Tag Archives: Hibiscus

Jungli Bhendi(Abelmoschus ficulneus)

Botanical name: Abelmoschus ficulneus
Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)
Synonyms: Hibiscus ficulneus
Common name: White Wild Musk Mallow, Native rosellaHindi: Jangli bhindi • Marathi: Ran bhendi • Tamil: Kattu-vendai • Telugu: Nella benda, Parupubenda

Habitat :Abelmoschus ficulneus occurs in tropical Africa (including Madagascar), Asia and Australia. In tropical Africa it has a scattered distribution. It occurs mostly in East Africa from Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia southward to Zambia and Mozambique. In West and Central Africa it is reported for Niger, northern Nigeria and Chad. Abelmoschus ficulneus occurs from near sea level up to 1350 m altitude in areas with a pronounced dry season, usually in grassland, bushland, fallows or as a weed in cultivated land. It also occurs in water-logged soils near rivers.

Description:
Annual herb up to 2 m tall; stem thick, glabrous to densely glandular pubescent. Leaves alternate, simple stellate hairy; stipules linear or filiform, 5–12 mm long, hirsute; petiole 2–21 cm long, hairy; blade orbicular, deeply 3–5-lobed, up to 16 cm × 16 cm, cordate at base, lobes subacute to broadly rounded, margin serrate, scabrous on both sides. Flowers bisexual, regular, solitary in leaf axils or in a terminal raceme; pedicel 0.5–2.0(–2.5) cm long, expanded and cup-shaped apically; epicalyx bracts 5–6, linear to lanceolate, up to 12 mm × 2 mm, rough, caducous before expansion of corolla; calyx 17–23 mm long, 5-toothed, tomentellous; petals 5, obovate, 2–3.5 cm × 1.5–3 cm, uniformly white, turning pink; stamens many, filaments united in a column 1–1.5 cm long, glabrous; ovary superior, 5-celled. Fruit an ellipsoid capsule 3–4 cm × 1.5–2 cm, puberulous to pubescent; valves acute to aristate with up to 3 mm long awns. Seeds globose, 3–4 mm in diameter, black, with concentric lines, glabrous or with stellate or long crisped hairs.

 

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Abelmoschus comprises about 6 species in Africa, Asia and Australia. It was previously included within Hibiscus. Species delimitation within the genus is based on number, dimensions and persistence of the involucral bracts, indumentum traits, and shape and dimensions of capsules. Abelmoschus ficulneus is possibly one of the parental species of the important vegetable Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench., the other being Abelmoschus tuberculatus Pal & H.B.Singh. Abelmoschus ficulneus is sometimes confused with Abelmoschus esculentus.

Constituents:
Fibre bundles in transverse section are squarish to radially elongated, widely spaced with cells compactly arranged. Reports on the quality of the fibre of Abelmoschus ficulneus from India are contradictory.

Per 100 g dry matter the seed contains 14 g fat and 20–25 g protein. The main fatty acids in the seed oil are: palmitic acid 27–32%, oleic acid 23–32% and linoleic acid 10–42%. The oil also contains malvalic acid and sterculic acid, which are known to cause abnormal physiological reactions in animals. The essential amino acid composition of the seed protein is: lysine 7.1%, methionine 2.8%, phenylalanine 6.8%, threonine 2.8%, valine 5.9%, leucine 6.5% and isoleucine 3.4%. Fruits are rich in vitamin C, with a content of 38 mg per 100 g fresh material.

Medicinal Uses:
Leaves crushed with salted water are used in Indonesia against diarrhoea. In India a decoction of the crushed fresh root is taken to treat calcium deficiency. In case of a scorpion bite, the root is crushed in a glass of water and drunk, while root paste is applied on the area of the sting.

Other Uses:
The stem yields a white fibre used for twine and light cordage. The green stem produces a mucilaginous extract which is an efficient clarifier of sugar-cane syrup. In Egypt the plant is cultivated as a vegetable. The fruits are edible, and in Sudan both the fruits and the leaves are eaten in times of food scarcity. The seeds are used in Arabia to improve the taste of coffee.

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/File:Abelmoschus_ficulneus_(Jungli_Bhendi)_in_Kawal,_AP_W_IMG_2214.jpg

http://database.prota.org/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpub.dll?ac=qbe_query&bu=http://database.prota.org/search.htm&tn=protab~1&qb0=and&qf0=Species+Code&qi0=Abelmoschus+ficulneus&rf=Webdisplay

http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/White%20Wild%20Musk%20Mallow.html

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Sthal-Padma (Land-Lotus )

Botanical Name :Hibiscus mutabilis
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales
Species: H. mutabilis
Common Name::  Sthal-Padma (Land-Lotus )
Other Names :Confederate rose or the cotton rosemallow

Habitat :E. Asia – China, Japan. Thickets in S. Japan .Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Description:
A decidious Shrub  or treelike in Zones 9 and 10, though it behaves more like a perennial further north  and is frost tender. It is in flower from August to October, and the seeds ripen from September to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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Flowers can be double or single and are 4 to 6 inches in diameter; they open white or pink, and change to deep red by evening. The ‘Rubra’ variety has red flowers. Single blooming flowers are generally cup-shaped. Bloom season usually lasts from summer through fall. Propagation by cuttings root easiest in early spring, but cuttings can be taken at almost any time. When it does not freeze, the Confederate rose can reach heights of 15 to 18 feet with a woody trunk; however, a much bushier, 5 or 6 feet plant is more typical and provides more flowering. These plants have a very fast growth rate. The Confederate rose was at one time very common in the area of the Confederate States of America, which is how its common name was derived. It grows well in full sun or partial shade, and prefers rich, well-drained soil.

Floral colour change
Flowers are white in the morning, turning pink during noon and red in the evening of the same day. Under laboratory conditions, colour change of petals was slower than that of flowers under outdoor conditions (Wong et al., 2009). Temperature may be an important factor affecting the rate of colour change as white flowers kept in the refrigerator remain white until they are taken out to warm, whereupon they slowly turn pink (Ng, 2006).

The red flowers remain on plants for several days before they abort (Wong et al., 2009). Weight of a single detached flower was 15.6 g when white, 12.7 g when pink and 11.0 g when red. Anthocyanin content of red flowers was 3 times that of pink flowers and 8 times that of white flowers. There was a significant increase in phenolic content with colour change. Overall ranking of AOP of H. mutabilis flowers was red > pink > white.

Subramanian and Nair (1970) postulated that anthocyanins in pink and red flowers of H. mutabilis are synthesized independently since there is no reduction in phenolic content. However, Lowry (1976) suggested that anthocyanins are formed through direct conversion from flavonols as they have structural similarities.

Cultivation

Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in full sun[200]. Prefers a warm but wet winter[260]. This species is not very hardy in Britain, it is frost-tender and top growth will be killed by even a slight frost. However, the roots are somewhat hardier and the plant can resprout from the base after a few degrees of frost[200, 260]. The plant can probably be grown outdoors in the mildest areas of the country especially if given a good mulch in the winter. It is widely cultivated in tropical and occasionally in temperate areas as an ornamental plant, there are many named varieties.

Propagation
Seed – sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly rapid. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If growing them as annuals, plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and protect them with a frame or cloche until they are growing away well. If hoping to grow them as perennials, then it is better to grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year and to plant them out in early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Overwinter them in a warm greenhouse and plant out after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.

Edible Uses: Rutin.

Leaves. The leaves contain rutin, but the report does not say what quantity. Root – it is edible but very fibrousy. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiphlogistic; Demulcent; Depurative; Expectorant; Febrifuge.

The leaves are anodyne, antidotal, demulcent, expectorant and refrigerant. With the flowers, they are applied to burns, swellings and other skin problems. The flowers are antiphlogistic, depurative, febrifuge, pulmonary and stimulant. A decoction is used in the treatment of lung ailments.

Leaves and flowers of H. mutabilis are emollient and cooling, and are used to treat swellings and skin infections (Dasuki, 2001). Mucilage from flowers and leaves is used by midwives to facilitate delivery during labour.

Other Uses
Fibre.
A fibre from the bark is used for making cords and rope.

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/Hibiscus_mutabilis

Sthal-Padma (Land-Lotus ) - Hibiscus mutabilis

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Sunset-Hibiscus

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Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name: Abelmoschus manihot – (L.)Medik
Family: Malvaceae
Synonyms: Hibiscus manihot – L.Abelmoschus mindanaensis Warb. ex Perkins, Abelmoschus pungens (Roxb.) Voigt, , Hibiscus pungens Roxb., Hibiscus tetraphyllus Roxb. ex Hornem
Common Name: Sunset-Hibiscus,Sunset Muskmallow,  or Hibiscus Manihot. Neka (Simbo), Bele (Fiji), Pele (Tonga, Tuvalu), Aibika, Island cabbage, Baera, Bush Spinach, Peli, Slippery cabbage (Solomon Is.), Bush cabbage, Slipery kabisAibika, Gedi, Degi, Lagikuway, Barakue, Glikway, Po-fai.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales
Genus: Abelmoschus
Species: A. manihot

Habitat :E. Asia – South-eastern Asia to Northern Australia.    Wasteland and hum,id rocky hillsides. In Nepal it grows at elevations of 700 – 1700 metres in rocky places with shrubs. Grasslands, near streams and margins of farm land.

Description:-
Perennial growing to 2m at a fast rate. A shallow rooted shrub reaching 1-7.5 m in height, with and erect, woody, branching stem, simple leaves and large, pale yellow flowers, 7-15 cm in diameter. . Harvest starts about 80-90 days after planting and the bush remains productive for at least a year. Shoots approximately 15 cm in length and with several leaves attached are harvested when the lower leaves have fully developed.
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It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavyEdible Uses.

Cultivation:-
Easily grown in any well-drained soil in a sunny position. Plants will tolerate occasional short-lived lows down to about -5°c so long as they are in a very well-drained soil. A perennial plant, it is generally tender in the temperate zone but can be grown outdoors as an annual, flowering well in its first year and setting seed[200, K]. Plants will occasionally overwinter in a cold greenhouse. It grows well in an ornamental vegetable garden.

Propagation:-
Seed – sow March in a warm greenhouse. The seed should germinate with two weeks, when it is large enough to handle prick it out into individual pots and plant out after the last expected frosts. The seed can also be sown in situ in late April in areas with warm summers.

Uses: Young leaves and stem tips are used as cooked green vegetables. It has medicinal properties and plants are also grown as ornamentals.

Edible Uses:-
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves.
Young leaves – raw or cooked. Sweet and mucilaginous[183]. Flower buds – raw or cooked.

