Monthly Archives: January 2012

Eriodictyon angustifolium

Botanical Name : Eriodictyon angustifolium
Family: Boraginaceae
Subfamily: Hydrophylloideae
Genus: Eriodictyon
Species: E. angustifolium
Kingdom: Plantae

Common Names : Narrow-leaved Yerba Santa,Narrowleaf yerba santa

Habitat :Eriodictyon angustifolium is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. It is  found  primarily in California, Utah, Nevada, and Baja California.

Description:
Eriodictyon angustifolium is a perennial shrub.This plant has white, five-petalled flowers that bloom in June or July. The toothed leaves, about 10 centimeters in length, are sticky above and hairy below.

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You may click to see more pictures of Eriodictyon angustifolium :

Medicinal Uses:
An important lung and bronchial medicine, most useful when phlegm is loose, milky, and profuse and the lungs, throat, and  sinuses feel weak and boggy.  Often combined with Yerba de buey.  It also is effective for head colds and sinus infections. The cold tea is used as a disinfecting diuretic for bladder and urethra pain.  New research is showing that it also has some anti-microbial properties.

Yerba Santa’s medicinal properties are strongest right after blooming, either in late spring or after a drought-breaking rain has brought out new foliage. Use the leaves either fresh or dried. Gather by breaking off branches full of leaves. Spread out the branches or hang them individually to dry. If you leave the branches clumped together in a bag or box, the resin on the tops of the leaves will glue the leaves together so you will end up with a black, sticky, unusable mass. Once dried, the resin is no longer a problem. When using fresh leaves for tea or tincture, cut them into small pieces with scissors or a knife, then use alcohol to clean the resin build up from the utensil. If dried leaves are being used, simply crumble them into small pieces. For smoking, it is best to use the mature leaves that are starting to dry and turn yellow around the edges and are almost ready to fall off, found near the base of large stems and the main trunk of the bush.

Yerba Santa is a great upper respiratory herb. It has a resinous coating and is aromatic. Use as a tea or tincture for coughs, lung and sinus congestion and infused in oil for muscle and chest rubs. In order to infuse Yerba Santa into oil you must first sprinkle it with alcohol to dissolve the resins. Drink the tea hot to induce sweating to break a fever. Inhale the steam from the hot tea to clear sinus and chest congestion. It thins mucous and is useful as an expectorant, decongestant and bronchial dilator for chest colds, bronchitis, asthma, sinus infections and hay fever. The resin complex and phenols in Yerba Santa make it useful for mild bladder and urethra infections. Since these properties are only partially water soluble, an alcohol tincture is preferable, twenty to thirty drops in water several times per day. Yerba Santa has no specific toxicities in moderate doses and up to an ounce of the leaves can be used to make a tea or infusion to drink in one day. It is safe for children, using one half of the normal adult dose. The leaves can also be used in a vaporizor to relief congestion.

Inhaling smoke from Yerba Santa leaves is useful to calm mild bronchial spasms. Burning a Yerba Santa smudge can be used to warm up trigger points, especially on the hands and feet. This will give relief from headache and muscle spasms. The fresh leaves make a pleasant and tasty chewing gum, bitter and balsamic at first, with a sweet aftertaste which freshens the mouth and breath. In Baja, for skin eruptions, boil leaves with Atriplex and wash the sores. Or grind dry leaves and apply. For malaria, make a tea with Haplopappus and Larrea, and massage with the lotion. For stiff neck, tie the leaves around the throat. For sore throat, make a leaf tea. For aches, bruises, wounds, bruises, wounds, heat leaves, apply to affected area. For coughs, colds, boil leaves and drink.

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.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=3181

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

http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/img_query?rel-taxon=contains&where-taxon=Eriodictyon+angustifolium

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

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Anemopsis californica

Botanical Name :Anemopsis californica
Family: Saururaceae
Genus: Anemopsis
Species: A. californica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Common Names :lizard tail, Yerba Mansa, Bear Root

Habitat :Anemopsis californica is native to southwestern North America. This plant almost always grows in wetlands.

