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Hibiscus sinosyriacus

Botanical Name : Hibiscus sinosyriacus
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Kingdom :Plants
Division:vascular plants
Class: Dicotyledonous angiosperms
Order: Malvales

Common Name: Rose Of Sharon

Habitat :Hibiscus sinosyriacus is native to E. Asia – China. It grows on the scrub in valleys at elevations of 500 – 1000 metres.

Description:
Hibiscus sinosyriacus is a deciduous Shrub. It is not an evergreen; during the summer it assumes a purple colouring; the adult species are medium in size and reach 3 m in height. Growing they develop a round-shape shrub.....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES…

It is in flower in September, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in a sheltered position in full sun[200]. Succeeds in any soil of good or moderate quality. Dislikes shade or badly drained soils. Plants grow best with their roots in cool moist soil and their tops in a hot sunny position. Plants are hardy in most parts of the country, tolerating temperatures down to around -15°c. They are best grown in the milder areas, however, because of their habit of flowering late in the season and thus being subject to frost damage. When planted in colder parts of the country they will need some protection for the first few winters. This species is closely related to H. syriacus, differing mainly in the larger leaves and larger epicalyx. Plants rarely require pruning, though they respond well to pruning and trimming and this is best carried out in the spring or just after flowering. The flowers are produced on the current season’s growth. and they only open in sunny weather. Plants are late coming into leaf, usually around the end of May or early June. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value.
Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Some reports say that the seed can be sown in situ outside and that it gives a good rate of germination. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood, early autumn in a frame. Good percentage. Layering in mid summer to early autumn.

Edible Uses:.... Oil; Tea……The following notes are for the closely related H. syriacus. They quite probably also apply to this species[K]. Young leaves – raw or cooked. A very mild flavour, though slightly on the tough side, they make an acceptable addition to the salad bowl. A tea is made from the leaves or the flowers. Flowers – raw or cooked. A mild flavour and mucilaginous texture, they are delightful in salads, both for looking at and for eating. Root – it is edible but very fibrousy. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour.
Medicinal Uses:
The following notes are for the closely related H. syriacus. They quite possibly also apply to this species. Ophthalmic, styptic. The leaves are diuretic, expectorant and stomachic. A decoction of the flowers is diuretic, ophthalmic and stomachic. It is also used in the treatment of itch and other skin diseases, dizziness and bloody stools accompanied by much gas. A decoction of the root bark is antiphlogistic, demulcent, emollient, febrifuge, haemostatic and vermifuge. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, dysmenorrhoea and dermaphytosis.

Other Uses:
The following notes are for the closely related H. syriacus. They quite probably also apply to this similar species. A low quality fibre is obtained from the stems. It is used for making cordage and paper. The seed contains about 25% oil. No further details are given, but it is likely to be edible. A hair shampoo is made from the leaves. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers. This species is planted as a hedge in S. Europe.

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=Hibiscus+sinosyriacus
https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fsv.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FHibiscus_sinosyriacus&edit-text=
http://www.gardening.eu/plants/Shrubs/Hibiscus-sinosyriacus/788/

Allium bolanderi

 

Botanical Name : Allium bolanderi
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily:Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species:A. bolanderi
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium bolanderi var. stenanthum (Drew) Jeps.
*Allium stenanthum Drew

Common Names: Bolander‘s onion

Habitat : Allium bolanderi is native to northern California and southwestern Oregon, where it grows in the rocky soils of the Klamath Mountains and surrounding regions.

Description:
Allium bolanderi grows from an oval-shaped bulb up to 2 centimeters long with associated rhizomes. The stem reaches about 35 centimeters in maximum height and there are two or three long, cylindrical leaves about the same length as the stem. The inflorescence contains 10 to 20 reddish-purple, or occasionally white, flowers, each with very finely toothed tepals.It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects…....CLICK  &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

It has two varieties are recognized:
*Allium bolanderi var. bolanderi
*Allium bolanderi var. mirabile (L.F.Hend.) McNeal

Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked. The bulb is 10 – 25mm wide. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses : The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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/Allium_bolanderi
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+bolanderi

Oenothera biennis

Botanical Name : Oenothera biennis
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Oenothera
Species: O. biennis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonym: Tree Primrose.  It is also known as Weedy evening-primrose, German rampion, hog weed, King’s cure-all, and fever-plant

Common Names : Tree Primrose, Common evening primrose, Evening star, or Sun drop

Habitat: Oenothera biennis though originally a native of North Arnerica, was imported first into Italy and has been carried all over Europe, being often naturalized on river-banks and other sandy places in Western Europe. It is often cultivated in English gardens, and is apparently fully naturalized in Lancashire and some other counties of England, having been first a garden escape.

