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Bryonia dioica

Botanical Nam:  Bryonia dioicae

Family: Cucurbitaceae
Subfamily: Cucurbitoideae
Tribe: Benincaseae
Subtribe: Benincasinae
Genus: Bryonia
Species: B. dioica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales
Synonyms: English Mandrake. Wild Vine. Wild Hops. Wild Nep. Tamus. Ladies’ Seal. Tetterbury.
(French) Navet du diable.

Common Names: Red bryony and White bryony

Habitat: Bryonia dioica is indigenous to Central and Southern Europe.It is rarer in the Midland counties, and not often found in the north of England. It grows in Scrub and woodland, especially on well-drained soils, avoiding acid soils.

Description:
Bryonia dioica is a perennial climber growing to 3.5 m (11ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a fast rate.The leaves are stalked, with the stalk curved, shorter than the blade, which is divided into five lobes, of which the middle one is the longest – all five are slightly angular.

The flowers, which bloom in May, are small, greenish, and produced, generally three or four together, in small bunches springing from the axils of the leaves. Stamens and pistils are never found in the same flower, nor are the flowers which have them individually ever met with on the same plant in this species, whence the name dioica, signifying literally ‘two dwellings.’ The male flowers are in loose, stalked bunches, 3 to 8 flowers in a bunch, or cyme, the stamens having one-celled, yellow anthers. The fertile flowers, easily distinguished from the barren by the presence of an ovary beneath the calyx, are generally either stalkless (sessile) or with very short stalks – two to five together. The corollas in each case consist of five petals, cohering only at the base. The outer green calyx is widely bell-shaped and five-toothed.

The berries, which hang about the bushes after the stem and leaves are withered, are almost the size of peas when ripe, a pale scarlet in colour. They are filled with juice of an unpleasant, foetid odour and contain three to six large seeds, greyish-yellow, mottled with black, and are unwholesome to eat....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The whole plant is rather succulent, bright green and somewhat shining.

It is in flower from May to June. 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 Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.

The plant, Bryonia dioicais is sometimes used in herbalism. The root, which can be 75 cm (30 in) long and 75 mm (3.0 in) thick, can be used fresh at any time of the year. It can also be harvested in the autumn and be dried for later use.

Cultivation:
A rapid grower, it is of easy cultivation succeeding in most soils that are well drained, avoiding acid soils in the wild. Prefers a sunny position. A very deep-rooted climbing plant, attaching itself to other plants by means of tendrils. The plant is not eaten by rabbits. Plants can be easily encouraged by scattering ripe seed along the base of hedgerows. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:  Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in late winter in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in early spring.
Medicinal Uses:
Cathartic; Cytotoxic; Diaphoretic; Expectorant; Hydrogogue; Irritant; Pectoral; Purgative; Vermifuge.

A powerful cathartic and purgative, bryony is used with great caution in present-day herbalism. It is primarily prescribed for painful rheumatic conditions. The root is cathartic, cytotoxic, diaphoretic, expectorant, hydrogogue, irritant, pectoral, purgative and vermifuge. It is used in small quantities internally in the treatment of various inflammatory conditions, bronchial complaints, asthma, intestinal ulcers, hypertension and arthritis. Externally, it is applied as a rubefacient to muscular and joint pains and pleurisy. The root, which can be 75cm long and 75mm thick, can be used fresh at any time of the year, it can also be harvested in the autumn and be dried for later use. This plant should be used with great caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.  The whole herb has an antiviral effec

Known Hazards: All parts of the plant are poisonous. One report says it is very toxic, another says it is of very low toxicity. The fresh root is a severe skin irritant.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryonia_dioica
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/brywhi77.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Bryonia+dioica

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Tamus communis

Botanical Name:  Tamus communis
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Genus: Dioscorea
Species: D. communis
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order: Dioscoreales

Synonyms:
*Dioscorea communis
*Tamus cretica L.
*Tamus racemosa Gouan
*Smilax rubra Willd.
*Tamus cordifolia Stokes
*Tamus edulis Lowe
*Tamus norsa Lowe
*Dioscorea canariensis Webb & Berthel.
*Tamus canariensis Willd. ex Kunth
*Tamus parviflora Kunth
*Tamus baccifera St.-Lag.
*Tamus cirrhosa Hausskn. ex Bornm.