Description:
Yerba mansa  is a perennial flowering plant. It is the only species in the monotypic genus Anemopsis.  The conic white ‘flowers‘ (actually reduced inflorescences, or pseudanthia) are borne in early spring, and are surrounded by 4-9 large white bracts. As it matures, the visible part of the plant develops red stains, eventually turning bright red in the fall.
Flower Color: White bracts and yellow flowers

Flowering Season: Late spring, Summer

Height: To 18 inches (46 cm) tall

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The flower heads are yellow, cone-shaped, and surrounded by 4 to 8, unequal, 3/4-inch (2 cm) long, petal-like bracts. The leaves are green, thick and leathery, oblong in shape, and mainly basal. This plant forms large colonies.

Edible Uses: The seeds are edible if ground into meal.

Medicinal Uses:
Yerba Mansa is considered by herbalists  to have many properties similar to Goldenseal though it is not related botanically or chemically  It is used for slowly healing boggy conditions of the mouth, intestinal and urinary tracts and lungs.  It is astringent to the connective tissues that form the membrane structure, but it stimulates better fluid transport, helping to remove the exudates that prevent repair of the irritation that began the whole mess.  Mouth, gum and throat sores are helped by the herb, as are ulcers of the stomach and duodenum.  Use ¼  teaspoon of either tincture in water, a standard infusion, 2-3 oz or 2 #00 capsules, 2-3 times a day.  It is also used for bleeding gums and herpes simplex.  As a diuretic, yerba mansa stimulates the excretion of nitrogenous acids, especially uric acid, which can aid many types of joint problems.  It is also substantially aspirin-like in its anti-inflammatory effects.  Drink as a tea for arthritis…1/2 cup up to 5 times a day.  It is antibacterial and antifungal, so it affords a fine external first aid or dressing for abrasions or contusions.  A sitz bath for bartholin gland cysts and perianal fissures or  boils usually  brings quick healing.   Use 1 teaspoon of the tincture per quart of water, or a 1:64 decoction of the powdered root.  The powdered root is an impeccable dust when mixed with four parts of a soothing starch for diaper rash and chafing.  The leaves, although much feebler and chemically simpler, make a fine bath for general pain of the muscles and joints.  A water percolation (1:10) with 20% glycerine and 10% alcohol added when finished, is an excellent nasal spray for hay fever, lingering head cold, or the results of cocaine or snuff abuse.  Used by itself (powdered root) or combined with Cypress and Chaparral, it’s an excellent for athlete’s foot.

You may click to see more medicinal Uses:

Other Uses:
Crafts
*Dried floral structures are used in dried arrangements.
*Dried plant parts, (leaves, floral structure) emit a spicy fragrance and are used in potpourri.

Horticulture
*In the deserts of California yerba mansa is being used as turf in public parks and ground cover in gardens.

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.fireflyforest.com/flowers/99/anemopsis-californica-yerba-mansa/

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

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

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Grindelia nuda var. aphanactis

Botanical Name : Grindelia nuda var. aphanactis
Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower or  Aster family Family)
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division:Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class:Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Genus: Grindelia Willd. – gumweed
Species : Grindelia nuda Alph. Wood – curlytop gumweed

Common English Names: Curlytop Gumweed,Yerba del Buey

Habitat :Grindelia nuda var. aphanactis occurs in California, Utah, and Colorado south into Trans-Pecos Texas and Mexic

Description:
Grindelia nuda var. aphanactis is probably a perennial shurb, 15-250+ cm (taprooted, rhizomatous in G. oölepis). Stems (1-6+) usually erect , sometimes ascending or decumbent to prostrate , simple or branched, glabrous or hairy , often gland-dotted and/or resinous . Leaves basal and cauline or mostly cauline; alternate; petiolate (proximal ) or sessile (distal) ; cauline blades 1-nerved, oblong , obovate , oblanceolate , or spatulate to triangular, lanceolate, or linear (bases usually clasping ), margins usually serrate to dentate , sometimes entire, crenate , or pinnatifid (especially proximal), faces usually glabrous and gland-dotted, sometimes hirsutulous , hirtellous, puberulous , scabridulous , villous , or stipitate-glandular . Heads radiate or discoid , in corymbiform to paniculiform arrays or borne singly. Involucres usually globose to hemispheric or broadly urceolate , sometimes campanulate to obconic, 5-25+ mm diam. (excluding phyllary apices). Phyllaries (persistent ) 25-100+ in (3-) 4-9+ series, 1-nerved or obscurely so (± flat, proximally and/or medially thickened), mostly filiform , linear, or lanceolate, usually unequal, sometimes subequal , bases usually ± chartaceous (apices ± herbaceous, looped, hooked , patent , recurved, straight, or incurved ), abaxial faces usually glabrous and ± resinous. Receptacles flat or convex , ± pitted (pits sometimes flanked by membranous or setiform enations ), epaleate. Ray florets 0 or 5-60+, pistillate , fertile ; corollas yellow to orange. Disc florets (20-) 100-200(-300+), bisexual and fertile (all or outer) or functionally staminate (ovaries not producing cypselae) corollas yellow, tubes shorter than gradually to abruptly ampliate throats , lobes 5, erect or spreading , ± deltate (equal) ; style-branch appendages linear or lanceolate to ± deltate. Cypselae (whitish or stramineous to gray, brown, or reddish) ellipsoid to obovoid , ± compressed , sometimes ± 3-4-angled (apices smooth, coroniform , or knobby), faces smooth , striate , ribbed , furrowed , or rugose , glabrous; pappi falling, of (1-) 2-8[-15], straight or contorted to curled, smooth or barbellulate to barbellate , sometimes distally clavate , subulate scales , setiform awns, or bristles in 1 series (in G. ciliata, persistent or tardily falling, of 25-40 barbellate bristles subtending 8-15+ barbellate, setiform awns or subulate scales). x = 6.

Medicinal Uses:
Pharmaceutical uses include waxes and resins, and a source of acids and alkaloids used for kidney problems, skin abrasions, and sores. Sticky blossoms can be placed on an aching tooth. As a balsamic bitter tea, the flowering tops are widely used for sore throat and incipient chest colds; and combined with yerba santa and honey as an expectorant.  The sticky flowers, boiled are used to treat bladder and urethral infections. It is effective but intensely bitter. The flowers, boiled in lard are a stimulating salve for burns and slowly healing ulcers.  It is also used internally and externally to treat bites caused by red ants.  The sticky juice can hold cuts together until they heal.

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://museum2.utep.edu/chih/gardens/plants/GtoM/grindelianuda.htm

http://zipcodezoo.com/Plants/G/Grindelia_boliviana/

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=GRNU

http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/taxa/index.php?taxon=13119

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

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Dalea formosa

Botanical Name : Dalea formosa
Family : Fabaceae – Pea family
Genus: Dalea L. – prairie clover
Species: Dalea formosa Torr. – featherplume
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales

Synonym: Parosela formosa

Common Names: Featherplume, Feather-plume, Feather Dalea, Feathery Dalea,Yerba de Alonso Garcia

Habitat :Native to Arizona  Desert, Upland.Distributed to Colorado, southern Utah, western Texas and Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona , and northern Mexico . 2,000 to 6,500 (7,000) feet elevation  on dry, rocky hillsides , mountains, dry plains , mesas, southern canyons. Gravelly or rocky slopes in upper Mojavean, Arizona, and Chihuahuan deserts, desert grasslands, and southwestern oak woodland. In Arizona below the Mogollon Rim from Yavapai County southeastward to eastern Pima, Santa Cruz, and Cochise counties. It grows in dry, sunny, open areas and on rocky hillsides.

Description:
Dalea formosa is a Perennial, Deciduous Shrub or Subshrub grows Up to 3 feet (91 cm) tall

The flowers are pea-like, up to 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) long, sparsely clustered on loose flower spikes, and have a distinctive white-feathery calyx and a yellow or cream banner petal that fades to purple.Flowering Season is Spring to Summer  and flower Color is Purple and yellow or cream fading to all purple.

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The flowers are followed by flat, feathery seedpods. The leaves are alternate and pinnately compound with an odd number of small, gland-dotted, grayish green, narrowly oval, usually folded leaflets. The stems are grayish, woody, thornless, and well-branched from the base. This plant is long-lived, but rather slow-growing.

Fruit  is Obovate flat pod, 3 mm., pillose on apical margin, glandular-dotted, enclosed in calyx  indehiscent, 1-2 seeded .

Medicinal Uses:
Pueblo Indians and the Apaches used it as a treatment for growing pains and aching bones.  The Hopis use it for influenza and virus infections, considering it a “cold” herb for hot conditions.  New Mexican Spanish will make a strong bath with the branches and bathe in it for a couple of hours to relieve arthritic pains.
The Jemez Indians used decoction of leaves as a cathartic.

Other Uses:
Browsed by deer and lightly by livestock , kangaroo rats eat the seeds , pollinated by bees . Pueblo Indians dried the flowering branches for a sweet tea to relieve aches and growing pains. Hopi used as a remedy for influenza and viral infections (a “cold” herb for fevers) . The Acoma and Laguna Indians infused leaves as an emetic before breakfast, and to increase endurance and long wind for runners, as well as using it for firewood.  Sometimes used as an ornamental

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.fireflyforest.com/flowers/2738/dalea-formosa-featherplume/

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DAFO

http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~plants-c/bio414/species%20pages/dalea%20formosa.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dalea_formosa_flowers.jpg

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Satureja douglasii

Botanical Name : Satureja douglasii
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Clinopodium
Species: C. douglasii
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Micromeria douglasii – (Benth.)Benth.,Satureja douglasii – (Benth.)Briq.,Thymus chamissonis – Benth.,Thymus douglasii – Benth.

Common Names :Yerba buena (The plant’s most common name, the same in English and Spanish, is an alternate form of the Spanish hierba buena (meaning “good herb”). The name was bestowed by pioneer Catholic priests of Alta California as they settled an area where the plant is native. It was so abundant there that its name was also applied to the settler’s town adjacent to Mission San Francisco de Asís. In 1846, the town of Yerba Buena was seized by the United States during the Mexican-American War, and its name was changed in 1847 to San Francisco, after a nearby mission. Three years later, the name was applied to a nearby rocky island; today millions of commuters drive through the tunnel on Yerba Buena Island that connects the spans of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge)

Habitat : Satureja douglasii is  native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America.It grows in Coniferous woods.
Yerba Buena is found in woods near coast and coast ranges from Los Angeles to British Columbia. Prefers shade and moisture.

Description:
Satureja douglasii  is a creeping flat low growing   perennial herb that can spread to 3′ but is easily held to 1′. A good ground cover without being aggressive, easy to keep small. The stems grow across the ground not with rhizomes.   Yerba Buena usually grows in shade as an understory plant, usually associated with trees like oaks (Quercus), bays (Umbellularia californica) and madrones (Arbutus menziesii).

It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower from April to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist

Cultivation:
Prefers an open position in a well-drained soil. Succeeds in poor soils. Plants grow best and live longer when grown in an open sunny position and a dry sandy soil. A prostate plant, the stems forming roots at the leaf axils wherever they come into contact with the soil. The bruised leaves release a most refreshing lemony scent resembling verbena.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. 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. Basal cuttings in early summer. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Division of the rooted prostrate stems in the spring.

Edible Uses:
Edible Uses: Tea.

The dried leaves, steeped in boiling water, make a palatable mint-flavoured tea. The dried leafy spines are used according to other reports

Medicinal Uses
Anthelmintic; Aphrodisiac; Blood purifier; Digestive; Febrifuge; Kidney; Sedative; Tonic.

The whole plant is aphrodisiac, blood purifier, mildly digestive, febrifuge, sedative and tonic. An infusion can be used in the treatment of insomnia, colic, upset stomachs, kidney problems, colds and fevers. A decoction of the plant has been used to get rid of pinworms. The decoction has also been used as an aphrodisiac. A poultice of the warm leaves have been applied to the jaw, or the plant held in the mouth, as a treatment for toothache.

Other Uses
Essential.

