Monthly Archives: March 2010

How to Prevent Lower Back Pain

Back pain affects about 8 out of 10 people. But there are many steps you can take to avoid it. One of the best things you can do to prevent back pain is to exercise regularly and keep your back and abdominal muscles strong.
click to see the pictures..>....(1)..…….…(2)..…..…(3).……..(4).…….(5).…..
Here are some quick pointers to prevent back problems: - CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

•Always stretch before any strenuous physical activity (in fact it would be wise to engage in a regular stretching program like active isolated stretching, which is what I use every day)
•Don’t slouch when standing or sitting
•Sit in chairs or car seats with good lumbar support
•Switch sitting positions often and periodically walk around or gently stretch muscles to relieve tension
•Don’t bend over without supporting your back
•Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes
•Sleep on your side to reduce any curve in your spine, and always sleep on a firm surface
•Lift with your legs, keeping your back straight
•Try to control your weight
•If you smoke, quit; smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine and causes the spinal discs to degenerate .
Also, to keep your spine strong, as with all bones, you need to get enough vitamin D every day.

In most cases, it is not necessary to see a doctor for back pain because pain usually goes away with or without treatment. However, a trip to the doctor is a good idea if your pain is severe and doesn’t improve, or if you have pain after a fall or an injury.

It is important to see your doctor if you have pain along with any of the following problems: trouble urinating; weakness, pain or numbness in your legs; fever; or unintentional weight loss. Such symptoms could signal a serious problem that requires treatment soon.


You may click to see also:->

•5 Painful Facts You Need to Know
•7 Solid Health Tips That No Longer Apply
•Understanding the 10 Most Destructive Human Behaviors

Source : Live Science March 16, 2010

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Crow Garlic (Allium vineale )

Botanical Name : Allium vineale
Family : Alliaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus :             Allium
Synonyms : Allium kochii – Lange.
Common Name : Crow Garlic
Kingdom: Plantae
Order
: Asparagales
Tribe: Allieae
Species: A. vineale

Habitat : Much of Europe, including Britain, to N. Africa and Lebanon. The species was introduced in Australia and North America, where it has become an invasive species.Habitat Fields and roadsides to elevations of 450 metres in Britain, often a serious weed of pastures.meadow;

Description:
It  is a perennial bulbflower  growing to 0.6m by 0.05m.
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf from October to August, in flower from June to July, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

click & see

All parts of the plant have a strong garlic odour. The underground bulb is 1-2 cm diameter, with a fibrous outer layer. The main stem grows to 30-120 cm tall, bearing 2-4 leaves and an apical inflorescence 2-5 cm diameter comprising a number of small bulbils and none to a few flowers, subtended by a basal bract. The leaves are slender hollow tubes, 15-60 cm long and 2-4 mm thick, waxy textured, with a groove along the side of the leaf facing the stem. The flowers are 2-5 mm long, with six petals varying in colour from pink to red or greenish-white. It flowers in the summer, June to August in northern Europe. Plants with no flowers, only bulbils, are sometimes distinguished as the variety Allium vineale var. compactum, but this character is probably not taxonomically significant.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Click to learn more:

Cultivation :

Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. This species is a pernicious weed of grassland in Britain, spreading freely by means of its bulbils. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Plants do not need any encouragement, they are more than capable of propagating themselves. Bulbils are produced in abundance in the summer and are the main means by which the plant spreads

Uses and problems
While Allium vineale has been suggested as a substitute for garlic, it has an unpleasant aftertaste compared to that of garlic itself. It imparts a garlic-like flavour and odour on dairy and beef products when grazed by livestock. It is considered a pestilential invasive weed, as grain products may become tainted with a garlic odour or flavour in the presence of aerial bulblets at the time of harvest.Wild garlic is resistant to herbicides due to the structure of its leaves, being vertical, smooth and waxy. Herbicides do not cling well to it and are therefore not as effective

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Leaves – raw or cooked. Rather stringy, they are used as a garlic substitute. The leaves are available from late autumn until the following summer, when used sparingly they make a nice addition to the salad bowl. Bulb – used as a flavouring. Rather small, with a very strong flavour and odour. The bulbs are 10 – 20mm in diameter. Bulbils – raw or cooked. Rather small and fiddly, they have a strong garlic-like flavour.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses

Antiasthmatic; Blood purifier; Carminative; Cathartic; Diuretic; Expectorant; Stimulant; Vasodilator.

The whole plant is antiasthmatic, blood purifier, carminative, cathartic, diuretic, expectorant, hypotensive, stimulant and vasodilator. A tincture is used to prevent worms and colic in children, and also as a remedy for croup. The raw root can be eaten to reduce blood pressure and also to ease shortness of breath. Although no other specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses
Repellent.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles. The juice of the plant can be rubbed on exposed parts of the body to repel biting insects, scorpions etc.


