Ligusticum sinense

 

 
Botanical Name : Ligusticum sinense
Family: Apiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Tribe: Selineae

Common Names : Chuang Xiong , Chinese lovage

Habitat :Ligusticum sinense is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. Forests, grassy slopes or stream sides at elevations of 500 – 2700 metres.

Description:
Ligusticum sinense is a perennial herb, growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

USDA hardiness zone : 5-9

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CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

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.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in a sunny position[1, 200]. Tolerates moister conditions than many other members of the genus[238]. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c.

Propagation :
The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in the autumn. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a greenhouse or cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer if they have grown large enough. Otherwise, keep them in a cold frame for the first winter and plant them out in early summer. Division in spring.

Medicinal Uses:
Ligusticum is a Chinese herb that promotes circulation and regulates energy. Good for post-natal abdominal pain, painful abscesses, and headaches due to colds. The ligusticum roots and fruit are aromatic and stimulant, and have diuretic and carminative action. In herbal medicine ligusticum is used for disorders of the stomach and feverish attacks, especially for cases of colic and flatulence in children, its qualities being similar to those of Angelica in expelling flatulence, exciting perspiration and opening obstructions. The infusion of dried leaf is used as a good emmenagogue. Internally the dried rhizome and root are also used for menstrual problems, postpartum bleeding, coronary heart disease and headaches (those caused by concussion). The root is soaked in alcohol for 2 weeks and then used in the treatment of gout.

The root is anodyne, antibacterial, antifungal, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, hypotensive and sedative. It is taken internally in the treatment of menstrual disorders, post-partum bleeding, coronary heart disease, poor circulation, headaches etc. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

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/Ligusticum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ligusticum+sinense
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Pedicularis palustris

 
Botanical Name : Pedicularis palustris
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Pedicularis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Tribes: Pedicularideae
Species: Pedicularis palustris

Common Names: Lousewort, Marsh, English name: Red Rattle and U.S. name: Red Rattle, Name also: European Purple Lousewort (USA)

Vernacular names:
English: Marsh Lousewort ceština: Všivec bahenní dansk: Eng-Troldurt Deutsch: Sumpf-Läusekraut español: Gallaritos eesti: Soo-kuuskjalg suomi: Luhtakuusio français: Pediculaire des marais, Tartarie rouge hornjoserbsce: Wulka wšowica italiano: Pediculare lietuviu: Pelkine glinde Nederlands: Moeraskartelblad, Moeras-Kartelblad norsk bokmål: Myrklegg polski: Gnidosz blotny slovenšcina: mocvirski ušivec svenska: Kärrspira

Habitat : Marsh lousewort is common in Finland, but rarely abundant. It grows on seashore and flood-influenced meadows, lake shores, riversides, moist meadows, boggy margins, rich swamps.

Description:
Pedicularis palustris grows as biennial herb. Taproot strong, straight. Hemiparasite. It grows to a height of 15–40(–80) cm (6–16(–32) in.). Stem almost glabrous, often brownish red, usually branched, branches often flowering.

Flower: Corolla zygomorphic, red, sometimes yellowish white, 15–22 mm (0.6–0.88 in.) long, fused, bilabiate, with long tube. Upper lip flat-sided, tip sharply convex; lower lip 3-lobed, central lobe smaller than lateral lobes, round. Calyx bowl-shaped, bilabiate, unclearly 5-lobed. Stamens 4. Gynoecium fused, single-styled. Inflorescence a long terminal spike, lax in the lower part.

Leaves: Alternate; with basal rosette. Rosette leaves long-stalked, blade triangular, 2 times pinnately lobed. Stem leaves short-stalked, blade ovate–linear, pinnately lobed, lobes toothed or lobed.

Fruit: Quite elliptic, with tapered tip, brown, capsule opening from one side.

Flowering time: June–August.

Its reddish brown, decorative shoots and red flowers stand out from a distance. Only the most powerful insects, such as bumble and honey bees, are able to get at its nectar. Bumble bees land on the corolla’s lower labellum, push their way inside and push the upper labellum forcefully in order to get at the nectar. In doing so the insect reveals its stamens and pollinates the plant while it loads up on nectar.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES : 

Marsh lousewort is a hemiparasite, meaning that it sucks extra nutrition from its neighbour’s roots. The plant’s stem goes woody and stands up all through the winter. Marsh lousewort is divided in Finland into three subspecies, which can be differentiated from each other on the basis of the area they grow in and their flowering time. Ssp. palustris in quite low, abundantly branched, flowers in June, is large-flowered (18–22 mm, 0.72–0.88 in.), and grows in southern and central Finland; ssp. borealis grows in northern and northern parts of central Finland, is branchless, has a slightly smaller flower (approx. 15 mm, 0.6 in.) and it flowers in July; ssp. opsiantha is abundantly branched and quite tall, and its flowers are small (14–17 mm, 0.56–0.68 in.).

