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Agrimonia striata

 

Botanical Name : Agrimonia striata
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Agrimonia
Species:A. striata
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: Roadside agrimony, Grooved agrimony, Agrimony, Cocklebur, Woodland Agrimony, Woodland grooveburr.

Habitat :Agrimonia striata is native to the United States, Canada, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon. It grows mainly on the cultivated beds, forest edges, forests, meadows and fields, woodlands.

Description:
Agrimonia striata is a species of perennial forb belonging to the Rose family (Rosaceae). It grows to about 40in. (1m) producing a dense cluster (raceme) of 5-parted yellow flowers on a hairy stalk above pinnately-divided leaves.. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

Medicinal Uses:
Not yet found anywhere.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrimonia_striata
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Agrimonia+striata
https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/agrimonia/striata/

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Rhamnus californica

Botanical Name : Rhamnus californica/Frangula californica
Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Rhamnus
Subgenus: Frangula
Species: R. californica—F. californica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: California coffeeberry, Coffeeberry, and California buckthorn

Habitat : Rhamnus californica is native to California, the Southwestern United States, and Baja California state in Mexico. It is an introduced species in Hawaii. The plant occurs in Oak woodland and chaparral habitats, numerous others in its range. Individual plants can live an estimated 100 to 200 years.

Description:
Rhamnus californica is a shrub 3–12 feet (0.91–3.66 m) tall. It is variable in form across subspecies. In favorable conditions the plant can develop into a small tree over 12 feet (3.7 m) tall.More commonly it is a shrub between 3–6 feet (0.91–1.83 m) tall.

The branches may have a reddish tinge and the new twigs are often red in color. The alternately arranged evergreen leaves are dark green above and paler on the undersides. The leaves have thin blades in moist habitat, and smaller, thicker blades in dry areas.

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The 1/8″ greenish flowers occur in clusters in the leaf axils, have 5 sepals, and 5 shorter petals.

It blooms in May and June.

The fruit is a juicy drupe which may be green, red, or black. It is just under a centimeter long and contains two seeds that resemble coffee beans.

Edible Uses:
The seeds inside the berries make an excellent, caffeine-free coffee substitute, superior to chicory and with overtones of mocha.

Although the plant itself looks much like a coffee plant, its berries, which are succulent, do not, but they can be made into jams and jellies.

Native Americans of the west coast of North America had several uses for the plant as food, and used parts of it as a traditional medicinal plant. Several tribes of the indigenous peoples of California ate the fruit fresh or dried.

Medicinal Uses:
The Ohlone people used the leaves to treat poison oak dermatitis. The Kumeyaay people had similar uses for its bark. The Kawaiisu used the fruit to treat wounds such as burns. The bark was widely used as a laxative by the indigenous peoples.
Names for the plant in the Konkow language of the Concow tribe include pä and pö.

Other Uses:
This plant is cultivated as an ornamental plant by plant nurseries, for planting in native plant, water conserving, and wildlife gardens; in large pots and containers; and in natural landscaping and habitat restoration projects. It is also used for erosion control, and is usually deer resistant. As a pollinator plant it is of special value to native butterflys and bees.

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/Rhamnus_californica
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.parksconservancy.org/conservation/plants-animals/native-plant-information/california-coffeeberry.html

Liatris punctata

Botanical Name : Liatris punctata
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Liatris
Species: L. punctata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : Laciniaria punctata. (Hook.)Kuntze

Common Names ; Snakeroot, Dotted blazing star, Mexican blazing star, Nebraska blazing star

Habitat : Liatris punctata occurs in Alberta east to Manitoba in Canada, and in most of the central United States, its distribution extending into Mexico. There are three varieties, with var. punctata in western areas, var. nebraskana more common to the east, and var. mexicana in Oklahoma and Texas. It grows in dry prairies and plains.

