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Friday, 7 October 2016

Pine Bonsai

Pines are a classic bonsai species in Japan and the world over, they are not however, easy trees to care for and style without experience. Pines have their own growth patterns that differ greatly from deciduous and common coniferous species; these growth patterns need to be understood before successful styling and pruning can be carried out.
As can be seen in the accompanying pictures; pines are not only used for bonsai in Japan, they are also very often seen cloud-pruned in Japanese gardens.
Pine foliage is in the form of needles that are most commonly formed in bundles of two's and five's. Some pine species have long and/or curved needles that make them difficult to style effectively as bonsai, however Pinus species that display short needles are nearly always suitable.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Pinus pinea shoot

You Would Have Never Guessed Right

1. Pines are evergreen coniferous trees that can be found throughout the world

2. Their needles are considered to be the so-shaped leaves.

3. They live long to the age of 100 years old or more.

4. There are about 100 or so species of pines worldwide.

5. Pines trees are valuable for their timber and wood pulp production.

6. Pine trees prefer much straight sun but require little water during their full grown stages.

7. Pine cones are produced for propagation of species.

8. Pine seeds from the cones are loved by such wildlife creatures as birds and squirrels which then spread seed leftovers throughout. This is how a new pine tree appears.

Moreover, pine trees look amazingly attractive in the winter landscape as their green or dark green needles contrast sharply with white and dull winter landscape. Many people like pine trees for their pleasant smell.

Friday, 30 September 2016

ChiLi Rocks

As well as being yummy, chillies boast many amazing health-enhancing benefits. To make the most of these properties, we don’t need to start chomping on raw chillies! Chilli powder and condiments can also work this magic in varying degrees.

Here are reasons why you might want to work some chillies into your diet: 

1. They help with weight loss. 

The heat from chilli peppers comes from the nutrient Capsicum, which can aid weight loss by boosting our metabolism.

2. They get you in a good mood. 

After stimulating the tongue's pain receptors, endorphins are released when you eat chillies. 

3. Your body thinks they're like sex. 

Your heart rate increases and you start to sweat - much like the way your body reacts during sex. 

4. Chillies boost circulation. 

They thin blood and improve cholesterol levels making them great for heart health.

5. They keep you relaxed. 

Chillies have pain-relieving properties, being anti-inflammatory and analgesic. A great relaxant, capsaicin blocks Substance P, a natural chemical involved in the transmission and perception of pain.

6. They're great for diabetics

Studies show chillies reduce the body’s need for insulin to lower blood sugar by a staggering 60%.

7. They fight infection. 

Pepper plants produce anti-fungal and anti-bacterial chemicals.

8. They're nature's own multi-vitamin. 

Chillies are packed with antioxidants, vitamins A, B and C, Iron, Potassium and Manganese. 

9. They're clear up congestion. 

The hotter the curry the runnier the nose! Capsaicin can be applied topically for pain relief in inflammatory conditions without the numbing usually associated with anesthetics. Keep those tissues handy!

10. They fight cancer. 

Cranberry Juice for UTI

There has always been some controversy regarding whether cranberry juice consumption actually reduced the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women or not.  Part of the hesitation was due to lack of sufficient statistical power to provide definitive results from randomized clinical trials in the past.  But now, a new study has compared the effects of consuming cranberry juice with that of a placebo beverage on the incidence of UTIs in healthy women with a recent history of a UTI.

The research design was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial involving 373 women (average age 41) at 18 research centers with a history of recent UTIs.  The women were randomly assigned to consume either a daily glass of cranberry juice or a placebo for 24 weeks.  There was a 98% compliance rate with 86% of the participants who completed the study.

Results of the study showed a 40% reduction of UTIs among women assigned to drinking cranberry juice compared to women assigned to drinking a placebo beverage.

Urinary tract infections are common and can be hard to treat due to rising rates of antibiotic resistance.  Around 60% of all women will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime.  Treating a UTI can be costly as they are responsible for around 10.5 million visits to the doctor’s office and emergency room visits in the U.S. and the costs associated with antibiotic therapy, visits to health care providers, lab testing and lost productivity.  It is estimated that 25-35% of women diagnosed with a UTI will have another recurrence within 6 months.

What makes cranberry juice so special in treating and preventing UTIs?  Studies have suggested that cranberry juice interferes with the attachment of bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract due to compounds found in cranberries called proanthocyadins.  Cranberry consumption also appears to produce anti-inflammatory effects by reducing the proposition of asymptomatic bacteria progressing into symptomatic UTIs.  The anti-inflammatory activity has the potential to prevent the development of symptoms and to reduce the severity of a UTI incident as well as preventing it from turning into a chronic infection.

The results of this study do suggest that cranberry juice consumption appears to be a wise choice for women to help prevent UTIs.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Benefits of eating an Apple.

