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Herbs & Plants

Fritillaria pallidiflora

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Botanical Name : Fritillaria pallidiflora
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Fritillaria
Species: F. pallidiflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Synonymys:
*Fritillaria bolensis G.Z.Zhang & Y.M.Liu
*Fritillaria halabulanica X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng
*Fritillaria pallidiflora var. halabulanica (X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng) G.J.Liu
*Fritillaria pallidiflora var. plena X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng
*Fritillaria pallidiflora var. pluriflora Regel
*Fritillaria pallidiflora var. uniflora Regel

Common Names: Siberian fritillary, Pale-Flowered Fritillary
Habitat : Fritillaria pallidiflora is native to E. Asia – China to E. Siberia.(Xinjiang, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan) It grows in the Alpine meadows, woods and scrub. Slopes in the sub-alpine zone. Forests, thickets, meadows, grassy slopes, mountain steppes, 1300 – 2500 metres in NW Xinjiang, China.

Description:
Fritillaria pallidiflora is a bulb growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in) It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are yellow, and nodding (hanging downward).

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
One of the best species in this genus for growing outdoors in Britain, it is easily grown in a moderately fertile well-drained soil so long as it is not allowed to dry out. Prefers a rich peaty soil in semi-shade. Another report says that it succeeds outdoors when grown in a bed of river sand and leafmould about 60cm deep. A very ornamental plant. Cultivated for medicinal use in China.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring. Protect from frost. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible and can take a year or more to germinate. Sow the seed quite thinly to avoid the need to prick out the seedlings. Once they have germinated, give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not suffer mineral deficiency. Once they die down at the end of their second growing season, divide up the small bulbs, planting 2 – 3 to an 8cm deep pot. Grow them on for at least another year in light shade in the greenhouse before planting them out whilst dormant. Division of offsets in August. The larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out in the autumn. Bulb scales.
Medicinal Uses:
The bulbs are antitussive, expectorant, febrifuge and pectoral. They contain fritimine which lowers blood pressure, diminishes excitability of respiratory centres, paralyses voluntary movement and counters effects of opium. An infusion of the dried powdered bulb is used internally in the treatment of coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, feverish illnesses, abscesses etc. The bulbs also have a folk history of use against cancer of the breast and lungs in China. This remedy should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, excessive doses can cause breathing difficulties and heart failure. The bulbs are harvested in the winter whilst they are dormant and are dried for later use.
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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritillaria_pallidiflora
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fritillaria+pallidiflora

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Anabasis aphylla

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Botanical Name : Anabasis aphylla
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily:Salsoloideae
Tribe: Salsoleae
Genus: Anabasis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Caryophyllales

Habitat :Anabasis aphylla is native to Europe – Russia to Siberia and northern China. It grows in the gobi desert, inter-dunes, gravelly alluvial fans, sometimes on arid slopes.

Description:
Anabasis aphylla is a perennial herb, growing to 0.3 m (1ft). It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen in October. It is a low, branching semishrub with tiny, scalelike, opposite leaves; the flowers are spikelike inflorescences. The fruit is berry-shaped and has yellowish or pink winglike appendages. It grows in the saline and clayey deserts and semideserts of Southeast, Middle, and Central Asia and also in the southern European part of the USSR, the Caucasus, and Southern Siberia. The young, green branchlets of A. aphylla contain alkaloids, most importantly anabasine, an effective agent for control of insect pests in agriculture; anabasine is also the raw material for obtaining nicotinic acid, or niacin…...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native habitat it is likely to succeed at least in the milder parts of the country, particularly the drier areas. It is likely to prefer a well-drained soil and a sunny position.

Propagation : Seed –

Medicinal Uses:…The plant is used medicinally. No more information is given.

Other Uses:….Insecticide; Miscellany; Soil stabilization.

The annual branches contain the alkaloid anabasine (C10H14N2), a botanical insecticide. The plant is used for stabilizing sand dunes

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anabasis_(plant)
http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Anabasis+Aphylla
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Anabasis+aphylla

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Inonotus obliquus

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Botanical Name :Inonotus obliquus
Family: Hymenochaetaceae
Genus: Inonotus
Species: I. obliquus
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Hymenochaetales

Common Names  : Chaga Mushroom , Cinder conk, Birch mushroom

Habitat : Inonotus obliquus grows in birch forests of Russia, Korea, Eastern and Northern Europe, northern areas of the United States, in the North Carolina mountains and in Canada. The chaga mushroom is considered a medicinal mushroom in Russian and Eastern European folk medicine

