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Convolvulus Scammonia

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Botanical Name: Convolvulus Scammonia
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Convolvulus
Species: C. scammonia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Names: Syrian Bindweed, Scammony

Habitat:Convolvulus Scammonia is native to the countries of the eastern part of the Mediterranean basin; it grows in bushy waste places, from Syria in the south to the Crimea in the north, its range extending westward to the Greek islands, but not to northern Africa or Italy.

Description:
Convolvulus Scammonia is a twining perennial plant,growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in). It bears flowers like those of Convolvulus arvensis, and having irregularly arrow-shaped leaves and a thick fleshy root. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen in September. It has flowers of a very delicate tint of sulphur yellow and leaves of a similar shape to some native species.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.

The roots are 3 to 4 feet long and from 9 to 12 inches in circumference; tapering, covered with a light grey bark and containing a milky juice. Scammony is a gummy resin, obtained from this milky juice of the root by clearing away the earth from the upper part of the root and cutting off the top obliquely, about 2 inches below where the stalks spring. Then a vessel is fixed in such a position as to receive the exuding juice, which gradually hardens and becomes the Scammony of commerce. The best Scammony is black, resinous and shining when in the lump, but of a whitish-ash colour when powdered, with a strong cheesy smell and a somewhat acrid taste, turning milky when touched by the tongue. It occurs in commerce in irregular pieces 1 to 2 inches or more in diameter.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

Cultivation:
Prefers a light basic sharply drained soil of low to medium fertility. Prefers a sunny sheltered position. Thrives in dry soils and succeeds in ordinary garden soils. The root can be up to 1.2 metres long, so for best results a deep soil is required.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. Germination can be slow and erratic, a period of cold stratification might help reduce the germination period. 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 in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Cuttings of young shoots, August in a frame in sand
Medicinal Uses:
The dried juice, virgin scammony, obtained by incision of the living root, has been used in medicine as scammonium, but the variable quality of the drug has led to the employment of scammoniae resina, which is obtained from the dried root by digestion with alcohol.

It is a drastic cathartic, closely allied in its operation to Jalap; though not so nauseous, it is more active and irritating, and in inflammatory conditions of the alimentary canal should not be used.

The root itself is seldom used: the resin prepared from it is generally combined with other cathartics to diminish its action and prevent griping.

The active principle is the glucoside scammonin or jalapin, C34H114O6. The dose of scammonium is 5 to 10 grains, of scammony resin 3 to 8 grains. Like certain other resins, scammony is inert until it has passed from the stomach into the duodenum, where it meets the bile, a chemical reaction occurring between it and the taurocholate and glycocholate of sodium, whereby it is converted into a powerful purgative. Its action is essentially that of a hydragogue, and is exercised upon practically the entire length of the alimentary canal. The drug is not a cholagogue, nor does it markedly affect the muscular coat of the bowel, but it causes a great increase of secretion from the intestinal glands. It acts in about four hours. In large doses it is a violent gastrointestinal irritant. In consonance with the statement that scammony acts only after admixture with the bile, is the fact that hypodermic or intravenous injection of the drug produces no purgation, or indeed any other result. The drug frequently kills both roundworm and tapeworm, especially the former, and is therefore an anthelmintic. It is not largely used, but is very effective in the treatment of severe constipation, especially in children

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.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convolvulus_scammonia
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/binwsy42.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Convolvulus+scammonia

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Safflower

Botanical Name:Carthamus tinctorius L.
Family:    Asteraceae
Tribe:    Cynareae
Genus:    Carthamus
Species:C. tinctorius
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Asterales

Common Names:   Beni, Chimichanga, or Carthamus tinctorius and in Pashto it is called Kareza
Habitat   :Safflower is native to the Mediterranean countries and cultivated in Europe and the United States. Now it grows in countries worldwide. India, United States, and Mexico are the leading s, with  growers, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, China,and the Arab World.
It is found

Description:
Safflower is  is a highly branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual plant.
It is commercially cultivated for vegetable oil extracted from the seeds. Plants are 30 to 150 cm (12 to 59 in) tall with globular flower heads having yellow, orange, or red flowers.
Each branch will usually have from one to five flower heads containing 15 to 20 seeds per head. Safflower is native to arid environments having seasonal rain.
It grows a deep taproot which enables it to thrive in such environments…….CLICK & SEE

Parts Used : Flower

Biochemical Information:Carthamin, palmitic acid, stearic acid, arachic acid, oleic acid, linoleic and linolenic acids, safflower yellow

Medicinal Uses: It is Diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, analgesic, carminative
Taken hot, safflower tea produces strong perspiration and has thus been used for fevers, colds, and related ailments.
It has also been used at times for its soothing effect in cases of hysteria, such as that associated with chlorosis.
Used for delayed menses, poor blood circulation, bruises, injuries (used in liniments), and measles.

The defunct pharmaceutical company SemBioSys Genetics tried to use transgenic safflower plants to produce human insulin as the global demand for the hormone grows.
Safflower-derived human insulin was in the PI/II trials on human test subjects

Other Uses:
The flowers can be dried and powdered to make a saffron substitute; mixed with finely powdered talc, they make a rouge. Fresh flower petals yield dye colors ranging from yellows to reds.
Flowers are used as a scent in potpourris and look nice dried in flower arrangements.

Seeds are used mainly in cosmetics and as a cooking oil, in salad dressing, and for the production of margarine. It may also be taken as a nutritional supplement. INCI nomenclature is Carthamus tinctorius.

Safflower seed is also used quite commonly as an alternative to sunflower seed in birdfeeders, as squirrels do not like the taste of it.
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://medicinalherbinfo.org/herbs/Safflower.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safflower

Sophora Flavescens

Botanical Name : Sophora Flavescens
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily:Faboideae
Tribe: Sophoreae
Genus: Sophora
Species:S. flavescens
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names:Ku Shen, Shrubby sophora

Habitat:Sophora Flavescens is native to Eastern Asia -(From Russia to China.) It grows on Scrub on mountain slopes, river valleys, especially on sandy soils. Grassy places in lowland and waste ground, Central and South Japan

Description:
An evergreen Shrub growing to 1.5m by 1m at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone 6. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. It can fix Nitrogen. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Sophora flavescens is a species of plant in the genus Sophora a genus of the Fabaceae family, that contains about 52 species, nineteen varieties, and seven forms that are widely distributed in Asia, Oceanica, and the Pacific islands.About fifteen species in this genus have a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicines. The root is known as Ku shen. is a typical traditional Chinese medicine
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained moderately fertile soil in full sun. Requires the protection of a sunny wall if it is to flower, and succeeds only in the mildest areas of the country. It grows best in the warmer areas of the country where the wood will be more readily ripened and better able to withstand winter cold. Although hardy to at least -15°c, this species does not do very well in the relatively cool summers of Britain, the plant gradually weakens and eventually succumbs. It can be grown in the milder areas of the country and be treated like a herbaceous perennial, growing afresh from the base each spring. An important medicinal herb in China. Plants should be container-grown and planted out whilst young, older plants do not transplant well. A polymorphic species. The flowers are produced on the current years growth. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. 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:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Pre-soak stored seed for 12 hours in hot (not boiling) water and sow in late winter in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into individual pots in the greenhouse, and grow them on for 2 years under protected conditions. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer of their third year. Cuttings of young shoots with a heel, July/August in a frame. Air-layering
Medicinal Uses:
The Sophora Flavescen’s   root (click & see) is anthelmintic, antibacterial, antifungal, antipruritic, astringent, bitter, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, parasiticide, pectoral, stomachic and tonic. It is used internally in the treatment of jaundice, dysentery, diarrhea and urinary infections. Sophora root is used both internally and externally in the treatment of vaginitis, eczema, pruritis, ringworm, leprosy, syphilis, scabies and itching allergic reactions. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The plant is anthelmintic and diuretic. It also has antibacterial activity, inhibiting the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Trichomonas vaginitis.
Known Hazards: The plant contains cytosine, which resembles nicotine and is similarly toxic. The plant is poisonous when used in quantity[

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophora_flavescens
http://www.getwellnatural.com/sophora-flavescens.aspx
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sophora+flavescens

Trichosanthes kirilowii

Botanical Name :Trichosanthes kirilowii
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Trichosanthes
Species:T. kirilowii
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Cucurbitales

Common Names:  Chinese cucumber in English. And Chinese snake gourd.

Habitat :Trichosanthes kirilowii found particularly in Henan, Shandong, Hebei, Shanxi, and Shaanxi. It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine.

OIt often grows at an altitude of 200-1800m hillside forest, thickets, meadows and Cunpang Tanabe, or in the natural distribution area of bone, widely cultivated. Most parts of China are distributed, located in North, South, East and Liaoning, Shaanxi, Gansu, Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan. Most of the country has produced. The main production Shandong, Anhui, Henan and other places.

Description:
Trichosanthes kirilowii is a flowering plant.A Climber,length up to 10m. Tubers cylindrical , fleshy , rich in starch. Stems thick, much branched , with longitudinal ribs and grooves are white stretch pubescent. Leaves alternate ; petiole length 3-10cm, with vertical stripes, is of pubescent ; tendrils 3-7 differences pubescent ; leaves low-quality , contour nearly round or nearly heart-shaped , length and width are about 5-20cm, often 3-5 ( -7 ) lobed to the crack, split or dilute parted and only ranging from large coarse teeth , diamond-shaped lobes obovate , oblong , apex obtuse, acute, often re- lobed edges , base heart-shaped , curved lack of deep 3-4cm, surface dark green , rough, back of the green, on both sides along the veins villous hairy hirsute , basal palmate veins 5 , veinlets reticulate. Dioecious ; male racemes solitary or with a single flower and students, or those in the upper branches solitary, too inflorescence total length 10-20cm, stout, with longitudinal ridges and grooves , puberulent , the top 5 -8 flower, single flower stalk about 15cm, pedicel about 3mm, small bracts obovate or broadly ovate, 1.5-2.5 (-3) cm, width 1-2cm, the upper coarsely toothed , base with handle , pubescent ; calyx tube cylindrical , long 2-4cm, apex expanded diameter of about 10mm, the lower diameter of about 5mm, pubescent , lobes lanceolate, length 10-15cm, width 3-5mm, entire; Corolla white , lobes obovate , about 20mm, width 18mm, with a central green tip apex sides fringed with filaments , pubescent ; anther connivent , about 2mm, diameter of about 4mm, filaments separated , stout, villous ; female flowers solitary, stalk length 7.5cm, pubescent ; calyx tube oblong, 2.5cm, diameter 1.2cm, with male and corolla lobes ; ovary oval, green , long- 2cm, style long 2cm, stigma 3. Fruit oval, flattened , long 11-16mm, width 7-12mm, light brown, almost at the edge of a ridge . Flowering from May to August , the fruit of August to October……CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Requires a rich well-drained soil and plenty of moisture in the growing season. Sometimes cultivated in China for its edible fruit and medicinal uses. Male plants are favoured for root production. This species is not winter hardy in Britain and usually requires greenhouse cultivation. However, it may be possible to grow it as an annual in a very warm sheltered bed outdoors. A climbing plant, supporting itself by means of tendrils. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – sow March in pots in a warm greenhouse in a rich soil. Sow 2 – 3 seeds per pot and thin to the strongest plant. Grow them on fast and plant out after the last expected frosts. Give some protection, such as a frame or cloche, until the plants are growing away well.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves; Oil; Oil; Root…….click & see

Fruit. The young fruits are pickled. The pulp of older fruits is eaten. Mature fruits are about 10cm long. Leaves and young shoots – cooked and used as a vegetable. An edible starch is obtained from the root. It requires leeching, which probably means that it has a bitter flavour. The root is harvested in the autumn, cut into thick slices, soaked for 4 – 5 days in water, changing the water daily until the root disintegrates and can be mashed into a fine pulp. It is then steamed into cakes or used for making dumplings. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.

Chemical components: The plant is a source of the toxic anti-HIV type I ribosome-inactiving lectin trichosanthin

Medicinal Uses:
Trichosanthes kirilowii is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. Recent research has isolated a protein called “trichosanthin” in the roots and this is undergoing trials as a possible remedy for AIDS. Skin, vulnerary. The leaf and the stem are febrifuge. The fruit is antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, antifungal, depurative, emollient, expectorant and laxative. It is used in the treatment of pulmonary infections with yellow and thick sputum, chest pains, stuffy feelings in the chest, constipation and dry stool. It has an antibacterial action against E. coli, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, B. paratyphi, Pseudomonas, Vibrio cholerae, V. Proteus etc. The fruit is traditionally prepared as a winter soup to ward off colds and influenza. The fruit is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The rind of the fruit is used to treat a number of ailments, including cancer, jaundice, retained placenta, bronchial infections with thick phlegm and sore throat. The seed is antitussive, emollient and expectorant. The root is antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, febrifuge, galactogogue, laxative, oxytocic, sialagogue and uterine tonic. The fresh root has been noted for centuries as an abortifacient – a sponge soaked in its juice was placed in the vagina and induced an abortion in the second trimester of pregnancy. The root is taken internally in the treatment of diabetes, dry coughs, and to assist in the second stage of labour. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The root and/or the seed is powdered and used in the treatment of mammary cancer.

Other Uses:
Oil; ……..An oil from the seed is used for lighting.
Known Hazards: Root extracts are extremely toxic. Intravenous administration can cause pulmonary oedema, cerebral oedema, cerebral haemorrhage and myocardial damage. Seizures and fever in HIV patients with parenteral administration. Self-medication of root not advised
Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichosanthes_kirilowii
http://www.mdidea.com/products/new/new05602.html
http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/t/trichosanthes-kirilowii=chinese-cucumber.php
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Trichosanthes+kirilowii

Mentha cervina

Botanical Name : Mentha cervina
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Species: M. cervina
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names : Hart’s Pennyroyal

Habitat :Native to  S.W. Europe.Grows in Damp places.

Description:
Mentha cervina is a Perennial, sprawling herb growing up to .3m tall.
It  is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. It is noted for attracting wildlife.  It is very closely related to the “real” pennyroyal. It has very fragrant leaves and foliage. Its essential oils are high in pulegone, a natural abortifacient.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry. Prefers a slightly acid soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but it succeeds in partial shade. Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The leaves have a strong peppermint smell. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion plant for growing near cabbages and tomatoes, helping to deter insect pests. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiseptic; Carminative; Febrifuge.

A tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.

Other Uses
Essential; Repellent; Strewing.

An essential oil is obtained from the whole plant. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain[

Scented Plants
Leaves: Crushed Dried
The leaves have a strong peppermint smell.

Known Hazards :  Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.

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/Mentha_cervina
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Mentha+cervina
http://www.gardening.eu/plants/Aquatic-plants/Mentha-cervina/3879/
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mentha+cervina

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