Saponaria officinalis

Botanical Name : Saponaria officinalis
Family:Caryophyllaceae
Genus: Saponaria
Species:S. officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Soaproot. Bouncing Bet. Latherwort. Fuller’s Herb. Bruisewort. Crow Soap. Sweet Betty. Wild Sweet William.

Common Names: common soapwort, bouncing-bet, crow soap, wild sweet William, and soapweed,

Habitat: Saponaria officinalis is native to  Central and Southern Europe. Grows well in English gardens. It grows in cool places at low or moderate elevations under hedgerows and along the shoulders of roadways.

Description:
Saponaria officinalis is a stout herbaceous perennial plant with a stem growing in the writer’s garden to 4 or 5 feet high. Leaves lanceolate, slightly elliptical, acute, smooth, 2 or 3 inches long and 1/3 inch wide. Large pink flowers, often double in paniculate fascicles; calyx cylindrical, slightly downy; five petals, unguiculate; top of petals linear, ten stamens, two styles; capsule oblong, one-celled, flowering from July till September and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Lepidoptera.It is noted for attracting wildlife. . No odour, with a bitter and slightly sweet taste, followed by a persistent pungency and a numbing sensation in the mouth.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade[200]. Prefers a neutral to alkaline soil[238]. Hardy to about -20°c[187]. A very ornamental plant[1], soapwort is often grown in the herb garden and is sometimes cultivated for the soap that can be obtained from the roots. There are some named forms, usually with double flowers, that have been selected for their ornamental value[187]. Plants can be very invasive when grown in good conditions[K]. Soapwort should not be grown next to a pond with amphibians or fish in it since if the plant trails into the water it can cause poisoning[238]. The flowers are slightly scented with a sweet aroma that has an undertone of clove[245]. Hybridizes with other members of this genus[200]. A good moth plant[13, 24].

Propagation:
Seed – best if given a short cold stratification. Sow autumn or late winter in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates within 4 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, it can be successfully done at any time in the growing season if the plants are kept moist until they are re-established. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts Used: Dried root and leaves.

Constituents:  Constituents of the root, Saponin, also extractive, resin, gum, woody fibre, mucilage, etc.

Soapwort root dried in commerce is found in pieces 10 and 12 inches long, 1/12 inch thick, cylindrical, longitudinally wrinkled, outside light brown, inside whitish with a thick bark. Contains number of small white crystals and a pale yellow wood.

Alterative;  Antipruritic;  Antirheumatic;  Antiscrophulatic;  Cholagogue;  Cytotoxic;  Depurative;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Purgative;
Skin;  Sternutatory;  Tonic.

Soapwort’s main medicinal use is as an expectorant. Its strongly irritant action within the gut is thought to stimulate the cough reflex and increase the production of a more fluid mucus within the respiratory passages[254]. The whole plant, but especially the root, is alterative, antiscrophulatic, cholagogue, depurative, diaphoretic, mildly diuretic, expectorant, purgative, sternutatory and tonic[4, 7, 9, 13, 21, 218]. A decoction of the whole plant can be applied externally to treat itchy skin[4, 201, 238]. The plant has proved of use in the treatment of jaundice and other visceral obstructions[4], but is rarely used internally in modern herbalism due to its irritant effect on the digestive system[238]. When taken in excess, it destroys red blood cells and causes paralysis of the vasomotor centre[238]. See also the notes above on toxicity[4, 7]. The root is harvested in the spring and can be dried for later use[7]. One of the saponins in this plant is proving of interest in the treatment of cancer, it is cytotoxic to the Walker Carcinoma in vitro[218]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Saponaria officinalis Soapwort. Bouncingbet for coughs/bronchitis (see [302] for critics of commission E).
Other Uses .

Other Uses:  Soap.

A soap can be obtained by boiling the whole plant (but especially the root) in water[6, 13]. It is a gentle effective cleaner[7, 95], used especially on delicate fabrics that can be harmed by modern synthetic soaps (it has been used to clean the Bayeaux tapestry). It effects a lustre in the fabric[171]. The best soap is obtained by infusing the plant in warm water[169]. The roots can be dried and stored for later use[169]. The plant is sometimes recommended as a hair shampoo, though it can cause eye irritations[238]. The plant spreads vigorously and can be used as a ground cover when planted about 1 metre apart each way.

Known Hazards:  The plant contains saponins. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm. They are also broken down by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish. Do not use for more than 2 weeks. Avoid during pregnancy.

