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Artemisia biennis

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

Synonyms:
*Artemisia armeniaca Willd. ex Ledeb.
*Artemisia australis Ehrh. ex DC.
*Artemisia canescens Willd.
*Artemisia cernua Dufour ex Willk. & Lange
*Artemisia cernuiflora Dufour ex Willk. & Lange
*Artemisia eschscholtziana Besser
*Artemisia hispanica Jacq. 1786 not Lam. 1783 nor Weber ex Stechmann 1775 nor Stechm. ex Besser 1836
*Artemisia inconspicua Spreng.
*Artemisia jacquinii Raeusch.
*Artemisia microcephala Hillebr.
*Artemisia pinnatifida Jacquem. ex DC.
*Artemisia pyromacha Viv.
*Artemisia ramosa Lag. ex Willk. & Lange
*Artemisia seriphium Pourr. ex Willk. & Lange

Common Names: Biennial Wormwood

Habitat :Artemisia biennis is native to N. America – Quebec to British Columbia and south to New England, Indiana etc. It grows on open ground, clearings, burns, roadsides and waste places.

Description:
Artemisia biennis is an annual or biennial herb producing a single erect green to reddish stem up to 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) in maximum height. It is generally hairless and unscented. The frilly leaves are up to 13 centimetres (5.1 in) long and divided into thin, lance-shaped segments with long teeth. Leaves are alternate, 1-3 inches long, deeply divided into long, narrow lobes with coarsely toothed edges. Lower leaves can be double divided. Leaves and stems are hairless throughout. Stems can be simple or much branched at the base. Plants typically have a narrow, spire-like profile The inflorescence is a dense rod of clusters of flower heads interspersed with leaves. Flowers are numerous, yellow to green and globe like, 1/8 inch across in densely packed, short columnar clusters in the leaf axils, forming leafy, compound spikes on the upper stems and branches, several feet long on large specimens. The fruit is a tiny achene less than a millimeter wide.

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Cultivation:
The plant can be easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow spring in a greenhouse. Do not allow the compost to dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. The seed can also be sown in situ during late spring.

Medicinal Uses:
Parasiticide; Poultice; Skin.

The plant as been used in the treatment of stomach cramps, colic and painful menstruation. Externally, it has been used for treating sores and wounds. The report does not specify which part of the plant is used. The seeds, mixed with molasses, have been used as a parasiticide in getting rid of worms

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.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_biennis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+biennis
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/biennial-wormwood

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Amelanchier humilis

 
Botanical Name : Amelanchier humilis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Amelanchier
Species: A. humilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Name : Low serviceberry

Habitat : Amelanchier humilis is native to Eastern N. America – Vermont to Alberta and south to New York and Iowa. It grows on the rocky or sandy shores and banks, often calcareous.

Description:

Amelanchier humilis is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.8 m (6ft) by 3 m (9ft). The fruit, which is a pome, is very dark, almost black. It is edible and can be eaten raw or cooked. The fruit has a sweet taste, with slight apple flavor. The leaves are egg-shaped, up to 5 cm (2 inches) long.

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
Cultivation:
Prefers a rich loamy soil in a sunny position or semi-shade but thrives in any soil that is not too dry or water-logged. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are often found growing on calcareous soils in the wild. Hardy to about -25°c. All members of this genus have edible fruits and, whilst this is dry and uninteresting in some species, in many others it is sweet and juicy. Many of the species have potential for use in the garden as edible ornamentals. The main draw-back to this genus is that birds adore the fruit and will often completely strip a tree before it is fully ripe. This species produces suckers freely, forming thickets. Closely related to A. stolonifera. Hybridizes with A. stolonifera, A. arborea and A. bartramiana. Grafting onto seedlings of A. lamarckii or Sorbus aucuparia is sometimes practised in order to avoid the potential problem of hybridizing.
Propagation:
Seed – it is best harvested ‘green’, when the seed is fully formed but before the seed coat has hardened, and then sown immediately in pots outdoors or in a cold frame. If stored seed is obtained early enough in the autumn, it can be given 4 weeks warm stratification before being left out in the winter and it should then germinate in the spring. Otherwise seed can be very slow to germinate, perhaps taking 18 months or more. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a sheltered outdoor position, planting them out once they are 20cm or more tall. If there is sufficient seed it is best to sow it thinly in an outdoor seedbed. Grow the seedlings on for two years in the seedbed before planting them out into their permanent positions during the winter. Layering in spring – takes 18 months. Division of suckers in late winter. The suckers need to have been growing for 2 years before you dig them up, otherwise they will not have formed roots. They can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses:
Edible fruit – raw or cooked. Sweet. A very pleasant flavour, the fruit is juicy with a hint of apple in the taste and contains a few small seeds at the centre. The fruit is rich in iron and copper.

Medicinal Uses:
Not yet known.

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/Amelanchier_humilis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Amelanchier+humilis

Agrimonia parviflora.

Botanical Name : Agrimonia parviflora.
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Agrimonia
Species:A. parviflora
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names :  Small Flowered Agrimony, Harvestlice Agrimony, and Harvestlice

Habitat : Agrimonia parviflora is native to Eastern N. America – Connecticut and New York to Florida, west to Texas and Nebraska. It grows on the damp thickets and the edges of low woods, growing in clumps. Moist or dry soils.

Description:
Agrimonia parviflora is a wildflower plant. It is 2½–5′ tall. The stout central stem is unbranched, terete, and light green, reddish green, or brownish green; it is covered with long hairs that are white or light brown. Along each stem, there are widely spreading alternate leaves. These leaves are odd-pinnate and up to 2′ long and ½’ across; each leaf has 9-17 primary leaflets and smaller secondary leaflets. The secondary leaflets are located between pairs of primary leaflets. Individual primary leaflets are 2-3″ long and about one-third as much across; they are narrowly lanceolate, narrowly oblanceolate, or elliptic with wedge-shaped bottoms and acute tips. Leaflet margins are coarsely dentate. The upper surface of each leaflet is yellowish green and hairless, while the lower surface is short-pubescent. Secondary leaflets are similar to the primary leaflets, but they are much smaller in size (less than 1″ long). Both the petiole and rachis of each compound leaf are pubescent; quite often, they have sparse long hairs. At the base of each leaf, there is a pair of large stipules that are fan-shaped and either coarsely dentate or cleft with pointed lobes.

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The central stem terminates in a long spike-like raceme about ¾–2½’ long. Robust plants also produce secondary racemes from the axils of the upper leaves that are shorter than the terminal raceme. These racemes are usually more or less erect, although longer racemes sometimes bend sideways to become nearly horizontal with the ground. The central stalk of the raceme is light green, terete, and short-pubescent. Numerous small flowers about ¼” across occur along the length of the raceme on short stalks about 1/8″ long. Individual flowers consist of a tubular green calyx, 5 yellow petals, about 10 stamens, and a central pistil. The tubular calyx is turbinate in shape and 10-ribbed. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late summer and lasts about 1-2 months. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by 1-2 seeded fruits about ¼” across. These small fruits have numerous hooked prickles along the upper rims of their persistent calyxes. Immature fruits are green, while mature fruits are brown. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. Clonal colonies of plants are often produced.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a calcareous soil. Prefers a sunny position. Plants self-sow when growing in a suitable position.

Propagation:
Seed – can be sown in spring or autumn, either in pots in a cold frame or in situ. It usually germinates in 2 – 6 weeks at 13°c, though germination rates can be low, especially if the seed has been stored. A period of cold stratification helps but is not essential. When grown in pots, prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division in autumn.   Very easy, the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.

Medicinal Uses:
A tea made from the whole plant is astringent. It is used in the treatment diarrhoea, bleeding, wounds, inflammation of the gall bladder, urinary incontinence etc. It is gargled as a treatment for mouth ulcers and sore throats. An infusion of the seedpods is used to treat diarrhoea and fevers. An infusion of the root is used as a blood tonic and is given to children to satisfy their hunger. The powdered root has been used to treat pox.
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.illinoiswildflowers.info/wetland/plants/sw_agrimony.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrimonia_parviflora
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Agrimonia+parviflora

Hepatica americana

Botanical Name : Hepatica americana
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Hepatica
Species: H. nobilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names: Liverwort, Ker-gawl ,Hepatica tribola, Hepatica nobilis,American Liverleaf, Alumroot, Round Lobed Hepatica

Habitat : Hepatica americana is native to the eastern United States and to central and eastern Canada. It grows on the dry woods. Mixed woods, often in association with both conifers and deciduous trees, usually in drier sites and more acid soils, from sea level to 1200 metres. ( Rich or rocky wooded slopes, ravines, mossy banks, ledges. Usually on acid soils.)
Description:
Hepatica americana is a herbaceous perennial, growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, lepidoptera……..CLICK &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

USDA hardiness zone : 3-9

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Rock garden, Woodland garden. Prefers a deep light soil with leafmold. Grows well on limey woodland soils in half shade, though it also succeeds in deep shade and in full sun[1]. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible. This species is closely related to H. acutiloba. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. Special Features: Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies.
Propagation:
Seed – sow in a moist soil in a shady position. The stored seed requires stratification for about 3 weeks at 0 – 5°c. Germination takes 1 – 12 months at 10°c. It is probably worthwhile sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame. 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 just as the leafless plant comes into flower in late winter. Replant immediately into their permanent positions.
Medicinal Uses:
Hepatica americana was used widely by natives and colonists to treat a variety of ailments. A tea made from the leaves is laxative. It is used in the treatment of fevers, liver ailments and poor indigestion. At one time it became a cult medicine as a liver tonic and 200,000 kilos of dried Hepatica leaves were used in 1883 alone. Externally, the tea is applied as a wash to swollen breasts[

It was used most commonly as a leaf tea to treat liver disorders. This was thought to work because the plants leaves are shaped much like the human liver. This practice of treating organ ailments with the plants that most resembled them is known as the “doctrine of signatures.” The practice originated in China and, fortunately, is no longer

While rarely found in herbal remedies today, it is a mild astringent and a diuretic. It stimulates gall bladder production and is a mild laxative. Its astringency has also stopped bleeding in the digestive tract and the resultant spitting of blood. Historically, liverwort has been used for kidney problems and bronchitis. It’s active constituent, protoaneminin, has been shown to have antibiotic action. The Russians use it in their folk medicine and also to treat cattle with mouth sickness.

Known Hazards : Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, most plants in this family are poisonous. This toxicity is usually of a low order and the toxic principle is destroyed by heat or by drying.

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/Hepatica_nobilis
http://www.missouriplants.com/Bluealt/Hepatica_americana_page.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hepatica+americana
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Panax ginseng

Botanical Name : Panax ginseng
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily: Aralioideae
Tribe: Aralieae
Genus: Panax
Species: Panax ginseng
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms : Aralia ginseng. Panax chin-seng. Panax verus.

Common Name : Ginseng, Chinese ginseng

Habitat : Panax ginseng is native to E. Asia – China, Korea.(Manchuria, Chinese Tartary and other parts of eastern Asia, and is largely cultivated there as well as in Korea and Japan.) It grows on mountain forests.
Description:
Panax ginseng is a smooth perennial herb, with a large, fleshy, very slow-growing root, 2 to 3 inches in length (occasionally twice this size) and from 1/2 to 1 inch in thickness. Its main portion is spindle-shaped and heavily annulated (ringed growth), with a roundish summit, often with a slight terminal, projecting point. At the lower end of this straight portion, there is a narrower continuation, turned obliquely outward in the opposite direction and a very small branch is occasionally borne in the fork between the two. Some small rootlets exist upon the lower portion. The color ranges from a pale yellow to a brownish color. It has a mucilaginous sweetness, approaching that of liquorice, accompanied with some degree of bitterness and a slight aromatic warmth, with little or no smell. The stem is simple and erect, about a foot high, bearing three leaves, each divided into five finely-toothed leaflets, and a single, terminal umbel, with a few small, yellowish flowers. It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) The fruit is a cluster of bright red berries.

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Cultivation:
Requires a moist humus rich soil in a shady position in a woodland. Ginseng is widely cultivated and also collected from the wild in the Orient for its root which is commonly used as a medicine. The root is prepared in a number of different ways, including by steaming it for 4 hours in wicker baskets over boiling water.

Propagation :
Seed – sow in a shady position in a cold frame preferably as soon as it is ripe, otherwise as soon as the seed is obtained. It can be very slow and erratic to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady positi
Edible Uses: ...Root – chewed. This probably refers to its medicinal uses. A tea is made from the root.

Medicinal Uses:
Ginseng was considered for generations to be a panacea by the Chinese and Koreans, although there are some disorders, such as acute inflammatory diseases, for which it is not recommended. It usually is not taken alone, but combined in formulas with other herbs. One of ginseng’s key investigators, Russian I.I. Brekhman, coined the term “adaptogen” to describe ginseng’s ability to regulate many different functions. It can have different responses, depending on what an individual needs. Studies show that ginseng increases mental and physical efficiency and resistance to stress and disease. Psychological improvements were also observed according to Rorschach. Studies done at the Chinese Academy of Medical Science in Beijing, China, showed that the ginsenosides increase protein synthesis and activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. They are also probably responsible for ginseng’s dual role of sedating or stimulating the central nervous system, depending on the condition it is being taken to treat. Studies also show that ginseng improves carbohydrate tolerance in diabetics. When volunteers were given 3 grams of ginseng along with alcohol, their blood alcohol level was 32% to 51% lower than that of the control group.

Ginseng appears to stimulate the immune system of both animals and humans. It revs up the white blood cells (macrophages and natural killer cells) that devour disease-causing microorganisms. Ginseng also spurs production of interferon, the body’s own virus-fighting chemical, and antibodies, which fight bacterial and viral infections. It reduces cholesterol, according to several American studies. It also increases good cholesterol. Ginseng has an anticlotting effect, which reduces the risk of blood clots. It reduces blood sugar levels. Ginseng protects the liver from the harmful effects of drugs, alcohol, and other toxic substances. In a pilot human study, ginseng improved liver function in 24 elderly people suffering from cirrhosis. Ginseng can minimize cell damage from radiation. In two studies, experimental animals were injected with various protective agents, then subjected to doses of radiation similar to those used in cancer radiation therapy. Ginseng provided the best protection against damage to healthy cells, suggesting value during cancer radiation therapy.

Asians have always considered ginseng particularly beneficial for the elderly. As people age, the senses of taste and smell deteriorate, which reduces appetite. In addition, the intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients declines. Ginseng enjoys a reputation as an appetite stimulant and one study showed it increases the ability of the intestine to absorb nutrients, thus helping prevent undernourishment. This is a yin tonic, taken in China for fevers and for exhaustion due to a chronic, wasting disease such as tuberculosis. It can help coughs related to lung weaknessIn the 1960s, a Japanese scientist, Shoji Shibata, at the Meiji College of Pharmacy in Tokyo, identified a unique set of chemicals that are largely responsible for ginseng’s actions. They are saponins, biologically active compounds that foam in water. Ginseng’s unique saponins were dubbed “ginsenosides.”

Research reveals that ginseng can have beneficial effects on metabolic function, immunity, mood, and physiological function at the most basic cellular level. It does not benefit everyone; recent studies of elite athletes reveal that it has no demonstrable effects on athletic performance. Yet in older people, studies show that it reduces fatigue, improves performance, and boosts mood. This makes sense in classic terms because why would world-class athletes, with superior yang energy, want to take a root for people with “devastated ” yang? But if you are recovering from a drawn-out illness, feeling fatigued, or feeling the effects of age’ if you are experiencing a “collapse” of your “chi”, ginseng may be right for you.

As an adaptogenic, ginseng’s action varies. In China, ginseng is best known as a stimulant, tonic herb for athletes and those subject to physical stress, and as a male aphrodisiac. It is also a tonic for old age, and is traditionally taken by people in northern and central China fro late middle age onward, helping them to endure the long hard winters.

Ginseng has been researched in detail over the past 20-30 years in China, Japan, Korea, Russian, and many other countries. Its remarkable “adaptogenic” quality has been confirmed. Trials show that ginseng significantly improves the body’s capacity to cope with hunger, extremes of temperature, and mental and emotional stress. Furthermore, ginseng produces a sedative effect when the body requires sleep. The ginsenosides that are responsible for this action are similar in structure to the body’s own stress hormones. Ginseng also increases immune function and resistance to infection, and supports liver function.

In Asian countries, ginseng has long been recognized as effective n reducing alcohol intoxication and also as a remedy for hangovers. A clinical experiment demonstrated that ginseng significantly enhanced blood alcohol clearance in humans. In regards to cancer, a number of experiments have shown that ginseng can help restore physiological balance within the system and significantly reduce the side effects when used along with anticancer drugs. For diabetes, when patients are treated with ginseng at the early stages, conditions can return to normal. In advanced stages, the blood glucose level is significantly lowered. When combined with insulin, insulin requirements are reduced while still effectively lowering blood glucose level. Other symptoms such as fatigue and decreased sexual desire are also alleviated.

There is some evidence that ginseng, taken in small amounts over a long period of time, improves regulation of the adrenals so that stress hormones are produced rapidly when needed and broken down rapidly when not needed. Whole root is best. Extracts, even those that contain specific guaranteed-potency ginsenosides, don’t have some of the other compounds in ginseng that may be beneficial. Its not recommended to take even good quality extracts for more than 2-3 weeks at a time, but the whole ginseng root, in small amounts can be taken every day for a year or more.

At the Institute of Immunological Science at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, researchers have been studying a ginsenoside, Rb2. In mice given lung tumors,’ oral administration of ginsenoside Rb2 caused a marked inhibition of both neovascularization and tumor growth,’ they write. Neovascularization, also called angiogenesis, is the tendency of tumors to create tiny blood vessels that feed their malignant growth.

A case-control study in Korea compared about 2,000 patients admitted tot eh Korea Cancer Center Hospital in Seoul to another 2,000 noncancer patients. Those with cancer were about half as likely to use ginseng as those without cancer. Cancer risk was lower with those who took ginseng for a year but much lower for those who took ginseng for up to 20 years. Fresh ginseng, white ginseng extract, white ginseng powder, and red ginseng were all associated with reduced cancer risk.

Known Hazards : Side effects include inability to fall asleep, increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Overuse or prolonged use may cause over stimulation (diarrhoea, nervousness, skin eruption). Caution with other stimulants needed. Avoid in patients with psychosis and manic disorders. Not recommended during pregnancy and breast feeding

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/Panax_ginseng
http://www.hardingsginsengfarm.com/botgin.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Panax+ginseng