Known Hazards
:   There have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of this species. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible

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?Allium+vineale

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

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ALVI&photoID=alvi_002_ahp.tif

http://www.invasive.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=5007060

High on Calories

Obese people are not able to regulate high-calorie food intake because of changes in their brain.
CLICK & SEE
If your overweight children binge eat, blame it on their flawed brain circuitry. Scientists have now found that despite the desire to cut their food intake, obese individuals will not be able resist junk food, which is very high in calories. That’s because their persistent eating behaviour has precipitated changes in the brain similar to that found in heavy smokers and drug addicts. The study appeared yesterday in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

After spending years studying brain changes associated with drug abuse and smoking, Paul Kenny — a neurobiologist at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida, the US — recently turned his attention to obesity. He and his graduate student, Pal Johnson, wanted to understand the strong yet not-so-easy-to-fathom link between obesity and depleted levels of dopamine or D2, a brain chemical associated with feelings of pleasure.

Scientists in the past had observed that obese individuals have reduced levels of dopamine, but weren’t sure if it was triggered by obesity. It was also known that food intake was associated with dopamine release and the degree of pleasure from eating correlates with the amount of chemical released. Evidence has shown that in comparison to lean people, obese individuals have fewer dopamine receptors in the brain. And people with fewer dopamine receptors need to take in more of a rewarding substance — such as food or drugs — to get an effect that others get with a lesser amount. But the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood.

“What we have achieved is proven in our experiments with laboratory rats that obesity can elicit these brain changes,” Kenny told KnowHow over the telephone.

For this, the Florida scientists embarked upon a series of meticulously planned experiments. In the first, they offered rats — which were grouped into three categories — different menus. While the first group had access solely to less-appetising but healthier chow, the other two were offered a choice of high-calorie food such as bacon, sausage, cake and chocolate in addition to chow, but for varying durations. Some rats had access to the rich fare for just one hour, while the other group could gorge on it most part of the day. The animals were fed this way for 40 days. All of them were wired to record even the slightest change in their D2 levels.

The rats in the first set — which were fed only chow — maintained their weight, while those belonging to the second set — which had restricted access to rich food — exhibited insignificant increase in their body weight. On the contrary, the third group — which had unlimited access to calorie-rich food — gained weight rapidly. These animals were found to be gobbling up twice as much as the other two groups. As the days wore on, their dopamine levels plummeted, requiring them to consume higher quantities of high-fat food to get the feeling of satiation. This is quite like the case of a smoker who has to puff away more cigarettes to get the same high that he or she earlier got with one. Or a drug addict who has to continuously increase the dose for getting a kick.

A second set of experiments with the rats showed that this blunting of the reward sensitivity does not return for a good two weeks even after the high-calorie food was withdrawn.

A true addict, whether rat or human, will compulsively consume the addictive substance even when it is clearly detrimental to health. In the third experiment the scientists tested this hypothesis. To do this, the team trained the rats to expect painful foot shocks upon seeing a light signal. Although the normal rats stopped eating even the most delicious junk food when the light came on, the obese ones used to a high-calorie diet simply ignored the cue and kept feeding.

Anoop Misra, head of internal medicine at Fortis Hospitals in New Delhi, says this explains why obese people find it difficult to modulate their junk food eating habits.

“The US scientists’ experiment has substantiated many assumptions associated with obesity and dopamine levels in the brain fairly well,” says Nihal Thomas, an endocrinologist at the Christian Medical College, Vellore. “The exercise and methodology followed are exquisite.” The findings may help develop drugs that may target dopamine receptors to treat obesity, he observes.

Source : The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Yoga Block Enhances Stretch

Using a yoga block in your practice helps bring the floor up to you, allowing you to focus on correct technique while feeling a sense of stability. Over time, your body will lossen up and you’ll be able to balance without the use of this tool.

Begin by kneeling on a level, padded surface with a yoga block nearby. Straighten your left leg, placing your left heel on the floor with your knee and toes facing upward. Make sure your left heel is directly across from your right inner knee. Move the block behind your left knee. Rest your left arm on your left thigh. On an inhale, reach your right arm overhead with your palm facing inward.

