Herbs & Plants

Amorpha canescens

Botanical Name: Amorpha canescens
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Amorpha
Species:A. canescens
Order: Fabales

Common Names: Leadplant, Leadplant amorpha, Prairie shoestring

Habitat :Amorpha canescens is native to Eastern N. America – Indiana to Minnesota and Manitoba, south to Kansas and New Mexico. It grows on dry sandy prairies, hills and woodland.

Amorpha canescens is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1.5 m (5ft in). It has very small purple flowers with yellow stamens which are grouped in racemes. The compound leaves of this plant appear leaden (the reason for the common name “leadplant”) due to their dense hairiness. The roots can grow deeper than 1.2 meters (3.9 feet).


It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It can fix Nitrogen.
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. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Prefers a light well-drained sandy soil in sun or light shade. Tolerant of poor dry soils, plants can be invasive in rich soils. Wind resistant. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -25c but it frequently dies down to ground level in the winter, resprouting from the base in the following spring. A very ornamental plant. A deep rooted plant, it thrives best in hot, droughty seasons. It only ripens its seed in fine autumns. Immune to insect pests, the plant contains its own insecticide. At one time this plant was supposed to indicate the presence of lead in the soil. There is some confusion over the correct author of the Latin name of this plant. It is probably Pursh. as stated on the top of this sheet, but some books cite Nutt. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Seed – presoak for 12 hours in warm water and sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 2 months at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, June/July in a frame. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, autumn, in a sheltered position outdoors. Takes 12 months. Suckers in spring just before new growth begins. Layering in spring

Edible Uses:… Oil; Tea……An infusion of the dried leaves makes a pleasant tasting yellow-coloured tea.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Miscellany; Salve; Skin; Stomachic.

An infusion of the leaves has been used to kill pinworms or any intestinal worms. The infusion is also used to treat eczema, the report does not say it if is used internally or externally. The dried and powdered leaves are applied as a salve to cuts and open wounds. A decoction of the root is used to treat stomach pains. A moxa of the twigs has been used in the treatment of neuralgia and rheumatism.

Other Uses:
Insecticide; Miscellany; Oil; Repellent; Shelterbelt; Soil stabilization.

Plants have an extensive root system, they tolerate poor dry soils and are also wind resistant, they are used as a windbreak and also to prevent soil erosion. Resinous pustules on the plant contain ‘amorpha’, a contact and stomachic insecticide that also acts as an insect repellent.

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.


News on Health & Science

‘Smokable’pain drug for faster relief

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All self-respecting painkillers these days offer “fast-acting relief,” a promise we accept to mean anywhere from 15 minutes to more than an hour.

For Alexza Pharmaceuticals Inc, which is developing drugs for migraine, pain, panic and agitation, ‘fast’ has to mean ‘within seconds.’

The Palo Alto, California-based company is developing drugs that can be “smoked,” and, like nicotine in cigarettes, pass through the lungs and into the bloodstream almost instantly. Investors like the idea.

Alexza’s shares have risen nearly 60% over the past five months, dramatically outperforming the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, which rose 15% over the same period.

“What makes this an exciting story is how broadly applicable the technology could prove to be,” said Charles Duncan, an analyst at JMP Securities, which helped take the company public for $8 a share a year ago.

Alexza was formed by biotechnology entrepreneur Alejandro Zaffaroni, who also founded nicotine-patch developer Alza. His latest venture is not the only company that is developing inhaled therapies: Nektar Therapeutics and Alkermes Inc develop powdered insulin.

But Alexza’s idea of heating up a drug to create a vapour, or smoke, is unique.The company’s lead product is a vaporised version of an old drug called prochlorperazine, which Alexza is developing for migraine headaches but is currently used in liquid, oral or suppository form to treat severe nausea.

While it is sometimes given intravenously in hospitals to treat patients with acute migraines, the drug is inconvenient to deliver.

Alexza is hoping to provide similar results but in such a way that patients can carry the delivery device — an inhaler that looks like a miniature hip flask — in a pocketbook or the glove compartment of a car.

The device contains a battery-powered package that heats a thin coating of drug to create a vapour that can be sucked into the lungs.

“It’s a useful mode of delivery, though its desirability and frequency of prescription will depend on the disorder,” said Jeffrey Lieberman, chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University.

The company plans to release initial results of a mid-stage clinical trial of its migraine drug by the end of March. If all goes according to plan, Alexza could file a marketing application with US regulators in 2010.

The company is also testing inhalable drugs for pain and anxiety, and for agitation in schizophrenia patients.

