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.

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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

Solanum paniculatum

Botanical Name : Solanum paniculatum
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. paniculatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Synonyms:
* Solanum belfort Vand.
*Solanum belfortianum Dunal
*Solanum botelhianum Dunal (unjustified emendation)
*Solanum botelho Vand.
*Solanum chloroleucum Dunal
*Solanum dictyoticum Roem. & Schult.
*Solanum jubeba Vell.
*Solanum macronema Sendtn.
*Solanum manoelii Moric.
*Solanum reticulatum Willd. ex Roem. & Schult.
*Solanum reticulatum of de Jussieu from Dunal in de Candolle is S. vellozianum.
*Solanum reticulatum of Dunal in Poiret is S. crotonoides as described by Lamarck
*Solanum rothelianum Steud. (lapsus)

Common Name  :  Jurubeba, Jurubeba-branca, Jurubeba-verdadeira , Jubeba, Juribeba, Juripeba, Jupela, Juripeba, Juuna, Juvena, Jurubebinha

Habitat : Solanum paniculatum is native to to Brazil as well as Paraguay and Argentina.

Description:
Solanum paniculatum is a small tree that grows up to 3 m high, with heart-shaped leaves that are smooth on top and fuzzy underneath. It produces a small, yellow fruit and lilac or white flowers. There exsits both mail & female Solanum paniculatum trees, the female trees are slightly taller than male ones and have large leaves and bear fruits. The leaves and roots of both female and male specimens (as well as the fruit) are used interchangeably for medicinal purposes with equal effectiveness…...CLICK & SEE THE  PICTURES

Jurubeba tea is a very common household remedy throughout Brazil. It helps to tone, balance and strengthen the liver from overeating and too much alcohol.

Medicinal Uses:
While solanum paniculatum is a very popular natural remedy, its use has been mostly confined to South America. The plant has demonstrated little toxicity: a recent study showed that a water extract of the flower, fruit, leaf, stem, or root (given orally to mice at 2 g/kg) had no toxicity. It is a great liver tonic and a wonderful remedy for many types of digestive disorders (especially for sluggish digestion), working quickly and efficiently, and is deserving of much more attention in the United States.

Jurubeba is listed as an official drug in the Brazilian Pharmacopoeia as a specific for anemia and liver disorders. Jurubeba has long been used for liver and digestive disorders. The leaves and roots are used today as a tonic and for fevers, anemia, erysipelas, hepatitis, liver and spleen disorders, uterine tumors, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic gastritis, and other such digestive problems as sluggish digestion, bloating, and flatulence. Jurubeba leaf tea is a very common household remedy throughout Brazil for hangovers and overeating. It is relied on to speed the digestive process and promote gastric emptying. After a heavy meal or drinking bout, Brazilians drink a cup of Jurubeba tea. After just a few minutes the symptoms of indigestion and that bloated feeling disappear. It is also a powerful tonic for the liver. The roots, leaves and fruits are used as a tonic and decongestive. It is a good remedy against chronic hepatitis, intermittent fever and hydropsy. It is also sometimes employed externally in poultices to heal wounds and ulcers. The leaves are applied externally for dressing ulcers. Jurubeba has been used to treat uterine tumors.

Warnings:
*This plant has been documented to have mild hypotensive activity as well as a stimulating action on the heart. Those with cardiovascular disorders, hypotension, or those on blood-pressure-lowering medications should only use this plant under the care and direction of a qualified health care professional.

*Herbalists in Brazil report that prolonged or chronic use of this plant may irritate the stomach lining in some individuals. So it is advised not to use this daily for longer than 30 days.
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/Solanum_paniculatum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm
http://azarius.net/lifestyle/healthy-lifestyle/health_tea/jurubeba/

Clerodendron inerme

 

Botanical Name : Clerodendron inerme
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Volkameria
Species: V. inermis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Volkameria inermis

Common Names : Glory bower, Wild Jasmine, Sorcerers Bush, Seaside clerodendrum, Clerodendrum, Scrambling; Scrambling Clerodendrum; Harmless Clerodendron; Clerodendron, Harmless
Habitat : Clerodendron inerme is native to India & Malaysia. It is found in Australia, Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands. It usually grows in close proximity to the sea and is often found near margins or on the margins of beach forest. Also occurs in Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Description:
Clerodendron inerme is an evergreen mangrove plant, which has found a place in our gardens, is able to thrive near the ocean at the high tide mark, making it a potential weed in the coastal environment. A hardy, straggling shrub, it reaches a height of 9-12 FT with closely arranged, almost round, shiny, deep green leaves. The plant is always in flower. The flowers are white and very fragrant, with spreading five corolla lobes, 1″ long white tubes and long purple stamens. As the specific name implies, the stems are smooth and are devoid of thorns. The plant is not choosy about the soil and can even withstand droughts. Seaside clerodendrum, as its name suggests, grows well along the beach tolerating the salt spray of the ocean and the harsh rays of the sun. It is a versatile plant and can be grown as a topiary or as a bonsai. It is its hardy nature and the closely held bunches and leaves that promoted it into a garden plant. Clerodendrum inerme is a sun loving plant and a sunny spot should be chosen for it. The plant produces suckers and seeds. For making hedges, a large number of well-developed plants are required and, therefore, it is advisable to produce new plants through cuttings. Trimming the plant keeps the hedges in shape and also promotes production of new branches and leaves to fill up the gaps. As flowers are produced at the ends of branches, trimming robs the plant of its flowers. The plants is salt-, heat- and wind-tolerant.

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Description in detalis:
*Stem: Often grows into a rather untidy vine but frequently flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-4 m tall. Vine stem diameters to 3 cm recorded.

*Leaves: Twigs, petioles and leaves glabrous or minutely puberulous. Leaf blades about 3-12 x 1-6 cm, punctate or glandular on the lower surface. Petioles about 0.5-1.5 cm long, grooved or channelled on the upper surface. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Twigs usually pale-coloured and petioles dark purple.

*Flowers: Pedicels puberulous, about 3-6 mm long. Calyx about 3-6 mm long, glandular, glabrous or puberulous with a few large nectariferous glands on the outer surface, glabrous on the inner surface, lobes minute. Corolla glabrous and glandular outside, tube villous inside, tube cylindrical, about 15-40 mm long, lobes about 3.5-11 mm long. Stamens exserted, filaments about 15-38 mm long, anthers about 2.5-3 mm long. Ovary glabrous, glandular, about 1.5-2 x 1-1.5 mm, style exserted, glabrous, about 25-48 mm long.

*Fruit: Fruit consists of four nutlets which fit together and are borne on a receptacle like an egg in an egg cup. Fruit about 10-20 x 7-15 mm. Calyx persistent at the base forming a cup about 7-12 mm diam. Cotyledons about 5 mm long, much longer and wider than the radicle which is about 0.5-1 mm long.

*Seedlings : Cotyledons thick and fleshy, about 12-20 x 6-9 mm, gradually tapering into the petioles. First pair of leaves opposite, margins entire or with a few teeth. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade lanceolate, margin entire or with a few teeth, stem purple becoming pale, terminal bud clothed in pale prostrate hairs. Petiole and midrib purple.

Medicinal Uses:
Clerodendron inermesed is used as local medicine in both Kosrae and Pohnpei for a variety of ailments. Known to be used in Samoa as a local medicine as well. The root of Clerodendron inerme is of a more decided bitter taste and strong odor, and is regarded as possessing tonic and alterative properties, and as being useful in venereal and scrofulous complaints. A steam bath (srawuk) of kwacwak is used by women during their monthly menstrual cycle. Used to treat fever, skin rash, flu, headache, infected umbilical cord, eye infections, evil spirit prevention. Can also be added to coconut oil and rubbed into skin.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkameria_inermis
http://keys.trin.org.au/key-server/data/0e0f0504-0103-430d-8004-060d07080d04/media/Html/taxon/Clerodendrum_inerme.htm
http://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/Clerodendrum_inerme.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

Polemonium caeruleum

Botanical Name : Polemonium caeruleum
Family: Polemoniaceae
Genus: Polemonium
Species: P. caeruleum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names: Jacob’s-ladder or Greek valerian, Charity

Habitat : Polemonium caeruleum is native to Northern and central Europe, including Britain, to Siberia and the Caucasus. It grows on the margins of woods and swamps, by streams, especially on turf and usually in limestone hills.
Description:
Polemonium caeruleum is a hardy perennial flowering plant. The plant usually reaches a height from 45 to 60 centimeters (18 to 24 inches), but some occasionally will be taller than 90 centimeters (35 inches.) The spread of the plant is also 45 to 60 centimeters. It can grow in North American hardiness zone 2 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees…....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
A very easily grown plant, it prefers a moist well-drained fertile soil in sun or semi-shade. Dislikes damp or heavy soils, though it tolerates alkaline conditions. Hardy to at least -20°c[187]. A polymorphic species, there are several sub-species and many named forms. Plants are fairly short-lived in cultivation unless they are divided regularly and moved to fresh soil. They can self-sow to the point of nuisance, however and will also survive when growing in lush grass. Cats are strongly attracted by the smell of this plant and will frequently roll on it and injure it.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Another report says that the seed is best sown in a cold frame in the autumn. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in early spring or early autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer
Medicinal Uses:
The herb is astringent and diaphoretic.It was first used as a medicinal herb in ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks used the root to treat dysentery, toothaches and animal bites. The plant was also found in a few European pharmacies during the nineteenth century and was used as an antisyphilitic agent and to treat rabies. It was used internally in the treatment of a wide range of conditions ranging from headaches to fevers and epilepsy. The plant is harvested in the summer and dried for later used. Today, the plant is not usually used medically.
Other uses:
Polemonium caeruleum was voted the County flower of Derbyshire in 2002 following a poll by the wild plant conservation charity Plantlife.

Today, the plant is usually used in potpourris and is boiled in olive oil to make black dyes and hair dressing, but it has few other significant uses.

Bees work the flowers for both pollen and nectar. Flowers of other species of Polemonium are also useful honey bee forage.
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/Polemonium_caeruleum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polemonium+caeruleum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

Calomeria amaranthoides

 Botanical Name ; Calomeria amaranthoides
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Gnaphalieae
Genus: Calomeria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Other names: Incense plant, Plume bush , Amaranth feathers, Humea elegans

Habitat : Calomeria amaranthoides is nitive to Australia

Description:
Calomeria amaranthoides is a tall, fragrant biennial herb, growing to 3.5 metres in height. It has sticky stems and leaves which are green above and whitish beneath and are up to 15 cm long and 5 cm wide. It is a tender, erect, branching, smooth to slightly hairy perennial, usually grown as a biennial or annual, with aromatic, ovate to lance-shaped, mid-green leaves and feathery panicles of fragrant, tiny, tubular, reddish-brown flower heads in summer.

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Calomeria amaranthoides is: Deciduous

Its flowers appear in large brown to red plumes in the summer (January to April in its native range)

Foliage: Mid-green in Spring; Mid-green in Summer; Mid-green in Autumn

Fragrance: If grown under glass, mist plant to release fragrance.
Medicinal Uses:
Homeopathic uses for skin problems like eczema

Click to read : Potent cytotoxic effects of Calomeria amaranthoides on ovarian cancers

Known Hazards: Leaves and flower bracts may cause skin irritation. Fragrance may cause breathing difficulties when plant is in full flower.

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/Calomeria
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm
https://www.shootgardening.co.uk/plant/calomeria-amaranthoides

Curculigo ensifolia

Botanical Name : Curculigo ensifolia
Family: Hypoxidaceae
Genus: Curculigo
Species: C. ensifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Hsien Yu

Habitat : Curculigo ensifolia occurs in northern and eastern Australia.

Description:
Curculigo ensifolia is a biennial herb, it is 10–50 cm tall; corm vertically elongated, 1–16 cm long, to 1 cm wide. Leaf lamina flat, complicate or ±plicate, arched; pseudopetiole absent or to 20 cm long. Inflorescences 1–6; peduncle 0.5–4 cm long, flattened; bracts attenuate, 2–6.5 cm long, lowest spathe-like and sheathing, upper when present basally fused to axis internode; lower 1–3 flowers bisexual, remainder ?. Perianth villous abaxially; tube 1.5–3 cm long above ovary; lobes ±elliptic, 5–12 mm long, yellow, glabrous adaxially. Stamens 3.5–5.5 mm long; anthers 1.5–4 mm long, versatile. Stylar limb 1.6–4.8 mm long including stigmatic lobes 0.6–2.5 mm long; ovary 2–3 mm long. Fruit oblong but irregular, 6–11 mm long, 2.5–4.5 mm wide. Seeds ±ellipsoidal, 3–4.5 mm long. Sometimes develop clumps but usually single Plant. Tap root well established.

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Varieties:
Curculigo ensifolia var. ensifolia – Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Western Australia
Curculigo ensifolia var. longifolia Benth. – Northern Territory

Edible Uses; Tap root reported to be edible

Medicinal Uses:
Curculigo ensifolia  is used in Chinese medicine
A biennial herb, the root of which is used for fatigue, impotence, urinary incontinence, paraesthesias, premature senility and tinnitus; it is believed by some to be an aphrodisiac.
The root is used for fatigue, impotence, urinary incontinence, paraesthesias, premature senility and tinnitus; it is believed by some to be an aphrodisiac.It is used for arthritis, blenorrhea, cachexia, enuresis, impotency, and weak kidneys, incontinence, lassitude, lumbago, nervine, tonic, for neurasthenia, to increase virility in premature senility
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/Curculigo_ensifolia
http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Curculigo+ensifolia
http://noosanativeplants.com.au/plants/151/curculigo-ensifolia
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/online-resources/flora/stddisplay.xsql?pnid=57833
http://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:lsid:biodiversity.org.au:apni.taxon:118968
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

 

Equisetum variegatum

CLICK & SEEBotanical Name : Equisetum variegatum
Family: Equisetaceae
Genus: Equisetum
Species: E. variegatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Order: Equisetales

Common Name : Variegated scouringrush, Alaskan scouringrush, Variegated horsetail or Variegated scouring rush

Habitat : Equisetum variegatum is native to Arctic and temperate regions of Europe, including Britain, N. America, central and northern Asia. It grows on dunes, river banks, wet ground on mountains etc, to 480 metres.
Description:
Equisetum variegatum is a perennial plant. It is a variable species with several ecotypes, some of which are distinct subspecies. The stems can grow to 40 cm (occasionally 80 cm) in height but are often much smaller. Some forms have prostrate stems that creep along the ground while other forms grow more erect. The stems are dark blue-green, slender and rough to the touch. They may be unbranched or have branches growing from the base. The stem nodes are covered with a sheath that is marked with a black band and has dark teeth with white edges. The stems are tipped with a small cone, 3-4 mm across, which is usually green with a black, bluntly-pointed tip.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen from Jul to August.

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Summery : Equisetum species – horsetail family are Creeping, perenial, Branching rootstocks, rooted at the nodes. The Arial stems may be annual or Perennial, are cylindrical, fluted, simple or with whorled branches at the jointed nodes. The internodes are usually hollow. The Surfaces of the stems are covered with Silica. The Cones are terminal.

Leaves and stems:
The sterile stem is green and has no branches. The “leaves” are reduced to a sheath that surrounds the stem. At the top of the sheath is a narrow black band and 3 to 12 teeth that are black/brown with distinct white edges. The teeth persist all season. The stem is evergreen and persists through the winter. The central cavity is ¼ to 1/3 the diameter of the stem….CLICK & SEE

Fruit:
Fertile stems are like the sterile stems but with a ½-inch cone at the tip of the stem. Cones have a sharply pointed tip, mature in late summer or may over-winter and release spores the following spring…..CLICK & SEE

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist but well-drained fertile soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. A very cold-hardy species tolerating temperatures down to about -30°c. Plants have a deep and penetrating root system and can be invasive. If grown in the garden they are best kept in bounds by planting them in a large container which can be sunk into the ground.

Propagation:
Spores – best collected as soon as they are ripe in the spring and surface-sown immediately on a sterile compost. Keep moist and pot up as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Very difficult. Division. The plants usually spread very freely when well sited and should not really need any assistance.

Medicinal Uses:
Horsetails have an unusual chemistry compared to most other plants. They are rich in silica, contain several alkaloids (including nicotine) and various minerals. Horsetail is very astringent and makes an excellent clotting agent, staunching wounds, stopping nosebleeds and reducing the coughing up of blood. It helps speed the repair of damaged connective tissue, improving its strength and elasticity. The plant has been used in the treatment of sore eyes.
Other Uses:
The stems contain 10% silica and are used for scouring metal and as a fine sandpaper. They can also be used as a polish for brass, hardwood etc. The infused stem is an effective fungicide against mildew, mint rust and blackspot on roses. It also makes a good liquid feed.

Known Hazards : Large quantities of the plant can be toxic. This is because it contains the enzyme thiaminase. a substance that can rob the body of the vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase. The plant also contains equisetic acid – see the notes on medicinal uses for more information.

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/Equisetum_variegatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+variegatum
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/fern/variegated-scouring-rush

Equisetum telmateia

Botanical Name : Equisetum telmateia
Family: Equisetaceae
Genus: Equisetum
Species: E. telmateia
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Order: Equisetales

Synonyms : Equisetum maximum. auct.

Common Names : Great horsetail or Northern giant horsetail

Habitat : Equisetum telmateia is native to Europe, including Britain, from Sweden south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia, N.W. N. America. It grows on damp shady banks etc, to 350 metres.
Description:
Equisetum telmateia is a herbaceous perennial plant, with separate green photosynthetic sterile stems, and pale yellowish non-photosynthetic spore-bearing fertile stems. The sterile stems, produced in late spring and dying down in late autumn, are 30–150 cm (rarely to 240 cm) tall (the tallest species of horsetail outside of tropical regions) and 1 cm diameter, heavily branched, with whorls of 14–40 branches, these up to 20 cm long, 1–2 mm diameter and unbranched, emerging from the axils of a ring of bracts. The fertile stems are produced in early spring before the sterile shoots, growing to 15–45 cm tall with an apical spore-bearing strobilus 4–10 cm long and 1–2 cm broad, and no side branches; the spores disperse in mid spring, with the fertile stems dying immediately after spore release. It also spreads by means of rhizomes that have been observed to penetrate 4 meters into wet clay soil, spreading laterally in multiple layers. Occasional plants produce stems that are both fertile and photosynthetic. It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower in March, and the seeds ripen in April.

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There are two subspecies:
*Equisetum telmateia subsp. telmateia. Great Horsetail. Europe, western Asia, northwest Africa. Main stem between branch whorls pale greenish white.
*Equisetum telmateia subsp. braunii (Milde) Hauke. Northern Giant Horsetail. Western North America, from southeastern Alaska and western British Columbia south to California. Main stem between branch whorls green.
CLICK & SEE : Equisetum telmateia  & Spore-bearing strobilus

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. Plants are hardy to about -30°c. Plants have a deep and penetrating root system and can be invasive. If grown in the garden they are best kept in bounds by planting them in a large container which can be sunk into the ground.

Propagation:
Spores – best collected as soon as they are ripe in the spring and surface-sown immediately on a sterile compost. Keep moist and pot up as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Very difficult. Division. The plants usually spread very freely when well sited and should not really need any assistance.

Edible Uses:
Strobil (the fertile shoots in spring) – raw or cooked. The tough outer fibres are peeled off, or can be chewed and then discarded. The vegetative shoots, produced from late spring onwards, were occasionally cleaned of their leaves, sheathing and branches and then eaten by native North American Indians, but only when very young and tightly compacted. Root – cooked.
Medicinal Uses:

Astringent; Diuretic; Poultice.

The plant is astringent and diuretic. A decoction has been used to treat ‘stoppage of urine’. A poultice of the rough leaves and stems is applied to cuts and sores.

Other Uses:
Basketry; Fungicide; Hair; Liquid feed; Polish; Sandpaper.

The stems are very rich in silica. They are used for scouring and polishing metal and as a fine sandpaper. The stems are first bleached by repeated wetting and drying in the sun. They can also be used as a polish for wooden floors and furniture. The infused stem is an effective fungicide against mildew, mint rust and blackspot on roses. It also makes a good liquid feed. Used as a hair rinse it can eliminate fleas, lice and mites. The black roots have been used for imbrication on coiled baskets.

Known Hazards : Large quantities of the plant can be toxic. This is because it contains the enzyme thiaminase, a substance that can rob the body of the vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase. The plant also contains equisetic acid – see the notes on medicinal uses for more information.

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/Equisetum_telmateia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+telmateia

Equisetum sylvaticum

Botanical Name : Equisetum sylvaticum
Family: Equisetaceae
Genus: Equisetum
Species: E. sylvaticum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Order: Equisetales

Common Name : Wood horsetail, Woodland horsetail

Habitat : Equisetum sylvaticum is native to temperate regions of Europe, including Britain, N. America and Asia. It grows on damp woods on acid soils, moors etc.

These horsetails are commonly found in wet or swampy forest, open woodlands, and meadow areas. The plant is an indicator of boreal and cool-temperate climates, and very moist to wet, nitrogen-poor soils.
Description:
Equisetum sylvaticum is a perennial plant. It has erect, hollow stems that grow from 30 to 60 cm in length and from 1-4 mm thick. The branches themselves are compound and delicate, occurring in whorls and drooping downward. There are generally 12 or more branches per whorl. Fertile stems are at first tan-to-brown and unbranched, but later become like the sterile stems, which are more highly branched and green. All the stems have 10-18 spiny vertical ridges that contain silica spicules. The leaves are scales fused into sheaths that cover the stems and branches. These spiny leaves are larger and looser on the fertile stems.

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The fertile stems are shorter than the others; on these develop the cones that bear the spore casings. The leaves develop on the fertile stems and the stems lengthen; then the cones open to release their spores. The cones then drop off. This process takes a few weeks. All the stems may continue to grow until fall and generally die back over winter.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen from Apr to May.

Reproduction:
This plant reproduces by spores, but its primary means of reproduction is done vegetatively by rhizomes. These rhizome systems are deep and extensive, as well as extremely long-lived. These creeping rhizomes occasionally produce tubers, and often outweigh the above-ground growth by 100 to 1.
Cultivation:
Prefers a moist soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. Plants are hardy to about -30°c. Plants have a deep and penetrating root system and can be invasive. If grown in the garden they are best kept in bounds by planting them in a large container which can be sunk into the ground.

Propagation :
Spores – best collected as soon as they are ripe in the spring and surface-sown immediately on a sterile compost. Keep moist and pot up as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Very difficult. Division. The plants usually spread very freely when well sited and should not really need any assistance.
Edible Uses:
Strobil (the fertile shoots in spring) – cooked. An asparagus substitute, though it is neither very palatable nor very nutritious. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Roots – cooked. A source of starch. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Horsetails have an unusual chemistry compared to most other plants. They are rich in silica, contain several alkaloids (including nicotine) and various minerals. The plant is astringent, diuretic and styptic. The barren stems are used, they are most active when fresh but can also be dried and sometimes the ashes of the pant are use. The plant is a useful diuretic when taken internally and is used in the treatment of kidney and bladder problems, internal bleeding. A decoction applied externally will stop the bleeding of wounds and promote healing.
Other Uses:
Dye; Fungicide; Hair; Sandpaper; Scourer.
The stems can be used for scouring and polishing metal and as a fine sandpaper. The stems are first bleached by repeated wetting and drying in the sun. They can also be used as a polish for wooden floors and furniture. The infused stem is an effective fungicide against mildew, mint rust and blackspot on roses. It also makes a good liquid feed. Used as a hair rinse it can eliminate fleas, lice and mites. A light pink dye is obtained from the stem
Known Hazards: Large quantities of the plant can be toxic. This is because it contains the enzyme thiaminase, a substance that can rob the body of the vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase. The plant also contains equisetic acid – see the notes on medicinal uses for more information

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/Equisetum_sylvaticum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+sylvaticum