Connect with us

Health

How to Grow Sweet Alyssum

Published

on

[ad_1]

Flowers are more than just a pretty way to fill your garden. Apart from their aesthetic quality, they have the power to reduce stress and inspire creative thinking. You might even find yourself less anxious while admiring your garden.

Flowers are often given as gifts to friends and loved ones and many have natural scents when in bloom, providing you with a natural air freshener and room deodorizer. Some flowers, such as marigolds, are natural pest repellents for your garden.1 Others play an important role in the growth of more flowers, fruits and vegetables by attracting pollinators such as bees, butterflies and wasps.

A study published in Evolutionary Psychology from Rutgers University2 revealed flowers help to improve emotional health by improving feelings of life satisfaction and positive social behavior. Female participants in the study reported those positive feelings lasted for days.

In the same study, those who gave the flowers were perceived as happy, achieving and capable individuals who were more emotionally intelligent and appreciative of beauty and nature.3

In addition to brightening up a room, some flowers may also be used in tea or taken medicinally when used properly, such as rose, chamomile, evening primrose and pagoda flower.4 However, while Sweet Alyssum is beautiful in your landscape and may be tasty in your salad, it is not often used medicinally.5

History of Sweet Alyssum

Sweet Alyssum, (Lobularia maritima), also known as Sweet Alison, is indigenous to the Mediterranean region, including the Canary Islands and the Azores, growing along the coast in areas of full sun. A member of the mustard family, it is often added to salads in Spain for a vitamin C boost. Although some eat Sweet Alyssum, others may get a rash from handling it.6

The name alyssum is derived from the Greek language. Since the prefix “a-” negates the word following it and “lyssa” means rage, alyssa means “without rage.”7 Those who named the flower may have had rabies in mind as it was used in folk medicine to treat the condition. In the language of flowers, Sweet Alyssum means “worth beyond beauty” or “sweetness of soul.”8

Alyssum was found in gardens as far back as the 1500s and prized for their low forming growth and fragrant flowers. During the 1800s, the yellow variety enjoy popularity in the U.S. By the 1900s, the more fragrant white flowered variety grew in popularity and was recommended as a plant for attracting bees.9

Sweet Alyssum Is Best Known for White Flowers


The genus alyssum contains nearly 170 species of flowering plants in the Brassicaceae family. Most are annual or perennial herbaceous plants growing up to 100 cm (nearly 4 inches) high with yellow or white flowers. Although Sweet Alyssum is best known for the fragrant white-flowered type, the plant does come in a variety of other colors as shown in this short video, including:10

  • Easter Bonnet — This is an early blooming variety in lavender or white, blooming through the spring
  • Pastel Carpet — This is a blend of pink, lavender and cream colors, offering a subdued colorful variety to your garden
  • Snow Princess — This is a sterile hybrid with white flowers. It is extremely heat tolerant and noted for the characteristic of spreading and cascading
  • Blushing Princess — This has a fragrant flower and a lavender color, also heat tolerant growing up to 8 inches tall and spreading nearly 24 inches wide
  • Wonderland series — This type has a deep red color growing in a compact flat plant, excellent for edging as it only reaches up to 5 inches tall and spreads 24 inches across

Sweet Alyssum is a delicate carpet of tiny flowers with narrow lance-shaped leaves and flowers with tiny four-petal, cross shapes. Although an annual plant in many hardiness zones, those who live in areas with a mild winter may find they return easily as a perennial, or even bloom through the winter.

The plants easily self-seed, being carried by the wind through your yard. If you’re planning to change varieties the following summer you may be surprised by several volunteers sprinkled throughout your garden.11

Planting and Caring for Your Hardy Annual Sweet Alyssum Flower

Alyssum prefers a rich soil with a neutral pH. They’re easily started from seed and since they enjoy the cool weather, they can be sown directly into your garden several weeks before the last frost.12 Gardeners in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 7 through-1113 may have plants growing year-round.14

As long as it’s not a hard freeze, your seeds will germinate and grow outdoors. However, if you’d like a large impact on your garden, start the seeds indoors five to six weeks before your last expected frost date.

Sowing seeds is done simply by scattering them on the ground and pressing down so they make good contact with the soil and aren’t blown away. It is important the seeds are still exposed to light in order to germinate. Keep the soil moist until germination and then water whenever the soil feels dry. If you start indoors, don’t transplant outside until after the danger of frost is past.15

Although it is somewhat frost tolerant once established, tender transplants do not fare well. In northern climates where the summers are cooler, the plants will enjoy full sunlight. However, in warmer climates, as you move further south, the plants need protection from the hot afternoon sun. This will extend blooming a little longer into the season.16

It requires a significant amount of energy for the plants to produce so many flowers. Once the weather gets very hot, Alyssum will stop blooming. The more heat- and drought-resistant plants may bloom longer into the hot weather.

