Tag Archives: Asia

Vitamine B-12

Vitamine B-12 is essencial to keep fatigue and forgetfulness away.

If we feel tired even after eight solid hours of sleep, It’s not just because of the long hours we are putting in at work, it could be the sign of a deficiency too. If we also feel depressed without a reason, have a tingling sensation in our hands or feet and have noticed a recent tendency to forget things, it may be that we are lacking in Vitamin B12.

Also known as cobalamin, Vitamin B12 is one of the eight B vitamins and its role in cellular metabolism is closely intertwined with that of folate, another B vitamin.

“Over 50 per cent of Indians have B12 deficiency,” says Sadanand S. Naik, head of the department of clinical biochemistry at Pune’s KEM Hospital.

It can affect anyone and at any age. “The figure is higher among vegetarians, pregnant women (as its requirement goes up during pregnancy) and the elderly (as they do not take adequate nutrition),” says Seema Gulati, head of the nutrition research group at the National Diabetes Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (NDOC), a Delhi-based NGO.

In all age groups, Vitamin B12 should be in the range of 200 pg/ml to 900 pg/ml of blood, where one pg or picogram is one trillionth of a gram. The early signals of a deficiency are anaemia, lethargy, joint pain, loss of memory and laziness. So if we are being plagued by more than one of these symptoms, we should see doctor and get ourselves tested.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is becoming a growing health concern across the world. An article published this year in the journal Nature Reviews – co-authored by Dr Ralph Green of the US, and a group of 14 international experts – states, “Deficiency of B12 is emerging as a public health concern in many low-income countries. A World Health Organization consultation identified infants, preschool children and pregnant and lactating women as the most vulnerable groups.”

The lack of Vitamin B12 for a sufficiently long period of time can lead to sensory and motor disturbances, ataxia leading to lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements, and cognitive decline leading to dementia and psychiatric disorders. “Advanced Vitamin B12 deficiency could also lead to delirium and paranoia,” says Bangalore-based biological scientist Sujata Kelkar Shetty.

Low B12 levels could even spark off coronary artery disease, suggests a 2009 report of the US-based National Center for Biotechnology Information. It states that the incidence of coronary artery disease is increasing at an alarming rate, especially in developing countries such as India. “This may be due to deficiency of vitamin B12, a micronutrient, sourced only from animal products,” it adds.

There also seems to be a connection between lack of Vitamin B12 and the health of the thyroid gland. “Vitamin B12 deficiency and hypothyroidism are inter-related among young females,” says KEM’s Naik. “This is partly due to vegetarianism, a sedentary lifestyle and not enough exposure to sunlight.”

Incidentally, sunlight helps us make Vitamin D. So there is always a possibility that we may be deficient in both vitamins B12 and D3. “Prolonged D and B12 deficiency leads to impaired bone mineralisation, anaemia and neuro-cognitive disorders. Notable D and B12 deficiency prevails in epidemic proportions all over the Indian subcontinent,” reveals Naik.

Unlike Vitamin D, our body cannot make Vitamin B12. “So we have to get it from animal-based foods (dairy or meat) or from supplements [for vegetarians]. And we should do that on a regular basis, because our body cannot store vitamin B12 for a long time,” Gulati says. Since this vitamin is water soluble, any excess amount flows out of the body.

Ensuring we take in enough Vitamin B12 is sometimes not enough, especially if our stomach lining has been compromised as that impairs its absorption of the vitamin. This can happen in certain gastric ailments as well as in certain autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s. Consuming too much alcohol can also increase your risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency as it may lead to severe depletion of bodily stores of the vitamin. Chronic alcoholism also damages the lining of the stomach and intestines, which impairs absorption.

If we are found to have very low levels of B12 then the immediate relief is injectables. After taking a shot every day for five days, we will then be prescribed pills. There are, however, exceptions. “In pernicious anaemia, Vitamin B12 deficiency is persistent, and long-term injectable B12 is warranted,” says Gulati.

So,it is advicible not to wait for a shot when there are mouthful of delicious food that can give the same results.

Sources of Vitamin B12
————————————

For Vegetarians:-

*Milk and milk products (yogurt,buttermilk, cheese)
*Fortified cereals
*Nutritional yeast
*Shitake mushrooms

For Non-vegetarian:

*Eggs, Meat and Fish
*Shellfish

Source : The Telegraph, Kolkata(India)

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Allium sacculiferum

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

Synonyms:
*Allium deltoidefistulosum S.O.Yu, S.Lee & W.T.Lee
*Allium japonicum Regel 1875, illegitimate homonym not (Thunb.) Steud. 1840
*Allium komarovianum Vved.
*Allium ophiopogon H.Lév.
*Allium sacculiferum var. viviparum Satake
*Allium yuchuanii Y.Z.Zhao & J.Y.Chao

Common Names: Northern plain chive, Triangular chive

Habitat: Allium sacculiferum is native to Japan, Korea, eastern Russia (Amur Oblast, Khabarovsk, Primorye), and northeastern China (Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning). It is found along the banks of lakes and rivers at elevations less than 500 m.

Description:

Allium sacculiferum makes one or two egg-shaped bulbs up to 20 mm across. Scapes are up to 70 cm tall, round in cross-section. Leaves are flat, shorter than the scape, up to 5 mm across. Umbels are spherical, with many flowers crowded together. Tepals are lilac to reddish-violet with darker midveins.

Bulbs 2-3 cm in diameter, narrowly ovoid; outer tunic membranous, reddish- brown. Stem 60-100 cm, terete. Leaves 6-10, up to 35 cm x 20 mm, sheathing the lower 1/2 of the stem, linear, ascending, canaliculate. Spathe 1-valved, persistent, shorter than pedicels. Umbel 3.5-4 cm in diameter, spherical or hemispherical, dense, many-flowered; pedicels 10-20 mm, unequal. Perianth broadly cupshaped or subglobose; segments 4-5 x 2.5 mm, pale yellowish-green very concave, the outer broadly ovate-elliptical, the inner ovate acute. Stamens exserted; filaments 7-8 mm. Capsule 3 mm.

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 It is in flower from Aug to September.  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 soil.

Cultivation:
The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other plants. 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.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.
Bulb – raw or cooked. Added to soups. The bulb is up to 15mm in diameter. Leaves – raw or cooked. Added to soups. 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.

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

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_sacculiferum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+sacculiferum

Allium nutans

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

Synonyms:
*Allium tataricum Schult. & Schult.f.
*Allium undulatum Schousb. ex Trev.
*Porrum nutans (L.) Raf.

Common Names: Siberian chives, Blue chives

Habitat : Allium nutans is native to European Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Tibet, Xinjiang, and Asiatic Russia (Altay Krai, Krasnoyarsk, Tuva, Western Siberia, Amur Oblast). It grows in wet meadows and other damp locations.
Description:
Allium nutans is a BULB growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It has one or two bulbs up to 20 mm in diameter. Scapes are winged and 2-angled, up to 60 cm tall. Leaves are flat, tapering at both ends, up to 15 mm wide at the widest spot, about half as long as the scapes. Umbels are spherical, with many pink to pale purple flowers. It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant for a sunny position in a well-drained soil. 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. Germination is usually free and easy, pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle easily and plant out in the following spring. Division can be carried out at almost any time of the year but is probably best done in spring. The clumps should be divided at least every 3 or 4 years in order to maintain vigour, the divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions

Edible Uses: Leaves – eaten  raw or cooked. ( A mild, chive-like flavour.)
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.

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

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_nutans
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+nutans

Allium hookeri

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

Synonyms: Allium tsoongii

Common Names: Hooker chives, Phulun Zung (in India), Kuan ye jiu (in China)

Habitat : Allium hookeri is native to E. Asia – Southern China, India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. The plant is widely cultivated outside its native range, and valued as a food item in much of South and Southeast Asia. It grows in forests, forest margins, moist places and meadows at elevations from 1400 – 4200 metres.

Description:

Allium hookeri is a bulb growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in). It produces thick, fleshy roots and a cluster of thin bulbs. Scapes are up top 60 cm tall. Leaves are flat and narrow, about the same length as the scapes but only 1 cm across. Umbels are crowded with many white or greenish-yellow flowers. It is in flower from Jul to October, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October.

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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 soil.
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 could succeed outdoors at least in the milder parts of the country. The plant is cultivated as a food crop in southern China. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. 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.

Edible Uses:
Bulb – raw or cooked. 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.

Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in 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_hookeri
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+hookeri

Inula cappa

 

Botanical Name : Inula cappa
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribes: Inuleae
Genus: Inula
Species: Inula cappa

Common Name : Sheep’s Ear

Habitat :Inula cappa is native to E. AsiaHimalayas from Himachel Pradesh to south-western China. It grows in shrubberies and on open slopes, often gregarious, at elevations of 1,000 – 2,400 metres. In forests of long-leafed pines.
Description:
Inula cappa is a shrub growing to 1.8 m (6ft). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

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Cultivation: It can be well cultivated in on open slopes, often gregarious, at elevations of 1,000 – 2,400 metres. In forests of long-leafed pines.

Propagation: Through seeds.

Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne, antiphlogistic, carminative, depurative, expectorant, dispels clots. The juice of the root is used in the treatment of peptic ulcers, indigestion and other gastric disorders. A decoction of the root is used in the treatment of fevers. The decoction is also added to bath water in order to relieve body aches caused by hard physical work. A poultice made from the pounded root is applied to the forehead to relieve headaches. The juice of the bark, mixed with equal quantities of the juice from the bark of Ficus semicordata and Myrica esculenta is used in the treatment of menstrual disorders.
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://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Inula_cappa
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Inula+cappa