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Aloe vaera

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Botanical NameAloe Perryi, Aloe vaera (LINN)

Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Genus: Aloe
Species: A. perryi
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Name: Socotrine aloe.

Habitat: –Aloes are indigenous to East and South Africa, but have been introduced into the West Indies (where they are extensively cultivated) and into tropical countries, and will even flourish in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. These plants are mainly found in dry areas; on flat or gentle slopes, primarily on limestone pavement but occasionally on sandy plains or granite mountains; at elevations from sea-level to 900 metres.

Description:
Aloe Perryi or Aloveras are succulent plants belonging to the Lily family, with perennial, strong and fibrous roots and numerous, persistent, fleshy leaves, proceeding from the upper part of the root, narrow, tapering, thick and fleshy, usually beset at the edges with spiney teeth. Many of the species are woody and branching. In the remote districts of S.W. Africa and in Natal, Aloes have been discovered 30 to 60 feet in height, with stems as much as 10 feet in circumference.

The flowers are produced in erect, terminal spikes. There is no calyx, the corolla is tubular, divided into six narrow segments at the mouth and of a red, yellow or purplish colour. The capsules contain numerous angular seeds.

The true Aloe is in flower during the greater part of the year and is not to be confounded with another plant, the Agave or American Aloe (Agave Americana), which is remarkable for the long interval between its periods of flowering. This is a succulent plant, without stem, the leaves being radical, spiney, and toothed. There is a variety with variegated foliage. The flower-stalk rises to many feet in height, bearing a number of large and handsome flowers. In cold climates there is usually a very long interval between the times of its flowering, though it is a popular error to suppose that it happens only once in a hundred years for when it obtains sufficient heat and receives a culture similar to that of the pineapple, it is found to flower much more frequently. Various species of Agave, all of which closely resemble each other, have been largely grown as ornamental plants since the first half of the sixteenth century in the south of Europe, and are completely acclimatized in Spain, Portugal and Southern Italy, but though often popularly called Aloes all of them are plants of the New World whereas the true Aloes are natives of the Old World. From a chemical point of view there is also no analogy at all between Aloes and Agaves.

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Although the Agave is not employed medicinally, the leaves have been used in Jamaica as a substitute for soap, the expressed juice (a gallon of the juice yields about 1 lb. of the soft extract), dried in the sun, being made into balls with wood ash. This soap lathers with salt water as well as fresh. The leaves have also been used for scouring pewter and kitchen utensils. The inner spongy substance of the leaves in a decayed state has been employed as tinder and the fibres may be spun into a strong, useful thread.

The fleshy leaves of the true Aloe contain near the epidermis or outer skin, a row of fibrovascular bundles, the cells of which are much enlarged and filled with a yellow juice which exudes when the leaf is cut. When it is desired to collect the juice, the leaves are cut off close to the stem and so placed that the juice is drained off into tubs. This juice thus collected is concentrated either by spontaneous evaporation, or more generally by boiling until it becomes of the consistency of thick honey. On cooling, it is then poured into gourds, boxes, or other convenient receptacles, and solidifies.

Aloes require two or three years’ standing before they yield their juice. In the West Indian Aloe plantations they are set out in rows like cabbages and cutting takes place in March or April, but in Africa the drug is collected from the wild plants.

Cultivation:
A plant of mainly arid and semi-arid lowland areas in the tropics. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 – 27°c, but can tolerate 12 – 31°c. It can be killed by temperatures of 5°c or lower It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 400 – 700mm, but tolerates 250 – 1,400mm. Tolerant of poor soils. Requires a well-drained, light to medium soil and a position in full sun. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 – 7, tolerating 6 – 7.5.

Aloe species follow the Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). CAM plants can fix carbon dioxide at night and photosynthesize with closed stomata during the day, thus minimizing water loss. This, plus their succulent leaves and stems, and the presence of a thick cuticle, makes them well adapted to dry conditions.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no specific information on this species – in general Aloes are sown in a sandy, well-drained potting soil in a warm, shady position in standard seed trays. Germination takes about three weeks. Cover the seed with a thin layer of sand (1 – 2mm), keep moist. The seedlings can be planted out in individual bags or containers as soon as they are large enough to handle.

