Tag Archives: Ecuador

Cinchona micrantha

Botanical Name: Cinchona micrantha
Family: Rubiaceae/ Zygophyllaceae
Subfamily: Cinchonoideae
Tribe: Cinchoneae
Genus: Cinchona
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Cinchona affinis Wedd.

Common Name : Huannco

Habitat : Cinchona micrantha is native to western S. AmericaBolivia, Ecuador, Peru. It grows well in light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil.
Description:
Cinchona micrantha is an evergreen Tree growing to 8 m (26ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a medium rate. it is relatively thin-textured, usually broad leaves, its expansive multiflowered inflorescences, and its small white flowers with the corolla tube 5-7.5 mm long. This species is similar to Cinchona pubescens, which is more widespread and common. In fruit these can be difficult to separate.

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Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained 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:
Prefers high humidity and a temperature that does not fall below about 15 degree centigrade . Requires a well-drained, moist soil and a position in full sun or partial shade.

Propagation:
Seed – Nodal softwood cuttings. Cuttings of half-ripe wood in a sandy soil.

Medicinal Uses:
Cinchona micrantha has a long history of native use, especially as a treatment for fevers and malaria. Modern research has shown it to be a very effective treatment for fevers, and especially as a treatment and preventative of malaria. The bark contains various alkaloids, particularly quinine and quinidine. The bark is a bitter, astringent, tonic herb that lowers fevers, relaxes spasms, is antimalarial (the alkaloid quinine) and slows the heart (the alkaloid quinidine). The bark is made into various preparations, such as tablets, liquid extracts, tinctures and powders. It is used internally in the treatment of malaria, neuralgia, muscle cramps and cardiac fibrillation. It is an ingredient in various proprietary cold and influenza remedies. It is also used as a gargle to treat sore throats. Large and too constant doses must be avoided, as they produce headache, giddiness and deafness.

Other Uses:
The powdered bark is often used in tooth-powders, owing to its astringency.
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/Cinchona
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cinchona+micrantha
http://eol.org/pages/1110446/overview

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Hibiscus diversifolius

Botanical Name : Hibiscus diversifolius
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Species:H. diversifolius
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Names: Swamp Hibiscus

Habitat : It occurs in tropical Africa, New Guinea, the Philippines, many Pacific Islands, Central and South America, the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Norfolk Island as well as the states of New South Wales and Queensland in Australia. There is disagreement over its native range. Some sources consider it native only to Africa, and naturalised elsewhere; but it is considered a native in New Zealand and Australia

It is found in low, swampy areas; in Africa it may occur inland or near the coast, but in all other continents it occurs only in coastal areas. This distribution, together with genomic evidence, suggests that it originated in Africa, and colonised the other continents through long-range salt-water dispersal.

Description:
Hibiscus diversifolius is a deciduous Shrub. It is a widespread species of hibiscus. It grows to between 1 and 2 metres in height, with prickly stems and yellow flowers with a maroon basal spot during spring summer.

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The stems have many short prickles.

The leaves near the ends of the stems can be undivided and the lower leaves can have either three or five lobes, but the lobing is only shallow. The leaf margins are irregularly toothed. The leaf surfaces are rough to touch because of the short, stiff, bristle-like hairs.

The flowers are pale yellow with purple centres.

Flowers are carried in arching terminal sprays and are held facing the ground. Blooms are produced in the warmer months.

The calyx is covered with stiff bristles and the nectary is conspicuous.

The seed pod is also covered with rigid bristly hairs.

It is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in full sun. A frost-tender shrub, it can be grown as an annual in temperate climates where it can flower and set seed in its first year of growth. Plants can also be overwintered in a cold greenhouse if the winter is fairly mild. As the specific name of this plant suggests, the leaves vary widely in shape. The first leaves to be produced are semi-circular in shape, but later leaves are distinctly three-lobed. Plants are self-fertile.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. The seed germinates inside 2 weeks and should be potted up into individual pots as soon as it is large enough to handle. Grow the plants on fast in a fairly rich compost and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. These will be difficult to overwinter unless kept in heated environment.

Edible Uses:
Young leaf buds – they are good either raw or cooked. The young leaves can also be eaten, they are mild and quite mucilaginous, making a pleasant addition to the salad bowl. Flowers – raw or cooked with other foods. They have a very mild flavour and are very mucilaginous. They make a very acceptable and beautiful addition to the salad bowl. Root – it is edible but very fibrousy[144]. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour.

Medicinal Uses:
Abortifacient.
Known Hazards: Some caution should be observed when using this plant because there is a report that it might be used to procure abortions. No further details are found.

