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Salvia officinalis

Botanical Name : Salvia officinalis
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Salvia
Species: S. officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: (Old English) Sawge. Garden Sage. Red Sage. Broad-leaved White Sage. Narrow-leaved White Sage. Salvia salvatrix.

Common Names: Sage, Garden sage, Common sage,Kitchen sage, Small Leaf Sage, True sage, Culinary sage, Dalmatian sage, and Broadleaf sage.

Habitat : Salvia officinalis is native to the Mediterranean region, though it has naturalized in many places throughout the world. I grows in dry banks and stony places, usually in limestone areas and often where there is very little soil.

Description:
Salvia officinalis is an evergreen Shrub. Cultivars are quite variable in size, leaf and flower color, and foliage pattern, with many variegated leaf types. The Old World type grows to approximately 2 ft (0.61 m) tall and wide, with lavender flowers most common, though they can also be white, pink, or purple. The plant flowers in late spring or summer. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The leaves are oblong, ranging in size up to 2.5 in (6.4 cm) long by 1 in (2.5 cm) wide. Leaves are grey-green, rugose on the upper side, and nearly white underneath due to the many short soft hairs. Modern cultivars include leaves with purple, rose, cream, and yellow in many variegated combinations……...CLICK  &  SEE  THE  PICTURES
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Rock garden, Seashore, Specimen. Requires a very well-drained light sandy soil in a sunny position. Prefers a calcareous soil. Dislikes heavy or acid soils. Succeeds in dry soils, tolerating drought once it is established. Sage can be killed by excessive winter wet and winter-planted bushes often die. A very ornamental plant, sage is commonly grown in the herb garden for culinary and medicinal purposes. There are some named varieties. ‘Albiflora’ is said to be the best culinary sage. ‘Purpurea’ has tougher leaves than the type and makes a better tooth cleaner. Plants need to be trimmed in late spring in order to keep them compact. They tend to degenerate after a few years and are best replaced after about 4 years. The leaves emit a unique pungent aroma when pressed. A good companion for many plants, including rosemary, cabbages and carrots, the growing plant is said to repel insects. It is inhibited by wormwood growing nearby and dislikes growing with basil, rue or the cucumber and squash family. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Edible, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native, Suitable for cut flowers.
Propagation:
Seed – sow March/April in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. In areas where the plant is towards the limits of its hardiness, it is best to grow the plants on in a greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of heeled shoots, taken off the stem in May and planted out directly into the garden grow away well. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 10cm with a heel, June to August in a frame. Easy. Cuttings of mature wood, 7 – 10cm with a heel, November/December in a cold frame. Layering in spring or autumn. Mound soil up into the plants, the branches will root into this soil and they can be removed and planted out 6 – 12 months later

Edible Uses:
Leaves and flowers – raw or cooked. A very common herb, the strongly aromatic leaves are used as a flavouring in cooked foods. They are an aid to digestion and so are often used with heavy, oily foods. They impart a sausage-like flavour to savoury dishes. The young leaves and flowers can be eaten raw, boiled, pickled or used in sandwiches. The flowers can also be sprinkled on salads to add colour and fragrance. A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves, it is said to improve the digestion. An essential oil obtained from the plant is used commercially to flavour ice cream, sweets, baked goods etc.

Medicinal Uses:

Antidiarrhoeal; Antihydrotic; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Appetizer; Aromatherapy; Astringent; Carminative; Cholagogue; Galactofuge; Stimulant;
Tonic; Vasodilator.
Sage oil has a unique property from all other healing herbs–it reduces perspiration. Several studies show sage cuts perspiration by as much as 50% with the maximum effect occurring 2 hours after ingestion. This effect explains how it developed a reputation for treating fever with profuse sweating. Salysat is a sage-based antiperspirant marketed in Germany. Sage is a drying agent for the body. Use it as a sore throat gargle and as a poultice for sores and stings. Use two teaspoons of the herb per cup of water, steep for twenty minutes and take a quarter cup four times a day. Can also be used as a gargle. It tastes warm, aromatic and somewhat pungent. Tincture: 15-40 drops, up to four times a day.

