Rumex crispus

Botanical Name :Rumex crispus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus:     Rumex
Species: R. crispus

Synonym: Curled Dock.Lapathum crispum Garsault [Invalid]. Lapathum crispum (L.) Scop. Rumex elongatus Guss.

Common Name :Curly dock” or “yellow dock

Habitat :Rumex crispus is native to Europe and Western Asia. It grows freely in  roadside ditches and waste places.
Rumex crispus is a perennial plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to October, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

The mature plant is a reddish brown color, and produces a stalk that grows to about 1 m high. It has smooth leaves shooting off from a large basal rosette, with distinctive waved or curled edges.The leaves are crisped at their edges. The stem is 1 to 3 feet high and branched, the leaves, 6 to 10 inches long.  On the stalk flowers and seeds are produced in clusters on branched stems, with the largest cluster being found at the apex. The seeds are shiny, brown and encased in the calyx of the flower that produced them. This casing enables the seeds to float on water and get caught in wool and animal fur, and this helps the seeds to spread to new locations.
click to see the pictures
The root-structure is a large, yellow, forking taproot. The roots are 8 to 12 inches long, about 1/2 inch thick, fleshy and usually not forked. Externally they are of a rusty brown and internally whitish, with fine, straight, medullary rays and a rather thick bark. It has little or no smell and a rather bitter taste.

Succeeds in most soils, preferring a moist moderately fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. The plant does not need any help in growing, it is doing very nicely in Britain where it is a serious weed of agriculture. A very important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterfly[30].

Seed – this plant does not require any help in its propagation.

Edible Uses:
Leaves are eaten raw or cooked. They can also be dried for later use. The leaves can be added to salads, cooked as a potherb or added to soups. Only the very young leaves should be used, preferably before the stems have developed, and even these are likely to be bitter. If used in early spring and in the autumn they can often be fairly pleasant tasting. The leaves are very rich in vitamins and minerals, especially iron and the vitamins A and C. A nutritional analysis is available. Stems – raw or cooked. They are best peeled and the inner portion eaten.

Seed are also eaten raw or cooked. It can be used as a piñole or can be ground into a powder and used as a flour for making pancakes etc. The seed is very fiddly to harvest and prepare. The roasted seed has been used as a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
Rumex crispus has a long history of domestic herbal use. It is a gentle and safe laxative, less powerful than rhubarb in its action so it is particularly useful in the treatment of mild constipation. The plant has valuable cleansing properties and is useful for treating a wide range of skin problems. All parts of the plant can be used, though the root is most active medicinally. The root is alterative, antiscorbutic, astringent, cholagogue, depurative, laxative and mildly tonic. It used to be sold as a tonic and laxative. It can cause or relieve diarrhoea according to the dose, harvest time and relative concentrations of tannin(astringent) and anthraquinones (laxative) that are present. It is used internally in the treatment of constipation, diarrhoea, piles, bleeding of the lungs, various blood complaints and also chronic skin diseases. Externally, the root can be mashed and used as a poultice and salve, or dried and used as a dusting powder, on sores, ulcers, wounds and various other skin problems. The root has been used with positive effect to restrain the inroads made by cancer, being used as an alterative and tonic. The root is harvested in early spring and dried for later use. Some caution is advised in its use since excess doses can cause gastric disturbance, nausea and dermatitis. The seed is used in the treatment of diarrhoea. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh root, harvested in the autumn before frost has touched the plant. It is only used in the treatment of a specific type of cough

The Zuni people apply a poultice of the powdered root to sores, rashes and skin infections, and use infusion of the root for athlete’s foot.

Other Uses:
Dye & Compost

Yellow, dark green to brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots. They do not need a mordant. An alternative ingredient of ‘QR‘ herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost.

Known HazardsPlants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition. Avoid during pregnancy & breast feeding.

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


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Rumex alpinus

Botanical Name :Rumex alpinus
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus:     Rumex
Species: R. alpinus
Order:     Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Herb Patience, Passion’s Dock.

Common Name :Monk’s-rhubarb, Munk’s rhubarb or Alpine dock

Habitat :Rumex alpinus is native to Central and Southern Europe and to Western Asia. It is naturalized in Britain.It can be found in arable land, fields, yards, rubbish dumps, roadsides and shores.This species prefers high-altitude environments rich in nitrates, at elevation of up to 2,000 to 2,400 metres (6,600 to 7,900 ft) above sea level.

Rumex alpinus is a perennial plant with a creeping rhizome. It can reach a height of 60 to 200 centimetres (24 to 79 in). The stem is erect, striated and unbranched until just below the inflorescence. The leaves are very large, ovate-round, with long stout leaf stalks and irregular margins. The basal leaves have a hairless upper surface but have some hairs beside the veins on the lower surface. The upper leaves are alternate and are smaller and more elongated. Where their stalks meet the stem there is a membranous ochrea formed by the fusion of two stipules into a sheath which surrounds the stem and has a ragged upper margin. The flowers are arranged in much-branched, dense terminal compound panicles. The flowers are dioecious and anemophilous. The perianth segments are in two whorls of three. The outer ones are recurved and the inner ones form fruit valves, which are roundly, wider than long, with cordate bases and entire margins. There are six stamens, a pistil formed of three fused carpels, and three styles.

click to see the pictures

It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.The fruits are brown, three-sided achenes.

There are about ten or eleven kinds of native Docks.

A very easily grown and tolerant plant, it succeeds in most soils, preferring a moist moderately fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position. Hardy to about -20°c. Alpine dock was at one time cultivated for its edible leaves, though it has now fallen out of favour to be replaced by less strong-tasting plants. This is a pity because it is a very productive and useful vegetable and can produce its leaves all through the winter if the weather is not too severe. A very important plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterflies.

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. The seed can also be sown as soon as it is ripe when it will germinate rapidly and will provide edible leaves from early spring the following year. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Division is easy at almost any time of the year, though the plants establish more rapidly in the spring. Use a sharp spade or knife to divide the rootstock, ensuring that there is at least one growth bud on each section of root. 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:
Leaves are eaten raw or cooked. They can also be kept dried for later use. A strong flavour, the leaves can be used in salads in late autumn to the spring, but are better cooked like spinach. The fresh leaves can be available for most months of the year, only dying down for a short period in severe winters[K]. The leaves often become bitter in the summer. In taste trials, this has proved to be a very popular autumn and spring cooked leaf, making an excellent spinach.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is astringent and laxative. It has a regulatory effect on the digestive system, similar to but weaker than rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum). It can act either as a laxative or a cure for diarrhoea according to dosage. The root is harvested in early spring and dried for later use.

Other Uses:
Dye is made from the root. Brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots, they do not need a mordant

Known Hazards:  Plants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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Delphinium staphisagria

Botanical Name : Delphinium staphisagria
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus:     Delphinium
Species: D. staphisagria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Ranunculales

Synonym: Lousewort.

Common Names: Lice-Bane or Stavesacre.

Habitat:Delphinium staphisagria grows throughout the Mediterranean.(Asia Minor and Europe.)

Delphinium staphisagria   is  a stoutly-stemmed, hairy biennial plant with hairy stem and large (up to 6″) hairy palmate leaves, composed of five to seven oblong lobes, which have frequently one or two acute indentures on their sides. The flowers are mauve-blue to blue, short-spurred, and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) across, occurring in racemes. The plant grows to a height of 4–5 feet.The dark-colored, wrinkled seeds of D. staphisagria are characteristically quite large (~5×6 mm), and it is likely that the species name, which translates to “wild raisin”  is based on their appearance. This name-derivation seems to have been arrived at independently by a modern horticulturalist, David Bassett, who also gives a detailed account of his experiences in growing this species. All parts of this plant are highly toxic and should not be ingested in any quantity.

click to see the pictures

The seeds of this species should be sown in April, where the plants are intended to remain and require no special treatment, growing in almost any soil or situation, but the plants are most luxuriant when given a deep, yellow loam, well enriched with rotted manure and fairly moist. They should be thinned to a distance of 2 feet apart.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used:  The dried, ripe seeds. Shake the seeds out of the pods on trays and spread them out to dry in the sun. Then pack away in airtight boxes or tins. The dried, ripe seeds are brown when fresh, changing to a dull, earthy colour on keeping. In shape they are irregularly quadrangular, one side being curved and larger than the others, and the surface of the seed is wrinkled and pitted. They average about 6 mm. (nearly 1/4 inch) long and rather less in width, ten weighing about 6 grains. The seed coat is nearly tasteless, but the endosperm is oily and has a bitter and acrid taste. The seeds have no marked collour.

Chemical Constituents: The chief constituents of Stavesacre seeds are from 20 to 25 per cent of alkaloidal matter, which consists chiefly of the bitter, acrid, crystalline, alkaloid Delphinine, an irritant poison, and a second crystalline alkaloid named Delphisine, and the amorphous alkaloid Delphinoidine. Less important are staphisagroine, of which traces only are present, and staphisagrine, which appears to be a mixture of the first three elements.

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Traditional Uses:
As noted above, preparations made from D. staphisagria (apparently principally from the seeds) were used as a pediculicide throughout the last two millennia. Maud Grieve, in her famous Herbal, written in 1931, refers to stavesacre as being a “vermifuge” and “vermin-destroying”, as well as to its parasiticidal properties. She also mentions that it is “violently emetic and cathartic”.

Vermifuge and vermin-destroying. Stavesacre seeds are extremely poisonous and are only used as a parasiticide to kill pediculi, chiefly in the form of the official ointment, the expressed oil, the powdered seeds, or an acid aqueous extract containing the alkaloids.

These seeds are so violently emetic and cathartic that they are rarely given internally, though the powdered seeds have been given as a purge for dropsy, in very small quantities at first and increased till the effect is produced. The dose at first should not exceed 2 or 3 grains, given in powder or decoction, but the administration of the drug must always be accompanied by great caution, as staphisagrine paralyses the motor nerves like curare.

The seeds are used as an external application to some cutaneous eruptions, the decoction, applied with a linen rag, being effectual in curing the itch. It is made by boiling the seeds in water.

Delphinine has also been employed similarly to aconite, both internally and externally, for neuralgia. It resembles aconite in causing slowness of pulse and respiration, paralysis of the spinal cord and death from asphyxia. By depressing the action of the spinal cord it arrests the convulsions caused by strychnine.

Introduced into homeopathy by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, Leipzig, 1817. Hahnemann’s fellow provers were: Cubitz, Franz, Gross, Gutmann, Hartmann, Haymel, Herrman, Kumer, Langhammer, Staph, Teuthorn.

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


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Graviola (Annona Muricata)

Botanical Name :Annona Muricata
Family: Annonaceae
Genus: Annona
Species: A. muricata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Magnoliales

Common names:
#English:Graviola, Brazilian pawpaw, soursop, prickly custard apple, Soursapi
*Ewe: Evo
*Akan: Aborofontungu
*Spanish: guanábana, guanábano, sinini, anona, catche, catoche, catuche, zapote agrio
*Chamorro: laguaná, laguana, laguanaha, syasyap
*German: Sauersack, Stachelannone, Annona, Flaschenbaum
*Fijian: sarifa, seremaia
*French: anone muriquee, cachiman épineux, corossol épineux,anone, cachiman épineux, caichemantier, coeur de boeuf, corossol, corossolier epineux
*Haitian Creole: kowosòl
*Indonesian: sirsak
*Malay: Durian Belanda
*M?ori: k?tara‘apa, k?tara‘apa papa‘?, naponapo taratara
*Dutch: zuurzak
*Portuguese: graviola, araticum-grande, araticum-manso, coração-de-rainha, jaca-de-pobre, jaca-do-Pará, anona, curassol, graviola, pinha azeda
*Samoan: sanalapa, sasalapa, sasalapa
*Swahili: mstafeli
*Tahitian: tapotapo papa‘a, tapotapo urupe
*Thai:  (tu-rian-tet)
*Vietnamese: mãng cou xiêm, mãng cou gai
*Filipino: guyabano

Habitat : Graviola trees are native to the Caribbean and Central America but are now widely cultivated – and in some areas, escaping and living on their own – in tropical climates throughout the world.These trees are tolerant of poor soil and prefers lowland areas between the altitudes of 0 metres (0 ft) to 1,200 metres (3,900 ft). It cannot stand frost.

Graviola is a small, upright, evergreen tree that can grow to about 4 metres (13 ft) tall.
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Stems and leaves:
The young branches are hairy.
Leaves are oblong to oval, 8 centimetres (3.1 in) to 16 centimetres (6.3 in) long and 3 centimetres (1.2 in) to 7 centimetres (2.8 in) wide. Glossy dark green with no hairs above, paler and minutely hairy to no hairs below.

The leaf stalks are 4 millimetres (0.16 in) to 13 millimetres (0.51 in) long and without hairs.

Flower stalks (peduncles) are 2 millimetres (0.079 in) to 5 millimetres (0.20 in) long and woody. They appear opposite from the leaves or as an extra from near the leaf stalk, each with one or two flowers, occasionally a third.
Stalks for the individual flowers (pedicels) are stout and woody, minutely hairy to hairless and 15 millimetres (0.59 in) to 20 millimetres (0.79 in) with small bractlets nearer to the base which are densely hairy.

Petals are thick and yellowish. Outer petals meet at the edges without overlapping and are broadly ovate, 2.8 centimetres (1.1 in) to 3.3 centimetres (1.3 in) by 2.1 centimetres (0.83 in) to 2.5 centimetres (0.98 in), tapering to a point with a heart shaped base. Evenly thick, covered with long, slender, soft hairs externally and matted finely with soft hairs within. Inner petals are oval shaped and overlap. 2.5 centimetres (0.98 in) to 2.8 centimetres (1.1 in) by 2 centimetres (0.79 in). Sharply angled and tapering at the base. Margins are comparatively thin, with fine matted soft hairs on both sides. The receptacle is conical and hairy. Stamens 4.5 millimetres (0.18 in) long and narrowly wedge-shaped. The connective-tip terminate abruptly and anther hollows are unequal. Sepals are quite thick and do not overlap. Carpels are linear and basally growing from one base. The ovaries are covered with dense reddish brown hairs, 1-ovuled, style short and stigma truncate.

Fruits and reproduction:
Dark green, prickly (or bristled) fruits are egg-shaped and can be up to 30 centimetres (12 in) long, with a moderately firm texture. Flesh is juicy, acid, whitish and aromatic.

Abundant seeds the average weight of 1000 fresh seeds is 470 grams (17 oz) and had an average oil content of 24%. When dried for 3 days in 60 °C (140 °F) the average seed weight was 322 grams (11.4 oz) and were tolerant of the moisture extraction; showing no problems for long-term storage under reasonable conditions.

Edible Uses:
Graviola is a member of the family of custard apple trees called Annonaceae and a species of the genus Annona known mostly for its edible fruits. Annona muricata produces a fruit that is usually called soursop due to its slightly acidic taste when ripe.

Medicinal Uses:
 Indigenous Traditional Use:
Graviola has a long history of use by Indigenous people of the Amazon Basin who use all parts of the Graviola tree – the bark, leaves, roots, fruits and seeds – for various ailments. For example, the fruit and seeds are used for intestinal health, namely to eliminate intestinal parasites and for stomach and bowel discomforts. Women also eat paw paw (the fruit of Graviola) or drink its juice to increase lactation. Teas are made from the Graviola root, bark and leaves as a sedative and a nerve tonic, as well as to help maintain healthy glucose levels. In other parts of the world, such as the Polynesian Islands,
Graviola tea is consumed daily to elevate mood and increase quality of life. Graviola tea taken orally or applied on the skin is also used as an insect repellent.

In Brazil, Indigenous people crush Graviola leaves and blend the oozing oil from the leaves with the Graviola fruit. This preparation is used topically for the alleviation of muscle and joint pain.

Aside from its medicinal use, Graviola fruit is eaten regularly throughout South America as a delicious and refreshing fruit during a hot summer day.

Scientific Studies – Mechanism of Action:
Many of the indigenous applications of Graviola have been substantiated by science, and further exceptional properties have been discovered.

First, the nerve tonic, calming and mood elevating properties of Graviola have been demonstrated through several studies. The calming effect on the whole body has been linked to the ability of Graviola leaf extract to lower blood pressure.

In addition, the fruit was shown to contain a serotonin uptake inhibitor. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in the experience of joy. When serotonin is released at the synaptic level, stimulating the post-synaptic neuron, the effect of serotonin is stopped by recapturing serotonin within the pre-synaptic terminal. This process is called “reuptake.” A way of enhancing the “joy system” in the brain and alleviating mood swings is to increase the
concentration of serotonin in the synaptic cleft by blocking the reuptake of serotonin. Compounds that block this process are called “serotonin reuptake inhibitors,” commonly referred to as SRI. Several common medications are SRI. Another way to increase the “serotonin joy system” is to consume compounds that mimic serotonin, acting in the brain like serotonin. An extract from the Graviola fruit was shown to contain three compounds that act like serotonin in the brain.

Another interesting application of Graviola, well known by Indigenous people, is its ability to repel insects. In 1988 a patent was filed describing the insecticidal properties of annonin, a natural compound present in Graviola. Since then, shampoo and skin care products have been
developed for the management of lice. However, the claim to fame of Graviola is its, which means its ability to kill cells. Cytotoxic often refers to the ability to kill cells that are not functioning properly and which can put the whole body at risk. More than 34 cytotoxic compounds have been isolated from Graviola, some of them being up to 100 million times more potent than commonly used cytotoxic compounds. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) prevents making health claims. Therefore, one cannot recommend using the cytotoxic properties of Graviola for the treatment of any disease. However, given the demonstrated properties of Graviola, and given the role of the immune system in eliminating dysfunctional cells, we can say that Graviola is a natural plant that can support the functions of the immune system in an exceptional manner.

Other Benefits & uses:

For a bug-free hike in the woods!:
To repel insects” add some Graviola extract to a glass of juice or water and drink it# You can
also put a small amount of extract in your hand and rub your skin with it.*

Intestinal health:
Taking Graviola extract daily will help maintain a good intestinal environment.*

Mood elevation:
Graviola contains components known to enhance the “serotonin joy system” of the brain#
Drink some Graviola extract in water daily or as needed.*

Taking Graviola daily will help support immune functions.

Known Hazards:The compound annonacin, which is contained in the seeds of soursop, is a neurotoxin associated with neurodegenerative disease.

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


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Botanical Name :Dahlia Variabilis
Family: Asteraceae/Compositae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Coreopsideae
Genus: Dahlia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonym:  Georgina.

Common Name :Dahlia  (Not to be confused with Dalea, in family Fabaceae)

Habitat :Dahlia is  native mainly in Mexico, but also Central America, and Colombia. It grows in sandy meadows at an elevation of 5,000 feet above the sea, and from whence the first plants introduced to England were brought by way of Madrid, in 1789, by the Marchioness of Bute. These having been lost, others were introduced, in 1804, by Lady Holland. These, too, perished, so fresh ones were obtained from France, when the Continent was thrown open by the Peace of 1814.

Now Dahlia  is grown in various places in the world as an ornamental plant.

Dahlia is a genus of bushy, tuberous, herbaceous perennial plant.The stems are leafy, ranging in height from as low as 12 in (30 cm) to more than 6–8 ft (1.8–2.4 m). The majority of species do not produce scented flowers or cultivars. Like most plants that do not attract pollinating insects through scent, they are brightly colored, displaying most hues, with the exception of blue.

click to see the pictures.

Edible Uses:
The dahlia was declared the national flower of Mexico in 1963. The tubers were grown as a food crop by the Aztecs, but this use largely died out after the Spanish Conquest. Attempts to introduce the tubers as a food crop in Europe were unsuccessful.

Today the dahlia is still considered one of the native ingredients in Oaxacan cuisine; several cultivars are still grown especially for their large, sweet potato-like tubers. Dacopa, an intense mocha-tasting extract from the roasted tubers, is used to flavor beverages throughout Central America.

Medicinal Uses:
The Inulin obtained in Dandelion and Chicory is also present in Dahlia tubers under the name of Dahlin. After undergoing a special treatment, Dahlia tubers and Chicory will yield the pure Laevulose that is sometimes called Atlanta Starch or Diabetic Sugar, which is frequently prescribed for diabetic and consumptive patients, and has been given to children in cases of wasting illness.

There was a very considerable business done in this product before the War by certain German firms. In a paper read at the Second International Congress of the Sugar Industry, held at Paris in 1908, it was stated that pure Laevulose is preferably made by the inversion of Inulin with dilute acids, and that the older process of preparation from invert sugar or molasses does not yield a pure product. The first step in the technical production of Laevulose is in the preparation of Inulin, and Dahlia tubers or Chicory root, which contain 6 to 12 per cent of Inulin are the most suitable material. Chicory root can readily be obtained in quantity, and Dahlia plants, if cultivated for the purpose, should yield in a few years a plentiful supply of cheap raw material.

For extraction of the Inulin, the roots or tubers are sliced, treated with milk of lime and steamed. The juice is then expressed and clarified by subsidence and filtration, the clear liquid being run into a revolving cooler until flakes are produced. These flakes are separated by a centrifugal machine, washed and decolorized, and the thus purified product finally treated with diluted acid, and so converted into Laevulose. This solution of Laevulose is neutralized and evaporated to a syrup in a vacuum pan.

Laevulose can be produced in this manner from Chicory roots and Dahlia tubers at an enormous reduction of price from the older methods of preparing it from molasses or sugar, the resultant product being moreover of absolute purity. Its sweet and pleasant taste are likely to make it used not only for diabetic patients, but also in making confectionery and for retarding crystallization of sugar products. It can also readily be utilized in the brewing and mineral water industries.

The research staff of one of the Scottish Universities during the War developed a process of extracting a valuable and much needed drug for the Army from Dahlia tubers, and was using as much material for the purpose as could be spared by growers.

In Europe and America, prior to the discovery of insulin in 1923, diabetics—as well as consumptives—were often given a substance called Atlantic starch or diabetic sugar, derived from inulin, a naturally occurring form of fruit sugar, extracted from dahlia tubers. Inulin is still used in clinical tests for kidney functionality.

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


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Botanical Name : Narcissus Pseudo-narcissus
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
Genus: Narcissus
Species: N. pseudonarcissus
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Narcissus. Porillon. Daffy-down-dilly. Fleur de coucou.

Common Names :Daffodil, Common daffodil, Wild daffodil, Easter lily, Lent lily, Downdilly.

Habitat :Daffodil is native to Western Europe from Spain and Portugal east to Germany and north to England and Wales. It is commonly grown in gardens and populations have become established in many other parts of Europe. Wild plants grow in woods, grassland and on rocky ground. In Britain native populations have decreased substantially since the 19th century due to intensification of agriculture, clearance of woodland and uprooting of the bulbs for use in gardens. In Germany it was a subject of a national awareness campaign for the protection of wildflowers in 1981.

In England, in the North York Moors National Park, the Farndale valley hosts a large population of the species, along the banks of the River Dove.

In England, in Gloucestershire, there are several nature reserves supporting large populations of the species near Dymock Woods SSSI. There is a Daffodil Walk Trail around several reserves in the spring.

Daffodil is a bulbous perennial flowering plant  with upright, strap-like, grey-green leaves. The leaves arise from the base of the stem and are up to 35 cm long and 12 mm wide, with rounded tips. A single flower is produced at the tip of the flattened flower-stalk. The flower consists of a dark yellow ‘trumpet’ (corona) surrounded by a ring of 3 sepals and 3 petals (perianth), which are a lighter yellow. The flowers are up to 60 mm long and the ‘trumpet’ and ring of petals are roughly the same length. Flowers are usually produced from March to April. The daffodil is clump-forming, but reproduction is primarily via seed production.

Click to see the pictures

The daffodil is the ‘golden’ flower that inspired the poetry of William Wordsworth.

Cultivation & propagation:
Propagation of daffodils at Kew is normally carried out by dividing clumps where drifts of plants have become dense. The bulbs taken out are used to bulk up areas where daffodils are thinly distributed, or to create new plantings.

Daffodils have also been propagated from seed at Kew. The seeds are collected from mature daffodils at Kew during early summer and sown on an open compost mix in pots and kept outside. The pots are then placed in a cold frame during the winter. The seeds germinate in autumn with emergence of seedlings the following spring; however it takes three to five years before daffodils are mature enough to be planted into the Gardens.

Commercially, daffodils are propagated by tissue culture or twin-scaling. In twin-scaling the bulbs are cut into longitudinal segments. These are separated into pairs of scales joined by a portion of basal plate. When planted in compost these develop bulbils on the basal plate and the bulbils can be grown on to form new plants.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts Used: Bulb, leaves, flowers.

Chemical Constituents:Professor Barger has given the following notes on the alkaloid of Narcissus Pseudo-narcissus. ‘In 1910 Ewins obtained from the bulbs a crystalline alkaloid, to which he gave the name of narcissine, and on analysis found the formula to be C16H17ON.’ He notes that the alkaloid is characterized by great stability and cannot easily be decomposed. Ringer and Morshead found the alkaloid from resting bulbs acted like pilocarpine, while that from the flowering bulbs resembled atropine. Laidlaw tested Ewins’ alkaloid on frogs and cats, but found no action similar to pilocarpine or atropine. 0.125 gram given by mouth to a cat caused vomiting, salivation and purgation. In 1920 Asahtna, Professor of Chemistry in the Tokyo College of Pharmacy, showed that narcissine is identical with Iycorine isolated from Lycoris radiata in 1899. The name narcissine has therefore been dropped. Lycorine is quite common in the N.O. Amaryllidaceae. It was found in Buphane disticha by Tutin in the Mellome Research Laboratory in 1911 (Journ. Chem. Soc. Transactions 99, page 1,240). It is generally present in quite small quantities, at most 0.1 to 0.18 per cent of the fresh material. Chemically, Iycorine or narcissine has some resemblance to hydrastine, and like it, contains a dioxymethylene group.

The following is a quotation from Culpepper:
‘Yellow Daffodils are under the dominion of Mars, and the roots thereof are hot and dry in the third degree. The roots boiled and taken in posset drink cause vomiting and are used with good success at the appearance of approaching agues, especially the tertian ague, which is frequently caught in the springtime. A plaster made of the roots with parched barley meal dissolves hard swellings and imposthumes, being applied thereto; the juice mingled with honey, frankincense wine, and myrrh, and dropped into the ears is good against the corrupt and running matter of the ears, the roots made hollow and boiled in oil help raw ribed heels; the juice of the root is good for the morphew and the discolouring of the skin.’

It is said by Galen to have astringent properties. It has been used as an application to wounds. For hard imposthumes, for burns, for strained sinews, stiff or painful joints, and other local ailments, and for ‘drawing forth thorns or stubs from any part of the body’ it was highly esteemed.
The Daffodil was the basis of an ancient ointment called Narcissimum.

The powdered flowers have been used as an emetic in place of the bulbs, and in the form of infusion or syrup, in pulmonary catarrh.

Other Uses:
Modern daffodil cultivars are important ornamental crops; more daffodils are planted than any other perennial ornamental plant. Britain is the major grower of daffodils for both flowers and bulbs, which are also grown commercially in the Netherlands, United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Wild daffodils were picked in great numbers in Britain in the past, and in the 1930s there was even a ‘Daffodil Special’ train service run by the Great Western Railway to take Londoners to the Gloucestershire-Herefordshire border to admire and buy the flowers.

The national flower of Wales, traditionally worn on St David’s Day (1 March), is a daffodil, although it is thought by some to be the Tenby daffodil (N. pseudonarcissus subspecies major, also known by the synonym N. obvallaris), which is native to South Wales, rather than N. pseudonarcissus subspecies pseudonarcissus. The Tenby daffodil has small, uniformly yellow flowers and short stiff stems.

Known hazards: The leaves, stems, seed pods and bulbs contain toxic alkaloids. If eaten they can cause dizziness, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and occasionally also convulsions. The toxins are usually most concentrated in the bulbs. Rather surprisingly, daffodil bulbs have been eaten on occasion after being mistaken for onions. The sap can cause dermatitis, and the leaves are poisonous to livestock.

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


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Yoga Mudras

Our physical body is made up of five elements namely – Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Aakash (ether – the tiny intercellular spaces in the human body).

When these elements get imbalanced, the immunity system of our body goes down and we get sick.

This imbelance can be corrected through practing Mudras in particular manner by connecting one part of the body with another.

When a finger representing an element is brought into contact with the thumb, that element is brought into balance. Therefore the disease caused by the imbalance is cured. Mudras start electromagnetic currents within the body which balance various constituting elements and restore health. The joining of fingers creates an effect on the human body.

Five Fingers of our hands are considered as Five Elements

1.Thumb relates to  Fire

2. Index…………Air

3. Middle………..Aakash

4. Ring………….Earth

5. Little…………Water

Benefits and Methods of Mudras:

Gyan Mudra:

The Gyan Mudra is believed to help with concentration and memory, relieve insomnia and stress, and promote general peace of mind.
Join the tips of the index finger and thumb and keep the other 3 fingers stretched and joined. Click to see

Shoonya Mudra
Relief in diseases and pains relating to the ear.
Press the middle finger on the base of the thumb and keep the thumb on middle finger. Keep the other three fingers straight. click to see

Apaan Mudra:
Helps in clearing the body by elimination of waste matter from the mouth, eyes, ears, nose etc. Helps when urine is obstructed, reduces constipation.
Join the tip of the thumb with the tip of middle and ring finger, keeping the other finger straight. click to see

Prana Mudra:
Helps in pumping the life force into your body. Beneficial for all types of diseases. Imparts special power to the eyes.

Join the tip of the thumb with tip of little and ring finger. Keeping other two fingers straight. click to see

Vayu Mudra :
Helps in diseases like arthritis, trembling in Parkinson’s disease. Better results obtained if practices after Prana mudra.

Press the index finger on the base of thumb and keep the thumb on the index finger. Let the other fingers be to see

Prithvi Mudra:
Makes body sturdy. One experiences happiness.

Join the tip of the thumb and ring finger. click to see

Varun Mudra:
Improves the deteriorated quality of blood due to shortage of water & gives freshness to the body.

Join the tip of the thumb and little to see

 Surya Mudra
Reduces weight of your body.
Put the tip of ring finger at the base of thumb, with thumb gently pressing on to see

Ling Mudra:
Produces heat in the body and helps in curing cold and cough.
Interlock the fingers of both hands together. Keeping the left thumb up (encircled by right thumb and index finger) i.e. left thumb should be vertically straight and right thumb around to see

When to do?
Can be practiced at all times while sitting, lying, standing, walking or even talking.
For good results should be practiced for 24 minutes continuously. Can be practiced for 4-5 minutes also at one time.
If a mudra cannot be made in both hands, you may do it in one hand only


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Cladonia Pyxidata

Botanical Name :Cladonia Pyxidata
Family: Cladoniaceae /Lichenes
Species :C.pyxidata
Kingdom :Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Lecanoromycetes
Order : Lecanorales

Part Used: Whole plant.

Habitat:Cladonia Pyxidata is native to North-west America, but now a common weed in many counties in Britain.

Cladonia is one of a numerous genus of lecidineous lichens. It grows abundantly in the woods and hedges and is a common species; it has no odour; taste sweetish and mucilagenous.

click to see the pictures :

Medicinal  Uses: Expectorant, a valuable medicine in whooping cough.

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


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Lycopodium complanatum

Botanical Name :Lycopodium complanatum
Family: Lycopodiaceae
Genus: Diphasiastrum
Species: D. complanatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Lycopodiophyta
Class: Lycopodiopsida
Order: Lycopodiales

Synonym:Diphasiastrum complanatum, American Ground Pine

Common Names:Creeping Jenny or Northern Running-pine

Habitat :Lycopodium complanatum is  native to dry coniferous forests throughout the Holarctic Kingdom.

Lycopodium complanatum   is a perennial herb spreading by means of stolons that run along the surface of the ground. Above-ground stems tend to branch within the same geometric plane (hence the specific epithet “complanatum,” meaning “same plane”).

Lycopodium complanatum, the American Club Moss, is a small mossy plant with aromatic, resinous smell and slightly turpentiny taste, the stalks hairy and the leaves close set, characteristics which have gained it the popular name of Ground Pine, as in the case of Yellow Bugle. The stem is long and creeping, only about 1/2 inch in diameter, yellowish-green, giving off at intervals erect, fan-shaped forked branches about 4 inches high, with minute scale-like leaves, leaving only the sharp tips free, the branches bearing fructification in the form of a stalked tuft of four to five cylindrical spikes, consisting of spore cases in the axils of minute bracts. The stem roots below at long intervals, the roots being pale, wiry and slightly branched.

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Lycopodium complanatum  includeds a number of other species now known to be biologically separate. As the species is currently recognized, it is known from every province and territory in Canada except Nunavut, as well as from Greenland, northern Europe, Siberia, St. Pierre and Miquelon, and the US states of Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is used, dried and powdered for infusion.

It has properties similar to the European Ground Pine, being a powerful diuretic, promoting urine and removing obstructions of the liver and spleen. It is therefore, a valuable remedy in jaundice, rheumatism and most of the chronic diseases.

A decoction of this plant, combined with Dandelion and Agrimony, is a highly recommended herbal remedy for liver complaints and obstructions.

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


Graphalium uliginosum

Botanical Name: Graphalium uliginosum
G. uliginosum

Synonyms:  Cotton Weed. March Everlasting.

Common Name:Marsh Cudweed

Habitat:Graphalium uliginosum is found in the British Isles and Europe. It grows in  marshy places in most parts of Europe.

Graphalium uliginosum is a very wooly annual plant, growing 4–20 cm tall.

The leaves are wooly on both sides. They are 1 to 5 cm long, narrow oblong shaped.

The flower heads are 3 to 4 mm long. They are arranged in clusters of 3 to 10, surrounded by long leaves. The flower head bracts are wooly, and pale below, with dark chaffy hairless tips. The florets are brownish yellow. The stigmas are pale.

It flowers from July until September.
Fruits: Achenes small, nerveless.

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Stalk branched, diffused; flowers crowded, termina tiny; leaves elliptical, tapering into a long foot-stalk, slightly downy and greenish above, whitish and more downy underneath. The ends of the branches crowded with nurnerous heads of nearly sessile flowers which appear in August.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Herb.
Quinsy, gargle astringent, infusion 1 OZ. to 1 pint boiling water taken internally in wineglassful; also used as a gargle.

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


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