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Ribes divaricatum

Botanical Name : Ribes divaricatum
Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Ribes
Species: R. divaricatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Synonyms : Grossularia divaricata. Steud.

Common Names: Coastal Black Gooseberry, Spreading gooseberry, Parish’s gooseberry, Straggly gooseberry. wild gooseberry and, in the UK, Worcesterberry.

Habitat :Ribes divaricatum is native to Western N. America. It grows on open woods, prairies and moist hillsides.

Description:
Ribes divaricatum is a deciduous shrub sometimes reaching 3 meters in height with woody branches with one to three thick brown thorns at leaf nodes. The leaves are generally palmate in shape and edged with teeth. The blades are up to 6 centimeters long and borne on petioles.

The inflorescence is a small cluster of hanging flowers, each with reflexed purple-tinted green sepals and smaller, lighter petals encircling long, protruding stamens. The fruit is a sweet-tasting berry up to a centimeter wide which is black when ripe. It is similar to Ribes lacustre and Ribes lobbii, but the former has smaller, reddish to maroon flowers and the latter has reddish flowers that resemble those of fuchsias and sticky leaves.  CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. 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. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality. Requires a very sunny position if it is to do well. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. This species is closely allied to R. rotundifolium. Immune to mildew, this species is a parent of many mildew resistant hybrids and is being used in breeding programmes in Europe. Plants can harbour a stage of white pine blister rust, so should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, there is at least one named variety.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 4 – 5 months cold stratification at between 0 to 9°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 – 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year’s growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. Sweet and juicy. A very acceptable flavour, though a bit on the acid side. It is considered to be one of the finest wild N. American gooseberries. The fruit is sometimes harvested before it is fully ripe and then cooked. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter. On the wild species the fruit can hang on the plant until the autumn (if the birds leave it alone). Young leaves and unripe fruits are used to make a sauce.
Medicinal Uses:

The inner bark has been chewed, and the juice swallowed, as a treatment for colds and sore throats. A decoction of the bark or the root has been used as an eye wash for sore eyes. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of sore throats, venereal disease and tuberculosis. The burnt stems have been rubbed on neck sores.

Other Uses:
The roots have been boiled with cedar (Juniperus spp, Thuja sp.) and wild rose (Rosa spp) roots, then pounded and woven into rope. The sharp thorns have been used as probes for boils, for removing splinters and for tattooing.

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/Ribes_divaricatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ribes+divaricatum

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Sinapis arvensis

Botanical Name: Sinapis arvensis
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Sinapis
Species: S. arvensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms: Charlock. Brassica Sinapistrum

Common Names: Field mustard, Wild mustard or Charlock

Habitat: Sinapis arvensis is a native of the Mediterranean basin, it is widespread in all temperate regions of the planet. It has also become naturalized throughout much of North America. It is a highly invasive species, a weed, such as in California.

Description:
Sinapis arvensis is an annual plant. It reaches on average 20–80 centimetres (7.9–31.5 in) of height, but under optimal conditions can exceed one metre. The stems are erect, branched and striated, with coarse spreading hairs especially near the base.

The leaves are petiolate with a length of 1–4 centimetres (0.39–1.57 in). The basal leaves are oblong, oval, lanceolate, lyrate, pinnatifid to dentate, 4–18 centimetres (1.6–7.1 in) long, 2–5 centimetres (0.79–1.97 in) wide. The cauline leaves are much reduced and are short petiolate to sessile but not auriculate-clasping……...CLICK  & SEE  THE PICTURES

The inflorescence is a raceme made up of yellow flowers having four petals. The fruit is a silique 3-5 cm long with a beak 1-2 cm long that is flattened-quadrangular. The valves of the silique are glabrous or rarely bristly, three to five nerved. The seeds are smooth 1-1.5 mm in diameter.

Flowering occurs from May to SeptemberIt is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from May to August.  The flowers are pollinated by various bees and flies (entomophily). Sinapis arvensis is the host plant of the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera, such as the small white, Pieris rapae. It contains chemicals of the class glucosinolates, including sinalbin.

Cultivation: Usually found on heavy alkaline soils in the wild. Succeeds on most soils. Dislikes shade. The plant harbours an eelworm that attacks other crops. It is therefore best not to grow it in a garden setting.

