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Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Zanthoxylum alatum

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Botanical Name: Zanthoxylum alatum
Family: Rutaceae
Subfamily:Toddalioideae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms :Zanthoxylum armatum.

Common Names: Winged Prickly Ash, Tooyh ache tree

Other vernacular names:
Bengali: Gaira.
Hindi: Darman, Darmar (as Z. alatum), Tejbal, Tejpal, Tejphal, Tumru.
Kannada: Dhiva, Jimmi, Tumburudu.
Malayalam: Thumbunalari, Tumpunal, Tumpuni.
Tamil: Tumpunalu.
Telagu: Gandhalu, Konda kasimi.
Burmese: Gawra kha nan nan, Teza bo.
Nepalese: Timbur, Timur.
Sanskrit: Tejohwa, Tejpal, Tumburu, Tumburuh.
Chinese: Ci zhu ye hua jiao, Qin jiao, Huan hua zhen, Bai zong guan, Shan hua jiao. Zhu ye jiao.
Japanese: Fuyu zanshou.
German: Nepalpfeffer.

Habitat:Zanthoxylum alatum is native to E. Asia – China to the Himalayas. It grows in the forest undergrowth and hot valleys to 1800 metres in the Himalayas.

Description:
Zanthoxylum alatum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 4 m (13ft 1in). The tree is almost entirely smooth, with a strong aromatic smell. Bark is corky, with conspicuous young stems with thick conical prickles raising rising from a corky base. Spines are shining and sharp, growing on branchlets. Leaves are alternate, usually with 2 to 6 pairs of leaflets. Petioles and rachis are narrowly winged. Leaflets are elliptic-lanceolate, 2 to 8 centimeters long and 1 to 1.8 centimeters wide. Flowers are small, yellow, usually unisexual, borne in dense lateral panicles. Fruit is usually a solitary carpel dehiscing ventrally, about 3 millimeters in diameter, tubercled, red, and strongly aromatic.

The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) 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:
Prefers a good deep well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or semi-shade. This species is closely related to Z. planispinum. Flowers are formed on the old wood. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seed may requires up to 3 months cold stratification, though scarification may also help. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Germination should take place in late spring, though it might take another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings, 3cm long, planted horizontally in pots in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers, removed in late winter and planted into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The seed is ground into a powder and used as a condiment. A pepper substitute, it is widely used in the Orient. A light roasting brings out more of the flavour. The seed is an ingredient of the famous Chinese ‘five spice’ mixture. The fruit is rather small but is produced in clusters which makes harvesting easy. Each fruit contains a single seed. Young leaves are used as a condiment.
Medicinal Uses:

The seeds and the bark are used as an aromatic tonic in the treatment of fevers, dyspepsia and cholera. The fruits, branches and thorns are considered to be carminative and stomachic. They are used as a remedy for toothache.

Other Uses: 
Miscellany; Teeth; Wood.

The fruit contains 1.5% essential oil. The fruit is used to purify water. Toothbrushes are made from the branches[146, 158]. Wood – heavy, hard, close grained. Used for walking sticks.

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/Zanthoxylum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zanthoxylum+alatum

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Categories
News on Health & Science

Leukaemia Cell Culprit Discovered

A study of four-year-old twin girls has identified a rogue cell that is the root cause of childhood leukaemia.The finding could mean more specific and less intensive treatments for all children with the blood cancer.

click & see
..Isabella (l) and Olivia both have the pre-leukaemic stem cells

Both twins were found to have the “pre-leukaemic” cells in their bone marrow, although to date only one has developed leukaemia.

UK researchers reported in Science that a second genetic mutation is needed for full-blown disease to develop.

Leukaemia occurs when large numbers of white blood cells take over the bone marrow leaving the body unable to produce enough normal blood cells.

Along with lymphoma it accounts for almost half of childhood cancers.

Olivia Murphy, from Bromley in Kent, developed acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when she was two-years old – but so far her twin sister, Isabella, is healthy.

Researchers found they both have “pre-leukaemic stem cells” containing a mutated gene, which forms when the DNA is broken and rejoined at another point.

The pre-leukaemic cells are transferred from one twin to the other in the womb through their shared blood supply.

But it takes another genetic mutation in early childhood for the cells to cause disease.

This second mutation, which may be caused by infection, occurred in Olivia but not Isabella.

Doctors do regular tests on Isabella to look for signs of the cancer but once she reaches adolescence it is thought the rogue cells will disappear.
Achilles heel

About 1% of the population is thought to be born with pre-leukaemia cells. Of these, 1% receive the second “hit” that leads to cancer.

Current treatments are far too aggressive to justify eliminating the rogue cells before cancer develops, which also means screening is unlikely.

But attacking the pre-leukaemic cells in children with leukaemia would be a better way of treating the disease and ensuring it does not come back, the researchers said.

Study leader Professor Tariq Enver, from the Medical Research Council Molecular Haematology Unit in Oxford, said: “These are the cells which drive and maintain the disease.

“Now we know about the cell, hopefully we can find an Achilles heel we can target.”

Professor Mel Greaves, from the Institute of Cancer Research and co-author on the study, said he suspected that the stem cells could escape conventional chemotherapy and cause relapse.

He said the study in the twins had been unique.

“There is an element of chance, we still have to work out why it happens in one child and not the other.

“We’re pretty certain it’s triggered by common childhood infection.”

Dr Phil Ancliff, consultant in paediatric haematology at Great Ormond Street Hospital, said 90% of children now survived leukaemia because of intensive chemotherapy, but that it came at a price.

Now we know about the cell, hopefully we can find an Achilles heel we can target” said Professor Tariq Enver
‘We were lucky’

Olivia lost the sight in one eye after she was unable to fight an infection due to her cancer treatment.

“A significant number of children are now being over-treated but we don’t know which children,” he said.

In the future, he added, children could be tested to see if the stem cells had been killed off after the first few weeks of chemotherapy with some being able to stop treatment earlier, sparing them harmful side-effects.

Dr Bruce Morland, consultant paediatric oncologist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and chairman of the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, said: “The identification of the leukaemic stem cell has been one of the ‘Holy Grails’ for cancer biologists and this study certainly brings us one step closer.”

Professor Vaskar Saha, professor of paediatric oncology at Cancer Research UK, said: “This important paper shows how leukaemia develops, and how it can persist even after therapy.

“By identifying the cells involved, it raises the hope that we will be able to identify children at risk of relapse, and develop new, targeted drugs to treat the disease.”

Click to read :Childhood Leukaemia

“We know we have been lucky’

‘Stem cell find for child cancer

Children’s drug treatment boost

Sticky DNA helps spot leukaemia

Richer areas ‘child cancer risk’

Child cancer ‘three gene screen’

Sources: BBC NEWS 17TH. JAN’08