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Easy Breathing

Breathing is an involuntary action, coordinated by respiratory centres deep in the brain. It is not really possible to die by voluntarily holding one’s breath, as without practice and training, apnoea (not breathing) cannot be sustained for more than 1-2 minutes. This is because “breath holding” results in accumulation of carbon dioxide in the blood and a drop in the blood pH. The respiratory centre in the brain is automatically stimulated. Breathing sets in.

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Sleep apnoea (cessation of breathing during sleep) can occur in adults, usually middle-aged overweight males with a thick neck. It can occur in all ages and both sexes, especially if the tonsils or adenoids are enlarged, there is a deviated nasal septum or GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease). Sleep apnoea can cause high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and daytime drowsiness. Academic performance and decision making at work can suffer. There may be daytime lapses in concentration, which can cause accidents.

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Mild cases of sleep apnoea respond to weight loss and exercise. Severe cases may require CPAP (Continuous Positive Airways Pressure), or surgery.

Reactive Airways Disease or name bronchial asthma is a condition where the smaller airways in the lungs constrict when exposed to many triggers. These may be a viral or bacterial infection, pollen, food, or odours in the air. As the breathing pipes become smaller, the outflow of air is obstructed and there is whistling sound with each breath. The person may start coughing vigorously or panic as they feel the air supply is being cut off.

This can be tackled with nebulisers, inhalers and rotahalers. These devices deliver dilating medication directly to the breathing pipes. The effect is almost instantaneous and there are practically no side effects.

Our airways are designed to filter out dust and other harmful particles. Unfortunately our inbuilt air purification system can only filter out particles of 2·5 µm (PM2 ) in diameter. The smaller – found around us both indoors and out – can enter the lungs. Indoor pollution comes from the use of solid fuels, such as coal, wood, or charcoal (even when it is only used to heat water), burning rubbish and waste, particularly plastic. Cigarette smoke harms the smoker and the polluting particles secondarily affect others in the environment. Agarbattis release many polluting chemicals as do mosquito repelling coils, mats and liquids.

Industrialisation and urbanisation have? resulted in fossil fuels being used in factories and for transport. Smoke from factories is sent high into the sky through industrial chimneys, but that just means that the particles spread over a wider area. The petrol and diesel vehicles on the road also emit particulate material and harmful gases. Seven million deaths occur annually because of air pollution alone. Pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable. Constant exposure to a polluted environment affects long-term growth and cognitive ability in children. If we keep polluting the environment like this, our IQ levels will be affected.
Eventually, constant exposure to pollutants over many years can also result in COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) with breathlessness with the slightest activity. This too is treated with nebulisers and inhalers.

• We all breathe but this does not mean we breathe correctly. Lungs need regular breathing exercises and correction of faulty breathing techniques. Yoga corrects the technique.

• Exercise early in morning when pollution is less or indoors in a gym.

• Keep indoor plants in your home. They reduce particulate matter and pollutants.

Source: The Telegraph (India, Kolkata)

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Hepatica americana

Botanical Name : Hepatica americana
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Hepatica
Species: H. nobilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names: Liverwort, Ker-gawl ,Hepatica tribola, Hepatica nobilis,American Liverleaf, Alumroot, Round Lobed Hepatica

Habitat : Hepatica americana is native to the eastern United States and to central and eastern Canada. It grows on the dry woods. Mixed woods, often in association with both conifers and deciduous trees, usually in drier sites and more acid soils, from sea level to 1200 metres. ( Rich or rocky wooded slopes, ravines, mossy banks, ledges. Usually on acid soils.)
Description:
Hepatica americana is a herbaceous perennial, growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, lepidoptera……..CLICK &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

USDA hardiness zone : 3-9

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Rock garden, Woodland garden. Prefers a deep light soil with leafmold. Grows well on limey woodland soils in half shade, though it also succeeds in deep shade and in full sun[1]. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible. This species is closely related to H. acutiloba. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. Special Features: Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies.
Propagation:
Seed – sow in a moist soil in a shady position. The stored seed requires stratification for about 3 weeks at 0 – 5°c. Germination takes 1 – 12 months at 10°c. It is probably worthwhile sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in a shady position 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 at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division just as the leafless plant comes into flower in late winter. Replant immediately into their permanent positions.
Medicinal Uses:
Hepatica americana was used widely by natives and colonists to treat a variety of ailments. A tea made from the leaves is laxative. It is used in the treatment of fevers, liver ailments and poor indigestion. At one time it became a cult medicine as a liver tonic and 200,000 kilos of dried Hepatica leaves were used in 1883 alone. Externally, the tea is applied as a wash to swollen breasts[

It was used most commonly as a leaf tea to treat liver disorders. This was thought to work because the plants leaves are shaped much like the human liver. This practice of treating organ ailments with the plants that most resembled them is known as the “doctrine of signatures.” The practice originated in China and, fortunately, is no longer

While rarely found in herbal remedies today, it is a mild astringent and a diuretic. It stimulates gall bladder production and is a mild laxative. Its astringency has also stopped bleeding in the digestive tract and the resultant spitting of blood. Historically, liverwort has been used for kidney problems and bronchitis. It’s active constituent, protoaneminin, has been shown to have antibiotic action. The Russians use it in their folk medicine and also to treat cattle with mouth sickness.

Known Hazards : Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, most plants in this family are poisonous. This toxicity is usually of a low order and the toxic principle is destroyed by heat or by drying.

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/Hepatica_nobilis
http://www.missouriplants.com/Bluealt/Hepatica_americana_page.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hepatica+americana
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm