Category Archives: Herbs & Plants

Aframomum corrorima

Botanical Name; Aframomum corrorima
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Aframomum
Species: A. corrorima
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Synonyms: Amomum corrorima Braun (1848), Amomum korarima J.Pereira (1850), Aframomum korarima (J.Pereira) K.Schum. ex Engl. (1908), Aframomum usambarense Lock (1976).

Common Names:  Korarima, Ethiopian cardamom, or False cardamom

Vernaculr Names:  Korarima, cardamome d’Ethiopie, poivre d’Ethiopie (Fr). Korarima, Ethiopian cardamom, false cardamom (En).

Habitat :Aframomum corrorima is native to Tanzania, western Ethiopia (in the vicinity of Lake Tana and Gelemso), southwestern Sudan, western Uganda. It is cultivated in both Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Description:
Aframomum corrorima is a perennial, rhizomatous, aromatic herb with  leafy stems 1–2 m tall; rhizome subterete, up to 1 cm in diameter, profusely branched, red-brown, covered with thin, subovate scales up to 6 cm × 4 cm and bearing thin, fibrous, pale brown roots; stem unbranched, mainly formed by the leaf sheaths, subterete, up to 1 cm in diameter but at base usually thickened up to 3 cm diameter. Leaves alternate, distichous, simple; sheaths covering each other, yellow-green, with prominent veins and scarious, ciliate margins; ligule deeply bilobed, thin, ciliate, lobes acute, up to 3 cm long; petiole 4–10 mm long, deeply grooved above; blade elliptical to oblong, 10–30 cm × 2.5–6 cm, obliquely obtuse at base, cuspidate at apex, margin entire, glossy dark green above, paler green and often a bit reddish below, lateral veins fine, pinnately arranged but parallel, making a very sharp angle with the midrib, 4–9 per 5 mm above, 12–16 per 5 mm below. Inflorescence a shortly stalked head arising from the rhizome near the base of a leafy stem, sometimes situated at the end of a rhizomatous runner, up to 5-flowered; peduncle up to 7 cm long, covered by imbricate, purplish-brown, subovate scales 2.5 cm × 1.5 cm; head covered with imbricate, purplish-brown, ovate to square bracts up to 4.5 cm in diameter; each flower surrounded by a scarious, suboblong bract up to 6 cm × 2 cm, bidentate, ciliate. Flowers bisexual, zygomorphic; calyx spathaceous, up to 4.5 cm × 1 cm; corolla tubular, 3-lobed at apex, white to pale violet, tube up to 4.5 cm long, densely woolly in upper 2 cm, lateral lobes ovate-oblong, up to 4 cm × 2 cm, dorsal lobe up to 4 cm × 3 cm, labellum obovate in outline, with a half-tubular fleshy claw up to 3 cm × 1.5 cm and a subovate to orbicular lobe up to 3 cm × 3.5 cm, thin, slightly notched, yellow at throat inside; fertile stamen 1, filament fleshy, slightly rounded, 6 mm × 5 mm, connectivum fleshy, at apex with 2 lateral horns 4 mm long, thecae 2, narrowly ellipsoid, about 11 mm × 1 mm; ovary inferior, 3-locular, style thin, terete, up to 5 cm long, stigma funnel-shaped, 2 mm wide, ciliate, top of ovary provided with 2 (sometimes more) lobed, fleshy outgrowths (probably nectaries), partly clasping the style. Fruit an indehiscent, subconical berry up to 6 cm × 3.5 cm, usually showing 3 longitudinal furrows but sometimes more, shiny green when immature, turning bright red at maturity, with 3 cells containing 45–65 seeds each. Seeds subglobose in outline but usually somewhat angular, 2–5 mm in diameter, testa finely lined, glossy brown, hilum circular, whitish, aril thin, a bit fleshy, completely covering the seed.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES :

Edible Uses:
Dried seeds are extensively used in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. It is an ingredient in berbere, mitmita, awaze, and other spice mixtures, and is also used to flavor coffee.

Constituents:
Korarima seed has a mild, sweet flavour and is less peppery or pungent than seed of Aframomum melegueta K.Schum. (grain of paradise). The seeds contain essential oil which has a typical odour and is sometimes called ‘nutmeg-cardamom’. After distillation of dried comminuted fruits, 3–3.5% of a pale yellow volatile oil with a flat cineolic odour can be obtained, in which the following compounds have been found (all monoterpenes, approximate amount of the major ones): 1,8-cineol 32–35%, limonene 7–14%, ?-pinene 4–7%, sabinene 7–9%, terpinen-4-ol 3–5%, geraniol 5%, P-cymene 4%, ?-pinene, ?-terpineol and ?-terpinene 3% each. Sesquiterpenes were identified in another analysis; the total was dominated by about 75% monoterpenes including 1,8-cineol (38%) and terpinyl acetate (11%), and 17% sesquiterpenes including nerolidol (11–14%), ?-caryophyllene (2%) and caryophyllene oxide (1%).

Medicinal Uses:
In Ethiopian herbal medicine the seeds are used as a tonic, carminative, and laxative.

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/Aframomum_corrorima

http://www.prota4u.org/protav8.asp?fr=1&g=pe&p=Aframomum+corrorima+

http://database.prota.org/PROTAhtml/Aframomum%20corrorima_En.htm

Elsholtzia ciliata

Botanical Name:Elsholtzia ciliata
Family: Lamiaceae /Labiatae
Genus: Elsholtzia
Species: E. ciliata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales.

Synonyms:Elsholtzia cristata Willd., Elsholtzia patrinii (Lepech.) Garcke, Hyssopus ocymifolius Lam., Mentha cristata Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don, Mentha ovata Cav., Perilla polystachya D. Don, Sideritis ciliata Thunb.

Common Names:Crested latesummer mint, Vietnamese Balm or kinh gioi

Engl.: crested latesummer mint, Vietnamese balm, Vietnamese mint. Deu.: Vietnamesische Melisse, Echte Kamminze, Kamminze. Suom.: helttaminttu. Sven.: kammynta. Bot.

Habitat :  Elsholtzia ciliata is native to Asia; however, the exact extent of its original range is unclear.Today it is found throughout Nepal at elevations of 1500 to 3400 m. It is found elsewhere, including through much of India, eastern Asia, and Europe. In modern times it has become popular as an ornamental plant, though first being reported in the Americas as a weed in 1889. It prefers moist soil, and grows mostly on exposed rocky slopes and other open, gravelly areas.

Description:
The plant is an erect annual herb that grows to about 60 cm in height. The leaves are long, stalked, and serrated, and reach 2 to 8.5 cm in length and .8 to 2.5 cm in width. In shape they are ovate to lanceolate, with a gland-dotted underside. Flowers of a purple color bloom in flat spikes in September and October. Seeds propagate within them….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation: 
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils. Cultivated for ornament in N. and E. Europe.
Propagation:
Seed  is sown late spring in situ.

Edible Uses:  The seeds are sometimes powdered and used for flavoring food.

It is used in Vietnamese cuisine, where it is called rau kinh gi?i or lá kinh gi?i.

Elsholtzia ciliata inhibits mast cell-mediated allergic inflammatory reactions.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant contains an essential oil. It is antibacterial, antipyretic, antiviral, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic and stomachic. Its use is said to relieve the effects of excess alcohol. It is used in the treatment of common colds, fevers, headaches, diarrhoea, oedema and oliguria. The plant has a broad-spectrum antibacterial action. It is harvested when in flower and dried for later use.

Elsholtzia ciliata is common in herbal medicine, as it is carminative and astringent.

Other Uses:
Elsholtzia ciliata has many cultural uses. Sometimes  it is grown as an ornamental plant.

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/Elsholtzia_ciliata

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Elsholtzia+ciliata

http://www.henriettes-herb.com/plants/elsholtzia/ciliata.html

Eucalyptus staigeriana

Botanical Name:Eucalyptus staigeriana
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus:     Eucalyptus
Species: E. staigeriana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Myrtales

Common Names::  Lemon Ironbark or Lemon-scented Ironbark

Habitat :Eucalyptus staigeriana is native to Australia, Tasmania, and nearby islands.

Description:
Eucalyptus staigeriana is a small evergreen tree up to 10 meters high. Sparse canopy of grey-coloured
leaves contrasting with fissured dark-coloured bark. Juvenile leaves alternate and are light green on both surfaces. The leaves have a pleasant lemony aroma. The cream coloured flowers are small and are followed by seed capsules…..click & see the pictures

Edible Uses:
It has a fruity-lemon fragrance with rosemary-like back tones. E. staigeriana fresh weight leaves yield 2.9-3.4% essential oil. It contains a range of essential oil components, including geranial, methyl geranate, geranyl acetate, limonene, phellandrene, neral, terpinolene and geraniol.

Brazil and Guatemala are the major producers of Eucalyptus staigeriana oil, with Brazil producing up to 60 tonnes pa. Lemon ironbark is also grown in its country of origin in small-scale plantations in Queensland and Northern New South Wales, including for leaf as a bushfood spice.

The leaf is used in cooking like bay-leaf, and as an herbal tea ingredient in Australia. Lemon ironbark leaf has a high free radical scavenging ability.

E. globulus a fresh and earthy aroma that promotes healing and well being. Dilute 50:50. Can be used as a dietary supplement. Approved by the FDA as a Food Additive (FA) or Flavoring Agent (FL), however, not advised for children less than 6 years of age.

Medicinal Uses:
Traditionally, Eucalyptus species have been used for insect repellent, respiratory infections and mouth washes. The Australian Aborigines have used the leaves to disinfect wounds and treat infections for thousands of years.

Its properties are: anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-aging, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, deodorant, insecticidal, mucolytic and expectorant.

The uses of eucalyptus globulus include: respiratory and sinus infections, viral infections (herpes), Candida, acne, bronchitis, rheumatism and arthritis, muscle aches and pains, diabetes, measles, migraines, ulcers, wounds, ear inflammation and iris inflammation.

The complex essential oil is distilled from the leaves and used for flavouring, perfumery and aromatherapy.

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/Eucalyptus_staigeriana

http://shop.chozen.co.za/lemon-scented-ironbark-eucalyptus-staigeriana-10ml/

http://www.experience-essential-oils.com/uses-of-eucalyptus.html

Pangium edule

Botanical Name:Pangium edule
Family: Achariaceae
Genus:     Pangium
Species: P. edule
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:    Malpighiales

Common Names: Pangi, Pakem, Sis, Riamel, Kepayang, or Football fruit. (Indonesian: keluak or keluwak; Malay: kepayang)

Habitat :Pangium edule is  native to the mangrove swamps of Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea). It produces a large poisonous fruit (the “football fruit”) which can be made edible by fermentation.

Description:
Pangium edule is a  large, alien tree with large shiny leaves and huge fruits grows to heights of 25 m (80 ft).In the initial stage the tree grows fast.  It only needs about six months to reach full maturity.

click & see……...(1).……....(2)...

The flowers are yellowish-green or whitish, having a faint odor, about 4 centimeters across. Fruit is pendant upon thick, brown stalks, ovoidly rounded, 10 to 20 centimeters in diameter, brown and rough, containing seeds which are 3 to 5 centimeters across, compressed, somewhat angular, embedded in a yellowish, sweet, aromatic and edible pulp.  In English this plant is sometimes referred to as the “football tree”.

The tree requires many years to mature and the seeds are therefore most frequently harvested from wild trees, as it is not economically feasible to cultivate. Although poisonous to humans, the seeds of the tree form part of the natural diet of the babirusa (Babyroussa babyrussa)

Edible Uses:
The fresh fruit and seeds contain hydrogen cyanide and are deadly poisonous if consumed without prior preparation. The seeds are first boiled and then buried in ash, banana leaves and earth for forty days, during which time, they turn from a creamy white colour to dark brown or black. The method relies on the fact that the hydrogen cyanide released by the boiling and fermentation is water soluble and easily washed out.

The kernels may be ground up to form a thick black gravy called rawon, popular dishes include nasi rawon, beef stew in keluwek paste, and sambal rawon. A stew made with beef or chicken also exists in East Java. The Toraja dish pammarrasan (black spice with fish or meat, also sometimes with vegetables) uses the black keluak powder. In Singapore and Malaysia, the seeds are best known as an essential ingredient in ayam (chicken) or babi (pork) buah keluak, a mainstay of Peranakan cuisine.The edible portions of the plant are an excellent source of vitamin C and high in iron.

Medicinal Uses:
In the Philippines,people uses all parts of the plant for as anthelmintic.The seeds,fruits,leaves and barks are considered as narcotic,  in excessive doses causes sleepiness, headache, intoxication, delirium, and occasionally becomes fatal.Malaya people uses crushed seeds to apply on boils to cure.

Other Uses:
Pangium edule oil used as illuminant and for making soap. In the Camarines, plant is used as a fish poison.In Pohnpie, poisonous seeds are  used as bait to kill rats.  Fresh seeds and oil used as dart poison by Sakais.The wood is used to make matchsticks.

