Catsfoot

Botanical Name : Antennaria dioca
Family: Asteraceae
Genus:     Antennaria
Species: A. dioica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Asterales

Synonyms: Life Everlasting. Mountain Everlasting. Gnaphalium dioicum (Linn.). Cudweed.

Common Names : Mountain Everlasting, Catsfoot, Cudweed or Stoloniferous Pussytoes

Habitat : Catsfoot is found in cool temperate regions of Europe and Asia, and also in North America in Alaska only.It is often found  to the coast level.

Description:
Catsfoot is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 10–20 cm tall, with a rosette of basal spoon-shaped leaves 4 cm long, and 1 cm broad at their broadest near the apex; and smaller leaves arranged spirally up the flowering stems. The flowers are produced in capitulae (flowerheads) 6–12 mm diameter with pale pink ray florets and darker pink disc florets.

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It is dioecious, but can also reproduce without fertilisation. It is found in groups which can be all-female colonies, all-male colonies, and also mixed colonies. The male plants have whiter flowerheads than female plants.

This plant derives its name from the antennae of a butterfly which the pappus hairs of the Staminate florets resemble.
It is the only British species, a small perennial with tufted or creeping leafly stalks and almost simple flowering stems, from 2 to 5 inches high. Lower leaves obovate or oblong, upper ones linear, white underneath or on both sides. Flowers early summer white and pinky, dioecious. In the males, inner bracts of the involucre have broad white petal-like tips, the females inner bracts narrow and white at tips, florets filiform with long protruding pappus to the achenes. Taste astringent odour pleasant and strongest in the female heads, male plant has white membraneous scales and the female rosecoloured. Gerard alludes to it as ‘Live for ever,’ and says:
‘When the flower hath long flourished and is waxen old, then comes there in the middest of the floure a certain brown yellow thrumme, such as is in the middest of the daisie, which floure being gathered when it is young may be kept in such manner (I meane in such freshness and well-liking) by the space of a whole year after in your chest or elsewhere, wherefore our English women have called it “Live Long,” or “Live-for ever,” which name doth aptly answer thiseffects.’

Another variety of Cudweed was called ‘Herbe Impious’ or ‘Wicked Cudweed,’ a variety
‘like unto the small Cudweed, but much larger and for the most part those floures which appeare first are the lowest and basest; and they are over topt by other floures, which come on younger branches, and grow higher as children seeking to overgrow or overtop their parents (as many wicked children do) for which cause it hath been called “Herbe Impious.” ‘

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: The whole herb

Constituents: Resin, volabile oil tanin and a bitter principle.

Discutient and used for its astringent properties, as a cure for quinsy, and mumps, said to be efficacious for bites of poisonous reptiles, and for looseness of bowels.

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antennaria_dioica
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/catsfo38.html

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Caroba

Botanical Name :Jacaranda procera
Family: Bignoniaceae
Genus:     Jacaranda
Species: J. caroba
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Lamiales

Synonyms:  Carob Tree. Carobinha. Bignonia Caroba. Jacaranda Caroba. Caaroba.

Common Name : Caroba

Habitat :Caroba  is native to Cerrado vegetation in Brazil.

Description:
The genus Jacaranda includes several species which are used medicinally in South America, and especially in Brazil. The trees are small, and the leaves thick, tough, and lanceolate, about 2 1/2 inches long, odourless, and slightly bitter in taste.

 

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Constituents:  There has been found in the leaves Caroba balsam, caroborelinic acid carobic acid, steocarobic acid, carobon, and crystalline substance, carobin.

Medicinal Actions and Uses:
The value of the Jacaranda active principles has been proved in syphilis and venereal diseases, being widely used by the aborigines of Brazil and other South American countries. The leaves have also been tried in epilepsy for their soothing influence.

Note:
Other Species:
CAROB-TREE, or Ceratonia siliqua, is a small tree of the Mediterranean coasts. (One species of Jacarande tree grows in Palermo, and the exquisite blue flowers when in bloom about the middle of June are an arresting sight, much more suggestive of ‘Love in the Mist’ than the plant which actually bears that name. – EDITOR.) Beyond its name it has no connexion with Caroba. It furnishes the St. John’s Bread which probably corresponds to the husks of the Prodigal Son parable, and the seed which is said to have been the original jewellers’ carat weight.

The Spaniards call it Algaroba, and the Arabs Kharoub, hence Carob or Caroub Pods, Beans, or Sugar-pods. It is also called Locust Pods. These pods are much used in the south of Europe for feeding domestic animals and, in times of scarcity, as human food. Being saccharine, they are more heatgiving than nourishing. The seeds or beans were used as fodder for British cavalry horses during the Spanish campaign of 1811-12.

South American varieties are Prosopis dulcis and P. siliquastrum of the Leguminosae family.

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

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/caroba23.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacaranda_caroba

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Iberis amara

Botanical Name : Iberis amara
Family: Brassicaceae/Cruciferae
Genus:     Iberis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Brassicales

Common Name :candytuft.The name “candytuft” is not related to candy, but derives from Candia, the former name of Iraklion on the Island of Crete

Habitat: Found in various parts of Europe and in English and Scotch cornfields, specially in limestone districts.

Description:
Iberis amara is an annual plant.This plant is an erect, rather stiff, very bitter, 6 to 12 inches high; flowers milky white, forming a terminal flat corymb; leaves oblong, lanceolate, acute, toothed; pod nearly orbicular, the long style projecting from notch at top; it flowers with the corns.

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It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Easily grown in a good, well-drained ordinary garden soil in a sunny position. Prefers a calcareous soil but tolerates mildly acid soils. Succeeds in poor soils and on dry walls. A very ornamental plant. A fast growing plant, do not grow the plants too close together. The flowers are sweetly scented.

Propagation:    
Seed – sow spring in situ for summer flowering or late summer in situ for a spring flowering. The seed germinates within 3 weeks.

Edible Uses : 
Edible Uses: Condiment.
The seeds are sometimes used as a source of mustard. Pungency of mustard develops when cold water is added to the ground-up seed – an enzyme (myrosin) acts on a glycoside (sinigrin) to produce a sulphur compound. The reaction takes 10 – 15 minutes. Mixing with hot water or vinegar, or adding salt, inhibits the enzyme and produces a mild bitter mustard

Medicinal Uses:
Antiarrhythmic;  Antiasthmatic;  AntirheumaticAntiscorbuticHomeopathy.

Little used in modern herbalism, rocket candytuft is a bitter-tasting tonic, aiding digestion and relieving wind and bloating. It is traditionally taken to treat gout, rheumatism and arthritis. All parts of the plant are antirheumatic and antiscorbutic. The seeds are considered very useful in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and dropsy. The plant is gathered in the summer and can be dried for later use. The seeds are harvested when fully ripe. A common homeopathic remedy is made from the seeds.

According to the US Dispensatory (1918), the leaves, stem, and root are said to possess medicinal properties, but the seeds are most efficacious.It has always been used for gout, rheumatism and kindred ailments, and is now usually combined with other plants for the same diseases in their acute form, and as a simple to allay excited action of the heart, especially when it is enlarged. For asthma, bronchitis and dropsy it is considered very useful. In large doses it is said to produce giddiness, nausea, and diarrhea, and to be useful in cardiac hypertrophy, asthma, and bronchitis in doses of from one to three grains (0.065—0.2 Gm.) of the seed. Currently the foliage and stalks are employed in German phytomedicine as a bitter digestive tonic.

A tincture made from the ripe seeds is much used in homoeopathy, but the plant is more generally used by American herbalists. All parts of the plant are used, leaves, stem, root and seeds, more particularly the latter.

Other Uses:
Iberis amara provides nourishment for a number of insect species of which the rare Euchloe tagis butterfly is the most striking example as it is monophagous on species in this genu.They are excellent for rock gardens, bedding and borders in full sun or light shade. Candytuft is a cold hardy, fast-growing annual with lance shaped green leaves. It reaches a height of about 12 inches with a spread of about 6 inches.

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

Resourcs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iberis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Iberis+amara
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/canbit17.html

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Erythraea chilensis

Botanical Name :Erythraea chilensis
Family:         Gentianaceae

Synonyms:Centaurium [chilensis],Erythraea stricta
Common names: Canchalagua (Webster)

Habitat :Erythraea chilensis is  native to Chile

Description:
Erythraea  chilensis is a Small herbaceous plant with branched stems. Fls. yellow or pink. Widely used in Chile as a mild tonic.

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Medicinal Uses:
Acts as a stimulant, tonic, bitter. Useful in dyspepsia, indigestion.  An infusion may be made of 1 oz. to 1 pint of boiling water.

Note :

Other Species–
Erythraea acaulis, a native of Southern Algeria, has roots that yield a yellow dye.

Sabatia angularis, or American Centaury, is a simple bitter used as a tonic and antiperiodic, in doses of 1 drachm of fluid extract or decoction of the whole plant. It has been found to contain a small proportion of Erythrocentaurin. The root of S. Elliottii is used in a similar manner in the south-eastern United States, and the whole plant of S. campestris in the south-western. S. Elliottii is known as the Quinine Flower, its properties resembling quinine.

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

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/cenchi47.html
http://plantsforuse.com/index.php?page=1&id=199

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Agrostemma githago

Botanical Name :Agrostemma githago
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Genus:     Agrostemma
Species: A. githago
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Corn Pink. Corn Campion. Ray. Nigella. Zizany. Darnel. Tare. Gith. Lychnis. Githage. Agrostemma. Pseudo-melanthium. Lolium.

Common Names : “corncockle” and “corn cockle” and known locally simply as “the corncockle”

Habitat : It is very likely that until the 20th century, most wheat contained some corncockle seed. It is now present in many parts of the temperate world as an alien species, probably introduced with imported European wheat. It is known to occur throughout much of the United States and parts of Canada, parts of Australia and New Zealand.In parts of Europe such as the United Kingdom, intensive mechanised farming has put the plant at risk and it is now uncommon or local. This is partly due to increased use of herbicides but probably much more to do with changing patterns of agriculture with most wheat now sown in the autumn as winter wheat and then harvested before any corncockle would have flowered or set seed.

Description:
It is a stiffly erect plant up to 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) tall and covered with fine hairs. Its few branches are each tipped with a single deep pink to purple flower. The flowers are scentless, are 25–50 millimetres (1–2 in) across and are produced in the summer months – May to September in the northern hemisphere, November to March in the southern hemisphere.

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Each petal bears two or three discontinuous black lines. The five narrow pointed sepals exceed the petals and are joined at the base to form a rigid tube with 10 ribs. Leaves are pale green, opposite, narrowly lanceolate, held nearly erect against stem and are 45–145 mm (1.8–5.7 in) long. Seeds are produced in a many-seeded capsule. It can be found in fields, roadsides, railway lines, waste places, and other disturbed areas.

Medicinal Uses:
Corn Cockle is not used in alopathic medicine to-day, but according to Hill, if used long enough, it was considered a cure for dropsy and jaundice.

In homoeopathy a trituration of the seeds has been found useful in paralysis and gastritis.

Known Hazards:  All parts of the plant are poisonous (githagin, agrostemmic acid).

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrostemma_githago
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/cornc101.html

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Cinnamonum camphora

Botanical Name : Cinnamonum camphora
Family:     Lauraceae
Genus:     Cinnamomum
Species:     Cinnamomum camphora
Kingdom:     Plantae
Order:     Laurales

Synonyms:  Laurel Camphor. Gum Camphor.

Common Names :Camphor, Camphor tree, Camphorwood or camphor laurel

Habitat : Cinnamomum camphora is native to China south of the Yangtze River, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, and has been introduced to many other countries.

Description:
Cinnamomum camphora is a large evergreen tree that grows up to 20–30 metres tall. The leaves have a glossy, waxy appearance and smell of camphor when crushed. In spring it produces bright green foliage with masses of small white flowers. It produces clusters of black berry-like fruit around one centimetre in diameter. It has a pale bark that is very rough and fissured vertically.

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Chemical Constituents:
Camphor laurel contains volatile chemical compounds in all plant parts, and the wood and leaves are steam distilled for the essential oils. Camphor laurel has six different chemical variants called chemotypes, which are camphor, linalool, 1,8-cineole, nerolidol, safrole, or borneol. In China field workers avoid mixing chemotypes when harvesting by their odour. The cineole fraction of camphor laurel is used in China to manufacture fake “Eucalyptus oil“.

The chemical variants (or chemotypes) seem dependent upon the country of origin of the tree. The tree is native to China, Japan, and Taiwan. It has been introduced to the other countries where it has been found, and the chemical variants are identifiable by country. e.g., Cinnamomum camphora grown in Taiwan and Japan is normally very high in Linalool, often between 80 and 85%. In India and Sri Lanka the high camphor variety/chemotype remains dominant. Cinnamomum camphora grown in Madagascar, on the other hand, is high in 1,8 Cineole (averaging between 40 and 50%. The essential oil from the Madagascar trees is commercially known as Ravintsara

Camphor is a white crystalline substance, obtained from the tree Cinnamonum camphora, but the name has been given to various concrete odorous volatile products, found in different aromatic plants. The commercial Camphor comes only from C. camphora and Dryobalanops camphora (fam. Dipterocarpacaea). The first gives our official Camphor, the latter the Borneo Camphor, which is much valued in the East, but unknown in Europe and America. C. camphora is an evergreen tree looking not unlike our linden; it grows to a great size, is manybranched, flowers white, small and clustered, fruit a red berry much like cinnamon. While the tree grows in China, etc., it can be cultivated successfully in sub-tropical countries, such as India and Ceylon, and it will thrive in Egypt, Formosa, Madagascar, Canary Islands and southern parts of Europe, California, Florida, and also in Argentina. It grows so slowly that the return financially is a long investment. Some growers think that Camphor cannot be taken from the trees till they are fifty years old. In Japan and Formosa the drug comes from the root, trunk and branches of the tree by sublimation, but there is less injury done to the tree in the American plantations, as it is taken there from the leaves and twigs of the oldest trees. A Camphor oil exudes in the process of extracting Camphor, which is valued by the Chinese, used for medicinal purposes. Two substances are found in commerce under the name of oil of Camphor: one is the produce of C. cinnamonum, and is known as Formosa or Japanese oil of Camphor; the other as East Indian oil of Camphor, from the D. aromatica but this oil is not found in European or American trade. It is less volatile than the other, and has a distinctive odour; it is highly prized by the Chinese, who use it for embalming purposes and to scent soap. The Chinese attribute many virtues to it. It is mentioned by Marco Polo in the thirteenth century and Camoens in 1571, who called it the ‘balsam of disease.’ During the last few years large quantities have come into the American and European markets as Japanese oil; it varies in quality and colour from a thin watery oil to a thick black one. It is imported in tin cans and varies greatly in the amount of Camphor it contains, some cans having had all the solid principle extracted before importation. The odour is peculiar, like sassafras and distinctly camphoraceous; this oil is said to be used in Japan for burning, making varnish and for Chinese inks, as a diluent for artists’ colours; it has a capacity for dissolving resins that oil of Turps has not. The properties in the oil are much the same as in Camphor, but it is more stimulant and very useful in complaints of stomach and bowels, in spasmodic cholera and flatulent colic. It is also used as a rubefacient and sedative liniment, and if diluted with Olive oil or soap is excellent for local rheumatism, sprains, bruises, and neuralgia dose, 2 or 3 minims. There is an erroneous idea that Camphor acts as a preventive to infectious diseases. It is very acrid and in large doses very poisonous, and should be used cautiously in certain heart cases. It is a well-known preventive of moths and other insects, such as worms in wood; natural history cabinets are often made of it, the wood of the tree being occasionally imported to make cabinets for entomologists. The Dryobalanops oil of Camphor is said to be found in trees too young to produce Camphor, and is said to be the first stage of the development of Camphor, as it is found in the cavities of the trunk, which later on become filled with Camphor. Its chief constituent is an oil called Borneene. The D. aromatica tree, found in Sumatra and Borneo, grows to an enormous height, often over 100 feet, and trunk 6 or 7 feet in diameter. The Camphor of the older trees exists in concrete masses, in longitudinal cavities, in the heart of the tree, 1 1/2 feet long at certain distances apart. The only way of finding out if Camphor has formed in the tree is by incision. This Camphor is chiefly used for funeral rites, and any that is exported is bought by the Chinese at a high price, as they use it for embalming, it being less volatile than ordinary Camphor. Another Camphor called N’gai, obtained from the Blumea Balcamferi (Compositae), differs chemically from the Borneo species, being levogyrate, and is converted by boiling nitric acid, to a substance considered identical with stearoptene of Chrysanthemum parthenium.

Medicinal Action and Uses:
Camphor has a strong, penetrating, fragrant odour, a bitter, pungent taste, and is slightly cold to the touch like menthol leaves; locally it is an irritant, numbs the peripheral sensory nerves, and is slightly antiseptic; it is not readily absorbed by the mucous membrane, but is easily absorbed by the subcutaneous tissue- it combines in the body with glucuronic acid, and in this condition is voided by the urine. Experiments on frogs show a depressant action to the spinal column, no motor disturbance, but a slow increasing paralysis; in mankind it causes convulsions, from the effect it has on the motor tract of the brain; it stimulates the intellectual centres and prevents narcotic drugs taking effect, but in cases of nervous excitement it has a soothing and quieting result. Authorities vary as to its effect on blood pressure; some think it raises it, others take an opposite view; but it has been proved valuable as an excitant in cases of heart failure, whether due to diseases or as a result of infectious fevers, such as typhoid and pneumonia, not only in the latter case as a stimulant to circulation, but as preventing the growth of pneumococci. Camphor is used in medicine internally for its calming influence in hysteria, nervousness and neuralgia, and for serious diarrhoea, and externally as a counter-irritant in rheumatisms, sprains bronchitis, and in inflammatory conditions, and sometimes in conjunction with menthol and phenol for heart failure; it is often given hypodermically, 3 to 5 grains dissolved in 20 to 30 minims of sterile Olive oil – the effect will last about two hours. In nervous diseases it may be given in substance or in capsules or in spirit; dose 2 to 5 grains. Its great value is in colds, chills, and in all inflammatory complaints; it relieves irritation of the sexual organs.

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamomum_camphora
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/campho13.html

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Rampion bellflower

Botanical Name : Campanula rapunculus
Kingdom: Plantae
Family: Campanulaceae
Genus: Campanula
Species: C. rapunculus
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Campanula elatior Hoffmanns. & Link
*Campanula lusitanica f. bracteosa (Willk.) Cout.
*Campanula lusitanica f. racemoso-paniculata (Willk.) Cout.
*Campanula lusitanica f. verruculosa (Hoffmanns. & Link) Cout.
*Campanula lusitanica var. cymoso-spicata (Willk.) Cout.
*Campanula lusitanica auct.
*Campanula verruculosa Hoffmanns. & Link

Common Names : Rampion bellflower, rampion, or rover bellflower

Habitat :Rampion bellflower is found wild in England, on gravelly roadsides and hedgebanks and in open pastures, from Stafford southwards, but it is uncertain whether it should be held as a true native in the localities in southern England, where it is now established.  This species prefers limestone soils and grows in dry meadows, cultivated beds, forests of oaks and pine trees, along roadsides and lane, at an altitude of 0–1,500 metres (0–4,900 ft) above sea level.

This plantis present in western Asia, northern Africa and in most of Europe, except Iceland, Ireland and Norway. It has been introduced in Denmark, southern Sweden and Great Britain

Description:
Rampion bellflower is a biennial (but can be made perennial) herbaceous plant reaches on average 40–80 centimetres (16–31 in) of height, with a maximum of 100 centimetres (39 in) . The stem is erect, lightly hairy, branched on the top. The basal leaves are petiolated, ovate, slightly toothed and arranged in a rosette, while the upper leaves are sessile and narrow lanceolate. The hermaphrodite flowers are clustered in a racemose inflorescence, with a bell-shaped, light blue or violet corolla, about two centimeters long. They are arranged along the stem in a fairly narrow one-sided facing cluster. The flowering period extends from May through September. The fruit is a dehiscent capsule in the form of inverted cone with many seeds. The thick root looks like a small turnip and it is edible.

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The leaves are variable, 1 to 3 inches long, the radical leaves oblong or ovate, on long stalks and slightly crenate, the stem-leaves narrow and mostly entire, or obscurely toothed. The flowers, which bloom in July and August, are about 3/4 inch long, reddish purple, blue or white, on short peduncles, forming long, simple or slightly branched panicles. The corolla is divided to about the middle into five lanceolate segments. The capsule is short and erect, opening in small lateral clefts, close under the narrow linear segments of the calyx.

Drayton names it among the vegetables and pot-herbs of the kitchen garden, in his poem Polyolbion, and there is a reference to it in the slang of Falstaff, showing how generally it was in cultivation in this country in Shakespeare’s time.

There is an Italian tradition that the possession of a rampion excites quarrels among children. The plant figures in one of Grimm’s tales, the heroine, Rapunzel, being named after it, and the whole plot is woven around the theft of rampions from a magician’s garden. In an old Calabrian tale, a maiden, uprooting a rampion in a field, discovers a staircase that leads to a palace far down in the depths of the earth.

Cultivation:
Rampion is easily cultivated and will flourish in ordinary good soil, though a moist, sandy soil suits it best.

Seeds should be sown in shallow drills, a foot apart, in May, and thinned out to 5 or 6 inches in the rows. The young plants should be moderately watered at first.

If grown for culinary use, it must not be allowed to flower, and the roots should be earthed up several inches on each side in order to blanch them. They are fit for use in November, and should be lifted then and stored in a frost-proof place.

Medicinal Action and Uses:
Gerard tells us: ‘Some affirme that the decoction of the roots are good for all inflammation of the mouth and almonds of the throte and other diseases happening in the mouth and throte, as the other Throte warts.’

An old writer states that the distilled water of the whole plant is excellent for the complexion and ‘maketh the face very splendent.’

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

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/rampio03.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campanula_rapunculus

Calumba

Botanical Name :Jateorhiza calumba
Family: Menispermaceae
Genus: Jateorhiza
Species: J. palmata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names:Calumba,calumba root, columba, colombo, kalumba, kalumb, jateorhiza, guvercin koku otu

Habitat : Calumba is native to the tropical areas of Eastern and Southern Africa but can now be found cultivated in many tropical regions, including Brazil. The genus, comprising only two species, is also native to the Madagascar rainforest.

Description:
Calumba is a  tall, dioecious twining perennial vine; often reaching the tops of trees. The annual stems, one or two from each root, are hair with glandular tips and have large bright green memraneous leaves which are palmate, alternate and long petioled. The flowers are insignificant and greenish-white. The female flower is followed by moon-shaped stone in a drupe. Male flowers are in 30cm( 1) long panicles. The tuberous root is large and fleshy, about 3-8 cm (1.24-3.25) in diameter with a thick bark. Transverse section yellowish, outside greyish-brown. Taste is muscilagenous and very bitter.
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Constituents:  Columbamine, Jateorhizine and Palmatine, three yellow crystalline alkaloids closely allied to berberine; also a colourless crystalline principle, Columbine, and an abundance of starch and mucilage.

Medicinal Action and Uses:
The root of this   plant is used in traditional medicine systems world wide.It is a bitter tonic without astringency, does not produce nausea, headache, sickness or feverishness as other remedies of the same class. It is best given as a cold infusion; it is a most valuable agent for weakness of the digestive organs. In pulmonary consumption it is useful, as it never debilitates or purges the bowels. The natives of Mozambique use it for dysentery It allays the sickness of pregnancy and gastric irritation. In Africa and the East Indies it is cultivated for dyeing purposes.

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

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/calumb10.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jateorhiza_calumba

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Calabar Bean

Botanical Name :Physostigma venenosum
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Physostigma
Species: P. venenosum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales

Synonyms : Ordeal Bean. Chop Nut.

Common Name:Calabar Bean

Habitat: Calabar Bean  is native to West Africa, Old Calabar. Has been introduced into India and Brazil.

Description:
The plant is a large, herbaceous, climbing perennial, with the stem woody at the base, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter; it has a habit like the scarlet runner, and attains a height of about 50 feet (15 m). The flowers, resting on axillary peduncles, are large, about an inch long, grouped in pendulous, fascicled racemes pale-pink or purplish, and beautifully veined. The seed pods, which contain two or three seeds or beans, are 6 or 7 inches (15 or 18 cm) in length; and the beans are about the size of an ordinary horse bean but much thicker, with a deep chocolate-brown color.
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. It derives the first part of its scientific name from a curious beak-like appendage at the end of the stigma, in the centre of the flower; this appendage, though solid, was supposed to be hollow (hence the name from ????, a bladder, and stigma).

The plant came into notice in 1846 and was planted in the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens, where it grew into a strong perennial creeper. It is a great twining climber, pinnately trifoliate leaves, pendulous racemes of purplish bean-like flowers; seeds are two or three together in dark brown pods about 6 inches long and kidney-shaped thick, about 1 inch long, rounded ends, roughish but a little polished, and have a long scar on the edge where adherent to the placenta. The seeds ripen at all seasons, but are best and most abundant during the rainy season in Africa, June till September. The natives of Africa employ the bean as an ordeal owing to its very poisonous qualities. They call it esere, and it is given to an accused person to eat. If the prisoner vomits within half an hour he is accounted innocent, but if he succumbs he is found guilty. A draught of the pounded seeds infused in water is said to have been fatal to a man within an hour.

Constituents: The chief constituent is the alkaloid physostigmine (eserine), with which are calabarines, eseridine, and eseramine. Eseridine is not employed medicinally.

Medicinal Action and Uses:
Chiefly used for diseases of the eye; it causes rapid contraction of the pupil and disturbed vision.Also used as a stimulant to the unstriped muscles of the intestines in chronic constipation. Its action on the circulation is to slow the pulse and raise blood-pressure; it depresses the central nervous system, causingmuscular weakness; it has been employed internally for its depressant action in epilepsy, cholera, etc., and given hypodermically in acute tetanus. Physostigmine Salicylas is preferred for the preparation of eyedrops.

Known Hazards:
Calabar bean contains physostigmine, a reversible cholinesterase inhibitor alkaloid. The alkaloid physostigmine acts in effect like nerve gas,[1] disrupting communication between the nerves and muscles, and resulting in copius salivation, seizures, loss of control over the bladder and bowels, and eventually loss of control over the respiratory system, causing death by asphyxiation.

The main antidote to Calabar bean poisoning is atropine, which may often succeed; and the other measures are those usually employed to stimulate the circulation and respiration. Unfortunately, the antagonism between physostigmine and atropine is not perfect, and Sir Thomas Richard Fraser has shown that in such cases there comes a time when, if the action of the two drugs is summated, death results sooner than from either alone. Thus atropine will save life if three and a half times the fatal dose of physostigmine has been taken, but will hasten the end if four or more times the fatal dose has been ingested.

Poisons and Antidotes:  In case of poisoning by the beans the stomach should be evacuated and atropine injected until the pulse quickens. With poisoning by physostigmine the stomach should be washed out with 0.2 per cent of potassium permanganate and atropine and strychnine administered hypodermically.

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

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/calbea05.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calabar_bean

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Cajeput.(Melaleuca leucadendron)

Botanical Name : :Melaleuca leucadendron
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Melaleuca
Species: M. leucadendra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms:  Cajeput. White Tea Tree. Swamp Tea Tree. White Wood.

Common Names :Cajeput Tree, is derived from the Malay word kayu putih (old Indonesian spelling: kaju putih) – meaning “white wood”.

Habitat: Cajuput is native to East Indies, Tropical Australia. Imported from Macassar, Batavia, Singapore, Queensland and N.S. Wales. It is  widely distributed in northern parts of Australia (Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland) and is found even further north in the Solomon Islands and on New Guinea in Papua New Guinea and Western New Guinea. It has also been used as a street tree in Hong Kong.

Description:
The tree has a long flexible trunk with irregular ascending branches, covered with a pale thick, lamellated bark it is soft and spongy and from time to time throws off its outer layer in flakes; leaves entire, linear, lanceolate, ash colour, alternate on short foot-stalks; flowers sessile, white, on a long spike.
The foliage of Cajeput is of a brighter green and has a slightly weeping habit.
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The leaves have a very aromatic odour and the oil is distilled from the fresh leaves and twigs, and is volatile and stimulating with an aroma like camphor, rosemary, or cardamom seeds; taste bitter, aromatic and camphoraceous. Traces of copper have been found in it, hence the greenish tint; it should be stored in dark or amber-coloured bottles in a cool place. Cajuput oil is obtained from Melaleuca leucadendron, Roxburgh, and the minor Smith, but several other species of Melaleuca leucadendron are utilized such as M. hypericifolia, M. veridifolia, M. lalifolia, and others. The Australian species M. Decussata and M. Erucifolia are also used. The oil is fluid, clear, inflammable, burns without residue, highly volatile. The trace of copper found may be due to the vessels in which the oil is prepared, but it is doubtless sometimes added in commerce to produce the normal green tinge when other species have been used which do not impart it naturally.

Constituents:  The principal constituent of oil is cineol, which should average 45 to 55 per cent. Solid terpineol is also present and several aldehydes such as valeric, butyric and benzoic.

Medicinal Action and Uses:
Antispasmodic, diaphoretic, stimulant, antiseptic, anthelmintic.

Highly stimulant, producing a sensation of warmth when taken internally, increasing the fullness and rapidity of the pulse and sometimes producing profuse perspiration. Used as a stimulating expectorant in chronic laryngitis and bronchitis, as an antiseptic in cystisis and as an anthelmintic for round worms, also used in chronic rheumatism. Applied externally, it is stimulant and mildly counter-irritant and is usually applied diluted with 2 parts of olive oil or turpentine ointment. Used externally for psoriasis and other skin affections.

Traditional Uses:
* In Chronic respiratory and catarrhal infection
* In sinusitis, bronchitis
* In Genitial herpes,cervical dysplasia
* In viral hepatitis, bilary lithiases
* In Psoriasis, boils, fungal dermatitis
* In varicose veins,hemorrhoids, enteritis

Other Uses:
Cajeput is cultivated as an ornamental tree for parks and gardens. It is also used as a screen or windbreak. It tolerates dry conditions.

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

Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/cajupt04.html
http://www.globinmed.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82445:melaleuca-leucadendron&catid=827:m
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melaleuca_leucadendra