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Alchemilla alpina

Botanical Name : Alchemilla alpina
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Alchemilla
Species:A. alpina
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: Alpine Lady’s Mantle, Mountain Lady’s Mantle

Habitat :Alchemilla alpina is native to western and northern Europe. It grows on the meadows, pastureland and woodland clearings, mainly on acid soils.

Description:
Alchemilla alpina is a perennial plant with a woody rhizome growing to a height of between 5 and 20 cm (2 and 8 in). The weak stems are silkily hairy and grow from a basal rosette and the leaves are palmate with about seven lanceolate leaflets with toothed tips, smooth above and densely hairy underneath. There are alternate pairs of leaves on the stems and the inflorescence forms a dense cyme. The flowers are lime green with four sepals, no petals, four stamens and a solitary carpel. They are hermaphrodite and the seeds develop apomictically without being fertilised. The flowers begin to bloom in June and fade in September and their seeds can be collected from August to October.

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Because the seeds develop without cross fertilisation, any mutations that may occur gradually cause cumulative changes to populations and there are a great many very similar species of lady’s-mantle, sometimes called micro-species. Alpine lady’s-mantle is easily distinguished from other lady’s-mantles by the fact that its leaves have clearly separate leaflets while other species have neatly pleated leaves.
Cultivation:
Easily grown in ordinary soil in sun or part shade. Prefers a well-drained acid soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in dry shade. Plants in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Suitable for cut flowers, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 3 – 4 weeks at 16°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on a cold frame for their first winter, planting out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. The divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though we find it best to pot them up and keep them in a sheltered position until they are growing away well.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Tea.

The following uses are for A. vulgaris. They quite probably also apply for this species. Young leaves – raw or cooked. A dry, somewhat astringent flavour. They can be mixed with the leaves of Polygonum bistorta and Polygonum persicaria then used in making a bitter herb pudding called ‘Easter ledger’ which is eaten during Lent. Root – cooked. An astringent taste. The leaves are used commercially in the blending of tea.

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Medicinal Uses:

Alterative; Antirheumatic; Astringent; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Febrifuge; Sedative; Styptic; Tonic; Vulnerary.

Lady’s mantle has a long history of herbal use, mainly as an external treatment for cuts and wounds, and internally in the treatment of diarrhoea and a number of women’s ailments, especially menstrual problems. This plant, the alpine ladies mantle, has been shown to be more effective in its actions[238, 268]. The herb is alterative, antirheumatic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, sedative, styptic, tonic and vulnerary. The leaves and flowering stems are best harvested as the plant comes into flower and can then be dried for later use. The fresh root has similar and perhaps stronger properties to the leaves, but is less often used. The plant is rich in tannin and so is an effective astringent and styptic, commonly used both internally and externally in the treatment of wounds. It helps stop vaginal discharge and is also used as a treatment for excessive menstruation and to heal lesions after pregnancy. Prolonged use can ease the discomfort of the menopause and excessive menstruation. The freshly pressed juice is used to help heal skin troubles such as acne and a weak decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of conjunctivitis.

Other Uses: Landscape Uses:Alpine garden, Border, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden.

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/Alchemilla_alpina
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Alchemilla+alpina

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Linum perenne

Botanical Name: Linum perenne
Family: Linaceae
Genus: Linum
Species: L. perenne
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Other Names: Perennial flax, Blue flax or Lint

Habitat: Linum perenne is native to Europe, primarily in the Alps and locally in England.

Description:
Linum perenne is a slender herbaceous perennial plant growing to 60 cm tall, with spirally arranged narrow lanceolate leaves 1–2.5 cm long. The flowers are pale blue, 2–2.5 cm diameter, with five petals.

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The English populations are sometimes distinguished as Linum perenne subsp. anglicum and high altitude populations in the Alps as Linum perenne subsp. alpinum. The similar western North American species Linum lewisii is sometimes treated as a subspecies of L. perenne.

Medicinal Uses:      Fluid extract of Linum perenne… 10 to 30 drops.
A tincture is also made from the entire fresh plant, 2 or 3 drops in water being given every hour or two for diarrhoea.

Country people boil the fresh herb and take it for rheumatic pains, colds, coughs and dropsy.

