Categories
Herbs & Plants

Pyrola asarifolia

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Botanical Name : Pyrola asarifolia
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily: Monotropoideae
Genus: Pyrola
Species: P. asarifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names: Bog Wintergreen, Liverleaf wintergreen, Pink wintergreen, Pink Pyrola

Habitat : Pyrola asarifolia is native to N. America – Alaska to Newfoundland, south to New York, California and New Mexico.It grows on wet soils of bogs, stream courses and around springs, mostly in shady areas and especially in coniferous woodlands, from the plains to around 2,700 metres in the mountains.

Description:
Pyrola asarifolia is an evergreen Perennial plant, growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Flowers: Raceme of 7 to 15 flowers on slender stalks at the top of the plant. Flowers are ½ to ¾ inch across with 5 round petals, pink or white with pink to pinkish purple edging, the edges often curled down. A cluster of stamens with dark pink to red tips is hidden under the upper petals. The style is light green, curved down and out below the lower petals like an elephant’s trunk.

Leaves and stem:
Leaves are basal, 1 to 1½ inches long, round to kidney shaped, often wider than long, the blade typically shorter than the leaf stalk. The tip may have slight point. The upper surface is very shiny. A few scale like leaves may be present on lower part of the flowering stem.
Cultivation:
Prefers a moist sandy woodland soil in a cool position with partial shade. Requires a peaty or leafy acid soil that remains moist in the summer.  This is a very difficult plant to grow. It requires a mycorrhizal relationship in the soil and therefore needs to be grown initially in soil collected from around an established plant. It is also very difficult from seed as well as being intolerant of root disturbance which makes division difficult. This species is extremely rare and endangered in the wild.
Propagation:
Seed – the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza. Division with great care in the spring. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously.
Medicinal Uses:
This plant was considered to be an effective remedy in the treatment of rheumatism. A decoction of the leaves, or the leaves and roots, has been used as an eyewash for sore eyes. A decoction of the plant has been used to treat the coughing up of blood. A decoction of the root has been used to treat liver complaints.

Other Uses:
Plants can be used as a ground cover when spaced about 30cm apart each way. They are somewhat slow to settle down though, and only form a good cover when they are growing luxuriantly.

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/Pyrola_asarifolia
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/pink-pyrola
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pyrola+asarifolia

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Alagille Syndrome

Description:
Alagille syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the liver, heart, kidney, and other systems of the body. Problems associated with the disorder generally become evident in infancy or early childhood. The disorder is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, and the estimated prevalence of Alagille syndrome is 1 in every 100,000 live births.It is named after Daniel Alagille.

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A person with Alagille syndrome has fewer than the normal number of small bile ducts inside the liver. The liver is the organ in the abdomen—the area between the chest and hips—that makes blood proteins and bile, stores energy and nutrients, fights infection, and removes harmful chemicals from the blood.

Bile ducts are tubes that carry bile from the liver cells to the gallbladder for storage and to the small intestine for use in digestion. Bile is fluid made by the liver that carries toxins and waste products out of the body and helps the body digest fats and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. In people with Alagille syndrome, the decreased number of bile ducts causes bile to build up in the liver, a condition also called cholestasis, leading to liver damage and liver disease.

The digestive system:
The digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract—also called the digestive tract—and the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus. The hollow organs that make up the GI tract are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine—which includes the colon and rectum—and anus. Food enters the mouth and passes to the anus through the hollow organs of the digestive system. The liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are the solid organs of the digestive system. The digestive system helps the body digest food.
Symptoms:
The symptoms of Alagille syndrome and their severity vary, even among people in the same family sharing the same gene mutation.

