Eriodictyon glutinosum

Botanical Name: Eriodictyon glutinosum
Family: Hydrophyllaceae

Synonyms: Mountain Balm. Consumptive’s Weed. Gum Bush. Bear’s Weed. Holy or Sacred Herb. Eriodictyon Californicum (Hook and Arn.).

Other Name: Holy or Sacred Herb

Habitat: Eriodictyon glutinosum is native to California and Northern Mexico,found growing abundantly in clumps on dry hills in California and Northern Mexico.

Description: Eriodictyon glutinosum is a low, shrubby evergreen plant, 2 to 4 feet high. The stem is smooth, usually branched near the ground, and covered with a peculiar glutinous resin, which covers all the upper side of the plant. Leaves, thick and leathery, smooth, of a yellowish colour, their upper side coated with a brownish varnish-like resin, the under surface being yellowish-white reticulated and tomentose, with a prominent midrib, alternate, attached by short petioles, at acute angle with the base; shape, elliptical, narrow, 2 to 5 inches long 3/4 inch wide, acute and tapering to a short leaf-stalk at the base. The margin of the leaf, dentate, unequal, bluntly undulate. The flowers, bluish, in terminal clusters of six to ten, in a one-sided raceme, the corolla funnel-like, calyx sparsely hirsute….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used:Dried leaves.
Constituents: The chief constituents are five phenolic bodies, eriodictyol, homoeriodictyol, chrysocriol, zanthoeridol and eridonel. Free formic and other acids, glycerides of fatty acids; a yellow volatile oil; a phytosterol, a quantity of resin, some glucose. Taste, balsamic and sweetish, afterwards acrid, but not bitter, recalls Dulcamara and creates a flow of saliva. Odour, aromatic. The leaves are brittle when dry, but flexible in a warm, moist atmosphere. Eriodictyon Californicum is official in the United States Dispensary. Alcohol is the best agent for the fluid extract of the dried plant.

Recommended for bronchial and laryngeal troubles and in chronic pulmonary affections, in the treatment of asthma and hay-fever in combination with Grindelia robusta. Likewise advised for haemorrhoids and chronic catarrh of the bladder. Much used in California as a bitter tonic and a stimulating balsamic expectorant and is a most useful vehicle to disguise the unpleasant taste of quinine. Male fern and Hydrastis. In asthma, the leaves are often smoked. Aromatic syrup is the best vehicle for quinine.

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.herbsguide.net/yerba-santa.html

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/y/yersan07.html

Rumex acetosa

Botanical Name :  Rumex acetosa
Family:    Polygonaceae
Genus:    Rumex
Species:R. acetosa
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Caryophyllales

Common Names: Common sorrel or garden sorrel, often simply called sorrel
Other Names: Spinach dock and Narrow-leaved dock.

Habitat : Rumex acetosa occurs in grassland habitats throughout Europe from the northern Mediterranean coast to the north of Scandinavia and in parts of Central Asia. It occurs as an introduced species in parts of North America.

Description : Rumex acetosa is a perennial herb. It is a plant like the Common Dock, but handsomer, and distinguished by its sharp-pointed leaves being narrower and longer. It grows about 3 feet high, having erect, round, striated stems and small greenish flowers, turning brown when ripe……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible Uses: The leaves may be pureed in soups and sauces or added to salads; they have a flavour that is similar to kiwifruit or sour wild strawberries. The plant’s sharp taste is due to oxalic acid.

In northern Nigeria, sorrel is known as yakuwa or sure (pronounced suuray) in Hausa or karassu in Kanuri. It is also used in stews usually in addition to spinach. In some Hausa communities, it is steamed and made into salad using kuli-kuli (traditional roasted peanut cakes with oil extracted), salt, pepper, onion and tomatoes. The recipe varies according to different levels of household income. A drink called solo is made from a decoction of the plant calyx.

In Romania, wild or garden sorrel, known as m?cri? or ?tevie, is used to make sour soups, stewed with spinach, added fresh to lettuce and spinach in salads or over open sandwiches.

In Russia and Ukraine it is called shchavel’   and is used to make soup called green borscht. It is used as a soup ingredient in other countries, too .

In Croatia and Bulgaria is used for soups or with mashed potatoes, or as part of a traditional dish containing eel and other green herbs.