Medicinal Uses:
Lousewort is poisonous and a powerful insecticide. Formerly, an infusion of the plant was made to destroy lice and other insect parasites. The plant is now rarely used.
Known Hazards: Lousewort is poisonous.
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/Pedicularis
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Pedicularis_palustris
http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/kukkakasvit/marsh-lousewort
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Zica Virus

 

Definition:
Zika virus is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivirus, transmitted by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as A. aegypti and A. albopictus, the same type of mosquito that spreads dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said Aedes mosquitoes are found in all countries in the Americas except Canada and continental Chile, and the virus will likely reach all countries and territories of the region where Aedes mosquitoes are found.
The infection, known as Zika fever, often causes no or only mild symptoms. Since the 1950s it has been known to occur within a narrow equatorial belt from Africa to Asia. In 2014, the virus spread eastward across the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia, then to Easter Island and in 2015 to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, where the Zika outbreak has reached pandemic levels.

Click  & see  : zika virus – News Images

The Zika virus is found in tropical locales with large mosquito populations. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Southern Asia and the Western Pacific. The virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys and was first identified in people in 1952 in Uganda and Tanzania, according to the World Health Organization.
Transmission:
The vertebrate hosts of the virus were primarily monkeys in a so-called enzootic mosquito-monkey-mosquito cycle, with only occasional transmission to humans. Before the current pandemic began in 2007, Zika virus “rarely caused recognized ‘spillover’ infections in humans, even in highly enzootic areas”. Infrequently, other arboviruses have become established as a human disease though, and spread in a mosquito–human–mosquito cycle, like the yellow fever virus and the dengue fever virus (both flaviruses), and the chikungunya virus (a togavirus)

Can Zika be transmitted through sexual contact?

Two cases of possible person-to-person sexual transmission has been described, but the PAHO said more evidence is needed to confirm whether sexual contact is a means of Zika transmission.

It is unknown whether women can transmit Zika virus to their sexual partners. As of February 2016, the CDC recommends that men “who reside in or have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission who have a pregnant partner should abstain from sexual activity or consistently and correctly use condoms during sex (i.e., vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, or fellatio) for the duration of the pregnancy.” Men who reside in or have traveled to an area of active Zika virus transmission and their non-pregnant sex partners “might consider” abstinence or condom use. The CDC did not specify how long these practices should be followed with non-pregnant partners because the “incidence and duration of shedding in the male genitourinary tract is limited to one case report” and that “testing of men for the purpose of assessing risk for sexual transmission is not recommended.

The PAHO also said Zika can be transmitted through blood, but this is an infrequent transmission mechanism. There is no evidence the virus can be transmitted to babies through breast milk.

CDC issued new recommendations to those who have traveled to Zika-prone areas: Use condoms during sex or don’t have sex. – Click  & See 
Symptoms:
Zika virus is related to dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses. The illness it causes is similar to a mild form of dengue fever, is treated by rest, and cannot yet be prevented by drugs or vaccines. There is a possible link between Zika fever and microcephaly in newborn babies by mother-to-child transmission, as well as a stronger one with neurologic conditions in infected adults, including cases of Guillain–Barré syndrome.

People who get Zika virus disease typically have a mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain and fatigue that can last for two to seven days. But as many as 80 percent of people infected never develop symptoms. The symptoms are similar to those of dengue or chikungunya, which are transmitted by the same type of mosquito.

Diagnosis:
The PAHO said there is no evidence that Zika can cause death, but some cases have been reported with more serious complications in patients with pre-existing medical conditions.

The virus has been linked to microcephaly, a condition in newborns marked by abnormally small heads and brains that have not developed properly. It also has been associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system. Scientists are studying whether there is a causal link between Zika and these two disorders.

Treatment:
There is no defenite treatment developed yet.Patients are adviced to take rest. Doctors sometimes prescribe few nominal medicines to get little relieve from extenal symptoms.

Prevention:
Defense against mosquitoes is defense against Zika. The CDC recommends long clothing and insect repellent. If you develop symptoms, go see a doctor.

Vaccine development:
Effective vaccines exist for several flaviviruses. Vaccines for yellow fever virus, Japanese encephalitis, and tick-borne encephalitis were introduced in the 1930s, while the vaccine for dengue fever only became available for use in the mid-2010s.

Work has begun towards developing a vaccine for Zika virus, according to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  The researchers at the Vaccine Research Center have extensive experience from working with vaccines for other viruses such as West Nile virus, chikungunya virus, and dengue fever.   Nikos Vasilakis of the Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases predicted that it may take two years to develop a vaccine, but 10 to 12 years may be needed before an effective Zika virus vaccine is approved by regulators for public use.

Indian company Bharat Biotech is working on two approaches to a vaccine: “recombinant”, involving genetic engineering, and “inactivated”, where the virus is incapable of reproducing itself but can still trigger an immune response. On 3 February 2016, the company claimed animal trials of the inactivated version would commence in two weeks.

Since April 2015, a large, ongoing outbreak of Zika virus that began in Brazil has spread to much of South and Central America and the Caribbean. In January 2016, the CDC issued a level 2 travel alert for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.   The agency also suggested that women thinking about becoming pregnant should consult with their physicians before traveling. Governments or health agencies of the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand,   Canada, and the European Union soon issued similar travel warnings. In Colombia, Minister of Health and Social Protection Alejandro Gaviria Uribe recommended to avoid pregnancy for eight months, while the countries of Ecuador, El Salvador, and Jamaica have issued similar warnings.

Plans were announced by the authorities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to try to prevent the spread of the Zika virus during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in that city.