Known Hazards:The fruit is considered 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:

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

http://books.google.co.in/books?id=_ZZEAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA783&lpg=PA783&dq=medicinal+uses+of+pangium+edule&source=bl&ots=zhFPIvzwRp&sig=ExNgdjsHWKX3sFQVfaPAOd5jLJM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dh4dVLKkJpDJuATc_4HoBA&sqi=2&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=medicinal%20uses%20of%20pangium%20edule&f=false

http://manoa.hawaii.edu/botany/plants_of_micronesia/index.php/full-database/468-pangium-edule

http://rfcarchives.org.au/Next/Fruits/Pangium/Pangium11-97.htm

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Pangi.html

Kawakawa,

Botanical Name:Macropiper excelsum
Family: Piperaceae
Genus:     Macropiper
Species: M. excelsu
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Piperales

Common Name: Kawakawa,

Habitat:Kawakawa is found throughout the North Island, and as far south as Okarito (43.20 °S) on the West Coast and Banks Peninsula  on the east coast of the South Island.It prefers a moist rich & free-draining soil. It prefers a semi-shade to shade position. Kawakawa will tolerate an open windy situation but is frost tender.

Description:
Kawakawa is a densely branching shrub in the shade. Consequently it can be used under established planting that has started to open out below the canopy.
The  leaves are about 5–10 cm long by 6–12 cm wide; they are opposite to each other, broadly rounded with a short drawn-out tip and are heart-shaped at their bases. The leaves are deep green in color if growing in the forest but may be yellowish-green when growing in more open situations.The flowers are produced on greenish, erect spikes that are 2.5-7.5 cm long. Kawakawa flowers are quite minute and very closely placed around the spike. After pollination the flowers gradually swell and become fleshy to form small, berry-like fruits that are yellow to bright orange.

The fruit which are only on female trees (2 to 5 cm) long are a whole lot of little fruit clustered on a central stem, green at first but changing to orange when ripe The seed in the soft, orange spikes that are a favoured food of many birds in late summer and are dispersed by them.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The name Kawakawa in Maori refers to the bitter taste of the leaves.

The leaves are often covered with insect holes due to damage by Kawakawa looper moth caterpillar (Cleora scriptaria, Family: Geometridae).See photo  below.
Berries. Each berry is the size of a small plum and egg-shaped. Ripening period is January and February. These fruits are favoured by kereru, or New Zealand pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) and tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae).

The leaves are often covered with insect holes. The images depict the variety majus which has larger and more glossy leaves than M. excelsum.

Medicinal Uses:
The fruit, bark and leaves of the kawakawa all have medicinal properties. The leaves are made into a tea by being steeped in hot water. Maori custom is to use the leaves as a head wreath for tangis, chew the leaves to reduce toothache and place leaves on a fire to create an insect repellent.

The root, fruit, seeds and especially the leaves of the Kawakawa plant were favourite medicinal remedies of the New Zealand Maori.  In fact the kawakawa is one of the only plants still used by the Maori people today. Externally, Kawa Kawa was used to heal cuts and wounds, as an ingredient in vapour baths, and also as an insect repellent. Internally, it was found to be effective as a blood purifier in cases of eczema, boils, cuts, wounds, rheumatism, neuralgia, ringworm, itching sore feet, and all forms of kidney and skin ailments. The leaves were chewed to alleviate toothache. The bruised leaves drew pus from boils and skin infections. A drink made from the leaves helped stomach problems and rheumatics when rubbed on joints. The leaf, if dried and burnt is an 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:

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

http://www.nznativeplants.co.nz/Articles/Macropiper+excelsum.html

http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/table-1/kawakawa.html

Boesenbergia rotunda

Botanical Name : Boesenbergia rotunda
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Boesenbergia
Species: B. rotunda
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Synonyms:Boesenbergia pandurata,Kaempferia pandurata

Common Names: Chinese keys, Fingerroot, Lesser galangal or Chinese ginger

(In English, the root has traditionally been called fingerroot, because the shape of the rhizome resembles that of fingers growing out of a center piece.)

It is known as temu kunci in Indonesian  and in Manipuri, it is called Yai-macha .

Habitat :Boesenbergia rotunda is native to China and Southeast Asia.(Cambodia; China (Yunnan); Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Thailand)

This species is a rhizome geophyte which grows in humid forest and deciduous forest. It is cultivated throughout Indo-China. Zingiberaceae species grow naturally in damp, shaded parts of the low-land or on hill slopes, as scattered plants or thickets.

Description:
Boesenbergia rotunda is a small perennial plant of about 15–40 cm in height. Its leaves are broad and light green while the leaf sheath is red. Each shoot consists of 3–5 elliptic-oblong-red sheathed leaves of about 7–9 cm in width and 10–20cm in length. The underground portion of the plant consists of a small globular shaped central subterraneous rhizome (1.5–2.0?cm in diameter) from which several slender and long tubers sprout all in the same direction like the fingers of a hand, thus the common name fingerroot. The tubers are about 1.0–1.5cm thick in diameter and 5–10cm long. The tissue of the tuber is looser, softer, and more watery than the central rhizome. Both the colour of the central rhizome and the tubers are dependent on the variety of B. rotunda. The yellow variety produces bright yellow rhizomes, while other varieties produce red and black rhizomes. They are strongly aromatic although different from each other. The flowers are scarlet and bloom throughout the year in tropical countries. These beautiful flowers are usually hidden at the base of the foliage, making them unnoticeable....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:  Boesenbergia rotunda is very easy  to grow. It is found it to be just as successful in the ground as it is in containers. The plant prefers rich, well drained soil. Simply plant the rhizome 1″ deep, and keep evenly moist. It will emerge in approximately two weeks.

Edible Uses:
It is widely used in Javanese cuisine in Indonesia. In Thai cooking it is called krachai  and is an ingredient of dishes such as kaeng tai pla. It is used in some kroeung pastes of Cambodian cuisine and is known as k’cheay (Khmer). In the west it is usually found pickled or frozen. It is sometimes confused with Alpinia officinarum, another plant in the family Zingiberaceae which is also known as lesser galangal.

Medicinal Uses:
Boesenbergia rotunda root is used  to treat colic and diarrhoea  in China.

Advancement in drug design and discovery research has led to the development of synthetic drugs from B. rotunda metabolites via bioinformatics and medicinal chemistry studies. Furthermore, with the advent of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, new insights on the biosynthetic pathways of B. rotunda metabolites can be elucidated, enabling researchers to predict the potential bioactive compounds responsible for the medicinal properties of the plant. The vast biological activities exhibited by the compounds obtained from B. rotunda warrant further investigation through studies such as drug  discovery, polypharmacology, and drug delivery using nanotechnology.

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/Fingerroot

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/49521/

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44392164/0

http://www.randys-tropicalplants.com/Boesenbergia-rotunda.html

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/473637/

http://www.allrareherbs.com.au/products/Chinese-Keys%2C-500ml-pot.html

Epazote

Botanical Name: Dysphania ambrosioides
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Chenopodioideae
Tribe:     Dysphanieae
Genus:     Dysphania
Species: D. ambrosioides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Chenopodium ambrosioides

Common Names: Epazote, wormseed, Jesuit’s tea, Mexican tea, Paico or Herba Sancti Mariæ, Herba Sancti Mariæ

Indian Names: Hindi: Sugandha-vastooka • Kannada: guddada voma, huli voma, kaadu voma, • Manipuri: Monshaobi-manbi • Marathi: Chandanbatva • Mizo: Buarchhimtir

Habitat:Dysphania ambrosioides is native to Central America, South America, and southern Mexico.It grows  in warm temperate to subtropical areas of Europe and the United States (Missouri, New England, Eastern United States), sometimes becoming an invasive weed.

Description:
Epazote is an annual or short-lived perennial plant (herb), growing to 1.2 m (3.9 ft) tall, irregularly branched, with oblong-lanceolate leaves up to 12 cm (4.7 in) long. The flowers are small and green, produced in a branched panicle at the apex of the stem.
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES

&  EPAZOTE

Edible Uses:
Epazote is eaten  as a leaf vegetable, an herb and an herbal tea for its pungent flavor. Raw, it has a resinous, medicinal pungency, similar to anise, fennel, or even tarragon, but stronger. Epazote’s fragrance is strong but difficult to describe. A common analogy is to turpentine or creosote. It has also been compared to citrus, savory, or mint.

Although it is traditionally used with black beans for flavor and its carminative properties (less gas), it is also sometimes used to flavor other traditional Mexican dishes as well: it can be used to season quesadillas and sopes (especially those containing huitlacoche), soups, mole de olla, tamales with cheese and chile, chilaquiles, eggs and potatoes and enchiladas.

Medicinal Uses:
Epazote is commonly believed to prevent flatulence. It has also been used in the treatment of amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, malaria, chorea, the now discredited diagnosis of hysteria, catarrh, and asthma.

Some of its chemical constituents have been shown in the laboratory to affect certain cancer cell lines, and it has also been reported to be highly carcinogenic in rats. A Nigerian group, however, concluded in 2007 that it is neither mutagenic nor cytotoxic.

Oil of chenopodium is derived from this plant. Merriam-Webster defines it as “a colorless or pale yellow toxic essential oil of unpleasant odor and taste, … formerly used as an anthelmintic”.

In the early 1900s it was one of the major anthelmintics used to treat ascarids and hookworms in humans, cats, dogs, horses, and pigs. Usually, oil of chenopodium was used. It was sometimes referred to as Baltimore Oil, because of the large production facility in Baltimore, Maryland[10] that specialized in extracting the oil from the plant. Chenopodium was replaced with other, more effective and less toxic anthelmintics in the 1940s.

