Chaulmoogra

Botanical Name :Taraktogenos kurzii
Family: Achariaceae
Genus:     Hydnocarpus
Species: H. kurzii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Malpighiales

Synonyms:Hydnocarpus kurzii

Common Names:  Chaulmugra. Chaulmogra.

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Chaulmugra, Chalmoogra; Dulmugri (Sylhet).

Tribal Name: Balgach (Chakma); Taun Paun (Mogh).

Habitat : Chaulmoogra is indigenous to the tropical climatic regions in Malaysia and it also has its origin in the Indian sub-continent.

Description :
A medium-sized evergreen tree, 12-15 m high. This tree bears brown, velvety, spherical fruits and asymmetrical seeds having a gray hue. Chaulmoogra seeds are angled, but have rounded ends. It may be mentioned here that chaulmoogra oil can be obtained from an associated species called Tarak-togenos kurzii.
Leaves thinly coriaceous, entire, 18-25 cm long, lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate. Flowers in axillary cymes; petals 8, in 2-rows, broadly ovate, ciliate. Fruit, size of an orange, towny-velvety.
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Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: The oil from the seeds
Chemical Constituents:
Seeds yield a fixed oil, called chaulmoogra oil, which contains glycerides of cyclopentenyl fatty acids like hydnocarpic acid (48%), chaulmoogric acid (27%), gorlic acid (23%), oleic acid (12%) and palmitic acid (6%). Bark contains a large amount of tannins (Ghani, 2003).

Employed internally and externally in the treatment of skin diseases, scrofula, rheumatism, eczema, also in leprosy, as a counterirritant for bruises, sprains, etc., and sometimes applied to open wounds and sores. Also used in veterinary practice. Dose of oil, 5 or 10 to 60 minims. Gynocardia Ointment, I.C.A.

Known Hazards:
People using chaulmoogra or its preparations ought to be aware of the side effects this herb may cause. For instance, one may experience stomach irritation following the administration of chaulmoogra oil in the form of an injection into the skin. In fact, taking subcutaneous injections may also result in accumulation of calcium. Here is a word of caution – women should not take this herb during pregnancy or while they are breast feeding. In addition, people enduring leprosy should never self inject chaulmoogra oil, but always take the help of a professional and expert practitioner.

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/Taraktogenos_kurzii

http://www.mpbd.info/plants/hydnocarpus-kurzii.php

http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_chaulmoogra.htm

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/chaulm51.html

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Psoralea corylifolia

Botanical Name :Psoralea corylifolia
Family: Fabaceae
Genus:     Psoralea
Species: P. corylifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Fabales

Synonyms : Cyamopsis psoralioides

Common Names:Bavchi, Babchi, Bakuchi, Babchi Seeds, Bavachi, Bavanchalu, Bavanchi Bavchi, Bhavanchi-vittulu, Bawachi, Bhavaj, Bobawachi, Bogi-vittulu, Hakuchi, Kantaka, Karpokarishi, Karu-bogi, Krishnaphala, Latakasturi, Somaraji, Sugandha kantak, Vabkuchi, Vakuchi, Fountain Bush, Scurfy Pea, Bu Gu Zhi.

Habitat :Psoralea corylifolia is available in many parts of Asia from Iran to China, Africa and the Middle East.It grows in Warm valleys, in Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces, China.

Description:
Psoralea corylifolia is an annual, erect shrub or small tree, which grows up to 4 m high, with blue, lilac and white, pea-shaped flowers. The leaves are compound and are composed of several pairs of leaflets and a terminal one. The leaflets are 50 mm long and 3 mm wide and are aromatic when crushed. The pea-flowers are borne at the ends of the branches or in the axils of the upper leaves. 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.It can fix Nitrogen.

