Kaalaa-Kirayaat (Maharashtra).

Action: Febrifuge, bitter tonic.

A closely related species, Haplan- thus tentaculatus Nees, is also known as Kaalaa-Kiryaat. The herb is given in fever.... haplanthus verticillatus

Health Visitors

Health visitors are community nurses with a special training who form an important part of the primary health-care team. Working in close conjunction with general practitioners, they are primarily responsible for illness prevention and health screening and education of children and elderly people in the community.... health visitors

Hendra Virus

Virus of Flying Foxes (Fruit Bats) in Australia. Can infect horses and humans. Also known as the Equine morbillivirus.... hendra virus

Hepatitis Viruses

The most common causes of viral hepatitis are those caused by the Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E and G viruses. Hepatitis F virus has been described but is a doubtful entity. Other viruses which can cause hepatitis include the Epstein-Barr Virus, cytomegalovirus, and the Yellow Fever virus.... hepatitis viruses

Herpes Simplex Virus

Causative virus of genital herpes and herpes labalis or cold sores.... herpes simplex virus

Fumaria Vaillantii


Family: Fumariaceae.

Habitat: Throughout India on the hills.

Ayurvedic: Parpata.

Unani: Shaahtaraa.

Folk: Pittapaaparaa.

Action: The plant is used as a substitute for Fumaria parviflora.

A decoction of the herb is used for blood purification and in skin diseases, especially psoriasis.

Methanolic extract of the plant exhibits antimicrobial activity against Sarcina subflava.

The herb contains several isoquino- line alkaloids which are common to Fumaria officinalis and Fumaria parviflora.

Protopine showed smooth muscle relaxant activity in guinea-pigs, rabbits and albino rats and hydrocholeretic activity in anaesthetized dogs. L-tetra- hydrocoptisine showed antipsychotic (neuroleptic) activity in albino rats and mice. Narceimine, narlumidine, adlu- midine and protopine nitrate exhibit anti-inflammatory activity Alkaloids, narlumidine and pro- topine, exhibit significant antifungal activity.... fumaria vaillantii

Galium Verum


Habitat: Kashmir, Lahul and other west Himalayan regions, at altitude of 2,000-3,000 m

English: Lady's Bedstraw, Cheese Rennet.

Action: Herb—diuretic, used for kidney stone, gravel, gout. Used topically for poorly healing wounds.

The plant contains the iridoids including asperuloside and galioside; flavonoid glycosides; quercetin-3-glu- coside, quercetin-7-glucoside, quer- cetin-3-rutinoside, luteolin-7-gluco- side; anthraquinone derivatives, including alizarin, and large amounts of salicylic acid. Its high organic acid content causes curdling of milk. The root contain n-alkanes.... galium verum

Grewia Villosa


Family: Tiliaceae.

Habitat: Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

English: Tamthar.

Siddha/Tamil: Kullai.

Folk: Dhohan (Rajasthan), Jalidar (Punjab), Kharamati (Maharashtra).

Action: Root—antidiarrhoeal. Root and bark—used in genitourinary infections, syphilis and smallpox.

The methanol extract of the roots contain beta-carboline alkaloids, harman, harmine, harmol, harmalol and harmaline.

The roots are also used to treat cough.... grewia villosa

Herpes Viruses

One member of a group of viruses containing DNA which cause latent infections in animals and humans. Viruses from this group cause HERPES SIMPLEX, HERPES ZOSTER (shingles) and CHICKENPOX, and include CYTOMEGALOVIRUS (CCMV) and EPSTEIN-BARR VIRUS.... herpes viruses

Herpes Zoster Virus

Causative virus of chicken pox and shingles.... herpes zoster virus

Hiv (human Immunodeficiency Virus)

The name of the causative agent of AIDS.... hiv (human immunodeficiency virus)

Home Visits

Professional visits in the home.... home visits

Hordeum Vulgare


Family: Gramineae; Poaceae.

Habitat: Cultivated as food crop in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

English: Barley

Ayurvedic: Yava, Hayeshtha, Hayapriya, Shuka-dhaanya, Tiksh- nashuka.

Unani: Barley, Jao Shaeer.

Siddha: Yavam. Saambaluppu (ash).

Action: Barley—nutritive and demulcent during convalescence and in cases of bowel inflammation and diarrhoea. Protects immune system.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIn- dia recommends barley in urinary disorders, muscular rigidity, chronic sinusitis, cough, asthma, lipid disorder and obesity.

Juice of young barley leaves—7 times richer in vitamin C than oranges, 5 times richer in iron than spinach, 25 times richer in potassium than wheat; high in SOD (superoxide dismutase), an enzyme that slows ageing of cells.

The nutritional quality of the barley depends on beta-glucan fraction of the grain. Beta-glucan-enriched fraction produced cholesterol-lowering effect in hamsters.

Naked barley extracts have been found to selectively inhibit cyclohex- anase activity and may be useful as a therapeutic drug for treating thrombosis and atherosclerosis.

Ethanol extract of young green leaves exhibits antioxidant activity attributed to a flavonoid, 2"-O-glucosyl- isovitexin. It also exhibits antiinflammatory and antiallergic activities. The leaves contain an indole alkaloid, gramine, which exhibits antibacterial properties.

Dosage: Dried fruit—100-200 g. (API Vol. II); dried plant—10-20 g. (API Vol. IV.)... hordeum vulgare

Human Immunodeficiency Virus

See AIDS/HIV.... human immunodeficiency virus

In Vitro Fertilisation (ivf)

Fertilisation of the egg (ovum) outside the body. The fertilised ovum is then incubated until the blastocyst stage develops, when it is implanted into the UTERUS. The procedure was developed in Britain and the ?rst successful in vitro baby, a girl, was born in 1978. IVF is used when a woman has blocked FALLOPIAN TUBES or when the sperm and ovum are unable to fuse in the reproductive tract. Hormone treatment results in the potential mother’s producing several mature ova, some of which are removed from the ovary using a LAPAROSCOPE and fertilised with her partner’s semen. (See ASSISTED CONCEPTION.)... in vitro fertilisation (ivf)

Illicium Verum

Hook. f.

Family: Magnoliaceae, Illiciaceae.

Habitat: Native to China. Fruits imported from China and IndoChina.

English: Star Anise, Chinese Anise, Aniseed Stars.

Unani: Baadyaan Khataai.

Siddha/Tamil: Takkola, Anasippo.

Folk: Anasphal.

Action: Carminative (used for colic), stimulant, diuretic. Also used in rheumatism.

Key application: In catarrhs of the respiratory tract and peptic discomforts. (German Commission E.)

The fruit contains a volatile oil containing trans-anethole 80-90%, and feniculin (14.56%), with estragole, beta-bisabolene, beta-farnesene, ca- ryophyllene, nerolidol.

The intake of trans-anethole (1.0%) does not show any chronic toxicity in rats. Veranisatins, isolated from the extract, showed convulsive effect in mice. Methanolic extract exhibited a hypothermic effect in mice.

Illicium griffithii Hook. f. & Thoms. is found in Bhutan and Khasi hills at altitudes of 1,400-1,100 m. The fruit, known as Baadiyaan, is bitter and astringent, reported to be poisonous. It is used as stimulant and carminative. Essential oil resembles that from aniseed (Pimpinella anisum Linn.) and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.)... illicium verum

Independent Variable

A variable that precedes, influences or predicts the dependent variable.... independent variable

Internal Validity

See “validity”.... internal validity

Ipomoea Vitifolia


Synonym: Merremia vitifolia (Burm. f.) Hallier. Convululus vitifolius Burm. f.

Family: Convolvulaceae.

Habitat: Throughout warmer parts of India, except the north-western arid region.

Folk: Nauli, Nawal (Maharashtra).

Action: Diuretic. Used in strangury, urethral discharges.... ipomoea vitifolia

Iris Versicolour


Family: Iridaceae.

Habitat: In swamps. Native to America and Canada.

English: Blue Flag Root, Liver Lily.

Ayurvedic: Haimavati Vachaa.

Action: Anti-inflammatory, astringent, cholagogue, laxative, diuretic, antiemetic, blood and lymph purifier, alterative for sluggish conditions of liver, gallbladder and glandular system.

Key application: As laxative. (The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

The rhizomes contain a volatile oil; a glycoside, iridin; acids including salicylic and isophthalic; a monocyclic C31 triterpenoid; sterols, gum, resin. Irisin is the toxic constituent of the resin. It irritates the mucous membrane, liver and pancreas.

The drug is contraindicated in pregnancy. The root powder is toxic at 2 g and fluid extract at 3.7 ml.... iris versicolour

Iritis, Viral

A viral infection of the iris. It appears red, swollen, and pupil contraction and relaxation is erratic and pulled. The usual cause is a herpes infection, often resident in the trigeminal nerve, and reoccurring during times of stress or sympathetic to a larger viral condition.... iritis, viral

Juniperus Virginiana


Family: Pinaceae; Cupressaceae.

Habitat: Native to North America; introduced into India.

English: Pencil Cedar, Red Cedar.

Action: The berries in decoction are diaphoretic and emmenagogue like those of common juniper; leaves are diuretic. Red cedar oil is used in the preparation of insecticides. Small excrescences, called cedar apples, are sometimes found on the branches. These are used as an anthelmintic. (Yellow Cedar is equated with Thuja occidentalles.)

Juniperus procera Hochst. (East African Cedar), J. bermudiana Linn. (Bermuda Cedar) andJ.ChinensisLinn. (Chinese Juniper) have also been introduced into India.... juniperus virginiana

Lavado Vaginal

Vaginal wash; see ducha.... lavado vaginal

Lemon Verbena

Purification, Love... lemon verbena

Lumbar Vertebra

There are ?ve lumbar vertebrae in the lower SPINAL COLUMN between the thoracic vertebrae and the sacrum.... lumbar vertebra

Lyssa Virus

A group of rhabdoviruses closely related to the rabies virus. The Australian Bat Lyssa virus is found in flying foxes (fruit bats) and can cause a rabies-like disease in humans. The disease should be handled as for rabies and can be prevented by using rabies vaccine.... lyssa virus

Miliusa Velutina

Hook. f. & Thoms.

Family: Annonaceae.

Habitat: Sub-Himalayan tract and outer Himalayas, in North-east and Central India, eastern coast of Deccan Peninsula.

Ayurvedic: Rshiyaproktaa.

Folk: Gandha-Palaasa (Orissa), Kaari (gum).

Action: Bark—used in the treatment of gout.... miliusa velutina

Lactuca Virosa


Family: Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat: Native to Europe. Imported into India.

English: Bitter Lettuce, Wild Lettuce.

Unani: Kaahuu Sahrai (var.), Kaahuu Barri (var.).

Action: Mild sedative, hypnotic, (once used as a substitute for opium), anodyne, expectorant.

Key application: As sedative. (The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

Used in insomnia, nervous excitability, anxiety, restlessness, hyperactivity in children, nymphomania, smoker's cough, irritable cough and bronchitis.

Aerial parts contain sesquiterpene glycosides.

The leaves and dried juice contain lacticin, lactucopicrin (sesquiterpene lactones); flavonoids (mainly based on quercetin); coumarins (cichoriin and aesculin); N-methyl-beta-phenethy- lamine; triterpenes include taraxas- terol and beta-amyrin. The sesquiterpene lactones have a sedative effect.

The Wild Lettuce also contains hyos- cyamine, while the dried sap is devoid of it. Morphine content has been found in low concentrations, too low to have pharmacological effect. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

The oil of seeds is used for arteriosclerosis.

Synonym: L. vulgaris Ser. L. leucanth Rusby. Cucurbita siceraria Mol.

Family: Cucurbitaceae.

Habitat: Throughout India.

English: Bitter Bottle-Gourd.

Ayurvedic: Katu-tumbi, Tumbini, Ikshavaaku. Tiktaalaavu, Pindapha- laa.

Unani: Kaddu-e-talkh (bitter var.).

Siddha/Tamil: Suraikai.

Action: Pulp—purgative, emetic. Leaf—used in jaundice.

Cucurbita lagenaria Linn. is equated with Lauki or Sweet Bottle-Guard, used all over India as a vegetable.

Cucurbita siceraria Mol. is equated with Titalauki or the Bitter Bottle- Gourd. Bitter fruits yield 0.013% of a solid foam containing cucurbitacin B,D,G and H, mainly cucurbitacin B. These bitter principles are present in the fruit as aglycones. Leaves contain cucurbitacin B, and roots cucurbitacins B, D and traces of E. The fruit juice contains beta-glycosidase (elaterase).

Plants which yield non-bitter fruits contain no bitter principles or elat- erase; their roots are not bitter.... lactuca virosa

Lemon Verbena Tea

Lemon Verbena Tea has been known for many years as being an incredible natural remedy for many disorders, especially the ones in the nervous and digestive systems. Lemon verbena (aloysia tryphilla) is native to South America, mainly in Argentina, Brazil and Peru. The herb can grow up to 1-3 meters and it can be recognized by its lancet shaped green leaves and tiny white or lavender-colored flowers. The constituents of lemon verbena are found in its specific oil which contains methyl heptenone, borneol, geraniol and dipentene. How To Make Lemon Verbena Tea To really experience its health benefits, you can make Lemon VerbenaTea by infusing 2 teaspoons of dried lemon verbena herbs into one cup of boiling water. Let the mix boil for a few minutes and then let it steep for about 5 minutes. Lemon verbena has a strong lemony scent and taste. Add some honey to really enhance its taste! Lemon Verbena Tea Benefits
  • Lemon VerbenaTea strengthens the nervous system.
  • Alleviates colon and stomach spasms.
  • Helps reduce fever.
  • Acts as a cough remedy.
  • Helps with digestion.
  • Calms menstrual cramps.
Lemon Verbena Tea Side Effects
  • Make sure you do not suffer from any allergies, since Lemon Verbena Tea can cause skin irritation in some people.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women must avoid drinking Lemon Verbena Tea and other herbal teas.
  • Drinking large amounts of Lemon Verbena Tea may irritate the kidneys. Avoid drinking this tea if you suffer from kidney stones or any other kidney problems.
Lemon Verbena Tea is a healthy tea with many health benefits. Make sure you keep in mind its side effects and avoid over-consumption!... lemon verbena tea

Monkey B Virus

A herpes virus of monkeys that can infect humans, usually through handling monkey tissues at autopsy or in the laboratory.... monkey b virus

Monochoria Vaginalis


Habitat: Throughout India in ponds, tanks, ditches, as a weed common in rice fields.

Ayurvedic: Indivara (Kerala). Kakapola (Malyalam), Nirkancha (Telugu).

Siddha/Tamil: Senkzhuneer- kizhangu.

Folk: Nukha, Nanda (Bengal).

Action: Leaves—juice is given for coughs. Roots—prescribed for stomach and liver complaints.

Bark—prescribed with sugar for asthma.... monochoria vaginalis

Nipah Virus

Virus first identified from the village of Nipah in Malaysia. Carried by flying foxes (fruit bats). Can infect pigs and humans.... nipah virus

Oestradiol Valerate

See OESTROGENS.... oestradiol valerate

Oil, Volatile

The aromatic, oxygenated derivatives of terpenes that can be obtained from plants (in our case), usually by distillation. Unlike a fixed oil that has no scent (unless rancid), volatile oils are all scent. (Example: oil of Peppermint.)... oil, volatile

Lung Volumes

The volume of air within the LUNGS changes with the respiratory cycle (see RESPIRATION). The volumes de?ned in the following table can be measured, and may be useful indicators of some pulmonary diseases.

Normal values for a 60 kg man are (in ml):

Total lung capacity (TLC) The volume of air that can be held in the lungs at maximum inspiration.

Tidal volume (TV) The volume of air taken into and expelled from the lungs with each breath.

Inspiratory reserve volume (IRV) The volume of air that can still be inspired at the end of a normal quiet inspiration.

Expiratory reserve volume (ERV) The volume of air that can still be expired at the end of a normal quiet expiration.

Residual volume (RV) The volume of air remaining in the lungs after a maximal expiration.

Vital capacity (VC) The maximum amount of air that can be expired after a maximal inspiration.

Functional residual capacity (FRC) The volume of air left in the lungs at the end of a normal quiet expiration.... lung volumes

Marrubium Vulgare


Family: Labiatae; Lamiacea.

Habitat: Native to Europe and Central Asia; also found in Kashmir

English: Horehound.

Unani: Faraasiyun (wrongly equated with Valerian in National Formulary of Unani Medicine).

Action: Expectorant, cholagogue; bitter tonic for stomach and liver, antispasmodic. Used for bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough, hard cough with little phlegm; also for cardiac extrasystols.

Key application: In loss of appetite, dyspepsia; bloating and flatulence. (German Commission E.) The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia and The British Herbal Compendium (additionally) indicate its use for acute bronchitis, non-productive cough and catarrh and the respiratory tracts.

The herb yields a diterpenoid, pre- marrubiin, which generates marrubiin as an artefact; caffeic acid derivatives; and flavonoids—apigenin, apigenin-7- glucoside, luteolin, luteolin-7-gluco- side, quercetin-3-glucoside and -3- rhamnoglucoside. The extracts of the herb exhibit anti-inflammatory and antiserotonin activity experimentally. Marrubiin is considered to be responsible for expectorant activity. It has also shown to normalize extrasystolic arrhythmias. High doses may cause cardiac irregularities.

The oil exhibits antimicrobial properties and is reported to be vasodilatory and hypotensive.... marrubium vulgare

Ocimum Viride


Family: Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat: Native to Africa; introduced into India.

English: Fever plant of Sierra Leone.

Folk: Taap-maari Tulasi (Maharashtra).

Action: Leaves—febrifugal. Used as a remedy for coughs and fevers. Oil—antiseptic.

Ocimum viride species, cultivated in Jammu-Tawi, gives maximum oil yield

(0.4%) at full bloom stage and highest percentage of thymol (55.12%) in the oil, which can be used as a substitute for thyme-ajowan oil.... ocimum viride

Papova Viruses

These include the human papilloma viruses (HPV), of which nearly a hundred strains have been identi?ed. HPV cause verrucae (see WARTS) on skin and, less often, on the mucous membranes of mouth, larynx, genitalia and the cervix. Some strains may predispose to eventual cancer.... papova viruses

Parainfluenza Viruses

These are included in the paramyxoviruses (see MYXOVIRUSES) and divided into four types, all of which cause infection of the respiratory system (see RESPIRATION). Infection with type 3 begins in May, reaches a maximum in July or August and returns to base-line level in October. Types 1 and 2 are predominantly winter viruses. Children are commonly affected and the manifestations include CROUP, fever, and a rash.... parainfluenza viruses

Person/vector Contact

The number of times a person is bitten by a vector mosquito, normally expressed as the number of bites per person per night.... person/vector contact

Picorna Viruses

These infectious agents derive their name from pico (small) and from RNA (because they contain ribonuleic acid). They are a group of viruses which includes the ENTEROVIRUSES and the RHINOVIRUSES.... picorna viruses

Polypodium Vulgare


Family: Polypodiaceae. English: Polypody Root. Unani: Bisfaayaj.

Action: Expectorant, laxative, stomachic, cholagogue, alterative, antistress. Used in cough, bronchitis, catarrh, loss of appetite, dyspepsia; and in skin diseases.

The rhizome gave saponin glyco- sides, based on polypodosapogenin, including osladin; ecdysteroids; phlo- roglucin derivatives; tannin.... polypodium vulgare

Ophioglossum Vulgatum


Family: Ophioglossaceae.

Habitat: Moist meadows in Great Britain. Found in the Himalayas, Bihar, Assam, Pune (Maharashtra), Annamalai and Shevaroy hills (South India); up to an altitude of 2,700 m.

English: English Adder's Tongue. Serpant's Tongue.

Action: Fern—antiseptic, styptic, vulnerary, detergent, emetic. The mucilaginous and astringent decoction of the fern is used in angina in Reunion. An ointment, prepared by boiling the herb in oil or fat, is used for wounds.

Ophioglossum pendulum L. (Assam) is used in the form of a scalp ointment for improving the hair growth. American Adder's Tongue is equated with Erythronium americanum Ker- Gawl (Liliaceae). The fresh leaves gave alpha-methylenebutyrolactone.... ophioglossum vulgatum

Opuntia Vulgaris


Family: Cactaceae.

Habitat: Throughout the greater part of India.

English: Prickly Pear.

Ayurvedic: Naagaphani (var.).

Action: In homoeopathy, a tincture made from the flowers and wood, is given for diarrhoea and splenomegaly.

The fresh stalks yielded calcium magnesium pectate which exhibited antihaemorrhagic action. A flavono- side has been obtained from dried flowers. It resembles rutoside in its action of inhibiting capillary fragility. The flavonoside on hydrolysis produces trihydroxy-methoxy-flavonol and glucose. The plant is reported to contain an alkaloid. It also yields a mucilage which gives arabinose and galactose. to convalescents suffering from chronic diarrhoea and bilious fevers. Allays irritation of gastrointestinal tracts.

Orchis species (Salep) contain mucilage (up to 50%)-glucans, gluco- mannans (partially acetylized), starch (25%), proteins (5-15%).

The leaves of Orchis latifolia contain a glucoside, loroglossin. Most of the Salep used in Unani medicine is imported from Iran and Afghanistan.

Allium macleanii Baker (Afghanistan) is known as Baadashaahi (royal) Saalab, and is used as a substitute for Munjaataka.

Dosage: Tuber—3-5 g powder. (CCRAS.)... opuntia vulgaris

Persistent Vegetative State (pvs)

PVS may occur in patients with severe brain damage from HYPOXIA or injury. Patients do not display any awareness of their surroundings, and are unable to communicate. Sleep alternates with apparent wakefulness, when some re?exes (see REFLEX ACTION) may be present: for example, patients’ eyes may re?exly follow or respond to sound, their limbs can re?exly withdraw from pain, and their hands can re?exly grope or grasp. Patients can breathe spontaneously, and retain normal heart and kidney function, although they are doubly incontinent (see INCONTINENCE).

For a diagnosis of PVS to be made, the state should have continued for more than a prede?ned period, usually one month. Half of patients die within 2–6 months, but some can survive for longer with arti?cial feeding. To assess a person’s level of consciousness, a numerical marking system rated according to various functions – eye opening, motor and verbal responses – has been established called the GLASGOW COMA SCALE.

The ETHICS of keeping patients alive with arti?cial support are controversial. In the UK, a legal ruling is usually needed for arti?cial support to be withdrawn after a diagnosis of PVS has been made. The chances of regaining consciousness after one year are slim and, even if patients do recover, they are usually left with severe neurological disability.

PVS must be distinguished from conditions which appear similar. These include the ‘LOCKED-IN SYNDROME’ which is the result of damage to the brain stem (see BRAIN). Patients with this syndrome are conscious but unable to speak or move except for certain eye movements and blinking. The psychiatric state of CATATONIA is another condition in which the patient retains consciousness and will usually recover.... persistent vegetative state (pvs)

Random Variation / Random Error

The tendency for the estimated magnitude of a parameter (e.g. based upon the average of a sample of observations of a treatment or intervention effect) to deviate randomly from the true magnitude of that parameter. Random variation is independent of the effects of systematic biases. In general, the larger the sample size, the lower the random variation of the estimate of a parameter. As random variation decreases, precision increases.... random variation / random error

Remusatia Vivipara


Family: Araceae.

Habitat: Maharashtra, Karnataka.

Folk: Rukhaalu, Maanakand (Maharashtra). Lakshmanaa is a doubtful synonym

Action: Root—use for obstinate skin diseases and pruritus; also for disinfecting genitourinary tract and for promoting conception. Alocasia indica and Eulophia nuda are also known as Maanakanda in Indian medicine. Alocasia indica is used in Siddha medicine as an anti-inflammatory and diuretic herb.... remusatia vivipara

Phaseolus Vulgaris


Synonym: P. nanus Linn.

Family: Fabaceae.

English: Kidney Bean, French Bean, Haricot Bean.

Unani: Raajmah (seed), Lobia, Frashbean.

Action: Bean—diuretic, hypotensive, resolvent, regulates blood sugar. Used for water retention; albuminuria, especially of pregnancy; premenstrual tension.

Key application: Seed-free pods—in supportive treatment for inability to urinate. (German Commission E.)

The seeds of French Bean contain triterpenoid glucosides and soyasaponin V.

Raajmah consumption by diabetic patients is reported to produce highly significant reduction in their blood glucose level and glycaemic index, as compared to wheat and rice consumption.

Raw bean contains lectins which are destroyed when cooked. Its hypogly- caemic activity is most likely due to its chromium, trigonelline and fiber content. (Sharon M. Herr.)... phaseolus vulgaris

Pistacia Vera


Family: Anacardiaceae.

Habitat: Native to eastern Mediterranean region, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asian countries; cultivated in North India.

English: Pistachio, Green Almond.

Ayurvedic: Mukuulaka.

Unani: Pistaa (Kernel), Ilk-ul- Ambaat (resin).

Action: The kernel is used as a cardiac and brain tonic; flowers are included in prescriptions for leucorrhoea; husk is used against dysentery and as astringent in stomatitis and tonsillitis.... pistacia vera

Polygonatum Verticillatum


Family: Liliaceae.

Habitat: Temperate Himalayas and Manipur.

Ayurvedic: Medaa. (Substitute: Asparagus racemosus.)

Unani: Shaqaaqul. (Substitute: Pastinaca secacul.)

Folk: Mithaa-dudhiaa.

Action: Used in Tibetan medicine for treating emaciation, senility, pulmonary affections. The rhizomes is valued as salep.

The dried rhizomes contain 6.2-9% diosgenin.

The lactins of the rootstock did not contain carbohydrates; the amino acid revealed presence of 28% aspartic acid and asparagine.

The plant exhibits diuretic properties. It gave a digitalis glucoside and is considered poisonous by the hill people in the Himalayas.... polygonatum verticillatum

Polygonum Viviparum


Family: Polygonaceae.

Habitat: The Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim at 3,3004,800 m.

English: Viviparous Bistort.

Unani: Anjabaar. (substitute).

Folk: Billori, Maamekh (Punjab).

Action: Rootstock—astringent, antidiarrhoeal, antileucorrhoeic, antiseptic, antiperiodic. Used in haemoptysis; also for gleet. A decoction is used as a gargle for sore throat and spungy gums, as a lotion for ulcers.... polygonum viviparum

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (rsv)

Usually known as RSV, this is one of the MYXOVIRUSES. It is among the major causes of BRONCHIOLITIS and PNEUMONIA among infants aged under 6 months; its incidence has been increasing, possibly due to atmospheric pollution.... respiratory syncytial virus (rsv)

Retirement Village / Retirement Community

A community which provides several levels/types of housing and services for older people, ranging from independent living units to nursing homes, on one site but generally in separate buildings.... retirement village / retirement community

Primula Vulgaris


Primula denticulata Sm.

Family: Primulaceae.

Habitat: Temperate Himalayas from Kashmir to Bhutan and in Khasi and Jaintia hills at 1,500 m.

Folk: Keechey (Tibet).

Action: Root—powder used for killing leeches. Flowers—eaten in salad.

The whole plant contains several tri- terpenoid saponins.

Primula veris Linn., synonym P officinalis Hill and P. elatior Hill are grown in Indian gardens.

Key application: Primula veris, P. elatior Hill—the flower and the root in catarrhs of the respiratory tract. (German Commission E, ESCOP.) Contraindicated in gastritis and gastric ulcer. (ESCOP.)

Synonym: P. acaulis Hill.

Family: Primulaceae.

Habitat: Sub-Himalayan region.

English: Primrose (Evening Primrose is equated with Oenothera biennis), Cowslip.

Unani: Nakhud. (Also equated with Cicer arietinum by National Formulary of Unani Medicine.)

Action: Plant—anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, vermifuge, emetic. Used only externally.

The plant gave phenolic glycosides, flavonoids, saponins.... primula vulgaris

Pseudarthria Viscida

Wt. & Arn.

Family: Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.

Habitat: Orissa throughout South India and Gujarat.

Ayurvedic: Sanaparni, Shaalaparni (Kerala).

Siddha/Tamil: Neermalli.

Action: Root—astringent, febrifuge, antirheumatic. A decoction or powder is used for biliousness and diarrhoea. Used as a substitute for Desmodium gangeticum (Shaalaparni) in South India.

Leucopelargonidin has been isolated from the root.... pseudarthria viscida

Rhamnus Virgatus


Family: Rhamnaceae.

Habitat: Throughout Himalayas, Khasi and Jaintia Hills, hills of Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, and the Nilgiris.

English: Indian Buckthorn.

Folk: Chhaduaa, Tadru (Punjab), Chadolaa (Garhwal).

Action: Ripe fruit—purgative, emetic. Given in the affections of spleen. (Purgative action not found in the bark.)

The bark showed only traces of hy- droxymethyl anthraquinones and did not exhibit purgative action on experimental animals.

The plant contains the enzyme, rhamnodiastase, capable of hydrolyz- ing flavonoid glycosides.... rhamnus virgatus

Ross River Virus

A mosquito-borne arbovirus causing epidemic polyarthritis in Australia and certain islands of the Western Pacific to which it has spread.... ross river virus

Rumex Vesicarius


Family: Polygonaceae.

Habitat: Native to South-west Asia and North Africa; cultivated all over India, especially in Tripura, West Bengal and Bihar.

English: Bladder-Dock, Country Sorrel.

Ayurvedic: Chukra, Chuko, Chakravarti.

Unani: Hammaaz.... rumex vesicarius

Sabin Vaccine

Introduced in 1962, the attenuated live oral vaccine (Sabin) against POLIOMYELITIS replaced the previous inactivated vaccine introduced in 1956 (see SALK VACCINE).... sabin vaccine

Salix Viminalis

Linn. (The Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim) is known as Basket Willow and the Osier.

The bark contains 8.2%-8.8% tannin and phenol glycosides, fragilin, picein, salicin (0.13%), salicortin, salireposide, triandrin and vimalin. Salicase, and calcium and potassium nitrates are also reported from the bark.

Dosage: Bark—59-100 ml decoction. (CCRAS.)... salix viminalis

Saponaria Vaccaria


Family: Caryophyllaceae.

Habitat: Throughout India as a weed of cultivated fields of wheat and barley. Also cultivated in gardens for ornament.

Folk: Musna, Saabuni.

Action: See S. officinalis. The mucilaginous sap of the plant is febrifugal and used in chronic fevers. It is a mild depurative and used in the treatment of furuncles and scabies.... saponaria vaccaria

Seminal Vesicles

These are a couple of spongy glands, l.5 to 2 inches long, that secrete high-sugar, acidic, and thick, ropy colloid into the ductus deferens (containing sperm from the testes) during ejaculation. The two fluids empty into the prostate, where they are mixed with alkaline prostatic fluids to form semen.... seminal vesicles

Selinum Vaginatum

C. B. Clarke.

Family: Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.

Habitat: North-Western Himalayas from Kashmir to Kumaon at altitudes of 1,800-3,900 m.

Ayurvedic: Rochanaa-Tagara.

Folk: Peshaavari-Bhuutakeshi (Kashmir), Taggar (Garhwal).

Action: Roots—used as a nervine sedative. Oil—sedative, analgesic, hypotensive.

The roots gave coumarins, angelicin, oroselol, lomatin, selinidin, vaginidin, vaginol; a flavone derivative selinone; a sesquiterpene vaginatin.

The dry roots yield an essential oil containing alpha-pinene 45.5 limonene 25.3, camphene 5.7, beta-phellandrene 5.2, alpha-thujene 1.2, fenchyl alcohol 3.2, terpineol 3.8, and a ketone 2.6%. Beta-pinene and fenchone have also been reported.

The roots are sold in the drug markets of Jammu mixed with those of Seseli sibiricum. The roots are also used as a substitute for Nardostachys jata- mansi.... selinum vaginatum

Sida Veronicaefolia


Synonym: S. cordata (Burm. f.) Borssum. S. humilis Cav.

Family: Malvaceae.

Habitat: Throughout hotter parts of India.

Ayurvedic: Raajabalaa, Bhumibalaa, Prasaarini, Suprasaraa (also equated with Naagabalaa, Grewia hirsuta).

Siddha/Tamil: Palampasi.

Folk: Farid-booti.

Action: Fruits and flowers—used for burning sensation in micturition. Leaves—juice, used for diarrhoea; poultice applied to cuts and bruises. Root bark—used for leucorrhoea and genitourinary affections.

In experimental animals, the herb prevented arthritic swellings.

The plant contains beta-phenethyl- amines, quinazoline, carboxylated tryptamine, linoleic acid, malvalic acid, sterculic acid and gossypol.

Dosage: Root—10-20 ml juice; 50100 ml decoction. (CCRAS.)... sida veronicaefolia

Solidago Virga-aurea


Family: Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat: The temperate Himalayas from Kashmir eastwards and in Khasi Hills, up to 3,000 m.

English: European Goldenrod, Woundwort.

Action: Anticatarrhal, diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic to mucous membranes.

Key application: In irrigation therapy for inflammatory diseases of the lower urinary tract, urinary calculi and kidney gravel. (German Commission E.) ESCOP also indicates its use as an adjuvant in the treatment of bacterial infections of the urinary tract.

Anti-inflammatory activity is due to phenolic glycosides; antifungal activity is due to saponins based on polygalic acid (acts specifically against the candida fungus, the cause of vaginal and oral thrush). As a diuretic, aerial parts are used for nephritis and cystitis and to flush out kidney and bladder stones; urine volume is increased but not sodium excretion.

