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Rubus spectabilis

Botanical Name : Rubus spectabilis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rubus
Species:R. spectabilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: Salmonberry

Habitat:Rubus spectabilis is native to the west coast of North America from west central Alaska to California, inland as far as Idaho. Occasionally naturalized in Britain. It grows on Moist spots in and about woods below 300 metres in California.

Description:
Rubus spectabilis is a deciduous shrub growing to 1–4 m (40-160 inches or 1.3-13.3 feet) tall, with perennial, not biennial woody stems that are covered with fine prickles. The leaves are trifoliate (with three leaflets), 7–22 cm (2.8-8.8 inches) long, the terminal leaflet larger than the two side leaflets. The leaf margins are toothed. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are 2–3 cm (0.8-1.2 inches) in diameter, with five pinkish-purple petals; they are produced from early spring to early summer. The fruit matures in late summer to early autumn, and resembles a large yellow to orange-red raspberry 1.5–2 cm (0.6-0.8 inches) long with many drupelets.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Grows well in the shade of trees though it is less likely to fruit well in such a position. Hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant, but it is invasiv. It does not fruit well in Britain, but has become naturalized in Surrey and Cumbria in cool acid woodland soils. This species is a raspberry with biennial stems, it produces a number of new stems each year from the perennial rootstock, these stems fruit in their second year and then die. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungu.
Propagation:
Seed – requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn. Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn
Edible Uses:
Fruit raw, cooked or dried for later use. Juicy with a very good flavour. The fruit can be made into jams and jellies. This species is not of much value in Britain, it does not fruit freely in the cooler summers of this country and the fruits do not always develop their full flavour. The fruit can range in colour from yellow, through orange to red, it is about the size of a cultivated raspberry but is rather inferior in flavour and often has a distinctive bitterness, especially in cooler summers. Another report says that it fruits freely in Britain. Young shoots – peeled and eaten raw or cooked like asparagus. They are harvested in the spring as they grow above the soil and whilst they are still tender. Flowers – raw. The leaves are used as a tea substitute.
Medicinal Uses:

Analgesic; Astringent; Disinfectant; Odontalgic; Poultice; Stomachic.

The leaves and the root are astringent. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been used as a dressing on burns. The root bark is analgesic, astringent, disinfectant and stomachic. A decoction is used in the treatment of stomach complaints. A decoction has been used to lessen the pains of labour. The powdered bark has been used as a dusting powder on burns and sores. A poultice of the bark has been applied to wounds and aching teeth to ease the pain. A poultice of the chewed bark has been used as a dressing to relive pain and clean burns and wounds.

Other Uses:
Disinfectant; Dye; Pipes.
A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit. The hollowed stems are used as pipes. (The report does not specify what type of pipes)

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:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rubus+spectabilis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubus_spectabilis

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Ayurveda to Cure Chemotherapy Effects

India has patented an ayurveda medicine that promises to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy during cancer treatment and improve the blood platelet count among patients…….…click  & see

The medicine, Medihope, made by a Pune-based manufacturer, was awarded the patent after it received favourable field results. It will be in the Indian market within a month.

“We have found favourable results after at least 10 years of laboratory tests and later by conducting trials on over 2,000 patients,” said RD Katkar, chief executive of Hope Ayurvedic Medicine Private Ltd.

Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. It is known to weaken the immune system, cause weight loss, decrease the hemoglobin percentage and blood platelet count.

“Let me clarify that the medicine is not a cure for cancer but is an effective medicine to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and various radiation therapies used in cancer treatment,” Katkar said.

Katkar, who was in Delhi to participate in an ongoing annual traditional medicine fair in Delhi organised by the health ministry, said the intake of the medicine as a “supplement with cancer drugs expedites recovery”.

He claimed that the composition produced from 12 medicinal plants helps increase the blood platelet count and hemoglobin percentage. It also reduces pain from chemotherapy.

Bhupinder Singh, a doctor working at the company’s laboratory in Pune, said: “As a medical practitioner, I found the substance much helpful. Besides, there are other benefits like maintaining the white blood cell count and increase in the weight of patients.”

Singh said the medicine available in powder form needs to be taken every morning by boiling it in water.

“A cancer patient needs to take the medicine for a year,” he said, adding it would cost nearly Rs.60,000 for yearlong treatment.

Katkar said India has already patented the product and the company has registered itself in 108 other countries for getting patents as a special ayurvedic medicine.

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. The disease accounted for 7.9 million deaths in 2007. According to the WHO, cancer is one of the top 10 killers in India and it kills over 400,000 Indians every year.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Piecing Together the Infertility Puzzle

Couples With Infertility Problems Often Focus on a Woman‘s Biological Clock and Forget About the Male Contribution.
It is well known that a woman’s ability to conceive takes a dramatic dive as she approaches 40, but, what about the male biological clock?…….click & see

Men are often the forgotten piece of the infertility puzzle, but recent research suggests that infertility or early pregnancy loss isn’t always because of an aging egg.