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Cultivation:     
We have very little information for this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors at least in the milder parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil[1]. Requires a well-drained soil in a sunny position. Plants are very intolerant of root disturbance, they are best planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation:   
Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in early to mid spring in a greenhouse. Either sow the seed in individual pots or pot up the young seedlings as soon as possible in order to avoid root disturbance. Grow them on in the pots until planting out in their final positions. It is usually impossible to transplant this species without fatal damage to the root. Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. It is virtually impossible to divide this species successfully.

Edible Uses:  Seed are eaten.
Medicinal Uses:
Part Used : Seeds, Roots And Fruits.

Chemical constituents: Psoralea Corylifolia extract contains a number of chemical compounds including flavonoids (neobavaisoflavone, isobavachalcone, bavachalcone, bavachinin, bavachin, corylin, corylifol, corylifolin and 6-prenylnaringenin), coumarins (psoralidin, psoralen, isopsoralen and angelicin) and meroterpenes (bakuchiol and 3-hydroxybakuchiol).

Very high concentrations genistein have been found in the leaves of  this plant.

Psoralea Corylifolia is valued in Chinese herbal medicine as a tonic remedy and is used to improve general vitality. It is also of value in the treatment of skin disorders, including vitiligo. Some caution should be employed when applying the herb externally. The one-seeded fruits are highly regarded as an aphrodisiac and tonic to the genital organs. The seed is anthelmintic, antibacterial, aphrodisiac, astringent, cardiac, cytotoxic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. It is used in the treatment of febrile diseases, premature ejaculation, impotence, lower back pains, frequent urination, incontinence, bed wetting etc. The seed and fruit contain psoralen. The root is used for treating dental caries. The plant yields a useful medicinal oleoresin, it treats kidney disorders, impotence, lumbago. It is also used externally to treat various skin ailments including leprosy, leucoderma and hair loss. The antibacterial action of the fruit inhibits the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

This is an herb used to tonify the kidneys, particularly kidney yang and essence. It is used for helping the healing of bone fractures, for lower back and knee pain, impotence, bed wetting, hair loss, and vitiligo

Known Hazards :    Although no specific mention of toxicity for this species has been found, at least some members of this genus contain furanocoumarins, these substances can cause photosensitivity in some people.

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/Psoralea_corylifolia

http://www.agrisources.com/herbs/babchiseeds.html

http://www.motherherbs.com/psoralea-corylifolia.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Psoralea+corylifolia

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Wild Hyacinth,

Botanical Name : Hyacinthus nonscriptus
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus: Hyacinthoides
Species: H. non-scripta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Bluebell. Scilla nutans. Nodding Squill. Scilla nonscriptus. Agraphis nutans. Calverkeys. Culverkeys. Auld Man’s Bell. Ring-o’-Bells. Jacinth. Wood Bells. Agraphis nutans, Link.

Common Names :Wild Hyacinth, common bluebell or simply bluebell

Habitat : Bluebell is Abundant in Britain, Western Europe to Spain, eastward to Central France, along the Mediterranean to Italy.

Description:
Wild Hyacinth  is a perennial plant that grows from a bulb. It produces 3–6 linear leaves, all growing from the base of the plant, and each 7–16 millimetres (0.28–0.63 in) wide. An inflorescence of 5–12 (exceptionally 3–32) flowers is borne on a stem up to 500 mm (20 in) tall, which droops towards the tip; the flowers are arranged in a 1-sided nodding raceme. Each flower is 14–20 mm (0.55–0.79 in) long, with two bracts at the base, and the six tepals are strongly recurved at their tips. The tepals are violet–blue. The three stamens in the outer whorl are fused to the perianth for more than 75% of their length, and bear cream-coloured pollen. The flowers are strongly and sweetly scented. The seeds are black, and germinate on the soil surface

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The Wild Hyacinth is in flower from early in April till the end of May, and being a perennial and spreading rapidly, is found year after year in the same spot, forming a mass of rich colour in the woods where it grows. The long leaves remain above ground until late in the autumn.

The bulbs produce contractile roots; when these roots contract, they draw the bulbs down into deeper layers of the soil where there is greater moisture, reaching depths of 10–12 cm (3.9–4.7 in). This may explain the absence of H. non-scripta from thin soils over chalk in South East England, since the bulbs are unable to penetrate into sufficiently deep soils.

MedicinalUses:
Part Used: Root bulb, dried and powdered.

Constituents: The bulbs contain inulin, but are characterized by the absence of starch (which in many other monoeotyledons is found in company with inulin). Even if fed on cane-sugar, Bluebell bulbs will not form starch. They also contain a very large quantity of mucilage.

Though little used in modern medicine, the bulb has diuretic and styptic properties.

Dried and powdered it has been used as a styptic for leucorrhoea; ‘There is hardly a more powerful remedy,’ wrote Sir John Hill (1716-75), warning at the same time that the dose should not exceed 3 grains. He also informs us that a decoction of the bulb operates by urine.

Tennyson speaks of Bluebell juice being used to cure snake-bite.

The flowers have a slight, starch-like scent, but no medicinal uses have been ascribed to them.

The bulbs are poisonous in the fresh state. The viscid juice so abundantly contained in them and existing in every part of the plant has been used as a substitute for starch, and in the days when stiff ruffs were worn was much in request. From its gummy character, it was also employed as bookbinders’ gum.

Other Uses:
Wild Hyacinth or Bluebells are widely planted as garden plants, either among trees or in herbaceous borders. They flower at the same time as hyacinths, Narcissus and some tulips. Their ability to reproduce vegetatively using runners, however, means that they can spread rapidly, and may need to be controlled as weeds.

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/Hyacinthus_non-scriptus

http://thorns-meadow.com/bos/documents/898.html

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/hyawil43.html

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Grape Hyacinth

Botanical Name : Muscari racemosum
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus: Muscari
Species: M. racemosum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonym: Starch Hyacinth.Muscari atlanticum – Boiss.&Reut.
Muscari racemosum – Lam.&DC.

Common Name :Grape Hyacinth

Habitat :Grape Hyacinth is native to   Mediterranean region, north to Britain, Belgium, Germany and S. Russia.It grows on Dry grassland in sandy soils

Description:
Grape Hyacinth  is a perennial bulbous and a robust plant, with large bulbs which have thick fleshy roots. Each bulb produces several greyish-green leaves. Flowers are borne in a spike or raceme. Individual flowers are 7–9 mm long, grey-white when fully open, sometimes with a bluish tone; they have a distinct scent of musk. This is the species from which the genus gets its name (Muscari is from the Greek muschos, meaning musk).
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It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a rich open well-drained soil and a sunny position. Easily grown in any well-drained soil. Grows very well in short grass, increasing freely and it can become invasive. A very variable plant. The flowers secrete lots of nectar and are a valuable bee plant in the spring. The flowers are said to have a smell like wet starch whilst another report says that they are deliciously plum-scented.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a greenhouse. The seed can also be sown in early spring in a greenhouse. A good proportion of the seed usually germinates within 2 – 3 months. Sow the seed thinly so that the seedlings can be left undisturbed in the pot for their first year of growth. Give them an occasional liquid feed in the growing season to ensure they do not become nutrient deficient. When the plants become dormant in late summer, pot up the small bulbs placing 2 – 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them on for another one or two years in the greenhouse before planting them out when they are dormant in late summer. Division of offsets in July/August after the leaves die down. It can be done every other year if a quick increase is required[1]. Larger bulbs can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out when they are dormant in late summer.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers; Root.

Bulb are sometimes  cooked  and eaten.

Medicinal Uses:
The American species Muscari comosum (Mill.) (Feather Hyacinth), or Purse Tassel, has been used, as well as other species of Muscari, for its diuretic and stimulant properties. Comisic acid has been extracted from the bulb, and apparently acts like Saponin.

