Tag Archives: Artichoke Dip

Carduus acaulis

Botanical Name: : Carduus acaulis
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Carduoideae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Cirsium
Species: C. acaule
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Ground Thistle. Dwarf May Thistle (Culpepper)

Common Name : Stemless Carline Thistle, Carline Thistle

Johns (Flowers of the Field) calls this the Ground Thistle, and Culpepper calls it the Dwarf May Thistle, and says that ‘in some places it is called the Dwarf Carline Thistle.’
Habitat: Carduus acaulis, the Dwarf Thistle, is found in pastures, especially chalk downs, and is rather common in the southern half of England, particularly on the east side.It grows in poor soils in dry sandy pastures and on rocky slopes, especially on limestone.

Description:
Carduus acaulis is a biennial/ perennial plant,  growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft).long, It has woody root-stock. The stem in the ordinary form is so short that the flowers appear to be sessile, or sitting, in the centre of the rosette of prickly leaves, but very occasionally it attains the length of a foot or 18 inches, and then is usually slightly branched.    The leaves are spiny and rigid, with only a few hairs on the upper side, and on the veins beneath, and are of a dark, shining green. The flowers are large and dark crimson in colour, and are in bloom from July to September  and the seeds ripen from Jul to August..The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a sunny position in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a neutral to alkaline soil. Prefers a poor soil. Established plants are drought tolerant[190]. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. The stemless carline thistle is a protected plant in the wild because of its rarity. This species resents root disturbance, it should be planted into its final position as soon as possible. Plants are usually short-lived or monocarpic. The plant is popular in dried flower arranging, the dried heads keeping their appearance indefinitely.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow in a cold frame in the spring. The seed usually germinates in 4 – 8 weeks at 15°c. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer.

Edible Uses: Flowering head is cooked. Used as a globe artichoke substitute, though they are considerably smaller and even more fiddly. The fleshy centre of the plant is edible.

Part Used in medicine:—Root.

Medicinal Uses:
Antispasmodic; Carminative; Diaphoretic; Digestive; Diuretic; Emetic; Febrifuge; Purgative.

Stemless carline thistle is seldom used in modern herbalism. The root has also been used in treating a range of skin complaints such as acne and eczema. A decoction of the root can be used externally to cleanse wounds or as an antiseptic gargle. Some caution should be employed since in large doses the root is purgative and emetic. The root is antibiotic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, mildly diuretic, emetic in large doses, febrifuge and purgative in large doses. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

It is used   nternally for fluid retention, liver, gall bladder, and prostate problems, bronchitis, and skin complaints, such as acne and eczema.  It is used in the form of an infusion to treat stomach and liver disorders, edema and urine retention.  Decoctions are applied externally to bathe skin disorders, fungal infections and wounds and are used as an antiseptic gargle.  The dried and chopped roots, soaked in wine, stimulate digestion and soothe the nerves.  Wine extract of 40-50 g of powdered roots/1 litre wine acts as a vermifuge.  Take a wine glass twice daily.  A water extract produces the same effect in 50/50 mixture with vinegar.  Swedish bitters contains the root of the carline thistle, which possesses bacteriostatic properties and acts on the stomach as well. The root is antibiotic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, mildly diuretic, emetic in large doses, febrifuge and purgative in large doses.  The plant was at one time in great demand as an aphrodisiac, it is used nowadays in the treatment of spasms of the digestive tract, gall bladder disorders, dropsy etc.

At one time the root used to be chewed as a remedy for toothache.

Other Uses:
Weather forecasting. : The dried flowers respond to the amount of humidity in the air and can be used as hygrometers. Flowers on the growing plant close at the approach of rain.

Known Hazards:The Thistle is very injurious in pastures; it kills all plants that grow beneath it and ought not to be tolerated, even on the borders of fields and waste places.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirsium_acaule
https://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/thistl11.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=carlina+acaulis

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

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Good King Henry

Botanical Name: Chenopodium Bonus Henricus
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Chenopodioideae
Tribe: Anserineae
Genus: Blitum
Species: B. bonus-henricus
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: English Mercury. Mercury Goosefoot.Poor-man’s asparagus,Lincolnshire Spinach, Allgood. Tola Bona. Smearwort. Fat Hen.
(German) Fette Henne.

Common Names:  Good-King-Henry, Poor-man’s Asparagus, Perennial Goosefoot, Lincolnshire Spinach, Markery, English mercury, or mercury goosefoot
Part Used: Herb.

Part of plant consumed: Leaves and young stems.
Habitat: Good King Henry grows abundantly in waste places near villages, having formerly been cultivated as a garden pot-herb.Lincolnshire Spinach is a species of goosefoot which is native to much of central and southern Europe.

