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Ribes glandulosum

Botanical Name : Ribes glandulosum
Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Ribes
Species: R. glandulosum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Synonyms: R. prostratum.

Common Names: Skunk Currant

Habitat :
Ribes glandulosum is native to N. America – Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to North Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin. It grows on wet woods and rocky slopes.
Description:
Ribes glandulosum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It has palmately lobed leaves with 5 or 7 deeply cut segments. Flowers are in elongated clusters of 6-15 pink flowers. Fruits are red and egg-shaped, sometimes palatable but sometimes not.
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It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality. Plants are quite tolerant of shade though do not fruit so well in such a position. Prefers a cool moist position. Hardy to about -20°c. Plants come into growth very early in the year. The branches are decumbent or spreading. Plants can harbour a stage of ‘white pine blister rust’, so they should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. The leaves have an unpleasant smell.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 4 – 5 months cold stratification at between 0 to 9°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 – 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year’s growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors.

Edible Uses: Tea.
Fruit – raw or cooked. A blackcurrant, it is juicy and palatable. Another report says that it has the odour of a skunk and the skin has short bristly hairs. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter. The stems have been used to make a bitter tea.

Medicinal Uses:
The Ojibwa people take a compound decoction of the root for back pain and for “female weakness.” The Cree people use a decoction of the stem, either by itself or mixed with wild red raspberry, to prevent clotting after birth. The Algonquin people use the berries as food.
Other Uses : Can be used as a ground cover plant

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/Ribes_glandulosum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ribes+glandulosum

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Ceanothus velutinus

Botanical Name : Ceanothus velutinus
Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Ceanothus
Species:C. velutinus
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: Sticky Laurel, Snowbrush ceanothus, Hooker’s ceanothus, Red root, and Tobacco brush

Habitat : Ceanothus velutinus is native to western North America from British Columbia to California to Colorado, where it grows in several habitat types including coniferous forest, chaparral, and various types of woodland.

Description:
Ceanothus velutinus is an evergreen Shrub growing up to 4 meters tall but generally remains under three, and forms colonies of individuals which tangle together to form nearly impenetrable thickets. The aromatic evergreen leaves are alternately arranged, each up to 8 centimeters long. The leaves are oval in shape with minute glandular teeth along the edges, and shiny green and hairless on the top surface.
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The plentiful inflorescences are long clusters of white flowers. The fruit is a three-lobed capsule a few millimeters long which snaps open explosively to expel the three seeds onto the soil, where they may remain in a buried seed bank for well over 200 years before sprouting. The seed is coated in a very hard outer layer that must be scarified, generally by wildfire, before it can germinate. Like most other ceanothus, this species fixes nitrogen via actinomycetes on its roots.
Cultivation:
Prefers a warm sunny position but tolerates light shade. Tolerates some lime, but will not succeed on shallow chalk. One report says that this species is hardy to zone 5 (tolerating temperatures down to about -20°c) whilst another says that it needs the protection of a wall when grown outdoors in Britain. Plants dislike root disturbance, they should be planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small. Dislikes heavy pruning, it is best not to cut out any wood thicker than a pencil. Plants flower on the previous year’s growth, if any pruning is necessary it is best carried out immediately after flowering has finished. Constant pruning to keep a plant small can shorten its life. Fast growing, it flowers well when young, often in its second year from seed[11]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The leaves have a strong scent of balsam[200]. Some members of this genus have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.
Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be pre-soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then given 1 – 3 months stratification at 1°c. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 2 months at 20°c. One report says that the seed is best given boiling water treatment, or heated in 4 times its volume of sand at 90 – 120°c for 4 – 5 minutes and then soaked in warm water for 12 hours before sowing it. It then requires a period of chilling below 5°c for up to 84 days before it will germinat. Seeds have considerable longevity, some that have been in the soil for 200 years or more have germinated. The seed is ejected from its capsule with some force when fully ripe, timing the collection of seed can be difficult because unless collected just prior to dehiscence the seed is difficult to extract and rarely germinates satisfactorily. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, taken at a node, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, 7 – 12 cm with a heel, October in a cold frame. The roots are quite brittle and it is best to pot up the callused cuttings in spring, just before the roots break. Good percentage.
Edible Uses:.. Tea..The leaves are used as a tea substitute

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves are febrifuge. An infusion has been used in the treatment of coughs and fevers. A decoction of the leaves and stems has been used both internally and externally in the treatment of dull pains, rheumatism etc. The leaves contain saponins and have been used as a skin wash that is also deodorant and can destroy some parasites. The wash is beneficial in treating sores, eczema, nappy rash etc.

