Tag Archives: Northern Europe

Wild mint

Botanical Name :Mentha sativa
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Water Mint or Marsh Mint. Whorled Mint. Hairy Mint.

Common Name :Wild mint, Mentha longifolia , Horse Mint;

Habitat:Mentha sativa is very  Common in Britain and found all over temperate and Northern Europe and Russian Asia. It prefers marshy land to grow well.

Description:
Mentha sativa is a rather coarse perennial herb, it grows to  1 to 1 1/2 feet high; leaves conspicuously stalked, ovate or oval-ovate, or oval-rounded or wedge-shaped at the base, subacute or acute serrate or crenate serrate, more or less hairy on both sides; flowers in whorls, usually all separate, beginning about or below the middle of the stem; bracts large, similar to leaves, sometimes the upper ones minute, uppermost ones often without flowers; bracteoles strap-shaped, subulate, hairy, shorter than flowers; pedicels hairy, rarely glabrous; calyx hairy, campanulate-cylindrical; teeth triangular, acuminate, half the length of tube, bristly, hairy; corolla scarcely twice as long as the calyx, hairy without and within; nucules rough with small points………..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal  Uses:
The herb is considered to have emetic, stimulant, and astringent qualities, and is used in diarrhoea and as an emmenagogue. The infusion of 1 OZ. of the dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water is taken in wineglassful doses.

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/m/mints-39.html#wil
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppermint

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha_sylvestris

Inonotus obliquus

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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Erysimum cheiranthoides

Botanical Name : Erysimum cheiranthoides
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Erysimum
Species: E. cheiranthoides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Common Name:Treacle-mustard, Wormseed Mustard

Habitat :Erysimum cheiranthoides is   native to most of central and northern Europe and northern and central Asia.It is widely naturalised outside of its native range, including in western and southern Europe, and North America . Found in many habitats from southern British Columbia to California at elevations of 750 – 3600 metres.

Description:
Erysimum cheiranthoides is a herbaceous annual plant similar in appearance to many other mustards, growing an erect stem 15–100 cm (rarely 150 cm) tall. The leaves are lanceolate to elliptic, 2–11 cm long and 0.5–1 cm broad, with an entire to coarsely toothed margin. The flowers are bright yellow, 5–12 mm diameter, produced in an erect inflorescence. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects The fruit is a slender cylindrical capsule 1–3 cm (rarely 5 cm) long, containing several small, dark brown seeds.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender.

Cultivation :  
Requires a well-drained soil and a sunny position. Dislikes acid soils. Tolerates poor soils.

Propagation:  
Seed – sow in situ in the spring. Germination should take place within 3 weeks.

Medicinal Uses
Skin;  Vermifuge.
A drink made from the crushed seed is used as a vermifuge. It is intensely bitter but has been used on children and expels the worms both by vomit and by excretion. A decoction of the root has been applied to skin eruptions. Occasionally used as an anthelmintic.  It is also used in folk medicine to treat rhueumatism, jaundice, dropsy and asthma. The root mixed in water was applied to skin eruptions

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Erysimum+cheiranthoides
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erysimum_cheiranthoides
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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Holarrhena Antidysenterica

Botanical Name : Holarrhena Antidysenterica
Family : Apocynaceae
Genus:Wrightia
Species:W. antidysenterica
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:Gentianales
Common Name : Bitter Oleander, Connessi Bark, Kurchi Bark, , Dysentery Rose Bay, Tellicherry Bark,Kuda,Kutaj,Kutaja

. It is also known as “White Angel” in the Philippines

Bengali name :Kurchi
Part Used : Bark, Seeds
Habitat :Holarrhena Antidysenterica is native to tropical Himalayas, going up to an altitude of ,1,200 m. Also found throughout many forests  of India, in Travancore, Assam and Uttar Pradesh. Grows wild in mountains

Description:
It is a tall shurb or small tree, evergreen in nature.Leaves are smooth large, ovate in shape; and about 15-31 cms. long and 10 cms. broad.Flowers are cream coloured, fragrant and borne in bunches .The plant flowers profusely during February-March. fruits are thin and cylindrical, with two follicles attached together at distal ends. Special characteristics of Holarrhena antidysenterica. Fragrant flowers and twin fruits….

Click to see the pictures..………….....(01)........(1).…..(2)......(3)...