According to the CDC, Brazilian health authorities reported more than 3,500 microcephaly cases between October 2015 and January 2016. Some of the affected infants have had a severe type of microcephaly and some have died. The full spectrum of outcomes that might be associated with infection during pregnancy and the factors that might increase risk to the fetus are not yet fully understood. More studies are planned to learn more about the risks of Zika virus infection during pregnancy. In the worst affected region of Brazil, approximately 1 percent of newborns are suspected of being microcephalic.

Click & see  : 2007 Yap Islands Zika virus outbreak   
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zika_virus
http://www.whio.com/news/news/national/what-zika-virus-and-isnt/nqKzc/
http://news.yahoo.com/factbox-why-zika-virus-causing-alarm-233408770.html;_ylt=AwrXnCHbw7ZWumkA6oHQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTByNDZ0aWFxBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwM2BHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–

Nymphaea caerules

Botanical Name : Nymphaea caerules
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Genus: Nymphaea
Species: N. caerulea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Nymphaeales

Common Names: Blue lotus (or Blue Egyptian lotus), Blue water lily (or Blue Egyptian water lily), and sacred Blue lily (or sacred narcotic lily of the nile)

Habitat :Nymphaea caerules is native to Nile and other parts of East Africa. It spread more widely in ancient times, including to the Indian Subcontinent and Thailand. It grows in water like any other water lily.

Description:
The leaves are broadly rounded, 25–40 cm across, with a notch at the leaf stem. The flowers are 10–15 cm in diameter. Reports in the literature by persons unfamiliar with its actual growth and blooming cycle have suggested that the flowers open in the morning, rising to the surface of the water, then close and sink at dusk. In fact, the flower buds rise to the surface over a period of two to three days, and when ready, open at approximately 9–9:30 am and close about 3 pm. The flowers and buds do not rise above the water in the morning, nor do they submerge at night. The flowers have pale bluish-white to sky-blue or mauve petals, smoothly changing to a pale yellow in the centre of the flower.
CLICK & SEE
Religion and art:
Along with the white lotus Nymphaea lotus, also native to Egypt, the plant and flower is very frequently depicted in Egyptian art. It has been depicted in numerous stone carvings and paintings, including the walls of the famous temple of Karnak. It is frequently depicted in connection with “party scenes”, dancing or in significant spiritual / magical rites such as the rite of passage into the afterlife. N. caerulea was considered extremely significant in Egyptian mythology, regarded as a symbol of the sun, since the flowers are closed at night and open again in the morning. At Heliopolis, the origin of the world was taught to have been when the sun-god Ra emerged from a lotus flower growing in “primordial waters”. At night he was believed to retreat into the flower again. Due to its colour, it was identified, in some beliefs, as having been the original container, in a similar manner to an egg, of Atum, and in similar beliefs Ra, both solar deities. As such, its properties form the origin of the lotus variant of the Ogdoad cosmogeny. It was the symbol of the Egyptian deity Nefertem…..click & see: Ancient Egyptian funerary stele showing a dead man, named Ba, seated in the center, sniffing a sacred lily. New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII, c. 1550–1292 BC.
Properties and uses:
There is evidence that the clinical effects of plants including N. caerulea that contain the psychoactive alkaloid apomorphine were known to both the Mayans and the Ancient Egyptians.
The mildly sedating effects of N. caerulea makes it a likely candidate (among several) for the lotus plant eaten by the mythical Lotophagi in Homer’s Odyssey. This lotus has been used to produce perfumes since ancient times; it is also used in aromatherapy.

Medicinal Uses:
An aphrodisiac for both men and women as well as a general remedy for all illness enhancing sexual vigor and general good health. A tonic like ginseng, pain reliever like arnica, circulation stimulant richer than ginkgo biloba, and sexual stimulant richer than Viagra. It creates a feeling of well being, euphoria and ecstasy, as well as being widely used as a general remedy against illness, and is still used as a tonic for good health, consumed as an extract, 6-12 drops or up to 1 tsp to 1 Tbs in juice taken 1 to 3 times daily. Traditionally, fresh Blue Lotus was made into a tea or drank after being soaked in wine, usually followed by a cigarette made of the dried plant material. Dried flowers are sometimes smoked for a mild sedative effect. By itself, Lotus produces an opiate-like intoxication. Traditionally, Nymphaea caerulea was drunk after being soaked in warm water or wine, while the dried flowers were also smoked. About 5 grams of dried petals steeped in small amount of alcohol for a few hours to a week is said to have a synergistic effect with the Lotus, producing a euphoria. The overall effect of this combination is a narcotic empathogenic experience. According to recent studies, Blue Lily was found to be loaded with health-giving phytosterols and bioflavonoids. It turned out to be one of the greatest daily health tonics ever found.

According to Shaman Australis, (2009), “The story of the sacred Blue Lotus makes a mockery of modern science. It has been known for several years now that this species is psychoactive to some degree, but little concrete knowledge exists in the scientific arena and the psychoactive effect is vigorously disputed by conservative scientists. So a couple of wiseguy pharmacologists decided to make a name for themselves by researching the active constituents and making a documentary about it. It is shown on the discovery channel and other media, and once you’ve experienced the effects of Blue Lotus you will understand just how ridiculous their research is. In years to come it will be better suited for the comedy channel.

