Tag Archives: Assam

Berberis Jaeschkeana

Botanical Name :Berberis jaeschkeana
Family : Berberidaceae
Subfamily: Berberidoideae
Tribe:
Berberideae
Subtribe: Berberidinae.

Genus : Berberis

Habitat:
E. Asia – Himalayas in Kashmir.  Found at elevations of 2,700 – 4,000 metres in the Himalayas.

Description:

A decidious Shrub growing to 0.75m.
It is hardy to zone 0. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation

Prefers a warm moist loamy soil and light shade but it is by no means fastidious, succeeding in thin, dry and shallow soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants can be pruned back quite severely, they resprout well from the base. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus.

Propagation

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, when it should germinate in late winter or early spring . Seed from over-ripe fruit will take longer to germinate  whilst stored seed may require cold stratification and should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as possible[80]. The seedlings are subject to damping off, so should be kept well ventilated. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame. If growth is sufficient, it can be possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the autumn, but generally it is best to leave them in the cold frame for the winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, preferably with a heel, October/November in a frame.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.( raw or cooked.)

Medicinal Actions & Uses
Antibacterial; Cancer.

Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Berberis species, has marked antibacterial effects. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity.

Other Uses:
Dye. : A yellow dye is obtained from the root.

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/database/plants.php?Berberis+jaeschkeana
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Berberis_jaeschkeana

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Daruharidra (Berberis aristata)

Botanical Name : Berberis aristata
Family: Berberidaceae
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Ranunculales
Genus:
Berberis
Species:
B. aristata

Common name: Chitra
Other Common Names:   Darlahad [H], Hint Amberparisi [E], Indian Lycium [E], Nepal Barberry [H], Ophthalmic Barberry [H] (From various places around the Web, may not be 100% correct.) Barberry, Nepal
Vernacular Name: Sans; Daruharidra; Hind: Darhald; Eng : Indian barberry
Synonyms: Berberis coriaria (Lindl.), Berberis chitria (Hort.)

Sanskrit Synonyms:
Darunisha, Peeta, Daruharidra, Darvi, Peetadru, Peetachandana, Hemakanti, Kashta Rajani, Peetaka, Peetahva, Hemakanta,Hemavarnavati, – All these synonyms explain about turmeric-like yellow coloured stem.
Katankati, Katankateri, Parjanya, Pachampacha, Kusumbhaka,
Habitat :E. Asia – Himalayas in Nepal.(Shrubberies to 3500 metres)Woodland, Dappled Shade, Shady Edge.

Description:

Daruharidra is an evergreen erect spiny shrub, ranging between 2 and 3 meters in height. It is a woody plant, with bark that appears yellow to brown from the outside and deep yellow from the inside. The bark is covered with three-branched thorns, which are modified leaves, and can be removed by hand in longitudinal strips. The leaves are arranged in tufts of 5-8 and are approximately 4.9 centimeters long and 1.8 centimeters broad. The leaves are deep green on the dorsal surface and light green on the ventral surface. The leaves are simple with pinnate venation. The leaves are leathery in texture and are toothed, with several to many small indentations along the margin of the leaf.
It is a woody plant, with bark that appears yellow to brown from the outside and deep yellow from the inside. The bark is covered with three-branched thorns, which are modified leaves, and can be removed by hand in longitudinal strips. The leaves are arranged in tufts of 5-8 and are approximately 4.9 centimeters long and 1.8 centimeters broad. The leaves are deep green on the dorsal surface and light green on the ventral surface. The leaves are simple with pinnate venation. The leaves are leathery in texture and are toothed, with several to many small indentations along the margin of the leaf.

The flowering season begins in mid-March and lasts throughout the month of April. The yellow flowers that develop are complete and hermaphroditic. The average diameter of a fully opened flower is 12.5 millimeters. The flowers form a racemose inflorescence, with 11 to 16 flowers per raceme, arranged along a central stem. The flower is polysepalous, with 3 large and 3 small sepals, and polypetalous, with 6 petals in total. The male reproductive structure, the androecium, is polyandrous and contains 6 stamens, 5 to 6 millimeters long. There is one female reproductive structure, the gynoecium, which is 4 to 5 millimeters long and is composed of a short style and a broad stigma. The plant produces bunches of succulent, acidic, edible berries that are bright red in color and have medicinal properties. The fruits start ripening from the second week of May and continue to do so throughout June. The berries are approximately 7 millimeters long, 4 millimeters in diameter and weigh about 227 milligrams.

