The Pathophysiology of TetanusWritten by Wong Lai Teng
Tetanus is an acute, often fatal disease caused by an exotoxin produced in a wound by Clostridium tetani. Clostridium tetani is a gram-positive, nonencapsulated, motile, obligatively anaerobic bacillus. It exists in vegetative and sporulated forms. Spores are highly resistant to disinfections by chemical or heat, but vegetative forms are susceptible to bactericidal effect of heat, chemical disinfectants, and a number of antibiotics.
Clostridium tetani is a noninvasive organism. It is found in soil and in intestine and feces of horses, sheep, cattle, dogs, cats, rats, guinea pigs and chicken. Manure-treated soil may contain large numbers of spores too.
Tetanus occurs after spores or vegetative bacteria gain access to tissues and produce toxin locally. The usual mode of entry is trough a puncture wound or laceration. Tetanus may also follow elective surgery, burn wounds, otitis media, dental infection, abortion and pregnancy. Neonatal tetanus usually follows infection of umbilical stump.
In presence of anaerobic conditions, spores germinate. Toxins,including tetanolysin (which potentiates infection) and tetanospasmin (a potent neurotoxin) are produced. Tetanospasmin, often referred to as tetanus toxin, causes clinical tetanus. The toxin produced is disseminated through bloodstream and lymphatic system. However, it does not enter central nervous system through this route, as it cannot cross blood brain barrier except at fourth ventricle. The toxin is exclusively taken up by neuromuscular junction, where it migrates retrograde transynaptically at rate 75-250mm/day, a process which takes 3-14 days, protected from neutralizing antitoxin, predominantly to inhibitory synapses to prevent release of acetylcholine.
ROSEMARY FLOWER CANDIES (Rosemarinus Officinalis)Written by Simon Mitchell
When a herb or plant has designation 'officinalis' it means it has been recognised to have medicinal qualities. 'Rosemarinus', so called because of marine connections (colour of sea - grows by sea eg Mediterranean) is possibly best example of a herb that we commonly grow that has extensive folklore and many attributed medicinal values. It was beloved by Romans, who bought it to UK from Turkey, they believed this valuable herb could preserve dead bodies from corruption and it was often strewn or grown in graveyards and around tombs. It was well known to Tudors as a stimulant to system. In 'The Garden of Health' (1579) William Langham writes: "Carry flowers about thee to make thee merry and glad and well beloved of all men...hang flowers on thy bed and place Rosemary in bath to make thee lusty, lively, joyful, strong and young. To comfort heart steep Rosemary flowers in rose water and drink it".
Gerard agrees in his 1636 Herbal: "The flowers of Rosemary, made up into lozenges with sugar and eaten make heart merry, quicken spirits and make them more lively". He also notes that Rosemary water acts as a breath freshener. Rosemary has long been recognised as a valuable heart and liver tonic and its use can help to reduce high blood pressure. It has been used in treatment of nervous complaints, digestive disorders and menstrual pains. Rosemary is a symbol of constancy in love because it remains fresh and fragrant when cut, longer most other evergreens. For this reason it was often used for solemn occasions such as weddings or funerals - "Be it for my bridal or my burial". As in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Rosemary is for remembrance and in language of flowers gift of Rosemary means "Never will your memory fade". Ancient myth has it that 'Where Rosemary flourishes - woman rules'. Rosemary is sometimes used in psychic work as an aid to concentration, memory and mental steadyness. Under pillow or over bed its delicious aroma is said to prevent nightmares.