Phyla Dulcis (Phyla scaberrima)

Botanical Name :Phyla scaberrima
Family: Verbenaceae
Genus: Phyla
Species: P. dulcis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names :Phyla dulcis ,Aztec Sweet Herb, Bushy Lippia, Honeyherb, Hierba Dulce, and Tzopelic-xihuitl (Nahuatl).

Habitat :Phyla dulcis is native to southern Mexico, the Caribbean (Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico), Central America, Colombia, and Venezuela

Description:
Phyla dulcis is a perennial herb. Height: 4 Feet,Hardiness: Zone 9,Flower Color: White,Characteristics: Full Sun.

Aztec Sweet Herb is a sprawling ground cover type plant that has an incredibly sweet leaf. Not often used for sweetening any more, leaves can be eaten from the plant like candy or tossed into fruit salads for  an unusual addition. but as it contains 53% camphor, it is not a  reasonable substitute for sugar.
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This plant has historically been used as a natural sweetener and medicinal herb in its native Mexico and parts of Central America. It was used by the Aztecs and introduced to the Spanish when they arrived.

The sweet taste is caused by a sesquiterpene compound called hernandulcin, which was discovered in 1985 and named for Francisco Hernández, the Spanish physician who first described the plant in the sixteenth century.

Medicinal  Uses:
In Belize, this is a favorite remedy for bronchitis and dry, hacking coughs. Fresh plant material is boiled, and the patient holds his head over the pot. The warm mixture is then strained and sipped slowly. For toothaches, the flowers are chewed or placed directly on the gum.  The drug is used as a stimulating expectorant, the tincture, in doses of ½  to 1 fluid drachm, is given as a respiratory sedative in coughs. It acts as an alterative on the mucous membrane.  Lippiol, in doses of 4 1/2 grains, causes warmth, flushing, diaphoresis and drowsiness.  Indications: Persistent dry hard resonant or ringing bronchial cough. Useful in chronic bronchitis, having a soothing and sedative effect to the mucous surface of the post-nasal region and bronchial tubes, soothing and relieving irritability, of these surfaces, and is a valuable expectorant in these conditions. Its action is limited to the air passages.

Other Uses: Culinary, Fragrant

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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.gardenerscorner.org/subject048273.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyla_dulcis
http://www.stevenfoster.com/photography/imageviewsp/phyla/scaberrima/ps14_101010/index.html

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