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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

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Phragmites australis

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Botanical Name :Phragmites australis
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Arundinoideae
Tribe: Arundineae
Genus: Phragmites
Species: P. australis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Common Name:Reed Grass, Common Reed

Habitat : Phragmites australis is  native to North America. The Eurasian genotype can be distinguished from the North American genotype by its shorter ligules of up to 0.9 millimetres (0.04 in) as opposed to over 1.0 millimetre (0.04 in), shorter glumes of under 3.2 millimetres (0.13 in) against over 3.2 millimetres (0.13 in) (although there is some overlap in this character), and in culm characteristics.

Phragmites australis, the Common reed, is a large perennial grass found in wetlands throughout temperate and tropical regions of the world. Phragmites australis is sometimes regarded as the sole species of the genus Phragmites, though some botanists divide Phragmites australis into three or four species. In particular the South Asian Khagra Reed – Phragmites karka – is often treated as a distinct species

*Phragmites australis subsp. americanus – Recently, the North American genotype has been described as a distinct subspecies, subsp. americanus,  and

*Phragmites australis subsp. australis – the Eurasian variety is referred to as subsp. australis.

Description:
Common reed, or Phragmites, is a tall, perennial grass that can grow to over 15 feet in height. In North America, both native phragmites (Phragmites australis ssp. americanus Saltonstall, P.M. Peterson & Soreng) and introduced subspecies are found. Introduced Phragmites forms dense stands which include both live stems and standing dead stems from previous year’s growth. Leaves are elongate and typically 1-1.5 inches wide at their widest point. Flowers form bushy panicles in late July and August and are usually purple or golden in color. As seeds mature, the panicles begin to look “fluffy” due to the hairs on the seeds and they take on a grey sheen. Below ground, Phragmites forms a dense network of roots and rhizomes which can go down several feet in depth. The plant spreads horizontally by sending out rhizome runners which can grow 10 or more feet in a single growing season if conditions are optimal.

You may click to see the pictures of  Phragmites australis

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is used in folk remedies for condylomata, indurated breast, mammary carcinomata, and leukemia. Reported to be alexeteric, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, refrigerant, sialogogue, stomachic, and sudorific, the common reed is a folk remedy for abscesses, arthritis, bronchitis, cancer, cholera, cough, diabetes, dropsy, dysuria, fever, flux, gout, hematuria, hemorrhage, hiccup, jaundice, leukemia, lung, nausea, rheumatism, sores, stomach, thirst, and typhoid.           The leaves are used in the treatment of bronchitis and cholera, the ash of the leaves is applied to foul sores. A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of cholera and food poisoning. The ashes are styptic. The root is taken internally in the treatment of diarrhea, fevers, vomiting, coughs with thick dark phlegm, lung abscesses, urinary tract infections and food poisoning (especially from sea foods). Externally, it is mixed with gypsum and used to treat halitosis and toothache. The root is harvested in the autumn and juiced or dried for use in decoctions.  The leaves and roots are renowned as a diuretic. Extracts of the rhizome have recently been found to be effective as ayahusca analogue and the dried extract (resin) has psychoactive properties when smoked.

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.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/phau1.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phragmites
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Categories
Healthy Tips

10 Ways to Manage Stress

Stress is a normal part of life and usually comes from everyday occurrences. Here are some ways you can deal with everyday sources of stress:……..click & see

1.Eliminate as many sources of stress as you can. For example, if crowds bother you, go to the supermarket when you know the lines won’t be too long. Try renting videotapes rather than going to crowded movie theaters. Clear up the clutter in your life by giving away or throwing away the things that get in your way. A garage sale is one effective way to do this.

2.If you are always running late, sit down with a pencil and paper and see how you are actually allotting your time. Say it takes you 40 minutes to get to work. Are you leaving your house on time? You may be able to solve your problem (and de-stress your life a bit) just by being realistic. If you can’t find the time for all the activities that are important to you, maybe you are trying to do too much. Again, make a list of what you do during the day and how much each activity takes. Then cut back.

3.Avoid predictably stressful situations. If a certain sport or game makes you tense (whether it’s tennis or bridge), decline the invitation to play. After all, the point of these activities is to have a good time. If you know you won’t, there’s no reason to play.

4.If you can’t remove the stress, remove yourself. Slip away once in a while for some private time. These quiet moments may give you a fresh perspective on your problems. Avoid stressful people. For example, if you don’t get along with your father-in-law but you don’t want to make an issue of it, invite other in-laws at the same time you invite him. Having other people around will absorb some of the pressure you would normally feel.

5. Competing with others, whether in accomplishments, appearance, or possessions, is an avoidable source of stress. You might know people who do all they can to provoke envy in others. While it may seem easy to say you should be satisfied with what you have, it’s the truth. Stress from this kind of jealousy is self-inflicted.

6.Laborsaving devices, such as cellular phones or computer hookups, often encourage us to cram too many activities into each day. Before you buy new equipment, be sure that it will really improve your life. Be aware that taking care of equipment and getting it repaired can be stressful.

7.Try doing only one thing at a time. For example, when you’re riding your exercise bike, you don’t have to listen to the radio or watch television.

8.Remember, sometimes it’s okay to do nothing.

9.If you suffer from insomnia, headaches, recurring colds, or stomach upsets, consider whether stress is part of the problem. Being chronically angry, frustrated, or apprehensive can deplete your physical resources.

10.If you feel stress (or anything else) is getting the better of you, seek professional help — a doctor or therapist. Early signs of excess stress are loss of a sense of well-being and reluctance to get up in the morning to face another day.

Source:Reader’s Digest