Pseudotsuga menziesii

Botanical Name : Pseudotsuga menziesii
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pseudotsuga
Species: P. menziesii
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Common Name :Douglas fir

Habitat :Native to Western N. America – Canada to California.And  occasionally self-sows in Britain.
Grows in moist to very dry areas from sea level to near the tree-line in the Rocky mountains. The best specimens are found on well-drained deep loamy soils with plenty of moisture.

Description:
Coast Douglas-fir is currently the second-tallest conifer in the world (after Coast Redwood). Currently, Coast Douglas-fir trees 60–75 metres (200–246 ft) or more in height and 1.5–2 metres (4.9–6.6 ft) in diameter are common in old growth stands, and maximum heights of 100–120 metres (330–390 ft) and diameters up to 4.5–6 metres (15–20 ft) have been documented.> The tallest living specimen is the “Doerner Fir”, (previously known as the Brummit fir), 99.4 m (326 ft) tall, at East Fork Brummit Creek in Coos County, Oregon, the stoutest is the “Queets Fir”, 4.85 m (15.9 ft) diameter, in the Queets River valley, Olympic National Park, Washington. It commonly lives more than 500 years and occasionally more than 1,000 years.

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The bark on young trees is thin, smooth, gray, and contains numerous resin blisters. On mature trees, it is thick and corky. The shoots are brown to olive-green, turning gray-brown with age, smooth, though not as smooth as fir shoots, and finely pubescent with short dark hairs. The buds are a very distinctive narrow conic shape, 4–8 mm (0.16–0.31 in) long, with red-brown bud scales. The leaves are spirally arranged but slightly twisted at the base to lie in flattish either side of the shoot, needle-like, 2–3.5 cm (0.79–1.4 in) long, green above with no stomata, and with two whitish stomatal bands below. Unlike the Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir, Coast Douglas-fir foliage has a noticeable sweet fruity-resinous scent, particularly if crushed.
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The mature female seed cones are pendent, 5–8 centimetres (2.0–3.1 in) long,[4] 2–3 cm (0.79–1.2 in) broad when closed, opening to 4 cm (1.6 in) broad. They are produced in spring, green at first, maturing orange-brown in the autumn 6–7 months later. The seeds are 5–6 mm (0.20–0.24 in) long and 3–4 mm (0.12–0.16 in) broad, with a 12–15 mm (0.47–0.59 in) wing. The male (pollen) cones are 2–3 cm (0.79–1.2 in) long, dispersing yellow pollen in spring.

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In forest conditions, old individuals typically have a narrow, cylindric crown beginning 20–40 metres (66–130 ft) above a branch-free trunk. Self-pruning is generally slow and trees retain their lower limbs for a long period. Young, open-grown trees typically have branches down to near ground level. It often takes 70–80 years for the trunk to be clear to a height of 5 metres (16 ft) and 100 years to be clear to a height of 10 metres (33 ft).

 

Appreciable seed production begins at 20–30 years in open-grown Coast Douglas-fir. Seed production is irregular; over a 5-7 year period, stands usually produce one heavy crop, a few light or medium crops, and one crop failure. Even during heavy seed crop years, only about 25 percent of trees in closed stands produce an appreciable number of cones. Each cone contains around 25 to 50 seeds. Seed size varies; average number of cleaned seeds varies from 70-88/g (32,000-40,000 per pound). Seeds from the northern portion of Coast Douglas-fir’s range tend to be larger than seed from the south.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist but not water-logged alluvial soil. Dislikes calcareous soils. Trees are a failure on dry hungry soils. Whilst they are moderately wind resistant, tall specimens are likely to lose their crowns once they are more than 30 metres tall in all but the most sheltered areas. A very ornamental tree, it is the most cultivated timber tree in the world and is extensively used for re-afforestation in Britain. There are several named varieties selected for their ornamental value. Trees can be established in light shade but this must be removed in the first few years or growth will suffer. Very slow growing for its first few years, growth soon becomes extremely fast with new shoots of up to 1.2 metres a year. This annual increase can be maintained for many years. Trees in sheltered Scottish valleys have reached 55 metres in 100 years. New growth takes place from May to July. The trees require abundant rainfall for good growth. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance. Trees are very long-lived, specimens over 1,000 years old are known. Seed production commences when trees are about 10 years old, though good production takes another 15 – 20 years. Good crops are produced about every 6 years. This tree is a pioneer species because it cannot reproduce under its own canopy. The bark on mature trees can be 30cm thick, and this insulates the trunks from the heat of forest fires. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus. Young growth can be damaged by late frosts. The leaves have a strong sweet fruity aroma.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in the autumn to winter in a cold frame so that it is stratified. The seed can also be stored dry and sown in late winter. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Seedlings tolerate light shade for their first few years of growth. Cones often fall from the tree with their seed still inside. If you have plenty of seed then it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed in early spring. Grow the plants on for at least two years in the seedbed before planting them out in late autumn or early spring.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Inner bark; Manna.

