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 indigenous to moist coniferous forests in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere from Spain to Japan and across North America. It is the sole member of genus Moneses.

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

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

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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

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.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

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

 

Eleutherococcus senticosus

Botanical Name : Eleutherococcus senticosus
Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Eleutherococcus
Species: E. senticosus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Name :E. senticosus ,Siberian Ginseng or eleuthero

Habitat ; Eleutherococcus senticosus is  native habitat is East Asia, China, Japan, and Russia. E. senticosus is broadly tolerant of soils, growing in sandy, loamy, and heavy clay soils with acid, neutral, or alkaline chemistry and including soils of low nutritional value.The herb grows in mixed and coniferous mountain forests, forming low undergrowth or is found in groups in thickets and edges. E. senticosus is sometimes found in oak groves at the foot of cliffs, very rarely in high forest riparian woodland

Description:
Eleutherococcus senticosus  is a deciduous shrub growing to 2m at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone 3. It flowers in July in most habitats. The flowers are hermaphroditic and are pollinated by insects.

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Chemical constituents:
The major constituents of E. senticosus are ciwujianoside A-E, eleutheroside B (syringin), eleutherosides A-M, friedelin, and isofraxidin

Medicinal Uses:
E. senticosus is an adaptogen that has a wide range of health benefits attributed to its use. Currently, most of the research to support the medicinal use of E. senticosus is in Russian or Korean. E. senticosus contains eleutherosides, triterpenoid saponins that are lipophilic and that can fit into hormone receptors.  Extracts of E. senticosus have been shown to have a variety of biological effects in vitro or in animal models:

*Increased endurance/anti-fatigue
memory/learning improvement

*Anti-inflammatory

*Immunogenic

Chinese herbology, Eleutherococcus senticosis is used to treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation, angina, hypercholesterolemia, and neurasthenia with headache, insomnia, and poor appetite.

Eleutherococcus senticosus has been shown to have significant antidepressant-like effects in rats

There has been much research into Siberian ginseng in Russia since the 1950s, although the exact method by which it stimulates stamina and resistance to stress is not yet understood.  Siberian ginseng seems to have a general tonic effect on the body, in particular on the adrenal glands, helping the body to withstand heat, cold, infection, other physical stresses and radiation.  It has even been given to astronauts to counter the effects of weightlessness.  Athletes have experienced as much as a 9% improvement in stamina when taking Siberian ginseng.  Siberian ginseng is given to improve mental resilience, for example, during exams, and to reduce the effects of physical stress, for example during athletic training.  Siberian ginseng is most effective in the treatment of prolonged exhaustion and debility, resulting from overwork and long-term stress.  The herb also stimulates immune resistance and can be taken in convalescence to aid recovery from chronic illness.  As a general tonic, Siberian ginseng helps both to prevent infection and to maintain well-being.  It is also used in treatments for impotence.  Eleuthero root happens to be anti-yeast and immune supportive.

Interactions and side effects:
*People with medicated high blood pressure should consult their doctor before taking E. senticosus because it may reduce their need for medication.

*E. senticosus will enhance the effectiveness of mycin class antibiotics.

*E. senticosus, when purchased from non-GMP sources, has occasionally been adulterated with Periploca graeca, which can potentiate digoxin or similar drugs; however, this is not an interaction of E. senticosus

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://people.tribe.net/chachicorrigan/blog/c393b499-e8cc-4589-a27f-12ebf5d50217

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

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

http://www.imagejuicy.com/images/plants/e/eleutherococcus/1/

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Nicandra physaloides

Botanical Name : Nicandra physaloides
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Nicandra    Schreb.
Species: N. physalodes
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Name : Apple of Peru and shoo-fly plant.

Habitat : Nicandra physaloides is native to Peru, and it is known elsewhere as an introduced species and sometimes a weed.

Description:
Nicandra physaloids is a weedy annual plant.  It  grows  to 1 metre tall and are vigorous with spreading branches and ovate, mid-green, toothed and waved leaves. The flowers are bell-shaped and 5 centimeters or more across, pale violet with white throats. The flower becomes lantern-like towards the end of its bloom. The plant is thought to have insect repellent properties.


….
The genus is named for Greek poet Nicander, who wrote about plants

Medicinal Uses:


The seeds are used in Tibetan medicine, they are said to have an acrid taste and a cooling, very poisonous potency. Regular use increases bodily vigor. They are used in the treatment of contagious disorders, toothache, intestinal pain from worms and impotence.  In Mexico, the leaves are smoked as a remedy for asthma.  An infusion of the leaves is sometimes used to ease the pains of childbirth.  Has reputed aphrodisiac qualities.

Other Uses:
It is also kept as an ornamental plant.

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/Nicandra_physaloides

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

http://luirig.altervista.org/flora/nicandra.htm

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Dendrobium hancockii

Botanical Name : Dendrobium hancockii
Family:Orchid
Genus: Dendrobium
Species: hancockii

Common Name : Shih Hu

Habitat :Origin: China

Description:
Plants look like a cluster of miniature 26″ bamboo canes with branching reddish purple stems, grass-like 1″ leaves, 1-1/2″ brilliant golden/yellow flowers with a velvet orange lip appear at random during winter and spring, overall a charming oriental appearance with beautiful flowers, easy grower

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Winter,Spring Blooming Bright to Full Sun; 2750-3750 Footcandles (midday shade required) Warm,Intermediate to Cool;45°F min. to 98°F max.(tolerant of extremes,favoring warm)

Medicinal Uses:
Shih hu is the Chinese dendrobium orchid, a famous chi tonic of the sages.  It is cooling and mildly sweet and salty, restoring bodily fluids and alleviating fatigue.  Large golden stems are dried and simmered with licorice or ginger to restore sexual vigor.  This Chinese kidney yin tonic affects the lower back, knees and sexual vigor. To the Chinese, the kidneys rule the bone, bone marrow, memory, hearing and brain function. The kidneys store ancestral chi and heredity, as well as having both yin and yang properties, restoring fluids and enhancing vitality. The stem is used to treats fever, cough, thirst

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.clanorchids.com/pages/dends/denhancockii.html

http://www.andysorchids.com/pictureframe.asp?pic=images/Species/3462med.jpg&PicId=3462&PicNam=Dendrobium – hancockii

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

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Dipsacus pilosus

Botanical Name : Dipsacus pilosus
Family: Dipsacaceae
Genus: Dipsacus
Species: D. pilosus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales

Common Names:Small Teasel,Shepherd’s Rod

Vernacular names: English: Small Teasel · Deutsch: Behaarte Karde · Français: Cardère velue ·

Habitat :Dipsacus pilosus is  native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa.

Description:
Dipsacus is a genus of flowering plant in the family Dipsacaceae. The genus includes about 15 species of tall herbaceous biennial plants (rarely short-lived perennial plants) growing to 1-2.5 m tall,

Although still a tall plant it is altogether much daintier and is less sharply prickly, the tips of the bristles ending in soft hairs.
Blooming from July to September, the flowers are white with violet anthers and woolly spines. Out of each of the tiny, funnel shaped, four-lobed corollas protrude four little stamens making the flower resemble a tiny little round pincushion. Below the 15 to 20mm (6 to 8in), globe shaped flowerheads are bristly linear bracts which form a little collar or ruff.

Cultivation:
Teasel is a biennial plant; it germinates in its first year, and flowers in its second. The first year it appears as a rosette of spine-coated leaves, which die in the second year as energy is diverted to growing the tall stem.
Although often found amongst tall vegetation the seeds of small teasel require the soil to be disturbed for germination. It therefore requires a habitat subject to occasional management if it is to persist, if the soil isn’t disturbed, collect seeds in the autumn and re-sow.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is bitter and, given in strong infusion, it strengthens the stomach and creates an appetite.  It is also a liver tonic.  It is not much used because it is not often found, growing only in scattered areas. The Common Teasel has similar virtues.

Other Uses:
Leave the stems to shed their seeds naturally then cut and hang upside down. The flowers will last for many years if dried correctly.

Borders and Beds, Flower arranging, Wildlife and Wildflower Gardens.
The seeds are an important winter food resource for some birds, notably the European Goldfinch; teasels are often grown in gardens and encouraged on nature reserves to attract them.

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/Dipsacus_pilosus

http://www.seedaholic.com/dipsacus-pilosus.html

http://luirig.altervista.org/flora/dipsacus.htm

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

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Desmostachya bipinnata

Botanical Name : Desmostachya bipinnata
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Desmostachya
Species: D. bipinnata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Common Names: Halfa grass, Big cordgrass, and Salt reed-grass.  In India it is known by many names, including: Daabh, Dharba, Kusha, etc

Habitat : Desmostachya bipinnata is native to northeast and west tropical, and northern Africa (in Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan, and Tunisia); and countries in the Middle East, and temperate and tropical Asia (in Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand

Description:
A perennial grass grows up to 50 cm in height. Leaves many, long, acute, linear, with hispid margins, panicle erect, clothed with sessile spikelets; grains small, ovoid, trigonos and laterally compressed.

Medicinal Uses:
In Ayurveda  Plant pacifies vitiated pitta, diarrhea, dysentery, menorrhagia, jaundice, skin diseases, burning sensation and excessive perspiration

Ayurvedic Applications: Root-dysentery, menorrhagia, other bleeding disorders like hemorrhoids, purpura, etc.  Used as an infusion

In folk medicine, Desmostachya bipinnata has been used variously to treat dysentery and menorrhagia, and as a diuretic.

Other Uses:
Religious Uses:
Desmostachya bipinnata has long been used in various traditions as a sacred plant. According to early Buddhist accounts, it was the material used by Buddha for his meditation seat when he attained enlightenment.[8] The plant was mentioned in the Rig Veda for use in sacred ceremonies and also as a seat for priests and the Gods.[9] Kusha grass is specifically recommended by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita as part of the ideal seat for meditation.[10]

OtherIn arid regions, Desmostachya bipinnata has been used as fodder for domesticed livestock

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://enchantingkerala.org/ayurveda/ayurvedic-medicinal-plants/darbha.php

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

http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/plant.asp?ID=664

http://www.flowersinisrael.com/Desmostachyabipinnata_page.htm

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm?Voucher2=Connect+to+Internet

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