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Carrot

Botanical Name: Daucus carota
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Daucus
Species: D. carota
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Name: Carrot

Habitat : Carrot is native to Europe and southwestern Asia. The domestic carrot has been selectively bred for its greatly enlarged and more palatable, less woody-textured edible taproot. The wild ancestors of the carrot are likely to have come from Persia (regions of which are now Iran and Afghanistan), which remain the centre of diversity of Daucus carota, the wild carrot. A naturally occurring subspecies of the wild carrot, Daucus carota subsp. sativus, has been selectively bred over the centuries to reduce bitterness, increase sweetness and minimise the woody core. This has produced the familiar garden vegetable

Description:
Daucus carota is a biennial plant that grows a rosette of leaves in the spring and summer, while building up the stout taproot that stores large amounts of sugars for the plant to flower in the second year….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Soon after germination, carrot seedlings show a distinct demarcation between the taproot and the hypocotyl. The latter is thicker and lacks lateral roots. At the upper end of the hypocotyl is the seed leaf. The first true leaf appears about 10–15 days after germination. Subsequent leaves, produced from the stem nodes, are alternating (with a single leaf attached to a node, and the leaves growing in alternate directions) and compound, and arranged in a spiral. The leaf blades are pinnate. As the plant grows, the bases of the cotyledon are pushed apart. The stem, located just above the ground, is compressed and the internodes are not distinct. When the seed stalk elongates, the tip of the stem narrows and becomes pointed, extends upward, and becomes a highly branched inflorescence. The stems grow to 60–200 cm (20–80 in) tall.

Most of the taproot consists of parenchymatous outer cortex (phloem) and an inner core (xylem). High-quality carrots have a large proportion of cortex compared to core. Although a completely xylem-free carrot is not possible, some cultivars have small and deeply pigmented cores; the taproot can appear to lack a core when the colour of the cortex and core are similar in intensity. Taproots typically have a conical shape, although cylindrical and round cultivars are available. The root diameter can range from 1 cm (0.4 in) to as much as 10 cm (4 in) at the widest part. The root length ranges from 5 to 50 cm (2.0 to 19.7 in), although most are between 10 and 25 cm (4 and 10 in)

Flower development begins when the flat apical meristem changes from producing leaves to an uplifted conical meristem capable of producing stem elongation and an inflorescence. The inflorescence is a compound umbel, and each umbel contains several umbellets. The first (primary) umbel occurs at the end of the main floral stem; smaller secondary umbels grow from the main branch, and these further branch into third, fourth, and even later-flowering umbels. A large primary umbel can contain up to 50 umbellets, each of which may have as many as 50 flowers; subsequent umbels have fewer flowers. Flowers are small and white, sometimes with a light green or yellow tint. They consist of five petals, five stamens, and an entire calyx. The anthers usually dehisce and the stamens fall off before the stigma becomes receptive to receive pollen. The anthers of the brown male sterile flowers degenerate and shrivel before anthesis. In the other type of male sterile flower, the stamens are replaced by petals, and these petals do not fall off. A nectar-containing disc is present on the upper surface of the carpels.

CLICK & SEE CARROT FLOWER

Flower development is protandrous, so the anthers release their pollen before the stigma of the same flower is receptive. The arrangement is centripetal, meaning the oldest flowers are near the edge and the youngest flowers are in the center. Flowers usually first open at the periphery of the primary umbel, followed about a week later on the secondary umbels, and then in subsequent weeks in higher-order umbels. The usual flowering period of individual umbels is 7 to 10 days, so a plant can be in the process of flowering for 30–50 days. The distinctive umbels and floral nectaries attract pollinating insects. After fertilization and as seeds develop, the outer umbellets of an umbel bend inward causing the umbel shape to change from slightly convex or fairly flat to concave, and when cupped it resembles a bird’s nest.

The fruit that develops is a schizocarp consisting of two mericarps; each mericarp is an achene or true seed. The paired mericarps are easily separated when they are dry. Premature separation (shattering) before harvest is undesirable because it can result in seed loss. Mature seeds are flattened on the commissural side that faced the septum of the ovary. The flattened side has five longitudinal ribs. The bristly hairs that protrude from some ribs are usually removed by abrasion during milling and cleaning. Seeds also contain oil ducts and canals. Seeds vary somewhat in size, ranging from less than 500 to more than 1000 seeds per gram.

