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Hymenoxys richardsonii

Botanical Name : Hymenoxys richardsonii
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Hymenoxys
Species:H. richardsonii
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Picradenia richardsonii Hook. 1833
*Actinea richardsonii (Hook.) Kuntze
*Actinella richardsonii (Hook.) Nutt.
*Hymenoxys floribunda (A.Gray) Cockerell
*Hymenoxys olivacea Cockerell

Common Names: Pingue Hymenoxys, Pingue rubberweed, Colorado rubberweed

Habitat :Hymenoxys richardsonii is native to Western N. America – Colorado to Saskatchewan and Alberta. It grows on dry, open often rocky hillsides and plains.
Description:
Hymenoxys richardsonii is a polycarpic, perennial sub-shrub or herbaceous perennial plant, usually 7-40 cm tall, with a multi-branched woody base. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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Stem is distally branched or multi-stemmed at the woody caudices, normally about 20+cm, either smooth or hairy with uniform coloring.
Leaves are sually divided into 3 linear lobes, rarely simple, smooth or hairy, with an even scattering of small resin glands. Leaves concentrated around the base of the stems.

Inflorescence/flowers are several or many radiate yellow heads, involucres in series of 2 or more with stiff phyllaries with the outer phyllaries united at base; yellow ray flowers, papery yellow disc flowers.

Fruits are 2-3 mm achene topped with white translucent aristate pappus scales.
Varieties:
*Hymenoxys richardsonii var. floribunda (A.Gray) K.F.Parker – Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Utah
*Hymenoxys richardsonii var. richardsonii – Alberta, Saskatchewan, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, Wyoming
Cultivation:
We have almost no 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 most parts of the country. It is likely to require a sunny position in a dry to moist well-drained soil.
Propagation:
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in late winter or early spring in a greenhouse. 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.
Edible Uses: Gum…..A latex obtained from the root is used as a chewing gum. The skin of the root is used, the gum is obtained by pounding the roots.
Medicinal Uses: Poultice; Stomachic.

An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of stomach aches. A poultice of the chewed root has been applied as a dressing on sores and rashes. Among the Zuni people of New Mexico, a poultice of the chewed root applied to sores and rashes, and an infusion of the root is used for stomachache.

Other Uses: …Dye; Gum; Latex…..The latex obtained from the root is a potential commercial source of rubber. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers

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/Hymenoxys_richardsonii
http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/plants-c/bio414/species%20pages/Hymenoxys%20richardsonii%20.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hymenoxys+richardsonii

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Belly Bulges

A protruding belly button is commoner in boys and may run in families   Everyone would love an eight pack abdomen, but for some it may remain just a dream. Their abdominal wall has unsightly bulges and protuberances, which may be a well rounded paunch or even hernia.

Some children have a protruding navel or belly button, which is noticed soon after the remnant of the umbilical cord falls off. When the baby cries or strains, the tummy bulges at the umbilicus. The swelling is called an umbilical hernia. It is commoner in boys. It may run in families and be associated with other diseases like thyroid deficiency or inborn errors of metabolism.

The foetus receives its nutrition through umbilical blood vessels that are attached to the navel. The abdominal muscles also fuse at that point. There is an area of weakness there which can cause a defect in the abdominal wall muscles. The intestines may protrude through this. Usually, the intestines can be pushed back when the child is quiet and lying down.

By the age of three or four years, the abdominal musculature develops and the hernia disappears on its own. It usually does not cause any symptoms till that time. If the skin over the hernia changes colour, or if the child starts to cry incessantly, consult a doctor. It may mean the intestine has got trapped in the hernia and its blood supply is being compromised, strangling the bowel.

Strapping the bulging belly button with plaster, tying it with a bandage or fixing a coin over it won’t help. On the contrary, it may be harmful as a piece of intestine may get caught in the bandage and stop the blood supply. This then becomes a medical emergency. If the hernia persists after the age of three, it needs to be surgically repaired.

Hernias can also suddenly appear near the umbilicus in adults. This “paraumbilical hernia” is situated just above the navel and occurs through a weakness in the abdominal wall muscles. It may be due to pregnancy, obesity or poor abdominal muscle tone. It may also appear if fluid accumulates in the abdomen as a result of kidney or liver disease. The hernia may contain fat or intestines.