The leaves have been placed in clothing as a perfume

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/Yerba_buena

http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/satureja-douglasii

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Micromeria+chamissonis

http://www.baynatives.com/plants/Satureja-douglasii/

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Xanthorhiza simplicissima

Botanical Name : Xanthorhiza simplicissima
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Xanthorhiza
Species: X. simplicissima
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names :Yellowroot

Habitat : Xanthorhiza simplicissima  occurs in Eastern N. America – New York to West Virginia and south to Florida and Alabama.Shaded stream banks, moist woods, thickets, and rocky ledges from sea level to 1200 metres

Description:
Xanthorhiza simplicissima is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 3 m (9ft) at a fast rate. The leaves are spirally arranged, 10-18 cm long, each divided into 5 toothed leaflets, and flowers emerge only from the upper portion of the unbranched stem. The flowers are produced in broad panicles 6-20 cm long, each flower small, star-shaped, reddish brown to purple brown, with five petals.

Yellowroot propagates asexually by sending out many underground runners, and it reproduces sexually with seeds.

It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from Mar to April. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid soils..It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist or wet soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a moist acid soil in sun or part shade. Prefers shade or semi-shade. Succeeds in any moist fertile soil according to other reports. Hardy to about -20°c[184]. Plants can spread considerably by means of suckers, especially when they are growing in a light soil. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes.

Propagation  :
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn . Sow stored seed in a cold frame in late winter. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in the autumn or late winter

Medicinal Uses:
Antihaemorrhoidal;  AstringentStomachic;  Tonic.

The root is astringent and a blood tonic. A tea made from the roots is used to treat mouth ulcers, stomach ulcers, colds, jaundice etc. An infusion of the roots has also been used to treat piles, though the report does not specify if it is used internally or externally. Some caution is advised in the use of this plant, see the notes above on toxicity. The root contains the alkaloid ‘berberine’ which is used for its tonic properties and for digestive disorders. Berberine is anti-inflammatory, astringent, haemostatic, antispasmodic, immuno-stimulant, uterine tonic and antimicrobial. It stimulates the secretion of bile and bilirubin and may be helpful in correcting high tyramine levels in people with liver cirrhosis

Other Uses
Dye;  Ground cover.

A yellow dye is obtained from the root. The entire plant can be crushed to yield a yellow dye. A good ground cover for damp semi-shaded positions. Plants should be spaced about 1.2 metres apart each way .

Known Hazards : The root, when taken in high doses, is potentially toxic

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Xanthorhiza+simplicissima

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

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Inula britannica

Botanical Name : Inula britannica
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Inula
Species: I. britannica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: British elecampane, British yellowhead, and Meadow fleabane.Xuan Fu Hua

Habitat :Native to E. Asia – China and Japan. This plant occurs in wet habitats at low altitudes, including river and stream margins, marshes, ditches, wet grassland, and wet woods.

Description;
Inula britannica is a herbaceous plant is erect, ranging from 6 to 30 inches tall (15 to 75 cm). The stems may be densely covered with appressed hairs or almost
hairless. Inula britannica reproduces by seed, short rhizomes, and root fragments. It is considered to be a biennial or perennial. A common configuration is to have a mother plant surrounded by 8 to 10 “satellite plants” connected by rhizomes.

Flowers: Flower heads are yellow, daisylike, and occur alone or in clusters of two or three. Flower heads are medium to large, 0.8 to 1 inch (2 to 5 cm) across. The bracts are linear, in 2 rows, hardly overlapping, green and soft. The rays are long and narrow, usually twice as long as the surrounding bracts. Individual flowers are surrounded by a single pappus of capillary (extremely fine)
hairs. They flower from July to August, but in greenhouses potentially all year. For correct identification, the features in bold must be examined

Leaves: The leaves are sparsely pubescent (covered with hairs, especially soft downy hairs) on theupper surface and densely pubescent on the lower surface. Rarely the leaves are almost sericeous.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a sunny position in any moderately fertile well-drained soil[200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c[238]. This sub-species is the form that is most used medicinally, it is cultivated as a medicinal plant in China[178].