Edible Uses: Coffee; Condiment; Gum; Tea.

Young shoot tips – used as a flavouring in cooked foods. A subtle woodsy flavour. A refreshing tea is made from the young leaves and twigs. Rich in vitamin C. It is used as a coffee substitute according to some reports. The fresh leaves have a pleasant balsamic odour and are used as a coffee substitute. Inner bark – dried, ground into a meal and mixed with cereals for making bread etc. A famine food used when all else fails. A sweet manna-like substance is exuded from the bark. This report possibly refers to the resin that is obtained from the trunk, and is used as a chewing gum by various native North American Indian tribes. Alternatively, the report could be referring to the sap which is used as a sugar-like food

Medicinal Uses:

Antirheumatic; Antiseptic; Kidney; Mouthwash; Poultice; Skin.

Douglas fir was often employed medicinally by various native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. An antiseptic resin is obtained from the trunk. It is used as a poultice to treat cuts, burns, wounds and other skin ailments. The poultice is also used to treat injured or dislocated bones. The resin is used in the treatment of coughs and can be chewed as a treatment for sore throats. An infusion of the green bark has been used in the treatment of excessive menstruation, bleeding bowels and stomach problems. An infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash and a sweat bath for rheumatic and paralyzed joints. An infusion of the young sprouts has been used in the treatment of colds. An infusion of the twigs or shoots has been used in the treatment of kidney and bladder problems. A decoction of the buds has been used in the treatment of venereal disease. Young shoots have been placed in the tips of shoes to keep the feet from perspiring and to prevent athletes foot. A mouthwash is made by soaking the shoots in cold water.

Other Uses:
Basketry; Cork; Dye; Fertilizer; Fuel; Insecticide; Resin; Shelterbelt; Tannin; Wood.
…..This tree balances ecology of nature.
A light brown dye is obtained from the bark. The bark is a source of tannins. The bark can be used as a cork substitute and is also used to make fertilizer. The bark contains pitch, it burns with a lot of heat and almost no smoke, so it is prized as a fuel. The small roots have been used to make baskets. The plant has insecticidal properties. A resin is obtained from the trunk, similar to Abies balsamea, which is used in the manufacture of glues, candles, as a cement for microscopes and slides and also as a fixative in soaps and perfumery. The resin can also be used as a caulking material on boats. A fast growing and fairly wind-resistant tree, it is often used in shelterbelt plantings. Wood – heavy, strong, fine grained, durable, though it can be of variable quality. It dries quickly, does not warp and is easily worked, it is used for heavy construction, telegraph poles, furniture etc. It is also used as a good quality fuel

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Pseudotsuga+menziesii

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

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Ephedra torreyana

Botanical Name :Ephedra torreyana
Family: Ephedraceae
Genus: Ephedra
Species: E. torreyana
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Gnetophyta
Class: Gnetopsida
Order: Ephedrales

Common Name :Ephedra, Torrey

Habitat :Ephedra torreyana is native to south-western N. America – Arizona and Colorado south to New Mexico, Texas and Mexico.
It grows in  dry gravelly or sandy plains, hills and canyons, 900 – 1800 metres in New Mexico. Dry rocky to sandy areas; 500–2000 m

Description:
Ephedra torreyana is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1m.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in leaf all year, in flower from April to May. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.

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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 and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation :
Requires a well-drained loamy soil and a sunny position. Established plants are drought resistant and are also lime tolerant. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown in fruit and seed are required.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a greenhouse. It can also be sown in spring in a greenhouse in a sandy compost. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse. Plant out in the spring or early summer after the last expected frosts and give some protection in their first winter. Division in spring or autumn. Layering.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit.

Edible Uses: Tea.

An excellent tea is made by boiling the stems for a few minutes and allowing the brew to steep. Fruit – raw or cooked.

Medicinal Uses:

Diuretic; Kidney; Pectoral; Salve; Stomachic; VD.

This plant has a wide reputation as a cure for syphilis. A decoction of the stems is used, this decoction is also used in treating coughs, bladder and kidney problems and stomach disorders. A decoction of the leaves and stems has been used as a lotion on itchy skin. The stems of most members of this genus contain the alkaloid ephedrine and are valuable in the treatment of asthma and many other complaints of the respiratory system. The whole plant can be used at much lower concentrations than the isolated constituents – unlike using the isolated ephedrine, using the whole plant rarely gives rise to side-effects. Ephedra does not cure asthma but in many cases it is very effective in treating the symptoms and thus making life somewhat easier for the sufferer. The stems can be used fresh or dried and are usually made into a tea, though they can also be eaten raw. The young stems are best if eating them raw, though older stems can be used if a tea is made. The stems can be harvested at any time of the year 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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Ephedra+torreyana

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

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Ephedra_torreyana

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Elodea canadensis

Botanical Name : Elodea canadensis
Family: Hydrocharitaceae
Genus: Elodea
Species: E. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales
Synonyms : Anacharis canadensis. Planch.
Common Name :Elodea,American or Canadian Waterweed or Pondweed.  Other common names for this plant include Anacharis (an older name for the genus Elodea), water thyme, common elodea, and ditch moss.

Habitat : Native to  N. America – Alaska to California east to Quebec and Virginia. Naturalized in Britain .Grows in Waters, mostly calcareous, of lakes and rivers from sea level to 2000 metres in America. Slow-moving fresh water throughout most of Britain.

Description:
Elodea canadensis is a  perennial water plant. Young plants initially start with a seedling stem with roots growing in mud at the bottom of the water; further adventitious roots are produced at intervals along the stem, which may hang free in the water or anchor into the bottom. It grows indefinitely at the stem tips, and single specimens may reach lengths of 3 m or more.

The leaves are bright green, translucent, oblong, 6-17 mm long and 1-4 mm broad, borne in whorls of three (rarely two or four) round the stem. It lives entirely underwater, the only exception being the small white or pale purple flowers which float at the surface and are attached to the plant by delicate stalks.

It is dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants. The flowers have three small white petals; male flowers have 4.5-5 mm petals and nine stamens, female flowers have 2-3 mm petals and three fused carpels. The fruit is an ovoid capsule, about 6 mm long containing several seeds that ripen underwater. The seeds are 4-5 mm long, fusiform, glabrous (round), and narrowly cylindrical. It flowers from May to October.

It grows rapidly in favorable conditions and can choke shallow ponds, canals, and the margins of some slow-flowing rivers. It requires summer water temperatures of 10-25 °C and moderate to bright lighting.

It is closely related to Elodea nuttallii, which generally has narrower leaves under 2 mm broad. It is usually fairly easy to distinguish from its relatives, like the Brazilian Egeria densa and Hydrilla verticillata. These all have leaves in whorls around the stem; however, Elodea usually has three leaves per whorl, whereas Egeria and Hydrilla usually have four or more leaves per whorl. Egeria densa is also a larger, bushier plant with longer leaves.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It can grow in water.

Cultivation:  
A floating, submerged plant, growing well in slowly-moving water and also succeeding in ponds. Plants grow more vigorously when able to root into the mud of the pond. This species, when first introduced into British waterways in the mid nineteenth century, spread rapidly to become a great peat, blocking many waterways. It then seemed to lose its vigour and is now widespread but seldom abundant. Most of the plants grown in Britain are a female clone. Plants perennate by means of overwintering buds that sink to the bottom of the pond in the autumn and then commence growing in the spring.

Propagation:
Seed – seldom produced in Britain, if it is obtained it should not be allowed to dry out and is best sown immediately in water. Division can be carried out at almost any time in the growing season. Simply break off a bit of plant and place in water – it will soon produce roots. The stem can be weighted with something like a stone and then thrown into a pond to allow the stems to root into the mud.

Medicinal Uses:An infusion of the plant has been used as a strong emetic.

Other Uses: It is frequently used as an aquarium plant. Propagation is by cuttings

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/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Elodea+canadensis

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

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

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Angelica pubescens

Botanical Name : Angelica pubescens
Family : Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales
Genus: Angelica
Species: A. pubescens 

Common Names:Du Huo

Habitat : Native to E. Asia – Japan . Grows in damp habitats in hills and low mountains, C. and S. Japan.

Description:
Angelica pubescens is a perennial plant. It  grows to 1.8 m (6ft).
It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

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

Cultivation:  
Requires a deep moist fertile soil in dappled shade or full sun. Plants are reliably perennial if they are prevented from setting seed. A polymorphic species.

Propagation  :
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe since the seed only has a short viability. Seed can also be sown in the spring, though germination rates will be lower. It requires light for germination. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in the spring. The seed can also be sow in situ as soon as it is ripe.

Edible Uses: Leaves are cooked and eaten.

Medicinal Uses :
Anodyne;  AntiinflammatoryAntirheumaticCarminativeEmmenagogue;  Nervine;  Vasodilator.

The roots and rhizomes are anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, carminative, nervine and vasodilator. A decoction is used to promote menstruation, to treat rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatism, headache, toothache and abscesses. This herb is used medicinally in the same ways as A. dahurica (Bai Zhi). These uses are as follows:- Bai Zhi has been used for thousands of years in Chinese herbal medicine where it is used as a sweat-inducing herb to counter harmful external influences. Bai Zhi is contraindicated for pregnant women. The root is analgesic, anodyne, antibacterial, antidote, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, poultice and stimulant. It is used in the treatment of frontal headache, rhinitis, boils, carbuncles and skin diseases. It appears to be of value in treating the facial pain of trigeminal neuralgia. Small quantities of angelicotoxin, one of the active ingredients in the root, have an excitatory effect on the respiratory centre, central nervous system and vasculomotor centre. It increases the rate of respiration, increases blood pressure, decreases the pulse, increases the secretion of saliva and induces vomiting. In large doses it can cause convulsions and generalized paralysis.

The roots and rhizomes are used to treat nose bleed, blood in urine, rheumatic arthritis, lumbago, common cold, headache; increase menstrual flow.  A decoction is used to promote menstruation, to treat rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatism, headache, toothache and abscesses

Known Hazards:  All members of this genus contain furocoumarins, which increase skin sensitivity to sunlight and may cause dermatitis.

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.botanic.jp/plants-sa/sisiud.htm

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

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Angelica+pubescens

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

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Moringa peregrine

Botanical Name : Moringa peregrine
Family :Moringaceae,Horse-Radish Family Tree
Synonyms:Moringa aptera Geartn
Common Names:Ben Tree,Wispy-needled tree yasar, wild drum-stick tree.

Habitat:Grows in Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Deserts and extreme deserts

Description:
Moringa peregrine is a midium size  tree having alternate, compound,pinnate,bipnnate smooth leaves. Flowers are cream,pink and white.Fruit pods are elomgated capsule 32-39 cm x 5-1.7 cm.

click top see……………………..>..…….....(1)..

Medicinal Uses:
The seeds of the common small tree Moringa peregrina are turned into a yellowish oil that cures abdominal pains, infantile convulsion and for childbirth. The testa is removed, powdered and then has salt and water added.

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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_DE.htm

http://www.explorelifeonearth.org/peregrina.html

http://www.flowersinisrael.com/Moringaperegrina_page.htm

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Croton lechleri

Botanical Name : Croton lechleri
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Crotonoideae
Tribe: Crotoneae
Genus: Croton
Species: C. lechleri
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common Names:Sangre de Drago

Habitat :Croton lechleri is native to north-eastern South America. Its name translates as “Dragon’s blood“, and is derived from the appearance of the tree’s sap, or latex: when the bark is cut, the thick red latex that oozes forth resembles blood.(you may click to see:)The tree grows in worm climate, seme and mild.

Description:
The tree is about 15 m tall, smooth trunk and bark and the color is grey to brown. It has many branches at the top and have large heart-shaped leaves.The flowers in long racmes,rounded fruits originate…..

click to see the pictures

Medicinal Uses:
For centuries, the sap has been painted on wounds to staunch bleeding, to accelerate healing, and to seal and protect injuries from infection. The sap dries quickly and forms a barrier, much like a “second skin.” It is used externally by indigenous tribes and local people in Peru for wounds, fractures, and hemorrhoids, internally for intestinal and stomach ulcers, and as a douche for vaginal discharge. Other indigenous uses include treating intestinal fevers and inflamed or infected gums, in vaginal baths before and after childbirth, for hemorrhaging after childbirth, and for skin disorders.

It is also used internally for ulcers in the mouth, throat, intestines and stomach; as an antiviral for upper respiratory viruses, stomach viruses and HIV; internally and externally for cancer and, topically, for skin disorders, insect bites and stings.

