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Herbs & Plants

Lysimachia christiniae

Botanical Name: Lysimachia christiniae
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Lysimachia
Species: L. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms: Lysimachusa vulgaris (L.) Pohl

Common Names: Garden loosestrife, Yellow loosestrife, or Garden yellow loosestrife.
Habitat : Lysimachia christiniae is native to Europe and Asia, including Britain, but excluding the extreme north and south. It grows on marshes, streams and in shallow water in reed swamps. Shady places near water, avoiding acid soils.
Description:
Lysimachia vulgaris is a perennial herb growing to 1.2 m (4ft). It is rhizomatous, with runners. Stem slightly ascending from base, unbranched, upper part fine-haired, lime green–reddish brown, often spotted.

Leaves: Whorled or opposite, almost stalkless. Leaf blade ovate–lanceolate, sharp-tipped, with entire margins, dark-spotted, underside fine-haired.

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Fruit: Spherical, 5-valved, longer than calyx, approx. 4 mm (0.16 in.) long capsule.

It is in flower from Apr to September. Flowers:  Corolla regular (actinomorphic), wheel-shaped, yellow, 8–16 mm (0.32–0.64 in.) wide, fused, short-tubed, 5-lobed, lobes with roundish tips, edge glabrous. Calyx lobes narrow, with reddish brown margins. Stamens 5. Pistil a fused carpel. Inflorescence a lax, terminal, compound raceme, flowers abundant in groups.

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

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, succeeding in a moist or wet loamy soil in sun or partial shade. Prefers a shady position. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Hardy to at least -25°c. Most species in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. A very ornamental plant. The sub-species L. vulgaris davurica. (Ledeb.)Kunth. is the form used for food in China and Japan.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, 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, March to April in a cold frame. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. 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: Young leaves are eaten.
Medicinal Uses:

It is anastringent herb, yellow loosestrife is principally used to treat gastro-intestinal conditions such as diarrhoea and dysentery, to stop internal and external bleeding and to cleanse wounds. The herb is astringent, demulcent and expectorant. It is harvested when in flower in July and dried for later use. The plant can be used internally or externally and is useful in checking bleeding of the mouth, nose and wounds, restraining profuse haemorrhages of any kind and in the treatment of diarrhoea. It makes a serviceable mouthwash for treating sore gums and mouth ulcers.

Other Uses:
Dye.

A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A brown dye is obtained from the rhizomes. The growing plant repels gnats and flies, it has been burnt in houses in order to remove these insects.

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=Lysimachia+vulgaris
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysimachia_vulgaris

http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/kukkakasvit/yellow-loosestrife

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Herbs & Plants

Aconitum heterophyllum

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Botanical Name : Aconitum heterophyllum
Family: Ranunculaceae
Tribe: Delphinieae
Genus: Aconitum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms:
Aruna, Ardra, Upavisa, Kasaya Krsna, Ghuna Vallabha, Candri, Pita Vallabha, Prati Visa, Bhangura, Madhya-deastha, Mahausadha, Madri, Mrdvi, Rakta, Visva, Visama, Visa,sisubhaisajya, Suka Kanda, Sukla Kanda, Srngika, Syama Kanda, sveta, Sveta Kanda, sveta vaca

Common Names:
Names in different languages:

Marathi……..Ati Vish
Persian………Vajjcturki
Punjabi……..Atis
Tamil…………Ati Vidayam
Telugu……….Ati Vasa
Bengali……..Ataich
English……….Indian Atees
Gujarati………Ativakhani Kali.
Hindi…………..Atis, Atvika
Kannada………Ati Visha
Malayalam…….Ati Vidayam

Habitat : Aconitum heterophyllum is native to E. Asia – W. Himalayas. Usually found on humus-rich soils in the alpine and subalpine zones, and in forests, 2300 – 2900 metres.
Description:
Aconitum heterophyllum is a perennial plant growing to 1.5 m (5ft). Roots, biennial, paired, tuberous; conical or cylindrical 4-10 cm long, 0.75-3 cm thick.Stem erect.Roots biennial, paired, tuberous; whitish or grey. Stem erect, simple or branched, from 15-20 cm high. glabrous below, finely crispo-pubescent in the upper part.

Leaves heteromorphous, glabrous: lowest on long petioles (13cm); blade orbicular- cordate or ovate-cordate in outline with a usually narrow sinus (1-1.5 cm deep); usually 5- lobed to the middle, amplexicaul.

Inflorescence slender raceme or a lax, leafy panicle, crispo-pubescent; Sepals bluish or violet (rarely whitish); navicular obliquely erect, shortly or obscurely beaked, 18-20 mm high, 8-9 mm wide. Carpels 5, elliptic-oblong. Follicles contagious, linear-oblong, straight, 16-18 mm long.

Seeds pyramidal, 3-4 mm long, blackish brown.

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It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay 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 most soils and in the light shade of trees. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Grows well in open woodlands. The roots of this plant are extensively collected from the wild for medicinal use and the species is becoming much rarer in many areas of its range. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year

Edible Uses: Leaves and root – cooked. This report should be treated with great distrust due to the poisonous nature of the genus, but see the notes  below on known hazards.

Chemical Constituents:
Atidine , hetisine, heteratisine ,Diterpene alkaloids , heterophylline, heterophylline ,heterophyllidine heterophyllisine, hetidine, atidine & ,Atisenol, a new entatisene diterpenoid lactone from roots.