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed, it is worthwhile trying a sowing in situ in the spring or the autumn. Division in spring or autumn[

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Leaves – cooked. An emergency food, it is only used when better foods are not available

Medicinal Uses:
Xuan Fu Hua is used in Chinese herbalism as a mildly warming expectorant remedy and it is especially suitable where phlegm has accumulated in the chest. The flowers are more commonly used, but the leaves are also used, generally for less serious conditions. The flowers are used internally in the treatment of bronchial complaints with profuse phlegm, nausea and vomiting, hiccups and flatulence. The flowers have an antibacterial action, but this can be destroyed by proteins in the body. The plant is harvested when in flower and can be dried for later use. The plant has been mentioned as a possible treatment for cancer of the esophagus.

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.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1227/ANR-1227.pdf

http://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/FNWE2/key/FNW_Seeds/Media/Html/fact_sheets/Inula_britannica.htm

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

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Yellow Rattle

Rhinanthus minor

Rhinanthus minor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Botanical Name : Rhinanthus minor
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Rhinanthus
Species: R. minor
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names ;Yellow Rattle or Cockscomb, Rhinanthus minor

Habitat : Rhinanthus minor is  native to Europe and Western Asia.Its preferred habitat is dry fields or meadows.In Ireland and Scotland, this species is often associated with Machair habitat.

Description:
Rhinanthus minor is a hemi-parasitic herbaceous annual plant that gains some of its nutrients from the roots of neighbouring plants. It grows to 25-50 cm tall, with opposite, simple leaves, with a serrated margin. The flowers are yellow, produced on a terminal raceme. The fruit is a dry capsule, which contain loose, rattling seeds when ripe; the plant’s name refers to these. Its flowering period is between June and September.

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Research at the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology has shown that encouraging Yellow Rattle to grow in hay meadows greatly increases biodiversity by restricting grass growth and thereby allowing other species to thrive. The seeds are spread very effectively by traditional hay-making practices.

It can be cultivated by scarifying the surface of the ground with a fork or similar, then sowing onto short grass, 0.5 to 1 gram of seed per square metre. Yellow Rattle seed is short-lived and should always be sown in the autumn, using seed harvested that year. Then, keep grass short for beginning of March when seedlings establish. Thereafter, the grass should not be cut until the end of July to allow the Yellow Rattle to flower and go to seed, then cut short.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is ophthalmic.  Rhianthus has been reported to be an effective substitute for eyebright.  Used as an internal tea for colds and an external wash for the eyes.

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/Rhinanthus_minor

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

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Clintonia borealis

Botanical Name :Clintonia borealis
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Clintonia
Species: C. borealis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Common Names : Blue-bead lily or Clintonia, also Clinton’s Lily, Corn Lily, Cow Tongue, Yellow Beadlily, Yellow Bluebeadlily, Snakeberry, Dogberry, Straw Lily

Habitat : The plant is native to the boreal forest in eastern North America, but is also found in other coniferous or mixed forests and in cool temperate maple forests. It is not found in open spaces, and only grows in the shade.

Description:
Clintonia borealis is a small (5–10 in) perennial plants, usually found in homogeneous colonies. At full growth, a shoot has 2–4 clasping and curved, slightly succulent leaves with parallel venation. The flowers are arranged in small umbels at the extremity of a long stalk. They have 6 stamens and 3 identical sepals and petals (tepals). In rare cases more than one umbel is found on a shoot or shoots from a clone. The fruits are small dark blue, lurid berries. A white-berried form (f. albicarpa) also exists.

Click to see the picture

Click to see the picture

Click to see the picture

The plant reproduces via seed or vegetatively by rhizomes. Flowering in May and June and the bloom color is  Yellow , Green , Brown.  It takes over a dozen years for a clone to establish and produce its first flower, 2 years of which are dedicated solely to germination. The rhizome starts to mold after approximatively 15 years, but a colony often covers several hundred m². Few specimens establish new colonies.

Clintonia borealis is extremely slow to spread, but established clones can usually survive many later modifications, as long as sunlight remains limited. Whereas crossed pollination is more efficient in producing seeds, self-pollination will still produce seeds, allowing the plant to propagate.

Like other slow-growing forest plants, such as Trilliums, Blue-bead lily is extremely sensitive to grazing by White-tailed Deer.

Propagation: Usually propagated by dividing underground runners in fall or early spring, but may also be grown from seed planted immediately after ripening. Plant divisions 1 in. deep. Be careful when handling the rhizomes and roots, because they are brittle. Pulp-

Edible Uses:  The young leaves of the plant are edible while still only a few inches tall. The fruit however, is mildly toxic, and is quite unpleasant tasting.