The plant contains quercitrin, rutin, iso-quercitrin, astragalin, kaempfer- ol, rhamnoglucoside, quercetin, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid. Aerial parts contain diterpenoids of cis-clerodane lactone group.... solidago virga-aurea

St Vitus’s Dance

An obsolete name for CHOREA.... st vitus’s dance

Tinea Versicolor

A chronic skin fungus, often without symptoms...except the light skin splotches of infected surfaces that don’t tan. It seems easily transmitted from one part of the body to another or one person to another. It is also called Pityriasis Versicolor.... tinea versicolor

Trichomonas Vaginalis

A protozoon normally present in the VAGINA of about 30–40 per cent of women. It sometimes becomes pathogenic and causes in?ammation of the genital passages, with vaginal discharge. A man may become infected as a result of sexual intercourse with an infected woman and suffer from a urethral discharge; it may also cause prostatitis (see under PROSTATE GLAND, DISEASES OF). METRONIDAZOLE is usually an e?ective treatment, and to obtain a satisfactory result it may be necessary to treat both partners. Should metronidazole not work, then tinidazole may be tried.... trichomonas vaginalis

Sorghum Vulgare

(Linn.) Pers.

Synonym: Andropogon sorghum Brot.

Family: Gramineae; Poaceae.

Habitat: Cultivated throughout warmer parts of India.

English: Sorghum, Broomcorn.

Ayurvedic: Yaava-naala.

Siddha/Tamil: Makkaseelam.

Folk: Jowaar, Paneraa.

Action: Grains—demulcent, diuretic. A confection of grains and Foeniculum vulgare seeds is used as a galactagogue. Sorghum is inferior to wheat.

About 80% of sorghum in India belongs to the race Durra (Sorghum durra (Frosk.) Stapf.).... sorghum vulgare

Strychnos Nux-vomica


Family: Loganiaceae; Strychnaceae.

Habitat: Tropical India up to an altitude of 360 m.

English: Nux vomica.

Ayurvedic: Kapilu, Kaakatin- duka, Kaakendu, Kaakapiluka, Vishamushtikaa, Vishamushti, Vishatinduka, Kuchilaa, Ksuchalaa.

Unani: Azaraaqi, Kuchlaa.

Siddha: Yettikkottai.

Action: Nervine tonic and a potent CNS stimulant.

Seeds—used in emotional disorders, insomnia, hysteria, epilepsy, paralytic and neurological affections, retention or nocturnal incontinence of urine, spermatorrhoea, sexual debility and impotence, general exhaustion; as antidote to alcoholism; GIT disorders. Bark—juice given in acute dysentery, diarrhoea and colic. Root—given in intermittent fevers. In Chinese medicine a paste made of Nux vomica seeds is applied topically for treating facial paralysis.

Included among unapproved herbs by German Commission E.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIn- dia recommends detoxified seeds in paralysis, facial paralysis, sciatica and impotency.

The seeds contain indole alkaloids, the major one is strychnine (approx. 50% of the alkaloids); others include strychnine N-oxide, brucine and its N-oxide, alpha-and beta-colubrine, condylocarpine, diaboline, geissoschi- zine, icajine, isostrychnine, normacu- sine, novacine, pseudobrucine, pseu- do-alpha-colubrine, pseudo-beta-col- ubrine, pseudostrychnine and vom- icine (3-hydro-beta-colubrine). Loga- nin is also present. Pseudostrychnine is non-toxic. The alkaloidal content of the seeds ranges from 1.8 to 5.3%.

The leaves contain strychnine and brucine (together 1.6%), strychnine 0.025%; vomicine is the major constituent of leaves. The bark contains 9.9% total alkaloids (brucine 8%, strychnine 1.58%); pseudostrychnine, pseudobrucine and beta-colubrine in small amounts. The roots contain 0.99% alkaloids (brucine 0.28%, strychnine 0.71%).

Strychnine, when tested for an- tiulcer activity in shay rat model at a dose of 0.25 mg/kg body weight, complete absence of ulceration was observed which was comparable to cime- tidine. Exhausted Nux-vomica powder at a dose of 20 mg/kg body weight, and brucine at a dose of 0.25 mg/kg body weight gave protection similar to strychnine.

Orally, 30-50 mg Nux-vomica (5 mg strychnine) is toxic.

Dosage: Detoxified seed—60- 125 mg. (API, Vol. IV.)... strychnos nux-vomica

Syringa Vulgaris


Family: Oleaceae.

Habitat: Cultivated in gardens in the hills.

English: Common Lilac.

Action: Bark, leaves and capsules— used as antipyretic, especially in chronic malaria, and as vermifuge. Leaf extract—antipyretic.

The leaves, flowers and bark contain the glucoside, syringin and syringopi- crin. Syringin is also present in the roots and fruits; mannitol has been reported in leaves, bark and fruits. The leaves contain 131.6 mg/100 g ofvitamin C. Ursolic acid has also been reported in the plant.... syringa vulgaris

Tanacetum Vulgare


Synonym: Chrysanthemum vulgare (L.) Bernh.

Family: Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat: Native to Europe; found as an escape in some parts of Kashmir.

English: Tansy.

Folk: Peilmundi (Kashmir).

Action: Plant—anthelmintic, bitter tonic, emmenagogue. Used for migraine, neuralgia and nausea; as a lotion for scabies. Toxicity depends upon thujone content of the part used. Tansy oil is used as a liniment for gout and rheumatism.

Aerial parts afforded terpenoids— tanacetin, vulgarones A and B, tamirin, tanacin and tanavulgarol; germacano- lides, stearic acid, and flavonoids— apigenin trimethyl ether, apigenin, luteolin, chrysoeriol, diometin, iso- rhamnetin, quercetin and axillarin. The leaves contain parthenolide, caffe- ic, chlorogenic, iso-chlorogenic acids and vibernitol.

Indian chemotype contains beta- thujone (28.1%) as the major constituent of the essential oil. Other constituents are: beta-thujyl alcohol 8.7, /-camphor 10.0 and cineol 11.8%. The leaves contain parthenolide, caf- feic, chlorogenic, isochlorogenic acid and vibernitol.

Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Schultz Bip. (native to Europe and British Isles), known as Feverfew, is available in India for prophylactic treatment of migraine. The characteristic constituents of the herb (dried, whole or fragmented parts) are sesquiterpene lactones of which parthenolide, a ger- macanolide, is the major component. (Indian species, T. vulgare leaf also contains parthenolide).

ESCOP recommends the herb for the management of migraine for at least a few months.

(See ESCOP and WHO monographs.)

It has been shown that Feverfew extract inhibits prostaglandin production and arachidonic acid release (this activity, at least partly, explains the herb's antiplatelet and antifebrile action). The extracts also inhibit secretion of serotonin from platelet granules and proteins from polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMN's). Since serotonin is implicated in the aetiology of migraine and PMN secretion is increased in rheumatoid arthritis. Feverfew is used in migraine and rheumatoid arthritis. (Potter's New Cyclopaedia.) Somehow, beneficial effects were not observed in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial on 40 women with rheumatoid arthritis. (WHO.)... tanacetum vulgare

Tansy Tea - A Dangerous Vermifuge

Tansy Tea is a very good and natural vermifuge, used mainly to treat children. Tansy is a perennial plant, with long narrow leaves and bright yellow flowers. Originally from Asia, Tansy is now grown all over the world and used for medical purposes, even if physicians all over the world are being reticent when it comes to recommending it to patients. For a very large amount of time, Tansy Tea was used in order to induce miscarriage and many women died drinking too much of it. Tansy Tea Properties The main substances of Tansy Tea (tanacetin, volatile oil, tannic acid, parthenolides)are toxic in large quantities, so if you’re thinking about starting a treatment based on Tansy Tea it’s best to keep track of how much you drink per day. The parts that can be used for medical purposes are the leaves and the flowering tops and you can either make a tea out of them or use the leaves freshly picked. Tansy Tea Benefits Although the main use of the Tansy Tea was to treat worms in children, the modern applications of the alternative medicine point towards using it as a cooking ingredient that can be added in small amounts to a variety of salads and omelets, thanks to its cinnamon-like taste. Tansy Tea can also be used as a natural cosmetic product able to lighten skin and decolorize the unwanted sunspots. Today, the medical uses of the Tansy Tea have been loudly discredited, although you can still find it on markets and it’s legal to grow it in your own yard. However, it’s safe and actually indicated that you use Tansy in order to keep your vegetables pest-free rather than buy some random chemical repellent. How to make Tansy Tea Infusion When preparing Tansy Tea Infusion, you need to make sure that the concentration is not going to do you any harm (use a very small amount). Poor boiling water over the Tansy leaves and wait for about 5 minutes. Only take the tea as long as you’re sick (not more than a cup per day) and do not turn it into a daily habit. Tansy Tea cannot replace coffee and it’s toxic in high dosages. If you’ve taken this tea for a while and there are still no results, see a doctor immediately and stop taking Tansy Tea! Tansy Tea Side Effects Tansy Tea has many side effects. In fact, few physicians are brave enough to prescribe Tansy tea to their patients. It can cause spasms, hallucinations, convulsions. In very high dosages, it can cause death. Tansy Tea Contraindications Do not take Tansy Tea if you are pregnant or breastfeeding under no circumstances! Also, a very strong cup of Tansy Tea can cause death. There have been many reported cases of young women who died after ingesting a concentrated solution of this tea. Before making any moves towards using Tansy leaves or flowers, ask your doctor about the risks. If Tansy Tea seems a bit strong for your organism, next time you’re looking for a natural repellent, take it into consideration. It’s a very cheap method that will keep all worms away from your delicious vegetables!... tansy tea - a dangerous vermifuge

Tea For Voice

There are many stories about how great singers used a certain decoction before going on stage in order to make their voice sound great. However, the truth is that no tea can work miracles if you’re not very talented. All herbal remedies work with what you already have, improving your strength and enhancing your body resistance. Generally, any kind of hot tea will make your voice sound a lot better, but when you add some anti inflammatory properties and some cleansing effects, you could say that a tea can really make the difference between a good performance and a terrific show. How Tea for Voice Works Thanks to their active constituents, these teas cleanse your respiratory tubes and increase your antibodies level so that you won’t have difficulties when singing, such as sore throats. However, traditional medicine doesn’t have a miraculous remedy that could make you sing better; so many practitioners specialize in herbal tinctures and decoctions. Since enhancing your vocal endurance is not a serious condition, you may want to try a tea that’s both efficient and safe. Efficient Tea for Voice When choosing a Tea for Voice, you need to pick the ones with an elevated level of nutrients and minerals and avoid the ones with a high dose of acids. If you don’t know which these teas are, here’s a list to choose from: - Chamomile Tea – has anti-inflammatory and anti-soreness properties, not to mention its lovely taste and fragrance. You can also use it to treat headaches, stress, anxiety, menstrual and menopausal pains, as well as diabetes. This Tea for Voice is one hundred percent safe and it can even replace your morning coffee. However, don’t drink more than 6 cups per day or you’ll get diarrhea. - Ginger Tea – aside from its use as a great adjuvant in cases of anemia and auto-immune diseases, this miraculous Chinese tea can make your voice sound louder and clearer. Just make sure you use a small amount of herbs when preparing this decoction in order to avoid stomach irritations and acid foods and drinks intolerance. - Sage Tea – also good for sleeplessness and arterial problems, this Tea for Voice is a great remedy for your throat. It will energize your entire body and rejuvenate your vocal cords. Pay attention though: don’t drink more than 2 cups per day for a short time period. Tea for Voice Side Effects When taken properly, these teas are generally safe. However, don’t exceed the number of cups recommended per day in order to avoid other health complications, such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, constipation or upset stomach. Also, if you notice some skin rashes, it’s best to ask your doctor as soon as possible. If you have the medical approval and there’s nothing that could interfere with your treatment, choose a Tea for Voice that fits you best and enjoy its wonderful health benefits!... tea for voice

Turraea Villosa


Family: Meliaceae.

Habitat: Gujarat to Karnataka, both on the hills and the coasts, and in the Anamalai Hills in Tamil Nadu up to 1,200 m.

Folk: Pandre, Kapuur—bhendi (Maharashtra).

Action: Root—applied to fistula; also administered in leprosy.

Villosterol, a pregnene steroid, has been isolated from the plant.

T. virens Linn. (Kerala) is reported to be employed in the treatment of fits.... turraea villosa

Tea For Lucid Dreams

Having a lucid dream means dreaming while being aware of the fact that you are dreaming. However, many people become lucid in the middle of the dream or, on the contrary, fall lose reality contact after being lucid at first. Although traditional medicine can’t be very helpful in these cases, alternative medicine has a few tricks up its sleeve. How a Tea for Lucid Dreams Works A Tea for Lucid Dreams’ main purpose is to make you recall what you have dreamed by calming your nervous system and improving your memory function. These teas are good for a number of other diseases, such as memory loss, headaches or migraines. However, talk to an herbalist or to your doctor before starting any kind of herbal treatment in order to make sure everything will be alright. Efficient Tea for Lucid Dreams In order to work properly, a Tea for Lucid Dreams needs to be both very efficient and one hundred percent safe (since lucid dreams are not exactly a medical problem, you may want to avoid developing one). A tea that is rich in antioxidants, nutrients, tannins, volatile oils and minerals (sodium, magnesium, iron, manganese) would be very adequate. You may want to avoid teas with a large amount of acid agents (they could cause stomach pain). If you don’t know which teas could be useful for lucid dreams, here’s a list for guidance: - Green Tea – contains all the ingredients necessary to sustain life, so it’s useful for a wide range of ailments, not just lucid dreams. If you’re suffering from infertility, anemia, asthenia, loss of appetite, digestive tract complaints or nervous system failure, this decoction could also be useful. However, you must avoid it at all costs if you’re experiencing some menstrual or menopausal symptoms. The same advice if you’re pregnant (it may cause uterine contractions and therefore miscarriage). - Valerian Tea – was been used as a sleep aid since ancient times, when the Romans and the Greeks took it before going to bed. This Tea for Lucid Dreams, thanks to its active compounds, is a mild sedative and could also work miracles on your nervous system. However, you need to make sure that you don’t exceed the number of cups recommended per day in order to avoid hallucinations, tiredness or even death. - Chamomile Tea – of course, the world’s greatest panacea shouldn’t be left aside. If you’re having trouble remembering your dreams, try a cup of Chamomile Tea before you go to bed! This Tea has a great fragrance and a pleasant smell. Plus, it’s one hundred percent safe so you can drink as much as you want. Tea for Lucid Dreams Side Effects When taken according to specifications, these teas are generally safe. However, exceeding the number of cups recommended per day may lead to a number of health problems, such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach or even death! If you’ve been taking one of these decoctions for a while and you’re experience a negative response from your body, ask for medical assistance right away! Don’t take a Tea for Lucid Dreams if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, on blood thinners or anticoagulants. The same advice in case you’re preparing for a surgery. If your doctor says it’s ok to start an herbal treatment, choose a tea that fits best your requirements and enjoy its wonderful benefits!  ... tea for lucid dreams

Vaccaria Pyramidata

(L.) Medik.

Synonym: Saponaria vaccaria L.

Family: Caryophyllaceae.

Habitat: Throughout India, as a weed.

English: Soapwort, Cow Herb.

Folk: Musna, Saabuni.

Action: Roots—used for cough, asthma and other respiratory disorders; for jaundice, liver and spleen diseases (increases bile flow). Mucilaginous sap—used in scabies.

Saponins of the root showed haemo- lytic activity. Lanostenol, stigmas- terol, beta-sitosterol and diosgenin have been isolated from the plant. Xanthones, vaccaxanthone and sapx- anthone, and a oligosaccharide, vac- carose, have also been isolated.... vaccaria pyramidata


(Indian) One who is well-spoken Vachyah, Vachia, Vach, Vac... vachya


(Latin) A victorious woman Vacunah, Vacunia, Vacunea... vacuna


(Norse) Mother of the Skraeling children

Vaetild, Vaetilde, Vaetildha, Vaetildhe... vaetilda


(French) One who is brave Vafarah, Vafarra, Vaphara, Vapharra, Vafaria, Vafarya... vafara

Tea For Vertigo

Vertigo or dizziness is something everybody feels at some point, just rarely pays attention to. Described as a balance, vision and nervous system problem, vertigo is probably the most common affection in the world. The main causes for this affection are pregnancy, unbalanced diet, cancers, consisting with vomiting, nausea and even injurious falls. Although vertigo is not a disease, but only a minor symptom, it’s best to treat it at the right moment. Even if traditional medicine has developed many nausea inhibitors, alternative medicine practitioners will advice against them, saying that there’s no reason to take pills for such a minor condition. How a Tea for Vertigo Works Instead of all those traditional and expensive treatments sold in the drugstores, you may want to try a tea. In order to work properly, a Tea for Vertigo needs to contain the right amount of nutrients, natural enzymes, tannins, volatile oils and minerals (such as sodium, iron, magnesium and manganese). However, keep in mind the fact that, although you may not purchase herbal remedies from pharmacies, they’re still powerful, so you need to make sure you always follow the instructions. Efficient Tea for Vertigo In order to be efficient, a Tea for Vertigo needs to show results as soon as possible and be one hundred percent safe. If you don’t know which teas could do wonders for your health, here’s a list for guidance: - Ginger Tea – is a flavored tea with many health benefits. It has the potential to increase your vitamin level and give you an energy boost. You can also take it to treat anemia, asthenia, loss of appetite, sore throats, colds and flu. However, make sure you’re using the right amount of herbs when preparing this decoction in order to make sure you don’t develop an acid foods and drinks intolerance. - Gingko Biloba Tea – this wonderful memory loss remedy will also improve your general health and treat all vertigo symptoms. A cup of this Tea for Vertigo per day will strengthen your body and nourish your nervous system. However, in order to avoid complications, don’t take more than 1 or 2 cups per day. - Basil Tea – basil is a plant used mostly as a great culinary ingredient in cuisines around the world. Few of you know, however, that a decoction made from this plant’s leaves could make dizziness go away in no time. Basil tea is also good for loss of appetite, anemia, asthenia and other related problems. This Tea for Vertigo has an aromatic smell and it tastes a bit bitter, so feel free to add honey, lemon, mint or ginger to make it more adequate for your taste. Tea for Vertigo Side Effects When taken according to specifications, these teas are generally safe. However, exceeding the number of cups recommended per day might lead to a number of health problems, such as diarrhea, upset stomach, skin rash or migraines. If you’ve been taking a Tea for Vertigo for a while and you’re experiencing some unusual reactions, ask for medical assistance immediately. Don’t take a Tea for Vertigo if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, on blood thinners, anticoagulants or preparing for a surgery. If you have the green light from your doctor and there’s nothing that could interfere with your treatment, choose a Tea for Vertigo that fits best your problems and enjoy its great benefits!  ... tea for vertigo

Vaccinium Myrtillus


Family: Vacciniaceae.

Habitat: UK, Europe and North America. (About 21 species of Vaccinium are found in India.)

English: Bilberry, Blueberry.

Action: Astringent, diuretic, refrigerant.

Key application: Fruit—in non- specific,acute diarrhoea; topically in mild inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat (German Commission E); anthocyanine enriched extracts of the fruit, in symptomatic treatment of problems related to varicose veins, such as heavy legs. (ESCOP.) Cranberry (Vaccinium sp.) is used in urinary incontinence and for UTI prevention. (Sharon M. Herr.)

The main constituents of the Bilberry fruit are anthocyanosides 0.5%. Other constituents include tannins, hy- droxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acids, flavonol glycosides, flavan-3-ols, iridoids, terpenes, pectins and organic plant acids. (ESCOP.)

In India, V. symplocifolium Alston, syn. V. leschenaultH Wight, known as Kilapalam in Tamil Nadu, is abundantly found in the mountains of South India up to an altitude of 2,400 m V. neil- gherrense Wight, known as Kalavu in Tamil Nadu and Olenangu in Karnata- ka, is commonly found in the hills of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu at altitudes of 600-2,000 m.... vaccinium myrtillus


Pain in the vagina... vaginodynia


Any disease of the vagina... vaginopathy


The tenth cranial nerve. Unlike the other cranial nerves, which are concerned with the special senses, or distributed to the skin and muscles of the head and neck, this nerve (as its name implies – Latin for ‘wanderer’), passes downwards into the chest and abdomen, supplying branches to the throat, lungs, heart, stomach and other abdominal organs. It contains motor, secretory, sensory and vasodilator ?bres.... vagus

Tea For Vomiting

Vomiting is a response from your body to let you know that something is wrong with your digestive tract. Vomiting is never a disease, but a symptom of other problems. Food poisoning, toxic infections, pregnancy and hangover can present vomiting episodes. Of course, every problem has its remedies, but there are some teas capable of inhibiting the vomiting sensation and promoting a good digestive tract action. How a Tea for Vomiting Works A Tea for Vomiting’s main goal is to energize your body and provide it with enough strength to fight infections and stabilize your health. In order to function properly, a Tea for Vomiting needs to be both efficient and one hundred percent safe. When choosing teas, make sure you’re looking for an herbal treatment rich in acids and tannins. This way, your stomach enzymes will stop the vomiting sensation and cure the affected regions. Efficient Tea for Vomiting When choosing a Tea for Vomiting, make sure you pick one with an elevated active constituents level and with a low side effects percentage. If you don’t know which these teas are, here’s a list to help you out: - Spearmint Tea – has a pleasant taste and a lovely fragrance and it’s well known for its curative properties. Both cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies use Spearmint extract to produce acne treatments, skin creams, diarrhea, constipation pills and digestive supplements. This tea is one hundred percent safe, so you can drink as much as you want. However, more than 6 cups per day may lead to diarrhea. Other than that, feel free to try this tea today! - Chamomile Tea – of course, the world’s greatest panacea should always be in your medicine cabinet. A sip of this Tea for Vomiting will improve all gastrointestinal functions and inhibit the vomiting sensation. You can also use it to treat sore throats, diarrhea, colic, chest pain or nausea. Also, this tea is very safe so there’s nothing to be worried about. - Ginger Tea – is a great home remedy for all gastric ailments, starting with nausea and ending with menstrual pains. However, don’t drink more than one cup per day and make sure you’re using a small amount of herb when preparing the treatment, in order to avoid developing an acid foods and drinks intolerance. Also, if you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking Ginger Tea. - Green Tea – is a great remedy for asthenia, anemia and loss of appetite. Take it to treat infertility, sore throats and pleurisy as well. However, don’t take it if you’re experiencing menstrual or menopausal symptoms (it may cause uterine contractions). Tea for Vomiting Side Effects When taken properly, these teas are generally safe. Just make sure you don’t exceed the number of cups recommended per day in order to avoid digestive tract problems. Talk to an herbalist or to your doctor in order to gather more information and be well informed of the risks. If your doctor says it’s ok to start a treatment based on a Tea for Vomiting, choose one that fits best your needs and enjoy its health benefits!... tea for vomiting


(English) From the valley Vaile, Vale, Vayl, Vayle, Valle... vail


(Polynesian) From the talking waters Vaileah, Vaileigh, Vailee, Vailey, Vaily, Vailie, Vailei, Vaili, Vailya, Vaylea, Vayleah, Vayleigh, Vaylee, Vayley, Vayly, Vaylie, Vaylei, Vayli, Vaylya... vailea


(Indian) The beginning of spring... vaisakhi


(German) The chosen one; singled out Valah, Valla... vala


(Swedish / German) A powerful mountain / protecting ruler Valborgah, Valborg... valborga


(Teutonic / German) Spirited in battle / famous ruler

Valdah, Valida, Velda, Vada, Vaida, Vayda, Vaeda... valda


(Norse) In mythology, the goddess of the dead

Valdiss, Valdys, Valdyss... valdis


(Latin) A brave and strong woman Valedah, Valida, Valeeda, Valyda, Valeida, Valieda... valeda


(Spanish) One who is powerful; strong; from the city of Valencia Valenciah, Valyncia, Valencya, Valenzia, Valancia, Valenica, Valanca, Valecia, Valence... valencia


(Latin) Form of Valentina, meaning “one who is vigorous and healthy” Valeen, Valeene, Valean, Valeane, Valine, Valien, Valyn, Valynn, Valain, Valaine, Valena, Valeena, Valeana, Valina, Valaina... valene


(Latin) One who is vigorous and healthy

Valentinah, Valentine, Valenteena, Valenteana, Valentena, Valentyna, Valantina, Valentyne, Valentia, Valentya, Valtina, Valentijn, Valyn, Val, Valle... valentina


(Latin) Form of Valerie, meaning “strong and valiant”

Valara, Valera, Valaria, Valeriana, Veleria, Valora... valeria

Valerian Tea - Insomnia Treatment

Valerian Tea has been known for centuries as a very good remedy when it comes to calming and tranquilizing the affected areas of the human body. Although the first ones to use its wonderful benefits were the Chinese, Valerian Tea became soon popular around the globe. Many painkillers found today in drug stores contain Valerian extract. Valerian is a plant with green pin-like leaves and pink flowers that grows mainly in Asia and Northern Europe. Although the entire plant can be used for medical purposes, the alternative medicine has a cult for its roots that can be used freshly picked, dried or turned into powder. Valerian Tea Properties The best thing about Valerian Tea is that it contains a lot of active ingredients that are able to treat external damages, such as localized pains. Also, a treatment based on Valerian Tea can bring relief in case of internal problems as well. Valerian Tea has a peculiar taste that is both spicy and sweet, so you can add honey and lemon in order to make it more adequate. However, if you can handle the taste, you’ll have to deal with the smell. There have been many complaints about the strong and rather unpleasant smell. Valerian Tea Benefits Valerian Tea may come in hand in many health problems, thanks to a great alkaline level and to the ability to treat affections in almost no time. Unlike other teas, Valerian Tea has a very rapid effect on your health system. This tea could be a great help if you are suffering from one of the following conditions: - Chronic insomnia and sleeplessness, by allowing endomorphins in your body to be released easier. - Affections of the nervous system such as hysteria and restlessness. - Menstrual pains, by calming the affected areas and increasing the blood flow. Also, Valerian Tea can bring relief to abdominal muscles - Irritable bowel movement, by soothing the intestine pains and preventing stomach cramps. - Convulsions and muscle spasms, by lowering the blood pressure and enhancing the muscular elasticity. - Valerian Tea is a good tumor growth inhibitor. How to make Valerian Tea Infusion When preparing Valerian Tea you need to make sure that the roots you are using are from a trusted provider. There are many roots of unknown provenience sold as Valerian on the market, so pay attention to that. If you have the good ingredients, use about a teaspoon of herbs for every cup of tea you want to make. Add boiling water and wait for 10 or 15 minutes. If the roots are dried, wait another 5 minutes for the health benefits to be released. Drink it hot or cold, but don’t drink more than 2 cups per day. Remember this is a medical treatment and Valerian Tea cannot replace coffee! Valerian Tea Side Effects When taken properly, Valerian Tea has almost no side effects at all. However, high dosages may lead to a number of complications such as severe headaches or upset stomach. Also, if you’ve been taking a treatment based on Valerian Tea and you’re experiencing vomiting episodes, talk to your doctor as soon as possible! Valerian Tea Contraindications Do not take Valerian Tea if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The same advice if you are suffering from a severe disease and need to take blood thinners. In this case, Valerian Tea may lead to coronary problems due to cell walls damaging. Also, if you have a decreased liver function or preparing for a major surgery, avoid this tea at all costs! If you have a doubt concerning Valerian Tea, talk to a specialist before making any move. Other than that, there’s no reason not to try Valerian Tea and enjoy its wonderful health benefits responsibly! Follow our instructions and give it a try next time you’re in a teashop.... valerian tea - insomnia treatment

Valeriana Pyrolaefolia


Family: Valerianaceae.

Habitat: The temperate Himalayas from Kashmir to Bhutan.

Ayurvedic: Dhyaamaka (including among aromatic drugs of Jatamansi group.)

Folk: Sugandhabaalaa.

Action: Used as V. jatamansi.... valeriana pyrolaefolia


(Latin) Feminine form of Valerius; strong and valiant

Valeri, Valeree, Valerey, Valery, Valarie, Valari, Vallery, Valeraine, Valere, Valerye, Valaree, Vallerie, Valleri, Valka, Vairy, Valry, Vallirie, Valorie, Val, Valle... valerie


(Slavic) A glorious ruler Valeskah, Valezka, Valesca, Valeshka, Valisha, Valeshia, Valdislava... valeska


(English) One who is brave Valiante, Valeant, Valeante... valiant


Establishing documented evidence which provides a high degree of assurance that a specific process will consistently produce a product meeting its pre-determinant specifications and quality attributes... validation

Valeriana Dubia


Synonym: V. officinalis auct. non Linn.

Family: Valerianacea.

Habitat: Western Himalayas, Kashmir at Sonamarg at 2,4002,700 m.

English: Common Valerian.

Action: Rhizome and roots— sedative, hypotensive, cardiotonic; depressant on CNS, antispasmodic; used for hysteria, neurosis, nervousness, hypochondriasis.

The roots and rhizomes yielded alkaloids—dipyridylmethylketone, ac- tinidine, iso-valeramide and valerian- ine; sesquiterpene ketone-valeranone. Bornyl acetate is the major constituent of the root oil, 31.5%, whereas it is only 6.6% in leaf oil. Bornyl isovalerate is reported from the root oil.

Baalaka is a confusing synonym of Tagara. It should be equated with Pavo- nia odorata Willd. (Malvaceae).

Baalaka (syns: Ambu, Baala, Barhi- shtha, Hrivera, Jala, Kacha, Muurd- haja, Udichi, Udichya) is known as Sugandhabaalaa in Northern markets. In South India Coleus vettiveroides K. C. Jacob (Labiateae) is preferred as Baalaka. Delphinium brunonianum Royle (Ranunculaceae), with synonyms Kutila, Nata, Vakra, is also used as Tagara.

Valeriana leschenaultii DC. var. brunoniana C. B. Clarke.

Family: Valerianaceae.

Habitat: The temperate Himalayas from Kashmir to Bhutan at altitudes of 1,200-3,60 m and in the Khasi and Jaintia hills between 1,500 and 1,800 m.

Folk: Sugandhabaalaa, Tagger, Taggar-ganthodaa. Asaarun (Ku- maon).

Action: Used as V. jatamansi and V officinalis.

Valeriana hardwickii is known as Taggar-ganthodaa in Mumbai and Asaarun in Kumaon. In Unani medicine, Asaarun is equated with Asarum europaeum Linn. (Aristolochiaceae). It is known as Subul-e-barri, Naardin- barri and Persian Tagar; Wild Nard, Hazel Wort and Asarabacca in English. Though sedative and brain tonic, Asaarun should not be equated with Tagara.

Family: Valerianaceae.

Habitat: Karnakata and the Nilgiris.

Ayurvedic: Tagara (related species).

Folk: Sugandhabaalaa, Taggar, Baalaka.

Action: Used as a substitute for valerian.... valeriana dubia

Valeriana Officinalis


Family: Valerianaceae.

Habitat: Native to Eurasia. (V officinalis auct. non Linn. is found in Kashmir at Sonamarg at 2,4002,700 m)

English: Valerian, Garden Heliotrope, Common Valerian.

Ayurvedic: Tagara, Nata. Baalaka (syn. Udichya, Jala, Barhishtha) is also equated with Valeriana sp.

Folk: Sugandhabaalaa, taggar.

Action: Tranquillizer, hypnotic, a natural relaxant to higher nerve centres. Used for nervous tension, sleeplessness, restlessness, palpitation, tension, headache, migraine, menstrual pain, intestinal cramps, bronchial spasm.

Key application: Internally for restlessness and sleeping disorders based on nervous conditions (German Commission E). (See Expanded Commission E, ESCOP and WHO monographs.)

Constituents of the root include val- trates, didrovaltrates and isovalerates. Other constituents include 0.4-1.4% monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, caf- feic, gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) and chlorogenic acids, beta-sitosterol, methyl, 2-pyrrolketone, choline, tannins, gums alkaloids and resin. (Expanded Commission E Monographs.)

The volatile oil (0.5-2%) contains bornyl acetate and bornyl isovalerate as the principal components. Other constituents include beta-caryophyllene, valeranone, valerenal, valerenic acid and other sesquiterpenoids and mono- terpenes.

The co-occurrence of three cyclo- pentane-sesquiterpenoids (valerenic acid, acetoxyvalerenic acid and valere- nal) is confined to Valeriana officinalis L. and permits its distinction from V edulis and V. Wallichii. (WHO.)

The important active compounds of valerian are the valepotriates (iridoid molecules) and valeric acid. Originally it was thought that valepotriates were responsible for the herbs sedative effect, but, later on, an aqueous extract of the root has also been shown to have a sedative effect. Since valepotriates are not soluble in water, it was concluded that valerenic acid is also the chemical factor responsible for the sedative effect of the herb. Most commercial extracts in Western herbal are water-soluble extracts standardized for valerenic acids.

Large doses ofvalepotriates from the herb decreased benzodiazepines and diazepam withdrawl symptoms in rats. At low doses valerian enhances binding of flunitrazepam, but at high doses it inhibits binding of the drug. Valerenic acid inhibits breakdown of GABA, and hydroxypinoresinol binds to benzodi- azepine receptor. (Sharon M. Herr.)

