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Artemisia laciniata

Botanical Name: Artemisia laciniata
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribes: Anthemideae
Subtribe: Artemisiinae
Order: Asterales
Genus: Artemisia
Species: Artemisia laciniata
Common Name : Siberian wormwood

Habitat:
Artemisia laciniata is native to Europe to E. Asia. Found at elevations of 2,400 – 3,600 metres in the Himalayas.

Description:
Artemisia laciniata is a perennial herb.Growing 5–15 cm (not cespitose), sometimes mildly aromatic. Stems 1–3, erect, reddish brown, simple, strigillose to spreading-hairy, or glabrous. Leaves basal (in rosettes, petioles to 12 cm) and cauline, greenish; blades (basal) 2. 3-pinnate, relatively deeply lobed (cauline sessile, 1–2-pinnately lobed to entire), faces sparsely hairy to pilose. Heads (10–70, spreading to nodding, peduncles 0 or to 10 mm) in spiciform arrays 2–5 × 0.5–1 or 8–18 × 1–4 cm. Involucres globose, 3–5 × 4–8 mm. Phyllaries (greenish or yellowish) elliptic (margins hyaline, brownish), glabrous or sparsely hairy. Florets: pistillate 6–8; bisexual 20–50; corollas yellowish or yellow to reddish-tinged, 1–2 mm, hairy (hairs tangled). Cypselae oblong, 0.5–1 mm, glabrous.

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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 dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a warm sunny dry position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse, making sure that the compost does not dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about10 – 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.

Edible Uses: Parboiled and used as a food. No more details are given,it ts assumed that the report refers to the leaves.

Medicinal Uses: Not yet known.

Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.
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://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Artemisia_laciniata
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242101022
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+laciniata

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Senecio vulgaris

Botanical Name: Senecio vulgaris
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Senecioneae
Genus: Senecio
Species: S. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: (Scotch) Grundy Swallow, Ground Glutton.
(Norfolk) Simson, Sention

Common Names: Vernacular names for Senecio vulgaris in English include old-man-in-the-spring, common groundsel, groundsel, ragwort, grimsel, grinsel, grundsel, simson, birdseed, chickenweed, old-man-of-the-spring, squaw weed, grundy swallow, ground glutton and common butterweed.
Habitat : Senecio vulgaris is considered to be native to Europe, northern Asia, and parts of North Africa. Its further distribution is less clear. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service Plants Profile Database considers it to be native to all 50 of the United States of America, Canada, Greenland, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, the same USDA through the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) considers it to be native only to parts of Afro-Eurasia. The Integrated Taxonomic Information System Organization (ITIS), a partnership between many United States federal government departments and agenciesstates that the species has been introduced to the 50 United States, and the online journal Flora of North America calls it “probably introduced” to areas north of Mexico. Individual research groups claim it is not native to areas they oversee: Florida, Washington, Wisconsin, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Missouri. The United States Geological Survey reports that Common Groundsel is exotic to all 50 states and all Canadian provinces with the exception of Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Labrador. It is found along roadsides and waste places, it is also a common weed of cultivated land, succeeding on most soils but avoiding shade.

Description:
Senecio vulgaris is an annual plant, the root consisting of numerous white fibres and the round or slightly angular stem, erect, 6 inches to nearly 1 foot in height, often branching at the top, is frequently purple in colour. It is juicy, not woody, and generally smooth, though sometimes bears a little loose, cottony wool. The leaves are oblong, wider and clasping at the base, a dull, deep green colour, much cut into (pinnatifid), with irregular, blunt-toothed or jagged lobes, not unlike the shape of oak leaves. The cylindrical flower-heads, each about 1/4 inch long and 1/8 inch across, are in close terminal clusters or corymbs, the florets yellow and all tubular; the scales surrounding the head and forming the involucre are narrow and black-tipped, with a few small scales at their base. The flowers are succeeded by downy heads of seeds, each seed being crowned by little tufts of hairs, by means of which they are freely dispersed by the winds. Groundsel is in flower all the year round and scatters an enormous amount of seed in its one season of growth, one plant if allowed to seed producing one million others in one year.

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A variety of Senecio vulgaris, named S. radiata (Koch), with minute rays to the outer florets, is found in the Channel Islands.