Medicinal Uses:
The rhizome contains diosgenin, a saponin steroid with estrogenic effects.The plant contains diosgenin a chemical from which progesterone is manufactured. It is anti-inflammatory and Native Americans used it to treat injuries of various kinds from bruises to burns and infections. A root tea was used as a tonic and to aid in childbirth. The leaves are cardiac and disinfectant. A poultice has been applied to open wounds, burns, ulcers, scrofulous sores and infections.

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/Clintonia_borealis

http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CLBO3

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

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Achillea ageratum

Botanical Name :Achillea ageratum
Family : Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus : Achillea L. – yarrow
Species: Achillea ageratum L. – sweet-Nancy
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom:Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order : Asterales

Common Name Mace, Sweet Yarrow

Habitat ;The origin of this plant is uncertain, it is possibly a hybrid, A. ptarmica x A. macrocephala. Grows in Europe – Greece

Description;
Achillea ageratum is a perennial herb, growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in).
It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

You may click to see the pictures of   Achillea ageratum

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

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils but prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position. It also succeeds in partial shade. Plants live longer in a poor soil. Established plants are very drought tolerant, they can show distress in very severe droughts but usually recover. Plants succeed in maritime gardens. Hardy to about -20°c. An excellent plant to grow in a large pot, the long stems will tend to arch down and continue to flower for a long time. The leaves have a pungent aroma, especially when the plant is grown in a hot sunny position. The plant is intermediate between A. millefolium and A. ptarmica in its characteristics. There is at least one named variety, selected for its ornamental value. Hybridizes freely with other members of the genus.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring or early autumn in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If this species is a hybrid it might not breed true from seed. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the divisions can be planted direct into their permanent positions. Basal cuttings of new shoots in spring. Very easy, collect the shoots when they are about 10cm tall, potting them up individually in pots and keeping them in a warm but lightly shaded position. They should root within 3 weeks and will be ready to plant out in the summer.

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Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Condiment;  Leaves;  Tea.

Leaves – raw or cooked. The initial flavour is mild and pleasant, though it becomes stronger and aromatic when the leaves are chewed, and leaves a tingly sensation in the mouth. They make an acceptable addition to mixed salads, the plant is very productive, though the leaves are rather small and fiddly to pick in quantity. They are also used in soups, stews etc., and as a flavouring in potato salad etc . The aromatic leaves are used as a tea substitute .

Medicinal Uses
A chloroform extract from Achillea which includes stigmasterol and sitosterol was prepared. By comparing it with the pure compounds an anti-inflammatory effect (with mouse ears) is assumed. The topical anti-inflammatory effect of the chloroform extract from Achillea ageratum (Asteraceae) and of stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol, isolated of this extract has been evaluated, against to 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol acetate (TPA)-induced mouse ear edema, using simple (acute model) and multiple applications (chronic model) of the phlogistic agent. Myeloperoxydase activity also was studied in the inflamed ears. In the acute model the extract exerted a dose-dependent effect. All the doses assayed (1, 3 and 5 mg/ear) significantly reduced the edema (50%, 66% and 82%, respectively). The isolated sterols stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol (with doses of 0.5 mg/ear) had similar effect as the extract with doses of 1 and 3 mg (59% and 65% respectively). In the chronic model the anti-inflammatory effect generally was a more moderate one. The highest dose of the extract decreased the edema reduction to 26% with the highest dose of the extract applied. With the compounds the effect decreased to 36% with stigmasterol, and 40.6% with beta-sitosterol. Myeloperoxydase activity (MPO) was reduced by the extract and the compounds in the acute model, however, in the chronic edema, the enzyme inhibition was very weak with all treatments even with the standard substance. These results indicate that the chloroform extract of Achillea ageratum and some of the its components stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol are more effective as topical anti-inflammatory agents in acute than in the chronic process and their action is markedly influenced by the inhibition of neutrophil migration into inflamed tissue

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Achillea+ageratum

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ACAG3

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Achillea_ageratum

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

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