Monthly Archives: October 2011

Potentilla anserine

Botanical Name : Potentilla anserine
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Genus: Argentina
Species: A. anserina
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Other Name :Argentina anserina

Common Names :Common Silverweed, Silverweed Cinquefoil or just “silverweed”

Habitat : Potentilla anserine is native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere,it grows  often on river shores and in grassy habitats such as meadows and road-sides.

Description:
Potentilla anserine is a low-growing herbaceous plant with creeping red stolons that can be up to 80 cm long. The leaves are 10-20 cm long, evenly pinnate into in crenate leaflets 2-5 cm long and 1-2 cm broad, covered with silky white hairs, particularly on the underside. These hairs are also present on the stem and the stolons. These give the leaves the silvery appearance from which the plant gets its name.

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The flowers are produced singly on 5-15 cm long stems, 1.5-2.5 cm diameter with five (rarely up to seven) yellow petals. The fruit is a cluster of dry achenes.

It is difficult to distinguish A. anserina from A. egedii (the only other species in the genus), the two taxa only differing in characters of the hairs; some botanists treat A. egedii as a subspecies of A. anserina.

Potentilla anserine is most often found in sandy or gravelly soils, where it may spread rapidly by its prolific rooting stolons. It typically occurs in inland habitats, unlike A. egedii, which is a salt-tolerant coastal salt marsh plant.

Edible Uses:
The plant has been cultivated as a food crop for its edible roots. The usual wild forms, however, are impractical for this use, as they are small and are hard to clean. It may also become a problem weed in gardens.

The mission of Sarat Chandra Das to Tibet in the late nineteenth century reported that the root of the plant, under a Tibetan name variously transcribed as toma, doma or droma, was served cooked in butter and sugar at the New Year’s celebrations in the Tibetan capital Lhasa

Medicinal uses:
The dried flowering stems are used medicinally.  The drugs contain chiefly flavonoid compounds and catechol tannins as well as constipating, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, which also determine their use in the treatment of chronic nonspecific diarrheas, especially when accompanied by indigestion.  They are used primarily for those who do not tolerate sulfa drugs.  It used to be found in formulas for uterine and stomach spasms and was added to douche formulas.  Their occasional recommended use to relieve menstrual pains is, however, ineffective.  The dried flowering stems are prepared in the form of a briefly steeped infusion—one teaspoon of the crumbled drug to one cup boiling water.  The alcohol extract from the roots of both species (20-30 drops in a glass of water) is used externally with success for gargling to relieve sore throats or for swabbing inflamed gums and to tighten spongy gums and loose teeth and where there is inflammations of the mouth such as gingivitis or apthous ulcers.  Both hemorrhoids and poison oak can be treated topically with the tea.

Herbal tea from the underground roots is used to help delivery, and as antispasmodic for diarrhea. The plant was also put in shoes to absorb sweat. It was formerly believed to be useful for epilepsy, and that it could ward off witches and evil spirits.

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/Argentina_anserina
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Symplocarpus foetidus

Botanical Name : Symplocarpus foetidus
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Orontioideae
Genus: Symplocarpus
Species: S. foetidus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales

Common Names: Eastern Skunk Cabbage, Clumpfoot Cabbage, Foetid Pothos, Meadow Cabbage, Polecat Weed, Skunk Cabbage, or Swamp Cabbage

Habitat : It can be found naturally in eastern North America, from Nova Scotia and southern Quebec west to Minnesota, and south to North Carolina and Tennessee, and also in northeastern Asia, in eastern Siberia, northeastern China, Korea and Japan. Skunk cabbage is protected as a state endangered plant in Tennessee

Description:
Eastern skunk cabbage has leaves which are large, 40–55 cm long and 30–40 cm broad. It flowers early in the spring when only the flowers are visible above the mud. The stems remain buried below the surface of the soil with the leaves emerging later. The flowers are produced on a 5–10 cm long spadix contained within a spathe, 10–15 cm tall and mottled purple in colour. The rhizome is often 30 cm thick….... CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:
The roots are a traditional folk remedy for tight coughs, bronchitis and catarrh.  It acts as a mild sedative and has been employed to treat nervous disorders.  As employed in respiratory and nervous disorders, rheumatism, and dropsy, the rootstock was official in the US Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1882.  Skunk cabbage may be used whenever there is a tense or spasmodic condition in the lungs.  It will act to relax and ease irritable coughs.  It may be used in asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough. As a diaphoretic it will aid the body during fevers. Less commonly, skunk cabbage is used as a treatment for epilepsy, headaches, vertigo, and rheumatic problems and as a means to stop bleeding.  The leaves can be used fresh as a vulnerary.

In the 19th century the U.S. Pharmacopoeia listed eastern skunk cabbage as the drug “dracontium”. It was used in the treatment of respiratory diseases, nervous disorders, rheumatism, and dropsy. In North America and Europe, skunk cabbage is occasionally cultivated in water gardens. Skunk cabbage was used extensively as a medicinal plant, seasoning, and magical talisman by various tribes of Native Americans. While not considered edible raw, because the roots are toxic and the leaves can burn the mouth, the leaves may be dried and used in soups and stews

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.

Resourcs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symplocarpus_foetidus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

Moneses uniflora

Botanical Name : Moneses uniflora
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily: Monotropoideae
Tribe: Pyroleae
Genus: Moneses
Species: M. uniflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names: One-flowered Wintergreen (Scotland); Single Delight; St. Olaf’s Candlestick (Norway)

Habitat :    Moneses uniflora is native to Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to Spain, N. Asia to Japan, N. America. It grows in pine woods, the margins of moist woods in shady mossy places often in a bed of pine needles, avoiding calcareous soils.

Description:
Moneses uniflora is a perennial herb with a slender rhizome, the leaves are basal or low, oval-elliptic to obovate, from 10 to 30 mm in diameter, with small teeth. The petiole is shorter than the leaf diameter. Each stem terminates in a nodding, fragrant flower on a stem from 30 to 170 mm high. The corolla has a diameter of 15 to 25 mm. The spreading five white petals are slightly rumpled. The sepals are oval, separate and white-greenish. Flowering occurs from May to October

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Cultivation:
Prefers a moist sandy woodland soil. in a cool position with partial shade. Requires a peaty or leafy acid soil that remains moist in the summer[200]. This is a very difficult plant to grow. It requires a mycorrhizal relationship in the soil and therefore needs to be grown initially in soil collected from around an established plant. It is also very difficult from seed as well as being intolerant of root disturbance which makes division difficult. This species is rare decreasing in the wild in Britain. Surviving populations are threatened, usually by commercial forestry.
Propagation:
Seed – the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza. Division with great care in the spring. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously
Edible Uses: Fruits are eaten….. The fruit is a capsule about 8cm wide. Seed are eaten raw or cooked

Medicinal Uses:
An infusion of the dried plant has been used in the treatment of coughs and colds. The plant has been chewed, and the juice swallowed, as a treatment for sore throat. A poultice of the leaves has been used to draw out the pus from boils and abscesses, to draw blisters, to help reduce swellings and also to relieve pain.

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/Moneses
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Moneses+uniflora

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Elaeagnus commutata

Botanical Name : Elaeagnus commutata
Family: Elaeagnaceae
Genus: Elaeagnus
Species: E. commutata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names:American silverberry or Wolf-willow,Silverberry

Habitat : Elaeagnus commutata is  native to western and boreal North America, from southern Alaska through British Columbia east to Quebec, south to Utah, and across the upper Midwestern United States to South Dakota and western Minnesota. It typically grows on dry to moist sandy and gravel soils in steppes, meadows or woodland edges.

Description:
These plants are shrubs or small trees growing to 1–4 m tall. The leaves are broad lanceolate, 2–7 cm long, silvery on both sides with dense small white scales. The fragrant flowers are yellow, with a four-lobed corolla 6–14 mm long. The fruits are ovoid drupes 9–12 mm long, also covered in silvery scales. The fruit pulp is floury in texture, and surrounds the single seed………CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:
A strong decoction of the bark, mixed with oil, has been used as a salve for children with frostbite. A decoction of the roots, combined with sumac roots (Rhus spp.), has been used in the treatment of syphilis. This medicine was considered to be very poisonous and, if you survived it, you were likely to become sterile. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.

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/Elaeagnus_commutata
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Cyathula officinalis

Botanical Name : Cyathula officinalis

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Cyathula
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names; Cyathula root, Radix Cyathula, Ox Knee, Chinese: Chuan Niu Xi

Habitat :  Cyathula officinalis is  native to the China (Guizhou, Hebei, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang) and Nepal

Description:
Cyathula officinalis is a  perennial herb, 50-100 cm tall. Stem erect, slightly quadrangular, much branched or strigose. Petiole 0.5-1.5 cm, densely strigose; leaf blade elliptic or narrowly elliptic, rarely obovate, 3-10 × 1.5-5.5 cm, abaxially densely strigose, adaxially long strigose, base cuneate or broadly cuneate, margin entire, apex acuminate. Flower clusters in terminal spikes, light green, nearly white when dried, 1-1.5 cm in diam. Bracts shiny, 4-5 mm, apex pointed or hooked. Tepals of perfect flowers lanceolate, 3-5 mm, apex acute, inner 3 slightly narrow. Filaments densely hairy at base; pseudostaminodes rectangular, 0.3-0.4 mm, dentate-lobed at apex. Ovary cylindric or obovoid, 1.3-1.8 mm; style ca. 1.5 mm. Utricles light yellow, ellipsoid or obovoid, 2-3 × 1-2 mm. Seeds shiny, ellipsoid, 1.5-2 mm, smooth. Fl. Jun-Jul, fr. Aug-Sep.

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Medicinal Uses:
This is an alternate source material for the herb Niu Xi, for which the name means ox knee, the original material Achyranthes bidentata has nodes that are reminiscent of ox knees; comparatively, Chuan Niu Xi is thought to be better at transforming static blood, while Niu Xi is better at nourishing the liver and kidney).  Chinese root used to treat pain due to “wind-dampness” to clear atrophy and spasm of the lower extremities, much like the previous species.  Do not use during pregnancy

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/Cyathula_officinalis
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200006998
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm