Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Eye Allergies

Definition:
Eye allergies, called allergic conjunctivitis, are a common condition that occurs when the eyes react to something that irritates them (called an allergen). The eyes produce a substance called histamine to fight off the allergen. As a result, the eyelids and conjunctiva — the thin, filmy membrane that covers the inside of your eyelids and the white part of your eye (sclera) — become red, swollen and itchy, with tearing and burning. Unlike bacterial or viral conjunctivitis, allergic conjunctivitis is not spread from person to person.
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People who suffer from eye allergies usually (though not always) have nasal allergies as well, with an itchy, stuffy nose and sneezing. It is usually a temporary (acute) condition associated with seasonal allergies. However, in other cases, eye allergies can develop from exposure to other environmental triggers, such as pet dander, dust, smoke, perfumes, or even foods. If the exposure is ongoing, the allergies can be more severe, with significant burning and itching and even sensitivity to light.

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Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is the eye equivalent of hay fever and affects up to 25 per cent of the general population. The eyes become itchy, watery and red in the summer pollen season, usually from exposure to grass and tree pollen.

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Vernal conjunctivitis is a more severe form of this disease seen in children. The eyes are sticky with a stringy discharge, and it’s painful, especially when opening the eyes on waking.

The inner membranes of the eyelid swell and the conjunctiva develops a cobblestone appearance. Corneal damage may occur if the condition is left untreated.

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Perennial allergic conjunctivitis tends to occur all year round, with house dust mite and cat allergies. The symptoms are usually milder than those in seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.

Eczema eyes:
Although rare, atopic keratoconjunctivitis is the most severe manifestation of allergic eye disease. It occurs predominantly in adult males and is the eye equivalent of severe eczema.
click to see the picture..>….(1)……(2)…….(3)
This persistent condition results in constant itching, dry eyes and blurred vision. It’s associated with corneal swelling and scarring. Eyelid eczema and infection are common, and lens cataracts may develop over time.

Contact lens allergy:
Contact lens wearers may develop giant papillary conjunctivitis, triggered by constant local irritation by the contact lenses on the conjunctival surfaces. The lining of the upper eyelid is usually most affected. Disposable contact lenses may help settle symptoms, but occasionally wearing contact lens has to be suspended.
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Never use steroid eye drops unless under the direct supervision of a doctor. Although they’re effective for treating eye allergies, they can lead to unwanted side-effects such as glaucoma and cataract formation.

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They may also encourage infections of the eye, with resultant corneal scarring.

Symptoms:
Symptoms of eye allergies, or allergic conjunctivitis, include watery, itchy, red, sore, swollen and stinging of the eyes. Itching of the eyes is the most important symptom of allergic conjunctivitis. Without itching, it is much less likely that a person is suffering from allergies of the eyes. Both eyes are usually affected, although one eye may be more symptomatic than the other.

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC) is the most common form of eye allergy, with grass and ragweed pollens being the most important seasonal triggers. Perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC) is also very common, with animal dander, feathers and dust mites being the most important triggers.

Other symptoms :-
People with SAC usually note the onset of symptoms during the spring and fall, and frequently note symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Symptoms include itchy eyes, burning of the eyes and eye watering. In some cases, people notice sensitivity to the light and blurred vision. The eyes are usually red, and the eyelids may become swollen. When the inside of the eyelid (the conjunctiva) is also swollen, the eyes may have a watery, gelatinous-like appearance – this finding is called “chemosis”.

PAC typically occurs year-round, although many people notice some seasonal flares to their symptoms. The severity of PAC is less than that of SAC, and PAC is much more likely to be associated with perennial allergic rhinitis.

Diagnosis:
The diagnosis of allergic conjunctivitis is made with a history of symptoms suggestive of eye allergies, an examination by a healthcare professional with findings consistent with conjunctivitis, and allergy testing showing seasonal or perennial allergies. A response to typical medications is helpful in the ultimate diagnosis of allergic eye disease, and failure to respond to medications may lead to a search for a different diagnosis.