The carrot is a diploid species, and has nine relatively short, uniform-length chromosomes (2n=9). The genome size is estimated to be 473 mega base pairs, which is four times larger than Arabidopsis thaliana, one-fifth the size of the maize genome, and about the same size as the rice genome.

Cultivation:
Carrots are grown from seed and take around four months to mature. They grow best in full sun but tolerate some shade. The optimum growth temperature is between 16 and 21 °C (61 and 70 °F).(click & see the seedling germination)  The ideal soil is deep, loose and well-drained, sandy or loamy and with a pH of 6.3 to 6.8. Fertiliser should be applied according to soil type and the crop requires low levels of nitrogen, moderate phosphate and high potash. Rich soils should be avoided, as these will cause the roots to become hairy and misshapen. Irrigation should be applied when needed to keep the soil moist and the crop should be thinned as necessary and kept weed free…..click & see

Edible Uses:
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that world production of carrots and turnips (these plants are combined by the FAO for reporting purposes) for calendar year 2011 was almost 35.658 million tonnes. Almost half were grown in China. Carrots are widely used in many cuisines, especially in the preparation of salads, and carrot salads are a tradition in many regional cuisines.

Carrots can be eaten in a variety of ways. Only 3 percent of the -carotene in raw carrots is released during digestion: this can be improved to 39% by pulping, cooking and adding cooking oil. Alternatively they may be chopped and boiled, fried or steamed, and cooked in soups and stews, as well as baby and pet foods. A well-known dish is carrots julienne. Together with onion and celery, carrots are one of the primary vegetables used in a mirepoix to make various broths.

The greens are edible as a leaf vegetable, but are only occasionally eaten by humans; some sources suggest that the greens contain toxic alkaloids. When used for this purpose, they are harvested young in high-density plantings, before significant root development, and typically used stir-fried, or in salads.

In India carrots are used in a variety of ways, as salads or as vegetables added to spicy rice or dal dishes. A popular variation in north India is the Gajar Ka Halwa carrot dessert, which has carrots grated and cooked in milk until the whole mixture is solid, after which nuts and butter are added. Carrot salads are usually made with grated carrots with a seasoning of mustard seeds and green chillies popped in hot oil. Carrots can also be cut in thin strips and added to rice, can form part of a dish of mixed roast vegetables or can be blended with tamarind to make chutney.

Since the late 1980s, baby carrots or mini-carrots (carrots that have been peeled and cut into uniform cylinders) have been a popular ready-to-eat snack food available in many supermarkets. Carrots are puréed and used as baby food, dehydrated to make chips, flakes, and powder, and thinly sliced and deep-fried, like potato chips.

The sweetness of carrots allows the vegetable to be used in some fruit-like roles. Grated carrots are used in carrot cakes, as well as carrot puddings, an English dish thought to have originated in the early 19th century. Carrots can also be used alone or with fruits in jam and preserves. Carrot juice is also widely marketed, especially as a health drink, either stand-alone or blended with fruits and other vegetables.

Neutricinal Value of Carrot:
The medicine of the future will no longer be remedial, it will be preventive; not based on drugs but on the best diet for health. Always remember carrots nourish they do not heal. If the body has the ability to heal itself, it will use the raw materials found in foods to do its own healing work. Herbs do not heal, they feed. Herbs do not force the body to maintain and repair itself. They simply support the body in these natural functions.

Meditional Uses:
Carrots nourish they do not heal. If the body has the ability to heal itself, it will use the raw materials found in foods to do its own healing work. Herbs do not heal, they feed. Herbs do not force the body to maintain and repair itself. They simply support the body in these natural functions.

Carrots are credited with many medicinal properties; they are said to cleanse the intestines and to be diuretic, remineralizing, antidiarrheal, an overall tonic and antianemic. Carrot is rich in alkaline elements which purify and revitalize the blood. They nourish the entire system and help in the maintenance of acid-alkaline balance in the body. The carrot also has a reputation as a vegetable that helps to maintain good eyesight.

Raw grated carrot can be applied as a compress to burns for a soothing effect. Its highly energizing juice has a particularly beneficial effect on the liver.