Medicinal Uses :-
Emmenagogue; Odontalgic; Vulnerary.
The bark is said to be emmenagogue. A paste of the bark is used to treat wounds and cuts, with new paste being applied every 2 – 3 days for about 3 weeks. In Nepal the root juice is warmed and applied to sprains. The juice of the flowers is used to treat chronic bronchitis and toothache.

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Abelmoschus+manihot

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abelmoschus_manihot

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Abelmoschus_manihot

http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/cropView?id=290

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Abelmoschus Moschatus (Hibiscus Abelmoschus)

Botanical Name : Abelmoschus Moschatus
Family Name : Malvaceae
Common Name
: Ambrette Seeds, Hibiscus Abelmoschus, Musk Mallow, Musk Okra, Ornamental Okra, Annual Hibiscus, Yorka Okra, Galu Gasturi, Bamia Moschata,Tropical jewel hibiscus,Rose mallow seeds,Musk seeds,Muskdana,
syn. : Hibiscus abelmoschus L.
Order: Malvales
Genus: Abelmoschus
Species: A. moschatus
Kingdom: Plantae
Part Used : Seeds, Seeds Oil
Habitat : Native in india,Now cultivated in many places.

Description:Abelmoschus Moschatus is an aromatic and medicinal plant. The seeds have a sweet, flowery, heavy fragrance similar to that of musk. Despite its tropical origin the plant is frost hardy.

You may click to see the picture of  Abelmoschus Moschatus  

Abelmoschus Moschatus is a soft, herbaceous trailing plant to 2 metres in diameter with soft hairy stems. It has an underground tuber and dies back to this tuber in the dry season, emerging again with the first substantial rains of the wet season. It is a relative of the edible okra and tubers and foliage formed a source of food for aborigines.

Uses (General & Midicinal) : Ambrette seeds come from a tropical hibiscus. The seeds contain an oil with a fatty-musky, slightly ambery odour. Its most important odoriferous components are the macrocyclic musks 5(Z)-tetradecen-14-olide and 7(Z)-hexadecen-16-olide, also called ambrettolide . The oil was formerly highly appreciated in perfumery, but has now been largely replaced by synthetic musks. The seeds have a strong aroma of musk, and have been known as grani moschi. Relaxing and stimulating powers are attributed to them; and some cases, apparently authentic, have been recorded, in which they seemed to have a decided influence in casting out the poison of snakes. Possibly a further and more careful investigation of their properties, would show them to be an agreeable and useful article in cases where mild nervous prostration required a diffusible stimulant and relaxant. At present, they seem to be used for nothing beyond giving flavor to the coffee of the Arabs.Seeds are used as an inhalation in hoarseness and dryness of throat.Leaves and roots are used in gonorrhoea and venereal diseases.

Abelmoschus moschatus  seeds…..Internally as a digestive and breath-freshener .  Externally for cramps, poor circulation, and aching joints, and in aromatherapy for anxiety and depression (oil)

Musk mallow oil was once used as a substitute for animal musk; however this use is now mostly discontinued as it can cause photosensitivity.

It has many culinary uses. The seeds are added to coffee; unripe pods (“musk okra”), leaves and new shoots are eaten as vegetables.

Different parts of the plant have uses in traditional and complementary medicine, not all of which have been scientifically proven. It is used externally to relieve spasms of the digestive tract, cramp, poor circulation and aching joints. It is also considered an insecticide and an aphrodisiac.

In industry the root mucilage provides sizing for paper; tobacco is sometimes flavoured with the flowers.

 

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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.motherherbs.com/abelmoschus-moschatus.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abelmoschus_moschatus

http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-herbs/abelmoschus-oschatus.html

http://toptropicals.com/pics/garden/m1/Podarki3/Abelmoschus_L1MKh.jpg

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

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Okra

Okra growing in a Sub-urban garden

Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name:Abelmoschus esculentus, Hibiscus esculentus
Family: Malvaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malvales
Genus: Abelmoschus
synonym: Hibiscus esculentus L.

Other Names:
Okra, Okro, Ochro, Okoro, Quimgombo (Cuba), Quingumbo, Ladies Fingers,gombo, quingombo, Gombo, Kopi Arab, Kacang Bendi, Bhindi (S. Asia), Bendi (Malaysia), Bamia, Bamya or Bamieh (middle east), Gumbo (Southern USA), Quiabo, Quiabos (Portugal and Angola), okura (Japan), qiu kui (Taiwan),in India it is bhindi,eastern Mediterranean and Arab countries bamies.

Parts Used: Immature pods

Etymology, origin and distribution
The name “okra” is of West African origin . In various Bantu languages, okra is called “kingombo” or a variant thereof, and this is the origin of its name in Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and French. The Arabic “bemyah” is the basis of the names in the Middle East, the Balkans, Turkey, Greece, North Africa and Russia. In Southern Asia, its name is usually a variant of “bhindi” or “vendi.”

The species apparently originated in the Ethiopian Highlands, though the manner of distribution from there is undocumented. The Egyptians and Moors of the 12th and 13th centuries used the Arab word for the plant, suggesting that it had come from the east. The plant may thus have been taken across the Red Sea or the Bab-el-Mandeb strait to the Arabian Peninsula, rather than north across the Sahara. One of the earliest accounts is by a Spanish Moor who visited Egypt in 1216, who described the plant under cultivation by the locals who ate the tender, young pods with meal.

From Arabia, the plant spread around the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and eastward. The lack of a word for okra in the ancient languages of India suggests that it arrived there in the Common Era. The plant was introduced to the Americas by ships plying the Atlantic slave trade by 1658, when its presence was recorded in Brazil. It was further documented in Suriname in 1686. Okra may have been introduced to the southeastern North America in the early 18th century and gradually spread. It was being grown as far north as Philadelphia by 1748, while Thomas Jefferson noted that it was well established in Virginia by 1781. It was commonplace throughout the southern United States by 1800 and the first mention of different cultivars was in 1806

Description:
Okra is a member of the Mallow family, related to cotton, hibiscus and hollyhock. It has heart shaped leaves (one species is cultivated for its edible leaves), and large, yellow, hibiscus-like flowers.

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The species is an annual or perennial, growing to 2 m tall. The leaves are 10–20 cm long and broad, palmately lobed with 5–7 lobes. The flowers are 4–8 cm diameter, with five white to yellow petals, often with a red or purple spot at the base of each petal. The fruit is a capsule up to 18 cm long, containing numerous seeds.

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It is a tall-growing, warm-season, annual vegetable from the same family as hollyhock, rose of Sharon and hibiscus. The pods, when cut, exude a mucilaginous juice that is used to thicken stews (gumbo), and have a flavor somewhat like a cross between asparagus and eggplant.

Cultivation:
Abelmoschus esculentus is among the most heat- and drought-tolerant vegetable species in the world. It will tolerate poor soils with heavy clay and intermittent moisture. Severe frost can damage the pods.
It is an annual crop in the southern United States.

Recommended Varieties :
Annie Oakley (hybrid; 52 days to harvest; compact plant; extra tender pods)

Dwarf Green Long Pod (52 days; ribbed pods)

Clemson Spineless (56 days; AAS winner)

In cultivation, the seeds are soaked overnight prior to planting to a depth of 1-2 cm. Germination occurs between six days (soaked seeds) and three weeks. Seedlings require ample water. The seed pods rapidly become fibrous and woody and must be harvested within a week of the fruit being pollinated to be edible.

The products of the plant are mucilaginous, resulting in the characteristic “goo” when the seed pods are cooked. In order to avoid this effect, okra pods are often stir fried, so the moisture is cooked away, or paired with slightly acidic ingredients, such as citrus or tomatoes. The cooked leaves are also a powerful soup thickener.

Based on the rising experiences with its country cousin, kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus), okra could, at least in principle, have a future producing yet more things that are strange for a vegetable crop, including:

*Construction materials: Kenaf-blend panels are said to perform better than the present particleboard.

*Handicrafts: Kenaf fiber makes excellent mats, hats, baskets, and more.

*Forage: Chopping up the whole kenaf plant and feeding it to animals has proven successful.

*Fuel: Kenaf roots and stems burn fiercely.

Uses:
Abelmoschus esculentus is cultivated throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world for its fibrous fruits or pods containing round, white seeds. The fruits are harvested when immature and eaten as a vegetable.

The immature pods are used for soups, canning and stews or as a fried or boiled vegetable. The hibiscus like flowers and upright plant (3 to 6 feet or more in height) have ornamental value for backyard gardens.

A traditional food plant in Africa, this little-known vegetable has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.

In Egypt, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Yemen, and other parts of the eastern Mediterranean, okra is widely used in a thick stew made with vegetables and meat. In Indian cooking, it is sauteed or added to gravy-based preparations and is very popular in South India. In Caribbean islands okra is cooked up and eaten as soup, often with fish. In Haiti, it is cooked with rice and maize; it is also used as a sauce for meat. It became a popular vegetable in Japanese cuisine toward the end of the 20th century, served with soy sauce and katsuobushi or as tempura. It is used as a thickening agent in gumbo. Breaded, deep fried okra is served in the southern United States. The immature pods may also be pickled.

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Okra leaves may be cooked in a similar manner as the greens of beets or dandelions. The leaves are also eaten raw in salads. Okra seeds may be roasted and ground to form a non-caffeinated substitute for coffee. As imports were disrupted by the American Civil War in 1861, the Austin State Gazette noted, “An acre of okra will produce seed enough to furnish a plantation of fifty negroes with coffee in every way equal to that imported from Rio.

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Okra forms part of several regional “signature” dishes. Frango com quiabo (chicken with okra) is a Brazilian dish that is especially famous in the region of Minas Gerais. Gumbo, a hearty stew whose key ingredient is okra, is found throughout the Gulf Coast of the United States and in the South Carolina Lowcountry. The word “gumbo” is based on the Central Bantu word for okra, “kigombo”, via the Caribbean Spanish “guingambó” or “quimbombó”. It is also an expected ingredient in callaloo, a Caribbean dish and the national dish of Trinidad & Tobago. Okra is also enjoyed in Nigeria where okra soup (Draw soup) is a special delicacy with Garri(eba) or akpu.

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In Vietnam, okra is the important ingredient in the dish canh chua.

Mature okra is used to make rope and paper! (Avoid those old woody pods!).

Medicinal Uses:
Nutrition:
Okra is a good source of vitamin C and A, also B complex vitamins, iron and calcium. It is low in calories, a good source of dietary fiber, and is fat-free.

Okra oil is a pressed seed oil, extracted from the seeds of the okra. The greenish yellow edible oil has a pleasant taste and odor, and is high in unsaturated fats such as oleic acid and linoleic acid. The oil content of the seed is quite high at about 40%. Oil yields from okra crops are also high. At 794 kg/ha, the yield was exceeded only by that of sunflower oil in one trial.

Unspecified parts of the plant reportedly possess diuretic properties.

Contains male contraceptive gossypol.

According to Sylvia W. Zook, Ph.D. (nutritionist) Okra has several benefits.

1. The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize blood sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.

2. Okra’s mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver.

3. Okra helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative qualities. The okra fiber absorbs water and ensures bulk in stools. This helps prevent and improve constipation. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra’s mucilage soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic. Okra binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids). These, if not evacuated, will cause numerous health problems. Okra also assures easy passage out of waste from the body. Okra is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming, has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most unlike the OTC drugs.

4. Okra fiber is excellent for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics). This contributes to the health of the intestinal tract.

5. Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.

6. Okra is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber. It helps to neutralize acids, being very alkaline, and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.

7. Okra treats lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel.

8. In India, okra has been used successfully in experimental blood plasma replacements.

To retain most of okra’s nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should be cooked as little as possible, e.g. with low heat or lightly steamed. Some eat it raw.

Specific Ailments:-

Acid Reflux and Constipation
A person, suffering from constipation for the past 20 years and recently from acid reflux, started eating 6 pieces of Okra. Since then, has not taken any other medication. Now, his blood sugar has dropped from 135 to 98 and his cholesterol and acid reflux are also under control.

Asthma
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. This anti-inflammatory activity may curtail the development of asthma symptoms. A large preliminary study has shown that young children with asthma experience significantly less wheezing if they eat a diet high in fruits rich in vitamin C. 1/2 cup of cooked Okra contains over 13 mg of vitamin C.

Atherosclerosis
Diets high in insoluble fiber, such as those containing okra, are associated with protection against heart disease in both men and women.

Cancer
The insoluble fiber found in Okra helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colo-rectal cancer.

Capillary fragility
Eating plenty of flavonoid and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables such as okra helps to support the structure of capillaries.

Cataracts
1/2 cup of cooked okra contains 460 IU of vitamin A. Some studies have reported that eating more foods rich in beta-carotene or vitamin A was associated with a lower risk of cataracts.

Cholesterol
A study (JAMA July 23, 2003) showed that consuming a “dietary portfolio” of vegetarian foods lowered cholesterol nearly as well as the prescription drug lovastatin (Mevacor). The diet was rich in soluble fiber from oats, barley, psyllium, eggplant and okra. It used soy substitutes instead of meat and milk and included almonds and cholesterol-lowering margarine (such as Take Control) every day.

Depression and Lack of Energy
Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.

High homocysteine
A controlled trial showed that eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables containing folic acid, beta-carotene, and vitamin C effectively lowered homocysteine levels. Healthy people were assigned to either a diet containing a pound of fruits and vegetables per day, or to a diet containing 3 1/2 ounces (99g) of fruits and vegetables per day. After four weeks, those eating the higher amount of fruits and vegetables had an 11 percent lower homocysteine level compared to those eating the lower amount of fruits and vegetables. Okra is a storehouse of vitamins and folic acid.

Multiple sclerosis (MS)
In one survey, researchers gathered information from nearly 400 people (half with MS) over three years. They found that consumption of vegetable protein, fruit juice, and foods rich in vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, and potassium correlated with a decreased MS risk.

Click & read……..>To deliver drugs, try veggies

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/Okra#cite_note-tamu-1

http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/veggies/okra1.html

http://www.foodreference.com/html/artokra.html

http://www.holisticonline.com/herbal-med/_Herbs/h_okra.htm

Hibiscus -Bengali Jaba

English: Red Hibiscus 'Psyche' in Chennai (Tam...

English: Red Hibiscus ‘Psyche’ in Chennai (Tamil Nadu) during Spring. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Botanical Name :Hibiscus rosa-sinensis,
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Species: H. rosa-sinensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

 

Hibiscus belongs to the family Malvaceae and has a large genus of about 200–220 species of flowering plants. . The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, and woody shrubs and small trees.It is native to warm temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, and woody shrubs

Description:
The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to lanceolate, often with a toothed or lobed margin.The flowers are large, conspicuous, trumpet-shaped, with five or more petals, ranging from white to pink, red, purple or yellow, and from 4-15 cm broad.

 

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The fruit is a dry five-lobed capsule, containing several seeds in each lobe, which are released when the capsule splits open at maturity.

Medicinal Uses:
* Diet/weight Loss * Hypertension * Longevity Tonics * Nutrition
Properties: * Antibacterial * AntiCancer * Astringent * Cholagogue * Digestive * Diuretic * Emmenagogue * Refrigerant

Parts Used: flower, Calyx

Constituents:  plant acids including: allohydroxycitric-acid (hca), citric-acid, malic-acid, ascorbic-acid, hibiscus-acid- mucilage, pectin, anthocyanins, calcium, carbohydrates, chromium

Gardeners have always valued the hibiscus is for it’s beautiful flowers, but the plant has a very practical side as well. Traditional cultures world wide, from China to the Americas use hibiscus for medicinal teas and natural red dye. In Jamaica it is known as  sorrel, in Mexico agua de jamaica. The calyx of the hibiscus flowers is used to make a wine red tea that is naturally high in Vitamin C, a natural antioxidant, and gentle diuretic and laxative.

There are two good reasons to add hibiscus herbal tea to your daily routine beyond the great taste, regular consumption of hibiscus can lower blood pressure and help you shed a few pounds. Drinking hibiscus tea lowered blood pressure in a group of pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults, according to a study by the USDA.95 Hibiscus is a natural source of hydroxycitric acid (HCA, or hydroxycut), the same chemical used in many diet formulas. It also contains other obesity fighting chemicals such as chromium and ascorbic acid.

Other Uses:
The flowers are large and trumpet-shaped with five or more petals, ranging from white to pink, red, purple or yellow. Kenaf, species of Hibiscus is extensively used in paper making. While roselle is used as a vegetable and to make herbal teas and jams. The popular jamaican drink in Mexico is made from calyces of the roselle plant. In Egypt and Sudan, the roselle petals are used to make a tea called karkade.The Hibiscus is used as an offering to Goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha in Hindu worship. Hibiscus, especially white hibiscus is considered to have medicinal properties in the Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda. Roots are used to make various decoctions believed to cure various ailments.

Many species are grown for their showy flowers or used as landscape shrubs.

One species of Hibiscus, known as Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus), is extensively used in paper making. Another, roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is used as a vegetable and to make herbal teas and jams (especially in the Caribbean). In Latin America, the drink is known as jamaica (drink) and is quite popular. It is made from calyces of the roselle plant. In Egypt and Sudan, roselle petals make a tea named after the plant, karkade.

Hibiscus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Chionodes hibiscella, Hypercompe hambletoni, the Nutmeg moth, and the Turnip Moth.

The Hibiscus is used as an offering to Goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha in Hindu worship.

The bark of the hibiscus contains strong fibers. They can be obtained by letting the stripped bark sit in the sea in order to let the organic material rot away. In Polynesia these fibers (fau, pūrau) are used for making grass skirts. They have also been known to be used to make wigs.

 

The natives of southern India uses the Red hibiscus- the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis for hair care purposes. The red flower and leaves, extracts of which can be applied on hair to tackle hair-fall and dandruff on the scalp. It is used to make hair protective oils. A simple application involves soaking the leaves and flowers in water and using a wet grinder to make a thick paste, and used as a natural shampoo.

Dried hibiscus is edible, and is often a delicacy in Mexico.

Click for Care and Cultivation of Hibiscus Plants

Questions & Answers on: Hibiscus plant

National symbol:
The Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (Bunga Raya or “Chinese hibiscus”) is the national flower of Malaysia.

The ma‘o hau hele (Hibiscus brackenridgei) is the state flower of Hawai‘i.

The Hibiscus syriacus (Mugunghwa or “Rose of Sharon”) is the national flower of South Korea.

The Native Hibiscus is a national emblem of the Stolen Generation of indigenous peoples in Australia. Its colour denotes compassion and spiritual healing.

Species:
In temperate zones, probably the most commonly grown ornamental species is Hibiscus syriacus, the common garden Hibiscus, also known in some areas as the “Rose of Althea” or “Rose of Sharon” (but not to be confused with the unrelated Hypericum calycinum, also called “Rose of Sharon”). In tropical and subtropical areas, the Chinese hibiscus (H. rosa-sinensis), with its many showy hybrids, is the most popular hibiscus

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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/Hibiscus

http://www.bangalinet.com/bengal_plants.htm

http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail391.php

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Althea (Althea officinalis)/Mallow

Botanical Name: Althaea officinalis
Family: Mallow (Malvaceae)
Common Name: Marshmallow,Althaea officinalis,Althaea,althea,Althea Root,Althaeae folium,althaea leaf, Althaea officinalis L. var robusta,althaeae radi,althaea radix,Althea, althea leaf, althea root, Altheia, Apothekerstockmalve (German),bismalva (Italian), buonvischio (Italian), cheeses, Eibischwurzel (German),Guimauve (French), gul hatem (Turkish), Herba Malvae, hitmi (Turkish),Hock Herb,kitmi (Turkish),march mallow,Marsh mallow,Mortification Root,Mallards,Sweetweed,sweet weed, mallards, guimauve, mortification plant,Malvaceae (family), malvacioni (Italian), malvavisco (Spanish), malve, mucilage, Racine De Guimauve, sweet weed, witte malve, Schloss Tea,schloss tea,Wymote, wymote
Synonyms and Common names: mallards, schloss tea, mortification root, sweet weed, hock herb, wymote, mauls, cheeses (after the flat, round fruit).German = Malve, French = Guimauve, Spanish = Malvavisco, Italian = Malvavisce
Other Names: Mallards, Marshmallow, Schloss Tea, Mortification Root,
Sweet Weed, Hock Herb, Wymote, Mauls, Cheeses.Jaba
Flowers: June – September (In the second year.)
Parts Used: Roots, leaves, and flowers.

Habitat: Althea’s original habitat was in salty marshes or wet, brackish uncultivated ground in southern Europe, but it is now established throughout southern Britain and Europe, Australia and eastern North America. It is cultivated in Belgium, France and Germany.

Description:
Mallows are perennial and annual growing wild along road sides and in waste places throughout most of North America and in cultivation. Most are native and easily cultivated in well drained soil and likes full sun to partial shade. In Low mallow the stem is more like a vine but has upright leaves and flowers. Fruits are round and flat and look like a sliced round cheese, hence the name cheeses or cheese plant. Low mallow has rounded, 5 to 7 lobed leaves that have rounded or scalloped teeth along the edge and long leaf stems. The leaves of Marsh mallow are more pointed and heart shaped, stems are upright and grow to about 4 feet. Both of these plants are covered with a fine down or hair. Rose mallow is a much larger plant with larger flowers and leaves are slightly to 3 lobes, not covered with down. The flowers in all are white to light purple or pink (dark purple center in rose mallow) with five petals and grow from the leaf axils (the point the leaf stalk attaches to the stem). Blooming from May to November. Low Mallow is gathered while in full bloom the above ground plant (best used fresh), collect roots of Marsh mallow in fall (used fresh or dried). Gather flowers, leaves and young buds from Rose mallow in bloom and roots in the fall.

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The leaves are simple and alternately arranged with toothed margins.
The flowers are large and trumpet-shaped with five or more petals, ranging from white to pink, red, purple or yellow. Kenaf, species of Hibiscus is extensively used in paper making. While roselle is used as a vegetable and to make herbal teas and jams. The popular jamaican drink in Mexico is made from calyces of the roselle plant. In Egypt and Sudan, the roselle petals are used to make a tea called karkade.The Hibiscus is used as an offering to Goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha in Hindu worship. Hibiscus, especially white hibiscus is considered to have medicinal properties in the Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda. Roots are used to make various decoctions believed to cure various ailments.

Althea is an erect perennial herb, reaching a height of up to 2 to 4 feet. The leaves are stalked, three to five lobed, pale green, and velvety with stellate gray hairs. In the first year it grows a non-flowering stem. The light red to pale pink or white flowers appear from June to September in the second year. Red united stamens grow on short stalks in the upper axils. The sepals are ovate, curving over the hairy fruit. The flower petals are sometimes shallowly notched, and have purplish anthers.

History: The name Althea is derived from the Greek Altho, meaning to heal, and its medicinal qualities have been recognized since Ancient Egyptian times. Theophrastus reported that the root could be added to sweet wine to relieve coughs. Horace and Martial mentioned the laxative properties of the leaves and root; and Pliny wrote that “whosoever shall take a spoonful of the Mallows shall that day be free from all diseases that may come to him”. Marshmallow is mentioned in the Bible and in Arabic and Chinese history as a valuable food during times of famine.

Collection: The leaves are collected in summer during the flowering period. The root is unearthed in late autumn from plants which are at least two years old; it should be cleaned of root fibres and cork and dried immediately

Constituents and Phytochemicals: Asparagin, mucilage, pictin, fixed oil, sugar, starch, salts.Marshmallow root contains about 37% starch, 11-35% mucilage(consisting largely of xylan and glucoseans), 11% pectin, flavonoid glycosides, phenolic acids, sucrose,asparagine,oil,pectin,tannins,sugar,phosphate of lime, glutinous matter,cellulose,polysaccharides, phytosterols, fatty acid esters and a lecithin.

Mucilage, l8-35%; consisting of a number of polysaccharides; one is composed of L-rhamnose, D-galactose, D-galacturonic acid and D-glucuronic acid in the ratio 3:2:3:3, another a highly branched L-arabifurranan, another a trisaccharide structural unit and one with a high proportion of uronic acid units.

The constituents in marshmallow are large carbohydrate (sugar) molecules which make up mucilage. This smooth, slippery substance can soothe and protect irritated mucous membranes. Although marshmallow has primarily been used for the respiratory and digestive tracts, its high mucilage content may also provide some relief for the urinary tract and skin.

Marshmallow leaves contains:Up to 10% mucilage,including a low molecular weight D-glucan.Flavanoids such a kaempferol, quercitin and diosmetin glucosides.Scopoletin, a coumarin.Polyphenolic acids, including syringic, caffeic, salicyclic, vanillic, p-coumaric etc.

General Properties
The flowers are edible and make an attractive addition to a salad. The leaves and roots abound in mucilage, Okra is also a family member. See more recipes for Marshmallow below. The proven active constituents in these plants are Asparagine, Althein, Ascorbic-acid, flavonol glycosides (including gossypin-3-sulfate), Malvin, Pectin, Phenolic-acids, Quercetin, Salicylic-acid, and Sucose.
Medicinal Uses and Indications:

Medicinal virtues:Bodily Influence of Marshmallow Root

Pessional herbalists may recommend marshmallow for the following health problems based on its long history of use in traditional healing systems, as well as results of laboratory and animal studies.

The primary use of Marshmallow herb is to relieve digestive and respiratory problems, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, and asthma, but is also recommended for Crohn’s disease or ulcers in reducing discomfort, diarrhea, fluid retention, and skin inflammation.

Asthma,Antitussive;Bronchitis,Common cold/sore throat ,Cough Demulcent;Crohn’s disease,Diuretic;Diarrhea,Emollient; Laxative;Gastritis,Odontalgic,Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD),Indigestion,Pap smear (abnormal),Peptic ulcer,Ulcerative colitis.

Astringent: This herb has a constricting or binding effect, for example: one that checks hemorrhages or secretions by coagulation of proteins on a soft surface.
Cooling soother to mucous membranes. For bronchitis and irritating coughs. externally useful in varicose veins.
Demulcent: This herb softens and soothes damaged or inflamed surfaces such as the gastric mucous membranes.
Diuretic: This herb increases the secretion and flow of urine.
Eases gastrointestinal irritation.
Emollient: This herb softens and soothes inflamed tissue; softens and protects the skin.
Energetic Functions: Transforms hot phlegm, Nourishes Lung yin, Tonifies Stomach yin and clears Stomach fire, Clears damp heat in the lower burner, Promotes lactation, Stops bleeding.
Galactogogue: This herb promotes the flow of milk.
Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.May reduce certain kinds of inflammation, such as that of the urinary tract.
Intestines:A Gentle Supportive Agent to the Intestines.
Laxative: This herb stimulates bowel movements.
Lithotriptic: This herb dissolves urinary calculi (stones).
May reduce certain kinds of inflammation, such as that of the urinary tract.
Mucilant: This herb protects mucous membranes and inflamed tissues.
Mucosal Tissue:Promotes Healthy Mucosal Tissue.
Nutritive: This herb helps with the process of assimilating food and has the property of nourishing.
Stomach ulcers.
Strengthens the mucous membranes as well as the respiratory system.
Supports the kidneys and bladder.
Tonic: This herb restores, nourishes, and supports the entire body; it exerts a gently strengthening effect on the body
Weight loss aid (marshmallow swells with fluid and gives a sense of fullness).
Western Functions: Demulcent, nutritive, alterative,diuretic, emollient, vulnerary, laxative
Wound healing.
Vulnerary: This herb assists in the healing of wounds by protecting against infection and stimulating cell growth

Traditional Applications in Herbal Medicine:
Marshmallow has been used in traditional European medicines for more than two thousand years. Its therapeutic use was first recorded in the ninth century B.C.E.; it was widely used in Greek medicine. Eaten as food, its non-absorbable polysaccharides coat mucous membranes and absorb toxins.

Valuable and handsome herb with a long tradition of use in medicine and cosmetics, and as a vegetable and confection. Cultivated by the Romans.Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) originated in central Asia but now has spread westward to Europe and eastward to China. The plant has been used since the time of the Romans when it was a vegetable delicacy. The leaves, root, and flowers are all used medicinally. Marshmallow contains mucilage polysaccharides. Mucilage can inhibit mucociliary transport, stimulate phagocytosis, suppress cough, increase the anti-inflammatory effects of desamethasone, and have hypoglycemic activity. Mucilage may also have antimicrobial, spasmolytic, antisecretory, diuretic, and wound-healing effects. In traditional folk medicines, marshmallow has been used for broncitis, cough, as well as inflammation of the mouth, throat, urinary tract, skin, and digestive system.

Even though Marshmallow herb was the inspiration behind sweet campfire treats, its medicinal uses date back to ancient Grecian times. Hippocrates used it for the treatment of bruises and blood loss. Subsequent Roman physicians recommended it for toothaches, insect bites, chilblains, and irritated skin. Medieval European herbalists also used Marshmallow for coughs, sore throats, indigestion, and diarrhea. Today Marshmallow is used to aid the body in expelling excess fluid and mucus, and soothes and heals skin and mucous membranes.

Marshmallow (Althea officinalis):the herb, not the white puffy confection roasted over a campfire,has been used for centuries as both a food and a medicine. Its botanical name comes from the Greek word “altho,” which means “to cure.” The Romans, Chinese, Egyptians, and Syrians used marshmallow as a source of food, while the Arabs made poultices from its leaves and applied this to the skin to reduce inflammation. The mucilage, or gummy secretion, in the leaves and particularly the root is helpful for soothing sore throats, chapped skin, and minor wounds.

The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Abscesses (topical), antidote to poisons, aphrodisiac, arthritis, bee stings, boils (topical), bronchitis, bruises (topical), burns (topical), cancer, chilblains, colitis, congestion, constipation, cough, Crohn’s disease, cystitis, demulcent, dermatitis (topical), diarrhea, diuretic, diverticulitis, duodenal ulcer, emollient, enteritis, expectorant, gastroenteritis, gum health, inflammation of the small intestine, immunostimulant, impotence, indigestion, inflammation, insect bites, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney stones, laxative, minor wounds, mouthwash, mucilage, muscular pain, pap smear (abnormal), peptic ulcer disease, polyuria, soothing agent, sore throat, sprains, skin ulcers (topical), toothache, ulcerative colitis, urethritis, urinary tract infection, urinary tract irritation, varicose ulcers (topical), vomiting, whitening agent, whooping cough, wound healing.

Demulcent, emmolient, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, mucilaginous.
Its abundance of mucilage makes Marshmallow an excellent demulcent that is indicated wherever such an action is called for. The roots have been used for the digestive system whilst the leaves are used for the urinary system and lungs. All inflammatory conditions of the gastro-intestina tract will benefit from its use, e.g. inflammations of the mouth, gastritis, peptic ulceration, colitis etc.. The leaves help in cystitis, urethritis and urinary gravel as well as bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, irritating coughs.
Externally the herb is often used in drawing ointments for abscesses and boils or as an emollient for varicose veins and ulcers.
For many years marshmallow plants have been used to relieve coughs and sore throats, as well as for chapped skin and minor wounds.
Combinations : As one of the most effective and safest demulcents, it may be used in any situation where this action is appropriate.
Combinations: For pulmonary problems, Althaea herba may be combined with Marrubium, Glycyrrhiza and/or Tussilago. In ulcerative conditions, both internal or external, Althaea radix may be combined with Symphytum. It may also be used with Glycyrrhiza, Marrubium and/or Lobelia for coughs, and with Ulmus as a poultice or ointment for wounds, ulcers, boils and eczema.

Marshmallow (not to be confused with confectionery marshmallows, which are a product of the modern food industry) has long been used to treat coughs and sore throats.Because of its high mucilage content, this plant is soothing and healing to inflamed mucous membranes. Additionally, it was used to treat chapped skin, chilblains, and even minor wounds.

Althaea root is used primarily for digestive problems and topically on the skin, whilst the leaf is used particularly to treat the lungs and the urinary system, although both root and leaf have similar properties.

The leaves and roots boiled in water, with Parsley or Fennel roots and applied warm to the belly, helps to open the body and cool hot agues. It gives abundance of milk to nursing mothers. The decoction of the seed in milk or wine helps pleurisy and other diseases of the chest and lungs.

The juice drank in wine helps women to a speedy and easy delivery. The leaves bruised and laid to the eyes with a little honey, takes away the imposthumations of them. For stings of bees or wasps, the leaves bruised and rubbed into the place will take away the pain, inflammation and swelling.

A poultice made of the leaves with some Bean or Barley-flour, and Oil of Roses, is an especial remedy against all hard tumours and inflammations, imposthumes, or swellings of the testicles. The juice boiled in oil takes away roughness of the skin, scurf or dry scabs in the head. An excellent gargle to heal sore throat or mouth is made by boiling the flowers in oil or water and adding a little honey and Alum. The roots boiled in wine or honeyed water and drank is of special use for coughs, hoarseness, shortness of breath and wheezing.

The roots and seeds boiled in wine or water are profitable against ruptures, cramps or convulsions of the sinews, and boiled in white wine for kernels that rise behind the ears, and inflammations or swellings in women’s breasts. The mucilage of the roots, with Linseed and Fenugreek, is much used in poultices, ointments and plasters to mollify and digest hard swellings and to ease pains in any part of the body.

History and folklore:
Used in 200 Bc under the Greek name Althea of “to heal”.
The family name, Malvaceae comes from the Greek word malake or “soft” referring to the soft mucilaginous character of the plant.
Theophrastus (c. 372-286 BC) reported that it was taken in sweet wine for coughs.
Greek physician Hippocrates described the value of althea in the treatment of wounds.
Dioscorides, another Greek physician, prescribed a vinegar infusion as a cure for toothaches and recommended a preparation of the seeds to soothe insect stings.
Roman poet Horace, claimed the root and leaves had laxative properties.
Renaissance period herbalists used althea for sore throats, stomach problems, gonorrhea, leukorrhea, and as a gargle for infections of the mouth.
In medieval times if a person was accused of something, to prove innocence the accused had to hold a red-hot iron bar. He/she was considered innocent if the person suffered no serious burns. Accounts from the Middle Ages state that anointing the palms with an ointment made from marshmallow would allow the accused, innocent or guilty, to remain unburned.
“Whosoever shall take a spoonful of the Mallows shall that day be free from all diseases that may come to him.”Pliny the Elder
The common name Mortification Plant records the use of althea for treating wounds.
Use a mallow ointment to protect against evil and cast out demons.
Marshmallow creme derives its name from the edible use of the plants.
Mallows are cited in the book of Job in the Bible as used in times of famine by the Egyptians.
Root of marshmallow used to create the sweet marshmallow candies.

The whole plant, particularly the root, abounds with a mild mucilage, which is emollient to a much greater degree than the common Mallow. The generic name, Althaea, is derived from the Greek, altho (to cure), from its healing properties. The name of the order, Malvaceae, is derived from the Greek, malake (soft), from the special qualities of the Mallows in softening and healing.

Most of the Mallows have been used as food, and are mentioned by early classic writers in this connexion. Mallow was an esculent vegetable among the Romans, a dish of Marsh Mallow was one of their delicacies.

The Chinese use some sort of Mallow in their food, and Prosper Alpinus stated (in 1592) that a plant of the Mallow kind was eaten by the Egyptians. Many of the poorer inhabitants of Syria, especially the Fellahs, Greeks and Armenians, subsist for weeks on herbs, of which Marsh Mallow is one of the most common. When boiled first and fried with onions and butter, the roots are said to form a palatable dish, and in times of scarcity consequent upon the failure of the crops, this plant, which fortunately grows there in great abundance, is much collected for food.

In France, the young tops and tender leaves of Marsh Mallow are eaten uncooked, in spring salads, for their property in stimulating the kidneys, a syrup being made from the roots for the same purpose.

This plant is native to Europe and parts of Asia and is part of the Malvaceae family. The garden varieties are called HollyHocks. The whole plant contains a tacky, slimy substance known as mucilage but the root of 2-3 year old plants contains the highest percentage, older woody roots were considered ¡°valueless¡±. The root was dried, sliced into discs sold and then powdered to support healthy gastrointestinal function where inflammation and irritation were present. It was used to support all mucosal membranes especially in the bronchioles, mouth, and intestines. It has also been used as an antiputrifaecant, which means to help aid the removal of putrifying wastes from the intestines. In the authors experience it has proven effective given powdered in warm water to support gentle passing of urinary calculi.

Therapeutics and Pharmacology:
Marshmallow is helpful in support of respiratory irritation, cuts, wounds, and gastric ulcers. It is also an immune booster. Marshmallow, a mild herb, has been used as a food as well as a medicine for more than 2,000 years. Dioscorides, Pliny the Elder, Horace, Virgil and Culpepper have all written about Marshmallow and its virtues. Inflammations whether internal or external were treated with Marshmallow. Almost all mucous membrane afflictions have, at one time or another, been treated with this plant.

Anti-Inflammatories: Marshmallow (Althaea Officinalis) soothes inflamed tissues in the digestive system, it may also help with gastrointestinal upset, lung congestion, dry coughs, sore throat, colitis, and urinary tract infections.

The root is indicated in all inflammations of the digestive tract including mouth ulcers, hiatus hernia, gastritis, peptic ulcer, enteritis and colitis. Althaea contains large amounts of mucilage, making it an excellent demulcent which coats the gastrointestinal mucosa, particularly in the mouth and pharynx, thus protecting them from local irritation, and it counters excess stomach acid. It is also mildly laxative. Externally, the root is indicated in varicose veins and ulcers as well as in abscesses and boils, and it is used in cosmetics for weather-damaged skin. The peeled root may be given to teething babies to chew on. In vivo experiments have shown the anti-inflammatory effect of an ointment containing 20% aqueous root extract against skin irritation. In vitro experiments have shown a cold macerate of the root to inhibit mucociliary transport, while extracts of the root stimulate phagocytosis and the release of oxygen radicals and leukotrienes from human neutrophils. Potential anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects have also been reported. Antimicrobial activity towards Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris and Staphylococcus aureus has been documented.

Antitussive; Demulcent; Diuretic; Emollient; Laxative; Odontalgic.: Marsh mallow is a very useful household medicinal herb. Its soothing demulcent properties make it very effective in treating inflammations and irritations of the mucous membranes such as the alimentary canal, the urinary and the respiratory organs. The root counters excess stomach acid, peptic ulceration and gastritis. It is also applied externally to bruises, sprains, aching muscles, insect bites, skin inflammations, splinters etc. The whole plant, but especially the root, is antitussive, demulcent, diuretic, highly emollient, slightly laxative and odontalgic. An infusion of the leaves is used to treat cystitis and frequent urination. The leaves are harvested in August when the plant is just coming into flower and can be dried for later use. The root can be used in an ointment for treating boils and abscesses. The root is best harvested in the autumn, preferably from 2 year old plants, and is dried for later use.

Anti-infective: Marshmallow may also have mild anti-infective and immune-boosting properties, but further study is needed to confirm these possible effects.

Marshmallow Root is known for its demulcent properties due to its content of muco-polysaccharides, often referred to as mucilage. It has anti-tussive properties as well. Marshmallow, like most demulcents, are very soothing to inflamed mucus membrane linings of the digestive tract, especially for gastritis and ulcers.

Bronchitis, respiratory catarrh and irritating coughs:
The leaf is an effective treatment for bronchitis, respiratory catarrh and irritating coughs. Its demulcent action helps to relieve dry coughs, bronchial asthma and pleurisy and soothes sore throats. Taken as a warm infusion, the leaves help to relieve cystitis and urinary frequency.

Clears damp heat in the lower burner: Cystitis, UTI,Enteritis, dysentery.

Cough and sore throat: Marshmallow Root’s high mucilage content makes it an appropriate supplement for the respiratory system and, thus, it aids the body in expelling excess fluid and mucus and will soothe the mucous membranes and a dry, hacking cough. It is an oldtime remedy for bladder infection, digestive upsets, fluid retention, intestinal disorders, kidney problems, sinusitis and sore throat.

Connective tissue protection:i
nhibitory effect in hyaluronidase,reducing skin aging and diminishing inflammation. Marshmallow also has an inhibitory effect in hyaluronidase, which is an enzymatic action in which the hyaluronic acid and other muco-polysaccharides in the connective tissue are degraded.An inhibition and reduction in hyaluronidase leads to better moisture levels in the skin as well as boosting the dermal structure and improving wound healing processes, while at the same time reducing skin aging and diminishing inflammation.

Chronic Constipation: Eases gastrointestinal irritation.”Amazing results I have been suffering from constipation and bloating/ gas for a decade or more, due to pain meds and a sluggish colon (lazy bowel). I’ve had to take increasing amounts of laxatives with very little benefit. I tried 1 tsp in water a couple of evenings ago, and within 4 hrs, was able to easily empty at least 3 feet of stool from my colon ! I have since been taking the same dose morning and night with positive effect. My belly is flatter and I have very little gas now. I’m very excited about this simple solution to years of agony! I will keep you informed over the longer term, how my condition improves.”

Cystitis and hiatus hernia: The root is of value to treat cystitis and hiatus hernia.

Demulcent and emollient properties: The great demulcent and emollient properties of Marsh Mallow make it useful in inflammation and irritation of the alimentary canal, and of the urinary and respiratory organs. The dry roots boiled in water give out half their weight of a gummy matter like starch. Decoctions of the plant, especially of the root, are very useful where the natural mucus has been abraded from the coats of the intestines, The decoction can be made by adding 5 pints of water to 1/4 lb. of dried root, boiling down to 3 pints and straining: it should not be made too thick and viscid. It is excellent in painful complaints of the urinary organs, exerting a relaxing effect upon the passages, as well as acting curatively. This decoction is also effective in curing bruises, sprains or any ache in the muscles or sinews. In haemorrhage from the urinary organs and in dysentery, it has been recommended to use the powdered root boiled in milk. The action of Marsh Mallow root upon the bowels is unaccompanied by any astringency.