Fall is primetime for apples as they come into all their glory with a range of variable flavors and hues of red to green. The familiar saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” appears to have quite a bit of truth in that statement.  Numerous research has shown many positive advantages to eating one of the most common and favorite fruit in the world.  From its origination in the Tien Shan mountains of Kazakhstan millions of years ago, apples are still enjoyed and are recognized as being an important part of a healthy diet.
Health benefits of apples
1.      Good source of fiber
 A medium sized apple provides 4 grams of fiber – leave the peel on as it contains the majority of fiber along with many antioxidants. The fiber composition includes soluble fiber (pectin) on the inside and insoluble fiber (cellulose) in the peel.  Soluble fiber helps remove cholesterol, and slows down glucose absorption. Insoluble fiber prevents constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticular disease.
 2.      Aids in weight control
 Apples are the perfect easy snack containing about 80 calories, no fat or cholesterol and the fiber content provides satiety preventing overeating.  A Brazilian study in Nutrition showed overweight women who ate apples lost more weight than women who did not eat fruit in their diet.  Eating an apple 15 minutes before a meal will result in a 15% calorie decrease.
 3.      Reduces asthma
 Pregnant women should eat apples as their children are much less likely to develop asthma by age 5 according to a comprehensive review.  Among all the foods studied, apples were the only fruit that had this protective association.
4.      Promotes gut health
Your intestinal tract loves when you eat apples.  The fiber pectin is perfect for increasing good bacteria and apples are packed with it.  Beneficial bacteria revel in feeding on pectin, allowing them to reproduce and flourish helping to keep the intestinal tract working like a charm.
 5.      Improves brain health and may reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
 Drinking apple juice may be one way to boost brain power and reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Research on mice showed when given apple juice each day, they performed better on cognitive tests.  It appeared apple juice was also linked to a lower production of beta-amyloid plaques within the mice.  Past studies in humans have shown drinking apple juice may prevent the decline of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.  Acetylcholine is necessary for transmitting messages to other nerve cells that are crucial for memory and brain health. When acetylcholine is increased in people with Alzheimer’s, mental decline is slowed down. 
6.      Improves cardiovascular health
A research review showed apples contain a rich source of polyphenols and fiber which have a positive effect on reducing inflammation associated with heart disease along with decreasing ischemic heart disease mortality and thrombotic stroke.  A daily consumption of apples can reduce damage from LDL cholesterol and may decrease the risk of dying from a heart attack. 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Pine Cone

Pine cones are used in a great variety of arts & crafts, including wreaths, holiday decorations, decorating décor, fire starters, bird feeders, and toys. I love walking into craft stores before Christmas because the cinnamon scented bags of cones drives me wild.

 A vortex of fertile forces dripping with sexuality.
The pine cone is a symbol of sexuality and fertility. The Romans associated the pine cone with Venus, the Goddess of Love. Celts gathered pine cones to use as fertility charms. A woman wanting to conceive would put them under her pillow. Dionysus (Bacchus) held a rod tipped with a pine cone that represented masculine generative forces. I find it ironic that the pine cones we see are symbols of masculine generative forces since it is the feminine version of the tree, called the seed cone. It produces pine seeds when it becomes fertilized. The male cone, called the pollen cone, are found at the ends of the lower branches. Their purpose is to release pollen and once done, they die. Pine pollen is the most potent source of testosterone from plants.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Pink Banana

(Musa velutina) Lovely, small banana plants produce the most stunning, glowing, brilliant pink banana you will ever see. They are edible, but very seedy. Plants have large leaves that grow up to 24" long and add a wonderful tropical effect to your yard or patio. This species is relatively hardy, taking a few degrees of frost fairly well. Ripe fruit will start to split open when ready to eat. Showy and fun to grow! Can be hard to germinate, but is then easy to grow.

Each cycle will take less than a year to complete from young shoot to bunch weighting between 15 and 70 kg, depending on the variety. Let us remind ourselves that bananas, just like pineapples, are parthenocarpic fruits which means that there is the growth of ovaries into fruits without previous fecundation and they therefore lack seeds (aspermous). So it is useless to toss a banana in a flower pot and hope it will become a plant, propagation is always done by propagation. Well, there ARE seeded bananas but those are ornamental species (Musa coccinea or Musa velutina) or wild ones, which would be only enjoyed by monkeys and insects.

Regarding the geographical birthplace of the plant, it is set in a large part of Southeast Asia comprising Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Burma. Botanically speaking the edible bananas (Musa paradisiaca) is an hybrid between Musa acuminata andMusa balbisiana, the triploid (three chromosome chains).

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Drinking too much Water

Corral, it may be tough to imagine drinking too much water. But it is possible, and it creates a condition known as water intoxication.

Don't laugh.

The condition causes headache, nausea, and vomiting. In more severe cases it may produce confusion, double vision, drowsiness, cramps, muscle weakness, and even seizures, brain damage, coma and death.

Quite simply, when you drink too much water, you can dilute the electrolytes in your blood – particularly sodium. And when sodium levels drop, fluids shift from the outside of your cells to the inside, causing them to swell. This condition is called hyponatremia.

When it's your brain cells that are doing the swelling, any number of the harmful symptoms listed above can kick in.

How can you possibly drink so much water your brain swells? It's been known to happen to soldiers, three of whom even died due to hyponatremia and cerebral edema after drinking 2.5 to 5.6 gallons of water in just a few hours.

Ironically, marathon runners – those athletes helping themselves to cups of water offered by well-meaning fans along their race routes – have also been known to quench a cup too far.  At the 2002 Boston Marathon, 13 percent of participants had hyponatremia symptoms, with 0.06 percent showing critical hyponatremia. At another marathon, an over-hydrated competitor developed hydrocephalus and brain stem herniation, resulting in his death.

In addition to soldiers and athletes, water intoxication has been known tooccur in schizophrenics. One study of 27 schizophrenics that had died young showed that five of them died due to water intoxication.

Water intoxication is not just about how much water you drink, but how quickly you have imbibed it. Your kidneys can only void about 27 to 33 ounces of liquid per hour. Out-pace that with your libations and you are courting hyponatremia. A case of water intoxication and prolonged hyponatremia occurred in a healthy, 22-year-old male prisoner after he drank 1.5 gallons of water in 3 hours.

So how much and how fast should you drink? Listen to your thirsts, and remember that your body is also extracting water from the solid foods you ingest. Pregnant women, of course, will need to drink for themselves and some extra for their unborn child.