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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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Artemisia mexicana

Botanical Name : Artemisia mexicana
Family: Compositae: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Specis: Mexicana

Common Names: Mexican White Sagebrush , Mexican Wormwood, Agenjo del Pais, Ambfe (Otomi), Artemisia, Cola de Zorillo (‘little tail of the fox’), Ensencio de Mata Verde (‘incense of the green bush’), Guitee (Zapotec), Hierba de San Juan (Spanish, ‘Saint John’s herb’), Hierba Maestra (Spanish, “master herb’), Si’isim (Maya), Tlalpoyomatli (Aztec)

Habitat :Artemisia mexicana is native to South-western N. America – Missouri to Texas, Arkansas and Mexico. It grows in the prairies, hillsides, barrens and sands.

Description:
Artemisia mexicana is a perennial upright shrubby herb that can grow up to three feet tall. The leaves are whitish grey and covered on both sides with fine hairs. They exude an aromatic-bitter scent immediately when crushed. The flowers are small, yellow and clustered (Voogelbreinder 2009, 93).

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

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This plant is so similar to European wormwood in appearance that even experienced botanists have a hard time telling them apart. Some botanists even believe that A. mexicana is a sub-species of A. absinthium (Ratsch 1998, 73). A. mexicana is found in both dry and moist areas of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula. It may also be found in Arizona and New Mexico (Ohno et al. 1980).
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a warm sunny dry position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse, making sure that the compost does not dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about10 – 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.

Traditional Uses: The Aztecs and other native peoples of Mesoamerica have been using A. mexicana for various ritual and medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. The Aztecs used A. mexicana as a ritual incense – the plant is sacred to Uixtociuatl, the Aztec goddess of salt and salt makers. It is sacred to Tlaloc, the rain god, who also holds Argemone mexicana and Tagetes lucida as holy – this suggests a possible interesting psychoactive incense or smoking mixture. Today in Mexico it is used in folk medicine and smoked as a marijuana substitute (Ratsch 1998, 74).

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is emmenagogue, stimulant and vermifuge. The leaves can be chewed to treat sore throats. A poultice of the chewed leaves can be used on sores.
The Aztecs used the stems of A. mexica as a tonic and to relieve coughs. The flowers were consumed by those with low energy (Voogelbreinder 2009, 93). In Mexican folk medicine, which is strongly influenced by Aztec knowledge, an alcohol extract of A. mexicana herbage is taken for digestive troubles (Martínez 1994 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74). Similarly, a tea made from the plant is taken by those who have lost the desire to eat, as well as to treat coughs and diarrhea. The roots and plant material are used to treat epilepsy and as a form of birth control – the plant can bring on menstruation and cause abortions (Reza 1994 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74). The Yucatec Maya burn the herb as an incense to relieve headaches (Pulido Salas & Serralta Peraza 1993 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74).

Traditional Effects: A. mexicana contains a powerful essential oil, as well as several active alkaloids. Thujone is likely present in the plant, as it is so similar to A. absinthium, but the compound has not yet been formally detected. Smoking the dried herbage creates mild stimulation followed by pleasant euphoria if enough smoke is inhaled. The effects may vary widely from person to person, however. The plant contains fewer toxic alkaloids than A. absinthium and is therefore easier to work with (Martínez 1994 cited in Ratsch 1998, 74).

Known Hazards; Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.
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://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+mexicana

Artemisia mexicana – Mexican Wormwood

Lewisia rediviva

Botanical Name: Lewisia rediviva
Family: Portulacaceae
Genus: Lewisia
Species: L. rediviva
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Lewisia alba.

Common Names: Bitter-Root

French trappers knew the plant as racème amer (bitter root). Native American names included spetlum or spetlem, meaning “bitter”, nakamtcu (Ktanxa: naqam¢u), and mootaa-heseeotse

Habitat: Lewisia rediviva is native to western N. America – Montana to British Columbia, south to California and Colorado. It grows in   gravelly to heavy, usually dry soils. Rocky dry soils of valleys, or on foothills, stony slopes, ridges and mountain summits to about 2,500 metres.

Description:
Lewisia rediviva is a small perennial herb, growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).It has a fleshy taproot and a simple or branched base. The flower stems are leafless, 1–3 centimetres (0.4–1.2 in) tall, bearing at the tip a whorl of 5–6 linear bracts which are 5–10 mm long. A single flower appears on each stem with 5–9 oval-shaped sepals. They range in color from whitish to deep pink or lavender. Flowering occurs from April through July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) The petals (usually about 15) are oblong in shape and are 18–35 millimetres (0.7–1.4 in) long. At maturity, the bitterroot produces egg-shaped capsules with 6–20 nearly round seeds…...CLICK   &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

Meriwether Lewis ate bitterroot in 1805 and 1806 during the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The specimens he brought back were identified and given their scientific name, Lewisia rediviva, by a German-American botanist, Frederick Pursh.

The bitterroot was selected as the Montana state flower on February 27, 1895.

Cultivation:
Requires a very well-drained gritty humus-rich deep soil in a sunny position. This species is not reliably hardy in Britain. It can withstand consistently very cold weather but does not like alternating periods of mild and cold conditions, nor does it like winter wet. The plant is very susceptible to rotting at the neck in a damp soil. The plant is easy to kill by over-watering but extremely difficult to kill by under-watering. Roots that have been dried and stored for a number of years have been known to come back into growth when moistened. The plant dies down after flowering and re-appears in September. It must be kept dry whilst dormant. It is best grown in a greenhouse or bulb frame. A very ornamental plant, it is the state flower of Montana. Very apt to hybridize with other members of this genus.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in a very freely draining soil. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in a cold frame. One months cold stratification should improve germination, though this is still likely to be very slow. 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 two winters. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in March/April. Very difficult.

Edible Uses:
Root – cooked. The root was a staple food of some native North American Indian tribes. It is said to be extremely nutritious, 50 – 80 grams being sufficient to sustain an active person for a day. The root is, however, rather small and tedious to collect in quantity. It is easiest to use when the plant is in flower in the spring, because the outer layer of the root (which is very bitter) slips off easily at this time of the year. Whilst being boiled the roots become soft and swollen and exude a pink mucilaginous substance. The root swells to about 6 times its size and resembles a jelly-like substance. The root has a good taste though a decided bitter flavour develops afterwards. If the root is stored for a year or two the bitterness is somewhat reduced[183]. The root can also be dried, ground into a powder and used as a mush or a thickener in soups etc.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is cardiac and galactogogue. An infusion of the root has been used to increase the milk flow in nursing mothers, to relieve heart pain and the pain of pleurisy and also as a blood purifier. The root has been eaten raw to counteract the effects of poison ivy rash and as a treatment for diabetes. The pounded dry root has been chewed in the treatment of sore throats. A poultice of the raw roots has been applied to sores.

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/Bitterroot#cite_note-Sullivan2015-1
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lewisia+rediviva
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

Stutter and Stammer

“Honey should be applied to a baby’s tongue soon after birth. The child then goes on to develop sweet speech with no stammering.”

This was the practice a century ago. Medically, the honey did nothing to prevent stammering. But if it was contaminated with bacteria, it did cause fatal botulinium poisoning with flaccid paralysis in a significant percentage of children.
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Around 10 million people in India stammer. The speech disorder affects 3-5 per cent of children, of which one per cent continues to stammer into adult life. About 80 per cent of the affected children are boys, and first-born males are more likely to be affected. Around 65 per cent of them have a family history of stammering. In most cases, it is the father who stammers or has rapid staccato speech.

Speech is a complex process. A person decides what he or she wants to say, and electro chemical signals are triggered in the brain’s speech area. These signals have to reach the muscle groups in the pharynx, larynx and tongue. If the speed of the thought and the release of the chemicals are not perfectly co-ordinated, stammering occurs. Words or syllables are repeated or prolonged, speech suddenly stops and no sound emerges. The speech becomes blocked in spasms, resulting in repetitive sounds or no sound at all. Even in normal people, emotions can trigger such a condition. In those who stammer, anxiety anticipation of stammering, and embarrassment can trigger tics and spasms of the facial muscles as well.

Children start to stammer before the age of five. It may first become evident when they start school. Many recover spontaneously, while others require treatment. If the stammering continues beyond the age of seven, it is likely to persist into adult life.

Many famous people like Winston Churchill stammered. It didn’t prevent them from scaling great heights. In most cases, however, the sufferer fails to achieve his or her potential. Such people fail in job interviews and viva voce presentations, as stress worsens the stammer. Society often pokes fun at these individuals. In films too comedians are often shown to stammer. As a result, these otherwise intelligent and sensitive people become withdrawn and isolated.

When in contact with a person who stammers:

• Try not to show your embarrassment or look away. Do not reassure them just wait patiently and they will complete what they want to say

• Do not try to complete their sentences for them

• Maintain eye contact

• Many of those who stammer find answering the phone an ordeal. So if the phone rings and there is silence, wait till the person is able to speak.

Stammering is not due to tongue-tie, so surgery does not help. Since it is aggravated by stress, and the affected individuals appear distressed, antiaxiolytic medications like alpraxolam and valium, tranquillisers and antidepressants were initially tried. But they were not very useful. In short, there is no magic pill to cure stammering.

If a child’s stammer lasts more than six months, causes psychological problems in school, or continues beyond the age of five, it needs to be evaluated.

Children cannot voluntarily control stammering. Ridicule, asking him or her to speak slowly, or forcing him or her to repeat the words wont help. The only way parents can help is by providing a relaxed and supportive environment where the child is allowed to speak without feeling self-conscious.

Speech therapists can work with people who stammer, and by using a variety of techniques, can improve the speech. They can also help improve communication skills and create self awareness and confidence. Newer auditory feedback devices and computer assisted speech training can also be tried out. Many people do not have access to speech therapists and are forced to handle their child’s stammering as best they can.

A person may stammer while talking but not while singing. Asking him or her to formulate thoughts in the mind and then speak in a singsong way often helps. Speaking slowly, syllable by syllable instead of complete words, gets rid of the repetitive “th th th” sounds. Asking the person to follow the speech of the therapist or parent also helps. Sometimes using a gesture as the stammer sets in takes the concentration away from the speech and the stammer disappears.

UNIVERSAL TIPS  :-

• Sing the words

• Visualise the words in your head first

• Take a deep breath before speaking

• Speak slowly and break up the words into smaller components

• Speaking loudly or in a whisper makes stammering less obvious

If your child stammers, encourage him or her to do physical activity. This gives confidence which helps the anxiety and depression caused by stammering. Yoga calms the mind and corrects faulty breathing. It also improves speech in those who stammer.

Source: The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Goitre

A goitre (or goiter) (Latin struma), also called a bronchocele, is a swelling in the neck (just below Adam’s apple or larynx) due to an enlarged thyroid gland.The swelling of the gland in the neck becomes visible and the gland at times becomes exceedingly large, thereby causing difficulty in respiration and swallowing of foods and drinks.

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Classification
They are classified in different ways:

A “diffuse goitre is a goitre that has spread through all of the thyroid (and is contrasted with a “simple goitre”, “single thyroid nodule” and multinodular goitre“).

“Toxic goitre” refers to goitre with hyperthyroidism. These are derived from inflammation, neoplasm, and some kinds of activating autoimmune disease (Grave’s disease).

“Nontoxic goitre” (associated with normal or low thyroid levels) refers to all other types (such as that caused by lithium or certain other autoimmune diseases).

Causes

The most common cause for goitre in the world is iodine deficiency (E01); this condition is commonly called endemic goitre. It is curable by mass food-supplementation with iodine (in the form of iodide or iodate), and today remains a problem only in the least affluent countries which lack economic resources to fortify foods with iodine as part of public health programs.

Other causes are:
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (E06.3)
Graves-Basedow disease (E05.0)
Juvenile goitre due to congenital hypothyroidism (E03.0)
Neoplasm of the thyroid
Thyroiditis (acute, chronic) (E06)
Side-effects of pharmacological therapy (E03.2)

Occurrence
Iodine is necessary for the synthesis of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine (T3 and T4). In conditions producing endemic goitre, when iodine is not available, these hormones cannot be made. In response to low thyroid hormones, the pituitary gland releases thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Thyroid stimulating hormone acts to increase synthesis of T3 and T4, but in excess it also causes the thyroid gland to grow in size as a type of compensation.

Goitre is more common among women, but this includes the many types of goitre caused by autoimmune problems, and not only those caused by simple lack of iodine
.

Treatment
Treatment for goitre may not be necessary if the goitre is not caused by disease and is small. Removal of the goitre may be necessary if it causes difficulty with breathing or swallowing. There is now an alternative to surgery in large goiters. Radioiodine therapy with or without the pre-injection of a synthetic thyroid stimulating hormone, TSH, can relieve obstruction and reduce the size of the goiter by 30-65%. But removal of certain types of diffuse goitre mentioned above will result in removing the entire thyroid as well. The complete removal of the thyroid gland destroys the body’s ability to produce thyroid hormone. In this case, supplements of oral thyroid hormone are necessary to avoid harm from hypothyroidism.

In ayurveda this is called gladanda.According to ayurveda this is caused by the aggravation of Kapha and diminution of pitta.

Kanchanara is the drug of choice for the treatment of this condition. The bark of this tree is given to the patient in the form or a decoction. It is administered in a dose of 30ml,twice daily on an empty stomach. Kanchanara Guggulu, which contains this drug as an important ingredient, is popularly used for the treatment of this disease. It is given in a dose of four tablets three times a day followed by milk or warm water.



Healing Options

Ayurvedic Suppliments: 1. Kanchanar Guggulu 2. Arogyavardhini Bati

Diet Old rice, barley, moong dal, patola, drumstick, cucumber, sugarcane, juice, milk and milk products are useful in this conditions. Sour and heavy articles of food are contra-indicted.

 

Lifestyle: Exercise of the neck is useful in this condition

History and future
Goitre was previously common in many areas that were deficient in iodine in the soil. For example, in the English Midlands, the condition was known as Derbyshire Neck. In the United States, goiter was found in the Great Lakes, Midwest, and Intermountain regions. The condition now is practically absent in affluent nations, where table salt is supplemented with iodine. However, it is still prevalent in India, Central Asia and Central Africa.

Some health workers fear that a resurgence of goiter might occur because of the trend to use rock salt and/or sea salt, which has not been fortified with iodine.

New research indicates that there may in fact be a tendency to inherit an increased vulnerability to goitre.

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.

Help taken from:/en.wikipedia.org and Allayurveda.com

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