Herbs & Plants

Taraxacum tibetanum

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Botanical Name: Taraxacum tibetanum
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Subtribe: Crepidinae
Genus: Taraxacum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Taraxacum tibeticum

Common Name: Tibetan dandelion

Habitat : Taraxacum tibetanum is native to E. Asia – Tibet.It grows on the alpine grasslands and pastures; 3800-5000 m. Sichuan, Xizang [India (Sikkim)].

Taraxacum tibetanum is a perennial herb, 5-15(-20) cm tall. Petiole ± green or purplish, base sparsely arachnoid; leaf blade mid-green to deep green, narrowly oblong-lanceolate in outline, 4-10(-13) × 0.8-1.2(-1.6) cm, glabrous, pinnatilobed to pinnatisect; lateral lobes 2-4 pairs, broadly triangular with base convex on distal side, approximate, ± recurved, distal margin entire, dentate, or sparsely lobulate, apex narrowed into a ± subpatent to strongly recurved lobulelike segment; interlobes short, broad; terminal lobe ± narrowly triangular-sagittate, margin entire or sparsely denticulate, apex subobtuse. Scapes brownish green, ± overtopping leaves, subglabrous and only sparsely arachnoid below capitulum. Capitulum ca. 4 cm wide. Involucre 1.1-1.4 cm wide, base broadly rounded. Outer phyllaries 10-13, ± black, subimbricate, oblong-ovate (often widest above middle), outermost ones (4-)7-9 × 2.7-3.1 mm and 1/2-3/4 as long as inner ones, venation not distinct, unbordered, ± glabrous to sparsely ciliate, ± flat to minutely corniculate below apex; inner phyllaries blackish green, 13-16 × 2-2.5 mm, apex ± flat or callose. Ligules yellow, outside striped dark gray; inner ligules with blackish apical teeth. Stigmas ± black. Anthers polliniferous; pollen grains irregular in size. Achene dark grayish brown, 4.1-4.4 × 1.1-1.4 mm; body distally subsparsely spinulose, ± smooth below, ± subabruptly narrowing into a 0.6-0.9 mm cone broadly conic at base and subconic distally, spinules small, suberect, and acute; beak ca. 6 mm. Pappus yellowish white, 7-8 mm. Fl. summer. Agamosperm.


The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

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.

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. This species is not in the IOPI list of accepted plant names. Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil in full sun or light shade. Many species in this genus produce their seed apomictically. This is an asexual method of seed production where each seed is genetically identical to the parent plant. Occasionally seed is produced sexually, the resulting seedlings are somewhat different to the parent plants and if these plants are sufficiently distinct from the parents and then produce apomictic seedlings these seedlings are, in theory at least, a new species.
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and either surface-sow or only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, choosing relatively deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Plant them out in early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. The following uses are also probably applicable to this species, though we have no records for them Root – cooked. Flowers – raw or cooked. The unopened flower buds can be used in fritters. The whole plant is dried and used as a tea. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea. The root is dried and roasted to make a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it has a bitter taste and a cooling potency. Anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge, it is used in the treatment of stomach disorders and pain in the stomach/intestines due to intestinal worms.

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.

Taraxacum mongolicum

Herbs & Plants

Raphanus sativus caudatus(Rat-Tail Radish)

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Botanical Name : Raphanus sativus caudatus
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Raphanus
Species: R. caudatus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonmous name:Raphanus sativus var. caudatus (Linn.) Vilmorin , Raphanus sativus var. mougri Helm , Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. caudatus (Linn.) Thell.

Common Name : Rat-Tail Radish

Habitat :Raphanus sativus caudatus is native to Java.( It is found primarily in India and Southeast Asia, and is believed to have originated in China. It was first known in the West no later than 1815, when introduced into England from Java)

Raphanus sativus caudatus is an annual growing herbaceous plant growing erect when young and turning prostrate when well-grown. The basal leaves are lyrately pinnate while cauline leaves are simple and linear. The species produces purplish veined flowers and long pods containing many seeds in it. The species is cultivated in some regions for its pods which are eaten raw or cooked as vegetable.

You may click to see the pictures

It is hardy to zone 8 and is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Prefers a rich soil with ample moisture. Dislikes very heavy or acid soils. Plants are susceptible to drought and require irrigation during dry spells in the summer or the root quality will rapidly deteriorate and the plant will go to seed. The rat-tailed radishes are sometimes cultivated for their large edible seedpods, there are some named varieties. This group of radishes does not produce roots of good quality, it is cultivated mainly for the edible young seedpods which are harvested in the summer. Radishes are a good companion plant for lettuces, nasturtiums, peas and chervil, tomatoes and cucumbers. They are said to repel cucumber beetles if planted near cucumber plants and they also repel the vine borers which attack squashes, marrows and courgettes. They grow badly with hyssop and with grape vines

Seed – sow spring in situ. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Seedpod.

Young leaves – raw or cooked. A somewhat hot taste. Flowers – raw. A nice spicy addition to salads. Young seedpods – raw. Crisp and juicy, they must be eaten when young because they quickly become tough and fibrous. They can grow more than 60cm long, but they tend to become tough and fibrous when more than 30cm long.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Antibacterial; Antifungal; Antiscorbutic; Antispasmodic; Astringent; Cancer; Carminative; Cholagogue; Digestive; Diuretic; Expectorant; Laxative; Poultice; Stomachic.

Radishes have long been grown as a food crop, but they also have various medicinal actions. The roots stimulate the appetite and digestion, having a tonic and laxative effect upon the intestines and indirectly stimulating the flow of bile. Consuming radish generally results in improved digestion, but some people are sensitive to its acridity and robust action. The plant is used in the treatment of intestinal parasites, though the part of the plant used is not specified. The leaves, seeds and old roots are used in the treatment of asthma and other chest complaints. The juice of the fresh leaves is diuretic and laxative. The seed is carminative, diuretic, expectorant, laxative and stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of indigestion, abdominal bloating, wind, acid regurgitation, diarrhoea and bronchitis. The root is antiscorbutic, antispasmodic, astringent, cholagogue, digestive and diuretic. It is crushed and used as a poultice for burns, bruises and smelly feet. Radishes are also an excellent food remedy for stone, gravel and scorbutic conditions. The root is best harvested before the plant flowers. Its use is not recommended if the stomach or intestines are inflamed. The plant contains raphanin, which is antibacterial and antifungal. It inhibits the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, streptococci, Pneumococci etc. The plant also shows anti-tumour activity.

Other Uses:
Green manure; Repellent.

The growing plant repels beetles from tomatoes and cucumbers. It is also useful for repelling various other insect pests such as carrot root fly. There is a fodder variety that grows more vigorously and is used as a green manure.

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


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Some Scream While Others Laugh

‘Ever wondered why horror flicks make some people scream or even faint in theatres at scenes of spinning heads and shaking beds while others laugh? Well, the answer lies in the genes.

A team at Bonn University in Germany has found that a gene, which affects a chemical in the brain that is linked to anxiety, is actually responsible for the two different kinds of behaviour in people watching the same horror movie.

According to researchers, people who have two copies of a particular variant of the ‘COMT‘ gene are more likely to get disturbed when viewing unpleasant pictures — because that version weakens the effect of a signalling chemical in brain that helps control certain emotions.

On the other hand, people who possess just one copy of the gene and one copy of another version could jolly well keep their emotions in check far more readily, British newspaper the Daily Telegraph reported.

The researchers have based their findings on a study of around 100 women who were showed three different types of pictures — emotionally “pleasant” ones of smiling babies and cute animals, “neutral” ones of items like electric plugs or hairdryers, and “aversive” ones of weapons or injured victims.

Lead researcher Christian Montag said that he thought the gene variant linked to scaring more easily only recently evolved as it was not present in other primates and propensity to scare more easily could have offered humans an advantage.

“It was an advantage to be more anxious in a dangerous environment,” he said, adding that a single gene variation can account for only some of people’s anxiety differences, or else up to half the population would be anxious.

“This single gene variation is potentially only one of many factors influencing a complex trait as anxiety.

Still, to identify the first candidates for genes associated with an anxiety-prone personality is a step in the right direction,” Montag said. The study has been published in the latest edition of the Behavioural Neuroscience journal

You may also click to see:->Horror film gene that makes some scream while others laugh

Sources: Thw Times Of India

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Healthy Tips

10 Ways to Manage Stress

Stress is a normal part of life and usually comes from everyday occurrences. Here are some ways you can deal with everyday sources of stress:…… & see

1.Eliminate as many sources of stress as you can. For example, if crowds bother you, go to the supermarket when you know the lines won’t be too long. Try renting videotapes rather than going to crowded movie theaters. Clear up the clutter in your life by giving away or throwing away the things that get in your way. A garage sale is one effective way to do this.

2.If you are always running late, sit down with a pencil and paper and see how you are actually allotting your time. Say it takes you 40 minutes to get to work. Are you leaving your house on time? You may be able to solve your problem (and de-stress your life a bit) just by being realistic. If you can’t find the time for all the activities that are important to you, maybe you are trying to do too much. Again, make a list of what you do during the day and how much each activity takes. Then cut back.

3.Avoid predictably stressful situations. If a certain sport or game makes you tense (whether it’s tennis or bridge), decline the invitation to play. After all, the point of these activities is to have a good time. If you know you won’t, there’s no reason to play.

4.If you can’t remove the stress, remove yourself. Slip away once in a while for some private time. These quiet moments may give you a fresh perspective on your problems. Avoid stressful people. For example, if you don’t get along with your father-in-law but you don’t want to make an issue of it, invite other in-laws at the same time you invite him. Having other people around will absorb some of the pressure you would normally feel.

5. Competing with others, whether in accomplishments, appearance, or possessions, is an avoidable source of stress. You might know people who do all they can to provoke envy in others. While it may seem easy to say you should be satisfied with what you have, it’s the truth. Stress from this kind of jealousy is self-inflicted.

6.Laborsaving devices, such as cellular phones or computer hookups, often encourage us to cram too many activities into each day. Before you buy new equipment, be sure that it will really improve your life. Be aware that taking care of equipment and getting it repaired can be stressful.

7.Try doing only one thing at a time. For example, when you’re riding your exercise bike, you don’t have to listen to the radio or watch television.

8.Remember, sometimes it’s okay to do nothing.

9.If you suffer from insomnia, headaches, recurring colds, or stomach upsets, consider whether stress is part of the problem. Being chronically angry, frustrated, or apprehensive can deplete your physical resources.

10.If you feel stress (or anything else) is getting the better of you, seek professional help — a doctor or therapist. Early signs of excess stress are loss of a sense of well-being and reluctance to get up in the morning to face another day.

Source:Reader’s Digest