Euonymus japonica

Botanical Name : Euonymus japonica

Family : Celastraceae – Bittersweet family
Genus: Euonymus L. – spindletree
Species: Euonymus japonicus Thunb. – Japanese spindletree
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision:  Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order : Celastrales

Common Names:Japanese Spindle

Habitat : Euonymus japonicus is native to Japan, Korea and China.


Description:
Euonymus japonicus is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 2–8 m tall, with opposite, oval leaves 3–7 cm long with a finely serrated margin. The flowers are inconspicuous, greenish-white, 5 mm diameter. In the fall, orange fruit hangs below the flaring pink seed coverings.
……
*Hardiness Zones: 7 to 9

*Flower/Fruit: Greenish white flowers; vinegary smell; pinkish capsule with orange seeds in fall

*Foliage: Opposite, simple, waxy, lustrous dark green leaves; 1 to 3″ long

Medicinal Uses:
The bark is used as a tonic and to aid in difficult childbirth; treats rheumatism, night sweating.  The leaf is also used in cases of difficult delivery.

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.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/shrubs/euonymus_japonicus.html

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

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=EUJA8

http://digilander.libero.it/felrig/photos/euonymus_japonica.htm

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15 House Plants You Can Use As Air Purifiers

Hereare 15 plants that could clean your air for just the price of a few drops of water each day. First let’s check some of the evidence behind the claim that plants can purify your household air:

1. NASAResearch:

A NASAresearch document came to the conclusion that “house plants can purify and rejuvenate air within our houses and workplaces, safeguarding us all fromany side effects connected with prevalent toxins such as formaldehyde, ammoniaand also benzene.”

2. InteriorPlants: Their Influence on Airborne Microbes inside Energy-efficient Buildings

In another study made in 1996,a bedroom with no plants had 50% more colonies of airborne microbes than a room which contained houseplants.

3. FoliagePlants:  For Indoor Removal of The Primary Combustion Gases Carbon Monoxide andNitrogen Dioxide

 

During a laboratory experiment in 1985, Dr. Wolverton PHD compared the removal of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide using asealed chamber of spider plants.

4. DrWolverton – Formaldehyde removal experiment

In anotherlaboratory study by Dr. Wolverton PHD, he compared a number of house plants at removing formaldehyde from a sealed chamber. Formaldehyde is a common household toxin that is released from a variety of household items.

Withreference to the experiments of Dr Wolverton and the NASA experiments,A compiled  list of 15 house plants that provide the greatest level of airpurification.

1. Areca Palm Tree:-

Click to see the picture.

The Arecapalm tree is the very best air purifying plant according to the ratings fromNASA’s research and has the 8th highest removal rate for Formaldehyde according to Dr Wolverton’s data. This house plant was referred to as“the most effective air humidifier” by MetaEfficient.com. The Areca has the ability to maintain your office or home moist throughout dry periods as well as continually removing chemical toxins from your air. In the course of the winter season, it’s so effective at putting moisture back in the airthat you could switch off your electric humidifiers!

2. Lady Palm:-

Click to see the picture

This houseplant – Lady palm (or Rhapis excelsa) achieved exactly the same rating asthe Areca Palm tree in NASA’s research. This adaptable house plant, canbe stored in dry or moist parts of the world ( between 20-100° Fahrenheit) and is particularly resistant to the majority sorts of plant insects.The Lady Palm is not the most effective at removing Formaldehyde so if this is a concernthen i would suggest you look at another plant.