Cultivation: A common weed of cultivated land, it does not require cultivation. Groundsel is a good food plant for the caterpillars of many butterfly and moth species, and is one of only two species that provide food for cinnabar moth caterpillars. One report states that this plant was formerly cultivated as a food crop for livestock[54]! Since the plant is a cumulative toxin this use is most questionable.

Propagation: Seed – it doesn’t need any encouragement from us.

Edible Uses: Leaves – cooked or raw. The young leaves have been used in many areas as a salad, though this is very inadvisable, see the notes on toxicity at the top of the pag.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Anticonvulsant; Antiscorbutic; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Homeopathy; Poultice; Purgative.

Senecio vulgaris has a long history of herbal use and, although not an officinal plant, it is still often used by herbalists. The whole herb is anthelmintic, antiscorbutic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue and purgative. It is often used as a poultice and is said to be useful in treating sickness of the stomach, whilst a weak infusion is used as a simple and easy purgative. The plant can be harvested in May and dried for later use, or the fresh juice can be extracted and used as required. Use with caution. This plant should not be used by pregnant women, see also the notes above on toxicity. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of menstrual disorders and nose bleeds.
Known Hazards: All parts of the plant are poisonous to many mammals, including humans. The toxin affects the liver and has a cumulative affect. Some mammals, such as rabbits, do not seem to be harmed by the plant, and will often seek it out. Various birds also eat the leaves and seeds.

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/Senecio_vulgaris
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/grocom41.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Senecio+vulgaris

Compassion Meditation: A Great Stress Buster

Individuals who engage in compassion meditation may benefit by reductions in inflammatory and behavioral responses to psychological stress, a new Compassion  study has found.
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“While much attention has been paid to meditation practices that emphasize calming the mind, improving focused attention or developing mindfulness, less is known about meditation practices designed to specifically foster compassion,” says Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, PhD, who designed and taught the meditation program used in the study.

Negi is senior lecturer in the Department of Religion, the co-director of Emory Collaborative for Contemplative Studies and president and spiritual director of Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc.

The study focused on the effect of compassion meditation on inflammatory, neuroendocrine and behavioral responses to psychosocial stress, and evaluated the degree to which engagement in meditation practice influenced stress reactivity.

“Our findings suggest that meditation practices designed to foster compassion may impact physiological pathways that are modulated by stress and are relevant to disease,” said Charles L. Raison, MD, clinical director of the Mind-Body Program, Emory University”s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory School of Medicine, and a lead author on the study.

Sixty-one healthy college students between the ages of 17 and19 participated in the study. Half the participants were randomized to receive six weeks of compassion meditation training and half were randomized to a health discussion control group. Although secular in presentation, the compassion meditation program was based on a thousand-year-old Tibetan Buddhist mind-training practice called “lojong” in Tibetan.

A variety of student participation activities were employed such as mock debates and role-playing. Both groups were required to participate in 12 hours of classes across the study period. Meditators were provided with a meditation compact disc for practice at home. Homework for the control group was a weekly self-improvement paper.

After the study interventions were finished, the students participated in a laboratory stress test designed to investigate how the body”s inflammatory and neuroendocrine systems respond to psychosocial stress.

No differences were seen between students randomized to compassion meditation and the control group, but within the meditation group there was a strong relationship between the time spent practicing meditation and reductions in inflammation and emotional distress in response to the stressor.

Consistent with this, when the meditation group was divided into high and low practice groups, participants in the high practice group showed reductions in inflammation and distress in response to the stressor when compared to the low practice group and the control group.

You may click to see:->

Buddhist Compassion Meditation Techniques
Can We Train Our Brains Through Compassion Meditation?

How to Beat Stress and Angst Through Meditation

Science of Meditation

Source: The Times Of India

Walking Can be a Fine Form of Meditation

He talks the walk. Guest Editor Thich Nhat Hanh believes in the practice of mindful walking, and will lead a meditative walk in the Capital today.
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Walking can be a fine form of  Meditation
“Each step you take is in the here and the now. Combine your breath with your step, see the blue of the sky, the green of the grass, appreciate the colours of the flowers and hear the sweet birdsong… acknowledge and enjoy the miracle that is nature,” says the 82-year-old monk.

He adds that walking can be a fine form of meditation. “Leave the past behind with every step you take forward. You are no longer a victim of sorrow and regret or fear and uncertainty. Walk confidently in the present without worrying about being stuck in the past or sucked into the future,” suggests Thay.

