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Organic Terms Glossary

Adaptogen/Adaptogenic/Anti-stress Agent

An Adaptogen/Anti-stress agent improves the fighting capacity (adaptability) of the body against stress (physical, chemical, environmental, mental and emotional). If stress becomes prolonged and the organism cannot cope with it, i.e. cannot adapt, stress will result in disease. Depending upon the inherent strengths and weaknesses of the individual, the same stress can cause: allergies, arterial hypertension, arthritis, bronchial asthma, bronchitis, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, colitis, coronary heart disease including myocardial infarction, diabetes mellitus, gastrointestinal ulcers, etc. Different kinds of stress, for example, grief and anxiety (emotional stress), pollution and other toxins (environmental stress), pressure and tension (mental stress), poor diet and fatigue (physical stress) etc. will cause different diseases in different individuals. Thus, any plant that improves the adaptive processes of the body in fighting against stress is termed as an adaptogen (adaptogenic agent, anti-stress agent).


Agrichemical (or agrochemical), a contraction of agricultural chemical, is a generic term for the various chemical products used in agriculture. In most cases, agrichemical refers to the broad range of insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides, but it may also include synthetic fertilizers, hormones and other chemical growth agents, and concentrated stores of raw animal manure.

Most agrichemicals are toxic, and all agrichemicals in bulk storage pose significant environmental and/or health risks, particularly in the event of accidental spills.

Alcohol Tinctures

In medicine, a tincture is an alcoholic extract (e.g. of a herb) or solution of a nonvolatile substance (e.g. of iodine, mercurochrome).

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized in the brain by abnormal clumps (amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (neurofibrillary tangles) composed of misplaced proteins. Symptoms of AD include memory loss, language deterioration, impaired ability to mentally manipulate visual information, poor judgment, confusion, restlessness, and mood swings. Eventually AD destroys cognition, personality, and the ability to function.


Antibiotics (Greek anti: “against”; bios: “life”) are chemical compounds used to kill or inhibit the growth of infectious organisms. Originally the term antibiotic referred only to organic compounds, produced by bacteria or moulds that are toxic to other microorganisms. The term is now used loosely to include synthetic and semi synthetic organic compounds. Antibiotic refers generally to antibacterial; however, because the term is loosely defined, it is preferable to specify compounds as being antimalarials, antiviral, or antiprotozoals. All antibiotics share the property of selective toxicity: They are more toxic to an invading organism than they are to an animal or human host. Penicillin is the most well known antibiotic and has been used to fight many infectious diseases, including syphilis, gonorrhea, tetanus, and scarlet fever.


Reducing inflammation by acting on body responses, without directly antagonizing the causative agent.


Antipyretics are drugs that prevent or reduce fever by lowering the body temperature from a raised state.

Antioxidants & Free Radicals

Antioxidants are substances that slow down the process of excess oxidation and protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Exposure to air pollution, chemical and/or industrial toxins, pesticides, herbicides, tobacco smoke, heavy metals, alcohol, ultra-violet radiation, hydrogenated fats and chemical preservatives are all factors that put the body in danger of undesirable free radicals.

Free radicals are highly reactive, unstable molecules with a free electron in the cell membrane. When a free radical comes in contact with another cell, it will attack it, oxidize it and cause damage. If free radicals are not stopped, they can start a long chain reaction of free radical formation. When cells are attacked by free radicals, excess oxidation occurs (called lipid peroxidation) which can damage the cellular and intracellular membranes and even kill the cell.

Antioxidants stop this process. They have a free radical scavenging capacity and prevent cellular damage. An excess of free radicals can cause different medical conditions depending on which tissues are attacked. Free radicals have been strongly implicated in leading to premature aging, heart disease, respiratory problems and cancer. The cellular damage caused by free radicals can be responsible for causing and/or accelerating many diseases. If the body is in a healthy state, the formation and destruction of cells is normally balanced, but during aging and pathological conditions, the formation of free radicals markedly increases and cell destruction tends to dominate. Excess oxidation can be naturally controlled by diets that include natural antioxidants. All green vegetables which contain chlorophyll, orange and brightly colored vegetables which contain beta-carotene, foods that contain vitamin E, fruits that contain Vitamin C and as well as green tea and many Ayurvedic/medicinal herbs like Tulsi and Ashwagandha all contain natural antioxidants, which support endogenous (naturally occurring with the body) antioxidation. Tulsi and Ashwagandha are especially rich in certain phytochemicals (plant nutrients), which have free radical scavenging activities.