The safety of valepotriates has been questioned.

Currently valerian is an approved over-the-counter medicine in Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy. (The British Herbal Compendium.)

See Valeriana dubia Bunge, syn. V. officinalis auct. non Linn., known as Common Valerian.... valeriana officinalis


The proprietary name for diazepam, a widely used anxiolytic drug (see ANXIOLYTICS).... valium


(Scandinavian) In mythology, the handmaidens who led slain heroes to Valhalla

Valkry, Valkri, Valkrie, Valkree, Valkrea, Valkreah, Valki, Valkie, Valkee, Valkea, Valkey, Valky, Valkeah, Valkrey... valkyrie


(American) Between the mountains Valey, Valy, Vali, Valie, Valee, Vally, Valli, Vallie, Vallee, Valeigh, Valleigh, Valei, Vallei... valley


(Finnish) A dedicated protector Valmah... valma


(Welsh) Resembling a spring flower Valmae, Valmay... valmai

Valeriana Wallichii


Synonym: V. jatamansi Jones. Nardostachys jatamansi (Jones) DC.

Family: Valerianaceae.

Habitat: Temperate Himalayas from Kashmir to Bhutan, above 3,000 m, and Khasia Hills.

English: Indian Valerian.

Ayurvedic: Tagara, Sugandhabaalaa, Kaalaanusaari, Kaalaanusaarikaa, Nata. (Delphinum brunonianum Royle, Ranunculaceae, syn. Kutila, Nata, Vakra, is also used as Tagara.)

Unani: Asaarun, Tagar Reshewaalaa.

Siddha: Tagarai.

Folk: Taggar, Baalaka, Mushkbaalaa, Asaarun, Tagar-ganthodaa.

Action: Rhizomes and roots— used as a substitute for Valeriana officinalis; prescribed as a remedy for hysteria, nervous unrest and emotional troubles, and as a sedative.

Rhizomes and roots contain cyclop entapyrans, acacetin-7-O-rutino- sides, valtrate, didrovaltrate, linarin iso-valerinate, valepotriates and an iri- doid ester glycoside, valerosidatum. Cyclopentapyrans exhibit sedative, tranquilizing and bacteriocidal properties.

Valtrate and didrovaltrate were cy- totoxic to hepatoma cells in culture and inhibited synthesis of DNA and protein in tumor cells.

Root—spasmolytic. Essential oil— antibacterial. (Indian Valerian oils are considered poor as compared to those of V. officinalis oils.) The essential oil from roots contains calarene, beta- bargamotene, valeranone, ar-curcu- mene, maalioxide and maalitol. Main acids present are isovaleric acid and (+)-beta-methyl valeric acid.

Valeriana jatamansi auct. non Jones, synonyms Nardostachys grandiflora DC. and N. jatamansi DC. is equated with Indian Spikenard, Musk-Root and Jataamaansi.

Dosage: Rhizome—1-3 g powder. (API, Vol. I.)... valeriana wallichii

Vallaris Solanacea


Synonym: V. heynei Spreng. V. dichotoma (Roxb.) Wall. ex G. Don.

Family: Apocynaceae.

Habitat: Throughout India; cultivated in gardens.

Ayurvedic: Aasphotaa, Asphuka, Bhadravalli, Saarivaa-utpala (white var.).

Folk: Haapharamaali var. Dudhi-bel (Garhwal).

Action: Latex—applied to old wounds and sores (mildly irritant). Bark—astringent. Seeds—cardiac tonic.

Seeds are rich in cardiac glyco- sides; contain acoschimperoside P, mono-O-acetylvallaroside, mono-O- acetylsolanoside, mono-O-acetylaco- schimperoside P, vallaroside, valla- rosolanoside, solanoside and 16-deace- tyl-16-anhydroacoschimperoside P. O- acetylsolanoside is a potent cardioton- ic.

The seed oil contains palmitic, oleic and linoleic acids. The leaves gave beta-sitosterol, beta-amyrin and urso- lic acid.

Vallaris glabra Kuntze (West Bengal) is also equated with Aasphotaa.... vallaris solanacea


(Latin) From the valley Valoniah, Vallonia, Vallonya, Valonya, Vallonea, Valonea, Valione, Valionia, Valona, Valyona, Valyonia, Valyonya, Vallon... valonia


(American) Of the strong earth Valterrah, Valtera, Valteira... valterra


These cup-like structures are found in the HEART, VEINS, and lymphatic vessels (see LYMPH); they ensure that the circulation of the blood and lymph goes always in one direction.... valves

Valvular Disease

See under HEART, DISEASES OF.... valvular disease


(Spanish) An energetic woman Vamiah, Vamea, Vameah, Vamie, Vami, Vamee, Vamea, Vameah, Vamey, Vamy... vamia


(German) Form of Wanda, meaning “a wanderer”

Vandah, Vande, Vandana, Vandi, Vandetta, Vandella, Vannda, Vanditta... vanda


(Hindi) One who is honorable and worthy

Vandany, Vandaney, Vandanie, Vandanee, Vandania, Vandanya... vandani

Vallisneria Spiralis


Family: Hydrocharitaceae.

Habitat: Hydrophyte; throughout India.

English: Eel-Grass, Tape Grass, Wild Celery.

Ayurvedic: Shaivala, Shaivaala. (Ceratophyllum demersum Linn. is also equated with Shaivala.)

Folk: Sevaar.

Action: Plant—stomachic, refrigerant, demulcent. Also used in leucorrhoea and spermatorrhoea.

Extracts of the plant yielded polysaccharides containing D-galactose, D-xylose, L-arabinose, L-rhamnose, uronic acid, acidic xylan and an arabi- no galactan.... vallisneria spiralis

Valsalva’s Manoeuvre

This is carried out by closing the mouth, holding the nose and attempting to blow hard. The manoeuvre raises pressure in the chest – and, indirectly, the abdomen – and forces air from the back of the nose down the EUSTACHIAN TUBES to the middle ear. This latter e?ect can be used to clear the tube during descent in an aircraft, when it sometimes becomes blocked or partially blocked, producing di?erential pressures on the two sides of each eardrum, usually accompanied by temporary pain and deafness.

Valsalva’s manoeuvre is involuntarily performed when a person strains to open his or her bowels: in these circumstances the passage of air to the lungs is blocked by instinctive closure of the vocal cords in the LARYNX. The resultant raised abdominal pressure helps to expel the bowel contents. The manoeuvre is also used in the study of cardiovascular physiology because the rise in pressure in the chest restricts the return of venous blood to the right atrium of the HEART. Pressure in the peripheral VEINS is raised and the amount of blood entering and leaving the heart falls. This drop in cardiac output may cause the subject to faint because the supply of oxygenated blood to the brain is reduced.... valsalva’s manoeuvre

Vanda Roxburghii

R. Br.

Synonym: V. tessellata G. Don.

Family: Orchidaceae.

Habitat: From Uttar Pradesh to West Bengal, extending southwards to Kerala.

Ayurvedic: Raasnaa (used in Eastern India). Pluchea lanceolata is the accepted source of Raasnaa.

Throughout South India Alpinia galanga is used as Raasnaa.

Folk: Baandaa-Raasnaa.

Action: Roots—antipyretic, antiinflammatory, tranquilizer, tonic to liver, laxative. Used in rheumatism, lumbago, inflammations; diseases of the nervous system; diseases of the abdomen, dyspepsia; bronchitis, chest diseases. Roots form a constituent of medicated oils, used externally on rheumatic swellings and neurological affections. Root is also used in the treatment of fractures.

Petroleum ether, chloroform and methanol extracts of the root showed anti-inflammatory activity in rats. Ethanolic extract of the root also showed hepatoprotective activity in albino mice.

The root yielded tetracosyl feru- late and beta-sitosterol D-glucoside. Petroleum ether, chloroform and methanol extracts of the root showed 54.3, 42.1 and 21.9% anti-inflammatory activity at a dose of 0.5 g/kg in rats. Heptacosane, octacosanol and traces of their higher homologues, a bitter principle, saponin, beta-sitosterol and tannins were isolated from the plant.... vanda roxburghii


(Greek) Resembling a butterfly Vanessah, Vanesa, Vannesa, Vannessa, Vanassa, Vanasa, Vanessia, Vanysa, Vanyssa, Varnessa, Vanessica, Vanesha, Vaniessa, Vanissa, Vanneza, Vaneza, Vannysa, Vanika, Vaneshia, Vanesia, Vanisa, Venessa... vanessa


(Greek) Form of Vanessa, meaning “resembling a butterfly” Vanettah, Vaneta, Vanette, Vanete, Vanett, Vanita, Vanitta, Vanneta, Vannita, Venetta... vanetta


(Greek) Form of Evangelina, meaning “a bringer of good news” Vangi, Vangy, Vangey, Vangee... vangie

Vangueria Spinosa

Hook. f.

Synonym: Meyna laxiflora Robyns.

Family: Rubiaceae.

Habitat: West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.

Ayurvedic: Pinditaka, Snigdh- pinditaka.

Siddha/Tamil: Manakkarai.

Folk: Muyana. Chiracholi, Alu (Maharashtra).... vangueria spinosa


(Russian) Form of Anna, meaning “a woman graced with God’s favor” Vaniah, Vanea, Vanya, Vannya, Vanna, Vanija, Vanja, Vaniya, Vanka, Vannia, Vanina, Vannea... vania


(English) Having excessive pride Vanitey, Vanitee, Vaniti, Vanitie, Vanitty, Vanyti, Vanyty, Vanytie... vanity


(Russian) A stranger; from a foreign place Vanmrah... vanmra


(Cambodian) Golden-haired woman Vannah, Vana, Vanae, Vannie, Vanny, Vannalee, Vannaleigh, Vanelly, Vanelley... vanna

Vanda Spathulata


Family: Orchidaceae.

Habitat: Kerala.

Ayurvedic: Svarna-pushpa Bandaa, Baandaa.

Folk: Ponnampomaraiva (Kerala).

Action: Flowers—dried flowers are powdered and given for asthma, consumption, also for mood-swings and psychosomatic bursts.

Action: Fruits—refrigerant and cholagogue; used in biliary complaints and hepatic congestion. Dry fruits—narcotic; used in dysentery.

The seeds contain linoleic, oleic, palmitic and stearic acids.... vanda spathulata

Vandellia Pedunculata


Synonym: Lindernia cordifolia (Colsmann) Merrill.

Family: Scrophulariaceae.

Habitat: The Himalayas up to 1,2001,700 m and throughout India.

Folk: Gadaga-vel (Maharashtra).

Action: Used for sexually transmitted diseases and urethral discharges.

Vandellia pyxidaria Maxim, synonym Vandellia erecta Benth. (The Himalayas from Kashmir to Assam, common in Bengal; also in central and South India) is known as Vakapush- pi. The plant is used for gonorrhoea. Plant juice is given to children who pass green stool.... vandellia pedunculata


(Scottish) From the white wave Vanorah, Vannora, Vanorey, Vanory, Vanorie, Vanori, Vanoree, Vanorea, Vanoria, Vanorya... vanora


(Greek) Form of Xanthe, meaning “yellow-haired woman; blonde” Vanth, Vantha, Vanthia... vanthe


Steam; making a decoction of herbs and using the steam from the decoction for inhalation or for moistening and healing the skin, often used to treat sinus infections, congestion, or skin conditions.... vapór


A device that via a narrow nozzle turns water or a drug into a ?ne spray, thus enabling medicine to be taken by INHALATION. It is used, for example, in the treatment of ASTHMA.... vaporiser


(Greek) The stranger; one who is careful

Varah, Varia, Varra... vara


(Hindi) Of the river Varanah, Varanna, Varanne, Varann... varana


(Hebrew) Resembling a rose Vardah, Vardia, Vardina, Vardissa, Vardita, Vardysa, Vardyta, Vardit, Vardis, Vardisse, Vardice, Vardyce, Vardys, Vardyse, Vardina, Varyna, Vardinia, Vardin, Vardine, Vardyn, Vardyne, Vadit, Vared... varda


Enlarged veins or an engorged complex of smaller vessels.... varicosities


OLD TUBERCULIN (OT) is the heat-concentrated ?ltrate from a ?uid medium on which the human or bovine type of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been grown for six weeks or more.

TUBERCULIN PURIFIED PROTEIN DERIVATIVE (TUBERCULIN PPD) is the active principle of OT (see above), and is prepared from the ?uid medium on which the Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been grown. It is supplied as a liquid, a powder, or as sterile tablets. The liquid contains 100,000 units per millilitre, and the dry powder contains 30,000 units per milligram. It is distributed in sterile containers sealed so as to exclude micro-organisms. It is more constant in composition and potency than OT.

Uses The basis of the tuberculin reaction is that any person who has been infected with the Mycobacterium tuberculosis gives a reaction when a small amount of tuberculin is injected into the skin. A negative reaction means either that the individual has never been infected with the tubercle bacillus, or that the infection has been too recent to have allowed of sensitivity developing.

There are various methods of carrying out the test, of which the following are the most commonly used. The Mantoux test is the most satisfactory of all, and has the advantage that the size of the reaction is a guide to the severity of the tuberculous infection: it is performed by injecting the tuberculin into the skin on the forearm. The Heaf multiple puncture test is reliable: it is carried out with the multiple puncture apparatus, or Heaf gun. The Vollmer patch test, using an impregnated ?lter paper, is useful in children because of the ease with which it can be carried out.... varieties


(Slavic / English) Yet to be discovered / thorn

Varinah, Varyna, Vareena... varina


(Hindi) Infinite Varounah... varouna


(Hindi) Of the rain Varshah... varsha


(Armenian) As beautiful as a rose Vartoughi, Vartoughie, Vartouhie... vartouhi


(Hindi) Wife of the sea Varunah, Varuna, Varun, Varunani, Varuni... varuna


(Slavic) Form of Barbara, meaning “a traveler from a foreign land; a stranger” Varvarah, Varenka, Varinka, Varyusha, Varushka, Vavka, Vava, Varya, Vavara, Vavarah... varvara


(Hindi) Refers to the spring season Vasantie, Vasanta, Vasantah, Vasant, Vasante... vasanti


(Persian) A lovely woman Vashtie, Vashty, Vashtey, Vashtee... vashti


(Greek) Feminine form of Basil; royalty Vasilikie, Vasiliky, Vasilikey, Vasilikee, Vasilisa, Vasilisia, Vasilissa, Vassillissa... vasiliki


An agent that stimulates blood flow to the viscera, and more closely mimicking the balance of circulation induced by parasympathetic states. This is one way to oppose excessive adrenergic circulatory states.... vasocholinergic

Vasoconstrictor Sympathomimetics

These drugs temporarily raise the BLOOD PRESSURE by constricting peripheral blood vessels. Sometimes they are used as a speedy way of raising blood pressure when other treatment has failed. EPHEDRINE and methoxamine hydrochloride are examples of this type of sympathomimetic.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation ADRENALINE (epinephrine) is given intravenously in cardiac arrest, and other drugs used include ATROPINE and CALCIUM.... vasoconstrictor sympathomimetics


Vasoconstrictor sympathomimetic drugs, such as EPHEDRINE and NORADRENALINE, raise the BLOOD PRESSURE temporarily by acting on receptors that constrict peripheral blood vessels. They are occasionally used as a quick way of raising blood pressure when other measures have failed, but they have potentially serious side-effects on the kidney. Vasoconstrictors are also used with local anaesthetics (see under ANAESTHESIA) to counteract the latter’s vasodilator e?ect. Adrenaline will reduce local blood ?ow, slow the absorption of anaesthetic and prolong its e?ect.... vasoconstrictors

Vasodilation, Peripheral

The increase of blood into the skin, resulting from the relaxation of the small arterioles that lead into the capillary beads at the edges of the body. This is a gentle way to lessen early high blood pressure, decreasing the difficulty of pushing columns of arterial blood through miles of capillaries.... vasodilation, peripheral


Substances that dilate blood vessels. Coronary vasodilators, such as NITRATES, CALCIUMCHANNEL BLOCKERS and POTASSIUM-CHANNEL ACTIVATORS, are used in heart failure to improve blood supply to the heart. Peripheral vasodilators affect the blood vessels in the limbs and are used to treat conditions due to poor circulation such as CHILBLAIN and RAYNAUD’S DISEASE.... vasodilators


Spasms and cramps of blood vessels that are caused by neurologic factors. Also called angioneurosis... vasoneurosis


(Persian) A beautiful young woman Vassey, Vassie, Vassi, Vassee, Vasy, Vasey, Vasie, Vasi, Vasee... vassy

Vasomotor Nerves

Small nerve ?bres that lie upon the walls of blood vessels and connect the muscle ?bres of their middle coat with the NERVOUS SYSTEM. Through these nerves the blood vessels are retained in a state of moderate contraction. There are vasodilator nerves, through which are transmitted impulses that dilate the vessels, and, in the case of the skin vessels, produce the condition of blushing; there are also vasoconstrictor nerves which transmit impulses that constrict, or narrow, the blood vessels – as occurs on exposure to cold (see HYPOTHERMIA). Various drugs produce dilatation or contraction of the blood vessels, and several of the substances produced by ENDOCRINE GLANDS in the body have these effects: for example, ADRENALINE.... vasomotor nerves


(Persian) One who is pretty Vastah... vasta


(American) A capable woman Vasteene, Vastiene, Vastien, Vastein, Vasteine, Vastean, Vasteane... vasteen


(Hindi) Of the earth Vasudah, Vasudhara, Vasundhara, Vasudhra, Vasundhra... vasuda


(Hindi) Of unequaled splendor Vasumatie, Vasumatey, Vasumaty, Vasumatee... vasumati

Vateria Indica


Synonym: V. malabarica Bl.

Family: Dipterocarpaceae.

Habitat: Peninsular India, from Kanara to Trivandrum and in Coorg.

English: White Damar, Indian Copal-Tree, Malabar Tallow tree, Piney Varnish-Tree.

Ayurvedic: Sarja, Sarjaka, Karsya, Sasyasumbara, Devdhuupa, Marich-patraka. Chhaagakar- na. Ajakarna and Shaala (related species) are also equated with V indica.

Unani: Raal.

Siddha/Tamil: Kungiliyam, Vellai Kundarakam.

Action: Resin—astringent, antibacterial, antidiarrhoeal, emmena- gogue. Used for chronic bronchitis, piles, skin eruptions, ringworm, scrofula, tubercular glands, ulcers, wounds, boils; urinary discharges; amenorrhoea; gonorrhoea and syphilis. Bark—antidysenteric. Oil and resin—antirheumatic. Resin enters into a number of antiseptic and anti-inflammatory ointments. Leaves—juice is applied to cure burns. Orally administered to prevent vomiting.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIn- dia recommends the resinous exudate internally (1-2 g) in lipid disorders, anaemia, genitourinary diseases, diarrhoea and diseases due to vitiated blood; externally in gout, abscesses, skin diseases, burns, eruptions.

The bark contains polyphenols—dl- epi-catechin, levorotatory isomers of fisetinidol, fzelechin; and bergenin.

Resin is a complex mixture of several triterpene hydrocarbons, ketones, alcohols and acids, along with small amounts of sesquiterpenes. On distillation, the oleoresin gave an essential oil (76%), consisting of phenolic constituents and azulenes. The essential oil shows marked antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gramnegative micro-organism.

The leaves and roots contain berge- nin and hope phenol. The seed also contain bergenin. Hope phenol showed fungicidal activity. The plant exhibited anti-ulcerogenic activity in rats.

The fruit shell contains 25% tannins.

Dosage: Resinous exudate—1-2 g (API, Vol. IV.)... vateria indica


(African) She leaves us behind Vatusiah, Vatutia, Vatushia, Vatuseah, Vatuzia, Vatusya, Vatuzya... vatusia


(English) The little beloved one Vaughan, Vaun, Vawn, Vaunne... vaughn


(Hindi) A vital life force; the air Vayyu... vayu

Vdrl Test

Venereal Diseases Research Laboratory Test. One of the non-treponemal reaginic tests for syphilis.... vdrl test


(Cambodian) Of the wind Veatah... veata

Vector Density

The number of a given vector species present. It may be expressed in relative terms (e.g., the biting density in relation to the human host) or in absolute numbers (e.g., the number present in a room, cattle-shed or artificial shelter).... vector density


(Sanskrit) Having sacred knowledge Vedah, Veida, Vedad, Veleda... veda


(Hindi) Eternal laws of Hinduism... vedas


(French) From the guard tower Vedete, Vedett, Vedet, Vedetta, Vedeta... vedette


(Sanskrit) Filled with wisdom Vedie, Vedy, Vedey, Vedee, Vedea, Vedeah... vedi


(German) Holy spirit of the forest Vediss, Vedisse, Vedys, Vedyse, Vedyss, Vedysse, Vedissa, Vedyssa, Vidis, Vidisse, Vidys, Vidyss, Vidyse, Videssa... vedis


(Latin) A falling star Vegah... vega


Roughenings, comprising FIBRIN and blood cells, that appear upon the valves of the heart, usually as the result of acute RHEUMATISM. They lead in time to narrowing of the openings from the cavities of the heart, or to imcompetence of the valves that close these openings. (See HEART, DISEASES OF.)... vegetations


The vessels which return the blood to the heart after it has circulated through the tissues; they are both more numerous and more capacious than the ARTERIES.

Structure While of similar structure to an artery, veins have much thinner walls, with much less muscular tissue. Furthermore, most veins have one-way VALVES to ensure that the blood ?ows in the right direction. These are most numerous in the legs, then the arms, with few in the internal organs.

Chief veins Four pulmonary veins open into the left atrium of the heart, two from each lung. The superior vena cava returns the blood from the head, neck, and arms; while the inferior vena cava returns blood from the legs and abdomen. The large basilic vein that runs up the inner side of the upper arm is the vein usually opened in blood-letting (see VENESECTION). The great saphenous vein is of special interest, because of its liability to become distended or varicose. Within the abdomen, the inferior vena cava receives branches corresponding to several branches of the aorta, its largest branches being the hepatic veins, which return not only the blood that has reached the liver in the hepatic arteries, but also blood which comes from the digestive organs in the PORTAL VEIN to undergo a second capillary circulation in the liver.

There are several connections between the superior and inferior cava, the most important being three azygos veins that lie upon the sides of the spinal column, the veins on the front of the abdomen, and some veins that emerge from the abdomen at the navel and connect the portal system with those of the inferior and superior vena cava. (See also CIRCULATORY SYSTEM OF THE BLOOD.)... veins


(American) Form of Melanie, meaning “a dark-skinned beauty” Valaney, Valanie, Vel, Vela, Velaina, Velaine, Velainey, Velana, Velanee, Velaney, Velani, Velania, Velanney, Velannie, Velany, Vella, Vellanie, Velli, Vellie, Velloney, Velly, Veloni, Velonie, Velonnie, Velony, Velaena... velanie


A folded-in extension of the edge of the bell in the cubozoa which helps create a jet of water to propel the jellyfish forwards It may contract differentially to enable a change of direction.... velarium


(Teutonic) Of inspired wisdom Veledah... veleda


(Slavic) A wondrous woman Velikah, Velyka, Velicka, Velicca, Velycka, Velycca... velika


(American) Form of Melinda, meaning “one who is sweet and gentle” Valynda, Velinde, Vellinda, Velynda, Valinda, Valinde... velinda


(Finnish) In mythology, the goddess of the sea Velamo, Vellammo... vellamo


(German) Form of Wilhelmina, meaning “determined protector” Velmah, Vellma, Valma, Vilma, Vylma, Vylna... velma


(English) Wearing a soft fabric; velvety

Velvete, Velvette, Velvett, Velvit, Velvyt, Velveta, Velvetta, Velouette... velvet


(African) Of the Bantu people Vendah, Vendaa, Vendae, Vendai... venda


(Latin) Woman of Venice Veneciah, Venicia, Vanecia, Vanetia, Venesha, Venisha, Veniesa, Venishia, Veneece, Venise, Veniece, Veneise, Venyce, Vonysia, Vonizia, Vonizya, Vonysya, Venetia, Venitia, Vinetia, Vinita, Venita, Venetya, Veneta, Venetta, Vynita, Vynyta, Vonitia, Vonita, Venezia, Veniza, Venice, Venke... venecia


(Spanish) One who is honored Venerandah, Veneradah, Venerada... veneranda

Venereal Warts

Caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and also known as condylomata acuminata, anal warts, and genital warts. It is nearly always transmitted from person to person by sexual contact, can increase the risk for women of cervical cancer, and occurs in near epidemic proportions in sexually active teenage women.... venereal warts

Veins, Diseases Of

Veins are the blood vessels that convey blood back from the tissues towards the heart. Two common conditions that affect them are THROMBOSIS and varicosities (see below).

Varicose veins are dilated tortuous veins occurring in about 15 per cent of adults – women more than men. They most commonly occur in the legs but may also occur in the anal canal (HAEMORRHOIDS) and in the oesophagus (due to liver disease).

Normally blood ?ows from the subcutaneous tissues to the super?cial veins which drain via perforating veins into the deep veins of the leg. This ?ow, back towards the heart, is aided by valves within the veins. When these valves fail, increased pressure is exerted on the blood vessels leading to dilatations known as varicose veins.

Treatment is needed to prevent complications such as ulceration and bleeding, or for

cosmetic purposes. Treatment alternatives include injection with sclerosing agents to obliterate the lumen of the veins (sclerotherapy), or surgery; in the elderly or un?t, an elastic stocking may su?ce. One operation is the Trendelenburg operation in which the saphenous vein is disconnected from the femoral vein and individual varicose veins are avulsed. (See also VASCULITIS.)

Thrombosis Thrombosis occurs when blood, which is normally a liquid, clots within the vein to form a semisolid thrombus (clot). This occurs through a combination of reduced blood ?ow and hypercoagulability (a reduced threshold for clotting). The most common site for this to occur is in the deep veins of the leg, where it is known as a deep-vein thrombosis (DVT).

Predisposing factors include immobility (leading to reduced blood ?ow), such as during long journeys (e.g. plane ?ights) where there is little opportunity to stretch one’s legs; surgery (leading to temporary post-operative immobility and hypercoagulability of blood); oestrogen administration (low-dose oestrogen oral contraceptives carry a very low relative risk); and several medical illnesses such as heart failure, stroke and malignancy.

Deep-vein thrombosis presents as a tender, warm, red swelling of the calf. Diagnosis may be con?rmed by venogram (an X-ray taken following injection of contrast medium into the foot veins) or by ultrasound scanning looking for ?ow within the veins.

Prevention is important. This is why patients are mobilised and/or given leg exercises very soon after an operation, even major surgery. People should avoid sitting for long periods, particularly if the edge of the seat is hard, thus impeding venous return from the legs. Car drivers should stop regularly on a long journey and walk around; airline travellers should, where possible, walk round the aisle(s) and also exercise and massage their leg muscles, as well as drinking ample non-alcoholic ?uids.

Diagnosis and treatment are important because there is a risk that the clotted blood within the vein becomes dislodged and travels up the venous system to become lodged in the pulmonary arteries. This is known as PULMONARY EMBOLISM.

Treatment is directed at thinning the blood with ANTICOAGULANTS, initially with heparin and subsequently with WARFARIN for a period of time while the clot resolves.

Blocked super?cial veins are described as super?cial thrombophlebitis, which produces in?ammation over the vein. It responds to antiin?ammatory analgesics. Occasionally heparin and ANTIBIOTICS are required to treat associated thrombosis and infection.... veins, diseases of


An area where there is a buildup of excess venous blood, with enlarged veins and tissue congestion... venosity


Pertaining to the veins, or more broadly to include both venous AND lymphatic circulation.... venous

Venous Stasis

Having congested venous blood and lymph. Usually a larger condition effecting tissue or organ function, as opposed to the more vascular implications of venosities and varicosities.... venous stasis

Venous Ulcer

See under ULCER.... venous ulcer


(Spanish) As transparent as a window

Ventanah, Ventanna, Ventane, Ventanne... ventana

Ventricular Hypertrophy

Enlargement of the ventricular chambers of the HEART, a common complication of HYPERTENSION and coronary artery disease (see HEART, DISEASES OF). Treatment is of the underlying conditions and cardiac drugs which facilitate the working of the heart.... ventricular hypertrophy

Ventilago Denticulata


Synonym: V. calyculata Tul. V. madraspatana var. calyculata (Tul.) King.

Family: Rhamnaceae.

Habitat: Throughout India in hotter parts, usually climbing on trees.

Siddha/Tamil: Pappili.

Folk: Pitti, Raamadhaani, Kevati (var.).

Action: Stem bark—powdered and mixed with sesame oil, externally applied to skin diseases and sprains. Root bark—used for atonic dyspepsia, mild fever and debility. Sap—used for the treatment of deafness.

The stem bark gave friedelin and several anthraquinones. The root contains anthraquinones, ventinones A and B. Major constituents of the root bark are emodin, its glucoside and corresponding analogues, ventiloquino- nes. The fruit, leaves and stem gave lupeol, beta-sitosterol and its gluco- side.... ventilago denticulata

Ventilago Madraspatana


Family: Rhamnaceae.

Habitat: Maharashtra and South India.

Ayurvedic: Taamravalli, Kaivartikaa, Vaamataruni.

Siddha/Tamil: Pappili-chaka, Vempadam, Sural-pattai.

Folk: Kevati.

Action: Root bark—carminative, stomachic, febrifuge; used in atonic dyspepsia, debility and skin diseases. The plant is used against scabies.

The roots contain anthraquinones, ventinones A and B, physcion and chrysophanol. The root bark afforded naphthalene derivatives and several naphthaquinones, anthraquinones— islandicin, emodin, xanthorin and its 5-methyl ether.

In South India, V. bombaiensis Dalz. is found in Mukkali forest, Coimbatore District, Tamil Nadu, and V. goughii in Coorg, Nilgiris and Kurnool.... ventilago madraspatana

Ventilation, Artificial

The procedure, usually carried out in an operating theatre or intensive-care unit, in which a device called a VENTILATOR takes over a person’s breathing. This is done for someone who is unable to breathe normally. Damage to the respiratory centre of the brain as a result of head injury, disease of the brain, or an overdose of sedative or narcotic drugs may affect the respiratory centre. Chest injuries, disease of the lungs, nerve or muscle disorders or surgery of the chest or abdomen can also affect breathing and require the use of a ventilator to maintain normal breathing. Arti?cial ventilation can also be carried out as an emergency by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. (See also ANAESTHESIA; ARTIFICIAL VENTILATION OF THE LUNGS.)... ventilation, artificial


(Spanish) Having good fortune Venturah, Venturra... ventura


(Greek) In mythology, the goddess of love and beauty

Venis, Venys, Vynys, Venusa, Venusina, Venusia... venus

Venus Flytrap

Protection, Love... venus flytrap


(Hindi) One who is lovable Venyah, Venyaa... venya


(Latin) One who is genuine; truthful

Veradise, Veradys, Veradisa, Verdissa, Veradysa, Veradyssa, Veradisia, Veraditia... veradis

Vepris Bilocularis

(Wight & Arn.) Engl.

Synonym: Toddalia bilocularis Wight & Arn.

Family: Rutaceae.

Habitat: North Kanara, forests of Malabar, Annamalai and Travancore, up to 1,200 m.

Ayurvedic: Krishna-Agaru. (In South India V. bilocularis is used as Krishna-Agaru and Dysoxylum labricum Bedd. ex Hiern as Shveta-Agaru.)

Siddha/Tamil: Devadaram.

Action: Wood—extract in oil is used for rheumatic swellings and skin diseases. Root—used for biliousness.

Alkaloids from stem bark included kokusaginine, skimmianine, flindersi- amine, evoxanthine, N-methylacrido- ne derivatives, maculine and vepris- one. The leaves contain a triterpenoid, lupeol.... vepris bilocularis

Veratrum Viride


Habitat: The temperate regions of northern hemisphere; introduced in Jammu and Kashmir for cultivation.

English: American Hellbore, Green Hellebore.

Action: Rhizomes and roots— cardiac depressant, hypotensive. (Contraindicated in cardiac disease. Large doses cause bradycardia.) Used in the treatment of convulsions, headache, neuralgia, inflammatory affections of respiratory tract; and as sedative. Formerly used for high blood pressure, especially associated with toxemia of pregnancy.

Ceveratrum-type alkaloids, found as esters, are hypotensive and cause vasodilatation (probably by inhibition of vasomotor centre and stimulation of the vagus). Overdoses cause vomiting. Alkaloids are teratogenic.... veratrum viride

Verbascum Thapsus


Synonym: V. phlomoides L.

Family: Scrophulariaceae.

Habitat: Temperate Himalayas, Western Ghats and the Nilgiris.

English: Cow's Lungwort, Common Mullein. (Large-flowered Mullein is equated with V. densiflorum Bertol.)

Ayurvedic: Ban Tambaaku, Gidar Tambaaku, Phullaa.

Action: Herb—soothing and relaxant for irritable respiratory conditions (asthma, emphysema, tracheitis), pectoral demulcent, antispasmodic, mild sedative.

Key application: In catarrh of the respiratory tract. (German Commission E.)

The capsule contains saponins, thap- suines A and B and hydroxythap- suines A and B. The plant also contains varatric acid, 5-ethoxymethyl furfural, saikogenin, alpha-spinasterol and iri- doids, aucubin and catalpol. The leaves contain rotenone.

