Tag Archives: Canary Islands

Allium subhirsutum

Botanical Name: Allium subhirsutum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. subhirsutum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium album F.Delaroche
*Allium brachystemon Redouté
*Allium ciliare F.Delaroche
*Allium ciliatum Cirillo
*Allium clusianum Retz. ex Willd

Common Name : Hairy garlic

Habitat :Allium subhirsutum is native to Europe – Mediterranean region from Spain and the Canary Islands to Turkey and Palestine. It grows on rocky stony arid places, woods.

Description:
Allium subhirsutum is a perennial herb up to 50 cm tall. Leaves are long, up to 15 mm across, tapering toward the tip, with hairs along the margins (hence the name “hairy garlic”). The umbel contains only a few flowers, white with thin pink midveins.It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 6-Oct It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a warm sunny position. The plants require a period of summer rest when they are best kept dry but they do succeed in a well-drained sunny position in the open garden. Prefers a rich moist but well-drained soil. Closely related to A. neopolitanum and A. trifoliatum,   this species comes into new growth in the autumn and flowers in the spring, dying down in the summer. It is a potential winter salad crop but is less hardy than A. neopolitanum so is only suitable for the mildest areas of Britain. The plant is thriving at Kew and so is hardier than the books say. The plants can flower within 12 months of germination, the bulbs are also producing offsets by this time. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. It germinates quickly and can be grown on in the greenhouse for the first year, planting out the dormant bulbs in the late summer of the following year if they have developed sufficiently, otherwise grow on in pots for a further year. Stored seed can be sown in spring in a greenhouse. Division in summer after the plants have died down. Very easy, the bulbs divide freely and can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked. The bulb is about 15mm in diameter. It is used like garlic as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods. The flavour is somewhat milder with a slight sweetness, and it can be used in much greater quantities than garlic. The bulbs are harvested in mid summer once the plant has died down, and will store for at least 6 months. Leaves – raw or cooked. The leaves have a pleasant texture, they are slightly sweet with a mild garlic flavour and can be available all winter. Flowers – raw. A mild garlic flavour with a delicate sweetness. Used in the spring as a garnish on salads, they are attractive to both the eye and the tongue.
Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
Other Uses:….Repellent……The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_subhirsutum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+subhirsutum

Cytinus hypocistus

Botanical Name : Cytinus hypocistus
Family: Cytinaceae
Genus: Cytinus
Species:C. hypocistis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonyms:Asarum hypocistis L. (basionym)

Habitat : Cytinus hypocistis is native to Albania; Algeria; Crete; Croatia; Cyprus; Greece; France (including Corsica); Israel; Italy (including Sardinia and Sicily); Lebanon; Libya; Malta; Morocco; Portugal; Spain (including both the Balearic and Canary Islands); Syria; Tunisia; and Turkey.

The subspecies macranthus is native to Portugal and western Spain; orientalis is native to southern Greece and Crete; and pityusensis is endemic to Ibiza of the Balearic Islands.

It grows on the maquis and garigue, parasitic on the roots of several species but especially Cistus species.

Description:
Cytinus hypocistus is a parasitic flowering plant. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

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Cultivation: A parasitic plant.

Propagation:Through Seed

Edible Uses: Young plant – cooked. An asparagus substitute.
Medicinal Uses: Cytinus hypocistus has been used in traditional medicine to treat dysentery and tumors of the throat, and has been used for its astringent qualities

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/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cytinus+hypocistus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cytinus_hypocistis

Lilium candidum

Botanical Name : Lilium candidum
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Lilium
Species: L. candidum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Synonym: White Lily.

Common Name: Madonna lily

Habitat : Lilium candidum is native to Greece, the western Balkans and the Middle East, and naturalized in other parts of Europe (France, Italy, Ukraine, etc.) as well as in North Africa, the Canary Islands, Mexico, and other places.It grows on rocky slopes and in scrub to 600 metres.
Description:
Lilium candidum is a BULB . It produces stiff, erect stems, 3 to 5 feet high, clothed with lance-shaped leaves. It is in leaf 7-Oct.
The flowers appear in June, flowering into July, and have a strong, sweet, penetrating perfume, so powerful as to be even annoying to some people. The honey is secreted in long grooves at the base of the white, floral leaves. The seeds ripen from Aug to September.There are several varieties, that with black stems, var. peregrinum, being the best for the garden.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

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Cultivation:
Prefers an open free-draining humus-rich fertile loamy soil with its roots in the shade and its head in the sun. Prefers a sunny position but also succeeds in shade. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. Grows well in acid and limy soils, though it prefers a limey soil. A very ornamental plant. It is seen as a symbol of purity and in Christian tradition is devoted to the Virgin Mary, in pre-Christian times it was sacred to Juno, the Goddess of heaven. The flowers have a scent of heather honey. The Madonna lily is generally very hardy and easy to grow but it is unpredictable and does not grow or flower well in all gardens. It is also susceptible to botrytis. Only just cover the bulb with soil. It is best to leave the clumps undisturbed since they resent being moved, but if you need to transplant then this is best done in late August to early September, certainly no later than mid-October. Plants produce a basal rosette of over-wintering leaves in the autumn, these die off as the plant comes into flower. The plant should be protected against rabbits and slugs in early spring. If the shoot tip is eaten out the bulb will not grow in that year and will lose vigour.

Propagation:
Seed – immediate epigeal germination. Sow thinly in pots from late winter to early spring in a cold frame. Should germinate in 2 – 4 weeks. Great care should be taken in pricking out the young seedlings, many people prefer to leave them in the seed pot until they die down at the end of their second years growth. This necessitates sowing the seed thinly and using a reasonably fertile sowing medium. The plants will also require regular feeding when in growth. Divide the young bulbs when they are dormant, putting 2 – 3 in each pot, and grow them on for at least another year before planting them out into their permanent positions when the plants are dormant. Division with care in the autumn once the leaves have died down. Replant immediately. Bulb scales can be removed from the bulbs in early autumn. If they are kept in a warm dark place in a bag of moist peat, they will produce bulblets. These bulblets can be potted up and grown on in the greenhouse until they are large enough to plant out. Bulblets are formed on the stem just below the soil surface. These should be dug up in the autumn and replanted immediately, preferably in a cold frame for growing on until large enough to plant out into the garden. The formation of bulbils on the stem can be induced by either removing the stem at flowering time and layering it just below the soil surface, or by removing all the flowers before they open
Part Used: The bulb.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Root.

Bulb cooked. The raw bulb contains an acrid principle, but this is destroyed by drying or thorough heating. When cooked the bulb is pulpy, sweet and sugary. Rich in starch, it can be used as a vegetable in similar ways to potatoes (Solanum tuberosum).
Medicinal Uses:
Astringent; Demulcent; Emmenagogue; Emollient; Expectorant.

The Madonna lily has a long history of herbal use, though it is seldom employed in modern herbalism because of its scarcity. The bulb and the flowers are astringent, highly demulcent, emmenagogue, emollient and expectorant. The plant is mainly used externally, being applied as a poultice to tumours, ulcers, external inflammations etc. The bulb is harvested in August and can be used fresh or dried. The flowers are harvested when fully open and used fresh for making juice, ointments or tinctures. The pollen has been used in the treatment of epilepsy.

Other Uses: An essential oil from the flowers is used in perfumery.

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/Lilium_candidum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lilmad24.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Lilium+candidum

Dioscorea communis

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

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

Habitat: Dioscorea 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:
It is a climbing 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….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES :

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Edible Uses:
Young shoots are edible and can be used as asparagus substitute, and are usually picked in spring. Top of the shoots and sturdy, meaty parts of staple are used for eating, and the flabby parts are discarded by snapping them off. Young shoots may be eaten raw, but they are usually cooked in hot water for various salads or used in omelette.

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:
According to secondary sources, all components of the black bryony plant, including the tubers, are poisonous due to saponin content. Therefore, it is not typically used internally; however, it has been used as a poultice for bruises and inflamed joints. It has been suggested that black bryony be used topically with caution, due to a tendency for the plant to cause painful blisters.

Known Hazards:  Studies have isolated calcium oxalate deposits and histamines in the berry juice and rhizomes, which may contribute to skin irritation and contact dermatitis associated with black bryony.
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

Drimia maritima

Botanical Name : Drimia maritima
Family:    Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus:    Drimia
Species:D. maritima
Kingdom:Plantae
Clade:    Angiosperms
Clade:    Monocots
Order:    Asparagales

Synonyms:Urginea maritima. Scilla maritima (Linn.). U. anthericoides. U. scilla. Drimia maritima.

Common Names:  Squill,Red squill, Sea squill, Sea onion, Maritime squill, Indica.Urginea.

Habitat:  Squill is native to southern Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa. It is found in dry, sandy places, especially the seacoast in most of the Mediterranean districts, being abundant in southern Spain, where it is by no means confined to the coast, and is found in Portugal, Morocco, Algeria, Corsica, southern France, Italy, Malta, Dalmatia, Greece, Syria and Asia Minor. In Sicily, where it grows most abundantly, it ascends to an elevation of 3,000 feet. Its range also includes the Canary Islands and the Cape of Good Hope. It is often grown under figtrees in the Italian Riviera, and is grown in many botanical gardens, having first been recorded as cultivated in England in 1648, in the Oxford Botanic Gardens.

