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Mahonia bealei

Botanical Name : Mahonia bealei
Family: Berberidaceae
Genus: Mahonia
Species: M. bealei
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names: Beale’s barberry, Leatherleaf Mahonia, Leatherleaf Holly, Mahorina

Habitat : Mahonia beal is native to E. Asia – W. China in Hupeh, Hubei, Sichuan and Taiwan. It grows in damp woodlands in uplands around 2000 metres.

Description:
Leatherleaf mahonia is an evergreen shrub with large, pinnately compound leaves. It grows in an upright, open and loose, multi-stemmed clump 4-6 ft (1.2-1.8 m) tall and 3-4 ft (0.9-1.2 m) wide. It can get as large as 10 ft (3 m) tall and 8 ft (2.4 m) wide. The erect stems are stiff and unbranched, and the leaves come out in horizontal tiers. The leaves are about 18 in (46 cm) long with 9 to 13 stiff, sharply spiny, hollylike leaflets. The leaflets are dull grayish blue-green above and pale yellowish green below, and about 2-4 in (5-10 cm) long and 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm) wide. The terminal leaflet is larger than the lateral leaflets. The fragrant lemon-yellow flowers, appearing in late winter, are borne in erect racemes 3-6 in (7.6-15 cm) long. The fruit is a berry, first green, then turning bluish black with a grayish bloom. They are about a half inch long and hang in grapelike clusters.

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Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Foundation, Pest tolerant, Massing, Rock garden, Specimen, Woodland garden. Thrives in any good garden soil[11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Survives under quite heavy tree cover, thriving in dense shade. Prefers a semi-shaded woodland position in a damp, slightly acid to neutral humus-rich soil. The fully dormant plant is hardy to about -20°c, though the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Scarcely distinct from M. japonica, differing mainly in its broader leaflets which are placed closer together on the stem and its erect flower raceme. It is often treated as a subspecies of M. japonica, despite the fact that this species is found in the wild whilst M. japonica is a cultigen and not a wild plant. Plants of the two species are often confused in cultivation. The flowers are sweetly scented. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Extended bloom season in Zones 9A and above, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It usually germinates in the spring. ‘Green’ seed (harvested when the embryo has fully developed but before the seed case has dried) should be sown as soon as it is harvested and germinates within 6 weeks. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible in late winter or spring. 3 weeks cold stratification will improve its germination, which should take place in 3 – 6 months at 10°c. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division of suckers in spring. Whilst they can be placed direct into their permanent positions, better results are achieved if they are potted up and placed in a frame until established. Leaf cuttings in the autumn.

Edible Uses:.....Fruit raw or cooked. A pleasant acid flavour, it is nice when added to muesli or porridge. Unfortunately, there is relatively little flesh and a lot of seeds. The fruit is about 10mm long and 6mm wide, it ripens in April/May and if the plant is in a sheltered position the crops can be fairly heavy.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the root and root bark is used in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, recurring fever and cough in rundown body systems, rheumatoid arthritis, backache, weak knees, dysentery and enteritis. Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Mahonia species, has marked antibacterial effects and is used as a bitter tonic. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine. Berberine has also shown antitumor activity. The taste is bitter.  The plant detoxifies, reduces inflammations and breaks fevers. Anti-influenza effect of alkaloids from roots of Mahonia bealei. was studied in vitro. The experiment in embryo indicated that the alkaloids at concentration of 0.25 mg/ml obviously inhibited the proliferation of influenza virus Al, and at concentration of 20 mg/ml showed no side-effect on embryo.

The leaf is febrifuge and tonic. A decoction of the root and stems is antiphlogistic, antirheumatic, depurative and febrifuge. A decoction is used in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, recurring fever and cough in rundown body systems, rheumatoid arthritis, backache, weak knees, dysentery and enteritis. The root and root bark are best harvested in the autumn. Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Mahonia species, has marked antibacterial effects  and is used as a bitter tonic. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine.  Berberine has also shown antitumour activity.

Other Uses:
The shade tolerant leatherleaf mahonia is a popular shrub in the southern US and similar climates, producing dense clusters of very fragrant, golden yellow flowers. These showy blossoms stand above its evergreen foliage in late winter or early spring when few other plants are blooming. Use this spiny, gangly shrub on the north side of a building, where shade excludes most flowering shrubs. You can plant a leatherleaf mahonia in front of a window, and still be able to see out between the vertical stems and horizontal layered foliage. It often is used as a border or foundation plant as well. The coarse texture and clumsy form may not suit well in a neat, formal garden, but leatherleaf mahonia can be pruned to a single-stemmed specimen. To keep a denser form, prune out a few of the tallest stems each spring to encourage new stem growth from the base. Prune out a few leaves to accentuate the layered effect. With creative pruning, leatherleaf mahonia has a dramatic silhouette.

The fruits are much relished by birds, and are usually devoured within days of ripening. Leatherleaf mahonia can be grown in containers and can be used as a large houseplant.

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://www.floridata.com/ref/m/maho_bea.cfm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mahonia+bealei

 

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Decorating Life

The World As Home
There are few things more thrilling than having a new house or an empty room to decorate. Our imaginations soar as we consider the many possibilities. In the same way, our lives offer us the opportunity to express ourselves within various contexts, to ask ourselves questions about what we want to see as we move through our days and how we want things to flow. Some people do this instinctively, moving through the various environments they inhabit and shifting the energy with their presence. These people have a knack for decorating life. This can be as simple as the way they dress, the way they speak, or the fact that they always bring a bouquet of wildflowers when they come for a visit.

