Ruscus aculeatus

Botanical Name: Ruscus aculeatus
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Nolinoideae
Genus: Ruscus
Species: R. aculeatus
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:  Ruscus flexuosus. Ruscus laxus. Ruscus parasiticus. Ruscus ponticus

Common Names:Butcher’s Broom,Kneeholy, Knee Holly, Kneeholm,Jew’s Myrtle,Sweet Broom,Pettigree, Hare’s apple (in greek)

Habitat :Ruscus aculeatus is native to western and southern Europe from Britain to Switzerland, south to the Mediterranean. It occurs in woodlands and hedgerows, where it is tolerant of deep shade, and also on coastal cliffs. It is also widely planted in gardens, and has spread as a garden escape in many areas outside its native range.

Description:
Ruscus aculeatus is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a slow rate  with flat shoots known as cladodes that give the appearance of stiff, spine-tipped leaves.
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jan to April, and the seeds ripen from Aug to March. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is not self-fertile.

 

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The female flowers are followed by a red berry, and the seeds are bird-distributed, but the plant also spreads vegetatively by means of rhizomes

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:      
Tolerant of most soils, including chalky and heavy clay soils. Prefers a shady position, tolerating dense dry shade and bad growing conditions, including the drip-line of trees. Dislikes much wetness at the roots. Established plants are drought resistant. A very hardy plant, when fully dormant it can tolerate temperatures down to about -25°c. Plants have a slowly creeping tough rootstock and eventually form large clumps. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Plants are unusual in that the flowers are produced from the middle of the leaf. Although normally dioecious, some hermaphrodite forms are known. One of these is called ‘Sparkler’. Male and female plants must usually be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:      
Seed – sow the seed thinly in early spring in a cold frame in light shade. The seed germinates better if it is given a period of cold stratification. Germination can be rather slow, sometimes taking 12 months or more. Grow the seedlings on in the pot in light shade in the greenhouse for their first growing season, giving occasional liquid feeds to ensure they do not suffer nutrient deficiencies. Prick them out into individual pots in the following spring and grow them on for at least another year in the pots before planting them out in early summer. Be very sure to protect the seedlings from slugs. Division as the plant comes into growth in early 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.

Edible Uses:
Young shoots – cooked. They are harvested in the spring as they grow through the soil and used as an asparagus substitute. The taste is pungent and rather bitter. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute

Medicinal Uses:
Antipruritic;  Aperient;  Deobstruent;  Depurative;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Vasoconstrictor.

Butcher’s broom has been known to enhance blood flow to the brain, legs, and hands. It has been used to relieve constipation and water retention and improve circulation. Since Butcher’s broom tightens blood vessels and capillaries, it is used to treat varicose veins.

It is also used for hemorrhoids. In a 1999 open-label (not blinded) clinical trial, the herb was tested as a hemorrhoid treatment and showed statistically significant positive results It also showed reduction in venous insufficiency in two other studies. It was approved by the German Commission E guidelines for hemorrhoids treatment It is occasionally prescribed for varicose veins which can be a complication of pregnancy. However, since it is classified as a natural product, there is no evidence or trials to suggest complete safety for the fetus. A qualified healthcare practitioner should be consulted prior to using this compound during pregnancy.

A study published in 1999 suggested that Butcher’s Broom may also improve symptoms of postural hypotension without increasing supine blood pressure. Suggested mechanisms to explain this include stimulation of venous alpha 1 and 2 adrenoreceptors and decreased capillary permeability.

Other Uses  
Broom;  Scourer.

Mature shoots are bound into bunches and used as scourers or as besoms.

Known Hazards:   The berries are purgative. Caution required if used in patients on treatment for high blood pressure. An increase in tone of veins can influence blood pressure allowing more blood to flow to the heart.

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ruscus+aculeatus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruscus_aculeatus

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Boswellia thurifera

Botanical Name :Boswellia thurifera
Family : Buseraceae
Genus : Species Boswellia thurifera

Common Names:   Boswellia (Frankincense) , Olibanum, Indian Frankincense, Arabic Frankincense, and Salai guggal

Habitat: Boswellia thurifera  is native to  Arabia, East Africa (particularly Oman, Socotra, Somalia)

Description:
Frankincense is tapped from the small drought-hardy Boswellia trees by slashing the bark, which is called striping, and allowing the exuded resin to bleed out and harden. These hardened resins are called tears. There are several species and varieties of frankincense trees, each producing a slightly different type of resin. Differences in soil and climate create even more diversity of the resin, even within the same species.