Treatment:

Regular use of anti-allergy eye drops such as sodium chromoglycate, nedocromil, olopatidine and lodoxamide can help to treat mild seasonal disease.If avoidance of allergic triggers fails to prevent symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, some people notice mild benefit from cold compresses on the eyes, and eyewashes with tear substitutes. However, medications may be necessary to treat the symptoms. Medications for allergic conjunctivitis include oral anti-histamines and eye drops.

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Oral anti-histamines. Many people with allergic eye disease will receive benefit from oral anti-histamines, such as over-the-counter loratadine (Claritin®/Alavert®, generic forms), and prescription cetirizine (Zyrtec®), fexofenadine (Allegra® and generic forms) and desloratadine (Clarinex®). Older, first-generation anti-histamines (such as Benadryl®) are also helpful, but are generally considered too sedating for routine use.

Over-the-counter eye drops. Medicated eye drops are available in over-the-counter and prescription forms. Over-the-counter eye drops for allergic conjunctivitis are currently only available in decongestant (Visine®, Naphcon®, generic forms of naphazoline), and decongestant/anti-histamine combinations (Visine-A®, Naphcon-A®, generic forms of naphazoline/pheniramine).

Decongestant eye drops (with or without anti-histamines) should only be used for short periods of time, as overuse can lead to conjunctivitis medicamentosa (characterized as rebound eye redness/congestion and dependence on the eye drops). These eye drops should not be used by people with glaucoma, and used with caution by people with heart or blood pressure problems.

Ketotifen works by a dual action mechanism, with anti-histamine activity and prevention of the release of chemicals from mast cells. Unlike decongestant eye drops, ketotifen would not be expected to result in conjunctivitis medicamentosa with long-term use.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/allergies/allergicconditions_eye.shtml
http://allergies.about.com/od/eyeallergies/a/conjunc.htm
http://www.thirdeyehealth.com/eye-allergies.html
http://www.medinik.com/allergy/contact-lens-allergy
http://www.clivir.com/lessons/show/eyelid-eczema-swelling-pictures-causes-and-natural-treatment.html

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Smell Disorder

Introduction:
Our sense of smell & taste helps us enjoy life. We delight in the aromas of our favorite foods or the fragrance of flowers. Our sense of smell also is a warning system, alerting us to danger signals such as a gas leak, spoiled food, or a fire. Any loss in our sense of smell can have a negative effect on our quality of life. It also can be a sign of more serious health problems.

Roughly 1–2 percent of people in North America say that they have a smell disorder. Problems with smell increase as people get older, and they are more common in men than women. In one study, nearly one-quarter of men ages 60–69 had a smell disorder, while about 11 percent of women in that age range reported a problem.

Many people who have smell disorders also notice problems with their sense of taste.

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Other Names:
Loss of smell; Anosmia.

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How do we smell?
Our sense of smell—like our sense of taste—is part of our chemosensory system, or the chemical senses  or the chemosenses.Sensory cells in our nose, mouth, and throat have a role in helping us interpret smells, as well as taste flavors. Microscopic molecules released by the substances around us (foods, flowers, etc.) stimulate these sensory cells. Once the cells detect the molecules they send messages to our brains, where we identify the smell. Olfactory, or smell nerve cells, are stimulated by the odors around us–the fragrance of a gardenia or the smell of bread baking. These nerve cells are found in a small patch of tissue high inside the nose, and they connect directly to the brain. Our sense of smell is also influenced by something called the common chemical sense. This sense involves nerve endings in our eyes, nose, mouth, and throat, especially those on moist surfaces. Beyond smell and taste, these nerve endings help us sense the feelings stimulated by different substances, such as the eye-watering potency of an onion or the refreshing cool of peppermint. It’s a surprise to many people to learn that flavors are recognized mainly through the sense of smell. Along with texture, temperature, and the sensations from the common chemical sense, the perception of flavor comes from a combination of odors and taste. Without the olfactory cells, familiar flavors like coffee or oranges would be harder to distinguish....CLICK & SEE

