Herbs & Plants

Rosa rubiginosa

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Botanical Name : Rosa rubiginosa
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rosa
Species: R. rubiginosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyme: Rose, Eglantine, R. eglanteria.

Common Names: Sweet briar or Eglantine Rose

Habitat :Rosa rubiginosa  is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, the Caucasus and Himalayas. It grows on open copses and old hedgerows. Usually found on calcareous soils, it is one of the first shrubs to colonize chalk grassland.

It is a dense deciduous shrub 2–3 m high and across, with the stems bearing numerous hooked prickles.The foliage has a strong apple-like fragrance. The leaves are pinnate, 5–9 cm long, with 5-9 rounded to oval leaflets with a serrated margin, and numerous glandular hairs. The flowers are 1.8–3 cm diameter, the five petals being pink with a white base, and the numerous stamens yellow; the flowers are produced in clusters of 2-7 together, from late spring to mid summer. The fruit is a globose to oblong red hip 1–2 cm diameter

Succeeds in most soils, preferring a circumneutral soil and a sunny position. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Dislikes water-logged soils. Grows well with alliums, parsley, mignonette and lupins. Garlic planted nearby can help protect the plant from disease and insect predation. Grows badly with boxwood. Grows well on chalk. A very ornamental plant. The leaves are apple-scented. The flowers are slightly scented. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[80]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Seed. Rose seed often takes two years to germinate. This is because it may need a warm spell of weather after a cold spell in order to mature the embryo and reduce the seedcoat. One possible way to reduce this time is to scarify the seed and then place it for 2 – 3 weeks in damp peat at a temperature of 27 – 32°c (by which time the seed should have imbibed). It is then kept at 3°c for the next 4 months by which time it should be starting to germinate. Alternatively, it is possible that seed harvested ‘green’ (when it is fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and sown immediately will germinate in the late winter. This method has not as yet(1988) been fully tested. Seed sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame sometimes germinates in spring though it may take 18 months. Stored seed can be sown as early in the year as possible and stratified for 6 weeks at 5°c. It may take 2 years to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Plant out in the summer if the plants are more than 25cm tall, otherwise grow on in a cold frame for the winter and plant out in late spring.Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July in a shaded frame. Overwinter the plants in the frame and plant out in late spring. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth. Select pencil thick shoots in early autumn that are about 20 – 25cm long and plant them in a sheltered position outdoors or in a cold frame. The cuttings can take 12 months to establish but a high percentage of them normally succeed. Division of suckers in the dormant season. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions. Layering. Takes 12 months.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Flowers; Fruit; Seed; Stem.
Edible Uses: Tea.

Fruit – cooked. It is used in making jellies etc. The taste is best after a frost. The fruit is up to 25mm in diameter[200], but there is only a thin layer of flesh surrounding the many seeds. Some care has to be taken when eating this fruit, see the notes above on known hazards. A pleasant tasting fruity-flavoured tea is made from the fruit, it is rich in vitamin C. Petals – raw or cooked. Remove the bitter white base. Used in confectionery. Young shoots – raw. Used as they come through the ground in spring. The seed is a good source of vitamin E, it can be ground into a powder and mixed with flour or added to other foods as a supplement. Be sure to remove the seed hairs.


Meditional Uses:
An infusion of dried rose petals can be used to treat headaches and dizziness, with honey added the infusion is used as a heart and nerve tonic and a blood purifier. A decoction of the petals is used to treat mouth sores.  The seed is rich in vitamin E and an oil extracted from the seed is used externally in the treatment of burns, scars and wrinkles. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.

Other Uses:
In addition to its pink flowers, it is valued for its scent, and the hips that form after the flowers and persist well into the winter.
The plant makes a good low hedge. The prickles on the stem make it a useful security hedge.

Known Hazards : There is a layer of hairs around the seeds just beneath the flesh of the fruit. These hairs can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract if ingested.

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.


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Featured News on Health & Science

Learn Music, Get Smart

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Training in music while still young effects changes in the brain that enhance one’s speech and sound abilities.
Practitioners of music therapy, like most members of the listening public, vouch for the healing qualities of music. Music soothes a stressed mind, elevates the soul, and helps cope with illnesses. What if it also improves intelligence? Can we say that learning the violin or piano would make you smarter? We could debate the meaning of “intelligence”, but many neuroscientists and psychologists are now beginning to answer the question in the affirmative.

In a review paper published last week in Nature, Nina Kraus and Bharath Chandrasekaran, both of the School of Communication at Northwestern University near Chicago, claim that training in music changes the brain significantly. And that these changes would help specifically in skills like speech processing, and generally in many areas that involve the processing of sound. Musicians get better at remembering things, have better motor skills, and can also pay attention better in a sea of noise. “Music training improves auditory skills that are not exclusively related to music,” write the authors.

Music is a sophisticated art form that invokes several skills even to listen. From an auditory point of view, it has three aspects: pitch, timing and timbre. Timing is at the heart of rhythm, and timbre is involved in the quality of sound. At a deeper level, it involves a complex organisation of sound. Great musicians and highly sophisticated listeners, particularly of classical music, would often point to deep cultural facets as well.

Learning music would call into play basic skills as well higher cognitive abilities. Musical training is a complex task that involves several brain areas. At a basic level, it requires the ability to identify pitch, the frequency of a note. Even the most basic learner needs to tune the instrument first. This isn’t easy, and many people simply can’t identify the pitch of a note easily, no matter how hard they try. Good musicians need to have a great sense of timing. They also need to distinguish timbre, which actually conveys the richness of sound (while pitch is the basic frequency, timbre is the fine structure of a note). The ability to identify these three basic features needs considerable training.

A long history of training in music shows up in the brain structure. The brains of musicians show more grey matter in areas that are important for playing a specific instrument. In physiological terms, this change results in increased activation of neurons (brain cells) when exposed to sound. For example, the strength of activation when exposed to the sound of an instrument depends on the length of training on that instrument. What this shows, and Kraus and Chandrasekaran argue, is that the changes were acquired through training and are not innate differences in the brain.

Areas in the brain that get developed through musical training are involved in at least three faculties: sound processing, visual processing and motor control. This is why learning to perform music is different from listening, no matter how deep. “Listening to music does not involve motor control,” says Vinod Menon, professor at the department of psychiatry and behavioural sciences, Stanford University. Menon’s lab studies, among other things, show the brain processes music and also the similarities and differences between music and speech processing in the brain.

Language and music seem to be two different subjects, but there are many similarities between them. At a fundamental level, both involve the processing of sound. Some of the finer skills that musicians have are transferred easily to the processing of speech, which also uses attributes like pitch and timbre to convey information. “Musicians would be able to detect easily fine distinctions in speech like irony or sarcasm,” says T.S. Sridhar, professor of molecular medicine at St Johns Medical College, Bangalore. Sridhar has experience of working in auditory physiology.

This skill could translate to being able to identify emotions in speech much better than in the case of non-musicians. Musical training uses a high working memory, an ability that is extremely useful in language. It also involves paying close attention to sound, which also translates to a skill in language: the ability to listen carefully to a stream of sound amidst a sea of noise. Many experiments have shown that neurons in the brains of musicians indeed show a higher response when exposed to the sound of language when compared to non-musicians.

Since the strength of such response is dependent on the length of training, it always helps to start early. Kraus and Chandrasekaran argue that seven years is the best age to start. This in turn raises another question: can one get the benefits of musical training — in terms of translatable skills — when training in later life? Says Kraus, who is Hugh Knowles Professor of communication sciences, neurobiology and physiology and otolaryngology at Northwestern University, “There is evidence that the nervous system, and in particular the auditory system, continues to change throughout the life times of human and non-human animals. An important area for future research is to determine specifically the effects of musical experience — begun later in life — on the nervous system.”

So performers, play on, be it for your brain or your heart. As a commentary on the Nature article argues, music could be taught and learned for its own sake and not merely to improve the brain.

Source The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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