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Alnus nitida

Botanical Name: Alnus nitida
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Alnus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms : Clethropsis nitida.

Habitat :Alnus nitida is native to E. Asia – Himalayas. It grows by rivers and streams, 600 – 1200 metres, occasionally to 2700 metres.

Description:
Alnus nitida is a deciduous Tree growing 20 m or more tall. Young shoots pubescent, becoming glabrescent when old. Leaves ovate to elliptic-ovate, 5-15 cm x 3-9 cm, acute or acuminate, remotely serrate to sub-serrate, pubescent to pilose, often villous at the angles of the veins on the under surface, base cuneate to rounded; petiole 1-4 cm long, glabrous to pubescent. Male flowers in catkins, up to 19 cm long; peduncle 5-6.5 mm long; bract c. 1.2 mm long, more or less ovate, bracteoles smaller, suborbiculate. Tepals oblong-obovate to spathulate, c. l mm long, apex and margin minutely toothed. Anthers c. 1 mm long, filament slightly shorter than the tepals, scarcely forked. Female flowers in erect ‘woody cones’, 3-3.5 cm x c. 1.2 cm; bract broadly ovate, bracteoles suborbiculate. Styles 2, linear. Fruiting scale 5-lobed, 5-6 mm long, apex obliquely truncate. Nut 2.5-4 mm long, fringed by the narrow and more or less leathery wings.

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It is in flower in September. 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.It can fix Nitrogen.

Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry moist or wet soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a heavy soil and a damp situation. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates drier soils than most members of this genus. Succeeds in very infertile sites. Trees probably tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c and so will not succeed outdoors in the colder areas of the country. A very ornamental tree. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe and only just covered. Spring sown seed should also germinate successfully so long as it is not covered. The seed should germinate in the spring as the weather warms up. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. If growth is sufficient, it is possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in pots outdoors and plant them out in the spring. If you have sufficient quantity of seed, it can be sown thinly in an outdoor seed bed in the spring. The seedlings can either be planted out into their permanent positions in the autumn/winter, or they can be allowed to grow on in the seed bed for a further season before planting them. Cuttings of mature wood, taken as soon as the leaves fall in autumn, outdoors in sandy soil.

Medicinal Uses: A decoction of the bark is applied externally to treat swellings and body pains.

Other Uses: Tannin is obtained from the bark, it is used in dyeing. Wood – soft, even grained, hard to cut. Used for construction and furniture

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/Alder
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=242420274
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Alnus+nitida

 

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Walking Shoes:

Q: I bought a new sports shoe, even though it was a little tight. The salesperson told me that it would loosen with use. Now I have a pain in the second toe and the nail has become black in colour.

A: The shoe salesman reinforced a common misconception that a tight shoe will eventually become loose. By the time that occurs though, you may have corns and calluses on your feet. If the shoe is tight, there may not be enough space for the second toe. After wearing the shoe, press down with your finger and see. If the toe is jammed up against the front of the shoe, the nail may be damaged during exercise.

Always buy shoes in the evening as your feet are then slightly swollen from the day’s activity. The shoes should be comfortable the minute you try to walk.

Hepatitis attack

Q: I had jaundice last month. I am worried since my wife is pregnant. Do I need to take any precautions?

A: Jaundice is a generic term, which means that the yellow pigment (bilirubin) in your blood has increased and is probably being excreted in your urine, discolouring that too. From your letter I think you meant that you had infective viral hepatitis. This too is of several types A, B, E etc. Hepatitis E is dangerous for pregnant women while hepatitis B can be passed on to the baby. You can prevent hepatitis A and B with immunisation. Consult your physician and your wife’s obstetrician so that steps can be taken to safeguard her health and that of your baby.

In mom mode

Q: I delivered a baby three months ago and have not had my periods as yet. When can I expect to start menstruating again?

A: Menstruation can start one and a half months after delivery or be delayed for a year. Mothers who breastfeed their children tend to start menstruation later. However, ovulation can occur even without it. If you do not wish to become pregnant, use contraception regularly even if you are feeding the baby and have not yet had your periods.

Sugar swings

Q: I have diabetes and am on medication. Sometimes my blood sugar is very low and on other days it is very high. Is there a way to control this?

A: Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes and started medication, it is important that you make a few lifestyle changes. You should not abandon your prescribed diet. You need to avoid fasting even on auspicious days. The tablets will work provided your food intake is regular and according to the diet chart provided by your doctor. You need to exercise for 40 minutes a day to increase your body’s efficiency in reducing blood sugar.

Chew   tobacco?

Q: Is it safer to chew tobacco instead of smoking it?

A: The harmful chemicals in tobacco are released into the mouth when you chew it. In fact, the risk increases when tobacco combines with the acidic lime in paan. It causes cancer of the throat, mouth, esophagus and stomach. Tobacco in any form — chewed, smoked or as snuff — is harmful.

