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Artemisia pontica

Botanical Name : Artemisia pontica
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. pontica
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Roman wormwood or Small absinthe, Green-ginger

Habitat: Artemisia is found mainly in the Northern hemisphere and also parts of southern Africa and South America.

Description:
Artemisia pontica is a perennial shurb with fragrant small green leaves. Artemisia pontica is called “little absinthe” because it is smaller in stature and leaf than the “great absinthe” A. absinthium. It grows as a rhizomatous perennial with erect stems up to 100 centimetres (39 in) tall; the grey foliage is finely divided and aromatic. Flowers are small, yellowish, and appear in loose panicles at stem tips. Stems are not very branched, with fine foliage, downy and silvery green. Flowers are tiny, yellow, on narrow panicles in the summer. It blooms during summer. .

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Constituents: The essential oil contains cineol, camphor, thujone, and borneol among other components. It is said to be less bitter than great absinthe and is the principal flavoring of vermouth. It is commercially cultivated in Spain and Lithuania.

Medicinal Users:
Artemisia pontica is a medicinal plant against colds and as a bitter stomachic. A decoction of the leaves and flowers is used for colds, as a tonic and as an anthelmintic; the leafy top is a bitter stomachic and induces perspiration. It is milder in its properties than common wormwood.

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/Artemisia_pontica
http://www.backyardgardener.com/plantname/pda_0ae4.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm
http://www.newyork.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=209

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Bend and Stretch those Hamstrings

Use a chair as a helpful tool in stretching the backs of your upper thighs, or hamstrings. The elevation of the chair allows you to maintain a straight back so you can focus the stretch in the legs.

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Stand in front of a sturdy chair with toes facing forward. Shift your weight to your left leg and place your right foot on the seat of the chair, keeping your right knee straight and your toes facing up toward the ceiling. Maintain a straight back as you bend forward at the hips, resting your fingertips on the chair seat on each side of your foot. Pause for three to six breaths, feeling the stretch in the back of your right thigh. Repeat on the other side.

As your legs become more flexible, practice a more advanced version of the stretch — placing your right foot on the top of the chair backrest and resting your hands on the top of the chair on each side of the foot. As before, pause for three to six breaths, feeling the stretch in the back of your right thigh. Repeat on the other side.

Source : Los Angeles Times

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Fit Enough to Fly

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Families are scattered all over  the globe and they travel to stay in touch. Airplanes are safe, despite the high flying altitude, relatively lower partial pressure of oxygen, variable air circulation, low humidity, sustained periods of noise, vibration and turbulence.
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The rapid changes that occur during a flight (typically during descent) can give rise to ear pain, a blocked feeling, ringing in the ears, giddiness, hearing loss or even rupture of the eardrum. These complications are more likely if the Eustachian tube (connecting the ear and throat) is blocked by allergy, colds, sinusitis or middle ear infections. Chewing gum and frequent swallowing during descent can help ease the discomfort.

Decongestant nose drops will clear a blocked nose. Air travel should be avoided for 10 days if there has been a recent ear surgery or tonsillectomy.

Women often need to travel during pregnancy — as part of their jobs, because of transfers or simply to head home to have the baby. Air travel during pregnancy is safe and poses no special risks. Mid pregnancy, from the 14th to 28th week, is the safest time. In the case of multiple pregnancy (twins), a history of premature delivery, cervical incompetence, bleeding or increased uterine activity (irritable uterus), flying is inadvisable. If you need to be elsewhere for the delivery, it is better to leave before the 36th week or use an alternative mode of transport.

Most airlines refuse to allow pregnant passengers after the 36th week because of the fear that labour may set in during the flight. It is better to carry certified medical documentation about the expected date of delivery.

During pregnancy,

• the seat belt should be fastened under the abdomen, not across it;

• an aisle seat is preferable to facilitate visits to the toilet;

• try to get out of the seat every 30 minutes and walk a short distance;

• if this is not possible, flex and extend the ankles.

Babies should, preferably, not fly till they are at least seven days old.

There is a 10-day ban on air travel (not prohibited but inadvisable) after a stroke, brain surgery, an epileptic seizure, eye surgery or ear, nose or throat procedures.

Even in normal people abdominal gas increases by 25 per cent during air travel. A three to four week gap is advisable after abdominal surgery even if it is a “keyhole” or laparoscopic surgery as gas is introduced into the abdomen during the procedure. This extra gas can expand and cause the sutures to give way.

A person with congestive cardiac failure (when the heart does not function properly) should be stable for at least 10 days prior to travel.

In the case of a heart attack the person should have been stable for three to four weeks.

After pneumonia or chest surgery, a person should wait for three weeks
. Even after this time they should be able to walk unassisted for at least 50 metres without becoming breathless.

Anaemia, with haemoglobin count less than 7.5 grams per decilitre, reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of blood. This can get critical during flights.

