Herbs & Plants

Water Hyacinths

Water hyacinth-choked lakeshore at Ndere Islan...
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Botanical Name:Eichhornia crassipes
Family: Pontederiaceae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Commelinales
Genus: Eichhornia
Species: E. crassipes
Kingdom: Plantae
Habitat :Water courses.Still or slow moving fresh water. Moist and boggy areas. Native of Amazon basin.Brazil, South America.
Common Name: Common Water Hyacinth , water-hyacinth, floating water-hyacinth,Kachuripana
Bengali Name :Kachuripana

Description: Floating plants with thick, glossy leaves, inflated petioles and spikes of lavender flowers.

A frost-tender aquatic perennial that is winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-11 where it can be quite invasive. In St. Louis, it will generally not survive winter and is often grown as an annual. It is easily grown on still water in full sun. Needs hot summer weather and full sun to bloom. Scatter small bunches of plants on the water surface after last frost date. Plants spread quickly in optimum conditions by stolons that radiate outward from the mother plant. Remove excess plants as needed. Several plants may be lifted in fall before frost for overwintering in containers of wet, sandy loam in bright light at indoor temperatures of 60-70 degrees F. However, many St. Louis gardeners prefer to grow water hyacinth as an annual by simply repurchasing new plants each spring. to see the pictures..>.....(01)...(1).……..(2).……..…(3)..………...(4)..……

Plant Type: This is a non-native herbaceous plant, it is a perennial which can reach 50cm in height (20inches). Spreading vegetatively it forms large floating masses. The roots hang in the water and may stick in mud and thus appear to be rooted there.

Leaves: This plant has basal leaves only. Leaves can reach 15cm in length (6inches). Each leaf is generally rounded and entire. Many of the petioles have inflated bases that keep the plant extremely buoyant.

Flowers: The flowers have 6 Regular Parts. They are blue to lavander and purple. Blooms first appear in late spring and continue into late summer. The flowers are in spikes with about fifteen but up to thirty-five flowers.

Seed – Seeds can tolerate submersion or desiccation for 15 years and still germinate. Scarification, but not light, may be required for germination.

Invasion of Lake Victoria

The plant was introduced by Belgian colonists to Ruanda to beautify their holdings and then advanced by natural means to Lake Victoria where it was first sighted in 1988 There, without any natural enemies, it has become an ecological plague, suffocating the lake, diminishing the fish reservoir, and hurting the local economies. It impedes access to Kisumu and other harbors.

Noteworthy Characteristics:
Native to Brazil, water hyacinth is a free-floating, frost-tender aquatic perennial that is commonly used as an ornamental plant in water gardens. It produces rosettes of thick, leathery, ovate to rounded, glossy green leaves with inflated, bulbous leaf petioles that act as floats. Plants spread rapidly by stolons to form a dense mat of foliage (to 6” tall). Spikes of lilac to lavender flowers bloom atop erect stalks to 6-9” tall in summer. Each flowering spike typically has 8-15 flowers. One petal of each flower has a yellow spot at the base. Long greenish-purple roots dangle downward from the plants, providing shelter and spawning areas for many small fish. As an ornamental water garden plant, water hyacinth provides attractive flowers and dense foliage that inhibits growth of algae and helps keep water clear. The value of this plant is directly related to the climate in which it grows. In warm climates where it survives winter, water hyacinth is considered to be a noxious weed because of its ability to rapidly cover a pond or lake from shore to shore and to choke waterways. It has naturalized in the deep South in states such as Florida, Louisiana and Texas where expensive eradication programs have been implemented. It is included on the Federal List of Noxious Weeds. Several southern states have banned its sale. On the other hand, in areas where the plants are not winter hardy, they are being purposefully introduced into wastewater areas to clean up the water because they not only absorb many common pollutants but also absorb some toxic pesticides and heavy metals. Steyermark reports small populations in the Southeast lowlands area of Missouri.

No serious insect or disease problems. Invasive in mild winter climates.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Young leaves and petioles – cooked. Virtually tasteless. Said to be used as a carotene-rich table vegetable in Formosa. Javanese sometimes cook and eat the green parts and inflorescence. Flower spikes – cooked.

Chemical Compositions:
chemical composition of water hyacinth was studied. It contained 49.6% protein, 16.0% total lipids, 26.9% total carbohydrates, 1.7% fibre and 5.8% ash. Calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese and potassium were determined. Nutritional properties of the isolate are discussed in relation to its amino acid composition and to its in vitro digestibility by proteolytic enzymes. Comparison with the FAO/WHO reference pattern showed that all of the essential amino acids were present at high levels in the leaf protein isolate. The limiting amino acid in the isolate was methionine (i.e., methionine + cystine). In vitro digestibility was highest with digestion by pepsin followed by pancreatin and lowest with digestion by pepsin alone. Digestion with pancreatin alone gave intermediate values.{As per Journal of Plant Foods for Human Nutrition (Formerly Qualitas Plantarum) Issue Volume: 34, Number 1 / March, 1984 }
Madicinal Uses:
The antoxidative properties of water hyacinth leaves were investigated by evaluating the scavenging capacity of liquid extracts in a competitive protective process against oxygenated free radicals (OFRs) released via electrolysis in a phosphate buffer with a Pt electrode. Colorimetric measurements carried out at 515 nm, through a N,N-diethyl-1,4-phenylenediamine (DPD) assay, showed a decreased absorbance of the sample, as compared to the blank obtained by electrolysis of the buffer without plant extract, revealing, thereby, the presence of antioxidizing agents in the liquid extracts. The antioxidative activity was estimated in terms of equivalent-glutathione (EG, in nmoles equivalent-glutathione per gram of dry plant material selected (eg/gdp)), and compared to those of soya beans and garlic bulbs. The EG value increased with decreasing dilution factors, regardless to the plant type, suggesting a strong influence of the medium pH on the antioxidizing agent extraction yields. Various plant drying procedures, namely: sunlight exposure (at 25–30 °C), heating (40 and 60 °C) and freeze-drying (at –70 °C) were also examined. The highest EG (ca. 40 nmol eg/gdp) was observed for freeze-dried leave extract, while the lowest value was obtained upon heating at 60 °C (16–17 nmol eg/gdp), presumably due to a detrimental effect of increased temperature. The glutathione content in the plant extracts was further determined spectroscopically at 412 nm, through an enzymatic assay, using glutathione reductase. Small but interesting contents of glutathione (ca. 40 nmol eg/gdp) were found in the hyacinth leaves, making this plant to be regarded as an alternative and convenient low-cost raw material for antioxidizing agent recovery.


Other Uses
Biomass; Pollution.
Water hyacinths are potentially an excellent source of biomass. Through an anaerobic fermentation process, polluted hyacinths can be converted to the natural gas methane – a costly process that may become more economical as supplies of underground natural gas are depleted. Dried and cleansed plants can be used as fertilizer and plant mulch. Eventually, living aquatic plants might serve aboard long-distance manned spacecraft, absorbing wastes and converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, then being themselves converted into food. The plant can be cultivated for use in wastewater treatment, and can be incorporated into a system where the biomass is harvested for fuel production. Since this biomass is a by-product of wastewater treatment, it has a positive environmental impact, and thus poses no threat as competitor to food, feed, or fibre-producing plants. Wilted water hyacinth, mixed with earth, cow dung, and woodashes in the Chinese compost fashion, can yield useful compost in just two months. Although potential yields are incredible, so are the costs of removal or attempted eradication of this water weed. Standing crops have been estimated to produce 100-120 tonnes per hectare per year.. Under ideal conditions, each plant can produce 248 offspring in 90 days. Water hyacinth roots naturally absorb pollutants, including such toxic chemicals as lead, mercury, and strontium 90 (as well as some organic compounds believed to be carcinogenic) in concentrations 10,000 times that in the surrounding water. In Africa, fresh plants are used as cushions in canoes and to plug holes in charcoal sacks.
You may click to see:->WATER HYACINTH AND ITS USES

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



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Exercise is the Heart’s Fountain of Youth

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Older people who do endurance exercise training end up with metabolically younger hearts, according to a study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. By at least one metabolic measure, women benefit more than men from the training.

Researchers measured heart metabolism in sedentary older people both at rest and during administration of dobutamine, a drug that makes the heart race as if a person were exercising vigorously. At the start of the study, they found that the hearts of the study subjects didn’t increase their uptake of glucose in response to the dobutamine.

But after endurance exercise training involving walking, running or cycling exercises three to five days a week for about an hour per session, the participants’ hearts doubled their glucose uptake during high-energy demand, just as younger hearts do.

If heart muscle doesn’t take in glucose in response to increased energy needs, it goes into an energy-deprived state, which can raise the risk of heart attack. But if it can increase glucose uptake, the heart is better protected against heart attack and ischemia (low oxygen).
Science Daily July 24, 2008
American Journal of Physiology — Heart and Circulatory Physiology June 20, 2008

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Anti Drug Movement

Kids are Experimenting with Steroids and HGH

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Experts Fear Side Effects on Health

Doping in professional baseball has trained a spotlight on two hormones that many pro athletes use to get ahead of the competition — anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.


But the use of those drugs isn’t limited to the professionals athletes.

They also can be found in colleges, high schools and even middle schools. And it’s not just athletes who are using them.

Young people experimenting with the hormones — using one or “stacking” two or more at a time and usually at doses much higher than would ever be medically prescribed — are just flirting with disaster, adolescent physicians and sports specialists say.

Misuse of the drugs can lead to serious consequences, including heart problems, diabetes and personality changes.

Jay Hoffman knows well some of those side effects:
Now a professor of health and exercise science at the College of New Jersey, Hoffman used anabolic steroids in NFL training camps with the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Jets in the 1980s, a time when their use was legal.

He encountered what he called the “normal side effects”– hypertension, acne, fluid retention — but stopped using the drugs when he became overly aggressive after taking Anadrol, an oral steroid notorious for its potency.

“I decided that it just didn’t pay for me, every year to struggle to make a club and to use that,” said Hoffman, who now helps advise baseball’s Texas Rangers and other teams about steroid use. “I just didn’t like what was going on.”

Hoffman and others believe that pro athletes, such as Roger Clemens, have a responsibility as role models to younger athletes in terms of proper training techniques.
Clemens was the biggest name in a report headed by former Senate majority leader George Mitchell on the use of steroids and other performance-enhancement drugs in baseball. The FBI is investigating Clemens to determine whether he lied to a congressional panel when he denied taking steroids and HGH.

Anabolic steroids, also called anabolic-androgenic steroids, are synthetic versions of testosterone, a hormone that occurs naturally in the body. We need testosterone, which is produced the adrenal gland or testicles, and human growth hormone at different times to grow and develop normally. Anabolic means to “build up,” and androgenic refers to the development and maintenance of male sexual characteristics, such as deeper voice, body hair and muscle mass.

Young people feel the pressure:
Dr. Joe Congeni, sports medicine director at Akron Children’s Hospital, estimates that between 8 percent and 10 percent of high school athletes in our region use anabolic steroids, a number that has not changed much recently.

“I think there’s a lot of pressure on these kids to experiment,” said Congeni. “They don’t care about the future; they care about the now. That’s a natural trait of teenagers.”

A child who takes anabolic steroids before he or she is done growing faces a potentially irreversible side effect: closure of the growth plates, which are areas of cartilage that allow the bones to grow through adolescence. One progressive course of steroids is enough to permanently close the growth plates and stunt growth, according to Dr. Bernard Griesemer, a St. Louis expert on steroid use in young athletes.

HGH is produced by the pea-sized pituitary gland located at the base of the brain. HGH stimulates growth and cell production, causing increased height in childhood and maintenance of muscle and tissue throughout life.

HGH is often lumped together with steroids as a performance enhancer. While several studies have found that it reduces body fat and increases muscle mass, there is little evidence it increases strength or stamina.

Many athletes use HGH, to sculpt the muscles, in combination with anabolic steroids, which add strength. HGH also has become popular with nonathletes and recently has been tied to musicians, rappers and other celebrities.

And when celebrities are using it, the kids who want to look like them will usually try it too, said Griesemer.

“It’s becoming more common, because it’s now no longer just for the athlete population, it’s for the kids who want to look like they’ve just walked off the magazine cover,” said Griesemer, who was an anti-doping investigator for the 1998 Winter Olympics. “They’re using [HGH] for cosmetic purposes only.”

HGH is not addictive, but it can cause high cholesterol and problems with cardiovascular health and may increase the risk for diabetes, said Leona Cuttler, chief of pediatric endocrinology at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. Because HGH triggers an increase in cell production and growth, many doctors worry there is an increased cancer risk with its use.

The fight to control HGH
HGH is not a controlled substance like anabolic steroids. The federal government regulates the manufacture, distribution and use of drugs classified as controlled substances.

But many feel it is much too easy for people, including teenagers, to get their hands on HGH, and in December, Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, and Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, introduced legislation that would make HGH a controlled substance.

That move has frustrated endocrinologists who treat patients, primarily children, with a legitimate medical need for the hormone. Cuttler, who also is director of the Center for Child Health and Policy at UH, calls it a misguided effort that has “sort of lumped growth hormone and steroids as drugs that are abused by athletes without sorting out their medical needs.

“I think there is a momentum to do something and to avoid it being used by athletes, and avoid it being in the culture of young people and adolescents,” she said. “But I’m just not sure this is the right way to approach it.”

Griesemer disagrees.
“I don’t see the logic of their lack of support,” he said. “This stuff is not coming in by the package. It’s not coming in by the truckload. It’s coming into this country by the container-load. It’s a mess.”

Hoffman is concerned about teens using these black-market hormones without supervision simply because they see their idols doing it and think it must be safe.

“If you spend five minutes in a locker room, you realize these guys should not be role models,” he said. “I don’t think there’s enough research out there, and you’re running the risk of some serious, irreversible side effects.”

People often are confused about steroid abuse because there are several different kinds of steroid hormones that serve different purposes in the body. All are lipid soluble, meaning they dissolve in fats. They pass easily through the cell membrane and bind to a specific receptor in the cell.

Glucocorticoids: A type of steroid that includes prednisone, dexamethasone and hydrocortisone. Often prescribed to treat inflammatory conditions, such arthritis, pneumonia and asthma, or to prevent organ rejection. “This is often what people mean when they say their grandmother took steroids,” said Dr. Thomas Murphy, director of the Division of Endocrinology at MetroHealth Medical Center.

Anabolic-androgenic steroids: Includes testosterone and its synthetic equivalents. Used to replace testosterone in people with a deficiency. Any disease or damage to the testicles, pituitary gland or hypothalamus, as well as genetic abnormalities, chemotherapy, tumors, infection and glandular malformations can cause such a deficiency.

There is little data on the long-term consequences of anabolic steroid use or about what happens when they are used in very high levels, as is often reported by athletes and bodybuilders. At medical doses, common but reversible side effects include hair loss, acne, development of breast tissue in males, infertility and decreased testicular size, said Murphy.

More serious recognized side effects include hypertension and a small but significant effect on cholesterol levels that can increase chances of a heart attack or a stroke.

A child who takes a course of these steroids before he or she is done growing could permanently close the bone’s growth plates, irreversibly stunting growth.Lack of proof: Dr. Bernard Griesemer, an expert on steroid use in teens, often is frustrated by the argument that none of the side effects of steroid use has been proven.

“When people [use that argument] you have to point out that they’re never going to be able to prove this,” he said. “You’re not going to take a child and put him in a double-blind crossover study using a potentially lethal medication.

Click to read:->

Parental Supervision During High School May Curb College Drinking Problems, Study Shows

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Inhaling or “huffing” legal products — lethal results


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Ailmemts & Remedies


Amnesia is a term used to cover the partial or complete loss of memory. It is most often a temporary condition and covers only a part of a person’s experience, such as immediate memory. The causes of amnesia range from psychological trauma to brain damage caused by a blow to the head or conditions such as a brain tumour, a stroke or swelling of the brain. There are many definitions covering the different types of amnesia.

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There are several types of Amnesia, some of the main types are:
Anterograde amnesia: People who find it hard to remember ongoing events after suffering damage to the head. They do not tend to forget their childhood or who they are, but have trouble remembering day-to-day events.

Retrograde amnesia: People who find it hard to retrieve memories prior to an incident in which they suffer damage to the head. Sometimes people never remember the seconds leading up to the incident.

Korsakoff’s psychosis: Memory loss caused by alcohol abuse. The person’s short-term memory may be normal, but they will have severe problems recalling a simple story, lists of unrelated words, faces and complex patterns.

This tends to be a progressive disorder and is usually accompanied by neurological problems, such as uncoordinated movements and loss of feeling in the fingers and toes. If these symptoms occur, it may be too late to stop drinking.

Traumatic amnesia: This follows brain damage caused by a severe non-penetrative blow to the head, such as in a road accident. It can lead to anything from a loss of consciousness for a few seconds to coma.

Infantile/childhood amnesia: This refers to a person’s inability to recall events from early childhood. There are many theories on this, for example, Freud put it down to sexual repression. Others say it could be linked to language development or the fact that some areas of the brain linked to memory are not fully mature.

Hysterical amnesia (also known as fugue amnesia): This covers episodes of amnesia linked to psychological trauma. It is usually temporary and can be triggered by a traumatic event with which the mind finds it difficult to deal. Usually, the memory slowly or suddenly comes back a few days later, although memory of the trauma may remain incomplete.
The Most Comon Causes:
Amnesia is most commonly associated with either brain damage through injury or degeneration of brain cells in dementia. In both cases, brain cells are lost, and due to the complex network connecting cells within the human brain, they cannot be replaced. Most significant brain damage occurs when the brain is injured, such as in a car accident or as the result of a fall or blow. These traumas tend to cause a state of confusion, and some memory is often lost.

Infections that affect the brain, such as herpes or encephalitis may also cause memory loss. Severe alcohol or drug abuse, and malnutrition, act to deprive the brain of nutrients causing the death of brain cells. This can also cause significant loss of memories. Memory loss may sometimes result from stroke, if it affects the area of the brain concerned with memory functions.

Diagonises and Treatment:
The process of diagnosing the cause of amnesia involves conducting a series of tests. Anyone experiencing unexplained memory loss should consult their GP. If you suffer an accident that involves a blow to the brain, you should go to hospital immediately.

A mental health professional will want to take a careful personal history.

Causes of amnesia can include:

External trauma, such as a blow to the head
Internal trauma, such as stroke
Exposure to a toxic substances such as carbon monoxide
Inadequate diet
Brain tumors
There are no laboratory tests that are necessary to confirm amnesia nor are there any physical conditions that must be met. However, it is very important not to overlook a physical illness that might mimic or contribute to amnesia. If there is any doubt about a medical problem, the mental health professional should refer to a physician, who will perform a complete physical examination and request any necessary laboratory tests.

Very sophisticated psychological testing, called neuropsychological testing, can be very helpful in determining the presence of amnesia. Sometimes the diagnosis of amnesia can be aided by the use of brain scans such as the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Treatment varies according to the type of amnesia and the suspected cause.

Once brain cells die, they cannot be replaced. Depending on the cause of the amnesia, the brain may be able to recover many of its previous faculties, or may simply get worse. Those who have suffered brain loss as a result of an injury may see some improvement over time, as the brain attempts to heal itself. However, those whose amnesia is a symptom of a degenerative illness, such as Alzheimer’s disease, are unlikely to see an improvement.

Some forms of therapy have proven useful to amnesiacs in helping them to cope with their loss. Cognitive therapies in particular can help people regain skills that they have lost through amnesia.

Psychotherapy can be helpful for people whose amnesia is caused by emotional trauma. For instance, hypnosis may help some patients/clients recall forgotten memories.

Sometimes it is appropriate to administer a drug called Amytal (sodium amobarbital) to people suffering from amnesia. The medicine helps some people recall their lost memories. The use of hypnosis or Amytal has become controversial when it is used to help a patient recall repressed memories, especially repressed memories associated with sexual abuse. After recalling memories of abuse, some patients have filed suit against the alleged perpetrator of the sexual abuse. The validity of memories recalled under these treatment situations is being questioned and tested in the courts.

Hospitalization is usually not necessary to treat amnesia unless the person is at risk for harming himself/herself.

Ayurvedic & Herbal Remedy for Amnisia

Prognosis :
The course of the amnesia is variable depending upon the cause of the memory problem. By removing the toxic substance, for instance alcohol, the person’s memory will recover within hours. However, if the brain has been severely injured, it may take weeks, months, or years for recovery to occur. In some instances, the amnesia never goes away.

Therefore, the prognosis depends upon the extent of the brain trauma. If an ingested substance caused the memory loss and the body can rid itself of the offending substance without causing permanent brain injury, the prognosis is quite good. However, once the brain is damaged it may be very slow to heal, and therefore, the prognosis can be quite poor.

Anyone suffering from or having any symptoms of amnesia should seek immediate medical attention.

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.


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