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Ligusticum sinense


Botanical Name : Ligusticum sinense
Family: Apiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Tribe: Selineae

Common Names : Chuang Xiong , Chinese lovage

Habitat :Ligusticum sinense is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. Forests, grassy slopes or stream sides at elevations of 500 – 2700 metres.

Description:
Ligusticum sinense is a perennial herb, growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

USDA hardiness zone : 5-9

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in a sunny position[1, 200]. Tolerates moister conditions than many other members of the genus[238]. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c.

Propagation :
The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in the autumn. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a greenhouse or cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer if they have grown large enough. Otherwise, keep them in a cold frame for the first winter and plant them out in early summer. Division in spring.

Medicinal Uses:
Ligusticum is a Chinese herb that promotes circulation and regulates energy. Good for post-natal abdominal pain, painful abscesses, and headaches due to colds. The ligusticum roots and fruit are aromatic and stimulant, and have diuretic and carminative action. In herbal medicine ligusticum is used for disorders of the stomach and feverish attacks, especially for cases of colic and flatulence in children, its qualities being similar to those of Angelica in expelling flatulence, exciting perspiration and opening obstructions. The infusion of dried leaf is used as a good emmenagogue. Internally the dried rhizome and root are also used for menstrual problems, postpartum bleeding, coronary heart disease and headaches (those caused by concussion). The root is soaked in alcohol for 2 weeks and then used in the treatment of gout.

The root is anodyne, antibacterial, antifungal, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, hypotensive and sedative. It is taken internally in the treatment of menstrual disorders, post-partum bleeding, coronary heart disease, poor circulation, headaches etc. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

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

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligusticum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ligusticum+sinense
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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Viburnum opulus

Botanical Name: Viburnum opulus
Family: Adoxaceae
Genus: Viburnum
Species: V. opulus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales

Synonyms: Cramp Bark. Snowball Tree. King’s Crown. High Cranberry. Red Elder. Rose Elder. Water Elder. May Rose. Whitsun Rose. Dog Rowan Tree. Silver Bells. Whitsun Bosses. Gaitre Berries. Black Haw.

Common Name: Guelder-rose, Cramp Bark , Stagbush, sweet viburnum, water elder, arrowwood

Other common names: Water elder, , Snowball tree and European cranberry bush

Part Used: Bark.

Habitat:The ‘Gaitre-Beries’ of which Chaucer makes mention among the plants that ‘shal be for your hele’ to ‘picke hem right as they grow and ete hem in,’ are the deep red clusters of berries of the Wild Guelder Rose (Viburnum Opulus, Linn.), a shrub growing 5 to 10 feet high, belonging to the same family as the Elder, found in copses and hedgerows throughout England, though rare in Scotland, and also indigenous to North America, where it is to be found in low grounds in the eastern United States.
It grows in hedges, scrub and woodland, usually on damp soils.
Description:
Viburnum opulus is a deciduous shrub growing to 4–5 m (13–16 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite, three-lobed, 5–10 cm (2–4 in) long and broad, with a rounded base and coarsely serrated margins; they are superficially similar to the leaves of some maples, most easily distinguished by their somewhat wrinkled surface with impressed leaf venation. The leaf buds are green, with valvate bud scales….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The hermaphrodite flowers are white, produced in corymbs 4–11 cm (2–4 in) in diameter at the top of the stems; each corymb comprises a ring of outer sterile flowers 1.5–2 cm in diameter with conspicuous petals, surrounding a center of small (5 mm), fertile flowers; the flowers are produced in early summer, and pollinated by insects. The fruit is a globose bright red drupe 7–10 mm diameter, containing a single seed. The seeds are dispersed by birds.
The bark is collected chiefly in northern Europe and appears in commerce in thin strips, sometimes in quills, 1/20 to 1/12 inch thick, greyish-brown externally, with scattered brownish warts, faintly cracked longitudinally. It has a strong, characteristic odour and its taste is mildly astringent and decidedly bitter.

Constituents: The active principle of Cramp Bark is the bitter glucoside Viburnine; it also contains tannin, resin and valerianic acid.
Edible Uses:
The fruit is edible in small quantities, with a very acidic taste; it can be used to make jelly. It is however very mildly toxic, and may cause vomiting or diarrhea if eaten in large amounts.

Medicinal Uses: The bark, known as Cramp Bark, is employed in herbal medicine. It used formerly to be included in the United States Pharmacopoeia, but is now omitted though it has been introduced into the National Formulary in the form of a Fluid Extract, Compound Tincture and Compound Elixir, for use as a nerve sedative and anti-spasmodic in asthma and hysteria.

In herbal practice in this country, its administration in decoction and infusion, as well as the fluid extract and compound tincture is recommended. It has been employed with benefit in all nervous complaints and debility and used with success in cramps and spasms of all kinds, in convulsions, fits and lockjaw, and also in palpitation, heart disease and rheumatism.

Crampbark is effective at relieving any over-tense muscle, whether smooth muscle in the intestines, airways, or uterus, or striated muscle in the limbs or back. It may be taken internally or applied topically to relieve muscle tension. The herb also treats symptoms arising from excess muscle tension, including breathing difficulties in asthma, and menstrual pain caused by excessive contraction of the uterus.. For night cramps and back pain, lobelia is often mixed with crampbark. The herb also relieves constipation, colic, and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as the physical symptoms of nervous tension. Useful as a protection against threatened miscarriage. Its astringent action gives it a role in the treatment of excessive blood loss in periods and especially bleeding associated with the menopause. In some cases of arthritis, where joint weakness and pain have caused muscles to contract until they are almost rigid, crampbark can bring remarkable relief. As the muscles relax, blood flow to the area improves, waste products such as lactic acid are removed and normal function can return. Crampbark is commonly used in treatments for high blood pressure and other circulatory conditions.

It is a specific remedy for pains in the thighs and back and a bearing-down, expulsive pain in the uterus, whether during pregnancy and childbirth or during menstruation. Crampbark combines well with bearberry for bladder infections with painful cramping and frequent urination with little passed.

For the relief of cramp it may be combined with Prickly Ash and Wild Yam. For uterine and ovarian pains or threatened miscarriage it may be used with Black Haw and Valerian. For bladder infections with painful cramping combine with bearberry.

Other uses:
The term cramp bark is related to the properties of the bark’s ability to reduce smooth muscle tightness. It is called cramp bark as relieving this type of muscle tightness is most often associated with relieving women’s menstrual (period) cramps. However, this can also be used during pregnancy for cramps or pain and general muscle cramping.

Cultural meaning:
Viburnum opulus (Kalyna) is one of the National symbols of Ukraine.   Mentions of the bush can be found throughout the Ukrainian folklore such as songs, picturesque art, Ukrainian embroidery, and others. Chervona Kalyna was the anthem of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. Kalyna Country is an ecomuseum in Canada.

This bush’s symbolic roots can be traced to the Slavic paganism of millennia ago. According to a legend Kalyna was associated with the birth of the Universe, the so-called Fire Trinity: the Sun, the Moon, and the Star.  Its berries symbolize blood and the undying trace of family roots. Kalyna is often depicted on the Ukrainian embroidery: towels and shirts. In Slavic paganism kalyna also represents the beauty of a young lady which rhymes well in the Ukrainian language: Ka-ly-na – Div-chy-na. That consistency was reviewed by numerous Ukrainian folklorists such as Nikolay Kostomarov, Oleksandr Potebnia (founder of the Kharkiv Linguistic.
Known Hazards : Large quantities of the fruit can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. The fruit is of very low or zero toxicity, it only causes mild upsets when eaten unripe or in large quantities.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viburnum_opulus
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/gueros44.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Viburnum+opulus

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

Raphanus sativus caudatus(Rat-Tail Radish)

Botanical Name : Raphanus sativus caudatus
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Raphanus
Species: R. caudatus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonmous name:Raphanus sativus var. caudatus (Linn.) Vilmorin , Raphanus sativus var. mougri Helm , Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. caudatus (Linn.) Thell.

Common Name : Rat-Tail Radish

Habitat :Raphanus sativus caudatus is native to Java.( It is found primarily in India and Southeast Asia, and is believed to have originated in China. It was first known in the West no later than 1815, when introduced into England from Java)

Description:
Raphanus sativus caudatus is an annual growing herbaceous plant growing erect when young and turning prostrate when well-grown. The basal leaves are lyrately pinnate while cauline leaves are simple and linear. The species produces purplish veined flowers and long pods containing many seeds in it. The species is cultivated in some regions for its pods which are eaten raw or cooked as vegetable.

You may click to see the pictures

It is hardy to zone 8 and is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Prefers a rich soil with ample moisture. Dislikes very heavy or acid soils. Plants are susceptible to drought and require irrigation during dry spells in the summer or the root quality will rapidly deteriorate and the plant will go to seed. The rat-tailed radishes are sometimes cultivated for their large edible seedpods, there are some named varieties. This group of radishes does not produce roots of good quality, it is cultivated mainly for the edible young seedpods which are harvested in the summer. Radishes are a good companion plant for lettuces, nasturtiums, peas and chervil, tomatoes and cucumbers. They are said to repel cucumber beetles if planted near cucumber plants and they also repel the vine borers which attack squashes, marrows and courgettes. They grow badly with hyssop and with grape vines

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Seedpod.

Young leaves – raw or cooked. A somewhat hot taste. Flowers – raw. A nice spicy addition to salads. Young seedpods – raw. Crisp and juicy, they must be eaten when young because they quickly become tough and fibrous. They can grow more than 60cm long, but they tend to become tough and fibrous when more than 30cm long.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Antibacterial; Antifungal; Antiscorbutic; Antispasmodic; Astringent; Cancer; Carminative; Cholagogue; Digestive; Diuretic; Expectorant; Laxative; Poultice; Stomachic.

Radishes have long been grown as a food crop, but they also have various medicinal actions. The roots stimulate the appetite and digestion, having a tonic and laxative effect upon the intestines and indirectly stimulating the flow of bile. Consuming radish generally results in improved digestion, but some people are sensitive to its acridity and robust action. The plant is used in the treatment of intestinal parasites, though the part of the plant used is not specified. The leaves, seeds and old roots are used in the treatment of asthma and other chest complaints. The juice of the fresh leaves is diuretic and laxative. The seed is carminative, diuretic, expectorant, laxative and stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of indigestion, abdominal bloating, wind, acid regurgitation, diarrhoea and bronchitis. The root is antiscorbutic, antispasmodic, astringent, cholagogue, digestive and diuretic. It is crushed and used as a poultice for burns, bruises and smelly feet. Radishes are also an excellent food remedy for stone, gravel and scorbutic conditions. The root is best harvested before the plant flowers. Its use is not recommended if the stomach or intestines are inflamed. The plant contains raphanin, which is antibacterial and antifungal. It inhibits the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, streptococci, Pneumococci etc. The plant also shows anti-tumour activity.

Other Uses:
Green manure; Repellent.

The growing plant repels beetles from tomatoes and cucumbers. It is also useful for repelling various other insect pests such as carrot root fly. There is a fodder variety that grows more vigorously and is used as a green manure.

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.floracafe.com/Search_PhotoDetails.aspx?Photo=All&Id=2129
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Raphanus+sativus+caudatus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raphanus_caudatus

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Prunus japonica

Botanical Name ; Prunus japonica
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Cerasus
Species: P. japonica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : Cerasus japonica – (Thunb.)Loisel.

Common Names : Korean cherry, Flowering almond or Oriental bush cherry,

Habitat :  Prunus japonica is  native range extends from Central China through to the Korean peninsula. P. maximowiczii, the Miyama cherry is also often referred to as Korean cherry.Found in woodlands in mountain valleys. Forest on mountain slopes, thickets and sunny mountain slopes at elevations of 100 – 200 metres.

The plant thrives on well-drained and moist loamy soil and prefers little shade or no shade at all. The plant prefers some lime in the soil but not too much. It is mostly found at woodlands or sunny places.

Description:
The shrub reaches 1.5 m by 1.5 m. Its flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by insects. The plant blossoms in May. Its fruit reaches about 14 mm and has an agreeably sweet flavor, therefore it is used in making pies, but its taste is quite sour, reminiscent of that of Sour cherry.

Every fruit has one seed. The plant usually grows from seed but can also be multiplied by cutting for layering.

CLICK   &  SEE...

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present[1]. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. A very ornamental plant, but it is subject to die-back. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. The Korean cherry is sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, there is at least one named variety. The sub-species P. japonica nakai. (Lév.)Rehd., which comes from Manchuria, has larger plum-like fruits up to 50mm in diameter. This species is closely related to P. glandulosa. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged.

Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring.

Medicinal Uses:
Medical interestAlthough this is not yet scientifically established, the species is thought[by whom?] to contain amygdalin and prunasin, as is the case at all the other members of the genus Prunus. These chemical compounds break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid, an extremely poisonous substance that when taken in very small amount can stimulate respiration and improve digestion.

The kernel of Prunus japonica is highly versatile: it is deobstruent, aperient, demulcent, carminative, diuretic, laxative, hypotensive, ophthalmic and lenitive. It can also be prescribed for internal use in treating dry constipation, oedema or post-traumatic insomnia. Other part of the plant is also used, but more rarely. For instance, the root acts against constipation, child fever, pinworms and teeth problems

Other uses:  The leaves of this plant procure a green dye, while the fruit procures a greenish to grayish dye.

Known Hazards:  Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

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/Prunus_japonica
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Prunus+japonica
http://www.landscapedia.info/plant.php?plantID=5296

http://hortuscamden.com/plants/view/prunus_japonica_thunb

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8 Secrets to Optimizing Your Exercise Plan

Simple ideas you can use to meet fitness goals in less time.
We’d be lucky if having the motivation to move was all it took to make exercise a part of our daily activities. When it comes to making motion an aim we often find ourselves face-to-face with the most persistent of obstacles. Here are some tips for conquering time when it threatens to bump exercise plans from your date book:

1. Book yourself.
Don’t have time for all this exercise? Sometimes it’s a matter of perception — other people’s. If coworkers, friends, or even family can’t understand why you take time for exercise but not for what they think is important, keep your priorities to yourself — but schedule your exercise in your date book. That way, when sticking to your guns on workouts, you can merely say you’re keeping a prior appointment.

2. Keep it interesting. Some people have a high tolerance for routine — and may even elevate it to ritual. But if your attention span is closer to monkey than monk, try to introduce variety into your workout on a regular basis. One way to do it: Change two things about your routine every week. It could be as simple as adding repetitions, resistance, or sets — or substituting one exercise for another. Change isn’t just an antidote to boredom, it allows you to continually challenge muscles in new ways, which makes you stronger faster.

3. Try slow motion. Want to try a difficult challenge that’s easy on joints? Lift a light weight only one time — but do it very slowly. Pick out a weight about half what you’d normally lift 10 times. Take 15 to 20 seconds to lift the weight, hold for another 15 to 20 seconds, then take another 15 to 20 seconds to bring it back down. The constant stress through the entire range of motion will work muscles in an entirely new way.

4. Judge gym transit time. Made the decision to join a health club? When choosing, follow the golden rule of gym location: Keep it within a 15-minute drive. Any farther and your chances of actually getting there for a workout drop considerably.

5. Spread the effort. If doing an entire full-body workout all at once is too fatiguing or demanding on your time, try doing only one part of the workout each day. If your workout has 12 exercises, for example, do the first three on Monday, the next three on Tuesday, and the rest on Wednesday. On Thursday, start the routine again. That way, you’re still doing each exercise three times during a one-week period without exhausting yourself with your routine.

6. Hold on to your gains.
While giving your muscles a chance to rest is important to making them stronger, there’s inevitably a point of diminishing returns when it comes to slacking off. How much rest is too much? A good rule of thumb is to expect about a 10 percent loss of your strength gains after about 10 days. The more training you’ve done, the slower your strength will decline. The bottom line: To maintain your gains, you need to keep exercising regularly.

7. Count backward. Problem: Strength exercises are no fun when the last repetitions are tough to do. Interpretation: If you’re challenging your muscles enough to want to quit, you’re probably doing them at just the right intensity. Mental trick: Your final repetitions will seem easier if you count backward from your target instead of forward from zero because you’ll be thinking about how few you have left, rather than how many you’ve already done.

8. Get off the floor safely. For exercises and stretches that require you to get on all fours, it’s easier to get back up again if you walk your hands back until you’re in a kneeling position, place one foot on the floor in front of you with your knee bent at about 90 degrees, then use your leg as a support for your hands as you stand or ease yourself into a chair.

From : The Everyday Arthritis Solution