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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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Pyrola elliptica

Botanical Name : Pyrola elliptica
Family: Ericaceae/Pyrolaceae
Subfamily: Monotropoideae
Tribes: Pyroleae
Genus: Pyrola
Species: Pyrola elliptica
Kingdom:Plantae
Order    Ericales

Synonym(s): Pyrola compacta

Common Name : Waxflower Shinleaf

Habitat: Pyrola elliptica is native to Northern N. America – Newfoundland to Alaska and south to Virginia and Nebraska.It grows on rich, mainly dry woods.

Description:
Pyrola elliptica is an evergreen Perennial plant, growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft). It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile.

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Greenish-white, waxy, fragrant flowers are in an elongated cluster on a stalk that rises above evergreen basal leaves. The nodding, white flowers of shinleaf occur on a 6-10 in. stalk and each has five petals; a long, curved style; and ten stamens with yellow anthers. Each stalk bears 3-21 flowers. The thick, basal, evergreen leaves are broadly oval and cluster in a rosette at ground level.

One of the most common of several species of Pyrola. Round-leaved Pyrola (P. americana), has leathery, roundish leaves. The Pyrolas yield a drug closely related to aspirin; the leaves have been used on bruises and wounds to reduce pain. Such a leaf plaster has been referred to as a shin plaster, which accounts for the common name of this plant.
Cultivation:
Prefers a moist sandy woodland soil in a cool position with partial shade. Requires a peaty or leafy acid soil that remains moist in the summer. The flowers have a delicate sweet perfume. This is a very difficult plant to grow. It requires a mycorrhizal relationship in the soil and therefore needs to be grown initially in soil collected from around an established plant. It is also very difficult from seed as well as being intolerant of root disturbance which makes division difficult. This species is extremely rare and endangered in the wild.
Propagation:
Seed – the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza. Division with great care in the spring. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously

Medicinal Uses:
The Pyrolas contain a drug closely related to aspirin; the leaves have been used on bruises and wounds to reduce pain. Such a leaf plaster has been referred to as a shin plaster, which accounts for the common name of this plant. (Niering)The leaves have analgesic properties and were used as a poultice on bruised shins and other sores and wounds.

A tea made from the whole plant was used to treat epileptic fits in babies. A decoction of the whole plant has been used as eye drops to treat sore eyes, sties and inflamed eyelids. A tea made from the leaves was used as a gargle for sore throats and cankers in the mouth. A tea made from the roots is tonic
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/Pyrola
https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Pyrola_elliptica
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PYEL

Epilobium angustifolium

Botanical Name: Epilobium angustifolium
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Chamerion
Species: C. angustifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms: Flowering Willow. French Willow. Persian Willow. Rose Bay Willow. Blood Vine. Blooming Sally. Purple Rocket. Wickup. Wicopy. Tame Withy. Chamaenerion angustifolium.

Common Names: Fireweed (mainly in North America), Great willow-herb (some parts of Canada), or Rosebay willowherb (mainly in Britain)
Habitat:Epilobium angustifolium is native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere, including large parts of the boreal forests.  It grows on the rocky ground, waste areas, woodland edges and gardens.

Description:
Epilobium angustifolium is a perennial herbaceous plant in the willowherb family Onagraceae. The reddish stems of this plant are usually simple, erect, smooth, 0.5–2.5 m (1½–8 feet) high with scattered alternate leaves. The leaves are entire, lanceolate, and pinnately veined. A related species, dwarf fireweed (Chamerion latifolium), grows to 0.3–0.6 m tall.

The flowers have four magenta to pink petals, 2 to 3 cm in diameter. The styles have four stigmas, which occur in symmetrical terminal racemes.

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The reddish-brown linear seed capsule splits from the apex. It bears many minute brown seeds, about 300 to 400 per capsule and 80,000 per plant. The seeds have silky hairs to aid wind dispersal and are very easily spread by the wind, often becoming a weed and a dominant species on disturbed ground. Once established, the plants also spread extensively by underground roots, an individual plant eventually forming a large patch…

The leaves of fireweed are unique in that the leaf veins are circular and do not terminate on the edges of the leaf, but form circular loops and join together inside the outer leaf margins. This feature makes the plants very easy to identify in all stages of growth. When fireweed first emerges in early spring, it can closely resemble several highly toxic members of the lily family, however, it is easily identified by its unique leaf vein structure.

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position, though it succeeds in most soils. It prefers a moist soil, but also succeeds on dry banks. It is best grown in open woodland. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c. The rosebay willowherb spreads vigorously by means of a creeping rhizome, and often forms large patches. It is apt to become a weed especially through its seed which is very light and capable of travelling long distances in the wind. It is often one of the first plants to colonize disturbed areas such as scenes of fires. A very ornamental plant, it is the floral emblem of the Yukon. A food plant for the caterpillars of several lepidoptera species, it is also a good bee plant.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in situ or as soon as the seed is ripe. This plant is more than capable of finding its own way into most gardens and does not usually require an invitation. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, 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.

Edible Uses:  The young shoots were often collected in the spring by Native American people and mixed with other greens. As the plant matures the leaves become tough and somewhat bitter. The southeast Native Americans use the stems in this stage. They are peeled and eaten raw. When properly prepared soon after picking they are a good source of vitamin C and pro-vitamin A. The Dena’ina add fireweed to their dogs’ food.

The root can be roasted after scraping off the outside, but often tastes bitter. To mitigate this, the root is collected before the plant flowers and the brown thread in the middle removed.

In Alaska, candies, syrups, jellies, and even ice cream are made from fireweed. Monofloral honey made primarily from fireweed nectar has a distinctive, spiced flavor.

In Russia, its leaves are used as tea substitute and were exported, known in Western Europe as Koporye Tea or Russian Tea. Fireweed leaves can undergo fermentation, much like real tea. Today, koporye tea is still occasionally consumed though not commercially important.

Part used in medicine : The Herb

Medicinal Uses:
The roots and leaves have demulcent, tonic and astringent properties and are used in domestic medicine in decoction, infusion and cataplasm, as astringents.

Used much in America as an intestinal astringent.

The plant contains mucilage and tannin.

The dose of the herb is 30 to 60 grains. It has been recommended for its antispasmodic properties in the treatment of whoopingcough, hiccough and asthma.

In ointment, it has been used locally as a remedy for infantile cutaneous affections.

By some modern botanists, this species is now assigned to a separate genus and designated: Chamcenerion angustifolium.

Chamerion angustifolium (Epilobium angustifolium) herb has been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally as tea for treatment of disorders of the prostate, kidneys, and urinary tract.

Fireweed’s natural variation in ploidy has prompted its use in scientific studies of polyploidy’s possible effects on adaptive potential and species diversification.

Fireweed is also a medicine of the Upper Inlet Dena’ina, who treat pus-filled boils or cuts by placing a piece of the raw stem on the afflicted area. This is said to draw the pus out of the cut or boil and prevents a cut with pus in it from healing over too quickly.
Other Uses:
A fibre obtained from the outer stems is used to make cordage. The ‘cottony’ seed hairs are used as a stuffing material or as a tinder. The powdered inner cortex is applied to the hands and face to give protection from the cold.

Known Hazards  : An infusion of the leaves is said to stupefy a person.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/w/wilher23.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamerion_angustifolium

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Epilobium+angustifolium

Chlamydia-a Common Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)

Definition:Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, which can damage a woman’s reproductive organs. Even though symptoms of chlamydia are usually mild or absent, serious complications that cause irreversible damage, including infertility, can occur “silently” before a woman ever recognizes a problem. Chlamydia also can cause discharge from the penis of an infected man.

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It is one of the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infections. 1 in 10 sexually active people tested have chlamydia, many do not know they have it. Having a simple test can tell you, if you have it.
Men and women can carry the infection. It is easily treated with antibiotics.

What can Chlamydia do to you?
Women: Chlamydia can spread to other reproductive organs causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This can lead to long term pelvic pain, blocked fallopian tubes, infertility and ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that can develop outside the womb).

 

Men: Chlamydia can lead to painful infection in the testicles and possibly reduced fertility. It is thought that in some men it might cause the prostrate to become inflamed.

Men and Women: Inflammation or swelling to the joints can occur (reactive ARTHRITIS). This is sometimes accompanied by inflammation of the urethra (the tube from the bladder to the outside of the body) ad the eye, when it is known as Reiter’s syndrome. This is rare and occurs more in men than in women.

Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted disease in the United States. In 2006, 1,030,911 chlamydial infections were reported to CDC from 50 states and the District of Columbia. Under-reporting is substantial because most people with chlamydia are not aware of their infections and do not seek testing. Also, testing is not often done if patients are treated for their symptoms. An estimated 2,291,000 non-institutionalized U.S. civilians ages 14-39 are infected with Chlamydia based on the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Women are frequently re-infected if their sex partners are not treated.

Causes::Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Chlamydia can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth.

Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. The greater the number of sex partners, the greater the risk of infection. Because the cervix (opening to the uterus) of teenage girls and young women is not fully matured and is probably more susceptible to infection, they are at particularly high risk for infection if sexually active. Since chlamydia can be transmitted by oral or anal sex, men who have sex with men are also at risk for chlamydial infection.

Symptoms: Chlamydia is known as a “silent” disease because about three quarters of infected women and about half of infected men have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after exposure.

In women, the bacteria initially infect the cervix and the urethra (urine canal). Women who have symptoms might have an abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when urinating. When the infection spreads from the cervix to the fallopian tubes (tubes that carry fertilized eggs from the ovaries to the uterus), some women still have no signs or symptoms; others have lower abdominal pain, low back pain, nausea, fever, pain during intercourse, or bleeding between menstrual periods.

Chlamydial infection of the cervix can spread to the rectum.

Men with signs or symptoms might have a discharge from their penis or a burning sensation when urinating. Men might also have burning and itching around the opening of the penis. Pain and swelling in the testicles are uncommon.

Men or women who have receptive anal intercourse may acquire chlamydial infection in the rectum, which can cause rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding. Chlamydia can also be found in the throats of women and men having oral sex with an infected partner.

Complications:If untreated, chlamydial infections can progress to serious reproductive and other health problems with both short-term and long-term consequences. Like the disease itself, the damage that chlamydia causes is often “silent.”

In women, untreated infection can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This happens in up to 40 percent of women with untreated chlamydia. PID can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. The damage can lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus). Women infected with chlamydia are up to five times more likely to become infected with HIV, if exposed.

To help prevent the serious consequences of chlamydia, screening at least annually for chlamydia is recommended for all sexually active women age 25 years and younger. An annual screening test also is recommended for older women with risk factors for chlamydia (a new sex partner or multiple sex partners). All pregnant women should have a screening test for chlamydia.

Complications among men are rare. Infection sometimes spreads to the epididymis (the tube that carries sperm from the testis), causing pain, fever, and, rarely, sterility.

Rarely, genital chlamydial infection can cause arthritis that can be accompanied by skin lesions and inflammation of the eye and urethra (Reiter’s syndrome).In pregnant women, there is some evidence that untreated chlamydial infections can lead to premature delivery. Babies who are born to infected mothers can get chlamydial infections in their eyes and respiratory tracts. Chlamydia is a leading cause of early infant pneumonia and conjunctivitis (pink eye) in newborns.

Diagnosis:
There are laboratory tests to diagnose chlamydia. Some can be performed on urine, other tests require that a specimen be collected from a site such as the penis or cervix.

Treatment:Chlamydia can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics. A single dose of azithromycin or a week of doxycycline (twice daily) are the most commonly used treatments. HIV-positive persons with chlamydia should receive the same treatment as those who are HIV negative.

All sex partners should be evaluated, tested, and treated. Persons with chlamydia should abstain from sexual intercourse until they and their sex partners have completed treatment, otherwise re-infection is possible.

Women whose sex partners have not been appropriately treated are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple infections increases a woman’s risk of serious reproductive health complications, including infertility. Retesting should be encouraged for women three to four months after treatment. This is especially true if a woman does not know if her sex partner received treatment.

Herbal Treatment: YOU can fight infection causing inflammation of the genitals, vaginal or urethral discharge, difficulty urinating, painful intercourse, itching, or prostatitis with these herbs from Mother Nature’s medicine chest:

Astragalus, red clover, echinacea extract, goldenseal extract.

Quik Tip:
Red clover is a deeply nutritive herb with positive implications in the treatment of hormonal difficulties, infections and even cancer.

Prevention: The surest way to avoid transmission of STDs is to abstain from sexual contact, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.

Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of chlamydia.

CDC recommends yearly chlamydia testing of all sexually active women age 25 or younger, older women with risk factors for chlamydial infections (those who have a new sex partner or multiple sex partners), and all pregnant women. An appropriate sexual risk assessment by a health care provider should always be conducted and may indicate more frequent screening for some women.

Any genital symptoms such as an unusual sore, discharge with odor, burning during urination, or bleeding between menstrual cycles could mean an STD infection. If a woman has any of these symptoms, she should stop having sex and consult a health care provider immediately. Treating STDs early can prevent PID. Women who are told they have an STD and are treated for it should notify all of their recent sex partners (sex partners within the preceding 60 days) so they can see a health care provider and be evaluated for STDs. Sexual activity should not resume until all sex partners have been examined and, if necessary, treated.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

For more Information You may contact:
Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/std

Order Publication Online at www.cdc.gov/std/pubs

CDC-INFO Contact Center
1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)
Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov

CDC National Prevention Information Network (NPIN)
P.O. Box 6003
Rockville, MD 20849-6003
1-800-458-5231
1-888-282-7681 Fax
1-800-243-7012 TTY
E-mail: info@cdcnpin.org

American Social Health Association (ASHA)
P.O. Box 13827
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3827
1-800-783-987

Resources:
http://www.asplandsmedicalcentre.co.uk/t11013.html
http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/STDFact-Chlamydia.htm#WhatIs
http://www.herbnews.org/chlamydiadone.htm

In The Throes Of Despair

A combination of nature and nurture leads to post-traumatic stress disorder, say scientist .Both genetic and environmental factors affect people’s risk of developing post-traumatic stress, says new research that illustrates how nature and nurture combine to shape health and behaviour.

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A particular genetic variant makes people much more susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after harrowing experiences, but only if they have also had an abusive childhood, US scientists have discovered. The findings add to a growing consensus that the debate about whether mental health, personality and behaviour are driven by nature or nurture is founded on a misconception. They indicate strongly that genes and the environment are not mutually exclusive forces, but rather work together to influence human development.

PTSD is a serious anxiety disorder that develops among people who experience unpleasant events, such as war, murders, terrorist attacks or natural disasters. It leads to nightmares, insomnia, flashbacks, mood swings and depression, and can severely impair the ability to live a normal life.

Not everybody who experiences severe trauma develops PTSD, and the risk is known to be influenced by genetics. Studies of twins who served in Vietnam showed that identical pairs, who share all their genes, are more likely both to suffer than are fraternal sets.

Genes, however, do not explain all the variability in people’s risk, and the precise genes and environmental factors that are involved have remained obscure.

A study led by Kerry Ressler, of Emory University in Atlanta, examined the effects of a gene called FKBP5, which is involved in the way the body responds to stress. The DNA code of this gene varies at four points, which allowed the scientists to investigate whether any particular genetic profiles would either raise the risk of PTSD or protect against it.

As PTSD develops only when people have lived through traumatic events, Dr Ressler studied a group of 900 adults who lived in deprived urban communities and were likely to have had violent experiences of the sort that can provoke the disorder.

The participants were also asked to complete a questionnaire that recorded whether they had suffered physical or sexual abuse at a young age. When variations in the FKBP5 gene were examined on their own, the researchers found no effect on PTSD risk. A history of child abuse also made no difference in isolation.

When the two factors were considered together, however, they were found to interact to raise or reduce risk. People with certain variants of FKBP5 were much more likely to develop PTSD after trauma if they had also been abused as children.

“These results are early and will need to be replicated, but they support the hypothesis that combinations of genes and environmental factors affect the risk for stress-related disorders like PTSD,” Dr Ressler said.

“Understanding how gene-environment interactions affect mental health can help us to understand the neuro- biology of these illnesses.”

The results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, follow other studies that have shown how genetic variants interact with environmental factors to affect behaviour or mental health.

A team led by Avshalom Caspi and Terrie Moffitt, of the Institute of Psychiatry, London, has found that a variant of a gene called MAOA predisposes to antisocial behaviour when accompanied by child abuse. Dr Caspi said: “It is part of an emerging body of research that documents not so much that genes cause disease, but rather that genetic differences shape how people respond differently to the same events.”

Sources:THE TIMES, LONDON