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/Hibiscus_diversifolius
http://www.hibiscus.org/species/hdiversifolius.php
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hibiscus+diversifolius

Rhizophora mangle

Botanical Name : Rhizophora mangle
Family: Rhizophoraceae
Genus: Rhizophora
Species: R. mangle
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common Name: Red mangrove

Habitat : Red mangroves are found in subtropical and tropical areas in both hemispheres, extending to approximately 28°N to S latitude.(Tropical America from Bermuda through West Indies to Florida. Northern Mexico south to Brazil and Ecuador including Galapagos Islands and north-western Peru. Western Africa from Senegal to Nigeria; Angola, Melanesia, Polynesia (Little, 1983).) They thrive on coastlines in brackish water and in swampy salt marshes. Because they are well adapted to salt water, they thrive where many other plants fail and create their own ecosystems, the mangals. Red mangroves are often found near white mangroves (Laguncularia racemosa), black mangroves (Avicennia germinans), and buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus). Through stabilisation of their surroundings, mangroves create a community for other plants and animals (such as the mangrove crab). Though rooted in soil, mangrove roots are often submerged in water for several hours or on a permanent basis. The roots are usually sunk in a sand or clay base, which allows for some protection from the waves.

Rhizophora mangle grows on aerial prop roots, which arch above the water level, giving stands of this tree the characteristic “mangrove” appearance. It is a valuable plant in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas coastal ecosystems. In its native habitat it is threatened by invasive species such as the Brazilian pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius). The red mangrove itself is considered an invasive species in some locations, such as Hawaii, where it forms dense, monospecific thickets. R. mangle thickets, however, provide nesting and hunting habitat for a diverse array of organisms, including fish, birds, and crocodiles.

Description:
Red mangroves are easily distinguishable through their unique prop roots system and viviparous seeds. The prop roots of a red mangrove suspend it over the water, thereby giving it extra support and protection. They also help the tree to combat hypoxia by allowing it a direct intake of oxygen through its root structure.

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Tree 5–20(-30) m tall, 20–50(-70) cm in diameter with arching stilt roots 2–4.5 m high. Bark gray or gray-brown, smooth and thin on small trunks, becoming furrowed and thick; inner bark reddish or pinkish. Leaves opposite or elliptical, acute at tip and base, entire, without visible veins, thick, leathery, glabrous, 6–12 cm long, 2.5–6 cm wide, shiny green upper surface, yellow-green, black-dotted underneath. Petiole 1.5–2 cm long. Stipules paired, leaving ring scar. Flowers mostly 2–4 on forked stalk 4–7 cm long in leaf axil, pale yellow, ca 2 cm across. Bell-shaped hypanthium ca 5 mm long with 4 widely spreading, narrow, leathery, pale yellow sepals 12 mm long; petals 4, 1 cm long, curved downward, whitish but turning brown, cottony on inner side; stamens 8, stalkless. Ovary inferior conical, 2-celled with 2 ovules each cell; style slender; stigma 2-lobed. Berry, ovoid, 3 cm long, dark brown. Seed 1, viviparous, becoming cigar-shaped, to 25 cm long and 12 mm in diameter (Little, 1983). They are a darker shade of green on the tops than on the bottoms. The tree produces pale pink flowers in the spring.

Cultivation:
Since natural regeneration is so good, this species is not often cultivated, but it has been planted, for example, to stabilize the banks of brackish aquaculture enclosures. Direct seeding yields ca 90% survival in Rhizophora and Avicennia. Air-layering and the planting of propagules have both been successful in Florida (NAS, 1980a).
Chemical Constituents:
Per 100 g, the leaf is reported to contain, 10.7 g protein, 3.4 g fat, 77.0 g total carbohydrate, 14.5 g fiber, and 8.9 g ash (Duke and Atchley, 1983 in ed). Per 100 g, the leaf meal is reported to contain 5.6 g H2O, 7.5 g protein, 3.6 g fat, 59.3 g NFE, 13.9 g fiber, 10.1 g ash, 1.350 mg Ca, 140 mg P, 15.2 mg Fe, 650 mg K, 600 mg b-carotene equivalent, 88 mg Mg, 30 mg Mn, 3.5 mg Cu, 0.52 mg Co, 4.3 mg Zn, 54 mg I, 13 mg thiamine, 19 mg riboflavin, 240 mg niacin, 32 mg folic acid, 5.3 mg pantothenic acid, and 46.0 mg choline (Morton, 1965). I suspect that the vitamins are off by a magnitude or two. Something is wrong with the amino acid figures as well, but perhaps the proportions are worth repeating, arginine 1.1 : lysine 0.9 : methionine 0.421 cystine 0.301 : glycine 0.801. Another analysis of the leaf tablets shows, per 100 g, 790 mg S, 8.3 mg Cu, 920 mg Na, 8.3 mg B, 224 mg chlorophyll, 0.68 mg folic acid, 5.2 ppm cobalt, and 144 ppm F (Morton, 1965). Fresh leaves contain 65.6% moisture and ca 0.1% chlorophyll. Dry bark contains 10–40% tannin, aerial roots ca 10.5%

Medicinal Uses:
The red bark of the South American mangrove tree has been used for many years by the natives as a febrifuge but more recently it has been claimed that it is a specific in leprosy. They administer a beginning dose of one fluidrachm (3.75 mils) of the fluidextract twice a day which is gradually increased until the patient is taking a fluidounce and a half (45 mils) daily.

Folk Medicine:
Red mangrove is a folk remedy for angina, asthma, backache, boils, ciguatera, convulsions, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, elephantiasis, enuresis, epistaxis, eye ailments, fever, filariasis, hemoptysis, hemorrhage, inflammation, jaundice, leprosy, lesions, leucorrhea, malignancies, scrofula, short wind, sores, sorethroat, syphilis, tuberculosis, uterorrhagia, and wounds. One Cali doctor reported a cure of throat cancer, with gargles of mangrove bark The bark of the tree is boiled (1 handful of chopped bark in 1 gallon of water for 10 minutes) and used as a hot bath for very stubborn or serious sores, skin conditions, leprosy and swellings.

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Other Different Uses:
Timber of the mangrove is used for cabinetry, construction, piling, poles, posts, shipbuilding, and wharves. Duke (1972) notes that in Panama it is being studied for its telephone pole potential. In the Choco it is being exploited for the pulp industry. Cattle will eat mangrove leaf meal after CaCO3 has been added to raise the pH. Morton (1965) even describes a wine made from mangrove leaf and raisin.Amerindians ate the starchy interior of the fruit and hypocotyl during hard times (Morton, 1965). Dried hypocotyls have been smoked like cigars. Dried leaves have been used in Florida as a tobacco substitute. African children use the dried fruits as whistles (Irvine, 1961). In Costa Rica, concentrated bark extracts are used to stain floors and furniture, a habit shared with Africa’s Ashantis. Cuna Indians make fishing lines from the brown branches. Although some have speculated that Rhizophora plantings can be used to extend or preserve precarious shores. Hou resurrects a quote suggesting the contrary “mangrove follows the silting up of a coastal area rather than precedes and initiates the accumulation of mud or other soil…it establishes itself merely on accrescent coasts” (Hou, 1958). Morton (1965), however, notes that the American Sugar Company introduced it in 1902 as a soil retainer on the mud flats of Molokai. According to Garcia-Barriga (1975) Kino de Colombia, resin from the red mangrove, has several medicinal uses.

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.

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Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhizophora_mangle
https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Rhizophora_mangle.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

Guaiacum officinale

 

Botanical Name: Guaiacum officinale
Family: Zygophyllaceae
Genus: Guaiacum
Species: G. officinale
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zygophyllales
Synonym: Lignum Vitae.

Common Names: Roughbark lignum-vitae, Guaiacwood or Gaïacwood

Habitat: Guaiacum officinale is native to the Caribbean and the northern coast of South America.

Description:
Guaiacum officinale is a small tree. It grows very slowly , reaching about 10 m in height with a trunk diameter of 60 cm. The tree is essentially evergreen throughout most of its native range. The leaves are compound, 2.5 to 3 cm in length, and 2 cm wide. The blue flowers have five petals that yield a bright-yellow-orange fruit with red flesh and black seeds….click & see the pictures

The tree blooms with pretty rich blue flowers, the trunk is a greenish-brown colour, stem almost always crooked, bark furrowed; the wood is extraordinarily heavy, solid and dense, fibres cross-grained; pinnate leaves, oval obtuse; fruit obcordate capsule seeds solitary, hard, oblong. The old heart wood is dark green, the sap wood little in quantity and of a much lighter yellowish colour; the wood is largely used by turners, where weight is not an obstacle; it is very hard and durable, suitable for making black sheaves, pestles, pulleys, rulers, skittle boards, etc.; it has a slight acrid taste and is odourless, unless heated, when it emits an agreeable scent. The bark yields 1 per cent volatile oil of delicious fragrance.

Guaiacum officinale is the national flower of Jamaica

Parts Used: Resin, bark & wood.

Medicinal Uses:
The wood is very little used in medicine; it obtained a great reputation about the sixteenth century, when it was brought into notice as a cure for syphilis and other diseases; later on the resin obtained from the wood was introduced and now is greatly preferred, for medicinal use, to the wood. The wood is sometimes sold by chemists in the form of fine shavings, and as such called Lignum Vitae, which are turned green by exposure to the air, and bluish green by the action of nitric fumes. This test proves its genuiness.

It is a mild laxative and diuretic. For tonsilitis it is given in powdered form. Specially useful for rheumatoid arthritis, also in chronic rheumatism and gout, relieving the pain and inflammation between the attacks, and lessening their recurrence if doses are continued. It acts as an acrid stimulant, increasing heat of body and circulation; when the decoction is taken hot and the body is kept warm, it acts as a diaphoretic, and if cool as a diuretic. Also largely used for secondary syphilis, skin diseases and scrofula.

Other Uses:
The leaves are sometimes used as a substitute for soap.

Guaiacum Resin. This is obtained from both the above trees and is procured by raising one end of the log and firing it; this melts the resin, which runs out of a hole cut in the other end, and is then caught into vessels. The resin is found in round or ovoid tears; some are imported the size of walnuts, but usually it is in large blocks; these break easily; the fracture is clean and glassy, in thin pieces, colour yellow-reddish brown. The powder is grey, and must be kept in dark-coloured bottles, as exposure to the light and air soon turns it green.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guaiacum_officinale
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/guaiac42.html