Rapid Strep Test (RADT)

For a rapid strep test, the throat and tonsils are swabbed to collect bacteria from the infected area for testing. The bacteria are analyzed to see whether strep (streptococcal) bacteria are causing the sore throat.

.This scanning electron micrograph shows disease-causing Streptococcus bacteria, commonly found in the human mouth, throat, respiratory tract, bloodstream, and wounds. Often airborne in hospitals, schools, and other public places, Streptococcus bacteria are responsible for infections such as strep throat, scarlet fever, and some types of pneumonia.

A throat infection with streptococcus bacteria (called strep throat) needs to be treated with an antibiotic. A test is commonly used to find out whether streptococcus bacteria are present on your throat surface. The traditional test for a strep throat has been a throat culture, which takes two to three days to produce results. Several different types of rapid strep tests, however, can produce results within minutes to hours. A rapid strep test can only detect the presence of Group A strep, the one most likely to cause serious throat infections; it does not detect other kinds of strep or other bacteria.

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A good sample of throat secretions is needed to make sure the test is accurate. A person must remain very still during the procedure so that the doctor is able to collect enough secretions for an accurate test.

The Rapid Strep Test works by detecting the presence of a carbohydrate antigen unique to Group A Streptococcus. This may account for some of the problems with the Rapid Strep Test sensitivity. Gargling, eating or other infusion of liquids into the mouth prior to the test may affect the results. If the test is performed before sufficient organisms are present in the throat, or late in the infection when most of the strep germs have been cleared by the immune system, or if it is performed after someone has been partially treated with antibiotics that kill the organism, then the Rapid Strep Test is less likely to detect the organism.

If the Rapid Strep Test detects strep, the infection should be treated with appropriate antibiotics to prevent long-term damage and sequelae. Should the Rapid Strep Test fail to detect strep throat, the clinician might still treat the throat infection based on his or her own judgment.

How do you prepare for the test?
No preparation is necessary.

When it is required to do?

A rapid strep test may be done in the following cases:

*A person has symptoms of strep throat infection.

*A person has been exposed to strep during an epidemic of rheumatic fever.

The person has a personal or family history of rheumatic fever or other serious infections (such as toxic shock syndrome) and has been exposed to strep. In these cases, if there are no symptoms, a culture may be done first because it is more accurate than a rapid strep test.

In general, it is not necessary to test people who have been exposed to strep throat but do not have any symptoms.

What happens when the test is performed?
A cotton swab is rubbed against the back of your throat to gather a sample of mucus. This takes only a second or two and makes some people feel a brief gagging or choking sensation. The mucus sample is then tested for a protein that comes from the strep bacteria.


Risk factor.
:-
There are no risks.

Anything to be done after the test?
Nothing

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Results may be available in minutes to a few hours. Often the doctor will ask you to wait in the office until the result is back.

Results:-
Findings of a rapid strep test may include the following:

Normal
A normal or negative test means that strep bacteria may not be present.

Sometimes, negative results are wrong. This means that you may have a negative rapid strep test result and still have strep throat.
A throat culture may be done if the rapid strep test result is negative.

Abnormal

An abnormal or positive strep test means that strep bacteria are present.

Antibiotic treatment can be started.
A positive test result does not distinguish those people with an active strep infection from those who are carriers of strep bacteria but actually have a viral infection (rather than a bacterial one).
What To Think About:
The rapid strep test costs less than a throat culture and may diagnose strep throat quickly

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/rapid-strep-test.htm
http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/rapid-strep-test-for-strep-throat
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RADT

http://encarta.msn.com/media_461520073_761574409_-1_1/streptococcus_bacteria.html

 

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Restore Physical Vitality with Yoga’s Downward Facing Dog

Practicing yoga can help restore your physical vitality and emotional balance. The various postures are powerful tools to strengthen and stretch your entire body at any age and fitness level. Here is a simple way to do downward facing dog if your back and legs are tight.

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Step 1.   Begin on all fours with your feet and knees about hip-width apart. Have your hands about shoulder-width apart with your fingers pointing forward. Tuck your toes under and raise your hips, keeping your heels up. Continue to raise your hips higher as you move your chest and head down toward your thighs. Pause in this position and focus on moving your shoulders away from your ears.

