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  • Dandelion.



    The same pesky weed known for ruining lawns (see photos) has a long history of being used as a healing herb in cultures around the globe. One cup of raw dandelion greens provides 535 percent of the RDA of vitamin K and 112 percent of the RDA for vitamin A. Dandelion greens are also a good source of vitamin C, calcium, iron, fiber and potassium. Among all foods, it’s one of the richest sources of vitamin A and one of the best sources of beta-carotene.
    Dandelion has been used for centuries to treat hepatitis, kidney and liver disorders such as kidney stones, jaundice and cirrhosis. It’s routinely prescribed as a natural treatment for hepatitis C, anemia and liver detoxification. As a natural diuretic (find others), dandelion supports the entire digestive system and increases urine output, helping flush toxins and excess salt from the kidneys. The naturally occurring potassium in dandelions helps prevent the loss of potassium that can occur with pharmaceutical diuretics.
    Dandelion promotes digestive health by stimulating bile production, resulting in a gentle laxative effect. Inulin (what’s that?) further aids digestion by feeding the healthy probiotic bacteria in the intestines; it also increases calcium absorption and has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels, therefore being useful in treating diabetes. Both the dandelion leaves and root are used to treat heartburn and indigestion. The pectin in dandelion relieves constipation and, in combination with vitamin C, reduces cholesterol. Dandelion is excellent for reducing edema, bloating and water retention; it can also help reduce high blood pressure. On top of all that, dandelion contains multiple antidiarrheal and antibacterial properties.
    In Chinese medicine, dandelion is used in combination with other herbs to treat hepatitis and upper respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The sap from the stem and root is a topical remedy for warts (find more natural remedies).
    How much: How much dandelion to incorporate into your diet boils down to availability and personal preference. Dandelion greens are considered a specialty item in some areas and therefore can be difficult to find. They also have a pungent taste, and people tend to love or hate the flavor.


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  • Living Root Bridges

    Three of those vine bridges remain in Iya Valley. While some (though apparently not all) of the bridges have been reinforced with wire and side rails, they are still harrowing to cross. More than 140 feet long, with planks set six to eight inches apart and a drop of four-and-a-half stories down to the water, they are not for acrophobes.

    Some people believe the existing vine bridges were first grown in the 12th century, which would make them some of the oldest known examples of living architecture in the world.



    (contributed by: Mohan Rao on 07.09.2011)

    Root Bridges of India 
    In the depths of north eastern India, in one of the wettest places on earth, bridges aren’t built — they’re grown.

    Grown from the roots of a rubber tree, the Khasis people of Cherapunjee use betel-tree trunks, sliced down the middle and hollowed out, to create “root-guidance systems.” When they reach the other side of the river, they’re allowed to take root in the soil. Given enough time a sturdy, living bridge is produced.
    The root bridges, some of which are over a hundred feet long, take ten to fifteen years to become fully functional, but they’re extraordinarily strong. Some can support the weight of 50 or more people at once.One of the most unique root structures of Cherrapunjee is known as the “Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge.” It consists of two bridges stacked one over the other!
    Because the bridges are alive and still growing, they actually gain strength over time, and some of the ancient root bridges used daily by the people of the villages around Cherrapunjee may be well over 500 years old.

    But these are not the only bridges built from growing plants. Japan too, has its own form of living bridges.
    These are The Vine Bridges of Iya Valley

    One of Japan’s three “hidden” valleys, West Iya is home to the kind of misty gorges, clear rivers, and thatched roofs one imagines in Japan
    of centuries ago. To get across the Iya River that runs through the rough valley terrain, bandits, warriors and refugees created a very special – if slightly unsteady – bridge made of vines.

    This is a picture from the 1880s of one of the original vine bridges.
    First, two Wisteria vines — one of the strongest vines known — were grown to extraordinary lengths from either side of the river. Once the vines had reached a sufficient length they were woven together with planking to create a pliable, durable and, most importantly, living piece of botanical engineering.

    The bridges had no sides, and a Japanese historical source relates that the original vine bridges were so unstable, those attempting to cross them for the first time would often freeze in place, unable to go any farther.


    (source : user amohanrao )


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  • Peanut in the ear.

    Peanut in the ear

    Sitting at home one night with his wife, a man is casually tossing peanuts into the air and catching them in his mouth. As the couple take in the latest episode of their favorite program, the man loses concentration for a split second, and a peanut goes into his ear. He tries to get it out, but succeeds only in forcing the thing in awfullydeep.

    After a few hours of fruitless rooting, the couple decide to go to the hospital, but on their way out of the front door they meet their daughter coming in with her boyfriend.

    The boyfriend takes control of the situation; he tells them he’s studying medicine and that they’re not to worry about a thing. He then sticks two fingers up the man’s nose and asks him to blow, and low and behold, the nut shoots from the ear and out across the room.

    As the daughter and her boyfriend go through to the kitchen to get drinks, the man and his wife sit down to discuss their luck. “So” the wife says, “what do you think he’ll become after he finishes school? A GP or a surgeon?”

    “Well says the man, rubbing his nose, “by the smell of his fingers, I think he’s likely to be our son-in-law.”

    (contributed by:Mohan Rao on 27.06.2011)


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  • Maa Bhagwati Temple, Kerala



    Bhagavathy (Bhagavathi) or Devi is considered as female aspect of the divine Shakthi, as conceived by the Shakta tradition of Hinduism. Shakthi is considered as the female counterpart without whom the male aspect remains impotent. Shakthi is the energy and Shakthi worship is a vital part of Hindu Tradition. Devi is the manifestation of supreme lord “Prakriti” where male aspect of the divine is considered as “Purusha”.

    Devi manifests herself as Creator (Durga or the Divine Mother), Preserver (Lakshmi, Parvathy and Saraswaty) and Destroyer (Mahishasura-Mardini, Kali). Devi is worshipped mostly in the form of divine mother. One of the important aspects of the Female divine is the various Shakti Peethas spread all across the country, where over 51 body parts of Devi Sathi, first wife of Lord Siva fell after being broken apart by the Sudarshana Chakra of Lord Vishnu.

    Another notable aspect is Mahavidyas, which denotes the supreme knowledge, revelations and manifestations, refer to a group of ten goddesses. They constitute an important aspect of Mahadevi theology, which emphasizes that the Devi has a tendency to manifest and display herself in a variety of forms and aspects. Ten Mahavidyas are: Kali, Tara, Chinnamasta, Bhuvanesvari, Bagla, Dhumavati, Kamla, Matangi, Sodasi, and Bhairavi. Devi is worshipped as Durga, Kaali, Lakshmi, Saraswathy, Rajarajeswari, Parvathy and many more. In kerala, we can see most of the devi temples are woshipped devi as Badra kali (kaali). Though she is eternal, the goddess becomes manifest over and over again to protect the world.

    [Source: http://www.thekeralatemples.com/temple_index_bhagavathy.htm]

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