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Herbs & Plants

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)

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Botanical Name :Cupressus sempervirens
Family :CUPRESSACEAE Cypress Family
Genus: Cupressus
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Species: C. sempervirens
Other names:Mediterranean Cypress, Italian, Tuscan, or Graveyard Cypress, or Pencil Pine

Habitat : Native to the eastern Mediterranean region, in northeast Libya, southeast Greece (Crete, Rhodes), southern Turkey, Cyprus, Northern Egypt, western Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Malta, Italy, western Jordan, and also a disjunct population in Iran.

Description:
It is a medium-sized evergreen tree to 35 m (115 ft) tall, with a conic crown with level branches and variably loosely hanging branchlets[1]. It is very long-lived, with some trees reported to be over 1,000 years old.

The foliage grows in dense sprays, dark green in colour. The leaves are scale-like, 2-5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. The seed cones are ovoid or oblong, 25-40 mm long, with 10-14 scales, green at first, maturing brown about 20–24 months after pollination. The male cones are 3-5 mm long, and release pollen in late winter.

Click to see the picture

It is moderately susceptible to cypress canker, caused by the fungus Seridium cardinale, and can suffer extensive dieback where this disease is common.

The species name sempervirens comes from the Latin for ‘evergreen’.

Cupressus sempervirens was known by the ancient Greeks and Romans as “the mournful tree”, sacred to the rulers of the underworld and to their associates, the Fates and the Furies. It was customary to plant it by a grave, and, at the time of a death, to place it either before the house of the decedent or in the vestibule, to warn those about to perform a sacred rite against entering a place polluted by a dead body. No Roman funeral was complete without cypress. Mourners carried its branches as a sign of respect and the bodies of the great were laid upon cypress branches before interment. According to Ovid, the tree was named after Kyparissos, a favorite of Apollo. The young boy accidentally slew Apollo’s beloved stag. He became so remorseful that he besought the gods to punish him with everlasting gloom. In compliance they transformed him into a cypress tree. The cypress is the principal cemetery tree in the Muslim world as well as in ancient and modern European cultures.

Medicinal Uses:

Common Uses: Abrasions/Cuts * Cellulite Reduction * Facial and Skin care * Influenza * Varicose veins *
Properties:  Antispasmodic* Antiperspirant/Deodorants* Astringent* Deodorant* Diuretic* Hepatic* Skin tonic* Vasoconstrictor* Depurative* Antirheumatic* Muscle Relaxant* Aromatic*
Parts Used: Needles and twigs

Cypress oil is best known for it’s use in oily and over hydrated skin, poor circulation problems and it’s ability to relieve excess fluid retention. It is one of the essential oils often recommended for cellulite massage blends, treatment of varicose veins and wounds. The oil has a skin-tightening, pore-reducing effect and is used for these

Remedies using : Cypress Aromatherapy foot powder* Aromatherapy foot spray* Detoxifying Bath* Environmental Stress* Firewood oils* Negative Ion Spray* Nosebleed tissue* Spice and Lemon Forest* Vaginitis Formulation* Vein and Hemorrhoid Blend*

Other Uses:
Mediterranean Cypress has been widely cultivated as an ornamental tree for millennia away from its native range, mainly throughout the central and western Mediterranean region, and in other areas with similar hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters, including California, southwest South Africa and southern Australia. It can also be grown successfully in areas with cooler, moister summers, such as the British Isles, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest (coastal Oregon, Washington and British Columbia). It is also planted in south Florida as an ornamental tree. In some areas, particularly the U.S., it is known inaccurately as “Italian” or “Tuscan Cypress”; although the species is very commonly cultivated in Italy, it is not native there.

The vast majority of the trees in cultivation are selected cultivars with a fastigiate crown, with erect branches forming a narrow to very narrow crown often less than a tenth as wide as the tree is tall. The dark green ‘exclamation mark’ shape of these trees is a highly characteristic signature of Mediterranean town and village landscapes. Formerly, the species was sometimes separated into two varieties, the wild C. sempervirens var. sempervirens (syn. var. horizontalis), and the fastigiate C. s. var. pyramidalis (syn. var. fastigiata, var. stricta), but the latter is now only distinguished as a Cultivar Group, with no botanical significance.

It is also known for its very durable, scented wood, used most famously for the doors of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, Rome.

Cypress used to be used in distilleries as staves to hold mash ferments to make alcohol before the invention of stainless steel.

Commonly seen throughout New Mexico, the Mediterranean Cypress is also known as the “drama tree” because of its tendency to bend with even the slightest of breezes.

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.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail21.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupressus_sempervirens

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Health Quaries

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Towering disturbance:-…....CLICK & SEE

Q: I own a flat on the third (top) floor of a building. The residents’ association has leased out the terrace to a cell phone company which has erected a tower there. I have a pacemaker and am worried about the impact of the signals from the tower on my heart. What should I do?

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A: Signals from microwaves and cell phones do affect pacemakers. Irregularities in the heart rate have been noticed when a phone is held even 15cm away from the pacemaker. When you are living just under a phone tower, the signal is likely to be strong and powerful. The first symptoms of the pacemaker being affected are a feeling of faintness and irregularity in your pulse rate. You can be fitted with a 24-hour monitoring device by your cardiologist. This will document any irregularity, so you know it is real and not psychological.

If there are any changes, it may make sense to move. Your building association is unlikely to cancel a financially lucrative enterprise and get the tower relocated.

Circumcise to protect:-

Q: I read that circumcision offers protection against AIDS. I wonder if I should get my one-year-old son circumcised.

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A: Circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves removal of the skin and mucosal tissue that covers the glans, the tip of the penis. Circumcision is unconditionally practised by Jews and Muslims. It is a part of their religious culture. In others it is usually performed if the foreskin gets stuck (phimosis) or infected. It does help in the prevention of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. But it does not give 100 per cent protection.

All operations can have complications. Problems like infection or bleeding, though rare, can arise after the surgery. Unless your son’s paediatrician has advised circumcision for a particular reason, it does not make sense to put him through elective surgery. When he is older, teaching him about responsibility, sexual norms and safe sex may be a better option.

Yellow vs white:-

Q: There are natural and “artificial” eggs available in the market. The colour of the yolk in the two differs. Is there a difference in their nutritive values? Is eating eggs healthy?

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A: Eggs contain easily digestible proteins, fats, vitamins and antioxidants. They are a complete food in themselves. The recommended intake is one egg a day for those with a normal lipid profile (cholesterol and triglycerides). If the lipids are raised, cutting down on yolks to a maximum of two per week would be fine. Egg whites do not add to the cholesterol level, and you can eat as many of these as you like.

The colour of the yolk only depends on the type of feed the hen has received. It does not affect the egg’s nutritive value. By natural eggs, I think you mean those laid by hens that roam free, and by “artificial” the ones that are laid in hatcheries. Nutrition-wise, both are the same.

Music mania:-

Q: My daughter listens to music the whole day. I don’t like it, but do not want to put a stop to it unless it is harmful.

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A: If your daughter is listening to music instead of doing her homework or studying, perhaps you need to interfere. But do check her academic performance first. Listening to music does have many positive effects. It soothes, pacifies and relieves tension in children and in adults. Music during exercise provides a cognitive boost, in addition to the other benefits of regular activity. Loud music, on the other hand, can damage hearing, increase the heart rate and produce paradoxical excitement.

Unequal feet:

Q: My shoes never fit both the feet perfectly. One is always a little loose or tight.

A: A person’s feet may not be identical in shape and size. One is usually marginally larger than the other. If this difference is marked, footwear will never fit properly. It is better to buy a bigger size and wear two socks on the foot that is smaller. Otherwise, you have to buy two pairs of shoes.

Cauliflower ear:

Q: I pierced my ear in the upper part, in addition to the ear lobe. It has become red, swollen and painful. My ear now looks ugly and deformed. What should I do?

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A: The condition you are describing is called “cauliflower ear”. It occurs when a blood clot develops in the cartilage of the ear as a result of injury. The accumulated blood becomes infected and this destroys the cartilage, making it shrunken and shrivelled.

As soon as there is pain and swelling owing to an injury (even piercing), it should be treated with ice packs and antibiotics. Once it becomes misshapen, cosmetic reconstruction by a plastic surgeon is the only option.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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