Description:
Liatris punctata is a perennial herb produces one or more erect stems up to 80 centimetres (2.6 feet) tall. They grow from a thick taproot which may extend 5 m (16 ft) deep in the ground. It also has rhizomes. The inflorescence is a spike of several flower heads. The heads contain several flowers which are usually purple, but sometimes white. The fruit is an achene tipped with a long pappus. The plant reproduces sexually by seed and vegetatively by sprouting from its rhizome. This species is long-lived, with specimens estimated to be over 35 years old
It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

Cultivation :
Grows well in a moderately good light soil. Tolerates poor soils. Plants are prone to rot overwinter in wet soils. A good bee plant. Rodents are very fond of the tubers so the plants may require some protection.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in autumn in a greenhouse. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in the year in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring[1]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Basal cuttings taken in spring as growth commences. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Edible Uses: …….Root – raw or cooked. A sweet flavour when harvested in the spring and baked. Eating the root is said to improve the appetite.

Medicinal Uses:
Antipruritic; Diuretic; Poultice; Stomachic.

An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of stomach aches, bloody urine and women’s bladder complaints. The root has been chewed and the juice swallowed in the treatment of swollen testes. A decoction of the roots is used as a wash for itching skin complaints. A poultice of the boiled roots is applied to swelling.

Other Uses:
This plant is palatable to livestock and wild ungulates such as elk, white-tailed deer, and pronghorn. Its nectar is favored by lepidopterans, such as the rare butterfly Pawnee montane skipper (Hesperia leonardus montana), which is known to occur wherever the plant does. This plant species is considered good for revegetating prairie habitat. It is also used as an ornamental plant.

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://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Liatris+punctata
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liatris_punctata

Pain

Definition:
Pain is an unpleasant feeling often caused by intense or damaging stimuli, such as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, putting alcohol on a cut, and bumping the “funny bone”. The International Association for the Study of Pain‘s widely used definition states: “Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.”

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Everyone feels pain at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, there is no machine to objectively assess pain. Physicians have to rely on what the patient says. Sensitivity to pain varies – acute pain may make a person only grit her teeth and wince whereas the same injury can produce “severe, unbearable pain” with weeping and wailing in others.

Pain forces a person to take notice of a body part they had probably taken for granted. This is particularly true of acute pain such as a toothache, sinusitis, appendicitis or urinary tract infection.

Our bodies are plentifully supplied with “nociceptors” in the skin, bones, muscles and internal organs. Noxious stimuli, (either injury or infection) activates them. They release electrical currents and biochemical agents. These travel along the nerves, up the spinal cord and eventually reach certain areas in the brain. The reaction occurs in a flash and the perception of pain is instantaneous

Pain motivates the individual to withdraw from damaging situations, to protect a damaged body part while it heals, and to avoid similar experiences in the future. Most pain resolves promptly once the painful stimulus is removed and the body has healed, but sometimes pain persists despite removal of the stimulus and apparent healing of the body; and sometimes pain arises in the absence of any detectable stimulus, damage or disease.

Symptoms:
Pain may occur with other symptoms depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. For instance, if your pain is due to arthritis, you may experience pain in more than one joint. Pain due to a compressed nerve in the lower back can even lead to loss of bladder control. Pain is often a major symptom of fibromyalgia, which is also characterized by fatigue and sleep problems.

Symptoms that might occur along with pain:

The range of symptoms that may occur with pain include:

*Depression
*Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, sore throat, fatigue, headache, cough)
*Inability to concentrate
*Loss of appetite
*Muscle spasms
*Numbness
*Sleep disturbances
*Unexpected weight loss

There are certain Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition:
In some cases, pain may occur with other symptoms that might indicate a serious or life-threatening condition, such as a heart attack. Seek immediate medical care  if you, or someone you are with, have any of these serious symptoms, with or without pain, including:

*Bleeding symptoms, such as bloody urine or bloody stools
*Change in consciousness or alertness; confusion
*Chest pain radiating to the arm, shoulder, neck or jaw
*Difficulty breathing, wheezing, or shortness of breath
*High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
*Increased or decreased urine output
*Loss of bladder or bowel control
*Progressive weakness and numbness
*Redness, warmth or swelling
*Seizures
*Stiff neck and headache, with or without nausea or vomiting
*Weakness or lethargy

Causes:
Hundreds of diseases, disorders and conditions can cause pain, such as inflammatory syndromes, malignancy, trauma, and infection. In some cases, pain may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition, such as a heart attack or cancer.

