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Herbs & Plants

Allium ampeloprasum babingtonii

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Botanical Name : Allium ampeloprasum babingtonii
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. ampeloprasum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Babington’s Leek,Allium ampeloprasum babingtonii

Habitat : Allium ampeloprasum babingtonii is native to Britain in S.W. England and the Channel Islands It grows on the clefts of rocks and sandy places near the coast.
Description:
Allium ampeloprasum babingtonii is a bulb, growing to 1.8 m (6ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects. This species is a perennial herb with linear to strap-shaped medium green leaves. The flower heads can reach up to two metres in height. They are comprised of pink-purple bell-like flowers held in umbels with the occasional bulbil which are grow longer than the flowers and give the impression the flower head is exploding. When the flower dies down, these bulbils can root in the surrounding soil, so that colonies of these plants can ‘walk’ across the terrain…CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES : 
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Succeeds in clay soils. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.2 to 8.3. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Closely allied to the wild leek, A. ampeloprasum, differing mainly in its having more bulbils and fewer flowers in the flowering head. Plants can spread freely by means of their bulbils and sometimes become a weed in the garden. Where the plant is found wild in Britain it might be as a relic of early cultivation in monasteries etc. 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 – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, though it can also be sown in a cold frame in the spring.   Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Well-grown plants can be planted out into their final positions in late summer or the autumn, otherwise grow them on for a further year in pots and plant them out the following summer. This species produces few if any seeds. Division in late summer or early autumn. Dig up the bulbs when the plants are dormant and divide the small bulblets at the base of the larger bulb. Replant immediately, either in the open ground or in pots in a cold frame. Bulbils – plant out as soon as they are ripe in late summer. The bulbils can be planted direct into their permanent positions, though you get better results if you pot them up and plant them out the following spring
Edible Uses:
Bulb – raw or cooked. The small bulbs can vary considerably in size from 2 – 6cm, they have a pleasant mild garlic flavour. Leaves – raw or cooked. The young leaves are pleasant raw, older leaves quickly become fibrous and are best cooked. They have a nice leek flavour. The plants come into new growth in early winter and the leaves are often available from January. Flowers – raw. A pleasant mild garlic flavour, but with a rather dry texture. This species produces mainly bulbils and very few flowers. The bulbils have a mild garlic flavour and make a nice flavouring in salads and cooked foods. Although produced abundantly, they are quite fiddly to use because they are small. They can also be pickled.

Medicinal Uses::
This species has the same medicinal virtues as garlic, but in a much milder and less effective form. These virtues are as follows:- Garlic has a very long folk history of use in a wide range of ailments, particularly ailments such as ringworm, Candida and vaginitis where its fungicidal, antiseptic, tonic and parasiticidal properties have proved of benefit. It is also said to have anticancer activity. Daily use of garlic in the diet has been shown to have a very beneficial effect on the body, especially the blood system and the heart. For example, demographic studies suggest that garlic is responsible for the low incidence of arteriosclerosis in areas of Italy and Spain where consumption of the bulb is heavy. The bulb is said to be anthelmintic, antiasthmatic, anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, vasodilator. The crushed bulb may be applied as a poultice to ease the pain of bites, stings etc

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_ampeloprasum
https://www.greenplantswap.co.uk/plants/703-allium-babingtonnii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+ampeloprasum+babingtonii

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Herbs & Plants

Rosemary

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Botanical Name: Rosmarinus officinalis
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Rosmarinus
Species: R. officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name: Rosemary

Habitat: Rosemary is native to Mediterranean region. Now it is growing in most places of the world.
Description:
Rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes many other herbs. The name “rosemary” derives from the Latin for “dew” (ros) and “sea” (marinus), or “dew of the sea”. The plant is also sometimes called anthos, from the ancient Greek world, meaning “flower”. Rosemary has a fibrous root system.

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Rosemary leaves are similar to hemlock needles. The leaves are used as a flavoring in foods such as stuffings and roast lamb, pork, chicken and turkey. It is native to the Mediterranean and Asia, but is reasonably hardy in cool climates. It can withstand droughts, surviving a severe lack of water for lengthy periods. Forms range from upright to trailing; the upright forms can reach 1.5 m (5 ft) tall, rarely 2 m (6 ft 7 in). The leaves are evergreen, 2–4 cm (0.8–1.6 in) long and 2–5 mm broad, green above, and white below, with dense, short, woolly hair. The plant flowers in spring and summer in temperate climates, but the plants can be in constant bloom in warm climates; flowers are white, pink, purple or deep blue. Rosemary also has a tendency to flower outside its normal flowering season; it has been known to flower as late as early December, and as early as mid-February.

Cultivation:
Since it is attractive and drought-tolerant, rosemary is used as an ornamental plant in gardens and for xeriscape landscaping, especially in regions of Mediterranean climate. It is considered easy to grow and pest-resistant. Rosemary can grow quite large and retain attractiveness for many years, can be pruned into formal shapes and low hedges, and has been used for topiary. It is easily grown in pots. The groundcover cultivars spread widely, with a dense and durable texture.

Rosemary grows on friable loam soil with good drainage in an open, sunny position. It will not withstand waterlogging and some varieties are susceptible to frost. It grows best in neutral to alkaline conditions (pH 7–7.8) with average fertility. It can be propagated from an existing plant by clipping a shoot (from a soft new growth) 10–15 cm (4–6 in) long, stripping a few leaves from the bottom, and planting it directly into soil

Edible Uses:
The leaves are used to flavor various foods, such as stuffings and roast meats. Fresh or dried leaves are used in traditional Italian cuisine. They have a bitter, astringent taste and a characteristic aroma which complements many cooked foods. Herbal tea can be made from the leaves. When roasted with meats or vegetables, the leaves impart a mustard-like aroma with an additional fragrance of charred wood compatible with barbecued foods.

In amounts typically used to flavor foods, such as one teaspoon (1 gram), rosemary provides no nutritional value. Rosemary extract has been shown to improve the shelf life and heat stability of omega 3-rich oils which are prone to rancidity.

Meditional Uses:
Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks. In addition, rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration.

Phytochemicals and traditional medicine:
Rosemary contains a number of phytochemicals, including rosmarinic acid, camphor, caffeic acid, ursolic acid, betulinic acid, and the antioxidants carnosic acid and carnosol.

In traditional medicine of India, extracts and essential oil from flowers and leaves are used to treat a variety of disorders.

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Other Uses:
Rosemary is used as a decorative plant in gardens where it may have pest control effects.

Folklore and customs:
In the Middle Ages, rosemary was associated with wedding ceremonies. The bride would wear a rosemary headpiece and the groom and wedding guests would all wear a sprig of rosemary. From this association with weddings, rosemary was thought to be a love charm.

In myths, rosemary has a reputation for improving memory and has been used as a symbol for remembrance during war commemorations and funerals in Europe and Australia. Mourners would throw it into graves as a symbol of remembrance for the dead. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia says, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” (Hamlet, iv. 5.) In Australia, sprigs of rosemary are worn on ANZAC Day and sometimes Remembrance Day to signify remembrance; the herb grows wild on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Hungary water was first prepared for the Queen of Hungary Elisabeth of Poland to ” … renovate vitality of paralyzed limbs … ” and to treat gout. It was used externally and prepared by mixing fresh rosemary tops into spirits of wine. Don Quixote (Part One, Chapter XVII) mixes it in his recipe of the miraculous balm of Fierabras.

Mythology:
According to legend, it was draped around the Greek goddess Aphrodite when she rose from the sea, born of Uranus’s semen. The Virgin Mary is said to have spread her blue cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush when she was resting, and the flowers turned blue. The shrub then became known as the “Rose of Mary”

Known hazards:
The essential oil of rosemary is potent and should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women. The oil may cause severe adverse effects including seizures when taken internally and may irritate the skin when applied externally.
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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosemary
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=75
http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/rosmarinus-officinalis-rosemary

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Jungli Bhendi(Abelmoschus ficulneus)

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Botanical name: Abelmoschus ficulneus
Family:    Malvaceae
Genus:    Abelmoschus
Species:    A. ficulneu
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Malvales
Synonyms: Hibiscus ficulneus
Common name: White Wild Musk Mallow, Native rosellaHindi: Jangli bhindi • Marathi: Ran bhendi • Tamil: Kattu-vendai • Telugu: Nella benda, Parupubenda

Habitat :Abelmoschus ficulneus occurs in tropical Africa (including Madagascar), Asia and Australia. In tropical Africa it has a scattered distribution. It occurs mostly in East Africa from Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia southward to Zambia and Mozambique. In West and Central Africa it is reported for Niger, northern Nigeria and Chad. Abelmoschus ficulneus occurs from near sea level up to 1350 m altitude in areas with a pronounced dry season, usually in grassland, bushland, fallows or as a weed in cultivated land. It also occurs in water-logged soils near rivers.

Description:
Annual herb up to 2 m tall; stem thick, glabrous to densely glandular pubescent. Leaves alternate, simple stellate hairy; stipules linear or filiform, 5–12 mm long, hirsute; petiole 2–21 cm long, hairy; blade orbicular, deeply 3–5-lobed, up to 16 cm × 16 cm, cordate at base, lobes subacute to broadly rounded, margin serrate, scabrous on both sides. Flowers bisexual, regular, solitary in leaf axils or in a terminal raceme; pedicel 0.5–2.0(–2.5) cm long, expanded and cup-shaped apically; epicalyx bracts 5–6, linear to lanceolate, up to 12 mm × 2 mm, rough, caducous before expansion of corolla; calyx 17–23 mm long, 5-toothed, tomentellous; petals 5, obovate, 2–3.5 cm × 1.5–3 cm, uniformly white, turning pink; stamens many, filaments united in a column 1–1.5 cm long, glabrous; ovary superior, 5-celled. Fruit an ellipsoid capsule 3–4 cm × 1.5–2 cm, puberulous to pubescent; valves acute to aristate with up to 3 mm long awns. Seeds globose, 3–4 mm in diameter, black, with concentric lines, glabrous or with stellate or long crisped hairs.

 

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Abelmoschus comprises about 6 species in Africa, Asia and Australia. It was previously included within Hibiscus. Species delimitation within the genus is based on number, dimensions and persistence of the involucral bracts, indumentum traits, and shape and dimensions of capsules. Abelmoschus ficulneus is possibly one of the parental species of the important vegetable Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench., the other being Abelmoschus tuberculatus Pal & H.B.Singh. Abelmoschus ficulneus is sometimes confused with Abelmoschus esculentus.

Constituents:
Fibre bundles in transverse section are squarish to radially elongated, widely spaced with cells compactly arranged. Reports on the quality of the fibre of Abelmoschus ficulneus from India are contradictory.

Per 100 g dry matter the seed contains 14 g fat and 20–25 g protein. The main fatty acids in the seed oil are: palmitic acid 27–32%, oleic acid 23–32% and linoleic acid 10–42%. The oil also contains malvalic acid and sterculic acid, which are known to cause abnormal physiological reactions in animals. The essential amino acid composition of the seed protein is: lysine 7.1%, methionine 2.8%, phenylalanine 6.8%, threonine 2.8%, valine 5.9%, leucine 6.5% and isoleucine 3.4%. Fruits are rich in vitamin C, with a content of 38 mg per 100 g fresh material.

Medicinal Uses:
Leaves crushed with salted water are used in Indonesia against diarrhoea. In India a decoction of the crushed fresh root is taken to treat calcium deficiency. In case of a scorpion bite, the root is crushed in a glass of water and drunk, while root paste is applied on the area of the sting.

Other Uses:
The stem yields a white fibre used for twine and light cordage. The green stem produces a mucilaginous extract which is an efficient clarifier of sugar-cane syrup. In Egypt the plant is cultivated as a vegetable. The fruits are edible, and in Sudan both the fruits and the leaves are eaten in times of food scarcity. The seeds are used in Arabia to improve the taste of coffee.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Abelmoschus_ficulneus_(Jungli_Bhendi)_in_Kawal,_AP_W_IMG_2214.jpg
http://database.prota.org/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpub.dll?ac=qbe_query&bu=http://database.prota.org/search.htm&tn=protab~1&qb0=and&qf0=Species+Code&qi0=Abelmoschus+ficulneus&rf=Webdisplay
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/White%20Wild%20Musk%20Mallow.html

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Featured

Friendly Bacteria Blunt Anti-Nutrient Action

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The “good” bacteria strain Bifidobacterium may reduce levels of phytate and phytic acid, compounds which are thought to be behind fiber’s impairment of mineral absorption.

Phytase enzymes produced by strains of bifidobacteria could reduce phytate and phytic acid levels in food.

When compared to high-fiber bread baked traditionally, fermentation of bread with the Bifidobacterium strains led to significantly lower phytic acid levels.

Resources:
Food Navigator October 12, 2009
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry October 9, 2009

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Categories
Diagnonistic Test

Holter Monitor

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Alternative Names : Ambulatory electrocardiography; Electrocardiography – ambulatory

Definition
A Holter monitor is a machine that continuously records the heart’s rhythms. The monitor is usually worn for 24 – 48 hours during normal activity.It is a portable EKG device that records your heart rhythm over time, outside the hospital or doctor’s office.Whereas a regular EKG examines your heart’s electrical activity for a few minutes, the Holter monitor examines changes over a sustained period of time-usually a 24- to 48-hour period-while you go about your daily activities and even while you sleep. Doctors use it to evaluate symptoms that come and go and that might be related to heart-rhythm changes.

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How the Test is Performed ?
Electrodes (small conducting patches) are stuck onto your chest and attached to a small recording monitor. You carry the Holter monitor in a pocket or small pouch worn around your neck or waist. The monitor is battery operated.

While you wear the monitor, it records your heart’s electrical activity. You should keep a diary of what activities you do while wearing the monitor. After 24 – 48 hours, you return the monitor to your doctor’s office. The doctor will look at the records and see if there have been any irregular heart rhythms.

It is very important that you accurately record your symptoms and activities so that the doctor can match them with your Holter monitor findings.
Why the Test is Performed ?
Holter monitoring is used to determine how the heart responds to normal activity. The monitor may also be used:

*After a heart attack
*To diagnose heart rhythm problems
*When starting a new heart medicine

It may be used to diagnose:
*Atrial fibrillation/flutter
*Multifocal atrial tachycardia
*Palpitations
*Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
*Reasons for fainting
*Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
*Ventricular tachycardia

What happens when the test is performed?
A technician in your doctor’s office or a diagnostic lab fits you with a Holter monitor and explains how to use it. Five stickers are attached to your chest.Wires snap onto each of these stickers and connect them to the monitor. The wires detect your heart’s electrical pattern throughout the day, while the monitor records and stores the data for doctors to interpret later. You can fit the monitor into a purse or jacket pocket or wear it over your shoulder by its strap.

You can go about your normal activities with two exceptions. First, you can’t take a shower or bath during the period that you’re wearing the monitor. Second, you are given a small diary in which to note any worrisome symptoms you feel and record the time when they occur. The doctor will later review both your diary and the data about your heart’s activity from the monitor, to see if any symptoms you experienced were caused by some underlying heart problem. There are no side effects from the testing.
How to Prepare for the Test ?
There is no special preparation for the test. Your doctor will start the monitor. You’ll be told how to replace the electrodes should they fall off or become loose.

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any tape or other adhesives. Make sure you shower or bathe before you start the test. You will not be able to do so while you are wearing a Holter monitor

Men with a lot of hair on their chest will probably have to shave it.

How the Test Will Feel?
This is a painless test. However, some people may need to have their chest shaved so the electrodes can stick.

You must keep the monitor close to your body. This may make sleeping difficult for some people.

You should continue your normal activities while wearing the monitor.

Risk Factors:
There are no risks.However, you should be sure not to let the monitor get wet.

Must  you do anything special after the test is over?
You need only return the Holter monitor.

Normal Results:-
Normal variations in heart rate occur with activities. A normal result is no significant changes in heart rhythms or pattern.

What Abnormal Results Mean?
Abnormal results may include various arrhythmias. Changes may mean that the heart is not getting enough oxygen.

The monitor may also detect conduction block, a condition in which the atrial electrical activity is either delayed or does not continue into the ventricles of the heart.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
It usually takes a few days for your recording to be printed out and examined.

Considerations :-
Electrodes must be firmly attached to the chest so the machine gets an accurate recording of the heart’s activity.

While wearing the device, avoid:
*Electric blankets
*High-voltage areas
*Magnets
*Metal detectors

It is very important for you to keep a diary of symptoms. The diary should include the date, time of day, type, and duration of symptoms.

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/holter-monitor.shtml
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/MEDLINEPLUS/ency/imagepages/8810.htm
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/MEDLINEPLUS/ency/article/003877.htm

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