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Herbs & Plants

Vaccinium angustifolium

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Botanical Name: Vaccinium angustifolium
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Vaccinium
Species: V. angustifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms : V. lamarckii. Camp. V. pennsylvanicun angustifolium. V. pensylvanicum. Lam. non Mill.

Common Names: Low Sweet Blueberry, Lowbush blueberry

Habitat: Vaccinium angustifolium is native to eastern and central Canada (from Manitoba to Newfoundland) and the northeastern United States, growing as far south as the Great Smoky Mountains and west to the Great Lakes region. It grows in dry open barrens, peats and rocks.

Description:
Vaccinium angustifolium is a low spreading deciduous shrub growing to 60 cm tall, though usually 35 cm tall or less. The leaves are glossy blue-green in summer, turning purple in the fall. The leaf shape is broad to elliptical. Buds are brownish red in stem axils. The flowers are white, bell-shaped, 5 mm long. The fruit is a small sweet dark blue to black berry. This plant grows best in wooded or open areas with well-drained acidic soils. In some areas it produces natural blueberry barrens, where it is practically the only species covering large areas.

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The Vaccinium angustifolium plant is fire-tolerant and its numbers often increase in an area following a forest fire. Traditionally, blueberry growers burn their fields every few years to get rid of shrubs and fertilize the soil. In Acadian French, a blueberry field is known as a “brûlis” (from brûlé, burnt) because of that technique, which is still in use.
Cultivation :
Requires a moist but freely-draining lime free soil, preferring one that is rich in peat or a light loamy soil with added leaf-mould. Prefers a very acid soil with a pH in the range of 4.5 to 6, plants soon become chlorotic when lime is present. Succeeds in full sun or light shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. Requires shelter from strong winds. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -40°c. Dislikes root disturbance, plants are best grown in pots until being planted out in their permanent positions. Cultivated for its edible fruits, there are some named varieties. It succeeds in cold northerly locations such as Maine in N. America] and in C. Sweden. However, it is said to have little or no value as a fruit crop in Britain. The typical species is not as well known as its subspecies V. angustifolium laevifolium. House. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – sow late winter in a greenhouse in a lime-free potting mix and only just cover the seed. Stored seed might require a period of up to 3 months cold stratification. Another report says that it is best to sow the seed in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe. Once they are about 5cm tall, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, August in a frame. Slow and difficult. Layering in late summer or early autumn. Another report says that spring is the best time to layer. Takes 18 months. Division of suckers in spring or early autumn

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw, cooked or used in preserves etc. A very sweet pleasant flavour with a slight taste of hone. Largely grown for the canning industry, it is considered to be the best of the lowbush type blueberries. The fruit can be dried and used like raisins. The fruit is about 12mm in diameter. This is the earliest commercially grown blueberry to ripen. A tea is made from the leaves and dried fruits.
Medicinal Uses :
The Chippewa Indians used the flowers to treat psychosis. The fruit contains anthocyanosides. These chemical compounds are very powerful antioxidants that are very effective in the prevention of heart disease and cancer. A tea made from the leaves has been used as a blood purifier and in the treatment of infant’s colic. It has also been used to induce labour and as a tonic after a miscarriage

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/Vaccinium_angustifolium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Vaccinium+angustifolium
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html

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Fish Oil Might Help Fight Gum Disease

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Even moderate amounts of omega-3 fats may help ward off gum disease, according to new research.

Researchers divided nearly 9,200 adults into three groups based on their omega-3 consumption.

Dental exams showed that those in the middle and upper third for consumption of the omega-3’s DHA and EPA were 23 percent to 30 percent less likely to have gum disease.

Business Week reports:

“About 54 percent of men and 46 percent of women over age 30 in the United States experience gingival bleeding, the earliest sign of periodontal disease … In the general population, about 11 percent of adults aged 50 to 64 have moderate or severe periodontitis, rising to 20 percent of those over age 75.”

Resources:
Business Week October 26, 2010
Journal of the American Dietetic Association November 2010; 110(11):1669-75 ?

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Secrets Your Dentist Doesn’t Want You To Know

Here are the secrets your dentist may not want you to know — but you need to know to get the best care possible:

………………..
Secret #1: Your dentist may not be as educated as you think.

Dentistry has changed a lot since your dentist graduated from dental school. There have been major advances in most materials used in fillings, bonding and root canals. If your dentist is not actively engaged in continuing education, it is unlikely that he or she is keeping up with these developments.

Secret#2. Your dentist may not have the latest technology. ret #2:

Digital x-ray: Dentists who do not have digital x-ray equipment are practicing in the dark ages. Digital x-rays use less radiation than film. They are easier to read and the ability to manipulate contrast makes diagnosis more accurate.

Ultrasonic Cleaning: Ultrasonic instruments vibrate plaque and calculus off your teeth, even in areas below your gums. It is much more comfortable than old-fashioned hand scraping.

CEREC: The CEREC system lets your dentist provide a ceramic crown or veneer in only one visit. CEREC means fewer injections, less drilling and no annoying temporaries.

Diagnodent: This is a laser that the dentist shines on the tooth and it tells whether there is a cavity and how deep it is. With the use of this technology, the dentist can detect cavities, and find them at an earlier stage, than traditional poking around the tooth.