Constituents:
The most important constituents of Aloes are the two Aloins, Barbaloin and Isobarbaloin, which constitute the so-called ‘crystalline’ Aloin, present in the drug at from 10 to 30 per cent. Other constituents are amorphous Aloin, resin and Aloe-emodin. The proportion in which the Aloins are present in the respective Aloes is not accurately known.

The manner in which the evaporation is conducted has a marked effect on the appearance of the Aloes, slow and moderate concentration tending to induce crystallization of the Aloin, thus causing the drug to appear opaque. Such Aloes is termed ‘livery’ or hepatic, and splinters of it exhibit minute crystals of Aloin when examined under the microscope. If, on the other hand, the evaporation is carried as far as possible, the Aloin does not crystallize and small fragments of the drug appear transparent; it is then termed ‘glassy,’ ‘vitreous,’ or ‘lucid’ Aloes and exhibits no crystals of Aloin under the microscope.

Medicinal Uses:
Used medicinally in the same ways as Aloe vera Aloe vera is used in the following ways:-

The clear gel contained within the leaf makes an excellent treatment for wounds, burns and a host of other skin disorders, placing a protective coat over the affected area, speeding up the rate of healing and reducing the risk of infection. The gel is also applied externally to cure haemorrhoids. These actions are in part due to the presence of aloectin B, which stimulates the immune system. To obtain this gel, the leaves can be cut in half along their length and the inner pulp rubbed over the affected area of skin. This has an immediate soothing effect on all sorts of burns and other skin problems.
The use of the gel has been approved in the United States for the treatment of leukaemia in cats, of fibrosarcoma in dogs, for wound healing in humans and to prevent dry socket (‘alveolar osteitis’) in humans.
The peeled leaves are eaten to relieve sore throat and coughs and as a mild laxative. As a food supplement, the leaf gel is said to facilitate digestion, and to improve blood and lymphatic circulation, as well as kidney, liver and gall bladder functions. There are claims of beneficial activity of Aloe vera products in cases of AIDS, arthritis, or other chronic and debilitating conditions. However, these claims have not been substantiated by scientific studies. There is also no evidence that topical Aloe vera gel is effective in preventing or minimizing radiation-induced skin reactions in cancer patients. In large amounts, the gel has anti-irritant properties.

A bitter substance is obtained from the yellow sap at the base of the leaf. Known as ‘bitter aloes’, it contains anthraquinones which are a useful digestive stimulant and a strong laxative. It also has vermicidal properties. It is taken internally in the treatment of chronic constipation, poor appetite, digestive problems etc. Mixed with other ingredients to mask its bitter taste, it is taken against asthma and to treat coughs. Similar mixtures are taken to cure dysentery, kidney problems or against dyspepsia. It should be administered preferably in combination with an antispasmodic to moderate its griping action.

It is applied externally as a refrigerant to treat acne or cuts.
‘Curaçao aloe’ should contain at least 28% hydroxy-anthraquinone derivatives; it is almost entirely soluble in 60% alcohol and for more than 70% in water. It should not contain more than 12% moisture and 3% ash.The plant is strongly purgative so great care should be taken over the dosage.
Anthraquinone-based laxatives, such as bitter aloes, should not be used longer than 8 – 10 days, nor by children younger than 12 years. Contra-indications include pregnancy, breastfeeding, intestinal inflammations and haemorrhoids.
When plants are grown in pots the anthraquinone content is greatly reduced.

The word Aloes, in Latin Lignum Aloes, is used in the Bible and in many ancient writings to designate a substance totally distinct from the modern Aloes, namely the resinous wood of Aquilaria agallocha, a large tree growing in the Malayan Peninsula. Its wood constituted a drug which was, down to the beginning of the present century, generally valued for use as incense, but now is esteemed only in the East.

A beautiful violet colour is afforded by the leaves of the Socotrine Aloe, and it does not require a mordant to fix it.
Known Hazards: The sap of Aloe species contains anthraquinones. These compounds have several beneficial medicinal actions, particularly as a laxative, and many species of Aloe are thus employed in traditional medicine. Whilst safe in small doses and for short periods of time, anthraquinones do have potential problems if used in excess. These include congestion and irritation of the pelvic organs.

Long term use of anthraquinone laxatives may also play a role in development of colorectal cancer as they have genotoxic potential, and tumorigenic potential.

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/a/aloes027.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe_perryi
http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Aloe+perryi

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Aconitum fischeri

Botanical Name : Aconitum fischeri
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Aconitum
Species: A. fischeri
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names: Fischer monkshood,Azure Monkshood

Habitat : Aconitum fischeri is native to E. Asia – Northern Japan, Eastern Russia. (Korea and Siberia and cultivated in gardens in temperate zones for its showy flowers.) It grows in riverside forests on alluvium, often in large groups, clearings, occasionally in birch and alder forests and very rarely on herb covered slopes in Kamtschatka.
Description:
Aconitum fischeri is a perennial plant, growing 61 to 66 cm (24 to 26 in) spreads 61 to 76cm (24 to 30 in). It produces upright spikes of lavender blue flowers in September. This species has particularly strong stems that do not require staking. The deeply divided dark green foliage is very attractive. Plants bloom early-late summer. This plant works well in perennial borders and cottage and woodland gardens and provides colour late in the season. It is pollinated by Bees.Colour of flowers are lavender blue. The plant is deer & rabbit registant.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Grows well in open woodlands. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes. Cultivated in China as a medicinal plant, it has been said to have been rendered much less toxic through this cultivation.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year.

Medicinal Uses:
The dried root is alterative, anaesthetic, antiarthritic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative, stimulant. It should be harvested in the autumn as soon as the plant has died down. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.

Known Hazards: All parts of Aconitum are poisonous. Always wear gloves when working with this plant as simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people.
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/Aconitum_fischeri
http://www.whitehouseperennials.com/catalogue/perennials/item/aconitum-fischeri
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aconitum+fischeri

Taxus x media

Botanical Name: Taxus x media
Family: Taxaceae
Genus: Taxus
Species: (hybrid of T. baccata and T. cuspidata)
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Common Names: Anglojapanese Yew

Habitat : Taxus x media is native to Japan. It is a hybrid species of garden origin, T. baccata x T. cuspidata. It is grown on woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade.
Description:
Taxus x media is an evergreen Shrub growing to 6 m (19ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a slow rate.It is not frost tender. Immature shrubs are very small and achieve (over the time span of ten to twenty years) heights of at most 20 feet and diameters of at most 8 feet, depending on the cultivar. It is in leaf 12-Jan, and the seeds ripen from Sep to November. 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 Wind.The plant is not self-fertile. Bloom Color: Green, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Pyramidal.

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Furthermore, T. media  is not injured by frequent pruning, making this hybrid a very desirable as a hedge in low-maintenance landscaping and also a good candidate for bonsai.click & see

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.