First they compared the Mass Spectrometer analysis of a mummy with that of some Blue Lotus flowers with the result that they matched. This indicated that the mummy had consumed Sacred Blue Lotus not long before his death. They also looked for narcotics in the mummy and found none. The substances found were listed as phosphodiastrates, bioflavonoids and phytosterols. The first is similar to viagra, the second group is common in many fresh foods, and the last is similar to the known active constituent of Ginko biloba. At no stage in the research did they bother trying to consume a flower or an extract and this is where one has to wonder what the purpose of science is if it only serves to prove the absolute. The result of their expensive and drawn out study was that the “mild” activity of sacred Blue Lotus is due to the phytosterols. It is obvious that this conclusion can be dimissed as poor science, poor logic and above all poor representation of the lily itself.

Blue Lotus was assumed to contain nuciferine (1,2-dimethoxy-aporphine) just like Nelumbo nucifera, but this does not appear to be so according to the MS data. Aporphine and Apomorphine (6a-beta-aporphine-10,11-diol) have also been excluded.
Essentially this means that at this time no one knows what is causing the Blue Sacred Lotus to be a potent narcotic and inebriant. All we know is that 2-4 flowers soaked in wine for 24 hours will give a noticable and very pleasant synergy with the wine. Seed extracts and flower extracts can be consumed orally with or without alcohol, while dried flowers are easily dosed by smoking. All product forms will produce noticable effects. These can range from mild sedation to a fairly strong narcotic state”.

So, what are the psychoactive constituents?
More research is needed, but according to Kandeler and Ullrich, “Nymphaeas have long had a particular significance as intoxicants for shamans because of their alkaloid and glycoside content. They contain compounds similar to atropin and papaverin (nupharin, nymphalin, ellagic acid)(Roth et al., 1994).”
Also, Nymphaea caerulea could still contain Apomorphine (6a-beta-aporphine-10,11-diol) and Nuciferine (1,2-dimethoxy-aporphine). The sample used in the Shaman Australis MS study could have been the wrong plant, harvested at a bad time, had less than optimal growing conditions, etc.
Different Uses:
Recent studies have shown Nymphaea caerulea to have psychoactive properties, and may have been used as a sacrament in ancient Egypt and certain ancient South American cultures. Dosages of 5 to 10 grams of the flowers induces slight stimulation, a shift in thought processes, enhanced visual perception, and mild closed-eye visuals. Nymphaea caerulea is distantly related to, and possesses similar activity as Nelumbo nucifera, the Sacred Lotus.
These psychoactive effects make Nymphaea caerulea a likely candidate (among several) for the lotus plant eaten by the mythical Lotophagi in Homer’s Odyssey.

According to Shaman Australis, (2009), “Nymphaea nouchali has featured heavily in Egyptian history. The goddess Isis is said to have pointed out that the rhizomes were edible. Pharaohs wre buried with them and their pyramids adorned with images of them. There is also evidence, in the form of a painting in a tomb dating back to 3000-2500 BCE, that nymphaeas were deliberately cultivated in square, evenly spaced beds fed by canals. The blooms were in great demand for religious festivals, offerings of the flowers being made to the dead or to the gods, as well as for gifts to visiting noblemen as a gesture of friendship and goodwill. Both Amenhotep IV and Ramses III (1225 BCE) are known to have had them growing in their palace gardens. It is commonly assumed that this was purely for ornamental purposes, but given what we know now about their psychoactivity, there may have been more to this. Many ancient paintings depict the Sacred Blue Lotus in conjunction with wine symbols and among the consumed items rather than the decorative items. It has also long been cultivated by the Chinese and Japanese.

In modern times, the name lotus is used almost exclusively for Nelumbo nucifera. Nelumbo nucifera is not a native of Egypt. It actually comes from south-east Asia where it is often found near temples and is regarded as sacred in China and Japan. It was introduced to the Nile by the Romans, probably for food. The true Egyptian lotus is Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea (syn. N. caerulea) and Nymphaea lotus. In in South Africa (c 1800), the rootstock of the blue water lily was collected and eaten, either raw or in curries, in particular by the Cape Malays and farming communities in the Cape.”
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/Nymphaea_caerulea
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://www.neurosoup.com/blue-lotus-nymphaea-caerulea/

Hepatica americana

Botanical Name : Hepatica americana
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Hepatica
Species: H. nobilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names: Liverwort, Ker-gawl ,Hepatica tribola, Hepatica nobilis,American Liverleaf, Alumroot, Round Lobed Hepatica

Habitat : Hepatica americana is native to the eastern United States and to central and eastern Canada. It grows on the dry woods. Mixed woods, often in association with both conifers and deciduous trees, usually in drier sites and more acid soils, from sea level to 1200 metres. ( Rich or rocky wooded slopes, ravines, mossy banks, ledges. Usually on acid soils.)
Description:
Hepatica americana is a herbaceous perennial, growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, lepidoptera……..CLICK &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