Chenopodium is still used to treat worm infections in humans in many countries. In Honduras, as well as other Latin American countries, the whole plant or the leaves are ground and added to water. This mixture is then consumed. In a few areas in Latin America, the plant also is used to treat worm infections in livestock.

Epazote essential oil contains ascaridole (up to 70%), limonene, p-cymene, and smaller amounts of numerous other monoterpenes and monoterpene derivatives (?-pinene, myrcene, terpinene, thymol, camphor and trans-isocarveol). Ascaridole (1,4-peroxido-p-menth-2-ene) is rather an uncommon constituent of spices; another plant owing much of its character to this monoterpene peroxide is boldo. Ascaridole is toxic and has a pungent, not very pleasant flavor; in pure form, it is an explosive sensitive to shock. Allegedly, ascaridole content is lower in epazote from Mexico than in epazote grown in Europe or Asia.

Other Uses:  The essential oils of epazote contain terpene compounds, some of which have natural pesticide capabilities. A study from the University of California found that the compound ascaridole in epazote inhibits the growth of nearby plants, so it would be best to relegate this plant at a distance from other inhabitants of the herb garden. Even though this plant has an established place in recipes and in folklore, it is wise to use only the leaves, and those very sparingly, in cooking.

Companion plant:  Epazote not only contains terpene compounds, it also delivers partial protection to nearby plants simply by masking their scent to some insects, making it a useful companion plant. Its small flowers may also attract some predatory wasps and flies.

Known Hazards:  Overdoses of the essential oil have caused human deaths (attributed to the ascaridole content),the symptoms including severe gastroenteritis with pain, vomiting and diarrhoea.
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/Dysphania_ambrosioides

http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Mexican%20Tea.html

Backhousia myrtifolia

Botanical Name : Backhousia myrtifolia
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus:     Backhousia
Species: B. myrtifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Myrtales

Common Names:carrol, carrol ironwood, neverbreak, ironwood or grey myrtle, or Australian lancewood. Cinnamon myrtle

Habitat :Backhousia myrtifolia is native to subtropical rainforests of Eastern Australia.

\Description:
Backhousia myrtifolia is an evergreen Shrub growing to 12 m (39ft 4in). It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in May. The leaves are ovate or elliptic, 4-7 cm long, with a cinnamon-like odour. Flowers are star-shaped and borne in panicles.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)  The small papery fruit are bell-shaped.The attractive flowers are creamy coloured and star shaped, followed by star-like capsules.
CLICK  SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:        
Prefers a position in full sun in a fertile moisture retentive well-drained soil. A very ornamental plant, in Britain it is only reliably hardy in the Scilly Isles. Plants in Australian gardens tolerate temperatures down to at least -7°c, but this cannot be translated directly to British gardens due to our cooler summers and longer, colder and wetter winters. Seed can remain viable on the plant for 3 – 4 years.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow in spring or autumn in a greenhouse and keep the compost moist until germination takes place. 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame

Edible uses:  Leaves can be harvested as sprigs for use in cooking.

The leaves of cinnamon myrtle have a cinnamon-like aroma sweet aroma and flavour, and can be used as a spice in various dishes. It’s used in
savory recipes, deserts, confectionary and herbal teas.

The main essential oil isolate in cinnamon myrtle is elemicin, which is also a significant flavouring component in common nutmeg.

Cinnamon myrtle can also be used in floristry.

Medicinal Uses:
Not available in the internet

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=Backhousia+myrtifolia

http://www.daleysfruit.com.au/CINNAMON-MYRTLE,–Backhousia-myrtifolia.htm

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

Cinnamomum loureiroi (Saigon cinnamon)

Botanical Name: Cinnamomum loureiroi
Family:    Lauraceae
Genus:    Cinnamomum
Species:C. loureiroi
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Laurales

Common Names: Saigon cinnamon, Vietnamese cinnamon or Vietnamese cassia.The scientific name was originally spelled as Cinnamomum loureirii, but because the species is named after the botanist João de Loureiro, this is to be treated under the ICN as an orthographic error for the correctly derived spelling of loureiroi.

English Name:    Saigon cinnamon
French Name:    Cannelle de Saïgon, Cannelle de Cochinchine
German Name:    Vietnamesischer Zimt, Saigon-Zimt
Vietnamese Name: Que, Que quì, Que thanh hoá
Habitat : Saigon cinnamon is indigenous to mainland Southeast Asia. Despite its name, it is more closely related to cassia (C. cassia) than to cinnamon (C. verum, “true cinnamon”, Ceylon cinnamon), though in the same genus as both. Saigon cinnamon has 1-5% essential oil in content and 25% cinnamaldehyde in essential oil, which is the highest of all the cinnamon species. Consequently, out of the three species, it commands the highest price.

Saigon cinnamon is produced primarily in Vietnam, both for domestic use and export. The Vietnam War disrupted production, but since the beginning of the early 21st century Vietnam has resumed export of the spice, including to the United States, where it was unavailable for nearly 20 years. Although it is called Saigon cinnamon, it is not produced in the area around the southern city of Saigon, but instead in the central and Central Highlands regions of the country, particularly the Qu?ng Ngai Province of central Vietnam.

Description:
Cinnamomum loureiroi is a small tree.The cinnamone is obtained by drying the central part of the bark and is marketed as stick cinnamon or in powdered form. The waste and other parts are used for oil of cinnamon, a medicine and flavoring. Cassia or Chinese cinnamon (C. cassia) was used in China long before true cinnamon. Though considered an inferior substitute for true cinnamon, the spice and oil derived from its bark and that of the related Saigon cinnamon (C. loureiroi) are more commonly sold as cinnamon than spice derived from C. verum bark, which is more delicately flavored. Cinnamon and cassia (often confused) have been favorite spices since biblical times, used also as perfume and incense. Cinnamon is classified in the division Magnoliophyta

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Saigon cinnamon or Cinnamomum loureiroi  is used primarily for its aromatic bark, which is quite similar to that of Cinnamomum aromaticum but with a more pronounced, complex aroma.

Edible Uses: In Vietnamese cuisine, Saigon cinnamon bark is an important ingredient in the broth used to make a noodle soup called ph?.

Principal Constituents.—A volatile oil (Oleum Cinnamomi), tannin, and sugars. (Oil of Cinnamon of medicine is Cassia Oil (Oleum Cassiae) derived from Cinnamomum Cassia (Nees), Blume.)

Medicinal Uses:
Cinnamon is an aromatic stimulant, carminative and astringent. Besides it possesses marked internal hemostatic power. That this is not wholly due to the tannin contained in the bark is shown by the prompt action of the tincture of the oil. Oil of Cinnamon has properties which make it nearly specific for certain conditions. While no tests have been made that convinces one of its power over germ-life, there seems to be no question that some such germicidal action is exerted by it in acute infections, as “common colds,” and as la grippe or epidemic influenza. Aromatic bodies, like cinnamon and camphor, have been overlooked in recent years, though the use of the latter has been revived as an antiseptic stimulant in pneumonia. That they possess antibacterial virtues we believe will be found true should investigations be made of them in that line. Cinnamon imparts a flavor to unpleasant medicines and may be used to preserve them from rapid changes. Medicines dispensed in but few drops in a half glass of water will not keep sweet long at any time and will quickly sour in summer time. A few drops of Specific Medicine Cinnamon added to such mixtures give an agreeable sweetness and aroma and will help the medicine to preserve its balance for several days. Children invariably like the flavor. Even cinnamon can be overdone, however. It should not be added day after day for a long period lest the stomach revolt and the taste recoil. Nor should much be put in mixtures for little children, for if overdone it smarts the mouth severely; nor should it be employed when the mouth is irritated or ulcerated. When too much has been added the oil of cinnamon separates and floats upon the surface, and if thus given it is decidedly irritant. If the medicine to which it has been added in over-amount is too valuable to throw away, the excess of cinnamon may be easily removed by lightly sweeping over the surface with a clean piece of bibulous paper-blotting paper or filter paper-or a firm, non-crumbling piece of bread.

Cinnamon is frequently employed as an ingredient of mixtures to restrain intestinal discharges, and the powder with or without chalk or bismuth, or its equivalent in infusion has long figured in the treatment of diarrhea and acute dysentery, though it does not equal in the latter condition other agents which we now use specifically. In diarrhea it should be used in small doses if of the acute type, and in large doses in chronic non-inflammatory and non-febrile forms. It warms the gastro-intestinal tract and dispels flatus, being decidedly useful as a carminative. It has the advantage of preventing griping when given with purgatives, and it enters into the composition of spice poultice, a useful adjuvant in the treatment of some forms of gastro-intestinal disorders.

Cinnamon has been proved in Eclectic practice to be a very important remedy in hemorrhages. It acts best in the passive forms. The type of hemorrhage most benefited is the post-partum variety, though here it has its limitations. If the uterus is empty and the hemorrhage is due to flaccidity of that organ due to lack of contraction, then it becomes an important agent. Then it strongly aids the action of ergot and should be alternated with it. If retained secundines are the provoking cause of the bleeding, little can be expected of this or any other agent until the offenders have been removed. Cinnamon should be frequently given, preferably a tincture of the oil, though an infusion might be useful, but it cannot be prepared quickly enough or be made of the desired strength. Specific Medicine Cinnamon is a preferred preparation. Oil of erigeron acts very well with it. In menorrhagia, even when due to fibroids and polypi, it has had the effect of intermittently checking the waste: but only a surgical operation is the rational course in such cases.

Other hemorrhages of a passive type are benefited by cinnamon. Thus we have found it a very important agent in hemoptysis of limited severity. In such cases we have added it to specific medicine ergot and furnished it to the patient to keep on hand as an emergency remedy. By having the medicine promptly at hand the patient becomes less agitated or frightened, and this contributes largely to the success of the treatment. Rest and absolute mental composure on the part of the patient and the administration of cinnamon have been promptly effective. If not equal to the emergency, then a small hypodermatic injection of morphine and atropine sulphates will usually check the bleeding. When used with ergot in pulmonary hemorrhage probably more relief comes from the cinnamon than from the ergot, for ergot alone is far less effective. We are told that ergot does not act as well in pulmonary bleeding as in other forms of hemorrhage because of the sparse musculature and poor vaso-motor control of the pulmonic vessels. But cinnamon has given results which have been entirely satisfactory. Hemorrhages from the stomach, bowels, and renal organs are often promptly checked by the timely administration of cinnamon.

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.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/felter/cinnamomum.html

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Cinnamon+plant

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

Cinnamomum burmannii

Botanical Name ; Cinnamomum burmannii
Family:    Lauraceae
Genus:    Cinnamomum
Species:C. burmannii
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Laurales

Common Names: Indonesian cinnamon, Padang cassia, or korintje,Cinnamon, Cassia vera

Habitat : Cinnamomum burmanii is native to Southeast Asia and Indonesia. It is normally found in West Sumatra and western Jambi province, with the Kerinci region being especially known as the center of production of quality, high essential-oil crops. C. burmanii grows in wet, tropical climates, and is an introduced species in parts of the subtropical world, particularly in Hawai?i, where it is naturalized and invasive. It was introduced to Hawai?i from Asia in 1934 as a crop plant.

Description:
Cinnamomum burmannii is an evergreen tree growing up to 7 m in height with aromatic bark and smooth, angular branches.The leaves are glossy green, oval, and about 10 cm (3.9 in) long and 3–4 cm (1.2–1.6 in) wide. Small yellow flowers bloom in early summer, and produce a dark drupe.Fruit an ellipsoid berry, subtended by a small cupule that has the basal, truncate parts of tepals attached to the rim.
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It is one of several plants in the genus Cinnamomum whose bark is sold as the spice cinnamon. The most common and cheapest type of cinnamon in the US is made from powdered C. burmannii. Cinnamomum burmannii oil contains no eugenol. It is also sold as quills of one layer.

Edible Uses:
Cinnamomum burmannii is the source of the spice called Cassia, similar to cinnamon yet different. Cassia is the powder obtained from the bark of the tree.
At harvest, the bark is stripped off and put to dry in the sun, where it curls into a specific form called “quills.”

The quills are dried and cut into thin strips or ground into powder.Cassia is less costly than cinnamon and is often sold ground as cinnamon.
The difference between Cassia and cinnamon is that cinnamon is used for sweet dishes that are requiring a subtle flavor, while cassia is used for strong, spicy, main dishes such as curries and spicy meat dishes. Dried Cassia leaves are the Indian herb called “tejpat” and incorrectly called “bay leaves”. Cassia is also an ingredient in Chinese five-spice.

Cassia buds are often used in stewed fruits, especially apples and with mixed spices for pudding spice, pastry spice and mulling spices.

Chemical Constituents:     Cassia bark can contains up to 4% oils, as well as tannins, catechins, proanthocyanidins, resins, mucilage, gum, sugars, calcium oxalate, cinnzelanin, cinnzelanol, and coumarin.

Medicinal Uses:
The properties of Cassia and Cassia oil are similar to those of cinnamon. Cassia is a tonic, carminative and stimulant. It is used to treat nausea and flatulence. It is also used alone or in combination to treat diarrhea.

Known Hazards:    It has been noted by the German Commission E that some people are in fact allergic to cinnamon, with side effects ranging from an allergic skin reactions to mucosa. It is not recommended for medicinal uses during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

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://ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=2799

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

http://www.goldenneedleonline.com/Cinnamon-Cinnamomum-burmannii-Sticks-Organic.html