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Wild Hyacinth,

Botanical Name : Hyacinthus nonscriptus
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus: Hyacinthoides
Species: H. non-scripta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Bluebell. Scilla nutans. Nodding Squill. Scilla nonscriptus. Agraphis nutans. Calverkeys. Culverkeys. Auld Man’s Bell. Ring-o’-Bells. Jacinth. Wood Bells. Agraphis nutans, Link.

Common Names :Wild Hyacinth, common bluebell or simply bluebell

Habitat : Bluebell is Abundant in Britain, Western Europe to Spain, eastward to Central France, along the Mediterranean to Italy.

Description:
Wild Hyacinth  is a perennial plant that grows from a bulb. It produces 3–6 linear leaves, all growing from the base of the plant, and each 7–16 millimetres (0.28–0.63 in) wide. An inflorescence of 5–12 (exceptionally 3–32) flowers is borne on a stem up to 500 mm (20 in) tall, which droops towards the tip; the flowers are arranged in a 1-sided nodding raceme. Each flower is 14–20 mm (0.55–0.79 in) long, with two bracts at the base, and the six tepals are strongly recurved at their tips. The tepals are violet–blue. The three stamens in the outer whorl are fused to the perianth for more than 75% of their length, and bear cream-coloured pollen. The flowers are strongly and sweetly scented. The seeds are black, and germinate on the soil surface

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The Wild Hyacinth is in flower from early in April till the end of May, and being a perennial and spreading rapidly, is found year after year in the same spot, forming a mass of rich colour in the woods where it grows. The long leaves remain above ground until late in the autumn.

The bulbs produce contractile roots; when these roots contract, they draw the bulbs down into deeper layers of the soil where there is greater moisture, reaching depths of 10–12 cm (3.9–4.7 in). This may explain the absence of H. non-scripta from thin soils over chalk in South East England, since the bulbs are unable to penetrate into sufficiently deep soils.

MedicinalUses:
Part Used: Root bulb, dried and powdered.

Constituents: The bulbs contain inulin, but are characterized by the absence of starch (which in many other monoeotyledons is found in company with inulin). Even if fed on cane-sugar, Bluebell bulbs will not form starch. They also contain a very large quantity of mucilage.

Though little used in modern medicine, the bulb has diuretic and styptic properties.

Dried and powdered it has been used as a styptic for leucorrhoea; ‘There is hardly a more powerful remedy,’ wrote Sir John Hill (1716-75), warning at the same time that the dose should not exceed 3 grains. He also informs us that a decoction of the bulb operates by urine.

Tennyson speaks of Bluebell juice being used to cure snake-bite.

The flowers have a slight, starch-like scent, but no medicinal uses have been ascribed to them.

The bulbs are poisonous in the fresh state. The viscid juice so abundantly contained in them and existing in every part of the plant has been used as a substitute for starch, and in the days when stiff ruffs were worn was much in request. From its gummy character, it was also employed as bookbinders’ gum.

Other Uses:
Wild Hyacinth or Bluebells are widely planted as garden plants, either among trees or in herbaceous borders. They flower at the same time as hyacinths, Narcissus and some tulips. Their ability to reproduce vegetatively using runners, however, means that they can spread rapidly, and may need to be controlled as weeds.

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/Hyacinthus_non-scriptus

http://thorns-meadow.com/bos/documents/898.html

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/hyawil43.html

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Ajuga chamaepitys

Botanical Name :Ajuga chamaepitys

Family: Lamiaceae

Genus:Ajuga

Species: A. chamaepitys

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Lamiales

Synonym:  European Ground Pine.

Habitat:Ajuga chamaepitys is a native of many parts of Europe, the Levant and North Africa, is common in sandy and chalky fields in Kent, Surrey and Essex, but otherwise is a scarce plant in England.

 

Description: A. chamaepitys is a small herbaceous perennial that reaches 10–40 cm in height. The leaves have an opposite arrangement. It’s flowering season is generally in late spring. Ground pine is a plant whose richness has been severely reduced by changes to downland farming. At first sight, A. chamaepitys looks like a tiny pine tree with a reddish purple four-cornered hairy stem. The leaves can get up to 4 cm long, and the leaves are divided into three linear lobes which, when crushed, has a smell similar to pine needles. Ground pine sheds its shiny black seeds close to the parent plant and the seeds can remain alive in the soil for up to 50 years. click to see…………..(01)………...(1).…….…..(2).

Both in foliage and blossom it is very unlike its near relative, the Common Bugle, forming a bushy, herbaceous plant, 3 to 6 inches high, the four-cornered stem, hairy and viscid, generally purplish red, being much branched and densely leafy. Except the lowermost leaves, which are lanceshaped and almost undivided, each leaf is divided almost to its base into three very long, narrow segments, and the leaves being so closely packed together, the general appearance is not altogether unlike the long, needle-like foliage of the pine, hence the plant has received a second name- Ground Pine. The flowers are placed singly in the axils of leaf-like bracts and have bright yellow corollas, the lower lip spotted with red. They are in bloom during May and June. The whole plant is very hairy, with stiff hairs, which consist of a few long joints. It has a highly aromatic and turpentiny odour and taste.

Medicinal Uses: A. chamaepitys has stimulant, diuretic and emmenagogue action and is considered by herbalists to form a good remedy for gout and rheumatism and also to be useful in female disorders. Ground pine is a plant well known to Tudor herbalists who exploited the resins contained within the leaves. The herb was formerly regarded almost as a specific in gouty and rheumatic affections. The plant leaves were dried and reduced to powder. It formed an ingredient of the once famous gout remedy, Portland Powder. It was composed of the leaves of A. Chamaepitys, which has a slightly turpentine-like smell and a rough taste, with properties described as being similar to diluted alcohol.

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/Ajuga_chamaepitys http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bugley83.html

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Alepidea amatymbica

Botanical Name :Alepidea amatymbica
Family: Apiaceae
Subfamily: Saniculoideae
Genus: Alepidea
Species: Alepidea amatymbica
Order: Apiales

Common Name:  larger tinsel flower (Eng.); kalmoes (Afr.); Iqwili (Xhosa); ikhathazo (Zulu)
Vernacular names:Kalmoes (A); ikhathazo (Z); lesooko (S), iqwili (Xh)

Habitat :Alepidea amatymbica  occurs mainly in southern Africa are found as far north as Ethiopia.

Description:
Alepidea amatymbica is an erect robust perennial herb to 2m in height with hollow grooved stems and a rhizomatous rootstock; leaves mostly basal on petioles up to 200mm long, with a few stalkless clasping stem leaves;The margins of the leaves are prominently toothed, each tooth ending in a bristle. The inflorescence is widely branched, with a number of small, star-shaped, white flowers, ± 250 mm in diameter.glossy green on upper surface with prominent venation on lower surface; lamina lanceolate to cordate; 300 – 100 × 20 – 75mm, with dentate margin, each tooth terminating in a long bristle; flowers (Jan-Mar) white, borne in heads 10 – 20mm in diameter, arranged in panicles; each head with 5 unequal involucral bracts, the latter white to pale yellow above, olive green on lower surface.

Growing Alepidea amatymbica:This plant is best grown from fresh seed sown in trays filled with a very well-drained seedling mix in late summer or early spring. Once sown, the seed should be lightly covered and kept watered until germination takes place. The seedlings are very prone to damping off and so watering should be carefully monitored. Once potted into individual pots, the plants need to be grown until the underground stem develops, after which they can be planted out.

Medicinal Uses:
Alepidea amatymbica  is a medicinal plant traditionally used for the treatment of various diseases including asthma, influenza, and diarrhea in South Africa. The antimicrobial activities of the acetone and methanol extracts of the leaf, stem, rhizome, and root of the species were assessed in an effort to validate the traditional medicinal uses of this herb, especially for the treatment of infectious diseases. Ten bacterial and three fungal species were bioassayed using the agar dilution method. All the extracts demonstrated appreciable activities against three Gram-positive bacteria. These bacteria have been implicated in different respiratory diseases. The inhibitory activity of some of the extracts against pathogens implicated in diarrhea diseases further validated the use of the herb in traditional medicine. Except for acetone leaf extract against Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger, all the extracts showed more than 50% mycotic inhibition with activity ranging from 51.39% on A. niger to 81.11% on Penicillium notatum at ?5?mg mL?1 which was the highest concentration tested in the study. The ability of the herb to inhibit the growth of various bacteria and fungi species is an indication of the broad-spectrum antimicrobial potential of A. amatymbica; this further validates the use of the herb for various diseases by the people of the Eastern Cape.

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.plantzafrica.com/medmonographs/alepideaatym.pdf

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

http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13880200902817919

http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantab/alepidamat.htm

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Try to Avoid 7 Foods Experts Won’t Eat

1. Canned Tomatoes……canned tomato
The expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A

The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Acidity — a prominent characteristic of tomatoes — causes BPA to leach into your food.

2. Corn-Fed Beef….Corn-Fed Beef. roast

The expert: Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of books on sustainable farming

Cattle were designed to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. A recent comprehensive study found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

3. Microwave Popcorn….Microwave Popcorn

The expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group

Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize — and migrate into your popcorn.

4. Nonorganic Potatoes…Nonorganic Potatoes

The expert: Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board

Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting.

5. Farmed Salmon…..Farmed Salmon

The expert: David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany

Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT.

6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones….Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones

The expert: Rick North, project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers.

7. Conventional Apples……Conventional Apples

The expert: Mark Kastel, codirector of the Cornucopia Institute

If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides with Parkinson’s disease.

Source: Yahoo Shine November 24, 2009

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Ear Infection

Alternative Names: Otitis media – acute; Infection – inner ear; Middle ear infection – acute
…………………EAR INFECTION-1
Definition:
Ear infections are one of the most common reasons parents take their children to the doctor. While there are different types of ear infections, the most common is called otitis media, which means an inflammation and infection of the middle ear. The middle ear is located just behind the eardrum.

There are two types of ear infection…Acute & Cronic.

The term “acute” refers to a short and painful episode. An ear infection that lasts a long time or comes and goes is called chronic otitis media.

You may click to learn more about ear infection:

Symptoms
An acute ear infection causes pain (earache). In infants, the clearest sign is often irritability and inconsolable crying. Many infants and children develop a fever or have trouble sleeping. Parents often think that tugging on the ear is a symptom of an ear infection, but studies have shown that the same number of children going to the doctor tug on the ear whether or not the ear is infected.

Other possible symptoms include:
*Fullness in the ear
*Feeling of general illness
*Vomiting
*Diarrhea
*Hearing loss in the affected ear
*The child may have symptoms of a cold, or the ear infection may start shortly after having a cold.

All acute ear infections include fluid behind the eardrum. You can use an electronic ear monitor, such as EarCheck, to detect this fluid at home. The device is available at pharmacies.

Possible Causes:
Ear infections are common in infants and children in part because their eustachian tubes become clogged easily. For each ear, a eustachian tube runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat. Its purpose is to drain fluid and bacteria that normally occurs in the middle ear. If the eustachian tube becomes blocked, fluid can build up and become infected.
EAR CONSTRUCTIONEAR INF. ACUTECOMMON EAR INFECTIONEAR INFECTION INF. OF BONE
Anything that causes the eustachian tubes and upper airways to become inflamed or irritated, or cause more fluids to be produced, can lead to a blocked eustachian tube. These include:

*Colds and sinus infections
*Allergies
*Tobacco smoke or other irritants
*Infected or overgrown adenoids
*Excess mucus and saliva produced during teething

Ear infections are also more likely if a child spends a lot of time drinking from a sippy cup or bottle while lying on his or her back. Contrary to popular opinion, getting water in the ears will not cause an acute ear infection, unless the eardrum has a hole from a previous episode.