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Saponaria+officinalis

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/soawor61.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Soapwort

Quillaja saponaria

Botanical Name : Quillaja saponaria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Fabales
Family: Quillajaceae
Genus:     Quillaja
Species: Q. saponaria

Synonyms: Soap Bark. Panama Bark. Cullay.

Common Names :Soap bark tree or Soapbark

Habitat: Quillaja saponaria IS native to Peru and Chile, and cultivated in Northern Hindustan.It has been introduced as an ornamental in California. Trees have been acclimatized in Spain but are rarely cultivated there. This tree occurs at altitudes to 2000 metres. The species is drought resistant, and tolerates about -12°C (10°F) in its natural habitat.

Description:
Quillaja saponaria is an evergreen tree  50 to 60 feet high. Leaves smooth, shiny, short-stalked, oval, and usually terminal white flowers, solitary, or three to five on a stalk. The tree has thick, dark bark, smooth, leathery, shiny, oval evergreen leaves 3–5 cm long, white flowers 15 mm diameter borne in dense corymbs, and a dry fruit with five follicles each containing 10-20 seeds. Bark thick, dark coloured, and very tough. In commerce it is found in large flat pieces 1/5 inch thick, outer surface brownish-white, with small patches of brownish cork attached, otherwise smooth; inner surface whitish and smooth, fracture splintery, chequered with pale-brown vast fibres, embedded with white tissue; it is inodorous, very acrid and astringent.
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Cultivation:  
Requires a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position. Plants are hardy to about -12°c in their natural range in South America but they usually require greenhouse protection in Britain. They can succeed outdoors in the milder areas of this country, often as small shrubs but making a tree in the very mildest areas. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts, so it is best to site the plant in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. This species is cultivated for the saponins in its bark in some warm temperate areas of the world.

Propagation:    
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in early summer and give some protection from the cold for at least their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of fully ripe wood of the current year’s growth, November in a frame

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used:  Dried inner bark.

Constituents: Its chief constituent is saponin, which is a mixture of two glucosides, guillaic acid and guillaia-sapotoxin. The latter is very poisonous and possesses marked foam-producing properties. Calcium oxalate is also present in the bark. The drug also contains cane-sugar and a non-toxic modification of guillaic acid. As the active principles of Soap Bark are the same as those of Senega, Quillaia has been suggested as a cheap substitute for Sarsaparilla.

Antiseborrheic;  Expectorant;  Skin;  Stimulant.

Soap bark tree has a long history of medicinal use with the Andean people who used it especially as a treatment for various chest problems. The saponin content of the bark helps to stimulate the production of a more fluid mucous in the airways, thus facilitating the removal of phlegm through coughing. The tree is useful for treating any condition featuring congested catarrh within the chest, but it should not be used for dry irritable coughs. The inner bark contains about 9% of complex saponins, known collectively as ‘quillajasaponin’. It also contains calcium oxalate and tannin. It has been used internally as a stimulating expectorant, though it can cause irritation and inflammation of the digestive tract and so is no longer considered safe. The internal use of this plant needs to be carefully overseen by a professional practitioner. Sap bark tree is used as a source of compounds for the pharmaceutical industry. It is still used externally as a cutaneous stimulant in the treatment of skin ulcers and eruptions, dandruff etc.

Other Uses:
The fresh or dried inner bark is a soap substitute. It contains about 9% saponins and is a very gentle and effective cleaner. It is used for cleaning textiles and the skin. It can also be used as a hair tonic. The saponins are also used in anti-dandruff shampoos and exfoliant cleansers. They are used as a foaming agent in fire extinguishers. The bark also contains considerable quantities of carbonate of lime.

Known Hazards:  The plant is toxic if taken internally, tending to dissolve the blood corpuscles. The bark, and possibly other parts of the plant, contains saponins. Although toxic, saponins are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm, they are also destroyed by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quillaja_saponaria

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Quillaja+saponaria

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/soaptr60.html

Galanthus nivalis

Botanical Name : Galanthus nivalis
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
Genus:     Galanthus
Species: G. nivalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade:     Angiosperms
Clade:     Monocots
Order:     Asparagales

Synonyms:  Fair Maid of February. Bulbous Violet.

