Tag Archives: Immune system

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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Epimedium grandiflorum

Botanical Name : Epimedium grandiflorum
Family: Berberidaceae
Genus: Epimedium
Subgenus:Epimedium
Species:E. grandiflorum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms:
*Epimedium macranthum var. violaceum (C. Morren & Decne.) Franch.
*Epimedium grandiflorum forma violaceum
*Epimedium violaceum

Common Names: Large flowered barrenwort, Bishop’s hat, Barrenwort, Longspur Epimedium. It is known as dam du?ng hoac in Vietnamese.

Habitat: Epimedium grandiflorum is native to China, Japan and Korea. It grows in the moist deciduous woodlands in the hills. Calcareous rocks in moist woodland. (This entry refers to sub-species E. grandiflorum higoense. Shimau.)
Description:
Epimedium grandiflorum is a deciduous perennial plant, growing to 30 cm (12 in), with bright red stems with green heart-shaped leaves (copper-tinged when young) which are slightly hairy on the bottom. In spring it produces pink, white, yellow or purple long-spurred flowers.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Main Bloom Time: Early spring. Form: Spreading or horizontal. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in any fertile humus-rich soil, preferring a moist but well-drained peaty loam. Requires a lime-free soil. Grows best in the light dappled shade of a woodland. Plants can succeed in the dry shade of trees. A shallow-rooting plant, the rhizomes creeping just below the soil and the finer roots occupying the top 30cm of the soil. A clump-forming species, the rhizomes making only short new growth each year, it needs to be divided every 3 – 4 years in order to maintain vigour. Plants are hardy to about -20°c, though the flowers in spring can be damaged by late frosts. A very ornamental plant, there are several named varieties. It grows well in the rock garden or wild garden. Plants are self-sterile and so more than one clone is required for cross-fertilization in order for seed to be produced. Plants will often hybridise with other species growing nearby. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Naturalizing.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in late summer. Sow stored seed as early as possible in the year in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in the cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in mid to late summer. Division, best carried out in August to September according to one report, in late spring according to another. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Cuttings in late summer
Edible Uses:    Young plant and young leaves – cooked & eaten. Soaked and then boiled. (This suggests that the leaves are bitter and need to be soaked in order to remove the bitterness.)
Medicinal Uses:

Antiasthmatic; Antibacterial; Antirheumatic; Antitussive; Aphrodisiac; Hypoglycaemic; Tonic; Vasodilator.

The aerial parts of the plant are antiasthmatic, antibacterial, antirheumatic, antitussive, aphrodisiac, hypoglycaemic, tonic and vasodilator. Its use lowers blood sugar levels. It is used in the treatment of impotence, seminal emissions, lumbago, arthritis, numbness and weakness of the limbs, hypertension and chronic bronchitis. It has an action on the genitals similar to the male sex hormone and can increase the weight of the prostate gland and seminal vesicle, it has increased copulation in animals and increases the secretion of semens. The leaves are used as an aphrodisiac. Administered orally, the leaf extract increases the frequency of copulation in animals.

Traditional Chinese medicine:
E. grandiflorum may have anti-impotence properties due to the presence of icariin, a relatively weak inhibitor of PDE5 in comparison to substances like sildenafil (viagra). Western peer-reviewed research into the efficacy of E. grandiflorum as an aphrodisiac is lacking; however, the herb has been used for this purpose in traditional Chinese medicine and is a common ingredient of herbal remedies for impotence.[citation needed] It is commonly packed in a capsule with other ingredients or sold as herbal flakes or powder with the name “horny goat weed”

Other Uses:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden, Woodland 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/Epimedium_grandiflorum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Epimedium+grandiflorum

Clerodendron inerme

Botanical Name : Clerodendron inerme
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Volkameria
Species: V. inermis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Volkameria inermis

Common Names : Glory bower, Wild Jasmine, Sorcerers Bush, Seaside clerodendrum, Clerodendrum, Scrambling; Scrambling Clerodendrum; Harmless Clerodendron; Clerodendron, Harmless
Habitat : Clerodendron inerme is native to India & Malaysia. It is found in Australia, Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands. It usually grows in close proximity to the sea and is often found near margins or on the margins of beach forest. Also occurs in Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Description:
Clerodendron inerme is an evergreen mangrove plant, which has found a place in our gardens, is able to thrive near the ocean at the high tide mark, making it a potential weed in the coastal environment. A hardy, straggling shrub, it reaches a height of 9-12 FT with closely arranged, almost round, shiny, deep green leaves. The plant is always in flower. The flowers are white and very fragrant, with spreading five corolla lobes, 1″ long white tubes and long purple stamens. As the specific name implies, the stems are smooth and are devoid of thorns. The plant is not choosy about the soil and can even withstand droughts. Seaside clerodendrum, as its name suggests, grows well along the beach tolerating the salt spray of the ocean and the harsh rays of the sun. It is a versatile plant and can be grown as a topiary or as a bonsai. It is its hardy nature and the closely held bunches and leaves that promoted it into a garden plant. Clerodendrum inerme is a sun loving plant and a sunny spot should be chosen for it. The plant produces suckers and seeds. For making hedges, a large number of well-developed plants are required and, therefore, it is advisable to produce new plants through cuttings. Trimming the plant keeps the hedges in shape and also promotes production of new branches and leaves to fill up the gaps. As flowers are produced at the ends of branches, trimming robs the plant of its flowers. The plants is salt-, heat- and wind-tolerant.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Description in detalis:
*Stem: Often grows into a rather untidy vine but frequently flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-4 m tall. Vine stem diameters to 3 cm recorded.

*Leaves: Twigs, petioles and leaves glabrous or minutely puberulous. Leaf blades about 3-12 x 1-6 cm, punctate or glandular on the lower surface. Petioles about 0.5-1.5 cm long, grooved or channelled on the upper surface. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Twigs usually pale-coloured and petioles dark purple.