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Cultivation :   Prefers a warm moist loamy soil and light shade but it is by no means fastidious, succeeding in thin, dry and shallow soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil. Plants are very hardy, they survived the severe winters of 1986-1987 without problems in most areas of Britain.

Plants can be pruned back quite severely and resprout well from the base. The fruits are sometimes sold in local markets in India. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Most plants cultivated under this name are B. chitria., B. coriaria., B. glaucocarpa. and, more commonly, B. floribunda.

Propagation:  Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in late winter or early spring.  Seed from over-ripe fruit will take longer to germinate. Stored seed may require cold stratification and should be sown in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for at least their first winter. Once they are at least 20cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seedlings are subject to damping off, so be careful not to overwater them and keep them well ventilated.

Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very difficult, if not impossible. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, preferably with a heel, October/November in a frame . Very difficult, if not impossible.

Edible Uses:  Fruit – raw or cooked. A well-flavoured fruit, it has a sweet taste with a blend of acid, though there is a slight bitterness caused by the seeds. The fruit is much liked by children. It is dried and used like raisins in India. The fruit contains about 2.3% protein, 12% sugars, 2% ash, 0.6% tannin, 0.4% pectin. There is 4.6mg vitamin C per 100ml of juice.The fruit is about 7mm x 4mm – it can be up to 10mm long. Plants in the wild yield about 650g of fruit in 4 pickings.

Flower buds – added to sauces.

Composition:  Fruit (Fresh weight) :In grammes per 100g weight of food:Protein: 2.3 Carbohydrate: 12 Ash: 2

Medicinal Uses:  Alterative; Antibacterial; Antiperiodic; Bitter; Cancer; Deobstruent; Diaphoretic; Laxative; Ophthalmic; Tonic.

The dried stem, root bark and wood are alterative, antiperiodic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, laxative, ophthalmic and tonic (bitter). An infusion is used in the treatment of malaria, eye complaints, skin diseases, menorrhagia, diarrhoea and jaundice.

Berberine, universally present in rhizomes of Berberis species, has marked antibacterial effects. Since it is not appreciably absorbed by the body, it is used orally in the treatment of various enteric infections, especially bacterial dysentery]. It should not be used with Glycyrrhiza species (Liquorice) because this nullifies the effects of the berberine. Berberine has also shown antitumour activity.

As per Ayurveda:
It is tikta, katu, ushnaveerya; applied in the treatment of septic wounds and polyuria, pruritus, erysipelas and diseases of skin, eye and ear; antidotal

 Therapeutic uses: Paste of root-bark finds external application for healing ulcers. Extract prepared from root-bark is used as a local application in affected parts of the eyelids and in chronic ophthalmia.The tincture of the root is used against intermittent fever and considered to be advantageous over quinine and cinchona since it does not produce deafness or cardiac depression.

The decoction is particularly useful in the enlargement of liver and spleen associated with malarial fever. It is also used for fever accompanied by diarrhoea. Root combined with opium, rocksalt and alum is considered to be an useful anti-inflammatory agent.

In bleeding piles, application of powdered root mixed with butter is beneficial. “Rasauf’ of the rootprepared withis found useful in stomatitis and leucorrhoea.

Decoction of stem mixed with that of curcuma longa is recommended in’gonorrhoea.

Bark juice is useful in jaundice.

Fruits are edible and prescribed as a mild laxative for children.

 Other Uses:A yellow dye is obtained from the root and the stem. An important source of dyestuff and tannin, it is perhaps one of the best tannin dyes available in India. The wood is used as a fuel.

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.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Berberis+aristata
http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#bringraj
http://www.motherherbs.com/berberis-aristata.html
http://www.ayurgold.com/clinical_studies/indian_barberry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berberis_aristata

 

 

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Drinking Tea ‘Reduces Stroke Risk’

Here’s some good news for tea-lovers: having three or more cups of the drink everyday can cut the risk of stroke, says a new study.

