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Hibiscus mutabilis

Botanical Name: Hibiscus mutabilis
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Species: H. mutabilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Names: Confederate rose, Dixie rosemallow or the Cotton rosemallow

Habitat :Hibiscus mutabilis is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows in the thickets in S. Japan.

Description:
Hibiscus mutabilis is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft).
It is frost tender. It is in flower from Aug to October, and the seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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Flowers can be double or single and are 4 to 6 inches in diameter; they open white or pink, and change to deep red by evening. The ‘Rubra’ variety has red flowers. Single blooming flowers are generally cup-shaped. Bloom season usually lasts from summer through fall. Propagation by cuttings root easiest in early spring, but cuttings can be taken at almost any time. When it does not freeze, the Confederate rose can reach heights of 12 to 15 feet with a woody trunk; however, a much bushier, 5 or 6 feet plant is more typical and provides more flowering. These plants have a very fast growth rate. The Confederate rose was at one time very common in the area of the Confederate States of America, which is how its common name was derived. It grows well in full sun or partial shade, and prefers rich, well-drained soil.

Floral colour change:
Flowers are white in the morning, turning pink during noon and red in the evening of the same day. Under laboratory conditions, colour change of petals was slower than that of flowers under outdoor conditions (Wong et al., 2009). Temperature may be an important factor affecting the rate of colour change as white flowers kept in the refrigerator remain white until they are taken out to warm, whereupon they slowly turn pink (Ng, 2006).

The red flowers remain on plants for several days before they abort (Wong et al., 2009). Weight of a single detached flower was 15.6 g when white, 12.7 g when pink and 11.0 g when red. Anthocyanin content of red flowers was 3 times that of pink flowers and 8 times that of white flowers. There was a significant increase in phenolic content with colour change. Overall ranking of AOP of H. mutabilis flowers was red > pink > white
Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in full sun. Prefers a warm but wet winter. This species is not very hardy in Britain, it is frost-tender and top growth will be killed by even a slight frost. However, the roots are somewhat hardier and the plant can resprout from the base after a few degrees of frost. The plant can probably be grown outdoors in the mildest areas of the country especially if given a good mulch in the winter. It is widely cultivated in tropical and occasionally in temperate areas as an ornamental plant, there are many named varieties.
Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly rapid. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If growing them as annuals, plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and protect them with a frame or cloche until they are growing away well. If hoping to grow them as perennials, then it is better to grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year and to plant them out in early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Overwinter them in a warm greenhouse and plant out after the last expected frosts.
Edible Uses:
Leaves. The leaves contain rutin, but the report does not say what quantity. Root – it is edible but very fibrousy. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour.

Medicinal Uses:
While the roots and leaves of this deciduous bush have medicinal uses, it is the flowers that are used most commonly. Acrid in flavor and neutral in nature, if used internally, it can remove heat from the blood, reduce swelling and detoxify. If pounded and applied externally, it relieves inflammation and reduces swelling. The flower’s nutritional properties are purported to be good for menopausal women. It balances hormones, and purifies your blood. The roots and leaves, ground into paste, is good for treating diabetics with leg problems. The abundant mucilage contained in the tissues makes the plant an effective emollient for burns. Leaves and flowers kill pain; expel phlegm; treat excessive bleeding during menstruation, painful urination, inflammation and snake bites. A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of lung ailments.

Leaves and flowers of H. mutabilis are emollient and cooling, and are used to treat swellings and skin infections (Dasuki, 2001). Mucilage from flowers and leaves is used by midwives to facilitate delivery during labour.

Other Uses: …Fibre…A fibre from the bark is used for making cords and rope.
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/Hibiscus_mutabilis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hibiscus+mutabilis
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Zanthoxylum limonella

Botanical Name : Zanthoxylum limonella
Family: Rutaceae
Subfamily: Toddalioideae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Names: Badrang , “prickly ash” and “Hercules club”

Habitat :Zanthoxylum limonella is native to the middle latitudes of North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. (found in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Indo-China, Peninsular Malaysia, Java, the Lesser Sunda Island, Moluccas (Wetar), Sulawesi, the Philippines and southern Papua New Guinea)

Description:
Zanthoxylum limonella is a deciduous, aromatic, medium-sized tree reaching a height of 35 meters . The green young bark is covered with spines while mature bark is grey with straight or ascending prickles of 2 – 3 cm . Small prickles occur on the twigs, and all parts of tree have a characteristic lemon-like smell. The leaves are paripinnate or imparipinnate, 30 – 40 cm long. The leaflets are opposite to sub opposite, ovate to elliptical, 7 – 13 cm long, 3 – 5 cm wide, pellucid dots, the margins entire to glandular crenate. Inflorescense panicles have a terminal or axillary, 8 – 14 cm long. The flowers are white or pale yellow, 2 – 3 mm long, 4 sepals and 4 petals. The male flowers have 4 stamina and 1 rudimentary carpel while female flowers with ovary 1 carpellate. The fruit is a follicle, subglobose, 6 – 7 mm in diameter, with 1 seed per carpel, green turning red when ripe. Seeds are hard and black in colour, 5 mm in diameter.

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Medicinal Uses:
The different parts of Z. limonella have been used in Thai folk medicine. The bark contains febrifugal, sudorific, and diuretic properties, while the essential oil of fruit is used for treatment of dental caries . In India traditional medicine, the bark has been used to treat cardiac, respiratory diseases, tooth infection, stomach infection and rheumatism . The fruits are used as spice and the essential oil extracted from the fruits is known as “Mullilam oil” used as anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anticholera, diarrhoea, hypocholesterolemic, mosquito repellent and soothing agent for dental caries. The Kanikkars tribe prepare a paste of hard spines prepared by rubbing them against rock with water and apply the extract to the breast of a nursing mother to relief pain and also to increase milk supply. In the Phillippines, the pounded bark mixed with oil is a good formula to treat stomach ache. In addition, the bark decoction is also taken to treat chest pain and chewed bark applied as antidote for snake bites .
The bark and fruit are attributed with stomachic properties. Mullilam oil, an orange-scented, steam-distilled extract from the fruits, is reported to have a variety of medical applications. The methanolic extract of the Zanthoxylum rhetsa Roxb. stem bark, given by oral route to mice at doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg, significantly reduced the abdominal contraction induced by acetic acid and the diarrheal episodes induced by castor oil in mice.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanthoxylum
file:///C:/Users/COOLE_~1/AppData/Local/Temp/u6em6fky.tmp/2014_13_12_25.pdf
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

Masterwort

Botanical Name: Imperatoria ostruthium
Family:
Apiaceae
Genus:
Peucedanum
Species:
P. ostruthium
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Apiales

Common Name: Masterwort

Habitat :Masterwort is native to the mountains of Central and Southern Europe, including the Carpathians, Alps, northern Apennines, Massif Central and isolated occurrences in the Iberian Peninsula. It has, however, been widely introduced and cultivated and its native range is therefore not entirely clear.It grows in woodland, damp fields, river banks and mountain meadows.
Description:
Masterwort is a smooth, perennial plant, the stout, furrowed stem growing 2 to 3 feet high. The dark-green leaves, which somewhat resemble those of Angelica, are on very long foot-stalks and are divided into `three leaflets, each of which is often again sub-divided into three. The umbels of flowers are large and many-rayed, the corollas white; the fruit has very broad wings…...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in any moisture-retentive soil in a sunny position. Dislikes shade. This report contradicts the report that this plant grows wild in woodlands. Masterwort was at one time cultivated as a pot herb and for medicinal purposes, though it has now fallen into virtual disuse. Suitable for group plantings in the wild garden.

Propagation:
Seed – It is suggested to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if this is possible otherwise in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Edible Uses:
Leaves – cooked. Used as a potherb or as a flavouring. The aromatic roots can be used as a flavouring. They are said to taste hotter than pepper. A particularly popular drink is made from the fermented roots.

Part Used in medicine: The Root.

Chemical constituents:
The plant is a source of coumarins, including oxypeucedanin, ostruthol, imperatorin, osthole, isoimperatorin and ostruthin.

Medicinal Uses:
Stimulant, antispasmodic, carminative; of use in asthma, dyspepsia, menstrual complaints.
Masterwort is little used in modern herbalism, but it may well be a herb that bears further investigation. It was held in high regard in the Middle Ages where it was especially valued for its ability to resolve all flatulence in the body and stimulate the flow of urine and menstruation. It was also used in treating rheumatic conditions, shortness of breath, kidney and bladder stones, water retention and wounds. The root is antispasmodic, aromatic, bitter, strongly carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulant and stomachic. It is of use in the treatment of asthma, dyspepsia and menstrual complaints, an infusion helps to relieve migraine. The root is gathered in the spring or autumn and dried for later use. An essential oil from the plant has a euphoric and odontalgic effect. Used externally, it relieves skin irritation. When used externally, the plant or the extracted essential oil can cause an allergic reaction to sunlight. A homeopathic remedy is made from the roots. No details of its applications are given.
Known Hazards: Skin contact with the sap of this plant is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people. It is also said to contain the alleged ‘psychotroph’ myristicine.

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Imperatoria+ostruthium
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/master22.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peucedanum_ostruthium

Araroba

Botanical Name:  Andira araroba
Family:Fabaceae/ Leguminosae
Subfamily:Faboideae
Genus:    Andira
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:Fabales

Synonyms:  Goa Powder. Crude Chrysarobin. Bahia Powder. Brazil Powder. Ringworm Powder. Chrysatobine. Goa. Araroba Powder. Voucapoua Araroba,Vataireopsis araroba
Common Name :  Araroba
Habitat :  Andira araroba is  commonly found in Bahia, Brazil.

Description:
Andira Araroba, is large, smooth, and quite . It is met with in great abundance in certain forests in the province of Bahia, preferring as a rule low and humid spots. The tree is from 80 to 100 ft. high and has large imparipinnate leaves, the leaflets of which are oblong, about 12 in. long and 1 in. broad, and somewhat truncate at the apex. The flowers are papilionaceous, of a purple color and arranged in panicles.

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The yellowish wood has longitudinal canals and interspaces in which the powder is deposited in increasing quantity as the tree ages. It is probably due to a pathological condition. It is scraped out with an axe, after felling, sawing, and splitting the trunk, and is thus inevitably mixed with splinters and debris, so that it needs sifting, and is sometimes ground, dried, boiled, and filtered.
It irritates the eyes and face of the woodmen.

As it darkens quickly, the crude chrysarobin is changed from primrose yellow to shades of dark brown before it is met with in commerce, when it often contains a large percentage of water, added to prevent the dust from rising.

An amber skin-varnish is made with 20 parts of amber to 1 of chrysarobin in turpentine.

Chemical Composition:  Araroba is remarkable for occasionally yielding from 80 to 85 per cent of chrysophanic acid, as shown by Attfield, in 1875, and, according to the same authority, the remainder of the powder examined consists of 7 per cent of a glucoside and bitter matter, 2 of a resinous substance, 5 ½ of a red woody fiber, and ½ per cent of ash. The ashes consist chiefly of silicate of aluminum, and sulphates of potassium and of sodium. Prof J. U. Lloyd examined several specimens upon the market, and, in all cases, obtained a much smaller proportion of chrysophanic acid than stated by Mr. Attfield. Therefore, he concluded that Attfield must have procured an unexceptionally rich specimen of araroba, or that which reached this country was very inferior. Araroba readily yields chrysophanic acid to benzin. When heated in a suitable vessel, a sublimate is obtained, which, doubtless, consists largely of the aforementioned acid, as it is colored red by alkalies in solution. Araroba is chiefly employed for the preparation of chrysophanic acid (which see). Liebermann and Siedler, are authority for the statement that chrysophanic acid does not exist ready-formed in araroba, but is formed by oxidation of a natural constituent, to which they give the formula C30H26O7, and the name Chrysarobin (previously applied to araroba).

The powder is insoluble in water, but yields up to 80 per cent. of its weight to solutions of caustic alkalies and to benzene. It contains 80 to 84 per cent. of chrysarobin (easily convertible into chrysophanic acid), resin, woody fibre, and bitter extractive. Goa Powder is usually regarded as crude chrysarobin, while the purified chrysarobin, or Araroba, is a mixture extracted by hot benzene, which melts when heated, and leaves not more than 1 per cent. of ash when it finally burns.

Chrysarobin is a reduced quinone, and chrysophanic acid (also found in rhubarb yellow lichen, Buckthorn Berries, Rumox Eckolianus, a South African dock, etc., etc.), is a dioxymethylanthraquinone.

Chrysarobin contains at least five substances, and owes its power to one of these, chrysophanol-anthranol.

Lenirobin, a tetracetate,, and eurobin, a triacetate, are recommended as substitutes for chrysarobin, as they do not stain linen indelibly. (Benzin helps to remove the stains of chrysarobin.)

The action of chrysarobin on the skin is not due to germicidal properties, but to its chemical affinity for the keratin elements of the skin. The oxygen for its oxidation is abstracted from the epithelium by the drug.

Oxidized chrysarobin, obtained by boiling chrysarobin in water with sodium peroxide, can be used as an ointment for forms of eczema which chrysarobin would irritate too much.

Medicinal Uses:
The internal dose in pill or powder is a gastro-intestinal irritant, producing large, watery stools and vomiting. It is used in eczema, psoriasis, aene, and other skin diseases.

In India and South Ameriea it has been esteemed for many years for ringworm, psoriasis, dhobi’s itch, etc., as ointment, or simply moistened with vinegar or saliva. The application causes the eruption to become whitish, while the skin around it is stained dark.

In the crude form it should never be applied to the head, as it may cause erythema and oedema of the face. The 2 per cent. ointment is good in ecezema (after exudation has ceased), fissured nipples, and tylosis of the palms and soles after the skin has been removed by salicylic acid plaster, etc.

A drachm of chrysarobin may be dissolved in a fluid ounce of official flexible collodion, painted over the parts with a camel’s-hair brush, and the part coated with plain collodion to avoid staining the clothing; or chrysarobin may be dissolved in chloroform and the solution painted on the skin. For haemorrhoids, an ointment mixed with iodoform, belladonna, and petrolatum is recommended.

It is said to have been used as a taenifuge.

Known Hazards:
Precautions – Adverse reactions
The drug is severely irritating to skin and mucous membranes (redness, swelling, pustules and conjunctivitis, even without eye contact).
External administration on large skin areas could cause resorptive poisonings.
Internal administration leads to vomiting, diarrhea and kidney inflammation (with as little as
0.01 g).

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/araro052.html
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/andira-arar.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Araroba_powder
http://www.globalhealth.it/xwp1/piante-medicinali/andira-araroba/

 

Vitamin D Deficiency Doubles Risk Of Stroke in Whites

Low levels of vitamin D, the essential nutrient obtained from milk, fortified cereals and exposure to sunlight, doubles the risk of stroke in whites, but not in blacks, according to a new report by researchers at Johns Hopkins.

…………..

Stroke is the nation’s third leading cause of death, killing more than 140,000 Americans annually and temporarily or permanently disabling over half a million when there is a loss of blood flow to the brain.

Researchers say their findings back up evidence from earlier work at Johns Hopkins linking vitamin D deficiency to higher rates of death, heart disease and peripheral artery disease in adults.

The Hopkins team says its results fail to explain why African Americans, who are more likely to be vitamin D deficient due to their darker skin pigmentation’s ability to block the sun’s rays, also suffer from higher rates of stroke. Of the 176 study participants known to have died from stroke within a 14-year period, 116 were white and 60 were black. Still, African Americans had a 65 percent greater likelihood of suffering such a severe bleeding in or interruption of blood flow to the brain than whites, when age, other risk factors for stroke, and vitamin D deficiency were factored into their analysis.

“Higher numbers for hypertension and diabetes definitely explain some of the excess risk for stroke in blacks compared to whites, but not this much risk,” says study co-lead investigator and preventive cardiologist Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S., an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart and Vascular Institute. “Something else is surely behind this problem. However, don’t blame vitamin D deficits for the higher number of strokes in blacks.”

Nearly 8,000 initially healthy men and women of both races were involved in the latest analysis, part of a larger, ongoing national health survey, in which the researchers compared the risk of death from stroke between those with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D to those with higher amounts. Among them, 6.6 percent of whites and 32.3 percent of blacks had severely low blood levels of vitamin D, which the experts say is less than 15 nanograms per milliliter.

“It may be that blacks have adapted over the generations to vitamin D deficiency, so we are not going to see any compounding effects with stroke,” says Michos, who notes that African Americans have adapted elsewhere to low levels of the bone-strengthening vitamin, with fewer incidents of bone fracture and greater overall bone density than seen in Caucasians.

“In blacks, we may not need to raise vitamin D levels to the same level as in whites to minimize their risk of stroke” says Michos, who emphasizes that clinical trials are needed to verify that supplements actually do prevent heart attacks and stroke. In her practice, she says, she monitors her patients’ levels of the key nutrient as part of routine blood work while also testing for other known risk factors for heart disease and stroke, including blood pressure, glucose and lipid levels.

Michos cautions that the number of fatal strokes recorded in blacks may not have been statistically sufficient to find a relationship with vitamin D deficits. And she points out that the study only assessed information on deaths from stroke, not the more common “brain incidents” of stroke, which are usually non-fatal, or even mini-strokes, whose symptoms typically dissipate in a day or so. She says the team’s next steps will be to evaluate cognitive brain function as well as non-fatal and transient strokes and any possible tie-ins to nutrient deficiency.

Besides helping to keep bones healthy, vitamin D plays an essential role in preventing abnormal cell growth, and in bolstering the body’s immune system. The hormone-like nutrient also controls blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, essential chemicals in the body. Shortages of vitamin D have also been tied to increased rates of breast cancer and depression in the elderly.

Michos recommends that people maintain good vitamin D levels by eating diets rich in such fish as salmon and tuna, consuming vitamin-D fortified dairy products, and taking vitamin D supplements. She also promotes brief exposure daily to the sun’s vitamin D-producing ultraviolet light. And to those concerned about the cancer risks linked to too much time spent in the sun, she says as little as 10 to 15 minutes of daily exposure is enough during the summer months.

If vitamin supplements are used, Michos says that daily doses between 1,000 and 2,000 international units are generally safe and beneficial for most people, but that people with the severe vitamin D deficits may need higher doses under close supervision by their physician to avoid possible risk of toxicity.

The U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) previously suggested that an adequate daily intake of vitamin D is between 200 and 600 international units. However, Michos argues that this may be woefully inadequate for most people to raise their vitamin D blood levels to a healthy 30 nanograms per milliliter. The IOM has set up an expert panel to review its vitamin D guidelines, with new recommendations expected by the end of the year. Previous results from the same nationwide survey showed that 41 percent of men and 53 percent of women have unhealthy amounts of vitamin D, with nutrient levels below 28 nanograms per milliliter.

Source
:Elements4Health

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