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Illicium floridanum

Botanical Name : Illicium floridanum
Family: Schisandraceae
Genus: Illicium
Species: I. floridanum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Austrobaileyales

Common Names: Aniseed Tree, Florida anisetree, Purple Anise, Star Anise, Florida anise, Stink-bush

Habitat : Illicium floridanum is native to South-eastern N. America – Florida to Louisiana. It grows in lowland wet areas, often in sandy soils along streams, swamps and at the head of bays, in light woodland and thickets.

Description:
Illicium floridanum is an upright, rounded, aromatic, evergreen shrub that grows to 6-10′ tall. Smooth, glossy, elliptic, dark olive-green leaves (to 6″ long) emit an anise-like aroma when crushed. Nodding, dark red flowers (to 2″ diameter), each with 20-30 strap-shaped petals, bloom in spring (April-May). Flower aroma is malodorous. Fruit is a star-shaped cluster of follicles. Purple anise is protected in Florida as a threatened species.

CLICK  &  SEE THE PICTURES

It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are a deep carmine red or maroon with narrow widely separated petals. The whole plant and especially the flowers have a fishy smell, hence the common names stink-bush, dead fish tree, or wet dog bush. The crushed foliage, however, has an aroma akin to lemon-lime or aniseed.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Foundation, Pest tolerant, Massing, Screen, Specimen, Woodland garden. Prefers a light, moist well-drained loam and a sheltered position Prefers a humus-rich lime-free soil. A plant of woodland shade in its native habitat, in the less sunny British climate it succeeds in sun or semi-shade. This species is not very cold-hardy, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c, only succeeding outdoors in the mildest areas of Britain. A slow-growing tree, the whole plant is very aromatic. The bruised leaves have a strong scent of aniseed, whilst the flowers have a powerful spicy odour. Suckers can spring up at some distance from the parent plant. Special Features:Attracts birds, Attractive foliage, North American native, Fragrant foliage, Wetlands plant, Suitable for cut flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation :
Seed – it does not require pre-treatment and can be sown in early spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give some protection from the cold over the winter for the first year or two. Layering in early spring. Takes 18 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Pot up the cuttings when they start to root and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out after the last expected frosts. Suckers are sometimes produced at some distance from the parent plant. These suckers can be potted up in early spring, then grown on for a year before planting them out into their permanent positions.

Medicinal Uses: Not known.

Other Uses: Not known.

Known Hazards: Although no mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, at least one other member of the genus has a fruit that is poisonous 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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illicium_floridanum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Illicium+floridanum
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=e647

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Veronica officinalis

Botanical Name: Veronica officinalis
Family: Plantaginaceae/Scrophulariaceae
Genus: Veronica
Species: V. officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names: Heath speedwell, Common gypsyweed, Common speedwell, or Paul’s betony

Habitat: Veronica officinalis is native to Europe, Eastern North America (Maryland) , and western Asia. It grows in heaths, moors, grassland, dry hedgebanks and coppices, often on dry soils

Description:
Veronica officinalis is a herbaceous perennial plant with hairy green stems 10–50 cm long that cover the ground in mats and send up short vertical shoots which bear soft violet flowers. The leaves are 1.5–5 cm long and 1–3 cm broad, and they are opposite, shortly stalked, generally about an inch long, oval and attenuated into their foot-stalks, their margins finely toothed. It flowers from May until August.The flowers are in dense, axillary, manyflowered racemes, 1 1/2 to 6 inches long, the individual flowers nearly stalkless on the main flower-stalk, their corollas only 1/6 inch across, pale blue with dark blue stripes and bearing two stamens with a very long style. The capsule is inversely heart-shaped and notched, longer than the oblong, narrow sepals. The plant is of a dull green and is generally slightly hairy, having short hairs, sometimes smooth.CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a moderately fertile moisture retentive well drained soil. Prefers cool summers. Thrives in light shade or in open sunny positions.

Propagation :
Seed – sow autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient quantity, the seed can be sown in situ in the autumn or the spring. Division in autumn or spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

The fresh herb is faintly aromatic. After drying, it is inodorous. It has a bitterish, warm, and somewhat astringent taste.

Constituents: Enz found a bitter principle, soluble in water and alcohol, but scarcely so in ether, and precipitated by the salts of lead, but not by tannic acid; an acrid principle; red colouring matter, a variety of tannic acid, producing a green colour with ferric salts; a crystallizable, fatty acid, with malic, tartaric, citric, acetic and lactic acids; mannite; a soft, dark green bitter resin.

Mayer, of New York (in 1863), found evidences of an alkaloid and of a saponaceous principle. Vintilesco (1910) found a glucoside both in this species and in Veronica chamaedrys.

Edible Uses: A bitter tangy tea is made from the fresh flowering herb or the dried leaves. The dried leaves can be added to tea blends.

Medicinal Uses:

Alterative; Antipruritic; Antirheumatic; Astringent; Diuretic; Expectorant; Stomachic; Tonic.

This species of Veronica retained a place among our recognized remedies until a comparatively late period, and is still employed in herbal medicine.
Its leaves possess astringency and bitterness.

The leaves and roots are alterative, astringent, mildly diuretic, mildly expectorant, stomachic and tonic. They have been employed in the treatment of pectoral and nephritic complaints, haemorrhages, skin diseases and the treatment of wounds, though the plant is considered to be obsolete in modern herbalism. The leaves are harvested in the summer and dried for later use .

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/Veronica_officinalis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/specom75.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Veronica+officinalis

Daucus carota

Botanical Name: Daucus carota
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Daucus
Species: D. carota
KingdomPlantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms:   Birds’ Nest and Bees’ Nest.

Common Name:  Wild carrot, Bird’s nest, Bishop’s lace, and Queen Anne’s lace
Habitat: Probably originally a native of the sea-coasts of Southern Europe degenerated into its present wild state, but of very ancient cultivation. Now it is grown in   Britain, near the sea in greatest abundance, and in waste places throughout Europe, Russian Asia, America, and is even found in India.
Description:
Daucus carota is a biennial plant, growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a medium rate. The stems are erect and branched, generally about 2 feet high, tough and furrowed. Both stems and leaves are more or less clothed with stout coarse hairs. The leaves are very finely divided, the lowest leaves considerably larger than the upper; their arrangement on the stem is alternate, and all the leaves embrace the stem with the sheathing base, which is so characteristic of this group of plants, the Umbelliferae, to which the Carrot belongs. The blossoms are densely clustered together in terminal umbels, or flattened heads, in which the flower-bearing stalks of the head all arise from one point in rays, like the ribs of an umbrella, each ray again dividing in the case of the Carrot, in like manner to form a secondary umbel, or umbellule of white flowers, the outer ones of which are irregular and larger than the others. The Wild Carrot is in bloom from June to August, but often continues flowering much longer. The flowers themselves are very small, but from their whiteness and number, they form a conspicuous head nearly flat while in bloom, or slightly convex, but as the seeds ripen, the umbels contract, the outer rays, which are to begin with 1 to 2 inches long, lengthening and curving inwards, so that the head forms a hollow cup hence one of the old popular names for the plant – Birds’ Nest. The fruit is slightly flattened, with numerous bristles arranged in five rows. The seeds ripen from Aug to September.The ring of finely-divided and leaf-like bracts at the point where the umbel springs is a noticeable feature….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The Carrot is well distinguished from other plants of the same order by having the central flower of the umbel, or sometimes a tiny umbellule, of a bright red or deep purple colour, though there is a variety, Daucus maritimus, frequent in many parts of the seacoast in the south of England, which differs in having somewhat fleshy leaves and no central purple flower. In this case, all the flowers of the head have usually a somewhat pinkish tinge. There was a curious superstition that this small purple flower of the Carrot was of benefit for mitigating epilepsy.

Cultivation :          
Landscape Uses:Border, Seashore. Prefers a sunny position and a well-drained neutral to alkaline soil. A good plant for the summer meadow, it is a food plant for caterpillars of the Swallow-tail Butterfly. This species is the parent of the cultivated carrot. It can act as an alternative host for pests and diseases of the cultivated carrots. The plant has become a pest weed in N. America, where it is spreading rapidly and crowding out native vegetation. The whole plant, when bruised, gives off an aniseed-like scent. Special Features: Edible, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers.
                                                                              
Propagation:     
Seed – sow August/September or April in situ. The seed germinates better if it is given a period of cold stratification.
Edible Uses:   Root – cooked. Thin and stringy. The flower clusters can be french-fried to produce a carrot-flavoured gourmet’s delight. The aromatic seed is used as a flavouring in stews etc. The dried roasted roots are ground into a powder and are used for making coffee

Parts Used in Medicines:   Whole herb, seeds, root.

Constituents: The medicinal properties of the seeds are owing to a volatile oil which is colourless or slightly tinged with yellow; this is procured by distilling with water. They also yield their virtues by infusion to water at 212 degrees F.; boiling dissipates them. No thorough analysis has been made.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic;  Carminative;  Contraceptive;  Deobstruent;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Galactogogue;  Ophthalmic;  Stimulant.

This vegetable is a wonderful cleansing medicine. It supports the liver, and stimulates urine flow and the removal of waste by the kidneys. The juice of organically grown carrots is a delicious drink and a valuable detoxifier. Carrots are rich in carotene, which is converted to vitamin A by the liver. This nutrient acts to improve night blindness as well as vision in general. The raw root, grated or mashed, is a safe treatment for threadworms, especially in children. Wild carrot leaves are a good diuretic. They have been used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation, and to diminish stones that have already formed. The seeds are also diuretic and carminative. They stimulate menstruation and have been used in folk medicine as a treatment for hangovers. Both leaves and seeds relieve flatulence and gassy colic and are a useful remedy for settling the digestion and upsets of the stomach. Many Pennsylvania Dutch have used wild carrot seed as both an emmenagogue and a morning-after contraceptive. Indian researchers have confirmed that carrot seed has anti-implantation activity in laboratory animals. One teaspoonful of the seeds is taken daily starting at the time of ovulation or immediately after unprotected intercourse during the fertile time and continued for up to one week to prevent pregnancy. Carrots contain 8 compounds that lower blood pressure. Scottish studies showed that over a period of three weeks, a daily snack of two carrots lowered cholesterol levels by 10-20% in study participants. Because the fiber pectin is the source of most of these benefits, don’t use a juicer which extracts most of the fiber.

Scientists in India have discovered that carrots afford significant protection for the liver in laboratory animals. When liver cell injury was induced experimentally with chemicals, paralleling the liver damage inflicted by chemical pollutants, experiments showed that lab animals could recover with the help of carrot extracts which increase the activity of several enzymes that speed up detoxification of the liver and other organs.

The wild carrot is an aromatic herb that acts as a diuretic, soothes the digestive tract and stimulates the uterus. A wonderfully cleansing medicine, it supports the liver, stimulates the flow of urine and the removal of waste by the kidneys. The whole plant is anthelmintic, carminative, deobstruent, diuretic, galactogogue, ophthalmic, stimulant. An infusion is used in the treatment of various complaints including digestive disorders, kidney and bladder diseases and in the treatment of dropsy. An infusion of the leaves has been used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation, and to diminish stones that have already formed. Carrot leaves contain significant amounts of porphyrins, which stimulate the pituitary gland and lead to the release of increased levels of sex hormones. The plant is harvested in July and dried for later use. A warm water infusion of the flowers has been used in the treatment of diabetes. The grated raw root, especially of the cultivated forms, is used as a remedy for threadworms. The root is also used to encourage delayed menstruation. The root of the wild plant can induce uterine contractions and so should not be used by pregnant women. A tea made from the roots is diuretic and has been used in the treatment of urinary stones. The seeds are diuretic, carminative, emmenagogue and anthelmintic. An infusion is used in the treatment of oedema, flatulent indigestion and menstrual problems. The seed is a traditional ‘morning after’ contraceptive and there is some evidence to uphold this belief. It requires further investigation. Carrot seeds can be abortifacient and so should not be used by pregnant women.

Other Uses:  An essential oil obtained from the seed has an orris-like scent. It is used in perfumery and as a food flavouring. The oil has also been used cosmetically in anti-wrinkle creams.
Known Hazards: The wild carrot sometimes cause allergic reactions in some people. Skin contact with the sap is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people. Daucus has been reported to contain acetone, asarone, choline, ethanol, formic acid, HCN, isobutyric acid, limonene, malic acid, maltose, oxalic acid, palmitic acid, pyrrolidine, and quinic acid. Reviewing research on myristicin, which occurs in nutmeg, mace, black pepper, carrot seed, celery seed, and parsley, Buchanan (J. Food Safety 1: 275, 1979) noted that the psychoactive and hallucinogenic properties of mace, nutmeg, and purified myristicin have been studied. It has been hypothesized that myristicin and elemicin can be readily modified in the body to amphetamines. Handling carrot foliage, especially wet foliage, can cause irritation and vesication. Sensitized photosensitive persons may get an exact reproduction of the leaf on the skin by placing the leaf on the skin for awhile, followed by exposure to sunshine.

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/Daucus_carota
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/carwil25.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Daucus+carota

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

Polygonum bistorta

 

Botanical Name:  Polygonum bistorta /Persicaria bistorta
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
Species: P. bistorta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms-: Osterick. Oderwort. Snakeweed. Easter Mangiant. Adderwort. Twice Writhen.

Common Names: Bistort, Common bistort
The Latin name bistorta refers to the twisted appearance of the root.

Numerous other vernacular names have been recorded for the species in historical texts, though none is used to any extent. Many of the following refer to the plant’s use in making puddings:

*Adderwort
*Dragonwort
*Easter giant
*Easter ledger
*Easter ledges
*Easter magiant
*Easter man-giant
*Gentle dock
*Great bistort
*Osterick
*Oysterloit
*Passion dock
*Patience dock
*Patient dock
*Pink pokers
*Pudding grass
*Pudding dock
*Red legs
*Snakeweed
*Twice-writhen
*Water ledges
Habitat:  Polygonum bistorta    is native of many parts of Northern Europe, occurring in Siberia and in Japan and in Western Asia to the Himalayas. It is common in the north of England and in southern Scotland, growing in moist meadows, though only of local occurrence; in Ireland, it is very rare.It grows in damp meadows and by water, especially on acid soils

Description:
Polygonum bistorta   is an herbaceous perennial growing to 75 cm (30 in) tall by 90 cm (35 in) wide. The foliage is normally basal with a few smaller leaves produced near the lower end of the flowering stems. The leaves are oblong-ovate or triangular-ovate in shape and narrow at the base. The petioles are broadly winged. The plant blooms from late spring into autumn, producing tall stems ending in single terminal racemes that are club-like spikes, 5–7 cm (2–3 in) long, of rose-pink flowers.  The plant grows in moist soils and under dry conditions goes dormant, losing its foliage until adequate moisture exists again…...CLICK &  SEE THE  PICTURES

Cultivation:
This species is grown as an ornamental garden plant, especially the form ‘Superba’ which has larger, more showy flowers, and has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit. It is suitable for use as a marginal or in bog gardens.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually free and easy. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer if they have reached sufficient size. If not, overwinter them in a cold frame and plant them out the following spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. One report says that they are rather bitter, but   it is found that they have a fairly mild flavour, especially when the leaves are young, though the texture is somewhat chewy when they are eaten raw. They make an excellent substitute for spinach. In Northern England the leaves are an ingredient of a bitter Lenten pudding, called Easter ledger pudding, that is eaten at Lent. The leaves are available from late winter in most years and can be eaten until the early autumn though they become much tougher as the season progresses. The leaves are a good source of vitamins A and C, a nutritional analysis is available. Seed – raw or cooked. The seed is very small and rather fiddly to utilize. Root – raw or cooked. Rich in starch and tannin, it is steeped in water and then roasted in order to reduce the tannin content. It is then said to be a tasty and nutritious food. The root has also been boiled or used in soups and stews and can be dried then ground into a powder and used in making bread. The root contains 30% starch, 1% calcium oxalate and 15 – 36% tannin.

Part Used in medicines: The root-stock, gathered in March, when the leaves begin to shoot, and dried.

Constituents:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Fresh weight)
0 Calories per 100g
Water : 82.6%
Protein: 3g; Fat: 0.8g; Carbohydrate: 7.9g; Fibre: 3.2g; Ash: 2.4g;
Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
The roots contain up to 21% tannin.
Medicinal Uses:
Antidiarrhoeal; Astringent; Demulcent; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Laxative; Styptic.

Bistort is one of the most strongly astringent of all herbs and it is used to contract tissues and staunch blood flow. The root is powerfully astringent, demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge, laxative and strongly styptic. It is gathered in early spring when the leaves are just beginning to shoot, and then dried. It is much used, both internally and externally, in the treatment of internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera etc. It is also taken internally in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including catarrh, cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis and excessive menstruation. Externally, it makes a good wash for small burns and wounds, and is used to treat pharyngitis, stomatitis, vaginal discharge, anal fissure etc. A mouth wash or gargle is used to treat spongy gums, mouth ulcers and sore throats. The leaves are astringent and have a great reputation in the treatment of wounds. In Chinese medicine the rhizome is used for: epilepsy, fever, tetanus, carbuncles, snake and mosquito bites, scrofula and cramps in hands and feet. Considered useful in diabetes.
Roots and leaves were used to counteract poisons and to treat malaria and intermittent fevers. Dried and powdered it was applied to cuts and wounds to staunch bleeding, and a decoction in wine was taken for internal bleeding and diarrhea (especially in babies). It was also given to cause sweating and drive out the plague, smallpox, measles and other infectious diseases. Bistort is rich in tannins and one of the best astringents. Taken internally, it is excellent for bleeding, such as from nosebleeds, heavy periods and wounds, and for diarrhea and dysentery. Since it reduces inflammation and mucous secretions it makes a good remedy for colitis and for catarrhal congestion. It was originally recommended in 1917 as a treatment for debility with a tendency towards tuberculosis. It has also been used externally for pharyngitis, stomatitis, vaginal discharge, anal fissure, purulent wounds, hemorrhoids, mouth ulcers and gum disease. Comes well with Geranium maculatum.

Other Uses:.….Tannin………The roots contain up to 21% tannin

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been made for this species, there have been reports that some members of this genus can cause photosensitivity in susceptible people. Many species also contain oxalic acid (the distinctive lemony flavour of sorrel) – whilst not toxic this substance can bind up other minerals making them unavailable to the body and leading to mineral deficiency. Having said that, a number of common foods such as sorrel and rhubarb contain oxalic acid and the leaves of most members of this genus are nutritious and beneficial to eat in moderate quantities. Cooking the leaves will reduce their content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

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/Persicaria_bistorta
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bistor45.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polygonum+bistorta