Artemisia lactiflora

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

Common Name: White mugwort

Habitat :Artemisia lactiflora is native to E. Asia – China. It grows in forest margins, shrublands, canyons, slopes, roadsides, river banks and thickets from low elevations to 3000 metres.

Description:
Artemisia lactiflora is a vigorous clump-forming herbaceous perennial flowering plant, growing  3 to 6 ft., with plumes of creamy-white flower heads appearing in Summer and Autumn above dark green leaves. This is the only artemisia which is cultivated as much for its flowers as for its foliage. Plants grown in poor dry soil are hardier and last longer than those grown in heavy, damp soil.
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It is hardy to zone 4. 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 Wind.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit

Cultivation:      
Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly acid loamy soil, preferring a sunny position and a moisture-retentive soil. Plants are tolerant of light shade. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value. 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, making sure that 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 their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about10 – 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.

Medicinal Uses:

Emmenagogue;  Tonic.

White mugwort is a bitter aromatic tonic herb. The leaves and flowering stems are used internally in traditional Chinese medicine to treat menstrual and liver disorders.

 
Known Hazards:   The plant might be poisonous in large doses. Skin contact can cause dermatitis in some people

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

 
Resources:

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

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+lactiflora

http://www.bethchatto.co.uk/plant%20portraits%20a/artemisia%20lactiflora.html

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Artemisia franserioides

Botanical Name :Artemisia franserioides
Family : Asteraceae
Genus : Artemisia L.
Species:  Artemisia franserioides Greene
Kingdom : Plantae
Subkingdom ; Tracheobionta
Superdivision : Spermatophyta
Division ; Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Subclass : Asteridae
Order : Asterales

Common Name :Mugwort, Mountain

Habitat :Artemisia franserioides is native to North America north of Mexico.This is one of our higher elevation Sagebrushes, found at up to 10,000 feet elevation

Description:
Artemisia franserioides is a perennial herb with glabrous bipinnatifid and simply pinnatifid leaves.  Stem is Herbaceous is Not woody, lacking lignified tissues.It is flowering in the autumn.

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click to see the pictures.

Medicinal Uses:
As a cold and flu medicine it is drunk cold to settle the stomach, and hot to bring on and to reduce fever.  It also is brewed as a bitter tonic for stomach pains and acidosis from greasy and rancid foods. Also used for diarrhea.

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

Resources:

http://www.pollenlibrary.com/Specie/Artemisia+franserioides/

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARFR3

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

http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/White%20Enlarged%20Photo%20Pages/artemisia%20franserioides.htm

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Akebia quinata

Botanical Name : Akebia quinata
Family: Lardizabalaceae
Genus: Akebia
Species: A. quinata
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms : Rajania quinata.

Common Names :Chocolate Vine or Five-leaf Akebia

Habitat : Akebia quinata is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea. It grows in woods, hedges and thickets in mountainous areas. Forest margins along streams, scrub on mountain slopes at elevations of 300 – 1500 metres in China.

Description:
Akebia quinata is a deciduous Climber growing to 12 m (39ft 4in) at a fast rate.It has compound leaves with five leaflets. The inflorescences are clustered in racemes and are chocolate-scented, with three or four sepals. The fruits are sausage-shaped pods which contain edible pulp..

 

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It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)The plant is not self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation :    
Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil. Prefers a good loamy soil. Succeeds in acid or alkaline soils. Prefers partial shade but succeeds in full sun. Succeeds on north facing walls. Plants are fast growing and can be invasive. Dormant plants are hardy to about -20°c but they can be somewhat tender when young. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. This species grows very well in S.W. England. Plants are evergreen in mild winters. Resentful of root disturbance, either grow the plants in containers prior to planting them out or plant them out whilst very young. Plants are not normally pruned, if they are growing too large they can be cut back by trimming them with shears in early spring. The flowers have a spicy fragrance, reminiscent of vanilla. Plants are shy to fruit, they possibly require some protection in the flowering season, hand pollination is advisable. Plants are probably self-sterile, if possible at least 2 plants should be grown, each from a different source. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.

