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Rhus ovata

Botanical Name : Rhus ovata
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Rhus
Species: R. ovata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Names: Sugar Bush, Sugar sumac

Habitat : Rhus ovata is native to South-western N. America – California, Arizona and Mexico. It grows on dry rocky slopes below 800 metres, usually away from the coast, in California. Grows in oak woodlands and chaparral.

Description:
Rhus ovata is an evergreen Shrub ranging from 2–10 m (6.6–32.8 ft), tall and it has a rounded appearance. The twigs are thick and reddish in color. Its foliage consists of dark green, leathery, ovate leaves that are folded along the midrib. The leaf arrangement is alternate.

Its inflorescences which occur at the ends of branches consist of small, 5-petaled, flowers that appear to be pink, but upon closer examination actually have white to pink petals with red sepals. Additionally, the flowers may be either bisexual or pistillate. The fruit is a reddish, sticky drupe, and is small, about 6 – 8 mm in diameter.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES : 

It is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.

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:
Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun. Succeeds in a hot dry position. Plants are usually found in poor dry soils in the wild. This species is not very hardy in Britain, it may not succeed outdoors even in the mildest areas of the country. One report says that it can tolerate temperatures down to about -5°c. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Many of the species in this genus are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species such as this one are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 – 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors. This soak water can be drunk and has a delicious lemon-flavour. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse 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, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers in late autumn to winter

Edible Uses:
Fruit is eaten raw or cooked. Slightly acid to sweet tasting. The fruit is only 6 – 8mm in diameter with very little flesh, but it is produced in dense racemes and so is easily harvested. When soaked for 10 – 30 minutes in hot or cold water it makes a very refreshing lemonade-like drink (without any fizz of course). The fruit can also be sucked for the tart juice that forms on its surface. A sweetish white sap exudes from the fruit and can be used as an acid flavouring or a sugar substitute. The leaves are boiled to make a tea.

Medicinal Uses:
An infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of chest pains, coughs and colds. An infusion has also been taken just before giving birth to facilitate an easy delivery. Some caution is advised in the use of the leaves and stems of this plant, see the notes above on toxicity.

Other Uses :
Dye; Mordant; Oil; Soil stabilization.

The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant. An oil is extracted from the seeds. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke. Often planted in poor dry soils in America, where its extensive root system helps to prevent erosion.

Known Hazards : There are some suggestions that the sap of this species can cause a skin rash in susceptible people, but this has not been substantiated.
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/Rhus_ovata
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhus+ovata

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Anacamptis pyramidalis

Botanical Name : Anacamptis pyramidalis
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily:Orchidoideae
Genus: Anacamptis
Species: A. pyramidalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Pyramidal orchid or Pyramidal Orchid

Habitat : Anacamptis pyramidalis is native to southwestern Eurasia, from western Europe through the Mediterranean region eastwards to Iran. In Germany, it is rare and was declared Orchid of the Year in 1990 to heighten awareness of this plant. This orchid is somewhat common on the Isle of Wight in the South of England, and was designated the county plant in 2008. It grows in grassland, on chalk or limestone and on calcareous dunes, mainly in the southern part of Britain.

Description:
Anacamptis pyramidalis is a perennial hardy orchid plant reaches on average 10–25 centimetres (3.9–9.8 in) of height, with a maximum of 60 centimetres (24 in). The stem is erect and unbranched. The basal leaves are linear-lanceolate with parallel venation, up to 25 centimetres (9.8 in) long, the cauline ones are shorter and barely visible on the stem. The arrangement of hermaphroditic flowers in a compact pyramidal shape is very distinctive and gives the orchid its common name. The colour of the flower varies from pink to purple, or rarely white, and the scent is described as “foxy”. The flowers have six tepals, being three small sepals and three petals. Two small petals are on the sides, while the third and lower (labellum) is large and bilobate. At the back of the flower there is a tubular spur of about 1.5 centimetres (0.59 in) long, while the labellum bears two lateral small flaps. The flowering period extends from April through July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Lepidoptera….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Requires a deep rich soil. Prefers a hot well-drained bank, growing well in a sunny dry border or on a scree. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid. Plants can be grown in lawns in calcareous soils, they should not be cut down until the leaves are dying down in the summer. During the day the flowers have a pronounced aroma of vanilla in order to attract pollinating butterflies. In the evening, when damp with dew, the smell is more goat-like and this acts as a repellent to moths.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division of the tubers as the flowers fade. This species produces a new tuber towards the end of its growing season. If this is removed from the plant as its flowers are fading, the shock to the plant can stimulate new tubers to be formed. The tuber should be treated as being dormant, whilst the remaining plant should be encouraged to continue in growth in order to give it time to produce new tubers. Division can also be carried out when the plant has a fully developed rosette of leaves but before it comes into flower. The entire new growth is removed from the old tuber from which it has arisen and is potted up, the cut being made towards the bottom of the stem but leaving one or two roots still attached to the old tuber. This can often be done without digging up the plant. The old tuber should develop one or two new growths, whilst the new rosette should continue in growth and flower normally.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses: Drink.

Tuber – cooked. It is a source of ‘salep‘, a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder. Salep is a starch-like substance with a sweetish taste and a faint somewhat unpleasant smell. It is said to be very nutritious and is made into a drink or can be added to cereals and used in making bread etc. One ounce of salep is said to be enough to sustain a person for a day.
Medicinal Uses :
Demulcent; Nutritive.
salep‘, a fine white to yellowish-white powder that is obtained by drying the tuber and grinding it into a powder  of Anacamptis pyramidalis   is very nutritive and demulcent. It has been used as a diet of special value for children and convalescents, being boiled with water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot. Rich in mucilage, it forms a soothing and demulcent jelly that is used in the treatment of irritations of the gastro-intestinal canal. One part of salep to fifty parts of water is sufficient to make a jelly. The tuber, from which salep is prepared, should be harvested as the plant dies down after flowering and setting seed.

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/Anacamptis_pyramidalis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Anacamptis+pyramidalis

Ranunculus bulbosus

Botanical Name: : Ranunculus bulbosus
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Ranunculus
Species: R. bulbosus
KingdomPlantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms:  St. Anthony’s Turnip, Crowfoot. Frogsfoot, Goldcup. (French) Jaunet.

Common Names:  St Anthony‘s turnip or bulbous buttercup

Habitat: Bulbous buttercup grows in lawns, pastures and fields in general, preferring nutrient-poor, well-drained soils. Although it doesn’t generally grow in proper crops or improved grassland, it is often found in hay fields and in coastal grassland. The native range of Ranunculus bulbosus is Western Europe between about 60°N and the Northern Mediterranean coast. It grows in both the eastern and western parts of North America as an introduced weed
Description:
Ranunculus bulbosus is a perennial herb. It has attractive yellow flowers, and deeply divided, three-lobed long-petioled basal leaves. Bulbous buttercup is known to form tufts. The stems are 20–60 cm tall, erect, branching, and slightly hairy flowering. There are alternate and sessile leaves on the stem. The flower forms at the apex of the stems, and is shiny and yellow with 5–7 petals. The flowers are 1.5–3 cm wide. The plant blooms from April to July...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:       
Prefers a moist loamy soil. A common weed of lawns and gardens, it can be very difficult to eradicate when established. It is a polymorphic species and there is at least one named variety which has been selected for its ornamental value. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes.

Propagation:     
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. This species is a common weed and doesn’t really need any help from us. Division in spring. Very easy, though probably totally unnecessary, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses:
Leaves – cooked. A famine food used when all else fails. Root – must be dried beforehand and thoroughly cooked. When boiled, the roots are said to become so mild as to be eatable.

Chemical constituents:
This plant, like other buttercups, contains the toxic glycoside ranunculin. It is avoided by livestock when fresh, but when the plant dries the toxin is lost, so hay containing the plant is safe for animal consumption.

Parts used  in medicines  : Juice and Herb.

Medicinal  Uses:
Acrid;  Anodyne;  Antirheumatic;  Antispasmodic;  Diaphoretic;  Rubefacient;  VD.

The whole plant, and especially the sap, is acrid, anodyne, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, rubefacient. It was at one time rubbed on the skin by beggars in order to produce open sores and thereby excite sympathy. The root has been placed in a tooth cavity to act as a painkiller. A decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of VD.

Like most of the Crowfoots, the Bulbous Buttercup possesses the property of inflaming and blistering the skin, particularly the roots, which are said to raise blisters with less pain and greater safety than Spanish Fly, and have been applied for that purpose, especially to the joints, in gout. The juice, if applied to the nostrils, provokes sneezing and cures certain cases of headache. The leaves have been used to produce blisters on the wrists in rheumatism, and when infused in boiling water, as a poultice, at the pit of the stomach.

A tincture made with spirits of wine will cure shingles very expeditiously, it is stated, both the outbreak of the small pimples and the accompanying sharp pains between the ribs, 6 to 8 drops being given three or four times daily. For sciatica, the tincture has been employed with good effect.

The roots on being kept lose their stimulating quality, and are even eatable when boiled. Pigs are remarkably fond of them, and will go long distances to get them.

The herb is too acrid to be eaten alone by cattle, but possibly mixed with grasses it may act as a stimulus.

