Tag Archives: Asian Scientist

Taraxacum sinicum

Botanical Name: Taraxacum sinicum
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Subtribe: Crepidinae
Genus: Taraxacum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Habitat : Taraxacum sinicum is native to east Asia-China.

Description:
Taraxacum sinicum is a perennial herb. 8-15(-25) cm tall. Petiole brownish purple, narrow; leaf blade ± mid-green, linear-oblanceolate, 7-10(-15) × 0.6-1 cm, subglabrous to sparsely arachnoid, margin usually pinnatilobed, pinnatisect, or very deeply dissected or rarely undivided; lateral lobes 5-7(-9) pairs, linear to linear-triangular, ± recurved; interlobes narrow, usually 5-7 mm, margin entire; terminal lobe narrow, elongated, base sagittate, apex ± acute. Scapes brownish green, ± overtopping leaves, arachnoid and densely so below capitulum. Capitulum 1.5-2.5 cm wide. Involucre 6-7(-8) mm wide, ± subobconic at base. Outer phyllaries 16-18, yellowish green with red apex to dark green and often suffused reddish, imbricate, outermost ones ovate-lanceolate and 4.5-6.5 × 1.8-2.7 mm, middle ones ± lanceolate, 7-8 × 1.5-2 mm, and 1/3-1/2 as long as inner ones, appressed, with a ± conspicuous membranous to whitish 0.2-0.4 mm wide border, margin glabrous, apex ± flat to slightly callose; inner phyllaries 10-13 × ca. 1 mm, apex flat. Ligules deep yellow; outer ligules ± flat, outside striped dark gray; inner ligules with yellow to grayish apical teeth. Stigmas greenish gray. Anthers polliniferous; pollen grains irregular in size. Achene light grayish, 3.5-4.4 × 0.9-1 mm; body subsparsely to ± densely spinulose above, ± gradually narrowing into a thick subcylindric 0.7-1 mm cone, spinules coarse with uppermost ones curved upward; beak 5-6.5 mm, base ± thick. Pappus yellowish white, 6.5-7 mm. Fl. spring to summer. Agamosperm. 2n = 24

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
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:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil in full sun or light shade. Many species in this genus produce their seed apomictically. This is an asexual method of seed production where each seed is genetically identical to the parent plant. Occasionally seed is produced sexually, the resulting seedlings are somewhat different to the parent plants and if these plants are sufficiently distinct from the parents and then produce apomictic seedlings these seedlings are, in theory at least, a new species.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and either surface-sow or only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, choosing relatively deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Plant them out in early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Leaves – raw or cooked. The following uses are also probably applicable to this species, though we have no records for them Root – cooked. Flowers – raw or cooked. The unopened flower buds can be used in fritters. The whole plant is dried and used as a tea. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea. The root is dried and roasted to make a coffee substitute.
Medicinal Uses:
Antibacterial; Cancer; Cholagogue; Diuretic; Galactogogue; Hepatic; Laxative; Stomachic.

The aerial parts of the plant are antibacterial, cholagogue, diuretic, galactogogue, laxative and stomachic. A decoction is used in treating abscesses, appendicitis, boils, liver problems, stomach disorders etc. It has been used for over 1,000 years by the Chinese in treating breast cancer and other disorders of the breasts including poor milk flow. The plant has an antibacterial action against Staphylococcus aureus, streptococci, Pneumococci, Meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, Proteus etc. The stem has been used in the treatment of cancer.
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:

Taraxacum mongolicum


http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=3&taxon_id=200024592
http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taraxacum+sinicum

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Fumaria officinalis

 

Botanical Name: Fumaria officinalis
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Fumaria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales
Synonyms: Earth Smoke. Beggary. Fumus. Vapor. Nidor. Fumus Terrae. Fumiterry, Scheiteregi. Taubenkropp. Kaphnos. Wax Dolls.

Common Names: Common fumitory, Drug fumitory or Earth smoke

Habitat: Fumaria officinalis occurs in Europe and America. Parts of Asia, Australia and South Africa. It grows on arable land and as a weed in gardens, usually on lighter soils. It is also found growing on old walls.

Description:
Fumaria officinalis is an herbaceous annual plant, which grows weakly erect and scrambling, with stalks about 10 to 50 cm long. Its pink 7 to 9 mm flowers appear from April to October in the northern hemis phere. They are two lipped and spurred, with sepals running a quarter the length of the petals. The fruit is an achene. It contains alkaloids, potassium salts, and tannins. It is also a major source of fumaric acid….CLICK & SEE THE  PICTURES
Cultivation:
Prefers a light well-drained soil in a sunny position. This plant can be a common weed in some gardens, self-sowing freely, though it is fairly easy to control by hand weeding[K]. The flowers are seldom visited by insects, but they are self-fertile and usually set every seed.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ. There is normally very little need to sow this seed, the plant normally self-sows freely and should manage quite nicely by itself.