An infusion of carrot seeds (1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water) is believed to be diuretic, to stimulate the appetite, reduce colic, aid fluid retention and help alleviate menstrual cramps. The dried flowers are also used as a tea as a remedy for dropsy. Taken in wine, or boiled in wine and taken, the seeds help conception. Strangely enough the seeds made into a tea have been used for centuries as a contraceptive. Applied with honey, the leaves cleanse running sores or ulcers. Carrots are also supposed to help break wind and remove stitches in the side. Chewing a carrot immediately after food kills all the harmful germs in the mouth. It cleans the teeth, removes the food particles lodged in the crevices and prevents bleeding of the gums and tooth decay. Carrot soup is supposed to relieve diarrhoea and help with tonsillitis.

In days gone by they grated raw carrot and gave it to children to expel worms. Pulped carrot is used as a cataplasm for application to ulcers and sores. They were also supposed to improve your memory abilities and relieve nervous tension. An Old English superstition is that the small purple flower in the centre of the Wild Carrot (Queen Annes Lace) was of benefit in curing epilepsy.

Queen Annes Lace (the Wild Carrot) was also considered toxic. The leaves contain furocoumarins that may cause allergic contact dermatitis from the leaves, especially when wet. Later exposure to the sun may cause mild photodermatitis. Wild Carrot seed is also an early abortifacient, historically, sometimes used as a natural “morning after” contraceptive tea. Queen Annes Lace has long been used because of its contraceptive properties. It has since been scientifically proven that the carrot seed extract, if given orally at the correct dosage from day 4 to 6 post-coitum, effectively inhibits implantation.

As the carrot was improved it found its way into medicine chests as well as stew pots. Both Gerard and Culpeper recommend the carrot for numerous ills. Culpeper says that the carrot is influenced by Mercury, the god of wind, and that a tea made from the dried leaves should dispel wind from the bowels and relieve dropsy, kidney stones, and women’s complaints.

Experimentally hypoglycemic, a tea made from Queen Annes Lace was believed to help maintain low blood sugar levels in humans, but it had no effect on diabetes artificially induced in animals. Wild carrot tea has been recommended for bladder and kidney ailment, dropsy, gout, gravel; seeds are recommended for calculus, obstructions of the viscera (internal organs), dropsy, jaundice, scurvy. Carrots of one form or another were once served at every meal for liver derangements; now we learn that they may upset the liver.

Medicinally the Carrot was used as a diuretic, stimulant, in the treatment of dropsy, flatulence, chronic coughs, dysentery, windy colic, chronic renal diseases and a host of other uses.Eating carrots is also good for allergies, aneamia, rheumatism, tonic for the nervous system. Everyone knows they can improve eye health; But it does not stop there the delicious carrot is good for diarrhoea, constipation (very high in fibre), intestinal inflammation, cleansing the blood (a liver tonic), an immune system tonic. Carrot is traditionally recommended to weak, sickly or rickety children, to convalescents or pregnant women, its anti-aneamic properties having been famous for a long time.

Tea made the seeds can promote the onset of menstruation. It is effective on skin problems including broken veins/capillaries, burns, creeping impetigo, wrinkles and sun damage. Carrots also help in stimulating milk flow during lactation. Believe it or not the carrot is also effective against roundworms and dandruff. Pureed carrots are good for babies with diarrhoea, providing essential nutrients and natural sugars.

Uses of carrot in Alternative Medicine:
The alternative medicine believers consider the carrot (the whole plant or its seeds) to have the following properties:

*Anthelmintic (destroying or expelling worms).
*Carminative (expelling flatulence).
*Contraceptive.
*Deobstruent.
*Diuretic (promoting the discharge of urine).
*Emmenagogue (producing oils which stimulate the flow of menstrual blood).
*Galactogogue (promoting the secretion of milk).
*Ophthalmic (pertaining to the eye).
*Stimulant.
*Oedema (water retention).

Known Hazards:
Some people are allergic to carrots. In a 2010 study on the prevalence of food allergies in Europe, 3.6 percent of young adults showed some degree of sensitivity to carrots. Because the major carrot allergen, the protein Dauc c 1.0104, is cross-reactive with homologues in birch pollen (Bet v 1) and mugwort pollen (Art v 1), most carrot allergy sufferers are also allergic to pollen from these plants.

