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Herbs & Plants

Drosera rotundifolia

Botanical Name: Drosera rotundifolia
Family: Droseraceae
Genus: Drosera
Species: D. rotundifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Dew Plant. Round-leaved Sundew. Red Rot. Herba rosellae. Sonnenthau rosollis. Rosée du Soleil.

Common Names: Round-leaved sundew or Common sundew

Part Used: The flowering plant dried in the air, not artificially.

Habitat: Drosera rotundifolia is found in all of northern Europe, much of Siberia, large parts of northern North America, Korea, Japan and is also found on New Guinea. It grows in muddy edges of ponds, bogs and rivers, where the soil is peaty.

Description:
Drosera rotundifolia is a small herbaceous, perennial, aquatic plant, with short and slender fibrous root, from which grow the leaves. These are remarkable for their covering of red glandular hairs, by which they are readily recognized, apart from their flowers which only open in the sunshine. Their leaves are orbicular on long stalks, depressed, Iying flat on ground and have on upper surface long red viscid hairs, each having a small gland at top, containing a fluid, which looks like a dewdrop, hence its name. This secretion is most abundant when the sun is at its height. Flower-stems erect, slender, 2 to 6 inches high, at first coiled inward bearing a simple raceme, which straightens out as flowers expand; these are very small and white, appearing in summer and early autumn. Seeds numerous, spindleshaped in a loose chaffy covering contained in a capsule. These hairs are very sensitive, they curve inward slowly and catch any insects which alight on them; the fluid on the points also retains them. After an insect has been caught, the glandular heads secrete a digestive fluid which dissolves all that can be absorbed from the insect. It has been noted that secretion does not take place when inorganic substances are imprisoned…..CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

The plant feeds on insects, which are attracted to its bright red colour and its glistening drops of mucilage, loaded with a sugary substance, covering its leaves. It has evolved this carnivorous behaviour in response to its habitat, which is usually poor in nutrients or is so acidic, nutrient availability is severely decreased. The plant uses enzymes to dissolve the insects – which become stuck to the glandular tentacles – and extract ammonia (from proteins) and other nutrients from their bodies. The ammonia replaces the nitrogen that other plants absorb from the soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a sandy peaty soil, succeeding in poor soils and bogs. Requires a sunny position. An insectivorous plant, it can survive in nitrogen poor soils because it gets the nutrients it needs from insects. The upper surfaces of leaves are covered with hairs that secrete a sweet sticky substance.This attracts insects, which become smeared with it and unable to escape – the plant then exudes a digestive fluid that enables it to absorb most of the insect into its system.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown thinly as soon as it is ripe into pots of a free-draining soil with some charcoal added and with a layer of finely chopped sphagnum moss on top. Surface sow and keep the compost moist. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 2 months at 20°c. Grow the plants on in the pots for their first growing season, making sure that the soil does not become dry. Divide the plants in the autumn, grow them on in the greenhouse for the winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring.
Edible Uses: The juice of the plant is used to curdle plant milks. You heat the milk and the leaves together in order to make the milk curdle

Constituents: The juice is bitter, acrid, caustic, odourless, yielding not more than 30 per cent ash, and contains citric and malic acids.

Medicinal Uses:
Drosera rotundifolia plant extracts show great efficacy as an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic, more so than Drosera madagascariensis, as a result of the flavonoids such as hyperoside, quercetin and isoquercetin, but not the naphthoquinones present in the extracts. The flavonoids are thought to affect the M3 muscarinic receptors in smooth muscle, causing the antispasmodic effects. Ellagic acid in D. rotundifolia extracts has also been shown to have antiangiogenic effects.

In America it has been advocated as a cure for old age; a vegetable extract is used together with colloidal silicates in cases of arterio sclerosis.