F-dishydrçatisine, hetidine, hetisinone, heteratisine, hetisine, benzylleteratisine, beta —sitosterol, carotene and 3— isoatisine from rhizomes.

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic; Antiinflammatory; Antiperiodic; Aphrodisiac; Astringent; Cholagogue; Febrifuge; Tonic.

The dried root is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, cholagogue, febrifuge and tonic. It is used in India in the treatment of dyspepsia, diarrhoea and coughs. It is also used in Tibetan medicine, where it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. It is used to treat poisoning from scorpion or snake bites, the fevers of contagious diseases and inflammation of the intestines. The root is best harvested in the autumn as soon as the plant dies down and is dried for later use. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.

External uses:

The crushed eaves, mixed with saindhav are applied focally. The seeds crushed in honey are applied locally on throat, in tonsillitis. Nasal insufflations of roots is beneficial in headache (especially migraine).

Internal uses:

Respiratory system : The juice of roots along with milk is an expectorant Root powder is given orally in cervical lymphadenitis.

Digestive system : Seed and root are used in ascites. Seeds are laxative.

Urinary system : The seeds are diuretic, the root decoction reduces burning of urinary tract. It increases volume of urine,

Reproductive system : Root is used in sperrnatorrhoea. The decoction of roots is also used in burning of vagina.

Circulatory system : The juice of leaves along with juice of zingier reduce perspiration.

Known Hazards:  The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people. One report says that this plant does not contain the toxic alkaloid aconitine, and so is not poisonous. It does, however, still contain an intensely bitter alkaloid.

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/Aconitum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aconitum+heterophyllum
http://www.indianmedicinalplants.info/d2/Aconitum-heterophyllum(Ativisa%20).html

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Featured News on Health & Science

The Vulnerable Lobes

Medical students have always been fascinated by the story of Phineas Gage, a normal, hard working 26-year-old labourer. He became famous in 1848, when an iron rod pierced his skull and brain and exited on the opposite side. He survived this extensive trauma and was physically normal. His life aroused scientific curiosity as physicians suddenly realised that, contrary to popular opinion at that time, all parts of the brain where not essential for life.

The brain controls the physical functions of the body, determines our intelligence, memory, personality and ability to respond to change. It has four paired lobes. Of these, the parietal, temporal and occipital lobes have well elucidated mapped areas for functions like sight, speech, hearing and movement. The frontal lobes (through which the rod pierced Gage), situated just behind the forehead, are responsible for subtle psychological functions like mental maturity, recognition of social norms of behaviour, emotional development and appropriate responses to society.

English: Four brain lobes frontal lobe(red) pa...
English: Four brain lobes frontal lobe(red) parietal lobe(orange) temporal lobe(green) occipital lobe(yellow) and insula(purple) is also shown. others are Brain stem(black) Cerebellum(sky blue). Polygon data are from BodyParts3D maintained by Database Center for Life Science(DBCLS). ???: ????? ???(??) ???(?????) ???(??) ???(??) ??? ?????? ? ??(??) ??(??) ????????Database Center for Life Science(DBCLS)???????BodyParts3D??? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The frontal area of the brain is protected to some extent by the skull bones. However, damage to the frontal lobes can occur as a result of accidents. Surgery may be performed on the frontal lobes to remove cysts or tumours, to treat intractable epilepsy, or very rarely for psychiatric disorders. The effects of injury to the frontal lobes are often subtle and difficult to pinpoint as the IQ (intelligence quotient) may remain normal. There may be weakness without actual paralysis, inability to perform sequential movement (like dressing for work), lack of flexibility and spontaneity, poor attention and difficulty in expressing thoughts lucidly despite increased talking. Sexual habits may change with promiscuity or disinterest or socially inappropriate behaviour. The entire personality of the individual may change, making him or her unpleasant, obnoxious and intolerable.

The brain fibres in the frontal lobes mature as we grow older and develop fully around the age of 25. Genetic defects or injury in the uterus, during birth or within this time frame, can result in faulty connections, inadequate development and poor release of brain chemicals like dopamine. This can cause learning disabilities, antisocial personalities and sometimes even major psychiatric illnesses like schizophrenia. Also the size of our brain, particularly of the frontal lobes, shrinks over time. This affects important human abilities such as planning, reasoning and problem solving.

Not all brains age or deteriorate at the same rate. Part of this process is genetic and the degeneration sets in at a certain chronological age triggered by an in-built biological alarm. This apparently inevitable mental decline is further influenced by environmental factors, which can be modified favourably.

The concept of retraining ageing brain circuits has been gaining popularity. There are DVDs and books available on brain exercises. The numbers game Sudoku is in almost every newspaper. Retraining the frontal lobes can also be done quite simply by memorising passages or poetry from books. Repetition of a task makes performance rapid and more efficient with less room for error, as the cascading chemical reactions in the brain then occur on accustomed pathways. Older adults who regularly participate in cognitive activity improve their memory, speed of thought and attention span. This helps them to efficiently manage their day-to-day activities and their finances. The benefits of brain training can be enhanced by regular physical activity.

Look after your brain as it is the only one you have.

* Protect it from injury by wearing seat belts and using helmets.

* Do not hit anyone on the head (this particularly includes corporal punishment).

* If anyone has had an accident or brain surgery, tolerate their idiosyncrasies, changes in personality, unreasonable anger and emotional outbursts.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)