                                                     
Propagation : 
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Surface sow in a light position. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 15°c. Stored seed should be given 1 month cold stratification and can be very difficult to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. The cuttings can be slow to root. Cuttings can also be taken of soft wood in spring. Root cuttings, December in a warm greenhouse. Layering in early spring. Very easy, the plants usually self-layer and so all you need to do is dig up the new plants and plant them out directly into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Leaves.
Edible Uses: Tea.
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Fruit – raw. Sweet but insipid. The fruit has a delicate flavour and a soft, juicy texture. Lemon juice is sometimes added to the fruit to enhance the flavour. The bitter skin of the fruit is fried and eaten. The fruit is 5 – 10cm long and up to 4m wide. Soft young shoots are used in salads or pickled. The leaves are used as a tea substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne;  Antiphlogistic;  Bitter;  Cancer;  Contraceptive;  Depurative;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  FebrifugeGalactogogue;
Laxative;  Resolvent;  Stimulant;  Stomachic;  Vulnerary.

The stems are anodyne, antifungal, antiphlogistic, bitter, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, laxative, galactogogue, resolvent, stimulant, stomachic and vulnerary. Taken internally, it controls bacterial and fungal infections and is used in the treatment of urinary tract infections, lack of menstruation, to improve lactation etc. The stems are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The fruit is antirheumatic, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge, stomachic and tonic. It is a popular remedy for cancer. The root is febrifuge. The plant was ranked 13th in a survey of 250 potential antifertility plants in China.

In the Chinese pharmacopoeia it is believed to be therapeutic as a diuretic, antiphlogistic, galactagogue and analgesic. The principal use of the herb in China is as a traditional remedy for insufficient lactation in nursing mothers. The medicinal part of the plant is the woody stem which is sliced in transverse sections and prepared as a decoction. The stem contains approximately 30% potassium salts thus giving the diuretic action.

A popular traditional remedy for insufficient lactation in nursing mothers is to simmer 10-15 grams of this herb together with pork knuckles for 3 hours, adding water as needed, then drinking the herbal broth throughout the day.

Other Uses:
The gelatinous placentation are littered with seeds but have a sweet flavor, so they used to be enjoyed by children playing out in the countryside in the olden days in Japan. The rind, with a slight bitter taste, is used as vegetable, e.g., stuffed with ground meat and deep-fried. The vines are traditionally used for basket-weaving .

In China A. quinata is referred to as (“mù tung” (Pinyin) or “mu tung” (Wade-Giles)) meaning “perforated wood”. It is also occasionally known as (“tong cao” (Pinyin) or “tung tsao” (Wade-Giles)) meaning “perforated grass”.

A. quinata is listed in the National Pest Plant Accord list which identifies pest plants that are prohibited from sale, commercial propagation and distribution across New Zealand.

The peeled stems are very pliable and can be used in basket making. Plants have sometimes been used as a ground cover, but their method of growth does not really lend themselves to this use.

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

Resources:

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

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Akebia+quinata

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

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Mentha australis

Botanical Name : Mentha australis
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Species: M. australis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name : River mint

Habitat : Mentha australis is a native of eastern Australia, occurring in every state and territory except Western Australia.It grows along streams, usually in semi-shade, in inland areas

Description:
Mentha australis is a Perennial herb  growing to 0.5m.It has soft, aromatic leaves from 25 – 60 mm long, lance shaped and tapering to a point. The leaf margins are toothed. Small white to lilac flowers are seen in the upper leaf axils during summer and autumn.
It is hardy to zone 0 and is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay 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 do not have much information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry. Prefers a slightly acid soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but succeeds in partial shade. Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The whole plant has a mint-like aroma. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion plant for growing near cabbages and tomatoes, helping to deter pests. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division[K]. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.