The innumerable varieties of Garden Hyacinth are derived from an Eastern plant, Hyacinthus orientalis.

Known Hazards:
The bulb is poisonous. It contains a substance called comisic acid, which is said to act like saponin. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching the seed or flour in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable 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.

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Muscari+neglectum

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/hyagra42.html

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

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Houndstongue

Botanical Name : Cynoglossum officinale
Kingdom: Plantae
Family: Boraginaceae
Genus:     Cynoglossum
Species: C. officinale

Synonyms: Lindefolia spectabilis. Dog’s Tongue.

Common Names :Houndstongue, Houndstooth, Dog’s tongue, Gypsy flower, and Rats and mice.
The name houndstongue comes from the belief that it could ward off dog attacks if a leaf was worn in the shoe.

Habitat : Hound’s Tongue  is  found in most parts of Europe and east to Asia,  North America where it was accidentally introduced.It grows in dry grassy areas and the edges of woods, often near the sea, on sand, gravel, chalk or limestone soils.

Description:
Hound’s Tongue is a rough, bristly perennial,stout and herbaceous  plant, grows 1 1/2 to 3 feet tall.(It can be either annual or biennial too) with reddish-purple flowers blooming between May and September. and terminal (the end of the stem).The stem, hairy and leafy, 1 to 2 feet high, branched above, arises from amidst large, narrow, radical, stalked leaves.
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It forms a rosette (a disk of foliage) the first year (leaves near the ground in a circle with no visible stem).  The heavy, tongued shaped leaves alternate up the stem and are about 4 to 12 inches long.  The leaves are hairy and rough and feel like a dog’s tongue, and that’s how it acquired it’s name.    The seed pods are distinctive 1/3 of an inch across and covered with barbs that enable them to stick to hairs, clothing etc., which is how they spread.

Cultivation:
Prefers sandy, gravelly and basic soils. Grows well in an ordinary well-drained soil. Succeeds in full sun or partial shade. The flowers are an absolute magnet for bees. The plant smells of mice.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in situ in early summer. The seed can be sown in spring or autumn, a period of cold stratification improves germination.

Edible Uses:  Young leaves are eaten raw or cooked. A disagreeable odour and taste.

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic; Antihaemorrhoidal; Antispasmodic; Astringent; Cancer; Digestive; Emollient; Narcotic.

Hound’s tongue has a long history of use as a medicinal herb, though it is rarely used in modern herbalism. The leaves contain allantoin, a highly effective agent that speeds up the healing process in the body. Caution should be applied, however, since narcotic effects result from large doses taken internally and the plant is potentially carcinogenic (though it has also been used in the treatment of cancer). The leaves and roots are analgesic, antihaemorrhoidal, antispasmodic, astringent, digestive, emollient and slightly narcotic. The plant contains the alkaloids cynoglossine and consolidin, which are used medicinally to relieve pain. They depress the central nervous system and are also potentially carcinogenic. The plant has been used internally in the treatment of coughs and diarrhoea, though it is now mainly used externally as a poultice on piles, wounds, minor injuries, bites and ulcers. The root is harvested at the end of spring of the plants second year. Another report says that it is best harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The leaves and flowering shoots are harvested as the plant comes into flower and are dried for later use. The plant has a wide antitumour reputation for cancers of various types. A homeopathic remedy is made from the roots. It is very effective in the treatment of insomnia.

Other Uses:
Scented Plants
Leaves: Crushed
The plant smells of mice.

Known Hazards: Houndstongue contains alkaloids that can cause cancer when the plant is consumed in large quantities. The plant is also said to be slightly poisonous, there are no reported cases of human poisoning but there are some cases of cattle being poisoned. The plant has a disagreeable odour and taste so is seldom eaten by animals. Contact with the plant can cause dermatitis in sensitive people.