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Boswellia Sacra trees are considered unusual for their ability to grow in environments so unforgiving that they sometimes grow out of almost solid rock. Attachment to the rock is accomplished by a bulbous disk-like swelling of the trunk. This feature is slight or absent in trees grown in rocky soil or gravel. The tears from trees growing on rock are considered superior for their more fragrant aroma.

The trees start producing resin when they are about eight to 10 years old. Tapping is done two to three times a year with the final taps producing the best tears due to their higher aromatic terpene, sesquiterpene and diterpene content. Generally speaking, the more opaque resins are the best quality. Fine resin is produced in Yemen and along the northern coast of Somalia, from which the Roman Catholic Church draws its supplies.

Recent studies have indicated that frankincense tree populations are declining, partly due to over-exploitation. Heavily tapped trees produce seeds that germinate at only 16% while seeds of trees that had not been tapped germinate at more than 80%. In addition, burning, grazing, and attacks by the longhorn beetle have reduced the tree population.[4] Conversion (clearing) of frankincense woodlands to agriculture is also a major threat

Quality:
Frankincense comes in many types, and its quality is based on color, purity, aroma, age, and shape. Silver and Hojari are generally considered the highest grades of frankincense. The Omanis themselves generally consider Silver to be a better grade than Hojari, though most Western connoisseurs think that it should be the other way round.[citation needed] This may be due to climatic conditions with the Hojari smelling best in the relatively cold, damp climate of Europe and North America, whereas Silver may well be more suited to the hot dry conditions of Arabia.
click to see Frankincense
Local market information in Oman suggests that the term Hojari encompasses a broad range of high-end frankincense including Silver. Resin value is determined not only by fragrance but also by color and clump size, with lighter color and larger clumps being more highly prized. The most valuable Hojari frankincense locally available in Oman is even more expensive than Somalia’s Maydi frankincense derived from B. frereana (see below). The vast majority of this ultra-high-end B. sacra frankincense is purchased by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said the ruler of Oman, and is notoriously difficult for western buyers to correctly identify and purchase.

Currently, there are two dissertations which may enable the identification of a few Olibanum species according to their specific secondary metabolism products

Chemical constituents:
These are some of the chemical compounds present in frankincense:

*”acid resin (56 per cent), soluble in alcohol and having the formula C20H32O4″

*gum (similar to gum arabic) 30–36%

*3-acetyl-beta-boswellic acid (Boswellia sacra)

*alpha-boswellic acid (Boswellia sacra)

*4-O-methyl-glucuronic acid (Boswellia sacra)

*incensole acetate

*phellandrene

Medicinal Uses:
Frankincense is used in perfumery and aromatherapy. The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the dry resin. Some of the smell of the frankincense smoke are products of pyrolysis.

Frankincense is used in many Christian churches including the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Catholic churches. According to the gospel of Matthew 2:11, gold, frankincense, and myrrh were among the gifts to Jesus by the biblical magi “from out of the East.” The Judaic, Christian and Islamic faiths have used frankincense mixed with oils to anoint newborn infants and individuals.

Conversely, the growth of Christianity depressed the market for frankincense during the 4th century AD. Desertification made the caravan routes across the Rub’ al Khali or “Empty Quarter” of the Arabian Peninsula more difficult. Additionally, increased raiding by the nomadic Parthians in the Near East caused the frankincense trade to dry up after A.D. 300.
click to see Boswellia sacra tree, from which frankincense is derived, growing inside Biosphere 2

Traditional medicine:
Frankincense resin is edible and is used in traditional medicines in Asia for digestion and healthy skin. For internal consumption, it is recommended that frankincense be translucent, with no black or brown impurities. It is often light yellow with a (very) slight greenish tint. It is often chewed like gum, but it is stickier.

In Ayurvedic medicine Indian frankincense (Boswellia serrata), commonly referred to as “dhoop,” has been used for hundreds of years for treating arthritis, healing wounds, strengthening the female hormone system and purifying the air. The use of frankincense in Ayurveda is called “dhoopan”. In Indian culture, it is suggested that burning frankincense daily in the house brings good health

Frankincense essential oil:
The essential oil of frankincense is produced by steam distillation of the tree resin. The oil’s chemical components are 75% monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, monoterpenoles, sesquiterpenols, and ketones. It has a good balsamic sweet fragrance, while the Indian frankincense oil has a very fresh smell. Contrary to recent claims, steam or hydro distilled frankincense oil does not contain any boswellic acid as these components (triterpenoids) are non-volatile and too large to come over in the steam distillation process. The chemistry of the essential oil is mainly monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes with small amounts of diterpenoid components being the upper limit in terms of molecular weight.
click to see Olibanum resin.
Perfume:
Olibanum is characterized by a balsamic-spicy, slightly lemon, fragrance of incense, with a conifer-like undertone. It is used in the perfume, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Medical Research:
For therapy trials in ulcerative colitis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis there are only isolated reports and pilot studies from which there is not yet sufficient evidence of safety and efficacy. Similarly, the long-term effects and side effects of taking frankincense has not yet been scientifically investigated. Nonetheless, several preliminary studies have been published.
click to see the picture of  FrankinsenceEssOil
A 2008 study reported that frankincense smoke was a psychoactive drug that relieves depression and anxiety in mice. The researchers found that the chemical compound incensole acetate was responsible for the effects.

In a different study, an enriched extract of “Indian Frankincense” (usually Boswellia serrata) was used in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study of patients with osteoarthritis. Patients receiving the extract showed significant improvement in their arthritis in as little as seven days. The compound caused no major adverse effects and, according to the study authors, is safe for human consumption and long-term use.

In a study published in 2009, it was reported that “Frankincense oil appears to distinguish cancerous from normal bladder cells and suppress cancer cell viability.”

A 2012 study in healthy volunteers determined that exposure to 11-keto-?-boswellic acid (KBA), a lead boswellic acid in the novel solubilized frankincense extract Boswelan, is increased when taken with food. However, simulations based on a two-compartment pharmacokinetic model with single first-order absorption phase proposed that the observed food interaction loses its relevance for the simulated repeated-dose scenario.

In a 2012 study, researchers found that the “behavioral effect [of insensole actetate] was concomitant to reduced serum corticosterone levels, dose-dependent down-regulation of corticotropin releasing factor and up-regulation of brain derived neurotrophic factor transcripts IV and VI expression in the hippocampus. These data suggest that IA modulates the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and influences hippocampal gene expression, leading to beneficial behavioral effects supporting its potential as a novel treatment of depressive-like disorders

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/Frankincense
http://unitproj.library.ucla.edu/biomed/spice/index.cfm?displayID=28
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail25.php

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Peumus boldus Molina

Botanical Name :Peumus boldus Molina
Family : Monimiaceae – Monimia family
Genus : Peumus Molina – peumus
Species : Peumus boldus Molina – boldo
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division :Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Order: Laurales

Synonyms : Boldu boldus. Boldea fragrans. Boldea boldus. Boldu chilanum

Common Name:  Boldu, Boldo

Habitat :Peumus boldus Molina is native to  S. America – Chile  It grows on Dry sunny slopes in lightly wooded country.

Description:
Peumus boldus Molina is an evergreen Tree growing to 6 m (19ft 8in) at a slow rate.

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It is hardy to zone 9. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Aug to September. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is not self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation :    
Dislikes soils that are too moist. Prefers a well-drained acid sandy soil in full sun. Hardy in climatic zone 9 (tolerating occasional light frosts), this plant normally requires greenhouse protection in Britain but is capable of withstanding light frosts and might succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of the country, especially if grown against a sunny wall. One report says that the plant succeeds outdoors at Kew Gardens in London, where it often flowers all year round. All parts of the plant are sweetly aromatic. The leaves have a lemon-camphor aroma. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if fruit and seed is required.

Propagation:   
Seed – sow spring in a warm greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and give them some protection from winter cold for at least their first winter or two outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Grow the cuttings on in the frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter.

 
Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. Sweet and aromatic with an agreeable flavour. The fruit is up to 2cm in diameter. The leaves and bark are used as a condiment.

Constituents:  alkaloids (boldine) and flavonoids, resin, and tannins. essential oil: ascaridole, camphor, cineole, linalool, limonene

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Bitter;  Cholagogue;  Diuretic;  Stimulant;  Tonic.

Boldu is a traditional remedy used by the Araucanian Indians of Chile as a tonic. The plant stimulates liver activity and bile flow and is chiefly valued as a remedy for gallstones and liver or gallbladder pain. It is normally taken for only a few weeks at a time, either as an infusion or as a tincture. It is often combined with other herbs such as Berberis vulgaris or Chionanthus virginicus in the treatment of gallstones. The leaves are analgesic, antiseptic (urinary), bitter, cholagogue, diuretic, stimulant and tonic. They are considered a valuable cure for gonorrhoea in S. America. The plant is taken internally in the treatment of liver disease (though the bark is more effective here), gallstones, urinary tract infections, intestinal parasites and rheumatism. It has been used in the past as a substitute for quinine in the treatment of malaria. The leaves are harvested during the growing season and are dried for later use. Some caution is advised, the plant should not be used by pregnant women. See also the notes above on toxicity. A volatile oil obtained from the plant destroys internal parasites. Alkaloids contained in the bark are a stimulant for the liver. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Peumus boldus for dyspeptic complaints (indigestion)  for critics of commission E).

Other Uses  
Beads;  Charcoal;  Dye;  Essential;  Repellent;  Tannin.

The bark is a source of tannin and is also used as a dye. A deliciously fragrant essential oil is obtained from the leaves. The dried and powdered leaves are scattered amongst clothes to sweeten them and repel insects. The small fruits are dried and used as beads in necklaces. When warmed by the body or the sun they release the scent of cinnamon. The wood is used for making charcoal.

Known Hazards :   The leaves contain a toxic alkaloid. Boldo volatile oil is one of the most toxic oils. Excessive doses have caused irritation of the kidneys and genitourinary tract. A massive overdose can cause paralysis . Should not use by patients with kidney disease

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Peumus+boldus
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail223.php
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PEBO5

Menyanthes trifoliata

Botanical Name :Menyanthes trifoliata
Family: Menyanthaceae
Genus: Menyanthes
Species: M. trifoliata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names:Bogbean , Buckbean, March Clover

Habitat : Menyanthes trifoliata occurs in fens and bogs in Asia, Europe, and North America. In eastern North America, it is considered to be a diagnostic fen species.

Description:
Menyanthes trifoliata is a herbaceous perennial  plant.It grows to a height of 0.75 to 1 feet and  spread 1 to 2 feet. It blooms  during May to June. Menyanthes trifoliata has a horizontal rhizome with alternate, trifoliate leaves. The inflorescence is an erect raceme of white flowers
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It is a winter hardy plant  to USDA Zones 3-10. In water gardens, grow in containers submerged in shallow water (to 3” over the rhizome) in full sun to part shade. Best in acidic, peaty soils. Also may be grown in the shallow margins of a pond, either in containers or planted in the mud near the water’s edge. Rhizomes may spread to and root in the muddy banks of a water garden or pond, thus making this an excellent transitional foliage plant.

Constituents:  volatile oil, bitter principle, a glucoside called menyanthin.

Medicinal Uses:
Properties: * Antirheumatic * Bitter * Diuretic * Febrifuge * Nervine * Tonic
Parts Used: whole herb

Bogbean is one of the medicinal plants that containing iridoids, plant chemicals that play a central role in herbalism as they are often the basis of what is known as the bitter principle. These bitter tonics, such as bogbean stimulate digestive secretions, including bile.It is a medicine fore  * Lupus

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.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/plant-finder/plant-details/kc/a642/menyanthes-trifoliata.aspx
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail180.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menyanthes

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Caulophyllum thalictroides

Botanical Name :Caulophyllum thalictroides
Family: Berberidaceae
Tribe: Leonticeae
Genus: Caulophyllum
Species: C. thalictroides
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms: Leontice thalictroides L

Common Names:Blue Cohosh Root , squaw root

Habitat :Caulophyllum thalictroides  is native to   Eastern N. America – New Brunswick to South Carolina, Arkansas, North Dakota and Manitoba. It is found in hardwood forest of the eastern United States, and favors moist coves and hillsides, generally in shady locations, in rich soil. It grows in eastern North America, from Manitoba and Oklahoma east to the Atlantic Ocean.

Description:
Caulophyllum thalictroides is  a flowering plant in the Berberidaceae (barberry) family. It is a medium-tall perennial with blue berry-like fruits and bluish-green foliage. growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).

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From the single stalk rising from the ground, there is a single, large, three-branched leaf plus a fruiting stalk. The bluish-green leaflets are tulip-shaped, entire at the base, but serrate at the tip. Its species name, thalictroides, comes from the similarity between the large highly divided, multiple-compound leaves of Meadow-rue (Thalictrum) and those of Blue Cohosh.

It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

 

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

 

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a damp light humus-rich woodland soil preferring a position in deep shade[1, 200]. One report says that it is best in a peat garden. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c[187]. The plant only produces one large leaf each year. The seeds rupture the ovary before they are fully ripe and continue to expand naked, they are bright blue when fully ripe.

Propagation:  
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady part of a cold frame[200]. If stored seed is used, it should be sown as soon as it is received. Germination can be erratic. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady part of a greenhouse or cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions during autumn or early winter. Division in spring or just after flowering[200]. Plants are slow to increase

Constituents:  alkaloids, cystine (caulophylline), baptifoline, anagyrine, laburnine. also caulosaponin, resins

Medicinal Uses:

Properties: * Abortifacient * Antibacterial * AntiCancer * Antirheumatic * Antispasmodic * Emmenagogue * Anthelmintic;  Antispasmodic;  Birthing aid;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Oxytoxic;  Sedative.

