Categories
Herbs & Plants

Prunus alabamensis

 

Botanical Name: Prunus alabamensis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Species: P. alabamensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Synonyms:
*Padus alabamensis (C.Mohr) Small
*Prunus serotina var. alabamensis (C.Mohr) Little

Common Names: Alabama cherry or Alabama black cherry

Habitat : Prunus alabamensis is native to the southeastern United States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina. It grows rare and local on the summits of low mountains.

Description:
Prunus alabamensis is a shrub or small tree up to 15 feet (450 cm) tall. Leaves are thick, broadly egg-shaped dull green on the upper surface, light green on the underside. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. Flowers are in an elongated raceme up to 6 inches (15 cm) long.

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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 can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring.
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.

Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter, it has a thin acid flesh and contains a single large seed.
Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.

Other Uses :.…Dye……A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

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/Prunus_alabamensis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+alabamensis

Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Introduction:
Carbon monoxide is a gas. It is a product of incomplete combustion of natural or petroleum gas.  It has no odor or color. You can’t see it, smell it, or taste it; but carbon monoxide can kill you. Inhaling the gas reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, leaving the body’s organs and cells starved of oxygen.

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Common sources of carbon monoxide is automobiles on road and in  in the home include faulty central heating systems, gas appliances and fires. Blocked flues and chimneys mean the gas can’t escape and is inhaled by the unsuspecting individual.CO from these fumes can build up in places that don’t have a good flow of fresh air.  One  can be poisoned by breathing them in.

It is often hard to tell if someone has CO poisoning, because the symptoms may be like those of other illnesses. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms. A CO detector can warn you if you have high levels of CO in your home.

Symptoms:
The symptoms of mild carbon monoxide poisoning may be non-specific and similar to those of viral cold and flu infections or food poisoning: headache, nausea, abdominal pain, dizziness, sore throat and dry cough.

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are:
•Headache
•Dizziness
•Nausea
•Flu-like symptoms, fatigue
•Shortness of breath on exertion
•Impaired judgment
•Chest pain
•Confusion
•Depression
•Hallucinations
•Agitation
•Vomiting
•Abdominal pain
•Drowsiness
•Visual changes
•Fainting
•Seizure
•Memory and walking problems

In children, the symptoms are similar to those of a stomach upset, with nausea and vomiting.

More severe poisoning can result in a fast and irregular heart rate, hyperventilation, confusion, drowsiness and difficulty breathing. Seizures and loss of consciousness may also occur.

Some symptoms can occur a few days or even months after exposure to carbon monoxide. These may include confusion, loss of memory and problems with coordination.

Causes:
Carbon monoxide is formed when organic compounds burn. The most common sources are motor vehicle exhaust, smoke from fires, engine fumes, and nonelectric heaters. Carbon monoxide poisoning is often associated with malfunctioning or obstructed exhaust systems and with suicide attempts.

Sources of carbon monoxide:

•Gas water heaters
•Kerosene space heaters
•Charcoal grills
•Propane heaters and stoves
•Gasoline and diesel powered generators
•Cigarette smoke
•Propane-fueled forklifts
•Gasoline powered concrete saws
•Indoor tractor pulls
•Any boat with an engine
•Spray paint, solvents, degreasers, and paint removers

Risk Factors:
Risks for exposure to carbon monoxide include:
•Children riding in the back of enclosed pickup trucks (particularly high risk)
•Industrial workers at pulp mills, steel foundries, and plants producing formaldehyde or coke (a hard grey fuel)
•Personnel at fire scenes
•Using heating sources or electric generators during power outages
•Those working indoors with combustion engines or combustible gases
•Swimming near or under the stern or swim-step of a boat with the boat engine running
•Back drafting when a boat is operated at a high bow angle
•Mooring next to a boat that is running a generator or engine
•Improper boat ventilation

Diagnosis:
Because signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are not specific, a blood test to look for it is the best way to make the diagnosis.

Treatment;
•The treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning is high-dose oxygen, usually using a facemask attached to an oxygen reserve bag.
•Carbon monoxide levels in the blood may be periodically checked until they are low enough to safely send you home.
•In severe poisoning, if available, a hyperbaric pressure chamber may be used to give even higher doses of oxygen.
•It is important to find the source of the carbon monoxide. Your local fire department or public service company will help find the source of carbon monoxide and make sure the building is safe.

Self-Care at Home:
•Move all family members and pets to fresh air away from the source of carbon monoxide (CO).
•No home therapy is available for carbon monoxide poisoning.
•You must seek medical care in a hospital emergency department.

Prognosis:
The prognosis for a person with carbon monoxide poisoning is difficult to predict.
•Death can result from severe cases.
•Even with proper treatment, some people develop long-term brain damage, resulting in complications such as severe memory loss, difficulty thinking, or other neurologic or psychiatric problems.
•Others appear to have no long-term problems.
*People who suffer mild poisoning invariably make a full recovery. Between ten and 50 per cent of those with severe poisoning may suffer long-term problems.

Prevention:
Your best protection is to install a carbon monoxide alarm on each level of your home or boat as your first line of defense. According to the National Fire Protection Association some 93% of homes have smoke alarms, yet the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that only 15% have carbon monoxide alarms. A carbon monoxide monitor with an audible alarm works much like a home smoke alarm and beeps loudly when the sensors detect carbon monoxide.

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•If the alarm sounds, evacuate the building. People who have symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning should seek emergency medical care. Call the fire department or public service company to investigate.

•Inspect your home for hazards.

*Your home heating system, chimney, and flue must be inspected and cleaned by a qualified technician every year. Keep chimneys clear of bird and squirrel nests, leaves, and residue to ensure proper ventilation.

*Be sure your furnace and other appliances, such as gas ovens, ranges, and cook tops, are inspected for adequate ventilation.

*Do not burn charcoal inside your house (even in the fireplace). Have gas fireplaces inspected each fall to ensure the pilot light burns safely.

*Do not operate gasoline-powered engines in confined areas such as garages or basements. Do not leave your car, mower, or other vehicle running in an attached garage, even with the door open.

*Do not block or seal shut exhaust flues or ducts for appliances such as water heaters, ranges, and clothes dryers.

*Become familiar with the hazards of carbon monoxide poisoning and boating (please see Web Links section).

For More Information:
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You may click & see:-
*Environmental Protection Agency, Protect Your Family and Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

*Centers for Disease Control – Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning on Your Boat

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:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/carbonmonoxide1.shtml
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/carbon_monoxide_poisoning/article_em.htm
http://www.salem-news.com/articles/december212006/tips_122106.php
http://healthforworld.blogspot.com/2008/11/carbon-monoxide-poisoning.html

http://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm

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