Liver:  In some people, problems in the liver may be the first signs and symptoms of the disorder. These symptoms can occur in children and adults and in infants as early as the first 3 months of life.
Jaundice. Jaundice—when the skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow—is a result of the liver not removing bilirubin from the blood. Bilirubin is a reddish-yellow substance formed when hemoglobin breaks down. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives blood its red color. Bilirubin is absorbed by the liver, processed, and released into bile. Blockage of the bile ducts forces bilirubin and other elements of bile to build up in the blood.
Jaundice may be difficult for parents and even health care providers to detect. Many healthy newborns have mild jaundice during the first 1 to 2 weeks of life due to an immature liver. This normal type of jaundice disappears by the second or third week of life, whereas the jaundice of Alagille syndrome deepens. Newborns with jaundice after 2 weeks of life should be seen by a health care provider to check for a possible liver problem.
Dark urine and gray or white stools. High levels of bilirubin in the blood that pass into the urine can make the urine darker, while stool lightens from a lack of bilirubin reaching the intestines. Gray or white bowel movements after 2 weeks of age are very reliable signs of a liver problem.
Pruritus. The buildup of bilirubin in the blood may cause itching, also called pruritus. Pruritus usually starts after 3 months of age and can be severe.
Xanthomas. Xanthomas are fatty deposits that appear as yellow bumps on the skin. They are caused by abnormally high cholesterol levels in the blood, common in people with liver disease. Xanthomas may appear anywhere on the body. However, xanthomas are usually found on the elbows, joints, tendons, knees, hands, feet, or buttocks.
Other Symptoms of Alagille Syndrome are:
Certain signs of Alagille syndrome are unique to the disorder, including those that affect the vertebrae and facial features.

Face.  Many children with Alagille syndrome have deep-set eyes, a straight nose, a small and pointed chin, large ears, and a prominent, wide forehead. These features are not usually recognized until after infancy. By adulthood, the chin is more prominent.

Eyes. Posterior embryotoxon is a condition in which an opaque ring is present in the cornea, the transparent covering of the eyeball. The abnormality is common in people with Alagille syndrome, though it usually does not affect vision.

Skeleton. The most common skeletal defect in a person with Alagille syndrome is when the shape of the vertebrae—bones of the spine—gives the appearance of flying butterflies. This defect, known as “butterfly” vertebrae, rarely causes medical problems or requires treatment.

Heart and blood vessels. People with Alagille syndrome may have the following signs and symptoms having to do with the heart and blood vessels:

heart murmur—an extra or unusual sound heard during a heartbeat. A heart murmur is the most common sign of Alagille syndrome other than the general symptoms of liver disease.1 Most people with Alagille syndrome have a narrowing of the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs.1 This narrowing causes a murmur that can be heard with a stethoscope. Heart murmurs usually do not cause problems.

heart walls and valve problems. A small number of people with Alagille syndrome have serious problems with the walls or valves of the heart. These conditions may need treatment with medications or corrective surgery.

blood vessel problems. People with Alagille syndrome may have abnormalities of the blood vessels in the head and neck. This serious complication can lead to internal bleeding or stroke. Alagille syndrome can also cause narrowing or bulging of other blood vessels in the body.
Kidney disease. A wide range of kidney diseases can occur in Alagille syndrome. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist, that filter wastes and extra fluid from the blood. Some people have small kidneys or have cysts—fluid-filled sacs—in the kidneys. Kidney function can also decrease.
Causes:
Alagille syndrome is caused by a gene mutation, or defect. Genes provide instructions for making proteins in the body. A gene mutation is a permanent change in the DNA sequence that makes up a gene. DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the material inside cells that carries genetic information and passes genes from parent to child. Approximately 30 to 50 percent of people with Alagille syndrome have an inherited gene mutation, meaning it has been passed on by a parent. In the remaining cases, the gene mutation develops spontaneously.1 In spontaneous cases, neither parent carries a copy of the mutated gene.

Most cases of Alagille syndrome are caused by a mutation in the JAGGED1 (JAG1) gene. In less than 1 percent of cases, a mutation in the NOTCH2 gene is the cause.2

1Spinner NB, Leonard LD, Krantz ID. Alagille syndrome. GeneReviews website. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1273/External NIH Link. Updated February 28, 2013. Accessed July 16, 2014.

2Kamath BM, Bauer RC, Loomes KM, et al. NOTCH2 mutations in Alagille syndrome. Journal of Medical Genetics. 2012;49(2):138–144.
Genetic Disorders: 
Each cell contains thousands of genes that provide the instructions for making proteins for growth and repair of the body. If a gene has a mutation, the protein made by that gene may not function properly, which sometimes creates a genetic disorder. Not all gene mutations cause a disorder.

