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Cola acuminata

Botanical Name : Cola acuminata
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Cola
Species: C. acuminata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Names :Local name:
Cola is called differently by different tribes:

Tribe Ewondo call it Abeu and tribe Boulou call it Abel

Habitat :Cola acuminata is native to Democratic Republic of Congo.Grows in the forest areas.

Description:
Cola acuminata is an evergreen tree of about 20 meters in height. Its germination can reach 2 to 3 months at a fast rate, and has long and ovoid leaves pointed at both the ends that have a leathery texture. The trees have yellow flowers with purple spots, and star-shaped fruit. Inside the fruit, about a dozen round or square seeds can be found in a white seed shell. The nut’s aroma is sweet and rose-like. The first taste is bitter, but sweetens upon chewing. The nut can be boiled to extract the cola. This tree reaches 25 meters in height and is propagated through seeds. C. nitida and C. acuminata can easily be interchanged with other Cola species.

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Cultivation:
Originally a tree of tropical rainforest, it needs a hot humid climate but can withstand a dry season on sites with a high ground water level. It may be cultivated in drier areas where ground water is available. C. nitida is a shade bearer but develops a better spreading crown which yields more fruits in open places. Though it is a lowland forest tree it has been found at altitudes over 300 m on deep rich soils under heavy and evenly distributed rainfall.

Regular weeding is a must and this can either be done manually or by using herbicides. Some irrigation can be provided to the plants, but it is important to remove the water through an effective drainage system as excess water may prove to be detrimental for the growth of the plant. When not grown in adequate shade, the kola nut plant responds well to fertilizers. Usually, the plants need to be provided with windbreaks to protect them from strong gales.

Harvesting and storage: Kola nuts can be harvested by hand, by plucking it at the tree branch. Like in western countries and other countries of the world, it has been harvested by the use of harvesters. When kept in a cold and dry place, Kola nut can be stored for a long time.

Propagation: Usually by seed, although cuttings are sometimes used. Trees will bear in 7-10 years from seed.

Chemical constituents of kola nut:
*caffeine (2–3.5%)
*theobromine (1.0–2.5%)
*theophylline
*phenolics
*phlobaphens (kola red)
*epicatechin
*D-catechin
*tannic acid
*sugar
*cellulose
*water

Medicinal Uses:
Kola nut stimulates the central nervous system and the body as a whole.  It increases alertness and muscular strength, counters lethargy, and has been used extensively both in western African and Anglo-American herbal medicine as an antidepressant, particularly during recovery from chronic illness.  Like coffee, kola is used to treat headaches and migraine.  It is diuretic and astringent and may be taken for diarrhea and dysentery.  It will aid in states of depression and may in some people give rise to euphoric states.  Through the stimulation it will be a valuable part of the treatment for anorexia.  It can be viewed as specific in cases of depression associated with weakness and debility.

Other Uses:
In addition to its medicinal value, Cola plays a significant social role in Cameroon. Among Moslems from the north, Cola is sacred. In other communities, in particular the Bamiléké, Cola is a sign of love and friendship. Furthermore, Cola is consumed in ceremonies in particular dowry ceremonies, ‘tontines’, funerals, wake-keepings, etc. Some people consume Cola to reduce tiredness, hunger and to stay awake. Others consume it for its stimulant effect. Cola from the north is also used to tint clothing. Cola is also used in breweries (Nkongmeneck, 1985).

Kola nuts are perhaps best known to Western culture as a flavouring ingredient and one of the sources of caffeine in cola and other similarly flavoured beverages, although the use of kola (or kola flavoring) in commercial cola drinks has become uncommon. However, recently the use of Kola nut has been reintroduced, most notably in Whole Foods Market 365 Cola  as part of their trend to use natural rather than artificial ingredients. It is also used in Barr’s Red Kola, Red Bull’s new Simply Cola, Harboe Original Taste Cola, Foxon Park Kola, Blue Sky Organic Cola, Sprecher’s Puma Kola, Virgil’s Real Cola, Hansen’s Natural Original Cola, and Cricket Cola, and formerly in Royal Crown Premium. In Barbados the Kola nut is made into a sweet drink known as Clayton’s Kola Tonic.

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/Cola_acuminata
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kola_nut
http://www.cifor.org/publications/pdf_files/factsheet/Cola_eng.pdf
http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/cola_nut.htm
http://www.britannica.hk/botany/kola-nut-369346.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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Hands Free of Stress

If you’re one of those people who sits in front of a computer for hours, typing away, try this simple yet effective way to release tension in your forearms, wrists and fingers. Make a habit of taking breaks throughout the day to perform this exercise. When your hands and arms are relaxed, you’ll feel less stress in your neck and shoulders.

STEP-1. Sitting in your chair, back away from your desk and bend your arms to a 90-degree angle, bringing your elbows close to your waist. With forearms parallel to the ground, tuck your fingers in and squeeze each of your hands as tight as possible. Hold for 5 seconds.

 

STEP-2. Open your hands as wide as possible, spreading your fingers apart. Flex your wrists by moving your fingers up and back, simultaneously pushing your wrists forward. Hold for 5 seconds, trying to keep your hands fully stretched. Repeat this move three times — and remember to do the exercise 5 or 6 times a day.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Dangers Of Prescription Drug Abuse

Although teens are turning away from street drugs, now there’s a new threat and it’s from the family medicine cabinet: The abuse of prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

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Parents and caregivers are the first line of defense in addressing this troubling trend.

What’s the problem?
Teens are abusing some prescription and over-the-counter drugs to get high. This includes painkillers, such as those drugs prescribed after surgery; depressants, such as sleeping pills or anti-anxiety drugs; and stimulants, such as those drugs prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Teens are also abusing over-the-counter drugs, such as cough and cold remedies.

Every day 2,500 youth age 12 to 17 abuse a pain reliever for the very first time. More teens abuse prescription drugs than any illicit drug except marijuana. In 2006, more than 2.1 million teens ages 12 to 17 reported abusing prescription drugs. Among 12- and 13-year-olds, prescription drugs are the drug of choice.

Because these drugs are so readily available, and many teens believe they are a safe way to get high, teens who wouldn’t otherwise touch illicit drugs might abuse prescription drugs. And not many parents are talking to them about it, even though teens report that parental disapproval is a powerful way to keep them away from drugs.

What are the dangers?
There are serious health risks related to abuse of prescription drugs. A single large dose of prescription or over-the-counter painkillers or depressants can cause breathing difficulty that can lead to death. Stimulant abuse can lead to hostility or paranoia, or the potential for heart system failure or fatal seizures. Even in small doses, depressants and painkillers have subtle effects on motor skills, judgment, and ability to learn.

The abuse of OTC cough and cold remedies can cause blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, coma, and even death. Many teens report mixing prescription drugs, OTC drugs, and alcohol. Using these drugs in combination can cause respiratory failure and death.

Prescription and OTC drug abuse is addictive. Between 1995 and 2005, treatment admissions for prescription painkillers increased more than 300 percent.

Found out your teen is abusing Rx drugs?

Step-by-step guide
Talk to your teen about the dangers of Rx abuse
Build a support group

Click to learn:->
Why you should care
Why teens are using
Sources of Rx Drugs
Over-the-counter drugs
Could Your Teen Be Abusing?
What Can You Do?
Videos, Ads & More

Sources:http://www.theantidrug.com/drug_info/prescription_dangers.asp#foot

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LSD

LSD, aka “acid,” is odorless, colorless, and has a slightly bitter taste and is usually taken by mouth. Often LSD is added to absorbent paper, such as blotter paper, and divided into small, decorated squares, with each square representing one dose.

Health Hazards

Physical Psychological short-term effects. The effects of LSD are unpredictable. They depend on the amount taken; the user‘s personality, mood, and expectations; and the surroundings in which the drug is used. Usually, the user feels the first effects of the drug 30 to 90 minutes after taking it. The physical effects include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors.

Sensations and feelings change much more dramatically than the physical signs.
The user may feel several different emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another. If taken in a large enough dose, the drug produces delusions and visual hallucinations. The user’s sense of time and self changes. Sensations may seem to “cross over,” giving the user the feeling of hearing colors and seeing sounds. These changes can be frightening and can cause panic.

LSD trips are long – typically they begin to clear after about 12 hours. Some users experience severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings, fear of losing control, fear of insanity and death, and despair while using LSD. In some cases, fatal accidents have occurred during states of LSD intoxication.

Flashbacks. Many LSD users experience flashbacks, recurrence of certain aspects of a person’s experience, without the user having taken the drug again. A flashback occurs suddenly, often without warning, and may occur within a few days or more than a year after LSD use. Flashbacks usually occur in people who use hallucinogens chronically or have an underlying personality problem; however, otherwise healthy people who use LSD occasionally may also have flashbacks. Bad trips and flashbacks are only part of the risks of LSD use. LSD users may manifest relatively long-lasting psychoses, such as schizophrenia or severe depression. It is difficult to determine the extent and mechanism of the LSD involvement in these illnesses.

Information provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.