PALMITIC ACID is a saturated fatty
acid found in palm oil and other fats. Palmitic acid is the most abundant
saturated fatty acid that is found naturally. Palmitic acid is also produced by
the human body.
PANACEA - a remedy for all diseases.
PANCREAS - The pancreas is a
grayish-pink gland. Weighing about three ounces and measuring six to nine
inches. It extends posteriorly from the small intestine to the spleen. The
pancreas functions both as an endocrine and exocrine gland. The greater part of
the tissue is composed of endocrine cells arranged in a group called islets
of langerhans.. With the islets, there are alpha cells which secrete
glucagon and beta cells which secrete insulin. Both hormones are involved in
regulating blood sugar levels. The exocrine cells produce pancreatic juice,
which is secreted through the common bile duct into the small intestines. The
pancreatic juice is composed of enzymes and alkaline fluid. This fluid
neutralizes stomach acids contained in food as it moves into the small
PARATHYROID glands are round bodies,
about one-quarter to four-fifths inches in height, located in the neck near the
thyroid gland. Usually there are a pair associated with each thyroid gland.
Parathyroids are endocrine glands which secrete parathormone. This hormone is
involved in increasing blood calcium levels and decreasing blood phosphate
levels. The hormone can cause the breakdown of bones to provide calcium; severe
breakdown of the bone can lead to osteoporosis..
PASSION FLOWER (Passiflora incarnata)
Family: Passifloraceae. It has a long vine which grows for 30 feet in length
and bears alternate, serrate leaves with finely toothed lobes. The flowers are
white with purple centers developing in the leaf axils, blooming from May to
July. The fruit is a smooth, yellow, ovate berry containing numerous seeds.
Common names: apricot vine, maypop
herb, passion vine, purple passion flower.
Habitat: grows in partially shaded
dry areas, and along fences and woods of the United States.
It has a long vine which grows for 30 feet
in length and bears alternate, serrate leaves with finely toothed lobes. The
flowers are white with purple centers developing in the leaf axils, blooming
from May to July. The fruit is a smooth, yellow, ovate berry containing
Medicinal parts: Plant - dried,
collected after some of the berries have natured, Flower - dried
For more information see the HERBS section
of the Nutrition Notebook.
PATHOLOGIST: Whys man.
PECTIN is a polysaccharide found in
all plant tissue. It is used by plants as a cementing material between cells.
Pectin has shown antibacterial and fungicidal properties. It has also been
shown to lower high cholesterol levels in humans. Pectin is used commercially
for its gel-forming property in jams and jellies, and therapeutically to
PECTORAL - an agent which relieves
chest conditions such as a cough.
PENICILLIN: The best present for a
man whos got everything.
PEPTIDES are simple proteins made up
of only a few amino acids. The word peptide comes from the Greek word
peptos, which means "cooked", an interesting way of referring to
digestion. Peptides are often no more than digested proteins, and many can be
absorbed directly into the bloodstream without digestion or breakdown into
individual amino acids. Many peptides work as neurotransmitters and as natural
pain relieving substances in the brain.
PEREGRINOL is a diterpene alcohol
found in hops.
PHARYNX - The pharynx is the space
behind the nasal cavity, and larynx. It is lined with a mucous membrane has
three subdivisions: nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx.
The nasopharynx, the uppermost section, is
closely associated with the nasal sinuses. It warms and moistens inhaled air.
During swallowing, it is closed by a soft palate to prevent food from entering
the nasal area.
The oropharynx is a passage for air and
food. It is lined by the tonsils and adenoids. The laryngopharynx is involved
PHARYNGITIS is an inflammation of the
PHELLANDRENES have been classified as
volatile oils and may be isolated from angelica and many other plants.
Phellandrenes are two compounds - alpha- and beta-phellandrene, which have the
same chemical composition, but slightly different structures.
Alpha-phellandrene can be easily absorbed through the skin and has been shown
to be irritating to the skin.
PHENOLIC ACIDS are a class of
compounds grouped together due to their similar chemical structure. Phenolic
acids are found in artichokes, (which contain cynarin); sage (which contains
salvin), and other sources. The biological activities of phenolic acids are
varied. Cynarin increases bile secretion and reduces blood cholesterol and
lipid levels. Salvin shows antimicrobial activity against some strains of
bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus among others.
PHOSPHATE S are salts of phosphoric
acid, distributed throughout the body. Inorganic phosphates occur chiefly in
the skeleton in association with calcium, where they play a role in the
mineralization of bone, and in body fluids, where they play a role in the
mineralization of bone, and in body fluids, where they play a role in the
regulation of acid/base balance.
PHOTOPHOBIA is the intolerance or
fear of light.