The sundew has a long history of herbal use, having been popular for its fortifying and aphrodisiac effects. It relaxes the muscles of the respiratory tract, easing breathing and relieving wheezing and so is of great value in the treatment of various chest complaints. The plant has become quite rare and so it should not be harvested from the wild. The flowering plant is antibacterial, antibiotic, antispasmodic, antitussive, demulcent, expectorant and hypoglycaemic. The plant is used with advantage in the treatment of whooping cough, exerting a peculiar action on the respiratory organs. It is also used in the treatment of incipient phthisis, chronic bronchitis and asthma. Externally, it has been used to treat corns, warts and bunions.The plant is harvested in the summer and can be dried for later use. Use with caution. Internal use of this herb causes a harmless colouring of the urine. An extract of the plant contains plumbagin, which is antibiotic against a wide range of pathogens. Because of their protein digesting enzymes, the leaf juice has been used in the treatment of warts and corns. The entire fresh plant, harvested when it is starting to flower, is used to make a homeopathic remedy. It is used mainly in the treatment of coughs and is specific for whooping cough.

Other Uses
Fungicide.

Substances in the plant are used to curb the growth of bacteria

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sundew99.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drosera_rotundifolia

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Drosera+rotundifolia

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Healthy Tips

Vitamin K2 May Reduce Cancer Risk

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People who have the highest intakes of vitamin K2, not vitamin K1, may significantly lower their risk of cancer and cancer mortality, according to results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study

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After analyzing data from over 24,000 participants who were followed for over 10 years, those who had the highest intakes of vitamin K2 were 14 percent less likely to develop cancer and 28 percent less likely to die of cancer compared to those with the lowest intakes.

A separate study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic also revealed impressive anti-cancer effects from vitamin K. Those with the highest dietary vitamin K intakes had a 45 percent lower risk of developing Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, than those with the lowest.

Resources:
NutraIngredients March 30, 2010
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition May 2010

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News on Health & Science

Vitamin K May Protect You From Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

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Individuals who are worried that they may be at risk for developing Non-Hogkin lymphoma may want to consider ingesting more vitamin K supplements, as a new study is suggesting that the medication may lower the risk of developing the disease.

According to researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, patients who had a higher daily intake of vitamin K had a dramatically lower risk of developing Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which affects the immune system and is the most common hematologic malignancy in the U.S.

“These results are provocative, since they are the first work we have done on the connection between vitamin K and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and this is a fairly strong protective effect,” said the study’s lead investigator, Dr. James Cerhan.

Individuals can ensure that they are getting a healthy dietary intake of vitamin K by eating leaf lettuce, spinach, vegetable oils and fruits. However, the researchers point out that one of the most common ways to incorporate the vitamin is to take nutritional supplements

You may click to see :->Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in blood clotting.

Source: Better Health Research. April 22nd. 2010

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Lymphoma

Definition:
The most common type of lymphoma is called Hodgkin’s disease. All other lymphomas are grouped together and are called non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas...CLICK & SEE

The lymphatic system is part of the body’s immune defense system. Its job is to help fight diseases and infection.

The lymphatic system includes a network of thin tubes that branch, like blood vessels, into tissues throughout the body. Lymphatic vessels carry lymph, a colorless watery fluid that contains infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes. Along this network of vessels are groups of small, bean-shaped organs called lymph nodes. Clusters of lymph nodes are found in the underarms, groin, neck, chest, and abdomen.

Other parts of the lymphatic system are the spleen, thymus, tonsils, and bone marrow. Lymphatic tissue also is found in other parts of the body, including the stomach, intestines, and skin.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, also called non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is cancer that originates in your lymphatic system, the disease-fighting network spread throughout your body. In non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, tumors develop from lymphocytes — a type of white blood cell.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is more common than the other general type of lymphoma — Hodgkin’s disease.

Many different subtypes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma exist. The most common non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma subtypes include diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma.

Within normal lymph nodes there are microscopic clusters (follicles) of specialized lymphocytes. In some malignant lymphomas, the lymphocytes arrange themselves in a similar pattern that is called follicular or nodular. Small cell and follicular lymphomas typically have a chronic course with an average survival of 6 to 12 years. In the more aggressive lymphomas, the normal appearance of the lymph node is lost by diffuse involvement of tumor cells, which are usually moderate-sized or large.

Hodgkin’s disease, the most common lymphoma, has special characteristics that distinguish it from the others. Often it is identified by the presence of a unique cell, called the Reed-Sternberg cell, in lymphatic tissue that has been surgically removed for biopsy.

Hodgkin’s disease tends to follow a more predictable pattern of spread, and its spread is generally more limited than that of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. By contrast, the non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas are more likely to begin in extranodal sites (organs other than the lymph nodes, like the liver and bones).

