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Passiflora incarnata

Botanical Name : Passiflora incarnata
Family: Passifloraceae
Genus: Passiflora
Species: P. incarnata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common Names: Maypops – Passion Flower, Purple passionflower, Apricot Vine, Maypop, Wild Passion Flower, Purple Pa , True passionflower, wild apricot, and Wild passion vine

Habitat : Passiflora incarnata is native to Eastern N. America – Virginia and Kentucky, south to Florida and Texas. It grows on the sandy thickets and open soils. Fields, roadsides, fence rows and thickets.

Description:
Passiflora incarnata is an evergreen climber of which the stems can be smooth or pubescent; they are long and trailing, possessing many tendrils. Leaves are alternate and palmately 3-lobed and occasionally 5-lobed, measuring 6–15 centimetres (2.4–5.9 in). They have two characteristic glands at the base of the blade on the petiole. Flowers have five bluish-white petals. They exhibit a white and purple corona, a structure of fine appendages between the petals and stamens. The large flower is typically arranged in a ring above the petals and sepals. They are pollinated by insects such as bumblebees and carpenter bees, and are self-sterile. The flower normally blooms in July.

The fleshy fruit, also referred to as a maypop, is an oval yellowish berry about the size of a hen egg; it is green at first, but then becomes orange as it matures. As with other passifloras, it is the larval food of a number of butterfly species, including the zebra longwing and Gulf fritillary. In many cases its fruit is very popular with wildlife.

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The maypop occurs in thickets, disturbed areas, near riverbanks, and near unmowed pastures, roadsides, and railroads. It thrives in areas with lots of available sunlight. It is not found in shady areas beneath a forest canopy.

Edible Uses:
Fruits are eaten – raw or cooked in jellies, jams etc. A sweet flavour, it is best when used as a jelly. High in niacin. Fairly large, the fruit is up to 5cm in diameter though it contains relatively little edible pulp and a lot of seeds. Leaves are also eaten raw or cooked. Said to be delicious as a cooked vegetable or when eaten in salads. Flowers – cooked as a vegetable or made into syrup
Cultivation:
Requires a well-drained soil with plenty of moisture in the growing season, otherwise it is not fussy. Another report says that it prefers a well-drained sandy slightly acid soil in full sun. In a well-drained soil the roots are hardy to about -20°c, although top growth is killed back by frost. The top growth is cut back almost to the ground each year by some people and the plant treated as a herbaceous perennial. The roots should be mulched in winter to prevent them from freezing. Plants thrive in a short growing season. A climbing plant, supporting itself by means of tendrils. Resistant to pests and diseases. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Cultivated for its edible fruit by the North American Indians. Plants yield from 5 to 20 fruits annually in the wild. Outdoor grown plants should have their roots restricted in order to encourage fruit production instead of excessive vegetative growth. Hand pollinate using pollen from a flower that has been open for 12 hours to pollinate a newly opened flower before midday[88]. Special Features: North American native, Attracts butterflies, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow late winter or early spring in a warm greenhouse. If sown in January and grown on fast it can flower and fruit in its first year[88]. The seed germinates in 1 – 12 months at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. It you are intending to grow the plants outdoors, it is probably best to keep them in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Mulch the roots well in late autumn to protect them from the cold. Cuttings of young shoots, 15cm with a heel, in spring. Leaf bud cuttings in spring. Cuttings of fully mature wood in early summer. Takes 3 months. High percentage.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves of passion flower are an ingredient in many European pharmaceutical products to treat nervous disorders, such as heart palpitations, anxiety, convulsions, epilepsy and sometimes high blood pressure. They have been shown to make a nonaddictive sedative that relaxes the nervous system. Passion flower seems especially helpful when physical or mental strain results in insomnia or stress. While it is not a strong pain reliever and it may take a while for its effects to be noticed, it seems to have a lasting and refreshing effect on the nervous system. It is used to prevent spasms from whooping cough, asthma, and other diseases. The dried herb is also used for Parkinson’s disease, hysteria, and shingles. The unusual fruit has been historically considered to be a sedative.

In Germany, passionflower is used as a component of prepared sedative (in combination with lemon balm and valerian root) and cardiotonic (in combination with hawthorn) nonprescription drugs in various dosage forms including coated tablets, tinctures, and infusions. It is also used in German homeopathic medicine to treat pain, insomnia related to neurasthenia, and nervous exhaustion. In German pediatric medicine, it is used as a component of Species nervinae pro infantibus (sedative tea for children), which contains 30% lemon balm leaf, 30% lavender flower, 30% passionflower herb, and 10% St. John’s wort herb. It is also a component of a standard Commission E fixed formula “Sedative Tea,” which contains 40% valerian root, 30% passionflower herb, and 30% lemon balm leaf. In the United States, passionflower is used as a sedative component of dietary supplement sleep aid formulations. It was official in the fourth (1916) and fifth (1926) United States National Formulary and removed in 1936. It was also an approved OTC sedative and sleep aid up until 1978.

Very few pharmacological studies have been undertaken, though its central nervous system sedative properties have been documented, supporting its traditional indications for use. The approved modern therapeutic applications for passionflower are supportable based on its history of use in well established systems of traditional and conventional medicine, pharmacodynamic studies supporting its empirically acknowledged sedative and anxiolytic effects, and phytochemical investigations.

German pharmacopeial grade passionflower must be composed of the whole or cut dried aerial parts, collected during the flowering and fruiting period, containing not less than 0.4% flavonoids calculated as hyperoside. Botanical identity must be confirmed by thin-layer chromatography (TLC) as well as by macroscopic and microscopic examinations and organoleptic evaluation. Purity tests are required for the absence of pith-containing stem fragments greater than 3 mm in diameter and also for the absence of other species. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia requires not less than 15% water-soluble extractive, among other quantitative standards. The French Pharmacopoeia requires not less than 0.8% total flavonoids calculated as vitexin by measuring the absorbance after reaction. The ESCOP monograph requires that the material comply with the French, German, or Swiss pharmacopeias.

The herb was introduced into United States medicine in 1867 as a sedative and was listed in the National Formulary from 1916 until 1936. A sedative passion flower chewing gum was even marketed in Romania in 1978. In 1990, a marked increase in passion flower sales was assumed to be a result of consumer concern over using the amino acid L-tryptophan as a sedative and sleep inducer. The Commission E approved the internal use of passionflower for nervous restlessness. The British Herbal Compendium indicates its use for sleep disorders, restlessness, nervous stress, and anxiety. Other uses include neuralgia and nervous tachycardia. The German Standard License for passionflower tea indicates its use for nervous restlessness, mild disorders of sleeplessness, and gastrointestinal disorders of nervous origin. It is frequently used in combination with valerian and other sedative plants. ESCOP indicates its use for tenseness, restlessness, and irritability with difficulty in falling asleep.
Other Uses:
Landscape Uses:Arbor, Container, Seashore.
Passiflora incarnata extracts can be potentially used to produce organic sunscreens with a protective defense against UV radiations. The use of these plant compounds would diminish the concentration of synthetic UV in sunscreens.

Known Hazards: Sedation. Hypersensitivity reactions noted. Can potentiate the action of central nervous system depressants like alcohol

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/Passiflora_incarnata
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Passiflora+incarnata
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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Rosa laevigata

Botanical Name : Rosa laevigata
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rosa
Species: R. laevigata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Name :Cherokee Rose

Habitat : Rosa laevigata is native to E. Asia – Southern China from Sichuan and Hubei to Taiwan. It grows on the rocky places at low altitudes. In open fields, farmland, or in scrub at elevations of 200 – 1600 metres. This rose has naturalized across much of the southeastern United States.

Description:
This evergreen climbing rose produces long, thorny, vinelike canes that will form a mound 10-12 ft (3-3.7 m) in height and about 15 ft (4.6 m) wide. This rose is often seen sprawling across adjacent shrubs and other supports that it employs to climb to even greater heights. The pure white single flowers are 3.5-4 in (9-10 cm) in diameter and appear in spring. They are densely arranged along the length of the canes that form garlands of blossoms. The fruit of the Cherokee rose is called a hip and is large compared to other members of the rose family being 1.5-2 in (4-5 cm)long by 0.5-1 in (1-2.5 cm) wide. Cherokee rose has attractive evergreen compound leaves composed of three leaflets with the center leaflet larger than its partners. The glossy light green leaflets are oval shaped with a pointed tip and range from 1-3.5 in (2.5-9 cm)long and 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm) wide.  The flower stem is also very bristly.
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The Cherokee rose’s fast growth rate and long stems armed with large hooked thorns make it an effective screening and barrier plant. It’s a useful addition to natural areas where it will shoot long arching stems that will string themselves vinelike through tree branches and shrubs. Grow on trellises, fences or tree trunks or plant in an open area where it will grow into a large mound. Rather than trim the plant into a mound, let the canes grow long so they can weave white springtime garlands through adjacent shrubbery. Cherokee rose is very happy in waterside situations where it can cast shimmering reflections upon still surfaces.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a circumneutral soil and a sunny position. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Dislikes water-logged soils. A very ornamental plant[1], but it is not very hardy in Britain and only succeeds outside in the warmer parts of the country. It can be cut back to the ground even in southern England in cold winters, though it will usually resprout from the base. It is the state flower of Georgia and is also the parent of several modern garden cultivars. The flowers have a clove-like fragrance. If any pruning is necessary then this should be carried out immediately after the plant has finished flowering. Grows well with alliums, parsley, mignonette and lupins. Garlic planted nearby can help protect the plant from disease and insect predation. Grows badly with boxwood. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation: Seed. Rose seed often takes two years to germinate. This is because it may need a warm spell of weather after a cold spell in order to mature the embryo and reduce the seedcoat[80]. One possible way to reduce this time is to scarify the seed and then place it for 2 – 3 weeks in damp peat at a temperature of 27 – 32°c (by which time the seed should have imbibed). It is then kept at 3°c for the next 4 months by which time it should be starting to germinate. Alternatively, it is possible that seed harvested ‘green’ (when it is fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and sown immediately will germinate in the late winter. This method has not as yet(1988) been fully tested[80]. Seed sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame sometimes germinates in spring though it may take 18 months. Stored seed can be sown as early in the year as possible and stratified for 6 weeks at 5°c. It may take 2 years to germinate.  Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Plant out in the summer if the plants are more than 25cm tall, otherwise grow on in a cold frame for the winter and plant out in late spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July in a shaded frame. Overwinter the plants in the frame and plant out in late spring. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth. Select pencil thick shoots in early autumn that are about 20 – 25cm long and plant them in a sheltered position outdoors or in a cold frame. The cuttings can take 12 months to establish but a high percentage of them normally succeed. Division of suckers in the dormant season. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions. Layering. Takes 12 months.

Edible Uses:

Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.

Fruit – raw or cooked. The pear-shaped fruit is up to 4cm long[200], but there is only a thin layer of flesh surrounding the many seeds. Sugar can be extracted from the fruit, it is also used to ferment rose wine. Some care has to be taken when eating this fruit, see the notes above on known hazards. The seed is a good source of vitamin E, it can be ground and mixed with flour or added to other foods as a supplement. Be sure to remove the seed hairs.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves are a famous vulnerary. The fruits, root and leaves stabilize the kidney. A decoction is used in the treatment of chronic dysentery, urinary tract infections, wet dreams, prolapse of the uterus, menstrual irregularities and traumatic injuries. The root bark is astringent and used in the treatment of diarrhea and menorrhagia.  The dried fruits are used internally in the treatment of urinary dysfunction, infertility, seminal emissions, urorrhea, leucorrhea and chronic diarrhea. The root is used in the treatment of uteral prolapse.  The flowers are used in the treatment of dysentery and to restore hair cover. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.

Known Hazards: There is a layer of hairs around the seeds just beneath the flesh of the fruit. These hairs can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract if ingested.

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/Rosa_laevigata
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.floridata.com/ref/r/rosalaev.cfm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rosa+laevigata

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Castor oil plant & Castor Seeds

Botanical Name : Ricinus cummunis
Family Name: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily:Acalyphoideae
Tribe:    Acalypheae
Subtribe:    Ricininae
Genus:    Ricinus
Species:    R. communi
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Malpighiales
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Malpighiales
vernacular Name: Sans: Shweteranda; Hind:Eranda Eng: Castor
The name Ricinus is a Latin word for tick; the seed is so named because it has markings and a bump at the end which resemble certain ticks. The common name “castor oil” likely comes from its use as a replacement for castoreum, a perfume base made from the dried perineal glands of the beaver (castor in Latin)

Habitat :
Although castor is probably indigenous to the southeastern Mediterranean region and Eastern Africa, today it is widespread throughout tropical regions. Castor establishes itself easily as an apparently “native” plant and can often be found on wasteland. It is widely
grown as a crop in, for example, Ethiopia. It is also used extensively as a decorative plant
in parks and other public areas, particularly as a “dot plant” in traditional bedding schemes.

Description:
Ricinus communis can vary greatly in its growth habit and appearance. The variability has been increased by breeders who have selected a range of cultivars for leaf and flower colours, and for oil production. It is a fast-growing, suckering perennial shrub that can reach the size of a small tree (around 12 metres or 39 feet), but it is not cold hardy.

The glossy leaves are 15–45 centimetres (5.9–17.7 in) long, long-stalked, alternate and palmate with 5–12 deep lobes with coarsely toothed segments. In some varieties they start off dark reddish purple or bronze when young, gradually changing to a dark green, sometimes with a reddish tinge, as they mature. The leaves of some other varieties are green practically from the start, whereas in yet others a pigment masks the green colour of all the chlorophyll-bearing parts, leaves, stems and young fruit, so that they remain a dramatic purple-to-reddish-brown throughout the life of the plant. Plants with the dark leaves can be found growing next to those with green leaves, so there is most likely only a single gene controlling the production of the pigment in some varieties.   The stems (and the spherical, spiny seed capsules) also vary in pigmentation. The fruit capsules of some varieties are more showy than the flowers.
click to see the pictures......(01).....(1).……..(2).…....(3)..……..(4)...

The green capsule dries and splits into three sections, forcibly ejecting seeds
The flowers are borne in terminal panicle-like inflorescences of green or, in some varieties, shades of red monoecious flowers without petals. The male flowers are yellowish-green with prominent creamy stamens and are carried in ovoid spikes up to 15 centimetres (5.9 in) long; the female flowers, borne at the tips of the spikes, have prominent red stigmas.

The fruit is a spiny, greenish (to reddish-purple) capsule containing large, oval, shiny, bean-like, highly poisonous seeds with variable brownish mottling. Castor seeds have a warty appendage called the caruncle, which is a type of elaiosome. The caruncle promotes the dispersal of the seed by ants (myrmecochory).

Although the highly toxic nature of castor bean
(Ricinus communis) is well recognized, reports of human toxicity in the English medical literature are scarce. The potentially lethal doses reported for children and adults are three beans and eight beans respectively.

Recent experience with two cases provides added insight into the expected course of
toxicity. In both cases, repeated vomiting, diarrhea, and transiently elevated serum
creatine occurred. Dehydration was much more pronounced in the second case. Both patients recovered uneventfully. Other reported manifestations of castor bean toxicity, such as hepatic necrosis, renal failure, erythrocyte hemolysis, convulsions, and shock, did not occur.

Castor seeds have been found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 4000 BC. Herodotus and other Greek travelers have noted the use of castor seed oil for lighting and body anointments.

Global castor seed production is around 1 million tons per year. Leading producing areas are India, China and Brazil. There are several active breeding programmes.

The stems and the spherical, spiny seed pods also vary in pigmentation. The pods are more showy than the flowers (the male flowers are yellowish-green with prominent creamy stamens and are carried in ovoid spikes up to 15 cm long; the female flowers, borne at the tips of the spikes, have prominent red stigmas).

Selections have been made by breeders for use as ornamental plants: ‘Gibsonii’ has
red-tinged leaves with reddish veins and pinkish-green seed pods; ‘Carmencita Pink’ is
similar, with pinkish-red stems; ‘Carmencita Bright Red’ has red stems, dark purplish leaves and red seed pods; all grow to around 1.5 m tall as annuals. ‘Impala’ is compact (only 1.2 m tall) with reddish foliage and stems, brightest on the young shoots; ‘Red Spire’ is tall (2–3 m) with red stems and bronze foliage; ‘Zanzibarensis’ is also tall (2–3 m), with large, mid-green leaves (50 cm long) with white midribs. (Heights refer to plants grown as
annuals.)

Castor is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Giant
Leopard Moth, Hypercompe hambletoni and The Nutmeg. It is a favourite food of the Tambourine Dove, Turtur tympanistria.

Uses
The use of castor seed oil in India has been documented since 2000 BC for use in lamps and in local medicine as a laxative, purgative, and cathartic in UNANI,

Ayurvedic and other ethnomedical systems.
Castor seed and its oil have also been used in China for centuries, mainly prescribed in
local medicine for internal use or use in dressingsCastor oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the castor bean (technically castor seed as the castor plant, Ricinus communis, is not a member of the bean family).

Castor oil has an unusual composition and chemistry, which makes it quite valuable. Ninety percent of fatty acids in castor oil are ricinoleic acid. Ricinoleic acid, a
monounsaturated, 18-carbon fatty acid, has a hydroxyl functional group at the twelfth
carbon, a very uncommon property for a biological fatty acid. This functional group causes
ricinoleic acid (and castor oil) to be unusually polar, and also allows chemical derivatization that is not practical with other biological oils. Since it is a polar dielectric with a relatively high dielectric constant (4.7), highly refined and dried Castor oil is sometimes used as a dielectric fluid within high performance high voltage capacitors.

Castor oil also contains 3-4% of both oleic and linoleic acids.Castor oil maintains its fluidity at both extremely high and low temperatures. Sebacic acid is chemically derived from castor oil. Castor oil and its derivatives have applications in the manufacturing of soaps, lubricants, hydraulic and brake fluids, paints, dyes, coatings, inks, cold resistant plastics, waxes and polishes, nylon, pharmaceuticals and perfumes. In internal combustion engines, castor oil is renowned for its ability to lubricate under extreme conditions and temperatures, such as in air-cooled engines.

The lubricants company Castrol takes its name from castor oil. However, castor oil tends to form gums in a short time, and its use is therefore restricted to engines that are regularly rebuilt, such as motorcycle race engines.

Castor oil is vegetable-based oil because it’s made from Castor plant seeds; thus, it naturally biodegrades quickly and comes from a renewable energy resource (plants). The castor seed contains Ricin, a toxic protein removed by cold pressing and filtering.

Medicinal use of Castor oil
Today, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes Castor oil as
generally safe and effective (GRASE) for over-the-counter use as a laxative , but it is not
a preferred drug to treat constipation. Besides being a laxative, Castor oil is sometimes
used to help women start labor, but in any case with due caution and under medical
supervision. One of Castor oil’s derivatives undecylenic acid is also FDA approved for
over-the-counter use on skin disorders or skin problems. .

Pure cold pressed Castor oil is really tasteless and odorless. When additives are added to
pure cold pressed Castor oil, the oil becomes adulterated and the taste and smell can change according to the additives. Also, pure cold pressed Castor oil is potent and can be an eye irritant similar to pepper spray, so avoid contact with eyes.

Ricinoleic acid is the main component of Castor oil and it exerts anti-inflammatory effects

A study found that castor oil decreased pain more than ultrasound gel or vaseline during
extracorporeal shock wave application.

Therapeutically, modern drugs are rarely given in a pure chemical state, so most active ingredients are combined with excipients or additives.

As per Ayurveda:
It is katu, ushna, beneficial in deranged vata, kapha ,fever, cough and used in the purification of mercury.

Parts Used:
Seeds, leaves and root-bark.

Therapeutic Uses: Seeds:

“Castor oil” derived from the seeds is a well-known purgative ; leaves: anodyne and galactogogue; externally applied to boils and sores in the form of poultice; root-bark: emetic, purgative, beneficial in lumbago and skin diseases.

The root is sweetish, heating; carminative; useful in inflammations, pains, ascites, fever, glands, asthma, eructations, bronchitis, leprosy, diseases of the rectum, and the head.-

The leaves are useful in “vata” and” kapha “, intestinal worms, strangury, night blindness, earache; increase biliousness.-The flowers are useful in glandular tumours, anal troubles, vaginal pain.-

The fruit is heating and an appetiser; ilseful in tumours, pains, “vata “, piles, diseases of the liver and spleen.-The seed is cathartic and aphrodisiac.-

The oil is sweetish; cathartic, aphrodisiac, anthelmintic, alterative; useful in tumours, diseases of the heart, slow fevers, ascites, inflammations, typhoid, pain in the tack, lumbago, leprosy, elephantiasis, convulsions; increases” kapha”; causes biliousness .
The root bark is purgative, alterative; good in skin diseases.

The leaves are galactagogue; good for burns.-

The seeds and the oil from them have a bad taste; purgative; useful in liver troubles, pains in. the body, lumbago, boils, piles, ringworm, paralysis, inflammations, ascites, asthma, rheumatism, dropsy, amenorrhoea

The leaf is applied to the head to relieve headache, and is common1y used as a poultice for boils. the seeds and the oil from the seeds are used as a purgative

The oil is expressed and used medicinally; and a fomentation is made with the leaves to cure wounds. it is used as an ointment for sores, the leaves; are used

for fomentations; they are bound over boils, and are a good cure, the leaves are boiled and used as a febrifuge.

An infusion of the leaf is remedy for stomach-ache.. some apply a paste of the root in toothache,

The bark is used by natives for stitching up wounds, and as a dressing for wounds and sores..

some apply the powdered roasted seeds to sores, boils, etc., in children.

The foliage is considered emmenagogue, the root-bark purgative, and the leaf useful as a local application in rheumatism.

The local application of the leaf to the mammae is said to produce a powerful galactagogic action.

The bruised leaves are used for caries of the teeth and given with water for colic , the leaves are considered lactagogue and are given in infusion or applied to the breasts. the leaves are applied to the breasts to help the secretion of milk.

Soaked in vinegar they are applied to the foreehead in cases of sunstroke. They act as a powerful sudorific

Castor oil in the form of Cremophor EL (polyethoxylated Castor oil: a mixture of ricinoleic acid, polyglycol ester, glycerol polyglycol esters, and polyglycols) is added to many modern drugs such as: Miconazole, anti-fungal; Paclitaxel, anti-cancer ; Sandimmune (cyclosporine injection, USP) ;

Nelfinavir mesylate, HIV protease inhibitor . Saperconazole has Emulphor EL -719P (a castor oil derivative) ; Prograf has HCO-60 (polyoxyl 60 hydrogenated Castor oil); Balsam Peru – Castor oil – and Trypsin Topical contains Castor oil ; Aci-Jel (acetic acid/oxyquinoline/ricinoleic acid – vaginal); Emla (lidocaine, prilocaine and Castor oil).

Traditional or folk medicines:
Cold pressed Castor oil has been used or time-tested for centuries throughout the world for its anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties long before any government agency was created to regulate medicines.

Medicinal Castor oil was used for skin problems, burns, sunburns, skin disorders, skin cuts, abrasions, etc.

The oil is also used as a rub or pack for various ailments, including abdominal complaints, headaches, muscle pains, inflammatory conditions, skin eruptions, lesions, and sinusitis. A
castor oil pack is made by soaking a piece of flannel in castor oil, then putting it on the
area of complaint and placing a heat source, such as a hot water bottle, on top of it.

Only the oil of the castor bean plant is non-toxic. Castor bean oil has a number of medicinal uses including laxative, purgative, cathartic and demulcent.The seeds of castor bean plant are very poisonous to people, animals and insects – just one milligram of ricin (one of the main toxic proteins in the plant) can kill an adult. It acts by inhibiting protein synthesis. Its property as a protein synthesis inhibitor is the theory behind its trials in cancer therapy.

Industrial Castor oil
Castor oil has over 1000 patented industrial applications and is used in the following   industries: automobile, aviation, cosmetics, electrical, electronics, manufacturing,  pharmaceutical, plastics, and telecommunications. The following is a brief list of Castor oil uses in the above industries: adhesives, brake fluids, caulks, dyes, electrical liquid  dielectrics, humectants, hydraulic fluids, inks, lacquers, leather treatments, lubricating  greases, machining oils, paints, pigments, refrigeration lubricants, rubbers, sealants,  textiles, washing powders, and waxes.

Castor oil’s high lubricity
(reduces friction) is superior to petroleum-based lubricants; for instance, it really clings to metal, especially hot metal, and is used in racing and jet (turbine) engines. In addition, Castor oil is non-toxic and quickly biodegrades; whereas,
petroleum-based oils are potential health hazards, and take a very long time to biodegrade, thus can damage the environment when concentrated .

Castor oil is non-drying oil (slow to oxidize); thus, it remains liquid for a long time. As
a result, it’s naturally a good lubricant, and was a fuel for lamps before alternating
current electricity (AC) was invented.

Castor oil’s value was recognized by the United States Congress in the Agricultural
Materials Act of 1984, and classified as a strategic material.

Lamp fuel
It is said to be the best lamp oil in use in India, giving an excellent white light, vying  in brilliancy with electricity, far superior to petroleum, rape seed, and all other oils,  whether vegetable, animal or mineral.

In Bangladesh, some villagers use castor oil instead of kerosene to fuel lamps.

You may click to learn more about Castor Beans & Castor Oil

Resources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricinus

http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#eranda

http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html

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Behada or India Behara

Botanical Name : Terminalia belerica
Family: Combretaceae
Genus: Terminalia
Species: T. bellirica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms: Beleric Myrobalan

Common Names ;Bahera” or Beleric or bastard myrobalan, (Sanskrit: Vibhitaka, Aksha )
Indian Name:Behada.

Other Names: Amandier Indien, Amandier Tropical, Arjan des Indes, Arjuna, Axjun Argun, Badamier, Badamier Géant, Baheda, Bahera, Bala Harade, Balera, Behada, Beleric Myrobalan, Belleric Myrobalan, Belliric Myrobalan, Bhibitaki, Bibhitak, Bibitaki, Carambole

Habitat: Terminalia belerica is native to the tropical regions of the world.

Description:
Terminalia belerica is a large deciduous tree.The leaves are about 15 cm long and crowded toward the ends of the branches,  comprising around 100 species distributed in tropical regions of the world….CLICK & SEE  THE  PICTURES

Leaves are alternate, broadly elliptic or elliptic-obovate, puberulous when young but glabrous on maturity and the nerves are prominent on both surfaces. Flowers are in axillary, spender spikes longer than the petioles but shorter than the leaves. Calyx lobes are pubescent outside. The fruits are green and inflated when young and yellowish and shrink (nearly seen as ribbed) when mature. The nut is stony…...CLICK &  SEE

A tall tree, with characteristic bark. The stems are straight, frequently buttressed when large; the leaves, broadly elliptic, clustered towards the ends of branches; the flowers are solitary, simple, axillary spikes; the fruits, are globular and obscurely 5-angled.
Medicinal Uses:
The fruit possesses antibacterial properties. It is employed in dropsy, piles and diarrhea. While using herbal eye drops containing T.bellirica, encouraging results have been obtained in cases of myopia, corneal opacity, pterigium, immature cataract, chronic and acute infective conditions. The fruit possesses myocardial depressive activity.

Uses & Benefits of Baheda:

*Beleric is a rejuvenative and laxative. It proves beneficial for hair, throat and eyes.
*Beleric seed oil or fruit paste is applied on swollen and painful parts.
*The seed oil gives excellent results in skin diseases and premature graying of hair.
*Fruit pieces are baked and chewed for cough, cold, hoarseness of voice and asthma.
*Beleric fruit is powdered and used to dress wounds to arrest the bleeding.
*Beleric fruits and kernels are used in making medicated hair oil, used to alleviate pain and burning sensation, boost hair growth and impart black color to the hair.
*The paste of the fruit is applied on eyelids, in case of conjunctivitis.
*The herb is used in various eye ailments, such as myopia, corneal opacity, pterigium, immature cataract, chronic and acute infective conditions.
*Beleric helps in loss of appetite, flatulence, thirst, piles and worms.
*The ripened fruit acts as an astringent and anti-diarrheal.
*The decoction of the kernels is used in case of excessive thirst and vomiting.
*Beleric plant alleviates cough, relieves blocked phlegm, controls bleeding in the sputum and eases bronchospasms.
*It prevents ageing, imparts longevity, boosts immunity, improves mental faculties and enhances the body resistance against diseases.
*It helps in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

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/Terminalia_bellirica
http://terminaliabelerica.blogspot.in/
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-811-TERMINALIA.aspx?activeIngredientId=811&activeIngredientName=TERMINALIA

 

 

 

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