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Hedera nepalensis

Botanical Name : Hedera nepalensis
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily: Aralioideae
Genus: Hedera
Species: Hedera nepalensis
Varieties: H. n. var. nepalensis – H. n. var. sinensis

Common Names: Himalayan ivy, Nepal Ivy

Habitat :Hedera nepalensis is native to E. Asia – Himalayas. It grows on moist stones and tree stems at elevations of 1600 – 3000 metres in Nepal.
(It is primarily native to forested areas, roadsides and rocky slopes in Nepal and Bhutan but may also be found in Afghanistan, India, China, and Southeast Asia.)

Description:
Hedera nepalensis is an evergreen perennial Climber growing to 15 m (49ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a medium rate with gray-green foliage. It is primarily grown in cultivation as a climbing vine or trailing ground cover. As a vine, it climbs by aerial roots and may, over time, grow upwards to a height of 50-100’ in wild areas, but is more often seen much shorter (10-50’) in cultivated areas. As a ground cover, it typically grows to 6-9″ tall but spreads over time to 50’ or more unless trimmed shorter……CLICK &  SEE  THE  PICTURES
It is in leaf 12-Jan. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.

It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Cultivation:
Ivy is a very easily grown plant that dislikes waterlogged, very dry or very acid soils but otherwise succeeds in all soil types. It grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers some lime in the soil. Tolerates very dense shade, though it may not flower in such a position. This species is not hardy in all parts of Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -5 to -10°c. Ivy is a rampant climbing plant, clinging by means of aerial roots and often trailing on the ground in woods and hedges. It is of benefit rather than harm when growing on a wall because it keeps the wall dry and acts as an insulation. It does not damage the structure of a wall. Similarly, it does not harm large trees when climbing into them, though it can shade out smaller and ailing trees. It is not a parasitic plant, but instead obtains all its nutrient from the sun and the soil. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – remove the flesh, which inhibits germination, and sow the seed in spring in a cold frame.  Four weeks cold stratification will improve germination. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a shady position in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood, 12cm long, November in a cold frame. Layering. Plants often do this naturally.
Medicinal Uses:
Cathartic; Diaphoretic; Skin; Stimulant.
The leaves and the berries are said to be cathartic, diaphoretic and stimulant. A decoction of the plant is used to treat skin diseases

Known Hazards : Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the following notes are for the closely related Hedera helix and quite possibly are relavent here. The plant is said to be poisonous in large doses although the leaves are eaten with impunity by various mammals without any noticeable harmful affects. The leaves and fruits contain the saponic glycoside hederagenin which, if ingested, can cause breathing difficulties and coma. The sap can cause dermatitis with blistering and inflammation. This is apparently due to the presence of polyacetylene compounds.
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.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=276621&chr=12
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hedera+nepalensis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedera_nepalensis

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Operculina turpethum

Botanical Name :Operculina turpethum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Solanales
Family:    Convolvulaceae
Genus:    Operculina
Species :Operculina turpethum

Synonyms:Ipomoea turpethum,  Turpeth Root. Indian Jalap. Trivrit. Nisoth. Operculina Turpethum.

Common Names: Turpeth, Fue vao, and St. Thomas lidpod.

Vernacular Names: Indian Jalap, St. Thomas lidpod, transparent wood rose, turpeth root, white day glory • Hindi: nisoth, panila, pitohri • Kannada: aluthi gida, bangada balli, bilitigade, devadanti, nagadanti • Malayalam: tigade • Marathi: or  nisottar • Sanskrit: nishotra,triputa,trivrutt, trivrutha • Tamil: adimbu, caralam, civatai, kumpncan, paganrai • Telugu: tegada, trivrut tellatega • Bengali: tevudi • Arabic: turbuth.

Parts Used: Dried root, stem.

Habitat:  India. Ceylon, Pacific Islands, China, Australia

Description:
:Operculina turpethum is perennial herbaceous, hairy vines growing 4 to 5 meter in length, endemic to India. It is commonly found in North Circars and Deccan region up to 3000 ft. The leaves are alternate, very variable in shape, ovate, oblong and truncate or cordate at the base. The flowers are large, axillary and solitary. Fruit is a capsule with conspicuous enlarged sepals and thickened pedicles….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Constituents:
Resin, a fatty substance, volatile oil, albumen, starch, a yellow colouring matter, lignin, salts, and ferric oxide. The root contains 10 per cent of resin, which is a glucoside, Turpethin, insoluble in ether, but soluble in alcohol, to which it gives a brown colour not removable by animal charcoal. To obtain pure, the alcoholic solution is concentrated; the resin is precipitated by, and afterwards boiled with, water, then dried, reduced to powder, digested with ether, and finally redissolved by absolute alcohol and deposited by ether. After being treated several times in this way, it is obtained in the state of a brownish resin, yielding on pulverization a grey powder, which irritates the mucous membrane of the nostrils and mouth. It is inflammable, burning with a smoky flame and emitting irritant vapours. With strong bases it acts like jalapin, takes up water, and is transferred into a soluble acid, while with dilute acids it is decomposed into turpetholic acid, and glucose.

Medicinal  Uses: Cathartic and purgative. It is rather slow in its action, less powerful and less unpleasant than jalap.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operculina_turpethum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/turpet31.html

Drug Combos Pose Risk for Elderly

Older adults in the United States are popping prescription pills, over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements in record numbers, and in combinations that could be deadly, US researchers said on Tuesday.

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They said more than half of US adults aged 57 to 85 are using five or more prescription or non-prescription drugs, and one in 25 are taking them in combinations that could cause dangerous drug interactions.

“Older adults in the United States use medicine and they use a lot of it,” said Dr. Stacy Tessler Lindau of the University of Chicago Medical Center in Illinois, whose study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“While medications are often beneficial, they are not always safe,” she said in a telephone interview.

She noted a recent report that estimated U.S. adults over 65 make up more than 175,000 emergency department visits a year for adverse drug reactions, and commonly prescribed drugs accounted for a third of these visits.

For the study, Lindau teamed up with Dima Qato, a pharmacist and researcher at the University of Chicago. They used data from a national survey of adults aged 57 to 85 and interviews with nearly 3,000 people in their homes to get a read on the medications they used on a regular basis.

They analyzed potential interactions among the top 20 prescription and over-the-counter drugs and the top 20 dietary supplements, and found that 68 percent of adults surveyed who took prescription drugs also used over-the-counter drugs or dietary supplements.

Men in the 75 to 85-year-old age group were at the highest risk, they said. “One in 10 men between the ages of 75 to 85 were at risk for a drug-to-drug interaction,” Qato said in a telephone interview.

Nearly half of the potential drug-to-drug interactions could cause bleeding problems. The blood thinner warfarin, often sold by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. under the brand name Coumadin, was most commonly cited in potentially dangerous combinations.

Some 2 million Americans take warfarin after a heart attack, stroke or major surgery. The team found warfarin was commonly teamed up with aspirin, a drug often taken to prevent heart attacks that also interferes with clotting.

Warfarin and the cholesterol-lowering statin drug simvastatin, which is sold by Merck & Co under the brand name Zocor, was another combination that could cause potential bleeding risks.

Among non-prescription drugs, they found many people were taking the popular nutritional supplement Ginkgo biloba in combination with aspirin, another potential cause of bleeding.

The team was reassured that they found no instances of people taking absolutely forbidden drug combinations, but the finding of widespread use of drugs that could cause major drug reactions was worrisome.

“We think the patient needs to know about these risks,” Qato said.

The researchers recommend patients carry a list in a wallet or purse of all of the drugs and supplements they take.

And they said doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals should remember to ask about all of the medications their patients are taking.

Sources: The Times Of India

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