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Herbs & Plants

Allium validum

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Botanical Name: Allium validum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. validum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Swamp onion, Wild onion, Pacific onion, and Pacific mountain onion

Habitat : Allium validum is native to the Cascade Range, to the Sierra Nevada, the Rocky Mountains, and other high-elevation regions in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho and British Columbia. It grows on swampy meadows at medium to high elevations in the mountains.

Description:
The Allium validum bulb is three to five centimeters long, ovoid and clustered on the short end. The outer coat of the stout rhizome is brown or gray in color, fibrous, and vertically lined. The stem is 50 to 100 centimeters long and angled. There are three to six leaves more or less equal to the stem and the leaves are flat or more or less keeled. There are 15 to 40 flowers with pedicels being seven to twelve millimeters in length. The flower itself is six to ten millimeters, its perianth parts are more or less erect, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, and entire with a rose to white color. The stamens are longer than the tepals, and there is no ovary crest.

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It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

 

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked. The bulb is somewhat fibrous but is very acceptable as a flavouring in soups and stews. The bulb is fairly large, up to 5cm in diameter, and is produced in clusters. The plant has thick iris-like rhizomes. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses: Repellent.……The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. This species tolerates much wetter soils than most members of the genus but it dislikes winters with alternating periods of damp and cold and no snow cover, so it is best given a damp though well-drained soil. It requires plenty of moisture in the growing season. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of Britain, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.

Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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/Allium_val
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+validum

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Categories
Health Problems & Solutions

Some Health Quaries & Answers

When the bee stings....CLICK & SEE
Q: I live near a park and have often been stung by bees. Apart from being painful, I have heard that bee stings are also dangerous. How should a sting be treated?

A: The bee sting has a venom sac attached. If this sac breaks, chemicals are released into your body that cause pain, redness, local swelling and also allergic reactions. If you get stung, pull out the sting using your fingernail or a stiff card. Take care not to damage the venom sac. Wash the area with soap and water and apply ice. If the area is red and irritated, apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone ointment. If there is swelling, see a doctor. You might be prescribed antihistamines.

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Xanthoma ...CLICK & SEE

Q: I have yellow deposits near my eyelids. They are soft and painless but look very ugly.

A: These are called xanthomas. They are caused by deposits of fat under the skin. Although they can occur anywhere —such as the elbows, knees and buttocks — eyelids are the commonest place. Xanthomas are harmless but indicative of high cholesterol, diabetes, liver cirrhosis or certain cancers. The pills you take to lower cholesterol may cause xanthomas to shrink. You can have them surgically removed, but if you do not get high cholesterol or diabetes treated (the reason they appeared in the first place), xanthomas can recur.

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Teething trouble

Q: My daughter is a year old and has no teeth. My sister’s daughter was born with two teeth. Is there reason for worry?

A: One out of 2,000 children have “natal teeth” at birth. Usually teeth appear between six and 12 months but teeth can appear as early as one month or be delayed beyond the first birthday and that is normal. However, in rare cases, the delay can also be due to Down’s syndrome, thyroid disease or bone disease. You need to consult both a paediatrician and a dentist.

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Painful jog ...CLICK & SEE

Q: I recently started jogging and have developed knee pain. My friends have all advised me to stop. They say all runners develop knee pain. Is this true?

A: Runners are not more prone to osteoarthritis of the knee but they do tend to develop pain around the patella (knee cap). This is due to failure to warm up adequately and stretch properly before and after exercising. The quadriceps (the big muscles in front of the knee) also require to be strengthened.

If you develop pain after jogging, apply an ice pack. It will reduce inflammation and pain.

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Party pooper

Q: I frequently develop diarrhoea after I eat at social functions. I cannot refuse to eat without giving offence. Is there a preventive tablet that I can take?

A: You may not be able to tolerate the oil or the colouring and other condiments added to the food. The mineral water provided might also not be of ISI standard. You can avoid diarrhoea, if you stick to vegetarian food, avoid fried items and not drink any water. The safest food is curd rice.

If you do develop diarrhoea, take equal quantities of rice and moong dal and cook it in a pressure cooker with salt. Eat only this for 24 hours.

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Idiot box blues

Q: My son used to do well in school (he is in Class VII). Now he complains of inability to recall what he has studied and poor mathematical ability. He does his homework in front of the television.

A: Why do you allow him to do homework in front of the television? He cannot possibly solve maths problems correctly while watching serials or cartoons. The rapidly flashing images also deplete the brain chemicals responsible for attention, learning and memory.

Physical activity for an hour a day improves memory. Encourage your son to play outside for an hour and then start his homework in a quiet room with no television. I think you will notice a vast improvement.

Keep walking

Q: I am 86 years old and active. Unfortunately my family members keep telling me to “take rest”. They feel that since I worked hard all my life, I should now just sit quietly. I think if I sit long enough I will die.

A: You are right. Walking and other physical activity keeps you mentally agile and physically fit. It also prevents blood clots from forming in your legs and causing strokes and heart attacks. So keep moving as long as you are able to.

Yellow liver

Q: I heard that jaundice causes liver cancer. Is this true?