USDA hardiness zone : 3-9

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Rock garden, Woodland garden. Prefers a deep light soil with leafmold. Grows well on limey woodland soils in half shade, though it also succeeds in deep shade and in full sun[1]. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible. This species is closely related to H. acutiloba. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. Special Features: Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies.
Propagation:
Seed – sow in a moist soil in a shady position. The stored seed requires stratification for about 3 weeks at 0 – 5°c. Germination takes 1 – 12 months at 10°c. It is probably worthwhile sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame. 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. Division just as the leafless plant comes into flower in late winter. Replant immediately into their permanent positions.
Medicinal Uses:
Hepatica americana was used widely by natives and colonists to treat a variety of ailments. A tea made from the leaves is laxative. It is used in the treatment of fevers, liver ailments and poor indigestion. At one time it became a cult medicine as a liver tonic and 200,000 kilos of dried Hepatica leaves were used in 1883 alone. Externally, the tea is applied as a wash to swollen breasts[

It was used most commonly as a leaf tea to treat liver disorders. This was thought to work because the plants leaves are shaped much like the human liver. This practice of treating organ ailments with the plants that most resembled them is known as the “doctrine of signatures.” The practice originated in China and, fortunately, is no longer

While rarely found in herbal remedies today, it is a mild astringent and a diuretic. It stimulates gall bladder production and is a mild laxative. Its astringency has also stopped bleeding in the digestive tract and the resultant spitting of blood. Historically, liverwort has been used for kidney problems and bronchitis. It’s active constituent, protoaneminin, has been shown to have antibiotic action. The Russians use it in their folk medicine and also to treat cattle with mouth sickness.

Known Hazards : Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, most plants in this family are poisonous. This toxicity is usually of a low order and the toxic principle is destroyed by heat or by drying.

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/Hepatica_nobilis
http://www.missouriplants.com/Bluealt/Hepatica_americana_page.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hepatica+americana
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Coccydynia

Definition:
Coccydynia is a medical term meaning pain in the coccyx or tailbone area, usually brought on by sitting too abruptly.
We humans have evolved biologically so much that we tend to forget that we were once animals and had a tail. That is, till we suddenly develop a pain deep down in the cleft between the buttocks, making it difficult to abruptly shift positions, from sitting to standing or getting up after lying down. This pain is called coccydynia.

That last bone in the vertebral column is called a coccyx. It actually is a vestigial tail, which has shrunk over generations. About 2.7 per cent of patients who see a doctor for “backache” actually had pain in the tailbone. It is more likely to occur in physically active youngsters and adults over the age of 40. Women, with their wide pelvis, are more prone to coccodynia.

Coccydynia occurs in the lowest part of the spine, the coccyx, which represents a vestigial tail, or in other words the “tail bone”. The name coccyx is derived from the Greek word for cuckoo due to its beak like appearance. The coccyx itself is made up of 3 to 5 vertebrae, some of which may be fused together. The ventral side of the coccyx is slightly concave whereas the dorsal aspect is slightly convex. Both of these sides have transverse grooves that show where the vestigial coccygeal units had previously fused. The coccyx attaches the sacrum, from the dorsal grooves with the attachment being either a symphysis or as a true synovial joint, and also to the gluteus maximus muscle, the coccygeal muscle, and the anococcygeal ligament.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Symptoms:
Pain and local tenderness at the tailbone are the major symptoms of coccydynia. This can lead to difficulty sitting or leaning against the buttocks. Along with the pain with sitting, there is typically exquisite tenderness at the tailbone area. Coccydynia is also known as coccygodynia, coccygeal pain, coccyx pain, or coccalgia.

Causes:
One way of classifying coccydynia is whether the onset was traumatic versus non-traumatic. In many cases the exact cause is unknown and is referred to as idiopathic coccydynia.

The coccyx is prone to injury. Acute dislocations, sprains and fractures can occur. Usually there is a history of having fallen abruptly, on a staircase, the side of the swimming pool or some other hard surface. It can also occur while cycling or rowing. Chronic injury can occur if work or academics involves sitting for prolonged periods on hard surfaces like a wooden bench or a chair without cushions. In women, the coccyx can be injured during childbirth, especially if labour is prolonged. Overweight and obese men and women are more likely to develop problems with the coccyx.

There are common pathophysiological ways that a person may develop coccydynia. The two main causes for this condition are sudden impact due to fall, and coccydynia caused by childbirth pressure in women. Other ways that coccydynia develops are partial dislocation of the sacrococcygeal synchondrosis that can possibly result in abnormal movement of the coccyx from excessive sitting, and repetitive trauma of the surrounding ligaments and muscles, resulting in inflammation of tissues and pain.

Coccydynia is a fairly common injury which can often result from falls, particularly in leisure activities such as cycling and skateboarding. Coccydynia is often reported following a fall or after childbirth. In some cases, persistent pressure from activities like bicycling may cause the onset of coccyx pain. Coccydynia due to these causes usually is not permanent, but it may become very persistent and chronic if not controlled. Coccydynia may also be caused by sitting improperly thereby straining the coccyx.

Rarely, coccydynia is due to the undiagnosed presence of a sacrococcygeal teratoma or other tumor in the vicinity of the coccyx. In these cases, appropriate treatment usually involves surgery and/or chemotherapy.
Diagnosis:
A number of different conditions can cause pain in the general area of the coccyx, but not all involve the coccyx and the muscles attached to it. The first task of diagnosis is to determine whether the pain is related to the coccyx. Physical rectal examination, high resolution x-rays and MRI scans can rule out various causes unrelated to the coccyx, such as Tarlov cysts and pain referred from higher up the spine. Note that, contrary to most anatomical textbooks, most coccyxes consist of several segments: ‘fractured coccyx’ is often diagnosed when the coccyx is in fact normal or just dislocated at an intercoccygeal joint.