The flower extract showed activity against influenza and herpes simplex virus.

The plant has been employed for the treatment of asthma. There is little evidence to indicate that the plant can offer more than mild astringent and topical soothing effects.... verbascum thapsus

Verbena Officinalis


Family: Verbenaceae.

Habitat: The Himalayas, Khasi and Lushai Hills, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

English: Vervain, Pigeon's Grass.

Unani: Saal-ul-hamaam, Faristari- un.

Action: Plant—nervine, antidepressant, anticonvulsant; prescribed in liver and gall bladder complaints (spasm of the bladder and strangury), nervous and menstrual disorders; also for bronchitis, asthma and febrile affections.

Included among unapproved herbs by German Commission E.

The plant contains an iridoid gly- coside, hastatoside; loganin; methyl- cyclopentane monoterpenoid, verbe- nalin; verbascoside and eukovoside. The stem and roots are quite rich in stachyose. Aerial parts gave lupeol, beta-sitosterol, ursolic acid, aucubin and artemetin.

The herb is credited with weak parasympathomimetic activity. Verbenalin exhibited mild purgative activity in animal studies. Emetic in high doses.

Vervain tea decreased absorption of non-heme iron by 59% in human subjects. (Sharon M. Herr.)... verbena officinalis


(Latin) Springlike; one who is young and fresh

Verdah, Verdea, Virida, Verdy, Verdey, Verde, Verdi, Verdie, Verdee... verda


(Spanish) An honest woman Verdada, Verdadah... verdad


(German) Protector and defender Verenah, Verina, Vereena, Veryna, Vereana, Vereene, Verine, Verene, Veryn, Veryne, Vereane, Verean, Verin, Varyn, Varyna, Varyne, Verinka, Verunka, Verusya, Veroshka, Virna... verena


(Swedish) One who is flourishing

Verenese, Verennase, Vyrenase, Vyrennase, Vyrenese, Verenace, Vyrenace... verenase


(Latin) One who is truthful Veritey, Veriti, Veritie, Veritee, Veritea, Verita, Veryty, Veryti, Verytie, Verytey, Verytee, Verytea, Veryta, Verochka... verity


(American) Form of Verity, meaning “one who is truthful” Verley, Verly, Verli, Verlie, Verlee, Verleigh, Verlea, Verlia... verlee


(Latin) A vivacious woman Verleen, Verleene, Verlean, Verleane, Verlein, Verleine, Verlyn, Verlyne, Verlena, Verleena, Verleana, Verleina, Verlyna... verlene


(Spanish) One who is growing Verlitah, Verlida, Verlidah, Verlyta, Verlytah, Verlyda, Verlydah... verlita


(American) A natural beauty Vermekiah, Vermekea, Vermekeah, Vermy, Vermey, Vermee, Vermea, Vermeah, Vermi, Vermie... vermekia


Also called vermifuges, these are substances that kill, or expel, parasitic worms from the intestines.... vermicides


Morbid state due to infestation with worms... verminosis


(French) From the green mountain; from the state of Vermont Vermonte... vermont


(Latin / English) Born in the springtime / feminine form of Vernon; alder tree Vernah, Vyrna, Virna, Verne, Verla, Vernia, Verasha, Verneta, Vernette, Vernetta, Vernita, Virida, Virnell, Vernetia... verna

Vernonia Cinerea


Family: Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat: Distributed throughout India. Common in waste places and road side.

English: Ash coloured Fleabane, Purple Fleabane.

Ayurvedic: Sahadevi, Uttamkanya- ka, Dandotpalaa.

Siddha/Tamil: Naichotte Poonde.

Action: Plant—febrifuge, diaphoretic (infusion of herb, combined with quinine, is used against malaria). Used as a specific herb for leucor- rhoea, dysuria, spasm of bladder, strangury and for haematological disorders, as a blood purifier and styptic. Also used in asthma. Seeds—anthelmintic, antiflatulent, antispasmodic; used in dysuria, leucoderma, psoriasis and other skin diseases. Roots—anthelmintic; decoction used for colic.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIn- dia recommends the plant in inter mittent fever, filariasis, pityriasis versi- colour (tinea versicolor), blisters, boils, vaginal discharges and in cases of psy- choneurosis.

Aerial parts gave luteolin-7-mono- beta-D-glucopyranoside. Whole plant gave triterpene compounds—beta- amyrin acetate, lupeol acetate, beta- amyrin and lupeol; sterols—beta-sito- sterol, stigmasterol and alpha-spinaste- rol; phenolic resin and potassium chloride.

Dosage: Whole plant—10-20 ml juice; 5-10 g powder for external use. (API, Vol. III.)... vernonia cinerea

Vernonia Javanica


Synonym: V. arborea Hook. f. non- Buch.-Ham.

Family: Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat: West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya and Western Ghats.

Siddha/Tamil: Shutthi.

Action: Bark—febrifuge. The bark is chewed as a substitute for betel leaves.... vernonia javanica

Vernonia Roxburghii


Family: Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat: Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar.

Ayurvedic: Sahadevi (related species).

Folk: Doraa-baahaa.

Action: Roots—used for articular rheumatism.... vernonia roxburghii

Vernonia Teres

Wall. ex DC.

Family: Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat: Tropical Himalayas from Kumaon to Sikkim; Bihar and Central India.

Action: Herb—used for dysmen- orrhoea, and for the treatment of wounds and ulcers. Flower-heads— ascaricidal.

The leaf juice showed in vitro activity against earthworms, tapeworms and roundworms.... vernonia teres


(Italian) Woman from Verona Veronah, Veronaa, Veronae, Veronia... verona


(Latin) Displaying her true image Veronicah, Veronic, Veronicca, Veronicka, Veronika, Veronicha, Veronique, Veranique, Veroniqua, Veronnica, Veronice, Varonica, Varonika, Verhonica, Verinica, Verohnica, Vironica, Vironiqua, Vironika, Vironique, Veronka, Veronkia, Veronne, Vyronica, Vronica, Vronika, Vroniqua, Vronique, Vyroniqua, Vyronique, Vyronika, Veruka, Veruszhka... veronica


This term means having a surface resembling verrucae (see WARTS). Certain skin diseases may become verrucose.... verrucose

Veronica Beccabunga


Vernonia patula Merrill.

Synonym: V. chinensis Less.

Family: Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat: The Aka hills of Arunachal Pradesh, as a weed.

Action: Leaves and roots— decoction used in colds and fevers. Young plants—used for the treatment of convulsions in children.

Family: Scrophulariaceae.

Habitat: Western Himalayas and Kashmir at 2,700-3,600 m.

English: Brooklime.

Folk: Titalokiyaa, Tezhak.

Action: Antiscorbutic, blood purifier, alterative, diuretic. Used for scurvy, scrofulous affections, swollen piles, lithiasis, skin diseases, burns, ulcers.

The plant gave iridoid glycosides including aucubin; bitters and tannins. Aucubin has been reported to stimulate the uric acid secretion of the kidneys.... veronica beccabunga

Vertebrobasilar Insuffiency

Intermittent incidents of double vision, dizziness, weakness and speaking diffculties caused by a reduced blood supply to parts of the BRAIN. The cause is usually obstruction in the basilar, vertebral and other arteries at the base of the brain. The condition is sometimes the precursor of a STROKE.... vertebrobasilar insuffiency

Vertical Integration

The organization of production whereby one entity controls or owns all stages of the production and distribution of goods or services. In health care, vertical integration can take many forms, but generally implies that medical practitioners, hospitals and health plans have combined their organizations or processes in some manner to increase efficiencies, increase competitive strength, or improve quality of care. Integrated delivery systems or health care networks are generally vertically integrated. See “horizontal integration”.... vertical integration


(American) One who is organized Vertrell, Vertrel, Vertrele, Vertrela, Vertrella... vertrelle


(Latin) A type of wart Verucah, Verucka, Verucia, Verutia, Verusia... veruca

Vesical Irritation

In my context, irritation of the bladder and urethra.... vesical irritation


Vesicants are blistering agents.... vesicants

Vesico-ureteric Reflux

The back ?ow of URINE from the URINARY BLADDER into the ureters (see URETER). The cause is defects in the VALVES which normally prevent this re?ux from occurring. If, in addition, the patient – usually a child – acquires bacteria in the bladder, the consequence may be one or more attacks of PYELONEPHRITIS caused by the infected urine gaining access to the kidney pelvis. Diagnosis is by imaging techniques. Treatment is by long-term antibiotics while awaiting spontaneous recovery. Occassionally, corrective surgery is required.... vesico-ureteric reflux

Vervain Tea Benefits

Vervain Tea is one of the best organic remedies in cases of kidney stones or diarrhea. Also, the Romans thought Vervain was a sacred plant and used it as a ceremonial plant whose main purpose was to purify the place and help prayers rise up to sky. Vervain is a perennial plant related to mint. It has deep green leaves and purplish flowers and it can be found almost anywhere in the world. Aside from its medicinal purpose, Vervain is also used as a decorative plant in some countries. Vervain Tea Properties Vervain Tea is a great purifier and a wonderful natural facial cleanser thanks to its active ingredients that fight against bacteria and microbes. The most important substances contained by Vervain Tea are: mucilages, bitters, iridoid glycosides (hastatoside, verbenalin), caffeic acid and essential oil. The last two are also used in the cosmetic industry as a great adjuvant in facial tonics and anti-acne treatments. Rinsing your face with Vervain Tea may turn out to be the evening habit: it will make your skin glow, by getting rid of black heads and impurities. Vervain Tea Benefits Aside from its purifying and cosmetic use, Vervain Tea has a lot of benefits that have been exploited by practitioners around the world. Many prescribe Varvain Tea as a diuretic and stimulant. However, if you suffer from one of the following problems, Vervain Tea can also be a great help: - Liver problems, caused by alcohol abuse or a long usage of other medical treatments. - Urinary tract infections, by disinfecting the digestive system and calming the affected areas. - Fever, by fighting bacteria and all forms of parasites. - Arthritis, by increasing the blood flow and decreasing the cholesterol responsible for coronary clotting. - Nervous disorders, burns, wounds, sores and digestive problems. How to make Vervain Tea Infusion When preparing Vervain Tea Infusion, you need to make sure the herbs you are using are properly washed. Use a teaspoon of Vervain plant for every cup of tea you want to make, finely chop it and add boiling water. Wait for 5 or 10 minutes (depending on the amount of water you’re using), strain and drink hot or cold. Don’t drink more than 4 cups of Vervain Tea per day. Vervain Tea Side Effects There are no reported cases of Vervain Tea side effects. However, high dosages may cause diarrhea and other problems of the digestive track. If you’ve been taking Vervain tea for quite a while and you’re experiencing some unusual episodes, talk to a specialist as soon as possible and don’t try to treat it yourself at home. You don’t want to turn a small health problem into a chronic disease. Vervain Tea Contraindications Do not take Vervain Tea if you are pregnant or breastfeeding since it may cause uterine contractions and internal bleedings. Vervain Tea is actually used as a labor inducer. Also, if you are on blood thinners, you may want to avoid taking a treatment based on Vervain Tea. If you have any doubts about this tea, talk to a specialist in order to gather more information. If you get the green light, add Vervain Tea to your shopping list and enjoy the wonderful benefits of this tea!... vervain tea benefits


(Slavic) Messenger; in mythology, the goddess of spring Vesnah, Vezna, Vesnia, Vesnaa... vesna


(Latin) Evening star; born in the evening

Vesperah, Vespira, Vespeera, Vesperia, Vesper... vespera


(Latin) In mythology, goddess of the hearth, home, and family Vestah, Vestee, Vestea, Vesty, Vestey, Vestie, Vesti, Vessy, Vesteria, Vest... vesta

Vestibulo-ocular Reflex

Eye movement that occurs after or during the slow injection of 20 ml of ice-cold water into each external auditory meatus (see EAR) in turn.... vestibulo-ocular reflex


(Slavic) A regal woman Vetariah, Vetarea, Vetareah... vetaria

Vetch, Giant

Fidelity... vetch, giant


Love, Hex Breaking, Luck, Money, Anti-Theft... vetivert


(Welsh) Of the white wave Vevae, Vevai... vevay


(Gaelic) Woman with a melodious voice

Vevilah, Veveela, Vevyla, Vevilla, Vevylla, Vevylle, Vevyle, Vevillia... vevila


(Irish) A sweet lady; pleasant Vevinah, Vevyna, Veveena, Veveana, Vevine, Vevyne, Veveene, Vevean... vevina


(English) One who is full of life; vivacious Veean, Vean, Veane, Vyan, Vyanne, Vyane... vian


(American) Form of Bianca, meaning “a shining, fair-skinned woman” Viancah, Vianka, Viancka, Vyanca, Vyanka, Vyancka, Vianica, Vianeca, Vyaneca, Vyanica... vianca

Vetiveria Zizaniodes

(Linn.) Nash.

Synonym: Andropogon muricatus Retz.

A. squarrosus Hook. f. (non L. f.).

Family: Gramineae; Poaceae.

Habitat: A perennial grass, cultivated chiefly in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh., Punjab and the West Coast.

English: Vetiver, Khas.

Ayurvedic: Ushira, Bahu-muulaka, Sugandhimuula, Jataamedaa, Indragupta, Nalada, Laamajjaka, Sevya, Samagandhaka, Jalavaasa, Virana, Aadhya.

Unani: Cuscus, Khas

Siddha: Vettiver, Vilamichaver.

Action: Root—infusion used as refrigerant, febrifuge, diaphoretic; stimulant, stomachic, antispasmod- ic, emmenagogue, astringent, blood purifier. Used in fevers, colic, flatulence, vomiting, spermatorrhoea and strangury. Root oil—used in obstinate vomiting, colic and flatulence.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIn- dia recommend the root in dysuria.

Major constituents of North Indian laevorotatory oil, (obtained from wild roots) are antipodal terpenoids, while those of South Indian dextrorotatory oils (obtained from cultivated roots) are sesquiterpene ketones and alcohols.

The North India Khas oil contains large amounts of khusilal, other ses- quiterpenes include khusol, khusimol, khusitone, cadinene and laevojuneol. The South Indian Khas oil constituents are largely nootkatone, vestipiranes and substances of tricyclic zizaane structure. Khusilal is absent in typical dextrorotatory Khas oils.

The oils from other producing countries are found to be dextrorotatory similar to that from South India.

Dosage: Fibrous root—3-6 g for infusion. (API, Vol. III.)... vetiveria zizaniodes


(Danish) A small woman Vibekeh, Vibeek, Vibeeke, Vybeke, Viheke... vibeke


(Hindi) Of the sacred ash; a symbol Vibuti, Vibhutie, Vibhutee... vibhuti

Viburnum Coriaceum


Family: Caprifoliaceae.

Habitat: The Himalayas from Punjab and Bhutan at altitudes of 1,200-2,500 m, also in the Nilgiris.

Ayurvedic: Tilvaka (related species).

Folk: Kaalaa Titmuliyaa, Tita, Karwaa (Kumaon).

Action: The root and stem bark— antispasmodic, uterine sedative.

Ethanolic extract of the aerial parts shows antiprotozoal activity against Entamoeba hystolytica.

The root and stem bark (also of V. foetidum) possess distinct odour of the root of valerian. The extracts of root and stem bark exhibited antispas- modic activity and were comparable with those of the bark of V. opulus var. americanum and V. prunifolium.

Laal Titmuliyaa (Kumaon) is equated with Viburnum mullaha Buch-Ham. ex D. Don syn. V. stellulatum Wall ex DC.... viburnum coriaceum

Viburnum Cotinifolium

D. Don.

Family: Caprifoliaceae.

Habitat: The Himalayas from Kashmir to Bhutan at altitudes of 1,200-3,300 m.

Folk: Richh, Richhabi, Khimor (Punjab), Gwiaa, Ghinwaa, Guyaa, Ghenu (Kumaon).

Action: Bark—used in menorrhagia and metrorrhagia.... viburnum cotinifolium

Viburnum Foetidum


Family: Caprifoliaceae.

Habitat: Khasi hills at altitudes of 900-1,800 m.

Folk: Narwel (Maharashtra).

Action: Leaves—astringent, antispasmodic. Juice used in menorrhagia and as a sedative (a substitute for American Viburnum bark) in uterine disorders, and in post-partum haemorrhage. See Viburnum coriaceum and V. opulus.... viburnum foetidum

Viburnum Nervosum

Hook. f. & Thoms.

Synonym: V. grandiflorum Wall. ex DC.

Family: Caprifoliaceae.

Habitat: The Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim at altitudes of 3,000-4,000 m.

Ayurvedic: Tilvaka.

Folk: Telam, Timoi (Kumaon), Tilen, Thelkaa (Garhwal).

Action: Bark—astringent; contain 13.1% tannin on dry basis.... viburnum nervosum


(Latin) Victorious woman; winner; conqueror

Victoriah, Victorea, Victoreah, Victorya, Victorria, Victoriya, Vyctoria, Victorine, Victoreana, Victoriana, Victorina, Victoryna, Victoreena, Viktoria, Vicktoria, Viktorina, Vyctoria, Vyktoria, Vyctorina, Vyktorina, Vyctoryna, Vyktoryna, Victoryn, Vyctorine, Vyctoryn, Vyktorine, Vyktoryn, Vyktoryne, Vitoria, Vicki, Vickie, Vicky, Vickey, Vikki, Vicka, Vika, Victriv, Victriva... victoria


(Latin / Hebrew) Life / one who is dearly loved

Vidah, Veeda, Vieda, Vyda, Vidett, Vidette, Videtta, Videte, Videta, Videlle, Vidella, Videll, Videle, Videla... vida


(Latin) Of the vine branch Vidoniah, Vidonya, Vydonia, Vydonya, Vedonia... vidonia

Viburnum Opulus

Linn. var. americanum (Mill.) Ait.

Family: Caprifoliaceae.

Habitat: Native to North America. Dried bark imported into India.

English: Cranberry Bush, Cramp- bark.

Action: Used as a diuretic and as a uterine sedative in functional uterine disorders.

The activity of the bark has been attributed to the presence of uterine relaxants, acting directly on the muscle and not through sympathomimetic action. The muscle relaxants include an essential oil, an amorphous, bitter phenolic glucoside, esculetin and scopo- letin.

The bark contains hydroquinones, arbutin, methylarbutin and traces of hydroquinone; coumarins including scopoletin and scopoline; tannins mainly catechins.

The polycondensed tannins produced significant angioprotective effect in rats.... viburnum opulus

Viburnum Prunifolium


Habitat: Native to eastern and central USA. (Experimental cultivation in the Nilgiri hills.)

English: Black Haw.

Ayurvedic: Tilvaka (related species).

Action: Uterine sedative (used in the treatment for threatened miscarriage, under strict medical supervision. Spasmolytic. (The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.) Used after childbirth to check bleeding and pain, also in dysmen- orrhoea.

The stem and root bark gave couma- rins including scopoletin, aesculetin and scoplin; a biflavone, amentofla- vone; triterpenes including oleanolic and ursolic acid and their acetates, caffeic acid derivatives; salicylic acid, salicin, arbutin (traces); tannins (2%).

Coumarin, scopoletin, is a uterine sedative, while salicin is an analgesic.... viburnum prunifolium

Vicia Faba


Family: Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.

Habitat: Native to North Africa; commonly grown in North Western India.

English: Broad bean, Windsor bean.

Unani: Baaqlaa.

Action: Fresh beans—cooked alone or with meat, are prescribed in Unani medicine for cough, also for resolving inflammations. Externally, the bean and flowers are used as a poultice for inflammations, warts and burns.

A number of harmful principles are reported in the broad beans. A large amount of Dopa, mainly in free state and partly in the form of its beta- glucoside; and gluco alkaloids, vicine and convicine, have been isolated.

Ingestion of fresh, uncooked or partially cooked beans is not recommended.

The seeds gave positive test for hydrocyanic acid and also contain arsenic.

The fresh beans exhibit an oestro- genic activity. Phytoalexins of the immature seeds exhibit antifungal activity.

Malic, citric and glyceric acids are the principal organic acids present in the pods (also present in the hulls). The glyceric acid on subcutaneous injection produced a marked diuresis in rabbit. (A decoction of the leaves and stems of the field bean, Faba vulgaris Moench, is used as a diuretic.)

An aqueous extract of the root nodules exhibited vasoconstricting activity on rabbits.... vicia faba

Vicoa Indica


Synonym: V. auriculata Cass.

Family: Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat: Throughout the drier parts of India, ascending to an altitude of about 1,800 m in the Himalayas.

Ayurvedic: Vandhyaavari.

Siddha/Tamil: Jimikipoo, Mookuti, Poondu.

Action: Plant—used for contraception.

Aerial parts contain the sesquiter- pene lactones (vicolide A-D), the 28- nortriterpenoidal glucosides (vicoside A and B), the triterpenoid vicosigenin and monoterpenediol vicodiol, besides several n-alkanes and n-alkanoic acid esters.

Vicolide A-D showed anti-inflammatory activity against cotton pellet granuloma in rats. Vicolide D showed antipyretic activity.

Antifertility activity has been attributed to the presence of vicolide B and D, while A and C have been reported to be devoid of antifertility activity. Vicolide D was found to be anti-oestrogenic in nature.... vicoa indica


(Indian) Having great wisdom Vidyah... vidya


(Latin) From the wine country; from Vienna

Vienne, Vienette, Vienetta, Venia, Venna, Vena, Vennia... vienna


(Spanish) A lively woman Vierah, Vierra, Vierrah, Vyera, Vyerah, Vyerra, Vyerrah... viera


(Vietnamese) A woman from Vietnam Vyet, Viett, Vyett, Viette, Vyette... viet


(Scandinavian) A goddess of war Vigdiss, Vigdisse, Vigdys, Vigdyss... vigdis


(Latin) Wakefulness; watchfulness Vigiliah, Vygilia, Vygylia, Vijilia, Vyjilia... vigilia


(French) From the little vine Vignete, Vignet, Vignetta, Vignett, Vigneta, Vygnette, Vygnete, Vygnet, Vygnett, Vygneta, Vygnetta... vignette


(Scottish) From the creek Vikah, Veeka, Veecka, Vicka, Vicca... vika


(Swedish) Form of Wilhemina, meaning “determined protector” Vilhelminah, Vylhelmina, Vylhelmyna, Vilhelmine, Villemina, Vilhelmine, Vilhemine, Vilhemina, Villamena, Villene, Villette, Villa, Vimene, Vimine, Vilhelmeena, Villiamina, Vilma, Vilmetta, Vilmanie, Vilmayra, Vylma, Villiemae, Vilmet, Vilna... vilhelmina


(Hindi) One who is dedicated Vilinah, Vileena, Vileana, Vylina, Vyleena, Vyleana, Vylyna, Vilinia, Vilinya... vilina

Victoria Regia


Synonym: V amazonica Sow.

Family: Nymphaeaceae.

Habitat: Native to South America; grown in pools in botanic gardens.

English: Royal Waterlily. Water Maize (seeds).

Ayurvedic: Brihat-patra Kamal.

Action: Seed—refrigerant, cooling to the nervous system. Pond Lily root—externally, astringent, antiscrofulous. An infusion is used as a gargle for ulcers in the mouth and throat.

The leaves contain the anthocyanins, delphinidin and cyanidin.... victoria regia


(French) From the country estate Villettah, Vileta, Villeta, Viletta, Vyleta, Vylletta, Vylleta, Vyletta, Vileta... villetta


(French) From the small village Vilette, Villete, Vilete, Vilet, Vilett, Villet, Villett, Vylet, Vylete, Vylett, Vylette, Vyllet, Vyllete, Vyllette... villette


(Greek) Protector from the sea Vilmarise, Vilmarice, Vilmarisa, Vilmarissa, Vilmarisia, Vilmariss, Vilmarys, Vilmaryss... vilmaris


(Indian) Feminine form of Vamal; clean and pure Vimalah, Vimalia, Vimalla... vimala


(Spanish / Hindi) From the vineyard / in mythology, the musical instrument of the goddess of wisdom Vinah, Veena, Vinna, Vyna, Vynna, Vinesha, Vinisha, Vinita, Viniece, Vinora, Vinique... vina

Vinagre Blanco

White vinegar; sometimes used as a gargle for treating sore throat and tonsillitis, combined with bicarbonato de sodio(baking soda); it is said to have a drying effect on the tonsils when used this way; vinegar is also used as a douche for treating vaginal infections, urogenital inflammation and menstrual disorders.... vinagre blanco


(Hindi) In Hinduism, the daughter of Daksha, wife of Kasyapa, and mother of Garuda Vinatah... vinata


(Hindi) One with discipline; good behavior Vinayah... vinaya

Vinca Major

(Linn.) Pich.

Synonym: V pubescens Urv.

Family: Apocynaceae.

Habitat: Native to Europe. Found in the Himalayas, West Bengal and Palni Hills.

English: Green Periwinkle, Greater Periwinkle.

Action: Astringent, antihaemor- rhagic, hypotensive. Used to treat menorrhagia and leucorrhoea.

The herb contains indole alkaloids; majdine, isomajdine, majoridine, aku- ammine, akuammigine, carpanaubine, irvine, reserpine, serpentine, sarpagi- ne, tetrahydroalstonine, vincamajine and vincamajoreine; and tannins.

The cytotoxic dimeric alkaloids present in Vinca rosea L., used in the treatment of certain types of cancer, have not been found in Vinca major.... vinca major

Vincent’s Angina

An ulcerative in?ammation of the throat, often foul-smelling, and caused by large, spindle-shaped bacilli (fusobacterium) and spirilla.... vincent’s angina


(Latin) Feminine form of Vincent; conquerer; triumphant Vincentiah, Vincenta, Vincensia, Vincenzia, Vyncentia, Vyncyntia, Vyncenzia, Vycenzya, Vincenza, Vicenta, Vincensa, Vincentina, Vincentena, Vicentah, Vicynta, Viecinta, Vycenta, Viecynta, Visenta, Visynta, Vysenta... vincentia

Vincents Infection

Trench Mouth or NUGS. It is usually a symptom of extreme physical stress, nutritional deficiencies and heavy metal poisoning (but not of the type accrued from excess exposure to Metallica or Scorpion)... vincents infection


(Spanish) One who is forthright Vinciah, Vyncia, Vynciah, Vincea, Vinceah, Vyncea, Vynceah... vincia


Acetic acid (4-6%) - this totally de-activates the nematocysts of all cubozoans (box-jellyfish) tested to date. Despite popular misconception it has no effect on the venom injected and does not help pain.... vinegar


(Latin) Wine Viniah, Vynia, Vynya... vinia

Vinyl Ether

An inhalational anaesthetic used in minor surgical procedures of short duration, and for the induction of ANAESTHESIA for longer surgical operations.... vinyl ether

Vinca Minor


Family: Apocynaceae.

Habitat: Grown in Indian gardens as an ornamental.

English: Lesser Periwinkle.

Action: Astringent and circulatory stimulant (contain alkaloid vin- camine). Used for gastric catarrh, chronic dyspepsia; restlessness, headache, dizziness, and for the prevention of premature aging of brain cells, as a geriatic support.

The herb contains indole alkaloids (0.15-1.4%). The major constituent in vincamine; others include vinic, apovincamine, vincadifformin.

Vincamine is hypotensive; increases blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain. The vincamine content in the herb is low and fluctuates greatly. Overdose of the extract brings about a severe drop in blood pressure.

Vincamine, as a pure substance is available for therapeutic administration.... vinca minor

Vinca Pusilla


Synonym: Catharanthus pusillus G. Don.

Lochnera pusilla (Murr.) K. Schum.

Family: Apocynaceae.

Habitat: West Bengal and throughout greater part of India, as a weed.

Ayurvedic: Sangkhi, Sangkhaphuli (The Wealth of India).

Folk: Milagaipoondu (Tamil Nadu), Kapavila (Kerala), Vishakane- gale (Karnataka), Neru (Andhra Pradesh) Mirchaai (Bihar).

Action: Plant—oncolytic (tumour- resolving). A decoction of the dried plant boiled in oil is used in the treatment of lumbago.

The plant contains ajmalicine, rau- wolscine, vindoline, pusiline and pusi- linine, while leurosine, lochnerinine, venoterpine, vindorosine and vincapu- sine have been isolated from the leaves. The root gave lochnericine. Leurosine is cytotoxic. Pusiline and pusilinine cause marked depression of the heart.... vinca pusilla

Vinca Rosea


Synonym: Catharanthus roseus (Linn.) G.Don.

Family: Apocynaceae.

Habitat: Native of West Indies; commonly grown in Indian gardens.

English: Madagascar Periwinkle.

Ayurvedic: Sadaapushpaa, Sadam- pushpa, Nityakalyaani, Sadaaba- haar.

Siddha: Nithiya kalyani, Sudukadu mallikai.

Action: Cytotoxic.

Over one hundred monomeric and bisindole alkaloids have been isolated.

The indole alkaloid, vincamine, is a vasodilator; the bisindole alkaloids vinblastine and vincristine proved to be highly effective as cancer chemothera- peutic agents.

Vinblastine and vincristine are clinically used in a number of thrombo- cytopenic disorders, such as refractory idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpurea and haemolytic anaemia.

Vinblastine in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents (cis- platin and bleomycin) is used for the treatment of metastatic testicular cancer; also against bladder cancer, breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and Hodgkin's lymphoma in combination with other drugs.

Vincristine, in various combinations, is highly effective in acute leukemia in children and lymphocytic leukemia; and pediatric tumours. (The Treatise on Indian Medicinal Plants.)... vinca rosea


(Italian) A stringed instrument; a form of Violet, meaning “resembling the purplish-blue flower” Violah, Viole, Vyola, Violanie, Violani, Violaney, Violany, Violaine, Violaina, Violanta, Violante, Violeine, Vyoila, Vyolani, Vyolanie, Vyolania, Vyolanya, Violanth, Violanthe, Violantha... viola

Viola Biflora


Family: Violaceae.

Habitat: The temperate Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim at altitudes of 1,800-3,000 m.

Unani: Banafashaa (related species).

Action: Leaves—laxative, emollient. Flowers—antiseptic, pectoral, diaphoretic. Root—emetic.

The herb is used as a substitute for Banafashaa obtained from V. odorata.

The leaves are used for treating skin eruptions and the flowers for skin irritation.... viola biflora

Viola Odorata


Family: Violaceae.

Habitat: Native to Europe; cultivated in Kashmir.

English: Sweet Violet.

Unani: Banafashaa, Banafsaj, Kakosh, Fareer.... viola odorata

Viola Patrinii


Family: Violaceae.

Habitat: The Himalayas, Eastern and Western Ghats.

Unani: Banafashaa (related species).

Action: Dried flowers—used for coughs and colds. Herb— bruised and applied to ulcers; also prescribed in syphilis and scrofula. (In Chinese medicine, recommended against cancerous growths.)... viola patrinii

Viola Pilosa


Family: Violaceae.

Habitat: Kashmir to Sikkim and Nilgiri hills at 1,500-2,100 m.

Unani: Banafashaa (related species)

Folk: Thungtu (Kumaon).

Action: Uses same as those of V odorata. A medicinal oil of Unani medicine, Roghan-e-Banafashaa, is prepared from the plant. Flowers, as tea, are used for treating headache.

Active principle of the herb is an alkaloid, violine.... viola pilosa

Viola Cinerea

Boiss. var. stocksii (Boiss.) W. Beck.

Synonym: V. stocksii Boiss.

Family: Violaceae.

Habitat: Punjab, Western Rajasthan, Gujarat.

Unani: Banafashaa (related species).

Folk: Jinkobanafashaa (Gujarat).

Action: Root—emetic. Used as a substitute and adulterant of ipecac. The herb is sold in the market as

Action: Expectorant, anti- inflammatory, diaphoretic, antipyretic, diuretic. Used for catarrhal and pulmonary affections, also for diseases of liver and intestines.

Included among unapproved herbs by German Commission E, but it has been mentioned that the traditional use of sweet violet root as an expectorant for the respiratory tract is well documented.

The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia recognizes expectorant activity of the leaf.

The flowers (var. maxima) are a source of rutoside. The flowers also contain anthocyanin, violanin chloride, which on hydrolysis yields glucose, delphinidin, rhamnose and p- coumaric acid. High content of tocopherol is also reported from flowers.

Dried flowers contain anthocyanin 4.0, total flavonoids 1.1, rutoside 0.4, mucilage 18, and ash 8.5%.

The leaves contain friedelin and beta-sitosterol.

The essential oil from the entire plant consists of methyl salicylate. A di- C-glycoside, violanthin, has been reported from the plant.... viola cinerea

Viola Sylvestris

Lam. (in part)

Family: Violaceae.

Habitat: Kashmir at 1,200-2,400 m.

English: Pale Wood Violet, Wood Violet.

Unani: Banafashaa (related species).

Action: Plant—pectoral, bechic; used in chest troubles. Stem, leaf and flower—applied to foul sores and wounds.

Habitat: Native to Europe; grown as an ornamental.

English: Heartsease, Wild Pansy.

Unani: Banafashaa (related species).

Action: Herb—anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, expectorant, diuretic, antirheumatic, alterative. Used for bronchitis, rheumatism, chronic skin disorders and for preventing capillary haemorrhage when under corticosteroid therapy. Root— antidysenteric; used as a substitute for Cephaelis ipecacuanha.

