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Hibiscus syriacus

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

Synonyms : Althaea frutex.

Common Names: Rose Of Sharon, Althaea, Shrub Althea, Hardy Hibiscus, Syrian ketmia or Rose mallow (United Kingdom) and St Joseph‘s rod (Italy).

Habitat :Hibiscus syriacus is native to E. Asia – China to India. Locally naturalized in S. Europe. It is found wild on mountain slopes, though the original

Description:
Hibiscus syriacus is a hardy deciduous shrub. It is upright and vase-shaped, reaching 2–4 m (7–13 ft) in height, bearing large trumpet-shaped flowers with prominent yellow-tipped white stamens. The flowers are often pink in color, but can also be dark pink (almost purple), light pink or white. Individual flowers are short-lived, lasting only a day. However, numerous buds are produced on the shrub’s new growth, and this provides prolific flowering over a long summer blooming period. Shoots make interesting indoor vase cuttings, as they stay green for a long time, and some new flowers may open from the more mature buds. The species has naturalized very well in many suburban areas, and might even be termed slightly invasive, so frequently does it seed around.
Bloom Color: Blue, Lavender, Pink, Purple, Red, White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Rounded, Upright or erect…

...CLICK &  SEE THYE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Standard, Seashore, Specimen. Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in a sheltered position in full sun. Succeeds in any soil of good or moderate quality. Dislikes shade or badly drained soils. Plants grow best with their roots in cool moist soil and their tops in a hot sunny position. This species is hardy to about -20°c but plants only really succeed in the warmer counties of Britain because of their late flowering habit. When planted in colder areas of the country, they will need protection for the first few winters. The flowers only open in sunny weather. Plants rarely require pruning, though they respond well to pruning and trimming and this is best carried out in the spring or just after flowering. Plants are late coming into leaf, usually around the end of May or early June. A very ornamental plant, there are many named varieties. Special Features:Attracts birds, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Blooms are very showy.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Some reports say that the seed can be sown in situ outside and that it gives a good rate of germination. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood, early autumn in a frame. Good percentage. Layering in mid summer to early autumn.

Edible Uses:… Oil; Tea.….Young leaves – raw or cooked. A very mild flavour, though slightly on the tough side, they make an acceptable addition to the salad bowl. A tea is made from the leaves or the flowers. Flowers – raw or cooked. A mild flavour and mucilaginous texture, they are delightful in salads, both for looking at and for eating. Root – it is edible but very fibrousy. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour.
Medicinal Uses:
The leaves are diuretic, expectorant and stomachic. A decoction of the flowers is diuretic, ophthalmic and stomachic. It is also used in the treatment of itch and other skin diseases,  dizziness and bloody stools accompanied by much gas. The bark contains several medically active constituents, including mucilage, carotenoids, sesquiterpenes and anthocyanidins. A decoction of the root bark is antiphlogistic, demulcent, emollient, febrifuge, haemostatic and vermifuge. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, abdominal pain, leucorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea and dermaphytosis.

Other Uses:
A low quality fibre is obtained from the stems. It is used for making cordage and paper. The seed contains about 25% oil. No further details are given, but it is likely to be edible. A hair shampoo is made from the leaves. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers. This species is planted as a hedge in S. Europe.

National flower:
Hibiscus syriacus is the national flower of South Korea. The flower appears in national emblems, and Korea is compared poetically to the flower in the South Korean national anthem. The flower’s name in Korean is mugunghwa. The flower’s symbolic significance stems from the Korean word mugung, which means “eternity” or “inexhaustible abundance”.

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+syriacus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibiscus_syriacus

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Saw palmetto,

Botanical Name :Sarenoa serrulata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Subfamily: Coryphoideae
Tribe:     Trachycarpeae
Subtribe: Livistoninae
Genus:     Serenoa
Species: S. repens

Synonyms: Sabal. Sabal serrulata, Serenoa repens

Common Names :Saw palmetto,

 Habitat:Saw palmetto is native to  the Atlantic Coast from South Carolina to Florida, and southern California.It is endemic to the southeastern United States, most commonly along the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal plains, but also as far inland as southern Arkansas. it grows in clumps or dense thickets in sandy coastal lands or as undergrowth in pine woods or hardwood hammocks.

Description:
Saw palmetto is a fan palm, with the leaves that have a bare petiole terminating in a rounded fan of about 20 leaflets. It is a hardy plant; extremely slow growing, and long lived, with some plants, especially in Florida where it is known as simply the palmetto, possibly being as old as 500–700 years. The petiole is armed with fine, sharp teeth or spines that give the species its common name. The teeth or spines are easily capable of breaking the skin, and protection should be worn when working around a Saw Palmetto. The leaves are light green inland, and silvery-white in coastal regions. The leaves are 1–2 m in length, the leaflets 50–100 cm long. They are similar to the leaves of the palmettos of genus Sabal. The flowers are yellowish-white, about 5 mm across, produced in dense compound panicles up to 60 cm long. The fruit is a large reddish-black drupe and is an important food source for wildlife and historically for humans. The plant is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species such as Batrachedra decoctor, which feeds exclusively on the plant.

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Edible Uses: This plant is also edible to human beings, but the more green it is the more bitter tasting it would be.

 Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Partially-dried ripe fruit……..CLICK & SEE

Constituents:  Volatile oil, fixed oil, glucose, about 63 per cent of free acids, and 37 per cent of ethyl esters of these acids. The oil obtained exclusively from the nut is a glyceride of fatty acids, thick and of a greenish colour, without fruity odour. From the whole fruit can be obtained by pressure about 1 1/2 per cent of a brownishyellow to dark red oil, soluble in alcohol, ether, chloroform and benzene, and partly soluble in dilute solution of potassium hydroxide. The fixed oil is soluble in alcohol, ether, and petroleum benzin. The presence of an alkaloid is uncertain.

Diuretic, sedative, tonic. It is milder and less stimulant than cubeb or copaiba, or even oil of sandalwood. Like these, it has the power of affecting the respiratory mucous membrane, and is used for many complaints which are accompanied by chronic catarrh. It has been claimed that sabal is capable of increasing the nutrition of the testicles and mammae in functional atony of these organs. It probably acts by reducing catarrhal irritation and a relaxed condition of bladder and urethra. It is a tissue builder.

Saw palmetto is another wonderful instance of scientific research validating traditional herbal medicine. Saw palmetto frequently equals and sometimes exceeds pharmaceuticals for treating benign prostate hypertrophy( BPH). More than a dozen clinical studies involving almost 3,000 men have verified saw palmetto’s ability to markedly alleviate BPH symptoms- without the libido reducing side effects of the pharmaceutical drug. The herb helps more men than synthetic drugs, and it gets the job done faster. As an added benefit, saw palmetto inhibites enzymes that are suspected to cause male pattern baldness, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence indicates that saw palmetto stems hair loss and triggers growth. Although it has lost the favor of mainstream medicine in the U.S., it is still widely used in Europe.

saw palmetto  extract has been promoted as useful for people with prostate cancer. However, according to the American Cancer Society, “available scientific studies do not support claims that saw palmetto can prevent or treat prostate cancer in humans”

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/Serenoa
http://www.driscollsnatural.com/herb_detail.php?herb=255
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sawpal26.html

Purple allamanda

Botanical Name :Cryptostegia grandiflora
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Cryptostegia
Order: Gentianales
Kingdom: Plantae
Species: C. grandiflora
Scientific Names : Cryptostegia grandiflora (Roxb.) R. Br. ,Nerium grandiflora Roxb.

Common Names :Indian rubber vine (Engl.),Purple allamanda (Engl.)

Habitat : Native to south-west Madagascar. It is also a significant weed in northern Australia, sometimes regarded in fact, as the worst weed in all of Australia. It has also been introduced to most other tropical and subtropical regions by man, because of its attractive flowers and the fact that its latex contains commercial quality rubber (hence the name). It is now naturalised in the Caribbean, East Africa, Mauritius, India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, the southern United States, Fiji and New Caledonia.It is Introduced in Philippines.Occasionally planted for ornamental purposes.Now, pantropic.

Description:
A rubber vine can grown up to 2 metres (m) tall as a shrub, but when it is supported on other vegetation as a vine, it can reach up to 30 metres in length. Rubber vine prefers areas where annual rainfall is between 400 and 1400 millimetres (mm), and is well adapted to a monsoonal climate. It can grow maximally on an annual rainfall of 1700 millimetres, but seeds that get an annual rainfall of 400 millimetres or less means rubber vine thrives on (in fact, requires) the extreme variability of rainfall and streamflow. This is a characteristic of central Queensland. The extreme variability (four times that of other countries to which it has been introduced) is almost certainly why rubber vine has become a major weed in Australia and not any other country in which it has been introduced.

You may click to see the pictures.....(01)..(1).…..(2).(3)…….(4)
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Vine to subshrub.  Stems with numerous, small lenticels.  Lamina elliptic to orbicular, up to 10 cm long and 6.3 wide, glabrous; 11-13 secondary veins per side of midrib; tip acute; base cuneate; petiole 7-20.8 mm long, 0.9-3 mm diameter.  Cyme of 1 or 2 fascicles.  Flowers 5-6 cm long, 5-8.8 cm diameter; pedicels 4.2-8.5 mm long, 3-6.2 mm diameter, glabrous.  Calyx lobes lanceolate-ovate, 11.9-18.7 mm long, 5.6-9.8 mm wide.  Corolla pale pink to white; tube 1.9-4.5 cm long, 11.2-17 mm diameter; lobes 21-43 mm long, 13-22.5 mm wide.  Corolline corona of 5 bilobed filaments in throat of tube; each lobe ca 10 mm long overall, bilobed portion ca 8 mm long.  Staminal column 2-3 mm long, 3-4 mm diameter; anthers 4-4.5 mm long, 3-3.5 mm wide.  Translators obtuse, ca 3 mm long and 1.5 mm wide.  Style-head conical, ca 3.5 mm long and 2.5 mm diameter.  Ovaries ca 4 mm long and 2 mm wide.  Follicles fusiform-ovoid, 10-15.4 cm long, 2.1-4 cm diameter; seeds 5.2-9.7 mm long, 1.6-2.8 mm wide; coma white, 18.9-38 mm long.” (Marohasy and Forster, 1991; pp. 574-575).

“Woody ornamental lactiferous climber with opposite simple oblong shortly acuminate short-petiolate leaves 4-10 cm long, 3-5 cm wide; cymes of about 6-12 large reddish-purple flowers (sometimes lighter pink-violet); calyx-lobes about 1.2 cm long; corolla about 5 cm long (in bud); follicles 7.5-8.5 cm long.  The flowers resemble those of the purple Allamanda (Allamanda violacea)” (Stone, 1970; p. 487).

“Can be distinguished from C. madagascariensis by its stems with smaller, more numerous lenticels; leaf blades with 11-13 pairs of secondary veins; larger corollas (2-2.5 inches long); 2-lobed corona filaments; and larger fruit (4-6.25 inches long)”  (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 142).

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used :Leaves
Folkloric
No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
In Madagascar, reportedly used for criminal purposes and against vermin.
Powdered leaves, mixed with water, when swallowed can cause persistent vomiting after half an hour; death in 15 hours.

Studies
• Antiviral: In a study of medicinal plants for its antiviral activity, Cryptostegia grandiflora showed partial activity at higher concentraions.
Cardiac glycosides: Study of the leaves of C. grandiflora yielded four news cardiac glycosides: crptostigmin I to IV together with two known cardenolides.
Antibacterial: Study of the different extracts of Cryptostegia grandiflora was done for antibacterial potential against Pseudomonas cepacia, B megatorim, S aureus, E coli B subtilis. Almost all extracts produced significant antibacterial activity against all the microorganisms, comparable to standard antibiotic tetracycline hydrochloride. The petroleum ether extract showed maximum efficacy.
Latex Pro-Inflammatory Activity: Study investigating the pro-inflammatory activity of the latex of C grandifolia was investigated. Results showed the soluble proteins of the latex induced strong inflammatory activity, enlarged vascular permeability and increased myeloperoxidase acticvity locally in rats. It concludes that the latex of CG is a potent inflammatory fluid and implicates lactifer proteins in that activity.

Other Uses:Grown as a beautiful flower plant in house garden.

Known Hazards : Plant considered an irritant and poisonous.Leaves are toxic.

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://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/12188/
http://www.stuartxchange.com/IndianRubberVine.html
http://www.hear.org/pier/species/cryptostegia_grandiflora.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptostegia_grandiflora

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Jungli Bhendi(Abelmoschus ficulneus)

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Botanical name: Abelmoschus ficulneus
Family:    Malvaceae
Genus:    Abelmoschus
Species:    A. ficulneu
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Malvales
Synonyms: Hibiscus ficulneus
Common name: White Wild Musk Mallow, Native rosellaHindi: Jangli bhindi • Marathi: Ran bhendi • Tamil: Kattu-vendai • Telugu: Nella benda, Parupubenda

Habitat :Abelmoschus ficulneus occurs in tropical Africa (including Madagascar), Asia and Australia. In tropical Africa it has a scattered distribution. It occurs mostly in East Africa from Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia southward to Zambia and Mozambique. In West and Central Africa it is reported for Niger, northern Nigeria and Chad. Abelmoschus ficulneus occurs from near sea level up to 1350 m altitude in areas with a pronounced dry season, usually in grassland, bushland, fallows or as a weed in cultivated land. It also occurs in water-logged soils near rivers.

Description:
Annual herb up to 2 m tall; stem thick, glabrous to densely glandular pubescent. Leaves alternate, simple stellate hairy; stipules linear or filiform, 5–12 mm long, hirsute; petiole 2–21 cm long, hairy; blade orbicular, deeply 3–5-lobed, up to 16 cm × 16 cm, cordate at base, lobes subacute to broadly rounded, margin serrate, scabrous on both sides. Flowers bisexual, regular, solitary in leaf axils or in a terminal raceme; pedicel 0.5–2.0(–2.5) cm long, expanded and cup-shaped apically; epicalyx bracts 5–6, linear to lanceolate, up to 12 mm × 2 mm, rough, caducous before expansion of corolla; calyx 17–23 mm long, 5-toothed, tomentellous; petals 5, obovate, 2–3.5 cm × 1.5–3 cm, uniformly white, turning pink; stamens many, filaments united in a column 1–1.5 cm long, glabrous; ovary superior, 5-celled. Fruit an ellipsoid capsule 3–4 cm × 1.5–2 cm, puberulous to pubescent; valves acute to aristate with up to 3 mm long awns. Seeds globose, 3–4 mm in diameter, black, with concentric lines, glabrous or with stellate or long crisped hairs.

 

click to see the  pictures….>…...(01)…...(1)…….(2)….…(3).....(4).….
Abelmoschus comprises about 6 species in Africa, Asia and Australia. It was previously included within Hibiscus. Species delimitation within the genus is based on number, dimensions and persistence of the involucral bracts, indumentum traits, and shape and dimensions of capsules. Abelmoschus ficulneus is possibly one of the parental species of the important vegetable Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench., the other being Abelmoschus tuberculatus Pal & H.B.Singh. Abelmoschus ficulneus is sometimes confused with Abelmoschus esculentus.

Constituents:
Fibre bundles in transverse section are squarish to radially elongated, widely spaced with cells compactly arranged. Reports on the quality of the fibre of Abelmoschus ficulneus from India are contradictory.

Per 100 g dry matter the seed contains 14 g fat and 20–25 g protein. The main fatty acids in the seed oil are: palmitic acid 27–32%, oleic acid 23–32% and linoleic acid 10–42%. The oil also contains malvalic acid and sterculic acid, which are known to cause abnormal physiological reactions in animals. The essential amino acid composition of the seed protein is: lysine 7.1%, methionine 2.8%, phenylalanine 6.8%, threonine 2.8%, valine 5.9%, leucine 6.5% and isoleucine 3.4%. Fruits are rich in vitamin C, with a content of 38 mg per 100 g fresh material.

Medicinal Uses:
Leaves crushed with salted water are used in Indonesia against diarrhoea. In India a decoction of the crushed fresh root is taken to treat calcium deficiency. In case of a scorpion bite, the root is crushed in a glass of water and drunk, while root paste is applied on the area of the sting.

Other Uses:
The stem yields a white fibre used for twine and light cordage. The green stem produces a mucilaginous extract which is an efficient clarifier of sugar-cane syrup. In Egypt the plant is cultivated as a vegetable. The fruits are edible, and in Sudan both the fruits and the leaves are eaten in times of food scarcity. The seeds are used in Arabia to improve the taste of coffee.

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/File:Abelmoschus_ficulneus_(Jungli_Bhendi)_in_Kawal,_AP_W_IMG_2214.jpg
http://database.prota.org/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpub.dll?ac=qbe_query&bu=http://database.prota.org/search.htm&tn=protab~1&qb0=and&qf0=Species+Code&qi0=Abelmoschus+ficulneus&rf=Webdisplay
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/White%20Wild%20Musk%20Mallow.html

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‘Sexsomniacs’ puzzle medical researchers

Researchers are struggling to understand a rare medical condition where sufferers unknowingly demand, or actually have, sex while asleep, New Scientist magazine reported on Wednesday.

Research into sexsomnia   making sexual advances toward another person while asleep   has been hampered as sufferers are so embarrassed by the problem they tend not to own up to it, while doctors do not ask about it.

As yet there is no cure for the condition, which often leads to difficulties in relationships.

“It really bothers me that I can’t control it,” Lisa Mahoney told the magazine. “It scares me because I don’t think it has anything to do with the partner. I don’t want this foolish condition to hurt us in the long run.”

Most researchers view sexsomnia as a variant of sleepwalking, where sufferers are stuck between sleep and wakefulness, though sexsomniacs tend to stay in bed rather than get up and walk about.

While sleepwalking affects two to four percent of adults, sexsomnia is not thought to be as common a problem, according to Nik Trajanovic, a researcher at the sleep and alertness clinic at Canada‘s Toronto Western Hospital.

But an Internet survey of sexsomniacs carried out in 2005 that drew 219 reliable respondents concluded it was more prevalent than medical case reports alone might suggest.

“Most of the time sleep sex occurs between people who are already partners,” Mark Pressman, a sleep specialist at Lankenan Hospital in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, told the New Scientist.

“Sometimes they hate it,” added Pressman of the reactions of sexsomniacs’ partners. “Sometimes they tolerate it. On rare occasions you have stories of people liking it better than waking sex.”

With no cure, addressing triggering factors — stress or sleep deprivation — can help, while Michael Mangan, a psychologist at the University of New Hampshire in the US has set up a Web site, www.sleepsex.org, to help sufferers.

(As published in The Times Of India)