Tag Archives: Anacardiaceae

Pistacia terebinthus

Botanical Name : Pistacia terebinthus
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Pistacia
Species: P. terebinthus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Names :Terebinth and Turpentine tree

Habitat : Pistacia terebinthus is native to the Canary Islands, and the Mediterranean region from the western regions of Morocco, and Portugal to Greece and western Turkey. In the eastern shores of the Mediterranean sea – Syria, Lebanon, Kurdistan and Israel – a similar species, Pistacia palaestina, fills the same ecological niche as this species and is also known as terebinth.

Description:
It is a species of flowering plant belonging to the family Anacardiaceae. It is a small deciduous tree or large shrub growing to 10 m tall. The leaves are compound, 10-20 cm long, odd pinnate with five to eleven opposite glossy oval leaflets, the leaflets 2-6 cm long and 1-3 cm broad. The flowers are reddish-purple, appearing with the new leaves in early spring. The fruit consists of small, globular drupes 5-7 mm long, red to black when ripe. All parts of the plant have a strong resinous smell.

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It is a dioecious tree, ie exist as male and female specimens. For a viable population should have copies of both genders. His oblong leafs are bright green, leathery, with 10 cm long or more with 3-9 leaflets. Leafs alternate, leathery and compound paripinnate (no terminal leaflet) with 3 or 6 deep green leaflets. They are generally larger and rounder than the leaves of the mastic, reminding the leaves of carob tree. The flowers range from purple to green, the fruit is having the size of a pea and turns from red to brown, depending on the degree of maturation. The whole plant emits a strong smell of bitter, resinous or medication. In the vegetative period they develop “galls” in a goat’s horn shaped (of what the plant gets its common name cornicabra, the common spanish name), that occur in the leaves and leaflets after the bite of insects. The species is multiplied by seeds and shoots. Although marred by the presence of galls, is a very strong and resistant tree which survives in degraded areas where other species have been eliminated. Pistacia terebinthus is a plant related to Pistacia lentiscus, with which hybridizes frequently in contact zones. The cornicabra is more abundant in the mountains and inland and the mastic is usually found more frequently in areas where the Mediterranean influence of the sea moderates the clima. Mastic tree does not reach the size of the Pistacia terebinthus, but the hybrids are very difficult to distinguish. The mastic presented winged stalks of the leaflets, ie, they are flattened and side fins. These stems in Cornicabra are simple. In the Eastern Mediterranean Coast, Syria, Lebanon and Israel, a similar species,pistacia Palaestina , fills the same ecological niche of this species and is also known as turpentine. On the west coast of the Mediterranean, Canary Islands and Middle East, Pistacia terebinthus can be confused with Pistacia atlantica .

Medicinal Uses:
The resin is taken internally in the treatment of chronic bronchial infections, streptococcal, urinary and renal infections, hemorrhage, gallstones, tapeworm and rheumatism. Externally, it is used to treat arthritis, gout, sciatica, scabies and lice. It has also been used in the treatment of cancer. It is a stimulant to kidney function and was sometimes used in mild doses as a diuretic; in larger doses, it is dangerous to the kidneys.  It was also used as a carminative, and was considered one of the most valuable remedies in cases of flatulent colic.  Terebinth was also used to treat chronic diarrhea and dysentery, typhoid fever, purpureal fever and bleeding, helminthiasis, leucorrhea, and amenorrhea.Turpentine baths, arranged in such a way that the vapors were not inhaled by the patient, were given in cases of chronic rheumatism.  It was also administered in enema form to treat intractable constipation.  Applied externally as a liniment or ointment, it has been used in rheumatic ailments such as lumbago, arthritis, and neuralgias.  It was also used as a local application to treat and promote the healing of burns and to heal parasitic skin diseases. The gall-like bodies found on the Turpentine Tree are the result of the stings of a hemipterous insect. They have been used for treatment of asthma attacks. For this purpose they are coarsely pulverized and burned in the bowl of a pipe, or in a dish, using a small funnel attached to a rubber tube for inhaling the fumes. Preparations should be made beforehand, so that the smoke may be inhaled at the commencement of the attack. They appear to act by exciting free secretion, probably through the turpentine with which they are saturated. They are said to be useful in chronic bronchitis. The use of Chian turpentine by Paracelsus as a cancer remedy was revived in 1880 by Mr. Clay, of England, who strongly recommended it for uterine cancer, others, however, declared it wholly inefficient. It is yellowish, greenish, or bluish-green, translucent, viscid, and thick like molasses. Its odor is rather pleasant and suggestive of fennel, and its taste less acrid than most of the turpentines. It gradually hardens by age, and is often adulterated with the cheaper turpentines.

Other Uses:
It is used as a source for turpentine, possibly the earliest known source. The turpentine of the terebinth is now called Chian, Scio, or Cyprian turpentine.
The fruits are used in Cyprus for baking of a specialty village bread. In Crete, where the plant is called tsikoudia, it is used to flavor the local variety of pomace brandy, also called tsikoudia. In the Northern Sporades the shoots are used as a vegetable (called tsitsírava).The plant is rich in tannin and resinous substances and was used for its aromatic and medicinal properties in classical Greece. A mild sweet scented gum can be produced from the bark, and galls often found on the plant are used for tanning leather. Recently an anti-inflammatory triterpene has been extracted from these galls. In Turkey, where it is known as menengiç or b?tt?m, a coffee-like beverage known as menengiç kahvesi is made from the roasted fruit and a soap is made from the oil. Terebinth resin was used as a wine presevative in the acient Near East.

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/Pistacia_terebinthus
http://luirig.altervista.org/schedenam/fnam.php?taxon=Pistacia+terebinthus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Grindelia camporum

Botanical Name : Grindelia camporum
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Grindelia
Species: G. camporum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Grindelia robusta, Grindelia procera. Grindelia  squarossa

Common Names: Grindelia , Gumweed, Great Valley gumplant and Great Valley gumweed

Habitat : Grindelia camporum  is native to California and Baja California, where it can be found in a number of habitats. Its range may extend into Nevada. This hardy plant readily grows in disturbed and altered areas such as ditches and roadsides.It is normally found  on dry banks, rocky fields and plains, low alkaline ground in California

Description:
It is a gangly weedlike perennial topping two meters in maximum height. Its erect, branching stems are lined with many stiff, wavy-edged, serrated leaves 2 to 3 centimeters long. Atop the stem branches are inflorescences of a single large flower head up to 3 centimeters wide. The head is a vaguely thistlelike cup of green clawlike phyllaries that bend downward. The center of the head is filled with yellow disc florets and there are usually many yellow ray florets around the circumference. The flower head fills with a copious white exudate, especially during the early stages of blooming.It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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It is called gum plant because of the sticky substance covering the plant. It is coveted for medicinal purposes. Grindelia also attracts butterflies and other interesting insects. It likes full sun, and can tolerate deer, and will grow in salty soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in full sun. Does well on dry sandy banks and in poor soils. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. All parts of the plant have a balsamic odour.

Propagation :
Seed – sow autumn or spring in a cool greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Prick out the plants into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer.

Medicinal Uses:

Gumplant was used by the native North American Indians to treat bronchial problems and also skin afflictions such as reactions to poison ivy. It is still used in modern herbalism where it is valued especially as a treatment for bronchial asthma and for states where phlegm in the airways impedes respiration. In addition, it is believed to desensitize the nerve endings in the bronchial tree and slow the heart rate, thus leading to easier breathing. The herb is contraindicated for patients with kidney or heart complaints. The dried leaves and flowering tops are antiasthmatic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant and sedative. The principal use of this herb is in the treatment of bronchial catarrh, especially when there is an asthmatic tendency, it is also used to treat whooping cough and cystitis. The active principle is excreted from the kidneys, and this sometimes produces signs of renal irritation. Externally, the plant is used to treat burns, poison ivy rash, dermatitis, eczema and skin eruptions. The plant is harvested when in full bloom and can be used fresh as a poultice or dried for infusions etc. A homeopathic remedy is prepared from the leaves and flowering stems.

This plant has a number of historical medicinal uses.Grindelia acts to relax smooth muscles and heart muscles. It’s used in the treatment of asthmatic and bronchial conditions, especially where these are associated with a rapid heart beat and nervous response. It may be used in asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough and upper respiratory catarrh. Because of the relaxing effect on the heart and pulse rate, there may be a reduction in blood pressure. Externally the lotion is used in the dermatitis caused by poison ivy. Traditionally, Grindelia’s been used for: arrhythmia, arthritis, asthma, blisters, bronchitis, bronchorrhea, burns, cachexia, common cold, cough, cystitis, difficulty breathing, dyspepsia, eczema, emphysema, fever, gonorrhea, hay fever, hepatitis, hypertension, indolent skin ulcer, iritis, muscle spasms, ophthalmia, pertussis, pharyngitis, pneumonia, poison ivy, psoriasis, rheumatism, rhus dermatitis (lotion), sleep apnea, smallpox, splenomegaly, syphilis, tachycardia, tuberculosis, upper respiratory catarrh.

Other Uses:…..Adhesive; ……… Dye……...Yellow and green dyes are obtained from the flowering heads and pods. Aromatic. A possible substitute for wood rosin, used in the manufacture of adhesives etc. This report probably refers to the resin that covers the flower buds.

Known Hazards : Large doses used medicinally can irritate the kidneys

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/Grindelia_camporum
http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/grindelia-camporum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

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