Boswellia serrata

Botanical name : Boswellia serrata
Family: Burseraceae
Genus: Boswellia
Species: B. serrata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Name : Salai guggal,Shallaki. (Boswellia serrata is Indian frankincense or Salai referred to in Sanskrit as shallaki.)

Habitat :Boswellia serrata  is native toIndia & Pakisthan.It  is a species characteristic of the tropical dry deciduous forests and occurs in very dry teak forests or in dry mixed deciduous forests in association with species such as Terminalia spp., Anogeissus latifolia and Acacia leucophloea. It is characteristically found on the slopes and ridges of hills, as well as on flat terrain, attaining a larger size on fertile soils. It is resistant to drought and resists fire better than other species in its zone of occurrence. The tree is also frost hardy and serves as a nurse tree for other species.

Description:
Boswellia serrata is a moderate-sized to large, deciduous tree with a light, spreading crown and somewhat drooping branches. It usually has a short bole, 3-5 m in length, sometimes longer if grown in a fully stocked forest. Ordinarily, it attains a girth of 1.2-1.8 m and a height of 9-15 m. Bark is very thin, greyish-green, ashy or reddish with a chlorophyll layer beneath the thin outer layer, which peels off in thin, papery flakes. Leaves alternate, exstipulate, imparipinnate, 20-45 cm in length, crowded towards the ends of the branches; leaflets 17-31 cm, opposite, 2.5-8 cm x 0.8-1.5 cm, basal pairs often smallest, sessile, lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate, crenate, very variable in size. Flowers white, in stout racemes, 10-20 cm long, shorter than the leaves, crowded towards the ends of branches, but not terminal. Calyx persistent, pubescent outside, 5 to 7-toothed; teeth small, deltoid. Petals 5-7 erect, free, 0.5 cm long. Fruits 1.3 cm long, trigonous, with three valves and three heart-shaped, 1-seeded pyrenes, winged, along with the margins. The specific name, serrata, comes from serra (a saw) referring to the toothed leaf-margins.

Click to see the pictures.>...(01)....(1)…..(2).…...(3).…..(4)

Medicinal Uses:
Properties:.
Shallaki has potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce the pain and inflammation of joints. The salai guggal gum is used as a diaphoretic and astringent. Other products: B. serrata has been recorded in West Bengal as a new lac host.
Shallaki or Boswellia serrata is an herbal extract well known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic and anti-arthritic activities. Shallaki is effective in the treatment of the common ailments

* Rheumatoid arthritis (In Ayurvedic medicine Indian frankincense (Boswellia serrata) has been used for hundreds of years for treating arthritis.)

* Osteoarthritis (Extracts of Boswellia serrata have been clinically studied for osteoarthritis and joint function, particularly for osteoarthritis of the knee.)

* Cervical spondylosis

* Ankylosing spondylitis

* Lumbar spine

Rheumatic Disorders :

Boswellia (Boswelya, Salai Guggul) is an Ayurvedic herb that contains anti-inflammatory triterpenoids called boswellic acid. Boswellic acids are effective in anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic agents, for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, soft tissue rheumatism, and low back pain.

Boswellia has a beneficial effect by suppressing the growth of the inflamed tissue, as well as preventing the breakdown of the surrounding connective tissue.

Boswellia Serrata’s anti-inflammatory properties can help to reduce aching and stiffness, especially when associated with low back pain. Although research indicates that boswellia is best taken orally for this purpose, creams appear to be soothing as well.

Inflammatory bowel :
Boswellia may improve symptoms of ulcerative colitis, including abdominal pains, loose stools, and mucus and blood in the stools.

Boswellia may also be beneficial in asthmatics and may also reduce fluid retention associated with brain tumours. This fluid build-up is associated with the action of certain inflammatory chemicals (leukotrienes). Boswellia inhibits the production of these chemicals. Reduction of fluid retention around brain tumours has a beneficial effect on reducing the associated brain damage.

Boswellia gum has been also used for the treatment of diabetes, skin and blood diseases, fever, cardiovascular disorders, neurological disorders, dysentery, diseases of the testes, and myriad of other disorders.

Positive effects of Boswellia in some chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma, osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease have been reported. A Boswellia extract marketed under the name Wokvel has undergone human efficacy, comparative, pharmacokinetic studies.Some see Boswellia serrata as a promising alternative to NSAIDs, warranting further investigation in pharmacological studies and clinical trials.

Boswellia serrata is used in the manufacture of the supposed anti-wrinkle agent “Boswelox“, which has been criticised as being ineffective.

Topical Application:
Boswellia serrata has been recently developed for topical use in a patent-pending formula in Sano Relief Gel.

Potential for anti-cancer activity:
Boswellic acid, an extract from Boswellia serrata, has been studied for anti-neoplastic activity, especially in experimental primary and secondary brain tumors, indicating potential efficacy from in vitro and limited clinical research. Boswellic acid is also undergoing an early-stage clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic.[12]

Research on Boswellia serrata:
Shallaki has anti-Inflammatory and anti-arthritic property that can reduce the pain and inflammation of the joints of the body. efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in the treatment of osteoarthritis of knee – a randomized double blind placebo controlled study by Kimmatkar N, Thawani N, et al. at MS Orthopaedics, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Nagpur, India, Phytomedicine 2003 Jan; 10 (1) ; 3-7

Active constituents:
Boswellic acid and other pentacyclic triterpene acids are present. Beta-boswellic acid is the major constituent.

Mechanism of action:
Animal studies performed in India show ingestion of a defatted alcoholic extract of Boswellia decreased polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration and migration, decreased primary antibody synthesis and almost totally inhibited the classical complement pathway.

Other Uses:
Fodder: It is not readily browsed by cattle, although in India, it is considered a substitute fodder for buffaloes. Fuel: The wood is a good fuel. Charcoal made from it is particularly favoured for iron smelting. Fibre: B. serrata has recently come into prominence as a raw material for pulp paper and newsprint. Experiments show that writing and printing papers of suitable strength can be prepared when 25-40% long-fibred bamboo pulp is mixed in the finish. The bark can also be used for cordage. Timber: It is used in cheap furniture, ammunition boxes, mica boxes, packing cases, cement barrels, well construction, water pipes, matches, plywood and veneers. Gum or resin: The tree yields a yellowish-green gum-oleoresin known as ‘salai guggal’ from wounds in the bark. This gum has an agreeable scent when burnt. A mature tree yields about 1-1.5 kg of gum a year. It is said to be a good substitute for imported Canada balsam. It is also tapped for resin called ‘lobal’, which is used as incense.

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.allayurveda.com/herb_month_may2009.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boswellia_serrata
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/sea/products/afdbases/af/asp/SpeciesInfo.asp?SpID=353

Enhanced by Zemanta

Echinacea purpurea

Botanical name :Echinacea purpurea
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Echinacea
Species: E. purpurea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Syn : E. angustifoli, Purple Cone Flower

Common Names: Eastern purple coneflower or Purple coneflower

Habitat : Echinacea purpurea  is native to North America and it extends through the Great Plains from Michigan all the way down to northern Texas and Georgia.

Description :
Echinacea purpurea is a  herbaceous  perennial plant. It  is 120 cm (47 in) tall by 50 cm (20 in) wide at maturity. Depending on the climate, it blooms throughout spring and summer. Its individual flowers (florets) within the flower head are hermaphroditic, having both male and female organs on each flower. It is pollinated by butterflies and bees. Its habitats include dry open woods, prairies and barrens, as well as cultivated beds. Although the plant prefers loamy or sandy, well-drained soils, it is little affected by the soil’s pH.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES.>....(01).....(1).……...(2).……..(3)………..(4)..….
A popular perennial with smooth, 2-5 ft. stems and long-lasting, lavender flowers. Rough, scattered leaves that become small toward the top of the stem. Flowers occur singly atop the stems and have domed, purplish-brown, spiny centers and drooping, lavender rays. An attractive perennial with purple (rarely white), drooping rays surrounding a spiny, brownish central disk.

Cultivation:
E. purpurea is also grown as an ornamental plant, and numerous cultivars have been developed for flower quality and plant form.Unable to grow in the shade, it thrives in either dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought once established. The following have gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit:-

*’Magnus’

*’Rubinstein’

*’Ruby Giant’

Propagation:
It can be propagated either vegetatively or from seeds. Useful vegetative techniques include division, root cuttings, and basal cuttings. Clumps can be divided, or broken into smaller bunches, which is normally done in the spring or autumn. Cuttings made from roots that are “pencil-sized” will develop into plants when started in late autumn or early winter. Cuttings of basal shoots in the spring may be rooted when treated with rooting hormones.

Medicinal Uses:
Preparations of this plant were used by the Plain Indians (Comanche and Sioux) for the treatment of upper respiratory infections, burns, snakebites, and cancers. The European settlers learned about these indications from the Indians. It has been demonstrated that plant extracts stimulate the immune system to combat bacterial and viral infections. It also possesses antibiotic properties. Echinacea’s name is derived from the Greek word for hedgehog and was inspired by the appearance of the flower’s central cone.

Echinacea should be of particular interest during the cold and flu season when you are exposed to these illnesses on a regular basis. When used correctly it is the closest thing to a cure for the common cold.

Echinacea stimulates the overall activity of the cells responsible for fighting all kinds of infection. Unlike antibiotics, which directly attack bacteria, echinacea makes our own immune cells more efficient at attacking bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells, including cancer cells. It increases the number and activity of immune system cells including anti-tumor cells, promotes T-cell activation, stimulates new tissue growth for wound healing and reduces inflammation in arthritis and inflammatory skin conditions.

The most consistently proven effect of echinacea is in stimulating phagocytosis (the consumption of invading organisms by white blood cells and lymphocytes). Extracts of echinacea can increase phagocytosis by 20-40%.

Echinacea also stimulates the production of interferon as well as other important products of the immune system, including “Tumor Necrosis Factor”, which is important to the body’s response against cancer.

Echinacea also inhibits an enzyme (hyaluronidase) secreted by bacteria to help them gain access to healthy cells. Research in the early 1950’s showed that echinacea could completely counteract the effect of this enzyme, helping to prevent infection when used to treat wounds.

Although echinacea is usually used internally for the treatment of viruses and bacteria, it is now being used more and more for the treatment of external wounds. It also kills yeast and slows or stops the growth of bacteria and helps to stimulate the growth of new tissue. It combats inflammation too, further supporting its use in the treatment of wounds

One study shows E. purpurea has antidepressant properties in white rats as it increased the stimulating action of L-DOPA.[8] Echinacea is believed by many people to stimulate the immune system

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/Echinacea_purpurea
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html
http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-echinacea.html

Enhanced by Zemanta

Hop

Botanical name :Humulus lupulus
Family: Cannabaceae
Genus: Humulus
Species: H. lupulus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common names:common hop or hop

Habitat :Humulus lupulus is native to Europe, western Asia and North America.

Description:
It is a dioecious, perennial, herbaceous climbing plant which sends up new shoots in early spring and dies back to a cold-hardy rhizome in autumn. Strictly speaking it is a bine rather than a vine, using its own shoots to act as supports for new growth.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES..>…...(01)..(1).(2)…...(3)…….(4).…..(5)

The female plants produce strobiles, which are cone-like reproductive structures (Anon 1999a). The common and most well-known use of H. lupulus is in the flavoring of beer. Lupulin, a resinous substance found in the strobiles, is added to beer to give the distinct bitter taste (Anon 1999b).

Medicinal Uses:

Humulus lupulus has also been used for medicinal purposes. Traditionally, it has been used to aid digestion and as a mild sedative to treat insomnia (Anon. 1999a).
From about 1950 to 1970, claims had been made that hops contained high quantities of estrogens (Fenselau 1973). Fenselau, et. al. (1973), assessed the degree of estrogenic activity in hops. They tested purified essential-oil fractions, alpha and beta bitter acids, and organic solvent extracts for estrogenic activity (Fenselau 1973). They also examined several dilutions by uterine-weight assay in immature female mice (Fenselau 1973). All tests indicated that hops lacked estrogenic activity (Fenselau 1973).

Another study by Fenselau (1976), tested samples of hops to detect for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol, THC. This psychotropic compound is the active chemical component of Cannabis sativa (marijuana). They used the selected ion mode on a combined gas chromatograph – mass spectrometer to assay for the compound in 17 samples (Fenselau 1976). No THC was found in any of the samples (Fenselau 1976).

In 1989, H. lupulus was one of twelve plants studies for the treatment of diabetes mellitus (Swanston-Flatt 1989). The studies were done in vivo in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice (Swanston-Flatt 1989). Streptozotocin is an older intravenous chemotherapeutic (Anon. 1999c). It is used in the treatment of symptomatic or progressive metastatic islet and non-islet cell carcinoma of the pancreas (USP 1995). It also has diabetogenic and hyperglycemic effects (USP 1995). It has been shown to induce diabetes and lower pancreatic insulin content in insulin promoter-mB7-l transgenic mice when given in low doses (Harlen 1995). The mice were given preparations of the herb for 28 days (Swanston-Flatt 1989). In normal diabetic mice, the hops showed no effect on their basal plasma glucose and insulin, glucose tolerance, insulin-induced hypoglycemia, and glycated hemoglobin (Swanston-Flatt 1989). In the streptozotocin diabetic mice, the hops did not significantly affect the parameters of glucose homeostasis listed above or in pancreatic insulin concentration (Swanston-Flatt 1989).

Other modern day experimentation has led to the observance of a variety of possible medicinal uses of H. lupulus, including antibacterial activity (Langezaal 1992; Simpson 1992), treatment for gastritis (Krivenko 1989; Torosyan 1974), and even cancer prevention (Anon. 1998, Buhler 1999, Yasukawa 1995).

Two studies were done on the antibacterial and antimicrobial activity of H. lupulus. Simpson (1992) performed experiments on H. lupulus to determine what factors determine its antibacterial activity. It was determined that a decrease in pH caused the greatest stimulation of antibacterial activity in the weak acids (trans-isohumulone, humulone, colupulone and trans-humulinic acid) of the hops plant (Simpson 1992). The trans-isohumulone was found to have the greatest activity (Simpson 1992). Other monovalent cations stimulated activity, but not to the extent observed by protons (Simpson 1992). Divalent cations produced mixed reactions (from little effect to reduced effect) (Simpson 1992.) The activity of the trans-isohumulone was also found to be antagonized by lipids and beta-cyclodextrin (Simpson 1992). Langezaal (1992) did a study on the antimicrobial effects of essential oils and extracts of H. lupulus. He isolated the essential oils by hydrodistillation and the extracts by soaking the strobiles in chloroform (Langezaal 1992). The compounds had anntimicrobial effects against Bacillus subtilis, Staphlococcus aureus and Trichophylon mentagrophytes var. interdigitale but none against Escherichia coli and Candida albicans (Langezaal 1992).

In 1974, Totosyan conducted a study of H. lupulus in 46 chronic hyposecretory gastritis patients. A decoction of H. lupulus was given to the patients and in 36, a positive therapeutic effect was observed (Totosyan 1974). This was due to the high secretory-motor stimulating effect of the hops (Totosyan 1974). Later, another stuliy of this type was done by Krivenko (1989). He gave an herbal complex of H. lupulus, Achillea millefolium, Urtica dioica, Cichorium, Polygonum, Matricaria chamomilla, Helichrysum arenarium, Calendula, and corn stigmas to patients suffering from chronic hyposecretory gastritis, chronic hepatocholecystitis and/or angiocholitis (Krivenko 1989). No results were reported in this document.

Recent research has examined the role of H. lupulus on cancer prevention. Songsan (1990) used spectral methods to establish the structures of isoxanthohumol, xanthohumaol, and two new chalcone derivatives 3-(isoprenyl)-2,4-dihydroxy-4, 6- dimethyoxychalcone and 2,6 dimethyoxy-4,4-dihydroxychalcone. In 1998, xanthohumol was shown to inhibit the activity of the enzyme cytochrome P450, a component in the activation of the uncontrolled division of cancer cells (Anon. 1998). This research, conducted by Buh!er (1999) looked at the effects of the flavonoids and chalcones of hops on cancer chemoprevention and cancer chemotherapy. A study by Yasukawa (1995) looked at the effects of another compound in hops: humulon, on tumor promotion. It was shown that humulon inhibited 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) induced inflammation (Yasukawa 1995). Humulon also had a pronounced inhibition of the tumor promoting factor of TPA on the growth of mouse skin tumors that had been activated by 7, 12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (Yasukawa 1995).

It is evident that more research needs to be conducted before proven medicinal significance of H. lupulus can be claimed. Clearly, the emphasis of the research will be on cancer prevention. And in this era, with the discovery of compounds such as Vincristine and Vinblastine in Vinca roseus, the possibility may not be so unrealistic.

Other Uses:
The species is a main ingredient of many beers, and as such is widely cultivated for use by the brewing industry . The fragrant flower cones (hops) impart bitterness and flavor, and also have preservative qualities. The extract is antimicrobial, which makes it useful for making natural deodorant. Hops also contain the potent phytoestrogen, 8-prenylnaringenin, that may have a relative binding affinity to estrogen receptors. Hop also contains myrcene, humulene, xanthohumol, myrcenol, linalool, tannins, and resin.

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/Humulus_lupulus
http://klemow.wilkes.edu/Humulus.html
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html

Enhanced by Zemanta

Calamintha ascendens

Botanical name : Calamintha ascendens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Calamintha

Synonyms–-Mill Mountain. Mountain Balm. Basil Thyme. Mountain Mint.

Habitat : Calamintha ascendens is native to the northern temperate regions of Europe, Asia and America.

Description:
Calamintha sylvatica is a perennial herb  growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).

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

click to see the picture.:

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

Edible Uses:
A sweet and aromatic herb tea is made from the leaves. Very refreshing. Leaves – used as a flavouring in cooked dishes. Pleasantly pungent and strongly aromatic, the flavour is said to resemble a cross between mint and marjoram.

Propagation:      
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. It usually germinates in 2 weeks at 21°c. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and, if they grow sufficiently, plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer otherwise wait until the following spring. Division in spring. Very easy, larger clumps can be planted direct into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are well rooted before planting them out in the summer. Basal cuttings in May or June. They should be rooted in a sandy compost. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 – 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Chemical constituents: It contains a camphoraceous, volatile, stimulating oil in commonwith the other mints. This is distilled by water, but its virtues are better extracted by rectified spirit.

Medicinal Uses:
Diaphoretic, expectorant, aromatic. The whole herb has a sweet, aromatic odour and an infusion of the dried leaves, makes a pleasant cordial tea, which was formerly much taken for weaknesses of the stomach and flatulent colic. It is useful in hysterical complaints, and a conserve made of the young fresh tops has been used, for this purpose.

The decoction of the herb bringeth down women’s courses and provoketh urine. It is profitable for those that have ruptures or troubled with convulsions or cramps, with shortness of breath, or choleric torrnents and pains in their bellies or stomach. It helpeth those with yellow jaundice and, taken in wine, it stayeth vomiting. It helpeth such as have the leprosy and it hindereth conception in women.

Applied to the buckle-bone, it will by continuance of time spend the humours that causeth the pain of sciatica. The juice dropped into the ears killeth worms in them. The leaves boiled in wine and drank provoke sweat and open obstructions of the liver and spleen. The decoction with some sugar is profitable for those troubled with the overflowing of the gall and that have an old cough or are scarce able to breathe.

Calamint was commonly used as a medicinal herb in medieval times, though is little used by modern herbalists. It has very similar properties to lesser calamint (C. nepeta) though is milder in its actions. It is sometimes cultivated as a medicinal herb for household use. The whole plant is aromatic, diaphoretic and expectorant. The leaves are harvested in July as the plant comes into flower and are dried for storage. An infusion is beneficial in cases of fevers, flatulent colic and weaknesses of the stomach, it is also used to treat depression, insomnia and painful menstruation. Its expectorant action makes it a good cough and cold remedy and it is of value for treating mild respiratory infections. It is best mixed with other herbs, especially yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and Thyme (Thymus vulgaris). Calamint should not be prescribed for pregnant women since in excess it can cause a miscarriage

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/Calamintha
http://www.russianherbs.net/herbs/CALAMINT.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Calamintha+sylvatica

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pterospermum acerifolium

Botanical name:Pterospermum acerifolium
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Pterospermum
Species: P. acerifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Name : Karnikara tree. The classification Pterospermum is based on two Greek words, Pteron and Sperma, meaning “winged seed.” There is an array of common names for Pterospermum acerifolium, depending on the region where it is grown. It is commonly referred to as Kanak Champa, Muchakunda or Karnikar Tree within its native range. Other common names include Bayur Tree, Maple-Leafed Bayur Tree, and Dinner Plate Tree.

Habitat :Pterospermum acerifolium is an angiosperm indigenous to Southeast Asia, from India to Burma.It is most likely to grow naturally along forested stream banks.

Description:
It is a relatively a large tree, growing up to thirty meters tall. Mostly planted as an ornamental or shade tree, the leaves, flowers, and wood of Pterospermum acerifolium can serve a variety functions.

The leaves of the Pterospermum acerifolium are palmately ribbed and have stipules. The leaves grow in an alternate insertion arrangement. Leaf shape can range from oblong, broadly obovate to ovate. Leaf edges are commonly dentate (toothed) or irregularly lobed. Many leaves tend to droop downward, giving the tree the appearance that it is wilting, when in fact it could have a sufficient amount of water available. The top side of the leaves is a dark green color with a glabrescent texture. The leaves are rough and rubbery to limit the loss of moisture in a hot climate. The bottom side of the leaves range from a silver to rust color and are pubescent. The bark of the tree is grey in color and is considered to be fairly soft. Small twigs and new growth can sometimes seem feathery and are commonly more of a rusty-brown color. Leaves have a peltate blade base, meaning the insertion of the petiole is at the center of the leaf.

Click to see the pictures   :

The  tree produces large, white, finger shaped flowers in the spring. Flowers begin as one long bud, then separating into five more slender sepals as it matures. Each sepal can be up to seven inches long. The sepals of the flower curl outward and around the white and gold stamen located at the center. The flowers are nocturnal and exceptionally fragrant, suggesting they attract moths for pollination. Successfully pollinated flowers produce a fruit in the form of a hard capsule. The fruit has a very rough texture and is sometimes covered in brown hairs. Fruits can take a very long time to completely mature; up to an entire year. The capsule then splits open releasing a massive number of “winged seeds.” Because it takes such a long period to reproduce, it seems the Bayur tree can be outcompeted by other faster growing plants. It is not widely distributed or common in natural environments, but is popular plant in gardens and landscaping.

Other Uses:
As mentioned before, one of the common names for Pterospermum acerifolium is the Dinner Plate Tree. The utilization of the leaves is exactly what the name depicts. Mature leaves are very large, reaching a length and width of up to thirty five centimeters. They can be used as actual dinner plates or as packaging and storage by wrapping materials inside.
The leaves can also serve as a primitive method of re-enforcing roofs and preventing leaks.

The reddish wood of the Pterospermum acerifolium can be used for planking. Because the wood is soft, it is not considered to be very strong. However it is incredibly durable and somewhat flexible, making it perfect for planking and wooden boxes. The Bayur Tree even serves a cultural function. Local Hindu people employ the plant for religious purposes. it’s bark is also supposed to be used in case of scabies topical preparation in lipstics.

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/Pterospermum_acerifolium
http://www.ask.com/wiki/Pterospermum_acerifolium?o=3986&qsrc=999

Enhanced by Zemanta

Callistemon rigidus

Botanical nameCallistemon rigidus
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Callistemon
Species: C. rigidus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Common Name :Stiff Bottlebrush,Flowering Bottlebrush, Red Cluster Bottlebrush . In bengali :Bottlebrush  (botol  burush)

Habitat :It is native to tropical countries     It is endemic to the state of New South Wales in Australia.

Description:This spectacular, and unexpectedly hardy shrub, bears dense spikes of flamboyant red bottle-brush flowers that appear in late spring and early summer. Narrow, sharply pointed leaves adorn this dazzling shrub that is possibly the hardiest of all bottle brushes.

clicl to see the the picture….>….(01) :.(1)..(2)..….(3)....(4).  …..(5)...….. ...(6)..…………

It grows to between 2 and 3 metres in height and has a stiff, erect habit. The leaves are mostly 50 to 70 mm long and 3 to 4 mm wide. Red flower spikes with darker anthers are produced in summer. Flowers are Showy  and the  leaves have  Fragrant and  are Evergreen.

Medicinal Uses:
The essential oil from the leaves of Callistemon rigidus R. Br., a traditional Chinese medicinal plant, has been analyzed and found to contain thirteen compounds. The oil was predominantly 1, 8-cineole (89.9%).

From stem bark of Callistemon rigidus (Myrtaceae), piceatannol and scirpusin B were isolated as components that exhibit inhibitory effects on alpha-amylase activity in isolated mouse plasma. In particular, scirpusin B also inhibited alpha-amylase in mouse gastrointestinal tract. Thus, we expect the depressive effect on the elevation of postprandial blood glucose may be a new medicinal use of this compound as well as the plant itself.

Other Uses:
Architectural, city courtyard garden, coastal/seaside suitable, container plant, cottage informal garden, drought resistant, flowering shrub, low maintenance, mediterranean, mixed shrub border and fragrance.

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/Callistemon_rigidus
http://www.plantdatabase.co.uk/Callistemon_rigidus
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10412905.1991.9697989
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16755033

Clerodendrum infortunatum

Botanical name :Clerodendrum infortunatum
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: ClerodendrumL.
Species: infortunatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Species: infortunatum

Common name : Hill glory bower; Synonyms Clerodendrum viscosum Vent. and Volkameria infortunata Roxb

Bengali Name :Bhatphool,

Habitat :Clerodendrum infortunatum is native to tropical regions of Asia including India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Description :
C. infortunatum is a flowering shrub or small tree, and is so named because of its rather ugly leaf. The stem is eresct, 0.5–4 m high, with no branches and produce circular leaves with 6 inch diameter. Leaves are simple, opposite; both surfaces sparsely villous-pubes-cent, elliptic, broadly elliptic, ovate or elongate ovate, 3.5–20 cm wide, 6–25 cm long, dentate, inflorescence in terminal, peduncled, few-flow­ered cyme; flowers white with purplish pink or dull-purple throat, pubescent. Fruit berry, globose, turned bluish-black or black when ripe, enclosed in the red accrescent fruiting-calyx. The stem is hollow and the leaves are 6-8 inch (15–20 cm) long, borne in whorls of four on very short petioles. The inflorescence is huge, consisting of many tubular snow white flowers in a terminal cluster up to 2 ft (0.6 m) long. The tubes of the flowers are about 4 inch (10 cm) long and droop downward, and the expanded corollas are about 2 inch (5 cm) across. The fruits are attractive dark metallic blue drupes, about a half inch in diameter. Fruit usually with 4 dry nutlets and the seeds may be with or without endosperm. It flowers from April to August.

Click to see the pictures

Chemical constituents:
The major compounds are sterols, sugars, flavonoids and saponins. Novel crystalline compounds such as clerodolone, clerodone, clerodol and a sterol designated clerosterol have been isolated from the root. Seven sugars namely raffinose, lactose, maltose, sucrose, galactose, glucose and fructose were identified. Fumaric acid, caffeic acid esters, ?-sitosterol and ?-sitosterol glucoside were isolated from the flowers. Apigenin, acacetin and a new flavone glycoside, characterised as the methyl ester of acacetin-7-0-glucuronide are isolated from the flowers. Saponin is one of the major compounds of the leaf. 24 beta-ethylsterols, clerosterol and 22-dehydroclerosterol, 24-methyl-sterols (24-methylcholestanol, 24-methylcholesterol, 24-methyl-22-dehydrocholesterol, and 24-methyllathostero) and 24 beta-ethyl-22-dehydrocholestanol are found in the seeds. Scutellarin and hispidulin-7-O-glucuronide are present in the leaf. Poriferasterol and stigmasterol are the components of the aerial parts

Medicinal uses:

Ayurvedic and Siddha medicines

In Ayurvedic and Siddha traditional medicines, the leaves and roots of C. infortunatum are used as herbal remedy for alopecia, asthma, cough, diarrhoea, rheumatism, fever and skin diseases. It is also known to have hepato-protective and antimicrobial activities.[9][unreliable medical source?] The roots and bark of stem of this plant prepared as decoction and given in the dose of 60-80 ml twice daily for respiratory diseases, fever, periodic fever, cough, bronchial asthma, etc.[citation needed] The leaves are ground well and applied externally to induce ripenning of ulcers and swellings.[citation needed] A paste of leaves and roots are applied externally over skin diseases especially fungal infections and alopecia.[citation needed] Fresh leaves are given for diarrhoea, liver disorders and headache.

Traditional practices:

The leaf and root are widely used as antidandruff, antipyretic, ascaricide, laxative, vermifuge, and in treatments of convulsion, diabetes, gravel, malaria, scabies, skin diseases, sore, spasm, scorpion sting, snake bite and tumor. In Thai medicine the leaves and root are known to be diuretic; and used for treatment of intestinal infections and kidney dysfunction; when boiled or ground with water, it is take to increase milk secretion for post-labor. In many traditional practices the leaves and root are widely used as antihyperglycemic.

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

 Resouces:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clerodendrum_infortunatum

Enhanced by Zemanta

How to Deal with Difficult People?

We all have faced difficult people in our lives at one point or another .To get rid of this  an honest but clear communication is  essential.

You may click to see the picture of an anxious man

We encounter a wide variety of people  our lives through. Many of them touch us in some positive way. Occasionally, however, we encounter those individuals who, for whatever reason, can be difficult to deal with. Perhaps this person is a colleague or your boss or close friend that you feel is deliberately being obtuse, inviting in trouble, or doing foolish things that you find annoying. Sometimes, it may be possible to appease or avoid those people short term. Dealing with them in the long term, however, can be exhausting. The behavior of difficult people can even make you feel like losing your temper, but keep your cool. Staying calm is the first step, especially when you are ready to confront them.

Avoiding a difficult person can improve impossible and not in your best interest, especially if you live or work together. Likewise, attempts to steer clear of them can become a source of stress and anxiety when they are a part of your social circle. When this is the case, it is best to kindly address the problem. Try not to let their actions or mood affect you. You also may want to try expressing your feelings directly. Tell to the person how their actions make you feel and encourage them toward a more positive course of action. Speak assertively, but respectfully, and don’t portray yourself as a victim. Another approach for dealing with a difficult individual is to gain a deeper understanding of who that person is. Ask them why they do or say certain things. If you disagree with their motives, question them further so you can try and discover the root of their behaviors. In doing so, you may be able to gently shift their perceptions, or at least help them understand your ! point of view.

You may want to think about what you want to say to a difficult person before you actually talk to them. If you can, avoid being judgmental or defensive, and try to approach the conversation objectively. If the person is open to the idea, try coming to an agreement. If approaching them fails, let it go and move on. There is no reason to let difficult person or situation have power over your state of being. Remember that a lot can be accomplished when you take the time to listen and offer up alternative perspectives.

Source: Daily Om

Enhanced by Zemanta

Spathodea

Botanical Name : Spathodea campanulata
Family: Bignoniaceae
Tribe: Tecomeae
Genus: Spathodea
Species: S. campanulata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonym(s): Spathodea nilotica Seem.

Common Names : Fountain Tree, African Tulip Tree, Pichkari or Nandi Flame
(Cantonese) : neerukayi mara
(English) : African tulip tree, flame of the forest, fountain tree, Nandi flame, Nile flame, squirt tree, tulip tree, Uganda flame
(French) : immortel éntranger
(Hindi) : rugtoora
(Luganda) : kifabakazi
(Malay) : panchut-panchut
(Sinhala) : kudaella gaha, kudulu
(Spanish) : amapola, espatodea, mampolo, tulipán africano
(Swahili) : kibobakasi, kifabakazi
(Tamil) : patadi
(Trade name) : flame of the forest, Nandi flame

Habitat :Spathodea campanulata  is native to Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia
Exotic : Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, India, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka, Zanzibar

It grows naturally in Africa in secondary forests in the high forest zone and in deciduous, transition, and savannah forests. It colonizes even heavily eroded sites, though form and growth rate suffer considerably on difficult sites.

The species is found throughout tropical Africa and is widely grown as an ornamental.

Description:
Spathodea campanulata is medium sized, reaching a height of 10-35 m, deciduous, with a round, heavy crown of dense, dark foliage, sometimes somewhat flattened; young bark pale, grey-brown and smooth but turns grey-black, scaly and cracked vertically and horizontally with age. The opposite imparipinnate leaves are exstipulate. Each leaf consists of 5-7 pairs of opposite leaflets and a terminal one. The leaflets are oblong-elliptic, about 1 cm long and 0.5 cm broad, entire, broadly acuminate, unequal at the base, dark green on top and light green on the underside; there are glandular swellings at the base of the lamina (usually a pair); the midrib and nerves are yellow, raised and very slightly pubescent; the venation is reticulate; the short, thick petiole is about 0.7 cm long; there are conspicuous lenticels on the rachis; rachis base is swollen. Flowers large, red, hermaphrodite, orange inside; calyx green, about 1 cm long and split on the posterior side, ribbed and tomentellous; petals 5, each about 1.5 cm long; stamens 4 with orange filaments; style extruding with a 2-lipped stigma; flower buds curved and contain a red sap. A yellow-flowered variety has been reported. Fruit upstanding, dark brown, cigar-shaped, woody pod, 15-25 cm long and split on the ground into 2 boat-shaped valves, releasing many flat-winged seeds; 1-4 pods usually develop from 1 flower cluster; seeds thin, flat and surrounded by a filmy wing. The generic name comes from the Greek word ‘spathe’ (blade), from the shape of the corolla. The specific name means pertaining to a Campanula, a name coined in 1542 by Fuchs for the type of corolla with a broad rounded base and a gradually expanded tube corresponding to the sound bow of a church bell.

Click to see the pictures.>……..(01)....(1):…….(2) :….(3):…..(4) :...(5)

The flower bud is ampule-shaped and contains water. These buds are often used by children who play with its ability to squirt the water. The sap sometimes stains yellow on fingers and clothes. The open flowers are cup-shaped and hold rain and dew, making them attractive to many species of birds. In Neotropical gardens and parks, their nectar is popular with many hummingbirds, such as the Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis), the Black Jacobin (Florisuga fusca), or the Gilded Hummingbird (Hylocharis chrysura). The wood of the tree is soft and is used for nesting by many hole-building birds such as barbets. It was discovered way back in 1787 on the Gold Coast of Africa

Propagation :
Natural reproduction takes place on bare ground, in grass, and under weeds and brush. Seeds may be collected by harvesting the pods after they turn brown and allowing them to air-dry until they split open. The germinating seeds are fragile and should be covered by a thin film of peat or sand and should not be exposed to hard rain. Vegetative reproduction is easily carried out with cuttings or root suckers.

Medicinal Uses:
The bark has laxative and antiseptic properties, and the seeds, flowers and roots are used as medicine. The bark is chewed and sprayed over swollen cheeks. The bark may also be boiled in water used for bathing newly born babies to heal body rashes.

Edible Uses: The seeds are edible and used in many parts of Africa.

Other Uses:  Timber: In its original habitat, the soft, light brownish-white wood is used for carving and making drums.This tree is  recommended as a shade tree for parks and yards; it has been used for coffee shade.Spathodea  campanulata helps rehabilitate disturbed lands through its quick invasion and rapid growth. Ornamental:Spathodea campanulata has been planted as an ornamental throughout the tropics. The flowers bloom with great profusion, and the trees can be seen from great distances. It is not browsed by domestic animals and is popular as a decorative tree for avenues. Boundary or barrier or support: The species, either planted or growing naturally, is frequently used for living fence posts.

Known Hazards: The hard central portion of the fruit is used to kill animals.

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.worldagroforestrycentre.org/sea/products/afdbases/af/asp/SpeciesInfo.asp?SpID=1539
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:African_Tulip_Tree_(Spathodea_campanulata)_at_Secunderabad_W_IMG_6626.jpg

Enhanced by Zemanta

Polyalthia longifolia

Botanical Name :Polyalthia longifolia
Family:Annonaceae
Genus:Polyalthia
Species: P. longifolia
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Magnoliales

Common Names : Polyalthia longifolia’s common names include False Ashoka, the Buddha Tree, Indian mast tree, and Indian Fir tree. Its names in other languages include Ashoka or Devadaru in Sanskrit, Debdaru in Bengali and Hindi, Asopalav (Gujarati), Glodogan tiang (Indonesian), Devdar in marathi and Nettilinkam in Tamil, and araNamaram: (Malayalam). There are two important traditions associated with the tree in India (presumably in its full, untrimmed, form with spreading branches), one being of Sita taking shelter in the shade of Ashoka when in captivity (found in the Ramayana) and another that of the Ashoka tree requiring a kick from a beautiful woman on spring festival day before it would bloom (in the Malavikagnimitra, for example). However, these associations are linked to the real Ashoka tree not the false Ashoka tree (Polyalthia longifolia).

Habitat : Polyalthia longifolia is native to India and Sri Lanka. It is introduced in gardens in many tropical countries around the world. It is, for example, widely used in parts of Jakarta in Indonesia.

Description:
Polyalthia Longifolia  is  a evergreen, tall and slender tree grows symmetrically and produces fresh and shining green foliage. A Polyalthia Longifolia tree grows as tall as 12 meter. The entire length of the plant is covered by long and wavy leaves. The beautiful contrast of new golden and coppery brown leaves against old dark-green leaves make a spectacular show.

Mast-trees Polyalthia longifolia

Mast-trees Polyalthia longifolia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Click to see the pictures:

Polyalthia Longifolia flowers during spring for a brief period (approximately two to three weeks). During this period, the entire tree is covered with small star-shaped flowers of pale green color. The flowers grow in clusters and attract birds and butterflies.Flowering is followed by egg-shaped fruits that are visited by bats and flying foxes.

The trunk of Polyalthia Longifolia has grey bark. Both the trunk and the bark are used in manufacturing of fiber. Timber is used for making boxes, pencils and long masts – that is why it is also known as the mast tree. In India and Sri Lanka, where the mast tree is held in high esteem, its leaves are used in religious ceremonies and for decorating arches and doorways.

Cultivation:Polyalthia Longifolia can be grown easily from seed or cuttings. It is a fast growing tree and requires good exposure to sunlight and moderate watering.

Chemical constituents:
Leaves have been reported to contain an azafluorene alkaloid, polylongine and three aporphine N-oxide alkaloids, (+)-O-methylbulbocapnine- ?-N-oxide,  (+)-O-methyl bulbocapnine- ?-N-Oxide and (+)-N-methylnandigerine- ?-N-oxide. Pentacyclic triterpenes, tarexasterol, stigmasterol, ?-sitosterol, campesterol, ?-amyrine and ?-amyrin have also been identified in the leaves. Clerodane diterpenoids have been isolated from the bark and seeds of this plant (Ghani, 2003). A new proanthocyanidin (I) along with ?-sitosterol and leucocyanidin have been isolated from stem bark (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).

Medicinal Uses:
Plant pacifies vitiated vata, pitta, inflammation, fever, skin disease, diabetes, hypertension and worm infestation. Its bark is used as an adulterant for Saraca asoka.

The bark is used as a febrifuge in the treatment of fever. Alcoholic extract of the leaf possesses strong antifungal and antibacterial properties against wide range of pathogens (Taniya, 2004).

Other Uses:Polyalthia longifolia is a prime choice for land scaping. It can be prooned to beautiful shape & size.

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.thelovelyplants.com/polyalthia-longifolia-the-mast-tree/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyalthia_longifolia
http://enchantingkerala.org/ayurveda/ayurvedic-medicinal-plants/aranamaram.php
http://www.mpbd.info/plants/polyalthia-longifolia.php