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Griffonia simplicifolia

Botanical Name: Griffonia simplicifolia
Family: Fabaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Genus: Griffonia
Species: G. simplicifolia

Synonyms:
*Bandeiraea simplicifolia (DC.) Benth.
*Schotia simplicifolia Vahl ex DC.

Common Names: Griffonia

Habitat: Griffonia simplicifolia is native to West tropical Africa – Liberia to Nigeria, Gabon, Congo. It grows in Grass savannah; coastal plains on termite mounds; scrub thickets; climber in secondary and gallery forests.

Description:
Griffonia simplicifolia is an evergreen shrub or large climbing plant that is hard-wooded and with short strong woody tendrils commonly found in west tropical Africa specifically in Liberia to Nigeria, Gabon, and Congo. It grows about 3 m in height. The leaves of this species are used in the production of palm wine while the sap from the stems can be drunk to quench thirst. Medicinally, the pulped bark can be applied to syphilitic sores. Leaf decoction is used for cough and is an aphrodisiac. The leaf sap is drunk for kidney problems or used as eye drops for inflamed eyes. Leaf paste, on the other hand, is applied to burns. Stem and leaf decoction are used in the treatment of constipation and wounds. Stems and stem bark are made into paste and used for decaying teeth. Powdered root extract is used in the treatment of sickle cell anemia. The seed is a commercial source of a serotonin precursor 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) which increases the synthesis of serotonin in the central nervous system.

Cultivation:
Although many species within the family Fabaceae have a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria, this species is said to be devoid of such a relationship and therefore does not fix atmospheric nitrogen. It is a tropical plant. It grows in the grass savannah in West Africa.

Edible Uses:
The leaves are used in the production of palm wine, and give the wine a bitter taste. Sap that exudes from cut stems can be drunk to quench thirst. Use: The stems are baked and chewed.

Medicinal Uses:
Griffonia simplicifolia is a type of plant found in western parts of Africa. The seeds are used as a medicine because they contain a chemical called 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP).

Griffonia simplicifolia seeds are commonly used by mouth for depression, anxiety, weight loss, headaches, and insomnia. But there is limited scientific research to support these uses.

How does it work?
Griffonia simplicifolia contains the chemical 5-HTP. This chemical works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, pain, and mood. Since 5-HTP increases serotonin, Griffonia simplicifolia is used for some diseases where serotonin is believed to play an important role. These include depression, insomnia, obesity, and other conditions.

The pulped bark is applied to syphilitic sores. A leaf decoction is used as an emetic, cough medicine and aphrodisiac. The leaf sap and is drunk or applied as an enema to cure kidney problems. The leaf sap is used as eye drops to cure inflamed eyes. A paste made from the leaves is applied to burns. A decoction of stems and leaves is taken as a purgative to treat constipation and is used externally as an antiseptic wash to treat suppurating wounds. Chewing the stems is claimed to produce an aphrodisiac effect. Stems and stem bark are made into a paste that is applied to decaying teeth. The powdered twig bark, combined with lemon juice and Capsicum pepper, is applied to scarifications to treat intercostal pain. An extract from the powdered roots has been used to treat sickle cell anaemia. The seed is a commercial source of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), a serotonin precursor. In humans, 5-HTP increases the synthesis of serotonin in the central nervous system and has been shown to be effective in treating a wide variety of conditions, including depression, fibromyalgia, obesity, chronic headaches and insomnia. The leaves contain a volatile oil and coumarins. The cyanoglucoside lithospermoside (= griffonin) has been isolated from the roots; it is the active ingredient against sickle-cell anaemia. Isolectin B4, isolated from Griffonia simplicifolia, is used as a marker of small primary sensory neurons in neurological research.

Other Uses:
The leaves are put in chicken pens to kill lice. The roots are chewed and dried to produce a white powder that is used by women to powder their face. A black dye is obtained from the leaves. The stems are used to make baskets and cages. The stems are beaten into fibres that serve as chewing sponges, a popular means of tooth cleaning in Ghana. The stems and roots are used as chew-sticks to clean the teeth and maintain gum health and oral hygiene. The seeds contain the compound 5-HTP, which is poisonous to certain insects, i.e. bruchids (Callosobruchus maculatus). A number of lectins are found in the seeds. One of them is of the acetylglucosamine-group, which is commonly found in Poaceae and Solanaceae, but is rare in Fabaceae. Some lectins have insecticidal properties. The pods are made into toy whistles and spoons. The wood is hard and fairly tough. It can be bent and after crooking is used for making walking-sticks.

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/Griffonia_simplicifolia
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Griffonia+simplicifolia
https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1608/griffonia-simplicifolia

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Herbs & Plants

Gouania lupuloides

Botanical Name: Gouania lupuloides
Family: Rhamnaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Genus: Gouania
Species: G. lupuloides

Common Names: Chewstick, or Whiteroot

Habiitat: Gouania lupuloides is native to Central America – Panama to Mexico, and the Caribbean. It grows in dry, moist, or wet thickets or forest, most often in second-growth thickets, ascending from sea level to elevations of around 1,500 metres.

Description:
Gouania lupuloides is a climber plant, growing to 10 m (32ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a medium rate . The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Gouania lupuloides is plentiful around the edges of clearings but appears only occasionally in the forest canopy. G. lupuloides flowers from November to March, usually in the early dry season; the plant does not often flower in March and rarely flowers in the rainy season. G. lupuloides can fruit as early as January, and as late as May with a peak in March and April.

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The stems are bitter and aromatic and have been used as a substitute for hops in brewing beer. Also, it is often chewed to clean the teeth and harden the gums. In Yucatan, root decoction is used as a gargle for sores in the mouth and throat. Stem infusion is used for gonorrhea and dropsy

Cultivation: A tropical plant. The flowers are much frequented by bees.

Propagation : Through seeds.

Edible Uses:
The aromatic, bitter stems have been used as a substitute for hops in brewing beer. They are used to add flavour and body to a range of drinks including soda, ginger beer, root beer and root tonics. This is a very agreeable bitter. It is used as a substitute for hops in ginger beer, and cool drinks.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the root is used in Yucatan as a gargle for sores in the mouth and throat. An infusion (of the stem?) has been employed in the treatment of gonorrhoea and dropsy, and as a light grateful bitter, in cases of debility, to restore the tone of the stomach.

Other Uses:
The stems of this and other species probably contain saponin, and when they are chewed large quantities of lather are produced. The stems are often chewed to clean the teeth and harden the gums. A piece of a branch, about as thick as the little finger, is softened by chewing, and then rubbed against the teeth. In this manner a tooth-brush, and, with it, a powder are obtained, equal, if not superior, to any in use in Europe. When powdered, the stem forms an excellent dentifrice; its aromatic bitter producing a healthy state of the gums, and the mucilage it contains working up by the brush into a kind of soap-like froth.

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/Gouania_lupuloides
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gouania+lupuloides

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Herbs & Plants

Euodia ruticarpa

Botanical Name: Euodia ruticarpa
Family: Rutaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Tetradium
Species: T. ruticarpum

Synonyms:
*Tetradium ruticarpum
*Boymia rutaecarpa.

Common Name: Wu Zhu Yu

Habitat: Euodia ruticarpa is native to E. Asia – China to the Himalayas. It grows in the inner valleys of Sikkim, 2000 – 3000 metres.

Description:
Euodia ruticarpa is a deciduous tree growing to 10 m (32ft 10in). The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

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Cultivation:
Euodia ruticarpa is a moderately cold-hardy tree, able to tolerate temperatures down to around -15°c when fully dormant.
Species in this genus tend to be easy to grow, succeeding in mot well-drained soils if given a position in full sun or some light shade.
The plant grows rapidly and well when young, coming into flower early in its life.
A dioecious species – it produces separate male flowers and female flowers, and only one of those types is produced on any individual plant. Therefore both male and female-flowered forms of the plant usually need to be grown if fruit and seed are required

Propagation:
Seed – sow late winter in a greenhouse. Variable germination rates. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors.

Cuttings of half-ripe wood (preferably forced in a greenhouse), 5 – 8cm with a heel, early summer to August in a warm greenhouse. Fair to good percentage. Root cuttings in late winter

Medicinal Uses:
Euodia Ruticarpa has a marked warming effect on the body, helping to relieve headaches and a wide range of digestive problems. Euodia fruit is analgesic, anthelmintic, appetizer, astringent, carminative, decongestant, deobstruent, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic and uterotonic.

Euodia Ruticarpa is used in the treatment of gastritis, nausea, headaches, edema, beriberi and post-partum pains. The partially ripe Euodia fruit is gathered in late summer and can be dried for later use. The Wu Zhu Yu root bark is astringent and vermifuge. Extracts of the Euodia plant show antiviral, antitumor and anti-inflammatory activity. This species was ranked 14th in a Chinese survey of 250 potential antifertility plants.

CLICK & SEE >: Evodia Rutaecarpa to treat headache, epigastric pain :

Other Uses:
The fruit is an ingredient of commercial cosmetic preparations, whilst the plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental.

Known Hazards: Although commonly used medicinally in China and other countries, the plant should be used with care because it is mildly toxic and, in excess, can cause diarrhoea, dyspepsia and delirium.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetradium_ruticarpum
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Euodia+ruticarpa
http://temperate.theferns.info/plant/Tetradium+ruticarpum

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Herbs & Plants

Eremophila fraseri

Botanical Name: Eremophila fraseri
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Eremophila
Species: E. fraseri

Synonyms:
*Bondtia fraseri Kuntze orth.var.
*Bontia fraseri (F.Muell.) Kuntze
*Pholidia fraseri (F.Muell.) Wettst.

Common Names: Burra, Turpentine bush

Habitat: Eremophila fraseri is native to Native to Western Australia It grows in a wide range of habitats and different soil types. Subspecies parva occurs in scattered locations in the Meekatharra and Gascoyne regions in Western Australia where it grows in stony or sandy clay loam.

Description:
Eremophila fraseri is an erect shrub or small tree, usually growing to a height of between 1 and 4 m (3 and 10 ft). The branches, leaves, sepals and flower stalks are glabrous and thickly covered with resin making them very sticky and shiny. The leaves vary in size and shape, depending on subspecies, from lance-shaped to egg-shaped. They have a stalk mostly 12–22 mm (0.5–0.9 in) long and a leaf blade mostly 25–45 mm (1–2 in) long and 12–28 mm (0.5–1 in) wide.

The flowers are usually borne singly in leaf axils on a stalk, 15–35 mm (0.6–1 in) long. There are 5 reddish-purple sepals which differ from each other in size and shape. The largest sepal is 15–35 mm (0.6–1 in) long and is egg-shaped while the smallest ones are 10.5–24 mm (0.4–0.9 in) long and are narrow egg-shaped to lance-shaped. The petals are mostly 20–35 mm (0.8–1 in) long and are joined at their lower end to form a tube. The petal tube is brown and the petal lobes on its end are whitish to pale lilac often spotted brown or purple. The inside and outside of the petal tube are hairy, especially the inside of the tube and the petal lobes on the sides are bent back over the petal tube. The 4 stamens extend beyond the end of the petal tube. Flowering occurs from March to November and is followed by fruits which are dry, sticky, oval shaped with a pointed end and 9–13 mm (0.4–0.5 in) long.

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Cul;tivation:
Climate: warm temperate to subtropical. Humidity: arid to semi-arid. Prefers a well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. It is drought tolerant. It can withstand slight frost. Sandy or stony soils, alluvium. Colluvial & riverine flats, rocky hills. Carbon Farming Solutions – Cultivation: wild. Management: hay (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation)

Medicinal Uses:
Burra is used as a topical medication, the liquid derived from a preparation of the leaves is used for skin complaints. It is called Jilarnu in the Yindjibarndi and Ngarluma languages and it is collected from a place called Millstream.

Other Uses:
Carbon Farming Solutions – Industrial Crop: hydrocarbon resin (Crops grown for non-food uses. Industrial crops provide resources in three main categories: materials, chemicals, and energy. Traditional materials include lumber and thatch, paper and cardboard, and textiles.

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/Eremophila_fraseri
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Eremophila+fraseri

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Herbs & Plants

Dicentra eximia

Botanical Name: Dicentra eximia
Family: Papaveraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales
Genus: Dicentra
Species: D. eximia

Synonyms:
*Bicuculla eximia (Ker Gawl.) Millsp. Bikukulla eximia (Ker Gawl.) *Druce. Capnorchis eximia (Ker Gawl.) Planch. Capnorchis eximia

Common Namers: Dwarf bleeding heart, Turkey-corn

Habitat: Dicentra eximia is native to the Eastern North America – Appalachian Mountains. It grows in forest and mountain areas from New York to Georgia and Tennessee growing on forest floors, rocky woods and ledges on rocky soils in the Appalachian Mountains. Shade-loving.

Description:
Dicentra eximia is a beautiful perennial herb that grows up to 1 & 1/2 feet. The leaves are basal, lacy and fern-like on long petioles with toothed margins. The flowers give the plant its name – pink, hollow heart-shaped charms that dangle like lanterns on a strand. The outer two petal tips are spreading, with the inner petals fused at the tip and crested. The flowers are pollinated by Birds, Bees, Insects. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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This herb grows in moist thickets, forests and stream banks in western North America from British Columbia to central California, in central and north coast mountain ranges to the coast, and in some places in central north western North America.

Cultivation:
An herbaceous perennial growing well in semi-shade. USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 – 9. Soil pH: 5.5 – 7.0. Life Span: Long-Lived Perennial. Stand Persistence: Long. Form: Upright. Texture: Fine. Sun: Partial Shade, Shade. Soil Type: Loamy, Silty. Soil Moisture: Moderate. Minimum Root Depth: 6 inches (15cm). Root Type: Rhizome, Fibrous Shallow. Fungal Types: Endomycorrhizal. Seasonal Interest: Summer. Will tolerate full sun if given sufficient moisture. Requires rich well-drained soil. Flowering may stop in areas with very hot weather. Will not go dormant in midsummer like the Common Bleeding Heart as long as the soil is kept moist. Tolerant of proximity to black walnut trees. Fruit Type: Capsule. Flower Color: Pink, Red, White. Drought: Sensitive. Flood: Intolerant. Salt: Intolerant. Soil Compaction: Sensitive. Mowing: Intolerant. Cold Injury: Infrequent. Disease Issues: Minor. Insect/Pest Damage: Minor. Animal Damage: Deer, Rabbits. Growing Season: Cool. Bloom Time: Late Spring – Early Fall. Fruit Time: Fall – Winter [318-1]. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form – tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread [1-2]. The root pattern is rhizomatous with underground stems sending roots and shoots along their length [1-2]. The root pattern is fibrous dividing into a large number of fine roots.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts used: root & leaf, root is strongest

Medicinal actions: tonic alterative, analgesic

Preparation: fresh root tincture, dry root tincture or dry herb tincture; flower essence

Indications: Not a common herb to find in the western herbalists medicine chest, bleeding heart is a medicinal native that Michael Moore describes as a tonic herb for strengthening and healing some kinds of weakened people, and as an analgesic remedy for deeper nerve pain and imbalances.

Bleeding Heart has been used by Native people as a toothace remedy and can be combined with other nervines such as California Poppy, Pedicularis or Yarrow to create a well-rounded remedy for different types of nerve pain from surface to deep. The plant can also be poulticed and applied to sprains, bruises or wounds to address pain, and may be most effective when combined with topical application of the tincture beneath a hot towel.

The tincture internally can address nervous system issues like fibromyalgia and RSDS, and bleeding heart close upbleeding heart foliagebeyond physical pain it can be helpful with nervous fear & anxiety due to shock, grief or stress. it can aslo relieve a hypersensitive type of overall weakness, and has been used historically for building appetite, stimulating metabolism and bolstering the health, strength and vitality of a person who has been chronically weakened by illness or cold, dry anxiety. The flower essence can be useful in healing an aching, wounded or broken heart, or increasing powers of compassion for yourself or others.

Other Uses:
Groundcover: A medium density moderately good groundcover for shade and semi-shade. Colonizes very slowly through rhizomes. Wildlife Food: The nectar is sought by hummingbirds. Wildlife Habitat: Provides cover for small wildlife. Insectory: Attracts beneficial insects.. Good companion plants include; Jacobs Ladder and Wild Columbine. Cut Flowers. Ornamental: Ornamental foliage and flowers. The foliage is deeply cut and fern-like, and does not die back like the common bleeding heart. Flowers are shades of pink and white and heart shaped

Known Hazards : Fatal in large quantities. Symptoms include: trembling, staggering, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions and labored breathing. Skin irritation after repeated contact with the cell sap is mild and short-lasting.

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/Dicentra_eximia
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dicentra+eximia
http://209.204.164.110/herbsOfMonth/bleedingHeart.html