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Vitamine B-12

Vitamine B-12 is essencial to keep fatigue and forgetfulness away.

If we feel tired even after eight solid hours of sleep, It’s not just because of the long hours we are putting in at work, it could be the sign of a deficiency too. If we also feel depressed without a reason, have a tingling sensation in our hands or feet and have noticed a recent tendency to forget things, it may be that we are lacking in Vitamin B12.

Also known as cobalamin, Vitamin B12 is one of the eight B vitamins and its role in cellular metabolism is closely intertwined with that of folate, another B vitamin.

“Over 50 per cent of Indians have B12 deficiency,” says Sadanand S. Naik, head of the department of clinical biochemistry at Pune’s KEM Hospital.

It can affect anyone and at any age. “The figure is higher among vegetarians, pregnant women (as its requirement goes up during pregnancy) and the elderly (as they do not take adequate nutrition),” says Seema Gulati, head of the nutrition research group at the National Diabetes Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (NDOC), a Delhi-based NGO.

In all age groups, Vitamin B12 should be in the range of 200 pg/ml to 900 pg/ml of blood, where one pg or picogram is one trillionth of a gram. The early signals of a deficiency are anaemia, lethargy, joint pain, loss of memory and laziness. So if we are being plagued by more than one of these symptoms, we should see doctor and get ourselves tested.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is becoming a growing health concern across the world. An article published this year in the journal Nature Reviews – co-authored by Dr Ralph Green of the US, and a group of 14 international experts – states, “Deficiency of B12 is emerging as a public health concern in many low-income countries. A World Health Organization consultation identified infants, preschool children and pregnant and lactating women as the most vulnerable groups.”

The lack of Vitamin B12 for a sufficiently long period of time can lead to sensory and motor disturbances, ataxia leading to lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements, and cognitive decline leading to dementia and psychiatric disorders. “Advanced Vitamin B12 deficiency could also lead to delirium and paranoia,” says Bangalore-based biological scientist Sujata Kelkar Shetty.

Low B12 levels could even spark off coronary artery disease, suggests a 2009 report of the US-based National Center for Biotechnology Information. It states that the incidence of coronary artery disease is increasing at an alarming rate, especially in developing countries such as India. “This may be due to deficiency of vitamin B12, a micronutrient, sourced only from animal products,” it adds.

There also seems to be a connection between lack of Vitamin B12 and the health of the thyroid gland. “Vitamin B12 deficiency and hypothyroidism are inter-related among young females,” says KEM’s Naik. “This is partly due to vegetarianism, a sedentary lifestyle and not enough exposure to sunlight.”

Incidentally, sunlight helps us make Vitamin D. So there is always a possibility that we may be deficient in both vitamins B12 and D3. “Prolonged D and B12 deficiency leads to impaired bone mineralisation, anaemia and neuro-cognitive disorders. Notable D and B12 deficiency prevails in epidemic proportions all over the Indian subcontinent,” reveals Naik.

Unlike Vitamin D, our body cannot make Vitamin B12. “So we have to get it from animal-based foods (dairy or meat) or from supplements [for vegetarians]. And we should do that on a regular basis, because our body cannot store vitamin B12 for a long time,” Gulati says. Since this vitamin is water soluble, any excess amount flows out of the body.

Ensuring we take in enough Vitamin B12 is sometimes not enough, especially if our stomach lining has been compromised as that impairs its absorption of the vitamin. This can happen in certain gastric ailments as well as in certain autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s. Consuming too much alcohol can also increase your risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency as it may lead to severe depletion of bodily stores of the vitamin. Chronic alcoholism also damages the lining of the stomach and intestines, which impairs absorption.

If we are found to have very low levels of B12 then the immediate relief is injectables. After taking a shot every day for five days, we will then be prescribed pills. There are, however, exceptions. “In pernicious anaemia, Vitamin B12 deficiency is persistent, and long-term injectable B12 is warranted,” says Gulati.

So,it is advicible not to wait for a shot when there are mouthful of delicious food that can give the same results.

