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Jin Qian Cao

Botanical Name: Lysimachia christiniae
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Lysimachia
Species: L. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Name: Jin Qian Cao

Habitat: Jin Qian Cao is native to E. AsiaChina. It grows in grassy thickets along roadsides. Damp areas along streamsides, open forests and forest margins at elevations of 500 – 2300 metres.

Description:
Jin Qian Cao is a perennial herb growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is in flower from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile…CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. An easily grown plant, succeeding in a moist loamy soil[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Most species in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits.

Propagation:
Seed – sow autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is antiphlogistic, cholagogue, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge and lithontripic. A decoction is used in the treatment of abscesses, burns, bites, kidney stones, gallbladder stones, inflammation etc.   It is also used to treat mushroom poisoning and drug poisoning
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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=Lysimachia+christiniae
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jin_Qian_Cao

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Pulsatilla alpina

Botanical Name: Pulsatilla alpina
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Pulsatilla
Species: P. alpina
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms:
*Anemone alpina subsp. apiifolia (Scop.) O. Bolòs & Vigo
*Anemone alpina L.
*Anemone apiifolia Scop.
*Anemone gredensis Rivas Mart.
*Preonanthus alpinus (L.) Fourr.
*Preonanthus apiifolius (Scop.) Skalický
*Pulsatilla alpina subsp. apiifolia (Scop.) Nyman
*Pulsatilla alpina subsp. cantabrica M. Laínz
*Pulsatilla alpina subsp. font-queri M. Laínz & P. Monts.

Common Names : Alpine pasqueflower or Alpine anemone, Pasque-flowe, Anemone, Alpine

Habitat : : Pulsatilla alpina is native to the mountain ranges of central and southern Europe, from central Spain to Croatia. It can be found at altitudes of 1,200–2,700 m (3,900–8,900 ft).

Description:
Pulsatilla alpina is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant growing to 15–30 cm (6–12 in) tall by 20 cm (8 in) wide. It has deeply divided, hairy leaves and has more upright flowers than other species of Pulsatilla, which generally have drooping flowers. They are white or, in the case of subsp. apiifolia, yellow. The flowers are produced very early, often opening while still under snow cover. They have prominent yellow stamens. As with all pasqueflowers, the flowers have a silky, hairy texture, and are followed by prominent seedheads which persist on the plant for many week

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Subspecies:
A number of subspecies are recognised, based largely on the form and hairiness of the leaves. P. alpina subsp. schneebergensis is endemic to the easternmost Alps of Austria, and is named after the Schneeberg mountain. It is replaced further west by the widespread taxon P. alpina subsp. alpina. P. alpina subsp. austroalpina is found in the Southern Alps from Switzerland eastwards, most commonly over dolomite. P. alpina subsp. apiifolia and P. alpina subsp. alba grow over siliceous rock, but are easily distinguished by the flower colour. Further subspecies have been named for local variants in the Cantabrian Mountains (subsp. cantabrica) and Corsica (subsp. cyrnea).

Cultivation: Pulsatilla alpina is suitable for cultivation in an alpine garden, or in any sharply drained soil in full sun. It is extremely hardy but dislikes winter wet. The subspecies P. alpina subsp. apiifolia has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden
Medicinal Uses: Anemone patens was the chief medicinal plant of the Minnesota tribes of Indians. They considered it a “cure-all,” and valued it highly, and it was by their recommendation that the plant was brought to the notice of Dr. W. H. Miller.

The first recorded recognition that we can find of American pulsatilla, is a note in Griffith’s Medical Botany (1847), which was followed by a recommendation from Dr. Clapp, in his account of the medical plants of the United States (1850), and by Dr. John King, in his Dispensatory of 1852. These seem to have been only suppositions, drawn both from the relationships which exist between this plant and the European Pulsatillas, and their similar acrid properties. At any rate, these authors bring no evidence to indicate a personal experience with the plant, and produce no reference to show that others had employed it. The whole, dried flowering plant was formerly used in the treatment of toothache and rheumatic pain, but due to its toxicity is has fallen into disuse.

Homeopathic Uses: The uses of this plant coincides nearly with the uses of the European variety introduced by Hahnemann. Those who have used it to any extent, declare it to be of great value in nervous erethism, especially when reflex, and due to disordered states of the sexual organs or the digestive tract. It is useful in chlorosis, with great nervousness, in neuralgia, characterized by its wandering, erratic character. It is as useful in nervous or gastric sick headache, as is the pulsatilla of Europe. The pain commences in the nape of the neck, ascends to one side of the head and eye, and is attended by chilliness and vomiting. It has proved specific in conjunctivitis catarrhalis, ophthalmia tarsi, hordeolum, opacity of the cornea, pustules and granulations in the eyes. It is useful in otitis and otalgia from catarrh; in catarrhal angina, when the mucous surfaces are of a livid, purple hue, and covered with mucus. This light purple, or dark violet hue, attends all the local disorders indicating pulsatilla. The indications for its use in gastric troubles are the same as for Pulsatilla nig. It has great curative power over disorders of menstruation, regulating irregular menses, restoring suppressed menses, and modifying painful or profuse menses. It successful in the treatment of gonorrhoea and orchitis; as well as ovaritis due to suppression of the menses. It is well known that when a catarrhal flux from any organ is suddenly checked, a rheumatic affection of some muscle or joint may result. Here both species of pulsatilla act promptly curative, restoring the discharge and arresting the inflammation. I is advised to use for all the symptoms of Pulsatilla nig. It has the advantage of being indigenous, and obtainable pure, and in inexhaustible quantities.

Known Hazards:  Pasque flower is extremely toxic and should not be ingested or applied to the skin.
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/Pulsatilla_alpina
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
https://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsatilla_alpina
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/dmna/anemone-pate.html

Dracunculus vulgaris

Botanical Name:Dracunculus vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Areae
Genus: Dracunculus
Species: D. vulgaris

Common Names: Dragon Arum, the Black Arum, the Voodoo Lily, the Snake Lily, the Stink Lily, the Black Dragon, the Black Lily, Dragonwort, and Ragons.

Habitat:Dracunculus vulgaris is native to the Balkans, extending as far as Greece, Crete and the Aegean Islands, and also to the south-western parts of Anatolia.. It has been introduced to the United States and is currently present in the states of Oregon, California, Camano Island, Washington and Tennessee as well as the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

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Description:

Dragon arum is a tuberous herbaceous perennial plant that is native to rocky areas and hillsides in the central to eastern Mediterranean areas from Greece to the Balkans to Turkey. It typically grows to 3′ tall and features large, erect, fan-shaped, palmately-divided, dark green leaves (to 12″ long) that are often streaked with white. Each leaf has 9-15 finger-like lobes reportedly resembling in appearance the claw of a dragon, hence the common name. Leaves appear in clusters on a stalk-like, black/purple-spotted pseudostem. Large, foul-smelling, maroon-purple spathes (each to as much as 20″ long and 8″ wide) appear above the leaves in late spring/early summer. The foul odor of the spathes, sometimes described as akin to the nauseous aroma of rotten meat, attracts flies for pollinating the flowers. Each spathe envelops a central, upright, nearly black, tail-like spike (spadix) which is nearly as long as the spathe, but sometimes longer, with a diameter of only 1/2 to 3/4″. The spathe contains inconspicuous, hidden, unisexual flowers. Flowers are followed by green berries which mature to orange-red in fall. This plant is synonymous with and formerly called Arum dracunculus.
The species is characterised by a large purple spathe and spadix has a very unpleasant smell reminiscent of a carcass. That is because the pollinators of this aroid are flies (Lucilia and others).

Cultivation:
Dracunculus vulgaris has been introduced to northern Europe, and North America, both to the United States, where it is present in the states of Kansas, Oregon, California, Washington, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and to Canada, where it has been grown in the province of Ontario.The plant can tolerate some shade but prefers full sun; it can also withstand drought but benefits from a little watering. The plant prefers a humus-rich, well-drained soil.

The plant can be easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, rich soils. Spreads by self-seeding and bulb offsets. Plants are not reliably winter hardy throughout the St. Louis area where mulch should be applied in winter to help protect them from cold temperatures. In cold winter areas north of USDA Zone 6, tubers may be dug up in autumn, overwintered indoors and replanted in spring in somewhat the same manner as dahlias.

Medicinal Uses:
Dioscorides thought it resembled a dragon. In ancient medicine it was used for the eyes and ears, for ruptures, convulsions and coughs.  Dioscorides says, “But being beaten small with honey, and applied, it takes away the malignancie of ulcers.”

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/Dracunculus_vulgaris
http://www.cas.vanderbilt.edu/bioimages/species/drvu.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_DE.htm

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=d513

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Laughter, the best medicine

Laughter by David Shankbone

Image via Wikipedia

If Dr Madan Kataria has his way, all IT and BPO offices in Bangalore(INDIA)will have a laugh room soon. “Instead of taking coffee and cigarette breaks, the employees will take a laughter break. It gives an equally good high, says Kataria, who runs a School for Laughter Yoga in Mumbai. (India)

Kataria is not joking. Last month, he conducted research with 30 employees in two Bangalore-based IT firms to determine the effects of laughter therapy on people suffering from work stress. We measured the stress levels of the employees before and after a laughter yoga session, says Kataria. The researchers found that stress levels reduced significantly after an hour of laughs and yogic exercise.

Kataria is still tabulating the findings of the research. Once that is done, he plans to float a proposal to start laughter yoga sessions in software firms — known for erratic hours and work stress.

Kataria believes a good guffaw a day keeps the doctor away. Laughter is a natural cure for many ailments like asthma, gastric ulcers and certain sexual disorders, he says. It helps asthmatics because laughter improves lung capacity and oxygen levels in the blood, explains Kataria. If you laugh uninhibitedly, it clears all pent-up negative emotions and helps keep the mind clear, boosting the immune system and relaxing the body, adds the laughter yoga proponent.

At a time when medical drugs and self-help literature rule, Bangalore boasts of 160 laughter clubs ” the highest in any Indian city, according to B.K. Satyanarayana, founder, Bangalore Laughter Clubs. As work related stress is on the rise in Bangalore, more and more people are heading to laughter clubs. People are realising the benefits of a simple hearty laugh, says Satyanarayana. He adds that on an average, each club has over 50 members.

Daylight is yet to break as people start streaming into an open area near Ulsoor Lake, in the heart of Bangalore. The mostly middle-aged members of the local laughter club start the session at 6 am sharp. It takes off with a prayer which is followed by a Namaste laughter — that is, laughing with folded hands.

The one-hour session is a mix of yoga and laughs. Each yogic exercise – which includes pranayam, kapalabhati and bhastrika — is followed by stimulated laughter, each of which have names like ‘one meter laughter’, ‘forgiveness laughter, ˜break dance laughter and the ˜AK-47-without-a-bullet laughter.

L.G. Vishwanath Shetty, who anchors two clubs in R.T. Nagar, Bangalore, says his club members have mastered 40 ways of laughing. “One meter laughter is when you laugh at a stretch. Forgiveness laughter is when you hold your ear lobes and laugh looking at someone, as if to say that you have forgiven and forgotten,” explains Shetty.

Newcomers to the club admit it is not easy to laugh for no reason. Madhav Swamy, who recently enrolled at a laughter yoga club, says he initially felt odd when he was asked to break into peels of laughter for no reason. “I felt awkward,” says Swamy. But I gradually grew out of my inhibitions. Watching 50 people bend backwards and laugh heartily is very infectious, he adds.

B.K. Satyanarayana feels laughter is a much-needed medicine in a world that is turning into a dreadful place to live in. Unhappy news and negative thoughts abound today. We are trying to break the seriousness of life and alleviate stress through laughter clubs, he says. Satyanarayana calls laughter the easiest form of meditation.

The physical benefits of laughter are an added plus-point. More than 70 per cent of all illness has some relation to stress. These include high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, insomnia, migraine, anxiety, allergies and peptic ulcers, says Kataria.

Researchers have found that laughing increases the count of antibodies present in the mucous membranes of the nose and respiratory passages. This means that people who laugh a lot catch fewer colds and chest and throat infections. Also, a laugh a day strengthens the human body’s immune system by increasing the count of natural killer lymphocytes, a type of white cell and raising the level of antibodies, he adds.

Laughter is also an effective pain killer, claims Kataria, adding, “Laughing increases the level of endorphins which is a natural pain killer. So it reduces the pain from migraine, spondilitis and arthritis.

There is good news for those who want to look good. Laughter tones up facial muscles and increases blood supply to the face and thus gives it a glow. Laughing can make you look younger, claims Kataria, adding, “But the biggest benefit of laughing is the bonhomie it creates among people. If people laugh together, they bond better and shed ill will.

Clearly, laughter therapy is no laughing matter
.

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata,India)

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