A simple test to determine whether the coccyx is involved is injection of local anesthetic into the area. If the pain relates to the coccyx, this should produce immediate relief.

If the anesthetic test proves positive, then a dynamic (sit/stand) x-ray or MRI scan may show whether the coccyx dislocates when the patient sits.

Use of dynamic x-rays on 208 patients who gave positive results with the anesthetic test showed:

* 31% Not possible to identify the cause of pain
* 27% Hypermobility (excessive flexing of the coccyx forwards and upwards when sitting)
* 22% Posterior luxation (partial dislocation of the coccyx backwards when sitting)
* 14% Spicule (bony spur) on the coccyx
* 5% Anterior luxation (partial dislocation of the coccyx forwards when sitting)

This study found that the pattern of lesions was different depending on the obesity of the patients: obese patients were most likely to have posterior luxation of the coccyx, while thin patients were most likely to have coccygeal spicules.

Angle of incidence:
Sagittal coccygeal movement is measured using the angle of incidence—or the angle at which the coccyx strikes the seat when an individual sits down. A smaller angle indicates the coccyx being more parallel to the seat, resulting in flexion (or “normal” movement) of the coccyx. A larger angle indicates the coccyx being more perpendicular to the seat, causing posterior subluxation (or “backward” movement) of the coccyx. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURE : Stand to Sit Coccyx

Treatment:
Once coccydynia has been diagnosed, conservative treatment can make the pain disappear in 8-12 weeks. This involves sitting in a basin of hot water (sitz bath) for 10-15 minutes at least twice a day. A donut shaped cushion makes sitting during work easier. Inflatable rubber cushions are available which can be carried around. When seated on chairs or in the toilet, try to lean slightly forwards.

Stretches can be done for that area. The two common ones are the kneeling stretch, when you kneel on one leg keeping the other bent at a right angle. After 30 seconds switch sides. The other stretch involves lying down, bending the knees, crossing the legs at the ankle and then pulling the legs towards you with your arms.
You may click & see : BACK PAIN REMEDY.. 

Since sitting on the affected area may aggravate the condition, a cushion with a cutout at the back under the coccyx is recommended. If there is tailbone pain with bowel movements, then stool softeners and increased fiber in the diet may help. For prolonged cases, anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDS(non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) or pain-relieving drugs may be prescribed. The use of anti-depressants such as Elavil (amitriptyline) may help alleviate constant pain. Tailbone pain physicians specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at New Jersey Medical School have published that sometimes even just a single local nerve block injection at the ganglion impar can give 100% relief of coccydynia when performed under fluoroscopic guidance.

Additionally if the pain is caused by a malignment of the coccyx, manipulation by a chiropractor, osteopathic physician (D.O.) or physical therapist can offer relief.

In rare cases, surgery to remove the coccyx (coccygectomy) may be required. Typically, surgery is reserved for patients with cancer (malignancy) or those whose tailbone pain has failed to respond to non-surgical treatment (such as medications by mouth, use of seat cushions, and medications given by local injections done under fluoroscopic guidance, as noted above.

Prevention:
Body positioning and alignment is significant for producing less stress in the coccyx region. Bad posture can influence coccyx pain. People may not realize that they are over stressing their coccyx while doing daily activities. Pain in the coccyx can be caused from many incidents like falling, horseback riding, or even sitting on hard surfaces for a long period of time. The main focus is to prevent coccyx pain from occurring, by correcting everyday activities that contribute to tailbone pain.

Proper equipment used to preventing coccyx pain:
There is no definite way to fully prevent coccyx pain because an accident can occur at any given time. However, people who are obese are at a higher risk for developing coccyx pain. Carrying excessive weight contributes to more stress on the coccyx while sitting down causing increased chances of pain.  Prevention of carrying excessive weight gain can help reduce the tension and pressure on the coccyx. In other words the coccyx for obese people may be more posteriorly outward when they are sitting down.  Avoidance of contact sports like basketball, football, and or hockey can decrease the risks of coccyx pain, because it can help reduce the chances of falling. Another method is proper safety equipment for sports is to prevent coccyx pain. For example, there are hockey pants that provide extra cushion that protect the thigh, coccyx, and buttocks. These results will lead to less falls that can cause trauma to the coccyx.

Stretches & strengthening exercises for prevention:
A kneeling groin stretch can help prevent coccyx pain from occurring after long periods of sitting. The adductor magnus is involved in the kneeling groin stretch, and when it is tight it can contribute to tailbone pain, so stretching can help prevent tailbone pain. Other stretches like piriformis stretch, and hands to feet stretch, can relieve stress off the muscles around the coccyx, after sitting for a long time. These release tension built up around the muscles in the coccyx.
Every part of our body (even the coccyx) needs looking after.

*While cycling on a stationery bike or on the road, make sure the cycle seat is soft and comfortable. Special “cycling innerwear” is available with padding and should be used.

*Do not run on slippery surfaces like the edges of the swimming pool.

*Wear footwear that is rubber soled or has a “grip”, not smooth leather.

*Maintain ideal body weight. This can be calculated as height in metre squared X 23.

*Walk and sit with the correct posture. If you feel you are slouching, stand with both shoulders touching the wall and balance a book on your head.

*Do not sit on hard surfaces for prolonged periods of time.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coccydynia
http://www.medicinenet.com/coccydynia/article.htm
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1160201/jsp/knowhow/story_66774.jsp

Achillea santolina

 
Botanical Name : Achillea santolina
Family:  Asteraceae
Genus : Achillea
Kingdom : Plantae
Division:  Marchantiophyta
Class : Angiospermae
Order :  Asterales

Common Name : Santolina yarrow

Habitat: Achillea santolina is native to E. Asia – Himalayas. It grows well in cultivated bed.

Description:
Achillea santolina is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 0.3 m (1ft). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in most soils but prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position. Plants in this genus generally live longer when growing in a poor soil. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or early autumn in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months[133]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the divisions can be planted direct into their permanent positions. Basal cuttings of new shoots in spring. Very easy, collect the shoots when they are about 10cm tall, potting them up individually in pots and keeping them in a warm but lightly shaded position. They should root within 3 weeks and will be ready to plant out in the summer.
Medicinal Uses:
The plant is carminative and tonic. It is used to treat stomach aches in children.

Other Uses : … Repellent……..The plant is insect repellent.

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/Achillea
http://eol.org/pages/6173218/names/common_names
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Achillea+santolina

Achillea ptarmica

 

Botanical Name : Achillea ptarmica
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Achillea
Species: A. ptarmica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name : Sneeze-Wort, Sneezeweed , Sneezewort, Bastard pellitory, European pellitory, Fair-maid-of-France, Goose tongue, Sneezewort yarrow, Wild pellitory, White tansy

Habitat :Achillea ptarmica is native to Europe, including Britain but excluding the Mediterranean, east to Siberia and W. Asia. It grows on the damp meadows, marshes and by streams.

Description:
Achillea ptarmica is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in) at a fast rate. It is widespread across most of Europe and naturalized in scattered places in North America.

Achillea ptarmica has loose clusters of showy white, flower heads that bloom from June to August. Its dark green leaves have finely toothed margins. Like many other plants, the sneezewort’s pattern of development displays the Fibonacci sequence.CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The name ptarmica comes from the Greek word ptairo (=sneeze) and means ’causes sneezing’

It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self. The plant is self-fertile.
Cultivation & propagation: Achillea ptarmica is a hardy, drought-tolerant plant that prefers full sun and moist but well-drained soil. Propagation is by sowing seed or division in Spring

Edible Uses: Leaves are eaten raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring in salads.
Medicinal Uses:
Antidiarrhoeal; Antiemetic; Antiflatulent; Antirheumatic; Appetizer; Cardiac; Diaphoretic; Digestive; Emmenagogue; Miscellany; Odontalgic;
Sternutatory; Styptic.

Achillea ptarmica yields an essential oil that is used in herbal medicine. The leaf is chewed to relieve toothache.
Other Uses:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Rock garden, Seashore, Specimen. Succeeds in most soils but prefers a moist well-drained soil in a sunny position. The dried, powdered leaves are used as a sneezing powder. Yields an essential oil that is used medicinally. The report does not say what part of the plant the oil is obtained from, it is most likely to be the leaves harvested just before flowering. The leaves are used as an insect repellent.

Known Hazards:  The plant is poisonous to cattle, sheep, and horses. Symptoms are generally slow to develop, and include fever, rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, weight loss, drooling, spasms and loss of muscular control, and convulsions

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/Achillea_ptarmica
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Achillea+ptarmica

Calochortus gunnisonii

 

Botanical Name ; Calochortus gunnisonii
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Calochortus
Species: C. gunnisonii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Common Names: Gunnison’s mariposa lily, Lily, Mariposa, Mariposa Lily, Gunnison’s mariposa lily

Habitat : Calochortus gunnisonii is native to the western United States, primarily in the Rocky Mountains and Black Hills: Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, northwestern Nebraska (Sioux County) and eastern Idaho (Fremont County).
It grows on grassy hillsides and open coniferous woods[60]. Found in a variety of habitats from moist meadows and open woods to sandy and rocky hillsides and dry gulches between 1,200 and 3,300 metres.

Description:
Calochortus gunnisonii is a bulb-forming perennial with straight stems up to 55 cm tall.It is a typically large and beautiful member of the genus; its bell-shaped flowers have three broad, rounded white (rarely pink or pale yellow) petals and three thin, shorter, pointed sepals, with a ring of fine greenish-yellow hairs around the center and a circular band of purple. In the middle are six anthers and a three pronged stigma. Flowers are about 2 inches in diameter. The thin, bendy stalks bear a few grass-like leaves, and can branch a few times towards the top. Stem and leaves are hairless. Plants sprout from (edible) bulbs, usually deeply buried.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

 Varieties:
*Calochortus gunnisonii var. gunnisonii – most of species range
*Calochortus gunnisonii var. perpulcher Cockerell – New Mexico

USDA hardiness zone : 3-7 Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Cultivation:
Requires a deep very well-drained fertile sandy soil in a sunny position and must be kept dry from mid summer to late autumn. This is a rather difficult plant to cultivate in Britain, it is very cold hardy but is intolerant of wetness especially in the winter. It is easiest to grow in a bulb frame but is worth trying outdoors at the base of a south-facing wall, especially with shrubs that like these conditions. Bulbs can be lifted as soon as the foliage dies down in the summer and stored overwinter in a cool dry place, replanting in the spring. The bulbs must be replanted immediately according to another report. Bulbs frequently divide after flowering, the bulblets taking 2 years to reach flowering size. This species is closely related to C. ambiguus. Hand pollination is necessary if seed is required.
Propagation:
Seed – sow as soon as ripe or early spring in a cold frame in a very sharply draining medium. Stratification may be helpful. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 6 months at 15°c. Leave the seedlings undisturbed for their first two years growth], but give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure they do not become nutrient deficient. It is quite difficult to get the seedlings through their first period of dormancy since it is all too easy either to dry them out completely or keep them too moist when they will rot. After their second year of growth, pot up the dormant bulbs in late summer and grow them on for at least another 2 years in the greenhouse before trying them outside. Seedlings take about 5 – 7 years to come into flower. Division of the bulbs as soon as the foliage dies down. The bulbs can be planted straight out into their permanent positions but in areas with wet winters it might be best to store them overwinter and replant them in the spring. Stem bulbils, harvested from the stems after flowering. They can be stored cool and dry then planted in pots in the cold frame in the spring
Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root; Seed.
Edible Uses:

Bulb – raw or cooked. One report says that the raw bulb tastes like a raw new potato. It has a crisp nut-like texture and a pleasant flavour when cooked. The bulb can be dried and ground into a powder for making a sweet porridge, mush etc. Leaves – cooked. It is hard to obtain a sufficient quantity and use of the leaves will weaken the bulbs. Seed – ground into a powder. Flower buds – raw. Added to salads.

Medicinal Uses:
An infusion of the plant has been taken internally to treat rheumatic swellings by the Acoma and Laguna Indians and by the Navajo to ease the delivery of the placenta. Juice of the leaves were applied to pimples.
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/Calochortus_gunnisonii
http://www.americansouthwest.net/plants/wildflowers/calochortus-gunnisonii.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Calochortus+gunnisonii

Syringa vulgaris

Botanical Name : Syringa vulgaris
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Syringa
Species: S. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name: Lilac or Common lilac

Habitat : Syringa vulgaris is native to the Balkan Peninsula, where it grows on rocky hill slopes in Europe. Found in hedges, thickets and shrubberies in Britain. This species is widely cultivated as an ornamental and has been naturalized in other parts of Europe (UK, France, Germany, Italy, etc.) as well as much of North America. It is not regarded as an aggressive species, found in the wild in widely scattered sites, usually in the vicinity of past or present human habitations.

Description:
Syringa vulgaris is a large deciduous shrub or multi-stemmed small tree, growing to 6–7 m (20–23 ft) high, producing secondary shoots (“suckers”) from the base or roots, with stem diameters of up to 20 cm (8 in), which in the course of decades may produce a small clonal thicket. The bark is grey to grey-brown, smooth on young stems, longitudinally furrowed and flaking on older stems. The leaves are simple, 4–12 cm (2–5 in) and 3–8 cm broad, light green to glaucous, oval to cordate, with pinnate leaf venation, a mucronate apex and an entire margin. They are arranged in opposite pairs or occasionally in whorls of three. The flowers have a tubular base to the corolla 6–10 mm long with an open four-lobed apex 5–8 mm across, usually lilac to mauve, occasionally white.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Blooming time is early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded. They are arranged in dense, terminal panicles 8–18 cm (3–7 in) long. The fruit is a dry, smooth brown capsule, 1–2 cm long, splitting in two to release the two winged seeds.

It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Standard, Seashore, Specimen. Succeeds in most soils, including chalk, but dislikes acid soils. Prefers a deep stiff well-drained loam in a warm sunny position. A very ornamental plant, it does tend to sucker quite freely though. There are many named varieties, developed for their ornamental value. The flowers attract butterflies and moths. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features: Not North American native, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy.

Propagation:
Seed – sow March in a north facing cold frame. Pre-treating the seed with 4 weeks warm then 3 weeks cold stratification improves germination. It is probable that sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame would be a more reliable method. Prick the seedlings out into individual pots once they are large enough to handle. Plant them out in the summer if sufficient growth has been made, otherwise grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter and plant out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of young shoots, 7cm with a heel, June in a frame. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Layering in spring before new growth begins. Takes 12 months. Division of suckers in late winter. They can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses: ..Flowers are eaten raw or folded into batter and fried to make fritters.
Medicinal Uses:
The leaves and the fruit are antiperiodic, febrifuge, tonic and vermifuge. The bark or leaves have been chewed by children as a treatment for sore mouth.
Used as a vermifuge in the US and as a tonic anti-periodic and febrifuge; used as a substitute for aloes and in the treatment of malaria.

Other Uses: Dye; Essential; Hedge; Hedge; Rootstock.
An essential oil is obtained from the flowers. Used in perfumery. A green dye is obtained from the flowers. Green and brown dyes can be obtained from the leaves. A yellow-orange dye is obtained from the twigs. Plants can be grown as an informal hedge. The plant is often used as a rootstock for the various ornamental cultivars of lilac. Its main disadvantage is that it can be sucker very freely.
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:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Syringa+vulgaris
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syringa_vulgaris
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm