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Chionanthus virginica

Botanical Name :Chionanthus virginica
Family: Oleaceae
Genus:     Chionanthus
Species: C. virginicus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Lamiales

Synonyms:  Old Man’s Beard. Fringe Tree Bark. Chionathus. Snowdrop Tree. Poison Ash.

Common Name:  Grancy Gray Beard, ,Fringe Tree, White fringetree, Old Man’s Beard, Fringe Tree.

Habitat: Chionanthus virginica is a tree native to the eastern United States, from New Jersey south to Florida, and west to Oklahoma and Texas.
It grows on rich moist soils by the edges of streams and in damp woods and scrub.

Description:
Chionanthus virginica is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to as much as 10 to 11 metres (33 to 36 ft) tall, though ordinarily less. The bark is scaly, brown tinged with red. The shoots are light green, downy at first, later becoming light brown or orange. The buds are light brown, ovate, acute, 3 millimetres (0.12 in) long. The leaves are opposite, simple, ovate or oblong, 7.5 to 20 centimetres (3.0 to 7.9 in) long and 2.5 to 10 centimetres (0.98 to 3.94 in) broad, with a petiole 2 centimetres (0.79 in) long, and an entire margin; they are hairless above, and finely downy below, particularly along the veins, and turn yellow in fall. The richly-scented[4] flowers have a pure white, deeply four-lobed corolla, the lobes thread-like, 1.5 to 2.5 centimetres (0.59 to 0.98 in) long and 3 millimetres (0.12 in) broad; they are produced in drooping axillary panicles 10 to 25 centimetres (3.9 to 9.8 in) long when the leaves are half grown, in mid- to late May in New York City, earlier in the south.
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It is usually dioecious, though occasional plants bear flowers of both sexes. The fruit is an ovoid dark blue to purple drupe 1.5 to 2 centimetres (0.59 to 0.79 in) long, containing a single seed (rarely two or three), mature in late summer to mid fall.

Cultivation:
Although native in the southeastern United States, it is hardy in the north and is extensively planted in gardens, where specimens are often grown with multiple trunks. The white flowers are best seen from below. Fall color is a fine, clear yellow, a good contrast with viburnums and evergreens. It prefers a moist soil and a sheltered situation. It may be propagated by grafting on Ash (Fraxinus sp.).

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used:  The dried bark of the root.

Constituents: It is said that both saponin and a glucoside have been found, but neither appears to have been officially confirmed.

Aperient, diuretic. Some authorities regard it as tonic and slightly narcotic. It is used in typhoid, intermittent, or bilious fevers, and externally, as a poultice, for inflammations or wounds. Is useful in liver complaints.

The bark and dried roots have been used in poultices for skin inflammations.  Fringetree bark may be safely used in all liver problems, especially when they have developed into jaundice. Good for the treatment of gall-bladder inflammation and a valuable part of treating gall-stones. It is a remedy that will aid the liver in general and as such it is often used as part of a wider treatment for the whole body. It is also useful as a gentle and effective laxative.  The root bark also appears to strengthen function in the pancreas and spleen.  Anecdotal evidence indicates that it may substantially reduce sugar levels in the urine.  Fringe tree also stimulates the appetite and digestion, and is an excellent remedy for chronic illness, especially where the liver has been affected.  For external use, the crushed bark may be made into a poultice for treating sores and wounds.

Traditional uses:
The dried roots and bark were used by Native Americans to treat skin inflammations. The crushed bark was used in treatment of sores and wounds

Other Uses:
The wood is light brown, sapwood paler brown; heavy, hard, and close-grained.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/fringe32.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chionanthus_virginicus

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Chionanthus+virginicus

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Calculator Tells the Bald Future

A pioneering new computer programme that predicts if and when men will go bald is being offered to British men.

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The “baldness calculator” — said to be the world’s first reliable tool for predicting hair loss — has been a huge hit with men.

The programme calculates the exact age at which someone will go bald or have lost most of their hair or provides reassurance by predicting that they will still have a full head of hair in old age.

More than half a million German men used it within ten days of it being unveiled there and three million men have tried it out globally so far.

Sixty per cent of users of the calculator to date have been young men aged between 15 and 30. Two thirds of all British men will eventually suffer hair loss, according to recent research.

The programme asks users about their age, marital status, occupation, where they live, what their current hairline is, hair loss in their family and their stress levels.

German scientists devised the programme because half of men in their country suffer from hereditary hair loss.

Adolf Klenk, head of research and development at hair care firm Dr Kurt Wolff, said: “More and more men value full hair but especially younger men.

“They are looking for a partner and are at the peak of their social lives. They are very conscious about their looks and being accepted within their social groups. They get concerned that if they lose their hair, they will cease to be attractive to others whereas older men don’t care so much.”

Klenk said that men with a history of hair loss on either their mother or father’s side of the family are most at risk of going bald.

Source:The Daily Telegraph

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Bad Teeth Lead to Heart Woes

Bad teeth may not just be all about that sudden shooting pain when having a cold drink.

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A recent study by the Maulana Azad Dental College has shown a correlation between gum diseases and high levels of triglycerides in blood.

“Gum infection can affect blood vessels in the teeth and carry harmful bacteria to the heart. It is also an important marker of diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, etc,”says Dr Mahesh Verma, principal, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences.

Dental hygiene, doctors feel is often neglected for a variety of reasons. A demand for cosmetic correction and fixing of dental problem far exceeds the most basic need of oral hygiene, which can drastically reduce dental complications. Dentists say that 90% of Indians suffer from gum disease and a majority of them don’t even know about these.

Despite the knowledge that dental hygiene is a must, the common belief is that dental prophylaxis (cleaning of teeth and gums) damages teeth and weakens gums, thereby resulting in mobile teeth.

Dentists say it is a myth.”It is vice-versa. If you don’t get regular prophylaxis done every six months, it will result in chronic gum diseases and weaken the gums and result in mobile teeth or complete teeth loss. A lot of patients come to us with dental problem and we find that the root cause of their problem is chronic gum diseases.

Despite making them understand the importance of regular prophylaxis, patients don’t turn up the next time,”says Dr Pravesh Miglani, director dentistry, Fortis Healthcare.

The most common gum diseases are gingivitis and periodontitis. And dentists say that nearly 95% Indians suffer from some degree of gingivitis.”When the tartar, which is the mineralised form of plaque, is left unclean for long it starts affecting the gums.

Particles get deposited between the tooth and gums. Bacteria acting on these particles produces toxins that causes inflammation of the gums. It results in redness, swelling and itching of gums,”says Dr Ajay Sharma, senior consultant, dentist, Max Healthcare.

It can only be cleaned during prophylaxis and not by a normal toothbrush. As it is left untreated, over the years it develops pockets or cavity in periodontium and results in inflammation.

“It is not like other diseases that it happens in select cases. Gingivitis is seen in almost 99% cases and periodontitis is a stage after gingivitis.

Periodontitis is the most common problem in adults,”says Dr Bela Jain, senior consultant, dentist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Sources: The Times Of India