Common Name: Snowdrop or Common snowdrop

Habitat :Galanthus nivalis native to a large area of Europe, from Spain in the west, eastwards to Ukraine. It is native to Albania, Armenia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine. It  is now widely grown in gardens, particularly in northern Europe, and is widely naturalised in woodlands in the regions where it is grown. It is considered naturalised in Great Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and parts of North America (Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Ontario, Massachusetts, Alabama, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Washington State, New York State, Michigan, Utah, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina).

Although often thought of as a British native wild flower, or to have been brought to the British Isles by the Romans, it is now thought that it was probably introduced much later, perhaps around the early sixteenth century.

Description:
Galanthus nivalis  are perennial, herbaceous plants which grow from bulbs. It grows to around 7–15 cm tall, flowering between January and April in the northern temperate zone (January–May in the wild). Each bulb generally produces two linear, or very narrowly lanceolate, greyish-green leaves and an erect, leafless scape (flowering stalk), which bears at the top a pair of bract-like spathe valves joined by a papery membrane. From between them emerges a solitary, pendulous, bell-shaped white flower, held on a slender pedicel.
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The flower consists of six tepals, also referred to as segments. The outer three are larger and more convex than the inner ones. The inner flower segments are usually marked on their outer surface with a green, or greenish-yellow, V or U-shaped mark (sometimes described as “bridge-shaped”) over the small “sinus” (notch) at the tip of each tepal. The inner surface has a faint green mark covering all or most of it. Occasionally plants are found with green markings on the outer surface of the outer tepals.

Galanthus nivalis herbs reach their blooming peak between January and April in northern, temperate climates. After that, their flowers mature into fruits which ripen as three-celled capsules enclosing whitish seeds that contain substances appreciated by ants (who are also the ones responsible for the seed distribution).

The six long, pointed anthers open by pores or short slits. The ovary is three-celled, ripening into a three-celled capsule. Each whitish seed has a small, fleshy tail (the elaiosome) containing substances attractive to ants which distribute the seeds. The leaves die back a few weeks after the flowers have faded.

Galanthus nivalis  is the best-known and most widespread of the 20 species in its genus, Galanthus. Snowdrops are among the first bulbs to bloom in spring and can form impressive carpets of white in areas where they are native or have been naturalised. They should not be confused with snowflakes (Leucojum and Acis.)

Medicinal Uses:
Galanthus nivalis content of galathamine is mostly responsible for its therapeutic action, very much appreciated in the treatment of traumatic injuries of the nervous system. It cannot cure Alzheimer disease, but it can at least prevent it or slow down its evolution. Being a strong inhibitor of cholinesterase, this alkaloid is also part of chemically-produced drugs used in anesthetics, but also in post-surgery treatment of myasthenia, myopathy, or atonia occuring either in the gastro-intestinal tract or in the bladder.

Since the alkaloid spectrum contained in Galanthus nivalis is considerably large, their medicinal effects also vary a lot: some of them are virostatic, or respiratory analeptics, while others are effective tumor-inhibitors. Galanthus nivalis homeopathic derivates are also emmenagogues, meaning that they stimulate the blood flow in the pelvic area, thus increasing the menstrual flow and possibly inducing abortion in early stages of the preganncy.

Lectin (or agglutinin) is currently being studied for its likely action against HIV (human immunodefficiency virus). Other medicinal uses of the plant have reportedly treated symptoms of polyneuropathy, neuritis, myelitis, thrombosis, thromboembolism, and spine injuries

Known Hazards:  This plant is no longer used as such in therapies, due to its relatively high levels of toxicity. Only chemically-extracted substances are used in standard medication, to avoid the occurence of adverse reactions such as digestive tissue irritation and stomach pain. Oral ingestion of parts of Galanthus nivalis reportedly leads to poisoning, manifested through diarrhea, colic, vomiting, and nausea.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/snowdr59.html

http://www.liveandfeel.com/articles/galanthus-nivalis-improves-memory-and-has-many-other-health-benefits-3335

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galanthus_nivalis

Polygala Senega

Botanical Name : Polygala Senega
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Fabales
Family: Polygalaceae
Genus:     Polygala
Species: P. senega

Synonyms:  Snake Root. Senegae Radix. Seneca. Seneka. Polygala Virginiana. Plantula Marilandica. Senega officinalis. Milkwort. Mountain Flax. Rattlesnake Root.

Common Names : Seneca snakeroot, senega snakeroot, senegaroot, rattlesnake root, and mountain flax

Habitat:Polygala Senega is native to North America.The plant grows on prairies and in woods and wet shoreline and riverbank habitat. It grows in thin, rocky, usually calcareous soils. It also occurs in disturbed habitat, such as roadsides.