Some studies have found that the taspine, found in the red sap of dragon’s blood, appears to accelerate the healing of wounds.  But later research at the University of London, School of Pharmacy has cast doubt on taspine’s wound-healing power, suggesting instead that substances known as polyphenols may be responsible.    The same British study also examined the ability of dragon’s blood to kill certain human cancer cells and bacteria.  In laboratory tests on samples of human oral cancer cells, dragon’s blood sap proved toxic to those cells.  In addition, other components in the sap were believed to be valuable in killing off bacteria, making dragon’s blood useful as an anti-infective.

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/Croton_lechleri

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

http://www.hipernatural.com/es/pltsangre_drago.html

http://www.giorgigarden.com/piante/appartamento/croton.htm

http://www.perou.net/ala/fr/Glossesfauneflore.htm

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Medical Palmistry

Medical Assumtions through Palmistry
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Praying Hands  is a famous pen-and-ink drawing by Albrecht Dürer. A close look at the drawing makes several medical assumptions possible.

The person is middle-aged or older.

The hands have been used to manual labour.

The person is diabetic or will shortly become so.

Diabetes produces changes in the structure of the hands so that when they are folded, as in prayer, a small gap is visible between the two little fingers.

As people walk, they unconsciously move their arms. Watch to see the position of the thumb. If it is rotated inwards, the person has a body mass index (BMI) over 29 and is already obese or heading there.

The creases and lines on our palms, formed when the foetus is 12 weeks old, are genetically determined. Normally, three lines are formed. If there are only two lines (single palmar crease), the child must be followed up for Down’s syndrome, or other genetic abnormalities. It is rare for normal people to have a single palmar crease but some do have it only on one palm, a trait shared by many in the family.

Some people are prone to chronic infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. They too tend to have only two lines but their single abnormal line is situated just above the thumb.

Hormone levels in the uterus influence finger length. A person (irrespective of sex) whose index finger is shorter than the ring finger will have had more testosterone (male hormone) in the womb and a person with an index finger longer than the ring finger will have had more estrogen (female hormone). The difference in the lengths can as little as two or three per cent but is important. Professional women and female scientists tend to have higher levels of testosterone relative to their oestrogen level, while the converse is true of men in the fine arts and social sciences.

Marfan’s syndrome is a genetic disease in which the person has abnormally long fingers (arachnodactly), like that of a spider. Congenital hypothyroidism, certain renal diseases and some forms of dwarfism are associated with a tripartiate hand where the index, middle and ring fingers are of the same length. Palmar creases, tripartate hands and archnodactly can be picked up on ultrasound examination after the 12th week.

All of five fingers are essential for the hand to function properly. The thumb is the most important as it helps us to grasp something securely. If there are extra fingers, they need to be surgically removed. They may be associated with internal organ abnormalities, particularly of the kidney.

The tips of the fingers have loops and whorls, some closed and circular, others open ended. No two individuals have identical fingerprints. Strangely, people with mental illnesses have more open loops and fewer whorls.

Smokers have yellowish brown nails. In chronic respiratory ailments or congenital heart disease, nails bulge with a convex parrot beak appearance and are blue in colour.

The skin of the palm may be yellow. Jaundice causes this. It can also occur because of excessive consumption of yellow vegetables and fruits.

Hard labour can make the fingers gnarled and knotted; housework, which involves dealing with harsh detergents, makes the skin rough. Office work makes the hands soft and smooth. Regular manicures keep the hands looking good. The occupation and financial status of a person can be determined by looking at the hands.

Fingers may get fixed in the flex position with sudden painful release, the “trigger finger”. The tissues of the hand may get thickened, causing them to contract. These conditions need to be seen by an orthopaedic surgeon.

Osteoarthritis sets in with age and is commoner in women. The fingers become painful and work becomes difficult. This is a localised condition and other body systems are not affected. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs in younger people. The joint deformities give the fingers a spindle shaped appearance. This disease can affect other organs as well. Treatment is long drawn and includes medication, physiotherapy and regular exercise. Most joint pains, whatever the cause, respond well to immersion in hot salted water and underwater exercises.

Involuntary shaking movements called tremors can be first seen in the hands and may be associated with tingling. Sometimes these are familial and harmless. Tremors can also be the result of too much coffee, medication induced or the manifestation of a neurological disease like Parkinson’s. Tremors need to be evaluated by a physician.

Hands reveal a great deal if observed carefully. No wonder palmistry is a successful profession!