You may clicl to read more
3. Bamboo Palm:-
Click to see the picture
The bamboopalm was the third most powerful plant at removing formaldehyde from the air.It ranked third in the NASA experiment so is a good all rounder at keeping yourroom air clean. This house plant will grow best in a moist but not wet soil andin direct sunlight. However this palm will require lots of room to grow, so itmight not be the best option if want this plant to sit on your desk.
You may click to read more

4. Rubber Plant

Click to see the picture
This rubberhouse plant (Ficus robusta) has been mentioned as one of the leading Twentyplants by Doctor. B.C. “Bill” Wolverton’s “50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home Or Office.” This rubber house plant provides moisture, eliminates bio effluents, takes awayvolatile organic compounds as well as suppresses air based microorganisms assoon as it’s put into a roomAs timepasses this rubber plant will become much more skilled at eliminating toxiccompounds present in the air. Bacteria within the rubber plants leaves break upthe toxins and also feast on them. The procedure subsequently emits clean airin to the surrounding environment. Since the plant grows, these microorganisms increase.This increased number of bacteria assist the rubber house plant in becoming progressively more effective at extracting further toxic compounds from theair.

5. Janet Craig – Dracaena:-
Click to see the picture
The Dracaena(or Dracaena deremensis)places fifth on NASA’s ranking with a 7.8 score. According to datait can remove Formaldehyde, at a rate of 1,328 micrograms per hour. It also removes Xylene, at a rate of 154 micrograms per hour according to http://www.earthwitchery.com/pollution.html

Recommended Placement in Home: These are especially effective in newly carpeted ornewly furnished rooms were formaldehyde levels are at the highest.

Tips to keepthis plant healthy:

*Favours vibrant light, although not direct sunlight.

*Water completely through early spring through the winter season and allow the plant’s soil to dry out in between watering

6. English Ivy:-
Click to see the picture
If your airflow in your geographical area has got stagnant and dried out, English ivy(also known as Hedera helix) may be just the solution! WebMD.com talks aboutthis effervescent house plant as “a solution for allergic reactions” observing that sixty percent of air based mold within the space was removed after just six hrsright after English ivy had been introduced.People that have allergies, asthma, or even the desire to inhale cleaner, more fresh airmight be wise to give this English ivy plant a shot!

7. Date Palm Tree:-

Click to see the picture
Although itdoes not position at the top of the purifying scale when compared to it’s three palm relatives, make no mistake: this Date palm house plant(also known as Phoenix roebelinii) remains an extremely efficient and stylish looking method to both cheer up the design of an area and reduce the content level of volatile organic compounds floating all over the air.

The Datehouse plant is very effective at getting rid of formaldehyde thus works great in combination with other purifier plants (has the second highest removal rateafter the fern plant.)
8. Ficus Alii:-
Click to see the picture
This ficusalii (also known as the Ficus macleilandii) isn’t as strong in it’spollutant-removing effectiveness as, say, a rubber plant, however it remains anexcellent addition to any kind of office or home wherever clear air is missing.Although they aren’t terribly difficult to look after, Plant CareGuru.com alerts to us that hand protection ought to be used whilst dealing with thehouse plant for those who have latex allergic reactions.

9. Boston Fern:-
Click to see the picture
The Bostonfern was the most effective plant at removing Formaldehyde and removed significantly more per hour than the rest of plants examined.Studies havealso shown that the Boston fern will also eliminate heavy metals, such as mercury and arsenic from the soil.
10. Peace Lilly:-
Click to see the picture
The PeaceLily (also known as Spathiphyllumsp.) is a perfect air purifier plant for those who don’t havegreen fingers. Peace Lilies are often found in malls because they are so easyto grow.If youscared you might kill your new house plant then I recommend you go for thisone.
11. Aloe Vera:-
Click to see the picture

Aloe verawas proven to be a lot more effective at the elimination of formaldehyde at lesser concentrations when compared with Philodendrons. Aloe vera is likewisefamous as being a healing plant acknowledged for it’s therapeuticqualities, giving it the majority of its nicknames.

12. Spider Plants:-
Click to see the picture

The spider plant was used by Dr Wolverton in his 1985 study that examined the plants removal of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. In a room with many spiderplants the amount of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide dropped to near zero after only 24 hours.

 

13.Chrysanthemum:-

Click to see the picture
Thisparticularly attractive house plant was shown to be effective at removing the VOC compound – benzene which has been known to cause cancer.