Consumtion of excessive quantities, carrots can cause the skin to turn yellow; this phenomenon, which is called Carotenemia and caused by the carotene coEating carrots is also good for allergies, aneamia, rheumatism, tonic for the nervous system. Everyone knows they can improve eye health; But it does not stop there the delicious carrot is good for diarrhoea, constipation (very high in fibre), intestinal inflammation, cleansing the blood (a liver tonic), an immune system tonic. Carrot is traditionally recommended to weak, sickly or rickety children, to convalescents or pregnant women, its anti-aneamic properties having been famous for a long time.ntained in carrots, is frequently seen in young children but is not at all dangerous.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrot
http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/nutrition3.html

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Agastache mexicana

Botanical Name : Agastache mexicana
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Agastache
Species: A. mexicana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Habitat : Agastache mexicana is native to southern North America . The leaves are lanceolate or oval-lanceolate

Description:
Agastache mexicana    is a nice bushy perennial  plant 2’-3’ tall & only 1’ wide .
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower in August, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a warm sunny sheltered position and a well-drained soil. Succeeds in most soils. Although given a hardiness rating of 9 in  (which means that a plant is not very frost-tolerant), this species is thriving in a sunny bed at Kew Botanical Gardens and so should be hardy to at least zone 7[K]. Another report says that it withstands temperatures down to about -40°c when dormant. Yet another report says that it should succeed outdoors in the milder and drier counties, but that it is not very long-lived. The flowers are very attractive to bees.

Propagation
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 13°c[133]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant out in late spring or early summer[K]. Division in spring. Fairly simple, if large divisions are used it is possible to plant them straight out into their permanent positions. Basal cuttings of young shoots in spring. Harvest the young shoots when they are about 10 – 15cm tall and pot them up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse. They should root within 3 weeks and can be planted out in the summer or following spring.

Edible Uses : The highly aromatic young leaves are used as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods. The young leaves are used to make a herbal tea.

Medicinal Uses
Intensely lemon-scented leaves; used in tea and as medicine in Mexico where it is considered an important aid to digestion.  It relieves flatulence, indigestion and dyspepsia, and improves appetite, and is often recommended for children. It is popular for weight control, anorexia, and central nervous system disorders.  Taken with cognac, it is an excellent sudorific, and helps to lower a fever.

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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Agastache+mexicana
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agastache_mexicana
http://www.anniesannuals.com/plt_lst/lists/general/lst.gen.asp?prodid=2775

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Calliopsis

Botanical Name :Coreopsis tinctoria
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Coreopsis
Species: C. tinctoria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name :Calliopsis ,:Plains coreopsis, golden tickseed

Habitat :Calliopsis is common to much of the United States, especially the Great Plains and southern states .

Description:
Calliopsis is an annual forb. The small, slender seeds germinate in fall (overwintering as a low rosette) or early spring. Growing quickly, plants attain heights of 12 to 40 inches (30–100 cm). Leaves are pinnately-divided, glabrous and tending to thin at the top of the plant where numerous 1- to 1.5-inch (2.5-to 4-cm) flowers sit atop slender stems. Flowers are brilliant yellow with maroon or brown centers of various sizes. Flowering typically occurs in mid-summer.

CLICK &  SEE
….

Cultivation:
Plains coreopsis grows well in many types of soil, but seems to prefer sandy or well-drained soils. Although somewhat drought-tolerant, naturally growing plants are usually found in areas with regular rainfall. It is often grows in disturbed areas such as roadsides or cultivated fields. Preferring full sun, it will also grow in partial shade.

Because of its easy growing habits and bright, showy flowers such as Roulettte (tiger stripes of gold on a deep mahogany ground), Plains coreopsis is increasingly used for landscape beautification and in flower gardens.

Medicinal Uses:
Native Americans chewed the leaves for toothache, and applied a poultice of them to skin sores and bruises.  The powdered root in warm water was used as a wash for sore eyes.  A tea made of the root was used for stomachache, diarrhea, and fever. This plant is an effective astringent and hemostatic, with its effects lasting the length of the intestinal tract and therefore of use in dysentery and general intestinal inflammations.  It may be used as a systemic hemostatic; when drunk after a sprain or major bruise or hematoma will help stabilize the injury and facilitate quicker healing.  The tea will also lessen menstrual flow.  A few leaves in a little water or a weak tea is a soothing eyewash.

Other Uses:This plant is used mainly for landscape beautification.  It has potential for use in cultivated, garden situations, in naturalized prairie or meadow plantings, and along roadsides.

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.

Sources:
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plains_coreopsis
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COTI3&photoID=coti3_004_ahp.tif

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Hypothermia

Definition:-
Hypothermia  is a condition in which core temperature drops below the required temperature for normal metabolism and body functions which is defined as 35.0 °C (95.0 °F). Body temperature is usually maintained near a constant level of 36.5–37.5 °C (98–100 °F) through biologic homeostasis or thermoregulation. If exposed to cold and the internal mechanisms are unable to replenish the heat that is being lost, a drop in core temperature occurs. As body temperature decreases, characteristic symptoms occur such as shivering and mental confusion.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system and other organs cannot work correctly. Left untreated, hypothermia eventually leads to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system and to death.

Hypothermia is most often caused by exposure to cold weather or immersion in a cold body of water. Primary treatments are methods to warm the body back to a normal temperature.

Hypothermia is the opposite of hyperthermia which is present in heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The lowest documented body temperature from which anyone has recovered was 13.0 °C (55.4 °F), in a drowning incident involving a 7-year-old girl in Sweden in December 2010

Clasification:
Normal human body temperature in adults is 34.4–37.8 °C (94–100 °F). Sometimes a narrower range is stated, such as 36.5–37.5 °C (98–100 °F). Hypothermia is defined as any body temperature below 35.0 °C (95.0 °F). It is subdivided into four different degrees, mild 32–35 °C (90–95 °F); moderate, 28–32 °C (82–90 °F); severe, 20–28 °C (68–82 °F); and profound at less than 20 °C (68 °F). This is in contrast to hyperthermia and fever which are defined as a temperature of greater than 37.5 °C (99.5 °F)-38.3 °C (100.9 °F).

Other cold-related injuries that can either be present alone or in combination with hypothermia include:

*Chilblains are superficial ulcers of the skin that occur when a predisposed individual is repeatedly exposed to cold.
*Frostbite involves the freezing and destruction of tissue.
*Frostnip is a superficial cooling of tissues without cellular destruction.
*Trench foot or immersion foot is due to repetitive exposure to wet, non-freezing temperatures

Symptoms:-
The signs and symptoms vary depending on the degree of hypothermia and may be divided by the three stages of severity.

Mild:
Symptoms of mild hypothermia may be vague  with sympathetic nervous system excitation (shivering, hypertension, tachycardia, tachypnea, and vasoconstriction). These are all physiological responses to preserve heat.  Cold diuresis, mental confusion, as well as hepatic dysfunction may also be present. Hyperglycemia may be present, as glucose consumption by cells and insulin secretion both decrease, and tissue sensitivity to insulin may be blunted. Sympathetic activation also releases glucose from the liver. In many cases, however, especially in alcoholic patients, hypoglycemia appears to be a more common presentation. Hypoglycemia is also found in many hypothermic patients because hypothermia often is a result of hypoglycemia.

Moderate:
Low body temperature results in shivering becoming more violent.(Shivering is your body’s automatic defense against cold temperature — an attempt to warm itself. Constant shivering is a key sign of hypothermia) Muscle mis-coordination becomes apparent. Movements are slow and labored, accompanied by a stumbling pace and mild confusion, although the victim may appear alert. Surface blood vessels contract further as the body focuses its remaining resources on keeping the vital organs warm. The victim becomes pale. Lips, ears, fingers and toes may become blue.

Severe:
Difficulty in speaking, sluggish thinking, and amnesia start to appear; inability to use hands and stumbling is also usually present. Cellular metabolic processes shut down. Below 30 °C (86 °F), the exposed skin becomes blue and puffy, muscle coordination becomes very poor, walking becomes almost impossible, and the victim exhibits incoherent/irrational behavior including terminal burrowing or even a stupor. Pulse and respiration rates decrease significantly, but fast heart rates (ventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation) can occur. Major organs fail. Clinical death occurs. Because of decreased cellular activity in stage 3 hypothermia, the body will actually take longer to undergo brain death.

As the temperature decreases further physiological systems falter and heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure all decreases. This results in an expected HR in the 30s with a temperature of 28 °C (82 °F).

Paradoxical undressing:
Twenty to fifty percent of hypothermia deaths are associated with paradoxical undressing. This typically occurs during moderate to severe hypothermia, as the person becomes disoriented, confused, and combative. They may begin discarding their clothing, which, in turn, increases the rate of heat loss.

Rescuers who are trained in mountain survival techniques are taught to expect this; however, some may assume incorrectly that urban victims of hypothermia have been subjected to a sexual assault.

One explanation for the effect is a cold-induced malfunction of the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates body temperature. Another explanation is that the muscles contracting peripheral blood vessels become exhausted (known as a loss of vasomotor tone) and relax, leading to a sudden surge of blood (and heat) to the extremities, fooling the person into feeling overheated.

Terminal burrowing:
In the final stages of hypothermia, the brain stem produces a burrowing-like behavior. Similar to hibernation behavior in animals, individuals with severe hypothermia are often found in small, enclosed spaces, such as under the bed or behind wardrobes.

Cause:
Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it produces it. The most common causes of hypothermia are exposure to cold weather conditions or cold water, but prolonged exposure to any environment colder than your body can lead to hypothermia if you aren’t dressed appropriately or can’t control the conditions. Specific conditions leading to hypothermia include:

*Wearing clothes that aren’t warm enough for weather conditions

*Staying out in the cold too long

*Unable to get out of wet clothes or move to a warm, dry location

*Accidental falls in water, as in a boating accident

*Inadequate heating in the home, especially for older people and infants

*Air conditioning that is too cold, especially for older people and infants

How your body loses heat
The mechanisms of heat loss from your body include the following:

*Radiated heat. Most heat loss is due to heat radiated from unprotected surfaces of your body. Your head has a large surface area and accounts for about half of all heat loss.

*Direct contact. If you’re in direct contact with something very cold, such as cold water or the cold ground, heat is conducted away from your body. Because water is very good at transferring heat from your body, body heat is lost much faster in cold water than in cold air. Water that is 65 F (18 C) — a relatively mild air temperature — can lead to hypothermia very quickly. Similarly, heat loss from your body is much faster if your clothes are wet, as when you’re caught out in the rain.Wind.

*Wind removes body heat by carrying away the thin layer of warm air at the surface of your skin. A wind chill factor is important in causing heat loss. For example, if the outside temperature is 32 F (0 C) and the wind chill factor is minus 15 F (minus 26 C), your body loses heat as quickly as if the actual temperature outside were minus 15 F (minus 26 C).

Risk Factors:
A number of factors can increase the risk of developing hypothermia:

CLICK & SEE

*Older age. People age 65 and older are more vulnerable to hypothermia for a number of reasons. The body’s ability to regulate temperature and to sense cold may lessen with age. Older people are also more likely to have a medical condition that affects temperature regulation. Some older adults may not be able to communicate when they are cold or may not be mobile enough to get to a warm location.

*Very young age. Children lose heat faster than adults do. Children have a larger head-to-body ratio than adults do, making them more prone to heat loss through the head. Children may also ignore the cold because they’re having too much fun to think about it. And they may not have the judgment to dress properly in cold weather or to get out of the cold when they should. Infants may have a special problem with the cold because they have less efficient mechanisms for generating heat.

*Mental impairment. People with a mental illness, dementia or another condition that impairs judgment may not dress appropriately for the weather or understand the risk of cold weather. People with dementia may wander from home or get lost easily, making them more likely to be stranded outside in cold or wet weather.Alcohol and drug use.

*Alcohol may make your body feel warm inside, but it causes your blood vessels to dilate, or expand, resulting in more rapid heat loss from the surface of your skin. The use of alcohol or recreational drugs can impair your judgment about the need to get inside or wear warm clothes in cold weather conditions. If a person is intoxicated and passes out in cold weather, he or she is likely to develop hypothermia.

*Certain medical conditions. Some health disorders affect your body’s ability to regulate body temperature. Examples include underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), malnutrition, stroke, severe arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, trauma, spinal cord injuries, burns, disorders that affect sensation in your extremities (for example, nerve damage in the feet of people with diabetes), dehydration and any condition that limits activity or restrains the normal flow of blood.

*Medications. A number of antipsychotic drugs and sedatives can impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature.

Diagnosis:-
Accurate determination of core temperature often requires a special low temperature thermometer, as most clinical thermometers do not measure accurately below 34.4°C (94°F). A low temperature thermometer can be placed rectally, esophageally, or in the bladder. The classical ECG finding of hypothermia is the Osborne J wave. Also, ventricular fibrillation frequently occurs at <28°C (82.4°F) and asystole at <20°C (68°F). The Osborn J may look very similar to those of an acute ST elevation myocardial infarction. Thrombolysis as a reaction to the presence of Osborn J waves is not indicated, as it would only worsen the underlying coagulopathy caused by hypothermia.

As a hypothermic person’s heart rate may be very slow, prolonged palpation could be required before detecting a pulse. In 2005 American Heart Association recommended at least 30 – 45 seconds to verify the absence of a pulse before initiating CPR.

Most physicians are recommended not to declare a patient dead until their body is warmed to a normal body temperature, since extreme hypothermia can suppress heart and brain function.

Treatment:-
Aggressiveness of treatment is matched to the degree of hypothermia. Treatment ranges from noninvasive, passive external warming, to active external rewarming, to active core rewarming. In severe cases resuscitation begins with simultaneous removal from the cold environment and concurrent management of the airway, breathing, and circulation. Rapid rewarming is then commenced. A minimum of patient movement is recommended as aggressive handling may increase risks of a dysrhythmia.

Hypoglycemia is a frequent complication of hypothermia, and therefore needs to be tested for and treated. Intravenous thiamine and glucose is often recommended as many causes of hypothermia are complicated by Wernicke’s encephalopathy

Rewarming
Rewarming can be achieved using a number of different methods including passive external rewarming, active external rewarming, and active internal rewarming. Passive external rewarming involves the use of a person’s own heat generating ability through the provision of properly insulated dry clothing and moving to a warm environment. It is recommended for those with mild hypothermia. Active external rewarming involves applying warming devices externally such as warmed forced air (a Bair Hugger is a commonly used device). In austere environments hypothermia can sometimes be treated by placing a hot water bottle in both armpits and groin.  It is recommended for moderate hypothermia. Active core rewarming involves the use of intravenous warmed fluids, irrigation of body cavities with warmed fluids (the thorax, peritoneal, stomach, or bladder), use of warm humidified inhaled air, or use of extracorporeal rewarming such as via a heart lung machine. Extracorporeal rewarming is the fastest method for those with severe hypothermia.

Intravenous fluids:
As most people are moderately dehydrated due to hypothermia induced cold diuresis, intravenous fluids are often helpful ( 250-500 cc 5% dextrose and normal saline warmed to a temperature of 40-45 C is often recommended ).

Rewarming collapse:
Rewarming collapse (or rewarming shock) is a sudden drop in blood pressure in combination with a low cardiac output which may occur during active treatment of a severely hypothermic person. There is theoretical concern that external rewarming rather than internal rewarming may increase the risk. However, recent studies have not supported these concerns.

Prognosis:-
There is considerable evidence that children who suffer near-drowning accidents in water near 0°C (32°F) can be revived over an hour after losing consciousness. The cold water lowers metabolism, allowing the brain to withstand a much longer period of hypoxia. While survival is possible, mortality from severe or profound hypothermia remains high despite optimal treatment. Studies estimate mortality at between 38% – 75%. If there are obvious fatal injuries or chest is too frozen, compression resuscitation is futile

Prevention:
The Government offers extra support for some of the most vulnerable people in the form of winter fuel payments, to help keep their homes warm.

Other ways to prevent hypothermia include:
•Stay indoors as much as possible and limit your exposure to the cold
•Eat regularly and include plenty of carbohydrates (the body needs a reliable and constant energy supply to generate heat)
•Keep as active as possible
•Avoid alcohol – it causes dilation of peripheral blood vessel, increasing heat loss
•Avoid caffeine – it’s a diuretic and increases the risk of dehydration, which aggravates heat loss
•Avoid nicotine – it constricts blood vessels and increases the risk of cold damage such as frostbite
•Wear multiple thin layers of clothing that help to trap air layers and hence traps heat, rather than one thick jumper
•If you go outside, always wear a hat (it can prevent as much as 20 per cent of heat loss), scarf and gloves
•Take a flask of caffeine-free hot drink with you, and click-activated heat pads you can keep in your pockets to set off when you need them

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/hypothermia1.shtml
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypothermia/DS00333
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothermia

http://trialx.com/curebyte/2011/05/22/clinical-trials-and-images-of-hypothermia/

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Prickly Heat? Don’t Try Talc

Sweat (Hadise album)

Sweat (Hadise album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A genuine “Indian summer” is upon us now with temperatures all over the country in the high thirties and forties. Earlier, Indians used to wear white cotton clothes in summer but now most prefer to dress in synthetic silks, and polyester fabrics, little realising that those clothes are totally inappropriate in this weather.

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Even school children — who are issued uniforms with the material and tailoring regulated by the school — end up wearing thick synthetic clothes when ideally they should wear pure cotton or at least a 60 per cent cotton and 40 per cent polyester mix.

To survive, our bodies need to maintain an average internal temperature of 98.6ºF or 36.6ºC and it uses sweating to regulate the temperature. When the outside temperature is high, the body secretes sweat from glands situated in the layer below the skin. The sweat reaches the surface through coiled tubes and forms a thin film of fluid. As this layer evaporates, the body cools down. Sweating can be excessive when the temperature is high, there is increased physical exertion, there is little or no circulation of air and if the clothes are made of synthetic material that traps the sweat. (Nowadays many sports companies manufacture sports clothes out of special material that “wicks” away the sweat).

If sweat pores get blocked (by dead skin cells, dirt or talcum powder), the trapped sweat forms tiny clear bumps below the surface of the skin called miliria crystalline (prickly heat). These look unsightly but do not really cause any symptoms. Eventually, they turn red (miliria rubra), and evolve into a brown scaly rash which can be confused with pimples, folliculitis or chicken pox.

Prickly heat usually appears in covered areas where sweat cannot evaporate easily or the pores are blocked. The forehead is affected if it is covered with a fringe or cap. The upper back and chest, and the arms are other common locations. In adults the rash sometimes appears on the inner thighs or in areas where there are body folds. It is aggravated by friction between the skin and tight fitting non-absorbent synthetic clothing. The continuous rubbing can lead to the skin eventually peeling off, leaving a raw red area.

Prickly heat causes itching and a tingling sensation but scratching can cause secondary infection with bacteria. The appearance of the rash then changes and there can be a yellow pus discharge. The person may develop fever. Uninfected prickly heat, however, does not cause fever. Although prickly heat is uncomfortable and unsightly, with a little care it can be easily prevented.

• Stay away from the direct heat of the sun as far as possible

• Wear loose fitting cotton clothes or at least a 60-40 mix of cotton and polyester

• Make sure school uniforms are stitched out of natural materials, preferably thin materials

• Try to ensure that schools have fans and ventilation.

• Do not scratch. The more you scratch, the more it will itch.

• Use a mild dose of antihistamine to control itching.

• Do not apply thick oil-based creams and talc. They will only block the pores further.

Bathe two or three times a day in tepid water. Add a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate to a bucket of water before bathing till the prickly heat disappears.

• Use soap containing trichlorhexidine (Dial, Neko) Do not apply soap directly to the skin. Use a moist wash rag, a herbal scrubber or a loofah.

• If prickly heat becomes red and pustular, changes appearance or the temperature rises, consult a doctor immediately.

Contrary to advertisements on television, talc does not soothe, relieve or prevent prickly heat. Talc is made up of finely powdered combinations of ground zinc stearate, and silicates. It blocks the skin pores, increasing the sweat build up and aggravating prickly heat.

Talc causes other medical problems as well. The size of the particles is so small that they can easily be inhaled. The particles can reach the smallest areas of the lung and cause pneumonia, inflammation or swelling of the airways. This can be fatal in babies. If applied to the groin and genital areas, talc can migrate through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes to the ovary. Some scientific studies have found a relationship between the use of talcum powder and cancer of the ovary.

Baby powder is talc based and should not be used. Nappy rash is different from prickly heat and the treatment is different too.

If you get prickly heat, bathe two to three times a day. Use plain calamine lotion (not creams and ointment) to relieve the itching. If secondary infection has occurred, consult a doctor.

You may click to see :
*Remedies for Prickly Heat
*Natural Remedy for Prickly Heat

* Two baths a day keep bacteria at bay

Source : The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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