Carthamus tinctorius

Botanical Name:Carthamus tinctorius
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Carthamus
Species: C. tinctorius
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : Carduus tinctorius. Carthamus glaber. Centaurea carthamus.

Common Name :Safflower

Habitat :Carthamus tinctorius grows in  N. Africa – Egypt. A rare casual in Britain .It is native to arid environments having seasonal rain.(Poor dry soils in full sun.)

Description:
Carthamus tinctorius is a highly branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual plant, growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in). It is in leaf 10-May It is in flower from Aug to October, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.  It is commercially cultivated for vegetable oil extracted from the seeds. Plants are 30 to 150 cm (12 to 59 in) tall with globular flower heads having yellow, orange, or red flowers. Each branch will usually have from one to five flower heads containing 15 to 20 seeds per head.  It grows a deep taproot which enables it to thrive in such environments.

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Cultivation:  
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. Safflower thrives in heavy clays with good water-holding capacity, but will also grow satisfactorily in deep sandy or clay loams with good drainage[269]. It needs soil moisture from the time of planting until it is flowering[269]. It requires a well-drained soil and a position in full sun.  Safflower is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of 20 to 137cm, an annual average temperature range of 6.3 to 27.5deg.C and a pH in the range of 5.4 to 8.2. Plants are reported to tolerate bacteria, disease, drought, frost, fungus, high pH, phage, salt, sand, rust, virus and wind[269]. Safflower grows in the temperate zone in areas where wheat and barley do well, and grows slowly during periods of cool short days in early part of season. Seedlings can withstand temperatures lower than many species; however, varieties differ greatly in their tolerance to frost; in general, frost damages budding and flowering thus reducing yields and quality[269]. Safflower is a long-day plant, requiring a photoperiod of about 14 hours. It is shade and weed intolerant, will not grow as a weed because other wild plants overshadow it before it becomes established. It is about as salt tolerant as cotton, but less so than barley[269]. Safflower matures in from 110-150 days from planting to harvest as a spring crop, as most of it is grown, and from 200 or more days as an autumn-sown crop. It should be harvested when the plant is thoroughly dried. Since the seeds do not shatter easily, it may be harvested by direct combining. The crop is allowed to dry in the fields before threshing[269]. Plants are self-fertile, though cross-pollination also takes place . Plants have a sturdy taproot that can penetrate 2.5 metres into the soil. Safflower has been grown for thousands of years for the dye that can be obtained from the flowers. This is not much used nowadays, having been replaced by chemical dyes, but the plant is still widely cultivated commercially for its oil-rich seed in warm temperate and tropical areas of the world. There are many named varieties. A number of spineless cultivars have been developed, but at present these produce much lower yields of oil than the spiny varieties. Safflower is unlikely to be a worthwhile crop in Britain since it only ripens its seed here in long hot summers. There is more chance of success in the drier eastern part of the country with its usually warmer summers, the cooler moister conditions in the west tend to act against the production of viable seed.

Propagation:   
Seed – sow spring in gentle heat in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 2 – 4 weeks at 15°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. The seed can also be sown in situ in April/May but plants may not then mature their seed.

Edible Uses:   
An edible oil is obtained from the seed. It contains a higher percentage of essential unsaturated fatty acids and a lower percentage of saturated fatty acids than other edible vegetable seed oils. The oil, light coloured and easily clarified, is used in salad dressings, cooking oils and margarines. A very stable oil, it is said to be healthier than many other edible oils and its addition to the diet helps to reduce blood-cholesterol levels. Seed – cooked. They can be roasted, or fried and eaten in chutneys. Tender young leaves and shoots – cooked or raw. A sweet flavour, they can be used as a spinach. A famine food, it is only used when all else fails. An edible yellow and a red dye are obtained from the flowers. The yellow is used as a saffron substitute to flavour and colour food. The (fried?) seeds are used as a curdling agent for plant milks etc .

Medicinal Uses:
Safflower is commonly grown as a food plant, but also has a wide range of medicinal uses. Modern research has shown that the flowers contain a number of medically active constituents and can, for example, reduce coronary heart disease and lower cholesterol levels. Alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, antiphlogistic, haemopoietic. Treats tumours and stomatitis. The flowers are anticholesterolemic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, laxative, purgative, sedative and stimulant. They are used to treat menstrual pains and other complications by promoting a smooth menstrual flow and were ranked third in a survey of 250 potential anti-fertility plants. In domestic practice, the flowers are used as a substitute or adulterant for saffron in treating infants complaints such as measles, fevers and eruptive skin complaints. Externally, they are applied to bruising, sprains, skin inflammations, wounds etc. The flowers are harvested in the summer and can be used fresh or dried. They should not be stored for longer than 12 months. It is possible to carefully pick the florets and leave the ovaries behind so that seed can be produced, though this procedure is rather more time-consuming. The plant is febrifuge, sedative, sudorific and vermifuge. When combined with Ligusticum wallichii it is said to have a definite therapeutic effect upon coronary diseases. The seed is diuretic, purgative and tonic. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism and tumours, especially inflammatory tumours of the liver. The oil is charred and used to heal sores and treat rheumatism. In Iran, the oil is used as a salve for treating sprains and rheumatism.

Other Uses:  
The seed yields up to 40% of a drying oil, it is used for lighting, paint, varnishes, linoleum and wax cloths. The oil can also be used as a diesel substitute. It does not yellow with age. When heated to 300°c for 2 hours and then poured into cold water, the oil solidifies to a gelatinous mass and is then used as a cement for glass, tiles, stones etc or as a substitute for ‘plaster of Paris’. If the oil is heated to 307°c for 2½ hours, it suddenly becomes a stiff elastic solid by polymerization and can then be used in making waterproof cloth etc. A yellow dye is obtained by steeping the flowers in water, it is used as a saffron substitute. A red dye can be obtained by steeping the flowers in alcohol. It is used for dyeing cloth and, mixed with talcum powder, is used as a rouge to colour the cheeks

Known Hazards :  Avoid during pregnancy. Use with caution if suppressed or decreased immunity.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Carthamus+tinctorius
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safflower
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail86.php

 

 

 

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Rheum palmatum

Botanical Name :Rheum palmatum
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Rheum
Species: R. palmatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names:Turkish rhubarb, Turkey rhubarb, Chinese rhubarb, Indian rhubarb, Russian rhubarb or rhubarb root

Habitat :Rheum palmatum  is native in the regions of western China, northern Tibet, and the Mongolian Plateau,  Chinese Rhubarb was used immensely in other parts of the world, such as Europe, for hundreds of years before its source of plant identity was actually discovered in the 18th century. As a consequence of these findings, today Chinese rhubarb is also found flourishing in the West and in the wild. It is extensively cultivated, no doubt for its great medicinal advantages and uses. Like all flowering plants, it is grown from the protective coat of a seed in the spring, or by “root division” in the seasons of Spring or Autumn, where the temperature is not yet too hot or too cold. A rather spacious environment where it can receive an abundance of sunlight for the production of sugars, as well as its development in “well-drained soil,” proves to be most efficient for the augmentation of this species. Since it is the roots and rhizome which serve as this plant’ source of medicinal usage, special care is taken in their preparation. When 6–10 years old, the rhizomes of these plants are removed from the ground in the Autumn when both its stems and leaves changed to yellow wild. Furthermore, the removal of the lateral rootlets and the crown are removed, leaving only the root. Any debris around the root is cleaned off, the coarse exterior bark removed, and the root cut and divided into cube-like pieces to increase its surface area, thereby decreasing the time needed for drying.

Description:
The species ““R. tanguticum”” and ““R. officinale,”” also under the categorical term of the Chinese drug ““da-huang,”” are closely related to ““Rheum palmatum””. Today, these three species are regarded as superior in performance to other species-existing rhubarbs.Though “”Rheum palmatum”” is commonly misinterpreted to be one in the same with the familiar “”R. rhubarbarum”” garden rhubarb we eat, there are several facets falsifying this assumption. Size is the most evident of the facets used to differentiate these two closely related species. While most garden species only grow to a mere few feet in height, Chinese rhubarb can produce as high as a “six to ten foot jointed stalk,” with loosely branched clusters of flowers along the tips that mature red in color from their often yellow or white blooms.