Medicinal Uses:
It is one of the best drug for diarrhoea. In chronic diarrhoea & to check blood coming from stool, it should be given with Isobgol, caster oil or Indrayav.

According to Ayurveda, the bark is useful in treatment of piles, skin diseases and biliousness.
The bark is used externally in case of skin troubles. The bark is mostly mixed with cow urine and applies it in affected parts. In treatment of urinary troubles, the bark is given with cow milk. The fresh juice of bark is considered good to check the diarrhoea. In bleeding piles Decoction of Kutaj bark with sunthi checks mucus & blood. Application of this herb is useful in Rh. Arthritis & Osteoarthritis. The bark is used in chest affections and as a remedy in diseases of the skin and spleen. It is a well known herb for amoebic dysentery and other gastric disorders.

Kutaja bark has been used in India in the treatment of amoebic dysentery and liver ailments resulting from amebiasis.  Conessine from the bark killed free living amoebae and also kills entamoeba histolytica in the dysenteric stools of experimentally infected kittens. It is markedly lethal to the flagellate protozoon. It is antitubercular also.  Conessine produced little effect on Trichomonas hominis but was markedly lethal to the flagellate protozoon.  It is a well known drug for amoebic dysentery and other gastric disorders. A clinical study records the presentation of forty cases with amochiasis and giardiasis. The efficacy of kutaja in intestinal amochiasis was 70%. Good response was also observed in Entamoeba histolytica cystpassers when treated with kutaja bark. The flowers improve appetite. The seeds are cooling, appetising and astringent to the bowels.

Today Conessi seed is used as a remedy for dysentery, diarrhea, intestinal worms, and irregular fever, though the actions are milder than that of the bark. Conessi bark is used to treat dysentery, but also is used for treating hemophilia disorders, skin diseases, and loss of appetite. It also works well in treating indigestion, flatulence, and colic.  The British materia medica regards it as one of the most valuable medicinal products of India.

It also has been used to treat various skin and stomach disorders. It is an astringent tonic for the skin. It is used against hot disorder of the gall bladder and stops dysentery.  Relieves cholecystitis and diarrhea associated with fever.   It is used in disorders of the genitourinary system and is helpful in the cases of impotence, spermatorrhea and seminal debilities.

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.motherherbs.com/holarrhena-antidysenterica.html
http://green-source.blogspot.com/2009/06/kuda-kutaj-holarrhena-antidysenterica.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm
http://www.alibaba.com/product-tp/108122069/Holarrhena_Antidysenterica.html
http://www.greenearthproducts.net/ficus-bengalensis.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrightia_antidysenterica

Color Blindness

Alternative Names : Color deficiency; Blindness – color

Definition: Color blindness is the inability to see certain colors in the usual way.Color blindness, or color vision deficiency, in humans is the inability to perceive differences between some or all colors that other people can distinguish. It is most often of genetic nature, but may also occur because of eye, nerve, or brain damage, or due to exposure to certain chemicals. The English chemist John Dalton in 1798 published the first scientific paper on the subject, “Extraordinary facts relating to the vision of colours”,  after the realization of his own color blindness; because of Dalton’s work, the condition is sometimes called Daltonism, although this term is now used for a type of color blindness called deuteranopia.…………....CLICK & SEE

Color blindness is usually classed as disability; however, in selected situations color blind people may have advantages over people with normal color vision. There are some studies which conclude that color blind individuals are better at penetrating certain camouflages. Monochromats may have a minor advantage in dark vision, but only in the first five minutes of dark adaptation.

Causes:
Color blindness occurs when there is a problem with the color-sensing materials (pigments) in certain nerve cells of the eye. These cells are called cones. They are found in the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye.

If you are missing just one pigment, you might have trouble telling the difference between red and green. This is the most common type of color blindness. Other times, people have trouble seeing blue-yellow colors. People with blue-yellow color blindness almost always have problems identify reds and greens, too.

The most severe form of color blindness is achromatopsia. A person with this rare condition cannot see any color. Achromatopsia is often associated with lazy eye, nystagmus (small, jerky eye movements), severe light sensitivity, and extremely poor vision.

There are many types of color blindness. The most common are red-green hereditary (genetic) photoreceptor disorders, but it is also possible to acquire color blindness through damage to the retina, optic nerve, or higher brain areas. Higher brain areas implicated in color processing include the parvocellular pathway of the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus, and visual area V4 of the visual cortex. Acquired color blindness is generally unlike the more typical genetic disorders. For example, it is possible to acquire color blindness only in a portion of the visual field but maintain normal color vision elsewhere. Some forms of acquired color blindness are reversible. Transient color blindness also occurs (very rarely) in the aura of some migraine sufferers.

The different kinds of inherited color blindness result from partial or complete loss of function of one or more of the different cone systems. When one cone system is compromised, dichromacy results. The most frequent forms of human color blindness result from problems with either the middle or long wavelength sensitive cone systems, and involve difficulties in discriminating reds, yellows, and greens from one another. They are collectively referred to as “red-green color blindness”, though the term is an over-simplification and is somewhat misleading. Other forms of color blindness are much more rare. They include problems in discriminating blues from yellows, and the rarest forms of all, complete color blindness or monochromacy, where one cannot distinguish any color from grey, as in a black-and-white movie or photograph.

Most color blindness is due to a genetic problem. About 1 in 10 men have some form of color blindness. Very few women are color blind.

The drug hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) can also cause color blindness. It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, among other conditions.

If your clothes don’t match, someone might have teased you about being color-blind. But some people really are color-blind. It doesn’t mean they can’t see any color at all, like a black and white movie. It means that they have trouble seeing the difference between certain colors. (Check out the image on the right to see how well you see colors.)

CLICK & TEST YOUR COLOR VISION

Being color-blind can make it tricky to match your shirt and pants, but it’s not a serious problem. People who are color-blind can do normal stuff, even drive. Most color-blind people can’t tell the difference between red or green, but they can learn to respond to the way the traffic signal lights up. The red light is generally on top and green is on the bottom.

Cones and Color:
To understand what causes color blindness, you need to know about the cones in your eyes. Cones in your eyes? Yes, but they’re very small. These cones are cells on your retina, an area the size of a postage stamp that’s at the back of your eye.

You have “red,” “blue,” and “green” cones, which are sensitive to those colors and combinations of them. You need all three types to see colors properly. When your cones don’t work properly, or you don’t have the right combination, your brain doesn’t get the right message about which colors you’re seeing. To someone who’s color-blind, a green leaf might look tan or gray.

Color Blindness Is Passed Down:
Color blindness is almost always an inherited (say: in-her-ut-ed) trait, which means you get it from your parents. You get inherited traits through genes (say: jeenz), which determine everything about your body, including how tall you’ll be and whether your hair will be straight or curly.

…………....CLICK & SEE

Eye doctors (and some school nurses) test for color blindness by showing a picture made up of different colored dots, like the one above. If a person can’t see the picture or number within the dots, he or she may be color-blind.

Boys are far more likely to be color-blind. In fact, if you know 12 boys, one of them is probably at least a little color-blind. So girls, the next time a boy asks you if something matches, you’d better lend him a hand!

Symptoms :

Symptoms vary from person to person, but may include:

  • Trouble seeing colors and the brightness of colors in the usual way
  • Inability to tell the difference between shades of the same or similar colors

Often, the symptoms may be so mild that some persons do not know they are color blind. A parent may notice signs of color blindness when a child is learning his or her colors.

Rapid, side-to-side eye movements and other symptoms may occur in severe cases.

Exams and Tests:
Your doctor or eye specialist can check your color vision in several ways. Testing for color blindness is commonly done during an eye exam…..….CLICK & SEE

Treatment:
THERE IS NO TREATMENT

Outlook (Prognosis) :
COLOR BLINDNESS IS A LIFE-LONG CONDITION. MOST PERSONS ARE ABLE TO ADJUST WITHOUT DIFFICULTY OR DISABILITY. .

Possible Complications :
THOSE WHO ARE COLORBLIND MAY NOT BE ABLE TO GET CERTAIN JOB THAT NEEDS COLOR VISION. FOR EXAMPLE , A PILOT NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO SEE COLORS.

When to Contact a Medical Professional :
Make an appointment with your health care provider or ophthalmologist if you think you (or your child) have color blindness.

Click to learn more about Color blindness

Resources:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001002.htm
http://kidshealth.org/kid/talk/qa/color_blind.html

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