Meadow rue

Botanical Name :Thalictrum aquilegifolium
Family : Ranunculaceae – Buttercup family
Genus : Thalictrum L. – meadow-rue
Species: Thalictrum aquilegifolium L. – columbine meadow-rue
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Order : Ranunculales

Common Name : Columbine-leaved meadow rue

Habitat :Meadow-rues are usually found in shaded or damp locations, with a sub-cosmopolitan range throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere and also south to southern Africa and tropical South America, but absent from Australasia. It is most common in temperate regions of the world, twenty-two species are found in North America.

Description:
Meadow Rue is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant.The leaves are alternate, bipinnately compound, commonly glaucous blue-green in colour.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The flowers are small and apetalous (no petals), but have numerous long stamens, often brightly white, yellow, pink or pale purple, and are produced in conspicuous dense inflorescences. In some species (e.g. T. chelidonii, T. tuberosum), the sepals are large, brightly coloured and petal-like, but in most they are small and fall when the flower opens or soon after.

Medicinal Uses;
Meadow rue is a purgative and diuretic.  It is a bitter digestive tonic that contains berberine or a similar alkaloid.  The leaves were sometimes added to spruce beer in the 19th century as a digestive tonic.

Other Uses:
Thalictrum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Setaceous Hebrew Character.

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.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalictrum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Thalictrum_aquilegifolium_02.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Thalictrum_aquilegifolium_02.jpg
http://www.hort.net/gallery/view/ran/thaaq00

http://search.myway.com/search/GGcached.jhtml?pg=GGmain&ord=1&action=click&searchfor=Thalictrum%2Baquilegifolium&curl=http%3A%2F%2Fplants.usda.gov%2Fjava%2Fprofile%3Fsymbol%3DTHAQ&isDirResults=false&tpr=sbt&cid=Q1_eOsCTSrkJ&st=site&ptnrS=mw&ct=GC

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Maianthemum canadense

 

Botanical Name : Maianthemum canadense
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Nolinoideae
Genus: Maianthemum
Species: M. canadense
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

syn.: Maianthemum canadense var. interius Fern., Maianthemum canadense var. pubescens Gates & Ehlers, Unifolium canadense (Desf.) Greene

Common Names :Canadian May-lily, Canada Mayflower, False Lily-of-the-valley, Canadian Lily-of-the-valley, Wild Lily-of-the-valley, Two-leaved Solomonseal

Habitat :Maianthemum canadense is  native to the sub-boreal conifer forests in Canada and the northern United States, from Yukon and British Columbia east to Newfoundland and south to Nebraska and Pennsylvania, and also in the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia. It can be found growing under both evergreen and deciduous trees.

Description;
It grows to 10–25 cm tall, and has 1–3 leaves, with clusters of 12–25 starry shaped, white flowers held above the leaves. The flowers are produced from late spring to mid summer, and have 4 tepals and 4 stamens, as in the very closely related Maianthemum bifolium and Maianthemum dilatatum. The fruit is a berry containing 1–2 round seeds that becomes red and translucent when ripe. The berries are mottled red in early summer and turn deep red in mid summer. Seed is produced infrequently and most plants in a location are vegetative clones, the plants spreading by their rhizomes, which are shallow, trailing, and white.
...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Leaves are alternate, stalkless, oval, and slightly notched at base. They are not oppressed to the stem. The plant appears in two forms, either two or three leaves growing with a fruiting stem, or a single leaf rising from the ground with no fruiting structures.

Medicinal Uses:
A tea made from the plant has been used in the treatment of headaches and as a kidney tonic for pregnant women. It is also used as a gargle for sore throats and as an expectorant.

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.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maianthemum_canadense
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maianthemum_canadense.jpg

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Cacalia decomposita

Botanical Name :Cacalia decomposita
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribus: Senecioneae
Genus: Psacalium
Species: Psacalium decompositum
Order: Asterales

Synonym :Psacalium decompositum  (Gray) H.E. Robins. & Brett.

Common Name : Cacalia decomposita Desert Indianbrush, Indian plantain, Matarique, Maturi

Habitat : Native to Maxico

Description;
Cacalia decomposita is a  Perennial herb.Grows to a height of 3ft to 6 ft.Flowers are flat top cluster of small flower heads each containing five or more white to yellowish green flowers; five lobes; stiff, slender bracts. Blooms during summer….

click to see the pictures.
Foliage: Undersides of leaves and stems have a waxy, white coating; leaves are irregular, fan shaped; coarsely lobed or toothed

Medicinal Uses:
Folk uses include diabetes, as a purgative, sprains and strains (external), and wounds (Kay 1996).

The roots are used to treat adult-onset, insulin-resistant diabetes.  An eighth of an ounce is taken in a cold infusion once or twice a day for several days, then handing to Bricklebush for maintenance.  Maturique seems to be the best initial therapy when a person is overweight, soft and tired.  But it is strong and most people who use it slip into a gentler approach for the long haul. The root tea or tincture is an excellent liniment for sprains, hyperextensions, and acute arthritis.  Folk uses also includes the plant as a purgative, and wounds.  The dried rhizome and root  may work to prevent gluconeogenesis (the formation of glycogen from noncarbohydrates such as protein or fat, by conversion of the later into glucose) in the liver. Its method of action is unclear, but it appears to dramatically lower serum-glucose.

Known Hazards:
Contains toxic pyrrolizidine-like alkaloids. Plants containing these alkaloids have caused fatalities (Kay 1996)

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.azcert.org/medical-pros/herbs/plantDetail.cfm?plantID=65
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/wildflowers/cacalia_atriplicifolia.html
http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?430221
http://www.madrean.org/maba/symbflora/taxa/index.php?taxon=2287
http://131.230.176.4/imgs/pso/r/Asteraceae_Cacalia_decomposita_2709.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://www.wnmu.edu/academic/nspages/gilaflora/psacalium_decompositum.html

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Some Health Quaries & Answers

When the bee stings....CLICK & SEE
Q: I live near a park and have often been stung by bees. Apart from being painful, I have heard that bee stings are also dangerous. How should a sting be treated?

A: The bee sting has a venom sac attached. If this sac breaks, chemicals are released into your body that cause pain, redness, local swelling and also allergic reactions. If you get stung, pull out the sting using your fingernail or a stiff card. Take care not to damage the venom sac. Wash the area with soap and water and apply ice. If the area is red and irritated, apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone ointment. If there is swelling, see a doctor. You might be prescribed antihistamines.

Xanthoma ...CLICK & SEE

Q: I have yellow deposits near my eyelids. They are soft and painless but look very ugly.

A: These are called xanthomas. They are caused by deposits of fat under the skin. Although they can occur anywhere —such as the elbows, knees and buttocks — eyelids are the commonest place. Xanthomas are harmless but indicative of high cholesterol, diabetes, liver cirrhosis or certain cancers. The pills you take to lower cholesterol may cause xanthomas to shrink. You can have them surgically removed, but if you do not get high cholesterol or diabetes treated (the reason they appeared in the first place), xanthomas can recur.

Teething trouble

Q: My daughter is a year old and has no teeth. My sister’s daughter was born with two teeth. Is there reason for worry?

A: One out of 2,000 children have “natal teeth” at birth. Usually teeth appear between six and 12 months but teeth can appear as early as one month or be delayed beyond the first birthday and that is normal. However, in rare cases, the delay can also be due to Down’s syndrome, thyroid disease or bone disease. You need to consult both a paediatrician and a dentist.

Painful jog ...CLICK & SEE

Q: I recently started jogging and have developed knee pain. My friends have all advised me to stop. They say all runners develop knee pain. Is this true?

A: Runners are not more prone to osteoarthritis of the knee but they do tend to develop pain around the patella (knee cap). This is due to failure to warm up adequately and stretch properly before and after exercising. The quadriceps (the big muscles in front of the knee) also require to be strengthened.

If you develop pain after jogging, apply an ice pack. It will reduce inflammation and pain.

Party pooper

Q: I frequently develop diarrhoea after I eat at social functions. I cannot refuse to eat without giving offence. Is there a preventive tablet that I can take?

A: You may not be able to tolerate the oil or the colouring and other condiments added to the food. The mineral water provided might also not be of ISI standard. You can avoid diarrhoea, if you stick to vegetarian food, avoid fried items and not drink any water. The safest food is curd rice.

If you do develop diarrhoea, take equal quantities of rice and moong dal and cook it in a pressure cooker with salt. Eat only this for 24 hours.

Idiot box blues

Q: My son used to do well in school (he is in Class VII). Now he complains of inability to recall what he has studied and poor mathematical ability. He does his homework in front of the television.

A: Why do you allow him to do homework in front of the television? He cannot possibly solve maths problems correctly while watching serials or cartoons. The rapidly flashing images also deplete the brain chemicals responsible for attention, learning and memory.

Physical activity for an hour a day improves memory. Encourage your son to play outside for an hour and then start his homework in a quiet room with no television. I think you will notice a vast improvement.

Keep walking

Q: I am 86 years old and active. Unfortunately my family members keep telling me to “take rest”. They feel that since I worked hard all my life, I should now just sit quietly. I think if I sit long enough I will die.

A: You are right. Walking and other physical activity keeps you mentally agile and physically fit. It also prevents blood clots from forming in your legs and causing strokes and heart attacks. So keep moving as long as you are able to.

Yellow liver

Q: I heard that jaundice causes liver cancer. Is this true?

A: Jaundice” just means that the blood has high levels of bilirubin. It can be due to several reasons — infection, blood destruction, gall bladder disease etc. One of the causes is primary cancer of the liver or secondary tumour deposits there.

Jaundice because of hepatitis B infection can also cause liver cancer. This can be prevented by immunisation with three doses of hepatitis B vaccine.

Source: The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Caltha palustris

Botanical Name :   Caltha palustris
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Caltha
Species: C. palustris
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Common Name :Marsh Marigold,Kingcup

Other Names:
In the UK, Caltha palustris is known by a variety of common names, varying by geographical region. These include Marsh Marigold and Kingcup (the two most frequently used common names), Mayflower, May Blobs, Mollyblobs, Pollyblobs, Horse Blob, Water Blobs, Water Bubbles, Gollins. Balfae (in Caithness) and the Publican. The common name of marigold refers to its use in churches in medieval times at Easter time as a tribute to the Virgin Mary, as in Mary gold.

The specific name palustris, Latin for “of the marsh”, indicates its common habitat.

Richard Mabey, in Flora Britannica, describes Caltha palustris thus:

Marsh-marigolds are in decline as agricultural land continues to be drained, but they are still the most three-dimensional of plants, their fleshy leaves and shiny petals impervious to wind and snow, and standing in sharp relief against the tousled brown of frostbitten grasses. Most of the plant’s surviving local names – water-blobs, molly-blobs, water-bubbles – reflect this solidity, especially the splendid, rotund ‘the publican’ from Lancashire.”

In North America Caltha palustris is sometimes known as cowslip. However, cowslip more often refers to Primula veris, the original plant to go by that name. Both are herbaceous plants with yellow flowers, but Primula veris is much smaller.

In Latvia Caltha palustris is also known as Gundega which is also used as a girls name which symbolizes fire. The word Gundega is made from 2 words – uguns (fire) and dega (burned). This refers to the burning reaction that some people experience from contact with Caltha sap

Habitat :  Caltha palustris is native to marshes, fens, ditches and wet woodland in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
It becomes most luxuriant in partial shade, but is rare on peat. In the UK, it is probably one of the most ancient British native plants, surviving the glaciations and flourishing after the last retreat of the ice, in a landscape inundated with glacial meltwaters.

Description:
Caltha palustris is a herbaceous perennial plant.Height is up to 80 centimetres (31 in) tall. The leaves are rounded to kidney-shaped, 3–20 centimetres (1.2–7.9 in) across, with a bluntly serrated margin and a thick, waxy texture. Stems are hollow.

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The flowers are yellow, 2–5 cm (1–2 in) diameter, with 4-9 (mostly 5) petal-like sepals and many yellow stamens; they appear in early spring to late summer. The flowers are visited by a great variety of insects for pollen and for the nectar secreted from small depressions, one on each side of each carpel.
Cultivation:
A plant of the waterside, it prefers growing in a sunny position in wet soils or shallow water up to 15cm deep, though it will tolerate drier conditions if there is shade from the summer sun. Another report says that it grows best in partial shade. Requires a deep rich slightly alkaline soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a chalky soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 7.5. A very ornamental and polymorphic plant, there are some named varieties. Plants often self-sow when well sited. A good bee plant. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. This species is probably the most primitive flower in the British flora.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in late summer. Stand the pots in 2 – 3cm of water to keep the soil wet. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 15°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a tray of water in a cold frame until they are at least 15cm tall. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in early spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring.

Edible Uses:
Root – must be well cooked. The raw root should not be eaten. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Flower buds – raw, cooked or pickled and used as a caper substitute. Eating the raw flower buds can lead to intoxication. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Young leaves – raw or cooked. The leaves are harvested in the spring as the plant is coming into flower and is used like spinach after cooking in two or more changes of water. Eating the raw leaves can lead to intoxication . Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Older leaves, before the plant flowers, can be eaten if they are well cooked. Some caution is advised, see the notes below on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses;
Dr. Withering described a case in which a large bouquet of marsh marigolds brought into the sickroom of a spasmodic girl stopped her fits.  The cure was presumed a result of whatever the flowers exude.  Since then, the infusions have also been used to prevent fits.  A decoction of the herb has been used for dropsy and in urinary affections. The root tea induces sweating, is an emetic and an expectorant.  The leaf tea is a diuretic and a laxative.  Ojibwas mixed tea with maple sugar to make a cough syrup that was popular with colonists.  The syrup was used as a folk antidote to snake venom.  The plant contains anemonin and protoanemonin both with marginal antitumor activity.  It has also been used to treat warts: a drop of the leaf juice was applied daily until the wart disappeared.  The Chippewa applied the dried powdered and moistened or fresh root of cowslip twice daily to cure scrofula sores.

Other Uses:…..Dye..……A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers, a saffron substitute. It is used as a dye when mixed with alum, though it is not very permanent. Plants can be grown for ground cover when planted about 45cm apart each way.

Known Hazards:-
As is the case with many members of the Ranunculaceae, all parts of the plant are poisonous and can be irritant. Skin rashes and dermatitis have been reported from excessive handling of the plant. The whole plant, but especially the older portions, contains the toxic glycoside protoanemonin – this is destroyed by heat. The sap can irritate sensitive skin.

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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caltha_palustris

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Caltha+palustris

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