People have two copies of most genes; one copy is inherited from each parent. A genetic disorder occurs when one or both parents pass a mutated gene to a child at conception. A genetic disorder can also occur through a spontaneous gene mutation, meaning neither parent carries a copy of the mutated gene. Once a spontaneous gene mutation has occurred in a person, it can be passed to the person’s children.
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Complications:
The complications of Alagille syndrome include liver failure, portal hypertension, and growth problems. People with Alagille syndrome usually have a combination of complications, and may not have every complication listed below.:-

Liver failure. Over time, the decreased number of bile ducts may lead to chronic liver failure, also called end-stage liver disease. This condition progresses over months, years, or even decades. The liver can no longer perform important functions or effectively replace damaged cells. A person may need a liver transplant. A liver transplant is surgery to remove a diseased or an injured liver and replace it with a healthy whole liver or a segment of a liver from another person, called a donor.

Portal hypertension. The spleen is the organ that cleans blood and makes white blood cells. White blood cells attack bacteria and other foreign cells. Blood flow from the spleen drains directly into the liver. When a person with Alagille syndrome has advanced liver disease, the blood flow backs up into the spleen and other blood vessels. This condition is called portal hypertension. The spleen may become larger in the later stages of liver disease. A person with an enlarged spleen should avoid contact sports to protect the organ from injury. Advanced portal hypertension can lead to serious bleeding problems.

Growth problems. Alagille syndrome can lead to poor growth in infants and children, as well as delayed puberty in older children. Liver disease can cause malabsorption, which can result in growth problems. Malabsorption is the inability of the small intestine to absorb nutrients from foods, which results in protein, calorie, and vitamin deficiencies. Serious heart problems, if present in Alagille syndrome, can also affect growth.

Malabsorption. People with Alagille syndrome may have diarrhea—loose, watery stools—due to malabsorption. The condition occurs because bile is necessary for the digestion of food. Malabsorption can lead to bone fractures, eye problems, blood-clotting problems, and learning delays.

Long-term Outlook:
The long-term outlook for people with Alagille syndrome depends on several factors, including the severity of liver damage and heart problems. Predicting who will experience improved bile flow and who will progress to chronic liver failure is difficult. Ten to 30 percent of people with Alagille syndrome will eventually need a liver transplant.

Many adults with Alagille syndrome whose symptoms improve with treatment lead normal, productive lives. Deaths in people with Alagille syndrome are most often caused by chronic liver failure, heart problems, and blood vessel problems.

Diagnosis:
The Doctor diagnoses Alagille syndrome by performing a thorough physical examination of the patient and ordering one or more of the following tests and exams:

Blood test. A blood test involves drawing blood at a health care provider’s office or a commercial facility and sending the sample to a lab for analysis. The blood test can show nutritional status and the presence of liver disease and kidney function.

Urinalysis. Urinalysis is the testing of a urine sample. The urine sample is collected in a special container in a health care provider’s office or a commercial facility and can be tested in the same location or sent to a lab for analysis. Urinalysis can show many problems of the urinary tract and other body systems. The sample may be observed for color, cloudiness, or concentration; signs of drug use; chemical composition, including glucose; the presence of protein, blood cells, or bacteria; or other signs of disease.

X ray. An x ray is a picture created by using radiation and recorded on film or on a computer. The amount of radiation used is small. An x-ray technician performs the x ray at a hospital or an outpatient center, and a radiologist—a doctor who specializes in medical imaging—interprets the images. Anesthesia is not needed. The patient will lie on a table or stand during the x ray. The technician positions the x-ray machine over the spine area to look for “butterfly” vertebrae. The patient will hold his or her breath as the picture is taken so that the picture will not be blurry. The patient may be asked to change position for additional pictures.

Abdominal ultrasound. Ultrasound uses a device, called a transducer, that bounces safe, painless sound waves off organs to create an image of their structure. The transducer can be moved to different angles to make it possible to examine different organs. In abdominal ultrasound, the health care provider applies a gel to the patient’s abdomen and moves a handheld transducer over the skin. The gel allows the transducer to glide easily, and it improves the transmission of the signals. A specially trained technician performs the procedure in a health care provider’s office, an outpatient center, or a hospital, and a radiologist interprets the images; anesthesia is not needed. The images can show an enlarged liver or rule out other conditions.

