Tagetes lucida

 

Botanical Name : Tagetes lucida
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Tagetes
Species: T. lucida
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Tagetes anethina Sessé & Moc.
*Tagetes florida Sweet
*Tagetes gilletii De Wild.
*Tagetes lucida f. florida (Sweet) Voss
*Tagetes pineda La Llave
*Tagetes schiedeana Less
*Tagetes seleri Rydb.
Common Names: Mexican Tarragon, Sweetscented marigold , Mexican marigold, Mexican mint marigold, Mexican tarragon, Spanish tarragon, sweet mace, Texas tarragon, pericón, yerbaniz, and cempaxóchitl.

Habitat : Tagetes lucida is native to Central and Southern America – Mexico to Guatemala. It grows on woods, hillsides and rocky slopes.

Description:
Tagetes lucida is a perennial plant. It grows 18-30 inches (46–76 cm) tall. Depending on land race, the plant may be fairly upright, while other forms appear bushy with many unbranching stems. The leaves are linear to oblong, about 3 inches (7.6 cm) long, and shiny medium green, not blue-green as in French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa). In late summer it bears clusters of small golden yellow flower heads on the ends of the stems. The flower heads are about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) across and have 3-5 golden-yellow ray florets. The flowers are hermaphroditic (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Requires a well-drained moderately fertile soil in a sunny position. Grows well in heavy clay soils and in sandy soils. Plants in general are not very cold-hardy when grown outdoors in Britain, though some forms will survive outdoors at least in the milder areas of the country. We have plants grown from seed collected in Oregon that have proved hardy to at least -5°c. A very ornamental plant, there are some named varieties. ‘Huichol’ is a traditional clone used by the Huichol Indians that grows at an elevation of 1500 – 1800m in Mexico. The blooms are amongst the most sweetly-scented of all flowers. Removing dead flowers before the seed is formed will extend the flowering season. Plants are prone to slugs, snails and botrytis. Grows well with tomatoes.

Propagation
Seed – sow March in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Basal cuttings in spring. Remove young shoots when about 5 – 10 cm tall, making sure to get as much of the underground stem as possible. Pot up into a sandy soil and keep in light shade until roots are formed, which usually takes 2- 3 weeks.

Phytochemistry:
The plant contains the following compounds:

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*Anethole
*Chavicol
*Coumarin
*Estragole
*Isorhamnetin
*Methyleugenol
*Quercitin

Edible Uses:
Fresh or dried leaves are used as a tarragon substitute for flavoring soups, sauces etc.A pleasant anise-flavored tea is brewed using the dried leaves and flower heads. The leaves are dried and ground into a powder then used as a tarragon substitute for flavouring soups, sauces etc. They have an anise-like flavour. The leaves were an important flavouring of ‘chocolatl’, the foaming cocoa-based drink of the Aztecs. The dried leaves and flowering tops are brewed into a pleasant anise-flavoured tea. This is a very popular drink in Latin America. The petals are used as a condiment.

Medicinal Uses:
This is primarily used medicinally in Mexico and Central America. The leaves and whole plant are digestive, diuretic, febrifuge, hypotensive, narcotic, sedative and stimulant. Use of the plant depresses the central nervous system, whilst it is also reputedly anaesthetic and hallucinogenic. It is used internally in the treatment of diarrhoea, nausea, indigestion, colic, hiccups, malaria and feverish illnesses. Externally, it is used to treat scorpion bites and to remove ticks. The leaves can be harvested and used as required, whilst the whole plant is harvested when in flower and dried for later use.
Other Uses:
A yellow dye can be obtained from the flowers.The dried plant is burnt as an incense and to repel insects.

Tagetes lucida was used by the Aztecs in a ritual incense known as Yauhtli.The Aztecs allegedly used Tagetes lucida as one of the ingredients in a medicinal powder which was blown into the faces of those about to become the victims of human sacrifice and which may have possessed stupefying or anxiolytic properties.The plant was linked to the rain god Tlaloc. The plant is also used by the Huichol, mixed with Nicotiana rustica (a potent wild tobacco), for its claimed psychotropic and entheogenic effects.

In one study, methanolic extract from the flower inhibited growth of Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, and Candida albicans cultures. This effect was enhanced with exposure to ultraviolet light. The roots, stems, and leaves also had the same effect when irradiated with UV light.

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/Tagetes_lucida
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Tagetes+lucida
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Pedicularis palustris

 
Botanical Name : Pedicularis palustris
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Pedicularis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Tribes: Pedicularideae
Species: Pedicularis palustris

Common Names: Lousewort, Marsh, English name: Red Rattle and U.S. name: Red Rattle, Name also: European Purple Lousewort (USA)

Vernacular names:
English: Marsh Lousewort ceština: Všivec bahenní dansk: Eng-Troldurt Deutsch: Sumpf-Läusekraut español: Gallaritos eesti: Soo-kuuskjalg suomi: Luhtakuusio français: Pediculaire des marais, Tartarie rouge hornjoserbsce: Wulka wšowica italiano: Pediculare lietuviu: Pelkine glinde Nederlands: Moeraskartelblad, Moeras-Kartelblad norsk bokmål: Myrklegg polski: Gnidosz blotny slovenšcina: mocvirski ušivec svenska: Kärrspira

Habitat : Marsh lousewort is common in Finland, but rarely abundant. It grows on seashore and flood-influenced meadows, lake shores, riversides, moist meadows, boggy margins, rich swamps.

Description:
Pedicularis palustris grows as biennial herb. Taproot strong, straight. Hemiparasite. It grows to a height of 15–40(–80) cm (6–16(–32) in.). Stem almost glabrous, often brownish red, usually branched, branches often flowering.

Flower: Corolla zygomorphic, red, sometimes yellowish white, 15–22 mm (0.6–0.88 in.) long, fused, bilabiate, with long tube. Upper lip flat-sided, tip sharply convex; lower lip 3-lobed, central lobe smaller than lateral lobes, round. Calyx bowl-shaped, bilabiate, unclearly 5-lobed. Stamens 4. Gynoecium fused, single-styled. Inflorescence a long terminal spike, lax in the lower part.

Leaves: Alternate; with basal rosette. Rosette leaves long-stalked, blade triangular, 2 times pinnately lobed. Stem leaves short-stalked, blade ovate–linear, pinnately lobed, lobes toothed or lobed.

Fruit: Quite elliptic, with tapered tip, brown, capsule opening from one side.

Flowering time: June–August.

Its reddish brown, decorative shoots and red flowers stand out from a distance. Only the most powerful insects, such as bumble and honey bees, are able to get at its nectar. Bumble bees land on the corolla’s lower labellum, push their way inside and push the upper labellum forcefully in order to get at the nectar. In doing so the insect reveals its stamens and pollinates the plant while it loads up on nectar.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES : 

Marsh lousewort is a hemiparasite, meaning that it sucks extra nutrition from its neighbour’s roots. The plant’s stem goes woody and stands up all through the winter. Marsh lousewort is divided in Finland into three subspecies, which can be differentiated from each other on the basis of the area they grow in and their flowering time. Ssp. palustris in quite low, abundantly branched, flowers in June, is large-flowered (18–22 mm, 0.72–0.88 in.), and grows in southern and central Finland; ssp. borealis grows in northern and northern parts of central Finland, is branchless, has a slightly smaller flower (approx. 15 mm, 0.6 in.) and it flowers in July; ssp. opsiantha is abundantly branched and quite tall, and its flowers are small (14–17 mm, 0.56–0.68 in.).

Medicinal Uses:
Lousewort is poisonous and a powerful insecticide. Formerly, an infusion of the plant was made to destroy lice and other insect parasites. The plant is now rarely used.
Known Hazards: Lousewort is poisonous.
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/Pedicularis
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Pedicularis_palustris
http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/kukkakasvit/marsh-lousewort
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Nymphaea caerules

Botanical Name : Nymphaea caerules
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Genus: Nymphaea
Species: N. caerulea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Nymphaeales

Common Names: Blue lotus (or Blue Egyptian lotus), Blue water lily (or Blue Egyptian water lily), and sacred Blue lily (or sacred narcotic lily of the nile)

Habitat :Nymphaea caerules is native to Nile and other parts of East Africa. It spread more widely in ancient times, including to the Indian Subcontinent and Thailand. It grows in water like any other water lily.

Description:
The leaves are broadly rounded, 25–40 cm across, with a notch at the leaf stem. The flowers are 10–15 cm in diameter. Reports in the literature by persons unfamiliar with its actual growth and blooming cycle have suggested that the flowers open in the morning, rising to the surface of the water, then close and sink at dusk. In fact, the flower buds rise to the surface over a period of two to three days, and when ready, open at approximately 9–9:30 am and close about 3 pm. The flowers and buds do not rise above the water in the morning, nor do they submerge at night. The flowers have pale bluish-white to sky-blue or mauve petals, smoothly changing to a pale yellow in the centre of the flower.
CLICK & SEE
Religion and art:
Along with the white lotus Nymphaea lotus, also native to Egypt, the plant and flower is very frequently depicted in Egyptian art. It has been depicted in numerous stone carvings and paintings, including the walls of the famous temple of Karnak. It is frequently depicted in connection with “party scenes”, dancing or in significant spiritual / magical rites such as the rite of passage into the afterlife. N. caerulea was considered extremely significant in Egyptian mythology, regarded as a symbol of the sun, since the flowers are closed at night and open again in the morning. At Heliopolis, the origin of the world was taught to have been when the sun-god Ra emerged from a lotus flower growing in “primordial waters”. At night he was believed to retreat into the flower again. Due to its colour, it was identified, in some beliefs, as having been the original container, in a similar manner to an egg, of Atum, and in similar beliefs Ra, both solar deities. As such, its properties form the origin of the lotus variant of the Ogdoad cosmogeny. It was the symbol of the Egyptian deity Nefertem…..click & see: Ancient Egyptian funerary stele showing a dead man, named Ba, seated in the center, sniffing a sacred lily. New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII, c. 1550–1292 BC.
Properties and uses:
There is evidence that the clinical effects of plants including N. caerulea that contain the psychoactive alkaloid apomorphine were known to both the Mayans and the Ancient Egyptians.
The mildly sedating effects of N. caerulea makes it a likely candidate (among several) for the lotus plant eaten by the mythical Lotophagi in Homer’s Odyssey. This lotus has been used to produce perfumes since ancient times; it is also used in aromatherapy.