Types of smell disorders:
People who experience smell disorders experience either a loss in their ability to smell or changes in the way they perceive odors. As for loss of the sense of smell, some people have hyposmia, which is when their ability to detect odor is reduced. Other people can’t detect odor at all, which is called anosmia. As for changes in the perception of odors, some people notice that familiar odors become distorted. Or, an odor that usually smells pleasant instead smells foul. Still other people may perceive a smell that isn’t present at all.You may click to see :Smell Dysfunction Glossary of Terms….
Sniff Test May Signal Disorders’ Early Stages ….

Symptoms:
Smell disorder  symptoms are : Reduced sense of smell, Anosmia, Olfactory dysfunction, Loss of smell, Lack of sense of smell in children, Paraosmia due to amebic meningitis or other types.

There are various symptoms related to “smell”. Having a particular smell or odor can be a serious symptom. There are various odor symptoms such as body odor, urine odor, stool odor, and other odor symptoms. The sense of smell can be subject to loss of smell, loss of taste, or other nose symptoms….


Considerations:

The loss of smell can occur as a result of nasal congestion or blockage of the nose and isn’t serious, but it can sometimes be a sign of a nervous system (neurological) condition.

Temporary loss of the sense of smell is common with colds and nasal allergies, such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis). It may occur after a viral illness.

Some loss of smell occurs with aging. In most cases, there is no obvious or immediate cause, and there is no treatment.

The sense of smell is often lost with disorders that prevent air from reaching the part of the nose where smell receptors are located (the cribriform plate, located high in the nose). These disorders may include nasal polyps, nasal septal deformities, and nasal tumors.

Other disorders that may cause a loss of the sense of smell include:

The sense of smell also enhances your ability to taste. Many people who lose their sense of smell also complain of a loss of the sense of taste. Most can still tell between salty, sweet, sour, and bitter tastes, which are sensed on the tongue. They may not be able to tell between other flavors. Some spices (such as pepper) may affect the nerves of the face and may be felt rather than smelled.

Causes:
Smell disorders have many causes, with some more obvious than others. Most people who develop a smell disorder have experienced a recent illness or injury. Common causes of smell disorders are:

*Disorders of the endocrine system
*Head trauma
*Nervous disorders
*Nutritional disorders
*Tumors of the head or brain
*Many medications may change or decrease the ability to detect odors.
*Sinus and other upper respiratory infections
*Polyps in the nasal cavities
*Frontal head injuries
*Hormonal disturbances
*Dental problems
*Exposure to certain chemicals, such as insecticides and solvents
*Numerous medications, including some common antibiotics and antihistamines
*Radiation associated with the treatment of head and neck cancers
*Aging
*Other health issues that affect the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease

In the year 2009, the FDA warned consumers to stop using several popular cold remedies because they could result in the loss of smell. Smoking also can interfere with our sense of smell.

Most people who develop a smell disorder have recently experienced an illness or an injury. Common triggers are upper respiratory infections and head injuries.  Some medicines have also been associated with smell disorders. People with head and neck cancers who receive radiation treatment are also among those who experience problems with their sense of smell.

Associated conditions
* Dysosmia
* Kallmann syndrome
* Zinc deficiency
* Cadmium Poisoning
* Holoprosencephaly
* Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis caused by Naegleria fowleri
* Refsum disease
* CHARGE syndrome
* Ageusia

Diagnosis:
Both smell and taste disorders are treated by an otolaryngologist, a doctor who specializes in diseases of the ear, nose, throat, head, and neck. Some tests are designed to measure the smallest amount of odor that patients can detect. Another common test consists of a booklet of sheets that contain tiny beads filled with specific odors.In fact, an easily administered “scratch and sniff” test allows a person to scratch pieces of paper treated to release different odors, sniff them, and try to identify each odor from a list of possibilities. In this way, doctors can easily determine whether patients have hyposmia, anosmia, or another kind of smell disorder.

