Atriplex hortensis

Botanical Name :Atriplex hortensis
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Chenopodioideae
Genus: Atriplex
Species: A. hortensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Mountain Spinach. Garden Orache

Common Names: Garden Orache, Red Orach, Mountain Spinach, French Spinach, or simply “orache” or arrach

Habitat : Atriplex hortensis is native  to Europe. An occasional garden escape in Britain. It grows on arable land, waste and disturbed ground, shingle etc.

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Description:
Atriplex hortensis is a hardy, annual plant, with an erect, branching stem, varying in height from two to six feet, according to the variety and soil. The leaves are variously shaped, but somewhat oblong, comparatively thin in texture, and slightly acidic to the taste. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind. The flowers are small and obscure, greenish or reddish, corresponding in a degree with the color of the foliage of the plant; the seeds are small, black, and surrounded with a thin, pale-yellow membrane. They retain their vitality for three years.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. Used like spinach, they have a bland flavour and are traditionally mixed with sorrel leaves in order to modify the acidity of the latter. Another report says that the flavour is stronger than spinach. Seed – cooked. It can be ground into a meal and used in soups etc or be mixed with flour when making bread. The seed is said to be a good source of vitamin A. The seed is also said to contain some saponins. See the notes above on toxicity. The seed is small and fiddly to harvest and us

Medicinal Uses:
Antirheumatic;  Diuretic;  EmeticPurgative.

The leaves are diuretic, emetic and purgative. They are also said to be a stimulant to the metabolism and an infusion is used as a spring tonic and a remedy for tiredness and nervous exhaustion. They have been suggested as a folk remedy for treating plethora and lung ailments. The leaves are said to be efficacious when used externally in the treatment of gout. The seeds, mixed with wine, are said to cure yellow jaundice. They also excite vomiting. The fruits are purgative and emetic. Liniments and emollients prepared from the whole plant, like the juice of the plant, are said to be folk remedies for indurations and tumours, especially of the throat. Heated with vinegar, honey and salt and applied, the Orache was considered efficacious to cure an attack of gout.

Other Uses:
Biomass;  Dye.

A blue dye is obtained from the seed. The plant is a potential source of biomass. Yields of 14 tonnes per hectare have been achieved in the vicinity of Landskrona and Lund, Sweden. Higher yields might be expected farther south. If the leaf-protein were extracted, this should leave more than 13 tonnes biomass as by-product, for potential conversion to liquid or gaseous fuels.

Known Hazards: No member of this genus contains any toxins, all have more or less edible leaves. However, if grown with artificial fertilizers, they may concentrate harmful amounts of nitrates in their leaves. The seed contains saponins. 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

Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/arrac060.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Atriplex+hortensis

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

Tetragonia tetragonioides

Botanical Name : Tetragonia tetragonioides  (or previously Tetragonia expansa)
Family: Aizoaceae /Picoideae
Genus: Tetragonia
Species: T. tetragonioides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Tetragonia expansa Murray APNI* , Tetragonia tetragonoides (Pall.) Kuntze APNI* ,Demidovia tetragonoides Pall. APNI*

Common NamesNew Zealand spinach, Warrigal greens, Warrigal cabbage, k?kihi (M?ori language), sea spinach, Botany Bay spinach, tetragon and Cook’s cabbage.

Habitat : Tetragonia tetragonioides is native to New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Chile and Argentina.It grows on coastal sand dunes and stony beaches on North South and Stewart Islands of New Zealand. Sheltered beaches, salt marshes and arid plains in Australia.