Step 2. Without losing the height of your hips, straighten your legs and lower your heels to the floor. Move more of your weight back into your legs. Relax your head and neck and lift your kneecaps up toward your thighs. Stay in this posture for 20 to 30 seconds, breathing evenly. Bend your knees and lower to the start position.

Sources: Los Angeles Times

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The Evidence of Stoping Hair Loss by Laser Comb is Thin

Popular hand-held laser device LaserComb might revive follicles for some men. Maybe.

Americans spend billions on hair-care products each year, a remarkable investment for a part of the body with no real function. We clean it, nourish it and style it — and we definitely mourn its loss.
....
Lots of products and procedures promise to restore thinning or disappearing hair. One especially intriguing option is the HairMax LaserComb, a hand-held laser device that supposedly revives hair follicles. Hailed on TV news programs as a potential “cure for baldness,” the device received FDA clearance for men in 2007. Unlike drugs, most medical devices can be approved without rigorous testing. A company must merely persuade the Food and Drug Administration that the new device is “substantially equivalent” to other products already on the market. In this case, the makers of the LaserComb told the agency that their product was roughly as safe and effective as a wide range of other laser devices, including a gadget intended to kill lice. They also claimed to be in the same league as the Evans Vacuum Cap, an early 20th century hair-growth contraption that’s pretty much what it sounds like.

The LaserComb is sold online and through the SkyMall catalog for about $500.

Users are instructed to slowly move the comb back and forth through their remaining hair for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, three days a week.

The claims
According to the HairMax website, “90% of HairMax users notice positive benefits starting in as little as 8 weeks. These results include: increased hair growth, cessation of hair loss, faster growing hair, more manageability and more vibrant color.”

David Michaels, the managing director of Lexington International, the company behind the LaserComb, says it works by “transferring light energy to cellular energy” in the follicles. The device can’t restore hair to a bald spot, he says, but it can make any remaining hair grow “faster, thicker, heavier and stronger.”

The bottom line
Lasers can undoubtedly encourage hair growth, says Dr. Marc Avram, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

In fact, a small percentage of people who undergo laser hair removal end up with more hair than they had to start with. As Avram and colleagues noted in a 2007 issue of the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, many hair-loss centers offer treatment with low-level laser devices, and some patients really do seem to benefit. Nobody knows why hair responds to lasers, he explains, although it’s possible that the beams somehow encourage blood flow to the follicles.

Still, according to Avram, there’s no good evidence that the LaserComb works any better than more-established treatments such as the prescription medications Rogaine or Propecia. For his patients who are unwilling or unable to use the medications, he says that the device could be worth a try. The LaserComb is safe, he says, and it just might help. “But I set low expectations for it.”

Avram recently tested the HairMax LaserComb on a handful of patients in his office over six months. (Contrary to claims made for the LaserComb, Avram says, it takes at least six months to see real results from any hair-loss treatment.)

“In 20% of the subjects, it seemed to maybe have an effect” on the appearance of hair, Avram says. The study hasn’t been published yet, and it didn’t include a control group for the sake of comparison. Avram readily admits his study “isn’t definitive,” but he hopes it might encourage more research in the future.

By contrast, Rogaine and Propecia have already been tested in multiple high-quality studies and have been shown to stop hair loss in 80% to 90% of patients, Avram says.

Uncertainty aside, the LaserComb has clearly captured the public‘s imagination. Patients ask about it “all the time,” says Dr. Paradi Mirmirani, a dermatologist with the Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center and a member of the North American Hair Research Society. Mirmirani says the device could potentially stimulate hair growth. “But I don’t have any evidence. If patients want to spend $500 on this device, it’s their choice. But I wouldn’t recommend it. They should save it for something that we know actually works.”

Last May, the FDA issued a warning letter against Lexington International for illegally marketing the device to women when it had been officially cleared only for men. The HairMax website now says that the device is intended for men only, but recorded messages for callers on hold to customer service still say that it “works equally well on both men and women” and that “anyone of any age, male or female, can benefit.”

Michaels says the company has asked the FDA for approval to market the device to women and expects a decision soon.

Is there a consumer product you’d like the Healthy Skeptic to examine? E-mail the details to health@latimes.com.

Sources: Los Angles Times

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Iris cristata

Botanical Name : Iris cristata
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Limniris
Section: Lophiris
Species: I. cristata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Crested Iris, Dwarf crested iris

Habitat :Iris cristata is native to Eastern N. America – Maryland to Ohio, south to Georgia, Tennessee and Missouri. It grows in rich woods, wooded bottoms and ravines, usually in calcareous soils.

Description:
Iris cristata is a Herbaceous perennial plant. This dwarf crested iris is a low-growing, rapidly spreading plant that typically grows to 3-6” tall. It features pale blue, lilac or lavender iris flowers with gold crests on the falls. Flowers are borne on very short stems, often appearing nearly stemless. Narrow, sword-shaped, yellowish-green to medium green leaves (to 6” long) arise from a network of branching rhizomes. Spreads quickly and forms dense colonies in optimum growing conditions. Native from Maryland to Oklahoma south to Georgia and Mississippi. In Missouri, it typically occurs on rocky, wooded slopes, on bluffs and along streams in the southeastern Ozark region (Steyermark). When in flower, a well-developed bed can produce a spectacular drift of blue color

 

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Flowers light blue to light violet, complicated in structure with petals and sepals all showy. Flower with 3 lower “sepals” hanging downward, base with a yellow shoehorn-like appendage (crest). “Sepals” not heavily veined with violet but with a basal patch of yellow. Upper 3 “petals” narrow and pointing generally upward. Seed pods elongate, ovate. Leaves relatively short and broad, embracing the stem, particularly those near the top of the plant..Flowering period: April to May.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Alpine garden, Container, Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Woodland garden. Requires a light or gravelly lime-free soil of a woodland nature in partial shade or full sun. Likes plenty of moisture in summer but the soil must be well-drained. Grows well on a peat bank. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. Another report says that it is best if the plants are lifted intact in October, stored in sand and planted out in March. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer and rabbits. Plants require protection from slugs. Frequent division and transplanting every other year is necessary if the plant is to thrive and persist. Special Features:North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Suitable for cut flowers.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It does not require cold stratification. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first year. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in July/August. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

History:
Legend attributes the use of the yellow iris by the French monarchs to Clovis, the King of the Franks from 481 to 511 and the founder of Frankish state.  During a campaign against Alaric, the King of Aquitaine, Clovis was seeking a ford across a river for his army. A deer was frightened by the soldiers, and crossed the river at a ford that was thus revealed to Clovis. On the far side, he found a yellow iris that he put on his helmet as a testament to his good fortune which continued through to his defeat of Alaric near Poitiers in 507.  This story is almost certainly apocryphal, as the fleur-de-lis was first used as a heraldic symbol by King Phillipe II in 1180 and adopted as the French royal standard with three golden fleurs-de-lis on an azure background by King Charles the Wise in 1376.  But, like George Washington and the cheery tree, it is a good story.

In Greek mythology, Iris was the anthropomorphized goddess of the rainbow. She served as a messenger for the gods in general, but primarily for Hera, the wife and sister of Zeus. She was thus the female counterpart of Hermes (Mercury in Roman mythology).  In that a rainbow extends from the heavens to the earth, it was believed in Ancient Greece that this phenomenon afforded a means of communication between gods and mortals.  Accordingly, whenever a rainbow appeared, Iris was bringing a message from Olympus to a mortal or to a god on a terrestrial mission.  She had several collateral duties.  She led the souls of dead women to the Elysian Fields which gave rise to the custom of planting irises on the graves of women.  She also brought water from the River Styx which was used as a means of certifying the veracity of the gods. If they drank it after taking a solemn oath, they were rendered unconscious for one year if they had lied. Iris was married to Zephyrus, the god of the west wind and, according to some accounts, the mother of Eros, the god of love. There is a metaphorical appeal to the notion of love being a child born of the rainbow and the wind.

