Monthly Archives: January 2010

Basil Thyme (Acinos arvensis )

Botanical Name:Acinos arvensis
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Synonyms :  Acinos thymoides – Moench., Calamintha acinos – (L.)Clairv., Satureja acinos – (L.)Scheele.
Common Names: Basil Thyme, Mother of Thyme, Spring Savory
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Acinos
Species: A. arvensis
Class: Magnoliopsida

Habitat: Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia to the Mediterranean and east to W. Asia.  Dry sunny banks and in fields on chalky, gravelly and sandy soils .Ground Cover; Cultivated Beds;

Approximately 3500 species in 220 genera, distributed worldwide, but mostly in the Mediterranean region and SW Asia. China has 807 species in 96 genera.

Description;
Herbs,(Forb/herb ) sometimes subshrubs or shrubs , annual or perennial , usually aromatic . Stems and branches usually 4-angled. Leaves opposite, rarely whorled or alternate, simple to pinnately dissected or compound , without stipules. Inflorescences generally compound, sometimes flowers solitary and axillary ; verticillasters 2- to many flowered, subtended by leaves or bracts. Flowers bisexual , zygomorphic, rarely subactinomorphic, bracteolate or not. Calyx persistent , 5-toothed, 2-lipped; upper lip 3-toothed or entire (deciduous in Scutellaria) ; lower lip 2- or 4-toothed; tube sometimes hairy annulate inside. Corolla limb usually 2-lipped; upper lip 2-lobed and lower 3-lobed, rarely upper lip entire and lower 4-lobed, also rarely limb (4- or) 5-lobed; tube hairy annulate inside. Stamens epipetalous , 4 or 2, free , rarely filaments connate , sometimes one staminodial; anther 1- or 2-celled, usually dehiscing longitudinally; disc persistent. Ovary superior, 2-celled and each cell 2-ovuled and style subterminal , or ovary 4-parted and each lobe 1-ovuled and style gynobasic (from bases of ovary lobes) with 2-cleft apex. Fruit usually 4 dry nutlets . Seeds with or without endosperm.Flowers: Bloom Period: June. • Flower Color: blue-violet

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It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.

Cultivation:
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Succeeds in any well-drained soil, though it prefers a light well-drained dry soil in full sun. Prefers sandy and alkaline growing conditions. Dislikes shade. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -15°c. A short-lived perennial, but the plants usually self-sow when they are growing in a suitable position.

Propagation:-
Seed – sow early spring in a cold frame. If you have sufficient seed then you could try sowing in situ in April or May. Germination should take place within a month. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Basal cuttings in late spring. Very easy.

Edible Uses;-
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Edible Uses: Condiment.

The flowering tops are used as a flavouring and in salads. Said to be similar to thyme in odour but milder and more pleasant. The plant is only faintly aromatic and does not really make a very good substitute for thyme.

Medicinal Action &  Uses:-
Diuretic; Odontalgic; Rubefacient; Stomachic.

Basil thyme was a great favourite of the ancient herbalists, though it is little used medicinally at present. The herb is diuretic, odontalgic, rubefacient and stomachic. The essential oil has been applied externally as a rubefacient, whilst one drop of it put into a decayed tooth is said to alleviate the pain. The plant has also been added to bath water, especially for children, and is said to be a strengthener and nerve soother. The flowering plant is harvested in the summer and is normally used fresh in infusions.

A stimulant, diuretic herb that benefits the digestive system and irritates the tissues, causing a temporary improvement in local blood supply.  Basil thyme was a great favorite of the ancient herbalists, though it is little used medicinally at present. The essential oil has been applied externally as a rubefacient, whilst one drop of it put into a decayed tooth is said to alleviate the pain. The plant has also been added to bath water, especially for children, and is said to be a strengthener and nerve soother.  Internally used for shortness of breath, melancholy, and improving the digestion.  Externally, oil was once distilled to treat bruises, toothache, sciatica, and neuralgia.

Other Uses
Ground cover.

The plant makes a good ground cover.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Fesources;

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Acinos+arvensis

http://wisplants.uwsp.edu/scripts/detail.asp?SpCode=ACIARV

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Acinos_arvensis

http://zipcodezoo.com/Plants/A/Acinos_arvensis/

http://www.henriettesherbal.com/pictures/p01/pages/acinos-arvensis-1.htm

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

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Alpine Calamint(Acinos alpinus)

Botanical Name:Acinos alpinus
Family : Labiatae/Lamiaceae
Synonyms :Calamintha alpina – (L.)Lam., Satureja alpina – (L.)Scheele.,Thymus alpinus (L.)
Common Name:Rock thyme,Alpine Calamint,
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Acinos
Species: A. alpinus

Habitat: The plant originates from the mountains of Central & Southern Europe.In Italy, rock thyme can be found in most areas whose altitude is between 900 and 2600 meters above sea level. It is found in open fields, rock fissures, and areas with little fertile soil. Dry sunny habitats in mountains and rocky places.

Description:-
Rock thyme is a Perennial herbaceous plant averaging between 40 and 50 centimeters in height. The flowers are hermaphroditic; that is, they have both male and female reproductive systems. According to the Raunkiær system of categorizing life forms, rock thyme is considered to be a chamaephyte, specifically a chamaephyte sufruticosos.
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The plant has a woody, fuzz-covered stem. Its leaves grow in symmetrical pairs and are connected to the stem by a thin petiole. Their shapes range from ovoid to lanceolates of 5 to 15 millimeters in length.

The flowers consist of whorled inflorescences, consisting of clusters of 3 to 8 flowers. They range from 15 to 20 mm in length, and are generally violet in  color. Depending on altitude, rock thyme flowers between May and August. Its fruit is schizo-carpal ( splits into four equal portions upon reaching maturity).The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

It is anchored to the ground by a taproot and a network of smaller secondary roots.There are two subspecies of rock thyme: A. alpinus meriodionalis, with smaller flowers; and A. alpinus majoranifolius, which grows in smaller bunches.

Cultivation :-
Succeeds in almost any well-drained soil, doing well in a hot dry soil.

Propagation:-
Seed – sow early spring in a cold frame. If you have sufficient seed then you could try sowing in situ in April or May. Germination should take place within a month. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Basal cuttings in late spring.

Edible Uses
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

The leaves are used as a flavouring in cooked dishes and also as a tea substitute.

Medicinal Action & Uses

Diaphoretic, febrifuge.
Rock thyme is sometimes used in pharmacology for its diaphoretic and antipyretic properties. In addition, it can be brewed and served as tea.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acinos_alpinus

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Acinos+alpinus

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How to Lick Bad Breath Fast — as Easy as 1, 2, 3…

Bad breath is often a symptom of dry mouth — a condition known as “xerostomia.”  Other symptoms of this problem include saliva that seems thick, sores or split skin at the corners of your mouth, and difficulty speaking and swallowing,.
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Most   xerostomia is related to medication. More than 400 drugs can affect the salivary glands. These include drugs for urinary incontinence, allergies, high blood pressure, depression, diarrhea and Parkinson’s disease. Also, some over-the-counter medications often cause dry mouth.

Tobacco, alcohol, drinks with caffeine, snoring and breathing with your mouth open can aggravate dry mouth.

There are ways to improve saliva flow. You can also sip water regularly, try over-the-counter saliva substitutes, avoid breathing through your mouth, and use a humidifier in your bedroom.

If you have dry mouth, you have to pay greater attention to your teeth. Brush your teeth with an extra-soft toothbrush after every meal and at bedtime. If brushing hurts, soften the bristles in warm water. Floss your teeth gently every day.

Source: Live Science December 23, 2009

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The Hidden Benefits of Exercise

Regular workouts may help fight off colds and flu, reduce the risk of certain cancers and chronic diseases, and slow the process of aging.
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A growing body of research is showing that regular exercise can boost your body’s immune system, increasing the circulation of natural killer cells that fight off viruses and bacteria.

Regular exercise has also been shown to combat the ongoing damage done to cells, tissues and organs that underlies many chronic conditions.

Studies have found exercise can lower blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, and cut the incidence of Type 2 diabetes.

Medical experts say inactivity poses as great a health risk as smoking, contributing to heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, depression, arthritis and osteoporosis.

Source: Wall Street Journal January 5, 2010

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Japanese Chaff Flower(Achyranthes japonica)

Botanical Name :Achyranthes japonica
Family : Amaranthaceae
Synonyms: Achyranthes bidentata japonica – Miq.
Common names:Japanese chaff-flower
Genus : Achyranthes

Habitat : E. Asia – China, Japan(Honshu, Kyushu, Ryukyu Islands, Shikoku), Korea.  Woody areas in lowlands and hills

Description:
Perennial growing to 1m.It is Forb/herb.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :-
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. However, judging by the plants native range, it is likely to succeed outdoors at least in the milder areas of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a rich, sandy, slightly acid soil in partial shade.