Many tobaccoproducts contain high levels of benzene so it would be helpful to have one of these plants in a smoking household. However no house plant can ever negate theeffects of tobacco smoke.Remember tobe careful with Chrysanthemum as it is poisonous when ingested or with prolonged skin exposure.
14. Heartleaf  philodendron:-
Click to see the picture
The N.A.S.A.study showed that the Philodendron house plant was one of the best house plantfor elimination formaldehyde from the surrounding air, especially when working with higher concentrations.

 

15. Snake Plants or Mother of Law Tongue:-
Click to see the picture
Snake houseplants — these types of plants tend to be incredible growers and also extremely tough. They’re excellent at eliminating the majority of toxinsplus they are quite happy to grow in areas where other plants may decline and perish ( say for example a hot window ledge). Also, they are great bathroom and darker area plants.

 

One Final Point:-
Make sure toMaintain your house plants in a good condition and make sure you have enough ofthem. The NASA research advised that there should be a six inch plant for every100 sq feet of interior living space.
Source: Jan 1 2011: Some of Nasa’s findings
http://air-purifier-reviewsite.com/blog/15-house-plants-you-can-use-as-air-purifiers/

 

 

 

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Veronica americana

Botanical Name : Veronica americana
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Veronica
Species: V. americana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names : American Brooklime or American Speedwell

Habitat : Veronica americana  is  native to temperate and arctic Asia and North America  where it grows in streams and bottomlands

Description:
It is a herbaceous perennial with glabrous stems 10–100 cm long that bear terminal or axillary racemes or spikes of soft violet flowers. The leaves are 1.5–8 cm long and 3 to 20 times as long as wide, short-petiolate, glabrous, serrate to almost entire.

• Flower size: 1/4 inch across
Flower color: blue
Flowering time: May to September

Edible Uses:
American Speedwell is edible and nutritious and is reported to have a flavor similar to watercress.

Medicinal Uses:
American speedwell is primarily used as an expectorant tea, which is said to help move bronchial congestion and make coughing more productive.  It also has astringent and diuretic qualities

Native Americans used Veronica species as an expectorant tea to alleviate bronchial congestion associated with asthma and allergies. The plant can be confused with Skullcap and other members of the mint family. Members of the mint family have square sided stems, and Veronica species have rounded stems, and are easily distinguished from skullcap

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/Veronica_americana

http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/veronicaamer.html

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

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Southernwood

Botanical Name : Artemisia abrotanum
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. abrotanum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names :Southernwood is known by many other names including Old Man, Boy’s Love, Oldman Wormwood, Lover’s Plant, Appleringie, Garderobe, Our Lord’s Wood, Maid’s Ruin, Garden Sagebrush, European Sage, Lad’s Love, Southern Wormwood, Sitherwood and Lemon Plant

Habitat :   Southernwood is found in Europe, the genus Artemisia was named for the goddess Artemis.

Description :
Southernwood is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is a flowering plant.It forms a small bushy shrub, which is widely cultivated by gardeners. The grey-green leaves are small, narrow and feathery. The small flowers are yellow. It can easily be propagated by cuttings, or by division of the roots.

It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 11-Mar It is in flower from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.

Cultivation :
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a well-drained one that is not too rich. Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.3 to 7.6. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants succeed in maritime gardens. Southernwood is often grown in the herb garden, the leaves are very aromatic. It is best to cut the plant back fairly hard every spring in order to keep it compact and encourage plenty of new growth. The plant rarely produces flowers in British gardens. A good companion plant for cabbages. It is also a good plant to grow in the orchard, where it can help to reduce insect pests. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 2 months at 15°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. Once the seedlings are more than 15cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or summer. Cuttings of young wood 8cm long, May in a frame. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame

Edible Uses:
The young shoots have a bitter, lemony flavour and are used in small quantities as a flavouring in cakes, salads and vinegars[1, 4, 7, 183, 244]. A tea is made from the young bitter shoots

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic;  AntisepticCholagogue;  Deobstruent;  EmmenagogueStomachic;  Tonic.

Southernwood has a long history of domestic herbal use, though it is now used infrequently in herbal medicine. It is a strongly aromatic bitter herb that improves digestion and liver function by increasing secretions in the stomach and intestines, it stimulates the uterus and encourages menstrual flow, lowers fevers, relaxes spasms and destroys intestinal worms. The herb, and especially the young flowering shoots, is anthelmintic, antiseptic, cholagogue, deobstruent, emmenagogue, stomachic and tonic. The main use of this herb is as an emmenagogue, though it is also a good stimulant tonic and has some nervine principle[4]. It is sometimes given to young children in order to expel parasitic worms and externally it is applied to small wounds in order to stop them bleeding and help them to heal. The herb is also used externally in aromatic bathes and as a poultice to treat skin conditions. Southernwood should be used internally with caution, see the notes above on toxicity. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy, since it can encourage menstrual flow

Southernwood is antiseptic and kills intestinal worms. It was used to treat liver, spleen and stomach problems and was believed by the 17th century herbalist Culpeper to encourage menstruation. It is seldom used medicinally today, except in Germany, where poultices are placed on wounds, splinters and skin conditions and it is employed occasionally to treat frostbite. Its constituents have been shown to stimulate the gallbladder and bile, which improves digestion and liver functions.  An infusion of the leaves is said to work as a natural insect repellent when applied to the skin or if used as a hair rinse is said to combat dandruff.

Southernwood encourages menstruation, is antiseptic and kills intestinal worms.  It was used to treat liver, spleen and stomach problems.    The leaves are mixed with other herbs in aromatic baths and is said to counter sleepiness.

Other Uses:
It can be very useful when grown in a chicken run as it helps to keep the chickens in tip top condition and helps to prevent them from ‘Feather-Picking’ (which can be lethal as they can very quickly become cannibalistic) as it helps to prevent infestation of mites and other insects that pester chickens.

A yellow dye can be extracted from the branches of the plant, for use with wool. Its dried leaves are used to keep moths away from wardrobes. Burned as an incense, southernwood guards against trouble of all kinds, and the smoke drives away snakes (Culpeper 1653). The volatile oil in the leaves is responsible for the strong, sharp, scent which repels moths and other insects. It was customary to lay sprays of the herb amongst clothes, or hang them in closets, and this is the origin of southernwood’s French name, “garderobe” (“clothes-preserver”). Judges carried posies of southernwood and rue to protect themselves from prisoners’ contagious diseases, and some church-goers relied on the herb’s sharp scent to keep them awake during long sermons.

The pungent, scented leaves and flowers are used in herbal teas. Young shoots were used to flavor pastries and puddings. In Italy, it is used as a culinary herb.

Known Hazards:
Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people

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=Artemisia+abrotanum

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

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

http://www.sunnygardens.com/garden_plants/artemisia/artemisia_3021.php

http://hsb.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dataja:Artemisia_abrotanum_-_plants_(aka).jpg

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Celtis australis

Botanical Name :Celtis australis
Family: Cannabaceae
Genus: Celtis
Species: C. australis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common NamesEuropean nettle tree, Mediterranean hackberry, lote tree, or honeyberry

Habitat : The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The Mediterranean climate is especially suitable for the plant.

In India, in the Urdu/Hindi language it is called “ber”.

This tree is also widely found in the Middle-East.

In the north of Iran this tree has a sacred aspect

Description:
Celtis australis is a deciduous tree that can grow 20 or 25 meters in height.

Leaves are Simple, alternate, and sharp-toothed are rough on top, and furry underneath, 5 to 15 cm long and dark grey/green throughout the year fading to a pale yellow before falling in autumn.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) small and green without petals, either singly or in small clusters. Not effective ornamentally.

Fruit is Small, dark-purple berry-like drupes, 1 cm wide hang in short clusters and are extremely popular with birds and other wildlife.

Bark is Smooth, gray bark develops picturesque corky warts and ridges as it matures.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves and fruit are astringent, lenitive and stomachic.Due to their astringent properties, both the leaves and fruit may be used as a remedy. Decoction of both leaves and fruit is used in the treatment of amenorrhoea, heavy menstrual and intermenstrual bleeding and colic. The decoction can also be used to astringe the mucous membranes in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery and peptic ulcers.

Other Uses:
It is often planted as an ornamental as it is resistant to air pollution and long-living. The fruit of this tree is sweet and edible, and can be eaten raw or cooked.  A yellow dye is obtained from the bark. Wood – very tough, pliable, durable. Widely used by turners. The flexible thin shoots are used as walking sticks.

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/Celtis_australis

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

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ulmaceae_-_Celtis_Australis_L..JPG

http://digilander.libero.it/ipdid/photos-eng/celtis-australis—southern-nettle-tree.htm

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Symphoricarpos (Snowberry)


Botanical Name : Symphoricarpos albus laevigatus

Family: Caprifoliaceae

Genus: Symphoricarpos

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Dipsacales

Common Names:Snowberry, Waxberry or Ghostberry

Habitat:  Symphoricarpos has 15 species of deciduous shrubs in the honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae. All species are natives of North and Central America, except one native to western China. The name of the genus is derived from the Greek words (symphorein), meaning “to bear together,” and  (karpos), meaning “fruit.” It refers to the closely packed berries the species produce.

Description:

Symphoricarpos is a deciduous shrub. Its leaves are 1.5–5 cm long, rounded, entire or with one or two lobes at the base. The flowers are small, greenish-white to pink, in small clusters of 5–15 together in most species, solitary or in pairs in some (e.g. S. microphyllus). The fruit are conspicuous, 1–2 cm in diameter, soft, varying from white (e.g. S. albus) to pink (S. microphyllus) to red (S. orbiculatus) and in one species (S. sinensis), blackish purple. When the white berries are broken open, the fruit inside looks like fine, sparkling granular snow.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:

Snowberry was commonly employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who valued it especially for the saponins it contains. These saponins can be toxic, but when applied externally they have a gentle cleansing and healing effect upon the skin, killing body parasites and helping in the healing of wounds. The Native Americans used it to treat a variety of complaints but especially as an external wash on the skin. Any internal use of this plant should be carried out with care, and preferably under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. An infusion of the stems has been drunk to treat stomach problems and menstrual disorders. A decoction of the leaves has been used in the treatment of colds. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been applied, or an infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash, in the treatment of external injuries. A weak solution of the stems and leaves has been used as a wash for children whilst a stronger solution is applied to sores. The fruit has been eaten, or used as an infusion, in the treatment of diarrhea. An infusion of the fruit has been used as an eye wash for sore eyes. The berries have been rubbed on the skin as a treatment for burns, rashes, itches and sores. The berries have also been rubbed on warts in order to get rid of them. A poultice of the crushed leaves, fruit and bark has been used in the treatment of burns, sores, cuts, chapped and injured skin.  An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of fevers (including childhood fevers), stomach aches and colds. A decoction of the root bark has been used in the treatment of venereal disease and to restore the flow of urine. An infusion of the root has been used as an eyewash for sore eyes. An infusion of the whole plant has been drunk and also applied externally in the treatment of skin rashes. A decoction of the roots and stems has been used in the treatment of the inability to urinate, venereal disease, tuberculosis and the fevers associated with teething sickness

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/Symphoricarpos

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

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Sourwood

Botanical Name : Oxydendrum arboreum
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Oxydendrum DC.
Species: O. arboreum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names : Sourwood or sorrel tree

Habitat :Sourwood is native to eastern North America, from southern Pennsylvania south to northwest Florida and west to southern Illinois; it is most common in the lower chain of the Appalachian Mountains. The tree is frequently seen as a component of oak-heath forests.

Description:
Sourwood is a small tree or large shrub, growing to 10–20 m tall (30 to 65 feet) with a trunk up to 50 cm (20 inches) diameter. Occasionally on extremely productive sites, this species can reach heights in excess of 30 meters and 60 cm diameter. The leaves are spirally arranged, deciduous, 8–20 cm (3-8 inches) long and 4–9 cm (2.5 to 3.5 inches) broad, with a finely serrated margin; they are dark green in summer, but turn vivid red in fall. The flowers are white, bell-shaped, 6–9 mm ( 1/4 to 1/3 inch) long, produced on 15–25 cm (6-10 inches) long panicles. The fruit is a small woody capsule. The roots are shallow, and the tree grows best when there is little root competition; it also requires acidic soils for successful growth. The leaves can be chewed (but should not be swallowed) to help alleviate a dry-feeling mouth.

The bark is gray with a reddish tinge, deeply furrowed and scaly. Branchlets at first are light yellow green, but later turn reddish brown. The wood is reddish brown, with paler sapwood; it is heavy, hard, and close-grained, and will take a high polish. Its specific gravity is 0.7458, with a density of 46.48 lb/cu ft.

The winter buds are axillary, minute, dark red, and partly immersed in the bark. Inner scales enlarge when spring growth begins. Leaves are alternate, four to seven inches long, 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide, oblong to ablanceolate, wedge-shaped at the base, serrate, and acute or acuminate. Leaf veins are Feather-veined, the midrib is conspicuous. They emerge from the bud revolute, bronze green and shining, and smooth; when full grown, they are dark green, shining above, and pale and glaucous below. In autumn, they turn bright scarlet. Petioles are long and slender, with stipules wanting. They are heavily laden with acid.

In June and July, perfect, cream-white flowers are borne in terminal panicles of secund racemes seven to eight inches long; rachis and short pedicels are downy. The calyx is five-parted and persistent; lobes are valvate in bud. The corolla is ovoid-cylindric, narrowed at the throat, cream-white, and five-toothed. The 10 stamens are inserted on the corolla; filaments are wider than the anthers; anthers are two-celled. The pistil is ovary superior, ovoid, and five-celled; the style is columnar; the stigma is simple; the disk is ten-toothed, and ovules are many.

The fruit is a capsule, downy, five-valved, five-angled, and tipped by the persistent style; the pedicels are curving

Medicinal Uses:
Indians boiled the leaves and gave feverish patients the liquid to drink; they also used this tea to treat the urinary ailments of older men.  A poultice of leaves mixed with bark was used to reduce swellings.  The leaves have also been considered a tonic. A tea made from the leaves has been used in the treatment of asthma, diarrhea, indigestion and to check excessive menstrual bleeding.  The bark has been chewed in the treatment of mouth ulcers.The leaves are also a laxative.

Other Uses:
The sourwood is perfectly hardy in the north and a worthy ornamental tree in lawns and parks. Its late bloom makes it desirable, and its autumnal coloring is particularly beautiful and brilliant. The leaves are heavily charged with acid, and to some extent have the poise of those of the peach.

It is renowned for nectar, and for the honey which is produced from it. Juice from its blooms is used to make sourwood jelly. The shoots were used by the Cherokee and the Catawba to make arrowshafts.

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/Oxydendrum

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

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Helenium amarum

Botanical Name : Helenium amarum
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Helenieae
Genus: Helenium
Species: H. amarum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names:yellowdicks, yellow sneezeweed, and bitter sneezeweed

Habitat :Helenium amarum is native to much of the southeastern United States and northern Mexico, and it is present elsewhere in North America as an introduced species.

Description:
Helenium amarum is a multibranched bushy erect plant reaching 20 to 70 centimeters in height and thickly foliated in narrow to threadlike leaves. The tops of stem branches hold inflorescences of many daisylike flower heads. Each head has a rounded center of golden yellow disc florets and a fringe of usually lighter yellow ray florets which are reflexed away from the center. The fruit is a tiny achene about a millimeter long. This herb is weedy in some areas. The plant is somewhat toxic to mammals and insects due to the presence of the lactone tenulin.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant has been used to cause sneezing and thus clear the nasal passages of mucus.  A decoction of the entire plant can be used in a sweat bath to treat dropsy and swellings.  It is also a strong fish poison

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/Helenium_amarum

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

http://www.sbs.utexas.edu/bio406d/images/pics/ast/helenium_amarum.htm

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Sanicula marilandica

Botanical Name : Sanicula marilandica
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Sanicula
Species: S. marilandica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Names:Maryland black snakeroot,Sanicle Sanicle. Black Snakeroot.

Habitat : Sanicula marilandica grows  in  North-eastern and Central N. America – Newfoundland to Alberta, Georgia and Colorado. Grows in rich woods, meadows and shores.

Description:
Sanicula marilandica is a perennial flowering plant.Its leaves with deeply incised lobes radiating out from the same point. Every leaf has no set number of leaflets, but commonly will have 5–7. The plant is not tall but the fruiting stalk will rise up to 2 feet, bearing green diminutive flowers in spring. In fall the fruiting stalk carries dehiscent fruit that splits, bearing small spines.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade.   Strongly dislikes poor thin soils. Prefers a loamy or calcareous soil.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no information for this species but the following notes are for the related S. europaea. Stratification improves the germination rate. If possible sow the seed in the autumn, sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. It is best to sow the seed in situ in a woodland soil under trees If seed is in short supply it is probably wise to sow it in pots of woodland soil in a shady place in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Medicinal Uses:
Considered a “cure all” by John Kloss “Although no mention has been seen for this species, the leaves of at least two other members of the genus contain saponins . Although toxic, saponins are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm, they are also destroyed by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fishbecause it possesses powerful cleansing and healing virtues, both internally and externally.”  It heals, stops bleeding, diminishes tumors.  The properties when administered seem to seek the ailment most in distress.  A tea made from the thick root has been used to treat menstrual irregularities, pain, kidney ailments, rheumatism and fevers. A decoction of the root has been used to cause vomiting in order to counteract a poison. It makes a useful gargle for treating sore mouths and throats. The powdered root has also been popularly used to treat intermittent fever and chorea (St. Vitus’ Dance). The root is also poulticed and applied to snakebites. Pharmacological studies reveal that black snakeroot contains some tannin, which causes an astringent action that may account for the use of snakeroot preparations as gargles for sore throat.  The action on the system resembles valerian

Known Hazards:
Although no mention has been seen for this species, the leaves of at least two other members of the genus contain saponins[179]. Although toxic, saponins are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm, they are also destroyed by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish

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_RST.htm

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

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

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Amaranthus hybridus

Botanical Name : Amaranthus hybridus
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Amaranthus
Species: A. hybridus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names :Smooth Amaranth, Smooth Pigweed, Red Amaranth, or Slim Amaranth

Habitat : Amaranthus hybridus was originally a pioneer plant in Eastern North America. It has been reported to have been found in every state except Wyoming, Utah, and Alaska. It is also found in many provinces of Canada, and in parts of Mexico, the West Indies, Central America, and South America. It has been naturalized in many places of warmer climate. It grows in many different places, including disturbed habitats

Description:
Amaranthus hybridus is a species of annual flowering plant. It is a weedy species. It grows from a short taproot and can be up to 2.5 m in height. It is a glabrous or glabrescent plant.

As a weed  although it is easily controlled and not particularly competitive, it is recognized as a harmful weed of North American crops.

The plant was used for food and medicine by several Native American groups and in traditional African medicine.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves are considered useful for reducing tissue swelling, and have a cleansing effect.  The plant has been used to treat dysentery, diarrhea, excessive menstrual flow, ulcers and intestinal hemorrhaging. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of intestinal bleeding, diarrhea, excessive menstruation etc

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/Amaranthus_hybridus

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

http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Show/SAfrica/sapaper/photo38.htm

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