Edible Uses:….Root – used as a spice. Frequently chewed by local people to alleviate thirst. When first chewed the roots have a pleasant sweet taste, within a few minutes this changes to a burning sensation far more pungent than capsicums. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses: It is notable for its medicinal uses as well as for its toxic effects. Native Americans used the root in a poultice to treat sores and to make a tea that was a laxative and an emetic. It was adopted by early medical practitioners who used small, frequent doses to stimulate the bowels and the kidneys, and to otherwise “cleanse the blood.”  As with many medicinal treatments derived from plants, the chemical that provides the palliative effect in small doses is toxic if consumed in quantity. The blue flag contains furfural which can cause nausea and iridin, a powerful hepatic stimulant. Livestock have been poisoned when grazing in wild iris.

An ointment made from the roots is applied to cancerous ulcers. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of hepatitis.

Other Use:Charming blue flowers float above sword-shaped leaves in spring. Use this beautiful but tough plant to edge a shady garden or path. It is also an effective, slow moving ground cover that provides tremendous shelter for small animals.

Known Hazards: Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised[65]. The roots are especially likely to be toxic[238]. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in some people.

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.nearctica.com/flowers/iton/iris/Icrist.htm
http://www.abnativeplants.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantdetail&plant_id=79
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/Plant.asp?code=K690
http://sneezypb.livejournal.com/322957.html
http://www.sierrapotomac.org/W_Needham/DwarfIris_050605.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Iris+cristata

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Leg Stretch Can Build Flexibility and Strength

Here’s a dynamic exercise to help you develop flexibility and strength without risking injury or building bulk. You’ll increase your upper body strength while stretching the backs of your legs.

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Step 1.
Kneel with your forearms and palms of your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Spread your fingers, pressing down firmly with your index finger and thumb. Straighten your legs then walk toward your elbows until your heels are close to the floor and your knees are straight. Be sure to push against your forearms and keep your shoulders away from your ears. Do not collapse into your neck and upper shoulders. Pause for three breaths.

……………….

Step 2.  Slowly walk your feet away from your elbows, lower your hips and straighten your knees into a plank position. Balance on your toes and forearms while you tighten your abdominal muscles to keep your pelvis off the floor. Do not allow your midsection to sag. Hold this position for three breaths. Lift your hips and walk back toward your elbows. Repeat three times.

Sources: Los Angeles Times

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Snellen Test for Visual Acuity

Definition:
A Snellen test uses a chart with different sizes of letters or forms to evaluate your visual acuity-that is, the sharpness of your vision. The test shows how accurately you can see from a distance.
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A Snellen chart is an eye chart used by eye care professionals and others to measure visual acuity. Snellen charts are named after the Dutch ophthalmologist Herman Snellen who developed the chart in 1862.

Description
The traditional Snellen chart is printed with eleven lines of block letters. The first line consists of one very large letter, which may be one of several letters, for example E, H, N, or A. Subsequent rows have increasing numbers of letters that decrease in size. A patient taking the test covers one eye, and reads aloud the letters of each row, beginning at the top. The smallest row that can be read accurately indicates the patient’s visual acuity in that eye.
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The symbols on an acuity chart are formally known as “optotypes.” In the case of the traditional Snellen chart, the optotypes have the appearance of block letters, and are intended to be seen and read as letters. They are not, however, letters from any ordinary typographer’s font. They have a particular, simple geometry in which:

the thickness of the lines equals the thickness of the white spaces between lines and the thickness of the gap in the letter “C”
the height and width of the optotype (letter) is five times the thickness of the line.
Only the ten letters C, D, E, F, L, N, O, P, T, Z are used in the traditional Snellen chart. The perception of five out of six letters (or similar ratio) is judged to be the Snellen fraction.

Wall-mounted Snellen charts are inexpensive and are sometimes used for rough assessment of vision, e.g. in a primary-care physician’s office. Whenever acuity must be assessed carefully (as in an eye doctor’s examination), or where there is a possibility that the examinee might attempt to deceive the examiner (as in a motor vehicle license office), equipment is used that can present the letters in a variety of randomized patterns.

According to BS 4274:1968 (British Standards Institution) “Specification for test charts for determining distance visual acuity” the minimum illumination for externally illuminated charts should be 480 lx, however this very important parameter is frequently ignored by physicians, making many test results invalid.

Snellen fraction
Visual acuity = Distance at which test is made / distance at which the smallest optotype identified subtends an angle of 5 arcminutes.[citation needed]

“20/20” (or “6/6”) vision
Snellen defined “standard vision” as the ability to recognize one of his optotypes when it subtended 5 minutes of arc. Thus the optotype can only be recognized if the person viewing it can discriminate a spatial pattern separated by a visual angle of 1 minute of arc.

In the most familiar acuity test, a Snellen chart is placed at a standard distance, twenty feet in the US. At this distance, the symbols on the line representing “normal” acuity subtend an angle of five minutes of arc, and the thickness of the lines and of the spaces between the lines subtends one minute of arc. This line, designated 20/20, is the smallest line that a person with normal acuity can read at a distance of twenty feet.

Three lines above, the letters have twice the dimensions of those on the 20/20 line. The chart is at a distance of twenty feet, but a person with normal acuity could be expected to read these letters at a distance of forty feet. This line is designated by the ratio 20/40. If this is the smallest line a person can read, the person’s acuity is “20/40,” meaning, in a very rough kind of way, that this person needs to approach to a distance of twenty feet to read letters that a person with normal acuity could read at forty feet. In an even rougher way, this person could be said to have “half” the normal acuity.

Outside of the US, the standard chart distance is six meters, normal acuity is designated 6/6, and other acuities are expressed as ratios with a numerator of 6.

Acuity charts are used during many kinds of vision examinations, such as “refracting” the eye to determine the best eyeglass prescription. During such examinations, acuity ratios are never mentioned.

The biggest letter on an eye chart often represents an acuity of 20/200, the value that is considered “legally blind.” Many people with refractive errors have the misconception that they have “bad vision” because they “can’t even read the E at the top of the chart without my glasses.” But in most situations where acuity ratios are mentioned, they refer to best corrected acuity. Many people with moderate myopia “cannot read the E” without glasses, but have no problem reading the 20/20 line or 20/15 line with glasses. A legally blind person is one who cannot read the E even with the best possible glasses.

Criticism
Snellen charts have been the target of some criticism. The fact that the number of letters increases while the size decreases introduces two variables, rather than just one. Some people may simply (or unconsciously) memorize the Snellen chart before being tested by it, or between tests of one eye and the other, to give the impression that their vision is good. Several studies indicate that the crowding together of letters makes them inherently more difficult to read. Another issue is that there are fairly large and uneven jumps in acuity level between the rows. To address these concerns, more modern charts have been designed that have the same number of letters on each row and use a geometric progression to determine the size of each row of letters. Also, some letters are harder to distinguish than others, such as P vs F, C vs G, Q vs O, etc.

How to prepare for the test?
No preparation is necessary.

How the Test is performed?
You stand or sit at a specific distance from the eye chart. Usually you are told to cover one eye with a cardboard piece or with your hand while you read letters with the other eye and say them out loud for the doctor.

In an eye clinic, you may have a more sophisticated version of this test in which you look at the chart through different strengths of lenses (a little bit like looking through a telescope) so that your doctor can find the proper strength of glasses or contact lenses for you. Sometimes the Snellen chart you see in an eye clinic is actually a reflection on a mirror from a projector in the back of the room. This enables eye doctors to use a variety of charts without you having to move from your chair. The test takes only a few minutes.

Risk Factor:
There are no risks.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
You can find out immediately whether your vision is normal (“20/20”) or whether you have a vision problem. Glasses do not correct every vision problem, but an eye doctor can tell you if they will help.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snellen_chart
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/snellen-test-for-visual-acuity.htm

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Now, ‘Smart Scaffold’ to Help Heart Heal Itself

TORONTO: New treatments are being developed that heal broken hearts or muscle loss by prompting the body to repair damaged tissues.

Canadian researchers, for the first time, have developed an organic substance (scaffold) that attracts and supports cells necessary for tissue repair and can be directly injected into problem areas.

This development is a major step toward treatments that allow people to more fully recover from injury and disease rather than having to live with chronic health problems. It may even help reduce the need for organ transplantation by allowing physicians to save organs that would have been previously damaged beyond repair.

These “smart scaffolds”, developed by Erik Suuronen from the University of Ottawa and Ottawa Heart Research Institute, contain a protein that allows progenitor cells to adhere to the damaged tissue and survive long enough to promote healing. These cells emit homing signals that summon other cells to join in the process and give off chemical signals that order cells to grow blood vessels necessary for healing to occur.

“Ultimately, we envision a scaffold material that can be taken off the shelf and injected into the hearts of patients suffering from blocked arteries,” he said. “The scaffold materials would direct the repair process, and restore blood flow and function to the heart

Sources: The Times Of India

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Dianthus

Botanical Name:Dianthus anatolicus
Family:Caryophyllaceae
Genus: Dianthus
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Caryophyllales
Common Names: Dianthus,  Carnation (D. caryophyllus), pink (D. plumarius and related species) and sweet william (D. barbatus). The name Dianthus is from the Greek words dios (“god”) and anthos (“flower”), and was cited by the Greek

Habitat:, Native mainly to Europe and Asia, with a few species extending south to north Africa, and one species (D. repens) in arctic North America.   W. Asia – Turkey to E.. Asia – western Tibet. Naturally occurring from Turkey to Tibet, it prefers rich soil with good drainage in full sun.

Description:
Dianthus is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants.The species are mostly perennial herbs, a few are annual or biennial, and some are low subshrubs with woody basal stems. The leaves are opposite, simple, mostly linear and often strongly glaucous grey-green to blue-green. The flowers have five petals, typically with a frilled or pinked margin, and are (in almost all species) pale to dark pink. One species, D. knappii, has yellow flowers with a purple centre.
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES..>…….(01)....(1).……..(2).………(3)...……..
This little Dianthus is a sweet little mound-forming perennial with needle-like, grey foliage. Whitish pink flowers with a wine-colored eye. It grows around 4” high & 6” wide.

It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry soil.

Cultivation details:
Prefers an alkaline soil though it can also thrive in neutral and slightly acid soils down to a pH of 6. Requires sunny position.

Propagation
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 4 weeks at 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings in July/August in a cold frame. Very high percentage. Division in March. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Selected species:

Dianthus alpinus – Alpine Pink
Dianthus amurensis – Amur Pink
Dianthus anatolicus
Dianthus arenarius – Sand Pink
Dianthus armeria – Deptford Pink
Dianthus barbatus – Sweet William
Dianthus biflorus
Dianthus brevicaulis
Dianthus burgasensis
Dianthus callizonus
Dianthus campestris
Dianthus capitatus
Dianthus carthusianorum – Carthusian Pink
Dianthus caryophyllus – Carnation or Clove Pink
Dianthus chinensis – China Pink
Dianthus cruentus
Dianthus deltoides – Maiden Pink
Dianthus erinaceus
Dianthus freynii
Dianthus fruticosus
Dianthus furcatus
Dianthus gallicus – French Pink or Jersey Pink
Dianthus giganteus
Dianthus glacialis
Dianthus gracilis
Dianthus graniticus
Dianthus gratianopolitanus – Cheddar Pink
Dianthus haematocalyx
Dianthus japonicus
Dianthus kladovanus
Dianthus knappii
Dianthus lusitanus
Dianthus microlepsis
Dianthus moesiacus
Dianthus monspessulanus – Fringed pink
Dianthus myrtinervius – Albanian Pink
Dianthus nardiformis
Dianthus nitidus
Dianthus pavonius
Dianthus petraeus
Dianthus pinifolius
Dianthus plumarius – Common Pink
Dianthus pungens
Dianthus repens – Boreal Carnation
Dianthus scardicus
Dianthus seguieri – Sequier’s Pink
Dianthus simulans
Dianthus spiculifolius
Dianthus squarrosus
Dianthus subacaulis
Dianthus superbus – Large Pink
Dianthus sylvestris
Dianthus urumoffii
Dianthus zonatus

General Uses:
Dianthus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Cabbage Moth, Double-striped Pug, Large Yellow Underwing and The Lychnis. Also three species of Coleophora case-bearers feed exclusively on Dianthus; C. dianthi, C. dianthivora and C. musculella (which feeds exclusively on D. suberbus).

The colour pink may be named after the flower. The origin of the flower name ‘pink’ may come from the frilled edge of the flowers: the verb “pink” dates from the 14th century and means “to decorate with a perforated or punched pattern” (maybe from German “pinken” = to peck). Source: Collins Dictionary. The verb sense is also used in the name of pinking shears.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Antibacterial; Antiphlogistic; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Febrifuge; Haemostatic; Ophthalmic; Tonic.

The Chinese pink has been used for over 2,000 years in Chinese herbal medicine. The whole plant is a bitter tonic herb that stimulates the digestive and urinary systems and also the bowels. It is also anthelmintic, antibacterial, antiphlogistic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge and haemostatic. It is used internally in the treatment of acute urinary tract infections (especially cystitis), urinary stones, constipation and failure to menstruate. It is used externally to treat skin inflammations and swellings. The old leaves are crushed and used for clearing the eyesight.

D. anatolicus is a member of large genus of Dianthus (approximately 300)  many of which have been used in Chinese and European herbal medicine for a large number of disorders including cardiac, urinary, nervous and gastrointestinal. Preparations are made from the flowers, leaves and stems but not the roots. The flower preparations are markedly diuretic.

The plants are harvested just before the flowers open and are dried for later use.

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.anniesannuals.com/signs/d%20-%20g/dianthus_anatolicus.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Dianthus+anatolicus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dianthus
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Dianthus+chinensis
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html

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How Can YOU Control Your Excessive Sweating and Odor?

The best way to stop excessive sweating is to find the cause. For example, if it only occurs when you are nervous or anxious, stress reduction techniques in combination with the proper use of an antiperspirant may go a long way toward getting this under control. However, if the perspiration affects multiple areas of your body no matter what the situation, you may have a form of excess sweating known as hyperhidrosis. As for the odor, it’s most likely caused by the bacteria on your skin as it comes in contact with the perspiration. But one thing is clear: The symptoms are affecting the quality of your life and it’s time to regain control with a visit to your physician.

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Sweating the small stuff:
Sweating is a part of life. Normal sweating is usually caused by one or a combination of the following:

1.Your body is too hot and needs to cool off (from fever due to an illness, hot temperatures, too many layers of clothing)…….CLICK & SEE

2.You’re anxious and stressed…..CLICK & SEE

3.You’re performing strenuous exercise……..CLICK & SEE

 

The pattern of perspiration may be different depending upon the situation. For instance, when you’re nervous, the sweat often appears under the armpits, the hands and even on the forehead. In contrast, when you exercise, the sweat tends to occur throughout the body.

Needless to say, the location, amount, odor and frequency that the sweating occurs are unique to each individual. For some, it’s explainable and hardly noticeable. For others, the potential for embarrassment exists and can change life experiences. This makes it especially important to speak with your physician and provide the answers to the following questions:

*Where does your sweating occur (armpits, groin, whole body, hands, feet, face)?
*At what age did it begin (early to mid teenage years) and does heavy perspiration run in your family?
*How often does it occur (everyday, a few times per week, once a month)?
*When does it occur (during the daytime, wakes you up at night, day and night)?
*How often do you need to change your clothes (shirts, socks, others) due to excessive perspiration (once, twice or several times per day)?
*Do you get skin irritations or infections in the areas where you constantly sweat?
*How often do you need to shower during the day to get rid of the odor?
*Are you afraid to shake hands because of your sweaty palms? If so, how often do you find yourself drying them off due to excess perspiration?
*Are you afraid to wear certain colors because the sweat stains will show through?
*What products have you tried (deodorants, antiperspirants) and did they provide any relief?
*Do certain situations make your sweating worse (spicy foods, when you are anxious or upset, meeting a new person)?
*Have other symptoms occurred since your sweating problem began (fever, cough, joint pains, rash)
*Are you taking any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medications?
*Does your sweating or fear of sweating keep you from certain events or social activities?

Next, It is advised to encourage you to take a look at the information at the International Hyperhidrosis Society to see how you rate on the hyperhidrosis disease severity scale. A result of 3 or 4 means you’re sweating is life-altering and may clue your physician to check for the conditions known as primary focal or secondary generalized hyperhidrosis.

Techniques to decrease perspiration:
If excess perspiration occurs only when you are stressed or nervous, relaxation techniques learned through biofeedback, hypnotherapy, yoga and/or meditation might help to decrease your anxiety induced sweating. Acupuncture may even provide some relief. However, if your sweating is made worse by a multitude of factors including hyperhydrosis, other suggestions to consider include but aren’t limited to the following:

*Avoid or decrease the consumption of caffeinated products

*Bathe daily to limit the amount of bacteria contributing to the sweaty odor

*Eliminate odor-producing foods (onions, garlic, others) from your diet

*Wear loose fitting clothes containing materials such as cotton, wool and silk. These “breathable” fabrics allow for a better flow between your skin and the surrounding air.

*Use antiperspirants daily to stop the sweat and the odor, instead of deodorants, which stop the odor, but not the sweat.
*While these products are commonly applied to the armpits, they are also effective in other areas such as the hands and feet.

*Antiperspirants are available with and without a prescription. Look for the ingredient aluminum chloride hexahydrate, a very effective agent for problem sweating. Preparations containing 10-15 percent aluminum chloride hexahydrate work well for excessive perspiration in the armpits, while those containing 30 percent tend to work better for problem sweating of the hands and feet. Apply the antiperspirant after the area has been dried (use a towel or cool air from a blow dryer) once per night (works better than a morning application as it takes six to eight hours for the antiperspirant to plug the pores and block the flow of sweat) or twice per day (morning and night).

*Consider the use of iontophoresis for extreme and uncontrolled sweating of hands and/or feet. This technique uses very low levels of electric current applied during a 15 to 20 minute session over a period of time (days or weeks). It seems to slow or shut down the flow of perspiration through the sweat glands.

*Injection of botulinum toxin type A (Botox) to the affected areas (armpits, hands, feet and even the face) where sweating is not controlled by other methods. One treatment is very effective at stopping the flow of sweat for a period of four to seven months, sometimes longer.

Fortunately, much can be done to help prevent or minimize the discomfort and embarrassment caused by your drenching underarm sweating.  If you wish you may contact  Mayo Clinic to help you.

You may click to see:->Excessive Sweating – Red Hands

Prickly Heat: When Sweating Hurts
Night Sweats
Can Stress Cause Body Odor?

Sources:MSN Health & Fitness

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‘Brushing Teeth Prevents Preterm Birth’

Preterm births are easier prevented than thought. Researchers in the United States have found that brushing your teeth properly and maintaining  proper oral hygiene reduces the chance of early labour by a large extent.

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Researchers from Case Western Reserve and Yale Universities Previously undiscovered bacteria usually found in the mouth could be responsible for up to 80% of early preterm labours.

The research could help doctors prevent preterm births by encouraging oral hygiene or stop early labour from developing by prescribing targeted antibiotics, Discovery News reported on its website on Wednesday.

“The earlier the woman goes into preterm labor, the higher the chance that she will be infected,” said Yiping Han, a doctor at Case Western University and the first author on the study.

Most human pregnancies last about 40 weeks. A birth prior to 37 weeks is classified as preterm. Babies born preterm can face many hurdles: vision and hearing loss, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, even death.

Labour itself is still somewhat of a mystery to science, which makes puzzling out preterm labour even more difficult. Anything from socioeconomic status and race to bacterial infection and genetics have been linked to preterm births, but a definitive cause is still elusive.

Han and her colleagues think they have found a major cause, at least in mice. By infecting the rodents with Bergeyella, a previously unknown bacteria found in the mice, the researchers caused preterm births.

In humans, the scientists showed a strong correlation between infection and preterm births. Doctors removed amniotic fluid from 46 different women with potentially higher risk pregnancies. Of that group, 21 delivered an early preterm baby (32 weeks or earlier). Nineteen of those women, or about 85%, were positive for previously undetected bacteria.

The bacteria normally live in the mouth, but if a cut, cavity or other wound allows the bacteria to enter the blood stream, they can travel and eventually colonize the uterus. That triggers an immune response, which can inflame the uterus and eventually cause a mother to go into labour prematurely.

To identify bacteria behind preterm labour, doctors used polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Using PCR, the scientists identified the Bergeyella bacterium, as well as DNA belonging to 10 or 11 different strains of newly identified bacteria. Now that doctors know about another link to preterm labour, the next step is to treat it. Antibiotics that specifically target these new bacteria are currently being tested.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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