Herbs & Plants

Sorbus aucuparia

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Botanical Name : Sorbus aucuparia
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Sorbus
Species:S. aucuparia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : Pyrus aucuparia

Common Names: Mountain-ash, European mountain ash, Amur mountain-ash, Quick beam, Quickbeam, Rowan or Rowan-berry

Habitat :Sorbus aucuparia is native to Europe, including Britain, south and east from Iceland to Spain, Macedonia and the Caucasus. It grows in the woods, scrub and mountain rocks, mainly on lighter soil, rare or absent on clays or soft limestones. It is found at higher elevations than any other native tree.


Sorbus aucuparia occurs as a deciduous tree or shrub that grows up to between 5 and 15 m in height. The crown is loose and roundish or irregularly shaped but wide and the plant often grows multiple trunks. A trunk is slender and cylindrical and reaches up to 40 cm in diameter, and the branches stick out and are slanted upwards.The bark of a young S. aucuparia is yellowish gray and gleaming and becomes gray-black with lengthwise cracks in advanced age; it descales in small flakes. Lenticels in the bark are elongated and colored a bright ocher. The plant does not often grow older than 80 years and is one of the shortest-lived trees in temperate climate. Wood of S. aucuparia has a wide reddish white sapwood and a light brown to reddish brown heartwood. It is diffuse-porous, flexible, elastic, and tough, but not durable, with a density of 600 to 700 kg/m3 in a dried state. The roots of S. aucuparia grow wide and deep, and the plant is capable of root sprouting and can regenerate after coppicing.


The compound leaves are pinnate with 4 to 9 pairs of leaflets on either side of a terete central vein and with a terminal leaflet. There are paired leaf-like stipules at the base of the petiole. The leaves are up to 20 cm long, 8 to 12 cm wide, and arranged in an alternate leaf pattern on a branch., distinguishing them from those of ash, Fraxinus excelsior, which are opposite and without stipules. The leaflets are elongated-lanceolate in shape, 2 to 6 cm long, and 1 to 2.5 cm wide with a sharply serrated edge, and have short stems or sit close to the central vein except for the outermost leaflet. Leaflets are covered in gray-silvery hairs after sprouting but become mostly bare after they unfold. Their uppers side is dark green and their underside is a grayish green and felted. Young leaflets smell like marzipan when brayed. The leaflets are asymmetrical at the bottom. S. aucuparia foliage grows in May and turns yellow in autumn or a dark red in dry locations.

Buds of S. aucuparia are often longer than 1 cm and have flossy to felted hairs. These hairs, which disappear over time, cover dark brown to black bud scales. The terminal buds are oval and pointed and larger than axillary buds, which are narrow, oval and pointed, close to the twig, and often curved towards it.

S. aucuparia is monoecious. It reaches maturity at age 10 and carries ample fruit almost every year. The plant flowers from May to June (on occasion again in September) in many yellowish white corymbs that contain about 250 flowers. The corymbs are large, upright, and bulging. The flowers are between 8 and 10 mm in diameter and have five small, yellowish green, and triangular sepals that are covered in hairs or bare. The five round or oval petals are yellowish white and the flower has up to 25 stamens fused with the corolla to form a hypanthium and an ovary with two to five styles; the style is fused with the receptacle. Flowers of S. aucuparia have an unpleasant trimethylamine smell. Their nectar is high in fructose and glucose.

Its fruit are round pomes between 8 and 10 mm in diameter that ripen from August to October. The fruit are green before they ripen and then typically turn from orange or scarlet in color. The sepals persist as a black, five-pointed star on the ripe fruit. A corymb carries 80 to 100 pomes. A pome contains a star-shaped ovary with two to five locules each containing one or two flat, narrow, and pointed reddish seeds. The flesh of the fruit contains carotenoids, citric acid, malic acid, parasorbic acid, pectin, provitamin A, sorbitol, tannin, and vitamin C. The seeds contain glycoside....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The plant succeeds in most reasonably good soils in an open sunny position. It grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates some shade, though it fruits better in a sunny position. Prefers a cool moist position and a lighter neutral to slightly acid soil. Dislikes shallow soils or drought. Succeeds on chalk or acid peats[98, 186]. A very wind firm tree tolerating very exposed and maritime positions. Tolerates atmospheric pollution. Some named varieties have been developed for their improved fruits which are larger and sweeter than the type. Plants, and especially young seedlings, are quite fast growing. The fruit is very attractive to birds. 28 species of insects are associated with this tree. Responds well to coppicing. Plants are susceptible to fireblight. Special Features:Not North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed. Stored seed germinates better if given 2 weeks warm then 14 – 16 weeks cold stratification[98], so sow it as early in the year as possible. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Seedlings are very slow to put on top-growth for their first year or two, but they are busy building up a good root system. It is best to keep them in pots in a cold frame for their first winter and then plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring.

Edible Uses:
Fruit are eaten raw or cooked. The fruit is very acid and large quantities of the raw fruit can cause stomach upsets. It can be used to make delicious, if slightly acidulous, jams and preserves, the fruit can also be dried and used as a flour mixed with cereals. The fruit is about 7.5mm in diameter and is produced in quite large bunches making harvest easy. The leaves and flowers are used as a tea substitute. Young leaves are said to be a famine food but they contain a cyanogenic glycoside so you should be very hungry before even thinking of eating them. A coffee substitute. The report was referring to the fruit, it probably means the roasted seed.

Medicinal Uses:
The bark is astringent, it is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and as a vaginal injection for leucorrhoea etc. The fruit is antiscorbutic and astringent. It is normally used as a jam or an infusion to treat diarrhoea and haemorrhoids. An infusion can also be used as a gargle for sore throats and as a wash to treat haemorrhoids and excessive vaginal discharge. The seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides which, in reaction with water, produce the extremely toxic prussic acid. In small quantities this acts as a stimulant to the respiratory system but in larger doses can cause respiratory failure and death. It is therefore best to remove the seeds when using the fruit medicinally or as a food. Both the flowers and the fruit are aperient, mildly diuretic, laxative and emmenagogue. An infusion is used in the treatment of painful menstruation, constipation and kidney disorders.

Rowan berries are astringent and rather acidic. The juice has been used medicinally as a gargle for sore throats and laryngitis, and its astringency was useful in treating hemorrhoids and excessive vaginal discharge. The fruit contains vitamin C and was formerly employed in the prevention of scurvy. The fruit is antiscorbutic and astringent. It is normally used as a jam or an infusion to treat diarrhea and hemorrhoids. An infusion can also be used as a gargle for sore throats and as a wash to treat hemorrhoids and excessive vaginal discharge. The seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides which, in reaction with water, produce the extremely toxic prussic acid. In small quantities this acts as a stimulant to the respiratory system but in larger doses can cause respiratory failure and death. It is therefore best to remove the seeds when using the fruit medicinally or as a food. Both the flowers and the fruit are aperient, mildly diuretic, laxative and emmenagogue. An infusion is used in the treatment of painful menstruation, constipation and kidney disorders.

Other Uses:
Landscape Uses:Specimen.
An oil is obtained from the seed. A cosmetic face-mask is made from the fruits and is used to combat wrinkled skin. A black dye is obtained from the young branches. All parts of the plant contain tannin and can be used as a black dye. Trees are very wind resistant and can be used in shelterbelt plantings. Wood – hard, fine grained, compact and elastic. It is highly recommended by wood turners and is also used to make hoops for barrels, cogs and furniture.

Known Hazards : Large quantities of the raw fruit can cause vomiting, especially if people are not used to the fruit. Seeds probably contain hydrogen cyanide. this is the ingredient that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. Unless the seed is very bitter it should be perfectly safe in reasonable quantities. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Hibiscus moscheutos

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Botanical Name : Hibiscus moscheutos
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Species: H. moscheutos
Order: Malvales
Common Names: Rose mallow,Eastern rosemallow,Swamp Rose Mallow, Crimsoneyed rosemallow, Wild Cotton, Common Rosemallow, Eastern Rosemallow, Swamp

Habitat :Hibiscus moscheutos is native to Southern N. America – Massachusetts to Michigan, south to Alabama, Georgia and Florida. It grows on saline marshes and the shores of lakes.
Hibiscus moscheutos is a perennial flowering plant.It grows to 2.5 m (8ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a medium rate.This shrubby perennial has numerous sturdy stems arising from a single crown. The large, heart-shaped leaves are grayish-green above and hairy-white below. The showy, five-petaled, creamy-white flowers have a conspicuous band of red or burgundy at their bases from which a tubular column of yellow stamens extends.

This strikingly showy species is often found along edges of salt marshes but is more common in upper-valley wetlands.

It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.


It is a cold-hardy perennial wetland plant that can grow in large colonies.

There exist in nature numerous forms, and petal colors range from pure white to deep rose, and most have an eye of deep maroon. Taxonomic consensus is lacking for the nomenclature of the multiple subspecies. The flowers are borne apically, whereas the related Hibiscus laevis carries bud and bloom along the stem.
Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in a sheltered position in full sun.  Well-suited to a water-side planting. One report says that the plants are hardy in zone 5 (tolerating winter temperatures down to about -25°c), this same report also says that the plant succeeds outdoors in Britain only in those areas where winter temperatures do not fall below about -5°c. Another report says that it needs to be grown in a warm garden in the warmer areas of Britain. Plants of the cultivar ‘Southern Belle‘ have been seen growing outdoors at Kew Gardens, they are situated on a south-east facing wall of the Temperate House and have been there for at least 3 years as of 2000. A very ornamental plant, there are many named varieties. Special Features:North American native, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies.
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. Germination is usually rapid. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Some reports say that the seed can be sown in situ outside and that it gives a good rate of germination.

Edible Uses:
Although there are no reports of edibility for this species, most of the plants in this family have edible leaves and flowers. The flowers are about 15cm in diameter, though in some cultivars they are up to 25cm in diameter. They have a mild flavour and somewhat mucilaginous texture with a slight bitterness in the aftertaste. The leaves are rather bland and are also mucilaginous, but have a slight hairiness to them which detracts a little from the pleasure of eating them.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves and roots abound in mucilage. Like many other plants in this family, they are demulcent and emollient and are used in the treatment of dysentery, lung ailments and urinary ailments. an infusion of the dried stalks has been used in the treatment of inflammation of the bladder.

Other  Uses:  Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Specimen.
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.

Health Alert

Sitting All Day as Bad as Little Exercise

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Sitting all day may significantly boost the risk of lifestyle-related disease even if one adds a regular dose of moderate or vigorous exercise, Is too much sitting as bad as too little exercise?
………………………………….CLICK & SEE
The health benefits of pulse-quickening physical activity are beyond dispute — it helps ward off cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, among other problems.

But recent scientific findings also suggest that prolonged bouts of immobility while resting on one’s rear end may be independently linked to these same conditions.

“Sedentary time should be defined as muscular inactivity rather than the absence of exercise,” concluded a team of Swedish researchers. “We need to consider that we are dealing with two distinct behaviours and their effects,” they reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine .

Led by Elin Ekblom-Bak of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, the scientists proposed a new “paradigm of inactivity physiology,” and urged fellow researchers to rethink the definition of a sedentary lifestyle.

They point to a recent study of Australian adults showing that each daily one-hour increase in sitting time while watching television upped the rate of metabolic syndrome in women by 26 percent — regardless of the amount of moderate-to-intensive exercise performed.

Thirty minutes of daily physical exercise decreased the risk by about the same percentage, suggesting that being a couch potato can cancel out the benefits of hitting treadmill or biking, for example. Metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of three or more factors including high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high cholesterol or insulin resistance. New research is required to see if there is a causal link between being sedentary and these conditions and, if so, how it works, the researchers said.

One candidate is lipoprotein lipase, or LPL, an enzyme that plays a crucial role in breaking down fat within the body into useable forms. Recent research has shown that LPL activity was significantly lower in rats with restrained muscle activity — as low as one tenth of the levels of rats allowed to walk about.

The LPL level during such activity “was not significantly different from that of rats exposed to higher levels of exercise,” the scientists reported. “This stresses the importance of local muscle contraction per se, rather than the intensity of the contraction.”

These studies suggest that people should not only exercise frequently, but avoid sitting in one place for too long, they said.

Climbing stairs rather than using an elevator, taking five-minute breaks from a desk job, and walking when possible to do errands rather than driving were all recommended.

Source: The Times Of India

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News on Health & Science Pediatric

Formula Milk Not Very Inferior Than Breast Milk for Child’s Health

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A new Norwegian study suggests that mothers finding it hard to breastfeed their newborns might have had higher levels of the male hormone An esoteric perspective: .

………………….click & see.

The research also questions the health benefits of breast milk over formula.

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology studied 180 pregnant women to come up with their findings.

The group examined included women who were likely to give birth to small babies due to high levels of testosterone.

Even after considering factors like age, education and smoking, researchers found a direct relationship between low breastfeeding rates at three and six months and higher testosterone levels.

Reasons for high testosterone levels during pregnancy can be numerous after the placenta, the site of hormone production, comes into action.

And according to scientists testosterone may hamper the development of glandular tissue in the breast, thereby affecting breastfeeding ability.

“Basically a mother who finds she has difficulty shouldn’t feels guilty – it probably is just the way it is, and her baby will not suffer for being fed formula milk,” the BBC quoted lead researcher Professor Sven Carlsen, as saying. “A mother should do what makes her happy.”

Taking about the benefits of breast milk and formula milk he said: “These health differences are really not so significant in any event.

“When you look at the epidemiological studies and try to strip away the other factors, it is really hard to find any substantial benefits among children who were breastfed as babies.”

The study has been published in Acta Obstetricia and Gynacologica Scandinavica.

Source: The Times Of India

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Anti-ageing Creams Could Cause Cancer

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Anti-ageing creams, which promise to smooth away the fine lines of maturity, could lead to cancer by stripping the skin of its protective top  as explained by exparts.

A leading US professor has said that using these revolutionary creams could expose the skin to dangerous toxins and make it more prone to sun damage.

Dr Sam Epstein, chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, has said that popular ingredients in anti-ageing creams called alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) were “probably the most dangerous cosmetic products on the market”.

And now, he has urged the American safety body to introduce new regulations to protect consumers and also asked British shoppers to be aware of the risks. “So many women, and even some men, slather these products all over their skin in the naive belief that they have nothing to fear but ageing,” The Daily Express quoted Epstein as saying.

The British cosmetics industry must comply with EU rules on what ingredients to use and what warnings to place on labels.

Currently, there is no requirement for a warning to be placed on creams containing AHAs.
However, Epstein pointed out that in America, the US Food and Drug Administration warned consumers that AHAs “could destroy the upper layers of skin, causing severe burns, swelling and pain”.

But he said that the dangers are equally relevant to British anti-wrinkle creams. “Anything that strips the surface of the skin not only risks sunlight penetrating the exposed layer but also allows other toxic products in. All of the toxic effects are massively increased by AHAs,” he said.

Epstein also expressed concern about other ingredients commonly used in anti-ageing products, such as limonene. “Apart from being an irritant, it is a well documented carcinogen,” he said.

Sources: The Times Of India

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