A: Jaundice” just means that the blood has high levels of bilirubin. It can be due to several reasons — infection, blood destruction, gall bladder disease etc. One of the causes is primary cancer of the liver or secondary tumour deposits there.

Jaundice because of hepatitis B infection can also cause liver cancer. This can be prevented by immunisation with three doses of hepatitis B vaccine.

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Source: The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Categories
Health & Fitness

Memory Loss Can be Reversed — Just Do THIS

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Moderate physical activity performed in midlife or later appears to be associated with a reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment — and a six-month high-intensity aerobic exercise program can improve cognitive function in individuals who already have the condition.
……………………….
Each year, 10 percent to 15 percent of individuals with mild cognitive impairment will develop dementia, as compared with 1 percent to 2 percent of the general population.

Physical exercise may protect against mild cognitive impairment by means of the production of nerve-protecting compounds, greater blood flow to the brain, improved development and survival of neurons and the decreased risk of heart and blood vessel diseases.

Rources:
Eurekalert January 11, 2010
Archives of Neurology January 2010;67(1):71-9
Archives of Neurology January 2010;67(1):80-6

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Categories
Health Quaries

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Eating out, a lot :-..
Q: I eat in restaurants very often as my nature of work requires a lot of travel. Some of the places look unhygienic. What should I do?

A: To protect yourself, drink only mineral water. Preferably carry your own water. Do not eat salads and uncooked vegetables. Immunise yourself against typhoid and hepatitis (jaundice). Protection against hepatitis A requires two injections six months apart. Protection against typhoid requires one injection every three years.

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Sleep interrupted :..
Q: I have to get up in the night several times to urinate. Even when I have finished, I feel there is more urine. That is really not the case as no matter how much I try, there is no more flow. I am 62 years old.

A: You may have an enlarged prostate. The organ is situated at the neck of the urethra, the pipe through which urine is passed. As age advances, it can increase in size obstructing free voiding of urine. The problem is usually benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH, which is not cancer.

Your doctor can verify the diagnosis by examining you, doing an ultrasound and a blood test. As you wait for the results, you can ease your symptoms by avoiding caffeine and alcohol, passing urine regularly before you actually feel the urge, and staying away from antihistamine medicines.

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HPV vaccine
Q: My wife is 32 years old and we have one child. I read about the cervical cancer vaccine and would like to know if she will benefit from it.

A: The guidelines for the human papillovirus vaccine (HPV) advise routine administration for all girls between the ages of nine and 11 years. The decision to vaccinate an older woman should be taken after assessing her risk for previous HPV exposure. There is no test to prove or disprove exposure to the virus. It depends on the woman’s sexual history and that of her male contacts. If she is already exposed, then any benefit from immunisation is likely to be minimal.

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Hepatitis B
Q: I live with my aunt and I recently discovered she is hepatitis B positive. What should I do?

A: Check your hepatitis B status by doing a blood test in a recognised laboratory. If you are negative, immediately start on a course of vaccination. The dosage schedule is 0, 28 and 180 days. The injection has to be given in the arm and not the buttocks. But if you are already infected with hepatitis B, consult a hepatologist or gastroenterologist.

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Breast lump
Q: My 23-year-old niece has a lump in her breast. The doctor said we could wait and see. But I am worried.

A: Breast cancer is commoner in older women, but it does not mean a young woman cannot develop it. Particularly those women who may be carrying the BRAC1/2 genes, which are linked with a higher incidence of breast cancer, are at risk. If your niece has a lump in the breast, it is better to have it evaluated by another surgeon. She needs an ultrasound / mammogram / biopsy depending on the size of the lump. A “wait and watch” approach is not logical or scientific until the preliminary tests are done.

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Milky discharge
Q: My wife has milky discharge from both her nipples. It is seven years since the birth of our last child. She fed him for a year and a half and then the milk stopped by itself.

A: Discharge from both nipples is unlikely to be due to cancer. It can be a side effect of medications like perinorm or domperone. One of the pituitary hormones called prolactin triggers the production of milk. Some pituitary tumours cause excess prolactin secretion and this can lead to milky lateral nipple discharge. Thyroid disorders can also cause the same symptoms. Your wife’s condition needs evaluation.

 

Extra bones
Q: I have pain in the arms. It has been diagnosed as “cervical rib”.

A: Cervical ribs are extra bones attached to the neck vertebrae. They are present in 0.5 per cent of the population. They may cause no symptoms at all. In some individuals, these bones may compress the blood vessels and nerves to the arms. There may be tingling numbness and weakness of the muscles of the hands, particularly at the base of the thumb. In many individuals, it is possible to keep these symptoms at bay with regular exercise. Others may require surgery to remove the extra rib.

 

Scanty beard
Q: I have a scanty beard and want a thicker growth.

A: If you are genetically Oriental it is unlikely that your desire to grow a thick beard will meet with much success. Also, look around at your male relatives. Hair distribution on the face varies from family to family. Just to make sure everything is normal, check your testosterone levels. If that is normal, it means you are out of luck and destined to sport the clean-shaven look.

Source: The Telegraph (kolkata, India)

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