Propagation:-
Seed – sow late spring in a greenhouse. Germination should be fairly rapid, prick out the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich soil when they are large enough to handle. It is probably wise to grow this plant on in the greenhouse for its first winter, planting it out into its permanent position in late spring after the last expected frosts.

Medicinal Action &  Uses:-
Abortifacient; Analgesic; Antiinflammatory; Antispasmodic; Contraceptive; Diuretic; Hypotensive; Uterine tonic.

The root of the plant is used in Korea to treat oedema, rheumatism, delayed menses and as a contraceptive and abortifacient. The root contains triterpenoid saponins and has been shown to have analgesic, antiallergic, antiinflammatory, antispasmodic, diuretic, hypotensive and uterine stimulant properties. In addition, it contains protocatechuic acid, which has antioxidant properties, and also inhibits the aggregation of platelets.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Other Uses
Two insect-moulting hormones are found in the seeds. This may have a practical application as an insecticide afterward.

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Achyranthes+japonica

http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?414337

http://www.gardenguides.com/taxonomy/japanese-chaff-flower-achyranthes-japonica/

http://www.mygarden.net.au/name_detail/acjah/18343/1

http://www.mitomori.co.jp/hanazukan2/hana2.4.437inoko.html

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Niu Xi (Achyranthes Bidentata)

Botanical Name: Achyranthes bidentata
Family : Amaranthaceae
Common Name:  Oxknee
Other Common Names: Niu Hsi, Niu Hsi Chiu, Pig’s Knee, Soei In Soei
Genus: Achyranthes

Habitat : Native:
•AFRICA: West-Central Tropical Africa: Cameroon; Equatorial Guinea
West Tropical Africa: Nigeria
•ASIA-TEMPERATE :Russian Far East: Russian Federation – Primorye
China: China – Anhui, Fujian, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Zhejiang
Eastern Asia: Japan – Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku; Korea; Taiwan
•ASIA-TROPICAL :  Indian Subcontinent: Bhutan; India; Nepal; Pakistan; Sri Lanka Indo-China: Laos; Myanmar; Thailand; Vietnam
Malesia: Indonesia; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines

Mostly available at the Forest edges, the sides of streams and shrubberies. Moist shady places at elevations of 1200 – 3000 metres in Nepal

Description:
ACHYRANTHES BIDENTATA (Niu xi, Achyranthes) Traditional Chinese perinial herb.Height: 60-90 cm. It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from August to September, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs).  Achyranthes is an erect perennial with slender rambling branches, elliptical leaves, and greenish white flowers on terminal spikes. Grows up to 1m tall.
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Cultivation :
Prefers a rich, sandy, slightly acid soil in partial shade . This species is probably not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to at least -5 °c. When grown in a rich soil the roots can be up to 1.2 metres long. Widely cultivated in China, especially in Henan Province, as a medicinal plant  and as a food plant.

Propagation:
Seed – sow late spring in a greenhouse. Germination should be fairly rapid, prick out the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich soil when they are large enough to handle. It is probably wise to grow this plant on in the greenhouse for its first winter, planting it out into its permanent position in late spring after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed.
Seed – cooked. A good substitute for cereal grains in bread-making, they have often been used for this purpose in famine years . The light brown oblong seed is about 1mm long. Leaves – cooked. Used as a vegetable in the same manner as spinach.

Medicinal  Actions & Uses:
Anodyne; Antiasthmatic; Antiinflammatory; Antirheumatic; Bitter; Digestive; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Odontalgic; Vasodilator.
The roots, leaves and stems are widely used in Chinese herbal medicine. The roots contain triterpenoid saponins, sitosterol and sigmastero. They are anodyne, antiinflammatory, antirheumatic, bitter, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue and vasodilator. They act predominantly on the lower half of  the body and are used in the treatment of aching back and knees and asthenia of the lower limbs. Research suggests that they can cause dilation of the cervix and so this herb should not be used when pregnant. The herb is taken internally to treat hypertension, back pains, urine in the blood, menstrual pain, bleeding etc. It lowers blood cholesterol levrels and so is used in the treatment of atherosclerosis . The root juice is used in Nepal in the treatment of toothache . This juice is also used in the treatment of indigestion and is considered to be a good treatment for asthma . The stem of the plant is used as a toothbrush that is said to be good for the teeth and is also a treatment for pyorrhoea  . The plant can be used fresh or dried. The leaves and stems are harvested in the summer and are usually crushed for their juice or used in tinctures . The roots are harvested from 1 or 2 year old plants in the autumn or winter and usually dried and ground into a powder or used in decoctions.

