Plants: their uses for human life
Humans have always used plant in one capacity or another. Plants are becoming known more and more for their vital usage in many arenas, including medicinal purposes.
Plants are thought of mostly as growing and thriving in pleasant, sunny atmospheres; but many plants also can be found in areas that do not seen likely in promoting growth. All that is required for growth of plant life is air, sunlight, and soil.
In Greenland, the Arctic poppy can be found, rising up out of massive layers of ice. Mountainsides are filled with large, colorful blooms, even when packed in heavy snow. On the other end of the temperate zone, many types of cacti are found in barren deserts that may go for many years with rainfall.
Humans are very dependent upon plant life; without it, all would perish. Plants provide fuel, food, clothing, and even shelter, either directly or indirectly. The dependence upon corn and wheat, major parts of life-giving nutrients, is not in doubt; but without grasses and grains that sustain livestock, which feed and clothe humans, they, too, would perish. USES FOR PLANTS:
The chief food plants in North America are cereal grains. The major types of grain crops include wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, and rye. Next are legumes, such as peas, beans, soybeans, and peanuts.
For centuries, people have used the herbs and spices derived from plants as seasonings for their food. Pepper and nutmeg are two examples of seasonings derived from dried fruit, while others such as sage and rosemary come from leaves. A common baking spice, cinnamon, is found in the stem of the plant.
Even beverages come from plant life. By steeping plants in hot water, coffee, tea, and cocoa are produced. Nature makes many other beverages naturally, such as fruit juices, cider, and milk.
Much of our clothing comes from the plants found in nature, such as cotton, the foremost fiber used to manufacture clothing. Synthetic fibers, too, such as rayon, are produced from plants; the cellulose required to manufacture the rayon is found in the cell walls of plants.
Papyrus, a grasslike plant, was used more than four thousand years ago in the first endeavor, by Egyptians, to make paper. It is from this plant that paper has derived its name.
The Chinese, around 100AD, invented a method of manufacturing paper that is still in use today. The fibers from the plant are placed in water, reduced to but a pulp. After the water has been sieved off, the remaining pulp is pressed, then allowed to dry to yield a very thin sheet of paper.
Almost any plant that is found to be high in cellulose is considered excellent for making the pulp which produces paper, the most common today being trees such as aspen and pine varieties.
In many parts of the world wood is used for creating proper shelter against the elements. Items found in the wooded structures we call home are also made with wood, a plant product. Furniture, for example, is made up mainly of wood and cloth, from the fibers of plants. Walls in homes may be decorated with wallpaper, and many paints are derived from plant extracts.
Green plants, which lived on the Earth very long ago, are the origin for the coal, oil, and gas that humans use for heating and cooking purposes. Compression and heat have converted these plants into fossil fuels. In Ireland, a common fuel is peat, which is formed by the same process as coal. The oldest form of fuel is wood, burned to create heat for warmth and for cooking.
In ancient cultures, medicine men used the extracts from plant life to soothe and relieve aches and pains. In the very beginnings of Botany, doctors in both Europe and America researched herbs in their quest to cure disease.
Many of the plants that were discovered by ancient civilizations are still in use today. The leaves of willows, which contain a compound very similar to aspirin, were chewed by Native Americans to relieve aches and pains. A major treatment in heart disease is digitalis, which is found in foxglove. The cinchona tree, found in South America, yields from its bark quinine, used to fight malaria.
Even today plants are being discovered that yield important and much needed medicines. The periwinkle plant was discovered to have vincristine, a medicine that is effectively used to fight leukemia in children. Many other plants have proven invaluable as sources of vitamins, an important part of growth and proper development.
As detailed above, plant life is a very vital part of human life; without plants, both land and sea dwelling, human life could not be sustained.
How to make your clothes last longer
Tips for making those expensive clothes last longer and getting your money's worth.
Clothes are expensive and it really gets you angry when your favorite shirt or pair of pants gets ruined. How long do your clothes last? You can make them last longer if you care for them properly and there are some great ways to make sure you'll have that favorite dress for a very long time.
When you do your wash, do you throw everything in the dryer? Even if you only tumble dry your clothes on a low heat setting, dryers strip away at your clothes over time, do you see that lint in the lint trap? That used to be part of your shirt! Drying clothes also causes them to shrink a little bit each time and all of those clothes that don't fit anymore aren't necessarily that way because of that extra piece of pie you ate at Thanksgiving. To make your clothes last longer, hang them out to air dry. This is especially good for jeans and sweaters though you can still throw things like towels, sheets, socks and t-shirts in the dryer.
Dry clean only clothes should be dry cleaned only. Sometimes we try to sneak a skirt or top into the wash thinking it won't do any harm when it often does. Materials like wool should never be washed, it can be the death of them. Take you clothes to a dry cleaner and make sure it is a good dry cleaner. Dry cleaning also removes dust mite allergens from your clothes. When you bring your dry cleaning home, don't forget to remove the plastic which can cause moisture to build up inside. If your clothing gets stained, don't forget to tell the dry cleaner what kind of stain it is, this can help them decide how to treat it.
Get a needle and thread and learn to sew. Sometimes when you loose a button, the shirt goes in the bottom of a drawer until you throw it out a few years later. It only takes a couple of minutes to sew a button back on and you can use that shirt for a few more years. Also, small rips in clothing can be stitched up very quickly to get some more life out them rather than throwing them in the Amvets bin.
Keep your clothes hanging loosely in the closet and don't jam them up against eachother. Heavy sweaters should never be hung on hangers that are not padded as this can put stretch marks on them from the hanger which will never come out.