A diet rich in a combination of natural antioxidants is highly recommended to guard against free radicals and protect cells from damaging excess oxidation.


An antigen is a molecule that stimulates an immune response. The word originated from the notion that they can stimulate antibody generation. Often antigens are foreign proteins (or parts of them) that enter the body via an infection. Sometimes, however, the body's own proteins, expressed in an inappropriate manner (where or when they are not usually seen), are treated like antigens by the immune system. It is important to recognize that bacteria or viruses are not themselves antigens but they contain antigens both on their surface and inside them.


Botanical name of this plant is Emblica officinalis (Greek), Phyllanthus emblica (Latin), and the other names being Indian gooseberry, Dhatri the nurse. Amalaki is also known as a rasayana (having restorative and balancing effects on the 3 constitutional elements that govern human life: Vat, Pit, Kaph). It belongs to family Euphorbiaceae. Emblica officinalis is a deciduous tree with exfoliating bark. It is used in Ayurveda as a cardiotonic, aphrodiasic, antipyretic, antidiabetic, cerebral and gastrointestinal tonic. It raises the total protein level and increases the body weight due to positive nitrogen balance. It has been found to have an anabolic effect.


Botanical name of this plant is Terminalia arjuna. Arjun is one of India’s sacred tree, named for Arjuna.Its bark is considered an important cardiac aid, used in treating many types of cardiovascular disorders. Its effect on the ovarian tissue may produce an estrogen like activity that enhances the repair of endometrium and stops bleeding.


The botanical name of Ashwagandha is Withania somnifera, the other names are Winter Cherry, Indian ginseng, Ajgandha, Kanaje Hindi and Samm AL Ferakh. This plant belongs to family Solanaceae. Normally, both roots and leaves of this plant are used for medicinal purposes; however it is roots which are used most. Ashwagandha is a very powerful Adaptogen/Anti Stress agent, improves sexual vitality, anti arthritic, immuno modulator and mild sedative. There are number of formulae containing Ashwagandha in Ayurveda including Ashwagandha containing alcoholic beverage. There is mention of Ashwagandha wine used by Alexander The Great.


Ascites is defined as an excessive amount of fluid built up within the peritoneal cavity. Both the abdominal organs and the abdomen itself are lined with membranes called the peritoneum. Between these two linings is a space referred to as the peritoneal cavity. In pathological conditions that result in edema, or excessive fluid accumulation in bodily tissues, fluid can build up in the peritoneal cavity. Smaller abdominal fluid amounts usually do not produce symptoms. However, larger accumulations can cause:

  • rapid weight gain
  • abdominal discomfort and distention
  • shortness of breath and actual dyspnea, or difficulty in breathing
  • swollen ankles

Auto Immune Disorders

Auto immune disorders are conditions in which a person's immune system attacks the body's own cells, causing tissue destruction. Autoimmunity is accepted as the cause of a wide range of disorders, and it is suspected to be responsible for many more. Autoimmune diseases are classified as either general, in which the autoimmune reaction takes place simultaneously in a number of tissues, or organ specific, in which the autoimmune reaction targets a single organ.


Ayurveda or ayurvedic medicine is a form of traditional medicine in use primarily in the Indian subcontinent. The word "Ayurveda" is a tatpurusha compound of ayus "life" and veda "knowledge", and would roughly translate as the "Science of Life".

Ayurveda deals with the measures of healthy living, along with therapeutic measures that relate to physical, mental, social and spiritual harmony. Ayurveda is also one among the few traditional systems of medicine involving surgery.


Azamgarh district is one of the eastern district of U.P. covering an area of 4234 It lies along the Tons river, a tributary of the Ghaghara. Azamgarh was founded around 1665, by a powerful landlord named Azam Khan. The portion of the district lying along the banks of the Gogra is a low-lying tract, varying considerably in width; south of this, however, the ground takes a slight rise.


Botanical name of the plant is Aegle marmelos. The fruit is aromatic, cooling &laxative. It arrests bleeding, is good for digestion and also strengthens the stomach and promotes its action.


Chemicals that are either naturally occurring or identical to naturally occurring substances. Examples include hormones, pheromones, and enzymes. Biochemicals function as pesticides through non-toxic, non-lethal modes of action, such as disrupting the mating pattern of insects, regulating growth, or acting as repellants. Biochemicals tend to be environmentally compatible and are thus important to Integrated Pest Management programs.

Bone Mineral Density

A bone density test uses special X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals — collectively known as bone mineral content — are packed into a segment of bone. The higher your mineral content, the denser your bones are. And the denser your bones, the stronger they are and the less likely they are to break.


Botanical name of this plant is Bougainvillea spectabilis. It is natural source of pinitol, improves sensitivity of insulin receptors and stimulates the transport of glucose into muscle tissue.


Botanical name of this plant is Butea monosperma. It is known as flame of the forest and Bastard teak. Butea monosperma has herbal applications as an astringent, as an antidiarrheal, as an anti dysenteric and as a febrifuge.


Botanical name of this plant is Matricaria chamomilla. The word chamomile is derived from the Greek chamos (ground) and melos (apple), referring to the plants low growing habit and the fact that the fresh blooms are somewhat apple scented. It is used to treat bronchitis, fever, inflammation, and sore throat. It acts as a diuretic and calms shattered nerves.


Chemotherapy is a systemic therapy; this means it affects the whole body by going through the bloodstream. The purpose of chemotherapy and other systemic treatments is to get rid of any cancer cells that may have spread from where the cancer started to another part of the body.

Chota Gokhru

Botanical name of this plant is Tribulus terrestris. This herb is used in the treatment of urinary disorders and impotence, kidney diseases and gravel, diseases of the genitourinary system, gout. It is also useful for diseases of the heart and many other conditions.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a slowly progressive disease of the airways that is characterized by a gradual loss of lung function. COPD includes chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive bronchitis or emphysema or combinations of these conditions. The symptoms of COPD can range from chronic cough and suptum production to severe disabling shortness of breath.


Convalescence is the period in which the body recovers from a serious illness, injury or surgery. Changes to your lifestyle may be needed to make sure that the body has enough time and rest to allow a complete recovery.

Devotion To Mother Nature

Nature is as caring as a Mother, hence we call her Mother Nature. We can not afford to make Mother Nature sick with rampant use of chemicals, with deforestation and with creating ecological imbalances. Consciously avoiding everything which can harm Mother Nature and adopting a holistic approach amounts to devotion to Mother Nature.


An ecosystem, a contraction of "ecological" and "system", refers to the collection of biotic and abiotic components and processes. Elements of an ecosystem may include flora, fauna, lower life forms, water and soil. It is a place where nature has created a unique mixture of air, water, soil and a variety of living organisms to interact and support each other. It is the living community of plants and animals of any area together with the non-living components of the environment such as soil, air and water. The living and the non-living interact with each other in such a manner that it results in the flow of energy between them.


Edema is an observable swelling from fluid accumulation in certain body tissues. Edema most commonly occurs in the feet and legs, where it also is referred to as peripheral edema. The swelling is the result of the accumulation of excess fluid under the skin in the spaces within the tissues that are outside of the blood vessels. These spaces are known as interstitial spaces or compartments. Most of the body's fluids that are found outside of the cells are normally stored in two spaces; the blood vessels (where the fluids are called the blood volume) and the interstitial spaces (where the fluids are called the interstitial fluid). In various diseases, excess fluid can accumulate in either one or both of these compartments.


Expectorants are drugs that loosen and clear mucus and other matter from the respiratory tract.

Free Radicals

A highly chemically reactive atom, molecule or molecular fragment with a free or unpaired electron. Free radicals are produced in many different ways such as, normal metabolic processes, ultraviolet radiation from the sun, nuclear radiation and the breakdown in the body of spoiled fats. Free radicals have been implicated in aging, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other kinds of damage to the body, (see antioxidants).

Gelatin Capsules

Most capsules are made from gelatin. Gelatin is widely used in many food products such as puddings, desserts etc. Gelatin itself is a mixture of water-soluble proteins derived primarily from collagen, which is the main naturally occurring protein constituent of connective tissue. Gelatin is obtained from collagen by exposing animal skins and bones to a controlled extraction process. Gelatin comes in various types. Capsules are made from pharmaceutical-grade gelatin that has met the stringent requirements of the United States Pharmacopoeia and other international organizations that set standards for products that are used in medicines.


A naturally occurring substance that is released by the immune system after being exposed to an allergen. When you inhale an allergen, mast cells located in the nose and lungs release histamine. Histamine then attaches to receptors on nearby blood vessels, causing them to enlarge (dilate). Histamine also binds to other receptors located in nasal tissues, causing redness, swelling, itching and changes in the secretions.

Hydrogenated Fats

Hydrogenated fats (also called trans-fatty acids) are manufactured fats created during a process called hydrogenation whereby hydrogen units are added to polyunsaturated fatty acids to prevent them from becoming rancid and to keep them solid at room temperature. Hydrogenated fats may be particularly dangerous for the heart and may pose a risk of developing certain cancers.

Immuno-modulator/Immuno-modulatory Agent

Immuno-modulatory . Noun: immuno-modulator; an agent that regulates the humoral and cell-mediated immune response.

Humoral immune response of the body: Antigens entering the body (foreign agents, such as bacteria, viruses, microbes, allergens) activate B-cell lymphocytes, which produce free antibodies that circulate in the blood stream and destroy the antigens.

Cellular (or cell-mediated) immune response of the body: Antigens entering the body induce sensitized T cells (subpopulation of the lymphocytes), which directly attack foreign antigens and secrete lymphokines that initiate the body's humoral immune response.


The term insomnia literally denotes a complete lack of sleep. It is, however, used to indicate a relative inability to sleep that consists of difficulty in falling asleep, difficulty in remaining asleep, early final awakening, or combinations of these complaints.


Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone secreted by the pancreas (islets of Langerhans). Insulin is required by the cells of the body in order for them to remove and use glucose from the blood.

Jangli Haldi

Botanical name of this plant is Curcuma aromatica It is recognized as a medicinal herb with strong antibiotic properties. Curcuma is utilized to remove cell accumulations such as tumors, promote secretion of bile, clears conjestion of the liver.


Botanical name of this plant is Picrorhiza kurroa. The plant and its formulations are widely used in the therapy of epidemic jaundice. Its usefulness as a laxative, liver stimulant, febrifuge and as beneficial in bronchial asthma.


Botanical name of this plant is Mucuna puriens. It is also known as velvet bean or cowhage. Mucuna has been used for generations in India for Parkinson’s disease. Root is used as a remedy in facial paralysis and nervous disorders, purifies the blood, cures rheumatism.


Botanical name of this plant is Rubia cordifolia. According to Ayurveda, Manjistha is probably the best blood-purifying herb. It cools and detoxifies the blood, dissolves obstructions in blood flow. It is having healing action thus helpful in erosions of gums and bleeding gums. It is used as an immune regulator; it regulates blood pressure and the tendency of blood to form clots.


Meningitis is the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the central nervous system, collectively known as the meninges. It may develop due to a variety of causes, including infective agents, physical insult, cancer, or certain drugs. Meningitis is a serious condition owing to the proximity of the location to the brain and spinal cord, the potential for serious damage to motor control, thought processes, or even death warrants prompt medical attention.


Botanical name of this plant is Glycyrrhiza glabra. It is also known as sweet liquorice .It is diuretic, demulcent, expectorant, emenogogue and laxative. Useful in irritable conditions of mucous membrane of urinary organs, sore throat and anorexia.


Botanical name of this plant is Nymphea stellata .In Ayurveda it is considered as an Adaptogen. It has gastrofriendly effect and is anti stress agent.


The botanical name of Neem is Azadirachta indica which has emerged from it’s Arabic name Azad I Dirakht meaning free tree from India. Its other names are Margosa, Nim, Nimba, Vepu, Vempu, Veppam and Indian Lilac. In India, Neem is also called a village pharmacy as it has numerous medicinal properties being used in digestive disorders to diabetes, from high cholesterol to cancer and from fungal infections to viral infection. Its anti microbial, immnuo modulatory and cell regenerative properties are of great interest and use. Neem oil and Neem cake are very effective insecticides and are of tremendous value in pest control. All parts of Neem i.e. leaves, flowers, fruits, bark, stem and roots are used. In addition, Neem is used for reforestation as it can grow in most difficult circumstances. Neem is used in different forms like soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, cakes, oil and also tablets and capsules.

Neurological Dementia

Dementia refers to a loss of cognitive function (cognition) due to changes in the brain caused by disease or trauma. The changes may occur gradually or quickly; and how they occur may determine whether dementia is reversible or irreversible.

Cognition is the act or process of thinking, perceiving, and learning. Cognitive functions that may be affected by dementia include the following:

  • Decision making, judgment
  • Memory
  • Spatial orientation
  • Thinking, reasoning
  • Verbal communication


Peristalsis is the rhythmic contraction of smooth muscles to propel contents through the digestive tract.


The science of detection and measurement of the effects of drugs or other chemicals on biological systems. The effect of chemicals may be beneficial (therapeutic) or harmful (toxic). The pure chemicals or mixtures may be of natural origin (plant, animal, or mineral) or may be synthetic compounds.


"Phyto" is a Greek word that means plant and phytochemicals are usually related to plant pigments. Phytochemicals are compounds in plant-derived foods that have biological activity in the body. Phytochemicals naturally occur in vegetables and fruit. In broad terms, they can be said to be any chemical or nutrient derived from a plant source. It is well known that plant produce these chemicals to protect itself but recent research demonstrate that they can protect humans against diseases. Some of the well-known phytochemicals are lycopene in tomatoes, isoflavones in soya and flavanoids in fruits. They are not essential nutrients and are not required by the human body for sustaining life. Pronounced "fight-o-chemicals," phytochemicals fight to protect your health. They can have complementary and overlapping mechanisms of action in the body, including antioxidant effects, modulation of detoxification enzymes, stimulation of the immune system, modulation of hormone metabolism, and antibacterial and antiviral effect.


The word poultice is derived from the Latin word pulta and the Greek word poltos, both meaning porridge. Also called a cataplasm. A soft moist mass about the consistency of cooked porridge that is spread on cloth and applied warm to create moist local heat or counter irritation.


Psyllium is a seed used for medicinal purposes taken from the common fleawort, Plantago psyllium. There are about 250 species of the genus Plantago found worldwide. Psyllium has been used in Ayurvedic medicine in India and in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Psyllium has three major uses that have been well documented by modern scientific research. These include the treatment of diarrhea, the relief of constipation, and the lowering of serum cholesterol levels.

Psyllium seed is high in dietary fiber, making it a good bulk laxative for treating chronic constipation. It is also used to soften stools and ease bowel movements after operations involving the anus and rectum, when hemorrhoids or anal fissures are present; or during pregnancy to lessen the strain of bowel movements.


Botanical name of this plant is Boerhaavia diffusa. Boerhavia - name of a discoverer diffusa – which spreads or widely spreading. Punarnava helps maintain efficient kidney function. The root of this plant is a powerful Rasayana. It is good for the kidneys, especially the nephron cells which are damaged by long-term hyperglycemia.


Botanical name of this plant is Spaindus trifoliatus. It is also known as Arishta, Phenila and soapnut tree. The saponins A& C and Sapindosids A & B extracted from the rind of the fruit showed antifungal activity. The fruit possess tonic and astringent properties.


Resilience (or "psychological resilience") is a term used in psychology to describe the capacity of people to cope with stress and catastrophe. It is also used to indicate a characteristic of resistance to future negative events. This psychological meaning of resilience is often contrasted with "risk factors".


Botanical name of this plant is Moringa pterygosperma .Its uses are as unique as the many names it is known by, such as clarifier tree, horse radish tree, drumstick tree and in East Africa it has the alias “mother’s best friend”. It has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and diuretic properties.


Botanical name of this plant is Convolvulus pluricaulis .An ancient system of Indian medicine considered it, as a rasayana which is mainly advocated for use in mental stimulation and rejuvenation therapy .The whole herb is used medicinally in the form of decoction with cumin and milk in fever, nervous debility, loss of memory, also in syphilis and scrofula. Shankhpushpi is used as a brain tonic.


Botanical name of this plant is Vinca rosea. it is also known as periwinkle, Madagascar . Its alkaloids are hypotensive, sedative and have tranquilizing properties and are anti cancerous. It helps in relieving muscle pain, depression of CNS. Sadabahar has been shown to lower blood sugar and to act as a diuretic.

Safed Musli

Botanical name of this plant is Chlorophytum borivillanum. Safed musli is used as an effective alternative to viagra, as an immunity improving drug , as a remedy for diabetes and arthritis and as an aphrodisiac agent and vitalizer, curative of natal and post natal problems.

Stress Relief Tea

The soothing power of a regular cup of tea has been given more backing from science with research that shows it can reduce the harmful effects of stress .Tea is chemically very complex, with many different ingredients such as catechins, polyphenols, flavonoids, and amino acids. All have been found to have effects on neurotransmitters in the brain. Although it does not appear to reduce the actual levels of stress we experience, tea does seem to have a greater effect in bringing stress hormone levels back to normal. Researchers from University College London claim that black tea can have a positive effect on stress hormone levels in the body.

Sustainable Agriculture

Agriculture which does not erode fertility of the earth rather it makes the earth more fertile. This type of agriculture is practiced without disturbing the earth’s microflora. In this type of agriculture only natural fertilizers are used, right type of crop cycles are allowed by following bio-dynamic practices and by completely avoiding chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides, chemical herbicides, chemical preservatives and genetic engineering. The products of such agriculture are more nutritious and they do not contain harmful chemicals infused by use of chemicals.


The action of two or more substances achieving an effect greater than that possible with any of the individual components, i.e., the sum being greater than the parts.

It can also be defined as the interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.


Pertaining to a whole body. A word used to describe conditions that affect the entire body rather than one of its parts. Diabetes is a systemic disease because it involves many parts of the body such as the pancreas, eyes, kidneys, heart, and nerves.


The Tulsi plant has been known and honored in India for over five millennia for its remarkable healing properties. Tulsi is at the forefront of today's herbal medicinal remedies. Its list of health benefits is extensive. The name "Tulsi" means "the incomparable one". Regarded as an "Elixir of Life", Tulsi is believed to promote longevity and significantly reduce stress. It is a pillar of the traditional Ayurvedic holistic healing system and known as an adaptogen.

Tulsi Mala

Tulsi mala is composed of wooden beads of stem of Tulsi plant. Tulsi is considered the most sacred of the woods used in Indian worship and the Tulsi plant is believed to be an incarnation of the Divine. Tulsi is reported to possess remarkable physical and spiritual healing properties and helps to improve devotion and love in the heart. The tulsi mala is used for worshipping Ram, Krishna and especially Vishnu who we are told is the creator and beloved of the Tulsi plant.


The botanical name of this plant is Curcuma longa , the other names being Tumeric, Haldi and Kunyit. It belongs to family Zingiberaceae. Turmeric Rhizome is a spice commonly used in India Cuisine. In some Asian countries it is used as a Dietary Supplement. It is popular as a tea in Okinawa, Japan. It is aromatic, stimulant, tonic, carminative, blood purifier, antipyretic, and analgesic, anti inflammatory, aphrodisiac and is externally applied to sprains and wounds. Turmeric fresh juice is used as anthelmintic and anti parasitic in many skin diseases. Decoction of Rhizome is used in purulent conjunctivitis. It is currently being investigated for possible benefits in Alzheimirs disease, cancer and liver disorder. In addition, in food industry it is used as a safe coloring agent and preservative.

Vegetarian Capsules

Vegetarian capsules are two-piece capsules made from cellulosic raw materials that satisfy vegetarian and cultural needs. Vegetarian capsules are an attractive, preservative-free, all natural dosage form that retains all the advantages of standard two-piece capsules: easy to swallow, effectively mask taste and odor, and allow product visibility. They are composed of inert vegetable cellulose & do not interfere with digestion & absorption of the ingredients contained within. They are stable in a wide range of environmental conditions.

Viral Encephalitis

Encephalitis is the medical term for inflammation of the brain, a potentially life-threatening condition that can occur in people of all ages but which is fortunately very rare. It is usually caused by infection with a virus. Exposure to viruses that cause encephalitis occur mostly through insect bites. The virus enters through the blood stream and spreads to the brain, causing inflammation of the nerve cells (encephalitis). Most people exposed to these viruses have no symptoms or only a mild flu-like illness and do not go on to develop full-blown encephalitis. In severe cases, however, the infection can have devastating effects, including the following:

  • Swelling of the brain (medically referred to as cerebral edema)
  • Bleeding within the brain (intercerebral hemorrhage)
  • Nerve damage


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