Dscription:
The root is biennial, fusiform and fibrous, yellowish on the outside and white within. The first year, many obtuse leaves are produced, which spread flat on the ground. From among these in the second year, the more or less hairy stems arise and grow to a height of 3 or 4 feet. The later leaves are 3 to 5 inches long, 1 inch or more wide, pointed, with nearly entire margins and covered with short hairs. The flowers are produced all along the stalks, on axillary branches and in a terminating spike, often leafy at the base. The uppermost flowers come out first in June. The stalks keep continually advancing in height, and there is a constant succession of flowers till late in the autumn, making this one of the showiest of our hardy garden plants, if placed in large masses. The flowers are of a fine, yellow colour, large and delicately fragrant, and usually open between six and seven o’clock in the evening, hence the name of Evening Primrose. From a horticultural point of view, the variety grandiflora or Lamarkiana should always be preferred to the ordinary kind, as the flowers are larger and of a finer colour, having a fine effect in large masses, and being well suited for the wild garden.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Oenothera biennis has a life span of two years (biennial) growing to 30–150 cm (12–59 in) tall. The leaves are lanceolate, 5–20 cm (2.0–7.9 in) long and 1–2.5 cm (0.39–0.98 in) broad, produced in a tight rosette the first year, and spirally on a stem the second year.

Blooming lasts from late spring to late summer. The flowers are hermaphrodite, produced on a tall spike and only last until the following noon. They open visibly fast every evening producing an interesting spectacle, hence the name “evening primrose.”

The blooms are yellow, 2.5–5 cm (0.98–1.97 in) diameter, with four bilobed petals. The flower structure has an invisible to the naked eye bright nectar guide pattern. This pattern is apparent under ultraviolet light and visible to its pollinators, moths, butterflies, and bees.

The fruit is a capsule 2–4 cm (0.79–1.57 in) long and 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) broad, containing numerous 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) long seeds, released when the capsule splits into four sections at maturity.

Cultivation: The Evening Primrose will thrive in almost any soil or situation, being perfectly hardy. It flourishes best in fairly good sandy soil and in a warm sunny position.

Sow the seeds an inch deep in a shady position out-doors in April, transplanting the seedlings when 1 inch high, 3 inches apart each way in sunny borders. Keep them free from weeds, and in September or the following March, transplant them again into the flowering positions. As the roots strike deep into the ground, care should be taken not to break them in removing.

Seeds may also be sown in cold frames in autumn for blooming the following year.

If the plants are once introduced and the seeds permitted to scatter, there will be a supply of plants without any special care.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: Bark and leaves. The bark is peeled from the flower-stems and dried in the same manner as the leaves, which are collected in the second year, when the flowerstalk has made its appearance.

Astringent and sedative. The drug extracted from this plant, though not in very general use, has been tested in various directions, and has been employed with success in the treatment of gastro-intestinal disorders of a functional origin, asthma and whooping cough.

It has proved of service in dyspepsia, torpor of the liver, and in certain female complaints, such as pelvic fullness.

Its leaves are edible and traditionally were used as a leaf vegetable.

Evening primrose is sometimes used to treat eczema. Natural Standard has given evening primrose oil a “B” score for the treatment of eczema; meaning there is good scientific evidence supporting its use Template:Http://www.naturalstandard.com/databases/herbssupplements/primrose.asp. The symptoms of eczema can be exacerbated due to scratching and drying out the skin. Evening primrose oil contains linoleic acid, which is the primary oil found in the stratum corneum.{{Citation Angelo, Giana. “Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health.” Linus Pauling Institute: Micronutrient Information Center. Oregon State University, Feb. 2012. Web. 30 Nov. 2012. .}}. Supplementation with EPO may help rehydrate skin that has been scratched due to eczema. Furthermore, gamma-linoleic acid is metabolized into anti-inflammatory compounds, which may contribute to its ability to provide symptomatic relief in eczema. Most studies evaluating the effectiveness of EPO used 4 capsules of standardized extract (~1600 mg of evening primrose oil TOTAL) dosed by mouth twice daily for up to 12 weeks.

Evening Primrose Oil has been shown to slightly reduce blood pressure, can increase clotting time (use with caution if you take warfarin or aspirin), and should not be used by epileptics as it lowers the seizure threshold. Safety has not been evaluated in pregnant or nursing women.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oenothera_biennis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/primro70.html

Edible Coating Makes Fish Nutritious

Oregon State University have extended the shelf life of lingcod fillets and possibly made them more nutritious by dipping them into an  edible, protective coating enriched with fish oil.

The research may give consumers a chance to eat longer-lasting, potentially healthier fish fillets.

“With this coating, you can easily keep the fillets in the display case for two to three more days,” said OSU food science professor Yanyun Zhao, the lead researcher in the study.