There are about ten different types of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Some types spread more quickly than others. The type is determined by how the cells look under a microscope (histology). The histologies are grouped together, based on how quickly they spread, into low-grade, intermediate-grade, or high-grade lymphomas.

Symptoms :
The most common symptom of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas is a painless swelling in the lymph nodes of the neck, underarm, or groin. Other symptoms may include fevers, night sweats, tiredness, weight loss, itching, and reddened patches on the skin. Sometimes there is nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain.

Symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may include:

*Swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpit or groin
*Abdominal pain or swelling
*Chest pain, coughing or trouble breathing
*Fatigue
*Fever
*Night sweats
*Weight loss

As lymphomas progress, the body is less able to fight infection. These symptoms are not sure signs of cancer, however. They also may be caused by many common illnesses, such as the flu or other infections. But it is important to see a doctor if any of these symptoms lasts longer than 2 weeks.

Causes:
The cause of most lymphoma is unknown. Some occur in individuals taking drugs to suppress their immune system.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma occurs when your body produces too many abnormal lymphocytes — a type of white blood cell.
Normally, lymphocytes go through a predictable life cycle. Old lymphocytes die, and your body creates new ones to replace them. In non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, your lymphocytes don’t die, but continue to grow and divide. This oversupply of lymphocytes crowds into your lymph nodes, causing them to swell.

B cells and T cells

There are two types of lymphocytes, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma usually involves one or the other.

*B cells. B cells fight infection by producing antibodies that neutralize foreign invaders. Most non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma arises from B cells.

*T cells.
T cells are involved in killing foreign invaders directly. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma occurs less often in T cells.
Whether your non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma arises from your B cells or T cells helps to determine your treatment options.

Risk factors:
In most cases, people diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma don’t have any obvious risk factors, and many people who have risk factors for the disease never develop it. Some factors that may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include:

*Medications that suppress your immune system. If you’ve had an organ transplant, you’re more susceptible because immunosuppressive therapy has reduced your body’s ability to fight off new illnesses.

*Infection with certain viruses and bacteria
. Certain viral and bacterial infections appear to increase the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Viruses linked to increased non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk include HIV, hepatitis C virus and Epstein-Barr virus. Bacteria linked to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include the ulcer-causing Helicobacter pylori.

*Chemicals.
Certain chemicals, such as those used to kill insects and weeds, may increase your risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. More research is needed to understand the possible link between pesticides and the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

*Older age.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can occur at any age, but the risk increases with age. It’s most common in people in their 60s or older.

Diagnosis:

Tests and procedures used to diagnose non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include:

*Physical examination. Your doctor may conduct a physical exam to determine the size and condition of your lymph nodes and to find out whether your liver and spleen are enlarged.

*Blood and urine tests. Swollen lymph nodes are common and most often signal that your body is fighting an infection. Blood and urine tests may help rule out an infection or other disease.

*Imaging tests. An X-ray or computerized tomography (CT) scan of your chest, neck, abdomen and pelvis may detect the presence and size of tumors. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans can help your doctor determine whether your brain and spinal cord are affected. Doctors also use positron emission tomography (PET) scanning to detect non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Imaging tests can help determine the stage of your lymphoma.

*Removing a sample of lymph node tissue for testing.
Your doctor may recommend a biopsy procedure to sample or remove a lymph node for testing. Analyzing lymph node tissue in a laboratory may reveal whether you have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and, if so, which type.

*Looking for cancer cells in your bone marrow.
To find out whether the disease has spread, your doctor may request a biopsy of your bone marrow. This involves inserting a needle into your pelvic bone to obtain a sample of bone marrow.

Determining your type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
:-
Doctors classify non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma into many different types. Several methods for classifying types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma exist. Each method uses different combinations of factors, including:

*Whether your cancer involves B cells or T cells

*How the cells appear when examined using a microscope

*Specific genetic changes within the cancer cells

*Which antigens are present on the surface of the cancer cells

Doctors also assign a stage (I through IV) to the disease, based on the number of tumors and how widely the tumors have spread.

Treatment:
Treatment isn’t always necessary
If your lymphoma appears to be slow growing (indolent), a wait-and-see approach may be an option. Indolent lymphomas that don’t cause signs and symptoms may not require treatment for years.