Ear infections occur most frequently in the winter. An ear infection is not itself contagious, but a cold may spread among children and cause some of them to get ear infections.

Risk factors:

*Not being breast-fed
*Recent ear infection
*Recent illness of any type (lowers resistance of the body to infection)
*Day care (especially with more than 6 children)
*Pacifier use
*Genetic factors (susceptibility to infection may run in families)
*Changes in altitude or climate
*Cold climate
*Sudden change of weather

Diagnosis:

Signs and tests
The doctor will ask questions about whether your child (or you) have had ear infections in the past and will want you to describe the current symptoms, including whether your child has had any symptoms of a cold or allergies recently. Your doctor will examine your child’s throat, sinuses, head, neck, and lungs.

Using an instrument called an otoscope, the doctor will look inside your child’s ears. If infected, there may be areas of dullness or redness or there may be air bubbles or fluid behind the eardrum. The fluid may be bloody or purulent (filled with pus). The physician will also check for any sign of perforation (hole or holes) in the eardrum.

A hearing test may be recommended if your child has had persistent (chronic and recurrent) ear infections

Modern  Treatment
The goals for treating ear infections include relieving pain, curing the infection, preventing complications, and preventing recurrent ear infections. Most ear infections will safely clear up on their own without antibiotics. Often, treating the pain and allowing the body time to heal itself is all that is needed:

*Apply a warm cloth or warm water bottle.
*Use over-the-counter pain relief drops for ears.
*Take over-the counter medications for pain or fever, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. DO NOT give aspirin to children.
*Use prescription ear drops to relieve pain.

ANTIBIOTICS
Some ear infections require antibiotics to clear the infection and to prevent them from becoming worse. This is more likely if the child is under age 2, has a fever, is acting sick (beyond just the ear), or is not improving over 24 to 48 hours.

However, for several years there was a tendency to over-prescribe antibiotics, leading to the increasing numbers of bacteria that are resistant to these drugs. Joint guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians are aimed at using antibiotics for ear infections when they are most needed. If the antibiotics do not seem to be working within 48 to 72 hours, contact your doctor to consider switching to a stronger antibiotic. Usually there is no benefit to more than two, or at the most three, rounds of appropriate antibiotics.

SURGERY
If there is fluid in the middle ear and the condition persists, even with antibiotic treatment, a healthcare provider may recommend myringotomy (surgical opening of the eardrum) to relieve pressure and allow drainage of the fluid. This may or may not involve the insertion of tympanostomy tubes (often referred to as ear tubes). In this procedure, a tiny tube is inserted into the eardrum, keeping open a small hole that allows air to get in so fluids can drain more easily down the eustachian tube. Tympanostomy tube insertion is done under general anesthesia. Usually the tubes fall out by themselves. Those that don’t may be removed in your doctor’s office.

If the adenoids are enlarged, surgical removal may be considered, especially if you have chronic, recurrent ear infections. Removing tonsils does not seem to help with ear infections.

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT:
Click to see:-
Alternative Treatment for Ear Infections :
Alternative to Tubes for Ear Infection Treatment:
Natural Cures For an Ear Infection – More Than Home Remedies:

Prognosis:
Ear infections are curable with treatment but may recur. They are not life threatening but may be quite painful.

Prevention:
What can kids do to prevent ear infections? You can avoid places where people are smoking, for one. Cigarette smoke can keep your eustachian tubes from working properly.
You can reduce your child’s risk of ear infections with the following practices:

*Wash hands and toys frequently. Also, day care with 6 or fewer children can lessen your child’s chances of getting a cold or similar infection. This leads to fewer ear infections.
*Avoid pacifiers, especially at daycare.
*Breastfeed — this makes a child much less prone to ear infections. But, if bottle feeding, hold your infant in an upright, seated position.
*Don’t expose your child to secondhand smoke.
*The pneumococcal vaccine prevents infections from the organism that most commonly causes acute ear infections and many respiratory infections.
*Some evidence suggests that xylitol, a natural sweetener, may reduce ear infections.
*Avoid overusing antibiotics.

Click to see:
Taking Care of Your Ears;
What’s Earwax?;
What’s Hearing Loss?

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://kidshealth.org/kid/ill_injure/sick/ear_infection.html

http://healthtools.aarp.org/adamcontent/ear-infection-acute?CMP=KNC-360i-GOOGLE-HEA&HBX_OU=50&HBX_PK=ear_infection_acute

http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/ear-infection-acute/overview.html

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Myths About Asthma

For any type of asthma patient,  country living can be as bad for sufferers as the city.But the belief that they are cure-alls is just one of the myths surrounding the condition, which affects 5.4million people in the UK.
According to Joy Smith of Asthma UK, expensive measures may not be effective if you have not discovered exactly what has triggered the asthma. And this can be easily established by a simple skinprick test from your GP.

young girl in country side

Country air: But for some asthma sufferers it may be as bad as the city

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If plant pollen is the culprit rather than house-dust mites, for example, it would be better simply to close windows to keep out the pollen.
But if mites are the cause, the widely advertised, expensive measures may be useless anyway, according to the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, which reviewed 54 studies involving more than 3,000 asthma patients.
It concluded that none of the interventions believed to eradicate dust mites was effective, including the use of specialist cleaning products or washing bedding at temperatures higher than 60C.
A University of Michigan study found that only half of the 1,788 asthma-proofing steps taken by parents of 896 asthmatic children were likely to work.
The others were unproven, unlikely to help or even potentially harmful in a few cases, such as the use of a humidifier. Mites thrive in humid conditions.
Many asthmatics living in cities think their symptoms would be alleviated if they moved to green and traffic-free countryside. But Joy Smith says: ‘There is no best place to live for anyone with asthma, as it depends what your triggers are. There are studies comparing the Scottish Highlands to the city and finding the incidence of asthma the same.’
Asthma myths abound: there’s the belief that steroid treatments stunt growth in children (Asthma UK says that normal doses are fine and while strong doses can delay growth, patients catch up); and that asthmatics cannot exercise or play sports.
Yet exertion is fine as long as the asthma is well managed and a reliever inhaler always at hand. Olympians Lord Coe, Paula Radcliffe and Rebecca Adlington have asthma.
Nor is asthma contagious. ‘Asthma cannot be passed on from one person to another,’ says specialist Vikki Knowles from Asthma UK.
‘It is a condition that develops as a result of complex genetic and environmental factors, although as yet the exact causes remain unknown.’
She also debunks the myth that you can grow out of asthma.
‘A child diagnosed with asthma may no longer experience symptoms when they reach adulthood but the underlying tendency still remains and so symptoms can return in later life,’ she says.
Another widely held belief is that only children get asthma. Says Joy Smith: ‘Asthma can occur at any age – so you could get it for the first time in your 70s. It is often overlooked then.
‘Many people are under the impression that asthma is not a serious condition.
‘And while many people are fortunate enough not to experience severe symptoms, more than half-a-million people in the UK have difficulty controlling it, meaning some cannot do even simple things like running for a bus or dressing themselves.
‘The condition is responsible for 1,200 deaths a year in Great Britain.’

Source: Mail Online.29th.Aug.2009

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Some Fruit Juices Lower Drug Effect

Grapefruit, orange and apple juices can harm the body’s ability to absorb certain medications and make the drugs less effective, said a study.

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The research showed that these juices can decrease the effectiveness of certain drugs used to treat heart disease, cancer, organ-transplant rejection and infection, “potentially wiping out their beneficial effects”, it said.

David Bailey, a professor of clinical pharmacology with the University of Western Ontario and leader of the study, was the first researcher to identify grapefruit juice‘s potential to increase the absorption of certain drugs two decades ago, possibly turning some doses toxic.

The new findings came as part of his continuing research on the subject, and were presented at the 236th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“Recently, we discovered that grapefruit and these other fruit juices substantially decrease the oral absorption of certain drugs undergoing intestinal uptake transport,” said Bailey. “The concern is loss of benefit of medications essential for the treatment of serious medical conditions.”

Healthy volunteers took fexofenadine, an antihistamine used to fight allergies, along with either a glass of grapefruit juice, a glass of water with naringin (which gives the bitter taste to grapefruit juice), or plain water.

Those who drank the grapefruit juice absorbed only half the amount of fexofenadine, compared to those who drank plain water.

Researchers said the water with naringin served to block “a key drug uptake transporter, called OATP1A2, involved in shuttling drugs from the small intestine to the bloodstream”.

Among the drugs affected by consumption of grapefruit, orange and apple juices are: etoposide, an anticancer agent; beta blockers used to treat high blood pressure and prevent heart attacks; and certain antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, itraconazole).

The drug-lowering interaction also affected cyclosporine, a drug taken to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, and more drugs were expected to be added to the list as the research continued.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Permission To Forgive Ourselves

Releasing Guilt
Learning to accept the things that we perceive as wrong can be a difficult task for many of us. Often we have been brought up to accept that it is normal to feel guilty about our actions and that by doing so we will make everything seem alright within ourselves. Even though we might feel that we have a reason to make up for the choices we have made, it is much more important for us to learn how to deal with them in a healthy and positive way, such as through forgiveness and understanding.

When we can look back at our past and really assess what has happened, we begin to realize that there are many dimensions to our actions. While feeling guilty might assuage our feelings at first, it is really only a short-term solution. It is all too ironic that being hard on ourselves is the easy way out. If we truly are able to gaze upon our lives through the lens of compassion, however, we will be able to see that there is much more to what we do and have done than we realize. Perhaps we were simply trying to protect ourselves or others and did the best we could at the time, or maybe we thought we had no other recourse and chose a solution in the heat of the moment. Once we can understand that dwelling in our negative feelings will only make us feel worse, we will come to recognize that it is really only through forgiving ourselves that we can transform our feelings and truly heal any resentment we have about our past.

Giving ourselves permission to feel at peace with our past actions is one of the most positive steps we can take toward living a life free from regrets, disappointments, and guilt. The more we are able to remind ourselves that the true path to a peaceful mind and heart is through acceptance of every part of our lives and actions, the more harmony and inner joy we will experience in all aspects of our lives.

Sources: Daily Om

Stoking The Inner Fire

Turning Inward During Winterdoi-200801091.jpg
In the depths of winter, we can forget that bare trees will once again be full with foliage, and grass and flowers hidden beneath a blanket of white or a deceptive covering of hardened earth will burst forth once again. While they slumber, nature is continuing its work at the center of each living thing. We can think of our blankets and warm clothes as similar protection—like the cocoon that surrounds a changing caterpillar—while we undergo our own inner transformational work. In the meantime, the lights that twinkle and the fires that warm us can serve to remind us of the flame of life that burns within us.

In order to stoke our inner flame, we can use the time indoors to focus our attention on our homes and families. We can become distracted by the world outside and forget that we need to nourish the lights that warm our hearts. Interacting at a soul level can be done by sharing stories from our hearts, doing projects together, dancing, or playing games. Devoting energy this way helps us build a stronger bond that will sustain us once the world allows us each to pursue our individual goals again.

Winter allows us to feed the flame in our own centers by reading or researching to nourish our dreams and plans for the future. This can mean catching up on all the quieter things we wanted to do but didn’t have time for, like reading books, watching movies, or listening to music. We may have set aside creative pursuits such as painting or writing that can be brought back to the center burner now. It is also a great time to do some journaling to look back on the year that has passed and perhaps the years before this one in preparation for forward motion in the coming year. Nature’s wisdom offers us opportunities to nourish our inner seeds of hope in preparation for our future, so let us enjoy the inner warmth and be grateful for it all.

Sources: Daily Om

Pregnancy Timeline

Weeks 1-4
Fertilisation occurs and a ball of quickly multiplying cells embeds itself in the lining of the uterus.

…………………………….concept67.jpg
In the UK pregnancy is calculated from the first day of the woman’s last period so for as much as three weeks of this first month she might not be actually pregnant. When fertilisation does occur the tiny mass of cells called a blastocyst at this stage embeds itself in the lining of the womb which is already thickening to support it.

Week 5
The mass of cells is developing fast and becomes an embryo. For many women the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period.
Shopbought tests are considered largely reliable so the mother-to-be does not have to have her pregnancy confirmed by her GP. If a first test is negative a second one a few days later may prove positive as hormone levels in the urine rise.

…………………………….5wks_spl67.jpg

Week 6
The embryo officially becomes a foetus. It is about the size of a baked bean and its spine and nervous system begin to form.
The foetus already has its own blood system and may be a different blood group from its mother. Blood vessels are forming in what will become the umbilical cord and tiny buds which will become limbs appear.

Week 7

The baby´s heart is beginning to develop. Morning sickness and other side effects of early pregnancy may take hold.
Around this time many women find they experience the side-effects of early pregnancy including needing to urinate more often nausea and vomiting and feeling a bit weepy and irritable. All medication including supplements need to be carefully checked as the foetus is undergoing vital development in the first 12 weeks. If the woman has not told her GP or community midwife she is pregnant yet now is a good time to do so.

Week 8

It is quite common to have a first scan at this stage if the woman has had a previous miscarriage or bleeding.
An early scan is often done through the vagina and is used to check the pregnancy is not ectopic. It should show up the baby´s heartbeat. The nervous system is also developing rapidly especially the brain. The head gets bigger and eyes form under the skin of the face. The foetus’ limbs are growing and look more like arms and legs. All internal organs are developing and becoming more complex.

Week 9
The foetus is about 5cm long with its head tucked onto its chest. It has most its major organs and eyes and ears are developing.

Week 10
A scan at 10-13 weeks is recommended to pin down the date of the pregnancy.

Week 11
The umbilical cord is fully formed providing nourishment and removing waste products. The foetus looks fully human now.

Week 12
By this week the threat of miscarriage is much reduced. Many women announce their pregnancy to friends and colleagues.
The foetus is growing in length much more quickly by now it is about eight cm long and weighs about 60 grams. The placenta is now wellformed though it’s not yet doing its full job it takes over fully in week 14. The mother is likely to have her first scan this week.

Week 13
The womans uterus is becoming larger and is starting to rise out of the pelvis. The foetus can move its head quite easily.
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Week 14

Third of the way through. The average pregnancy lasts 266 days or 280 days from the first day of last period.

Week 15
Screening for Downs syndrome is offered about now. A simple blood test is carried out first then further tests may be offered.
On the basis of the blood test results the woman may opt for a Chorionic Villus sample or an amniocentesis which would diagnose Down’s syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. However these diagnostic tests have a small risk of subsequent miscarriage. An alternative to blood tests is a nuchal translucency scan a new scan offered by some larger hospitals. But again an amniocentisis would be required for firm diagnosis.

Week 16
The foetus now has toe and finger nails eyebrows and eyelashes. It is also covered with downy hair.
The hair that will cover the baby until the last week or so of pregnancy – called lanugo – starts to form. This hair is very fine more like down and it probably serves as some form of insulation and protection for the skin.

Week 17
The foetus can hear noises from the outside world. By this stage the mother is visibly pregnant and the uterus is rising.

Week 18
By this stage the foetus is moving around a lot – probably enough to be felt.

Week 19
The foetus is now about 15-20cm long and weighs about 300g. Milk teeth have formed in the gums.

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week 20
Half way through pregnancy now. Almost all mothers are offered a routine scan. The foetus develops a waxy coating called vernix.
The scan can show the foetus in fine detail and often reveal if the baby is a boy or a girl. However not all hospitals offer to tell parents the sex of the child – and not all parents want to know.

Week 21
The mother may feel short of breath as her uterus pushes against her diaphragm leaving less space for the lungs.
The mother may be offered another ultrasound scan around this time. The scan can check the baby´s spine internal organs and growth are normal.

Week 22
Senses develop: taste buds have started to form on the tongue and the foetus starts to feel touch.

Week 23
The skeleton continues to develop and bones that form the skull begin to harden – but not fully.

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Week 24
Antenatal checkup and scan to check the baby´s position. A baby born this early does sometimes survive.
A baby born at 24 weeks may possibly survive but it would have severe breathing difficulties as its lungs would not be strong enough to cope. It would also be very thin lightweight and susceptible to infections.

week 25

All organs are now in place and the rest of the pregnancy is for growth. Preeclampsia is a risk from here onwards.
This potentially fatal condition causes high blood pressure protein in the urine and swelling caused by fluid retention. The causes are unclear but research suggests it may be linked to an immune reaction to the foetus or the placenta. If the condition is serious women may be advised to take drugs to lower their blood pressure and in some cases an early caesarean or induction may be performed. Serious complications of pregnancy

Week 26
The foetus skin is gradually becoming more opaque than transparent.

Week 27
The foetus measures about 34cm and weighs about 800g.

Week 28
Routine checkup to test for preeclampsia. Women with Rhesus negative blood will also be tested for antibodies.
If the mother has Rh negative blood but the baby is Rh positive she can develop antibodies to her baby´s blood during labour. This is not a problem in the first birth but can affect subsequent pregnancies and result in stillbirth. Fortunately treatment is simple and effective. BBC Health: Ask the doctor – Rhesus disease

Week 29
Some women develop restless leg syndrome in their third trimester.
This is sensations such as crawling tingling or even cramps and burning inside the foot or leg – often in the evening and at night disturbing sleep and making the mother feel she needs to get up and walk around. No-one knows what causes this harmless but irritating condition.

Week 30
Braxton Hicks contractions may begin around now. They are practice contractions which dont usually hurt.
These are irregular, painless contractions which feel like a squeezing sensation near the top of the uterus. If contractions become painful or occur four times an hour or more, the woman should call a doctor as she may be in early labour.

Week 31
The foetus can see now and tell light from dark. The mother´s breasts start to produce colostrum about now
This high calorie milk is produced by the mother to feed the baby for the first few days after birth before normal milk starts.

Week 32
Another antenatal appointment. The foetus is about 42cm and weighs 2.2kg. A baby born now has a good chance of survival.

Week 33
From now the baby should become settled in a head downwards position. A midwife can help to move it if necessary.

Week 34
The mother may find it more difficult to eat full meals as the expanded uterus presses on her stomach.

Week 35
If the mother has been told she may need a planned caesarean, now is a good time to discuss it further.


Week 36

The baby´s head may engage in the pelvis any time now.

Week 37
The baby´s lungs are practically mature now and it can survive unaided. The final weeks in the womb are to put on weight.

Week 38
Babies born from this week onward are not considered early.

Week 39
Another ante-natal appointment. The mother has reached her full size and weight by now.

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Week 40
In theory the baby should be born this week. The mother´s cervix prepares for the birth by softening.

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Week 41
First babies are often up to a week late but if there are signs of distress to mother or child the birth will be induced.

CLICK TO SEE ALSO:->

PRE-NATAL
Minor complications
Serious complications

DURING LABOUR
Pain relief
Complications of labour

POST-NATAL
Breast vs bottle

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
Childbirth.org
Family Planning Association 

Sources: BBC NEWS