Sources of Vitamin B12
————————————

For Vegetarians:-

*Milk and milk products (yogurt,buttermilk, cheese)
*Fortified cereals
*Nutritional yeast
*Shitake mushrooms

For Non-vegetarian:

*Eggs, Meat and Fish
*Shellfish

Source : The Telegraph, Kolkata(India)

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Androsace sarmentosa

Botanical Name: Androsace sarmentosa
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Androsace
Species: A. sarmentosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

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Synonyms:

*Androsace chumbyi Pax & R. Knuth
*Androsace dubyi (Dergnac) N.P. Balakr.
*Androsace sarmentosa var. chumbyi auct.
*Androsace sarmentosa var. duby Dergnac
*Primula sarmentosa Kuntze
*Primula sarmentosa (Wall.) Bennet & Raizada
Common Name: Rock Jasmine

Habitat : Androsace sarmentosa is native to E. Asia – Himalayas from Sikkim to Kashmir. It grows in mixed forests and grassy slopes at elevations of 2800 – 4000 metres.

Description:
Androsace sarmentosa is a perennial herb. It can grows to about 30 centimetres (12 in) in diameter.
This plant forms deep-green evergreen compact rosettes of elliptic-oblanceolate leaves, 1–3 centimetres (0.39–1.18 in) in width, covered with short white hairs. Flowers are bright pink to purple with a yellow centre, 7–9 millimetres (0.28–0.35 in) in diameter, with umbels 4–10 millimetres (0.16–0.39 in) tall. They bloom from June to August.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Cultivation:
Requires a very well-drained light or sandy alkaline soil of low nutrient status and with the addition of limestone chippings if necessary. Usually best in full sun, though in hot-summer areas it can be better if given some shade, especially from the hottest sun. Grows well on dry stone walls, or as a low ground cover, and tolerates hot humid summers.

Propagation:
Seed – requires a period of cold stratification. Where possible, the seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame – all watering should be from the bottom of the pot. The seed can take 2 years to germinate, prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in a partially shaded cold frame. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division of runners in early summer. Pot them up into a sandy compost and grow them on until they are well-rooted before planting them into their permanent positions
Medicinal Uses:
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling and coarsening potency. A resolutive, it dries up serous fluids. It is used in the treatment of disorders from tumours, inflammations of fluids and other serous fluid disorders.

Other Uses:  The plant can be used as a low-growing ground cover.

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/Androsace_sarmentosa
http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Androsace+sarmentosa

Lactuca indica laciniata

Botanical Name: Lactuca indica laciniata
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Lactuca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : L. laciniata. L. squarrosa. Miq.

Lactuca amurensis Regel ex Maximovicz; Lactuca indica L. var. laciniata (Houttuyn) Hara; Lactuca laciniata (Houttuyn) Makino; Lactuca saligna Loureiro, non L.; Lactuca squarrosa (Thunberg) Miquel; Lactuca squarrosa (Thunberg) Miquel var. laciniata Kuntze; Lactuca mauritiana Poiret; Lactuca brevirostris Champion ex Bentham; Lactuca amurensis Regel ex Maximovicz; Leontodon acutissimus Noronha; Prenanthes laciniata Houttuyn; Prenanthes squarrosa Thunberg; Pterocypsela indica (L.) C. Shih.
Common name: (Japanese common name) aki-no-no-geshi [autumn wild poppy]
(English common name) Indian lettuce

Habitat:Lactuca indica laciniata is native to E. Asia. It grows on the grassy places in lowland all over Japan.

Description:
Lactuca indica laciniata is a perennial plant, growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil

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Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


Cultivation:
A plant of the moist tropics, where it can be grown at elevations up to 2,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 – 34°c, but can tolerate 10 – 40°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 – 2,500mm, but tolerates 1,000 – 3,000mm. Grows best in a sunny position. Prefers a light sandy loam, but succeeds in a wide range of well-drained, fertile soils. Prefers a pH in the range 5 – 6, tolerating 4.5 – 6.5.

It takes about 60 days from seed sowing until the first leaves are harvested. A first harvest of leaves can be taken after 30 – 60 days, when the plants are about 50cm tall. Yields of the leaves may be up to 10 – 20 tonnes per hectare.
Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a warm greenhouse, only just covering the seed. Germination is usually rapid, prick out the seedlings when large enough to handle and plant out after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Make sure each piece of root has a leaf bud. Root cuttings in late winter.
Edible Uses:  Leaves – raw or cooked. Added to salads or soups.

Medicinal
The plant is digestive and tonic.The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium‘, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used.

The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.
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:
http://findmeacure.com/2016/08/02/71841/
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+indica+laciniata
http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Lactuca+indica+laciniata
http://flowers.la.coocan.jp/Asteraceae/Lactuca%20indica.htm

Lactuca perennis

Botanical Name: Lactuca perennis
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. perennis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Mountain lettuce,Blue lettuce or Perennial lettuce
Other Names:
Nome italiano: Lattuga rupestre
English name: Mountain Lettuce
French name: Laitue perenne
Spanish name: lechuga azul
German name: Blauer Lattich
Swedish name: blåsallat

Habitat: Lactuca perennis is native to S. Europe. It grows on the rocky or other dry places, especially on calcareous soils.
Description:
Lactuca perennis is a perennial plant. It reaches on average 60 centimetres (24 in) of height, with a minimum height of 20 centimetres (7.9 in). This plant is glabrous, the stems is erect and branched, leaves are greyish-green, the lower ones with a small petioles, the upper ones partly amplexicaul. It is hermaphrodite and entomophilous. The flowers are violet-blue, with a size of 30–40 millimetres (1.2–1.6 in). It is not frost tender. The flowering period extends from April through August and the seeds ripen from July until September.

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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) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a light well-drained sandy loam and a sunny position. Plants are hardy to about -25°c.

Propagation:
Seed – sow April in a greenhouse, only just covering the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. It is best to pot up the divisions and keep them in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer. Root cuttings in spring.
Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. The leaves are often blanched to reduce any bitterness. They are fairly acceptable raw in salads (even without being blanched), especially in late winter and spring when the flavour is quite mild. The leaves do become much more bitter in the summer, however, especially as the plant comes into flower.

Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium‘, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts. It is especially useful as sedative, but the plant should be used with caution.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed.
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/Lactuca_perennis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+perennis
http://luirig.altervista.org/flora/taxa/index1.php?scientific-name=lactuca+perennis

 

Cleome viscosa

Botanical Name : Cleome viscosa
Family: Cleomaceae
Genus: Cleome
Species: C. viscosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms: Polanisia viscosa

Common Name :Tickweed, Asian spiderflower

Habitat :Cleome viscosa is native to Pantropical. It grows on sandy and freely draining soils in open woodland scrub and on scree slopes in dry areas.

Descrkiption:
Asian spider flower is a usually tall annual herb, up to a meter high, more or less hairy with glandular and eglandular hairs.It is commonly found in rainy seasons. Leaves are digitately compound, with 3-5 leaflets. Leaflets are obovate, elliptic-oblong, very variable in size, often 2-4 cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm broad, middle one largest; petiole up to 5 cm long. Racemes elongated, up to 30 cm long, with corym¬bose flowers at the top and elongated mature fruits below, bracteate. Flowers 10-15 mm across, whitish or yellowish; pedicels 6-20 mm long; bracts foliaceous. Sepals oblong-lanceolate, 3-4 mm long, 1-2 mm wide, glandular-pubescent. Petals 8-15 mm long, 2-4 mm broad, oblong-obovate. Stamens 10-12 (rarely more, up to 20), not exceeding the petals; gynophore absent. Fruit 30-75 mm long, 3-5 mm broad, linear-oblong, erect, obliquely striated, tapering at both ends, glandular-pubescent, slender; style 2-5 mm long; seeds many, 1-1.4 mm in diam., glabrous with longitudinal striations and transverse ridges, dark brown.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Cultivation:
Prefers a light fertile soil in a warm dry sunny position with plenty of room to spread. A frost tender plant, it can be grown as a summer annual in Britain.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow or only lightly cover the seed in spring in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 5 – 14 days at 25°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring. Day time temperatures below 20°c depress germination but a night time fall to 20° is necessary

Edible Uses:
Leaves and young shoots – cooked as a vegetable. A sharp mustard-like flavour. The pungent seed can be pickled or used as a mustard substitute in curries. The seedpods are made into pickles. The juice of the plant is used as a condiment. An oil obtained from the seeds is used for cooking.
Medicinal uses: The leaves are diaphoretic, rubefacient and vesicant. They are used as an external application to wounds and ulcers. The juice of the leaves has been used to relieve earache. The seeds are anthelmintic, carminative, rubefacient and vesicant. The seed contains 0.1% viscosic acid and 0.04% viscosin. The crushed leaves have been investigated as a treatment on stored seeds of cowpea, to prevent weevil infestation.The leaves are use as external application to wounds and ulcers. The seed are anrhelmintic and carminative

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/Cleome_viscosa
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Asian%20Spider%20Flower.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cleome+viscosa