Key application: Externally in mild seborrheic skin diseases and milk scall in children. (German Commission E.) The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia recognizes the herb as an expectorant and dermatological agent.

The herb contains rutin, violin and salicylic acid. The flower contains rutin, quercetin, violanthin (6,8-digly- coside of apigenin), violaxanthin, p- hydroxycinnamic acid and delphini- din. A flavone C-glycoside-saponarin has also been obtained from flowers. Flowers, in addition, contain 15-cis- violaxanthin.

The herb exhibits anticoagulant property and diminishes the aggregation of platelets. It can be used as a preventive measure against thrombosis.

Habitat: Temperate Himalayas from Kashmir to Nepal between 1,200 and 2,700 m (a semiparasitic plant).

English: European Mistletoe.

Ayurvedic: Bandaaka, Suvarna- bandaaka. Vrikshaadani (substitute).

Unani: Kishmish Kaabuli.

Action: Vasodilator, cardiac depressant, tranquiliser, stimulates the vagus nerve which slows the pulse, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, immune enhancer, antineoplas- tic. Used for hypertension and tachycardia, as a nervine tonic.

The extract of leafy twigs is anti- inflammatory exerting an action upon capillary permeability and oedema. It stimulates granulation and the neoformation of connective tissue.

Key application: For treating degenerative inflammation of the joints by stimulating cuti- visceral reflexes following local inflammation brought about by intradermal injections; as palliative therapy for malignant tumour through non-specific stimulation. (German Commission E.)

Mistletoe contains glycoproteins; flavonoids, usually quercetin-derived (dependent on host tree to some extent); polypeptides; phenylcarboxylic acids; polysaccharides (including viscid acid); alkaloids; lignans.

Cardiotonic activity is due to the lig- nans. The polysaccharides stimulate the immune response. Antineoplas- tic activity is claimed to be responsible for prolongation of survival time in cancer patients. Polypeptides (visco- toxins) inhibit tumours and stimulate immune resistance. (For uses of lectin from Mistletoe in cancer, see Eur J cancer, 2001, Jan, 37(1), 23-31; Eur J Cancer 2001, 37 (15), 19101920.) (For application in hepatitis, see Fitoterapia, 70, 2001.)... viola sylvestris


(Indian) One who is brave and noble

Virendrah, Vyrendrah, Virindra, Virendria... virendra


(Latin) A staff-bearer Virgiliah, Virgillia, Virgilya, Virgilea, Virgileah, Virjilia, Virjillia, Virjilya, Virjilea, Virjileah, Vyrgilia, Vyrgylya, Virgily, Virgiley, Virgilie, Virgili, Virgilee, Virgileigh... virgilia


(Latin) One who is chaste; virginal; from the state of Virginia Virginiah, Virginnia, Virgenya, Virgenia, Virgeenia, Virgeena, Virgene, Virgena, Virgine, Verginia, Verginya, Virjeana, Virjinea, Virjinia, Vyrjinia, Vyrginia, Vyrgynia, Vyrgynya, Virgenie... virginia


(Latin) The virgin; a constellation; the sixth sign of the zodiac... virgo


(Latin) Youthful and blooming; green; innocent

Viridiss, Viridys, Viridyss, Vyridis, Vyridys, Vyrydys, Virdis, Viridissa, Viridia, Viridianai, Viridiani, Viridiana... viridis


(Hindi) One who is brave Virikah, Viricka, Virica, Vyrika, Vyricka, Vyrica, Vyryka, Viricca... virika


The masculinisation of women suffering from excessive production of the male hormone ANDROGEN. The person develops temporal balding, a male body shape, increased muscular bulk, deepening of the voice, an enlarged CLITORIS and HIRSUTISM. Virilisation may also occur in women who take synthetic androgens, a practice sometimes used (illegally) to increase physical strength and endurance in sport.... virilisation

Virtual Hospital

See HOSPITAL.... virtual hospital


(Latin) Having moral excellence, chastity, and goodness Virtu, Vyrtue, Vyrtu, Vertue, Vertu... virtue

Visceral Larva Migrans

The end results of heavy infection and migration of larva of Toxocara spp (especially T. canis - the dog Ascarid) in the viscera, producing a granulomatous reaction and pathology at the site.... visceral larva migrans

Visceral Leishmaniasis (kala Azar)

A protozoan disease caused by Leishmania donovani, found around parts of the Mediterranean basin, tropical Africa, South America, and central and eastern Asia. The disease is transmitted byfemale sandflies of the genus, Phlebotomus in the Old World and Lutzomyia in the New World. Full-blown disease is often fatal, if untreated. Growth nodules of the disease or leishmanioma form initially and, if spontaneous recoverydoes not occur, proliferating parasites burst out of the nodules, disseminating throughout the body.... visceral leishmaniasis (kala azar)


Abnormal enlargement of the viscera... visceromegaly

Viscum Orientale


Family: Viscaceae; Loranthaceae.

Habitat: Bihar, West Bengal and Kerala. (The plant parasitizing Strychnos nux-vomica tree are used in Indian medicine.)

Folk: Baandaa.

Action: Used as a substitute for nux-vomica. Poultice of leaves is used for neuralgia; ashes of the plant for the treatment of skin diseases.... viscum orientale

Viscum Articulatum


Family: Viscaceae, Loranthaceae.

Habitat: Most parts of India; a superparasite in Western India on Loranthus sp. which itself is parasitic on Eugenia sp.

Ayurvedic: Bandaak (related species); Jivantikaa, Kaamavriksha, Nilavalli. (The Wealth of India.)

Folk: Panapuuduu (Maharashtra), Bodobaando (Gujarat).

Action: Plant—febrifuge, aphrodisiac. Paste is applied to bone fractures.

The plant gave oleanolic acid, ceryl oleanolate and meso-inositol.... viscum articulatum

Viscum Monoicum

Roxb. ex DC.

Family: Viscaceae; Laoranthaceae.

Habitat: Sikkim, a parasite of Strychnos nux-vomica tree.

Ayurvedic: Katukavalli, Pashu- mohanikaa.

Siddha/Tamil: Pulluri, Pullurivi.

Folk: Kuchleikaa-malang, Kuchle- kaa-baandaa.

Action: Properties more or less similar to Strychnos nux-vomica. Used as a substitute for strychnine and brucine. (The plant is also parasitic on Albizia amara, A. odoratissima, Pongamia pin- nata and Ziziplus oenoplia.)... viscum monoicum

Visiting Service / Visitor Programme

Through volunteers or community workers, a service providing companionship and support for older people who may be lonely and isolated.... visiting service / visitor programme


(African) Longings are as waterfalls Visolah, Visolaa, Visolae, Visolai, Visolia, Visolla... visola

Visual Evoked Response

Stimulation of the retina of the EYE with light causes changes in the electrical activity of the cerebral cortex (see BRAIN). These changes can be measured from outside the skull and can give valuable information about the state of the visual pathway from the retinal ganglion cells to the occipital cortex. Not only can it determine that function is normal, it can also help to diagnose some causes of poor VISION.... visual evoked response


(Latin) Feminine form of Vitus; life Vitah, Vitta, Veeta, Veetta, Vyta, Vytta, Vitia, Vitella, Vitka, Vitalina, Vitaliana... vita

Vision, Field Of

When the eye looks at a speci?c point or object, that point is seen clearly. Other objects within a large area away from this ?xation point can also be seen, but less clearly. The area that can be seen around the ?xation point, without moving the eye, is known as the ?eld of vision. The extent of the ?eld is limited inwards by the nose, above by the brow and below by the cheek. The visual ?eld thus has its greatest extent outwards from the side of the head. The ?eld of vision of each eye overlaps to a large extent so that objects in the centre and towards the inner part of each ?eld are viewed by both eyes together. Because the eyes are set slightly apart, each eye sees objects in this overlapping part of the ?eld slightly di?erently. It is because of this slight di?erence that objects can be perceived as three-dimensional.

Defects in the visual ?eld (scotomas) can be produced by a variety of disorders. Certain of these produce speci?c ?eld defects. For example, GLAUCOMA, some types of brain damage and some TOXINS can produce speci?c defects in the visual ?eld. This type of ?eld defect may be very useful in diagnosing a particular disorder. The blind spot is that part of the visual ?eld corresponding to the optic disc. There are no rods nor cones on the optic disc and therefore no light perception from this area. The blind spot can be found temporal (i.e. on the outer side) of the ?xation point. (See also EYE.)... vision, field of

Vital Centres

Groups of neurons (see NEURON(E)), usually sited in the HYPOTHALAMUS and the BRAIN stem, that are the control centres for various essential body functions. Examples are: blood pressure, breathing, heart rate and temperature control. The centres are part of the body’s re?ex adjustments to the outside world and its internal environment and are essential in maintaining HOMEOSTASIS.... vital centres

Vitelline Glands

The glands which provide substances for the development of the egg and the formation of the shell in trematodes and cestodes.... vitelline glands

Vitex Agnus-castus


Family: Verbenaceae.

Habitat: Mediterranean region; South-West Asian countries, up to Pakistan. (Seeds are imported from Iran.)

English: Monk's Pepper-tree, Hemp tree.

Ayurvedic: Renukaa (seed). Renukaa and Harenukaa are synonyms in Indian medicine.

Unani: Sambhaalu.

Action: Dried ripe fruit—acts on the anterior pituitary gland, reducing FSH and increasing LSH; stimulates production of progesterone by reducing oestrogen; used as a substitution therapy in primary and secondary corpus luteum deficiency. Used for premenstrual syndrome, for regulating hormones in amenorrhoea and for bleeding between periods; also as a galactagogue and to assist bust development.

The herb is also used in the treatment of premature old age due to sexual excess, nervous debility and impotence (as a homoeopathic drug). Vitex agnus extract is found to lower prolactin levels in men (the decrease in prolactin levels results in improved sexual performance. Males with hyperprolacti- naemia frequently face impotence).

Key application: In irregularities of menstrual cycle, premenstrual complaints, mastodynia. (German Commission E.) As a hormonal modulator. (The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

The methanolic extract of the flowering stems of Vitex agnus-castus yielded iridoids, angnucastoside-A, B and C, in addition to aucubin, agnuside, mussaenosidic acid and 6'-O-p-hy- droxybenzoylmussaenosidic acid, and phenylbutenone glucoside, myzoden- drone.

Dopaminergic compounds, present in the herb, are clinically important compounds which improve premenstrual mastodynia and other symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

The herb may counteract birth control pills. (Sharon M. Herr.)... vitex agnus-castus

Vitex Leucoxylon

Linn. f.

Family: Verbenaceae.

Habitat: Throughout Deccan Peninsula.

Ayurvedic: Paaraavata-padi, Kaakajanghaa. (Kaakajanghaa is also equated with Leea aequata Linn.)

Action: Roots—febrifuge, astringent.

Ethanolic extract and cold aqueous infusion of the leaf were found to suppress acetic acid-induced writhing in mice and carrageenan-induced hind paw oedema in rats. The flavonoids exhibited anti-inflammatory activity.... vitex leucoxylon

Vitex Negundo


Family: Verbenaceae.

Habitat: Throughout India in the warmer zones; ascending to 900 m in the North-western Himalaya.

English: Five-leaved Chaste tree.

Ayurvedic: Nirgundi, Shephaa- likaa, Sindhuka, Sindhuvaara, Suvahaa, Sugandhikaa. Nila, Nila- nirgundi, Shveta nirgundi (var.). White-flowered var. is known as Sinduvaara, blue-flowered as Nirgundi or Shephaali,

Unani: Sambhaalu, Fanjankisht.

Siddha/Tamil: Nochi, Nalla Nochi, Vellai Nochchi, Nirkundi.

Action: Seeds—prescribed in spermatorrhoea, and for promoting spermiogenesis (in Unani medicine). Also given as a rejuvenating tonic for retarding old age and for retaining and promoting virility. (in Ayurvedic medicine). Leaf—anti-inflammatory, analgesic; removes foetid discharges and worms from ulcers. Flowers—astringent, febrifuge, antidiarrhoeic; prescribed in liver complaint. Oil— applied to sinus, scrofulous sores.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India recommends the leaf (also the root) in excessive vaginal discharges, oedema, skin diseases, pruritus, helmin- thiasis, rheumatism, and puerperal fever.

A water extract of the leaves, when administered to rats, exhibited anti- inflammatory, analgesic, antihistami- nic and membrane stabilizing and an- tioxidant activities. (J. Ethnopharmo- col, 2003, (203), 199-206.) Methano- lic extract of leaves showed remarkable antihistaminic activity.

The leaves contain iridoid glyco- sides, isomeric flavanones and flavo- noids, besides casticin and the gluco- sides, luteolin-7-glucoside and alpha- D-glucoside of a tetrahydroxy mono- methoxy flavone.

Dried powder of roots contains hen- triacontane, beta-sitosterol and its aetat and stigmasterol. Alcoholic extract of the root showed 40-60% antiimplantation activity with no anti- ovulatory effect in rats.

Flavone vitexicarpin (1), isolated from the leaves, exhibited broad cyto- toxicity in human cancer cell line panel. Two pentacyclic triterpenoids, betulin- ic acid and ursolic acid, along with an aliphatic alcohol, n-hentriacontanol, beta-sitosterol and p-hydroxybenzoic acid have been isolated from leaves.

The seeds contain p-hydroxybenz- oic acid, 5-oxyisophthalic acid, glucose and the triterpene, vitextriter- pene. Several anti-inflammatory triter- penoids and flavonoids have also been isolated from the seeds. The flavanone, 5,7,3' trihydroxy-6, 8,4'-trimethoxy- flavone exhibited anti-androgenic activity in adult mice and dogs.

Dosage: Leaf—10-15 ml juice (API, Vol. III); root—10-12 ml juice (API, Vol. IV.)... vitex negundo

Vitex Peduncularis

Wall. ex Schauer.

Family: Verbenaceae.

Habitat: Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and South India.

Ayurvedic: Kaakajanghaa. (Leea aequata Linn. is also equated with Kaakajanghaa.)

Folk: Chirai-godaa, Chirai-gorwaa, Naagpheni.

Action: Leaves and bark—used in malarial and black water fevers. Leaves—antibacterial.

The leaves and root bark gave pachy- podol, ursolic acid, vitexin and pedun- cularcin.... vitex peduncularis

Vitex Trifolia


Family: Verbenaceae.

Habitat: Throughout India in tropical and subtropical regions.

Ayurvedic: Sinduvaara, Nirgundi (white var.).

Siddha/Tamil: Karu Nochi, Siru Nochi.

Folk: Paani-Sambhaalu.

Action: Leaves—febrifuge, antibacterial, anthelmintic, cytotoxic. Extract of the leaves showed inhibitory action against Mycobac- terium tuberculosis. Leaves used as poultice in rheumatism, inflammations and sprains. Root and flowers—febrifuge. Root—expectorant. Fruit—used in amenorrhoea.

Aerial parts gave friedelin, beta- sitosterol and itsbeta-D-glucoside, and a long chain hydrocarbon. The leaves gave the flavonoids—artemetin, lute- olin, orientin, casticin; and iridoid gly- cosides, aucubin and agnuside. The fruits contain an alkaloid, vitricin.

Vitrosin A and vitexicarpin, isolated from the plant, blocked spontaneous contraction of isolated guinea-pig trachea induced by histamine. (Planta Med, 2002, Nov., 68/11).

The leaves are reported to improve memory and favour hair growth. Leaf extract showed significant antitumour activity in the murine tumour system.... vitex trifolia

Vitreous Body

A semi-?uid, transparent substance which ?lls most of the globe of the EYE behind the lens.... vitreous body


(German) Little woman of the strong fortress

Vivekah, Vivecka, Vyveka, Viveca, Vyveca, Vivecca, Vivika, Vivieka, Vivyka... viveka


(Latin) One who is full of life; vibrant Viviane, Vivianne, Viviann, Vivien, Viviene, Vivienne, Vivienn, Vivyan, Vivyann, Vivyanne, Vyvian, Vyviann, Vyvianne, Vyviane, Vyvyan, Vyvyann, Vyvyanne, Vyvyane, Viviana, Vivianna, Vivyana, Vyvyana, Vivina, Vivia, Viveca, Vivion, Viva, Vivan, Vyva, Vive, Vyv, Viv, Vivi, Vevey, Vevay, Vivie, Vivee... vivian


(American) A flirtatious woman Vixin, Vixi, Vixie, Vixee, Vixea, Vixeah, Vixy, Vixey... vixen

Vitis Vinifera


Family: Vitaceae.

Habitat: A woody, shrubby vine, cultivated in Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu for edible fruits.

English: Wine Grape, European Grape. (Chinese: P'u-t'ao.)

Ayurvedic: Draakshaa, Go-stani, Mrdvikaa. Dehydrated fruit— Daakh, Munnakaa, Kishmish.

Unani: Angoor. Dehydrated fruit—Daakh, Maweez, Zabeeb, Munaqqaa, Kishmish.

Siddha: Draksha.

Action: Dried fruits, seedless— nourishing and invigorating. Used in prescriptions for cough, respiratory tract catarrh, subacute cases of enlarged liver and spleen; and in alcohol-based tonics (Aasavs).

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIn- dia recommends dried mature fruits (5-10 g) in anaemia, jaundice, dyspepsia, constipation, haemorrhagic diseases, gout, cough, dyspnoea, and alcoholism.

Grape vine contains flavonoids, tannins, tartrates, inositol, carotenes, cho- line and sugars. The fruit contains tar- taric and malic acids, sugars, pectin, tannin, flavone glycosides, vitamins A, B1, B2, C and minerals; anthocyanins in red leaves and red grapes. Antho- cyanins reduce capillary permeability. Red leaves are astringent and anti- inflammatory; an infusion is used for diarrhoea, heavy menstrual bleeding and uterine haemorrhage; also in the treatment of varicose veins and haemorrhoids.

Oligomeric proanthocyanidin extract of the seed is used in atherosclerosis due to its free radical scavenging ability, also in venous insufficiency, night vision, oedema due to injury and post surgery oedema.

Proanthocyanidin extract decreased hepatotoxicity of acetaminophen in mice. Grape polyphenols, extracted from skin and seeds decreased hepatic injury from alcohol, but had no effect on ethanol-induced lipid changes in rats. (Sharon M. Herr.)

Dosage: Dried mature fruits—5-10 g. (API, Vol. III.)... vitis vinifera


(Slavic) A friendly and likeable woman Vlastah, Vlastia, Vlastea, Vlastiah, Vlasteah... vlasta


Very Low Density Lipids. These are blood transport fats, consisting mainly of triglycerides (made from sugar by the liver) and loosely covered in specialized proteins and phospholipids so they don’t dissolve in the blood and the target tissues can recognize them. Chronic elevation occurs when the tissues cannot absorb them or the liver is overwhelmed by carbohydrates...such as in alcoholism, some hepatitis, and diabetes.... vldl


(Italian) One who is veiled Volanta, Volantia, Volantea... volante


(Greek) The veiled one Voletah, Voletta, Volita, Volitta, Volyta, Volytta, Volet, Volett, Volette, Volit, Volitt, Volitte, Volyt, Volytt, Volytte... voleta

Volkmann’s Contracture

A rare condition in which, as a result of too great a pressure from splint or bandage in the treatment of a broken arm, the ?exor muscles of the forearm contract and thus obstruct free ?ow of blood in the veins; the muscles then swell and ultimately become ?brosed.... volkmann’s contracture

Voluntary Reporting

A medical error reporting system where the reporter chooses to report an error in order to prevent similar errors from occurring in the future. See also “medical error”; “malpractice”; “monitoring and incidence reporting”.... voluntary reporting

Vocanga Foetida

(Blume) Rolfe.

Synonym: Orchipeda foetida Blume.

Family: Apocynaceae.

Habitat: Indonesia; cultivated in Indian gardens.

Action: Latex—used for treating fistula, pustules and tumours.

The bark contains a bitter alkaloid (yield 0.25%).

A related species, V. grandifolia (Miq.) Rolfe has been introduced into the Indian Botanic Garden, Kolkata. All parts of the plant contain alkaloids which vary seasonally. The trunk bark contains as high as 2.72% of alkaloids on dry basis in November. The leaves contain a mixture of alkaloids (yield up to 1.23% on dry weight basis) containing vobtusine, vobtusine lactone and deoxyvobtusine.... vocanga foetida

Voice And Speech

Terms applied to the sounds produced in the upper AIR PASSAGES which form one of the means of communication between human beings. Air passes through the LARYNX to produce the fundamental notes and tones known as voice. This is then modi?ed during its passage through the mouth so as to form speech or song.

Voice This has three varying characteristics: loudness, pitch, and quality or timbre. Loudness depends on the volume of air available and therefore on the size of the chest and the strength of its muscles. Pitch is determined by larynx size, the degree of tenseness at which the vocal cords are maintained, and whether the cords vibrate as a whole or merely at their edges.

In any given voice, the range of pitch seldom exceeds two and a half octaves. Typically, the small larynx of childhood produces a shrill or treble voice; the rapid growth of the larynx around PUBERTY causes the voice to ‘break’ in boys. Changes in the voice also occur at other ages as a result of the secondary action of the SEX HORMONES. Generally speaking, the adult voice is bass and tenor in men, contralto or soprano in women. Timbre is due to di?erences in the larynx, as well as to voluntary changes in the shape of the mouth.

Speech Rapid modi?cations of the voice, produced by movements of the PALATE, tongue and lips. Infants hear the sounds made by others and mimic them; hence the speech centres in the BRAIN are closely connected with those of hearing.

Defects of speech See below, and also SPEECH DISORDERS. MUTISM, or absence of the power to speak, may be due to various causes. LEARNING DISABILITY that prevents the child from mimicking the actions of others is most common; in other cases the child has normal intelligence but some neurological disorder, or disorder of the speech organs, is responsible. Alternatively, complete DEAFNESS or early childhood ear disease may be the cause. STAMMERING is a highly individual condition, but is basically a lack of coordination between the di?erent parts of the speech mechanism. (See also main entry on STAMMERING.) DYSPHASIA is the inability to speak or understand speech, most commonly following brain disease, such as STROKE. APHONIA or loss of voice may be caused by LARYNGITIS or, rarely, a symptom of conversion and dissociative mental disorders – traditionally referred to as HYSTERIA. It is generally of short duration.... voice and speech


A person who performs or offers to perform a service of his or her own free will, generally without payment.... volunteer


(Latin) Sensual pleasure; in mythology, the goddess of pleasure Volupiah, Volupeah, Volupya, Volupyah... volupia

Volutarella Ramosa


Synonym: V. divaricata Benth & Hook. f., in part.

Tricholepis procumbens Wight. Amberboa divaricata Kuntge.

Family: Compositae.

Habitat: All over India, except West Bengal and eastwards.

Unani: Baadaavard, Al-baavard, Shukaayi.

Folk: Bhu-dandi, Sukaayi (Maharashtra).

Action: Plant—deobstruent, aperient, febrifugal, styptic. Used for disorders of the liver. The mucilage is used in coughs.

The plant yielded a glucoside pro- cumbenin A which yields an aglycone procumbenidine and glucose on hydrolysis. Fructose, surcose, lactose and maltose are also present in the plant.

Shukaayi of Unani medicine is also known as Al-shukaayaa, Al-shaukat- ul-arabia and Arabian Thorn. The fruit and root are used in Unani medicine in chronic fevers and diseases of liver and intestines.

Baadaavard has also been equated with Tricholepisprocumbens Wight and Carduus bendictus. Tricholepis sp. are known as Brahmadandi in Ayurvedic medicine. Carduus nutans Linn. is known as Gul-Baadaavard in Kashmir and is used as febrifuge.... volutarella ramosa


(Scandinavian) In mythology, a female shaman

Volvah, Volvya, Volvaa, Volvae, Volvai, Volvay, Volvia... volva


(Russian) Form of Wanda, meaning “a wanderer”

Vondah, Vonde, Vondana, Vondi, Vondetta, Vondella, Vonnda, Vonditta, Vondia... vonda


(African) Woman who lost a child Vondilah, Vondilla, Vondilya, Vondilia, Vondyla, Vondylya... vondila


(Slavic) A woman’s love; a loving woman

Vondrah, Vondria, Vondrea, Vondreah, Vondrya... vondra


(Slavic) An affectionate woman Vonie, Vony, Voney, Vonee, Vonea, Voneah... voni


(French) Form of Yvonne, meaning “a young archer”

Vonnah, Vona, Vonah, Vonnia, Vonnya, Vonia, Vonya, Vonny, Vonney, Vonnie, Vonni... vonna


(American) A sweetheart Vonnalah, Vonnalla, Vonnallah, Vonala, Vonalah, Vonalla, Vonallah... vonnala


(American) One who is confident Vonshay, Vonshaye, Vonshai... vonshae


(Armenian) The golden one Voshki, Voshkey, Voshky, Voshkee, Voshckie, Voshcki, Voshckey, Voshcky, Voshcky, Voshckee... voshkie


(American) One who enjoys travel... voyage


(English) A cunning woman; like a fox

Vulpyne, Vulpina, Vulpyna... vulpine


In?ammation of the VULVA and VAGINA. It may be due to infection, and may be a presenting feature of late onset DIABETES MELLITUS. Trauma may sometimes be the cause.... vulvo-vaginitis


(Indian) A gift of the divine Vyominie, Vyominy, Vyominey, Vyominee, Vyomyni, Vyomyny, Viomini, Viomyni, Viomyny, Vyomine... vyomini


Herbs that contain Vitamin C or stimulate its metabolism in the body. Vitamin C has a broad spectrum viricidal action which is often overlooked for acute infectious diseases.

Aloe Vera, Balm, Boneset, Burdock, Echinacea, Elderflowers, Elecampane, Eucalyptus, Garlic, Goldenseal, Liquorice, Marjoram, Pulsatilla, Queen’s Delight, St John’s Wort, Thuja, Wild Indigo, Yarrow. ... anti-virals

Chillie Vinegar

Parts: Bruised Cayenne pods 1; Cider Vinegar 20. Macerate for one month and filter. A hot stimulating condiment for use at table. 5-10 drops in tea or beverage for winter’s colds and chills. ... chillie vinegar

Diet - Vegan

 A vegan is a strict vegetarian who does not eat meat, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products generally, He, or she, eats no animal products at all. By selecting a number of products from the plant kingdom they claim their diet is adequate.

As the Vegan diet is deficient in Vitamin B12 which may lead to anaemia, supplements are available. Some Vegan products have this vitamin added.

Their rule is to combine legumes with other cereals, seeds or nuts at the same meal. The combination is claimed to be equal to one animal based. ... diet - vegan

Wild Grape Vine

Vitis species

Description: The wild grape vine climbs with the aid of tendrils. Most grape vines produce deeply lobed leaves similar to the cultivated grape. Wild grapes grow in pyramidal, hanging bunches and are black-blue to amber, or white when ripe.

Habitat and Distribution: Wild grapes are distributed worldwide. Some kinds are found in deserts, others in temperate forests, and others in tropical areas. Wild grapes are commonly found throughout the eastern United States as well as in the southwestern desert areas. Most kinds are rampant climbers over other vegetation. The best place to look for wild grapes is on the edges of forested areas. Wild grapes are also found in Mexico. In the Old World, wild grapes are found from the Mediterranean region eastward through Asia, the East Indies, and to Australia. Africa also has several kinds of wild grapes.

Edible Parts: The ripe grape is the portion eaten. Grapes are rich in natural sugars and, for this reason, are much sought after as a source of energy-giving wild food. None are poisonous. Other Uses: You can obtain water from severed grape vine stems. Cut off the vine at the bottom and place the cut end in a container. Make a slant-wise cut into the vine about 1.8 meters upon the hanging part. This cut will allow water to flow from the bottom end. As water diminishes in volume, make additional cuts further down the vine.


To avoid poisoning, do not eat grapelike fruits with only a single seed (moonseed).... wild grape vine

Winter Vomiting Disease

Winter vomiting disease, or epidemic nausea and vomiting, is a condition caused by subtypes of the genus Norwalk-like virus and is characterised by nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and giddiness, which occurs during the winter. Outbreaks of it usually involve whole families or may affect communities like schools. The incubation period is 24–48 hours, and attacks seldom persist for more than 72 hours. In England and Wales in 2000, more than 1,600 infections were reported compared to more than 16,400 cases of salmonella infections and 56,420 of CAMPYLOBACTER. However, in England it is estimated that around 1,500 times more people are infected in the community than are reported. Humans are the only known hosts of the virus and infection can be acquired via contaminated food or water or, more commonly, from an infected individual via the faeco-oral route, aerosol-spread and FOMITES.... winter vomiting disease

Yellow Fever Vaccine Is Prepared From

chick embryos injected with the living, attenuated strain (17D) of pantropic virus. Only one injection is required, and immunity persists for many years. Re-inoculation, however, is desirable every ten years. (See YELLOW FEVER.)

Haemophilus vaccine (HiB) This vaccine was introduced in the UK in 1994 to deal with the annual incidence of about 1,500 cases and 100 deaths from haemophilus MENINGITIS, SEPTICAEMIA and EPIGLOTTITIS, mostly in pre-school children. It has been remarkably successful when given as part of the primary vaccination programme at two, three and four months of age – reducing the incidence by over 95 per cent. A few cases still occur, either due to other subgroups of the organism for which the vaccine is not designed, or because of inadequate response by the child, possibly related to interference from the newer forms of pertussis vaccine (see above) given at the same time.

Meningococcal C vaccine Used in the UK from 1998, this has dramatically reduced the incidence of meningitis and septicaemia due to this organism. Used as part of the primary programme in early infancy, it does not protect against other types of meningococci.

Varicella vaccine This vaccine, used to protect against varicella (CHICKENPOX) is used in a number of countries including the United States and Japan. It has not been introduced into the UK, largely because of concerns that use in infancy would result in an upsurge in cases in adult life, when the disease may be more severe.

Pneumococcal vaccine The pneumococcus is responsible for severe and sometimes fatal childhood diseases including meningitis and septicaemia, as well as PNEUMONIA and other respiratory infections. Vaccines are available but do not protect against all strains and are reserved for special situations – such as for patients without a SPLEEN or those who are immunode?cient.... yellow fever vaccine is prepared from

Lignum Vitae

Quaiacum officinale. ... lignum vitae

Lymphogranuloma Venereum (lgv)

Treatment: same as for Gonorrhoea. ... lymphogranuloma venereum (lgv)

Acuity, Visual

See visual acuity.... acuity, visual

Blood Vessels

A general term given to arteries, veins, and capillaries (see circulatory system).... blood vessels

Broken Veins

See telangiectasia.... broken veins

Epstein–barr Virus

A virus that causes infectious mononucleosis; the virus is also associated with Burkitt’s lymphoma and cancer of the nasopharynx (see nasopharynx, cancer of).... epstein–barr virus

Acne, Vulgaris

Inflammatory sebaceous skin disease with pustules, papules and cysts found frequently in adolescents at commencement of puberty when the sebaceous (grease) glands become more active. Blackheads are formed by blockage of follicles with sebum. A black pigment, melanin, concentrates on the top of the hair follicle forming a plug.

Lesions may appear on face, neck and chest. Worse in winter, better in summer. Acne vulgaris has blackheads (comedones) that distinguish it from acne rosacea. Studies show low zinc levels. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia records Poke root singularly effective. Medicines containing iodine and bromine (Kelp) should be avoided. Dr Edward Frankel, Los Angeles, warns against use of Vaseline which, through build-up of bacteria, may cause pustular reaction.

Alternatives. Teas. Agrimony, Alfalfa, Burdock leaves, Chamomile, Dandelion, Figwort, Gotu Kola, Heartsease, Hibiscus, Marigold petals, Mate tea, Nettles, Redbush (rooibos), Rose Hip, Violet, Wood Betony.

Tablets/capsules. Blue Flag, Dandelion, Echinacea, Queen’s Delight, Seaweed and Sarsaparilla, Poke root, Devil’s Claw, Goldenseal.

Formula. Echinacea 2; Blue Flag 1; Poke root half. Dose – Powders: 500mg (two 00 capsules or one- third teaspoon). Liquid extracts: 30-60 drops. Tinctures: 1-2 teaspoons. Thrice daily before meals. Evening Primrose oil. Success reported.

Maria Treben. Nettle tea.

French traditional. Horse radish vinegar.

Greek traditional. Marigold petal poultice.

Topical. cleanse lesions with distilled extract of Witch Hazel or fresh lemon juice. Follow with Marshmallow and Slippery Elm ointment, dilute Tea Tree oil, Evening Primrose oil, Jojoba or Aloe Vera gel. Thyme Lotion (Blackmore’s).

Aromatherapy. Sandalwood oil. Or Lavender and Tea Tree oils.

Diet. Lacto-vegetarian. Low fat, low carbohydrate. Avoid chocolate, cow’s milk, sugars and drinks that induce facial flushing. Raw fruit and vegetables.

Supplements. Vitamins A, B-complex, B6, C, E. Chromium, Selenium, Zinc. ... acne, vulgaris

Candida, Vaginal

 Fungus infection by Candida albicans and other organisms including Torilopsis glabrala. Causes: oral contraceptives, broad spectrum antibiotics, iron deficiency anaemia, diabetes, steroid therapy, pregnancy, high sugar diet, alcohol. When sexually transmitted may appear together with mixed organisms which prove difficult to eliminate.

Greater incidence of the condition is found in women. By interfering with the hormone balance The Pill raises the female body to a constant state of false pregnancy. This affects the character of vaginal secretions and favours growth of fungi. Oestrogens in contraceptive pills create a tissue climate conducive to Candida. Vaginal deodorants and scented soaps irritate. Because of its effect upon the Fallopian tubes it is a common cause of infertility.

Symptoms. Vulva itching, soreness, white discharge of watery to cheesy consistency. Urination painful, recurring cystitis, irritability, premenstrual and menstrual problems, anxiety, heartburn and dyspepsia. Alternatives. Teas. Agnus Castus, Balm, Barberry bark, Chamomile, La Pacho (Pau d’arco), Sage, Thyme.

Tablets/capsules. Agnus Castus, Goldenseal, Pulsatilla, Poke root, Thuja, Garlic, La Pacho.

Tincture Thuja. 15-30 drops in water, once daily.

Tinctures. Combination for the average case. Echinacea 30ml; Calendula 15ml; Goldenseal 15ml; Ladysmantle 15ml. Dose: one 5ml teaspoon thrice daily. (Brenda Cooke MNIMH, Mansfield, Notts) Topical. Tea Tree oil pessaries/cream. Alternative:– (1) Impregnate tampon with plain yoghurt and insert into vagina. Or: inject with spermicidal cream applicator or cardboard tampon applicator 2-3 teaspoons yoghurt into vagina 2-3 times daily. The theory is that the lacto-bacilli in the yoghurt competes with the candida and finally reduces it to normal levels.

(2) 2-3 teaspoons Distilled Extract Witch Hazel to cup of water for cooling antiseptic lotion.

(3) 1-2 drops Eucalyptus oil well-shaken in 4oz (120ml) Distilled Extract Witch Hazel. Reputed to kill colonies of candida albicans and allay irritation.

(4) Aloe Vera gel.

(5) Capricin.

(6) Cloves are anti-fungal and may be chewed.

(7) Calendula and Hydrastis pessaries.

Avoid surgical spirit antiseptics. A smear of Olive oil or yoghurt or No 3 above to allay irritation. Frequent washing, hot baths and use of soap at first soothe, but later exacerbate. Use water only. When washing, wipe from front to back to avoid spreading spores from bowel. No smoking.

Diet. Gluten-free, low fat, high fibre.

Acidophilus. A large mixed salad once daily. Cooked vegetables, seafood, Vitamin A foods. Replace salt with Celery, Garlic or Kelp powders. All meats, game and chicken to be from animals raised on steroid-free fodder. Replace alcohol with fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Eggs.

Reject: Dairy products (butter, cheese, milk). Brewer’s yeast. Foods and drinks with which yeast has been associated: bread, beer, homemade wines. Dried fruit, mushrooms, monosodium glutamate, pickles and preserves, smoked fish and meats, foods known to be allergic to the patient, sugar, syrup, sweeteners, chocolate, puddings, pastry, white flour products.

Supplements. Daily. Vitamin A 7500iu, Vitamin C 200mg. Zinc. ... candida, vaginal

Floppy Valve Syndrome

See mitral valve prolapse.... floppy valve syndrome

Gardnerella Vaginalis

A bacterium that is often found in the vaginal discharge of women with nonspecific vaginitis.... gardnerella vaginalis

Hand–arm Vibration Syndrome

Pain and numbness in the hand and arm due to prolonged use of vibrating tools. Symptoms often also include blue or white coloration of the fingers and a tingling sensation in affected areas. Hand–arm vibration syndrome tends to develop slowly over years and is the result of repeated damage to blood vessels and nerves. Exposure to cold tends to aggravate the condition. There is no specific treatment, but avoiding vibrating tools is essential to prevent the disease progressing. In some cases, calcium channel blockers may help relieve some symptoms.... hand–arm vibration syndrome

Charcoal, Vegetable

 Pulverised wood charcoal. An inert substance but with healing potential. Has power to neutralise putrid smells of cancer, diarrhoea, gangrene, and a great capacity for absorbing gases. Its latent power is brought to life by prolonged trituration (grinding finely and diluting) with sugar of milk. To counter effect of dangerous drugs.

In the absence of sterile dressings and modern hospital amenities, powdered vegetable charcoal has an ancient reputation as an astringent dressing. It absorbs bacterial toxins and is useful for chronic bowel discharge. Powdered charcoal dressings were used during World War I. Rubbed in lard, was used for purulent foul discharging wounds to neutralise smell and promote healing.

Other indications: relaxed veins, stomach tense and full of wind, constant belching. For weak and cachetic individuals where vital powers are weak.

Available in biscuits, tablets and capsules for its purifying properties and as an aid to digestion. Tablets containing a high sodium content should be avoided. ... charcoal, vegetable

Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar. Rich in potassium and other associated trace minerals. What calcium is to the bones, so is potassium to the soft tissues.

Action: detoxifier, antiseptic, anti-catarrhal, bitter, stomachic, antimicrobial.

Uses: Often successful against staphylococcal and streptococcal infection (impetigo, etc). High blood pressure, dizziness, overweight, chronic headache, chronic fatigue, chronic lack of stomach acid in old age, diarrhoea, mucous colitis, diverticulosis, Crohn’s disease, nausea, vomiting, red-brick deposit in the urine. For shingles, to alleviate itching and burning: apply neat to skin, two-hourly day or night. The neat vinegar applied, freely, for ringworm, varicose veins, and burns to remove smarting. To prevent night sweats, wipe down with neat vinegar.

Dosage is an individual matter. 1, 2 or 3 teaspoons to glass of water at each meal is helpful for destroying harmful bacteria in the digestive tract and to maintain good general health. ... cider vinegar

Hantaan Virus

Haemorrhagic fever with kidney syndrome (HFRS). Has been known for years by the Chinese and other nations of antiquity. Over 3,000 cases recorded during the Korean War (1951- 1952), the disease taking its name from the River Hantaan, South Korea.

Cause: a virus spread by field mice, rats and other rodents. Incubation period: 2-3 weeks.

Symptoms: fever, headache, backache, severe nervous prostration, low blood pressure, red patches on skin, failure of kidneys, high protein levels in urine. Small red or purple spots indicate bleeding beneath the skin.

Treatment. Traditional. Ayurvedic:– Gotu Kola, Juniper. Dr Mattiolus regards Juniper as a preventative of the pestilence.

To be treated by or in liaison with a qualified medical practitioner. HARPAGOPHYTUM. See: DEVIL’S CLAW. ... hantaan virus

Heart – Left Ventricular Failure (lvf)

Failure of the left ventricle to receive blood from the pulmonary circulation and to maintain efficient output of incoming blood to the arterial system. Failure to do so leads to congestion of blood in the lungs followed by fluid retention. If uncorrected, leads to kidney disturbance, low blood pressure, cyanosis (blueness of the skin). Onset may be tragically sudden.

Failure of the left ventricle may occur in cases of pericarditis, disease of the aortic valve, nephritis or high blood pressure.

Left ventricular failure is often of sudden onset, urgent, and may manifest as “cardiac asthma”.

Causes: blood clot, anaemia, thyroid disorder, coronary disease, congenital effects, drug therapy (beta blockers, etc), and to fevers that make heavy demands on the left ventricle.

Symptoms: breathlessness, wheezing, sweating, unproductive cough, faintness, bleeding from the lungs, palpitation. Cardiac asthma at night: feels he needs air; better upright than lying flat. Exertion soon tires. Sensation as if heart would stop. Blueness of lips and ears from hold-up in circulation of the blood through the lungs. Frequent chest colds. Awakes gasping for breath. Always tired. Cold hands and feet. Symptoms abate as compensation takes place. ‘Cream and roses’ complexion. The failure of left ventricle soon drags into failure of the right ventricle.

Right ventricular failure leads to congestive heart failure, with raised venous pressure in neck veins and body generally, causing oedema, ascites and liver engorgement.

Treatment. Agents to strengthen, support, and eliminate excess fluids from the body. BHP (1983) advises four main remedies: Hawthorn, Motherwort, Broom and Lily of the Valley. The latter works in a digitaloid manner, strengthening the heart, contracting the vessels, and lessening congestion in the lungs. Tinctures. Hawthorn 2; Stone root 1. Lily of the Valley 1. Dose: 15-45 drops thrice daily.

Broom tea. 2 teaspoons flowers, or 2-3 teaspoons tops and flowers, in cup water brought to boil and simmered one minute. 1 cup freely.

To remove fluid retention in the lungs, diuretics are indicated; chief among which is Dandelion root because of its high potassium content to prevent hypokalaemia. Dandelion coffee. As urinary excretion increases, patient improves.

Vitamin E. Not to be taken in left ventricular disorders.


UK Research. Researchers found that left ventricular failure was reduced by a quarter when patients were given magnesium intravenously for the first 24 hours after admission to the coronary care unit. They conclude that it should be given before any other heart therapy is commenced, and that patients should receive regular infusions if no other drug treatment is used. (The Lancet, 2.4.1994). This supports the use of magnesium sulphate (Epsom’s salts) by a past generation of herbal practitioners for the condition. ... heart – left ventricular failure (lvf)

Hepatitis, Viral

Any type of hepatitis caused by a viral infection.

Five viruses that attack the liver as their primary target have been identified.

They cause hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E.... hepatitis, viral

Heart – Right Ventricular Failure (rvf)

Failure of the right ventricle to hold its own with the return flow of blood and to re-direct it through the lungs where it is re-oxygenated before entering the left ventricle for completing the circulatory cycle. Usually secondary to failure of the left ventricle. May be caused by valvular disease, especially narrowing of the orifice of the mitral valve.

Mitral disease leads to heart failure either by a narrowing of the orifice (stenosis) or a regurgitation blocks the passage of blood from the left atrium (auricle) to the left ventricle. The left atrium enlarges (hypertrophies) in an effort to counter the impediment. Real compensation – increased thrust of the blood – is provided by the right ventricle. In order to overcome a mitral impediment the right ventricle has to enlarge.

Sooner or later the right ventricle cannot enlarge any further and general heart failure sets in. Though caused primarily by a lesion of the mitral valve, it may be secondary to left ventricular failure (LVF), thyroid disorder (thyrotoxicosis), pericarditis, congenital heart disease, or any disease which weakens ventricular muscle.

Venous congestion and back pressure of RVF leads to congestion and accumulation of fluid in the lungs, cough and spitting of blood, painful swelling of the liver, nausea, loss of appetite and severe wasting.

Where the right ventricle fails to move the blood forward as it arrives from the systemic circulation, generalised dropsy sets in. Congestion of the kidneys leads to reduced urinary excretion and presence of albumin in the urine.

The picture is well known to the cardiac practitioner: blueness of the skin, congestion of the brain circulation with sleeplessness and delirium. Soon the tension of water-logged tissues results in pain and extreme anxiety. Feet are swollen and ankles pit on pressure; chest cavities fill with fluid and the abdomen swells (ascites).

Alternatives. Cardio-tonics would be given to strengthen the ventricle and diuretics to correct fluid retention: Lily of the Valley, Hawthorn, Motherwort, Broom. BHP (1983).

Due to rheumatic fever: Hawthorn.

High Blood Pressure: Mistletoe.

Effort Syndrome: Motherwort.

Tinctures. Combine, Lily of the Valley 2; Hawthorn 2; Motherwort 3. Dose: 1 teaspoon thrice daily after meals.

Diet. Low salt, low fat, high fibre. Restricted fluids, vegetarian protein foods, yoghurt. See also: DIET – HEART AND CIRCULATION.

Supplements. Potassium (bananas), Vitamin B6.

General. Stop smoking. Correction of overweight. Complete bed-rest with legs raised above level of the abdomen and patient propped-up to relieve difficult breathing. ... heart – right ventricular failure (rvf)

Henry Viii

King, Herbalist’s Charter. From the Book of Statutes, 1215-1572. “At all times from henceforth it shall be lawful to every person being the King’s subject, having knowledge and experience of the nature of Herbs, Roots and Waters, or of the operation of the same, by speculation or practice within any part of the realm of England, or in any other of the King’s dominions, to practise, use and minister in and to any outward sore, uncome, wound, apostemations, outward swelling or disease, any herb or herbs, ointments, baths, pultes and amplaisters, according to their cunning, experience and knowledge in any of the diseases, sores and maladies before-said, and all other like to the same, or drinks for the Stone and Strangury, or Agues, without suit, vexation, trouble, penalty, or loss of their goods.”

Since 1542 there have been many attempts to expunge this law from the Statute Book. A formidable attack was launched by the Pharmacy and Medicines Bill, 1941, which was fought so vigorously by a Mr Montgomery and Mrs Hilda Leyel that herbalists won the concession to continue the right to practise. ... henry viii

Lily Of The Valley

May Lily. Convallaria majalis L. German: Lilienkonvallen. French: Muguet. Spanish: Lirio de los valles. Italian: Mughetto. Keynote: heart. Part used: dried leaves. The herbalist’s “digitalis”. Practitioner use only. In official use in Russia for heart conditions where it is used in place of digitalis, but at a low dosage. Similar action on the heart as digitalis. (Martindale 27th edn., p.489) Specific action on heart muscle alone.

Constituents: cardioactive glycosides, flavonoid glycosides.

Action: increases force of the heart, regularises the beat for distension of the ventricles. Restores an irritable heart. Increases size and strength of the pulse; slows down a rapid feeble pulse; restores regular deep breathing. Is a secondary diuretic which eliminates fluid retained in the tissues (oedema), leaving no depression or depletion of potassium. Cardiac stimulant. Mild gastric tonic.

Uses: Left ventricular failure, mitral insufficiency, sense that “the chest is held in a vice”. Congestive heart failure, endocarditis, cardiac dropsy with swollen ankles, cardiac asthma, renal hypertension. Effective in painful and silent ischaemic episodes. Bradycardia.

Combines well with Motherwort and Selenicereus grandiflorus for heart disease BHP (1983). With Echinacea and Poke root for endocarditis. Never combine with Gotu Kola. (Dr John Heinerman, Texas, USA)

Preparations: Maximum dose: 150mg dried leaf. Thrice daily.

Tea: 1 teaspoon shredded leaves to each cup water gently simmered 10 minutes. One-third of a cup. Liquid Extract BPC 1934: dose: 0.3-0.6ml (5 to 10 drops).

Tincture BHP (1983): 1:5 in 40 per cent alcohol; dose – 0.5 to 1ml (8 to 15 drops).

Juice. Fresh leaves passed through a juicer. 3-5 drops thrice daily.

Contra-indicated in high blood pressure. Sale: Pharmacy Only. ... lily of the valley

Kraurosis Vulvae

See vulvitis.... kraurosis vulvae

Mitral Valve Prolapse

A common, slight deformity of the mitral valve, in the left side of the heart, that can produce a degree of mitral incompetence. The prolapse is most common in women and causes a heart murmur. It may be inherited, but the cause is often unknown.Usually, there are no symptoms, and treatment is not needed. Occasionally, the condition may produce chest pain, arrhythmia, or, rarely, heart failure. Often, no treatment is required for mitral valve prolapse, but some people may be treated with beta-blocker drugs, diuretic drugs, antiarrhythmic drugs, or, rarely, heart-valve surgery.... mitral valve prolapse

Mmr Vaccination

Administration of a combined vaccine that gives protection against measles, mumps, and rubella. The vaccination is offered to all children at 12–15 months of age, with a booster shot at 3–5 years. Vaccination is postponed if a child is feverish, and it is not given to children with untreated cancer or allergies to aminoglycoside antibiotic drugs such as neomycin.

Mild fever, rash, and malaise may occur after vaccination. In 1 per cent of cases, mild, noninfectious swelling of the parotid glands develops 3–4 weeks after vaccination. There is no evidence for a link between and Crohn’s disease or autism.... mmr vaccination

Muscae Voltantes

Moving specks, threads or black spots before the eyes. Floating debris in the vitreous humour of the eye and which are visible as ‘floating spots’.

Treatment: directed towards stomach, liver and alimentary canal.

Teas: Centuary, Holy Thistle, Meadowsweet, Wormwood, Balmony, Agrimony, Chiretta.

Formula. Tea: equal parts, Agrimony, Meadowsweet, Dandelion root. 1 heaped teaspoon to each cup boiling water; infuse 15 minutes. 1 cup thrice daily.

Decoction. 1 teaspoon Barberry bark steeped overnight in large cup cold water. One-third cup before meals, thrice daily.

Formula. Equal parts: Meadowsweet, Fringe Tree, Echinacea. Dose: Liquid Extracts: 1 teaspoon. Tinctures: 1-2 teaspoons. Powders: 500mg (two 00 capsules or one-third teaspoon). Thrice daily.

Diet. See: DIET – GENERAL DIET. ... muscae voltantes

Bcg Vaccination

A vaccine that provides immunity against tuberculosis. is prepared from an artificially weakened strain of bovine (cattle) tubercle bacilli, the microorganisms responsible for the disease. stands for “bacille Calmette–Guérin”, after the 2 Frenchmen who developed the vaccine in 1906. is given to people at risk of tuberculosis and for whom a tuberculin test is negative.

These people include health workers, contacts of people who have tuberculosis, and immigrants (including children) from countries with a high rate of tuberculosis.

Infants born to immigrants in this category are immunized, without having a tuberculin test, within a few days of birth.

The vaccine is also recommended for children aged 10–14 years for whom the test is negative.... bcg vaccination

Colour Vision

The ability to see different parts of the colour spectrum. Light perceived by the human eye consists of electromagnetic radiation (energy waves) with a spectrum of different wavelengths

between about 400 and 700 nanometres. Different wavelengths produce sensations of violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red when they fall on the retina and stimulate nerve signals, which are processed in the brain.

As light falls on the retina, it strikes light-sensitive cells called rods and cones. The rods can detect all visible light, but only the cones can distinguish colour. There are 3 types of cones: red-sensitive, blue-sensitive, and green-sensitive. Each responds more strongly to a particular part of the light spectrum. Because the cones are most concentrated in a central area of the retina called the fovea, colour vision is most accurate for objects viewed directly and is poor at the edges of vision. When light hits a cone, it causes the cone to emit an electrical signal, which passes to the brain via the optic nerve. Colour perception requires a minimum level of light, below which everything is seen as shades of grey. (See also colour vision deficiency; eye; perception; vision.)... colour vision

Plummer–vinson Syndrome

Difficulty in swallowing due to webs of tissue forming across the upper oesophagus. The syndrome often occurs with severe iron-deficiency anaemia and affects middle-aged women.... plummer–vinson syndrome

Slow Virus Diseases

A group of diseases of the central nervous system that occur many months or even years after infection with a virus. They cause gradual widespread destruction of nerve tissue, with progressive loss of brain function and a fatal outcome. Examples include Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and kuru.... slow virus diseases

Colour Vision Deficiency

Any abnormality in colour vision that causes difficulty distinguishing between certain colours. Total absence of colour vision (monochromatism) is rare. The most common types of colour vision deficiency are reduced discrimination of red and green. Most cases of red and green colour vision deficiency are caused by defects in the light-sensitive cells in the retina. These defects are usually inherited, although occasionally defects are caused by retinal or optic nerve diseases or injury. The inherited defects tend to be sex-linked (see genetic disorders), which means that the majority of sufferers are male. A person with a severe green deficiency has difficulty distinguishing oranges, greens, browns, and pale reds. In severe red deficiency, all reds appear dull. A much rarer deficiency in which blue cannot be distinguished may be inherited or may be due to degeneration of the retina or optic nerve.... colour vision deficiency

Dpt Vaccination

Also known as triple vaccine, an injection that provides immunity against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus; The vaccine causes the body to produce antibodies against these infections. It is given as a course of 3 injections at 2, 3, and 4 months, followed by a preschool booster dose. Before leaving school, a further diphtheria and tetanus booster is given. The vaccine does not provide complete immunity to diphtheria or pertussis but reduces risk of serious illness.

Protection against pertussis and tetanus gradually wanes. In adults, pertussis is mild but can be transmitted to children. Since tetanus is serious at any age, boosters are recommended at the time of any dirty, penetrating injury if there has not been a vaccination in the past 10 years.

Reactions to the diphtheria and tetanus parts of the vaccine are rare.

The pertussis vaccine often causes slight fever and irritability for a day or so.

More serious reactions are extremely rare and include seizures and an allergic reaction, which may lead to sudden breathing difficulty and shock.

Permanent damage from the vaccine is even rarer.

Doctors are now agreed that for most children, the benefits of outweigh the minimal risk from the vaccine.

The pertussis element of the vaccine should not be given to children who have reacted severely to a preceding dose of the vaccine, or who have a progressing brain abnormality.... dpt vaccination

Heart Valve

A structure at the exit of a heart chamber that allows blood to flow out of the chamber, but prevents backwash. There are 4 heart valves: aortic, pulmonary, mitral, and tricuspid. Their opening and closing during each heart cycle produces heart sounds.

Any of the 4 heart valves may be affected by stenosis (narrowing), which causes the heart to work harder to force blood through the valve, or by incompetence or insufficiency (leakiness), which makes the valve unable to prevent backwash of blood. These defects cause characteristic heart murmurs.

Heart-valve defects may be present at birth (see heart disease, congenital), or they may be acquired later in life. The most common congenital valve defects are aortic stenosis and pulmonary stenosis. Acquired heart-valve disease is usually the result of degenerative changes or ischaemia affecting part of the heart and leading to aortic stenosis or mitral incompetence. Rheumatic fever can cause mitral stenosis, mitral incompetence, aortic valve defects, tricuspid stenosis and tricuspid incompetence. The heart valves may also be damaged by bacterial endocarditis.

Heart-valve disorders commonly lead to heart failure, arrhythmias, or symptoms resulting from reduced blood supply to body tissues.

Heart-valve defects may be diagnosed by auscultation, chest X-ray, ECG, or echocardiography and may be corrected by heart-valve surgery.... heart valve

Heart-valve Surgery

An operation to correct a heart valve defect or to remove a diseased or damaged valve. A heart valve may have to be repaired, widened, or replaced because it is either incompetent (leaky) or stenotic (narrowed). Widening of a valve may involve valvotomy or valvuloplasty. A damaged valve can be replaced by a mechanical one (fashioned from metal and plastic), a valve constructed from human tissue, a pig valve, or a valve taken from a human donor after death. A heart–lung machine is used during replacement.After heart-valve surgery, symptoms such as breathlessness may take weeks to improve and require medication to be continued. Some people need longterm treatment with anticoagulant drugs to prevent the formation of blood clots around the new valve.... heart-valve surgery

Statistics, Vital

Assessment of a population’s health that relies on the collection of data on birth and death rates and on the causes of death.... statistics, vital

Vitus’ Dance

An outdated term for Sydenham’s chorea.... vitus’ dance

Vaginal Itching

Irritation in the vagina, often associated with vulval itching. In many cases, it is a symptom of vaginitis, which may be caused by infection or an allergic reaction to hygiene or spermicidal products. Vaginal itching is common after the menopause, when it is caused by low oestrogen levels. Depending on the cause, treatment may be with antibiotic drugs or hormones.... vaginal itching

Vaginal Repair

An operation to correct prolapse of the vaginal wall. This may be accompanied by a vaginal hysterectomy if the uterus is also prolapsed (see uterus, prolapse of).... vaginal repair

Thrombosis, Deep Vein

The formation of a thrombus within deep-lying veins in the leg. The cause is usually a combination of slow blood flow through 1 part of the body (such as when sitting for long periods or when the tissues are compressed, as occurs in long-haul aircraft flights) and an increase in the clotting tendency of the blood, which occurs with dehydration, after surgery or injury, during pregnancy, and in women taking oral contraceptives. Deep vein thrombosis may also be caused by polycythaemia. Deep vein thrombosis is common in people with heart failure and those who have had a stroke or who have been immobile for long periods. Clots in the leg veins may cause pain, tenderness, swelling, discoloration, and ulceration of the skin, but they can be symptomless. A deep vein thrombosis is not necessarily serious in itself, but part of the clot may break off and travel in the bloodstream to the lungs. This is known as a pulmonary embolism.

A diagnosis is made by doppler ultrasound scanning.

Treatment depends on the site and extent of the clots.

Small clots may not need treatment if they are confined to the calf and the patient is mobile.

Otherwise, anticoagulant drugs or thrombolytic drugs are given.

If there is a high risk of a pulmonary embolism, thrombectomy may be performed.... thrombosis, deep vein

Vacuum Extraction

An obstetric procedure to facilitate the delivery of a baby. It may be used if the second stage of labour (see childbirth) is prolonged, if the mother becomes exhausted, or if the baby shows signs of fetal distress. Vacuum suction techniques are also used to perform early abortions.

The vacuum extraction instrument consists of a suction cup connected to a vacuum bottle. The suction cup is placed on the baby’s head in the birth canal, and the vacuum machine sucks the baby’s scalp into the cup. The obstetrician draws the baby out of the mother’s vagina by gently pulling on the cup with each uterine contraction.

The baby is born with a swelling on the scalp, but this disappears after a few days, usually without treatment.... vacuum extraction

Vaginal Discharge

The emission of secretions from the vagina. Some mucous secretion from the vaginal walls and from the cervix is normal in the reproductive years; its amount and nature vary from woman to woman and at different times in the menstrual cycle (see menstruation). Oral contraceptives can increase or decrease the discharge. Secretions tend to be greater during pregnancy. Sexual stimulation also produces increased vaginal discharge.

Discharge may be abnormal if it is excessive, offensive-smelling, yellow or green, or if it causes itching. Abnormal discharge often accompanies vaginitis, and may be the result of infection, as in

candidiasis or trichomoniasis, or may be due to a foreign body, such as a forgotten tampon, in the vagina.... vaginal discharge

Valve Replacement

A surgical operation to replace a defective or diseased heart valve. (See also heart-valve surgery.)... valve replacement

Valvular Heart Disease

A defect of 1 or more of the heart valves.... valvular heart disease

Variant Angina

A form of angina that causes chest pain at rest, often during sleep.

The pain may occur with breathlessness and palpitations.

The cause is thought to be narrowing of the coronary arteries by muscular spasm in their walls.

Treatment with calcium channel blockers or nitrates is usually effective.... variant angina


The virus that causes chickenpox and shingles.... varicella–zoster


Widening of blood vessels, causing increased blood flow to a part of the body.

Vasodilation under the skin occurs in response to hot weather and increases heat loss from the body.... vasodilation

Vasodilator Drugs

A group of drugs that widen blood vessels.

Vasodilator drugs include ACE inhibitors, alphablockers, calcium channel blockers, nitrate drugs, and sympatholytic drugs.

They are used to treat disorders in which abnormal narrowing of blood vessels reduces blood flow through tissues, impairing the supply of oxygen.

Such disorders include angina pectoris and peripheral vascular disease.

Vasodilators are also used to treat hypertension and heart failure.

All vasodilator drugs may cause flushing, headaches, dizziness, fainting, and swollen ankles.... vasodilator drugs

Veins, Disorders Of

Common disorders affecting veins include varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis (see thrombosis, deep vein), and thrombophlebitis.... veins, disorders of


The medical discipline concerned with the study and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.... venereology

Venomous Bites And Stings

The injection of venom by certain animals via their mouthparts (bites) or other injecting apparatus (stings). Venoms are often carried to discourage predators, and are sometimes used to kill or immobilize prey. It is rare for a venomous animal to attack a person unless it has been provoked or disturbed. Specific antivenoms are available to treat many, though not all, types of animal venom. (See also insect stings; jellyfish stings; scorpion stings; snake bites; spider bites.)... venomous bites and stings

Ventilatory Failure

A life-threatening condition in which the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood rises, and the amount of oxygen falls, due to disruption of the normal exchange of gases between the air in the lungs and the blood. Ventilatory failure may be due to brain damage or to depression of the respiratory centres by excessive doses of drugs such as morphine. Treatment may involve artificial ventilation or, in some cases, the use of respiratory stimulant drugs. (See also respiratory failure.)... ventilatory failure

Ventricular Ectopic Beat

A type of cardiac arrhythmia in which abnormal heartbeats are initiated from electrical impulses in the ventricles of the heart. In a normal heart, beats are initiated by the sinoatrial node in the right atrium.

Ventricular ectopic beats may be detected on an ECG.

If there are frequent abnormal beats that cause symptoms, or beats that arise from more than 1 site in the ventricles, treatment with an antiarrhythmic drug may be required.... ventricular ectopic beat

Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency

Intermittent episodes of dizziness, double vision, weakness, and difficulty in speaking caused by reduced blood flow to parts of the brain. It is usually due to atherosclerosis of the basilar and vertebral arteries and other arteries in the base of the brain. Vertebrobasilar insufficiency sometimes precedes a stroke.... vertebrobasilar insufficiency


The capability of independent survival and development.... viability

Vincent’s Disease

A severe form of gingivitis in which bacterial infection causes painful ulceration of the gums.

(See also gingivitis, acute ulcerative.)... vincent’s disease


The physical state of not having experienced sexual intercourse.... virginity


A term used to describe the quality of maleness, especially in sexual characteristics and performance.... virility


The smallest known types of infectious agent. It is debatable whether viruses are truly living organisms or just collections of molecules capable of selfreplication under specific conditions. Their sole activity is to invade the cells of other organisms, which they then take over to make copies of themselves. Outside living cells, viruses are inert.

A single virus particle (virion) consists of an inner core of nucleic acid, which may be either DNA or RNA, surrounded

by 1 or 2 protective protein shells (capsids). Surrounding the outer capsid may be another layer, the viral envelope, which consists mainly of protein. The nucleic acid consists of a string of genes that contain coded instructions for making copies of the virus.

Common viral diseases include the common cold, influenza, and chickenpox (caused by the varicella–zoster virus). AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).... viruses


The resistance to flow of a fluid; its “stickiness”.

The viscosity of blood affects its ability to flow through small vessels.

An increase in the viscosity of blood increases the risk of thrombosis.... viscosity

Vision, Loss Of

Inability to see. This may develop slowly or suddenly and may be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause. Vision loss may affect 1 or both eyes. It can cause complete blindness or may affect only peripheral, or only central, vision.

Progressive loss of visual clarity is common with advancing age and may be due to a number of disorders (see vision, disorders of).

Sudden loss of vision may be caused by disorders such as hyphaema, severe uveitis, vitreous haemorrhage, or retinal haemorrhage.

Optic neuritis can reduce vision in 1 eye.

Damage to the nerve connections between the eyes and brain, or to the visual area of the brain, can cause loss of peripheral vision and may be a result of embolism, ischaemia, tumour, inflammation, or injury.... vision, loss of

Vitamin B12

A water-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in the activities of several enzymes in the body. Vitamin B12 is important in the production of the genetic material of cells (and thus in growth and development), in the production of red blood cells in bone marrow, in the utilization of folic acid and carbohydrates in the diet, and in the functioning of the nervous system. Foods rich in vitamin B12 include liver, kidney, chicken, beef, pork, fish, eggs, and dairy products.Deficiency is almost always due to the inability of the intestine to absorb the vitamin, usually as a result of pernicious anaemia (see anaemia, megaloblastic). Less commonly, deficiency may result from gastrectomy, malabsorption, or veganism. The effects of vitamin B12 deficiency are megaloblastic anaemia, a sore mouth and tongue, and symptoms caused by damage to the spinal cord, such as numbness and tingling in the limbs. There may also be depression and memory loss. A high intake of vitamin B12 has no known harmful effects.... vitamin b12

Vitreous Haemorrhage

Bleeding into the vitreous humour. A common cause is diabetic retinopathy. Vitreous haemorrhage often affects vision; a major haemorrhage causes poor vision until the blood is reabsorbed, which may not be for several months, if at all.... vitreous haemorrhage

Voice, Loss Of

Inability to speak normally. Temporary partial loss of voice commonly results from straining of the muscles of the larynx through overuse of the voice or from inflammation of the vocal cords in laryngitis. Persistent or recurrent voice loss may be due to polyps on the vocal cords, thickening of the cords in hypothyroidism, or interference with the nerve supply to the larynx muscles due to cancer of the larynx, thyroid gland, or oesophagus. Total loss of voice is rare and is usually of psychological origin. (See also hoarseness; larynx, disorders of.)... voice, loss of

Vomiting In Pregnancy

Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy are common and are most likely to be caused by changes in the hormone levels. Vomiting occurs most frequently in the morning, but it may occur at any time. It is sometimes precipitated by stress, travelling, or food.

In rare cases, the vomiting becomes severe and prolonged. This can cause dehydration, nutritional deficiency, alterations in blood acidity, and weight loss. Immediate hospital admission is then required to replace lost fluids and chemicals by intravenous infusion, to rule out any serious underlying disorder, and to control the vomiting.... vomiting in pregnancy

Vitamin B Complex

A group of watersoluble vitamins comprising thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), biotin (vitamin H), and folic acid. Vitamin B12 is discussed above.

Thiamine plays a role in the activities of various enzymes involved in the utilization of carbohydrates and thus in the functioning of nerves, muscles, and the heart. Sources include whole-grain cereals, wholemeal breads, brown rice, pasta, liver, kidney, pork, fish, beans, nuts, and eggs.

Those susceptible to deficiency include elderly people on a poor diet, and people who have hyperthyroidism, malabsorption, or severe alcohol dependence. Deficiency may also occur as a result of severe illness, surgery, or injury.

