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Tephrosia virginiana

Botanical Name: Tephrosia virginiana
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Tribe: Loteae
Genus: Galega
Species: G. officinalis

Common Names: Catgut, Galega officinalis, French lilac, Italian fitch or professor-weed, Goat-rue, Goat’s Rue, Cat Gut, Rabbit Pea, and Virginia Tephrosia

Other Names: American Garden Rue, Devil’s Shoestring, Rabbit-pea, Horey turkey peas, Virginia Pea, Virginia Tephrosia, Cheese renet, herba ruta caprariae

Habitat : Tephrosia virginiana originates from Europe and Middle East. Goat’s rue is native to Europe and eastern Asia. It was introduced to the western U.S. in the late 1800s as a possible forage crop.Goat’s rue is planted as fodder for animals. Goat’s rue is said to increase the milk production of goats, hence its name. Juice from Goat’s rue was used to clot milk for cheese production. There are also reports of cattle which died after eating goat’s rue.

Now, Native to Eastern N. America from New Hampshire to Florida, west to Texas and Manitoba. Found growing in dry sandy woods, openings, fields, and roadsides.

It grows in dry sandy woods and openings

Description:
Tephrosia virginiana is a perennial plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft), sending up one or more stems from the base that are unbranched or sparingly branched. The stems are light green, terete, and hairy. Alternate compound leaves are widely spreading; they are odd-pinnate with 9-25 leaflets. Individual leaflets are up to 1″ long and ¼” across; they are medium green to grayish green, oblong to narrowly elliptic in shape, and smooth along their margins. Upper surfaces of the leaflets are hairless to silky-hairy, while their lower surfaces are pubescent to silky-hairy. Each leaflet has a prominent central vein. The central stalk (rachis) and petiole of each compound leaf is pubescent. At the base of each petiole, there is a pair of small stipules about ¼” long. The stems terminate in short dense racemes about 2-3″ long that are covered in buds and bicolored flowers facing all directions. The racemes are held a little above the foliage on short peduncles. Individual flowers are ¾” long and across, consisting of 5 petals, a short tubular calyx with 5 teeth, 10 stamens, and a pistil. Each flower has a typical pea-like floral structure, consisting of an upright banner and a pair of lateral wings that project forward to enclose the keel. The broad banner is white to pale greenish yellow, while the wings are deep rosy pink. The pedicels of the flowers and their calyces are light green and pubescent. The blooming period occurs from early to mid-summer and lasts about 3 weeks. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by widely spreading seedpods about 1½-3″ long. These seedpods are initially light green, but later turn brown; they are silky-hairy. The seedpods are narrowly cylindrical and slightly flattened in shape; each pod contains several seeds that are reniform and somewhat flattened. The root system consists of a deep taproot.

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It is in flower from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
A deep rooted plant, requiring a dry to moist light or medium very well-drained soil in a sunny position. Plants are hardy to about -25° when given a suitable position. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation:
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in a greenhouse in spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out in the following spring or early summer
Medicinal Uses:
The root is anthelmintic, diaphoretic, diuretic, pectoral and tonic. A tea made from the roots is said to make children muscular and strong. A cold tea is used to improve male potency and also to treat TB, bladder problems, coughs, irregular menstruation and other women’s complaints. Experimentally, the root has shown both anticancer and cancer-causing activity. The leaves have been placed in the shoes in order to treat fevers and rheumatism.