Other Uses
Baby care; Dye; Insecticide; Soap.

A green dye is obtained from the flowers. A poultice of the dried powdered leaves has been used as a baby powder for treating nappy rash etc. Smoke from burning the plant has been used as an insecticide to kill bedbugs. All parts of the plant are rich in saponins – when crushed and mixed with water they produce a good lather which is an effective and gentle soap. This soap is very good at removing dirt, though it does not remove oils very well. This means that when used on the skin it will not remove the natural body oils, but nor will it remove engine oil etc The flowers are a very good source, when used as a body soap they leave behind a pleasant perfume on the skin. The developing seed cases are also a very good source of saponins.

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/Ceanothus_velutinus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ceanothus+velutinus

Epigaea repens

Botanical Name: Epigaea repens
Family:    Ericaceae
Genus:    Epigaea
Species:    E. repens
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Ericales

Synonyms:  Mountain Pink. May Flower. Gravel Plant. Ground Laurel. Winter Pink.

Common Names: Mayflower or Trailing arbutus

Habitat:  Epigaea repens   is found from Newfoundland to Florida, west to Kentucky and the Northwest Territories. It is found in sandy soil in many parts of North America, in the shade of pines. Its natural home is under trees, and it will thrive in this country only in moist, sandy peat in shady places. It has long been known in cultivation here as an ornamental plant, having been introduced into Great Britain in 1736. Like the common Arbutus, or the Strawberry Tree and the Bearberry, it belongs to the order Ericacece, the family of the heaths.Slow growing, it prefers moist, acidic (humus-rich) soil, and shade. It is often part of the heath complex in an oak-heath forest.

Description:
Epigaea repens is a small evergreen creeping shrub, It grows but a few inches high, with a trailing, shrubby stalk, which puts out roots at the joints, and when in a proper soil and situation multiplies very fast. The evergreen leaves are stalked, broadly ovate, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, rough and leathery, with entire, wavy margins and a short point at the apex. Branches, leaf-stalks and nerves of the leaves are very hairy. The flowers are produced at the end of the branches in dense clusters. They are white, with a reddish tinge and very fragrant, divided at the top into five acute segments, which spread open in the form of a star. The plant flowers in April and May, but rarely produces fruit in England. It is stated to be injurious to cattle when eaten by them.

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The species flowers are pink, fading to nearly white, very fragrant, about .5 inches (1.3 cm) across when expanded, few or many in clusters at ends of branches. Calyx of five dry overlapping sepals; corolla salver-shaped, the slender, hairy tube spreading into five equal lobes; 10 stamens; one pistil with a column-like style and a five-lobed stigma. Stem: Spreading over the ground (Epigaea = on the earth); woody, the leafy twigs covered with rusty hairs. Leaves: Alternate, oval, rounded at the base, smooth above, more or less hairy below, evergreen, weather-worn, on short, rusty, hairy petioles.

Cultivation:       
Landscape Uses:Rock garden, Woodland garden. Requires an open lime-free humus-rich soil and shade from direct sunlight. Grows well in the shade of other calcifuge plants such as rhododendrons and also under pine trees. A very cold-hardy plant but it is often excited into premature growth by mild winter weather and is then subject to damage by frost. The flower buds require a period of chilling to about 2°c before they will open. The flowers are deliciously and strongly scented with a rich spicy perfume. There are some named varieties, selected for their ornamental value. A difficult plant to grow in cultivation and very hard to transplant successfully. Another report says that although the genus is generally difficult to cultivate, this species is relatively easy to grow. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Fragrant flowers.

Propagation :  
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame. Another report says that the seed requires no pre-treatment and can be sown in late winter in a cold frame. Surface sow and place the pot in light shade, do not allow it to dry out. The seed usually germinates in 3 – 5 weeks. As soon as they are large enough to handle, pot up the seedlings into individual pots. Be very careful since they strongly resent root disturbance. Grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse and plant them out in their permanent positions in the late spring of their second years growth. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.Take the cutting with a part of the previous year’s growth. (This report is unclear as to whether it means a heel of older wood or just a small section of older wood) Plants self-layer and can be divided in the spring but this must be done with great care since they deeply resent root disturbance.