Mild deficiency may cause tiredness, irritability, and loss of appetite. Severe deficiency may cause abdominal pain, constipation, depression, memory impairment, and beriberi; in alcoholics, it may cause Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome. Excessive intake is not known to cause harmful effects.

Riboflavin is necessary for the activities of various enzymes involved in the breakdown and utilization of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins; the production of energy in cells; the utilization of other B vitamins; and hormone production by the adrenal glands. Liver, whole grains, milk, eggs, and brewer’s yeast are good sources. People who are susceptible to riboflavin deficiency include those taking phenothiazine antipsychotic drugs, tricyclic antidepressant drugs, or oestrogen-containing oral contraceptives, and those with malabsorption or severe alcohol dependence. Riboflavin deficiency may also occur as a result of serious illness, surgery, or injury.

Prolonged deficiency may cause soreness of the tongue and the corners of the mouth, and eye disorders such as amblyopia and photophobia.

Excessive intake of riboflavin is not known to have any harmful effects.

Niacin plays an essential role in the activities of various enzymes involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, the functioning of the nervous and digestive systems, the manufacture of sex hormones, and the maintenance of healthy skin. The main dietary sources are liver, lean meat, fish, nuts, and dried beans. Niacin can be made in the body from tryptophan (an amino acid). Most cases of deficiency are due to malabsorption disorders or to severe alcohol dependence. Prolonged niacin deficiency causes pellagra. Excessive intake is not known to cause harmful effects.

Pantothenic acid is essential for the activities of various enzymes involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, the manufacture of corticosteroids and sex hormones, the utilization of other vitamins, the functioning of the nervous system and adrenal glands, and growth and development. It is present in almost all vegetables, cereals, and animal foods. Deficiency of pantothenic acid usually occurs as a result of malabsorption or alcoholism, but may also occur after severe illness, surgery, or injury. The effects include fatigue, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, numbness and tingling, muscle cramps, and susceptibility to respiratory infections. In severe cases, a peptic ulcer may develop. Excessive intake has no known harmful effects.Pyridoxine aids the activities of various enzymes and hormones involved in the utilization of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, in the manufacture of red blood cells and antibodies, in the functioning of the digestive and nervous systems, and in the maintenance of healthy skin. Dietary sources are liver, chicken, pork, fish, whole grains, wheatgerm, bananas, potatoes, and dried beans. Pyridoxine is also manufactured by intestinal bacteria. People who are susceptible to pyridoxine deficiency include elderly people who have a poor diet, those with malabsorption or severe alcohol dependence, or those who are taking certain drugs (including penicillamine and isoniazid). Deficiency may cause weakness, irritability, depression, skin disorders, inflammation of the mouth and tongue, anaemia, and, in infants, seizures. In very large amounts, pyridoxine may cause neuritis.

Biotin is essential for the activities of various enzymes involved in the breakdown of fatty acids and carbohydrates and for the excretion of the waste products of protein breakdown. It is present in many foods, especially liver, peanuts, dried beans, egg yolk, mushrooms, bananas, grapefruit, and watermelon. Biotin is also manufactured by bacteria in the intestines. Deficiency may occur during prolonged treatment with antibiotics or sulphonamide drugs. Symptoms are weakness, tiredness, poor appetite, hair loss, depression, inflammation of the tongue, and eczema. Excessive intake has no known harmful effects.

Folic acid is vital for various enzymes involved in the manufacture of nucleic acids and consequently for growth and reproduction, the production of red blood cells, and the functioning of the nervous system. Sources include green vegetables, mushrooms, liver, nuts, dried beans, peas, egg yolk, and wholemeal bread. Mild deficiency is common, but can usually be corrected by increasing dietary intake. More severe deficiency may occur during pregnancy or breastfeeding, in premature or low-birthweight infants, in people undergoing dialysis, in people with certain blood disorders, psoriasis, malabsorption, or alcohol dependence, and in people taking certain drugs. The main effects include anaemia, sores around the mouth, and, in children, poor growth. Folic acid supplements taken just before conception, and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, have been shown to reduce the risk of a neural tube defect.... vitamin b complex

Vulva, Cancer Of

A rare disorder that most commonly affects postmenopausal women. Cancer of the vulva may be preceded by vulval itching, but in many cases the first symptom is a lump or painful ulcer on the vulva.A diagnosis of vulval cancer is made by biopsy.

Treatment is by surgical removal of the affected area.

The outlook depends on how soon the cancer is diagnosed and treated.... vulva, cancer of

Vulval Itching

Irritation of the vulva. Most commonly, vulval itching is due to an allergic reaction to chemicals in spermicidal or hygiene products. Itching is also common after the menopause, when it is due to low levels of oestrogen. In addition, vulval itching may be caused by a vaginal discharge due to infection (see vaginitis) or by vulval skin changes (see vulvitis).

Treatment may be with antibiotics or hormones, depending on the cause.... vulval itching

Ahmed Valve

a *shunt used in the treatment of *glaucoma to reduce and control intraocular pressure. The device works by bypassing the *trabecular meshwork and redirecting the outflow of aqueous humour through a small tube into an outlet chamber.... ahmed valve

Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Drainage

a congenital abnormality in which the pulmonary veins enter the right atrium or vena cava instead of draining into the left atrium. The clinical features are those of an *atrial septal defect.... anomalous pulmonary venous drainage

Vitamin Supplements

A group of dietary preparations containing 1 or more vitamins. Most healthy people who have a balanced diet do not need them. Supplements are used to treat diagnosed vitamin deficiency. They are also given to prevent vitamin deficiency in susceptible people, such as those who have increased requirements (for example, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding); those who follow a restricted diet (in veganism, for example); those with severe alcohol dependence; and people who have malabsorption, liver disorders, kidney disorders, or another serious illness or injury. In addition,vitamins are used to treat certain disorders.

For example, vitamin D is used to treat osteomalacia, and vitamin A derivatives are given for severe acne.... vitamin supplements


an agent that inhibits the action of *vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). See angiogenesis inhibitor.... anti-vegf

Arachnoid Villus

one of the thin-walled projections outwards of the arachnoid membrane into the blood-filled sinuses of the dura, acting as a one-way valve for the flow of cerebrospinal fluid from the subarachnoid space into the bloodstream. Large villi, known as arachnoid granulations (or Pacchionian bodies), are found in the region of the superior sagittal sinus. They may be so distended as to cause pitting of the adjacent bone.... arachnoid villus

Atrophic Vaginitis

see vaginitis.... atrophic vaginitis

Auditory Verbal Therapy

(AVT) a technique for teaching deaf children to communicate that focuses on speech and residual hearing rather than sign language.... auditory verbal therapy

Azygos Vein

an unpaired vein that arises from the inferior vena cava and drains into the superior vena cava, returning blood from the thorax and abdominal cavities.

b... azygos vein

Ball-and-cage Valve

a form of mechanical prosthesis commonly used in the past for replacing damaged heart valves. Currently, most mechanical valve replacements are of the tilting-disc variety.... ball-and-cage valve

Bicuspid Valve

see mitral valve.... bicuspid valve

Vomiting Blood

A symptom of bleeding from within the digestive tract. Vomiting blood may be caused by a tear in the lower oesophagus (see Mallory–Weiss syndrome), bleeding from oesophageal varices, erosive gastritis, peptic ulcer, or, rarely, stomach cancer. Blood can also be vomited if it is swallowed during a nosebleed. Vomited blood may be dark red, brown, black, or may resemble coffee grounds. Vomiting of blood is often accompanied by the passing of black, tarry faeces.

The cause of vomiting blood is investigated by endoscopy of the oesophagus and stomach, or by barium X-ray examinations. If blood loss is severe, blood transfusion, and possibly surgery to stop the bleeding, may be required.... vomiting blood

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

(BPPV) a common cause of vertigo in which the patient complains of brief episodes of rotatory vertigo precipitated by sudden head movements. It is thought to be due to microscopic debris derived from the *otoliths of the utricle and displaced into one of the semicircular canals, most commonly the posterior semicircular canal. The debris is most commonly thought to be free in the canal (canalithiasis; see canalith) but can be attached to the *cupula (cupulolithiasis; see cupulolith). Diagnosis is by performing a *Dix–Hallpike test. Treatment is with a predetermined set of head movements to move the debris from the semicircular canal (see Epley particle repositioning manoeuvre; Semont liberatory manoeuvre; Brandt-Daroff exercises). Surgery is occasionally used to occlude the relevant semicircular canal, cut the *singular nerve or vestibular nerves, or perform a *labyrinthectomy. Drugs are generally ineffective in the treatment of this condition.... benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Binocular Vision

the ability to focus both eyes on an object at the same time, so that a person sees one image of the object he is looking at. It is not inborn, but acquired during the first few months of life. Binocular vision enables judgment of distance and perception of depth. See also stereoscopic vision.... binocular vision

Brentuximab Vedotin

a monoclonal antibody–drug conjugate used in the treatment of relapsed or refractory Hodgkin’s disease and anaplastic large-cell lymphoma.... brentuximab vedotin

Cardinal Veins

two pairs of veins in the embryo that carry blood from the head (anterior cardinal veins) and trunk (posterior cardinal veins); they unite to form the common cardinal vein, which drains into the sinus venosus of the heart.... cardinal veins

Cavity Varnish

(in dentistry) a solution of natural or synthetic resin in an organic solvent. It is used to provide a barrier against the passage of irritants from restorative materials and to reduce the penetration of oral fluids into the underlying *dentine.... cavity varnish

Central Venous Catheter

an intravenous catheter for insertion directly into a large vein, most commonly the subclavian vein, during its passage under the clavicle, or the jugular in the neck. Such catheters can also be inserted into the femoral vein at the groin. They enable intravenous drugs and fluids to be given and intravenous pressures to be measured, which is often useful during operations or in intensive care. Central venous catheters must be inserted under strictly sterile conditions using a local anaesthetic.... central venous catheter

Cephalic Version

(external cephalic version) a procedure in which a fetus that is lying in the breech position is turned so that its head will enter the birth canal first. It may give rise to complications (e.g. abruptio placentae) and is therefore only carried out in selected cases.... cephalic version

Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis

the presence of thrombosis in the dural venous sinuses, which drain blood from the brain. Symptoms may include headache, abnormal vision, any of the symptoms of stroke (such as weakness of the face and limbs on one side of the body), and seizures. Treatment is with anticoagulants.... cerebral venous sinus thrombosis

Coffee-ground Vomit

vomit that has the appearance of ground coffee. It is composed of denatured oxidized blood and reflects bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract.... coffee-ground vomit

Compression Venography

an *ultrasound technique to look for deep vein *thrombosis. Pressing the vein with the ultrasound probe usually causes it to empty and flatten, which does not occur if there is thrombus in the lumen. See also venography.... compression venography

Coxsackie Virus

(echovirus) one of a group of RNA-containing viruses that are able to multiply in the gastrointestinal tract (see enterovirus). About 30 different types exist. Type A Coxsackie viruses generally cause less severe and less well-defined diseases, such as *hand, foot, and mouth disease, although some cause meningitis and severe throat infections (see herpangina). Type B Coxsackie viruses cause inflammation or degeneration of heart tissue, resulting in pericarditis or myocarditis, or brain tissue, producing meningitis or encephalitis. They can also attack the muscles of the chest wall, the bronchi, pancreas, thyroid, or conjunctiva and recent evidence suggests they may be implicated in diabetes in children and in motor neuron disease. See also Bornholm disease.... coxsackie virus

Cuirass Ventilator

see ventilator.... cuirass ventilator

Da Vinci Robot

see prostatectomy.... da vinci robot

Dietary Reference Values

(DRVs) a set of statistical terms used to describe nutritional requirements.

EAR estimated average requirement: the amount of energy or a nutrient that will meet the needs of 50% of the population.

RDA recommended daily amount: the average amount of a nutrient that should be provided per head of a group of people if the needs of practically all members of the group are to be met.

LRNI lowest recommended nutrient intake: the amount of a nutrient that provides only 2.5% of the population with their requirements.

RNI reference nutrient intake: the amount that is sufficient for almost 97.5% of individuals in a population. It is the term usually used when expressing dietary requirements.

safe level: used when there is insufficient data to determine the RNI, set as the average requirement plus 20%.

RI reference intake: a guide to how many calories and nutrients an average person can consume each day for a healthy balanced diet. This is used in labelling information for energy, protein, carbohydrate, sugars, fat, saturated fat, fibre, and salt.... dietary reference values

Dissociated Vertical Deviation

(DVD) a condition in which one eye looks upwards when the amount of light entering it is reduced, e.g. when it is covered. The eye returns to its original position when the cover is removed. DVD is an acquired condition chiefly associated with infantile esotropia (convergent *strabismus). The deviation is dissociated since there is no movement of the focusing (i.e. uncovered) eye during the deviation or return phase.... dissociated vertical deviation

Diurnal Variation Of Mood

a common symptom of *depression, in which the patient regularly experiences different mood states at different times of day. Classically, a depressed patient will complain of particularly low mood in the morning and this gradually improves during the day.... diurnal variation of mood

Double-outlet Right Ventricle

(DORV) a congenital defect of the heart in which both the aorta and the pulmonary artery arise predominantly from the right ventricle anterior to the ventricular septum with an associated *ventricular septal defect (VSD). The relationship between the site of the VSD and the great arteries must be taken into account for surgical repair. DORV can be associated with chromosomal defects.... double-outlet right ventricle

Ductus Venosus

a blood vessel in the fetus that conveys oxygenated blood from the umbilical vein to the inferior vena cava and right atrium, where it passes through the *foramen ovale to the left atrium and left ventricle.... ductus venosus

Emissary Veins

a group of veins within the skull that drain blood from the venous sinuses of the dura mater to veins outside the skull.... emissary veins

Field Of Vision

see visual field.... field of vision

Forced Expiratory Volume

(FEV) the volume of air exhaled in a given period (usually limited to 1 second in tests of vital capacity). FEV is reduced in patients with obstructive airways disease and diminished lung volume.... forced expiratory volume

Ebola Virus

a virus responsible for an acute infection in humans with features similar to those of *Marburg disease. Transmission is by contact with infected blood and other body fluids and the incubation period is 2–21 days (7 days on average). The mortality rate is 53–88%, but intensive treatment (including rehydration) in the early stages of the disease can halt its rapid and usually irreversible progression to haemorrhaging of internal organs. Until recently, sporadic but short-lived outbreaks have occurred in Africa since 1976, when the virus was first identified during an outbreak in the region of the Ebola river, in Zaïre (now Democratic Republic of Congo). A major epidemic of the disease broke out in West Africa at the end of 2013 and lasted until May 2016: over 11,000 people died. An unknown species of animal – possibly a fruit bat – is assumed to act as a reservoir for the virus between outbreaks of the disease in humans.... ebola virus

Germinal Vesicle

the nucleus of a mature *oocyte, prior to fertilization. It is considerably larger than the nucleus of other cells.... germinal vesicle

Ghost Vessels

empty transparent blood vessels that persist in the cornea after regression of the inflammatory process that stimulated their development.... ghost vessels

Hallux Varus

displacement of the big toe away from the others (i.e. towards the middle).... hallux varus

Health Visitor

a trained nurse with specialist qualifications in *health promotion and public health. The role of the health visitor takes place within the primary health-care team and focuses on families with children under five years old, but can be extended to other targeted groups in the population (e.g. the elderly) to meet health needs in the wider community. Health visitors seek to educate, in particular by drawing attention to unmet needs in terms of health and social care.... health visitor

Hepatic Vein

one of several short veins originating within the lobes of the liver as small branches, which unite to form the hepatic veins. These lead directly to the inferior vena cava, draining blood from the liver.... hepatic vein

Home Visit

see domiciliary consultation.... home visit

Human Immunodeficiency Virus

see HIV.... human immunodeficiency virus

Ileocaecal Valve

a valve at the junction of the small and large intestines consisting of two membranous folds that close to prevent the backflow of food from the colon and caecum to the ileum.... ileocaecal valve

Iliac Veins

the veins draining most of the blood from the lower limbs and pelvic region. The right and left common iliac veins unite to form the inferior vena cava. They are each formed by the union of the internal and external iliac veins.... iliac veins

Innominate Vein

(brachiocephalic vein) either of two veins, one on each side of the neck, formed by the junction of the external jugular and subclavian veins. The two veins join to form the superior vena cava.... innominate vein

Intra Vitam

Latin: during life.... intra vitam

Jugular Venous Pressure

(JVP) the pressure in the internal jugular vein, which is an indirect measurement of *central venous pressure (CVP) in the right atrium. In clinical practice the JVP is estimated by visual inspection at the bedside with the patient reclining at 45 degrees.... jugular venous pressure

Left Ventricular Failure

see heart failure.... left ventricular failure

Lumbar Vertebrae

the five bones of the *backbone that are situated between the thoracic vertebrae and the sacrum, in the lower part of the back. They are the largest of the unfused vertebrae and have stout processes for attachment of the strong muscles of the lower back. See also vertebra.... lumbar vertebrae

Lupus Verrucosus

a rare tuberculous infection of the skin – commonly the arm or hand – typified by warty lesions. It occurs in those who have been reinfected with tuberculosis.... lupus verrucosus

Malignant Vasovagal Syndrome

see neurocardiogenic syncope.... malignant vasovagal syndrome

Manual Vacuum Aspiration

(MVA) see vacuum aspiration.... manual vacuum aspiration

Mauriceau–smellie–viet Manoeuvre

(MSV manoeuvre) a technique used in breech delivery to promote flexion of, and safely deliver, the fetal head.... mauriceau–smellie–viet manoeuvre

Menacwy Vaccine

a vaccine that provides protection against four different strains (A, C, W, and Y) of the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis (the meningococcus) that causes *meningitis and septicaemia. It also prevents the carriage of the bacteria in the nose and back of the throat. In Britain it is offered to children aged 14 years and students going to college and university for the first time.... menacwy vaccine

Meningitis B Vaccine

(MenB) a vaccine that provides protection against the B strain of the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis (the meningococcus), which accounts for more than 90% of meningococcal infections in young children. The MenB vaccine is offered to all babies with their primary *immunizations at 2 and 4 months of age and as a booster at 12 months. See meningitis.... meningitis b vaccine

Meningitis C Vaccine

(MenC) a vaccine that provides protection against the C strain of the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis (the meningococcus), which accounts for approximately 50% of all cases of meningococcal meningitis and tends to occur in clusters. Owing to the success of the MenC vaccination programme begun in 1999 there have been almost no recent cases of meningitis C disease in babies and young children in the UK. The vaccine was previously offered to all babies at 12 weeks of age but is now given at 12 months as part of Hib/MenC vaccine and at 14 years as the MenACWY vaccine.... meningitis c vaccine

Methyl Violet

(gentian violet) a dye used mainly for staining protozoans.... methyl violet

Muscae Volitantes

see floaters.... muscae volitantes

Nasal Flu Vaccine

(in Britain), a vaccine currently offered to all 2- and 3-year-olds in the form of a spray into each nostril. It contains live forms of the influenza virus that have been attenuated (weakened). The vaccine stimulates the immune system but does not cause disease in healthy people.... nasal flu vaccine

Noninvasive Ventilation

(NIV) mechanical assistance with breathing that does not require the insertion of an endotracheal tube (see intubation). In noninvasive intermittent positive-pressure ventilation (NIPPV) air is blown into the lungs through a close-fitting mask: designs range from helmet-like devices to nasal cushions and full-face or nasal masks (see also Nippy). A ventilator then applies positive pressure to the mask in a cyclical fashion. The technique simplifies the process of ventilation in respiratory failure and reduces or eliminates the need for paralysis and anaesthesia, which are required for endotracheal intubation. See also BiPAP; continuous positive airways pressure.

Negative-pressure ventilation involves the use of devices that draw air into and out of the lungs noninvasively by applying negative pressure in a cyclical way (see ventilator).... noninvasive ventilation

Nux Vomica

the seed of the tree Strychnos nux-vomica, which contains the poisonous alkaloid *strychnine.... nux vomica

Panton–valentine Leukocidin

a cytotoxin responsible for increased virulence of *Staphylococcus aureus (see leukocidin). It may cause fatal necrotizing pneumonia or, more commonly, deep skin abscesses that tend to recur frequently. [Sir P. N. Panton (1877–1950) and F. C. Valentine (20th century), British pathologists]... panton–valentine leukocidin

Parainfluenza Viruses

a group of large RNA-containing viruses that cause infections of the respiratory tract producing mild influenza-like symptoms. They are included in the paramyxovirus group (see myxovirus).... parainfluenza viruses

Partial Volume Artifact

an apparent decrease in the visibility of a structure in a *cross-sectional imaging technique, such as CT or MRI, when either the thickness of the object is much less than that of the slice being used to make the image, or the object is only partially imaged within the slice. See artifact.... partial volume artifact

Photoselective Vaporization Of The Prostate

(PVP) a technique to vaporize the prostate by means of a high-energy laser, used to relieve *lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (see prostate gland). It is associated with less blood loss and a shorter hospital stay than a traditional TURP (see resection), but can only be used on smaller prostates.... photoselective vaporization of the prostate

Pneumococcal Vaccine

a vaccine that protects against infection by the bacterium *Streptococcus pneumoniae, which can cause serious diseases, including pneumonia, septicaemia, and *meningitis. Children under 2 years of age and adults over 65 years are at particular risk. Since September 2006, the pneumococcal vaccine has become part of the childhood *immunization programme. It is also offered to people over the age of 65 as a single vaccination that will protect for life.... pneumococcal vaccine

Podalic Version

(internal podalic version) a procedure in which the position of a fetus in the uterus is altered so that its feet will emerge first at birth. It is used mainly to deliver a second twin that is presenting transversely or obliquely. See also cephalic version.... podalic version

Polycythaemia Vera

(polycythaemia rubra vera, Vaquez–Osler disease) a disease in which the number of red cells in the blood is greatly increased (see also polycythaemia). There is often also an increase in the numbers of white blood cells and platelets. Symptoms include headache, thromboses, *cyanosis, *plethora, and itching. Polycythaemia vera may be treated by blood-letting, but more severe cases may need to be treated with cytotoxic drugs. The cause of the disease is not known.... polycythaemia vera

Positive-pressure Ventilation

see noninvasive ventilation.... positive-pressure ventilation

Pulmonary Valve

a valve in the heart lying between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery. It is a *semilunar valve that prevents blood returning to the ventricle from the pulmonary artery.... pulmonary valve

Pulmonary Vein

a vein carrying oxygenated blood from the lung to the left atrium. See pulmonary circulation.... pulmonary vein

Respiratory Syncytial Virus

(RSV) a paramyxovirus (see myxovirus) that causes infections of the nose and throat. It is a major cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in young children. In tissue cultures infected with the virus, cells merge together to form a conglomerate (syncytium). RSV is thought to have a role in *sudden infant death syndrome. Vulnerable children can be treated with *ribavirin, but most children just require supportive measures.... respiratory syncytial virus

Rotavirus Vaccine

an oral vaccine against *rotavirus infection. In Britain it is offered to babies at 2 and 3 months of age, alongside their other childhood vaccinations.... rotavirus vaccine

 sabin Vaccine

an oral vaccine against (E954) poliomyelitis, prepared by culture of the virus under special conditions so that it loses its virulence (i.e. it becomes attenuated) but retains its ability to stimulate antibody production. [A. B. Sabin (1906–93), US bacteriologist]...  sabin vaccine

St Vitus’ Dance

an archaic name for *Sydenham’s chorea.... st vitus’ dance

Saphena Varix

an abnormal dilatation of the terminal section of the long *saphenous vein in the groin.... saphena varix

Semilunar Valve

either of the two valves in the heart situated at the origin of the aorta (see aortic valve) and the pulmonary artery (see pulmonary valve). Each consists of three flaps (cusps), which maintain the flow of blood in one direction.... semilunar valve

Sinus Venosus

a chamber of the embryonic heart that receives blood from several veins. In the adult heart it becomes part of the right atrium.... sinus venosus

Spitz–holter Valve

a one-way valve used to drain cerebrospinal fluid in order to control *hydrocephalus. The device is inserted into the ventricles of the brain and passes via a subcutaneous tunnel to drain into either the right atrium or the peritoneum.... spitz–holter valve

Stereoscopic Vision

(stereopsis) perception of the shape, depth, and distance of an object as a result of having *binocular vision. The brain receives two distinct images from the eyes, which it interprets as a single three-dimensional image.... stereoscopic vision

Stroke Volume

the amount of blood ejected from each ventricle on each contraction, which can be affected by medication, exercise, decreases in the volume of circulating blood, or heart anomalies. In a healthy adult, stroke volume is estimated at 70 ml.... stroke volume

Tension-free Vaginal Tape

(transvaginal tape, TVT) a surgical sling procedure for treating stress incontinence in women that uses a tape made of polypropylene mesh. The tape is inserted under the mid-urethra (rather than the bladder neck, as in a *pubovaginal sling), passing through the retropubic space on either side, and is fixed to the abdominal wall just internal to the pubic symphysis. The transobturator tape (TOT) procedure is similar, but in this technique a tunnel is created out to the *obturator foramen on either side, lessening the risk of vascular and bladder injuries. Tape procedures have lower morbidity rates than *colposuspension and have gradually replaced the latter as the surgical procedure of choice for treating female stress incontinence, but there may be complications associated with nonabsorbable mesh.... tension-free vaginal tape

Thoracic Vertebrae

the 12 bones of the *backbone to which the ribs are attached. They lie between the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) vertebrae and are characterized by the presence of facets for articulation with the ribs. See also vertebra.... thoracic vertebrae

Tilting-disc Valve

the most commonly used form of mechanical heart valve replacement.... tilting-disc valve

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation

(TAVI) replacement of the aortic valve in patients with *aortic stenosis using a catheter-delivered prosthesis rather than open heart surgery. Usually the catheter is passed via the femoral artery, but sometimes it can be passed via the subclavian artery or through the wall of the left ventricle via a localized *thoracotomy.... transcatheter aortic valve implantation

Transurethral Vaporization Of The Prostate

(TUVP) a technique that vaporizes (rather than resects) prostate tissue; it is associated with less bleeding during the procedure. TUVP is used to treat *lower urinary tract symptoms thought to be due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (see prostate gland) or urinary retention.... transurethral vaporization of the prostate


adj. resembling a local infection with vaccinia (cowpox) virus. A vaccinoid reaction is one of the possible results of vaccination against smallpox in individuals who already have partial immunity. The swelling, reddening, and blistering are considerably less than the so-called primary reaction that occurs after the inoculation of a person with no immunity against smallpox.... vaccinoid


n. a means of producing immunity to a disease by using a *vaccine, or a special preparation of antigenic material, to stimulate the formation of appropriate antibodies. The name was applied originally only to treatment with vaccinia (cowpox) virus, which gives protection not only against cowpox itself but also against the related smallpox. However, it is now used synonymously with inoculation as a method of *immunization against any disease. Vaccination is often carried out in two or three stages, as separate doses are less likely to cause unpleasant side-effects. A vaccine is usually given by injection but may be introduced into the skin through light scratches; for some diseases (such as polio), oral vaccines are available....  vaccination

Vacuum Aspiration

the removal by suction of the products of conception to terminate a pregnancy or evacuate the uterus following miscarriage. Carried out under local anaesthetic up to the 12th week of pregnancy, it uses a hand-held syringe (manual vacuum aspiration, MVA) or an electric pump (electric vacuum aspiration, EVA) to create suction.... vacuum aspiration


(vagino-) combining form denoting the vagina.... vagin

Vaginal Adenosis

the presence of glandular tissue in or under the vaginal epithelium that undergoes squamous *metaplasia. It may be associated with intrauterine *diethylstilbestrol exposure. See also clear-cell carcinoma.... vaginal adenosis

Vaginal Agenesis

congenital absence of part or all of the vagina. See Mayer–Rokitansky–Küster–Hauser syndrome.... vaginal agenesis


n. surgical excision of the vagina in cases of vaginal cancer.... vaginectomy


(colpoplasty) n. 1. a tissue-grafting operation on the vagina. 2. surgical reconstruction of the vagina, for example by using a loop of bowel brought through the *pouch of Douglas.... vaginoplasty


combining form denoting the vagus nerve.... vago


n. an antiviral drug taken by mouth to treat *herpes infections. Like aciclovir, it is a *DNA polymerase inhibitor. Trade name: Valtrex.... valaciclovir


n. a furrow or depression in an organ or other part. On the undersurface of the cerebellum a vallecula separates the two hemispheres.... vallecula

Valproic Acid

see sodium valproate.... valproic acid


n. see angiotensin II antagonist.... valsartan


pl. n. (in ethics) the moral standards and principles that govern personal and institutional behaviour. They derive from asking first what makes a good clinician or caring institution and then identifying the attributes, behaviours, actions, and aims appropriate to this end. They include concepts such as truthfulness, kindness, tolerance, and *integrity.... values


n. see valvuloplasty.... valvoplasty


n. (pl. valvulae) a small valve. The valvulae conniventes are circular folds of mucous membrane in the small intestine.... valvula


n. inflammation of one or more valves, particularly the heart valves. This may be acute or chronic and is most often due to rheumatic fever (see endocarditis).... valvulitis

Vanillylmandelic Acid

(VMA) a metabolite of *catecholamines excreted in abnormal amounts in the urine in conditions of excess catecholamine production, such as *phaeochromocytoma. The measurement of VMA levels in a 24-hour urine sample was formerly used as a screening test for this condition, but in the UK it has been largely superseded by the urinary metanephrine test (see metanephrine and normetanephrine).... vanillylmandelic acid

Vaquez–osler Disease

see polycythaemia vera. [L. H. Vaquez (1860–1936), French physician; Sir W. Osler (1849–1919), Canadian physician]... vaquez–osler disease


n. see sildenafil.... vardenafil

Variable Positive Airways Pressure

see BiPAP.... variable positive airways pressure

Variant Creutzfeldt–jakob Disease

(vCJD) see Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease.... variant creutzfeldt–jakob disease


n. see phlebectomy.... varicectomy


n. incision into a varicose vein (see phlebectomy).... varicotomy

Varifocal Lenses

(progressive lenses) lenses in which the power (see dioptre) gradually changes from one prescription to the other and there is no dividing line on the lens between the different segments (compare multifocal lenses). The wearer can see clearly at any distance by raising or lowering the eyes.... varifocal lenses


1. n. a mild form of smallpox in people who have previously had smallpox or have been vaccinated against it. 2. adj. resembling smallpox.... varioloid

Vasa Praevia

an uncommon but potentially disastrous complication of delivery, occurring in about 1 in 5000 deliveries, when unprotected fetal vessels run across the *lower uterine segment and cervix in front of the presenting part of the fetus. It is associated with a velamentous insertion of the cord (where the umbilical cord inserts directly into the membranes rather than the placenta) and in cases with normal cord insertion when the vessels run between the two lobes of a bilobed placenta. Vessels unsupported by placental tissue or the umbilical cord can tear when the cervix dilates or the membranes rupture, causing rapid fetal haemorrhage. Immediate Caesarean section to save the baby from *exsanguination is indicated. Fetal mortality for cases not recognized before the onset of labour is very high; appropriate use of prenatal ultrasonography may prevent perinatal death.... vasa praevia

Vasa Vasorum

pl. n. the tiny arteries and veins that supply the walls of blood vessels.... vasa vasorum

Vascular Dementia

see dementia.... vascular dementia

Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor

(VEGF) a *growth factor made by both normal cells and their abnormal or malignant counterparts to stimulate new blood vessel formation (see angiogenesis). It can be targeted by a family of drugs known as *angiogenesis inhibitors, which include *bevacizumab.... vascular endothelial growth factor


n. the development of blood vessels (usually capillaries) within a tissue.... vascularization

Vascular System

see cardiovascular system.... vascular system


n. the formation of new blood vessels resulting from the directed migration and differentiation of angioblasts (precursor cells) into endothelial cells. The primitive vessels undergo further growth and remodelling by *angiogenesis. Although largely confined to the embryo, vasculogenesis has recently been shown to occur in adults from circulating angioblasts.... vasculogenesis


combining form. see vas-.... vaso


adj. affecting the diameter of blood vessels, especially arteries. Examples of vasoactive agents are emotion, pressure, carbon dioxide, and temperature. Some exert their effect directly, others via the *vasomotor centre in the brain.... vasoactive

Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide

see VIP.... vasoactive intestinal peptide


n. an increase in the diameter of blood vessels, especially arteries. This results from local vasodilator hormones (e.g. *prostaglandins) or activation of the *vasomotor centre in the brain, which bring about relaxation of the arterial walls and a consequent lowering of blood pressure.... vasodilatation


n. the operation of joining the vas deferens to the epididymis in a side-to-side manner in order to bypass an obstruction to the passage of sperm from the testis. The obstruction, which may be congenital or acquired, is usually present in the mid-portion or tail of the epididymis. Vaso-epididymostomy is therefore usually performed by anastomosing the head of the epididymis to a longitudinal incision in the lumen of the adjacent vas.... vaso-epididymostomy


n. X-ray imaging of the *vas deferens. A contrast medium is injected either into the exposed vas deferens at surgery, using a fine needle, or into the ejaculatory duct (which discharges semen from the vesicle into the vas deferens) by inserting a catheter via an endoscope. The technique is used in the investigation of *azoospermia, to look for blockages in the vas.... vasography


n. the surgical tying of the vas deferens (the duct conveying sperm from the testis). This is performed to prevent infection spreading from the urinary tract and causing recurrent *epididymitis. It is sometimes performed at the same time as *prostatectomy to prevent the complication of epididymitis in the postoperative period.... vasoligation


n. an increase or decrease in the diameter of blood vessels, particularly the arteries. See vasoconstriction; vasodilatation.... vasomotion


adj. controlling the muscular walls of blood vessels, especially arteries, and therefore their diameter.... vasomotor

