Artemisia laciniata

Botanical Name: Artemisia laciniata
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribes: Anthemideae
Subtribe: Artemisiinae
Order: Asterales
Genus: Artemisia
Species: Artemisia laciniata
Common Name : Siberian wormwood

Habitat:
Artemisia laciniata is native to Europe to E. Asia. Found at elevations of 2,400 – 3,600 metres in the Himalayas.

Description:
Artemisia laciniata is a perennial herb.Growing 5–15 cm (not cespitose), sometimes mildly aromatic. Stems 1–3, erect, reddish brown, simple, strigillose to spreading-hairy, or glabrous. Leaves basal (in rosettes, petioles to 12 cm) and cauline, greenish; blades (basal) 2. 3-pinnate, relatively deeply lobed (cauline sessile, 1–2-pinnately lobed to entire), faces sparsely hairy to pilose. Heads (10–70, spreading to nodding, peduncles 0 or to 10 mm) in spiciform arrays 2–5 × 0.5–1 or 8–18 × 1–4 cm. Involucres globose, 3–5 × 4–8 mm. Phyllaries (greenish or yellowish) elliptic (margins hyaline, brownish), glabrous or sparsely hairy. Florets: pistillate 6–8; bisexual 20–50; corollas yellowish or yellow to reddish-tinged, 1–2 mm, hairy (hairs tangled). Cypselae oblong, 0.5–1 mm, glabrous.

CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a warm sunny dry position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse, making sure that the compost does not dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about10 – 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.

Edible Uses: Parboiled and used as a food. No more details are given,it ts assumed that the report refers to the leaves.

Medicinal Uses: Not yet known.

Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Artemisia_laciniata
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242101022
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+laciniata

Orthilia secunda

Botanical Name : Orthilia secunda
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily:Pyroloideae
Genus: Orthilia
Species:O. secunda
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms : Pyrola secunda. L.

Common Name : Sidebells Wintergreen

Habitat :Orthilia secunda is native for Siberia. It occurs in Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to the Pyrenees and Asia. N. America. It grows in damp coniferous woods and on damp rock ledges.

Description:
Orthilia secunda is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.3 m (1ft).  It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile. ...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Flower petal color:…...click & see
*Green to brown
*White
*Yellow

Leaf type: The leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)

Leaf arrangement:
*Basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
*Leaf blade edges: The edge of the leaf blade has teeth
the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)

Flower symmetry:
There are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
Number of sepals, petals or tepals : There are five petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
Fusion of sepals and petals: both the petals and sepals are separate and not fused
the petals or the sepals are fused into a cup or tube

Fruit type (general) : the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
Fruit length: 3–5 mm
Cultivation:
Prefers a moist sandy woodland soil in a cool position with partial shade. Requires a peaty or leafy but not very acid soil that remains moist in the summer. This is a very difficult plant to grow. It requires a mycorrhizal relationship in the soil and therefore needs to be grown initially in soil collected from around an established plant. It is also very difficult from seed as well as being intolerant of root disturbance which makes division difficult.

Propagation:
Seed – the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza. Division with great care in the spring. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously

Edible Uses: Seeds are eatable. The leaves are occasionally used as a tea.

Constituents: This herb consists of tannins, flavonoids, gums, bitters, lemon and tartaric acids, arbutin and saponin.

Medicinal Uses:
Orthilia Secunda is recommended by herbalists as an herb for gynecological disorders and inflammations. Orthilia Secunda preparations are used for sterility, bleedings, infantilism, cervical erosion, for menstrual cycle derangements, toxicosis. In some countries Orthilia Secunda is used as diuretics and antiseptics for kidney and urinary bladder inflammations. More than that, a strong decoction of the root has been used as an eye wash.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthilia
http://www.aptekastore.com/en/orthilia-secunda-p-1098.html
https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/orthilia/secunda/
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Orthilia+secunda

Hibiscus syriacus

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

Synonyms : Althaea frutex.

Common Names: Rose Of Sharon, Althaea, Shrub Althea, Hardy Hibiscus, Syrian ketmia or Rose mallow (United Kingdom) and St Joseph‘s rod (Italy).

Habitat :Hibiscus syriacus is native to E. Asia – China to India. Locally naturalized in S. Europe. It is found wild on mountain slopes, though the original

Description:
Hibiscus syriacus is a hardy deciduous shrub. It is upright and vase-shaped, reaching 2–4 m (7–13 ft) in height, bearing large trumpet-shaped flowers with prominent yellow-tipped white stamens. The flowers are often pink in color, but can also be dark pink (almost purple), light pink or white. Individual flowers are short-lived, lasting only a day. However, numerous buds are produced on the shrub’s new growth, and this provides prolific flowering over a long summer blooming period. Shoots make interesting indoor vase cuttings, as they stay green for a long time, and some new flowers may open from the more mature buds. The species has naturalized very well in many suburban areas, and might even be termed slightly invasive, so frequently does it seed around.
Bloom Color: Blue, Lavender, Pink, Purple, Red, White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Rounded, Upright or erect…

...CLICK &  SEE THYE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Standard, Seashore, Specimen. Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in a sheltered position in full sun. Succeeds in any soil of good or moderate quality. Dislikes shade or badly drained soils. Plants grow best with their roots in cool moist soil and their tops in a hot sunny position. This species is hardy to about -20°c but plants only really succeed in the warmer counties of Britain because of their late flowering habit. When planted in colder areas of the country, they will need protection for the first few winters. The flowers only open in sunny weather. Plants rarely require pruning, though they respond well to pruning and trimming and this is best carried out in the spring or just after flowering. Plants are late coming into leaf, usually around the end of May or early June. A very ornamental plant, there are many named varieties. Special Features:Attracts birds, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Blooms are very showy.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Some reports say that the seed can be sown in situ outside and that it gives a good rate of germination. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood, early autumn in a frame. Good percentage. Layering in mid summer to early autumn.

Edible Uses:… Oil; Tea.….Young leaves – raw or cooked. A very mild flavour, though slightly on the tough side, they make an acceptable addition to the salad bowl. A tea is made from the leaves or the flowers. Flowers – raw or cooked. A mild flavour and mucilaginous texture, they are delightful in salads, both for looking at and for eating. Root – it is edible but very fibrousy. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour.
Medicinal Uses:
The leaves are diuretic, expectorant and stomachic. A decoction of the flowers is diuretic, ophthalmic and stomachic. It is also used in the treatment of itch and other skin diseases,  dizziness and bloody stools accompanied by much gas. The bark contains several medically active constituents, including mucilage, carotenoids, sesquiterpenes and anthocyanidins. A decoction of the root bark is antiphlogistic, demulcent, emollient, febrifuge, haemostatic and vermifuge. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, abdominal pain, leucorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea and dermaphytosis.

Other Uses:
A low quality fibre is obtained from the stems. It is used for making cordage and paper. The seed contains about 25% oil. No further details are given, but it is likely to be edible. A hair shampoo is made from the leaves. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers. This species is planted as a hedge in S. Europe.

National flower:
Hibiscus syriacus is the national flower of South Korea. The flower appears in national emblems, and Korea is compared poetically to the flower in the South Korean national anthem. The flower’s name in Korean is mugunghwa. The flower’s symbolic significance stems from the Korean word mugung, which means “eternity” or “inexhaustible abundance”.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hibiscus+syriacus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibiscus_syriacus

Cistus salviifolius

Botanical Name : Cistus salviifolius
Family: Cistaceae
Genus: Cistus
Species:C. salviifolius
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonyms:
*Cistus macrocalyx Sennen & Pau
*Cistus paui Sennen
*Cistus salomonis Sennen & Malag.
*Cistus salviifolius   macrocalyx Willk.
*Cistus salviifolius   longipedunculatus Willk.
*Cistus salviifolius   vulgaris Willk.
*Cistus salviifolius   biflorus Willk.
*Cistus salviifolius   cymosus Willk.
*Cistus salviifolius   grandifolius Willk.
*Cistus salviifolius var. fissipetalus Sennen
*Cistus salviifolius var. occidentalis Rouy & Foucaud
*Cistus salviifolius var. rierae Sennen
*Cistus salviifolius var. schizocalyx Sennen
*Cistus salviifolius L.
*Ledonia peduncularis var. salviifolia (L.) Spach
*Ledonia peduncularis Spach

Common Names: Sage-leaved rock-rose, Salvia cistus or Gallipoli rose,Rock Rose, Salvia cistus, Sage Leaf Rock Rose

Habitat: Cistus salviifolius is native to Europe – Mediterranean. It grows on dry woods, thickets and banks, often on acid soils and on limestone, from sea level to 1200 metres in the Alpes Maritimes.
Description:

Cistus salviifolius is an evergreen Shrub.It has spreading stems covered by clumpy hairs. This bushy shrub reaches on average 30–60 centimetres (12–24 in) in height, with a maximum of 100 centimetres (39 in). The oval-shaped green leaves are 1 to 4 centimeters long, opposite, reticulate, tomentose on both sides, with a short petiole (2–4 mm).

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The inflorescence holds one or more round flowers, long-stalked, arranged at the leaf axils. The five white petals have a yellow spot at the base, forming a corolla 4–6 cm in diameter. The stamens are also yellow and the anthers shed abundant yellow pollen. This plant is pollinated by insects entomophily, especially bees. It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in August. The fruit is a pentagonal capsule, 5–7 mm long.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs). The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Chemistry:
Cistus salviifolius contains flavan-3ols, oligomeric proanthocyanidins and prodelphinidins such as epigallocatechin-3-O-(4-hydroxybenzoate), epigallocatechin-(4??8)-epigallocatechin, epigallocatechin -3-O-gallate-(4??8)-epigallocatechin, epigallocatechin-(4??6)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate, 1-O-?-d -(6?-O-galloyl)-glucopyranosyl-3-methoxy-5-hydroxybenzene, epigallocatechin-(4??8)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate, 1-O-?-d- glucopyranosyl-3-methoxy-5-hydroxybenzene and rhododendrin (betuloside). It also contains ellagitannins of the punicalagin type

Edible Uses:
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The dried leaves are used as an adulterant for marjoram (Origanum majorana).
Medicinal Uses:
Not yet known.

Other Uses:
A good ground cover plant for the milder areas of Britain. The form ‘Prostratus’ has been recommended
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cistus_salviifolius
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cistus+salviifolius

Gentiana kurroo

Botanical Name: Gentiana kurroo
Family: Gentianaceae
Genus: Gentiana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales
Tribes: Gentianeae
Subtribes: Gentianinae
Genus: Gentiana

Common names: Himalayan Gentian, Indian gentian
* Hindi: chireta, kadu, karu, kore, kutki, trayaman *Kannada: karadihanni, kiriyatu * Malayalam: kiriyat, trayamana * Manipuri: kirayet * Sanskrit: Trayamana, Trayanthi, Girija, Anuja * Tamil: kampantirai, nilavempu, nilavimbu * Telugu: buroni, nelavemu * Urdu: Neel kanthi

Habitat : Gentiana kurroo is native to E. Asia – N.W. Himalayas. It grows on grassy slopes, 1800 – 2700 metres.
Description:
Gentiana kurroo is a perennial flowering plant, growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in). It is in flower from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bumblebees, butterflies

The plant is a critically endangered plant of the Himalayas. Flowers are deep blue, paler in the throat and spotted with green and white, usually two or more on each stem, but sometimes solitary. Flowers are large, narrow funnel-shaped, up to 5 cm, with ovate pointed spreading petals, and small triangular “lobules”. Sepal cup is tubular, with narrow linear petals 0.8-1.2 cm, 1/2-2/3 times as long as the sepal tube. Leaves at the base are lanceshaped, ususally 10-12 cm. Stem leaves are 2-3 pairs. Stems are several, 5-30 cm long, unbranched, arising from a stout rootstock. Himalayan Gentian is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Uttarakhand, at altitudes of 1800-2700 m……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
In general, gentians require a moist well-drained soil in a sheltered position, a certain minimum of atmospheric humidity, high light intensity but a site where temperatures are not too high. They are therefore more difficult to grow in areas with hot summers and in such a region they appreciate some protection from the strongest sunlight. Most species will grow well in the rock garden. This species requires a stony soil with perfect drainage. It is best given some protection from winter wet. This plant has a reputation for not being hardy in Britain, though this is more likely to be connected to excess moisture than to low temperatures. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. It can also be sown in late winter or early spring but the seed germinates best if given a period of cold stratification and quickly loses viability when stored, with older seed germinating slowly and erratically. It is advantageous to keep the seed at about 10°c for a few days after sowing, to enable the seed to imbibe moisture. Following this with a period of at least 5 – 6 weeks with temperatures falling to between 0 and -5°c will usually produce reasonable germination. It is best to use clay pots, since plastic ones do not drain so freely and the moister conditions encourage the growth of moss, which will prevent germination of the seed. The seed should be surface-sown, or only covered with a very light dressing of compost. The seed requires dark for germination, so the pots should be covered with something like newspaper or be kept in the dark. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. The seedlings grow on very slowly, taking 2 – 7 years to reach flowering size. When the plants are of sufficient size, place them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in March. Most members of this genus have either a single tap-root, or a compact root system united in a single root head, and are thus unsuitable for division. Cuttings of basal shoots in late spring.
Medicinal uses: The root of this plant has a long history of use as a herbal bitter in the treatment of digestive disorders and is an ingredient of many proprietary medicines. It is especially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of debility, weakness of the digestive system and lack of appetite. It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system, stimulating the liver, gall bladder and digestive system, and is an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative in order to prevent its debilitating effects. It is taken internally in the treatment of liver complaints, indigestion, gastric infections and anorexia

It contains some of the most bitter compounds known and is used as a scientific basis for measuring bitterness. It is especially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of debility, weakness of the digestive system and lack of appetite. It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system, stimulating the liver, gall bladder and digestive system, and is an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative in order to prevent its debilitating effects. The root is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bitter tonic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, refrigerant, stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of liver complaints, indigestion, gastric infections and anorexia. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. It is quite likely that the roots of plants that have not flowered are the richest in medicinal properties.

Cautions: It should not be prescribed for patients with gastric or duodenal ulcers.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Gentiana_kurroo
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Himalayan%20Gentian.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentiana+kurroo

Saussurea obvallata

Botanical Name : Saussurea obvallata
Family: Asteraceae or Compositae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Saussurea
Species: S. obvallata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names; Local names of this flower are Brahma Kamal, Kon and Kapfu .

Habitat : Saussurea obvallata is native to E. Asia – western Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim at elevations of 3,000 – 4,500 metres. It grows on alpine meadows and slopes, rocky slopes
and along the sides of rivers and streams.

Description:
Saussurea obvallata is a perennial plant, growing to 0.3 m (1 ft). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects. Flowers bloom in mid-
monsoon (July– August) amongst the rocks and grasses of the hillside at an altitudinal range of 3000–4800 m. Flower heads are purple,hidden from view in layers of yellowish-green papery
bracts, which provide protection from the cold mountain environment. The flowers can be seen till mid-October, after which the plant perishes, becoming visible again in April. It is the state
flower of Uttarakhand. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

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

In Hindu drawings Brahma is seen sitting on a pink flower that resembles a lotus (Sanskrit: kamal), which is India’s national flower. Hence people claim that the pink flower of Nelumbo
nucifera is the Brahma Kamal. However others claim the flower on which he is sitting, which resembles a lotus is sprouted from the belly button of Lord Vishnu. The flower which Brahma is
holding in one of his four hands, a white flower resembling Saussurea obvallata is the Brahma Kamal. There are people who claim that the flower of Epiphyllum oxypetalum, the orchid
cactus, which blooms at night, is the Brahma Kamal. Some North Indians claim that the flower of Saussurea obvallata is the Brahma Kamal.

Cultivation: 
Succeeds in most soils in a sunny well-drained position.

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

Medicinal Uses:
Brahma kamal is a medicinal herb. The plant is considered an herb in Tibetan medicine. Its name is Sah-du Goh-ghoo. It has a bitter taste. The entire plant is used. It is found in the region
of the Himalayas. It is also used to cure urogenital disorders. It is used in the treatment of paralysis of the limbs and cerebral ischaemia.

Other Uses:
Uttarakhand formerly Uttaranchal, is a state located in the northern part of India. It is often referred to as the Land of Gods – Dev Bhumi due to the many holy Hindu temples and cities found      throughout the state which are some of Hinduism’s most spiritual and auspicious places of pilgrimage and worship. The shrines of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath make up     the Char Dham Yatra, four highly sacred destinations of the Hindus. Uttarakhand also known for its natural beauty.

Known Hazards: It is endangered because people are cutting it down for their own use.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with     your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelesperma_megapotamicum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Thelesperma+megapotamicum

Luffa Acutangua (Bengali Jhingha)

Botanical Name : Luffa Acutangua
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Luffa
Species: L. acutangula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales

Common Names: Angled luffa, Chinese okra, Dish cloth gourd, Ridged gourd, Sponge gourd, Vegetable gourd, Strainer vine, Ribbed loofah, Silky gourd, Ridged gourd, Silk gourd, and Sinkwa towelsponge

Names in other languages:

Assamese: Jeeka
Bengali : Jhingge , Jhinga and Sataputi
Burmese: Bjuda; also Boun Loun
Hindi: Torai, Turai
Gujarati: Turiya
Kannada: Heere kayi
Tagalog: Patola
Lao: Mark noy
Vietnamese: Muop Khia
Tamil: Peerkangai
Telugu: Beera kaaya
Thai: Buap liyam
Marathi: Dodaki
Konkani: Gossale
Indonesian: Gambas, Oyong
Javanese: Oyong
Mandarin Chinese: Pinyin: Guangdongsigua
Cantonese Chinese: Sin qua or sing kwa(Australian spelling), Ling Jiao Si Gua, You Lin Si Gua, Sze Gwa, Sigwa
Hokkian: Kak kuey
Malayalam: Peechinga
Malay: Petola segi
Sinhalese: Watakolu
Japanese: Ito uri, Tokado hechima

Habitat : Luffa Acutangua is native to India and naturalized throughout tropics and subtropics of the world.

Description:
Luffa Acutangua is a large climber, with usually 3-fid tendrills. Leaves orbicular in outline, 15-20 cm long, palmately 5-7 angled or sublobate, scabrid. Flowers yellow, large; male flowers in axillary 12-20 flowered racemes; female flowers solitary. Fruit 15-30 cm long, clavate-oblong, tapering towards the base, longitudinally ribbed.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES :

Chemical Constituents:
The plant contains a bitter substance luffin. Seeds contain 20% of a saponin glycoside, enzyme and a fixed oil (Chopra et al., 1992). Flowers and fruits contain free amino acids, arginine, glycine, threonine, lysine, alanine, asparagines, aspartic and glutamic acids and leucines. Ripe seeds contain bitter glycosidic principles, cucurbitacins B, D, G and H (luffins) and oleanolic acid; roots contain cucurbitacin B and traces of C (Ghani, 2003).
Edible Uses: 
The young fruit of some cultivars are used as cooked vegetables or pickled or eaten raw, and the shoots and flowers are sometimes also used……..CLICK  & SEE

Young fruit can be eaten raw like cucumber or cooked like squash, while the young leaves, shoots, flower buds, as well as the flowers can be eaten after being lightly steamed. The seeds can be roasted as a snack, or pressed to produce oil.

Medicinal Uses:
Luffa Acutangua plant is bitter tonic, emetic, diuretic and purgative and useful in asthma, skin diseases and splenic enlargement. It is used internally for rheumatism, backache, internal hemorrhage, chest pains as well as hemorrhoids. Externally, it is used for shingles and boils. The dried fruit fibers are used as abrasive sponges in skin care, to remove dead skin and to stimulate the circulation. The fruits are anthelmentic, carminative, laxative, depurative, emollient, expectorant, tonic and galactagogue and are useful in fever, syphilis, tumours, bronchitis, splenopathy and leprosy. The vine is most commonly grown for the fibrous interior of the fruits. Kernel of seed is expectorant, demulcent and used in dysentery. Seed oil is used in leprosy and skin diseases. Fruit is intensely bitter and fibrous. It has purgative property and is used for dropsy, nephritis, chronic bronchitis and lung complaints. It is also applied to the body in putrid fevers and jaundice.

Other Uses: Like Luffa aegyptica, the mature fruits are harvested when dry and processed to remove all but the fruit fibre, which can then be used as a sponge or as fibre for making hats
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.mpbd.info/plants/luffa-acutangula.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luffa_acutangula
http://www.hear.org/pier/species/luffa_acutangula.htm
file:///C:/Users/COOLE_~1/AppData/Local/Temp/lnc85ewj.tmp/JNPPR-2012-2-1-127-134.pdf

Apple Gourd (Tinda)

Botanical Name: Apple Gourd
Family: Cucurbitaceae
SubfamilyCucurbitoideae
Tribe: Benincaseae
Subtribe: Benincasinae
Genus: Praecitrullus  Pangalo
Species: P. fistulosus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales
Common Names: Tinda, Indian round gourd , Indian baby pumpkin, Meha (in  Sindhi language),  Dhemase (in Marathi)
Habitat : Apple Gourd is native to South Asia. Specially grown in India & Pakinthan
Description:
The plant is, as with all cucurbits, a prolific vine, and is grown as an annual. The fruit is approximately spherical, and 5–8 cm in diameter. The seeds may also be roasted and eaten. Tinda is a famous nickname among Punjabi families in India. This unique squash-like gourd is native to India, very popular in Indian and Pakistani cooking with curry and many gourmet dishes. Green colored, apple sized fruits are flattish round in shape and 50-60 grams in weight. Plants are vigorous, productive and begin to bear fruits in 70 days after planting.
Cultivation:  Sandy loam soils rich in organic matter with good drainage and pH ranging from 6.5-7.5 is best suited for Tinda cultivation. This crop requires a moderate warm temperature.
Propagation: Sow the seeds on one side of the channel. hin the seedlings after 15 days to maintain two/pit at 0.9 m spacing.
Uses:
Tinda is famous vegetable in India and Pakistan and regarded as super food due to its numerous health benefits. It contains antioxidants like carotenoids and many anti-inflammatory agents, which are effective for controlling blood pressure, heart diseases, and strokes and prevent cancer formation.
It is very mild and soothing vegetable for intestinal tract. A lot of fiber helps in digestion, helps in diarrhea by increased water absorption, relieves stomach acidity, and prevents constipation. Some researches indicate that they are good food for healthy skin and hairs, its consumption result in very long and healthy hairs. It increases the urinary flow and excretes toxins from the kidney.
It is very effective in prevention of prostitutes and prostate cancer. Prostate is male gland present near bladder and its inflammation and cancers are becoming common now a days, it is also very effective in urinary tract infections.
Carotenes present in pumpkins slow the aging process and prevent age related changes in body like cataract formation, grey hairs, thickening of blood vessels bone degeneration, and age related brain cell degeneration. Over all this vegetable, have magical effects on body if used regularly.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinda
http://desiclinic.com/roman/tinda-156.html
http://www.agritech.tnau.ac.in/horticulture/horti_vegetables_tinda.html

Anacyclus pyrethrum

 

Botanical Name: Anacyclus pyrethrum
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Anthemideae
Genus: Anacyclus
Species: A. pyrethrum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Anthemis Pyrethrum. Pyrethrum officinarum. Pyrethrum. Pyrethri Radix. Roman Pellitory. Pellitory of Spain. Spanish Chamomile. Pyrethre. Matricaria Pyrethrum.

Common Names: Pellitory, Akarkara, Spanish chamomile, or Mount Atlas daisy, Chamomile Spanish.

Habitat: Anacyclus pyrethrum is found in North Africa, elsewhere in the Mediterranean region, in the Himalayas, in North India, and in Arabian countries.

Description:
Anacyclus pyrethrum is a perennial plant, in habit and appearance like the chamomile, has stems that lie on the ground for part of their length, before rising erect. Each bears one large flower, the disk being yellow and the rays white, tinged with purple beneath. The leaves are smooth, alternate, and pinnate, with deeply-cut segments….CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

The root is almost cylindrical, very slightly twisted and tapering and often crowned with a tuft of grey hairs. Externally it is brown and wrinkled, with bright black spots. The fracture is short, and the transverse section, magnified, presents a beautiful radiate structure and many oleoresin glands. The taste is pungent and odour slight.
Cultivation-: Planting may be done in autumn, but the best time is about the end of April. Any ordinary good soil is suitable, but better results are obtained when it is well-drained, and of a stiff loamy character, enriched with good manure. Propagation is done in three ways, by seed, by division of roots and by cuttings. If grown by seed, sow in February or March, thin out to 2 to 3 inches between the plants, and plant out early in June to permanent quarters, allowing a foot or more between the plants and 2 feet between the rows, selecting, if possible, a showery day for the operation. The seedlings will quickly establish themselves. Weeding should be done by hand, the plants when first put out being small, might be injured by hoeing. To propagate by division, lift the plants in March, or whenever the roots are in an active condition, and with a sharp spade, divide them into three or five fairly large pieces. Cuttings should be made from the young shoots that start from the base of the plant, and should be taken with a heel of the old plant attached, which will greatly assist their rooting. They may be inserted at any time from October to May. The foliage should be shortened to about 3 inches, when the cuttings will be ready for insertion in a bed of light, sandy soil. Plant very firmly, surface the bed with sand, and water in well. Shade is necessary while the cuttings are rooting.

Part Used in medicine : The Root.
Constituents: Analysis has shown a brown, resinous, acrid substance, insoluble in potassium hydroxide and probably containing pelletonin, two oils soluble in potassium hydroxide – one dark brown and acrid, the other yellow – tannin, gum, potassium sulphate and carbonate, potassium chloride, calcium phosphate and carbonate, silica, alumina, lignin, etc.

An alkaloid, Pyrethrine, yielding pyrethric acid, is stated to be the active principle.

Medicinal Uses:
Anacyclus pyrethrum root is widely used because of its pungent efficacy in relieving toothache and in promoting a free flow of saliva. The British Pharmacopoeia directs that it be used as a masticatory, and in the form of lozenges for its reflex action on the salivary glands in dryness of the mouth and throat. The tincture made from the dried root may be applied to relieve the aching of a decayed tooth, applied on cotton wool, or rubbed on the gums, and for this purpose may with advantage be mixed with camphorated chloroform. It forms an addition to many dentifrices.

A gargle of Anacyclus pyrethrum infusion is prescribed for relaxed uvula and for partial paralysis of the tongue and lips. To make a gargle, two or three teaspoonsful of Anacyclus pyrethrum should be mixed with a pint of cold water and sweetened with honey if desired. Patients seeking relief from rheumatic or neuralgic affections of the head and face, or for palsy of the tongue, have been advised to chew the Anacyclus pyrethrum root daily for several months.

Being a rubefacient and local irritant, when sliced and applied to the skin, it induces heat, tingling and redness.

The powdered Anacyclus pyrethrum root forms a good snuff to cure chronic catarrh of the head and nostrils and to clear the brain, by exciting a free flow of nasal mucous and tears.

Culpepper tells us that Anacyclus pyrethrum ‘is one of the best purges of the brain that grows’ and is not only ‘good for ague and the falling sickness’ (epilepsy) but is ‘an excellent approved remedy in lethargy.’ After stating that ‘the powder of the herb or root snuffed up the nostrils procureth sneezing and easeth the headache,’ he goes on to say that ‘being made into an ointment with hog’s lard it taketh away black and blue spots occasioned by blows or falls, and helpeth both the gout and sciatica,’ uses which are now obsolete.

In the thirteenth century we read in old records that Pellitory of Spain was ‘a proved remedy for the toothache’ with the Welsh physicians. It was familiar to the Arabian writers on medicine and is still a favourite remedy in the East, having long been an article of export from Algeria and Spain by way of Egypt to India.

It treats fluid retention, stones and gravel, dropsy and other urinary complaints.  In European herbal medicine, it is regarded as having a restorative action on the kidneys, supporting and strengthening their function.  It has been prescribed for nephritis, pyelitis (inflammation of the kidney,  kidney stones, renal colic (pain caused by kidney stones), cystitis, and edema (fluid retention).  It is also occasionally taken as a laxative.  It combines well with parsley or wild carrot seed or root.  It counteracts mucus and is useful for chronic coughs. The leaves may be applied as poultices.

In the East Indies the infusion is used as a cordial.

More recently Anacyclus pyrethrum has been noted for its anabolic activity in mice and suggests to give a testosterone-like effect, and also significantly increasing testosterone in the animal model.

The variety depressus (sometimes considered a separate species, Anacyclus depressus), called mat daisy or Mount Atlas daisy, is grown as a spring-blooming, low-water ornamental.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/pellit19.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anacyclus_pyrethrum

Anacyclus Pyrethrum (Akarkara) Benefits, Uses & Side Effects

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

Anamirta paniculata

Botanical Name : Anamirta paniculata
Family: Menispermaceae
Tribe: Fibraureae
Genus: Anamirta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms:  Anamirta cocculus, Anamirta paniculata Colebr ,Cocculus indicus Royle

Common Names: Levant Nut. Fish Berry, Arai ,Bañasin, Bayati, Bayating, Labtang , Lakdang,  Cocculus

Other vernacular names
Hindi: Kakamari.
Malayalam : Polla, Pollakkaya, Kollakkaya, Pettumarunnu.
Sanskrit: Garalaphala, Kakamari.

Habitat:Anamirta paniculata   grows in  India, Ceylon, Malabar.
Description:
Anamirta paniculata is a large woody vine with a ash-coloured corky  bark and white wood. Stems are sometimes 10 centimeters thick, longitudinally wadded, porous, with stout, smooth branches. Leaves are ovate or ovately-cordate, 10 to 20 centimeters long, with pointed or tapering apex and rounded or nearly heart-shaped base, smooth above, hairy on the nerve axils beneath, and 3-nerved from the base. Petioles are 5 to 15 centimeters long. Flowers are yellowish, sweet-scented, 6 to 7 millimeters across, crowded on 3- to 4.5 centimeters long, they  are pendulous panicles, male and female blooms on different plants. Fruit is a drupe, nearly spherical, about 1 centimeter in diameter when dry, smooth and hard.It is round and kidney shaped, outer coat thin, dry, browny, black and wrinkled, inside a hard white shell divided into two containing a whitish seed, crescent shaped and very oily….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Part Used in medicines :  Dried fruit.

Constituents:  The chief constituent is the bitter, crystalline, poisonous substance, picrotoxin; the seed also contains about 50 per cent. of fat.

Medicinal  Uses:
The powdered berries are sometimes used as an ointment for destroying lice; the entire fruits are used to stupefy fish, being thrown on the water for that purpose. Picrotoxin is a powerful convulsive poison used principally to check night sweats in phthisis by its action in accelerating respiration, but it is not always successful. It was at one time used to adulterate beers, increasing their reputation as intoxicants; it is an antidote in Morphine poisoning.

This has use in Homeopathy remedy: A constituent in a homeopathic remedy for vertigo, Vertigoheel: A grisea, A cocculus, C maculatum and P rectificatum.

Known Hazads: The pleant is poisonous. It is  well known as a fish poison. Fruit is first heated and roasted, then crushed and powdered.
The toxic properties are not altered by roasting. In India, dried berries are used to stupefy fish.  In South American, used as blowgun dart poison.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anamirta
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/coccul79.html