Description:
Polygala Senega is a perennial herb with multiple stems up to 50 centimeters tall. The stems are usually unbranched, but some old plants can have branching stems. A mature plant can have up to 70 stems growing from a hard, woody rootstock that spreads horizontally. The lance-shaped leaves are alternately arranged. The lower leaves are reduced and scale-like. The inflorescence is a spike of rounded white or greenish flowers. The fruit is a capsule containing two hairy black seeds. The root is twisted and conical, with a scent somewhat like wintergreen and a very pungent taste. There are two root morphs; a northern morph growing in Canada and toward Minnesota has larger roots up to 15 centimeters long by 1.2 wide which are dark brown and sometimes purplish toward the top, and a southern morph found in the southeastern United States that has smaller, yellow-brown roots.
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Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Dried Root.

Constituents: The root contains polygalic acid, virgineic acid, pectic and tannic acids, yellow, bitter, colouring matter, cerin fixed oil, gum, albumen, woody fibre, salts, alumina, silica, magnesia and iron. The powder is yellowish-grey to light yellowishbrown.

The active root (pharmaceutically referred to as Senegae Radix) constituents are triterpinoid saponins (notably senegin). Also recorded are phenolic acids, polygalitol (a sorbitol derivative), methyl salicylate, and sterols.

Oil of Senega is bitter, rancid, and disagreeable, with the consistency of syrup and an acid reaction. It is not Seneca oil.

This plant had many uses among Native Americans. The Cherokee used it as an expectorant and a diuretic, and for inflammation, croup, and common cold. The Chippewa used preparations of the root to treat convulsions and bleeding wounds. The Cree chewed the root for sore throat and toothache. According to Canadian botanist Frère Marie-Victorin, the Seneca may have been inspired to use the tortuous root to treat snakebite by its resemblance to the tail of a rattlesnake.

The root was exported to Europe in the 1700s and was sold widely by pharmacists into the 1800s. It was marketed as a treatment for pneumonia. It is still in use as an herbal remedy. It is ground and made into patent medicines, mainly remedies for respiratory complaints. It is added to cough syrups, teas, lozenges, and gargles. It is toxic in large amounts, and overdose causes such symptoms as diarrhea and “violent vomiting”. The powdered root can be sternutatory (sneeze-inducing).

The root product is called Senegae Radix, Radix Senegae, or simply senega. Active compounds include saponins such as senegin, as well as phenolic acids, sorbitol derivatives, methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen), and sterols. The expectorant property comes from the irritation of mucous membranes by the
saponins, which causes an increase in respiratory secretions and a decrease in their viscosity, giving a productive cough.

Other Uses: It grows in gaeden as an ornamental plant.

Known Hazards:  The root is a severe and serious irritant when too much is consumed. It can cause nausea, dizziness, diarrhea and violent vomiting.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygala_senega

http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/science-and-innovation/science-publications-and-resources/resources/canadian-medicinal-crops/medicinal-crops/polygala-senega-l-seneca-snakeroot/?id=1301436228908

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/senega41.html

Cochlearia officinalis

Botanical Name : Cochlearia officinalis
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus:     Cochlearia
Species: C. officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Brassicales

Synonym: Spoonwort.

Common Name :Common Scurvygrass

Habitat: Cochlearia officinalis is native to  western, northern and central Europe, including Britain. It grows  abundant on the shores in Scotland, growing inland along some of its rivers and Highland mountains and not uncommon in stony, muddy and sandy soils in England and Ireland, also in the Arctic Circle, sea-coasts of Northern and Western Europe and to high elevations in the great European mountain chains.

Description:
Cochlearia officinalis is a Biennial/Perennial growing to 0.3 m (1 ft). It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by Bees, flies, and beetles. The plant is self-fertile. It is also noted for attracting wildlife.The upper leaves are sessile – lower ones stalked, deltoid orbicular or reniform entire or toothed angularly. Flowers all summer in white short racemes – pods nearly globular – prominent valves of the mid-rib when dry. It has an unpleasant smell and a bitter, warm, acrid taste, very pungent when fresh.
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The plant acquired its common name from the observation that it cured scurvy, and it was taken on board ships in dried bundles or distilled extracts. Its very bitter taste was usually disguised with herbs and spices; however, this didn’t prevent scurvygrass drinks and sandwiches becoming a popular fad in the UK until the middle of the nineteenth century, when citrus fruits became more readily available.

Medicinal Uses:
Constituents: Leaves abound in a pungent oil containing sulphur, of the butylic series.

Formerly the fresh herb was greatly used on sea-voyages as a preventative of scurvey. It is stimulating, aperient, diuretic, antiscorbutic. The essential oil is of benefit in paralytic and rheumatic cases; scurvy-grass ale was a popular tonic drink.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochlearia_officinalis

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/scurvy35.html

Scutellaria galericulata

Botanical Name :Scutellaria galericulata
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus:     Scutellaria
Species: S. galericulata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Lamiales

Synonyms:  Greater Scullcap. Helmet Flower. Hoodwort.
(French) Toque.

Common Names: Common skullcap, Marsh skullcap or Hooded skullcap,

Habitat :Scutellaria galericulata is  native to northern areas of the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, Asia, and much of North America.It grows on moist acid or calcareous soils on the edges of streams, in water meadows and fens, ascending to 360 metres in Britain.

Description:
Scutellaria galericulata is a hardy perennial herb. It is a member of the mint family. The form is upright and is usually 20 to 45 centimeters in height, sometimes reaching up to 80. It is a wetland-loving species and grows along fens and shorelines. The blue flowers are 1 to 2 centimeters long. The flowers are in pairs and are all on the same side of the stem. The flowers do not appear at the top of the stem.
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The plant is native to many parts of the world and, as such, is known by a variety of names. The Latin galericulata means “hooded”, relating to the length of the flower’s tube being much longer than the calyx. The variation epilobiifolia translates as leaves like willow-herb, and refers to the slightly serrated long thin leaves which look similar to those of the genus Epilobium.

The root-stock is perennial and creeping. The square stems, 6 to 18 inches high, are somewhat slender, either paniculately branched, or, in small specimens, nearly simple, with opposite downy leaves, oblong and tapering, heart-shaped at the base, 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, notched and shortly petioled.

The flowers are in pairs, each growing from the axils of the upper, leaf-like bracts, which are quite indistinguishable from the true leaves, and are all turned one way, the pedicels being very short. The corollas are bright blue, variegated with white inside, the tube long and curved, three or four times as long as the calyx, the lips short, the lower lip having three shallow lobes.

Soon after the corolla has fallen off, the upper lip of the calyx, which bulges outward about the middle, closes on the lower as if on a hinge, and gives it the appearance of a capsule with a lid. When the seed is ripe, the cup being dry, divides into two distinct parts, and the seeds, already detached from the receptacle, fall to the ground.

The plant is in flower from July to September. It is subglabrous, with the angles of the stem, the leaves and flowering calyx finely pubescent.

Cultivation:  
Succeeds in a sunny position in any ordinary garden soil that does not dry out during the growing season.

 Propagation :    
Seed – sow in situ outdoors in late spring. If there is only a small quantity of seed it is better to sow it in a pot in a cold frame in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the spring. Division in spring just before new growth begins. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer. Basal cuttings in early summer in a frame. Very easy. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiinflammatory;  Antispasmodic;  Astringent;  Febrifuge;  Nervine;  Tonic.

The herb is anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, slightly astringent, febrifuge, nervine and strongly tonic. In the home an infusion is sometimes used in the treatment of throat infections. The plant is harvested in the summer as it comes into flower and can be dried for later use. This plant is rarely if ever used in herbal medicine, though it is said to have the same applications as S. lateriflora. These applications are:- Skullcap was traditionally used in the treatment of a wide range of nervous conditions including epilepsy, insomnia, anxiety, delirium tremens, withdrawal from barbiturates and tranquillisers, and neuralgia. An infusion of the plant has been used to promote suppressed menstruation, it should not be given to pregnant women since it can induce a miscarriage. This plant should be used with some caution since in excess it causes giddiness, stupor, confusion and twitching.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/scullc34.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutellaria_galericulata

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Scutellaria+galericulata

Scopola carniolica

Botanical Name : Scopola carniolica
Family: Solanaceae
Genus:     Scopolia
Species: S. carniolica
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class:     Magnoliopsida
Order:     Solanales

Synonyms: Scopolia atropoides. Scopola. Belladonna Scopola. Japanese Belladonna.