Cardiology exam. A cardiologist—a doctor who treats people who have heart problems—performs a cardiology exam in a health care provider’s office, an outpatient center, or a hospital. During a full exam, a cardiologist may inspect the patient’s physical appearance, measure pulse rate and blood pressure, observe the jugular vein, check for rapid or skipped heartbeats, listen for variations in heart sounds, and listen to the lungs.

Slit-lamp exam. An ophthalmologist—a doctor who diagnoses and treats all eye diseases and eye disorders—performs a slit-lamp exam to diagnose posterior embryotoxon. The ophthalmologist examines the eye with a slit lamp, a microscope combined with a high-intensity light that shines a thin beam on the eye. While sitting in a chair, the patient will rest his or her head on the slit lamp. A yellow dye may be used to examine the cornea and tear layer. The dye is applied as a drop, or the specialist may touch a strip of paper stained with the dye to the white of the patient’s eye. The specialist will also use drops in the patient’s eye to dilate the pupil.

Liver biopsy. A liver biopsy is a procedure that involves taking a piece of liver tissue for examination with a microscope for signs of damage or disease. The health care provider may ask the patient to stop taking certain medications temporarily before the liver biopsy. The patient may be asked to fast for 8 hours before the procedure.

During the procedure, the patient lies on a table, right hand resting above the head. A local anesthetic is applied to the area where the biopsy needle will be inserted. If needed, sedatives and pain medication are also given. The health care provider uses a needle to take a small piece of liver tissue. The health care provider may use ultrasound, computerized tomography scans, or other imaging techniques to guide the needle. After the biopsy, the patient should lie on the right side for up to 2 hours and is monitored an additional 2 to 4 hours before being sent home.

Genetic testing. The health care provider may refer a person suspected of having Alagille syndrome to a geneticist—a doctor who specializes in genetic disorders. For a genetic test, the geneticist takes a blood or saliva sample and analyzes the DNA for the JAG1 gene mutation. The geneticist tests for the JAG1 gene mutation first, since it is more common in Alagille syndrome than NOTCH2. Genetic testing is often done only by specialized labs. The results may not be available for several months because of the complexity of the testing.

The usefulness of genetic testing for Alagille syndrome is limited by two factors:

*Detection of a mutated gene cannot predict the onset of symptoms or how serious the disorder will be.

*Even if a mutated gene is found, no specific cure for the disorder exists.

When to Consider Genetic Counseling:
People who are considering genetic testing may want to consult a genetics counselor. Genetic counseling can help family members understand how test results may affect them individually and as a family. Genetic counseling is provided by genetics professionals—health care professionals with specialized degrees and experience in medical genetics and counseling. Genetics professionals include geneticists, genetics counselors, and genetics nurses.

Genetics professionals work as members of health care teams, providing information and support to individuals or families who have genetic disorders or a higher chance of having an inherited condition. Genetics professionals

*assess the likelihood of a genetic disorder by researching a family’s history, evaluating medical records, and conducting a physical exam of the patient and
*other family members

*weigh the medical, social, and ethical decisions surrounding genetic testing

*provide support and information to help a person make a decision about testing

*interpret the results of genetic tests and medical data

*provide counseling or refer individuals and families to support services

*serve as patient advocates

*explain possible treatments or preventive measures

*discuss reproductive options

Genetic counseling may be useful when a family member is deciding whether to have genetic testing and again later when test results are available.

Treatment:
Treatment for Alagille syndrome includes medications and therapies that increase the flow of bile from the liver, promote growth and development in infants’ and children’s bodies, correct nutritional deficiencies, and reduce the person’s discomfort. Ursodiol (Actigall, Urso) is a medication that increases bile flow. Other treatments address specific symptoms of the disorder.

Liver failure. People with Alagille syndrome who develop end-stage liver failure need a liver transplant with a whole liver from a deceased donor or a segment of a liver from a living donor. People with Alagille syndrome who also have heart problems may not be candidates for a transplant because they could be more likely to have complications during and after the procedure. A liver transplant surgical team performs the transplant in a hospital.

Pruritus. Itching may decrease when the flow of bile from the liver is increased. Medications such as cholestyramine (Prevalite), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), naltrexone (Vivitrol), or antihistamines may be prescribed to relieve pruritus. People should hydrate their skin with moisturizers and keep their fingernails trimmed to prevent skin damage from scratching. People with Alagille syndrome should avoid baths and take short showers to prevent the skin from drying out.

If severe pruritus does not improve with medication, a procedure called partial external biliary diversion may provide relief from itching. The procedure involves surgery to connect one end of the small intestine to the gallbladder and the other end to an opening in the abdomen—called a stoma—through which bile leaves the body and is collected in a pouch. A surgeon performs partial external biliary diversion in a hospital. The patient will need general anesthesia.

Malabsorption and growth problems. Infants with Alagille syndrome are given a special formula that helps the small intestine absorb much-needed fat. Infants, children, and adults can benefit from a high-calorie diet, calcium, and vitamins A, D, E, and K. They may also need additional zinc. If someone with Alagille syndrome does not tolerate oral doses of vitamins, a health care provider may give the person injections for a period of time. A child may receive additional calories through a tiny tube that is passed through the nose into the stomach. If extra calories are needed for a long time, a health care provider may place a tube, called a gastrostomy tube, directly into the stomach through a small opening made in the abdomen. A child’s growth may improve with increased nutrition and flow of bile from the liver.

Xanthomas. For someone who has Alagille syndrome, these fatty deposits typically worsen over the first few years of life and then improve over time. They may eventually disappear in response to partial external biliary diversion or the medications used to increase bile fl

Prevention:
Scientists have not yet found a way to prevent Alagille syndrome. However, complications of the disorder can be managed with the help of Doctors. Routine visits with Doctor are needed to prevent complications from becoming worse.

Hope through Research:The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other Institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support research in digestive disorders, including Alagille syndrome. For example, the NIDDK is sponsoring a study called Evaluating the Genetic Causes and Progression of Cholestatic Liver Diseases (LOGIC). Funded under NIH clinical trial number NCT00571272, LOGIC will investigate the progression of cholestatic liver diseases, which can sometimes be caused by Alagille syndrome. The study will work to provide a better understanding of the causes and effects of these liver diseases, which will promote the development of prevention tactics and treatment strategies.

Clinical trials are research studies involving people. Clinical trials look at safe and effective new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Researchers also use clinical trials to look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses. To learn more about clinical trials, why they matter, and how to participate, visit the NIH Clinical Research Trials and You website at www.nih.gov/health/clinicaltrialsExternal NIH Link. For information about current studies,…click & see

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/Alagille_syndrome
http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/liver-disease/Alagille-Syndrome/Pages/facts.aspx

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Loropetalum chinense

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Botanical Name :Loropetalum chinense
Family: Hamamelidaceae
Genus: Loropetalum
Species: L. chinense
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Synonyms  :  L. indicum. Hamamelis chinensis.

Common Name:Lacquer Tree, Fringe Flower, Chinese fringe flower.

Habitat :Loropetalum chinense is native to Japan and southeastern Asia including southern China. It grows on the rocky hills and dry open woods, often on limestone.  Stream banks, hilly slopes and roadsides.

Description:
Loropetalum is a finely textured evergreen shrub. It has a loose open form and will grow as high as 12 ft (3.7 m) and 6-8 ft (1.8-2.4 m) wide. Loropetalum has a spreading habit with branches arranged in horizontal layers. Young shrubs have greater spread than height and are densely branched. When vertical stems are periodically removed loropetalum makes an effective large scale groundcover with some newer varieties selected especially for that purpose. The flowers are arranged in small clusters with each having 4 narrow straplike petals that droop downward. Flowers resemble those of its close relative the witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana). There are white and red flowered forms of loropetalum and both bloom prolifically beginning in late winter into spring and then continue sporadically throughout the summer. The green-leafed varieties have fragrant flowers that are white or yellowish. ‘Rubra’ and ‘Razzleberri’ are among several named red flowered forms and tend to bloom earlier than the white form. The red forms are much showier in bloom than the white whose flowers tend to get lost with the effect that the shrub just looks like it has lighter foliage color when in bloom….

Click to see the pictures>…...(01)...(1)…….(2).……...(3)...
The leaves of loropetalum are oval, 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm) long and about 1 in (2.5 cm) wide and are held alternately on the stem. Foliage of the white form is light green to yellowish-green and lighter on the underside. Red forms typically have leaves that are darker green and have burgundy, red or copper tints depending on the selection.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Screen, Standard, Superior hedge, Specimen. Requires a rich well-drained neutral to acid soil in full sun or light shade. Requires a lime-free humus-rich soil. One report says that it succeeds on a sheltered north wall whilst another says that it needs a sunny position and another says it needs warm summers. Prefers a cool root run. This species is not very cold-hardy in Britain, it is also slow growing. It succeeds outdoors in the mildest areas of the country, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c. Plants do not flower well if the temperature drops below 5°c. The Japanese form of this species might be hardier. Plants grow taller in their native habitat, reaching a height of 3 metres. The flowers emit a delicate sweet perfume. Some named forms have been developed in Japan for their ornamental value. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in a warm greenhouse in late winter or early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some protection from the cold for at least their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Fair to good percentage. Layering in the spring .

Uses:
In the past few years loropetalum has become increasingly popular and is now seen everywhere from commercial properties to streetside plantings to residential. Everyone seems to be discovering the charms of this beautiful and robust shrub. Its graceful, horizontally layered shape makes it a perfect foundation plant and with periodic pruning can be used in hedges. The red flowered forms add beautiful contrasting color and texture in shrub borders and look great massed together. Lower growing varieties are now available for use as large scale ground cover.

Features
Attractive evergreen foliage, fragrant flowers and low maintenance requirements are just a few of loropetalum’s talents. Due to its vigor and adaptability, many new selections have become available in the past several years. This is the only member of the genus Loropetalum which is in the witchhazel family Hamamelidaceae. Other well known members of this large family are witch-alder (Fothergilla major), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and parrotia (Parrotia persica).

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the whole plant is used in the treatment of coughing in tuberculosis, dysentery, enteritis etc. The leaves can be crushed and pulverized for external application on 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.floridata.com/ref/l/loro_chi.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loropetalum_chinense

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Loropetalum+chinense

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Centaurea jacea

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Botanical Name: Centaurea jacea
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Centaurea
Species: C. jacea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names:Knapweed,Brown Knapweed or Brownray Knapweed

Habitat :Centaurea jacea is native to dry meadows and open woodland throughout Europe.

Description:
Centaurea jacea is a PERENNIAL plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.

• Flower size: flowerheads 1 to 1-1/4 inch across
Flower color: magenta
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade.It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil and a sunny position. Tolerates dry, low fertility and alkaline soils. Plants are suitable for the wild garden and for naturalising. This species is hardy to at least -15°c. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation :
Seed – sow April in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring. This should be done at least once every three years in order to maintain the vigour of the plant. Basal cuttings in spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 – 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Medicinal Uses:
Bitter;  Diuretic;  Ophthalmic;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

The root is bitter tonic, diuretic and stomachic. An excellent bitter for treating difficult digestive systems, it is still used in rural areas as a digestive and also to reduce the temperature of feverish children. A distilled water made from the leaves is used as an eye lotion in the treatment of conjunctivitis

As an astringent it is used for piles, a decoction of the herb being taken in doses of 1-2 fl oz three times a day. This will also be useful for sore throat if used as a gargle.  An infusion of the flowering part is also helpful in diabetes mellitus.  The root is bitter tonic, diuretic and stomachic. An excellent bitter for treating difficult digestive systems, it is still used in rural areas as a digestive and also to reduce the temperature of feverish children. A distilled water made from the leaves is used as an eye lotion in the treatment of conjunctivitis. It was also applied as a vulnerary and was used internally. Culpepper describes it as a mild astringent, ‘helpful against coughs, asthma, and difficulty of breathing, and good for diseases of the head and nerves,’ and tells us that ‘outwardly the bruised herb is famous for taking away black and blue marks out of the skin.’

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Centaurea+jacea
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaurea_jacea
http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/centaureajace.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

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Pediatric

How To Prevent Diaper Rash

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It has been said that if there were no diapers, there would be no diaper rashes. Even with meticulous care, all infants will occasionally develop an irritated bottom. Preventing the rash is a parent’s goal, but if an infant does get one, home treatment will usually keep the irritation from turning into more than just a nuisance.