Description:
It is parasitic on birch and other trees. The sterile conk is irregularly formed and has the appearance of burnt charcoal. It is not the fruiting body of the fungus, but a mass of mycelium, mostly black due to the presence of massive amounts of melanin. The fertile fruiting body can be found very rarely as a resupinate (crustose) fungus on or near the clinker, usually appearing after the host tree is dead.

click to see the pictures….…(01).....(1)..….…(2)..……..(3).….…(4)….…...(5)..……

Cultivation:
Geographically this fungus is mostly found in very cold habitats. It grows very slowly, suggesting it is not a reliable source of bioactive compounds in the long run. Attempts at cultivating this fungus all resulted in a reduced and markedly different production of bioactive metabolites.[9][10]Secondary metabolites were either absent or present in very different ratios, and in general showed significantly less potency in cultivated Chaga.  Cultivated Chaga furthermore results in a reduced diversity of phytosterols, particularly lanosterol, an intermediate in the synthesis of ergosterol and lanostane-type triterpenes. This effect was partially reversed by the addition of silver ion, an inhibitor of ergosterol biosynthesis.

Additionally, the bioactive triterpene betulinic acid is completely absent in cultivated Chaga. In nature Chaga grows pre-dominantly on birches, and birch bark contains up to 22% of betulin. Betulin is poorly absorbed by humans, even when taken intravenously; its bioavailability is very limited. However, the Chaga mushroom converts betulin into betulinic acid, and many internet sources state Chaga’s betulinic acid is bioavailable, even when taken orally. Unfortunately there is no research that confirms this claims.

Medicinal Uses:
Properties: * Analgesic * Antioxidant * AntiViral * Immunostimulant

Chaga mushrooms, or cinder conks, have been a staple of traditional medicine for centuries among the peoples of the boreal forests in Siberia, Asia and North America. They are used as a tonic and blood purifier. They belong to the Polypores, a group of mushrooms that grow on wood and may be the ancestors of most gilled mushrooms. Chaga and the similar reishi mushroom both have a reputation as tonics for longevity and health which are born out by recent scientific studies. These mushrooms show great promise for their anti-viral activities, immune response stimulation and anti-tumor effects that inhibit the spread of cancer cells.

In China, Japan and South Korea, extracts of chaga and other mushrooms from the family Hymenochaetaceae are being produced, sold and exported as anticancer medicinal supplements. The main bioactive ingredient in these extracts are usually (1>3)(1>6) Beta-D-glucans, a type of water-soluble polysaccharide. The biologic properties of crude preparations of these specific Beta-D-glucans have been subject of research since the 1960s.

Although these macro-molecules exhibit a wide range of biologic functions, including antitumor activity, their ability to prevent a range of infectious diseases (by triggering and supporting the immune function) has been studied in the greatest detail. Recent scientific research in Japan and China has been focused more on the anticancer potential and showed the effects of these specific beta-glucans to be comparable to chemotherapy and radiation, but without the side effects. Further research indicated these polysaccharides have strong anti-inflammatory and immune balancing properties, stimulating the body to produce natural killer (NK) cells to battle infections and tumor growth, instead of showing a direct toxicity against pathogens. This property makes well-prepared medicinal mushroom extracts stand out from standard pharmaceuticals – no side effects will occur or develop; the body is healing itself, triggered into action by the BRM effect of the chaga extract. Herbalist David Winston maintains it is the strongest anticancer medicinal mushroom. Russian literature Nobel Prize laureate Alexandr Solzhenitsyn wrote two pages on the medicinal use and value of chaga in his autobiographical novel, based on his experiences in a hospital in Tashkent, Cancer Ward (1968).

Since the 16th century, chaga mushrooms were recorded as being used in folk medicine and the botanical medicine of the Eastern European countries as a remedy for cancer, gastritis, ulcers, and tuberculosis of the bones. A review from 2010 stated, “As early as in the 16th century, chaga was used as an effective folk medicine in Russia and Northern Europe to treat several human malicious tumors and other diseases in the absence of any unacceptable toxic side effects.”

Chemical analysis shows that I. obliquus produces during its development and growth a range of secondary metabolites, including phenolic compounds such as melanins, and lanostane-type triterpenes, which include a small percentage of betulinic acid. Among these metabolites are biologically active components which have been researched and tested for their potential antioxidant, antitumoral, and antiviral activities. Both betulin and betulinic acid are being studied for use as chemotherapeutic agents and are already used as anti-HIV agents ). In an animal study, researchers found betulin from birch bark lowered cholesterol, obesity and improved insulin resistance.

In 1958, scientific studies in Finland and Russia found chaga provided an epochal effect in breast cancer, liver cancer, uterine cancer, and gastric cancer, as well as in hypertension and diabetes.

Research:
A 1998 study in Poland demonstrated chaga’s inhibiting effects on tumor growth. Noda and colleagues found betulin seems to work highly selectively on tumor cells because the interior pH of tumor tissues is generally lower than that of normal tissues, and betulinic acid is only active at those lower levels. Fulda et al. found, in 1997, once inside the cells, betulinic acid induces apoptosis (programmed cell death) in the tumors.[citation needed] In 2005, I. obliquus was evaluated for its potential for protecting against oxidative damage to DNA in a human keratinocyte cell line. The study found the polyphenolic extract protected these cells against hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress. Another study that year found the endopolysaccharide of chaga produced indirect anticancer effects via immunostimulation. The mycelial endopolysaccharide of I. obliquus was identified as a candidate for use as an immune response modifier and indicated the anticancer effect of endopolysaccharide is not directly tumoricidal, but rather is immunostimulation. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Saitoh Akiko published on the antimutagenic effects of chaga in 1996. Mizuno et al. published on the antitumor and hypoglycemic activities of the polysaccharides from the sclerotia and mycelia of chaga. Due to the serum glucose-lowering activity of polysaccharides, caution should be taken by those with hypoglycemia

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.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail502.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inonotus_obliquus

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Categories
Positive thinking

We Are Family

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.When it comes to our families, we sometimes see only our differences. We see the way our parents cling to ideas we don’t believe, or act in ways we try not to act. We see how practical one of our siblings is and wonder how we can be from the same gene pool. Similarly, within the human family we see how different we are from each other, in ways ranging from gender and race to geographical location and religious beliefs. It is almost as if we think we are a different species sometimes. But the truth is, in our personal families as well as the human family, we really are the same

A single mother of four living in Africa looks up at the same stars and moon that shine down on an elderly Frenchman in Paris. A Tibetan monk living in India, a newborn infant in China, and a young couple saying their marriage vows in Indiana all breathe the same air, by the same process. We have all been hurt and we have all cried. Each one of us knows how it feels to love someone dearly. No matter what our political views are, we all love to laugh. Regardless of how much or how little money we have, our hearts pump blood through our bodies in the same way. With all this in common, it is clear we are each individual members of the same family. We are human.

Acknowledging how close we all are, instead of clinging to what separates us, enables us to feel less alone in the world. Every person we meet, see, hear, or read about, is a member of our family. We are truly not alone. We also begin to see that we are perfectly capable of understanding and relating to people who, on the surface, may seem very different from us. This awareness prevents us from disconnecting from people on the other side of the tracks, and the other side of the world. We begin to understand that we must treat all people for what they are  family.

Source:Daily Om

Categories
Positive thinking

It is Helpful to Keep & Maintain Diary

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A diary can play many roles. It can be a confidant, a vehicle of self expression, a tool that facilitates clarity of thought, or a repository of dreams. A diary can also be a powerful source of comfort during challenging or traumatic periods. When you record those insights and incidents that clearly demonstrate you are on the right track, you can return to your words days, weeks, or months later and find uniquely soothing reassurance. A diary with a specific purpose can be a good tool for keeping track of experiences before the passage of time can skew your perception of events. It reflects the immediacy of your life and thus provides you with a landmark to return to when you begin to doubt yourself. If doubt does arise, simply open your diary to reaffirm your experiences. The confidence, surety, passion, and bravery you felt in a single moment is preserved, giving you a means to recapture those feelings in any place, at any time.

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Your diary serves as a repository of personalized encouragement. Since a diary is, by its very nature, as individual as you are, you should give some thought to the type of diary that will serve you best. A synchronicity-and-connections diary might describe those instances where seemingly random occurrences came together in a meaningful way, propelling you forward. Or you may find strength in the pages of a pride diary that makes note not only of those times you felt proud of yourself but also precisely why you were pleased with your efforts. And a cause-and-effect diary can help you become more decisive by reminding you of all the wise, life-affirming choices you have made. Your diary should be small enough to be readily portable and on hand whenever possible because the faster you put your thoughts down on paper, the more authentic your declarations are apt to be.

Regardless of the type of focused diary you choose to keep, your recollections will create a positive feedback loop that helps you cope with doubt in a constructive way
. Reading through your diary when life seems uncertain can show you that your misgivings are unfounded. As you draw consolation from your uplifting words, you will know without a doubt that you are indeed living your purpose and following the path that you committed to before birth.

Source:Daily OM