Common Name: Henbane bell

Habitat:Scopolia carniolica is native to  Europe and Asia ( Bavaria, Austro-Hungary, South-western Russia.) It grows on wet soils in beech forests of southeastern Europe from lowlands to the mountainous zones.

Description:
Scopolia  carniolica is a little-known creeping, hardy perennial plant.It grows to 60 centimetres (24 in) in height, and has thin leaves, its fruit being a transversely dehiscent capsule. It has dark violet flowers on long hanging stems.

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The rhizome is horizontal, curved, almost cylindrical, and somewhat flattened vertically. It is usually found in pieces from 2 1/2 to 7 1/2 cm. long and 0.8 to 1.6 cm. broad, often split before drying. The upper surface is marked with closely-set, large, cup-shaped stem-scars, and the colour varies from yellowish-brown to dark, brownish-grey; the fracture is short and sharp, showing a yellowish-white bark, its corky layer dark brown, or pale brown, the central pith being rather horny. It has scarcely any odour, and the taste is sweetish at first, but afterwards bitter and strongly acrid. The Japanese rhizome is larger, with circular scars, not whitish when broken, and having a slightly mousy, narcotic odour, and practically no bitterness in taste.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Dried rhizome.
Constituents: The alkaloidal constituents are similar to those of Belladonna Root, hyoscine (scopolamine), however, predominating. Inactive scopolamine, also known as atroscine, is present, melting at 82 degrees C. (179.6 degrees F.) and yielding by hydrolysis tropic acid and scopoline. The result of an assay of many tons of the root of Atropa Belladonna and of the rhizome of Scopolia, each of the best qualities to be found in the American market, showed that while belladonna yielded on an average 0.50 per cent of alkaloid, Scopolia yielded 0.58 per cent.

Narcotic and mydriatic. The medicinal properties are very like those of belladonna, but the crude drug has been scarcely used at all in internal medicine. Much of the hyoscine of commerce has been obtained from it during the last decade.

Many of the older investigations into the effects of scopolamine are contradictory because of the failure to realize the quantitative difference between racemic and laevoscopolamine. The former, sometimes called atrocine, is very much less powerful in its effects upon the autonomic nerves, though its action upon the central nervous system is about equal.

Its most important use is as a cerebral sedative, especially in manias, hysteria, and drug habits, while in insomnias and epilepsy it increases the effects of other drugs, such as morphine and bromides. It is also useful to allay sexual excitement. In 1900 the use of a combination of morphine and scopolamine was introduced as a means of producing anaesthesia, under the name of ‘Twilight Sleep,’ either alone or as a preliminary to chloroform or ether, as its peculiar effect in large doses is to cause loss of memory, including that of pain. However, the anaesthesia has often been found to be unsatisfactory, while the mortality has been high.

Known Hazards:Scopola carniolica is a  poisonous plant.It is poisonous, because it contains abundant quantities of tropane alkaloids, particularly atropine. The quantity of atropine is the highest in the root.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scopolia_carniolica

http://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/scopolia-carniolica/671.html

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/scopol33.html

Convolvulus arvensis

Botanical Name :Convolvulus arvensis
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Convolvulus
Species: C. arvensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Synonyms : Cornbind. Ropebind. Withywind. Bearwind. Jack-run’-in’-the-Country. Devil’s Garters. Hedge Bells.

Common Names: Field bindweed

Habitat :Convolvulus arvensis is native to Europe and Asia.

Description:
Convolvulus arvensis is a climbing or creeping herbaceous perennial plant growing to 0.5–2 m high. The leaves are spirally arranged, linear to arrowhead-shaped, 2–5 cm long and alternate, with a 1–3 cm petiole. The flowers are trumpet-shaped, 1-2.5 cm diameter, white or pale pink, with five slightly darker pink radial stripes. Flowering occurs in the mid-summer, when white to pale pink, funnel-shaped flowers develop. Flowers are approximately 0.75-1 in. (1.9-2.5 cm) across and are subtended by small bracts. Fruit are light brown, rounded and 1/8 in. (0.3 cm) wide. Each fruit contains 2 seeds that are eaten by birds and can remain viable in the soil for decades.
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There are two varieties:

1. Convolvulus arvensis var. arvensis. Leaves broader.
2. Convolvulus arvensis var. linearifolius. Leaves narrower

Although  Convolvulus arvensis  produces attractive flowers, it is often unwelcome in gardens as a nuisance weed due to its rapid growth and choking of cultivated plants. It was most likely introduced into North America as a contaminant in crop seed as early as 1739, as an invasive species. Plants typically inhabit roadsides, grasslands and also along streams. Its dense mats invade agricultural fields and reduce crop yields; it is estimated that crop losses due to this plant in the United States exceeded US$377 million in the year 1998 alone.

Cultivation:        
Prefers a lighter basic soil of low to medium fertility. Bindweed is a very deep-rooting plant with a vigorous root system that extends to a considerable distance and is very hard to eradicate from the soil. Even a small piece of the root will grow into a new plant if it is left in the ground. Once established this plant soon becomes a pernicious weed. It is a climbing plant that supports itself by twining around any support it can find and can soon swamp and strangle other plants. The flowers close at night and also during rainy weather. Although visited by numerous insects, the flowers seldom set fertile seed. On sunny days the flowers diffuse a scent of heliotrope. The plant harbours tobacco mosaic virus of the Solanaceae and so should not be grown near potatoes, tomatoes and other members of that family.

Propagation: 
Seed – best sown in situ as soon as it is ripe, it germinates in the autumn[164]. This species can become a real pest in the garden so it is unwise to encourage it.

Edible Uses:  
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The plant has been used as a flavouring in a liqueur called ‘Noyeau’. No details are given as to which part of the plant is used.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used:  Root, root resin

Cholagogue;  Diuretic;  Laxative;  Purgative;  Stings;  Women’s complaints.

The root, and also a resin made from the root, is cholagogue, diuretic, laxative and strongly purgative. The dried root contains 4.9% resin. The juice of the root is used in the treatment of fevers. A tea made from the flowers is laxative and is also used in the treatment of fevers and wounds. A cold tea made from the leaves is laxative and is also used as a wash for spider bites or taken internally to reduce excessive menstrual flow.

Other Uses:  
Dye;  String.

The stem is used as a twine for tying up plants etc. It is fairly flexible and strong but not long-lasting. A green dye is obtained from the whole plant.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resourcesa:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/convol96.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convolvulus_arvensis

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Convolvulus+arvensis

Scabiosa columbaria

Botanical NameScabiosa columbaria
Family: Dipsacaceae
Genus: Scabiosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales

Synonym: Succisa pratensis.

Common Name :Pincushion flowers

Habitat :  Scabiosa columbaria is  native to Europe, including Britain, south and east from the Arctic circle to N. Africa, Siberia and W. Asia.. This herb is commonly found on roadsides and in vacant lots.

Description:
Scabiosa columbaria is a perennial flowering plant, growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.8 m (2ft 7in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
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Edible Uses: Leaves are eaten.

Medicinal Uses:
Not available

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scabiosa

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Scabiosa+columbaria

Pimpinella major

Botanical Name : Pimpinella major
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Pimpinella
Species: P. major
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms :Pimpinella magna

Common Names:Greater pimpernel,Saxifrage, Greater Burnet,greater burnet-saxifrage or hollowstem burnet saxifrage

Habitat : Pimpinella major is native to Europe. It grows along the edges of woods, in marshy meadows, and in other wet places.

Description:

Pimpinella major is a herbaceous perennial plant.It reaches on average 30–100 cm (10–40 in) in height. The stem is hollow, deeply grooved, mostly glabrous,the stem bears alternate, odd-pinnate leaves on long petioles dilated at the base. It is generally branched and leafy.The leaflets are ovate and coarsely toothed, the terminal leaflet more or less 3-lobed.
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The leaves are dark green, slightly glossy, ovate or oblong, short-stalked, feathery, more or less deeply cut, and usually pointed. Basal leaves have a petiole 20–60 cm (8–20 in) long.The inflorescence has a diameter of 50–60 mm (2.0–2.4 in). The flowers, usually hermaphrodite, range from white to glowing rose or soft-pink and are gathered in umbels with 11 to 16 stalks.The small, purple or bluish flowers grow in compound umbels from June to September. The fruits are ovoid, 2–3 mm (0.08–0.1 in) long.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction is good for a gargle of sore throat, colds, bronchitis, and inflammation of the larynx. Used as a remedy for scarlet fever, measles, and German measles. Digestive problems and flatulence responds nicely; the fresh root is used to relieve diarrhea. The tincture can be taken for heartburn.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pimpinella_major

http://medicinalherbinfo.org/herbs/Pimpernel.html

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/saxgre28.html