Common Names:  Black bryony, Lady’s-seal, and Black bindweed

Habitat: Tamus communis  is a native spontaneous species widespread throughout southern and central Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia, from Ireland to the Canary Islands, east to Iran and Crimea. It  is a typical plant of the forest understory, from the sea to the mountains, usually in dense woods, but it can also be found in meadows and hedges.

Description:
Tamus communis is a climbing perennial  herbaceous plant growing to 2–4 m tall, with twining stems. The leaves are spirally arranged, heart-shaped, up to 10 cm long and 8 cm broad, with a petiole up to 5 cm long. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The flowers are individually inconspicuous, greenish-yellow, 3–6 mm diameter, with six petals; the male flowers produced in slender 5–10 cm racemes, the female flowers in shorter clusters. The fruit is a bright red berry, 1 cm diameter. Its fairly large tuber is, like the rest of the plant, poisonous. The large, fleshy root is black on the outside and exceedingly acrid, and, although an old cathartic medicine, is a most dangerous remedy when taken internally. It is like that of the yam, thick and tuberous and abounding in starch, but too acrid to be used as food in any manner……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:    
Requires a moist well-drained fertile soil. A climbing plant, the weak stems support themselves by twining around other plants and are capable of growing quite high up into shrubs and trees. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:  
Seed – sow in a cold frame in early spring or as soon as the seed is ripe in the autumn. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle, and plant out in the summer or in late spring of the following year.

Edible Uses: Young shoots  are cooked & eaten. A decidedly bitter flavour. An asparagus substitute, it is best if the water is changed once whilst cooking.

Constituents:  The rhizome contains phenanthrenes (7-hydroxy-2,3,4,8-tetramethoxyphenanthrene, 2,3,4-trimethoxy-7,8-methylenedioxyphenanthrene, 3-hydroxy-2,4,-dimethoxy-7,8-methylenedioxyphenanthrene, 2-hydroxy-3,5,7-trimethoxyphenanthrene and 2-hydroxy-3,5,7-trimethoxy-9,10-dihydrophenanthrene).

Medicinal Uses:
Antiecchymotic;  Antirheumatic;  Cathartic;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Haemolytic;  Poultice;  Rubefacient.

Rubifacient, diuretic. The expressed juice of the fresh root, mixed with a little white wine, has been used as a remedy for gravel, being a powerful diuretic, but it is not given internally now, and is not included in the British Pharmacopoeia. Death in most painful form is the result of an overdose, while the effect of a small quantity, varying not with the age only, but according to the idiosyncrasies of the patient, leaves little room for determining the limit between safety and destruction. The expressed juice of the root, with honey, has also been used as a remedy for asthmatic complaints, but other remedies that are safer should be preferred.

The berries act as an emetic, and children should be cautioned against eating them.

As an external irritant, Black Bryony has, however, been used with advantage, and it was formerly much employed. The scraped pulp was applied as a stimulating plaster, and in gout, rheumatism and paralysis has been found serviceable in many instances.

A tincture made from the root proves a most useful application to unbroken chilblains, and also the fruits, steeped in gin, are used for the same remedy.

Black Bryony is a popular remedy for removing discoloration caused by bruises and black eyes, etc. The fresh root is scraped to a pulp and applied in the form of a poultice.

For sores, old writers recommend it being made into an ointment with ‘hog’s grease or wax, or other convenient ointment.’

Known Hazards:    The whole plant is poisonous due to its saponin content. Although toxic, saponins 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. The toxic effect of this plant is not caused by saponins, but by calcium oxalate crystals which are found mainly in the fruit.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dioscorea_communis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/brybla75.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Tamus+communis

Fallopia convolvulus

Botanical Name: Fallopia convolvulus
Family:    Polygonaceae
Genus:    Fallopia
Species:    F. convolvulus
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Polygonum convolvulus L. (basionym), Bilderdykia convolvulus (L.) Dumort, Fagopyrum convolvulus (L.) H.Gross, Fagopyrum carinatum Moench, Helxine convolvulus (L.) Raf., Reynoutria convolvulus (L.) Shinners, and Tiniaria convolvulus (L.) Webb & Moq.

Common Names: Black-bindweed

Other  names:  Bear-bind, Bind-corn, Climbing bindweed, Climbing buckwheat, Corn-bind, Corn bindweed, Devil’s tether, and Wild buckwheat

Habitat : Fallopia convolvulus  is  native throughout Europe, Asia and northern Africa. It is an arable plant.   It   grows  in  typically on warm, sunny, well-drained sandy or limestone soil types, but in hotter, drier areas like Pakistan, on moist shady sites. It ranges from sea level in the north of its range, up to 3600 m altitude in the south in the Himalaya.  It grows most commonly on disturbed or cultivated land.

Description:
Fallopia convolvulus  is a fast-growing annual flowering plant. It is a herbaceous vine growing to 1–1.5 m long, with stems that twine clockwise round other plant stems. The alternate triangular leaves are 1.5–6 cm long and 0.7–3 cm broad with a 6–15 (–50) mm petiole; the basal lobes of the leaves are pointed at the petiole. The flowers are small, and greenish-pink to greenish white, clustered on short racemes. These clusters give way to small triangular achenes, with one seed in each achene.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
While it superficially resemble bindweeds in the genus Convolvulus there are many notable differences; it has ocrea (stipule-sheath at nodes), which Convolvulus does not; and Convolvulus has conspicuous trumpet-shaped flowers while Black-bindweed has flowers that are unobtrusive and only about 4 mm long.

Edible Uses: The seeds are edible, and were used in the past as a food crop, with remains found in Bronze Age middens.

The seeds are too small and low-yielding to make a commercial crop, and it is now more widely considered a weed, occurring in crops, waste areas and roadsides. It can be a damaging weed when it is growing in a garden or crop, as it can not only damage the plant it entwines itself around, but can also hinder mechanised harvesting. It is also an invasive species in North America.

Medicinal Uses:  Could not get much in the internet.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallopia_convolvulus

Polymnia uvedalia

Botanical Name: Polymnia uvedalia
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily:Asteroideae
Tribe: Polymnieae
Genus: Polymnia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Uvedalia. Leaf Cup. Yellow Leaf Cup.

Common Name :Bearsfoot(American)

Habitat: Polymnia uvedalia is found in Eastern N. America – New York to Indiana, Tennessee, Florida and Texas, Missouri and southward. It grows in rich woods and thickets.

Description:
Polymnia uvedalia is a large, perennial plant, from 3 to 6 feet in height. The stems are erect, stout, branched, and covered with a rough, hoary pubescence. The leaves are large, thin, opposite, deltoid in outline, and abruptly contracted at the base to short dilated leaf-stalks. They are 3-lobed, with acute, sinuate-angled lobes, bright green on both surfaces, and studded below with numerous rough points. The flower heads appear late in summer, and are disposed in loose, corymbose clusters. The involucre is double; the outer consisting of about 5 ovate, obtuse, leaf-like scales, which are ciliate on the margin; and the inner, of the smaller thin bracts of the pistillate flowers. The flower heads are radiate, and the receptacle chaffy. The ray flowers are about 10, in a single row, each being nearly 1 inch in length; they are oblong, of a bright-yellow color, and equally 3-toothed at the apex. The ray flowers are pistillate, and alone fertile, as the disk-florets, although perfect, do not produce fruit. The fruit is an obovoid, black achenium, slightly flattened, and ribbed lengthwise....click & see the pictures

Cultivation:
Requires a warm position in a deep rich soil.

Propagation:
Seed – sow late winter in a warm greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Consider giving them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away well. Division in spring. Basal cuttings in the spring. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.
Medicinal Uses:

Anodyne; Laxative; Poultice; Salve; Stimulant.

Bearsfoot root was used by the North American Indians as a stimulant and laxative remedy. It is perhaps best known for its use as a hair tonic whilst the root is also taken internally as a treatment for non-malignant swollen glands and especially for mastitis. The root is anodyne, laxative and stimulant. The root is said to have a beneficial effect on the liver, stomach and spleen and may be taken to relieve indigestion and counteract liver malfunction. It is said to be of great use when applied externally to stimulate hair growth and is an ingredient of many hair lotions and ointments. A poultice of the bruised root has been used as a dressing and salve on burns, inflammations and cuts.
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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/beaame23.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polymnia+uvedalia
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/polymnia.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymnia

Southernwood

Botanical Name : Artemisia abrotanum
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. abrotanum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names :Southernwood is known by many other names including Old Man, Boy’s Love, Oldman Wormwood, Lover’s Plant, Appleringie, Garderobe, Our Lord’s Wood, Maid’s Ruin, Garden Sagebrush, European Sage, Lad’s Love, Southern Wormwood, Sitherwood and Lemon Plant

Habitat :   Southernwood is found in Europe, the genus Artemisia was named for the goddess Artemis.

Description :
Southernwood is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is a flowering plant.It forms a small bushy shrub, which is widely cultivated by gardeners. The grey-green leaves are small, narrow and feathery. The small flowers are yellow. It can easily be propagated by cuttings, or by division of the roots.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 11-Mar It is in flower from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.

Cultivation :
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a well-drained one that is not too rich. Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.3 to 7.6. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants succeed in maritime gardens. Southernwood is often grown in the herb garden, the leaves are very aromatic. It is best to cut the plant back fairly hard every spring in order to keep it compact and encourage plenty of new growth. The plant rarely produces flowers in British gardens. A good companion plant for cabbages. It is also a good plant to grow in the orchard, where it can help to reduce insect pests. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 2 months at 15°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. Once the seedlings are more than 15cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or summer. Cuttings of young wood 8cm long, May in a frame. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame

Edible Uses:
The young shoots have a bitter, lemony flavour and are used in small quantities as a flavouring in cakes, salads and vinegars. A tea is made from the young bitter shoots

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic;  AntisepticCholagogue;  Deobstruent;  EmmenagogueStomachic;  Tonic.

Southernwood has a long history of domestic herbal use, though it is now used infrequently in herbal medicine. It is a strongly aromatic bitter herb that improves digestion and liver function by increasing secretions in the stomach and intestines, it stimulates the uterus and encourages menstrual flow, lowers fevers, relaxes spasms and destroys intestinal worms. The herb, and especially the young flowering shoots, is anthelmintic, antiseptic, cholagogue, deobstruent, emmenagogue, stomachic and tonic. The main use of this herb is as an emmenagogue, though it is also a good stimulant tonic and has some nervine principle[4]. It is sometimes given to young children in order to expel parasitic worms and externally it is applied to small wounds in order to stop them bleeding and help them to heal. The herb is also used externally in aromatic bathes and as a poultice to treat skin conditions. Southernwood should be used internally with caution, see the notes above on toxicity. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy, since it can encourage menstrual flow

Southernwood is antiseptic and kills intestinal worms. It was used to treat liver, spleen and stomach problems and was believed by the 17th century herbalist Culpeper to encourage menstruation. It is seldom used medicinally today, except in Germany, where poultices are placed on wounds, splinters and skin conditions and it is employed occasionally to treat frostbite. Its constituents have been shown to stimulate the gallbladder and bile, which improves digestion and liver functions.  An infusion of the leaves is said to work as a natural insect repellent when applied to the skin or if used as a hair rinse is said to combat dandruff.

Southernwood encourages menstruation, is antiseptic and kills intestinal worms.  It was used to treat liver, spleen and stomach problems.    The leaves are mixed with other herbs in aromatic baths and is said to counter sleepiness.

Other Uses:
It can be very useful when grown in a chicken run as it helps to keep the chickens in tip top condition and helps to prevent them from ‘Feather-Picking’ (which can be lethal as they can very quickly become cannibalistic) as it helps to prevent infestation of mites and other insects that pester chickens.

A yellow dye can be extracted from the branches of the plant, for use with wool. Its dried leaves are used to keep moths away from wardrobes. Burned as an incense, southernwood guards against trouble of all kinds, and the smoke drives away snakes (Culpeper 1653). The volatile oil in the leaves is responsible for the strong, sharp, scent which repels moths and other insects. It was customary to lay sprays of the herb amongst clothes, or hang them in closets, and this is the origin of southernwood’s French name, “garderobe” (“clothes-preserver”). Judges carried posies of southernwood and rue to protect themselves from prisoners’ contagious diseases, and some church-goers relied on the herb’s sharp scent to keep them awake during long sermons.

The pungent, scented leaves and flowers are used in herbal teas. Young shoots were used to flavor pastries and puddings. In Italy, it is used as a culinary herb.

Known Hazards:
Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people

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=Artemisia+abrotanum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southernwood
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm
http://www.sunnygardens.com/garden_plants/artemisia/artemisia_3021.php
http://hsb.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dataja:Artemisia_abrotanum_-_plants_(aka).jpg