Delaying treatment doesn’t mean you’ll be on your own. Your doctor will likely schedule regular checkups every few months to monitor your condition and ensure that your cancer isn’t advancing.

Treatment for lymphoma that causes signs and symptoms
If your non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is aggressive or causes signs and symptoms, your doctor may recommend treatment.

Treatment planning takes into account the type of lymphoma, the stage of disease, whether it is likely to grow slowly or rapidly, and the general health and age of the patient. Common treatment options for several types are as follows:

Low Grade

Low-grade lymphomas include small lymphocytic, follicular small cleaved, and follicular mixed cell. For low-grade lymphomas, which usually grow very slowly and cause few symptoms, the doctor may wait until the disease shows signs of spreading before starting treatment.

Although low-grade lymphomas grow slowly and respond readily to chemotherapy, they almost invariably return and are generally regarded as incurable. The long-term outcome has not been favorably affected by the use of intermediate chemotherapy. Single agent or combination chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be required when the disease progresses or begins to cause symptoms.

Intermediate and High Grades
Intermediate grade includes follicular large cell, diffuse small cleaved, diffuse mixed cell, and diffuse large cell. The chance of recovery and choice of treatment depend on the stage of the cancer, age, and overall condition. Whatever the origin, the features that best predict the prognosis and guide decisions about therapy are the size, shape and pattern of the lymphocytes as seen microscopically.

Intermediate- and high-grade lymphomas are curable. Treatment for intermediate- or high-grade lymphomas usually involves chemotherapy, with or without radiation therapy. In addition, surgery may be needed to remove a large tumor.

Combination chemotherapy is almost always necessary for successful treatment. Chemotherapy alone, or abbreviated chemotherapy and radiation, cure 70 to 80 percent of patients with limited   intermediate-grade lymphoma. Advanced  disease can be eradicated in about 50 percent of patients.

Hodgkin’s Disease
The usual treatment for most patients with early stage Hodgkin’s disease is high-energy radiation of the lymph nodes. Research has shown that radiation therapy to large areas at high doses (3,500 to 4,500 rads) is more effective in preventing relapse than radiation of the diseased nodes alone.

Combination chemotherapy also is effective in the treatment of early stage Hodgkin’s disease. In addition, chemotherapy is the treatment of choice for advanced (stages III and IV) Hodgkin’s disease and for patients who have relapsed after radiotherapy. Drugs and radiation are sometimes given together, mainly in treating patients with tumors in the chest or abdomen.

Coping and support:
A diagnosis of cancer can be overwhelming. With time you’ll find ways to cope with the distress and uncertainty of cancer. Until then, you may find it helps to:

*Learn everything you want to know about your cancer
. Find out everything you need to know about your cancer in order to help you make treatment decisions. Ask your doctor for the type and stage of your cancer, as well as your treatment options and their side effects. Ask your doctor where you can go for more information. Good places to start include the National Cancer Institute and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

*Build a strong support system. Having a support system of close friends and family may help you cope. Though you may feel tempted to keep to yourself, be open with your loved ones. Friends will ask you if there’s anything they can do to help you. Think of requests ahead of time, such as preparing meals or just being there to talk.

*Connect with other cancer survivors.
Sometimes you’ll feel as if your friends and family can’t understand what you’re going through. In these cases, other cancer survivors can offer support and practical information. You may also find you develop deep and lasting bonds with people who are going through the same things you are. Ask your doctor about support groups in your area. Or go online to Internet message boards, such as those offered by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

*Set reasonable goals. Having goals helps you feel in control and can give you a sense of purpose. But don’t choose goals you can’t possibly reach. You may not be able to work a 40-hour week, for example, but you may be able to work at least part time. In fact, many people find that continuing to work can be helpful.

*Take time for yourself. Eating well, relaxing and getting enough rest can help combat the stress and fatigue of cancer. Also, plan ahead for when you may need to rest more or limit what you do.

*Stay active. Receiving a diagnosis of cancer doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the things you enjoy or normally do. For the most part, if you feel well enough to do something, go ahead and do it. Stay involved as much as you can.