People with fractures can travel two days after the cast has been applied. In traditional casts air can be trapped between the cast and the leg. As this air expands during the flight, it can compress the limb and cut off blood supply. If a person needs to fly immediately, the doctor needs to be informed beforehand. A bivalved or split cast, which does not trap air, can be applied.

People with mental illness should be well controlled, on medication and preferably have a companion.

Diseases are spread from one country to another by infected travellers. In the recent swine flu epidemic, the spread of the disease could be plotted by tracking the flights out of Mexico (where the epidemic started).

People with open tuberculosis or measles should also defer travel.
If a person has an infectious disease, travelling should be postponed until recovery. Infected air keeps circulating in a plane and this will result in the disease spreading.

The economy class has little legroom. The edge of the seat can compress the veins at the bent knee.
Together with the forced immobility, blood pools in the legs and the feet swell. This can result in deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Sudden unexpected death can occur hours or days after travel.

Generally, try to drink plenty of fluids and balance any alcohol consumed with an equal amount of water. Walk around the airport while waiting. Remember, the most dangerous thing to do is to sit still with your legs crossed.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Leukaemia Cell Culprit Discovered

A study of four-year-old twin girls has identified a rogue cell that is the root cause of childhood leukaemia.The finding could mean more specific and less intensive treatments for all children with the blood cancer.

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..Isabella (l) and Olivia both have the pre-leukaemic stem cells

Both twins were found to have the “pre-leukaemic” cells in their bone marrow, although to date only one has developed leukaemia.

UK researchers reported in Science that a second genetic mutation is needed for full-blown disease to develop.

Leukaemia occurs when large numbers of white blood cells take over the bone marrow leaving the body unable to produce enough normal blood cells.

Along with lymphoma it accounts for almost half of childhood cancers.

Olivia Murphy, from Bromley in Kent, developed acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when she was two-years old – but so far her twin sister, Isabella, is healthy.

Researchers found they both have “pre-leukaemic stem cells” containing a mutated gene, which forms when the DNA is broken and rejoined at another point.

The pre-leukaemic cells are transferred from one twin to the other in the womb through their shared blood supply.

But it takes another genetic mutation in early childhood for the cells to cause disease.

This second mutation, which may be caused by infection, occurred in Olivia but not Isabella.

Doctors do regular tests on Isabella to look for signs of the cancer but once she reaches adolescence it is thought the rogue cells will disappear.
Achilles heel

About 1% of the population is thought to be born with pre-leukaemia cells. Of these, 1% receive the second “hit” that leads to cancer.

Current treatments are far too aggressive to justify eliminating the rogue cells before cancer develops, which also means screening is unlikely.

But attacking the pre-leukaemic cells in children with leukaemia would be a better way of treating the disease and ensuring it does not come back, the researchers said.

Study leader Professor Tariq Enver, from the Medical Research Council Molecular Haematology Unit in Oxford, said: “These are the cells which drive and maintain the disease.

“Now we know about the cell, hopefully we can find an Achilles heel we can target.”

Professor Mel Greaves, from the Institute of Cancer Research and co-author on the study, said he suspected that the stem cells could escape conventional chemotherapy and cause relapse.

He said the study in the twins had been unique.

“There is an element of chance, we still have to work out why it happens in one child and not the other.

“We’re pretty certain it’s triggered by common childhood infection.”

Dr Phil Ancliff, consultant in paediatric haematology at Great Ormond Street Hospital, said 90% of children now survived leukaemia because of intensive chemotherapy, but that it came at a price.

Now we know about the cell, hopefully we can find an Achilles heel we can target” said Professor Tariq Enver
‘We were lucky’

Olivia lost the sight in one eye after she was unable to fight an infection due to her cancer treatment.

“A significant number of children are now being over-treated but we don’t know which children,” he said.

In the future, he added, children could be tested to see if the stem cells had been killed off after the first few weeks of chemotherapy with some being able to stop treatment earlier, sparing them harmful side-effects.

Dr Bruce Morland, consultant paediatric oncologist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and chairman of the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, said: “The identification of the leukaemic stem cell has been one of the ‘Holy Grails’ for cancer biologists and this study certainly brings us one step closer.”

Professor Vaskar Saha, professor of paediatric oncology at Cancer Research UK, said: “This important paper shows how leukaemia develops, and how it can persist even after therapy.

“By identifying the cells involved, it raises the hope that we will be able to identify children at risk of relapse, and develop new, targeted drugs to treat the disease.”

Click to read :Childhood Leukaemia

“We know we have been lucky’

‘Stem cell find for child cancer

Children’s drug treatment boost

Sticky DNA helps spot leukaemia

Richer areas ‘child cancer risk’

Child cancer ‘three gene screen’

Sources: BBC NEWS 17TH. JAN’08