Tag Archives: 16S ribosomal RNA

Iris ensata

Botanical Name: Iris ensata
Family: Iridaceae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Limniris
Series: Iris series Laevigatae
Species: I. ensata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Iris kaempferi Siebold ex Lem. Iris lactea.

Common Name : Japanese Water Iris

Other common names:
*Japanese flag
*Japanese iris

Habitat : Iris ensata is native to East Asia: —-> China, Japan, Korea, Siberia. It grows in the dry sandy plains near lakes, meadows, clay-solonetz places in steppes and solonetz meadows. Marshes, ditches and wet grassy places.
Description:
Iris ensata is an herbaceous perennial plant growing to 80cm in height at a medium rate, forming a dense clump of erect foliage, with rich violet-purple flowers 10-12cm in width in mid summer, the broad, rounded falls each with a small white or yellow midrib.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to July.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

Cultivation: Grow in moist to wet, deep, humus-rich, acid soil; it thrives at the margins of ponds or streams.
Propagation: Propagate by division of rhizomes from midsummer to early autum.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Root.

Root – the source of an edible starch. Some caution is advised, see the notes below on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses:

Alterative; Anthelmintic; Antidote; Appetizer; Depurative; Diuretic; Hepatic; Vermifuge.
The root is alterative, anthelmintic, antidote, appetizer, depurative, diuretic, hepatic and vermifuge.  It is used with other herbs in the treatment of venereal affections, liver complaints and dropsy.
Other Uses:
Basketry; Broom; Fibre; Thatching.

A fibre is obtained from the leaves, a substitute for hemp. It is used for rope and coarse cloth. Also used in thatching and basket making. The root is long and fibrous, it is used for making brooms, brushes etc.

Known Hazards: Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised. The roots are especially likely to be toxic. 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 supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_ensata
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Iris+ensata
https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/9240/Iris-ensata/Details?returnurl=%2Fplants%2Fsearch-results%3Fs%3Ddesc(plant_merged)%26query%3DIris%2Bensata%26form-mode%3Dfalse%26context%3Db%25253D0%252526hf%25253D10%252526l%25253Den%252526q%25253DIris%25252Bensata%252526s%25253Ddesc%25252528plant_merged%25252529%252526sl%25253Dplants%26page%3D1%26aliaspath%3D%252fplants%252fsearch-results

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Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

Botanical Name ; Capsella bursa-pastoris
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Capsella
Species: C. bursa-pastoris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms :  Thlaspi bursa-pastoris. Bursa abscissa. Bursa druceana. Capsella concava.

Common Name ; Shepherd’s-purse

Habitat: is native to eastern Europe and Asia minor but is naturalized and considered a common weed in many parts of the world, especially in colder climates,including Britain, where it is regarded as an archaeophyte, North America and China but also in the Mediterranean and North Africa.  It grows in Arable land, gardens, waste places etc, it is a common weed of cultivated soil.

Description:
Shepherd’s-purse  is a small (up to 0.5m) annual and ruderal species, and a member of the Brassicaceae or mustard family. Capsella bursa-pastoris is closely related to the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana and is also used as a model organism due to the variety of genes expressed throughout its life cycle that can be compared to genes that are well studied in A. thaliana. Unlike most flowering plants, it flowers almost all year round. Like many other annual ruderals exploiting disturbed ground, C. bursa-pastoris reproduces entirely from seed, has a long soil seed bank, and short generation time and is capable of producing several generations each year.

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Shepherd’s-purse plants grow from a rosette of lobed leaves at the base. From the base emerges a stem about 0.2 to 0.5 meters tall, which bears a few pointed leaves which partly grasp the stem. The flowers are white and small, in loose racemes, and produce seed pods which are heart-shaped.

Like a number of other plants in several plant families, its seeds contain a substance known as mucilage, a condition known as myxospermy. The adaptive value of myxospermy is unknown, although the fact that mucilage becomes sticky when wet has led some to propose that C. bursa-pastoris traps insects which then provide nutrients to the seedling, which would make it protocarnivorous.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves; Oil; Seed.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Oil.

Leaves – raw or cooked. The young leaves, used before the plant comes into flower, make a fine addition to salads. The leaves are a cress and cabbage substitute, becoming peppery with age. Leaves are usually available all year round, though they can also be dried for later use. The leaves contain about 2.9% protein, 0.2% fat, 3.4% carbohydrate, 1% ash. They are rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C. A zero moisture basis analysis is available. The young flowering shoots can be eaten raw or cooked. They are rather thin and fiddly but the taste is quite acceptable. They can be available at most times of the year. Seed – raw or cooked. It can be ground into a meal and used in soups etc. It is very fiddly to harvest and utilize, the seed is very small. The seed contains 35% of a fatty oil. This oil can be extracted and is edible. The seedpods can be used as a peppery seasoning for soups and stews. The fresh or dried root is a ginger substitute

Constituents: choline, acetylcholine and tyramine, saponins, mustard oil, flavonoids

Fumaric acid is one active substance that has been isolated.. Although Fumaric acid and its derivatives are used with success in many conditions there is no direct evidence that plant extract has been used with similar success.

Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)

*280 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 35.6g; Fat: 4.2g; Carbohydrate: 44.1g; Fibre: 10.2g; Ash: 16.1g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 1763mg; Phosphorus: 729mg; Iron: 40.7mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 3939mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 21949mg; Thiamine (B1): 2.12mg; Riboflavin (B2): 1.44mg; Niacin: 3.4mg; B6: 0mg; C: 305mg;

Parasites
*Capsella bursa-pastoris
*Traditional Chinese

Medicinal Uses:
Common Uses: Abrasions/Cuts * Bladder Infection (UTI) Cystitis * Childbirth * Heart Tonics/Cordials * Menorrhagia *
Properties:  Antiscorbutic* Diuretic* Styptic* Astringent* Febrifuge* Refrigerant*
Parts Used: whole herb.

Shepherd’s purse is one of the important herbs to stop bleeding an effect due to the tyramine and other amines it contains. This property leads to its use is a number of condidtions such as heavy menstrual bleeding, nosebleeds, and as a post-partum herb. The herb is both a vasodilator, and also hastens coagulation and constrict blood vessels.

Shepherd’s purse contains a protein that acts in the same way in the body as the hormone oxytocin, constricting the smooth muscles that support and surround blood vessels, especially those in the uterus. Other chemicals in the herb may accelerate clotting. Still other compounds in the herb help the uterus contact, explaining the long-time use of the herb to help the womb return to normal size after childbirth. Mountain Rose Herbs (2008-07-09)

Herbally, it is primarily used to stop vaginal bleeding, an action which may be attributable to the common parasitic fungus found with it, which is related to the vasoconstrictor ergot.

Other Uses
Shepherd’s-purse is gathered from the wild or grown for food to supplement animal feed, for cosmetics, and for medicinal purposes. It is commonly used as food in Shanghai and the surrounding Jiangnan region as food, where they are stir-fried with rice cakes and other ingredients or as part of the filling in wontons. It is one of the ingredients of the symbolic dish consumed in the Japanese spring-time festival, Nanakusa-no-sekku.

Known Hazards :  Signs of toxicity are sedation, pupil enlargement and breathing difficulty. Avoid if on treatments for high blood pressure. Avoid with thyroid gland disorders or heart disease. Possible addictive sedative effects with other depressants (e.g. Alcohol). Avoid during pregnancy

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/Capsella_bursa-pastoris
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail112.php

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Capsella+bursa-pastoris

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‘Brushing Teeth Prevents Preterm Birth’

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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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