Monthly Archives: June 2012


Botanical Name : Bursera simaruba
Family: Burseraceae
Genus: Bursera
Species: B. simaruba
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Names:Gumbo-limbo,Copperwood

Habitat :Bursera simaruba is native to tropical regions of the Americas from the southeasternmost United States (southern Florida) south through Mexico and the Caribbean to Brazil and Venezuela. An example habitat of occurrence is in the Petenes mangroves ecoregion of the Yucatan, where it is a subdominant plant species to mangroves

Bursera simaruba is a small to medium-sized tree growing to 30 m tall, with a diameter of one meter or less at 1.5 meters above ground. The bark is shiny dark red, the leaves are spirally arranged and pinnate with 7-11 leaflets, each leaflet broad ovate, 4–10 cm long and 2–5 cm broad.


The gumbo-limbo is comically referred to as the tourist tree because the tree’s bark is red and peeling, like the skin of sunburnt tourists, who are a common sight in the plant’s range.

The tree yields some ripe fruit year-round, but the main fruiting season is March and April in the northern part of the plant’s range. The fruit is a small three-valved capsule encasing a single seed which is covered in a red fatty aril (seedcoat) of 5–6 mm diameter. Both ripe and unripe fruits are borne quite loosely on their stems and can spontaneously detach if the tree is shaken. Ripe capsules dehisce or are cracked open by birds. Birds also seek out the fruit to feed on the aril, which, though small, is rich in lipids (about half its dry weight).

Medicinal Uses:
Gumbo-limbo is used as a tonic and for back pain, kidney ailments, gonorrhea, syphilis, leukorrhea, skin irritations esp. from Metopium, stings, arthritis/rheumatism, colds, sore throat, asthma, sweat induction, stomach hemorrhage, intestinal ailments, snakebite, wounds, reduction of blood pressure, fever, blood tonic esp. during pregnancy, diarrhea, bruises, loosing weight.  The sap is used to treat Poison Ivy and Poison Wood.  The resin is used to produce incense and against gastritis, ulcers and to heal skin wounds.  When someone sprained an ankle or pulled a muscle, gumbo limbo resin was applied to the affected area.  The bark is a common topical remedy for skin affections like skin sores, measles, sunburn, insect bites and rashes. A bark decoction is also taken internally for urinary tract infections, pain, colds, flu, sun stroke, fevers and to purify the blood. A strip of bark about 4 -5 cm x 30 cm is boiled in a gallon of water for 10 minutes for this local remedy and then used topically or drunk as a tea. Decoctions, infusions and direct use of bark, gum, wood and leaves hot and cold, alone and with other species.

Other Uses:
Gumbo-limbo is a very useful plant economically and ecologically. It is well adapted to several kinds of habitats, which include salty and calcareous soils (however, it does not tolerate foggy soils). Due to this fact and its rapid growth, B. simaruba is planted for various purposes, notably in coastal areas. In addition, gumbo-limbo is also considered one of the most wind-tolerant trees, and it is recommended as a rugged, hurricane-resistant species in south Florida. They may planted to serve as wind protection of crops and roads, or as living fence posts, and if simply stuck into good soil, small branches will readily root and grow into sizeable trees in a few years. In addition, gumbo-limbo wood is suitable for light construction and as firewood, and the tree’s resin, called chibou, cachibou or gomartis, is used as glue, varnish and incense. Gumbo-limbo is the traditional wood used for the manufacture of carousel horses in the United States.

The arils are an important source of food for birds, including many winter migrants from North America. Local residents such as the masked tityra, bright-rumped Attila, black-faced grosbeak and, in Hispaniola, palmchat, seem particularly fond of gumbo-limbo fruit, as are migrants like the Baltimore oriole or the dusky-capped flycatcher. Especially for vireos such the red-eyed vireo, it appears to be a very important food at least locally and when ripe fruit are abundant. Especially notable is the fact that many migrant species will utilize gumbo-limbo trees that are in human-modified habitat, even in settlements. This creates the opportunity to attract such species to residential areas for bird watching, and to reduce the competition for gumbo-limbo seeds in an undisturbed habitat which rarer local resident birds might face. In addition, gumbo-limbo’s rapid growth, ease and low cost of propagation, and ecological versatility makes it highly recommended as a “starter” tree in reforestation, even of degraded habitat, and it performs much better overall in such a role than most exotic species.

The resin is also used as a treatment for gout, while the leaves are brewed into a medicinal tea. Hexane extracts of the leaves have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties in animal tests[citation needed]. Gumbo-limbo bark is also considered an antidote[citation needed] to Metopium toxiferum which often grows in the same habitat and can cause extreme rashes just as the related poison ivy. Given the eagerness with which some birds seek out the arils, it may be that they contain lipids or other compounds with interesting properties; in order for these to be exploited by humans, however, they would probably have to be synthetically produced, because although the crop of a single tree can be very large (up to or even exceeding 15,000 fruits, translating into a raw lipid yield of over 200 grams per harvest), individual seeds are small and cumbersome to harvest.

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


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Petiveria alliacea

Botanical Name:Petiveria alliacea
Family: Phytolaccaceae
Genus: Petiveria
Species: P. alliacea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names:It is known by a wide number of common names including: guinea henweed, anamu in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Brazil (where it is also known as tipi), apacin in Guatemala, mucura in Peru, and guine in many other parts of Latin America, feuilles ave, herbe aux poules, petevere a odeur ail, and, in Trinidad, as mapurite (pronounced Ma-po-reete) and gully root, and many others.

Habitat : Petiveria alliacea is native to Florida and the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and tropical South America. Introduced populations occur in Benin and Nigeria.

Petiveria alliacea is a deeply rooted herbaceous perennial shrub growing up to 1 m (3.3 ft) in height and has small greenish piccate flowers. The roots and leaves have a strong acrid, garlic-like odor which taints the milk and meat of animals that graze on it.It is a weedy herb; leaves simple, alternate, sessile, nearly sessile; flowers on spikes at stem apex and from uppermost nodes, white; fruits green, with three recurved, tightly appressed spines.

You may click to see more pictures of  petiveria alliacea

Chemical Constituents:
Petiveria alliacea has been found to contain a large number of biologically active chemicals including benzaldehyde, benzoic acid, benzyl 2-hydroxyethyl trisulphide, coumarin, isoarborinol, isoarborinol acetate, isoarborinol cinnamate, isothiocyanates, polyphenols, senfol, tannins, and trithiolaniacine.

The plant’s roots have also been shown to contain cysteine sulfoxide derivatives that are analogous to, but different from, those found in such plants as garlic and onion. For example, P. alliacea contains S-phenylmethyl-L-cysteine sulfoxides (petiveriins A and B) and S-(2-hydroxyethyl)-L-cysteines (6-hydroxyethiins A and B). These compounds serve as the precursors of several thiosulfinates such as S-(2-hydroxyethyl) 2-hydroxyethane)thiosulfinate, S-(2-hydroxylethyl) phenylmethanethiosulfinate, S-benzyl 2-hydroxyethane)thiosulfinate and S-benzyl phenylmethanethiosulfinate (petivericin). All four of these thiosulfinates have been found to exhibit antimicrobial activity.  Petiveriin also serves as percursor to phenylmethanethial S-oxide, a lachrymatory agent structurally similar to syn-propanethial-S-oxide from onion,  but whose formation requires novel cysteine sulfoxide lyase and lachrymatory factor synthase enzymes differing from those found in onion.

Medicinal Uses:
It is an important medicinal and ritual plant in southern Florida, Central America and the Caribbean, especially in the Santeria religion and has common names in many languages.  Whole plants, leaves, and roots are collected for use in decoctions.  Fresh leaves are bound around the head for headaches or juiced for direct application for earache. It reputedly calms the nerves, controls diarrhea, lowers fever, stimulates the uterus, and relaxes spasms and is used for paralysis, hysteria, asthma, whooping cough, pneumonia, bronchitis, hoarseness, influenza, cystitis, venereal disease, menstrual complaints and abortion.

Other Uses:
P. alliacea is used as a bat and insect repellent

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



Botanical Name :Psidium guajava
Family: Myrtaceae
Subfamily: Myrtoideae
Tribe: Myrteae
Genus: Psidium
Species: P. guajava
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Common Name :Guava,known as Goiaba in Brazil and Guayava in parts of The Americas.

The term “guava” appears to derive from Arawak guayabo “guava tree”, via the Spanish guayaba. It has been adapted in many European languages: goiaba (Portuguese), guava (Romanian, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian, also Greek  and Russian , Guave (Dutch and German), goyave (French), gujawa (Polish), koejawel (Afrikaans).

Outside Europe, the Arabic  j(a)wafa~gawafa, the Japanese guaba , the Tamil “koiyaa” , the Tongan kuava and probably also the Tagalog bayabas are ultimately derived from the Arawak term.

Another term for guavas is pera or variants thereof. It is common around the western Indian Ocean and probably derives from Spanish or Portuguese, which means “pear”, or from some language of southern India, though it is so widespread in the region that its origin cannot be clearly discerned any more. Pera itself is used in Malayalam, Sinhala and Swahili. In Marathi it is peru , in Bengali pearah , in Assamese “Madhuriam”,in Kannada it is pearaley  or seebe kaayi  and in Dhivehi feyru. In Telugu language it is “Jama kaya”. It is called pijuli in Oriya language in eastern India.

Guava is also called Amrood  in North India and Pakistan, which is possibly a variant of Armoot meaning “pear” in Arabic and Turkish languages, and possibly linked to the Moghul occupation of this region.

Additional terms for guavas from their native range are, for example, sawintu (Quechua) and x?lxocotl (N?huatl) Another term for guavas (Ethiopian, Amharic) is “Zeytuna”.

Habitat :Guava plants have 100 species of tropical shrubs and small trees. They are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Guavas are now cultivated and naturalized throughout the tropics and subtropics in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, subtropical regions of North America, and Australia.

Widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions around the world, guava fruits can range in size from as small as an apricot to as large as a grapefruit. Various cultivars have white, pink, or red flesh, and a few also feature red (instead of green) skin.


Psidium guajava is a tropical evergreen shrubs or a small tree. The bark, smooth and greenish, naturally peels away in strips to reveal a bone-like inner trunk. The leaves are 2 to 6 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide, with very noticeable veins and a down on the underside. The white flowers have four to five petals, are aromatic, and quickly fall off, leaving a tuft of stamen and anthers. Guava blooms throughout the year but especially at the beginning of spring….


Plant..…...flower….leaf & bud…fruit….……….

Guava fruit, usually 4 to 12 centimetres (1.6 to 4.7 in) long, are round or oval depending on the species. The outer skin may be rough, often with a bitter taste, or soft and sweet. Varying between species, the skin can be any thickness, is usually green before maturity, but becomes yellow, maroon, or green when ripe.

Guava fruit generally have a pronounced and typical fragrance, similar to lemon rind but less sharp. Guava pulp may be sweet or sour, tasting something between pear and strawberry, off-white (“white” guavas) to deep pink (“red” guavas), with the seeds in the central pulp of variable number and hardness, depending on species.

Requires a well-drained sandy loam with leafmold. Requires cool greenhouse treatment in Britain. Tolerates short-lived light frosts  and cool summers so it might succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of the country. Dislikes much humidity. Sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties.

Seed – sow spring in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. If trying the plants outdoors, plant them out in the summer and give them some protection from winter cold for at least their first two winters. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.

Edible Uses:
In Hawaii, guava is eaten with soy sauce and vinegar. Occasionally, a pinch of sugar and black pepper are added to the mixture. The fruit is cut up and dipped into the sauce.

In Mexico, the Agua fresca beverage is popularly made with Guava. The entire fruit is a key ingredient in punch, and the juice extract is often used in culinary sauces (hot or cold), as well as artisan candies, dried snacks, fruit bars, desserts, or dipped in Chamoy. Pulque de Guava is a popular blend of the native alcoholic beverage.

In Pakistan and India, guava is often eaten raw, typically cut into quarters with a pinch of salt and pepper and sometimes cayenne powder/masala. Street vendors often sell guava fruit for a few rupees each.

In the Philippines, ripe guava is used in cooking sinigang.

Guava juice is very popular in Cuba, Costa Rica, Egypt, Mexico, Colombia, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Malaysia,Indonesia and South Africa.

The fruit is also often prepared as a dessert, in fruit salads. In Asia, fresh guava slices are often dipped in preserved prune powder or salt. In India it is often sprinkled with red rock salt, which is very tart.

Because of its high level of pectin, guavas are extensively used to make candies, preserves, jellies, jams, and marmalades (such as Brazilian goiabada and Colombian and Venezuelan bocadillo), and also for juices and aguas frescas.

“Red” guavas can be used as the base of salted products such as sauces, substituting for tomatoes, especially for those sensitive to the latter’s acidity. In Asia, a drink is made from an infusion of guava fruits and leaves. In Brazil, the infusion made with guava tree leaves (chá-de-goiabeira, i.e. “tea” of guava tree leaves) is considered medicinal.

Medicinal Uses:
Guava has been widely used in Latin American traditional medicine as a treatment for diarrhea and stomachaches due to indigestion.  Treatment usually involves drinking a decoction of the leaf, roots, and bark of the plant.  It also has been used for dysentery in Panama and as an astringent in Venezuela.  A decoction of the plant’s bark and leaves is also reported to be used as a bath to treat skin ailments. Chinese and Caribbean traditional medicine have used guava in the control of diabetes, but a study in Mexico found that guava did not lower blood sugar levels in rabbits.

In the Philippines the astringent, unripe fruit, the leaves, the cortex of the bark and roots – through more often the leaves only – in the form of a decoction, are used for washing ulcers and wounds. Guerrero states that the bark and leaves are astringent, vulnerary, and when decocted, antidiarhetic. The bark is used in the chronic diarrhea of children and sometimes adults; half an ounce of the bark is boiled down with six ounces of water to 3 ounces; the dose (for children) is one teaspoonful 3 to 4 times a day. The root-bark has been recommended for chronic diarrhea. In a decoction of ½ oz. in 6 oz. of water, boiled down to 3 oz. and given in teaspoonful doses; and also recommended as a local application in prolapsus and of children. A decoction of the root-bark is recommended as a mouthwash for swollen gums.

Guava leaves are used in folk medicine as a remedy for diarrhea and, as well as the bark, for their supposed antimicrobial properties and as an astringent. Guava leaves or bark are used in traditional treatments against diabetes.The leaves, when chewed, are said to be remedy for toothache. In Trinidad, a tea made from young leaves is used for diarrhea, dysentery and fever The decocted leaves are used in Mexico for cleansing ulcers. The ground leaves make an excellent poultice. A decoction of the young leaves and shoots is prescribed in the West Indies for febrifuge and antispasmodic baths, and an infusion of the leaves for cerebral affections, nephritis, and cachexia; the pounded leaves are applied locally for rheumatism; an extract is used for epilepsy and chorea; and the tincture is rubbed into the spine of children suffering from convulsions. The leaves have also been used successfully as an astringent in diarrhea. In Mexico the leaves are said to be a remedy for itches. In Uruguay, a decoction of the leaves is used as a vaginal and uterine wash, especially in leucorrhoea.

In Costa Rica, a decoction of the flower buds is considered an effective remedy for diarrhea and flow of blood. The fruit is astringent and has a tendency to cause constipation. The fruit is  anthelmintic in Mexico. The guava jelly is tonic to the heart and good for constipation. The ripe fruit is good aperient, and should be eaten with the skin, for without it, costiveness results. The unripe fruit is said to be indigestible, causing vomiting and feverishness, but it is sometimes employed in diarrhea. Water in which the fruit is soaked is good for diabetes.

Since the 1950s, guavas – particularly the leaves – have been the subject for diverse research on their constituents, pharmacological properties and history in folk medicine. Most research, however, has been conducted on apple guava (P. guajava), with other species remaining unstudied. From preliminary medical research in laboratory models, extracts from apple guava leaves or bark are implicated in therapeutic mechanisms against cancer, bacterial infections, inflammation and pain. Essential oils from guava leaves display anti-cancer activity in vitro.

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

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Polianthes tuberosa (Rajoni-Gandha)

Polianthes tuberosa. Dijual 5000 per ikat.

Polianthes tuberosa. Dijual 5000 per ikat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Botanical Name :Polianthes tuberosa
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Polianthes
Species: P. tuberosa
Kingdom: Plantae
clade: Angiosperms
clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Name :The common name derives from the Latin tuberosa, meaning swollen or tuberous in reference to its root system. It consists of about 12 species. Polianthes means “many flowers” in Greek language.

The Aztecs called the tuberose omixochitl [oh-mi-shoh’-chit?] or bone flower (though this name also refers to Polianthes mexicana).

It is a prominent plant in Indian culture and mythology. The flowers are used in wedding ceremonies, garlands, decoration and various traditional rituals. Its Hindi name is “Rajnigandha“, though it is sometimes mistakenly referred to as “Raat ki Rani” (“Queen of the Night”), which is really Cestrum nocturnum. The name Rajnigandha means “night-fragrant” (rajni=night gandha=fragrance). In Bengali, it is called “Rajoni-Gandha”, meaning “Scent of the Night“. In Marathi, it is called “NishiGhanda”.

In parts of South India, it is known as “Sugandaraja“, which translates to “king of fragrance/smell”. In Chinese, it is called WanXiangYu  (“night fragrant jade”, meaning “flower as precious as jade and becoming fragrant at night), or YeLaiXiang  (“fragrance that comes at night”) or YueXiaXiang  ( “fragrance under the moon”). In Indonesia it is called “bunga sedap malam”, meaning night fragrant flower. In Tamil Nadu it is called as Sambangi or nilasambangi, in Andhra Pradesh it is called as “NelaSampenga” and traditionally used in all type of garlanding especially in south Indian marriages. In Cuba it is called “azucena” which is the name given to amaryllis in Mexico.   In Bengal it is called Rajoni-Gandha and this flower is  a must in marriages.(the newly married couple’s bed is decorated with this flower)

In Iran the tuberose is known as “Gole Maryam” (“Mary flower”) and the oil extracted from the flower is used as a perfume.

Habitat: Native to Tropical countries.

The tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is a perennial plant related to the agaves, extracts of which are used as a middle note in perfumery.
click to see the pictures………...(01)...(1)..….(2)..(3)…....(4)....……
Bulb growing to 1m by 0.15m.
It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
Requires a warm sheltered position and a well-drained soil. When grown in pots it is best to use a fibrous loam enriched with compost and some silver sand for drainage. Plants require copious amounts of moisture when starting into growth. Not very hardy outdoors in Britain, this species is often grown in the greenhouse where it can be induced to flower at almost any time of the year. It can also be grown outdoors in warm areas of Britain, planting out the bulbs in spring, harvesting them in the autumn and storing them in sand overwinter in a cool but frost-free place. This species is sometimes cultivated for its edible flowers. They are very strongly scented. The flowers are perhaps the most powerfully scented of all flowers. The perfume is almost intoxicating, especially when the plant is grown in gentle heat when it is heavy and sickly almost to the point of unpleasantness. A double-flowered cultivar, ‘The Pearl’ has an even more pronounced fragrance. The plant is cultivated for its essential oil in China.

Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in spring in a sunny position 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 at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division of offsets after the plant has finished flowering in late summer.

Medicinal Uses:
You may click to see Health Benefits of Tuberose Essential Oil :

Other Uses:

An essential oil is obtained from the flowers. It is used in high grade perfumery. 1150kg of flowers yield 1kg absolute essential oil.

Scented Plants
Flowers: Fresh
The flowers are perhaps the most powerfully scented of all flowers. The perfume is almost intoxicating, especially when the plant is grown in gentle heat

The tuberose is also used traditionally in Hawaii to create leis and was considered a funeral flower in Victorian times. Its scent is described as a complex, exotic, sweet, floral.

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


Give and Take (Cryosophila argentea)

Botanical Name : Cryosophila argentea
Family :  Arecaceae Arecaceae
Subfamily:  Coryphoideae Coryphoideae
Tribe :  Corypheae Corypheae
Subtribe:  Thrinacinae Thrinacinae
Gender :  Cryosophila Cryosophila
Species :  C. C. stauracantha stauracantha
DivisionMagnoliophyta Magnoliophyta
Class :  Liliopsida Liliopsida
Order :  Arecales Arecales

*Chamaerops stauracantha Heynh. (1846).
* Acanthorrhiza stauracantha (Heynh.) H.Wendl. former Linden (1871).
*Argentea Cryosophila Bartlett (1935).
* Collinsii Acanthorrhiza OF Cook (1941).
* Bifurcata Cryosophila Lundell (1945).

Common Name :Give and Take, Rootspine Palm

Habitat :This plant is native to Mexico. Belize. Guatemala. Panama. Nicaragua. Honduras.

Cryosophila stauracantha  is a frost hardy perennial evergreen palm. It grows well in semi-shade and direct sun, and prefers medium levels of water. It has low drought tolerance. This palm has all year round interest.This is a erect plant has an ultimate height of 8m / 26.2ft and spread of 4m / 13.1ft.It has green leaves. They are llanceolate in shape.

It is a palm recognizable by their external roots stem base, and its spines branched. Leaves silvery, slender stem, long.
Medicinal Uses:
Its Creole name of “Give and Take” refers to the fact that this palm can give a very bad stinging cut from the thorns, but one can take a remedy for bleeding, infection, and pain from the inner portion of the leaf sheath and petiole.  The inside part of the sheath and petiole is pink, cotton-like and sticky.  It is applied to fresh wounds to staunch bleeding, prevent infection and alleviate pain.  Brooms are made from young, dried leaves tied together on a slender stick.


Other Uses:
Architectural, borders, container plant, security/barrier, specimen/accent plant and tropical effect.This palms the Mayans used to catch fish . Ornamental plant , also used for covering rural housing and brooms.

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