Detoxifying: Helps to remove the hardened phelgm in the intestinal tract as well as other parts of the body.A powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant for the whole body, especially the gastrointestinal tract.

Digestive problems: Marshmellow root is an important herb for anyone with digestive problems. Marshmellow root is a demulcent which means it can sooth irritated or damaged tissues within the body. Torn ligaments, an irritated bowel lining, strained muscles – these can all benefit from incorporating marshmallow root into your regiman.

Immune system: Marshmallow is also believed to have a limited ability to fight infection and boost the immune system.Marshmallow stimulates the production of white blood cells and enhances the immune system.marshmallow are mucilages which soothe irritated tissue such as mucous membranes,absorb irritants from the digestive tract. Marshmallow enhances white blood cells which feed on disease microbes.Marshmallow not only has good anti-inflammatory properties, but also seem to boost the immunity at cellular level.

Inflammatory skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis): Marshmallow extracts have traditionally been used on the skin to treat inflammation. Several laboratory experiments, mostly in the 1960s, reported marshmallow to have anti-inflammatory activity. There was one human research study done in 1968. Safety, dosing, and effectiveness compared to other anti-inflammatory agents have not been examined.

Inflammation and ulceration of the digestive tract: Marshmallow leaf is used internally to treat inflammation and ulceration of the digestive tract, oral and pharyngeal mucosa with associated dry cough. It relieves irritation of the mucus membranes of the mouth, throat and gastrointestinal tract and helps with respiratory complaints including bronchitis and asthma.

Irritated skin: Topically, marshmallow is used to soothe and soften irritated skin. A commercial ointment that contains up to 10% of powdered marshmallow leaf or root may be applied to chapped skin or insect bites.

Kidney Healing:
Marshmallow used a lot in many formula healing to the kidneys, a very soothing herb, high in vitamin A.Supports the kidneys and bladder.

Lactation Promoting: Insufficient breast milk

Mucilage-containing substances: Marshmallow root and marshmallow leaf both contain significant percentages of mucilage, a natural gummy substance that does not dissolve in water. Like other mucilage-containing substances, marshmallow swells up and becomes slick when it is exposed to fluids. The resulting slippery material coats the linings of the mouth, throat, and stomach to relieve irritation and control coughing associated with respiratory or stomach conditions. For example, marshmallow has been used to treat sore throats and to alleviate heartburn.

Mucosal tissue protection: The polysaccharides form a protective film over inflamed and irritated mucosal tissue.

Nourishes Lung yin: Tuberculosis, pertussis, pneumonia, dry cough, night sweats, five heart heat, small rapid pulse.

Nourishes Stomach yin and clears Stomach fire: Acid reflux, large appetite, mouth ulcers, stomatitis, gingivitis, night sweats, constipation.

Pet urinary tract problems: Marshmellow root is an important herb for anyone with digestive problems. Marshmellow root is a demulcent which means it can sooth irritated or damaged tissues within the body. Torn ligaments, an irritated bowel lining, strained muscles – these can all benefit from incorporating marshmallow root into your regiman.Some friends use marshmallow root for my cat with urinary tract problems.”I have the whole root and crush it to powder with a morter and pestal (I do suggest buying the powder to save time). I take a pinch and sprinkle this in his meal every morning and evening. He has been plagued mostly by urinary crystals which can cause an irritated bladder lining, so the marshmallow root may help this inflammation decrease and become less painful.”

Pill excipient: Althaea extract has been used as a pill excipient. Marshmallow has also been used as an aid to radiologic examination of the esophagus.

Note: Not to be confused with mallow leaf and mallow flower. Not to be confused with confectionery marshmallows; although confectionery marshmallows were once made from the Althaea officinalis plant, they now contain mostly sugar.

Respiratory system: Strengthens the mucous membranes as well as the respiratory system.Marshmallow’s (some people spell it marshmellow) high mucilage content and demulcent and emollient properties make it a soothing supplement for an irritated respiratory system.

Respiratory infections treatment: Marshmallow is an excellent choice for dry hacking coughs that accompany respiratory infections due to its soothing effects on the respiratory tract mucosa. It can also be helpful for the pain associated with mucous membrane inflammation such as that which accompanies sore throats. Its main traditional uses include coughs and sore throats.Marshmallow contains an abundance of mucilage to which its soothing effects may be ascribed. Mucilage-containing herbs also have excellent effects on the gastrointestinal mucosa as well because of this action.Mucilage polysaccharides form a protective layer on top of the mucous membranes, causing a soothing and protective effect.Interestingly, mucilage seems to inhibit mucociliary transport; this may be part of how mucilage can also inhibit coughs as well.Mucilage is also of benefit in respiratory infections because of its antimicrobial, spasmolytic, wound healing and other effects; all of this contributes towards the healing and recovery of the lungs.Marshmallow has little if any known toxicity and is therefore considered very safe.

Skin problems: It is used externally for localized irritations, boils, abscesses, burns, sores, ulcers and minor injuries.It helps to minimize skin inflammatory processes and is therefore also useful for fighting any skin degeneration, as well as cellular oxidation.It has very beneficial effects on skin problems and diseases and helps in healing wounds, burns and irritation.

Soothing effect: Useful whenever a soothing effect is needed, marshmallow protects and soothes the mucous membranes. The root counters excess stomach acid, peptic ulceration, and gastritis. Marshmallow is also mildly laxative and beneficial for many intestinal problems, including regional ileitis, colitis, diverticulitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Taken as a warm infusion, the leaves treat cystitis and frequent urination. Marshmallow’s demulcent qualities bring relief to dry coughs, bronchial asthma, bronchial congestion, and pleurisy. The flowers, crushed fresh or in a warm infusion, are applied to help soothe inflamed skin. The root is used in an ointment for boils and abscesses, and in a mouthwash for inflammation. The peeled root of marshmallow may be given as a chewstick to teething babies.

Both the root and the leaf of the marshmallow plant contain a substance known as mucilate, a mucusy substance that does not dissolve in water. It is this substance that causes marshmallow to swell up and become slippery when wet. This attribute of the marshmallow plant gives it the ability to soothe irritation of the mouth, throat and stomach, as well as to relieve coughing.An emollient and soothing agent which has a relaxing effect on the body’s internal passages. It is mainly used for inflammation and irritation of the alimentary canal, urinary and respiratory organs. It is available from herbalists as a fluid extract, tincture, concentrated decoction or syrup. The powdered root can be combined with Slippery Elm powder for use in poultices. For domestic use an infusion of the leaves is excellent for most purposes where a soothing agent is required. Use 1 oz (28 g) of the leaves to 1 pt (568 ml) of boiling water and take three or four times a day in doses of 2 fl Oz (56 rnl). The syrup is helpful in pericarditis.

Stops bleeding: Kidney stones, blood in fluids.

Transforms hot phlegm: Bronchitis with sticky yellow phlegm, pneumonia.

Urinary tract infections: has been known to relieve indigestion, kidney problems, urinary tract infections, and even external skin wounds such as boils and abscesses. Marshmallow root and herb is a soothing, healing plant.

Marshmallow Syrup: Boiled in wine or milk, Marsh Mallow will relieve diseases of the chest, constituting a popular remedy for coughs, bronchitis, whooping-cough, etc., generally in combination with other remedies. It is frequently given in the form of a syrup, which is best adapted to infants and children.

Adhesive,Fibre,Oil,Teeth: The dried root is used as a toothbrush or is chewed by teething children. It has a mechanical affect on the gums whilst also helping to ease the pain. The root is also used as a cosmetic, helping to soften the skin. A fibre from the stem and roots is used in paper-making. The dried and powdered root has been used to bind the active ingredients when making pills for medicinal use. A glue can be made from the root]. The root is boiled in water until a thick syrup is left in the pan, this syrup is used as a glue. An oil from the seed is used in making paints and varnishes.

Actions: Root: Demulcent, diuretic, emollient, vulnerary. Leaf: Demulcent, expectorant, diuretic, emollient, antilithic. Flowers: expectorant

Mechanism of Theraputic Action : As stated above this plant is high in mucilage which has unfortunately not been the focus of much pharmacological research. With gastrointestinal disorders so common in the United States and the ability of this substance to provide soothing support there more focus should be directed to this plant. There have been some studies conducted on the effect of this plant in combination with others to support healthy respiratory function while challenged with a cough.

Indications of Leaf : bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, cystitis, urethritis, urinary gravel or calculi; locally for abscesses, boils and ulcers. Specifically indicated in respiratory catarrh associated with digestive weakness.

Indications of Root : Gastritis, gastric or peptic ulceration, ulcerative colitis, enteritis, inflammation of the mouth or pharynx, respiratory catarrh with irritating dry cough, cystitis; locally for varicose veins and thrombotic ulcers. Specifically indicated in gastric or duodenal ulcer.

Additional Comments: The name Althaea is derived from the Greek altho, meaning to heal, and its medicinal qualities have been recognised since Ancient Egyptian times. Theophrastus reported that the root could be added to sweet wine to relieve coughs; Horace and Martial mentioned the laxative properties of the leaves and root; and Pliny wrote that ‘whosoever shall take a spoonful of the Mallows shall that day be free from all diseases that may come to him’. Marshmallow is mentioned in the Bible and in Arabic and Chinese history as a valuable food during times of famine. In rural France, the young tops and leaves are eaten in salads for their kidney-stimulating effects. All members of the mallow family, such as the hollyhock and common mallow, have similar properties and can be used medicinally.

Famous Use and functions of Marshmallow Root:
Wound healer:This herb has been used for years as a wound healer with excellent results. Due to its drawing power it is added to many formulas. It is used externally for varicose veins, skin abscesses and dermatitis.
Demulcent:Marshmallow’s highest medicinal acclaim is as a demulcent. Internally it has a soothing effect on inflamed and irritated tissues of the alimentary canal, and urinary and respiratory organs. It is suppose to ease the passage of kidney stones and is used in combination with other diuretic herbs for kidney treatments which assist in the release of gravel and stones. It works very well for urinary problems.
Body to cleanse:Marshmallow has factors which combine with and eliminate toxins, helping the body to cleanse. This makes marshmallow an excellent herb to add to other formulas to help neutralize toxins that are the causative factors of arthritis.
Soothing:Marshmallow is also very soothing to any sore or inflamed part(s) of the body. As well as the urinary tract, this herb will sooth an irritated digestive tract and help with diarrhea or dysentery. And it will soothe the lungs and throat, too Try using it in your own home made cough syrup or in you home made cough drops!
This herb will also help to increase a mothers milk flow and it is high in Calcium and Vitamin A as well as many other nutrients.
For every cup of water put in one teaspoon of root (cut). (Four teaspoons for 1 quart.) Simmer for 10-20 minutes and let stand until it is cool. Drink 2-4 cupfuls a day.

