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Bombax ceiba (Shimul in Bengali)

Botanical Name : Bombax ceiba
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Bombax
Species: B. ceiba
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonyms: Salmalia malabarica

Common Nams:  cotton tree, Red Silk-Cotton, Red Cotton Tree  or ambiguously as silk-cotton or kapok, both of which may also refer to Ceiba pentandra.

This tree is commonly known as semal (Hindi) or shimul (Bengali) in India.  The local Urdu and Punjabi name for the tree is sumbal.

Habitat:  Bombax ceiba is native to India, tropical southern Asia, northern Australia and tropical Africa.

Description:
Bombax ceiba grows to an average of 20 meters, with old trees up to 60 meters in wet tropical weather. The trunk and limb bear numerous conical spines particularly when young, but get eroded when older. The leaves are palmate with about 6 leaflets radiating from a central point, an average of 7~10 centimeters wide, 13~15 centimeters in length. The leaf’s long flexible petiole is up to 20 cm long.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cup-shaped flowers solitary or clustered, axillary or sub-terminal, fascicles at or near the ends of the branches, when the tree is bare of leaves, an average of 7~11 centimeters wide, 14 centimeters in width, petels up to 12 centimeters in length, calyx is cup-shaped usually 3 lobed, an average of 3~5 centimeters in diameter. Staminal tube is short, more than 60 in 5 bundles. stigma is light red, up to nine centimeters in length, ovary is pink, 1.5~2 centimeters in length, with the skin of the ovary covered in white silky hair at 1mm long. Seeds are numerous, long, ovoid, black or gray in colour and packed in white cotton. Fruiting can start as early as March. The fruit, which reaches an average of 13 centimeters in length, is light-green in color  immature fruits, brown in mature fruits.

Cultivation:
The cotton fibers of this tree can be seen floating in the wind around the time of early May. This tree shows two marked growth sprints in India: in spring and during the monsoon months.

Edible Uses: The dry cores of the Bombax ceiba flower are an essential ingredient of the nam ngiao spicy noodle soup of the cuisine of Shan State and Northern Thailand, as well as the kaeng khae curry. At the peak of its flowering season in Hong Kong, elderly people could often be found picking flowers off the ground to dry, which is used to make a type of tea.

Chemical constituents :
All parts of the plant gave betasitosterol and its glucosides; seeds, bark and root bark, lupeol; flowers, hentriacontane, hentriacontanol; root bark, in addition, gave -hydroxycadalene. The seed oil yields arachidic, linoleic, myristic, oleic and palmitic acids; seeds contain carotenes, n-hexacosanol, ethylgallate and tocopherols; the gum contains gallic and tannic acids, yields L-arbinose, D-galactose, D-galacturonic acid and D-galactopyranose. Younger roots contain more sugars (arabinose and galactose  and peptic substances than the older ones. They contain mucilage, starch, mineralmatter, tannins  and non-tannins, along with other constituents. [Indian Medicinal Plants An Illustrated Dictionary

Medicinal Uses:
Bombax ceiba or shimul  has various uses in medicine.(Astringent, demulcent, diuretic,aphrodisiac, emetic):-
Ayurvedic uses: Raktapitta, Vrana, Daha.

Unani uses: Jaryan, Auram

To increase the potency of a man - seedling roots of Bombax ceiba L. (salamali) to chew. To treat the nocturnal pollution [The nocturnal pollutions are, in fact, involuntary loss of  semen during sleep. Most often, pollutions occur during the so-called “wet dreams” or erotic dreams] consume the flowers of Bombax ceiba L. (salmali). Rural folk of Assam use leaf to treat infertility; Santals find seedling spermatorrhoea.

Garhwalis and tribes of Dahanu forest use root to treat impotency. The roots are used in dysentery. The gum is useful in dysentery, haemoptysis of pulmonary tuberculosis, burning sensation. The bark is used for healing wounds. Leaves are good for skin eruption. Flowers are good for skin troubles. [Herbal Cures: Traditional Approach]

Young root tips are dried in shade and cooked as a vegetable for patients suffering from impotency. This vegetable is considered to be as good as the leaves of Adansonia digitata to increase the amount of sperm in semen. A half-cup extract of bark and flowers is taken for 3 d to treat sexual diseases such as hydrocele, leucorrhoea and gonorrhoea and to treat an irregular menstrual cycle. [Herbal Drugs: Ethnomedicine to Modern Medicine

Young roots (Semulmusali)— astringent, (used for dysentery) stimulant, demulcent. Fruits—stimulant, diuretic, expectorant. Used for chronic inflammation of bladder, kidney also for calculus affections. Flowers— astringent and cooling, applied to cutaneous affections. Leaves— anti-inflammatory. Stem bark— demulcent, styptic. Aqueous extract with curd is given for blooddysentery. Bark—paste is applied to skin eruptions, boils, acne, pimples. Seeds used for chickenpox, smallpox, catarrhal affections, chronic cystitis and genitourinary diseases. Gum—astringent, demulcent, styptic. Used for diarrhoea, dysentery, haemoptysis, bleeding piles, menorrhagia, spermatorrhoea. Root and pod—used for the treatment of low vitality and debility.

Various parts of the plant are used in fever, smallpox, rheumatism and leprosy. Bark is demulcent and tonic and is used in menorrhagia, leucorrhoea, diarrhoea, dysentery, boils, acne, pimples and coughs. Roots have stimulant, tonic and aphrodisiac properties and are given in impotency. Roots and barks are emetics. Young fruits are stimulant, expectorant and diuretic and beneficial in calculous affections, chronic inflammation and ulceration of bladder and kidneys. Seed extract is used as oxytocic and gonorrhea. burned infections, dysentery and urinary problems.

Other Uses:
This tree is planted on road side for beautification. The phenomenon paints the whole landscape in an enchanting red hue.

The fruit, the size of a ping-pong ball. These are full of cotton-like fibrous stuff. It is for the fiber that villagers gather the semul fruit and extract the cotton substance called “kopak”. This substance is used for filling economically priced pillows, quilts, sofas etc. The fruit is cooked and eaten and also pickled. Semul is quite a fast growing tree and can attain a girth of 2 to 3 m, and height about 30 m, in nearly 50 years or so. Its wood, when sawn fresh, is white in color. However, with exposure and passage of time it grows darkish gray. It is as light as 10 to 12 kg, per cubic foot. It is easy to work but not durable anywhere other than under water. So it is popular for construction work, but is very good and prized for manufacture of plywood, match boxes and sticks, scabbards, patterns, moulds, etc. Also for making canoes and light duty boats and or other structures required under water. Bombax species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the leaf-miner Bucculatrix crateracma which feeds exclusively on Bombax ceiba.

The flowers are very attractive to local wildlife, with many birds like the Japanese White-eye, a type of fruit eating bird, which often draws a hole in an unopened Bombax ceiba flower bud. Honey bees, and bumble bees also attracted to the flowers to collect pollen and nectar. Because the flowers attract many insects, Crab Spiders can be occasionally found on a fully opened flower, hunting bees.

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

Resources:

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

http://flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Silk%20Cotton%20Tree.html

http://medplants.blogspot.in/search/label/Bombax%20ceiba

Meyna spinosa Roxb.

Botanical Name: Meyna spinosa Roxb.
Family:    Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Ixoroideae
Tribe:    Vanguerieae
Genus:    Meyna
KingdomPlantae
Clade:    Angiosperms
Clade:    Eudicots
Clade:    Asterids
Order:    Gentianales

Synonyms : Vangueria spinosa  (Roxb. ex Link) Roxb.; Vangueria spinosa var. mollis Hook. f.; Pyrostria spinosa (Roxb. ex Link) Miq.; Vangueria miqueliana Kurz ; Vangueria mollis Wall.; Vangueria stellata Blanco.

Common names: Mainakanta, Madan, Maniphal

Vernacular names in other Languages :

Bengali : Mainakanta, Maniphal, Madan | Sanskrit : Pinditaka | Hindi : Maniphal, Pundrika | Tribal : Serali | English : Voavanga | Other Languages : Manakkarai (Tam.) ; Cegagadda (Tel.) ; Moltakanta (Ori.)

Habitat :Mainakanta is native to tropical Asia & Africa.It grows in hot and humid climate with a slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6.3-7.3) soil condition.

Description:
Meyna spinosa Roxb  is a thorny bushy shrub. The plant has straight, sharp spines and whorled green leaves arranged in opposite manner. Flowering season starts in late spring and lasts until early summer. It is distributed in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and also found in the plain lands of Java and Myanmar. In Bangladesh it is known as ‘Moyna’. Fruits of M. spinosa are reported to contain sugar, gum and tannic acid whereas the seeds contain esters of palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:

Chemical constituents: The present study was undertaken to investigate the antibacterial and cytotoxic activity of the ethanol extract of Meyna spinosa stem. Antibacterial activity was investigated against Staphylococcus aureus. Streptococcus pyogenes, Escherichia coli and Shigella dysenieriae by disc diffusion and broth macrodilution assay. In disk diffusion assay, the extract inhibited all the microorganisms except E. coli. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the extract was 1000 μg/ml for S. aureus, S. pyogenes and E. coli, whereas 500 μg/mLfor S. dysenieriae. For cytotoxicity test, the extract was subjected to brine shrimp lethality bioassay. The LD50 of M. spinosa stem extract was found to be 40 μg/mL. Findings of the study justify the use of the plant in traditional medicine and suggests for further investigation.

Meyna spinosa Roxb., a medicinal plant enjoys it use in the traditional medicine in Bangladesh for the treatment of a number of ailments. Fruits are used in the treatment of fever, inflammation, biliary complaints and hepatic congestion. Leaves are used in bone fracture and in the treatment of diphtheria. The plant is also reported to be used traditionally in the treatment of skin irritation abortion and renal diseases .

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://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/83173978/antibacterial-cytotoxic-activity-meyna-spinosa-roxb-stem

http://thai-shopping-mall.com/muyna-meyna-spinosa-5-seeds-p-1375.html

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

http://thinkinglaymen.org.in/plant_details.php?id=568a

Rumex acetosa

Botanical Name :  Rumex acetosa
Family:    Polygonaceae
Genus:    Rumex
Species:R. acetosa
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Caryophyllales

Common Names: Common sorrel or garden sorrel, often simply called sorrel
Other Names: Spinach dock and Narrow-leaved dock.

Habitat : Rumex acetosa occurs in grassland habitats throughout Europe from the northern Mediterranean coast to the north of Scandinavia and in parts of Central Asia. It occurs as an introduced species in parts of North America.

Description : Rumex acetosa is a perennial herb. It is a plant like the Common Dock, but handsomer, and distinguished by its sharp-pointed leaves being narrower and longer. It grows about 3 feet high, having erect, round, striated stems and small greenish flowers, turning brown when ripe……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible Uses: The leaves may be pureed in soups and sauces or added to salads; they have a flavour that is similar to kiwifruit or sour wild strawberries. The plant’s sharp taste is due to oxalic acid.

In northern Nigeria, sorrel is known as yakuwa or sure (pronounced suuray) in Hausa or karassu in Kanuri. It is also used in stews usually in addition to spinach. In some Hausa communities, it is steamed and made into salad using kuli-kuli (traditional roasted peanut cakes with oil extracted), salt, pepper, onion and tomatoes. The recipe varies according to different levels of household income. A drink called solo is made from a decoction of the plant calyx.

In Romania, wild or garden sorrel, known as m?cri? or ?tevie, is used to make sour soups, stewed with spinach, added fresh to lettuce and spinach in salads or over open sandwiches.

In Russia and Ukraine it is called shchavel’   and is used to make soup called green borscht. It is used as a soup ingredient in other countries, too .

In Croatia and Bulgaria is used for soups or with mashed potatoes, or as part of a traditional dish containing eel and other green herbs.

In rural Greece it is used with spinach, leeks, and chard in spanakopita.

In the Flemish speaking part of Belgium it is called “zurkel” and preserved pureed sorrel is mixed with mashed potatoes and eaten with sausages, meatballs or fried bacon, as a traditional winter dish.

In Vietnam it is called Rau Chua and is used to added fresh to lettuce and in salads for Bánh X?o.

In Portugal, it’s called “azeda” (sour), and is usually chewed raw.

In India, the leaves are called chukkakura in Telugu and are used in making delicious recipes. Chukkakura pappu soup made with yellow lentils which is also called toor dal in India.

In Albania it is called lëpjeta, the leaves are simmered and served cold marinated in olive oil, it is used in soups, and even as an ingredient for filling byrek pies ( byrek me lakra ).

This name can be confused with the hibiscus calyces or Hibiscus Tea.

Medicinal Uses:
The root has been used in drinks and decoctions for scurvy and as a general blood cleanser, and employed for outward application to cutaneous eruptions, in the form of an ointment, made by beating it up with lard.

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/d/docks-15.html

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

Operculina turpethum

Botanical Name :Operculina turpethum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Solanales
Family:    Convolvulaceae
Genus:    Operculina
Species :Operculina turpethum

Synonyms:Ipomoea turpethum,  Turpeth Root. Indian Jalap. Trivrit. Nisoth. Operculina Turpethum.

Common Names: turpeth, fue vao, and St. Thomas lidpod.

Vernacular Names: Indian Jalap, St. Thomas lidpod, transparent wood rose, turpeth root, white day glory • Hindi: nisoth, panila, pitohri • Kannada: aluthi gida, bangada balli, bilitigade, devadanti, nagadanti • Malayalam: tigade • Marathi: or  nisottar • Sanskrit: nishotra,triputa,trivrutt, trivrutha • Tamil: adimbu, caralam, civatai, kumpncan, paganrai • Telugu: tegada, trivrut tellatega • Bengali: tevudi • Arabic: turbuth.

Parts Used: Dried root, stem.

Habitat:  India. Ceylon, Pacific Islands, China, Australia

Description:
:Operculina turpethum is perennial herbaceous, hairy vines growing 4 to 5 meter in length, endemic to India. It is commonly found in North Circars and Deccan region up to 3000 ft. The leaves are alternate, very variable in shape, ovate, oblong and truncate or cordate at the base. The flowers are large, axillary and solitary. Fruit is a capsule with conspicuous enlarged sepals and thickened pedicles….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Constituents:
Resin, a fatty substance, volatile oil, albumen, starch, a yellow colouring matter, lignin, salts, and ferric oxide. The root contains 10 per cent of resin, which is a glucoside, Turpethin, insoluble in ether, but soluble in alcohol, to which it gives a brown colour not removable by animal charcoal. To obtain pure, the alcoholic solution is concentrated; the resin is precipitated by, and afterwards boiled with, water, then dried, reduced to powder, digested with ether, and finally redissolved by absolute alcohol and deposited by ether. After being treated several times in this way, it is obtained in the state of a brownish resin, yielding on pulverization a grey powder, which irritates the mucous membrane of the nostrils and mouth. It is inflammable, burning with a smoky flame and emitting irritant vapours. With strong bases it acts like jalapin, takes up water, and is transferred into a soluble acid, while with dilute acids it is decomposed into turpetholic acid, and glucose.

Medicinal  Uses: Cathartic and purgative. It is rather slow in its action, less powerful and less unpleasant than jalap.

