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Himalayan Fir (Abies spectabilis)

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Botanical Name: Abies spectabilis – (D.Don.)Spach.
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Abies
Species: A. spectabilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Common names: East Himalayan fir (Vidakovic 1991).

Taxonomic notes:
Syn: Pinus spectabilis D. Don 1825; Pinus webbiana Wall ex D. Don in Lambert 1828; A. webbiana (Wall ex D. Don) Lindl. 1833; Picea webbiana (Wall ex D. Don) Loudon 1838 (Farjon 1998); A. chiloensis Hort.; A. chilrowensis Hort.; A. densa Griff. (Vidakovic 1991). Silba (1986) describes a variety densa, while Vidakovic (1991) describes a variety brevifolia.

“This species hybridizes freely with A. pindrow forming intermediate populations in the altitudinal middle zone of their common distribution” (Vidakovic 1991).

Sinónimos:
*Pinus spectabilis D.Don
*Pinus webbiana Wall. ex D.Don
*Picea webbiana Loudon ex D.Don
*Abies webbiana Wall. ex D.Don
*Abies chiloensis Hort.
*Abies chilrowensis Hort.
*Abies densa Griff.

Habitat :-Himalayan Fir   is native to E. Asia –  Himalayas from Afghanistan to Nepal.  Hindu Kush; Tibet; India: Karakoram & Kashmir Himalaya; Nepal (Farjon 1998); Sikkim and Bhutan at 2500-4000 m (Vidakovic 1991).   It grows in the forests in Nepal between 2700 – 3900 metres. Moist open areas.
It commonly occurs as a canopy dominant species in very wet forest, accompanied by species of Rhododendron including R. companuletum, R. lepedetum, and R. anthapogen, as well as Betula utilis .

Description:
An evergreen tree attaining in the E. Himalaya a height of 60 m. Crown broadly conical grows at a slow rate.
” Branches horizontally spreading. Bark dark gray, rough and scaly. Shoots red-brown, deeply grooved, pubescent in the grooves. Buds large, globose, resinous. Needles on the upper side of the shoot arranged in several ranks, leaving a V-shaped depression between them, 2-6 cm long, with emarginate apex; upper surface dark green and glossy, with 2 broad stomata bands beneath. Cones cylindrical, 14-20 cm long and about 7 cm thick, violet-purple when young, later brown; seed scales 1.5-2 cm wide; bract scales concealed” (Vidakovic 1991).

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
(See Wu and Raven 1999 ) for a more recent and detailed description.

It is hardy to zone 7 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.


Cultivation:

Prefers a good moist but not water-logged soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are very shade tolerant, especially when young, but growth is slower in dense shade. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution. Prefers slightly acid conditions down to a pH of about 5. Prefers growing on a north-facing slope. This species is unsatisfactory in south-eastern Britain due to damage by late frosts, trees rarely live more than 40 years and have a poor thin crown. Trees grow far better in the milder and moister western side of the country. Young trees are very slow to establish because they are often damaged by late frosts, it is best to grow the young trees in high shade to get them through this time[1, 185]. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm in height. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus.

Propagation:-
Seed – sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 – 8 weeks. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position

Medicinal Action &  Uses:-

Antiperiodic; Astringent; Carminative; Expectorant; Stomachic; Tonic.

The leaves are astringent, carminative, expectorant, stomachic and tonic. The leaf juice used in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis etc. An essential oil obtained from the leaves is used to treat colds, rheumatism and nasal congestion. The leaf juice is antiperiodic.

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.

Other Uses:-
Essential; Fuel; Incense; Wood.

An essential oil is obtained from the plant, though the report does not give yields or uses. The dried leaves, mixed with other ingredients, are used in making incense. The wood is used for construction and thatching roofs. It is also used for fuel.

Scented Plants:-
Leaves: Crushed
The bruised leaves are aromatic.
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/database/plants.php?Abies+spectabilis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abies_spectabilis
http://www.conifers.org/pi/ab/spectabilis.htm
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abies_spectabilis

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Rudraksha

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Botanical Name : :. Elaeocarpus sphaericus
Family Name: Elaeocarpaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Oxalidales
Genus: Elaeocarpus
Species: E. ganitrus
vernacular Name: Sans,.Rudraksha; Hind: Rudraki; Eng : Ultrasum-bead tree

Habitat :
The Rudraksha tree grows in the area from the Gangetic Plain in foothills of the Himalayas to South-East Asia, Indonesia, New Guinea to Australia, Guam and even Hawaii. Rudraksha trees are also found in middle areas of Nepal.