Propagation : Seed – germinates in spring and autumn in the wild. It should not really need much encouragement.

Part Used: Seeds.

Edible Uses: Edible Uses: Condiment; Oil; Oil.

Leaves – raw or cooked. Somewhat hot, the young leaves are used as a flavouring in salads, where they add a piquant flavour. Older leaves are used as a potherb. It is best to use just the young shoots and leaves in the spring, older leaves are bitter. Flowering stems – cooked. A pleasant, cabbage/radish flavour, they can be used as a broccoli substitute before the flowers open. The stems should be lightly steamed for no more than 5 minutes. The flowers can also be cooked as a vegetable or used as a garnish. Seed – it can be sprouted and eaten raw. A hot flavour, it can be added to salads and sandwiches. The seed can be ground into a powder and used as a food flavouring. It has a hot mustard flavour. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Black depression’, ‘Melancholia’ and ‘Gloom’.
Other Uses: ..Oil; Oil…..An edible semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. It is also used in making soap and burns well so can be used for lighting.

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/Sinapis_arvensis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mustar65.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sinapis+arvensis

News on Stem Cell Therapy

Two recent TheraVitae patients who made their way across the globe to receive Vescell Adult Stem Cell therapy for their heart conditions. Both men are profiled in their local newspapers and their stories here.

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In the first article, Florida native, Jack Bodolay has his story told in The Ledger, a prominent newspaper in Central Florida.

In the second article, the East Oregonian details the exploits of James “Superman” Burns and talks about his new mission to spread the word about the wonders of adult stem cell therapy.

Take Heart: Stem Cell Therapy Found to Be promising
By Robin Williams Adams
The Ledger

LAKELAND — Businessman Jack Bodolay went to Thailand for help when Florida doctors couldn’t do anything more to boost his failing heart.

Stem cells from his blood were multiplied by the millions and put into his heart in an experimental procedure to improve the heart’s ability to pump blood.

The treatment at Bangkok Heart Hospital cost him between $30,000 and $35,000. Improvement wasn’t guaranteed.

Not getting it, however, would have meant giving in to his steadily worsening congestive heart failure, which the Lakeland man wasn’t willing to do.

“My thoughts were `I don’t have much time left and I’m going to do what I have to do,’ ” said Bodolay, who is 76.

His ejection fraction — the percentage of blood pumped from the heart each beat — was 20 percent or less when he left for Thailand, he said. Normal pumping ability is 50 percent to 75 percent; below 35 is low.

Four months later, he’s glad he had the procedure. His pumping percentage has increased slightly to 22 or 23, and Bodolay is optimistic that it is going up instead of down.

“I can tell I’m much stronger on the inside than I was,” he said. “If I can make the same progress in the next three months . . . I’ll be in good shape.”

In deciding to get that treatment, he was encouraged by the improved condition of singer Don Ho, well known for “Tiny Bubbles” and “The Hawaiian Wedding Song,” who had the same procedure late last year.

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Stem cells heal heart overseas

WESTON – Jim Burns was frustrated.

A heart attack at age 44 left him often fatigued and short of breath. Over the 23 years that followed, doctors performed quadruple bypass surgery, did angioplasty and inserted stents, but his condition gradually worsened. Burns’ options appeared to be dwindling.

“I had probably 50 heart attacks,” he said. “Your heart dies a little at a time.”

Then, one day, he saw a public television program about something called stem cell therapy. Some English researchers testing the procedure on a group of patients, saw incredible improvement, Burns remembered.

He searched the Internet for more information about the therapy and found a biotechnology company in Thailand that specializes in stem cell therapy for heart patients. The company, TheraVitae, uses VesCell stem cell treatments on patients with coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. The company’s Web site claimed an 80 percent success rate after treating over 130 patients.

In stem cell therapy, doctors take stem cells from the patient’s own blood, multiply them in a lab and, later, reinject them into the damaged heart.

The more Burns learned, the more excited he got. Many telephone calls and blood tests later, Burns was winging his way to Thailand with his wife, Melva, with high hopes the procedure would help his weakened heart.

On July 20, doctors withdrew blood from Burns. Five days later, he sat on a steel table in a hospital operating room, watching a monitor as doctors worked.

“It took about 40 minutes,” Burns said. “They put 28 million stem cells into me.”