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Phragmites australis

Botanical Name :Phragmites australis
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Arundinoideae
Tribe: Arundineae
Genus: Phragmites
Species: P. australis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Common Name:Reed Grass, Common Reed

Habitat : Phragmites australis is  native to North America. The Eurasian genotype can be distinguished from the North American genotype by its shorter ligules of up to 0.9 millimetres (0.04 in) as opposed to over 1.0 millimetre (0.04 in), shorter glumes of under 3.2 millimetres (0.13 in) against over 3.2 millimetres (0.13 in) (although there is some overlap in this character), and in culm characteristics.

Phragmites australis, the Common reed, is a large perennial grass found in wetlands throughout temperate and tropical regions of the world. Phragmites australis is sometimes regarded as the sole species of the genus Phragmites, though some botanists divide Phragmites australis into three or four species. In particular the South Asian Khagra Reed – Phragmites karka – is often treated as a distinct species

*Phragmites australis subsp. americanus – Recently, the North American genotype has been described as a distinct subspecies, subsp. americanus,  and

*Phragmites australis subsp. australis – the Eurasian variety is referred to as subsp. australis.

Description:
Common reed, or Phragmites, is a tall, perennial grass that can grow to over 15 feet in height. In North America, both native phragmites (Phragmites australis ssp. americanus Saltonstall, P.M. Peterson & Soreng) and introduced subspecies are found. Introduced Phragmites forms dense stands which include both live stems and standing dead stems from previous year’s growth. Leaves are elongate and typically 1-1.5 inches wide at their widest point. Flowers form bushy panicles in late July and August and are usually purple or golden in color. As seeds mature, the panicles begin to look “fluffy” due to the hairs on the seeds and they take on a grey sheen. Below ground, Phragmites forms a dense network of roots and rhizomes which can go down several feet in depth. The plant spreads horizontally by sending out rhizome runners which can grow 10 or more feet in a single growing season if conditions are optimal.

You may click to see the pictures of  Phragmites australis

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is used in folk remedies for condylomata, indurated breast, mammary carcinomata, and leukemia. Reported to be alexeteric, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, refrigerant, sialogogue, stomachic, and sudorific, the common reed is a folk remedy for abscesses, arthritis, bronchitis, cancer, cholera, cough, diabetes, dropsy, dysuria, fever, flux, gout, hematuria, hemorrhage, hiccup, jaundice, leukemia, lung, nausea, rheumatism, sores, stomach, thirst, and typhoid.           The leaves are used in the treatment of bronchitis and cholera, the ash of the leaves is applied to foul sores. A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of cholera and food poisoning. The ashes are styptic. The root is taken internally in the treatment of diarrhea, fevers, vomiting, coughs with thick dark phlegm, lung abscesses, urinary tract infections and food poisoning (especially from sea foods). Externally, it is mixed with gypsum and used to treat halitosis and toothache. The root is harvested in the autumn and juiced or dried for use in decoctions.  The leaves and roots are renowned as a diuretic. Extracts of the rhizome have recently been found to be effective as ayahusca analogue and the dried extract (resin) has psychoactive properties when smoked.

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.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/phau1.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phragmites
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Buffalo gourd

Botanical Name :Cucurbita foetidissima
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Cucurbita
Species: C. foetidissima
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales

Common Names : Buffalo gourd, Calabazilla, Chilicote, Coyote gourd, Fetid gourd, Missouri gourd, Stinking gourd, Wild gourd, Wild pumpkin

Habitat :Buffalo gourd is a xerophytic tuberous plant found in the southwestern USA and northwestern Mexico

Description:
Buffalo gourd is a large plant which is sprawling and prostrate. The leaves can reach large dimensions. The flowers are large and yellow orange with a fringed or rolled margin. The fruits are ovoid and marked with light and dark green when fresh. Cucurbita foetidissima is found at lower to middle elevations. The crushed leaves of this plant have a foul smell, said to resemble the odor of a sweaty armpit. Other members of this family include pumpkin, cucumber and various squashes. Most of these have seeds that look similar to pumpkin or cucumber seeds.
Click to see the picture…...(01).…..(1)………...(2)

Click to enlarge the pictures

Edible Uses:
A member of the cucumber family, the fruit is consumed by humans and animals. The fruit is eaten cooked like a squash when very young. As the fruit becomes fully mature, it is too bitter for humans to eat.

Medicinal Uses:
Several  plant parts of buffalo gourd have medicinal attributes that tribes implement into their culture. The Isleta-Pueblo Indian boiled the roots applying the infusion to chest pains. The Tewa grind the root into a powder drinking it with cold water for laxative effects (not safe: can cause diarrhea and irritation of the digestive tract). Cahuilla Indians used to chew the pulp of the gourd and apply the pithy mass to open sores, or boil the dried root and drink the decoction as either an emetic or a physic.  A poultice of the mashed plant has been used to treat skin sores, ulcers etc. The complete seed, together with the husk, is used as a vermifuge. This is ground into a fine flour, then made into an emulsion with water and eaten. It is then necessary to take a purgative afterwards in order to expel the tapeworms or other parasites from the body. As a remedy for internal parasites, the seeds are less potent than the root of Dryopteris felix-mas, but they are safer for pregnant women, debilitated patients and children. The juice of the root is also disinfecting and remedies toothache. The baked fruit rubbed over rheumatic areas will relieve pain. The seeds and flowers help control swelling. The seed also acts as an effective vermicide (kills worms– Grind seed into a fine flour; mix with water and drink). The poultice of the smashed plant will remedy skin sores and ulcers.  Mix root with olive oil; apply to infected area. The pulp of the gourd was mixed with soap and applied to sores and ulcers that other poultices and plasters had failed to cure.  The supperating parts were liberally dusted with a quantity of pulverized dried seeds.  The root was used to cure a bad case of piles or kill a mass of maggots infesting an open wound.

Other Uses:
When the fruit  gets fully matured   it is used for decorative purposes or in making musical instruments, particularly rattles. The seeds are the source of buffalo gourd oil.

It grows fast (including a massive underground tuber) with little water, and some have proposed growing it for fuel or biofuel ethanol

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.wnmu.edu/academic/nspages/gilaflora/cucurbita_foetidissima.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucurbita_foetidissima
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

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The Greatness in Others

Recognizing Our Own Greatness:-

We cannot recognize greatness in others unless we too posses that same quality in ourselves.

A person who is said to possess greatness stands apart from others in some way, usually by the size or originality of their vision and their ability to manifest that vision. And yet those who recognize that greatness, whether they display it themselves or not, also have greatness within them; otherwise, they could not see it in another. In many ways, the achievements of one person always belong to many people for we accomplish nothing alone in this world. People who display greatness rely upon others who are able to see as they do, to listen, encourage, and support. Without those people who recognize greatness and move in to support it, even the greatest ideas, works of art, and political movements would remain unborn.

We are all moved by greatness when we see it, and although the experience is to some degree subjective, we know the feeling of it. When we encounter it, it is as if something in us stirs, awakens, and comes forth to meet what was inside us all along. When we respond to someone else’s greatness, we feed our own. We may feel called to dedicate ourselves to their vision, or we may be inspired to follow a path we forge ourselves. Either way, we cannot lose when we recognize that the greatness we see in others belongs also to us. Our recognition of this is a call to action that, if heeded, will inspire others to see in us the greatness they also possess. This creates a chain reaction of greatness unfolding itself endlessly into the future.

Ultimately, greatness is simply the best of what humanity has to offer. Greatness does what has not been done before and inspires the same courage that it requires. When we see it in others, we know it, and when we trust its presence in ourselves, we embody it.


Source
: Daily Om

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