Exhale and lean your torso toward your left foot. Keep your hips forward — don’t sit backward. Focus on feeling the stretch along the right side of your body. Hold this position for 3 to 6 breaths. Return to center, switch legs and repeat on the other side.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Alpine Leek(Allium victorialis)

Botanical Name : Allium victorialis
Family :             Alliaceae
Genus    : Allium

Synonyms:-
Homotypic

Cepa victorialis (L.) Moench, Methodus: 243. 1794.
Loncostemon victoriale (L.) Raf., Fl. Tellur. 2: 21. 1837.
Geboscon lanceolatum Raf., Autik. Bot.: 59. 1840.
Geboscon triphylum Raf., Autik. Bot.: 59. 1840), nom. illeg.
Berenice victorialis (L.) Salisb., Gen. Pl.: 90. 1866), nom. inval.
Anguinum victorialis (L.) Fourr., Ann. Soc. Bot. Lyon, n.s., 17: 160. 1869.

Heterotypic

Allium anguinum Bubani, Fl. Pyren. 4: 87. 1902.
Allium convallarifolium Pall. ex Ledeb., Fl. Ross. 4: 184. 1852.
Allium longibulbum Dulac, Fl. Hautes-Pyrénées: 110. 1867.
Allium plantagineum Lam., Fl. Franç. 3: 262. 1778.
Allium plantaginense Willk. & Lange, Prodr. Fl. Hispan. 1: 211. 1862.
Allium reticulatum St.-Lag., Ann. Soc. Bot. Lyon 7: 119. 1880, nom. illeg.

Vernacular names:-

Deutsch: Allermannsharnisch
Magyar: Gy?zedelmes v. havasi hagyma
Svenska: Segerlök

Habitat  : Europe – Mediterranean to Russia, China, Japan and Korea.   Rocky and stony places in mountains, usually on calcareous soils. Forests, shady and moist slopes, pastures and streamsides at elevations of 600 – 2500 metres in China. Cultivated Beds;

Description:-
Bulb growing to 0.6m.
It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf from November to July, in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from June to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

Click to see the pictures

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allium

allium (Photo credit: craigie3000)

You may click to see more pictures:

Bulb cylindrical, 4-6 cm long; coat reticulate fibrous. Leaves 3-6, petiolate, broadly lanceolate to oval, 10-20 cm long, 4-6 cm broad, shorter than the scape. Pedicels 1-2 cm long. Tepals white to yellow-white, c. 5 mm long, oblong, acute to obtuse. Filaments longer than the tepals, entire, outer narrower, subulate, inner broader, lanceolate. Style exserted. Seeds almost spherical.

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

Cultivation :-
Requires a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
-
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse or cold frame. It germinates quickly and can be grown on in the greenhouse for the first year, planting out the dormant bulbs in the late summer of the following year if they have developed sufficiently, otherwise grow on in pots for a further year. Stored seed can be sown in spring in a greenhouse. Division in summer after the plants have died down. Fairly easy, though we have found that it is best to pot up the divisions until they are growing away strongly before planting them out into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:-
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked.  An onion substitute. The plants are as pungent as garlic. The bulbs are rather small, about 10 – 20mm in diameter, and are produced in clusters on a short rhizome. Leaves – raw or cooked. The stems and leaves are eaten, they are much favoured in Japan. Flowers – raw or cooked.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses:-
Antiscorbutic; Carminative; Diuretic; Vermifuge; Women’s complaints.

The root is antiscorbutic, carminative, diuretic and vermifuge. Used in the treatment of profuse menstruation.

Other Uses:-
Repellent.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

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.plantbuzz.com/Allium/Gallery/summer/im_victorialis_Kemerovo.htm

http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Allium_victorialis

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Allium+victorialis

http://www.eol.org/pages/1085098?expertise=middle

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Diaper rash

Other Names:-Nappy rash,Diaper dermatitis
Definition:-
Diaper rash  is a generic term applied to skin rashes in the diaper area that are caused by various skin disorders and/or irritants.

Generic rash or irritant diaper dermatitis (IDD) is characterized by joined patches of erythema and scaling mainly seen on the convex surfaces, with the skin folds spared.

{Diaper dermatitis with secondary bacterial or fungal involvement tends to spread to concave surfaces (i.e. skin folds), as well as convex surfaces, and often exhibits a central red, beefy erythema with satellite pustules around the border (Hockenberry, 2003).}

Diaper rash  is a red, patchy irritation found on baby’s skin in the genital area, the folds of the thighs and the buttocks.Almost every baby will get diaper rash at least once during the first 3 years of life, with the majority of these babies 9-12 months old. .

Diaper rash appears on the skin under a diaper. Diaper rash typically occurs in infants and children younger than 2 years, but the rash can also be seen in people who are incontinent or paralyzed. Read more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for diaper rash.