It is recorded that two obstinate cases of nursing soremouth have been cured with an infusion made by adding 2 drachms of the recent root, cut into small pieces, to 1 pint of hot water, when cold, a tablespoonful was given three or four times a day, and the mouth was frequently washed with a much stronger infusion.

Its action as a counter-irritant is both uncertain and violent, and may cause obstinate ulcers. The beggars of Europe sometimes use it to keep open sores for the purpose of exciting sympathy.
Known Hazards:  All parts of the plant are poisonous, the toxins can be destroyed by heat or by drying. The plant has a strongly acrid juice that can cause blistering 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/Ranunculus_bulbosus
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/butcup97.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ranunculus+bulbosus

 

Indigestion and Heartburn


Definition:
Indigestion — also called dyspepsia or an upset stomach — is a general term that describes discomfort in your upper abdomen.
It is a term that people use to describe a range of different symptoms relating to the stomach and gastro-intestinal system.
Indigestion is not a disease, but rather a collection of symptoms you experience, including bloating, belching and nausea. Although indigestion is common, how you experience indigestion may differ from other people. Symptoms of indigestion might be felt occasionally or as often as daily.

click to see the pictures

Fortunately, you may be able to prevent or treat the symptoms of indigestion.

Symptoms:
Most people with indigestion have one or more of the following symptoms:

*Early fullness during a meal. You haven’t eaten much of your meal, but you already feel full and may not be able to finish eating.

*Uncomfortable fullness after a meal. Fullness lasts longer than it should.

*Pain in the upper abdomen. You feel a mild to severe pain in the area between the bottom of your breastbone (sternum) and your navel.

*Burning in the upper abdomen. You feel an uncomfortable heat or burning sensation between the bottom of the breastbone and navel.

Less frequent symptoms that may come along with indigestion include:

*Nausea. You feel like you are about to vomit.

*Bloating. Your stomach feels swollen, tight and uncomfortable.

Sometimes people with indigestion also experience heartburn, but heartburn and indigestion are two separate conditions. Heartburn is a pain or burning feeling in the center of your chest that may radiate into your neck or back after or during eating.

It’s not uncommon for people with severe indigestion to think they’re having a heart attack. The pain may be stabbing, or a generalised soreness.

Some people experience reflux – where acidic stomach contents are regurgitated up into the gullet causing a severe burning sensation. Other symptoms include bloating, wind, belching and nausea. Sometimes the pain of indigestion can be relieved by belching.

Risk Factors:
People of all ages and of both sexes are affected by indigestion. It’s extremely common. An individual’s risk increases with excess alcohol consumption, use of drugs that may irritate the stomach (such as aspirin), other conditions where there is an abnormality in the digestive tract such as an ulcer and emotional problems such as anxiety or depression.

Causes:-
Indigestion has many causes, including:

Diseases: 

*Ulcers
*GERD
*Stomach cancer (rare)
*Gastroparesis (a condition where the stomach doesn’t empty properly; this often occurs in diabetics)
*Stomach infections
*Irritable bowel syndrome
*Chronic pancreatitis
*Thyroid disease

Medications:
*Aspirin and many other painkillers
*Estrogen and oral contraceptives
*Steroid medications
*Certain antibiotics
*Thyroid medicines

Lifestyle:
*Eating too much, eating too fast, eating high-fat foods,eating fried and toomuch spicy food or eating during stressful situations
*Drinking too much alcohol
*Cigarette smoking
*Stress and fatigue
*Swallowing excessive air when eating may increase the symptoms of belching and bloating, which are often associated with indigestion.

Sometimes people have persistent indigestion that is not related to any of these factors. This type of indigestion is called functional, or non-ulcer dyspepsia.

During the middle and later parts of pregnancy, many women have indigestion. This is believed to be caused by a number of pregnancy-related factors including hormones, which relax the muscles of the digestive tract, and the pressure of the growing uterus on the stomach.

Complications:
Although indigestion doesn’t usually have serious complications, it can affect your quality of life by making you feel uncomfortable and causing you to eat less. When indigestion is caused by an underlying condition, that condition could come with complications of its own.

Diagnosis:
If you are experiencing symptoms of indigestion, make an appointment to see your doctor to rule out a more serious condition. Because indigestion is such a broad term, it is helpful to provide your doctor with a precise description of the discomfort you are experiencing. In describing your indigestion symptoms, try to define where in the abdomen the discomfort usually occurs. Simply reporting pain in the stomach is not detailed enough for your doctor to help identify and treat your problem.

First, your doctor must rule out any underlying conditions. Your doctor may perform several blood tests and you may have X-rays of the stomach or small intestine. Your doctor may also use an instrument to look closely at the inside of the stomach, a procedure called an upper endoscopy. An endoscope, a flexible tube that contains a light and a camera to produce images from inside the body, is used in this procedure.

Treatment:
Because indigestion is a symptom rather than a disease, treatment usually depends upon the underlying condition causing the indigestion.

Often, episodes of indigestion go away within hours without medical attention. However, if your indigestion symptoms become worse, you should consult a doctor. Here are some helpful tips to alleviate indigestion:

*Try not to chew with your mouth open, talk while chewing, or eat too fast. This causes you to swallow too much air, which can aggravate indigestion.

*Drink fluids after rather than during meals.

*Avoid late-night eating.

*Try to get little relaxation after meals.

*Avoid toomuch spicy  and fried foods.

*Stop smoking.

*Avoid alcoholic beverages.

*Maintain a healthy weight. Excess pounds put pressure on your abdomen, pushing up your stomach and causing acid to back up into your esophagus.Exercise regularly. With your doctor’s OK, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. It can be as simple as a daily walk, though not just after you eat.

*Regular exercise(specially Yoga exercise ) helps you keep off extra weight and promotes better digestion.

*Manage stress. Create a calm environment at mealtime. Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation or yoga. Spend time doing things you enjoy. Get plenty of sleep.

*Eat more fibourous food (vegetable,fruits & nuts) and less meat(specially redmeat)

*Reconsider your medications. With your doctor’s approval, stop or cut back on pain relieving drugs that may irritate your stomach lining. If that’s not an option, be sure to take these medications with food.

*Do not exercise with a full stomach. Rather, exercise before a meal or at least one hour after eating a meal.
Do not lie down right after eating.

*Wait at least three hours after your last meal of the day before going to bed.

*Raise the head of your bed so that your head and chest are higher than your feet. You can do this by placing 6-inch blocks under the bedposts at the head of the bed. Don’t use piles of pillows to achieve the same goal. You will only put your head at an angle that can increase pressure on your stomach and make heartburn worse.

*Go to bed early and  get up early. Try to have atleast 6 hours sound sleep at night.

If indigestion is not relieved after making these changes, your doctor may prescribe medications to alleviate your symptoms.

Alternative  Therapy:
Some people may find relief from indigestion through the following methods, although more research is needed to determine their effectiveness:

*Drinking herbal tea with peppermint.

*Psychological methods, including relaxation techniques, cognitive therapy and hypnotherapy.

*Regular Yoga exercise under a trained Yoga instructor

*You may see herbal products that promise relief from indigestion. But remember, these products often haven’t been proven effective and there’s a risk that comes with taking herbs because they’re not regulated.

*Sometimes proper Homeopathic treatment works very  well.

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

Resources:
http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/indigestion
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/indigestion1.shtml
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/indigestion/DS01141
http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/indigestion?page=2
http://heartburnadvice.info/result.php?y=46046424&r=c%3EbHWidoSjeYKvZXS3bXOmMnmv%5Bn9%3E%27f%3Evt%3Cvt%3C61%3C2%3C2%3C57157535%3Ctuzmf2%6061%2Fdtt%3C3%3Cjoufsdptnpt%60bggjmjbuf%604%60e3s%60efsq%3Ccsjehf91%3A%3Ccsjehf91%3A%3C22%3A8816%3C%3A%3A276%3Cdmfbo%3C%3Czbipp%3C%27jqvb%60je%3E3g%3Ag5g%3A62dce451g479c511988e4e7c2%27enybsht%3E53%3Ag54ddg93c6bgcg%3A533f1d723717%3Ad&Keywords=Severe Heartburn&rd=3
http://www.askdrthomas.com/ailments-heartburn-indigestion.html

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Cancer is Purely Man-Made Disease’ Say Scientists

A study of ancient bodies has determined that cancer is a man-made disease, one fueled by the excesses. Tumors turn out to be extremely rare until very recent times, when pollution and poor diet became issues.

Scientists found no signs of cancer in their extensive study of mummies apart from one isolated case.

CLICK & SEE

Researchers analyzed potential references to the disease in classical literature, and also searched for signs in the fossil record and in mummified bodies. But despite examining tissue from hundreds of Egyptian mummies, they confirmed only one case of cancer

According to the Daily Mail:

“Dismissing the argument that the ancient Egyptians didn’t live long enough to develop cancer, the researchers pointed out that other age-related disease such as hardening of the arteries and brittle bones did occur …

Fossil evidence of cancer is also sparse, with scientific literature providing a few dozen, mostly disputed, examples in animal fossil”.


Resources:

Daily Mail October 15, 2010

Nature Reviews Cancer October 2010; 10: 728-733


Cancer September 1977; 40(3): 1358-1362

Posted By Dr. Mercola | December 03 2010

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