*Look for a connection to something beyond yourself.
Having a strong faith or a sense of something greater than yourself may help you cope with having cancer. It may also help you maintain a more positive attitude as you face the challenge of cancer.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/non-hodgkins-lymphoma/DS00350
http://www.healthscout.com/ency/68/304/main.html#SymptomsofLymphoma

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Ailmemts & Remedies News on Health & Science

Beating those bugs(Lice)

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Lice infestation is universal. Head lice have co-existed with humans for two thousand years. They have been observed in the sarcophagus of well-preserved Egyptian mummies, in tombs that also contained fine-toothed combs to remove head lice. They do not pay heed to social, economic or geographic boundaries. A millionaire’s  offspring as well as the child of a slum dweller can both be seen scratching their heads. Closer inspection may reveal lice scurrying along hair shafts, or white nits (eggs) closely attached to the hair.

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Infestation is a social stigma. The child is perceived as “dirty” and the parents are seen as negligent caretakers. Neither of these statements, however, is necessarily true. Lice can survive submersion, oiling, shampooing and extremities of temperature.

Head Lice or Pediculus capitis (which literally translates to “lice of the head”) have not changed or evolved much. They are still small, brown insects with a tough outer coat and tapering legs adapted to cling tenaciously on hair shafts. They can survive huge climatic variations and lay dormant for up to 10 days. They cannot fly or jump; they move from one human being to another by crawling along the hair as heads move into close contact, or by walking along walls, floors, furniture and bedding. They are also very fastidious and host specific   they can survive only on the scalps of human beings, and not on other animals.

Head lice themselves do not cause disease
. But they cause intense itching which can interfere with sleep, concentration and efficient functioning. The scratching can cause secondary bacterial infection. This, in turn, can lead to painful enlargement of the lymph nodes in the neck.


In traditional societies, people found a way around this problem. Some families regularly went on pilgrimage. Their houses were cleaned and then locked. Unable to obtain a human blood meal, the lice starved to death within 10 days. And at the pilgrimage site, the whole family was tonsured. Thus, no hair meant no lice!

Bug-busting fine-toothed combs are readily available. They are safe and effective. The hair should be well oiled and all the tangles removed before combing. Most of the lice slip off with this treatment. The action has to be repeated every alternate day for two weeks till no lice are seen.

Chemical lice treatments are also available. They contain pyrethroids, permethrin, lindane or malathion. These compounds may be available as lotions or shampoos. The treatment must be repeated after 10 days.

About 17 per cent of lice are resistant to insecticides. Repeated treatment, using higher-than-recommended doses will not work. In fact, they may even be harmful and signs of toxicity may appear.

A combination of insecticide treatment followed by bug-busting combing is very effective.

Lice reproduce efficiently and explosively. Each couple can produce 100 eggs in a lifetime. Each egg hatches after eight days and the little bug develops into an adult in around 10 days. Unless the eradication treatment is repeated every 10 days, new lice will repopulate the hair.

After some time lice may reappear. This may be due to reinfection from another person or repopulation from lice that survived the original treatment.

If lice have gravitated to the eyebrows and lashes, they should be very carefully manually removed. Chemicals should not be applied.

Natural compounds are advertised for lice treatment. Some are neem-based. There may be others that contain organic pesticides in unregulated and dangerous doses. Before applying them, please read the fine print carefully.

Egg white and motor oil do not have any action on lice. On the contrary, they may cause hair loss.

Kerosene kills lice and nits. But it is also a dangerous, highly inflammable compound and therefore should not be used.

“Lice” is actually a generic term that loosely refers to head lice. Insects from the same family, called Pediculus humanus or body lice, can also be found on the body (not the head), in areas where there is overcrowding, homelessness and poor hygiene. These lice cause itching, particularly around the waist, groin and upper thighs. There may be an allergic reaction that aggravates the itching. The skin may eventually become discoloured. Secondary bacterial or fungal infection may occur.

Unlike head lice, body lice can cause typhus and relapsing fever.

Regular bathing, clean clothes and application of lotions or creams containing pyrethroids, permethrin, lindane or malathion will kill the lice.

Crabs or pubic lice (Pythiriasis pubis) are usually spread through sexual contact. They can also spread through infected bedding. These lice cause intense intolerable itching in the genital area. They also respond to the lotions and shampoos containing pyrethroids, permethrin, lindane or malathion.

It is possible to get rid of all types of lice provided the cycle of reinfestation is broken and good personal hygiene maintained.

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata,India)