Medicinal Uses:
An aphrodisiac for both men and women as well as a general remedy for all illness enhancing sexual vigor and general good health. A tonic like ginseng, pain reliever like arnica, circulation stimulant richer than ginkgo biloba, and sexual stimulant richer than Viagra. It creates a feeling of well being, euphoria and ecstasy, as well as being widely used as a general remedy against illness, and is still used as a tonic for good health, consumed as an extract, 6-12 drops or up to 1 tsp to 1 Tbs in juice taken 1 to 3 times daily. Traditionally, fresh Blue Lotus was made into a tea or drank after being soaked in wine, usually followed by a cigarette made of the dried plant material. Dried flowers are sometimes smoked for a mild sedative effect. By itself, Lotus produces an opiate-like intoxication. Traditionally, Nymphaea caerulea was drunk after being soaked in warm water or wine, while the dried flowers were also smoked. About 5 grams of dried petals steeped in small amount of alcohol for a few hours to a week is said to have a synergistic effect with the Lotus, producing a euphoria. The overall effect of this combination is a narcotic empathogenic experience. According to recent studies, Blue Lily was found to be loaded with health-giving phytosterols and bioflavonoids. It turned out to be one of the greatest daily health tonics ever found.

According to Shaman Australis, (2009), “The story of the sacred Blue Lotus makes a mockery of modern science. It has been known for several years now that this species is psychoactive to some degree, but little concrete knowledge exists in the scientific arena and the psychoactive effect is vigorously disputed by conservative scientists. So a couple of wiseguy pharmacologists decided to make a name for themselves by researching the active constituents and making a documentary about it. It is shown on the discovery channel and other media, and once you’ve experienced the effects of Blue Lotus you will understand just how ridiculous their research is. In years to come it will be better suited for the comedy channel.

First they compared the Mass Spectrometer analysis of a mummy with that of some Blue Lotus flowers with the result that they matched. This indicated that the mummy had consumed Sacred Blue Lotus not long before his death. They also looked for narcotics in the mummy and found none. The substances found were listed as phosphodiastrates, bioflavonoids and phytosterols. The first is similar to viagra, the second group is common in many fresh foods, and the last is similar to the known active constituent of Ginko biloba. At no stage in the research did they bother trying to consume a flower or an extract and this is where one has to wonder what the purpose of science is if it only serves to prove the absolute. The result of their expensive and drawn out study was that the “mild” activity of sacred Blue Lotus is due to the phytosterols. It is obvious that this conclusion can be dimissed as poor science, poor logic and above all poor representation of the lily itself.

Blue Lotus was assumed to contain nuciferine (1,2-dimethoxy-aporphine) just like Nelumbo nucifera, but this does not appear to be so according to the MS data. Aporphine and Apomorphine (6a-beta-aporphine-10,11-diol) have also been excluded.
Essentially this means that at this time no one knows what is causing the Blue Sacred Lotus to be a potent narcotic and inebriant. All we know is that 2-4 flowers soaked in wine for 24 hours will give a noticable and very pleasant synergy with the wine. Seed extracts and flower extracts can be consumed orally with or without alcohol, while dried flowers are easily dosed by smoking. All product forms will produce noticable effects. These can range from mild sedation to a fairly strong narcotic state”.

So, what are the psychoactive constituents?
More research is needed, but according to Kandeler and Ullrich, “Nymphaeas have long had a particular significance as intoxicants for shamans because of their alkaloid and glycoside content. They contain compounds similar to atropin and papaverin (nupharin, nymphalin, ellagic acid)(Roth et al., 1994).”
Also, Nymphaea caerulea could still contain Apomorphine (6a-beta-aporphine-10,11-diol) and Nuciferine (1,2-dimethoxy-aporphine). The sample used in the Shaman Australis MS study could have been the wrong plant, harvested at a bad time, had less than optimal growing conditions, etc.
Different Uses:
Recent studies have shown Nymphaea caerulea to have psychoactive properties, and may have been used as a sacrament in ancient Egypt and certain ancient South American cultures. Dosages of 5 to 10 grams of the flowers induces slight stimulation, a shift in thought processes, enhanced visual perception, and mild closed-eye visuals. Nymphaea caerulea is distantly related to, and possesses similar activity as Nelumbo nucifera, the Sacred Lotus.
These psychoactive effects make Nymphaea caerulea a likely candidate (among several) for the lotus plant eaten by the mythical Lotophagi in Homer’s Odyssey.

According to Shaman Australis, (2009), “Nymphaea nouchali has featured heavily in Egyptian history. The goddess Isis is said to have pointed out that the rhizomes were edible. Pharaohs wre buried with them and their pyramids adorned with images of them. There is also evidence, in the form of a painting in a tomb dating back to 3000-2500 BCE, that nymphaeas were deliberately cultivated in square, evenly spaced beds fed by canals. The blooms were in great demand for religious festivals, offerings of the flowers being made to the dead or to the gods, as well as for gifts to visiting noblemen as a gesture of friendship and goodwill. Both Amenhotep IV and Ramses III (1225 BCE) are known to have had them growing in their palace gardens. It is commonly assumed that this was purely for ornamental purposes, but given what we know now about their psychoactivity, there may have been more to this. Many ancient paintings depict the Sacred Blue Lotus in conjunction with wine symbols and among the consumed items rather than the decorative items. It has also long been cultivated by the Chinese and Japanese.

