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Taraxacum sinicum

Botanical Name: Taraxacum sinicum
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Subtribe: Crepidinae
Genus: Taraxacum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Habitat : Taraxacum sinicum is native to east Asia-China.

Description:
Taraxacum sinicum is a perennial herb. 8-15(-25) cm tall. Petiole brownish purple, narrow; leaf blade ± mid-green, linear-oblanceolate, 7-10(-15) × 0.6-1 cm, subglabrous to sparsely arachnoid, margin usually pinnatilobed, pinnatisect, or very deeply dissected or rarely undivided; lateral lobes 5-7(-9) pairs, linear to linear-triangular, ± recurved; interlobes narrow, usually 5-7 mm, margin entire; terminal lobe narrow, elongated, base sagittate, apex ± acute. Scapes brownish green, ± overtopping leaves, arachnoid and densely so below capitulum. Capitulum 1.5-2.5 cm wide. Involucre 6-7(-8) mm wide, ± subobconic at base. Outer phyllaries 16-18, yellowish green with red apex to dark green and often suffused reddish, imbricate, outermost ones ovate-lanceolate and 4.5-6.5 × 1.8-2.7 mm, middle ones ± lanceolate, 7-8 × 1.5-2 mm, and 1/3-1/2 as long as inner ones, appressed, with a ± conspicuous membranous to whitish 0.2-0.4 mm wide border, margin glabrous, apex ± flat to slightly callose; inner phyllaries 10-13 × ca. 1 mm, apex flat. Ligules deep yellow; outer ligules ± flat, outside striped dark gray; inner ligules with yellow to grayish apical teeth. Stigmas greenish gray. Anthers polliniferous; pollen grains irregular in size. Achene light grayish, 3.5-4.4 × 0.9-1 mm; body subsparsely to ± densely spinulose above, ± gradually narrowing into a thick subcylindric 0.7-1 mm cone, spinules coarse with uppermost ones curved upward; beak 5-6.5 mm, base ± thick. Pappus yellowish white, 6.5-7 mm. Fl. spring to summer. Agamosperm. 2n = 24

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
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 moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a well-drained humus-rich soil in full sun or light shade. Many species in this genus produce their seed apomictically. This is an asexual method of seed production where each seed is genetically identical to the parent plant. Occasionally seed is produced sexually, the resulting seedlings are somewhat different to the parent plants and if these plants are sufficiently distinct from the parents and then produce apomictic seedlings these seedlings are, in theory at least, a new species.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and either surface-sow or only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, choosing relatively deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Plant them out in early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Leaves – raw or cooked. The following uses are also probably applicable to this species, though we have no records for them Root – cooked. Flowers – raw or cooked. The unopened flower buds can be used in fritters. The whole plant is dried and used as a tea. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea. The root is dried and roasted to make a coffee substitute.
Medicinal Uses:
Antibacterial; Cancer; Cholagogue; Diuretic; Galactogogue; Hepatic; Laxative; Stomachic.

The aerial parts of the plant are antibacterial, cholagogue, diuretic, galactogogue, laxative and stomachic. A decoction is used in treating abscesses, appendicitis, boils, liver problems, stomach disorders etc. It has been used for over 1,000 years by the Chinese in treating breast cancer and other disorders of the breasts including poor milk flow. The plant has an antibacterial action against Staphylococcus aureus, streptococci, Pneumococci, Meningococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheriae, Proteus etc. The stem has been used in the treatment of cancer.
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:

Taraxacum mongolicum


http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=3&taxon_id=200024592
http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taraxacum+sinicum

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Artemisia scoparia

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

Synonyms:
*Artemisia capillaris Miq.
*Artemisia capillaris var. scoparia (Waldst. & Kit.) Pamp.
*Artemisia elegans Roxb. 1814 not Salisb. 1796
*Artemisia gracilis L’Hér. ex DC.
*Artemisia hallaisanensis var. formosana Pamp.
*Artemisia kohatica Klatt
*Artemisia piperita Pall. ex Ledeb.
*Artemisia sachaliensis Tilesius ex Besser
*Artemisia scoparioides Grossh.
*Artemisia trichophylla Wall. ex DC.
*Draconia capillaris (Thunb.) Soják
*Draconia scoparia (Waldst. & Kit.) Soják
*Oligosporus scoparius (Waldst. & Kit.) Less.

Common Names: Redstem wormwood
General Name:Artemisia Scoparia
English Name: Artemisia Scoparia
Hindi Name : Seeta Bani
Chinese Name : Yin Chen

Habitat : Artemisia scoparia is native to C. Europe to W. Asia. It grows on waste ground in C. Japan.
Description:
Artemisia scoparia is a binnial plant  growing to 0.6 m (2ft).

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 cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought......CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

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[245]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow late spring in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer
Edible Uses: ….Young leaves – cooked.

Chemical constituents:
*Capillarisin
*Chlorogenic acid butyl ester
*6,7-Dimethylesculetin
*Isosabandin
*Magnolioside (isoscopoletin-?-D-glucopyranoside)
*7-Methoxycoumarin
*7-Methylesculetin
*Sabandin A
*Sabandin B
*Scoparone (6,7-dimethoxycoumarin)
*Scopoletin
*?-Sitosterol

Medicinal Uses:

Antibacterial; Anticholesterolemic; Antipyretic; Antiseptic; Cholagogue; Diuretic; Vasodilator.

The plant is anticholesterolemic, antipyretic, antiseptic, cholagogue, diuretic and vasodilator. It has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, streptococci, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, B. subtilis, Pneumococci, C. diphtheriae, mycobacterium etc. It is used in the treatment of jaundice, hepatitis and inflammation of the gall bladder. The plant is also used in a mixture with other herbs as a cholagogue.

Other Uses :….Essential….The seed and flowering stems contain 0.75% essential oil

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_scoparia
http://herbpathy.com/Uses-and-Benefits-of-Artemisia-Scoparia-Cid5099
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+scoparia

PUVA therapy

Description:
PUVA is an acronym. The P stands for psoralen,(Psoralen is a photosensitizing agent found in plants ) the U for ultra, the V for violet, and the A for that portion of the solar spectrum between 320 and 400 nanometers in wavelength. Psoralens are chemicals found in certain plants that have the ability to absorb ultraviolet light in these wavelengths. Once the light energy is absorbed, these chemicals are energized to interact with DNA, ultimately inhibiting cell multiplication, which is their presumed mode of action.

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Certain skin diseases are characterized by cells that are rapidly multiplying. Inhibiting this unrestrained multiplication can be useful in treating these diseases. So PUVA is a combination of an oral drug and subsequent ultraviolet light exposure. The treatment may affect certain blood cells and skin cells so that the skin disease improves.

It is a treatment for eczema, psoriasis, graft-versus-host disease, vitiligo, mycosis fungoides, large-plaque parapsoriasis and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma using the sensitizing effects of the drug psoralen. The psoralen is applied or taken orally to sensitize the skin, then the skin is exposed to UVA.

Photodynamic therapy is the general use of nontoxic light-sensitive compounds that are exposed selectively to light, whereupon they become toxic to targeted malignant and other diseased cells. Still, PUVA therapy is often classified as a separate technique from photodynamic therapy.

Plant sources   from where  we get psoralens:
Ficus carica (fig) is probably the most abundant source of psoralens. They are also found in small quantities in Ammi visnaga (bisnaga), Pastinaca sativa (parsnip), Petroselinum crispum (parsley), Levisticum officinale (lovage), Foeniculum vulgare (fruit, i.e., fennel seeds), Daucus carota (carrot), Psoralea corylifolia (babchi), and Apium graveolens (celery).

Types of PUVA therapy:
The most common form of therapy combines 8-methoxypsoralen taken by mouth followed 45-60 minutes later by exposure of the skin to UVA. Less commonly the drug is applied topically (the medication is occasionally diluted in bathtub water in which the patient is immersed) and then after a few minutes the ultraviolet exposure occurs.

Procedure:
Psoralens are taken systemically or can be applied directly to the skin. The psoralens allow a relatively lower dose of UVA to be used. When they are combined with exposure to UVA in PUVA, they are highly effective at clearing psoriasis and vitiligo. Like UVB light treatments, the reason remains unclear, though investigators speculate there may be similar effects on cell turnover and the skin’s immune response.

Choosing the proper dose for PUVA is similar to the procedure followed with UVB. The physician can choose a dose based on the patient’s skin type. The dose will increase in every treatment until the skin starts to respond.

Some clinics test the skin before the treatments, by exposing a small area of the patient’s skin to UVA, after ingestion of psoralen. The dose of UVA that produces uniform redness 72 hours later, called the minimum phototoxic dose (MPD), becomes the starting dose for treatment.

At the very least for vitiligo, narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy is now used more commonly than PUVA since it does not require the use of the Psoralen. As with PUVA, treatment is carried out twice weekly in a clinic or every day at home, and there is no need to use psoralen.

Narrowband UVB does not cure the legs and hands, compared to the face and neck. To the hands and legs PUVA may be more effective. The reason can be because UVA penetrates deeper in the skin, and the melanocytes in the skin of the hands and legs is deeper in the skin. The Narrowband UVB does not reach the melanocytes.

How maney PUVA  therapy is required:
There ought to be a significant improvement in the patient’s skin disease after about 15 treatments. Treatments are given no sooner than 48 hours apart because the burn induced by PUVA is often delayed for as long as two days (unlike ordinary sunburns). Unless there is a problem, the amount of energy administered to the patient is increased appropriately at each visit depending on the patient’s coloration. After about 30 treatments, a decision is made as to whether to continue treatments. PUVA is not always effective. If there is no improvement after these treatments, it is probably unlikely that continuing this form of treatment is worthwhile. On the other hand, if significant clearing has occurred, it is probably prudent to decrease the frequency of treatments in order to maintain the improvement. Since there is a relationship between the amount of light energy administered and the degree of photo-aging and the induction of skin cancers, it is wise to limit the light exposures as appropriate.

Advantages:
The major advantage to PUVA is that it is an effective therapy that becomes active only at the site of the disease, the skin. It can be used to treat large areas of skin, and the fact that the drug is only activated in the presence of UV light implies that it may be less toxic than other therapies that require systemic administration and whose effects are not localized to just the skin.

PUVA must be administered in a physician’s office under the control of a medical professional so it requires repeated visits to the office. PUVA may not cure psoriasis permanently so treatment can be required indefinitely.

Side effects and complications:
Some patients experience nausea and itching after ingesting the psoralen compound. For these patients PUVA bath therapy may be a good option.

Long term use of PUVA therapy has been associated with higher rates of skin cancer.

The most significant complication of PUVA therapy for psoriasis is squamous cell skin cancer. Two carcinogenic components of the therapy include the nonionizing radiation of UVA light as well as the psoralen intercalation with DNA. Both processes negatively contribute to genome instability.
History  :  Psoralens have been known since ancient Egypt but have only been available in a chemically synthesized form since the 1970s.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PUVA_therapy
http://www.medicinenet.com/puva_therapy_photochemotherapy/article.htm

Turnera ulmifolia

Botanical Name : Turnera ulmifolia
Family: Passifloraceae
Genus: Turnera
Species: T. ulmifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common Names:Yellow Alder,Ram Goat Dash Along,Buttercup Bush

Habitat :Turnera ulmifolia is native to Mexico and the West Indies.

Description:
Turnera ulmifolia is a nonwoody plant.It hassimple, alternate leaves with toothed edges, The leaf blades were about 5 cm by 2.5 cm long.Theleaf veins are  in a feather pattern (pinnate venation). The flower solitary (not a part of a flower cluster or inflorescence). It has 5 slightly fringed petals and 5 pollen-bearing stamens.Hairs on both top and bottom gave the leaves a velvety feel.

