Tag Archives: Alternative Medicine

Inula japnoica

Botanical Name : Inula japnoicaI

Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily:Asteroideae
Tribe: Inuleae
Genus: Inula
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Asterales

Synonyms: I. Britannica var. chinensis

Common Names: Xuan Fu Hua, Inula flower

Habitat: Inula japnoica is native to Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia. It grows on Montane slopes, grasslands, riverbanks, fields, broad-leaved forests, streamsides; 100-2400 m. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Zhejiang.
Description:
Inula japonica is one of over 90 species in the Inula genus. Several species are popular in Western gardens, such as Inula helenium, commonly called elecampagne, but the Inula used in Chinese medicine is relatively uncommon in the West. Acceptable species for medicinal used are Inula japonica, I. hupehensis, and I. helianthus-aquatica. The root is not used in Chinese medicine but contains up to 44% inulin, hence the genus name. Inulin is a starch that humans are unable to digest therefore consumption can cause digestive distress and gas due to its fermentation.

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Herbs, perennial, from short rhizomes. Stems 15-100 cm tall, striate, appressed pilose, sometimes glabrescent, simple, branched up to synflorescence. Leaves radical and cauline; radical and lower cauline leaves smaller than median leaves, withering before flowering; median leaves lanceolate, oblong, or ovate, appressed pilose or subglabrous on both surfaces, base abruptly narrowed, sessile or semiclasping, apex subacute; upper leaves gradually smaller, 10-25 mm. Capitula usually few or solitary, radiate, ca. 3.5 cm in diam., sometimes with subtending bracteal leaves. Involucre subglobose, 7-8 mm tall; phyllaries in 5 series, subequal, outer ones lanceolate, apex acuminate, inner narrow, scarious, ciliolate. Marginal florets in 1 series; lamina yellow, 16-19 × 1.5-2 mm. Disk 1.5-1.7 cm in diam.; corollas ca. 3 mm. Achenes cylindric, ca. 1 mm, 10-ribbed, pilose. Pappus of capillary bristles, sordid, ca. 5 mm, bristles minutely scabrid. It is in flower during Jun-Oct.

Cultivation & propagation:
Inula japonica is easy to grow in almost any soil and sun conditions but it prefers part shade, good loamy soil and adequate moisture. It will survive with considerable neglect. The plant flowers from July to August and seeds ripen from August to September. Propagation is relatively easy from seed, which can be sown directly into the garden in the spring or in a cold frame in autumn.

Plants may also be divided in the spring or autumn. Large clumps can be immediately replanted in the ground though small clumps should be potted and protected in a cold frame until they are rooted sufficiently, and then planted in the garden in spring. The plant may also be propagated by root cuttings taken in winter. Taking about a 3-inch section of root, it should be planted in a pot, grown in a cold frame, and planted in the garden in spring.
Medicinal Uses:
Inula japnoica  used in traditional Chinese medicine as a mildly warming expectorant remedy, it is especially suitable when phlegm has accumulated in the chest. The herb is often prescribed for bronchitis, wheezing, chronic coughing, and other chest complaints brought on by cold conditions (profuse phlegm, nausea and vomiting, hiccups and flatulence. Xuan fu hua also has a bitter action, and it helps to strengthen digestive function. The flowers are normally used in medicinal preparations, but the aerial parts are also taken, generally for les serious conditions. The flowers have an antibacterial action, but this can be destroyed by proteins in the body. The plant has been mentioned as a possible treatment for cancer of the esophagus.

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/Inula
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=3&taxon_id=200024058
https://www.jadeinstitute.com/jade/herbal-detail-page.php?show=73&order=common_name

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Tradescantia zebrina

Botanical Name: Tradescantia zebrina
Family:
Commelinaceae
Genus:
Tradescantia
Species:
T. zebrina
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Commelinales

Synonyms:
*Tradescantia pendula
*Zebrina pendula
*Zebrina pendula var. quadrifolia
*Tradescantia tricolor

Common Names: Wandering jew, Inchplant

Other common names: Silver inch plant

Habitat : Tradescantia zebrina is native to Mexico, Central America and Colombia, and naturalized in parts of Asia, Africa, Australia, South America, and various oceanic islands.

Description:
Tradescantia zebrina is a trailing evergreen perennial growing to 15cm, with lance-shaped, deep bronze-green leaves with two longitudinal silvery bands above, purple beneath; rosy-purple flowers in small terminal clusters appear sporadically throughout the year.

It has attractive zebra-patterned leaves, the upper surface showing purple new growth and green older growth parallel to the central axis, as well as two broad silver-colored stripes on the outer edges, with the lower leaf surface presenting a deep uniform magenta.

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This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.

Cultivation:
It is commonly available and used as a houseplant and groundcover. Propagated by cuttings, this plant can be moved or manipulated easily as its runners cling lightly to the ground (if used as cover). It tends to become an invasive species if not properly maintained.

Propagation : From leaf cuttings

Medicinal Uses:
It is used in southeast Mexico in the region of Tabasco, as a cold herbal tea, which is named Matali.

Known Hazards: Skin irritation may result from repeated contact with or prolonged handling of the plant — particularly from the clear, watery sap (a characteristic unique to T. zebrina as compared with the other aforementioned types).

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/Tradescantia_zebrina
https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/79575/Tradescantia-zebrina/Details
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/596/#b
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

Celtis tetrandra

Botanical Name : Celtis tetrandra
Familia: Cannabaceae
Genus: Celtis
Species: Celtis tetrandra

Common Names:

Habitat :.…Celtis tetrandra Along the edges of terraced fields to elevations of 2500 metres in Nepal. Mesophytic mixed forests, valleys and slopes at elevations of 700 – 1500 metres.
Description:
Celtis tetrandra is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft 7in).
The bark is grey, smooth, lenticellate; blaze whitish with purplish speckles.Young branchlets are terete, tawny pubescent.Leaves are simple, alternate, distichous; stipules lateral, caducous and leaving scar; petiole up to 0.8 cm long, canaliculate above, pubescent; lamina 3.5-10 x 1.2-4 cm, ovate -lanceolate, apex acuminate, base asymmetric, margin serrate, membranous, pubescent beneath; 3-nerved at base; midrib flat or slightly raised above; secondary_nerves ca. 4 pairs; tertiary_nerves distantly horizontally percurrent.

Flowers are inflorescence axillary cymes; flowers polygamous; pedicels up to 1 cm long they bloom in April.
Fruits & seeds are drupe with one seed and the fruit ripens in october….CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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.
Edible Uses:.Fruit – raw. A mealy pleasant taste. The fruit is up to 8mm in diameter, containing a single large seed about 5mm in diameter. We have no further information, but the fruit is liable to consist of a thin, sweet, though dry and mealy flesh around a large seed.
Medicinal Uses:…The juice from the seeds is used in the treatment of indigestion.

Other Uses: …Fuel; Wood…..Wood – very tough, pliable, strong, durable. Used for oars, toolhandles etc. An excellent fuel.
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://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Celtis_tetrandra
http://www.pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Celtis+tetrandra
http://www.biotik.org/india/species/c/celttetr/celttetr_en.html

Hibiscus sabdariffa

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

Common Names: Roselle

Habitat:Roselle is native from India to Malaysia, where it is commonly cultivated, and must have been carried at an early date to Africa. It has been widely distributed in the Tropics and Subtropics of both hemispheres, and in many areas of the West Indies and Central America has become naturalized.

Description:
Hibiscus sabdariffa is an annual/perennial, erect, bushy, herbaceous subshrub to 8 ft (2.4 m) tall, with smooth or nearly smooth, cylindrical, typically red stems. The leaves are alternate, 3 to 5 in (7.5-12.5 cm) long, green with reddish veins and long or short petioles. Leaves of young seedlings and upper leaves of older plants are simple; lower leaves are deeply 3- to 5- or even 7-lobed; the margins are toothed. Flowers, borne singly in the leaf axils, are up to 5 in (12.5 cm) wide, yellow or buff with a rose or maroon eye, and turn pink as they wither at the end of the day. At this time, the typically red calyx, consisting of 5 large sepals with a collar (epicalyx) of 8 to 12 slim, pointed bracts (or bracteoles) around the base, begins to enlarge, becomes fleshy, crisp but juicy, 1 1/4 to 2 1/4 in (3.2-5.7 cm) long and fully encloses the velvety capsule, 1/2 to 3/4 in (1.25-2 cm) long, which is green when immature, 5-valved, with each valve containing 3 to 4 kidney-shaped, light-brown seeds, 1/8 to 3/16 in (3-5 mm) long and minutely downy. The capsule turns brown and splits open when mature and dry. The calyx, stems and leaves are acid and closely resemble the cranberry (Vaccinium spp.) in flavor.

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A minor ornamental in Florida and elsewhere is the red-leaf hibiscus, H. acetosella Welw. (syn. H. eetveldeanus Wildem. & Th.) of tropical Africa, which has red stems to 8 ft (2.4 m) high, 5-lobed, red or bronze leaves, and mauve, or red-striped yellow, flowers with a dark-red eye, succeeded by a hairy seed pod enclosed in a red, ribbed calyx bearing a basal fringe of slender, forked bracts. This plant has been often confused with roselle, though its calyx is not fleshy and only the young leaves are used for culinary purposes–usually cooked with rice or vegetables because of their acid flavor.
Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in full sun. Roselle requires a permeable soil, a friable sandy loam with humus being preferable; however, it will adapt to a variety of soils. It is not shade tolerant and must be kept weed-free. It will tolerate floods, heavy winds or stagnant water. Roselle is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of 64 to 429cm, an annual temperature in the range of 12.5 to 27.5°C and a pH of 4.5 to 8.0. This species is not hardy in Britain, but it can be grown as a half-hardy annual, flowering in its first year from seed. Plants are sensitive to the length of daylight and do not flower if there are more than 13 hours of light in the day. Roselle is widely cultivated in the Tropical and Sub-tropical zones for its fibre and edible calyx, there are some named varieties. Roselle is best suited to tropical climates with a well-distributed rainfall of 1500 – 2000 mm yearly, from sea-level to about 600 m altitude. It tolerates a warmer and more humid climate than kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus), but is more susceptible to damage from frost and fog. Plants exhibit marked photoperiodism, not flowering at shortening days of 13.5 hours, but flowering at 11 hours. In the United States plants do not flower until short days of late fall or early winter. Since flowering is not necessary for fibre production, long light days for 3 – 4 months is the critical factor. There are two main forms of the plant:- var. sabdariffa has red or pale yellow inflated edible calyces but a poor quality fibre; var. altissima is grown for its fibre but has inedible calyces. Plants have a deep penetrating taproot.
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:
The fresh calyx (the outer whorl of the flower) is eaten raw in salads, is cooked and used as a flavouring in cakes etc and is also used in making jellies, soups, sauces, pickles, puddings etc. The calyx is rich in citric acid and pectin and so is useful for making jams, jellies etc. It is also used to add a red colour and to flavour to herb teas, and can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute. A refreshing and very popular beverage can be made by boiling the calyx, sweetening it with sugar and adding ginger. Tender young leaves and stems – raw or cooked. Used in salads, as a potherb and as a seasoning in curries, they have an acid, rhubarb-like flavour. Seed – roasted and ground into a powder then used in oily soups and sauces. The roasted seeds have been used as a coffee substitute that is said to have aphrodisiac properties. Root – it is edible but very fibrousy. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour. The seed yields 20% oil. (This is probably edible).
Medicinal Uses:
Roselle is an aromatic, astringent, cooling herb that is much used in the Tropics. It is said to have diuretic effects, to help lower fevers and is antiscorbutic. The leaves are antiscorbutic, emollient, diuretic, refrigerant, and sedative. The leaves are very mucilaginous and are used as an emollient and as a soothing cough remedy. They are used externally as a poultice on abscesses. The fruits are antiscorbutic. The flowers contain gossypetin, anthocyanin, and the glycoside hibiscin. These may have diuretic and choleretic effects, decreasing the viscosity of the blood, reducing blood pressure and stimulating intestinal peristalsis. The leaves and flowers are used internally as a tonic tea for digestive and kidney functions. Experimentally, an infusion decreases the viscosity of the blood, reduces blood pressure and stimulates intestinal peristalsis. The ripe calyces are diuretic and antiscorbutic. The succulent calyx, boiled in water, is used as a drink in the treatment of bilious attacks. The seeds are diuretic, laxative and tonic. They are used in the treatment of debility. The bitter root is aperitif and tonic. The plant is also reported to be antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, cholagogue, demulcent, digestive, purgative and resolvent. It is used as a folk remedy in the treatment of abscesses, bilious conditions, cancer, cough, debility, dyspepsia, dysuria, fever, hangover, heart ailments, hypertension, neurosis, scurvy, and strangury. One report says that the plant has been shown to be of value in the treatment of arteriosclerosis and as an intestinal antiseptic, though it does not say which part of the plant is used. Simulated ingestion of the plant extract decreased the rate of absorption of alcohol, lessening the intensity of alcohol effects in chickens.

In India, Africa and Mexico, all above-ground parts of the roselle plant are valued in native medicine. Infusions of the leaves or calyces are regarded as diuretic, cholerectic, febrifugal and hypotensive, decreasing the viscosity of the blood and stimulating intestinal peristalsis. Pharmacognosists in Senegal recommend roselle extract for lowering blood pressure. In 1962, Sharaf confirmed the hypotensive activity of the calyces and found them antispasmodic, anthelmintic and antibacterial as well. In 1964, the aqueous extract was found effective against Ascaris gallinarum in poultry. Three years later, Sharaf and co-workers showed that both the aqueous extract and the coloring matter of the calyces are lethal to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In experiments with domestic fowl, roselle extract decreased the rate of absorption of alcohol and so lessened its effect on the system. In Guatemala, roselle “ade” is a favorite remedy for the aftereffects of drunkenness.

In East Africa, the calyx infusion, called “Sudan tea”, is taken to relieve coughs. Roselle juice, with salt, pepper, asafetida and molasses, is taken as a remedy for biliousness.

The heated leaves are applied to cracks in the feet and on boils and ulcers to speed maturation. A lotion made from leaves is used on sores and wounds. The seeds are said to be diuretic and tonic in action and the brownish-yellow seed oil is claimed to heal sores on camels. In India, a decoction of the seeds is given to relieve dysuria, strangury and mild cases of dyspepsia and debility. Brazilians attribute stomachic, emollient and resolutive properties to the bitter roots.

Other Uses:
A strong fibre obtained from the stem (called rosella hemp) is used for various household purposes including making sackcloth, twine and cord. A yellow dye is obtained from the petals. It is used in medicines etc. The seed yields 20% oil.

The seeds are considered excellent feed for chickens. The residue after oil extraction is valued as cattle feed when available in quantity.

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=Hibiscus+sabdariffa
https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/roselle.html#Other%20Uses
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roselle_(plant)

Epimedium grandiflorum

Botanical Name : Epimedium grandiflorum
Family: Berberidaceae
Genus: Epimedium
Subgenus:Epimedium
Species:E. grandiflorum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms:
*Epimedium macranthum var. violaceum (C. Morren & Decne.) Franch.
*Epimedium grandiflorum forma violaceum
*Epimedium violaceum

Common Names: Large flowered barrenwort, Bishop’s hat, Barrenwort, Longspur Epimedium. It is known as dam du?ng hoac in Vietnamese.

Habitat: Epimedium grandiflorum is native to China, Japan and Korea. It grows in the moist deciduous woodlands in the hills. Calcareous rocks in moist woodland. (This entry refers to sub-species E. grandiflorum higoense. Shimau.)
Description:
Epimedium grandiflorum is a deciduous perennial plant, growing to 30 cm (12 in), with bright red stems with green heart-shaped leaves (copper-tinged when young) which are slightly hairy on the bottom. In spring it produces pink, white, yellow or purple long-spurred flowers.

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Main Bloom Time: Early spring. Form: Spreading or horizontal. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in any fertile humus-rich soil, preferring a moist but well-drained peaty loam. Requires a lime-free soil. Grows best in the light dappled shade of a woodland. Plants can succeed in the dry shade of trees. A shallow-rooting plant, the rhizomes creeping just below the soil and the finer roots occupying the top 30cm of the soil. A clump-forming species, the rhizomes making only short new growth each year, it needs to be divided every 3 – 4 years in order to maintain vigour. Plants are hardy to about -20°c, though the flowers in spring can be damaged by late frosts. A very ornamental plant, there are several named varieties. It grows well in the rock garden or wild garden. Plants are self-sterile and so more than one clone is required for cross-fertilization in order for seed to be produced. Plants will often hybridise with other species growing nearby. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Naturalizing.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in late summer. Sow stored seed as early as possible in the year in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in the cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in mid to late summer. Division, best carried out in August to September according to one report, in late spring according to another. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Cuttings in late summer
Edible Uses:    Young plant and young leaves – cooked & eaten. Soaked and then boiled. (This suggests that the leaves are bitter and need to be soaked in order to remove the bitterness.)
Medicinal Uses:

Antiasthmatic; Antibacterial; Antirheumatic; Antitussive; Aphrodisiac; Hypoglycaemic; Tonic; Vasodilator.

The aerial parts of the plant are antiasthmatic, antibacterial, antirheumatic, antitussive, aphrodisiac, hypoglycaemic, tonic and vasodilator. Its use lowers blood sugar levels. It is used in the treatment of impotence, seminal emissions, lumbago, arthritis, numbness and weakness of the limbs, hypertension and chronic bronchitis. It has an action on the genitals similar to the male sex hormone and can increase the weight of the prostate gland and seminal vesicle, it has increased copulation in animals and increases the secretion of semens. The leaves are used as an aphrodisiac. Administered orally, the leaf extract increases the frequency of copulation in animals.

Traditional Chinese medicine:
E. grandiflorum may have anti-impotence properties due to the presence of icariin, a relatively weak inhibitor of PDE5 in comparison to substances like sildenafil (viagra). Western peer-reviewed research into the efficacy of E. grandiflorum as an aphrodisiac is lacking; however, the herb has been used for this purpose in traditional Chinese medicine and is a common ingredient of herbal remedies for impotence.[citation needed] It is commonly packed in a capsule with other ingredients or sold as herbal flakes or powder with the name “horny goat weed”

Other Uses:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden, Woodland garden.

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/Epimedium_grandiflorum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Epimedium+grandiflorum