Like rosemary, sage contains powerful antioxidants, which slow spoilage supporting its traditional use as a preservative. This is due to the presence of labiatic acid and carnosic acid. British researchers have confirmed that sage inhibits the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, thus preserving the compound that seems to help prevent and treat Alzheimer’s.

Sage makes a good digestive remedy. The volatile oils have a relaxant effect on the smooth muscle of the digestive tract, while in conjunction with the bitters, they stimulate the appetite and improve digestion. Sage encourages the flow of digestive enzymes and bile, settles the stomach, relieves colic, wind, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea and colitis, liver complaints, and worms. Its antiseptic properties are helpful in infections such as gastroenteritis. Sage is a tonic to the nervous system and has been used to enhance strength and vitality.

It has a tonic effect upon the female reproductive tract and is recommended for delayed or scanty menstruation, or lack of periods, menstrual cramps and infertility. It has an estrogenic effect, excellent for menopausal problems, especially hot flashes and night sweats. It stimulates the uterus, so is useful during childbirth and to expel the placenta. It stops the flow of breast milk and it is excellent for weaning. One German study shows sage reduces blood sugar levels in diabetics who drink the infusion on an empty stomach. It also contains astringent tannins which account for its traditional use in treating canker sores, bleeding gums and sore throats. Commission E endorses using 2-3 teaspoons of dried sage leaves per cup of boiling water to make an anti-gingivitis tea. Recently published studies by a team of scientists from the Department of Microbiology and Chemotherapy at the Nippon Roche Research Center in Kamakura Japan, informed that powdered sage or sage tea helps to prevent blood clots from forming, and is quite useful in the prevention and treatment of myocardial infarction and general coronary pains.

Other Uses:
Compost; Essential; Repellent; Strewing; Teeth.

The leaves make excellent tooth cleaners, simply rub the top side of the leaf over the teeth and gums. The purple-leafed form of sage has tougher leaves and is better for cleaning the teeth. The leaves have antiseptic properties and can heal diseased gums. An essential oil from the leaves is used in perfumery, hair shampoos (it is good for dark hair) and as a food flavouring. It is a very effective ‘fixer’ in perfumes, and is also used to flavour toothpastes and is added to bio-activating cosmetics. The plant (the flowers?) is an alternative ingredient of ‘QR’ herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost. The growing or dried plant is said to repel insects, it is especially useful when grown amongst cabbages and carrots. It was formerly used as a strewing herb and has been burnt in rooms to fumigate them. A good dense ground cover plant for sunny positions, though it needs weeding for the first year or two. They are best spaced about 60cm apart each way

Known Hazards : The plant can be toxic when used in excess or when taken for extended periods symptoms include: restlessness, vomiting, vertigo, tremors, seizures. Contraindicated during pregnancy. Avoid if predisposed to convulsions.

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/Salvia_officinalis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sages-05.html#com
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Salvia+officinalis

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Hope Therapy

Hope is an emotion characterized by positive feelings about the immediate or long-term future and often coupled with high motivation, optimism, and a generally elevated mood.Hope is a partially subjective term, and both psychologists and philosophers have struggled to define it. Some argue that hopefulness is a relatively stable personality trait, others believe that hope depends on external circumstances and previous experience, and some people view hope as a choice. Hope is commonly associated with warm feelings about the future, an increased willingness to work toward a goal, and an upbeat mood.

Hope therapy is a fairly recent idea with a fairly basic point. The main way this therapy is practiced is by teaching people in a group class setting to become more oriented toward positive thinking . Positive thinking with positive goals and behavior will help people toachieve their goals. It is separate from the idea of optimism, which is generally having a pervasive belief that good things are likely to happen. Instead, researchers believe that people can be taught to improve their outlook and minor depression in class settings, instead of through traditional talk therapy, which may tend to focus on negative experiences.

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It is observed that Hope therapy helps a lot to the people with severe macular degeneration, and people with mild depression, who were not classed as having a mental illness. Most people learn how to create goals, how to determine ways to reach goals and also how to use positive self-talk. Instead of focusing on negative incidents. Hope therapy relied on positive goal-based training. Many people in the groups noted significant elevation of mood, were able to absorb the training and became more goal oriented and were successfully able to use positive self-talk to diminish negative thinking patterns.

Hope therapy is  not just about the “power of positive thinking.” Instead it is based somewhat on the cognitive behavioral model of therapy which works to replace old or negative “hot thoughts” or core beliefs with new ones that are more truthful and positive. However, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) does spend at least some time analyzing how negative thoughts or experiences have influenced thoughts and behavior patterns in the here and now. Hope therapy appears to differ from this by focusing more on simply learning to change mindset, without much examination of what caused negative mindset in the past.

People who are facing personal and emotional conflicts, it is not that everything is lost for them. There is HOPE for them, they can also leave beautiful and happy life if some goal is set for them and with proper mental training they start exerting to reach the goal. The Hope Therapy Center (HTC) is a place where disheartened people may find healing and an opportunity to talk with a trained pastoral psychotherapist.

Hopelessness can also affect physical health. People who are not optimistic about their health or about their medical treatment are more likely to remain sick, more likely to report high levels of pain, and less likely to see an improvement in their overall health. Some mental health practitioners, aware of the role hope plays, encourage clients to work on thinking positively about life developments and finding things to be hopeful about. Many mental health professionals believe that hope is an indispensable key to happiness and that people cannot be happy without hope.

Hope therapy will be very much active and successful if this therapy is done along with Yoga exercise with Pranayama & Meditation under the guide line of some expert.

Help taken from:
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-hope-therapy.htm
http://www.hopetherapycenter.com/index.html
http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/what-is-hope

Yoga Mudras

 

Definition:
Our physical body is made up of five elements namely – Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Aakash (ether – the tiny intercellular spaces in the human body).

When these elements get imbalanced, the immunity system of our body goes down and we get sick.

This imbelance can be corrected through practing Mudras in particular manner by connecting one part of the body with another.

When a finger representing an element is brought into contact with the thumb, that element is brought into balance. Therefore the disease caused by the imbalance is cured. Mudras start electromagnetic currents within the body which balance various constituting elements and restore health. The joining of fingers creates an effect on the human body.

Five Fingers of our hands are considered as Five Elements

1.Thumb relates to  Fire

2. Index…………Air

3. Middle………..Aakash

4. Ring………….Earth

5. Little…………Water

Benefits and Methods of Mudras:

Gyan Mudra:

The Gyan Mudra is believed to help with concentration and memory, relieve insomnia and stress, and promote general peace of mind.
Join the tips of the index finger and thumb and keep the other 3 fingers stretched and joined. Click to see

Shoonya Mudra
Relief in diseases and pains relating to the ear.
Press the middle finger on the base of the thumb and keep the thumb on middle finger. Keep the other three fingers straight. click to see

Apaan Mudra:
Helps in clearing the body by elimination of waste matter from the mouth, eyes, ears, nose etc. Helps when urine is obstructed, reduces constipation.
Join the tip of the thumb with the tip of middle and ring finger, keeping the other finger straight. click to see

Prana Mudra:
Helps in pumping the life force into your body. Beneficial for all types of diseases. Imparts special power to the eyes.

Join the tip of the thumb with tip of little and ring finger. Keeping other two fingers straight. click to see

Vayu Mudra :
Helps in diseases like arthritis, trembling in Parkinson’s disease. Better results obtained if practices after Prana mudra.

Press the index finger on the base of thumb and keep the thumb on the index finger. Let the other fingers be straight.click to see

Prithvi Mudra:
Makes body sturdy. One experiences happiness.

Join the tip of the thumb and ring finger. click to see

Varun Mudra:
Improves the deteriorated quality of blood due to shortage of water & gives freshness to the body.

Join the tip of the thumb and little finger.click to see

 Surya Mudra
Reduces weight of your body.
Put the tip of ring finger at the base of thumb, with thumb gently pressing on it.click to see

Ling Mudra:
Produces heat in the body and helps in curing cold and cough.
Interlock the fingers of both hands together. Keeping the left thumb up (encircled by right thumb and index finger) i.e. left thumb should be vertically straight and right thumb around it...click to see

When to do?
Can be practiced at all times while sitting, lying, standing, walking or even talking.
For good results should be practiced for 24 minutes continuously. Can be practiced for 4-5 minutes also at one time.
If a mudra cannot be made in both hands, you may do it in one hand only

Resources:
http://www.healthandyoga.com/html/meditation/mudras.aspx
http://health.amuchbetterway.com/yoga-mudra-for-health-and-vitality/

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Bulbous corydalis

 

Botanical  Name : Bulbous corydalis
Family : Fumariaceae,
Genus : Corydalis
Species : Curviflora var. rosthomii

Common Names : Corydalis cava,Bird in the Bush

Habitat : Bulbous corydalis is found throughout Europe and neighbouring Asia growing in open woods and hedgerows.

Description:
Bulbous corydalis is a highly poisonous  herbaceous perennial plant with a large, hollow, globose underground tuber with wiry roots. The stem is erect and bears two biternate lobed leaves, bluish-green below and light green above. The flowers are irregularly shaped, violet or white in colour, and arranged in a solitary terminal raceme. The upper petal is drawn out into a long apically curved spur.

 click to see the pictures….

Flowers are densely clustered up the stem reaching around 15 cms or occasionally up to 20 cms high. These are tubular and tend to have a small amount of white in them, the main colour is strong purple/violet. Foliage is the usual ferny and soft green being very deeply dissected.

Plant Width :  10 in – 12 in
Bloom Season : Mid Spring – Late Spring
Foliage Color : Blue, Gray
Zone : 6 – 9

Additional Characteristics: Bloom First Year, Butterfly Lovers, Easy Care Plants, Fragrance, Free Bloomer, Repeat Bloomer, Season Extenders

Preferred Conditions to grow well: Moist, well drained soil

Medicinal Uses:
Bulbous Carydalis has been used as a vermifuge in the past. The tubers are used medicinally.  When dried they have a strong aroma and bitter taste. They contain alkaloids, the most important being corydaline and bulbocapnine.  Bulbocpnine has antispasmodic, sedative and hallucinogenic properties. It lowers the blood pressure and inhibits the contractions of striated muscles.  In some countries it is used in preparations to treat Parkinson’s disease and other serious neurological disorders, vertigo and muscular tremors. Bulbocapnine is also beneficial before and after treatment with anesthetics.  The root has traditionally been used to lower pain and strengthen the circulation.

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://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/cgi-bin/res.pl?keyword=Bulbous+Corydalis&offset=0
http://www.waysidegardens.com/product.aspx?p=49199
http://www.edrom-nurseries.co.uk/shop/pc/Corydalis-solida-Purple-Beauty-p9312.htm
http://www.kuleuven-kulak.be/bioweb/?lang=en&detail=439
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

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Ligustrum lucidum

Botanical Name : Ligustrum lucidum
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Ligustrum
Species: L. lucidum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names : Glossy Privet, Chinese Privet or Broad-leaf Privet

Habitat :Native to  the southern half of China, Korea, and Japan

Description;
It is the largest species in the genus, growing as a tree up to 25 m tall. The leaves are opposite, glossy dark green, 6-17 cm long and 3-8 cm broad.

CLICK & SEE THE PICRURES

Form: large shrub or single-stemmed tree, open, less dense than L. japonicum

Seasonality: evergreen

Size: 3-12ft, spread varies with training; taller if trained as tree

Leaves: simple, opposite, ovate to lancolate, 3-6in long, end point curves backwards; when held up to light leaf margin is transparent

Flowers: perfect, creamy white, in pyramidal clusters; blooms later than L. japonicum

Fruit: terminal, smaller than pea, blue-black, poisonous

Stems/Trunks: gray

Medicinal Uses:
Was first mentioned in traditional Chinese medicine in a text that was probably written before AD1000.  The plant increases the white blood cell count and in recent years it has been increasingly used to prevent bone marrow loss in cancer chemotherapy patients and it has potential in the treatment of AIDS.  Chinese research has also shown good results in the treatment of respiratory tract infections, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease and hepatitis.  Acts as a tonic for the kidneys and liver.

Other Uses:
The plant is often used as an ornamental tree, sometimes as a cultivar.

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://ag.arizona.edu/pima/gardening/aridplants/Ligustrum_lucidum.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligustrum_lucidum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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