The practice of walking silently is about freedom and solidity. “We are present with each step. And, when we wish to talk, we stop our movement and give full attention to the other person, to our words and to listening.” But, before you think walking together for peace is a protest or a demonstration, Thay explains, “The collective energy of a group ensures each step is solid and free. There is no protest here, no banners… just a powerful, noble silence that urges you to rejoice at the miracle of life. Every step on this earth is a miracle, every step in meditation leads to health and happiness. And when people of different faiths enjoy the process of walking together without any agenda, that, in itself, is a great offering.”

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Source: The Times Of India

 

Rudraksha

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Botanical Name : :. Elaeocarpus sphaericus
Family Name: Elaeocarpaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Oxalidales
Genus: Elaeocarpus
Species: E. ganitrus
vernacular Name: Sans,.Rudraksha; Hind: Rudraki; Eng : Ultrasum-bead tree

Habitat :
The Rudraksha tree grows in the area from the Gangetic Plain in foothills of the Himalayas to South-East Asia, Indonesia, New Guinea to Australia, Guam and even Hawaii. Rudraksha trees are also found in middle areas of Nepal.

Description:
Rudraksha Plant Elaeocarpus is a large genius of evergreen trees. It has nearly 36 sister species, including Rudraksha. All trees bearing white flowers with fringed petals developing into drupaceous fruit resembling olive. The main trunk of rudraksha tree is cylindrical. Its section is circular. Bark is grayish white and rough in texture with small vertical lenticels and narrow horizontal furrows. The branches of Rudraksha spread in all directions is such a way that when growing in natural habitat, the crown takes the shape of a pyramid. The leaves of rudraksha are shining green above and dull coriaceous below. The flowers are ovoid, conical, elongate, nearly 1 to 2 cm in diameter. These appear in April-May. The fruit is globose and drupaceous having a fleshy exterior. The beads inside is hard and tubercled. The fruit starts appearing in June and ripens by august to october.Farming of Rudraksha is a difficult process due to its slow sprouting from the beads which usually takes about 1 to 2 years depending on the humidity of soil. Rudraksha is basically grown in subtropical climatic region with temperature ranges from 25to 30degree centigrade. Once Rudraksha are planted it starts giving fruit after 7 years and thereafter for long time. In the single tree Rudraksha beads comes in all different faces at the same time but higher mukhis or faces are vary rare to find where most of Rudraksha beads are five faces Rudraksha beads come in seasonal pattern every year around mid august to mid october from the tree.The Himalayan Beads simply seem to be larger, heavier and more powerful due to the environment they grow in. So it is a certainty that environment and specifically the location of the Rudraksa Trees plays a key role in their growth.Rudraksha tree are easy to grow and once established,a rudraksha tree will last for years with a little care.

.Click to see picture of  Rudraksha tree.,,

Rudraksha Tree starts bearing fruit in three to four years. As the tree matures, the roots buttress rising up narrowly near the trunk and radiating out along the surface of the ground giving a gnarly and prehistoric appearance.Rudraksha seeds are covered by an outer shell of blue color when fully ripe, and for this reason are also known as blueberry beads. The blue colour is derived not from pigment but is structural.

Rudraksha Beads:
Rudraksha beads are the material from which sacred garlands (108 beads in number) are made. The term is used both for the berries themselves and as a term for the type of m?l? made from them. In this sense, a rudraksha is a Saivite rosary, used for japa mala. Repetitive prayer (japa) is a common aid to worship in Hinduism, and Rudraksha m?l? are worn by many Hindus. Rudraksha is also used for treatment of various diseases in traditional Indian medicine.

The berries show variation in the number of grooves on their surface, and are classified on the basis of the number of divisions that they have. A common type has five divisions, and these are considered to be symbolic of the five faces of Shiva.

The Rudraksh seeds are brittle in nature and so should be protected from chemicals.

The best way to find the authenticity of a rudraksha is to get it X-rayed and count the number of compartments inside. If they are equal to the number of lines outside the rudraksha is real.

This rudraksha mala is made from fine (not rough), ripe and hard “real” rudraksha seeds that “SINKS IN WATER”.

Rudraksha seeds (beads) are used for spiritual mala or rosary such as in Hindu and Buddhism. Rudraksha trees are grown in the Himalayan villages of Nepal (the native homeland of Rudraksha) which are favored and valued more than other Rudraksha malas.

Religious Use:-
Rudraksha mala has been used by Hindus (as well as Sikhs and Buddhists) as rosary for thousands of years for meditation purposes to sanctify the mind, body and soul. The word Rudraksha is derived from Rudra (Shiva—the Hindu God of all living creatures) and aksha (eyes). So, Rudraksha is related to Shiva’s eyes. One Hindu mythology says that once Lord Shiva became so compassionate after seeing the sufferings of mankind that He could not stop to shed tear from his eye. This single tear from Shiva’s eye grew into the Rudraksha tree. Rudraksha fruit is green in color but turns black when dried. The central hard Rudraksha uniseed may have 1 to 21 faces. The five-faced Rudraksha seeds are the most common. Besides as rosary for meditation, the Rudraksha mala is often used as a fashionable necklace or a bracelet. Thus it serves the dual purpose of fashion and protects the wearer psychologically.

Use as Timber
The wood of Rudraksh tree is light coloured almost whitish in appearance. It has a unique strength-to-weight ratio, making it valued for its timber. The wood of Rudraksha Tree was used to make aeroplane propellers during World War I.

The Mantra of Rudraksha
:-
Japa mantra for Rudraksha mala: Om Hreem Shivaya

Rudraksha rules the planet: Jupiter

Spiritual Belives that Rudraksha Cures: Depression, stress, diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, blood related diseases etc

Japa method:
Hold the mala from the middle finger. Start meditation from the 1st bead next to the guru bead (109th bead outside the mala ring that is closest to the bunch of threads). Pull the bead one by one towards yourself with the thumb while recalling/reciting/chanting “Om Hreem Shivaya” & crossing and pulling the beads by the tip of the thumb. After completing the japa until the 108th bead (the bead just before the guru bead) turn around the mala by your thumb and start the japa again from the 108th bead and continue up to the 1st bead. Repeat the above process. Do not touch the mala with the index finger, little finger and the fingernails.

Medicinal Uses of Rudraksha:-
Rudraksha bead is a natural tranquilizer and it has been proved that wearing Rudraksha around heart controlled heart beat and keeps blood pressure under control. For this, it is necessary that the Rudrakasha bead should touch the heart. People with the problem of high blood pressure can also take Rudraksha as a medicine. Dip two Beads of Five Mukhi Rudraksh in a glass of water in night and let them immersed in water for whole night. Drink that water in the morning, before any other intake. You can use any metal for the vessel except copper.

» Rudraksha also imposes positive effect on Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Palpitations and Lack of Concentration.
» It cools down the body temperature and brings calm to mind. Those who suffer from anxiety should keep big size Five
Mukhi Rudraksh with themselves and whenever they feel nervous, they should hold them tight in their right palm for ten
minutes. It will help them to regain their confidence and their body would become stable.
» Rudrakasha is an excellent bead for pregnant women. Wearing Garbh Gauri Rudraksha helps women who have problems in
conceiving a child and are prone to abortion. Rudraksha is also useful for women suffering from hysteria and coma.
» Rudraksha also help to cure prolonged cough, the paste of ten-faced Rudrakasha with milk relieves prolonged cough. This
medicine should be taken thrice a day. It can be used as a cure for skin diseases, sores, ringworm, pimples, boils and
burns also.
» Rudraksha is also good for children who suffer from frequent fever. Such children should wear three-faced Rudrakasha.
» To cure smallpox equal quantity of black pepper and Rudrakasha should be powdered and taken with water.
» Rudraksha is also useful in mental diseases. Milk boiled with four faced Rudrakasha seed is good medicine for mental
diseases. This also helps in increasing your memory.
» Rudraksha also possess anti ageing property.

You may click to see :->MEDICINAL & SCIENTIFIC VALUE OF RUDRAKASHA

Acording to Ayurveda:-
It is amla, ushna; pacifies demaged vata and kapha; relieves headache; appetizing and beneficial in mental diseases.

Part Used: Fruits.

Therapeutic Uses:

Fruits: In the treatment of headache and epileptic fits.the fruits are sour, thermogenic, appetizer, useful in cough, bronchitis, neuralgia ,cephalgia, anorexia, epileptic fitts, manic conditions, brain disorders.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudraksha
http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#rudraksha

http://www.india-shopping.net/rudraksha/medicinal_propertiesof_rudraksha.htm

http://www.rudraksha-ratna.com/articledt.php?art_id=129

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