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Linaria canadensis

Botanical Name : Linaria canadensis
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Nuttallanthus
Species: N. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Linaria canadensis (L.) Dumort., Antirrhinum canadense L.; Blue toadflax, Canada toadflax, Old-field toadflax.

Common Name: Blue Toadflax

Habitat : Linaria canadensis is native to eastern North America from Ontario east to Nova Scotia and south to Texas and Florida. It has been introduced to western North America and Europe, and is now locally naturalized, from Washington south to California, and also in Russia. It grows on dry sterile or sandy soils, often a weed in sandy loams.

Description:
It is an annual or biennial plant growing to 25–80 cm tall, with slender, erect flowering stems. The leaves are slender, 15–30 mm long and 1-2.5 mm broad. The flowers are purple to off-white, 10–15 mm long, appearing from mid spring to late summer. It typically grows in bare areas and grassland.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
A very drought resistant plant once established, it thrives in a poor gravelly soil. Nitrogen-rich soils produce excessive leaf growth at the expense of flowering. Prefers a sunny position.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ. An autumn sowing can also be made in areas with mild winters. This sowing will produce larger plants.
Medicinal Uses: The leaves are antihaemorrhoidal, diuretic and laxative. They are applied externally in the treatment of haemorrhoids.

Other Uses: Linaria canadensis is grown as an ornamental plant in its native area.
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/Nuttallanthus_canadensis
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Linaria+canadensis

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Liquidambar formosana

Botanical Name : Liquidambar formosana
Family: 
Altingiaceae
Genus: 
Liquidambar
Species:
L. formosana
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order: 
Saxifragales

Synonyms: Liquidambar acerifolia.

Common Names: Chinese sweet gum or Formosan gum,, Formosa Sweet Gum

Habitat : Liquidambar formosana is native to E. Asia – Central and southern China from Taiwan to south-west Sichuan. It grows mostly in woodland in warm temperate zones. It requires moist soil and can grow in light to no shade areas.

Description:
Liquidambar formosana is a large, native, deciduous tree that grows up to 30-40m tall. The leaves are 10~15 cm wide., and are three-lobed unlike five- to seven-lobed leaves of most American Liquidambar species. The foliage of the L. formosana turns a very attractive red color in autumn. Leaves grow in an alternate arrangement, and are simple, palmately-veined, with serrated margins. Roots can be aggressive and branches are usually covered with corky projections. The individual flowers of L. formosana are monoecious. However, both sexes can be found in the same plant. Male flowers are in catkins, female flowers form dense spherical heads, and the fruit is burr-like because of the persistent styles.  CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

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Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Aggressive surface roots possible, Specimen. Prefers a moist but not swampy loam in a sunny sheltered position. Succeeds in light shade[188]. Requires a deep fertile soil. Prefers a neutral to acid soil, growing poorly on shallow soils overlying chalk. Not all introductions of this species are hardy[11]. The Monticola group, which comes from western Hubei and north-eastern Sichuan, tolerates temperatures lower than -5°c. Young plants are susceptible to frost damage and should be protected for their first few years. This species resents root disturbance, young plants should be pot-grown and be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Harvest the seed capsules at the end of October or November, dry in a warm place and extract the seed by shaking the capsule. Stored seed requires 1 – 3 months stratification and sometimes takes 2 years to germinate. Sow it as early in the year as possible. Germination rates are often poor. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse for their first winter. Since they resent root disturbance, it is best to plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer of their second year and give them some protection from cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Suckers in early spring. Layering in October/November. Takes 12 months.

Medicinal Uses:
Liquidambar formosana has many medicinal uses. The leaves and roots are used in the treatment of cancerous growths. The stem bark is used in the treatment of fluxes and skin diseases. The fruits used in the treatment of arthritis, lumbago, oedema, oliguria, and decreased milk production and skin diseases. The resin from the stems is used to treat bleeding boils, carbuncles, toothache and tuberculosis. The trunk of this tree can be used for aromatic resin. The extract of this resin is used to promote blood circulation and relieve pain.

The stem bark is used in the treatment of fluxes and skin diseases. The fruits are antirheumatic, diuretic and galactogogue. They are used in the treatment of arthritis, lumbago, oedema, oliguria, decreased milk production and skin diseases. The root is used in the treatment of cancerous growths. The resin from the stems is used to treat bleeding boils, carbuncles, toothache and tuberculosis.

Other Uses :Liquidambar formosana is a rare in cultivation but in its native regions the wood is used for making tea chests and the leaves to feed silk worms. An aromatic resin is obtained from the trunk of this tree. It forms in cavities of the bark and is harvested in autumn. It is used medicinally. Wood. Used to make tea chests for higher grade teas.

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/Liquidambar_formosana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Liquidambar+formosana

A Bridge to a Relaxation

Whenever you feel tightness in your chest, shoulders and back, practice this variation of a backbend, or bridge pose. It will help release tension in your mid- and upper back as well as stretch and strengthen your hips and legs.

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Step-1. Lie back on a mat with your heels resting on a sturdy chair. Extend your arms alongside your body, palms flat on the floor. Make sure your feet are hip-distance apart and your knees are parallel to each other.

Step-2. On an inhale, press firmly on your feet as you raise your hips toward the ceiling. Interlace your fingers and rotate your upper arms outward so your shoulders can roll under. Keep your arms and hands on the floor while imagining your shoulder blades are moving up and through your chest. This will help open and release tight spots in your upper and middle back and chest area. Hold this position and focus on slow, deep breathing. To come down, release your hands and slowly lower your hips to the floor.

Source : Los Angeles Times

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