It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Hedge, Massing, Screen, Superior hedge. Thrives in almost any soil, acid or alkaline, as long as it is well-drained[200]. Succeeds in dry soils. Plants are very shade tolerant. Dormant plants are very cold-hardy in Britain, though the new growth in spring can be damaged by light frosts. Leaves have a reddish tinge when the plants are grown in a sunny position. Plants produce very little fibrous root and should be planted in their final positions when still small. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. The cultivar ‘Sargentii’ was 3 metres tall and 1 metre wide at the Hillier Arboretum in September 1993. It was growing well and carrying a good crop of tasty fruit though the harvest time seemed to be somewhat later than that of T. baccata. Special Features: Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – can be very slow to germinate, often taking 2 or more years. It is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn when it should germinate 18 months later. Stored seed may take 2 years or more to germinate. 4 months warm followed by 4 months cold stratification may help reduce the germination time. Harvesting the seed ‘green’ (when fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and then sowing it immediately has not been found to reduce the germination time because the inhibiting factors develop too early. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in pots in a cold frame. The seedlings are very slow-growing and will probably require at least 2 years of pot cultivation before being large enough to plant out. Any planting out is best done in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. This is a hybrid species, it will not breed true from seed. Cuttings of half-ripe terminal shoots, 5 – 8cm long, July/August in a shaded frame. Should root by late September but leave them in the frame over winter and plant out in late spring.  High percentage. Cuttings of ripe terminal shoots, taken in winter after a hard frost, in a shaded frame.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw. Very sweet and gelatinous, most people find it delicious though some find it sickly. The fruit is a fleshy berry about 10mm in diameter and containing a single seed. All other parts of this plant, including the seed, are highly poisonous. When eating the fruit you should spit out the large seed found in the fruit’s centre. Should you swallow the whole seed it will just pass straight through you without harm, if the seed has been bitten into, however, it could cause some problems.
Medicinal Uses:
Modern research has shown that yew trees contain the substance ‘taxol’ in their shoots and bark. Taxol has shown exciting potential as an anti-cancer drug, particularly in the treatment of ovarian cancers. This remedy is very toxic and, even when used externally, should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. See also the notes above on toxicity.

Other Uses : Wood is strong, hard, heavy. Used for paddles, fence posts etc

Known Hazards: All parts of the plant, except the flesh of the fruit, are highly poisonous.

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/Taxus_%C3%97_media
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taxus+x+media

Trilisa odoratissima

Botanical Name : Trilisa odoratissima
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Trilisa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Carphephorus odoratissimus (Trilisa odoratissima, Liatris odoratissima

Common Names : Deertongue , Vanilla Plant, Vanillaleaf

Habitat :Trilisa odoratissima is native to South-eastern N. America – North Carolina to Florida, west to Missouri. It grows low pinelands. Pine barrens.
Description:
Trilisa odoratissima is a perennial plant, growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in flower in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects….CLICK &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Grows well in any moderately good light soil. Plants grow in very acid soils in the wild.

Propagation :
Seed – sow in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring.

Edible Uses : The leaves are used as a flavouring, they have the scent of vanilla. Some caution is advised, see the notes below on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses:
The roots have been used for their diuretic effects and applied locally for sore throats and gonorrhea. It has also been used as a tonic in treating malaria. Demulcent, febrifuge, diaphoretic. A powerful stimulant, highly regarded by Native Americans as an aphrodisiac, and said to induce erotic dreams.

The leaves are demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic and tonic. They are a folk remedy for coughs, malaria and neuroses. The leaves are high in coumarins and have been experimentally effective in the treatment of high-protein oedema. Some caution is advised, see notes below on toxicity.

Other Uses: This plant contains coumarin, and the leaves are used in the Southern States to flavor tobacco. Aromatic, stimulant, and tonic; used as a corrective. Dose 30 to 60 gr. (2 to 4 Gm.). The dried leaves have a scent like newly mown hay.

Known Hazards : The plant contains coumarins, this is what gives it the scent of newly mown hay. When used internally, especially from dried plants, it can act to prevent the blood from co-aggulating. Coumarins are implicated in liver disease and haemorrhage.

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/Trilisa
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_DE.htm
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/sayre/trilisa.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Trilisa+odoratissima

Saussurea gracilis

 

 Botanical Name : Saussurea gracilis
Family: Asteraceae or Compositae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Saussurea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names : Saussurea gracilis

Habitat ; Saussurea gracilis is native to E. Asia – Japan, Korea. It grows in the mountains of central and southern Japan.

Description:
Saussurea gracilis is a perennial plant. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
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Cultivation & Propagation :

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Seed – we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame in the spring. Surface sow, or only just cover the seed, and make sure that the compost does not dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring might be possible.
Edible Uses:…Leaves…..Young leaves – cooked. They are usually eaten with rice.

Medicinal Uses: Not known.
Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Saussurea+gracilis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glebionis_segetum