Medicinal Uses:
Abortifacient; Antiseptic; Carminative; Febrifuge.

Like many other members of this genus, this species is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its antiseptic properties and its beneficial effect on the digestion. Like other members of the genus, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause an abortion. A tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses and can cause abortions.

Mentha australis is widespread in inland areas of Australia and was used as a medicinal plant by the Aborigines.  It was boiled in water and used for the relief of coughs and colds.  It is recorded the plant was used by the Aborigines to induce abortions.  It was also used by early settlers as a tonic. A tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses and can cause abortions.

Other Uses:
Essential; Repellent; Strewing.

The leaves contain about 0.2% of an essential oil. It is a coarse peppermint[152]. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.

Scented Plants
Plant: Crushed Dried
The whole plant has a mint-like aroma.

Known Hazards:   Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised

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

Resources:

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Mentha+australis

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mentha+australis

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

http://anpsa.org.au/m-aus.html

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Mentha longifolia

Botanical Name : Mentha longifolia
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Species: M. longifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms:  M. sylvestris. M. incana.

Common Name :Horsemint

Habitat :Mentha longifolia is native to Central and southern Europe, including Britain, Mediterranean region, Siberia. Grows in waste places and damp roadsides.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

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There are seven subspecies:

1.Mentha longifolia subsp. longifolia. Europe, northwest Africa.
2.Mentha longifolia subsp. capensis (Thunb.) Briq. Southern Africa.
3.Mentha longifolia subsp. grisella (Briq.) Briq. Southeastern Europe.
4.Mentha longifolia subsp. noeana (Briq.) Briq. Turkey east to Iran.
5.Mentha longifolia subsp. polyadena (Briq.) Briq. Southern Africa.
6.Mentha longifolia subsp. typhoides (Briq.) Harley. Northeast Africa, southwest Asia.
7.Mentha longifolia subsp. wissii (Launert) Codd. Southwestern Africa.

It has been widely confused with tomentose variant plants of Mentha spicata; it can be distinguished from these by the hairs being simple unbranched, in contrast to the branched hairs of M. spicata.

Like almost all mints, Mentha longifolia can be invasive. Care needs to be taken when planting it in non-controlled areas.

It is hardy to zone 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Cultivation:   
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but the plants also succeed in partial shade. There is some confusion over the name of this plant, it appears in the British flora but according to Flora Europaea it is not found in Britain. Sometimes cultivated for its leaves, there are some named varieties. Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The whole plant has a mint-like aroma. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion plant for growing near cabbages and tomatoes, helping to keep them free of insect pests. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:       
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer

Edible Uses:    
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

Leaves – raw or cooked. Peppermint-scented, they are used as a flavouring in salads, chutneys and cooked foods. A herb tea is made from the leaves. An essential oil obtained from the leaves and flowering tops is used as a food flavouring in sweets etc. A peppermint-like taste.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiasthmatic;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Carminative;  Stimulant.

Horsemint, like many other members of this genus, is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its antiseptic properties and its beneficial effect on the digestion. Like other members of the genus, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause an abortion. The leaves and flowering stems are antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, carminative and stimulant. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.

A popular traditional medicine. It is mainly used for respiratory ailments but many other uses have also been recorded. It is mostly the leaves that are used, usually to make a tea that is drunk for coughs, colds, stomach cramps, asthma, flatulence, indigestion and headaches. Externally, wild mint has been used to treat wounds and swollen glands. The infusion of leaves is taken as a cooling medicine. Dried leaves and flowers tops are carminative and stimulant. It is believed to the best remedy for headaches.  In parts of Africa it is used for opthalmatic diseases.  The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use.  It will make a soothing drink for coughs and colds.  The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses. Externally it has been used to treat wounds and swollen glands.
 
Other Uses  :
Essential;  Repellent;  Strewing.

The leaves contain about 0.57% essential oil. It is sometimes used as a substitute for peppermint oil in confectionery. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.
Known Hazards:  Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.

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

Resources:

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

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mentha+longifolia

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

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Mint

Botanical Name : Mentha spp
Family: Lamiaceae
Tribe: Mentheae
Genus: Mentha
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name:Mint

Habitat : Mentha spp has subcosmopolitan distribution across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and North America.While the species that make up the Mentha genus are widely distributed and can be found in many environments, most Mentha grow best in wet environments and moist soils. Mints will grow 10–120 cm tall and can spread over an indeterminate area. Due to their tendency to spread unchecked, mints are considered invasive.

Description:
Mints are aromatic, almost exclusively perennial, rarely annual, herbs. They have wide-spreading underground and overground stolons and erect, square, branched stems. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, from oblong to lanceolate, often downy, and with a serrate margin. Leaf colors range from dark green and gray-green to purple, blue, and sometimes pale yellow.  The flowers are white to purple and produced in false whorls called verticillasters. The corolla is two-lipped with four subequal lobes, the upper lobe usually the largest. The fruit is a small, dry capsule containing one to four seeds.

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You may click to see different species of Mint

Cultivation :
Mentha x gracilis and M. rotundifolia. The steel ring is to control the spread of the plant.All mints prefer, and thrive in, cool, moist spots in partial shade. In general, mints tolerate a wide range of conditions, and can also be grown in full sun.

They are fast growing, extending their reach along surfaces through a network of runners. Due to their speedy growth, one plant of each desired mint, along with a little care, will provide more than enough mint for home use. Some mint species are more invasive than others. Even with the less invasive mints, care should be taken when mixing any mint with any other plants, lest the mint take over. To control mints in an open environment, mints should be planted in deep, bottomless containers sunk in the ground, or planted above ground in tubs and barrels.

Some mints can be propagated by seed. Growth from seed can be an unreliable method for raising mint for two reasons: mint seeds are highly variable – one might not end up with what one presupposed was planted; and some mint varieties are sterile. It is more effective to take and plant cuttings from the runners of healthy mints.

The most common and popular mints for cultivation are peppermint (Mentha × piperita), spearmint (Mentha spicata), and (more recently) apple mint (Mentha suaveolens).

Mints are supposed to make good companion plants, repelling pest insects and attracting beneficial ones. Mints are susceptible to whitefly and aphids.

Harvesting of mint leaves can be done at any time. Fresh mint leaves should be used immediately or stored up to a couple of days in plastic bags within a refrigerator. Optionally, mint can be frozen in ice cube trays. Dried mint leaves should be stored in an airtight container placed in a cool, dark, dry area.

Edible Uses:
The leaf, fresh or dried, is the culinary source of mint. Fresh mint is usually preferred over dried mint when storage of the mint is not a problem. The leaves have a warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste. Mint leaves are used in teas, beverages, jellies, syrups, candies, and ice creams. In Middle Eastern cuisine, mint is used on lamb dishes, while in British cuisine and American cuisine, mint sauce and mint jelly are used, respectively.

Mint is a necessary ingredient in Touareg tea, a popular tea in northern African and Arab countries.

Alcoholic drinks sometimes feature mint for flavor or garnish, such as the mint julep and the mojito. Crème de menthe is a mint-flavored liqueur used in drinks such as the grasshopper.

Mint essential oil and menthol are extensively used as flavorings in breath fresheners, drinks, antiseptic mouth rinses, toothpaste, chewing gum, desserts, and candies; see mint (candy) and mint chocolate. The substances that give the mints their characteristic aromas and flavors are menthol (the main aroma of Peppermint and Japanese Peppermint) and pulegone (in Pennyroyal and Corsican Mint). The compound primarily responsible for the aroma and flavor of spearmint is R-carvone.

Medicinal Uses:
Ayurvedic physicians have used mint for centuries as a tonic and digestive aid and as a treatment for colds, cough, and fever.  Medieval German abbess/herbalist Hildegard of Bingen recommended mint for digestion and gout.  Shortly after Culpeper wrote about the benefits of mint, peppermint and spearmint were differentiated, and herbalists decided the former was the better digestive aid, cough remedy, and treatment for colds and fever.  Spearmint cannot replace peppermint in combined bile and liver or nerve herbal teas even though it is used as a stomachic and carminative.

The Chinese use bo he ( M. arvensis) as a cooling remedy for head colds and influenza and also for some types of headaches, sore throats, and eye inflammations.  As a liver stimulant, it is added to remedies for digestive disorders or liver qi (energy) stagnation).  Disperses wind-heat: for patterns of wind-heat with fever, headache and cough.  Clears the head and eyes and benefits the throat: for patterns of wind-heat with sore throat, red eyes, and headache.  Vents rashes: used in the early stages of rashes such as measles to induce the rash to come to the surface and thereby speed recovery.

Peppermint also contains antioxidants that help prevent cancer, heart disease and other diseases associated with aging.  From Jim Duke’s “Green Pharmacy” comes a Stone Tea for gallstone attach:  brew a mint tea from as many mints as possible especially spearmint and peppermint and add some cardamom, the richest source of borneol, another compound that is helpful.
The oil of peppermint has been shown to be antimicrobial and antiviral against Newcastle disease, herpes simplex, vaccinia, Semliki Forest and West Nile viruses.

Menthol is an allergic sensitizer that may cause hives.  The menthol in oil of peppermint is an effective local anesthetic.  It increases the sensitivity of the receptors in the skin that perceive the sensation of coolness and reduces the sensitivity of the receptors that perceive pain and itching.  Menthol is also a counterirritant, an agent that causes the small blood vessels under the skin to dilate, increasing the flow of blood to the area and making the skin feel warm.  When you apply a skin lotion made with menthol, your skin feels cool for a minutes, then warm.  Menthol’s anesthetic properties also make it useful in sprays and lozenges for sore throats.

Other Uses:
Used asinsecticide :  Mint oil is  used as an environmentally-friendly insecticide for its ability to kill some common pests like wasps, hornets, ants and cockroaches.

Used as Room Scent and Aromatherapy:  Known in Greek Mythology as the herb of hospitality, one of the first known uses for mint in Europe was as a room deodorizer. The herb was strewn across floors to cover the smell of the hard-packed soil. Stepping on the mint helped to spread its scent through the room. Today, it is more commonly used for aromatherapy through the use of essential oils

Mints are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Buff Ermine.

Taxonomy:
Mentha is a member of the tribe Mentheae in the subfamily Nepetoideae. The tribe contains about 65 genera and relationships within it remain obscure. Different authors have disagreed on the circumscription of Mentha. Some authors have excluded Mentha cervina from the genus. Mentha cunninghamii has also been excluded by some authors, even in some recent treatments of the genus. In 2004, a molecular phylogenetic study indicated that both of these species should be included in Mentha.

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/Mentha

Montia perfoliata

Botanical Name :Montia perfoliata
Family: Portulacaceae
Genus: Claytonia
Species: C. perfoliata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonims:Claytonia perfoliata

Common Names:Miner’s lettuce, Winter Purslane, or Indian lettuce

Habitat:Montia perfoliata is  native to the western mountain and coastal regions of North America from southernmost Alaska and central British Columbia south to Central America, but most common in California in the Sacramento and northern San Joaquin valleys.It is widely naturalized in western Europe, where it was introduced in 1749.

Description:
Montia perfoliata is a trailing plant, growing to a maximum of 40 cm in length, but mature plants can be as small as 1 cm. The cotyledons are usually bright green (rarely purplish or brownish-green), succulent, long and narrow. The first true leaves form a rosette at the base of the plant, and are 0.5-4 cm long, with an often long petiole (exceptionally up to 20 cm long).
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The small pink or white flowers have five petals 2-6 mm long; they appear from February to May or June, and are grouped 5-40 together above a pair of leaves that are united together around the stem to appear as one circular leaf. Mature plants have numerous erect to spreading stems that branch from the base.

It is common in the spring, and it prefers cool, damp conditions. It first appears in sunlit areas after the first heavy rains. Though, the best stands are found in shaded areas, especially in the uplands, into the early summer. As the days get hotter, the leaves turn a deep red color as they dry out.

Edible Uses;
It can be eaten as a leaf vegetable. Most commonly it is eaten raw in salads, but it is not quite as delicate as other lettuce. Sometimes it is boiled like spinach, which it resembles in taste.

Medicinal Uses:
Apart from its value as a nourishing vegetable, miner’s lettuce, like its relative purslane, may be taken as a spring tonic and an effective diuretic.Montia perfoliata  used by California Gold Rush miners who ate it to get their vitamin C to prevent scurvy.

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/Claytonia_perfoliata

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

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SOME HEALTHY TIPS

HEALTH BENEFITS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGER….
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In India, Ayurvedic physicians prescribe apple cider vinegar in combination with the herb Gotu Kola to help in the revitalizing of the skin. Indians have been known to consume apple cider vinegar in combination with honey to improve digestion.
It contributes greatly to the breaking down of food in the body and also prevents harmful bacteria from multiplying. Even respiratory infections can be kept at bay, sore throats improve, and nasal discharges decrease.

The benefits of apple cider vinegar have been proclaimed by the ancient Egyptians and have been traditionally used by them to treat ailments of all kinds. In fact they believed apple cider acted as a tonic improving the circulation and flow of blood.

Apples are allowed to ferment and this fermented fruit acid, which is loaded with pectin and minerals like potassium, chlorine, magnesium, sodium and calcium, seems to be a panacea. In addition it contains vitamins and beta-carotene. In fact experiments have proved that it contains carbolic acids, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols and acetates also.

It is no wonder than that the health benefits of apple cider vinegar are infinite. Pectin in the apples is a fiber, which attaches itself to cholesterol globules, and when combined with the herb centella aids in getting rid of bad cholesterol and helps in regulating blood pressure.  This fruit acid is often used by some as a final hair-rinse.

A look at how the minerals contribute to the overall health of a person is very fascinating. The potassium present in apple cider vinegar is vital because it helps to remove the excess water and also the toxic waste. The excess of sodium is also drawn out and it helps to regulate blood pressure.
Calcium, which is important for the bones and for combating osteoporosis, is an important constituent of apple cider vinegar. The beta carotene actually is supposed to help people to retain their youth longer as it counters effectively the damage made by free radicals..

The virtues of apple cider vinegar seem to extend itself beyond normal peripheries. Every constituent seems to play an important role. The malic acid and acetic acid present help to combat fungal and bacterial infections and relieves painful joints. The malic acid dissolves the deposits of uric acid, which form around the joints, and slowly pushes the acid deposits out of the body. It seems to even have some effect on viruses.

The amino acids present in apple cider vinegar act as an antibiotic and an antiseptic. It has been known to drastically reduce the toxicity in the body. This is because the acetic acid is able to form acetate compounds, which are not so toxic. This property makes it very useful while treating insect bites and skin allergies.

Arthritis has plagued people for centuries and apple cider combined with centella actually relieves pain due to arthritis. By Strengthening arteries and assisting in healing of wounds, improving skin lesions and reducing the effects of varicose veins, apple cider vinegar has been elevated to the status of a total health benefit product. It reduces stress and tension and revitalizes the body. The health benefits of  apple cider vinegar just cannot be ignored.

Apple cider vinegar speeds up metabolism especially when taken regularly before meals and if used in conjunction with a sensible diet and exercise program it can be a powerful aid in keeping your weight under control.. Apple cider vinegar has less salt, less sugar and less fat, helps in digestion and helps in the metabolism of food. If the metabolic activity increases, then more food is used to get energy and less of it is stored as fat. So if you want to lose weight, use apple cider vinegar.

Possibly what contributes to the all round potency of apple cider vinegar is the number of enzymes and organic acids produced during the 2 fermentations.  apple cider vinegar is claimed to be a  natural multi vitamin and mineral treasure house. Even Hippocrates—the father of medicine acknowledged the wonderful healing properties of apple cider vinegar.  ~ author Lata Batra..

HEALTH BENEFITS OF FLAXSEED OIL……..
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Flaxseed oil contains lignans, which can be used to counter hormone related problems and ward off the ill effects of certain, bacteria and fungi. Studies, which have been conducted show that the health benefits of flaxseed oil are extensive. It controls high blood pressure, helps to lower cholesterol and guards against heart disease. Flaxseed oil also protects against angina and could prevent a second heart attack. The health benefits of flaxseed oil also extend to combating inflammation due to gout, lupus and also inflammation in the joints and kidneys. Flaxseed oil reduces the intensity of joint pain and also reduces joint swelling. The omega 3 acids present in flaxseed oil helps to absorb the iodine and this is very useful in treating conditions where this element is present in small amounts.

Surprisingly, flaxseed oil is also useful in controlling constipation. The dietary fiber content in the oil is considerable and helps to ease bowel movements. As it has been known to combat inflammation, it is useful in repairing any intestinal tract damage. It has been known to keep those gallstones at bay and sometimes dissolve existing stones.

Problems associated with the skin have a ready remedy in flaxseed oil. The EFAs target the sites of inflammation and brings about an overall soothing. Acne, eczema, psoriasis, sunburn and rosacea have all been known to respond favorably to flaxseed oil. The omega 3 acids ensure healthy hair and nails and it also helps to revitalize skin and prevents nails from cracking and breaking.

Flaxseed oil helps to reduce the severity of nerve damage and also aids in the triggering of nerve impulses. As it nourishes the nerve, it may possibly be of some use in the treating of Parkinson’s disease. It helps to combat the effects of aging and the lignans present in the oil guard against cancer. Sprains and bruises heal faster on the application of flaxseed oil. Another important area where it is of great help is the brain. The omega 3 fatty acids help retain emotional health of a person, helping to tackle depression and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. Used externally, it can soften dry skin. The gel of flaxseed has been used as a poultice on injured areas in many Indian homes.. In fact, rural India  has been advocating the use of flaxseed oil for quite a long time.

The oil is used in cooking and is ingested in the capsule form for various other disorders. 2-3 grams of flaxseed oil is good although no side effects have been detected with people who consume more. Flaxseeds themselves can be crushed and used along with beverages, bread and other baked products. The oil should however be kept away from heat and light. In the light of so many advantages, it actually seems worthwhile to do away with vegetable oils and replace it with flaxseed oil. The health benefits afforded by flaxseed oil almost makes it out to be a miracle oil.

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

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HEALTH ALERT

SOME CAUSES OF BRAIN DAMAGE…………………
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1.           No Breakfast  People who do not take breakfast are going to have a lower blood sugar level. This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration.

      
2.           Overeating:   It causes hardening of the brain arteries, leading to a decrease in mental power.

3.           Smoking :   It causes multiple brain shrinkage and may lead to Alzheimer disease.

4.           High Sugar consumption:   Too much sugar will interrupt the absorption of proteins and nutrients causing malnutrition and may interfere with brain development.

5.           Air Pollution  The brain is the largest oxygen consumer in our 20 body. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain, bringing about a decrease in brain efficiency.

6.           Sleep Deprivation :   Sleep allows our brain to rest… Long term deprivation from sleep will accelerate the death of brain cells…

7.           Head covered while sleeping :   Sleeping with the head covered increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decrease concentration of oxygen that may lead to brain damaging effects.

8.           Working your brain during illness :   Working hard or studying with sickness may lead to a decrease in effectiveness of the brain as well as damage the brain.

9.           Lacking in stimulating thoughts:   Thinking is the best way to train our brain, lacking in brain stimulation thoughts may cause brain shrinkage.

10.       Talking Rarely :   Intellectual conversations will promote the efficiency of the brain.

 

SOME CAUSES OF LIVER DAMAGE
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1.           Sleeping too late and waking up too late are main cause.
   
2.           Not urinating in the morning.
   
3.           Too much eating.
   
4.           Skipping breakfast.
   
5.           Consuming too much medication.
   
6.           Consuming too much preservatives, additives, food colouring, and artificial sweetener.
 
7.           Consuming unhealthycooking oil. As much as possible reduce cooking oil when frying, which includes even the best cooking oils like olive oil. Do not consume fried foods when you are tired, except if the body is very fit.

8.           Consuming raw (overly done) foods also add to the burden of liver. Veggies should be eaten raw or cooked 3-5 parts. Fried veggies should be finished in one sitting, do not store.

We should prevent this without necessarily spending more. We just have to adopt a good daily lifestyle and eating habits. Maintaining good eating habits and time condition are very important for our bodies to absorb and get rid of unnecessary chemicals according to ‘schedule.’

TOP FIVE CANCER CAUSING FOODS
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1.     Hot Dogs.……
Because they are high in nitrates, the Cancer Prevention Coalition advises that children eat no more than 12 hot dogs a month. If you can’t live without hot dogs, buy those made withoutsodium nitrate.

2.     Processed meats and Bacon……
Also high in the same sodium nitrates found inhot dogs, bacon, and other processed meats raise the risk of heart disease. The saturated fat in bacon also contributes to cancer.

3.     Doughnuts……..
Doughnuts are cancer-causing double trouble. First, they are made with white flour, sugar, andhydrogenated oils, then fried at high temperatures. Doughnuts may be the worst food you can possibly eat to raise your risk of cancer.

4.     French fries……
Like doughnuts, French fries are made withhydrogenated oils and then fried at high temperatures. They also contain cancer- causing acryl amides which occur during the frying process. They should be called cancer fries, not French fries.

5.     Chips, crackers, and cookies………….
All are usually made with white flour and sugar. Even the ones whose labels claim to be free of trans-fats generally contain small amounts of trans-fats.

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Asclepias physocarpa

Botanical Name: Asclepias physocarpa
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Asclepias
Species: A. physocarpa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Name:Balloonplant, Balloon cotton-bush or Swan plant or South African Milkweed

Habitat : Asclepias physocarpa is native to southeast Africa, but it has been widely naturalized.

Description:
Asclepias physocarpa is an undershrub perennial herb, that can grow to over six feet. The plant blooms in warm months. It grows on roadside banks, at elevations of 2800 to 5000 feet above sea level. The plant prefers moderate moisture, as well as sandy and well-drained soil and full sun.

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The flowers are small, with white hoods and about 1 cm across. The capsule is a pale green, and in shape an inflated sphere. It is covered with rough hairs. It reaches three inches in diameter. The leaves are light green, linear to lanceolate and 3 to 4 inches long, 1.2 cm broad. The seeds have silky tufts.

This plant will readily hybridize with Asclepias fruticosa creating intermediate forms

Medicinal Uses:
Asclepias physocarpa is used for intestinal troubles in children or as a remedy for colds.  The powdered leaves were dried for snuff.

Other Usees:
Asclepias physocarpa plant  is often used as an ornamental plant. The name “balloonplant” is an allusion to the swelling bladder-like pods which are full of seeds.

The plant is a food source for the caterpillars of Danaus butterflies, and is a specific Monarch butterfly food and habitat plant. It is also popular in traditional medicine to cure various ailments.

All of the milkweeds are named for a milky sap in the plant’s stem and leaves. After the Monarch caterpillar has metamorphosed into a butterfly, the alkaloids from the sap they ingested from the plant are retained in the butterfly, making it unpalatable to predators

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/Asclepias_physocarpa

http://www.jardineiro.net/plantas/flor-borboleta-asclepias-physocarpa.html

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