While Lieberman doubts there would be much demand for an inhaled product for agitated schizophrenia patients, who would be unlikely to cooperate in taking it, he said there could be benefit for patients with migraine, panic and pain.

“People with panic disorder want immediate relief and would be very cooperative,” Lieberman said. “They know that if they take a pill it can take up to an hour to work. This would be a non-stigmatising way to deal with the situation.”

Thomas King, Alexza’s chief executive, said the company expects to announce a partnership with either a major drugmaker or specialty pharmaceuticals or device company to help develop at least one drug during the second half of this year.

“The key is to find partners with the same passion for the technology and what it conveys as we do,” he saiD.

Source:The Times Of India


Beauty Of Baby Oil

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Don’t be fooled into thinking baby oil is just for your kids — it has uses that will surprise you!       Remove a bandage

You can eliminate — or at least, significantly lessen — the “ouch” factor, and subsequent tears, when removing a youngster’s bandage by first rubbing some baby oil into the adhesive parts on top and around the edges. If you see the bandage working loose, let the child finish the job to help him overcome his fear. Adults who have sensitive or fragile skin may also want to try this.

Make your own bath oil

Do you have a favorite perfume or cologne? You can literally bathe in it by making your own scented bath oil. Simply add a few drops of your scent of choice to 1/4 cup baby oil in a small plastic bottle. Shake well, and add it to your bath.

Buff up your golf clubs

Don’t waste your money on fancy cleaning kits for your chrome-plated carbon steel golf club heads. Just keep a small bottle filled with baby oil in your golf bag along with a chamois cloth or towel. Dab a few drops of oil on the cloth and polish the head of your club after each round of golf.

Slip off a stuck ring

Is that ring jammed on your finger again? First lubricate the ring area with a generous amount of baby oil. Then swivel the ring around to spread the oil under it. You should be able to slide the ring off with ease.

Get scratches off dashboard plastic

You can disguise scratches on the plastic lens covering the odometer and other indicators on your car’s dashboard by rubbing over them with a bit of baby oil.

Remove latex paint from skin

Did you get almost as much paint on your face and hands as you did on the bathroom you just painted? You can quickly get latex paint off your skin by first rubbing it with some baby oil, followed by a good washing with soap and hot water.

Treat cradle cap

Cradle cap may be unsightly, but it is a common, usually harmless, phase in many babies’ development. To combat it, gently rub in a little baby oil, and lightly comb it through your baby’s hair. If your child gets upset, comb it a bit at a time, but do not leave the oil on for more than 24 hours. Then, thoroughly wash the hair to remove all of the oil. Repeat the process in persistent cases. Note: If you notice a lot of yellow crusting, or if the cradle cap has spread behind the ears or on the neck, contact your pediatrician instead.

From:Extra Ordinary Uses for Ordinary Things.

Environmental Pollution Health Alert

Sound Pollution

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No one on earth can escape the sounds of noise- an unwanted, disturbing sound that causes a nuisance in the eye of the beholder. Noise is a disturbance to the human environment that is escalating at such a high rate that it will become a major threat to the quality of human lives. In the past thirty years, noise in all areas, especially in urban areas, have been increasing rapidly. There are numerous effects on the human environment due to the increase in noise pollution.Although we attempt to set standards for some of the most major sources of noise, we often are unable to monitor them. Major sources of noise can be airplanes at takeoff and landing, and a truck just off the assembly line, yet we seem accept and enjoy countless other sounds, from hard rock music to loud Harley Davidson motor cycles. The following areas will be investigated in some detail; adolescent education, neural-effects, sleep, hearing damage, occupational environment, transportation, and physiological effects.


Most of society is now aware that noise can damage hearing. However, short of a threat that disaster would overtake the human race if nothing is done about noise, it is unlikely that many people today would become strongly motivated to do something about the problem. Yet, the evidence about the ill effects of noise does not allow for complacency or neglect. For instance, researchers working with children with hearing disorders are constantly reminded of the crucial importance of hearing to children. In the early years the child cannot learn to speak without special training if he has enough hearing loss to interfere effectively with the hearing of words in context (Bugliarello, et al., 1976). In this respect, there is a clear need for parents to protect their childrens’ hearing as they try to protect their eyesight. If no steps are taken to lessen the effects of noise, we may expect a significant percentage of future generations to have hearing damage. It would be difficult to predict the total outcome if total population would suffer hearing loss. Conceivably, the loss could even be detrimental to our survival if it were ever necessary for us to be able to hear high frequencies.