Description:
Rudraksha Plant Elaeocarpus is a large genius of evergreen trees. It has nearly 36 sister species, including Rudraksha. All trees bearing white flowers with fringed petals developing into drupaceous fruit resembling olive. The main trunk of rudraksha tree is cylindrical. Its section is circular. Bark is grayish white and rough in texture with small vertical lenticels and narrow horizontal furrows. The branches of Rudraksha spread in all directions is such a way that when growing in natural habitat, the crown takes the shape of a pyramid. The leaves of rudraksha are shining green above and dull coriaceous below. The flowers are ovoid, conical, elongate, nearly 1 to 2 cm in diameter. These appear in April-May. The fruit is globose and drupaceous having a fleshy exterior. The beads inside is hard and tubercled. The fruit starts appearing in June and ripens by august to october.Farming of Rudraksha is a difficult process due to its slow sprouting from the beads which usually takes about 1 to 2 years depending on the humidity of soil. Rudraksha is basically grown in subtropical climatic region with temperature ranges from 25to 30degree centigrade. Once Rudraksha are planted it starts giving fruit after 7 years and thereafter for long time. In the single tree Rudraksha beads comes in all different faces at the same time but higher mukhis or faces are vary rare to find where most of Rudraksha beads are five faces Rudraksha beads come in seasonal pattern every year around mid august to mid october from the tree.The Himalayan Beads simply seem to be larger, heavier and more powerful due to the environment they grow in. So it is a certainty that environment and specifically the location of the Rudraksa Trees plays a key role in their growth.Rudraksha tree are easy to grow and once established,a rudraksha tree will last for years with a little care.

.Click to see picture of  Rudraksha tree.,,

Rudraksha Tree starts bearing fruit in three to four years. As the tree matures, the roots buttress rising up narrowly near the trunk and radiating out along the surface of the ground giving a gnarly and prehistoric appearance.Rudraksha seeds are covered by an outer shell of blue color when fully ripe, and for this reason are also known as blueberry beads. The blue colour is derived not from pigment but is structural.

Rudraksha Beads:
Rudraksha beads are the material from which sacred garlands (108 beads in number) are made. The term is used both for the berries themselves and as a term for the type of m?l? made from them. In this sense, a rudraksha is a Saivite rosary, used for japa mala. Repetitive prayer (japa) is a common aid to worship in Hinduism, and Rudraksha m?l? are worn by many Hindus. Rudraksha is also used for treatment of various diseases in traditional Indian medicine.

The berries show variation in the number of grooves on their surface, and are classified on the basis of the number of divisions that they have. A common type has five divisions, and these are considered to be symbolic of the five faces of Shiva.

The Rudraksh seeds are brittle in nature and so should be protected from chemicals.

The best way to find the authenticity of a rudraksha is to get it X-rayed and count the number of compartments inside. If they are equal to the number of lines outside the rudraksha is real.

This rudraksha mala is made from fine (not rough), ripe and hard “real” rudraksha seeds that “SINKS IN WATER”.

Rudraksha seeds (beads) are used for spiritual mala or rosary such as in Hindu and Buddhism. Rudraksha trees are grown in the Himalayan villages of Nepal (the native homeland of Rudraksha) which are favored and valued more than other Rudraksha malas.

Religious Use:-
Rudraksha mala has been used by Hindus (as well as Sikhs and Buddhists) as rosary for thousands of years for meditation purposes to sanctify the mind, body and soul. The word Rudraksha is derived from Rudra (Shiva—the Hindu God of all living creatures) and aksha (eyes). So, Rudraksha is related to Shiva’s eyes. One Hindu mythology says that once Lord Shiva became so compassionate after seeing the sufferings of mankind that He could not stop to shed tear from his eye. This single tear from Shiva’s eye grew into the Rudraksha tree. Rudraksha fruit is green in color but turns black when dried. The central hard Rudraksha uniseed may have 1 to 21 faces. The five-faced Rudraksha seeds are the most common. Besides as rosary for meditation, the Rudraksha mala is often used as a fashionable necklace or a bracelet. Thus it serves the dual purpose of fashion and protects the wearer psychologically.

Use as Timber
The wood of Rudraksh tree is light coloured almost whitish in appearance. It has a unique strength-to-weight ratio, making it valued for its timber. The wood of Rudraksha Tree was used to make aeroplane propellers during World War I.

The Mantra of Rudraksha
:-
Japa mantra for Rudraksha mala: Om Hreem Shivaya

Rudraksha rules the planet: Jupiter

Spiritual Belives that Rudraksha Cures: Depression, stress, diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, blood related diseases etc

Japa method:
Hold the mala from the middle finger. Start meditation from the 1st bead next to the guru bead (109th bead outside the mala ring that is closest to the bunch of threads). Pull the bead one by one towards yourself with the thumb while recalling/reciting/chanting “Om Hreem Shivaya” & crossing and pulling the beads by the tip of the thumb. After completing the japa until the 108th bead (the bead just before the guru bead) turn around the mala by your thumb and start the japa again from the 108th bead and continue up to the 1st bead. Repeat the above process. Do not touch the mala with the index finger, little finger and the fingernails.

Medicinal Uses of Rudraksha:-
Rudraksha bead is a natural tranquilizer and it has been proved that wearing Rudraksha around heart controlled heart beat and keeps blood pressure under control. For this, it is necessary that the Rudrakasha bead should touch the heart. People with the problem of high blood pressure can also take Rudraksha as a medicine. Dip two Beads of Five Mukhi Rudraksh in a glass of water in night and let them immersed in water for whole night. Drink that water in the morning, before any other intake. You can use any metal for the vessel except copper.

» Rudraksha also imposes positive effect on Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Palpitations and Lack of Concentration.
» It cools down the body temperature and brings calm to mind. Those who suffer from anxiety should keep big size Five
Mukhi Rudraksh with themselves and whenever they feel nervous, they should hold them tight in their right palm for ten
minutes. It will help them to regain their confidence and their body would become stable.
» Rudrakasha is an excellent bead for pregnant women. Wearing Garbh Gauri Rudraksha helps women who have problems in
conceiving a child and are prone to abortion. Rudraksha is also useful for women suffering from hysteria and coma.
» Rudraksha also help to cure prolonged cough, the paste of ten-faced Rudrakasha with milk relieves prolonged cough. This
medicine should be taken thrice a day. It can be used as a cure for skin diseases, sores, ringworm, pimples, boils and
burns also.
» Rudraksha is also good for children who suffer from frequent fever. Such children should wear three-faced Rudrakasha.
» To cure smallpox equal quantity of black pepper and Rudrakasha should be powdered and taken with water.
» Rudraksha is also useful in mental diseases. Milk boiled with four faced Rudrakasha seed is good medicine for mental
diseases. This also helps in increasing your memory.
» Rudraksha also possess anti ageing property.

You may click to see :->MEDICINAL & SCIENTIFIC VALUE OF RUDRAKASHA

Acording to Ayurveda:-
It is amla, ushna; pacifies demaged vata and kapha; relieves headache; appetizing and beneficial in mental diseases.

Part Used: Fruits.

Therapeutic Uses:

Fruits: In the treatment of headache and epileptic fits.the fruits are sour, thermogenic, appetizer, useful in cough, bronchitis, neuralgia ,cephalgia, anorexia, epileptic fitts, manic conditions, brain disorders.

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/Rudraksha
http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#rudraksha

http://www.india-shopping.net/rudraksha/medicinal_propertiesof_rudraksha.htm

http://www.rudraksha-ratna.com/articledt.php?art_id=129

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Opium Poppy

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A field of opium poppies in Burma.
Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name:Papaver somniferum Linn
Family Name: Papaveraceae,Papaver somniferum L.
Vernacular Name: Sans-Ahiphenam ,Hind – Aphim, Eng – opium poppy, common poppy, garden poppy, chessbolls (English), Kas-kas, kashkash, aphim, afim, afyun (Hindu)
Ahiphenam, aphukam, ahifen, chosa, khasa (Sanskrit),Pasto (Bengal) Aphina, khuskhus, posta (Gujarat), Abini, gashagasha, kasakasa (Tamil)
(names used for plants, fruit capsules, seeds and opium)

Other Name:Ahiphenam
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Genus: Papaver
Species: P. somniferum
Parts used: Seeds, seed oil, unripe capsules and flowers
Habitat:Native to Southeastern Europe and western Asia. Also known as opium poppy, the species is cultivated extensively in many countries, including Iran, Turkey, Holland, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, India, Canada, and many Asian and Central and South American countries. Reaching a height of 1.2 meters, the erect plant can have white, pink, red, or purple flowers. Seeds range in color from white to a slate shade that is called blue in commercial classifications.