At various times it was used to treat rheumatism, fevers, pulmonary problems, bladder disorders, coughing, hair loss, and reproductive disorders. The root of this plant alone, or in combination with other agents, has been reputed a very efficient remedy in syphilis. The decoction is also much used as a vermifuge, and is said to be as efficient and powerful as spigelia. The plant is a mild, stimulating tonic, having a slight action on the bowels, and the secretive organs generally, and applicable in the treatment of many diseases, especially in a certain stage of typhoid fever, where there is little use of active medicine. The recommendation was a compound fluid extract of tephrosia: Take of Tephrosia virginiana (the plant), 8 ounces; Rumex acutus (dock), 2 ounces; water, 4 quarts. Place the plants in the water, and boil until reduced to 1 quart. Strain, and when intended to be kept, mix with an equal bulk of brandy or diluted alcohol, and half its weight of sugar, macerate for several days, and strain through muslin. The dose is from 1/2 to 1 fluid ounce, 2, 3, or 4 times a day A tea made from the roots is said to make children muscular and strong. A cold tea is used to improve male potency and also to treat TB, bladder problems, coughs, irregular menstruation and other women’s complaints. Experimentally, the root has shown both anticancer and cancer-causing activity. The leaves have been placed in the shoes in order to treat fevers and rheumatism.

Other Uses:
Hair; Insecticide……….The root is a source of the insecticide ‘rotenone. This is especially effective against flying insects but appears to be relatively harmless to animals. A decoction of the roots has been used as a hair shampoo by women in order to prevent hair loss.

Known Hazards : Contact with the plant can cause dermatitis in sensitive people. The seeds are toxic.

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/Tephrosia_virginiana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Tephrosia+virginiana
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/prairie/plantx/goat_rue.htm

 

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Osmorhiza longistylis

Botanical Name; Osmorhiza longistylis
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Osmorhiza
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Names; Aniseroot, Longstyle sweetroot, American sweet cicely, Licorice root, Wild anise, or Simply sweet cicely

Habitat : Osmorhiza longistylis is native to Eastern N. America – Nova Scotia to Ontario, Alabama, Tennessee, Kansas and Colorado. It grows in rich, often alluvial woods and thickets. Woods, often along the sides of streams in Texas.

Description:
Osmorhiza longistylis is a herbaceous perennial plant is about 1.2 m (4ft) ‘ tall, branching occasionally. The stems are light green to reddish purple, terete, and glabrous (var. longistylis) to hairy (var. villicaulis). The alternate leaves are ternately compound; the lower compound leaves are up to 9″ long and 9″ across, while the upper compound leaves are much smaller in size. Each compound leaf is divided into 3 compound leaflets; the terminal compound leaflet is the largest. Each compound leaflet is further divided into 3 subleaflets; the terminal subleaflet is the largest, sometimes appearing to be divided into 3 even smaller subleaflets. The subleaflets are 1-4″ long, ½-1½” across, and lanceolate to oval-ovate shape in shape; their margins are coarsely serrated-crenate or shallowly cleft. The upper subleaflet surface is yellowish green to green and nearly glabrous (var. longistylis) to moderately covered with appressed hairs (var. villicaulis).

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The petioles of compound leaves are light green to reddish purple and up to 6″ in length. The petiolules of leaflets are light green to reddish green and up to 2″ long, while those of subleaflets are nearly sessile to ¼” (6 mm.) long. The foliage of this plant releases a mild anise fragrance when it is rubbed. The upper stems terminate in compound umbels of white flowers about 1½-3″ across. There are about 3-6 umbellets per compound umbel on rays (floral stalks) up to 2″ long. An umbellet has 7-16 flowers that are clustered together on rays (floral stalklets) up to ¼” (6 mm.) long. Each flower (about 3 mm. across) has 5 white petals with incurved tips, 5 white stamens, a pistil with a divided white style (stylopodium), and an insignificant calyx that is light green. At the base of each compound umbel, there are several linear-lanceolate bracts with ciliate margins; they are up to 8 mm. in length. At the base of each umbellet, there are several linear-lanceolate bractlets with ciliate margins; they are also up to 8 mm. in length.

The blooming period occurs during the late spring or early summer, lasting about 2-3 weeks. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by 2-seeded fruits (schizocarps). While these fruits are still immature, the persistent divided style is 2.0-3.5 mm. in length (it is smaller than this when the flowers are still in bloom). The small seeds are narrowly ellipsoid-oblanceoloid, 5-ribbed, and slightly bristly along their ribs. The root system consists of a cluster of fleshy roots with a strong anise fragrance.

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Cultivation:
Succeeds in any deep moisture-retentive soil in sun or dappled shade. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. Well suited to naturalistic plantings in a woodland or wild garden. A sweetly aromatic plant.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if this is possible, otherwise sow it in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

Root – raw or cooked. Very sweet, aromatic and fleshy. A spicy flavour similar to anise, the roots are chewed, made into a tea or used as a flavouring. Leaves and young shoots – raw. An anise flavour, they are added to salads. The green seeds have an anise flavour and are used as a flavouring in salads, the dry seeds are added to cakes etc.
Medicinal Uses:

Osmorhiza longistylis  was used extensively by Native American Indian tribes to treat digestive disorders and as an antiseptic wash for a range of problems. Sweet Cicely is medicinal and edible, the root being the strongest for use in alternative medicine it is antiseptic, aromatic, febrifuge, oxytocic, pectoral, stomachic, carminative, tonic, ophthalmic, and expectorant. Medicinal tea made from the root is a very good digestive aid and is a gentle stimulant for debilitated stomachs. A weak herb tea is used to bath sore eyes. A strong infusion has been used to induce labor in a pregnant woman and to treat fevers, indigestion, flatulence, stomach aches. The crushed root is an effective antiseptic poultice for the treatment of boils and wounds. A medicinal cough syrup can be made of the fresh juice and honey, it is very effective and quite tasty, children take it readily.


Folklore:
 A decoction of the herb was used as nostril wash to increase dog’s sense of smell. A valuable tonic for girls from 15 to 18 years of age, according to an old herbal. The aromatic scent is said to be an aphrodisiac, used as a love medicine.

In use it should not be confused with species of poison hemlock, water hemlock, or baneberry.

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/Osmorhiza_longistylis
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/aniseroot.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Osmorhiza+longistylis

http://altnature.com/gallery/sweetcicely.htm

Polymnia uvedalia

Botanical Name: Polymnia uvedalia
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily:Asteroideae
Tribe: Polymnieae
Genus: Polymnia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Uvedalia. Leaf Cup. Yellow Leaf Cup.

Common Name :Bearsfoot(American)

Habitat: Polymnia uvedalia is found in Eastern N. America – New York to Indiana, Tennessee, Florida and Texas, Missouri and southward. It grows in rich woods and thickets.

Description:
Polymnia uvedalia is a large, perennial plant, from 3 to 6 feet in height. The stems are erect, stout, branched, and covered with a rough, hoary pubescence. The leaves are large, thin, opposite, deltoid in outline, and abruptly contracted at the base to short dilated leaf-stalks. They are 3-lobed, with acute, sinuate-angled lobes, bright green on both surfaces, and studded below with numerous rough points. The flower heads appear late in summer, and are disposed in loose, corymbose clusters. The involucre is double; the outer consisting of about 5 ovate, obtuse, leaf-like scales, which are ciliate on the margin; and the inner, of the smaller thin bracts of the pistillate flowers. The flower heads are radiate, and the receptacle chaffy. The ray flowers are about 10, in a single row, each being nearly 1 inch in length; they are oblong, of a bright-yellow color, and equally 3-toothed at the apex. The ray flowers are pistillate, and alone fertile, as the disk-florets, although perfect, do not produce fruit. The fruit is an obovoid, black achenium, slightly flattened, and ribbed lengthwise....click & see the pictures

Cultivation:
Requires a warm position in a deep rich soil.

Propagation:
Seed – sow late winter in a warm greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Consider giving them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away well. Division in spring. Basal cuttings in the spring. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.
Medicinal Uses:

Anodyne; Laxative; Poultice; Salve; Stimulant.

Bearsfoot root was used by the North American Indians as a stimulant and laxative remedy. It is perhaps best known for its use as a hair tonic whilst the root is also taken internally as a treatment for non-malignant swollen glands and especially for mastitis. The root is anodyne, laxative and stimulant. The root is said to have a beneficial effect on the liver, stomach and spleen and may be taken to relieve indigestion and counteract liver malfunction. It is said to be of great use when applied externally to stimulate hair growth and is an ingredient of many hair lotions and ointments. A poultice of the bruised root has been used as a dressing and salve on burns, inflammations and cuts.
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/b/beaame23.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polymnia+uvedalia
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/polymnia.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymnia

Aspidium spinulosum

Botanical Name: :Aspidium spinulosum
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Genus:     Dryopteris
Family:  Filices
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class:    Polypodiopsida /
Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order:     Dryopteridales

Common Name : Wood fern, Male fern,Shield fern,Buckler fern

Habitat :Aspidium spinulosum is a genus of about 250 species of ferns with distribution in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, with the highest species diversity in eastern Asia. Many of the species have stout, slowly creeping rootstocks that form a crown, with a vase-like ring of fronds. The sori are round, with a peltate indusium. The stipes have prominent scales.

Description:
The Prickly-toothed Shield Fern is allied to the Male Shield Fern, but is not so tall, about 8 to 14 inches, and has very much broader leaves. The rootstock is similar to Male Fern, but there are differences in the number of wood bundles in the stems, also in the hairs on the margins of the leaf-stalk scales. The fronds are more divided – twice or thrice pinnate – and are spinous, the pinnae generally opposite and the lowest pair much shorter than the others. The sori are circular, with kidney-shaped indusium, much smaller than in Filix-mas.
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The Prickly-toothed Shield Fern is moderately erect and firm and grows in masses, being common in sheltered places on moist banks and in open woods.

Medicinal Uses:
Dryopteris filix-mas was throughout much of recent human history widely used as a vermifuge, and was the only fern listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia.
The medicinal uses are as in Male Fern, with the rhizome of which, as imported from the Continent, it has always been much mixed.

Other Uses:
Many Dryopteris species are widely used as garden ornamental plants, especially D. affinis, D. erythrosora and D. filix-mas, with numerous cultivars.

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/Dryopteris
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/ferns-08.html#shi

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Botanical Name :Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Balsamorhiza
Species: B. sagittata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name :Balsamorrhiza sagittata

Habitat : Arrowleaf Balsamroot  is native to much of western North America from British Columbia to California to the Dakotas, where it grows in many types of habitat from mountain forests to grassland to desert scrub. It is drought tolerant.

Description:
Arrowleaf Balsamroot is a taprooted perennial herb growing a hairy, glandular stem 20 to 60 centimeters tall. The branching, barky root may extend over two meters deep into the soil. The basal leaves are generally triangular in shape and are large, approaching 50 centimeters in maximum length. Leaves farther up the stem are linear to narrowly oval in shape and smaller. The leaves have untoothed edges and are coated in fine to rough hairs, especially on the undersides.

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The inflorescence bears one or more flower heads. Each head has a center of long yellowish tubular disc florets and a fringe of bright yellow ray florets, each up to 4 centimeters long. The fruit is a hairless achene about 8 millimeters long. Grazing animals find the plant palatable, especially the flowers and developing seed heads.

Edible Uses:  All of the plant can be eaten. It can be bitter and pine-like in taste. The seeds were particularly valuable as food or used for oil

Medicinal Uses:
The root of the plant is sometimes used as an expectorant and mild immunostimulant.  Native Americans used the sticky sap as a topical antiseptic for minor wounds.  Medicinally, the Indians used the large coarse Balsamroot leaves as a poultice for burns. The roots were boiled and the solution was applied as a poultice for wounds, cuts and bruises. Indians also drank a tea from the roots for tuberculosis and whooping cough.  As an antibacterial the tincture may be applied to infections and hard to heal wounds. The tincture of the root and bark may be used internally or externally for bacterial problems. Perhaps the most common use for arrowleaf balsamroot is as an immune system enhancer. Use the tincture as you would Echinacea, taking 1 tsp. twice daily to strengthen the immune system.
Many Native American groups, including the Nez Perce, Kootenai, Cheyenne, and Salish, utilized the plant as a food and medicine.

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/Balsamorhiza_sagittata
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/images/arrowleafbalsamroot/balsamorhiza_sagittata_lg.jpg

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