The Perennial Flax is a native plant not uncommon in some parts of the country upon calcareous soils. It grows about 2 feet in height and is readily distinguished from the annual kind by its paler flowers and narrower leaves. The rootstock usually throws up many stems. It flowers in July.

This species has been recommended for cultivation as a fibre plant, but it has been little adopted, the fibre being coarser and the seeds smaller than those of the Common Flax.

As the plant will last several years and yields an abundant crop of stems, it might be advantageously grown for paper making.

The seeds contain the same kind of oil as the ordinary species.

The All-Seed or Flax-Seed (Radiola linoides) belongs to the Flax family also; it is a minute annual with very fine, repeatedly forked branches. The leaves are opposite. Flowers in clusters very small, and seeding abundantly. It occurs inland on gravelly and sandy places, but is not common, from the Orkneys to Cornwall, e.g., near St. Ives, on the hills, and in the New Forest, near Lyndhurst.

Culpepper mentions remedies which include ‘Lin-seed,’ more than once – usually in the form of ‘mussilage of Lin-seed’; in one he mentions ‘the seeds of Flax’ and (later in the same prescription) ‘Linseed.’ He says it ‘heats and moistens, helps pains of the breast, coming cold and pleurises, old aches, and stitches, and softens hard swellings.’
Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/flaper25.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linum_perenne

Tips for a Disease-Free Summer

Even as the Capital sweltered under severe heat conditions, city doctors cautioned about the downside of quick weather changes. Sudden change in temperature and humidity, doctors say, can be dangerous as the weather is conducive for mosquito breeding and other vector-borne diseases (diseases that spread through breeding of mosquitoes or other insects) to spread. Incidents of cholera, typhoid, jaundice and gastric problems also shoot up during this time of the year.

“This is the time when mosquito breeding starts, so dengue, malaria and other vector-borne diseases make a comeback. Precautions must be taken to stop active breeding,” says Dr Bir Singh, professor community medicine, AIIMS.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi so far has reported two cases of malaria, but the number is likely to increase with rise in temperature. “We are taking all precautions to control mosquito breeding. Anti-larval medicines are being sprayed in vulnerable spots. We will intensify the drive from April end,” said Dr N K Yadav, medical health officer, MCD.

According to Dr Sanjeev Bagai, head of the department of paediatrics and director, Rockland Hospital, “One should see a doctor if there is headache, vomiting and high-grade fever which persists for more than 24 hours. Extra precaution should be taken in case of children. The bacteria’s incubation period is very short, sometimes just a few hours.”

Meningococcal disease, also referred to as cerebro-spinal meningitis, is a contagious bacterial disease caused by the meningococcus bacteria (Neisseria Meningitidis). It is spread by person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets of infected people. The bacteria attack the meninges (outer cover) of the brain, and infected persons should be treated at hospitals or under medical supervision.

Doctors also advise drinking a lot of water in order to prevent dehydration. However, water from the roadside and any drink that has commercial ice is to be strictly avoided. “We don’t know the source of water that is used in commercial ice. It could lead to diseases like cholera and jaundice. Food and water-borne infections are very common during summers,” informs Dr Bir Singh.

Freshly cooked food is also to be preferred over uncooked options, since gastro-intestinal problems become rampant. “We see a lot of cases of food poisoning, dysentery and other gastric problems during the beginning of summers. The food doesn’t remain sterile for long if not refrigerated in time,” says Dr Bagai. Dairy products should be consumed within days of buying.

Fruit chats, juices and shakes from roadside vendors are also to be avoided. “Maximum cases of gastroenteritis are cause by roadside food. Cut fruits, raw vegetables and chats should not be eaten, as one doesn’t know the method of preparation or how long the fruits and vegetables have been exposed in the heat,” said Dr G C Vaishnava, head of the department internal medicine, Fortis Healthc

Overall, doctors advise taking timely precautions. Children should be vaccinated for typhoid, meningitis, chicken pox and Hepatitis A. One should also drink a lot of water and other fluids. “Dehydration is common and people often faint because of it. Maintaining the body’s water level is essential. During winter our water intake goes down, but one has to make a conscious effort to drink a lot of water,” said Dr Vaishnava.

Sources: toireporter@timesgroup.com