PHTHALIDES are a group of compounds
classified together due to similar chemical structures. They are found in
celery seeds and responsible for the celery odor. An example of a phthalide is
sedanenolide, which has sedative properties on mice.
PINENE - alpha-pinene and beta-pinene
are monoterpenes found in valerian root, juniper berries, and other plants.
Alpha- and beta-pinene are two different compounds which have the same chemical
composition in respect to number and type of atoms, but which differ slight in
structure. Both alpha- and beta-pinene will cause allergic reactions on
contact. They also exhibit antimicrobial activity.
PITUITARY - The pituitary is a
pea-sized, reddish-gray vascular mass at the base of the brain, approximately
above the tonsils, at the level of the eyes. It consists of two lobes: the
anterior lobe (adenohypophysis) and the posterior lobe (neurohypophysis). The
posterior pituitary is of neural origin and is controlled through direct
electrical stimulation from the hypothalamus. It is not a true endocrine gland
because it does not synthesize hormones. Instead, it stores oxytocin and
antidiuretic hormones, hormones that have been produced by specialized neural
cells of the hypothalamus. The anterior pituitary is of oral origin; it is an
outgrowth of the pharynx. Regulation of hormones released by this endocrine
gland is through chemical stimulation from the hypothalamus. These chemicals
are called releasing factors because they stimulate other endocrine glands to
secrete hormones. Hormones synthesized by the anterior pituitary are the growth
hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, adrenocorticotrophic hormone, follicle
stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, prolactin, and melanoctye stimulating
PLANT ACIDS' range of activities
varies. They promote the healing of injured tissue and help fight infection.
Plant acids often combine with plant protein to rebuild muscle fiber and nerve
endings, and may also be involved with enzyme activity. Phenolic acids are one
example. Plant acids such as gallic acid may be astringent, inhibit the growth
of bacteria and stop bleeding by contracting blood vessels..
PLANT ALCOHOLS are colorless liquids
producing sharp, biting sensations of taste and smell, and manifest extremely
changeable properties. Plant alcohols may vary in their applications and
functions. Cholesterol, for instance is a crystalline alcohol found primarily
in animal and plant fats, blood, and liver bile. Thymol, on the other hand, is
an alcohol with strong disinfectant properties which can go anywhere in the
body, but may find greater affinity to those areas responsible for body
immunity (lymph glands) or bodily waste functions (kidney, bladder, and
PNEUMONIA: What you get after
youve had old monia.
PODIATRIST: Corn borer.
POLYACETYLENE is a compound composed
of repeating acetylene units.
POLYSACCHARIDES are compounds which
contain sugar molecules linked together. The sugar molecules linked together
may be glucose, galactose, or any of the many other sugar molecules. Some
examples of polysaccharides are starch and cellulose. Starch and cellulose are
formed entirely of glucose molecules linked together.
PORPHYRIA - Abnormalities of
porphyrin metabolism (often hereditary) characterized by excretion of excess
porphyrins in the urine.
PORPHYRIN - compounds of a structure
that consists of four pyrrole rings joined by four =C- groups; esp: one (as
chorophyll or hemoglobin) containing a central metal atom, and usually having
PROTEINS , one of the three classes
of energy nutrients, are formed from different numbers and kinds of amino
acids. Protein is essential for growth, the building of new tissue, and the
repair of injured or broken-down tissue. They serve as enzymes, structural
elements, hormones, immunoglobulins, etc., and are involved in oxygen transport
and other activities throughout the body, and in photosynthesis. Protein can be
oxidized in the body, liberating heat and energy at the rate of four calories
PROSTAGLANDINS - A whole family of
compounds classified as hormones which have a multitude of functions including:
regulation of blood pressure, blood clotting, pain perception, and regulation
of other hormonal functions as well.
PURGATIVE - a substance which causes
a water evacuation of the bowels.
PURULENT is that pertaining to the
content or formation of pus.
PYROCATECHOL (catechol) is a compound
found in comfrey and other plants. Pyrocatechol can cause inflammation of the
skin when applied locally. Ingestion may cause vomiting, nausea, convulsions,
and other symptoms similar to those caused by phenol. Pyrocatechol is used
therapeutically as an antiseptic. It is also used in dying fur and
PYRROLIZIDINE is a type of alkaloid
which is found in comfrey.
PYRUVIC ACID is the end product of
the glycolytic pathway. This three-carbon metabolite is an important junction
point for two reasons: it is the gateway to the final common energy-producing
pathway, the Krebs cycle; and it provides acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl CoA),
through which fatty acids, and in turn fat, are produced from glucose. Pyruvic
acid converts to lactic acid as needed. Pyruvic acid increases in quantity in
the blood and tissues in Thiamin (vitamin B-1) deficiency. Vitamin B-1 is
essential for its oxidation.