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Herbs & Plants

Aconitum Uncinatum

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Botanical Name: Aconitum uncinatum
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus : Aconitum

Common Name : southern blue monkshood/Wild Monkshood

Habitat: Eastern N. AmericaPennsylvania to Indiana and south to Alabama and Georgia.   It grows on low woods and damp slopes. Wet areas along streams and in springs, also less mesic locations in woods and clearings at elevations of 200 – 2000 metres.

Description: Perennial growing to 1m.
. It is in flower from July to August. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES.
Flower/fruit: 1-inch deep purple or purplish blue flowers clustered at the end of stems; five sepals; upper sepal forms a rounded hood, concealing part of two clawlike petals.

Flowering Season: Summer into fall.

Foliage: Up to 6-inch coarsely toothed leaves with three to five lobes; similar to buttercup; slender, weak branching stem

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil

Cultivation:
Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. Grows well in open woodlands. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legume.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses
Alterative; Anaesthetic; Antiarthritic; Deobstruent; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Sedative; Stimulant.

The dried root is alterative, anaesthetic, antiarthritic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative, stimulant. It is harvested as soon as the plant dies down in the autumn. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. A tincture is used as an external anaesthetic.


Known Hazards:
The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people.  Roots and seeds contain poisonous alkaloides


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.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Aconitum+uncinatum
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ACUN&photoID=acun_1v.jpg
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ACUN

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Categories
News on Health & Science

Caffeine Eases Exercise-Induced Asthma

Caffeine taken within an hour of exercise can reduce symptoms of exercise induced asthma (EIA), characterised by shortness of breath  during sustained aerobic activity.

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A large dose equal to nine mg of caffeine per kg of body weight was as effective as an albuterol inhaler in treating or preventing EIA. Smaller amounts also reduced wheezing, coughing and other symptoms of EIA.

Timothy Mickleborough, study co-investigator at Indiana University said no additional benefit was found when caffeine was combined with an albuterol inhaler.

Mickleborough and colleagues have been investigating the efficacy of a number of nutritional factors.

His research has shown that a diet high in fish oil and antioxidants and low in salt has the potential to reduce the severity of EIA and perhaps reduce the reliance on pharmacotherapy.

This is especially important since prolonged use of daily medications can result in reduced effectiveness, and there is growing concern about the potential side effects of inhaled corticosteroid use.

The study was presented at the American College of Sports Medicine conference in Indiana during the Respiratory Session.

Source: The Times Of India

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