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An accurate assessment of your smell disorder will include, among other things, a physical examination of your ears, nose, and throat; a review of your health history, such as exposure to toxic chemicals or trauma; and a smell test supervised by a health care professional.

Risk Factors:
Like all of our senses, our sense of smell plays an important part in our lives.When smell is impaired, some people change their eating habits. Some may eat too little and lose weight while others may eat too much and gain weight. Food becomes less enjoyable and people may use too much salt to improve the taste. This can be a problem for people with certain medical conditions, such high blood pressure or kidney disease. In severe cases, loss of smell can lead to depression.

The sense of smell often serves as a first warning signal, alerting us to the smoke of a fire or the odor of a natural gas leak and dangerous fumes. Perhaps more important is that our chemosenses are sometimes a signal of serious health problems. Obesity, diabetes, hypertension, malnutrition, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Korsakoff’s psychosis are all accompanied or signaled by chemosensory problems like smell disorders.

Presentation
Anosmia or smell disorder can have a number of detrimental effects. Patients with sudden onset anosmia may find food less appetizing, though congenital anosmics rarely complain about this. Loss of smell can also be dangerous because it hinders the detection of gas leaks, fire, and spoiled food. The common view of anosmia as trivial can make it more difficult for a patient to receive the same types of medical aid as someone who has lost other senses, such as hearing or sight.

Losing an established and sentimental smell memory (e.g. the smell of grass, of the grandparents’ attic, of a particular book, of loved ones, or of oneself) has been known to cause feelings of depression.

Loss of olfaction may lead to the loss of libido, though this usually does not apply to congenital anosmics.

Often people who have congenital anosmia report that they pretended to be able to smell as children because they thought that smelling was something that older/mature people could do, or did not understand the concept of smelling but did not want to appear different from others. When children get older, they often realize and report to their parents that they do not actually possess a sense of smell, often, to the surprise of their parents.

Zicam controversy
On June 16, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to Matrixx Initiatives, manufacturer of an over-the-counter nasal spray for the common cold, Zicam. The FDA cited complaints that the product caused anosmia. The manufacturer strongly denies these allegations, but has recalled the product and has stopped selling it.

Treatment:
Some people experience relief from smell disorders. Since certain medications can cause a problem, adjusting or changing that medicine may ease its effect on the sense of smell. Others recover their ability to smell when the illness causing their olfactory problem resolves. For patients with nasal obstructions such as polyps, surgery can remove the obstructions and restore airflow. Not infrequently, people enjoy a spontaneous recovery because olfactory neurons may regenerate following damage.

Home Care:
Treating the cause of the problem may correct loss of the sense of smell. Treatment can include:

*Antihistamines (if the condition is related to allergy)
*Changes in medication
*Surgery to correct blockages
*Treatment of other disorders
*Avoid using too many nasal decongestants, which can lead to recurring nasal congestion.

If you lose your sense of smell, you may have changes in taste. But, adding highly seasoned foods to your diet can help stimulate the taste sensations that you still have.

Improve your safety at home by using smoke detectors and electric appliances instead of gas ones. You may not be able to smell gas if there is a leak. Or, install equipment that detects the presence of gas fumes in the home.

There is no treatment for loss of smell due to aging.

If you have a loss of smell due to a recent viral upper respiratory infection, be patient. The sense of smell may return to normal without treatment.

Click to see:Herbs for Loss of Smell & Taste

Click to learn more about : Treatments for a Loss of Sense of Smell

Research:
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) supports basic and clinical investigations of smell and taste disorders at institutions across the nation. Some of these studies are conducted at chemosensory research centers, where scientists are making discoveries that help them understand our olfactory system and may lead to new treatments for smell disorders.

Some of the most recent research into our sense of smell is also the most exciting. In 2004, NIDCD grantee Linda B. Buck, Ph.D., together with Richard Axel, M.D., received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of a family of about 1,000 olfactory receptor genes that encode the receptors found on olfactory sensory neurons—one receptor per neuron. Recent studies on how olfactory sensory neurons recognize odors, aided by new technology, are revealing how our olfactory system detects and identifies the differences between the many chemical compounds that form odors.

