Tag Archives: World War II

Hebe salicifolia

Botanical Name: Hebe salicifolia
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Hebe
Species: H. salicifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Synonyms: Hebe salicifolia var. paludosa, Veronica salicifolia, Veronica salicifolia var. paludosa

Common name: Koromiko (Hebe Stricta is also called Koromiko), Willow-leaf hebe. Shrubby Veronica.

Habitat: Hebe salicifolia is native to New Zealand. S. AmericaChile. Ir grows in hedges.
Description:
Hebe salicifolia is an evergreen Shrub growing to 4.5 m (14ft) by 3 m (9ft). It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jun to August. Flowers are white or pale lilac. The leaves are light green, spear-shaped that are up to 12 cm long.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.

It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils so long as they are not boggy or too dry. Prefers a light well-drained soil and a sunny position. Prefers a moist rich soil[166] but plants are probably hardier in a soil that is on the poor side. Lime tolerant. Intolerant of drough. Tolerates atmospheric pollution. Very wind resistant, withstanding maritime exposure. A polymorphic species, it hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in spring. Only just cover the seed and do not allow the compost to dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow on the young plants for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. It would probably be worthwhile giving some protection to the plant for its first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half ripe wood, 3 – 5cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Pot up when roots are forming and keep in a frame or greenhouse for its first winter before planting out in late spring. Cuttings of mature wood, late autumn or winter in a frame.

Medicinal Uses:
Hebe salicifolia is a plant used by the Maori for a number of medicinal purposes. It is thought to have first been discovered by settlers in the Dusky Sound during one of Captain Cook’s voyages. Rongoa is the Maori term for medicines that are produced from native plants in New Zealand. The Rongoa of the Koromiko are The young leaf tips can be chewed to relieve stomach aches, diarrhoea and dysentery. It was used extensively in the Second World War for this purpose. Dried leaves were sent to New Zealand soldiers overseas to cure dysentery, which proved very effective. The active ingredient is a phenolic glycocide. Leaves can be used as a pack on babies for skin sores. Tender leaves were picked and applied as a poultice for ulcers; this method was also used for the pakiwhara – venereal disease. Used also for headaches, kidney and bladder trouble and British cholera. An infusion of the leaf acts as a powerful astringent and if chewed can promote hunger. Because this plant was so highly regarded for its medicinal purposes, the leaves used to be stored in gourds for later use. A preparation of the plant was also used in the treatment of hawaniwani, a skin disease affecting children. In pregnancy the leaves were pressed between the legs into the woman’s vagina if haemorrhage was present.
Other Uses:
A very wind resistant shrub, it can be grown as a shelter hedge in exposed maritime positions. It produces little wood but it is well known for its toughness and elasticity. Koromiko branches give off a lot of heat when burned.

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/Hebe_salicifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hebe+salicifolia
http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/hebes/hebe-salicifolia-koromiko-south-island.html

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Betula ermanii

Botanical Name: Betula ermanii
Family:
 Betulaceae
Genus: 
Betula
Subgenus:
 Neurobetula
Species: 
B. ermanii
Kingdom: 
Plantae
Order: 
Fagales

Synonyms : B. incisa. B. shikokiana.

Common Names: Erman’s birch,Gold Birch

Habitat: Betula ermanii is native to N.E. Asia – China, Japan. It is an extremely variable species and can be found in Northeast China, Korea, Japan, and Russian Far East (Kuril Islands, Sakhalin, Kamchatka).It grows on mountains all over Japan.

Description:
Betula ermanii is a bushy deciduous medium-sized Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a fast rate. Sometimes it is multi-stemmed, with peeling cream bark on the trunk, papery brown bark on the branches; coarsely toothed, ovate leaves turn yellow in autumn; male catkins open with the leaves.

It is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sheltered position. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Dislikes wet soils. Shade tolerant. A very polymorphic species, it hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The young growth in spring is subject to damage by late frosts. A colonizer of poor soils and cleared woodlands, it tolerates very poor soils. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.

Medicinal Uses:…Vulnerary. The bark is used to bandage wounds.

Other Uses:
The tree colonizes poor soils and cleared woodlands in the wild. This makes it suitable for use as a pioneer species for re-establishing woodlands. It is a quite short-lived species, but grows fairly quickly and creates suitable conditions for more permanent trees to become established. Because its seedlings do not grow well in shady conditions, the birch is eventually out-competed by the other woodland trees.

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/Betula_ermanii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Betula+ermanii
https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/2242/i-Betula-ermanii-i/Details?returnurl=%2Fplants%2Ftrees%3Faliaspath%3D%252fplants%252ftrees

Saussurea affinis

Botanical Name : Saussurea affinis
Family: Asteraceae or Compositae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Saussurea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : Hemistepta lyrata. Bunge.

Common Name: Saussurea affinis, Some authorities now say that the correct name of this species is Hemistepta lyrata.

Habitat : Saussurea affinis is native to East AsiaChina & Japan etc. It grows on mountain slopes and valleys, plains, hills, forest margins, forests, grassland, wasteland, farmland, riversidesand roadsides from near sea level to 3300 metres with LMH soil and N moisture levels.

Description:
Saussurea affinis is a Biennial plant.It can grow to a height of 0.6 meters and up to meters wide. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation details :…..Succeeds in most soils in a sunny well-drained position.

Propagation:………It is suggested to sow the seed in situ in May. If seed is in short supply then sowing it in a pot in a cold frame would be advisable, planting out in the summer.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves………Leaves and young shoots. No more details are found.

Medicinal Uses:…Women’s complaints………..The juice of the root is given with other herbs in the treatment of diseases of women.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saussurea
http://www.mygarden.net.au/gardening/saussurea-affinis/9248/1
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Saussurea+affinis

Dracunculus vulgaris

Botanical Name:Dracunculus vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Areae
Genus: Dracunculus
Species: D. vulgaris

Common Names: Dragon Arum, the Black Arum, the Voodoo Lily, the Snake Lily, the Stink Lily, the Black Dragon, the Black Lily, Dragonwort, and Ragons.

Habitat:Dracunculus vulgaris is native to the Balkans, extending as far as Greece, Crete and the Aegean Islands, and also to the south-western parts of Anatolia.. It has been introduced to the United States and is currently present in the states of Oregon, California, Camano Island, Washington and Tennessee as well as the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

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Description:

Dragon arum is a tuberous herbaceous perennial plant that is native to rocky areas and hillsides in the central to eastern Mediterranean areas from Greece to the Balkans to Turkey. It typically grows to 3′ tall and features large, erect, fan-shaped, palmately-divided, dark green leaves (to 12″ long) that are often streaked with white. Each leaf has 9-15 finger-like lobes reportedly resembling in appearance the claw of a dragon, hence the common name. Leaves appear in clusters on a stalk-like, black/purple-spotted pseudostem. Large, foul-smelling, maroon-purple spathes (each to as much as 20″ long and 8″ wide) appear above the leaves in late spring/early summer. The foul odor of the spathes, sometimes described as akin to the nauseous aroma of rotten meat, attracts flies for pollinating the flowers. Each spathe envelops a central, upright, nearly black, tail-like spike (spadix) which is nearly as long as the spathe, but sometimes longer, with a diameter of only 1/2 to 3/4″. The spathe contains inconspicuous, hidden, unisexual flowers. Flowers are followed by green berries which mature to orange-red in fall. This plant is synonymous with and formerly called Arum dracunculus.
The species is characterised by a large purple spathe and spadix has a very unpleasant smell reminiscent of a carcass. That is because the pollinators of this aroid are flies (Lucilia and others).

Cultivation:
Dracunculus vulgaris has been introduced to northern Europe, and North America, both to the United States, where it is present in the states of Kansas, Oregon, California, Washington, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and to Canada, where it has been grown in the province of Ontario.The plant can tolerate some shade but prefers full sun; it can also withstand drought but benefits from a little watering. The plant prefers a humus-rich, well-drained soil.

The plant can be easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, rich soils. Spreads by self-seeding and bulb offsets. Plants are not reliably winter hardy throughout the St. Louis area where mulch should be applied in winter to help protect them from cold temperatures. In cold winter areas north of USDA Zone 6, tubers may be dug up in autumn, overwintered indoors and replanted in spring in somewhat the same manner as dahlias.

Medicinal Uses:
Dioscorides thought it resembled a dragon. In ancient medicine it was used for the eyes and ears, for ruptures, convulsions and coughs.  Dioscorides says, “But being beaten small with honey, and applied, it takes away the malignancie of ulcers.”

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracunculus_vulgaris
http://www.cas.vanderbilt.edu/bioimages/species/drvu.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_DE.htm

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=d513

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Pilonidal sinus

 

Alternative Names:pilonidal cyst, pilonidal abscess or sacrococcygeal fistula

Definition:
A pilonidal sinus is a dimple in the skin in the crease of your child’s buttocks.

This may be noted at birth as a depression or hairy dimple and be present for many years without any symptoms.
Pilonidal sinus affect men more often and most commonly occur in young adults.


You may click to see picture

Two pilonidal cysts in the natal cleft
A pilonidal sinus may also occur due to a blockage in the hair follicles, often associated with an ingrown hair.
In both situations, hair acts as a foreign body, which may produce an infection. The infection may spread into the tissues of your child’s buttocks and produce an abscess (collection of pus under the skin) at a site several inches away from the sinus.

Pilonidal means “nest of hair”, and is derived from the Latin words for hair (“pilus”) and nest (“nidus”).The term was used by Herbert Mayo as early as 1830. R.M. Hodges was the first to use the phrase “pilonidal cyst” to describe the condition in 1880.

Symptoms:
A pilonidal sinus may cause no noticeable symptoms (asymptomatic). The only sign of its presence may be a small pit on the surface of the skin.

When it’s infected, a pilonidal sinus becomes a swollen mass (abscess). Signs and symptoms of an infected pilonidal cyst include:

*Pain
*Localized swelling
*Reddening of the skin
*Drainage of pus or blood from an opening in the skin (pilonidal sinus)
*Foul smell from draining pus

Hair protruding from a passage (tract) below the surface of the skin that connects the infected pilonidal cyst to the opening on the skin’s surface (a pilonidal sinus) — more than one sinus tract may form
Fever (uncommon)

Causes:
Quite why it happens isn’t entirely clear. When they occur in the cleft between the buttocks, one popular explanation is that there’s a developmental defect in the direction that the hair grows – that is, the hair grows inwards rather than outwards.

One proposed cause of pilonidal cysts is ingrown hair. Excessive sitting is thought to predispose people to the condition because they increase pressure on the coccyx region. Trauma is not believed to cause a pilonidal cyst; however, such an event may result in inflammation of an existing cyst. However there are cases where this can occur months after a localized injury to the area. Some researchers have proposed that pilonidal cysts may be the result of a congenital pilonidal dimple. Excessive sweating can also contribute to the cause of a pilonidal cyst.

The condition was widespread in the United States Army during World War II. More than eighty thousand soldiers having the condition required hospitalization.  It was termed “jeep seat or “Jeep riders’ disease”, because a large portion of people who were being hospitalized for it rode in jeeps, and prolonged rides in the bumpy vehicles were believed to have caused the condition due to irritation and pressure on the coccyx.

Risk Factors:
Certain factors can make you more susceptible to developing pilonidal cysts. These include:

*Obesity
*Inactive lifestyle
*Occupation or sports requiring prolonged sitting
*Excess body hair
*Stiff or coarse hair
*Poor hygiene
*Excess sweating

Complications:
If a chronically infected pilonidal cyst isn’t treated properly, there may be an increased risk of developing a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.

Differential diagnosis
A pilonidal sinus can resemble a dermoid cyst, a kind of teratoma (germ cell tumor). In particular, a pilonidal cyst in the gluteal cleft can resemble a sacrococcygeal teratoma. Correct diagnosis is important because all teratomas require complete surgical excision, if possible without any spillage, and consultation with an oncologist.

Treatment :
Treatment may include antibiotic therapy, hot compresses and application of depilatory creams.

In more severe cases, the cyst may need to be lanced or surgically excised (along with pilonidal sinus tracts). Post-surgical wound packing may be necessary, and packing typically must be replaced twice daily for 4 to 8 weeks. In some cases, one year may be required for complete granulation to occur. Sometimes the cyst is resolved via surgical marsupialization.

Surgeons can also excise the sinus and repair with a reconstructive flap technique, which is done under general anesthetic. This approach is mainly used for complicated or recurring pilonidal disease, leaves little scar tissue and flattens the region between the buttocks, reducing the risk of recurrence.

Picture of Pilonidal cyst two days after surgery.

A novel and less destructive treatment is scraping the tract out and filling it with fibrin glue. This has the advantage of causing much less pain than traditional surgical treatments and allowing return to normal activities after 1–2 days in most cases.

Pilonidal cysts recur and do so more frequently if the surgical wound is sutured in the midline, as opposed to away from the midline, which obliterates the natal cleft and removes the focus of shearing stress.

Prevention:
To prevent future pilonidal sinus from developing:

*Clean the area daily with glycerin soap, which tends to be less irritating. Rinse the area thoroughly to remove any soapy residue. Washing briskly with a washcloth helps keep the area free of hair accumulation.

*Keep the area clean and dry. Powders may help, but avoid using oils or herbal remedies.
Avoid sitting for long periods of time.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilonidal_sinus
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pilonidal-cyst/DS00747
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/pilonidalsinus.shtml
http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site923/mainpageS923P0.html

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