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It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower from June to July, and the seeds ripen from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.

Its leaves are rather “large, jagged and hand – shaped,” growing in width of at least two to three feet. It is important to recognize that only those species of “”rheum”” with lobed leaves are accredited for their medicinal use Subsequently, garden rhubarb, “”R. rhubarbarum,”” as well as any other variety of species with either “wavy” or “undulating leaves” are not founded for any medicinal purpose. Additionally, one can decipher Chinese rhubarb by its rather thick, deep roots whereas the perennial garden plant is composed predominantly of “fleshy rhizomes and buds .

Cultivation:
Prefers a deep, fertile, moderately heavy, humus rich, moisture retentive, well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn. Hardy to at least -15°c. A very ornamental plant, there is at least one named variety. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The sub-species R. palmatum tanguticum is cultivated as a medicinal plant in China, it was at one time a popular purgative in Europe. Plants in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. Turkish rhubarb is a good companion plant for columbine (Aquilegia spp).

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in autumn in a shaded cold frame[200]. The seed can also be sown in spring in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in the spring. Division in early spring or autumn. Divide up the rootstock with a sharp spade or knife, making sure that there is at least one growth bud on each division. 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.

Edible Uses:  Leaf stem are eaten raw or cooked . The stem is superior in flavour to the common rhubarb and quite tender. An acid flavour, it is sometimes used as a cooked fruit substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
Anticholesterolemic; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Antitumor; Aperient; Astringent; Cholagogue; Demulcent; Diuretic; Homeopathy; Laxative; Purgative; Stomachic; Tonic.
click to see:The cut-up and dry root of Chinese rhubarb
Chinese rhubarb, called Da Huang in China, has a long and proven history of herbal usage, its main effect being a positive and balancing effect upon the whole digestive system. It is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese medicine[238]. It has a safe and gentle action, safe even for children to use. The plant is also part of a North American formula called essiac which is a popular treatment for cancer. Its effectiveness has never been reliably proven or disproven since controlled studies have not been carried out. The other herbs included in the formula are Arctium lappa, Ulmus rubra and Rumex acetosella. The root is anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitumor, aperient, astringent, cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, laxative, purgative, stomachic and tonic. The roots contain anthraquinones, which have a purgative effect, and also tannins and bitters, which have an opposite astringent effect. When taken in small doses, it acts as an astringent tonic to the digestive system, whilst larger doses act as a mild laxative. The root is taken internally in the treatment of chronic constipation, diarrhoea, liver and gall bladder complaints, haemorrhoids, menstrual problems and skin eruptions due to an accumulation of toxins. This remedy is not prescribed for pregnant or lactating women, nor for patients with intestinal obstruction. Externally, the root is used in the treatment of burns. The roots are harvested in October from plants that are at least six years old, they are then dried for later use. A homeopathic remedy is prepared from the dried root. This is used especially in the treatment of diarrhoea in teething children.

For centuries the rhizome of the Turkey rhubarb was highly regarded by the Chinese for its medicinal properties.  Modern research has justified its reputation.  It contains anthraquinones, which have a purgative effect, and tannins and bitters which have the opposite effect.  If taken in small quantities the tonic, aperient effect predominates and it is therefore useful in cases of appetite loss and acute diarrhea.  Used to treat constipation, dysentery, hemorrhoids, portal congestion, pin/thread worms, skin eruptions from faulty elimination, blood in the stool and duodenal ulcers.  It has a truly cleansing action upon the gut, removing debris, and then astringing with antiseptic properties as well. It is used externally to promote healing, counteract blood clots and promote menstruation.  Stronger doses are laxative after 8-10 hours and are used to treat chronic constipation.  Rhubarb is included in some proprietary preparations and is also a component of herbal tea mixtures and digestive powders.  In 1987 a research team investigated extracts of 178 Chinese herbs for antibacterial activity against one of the major microorganisms in human intestinal flora.  Only Rhubarb was found to have significant activity.  The herb can be applied to burns, boils, and carbuncles.  It is a useful mouthwash for canker sores.

Other Uses:
Fungicide; Ground cover; Insecticide.
An insect spr
ay is made from the leaves. This spray is also said to help prevent clubroot of brassicas. The cultivar ‘Atrosanguineum’ can be used as a ground cover plant in a sunny position. Other forms can also be used, they are best planted about 1.8 metres apart each way.

Known Hazards:  The leaves are poisonous. This report probably refers to high levels of oxalic acid found in the leaves. Perfectly safe in moderate quantities, oxalic acid can lock up certain minerals (especially calcium) in the body, leading to nutritional deficiency. Cooking the plant will reduce its content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheum_palmatum
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Rheum+palmatum
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail386.php

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

Tanacetum vulgare

Botanical Name :Tanacetum vulgare
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Tanacetum
Species: T. vulgare
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names:Tansy , Bitter Buttons,Common Tansy, Cow Bitter, Mugwort, or Golden Buttons.

Habitat :Tansy is native to Eurasia; it is found in almost all parts of mainland Europe. It is absent from Siberia and some of the Mediterranean islands. The ancient Greeks may have been the first to cultivate it as a medicinal herb. In the sixteenth century it was considered to be “necessary for a garden” in Britain.

Description:
Tansy is a flowering herbaceous plant with finely divided compound leaves and yellow, button-like flowers. It has a stout, somewhat reddish, erect stem, usually smooth, 50–150 cm tall, and branching near the top. The leaves are alternate, 10–15 cm long and are pinnately lobed, divided almost to the center into about seven pairs of segments, or lobes, which are again divided into smaller lobes having saw-toothed edges, giving the leaf a somewhat fernlike appearance. The roundish, flat-topped, button-like, yellow flower heads are produced in terminal clusters from mid-to-late summer. The scent is similar to that of camphor with hints of rosemary. The leaves and flowers are toxic if consumed in large quantities; the volatile oil contains toxic compounds including thujone, which can cause convulsions and liver and brain damage. Some insects, notably the tansy beetle Chrysolina graminis, have resistance to the toxins and subsist almost exclusively on the plant.

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Edible Uses:
Tansy was formerly used as a flavoring for puddings and omelets, but is now almost unknown. The herbalist John Gerard noted that tansy was well known as “pleasant in taste”, and he recommends tansy sweetmeats as “an especial thing against the gout, if every day for a certain space a reasonable quantitie thereof be eaten fasting.” In Yorkshire, tansy and caraway seeds were traditionally used in biscuits served at funerals.

During the Restoration, a “tansy” was a sweet omelette flavoured with tansy juice. In the BBC documentary “The Supersizers go … Restoration”, Allegra McEvedy described the flavour as “fruity, sharpness to it and then there’s a sort of explosion of cool heat a bit like peppermint.” [25] However, the programme’s presenter Sue Perkins experienced tansy toxicity.

According to liquor historian A. J. Baime, in the 19th century Tennessee whiskey magnate Jack Daniel enjoyed drinking his own whiskey with sugar and crushed tansy leaf.

Medicinal Uses:
* Amenorrhea * Insect Repellent * Parasites/worms * Scabies

Properties::  * Abortifacient * Antiparasite * Aromatic * Bitter * Bitter * Carminative * Emmenagogue * Stimulant * Vermifuge

Parts Used: The leaves and tops. The plant is cut off close above the root, when first coming into flower in August.

Constituents:  volatile oil (containing up to 70% thujone), bitter glycosides, sesquiterpene lactones, terpenoids including pyrethrins, tannin, resin, vitamin c, citric acid, oxalic acid

Tansy was once a widely grown herb with a number of traditional medicinal uses, but one that has lost favor over time with the modern herbal community. Older herbals recommend the use of tansy for many purposes including as an anthelmintic, for migraine, neuralgia, rheumatism and gout, meteorism( distended stomach due to trapped gas), and loss of appetite. Mrs. Grieve highly recommends an infusion of tansy be given to children to kill worms among other things.4 This is an excellent example of how we need to filter our readings of the wisdom of our elder teachers with today’s better understanding of plant chemistry. The danger with using tansy is primarily with it’s thujone content, which is responsible for much of tansy’s medicinal actions, but which is toxic in large doses. The amount of thujone contained can vary from plant to plant making safe dosing problematic. According to the German Commission E ” Uncontrolled usage of tansy, depending on the quality of the herb, can result in the absorption of thujone in toxic amounts, even at normal dosages.” 3

Tansy was a popular strewing herb in times past because it’s clean, camphorous scent repelled flies and other pests. It is still a good custom to plant tansy outside the kitchen door and around the garden for the same reasons. Although tansy is useful as a vermifuge, and can be used externally as poultice to treat skin infections, it might be wise to look to less dangerous herbs that can serve the same purposes.

For many years, tansy has been used as a medicinal herb despite its toxicity. 19th-century Irish folklore suggests bathing in a solution of tansy and salt as a cure for joint pain. A bitter tea made with tansy flowers has been used for centuries as an anthelmintic to treat parasitic worm infestations, and tansy cakes were traditionally eaten during Lent because it was believed that eating fish during Lent caused intestinal worms. Various Tanacetum species are used ethnomedically to treat migraine, neuralgia and rheumatism and as anthelmintics. Traditionally, tansy was often used for its emmenagogue effects to bring on menstruation or end an unwanted pregnancy, and pregnant women are advised to not use this herb. Research published in 2011 identified 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (3,5-DCQA) and axillarin in tansy as antiviral compounds that are active against herpes simplex virus.

Other Uses:
In England, bunches of tansy were traditionally placed at windows to keep out flies. Sprigs were placed in bedding and linen to drive away pests.

Tansy has been widely used in gardens and homes in Melbourne, Australia to keep away ants.

Some traditional dyers use tansy to produce a golden-yellow colour. The yellow flowers are dried for use in floral arrangements.

Tansy is also used as a companion plant, especially with cucurbits like cucumbers and squash, or with roses or various berries. It is thought to repel ants, cucumber beetles, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, and some kinds of flying insects, among others.

Dried tansy is used by some bee-keepers as fuel in a bee smoker.

Known Hazards:
Tansy contains a volatile oil which can cause contact dermatitis in sensitive individuals. If taken internally, toxic metabolites are produced as the oil is broken down in the liver and digestive tract. It is highly toxic to internal parasites, and for centuries tansy tea has been prescribed by herbalists to expel worms. Tansy is an effective insecticide, and is highly toxic to arthropods.  Because it contains thujone, the U.S. FDA limits the use of tansy to alcoholic beverages, and the final product must be thujone-free.

The active components of the volatile oil include 1,8-cineole, trans-thujone, camphor and myrtenol, with the quantities and proportions of each varying seasonally and from plant to plant.

1,8-cineole is a toxin believed to defend the plant leaves against attacks by herbivores. It has many biological activities including allelopathy, anesthetic, antibacterial, carcinogenic, fungicide, herbicide, insectifuge, nematicide, sedative, testosterone hydroxylase inducer, and others.

Thujone is a GABA receptor antagonist that sensitises neurons; it is reputed to be an aphrodisiac, increasing brain activity and causing hallucinations, spasms, convulsions, and even death.

Camphor has various uses, including manufacture of plastics, lacquers and varnishes, explosives and pyrotechnics; as a moth repellent; as a preservative in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics; to relieve itching and pain by creating a cooling effect on the skin; as an injectable antibacterial for root canals in dentistry; as a food flavor enhancer; and as a medical ingredient in chest rubs.

Myrtenol has been used as an insect pheromone in insect trapping, as a beverage preservative, a flavoring and a fragrance

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tansy
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail254.php

Verbena hastata

 

Botanical Name : Verbena hastata
Family: Verbenaceae
Genus: Verbena
Species: V. hastata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms:  Herb of Grace. Herbe Sacrée. Herba veneris.

Common Names :Vervain , Blue Vervain, Wild Hyssop, Simpler’s Joy, Herb of the cross, Swamp Verbena.

Habitat : Verbena hastata is native to Europe, Barbary, China, Cochin-China  & Japan. It grows  in moist meadows near floodplain woodlands, soggy thickets, borders of rivers and ponds, marshes, ditches, fence rows, and pastures. This plant adapts readily to degraded wetlands and other disturbed areas, but it can be found in higher quality habitats as well.

Description:
Verbena hastata is a slender, but erect, perennial plant that grows up to 5′ tall, branching occasionally in the upper half. The green or red stems are four-angled, sometimes with fine white hairs. The opposite leaves are up to 6″ long and 1″ across. They are lanceolate, conspicuously veined, and have short petioles. The margins are coarsely serrated with variably sized teeth. The upper stems terminate in a panicle of flowering spikes. These erect spikes are up to 5″ long, and densely crowded all around with numerous reddish blue or violet flowers. Each flower is a little less than ¼” across, and has 5 lobes flaring outward from a slender corolla tube. There is no scent. Four nutlets are produced per flower – they are reddish brown, oblong, and triangular convex. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late summer, and lasts about 1½ months. The root system has fibrous roots and short rhizomes.The flowers are often a pretty blue or violet, but they are quite small. Blue Vervain is easy to identify because it is the only vervain with elegant spikes of flowers in this color range.
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Cultivation: The preference is full or partial sunlight and moist conditions. The soil should consist of a fertile loam or wet muck. This plant tolerates standing water, if it is temporary. This is a good plant to locate near a small river or pond in a sunny location.

Medicinal Uses:

: * Anxiety * Colds * Depression * Lupus * Nerve/Back Pain

Properties: * AntiCancer * Antiscrofulous * Antispasmodic * Astringent * Bitter * Digestive * emetic * Emmenagogue * Febrifuge * Nervine * Stomachic * Vulnerary
Parts Used: Leaves, flowering heads
Constituents:  tannin

Vervain has been useful to herbal healers for many centuries of recorded history, both in the Europe (Verbena officinalis)Netje Blanchan  and in North America, (V. hastata),yet there is a dearth of human studies with this herb. Vervain’s healing properties are attributed primarily to its bitter and stimulating effect on the liver and other organs, as well as its relaxing effect on the nervous system. 2 Vervain is useful in many diseases as a pain reliever and natural tranquilizer, an expectorant used to treat chronic bronchitis, and an antirheumatic used to relive joint pain. Herbalists consider vervain especially helpful when depression is related to chronic illness. As an added benefit, it can help to heal any damage that has occurred to the liver.

Other Uses:
The flowers attract many kinds of long-tongued and short-tongued bees, including Epeoline Cuckoo bees, Eucerine Miner bees, Halictid bees, and the oligolege Calliopsis verbenae (Verbena Bee).These bees seek primarily nectar, although some species collect pollen. Other flower visitors include Ammophila spp. (Thread-Waisted wasps), Bee flies, Thick-Headed flies, small butterflies and skippers, and Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus (Goldenrod Soldier Beetle). The caterpillars of Crambodes talidiformis (Verbena Moth) feed on the foliage. Most mammalian herbivores avoid eating this plant because of the bitter leaves – an exception is the Cottontail Rabbit, which may eat the foliage of young plants to a limited extent. Also, various songbirds occasionally eat the seeds, including the Cardinal, Swamp Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, and Slate-Colored Junco (during the winter). Experimental studies have shown that these seeds can pass undamaged through the digestive tracts of cattle, therefore they are probably distributed to some extent by these seed-eating birds.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/wetland/plants/bl_vervain.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbena_hastata
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail121.php

Aloysia citriodora

Botanical Name :Aloysia citriodora
Family: Verbenaceae
Genus: Aloysia
Species: A. citrodora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

 Synonyms: Verbena triphylla L’Hér., Verbena citriodora Cav., Lippia triphylla, Lippia citriodora, Aloysia citriodora (Cav.) Ort.Aloysia triphylla

Common Names:vervain,lemon verbena and lemon beebrush

Habitat :Aloysia citriodora is  native to western South America.(S. America – Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay. Locally naturalized in the Mediterranean) It grows in fields and roadsides

Description:
Lemon verbena is a perennial shrub or subshrub growing to 2–3 m high. The 8 cm long glossy, pointed leaves are slightly rough to the touch and emit a powerful scent reminiscent of lemon when bruised (hence the Latin specific epithet citrodora—lemon-scented).It is hardy to zone 8 . It is in leaf from May to November, in flower in August, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
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Sprays of tiny lilac or white flowers appear in late Spring or early Summer. It is sensitive to cold, losing leaves at temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) although the wood is hardy to ?10 °C (14 °F). Due to its many culinary uses, it is widely listed and marketed as a plant for the herb garden.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most moderately fertile soils if they are well-drained. Prefers a light soil. Requires a sunny sheltered position. Requires a warm damp climate. A very ornamental plant, lemon verbena is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain, growing well in Cornwall. It can withstand about 10°c of frost and survives outdoors on a wall at Kew. It generally survives most winters outdoors if growing in a suitable position, though it is often cut back to ground level and then resprouts from the base in late spring or early summer. Giving the roots a good, thick organic mulch will confer extra protection from winter cold. The plant succeeds outdoors at Howick, a garden on the coast of Northumberland. The leaves are very aromatic with a lemon scent, they are often used to make a drink or for their essential oils. There has been considerable confusion over the naming of this species. We are following the treatment used in  and , which is also the current treatment in the 1999 edition of The Plant Finder. However, the book ‘World Economic Plants’ uses the name A. citrodora Palau (a different author to the one we cite) as the correct name. Any pruning is best carried out in the spring. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in late spring. Only just cover the seed and keep in a light position, making sure the compost does not dry out. When 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 in early summer and give some protection from the cold for at least their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of softwood, May/June in a frame. Grow on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts. The cuttings root quickly and easily, though there can be losses in the first winter[K]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Grow on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts[K]. The cuttings root quickly and easily, though there can be losses in the first winter

Edible Uses:
Leaves are occasionally cooked as a spinach but more commonly used as a flavouring in salads, fruit salads etc. A delicious lemon-like flavour, it is adored by most people who try it. A delicious and refreshing tea is made from the leaves. The dried leaves will retain their lemon aroma for many years.

Medicinal Uses:
Antispasmodic; Aromatherapy; Febrifuge; Sedative; Stomachic.

An undervalued medicinal herb, lemon verbena contains a strong lemon-scented essential oil that has calming and digestive qualities. The plant has a gentle sedative action and a reputation for soothing abdominal discomfort. It has a mildly tonic effect upon the nervous system and helps to lift the spirits and counter depression. The leaves and the flowering tops are antispasmodic, febrifuge, sedative and stomachic. A tea made from the leaves has a deliciously refreshing lemon flavour and is used mainly in treating digestive disorders such as flatulence, indigestion and acidity. Some caution is advisable though, since prolonged use or large internal doses can cause gastric irritation. The herb is also useful as a stimulant for treating lethargy or depression whilst it is also used to treat feverish colds. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy in the treatment of nervous and digestive problems and also for acne, boils and cysts.

Infuse as a mildly sedative tea to soothe bronchial and nasal congestion, to reduce indigestion, flatulence, stomach cramps, nausea and palpitations.  Lemon verbena is especially useful for women. In the past, midwives gave a woman in the last phases of childbirth a strong tea to stimulate contractions of the uterus.  Ancient Egyptian medicine included it for this purpose.  Today, verbaline has been isolated from the plant and used as a stimulant for uterus contractions.  Do not use the oil internally during pregnancy.  Used as a cold compress or in an aroma lamp, it is wonderfully refreshing and aids the birth process where stamina is required.  It has also been said to stimulate milk production and to be helpful for infertility.   Its tonic effect on the nervous system is less pronounced than that of lemon balm, but nonetheless helps to counter depression.

Other Uses:
Essential; Insecticide; Pot-pourri; Repellent.

An essential oil obtained from the leaves is extensively used in perfumery. An average yield of 0.5% is obtained. There is some evidence that the use of this oil can sensitise the skin to sunlight and so its use has been largely replaced by the tropical plant lemongrass, Cymbopogon spp.. The dried leaves retain their fragrance well and so are used in pot-pourri. The growing plant repels midges, flies and other insects. The essential oil is an effective insecticide in 1 – 2% concentration.

Scented Plants
Leaves: Crushed DriedThe leaves are very aromatic with a strong lemon scent.

Known Hazards:
The essential oil from the plant might sensitise the skin to sunlight

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Aloysia+triphylla
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloysia_citrodora
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail348.php

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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