Tag Archives: Abrahamic religions

Larrea tridentata

Botanical Name: Larrea tridentata
Family: Zygophyllaceae
Genus: Larrea
Species: L. tridentata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zygophyllales

Synonyms : L. divaricata. L. mexicana.

Common Name : Creosote Bush – Chaparral

Habitat : Larrea tridentata is a prominent species in the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Deserts of western North America, and its range includes those and other regions in portions of
southeastern California, Arizona, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, New Mexico and Texas in the United States, and northern Chihuahua and Sonora in Mexico. The species grows as far
east as Zapata County, Texas, along the Rio Grande southeast of Laredo near the 99th meridian west. It grows in desert areas.

Description:
Larrea tridentata is an evergreen shrub growing to 1 to 3 metres (3.3 to 9.8 ft) tall, rarely 4 metres (13 ft). The stems of the plant bear resinous, dark green leaves with two opposite lanceolate    leaflets joined at the base, with a deciduous awn between them, each leaflet 7 to 18 millimetres (0.28 to 0.71 in) long and 4 to 8.5 millimetres (0.16 to 0.33 in) broad. The flowers are up to 25     millimetres (0.98 in) in diameter, with five yellow petals. Galls may form by the activity of the creosote gall midge. The whole plant exhibits a characteristic odor of creosote, from which the   common name derives. In the regions where it grows its smell is often associated with the “smell of rain”.

CLICK   &  SEE   THE PICTURES

As the creosote bush grows older, its oldest branches eventually die and its crown splits into separate crowns. This normally happens when the plant is 30 to 90 years old. Eventually the old
crown dies and the new one becomes a clonal colony from the previous plant, composed of many separate stem crowns all from the same seed.

Cultivation:
Requires a moderately fertile moisture-retentive soil in full sun or light shade. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and –
10°c. The plant is resinous and aromatic.

Propagation :
Seed – we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and
grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of new     growth in spring in a frame

Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

The flower buds are pickled in vinegar and used as a caper substitute. The stems and leaves are a tea substitute. The twigs are chewed to alleviate thirst. A resin is obtained from the leaves
and twigs, it delays or prevents oils and fats from becoming rancid.

Medicinal Uses:
Chaparal is used for treating such ailments as: tuberculosis, bowel complaints, stomach ulcers and bowel disorders, cancers, and colds and flu. It is found to be beneficial to the walls of
capillaries throughout the body, and so are good to take regularly in cases of capillary fragility. Chaparal contains N.D.G.A.. It is responsible for inhibiting several enzyme reactions, including
lipo oxyginase, which is responsible for some unhealthy inflammatory and immune-system responses. It has been shown to reduce inflammatory histamine responses in the lung, which is good    news for asthma sufferers. N.D.G.A. is one of the most highly anti-oxidant substances known to man. Several types of tumors, such as those in uterine fibroids and fibrosystic breast disease,   can be helped immensely by a concentrated extract of the plant. Chaparal can improve liver function, causing the liver metablolism to speed up, clearing toxins, and improving the livers’   ability to synthesize fatty acids into high density lipids (HDLs….the good quality cholesterol). The low density lipids levels (LDLs….the poor quality cholesterol) decrease. The strong anti-   oxident effects of Larrea t. appear to repair free radical damage caused by drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines.

External uses of the herb include poultices placed on aching joints, and the tea or a fomentation (applied several times per day and left on the area) for such things as ringworm, skin
fungi, and athletes’ foot. Has also been used for reducing fibroids A study in the Journal of Dental Research showed chaparral mouthwash reduced cavities by 75%.

Lipoxygenase and 5-hydroxyeicosatatraenois acid are usually high in the synovial fluid of arthritis sufferers which means Chapparal’s ability to inhibit these can help here as well.
Larrea contains active flavonoids and ligans that, in addition to being anti-oxidants, act as antifungals, antibiotics, and antivirals. It is in this last capacity, as an antiviral that prompted
investigations into its ability to inhibit the spl promoter HIV and as an inhibitor of Herpes simplex-1 in cell cultures; as well as Kaposi’s sarcoma virus. Clinical evaluations consisted of
testimonies from close to 36 persons. Larrea was prepared as an extract in an aloe-based lotion and was effective in reversing symptoms in nearly all cases of HSV-1 and shingles within 12-24
hours and in greatly reducing the severity of sores from Kaposi’s sarcoma in people in full-blown AIDS. The lotion proved to work faster and to be more effective than acyclovir, the main drug   for herpes.

When applied to the skin as a tea, tincture, or salve, Chaparral slows down the rate of bacterial grown and kills it with its antimicrobial activity. Chaparral will also help dry skin,
brittle hair and nails and cracks in the hands or feet.

Known Hazards : Acute hepatitis associated with oral use. Contact dermatitis also reported. Not considered safe as a herbal remedy

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/Larrea_tridentata
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Larrea+tridentata
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

Advertisements

Carrion Flower

Botanical Name :Smilax herbacea
Family :Smilacaceae – Catbrier family
Genus :Smilax L. – greenbrier
Species: Smilax herbacea L. – smooth carrionflower
Kingdom :Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class :Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass: Liliidae
Order: Liliales

Common Name :Carrion Flower

Habitat :According to official records, Smooth Carrion Flower is rare in Illinois. However, in neighboring states this vine has been found in many counties and it is regarded as more common. It is possible that some records of Smilax lasioneura (Common Carrion Flower) in Illinois are based on misidentifications and it was Smooth Carrion Flower that was observed. These two species are very similar in appearance and easily confused. Habitats of Smooth Carrion Flower include savannas, thickets, prairies, rocky upland woodlands, woodland openings, woodland borders, and fence rows. Occasional wildfires appear to be beneficial in managing populations of this species.

Description:
This climbing non-woody vine is a native perennial up to 8′ long that branches occasionally. The light green to purple stems are terete, slightly speckled, glabrous, and often glaucous. Alternate leaves up to 3½” long and 2½” across occur at intervals along each stem; they are ovate-oval to broadly ovate-lanceolate in shape, smooth along their margins, and parallel-veined. The upper surfaces of the leaves are medium green and glabrous, while their lower surfaces are pale green and hairless. There are no hairs along the raised veins on the leaf undersides. The petioles of the leaves are up to 1¾” long, light green, and hairless. At the base of most petioles, there is a pair of tendrils that can cling to adjacent vegetation or objects for support. At the base of each stem on the vine, there is an appressed to slightly spreading sheath that is usually bladeless.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Individual umbels of flowers are produced from the axils of the middle to upper leaves of each mature vine. Each umbel is connected to the stem by a long stout peduncle about 4-10″ long. The peduncles are 4-8 times longer than the petioles of adjacent leaves; they are similar in appearance to the stems. Individual umbels are about 1½–3″ across, consisting of 20-120 flowers on slender pedicels; when fully developed, they are globoid in shape. Like other species in this genus, Smooth Carrion Flower is dioecious; some vines produce only staminate (male) flowers, while other vines produce only pistillate (female) flowers. The green to yellowish green staminate flowers are individually about ¼” across, consisting of 6 lanceolate tepals and 6 stamens with white anthers. The green to yellowish green pistillate flowers are individually about ¼” across, consisting of 6 lanceolate tepals and a pistil with 3 flattened stigmata. The tepals of both kinds of flowers are often recurved. The blooming period occurs from late spring to early summer and lasts about 3 weeks. The flowers often have a carrion-like scent, but its presence and strength varies with the local ecotype. Staminate flowers wither away after blooming, while pistillate flowers are replaced by globoid fleshy berries. Individual berries are about ¼” across and contain about 3-5 seeds; they are dark blue and glaucous at maturity. At the end of the growing season, the entire vine dies down to the ground.

Cultivation: Smooth Carrion Flower prefers full or partial sun and more or less mesic conditions. It flourishes in different kinds of soil, including those that are rocky or loamy. In a shady situation, this vine may fail to produce flowers.

Medicinal Uses:
Eating the fruit is said to be effective in treating hoarseness.  The parched and powdered leaves havebeen used as a dressing on burns. The wilted leaves have been used as a dressing on boils. The root is analgesic. A decoction has been used in the treatment of back pains, stomach complaints, lung disorders and kidney problems.

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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SMHE
http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/smilaxherb.html
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/savanna/plants/sm_carrion.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta

Chaparral (Larrea Tridentata)

Botanical Name : Larrea tridentata
Family
: Zygophyllaceae
Genus: Larrea
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Zygophyllales
Species: L. tridentata

Common names: Chaparral, Creosote bush,hediondilla, Shegoi

Habitat : It is a prominent species in the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Deserts of western North America, including portions of California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and western Texas in the United States, and northern Chihuahua in Mexico. It is closely related to the South American Larrea divaricata, and was formerly treated as the same species.

Description:
It is an evergreen shrub growing to 1-3 m tall, rarely 4 m. The stems of the plant bear resinous, dark green leaves with two leaflets joined at the base, each leaflet 7-18 mm long and 4-8.5 mm broad. The flowers are up to 25 mm diameter, with five yellow petals. Galls may form by the activity of the creosote gall midge. The whole plant exhibits a characteristic odor of creosote, from which the common name derives.
click to see the pictures……....(01)....(1).…....(2)..……..(3)........(4).....(5)....
Such chemicals, however, have failed to explain the peculiar regularity in the spacing of individual plants within a stand. Creosote bush stands tend to resemble man-made orchards in the even placement of plants. Originally, it was assumed that the plant produced some sort of water-soluble inhibitor that prevented the growth of other bushes near mature, healthy bushes. Now, however, it has been shown that the root systems of mature creosote plants are simply so efficient at absorbing water that fallen seeds nearby cannot accumulate enough water to germinate, effectively creating dead zones around every plant. It also seems that all plants within a stand grow at approximately the same rate, and that the creosote bush is a very long-living plant. As the Creosote Bush grows older, its oldest branches eventually die and its crown splits into separate crowns. This normally happens when the plant is 30 to 90 years old. Eventually the old crown dies and the new one becomes a clone of the previous plant, composed of many separate stem crowns all from the same seed. One creosote plant, named “King Clone“, near Lucerne Valley has been carbon dated to 11,700 years old.

Cultivation:
Creosote bush is most common on the well-drained soils of bajadas (alluvial fans) and flats. In parts of its range, it may cover large areas in practically pure stands, though it usually occurs in association with Ambrosia dumosa (burro bush or bur-sage). Despite this common habitat, creosote bush roots have been found to produce chemicals that inhibit the growth of burro bush roots, and much of their relationship is currently unexplained.

Contributing to the harshness of the germination environment above mature root systems, young creosote bushes are much more susceptible to drought stress than established plants. Germination is actually quite active during wet periods, but most of the young plants die very quickly unless there are optimal water conditions. Ground heat compounds the young plants’ susceptibility to water stress, and ground temperatures can reach upwards of 70°C (160°F). To become established, it seems the young plant must experience a pattern of three to five years of abnormally cool and moist weather during and after germination. From this, it can be inferred that all the plants inside a stand are of equal age.

Young plantMature plants, however, can tolerate extreme drought stress. In terms of negative water potential, creosote bushes can operate fully at -50 bars of water potential and have been found living down to -120 bars, although the practical average floor is around -70 bars, where the plant’s need for cellular respiration generally exceeds the level that the water-requiring process of photosynthesis can provide. Cell division can occur during these times of water stress, and it is common for new cells to quickly absorb water after rainfall. This rapid uptake causes branches to ‘grow’ several centimeters at the end of a dry season.

The leaves of the creosote bush have a high surface-volume ratio, maximizing the rate of heat escape. At the same time, water loss is minimized by the resinous, waxy coating of the leaves, and by their small size. Plants do drop some leaves heading into summer, but if all leaves are lost, the plant will not recover. Accumulation of fallen leaves, as well as other detritus caught from the passing wind, creates an ecological community specific to the creosote bush canopy, including beetles, millipedes, pocket mice, and kangaroo rats.

Medicinal Uses and toxicity

The Creosote bush serves many medicinal purposes: cure of fever, influenza, colds, upset stomach, gas gout, arthritis, sinusitis, anemia, and fungus infections (CRC Ethnobotany, June 12, 1999). Creosote also has antimicrobial properties, making it a useful first aid. It is also beneficial in the treatment of allergies, autoimmunity diseases, and Premenstrual Syndrome (Moore, 1989, p.29). Creosote serves as an analgesic, antidiarrheal , diuretic, and emetic. When used as a tea, the leaves and small twigs must be gathered, washed, and dried in the sun. The useable parts must then be ground into a powder and stored in a glass container because of the oils produced. (information provided by Nellie Chavez, Employee of Vita-Man Nutrition Center).

Creosote can be used on the skin as a tincture or salve, and can be taken internally as a tea or capsule (Moore, 1989, p.26). Although there are such a variety of medicinal purposes the Creosote serves, use of this plant is controversial to some. According to research “chemical constituents in Creosote bush may inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, but other studies have shown exactly the opposite” (Tilford, 1997, p.44). Another reason for the controversial use of Creosote bush is because of its “potential toxic effect on the liver” (Chevallier, 1996, p.224).

Creosote bush (often referred to as chaparral when used as a herbal remedy) is used as a herbal supplement and was used by Native Americans in the Southwest as a treatment for many maladies, including sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, chicken pox, dysmenorrhea, and snakebite. The shrub is still widely used as a medicine in Mexico.

Common Medical Uses : in Burns/SunBurn * Eczema * Natural Skin Care-Oils & Herbs * Parasites/Worms * Psoriasis * Rheumatoid Arthritis *

Chaparral has potent and long-lasting anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in the treatment of arthritis. Chaparral herb should only be externally in baths, and the tincture can be used to make creams and lotions. Applied to the skin, chaparral can have a remarkable healing effect on eczema, herpes, cold sores, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis. Not for long term extended use.

The Food and Drug Administration of the United States has issued warnings about the health hazards of ingesting creosote bush or using it as an internal medicine and discourages its use. In 2005, Health Canada issued a warning to consumers to avoid using the leaves of Larrea species because of the risk of damage to the liver and kidneys.

According to Gary Paul Nabhan in Gathering the Desert (1993, page 16): “…health food stores have been marketing Larrea as a cure-all that they whimsically called “chaparral tea” – the plant never grows above the desert in true chaparral vegetation.”

External uses of the herb include poultices placed on aching joints, and the tea or a fomentation (applied several times per day and left on the area) for such things as ringworm, skin fungi, and athletes’ foot. Has also been used for reducing fibroids A study in the Journal of Dental Research showed chaparral mouthwash reduced cavities by 75%.

Lipoxygenase and 5-hydroxyeicosatatraenois acid are usually high in the synovial fluid of arthritis sufferers which means Chapparal?s ability to inhibit these can help here as well. Larrea contains active flavonoids and ligans that, in addition to being anti-oxidants, act as antifungals, antibiotics, and antivirals. It is in this last capacity, as an antiviral that prompted investigations into its ability to inhibit the spl promoter HIV and as an inhibitor of Herpes simplex-1 in cell cultures; as well as Kaposi’s sarcoma virus. Clinical evaluations consisted of testimonies from close to 36 persons. Larrea was prepared as an extract in an aloe-based lotion and was effective in reversing symptoms in nearly all cases of HSV-1 and shingles within 12-24 hours and in greatly reducing the severity of sores from Kaposi’s sarcoma in people in full-blown AIDS. The lotion proved to work faster and to be more effective than acyclovir, the main drug for herpes.

When applied to the skin as a tea, tincture, or salve, Chaparral slows down the rate of bacterial grown and kills it with its antimicrobial activity. Chaparral will also help dry skin, brittle hair and nails and cracks in the hands or feet.


Creosote bush in pop culture

*In Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction series Dune, the Fremen inhabitants of the planet Arrakis rub the juices of the creosote bush into the palms of their hands to prevent water loss through the skin.
*Mary Hunter Austin, in The Land of Little Rain, said that the desert of the Death Valley “begins with the creosote.”

Side Effects:
FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY!! Reports of serious liver disease have been associated with the ingestion of chaparral. Seek advice from a health care practitioner before use and, in doing so, inform them if you have had, or may have had, liver disease, frequently use alcoholic beverages, or are using any medications. Discontinue use and see a doctor if vomiting, fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, or jaundice (e.g dark urine, pale stools, yellow discoloration of the eyes) should occur.

Other  Uses:
In addition to medicinal purposes, the Creosote bush is used as livestock feed, firewood, and roofing material for adobe houses (Mabry, 1977, p.252). It can be used to prevent rancidity of vegetable oils, as a mild sunscreen or massage oil. It also serves as a disinfectant for homes, an insecticide, as fish poison and fuel (Hocking, 1997, p.431)
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.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail228.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larrea_tridentata
http://medplant.nmsu.edu/creosote.html

Enhanced by Zemanta

Intention And Intuition

.If you didn’t grow up with an altar in your home, having an altar now may seem like an exotic and unattainable idea. Yet having an altar does not have to be complicated or difficult, nor does it need to be based on a religion or a set of ideas that don’t seem to relate to you. An altar can be a simple, personal expression of what you want to focus on right now. You do not have to build anything or take up a lot of space. You do not have to buy anything new or follow a complex set of instructions to create your altar. All you have to do is have a general understanding of what an altar is and the willingness to allow yourself access to this wonderful, ancient tool of transformation.

CLICK & SEE

At its most essential, an altar is simply a raised structure that serves as a resting place for meaningful objects. It focuses the eye and provides a place for contemplation and, if so desired, ritual. All of these elements can be quite simple. One idea for a simple altar is a pot with a bulb planted in it, set on a box. This altar to growth can act as a reminder to you that all living things bloom in their time. A simple ritual might be to write down dreams you would like to see come to fruition on scraps of paper. You might place these scraps of paper in the box, or under the flowerpot, or in an envelope you prop against the pot. As the flower grows, so will your dreams.

CLICK & SEE :  : The ancient Altar of Pergamon, reconstructed at the Pergamon museum, Berlin

If you look around your home, you may find that you have already created altarlike arrangements without even really thinking about it; this is something we humans do quite naturally. A candle, a decorative box, and a vase of flowers are just a few of the common household objects that lend themselves naturally to the creation of an altar. Simply add intention and intuition, and you have created your first altar. Remember that it isn’t necessarily about the objects you place at your altar-it is the time you spend with it daily, taking the time to be with it for your sacred time.

Source:Daily Om