Part Used in medicines: The Herb.

Constituents:
The plant contains isoquinoline alkaloids protopine and allocryptopine. Both protopine and allocryptopine increased CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 mRNA levels in human hepatocyte cells. The use of products containing protopine and/or allocryptopine may be considered safe in terms of possible induction of CYP1A enzymes.

The leaves yield by expression a juice which has medicinal properties. An extract, prepared by evaporating the expressed juice, or a decoction of the leaves, throws out upon its surface a copious saline efflorescence. Fumaric acid was early identified as present, and its isomerism with maleic acid was established later. The alkaloid Fumarine has been believed to be identical with corydaline, but it differs both in formula and in its reaction to sulphuric and nitric acids. It occurs in colourless, tasteless crystals, freely soluble in chloroform, less so in benzine, still less so in alcohol and ether, sparingly soluble in water.

Edible Uses: ……Curdling agent.

The fresh or dried herb can be added to sour plant milks. A few sprays are added to each litre of liquid and left until the liquid has soured thickly. The sprays are then removed. It gives a tangy taste to the milk, acts as a preservative and prevents the rancid taste that can accompany soured milk.

Medicinal Uses:
A weak tonic, slightly diaphoretic, diuretic, and aperient; valuable in all visceral obstructions, particularly those of the liver, in scorbutic affections, and in troublesome eruptive diseases, even those of the leprous order. A decoction makes a curative lotion for milk-crust on the scalp of an infant. Physicians and writers from Dioscorides to Chaucer, and from the fourteenth century to Cullen and to modern times value its purifying power. The Japanese make a tonic from it. Cows and sheep eat it, and the latter are said to derive great benefit from it. The leaves, in decoction or extract, may be used in almost any doses. The inspissated juice has also been employed, also a syrup, powder, cataplasm, distilled water, and several tinctures.

French and German physicians still preferit to most other medicines as a purifier of the blood; while sometimes the dried leaves are smoked in the manner of tobacco, for disorders of the head. Dr. Cullen, among its good effects in cutaneous disorders, mentions the following:
‘There is a disorder of the skin, which, though not attended with any alarming symptoms of danger to the life of the patient, is thought to place the empire of beauty in great jeopardy; the complaint is frequently brought on by neglecting to use a parasol, and may be known by sandy spots, vulgarly known as freckles, scattered over the face. Now, be it known to all whom it may concern, that the infusion of the leaves of the abovedescribed plant is said to be an excellent specific for removing these freckles and clearing the skin; and ought, we think, to be chiefly employed by those who have previously removed those moral blemishes which deform the mind, or degrade the dignity of a reasonable and an immortal being.’

The herb has a stimulant action on the liver and gallbladder and is chiefly used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and exanthema.  Its action is probably due to a general cleansing mediated via the kidneys and liver.   It is also diuretic and mildly laxative.  Taken over a long period, it helps to cure depression.  Also used internally for biliary colic and migraine with digestive disturbances.  Externally used for conjunctivitis.

Other Uses:
 Dye & Baby care;

A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A decoction makes a curative lotion for ‘milk-crust’ on the scalps of babies.

Caution: It was traditionally thought to be good for the eyes, and to remove skin blemishes. In modern times herbalists use it to treat skin diseases, and conjunctivitis; as well as to cleanse the kidneys. However, Howard (1987) warns that fumitory is poisonous and should only be used “under the direction of a medical herbalist.

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/Fumaria_officinalis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/fumito36.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fumaria+officinalis

Subsuban

Botanical Name :Polygonum barbatum Linn.
Family  : Polygonaceae

Other Scientific Names :  Polygonum stoloniferum Blanco, Polygonum serrulatum Hook. Polygonum persicaria Walp. ,Polygonum serulatum Lagasca ,Polygonum fissum Blume Persicaria barbata Linn.  Polygonum fissum Hassk. Persicaria omerostroma (Ohki.)Sasaki. Polygonum fissum Miers., Polygonum omerostromum Ohki.   Polygonum eruthrodes Miq.,Polygonum stagnimum Miers.
.

Local Common Names: Bukakau (Bik.),Kanubsubang (Pamp.)Kaykayu (If.),Saimbangan-tubig (Sul.),Sigan-lupa (Tag.),Bearded knotweed (Engl.),Subsuban (Tag.),Jointweed (Engl.),Knotgrass (Engl.),Smart-weed (Engl.)

Other Common name: Bearded Knotweed, water milkwort
Bengali: bekh-unjubaz
Kannada: konde malle, kondemalle
Malayalam: belutta-modela-mucca
Manipuri:  Yelang
 Marathi: dhaktasheral
Mizo: anbawng
Nepali:  Bish
Tamil: niralari, neer alari
Telugu: kondamalle, neeruganneru

Habitat :It is found in the streamsides, wet areas, water sides; sea level to 1300 m.In the places like  Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Philippines, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam].

Description:
Herbs perennial, rhizomatous. Stems erect, 40-90 cm tall, robust, pubescent, simple or branched above. Petiole 5-8 mm, densely hispidulous; leaf blade lanceolate or elliptic-lanceolate, 7-15 × 1.5-4 cm, both surfaces pubescent, base cuneate, margin ciliate, apex acuminate; ocrea tubular, 1.5-2 cm, membranous, densely hispidulous, apex truncate, cilia 1.5-2 cm. Inflorescence terminal, spicate, erect, 4-8 cm, several spikes aggregated and panicle-like, rarely solitary; bracts funnel-shaped, glabrous, margin ciliate, each 3-5-flowered. Pedicel short. Perianth white or greenish, 5-parted; tepals elliptic, 1.5-2 mm. Stamens 5-8, included. Styles 3; stigmas capitate. Achenes included in persistent perianth, black, shiny, ovoid, trigonous, 1.5-2 mm. Fl. Aug-Sep, fr. Sep-Oct. 2n = 60.

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Edible Uses: Young leaves and shoots cooked as vegetable.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used: Leaves, seeds, and roots.

Properties:
Considered astringent, carminative, parasiticide.

Folkloric :-
*Pounded leaves applied to wounds as cicatrizant.
*Seeds are used for colic.
*Decoction of leaves and stems used to wash wounds and ulcers.
*It has been tried for diabetes with no observed benefits.
*Sap applied to wounds as antiseptic.
*Paste of roots used for treatment of scabies.

Studies
• Anti-Ulcer: A study on the aqueous and methanolic leaf extracts of P barbatum showed reduction of gastric volume, total acidity, free acidity and ulcer index. The antiulcer activity may be due to the presence of flavanoids and tannins.
Wound-Healing: A study of wound healing on albino rats of Wistar strain showed a significant increase in wound closure rate, tensile strength and decrease in epithelization perioe in PB treated group. Study concludes that ethanolic extract of P B had greater wound healing activity than nitrofurazone ointment.

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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.stuartxchange.com/Subsuban.html

http://medplants.blogspot.in/2014/05/persicaria-barbata-polygonum-barbatum.html

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=3&taxon_id=200006714

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Advancing Towards Baby Making

DNA fingerprinting will revolutionise the practice of IVF and eliminate multiple pregnancies.

Given a choice, Gita Kapoor, a 37-year-old banker in Bangalore, would have preferred just one child. She and her software engineer husband knew that with their busy work schedules raising even one child wouldn’t be an easy job. Two years ago, they opted for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) at a fertility clinic in their city. Today the Kapoors are proud parents of a pair of chubby twins — a boy and a girl.

It isn’t that the Kapoors are not happy to have more than one child. But they have two children not by choice but because of an inherent shortcoming in the assisted reproduction technique they opted for.

“So far there is no technique available to choose a single, viable embryo for implantation,” says Dr Trichnopoly Chelvaraj Anand Kumar, a veteran andrologist in Bangalore.

As a result, fertility doctors normally implant more than one embryo to increase the chances of pregnancy. “With a single embryo, the success rate of IVF is about 30 to 35 per cent. It goes up to 45 per cent with two embryos,” says Dr Indira Hinduja, who is the first Indian doctor to have produced a test tube baby in India in the 1980s.

There are a number of problems associated with multiple pregnancies. Often, babies born in a multiple birth are premature, have low birth weight and are prone to infections. Also, their mortality rate is slightly on the higher side, notes Dr Hinduja.

But thanks to a team of medical researchers in Australia and Greece, doctors may soon be able to find a way of successfully employing genetic screening to identify embryos that can lead to healthy babies.

In a paper reported in the latest issue of the journal Human Reproduction, the researchers say that DNA fingerprinting, a technique more commonly used in forensic applications and in resolving parenthood controversies, can be a useful tool in fertility clinics. The technique can help pinpoint a handful of genes that can help spot a better embryo that would lead to a successful pregnancy, says Gayle Jones, a researcher at Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories, Monash University, Australia.

When a couple attends a fertility clinic for IVF, eggs from the woman are fertilised with sperm from the man and the fertilised eggs are allowed to develop in the laboratory until they reach what doctors call the blastocyst phase, or the early stages of embryo formation. This normally takes about five days.

One of the difficult decisions, even for a better-trained fertility expert, is to decide which fertilised egg is to be chosen. With little help from technology to distinguish a viable blastocyst from a non-viable one, they often resort to implanting more than one to increase the chances. This often leads to multiple pregnancy.

But this need not be the case anymore, say researchers at Monash University and the Centre for Human Reproduction at Genesis Athens Hospital in Greece.

For their study, the scientists removed a few cells each from the outermost layer of the resulting blastocysts of 48 women who attended the clinic for IVF treatment.

Of the 48 women, 25 became pregnant, leading to the delivery of 37 babies. Once the babies were born, blood from the umbilical cords or swabs of cheek cells was collected. Subsequently, the scientists used DNA fingerprinting to see which genes were common to the material collected after delivery as well as the blastocyst biopsy.

“By analysing these genes, we have been able to identify those that are key to the processes involved in embryo implantation,” Jones told KnowHow.

Though it is too early, she thinks that they would be in a position to refine the gene set further to a smaller number of genes that are more highly predictive of a viable blastocyst. “The ability to select a single, most viable embryo from a cohort available for transfer will revolutionise the practice of IVF, not only improving pregnancy rates but also eliminating multiple pregnancies and the attendant complications,” Jones said.

The Monash University researchers hope that the technique would be available for clinical use within a couple of years if they achieve further success.

IVF being the most common and cheapest of all assisted reproductive methods in use, such improvements in its success rate will be a boon to a large number of infertile couples, says Dr Kumar.

Sources:The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Obesity Is Found to Make Ovarian Cancer Deadlier

 

Obesity makes ovarian cancer more deadly, a new study reports. Obese women with advanced ovarian cancer have a shorter time to recurrence and a shorter overall survival time than women of ideal weight — and not because obese people often have other medical problems. Obesity itself, the researchers suggest, is the problem……...CLICK & SEE

Ovarian cancer is fairly common. ”About one in 60 American women will develop ovarian cancer,” said Dr. Andrew J. Li, the senior author of the study, a faculty physician at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Each year, about 20,000 new cases are diagnosed and about 15,000 women die of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

It is well known that obesity is associated with various malignancies, including kidney, throat, breast and colon cancers. Findings about obesity and ovarian cancer have been somewhat less clear, the researchers say, but evidence from previous studies suggests that obesity predicts a worse outcome for ovarian cancer patients as well.

The scientists wanted to know whether excess fat, apart from any other health problems it might cause, had direct effects on tumor growth. They reviewed the medical records of 216 patients at Cedars-Sinai who had surgery for epithelial ovarian cancer. The data included information on height, weight, age and any other diseases. The cause of death was presumed to be cancer related if the patient had advanced recurrent disease at the time of death.

Half the patients had ideal weight, with a body mass index from 18.5 to 24.9, and 8 percent had a B.M.I. of less than 18.5, considered underweight. Twenty-six percent were overweight, with indexes exceeding 25, and 16 percent were obese, with indexes higher than 30.

The overweight and obese differed little from normal and underweight people in age or in health status, except that they had more hypertension and diabetes.

But among patients with Stage III or Stage IV disease, the most advanced stages, those with B.M.I.’s greater than 25 survived disease free for an average of 17 months, compared with 25 months for people with indexes lower than 25.

For each increase of one unit in the index, the researchers found a 4 percent increase in the risk of recurrence and a 5 percent increase in the risk of death.

This ”dose response” effect strongly suggests that obesity alone is responsible for the decreased survival time, Dr. Li said.

The researchers acknowledge that their study, published yesterday in the journal Cancer, has certain weaknesses.

They found that a slightly lower dose of chemotherapy relative to body surface was given to obese patients, and it is possible that this underdosing may have had a role.

In addition, fluid in the body cavity, a symptom of the disease, may have artificially increased the B.M.I. of some patients. And it is possible that other diseases like hypertension and diabetes, more prevalent among the obese, could have decreased survival among those patients.

The study was also limited by its retrospective method and small sample population.

The researchers said they believed that it was unlikely that those factors could have accounted for the decreased overall survival time of obese women. More likely, they said, is that the presence of fat tissue encourages tumor growth or increases resistance to treatment.

”There may be some factor secreted by adipose tissue that makes tumors less sensitive to chemotherapy,” Dr. Li said, referring to fat tissue. ”We have some ideas, and we’re working on looking at those factors now.”

Dr. Li said obesity did not increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer, but did affect the chance of survival when a person developed it.

”Reducing obesity and maintaining an ideal body weight,” he said, ”is important for many reasons. This is just one more health problem in which obesity plays a role.”

Source:The New York Times