A recent report from the Journal of the American Medical Association looks at past research to examine why aging men experience declining fertility.

It appears that men older than 35 are twice as likely to be infertile as men younger than 25.

As men age, both the number and quality of their sperm decline   so older men become less likely to father a child and more likely to father a child with schizophrenia, Down syndrome, or other problems.

A recent study suggests that autism, an increasing problem with no known cause, may also be linked to paternal age because men 40 years or older are almost six times more likely to have a child with an autism disorder than men younger than 30.

Miscarriages also are more common as dad gets older.

It’s not unusual for a woman to get her hormones, ovulatory function and fallopian tubes tested months before her husband has even had a basic semen analysis.

Given that 20 percent of couples are infertile because of abnormal or absent sperm and that 27 percent of infertile couples have a combination of male and female factors, it makes sense to evaluate a man’s equipment, so to speak, sooner rather than later.

Sperm Quality, Not Quantity, Sometimes a Problem

While it’s true that it only takes one sperm to impregnate an egg, sperm are not particularly skilled at the whole penetration thing.

While women only need to release one egg to successfully conceive, pregnancy is unlikely to occur unless there are millions of sperm swarming around it.

That’s why the first step in an evaluation of male fertility is a semen analysis, to see how many of the little guys there are.Counts greater than 20 million are considered to be normal.

Before a proud man with a count in the zillions alerts the media, he needs to keep in mind that even if the number is high, sperm quality is also a factor.

Every sample of semen has lots of sperm that are abnormal. If more than 85 percent of the sperm don’t have heads, tails, or look funny in some way, it doesn’t bode well fertility-wise.

In addition, if a sperm looks normal but is directionally challenged, the likelihood of finding its way down the fallopian-tube highway is limited.

Anything less than 25 percent to 40 percent forward motility reduces pregnancy rates. These are all factors doctors consider when running a semen analysis.

The Source of the Problem Sometimes Solvable, Sometimes Unexplained

There are four main causes of male infertility.
In roughly 10 percent to 20 percent of infertile men, an obstruction prevents sperm from traveling from the testis (where it is produced) to the urethra.

Roughly 30 percent to 40 percent of infertile men suffer low-sperm production as a result of testicular problems, resulting from infection, drugs, radiation or environmental toxins.

While hormone levels should be tested, they are rarely the problem.

Sometimes a low-sperm count is attributed to a varicocele — dilated veins in the scrotum. Varicocele repair was at one time a routine procedure thought to enhance male fertility, but is now highly controversial.

Studies show that the improvement in semen quality after varicocele repair doesn’t always translate to increased pregnancy rates and can use up precious time, especially when a woman’s biological clock is ticking.
The remainder of infertility is unexplained.

Men, unlike women, produce new sperm throughout their reproductive lives.
So while a 40-year-old woman is dealing with a 40-year-old egg, sperm is never older than 3 months old regardless of the age of the man.

However, that sperm becomes lower in quality as a man ages.
Aging men have declining levels of sex hormones, and it appears that these declining levels of testosterone have a significant impact on sperm production.

This well-publicized fact is certainly part of the reason that a number of men taking supplemental testosterone have increased 210 percent since 1999.

Supplemental testosterone is no magic pill, however. While higher testosterone levels potentially, but not definitively, result in improved sperm number and quality, supplemental testosterone may also be responsible for a number of health problems such as an increased risk of prostate hyperplasia, and possibly cancer.

Treatment: No Sperm Isn’t Always No Way

What is a man to do if doctors find his sperm isn’t up to donor quality?
Testosterone supplementation is rarely the cure. Urologists who specialize in male fertility can sometimes come up with specific causes and treatment recommendations for a less than terrific semen analysis after an evaluation of the man in question.

If there are quality sperm   but not a lot of them   assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm Injection (in which a sperm is actually injected into the egg) can solve the problems of many infertile couples in which a male factor is the dominant problem, but the techniques are complicated and expensive.

If sperm is being produced but is not transported properly, it can be retrieved from the testis prior to ejaculation.

Certain conditions result in an inability to make sperm and are not treatable. If that is the case, pregnancy can be achieved only with donor sperm.

What a Man Can Do Now?
Men can eat right, not smoke, and exercise regularly — the standard and very effective health advice that applies to so many situations — to help keep sperm as healthy as their biology allows.

Contrary to popular opinion, it is not necessary to replace those tight jockey shorts with baggy boxers.
It really doesn’t make a difference and clearly does nothing to enhance a man’s desirability.

Source:ABC News