In modern times, the name lotus is used almost exclusively for Nelumbo nucifera. Nelumbo nucifera is not a native of Egypt. It actually comes from south-east Asia where it is often found near temples and is regarded as sacred in China and Japan. It was introduced to the Nile by the Romans, probably for food. The true Egyptian lotus is Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea (syn. N. caerulea) and Nymphaea lotus. In in South Africa (c 1800), the rootstock of the blue water lily was collected and eaten, either raw or in curries, in particular by the Cape Malays and farming communities in the Cape.”
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/Nymphaea_caerulea
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://www.neurosoup.com/blue-lotus-nymphaea-caerulea/

Hepatica americana

Botanical Name : Hepatica americana
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Hepatica
Species: H. nobilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names: Liverwort, Ker-gawl ,Hepatica tribola, Hepatica nobilis,American Liverleaf, Alumroot, Round Lobed Hepatica

Habitat : Hepatica americana is native to the eastern United States and to central and eastern Canada. It grows on the dry woods. Mixed woods, often in association with both conifers and deciduous trees, usually in drier sites and more acid soils, from sea level to 1200 metres. ( Rich or rocky wooded slopes, ravines, mossy banks, ledges. Usually on acid soils.)
Description:
Hepatica americana is a herbaceous perennial, growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, lepidoptera……..CLICK &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

USDA hardiness zone : 3-9

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Rock garden, Woodland garden. Prefers a deep light soil with leafmold. Grows well on limey woodland soils in half shade, though it also succeeds in deep shade and in full sun[1]. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible. This species is closely related to H. acutiloba. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. Special Features: Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies.
Propagation:
Seed – sow in a moist soil in a shady position. The stored seed requires stratification for about 3 weeks at 0 – 5°c. Germination takes 1 – 12 months at 10°c. It is probably worthwhile sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame. 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 just as the leafless plant comes into flower in late winter. Replant immediately into their permanent positions.
Medicinal Uses:
Hepatica americana was used widely by natives and colonists to treat a variety of ailments. A tea made from the leaves is laxative. It is used in the treatment of fevers, liver ailments and poor indigestion. At one time it became a cult medicine as a liver tonic and 200,000 kilos of dried Hepatica leaves were used in 1883 alone. Externally, the tea is applied as a wash to swollen breasts[

It was used most commonly as a leaf tea to treat liver disorders. This was thought to work because the plants leaves are shaped much like the human liver. This practice of treating organ ailments with the plants that most resembled them is known as the “doctrine of signatures.” The practice originated in China and, fortunately, is no longer

While rarely found in herbal remedies today, it is a mild astringent and a diuretic. It stimulates gall bladder production and is a mild laxative. Its astringency has also stopped bleeding in the digestive tract and the resultant spitting of blood. Historically, liverwort has been used for kidney problems and bronchitis. It’s active constituent, protoaneminin, has been shown to have antibiotic action. The Russians use it in their folk medicine and also to treat cattle with mouth sickness.

Known Hazards : Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, most plants in this family are poisonous. This toxicity is usually of a low order and the toxic principle is destroyed by heat or by drying.

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/Hepatica_nobilis
http://www.missouriplants.com/Bluealt/Hepatica_americana_page.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hepatica+americana
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Achillea santolina

 
Botanical Name : Achillea santolina
Family:  Asteraceae
Genus : Achillea
Kingdom : Plantae
Division:  Marchantiophyta
Class : Angiospermae
Order :  Asterales

Common Name : Santolina yarrow

Habitat: Achillea santolina is native to E. Asia – Himalayas. It grows well in cultivated bed.

Description:
Achillea santolina is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 0.3 m (1ft). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in most soils but prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position. Plants in this genus generally live longer when growing in a poor soil. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or early autumn in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months[133]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the divisions can be planted direct into their permanent positions. Basal cuttings of new shoots in spring. Very easy, collect the shoots when they are about 10cm tall, potting them up individually in pots and keeping them in a warm but lightly shaded position. They should root within 3 weeks and will be ready to plant out in the summer.
Medicinal Uses:
The plant is carminative and tonic. It is used to treat stomach aches in children.

Other Uses : … Repellent……..The plant is insect repellent.

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/Achillea
http://eol.org/pages/6173218/names/common_names
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Achillea+santolina

Achillea ptarmica

 

Botanical Name : Achillea ptarmica
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Achillea
Species: A. ptarmica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name : Sneeze-Wort, Sneezeweed , Sneezewort, Bastard pellitory, European pellitory, Fair-maid-of-France, Goose tongue, Sneezewort yarrow, Wild pellitory, White tansy

Habitat :Achillea ptarmica is native to Europe, including Britain but excluding the Mediterranean, east to Siberia and W. Asia. It grows on the damp meadows, marshes and by streams.

Description:
Achillea ptarmica is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in) at a fast rate. It is widespread across most of Europe and naturalized in scattered places in North America.

Achillea ptarmica has loose clusters of showy white, flower heads that bloom from June to August. Its dark green leaves have finely toothed margins. Like many other plants, the sneezewort’s pattern of development displays the Fibonacci sequence.CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The name ptarmica comes from the Greek word ptairo (=sneeze) and means ’causes sneezing’

It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self. The plant is self-fertile.
Cultivation & propagation: Achillea ptarmica is a hardy, drought-tolerant plant that prefers full sun and moist but well-drained soil. Propagation is by sowing seed or division in Spring

Edible Uses: Leaves are eaten raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring in salads.
Medicinal Uses:
Antidiarrhoeal; Antiemetic; Antiflatulent; Antirheumatic; Appetizer; Cardiac; Diaphoretic; Digestive; Emmenagogue; Miscellany; Odontalgic;
Sternutatory; Styptic.