Therapeutics and Pharmacology:
Althaea root is used primarily for digestive problems and topically on the skin, whilst the leaf is used particularly to treat the lungs and the urinary system, although both root and leaf have similar properties.

The root is indicated in all inflammations of the digestive tract including mouth ulcers, hiatus hernia, gastritis, peptic ulcer, enteritis and colitis. Althaea contains large amounts of mucilage, making it an excellent demulcent which coats the gastrointestinal mucosa, particularly in the mouth and pharynx, thus protecting them from local irritation, and it counters excess stomach acid. It is also mildly laxative. Externally, the root is indicated in varicose veins and ulcers as well as in abscesses and boils, and it is used in cosmetics for weather-damaged skin. The peeled root may be given to teething babies to chew on. In vivo experiments have shown the anti-inflammatory effect of an ointment containing 20% aqueous root extract against skin irritation. In vitro experiments have shown a cold macerate of the root to inhibit mucociliary transport, while extracts of the root stimulate phagocytosis and the release of oxygen radicals and leukotrienes from human neutrophils. Potential anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects have also been reported. Antimicrobial activity towards Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris and Staphylococcus aureus has been documented.

The leaf is an effective treatment for bronchitis, respiratory catarrh and irritating coughs. Its demulcent action helps to relieve dry coughs, bronchial asthma and pleurisy and soothes sore throats. Taken as a warm infusion, the leaves help to relieve cystitis and urinary frequency.

Combinations:
For pulmonary problems, Althaea herba may be combined with Marrubium, Glycyrrhiza and/or Tussilago. In ulcerative conditions, both internal or external, Althaea radix may be combined with Symphytum. It may also be used with Glycyrrhiza, Marrubium and/or Lobelia for coughs, and with Ulmus as a poultice or ointment for wounds, ulcers, boils and eczema.

Marshmallow in an herbal form might sound unusual to someone unfamiliar with herbology. But long before the white squishy balls were sitting in supermarket stores, the plant was growing in marshes. The plant is a member of the mallow family, which prefers wet places such as marshes for its habitat – hence the name. Its high mucilage content makes it an appropriate supplement for the respiratory system.

Remedy Uses:
Demulcent, emmolient, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, mucilaginous.

Its abundance of mucilage makes Marshmallow an excellent demulcent that is indicated wherever such an action is called for. The roots have been used for the digestive system whilst the leaves are used for the urinary system and lungs. All inflammatory conditions of the G-I tract will benefit from its use, e.g. inflammations of the mouth, gastritis, peptic ulceration, colitis etc.. The leaves help in cystitis, urethritis and urinary gravel as well as bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, irritating coughs.

Externally the herb is often used in drawing ointments for abscesses and boils or as an emollient for varicose veins and ulcers.

Available Forms:
Dried leaves may be used in infusions, fluid extracts, and tinctures. Marshmallow roots are available dried, peeled, or unpeeled in extracts (dry and fluid), tinctures, capsules, ointments/creams, and cough syrups.

Suggestions and Administrations:

How much should I take?
Marshmallow can be made into a hot or cold water tea. Make a tea by adding roots and/or leaves and letting it steep. Drink three to five cups a day. Herbal extracts in capsules and tablets providing 5-6 grams of marshmallow per day can also be used, or it may be taken as a tincture in the amount of 5-15 ml, three times daily.

A recommended dose of marshmallow is 1 1/-4 teaspoons (6 grams) of the root per day. Marshmallow can be prepared as a tea to be taken 5 times a day. Herbal extracts in capsule and tablet form providing 5-6 grams of marshmallow per day can also be used, or it may be taken as a tincture-1-3 teaspoons (5-15 ml) three times daily.

Pediatric:Adjust the recommended adult dose to account for the child’s weight. Most herbal dosages for adults are calculated on the basis of a 150 lb (70 kg) adult. Therefore, if the child weighs 50 lb (20 to 25 kg), the appropriate dose of marshmallow for this child would be 1/3 of the adult dosage.

Adult: The following are the recommended adult doses for marshmallow:
Leaf infusion: 1 to 2 tsp in 5 ounces boiled water, two to three times daily
Leaf tincture: 1 to 2 tsp (1:5 in 25% ethanol), two to three times daily
Root infusion or cold-water maceration (2% to 5%): 5 ounces (1 to 2 tsp) taken to soothe cough and sore throat
Dried root: 2 to 6 g or equivalent preparations daily (cold infusion three times per day)
Marshmallow cough syrup (from root): 2 to 10 g per single dose (syrup contains sugar, so people with diabetes should use with caution)
Root topical preparations: 5% to 10% drug in ointment or cream base
Dried herb/root: 2-5g or by infusion/cold aqueous maceration
Liquid Extract: 1:1 in 25% alcohol, 2-5ml
Ointment: 5% powdered leaf/root in ointment base
Root Syrup (BPC 1949) 2-10ml

The German Commission E monograph suggests 1 1/4 teaspoon (6 grams) of the root per day.3 Marshmallow can be made into a hot or cold water tea. Often 2¨C3 teaspoons (10¨C15 grams) of the root and/or leaves are used per cup (250 ml) of water. Generally, a full day¡¯s amount is steeped overnight when making a cold water tea, 6¨C9 teaspoons (30¨C45 grams) per three cups (750 ml) of water, or for fifteen to twenty minutes in hot water. Drink three to five cups (750¨C1250 ml) a day. Since the plant is so gooey, it does not combine well with other plants. Nevertheless, it can be found in some herbal cough syrups. Herbal extracts in capsules and tablets providing 5¨C6 grams of marshmallow per day can also be used, or it may be taken as a tincture¡ª1¨C3 teaspoons (5¨C15 ml) three times daily.

Both the leaves and roots of marshmallow may be found in commercial oral dosage forms that include extracts and syrups. Dosing varies according to the type and concentration of the product and the condition being treated. Individuals who decide to use marshmallow should follow the directions on the package that is purchased.

Teas made from marshmallow may be taken up to three times a day. Marshmallow leaf tea may be made by adding 2 teaspoons to 5 teaspoons of dried leaf to about 5 ounces of hot (but not boiling) water, allowing it to soak for 10 minutes, and then straining out the solid particles. For marshmallow root tea, 2 teaspoons to 5 teaspoons of the dried powdered root may be added to about 5 ounces of warm water and allowed to soak for at least an hour before straining out the solids. The resulting tea may be heated or consumed cold.

For use on the skin, shredded or powdered marshmallow root may be mixed with enough warm water to form a thick paste, which is often spread onto a soft, clean cloth. The resulting poultice may be heated or simply applied to irritated skin as often as needed. If the skin at the area where marshmallow is applied blisters or becomes more irritated, the marshmallow preparation should be washed off with warm water and it should not be re-applied.

Standardization:
Standardization involves measuring the amount of certain chemicals in products to try to make different preparations similar to each other. It is not always known if the chemicals being measured are the “active” ingredients. Pharmacopoeia grade marshmallow must be properly identified by the naked eye and by microscope. The British Pharmacopoeia requires marshmallow leaf to be harvested before the flowering period, and to pass identification by specific scientific tests.

Adults (18 years and older):
Skin inflammatory conditions (eczema, psoriasis): Historically, 5-10 grams of marshmallow in ointment or cream base or 5% powdered marshmallow leaf has been applied to the skin three times daily. Daily oral doses of 5 grams of marshmallow leaf, or 6 grams of marshmallow root have been suggested by mouth.
Oral and pharyngeal irritation: A dose of 2 grams of marshmallow in 1 cup of cold water, soaked for 2 hours then gargled has been used, but is not supported by scientific evidence.

Children (younger than 18 years):
There is not enough scientific data to recommend marshmallow for use in children.

Side Effects and Warnings:
Marshmallow is very safe. There have been extremely rare reports of allergic reactions.Although there are no known reports or studies about marshmallow allergy, allergic reactions to marshmallow may occur.
Marshmallow is generally regarded as safe, and literature review reveals no documented adverse case-reports. However, the potential for marshmallow to cause allergic reactions or low blood sugar has been noted anecdotally.
It is believed that Marshmallow is entirely safe; however, one study suggests it can affect blood sugar levels, therefore, people with diabetes should use caution when taking this product. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not known at this time.

Historically, marshmallow is generally regarded as being safe in healthy individuals. However, since studies have not evaluated the safety of marshmallow, proper doses and duration in humans are not known. Allergic reactions may occur.

Based on animal study, marshmallow may lower blood glucose levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Serum glucose levels should be monitored closely and medication adjustments may be necessary.

Precautions:Because marshmallow may possibly reduce blood sugar levels, individuals with diabetes should be careful when taking it. Blood sugar levels may need to be checked more often, as well.

Caution: When using the tincture for digestive or urinary disorders, hot water should be used to reduce the alcohol content. Cold water extracts should be made if the mucilage content is to be preserved. However, since starch will not dissolve in cold water, if the root is to be used as a gargle for tonsillitis and inflamed gums, where the starch will be of benefit, it should be prepared with hot water.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:There is not enough scientific evidence to support the safe use of marshmallow during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Allergies:Although there are no known reports or studies about marshmallow allergy, allergic reactions to marshmallow may occur.

Interactions with Drugs:
Based on animal study, marshmallow may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. A qualified healthcare professional should monitor patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin closely. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Marshmallow may interfere with the absorption of other drugs and therefore should be taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after other drugs.
Marshmallow may interfere with the absorption of certain medications. For this reason, it is important to take marshmallow several hours before or after ingesting other herbs or medications.
Marshmallow (not to be confused with Marshmellows) has traditionally been used internally for inflammation and ulceration of the digestive tract, hiatal hernia, bronchitis, excess mucus, asthma, whooping cough, and cystitis.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements:
When mixed with water or other fluids, marshmallow forms a sticky, slippery gel. In theory, taking marshmallow by mouth could block the absorption of other drugs that are taken at the same time. Individuals who take marshmallow should not take any other drugs for at least 2 hours.

Based on animal study, marshmallow may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment. Possible examples include: Aloe vera , American ginseng, bilberry, bitter melon, burdock,fenugreek, fish oil, gymnema, horse chestnut seed extract (HCSE), milk thistle, Panax ginseng, rosemary, Siberian ginseng, stinging nettle and white horehound. Agents that may raise blood sugar levels include: Arginine, cocoa, and ephedra (when combined with caffeine).
Marshmallow may interfere with the absorption of other agents and therefore should be taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after other herbs and supplements.

