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Rubus allegheniensis

Botanical Name : Rubus allegheniensis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rubus
Species:R. allegheniensis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: Alleghany Blackberry, Graves’ blackberry, and simply as Common blackberry

Habitat : Rubus allegheniensis is native to Eastern N. America – Nova Scotia to Ontario, New York, Virginia and North Carolina. It grows on the dry thickets, clearings and woodland margins.

Description:
Rubus allegheniensis is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in) at a medium rate.Characteristics can be highly variable. It is an erect bramble, typically 5 feet (150 cm) but occasionally rarely over 8 feet (240 cm) high, with single shrubs approaching 8 feet or more in breadth, although it usually forms dense thickets of many plants. Leaves are alternate, compound, ovoid, and have toothed edges.

Thorny canes, with white, 5-petal, ¾ inch (19 mm) flowers in late spring and glossy, deep-violet to black, aggregate fruit in late summer. Shade intolerant.

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

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Plants have biennial stems, they produce a number of new stems from the perennial rootstock each year, these stems fruit in their second year and then die. Often cultivated for its edible fruits in America, it is the parent of many named varieties. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn. Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn.
Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw, cooked or dried for later use. A pleasant sweet and somewhat spicy flavour. The fruit is about 12mm in diameter and can be 3cm long. Young shoots – raw. They are harvested in the spring, peeled and used in salads.
Medicinal Uses:
Antihaemorrhoidal; Antirheumatic; Astringent; Diuretic; Ophthalmic; Stimulant; TB; Tonic.

The roots are antihaemorrhoidal, antirheumatic, astringent, stimulant and tonic. An infusion can be used in the treatment of stomach complaints, diarrhoea, piles, coughs and colds, tuberculosis and rheumatism. The infusion has also been used by women threatened with a miscarriage. The root can be chewed to treat a coated tongue. An infusion of the root has been used as a wash for sore eyes. The leaves are astringent. An infusion can be used in the treatment of diarrhoea. An infusion of the bark has been used in the treatment of urinary problems. A decoction of the stems has been used as a diuretic.

Other Uses:….Dye…..A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit.
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/Rubus_allegheniensis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rubus+allegheniensis

Stretch of Imagination

Experts now say that stretching before exercise may actually harm you. ……Lenny Bernstein reports

It’s been a long, hard day at the office, and you need a good workout to blow off all that stress. But before you hit the free weights, the stationary bike or the elliptical machine, you spend 10 minutes carefully stretching all those stiff muscles, just as every coach, trainer and physical therapist has advised for as long as you can remember.

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Now the question is why ?

There’s no evidence that you’ll prevent injury. In fact, some people believe you’re more likely to cause one.

“There is not sufficient evidence to endorse or discontinue routine stretching before or after exercise to prevent injury among competitive or recreational athletes,” concluded the National Center for Injury Prevention Control, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a 2004 study that may be the most thorough look at the research on stretching.

Research and anecdotal information attribute many benefits to stretching: reduced muscle tension, improved circulation, pain reduction and management. Perhaps most important, stretching helps us maintain range of motion as we age, allowing older people to continue with the activities of daily living.

The question is whether “static stretching” — the most common type, which involves holding a muscle in one position for a defined period of time — has been misinterpreted, or oversold, as a preventive for what ails you.

“People believe all kinds of amazing things, and it changes every 10-15 years,” said William Meller, a physician and associate professor of evolutionary medicine at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The merits of stretching are “not based on any science. It’s spread by coaches, trainers and all kinds of people.”

According to Julie Gilchrist, a medical epidemiologist who helped conduct the CDC study, “it’s probably important that we maintain some norm of flexibility throughout our life spans, but I don’t think anyone has really defined what that (norm) is.

“Our belief is there are probably people who would benefit from stretching. But then the question is who should stretch, when to stretch,” how much to stretch and, most important, what benefits can be expected.

Even for the elderly, “we don’t have the kinds of controlled intervention studies that we need to make a definitive statement about the benefits of doing flexibility exercises,” said Chhanda Dutta, chief of the clinical gerontology branch at the National Institute on Aging.

Similarly, coaches wouldn’t dream of putting athletes on a field, even for practice, without a battery of stretches that help them take the pounding and awkward landings of contact sports.

“As a coach, if I didn’t do that and somebody got hurt, I would probably have a tough time sleeping at night,” said Paul Foringer, a football coach at a high school in Gaithersburg, Maryland. “It’s kind of common sense. If you take something that’s taut and tough and you yank it, you’re going to tear it.”

But that’s not what studies show. “Stretching was not significantly associated with a reduction in total injuries,” said the CDC study, “and similar findings were seen in the subgroup analyses.”

In static stretching, “you’re taking the muscle to the point where it naturally wants to go, and then you’re taking it a little bit farther,” said Meller. That produces microscopic tears of muscle fibres and does nothing to prevent injury, he said. It also may weaken the muscle slightly, increase the possibility of injury and inhibit performance, according to him and the CDC study.

For those who want to stretch, it should be done after a warm-up or at the end of an exercise routine because warm muscles are more pliable.

Research indicates that warming up before exercise is more valuable than stretching. Specifically, Meller said, you should spend three to five minutes gently putting your body through the actions you’re about to perform, slowly increasing the intensity. If you’re going to play tennis, he said, swing forehands, backhands and serves, and run forward, backward and laterally before you hit the first ball.

Source: The Washington Post

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Effort and Understanding

Having It Easy
Our lives are an exercise in facing challenges. We dream the grandest of dreams as youngsters only to discover that we must cultivate copious inner strength and determination in order to meet our goals. Our hard work does not always yield the results we expect. And it is when we find ourselves frustrated by the trials we face or unable to meet our own expectations that we are most apt to take notice of those individuals who appear to accomplish great feats effortlessly. Some people’s lives seem to magically fall into place. We can see the blessings they have received, the ease with which they have attained their desires, their unwavering confidence, and their wealth. But, because we can never see the story of their lives as a whole, it is important that we refrain from passing judgment or becoming envious.

Throughout our lives, we glimpse only the outer hull of others’ life experiences, so it’s tempting to presuppose that the abundance they enjoy is the result of luck rather than diligent effort. In a small number of cases, our assumptions may mirror reality. But very few people “have it easy.” Everyone must overcome difficulties and everyone has been granted a distinctive set of talents with which to do so. An individual who is highly gifted may nonetheless have to practice industriously and correct themselves repeatedly in order to cultivate their talents. Their myriad accomplishments are more likely than not the result of ongoing hard work and sacrifice. You, no doubt, have natural abilities that you have nurtured and your gifts may be the very reason you strive as tirelessly as you do. Yet others see only the outcome of your efforts and not the efforts themselves

Our intellects, our hearts, and our souls are constantly being tested by the universe. Life will create new challenges for you to face each time you prove yourself capable of overcoming the challenges of the past. What you deem difficult will always differ from that which others deem difficult. The tests you will be given will be as unique as you are. If you focus on doing the best you can and making use of the blessings you have been granted, the outcome of your efforts will be a joyous reflection of your dedication.

Sources: Daily Om

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Ease off on those kids, it’s their time to play

 Here’s some soothing medicine for stressed-out parents and overscheduled kids: The American Academy of Pediatrics says what children really need for healthy development is more good, old-fashioned playtime. Many parents load their children’s schedules with get-smart videos, enrichment activities and lots of classes in a drive to help them excel. The efforts often begin as early as infancy.

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Spontaneous, free play whether it’s chasing butterflies, playing with “true toys” like blocks and dolls, or just romping on the floor with mom and dad often is sacrificed in the shuffle, a new academy report says.

Jennifer Gervasio has a 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter involved in preschool three mornings weekly, plus T-ball and ballet for each one day a week.

That’s a light schedule compared to her kids’ friends, and Gervasio said her son in particular has trouble finding buddies who are free to come over and just play.

“There’s just such a huge variety of things you can do for your kids if you have the resources, you almost feel why not,” said Gervasio, of Wilmette, Ill. “There is a part of me that would worry if I don’t sign my son up for some of these things, will he not be on par with the other kids.chieldren to play.

(From the news published in The Times Of India)