Vasomotor Nerve

any nerve, usually belonging to the autonomic nervous system, that controls the circulation of blood through blood vessels by its action on the muscle fibres within their walls or its action on the heartbeat. The *vagus nerve slows the heart and reduces its output, but sympathetic nerves increase the rate and output of the heart and increase blood pressure by causing the constriction of small blood vessels at the same time.... vasomotor nerve

Vasomotor Symptoms

subjective sensations experienced by women around the time of the *menopause, often described as explosions of heat (hot flushes), mostly followed by profuse sweating and sometimes preceded by an undetermined sensation with waking at night. Objective signs are sudden reddening of the skin on the head, neck, and chest and profuse sweating. Physiological changes include peripheral vasodilatation, *tachycardia with normal blood pressure, and raised skin temperature with normal body temperature.... vasomotor symptoms


adj. stimulating the contraction of blood vessels and therefore bringing about an increase in blood pressure.... vasopressor


n. see Raynaud’s disease.... vasospasm


n. a surgical incision into the vas deferens (the duct conveying sperm from the testis). This is usually undertaken to allow catheterization of the vas and the injection of radiopaque contrast material for X-ray examination (see vasography), to test for patency of the duct in patients with *azoospermia.... vasotomy


adj. relating to the action of impulses in the *vagus nerve on the circulation. The vagus reduces the rate at which the heart beats, and so lowers its output.... vasovagal


n. the surgical operation of reanastomosing the vas deferens after previous vasectomy: the reversal of vasectomy, undertaken to restore fertility. It is ideally performed using microsurgical techniques. The success rates vary depending on the time between the vasectomy and its reversal.... vasovasostomy


n. inflammation of the *seminal vesicles and *vas deferens. This usually occurs in association with *prostatitis and causes pain in the perineum, groin, and scrotum and a high temperature. On examination the vasa and seminal vesicles are thickened and tender. Treatment includes administration of antibiotics.... vasovesiculitis


n. any of three muscles (vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, and vastus medialis) that form part of the *quadriceps muscle of the thigh.... vastus

Vault Prolapse

prolapse of the *fornix (vault) of the vagina, which occurs at the time of hysterectomy (vaginal or abdominal) when the superior vaginal support mechanism is disrupted. It can be surgically corrected (see sacrocolpopexy; uterosacral suspension).... vault prolapse


see Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.... vcjd


n. a small hollow instrument used to introduce fluid into the anterior chamber of the eye in order to raise its pressure to aid cataract extraction.... vectis


n. (in pathology) an abnormal outgrowth from a membrane, fancied to resemble a vegetable growth. In ulcerative endocarditis, such outgrowths, consisting of *fibrin with enmeshed blood cells, are found on the membrane lining the heart valves.... vegetation


adj. 1. relating to growth and nutrition rather than to reproduction. 2. functioning unconsciously; autonomic.... vegetative


see vascular endothelial growth factor.... vegf


(velamentum) n. a covering membrane.... velamen


n. see bortezomib.... velcade


n. the fine hair that occurs on the body before puberty is reached.... vellus


n. (in anatomy) a veil-like covering. The medullary velum is either of two thin layers of tissue that form part of the roof of the fourth ventricle of the brain.... velum


see vestibular evoked myogenic potential test.... vemp


n. (pl. venae) see vein.... vena


(veno-) combining form denoting veins.... vene


n. a facing of *composite resin or *porcelain applied to the surface of a tooth to give improved shape and/or colour. The tooth usually requires minimal preparation and the facing is retained by enamel that has been treated by the *acid-etch technique. Veneers are a more conservative way of treating discoloured teeth than by *crowns.... veneer

Vegetative State

the clinical condition of unawareness of the self or the environment. The patient breathes spontaneously and has a stable circulation and sleep/wake cycles. It results from extensive damage to the cerebral cortex and thalamus while the brainstem and hypothalamus remain intact. The commonest causes are traumatic brain injury (e.g. road-traffic accidents) and cardiopulmonary arrest. Conditions that mimic the vegetative state include the psychiatric state of *catatonia and the locked-in syndrome, resulting from damage to the brainstem, in which the patient is conscious but unable to speak or make any movements of the body except for blinking and upward eye movements. See also persistent vegetative state.... vegetative state

Veil Of Ignorance

a hypothetical state, advanced by the US political philosopher John Rawls, in which decisions about social justice and the allocation of resources would be made fairly, as if by a person who must decide on society’s rules and economic structures without knowing what position he or she will occupy in that society. By removing knowledge of status, abilities, and interests, Rawls argued, one could eliminate the usual effects of egotism and personal circumstances on such decisions. Rawls maintained that any society designed on this basis would adhere to two principles: the principle of equal liberty, which gives each person the right to as much freedom as is compatible with the freedom of others, and the maximin principle, which allocates resources so that the benefit of the least advantaged people is maximized as far as possible. Rawls’s exposition, and the maximin principle in particular, have proved widely influential in discussions of welfare provision and, especially, the allocation of medical resources.... veil of ignorance


n. a mixture of two or more *venoms: used to produce antiserum against venoms (antivenene).... venene

Venereal Disease

(VD) see sexually transmitted disease.... venereal disease


combining form. see vene-.... veno


n. the continuous infusion into a vein of saline or other solution.... venoclysis


n. balloon dilatation of a narrowed vein, similar to *angioplasty.... venoplasty


n. see phlebosclerosis.... venosclerosis

Venous Thromboembolism

(VTE) the formation of a blood clot in a vein, which may become detached and lodged elsewhere. It includes deep vein thrombosis (see phlebothrombosis) and *pulmonary embolism. VTE is a leading direct cause of maternal death (see maternal mortality rate). See also thromboembolism.... venous thromboembolism

Ventilation-perfusion Scanning

(V/Q scanning) a nuclear medicine technique in which two different isotopes are used, one inhaled (usually *xenon-133 or *krypton-81m), to examine lung ventilation, and the other injected into a vein, to examine lung perfusion. In *pulmonary embolism, the area of lung supplied by the blocked artery is not being perfused with blood – which gives a perfusion defect on the film – but has normal ventilation. This technique is highly sensitive for pulmonary embolism.... ventilation-perfusion scanning


(ventriculo-) combining form denoting a ventricle (of the brain or heart).... ventricul

Ventricular Assist Device

(VAD) a mechanical pump implanted in the body for the purpose of taking over some or all of the pumping action of the heart in patients with severe heart damage. Support may be given to the left ventricle (LVAD), right ventricle (RVAD), or both. Most such devices require *thoracotomy, but a percutaneous device is now also available. This is usually regarded as a temporary measure until the heart has recovered or is transplanted.... ventricular assist device

Ventricular Folds

see vocal folds.... ventricular folds


n. inflammation in the ventricles of the brain, usually caused by infection. It may result from the rupture of a cerebral abscess into the cavity of the ventricle or from the spread of a severe form of *meningitis from the subarachnoid space.... ventriculitis


n. an operation for the relief of raised pressure due to the build-up of cerebrospinal fluid that occurs in *hydrocephalus. Using a system of catheters, the fluid is drained into the jugular vein in the neck.... ventriculoatriostomy

Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt

see shunt.... ventriculoperitoneal shunt


n. observation of the ventricles of the brain through a fibre-optic instrument. See endoscope; fibre optics.... ventriculoscopy


n. an operation to introduce a hollow needle (cannula) into one of the lateral ventricles (cavities) of the brain. This may be done to relieve raised intracranial pressure, to obtain cerebrospinal fluid from the ventricle for examination, or to introduce antibiotics or contrast material for X-ray examination.... ventriculostomy


combining form denoting 1. ventral. 2. the abdomen.... ventro


n. see ventrosuspension.... ventrofixation

Veress Needle

a surgical needle used prior to *laparoscopy to gain access to the peritoneal cavity and allow insufflation of carbon dioxide (*pneumoperitoneum) before the insertion of a sharp *trocar. It has an outer cutting sheath and an inner spring-loaded gas-transmitting safety sheath and is inserted into the abdomen either in the midsagittal plane at the lower margin or base of the umbilicus or at *Palmer’s point. [J. Veress (20th century), Hungarian surgeon]... veress needle


n. a chemical agent used to destroy parasitic worms living in the intestine. Compare vermifuge.... vermicide

Vermiform Appendix

see appendix.... vermiform appendix


n. the central portion of the *cerebellum, lying between its two lateral hemispheres and immediately behind the pons and the medulla oblongata of the hindbrain.... vermis


n. the vermiform *appendix.... vermix

Vernal Conjunctivitis

*conjunctivitis of allergic origin, often associated with hay fever or other forms of *atopy.... vernal conjunctivitis

Verner–morrison Syndrome

see VIPoma. [J. V. Verner (1927– ), US physician; A. B. Morrison (1922– ), Irish pathologist]... verner–morrison syndrome


n. a device for obtaining accurate measurements of length, to 1/10th, 1/100th or smaller fractions of a unit. It consists of a fixed graduated main scale against which a shorter vernier scale slides. The vernier scale is graduated into divisions equal to nine-tenths of the smallest unit marked on the main scale. The vernier scale is often adjusted by means of a screw thread. A reading is taken by observing which of the markings on the scales coincide.... vernier

Vernix Caseosa

the layer of greasy material which covers the skin of a fetus or newborn baby. It is produced by the oil-secreting glands of the skin and contains skin scales and fine hairs.... vernix caseosa

Verrucous Carcinoma

an *indolent preinvasive wartlike carcinoma typically of the oral cavity, associated with chewing tobacco, and vulva.... verrucous carcinoma

Vertebral Column

see backbone.... vertebral column


n. an *interventional radiology procedure in which bone cement is injected through a wide-bore needle that is placed into a fractured or tumour-bearing vertebra to reduce the movement, and hence to reduce the pain.... vertebroplasty


n. see photodynamic therapy.... verteporfin

Vertical Banded Gastroplasty

see gastroplasty; stomach stapling.... vertical banded gastroplasty

Vertical Transmission

1. (mother-to-child transmission) transmission of an infection, such as HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C, from mother to fetus via the placental circulation. 2. (in population genetics) inheritance of an allele or condition from either the father or mother.... vertical transmission


combining form denoting the urinary bladder. Example: vesicovaginal (relating to the bladder and vagina).... vesico


n. see cystopexy.... vesicofixation


n. the surgical creation of an artificial channel between the bladder and the skin surface for the passage of urine. It is sometimes combined with closure of the urethra.... vesicostomy

Vesicoureteric Reflux

the backflow of urine from the bladder into the ureters. It is classified into primary or congenital vesicoureteric reflux, which is due to defective valves (which normally prevent reflux), or secondary, which is due to another condition (e.g. *neuropathic bladder). Infection may be conveyed to the kidneys, causing recurrent attacks of acute *pyelonephritis and scarring of the kidneys in childhood. Children with urinary infection must be investigated for reflux by *cystoscopy; if the condition does not settle with antibiotic therapy corrective surgery must be performed.... vesicoureteric reflux


n. surgical removal of a *seminal vesicle. This operation, which is rarely undertaken, may be performed for chronic infection, unusual cases of infertility, and rarely for a tumour of the seminal vesicles.... vesiculectomy


n. inflammation of the seminal vesicles. See vasovesiculitis.... vesiculitis


n. any technique for imaging the seminal vesicles. This used to be performed by injecting a contrast medium into the vas deferens during *vasography. More commonly direct injection is now performed during *transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS), enabling sperm to be sampled at the same examination. Injected contrast medium or dye should be seen draining into the vas deferens to the bladder if there is no blockage. *Magnetic resonance imaging is a good technique for imaging the seminal vesicles with no radiation exposure. Both these techniques are useful for investigation of patients with *azoospermia.... vesiculography


n. a tube conveying a body fluid, especially a blood vessel or a lymphatic vessel.... vessel

Vestibular Apparatus

those parts of the inner ear involved with balance. They comprise the *semicircular canals, *saccule and *utricle. See ear; vestibular system.... vestibular apparatus

Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential Test

(VEMP) a test used to measure the response of the *saccule. It is used in the diagnosis of *superior canal dehiscence syndrome, *Ménière’s disease, and other disorders of the inner ear.... vestibular evoked myogenic potential test

Vestibular Glands

the two pairs of glands that open at the junction of the vagina and vulva. The more posterior of the two are the greater vestibular glands (Bartholin’s glands); the other pair are the lesser vestibular glands. Their function is to lubricate the entrance to the vagina during coitus.... vestibular glands

Vestibular Nerve

the division of the *vestibulocochlear nerve that carries impulses from the semicircular canals, utricle, and saccule of the inner ear to the brain, conveying information about the body’s posture and movements in space and allowing coordination and balance.... vestibular nerve

Vestibular Neuronitis

(vestibular neuritis) a condition characterized by the sudden onset of vertigo without hearing loss or other auditory symptoms (compare labyrinthitis). It generally lasts days to weeks and the cause is unknown.... vestibular neuronitis

Vestibular Schwannoma

a slow-growing benign tumour arising on one of the *vestibular nerves. It is also known as an acoustic neuroma, but this is a misnomer as the tumour arises from *Schwann cells rather than nerve cells and on a vestibular nerve rather than the cochlear (acoustic) nerve. Symptoms include hearing loss, tinnitus, and imbalance and there is an increased prevalence of the tumour in patients who have *neurofibromatosis type II. Diagnosis is by MRI scan and treatment is not always required. In those cases where treatment is necessary, this may be by surgery, radiotherapy, or *gamma knife.... vestibular schwannoma

Vestibular System

those parts of the body involved in balance. The peripheral vestibular system, or *vestibular apparatus, is in the inner ear. The central vestibular system comprises those parts of the brain that are involved in balance. The central vestibular system receives other inputs as well as from the ear, in particular inputs from the eyes and proprioceptors.... vestibular system

Viable Myocardium

see hibernating myocardium.... viable myocardium


n. see doxycycline.... vibramycin


n. (pl. vibrissae) a stiff coarse hair, especially one of the stiff hairs that lie just inside the nostrils.... vibrissa


adj. describing an action or function performed by an organ not normally involved in the function. For example, vicarious menstruation is a rare disorder in which monthly bleeding occurs from places other than the vagina, such as the sweat glands, breasts, nose, or eyes.... vicarious


combining form denoting the use of a video camera to view and record moving images. See videofluoroscopy.... video

Video Capsule Endoscopy

(VCE) an investigation for visualizing the intestinal lining (mucosa). A capsule containing a miniature digital video camera is swallowed by the patient and passively propelled through the intestine by peristalsis. The images are uploaded to a computer for subsequent analysis. Various capsules are available for investigation of oesophageal, small-intestinal, and colonic disorders. The commonest in use is the small-intestinal capsule, for investigation of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding, recurrent iron-deficiency anaemia, or in cases of suspected Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease, or small-bowel tumours.... video capsule endoscopy


n. the technique of viewing and recording real time X-ray investigation using a video camera (see real-time imaging). This enables the moving images to be reviewed at a later time, by individual frames or in slow motion.... videofluoroscopy


n. see corneal topography.... videokeratography


n. a method of studying the vibration of the *vocal folds of the *larynx using high-speed digital photography. See laryngeal stroboscopy.... videokymography


n. a small *endoscope connected to a digital camera for examining the outer ear and eardrum.... video-otoscope


n. see DPP-IV inhibitors.... vildagliptin


n. see vinca alkaloid.... vinblastine

Vinca Alkaloid

one of a group of *antimitotic drugs (see also cytotoxic drug) derived from the periwinkle (Vinca rosea). Vinca alkaloids are used especially to treat leukaemias and lymphomas; they include vinblastine, vincristine, and vindesine. Vinorelbine is used in the treatment of advanced breast cancer and *non-small-cell lung cancer. Vinflunine is given by intravenous infusion to treat *transitional cell carcinoma. Vinca alkaloids are highly toxic; side-effects include *myelosuppression, peripheral neuropathy, and severe irritation at the injection site.... vinca alkaloid

Vincent’s Angina

an obsolete term for *ulcerative gingivitis. [H. Vincent (1862–1950), French physician]... vincent’s angina


n. (pl. vincula) a connecting band of tissue. The vincula tendinum are threadlike bands of synovial membrane that connect the flexor tendons of the fingers and toes to their point of insertion on the phalanges.... vinculum


n. see vinca alkaloid.... vindesine


n. see vinca alkaloid.... vinflunine


n. a usually malignant tumour of islet cells of the pancreas that secretes large amounts of *VIP. This results in severe watery diarrhoea (‘pancreatic cholera’ or the Verner–Morrison syndrome), with loss of potassium and bicarbonate and a low level of stomach acid. The treatment is surgical removal of the tumour.... vipoma

Virchow–robin Spaces

(perivascular spaces) fluid-filled spaces that form around blood vessels in the *pia mater as they penetrate deeper brain tissue. They may dilate, resulting in raised intracranial pressure. [R. Virchow (1821–1902), German pathologist]... virchow–robin spaces

Virchow’s Node

an enlarged lymph node that may be palpated above the left clavicle (the left supraclavicular fossa). It is strongly associated with abdominal malignancy, particularly cancer of the stomach, since the lymphatic drainage from the abdomen is channelled via the thoracic duct to the left side of the neck before it enters the left subclavian vein. Enlargement of the right supraclavicular lymph node is associated with lung and oesophageal cancer.... virchow’s node

Virtue Ethics

theories that emphasize the ethical importance of the virtues (e.g., honesty or courage), true happiness, and practical wisdom (compare consequentialism; deontology). In medical ethics, the traits of a ‘good doctor’ provide the moral compass by which to assess professional practice.... virtue ethics

Visceral Arch

see pharyngeal arch.... visceral arch

Visceral Cleft

see pharyngeal cleft.... visceral cleft

Visceral Hyperalgesia

increased sensitivity to visceral stimulation after injury or inflammation of an internal organ, which can result in chronic pain syndromes.... visceral hyperalgesia

Visceral Pouch

see pharyngeal pouch.... visceral pouch


combining form denoting the viscera.... viscero


n. a surgical technique in which a *viscoelastic material is used to dissect and separate layers of tissue.... viscodissection

Viscoelastic Material

a material exhibiting both viscous and elastic properties. It is used in ophthalmic surgery to help maintain the shape of ocular tissues as well as lubricate and minimize trauma. It is commonly used in intraocular surgery, such as cataract surgery. Viscoelastic materials are also used in dentistry for impression and filling materials.... viscoelastic material


n. see viscera.... viscus

Visual Pathway

see optic nerve.... visual pathway

Visual Purple

see rhodopsin.... visual purple

Visual Reinforcement Audiometry

(visual reinforced audiometry, VRA) a behavioural test of hearing for children aged approximately 6 to 30 months in which the subject sits between two calibrated loudspeakers. A sound is generated from one loudspeaker. Children who turn towards the sound are rewarded by brief illumination of a toy adjacent to the loudspeaker. Older children can be tested with headphones, rather than using the loudspeakers, to enable each ear to be tested separately. The test can be adapted for use with older subjects who have learning disabilities.... visual reinforcement audiometry

Vital Centre

any of the collections of nerve cells in the brain that act as governing centres for different vital body functions – such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature control etc. – making reflex adjustments according to the body’s needs. Most lie in the hypothalamus and brainstem.... vital centre

Vital Staining

(intravital staining) the process of staining a living tissue by injecting a stain into the organism. Compare supravital staining.... vital staining

Vitelliform Degeneration

(Best’s disease) degeneration of the *macula of the eye that is inherited as a dominant characteristic and usually starts in childhood. There is widespread abnormality of retinal pigment epithelium (see retina) with the accumulation of a yellowish material, especially in the macular area.... vitelliform degeneration


n. the yolk of an ovum.... vitellus


n. the removal of the whole or part of the vitreous humour of the eye. Anterior vitrectomy is removal of the front portion of the vitreous humour. Vitrectomy is often required to remove a nonresolving vitreous haemorrhage and also as a part of surgical procedures on the retina, including repair of a detached retina.... vitrectomy

Vitreous Detachment

the separation of the *vitreous humour from the underlying retina. This is a normal ageing process, but it is also more common in such conditions as diabetes and severe myopia. It can sometimes cause a tear in the retina and lead to *retinal detachment.... vitreous detachment


n. a process in which eggs or embryos in vitro are preserved by being dehydrated, treated with an antifreeze chemical, and then flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen. They instantly become converted into a glassy material without the formation of ice crystals, which can damage the genetic material, seen with slower forms of freezing.... vitrification


n. inflammation within the vitreous humour of the eye.... vitritis

Vocal Folds

(vocal cords) the two folds of tissue which protrude from the sides of the *larynx to form a narrow slit (glottis) across the air passage (see illustration). Their controlled interference with the expiratory air flow produces audible vibrations that make up speech, song, and all other vocal noises. Alterations in the vocal folds themselves or in their nerve supply by disease interfere with phonation.... vocal folds

Vocal Fremitus

see fremitus.... vocal fremitus

Vocational Training

see foundation training.... vocational training


(vulsellum) n. surgical forceps with clawlike hooks at the ends of both blades.... volsellum


n. the *SI unit of electric potential, equal to the potential difference between two points on a conducting wire through which a constant current of 1 ampere flows when the power dissipated between these points is 1 watt. Symbol: V.... volt


adj. 1. describing a decision or action taken freely, i.e. without coercion or undue pressure. *Consent must be voluntary if it is to be legally valid. See also autonomy. 2. under the control of *striated muscle.... voluntary

Voluntary Hospital

in the USA, a hospital that is owned or operated by a religious organization or community association to provide health-care facilities on a non-profit basis. In recent decades the role of voluntary hospitals has changed from one of caring primarily for *charity patients to one of serving all members of a community. At the same time, the practice of charging higher fees to patients able to afford them in order to compensate for the expense of caring for charity patients has generally been eliminated.... voluntary hospital


n. a thin plate of bone that forms part of the nasal septum (see nasal cavity). See also skull.... vomer


n. 1. an abnormal cavity in an organ, usually a lung, sometimes containing pus. 2. the abrupt expulsion from the mouth of a large quantity of pus or decaying matter originating in the throat or lungs.... vomica


1. vb. to expel the contents of the stomach through the mouth (see vomiting). 2. n. the contents of the stomach ejected during vomiting. Medical name: vomitus.... vomit


n. short for ‘volume element’, the volume of tissue in a body that is represented by a *pixel in a cross-sectional image. It depends on the slice thickness of the original scan.... voxel


(variable positive airways pressure) trade name for a brand of ventilator that delivers air to the lungs at different levels of pressure. See BiPAP.... vpap


n. a position of relative disadvantage, which requires a person to trust and depend upon others. In a medical context, all patients are vulnerable to an extent and some may be particularly so owing to impaired decision-making abilities or social position. Any *exploitation of a vulnerable person is considered contrary to medical ethics. There is increasing interest in the vulnerabilities of health-care professionals themselves and the evidence for *compassion fatigue, *burnout, and *ethical erosion is strong. A number of commentators have argued that the most effective therapeutic relationships occur when both the patient and clinician are aware of their own humanity because they have each experienced being vulnerable. A number of specific services and support groups have been established to help doctors and other health-care professionals in difficulty (see Schwartz rounds). —vulnerable adj.... vulnerability


n. see volsellum.... vulsellum


(vulvo-) combining form denoting the vulva.... vulv

Vulval Cancer

a relatively rare gynaecological cancer, most common in the elderly. The most common symptom is longstanding itch, but vulval pain, discharge, and bleeding have also been reported. Surgery is the primary treatment, with wide excision by radical *vulvectomy and regional *lymphadenectomy. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy can also be used.... vulval cancer

Vulval Intraepithelial Neoplasia

(VIN) premalignant disease of the vulva, which has histological features and terminology similar to those of *cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Viral aetiological factors, such as HPV, are thought to be involved. The most common presenting symptom is itch, but VIN may be asymptomatic and detected only during treatment of preinvasive or invasive lesions of the cervix or lower genital tract.... vulval intraepithelial neoplasia

Vulval Vestibulitis

pain on entry or touch of the vulva, with redness of the *vestibular glands, tenderness on pressure, and dyspareunia. The pain, which is localized, is described as a severe burning sensation; itching is not usually a feature (compare vulvitis). The condition seems to be more common in premenopausal Caucasian women with a history of anxiety and related disorders. See also vulvodynia.... vulval vestibulitis


n. unexplained vulval pain, often coupled with sexual dysfunction and psychological disorder, which is often described by the patient as a burning stinging sensation and/or rawness. Cyclic vulvodynia occurs in relation to menstruation or coitus and is thought to be due to changes in vaginal pH that make the vulva more susceptible to infection. Essential (or dysaesthetic) vulvodynia is thought to be due to an altered perception of cutaneous pain, like postherpetic *neuralgia. Treatment of essential vulvodynia is with tricyclic antidepressants at night, biofeedback, vestibulectomy, cognitive behavioural therapy, topical capsaicin cream, lignocaine gel, and good skin care.... vulvodynia

Williams Vulvovaginoplasty

a surgical technique of vaginal reconstruction, with the formation of a pouch between the urethra and rectum.... williams vulvovaginoplasty

Zika Virus

a mosquito-borne virus that usually causes mild symptoms in humans, including fever, skin rashes, muscle and joint pain, and headache. However, infection during pregnancy can result in brain abnormalities of the fetus, notably *microcephaly. Zika virus can also trigger *Guillain–Barré syndrome. Infection is usually from a mosquito bite, although the virus may also be transmitted by sexual intercourse.... zika virus


unstable, evaporates easily, as in ‘volatile oil’; see essential oil.... volatile

Cedarwood, Virginian

Juniperus virginiana

FAMILY: Cupressaceae

SYNONYMS: Red cedar, eastern red cedar, southern red cedar, Bedford cedarwood (oil).

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A coniferous, slow-growing, evergreen tree up to 33 metres high with a narrow, dense and pyramidal crown, a reddish heartwood and brown cones. The tree can attain a majestic stature with a trunk diameter of over 1.5 metres.

DISTRIBUTION: Native to North America, especially mountainous regions east of the Rocky Mountains.

OTHER SPECIES: There are many cultivars of the red cedar; its European relative is the shrubby red cedar (J. sabina) also known as savin – see entry. It is also closely related to the East African cedarwood (J. procera).

HERBAL/FOLK TRADITION: The North American Indians used it for respiratory infections, especially those involving an excess of catarrh. Decoctions of leaves, bark, twigs and fruit were used to treat a variety of ailments: menstrual delay, rheumatism, arthritis, skin rashes, venereal warts, gonorrhoea, pyelitis and kidney infections.

It is an excellent insect and vermin repellent (mosquitoes, moths, woodworm, rats, etc.) and was once used with citronella as a commercial insecticide.

ACTIONS: Abortifacient, antiseborrhoeic, antiseptic (pulmonary, genito-urinary), antispasmodic, astringent, balsamic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, insecticide, sedative (nervous), stimulant (circulatory).

EXTRACTION: Essential oil by steam distillation from the timber waste, sawdust, shavings, etc. (At one time a superior oil was distilled from the red heartwood, from trees over twenty five years old.)

CHARACTERISTICS: A pale yellow or orange oily liquid with a mild, sweet-balsamic, ‘pencil wood’ scent. It blends well with sandalwood, rose, juniper, cypress, vetiver, patchouli and benzoin.

PRINCIPAL CONSTITUENTS: Mainly cedrene (up to 80 per cent), cedrol (3–14 per cent), and cedrenol, among others.

SAFETY DATA: Externally the oil is relatively non-toxic; can cause acute local irritation and possible sensitization in some individuals. Use in dilution only with care, in moderation. ‘The oil is a powerful abortifacient … use of the oil has been fatal.’. Avoid during pregnancy. Generally safer to use Atlas cedarwood.


Skin Care: Acne, dandruff, eczema, greasy hair, insect repellent, oily skin, psoriasis.

Circulation, Muscles And Joints: Arthritis, rheumatism.

Respiratory System: Bronchitis, catarrh, congestion, coughs, sinusitis.

Genito-Urinary System: Cystitis, leucorrhoea.

Nervous System: Nervous tension and stress-related disorders.

OTHER USES: Extensively used in room sprays and household insect repellents. Employed as a fragrance component in soaps, cosmetics and perfumes. Used as the starting material for the isolation of cedrene.... cedarwood, virginian

Verbena, Lemon

Aloysia triphylla

FAMILY: Verbenaceae

SYNONYMS: A. citriodora, Verbena triphylla, Lippia citriodora, L. triphylla, verbena, herb Louisa.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A handsome deciduous perennial shrub up to 5 metres high with a woody stem, very fragrant, delicate, pale green, lanceolate leaves arranged in threes, and small, pale purple flowers. Often grown as an ornamental bush in gardens.

DISTRIBUTION: Native of Chile and Argentina; cultivated (and found semi-wild) in the Mediterranean region – France, Tunisia, Algeria – as well as Kenya and China. The oil is mainly produced in southern France and North Africa.

OTHER SPECIES: Botanically related to the oregano family – see Botanical Classification section. Not to be mistaken for the so-called ‘Spanish verbena’ or ‘verbena’ oil (Spanish) (Thymus hiamalis), nor confused with the herb ‘vervain’ (Verbena officinalis). This is further confused since the French name for verbena is verveine (Verveine citronelle, Verveine odorante).

HERBAL/FOLK TRADITION: ‘The uses of lemon verbena are similar to those of mint, orange flowers and melissa.’. It is indicated especially in nervous conditions which manifest as digestive complaints. The dried leaves are still used as a popular household tea especially on the Continent, both as a refreshing, uplifting ‘pick-me-up’ and to help restore the liver after a hang-over.

ACTIONS: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, detoxifying, digestive, febrifuge, hepatobiliary stimulant, sedative (nervous), stomachic.

EXTRACTION: Essential oil by steam distillation from the freshly harvested herb.

CHARACTERISTICS: A pale olive or yellow mobile liquid with a sweet, fresh, lemony, fruity-floral fragrance. It blends well with neroli, palmarosa, olibanum, Tolu balsam, elemi, lemon and other citrus oils.

PRINCIPAL CONSTITUENTS: Citral (30–35 per cent), nerol and geraniol, among others.

SAFETY DATA: Possible sensitization; phototoxicity due to high citral levels. Other safety data is unavailable at present – however, true verbena oil is virtually non-existent. Most so-called ‘verbena oil’ is either from the Spanish verbena (an inferior oil), or a mix of lemongrass, lemon, citronella, etc.


Digestive system: Cramps, indigestion, liver congestion.

Nervous system: Anxiety, insomnia, nervous tension and stress-related conditions.

OTHER USES: Used in perfumery and citrus colognes – ‘eau de verveine’ is still popular in France, Europe and America.... verbena, lemon


Vetiveria zizanoides

FAMILY: Poaceae (Gramineae)

SYNONYMS: Andropogon muricatus, vetivert, khus khus.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A tall, tufted, perennial, scented grass, with a straight stem, long narrow leaves and an abundant complex lacework of undergound white rootlets.

DISTRIBUTION: Native to south India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Also cultivated in Reunion, the Philippines, the Comoro Islands, Japan, West Africa and South America. The oil is mainly produced in Java, Haiti and Reunion; some is distilled in Europe and the USA.

OTHER SPECIES: Botanically related to lemongrass, citronella, litsea cubeba and flouve oil (also from the roots of a tropical grass).

HERBAL/FOLK TRADITION: The rootlets have been used in the East for their fine fragrance since antiquity. They are used by the locals to protect domestic animals from vermin, and the fibres of the grass are woven into aromatic matting. It is grown in India to protect against soil erosion during the tropical rainy season.

In India and Sri Lanka the essence is known as ‘the oil of tranquillity’.

ACTIONS: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, depurative, rubefacient, sedative (nervous system), stimulant (circulatory, production of red corpuscles), tonic, vermifuge.

EXTRACTION: Essential oil by steam distillation from the roots and rootlets washed, chopped, dried and soaked. (A resinoid is also produced by solvent extraction for perfumery work.)

CHARACTERISTICS: A dark brown, olive or amber viscous oil with a deep smoky, earthy woody odour with a sweet persistent undertone. The colour and scent can vary according to the source – Angola produces a very pale oil with a dry-woody odour. It blends well with sandalwood, rose, violet, jasmine, opopanax, patchouli, oakmoss, lavender, clary sage, mimosa, cassie and ylang ylang.

PRINCIPAL CONSTITUENTS: Vetiverol, vitivone, terpenes, e.g. vetivenes, among others.

SAFETY DATA: Non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing.


Skin care: Acne, cuts, oily skin, wounds.

Circulation muscles and joints: Arthritis, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, sprains, stiffness.

Nervous system: Debility, depression, insomnia, nervous tension – ‘Vetiver is deeply relaxing, so valuable in massage and baths for anybody experiencing stress.’.

OTHER USES: Employed as a fixative and fragrance ingredient in soaps, cosmetics and perfumes, especially oriental types. The oil is used in food preservatives, especially for asparagus.... vetiver

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