Tag Archives: Aristolochia

Aristolochia Serpentaria

Botanical Name :Aristolochia Serpentaria
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Aristolochia
Species: A. serpentaria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Common Names: Aristolochia reticulata. Serpentatiae Rhizoma. Serpentary Rhizome. Serpentary Radix. Virginian Snakeroot. Aristolochia officinalis. Aristolochia sagittata. Endodeca Bartonii. Endodeca Serpentaria. Snakeweed. Red River or Texas Snakeroot. Pelican Flower. Virginia serpentaria. Snagrel. Sangrel. Sangree. Radix Colubrina. Radix Viperina.

Habitat : Aristolochia Serpentaria  is native to eastern North America, from Connecticut to southern Michigan and south to Texas and Florida.

Description:
Aristolochia serpentaria is a perennial herb, growing in rich, shady woods, the roots being collected in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, where it is packed in bales containing about 100 lb., often mixed with leaves, stems and dirt.

It has a short, horizontal rhizome, giving off numerous long, slender roots below. The flowers are peculiar, growing from the joints near the root and drooping until they are nearly buried in the earth or in their dried leaves. They are small, and brownish-purple in colour. Attempts at cultivation are being made, as the rather large use of serpentaria has caused the drug to become scarcer. A specimen was grown in an English garden as far back as 1632. There is one in cultivation at Kew, but it has not flowered there. The genus Endodeca was defined from this species, but it has no characters to distinguish it. Serpentaria has a yellowish or brownish colour, and both smell and taste are aromatic and resemble a mixture of valerian and camphor. Several kinds are cultivated in hothouses for the singularity and, in some cases, the handsome appearance of their flowers, though their colours are usually dingy. The bent shape causes some blossoms to act as a fly-trap. A. sipho, a native of the Alleghany Mountains, is cultivated as an outdoor climbing plant, for the sake of its large leaves, the shape of its flowers inspiring the name of Pipe-Vine or Dutchman’s Pipe.

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Many species of Aristolochia have been employed in medicine, the classical name being first applied to A. Clematitis and A. rotunda, from their supposedemmenagogue properties. A. serpentaria and A. reticulata, or Texas Snakeroot, differ slightly in leaves and flowers, the latter having a slightly coarser root. Both are recognized as official in the United States of America.

Virginia snakeroot is considered an endangered species in New York, where no reports of the species were made for the century between 1895 and 1994, when it was rediscovered in the Hudson Highlands. Since then, other scattered populations have been observed in the state.

The plant is also rare in Connecticut, where it is on that state’s list of species of special concern. In Michigan, its status is “Threatened

Constituents : A volatile oil in the proportion of about 1/2 per cent, and a bitterprinciple – Aristolochin – an amorphous substance of yellow colour and bitter and slightly acrid taste, soluble in both water and alcohol. The medicinal properties are due to these two substances, but the root also contains tannic acid, resin, gum, sugar, etc.

A more recent analysis gives volatile oil, resin, a yellow, bitter principle considered analagous to the bitter principle of quassia, gum, starch, albumen, lignin, malate and phosphate of lime, oxide of iron and silica.

About 1/2 OZ. of the oil is furnished by 100 lb. of the root, the coarser, A. reticulata, yielding rather more. The resinous aristinic acid has been obtained from a number of species, including A. serpentaria. The alkaloid Aristolochine, found in several varieties, requires fuller investigation.

Medicinal Action and Uses : Stimulant, tonic and diaphoretic, properties resembling those of valerian and cascarilla. Too large doses occasion nausea, griping pains in the bowels, sometimes vomiting and dysenteric tenesmus. In small doses, it promotesthe appetite, toning up the digestive organs. It has been recommended in intermittent fevers, when it may be useful as an adjunct to quinine. In full doses it produces increased arterial action, diaphoresis, and frequently diuresis. In eruptive fevers where the eruption is tardy, or in the typhoid stage where strong stimulants cannot be borne, it may be very valuable. An infusion is an effective gargle in putrid sore-throat. It benefits sufferers from dyspepsia and amenorrhoea.

Long boiling impairs its virtues. A cold infusion is useful in convalescence from acute diseases.

It is probable that as it does not disturb the bowels, it may often be used where Guaiacum is not easily tolerated, for stimulating capillary circulation and promoting recovery in chronic forms of gouty inflammation.

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://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/snaker56.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristolochia_serpentaria

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Aristolochia grandiflora

Botanical Name : Aristolochia grandiflora
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Aristolochia
Species: A. grandiflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Common Name :Pelican Flower,Contribo

Habitat :Aristolochia grandiflora is native to the Caribbean, and has been introduced to Florida in the United States as an attractor of butterflies.

Description:
Aristolochia grandiflora, or Pelican Flower, is a deciduous vine with enormous flowers that emit an odor that humans consider unpleasant but attractive to insects. The plant is native to the Caribbean, and has been introduced to Florida in the United States as an attractor of butterflies.

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This botanical wonder will bloom in spring, summer and fall. These 8″ wide, burgundy and cream patchwork petals will astound you as you gaze into a bull’s eye of red. Upon closer inspection, one is carried through a yawning mouth which leads to an inflated pouch. Hardy to Zone 10 and higher for outdoors.

Click to see & listen :Smithsonian Gardens – Aristolochia grandiflora (Pelican Flower)

Medicinal Uses;
It has a number of reported uses in Central America.  Contribo can often be seen soaking in a bottle of rum at saloons, since it is taken by the shot for everything from hangovers and flu to amoebas, flatulence, late menstrual periods, and irregular heartbeat.  The crushed leaves are sometimes applied as a plaster for skin diseases, as a poultice for snakebite, and as an emmenagogue and treatment for diarrhea.

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://www.facebook.com/pages/Aristolochia-grandiflora/110446689008350
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristolochia_grandiflora
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Aristolochia_grandiflora

http://www.logees.com/prodinfo.asp?number=R1066-2

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Silene vulgaris

Botanical Name :Silene vulgaris
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Subfamily: Caryophylloideae
Genus: Silene
Species: S. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonym(s): maidenstears

Common Names :Silene vulgaris, Silene cucubalus or Bladder Campion

Habitat :Silene vulgaris is native to Europe, where in some parts it is eaten, but is widespread in North America where it is considered a weed.Arable land, roadsides, grassy slopes etc, avoiding acid soils.

Description:
Silene vulgaris is a perennial herb, growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Lepidoptera, bees.The plant is not self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
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The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained moisture retentive light loamy soil in a sunny position[1, 200]. A good moth plant. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring 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 seed, an outdoor sowing in situ can be made. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Edible Uses:
Young shoots and leaves – raw or cooked. The young leaves are sweet and very agreeable in salads. The cooked young shoots, harvested when about 5cm long, have a flavour similar to green peas but with a slight bitterness. This bitterness can be reduced by blanching the shoots as they appear from the ground. When pureed it is said to rival the best spinach purees. The leaves can also be finely chopped and added to salads. The leaves should be used before the plant starts to flower. Some caution is advised, see the notes on toxicity above.

In Spain, the young shoots and the leaves are used as food. The tender leaves may be eaten raw in salads. The older leaves are usually eaten boiled or fried, sauteed with garlic as well as in omelettes.

Formerly in La Mancha region of Spain, where Silene vulgaris leaves are valued as a green vegetable, there were people known as “collejeros” who picked these plants and sold them. Leaves are small and narrow, so it takes many plants to obtain a sizeable amount.

In La Mancha the Silene vulgaris leaves, locally known as “collejas”, were mainly used to prepare a dish called gazpacho viudo (widower gazpacho). The ingredients were flatbread known as tortas de gazpacho and a stew prepared with Silene vulgaris leaves. The reference to a widower originated in the fact that this dish was only eaten when meat was scarce and the leaves were emergency or lean-times food, a substitute for an essential ingredient. Other dishes prepared with these leaves in Spain include “potaje de garbanzos y collejas”, “huevos revueltos con collejas” and “arroz con collejas”.

In Crete it is called Agriopapoula  and the locals eat its leaves and tender shoots browned in olive oil

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is said to be emollient and is used in baths or as a fumigant. The juice of the plant is used in the treatment of ophthalmia.

Other Uses:
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it is most likely that the following use can be made of the plant:- The root is used as a soap substitute for washing clothes etc. The soap is obtained by simmering the root in hot water.

Known Hazards:
Although no mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it does contain saponins. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm. They are also broken down by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.

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://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Silene%20vulgaris
http://www.cas.vanderbilt.edu/bioimages/species/sivu.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silene_vulgaris

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Aristolochia debilis

Botanical Name :Aristolochia debilis
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Subfamily: Aristolochioideae
Genus: Aristolochia
Species: Aristolochia debilis
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Magnoliids
Order: Piperales

Synonyms : A. recurvilabra. Hance.

Common Name : Ma Dou Ling,  Birthwort, Frail

Habitat :Aristolochia debilis is native to  E. Asia – C,hina, Japan. It grows in the roadside thickets and meadows in lowland, C. and S. Japan and in China.

Description:
Aristolochia debilis is a perennial herb growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.

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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 can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained loamy soil, rich in organic matter, in sun or semi-shade. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. This species is not very hardy in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c. Most species in this genus have malodorous flowers that are pollinated by flies.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Pre-soak stored seed for 48 hours in hand-hot water and surface sow in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 3 months at 20°c. Stored seed germinates better if it is given 3 months cold stratification at 5°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division in autumn. Root cuttings in winter[

Edible Uses:Leaves are edible.They are cooked. It is said that the leaves of this species are not poisonous but caution is advised.

Medicinal Uses:
Alterative;  Anodyne;  Antibacterial;  Antifungal;  AntiinflammatoryAntitussiveCarminative;  Cytotoxic;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Hypotensive;
Stomachic;  Tonic.

Alterative, antibacterial, antifungal, diuretic. Stimulates energy circulation. The fruit and its capsule are antiasthmatic, antiseptic, antitussive and expectorant. It is used internally in the treatment of asthma and various other chest complaints, haemorrhoids and hypertension. The root is anodyne and anti-inflammatory. It is used internally in the treatment of snakebite, gastric disorders involving bloating, and is clinically effective against hypertension. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The whole plant is antitussive, carminative, stimulant and tonic. The root contains aristolochic acid. This has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Aristolochic acid can also be used in the treatment of acute and serious infections such as TB, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and infantile pneumonia. It also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells. Aristolochic acid is said to be too toxic for clinical use

Internally used for arthritis, purulent wounds, hypertension, snake and insect bites, and gastric disorders involving bloating (roots); for asthma, wet coughs, bronchitis, hypertension and hemorrhoids (fruits). Indications: heat in the lungs manifested as cough with profuse yellow sputum and asthma.  The fruit (Madouling) is used with Loquat Leaf, Peucedanum root, Mulberry bark and Scutellaria root.  Deficiency of the lungs manifested as cough with scanty sputum or with bloody sputum and shortness of breath.  Fruit is used with Glehnia root, Ophiopogon root, Aster root and Donkey hide gelatin.

Known Hazards: No specific details for this species is known  but most members of this genus have poisonous roots and stems. The plant contains aristolochic acid, this has received rather mixed reports on its toxicity. According to one report aristolochic acid stimulates white blood cell activity and speeds the healing of wounds, but is also carcinogenic and damaging to the kidneys. Another report says that it is an active antitumour agent but is too toxic for clinical use. Another report says that aristolochic acid has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy and that it also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells

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://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aristolochia%20debilis
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Aristolochia_debilis
http://www.exot-nutz-zier.de/images/prod_images/Aristolochia_debilis.jpg
http://www.georgiavines.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=9_10&products_id=118

http://www.asianflora.com/Aristolochiaceae/Aristolochia-debilis.htm

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Birthwort

Botanical Name:Aristolochia clematitis
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Aristolochia
Species: A. clematitis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Synonyms:
Heterotypic
Aristolochia infesta Salisb., Prodr. stirp. Chap. Allerton, 215. 1796, nom. illeg.
Aristolochia longa Georgi, Beschr. russ. Reich vol. 3, 5, 1274. 1800, nom. illeg. (non L.).
Aristolochia rotunda Georgi, Beschr. russ. Reich vol. 3, 5, 1274. 1800, nom. illeg. (non L.).

Common Name:Birthwort

Habitats:  Birthwort  is native to   east  and south east Europe. Naturalized in Britain. It grows in the waste ground, gardens, orchards etc.

Description:   Birthwort is a evergreen and deciduous woody vines and herbaceous perennials plant, growing to 0.7 m (2ft 4in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). The smooth stem is erect or somewhat twining. The simple leaves are alternate and cordate, membranous, growing on leaf stalks. There are no stipules.

The flowers grow in the leaf axils. They are inflated and globose at the base, continuing as a long perianth tube, ending in a tongue-shaped, brightly colored lobe. There is no corolla. The calyx is one to three whorled, and three to six toothed. The sepals are united (gamosepalous). There are six to 40 stamens in one whorl. They are united with the style, forming a gynostemium. The ovary is inferior and is four to six locular.

It is in leaf 11-May It is in flower from Jul to September. These flowers have a specialized pollination mechanism. The plants are aromatic and their strong scent attracts insects. The inner part of the perianth tube is covered with hairs, acting as a fly-trap. These hairs then wither to release the fly, covered with pollen.

The fruit is dehiscent capsule with many endospermic seeds.

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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 can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained loamy soil, rich in organic matter, in sun or semi-shade[1, 134]. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. The plant has an invasive root system. Most species in this genus have malodorous flowers, often smelling like decaying flesh, that are pollinated by flies. The insects that pollinate this plant become trapped in the hairy throat of the flower. Birthwort was formerly cultivated as a medicinal plant in most of Europe.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Pre-soak stored seed for 48 hours in hand-hot water and surface sow in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 3 months at 20°c. Stored seed germinates better if it is given 3 months cold stratification at 5°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division in autumn. Root cuttings in winter

Medicinal Uses;

AbortifacientAntiinflammatory;  Antispasmodic;  Diaphoretic;  EmmenagogueFebrifuge;  Oxytoxic;  Stimulant.

Birthwort has a very long history of medicinal use, though it has been little researched scientifically and is little used by present-day herbalists. It is an aromatic tonic herb that stimulates the uterus, reduces inflammation, controls bacterial infections and promotes healing. The juice from the stems was used to induce childbirth. The plant contains aristolochic acid which, whilst stimulating white blood cell activity and speeding the healing of wounds, is also carcinogenic and damaging to the kidneys. The flowering herb, with or without the root, is abortifacient, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, oxytocic and stimulant. Another report says that the root is used on its own whilst a third says that either the fresh flowering herb or the dried rootstock can be used. The plant should not be used internally without experienced supervision, externally it is used in the treatment of slow-healing cuts, eczema, infected toe and finger nails etc. Use with caution, internal consumption can cause damage to the kidneys and uterine bleeding. It should not be used by pregnant women

Used to treat: abdominal complaints, cancer, cancer (nose), depurative, leg ulcers, menstrual troubles, polyps (nose), tumor, wounds.  Not used much today, birthwort was formerly used to treat wounds, sores, and snake bite.  It has been taken after childbirth to prevent infection and is also a potent menstruation-inducing herbs and a (very dangerous) abortifacient.  A decoction was taken to encourage healing of ulcers.  Birthwort has also been used for asthma and bronchitis.
Chinese research into aristolochic acid has shown it to be an effective wound healer.  Aristolochia species are used in China, but the medicinal use has been banned in Germany because of the toxicity of aristolochic acid.  Chinese herbalists use the fruit when there is lung heat and inflammation, with or without deficiency, but with the presence of phlegm. For these conditions, it stops coughing and wheezing. It is also used internally to treat bleeding hemorrhoids.

Click to see :Overview of Aristolochia Clematitis (Arist-c) as a homeopathic remedy. :

Known Hazards:
The root and stem are poisonous. The plant contains aristolochic acid, this has received rather mixed reports on its toxicity. According to one report aristolochic acid stimulates white blood cell activity and speeds the healing of wounds, but is also carcinogenic and damaging to the kidneys. Another report says that it is an active antitumour agent but is too toxic for clinical use. Another report says that aristolochic acid has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy and that it also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells

Medicinal problems:
It was formerly used as a medicinal plant (though poisonous) and is now occasionally found established outside of its native range as a relic of cultivation. A recent study suggests that it is the cause for thousands of kidney failures in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia where the plant is unintentionally consumed through flour. This has been discovered after a clinic for obesity in Belgium used Aristolochiaceae as a diuretic, after a few months some of the subjects suffered from kidney carcinoma and kidney failure.

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://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristolochia_clematitis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aristolochia%20clematitis
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Aristolochia_clematitis

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