Like our sense of taste, our sense of smell can be damaged by certain medicines. However, other medications, especially those prescribed for allergies, may improve the sense of smell. NIDCD-supported scientists are working to find out why this is so in an effort to develop drugs that can help restore a person’s sense of smell.

NIDCD-supported researchers have found that the loss of smell affects the choices an older person makes about eating certain foods. Food choices impact diet and overall health. They are looking at how and why this takes place in order to develop more effective ways to help older people—especially those with chronic illnesses—cope better with problems with smell and to maintain proper nutrition.

Olfactory sensory neurons—as well as sensory cells that help us taste—are the only sensory cells that our bodies regularly replace. Scientists are exploring why and how this happens in order that they might find ways to replace other damaged sensory and nerve cells.

NIDCD-supported chemosensory scientists are exploring how to:

*Promote the regeneration of sensory and nerve cells.
*Understand the effects of the environment (such as gasoline fumes, chemicals, and extremes of relative humidity and temperature) on smell and taste.
*Prevent the effects of aging on smell and taste.
*Prevent infectious agents and toxins from reaching the brain through the olfactory nerve.
*Develop new diagnostic tests for taste and smell disorders.
*Understand associations between chemosensory disorders and altered food intake in aging as well as in various chronic illnesses.
*Improve treatment methods and rehabilitation strategies.

MORE INFORMATION:-

Click For more information NIDCD Information Clearinghouse.

The NIDCD maintains a directory of organizations that can answer questions and provide printed or electronic information about hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language. This directory is available at www.nidcd.nih.gov/directory.

To find organizations with information specifically about smell disorders, click on Smell and Taste in the “Browse by Topic” list.

For more information, additional addresses and phone numbers, or a printed list of organizations, contact:

NIDCD Information Clearinghouse
1 Communication Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20892-3456
Toll-free Voice: (800) 241-1044 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (800) 241-1044      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Toll-free TTY: (800) 241-1055
Fax: (301) 770-8977
E-mail: nidcdinfo@nidcd.nih.gov
NIH Publication No. 09-3231
Updated July 2009

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
Resources:
http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/symptoms/smell-impaired/overview.html
http://www.righthealth.com/topic/Disorders_Smell/overview/healthocrates20?fdid=healthocrates_a1e23a7936222b32cbffcf28f010c155
http://www.medicinenet.com/smell_disorders/article.htm
http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/sym/smell_symptoms.htm#intro

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

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Roman Wormwood (Ambrosia artemesiifolia )

Botanical Name :Ambrosia artemesiifolia
Family : Compositae
Genus : Ambrosia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Species: A. artemisiifolia

Synonyms: Ambrosia absynthifolia (Michx., 1803), Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. subsp. diversifolia (Piper, 1837), Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. var. jamaicensis (Griseb. 1861), Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. var. octocornis (Kuntze, 1891), Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. var. quadricornis (Kuntze, 1891), Ambrosia artemisiifolia var. artemisiifolia, Ambrosia artemisiifolia var. elatior (Descourt., 1821), Ambrosia artemisiifolia var. elatior f. villosa (Fernald & Griscom, 1935), Ambrosia artemisiifolia var. paniculata (Michx.), Ambrosia diversifolia (Piper), Ambrosia elata (Salisbury, 1796), Ambrosia elatior L., Ambrosia elatior L. var. heterophylla (Muhlenburg ex Willedenow, 1913), Ambrosia glandulosa (Scheele, 1849), Ambrosia heterophylla (Muhlenburg ex Willdenow, 1803), Ambrosia longistylus (Nuttall, 1840), Ambrosia media (Rydberg, 1910), Ambrosia monophylla (Rydberg, 1922), Ambrosia paniculata (Michaux, 1803, Ambrosia simplicifolia (Raeuschel, 1797), Iva monophylla (Walter, 1788)