Edible Uses:   Flowers – raw. Fragrant, with a spicy slightly acid flavour, they are eaten as a wayside nibble or are added to salads. Thirst quenching.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent;  Diuretic;  Tonic.
Mayflower is rarely used medicinally, even in folk medicine, though it is a strong urinary antiseptic and is one of the most effective remedies for cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, bladder stones and particularly acute catarrhal cystitis. The leaves are astringent, diuretic and tonic. An infusion is made from the dried leaves, or a tincture from the fresh leaves. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of kidney disorders, stomach aches, bladder disorders etc. It is of special value when the urine contains blood or pus. Use with caution, the plant contains arbutin and, although this is an effective urinary disinfectant, it hydrolyzes to hydroquinone which is toxic. The leaves can be used fresh or can be harvested in the summer and dried for later use

Other Uses:
Plants can be grown for ground cover, they should be spaced about 25cm apart each way and form a carpet of growth. This species is probably not very worthwhile for ground cover in Britain because of its difficulty to cultivate.

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/Epigaea_repens
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Epigaea+repens

Blackcap (Rubus leucordermis)

Botanical Name : Rubus leucordermis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rubus
Subgenus: Idaeobatus
Species: R. leucodermis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Common Name : Blackcap

Habitat :Blackcap native to western North America, from British Columbia, Canada south to California, New Mexico and Mexico. It is closely related to the eastern Black Raspberry Rubus occidentalis.

Description:
It is a deciduous shrub growing to 0.5-2 m tall, with thorny shoots. While the crown is perennial, the canes are biennial, growing vegetatively one year, flowering and fruiting the second and then dying. Like with other dark raspberries, the tips of the 1st year canes (primocanes) often grow downward to the soil in the fall, and take root and form tip layers which become new plants. The leaves are pinnate, with five leaflets on leaves strong-growing stems in their first year, and three leaflets on leaves on flowering branchlets with white, seldom light purple flowers. The fruit is 1–1.2 cm diameter, red to reddish-purple at first, turning dark purple to nearly black when ripe. The fruit has high contents of anthocyanins and ellagic acid.

You may click to see more pictures of  Blackcap :

It is a variable species, as well as forming natural hybrids with other species in subgenus Idaeobatus. Three varieties are recognized:

Rubus leucodermis var. leucodermis
Rubus leucodermis var. bernardinus Jepson
Rubus leucodermis var. trinitatis Berger

Medicinal Uses:
An infusion of the root or the leaves has been used in the treatment of diarrhea and upset stomachs.  A mild infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of influenza.  A poultice of the powdered stems has been used to treat cuts and wounds.

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_AB.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubus_leucodermis
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?where-genre=Plant&where-taxon=Rubus%20leucodermis

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Eclampsia

Pregnancy comparison. 26 weeks and 40 weeks. 2005

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Definition:Eclampsia is a serious complication of pregnancy. It is the occurrence of seizures (convulsions) that are unrelated to brain conditions. Usually eclampsia occurs after the onset of pre-eclampsia though sometimes no pre-eclamptic symptoms are recognisable. The convulsions may appear before, during or after labour, though cases of eclampsia after just 20 weeks of pregnancy have been recorded.

Eclampsia, a life-threatening complication of pregnancy, results when a pregnant woman previously diagnosed with preeclampsia (high blood pressure and protein in the urine) develops seizures or coma. In some cases, seizures or coma may be the first recognizable sign that a pregnant woman has preeclampsia. Key warning signs of eclampsia in a woman diagnosed with preeclampsia may be severe headaches, blurred or double vision, or seeing spots. Toxemia is a common name used to describe preeclampsia and eclampsia.

There has never been any evidence suggesting an orderly progression of disease beginning with mild preeclampsia progressing to severe preeclampsia and then on to eclampsia. The disease process can begin mild and stay mild, or can be initially diagnosed as eclampsia without prior warning.

* Approximately 5-7% of all pregnancies are complicated by preeclampsia.

* Preeclampsia usually occurs in a woman’s first pregnancy but may occur for the first time in a subsequent pregnancy.

* Less than one in 100 women with preeclampsia will develop eclampsia or (convulsions or seizures) or coma.

* Up to 20% of all pregnancies are complicated by high blood pressure. Complications resulting from high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and eclampsia may account for up to 20% of all deaths that occur in pregnant women.

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Causes:
The cause of eclampsia is not well understood. Researchers believe a person’s genes, diet, blood vessels, and neurological factors may play a role. However, no theories have yet been proven.

Eclampsia follows preeclampsia, a serious complication of pregnancy marked by high blood pressure, weight gain, and protein in the urine.

It is difficult to predict which women with preeclampsia will go on to have seizures. Women with very high blood pressure, headaches, vision changes, or abnormal blood tests have severe preeclampsia and are at high risk for seizures.

The rate of eclampsia is approximately 1 out of 2000 to 3000 pregnancies.
The following increase a woman’s chance for preeclampsia:

* First pregnancies
* Teenage pregnancies
* Being 35 or older
* Being African-American
* Multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets, etc.)
* History of diabetes, hypertension, or renal (kidney) disease
.
* Since we don’t know what causes preeclampsia or eclampsia, we don’t have any effective tests to predict when preeclampsia or eclampsia will occur, or treatments to prevent preeclampsia or eclampsia from occurring (or recurring).

* Preeclampsia usually occurs with first pregnancies. However, preeclampsia may be seen with twins (or multiple pregnancies), in women older than 35 years, in women with high blood pressure before pregnancy, in women with diabetes, and in women with other medical problems (such as connective tissue disease and kidney disease).

* For unknown reasons, African American women are more likely to develop eclampsia and preeclampsia than white women.

* Preeclampsia may run in families, although the reason for this is unknown.

* Preeclampsia is also associated with problems with the placenta, such as too much placenta, too little placenta, or how the placenta attaches to the wall of the uterus. Preeclampsia is also associated with hydatidiform mole pregnancies, in which no normal placenta and no normal baby are present.

* There is nothing that any woman can do to prevent preeclampsia or eclampsia from occurring. Therefore, it is both unhealthy and not helpful to assign blame and to review and rehash events that occurred either just prior to pregnancy or during early pregnancy that may have contributed to the development of preeclampsia.
Symptoms:
* Seizures
* Severe agitation
* Unconsciousness
* Muscle aches and pains

Symtoms of preeclampsia include swelling of hands and face, gaining more than 2 pounds per week, headache, vision problems, and stomach pain.

The majority of cases are heralded by pregnancy-induced hypertension and proteinuria but the only true sign of eclampsia is an eclamptic convulsion, of which there are four stages. Patients with edema and oliguria may develop renal failure or pulmonary edema.

Premonitory stage
this stage is usually missed unless constantly monitored, the woman rolls her eyes while her facial and hand muscles twitch slightly.
Tonic stage
soon after the premonitory stage the twitching turns into clenching. Sometimes the woman may bite her tongue as she clenches her teeth, while the arms and legs go rigid. The respiratory muscles also spasm, causing the woman to stop breathing, leading to cyanosis. This stage continues for around 30 seconds.
Clonic stage
the spasm stops but the muscles start to jerk violently. Frothy, slightly bloodied saliva appears on the lips and can sometimes be inhaled. After around two minutes the convulsions stop, leading into a temporary unconscious stage.
Comatose stage
the woman falls deeply unconscious, breathing noisily. This can last only a few minutes or may persist for hours.

* A common belief is that the risk of eclampsia rises as blood pressure increases above 160/110 mm Hg.

* The kidneys are unable to efficiently filter the blood (as they normally do). This may cause an increase in protein to be present in the urine. The first sign of excess protein is commonly seen on a urine sample obtained in your provider’s office. Rarely does a woman note any changes or symptoms associated with excess protein in the urine. In extreme cases affecting the kidneys, the amount of urine produced decreases greatly.

* Nervous system changes can include blurred vision, seeing spots, severe headaches, convulsions, and even occasionally blindness. Any of these symptoms require immediate medical attention.

* Changes that affect the liver can cause pain in the upper part of the abdomen and may be confused with indigestion or gallbladder disease. Other more subtle changes that affect the liver can affect the ability of the platelets to cause blood to clot; these changes may be seen as excessive bruising.

* Changes that can affect your baby can result from problems with blood flow to the placenta and therefore result in your baby not getting proper nutrients. As a result, the baby may not grow properly and may be smaller than expected, or worse the baby will appear sluggish or seem to decrease the frequency and intensity of its movements. You should call your doctor immediately if you notice your baby’s movements slow down.

Diagnosis:

If you experience any of the above symptoms call your provider immediately and expect to come to the office or hospital.

* Be sure to review all of your signs, symptoms, and concerns with your provider. Your provider should check your blood pressure, weight, and urine at every office visit.

* If your provider suspects that you have preeclampsia, he or she will order blood tests to check your platelet count, liver function, and kidney function. They will also check a urine sample in the office or possibly order a 24-hour urine collection to check for protein in the urine. The results of these blood tests should be available within 24 hours (if sent out), or within several hours if performed at a hospital.

* The well-being of your baby should be checked by placing you on a fetal monitor. Further tests may include nonstress testing, biophysical profile (ultrasound), and an ultrasound to measure the growth of the baby (if it has not been done within the previous 2-3 weeks).
Treatment:
A woman with eclampsia should be continously monitored. Delivery is the treatment of choice for eclampsia in a pregnancy over 28 weeks. For pregnancies less than 24 weeks, the start of labor is recommended, although the baby may not survive.

Prolonging pregnancies in which the woman has eclampsia results in danger to the mother and infant death in approximately 87% of cases.

Women may be given medicine to prevent seizures (anticonvulsant). Magnesium sulfate is a safe drug for both the mother and the baby.

Medication may be used to lower the high blood pressure. The goal is to manage severe cases until 32-34 weeks and mild cases until 36 weeks of the pregnancy have passed. The condition is then relieved with the delivery of the baby. Delivery may be induced if blood pressure stays high despite medication.

The treatment of seizures in eclampsia consists of:

* Prevention of convulsion
* Control the blood pressure
* Delivery of fetus

Prevention of convulsion is usually done using magnesium sulfate with a loading of Magnesium sulfate 20% solution, 4 g IV over 5 minutes. Then maintain with 1 g magnesium sulfate (10%solution) in 1000 ml fluid drip 1g/hr.

The blood pressure may be controlled by hydralazine 5 mg IV slowly every 5 minutes until blood pressure is lowered. Repeat hourly as needed or give hydralazine 12.5 mg IM every 2 hours as needed.

Delivery should take place as soon as the woman’s condition has stabilized. Delaying delivery to increase fetal maturity is unsafe for both the woman and the fetus, after delivery the womans health relative to the condition is improved drastically. Delivery should occur regardless of the gestational age.

The closer you are to your due date, the more likely your cervix will be ripe (ready for delivery), and that induction of labor will be successful. Sometimes medications, such as oxytocin (Pitocin), are given to help induce labor.

* The earlier in pregnancy (24-34 weeks), the less chance of a successful induction (although induction is still possible). It is more common to have a cesarean delivery when eclampsia necessitates delivery early in pregnancy.

* If the baby shows signs of compromise, such as decreased fetal heart rate, an immediate cesarean delivery will be performed.

Modern Medications:

* You may require medication to treat your high blood pressure during labor or after delivery. It is unusual to require medication for high blood pressure after six weeks following delivery (unless you have a problem with high blood pressure that is unrelated to pregnancy).

* During labor (and for 24-48 hours after delivery) you will be given a medication called magnesium sulfate. This is to decrease your chances of having a recurrent seizure.

* Medications such as oxytocin (Pitocin) or prostaglandins are given to induce labor and/or ripen your cervix. A Foley catheter is sometimes placed in the cervix to mechanically “speed” the dilation process.

Prognosis:

Women in the United States rarely die from eclampsia.
Most women will have good outcomes for their pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia or eclampsia. Some women will continue to have problems with their blood pressure and will need to be followed closely after delivery.

Most babies will do well. Babies born prematurely will usually stay in the hospital longer. A rule of thumb is to expect the baby to stay in the hospital until their due date.

Unfortunately, a few women and babies experience life-threatening complications from preeclampsia or eclampsia.

Possible Complications:

There is a higher risk for placenta seperation (placenta abruptio) with preeclampsia or eclampsia. There may be baby complications due to premature delivery.

Click to know details of Eclampsia , pre-eclampsia: the facts and Unifying hypothesis of pre-eclampsia pathophysiology

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.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000899.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclampsia
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/eclampsia/article_em.htm