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

Resources:

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

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/turpet31.html

Ophiocordyceps sinensis

Botanical Name : Ophiocordyceps sinensis
Family: Ophiocordycipitaceae
Genus: Ophiocordyceps
Species: O. sinensis
Kngdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Sordariomycetes
Order: Hypocreales

Synonyms: Cordyceps sinensis
Common Names: Yarsagomba,caterpillar fungus, Yartsa Gunbu, yarshagumba,  The transliteration in Bhutan is Yartsa Guenboob. It is known as keera jhar, keeda jadi, keeda ghas or ‘ghaas fafoond in Nepali. Its name in Chinese D?ng chóng xià cao means “winter worm, summer grass”

Habitat : Yarsagumba or Yarchagumbu is an exceptional and incredible herb that grows in the pastures above 3,300 meters upto 4000 meters in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, Bhutan, India and Tibet.

Description:
Similar to other Cordyceps species,  Ophiocordyceps sinensis consists of two parts, a fungal endosclerotium (caterpillar) and stroma. The stroma is the upper fungal part and is dark brown or black, but can be a yellow color when fresh and, longer than the caterpillar itself, usually 4–10 cm. It grows singly from the larval head, and is clavate, sublanceolate or fusiform and distinct from the stipe. The stipe is slender, glabrous, and longitudinally furrowed or ridged. The fertile part of the stroma is the head. The head is granular due to the ostioles of the embedded perithecia. The perithecia are ordinally arranged and ovoid  The asci are cylindrical or slightly tapering at both ends, and may be straight or curved, with a capitate and hemispheroid apex and may be two to four spored. Similarly, ascospores are hyaline, filiform, multiseptate at a length of 5-12 um and subattenuated on both sides.[8] Perithecial, ascus and ascospore characters in the fruiting bodies are the key identification characteristics of O. sinensis. Ophiocordyceps (Petch) Kobayasi species produce whole ascospores and do not separate into part spores which is different from other Cordyceps species, which produce either immersed or superficial perithecia perpendicular to stromal surface and the ascospores at maturity are disarticulated into part spores. Generally Cordyceps species possess brightly colored and fleshy stromata, but O. sinensis had dark pigments and tough to pliant stromata, a typical characteristic feature of most of the Ophiocordyceps species.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Chemical constituents:
The chemical constituents of natural Cordyceps include cordycepic acid, glutamic acid, amino acids, polyamines, cyclic dipeptides, saccharides and sugar derivatives, sterols, nucleotides and nucleosides, 28 saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, fatty acid derivatives and other organic acids, vitamins, and inorganic elements. Palmitic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid, and ergosterol are the main components of natural and cultured Cordyceps, these fatty acids, as well as 14 investigated compounds, can be used to discriminate the hierarchical cluster, as the palmitic acid and oleic acid contents in natural Cordyceps are significantly higher than those in the cultured Cordyceps.

Medicinal Uses:
Yarsagumba  is used as a reputed curative to many diseases, anti- aging, hypoglycemic, aphrodisiac and also treatment against cancer. Ophiocordyceps sinensis serves against kidney and lung problems and stimulates the immune system; it is used for treatment of fatigue, night sweating, respiratory disease, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, asthenia after severe illness, arrhythmias and other heart diseases and liver disease.

Yarsagumba is also known as the “Himalayan Viagra” or “Himalayan Gold” for its high medicinal   value. It is mainly used as a treatment for impotency in many countries. Numerous scientific studies and research reveals that it has properties of antibiotic in it. Cordycep sinensis is used for lung and respiratory infection, pain, sciatica and backache. It also provides vitality and increases physical stamina of the body. Yarsa gumba is used by the Chinese to cure chronic hepatitis B and immune function such as dysfunctioning of liver.
More research is being carried out worldwide to ascertain its various medical effects.

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

Resources:

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

http://www.jtcm.org/article.asp?issn=2225-4110;year=2013;volume=3;issue=1;spage=16;epage=32;aulast=Lo

http://funmania.wordpress.com/2008/01/18/yarsagumba-the-himalayan-viagra/

Illicuim verum

Botanical Name : Illicuim verum
Family: Schisandraceae
Genus: Illicium
Species: I. verum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Austrobaileyales

Synonyms: Chinese Anise. Aniseed Stars. Badiana.

Common Name :Star anise, Star aniseed, or Chinese star anise

Habitat : Illicuim verum is  native evergreen tree of northeast Vietnam and southwest China.It grows on light woodland and thickets. Forests at elevations of 200 – 1600 metres in S and W Guangxi Province, China.

Description:
Illicium verum is an evergreen Tree growing to 5 m (16ft) by 3 m (9ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Mar to May, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs.  CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Cultivation:
Prefers a light, moist well-drained loam and a sheltered position Prefers a humus-rich lime-free soil. Succeeds in sun or semi-shade[200]. This species is not very cold-hardy, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c and requires a very sheltered position or the protection of a wall when grown in Britain. Chinese anise is extensively cultivated in China for its fruit and medicinal essential oil. It is planted in the grounds of temples in Japan, and also on tombs. Plants seldom grow larger than about 3 metres in Britain, but eventually reach about 18 metres tall in their native habitat.

Propagation:
Seed – it does not require pre-treatment and can be sown in early spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give some protection from the cold over the winter for the first year or two. Layering in early spring. Takes 18 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Pot up the cuttings when they start to root and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses:
The fruit is used as a flavouring in curries, teas and pickles. It is an ingredient of ‘five spice powder’, used in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. The fruit is also chewed after meals in order to sweeten the breath. Caution is advised because it is said to be poisonous in quantity. The essential oil is used to flavour liqueurs, soft drinks and bakery products.Star anise is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. It is also a major ingredient in the making of ph?, a Vietnamese noodle soup. It is widely used in Chinese cuisine, and in Indian cuisine where it is a major component of garam masala, and in Malay and Indonesian cuisines. It is widely grown for commercial use in China, India, and most other countries in Asia.

Star anise contains anethole, the same ingredient that gives the unrelated anise its flavor. Recently, star anise has come into use in the West as a less expensive substitute for anise in baking as well as in liquor production, most distinctively in the production of the liquor Galliano. It is also used in the production of sambuca, pastis, and many types of absinthe. Star anise enhances the flavour of meat. It is used as a spice in preparation of biryani and masala chai all over the Indian subcontinent.

Medicinal uses:
Star anise has been used in a tea as a traditional remedy for rheumatism, and the seeds are sometimes chewed after meals to aid digestion.[citation needed] As a warm and moving herb, star anise is used to assist in relieving cold-stagnation in the middle jiao, according to traditional Chinese medicine.

Star anise is the major source of the chemical compound shikimic acid, a primary precursor in the pharmaceutical synthesis of anti-influenza drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Shikimic acid is produced by most autotrophic organisms, and whilst it can be obtained in commercial quantities from elsewhere, star anise remains the usual industrial source. In 2005, a temporary shortage of star anise was causedby its use in the production of Tamiflu. Later that year, a method for the production of shikimic acid using bacteria was discovered. Roche now derives some of the raw material it needs from the fermentation of E. coli bacteria. The 2009 swine flu outbreak led to another series of shortages as stocks of Tamiflu were built up around the world, sending prices soaring.

Star anise is grown in four provinces in China and harvested between March and May. It is also found in the south of New South Wales. The shikimic acid is extracted from the seeds in a 10-stage manufacturing process which takes a year.

Other Uses:
Essential;  Incense.

The pounded bark is used as an incense.

Known Hazards: Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum), a similar tree, is highly toxic and inedible; in Japan, it has instead been burned as incense. Cases of illness, including “serious neurological effects, such as seizures”, reported after using star anise tea, may be a result of using this species. Japanese star anise contains anisatin, which causes severe inflammation of the kidneys, urinary tract, and digestive organs. The toxicity of I. anisatum, also known as shikimi, is caused by its containing potent neurotoxins (anisatin, neoanisatin, and pseudoanisatin), due to their activity as noncompetitive antagonists of GABA receptors.

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

Resources:

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

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Illicium+verum

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/anise041.html

Odontoma

Definition:
Odontoma is a benign tumor that usually forms at the root of a tooth. It may have genetic origins or may result from some sort of trauma to the tooth.
It  is a hamartoma of odontogenic origin.The average age of people found with an odontoma is 14, and the condition is frequently associated with an unerupted tooth…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

There are two types: compound and complex.

A compound odontoma still has the three separate dental tissues (enamel, dentin and cementum), but may present a lobulated appearance where there is no definitive demarcation of separate tissues between the individual “toothlets” (or denticles). It usually appears in the anterior maxilla.

 

The complex Odontoma is unrecognizable as dental tissues, usually presenting as a radioopaque area with varying densities. It usually appears in the posterior maxilla or in the mandible.

In 2011; 66% of odontogenic tumors are odontomas (University of Louisville School of Dentistry). 22% of odontogenic tumors are odontomas.

In July of 2014 in Mumbai, India, surgeons at Mumbai’s JJ Hospital removed 232 tooth-like growths from a complex odontoma growing in the lower jaw of 17 year old Ashik Gavai. This odontoma is proposed as “The World Record” to date.

Symptoms:

The most common symptoms are:Pain,Rash,Diarrea,Headache,Back pain,Constipation,Fever,Caugh,Runing nose,Vision change.

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Odontoma includes the 6 symptoms listed below:

*Dysphagia ( Dysphagia is difficulty in swallowing.There are about 194 causes of Dysphagia, including diseases and drug side effect causes.)
*Lump on gums
*Delayed tooth eruption (It is a condition in which there is a slow or late development of a tooth. There are about  60 causes of Delayed tooth eruption)
*Absent tooth
*Delayed primary tooth loss
*Increased bone size under tooth

Causes:
There are several causes of odontoma, some of them are :

*Dental conditions(Any condition that affects dental organs such as the teeth and gums. Examples of dental conditions include tooth decay, tooth infection, gingivitis, periodontitis, impacted tooth and canker sores)

*Oral conditions(Any condition affecting the mouth. Mouth conditions can affect any structure of the mouth such as teeth, gums, lips, tongue and cheeks. Conditions that can affect the mouth include candidiasis, oral cancer, stuttering, cleft palate, bad breath and gingivitis. )

*Head conditions(Any condition affecting the head. Some head conditions can be serious such as cancers and skull fractures whereas other conditions may be less threatening such as headaches and head lice)

*Benign tumors (A benign tumor is one that does not spread or “metastasize” to other parts of the body; a “malignant tumor” is one that does. A benign tumor is caused by cell overgrowth, and thus is different from a cyst or an abcess,)

Diagnosis:
Odontoma does not usually show external symptoms. These tumors are revealed when the x-rays are examined by the dentist. Although it is true that a delayed tooth or absent tooth may suggest there is a need for further examination.

The presence of an a tumor of dental origin requires further examination to determine what type of tumor it is before further action is taken. In addition, a histological diagnosis of the tissues that were extracted provides valuable information to the dentist.

No one really knows why an odontoma forms. The most likely reasons are trauma and/or infection at the site. Some dentists and researchers believe they are hereditary or they develop because of genetic mutations. One example of an inherited syndrome is known as Gardener Syndrome. It is responsible for a wide range of tumors in the body, including occasional odontoma.  When examined at the cellular level, all of the dental tissues are found, but in an abnormal combination.

Pulp, dentin, enamel and cementum may sometimes resemble a tooth like structure in a compound odontoma. These denticles are found in a surrounding supporting layer of fibrous cells. Since it is decalcified, the enamel looks like spaces around the tiny tooth structures.   Looking closer, you can see the calicified material either as a solid mass or as multiple, small tooth-like bodies visible by x-rays. Because it is easily separated from its bony location it can be distinguished from other possible tumors.

A complex odontoma has no specific sequence for all of the dental tissue. It does not resemble normal tooth structure. At the cellular level it appears as mostly tubular dentin that encloses hollow spaces. These circular spaces are decalcified but they once held enamel. On the edges there may be a thin layer of cementum which forms a capsule like tissue surrounding the mass.

Treatment :
The only real treatment of an these dental tumors is removal by surgery. An early discovery and treatment will be beneficial to the patient. It is a benign tumor made of dental tissue and it is a fairly simple extraction in most cases. A speedy recovery is generally expected.  Some complex tumors can result in complications after extraction. So it is essential to stay in contact with the dental surgeon.

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

Resources:

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

http://www.allhealthsite.com/odontoma.html

http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/o/odontoma/intro.

Rice

Botanical Name : Oryza sativa
Family: Poaceae
Genus:     Oryza
Species: O. sativa
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class:     Liliopsida
Order:     Poales

Synonyms: Nivara. Dhan. O. montana. O. setegera. O. latifolia. Bras.

Common Name : Rice or paddy

In bengali dhan or chal

Part Used:The seeds.

Habitat:Rice is native to the tropics and subtropics of Southeast Asia, rice is now cultivated in many localities throughout the world with favorable climatic conditions. More than 90% of the world rice production is in Asia; China and India being the largest producers .

Description:
Rice is an annual plant with several jointed culms or stems from 2 to 10 feet long,(depending on the variety) the lower part floating in water or prostrate, with roots at the nodes, the rest erect. The panicle is terminal and diffuse, bowing when the seed is weighty. It is probably indigenous to China, and certainly to India, where the wild form grows by tanks, ditches and rivers. It was early introduced into East Africa and Syria, and later into America, where it already appears as a native plant. In Europe, rice was brought into the Mediterranean basin from Syria by the Arabs in the Middle Ages, but is now grown largely only in the plain of Lombardy, and a little in Spain. In England it has been cultivated merely as a curiosity, and may be seen in the hothouses of most botanic gardens, treated as a water plant. The Cingalese distinguish 160 kinds, while 50 or 60 are cultivated in India, not including the wild form, from which the grain is collected, though it is never cultivated. Most kinds require irrigation, but some need little water, or can be grown on ordinary, dry ground.
Oryza (the classical name of the grain), or the husked seeds, is called Bras by the Malays, and Paddy when it is enclosed in the husk. Carolina and Patna rice are the most esteemed in England and the United States. The grain of the first is round and flat, and boils soft for puddings; the latter has a long and narrow grain that keeps its shape well for curries, etc.

 

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flour procured from the seeds is called Oryzae Farina, or rice flour, commonly known as ground rice.

The granules of rice starch are the smallest of all known starch granules.

A kind of spirit called Arrack is sometimes distilled from the fermented infusion, but the name Arrack is usually applied to Palm wine or Toddy.

Cultivation:
Rice should be planted on a smooth seedbed. In United States rice is seeded in spring at rate of 101–123 kg/ha when drilled and 130–225 kg/ha when broadcast; on virgin land, 140–145 kg/ha. This will give 80–300 plants/m2 0.1 sq. m. Cover seed 3.7–5 cm, or broadcast in water with airplane. In some countries (as India, Malaya, Philippines, China, Japan, and Spain), rice is transplanted into fields when 25 cm high, spaced 10–20 cm apart in 20–30 cm rows. Thirty-five laborers can plant 1 ha/day. Plant in very low water and then increase depth. Transplanting makes better use of limited land areas. Tipar (Upland) culture is still found in Sumatra, Thailand, Borneo, and the Philippines. It represents a primitive kind of culture and is of slight overall importance. Rice is sown 3–4 cm deep in holes 15 cm apart on hillsides where no irrigation is possible. Fields are worked as corn fields; crop rotation is practiced with bananas or sugar cane; yields are small. Continuous rice culture depletes soil nutrition and lowers yield. Rotations with soybeans, grain sorghums or small grains, vetch, safflower, field beans, burclover, horsebeans, bananas, sugarcane, cotton, lespedeza, or corn, have been used. Nitrogen to 90 kg/ha was found to increase yields; beyond that no further increase. Potash and phosphorus are used only on the basis of soil tests. All phosphorus and potassium and some nitrogen should be applied at time of seeding; the rest of the nitrogen at mid growing season as a top-dressing. Flood soon afterwards to eliminate weeds. Other fertilizers which are used; as rice straw, rice ash, stable manure, buffalo dung, green manure, fish guano, fish meal, natural manure, and human feces.

Ediable Uses:
Rice is cultivated primarily for the grain which forms an important part of the diet in many countries, especially in Asia.It is a staple food for many countries of the world. Grains are quite nutritious when not polished. In the US, 60% of domestic rice consumption went into direct food use, 11% into processed food, and 29% into beer production around 1975 (Rutger, 1981). US per capita consumption is between 3 and 4 kg/yr, up from 2.7 a few years ago (cf >50 kg in portions of Latin America). Common or starchy types are used in various dishes, cakes, soups, pastries, breakfast foods, and starch pastes; glutinous types, containing a sugary material instead of starch, are used in the Orient for special purposes as sweetmeats. Rice bran contains 15–17% oil, and is a source of vitamin B, used as a preventative and cure of beriberi. Grain is also used to make rice wine, Saki, much consumed in Japan. Fermented or Sierra rice is consumed in the Andean highlands and is used exclusively there in the preparation of dry rice.

Medicinal Uses:
According to Hartwell (1967–1971), the seeds are used in folk medicine for breast cancers, stomach indurations, other tumors, and warts. Reported to be antidotal, aperitif, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, excipient, larvicidal, refrigerant, stomachic, tonic, and vermifuge, rice is a folk remedy for abdominal ailments, beriberi, bowels, burns, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, epistaxis, fever, filariasis, flux, hematemesis, inflammations, jaundice, nausea, ophthalmia, paralysis, piles, psoriasis, skin ailments, sores, splenosis, stomach ailments, and swellings (Duke and Wain, 1981). According to Duke and Ayensu (1984), the flowers are dried as cosmetic and dentifrice in China, awns are used for jaundice in China. The stem is used for bilious conditions; ash for discharges and wounds, sapraemia in Malaya; infusion of straw for dysentery, gout, and rheumatism. The husk is used for dysentery and considered tonic in China. In China, rice cakes are fried in camel’s fat for hemorrhoids; rice water is used for fluxes and ulcers and applied externally for gout with pepper in Malaya. Boiled rice is used for carbuncles in Malaya and poulticed onto purulent tumors in the East Indies. The root is considered astringent, anhidrotic, and is decocted for anuria. Sprouts are used for poor appetite, dyspepsia, fullness of abdomen and chest, and weak spleen and stomach in China. The lye of charred stems (merang, Indonesia) is used as a hair wash and used internally as an abortifacient. In the Philippine Islands, an extract (tikitiki), rich in antineuritic B1 vitamin, made of rice polishings, is used in treatment of infantile beriberi and for malnutrition in adults. In Java, the vitamins are extracted and supplied as lozenges.

Other Uses: Rice hulls are sometimes used in the production of purified alpha cellulose and furfural.  Rice straw is used as roofing and packing material, feed, fertilizer  and biomass fuel.

A few years ago the injurious habit of chewing the raw white grains was practised by fashionable women and girls to produce a white velvety complexion.

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.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Oryza_sativa.html

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

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/rice–15.html

Lady fern

Athyrium filix-femina - Athyriaceae

Athyrium filix-femina – Athyriaceae (Photo credit: Kerry D Woods)

Botanical Name : Asplenium Felix-foemina
Family :Dryopteridaceae/Athyriaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class:     Polypodiopsida
Order:     Polypodiales
Genus:     Athyrium
Species: A. filix-femina

Synonym: Athyrium Filix-foemina.
Common NamesLady Fern, Common ladyfern, Subarctic ladyfern, Asplenium ladyfern, Southern Lady Fern, Tatting Fer

Habitat :Lady fern is available throughout the N. Temperate zone, including Britain, to the mountains of India, tropical S. America.It grows in Moist sheltered woods, hedgebanks and ravines, usually on acidic soils but also found in drier and more open habitats.

Description:
The Lady Fern is a deciduous Fern growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The seeds ripen from Jul to August.

It is similar in size and general appearance to the Male Fern. It grows abundantly in Britain, in masses, in moist, sheltered woods, on hedgebanks and in ravines. The rootstock is short and woody; the fronds 2 to 3 feet high, grow in circular tufts and are light, feathery and succulent, generally drooping, and while young and tender, not infrequently soon shrivelling up after being gathered. The leaf base – as already stated – has only two large bundles, and the stalks are less scaly than in the Male Fern. The pinnae are alternate, the lowest decreasing much in size at the bottom, and are divided into numerous long, narrow, deeply-divided and toothed pinnules, with abundant sori on their undersides, the indusium attached along one side, in shape rather like an elongated and rather straightened kidney. The Lady Fern is very variable in form, tint and flexibility: it is more graceful and somewhat more delicate than the Male Fern, and is early cut down by autumn frosts. It is easy of cultivation.

Cultivation:                                             
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Ground cover, Massing, Woodland garden. An easily grown plant, it is calcifuge and prefers an acid soil with a pH from 4.5 to 6.5, but it tolerates alkaline soils if plenty of leaf mould is added[200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist sheltered site with moderately high atmospheric humidity. A very ornamental and polymorphic species, there are many named varieties selected for their ornamental value. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant.

Propagation: 
Spores – surface sow in a pot of sterile compost in a shady part of the greenhouse and keep moist, this is most easily done by putting the pot in a plastic bag. Pot up small clumps of the plants when they are large enough to handle and keep them moist until they are established. Plant out in late spring of the following year. Division in spring as plants come into growth. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.

Medicinal Uses:
A tea of the boiled stems has been used to relieve labour pains. The young unfurled fronds have been eaten to treat internal ailments such as cancer of the womb. The roots are anthelmintic and diuretic. A tea of the boiled roots has been used to treat general body pains, to stop breast pains caused by childbirth and to induce milk flow in caked breasts. The dried powdered root has been applied externally to heal sores. A liquid extract of the root is an effective anthelmintic, though it is less powerful than the male fern, Dryopteris felix-mas.
Other Uses.
Other Uses:

A good ground cover plant, forming a slowly spreading clump. The cultivar ‘Minor’ has a denser habit and spreads more freely, making a better cover.

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Athyrium+filix-femina

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/ferns-08.html#shi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athyrium_filix-femina

Athyrium filix-femina

Botanical Name : Athyrium filix-femina
Family : Dryopteridaceae/Athyriaceae
Kingdom:  Plantae
Division:Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Genus: Athyrium
Species: A. filix-femina

Synonyms: Asplenium felix-femina
Common Names: Lady Fern, Common ladyfern, Subarctic ladyfern, Asplenium ladyfern, Southern Lady Fern, Tatting Fer

Habitat :Athyrium filix-femina is native to Northern Temperate zone, including Britain, to the mountains of India, tropical S. America.It grows on Moist sheltered woods, hedgebanks and ravines, usually on acidic soils but also found in drier and more open habitats.

Description:
Lady Fern is a deciduous Fern growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate.It is similar in size and general appearance to the Male Fern. The rootstock is short and woody; the fronds 2 to 3 feet high, grow in circular tufts and are light, feathery and succulent, generally drooping, and while young and tender, not infrequently soon shrivelling up after being gathered. The leaf base – as already stated – has only two large bundles, and the stalks are less scaly than in the Male Fern. The pinnae are alternate, the lowest decreasing much in size at the bottom, and are divided into numerous long, narrow, deeply-divided and toothed pinnules, with abundant sori on their undersides, the indusium attached along one side, in shape rather like an elongated and rather straightened kidney. The Lady Fern is very variable in form, tint and flexibility: it is more graceful and somewhat more delicate than the Male Fern, and is early cut down by autumn frosts. It is easy of cultivation.
It is hardy to zone 2. The seeds ripen from Jul to August.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:  
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Ground cover, Massing, Woodland garden. An easily grown plant, it is calcifuge and prefers an acid soil with a pH from 4.5 to 6.5, but it tolerates alkaline soils if plenty of leaf mould is added. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist sheltered site with moderately high atmospheric humidity. A very ornamental  and polymorphic species, there are many named varieties selected for their ornamental value. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant.

Propagation:         
Spores – surface sow in a pot of sterile compost in a shady part of the greenhouse and keep moist, this is most easily done by putting the pot in a plastic bag. Pot up small clumps of the plants when they are large enough to handle and keep them moist until they are established. Plant out in late spring of the following year. Division in spring as plants come into growth. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.

Edible Uses:      
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.

Young shoots, harvested before they have fully unfolded, can be eaten cooked. They must not be eaten raw – see the notes above on toxicity. Used in spring, they are a bitter emergency food. Rhizome – peeled and slow-baked. Reports that the root of this plant were eaten by native North American Indians are likely to be mistaken, it was probably Dryopteris expansa that was used.

Medicinal Uses:
A tea of the boiled stems has been used to relieve labour pains. The young unfurled fronds have been eaten to treat internal ailments such as cancer of the womb. The roots are anthelmintic and diuretic. A tea of the boiled roots has been used to treat general body pains, to stop breast pains caused by childbirth and to induce milk flow in caked breasts. The dried powdered root has been applied externally to heal sores. A liquid extract of the root is an effective anthelmintic, though it is less powerful than the male fern, Dryopteris felix-mas

Other Uses: A good ground cover plant, forming a slowly spreading clump. The cultivar ‘Minor’ has a denser habit and spreads more freely, making a better cover

Known Hazards:     The fresh shoots of Asplenium felix-femina contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase. Although we have found no reports for this species, a number of ferns also contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable.

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

Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/ferns-08.html#lad

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Athyrium+filix-femina

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athyrium_filix-femina

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