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Ageratina Aromatica

Botanical Name : Ageratina aromatica
Family  : Compositae
Genus : Ageratina
Synonyms : Eupatorium aromaticum – L.

Common Name :Small White Snakeroot

Habitat : Eastern N. America.Along the Gulf coastal plain from FL to LA, n., along the Atlantic coastal
plain from FL to MA; inland in the Appalachians to s. OH. Dry woods, thickets and clearings .Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade;

Description:
Herbaceous perennial growing to 1.5m. ; flowering August-October; fruiting September, October.. . The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
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SIMILAR SPECIES: This plant is very similar to Ageratina altissima (Eupatorium  rugosum), but A. aromatica has notably thicker leaves, shorter petioles, and   crenate leaf margins. A. altissima generally grows in the woods, and A.  aromatica grows in open areas. The two species are known to hybridize, making  identification more difficult.

It is hardy to zone 4 . The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.A variety of well-drained open areas on acidic soils.

Cultivation :-
Succeeds in an ordinary well-drained but moisture retentive garden soil in sun or part shade.

Propagation:-
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame, only just covering the seed. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Root.

One report says that the root is aromatic and suggests that it could be edible.

Medicinal Actions & Uses
Antispasmodic; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Expectorant.

The plant is antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic and expectorant. It is used in the treatment of inflammation and irritability of the bladder, ague, pulmonary diseases, stomach complaints and nervous diseases.

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/database/plants.php?Ageratina+aromatica
http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/3/Abstracts/Abstract_pdf/A/Ageratina_aromatica.pdf

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Are Antibiotics Useless for Sinus Infections?

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Antibiotics are commonly used to treat sinus infections, but a new study found that they work no better than a placebo. Further, prescribing antibiotics to sinus patients may cause harm by increasing their resistance to the medications.

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In the study, researchers followed about 200 patients with sinusitis. Of the 100 who received an antibiotic, 29 percent had symptoms that lasted 10 days or more. Another 107 received a placebo, and 34 percent had similarly lasting symptoms. The difference was statistically insignificant.

The effectiveness of a nasal steroid spray for sinus infections was also tested in the study, and found to work the same as the placebo (except among a group of patients with milder symptoms, when it was slightly beneficial).

The researchers suggested that the antibiotic did not help the sinus infections because it couldn’t penetrate the pus-filled sinus cavities.

Unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics has led to enormous problems with drug resistance. Antibiotics were recently found to be ineffective against ear infections and bronchitis as well.

The researchers say the results should encourage more patients to forgo antibiotics for sinus infections.

“With a little bit of patience, the body will usually heal itself,” said Dr. Ian Williamson, the study’s lead author.

Click to learn about sinusitis


Sources:

Journal of the American Medical Association December 5, 2007;298(21):2487-2496
Houston Chronicle December 5, 2007