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Zhe Bei Mu (Fritillaria thunbergii )

Botanical Name : Fritillaria thunbergii
Family:
Liliaceae
Genus:
Fritillaria
Species:
F. thunbergii
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Liliales

Synonyms : F. collicola. Hance. F. verticillata thunbergii.

Common Name :Zhe Bei Mu

Habitat :Fritillaria thunbergii is native to China and Japan . It grows in bamboo forests, shady and moist places from near sea level to 600 metres.

Description:
Fritillaria thunbergii is a bulb growing to 0.6 m (2ft).  It has linear leaves that are whorled on the top where there are also tendril-like tips. Flowers are cream-colored, flecked or tessellated green. This species needs to be planted deeply. It is in flower from Mar to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is hardy to zone 8.

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The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Best grown in a moist peaty soil in the open garden[90]. Easily grown in a moderately fertile soil in sun or semi-shade. Succeeds in drier soils and is drought tolerant when established. The dormant bulbs are fairly hardy and will withstand soil temperatures down to at least -5°c. The scaly bulbs are best planted on their sides or surrounded in sand to prevent water collecting in their hollow crowns. This species is cultivated as a medicinal plant in Europe and Asia. Plants take 3 – 5 years to flower from seed.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring. Protect from frost. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible and can take a year or more to germinate. Sow the seed quite thinly to avoid the need to prick out the seedlings. Once they have germinated, give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not suffer mineral deficiency. Once they die down at the end of their second growing season, divide up the small bulbs, planting 2 – 3 to an 8cm deep pot. Grow them on for at least another year in light shade in the greenhouse before planting them out whilst dormant. Division of offsets in August. The larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out in the autumn. Bulb scales

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

Bulb – fried or candied. The bulb is up to 3cm in diameter. Young plants and buds – cooked

Medicinal Uses:
Antitussive;  ExpectorantFebrifuge.

The bulbs are antidote, antitussive, astringent, expectorant, galactogogue and purgative. They contain fritimine which diminishes excitability of respiratory centres, paralyses voluntary movement and counters effects of opium. The bulbs are thought to act specifically on tumours and swellings of the throat, neck and chest, and they are taken in the treatment of thyroid gland nodules, scrofula, abscesses and boils and breast cancer. The bulb is used internally in the treatment of coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, feverish illnesses, abscesses etc. The bulbs also have a folk history of use against cancer of the breast and lungs in China. This remedy should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, excessive doses can cause breathing difficulties and heart failure. The bulbs are harvested in the winter whilst they are dormant and are dried for later use.

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://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fritillaria_thunbergii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fritillaria+thunbergii
http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/AsianFritillariaTwo

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How to Live Till a 100

Want to live till 100 years of age? Well, do regular exercises, be married, wash hands and brush your teeth everyday.

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That’s what a new book, ‘The Long Life Equation’, by Dr Trisha Macnair suggests. In the book, the author has listed activities that add years to your life.

Macnair said washing your hands adds two years, and good dental hygiene can add six more years in your life.

But smoking, fast food, no exercise and a stressful life can strip away 20 years.

“There’s no doubt younger people take life and health for granted – more than any generation before, they idle time away watching TV or playing computer games, ignoring the activities that keep them healthy or develop meaning in their lives,” Courier Mail quoted Macnair, as saying.

“As we get older and start to feel the years slipping away, we suddenly realise how precious it is.

“But by then we may have already established habits (smoking, drinking, obesity, lack of exercise, stressful occupations) which take their toll and are difficult to reverse.

“Still, it’s never too late to change. Also, our attitudes to older age are changing so there is more freedom now to do things later in life if we are healthy and able,” she added.

A 2006 study from University of California in Los Angeles showed that men and women live healthier, wealthier, happier and longer lives when they are in a stable partnership

The study confirmed that married couples were more likely to live to an old age than their divorced, widowed or unmarried counterparts.

A stable partnership can actually add on seven years to life.

Regular exercise also adds as much as two or more years to your life.

A Harvard Alumni Study, which took into account more than 71,000 men who had graduated from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania between 1916 and 1954, found that those men who regularly burned 8400kJ a week while exercising lived, on average, two years longer than sedentary types.

But cigarette smoking can actually reduce 8 years from your life

Tobacco smoke contains more than 4000 chemicals, many of which are highly toxic.

A divorce can also strip away 3 years from your life, as it takes longer-lasting, emotional and physical toll on former spouses than virtually any other life stress.

Recent studies indicate that divorced adults have higher rates of emotional disturbance, accidental death and death from heart disease.

The divorced also have higher rates of admission to psychiatric facilities and make more visits to doctors than people who are married, single or widowed.

Sources: The Times Of India

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