Mostly used to nourish the kidney and liver, drain ‘dampness’ and promote circulation. Prescribed for difficult urination, painful urethritis, suppressed menstruation. Commonly used to treat traumatic injuries, stiffness and pain of the lower back and loins and for weakness in the legs and feet. Do not use during pregnancy.

Other Uses
Insecticide; Teeth.
Two insect-moulting hormones are found in the roots[174]. Can this have a practical application as an insecticide? The stem of the plant is used as a toothbrush that is said to be good for the teeth and is also a treatment for pyorrhoea.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Achyranthes+bidentata

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Achyranthes_bidentata

http://www.sandmountainherbs.com/oxknee.html

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/hort/herbs/achyra.htm#des

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97 Years Old Doctor & This is What He Has to Say

At the age of 97 years and 4 months, Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the world’s longest-serving physicians and educators. Hinohara’s magic touch is legendary: Since 1941 he has been healing patients at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke’s College ofNursing. After World War II, he envisioned a world-class hospital and college springing from the ruins of Tokyo; thanks to his pioneering spirit and business savvy, the doctor turned these institutions into the nation’s top medical facility and nursing school. Today he serves as chairman of the board of trustees at both organizations. Always willing to try new things, he has published around 150 books since his 75th birthday, including one “Living Long, Living Good” that has sold more than 1.2 million copies. As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Hinohara encourages others to live a long and happy life, a quest in which no role model is better than the doctor himself.

Doctor Shigeaki Hinohara

Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot. We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It’s best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.
All people who live long   regardless of nationality, race or gender share one thing in common, None are overweight… For breakfast I drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry because I focus on my work.. Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat..

Always plan ahead. My schedule book is already full until 2014, with lectures and my usual hospital work. In 2016 I’ll have some fun, though: I plan to attend the Tokyo Olympics!
There is no need to ever retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65. The current retirement age was set at 65 half a century ago, when the average life-expectancy in Japan was 68 years and only 125 Japanese were over 100 years old. Today, Japanese women live to be around 86 and men 80, and we have 36,000 centenarians in our country. In 20 years we will have about 50,000 people over the age of 100…
Share what you know. I give 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary-school children, others for 4,500 business people. I usually speak for 60 to 90 minutes, standing, to stay strong.

When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can’t cure everyone. So why cause unnecessary pain with surgery  I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine.

To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.
My inspiration is Robert Browning‘s poem “Abt Vogler.” My father used to read it to me. It encourages us to make big art, not small scribbles. It says to try to draw a circle so huge that there is no way we can finish it while we are alive. All we see is an arch; the rest is beyond our vision but it is there in the distance.
Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it. If a child has a toothache, and you start playing a game together, he or she immediately forgets the pain. Hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients: We all want to have fun. At St. Luke’s we have music and animal therapies, and art classes.

Don’t be crazy about amassing material things. Remember: You don’t know when your number is up, and you can’t take it with you to the next place.
Hospitals must be designed and prepared for major disasters, and they must accept every patient who appears at their doors. We designed St…. Luke’s so we can operate anywhere: in the basement, in the corridors, in the chapel. Most people thought I was crazy to prepare for a catastrophe, but on March 20, 1995, I was unfortunately proven right when members of the Aum Shinrikyu religious cult launched a terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway. We accepted 740 victims and in two hours figured out that it was sarin gas that had hit them. Sadly we lost one person, but we saved 739 lives.
Science alone can’t cure or help people. Science lumps us all together, but illness is individual. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to their hearts. To know the illness and help people, we need liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones..
Life is filled with incidents. On March 31, 1970, when I was 59 years old, I boarded the Yodogo, a flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and as Mount Fuji came into sight, the plane was hijacked by the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. I spent the next four days handcuffed to my seat in 40-degree heat. As a doctor, I looked at it all as an experiment and was amazed at how the body slowed down in a crisis.
Find a role model and aim to achieve even more than they could ever do. My father went to the United States in 1900 to study at DukeUniversity in North Carolina. He was a pioneer and one of my heroes. Later I found a few more life guides, and when I am stuck, I ask myself how they would deal with the problem.

It’s wonderful to live long. Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one’s family and to achieve one’s goals. But in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.

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Vitamin D may Help Fight Crohn’s Disease

A new study has discovered that nutritional supplements with vitamin D could help fight Crohn’s disease,  which is a chronic form of inflammatory bowel disease.

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Researchers from McGill University found a link that ties vitamin D to Crohn’s disease, according to a report published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

It was noted that people who live in northern countries where they receive less sunlight are more prone to developing Crohn’s disease. Initial research was conducted to determine the nutritional supplement’s affect on cancer, however, when scientists determined the results kept pointing the immune system, they decided to look at other options.