There are many misconceptions about a baby’s  Diaper Rash:
-

*Baby‘s bottom is always  be perfectly smooth and rash-free
*Diaper rash is abnormal
*Diaper rash is a sign of food or formula allergies
*Diaper rash means the baby has bad diarrhea or a yeast infection

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES

Having a diaper rash is a normal part of being a baby. There are many ways you can limit the amount of rash, but from time to time it will flare up again.  But sometimes Diaper rash may alarm parents and annoy babies, but most diaper rash cases can be resolved with simple at-home treatments.

Symptoms:-
Diaper rash is characterized by the following:

*Skin signs. Diaper rash is marked by red, puffy and tender-looking skin in the diaper region — buttocks, thighs and genitals.
*Changes in your baby’s disposition. You may notice your baby seems more uncomfortable than usual, especially during diaper changes. A baby with a diaper rash often fusses or cries when the diaper area is washed or touched.

Diaper rashes can occur intermittently, anytime your child wears diapers, but they’re more common in babies during their first 15 months, especially between 8 and 10 months of age.

When to visit  a doctor:-
Diaper rash is usually easily treated and improves within a few days after starting home treatment. If your baby’s skin doesn’t improve after a few days of home treatment with over-the-counter ointment and more frequent diaper changes, talk to your doctor. Sometimes, diaper rash leads to secondary infections that may require prescription medications.

Have your child examined if: -

*The rash is severe
*The rash worsens despite home treatment
Also see your child’s doctor if the rash occurs along with any of the following:

*Fever
*Blisters or boils
*A rash that extends beyond the diaper area
*Pus or weeping discharge


Causes:
-
Babies are so susceptible to diaper rash that wet and soiled diapers can irritate baby’s delicate skin. Naturally, if  baby is in a wet diaper for too long, she or he will be more prone to getting a rash.

Some of the most common causes of diaper rash to be aware of are:

*Irritation due to bowel movements
*Irritation due to moisture from sweat and urine
(even the most absorbent diapers leave some wetness behind)
*Not drying the skin thoroughly after a diaper change
*Diaper chafing/friction
*Diarrhea, which may be caused by antibiotics
*Change in food or introducing new foods

Irritant diaper dermatitis develops when skin is exposed to prolonged wetness, decreased skin pH caused by urine and feces, and resulting breakdown of the stratum corneum, or outermost layer of the skin. In adults, the stratum corneum is composed of 25 to 30 layers of flattened dead keratinocytes, which are continuously shed and replaced from below. These dead cells are interlaid with lipids secreted by the stratum granulosum just underneath, which help to make this layer of the skin a waterproof barrier. The stratum corneum’s function is to reduce water loss, repel water, protect deeper layers of the skin from injury and to repel microbial invasion of the skin (Tortora and Grabowski, 2003). In infants, this layer of the skin is much thinner and more easily disrupted.

Effects of urine:-

Although wetness alone macerates the skin, softening the stratum corneum and greatly increasing susceptibility to friction injury, urine has an additional impact on skin integrity because of its effect on skin pH. While studies show that ammonia alone is only a mild skin irritant, when urea breaks down in the presence of fecal urease it increases skin acidity (lower pH), which in turn promotes the activity of fecal enzymes such as protease and lipase (Atherton, 2004; Wolf, Wolf, Tuzun and Tuzun, 2001). These fecal enzymes increase the skin’s permeability to bile salts and act as irritants in and of themselves.

There is no detectable difference in rates of diaper rash in conventional disposable diaper wearers and reusable cloth diaper wearers. “Babies wearing superabsorbent disposable diapers with a central gelling material have fewer episodes of diaper dermatitis compared with their counterparts wearing cloth diapers. However, keep in mind that superabsorbent diapers contain dyes that were suspected to cause allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).” [1] (Kazzi, 2006) Whether wearing cloth or disposable diapers they should be changed frequently to prevent diaper rash, even if they don’t feel wet.

Effects of diet:-

The interaction between fecal enzyme activity and IDD explains the observation that infant diet and diaper rash are linked, since fecal enzymes are in turn affected by diet. Breast-fed babies, for example, have a lower incidence of diaper rash, possibly because their stools have lower pH and lower enzymatic activity (Hockenberry, 2003). Diaper rash is also most likely to be diagnosed in infants 8–12 months old, perhaps in response to an increase in eating solid foods and dietary changes around that age that affect fecal composition. Any time an infant’s diet undergoes a significant change (i.e. from breast milk to formula or from milk to solids) there appears to be an increased likelihood of diaper rash (Atherton and Mills, 2004).