The experience of pain is invariably tied to emotional, psychological, and cognitive factors.

Pain can be due to a wide variety of diseases, disorders and conditions that range from a mild injury to a debilitating disease. Pain can be categorized as acute, chronic, referred, cancer, neuropathic, and visceral.

Acute pain is experienced rapidly in response to disease or injury. Acute pain serves to alert the body that something is wrong and that action should be taken, such as pulling your arm away from a flame. Acute pain often resolves within a short time once the underlying condition is treated.

Chronic pain is defined as lasting more than three months. Chronic pain often begins as acute pain that lingers beyond the natural course of healing or after steps have been taken to address the cause of pain.

Referred pain is pain that originates in one part of the body but is felt in another part of the body.

Cancer pain is due to malignancy.

Neuropathic pain is caused by damage to the nervous system and is often perceived as tingling, burning, and pins-and-needles sensations called paresthesias.

Visceral pain is caused by a problem with the internal organs, such as the liver, gallbladder, kidney, heart or lungs.

Recent studies have found that some people with chronic pain may have low levels of endorphins in their spinal fluid. Endorphins are neurochemicals, similar to opiate drugs (like morphine), that are produced in the brain and released into the body in response to pain. Endorphins act as natural pain killers. Chronic pain most often affects older adults, but it can occur at any age. Chronic pain can persist for several months to years.

Complications:
Complications associated with pain depend on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. For example, pain resulting from a degenerative condition such as multiple sclerosis can lead to inactivity and its associated complications. Fortunately, pain can often be alleviated or minimized by physical therapy, basic self-help measures, and following the treatment plan outlined by your doctor.

However, in some cases the degree and duration of your pain may become overwhelming and affect your everyday living. Research into the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain is ongoing, so contact your health care professional for the latest information.

Over time, pain can lead to complications including:

*Absenteeism from work or school
*Dependence on prescription pain medication
*Pain that does not respond to treatment (intractable pain)
*Permanent nerve damage (due to a pinched nerve) including paralysis
*Physiological and psychological response to chronic pain
*Poor quality of life

Diagnosis:
A person’s self-report is the most reliable measure of pain, with health care professionals tending to underestimate severity.A definition of pain widely employed in nursing, emphasizing its subjective nature and the importance of believing patient reports, was introduced by Margo McCaffery in 1968: “Pain is whatever the experiencing person says it is, existing whenever he says it does”. To assess intensity, the patient may be asked to locate their pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain at all, and 10 the worst pain they have ever felt. Quality can be established by having the patient complete the McGill Pain Questionnaire indicating which words best describe their pain.

As an aid to diagnosis:
Pain is a symptom of many medical conditions. Knowing the time of onset, location, intensity, pattern of occurrence (continuous, intermittent, etc.), exacerbating and relieving factors, and quality (burning, sharp, etc.) of the pain will help the examining physician to accurately diagnose the problem. For example, chest pain described as extreme heaviness may indicate myocardial infarction, while chest pain described as tearing may indicate aortic dissection.

Physiological measurement of pain:
fMRI brain scanning has been used to measure pain, giving good correlations with self-reported pain.

Hedonic adaptation:
Hedonic adaptation means that actual long-term suffering due to physical illness is often much lower than expected.

Legal awards for pain and suffering:
One area where assessments of pain are effectively required to be made is in legal awards for pain and suffering. In the Western world these are typically discretionary awards made by juries and are regarded as difficult to predict, variable and subjective, for instance in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Treatment:
Inadequate treatment of pain is widespread throughout surgical wards, intensive care units, accident and emergency departments, in general practice, in the management of all forms of chronic pain including cancer pain, and in end of life care. This neglect is extended to all ages, from neonates to the frail elderly. African and Hispanic Americans are more likely than others to suffer needlessly in the hands of a physician; and women’s pain is more likely to be undertreated than men’s.