Secret #3: Your dentist may be using mercury.

Mercury is toxic. Norway and Sweden have banned the use of mercury fillings.. But mercury fillings are less expensive and easier for the dentist to use. If your dentist does not use composite fillings, don’t go to that dentist any more. In the US, the FDA is way behind the ball and not actively warning patients about this like they have been mandated by the courts to do.

Secret #4: The lab may be more important than your dentist.

Dental labs create dentures, crowns, bridges, orthodontic appliances, and other dental restorations like implant crowns. There is a huge difference in the quality of these labs. You should be particularly wary if your dentist is using a lab in China or Mexico. Some of the top labs in the U.S. are Aurum Ceramics, MicroDental Laboratories, da Vinci Dental Studio, and Williams Dental Lab.

Secret #5: There’s more to good dentistry than filling cavities.

A competent dentist screens for more than tooth decay. He or she should be concerned about sleep apnea, jaw-related pain known as TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder, periodontal disease, oral cancer, diabetes and hypertension.

Secret #6: You are probably using the wrong specialist for dental implants.

Since dental implants involve the removal of a tooth and replacing it with an artificial tooth, many patients assume that an oral surgeon is best qualified to do it. This can be a flawed assumption. Periodontists, who specialize in gum disease, may be a better option. Periodontists have special training in gum tissue and underlying bone in the mouth, which are significant issues in dental implants.

Secret #7: Bad dental advice about dentures can be fatal!

Dentures are no joke. Your dentist should examine your dentures for evidence of wear. Wearing down the teeth on your dentures can result in distorted facial characteristics, collapse of the bite and closure of the airway.

Secret #8: Your dentist may not know enough about sleep apnea.

The most common form of sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway during sleep. It is a pretty scary condition. The patient can stop breathing hundreds of times during the night. A common treatment for sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), which involves blowing pressurized room air through the airway at high enough pressure to keep the airway open.

As an alternative, your dentist, working with your physician, can custom make a device that guides the lower jaw forward, called a mandibular advancement device or MAD. MAD devices are more comfortable to wear and the compliance rates are much higher than using CPAP.

Secret #9: Not all cosmetic dentists have the skills to really improve your smile.

Any dentist can call herself a “cosmetic dentist.” Your dentist should be able to show you ten or more before and after photographs or videos, and be willing to give you the names of patients who have consented to be used as references.

Secret #10: How to avoid the root canal your dentist says you need.

Ask about the “ferrule effect.” Technically, this means that a root canal is unlikely to be successful if there is not enough tooth structure above the gum line to protect the tooth from coming loose or fracturing after it has been prepared for a crown. If your tooth fails the “ferrule effect” test, you might be better off with an extraction and an implant.

Source: Daily Finance August 27, 2009

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Hidden Oral Bacteria Triggers Obesity

the taking of a saliva sample
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Is the explosive growth of obesity worldwide being triggered by an infectious agent? Investigators are closing in on the role of oral  bacteria as a potential direct contributor to obesity.

J.M. Goodson and colleagues, who carried out a recent study, measured salivary bacterial populations of overweight women.

Saliva was collected from 313 women with a body mass index (BMI, weight to height ratio) between 27 and 32 and bacterial populations were measured by DNA probe analysis. A BMI above 25 is a sign of being overweight.

Levels in this group were compared with data from a population of 232 healthy individuals from periodontal disease studies.

Analysis of saliva revealed that 98.4% of the obese women could be identified by the presence of a single bacterial species (Selenomonas noxia) at levels greater than 1.05% of the total salivary bacteria.

Analysis of these data suggests that the composition of salivary bacteria changes in overweight women.

It seems likely that these bacterial species could serve as biological indicators of a developing overweight condition.

Of even greater interest, and the subject of future research, is the possibility that oral bacteria may participate in the pathology that leads to obesity, said a International and American Associations for Dental Research release.

The study was published in the June issue of the Journal of Dental Research.

Source: The Times Of India

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Modern Lifestyle Habits Help Prevent Tooth Decay

Cervical decay on a premolar
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Modern lifestyle habits help prevent tooth decay, according to a new study.
……………..…CLICK & SEE.

According to a review of the scientific evidence over the past 150 years, the effects of fluoride toothpaste, good oral hygiene and health education, might override the effects of food alone on tooth decay.

Professor Monty Duggal, an author of the review, said that it’s not enough to just look at what we eat when talking about tooth decay, as other factors seem to be as important.

Fluoride toothpaste changes the effect that some foods have on the teeth, as do other good oral hygiene practices’.

“Future research should investigate a number of lifestyle factors together with different foods that might affect tooth decay. Times have changed and with that, the foods we eat, and how we care for our teeth,” Duggal said.

The overall aim of the review was to look at the evidence for the claim that sugar was the main cause of dental caries (tooth decay).

The researchers concluded that out of 31 studies carefully reviewed, the majority did not find a relationship between the amount of sugar consumed and dental caries, but the frequency of consumption may be important.

Most people now know the best way to prevent tooth decay is to brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, especially before going to bed, courtesy dental health education.

The research has been published online in a Supplement to the journal Obesity Reviews.

Sources:The Times Of India

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