In rural Greece it is used with spinach, leeks, and chard in spanakopita.

In the Flemish speaking part of Belgium it is called “zurkel” and preserved pureed sorrel is mixed with mashed potatoes and eaten with sausages, meatballs or fried bacon, as a traditional winter dish.

In Vietnam it is called Rau Chua and is used to added fresh to lettuce and in salads for Bánh X?o.

In Portugal, it’s called “azeda” (sour), and is usually chewed raw.

In India, the leaves are called chukkakura in Telugu and are used in making delicious recipes. Chukkakura pappu soup made with yellow lentils which is also called toor dal in India.

In Albania it is called lëpjeta, the leaves are simmered and served cold marinated in olive oil, it is used in soups, and even as an ingredient for filling byrek pies ( byrek me lakra ).

This name can be confused with the hibiscus calyces or Hibiscus Tea.

Medicinal Uses:
The root has been used in drinks and decoctions for scurvy and as a general blood cleanser, and employed for outward application to cutaneous eruptions, in the form of an ointment, made by beating it up with lard.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/docks-15.html

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

Scrophularia aquatica

Botanical Name :Scrophularia aquatica
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Genus: Scrophularia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Water Betony. Fiddlewood. Fiddler. Crowdy Kit. Brownwort. Bishops’ Leaves.

Common Name:Water Figwort

Habitat : Scrophularia aquatica is native to South of Denmark in Europe, N. Africa, N. and W. Asia, eastward to the Himalayas, marks the present range of this species in the N. Temperate Zone.It is typically an aquatic plant growing by the side of tracts of water, being rooted in the mud, and a thorough hygrophyte. It is to be found by the sides of most rivers, streams, and other types of running water. It also frequents still waters, such as lakes, ponds, pools, and even ditches by the roadside. It is seldom found away from water.

Description:
Scrophularia aquatica is a perennial flowering plant. It is found only in damp ground, generally by the banks of rivers and ponds. It varies much in size, but on an average, the stems grow to a height of 5 feet. The general character of the stem is upright, though small lateral branches are thrown out from the rigid, straight, main stem, which is smooth and quadrangular, the angles being winged. The stems are often more or less reddish-purple in colour; though hollow and succulent, they become rigid when dead, and prove very troublesome to anglers owing to their lines becoming tangled in the withered capsules. The Figwort is named in Somersetshire, ‘Crowdy Kit’ (the word kit meaning a fiddle), or ‘Fiddlewood,’ because if two of the stalks are rubbed together, they make a noise like the scraping of the bow on violin strings, owing no doubt to the winged angles. In Devonshire, also, the plant is known as ‘Fiddler.’
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The leaves are placed in pairs on the stem, each pair at right angles to the pair below it; all are on footstalks, the pairs generally rather distant from one another on the stem. The leaves are oblong and somewhat heartshaped; smooth, with very conspicuous veining. The flowers grow at the top of the stems, arranged in loose panicles, under each little branch of which is a little floral leaf, or bract. They are in bloom during July and August. The calyx has five conspicuous lobes, fringed by a somewhat ragged-looking, brown, membraneous border. The dark, greenish-purple, sometimes almost brown corolla is almost globular; the lobes at its mouth are very short and broad, the two upper ones stand boldly out from the flower, the two side ones taking the same direction, but are much shorter, and the fifth lobe turned sharply downward. The result is that the flowers look like so many little helmets. There are four anther-bearing stamens, and generally a fifth barren one beneath the upper lip of the corolla. The seed vessel when ripe is a roundish capsule opening with two valves, the edges of which are turned in, and contains numerous small brown seeds.

Wasps and bees are very fond of the flowers, from which they collect much honey.

The leaves are used, collected in June and July, when in best condition, just coming into flower, and used both fresh and dried.

Medicinal Uses:
Scrophularia aquatica has vulnerary and detergent properties, and has enjoyed some fame as a vulnerary, both when used externally and when taken in decoction.

In modern herbal medicine, the leaves are employed externally as a poultice, or boiled in lard as an ointment for ulcers, piles, scrofulous glands in the neck, sores and wounds. It is said to have been one of the ingredients in Count Matthei’s noted remedy, ‘AntiScrofuloso.’