The researchers were quick to point out that siblings of victims of Crohn’s disease that haven’t noticed symptoms yet should consider looking at their vitamin D levels as it may be a way to treat the ailment before it starts.

“This discovery is exciting, since it shows how an over-the-counter supplement such as Vitamin D could help people defend themselves against Crohn’s disease,” said researcher Marc J. Servan. “We have identified a new treatment avenue for people with Crohn’s disease or other inflammatory bowel diseases.”

Source:Better Health Research:Jan.27.2010

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Vanilla leaf (Achlys triphylla)

Vanilla Leaf (Achlys triphylla)
Image by Catandrea via Flickr

Botanical Name : Achlys triphylla
Family : Berberidaceae
Subfamily: Berberidoideae tribe
Synonyms: Leontice triphylla – Sm.
Common Names: Sweet After Death,Vanilla Leaf
Genus :   Achlys

Habitat: Western N. AmericaBritish Columbia to California. Coniferous forests, usually in mountainous regions, at elevations up to 1500 metres. Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge

Description:
Perennial growing to 0.4m.  This perennial plant is a spreading ground cover. Large leaves, divided into three leaflets, rise at close intervals  from underground runners and are long-lasting. Stalks, less than 8 in. high, produce numerous tiny, petalless, whitish flowers clustered together in a narrow, fluffy spike. Pairs of low slender stalks grow in patches, one stalk actually a petiole, having at its tip a round leaf blade with 3 broad, fan-shaped leaflets; the other stalk ending in a narrow spike of small white flowers. The dried plants have a vanilla fragrance.

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Click to see different pictures of the plant
The large, 3-part leaf is unusual, like that of its only close relative, California Vanilla Leaf (A. californica), found nearer the coast, but which generally has 6-8 (rarely up to 12) teeth on the central leaflet.

Vanilla-leaf is a low-growing perennial herb that forms patches in the forest understory. The leaves are roundish in outline and divided into three lobes, with each lobe somewhat triangular or fan-shaped. The leaves are held almost horizontally with the flowering stem arising between them. The tiny flowers have no sepals or petals and appear white because of the 9-13 white stamens. The dried leaves smell like vanilla. Vanilla-leaf is common along moist forest edges and along streambanks at low to middle elevations.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind. It blooms in April and May.It is hardy to zone 0.

Cultivation :-
A woodland plant, it requires a position in semi-shade and a humus-rich soil.The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It requires moist soil.

Propagation:-
Seed – we have no information for this species, bu it is probably best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady part of a cold frame. If stored seed is used, it should be sown as soon as it is received. Germination can be erratic. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady part of a greenhouse or cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions during autumn or early winter. Division should be possible in early spring or just after flowering.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses
Emetic; Ophthalmic; TB.
The plant was used by native North Americans to treat anumber of health problems, though it is little used in modern herbalism. An infusion of the leaves was used in the treatment of tuberculosis and as an emetic. An infusion of the dry shredded roots was used to treat cataracts.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Other Uses
Hair; Repellent.

The leaves have been dried and hung in houses to repel flies and mosquitoes. A decoction of the plant has been used as a furniture and floor wash to get rid of lice, bedbugs and other household pests. An infusion of the leaves has been used as a hair wash.

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Achlys+triphylla

http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ACTR

http://www2.ups.edu/faculty/kirkpatrick/fieldbotany/family_pages/Berberidaceae/achlys_triphylla.htm

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Winter Workouts Can Boost Your Mood

Winter can put a chill on even the most enthusiastic exercise plans. But sticking to your exercise program throughout the cold months is beneficial for multiple reasons, experts say. Not only can physical activity lift your spirits during days of limited sunlight, it can help make sure you’re in good shape when the weather gets warmer.
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To exercise safely in more challenging conditions, you may need to make some adjustments to your routine. When exercising outdoors, it’s important to dress properly.

Wear layers that you can peel off as necessary. Ideally, the layer closest to your skin should be made of a breathable wicking material and not sweat-absorbing cotton. Then add a layer of fleece or cotton for warmth and, finally, a windbreaker or waterproof outer layer.

Make sure you’ve adequately insulated your extremities. Your face, fingers and toes are most likely to get frostbitten. Pain or tingling in your ears, fingers or toes is a sign that it’s time to come in from the cold. And don’t forget a hat — substantial body heat is lost through your head.

SourceUSA Today December 29, 2009

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