Paraumbilical hernias that appear during pregnancy may disappear on their own. In others, they need to be surgically corrected, even if they are painless. Bits of bowel or other intestinal content can suddenly become trapped in them, precipitating an emergency. There is a band of fibrous tissue connecting and holding together the musculature of the two halves of the abdomen. If this is weak and separates out, it may cause a condition called “divarication of the rectus abdominus”. It is common in obesity. The affected area is usually long and stretches over the abdomen from the umbilicus to the rib cage. As the defect is large, the intestine does not become trapped inside. If there is no umbilical hernia, it can be left alone. Surgical repair is a variation of a “tummy tuck” and is done purely for cosmetic reasons.

If there is a small defect in the linea alba (fibrous structure running down the midline of the abdomen), a ping-pong ball sized bulge can occur at the spot. This is called an “epigastric hernia”. It needs to corrected.

About 75 per cent of hernias occur lower down in the groin area and are called “inguinal hernias”. They are commoner in men. They can extend from the lower part of the abdomen to the scrotum in men and to the labia in women. They are caused by a congenital defect in the abdominal wall. Some men push the contents of the hernia back into the abdomen and then use a “surgical truss” to hold it there.

The surgical treatment of hernias has changed over the years. Traditional techniques involved opening the abdomen and suturing the muscle layers. Hospital stays were prolonged and recovery slow. Now, laparoscopic repairs can be done, reducing the hospital stay to two or three days. Fine sterile surgical mesh can be used to cover the defect. The hernia is then less likely to recur as there is no tension on the layers of the abdominal muscles.

Some hernias can’t be prevented. Congenital abdominal wall defects are less likely to manifest as hernias if

• The BMI (body weight divided by height in metre squared) is 23

• Core strengthening exercises (oblique sit ups, plank position) are done daily

• Lifting heavy weights is avoided

• Weight-lifting exercises are done after proper training and conditioning.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Why We Never Forget How to Ride a Bicycle

Ever wondered why we don’t forget how to ride a bike? Well, researchers from the University of Aberdeen claim to have found an answer to the  question.
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Lead researcher Dr Peer Wulff has discovered a key nerve cell in the cerebellum section of the brain that controls skills such as riding a bicycle, skiing, or even eating with chopsticks, reports the Daily Express.

This nerve cell monitors electrical signals that leave the cerebellum and transform them for storage in other parts of the brain.

The “gatekeeper” cell helps brain to remember newly learnt coordination skills.

The researchers hope that the new discovery could pave way for creating artificial devices to mimic normal brain functions and benefit those who have suffered brain disorders.

Source: The Times Of India

Vaccine For Cocaine Addiction

Two Baylor College of Medicine researchers in Houston are working on a cocaine vaccine they hope will become the first-ever medication to treat people hooked on the drug.

“For people who have a desire to stop using, the vaccine should be very useful,” said Dr Tom Kosten, a psychiatry professor who is being assisted in the research by his wife, Therese, a psychologist and neuroscientist. “At some point, most users will give in to temptation and relapse, but those for whom the vaccine is effective won’t get high and will lose interest.”

The vaccine, currently in clinical trials, stimulates the immune system to attack the real thing when it’s taken. The immune system – unable to recognize cocaine and other drug molecules because they are so small – can’t make antibodies to attack them. To help the immune system distinguish the drug, Kosten attached inactivated cocaine to the outside of inactivated cholera proteins.

In response, the immune system not only makes antibodies to the combination, which is harmless, but also recognizes the potent naked drug when it is ingested. The antibodies bind to the cocaine and prevent it from reaching the brain, where it normally would generate the highs that are so addictive.

“It’s a very clever idea,” says David Eagleman, a Baylor neuroscientist. “Scientists have spent the last few decades figuring out reward pathways in the brain and how drugs like cocaine hijack the system. It turns out those pathways are difficult to rewire once they’ve seen the drug. But the vaccine just circumvents all that.”

Kosten asked the Food and Drug Administration in December to green-light a multi-institutional trial to begin in the spring and is awaiting a response. Approval would mark a breakthrough in the treatment of cocaine addiction, which now mostly involves psychiatric counseling and 12-step programs. It presumably would be the final clinical hurdle before the vaccine – more than a decade in the making – might be approved for treatment.

Sources: The Times Of India

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