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Medicinal Uses:
This herb is said to have aphrodisiac properties.  The tea from the leaves has been used for colds and general debility.

A recent study found that yellow alder potentiated the antibiotic activity against methicillin—resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

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://ntsavanna.com/elm-leaved-turnera-turnera-ulmifolia/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnera_ulmifolia
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Aristolochia contorta

 

Botanical Name : Aristolochia contorta
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Subfamily: Aristolochioideae
Genus: Aristolochia
Species : Aristolochia contorta
Order: Piperales

Synonyms : A. nipponica.

Common Name: Ma Dou Ling

Habitat : E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea, Manchuria. .-Aug. Grows in edges of mountain woods.

Description:
Aristolochia contorta is a  perennial  herb, growing to 1.5 m (5ft). It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.

…...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The shrub  has  stout elongated rhizomes. Stem slender, glabrous. Leaves alternate, cordate or broadly ovate-cordate, 4-10 cm long, 3.5-8 cm wide, acute or obtuse at tip, cordate at base, entire, petioles 1-7 cm long.(CLICK & SEE) Peduncles axillary, 1-4 cm long, with prominent bracts at base. Flowers few in axils, fascicled, the pedicels 1-4 cm long; the calyx tubular, inflated and globose at base, loosely pilose inside; the limb dilated, obliquely truncate, narrowly deltoid, long-acuminate to a filiform point; stamens 6, ovary inferior. Fruit a capsule,globose, 3 cm in diameter, 6 valved. Jul.-Aug……...CLICK & SEE

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a well-drained loamy soil, rich in organic matter, in sun or semi-shade. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. Most species in this genus have malodorous flowers that are pollinated by flies.

Propagation
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Pre-soak stored seed for 48 hours in hand-hot water and surface sow in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 3 months at 20°c. Stored seed germinates better if it is given 3 months cold stratification at 5°c. 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 after the last expected frosts. Division in autumn. Root cuttings in winter.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Medicinal Uses;
Antiasthmatic;  Antiseptic;  Antitussive;  Cancer;  Expectorant;  Sedative.

The fruit and its capsule are antiasthmatic, antiseptic, antitussive and expectorant. A decoction of the fruit is used in the treatment of cancer, coughs, inflammation of the respiratory organs, haemorrhoids and hypertension. It is also used to resolve phlegm and lower blood pressure. It has an antibacterial action, effective against Staphylococcus aureus, Pneumococci, bacillus dysentericae etc. The root contains aristolochic acid. This has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Aristolochic acid can also be used in the treatment of acute and serious infections such as TB, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and infantile pneumonia. It also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells. Aristolochic acid is said to be too toxic for clinical use. The root is used as a purgative in the treatment of rabies and also has sedative properties.

A decoction of the fruit is used in the treatment of cancer, coughs, inflammation of the respiratory organs, hemorrhoids and hypertension. It is also used to resolve phlegm and lower blood pressure. It has an antibacterial action, effective against Staphylococcus aureus, Pneumococci, bacillus dysentericae etc. The root contains aristolochic acid. This has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Aristolochic acid can also be used in the treatment of acute and serious infections such as TB, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and infantile pneumonia. It also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells. Aristolochic acid is said to be too toxic for clinical use. The root is used as a purgative in the treatment of rabies and also has sedative properties.

Known Hazards:  No specific details for this species is found but most members of this genus have poisonous roots and stems. The plant contains aristolochic acid, this has received rather mixed reports on its toxicity. According to one report aristolochic acid stimulates white blood cell activity and speeds the healing of wounds, but is also carcinogenic and damaging to the kidneys. Another report says that it is an active antitumour agent but is too toxic for clinical use. Another report says that aristolochic acid has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy and that it also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells.

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=Aristolochia+contorta
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Aristolochia_contorta
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

http://www.wpro.who.int/internet/files/pub/97/33.pdf

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