Category Archives: Herbs & Plants

Trichodesma Indicum

Botanical Name: Trichodesma Indicum
Family: Boraginaceae
Subfamily: Boraginoideae
Genus: Trichodesma
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Boraginales

Common Names: Indian Borage • Hindi: Chhota Kalpa • Gujarati: Undhanphuli • Kannada: Katte tume soppu • Tamil: Kallutaitumapi • Telugu: Guvvagutti • Marathi: Chota Kalpa • Sanskrit: Adhapuspi

Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Andhahuli, Chotta kulpha , Hetmundiya, Ondhaphuli, Ratmandiya.
English name -Indian Borage
Gujarati name – Undhaphuli
Kannada name – Athomukhi , Kattetumbesoppu
Kashmiri name- Nilakrai, Ratisurkh
Malayalam name- Kilukkamtumpa
Marathi name – Chhotaphulya, Lahanakalpa, Pathari, Gaoza.
Punjabi name -Andusi, Kallributi, Nilakrai, Ratmandi.
Sindhi name- Goazaban
Tamil name- Kiluttaitumpai, Kallutaitumpai.
Telugu name- Guvvagatti.

Sanskrit Synonyms:
Andhaka Because of covering of flowers the flower seems to be absent.
Andha pushpaka Flower is opposed by leaf.
Avak pushpi Flower does not move when wind blows as it is covered by leaves.
Adhah pushpi Flowers which face downwards.
Adhoh mukha – Which face downwards
Amara pushpika Flowers are beautiful
Gandha pushpika Flowers having fragrance
Dhenu jihva Leaves resemble the tongue of cow
Romalu Leaves are hairy
Vashyanga Flower is under control of leaf
Shayalu- That which is always sleeping or not seen
Shata pushpa- That which has hundred flowers

Habitat : It is found throughout India, on roadsides and stony dry wastelands, upto 1,500 m.

Description: This is an erect, spreading, branched, annual herb, about 50 centimeters in height, with hairs springing from tubercles. It is a plant bearing bluish white colored flowers in the month August and which fruits in October. The leaves are stalkless, opposite, lanceolate, 2 to 8 centimeters long, pointed at the tip, and heart-shaped at the base. The flowers occur singly in the axils of the leaves. The sepal tube (calyx) is green, hairy, and 1 to 13 centimeters long, with pointed lobes. The flower tube is pale blue, with the limb about 1.5 centimeters in diameter, and the petals pointed. The fruit is ellipsoid, and is enclosed by the calyx. The nutlets are about 5 millimeters long, and rough on the inner surface.

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Chemical constituents:
The seed of the plant contains Linoleic acid, Oleic acid, Palmatic acid and stearic acid. The leaves contains Hexaconase, Ethylhexacosanoate, Ethylester and 21, 24- hexacosadienoic acid.

Ayurvedic Properties:
*Rasa (Taste) – Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter)
*Guna (Qualities) – Laghu (Light for digestion)
*Veerya (Potency) – Ushna (Hot)
*Vipaka – – Katu (Undergoes Pungent taste after digestion)
*Karma (Actions) – Kaphavata shamaka (reduces vitiated kapha and vata dosha)

Medicinal uses: In herbal medicine jargon, it is thermogenic, emollient, alexeteric, anodyne, anti-inflammatory, carminative, constipating, diuretic, depurative, ophthalmic, febrifuge and pectoral. This herb is also used in arthralgia, inflammations, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, dysentery, strangury, skin diseases and dysmenorrhoea.

The herb is used for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, dysmenorrhea, snake poisoning and localized swelling.

 

Known Hazards: The plant is acrid, bitter in taste. No known adverse effect is reported after the use of this herb.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

 

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichodesma
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Indian%20Borage.html

Trichodesma indicum: Benefits, Remedies, Research, Side Effects

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Sesbania grandiflora

Botanical Name : Sesbania grandiflora
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Sesbania
Species: S. grandiflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms: Aeschynomene grandiflora, Agati grandiflora

Common Names: Vegetable hummingbird, Agati or Hummingbird tree

Bengali Name: Bok ful

Habitat :Sesbania grandiflora is native to Malaysia to North Australia, and is cultivated in many parts of India and Sri Lanka. It grows where there is good soil and a hot, humid climate.

Description:
Sesbania grandiflora is a fast-growing tree. The leaves are regular and rounded and the flowers white or red. The fruits look like flat, long, thin green beans. The tree thrives under full exposure to sunshine and is extremely frost sensitive.

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It is a small soft wooded tree up to 3–8 m tall. Leaves are 15–30 cm long, with leaflets in 10–20 pairs or more and an odd one. Flowers are oblong, 1.5–10 cm long in lax, 2–4 flower racemes. The calyx is campanulate and shallowly 2-lipped. Pods are slender, falcate or straight, and 30–45 cm long, with a thick suture and approximately 30 seeds 8 mm in size.

Cultivation:
Propagated readily by seeding or cuttings, requiring little maintenance. It has been aerially seeded, apparently with success. For reforestation, Mendoza (1980) recommends spacing cuttings ca 1 m long at 4 x 4 m. The saplings could serve as a nurse crop for mahogany, Banquet pine, etc. Cuttings should be set out at the beginning of the rainy season. When grown as shade plant for coconut seedlings, agati is sown in India in June and July, putting 3–4 seed per hole in a narrow channel, 30 cm x 30 cm, ca 1 m from the coconut seedlings.

Harvesting:
When cultivated for fodder, agati is usually cut when ca 1 m tall. Indonesian foresters, growing the species for fuelwood, harvest on a 5-year rotation. One hectare can yield three m3 of stacked fuelwood in a 2-year rotation. After the plant is harvested, shoots resprout with such vigor that they seem irrepressible. The tree’s outstanding quality is its rapid growth rate, particularly during its first 3 or 4 years (NAS, 1980a).

Edible Uses:
The flowers of Sesbania grandiflora are eaten as a vegetable in Southeast Asia, including Laos, Thailand, Java in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Ilocos Region of the Philippines.

In the Thai language, the flowers are called Dok khae and are used in the cuisine both cooked in curries, such as kaeng som and kaeng khae, and raw in nam phrik.

The young pods are also eaten. In Sri Lanka, agati leaves, known as Katuru murunga in Sinhala language, are sometimes added to sudhu hodhi or white curry, a widely eaten, thin coconut gravy, and are believed locally. In India this plant is known as agati (Tamil), agastya (Kannada), agise (Telugu), and both the leaves and the flowers have culinary uses.

Chemical Constituents:
Per 100 g, the leaf is reported to contain 73.1 g H2O, 8.4 g protein, 1.4 g fat, 11.8 g NFE, 2.2 g fiber, 3.1 g ash, 1,130 mg Ca, 80 mg P, 3.9 mg Fe, 9,000 IU vit. A, 0.21 mg thiamine, 0.09 mg riboflavin, 1.2 mg niacin, and 169 mg ascorbic acid. Leaves contain (ZMB) per 100 g, 321 calories, 36.3 g protein, 7.5 g fat, 47.1 g carbohydrate, 9.2 g fiber, 9.2 g ash, 1684 mg Ca, 258 mg P, 21 mg Na, 2,005 mg K, 25,679 mg b-carotene equivalent, 1.00 mg thiamine, 1.04 mg riboflavin, 9.17 mg niacin and 242 mg ascorbic acid. The flowers (ZMB) contain per 100 g, 345 calories, 14.5 g protein, 3.6 g fat, 77.3 g carbohydrate, 10.9 g fiber, 4.5 g ash, 145 mg Ca, 290 mg P, 5.4 mg Fe, 291 mg Na, 1,400 mg K, 636 mg b-carotene equivalent, 0.91 mg thiamine, 0.72 mg riboflavin, 14.54 mg niacin, and 473 mg ascorbic acid. Seeds (ZMB) contain 36.5% CP, 7.4% fat, 51.6% total carbohydrate, and 4.5% ash. The seed oil contains 12.3% palmitic, 5.2% stearic, 26.2% oleic, and 53.4% linoleic acids. The seed testa, which constitutes 20% of the seed, contains 5.2% moisture, 1.3% ash, 0.8% fat, 2.7% CF, 0.1% free reducing sugars, 1.4% sucrose, 2.8% nitrogen, 6.3% pentosans, and 65.4% carbohydrates. Yields of 33% galactomannans are reported for alkali extraction of the testae. Seeds allowed to germinate (sprouts) for 120 hours increased vit. C content from 17–166 mg/100 g. Extracellular invertase of Rhizobia japonicum and its role in free sugar metabolism in the developing root nodules was studied. The enzyme hydrolyzed sucrose extracellularly, and its release was substrate inducible. 0.1 m b-mercaptoethanol released the cell-bound form of this enzyme. The production of invertase was low when glucose, galactose, mannose, fructose, and farrinose were used as carbon sources in the growth medium. In the developing nodules sucrose was the major sugar. The content of fructose was low in comparison with that of glucose, suggesting that in the nodules the fructose is converted to glucose prior to its entry into the bacterial cell. The content of glucose synchronized with the pattern of change in the activity of invertase in the nodules (Singh et al, 1980).

Medicinal Uses:
The leaf extract may inhibit the formation of advanced glycation end-products. The leaf extract contains linolenic acid and aspartic acid, which were found to be the major compounds responsible for the anti-glycation potential of the leaf extract.

The flowers and the pods are eaten to to cure canker sores.

Folk Medicine:-
Resorted to be aperient, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, laxative, and tonic, agati is a folk remedy for bruises, catarrh, dysentery, eyes, fevers, headaches, smallpox, sores, sorethroat, and stomatitis (Duke and Wain, 1981). Bark, leaves, gums, and flowers are considered medicinal. The astringent bark was used in treating smallpox and other eruptive fevers. The juice from the flowers is used to treat headache, head congestion, or stuffy nose. As a snuff, the juice is supposed to clear the nasal sinuses. Leaves are poulticed onto bruises. Rheumatic swellings are poulticed or rubbed with aqueous decoctions of the powdered roots of the red-flowered variant. In India the flowers are sacred to Siva, representing both the male and female sex organs; still I find no mention of their use as aphrodisiacs. Ayurvedics, believing the fruits to be alexeteric, laxative, and intellectually stimulating, prescribe them for anemia, bronchitis, fever, pain, thirst, and tumors; the flowers, apertif and refrigerant, for biliousness, bronchitis, gout, nyctalopia, ozoena, and quartan fever; the root for inflammation, the bark as astringent; leaves, alexeteric, anthelmintic, for epilepsy, gout, itch, leprosy, nyctalopia, and ophthalmia. Yunani consider the tonic leaves useful in biliousness, fever, and nyctalopia. Indians apply the roots in rheumatism, the juice of the leaves and flowers for headache and nasal catarrh. Mixed with stramonium and pasted, the root is poulticed onto painful swellings. In Amboina, flower juice is squeezed into the eye to correct dim vision. The bark is used in infusions for smallpox. Cambodians consider the flowers emollient and laxative, the bark for diarrhea, dysentery, and paludism. Malayans apply crushed leaves to sprains and contusions. They gargle with the leaf juice to cleanse the mouth and throat. In small doses, the bark is used for dysentery and sprue, in large doses, laxative, in still larger doses, emetic. Pounded bark is applied to scabies. Philippines use the pounded bark for hemoptysis. The powdered bark is also recommended for ulcers of the mouth and alimentary canal. In Java, the bark is used for thrush and infantile disorders of the stomach. Leaves are chewed to disinfect the mouth and throat.

Other Uses:
The inner bark of Sesbania grandiflora can serve as fiber and the white, soft wood not too durable, can be used for cork. The wood is used, like bamboo, in Asian construction. The tree is grown as an ornamental shade tree, and for reforestation. In Java, the tree is extensively used as a pulp source. A gum resembling kino (called katurai), fresh when red, nearly black after exposure, exudes from wounds. This astringent gum is partially soluble in water and in alcohol, but applied to fishing cord, it makes it more durable. Pepper vines (Piper nigrum) are sometimes grown on and in the shade of the agati. According to NAS (1980a), this small tree produces firewood, forage, pulp and paper, food, and green manure and appears to hold promise for reforesting eroded and grassy wastelands throughout the tropics. It combines well with agriculture (agroforestry) in areas where trees are not normally grown and becomes an important fuelwood source. Dried and powdered bark is used as a cosmetic in Java. Allen and Allen enumerated three undesirable features (1) short lived (2) shallow-rooted and subject to wind throw, and (3) prolific seeder, the pods often considered a litter. An aqueous extract of bark is said to be toxic to cockroaches.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sesbania_grandiflora
https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Sesbania_grandiflora.html

Allium triquetrum

Botanical Name: Allium triquetrum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. triquetrum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium medium G.Don
*Allium opizii Wolfner
*Allium triquetrum var. bulbiferum Batt. & Trab.
*Allium triquetrum f. normale (L.) Maire & Weiller
*Allium triquetrum var. typicum (L.) Regel
*Briseis triquetra (L.) Salisb.

Common Names: Three-cornered leek or in New Zealand as onion weed.

Habitat : Allium triquetrum is native to S. Europe. Naturalized in Britain in S.W. England. It grows in hedge banks and waste places on damp soils.

Description:
Allium triquetrum produces stems 17–59 cm (6 3?4–23 1?4 in) tall, which are concavely triangular in cross-section. Each stem produces an umbel inflorescence of 4–19 flowers in January–May in the species’ native environment. The tepals are 10–18 mm (13?32–23?32 in) long and white, but with a “strong green line”. Each plant has 2–3 narrow, linear leaves, each up to 15 cm (6 in) long. The leaves have a distinct onion smell when crushed.It is not frost tender.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a rich moist but well-drained soil. Shade tolerant, it is easily grown in a cool leafy soil and grows well in light moist woodland. Plants are not very hardy outside the milder areas of Britain, they tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. The seeds have an oil-bearing appendage which is attractive to ants. The ants carry the seed away to eat the oil and then discard the seed, thus aiding dispersal of the plant. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. The flowers are sweetly scented. The picked flowers can remain fresh for several weeks. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse or cold frame. It germinates quickly and can be grown on in the greenhouse for the first year, planting out the dormant bulbs in the late summer of the following year if they have developed sufficiently, otherwise grow on in pots for a further year. Stored seed can be sown in spring in a greenhouse. Division in summer after the plants have died down. Very easy, the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses:  Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.
Bulb – raw or cooked. The rather small bulb is up to 20mm in diameter, it has a mild garlic flavour and can be used as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods. It is harvested in early summer when the plant has died down and will store for at least 6 months. Leaves – raw or cooked. A leek substitute. The leaves are available from late autumn until the spring, they are nice in salads when they are young, or cooked as a vegetable or flavouring as they get older. The leaves have a milder and more delicate flavour than onions. Flowers – raw. Juicy with a mild garlic flavour, they make a tasty and decorative garnish on salads.
Medicinal Uses:

Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
Other Uses:....Repellent……The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards: Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_triquetrum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+triquetrum

Allium thunbergii

Botanical Name: Allium thunbergii
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. thunbergii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium arenarium Thunb.
*Allium bakeri var. morrisonense (Hayata) T.S.Liu & S.S.Ying
*Allium bakeri var. morrisonense (Hayata) Tang S. Liu & S.S. Ying
*Allium cyaneum f. stenodon (Nakai & Kitag.) Kitag.

Common Names: Thunberg’s chive

Habitat : Allium thunbergii is native to Japan (incl Bonin + Ryukyu Islands), Korea, and China (incl. Taiwan). It grows at elevations up to 3000 m. The Flora of China recognizes A. tunbergii and A. stenodon as separate species, but more recent sources combine the two.

Description:
Allium thunbergii produces one or two egg-shaped bulbs up to 20 mm in diameter. Scapes are up to 50 cm tall. Leaves are longer than the scape, hollow, triangular in cross-section. Umbels are crowded with many red or purple flowers. It is in flower from Sep to November.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Plants are not hardy in the colder areas of Britain, they tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. There is at least one named variety, selected for its ornamental value[200]. ‘Ozawa’ is smaller than the type, growing to 30cm. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

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

Young plants and leaves – raw or cooked in soups etc. The raw leaves have a pleasant mild onion flavour and a good fibre-free texture. Bulbs – cooked. They can be pickled in brine, vinegar and syrup. The bulbs are up to 2cm in diameter. Flowers – raw. A pleasant mild onion flavour, they make an attractive garnish in salads etc.
Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
Other Uses:…..Repellent..…..The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_thunbergii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+thunbergii