Description:It is an annual herb.An opium poppy seedling (Papaver somniferum), showing two slender cotyledons and several young, developing leaves. The seed is still attached to one of the cotyledons. Note the favose-reticulate (honeycombed) seed coat. The following image shows the very pale flower that developed from these seedlings.
Flowers – with papery petals that can vary in colour from white to red or lilac with a darker purple base…..CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES..
Fruits – a rounded capsule topped with the disc-like stigma remains. The liquid that is obtained from the fruit capsule contains morphine alkaloids which are dried to produce raw opium. Opium is used to manufacture medicinal drugs such as codeine and morphine, and for illegal drugs such as heroin.
Seeds – small and black, dark blue or yellow-white. The seeds are edible and tasty and are used in bakery products such as poppy-seeded bread.
The reported life zone of poppy is 7 to 23 degrees centigrade with an annual precipitation of 0.3 to 1.7 meters and a soil pH of 4.5 to 8.3 (4.1-31). The plants grow best in rich, moist soil and tend to be frost sensitive.

A latex  containing several important alkaloids is obtained from immature seed capsules one to three weeks after flowering. Incisions are made in the walls of the green seed pods, and the milky exudation is collected and dried. Opium and the isoquinoline alkaloids morphine, codeine, noscapine, papaverine, and thebaine are isolated from the dried material. The poppy seeds and fixed oil that can be expressed from the seed are not narcotic, because they develop after the capsule has lost the opium-yielding potential (11.1-128). Total yield of alkaloids is dependent on light, temperature, the plant species, and the time of harvest (5.2-4).

You may click to learn :->How to grow Opium Poppy
Varieties:-
Papaver somniferum is a species of plant with many sub-groups or varieties. Colors of the flower vary widely, as do other physical characteristics such as number and shape of petals, number of pods, production of morphine, etc.

Papaver somniferum Paeoniflorum Group (sometimes called Papaver paeoniflorum) is a sub-type of opium poppy whose flowers are highly double, and are grown in many colors. Papaver somniferum Laciniatum Group (sometimes called Papaver laciniatum) is a sub-type of opium poppy whose flowers are highly double and deeply lobed, to the point of looking like a ruffly pompon.

A few of the varieties, notably the Norman and Przemko varieties, have low morphine content (less than one percent), but have much higher concentrations of other alkaloids. Most varieties, however, including those most popular for ornamental use or seed production, have a higher morphine content, with the average content being 10%

Uses:The Opium Poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the type of poppy from which opium and many refined opiates, including morphine, thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine, are extracted. The binomial name means, loosely, the “sleep-bringing poppy“, referring to its narcotic properties. The seeds are important food items, and contain healthy oils used in salads worldwide. The plant itself is valuable for ornamental purposes.

Properties:The petals are bitter, expectorant, sudorific and sedative, and are useful in coughs. The opium obtained from the fruits is constipating, bitter, astringent, sweet, aphrodisiac, sedative, narcotic, anodyne, antispasmodic, sudorific and nervineonic.
Medicinal Uses:In India and Turkey, opium production is used for medicinal purposes, making poppy-based drugs, such as morphine or codeine, for domestic use or exporting raw poppy materials to other countries. The United States buys 80 percent of its medicinal opium from these two countries.
In Ayurveda it is emaciating, astringent; efficacious in deranged kapha but excites vata and pitta anticovulsant, sedative, narcotic, diaphoretic, analgesic, used in urinary troubles,cough, bronchial diseases, diarrhoea; styptic.
A recent initiative to extend opium production for medicinal purposes called Poppy for Medicine was launched by The Senlis Council which proposes that Afghanistan could produce medicinal opium under a scheme similar to that operating in Turkey and India (see the Council’s recent report “Poppy for Medicine” ). The Council proposes licensing poppy production in Afghanistan, within an integrated control system supported by the Afghan government and its international allies, in order to promote economic growth in the country, create vital drugs and combat poverty and the diversion of illegal opium to drug traffickers and terrorist elements. Interestingly, Senlis is on record advocating reintroduction of poppy into areas of Afghanistan, specifically Kunduz, which has been poppy free for some time.

It is useful in cough,’ ophthalmitis, otitis and proctalgia and coxalgia due to diarrhoea and dysentery. It is also good for internal haemorrhages.

The seeds are sweet, constipating, aphrodisiac and tonic. They are ground in cold water and administered in diarrhoea and dysentery.