Common names
: ambroisie à feuille d’armoise (French-France), ambroisie annuelle (French-France), ambroisie élevée (French-France), ambrosia aux feuilles d’armoise (French-France), ambrosia con foglie di atremisia (Italian-Italy), ambrosia de hojas de ajenjo (Spanish), ambrozja bylicolistna (Poland), ambrozja bylicowata (Poland), annual ragweed (English), artemisia del pais (Spanish), Aufrechte Ambrosie (German-Germany), Aufrechtes Traubenkraut (German-Switzerland), bastard wormwood (English-United Kingdom), Beifußambrosie (German-Germany), Beifussblättriges Ambrosie (German-Germany), Beifussblättriges Traubenkraut (German-Germany), beiskambrosia (Norway), bitterweed (English), blackweed (English-Canada), bynke-ambrosie (Danish-Denmark), carrot-weed (English-Canada), common ragweed (English), hay-fever weed (English-Canada), hog-weed (English), Hohes Traubenkraut (German-Germany), kietine ambrozija (Lithuanian-Lithuania), low ragweed (English), malörstambrosia (Sweden), marunatuoksukki (Finland), parlagfu (Hungary), petite herbe à poux (French-Canada), pujulehine ambroosia (Estonia), ragweed (English), roman bitterweed (English-Canada), Roman wormwood (English), römischer Wermut (German-Germany), Shinners ragweed (English-South Korea), short ragweed (English), small ragweed (English), Stalin weed (English-Hungary), stammerweed (English-Canada), stickweed (English-Canada), vadkender (Hungary), vermellapu ambrozija (Latvian-Latvia), wild tansy (English-Canada)


Other Names :
Annual Ragweed, Bitterweed, Blackweed, Carrot Weed, Hay Fever Weed, Roman Wormwood, Stammerwort, Stickweed, Tassel Weed, Wild Tansy, and American Wormwood.

Habitat : N. America – British Columbia to Nova Scotia and Florida. it is invasive in some European countries and Japan, known as butakusa Locally established casual in Britain. Waste places in Western N. America. Found in dry soils, it can become a pernicious weed in cultivated soils.


Description:

Ambrosia artemisiifolia is a summer annual herbaceous plant that is erect, with many branches (AWCNI, undated) and can reach heights between 1-2 metres (NRW, 2007) with a grooved, reddish, hairy stem (Wittenberg, R. (ed.) 2005). The leaves are opposite, compound, and toothed (Wittenberg, R. (ed.) 2005) reaching lengths of 4-10cm long (VTWIG, undated). The tops of the leaves are green and hairy, with white hairs adpressed on the underside of the leaf (Wittenberg, R. (ed.) 2005). Male flowers are green, small, 4-5mm, with bractless flowers arranged in a terminal spike located in the upper portions of the plant (Wittenberg, R. (ed.) 2005), often drooping (AWCNI, undated). The female flowers are located in the axils of the upper leaves, sessile, and inconspicuous in either small clusters or singly (Wittenberg, R. (ed.) 2005). The fruit of the common ragweed is a woody achene, 3-4mm long and 1-2mm wide, with 4-7 spine-like projections, resembling a crown (VTWIG, undated). The leaves are bright green on both sides with whitish nerves. On older plants the lower leaves can be arranged opposite and the upper leaves can be alternately arranged on the stem (C. Bohren., pers.comm., 2007).

 

You may click to view the pictures

It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from August to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind. Common Ragweed emerges in the late spring and sets seed in later summer or fall.

Common ragweed is a very competitive weed and can produce yield losses in soybeans as high as 30%. Control with night tillage reduces emergence by around 45%. Small grains in rotation will also suppress common ragweed if they are overseeded with clover. Otherwise, the ragweed will grow and mature and produce seed in the small grain stubble. Several herbicides are effective against common ragweed, although resistant populations are known to exist

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. 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 :

We have very little information on this species but suggest growing it in a sunny position in a well-drained soil. It has been suggested for commercial cultivation. Some plants produce mainly sterile heads. The pollen from the flowers of this species is an important cause of hay-fever in N. America.

Propagation
Seed – we have no details for this species but suggest sowing the seed in situ in April.

Uses:
An essential oil of Ambrosia artemisiifolia acts as an antimicrobial, having antibacterial and antifungal compounds.

Edible Uses
Edible Uses: Oil.

An oil is obtained from the seed. It has been suggested for edible purposes because it contains little linolenic acid. The seed contains up to 19% oil, it has slightly better drying properties than soya bean oil.

Medicinal  Actions & Uses
Antidote; Astringent; Disinfectant; Emetic; Febrifuge; Women’s complaints.

The leaves are very astringent, emetic and febrifuge. They are applied externally to insect bites, rheumatic joints and various skin complaints, internally they are used as a tea in the treatment of fevers, pneumonia, nausea, intestinal cramps, diarrhoea and mucous discharges. Juice from the wilted leaves is disinfectant and is applied to infected toes. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of menstrual disorders and stroke. The pollen is harvested commercially and manufactured into pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment of allergies to the plant.

Known Hazards : The pollen of this plant is a major cause of hayfever in N. America. Ingesting or touching the plant can cause allergic reactions in some people.

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.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Ambrosia+artemesiifolia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambrosia_artemisiifolia
http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=1125&fr=1&sts=
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=AMAR2&photoID=amar2_1v.jpg

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News on Health & Science

Swimming Pools May Cause Allergies or Asthma

Swimming in a chlorinated pool may boost the odds that a child susceptible to asthma and allergies will develop these problems.

……………………..swimingpool
Chlorinated pools irritate the airways of swimmers, exerting a strong additive effect on the development of asthma and respiratory allergies such as hay fever and allergic rhinitis.

The impact of chlorinated pools on the respiratory health of children and adolescents appears to be much more important — at least by a factor of five — than that associated with secondhand smoke.

Resources:
MSNBC September 15, 2009
Pediatrics October 2009;124(4):1110-8

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Featured News on Health & Science

Regular Use of Indoor Swimming Pools May Cause Asthma to Children

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Children who regularly use indoor swimming pools may be more likely to develop asthma, scientists have warned.

They say the chlorine used in the pools can increase a youngster’s risk of asthma up to six-fold, while rates of hay fever and other types of allergic sniffles are also higher.

This is because the by-products of chlorination contaminate the air of indoor pools, irritating the airways and lungs and making them more vulnerable to allergens.

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Researchers from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium say the effect of chlorine on the respiratory systems of young people was up to five times more than the effect of secondhand smoke.

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Wheezy: More than 5million people are thought to be suffering from asthma in the UK.

But  asthma charities said the research was not conclusive enough to make them advise parents against indoor pools.

They said chlorine, added to kill germs, has saved hundreds of lives.

More than five million people are estimated to suffer from asthma in the UK.

The Belgian study, reported in the journal Pediatrics, compared the health of 733 teenagers between 13 and 18 who swam regularly in chlorinated pools with that of 114 who swam mostly in pools sanitised with a mix of copper and silver.
They found the highest proportion of asthma among the children who used the pools the most.

Toxicology professor Alfred Bernard, who led the research, said: ‘There is little doubt that pool chlorine is an important factor implicated in the epidemic of allergic diseases affecting the westernised world.

‘It is probably not by chance that countries with the highest prevalence of asthma and respiratory allergies are also those where swimming pools are the most popular.’

But Dr Elaine Vickers, of Asthma UK, said: ‘Asthma develops as a result of a complex mix of genetic and environmental factors, so more research is needed before we can make a conclusive link with the use of chemicals in swimming pools.

‘Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for children with asthma as it can help improve lung capacity and the warm, humid air of indoor pools is less likely to trigger asthma symptoms.

‘We would advise parents of children with asthma not to worry about letting their child go swimming, unless they develop asthma symptoms in the pool environment.’

Source: mail Online ; 16 Sept.’09

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