Description:
New Zealand Spinach is a half-hardy evergreen perennial(annual in some places) plant growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.
It has a trailing habit, and will form a thick carpet on the ground or climb though other vegetation and hang downwards. The leaves of the plant are 3–15 cm long, triangular in shape, and bright green. The leaves are thick, and covered with tiny papillae that look like waterdrops on the top and bottom of the leaves. The flowers of the plant are yellow, and the fruit is a small, hard pod covered with small horns. The plant is a halophyte and grows well in saline ground.
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Cultivation: 
Tetragonia tetragonioides  is easily grown in the garden, it prefers a light soil in a sunny position and thrives in dry soils. It grows best in a good rich soil. Once established, the plants tolerate drought. Plants are very tolerant of hot, dry conditions but cannot tolerate frost. Although very drought tolerant, the plants produce a better quality crop if they are given some water in dry weather. New Zealand spinach is occasionally cultivated in gardens for its edible leaves, it is an excellent spinach substitute for hot dry weather conditions. A perennial plant in its native habitat, but it is usually killed by the cold in British winters and so is grown as an annual. In the Tropics it is occasionally cultivated in the cool season as a spinach.

Propagation: 
Seed – sow early to mid spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frost. Seed can also be sown in situ in late spring, though this will not generally make such good plants . The seed can be slow to germinate, soaking in warm water for 24 hours prior to sowing may help .

Edible Uses:

Leaves – raw or cooked. A spinach substitute, the shoot tips are harvested when about 8cm long, this encourages plenty of side growth with lots more shoots to harvest. A delicious substitute for spinach, the very young leaves and shoots can also be eaten raw in salads. The young leaves are best, older leaves developing an acrid taste.

Medicinal Uses:
Captain James Cook found the plant growing in New Zealand and fed it to his crew as a fresh vegetable to help prevent scurvy.

Resources:

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

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Tetragonia+tetragonoides

http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Tetragonia~tetragonioides

http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/education/Resources/bush_foods/Tetragonia_tetragonioides

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/spinew81.html

Spinach

Botanical Name : Spinacia oleracea
Family:
Amaranthaceae,(formerly Chenopodiaceae)
Genus: Spinacia
Species:
S. oleracea
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Caryophyllales

Common Name :Spinach

Habitat: The Spinach is native to central and southwestern Asia, probably of Persian origin, being introduced into Europe about the fifteenth century.

Description:
Spinach is an edible flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae. It is native to central and southwestern Asia. It is an annual plant (rarely biennial), which grows to a height of up to 30 cm. Spinach may survive over winter in temperate regions. The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to triangular-based, very variable in size from about 2–30 cm long and 1–15 cm broad, with larger leaves at the base of the plant and small leaves higher on the flowering stem. The flowers are inconspicuous, yellow-green, 3–4 mm diameter, maturing into a small, hard, dry, lumpy fruit cluster 5–10 mm across containing several seeds.

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Common spinach, Spinacia oleracea, was long considered to be in the Chenopodiaceae family, but in 2003, the Chenopodiaceae family was combined with the Amaranthaceae family under the family name ‘Amaranthaceae’ in the order Caryophyllales. Within the Amaranthaceae family, Amaranthoideae and Chenopodioideae are now subfamilies, for the amaranths and the chenopods, respectively.

Types of spinach;
A distinction can be made between older varieties of spinach and more modern ones. Older varieties tend to bolt too early in warm conditions. Newer varieties tend to grow more rapidly, but have less of an inclination to run up to seed. The older varieties have narrower leaves and tend to have a stronger and more bitter taste. Most newer varieties have broader leaves and round seeds.

There are  three basic types of spinach and they  are:

1.Savoy has dark green, crinkly and curly leaves. It is the type sold in fresh bunches in most supermarkets in the United States. One heirloom variety of savoy is Bloomsdale, which is somewhat resistant to bolting. Other common heirloom varieties are Merlo Nero (a mild variety from Italy) and Viroflay (a very large spinach with great yields).

2.Flat- or smooth-leaf spinach has broad, smooth leaves that are easier to clean than Savoy. This type is often grown for canned and frozen spinach, as well as soups, baby foods, and processed foods. Giant Noble is an example variety.

3.Semi-savoy is a hybrid variety with slightly crinkled leaves. It has the same texture as Savoy, but it is not as difficult to clean. It is grown for both fresh market and processing. Tyee Hybrid is a common semi-savoy.

Cultivation:
Plants grow best and produce their heaviest crop of leaves on a nitrogen-rich soil. They dislike very heavy or very light soils. They also dislike acid soils, preferring a neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Plants require plenty of moisture in the growing season, dry summers causing the plants to quickly run to seed. Summer crops do best in light shade to encourage more leaf production before the plant goes to seed, winter crops require a warm dry sunny position. Young plants are hardy to about -9°c. Spinach is often cultivated for its edible leaves, there are some named varieties. These varieties can be grouped into two main types as detailed below:- Forms with prickly seeds. These are the more primitive forms. Their leaves are more lobed and they are in general more cold tolerant and also more resistant of summer heat. They were more often used to produce a crop in the winter. Forms with round seeds have been developed in cultivation, These have broader leaves, tend to be less cold hardy and were also more prone to bolt in hot weather. They were used mainly for the summer crop. Most new cultivars are of the round seeded variety and these have been developed to be more resistant to bolting in hot weather, more cold tolerant, to produce more leaves and also to be lower in calcium oxalate which causes bitterness and also has negative nutritional effects upon the body. Some modern varieties have been developed that are low in oxalic acid. Edible leaves can be obtained all year round from successional sowings. The summer varieties tend to run to seed fairly quickly, especially in hot dry summers and so you need to make successional sowings every few weeks if a constant supply is required. Winter varieties provide leaves for a longer period, though they soon run to seed when the weather warms up. Spinach grows well with strawberries. It also grows well with cabbages, onions, peas and celery. A fast-growing plant, the summer crop can be interplanted between rows of slower growing plants such as Brussels sprouts. The spinach would have been harvested before the other crop needs the extra space. Spinach is a bad companion for grapes and hyssop.

Propagation :
Seed to be sown from March to June for a summer crop. Make successional sowings, perhaps once a month, to ensure a continuity of supply. The seed germinates within about 2 weeks and the first leaves can be harvested about 6 weeks later. Seed is sown during August and September for a winter crop

Edible Uses:
It is eaten as very delicius green leafy vegetables.Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A (and especially high in lutein), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Recently, opioid peptides called rubiscolins have also been found in spinach.

Polyglutamyl folate (vitamin B9 or folic acid) is a vital constituent of cells, and spinach is a good source of folic acid. Boiling spinach can more than halve the level of folate left in the spinach, but microwaving does not affect folate content. Vitamin B9 was first isolated from spinach in 1941.

Spinach, along with other green leafy vegetables, is considered to be rich in iron. It also has a high calcium content. However, the oxalate content in spinach also binds with calcium, decreasing its absorption. Calcium and zinc also limit iron absorption. The calcium in spinach is the least bioavailable of calcium sources. By way of comparison, the human body can absorb about half of the calcium present in broccoli, yet only around 5% of the calcium in spinach

Medicinal Uses:
Appetizer;  Carminative;  Febrifuge;  Hypoglycaemic;  Laxative.

The plant is carminative and laxative. In experiments it has been shown to have hypoglycaemic properties. It has been used in the treatment of urinary calculi. The leaves have been used in the treatment of febrile conditions, inflammation of the lungs and the bowels. The seeds are laxative and cooling. They have been used in the treatment of difficult breathing, inflammation of the liver and jaundice.

Known Hazards:  The leaves of most varieties of spinach are high in oxalic acid. Although not toxic, this substance does lock up certain minerals in a meal, especially calcium, making them unavailable to the body. Therefore mineral deficiencies can result from eating too much of any leaf that contains oxalic acid. However, the mineral content of spinach leaves is quite high so the disbenifits are to a large extent outweighed by the benefits. There are also special low-oxalic varieties of spinach that have been developed. Cooking the leaves will also reduce the content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition. Possible methaemoglobinaemia from nitrates in children under 4 months. Anticoagulant patients should avoid excessive intake due to vitamin K content.

Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/spinac80.html

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

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Spinacia+oleracea

 

Aralia hispida

Botanical Name : Aralia hispida
Family: 
Araliaceae

Common Name: Bristly Sarsaparilla

Habitat :Aralia hispida  is native to Eastern and Central N. America – E. Canada to Virginia, west to Illinois and Minnesota.It grows on Rocky or sandy sterile soils, Alberta to Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec.

Description:
Aralia hispida is a perennial & deciduous Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). The lower part of the stem is woody and shrubby, beset with sharp bristles, upper part leafy and branching. Leaflets oblongovate, acute serrate, leaves bipinnate, many simple umbels, globose, axillary and terminal on long peduncles, has bunches of dark-coloured nauseous berries, flowers June to September. The whole plant smells unpleasantly. Fruit, black, round, one-celled, has three irregular-shaped seeds. The bark is used medicinally, but the root is the more active.

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Cultivation:
Prefers a moderately fertile deep moisture-retentive well-drained loam and a position in semi-shade but also succeeds in a sunny position. Requires a sheltered position. Plants are hardier when grown on poorer soils. This species is especially tolerant of poor dry soils. Prefers an acid soil. Dormant plants are hardy to at least -15°c. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. The whole plant has an unpleasant smell.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 – 5 months of cold stratification. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 4 months at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Once the plants are 25cm or more tall, they can be planted out into their permanent positions, late spring or early summer being the best time to do this. Root cuttings 8cm long, December in a cold frame[11, 78]. Store the roots upside down in sand and pot up in March/April. High percentage. Division of suckers in late winter. Very easy, the suckers can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses:   It used as Tea. & Drink;  A tea is made from the roots. The roots are also used for making ‘root beer’

Medicinal Uses: A tea made from the leaves is diaphoretic. The root is alterative and tonic. An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of heart diseases. The bark, and especially the root bark, is diuretic and tonic. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh root. It has alterative, diaphoretic and diuretic properties and is considered to be a good treatment for dropsy.

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aralia+hispida

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/e/eldwam06.html

 

Veronica chamaedrys

Botanical Name : Veronica chamaedrys
Family:    Plantaginaceae
Genus:    Veronica
Species: V. chamaedrys
Kingdom:  Plantae
Order:    Lamiales

Synonyms: Fluellin the Male. Veronique petit Chêne. Paul’s Betony. Eye of Christ. Angels’ Eyes. Cat’s Eye. Bird’s Eye. Farewell.

Common Names:  Germander speedwell, Bird’s-eye speedwell

Habitat :   Veronica chamaedrys is native to Europe and northern Asia. It is found on other continents as an introduced species.

Description:
Veronica chamaedrys is a herbaceous perennial plant with hairy stems and leaves. It can grow to 25 cm tall, but is normally about 12 cm tall. The flowers are deep blue, 8 to 12 mm wide with a zygomorphic (bilaterally-symmetrical) four-lobed corolla.This little plant has a creeping, branched root-stock, passing insensibly into the stem, which is weak and decumbent to the point where the leaves commence, and then raises itself about a foot, to carry up the flowers. The leaves are in pairs, nearly stalkless, 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long, egg-shaped to heart-shaped, deeply furrowed by the veins, the margins coarsely toothed. On the whole length of the stem are two lines of long hairs running down between each pair of leaves, shifting from side to side wherever they arrive at a fresh pair of leaves. These hairy lines act as barriers to check the advance of unwelcome crawling insects. The leaves themselves bear jointed hairs, and the flower-stalks, calyx and capsule also have long, gland-tipped hairs. The leaves are sometimes attacked by a gall mite, Cecidomyia Veronica, and white galls like white buttons are the result on the ends of the shoots.
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The numerous flowers are in loose racemes, 2 to 6 inches long in the axils of the leaves, the flowers are rather close together on first expanding, but become distant after the fall of the corolla, which is 1/2 inch across, bright blue with darker lines, and a white eye in the centre, where the four petals join into the short tube. The corolla is so lightly attached that the least jarring causes it to drop, so that the plant at the slightest handling loses its bright blossom – hence, perhaps, its name Speedwell and similar local names, ‘Fare well’ and ‘Good-bye.’ The under lip of the corolla covers the upper in bud. The flower closes at night and also in rainy weather, when the brightness of the blossoms quite disappears, only the pale and pearly underside of its petals being visible.

Medicinal Uses:
Veronica chamaedrys herb has been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally (as tea) for treatment of disorders of the nervous system, respiratory tract, cardiovascular system, and metabolism.

Old writers of all countries speak highly of the virtues of the Speedwell as a vulnerary, a purifier of the blood, and a remedy in various skin diseases, its outward application being considered efficacious for the itch. It was also believed to cure smallpox and measles, and to be a panacea for many ills. Gerard recommends it for cancer, ‘given in good broth of a hen,’ and advocates the use of the root as a specific against pestilential fevers.

It is not to be confused with Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys), the celebrated specific for gout, used by the Emperor Charles V.

The Germander Speedwell has a certain amount of astringency, and an infusion of its leaves was at one time famous for coughs, the juice of the fresh plant also, boiled into a syrup with honey, was used for asthma and catarrh, and a decoction of the whole plant was employed to stimulate the kidneys.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veronica_chamaedrys

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/speger76.html

Ranunculus flammula

Botanical Name :Ranunculus flammula
Family:    Ranunculaceae
Genus:    Ranunculus
Species:  R. flammula
Kingdom:  Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class:   Magnoliopsida
Order:    Ranunculales

Common Names: Lesser spearwort or Banewort,  creeping crowfoot, creeping spearwort

Habitat : Ranunculus flammula is very common throughout Britain,(Connecticut Maine Massachusetts New Hampshire Vermont) growing in wet and boggy parts of heaths and commons.(Floodplain (river or stream floodplains), forests, lacustrine (in lakes or ponds), marshes, riverine (in rivers or streams), shores of rivers or lakes, wetland margins (edges of wetlands)

 Description:
Ranunculus flammula is a species of perennial herbaceous plants in the genus Ranunculus (buttercup), growing in damp places throughout the Boreal Kingdom. The stems often root at the lower joints, being more or less horizontal to start with, but afterwards rising to a foot or more in height, being terminated by a few loose flower-bearing branches. It flowers June/July. The flowers are numerous, on long stalks, a light golden-yellow, 1/2 to 3/4 inch across. It has undivided, lanceolate (lance-shaped) leaves, the uppermost being the narrowest and smallest.
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Flower petal color is yellow, the leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets) they are alternate and there is one leaf per node along the stem, the edge of the leaf blade has teeth.

The fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe and the fruit length is 1.2–1.6 mm

Medicinal Uses: A tincture is used to cure ulcers.

Known Hazards: Ranunculus flammula 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:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/spearw74.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranunculus_flammula

https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/ranunculus/flammula/

Mentha rotundifolia

Botanical Name : Mentha rotundifolia
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribes: Mentheae
Subtribes: Menthinae
Genus: Mentha
Species: Mentha x rotundifolia
Kingdom     Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class: Angiospermae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Egyptian Mint,

Common Names:Round-leaved Mint,False Apple-mint, Wollige mint

Mentha ◊rotundifolia (L.) Huds. (pro sp.) [longifolia ◊ suaveolens]

Habitat :Mentha rotundifolia is native to southern & western Europe.

Description:
Mentha rotundifolia is a perennial plant.The stem is sturdy  having the habit of M. sylvestris, but is more branched. The leaves are very broad, somewhat resembling those of Sage, dull green in colour and much wrinkled above, often densely woolly and whitish beneath. The flowers are pink or white, in tapering, terminal spikes. Flowering time is August to September.
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This species has somewhat the flavour of Spearmint, but is stronger. It is frequently found on the ruins of monasteries, the monks having used it for the languor following epileptic fits, as it was considered refreshing to the brain. It is sometimes found cultivated in cottage gardens under the name of Egyptian Mint.

Cultivation & propagation:
Seeds are swon in spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. A strong spearmint flavour, they are used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods, this is also the main species that is used to make mint sauce. A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves.

In addition to being tasty, & having a smorgasbord of medicinal uses, the fuzzy leaves & rounded 2’ x 2’ form make a soothing textural mass that gently compliments its neighbors. Grow in a pot if you’re unwilling to mind the runners, as even a well behaved mint is still a mint, after all.

Medicinal Uses:
Mentha rotundifolia  like many other members of this genus, is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its antiseptic properties and its beneficial effect on the digestion. Like other members of the genus, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause an abortion. A tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.

Other Uses:
An essential oil is obtained from the whole plant. The plant repels insects and was formerly used as a strewing herb. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.

Known hazards: Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.

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.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/m/mentha-x-villosa-alopecuroides=apple-mint.php

http://myfolia.com/plants/50984-mentha-rotundifolia-mentha-rotundifolia

https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mentha_x_rotundifolia?setlang=en

http://www.theplantencyclopedia.org/wiki/Mentha_rotundifolia

Mentha citrata

Botanical Name :Mentha citrata
Family:    Lamiaceae
Genus:    Mentha
Species:M. citrata
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Lamiales

Synonym: Mentha odorata.

Common Names: Bergamot mint, Eau-de-cologne Mint, Horsemint, Lemon Mint, Lime Mint, Orange Mint, Pineapple Mint, Su Nanesi, Water Mint, Wild Water Mint, Yerba Buena

Habitat : :Mentha citrata is found in wet places in Staffordshireand Wales, though very rarely, but is often cultivated in gardens.It is found  on the sides of ditches, roadsides etc in S. England.

Description:
Mentha citrata is a perennial herb, growing to a height of about a feet.The whole plant is smooth, dotted with yellow glands and is of a dark green colour, generally tinged with purple, especially the margins of the leaves, which are finelly toothed. There are very conspicuous lines of yellow glands on the purple calyx.It blooms during August to October.

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This Mint has a very pleasant, aromatic, lemon-like odour, somewhat resembling that of the Bergamot Orange, or that of the Oswego Tea (Monarda didyma), also called Bergamot, and its leaves like those of the latter can be employed in pot pourri.

Cultivation & Propagation: A natural hybrid, M. aquatica x M. spicata found in moist soils on the sides of ditches, roadsides etc in S. England.

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods. A very pungent flavour, the leaves of the true eau-de-cologne mint are too aromatic for most tastes, though the cultivar “Basil” has an excellent flavour and makes a very good substitute for basil in pesto. A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves.

Medicinal Uses:
Mentha citrata or Eau de Cologne mint, like many other members of this genus, is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its antiseptic properties and its beneficial effect on the digestion. Like other members of the genus, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause an abortion. The leaves and flowering plant are anodyne, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, refrigerant, stomachic, tonic, vasodilator. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The medicinal uses of this herb are more akin to lavender (Lavandula spp) than the mints. It is used to treat infertility, rapid heartbeat, nervous exhaustion etc. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.

A tea made from the fresh or dried leaves has traditionally been used:

*For stomach aches, nausea, parasites and other digestive disorders

*For nerves and sick stomach

*For fevers and headaches.

Other Uses: An essential oil obtained from the whole plant is a source of lavender oil which is used in perfumery. It is also used in oral hygiene preparations, toiletries etc. Formerly used as a strewing herb, the plant repels insects, rats etc. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.

Known Hazards:  Although no specific mention has been seen for this sub-species, it should be noted that, in large quantities, the closely allied M. x piperita vulgaris can cause abortions, especially when used in the form of the extracted essential oil, so it should not be used by pregnant women.

Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mints-39.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha_citrata#Description

http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/m/mentha-x-piperita-citrata=eau-de-cologne-mint.php

Water mint

Botanical Name : Mentha aquatica
Family:    Lamiaceae
Genus:    Mentha
Species:M. aquatica
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Lamiales

Synonyms: Mentha hirsuta Huds

Common Names : Water mint

Habitat :Water mint is native to much of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. It has been introduced to North and South America, Australia and some Atlantic islands.It grows in damp places,swamps, fen, marshes, near rivers, streams and ponds, in wet woods.