In former days this herb was relied on for the cure of toothache and for expelling nightmare. It has also a reputation as a cosmetic, old herbalists telling us that:  ‘the juice or distilled water of the leaves is good for bruises, whether inward or outward, as also to bathe the face and hands spotted or blemished or discoloured by sun burning.’

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/figwat14.html

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

http://chestofbooks.com/flora-plants/flowers/British-Wild-Flowers-1/Water-Figwort-Scrophularia-Aquatica-L.html#.U_FuI9tXv_s

Erysimum cheiri

Botanical Name :Erysimum cheiri
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus:     Erysimum
Species: E. cheiri
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Brassicales

Synonyms: Cheiranthus cheiri,Gillyflower. Wallstock-gillofer. Giroflier. Gillyflower. Handflower. Keiri. Beeflower. Baton d’or.

Common Name:   Wallflower, Aegean wallflower

Habitat:Erysimum cheiri is native to all Southern Europe, on old walls, quarries and seacliffs. It grows on Walls, cliffs and rocks, often near the sea in Britain.

Description:
This is an herbaceous perennial plant, often grown as a biennial, with one or more highly branching stems reaching heights of 15–80 cm (6–31 in). The leaves are generally narrow and pointed and may be up to 20 cm (8 in) long. The top of the stem is occupied by a club-shaped inflorescence of strongly scented flowers. It has single flowers, yellowy orange in its wild state, and quickly spreads abundantly from seed, commencing to bloom in early spring, and continuing most of the summer. In olden times this flower was carried in the hand at classic festivals, hence it was called Cherisaunce by virtue of its cordial qualities. Each flower has purplish-green sepals and rounded petals which are two to three centimeters long and in shades of bright yellows to reds and purples. The flowers fall away to leave long fruits which are narrow, hairy siliques several centimeters in length.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

This is a popular ornamental plant, widely cultivated for its abundant, fragrant flowers in spring. Many cultivars have been developed, in shades of yellow, orange, red, maroon, purple, brown, white and cream. It associates well in bedding schemes with other spring flowers such as tulips and forget-me-nots. It is usually grown as a biennial, sown one year to flower the next, and then discarded. This is partly because of its tendency to grow spindly and leggy during its second year, but more importantly its susceptibility to infections such as clubroot.

A miniature yellow double leafed wallflower was rediscovered by Rev. Henry Harpur-Crewe (before 1883) and is now named “Harpur Crewe”. Other bred varieties may vary quite a bit in appearance from the wild plant. One cultivar, ‘Chelsea Jacket‘, is a winner of the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit. Other varieties such as ‘Blood Red Covent Garden’ are easy to grow and often benefit from being sown and left to their own devices, growing on patches of empty land with little effort required to maintain them, providing aesthetically sound blooms which produce heady scents.

Cultivation:
Prefers a position in full sun in a circumneutral soil. Succeeds in ordinary garden soils, tolerating poor and limey soils. Plants are liable to die out if the soil is too rich. Wallflowers are perennial, though they are usually grown as biennials in the flower garden for spring and early summer bedding. There are some named varieties. A very ornamental plant, it is liable to die out after flowering, probably because it exhausts itself by producing so many flowers. Plants require a very well-drained dry soil if they are to survive a second winter. They grow well on dry stone walls  and also on old mortared walls where they usually self-sow. A good butterfly and moth plant. A good companion for apple trees.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in an outdoor seedbed. Germination should take place within 3 weeks. Plant the seedlings into their permanent positions when they are large enough to handle. If seed is in short supply, it can be sown in spring in pots in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer.

Constituents: Oil, a powerful glucoside, of the digitalis group, and cherinine, a crystalline alkaloid.

Medicinal Uses:
Erysimum cheiri was formerly used mainly as a diuretic and emmenagogue but recent research has shown that it is more valuable for its effect on the heart. In small doses it is a cardiotonic, supporting a failing heart in a similar manner to foxglove (Digitalis purpurea). In more than small doses, however, it is toxic and so is seldom used in herbal medicine. The flowers and stems are antirheumatic, antispasmodic, cardiotonic, emmenagogue, nervine, purgative and resolvent. They are used in the treatment of impotence and paralysis. The essential oil is normally used. This should be used with caution because large doses are toxic. The plant contains the chemical compound cheiranthin which has a stronger cardiotonic action than digitalis (obtained from Digitalis species). If taken in large doses this is very poisonous and so this plant should not be used medicinally without expert supervision. The seeds are aphrodisiac, diuretic, expectorant, stomachic and tonic. They are used in the treatment of dry bronchitis, fevers and injuries to the eyes

(In homoeopathic medicine a tincture of the whole plant has been found useful in the effects of cutting the wisdom tooth) The oil has a pleasing perfume if diluted, but in full strength a disagreeable odour. The alkaloid is useful acting on nerve centres and on the muscles.