*Flowers: Pedicels puberulous, about 3-6 mm long. Calyx about 3-6 mm long, glandular, glabrous or puberulous with a few large nectariferous glands on the outer surface, glabrous on the inner surface, lobes minute. Corolla glabrous and glandular outside, tube villous inside, tube cylindrical, about 15-40 mm long, lobes about 3.5-11 mm long. Stamens exserted, filaments about 15-38 mm long, anthers about 2.5-3 mm long. Ovary glabrous, glandular, about 1.5-2 x 1-1.5 mm, style exserted, glabrous, about 25-48 mm long.

*Fruit: Fruit consists of four nutlets which fit together and are borne on a receptacle like an egg in an egg cup. Fruit about 10-20 x 7-15 mm. Calyx persistent at the base forming a cup about 7-12 mm diam. Cotyledons about 5 mm long, much longer and wider than the radicle which is about 0.5-1 mm long.

*Seedlings : Cotyledons thick and fleshy, about 12-20 x 6-9 mm, gradually tapering into the petioles. First pair of leaves opposite, margins entire or with a few teeth. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade lanceolate, margin entire or with a few teeth, stem purple becoming pale, terminal bud clothed in pale prostrate hairs. Petiole and midrib purple.

Medicinal Uses:
Clerodendron inermesed is used as local medicine in both Kosrae and Pohnpei for a variety of ailments. Known to be used in Samoa as a local medicine as well. The root of Clerodendron inerme is of a more decided bitter taste and strong odor, and is regarded as possessing tonic and alterative properties, and as being useful in venereal and scrofulous complaints. A steam bath (srawuk) of kwacwak is used by women during their monthly menstrual cycle. Used to treat fever, skin rash, flu, headache, infected umbilical cord, eye infections, evil spirit prevention. Can also be added to coconut oil and rubbed into skin.
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/Volkameria_inermis
http://keys.trin.org.au/key-server/data/0e0f0504-0103-430d-8004-060d07080d04/media/Html/taxon/Clerodendrum_inerme.htm
http://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/Clerodendrum_inerme.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

Polemonium caeruleum

Botanical Name : Polemonium caeruleum
Family: Polemoniaceae
Genus: Polemonium
Species: P. caeruleum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names: Jacob’s-ladder or Greek valerian, Charity

Habitat : Polemonium caeruleum is native to Northern and central Europe, including Britain, to Siberia and the Caucasus. It grows on the margins of woods and swamps, by streams, especially on turf and usually in limestone hills.

Description:
Polemonium caeruleum is a hardy perennial flowering plant. The plant usually reaches a height from 45 to 60 centimeters (18 to 24 inches), but some occasionally will be taller than 90 centimeters (35 inches.) The spread of the plant is also 45 to 60 centimeters. It can grow in North American hardiness zone 2 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees…....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
A very easily grown plant, it prefers a moist well-drained fertile soil in sun or semi-shade. Dislikes damp or heavy soils, though it tolerates alkaline conditions. Hardy to at least -20°c[187]. A polymorphic species, there are several sub-species and many named forms. Plants are fairly short-lived in cultivation unless they are divided regularly and moved to fresh soil. They can self-sow to the point of nuisance, however and will also survive when growing in lush grass. Cats are strongly attracted by the smell of this plant and will frequently roll on it and injure it.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Another report says that the seed is best sown in a cold frame in the autumn. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in early spring or early autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Medicinal Uses:
The herb is astringent and diaphoretic.It was first used as a medicinal herb in ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks used the root to treat dysentery, toothaches and animal bites. The plant was also found in a few European pharmacies during the nineteenth century and was used as an antisyphilitic agent and to treat rabies. It was used internally in the treatment of a wide range of conditions ranging from headaches to fevers and epilepsy. The plant is harvested in the summer and dried for later used. Today, the plant is not usually used medically.

Other uses:
Polemonium caeruleum was voted the County flower of Derbyshire in 2002 following a poll by the wild plant conservation charity Plantlife.

Today, the plant is usually used in potpourris and is boiled in olive oil to make black dyes and hair dressing, but it has few other significant uses.

Bees work the flowers for both pollen and nectar. Flowers of other species of Polemonium are also useful honey bee forage.
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/Polemonium_caeruleum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polemonium+caeruleum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

Sinomenium acutum

Botanical Name : Sinomenium acutum
Family : Menispermaceaeamily:
Genus: Sinomenium
Species: Sinomenium acutum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Cycadophyta
Class: Insecta
Type: Ranunculales

Synonyms: S. diversifolium. Cocculus diversifolius. C. heterophyllus. Menispermum acutum.

Common Name: Chinese Moonseed

Habitat : Sinomenium acutum is native to E. AsiaChina, Japan. It grows on the thickets and sparse forests to 1500 metres in western China.

Description:
Sinomenium acutum is a deciduous Climber growing to 6 m (19ft 8in). It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile…...CLICK  &  SEE  THE  PICTURES
Cultivation :
Succeeds in most soils in sun or shad. A twining plant. A polymorphic species, the leaves varying considerably in shape and lobing.

Propagation :
Seed – sow late winter 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 10cm taken at a node, July/August in a frame. Good percentage
Edible Uses:…..Roots and leaves are – cooked and eaten.
Medicinal Uses:
Roots contain sinomenine, an alkaloid traditionally used in herbal medicine in these countries.The roots are anodyne and carminative. A decoction is used in the treatment of oedema, moisture-related beriberi, rheumatoid arthritis.
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://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fceb.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FSinomenium_acutum
http://florawww.eeb.uconn.edu/199800155.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sinomenium+acutum