Description:
Water mint is a herbaceous rhizomatous perennial plant growing to 90 centimetres (35 in) tall. The stems are square in cross section, green or purple, and variably hairy to almost hairless. The rhizomes are wide-spreading, fleshy, and bear fibrous roots. The leaves are ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 2 to 6 centimetres (0.79 to 2.36 in) long and 1 to 4 centimetres (0.39 to 1.57 in) broad, green (sometimes purplish), opposite, toothed, and vary from hairy to nearly hairless. The flowers of the watermint are tiny, densely crowded, purple, tubular, pinkish to lilac in colour and form a terminal hemispherical inflorescence; flowering is from mid to late summer. Water mint is pollinated by insects, and also spreads by underground rhizomes, like other species of mint. All parts of the plant have a distinctly minty smell. A variety known as Mentha aquatica var. litoralis is native to areas of Sweden and Finland near the Baltic Sea. It is unbranched, hairless, with narrower leaves and paler flowers.

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Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but it also succeeds in partial shade. Plants can grow in water up to 15cm deep. Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The whole plant, especially when bruised, has a pungent aroma of bergamot. The flowers are especially attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion for brassicas. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation  :       
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.

Edible Uses: Edible Parts: Leaves.
Used as Condiment &  Tea.

Leaves – raw or cooked. A strong distinctive peppermint-like fragrance. Used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods. The leaves are too pungent for most people to use as a flavouring. A herb tea is made from the leaves

Medicinal Uses:
Water mint is Emetic, stimulant and astringent. Used in herbal medicine in diarrhoea and as an emmenagogue, the infusion of 1 OZ. of the dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water being taken in wineglassful doses.

In severe cold and influenza, or in any complaint where it is necessary to set up perspiration and in all inflammatory complaints, internal or external, the tea made from this plant may be taken warm as freely as the patient pleases. It can be used in conjunction with stomach remedies and in difficult menstruation. A strong infusion is inclined to be emetic.

A decoction of Water Mint prepared with vinegar is recommended to stop blood vomiting.

Other Uses:
Repellent;  Strewing.

The plant repels flies, mice and rats. It has a pleasant, fresh scent and was formerly used as a strewing herb and has been strewn in granaries to keep mice and rats off the grain. The plant, harvested before flowering, yields about 0.8% essential oil[240]. The fresh or dried plant is very good when used in herbal baths and can also be used in herb pillows.

Known Hazards: Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.

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/m/mints-39.html#wil

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

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mentha+aquatica

Wild mint

Botanical Name :Mentha sativa
Kingdom
: Plantae
Order:  
 Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus:   
 Mentha

Synonyms: Water Mint or Marsh Mint. Whorled Mint. Hairy Mint.

Common Name :Wild mint, Mentha longifolia , Horse Mint;

Habitat:Mentha sativa is very  Common in Britain and found all over temperate and Northern Europe and Russian Asia. It prefers marshy land to grow well.

Description:
Mentha sativa is a rather coarse perennial herb, it grows to  1 to 1 1/2 feet high; leaves conspicuously stalked, ovate or oval-ovate, or oval-rounded or wedge-shaped at the base, subacute or acute serrate or crenate serrate, more or less hairy on both sides; flowers in whorls, usually all separate, beginning about or below the middle of the stem; bracts large, similar to leaves, sometimes the upper ones minute, uppermost ones often without flowers; bracteoles strap-shaped, subulate, hairy, shorter than flowers; pedicels hairy, rarely glabrous; calyx hairy, campanulate-cylindrical; teeth triangular, acuminate, half the length of tube, bristly, hairy; corolla scarcely twice as long as the calyx, hairy without and within; nucules rough with small points.

Medicinal:
The herb is considered to have emetic, stimulant, and astringent qualities, and is used in diarrhoea and as an emmenagogue. The infusion of 1 OZ. of the dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water is taken in wineglassful doses.

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/m/mints-39.html#wil

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

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