Vapours of boiling water, mixed with small doses of opium, is. useful in conjunctivitis. Camphorated opium is an excellent pain-killer in sprain. However, it is contraindicated for people suffering from asthma, cardiac diseases and urinary disorder. Poppy seeds are demulcent, nutritive and mild astringent; beneficial in cough and asthma.

Seed oil, freed from narcotic principles, is useful in diarrhoea and dysentery

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://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm
http://www.opioids.com/poppy.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_poppy
http://www.plantcultures.org/plants/opium_poppy_plant_profile.html

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Lotus Flower

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Name : Padma

Botanical Name: Nelumbo nucifera
Kingdom: Plantae

Phylum: Magnoliophyta

Class:
Magnoliopsida

Order: Proteales

Family: Nelumbonaceae

Genus: Nelumbo

Species: N. nucifera

Other names: Blue lotus, Indian lotus, sacred lotus, bean of India, and sacred water-lily.

Bengali  Name : Padma Phul

Lotuses are 5 species of water lilies, three in the genus Nymphaea and two in Nelumbo; both genera are members of the water-lily family, Nymphaea lotus, the Egyptian white lotus, is believed to be the original sacred lotus of ancient Egypt. It and the Egyptian blue lotus, N. caerulea, were often pictured in ancient Egyptian art.

The common Egyptian “lotus” is actually correctly called a water lily: the white lotus opens at dusk, the blue water lilly opens in the morning.

The white lotus is a shallow-water, night-blooming plant with a creeping rootstock (rhizome) that sends up long-stalked, nearly circular, dark green leathery leaves, which float on the surface. The flowers, up to 25 cm (10 in) across, remain open until midday. The blue lotus is a smaller, less showy day-blooming plant.

Habitat:
Grows along lakes and rivers in wet soil.Now lotus flower is grown in most of the countries in the world.
Cultural Significance:
The lotus flower appeared in legends originating from ancient Egypt. It played an important part in ancient Egyptian religion. The pure white lotus flower, the only plant to fruit and flower simultaneously, emerges from the depths of the muddy swamp. Growing from the mud at the bottom of ponds and streams, the exquisite Lotus flower rises above the water and is usually white or pink with 15 or more oval, spreading petals, and a peculiar, flat seedcase at its center.

The lotus flower has been featured extensively throughout the art of ancient Egypt. In various works of art, you may see it held in the hand of a god or human, serving as a border to outline a section of the artwork, unfolding to reveal various gods or humans, and many other depictions. The ancient Egyptians from the 4th dynasty greatly valued the sacred lotus, in religious ceremonies and funerals. The ancient Egyptians developed the art of counting to a high degree, but their system of numeration was very crude. For example, the number 1,000 was symbolized by a picture of a lotus flower, and the number 2,000 was symbolized by a picture of two lotus flowers growing out of a bush.

Hindus associate the lotus (Padma) blossom with creation mythology, and with the gods Vishnu, Brahma, and the goddesses Lakshmi and Sarasvati. From ancient times the lotus has been a divine symbol in Hindu tradition. It is often used as an example of divine beauty, for example Vishnu is often described as the ‘Lotus-Eyed One’. Its unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul. The growth of its pure beauty from the mud of its origin holds a benign spiritual promise. Particularily Brahma and Lakshmi, the divinities of potence and wealth, have the lotus symbol associated with them. In Hindu iconography, deities often are depicted with lotus flowers as their seats. In Hindi it is called कमल (Kamal) which is also a popular name for men, the female form is Kamala.

The lotus flower is quoted extensively within Puranic and Vedic literature, for example:

One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water. Bhagavad Gita 5.10

Borrowing from Hinduism, in Buddhist symbolism, the lotus represents purity of body, speech, and mind, floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire. The Buddha is often depicted sitting on a giant lotus leaf or blossom. According to legend, he was born with the ability to walk and everywhere he stepped, lotus flowers bloomed.

Drawing in turn on these Hindu and Buddhist beliefs, the international Bahá’í community adopted this symbolism in the design of the Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India.

The Chinese also revere the sacred lotus as a symbol of purity and elegance, and it is a common motif in ancient Chinese poetry. A famous statement about the lotus’ symbolism in Chinese culture is made by Confucian scholar Zhou Dunyi: I love the lotus because, while growing from mud, it is unstained.

Click to see:>Padma
Description:
Lotus offers one of the highest spiritual vibrations amongst other flowers. It is a water plant growing in shallow ponds, lagoons, marshes and flooded fields. Of immense spiritual essence its unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul. The growth of its pure beauty from the mud of its origin holds a benign spiritual promise. It is found in parts of the Middle East, Asia, Australia, New Guinea and throughout India.

…click to see the pictures….>….(1)…..(2)..(3)......(4)...(5)..…..(6)...

The long stemmed lotus plant with its base on the muddy bottoms of the ponds bloom full to its glory above the water. It is usually white or pink with large attractive petals and a flat seedcase at its center. Leathery textured leaves, dark green in colour they are disc-shaped and up to 90 cm wide. It blooms at night. This plant is an aquatic perennial, but if its seeds are preserved under favorable circumstances, they may remain viable for many years. Lotus plant should be planted in spring, in sunny areas in medium or clay loam. Lotus is considered sacred among Buddhists and Hindus. It is the symbol of sun, of creation and rebirth and one of the important flowers used for the worship of Devi Durga.

The roots of Nelumbo nucifera are planted in the soil of the pond or river bottom, while the leaves float on top of the water surface. The flowers are usually found on thick stems rising several centimeters above the water. The plant normally grows up to a height of about 150 cm and a horizontal spread of up to 3 meters, but some unverified reports place the height as high as over 5 meters. The leaves may be as large as 60 cm in diameter, while the showy flowers can be up to 20 cm in diameter.

There are a number of different cultivars, the flower colours varying from snow white to yellow to a light pink. It is hardy to USDA Zone 5. The plant can be propagated from seeds or rhizomes. One of the oldest seeds that have yet been germinated into a viable plant was an approximately 1,300-year-old lotus fruit, recovered from a dry lakebed in northeastern China.

Medicinal Uses:
The various parts of the lotus are prepared in many ways. Leaves are often used fresh to staunch bleeding and reduce fever as a poultice, and have been prepared in various ways to treat a wide variety of ills. These preparations include decoctions, alcohol extraction, boiling to paste and dried in tea.

Traditional medicine has used the lotus leaf, stamen, stem, flower and root to treat a wide variety of ills. Modern science has identified at least seven different chemical actions that support the traditional uses. The most potent of these are the astringent qualities and antibacterial action of the flowers and leaves. Lotus leaves also have an unusual quality that has been widely studied in Western science * the ability to remain dry in water. Among the conditions that the lotus leaf has been used to treat are piles, leprosy, parasites, fever, vomiting, infection, ringworm and sexually transmitted diseases.

Precautions
The lotus is widely consumed as a food throughout southern Asia. There are no cautions connected with its use.

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://www.kingtutshop.com/freeinfo/Lotus-Flower.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_flower
http://www.bangalinet.com/bengal_plants1.html

 

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Positive thinking

Intention And Intuition

.If you didn’t grow up with an altar in your home, having an altar now may seem like an exotic and unattainable idea. Yet having an altar does not have to be complicated or difficult, nor does it need to be based on a religion or a set of ideas that don’t seem to relate to you. An altar can be a simple, personal expression of what you want to focus on right now. You do not have to build anything or take up a lot of space. You do not have to buy anything new or follow a complex set of instructions to create your altar. All you have to do is have a general understanding of what an altar is and the willingness to allow yourself access to this wonderful, ancient tool of transformation.

CLICK & SEE

At its most essential, an altar is simply a raised structure that serves as a resting place for meaningful objects. It focuses the eye and provides a place for contemplation and, if so desired, ritual. All of these elements can be quite simple. One idea for a simple altar is a pot with a bulb planted in it, set on a box. This altar to growth can act as a reminder to you that all living things bloom in their time. A simple ritual might be to write down dreams you would like to see come to fruition on scraps of paper. You might place these scraps of paper in the box, or under the flowerpot, or in an envelope you prop against the pot. As the flower grows, so will your dreams.

CLICK & SEE :  : The ancient Altar of Pergamon, reconstructed at the Pergamon museum, Berlin

If you look around your home, you may find that you have already created altarlike arrangements without even really thinking about it; this is something we humans do quite naturally. A candle, a decorative box, and a vase of flowers are just a few of the common household objects that lend themselves naturally to the creation of an altar. Simply add intention and intuition, and you have created your first altar. Remember that it isn’t necessarily about the objects you place at your altar-it is the time you spend with it daily, taking the time to be with it for your sacred time.

Source:Daily Om