Description:
Squill is a perennial  flowering plant. It  grows from a large bulb which can be up to 20 cm wide and weigh a kilogram. Several bulbs may grow in a clump and are usually just beneath the surface of the soil. In the spring, each bulb produces a rosette of about ten leaves each up to a meter long. They are dark green in color and leathery in texture. They die away by fall, when the bulb produces a tall, narrow raceme of flowers. This inflorescence can reach 1.5 to 2 m in height. The flower is about 1.5 cm wide and has six tepals each with a dark stripe down the middle. The tepals are white, with the exception of those on the red-flowered form. The fruit is a capsule up to 1.2 cm long.
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Its fibrous roots proceeding from the base of a large, tunicated, nearly globular bulb, 4 to 6 inches long, the outer scales of which are thin and papery, red or orange-brown in colour. The bulb, which is usually only half immersed in the sand, sends forth several long, lanceolate, pointed, somewhat undulated, shining, dark-green leaves, when fully grown 2 feet long. From the middle of the leaves, a round, smooth, succulent flower-stem rises, from 1 to 3 feet high, terminating in a long, close spike of whitish flowers, which stand on purplish peduncles, at the base of each of which is a narrow, twisted, deciduous floral leaf or bract. The flowers are in bloom in April and May and are followed by oblong capsules.

Cultivation:  
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil according to one report, whilst another says that it requires a very free draining gritty or sandy soil in full sun. The bulbs have a summer resting period and should be kept dry at this time. Some protection from winter wet is strongly recommended. Easily grown in a warm sunny position. A very ornamental plant, it is not very hardy in Britain according to one report, whilst another says that it can be grown in N. European gardens though it does not flower very freely there. Another report says that the plant can tolerate temperatures down to about -7°c. The bulb should be only partially buried. This species is cultivated in the Mediterranean area for its use in the drug industry. The bulbs are harvested after 6 years growth with a yield of about 25,000 bulbs per hectare. There are two main forms of this species, one has a white bulb and the other has a red one. The red bulb is the form that is used as a rat poison whilst the white bulb is used as a cardiotonic. Another report says that herbalists do not distinguish between the two forms. Only the red form contains the rat poison ‘scilliroside’, though both forms can be used medicinally. The bulb is very tenacious of life, one specimen that had been stored for 20 years in a museum was found to be trying to grow. A good bee plant.

Propagation:  
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse[188]. Sow the seed thinly so that the seedlings can be left in the pot for their first growing season. Give them regular liquid feeds when in active growth to ensure that they do not suffer nutrient deficiency. Divide the young bulbs once the plant becomes dormant, placing 2- 3 bulbs in each put. Grow them on for at least another year in pots and plant them out into their p

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: Bulb, cut into slices, dried and powdered.

Constituents: The chemical constituents of Squill are imperfectly known. Merck, in 1879, separated the three bitter glucosidal substances Scillitoxin, Scillipicrin and Scillin. The first two are amorphous and act upon the heart, the former being the more active; Scillin is crystalline and causes numbness and vomiting. Other constituents are mucilaginous and saccharine matter, including a peculiar mucilaginous carbohydrate named Sinistrin, an Inulin-like substance, which yields Laevulose on being boiled with dilute acid. The name Sinistrin (in 1834, first proposed by Macquart for Inulin) has also been applied to a mucilaginous matter extracted from barley, but it remains to be proved that the latter is identical with the Sinistrin of Squill. Calcium oxalate is also present, in bundles of long, acicular crystals, which easily penetrate the skin when the bulbs are handled, and causes intense irritation, sometimes eruption, if a piece of fresh Squill is rubbed on the skin.

The toxicity of Squills has more recently been ascribed to a single, bitter, non-nitrogenous glucoside, to which the name Scillitinis given, and which is the active diuretic and expectorant principle.

The bulbs also yield when distilled in a current of steam, a slightly coloured liquid oil of unpleasant odour.

The chemistry of Squills cannot yet be regarded as fully worked out, since most of the glucosides described have only been prepared in an amorphous condition of uncertain chemical identity.

Antiarrhythmic;  Antidandruff;  Cardiotonic;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Expectorant;  Miscellany.

The Medicinal Squill was valued as a medicine in early classic times and has ever since been employed by physicians, being official in all pharmacopoeias. Oxymel of Squill, used for coughs, was invented by Pythagoras, who lived in the sixth century before Christ.

Sea squill contains cardiac glycosides which are strongly diuretic and relatively quick-acting. They do not have the same cumulative effect as those present in foxglove (Digitalis spp.). The bulb has been widely used by herbalists, mainly for its effect upon the heart and for its stimulating, expectorant and diuretic properties. The fresh bulb is slightly more active medicinally than the dried bulb, but it also contains a viscid acrid juice that can cause skin inflammations. This is a very poisonous plant and it should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The dried bulb is cardiotonic, strongly diuretic, emetic when taken in large doses and expectorant. The bulb can weigh up to 2 kilos. It is used internally in the treatment of bronchitis, bronchitic asthma, whooping cough and oedema and is a potential substitute for foxglove in aiding a failing heart. The bulb is harvested in the autumn, sliced transversally and dried for later use. Externally, the bulb has been used in the treatment of dandruff and seborrhoea.

Other Uses:
Miscellany.
The red bulb form of this species contains the poisonous substance ‘scilliroside’. This substance is poisonous to rodents but does not kill other species (which vomit instead).

Known Hazards: The bulb is poisonous in large doses. The red form especially has a fairly specific action on rats. The fresh bulb contains an acrid juice that can cause skin blisters.

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/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Urginea+maritima
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/squill86.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scilla_maritima

Crithmum maritimum

Botanical Name : Crithmum maritimum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Crithmum
Species: C. maritimum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Sea Fennel. Crest Marine. Sampier.
(German) Meerfenchel.
(Italian) Herba di San Pietra. Sanpetra.

Common Names : Samphire, Rock samphire, or Sea fennel, Crithmum maritimum

Habitat :Crithmum maritimum is found on southern and western coasts of Britain and Ireland, on mediterranean and western coasts of Europe including the Canary Islands, North Africa and the Black Sea. “Samphire” is a name also used for several other unrelated species of coastal plant.It grows on the cliffs and rocks, or more rarely on shingle or sand, by the sea.

Description:
Crithmum maritimum is a perennial herb, growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).Leaves are biternately or triternately compound; leaflets linear, fleshy, glaucous, 1/2 inch long. It is well distinguished by its long, fleshy, bright-green, shining leaflets (full of aromatic juice) and umbels of tiny, yellowish-green blossoms. The whole plant is aromatic and has a powerful scent.Flowers in compound umbels, very small, whaite or yellowish; fruit ovoid, ribbed, 1/4 inch long.
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It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

 Cultivation:   
Prefers a moist light sandy or gravelly soil, doing very well between stones or by a south-east facing wall. Requires a warm dry well-drained sunny position and shade from the midday sun. Requires saline conditions. Plants are best grown in moist salty soil or a very well-drained poor dry soil. When grown away from the coast, this plant requires a warm sheltered position and some protection in cold winters. At one time this plant was sometimes cultivated in the vegetable garden, though it is quite difficult to do this successfully. It is difficult to grow outside its natural habitat.

Propagation:   
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Sow in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 3 – 6 weeks at 15°c. One report says that the seed only has a short viability and should be sown as soon as it is ripe, but it has germinated well with us when sown in April in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. Division in spring

Edible Uses:
Rock samphire has fleshy, divided aromatic leaves that Culpeper described as having a “pleasant, hot and spicy taste”

The stems, leaves and seed pods may be pickled in hot, salted, spiced vinegar, or the leaves used fresh in salads.

Richard Mabey gives several recipes for samphire, although it is possible that at least one of these may refer to marsh samphire or glasswort (Salicornia europaea), a very common confusion.

Medicinal Uses:
Carminative;  Depurative;  Digestive;  Diuretic.

Rock samphire is little used in herbal medicine, though it is a good diuretic and holds out potential as a treatment for obesity. It has a high vitamin C and mineral content and is thought to relieve flatulence and to act as a digestive remedy. The young growing tips are carminative, depurative, digestive and diuretic. They are gathered when in active growth in the spring and used fresh. The leaves have the reputation for helping people lose weight and so are used in treating cases of obesity as well kidney complaints and sluggishness. The essential oil is a digestive, a few drops being sprinkled on the food.

Other Uses: An essential oil from the plant is used in perfumery.

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/Crithmum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Crithmum+maritimum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/samphi10.html
http://titanarum.uconn.edu/198501242.html

Limonium carolinianum

Botanical Name ;Limonium carolinianum
Family: Plumbaginaceae
Genus:    Limonium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Caryophyllales

Synonyms :Statice caroliniana.

Common Names :Statice Limonium. Ink Root. Sea Lavender. Marsh Rosemary.(Despite their common names, species are not related to the lavenders or to rosemary.)

Habitat :Limonium carolinianum  is native to Eastern N. America – Labrador to Florida and Texas.(The genus has a subcosmopolitan distribution in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. By far the greatest diversity (over 100 species) is in the area stretching from Canary Islands east through the Mediterranean region to central Asia; for comparison, North America only has 3 native species.)It grows near coasts and in salt marshes, and also on saline, gypsum and alkaline soils in continental interiors.

Description:
Limonium carolinianum  is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
The leaves are simple, entire to lobed, and from 1–30 cm long and 0.5–10 cm broad; most of the leaves are produced in a dense basal rosette, with the flowering stems bearing only small brown scale-leaves (bracts). It is in flower from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile. The flowers are produced on a branched panicle or corymb, the individual flowers small (4–10 mm long) with a five-lobed calyx and corolla, and five stamens; the flower colour is pink, violet to purple in most species, white or yellow in a few. Many of the species are apomictic. The fruit is a small capsule containing a single seed, partly enclosed by the persistent calyx.
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Several species are popular garden flowers; they are generally known to gardeners as statices. They are grown both for their flowers, and for the appearance of the calyx, which remains on the plant after the true flowers have fallen, and are known as “everlasting flowers”.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used:…is the root. This is large, heavy, blackish, inodorous, with a bitter, saltish and very astringent taste.

Constituents: Volatile oil, resin, gum, albumen, tannic acid, caoutchouc, extractive and colouring matter, woody fibre, and various salts.
It has long been in use as a domestic remedy for diarrhoea, dysentery, etc., but is only used as an astringent tonic after the acute stage has passed. It is also very useful as a gargle or wash in ulcerations of mouth and throat, scarlatina, anguinosa, etc. The powdered root is applied to old ulcers, or made with a soothing ointment for piles. As an injection the decoction is very useful in chronic gonorrhoea, gleet, leucorrhoea, prolapsus of womb and anus, and in some ophthalmic affections. It can otherwise be used where astringents are indicated and may be applicable to all cases where kino and catechu are given. It is said to be a valuable remedy for internal and local use in cynanche maligna. Decoction is 1 ounce of powdered root to 1 pint, in wineglassful doses.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lavsea15.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limonium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Limonium+carolinianum

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Ceratonia siliqua

Botanical Name :Ceratonia siliqua
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Ceratonia
Species: C. siliqua
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names:  carob tree, St John’s-bread, Locust Bean

Habitat  :Ceratonia siliqua is native to the Mediterranean region including Southern Europe, Northern Africa, the larger Mediterranean islands; to the Levant and Middle-East of Western Asia into Iran; and to the Canary Islands and Macaronesia. It grows in the  rocky places near the sea shore.

Description:
The Ceratonia siliqua tree grows up to 15 metres (49 ft) tall. The crown is broad and semi-spherical, supported by a thick trunk with brown rough bark and sturdy branches. Leaves are 10 to 20 centimetres (3.9 to 7.9 in) long, alternate, pinnate, and may or may not have a terminal leaflet. It is frost-tolerant.

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Most carob trees are dioecious. The trees blossom in autumn. The flowers are small and numerous, spirally arranged along the inflorescence axis in catkin-like racemes borne on spurs from old wood and even on the trunk (cauliflory); they are pollinated by both wind and insects. Male flowers produce a characteristic odour, resembling semen.

The fruit is a pod that can be elongated, compressed, straight or curved, and thickened at the sutures. The pods take a full year to develop and ripen. The ripe pods eventually fall to the ground and are eaten by various mammals, thereby dispersing the seed.

The seeds of Ceratonia siliqua contains leucodelphinidin, a colourless chemical compound

Cultivation:
Ceratonia siliqua is widely cultivated in the horticultural nursery industry as an ornamental plant for planting in Mediterranean climate and other temperate regions around the world, as its popularity in California and Hawaii shows. The plant develops a sculpted trunk and ornamental tree form when ‘limbed up’ as it matures, otherwise it is used as a dense and large screening hedge. When not grown for legume harvests the plant is very drought tolerant and part of ‘xeriscape’ landscape design for gardens, parks, and public municipal and commercial landscapes.

Propagation:
Seed – pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing. If the seed has not swollen then give it another soaking in warm water until it does swell up. Sow in a greenhouse in April[200]. Germination should take place within 2 months. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual deep pots and grow them on in a 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. Give them some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors.

Edible Uses:
Carob consumed by humans is the dried (and sometimes roasted) pod, and not the ‘nuts’ or seeds. Carob is mildly sweet and is used in powdered, chip, or syrup form as an ingredient in cakes and cookies, and as a substitute for chocolate.

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is poisonous to some mammals, but carob does not, and is used to make chocolate-flavored treats for dogs.

The seeds, also known as locust beans, are used as animal feed, and are the source of locust bean gum — a food thickening agent. Crushed pods may be used to make a beverage; compote, liqueur, and syrup are made from carob in Turkey, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Sicily. Several studies suggest that carob may aid in treating diarrhea in infants.[13] In Libya, carob syrup (there called rub) is used as a complement to Asida. The so-called carob syrup made in Peru is actually from the fruit of the Prosopis nigra tree.

Carob is rich in sugars – Sucrose = 531g ± 93 g/kg dry weight for cultivated varieties and 437 ± 77 g/kg in wild type varieties. Fructose and glucose levels do not differ between cultivated and wild type carob

Carob is a healthy substitute for  chocolate that is lower in calories. Roasted carob is naturally sweeter, (or not as bitter), as unsweetened chocolate, so it can be made palatable with less added sugar in recipes. Carob has a number of advantages over chocolate: it is hypoallergenic, and hypoglycemic. 55 The true trick to enjoying carob is to not expect it to taste exactly like chocolate,(and be forever disappointed), but to learn to appreciate carob for its own unique taste.

Traditional uses:
Carob was eaten in Ancient Egypt. Carob juice drinks are traditionally drunk during the Islamic month of Ramadan. It was also a common sweetener and was used in the hieroglyph for “sweet” (nedjem). Dried carob fruit is traditionally eaten on the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat. Also it is believed to be an aphrodisiac.

In Cyprus, carob syrup is known as Cyprus’s black gold, and is widely exported.

In Malta, a syrup (?ulepp tal-?arrub) is made out of carob pods. This is a traditional medicine for coughs and sore throat. A traditional sweet, eaten during Lent and Good Friday, is also made from carob pods in Malta. However, carob pods were mainly used as animal fodder in the Maltese Islands, apart from times of famine or war when they formed part of the diet of many Maltese.

In the Iberian Peninsula, carob pods were used mainly as animal fodder, especially to feed donkeys.

Carob pods were an important source of sugar before sugarcane and sugar beets became widely available.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Aggressive surface roots possible. Requires a very sunny position in any well-drained moderately fertile soil[200]. Does well in calcareous, gravelly or rocky soils. Tolerates salt laden air. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.2 to 8.6. The tree is very drought resistant, thriving even under arid conditions, the roots penetrating deep into the soil to find moisture. This species is not very hardy in Britain but it succeeds outdoors in favoured areas of S. Cornwall[1], tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c when in a suitable position. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. The carob is frequently cultivated in warm temperate zones for its edible seed and seed pods. Mature trees in a suitable environment can yield up to 400 kilos of seedpods annually. There are named varieties with thicker pods. Seeds are unlikely to be produced in Britain since the tree is so near (if not beyond) the limits of its cultivation. The seed is very uniform in size and weight, it was the original ‘carat’ weight of jewellers. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. Special Features:Edible, Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing. If the seed has not swollen then give it another soaking in warm water until it does swell up. Sow in a greenhouse in April[200]. Germination should take place within 2 months. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual deep pots and grow them on in a 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. Give them some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors.

Medicinal  Uses::
Parts Used: Seed Pod
Constituents:  arginine, benzoic-acid , gallic-acid , glucose , pectin ,starch, sucrose ,tannin,tocopherol,tyrosine

Antidiarrhoeal;  Antiemetic;  Astringent;  Demulcent;  Emollient;  Purgative.

The pulp in the seedpods of carob is very nutritious and, due to its high sugar content, sweet-tasting and mildly laxative. However, the pulp in the pods is also astringent and, used in a decoction, will treat diarrhoea and gently help to cleanse and also relieve irritation within the gut. Whilst these appear to be contradictory effects, carob is an example of how the body responds to herbal medicines in different ways, according to how the herb is prepared and according to the specific medical problem. The seedpods are also used in the treatment of coughs. A flour made from the ripe seedpods is demulcent and emollient. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea.   The seed husks are astringent and purgative. The bark is strongly astringent. A decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea.

Other Uses:  A flour made from the seedpods is used in the cosmetic industry to make face-packs. Tannin is obtained from the bark. Wood – hard, lustrous. Highly valued by turners, it is also used for marquetry and walking stick.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceratonia_siliqua
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ceratonia+siliqua
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail462.php

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Fucus vesiculosus

Botanical name :Fucus vesiculosus
Family: Fucaceae
Genus: Fucus
Species: F. vesiculosus
Kingdom: Chromalveolata
Phylum: Heterokontophyta
Class: Phaeophyceae
Order: Fucales

Common names:  black tang, rockweed, bladder fucus, sea oak, black tany, cut weed, dyers fucus, red fucus, and rock wrack,Kelp/Bladderwrack , Fucus, Seaweed, dried

Habitat ;Fucus vesiculosus is the most common algae on the shores of the British Isles. It has been recorded from the Atlantic shores of Europe, Northern Russia, the Baltic Sea, Greenland, Azores, Canary Islands, Morocco and Madeira. It is also found on the Atlantic coast of North America from Ellesmere Island, Hudson Bay to North Carolina

Description:
The fronds of Fucus vesiculosus have a prominent midrib and almost spherical air bladders which are usually paired but may be absent in young plants. The margin is smooth and the frond is dichotomously branched. It is sometimes confused with Fucus spiralis with which it hybridises
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Plants of F. vesiculosus are dioecious. Gametes are generally released into the seawater under calm conditions and the eggs are fertilised externally to produce a zygote. Eggs are fertilised shortly after being released from the receptacle. A study on the coast of Maine showed that there was 100% fertilisation at both exposed and sheltered sites. Continuously submerged populations in the Baltic Sea are very responsive to turbulent conditions. High fertilisation success is achieved because the gametes are only released when water velocities are low

chemical Constituents:
Primary chemical constituents of this plant include mucilage, algin, mannitol, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, iodine, bromine, potassium, volatile oils, and many other minerals.

Medicinal Uses:
Properties: * Analgesic * Antiscorbutic * Appetite Depressant/Obesity * Laxative

This herb is used for cancer prevention & a diet fore wetloss.

It  is commonly used in herbal medicine to stimulate the thyroid function, and can be effective in weight loss as part of a low calorie diet. The consumption of seaweeds has also been associated with lower cancer rates.

Kelp, dried seaweed Fucus vesiculosis, was the original source of iodine, being discovered as such by Courtois in 1812. Iodine does not occur in nature in the uncombined condition but is widely, though sparingly, distributed in the form of iodides and iodates, chiefly of sodium and potassium, in seawater, some seaweeds, and various mineral and medicinal springs. Kelp is an important part of the diet in Japan, Norway, and Scotland. For vegans (vegetarians who eat no animal products at all), it supplies vitamin B12, otherwise found almost exclusively in animal products, and is a concentrated source of minerals, including iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. As a source of iodine, it assists in the production of of thyroid hormones, which are necessary for maintaining healthy metabolism in all cells of the body. The brown algae known as bladderwrack is a particularly common source of kelp.

The main use of bladder wrack (and other types of seaweed) in herbal medicine is as a source of iodine, an essential nutrient for the thyroid gland. Bladder wrack has been used in the treatment of underactive thyroid glands (hypothyroidism) and goitre.

Bladder wrack has been shown to help women with abnormal menstrual cycling patterns and menstrual-related disease histories. Doses of 700 to 1400 mg/day were found to increase the menstrual cycle lengths, decrease the days of menstruation per cycle, and decrease the serum levels of 17B-estradiol while was later carried out and showed similar effects.

Safety precautions:
Bladderwrack may contains significant amounts of iodine, which could cause an allergic reaction in sensitive 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:
http://www.ask.com/wiki/Fucus_vesiculosus?o=3986&qsrc=999#Description
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail197.php

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Pistacia terebinthus

Botanical Name : Pistacia terebinthus
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Pistacia
Species: P. terebinthus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Names :Terebinth and Turpentine tree

Habitat : Pistacia terebinthus is native to the Canary Islands, and the Mediterranean region from the western regions of Morocco, and Portugal to Greece and western Turkey. In the eastern shores of the Mediterranean sea – Syria, Lebanon, Kurdistan and Israel – a similar species, Pistacia palaestina, fills the same ecological niche as this species and is also known as terebinth.

Description:
It is a species of flowering plant belonging to the family Anacardiaceae. It is a small deciduous tree or large shrub growing to 10 m tall. The leaves are compound, 10-20 cm long, odd pinnate with five to eleven opposite glossy oval leaflets, the leaflets 2-6 cm long and 1-3 cm broad. The flowers are reddish-purple, appearing with the new leaves in early spring. The fruit consists of small, globular drupes 5-7 mm long, red to black when ripe. All parts of the plant have a strong resinous smell.

click to see the pictures.
It is a dioecious tree, ie exist as male and female specimens. For a viable population should have copies of both genders. His oblong leafs are bright green, leathery, with 10 cm long or more with 3-9 leaflets. Leafs alternate, leathery and compound paripinnate (no terminal leaflet) with 3 or 6 deep green leaflets. They are generally larger and rounder than the leaves of the mastic, reminding the leaves of carob tree. The flowers range from purple to green, the fruit is having the size of a pea and turns from red to brown, depending on the degree of maturation. The whole plant emits a strong smell of bitter, resinous or medication. In the vegetative period they develop “galls” in a goat’s horn shaped (of what the plant gets its common name cornicabra, the common spanish name), that occur in the leaves and leaflets after the bite of insects. The species is multiplied by seeds and shoots. Although marred by the presence of galls, is a very strong and resistant tree which survives in degraded areas where other species have been eliminated. Pistacia terebinthus is a plant related to Pistacia lentiscus, with which hybridizes frequently in contact zones. The cornicabra is more abundant in the mountains and inland and the mastic is usually found more frequently in areas where the Mediterranean influence of the sea moderates the clima. Mastic tree does not reach the size of the Pistacia terebinthus, but the hybrids are very difficult to distinguish. The mastic presented winged stalks of the leaflets, ie, they are flattened and side fins. These stems in Cornicabra are simple. In the Eastern Mediterranean Coast, Syria, Lebanon and Israel, a similar species,pistacia Palaestina , fills the same ecological niche of this species and is also known as turpentine. On the west coast of the Mediterranean, Canary Islands and Middle East, Pistacia terebinthus can be confused with Pistacia atlantica .

Medicinal Uses:
The resin is taken internally in the treatment of chronic bronchial infections, streptococcal, urinary and renal infections, hemorrhage, gallstones, tapeworm and rheumatism. Externally, it is used to treat arthritis, gout, sciatica, scabies and lice. It has also been used in the treatment of cancer. It is a stimulant to kidney function and was sometimes used in mild doses as a diuretic; in larger doses, it is dangerous to the kidneys.  It was also used as a carminative, and was considered one of the most valuable remedies in cases of flatulent colic.  Terebinth was also used to treat chronic diarrhea and dysentery, typhoid fever, purpureal fever and bleeding, helminthiasis, leucorrhea, and amenorrhea.Turpentine baths, arranged in such a way that the vapors were not inhaled by the patient, were given in cases of chronic rheumatism.  It was also administered in enema form to treat intractable constipation.  Applied externally as a liniment or ointment, it has been used in rheumatic ailments such as lumbago, arthritis, and neuralgias.  It was also used as a local application to treat and promote the healing of burns and to heal parasitic skin diseases. The gall-like bodies found on the Turpentine Tree are the result of the stings of a hemipterous insect. They have been used for treatment of asthma attacks. For this purpose they are coarsely pulverized and burned in the bowl of a pipe, or in a dish, using a small funnel attached to a rubber tube for inhaling the fumes. Preparations should be made beforehand, so that the smoke may be inhaled at the commencement of the attack. They appear to act by exciting free secretion, probably through the turpentine with which they are saturated. They are said to be useful in chronic bronchitis. The use of Chian turpentine by Paracelsus as a cancer remedy was revived in 1880 by Mr. Clay, of England, who strongly recommended it for uterine cancer, others, however, declared it wholly inefficient. It is yellowish, greenish, or bluish-green, translucent, viscid, and thick like molasses. Its odor is rather pleasant and suggestive of fennel, and its taste less acrid than most of the turpentines. It gradually hardens by age, and is often adulterated with the cheaper turpentines.

Other Uses:
It is used as a source for turpentine, possibly the earliest known source. The turpentine of the terebinth is now called Chian, Scio, or Cyprian turpentine.
The fruits are used in Cyprus for baking of a specialty village bread. In Crete, where the plant is called tsikoudia, it is used to flavor the local variety of pomace brandy, also called tsikoudia. In the Northern Sporades the shoots are used as a vegetable (called tsitsírava).The plant is rich in tannin and resinous substances and was used for its aromatic and medicinal properties in classical Greece. A mild sweet scented gum can be produced from the bark, and galls often found on the plant are used for tanning leather. Recently an anti-inflammatory triterpene has been extracted from these galls. In Turkey, where it is known as menengiç or b?tt?m, a coffee-like beverage known as menengiç kahvesi is made from the roasted fruit and a soap is made from the oil. Terebinth resin was used as a wine presevative in the acient Near East.

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/Pistacia_terebinthus
http://luirig.altervista.org/schedenam/fnam.php?taxon=Pistacia+terebinthus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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