Other Uses: The flowers contain 0.06% essential oil. It has a pleasing aroma if diluted and is used in perfumery. The seed contains about 20% fixed oil, but no details of any uses are  available.

Known Hazards :    The plant is said to be poisonous if used in large quantities.

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/Erysimum_cheiri

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/w/wallfl04.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cheiranthus+cheiri

Arisaema triphyllum

Botanical Name : Arisaema triphyllum
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe:     Arisaemateae
Genus:     Arisaema
Species: A. triphyllum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Alismatales

Synonyms: Arum triphyllum , Dragon Root. Wild Turnip. Devil’s Ear. Pepper Turnip. Indian Turnip. Jack-in-the-Pulpit. Memory Root. Arisamae triphyllum (Schott.).
(French) Gouet à trois feuilles.
(German) Dreiblattiger Aron.

Common Names: jack-in-the-pulpit, bog onion, brown dragon, Indian turnip, American wake robin, or wild turnip

Habitat: Arisaema triphyllum is native to  Eastern North America in damp places. Indigenous almost all over United States and Canada.

Description:
Arisaema triphyllum  is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a corm. It’s leaves are trifoliate, with groups of three leaves growing together at the top of one long stem produced from a corm; each leaflet is 8–15 centimetres (3.1–5.9 in) long and 3–7 centimetres (1.2–2.8 in) broad. Plants are sometimes confused with Poison-ivy especially before the flowers appear or non-flowering plants. The inflorescences are shaped irregularly and grow to a length of up to 8 cm long. They are greenish-yellow or sometimes fully green with purple or brownish stripes. The spathe, known in this plant as “the pulpit” wraps around and covers over and contain a spadix (“Jack”), covered with tiny flowers of both sexes. The flowers are unisexual, in small plants most if not all the flowers are male, as plants age and grow larger the spadix produces more female flowers. This species flowers from April to June. It is pollinated by flies, which it attracts using heat and smell. The fruit are smooth, shiny green, 1 cm wide berries clustered on the thickened spadix. The fruits ripen in late summer and fall, turning a bright red color before the plants go dormant. Each berry produces 1 to 5 seeds typically, the seeds are white to light tan in color, rounded, often with flattened edges and a short sharp point at the top and a rounded bottom surface. If the seeds are freed from the berry they will germinate the next spring, producing a plant with a single rounded leaf. Seedlings need three or more years of growth before they become large enough to flower.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

In addition the plant is not self-pollinating since the male flowers on a specific plant have already matured and died before the female flowers of that same plant are mature. So the female flowers need to be pollinated by the male flowers of a different plant. This inhibits inbreeding and contributes to the health of the species.

Edible Uses:If the plant is properly dried or cooked it can be eaten as a root vegetable.

Constituents: In the recent state it has a peculiar odour and is violently acrid. It has been found to contain besides the acrid principle, 10 to 17 per cent of starch, albumen, gum, sugar, extractive, lignin and salts of potassium and calcium.

Medicinal Uses:
Acrid, expectorant, and diaphoretic. Used in flatulence, croup, whooping-cough, stomatitis, asthma, chronic laryngitis, bronchitis and pains in chest.A preparation of the root was reported to have been used by Native Americans as a treatment for sore eyes. Preparations were also made to treat rheumatism, bronchitis, and snakebites, as well as to induce sterility.

Known Hazards: In the fresh state it is a violent irritant to the mucous membrane, when chewed burning the mouth and throat; if taken internally this plant causes violent gastro-enteritis which may end in death.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/w/wakero03.html

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

Viola hirta

Botanical Name : Viola hirta
Family: Violaceae
Genus:     Viola
Species: V. hirta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Malpighiales

Synonyms :Viola odorata. Viola hirta subsp. brevifimbriata W. Beck

Common Name:  Sweet Violet

Other Name :Hairy violet.