Papoose root is a traditional herb of many North American Indian tribes and was used extensively by them to facilitate child birth. Modern herbalists still consider it to be a woman’s herb and it is commonly used to treat various gynaecological conditions. An acrid, bitter, warming herb, it stimulates the uterus, reduces inflammation, expels intestinal worms and has diuretic effects. The root is anthelmintic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, oxytocic and sedative. An infusion of the root in warm water is taken for about 2 weeks before the expected birth date in order to ease the birth. This infusion can also be used as an emmenagogue and a uterine stimulant[213]. Papoose root should therefore be used with some caution by women who are in an earlier stage of pregnancy since it can induce a miscarriage or early delivery. The plant is also taken internally in the treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease, rheumatism and gout. It should not be prescribed for people with hypertension and heart diseases. The powdered root can have an irritant action on the mucous membranes, therefore any use of this plant is best under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The roots are normally harvested in the autumn, because they are at their richest at this time, and are dried for later use. The root is harvested in early spring as new growth is beginning and is used to make a homeopathic remedy. It is used especially in childbirth and in some forms of rheumatism[Hypertensive * Parturient * Uterine Tonic
Blue cohosh is considered to be one of the best herbs to bring on menstruation, and is one of the traditional herbs used to induce labor in natural childbirth.2,3 It contains the phytochemical calulopsponin which actively stimulates uterine contractions and promotes blood flow to the pelvic region. 1 Blue cohosh is generally used in combination with other herbs, often black cohosh, to treat menstrual disorders. The herb’s powerful antispasmodic properties are helpful in relieving the menstrual cramps of a painful period.

The Iroquois used it to treat arthritis – research also suggests the plant possesses some anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic

 Known Hazards :  This plant should not be used during pregnancy prior to the commencement of labour. Excessive doses may cause high blood pressure and symptoms similar to nicotine poisoning. Overdose may cause nausea, vomiting, in-coordination and narrowing of blood vessels to the heart muscles. Powdered root can have an irritant effect on mucous membranes . Contraindicated in patients with ischaemic heart disease (angina and heart attacks) and in patients with high blood pressure

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

Resources:

http://www.ask.com/wiki/Caulophyllum_thalictroides?o=3986&qsrc=999
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail88.php
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Caulophyllum+thalictroides

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Fucus vesiculosus

Botanical name :Fucus vesiculosus
Family: Fucaceae
Genus: Fucus
Species: F. vesiculosus
Kingdom: Chromalveolata
Phylum: Heterokontophyta
Class: Phaeophyceae
Order: Fucales

Common names:  black tang, rockweed, bladder fucus, sea oak, black tany, cut weed, dyers fucus, red fucus, and rock wrack,Kelp/Bladderwrack , Fucus, Seaweed, dried

Habitat ;Fucus vesiculosus is the most common algae on the shores of the British Isles. It has been recorded from the Atlantic shores of Europe, Northern Russia, the Baltic Sea, Greenland, Azores, Canary Islands, Morocco and Madeira. It is also found on the Atlantic coast of North America from Ellesmere Island, Hudson Bay to North Carolina

Description:
The fronds of Fucus vesiculosus have a prominent midrib and almost spherical air bladders which are usually paired but may be absent in young plants. The margin is smooth and the frond is dichotomously branched. It is sometimes confused with Fucus spiralis with which it hybridises
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Plants of F. vesiculosus are dioecious. Gametes are generally released into the seawater under calm conditions and the eggs are fertilised externally to produce a zygote. Eggs are fertilised shortly after being released from the receptacle. A study on the coast of Maine showed that there was 100% fertilisation at both exposed and sheltered sites. Continuously submerged populations in the Baltic Sea are very responsive to turbulent conditions. High fertilisation success is achieved because the gametes are only released when water velocities are low

chemical Constituents:
Primary chemical constituents of this plant include mucilage, algin, mannitol, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, iodine, bromine, potassium, volatile oils, and many other minerals.

Medicinal Uses:
Properties: * Analgesic * Antiscorbutic * Appetite Depressant/Obesity * Laxative

This herb is used for cancer prevention & a diet fore wetloss.

It  is commonly used in herbal medicine to stimulate the thyroid function, and can be effective in weight loss as part of a low calorie diet. The consumption of seaweeds has also been associated with lower cancer rates.

Kelp, dried seaweed Fucus vesiculosis, was the original source of iodine, being discovered as such by Courtois in 1812. Iodine does not occur in nature in the uncombined condition but is widely, though sparingly, distributed in the form of iodides and iodates, chiefly of sodium and potassium, in seawater, some seaweeds, and various mineral and medicinal springs. Kelp is an important part of the diet in Japan, Norway, and Scotland. For vegans (vegetarians who eat no animal products at all), it supplies vitamin B12, otherwise found almost exclusively in animal products, and is a concentrated source of minerals, including iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. As a source of iodine, it assists in the production of of thyroid hormones, which are necessary for maintaining healthy metabolism in all cells of the body. The brown algae known as bladderwrack is a particularly common source of kelp.

The main use of bladder wrack (and other types of seaweed) in herbal medicine is as a source of iodine, an essential nutrient for the thyroid gland. Bladder wrack has been used in the treatment of underactive thyroid glands (hypothyroidism) and goitre.

Bladder wrack has been shown to help women with abnormal menstrual cycling patterns and menstrual-related disease histories. Doses of 700 to 1400 mg/day were found to increase the menstrual cycle lengths, decrease the days of menstruation per cycle, and decrease the serum levels of 17B-estradiol while was later carried out and showed similar effects.

Safety precautions:
Bladderwrack may contains significant amounts of iodine, which could cause an allergic reaction in sensitive 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://www.ask.com/wiki/Fucus_vesiculosus?o=3986&qsrc=999#Description
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail197.php

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:Betula pendula/Betula alba

Botanical Name :Betula pendula/Betula alba
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula Subgenus: Betula Species: B. pendula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonyms:
Synonyms include Betula pendula var. carelica (Merckl.) Hämet-Ahti, B. pendula var. laciniata (Wahlenb.) Tidestr., B. pendula var. lapponica (Lindq.) Hämet-Ahti, B. aetnensis Raf., B. montana V.N.Vassil, B. talassica Poljakov, B. verrucosa Ehrh., B. verrucosa var. lapponica Lindq., and B. fontqueri Rothm. The rejected name Betula alba L. also applied in part to B. pendula, though also to B. pubescens. Silver Birch has also sometimes been called Weeping Birch or European Weeping Birch

Common Names  : Birch bark & leaf , White Birch, Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch

Habitat : Betula pendula (silver birch) is a widespread European birch, though in southern Europe it is only found at higher altitudes. Its range extends into southwest Asia in the mountains of northern Turkey and the Caucasus. The closely related Betula platyphylla in northern Asia and Betula szechuanica of central Asia are also treated as varieties of silver birch by some botanists, as B. pendula var. platyphylla and B. pendula va.r. szechuanica respectively

Description:
It is a medium-sized deciduous tree, typically reaching 15–25 metres (49–82 ft) tall (exceptionally up to 39 metres (128 ft)[4]), with a slender trunk usually under 40 centimetres (16 in) diameter, but exceptionally to 1 metre (3.3 ft) diameter, and a crown of arched branches with drooping branchlets. The bark is white, often with black diamond-shaped marks or larger patches, particularly at the base. The shoots are rough with small warts, and hairless, and the leaves 3–7 centimetres (1.2–2.8 in) long, triangular with a broad base and pointed tip, and coarsely double-toothed serrated margins. The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins, produced before the leaves in early spring, the small 1-2mm winged seeds ripening in late summer on pendulous, cylindrical catkins 2–4 centimetres (0.79–1.6 in) long and 7 mm broad.

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It is distinguished from the related downy birch (B. pubescens, the other common European birch) in having hairless, warty shoots (hairy and without warts in downy birch), more triangular leaves with double serration on the margins (more ovoid and with single serrations in downy birch), and whiter bark often with scattered black fissures (greyer, less fissured, in downy birch). It is also distinguished cytologically, silver birch being diploid (with two sets of chromosomes), whereas downy birch is tetraploid (four sets of chromosomes). Hybrids between the two are known, but are very rare, and being triploid, are sterile. The two have differences in habitat requirements, with silver birch found mainly on dry, sandy soils, and Downy Birch more common on wet, poorly drained sites such as clay soils and peat bogs. Silver birch also demands slightly more summer warmth than does Downy birch, which is significant in the cooler parts of Europe. Many North American texts treat the two species as conspecific (and cause confusion by combining the downy birch’s alternative vernacular name ‘white birch’, with the scientific name B. pendula of the other species), but they are regarded as distinct species throughout Europe.

It commonly grows with the mycorrhizal fungus Amanita muscaria in a mutualistic relationship. This applies particularly to acidic or nutrient poor soils. Other mycorrhizal associates include Leccinum scabrum and Cantharellus cibarius. Old trees are often killed by the decay fungus Piptoporus betulinus, and the branches often have witch’s brooms caused by the fungus Taphrina betulina

Cultivation:
Successful birch cultivation requires a climate cool enough for at least the occasional winter snowfall. As they are shallow rooted they may require water during dry periods. They grow best in full sun planted in deep, well-drained soil

Constituents:  buds: volatile oil which includes the camphor-like betulin. young leaves: rich in saponins; also a flavonoid derivative, hyperoside resin, tannins, sesquiterpenes, betuloventic acid, vitamin c. bark: betulinol and a glycoside

Medicinal Uses:
* Cancer Prevention * Eczema * Kidney * Pain Relief
Properties: * Analgesic * Anti-inflammatory * AntiCancer * Aromatic * Astringent * Depurative * Febrifuge * Vermifuge
Parts Used: Bark, leaves

Birch is a natural pain reliever containing salicylate, the compound found in aspirin. Salicylate relieves the inflammation and pain associated with  osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and generalized muscle pain. Salicylate deters the body’s production of certain prostaglandins that are linked to inflammation, pain, and fever among other things. An other reason birch calms arthritis and gout is it’s cleansing diuretic action that eliminates toxins and excess water. Sweet birch can have good results against cellulite.

The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions of birch bark support it’s traditional uses in skin disorders such as eczema. Traditional healers have long considered the leaves of the white and silver birch effective for skin rashes and hair loss. The essential oil of birch is astringent and is mainly employed for its curative effects in skin affections, especially eczema. 2The American species Betula lenta, (Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch) oil is almost identical with Wintergreen oil, but is not as toxic. Still, the methyl salicylate it contains can have harmful effects if used unwisely, and it is not for general use in aromatherapy and never to be taken internally. Birch bark and leaf in whole herb form have a much lower toxicity.

Birch bark and leaf is also used as an antibacterial diuretic in the treatment of urinary tract infections and cystitis. To increase the effect (and reduce burning) add a pinch of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to the infusion.

Betulin and betulinic acid, both present in birch bark display some anticancer and anti-tumor properties, 4  though neither is touted as a stand alone cure for cancer these constituents add another reason to employ birch in healing remedies and help to validate its history of use from ancient times until today.

Other Uses:
Silver birch is often planted in parks and gardens, grown for its white bark and gracefully drooping shoots, sometimes even in warmer-than-optimum places such as Los Angeles and Sydney. In Scandinavia and other regions of northern Europe, it is grown for forest products such as lumber and pulp, as well as for aesthetic purposes and ecosystem services. It is sometimes used as a pioneer and nurse tree elsewhere. It is naturalised and locally invasive in parts of Canada. Birch brushwood is used for racecourse jumps, and the sap contains around 1% sugars and can be drunk or be brewed into a “wine”. Historically, the bark was used for tanning. Silver birch wood can make excellent timber for carving kitchen utensils such as wooden spoons and spatulas: its very mild, sweet flavour does not contaminate food, and it has an attractive pale colour. Bark can be heated and the resin collected; the resin is an excellent water proof glue and firestarter.

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/Betula_pendula
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail181.php

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Trillium erectum

Botanical Name :Trillium erectum
Family: Melanthiaceae
Genus: Trillium
Species: T. erectum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Common Names: Wake-robin, Red trillium, Purple trillium, Beth root, or stinking Benjamin

Habitat :Trillium erectum  is  native to the east and north-east of North America.

Description:
Trillium erectum  is a Spring ephemeral, an herbaceous perennial whose life-cycle is synchronised with that of the deciduous forests where it lives.

This plant grows to about 40 cm (16 in) in height with a spread of 30 cm (12 in), and can tolerate extreme cold in winter, surviving temperatures down to ?35 °C (?31 °F). Like all trilliums, its parts are in groups of three, with 3-petalled flowers above whorls of pointed triple leaves.[4] The leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals and crystal raphide, and should not be consumed by humans. The flowers are a deep red colour, though there is a white form. The flowers have the smell of rotting meat, as they are pollinated by flies.

click to see the pictures...(1) ...(2)…..…(3)....….(4)…....

The plant takes its name “wake-robin” by analogy with the Robin, which has a red breast heralding spring.

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

Parts Used: root

Constituents:  saponins

Medicinal Uses:

Properties: * Anodyne * emetic * Expectorant

* Cough * Menopause

Beth root has been used in folklore traditions as a tonic for women to treat menopausal and hormonal problems as a tonic to the female system. It was also used to as a parturition herb. 1 Beth root was used in early American cough and cold syrups as an expectorant. 2The saponins in beth root have been used as an industrial source for the pharmaceutical industry. While Beth root certainly has some good medicinal qualities, this species is considered to be endangered and should be conserved and not wildcrafted for use on a commercial basis.

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/Trillium_erectum
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail368.php

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Styrax benzoin

Botanical Name :Styrax benzoin
Family: Styracaceae
Genus: Styrax
Species: S. benzoin
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names:Gum benjamin tree, Loban(in Arabic), Kemenyan(in Indonesia and Malaysia), Onycha, and Sumatra benzoin tree.

Habitat :Styrax benzoin is a species of tree native to Sumatra in Indonesia.

Description:
It is a common member of the forests of Sumatra, where it grows to about 12 meters in maximum height.

click to see the picture : ...(1)…………..(2)

Medicinal Uses:
Benzoin has a long history of use in the East as an incense and in perfumes. Benzoin resin is a yang sedative, and has a pronounced effect on congestion, seemingly to melt away blockages. It is an expectorant, and warms and tones the heart and increases circulation. Use benzoin to ease congested breathing caused by asthma and allergies.

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Medicinal Uses:
Properties: * AntiCancer * Antiperspirant/Deodorants * Antirheumatic * Aromatic * Cardiac tonic Cordial * Carminative * Circulation * Diuretic * Expectorant * Muscle Relaxant * Sedative * Vulnerary

* Aromatherapy * Asthma * Bronchitis * Eczema * Rheumatoid_arthritis
Properties: * AntiCancer * Antiperspirant/Deodorants * Antirheumatic * Aromatic * Cardiac tonic Cordial * Carminative * Circulation * Diuretic * Expectorant * Muscle Relaxant * Sedative * Vulnerary

Skin Care: Use benzoin resin in external skin applications to heal cuts and sooth inflammation of rough cracked skin. Benzoin is indicated for use where there is redness, irritation, or itching, such as eczema. The dark, vanilla-like resin also acts as an anchoring base note for aromatherapy blends and as a fixative in perfumery.

Cold Conditions: Use Benzoin in massage blends and aromatherapy applications for all cold conditions of the respiratory system ( related to the lungs). Colds, influenza, coughs, and bronchitis all benefit from benzoin, as well as cold conditions of the joints such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis

Other Uses:
Styrax benzoin is cultivated as a main source of benzoin resin in Indonesia. It is also grown as an ornamental tree for shade in West Africa.

Safety Information:
Syntex benzoin resin may cause possible skin sensitivity and contact dermatitis.

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/Styrax_benzoin
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail5.php
http://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/benzoin-absolute.asp

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Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Botanical Name : Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Arctostaphylos
Species: A. uva-ursi
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names:kinnikinnick and pinemat manzanita,Uva Ursi , Bearberry

Habitat : The distribution of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is circumpolar, and it is widespread in northern latitudes, but confined to high altitudes further south:

*in Europe, from Iceland and North Cape, Norway south to southern Spain (Sierra Nevada); central Italy (Apennines) and northern Greece (Pindus mountains);

*in Asia from arctic Siberia south to Turkey, the Caucasus and the Himalaya;

*in North America from arctic Alaska, Canada and Greenland south to California, north coast, central High Sierra Nevada (above Convict Lake, Mono County, California), Central Coast, California, San Francisco Bay Area, to New Mexico in the Rocky Mountains; and the Appalachian Mountains in the northeast United States.

In some areas the plant is endangered or has been extirpated from its native range. In other areas it is abundant.

Description:
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is a small procumbent woody groundcover shrub 5–30 cm high. The leaves are evergreen, remaining green for 1–3 years before falling. The fruit is a red berry.
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The leaves are shiny, small, and feel thick and stiff. They are alternately arranged on the stems. Undersides of leaves are lighter green than on the tops. New stems can be red if the plant is in full sun, but are green in shadier areas. Older stems are brown. In spring, they have white or pink flowers

Cultivation ::
There are several cultivars that are propagated for use as ornamental plants. It is an attractive evergreen plant in gardens, and it is also useful for controlling erosion.

Constituents:  arbutin, hydroquinone

Medicinal Uses:

Properties: * Antibacterial * Astringent *

It is used in Bladder Infection (UTI)

Bearberry has historically been used for medicinal purposes. It contains the glycoside arbutin, which has antimicrobial properties and acts as a mild diuretic. It has been used for urinary tract complaints, including cystitis and urolithiasis. An infusion may be made by soaking the leaves in ethanol and then diluting with water.

Other Uses:
Smoking:
Bearberry is the main component in many traditional North American Native smoking mixes, known collectively as “kinnikinnick” (Algonquin for a mixture). Bearberry is used especially amongst western First Nations, often including other herbs and sometimes tobacco. Some historical reports indicate a “narcotic” or stimulant effect, but since it is almost always smoked with other herbs, including tobacco, it is not clear what psychotropic effects may be due to it alone. For a full discussion of Amerindian smoking mixtures see kinnikinnick.

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/Arctostaphylos_uva-ursi
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail208.php