The International Association for the Study of Pain advocates that the relief of pain should be recognized as a human right, that chronic pain should be considered a disease in its own right, and that pain medicine should have the full status of a specialty. It is a specialty only in China and Australia at this time. Elsewhere, pain medicine is a subspecialty under disciplines such as anesthesiology, physiatry, neurology, palliative medicine and psychiatry. In 2011, Human Rights Watch alerted that tens of millions of people worldwide are still denied access to inexpensive medications for severe pain.

A number of medications can be used to treat acute pain. Many of these are available OTC (over the counter). Commonly used medication is paracetemol (10 mg /kg/dose in children 500 mg per dose in adults). It can be repeated every four hours. Paracetemol helps with fever as well, so if the aches and pains are due to seasonal flu, there is rapid improvement. It also blocks the areas of the brain that recognise pain. NSAIDs (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen (Brufen) and nalidixic acid relieve pain but do not have much effect on fever. They act by blocking prostaglandin, one of the chemicals responsible for feeling pain. Topical anti-inflammatory medications, particularly those containing capsaicin are very effective. They should be applied lightly over the painful area followed by an ice pack.

More often chronic pain is due to the various types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis), autoimmune diseases, gout and mechanical problems like a disc prolapse. It needs to be diagnosed correctly so that appropriate treatment can be started. The medications taken may be steroids, opiods or the coxib group of drugs.

Acute pain is usually managed with medications such as analgesics and anesthetics. Caffeine when added to pain medications provides some additional benefit. Management of chronic pain, however, is much more difficult and may require the coordinated efforts of a pain management team, which typically includes medical practitioners, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.

Sugar taken orally reduces the total crying time but not the duration of the first cry in newborns undergoing a painful procedure (a single lancing of the heel). It does not moderate the effect of pain on heart rate and a recent single study found that sugar did not significantly affect pain-related electrical activity in the brains of newborns one second after the heel lance procedure. Sweet oral liquid moderately reduces the incidence and duration of crying caused by immunization injection in children between one and twelve months of age.

The brain has to be retrained in its perception and response to pain. This can be done with a combination of physiotherapy and aerobic exercise. Judiciously used, these interventions help to reduce long-term dependence on pain medication.

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.healthgrades.com/right-care/bones-joints-and-muscles/pain–symptoms
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1141229/jsp/knowhow/story_5590.jsp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pain

Microcephaly

Definition:
Microcephaly (my-kroh-SEF-uh-lee) is a rare  neurodevelopmental disorder in which the circumference of the head is more than two standard deviations smaller than average for the person’s age and sex. Microcephaly may be congenital or it may develop in the first few years of life. The disorder may stem from a wide variety of conditions that cause abnormal growth of the brain, or from syndromes associated with chromosomal abnormalities. Two copies of a loss-of-function mutation in one of the microcephalin genes causes primary microcephaly.

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Sometimes detected at birth, microcephaly usually is the result of the brain developing abnormally in the womb or not growing as it should after birth.

Microcephaly can be caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors. Children with microcephaly often have developmental issues. Generally there’s no treatment for microcephaly, but early intervention may help enhance your child’s development and improve quality of life.

Symptoms:
The primary sign of microcephaly is:

*A head size significantly smaller than that of other children of the same age and sex.

Head size is measured as the distance around the top of the child’s head (circumference). Using standardized growth charts, the measurement is compared with other children’s measurements in percentiles. Some children just have small heads, which may measure in the third, second or even first percentiles. In children with microcephaly, head size measures significantly below the first percentile.

These characteristics may accompany severe microcephaly:

*Backward sloping forehead
*Large ears
*Visual impairment


Depending on the severity of the accompanying syndrome, children with microcephaly may have:

*mental retardation,
*delayed motor functions and speech,
*facial distortions,
*dwarfism or short stature,
*hyperactivity,
*seizures,
*difficulties with coordination and balance, and
*other brain or neurological abnormalities.

Some children with microcephaly will have normal intelligence and a head that will grow bigger, but they will track below the normal growth curves for head circumference.


Causes:

It is most often caused by genetic abnormalities that interfere with the growth of the cerebral cortex during the early months of fetal development. It is associated with Down’s syndrome, chromosomal syndromes, and neurometabolic syndromes. :

Babies born with microcephaly will have a smaller than normal head that will fail to grow as they progress through infancy.

Microcephaly usually is the result of abnormal brain development, which can occur in the womb (congenital) or in infancy. Microcephaly may be genetic. Other causes may include:

*Craniosynostosis.
The premature fusing of the joints (sutures) between the bony plates that form an infant’s skull keeps the brain from growing. Treating craniosynostosis usually means your infant needs surgery to separate the fused bones. If there’s no underlying brain abnormality, the surgery allows the brain adequate space to grow and develop.

*Chromosomal abnormalities.
Down syndrome and other conditions may result in microcephaly.

*Decreased oxygen to the fetal brain (cerebral anoxia).
Certain complications of pregnancy or delivery can impair oxygen delivery to the fetal brain.

*Infections of the fetus during pregnancy. These include toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, German measles (rubella) and chickenpox (varicella).

*Exposure to drugs, alcohol or certain toxic chemicals in the womb.
Any of these put your baby at risk of brain abnormalities.

*Severe malnutrition
. Not getting adequate nutrition during pregnancy can affect your baby’s development.

*Uncontrolled phenylketonuria (fen-ul-kee-toe-NU-ree-uh), also known as PKU, in the mother. PKU is a birth defect that hampers the body’s ability to break down the amino acid phenylalanine.

Complecations & Risk Factoirs:

Some children with microcephaly will be of normal intelligence and development, even though their heads will always be small for their age and sex. But depending on the cause and severity of the microcephaly, complications may include:

*Developmental delays, such as in speech and movement
*Difficulties with coordination and balance
*Dwarfism or short stature
*Facial distortions
*Hyperactivity
*Mental retardation
*Seizures

In general, life expectancy for individuals with microcephaly is reduced and the prognosis for normal brain function is poor. The prognosis varies depending on the presence of associated abnormalities.

Diagnosis:
To determine whether your child has microcephaly, your doctor likely will take a thorough prenatal, birth and family history and do a physical exam. He or she will measure the circumference of your child’s head, compare it with a growth chart, and remeasure and plot the growth at subsequent visits. Parents’ head sizes also may be measured to determine whether small heads run in the family.

In some cases, particularly if your child’s development is delayed, your doctor may request tests such as a head CT or MRI and blood tests to help determine the underlying cause of the delay.

Treatment :

Generally, there’s no treatment that will enlarge your child’s head or reverse complications of microcephaly.  Early childhood intervention programs that include speech, physical and occupational therapy may help your child strengthen abilities.

Treatment focuses on ways to decrease the impact of the associated deformities and neurological disabilities. Children with microcephaly and developmental delays are usually evaluated by a pediatric neurologist and followed by a medical management team. Early childhood intervention programs that involve physical, speech, and occupational therapists help to maximize abilities and minimize dysfunction. Medications are often used to control seizures, hyperactivity, and neuromuscular symptoms. Genetic counseling may help families understand the risk for microcephaly in subsequent pregnancies.

Certain complications of microcephaly, such as seizures or hyperactivity, may be treated with medication.

Prognosis:

Some children will only have mild disability. Others, especially if they are otherwise growing and developing normally, will have normal intelligence and continue to develop and meet regular age-appropriate milestones.

When you learn your child has microcephaly, you may experience a range of emotions, including anger, fear, worry, sorrow and guilt. You may not know what to expect, and you may worry about your child’s future. The best antidote for fear and worry is information and support. Prepare yourself:

*Find a team of trusted professionals. You’ll need to make important decisions about your child’s education and treatment. Seek a team of doctors, teachers and therapists you trust. These professionals can help evaluate the resources in your area and help explain state and federal programs for children with disabilities.

*Seek out other families who are dealing with the same issues. Your community may have support groups for parents of children with developmental disabilities. You may also find Internet support groups.

Prevention:
Learning your child has microcephaly may raise questions about future pregnancies. Work with your doctor to determine the cause of the microcephaly. If the cause is genetic, you and your spouse may want to talk to a genetic counselor about risks for future pregnancies.

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.medicinenet.com/microcephaly/page2.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/microcephaly/DS01169
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcephaly

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