Summary:
Marshmallow’s genus name, Althea, is derived from the Greek word, althe, which means “to heal.” Marshmallow, which is also known as Althea, was originally an ingredient in the candy we also know as Marshmallow, and its powder has been used as a binding agent to hold other herbs together in making pills.

Marshmallow has been commonly substituted in herbal remedies for Slippery Elm, another herb known for its high mucilage content, because its source, the elm tree, has become endangered, due to Dutch Elm Disease. Marshmallow is a native of most countries of Europe, from Denmark southward, and is also found in the western United States. It grows in salt marshes, in damp meadows, by the sides of ditches, by the sea and on the banks of tidal rivers. Marshmallow has nourished many people. The plant has been utilized for thousands of years, not only as a food during times of famine, but also for its healing properties as an herbal remedy.

Served as a vegetable, the plant was considered a delicacy among the Romans. During the reign of Charlemagne in the ninth century, Marshmallow was promoted as a cultivated vegetable, and in France, the young tops and leaves are eaten uncooked in salads.

Primary chemical constituents in Marshmallow include substantial mucilage, polysaccharides, flavonoids (quercetin), kaempferol, asparagine, tannins, lecithin and pectin. The great demulcent and emollient properties of Marshmallow make it useful in inflammation and irritation of the alimentary canal and of the urinary and respiratory organs.

Recently, Marshmallow has been used as an expectorant to treat a variety of upper respiratory problems. Marshmallow also contains large amounts of vitamin A, calcium, zinc and significant amounts of iron, sodium, iodine and B-complex vitamins. Like slippery elm, Marshmallow reduces inflammation and has a calming effect on the body. The active constituents in Marshmallow are large carbohydrate (sugar) molecules, which make up the mucilage. This smooth, slippery substance can soothe and protect irritated mucous membranes. Although Marshmallow has primarily been used for the respiratory and digestive tracts, its high mucilage content may also provide some minor relief for urinary tract and skin infections. Marshmallow’s mucilage content helps soothe inflamed tissues often caused by bronchitis, and it also relieves dryness and irritation in the chest and throat, usually brought on by colds and persistent coughs. Marshmallow has been known to relieve indigestion, kidney problems, urinary tract infections and even external skin wounds such as boils and abscesses.
Claims & Warning:
Claims: Information this web site presented is meant for Nutritional Benefit and as an educational starting point only, for use in maintenance and promotion good health in cooperation with a common knowledge base reference…Furthermore,it based solely on the traditional and historic use or legend of a given herb from the garden of Adonis. Although every effort has been made to ensure its accurate, please note that some info may be outdated by more recent scientific developments……

Pharmakon Warning: The order of knowledge is not the transparent order of forms and ideas,as one might be tempted retrospectively to interpret it; it is the antidote….(Dissemination,Plato’s Pharmacy,II.The Ingredients:Phantasms,Festivals,and Paints;138cf. Jacques Derrida.).

And as it happens,the technique of imitation,along with the production of the simulacrum,has always been in Plato’s eyes manifestly magical,thaumaturgical:……and the same things appear bent and straight to those who view them in water and out,or concave and convex,owing to similar errors of vision about colors, and there is obviously every confusion of this sort in our souls.And so scene painting (skiagraphia) in its exploitation of this weakness of four nature falls nothing short of witchcraft (thaumatopoia), and so do jugglery and many other such contrivances.(Republic X,602c-d;cf.also 607c

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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.indianspringherbs.com/Althea.htm

http://www.harvestfields.ca/Finley/251.htm

http://www.mdidea.com/products/new/new037.html

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Pot Marigold

Botanical Name:Calendula officinalis
Family:    Asteraceae
Tribe:    Calenduleae
Genus:    Calendula
Species: C. officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:    Asterales

Common Names: Pot Marigold, ruddles, common marigold, garden marigold, English marigold, or Scottish marigold

Habitat :Pot Marigold  is most probably native to southern Europe, though its long history of cultivation makes its precise origin unknown, and it may possibly be of garden origin. It is also widely naturalised further north in Europe (north to southern England) and elsewhere in warm temperate regions of the world.

Description:
Pot Marigold is a short-lived aromatic herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 80 cm (31 in) tall, with sparsely branched lax or erect stems. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate, 5–17 cm (2–7 in) long, hairy on both sides, and with margins entire or occasionally waved or weakly toothed. The inflorescences are yellow, comprising a thick capitulum or flowerhead 4–7 cm diameter surrounded by two rows of hairy bracts; in the wild plant they have a single ring of ray florets surrounding the central disc florets. The disc florets are tubular and hermaphrodite, and generally of a more intense orange-yellow colour than the female, tridentate, peripheral ray florets. The flowers may appear all year long where conditions are suitable. The fruit is a thorny curved achene.

Pot Marigold or English Marigold (Calendula officinalis) is a plant in the Calendula genus. It was used in ancient Greek, Roman, Arabic and Indian cultures as a medicinal herb as well as a dye for fabrics, foods and cosmetics.

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The leaves and petals of the Pot Marigold are edible, with the petals added to dishes as a garnish and in lieu of saffron. The leaves can be sweet but are more commonly bitter, and may be used as or as part of salad.

It is also used in homeopathic medicine (in a gel form) as a way to promote the healing of minor burns, scrapes and skin irritations.

Cultivation:
Marigold is easy to grow. It likes the hot summer sun and keeps most bugs away. It is a native of Argentina and Northern Mexico.

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Seeds may be sown directly in the bed, border, or flower box throughout spring and summer. The plant prefers a rich, light soil and a sunny location. Add compost to the soil if necessary, then sidedress with additional compost when the plants are well extablished. Water deeply during dry spells. It will seed itself readily.

Edible Uses:
Pot marigold florets are edible. They are often used to add color to salads or added to dishes as a garnish and in lieu of saffron. The leaves are edible but are often not palatable. They have a history of use as a potherb and in salads.

 

The petals, with their slight aromatic bitterness are used in fish and meat soups, rice dishes, salads, and as a coloring for cheese and butter. The whole flower was used as a garnish in medieval times.

Marigold Wine

2 quarts marigolds (use Calendula officinalis only)
1 gallon boiling water
1 campden tablet, crushed (sterilizer)
thinly pared peel and juice of 3 tangerines or other soft citrus fruit
thinly pared peel and juice of 1 lemon
5½ cups sugar
1¼ cups white raisins, finely chopped
wine yeast
yeast nutrient

Wash the flowers and put into a large container. Add the boiling water and stir in the Campden tablet. Leave for 24 hours.

Draw off 1 cup of the liquid, add citrus peel and heat to just on the point of boiling. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Cool to body temperature, then pour back into the original container. Add raisins, citrus juice, yeast, and nutrient. Cover and leave 5 days to ferment, stirring twice each day.

Strain through a double thickness of muslin. Pour into a fermenting jar fitted with a fermentation lock and leave to continue fermenting. Rack the wine as it begins to clear.

When completely clear, store in a cool, dark, dry place for six months to mature.

Pharmacology:

The main constituents of the herb are carotenaids resins,essentialoil,flavonodis,sterolk,sterol,saponins and mucilage.

It is a bitter tonic. It induces copious perspiration and is very useful in killing intestinal worms.

Plants are used for the treatment of skin disorders and pain, and as a bactericide, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. The petals and pollen contain triterpenoid esters (an anti-inflammatory) and the carotenoids flavoxanthin and auroxanthin (antioxidants, and the source of the yellow-orange coloration). The leaves and stems contain other carotenoids, mostly lutein (80%) and zeaxanthan (5%), and beta-carotene. Plant extracts are also widely used by cosmetics, presumably due to presence of compounds such as saponins, resins and essential oils. Organic extracts have even been tentatively shown to inhibit HIV-1.

Medicinal Use

Calendula heals wounds as well as internal and external ulcers. It is an antiseptic, and improves blood flow to the affected area. As an antifungal agent, it can be used to treat athlete’s foot, ringworm, and candida. The tincture applied neat to cold sores encourages healing . Calendula cream is good for acne and diaper rash. An infusion is good for digestion and relieves colitis and symptoms of menopause.

Flowers harvested between June and September are most potent.

Hot calendula tea helps soothe ulcers. Gargle with cool tea for inflamed tonsils or canker sores.

To make the tea:

-Pour 10 oz of boiling water over 2/3 cup of dried flowers and let steep for 15 minutes.

Or

-Add 5-10 drops of calendula tincture to a cup of hot water.

Ointment is used on scabs, eczema and psoriasis.

To make the ointment:

-Melt 1/2 cup of petroleum jelly over low heat in a double boiler

-Add a handful of dried calendula flowers

-Heat on low for an hour

-Strain out herb and pour into glass jar

Tincture or spray can be applied to rashes, cuts, scrapes, or acne with a cotton ball. Spraying is good for sunburns, vaginitis and pinworms.

To dry the flowers themselves, put it on a mesh in direct sun for 1-2 weeks. Afterwards, store in an air tight container.

Stomach problems: The herb stimulates the flow of bile and is a beneficial remedy in the treatment of gastritis,gastric or duodenal ulcers.

Skin disorders:Marigold flowers are an excelent remedy for inflamed or ulcerated conditions of the skin . It can be used externally , as in varicose ulcers.

Eye problems: A cold infusion of the herb can be used as an eye wash, gives reliefe in conjunctivitis. A lotion of the flowers is also an useful wash for inflamed and sore eyes.

Tuberculosis: The leaves of marigold is very useful in the treatment of tuberculosis of the lymphatic gland in children, specially in neck. As a remedy its leaves should be eaten as vegetable.

Circulatory disorders: It is beneficial in the treatment of certain circulatory disorders. A compress of the herb can be applied beneficially in the treatment of various veins and chilblains , which is an inflamed condition of the skin of hands, feet and sometimes ears and nose caused by poor circulation and cold weather.

Other Uses

Merigold belongs to the same family of as arnica and has wound- healing properties. It is antiseptic and antibacterial. The poultice of the flower form an excellent first aid for burns,scalds,stings and highly contagious bactrial skin infections. The juice of the leaves can be applied beneficially over warts.The sap of the stem is useful fow warts,corns and callouses.An infusion of the petals can be used as a rinse to lighten and brighten hair. The petals also make a nourishing cream for the skin. Pot marigold makes an attractive cut flower and can be grown in the vegetable garden to help with insect control.

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/Calendula_officinalis

http://www.herbalgardens.com/herbs.html

Miracles of Herbs