Herbs & Plants

Orthilia secunda

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Botanical Name : Orthilia secunda
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Orthilia
Species:O. secunda
Order: Ericales

Synonyms : Pyrola secunda. L.

Common Name : Sidebells Wintergreen

Habitat :Orthilia secunda is native for Siberia. It occurs in Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to the Pyrenees and Asia. N. America. It grows in damp coniferous woods and on damp rock ledges.

Orthilia secunda is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.3 m (1ft).  It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile. ...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Flower petal color:… & see
*Green to brown

Leaf type: The leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)

Leaf arrangement:
*Basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
*Leaf blade edges: The edge of the leaf blade has teeth
the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)

Flower symmetry:
There are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
Number of sepals, petals or tepals : There are five petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
Fusion of sepals and petals: both the petals and sepals are separate and not fused
the petals or the sepals are fused into a cup or tube

Fruit type (general) : the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
Fruit length: 3–5 mm
Prefers a moist sandy woodland soil in a cool position with partial shade. Requires a peaty or leafy but not very acid soil that remains moist in the summer. This is a very difficult plant to grow. It requires a mycorrhizal relationship in the soil and therefore needs to be grown initially in soil collected from around an established plant. It is also very difficult from seed as well as being intolerant of root disturbance which makes division difficult.

Seed – the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza. Division with great care in the spring. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously

Edible Uses: Seeds are eatable. The leaves are occasionally used as a tea.

Constituents: This herb consists of tannins, flavonoids, gums, bitters, lemon and tartaric acids, arbutin and saponin.

Medicinal Uses:
Orthilia Secunda is recommended by herbalists as an herb for gynecological disorders and inflammations. Orthilia Secunda preparations are used for sterility, bleedings, infantilism, cervical erosion, for menstrual cycle derangements, toxicosis. In some countries Orthilia Secunda is used as diuretics and antiseptics for kidney and urinary bladder inflammations. More than that, a strong decoction of the root has been used as an eye wash.

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.


Healthy Tips

Tips for a Safe Holi

Every year there are several cases of eye-injury owing to uncontrolled Holi celebrations. Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr Anand Shroff provides some tips on how to protect your eyes and the measures to take should an injury occur.

Girl at Holi Phagwa
Girl at Holi Phagwa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From time immemorial, man has been attracted to colours. Dry Holi colours known as ‘gulal’ and wet colours or ‘rang’ were originally prepared naturally from flowers and vegetables. However with time, in the quest of more long-lasting and strong colours, chemical and artificial colours are being used. These chemicals pose serious risks to our body and eyes.

The eyes especially are extremely susceptible during Holi because of their strategic place in the body and also because of the use of toxic materials in colours these days. The synthetic colours used during Holi are known to cause eye irritation and allergies, and even temporary blindness besides bronchial asthma and skin infections.

Some of these colours have been shown to possess cancerous properties. Considering the toxicity of synthetic colours, some institutions and organisations have now come forward to make people aware of the use of eco-friendly natural colours along with the resurrection of old traditional vegetable-based Holi colours. Hence, herbal ‘gulals’ are now commercially available in the market.

Some Safety Tips :-
Ensure that your eyes remain protected at all times. Use sunglasses to protect your eyes from coloured water.

Use a hat or cap to protect your hair from being coloured with strong chemical dyes.

Apply a thick layer of coconut oil on your body and hair so that the colour doesn’t stick and it can be washed off easily later. While washing off the colour, use lukewarm water and keep your eyes tightly closed.

If you are travelling, keep the car windows tightly shut. Better still, avoid travelling on this day.

Ensure that only non-toxic colours are used by younger children.

What to do?
In case the chemicals make contact with your eyes and skin, taking certain these measures helps to avoid permanent damage. If the injury is serious or the symptoms such as irritation of eyes and skin, pain, swelling, photophobia (sensitivity to light), persist, see a doctor at the earliest.

Wash eyes with room temperature with clean water.

Remove contaminated clothing and wash exposed skin area thoroughly with soap and water.

Visit an eye specialist immediately if you have suffered an eye injury with a high-speed balloon or stone as severe injury can cause rupturing of the eyeball or even a retinal detachment.

Do not attempt to clean the eye immediately as the water may be contaminated and cause further infection. Instead shut the eye and rush to the nearest hospital.

Avoid inhaling the powders as this affects the respiratory tract causing irritation, cough, difficulty in breathing, and even bronchitis.

If someone is experiencing prolonged breathlessness, move him/ her towards a source of fresh air, and administer oxygen if possible.

Encourage your friends to play a safe Holi this year!

Sources:The Times Of India

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