CLICK & SEE.>..diaper rashes

Diaper rashes are actually caused by a combination of factors. First and foremost, the area under a diaper is warm, moist, and poorly ventilated, conditions ideal for the development of a rash. Second, the infant’s outermost layer of skin is soft and thin, making it highly susceptible to injury from bacteria, fungi, and the chemicals found in urine and stool. Third, the sequence of wetting and drying makes the skin more susceptible to the constant rubbing of a diaper against the skin. Add other conditions, such as skin or food allergy, diarrhea, and the use of medications (antibiotics, for example) it’s a wonder that a baby’s bottom is not always irritated.

Remember, diapers are used to keep urine and stool off the infant’s clothes and environment. Since all babies must wear diapers, the best any parent or caregiver can do is to try to prevent a rash from developing. Parents usually discover through trial and error just which diapering routines or products work best for their infant.

Here are some suggestions that will help:

· Never leave a baby alone on the changing table or any surface above the floor. Even a newborn can make a sudden turn and fall. Keep all supplies together in one place so the infant is always attended.

· Make sure the baby is always clean and dry. Promptly change the infant whenever the diaper is wet or soiled and gently clean the area with a soft washcloth. Do not over clean as scrubbing only damages the skin. Avoid harsh soaps – water alone is probably all that is needed. Gently pat the diaper area with a soft towel and leave the area exposed to air for a few minutes before putting on a new diaper. When the skin is completely dry, apply a light diaper cream containing zinc oxide. Although these white creams are not totally necessary, they do create a barrier so that stool and urine will not irritate the skin.

 

  • Choose diapers that have sufficient absorbency to keep the baby dry longer. Some of the new disposable diapers have chemicals that draw moisture away from the skin. These diapers absorb tremendous amounts of fluids – I recently took my 17-month old granddaughter swimming and her diaper weighed more than her when we got out of the pool! Change brands if a particular disposable diapers irritates the child.

  • Keep diapers and outer clothing fitting loose. The tighter the diaper and clothes, the less air gets to the baby’s skin.

  • Talcum powders should not be used. If babies inhale the powder, it can irritate the lungs and cause pneumonia. Cornstarch based powders may be less dangerous, but are not necessary since the new disposable diapers have a smooth inner lining.

Additional measures parents can take once a rash appears include:

 

  • Remove the diapers whenever possible. Fresh air is a great healer and without urine and stool touching the skin, the rash might clear up on its own. To keep any mess to a minimum, place the child diaperless on a surface that is easily washed or lay the baby down on soft towels with a waterproof sheet underneath. When the weather is nice, a few minutes’ exposure to sunshine may be helpful.

  • Disposable diapers can be altered to breathe easier by snipping the elastic bands around the legs in several places. Tearing holes in the plastic liner of the disposable diaper will also help allow more air in.

  • The diapers should be changed even more frequently than before. Until the rash is better, wake the baby up at least once during the night to change a wet diaper.

  • Instead of wiping the baby’s skin with a washcloth, use a running stream of plain water from the sink or a squeeze bottle. A cotton ball dipped in baby oil will gently remove any remaining diaper cream or stool from the irritated skin. Pat the area thoroughly dry before applying a new layer of diaper cream so that the medication does not seal in any moisture.

  • Avoid baby wipes since they contain alcohol, perfumes, and other chemicals that will irritate already inflamed skin. Sometimes the less applied to the baby’s skin the better off the infant will be!

  • Sometimes a diaper rash is caused by a yeast infection. This type of irritation is usually bright red, covers a large area, and is surrounded by red dots. Yeast diaper rashes are frequently seen following bouts of diarrhea or after a child has been on antibiotics. An over-the-counter antiyeast medication, such as MonostatR may be helpful, or see the child’s pediatrician for a prescription cream.

Most diaper rashes can be treated at home and usually clear up in three to five days. However, if the baby’s bottom becomes raw, bleeds, develops blisters or open sores, spreads beyond the diaper area, or causes enough discomfort to interfere with sleep, call the child’s physician for additional advice and help.

While diaper rashes are very common, parents still get upset and when their child’s bottom becomes red and irritated. Neighbors and relatives occasionally make parents feel guilty by reporting that their children never had a diaper rash! Parents should not blame themselves or their baby sitter when their infant develops a diaper rash. It is definitely not a reflection of poor hygiene or lack of care. True, diaper rashes are unsightly and worry parents, but given an infant’s tender skin,they are almost unavoidable!

Click to see also :->Diaper Rash Myths

Sources:KidsGrowth.Com