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/h/houndt40.html

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Cynoglossum+officinale

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

http://mtwow.org/houndstongue.html

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Phytotherapy

Phytotherapy is the study of the use of extracts of natural origin as medicines or health-promoting agents. Phytotherapy medicines differ from plant-derived medicines in standard pharmacology. Where standard pharmacology isolates an active compound from a given plant, phytotherapy aims to preserve the complexity of substances from a given plant with relatively less processing.

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Phytotherapy is distinct from homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine, and avoids mixing plant and synthetic bioactive substances. Traditional phytotherapy is a synonym for herbalism and regarded as alternative medicine by much of Western medicine.

Phytotherapy is a synergistic approach to health-care, combining the best of science, medicine and nature into a personalised, holistic natural medicine solution for you and your family.

Phytotherapists are medically trained to diagnose and treat a broad range of diseases.It also incorporates disease prevention, diet and nutrition, compounding and dispensing of herbal medicines and herb-drug interactions.

Modern phytotherapy, following the scientific method, can be considered the study on the effects and clinical use of herbal medicines.

Phytotherapy is a synergistic approach to health-care, combining the best of science, medicine and nature into a personalised, holistic natural medicine solution for modern human beings.

Although the medicinal and biological effects of many plant constituents such as alkaloids (morphine, atropine etc.) have been proven through clinical studies, there is always a debate about the efficacy and the place of phytotherapy in medical therapies.

But the herbal medicine has been used and trusted globally for thousands of years as a highly effective and safe method of treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 80% of the world’s population currently depends on herbal medicine for its primary healthcare.

There are no pre-made formulae in Phytotherapy. Each patient is a unique individual and therefore each patient will have a personalised prescription made up just for them. The aim is to treat the whole person-holistically- and to take into account as many factors contributing to the condition as possible. At subsequent consultations your progress will be monitored and assessed. The prescription may be adjusted as needed.

One of the main aims of Phytotherapy is disease prevention and promotion of long-term health. These aims are achieved by treating and rebalancing the individual patient as a whole.

Resources:

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

http://www.tammioflynn.com/phytotherapy-herbal-medicine/what-is-phytotherapy/

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Solanum carolinense

Botanical Name: Solanum carolinense
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus:     Solanum
Species: S. carolinense

Synonyms:
Solanum pumilum (as described by Michel Félix Dunal) was considered a variety hirsutum of the Carolina Horsenettle by D’Arcy and A. Gray. Several other varieties and forms of S. carolinense are not considered taxonomically distinct nowadays:

*Solanum carolinense f. albiflorum (Kuntze) Benke
*Solanum carolinense var. albiflorum Kuntze
*Solanum carolinense var. floridanum (Dunal) Chapm.
*Solanum carolinense var. pohlianum Dunal

Finally, there are some other junior synonyms used for this plant:

*Solanum floridanum Raf.
*Solanum floridanum Shuttlew. ex Dunal (non Raf.: preoccupied)
*Solanum godfreyi Shinners
*Solanum pleei Dunal

Common names: Horsenettle, Radical weed, Sand brier or Briar, Bull nettle, Tread-softly, Apple of Sodom, Devil’s tomato and Wild tomato.”Horsenettle” is also written “horse nettle” or “horse-nettle”, though USDA publications usually use the one-word form. Though there are other horsenettle nightshades, S. carolinense is the species most commonly called “the horsenettle”.

Habitat:Solanum carolinense is native to the southeastern United States that has spread widely throughout North America.  This weed is a hardy, coarse perennial, found growing in waste sandy ground as far west as Iowa and south to Florida. These plants can be found growing in pastures, roadsides, railroad margins, and in disturbed areas and waste ground. They grow to about 1 m tall, but are typically shorter, existing as sub  shrubs. They prefer sandy or loamy soils.

Description:
Solanum carolinense, Carolina horsenettle is not a true nettle, but a member of the Solanaceae, or nightshade family. It is a perennial herbaceous plant.
Leaves are alternate, elliptic-oblong to oval, 2.5 to 4.5 inches long, and each is irregularly lobed or coarsely toothed. Both surfaces are covered with fine hairs. Leaves smell like potatoes when crushed. The flowers have five petals and are usually white or purple with yellow centers, though there is a blue variant that resembles the tomato flower. The fruits also resemble tomatoes. The immature fruit is dark green with light green stripes, turning yellow and wrinkled as it matures. Each fruit contains around 60 seeds. It flowers throughout the summer, from April to October. The plant grows to 3 feet tall, is perennial, and spreads by both seeds and underground rhizome. Stems of older plants are woody.
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Cultivation: Succeeds in most soils.

Propagation: Seed – sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts Used:  Air-dried ripe berries & root.

Constituents:  Probably Solanine and Solanidine and an organic acid.

The berries and the root are anodyne, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac and diuretic. They have been used in the treatment of epilepsy. They have been recommended in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and other convulsive disorders. The berries should be harvested when fully ripe and carefully air-dried. An infusion of the seeds has been gargled as a treatment for sore throats and drunk in the treatment of goitre. A tea made from the wilted leaves has been gargled in the treatment of sore throats and the tea has been drunk in the treatment of worms. A poultice made from the leaves has been applied to poison ivy rash.

Known Hazards : All parts of the plant are poisonous to varying degrees due to the presence of solanine which is a toxic alkaloid and one of the plant’s natural defenses. While ingesting any part of the plant can cause fever, headache, scratchy throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, ingesting the fruit can cause abdominal pain, circulatory and respiratory depression, or even death. Fatalities have been reported with children.

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/h/hornet37.html

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

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Solanum+carolinense

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Black Horehound

Botanical Name : Ballota nigra
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Ballota
Species: B. nigra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Marrubium nigrum. Black Stinking Horehound.

Common Names :Black Horehound

Habitat :Black Horehound  is native to the Mediterranean region and to central Asia, and it can be found throughout Europe and the Eastern United States.It is a nitrophilous plant; it grows in ruins, fallows and hedges, up to 1300 m. It prefers loose, calcareous (alkaline) soils. It tolerates temperatures as low as -5°/-10 °C

Description:
Black Horehound is a perennial herb of the family Lamiaceae.   It can grow up to 3 feet in height.

It has herbaceous ascending stems, wooden and branched at bottom, covered by down folded hairs. The plant has a taproot system.

The leaves are opposite and decussate, and range from oval-lanceolate to heart-shaped, with crenate or dentate border. Leaves, dark green and usually pubescent, measure 3–8 cm per 2–6 cm, and have 1–3 cm petiole. Upper face is wrinkled, with a net-like vein pattern.

It blooms from May to August.It has a very strong smell, and can be recognised by its clusters of hairy, reddish-purple flowers.Flowers are organized in verticillasters, subspherical to about one-sided, with 15 to 30 flowers. Each verticillaster consist of two condensed dichasial cymes at axils of normal leaves.
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Flower has an actinomorphic calyx (length 9–10 mm, width 7 mm), made up by five sepals fused together in a tube with five teeths; and a labiate corolla of 12–13 mm, ranging from pink to pale purple to withish. The corolla consist of a tube of about 6 mm and two lips; the upper one slightly concave (like a hood) and externally hairy; the lower one glabrous, with two minor lateral lobes and a major central bifid lobe. There are four didynamous stamens, running parallel under the upper lip, with glabrous filaments and yellow anthers. Ovary is superior, with a single white style and a 2-parted stigma.

Below the calyx there are five filiform bracts, 8 mm long.

Each fertilized flower produces a tetrad of black nutlets, cylindrical to ovoid, 2 mm long, partially or fully covered by the calyx. The basal end is flat and attached to the receptacle, while the top end is rounded or pointed.

Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Avoids acid soils in the wild but tolerates a pH down to 5 in cultivation. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. This species is widely grown in herb gardens, but little employed because of its strong flavour. Its essential oil is used to adulterate the oil of white horehound (Marrubium vulgare). The leaves emit a most unpleasant smell when bruised, somewhat like stale perspiration. Plants can self-sow freely when well-sited. There is at least one named variety selected for its ornamental value. The whole plant has an offensive odour.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 3 – 6 weeks at 15°c. 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 or following autumn. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: The whole Herb.

Chemical Constituents :Black horehound contains diterpenoids like marrubiin, ballonigrin, ballotinone, ballotenol and 7-acetoxymarrubiin. Also, it contains phenylpropanoids that have shown to be antioxidants.

Antispasmodic, stimulant and  vermifuge.

Black horehound has a long history of herbal use, though is not widely employed in modern herbalism because of its unpleasant flavour. Nonetheless, it does have a range of medicinal virtues, being especially effective in its action as an antiemetic. In the past it was often used for treating problems connected with the respiratory system, convulsions, low spirits and the menopause, but present-day authorities differ over whether it was effective in these applications. The whole plant is antiemetic, antispasmodic, expectorant, stimulant and vermifuge. It is taken internally in the treatment of nervous dyspepsia, travelling sickness, morning sickness in pregnancy, arthritis, gout, menstrual disorders and bronchial complaints. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and is dried for later use. It should not be stored for longer than a year. The fresh herb is sometimes used to make a syrup.

Other Uses:
Scented plant

Leaves: Crushed
The leaves emit a most unpleasant smell when bruised, somewhat like stale perspiration.
away well.

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/h/horbla34.html

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Ballota+nigra

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

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Honeysuckle

Botanical Name : Lonicera Periclymenum /Lonicera capri
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Genus:     Lonicera
Species: L. periclymenum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Dipsacales

Synonyms: Dutch Honeysuckle. Goats’ Leaf.
(French) Chèvre-feuille.
(German) Geisblatt.
(Italian) Capri-foglio.

Common names : Honeysuckle, common honeysuckle, European honeysuckle or woodbin

Habitat : It is found as far north as southern Norway and Sweden. In the UK it is one of two native honeysuckles, the other being Lonicera xylosteum. It is often found in woodland or in hedgerows or scrubland.It grows in Woods, hedgerows, scrub and shady places, avoiding calcareous s

Description:
Lonicera periclymenum is a deciduous Climber growing to 4.5 m (14ft 9in) or more in height, it is a vigorous evergreen twining climber.  The tubular, two-lipped flowers are creamy white or yellowish and very sweet smelling (especially during the night). The plant is usually pollinated by moths or long-tongued bees and develops bright red berries.

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It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Cultivation:  
Succeeds in most soils from acid to base-rich[186]. Prefers its roots in the shade with its shoots climbing up into the sun. Plants succeed even in quite deep shade. Established plants are fairly drought tolerant. Plants are hardy to about -20°c[184]. A very ornamental plant, there are a number of named varieties. The flowers are very fragrant, especially in the evening when it attracts pollinating moths. New leaves often start to open in January with well-grown leaves in April. The leaves fall in November[186]. Twining plants, they can bind themselves so tightly round young trees that they can prevent the trunk from being able to expand[186]. A very good moth and butterfly plant, it is also an important food for many caterpillars including the larvae of the rare white admiral butterfly. The dense growth of the plant offers good nesting possibilities for birds.

Propagation: 
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 2 months cold stratification and should be sown as soon as possible 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 their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 – 10cm with or without a heel, July/August in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, 15 – 20cm with or without a heel, November in a cold frame. Good percentage. Layering in autumn.

Edible Uses:  Children (of all ages) suck the base of the flowers to extract the swweet nectar.

Medivinal Uses:
Parts Used:  Flowers, seeds, leaves.