Description:Good King Henry is an annual or perennial plant growing up to 400–800 mm tall. The leaves are 50–100 mm long and broad, triangular to diamond-shaped, with a pair of broad pointed lobes near the base, with a slightly waxy, succulent texture. The flowers are produced in a tall, nearly leafless spike 100–300 mm long; each flower is very small (3–5 mm diameter), green, with five sepals. The seeds are reddish-green, 2–3 mm diameter.

Click  & see.

It is a dark-green, succulent plant, about 2 feet, high, rising from a stout, fleshy, branching root-stock, with large, thickish, arrow-shaped leaves and tiny yellowish-green flowers in numerous close spikes, 1 to 2 inches long, both terminal and arising from the axils of the leaves. The fruit is bladder-like, containing a single seed.

The leaves used to be boiled in broth, but were principally gathered, when young and tender, and cooked as a pot-herb. In Lincolnshire, they are still eaten in place of spinach. Thirty years ago, this Goosefoot was regularly grown as a vegetable in Suffolk, Lincolnshire, and other eastern counties and was preferred to the Garden Spinach, its flavour being somewhat similar, but less pronounced. In common with several other closely allied plants, it was sometimes called ‘Blite’ (from the Greek, bliton, insipid), Evelyn says in his Acetaria, ‘it is well-named being insipid enough.’ Nevertheless, it is a very wholesome vegetable. If grown on rich soil, the young shoots, when as thick as a lead pencil, may be cut when 5 inches in height, peeled and boiled and eaten as Asparagus. They are gently laxative.

Cultivation: Good King Henry is well worth cultivating. Being a perennial, it will continue to produce for a number of years, being best grown on a deep loamy soil. The ground should be rich, well drained, and deeply dug. Plants should be put in about April, 1 foot apart each way, or seeds may be sown in drills at the same distance. During the first year, the plants should be allowed to establish themselves, but after that, both shoots and leaves may be cut or picked, always leaving enough to maintain the plant in health. Manure water is of great assistance in dry weather, or a dressing of 1 OZ. of nitrate of soda, or sulphate of ammonia may be given.

Good King Henry has been grown as a vegetable in cottage gardens for hundreds of years, although this dual-purpose vegetable is now rarely grown and the species is more often considered a weed.

It should be planted in a fertile, sunny spot which is free from perennial weeds. Seeds should be sown in April in drills 1 cm deep and 50 cm apart. The seedlings should then be thinned to 10–20 cm. Good King Henry does not respond well to transplantation.

Typically, very little is produced in the first season. The plants should be regularly weeded and well watered. Harvesting should be moderate, with just a few leaves at a time collected from each plant.

The foliage can be cut in autumn, and a mulch, such as leaf mould or well-rotted compost applied to the plot. Cropping can begin in spring. Some of the new shoots can be cut as they appear (usually from mid spring to early summer) and cooked like asparagus. All cutting should then cease so that shoots are allowed to develop. The succulent triangular leaves are picked a few at a time until the end of August and cooked like spinach.

As with many of the wild plants, it does not always adapt itself to a change of soil when transplanted from its usual habitat and success is more often ensured when grown from seed.

Medicinal Uses:
Detersive and diuretic, the herb ought to have a place in vulnerary decoctions and fomentations. The young shoots, the succeeding leaves and the flowery tops are fit for kitchen purposes. It is good for scurvy and provokes urine. Outwardly it is much used in clysters, and a cataplasm of the leaves helps the pain of the gout.

The plant is also known as Mercury Goosefoot, English Mercury and Marquery (to distinguish it from the French Mercury), because of its excellent remedial qualities in indigestion, hence the proverb: ‘Be thou sick or whole, put Mercury in thy Koole.’

The name ‘Smear-wort’ refers to its use in ointment. Poultices made of the leaves were used to cleanse and heal chronic sores, which, Gerard states, ‘they do scour and mundify.’

The leaf is a source of iron, vitamins and minerals.  A poultice and ointment cleanses and heals skin sores.  Also in the preparation of an ointment for painful joints.  The plant was recommended for indigestion and as a laxative and a diuretic.  Used in a veterinary cough remedy for sheep. Rich in iron as well as vitamin C.

Modern uses: The leaves can be used externally in compresses to soothe aching and painful joints, but it is not considered to be of much value internally. Its main use has always been as a vegetable to be used as an alternative to Spinach.

The roots were given to sheep as a remedy for cough and the seeds have found employment in the manufacture of shagreen.

The plant is said to have been used in Germany for fattening poultry and was called there Fette Henne, of which one of its popular names, Fat Hen, is the translation.

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/Good_King_Henry
http://www.bean-sprouts.blogspot.com/2007/06/good-king-henry.html
http://www.health-topic.com/Dictionary-Good_King_Henry.aspx

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

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