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According to Lenore Arab, professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine, drinking the beverage can reduce the threat by as much as 21%.

UCLA boffins observed that the result was obtained in tea made from the plant Camellia sinensis and not from herbs. It was contemplated that anti-oxidant epigallocatechin gallate or the amino acid Theanine in teas may be what leads to the reduced risks.

“By drinking three cups of tea a day, the risk of a stroke was reduced 21%,” the New York Daily News quoted Arab as saying. “That’s why these findings are so exciting. If we can find a way to prevent the stroke, or prevent the damage, that is simple and not toxic, that would be a great advance,” he added.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Fritillaria Cirrhosae


Botanical Name:Fritillariae Cirrhosae
Family:Liliaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Order: Liliales
Genus: Fritillaria
Pinyin Mandarin Name:Chuan Bei Mu

Common English Name :Fritillaria

Habitat: Fritillaria cirrhosa is  native to E. Asia – Himalayas – Nepal to China. It grows on  mountain slopes in alpine and sub-alpine meadows and scrub, usually on open stony moist hillsides Forests, alpine thickets, meadows, flood lands and moist places, 3200 – 4600 metres.

Description:Fritillaria is a genus of about 100 species of bulbous plants.  The name is derived from the Latin term for a dice-box (fritillus), and probably refers to the checkered pattern, frequently of chocolate-brown and greenish yellow, that is common to many species’ flowers. Collectively, the genus is known in English as fritillaries; some North American species are called missionbells.

They often have nodding, bell- or cup-shaped flowers, and the majority are spring-flowering. Most species’ flowers have a rather disagreeable scent, like feces or wet fur. The Scarlet Lily Beetle (Lilioceris lilii) eats fritillaries, and may become a pest where these plants are grown in gardens.
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Several species (such as F. cirrhosa and F. verticillata) are used in traditional Chinese cough remedies. They are listed as chu?n bèi (Chinese) or zhè bèi (Chinese), respectively, and are often in formulations combined with extracts of Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica). F. verticillata bulbs are also traded as bèi m? or, in Kamp?, baimo (Chinese/Kanji, Katakana). F. thunbergii is contained in the standardized Chinese herbal preparation HealthGuard T18, taken against hyperthyroidism.

Most fritillaries contain poisonous alkaloids such as imperialin; some may even be deadly if ingested in quantity. But the bulbs of a few species – e.g. Checker Lily (F. affinis) or Yellow Fritillary (F. pudica) – are edible if prepared correctly.

They are not generally eaten in large amounts however, and their edibility is therefore still somewhat debatable.

At least one species, F. assyrica, has a very large genome. With approximately 130,000,000,000 base pairs, it equals the largest known vertebrate animal genome known to date – that of the Marbled Lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus) – in size.

The emblematic and often unusually-colored fritillaries are commonly used as floral emblems. The Snake’s Head Fritillary (F. meleagris) is the county flower of Oxfordshire (UK) and the provincial flower of Uppland (Sweden) where it is known as kungsängslilja (“Kungsängen lily”). In Croatia this species is known as kockavica, and the checkerboard pattern of its flowers is held to be the inspiration for the šahovnica pattern on Croatia’s coat of arms. The Kamchatka Fritillary (F. camschatcensis) is the floral emblem of Ishikawa Prefecture and Obihiro city in Japan. Its Japanese name is kuroyuri, meaning “dark lily”. F. tenella is the floral emblem of Giardino Botanico Alpino di Pietra Corva, a botanical garden in Italy.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil. Prefers peat bed conditions, the plant should not be allowed to dry out. In cultivation at Kew and thriving in a sunny stony bed at Keillour Castle in Perthshire, this species does not, however, do well in all gardens. It is much valued as a herbal remedy in China. This species is closely related to F. meleagris.
Propagation:

Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring. Protect from frost. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible and can take a year or more to germinate. Sow the seed quite thinly to avoid the need to prick out the seedlings. Once they have germinated, give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not suffer mineral deficiency. Once they die down at the end of their second growing season, divide up the small bulbs, planting 2 – 3 to an 8cm deep pot. Grow them on for at least another year in light shade in the greenhouse before planting them out whilst dormant. Division of offsets in August. The larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out in the autumn.

Edible Uses:

Bulb – boiled or roasted as a vegetable. The bulb is bitter-sweet. The bulb is about 2cm in diameter.

Medicinal Uses:
This herb is used in. formulas that treat most any type of cough (TCM: except coughs associated with deficient Spleen), and various types- of nodular formations (TCM: phlegm-fire hardening); also used to treat chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, and chronic cough with sparse or hardened phlegm.

The bulbs contain fritimine which lowers blood pressure, diminishes excitability of respiratory centers, paralyses voluntary movement and counters the effects of opium. The dried bulb is used internally in the treatment of coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, feverish illnesses, abscesses etc. The bulbs also have a folk history of use against cancer of the breast and lungs in China. This remedy should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, excessive doses can cause breathing difficulties and heart failure. The Kameng and Lohit peoples in Arunachal Pradesh crush a bulk of Fritillaria cirrhosa to a paste to relieve muscle pains. Research has now confirmed the presence of a chemical similar to cocaine in a related Fritillaria plant that brings relief to muscular pain.

Traditional Usages and Functions

Clears heat, transforms phlegm, and stops coughing; clears heat and dissipates nodules.

Common Formulas Used In

Apricot Seed and Fritillaria; Fritillaria Extract Tablet.

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/Fritillary
http://www.acupuncture-and-chinese-medicine.com/fritillaria.html

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

http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fritillaria+cirrhosa

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Parbal (Patol)

Botanical Name: Trichosanthes dioica

Family: Cucurbitaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Cucurbitales
Genus: Trichosanthes
Species: T. dioica
Common Names: Parwal (from Hindi), or potol (from Assamese, Oriya or Bengali ). Colloquially, in India, it is often called green potato.

Habitat :Parbal  plant grows in India,Bangladesh, Burma and Srilanka during summer time only.It is widely cultivated in the eastern part of India, particularly in Orissa, Bengal, Assam, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh.

Description:It is a vine plant, similar to cucumber and squash.The plant is cripary and an annual plant. It is a dioecious (male and female plants) vine (creeper) plant with heart-shaped leaves (cordate) and is grown on a trellis. The fruits are green with white or no stripes. Size can vary from small and round to thick and long — 2 to 6 inches (5 to 15 cm). It thrives well under a hot to moderately warm and humid climate.Grows during summer season in India.

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Edible Uses:It is used as ingredients of soup, stew, curry, sweet, or eaten fried and as dorma with roe or meat stuffing. In India Parbal is used as Vegetable. Most of the Indian make curry of parbal and eat along with rice or chapati.The fruit is not bitter but the leaf of the plant is bitter in taste.

Medicinal Uses:

It is a good source of carbohydrates, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It also contains major nutrients and trace elements (magnesium, potassium, copper, sulfur, and chlorine) which are needed in small quantities, for playing essential roles in human physiology.

The plant is a cardiac tonic and antifebrile; its decoction is given in bilious fevers as a febrifuge and laxative. Chemically it contais saponin, hydrocarbons, sterols, glycoside and tannins. The fruit is digestive, stomachic and anti-bilious. Its main action is on the head and stomach. The root juice is a strong purgative. The leaf juice is emetic and so it should be taken with coriander to control bilious fever. The leaf juice is applied over the head for the cure of alopecia (baldness).

#Its decoction with chirata and honey is given in bilious fevers as a febrifuge.

#A decoction or infusion of the plant is an efficacious remedy for boils and worms.
#The leaf juice is rubbed over the scalp for the cure of alopecia.

#Powder of the dried root is very effective in curing ascites.
#A decoction of its leaves with chebulic myrobalan taken in the morning on empty stomach is an age-old remedy for acidity and bilious disorders.
#Leaf juice is an age-old remedy for liquor poisoning.
#Leaf juice is a household romedy for controlling high blood pressure.
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.online-family-doctor.com/fruits/parbal.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parwal

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