As we move through the world, we make a statement, whether we intend to or not. We shift the energy one way when we enter a room dressed elegantly and simply, and another when we show up in bright, cheerful colors and a floppy hat. One is not better than the other. It is simply a question of the mood we wish to create. What we wear is just one choice we can focus on. The way we speak to people, or touch them, shifts the energy more profoundly than almost anything else. The words we speak and the tone in which we say them are the music we choose to play in the world that is our home. Some of us fill the space with passionate arias, others with healing hymns. Again, one is not better than the other. We are all called to contribute.

Just as we consciously create an environment within our homes, we can consciously choose to decorate life itself with our particular energy. Ideally, in doing so, we express our deeper selves, so that the adornments we add to the world make it more meaningful, more beautiful, and as welcoming as a beloved home.

Source:Daily Om

Hangovers: Prevention, Intervention and Cures

Prevention:    For those who are really worried about a hangover, the best piece of advice is don’t get drunk. But, here’s some tips on drinking…..….click & see

1. Don’t keep up with the boys. Women do not have the tolerance for alcohol that men do, even when they are the same size. For men the standard is two drinks per evening. For women a better limit should be one drink for smaller women (less than 120 lbs.) and one and a half for all others. A drink is defined as one mixed drink, 4 oz of wine, or 12 oz of beer. A “half drink” is a light beer, or a wine cooler.

2. Drink clear alcohol. Dark alcohol tends to contain a substance called cogeners. These types of alcohols are more likely to cause hangover symptoms. White wine, vodkas, light rum are examples of clear alcohols. Red wine, dark rum, sherry, brandy are high in cogeners. Beer is in between, mostly depending on how dark it is. This difference has no effect on how drunk a woman can get, only the liklihood and severity of hang-overs.

3. The food thing. Everyone knows this already. Eat something before and during alcohol consumption. This slows the absorption of alcohol. Fats and carbohydrates are best for slowing absorption. Sugars intake prevents hang-overs. Cakes and pastries are the party food that has lots of all three.

4. The water thing. Dehydration is a big part of hang-overs. Combat it while you are drinking. Intersperse the measily ration of drinks a woman has, with water-based drinks. Try to avoid ones with caffeine and acids. Carbonation? Depends on how easily upset the woman’s stomach gets. If she has a weak stomach, skips the bubbles. Get some more sugar in here too.

5. Think about how fattening getting drunk and preventing the hangover is. Six alcohol drinks, 2 brownies, and 4 sugar-based drinks–a whopping 2100 calories. Will a woman’s social life improve by becoming a fat, drunk woman?

Post-Drunk, Pre-Sleep Intervention

1. More Water. The dehydration of getting drunk actually stimulates the body to absorb water from the brain, which in fact shrinks a bit. This causes the headaches, dry mouth, and part of the general malaise of the hangover. By drinking water prior to going to sleep a person helps prevent dehydration, and speeds up the flushing of alcohol from the body. Some people even suggest drinking Gatorade or a sports drink before going to bed. Sugar based drinks can help too. Again, no caffeine, such as coffee should be avoided as they only act to further dehydrate a person and sleep will be the best escape anyway. Avoid carbonation and acidic drinks (like orange juice) if the stomach is upset. Apple juice, Hawaiian Punch, and Gatorade are good drinks. Milk can be hard to digest at this point. If nauseated, clear water at room temperature, taken in small sips will be the easiest to hold down.

2. More Sugar. This helps because alcohol breaks down sugar stores in the liver that need to be replaced. Without these sugar stores we often feel lightheaded and weak.

3. Pepto Bismol or Antacid.If you are suffering from an upset stomach, brand names such as Pepto-Bismol, Tums or Maalox can help counter the discomfort. – click & see 

4. Maybe Some Ibuprofen. If stomach is not upset and there is no history of ulcers or bleeding problems, and the woman is NOT a regular, heavy drinker, a couple of ibuprofen or similar pain-relievers can help. Be careful. Both alcohol and these medications irritate the stomach and increase the tendency to bleed. It isn’t worth adding to the problem. Advil, Aleve are acceptable alternatives.

5.Tylenol or aspirin probably won’t touch it. In addition, Tylenol (actominophen) can cause liver damage and should be avoided if the woman is a regular, heavy drinker. This is defined as 3 or more drinks a day. Asprin can also contribute to stomach bleeding.

6. Put extras of all the above next to the mattress, which should be put on the floor. Put a solid sided wastebasket or bucket nearby too. Unhook the phone.

The Treatments:

Usually your body will crave just what it needs.
A method that combines all of these helpful hints:
Step 1. Start with Pepto Bismol
Step 2. A large glass of water (16-32 oz a standardized-size canned drink is 12 oz) OR A large glass of orange juice, if the stomach is OK (with or without extra sugar added)
Step 3. A big chocolate chip cookie or brownie
Step 4. Followed by 2 ibuprofen (if meet the above criteria)
Step 5. Remember this moment
Step 6. Repent
Step 7. Unhook the phone, go back to bed.

Source:     /www.estronaut.com