Source: The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Buerger’s Disease

Alternative Nane:Thromboangiitis obliterans

Definition:
Buerger’s disease is a rare disease of the arteries and veins in the arms and legs.In this disease, your blood vessels become inflamed, swell and can become blocked with blood clots (thrombi). This eventually damages or destroys skin tissues and may lead to infection and gangrene. Buerger’s disease usually first shows in the hands and feet and may eventually affect larger areas of your arms and legs.

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Buerger’s disease is rare in the United States, but is more common in the Middle East and Far East. Buerger’s disease usually affects men younger than 40 years of age, though it’s becoming more common in women.

Virtually everyone diagnosed with Buerger’s disease smokes cigarettes or uses other forms of tobacco, such as chewing tobacco. Quitting all forms of tobacco is the only way to stop Buerger’s disease. For those who don’t quit, amputation of all or part of a limb may be necess

Symptoms:
The following are the symptoms of Buerger’s:
•Intermittent leg pains
•Leg numbness
•Leg tingling
•Leg burning
•Leg paresthesias
•Foot pains
•Leg pain worse with exertion
•Foot pain worse with exertion
•Foot paresthesias
•Foot numbness
•Foot tingling
•Foot burning
•Cold feet
•Foot discoloration
•Poor leg circulation
•Poor hand circulation – in some less common cases
•Severe pain in extremities at rest
•Insomnia
•Sensation of cold at extremities
•Cold hypersensibility
•Sudden sweating
•Dyshidrosis
•Ulceration of extremities
•Gangrene of extremities
•Blood vessel inflammation
•Blood vessel thrombosis
•Rest pain
•Unremitting ischemic ulcerations
•Gangrene of the digits of hands and feet

The lack of sufficient blood flow to the hands and feet leads to the development of tissue ischemia and sores or lesions. This can eventually lead to the death (necrosis) of affected tissues and gangrene, which may require removal of the dead tissues or amputation in the most severe cases.

Buerger’s disease can mimic or occur in conjunction with a condition called Raynaud’s phenomenon. Symptoms of Raynaud’s phenomenon include a change in color of the affected fingers and toes. The fingers and toes may appear pale, grey or bluish (cyanosis). The hands and feet may feel very cold and there may also be pain, throbbing, burning or numbness….more about Buerger’s disease »

Causes:
The precise cause of Buerger’s disease is unknown.
It’s believed that in genetically susceptible individuals, smoking triggers an autoimmune response that causes the inflammation. The symptoms occur as a result of inadequate blood supply to the tissues.

Diagnosis:
Patient history and physical examination strongly suggest Buerger’s disease.
The condition is characterized by swelling in the arteries and veins of the arms and legs. The cells that cause the inflammation and swelling — and eventually blood clots — form in the vessels leading to your hands and feet and block the blood flow to those parts of your body.

Reduced blood flow means that the skin tissue in your hands and feet doesn’t get adequate oxygen and nutrients. This leads to the signs and symptoms of Buerger’s disease, beginning with pain and weakness in your fingers and toes and spreading to other parts of your arms and legs.

While no tests can confirm whether you have Buerger’s disease, your doctor will likely order tests to rule out other more common conditions or confirm suspicion of Buerger’s disease brought on by your signs and symptoms.

Tests may include:

Blood tests
Blood tests to look for certain substances can rule out other conditions that may cause similar signs and symptoms. For instance, blood tests can help rule out scleroderma, lupus, blood-clotting disorders and diabetes, along with other diseases and conditions.

The Allen’s test
Your doctor may perform a simple test called the Allen’s test to check blood flow through the arteries carrying blood to your hands. In the Allen’s test, you make a tight fist, which forces the blood out of your hand. Your doctor presses on the arteries at each side of your wrist to slow the flow of blood back into your hand, making your hand lose its normal color. Next, you open your hand and your doctor releases the pressure on one artery, then the other. How quickly the color returns to your hand may give a general indication about the health of your arteries. Slow blood flow into your hand may indicate a problem, such as Buerger’s disease.

Angiogram
An angiogram, also called an arteriogram, helps doctors see the condition of your arteries. A special dye is injected into an artery, after which you undergo

X-rays or other imaging tests. The dye helps to delineate any artery blockages that show up on the images. Your doctor may order angiograms of both your arms and your legs — even if you don’t have signs and symptoms of Buerger’s disease in all of your limbs. Buerger’s disease almost always affects more than one limb, so even though you may not have signs and symptoms in your other limbs, this test may detect early signs of vessel damage.

* Doppler ultrasonography to show diminished circulation in the peripheral vessels

* plethysmography to help detect decreased circulation in the peripheral vessels

Risk Factors:

Tobacco use
Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk of Buerger’s disease. Heavy cigarette smokers (people who smoke one and a half packs a day or more) are most likely to develop Buerger’s disease, though it can occur in people who use any form of tobacco, including cigars and chewing tobacco. People who smoke hand-rolled cigarettes using raw tobacco may have the greatest risk of Buerger’s disease.

It isn’t clear how tobacco use increases your risk of Buerger’s disease, but virtually everyone diagnosed with Buerger’s disease uses tobacco. It’s thought that chemicals in tobacco may irritate the lining of your blood vessels, causing them to swell. Rates of Buerger’s disease are highest in areas of the Middle

East and Far East where heavy smoking is most common.

Although secondhand smoke isn’t thought to be a major risk factor for Buerger’s disease, if you’re diagnosed, you should stay away from people who are

Smoking. Secondhand smoke could worsen your condition.

Chronic gum disease :Long-term infection of the gums is also associated with the development of Buerger’s disease.

Treatment:
The only effective treatment for Buerger’s disease is to quit smoking (smoking cessation) and to abstain from the use of all tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco. At this time, there are no medications that are effective in treating Buerger’s disease.

If an affected individual continues to smoke, they’re likely to have toes and/or fingers amputated. Infections should be treated promptly.

Smoking cessation is a challenging process and requires a multifaceted approach to be successful. For optimal results with smoking cessation, it is recommended that a smoker consults with a health care provider prior to quitting. Smoking cessation can include a combination of nicotine replacement therapy to minimize the nicotine cravings associated with nicotine withdrawal, and participation in a smoking cessation support group, such as Freedom From Smoking (http://www.ffsonline.org/ ) or Nicotine Anonymous (http://www.nicotine-anonymous.org).

Lifestyle & Home Remedies:
Take care of your fingers and toes if you have Buerger’s disease. Check the skin on your arms and legs daily for cuts and scrapes, keeping in mind that if you’ve lost feeling to a finger or toe you may not feel, for example, a cut when it happens. Keep your fingers and toes protected and avoid exposing them to cold.

Low blood flow to your extremities means your body can’t resist infection as easily. Small cuts and scrapes can easily turn into serious infections. Clean any cut with water, apply antibiotic ointment and cover it with a clean bandage. Keep an eye on any cuts or scrapes to make sure they’re healing. If they get worse or heal slowly, see your doctor promptly.

Visit your dentist regularly to keep your gums and teeth in good health and avoid gum disease, which in its chronic form is associated with Buerger’s disease.
Prognosis: The disease is progressive in patients who do not stop smoking. Areas with gangrene must be removed surgically.

Prevention:
Quit using tobacco in any form
Virtually everyone who has Buerger’s disease has used tobacco in some form, most prominently cigarettes. To prevent Buerger’s disease, it’s important to not use tobacco.

Quitting smoking can be hard. If you’re like most people who smoke, you’ve probably tried to quit in the past, but haven’t been successful. It’s never too late to try again. Talk to your doctor about strategies to help you quit.

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.wrongdiagnosis.com/b/buergers_disease/intro.htm
http://edition.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/buergers-disease/DS00807.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/buergers-disease/DS00807
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/buergher1.shtml

Buerger’s Disease

http://modernmedicalguide.com/buergers-disease/

http://indiahealthtour.com/treatments/vascular/buerger-disease-thromboangiitis-obliterans-treatment-india.html

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US Makes the World’s Deadliest Cigarettes

According to a recent study, U.S. made cigarettes tend to contain more cancer-causing chemicals than cigarette brands made elsewhere around the world....click & see
..CLICK & SEE
In particular, U.S. cigarettes have more TSNAs, or tobacco-specific nitrosamines, than foreign made cigarettes. TSNAs are the major cancer-causing substance in tobacco.

Paging Dr. Gupta reports:
“The cigarettes smoked by the study recruits represented some of the more popular brands for each country including: Players light and DuMaurier in Canada; Marlboro, Newport Light, Camel Light in the U.S.; Peter Jackson and Peter Stuyvesant in Australia; and Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut Purple in the United Kingdom.”


Resources:

*Paging Dr. Gupta June 1, 2010
*Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention June 2010, 19; 1389

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How Dangerous is Outdoor Second-Hand Smoke?

Indoor smoking bans have forced smokers at bars and restaurants onto outdoor patios, but a new study suggests that these outdoor smoking areas might be creating a new health hazard.

…………cigars4iz
The study, thought to be the first to assess levels of a nicotine byproduct known as cotinine in nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke outdoors, found levels up to 162 percent greater than in the control group.

Secondhand smoke contains several known carcinogens, and there may be no safe level of exposure.

Cigarettes are also “widely contaminated” with bacteria, including some known to cause disease in people, according to a new international study.

The research team describes the study as the first to show that cigarettes could be the direct source of exposure to a wide array of potentially pathogenic microbes among smokers and people exposed to secondhand smoke.

Bacteria of medical significance to humans were identified in all of the tested cigarettes and included:

•Acinetobacter (associated with lung and blood infections)
•Bacillus (some varieties associated with food-borne illnesses and anthrax)
•Burkholderia (some forms responsible for respiratory infections)
•Clostridium (associated with food-borne illnesses and lung infections)
•Klebsiella (associated with a variety of lung, blood and other infections)
•Pseudomonas aeruginosa (an organism that causes 10 percent of all hospital-acquired infections in the United States)

Click to see:->Passive smoking a ‘global threat’, WHO warns

Resources:
Science Blog November 18, 2009
Eurekalert November 19, 2009
Environmental Health Perspectives October 22, 2009
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene November 2009; 6(11):698-704

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