The link between feces and IDD is also apparent in the observation that infants are more susceptible to developing diaper rash after treatment with antibiotics, which affect the intestinal microflora (Borkowski, 2004; Gupta & Skinner, 2004). Also, there is an increased incidence of diaper rash in infants who have suffered from diarrhea in the previous 48 hours, which may be because fecal enzymes such as lipase and protease are more active in feces which have passed rapidly through the gastrointestinal tract (Atherton, 2004).

The incidence of diaper rash is lower among breastfed infants—perhaps due to the less acidic nature of their urine and stool. (Kazzi, 2006)

Treatments:-

The most effective treatment, although not the most practical one, is to discontinue use of diapers, allowing the affected skin to air out. Thorough drying of the skin before diapering is a good preventive measure, since it’s the excess moisture, either from urine and feces or from sweating, that sets the conditions for a diaper rash to occur. Various moisture-absorbing powders, such as talcum or starch, also help prevention.

Another approach is to block moisture from reaching the skin, and commonly recommended remedies using this approach include oil-based protectants or barrier cream, various over-the-counter “diaper creams”, petroleum jelly and other oils. Such sealants sometimes accomplish the opposite if the skin is not thoroughly dry, in which case they serve to seal the moisture inside the skin rather than outside.

Over-the-counter products:-

Various diaper rash medications are available without a prescription. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for specific recommendations. Some popular over-the-counter ointments are:

*A + D
*Balmex
*Desitin
*Hydrocortisone
*Zinc oxide paste

Zinc oxide is the active ingredient in many diaper rash creams. These products are usually applied in a thin layer to the irritated region throughout the day to soothe and protect your baby’s skin. Zinc oxide can also be used to prevent diaper rash on normal, healthy skin.

Zinc oxide-based ointments are quite effective, especially in prevention, because they have both a drying and an astringent effect on the skin, being mildly antiseptic without causing irritation.

In persistent or especially bad rashes, an antifungal cream often has to be used. In cases that the rash is more of an irritation, a mild topical corticosteroid preparation, e.g. hydrocortisone cream, is used. As it is often difficult to tell a fungal infection apart from a mere skin irritation, many physicians prefer an antifungal-and-corticosteroid combination cream.

Some sources claim that diaper rash is more common with cloth diapers, yet others claim that the type of diaper makes no difference, but that cloth diapers can speed the healing process. In truth the material of the diaper is relevant inasmuch as it can wick and keep moisture away from the baby’s skin.

Prevention:
-
A few simple strategies can help decrease the likelihood of diaper rash developing on your baby’s skin:

*Change diapers often. Remove dirty diapers promptly. If your child is in child care, ask staff members to do the same.
*Rinse your baby’s bottom with water as part of each diaper change. You can use a sink, tub or water bottle for this purpose. Moist washcloths and cotton balls also can aid in cleaning the skin. Don’t use wipes that contain alcohol or fragrance.
*Pat your baby dry with a clean towel. Don’t scrub your baby’s bottom. Scrubbing can further irritate the skin.
*Don’t overtighten diapers. Diapers that are too tight prevent airflow into the diaper region, setting up a moist environment favorable to diaper rashes. Tightfitting diapers can also cause chafing at the waist or thighs.
*Give your baby’s bottom more time without a diaper. When possible, let your baby go without a diaper. Exposing skin to air is a natural and gentle way to let it dry. To avoid messy accidents, try laying your baby on a large towel and engage in some playtime while he or she is bare-bottomed.
*Wash cloth diapers carefully. Pre-soak heavily soiled cloth diapers and use hot water to wash them. Use a mild detergent and skip the fabric softeners and dryer sheets because they can contain fragrances that may irritate your baby’s skin. Double rinse your baby’s diapers if your child already has a diaper rash or is prone to developing diaper rash. If you use a diaper service to clean your baby’s diapers, make sure the diaper service takes these steps as well.
*Consider using ointment regularly. If your baby gets rashes often, apply a barrier ointment during each diaper change to prevent skin irritation. Petroleum jelly and zinc oxide are the time-proven ingredients included in many prepared diaper ointments. Using these products on clear skin helps keep it in good condition.
*After changing diapers, wash your hands well. Hand washing can prevent the spread of bacteria or yeast to other parts of your baby’s body, to you or to other children.

Cloth or disposable diapers:-
Many parents wonder about what kind of diapers to use. When it comes to preventing diaper rash, there’s no compelling evidence that cloth diapers are better than disposable diapers or vice versa, though disposables may keep baby’s skin slightly drier. Because there’s no one best diaper — use whatever works best for you and your baby. If one brand of disposable diaper irritates your baby’s skin, try another.

Whether you use cloth diapers, disposables or both kinds, always change your baby as soon as possible after he or she soils the diaper to keep the bottom as clean and dry as possible.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:

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

http://www.dailyglow.com/skin-problems/baby-skin-rash.html?xid=g_&gclid=CJbdvPji26ACFcvV5wodbzUVCA

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diaper-rash/DS00069

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/11/T081400.asp

http://www.myadbaby.com/diaper_rash.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=diaper%2Brash%2Bpictures&utm_campaign=diaper%2Brash&buf=999999

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Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum)

Botanical Name : Allium ursinum
Family : Alliaceae
Genus :Allium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:
Asparagales
Species: A. ursinum
Other Names:Ramsons,  buckrams, wild garlic, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic, sremuš or bear’s garlic

Habitat  : Much of Europe, including Britain, east to the Caucasus and W. Asia.  Damp soils in woods, copses, valleys and similar moist shady localities.Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Deep Shade; Hedgerow;  Common in woods and shady places, often carpeting the ground in Spring.


Description:

Allium ursinum  grows in deciduous woodlands with moist soils, preferring slightly acidic conditions. They flower before deciduous trees leaf in the spring, filling the air with their characteristic garlic-like scent. The stem is triangular in shape and the leaves are similar to those of the lily of the valley. Unlike the related crow garlic and field garlic, the flower-head contains no bulbils, only flowers. Bulb grows to 0.3m by 0.3m.

click to see…….(01)....(1).…...(2)…....(3).……..(4).…....(5)..
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf from February to June, in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.(Flower diameter c 1.6 cm). The broad leaves are completely unlike those of Crow Garlic or any other British Allium species.  Flower-buds at first wrapped in pair of brown papery bracts.  Stem 3-cornered (corners sometimes very rounded)

A number of different plant species of the genus Allium are known as Wild Garlic:

Allium vineale (also known as Crow Garlic)
Allium drummondii, Drummond’s onion
Allium canadense, Wild onion
Allium triquetrum, Three-cornered leek

You may click to see the wild garlic bulb :
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers woodland conditions in a moist well-drained soil. Plants are often found in the wild growing in quite wet situations. When growing in suitable conditions, wild garlic forms a dense carpet of growth in the spring and can be a very invasive plant. It dies down in early summer, however, allowing other plants to grow in the same space. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. The seeds are dispersed by ants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe either in situ or in a cold frame. It germinates quickly and can be grown on in the greenhouse for the first year, planting out the dormant bulbs in the late summer of the following year. Stored seed can be sown in spring in a greenhouse. Division in summer after the plants have died down. Very easy, the divisions can be planted out straight into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.
Leaves – raw or cooked. Usually available from late January. One report says that they have an overpowering garlic odour that dissipates on cooking, though our experience is that they are considerably milder than garlic. The leaves make a very nice addition to salads, and are especially welcome as a vital and fresh green leaf in the middle of winter or as an ingredient for pesto in lieu of basil. Flowers – raw or cooked. These are somewhat stronger than the leaves, in small quantities they make a decorative and very tasty addition to salads[K]. The flowering heads can still be eaten as the seed pods are forming, though the flavour gets even stronger as the seeds ripen. Bulb – raw or cooked. A fairly strong garlic flavour, though it is quite small and fiddly to harvest. The bulbs can be harvested at any time the plant is dormant from early summer to early winter. Harvested in early summer, they will store for at least 6 months. The bulbs can be up to 4cm long and 1cm in diameter. The small green bulbils are used as a caper substitute.

The stems are preserved by salting and eaten as a salad in Russia. The bulbs and flowers are also very tasty.

Allium ursinum leaves are also used as fodder. Cows that have fed on ramsons give milk that tastes slightly of garlic, and butter made from this milk used to be very popular in 19th century Switzerland.

The first evidence of the human use of Allium ursinum comes from the mesolithic settlement of Barkaer (Denmark) where an impression of a leaf has been found. In the Swiss neolithic settlement of Thayngen-Weier (Cortaillod culture) there is a high concentration of ramsons pollen in the settlement layer, interpreted by some as evidence for the use of ramsons as fodder.


Medicinal  Actions & Uses:-

Anthelmintic; Antiasthmatic; Anticholesterolemic; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Astringent; Cholagogue; Depurative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Hypotensive; Rubefacient; Stimulant; Stomachic; Tonic; Vasodilator.

Ramsons has most of the health benefits of the cultivated garlic, A. sativum, though it is weaker in action. It is therefore a very beneficial addition to the diet, promoting the general health of the body when used regularly. It is particularly effective in reducing high blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels[9]. It is recognised as having a good effect on fermentative dyspepsia. All parts of the plant can be used, but the bulb is most active. The plant is anthelmintic, antiasthmatic, anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, cholagogue, depuritive, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypotensive, rubefacient, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vasodilator. Ramsons ease stomach pain and are tonic to the digestion, so they can be used in the treatment of diarrhoea, colic, wind, indigestion and loss of appetite. The whole herb can be used in an infusion against threadworms, either ingested or given as an enema. The herb is also beneficial in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. The juice is used as an aid to weight loss and can also be applied externally to rheumatic and arthritic joints where its mild irritant action and stimulation to the local circulation can be of benefit.

Although largely unknown in the United States, in 1989, A. ursinum was called “the new star” of garlic in the German health journal Therapiewoche (Therapy Week) and in 1992, was declared the European medicinal “Plant of the Year” by the Association for the Protection and Research on European Medicinal Plants.  Allium ursinum contains much more ajoene and an about twentyfold higher content of adenosine than its ‘cultivated cousin.’ Just these substances are the ones to which, according to recent studies, an essential part of the known allium effects such as reduction of cholesterine, inhibition of thombocyte-aggregation, drop in blood pressure, improvement of blood-rheology and fibrinolysis are attributed.  A. ursinum has all the benefits of the A. sativum products that are found on the market. However, A. ursinum has three advantages over this domesticated garlic: 1) It has more of the active substances ; 2) It has active substances not found in cultivated garlic, or found only when large quantities are taken; 3) It is odorless. What distinguishes wild garlic from its garlic relative is, above all, the aroma. Although fields of wild garlic can be identified from afar by their characteristic odor, you are generally spared from ‘garlic breath’ if you eat wild garlic leaves.  Wild garlic also regulates the digestion and prevents problems caused by the iron intake. Professor Holger Kiesewetter of the Homburg University Clinic has now found that one gram of wild garlic per day increases blood circulation and significantly improves blood flow.   Wild Garlic cleanses the blood and intestines. It improves the intestinal flora and is effective against acne, fungus and eczema. It also lowers high blood pressure, fights arteriosclerosis, and increases the body’s immune system.  Because ramsons ease stomach pain and are tonic to the digestion, they have been used for diarrhea, colic, gas, indigestion and loss of appetite.  The whole herb is used in an infusion against threadworms, either ingested or given as an enema.  Ramsons are also thought to be beneficial for asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.  The juice is used as an aid to losing weight.  Applied externally, the juice is a mild irritant.  It stimulates local circulation and may be of benefit in treating rheumatic and arthritic joints.

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Other Uses
Disinfectant; Repellent.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles. The juice of the plant has been used as a general household disinfectant.


Known Hazards :
There have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very large quantities and by some mammals, of this species. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

Similarity to poisonous plants
:
Allium ursinum  leaves are easily mistaken for lily of the valley, sometimes also those of Colchicum autumnale and Arum maculatum. All three are poisonous and possibly deadly. A good means of positively identifying ramsons is grinding the leaves between one’s fingers, which should produce a garlic-like smell. When the leaves of ramsons and Arum maculatum first sprout they look similar, however unfolded Arum maculatum leaves have irregular edges and many deep veins while ramsons leaves are convex with a single main vein. The leaves of lily of the valley come from a single purple stem, while the ramsons leaves have individual green-coloured stems.

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?Allium+ursinum

http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/liliaceae/allium-ursinum.htm

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

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

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Your Palm Says It All

Rogue, fraud, charlatan. Words we often use to describe the roadside palmist. Can anyone say what the creases, lines and stars etched on our palms mean? Or if they do mean anything at all?
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Some people, it seems, can say much about your life by “reading” your palm.

Welcome to the world of medical palmistry, a branch of science based on documented and proven scientific observations.

A detailed examination of the palm does provide valuable clues to a person’s medical history, lifestyle, diseases and life expectancy. Palms and fingers have characteristic creases, whorls, arches and loops. These are unique in each individual and never identical, even in twins. One of the oldest biometric methods of establishing positive identity is by using fingerprints.

“Palmar creases” form in an unborn baby as it holds its hands tightly clenched during the 12th week. Normally this forms three palmar creases or lines. Any physical, medical or drug-induced injury to the foetus during the first three months is reflected permanently as abnormal palmar creases. This can be picked up on ultrasound examination after the 12th week. If the creases are abnormal, the foetus should be closely monitored for associated abnormalities in the kidney, heart and other organs.

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Sometimes the upper two lines fuse to form a single palmar crease or simian line that stretches across the open palm. A single palmar crease can be present in one out of 30 apparently normal people. It is more common in males and is usually present only on one hand. One or both parents of these children may have the abnormal crease on one hand. This is a minor aberration and warrants monitoring as these children may reveal mild abnormalities in other organs in later life. It is also associated with certain chromosomal anomalies, the most common of which is Down’s Syndrome (Trisomy 21).

Not all abnormal palmar creases are hereditary or genetic. Alcoholic women who continue to drink during pregnancy can produce children with “foetal alcohol syndrome” and a single palmar crease.

People with mental illnesses have more open loops and fewer whorls on their finger tips. Those prone to chronic diseases like leprosy and tuberculosis also tend to have only two lines on the palm, with the abnormal line just above the thumb.

Normally, a person has 10 fingers and toes. In one in 1,000 births, there may be extra digits, separate, complete, incomplete or fused. These defects can be associated with other internal congenital malformations, and so a detailed examination must be done for any affected newborn.

Marfans syndrome is a genetic disorder in which the person has “arachnodactyly” or abnormally long fingers like spider legs. This can be diagnosed before birth through ultrasound.

Congenital hypothyroidism, certain renal diseases and some forms of dwarfism are linked with a “tripartiate” hand — where the index, middle and ring fingers are the same length.

Cigarette smokers, people suffering from chronic respiratory ailments, and those with congenital heart disease may have blue nails. Some lung diseases like bronchiectasis, and chronic intestinal diseases may bend the nail like a convex parrot beak, a condition called “clubbing”. Jaundice causes the skin of the palms to turn yellow. Carotenemia produces a similar appearance. It is a harmless condition and is caused by an excess consumption of yellow carotene containing fruits and vegetables.

Hormone levels in the uterus also influences finger length. A person (irrespective of sex) with the index finger shorter than the ring finger will have had more testosterone (male hormone) while in the womb, and a person with an index finger longer than the ring finger will have had more eostrogen (female hormone). Professional women, especially women scientists, tend to have higher levels of testosterone vis-a-vis their oestrogen level, making their brains closer to those of men in general. The converse is true with men working in the fine arts and social sciences.

The position in which we hold our palms is a reflection of the body mass index or BMI (weight in kilogram divided by height in metre squared). A BMI more than 30 is diagnostic of obesity. Such people tend to hold their hands with the thumbs facing backwards as they stand. Overweight people with a BMI between 25 and 30 hold their arms with the thumb facing sideways. People of normal weight with a BMI between 20 and 25 stand with their palms facing forwards.

So, remember, your palms will reveal a lot about your health, but only if you go to a medical palmist.


Source:
The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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One-Leaved Onion (Allium unifolium )

Botanical Name: Allium unifolium
Family  : Alliaceae
Genus  : Allium
Synonyms : Allium grandisceptrum – Davidson.
Kingdom:: Plantae
Order  : Asparagales
Species: A. unifolium

Habitat: South-western N. America – California and Oregon. Moist soils in pine or mixed evergreen forest in the coastal ranges of California. Cultivated Beds;

Description:
Bulb growing to 0.6m by 0.1m.
It is hardy to zone 8 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

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

Cultivation:-
Prefers a hot dry sunny position in a light, rich well-drained soil[90, 200]. This species is difficult to maintain under cultivation in Britain, our weather is probably too wet and cool for it to really thrive. The plant has a summer resting period when it should be kept dry and so it is best grown in a cold greenhouse or bulb frame . Placing a cloche over outdoor-grown plants in the summer, especially after flowering, will help to ripen the bulbs . Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants . This species is not fully hardy in Britain and is unlikely to survive in the colder parts of the country. It is only marginally hardy in N.W. England. A new bulb is formed annually, the old one withering away. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:-

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions

Edible Uses:-
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked. The bulbs are 10 – 15mm in diameter. Together with the young shoots, they are fried and eaten. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses :-
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system .

Other Uses:-
Repellent.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards :   Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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?Allium+unifolium

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

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

http://www.baynatives.com/plants/Allium-unifolium/

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Roller Enhances a Leg Stretch

For a more intense stretch in the backs of your thighs and calves, try elevating your foot on a roller. But it’s important to put only your lower ankle and heel on top of the roller; this avoids any pressure on your Achilles tendon.

STEP-1. Sit upright on the floor with your left leg straight in front of you and your left heel on top of the roller. Bend your right knee and position your right foot against the inside of your left knee (if your left knee tends to hyperextend, place your right foot directly under your left knee for support). Inhale, sit up tall and reach your arms overhead.

STEP-2. On an exhale, maintain a long spine as you tilt forward, hinging at the hips. Keep your left leg straight and rest your fingertips on the roller. Hold this stretch for 10 to 20 seconds while breathing fully. Focus on feeling the stretch in the back of your left thigh and calf. You might feel a stretch in your back and hips too. Switch legs and repeat.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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