Habitat : Viola hirta have been found and is confined to the cold Temperate Zone, in Europe, N. and W. Asia, extending as far as N.-W. India. It is absent in Wales from Brecon and Radnor, Pembroke, Cardigan, Merioneth, and from Mid Lancs, and the Isle of Man, but elsewhere it is universal. In Scotland it does not occur in Roxburgh, Berwick, Haddington, Edinburgh, Fife, Forfar, Kincardine. From Forfar it ranges to the south of England, and is found at a height of 1000 ft. in Yorks. it occurs also in Ireland.It is found growing on dry banks, and in woods, preferring drier conditions. It may be found in damper areas in woods in low-lying situations. This species has a less wide range than Sweet Violet (Viola odorata). Note it is considered by some sources to be the same species as Viola odorata.

Description:
Viola hirta is an evergreen Perennial plant growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).It does not have erect stem, the leaves arising from the rootstock directly. The leaves are likewise heart-shaped, but in this case the stoles or trailing stems with buds are absent or very short, and the bracts are below the middle of the flower-stalk. Moreover, the whole plant is hairy, or roughly hairy, giving it a greyer, less green, appearance when dry.
It is  is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Feb to April, and the seeds ripen from Apr to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, Cleistogamous.The plant is self-fertile….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:   
Succeeds in most soils but prefers a cool moist well-drained humus-rich soil in partial or dappled shade and protection from scorching winds. When grown in the open it prefers a moderately heavy rich soil. Plants have done very well in a hot dry sunny position on our Cornish trial grounds. Tolerates sandstone and limestone soils. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. Sweet violets are very ornamental plants, there are many named varieties. They produce their delicately scented flowers in late winter and early spring – these are designed for fertilisation by bees and since there are few bees around at this time of year these flowers seldom set seed. However, the plants also produce a second type of flower later in the year. These never open, but seed is produced within them by self-fertilization. The plants will often self-sow freely when well-sited. They can also spread fairly rapidly at the roots when they are growing well. Responds well to an annual replanting in rich loose leafy soils. All members of this genus have more or less edible leaves and flower buds, though those species with yellow flowers can cause diarrhoea if eaten in large quantities.

Propagation:          
Seed – best sown in the autumn in a cold frame. The seed requires a period of cold stratification and the germination of stored seed can be erratic. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in the autumn or just after flowering. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though we have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

Young leaves and flower buds are eaten raw or cooked. Usually available all through the winter. The leaves have a very mild flavour, though they soon become quite tough as they grow older. They make a very good salad, their mild flavour enabling them to be used in bulk whilst other stronger-tasting leaves can then be added to give more flavour[K]. When added to soup they thicken it in much the same way as okra. Also used as a flavouring in puddings etc. A tea can be made from the leaves. Flowers – raw. Used to decorate salads and desserts. A sweet mild flavour with a delicate perfume, the flowers are an especially welcome decoration for the salad bowl since they are available in late winter. The flowers are also used fresh to flavour and colour confectionery. A soothing tea can be made from the leaves and flowers. A leaf extract is used to flavour sweets, baked goods and ice cream

Medicinal Uses:
Viola hirta has a long and proven history of folk use, especially in the treatment of cancer and whooping cough. It also contains salicylic acid, which is used to make aspirin. It is therefore effective in the treatment of headaches, migraine and insomnia. The whole plant is anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, and laxative. It is taken internally in the treatment of bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, coughs, asthma, and cancer of the breast, lungs or digestive tract. Externally, it is used to treat mouth and throat infections. The plant can either be used fresh, or harvested when it comes into flower and then be dried for later use. The flowers are demulcent and emollient. They are used in the treatment of biliousness and lung troubles. The petals are made into a syrup and used in the treatment of infantile disorders. The roots is a much stronger expectorant than other parts of the plant but they also contain the alkaloid violine which at higher doses is strongly emetic and purgative. They are gathered in the autumn and dried for later use. The seeds are diuretic and purgative. They have been used in the treatment of urinary complaints are considered to be a good remedy for gravel. A homeopathic remedy is made from the whole fresh plant. It is considered useful in the treatment of spasmodic coughs and rheumatism of the wrist. An essential oil from the flowers is used in aromatherapy in the treatment of bronchial complaints, exhaustion and skin complaints.

Other Uses:
Essential;  Litmus.

An essential oil from the flowers and leaves is used in perfumery. 1000kg of leaves produces about 300 – 400g absolute. The flowers are used to flavour breath fresheners. A pigment extracted from the flowers is used as a litmus to test for acids and alkalines. Plants can be grown as a ground cover when spaced about 30cm apart each way. They make an effective weed-excluding cover

Known Hazards:     May cause vomiting for some persons. Possible additive effect with laxatives.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/v/viohai11.html

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

http://pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Viola+odorata

Viola canina

Botanical Name : Viola canina
Family:    Violaceae
Genus:    Viola
Species:V. canina
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Malpighiales

Common Names: Heath dog-violet or Heath violet

Habitat : Viola canina is native to Europe, where it is found in the uplands of box hill in Dorset, heaths, fens, and moist woodlands, especially on acidic soils is  native to Europe, where it is found in the uplands of box hill in Dorset, heaths, fens, and moist woodlands, especially on acidic soils.

Description:
Viola canina is a perennial herb growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in). It may be found on dry hedge-banks and in the woods, flowering from April to August, a longer flowering period than the Sweet Violet. It is a very variable plant in size of leaf and blossom, form of leaf and other parts, but there seem to be no permanent and reliable differences to justify the division into distinct subspecies. The root-stock of the Dog Violet is short and from it rises a tuft of leaves. The flowering stems are at first short, but as time goes on they elongate considerably until sometimes they may be found nearly a foot long. The leaves are heart-shaped and with serrated edges, but vary much in their proportions. They are ordinarily, like the stems, quite smooth, while in the Sweet Violet we often get them more or less covered with soft hairs. The flowers are scentless, generally larger than those of the Sweet Violet, not only paler in colour, but like most purple flowers, occasionally varying to white.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The  Viola canina differs principally from the Sweet Violet in its long straggling stems and paler blue flowers. It possesses the same properties, being powerfully cathartic and emetic. At one time a medicine made from it had some reputation in curing skin diseases.

Cultivation:    
Prefers a cool moist well-drained humus-rich soil in partial or dappled shade and protection from scorching winds. Tolerates sandstone and limestone soils but becomes chlorotic if the pH is too high. Prefers a pH between 6 and 6.5. All members of this genus have more or less edible leaves and flower buds, though those species with yellow flowers can cause diarrhoea if eaten in large quantities.

Propagation:    
Seed – best sown in the autumn in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in early spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in the autumn or just after flowering. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though we have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Edible Uses: Young leaves and flower buds are eaten  raw or cooked. When added to soups, they thicken them in much the same way as okra. A tea can be made from the leaves.

Medicinal Uses: The flowers and leaves are powerfully cathartic and emetic. The plant has also had a reputation for curing skin diseases.

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/Viola_canina

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Viola+canina

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/v/viodog10.html

Spartina maritima

Botanical Name : Spartina maritima
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Poales
Family:    Poaceae
Genus:    Spartina
Species:S. maritima

Common Name:Small Cordgrass,gadadhar, ajvain, ajmod, phillaur

Habitat :Spartina maritima is native to the coasts of western and southern Europe and western Africa, from the Netherlands west across southern England to southern Ireland, and south along the Atlantic coast to Morocco and also on the Mediterranean Sea coasts. There is also a disjunct population on the Atlantic coasts of Namibia and South Africa.

Description:
Spartina maritima is a herbaceous perennial plant growing 20-70 cm tall, green in spring and summer, and turning light brown in autumn and winter. The leaves are slender, 10-40 cm long, and 0.5-1 cm broad at the base, tapering to a point. It produces flowers and seeds on all sides of the stalk. The flowers are greenish, turning brown by the winter,are small in size, and mostly in little spikes....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:
The drugs obtained by this plants through their dried leaves and flowers head.It has been suggested that the drug should be collected in near the beginning of spring by the time at which the flower heads have not completely developed. Main use of this drug is for throwing out of squirms from stomach. “The drug is also useful in fevers” .. and as a refreshment.

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/Spartina_maritima

http://www.medicinal-plants.in/ajvain.php

Centranthus rubra

Botanical Name :Centranthus rubra
Family:    Caprifoliaceae
Genus:    Centranthus
Species:C. ruber
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Dipsacales

Synonyms: Pretty Betsy. Bouncing Bess. Delicate Bess. Drunken Sailor. Bovisand Soldier.

Common Names:  valerian or red valerian, Jupiter’s beard and spur valerian.

Habitat: Centranthus rubra is native to England, Scotland and the Mediterranean countries. It  usually grows on  rocky places at elevations below 200 m. It is often seen by roadsides or in urban wasteland. It can tolerate very alkaline soil conditions, and will grow freely in old walls despite the lime in their mortar.

Description:
Centranthus rubra is a perennial plant. It branches  very freely to enabling it to take a firm hold in the crevices in which it has once gained possession. The stems are stout, somewhat shrubby at the base, between 1 and 2 feet long, hollow and very smooth in texture. The leaves 2 to 4 inches long and pointed, opposite one another in pairs, are somewhat fleshy, their outlines generally quite entire.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The plant flowers profusely, and though the individual flowers are small (no more than 2 cm), the inflorescences are large and showy. The flowers are small in rounded clusters each with 5 fused petals and a spur. They are purplish red and sometimes (about 10% of individuals) white and occasionally lavender in color. Flowering takes place in early summer. They have a strong and somewhat rank scent. They are pollinated by both bees and butterflies and the plant is noted for attracting insects. It is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Angle Shades. Seeds have tufts similar to dandelions that allow wind dispersal, and as such can become self-seed and become invasive if not properly controlled.

Edible Uses;
Both leaves and roots can be eaten, the leaves either fresh in salads or lightly boiled, the roots boiled in soups. Opinions differ as to whether either make very good eating, however.

Medicinal Uses:
Although it is sometimes reported to have medicinal properties,perhaps there is no basis for this view, which is almost certainly due to confusion with true valerian, (Valeriana officinalis).

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/v/valred04.html

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

Operculina turpethum

Botanical Name :Operculina turpethum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Solanales
Family:    Convolvulaceae
Genus:    Operculina
Species :Operculina turpethum

Synonyms:Ipomoea turpethum,  Turpeth Root. Indian Jalap. Trivrit. Nisoth. Operculina Turpethum.

Common Names: turpeth, fue vao, and St. Thomas lidpod.

Vernacular Names: Indian Jalap, St. Thomas lidpod, transparent wood rose, turpeth root, white day glory • Hindi: nisoth, panila, pitohri • Kannada: aluthi gida, bangada balli, bilitigade, devadanti, nagadanti • Malayalam: tigade • Marathi: or  nisottar • Sanskrit: nishotra,triputa,trivrutt, trivrutha • Tamil: adimbu, caralam, civatai, kumpncan, paganrai • Telugu: tegada, trivrut tellatega • Bengali: tevudi • Arabic: turbuth.

Parts Used: Dried root, stem.

Habitat:  India. Ceylon, Pacific Islands, China, Australia

Description:
:Operculina turpethum is perennial herbaceous, hairy vines growing 4 to 5 meter in length, endemic to India. It is commonly found in North Circars and Deccan region up to 3000 ft. The leaves are alternate, very variable in shape, ovate, oblong and truncate or cordate at the base. The flowers are large, axillary and solitary. Fruit is a capsule with conspicuous enlarged sepals and thickened pedicles….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Constituents:
Resin, a fatty substance, volatile oil, albumen, starch, a yellow colouring matter, lignin, salts, and ferric oxide. The root contains 10 per cent of resin, which is a glucoside, Turpethin, insoluble in ether, but soluble in alcohol, to which it gives a brown colour not removable by animal charcoal. To obtain pure, the alcoholic solution is concentrated; the resin is precipitated by, and afterwards boiled with, water, then dried, reduced to powder, digested with ether, and finally redissolved by absolute alcohol and deposited by ether. After being treated several times in this way, it is obtained in the state of a brownish resin, yielding on pulverization a grey powder, which irritates the mucous membrane of the nostrils and mouth. It is inflammable, burning with a smoky flame and emitting irritant vapours. With strong bases it acts like jalapin, takes up water, and is transferred into a soluble acid, while with dilute acids it is decomposed into turpetholic acid, and glucose.

Medicinal  Uses: Cathartic and purgative. It is rather slow in its action, less powerful and less unpleasant than jalap.

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/Operculina_turpethum

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/turpet31.html