Source :The Telegraph. May 21.2012
Written by Gita Mathai

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Psychotria sulzneri

Botanical Name : Psychotria sulzneri
Family : Rubiaceae
Group: Dicot

Common Name :Dull Leaf Coffee, Dog’s Tongue

Habitat :Native to many worm countries of the world.Psychotria is one of the largest Dicot genera, with over 1500 species around the world in warm climates.

Native Range: South Florida, the West Indies, Mexico and Central America.

Description:
Psychotria sulzneri is an evergreen Perennial shrub reaching 5 – 8 feet in height and 4 ft in width


Leaves are  4 – 7 inches long, dull blue-green, oblanceolate, with prominent veins on the underside. The surface of the leaf has a puckered effect .


Stem & Bark is green to reddish brown, nodes are somewhat prominent

Flowers are small white flowers in panicled clusters, bisexual

You may click to see pictures of  flowers & fruits
Fruits are showy, dark red berries in clusters, up to 1/4 inch across. Two seeds per fruit, appearing to be split in half

Medicinal Uses:
Traditional this is  used  as a remidy of hemostat, febrifuge and cold remedy; used to treat stomach ailments, asthma, swelling of limbs, sores, tumors and skin fungus.In many Caribbean counties it is used as modern remedy.

Added to a mixture of medicinal leaves (usually 9) to make an herbal bath formula for bathing wounds, rashes, swellings, and for those who feel nervous and sleepless.  Mash leaves and flowers to apply as poultice on infected sores.

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://regionalconservation.org/ircs/database/plants/PlantPage.asp?TXCODE=Psycsulz

http://treasurecoastnatives.wordpress.com/2011/12/10/dull-leaf-coffee-isnt-that-dull/

http://www.medgarden.org/plantfiles/psychotria_sulzneri.html

http://irrecenvhort.ifas.ufl.edu/virtualgarden/infosheets/Velvet_leaf_wild_coffee.htm

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

http://www.plantapalm.com/vpe/virtualtours/ORCA/Psychotria-sulzneri-nervosa.jpg

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Japanese dodder

Botanical Name :Cuscuta japonica
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Cuscuta
Species: C. japonica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Names:Japanese dodder,Dodder- Japanese

Habitat : Japanese dodder is native to Asia and several infestations in Texas, Florida, and South Carolina have recently been found.

Description:
Japanese dodder is an annual, parasitic vine that has recently been introduced into the United States. Japanese dodder is listed as a Federal Noxious Weed. The stems are fleshy, circular, pale yellow with red spots and striations, and much branched. Leaves are minute and scale-like. Flowers are abundant, pale yellow, and sessile. Japanese dodder parasitizes host plants by penetrating the vascular tissue of the host with structures called haustoria. Severe infestations can kill host plants.

This plant  germinates in the spring near the soil surface. Flowers in late summer and fruits in early fall. A single plant can produce over 2,000 seeds, which remain viable for up to 20 years. Also reproduces via fragmentation and attachment to a new host. Grows very rapidly, up to 6 inches/day. As a parasitic vine that penetrates the vascular tissue of its host for water and nutrients, it reattaches to the host plant as it grows. Once established, its connection to the soil terminates.

Medicinal Uses:
Internally used for diarrhea, impotence, urinary frequency, vaginal discharge, and poor eyesight associated with liver and kidney energy weakness.  Also used for prostatis and neurological weakness.  It builds sperm, builds the blood, strengthens sinews and bones.  It also treats enuresis and seminal emission; constipation, backache and cold knees; and rheumatoid arthritis.  One of the safer and more affordable yang tonics.   The herb is reputed to confer longevity when used for prolonged periods, particularly in combination with Chinese yam.  The herb is nontoxic and can be used continuously for long-term periods except for the contraindication below.

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.texasinvasives.org/plant_database/detail.php?symbol=CUJA

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

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

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Minimum Amount of Exercise Needed To Keep A Person Fit

When an extensive study was done in Taiwan on 4,20,000 randomly selected adults (men and women) for 10 years,  it was found that compared with individuals in a totally inactive control group, those in the low-volume activity group, (who exercised for an average of 92 minutes per week) had a 14 per cent reduced risk of all-cause mortality and a three year longer life expectancy. Every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise beyond the minimum amount of 15 minutes a day further reduced all-cause mortality by 4 per cent and all-cancer mortality by 1 per cent. These benefits were applicable to all age groups and both sexes. So the minimum required is probably 15 minutes a day (90 minutes a week) of moderate-intensity exercise.

Source: Published in The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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