The plant has expectorant and laxative properties. A syrup made from the flowers has been used in the treatment of respiratory diseases whilst a decoction of the leaves is considered beneficial in treating diseases of the liver and spleen. It is used as a mouthwash for ulcers and is considered to be a good ingredient in gargles. The flowers are antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge and sudorific. The fruit is emetic and cathartic. The herbage is used as a cutaneous and mucous tonic and as a vulnerary. It is also diaphoretic. The leaves are laxative and slightly astringent. The seed is diuretic. The bark is anticatarrhal, depurative, diuretic and sudorific.

Other Uses
A climbing plant, it can be allowed to scramble on the ground where it makes a good ground cover. Plants should be spaced about 1.2 metres apart each way[

Known Hazards:  Poisonous in large doses. It only has a very mild action.

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/Lonicera_periclymenum

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lonicera+periclymenum

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/honeys31.html

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Sea Holly

Botanical Name :  Eryngium campestre /Eryngium maritinum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Eryngium
Species: E. campestre
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Eryngo. Sea Hulver. Sea Holme.

Common Names:Sea Holly,Field eryngo
(French): Panicaut.
(German): Krausdistel

Habitat :Sea Holly grows Mainly in Central and southern Europe, north to Germany and Holland. Rare in the British Isles. It abounds on most of our sandy seashores(Dry grassy areas near the coast) and is very plentiful on the East Coast, also on the sands of Mounts Bay, Cornwall, but is rare in Scotland. CLICK & SEE

Description:
Sea Holly  is a hairless, thorny perennial plant. The stems, 6 to 12 inches high, thick and solid, are branched at the summit. The radical leaves are on stalks, 2 to 7 inches long, the blades cut into three broad divisions at the apex, coarsely toothed, the teeth ending in spines and undulated.They  are tough and stiff, whitish-green. The basal leaves are long-stalked, pinnate and spiny. The leafs of this plant are mined by the gall fly which is called Euleia heraclei. The margin of the leaf is thickened and cartilaginous. The lower stem-leaves are shortly stalked, resembling the radical ones, but the upper ones are sessile and half embracing the stem, which terminates in a shortly-stalked head, below which it gives off two or three spreading branches, all from one point, which is surrounded by a whorl of three leaves, spreading like the rays of the sun.
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The heads of flowers appear in July and are at first round, afterwards egg-shaped, 3/4 to 1 inch across, the flowers stalkless, whitish-blue, 1/8 inch across. The calyx tube is thickly covered with soft, cartilaginous bristles; the calyx teeth end in a spine.

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The plant is intensely glaucous tinged with blue towards the top, especially on the flowerheads and the leaves immediately below them.

Cultivation:
Requires a well-drained soil and a sunny position. Prefers a light sandy soil but tolerates most soil types including lime and poor gravels. The plant has deep and wide-ranging roots, it can spread freely in the garden and become difficult to eradicate. Plants should be put in their final position whilst small since they resent root disturbance. The plant is often used in dried flower arrangements since it retains its colour for a long time.

Propagation:   
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in early autumn on the surface of a well-drained compost in a cold frame. The seed can also be sown in spring. It usually germinates in 5 – 90 days at 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in early spring or autumn. Take care since the plant resents root disturbance. Root cuttings in autumn or winter.

Edible Uses:
Young shoots are cooked as an asparagus substitute. Root – cooked and Used as a vegetable or candied and used as a sweetmeat. Easily digested

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: The root, dug in autumn, from plants at least two years old.

The root is antispasmodic, aromatic, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, galactofuge and stimulant. It should be harvested in the autumn from plants that are at least 2 years old. The root promotes free expectoration and is very useful in the treatment of debility attendant on coughs of chronic standing in the advanced stages of pulmonary consumption. Drunk freely it is used to treat whooping cough, diseases of the liver and kidneys and skin complaints.

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/Eryngium_campestre

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Eryngium+campestre

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/holsea29.html

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