Achillea ptarmica yields an essential oil that is used in herbal medicine. The leaf is chewed to relieve toothache.
Other Uses:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Rock garden, Seashore, Specimen. Succeeds in most soils but prefers a moist well-drained soil in a sunny position. The dried, powdered leaves are used as a sneezing powder. Yields an essential oil that is used medicinally. The report does not say what part of the plant the oil is obtained from, it is most likely to be the leaves harvested just before flowering. The leaves are used as an insect repellent.

Known Hazards:  The plant is poisonous to cattle, sheep, and horses. Symptoms are generally slow to develop, and include fever, rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, weight loss, drooling, spasms and loss of muscular control, and convulsions

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/Achillea_ptarmica
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Achillea+ptarmica

Calochortus gunnisonii

 

Botanical Name ; Calochortus gunnisonii
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Calochortus
Species: C. gunnisonii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Common Names: Gunnison’s mariposa lily, Lily, Mariposa, Mariposa Lily, Gunnison’s mariposa lily

Habitat : Calochortus gunnisonii is native to the western United States, primarily in the Rocky Mountains and Black Hills: Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, northwestern Nebraska (Sioux County) and eastern Idaho (Fremont County).
It grows on grassy hillsides and open coniferous woods[60]. Found in a variety of habitats from moist meadows and open woods to sandy and rocky hillsides and dry gulches between 1,200 and 3,300 metres.

Description:
Calochortus gunnisonii is a bulb-forming perennial with straight stems up to 55 cm tall.It is a typically large and beautiful member of the genus; its bell-shaped flowers have three broad, rounded white (rarely pink or pale yellow) petals and three thin, shorter, pointed sepals, with a ring of fine greenish-yellow hairs around the center and a circular band of purple. In the middle are six anthers and a three pronged stigma. Flowers are about 2 inches in diameter. The thin, bendy stalks bear a few grass-like leaves, and can branch a few times towards the top. Stem and leaves are hairless. Plants sprout from (edible) bulbs, usually deeply buried.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

 Varieties:
*Calochortus gunnisonii var. gunnisonii – most of species range
*Calochortus gunnisonii var. perpulcher Cockerell – New Mexico

USDA hardiness zone : 3-7 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 dry or moist soil.
Cultivation:
Requires a deep very well-drained fertile sandy soil in a sunny position and must be kept dry from mid summer to late autumn. This is a rather difficult plant to cultivate in Britain, it is very cold hardy but is intolerant of wetness especially in the winter. It is easiest to grow in a bulb frame but is worth trying outdoors at the base of a south-facing wall, especially with shrubs that like these conditions. Bulbs can be lifted as soon as the foliage dies down in the summer and stored overwinter in a cool dry place, replanting in the spring. The bulbs must be replanted immediately according to another report. Bulbs frequently divide after flowering, the bulblets taking 2 years to reach flowering size. This species is closely related to C. ambiguus. Hand pollination is necessary if seed is required.
Propagation:
Seed – sow as soon as ripe or early spring in a cold frame in a very sharply draining medium. Stratification may be helpful. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 6 months at 15°c. Leave the seedlings undisturbed for their first two years growth], but give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure they do not become nutrient deficient. It is quite difficult to get the seedlings through their first period of dormancy since it is all too easy either to dry them out completely or keep them too moist when they will rot. After their second year of growth, pot up the dormant bulbs in late summer and grow them on for at least another 2 years in the greenhouse before trying them outside. Seedlings take about 5 – 7 years to come into flower. Division of the bulbs as soon as the foliage dies down. The bulbs can be planted straight out into their permanent positions but in areas with wet winters it might be best to store them overwinter and replant them in the spring. Stem bulbils, harvested from the stems after flowering. They can be stored cool and dry then planted in pots in the cold frame in the spring
Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root; Seed.
Edible Uses:

Bulb – raw or cooked. One report says that the raw bulb tastes like a raw new potato. It has a crisp nut-like texture and a pleasant flavour when cooked. The bulb can be dried and ground into a powder for making a sweet porridge, mush etc. Leaves – cooked. It is hard to obtain a sufficient quantity and use of the leaves will weaken the bulbs. Seed – ground into a powder. Flower buds – raw. Added to salads.

Medicinal Uses:
An infusion of the plant has been taken internally to treat rheumatic swellings by the Acoma and Laguna Indians and by the Navajo to ease the delivery of the placenta. Juice of the leaves were applied to pimples.
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/Calochortus_gunnisonii
http://www.americansouthwest.net/plants/wildflowers/calochortus-gunnisonii.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Calochortus+gunnisonii

Syringa vulgaris

Botanical Name : Syringa vulgaris
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Syringa
Species: S. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name: Lilac or Common lilac

Habitat : Syringa vulgaris is native to the Balkan Peninsula, where it grows on rocky hill slopes in Europe. Found in hedges, thickets and shrubberies in Britain. This species is widely cultivated as an ornamental and has been naturalized in other parts of Europe (UK, France, Germany, Italy, etc.) as well as much of North America. It is not regarded as an aggressive species, found in the wild in widely scattered sites, usually in the vicinity of past or present human habitations.

Description:
Syringa vulgaris is a large deciduous shrub or multi-stemmed small tree, growing to 6–7 m (20–23 ft) high, producing secondary shoots (“suckers”) from the base or roots, with stem diameters of up to 20 cm (8 in), which in the course of decades may produce a small clonal thicket. The bark is grey to grey-brown, smooth on young stems, longitudinally furrowed and flaking on older stems. The leaves are simple, 4–12 cm (2–5 in) and 3–8 cm broad, light green to glaucous, oval to cordate, with pinnate leaf venation, a mucronate apex and an entire margin. They are arranged in opposite pairs or occasionally in whorls of three. The flowers have a tubular base to the corolla 6–10 mm long with an open four-lobed apex 5–8 mm across, usually lilac to mauve, occasionally white.
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Blooming time is early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded. They are arranged in dense, terminal panicles 8–18 cm (3–7 in) long. The fruit is a dry, smooth brown capsule, 1–2 cm long, splitting in two to release the two winged seeds.

It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Standard, Seashore, Specimen. Succeeds in most soils, including chalk, but dislikes acid soils. Prefers a deep stiff well-drained loam in a warm sunny position. A very ornamental plant, it does tend to sucker quite freely though. There are many named varieties, developed for their ornamental value. The flowers attract butterflies and moths. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Special Features: Not North American native, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy.

Propagation:
Seed – sow March in a north facing cold frame. Pre-treating the seed with 4 weeks warm then 3 weeks cold stratification improves germination. It is probable that sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame would be a more reliable method. Prick the seedlings out into individual pots once they are large enough to handle. Plant them out in the summer if sufficient growth has been made, otherwise grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter and plant out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of young shoots, 7cm with a heel, June in a frame. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Layering in spring before new growth begins. Takes 12 months. Division of suckers in late winter. They can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses: ..Flowers are eaten raw or folded into batter and fried to make fritters.
Medicinal Uses:
The leaves and the fruit are antiperiodic, febrifuge, tonic and vermifuge. The bark or leaves have been chewed by children as a treatment for sore mouth.
Used as a vermifuge in the US and as a tonic anti-periodic and febrifuge; used as a substitute for aloes and in the treatment of malaria.

Other Uses: Dye; Essential; Hedge; Hedge; Rootstock.
An essential oil is obtained from the flowers. Used in perfumery. A green dye is obtained from the flowers. Green and brown dyes can be obtained from the leaves. A yellow-orange dye is obtained from the twigs. Plants can be grown as an informal hedge. The plant is often used as a rootstock for the various ornamental cultivars of lilac. Its main disadvantage is that it can be sucker very freely.
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=Syringa+vulgaris
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syringa_vulgaris
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Cymbopogon citrates

Botanical Name : Cymbopogon citrates
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Cymbopogon
Species: C. citratus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Common Names : Lemon grass or Oil grass, Fever Grass, Citronella, Capim

Habitat : Cymbopogon citrates is native to tropical regions ( Indonesia, and introduced and cultivated in most of the tropics, including Africa, South America and Indo-China.) It grows in clusters. The plant has globular stems that eventually become leaf blades.

Description:
The Cymbopogon citrates is a perennial plant with brawny stalks and somewhat broad and scented leaves. This species of plant is usually cultivated commercially for oil refinement and is different by its individual aroma and chemical composition of the oil. Apart from C. citratus, or Cymbopogon citratus, there are other varieties of lemongrass such as C. nardus (also known citronella grass that is a source of citronella oil), C. martini (known as ginger grass, palma-rosa or rusha) and C. winterianus (Java citronella oil).
Cymbopogon citrates is also a resourceful plant in the garden. This grass, native of the tropical regions, usually grows in thick bunches that often develop to a height of six feet (1.8 meters) and approximately four feet (1.2 meters) in breadth. The leaves of the plant are similar to straps and are 0.5 inch to 1 inch (1.3 cm to 2.5 cm) in width and around three feet (0.9 meter) in length, and possess stylish apexes. The plant bears leaves round the year and they are vivid bluish-green and when mashed they emit an aroma akin to lemons. The leaves of this plant are used for flavoring and also in the manufacture of medications. The leaves are refined by steam to obtain lemongrass oil – an old substitute in the perfume manufacturers’ array of aroma. The most common type of lemongrass found is a variety of plants that originated and persisted under cultivation and do not usually bear flowers…….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Over the years, lemongrass has fast turned out to be the most wanted plant for the American gardeners and this is attributed to the increasing popularity of Thai culinary in the United States. The aromatic lemongrass is considered to be of multi-purpose use in the kitchen as it is used in teas, drinks, herbal medications and the soups and delicacies originated in the Eastern region of the world and now popular all over. In fact, the worth of this aromatic and cosmetic plant was known to the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians.
Edible Uses:
The stalks and leaves of the lemongrass are widely used in culinary in different Asian countries.

Cymbopogon citratus is abundant in the Philippines and Indonesia where it is known as tanglad or sereh. Its fragrant leaves are traditionally used in cooking, particularly for lechon and roasted chicken.

The dried leaves can also be brewed into a tea, either alone or as a flavoring in other teas, imparting a flavor reminiscent of lemon juice but with a mild sweetness without significant sourness or tartness.

Medicinal Uses:
Apart from the herb’s aromatic, ornamental and culinary uses, lemongrass also provides a number of therapeutic benefits. Lemongrass leaves and the essential oils extracted from them are utilized to cure grouchy conditions, nervous disorders, colds and weariness. It may be mentioned here that many massage oils and aromatherapy oils available in the market enclose lemongrass oil as an important ingredient. The essential oils extracted from lemongrass have a yellow or yellowish-brown hue and this liquid is known to be antiseptic. Very often the oil is applied externally to treat disorders like athlete’s foot (tinea pedia). Among other things, lemongrass is also used as a carminative to emit digestive gas, a digestive tonic, a febrifuge or analgesic as well as an antifungal. In addition, lemongrass is prescribed to treat rheumatism and sprains, suppress coughs, and as a diuretic and sedative.

In East India and Sri Lanka, where it is called “fever tea,” lemon grass leaves are combined with other herbs to treat fevers, irregular menstruation, diarrhea, and stomachaches. Lemon grass is one of the most popular herbs in Brazil and the Caribbean for nervous and digestive problems. The Chinese use lemon grass in a similar fashion, to treat headaches, stomachaches, colds, and rheumatic pains. The essential oil is used straight in India to treat ringworm or in a paste with buttermilk to rub on ringworm and bruises. Studies show it does destroy many types of bacteria and fungi and is a deodorant. It may reduce blood pressure – a traditional Cuban use of the herb – and it contains five different constituents that inhibit blood coagulation.

The leaves of Cymbopogon citratus have been used in traditional medicine and are often found in herbal supplements and teas. Many effects have been attributed to both their oral consumption and topical use, with modern research supporting many of their alleged benefits.

In the folk medicine of Brazil, it is believed to have anxiolytic, hypnotic, and anticonvulsant properties.

In traditional medicine of India the leaves of the plant are used as stimulant, sudorific, antiperiodic, and anticatarrhal, while the essential oil is used as carminative, depressant, analgesic, antipyretic, antibacterial, and antifungal agent.

Laboratory studies have shown cytoprotective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro, as well as antifungal properties (though Cymbopogon martinii was found to be more effective in that study).

Citronellol is an essential oil constituent from Cymbopogon citratus, Cymbopogon winterianus, and Lippia alba. Citronellol has been shown to lower blood pressure in rats by a direct effect on the vascular smooth muscle leading to vasodilation. In a small, randomized, controlled trial, an infusion made from C. citratus was used as an inexpensive remedy for the treatment of oral thrush in HIV/AIDS patients.

Lemon grass oil contains 65-85% citral in addition to myrcene, citronella, citronellol, and geraniol. Hydrosteam distillation, condensation, and cooling can be used to separate the oil from the water. The hydrosol, as a by-product of the distillation process, is used for the production of skin care products such as lotions, creams, and facial cleansers. The main ingredients in these products are lemon grass oil and “negros oil” (mixture of lemon grass oil with virgin coconut oil) used in aromatherapy.
Other Uses:
Effects on insects: Beekeepers sometimes use lemon grass oil in swarm traps to attract swarms. Lemon grass oil has also been tested for its ability to repel the pestilent stable fly, which bite domestic animals. The oil is used as insect replants.

The leaves and essential oils of the plant are also utilized in herbal medications. In addition, Cymbopogon citratus is extensively used by the cosmetic industry in the manufacture of soaps as well as hair care products. Finally, these days, lemongrass is being appreciated for its effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes. The essential oils of Cymbopogon species are basically used in the fragrance industry as they possess very restrained therapeutic uses.

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/Cymbopogon_citratus
http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_lemongrass.htm
http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/cymbopogon-citratus-lemon-grass
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://findmeacure.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1821&action=edit

Macrotyloma uniflorum

Botanical Name : Macrotyloma uniflorum
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Macrotyloma
Species: M. uniflorum
Kingdom: Plantae

Synonyms:
*Dolichos benadirianus Chiov.
*Dolichos uniflorus Lam. var. stenocarpus Brenan
*Dolichos biflorus auct.
*Dolichos uniflorus Lam.

Common Names : Biflorus (Australia); Horse gram, Horse grain,Kulthi bean, Madras bean, Madras gram, Poor man’s pulse (English); Dolic biflore, Grain de cheval (French); Kerdekorn, pferdebohne, Pferdekorn (German); Gahat, hurali, Kalai, Kallu, Kollu, Kulat, kulatha, kurtikalai, kekara, kulthi, Muthera, Muthira, Muthiva, Ulavalu, Wulawula (India); Dolico cavallino (Italian); Faveira (Portuguese); Frijol verde (Spanish); Pé-bi-zât.

In India it is also known as Gahat, Muthira, Kulath or Kulthi, (huraLi).
In South Canara region of Karnataka, in Tulu it is also called as Kudu In Odisha it is known by the name (Kolatha).
In Kerala, horse gram, (called (Muthira) in Malayalam which almost sounds like (kuthira), Malayalam word for horse), is used in special kinds of dishes.
In Maharashtra, and specifically the coastal Konkan region and Goa, horse gram (Kulith) is often used to make Kulith Usual, pithla and laddu.

Habitat :Macrotyloma uniflorum is native to tropics and subtropics. (Africa: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa (Transvaal), Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe.
Asia: Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia (Java), Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan.
Australasia: Australia.) It is grown mostly under dry-land agriculture.
Description:
Macrotyloma uniflorum is a twining, sub-erect annual plant with cylindrical, slightly hairy to tomentose stems, 30–60 cm tall in pure stands, or 60–90 cm with support framework. Leaves trifoliolate; stipules 7–10 mm long; leaflets ovate, rounded at the base, acute or slightly acuminate, terminal leaflet symmetrical, laterals asymmetrical, (2.5–) 3.5–5 (–7.5) cm long, 2–4 cm broad, softly tomentose on both surfaces, fimbriolate, paler beneath. Flowers yellow or greenish yellow, single or in short, sessile or subsessile, 2- to 4-flowered axillary racemes, calyx tomentose, standard oblong, 9–10.5 mm long, 7–8 mm broad, with two linear appendages about 5 mm long, wings about as long as the keel, 8–9.5 mm long. Pod shortly stipitate, slightly curved, smooth or tomentose, linear-oblong, 2.5–6 cm long, about 6 mm broad, with a point about 6 mm long. Seed ovoid, 5–8 per pod, 4–6 (–8) mm long, 3–5 mm broad, pale fawn, light red, brown, or black sometimes with faint mottles or with small, scattered black spots, (or both), hilum central. 33,000–75,000 seeds/kg

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Uses/applications:
Usually grown as a pulse for livestock and human consumption, mostly as an intercrop with annual grains (e.g. sorghum) or in orchards. Has value as a pioneer legume or sometimes a regenerating annual in permanent pasture . Can be used for deferred grazing or as a fodder crop for dry season feed.

In Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, horse gram (Ulava (singular) Ulavalu (plural), is prescribed for persons suffering from jaundice or water retention, and as part of a weight loss diet. It is considered helpful for iron deficiencies, and is considered helpful for maintaining body temperature in the winter season. Ulavacharu (Horse gram soup) is popular dish in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, it is served in most of the Telugu speaking people’s weddings and ceremonies and tastes wonderful with boiled rice.
In Tamil Nadu, horse gram (called Kollu), in the southern districts it is called Kaanam) is commonly used in Tamil dishes, including kollu chutney, kollu porial, kollu avial, kollu sambar, and kollu rasam. In traditional siddha cuisine, horse gram is considered a food with medicinal qualities.

It is used to make popular dishes like Kulitan Saaru, Kulitan Upkari, Kulitan Ghassi(coconut curry preparation) and idli like preparation(but not fermented) called Kulitan Sannan.

In Karnataka cuisine, (huraLi saaru), (huraLi) is a main ingredient. Hurali is also used in preparation like usali,chutney and Basaaru and upsaaru or upnesaru (Particularly in Old Mysore Regions like Mandya & Chamrajnagara Districts)
Gahat or Kulath is a major ingredient in the food of Pahari region of northern India. In Himachal Pradesh, Kulath is used to make Khichdi. In Uttarakhand, it is cooked in a round iron saute pan (“kadhai”) to prepare Ras, a favorite of most Kumaonis. In Garhwal region, another more elaborate dish is “phanu” which is made in a kadhai with roughly ground gahat (previously soaked overnight) boiled over several hours. Towards the end, some finely chopped greens (like palak or spinach, rai, tender radish leaves, or dhania (coriander leaves) if nothing else is available) are added to complete the dish. Served with boiled rice, jhangora (a millet-like grain, used as a staple by poorer Garhwalis only a decade ago and now a prized health-food) or just roti, phanu is a wholesome and nutritious meal. Phanu is somewhat heavy to digest; it’s quite possible to go through the whole day without feeling in the least bit hungry, after having a big phanu meal in the morning. Similar Botanical name of horse gram/Gahat or Kulath/KULTHI IS Dolichos biflorus from the Leguminiaceae family.
Chemical Constituents:
The chemical composition is comparable with more commonly cultivated legumes. Like other legumes, these are deficient in methionine and tryptophan, though horse gram is an excellent source of iron and molybdenum. Comparatively, horse gram seeds have higher trypsin inhibitor and hemagglutinin activities and natural phenols than most bean seeds. Natural phenols are mostly phenolic acids, namely, 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic, 4-hydroxybenzoic, vanillic, caffeic, p-coumaric, ferulic, syringic and sinapic acids. Dehusking, germination, cooking, and roasting have been shown to produce beneficial effects on nutritional quality of both the legumes. Though both require prolonged cooking, a soak solution(1.5% NaHCO
+ 0.5% Na2CO3 + 0.75% citric acid) has been shown to reduce cooking time and improve protein quality. Moth bean is mostly consumed as dhal or sprouts.

Medicinal Uses:
Scientists from the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology have found that unprocessed raw horse gram seeds not only possess anti-hyperglycemic properties but also have qualities which reduce insulin resistance. The scientists made a comparative analysis between horse gram seeds and their sprouts and found that the seeds would have greater beneficial effects on the health of hyperglycemic individuals. The majority of anti-oxidant properties are confined to the seed coat and its removal would not do any good. Raw horse gram seed is rich in polyphenols, flavonoids and proteins, major anti-oxidants present in fruits and other food materials. The seed has the ability to reduce post-prandial hyperglycemia by slowing down carbohydrate digestion and reduce insulin resistance by inhibiting protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1 beta enzyme

A teaspoonful of horse gram boiled in about 2 cups of water makes an infusion which is prescribed for colds and high blood pressure.

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/Macrotyloma_uniflorum
http://www.tropicalforages.info/key/Forages/Media/Html/Macrotyloma_uniflorum.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm