Tag Archives: Aristolochic acid

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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Smearwort(Aristolochia rotunda)

 

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

Common Names : Round-leaved Birthwort, English Mercury, Mercury Goosefoot, Allgood, Tola Bona or (ambiguously) “Fat Hen”

Habitat:Native to Southern Europe.Found amongst shrubs and herbaceous plants along the sides of roads, in fields and in meadows

Description:
Smearwort is a perennial herb .It is a dark-green succulent plant that grows to about 2 feet high, rising from stout, fleshy, branching root-stock. It has large, smooth-edged, stalkless leaves that clasp the stem with enlarged, basal lobes and tubular, yellowish-green flowers with a prominent, dark-brown flap, 1 to 2 inches long, both terminal and arising from the axils of the leaves. The fruit is bladder-like and contains a single seed.

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The plant prefers medium (loamy) 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.  . 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

Ediable uses:
Smearwort leaves can be gathered when young and delicate, then boiled in broth. If grown in rich soil, the shoots may be cut when no bigger than a pencil and five inches high, to be peeled and boiled, then eaten as asparagus.

Medicinal uses:
Abortifacient;  Antitussive;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Pectoral;  VermifugeVulnerary.

The root is antitussive, diuretic, emmenagogue, pectoral, vermifuge and vulnerary. This herb should only be used internally with expert advice since large doses can provoke abortions as well as poisoning with inflammation of the mucous membranes, resulting in respiratory paralysis. 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. Externally the plant is used to treat a variety of skin complaints including eczema and difficult to heal ulcers. The root is harvested in late spring and dried for later use[

The name Smearwort is derived from its use as ointment. Poultices derived from the leaves were used to heal chronic sores. Roots were often used on sheep to remedy cough.

Other Uses:
The seeds have found employment in the making of shagreen.

Known Hazards:
The plant is poisonous in large quantities. 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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristolochia_rotunda
http://www.sharnoffphotos.com/nature/flowers_provence/aristolochia_rotunda.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aristolochia%20rotunda
http://www.rareplants.de/shop/product.asp?P_ID=6096

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