The liquid coating contained chitosan, which comes from crustacean shells and can be made into film for food wrapping to keep out bacteria and fungi and prolong storage life.

What’s unusual about the OSU study is that fish oil was added to the chitosan coating, which wasn’t visible once it dried. After the coating was applied, some fillets were refrigerated for three weeks while others were frozen for three months.

The study, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Food Chemistry, found that the coating tripled the omega-3 fatty acids in the refrigerated and frozen fish when compared against the uncoated fish.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines, but lean fish such as cod, grouper, catfish and swordfish have lower amounts.

In addition to increasing the omega-3 levels in the lingcod, the OSU study also found that the coating reduced lipid oxidation, which causes rancidity, in the refrigerated and frozen samples when compared with the uncoated fillets.

The coating also kept the fish moister than the uncoated samples as the frozen ones were thawing. Additionally, the coating delayed the growth of microorganisms in the fresh fillets, and it prevented their growth in the frozen ones. The coating did not affect the color of the fillets.

Eating high levels of fructose may impair memory
Washington, July 17 (ANI): Diets high in fructose – a type of sugar found in most processed foods and beverages – could impair spatial memory, says a study on adult rats.

To reach the conclusion, Amy Ross, a graduate student in the lab of Marise Parent, associate professor at Georgia State’s Neuroscience Institute and Department of Psychology, fed a group of Sprague-Dawley rats a diet where fructose represented 60 percent of calories ingested during the day.

She placed the rats in a pool of water to test their ability to learn to find a submerged platform, which allowed them to get out of the water. She then returned them to the pool two days later with no platform present to see if the rats could remember to swim to the platform’s location.

“What we discovered is that the fructose diet doesn’t affect their ability to learn,” Parent said.

“But they can’t seem to remember as well where the platform was when you take it away. They swam more randomly than rats fed a control diet,” the expert added.

Fructose, unlike another sugar, glucose, is processed almost solely by the liver, and produces an excessive amount of triglycerides – fat which get into the bloodstream. Triglycerides can interfere with insulin signaling in the brain, which plays a major role in brain cell survival and plasticity, or the ability for the brain to change based on new experiences.

Source: The Times Of India

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Western Diet Ups Heart Attack Risk

Diets that are rich in fried and salty foods increase heart attack risk, while eating lots of fruit, leafy greens and other vegetables reduces it, a groundbreaking study showed.
Western diet boosts colon cancer risk by 300 per cent .

6/12/2008 – (NaturalNews) People who eat a typical “Western diet” or drink diet soda have a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the journal Circulation. “This is a red-alert wake-up call,”…

Green’s The Way: People who ate a ‘Prudent Diet’ — high in fruits and vegetables — had a 30% lower risk of heart attack…..CLICK & SEE

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The study, called Interheart, looked at 16,000 heart attack patients and controls between 1999 and 2003 in countries on every continent, marking a shift from previous studies which have focussed on the developed world.

The patients and controls filled in a “dietary risk score” questionnaire based on 19 food groups, which contained healthy and unhealthy items and were tweaked to include dietary preferences of each country taking part in the study.

The researchers found that people who eat a diet high in fried foods, salty snacks, eggs and meat — the “Western Diet” — a 35% greater risk of having a heart attack than people who consumed little or no fried foods or meat, regardless of where they live.

People who ate a “Prudent Diet” — high in leafy green vegetables, other raw and cooked vegetables, and fruits — had a 30% lower risk of heart attack than those who ate little or no fruit and veg, the study showed.

The third dietary pattern, called the “Oriental Diet” because it contained foods such as tofu and soy sauce which are typically consumed in Asian societies, was found to have little impact on heart attack risk.

Although some items in the Oriental diet might have protective properties such as vitamins and anti-oxidants, others such as soy sauce have a high salt content which would negate the benefits, the study said. The study was groundbreaking in its scope and because previous research had focused mainly on developed countries, according to Salim Yusuf, a senior author of the study.

“We had focussed research on the West because heart disease was mainly predominant in western countries 25-30 years ago,” Yusuf, who is a professor of medicine at McMaster University in Canada, said.

“But heart disease is now increasingly striking people in developing countries. Eighty percent of heart disease today is in low- to middle-income countries” partly because more people around the world are eating western diets, he said.

“This study indicates that the same relationships that are observed in western countries exist in different regions of the world,” said Yusuf, who is also head of the Population Health Research Institute at Hamilton Health Sciences in Ontario.

The main countries in the study were Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia in South America; Canada and US in North America; Sweden in western Europe; and Egypt, Iran and Kuwait for the Middle East. Nearly all of South Asia — India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka — took part.

Sources: The Times Of India

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