Deadheading the plants will help them continue to bloom. This can sometimes be tedious if you have a large bed. With a large drift, you can shear them by one-third, encouraging the plants to set new buds quickly.

When planted in the ground, you may not need to add fertilizer unless the soil is poor. Planted in a container, alyssum will need more frequent watering and monthly feedings with an organic fertilizer. Alyssum makes a carpet-like ground cover that spreads and can create a living mulch under taller plants. They work well to fill in nooks and crannies on walkways and walls or along edges.17

Traditional Uses of Sweet Alyssum

Today, Alyssum is added to salads for flavor. However, there is a long list of traditional uses, some of which are not in current practice as the condition it was used to treat responds more consistently to other treatments. Rabies is one such example. Before using Alyssum for any health condition, consult with a knowledgeable practitioner and use it in moderate amounts.

Individuals who are allergic should avoid it entirely. That said, young leaves, flowers and stems can add flavor to your salad and other dishes, and the plant is commonly used in Spain as an astringent in the treatment of gonorrhea, and as a diuretic.18 Alyssum has also been used to treat:19



Abdominal pain

Colds and coughs

Pain from cavities and bleeding gums

Edema

Ascites (fluid in the abdomen)

Scurvy

Sweet Alyssum Helps Get Rid of Pests Naturally

Sweet Alyssum attract pollinators and butterflies,20 and are generally pest free. Occasionally, aphids can create a problem, especially when the plants are under stress. These are tiny insects known to pierce the stems of tender shoots and suck out nutrient-rich sap. Although an infestation may start out slowly, aphids reproduce quickly and a colony can easily destroy your garden if left untreated.

For minor infestations it might be possible to physically remove the insects using a pair of gardening gloves and a brush or pinch them off the plant. If the infestation is contained on one or two stalks, it is wise to prune off the affected portion, drop it in a bucket of soapy water and dispose of the plant material.21

If you have more bugs, it might be possible to use water pressure with the simple application of a garden hose. Make sure your plants are well-established and older as the pressure may harm younger, more fragile plants. The basic nature of mild household detergents makes it perfect to get rid of a mild or moderate aphid infestation.

Dilute a few tablespoons of dish soap and a bucket of lukewarm water and use a spray bottle or sponge to apply it to the plants where the aphids have taken hold. The soap dissolves the waxy coating from the aphid’s body, which dehydrates the insect and eventually kills them without harming the plants.22

A cocktail of equal parts thyme, peppermint, clove and rosemary essential oils mixed in a small spray bottle of water is a potent insecticide against both the pest and their eggs and larvae.

Anytime you’re treating for aphids, whether you’re removing them manually using a garden hose or spraying on soapy water, make sure you treat the underside of the leaves where the eggs and larvae may be hiding.23

Planning Your Garden

Alyssum does well in borders or planted along a rock or stone wall. You may consider planting it to fill in gaps in your garden or as a living mulch around your trees. However, if these beautiful ground-covering flowers are part of a larger garden scheme, you may want to consider the following as companion plants:

Blue Fortune (Giant Hyssop) — This drought- and heat-tolerant plant is generally disease- and pest-free. It displays lavender blue spikes from midsummer to early fall and is deer tolerant and low maintenance. When crushed, the aromatic foliage has an anise scent and can be used to flavor cold drinks.24

Dahlia “David Howard” — These apricot orange flowers are set against dark purplish foliage. The flowers bloom massively from July until the first frost. They work well along borders and in containers and have a long vase life as cut flowers. Hardiness zones 3 through 7 may need to dig the Dahlia tubers in the fall before the first frost and store them over the winter to protect the plants.25

Sedum Herbstfreude (Autumn Joy) — This vigorous flowering plant lasts more than six months and will remain attractive through the winter months in warmer climates. It stands 2 feet tall and wide, topped with tiny, starlight raspberry pink flowers that change to rich rose and copper rust in the fall.

They are best grown in full sun, but tolerate light shade and are attractive to bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. The plants are low maintenance, deer- and drought-resistant and heat tolerant.26

There are multiple health benefits to gardening, including improved emotional and mental health, cardiovascular exercise, stress relief, improved hand strength and dexterity and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.27 If you want to give it a try, the following apps may make quick and easy work out of planning your garden space.

  • Gardenize — This app allows you to choose your plants, upload your photos and take notes on your garden plan and growth. It’s also a social platform where you can share your information with friends and ask questions of others.
  • Home Design 3D Outdoors — The free version allows you to make your plans but not save the information. Using an intuitive interface, the app shows your plan in 3D and allows you to edit your dimensions and add plants and lawn furniture.
  • Small Garden Ideas — This app helps you organize a small garden space, including an indoor garden or patio garden. Also included are ideas for vertical gardens, winter gardens and information on how to maintain your flowers and plants.

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Health

Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high

Published

on

By

(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

Continue Reading

Health

Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

Published

on

By

(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

Continue Reading

Health

Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states

Published

on

By

In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending