Monthly Archives: November 2012

Krameria triandra

Botanical Name : Krameria triandra
Family: Krameriaceae
Genus: Krameria
Species: triandra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zygophyllales

Common names: Ratanya, Rhatany

Habitat :Krameria triandra is native to the Andes Mountains in Bolivia and Peru.

Description;
Krameria triandra is a perennial shrubs which act as root parasites on other plants. The flowers have glands called elaiophores which produce a lipid which is collected by bees of the genus Centris as they pollinate the flowers.It is low Peruvian plant, shrubby, with numerous procumbent and branching stems about an inch in diameter. Leaves alternate, sessile, oval, silky. Flowers single, axillary or terminal, on pedicels subtended by two bracts; calyx of four silky sepals; corolla of five unequal, spreading, lake-colored petals; stamens three. Fruit a one-celled globular drupe, covered with stiff, reddish hairs.

You may click to see the pictures

The root of rhatany comes to market in cylindrical pieces of various lengths, and in diameters from an eighth of an inch to two inches. The bark is reddish-brown, brittle, and easily separable from the yellowish-red center. The chief medicinal strength lies in the bark, which contains about forty percent of tannic acid. It has a pleasant smell; and yields its properties to water and diluted alcohol, which it colors dull-red.

Chemical Constituents:
D-catechin, Dl-catechin, Epicatechin, Gambir-catechin, Geoffroyine, Gum, N-methyl-tyrosine, Phlobaphene, Phloroglucin, Proanthocyanidins, Procyanidins, Propelargonidin, Protocatechuic-acid, Ratanine, Rhatany-tannic-acid, Rhatany-tannic-acid, Tannin, Wax

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent, Antiasthmatic, Antiherpetic, Antioxidant, Antitussive, Antiviral, Bactericide, Fungicide, Pesticide Styptic, Tonic, Vulnerary

Rhatany is a powerful astringent that was retained in the official pharmacopea until recently.  It may be used wherever an astringent is indicated, that is, in diarrhea, hemorrhoids, hemorrhages or as a styptic.  Rhatany is often found in herbal toothpastes and powders as it is especially good for bleeding gums. It can be used as a snuff with bloodroot to treat nasal polyps.  The plant’s astringency makes it effective when used in the form of an ointment, suppository, or wash for treating hemorrhoids.  Rhatany may also be applied to wounds to help staunch blood flow, to varicose veins, and over areas of capillary fragility that may be prone to easy bruising.   Gargle the tea or diluted tincture for acute or lingering sore throat.  It can be combined for this purpose with Yerba Mansa or Echinacea.  For diarrhea, combine with Silk Tassel (for cramps) and Echinacea (immunostimulant), and with either Trumpet Creeper, Desert Willow or Tonadora (for Candida) and Chaparro Amargosa (Protozoas).  For a hemorrhoidal salve and rectal fissure ointment, use either alone or with Echinacea flowers as a salve.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/cook/KRAMERIA_TRIANDRA.htm

http://www.weleda.com.au/ratanhia-krameria-triandra/w1/i1003473/

http://rainforest-database.com/plants/krameria.htm

Ononis spinosa

Botanical Name : Ononis spinosa
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Ononis
Species: O. spinosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Name :Spiny restharrow or just Restharrow

Other Names; Finweed, Ground Furze, Harrow Rest, Horse’s Breath, Lady-whin, Wild Liquorice,  Rassels,  Whin, Cat Whin.

Habitat :Ononis spinosa is native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.It is found throughout much of Europe but seldom as far north as Scotland. It can usually be found on rough and scrubby pastures, on hillsides and sandy shores.

Description:
Ononis spinosa is a perennial subshrub (usually lower than 1 meter). It has spiny, prostrate stems and tough roots. Leaves are lance-shaped, coarsely toothed. Flowers appear in June, July and August. Solitary or paired flowers are borne in axils. They are either stalkless or on small, short stalks.  Flowers are pink, purple or white in color, being similar to Lotus flower.

You may click to see the pictures of Ononis spinosa

Chemical Constituents: Onocerin, sitosterol, isoflavones, ononin, essential oil

Medicinal use: The plant is considered to be antitussive, diuretic, laxative and lithontripic. Traditionally Rest Harrow had been used in treatment of skin ulcers. A decoction made from the leaves and stem is used in treatment of various skin conditions, and also as a revitalizing skin toner. An infusion made from the root is used in treatment of dropsy, kidney and bladder inflammations. Rest Harrow root is beneficial in treatment of urinary tract infections, gout, joint and muscle pain.
Safety: Rest Harrow shouldn’t be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and in cases of fluid retention and edema. Some herbs could react with certain medication. Therefore it is advisable to contact your doctor/herbalist before consumption of any herb.

For excess fluid retention, Ononis spinosa is best taken as a short-term treatment, in the form of an infusion.  The root contains a fixed oil that is anti-diuretic and an essential oil that is diuretic. If the diuretic action is required then the root should be infused and not decocted or the essential oil will be evaporated. It is also of value in treating gout and cystitis.  An infusion is used in the treatment of dropsy, inflammation of the bladder and kidneys, rheumatism and chronic skin disorders.  A cough mixture is made from

Safety Features:: Ononis spinosa shouldn’t be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and in cases of fluid retention and edema. Some herbs could react with certain medication. Therefore it is advisable to contact your doctor/herbalist before consumption of any herb

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

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

http://health-from-nature.net/Rest_Harrow.html

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

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Cercis canadensis

Botanical Name :Cercis canadensis
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Cercis
Species: C. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Name : Redbud or Eastern redbud

Habitat : Cercis canadensis is native to eastern North America from Southern Ontario, Canada south to northern Florida.

Description:
ICercis canadensis typically grows to 6–9 m (20–30 ft) tall with a 8–10 m (26–33 ft) spread. It generally has a short, often twisted trunk and spreading branches. A 10-year-old tree will generally be around 5 m (16 ft) tall. The bark is dark in color, smooth, later scaly with ridges somewhat apparent, sometimes with maroon patches. The twigs are slender and zigzag, nearly black in color, spotted with lighter lenticels. The winter buds are tiny, rounded and dark red to chestnut in color. The leaves are alternate, simple, heart shaped with an entire margin, 7–12 cm (3-5 inches) long and wide, thin and papery, and may be slightly hairy below.

The flowers are showy, light to dark magenta pink in color, 1.5 cm (½ inch) long, appearing in clusters from Spring to early Summer, on bare stems before the leaves, sometimes on the trunk itself. The flowers are pollinated by long-tongued bees such as blueberry bees and carpenter bees. Short-tongued bees apparently cannot reach the nectaries. The fruit are flattened, dry, brown, pea-like pods, 5–10 cm (2-4 inches) long that contain flat, elliptical, brown seeds 6 mm (¼ inch) long, maturing in August to October.

In some parts of southern Appalachia, green twigs from the eastern redbud are used as seasoning for wild game such as venison and opossum. Because of this, in these mountain areas the eastern redbud is sometimes known as the spicewood tree.

In the wild, eastern redbud is a frequent native understory tree in mixed forests and hedgerows. It is also much planted as a landscape ornamental plant. The leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera, for example the Io moth (Automeris io).

A small tree with a sturdy upright trunk which divides into stout branches that usually spread to form a broad flat head. Found on rich bottom lands throughout the Mississippi River valley; will grow in the shade and often becomes a dense undergrowth in the forest. Very abundant in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and eastern Texas. Hardy far north; grows rapidly; is a satisfactory ornamental tree. Many trees are sterile and produce no fruit. It is also known as the Judas tree.

This tree is difficult to grow as far west as western Kansas and Colorado, as there is not sufficient water. Its far northern range of growth is southern New England. It grows well in New York State, New Jersey and southward.

You may click to see the pictures of  Cercis canadensis   

*Bark: Red brown, with deep fissures and scaly surface. Branchlets at first lustrous brown, later become darker.

*Wood: Dark reddish brown; heavy, hard, coarse-grained, not strong. Sp. gr., 0.6363; weight of cu. ft. 39.65 lbs.

* Winter buds: Chestnut brown, obtuse, one-eighth inch long.

* Leaves: Alternate, simple, heart-shaped or broadly ovate, two to five inches long, five to seven-nerved, chordate or truncate at the base, entire, acute. They come out of the bud folded along the line of the midrib, tawny green; when they are full grown they become smooth, dark green above, paler beneath. In autumn they turn bright clear yellow. Petioles slender, terete, enlarged at the base. Stipules caduceous.

*Flowers: April, May, before and with the leaves, papilionaceous. Perfect, rose color, borne four to eight together, in fascicles which appear at the axils of the leaves or along the branch and sometimes on the trunk itself.

*Calyx: Dark red, campanulate, oblique, five-toothed, imbricate in bud.

*Corolla: Papilionaceous, petals five, nearly equal, pink or rose color, upper petal the smallest, enclosed in the bud by the wings, and encircled by the broader keel petals.

*Stamens: Ten, inserted in two rows on a thin disk, free, the inner row rather shorter than the others.

*Pistil: Ovary superior, inserted obliquely in the bottom of the calyx tube, stipitate; style fleshy, incurved, tipped with an obtuse stigma.

*Fruit: Legume, slightly stipitate, unequally oblong, acute at each end. Compressed, tipped with the remnants of the style, straight on upper and curved on the lower edge. Two and a half to three inches long, rose color, full grown by midsummer, falls in early winter. Seeds ten to twelve, chestnut brown, one-fourth of an inch long -can be made to germinate by first dipping in boiled (99C) water (very hot) for a minute and then sowing in a pot (do not boil the seeds); cotyledons oval, flat

Cultivation;
C. canadensis is grown in parks and gardens, with several cultivars being available. The cultivar ‘Forest Pansy’, with purple leaves, has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.

Edible Uses:
Native Americans consumed redbud flowers raw or boiled, and ate roasted seeds. Analysis of nutritional components in edible parts of eastern redbud reported that:

*The flower extract contains anthocyanins,

*Green developing seeds contained proanthocyanides, and

*Linolenic, alpha-linolenic, oleic and palmitic acids to be present in seeds

Medicinal Uses:
Cercis canadensis inner bark and root can be made into a tea or decoction. This was used by different Native American Indian tribes to clear lung congestion, for whooping cough, to prevent nausea and vomiting, and to break fevers.  It has also been used for diarrhea, dysentery, and leukemia.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

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

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

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Lamium purpureum

Botanical Nanme : Lamium purpureum
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Lamium
Species: L. purpureum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name :Red Deadnettle, Purple Deadnettle, or Purple Archangel

Habitat : Lamium purpureum is native to Europe and Asia.

Description:
Lamium purpureum is a herbaceous flowering plant.It grows to 5–20 cm (rarely 30 cm) in height. The leaves have fine hairs, are green at the bottom and shade to purplish at the top; they are 2–4 cm long and broad, with a 1–2 cm petiole (leaf stalk), and wavy to serrated margins.

You may click to see pictures of Lamium purpureum 

The zygomorphic flowers are bright red-purple, with a top hood-like petal, two lower lip petal lobes and minute fang-like lobes between.They may be produced throughout the year, including mild weather in winter. This allows bees to gather its nectar for food when few other nectar sources are available. It is also a prominent source of pollen for bees in March/April (in UK), when bees need the pollen as protein to build up their nest.

It is often found alongside Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule), which is easily mistaken for it since they both have similar looking leaves and similar bright purple flowers; they can be distinguished by the stalked leaves of Red Deadnettle on the flower stem, compared to the unstalked leaves of Henbit Deadnettle.

Edible Uses:
Young plants have edible tops and leaves, good in salads or in stirfry as a spring vegetable. If finely chopped it can also be used in sauces, but there is little to recommend about its flavour.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves, when bruised and used as a poultice, are said to staunch blood flowing from a deep cut.  The dried herb, made into a tea and sweetened with honey, promotes perspiration and acts on the kidneys, being useful in cases of chill.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

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

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

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Smilax lanceolata

Botanical Name : Smilax lanceolata
Family : Smilacaceae
Gender : Smilax
Species : S. laurifolia
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Liliopsida
Subclass: Liliidae
Order : Liliales

Synonymy:
*Parillax laurifolia (L.) Raf.
*Smilax alba Pursh
*Smilax hastata var. lanceolata (L.) Pursh
*Smilax lanceolata L.
*Smilax laurifolia var. bupleurifolia A.DC.
*Smilax reticulata Std.

Common Name :Red China Root

Habitat : Smilax lanceolata is native to South-eastern N. America – New Jersey to Florida and Texas.It grows on swamps and low ground. Moist woods and thickets. Bays, bogs, pocosins, swamp margins, marshy banks.

Description:
Smilax laurifolia is an evergreen Climber growing to 6 m (19ft 8in). It is a vine that forms extensive colonies woody, with rhizomes irregularly branched, tuberous. Stems perennial cylindrical reaching 5 + m in length and 15 mm in diameter, dark spines, flat 12 mm rigid. The leaves are evergreen, ± evenly arranged, with petiole 0.5-1.5 cm, green undersides, dried light brown to brownish green, oblong-elliptic, lance-elliptic, or sometimes linear or broadly ovate , leathery. The inflorescence in umbels numerous, axillary to leaves, branches usually short, 5-12 (-25) flowers. The perianth yellow, cream or white, petals 4-5 mm. The fruits as berries ovoid, 5-8 mm, shiny black, glaucous. The stems of Smilax laurifolia are brutally armed with thorns.

You may click to see the pictures of  Smilax lanceolata :

It is hardy to zone 8. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils in sun or semi-shade. This species is not very hardy in Britain. It succeeds outdoors in S.W. England, but even there it is best when grown against a wall. The fruit takes two growing seasons to ripen. The stems have viscious thorns. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required

Propagation:
Seed – sow March in a warm greenhouse. This note probably refers to the tropical members of the genus, seeds of plants from cooler areas seem to require a period of cold stratification, some species taking 2 or more years to germinate. We sow the seed of temperate species in a cold frame as soon as we receive it, and would sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if we could obtain it then. When the seedlings eventually germinate, prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first year, though we normally grow them on in pots for 2 years. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in early spring as new growth begins. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer. Cuttings of half-ripe shoots, July in a frame

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Root – cooked. Rich in starch , it can be dried and ground into a powder to be used as a flavouring in soups etc or for making bread. The root can be up to 15cm thick. Young shoots – cooked. Used as an asparagus substitute.

Medicinal Uses:

Astringent;  Birthing aid;  Poultice;  Rubefacient;  Tonic.

The stem prickles have been rubbed on the skin as a counter-irritant to relieve localised pains, muscle cramps and twitching. A tea made from the leaves and stems has been used in the treatment of rheumatism and stomach problems. The wilted leaves are applied as a poultice to boils. A tea made from the roots is used to help the expelling of afterbirth. Reports that the roots contain the hormone testosterone have not been confirmed, they might contain steroid precursors, however . The root bark is astringent and slightly tonic. An infusion of the root bark has been used as a wash in treating burns, sores and pox.

Chop and boil a small handful of roots in 3 cups of water to use as a pleasant tasting blood tonic and for fatigue, anemia, acidity, toxicity, rheumatism, and skin conditions.  Drink with milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg to strengthen and proliferate red blood cells.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fes.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FSmilax_laurifolia

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Smilax+laurifolia

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

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Brugmansia sanguinea

Botanical Name : Brugmansia sanguinea
Family: Solanaceae
Subfamily: Solanoideae
Tribe: Datureae
Genus: Brugmansia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Name : Red Angel’s Trumpet

Habitat : is  native to South America. (They are endemic to the Andes mountains from Colombia to northern Chile at elevations from 2,000 to 3,000 m (6,600 to 9,800 ft).

Description:
Brugmansia sanguinea is a flowering plant that grow as shrubs or small tree reaching up to 10 m (33 ft) in height. The nodding, tube-shaped flowers come in colors of brilliant red, yellow, orange, or green

You may click to see pictures of Brugmansia sanguinea  :

Medicinal Uses:
Brugmansia sanguinea is known extensively throughout South America for its medicinal virtues and ritually brewed with Trichocereous pachanoi as one interpretation of Cimora. … In Ecuador it is currently being cultivated for scopolamine.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

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

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

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Rubus idaeus

Botanical Name : Rubus idaeus
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rubus
Subgenus: Idaeobatus
Species: R. idaeus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Name :Raspberry, Red Raspberry or occasionally as European Raspberry

Habitat :Rubus idaeus is native to Europe and northern Asia and commonly cultivated in other temperate regions. It grows on moist neglected land, hedgerows and woodland edges.

Description:
Plants of Rubus idaeus are generally perennials which bear biennial stems (“canes”) from a perennial root system. In its first year, a new, unbranched stem (“primocane”) grows vigorously to its full height of 1.5-2.5 m, bearing large pinnately compound leaves with five or seven leaflets, but usually no flowers. In its second year (as a “floricane”), a stem does not grow taller, but produces several side shoots, which bear smaller leaves with three or five leaflets. The flowers are produced in late spring on short racemes on the tips of these side shoots, each flower about 1 cm diameter with five white petals. The fruit is red, edible, and sweet but tart-flavoured, produced in summer or early autumn; in botanical terminology, it is not a berry at all, but an aggregate fruit of numerous drupelets around a central core. In raspberries (various species of Rubus subgenus Idaeobatus), the drupelets separate from the core when picked, leaving a hollow fruit, whereas in blackberries and most other species of Rubus, the drupelets stay attached to the core.

You may click to see the picture

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It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 11-Apr It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.

Cultivation :
Prefers a good deep well-drained loamy soil on the acid side. Dislikes very heavy soils, light soils and alkaline soils. Prefers an open position but tolerates some shade. Plants crop less well when grown in the shade of trees though they do well in the open on a north-facing slope. Requires a position sheltered from strong winds. Prefers a pH between 6 and 6.5. Raspberries are frequently cultivated in temperate regions of the world, both in the garden and commercially, for their edible fruit. There are many named varieties able to supply fresh fruit from mid-summer to the autumn. High costs of picking the fruit means that little is actually sold fresh, most of the commercially cultivated crops either being used for preserves or grown for the ‘Pick Your Own’ trade. All the cultivars are self-fertile. This species has biennial stems, it produces a number of new stems each year from the perennial rootstock, these stems fruit in their second year and then die. It is best not to grow raspberries near blackberries or potatoes. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn. Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: FruitRootStem.
Edible Uses: Coffee;  Tea.

Fruit – raw or cooked. Delicious when eaten out of hand, the fruit is also used in pies, preserves etc. Root – cooked. The root, which should be neither too young nor too old, requires a lot of boiling. Young shoots – peeled and eaten raw or cooked like asparagus. They are harvested as they emerge through the ground in the spring and whilst they are still tender. A herb tea is made from the dried leaves. Another report says that a type of tea made from raspberry and blackberry leaves is an excellent coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses :
Antiinflammatory;  AstringentBirthing aid;  Cardiac;  Decongestant;  Oxytoxic.

Antiemetic. The leaves and roots are anti-inflammatory, astringent, decongestant, ophthalmic, oxytocic and stimulant. A tea made from them is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, as a tonic for the uterus to strengthen pregnant women, and as an aid in childbirth. The tea has also been shown as effective in relieving painful menstrual cramps. The active ingredients both stimulate and relax the uterus. They can be used during the last three months of pregnancy and during childbirth, but should not be used earlier. Externally, the leaves and roots are used as a gargle to treat tonsillitis and mouth inflammations, as a poultice and wash to treat sores, conjunctivitis, minor wounds, burns and varicose ulcers. The leaves are harvested in the summer and dried for later use. The fruit is antiscorbutic and diuretic. Fresh raspberry juice, mixed with a little honey, makes an excellent refrigerant beverage to be taken in the heat of a fever. Made into a syrup, it is said to have a beneficial effect on the heart.

The leaf is the most valuable medicinal part of the raspberry and a tea is traditionally drunk by expectant mothers during the last three months of pregnancy to strengthen the uterus and to ease painful contractions during labor as well as checking any hemorrhage.  This action will occur if the herb is drunk regularly throughout pregnancy and also taken during labor. Although the specific mode of action is unknown, the leaves are thought to strengthen the longitudinal muscles of the uterus, increasing the force of contractions and thereby hastening childbirth.  The gentle astringency of raspberry leaves is also helpful for diarrhea in children, and an infusion makes a good mouthwash for ulcers and bleeding gums. It is used to treat irregular and excessive menstruation.   Externally, the leaves and roots are used as a gargle to treat tonsillitis and mouth inflammations, as a poultice and wash to treat sores, conjunctivitis, minor wounds, burns and varicose ulcers.  The fruit is antiscorbutic and diuretic. Fresh raspberry juice, mixed with a little honey, makes an excellent refrigerant beverage to be taken in the heat of a fever. Made into a syrup, it is said to have a beneficial effect on the heart.  The fruit is nutritious and mildly astringent.

Other Uses :
Cosmetic;  Dye;  Paper.
A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit. A fibre obtained from the stems is used in making paper. The stems are harvested in the summer after the fruit has been eaten, the leaves are removed and the stems are steamed until the fibres can be stripped. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then hand beaten with mallets or ball milled for 3 hours. The paper is light brown in colour. A decongestant face-mask made from the fruit is used cosmetically to soothe reddened skin.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rubus+idaeus

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

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

Armoracia rusticana(Horseradish)

Botanical Name ; Armoracia rusticana
Family: Brassicaceae– Mustard family
Genus: Armoracia G. Gaertn., B. Mey. & Scherb.– armoracia
Species: Armoracia rusticana G. Gaertn., B. Mey. & Scherb.– horseradish
Kingdom: Plantae– Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta– Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta– Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta– Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida– Dicotyledons
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Capparales

Synonyms: Armoracia armoracia. Armoracia rustica. Cardamine armoracia. Rorippa armoracia

Common Name :Horseradish

Habitat :Armoracia rusticana is native to Europe. Naturalized in Britain. It grows on arable land, waste ground and by streams, favouring slightly damp positions.

Description:
Armoracia rusticana is a perennial herb  growing to 2 to 2.5 feet and spreading 2.5 to 3 feet with dock-like, toothed, shiny, dark green leaves and insignificant, whitish flowers which appear in summer in terminal panicles. An extremely vigorous plant that crowds out most weeds and is itself weed-like, with a very spreading growth habit (particularly if the roots are not harvested every year)….click & see

You may click to see the pictures

It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, self.The plant is self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.

It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
A very easily grown plant, horseradish prefers a good deep moist well-drained soil and a sunny position. Plants require a good soil if they are to produce good roots, though once established they are very tolerant of neglect and will continue to produce a crop for many years. Plants do not thrive if they are in the shade of trees. Excess nitrogen causes heavy top growth and forking of the roots. Prefers a wet clay soil according to one report, whilst another says that it will not grow in wet clay. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.8 to 8.3. Horseradish has long been cultivated for its root which is used as a food flavouring and medicinally, there are some named varieties. If the roots are given some protection they will produce fresh young leaves for the salad bowl all through the winter. Digging up some roots and putting them into a greenhouse for the winter is the easiest method. If the young shoots are blanched they will produce white, tender, sweet leaves. A very invasive plant, it is considered to be a pernicious weed in some areas. Even quite small sections of root will regrow if they are left in the soil. The plant has yet to prove invasive on our Cornwall trial grounds, though it has survived and even prospered in a very overgrown site. The forms of this plant grown in gardens are almost sterile and seldom produce good seed. This is a good companion plant for potatoes since it is said to deter potato eelworm and the Colorado beetle. One plant at each corner of the potato patch is quite sufficient. When grown under apple trees it is said to prevent brown rot, powdery mildew and other fungal diseases.

Propagation: Seed – this is seldom produced on plants in cultivation. If seed is obtained then it is best sown in situ during the spring. Division is very easy and can be carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best in spring. It s best to use sections of root about 20cm long, which can be planted out into their permanent positions in February or March, though even very small bits of root will grow away. Division should be carried out at least once every three years or the crop will deteriorate

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Young root – raw or cooked. The grated root is used to make the condiment ‘Horseradish sauce’, this has a hot mustard-like flavour. The sauce is best used uncooked or gently warmed, heating it will destroy the volatile oils that are responsible for its pungency. It is said that in Germany the roots are sliced and cooked like parsnips[183] – rather them than me!. The root is a rich source of sulphur. Fresh roots contain the glycoside sinigrin – this is decomposed in the presence of water by the enzyme myrosin, producing mustard oil which gives the root its hot flavour. The fleshy roots can be up to 60cm long and 5cm thick. The plant is fully hardy and can be left in the ground all winter to be harvested as required. Alternatively, the roots can be harvested in early winter and stored for later use, they will retain their juicy state for some time if stored in dry sand. Young leaves – raw or cooked. A very strong flavour, though nice when added in small quantities to the salad bowl. A pleasant mild flavour according to another report. Seeds – sprouted and eaten in salads.

Medicinal Uses:
Antibacterial;  Antirheumatic;  Antiseptic;  Aperient;  Digestive;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Rubefacient;  Stimulant.

Horseradish is a very pungent stimulant herb that controls bacterial infections and can be used both internally and externally. The plant is a powerful stimulant, whether used internally as a spur for the digestive system or externally as a rubefacient. It should not be used internally by people with stomach ulcers or thyroid problems. The roots are antiseptic, aperient, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, rubefacient and stimulant. They should be used in their fresh state. An infusion is used in the treatment of colds, fevers and flu and is of value in the treatment of respiratory and urinary tract infections. A sandwich of the freshly grated root is a traditional remedy for hay fever. A tea made from the root is weakly diuretic, antiseptic and expectorant. The plant is antibiotic against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria and also pathogenic fungi. It is experimentally antitumor. Externally, a poultice made from the roots is used to treat pleurisy, arthritis and infected wounds. It will also relieve the pain of chilblains. Some caution should be employed, however, because it can cause blistering. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Armoracia rusticana for internal & external use in catarrhs of the respiratory tract, internally as supportive therapy for urinary tract infections, externally for the hyperaemic treatment of minor muscles aches.

Other Uses :
Fungicide;  Repellent.

Horseradish tea is effective against brown rot of apples and other fungicidal diseases. The growing plant deters potato eelworm.

Known Hazards:
Large quantities of this plant can be poisonous due to its content of volatile oils. Traditional texts suggested possible thyroid function depression. Contraindicated with chronic nephritis, hepatitis, gastro-oesophageal reflux or hyperacidity conditions, and inflammatory bowel conditions. Avoid during pregnancy and lactation (moderate amounts with food ok)

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Armoracia+rusticana

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARRU4

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Armoracia_rusticana

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Raphanus sativus caudatus(Rat-Tail Radish)

Botanical Name : Raphanus sativus caudatus
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Raphanus
Species: R. caudatus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonmous name:Raphanus sativus var. caudatus (Linn.) Vilmorin , Raphanus sativus var. mougri Helm , Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. caudatus (Linn.) Thell.

Common Name : Rat-Tail Radish

Habitat :Raphanus sativus caudatus is native to Java.( It is found primarily in India and Southeast Asia, and is believed to have originated in China. It was first known in the West no later than 1815, when introduced into England from Java)

Description:
Raphanus sativus caudatus is an annual growing herbaceous plant growing erect when young and turning prostrate when well-grown. The basal leaves are lyrately pinnate while cauline leaves are simple and linear. The species produces purplish veined flowers and long pods containing many seeds in it. The species is cultivated in some regions for its pods which are eaten raw or cooked as vegetable.

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It is hardy to zone 8 and is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a rich soil with ample moisture. Dislikes very heavy or acid soils. Plants are susceptible to drought and require irrigation during dry spells in the summer or the root quality will rapidly deteriorate and the plant will go to seed. The rat-tailed radishes are sometimes cultivated for their large edible seedpods, there are some named varieties. This group of radishes does not produce roots of good quality, it is cultivated mainly for the edible young seedpods which are harvested in the summer. Radishes are a good companion plant for lettuces, nasturtiums, peas and chervil, tomatoes and cucumbers. They are said to repel cucumber beetles if planted near cucumber plants and they also repel the vine borers which attack squashes, marrows and courgettes. They grow badly with hyssop and with grape vines

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Seedpod.

Young leaves – raw or cooked. A somewhat hot taste. Flowers – raw. A nice spicy addition to salads. Young seedpods – raw. Crisp and juicy, they must be eaten when young because they quickly become tough and fibrous. They can grow more than 60cm long, but they tend to become tough and fibrous when more than 30cm long.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Antibacterial; Antifungal; Antiscorbutic; Antispasmodic; Astringent; Cancer; Carminative; Cholagogue; Digestive; Diuretic; Expectorant; Laxative; Poultice; Stomachic.

Radishes have long been grown as a food crop, but they also have various medicinal actions. The roots stimulate the appetite and digestion, having a tonic and laxative effect upon the intestines and indirectly stimulating the flow of bile. Consuming radish generally results in improved digestion, but some people are sensitive to its acridity and robust action. The plant is used in the treatment of intestinal parasites, though the part of the plant used is not specified. The leaves, seeds and old roots are used in the treatment of asthma and other chest complaints. The juice of the fresh leaves is diuretic and laxative. The seed is carminative, diuretic, expectorant, laxative and stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of indigestion, abdominal bloating, wind, acid regurgitation, diarrhoea and bronchitis. The root is antiscorbutic, antispasmodic, astringent, cholagogue, digestive and diuretic. It is crushed and used as a poultice for burns, bruises and smelly feet. Radishes are also an excellent food remedy for stone, gravel and scorbutic conditions. The root is best harvested before the plant flowers. Its use is not recommended if the stomach or intestines are inflamed. The plant contains raphanin, which is antibacterial and antifungal. It inhibits the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, streptococci, Pneumococci etc. The plant also shows anti-tumour activity.

Other Uses:
Green manure; Repellent.

The growing plant repels beetles from tomatoes and cucumbers. It is also useful for repelling various other insect pests such as carrot root fly. There is a fodder variety that grows more vigorously and is used as a green manure.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

http://www.floracafe.com/Search_PhotoDetails.aspx?Photo=All&Id=2129

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Raphanus+sativus+caudatus

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

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Trachyspermum roxburghianum(Bengali Radhuni)

Trachyspermum ammi (Daucus anisodorus, IS) US6...

Trachyspermum ammi (Daucus anisodorus, IS) US623737 (Photo credit: filibot.web)

Botanical Name :Trachyspermum roxburghianum
Family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Genus: Trachyspermum
Species: T. roxburghianum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Pimpinella lateriflora, Pimpinella dalzellii, Carum roxburghianum

Common Name :Wild Celery • Hindi:  Ajmod • Tamil: Asamtavomam • Malayalam: Ayamodakam • Telugu: Ajumoda, Vamu • Kannada: Ajamodhavoma • Bengali: Randhuni, Shah jira • Urdu: Ajmod • Sanskrit: Ajamoda

Habitat : Native habitat of celery extends from Sweden to Egypt, Algeria and Ethiopia and in Asia, India and China. It is an annual in the planes, whereas, biennial in cold climate and on hills.

Description:
Trachyspermum roxburghianum is an erect, branched annual herb, 0.5-3 ft tall. Stems are longitudinally triped. Leaves are double-compound, ultimate segements all linear. Flowers occur in compound umbels. They have rounded white or pink petals. Fruits are ovoid, ultimately shining, yellow. Stem much branched, striate, subglabrous. Leaves alternate, pinnately compound; blade ternately pinnate or 1-2 pinnate, leaflets pinnatifid to pinnatipartite, gradually becoming nearly filiform upward. Inflorescence terminal or axillary, compound umbel; peduncle up to 8 cm long; involucral bracts 2-5, linear-lanceolate; primary rays 2-9, up to 4 cm long; secondary rays (pedicels) 5-15, up to 7 mm long. Calyx teeth 5, small or obscure. Petals 5, obcordate with broadly inflexed obtuse apices. Pistil with compressed, glandular hairy ovary. Fruit laterally compressed, ovoid to sublobose schizocarp, easily splitting into 2, one-seeded mericarps; mericarp with 5 prominent longitudinal ribs.

You may click to see the picture

It is a very Trachyspermum roxburghianum is a strong spice, with a characteristic smell similar to parsley. A couple of pinches can easily overpower a curry. In Bengali cuisine the seeds are used whole, quickly fried in very hot oil until they crackle. Flowering: December-February.

The small dried fruits, mistakenly referred to as seeds, are similar in appearance to those of ajwain, celery, and caraway. Because of their similarity in both appearance and flavor, it is often confused or substituted with celery seed.

Edible Uses:
It is a very strong spice, with a characteristic smell similar to parsley and a taste similar to celery. A couple of pinches can easily overpower a curry. In Bengali cuisine the seeds are used whole, quickly fried in very hot oil until they crackle. They are part of a local panch phoron (Bengali five spice) mixture, where they replace the more commonly used mustard seed; the other ingredients are cumin seed, fenugreek seed, fennel seed, and kalonji (often wrongly called “wild onion seed,” and known locally (though erroneously) as “black cumin seed” Nigella sativa. In other places, a common use is in pickles or spice mixtures.

Young plants are harvested and consumed fresh as side dish or added to soup. Dried whole plant with inflorescence is used aas spice to flavor curries. Highly antimutagenic (Nakahara, 2002).

Chemcial Constituents:
Seeds – Essential oil 1.8 – 2 %, ( d -limonene, a-terpene, dipentene, d-linallol, terpineol, dl-piperitone, thymoquinol, thymol and a ketonic acid, 0.09 % ) C.A. 1943, 1009  Ind.J.Pharm . 1953, 15, 298, (4 ) . Fruits – Bergapten and Carvacrol.

Medicinal Properties:
Anti-diarrhoeal
Fruit -50 % alcoholic extract in broth culture at 125 mcg / ml . is active Vs E.histolytica  . Seeds exhibited activity against E.histolytica .Ind . J . Exptl . Biol . 1968, 6, 232

Medicinal Uses:
The fresh leaves are used as an herb in Thailand and it is used medicinally in Myanmar.

Anti-tumor
Fresh leaf – Methanol extract at 200 mg / ml . showed strong activity Vs CVells Raji . EBVactivation induced by HPA ( 40 ng / ml . )

Anti-oxidant
oil produced marked diuretic effect in rabbits . Ind.J . Med . Res . 1954.

CNS
Fruit – 50 % alcoholic extract given I / P in mice at 500 mg / kg . showed neuroleptic activity  . Seeds induced hyperactivity of CNS in mice . Ind . J . Exptl . Biol . 1968, 6, 232

Diuretic
oil produced marked diuretic effect in rabbits . Ind.J . Med . Res . 1954,

Cardiovascular
Fruits left after extraction of essential oil showed marked cardiotonic activity . . Ind.J . Med . Res . 1954, 42, 389  . Etherextract showed antiasggregating effect against platelet aggregation bt arachidonic acid .pro0bably due to effect on throboxane production Prostaglandin LeukotEssen.fatty acids, 1988 .

Hypotensive
Essential oil and crystalline substance loweredblood pressure in dogs and ratsdue to direct action on blood vessels . Ind.J . Med .  1954, 42, 389.

Spasmolytic
Seeds – Ketonic compound showed antispasmodic actvity particularly on smooth muscle of rabbit gut ., Ind.J.Pharm .1953, Ind.J . Med .1954.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:

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

http://www.ayurnepal.com/en/trachyspermum-roxburghianum.html

http://herbsgujarat.tripod.com/images/trachyspermum.gif

http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Wild%20Celery.html