Tag Archives: Naturopathy

Inula japnoica

Botanical Name : Inula japnoicaI

Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily:Asteroideae
Tribe: Inuleae
Genus: Inula
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Asterales

Synonyms: I. Britannica var. chinensis

Common Names: Xuan Fu Hua, Inula flower

Habitat: Inula japnoica is native to Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia. It grows on Montane slopes, grasslands, riverbanks, fields, broad-leaved forests, streamsides; 100-2400 m. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Zhejiang.
Description:
Inula japonica is one of over 90 species in the Inula genus. Several species are popular in Western gardens, such as Inula helenium, commonly called elecampagne, but the Inula used in Chinese medicine is relatively uncommon in the West. Acceptable species for medicinal used are Inula japonica, I. hupehensis, and I. helianthus-aquatica. The root is not used in Chinese medicine but contains up to 44% inulin, hence the genus name. Inulin is a starch that humans are unable to digest therefore consumption can cause digestive distress and gas due to its fermentation.

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Herbs, perennial, from short rhizomes. Stems 15-100 cm tall, striate, appressed pilose, sometimes glabrescent, simple, branched up to synflorescence. Leaves radical and cauline; radical and lower cauline leaves smaller than median leaves, withering before flowering; median leaves lanceolate, oblong, or ovate, appressed pilose or subglabrous on both surfaces, base abruptly narrowed, sessile or semiclasping, apex subacute; upper leaves gradually smaller, 10-25 mm. Capitula usually few or solitary, radiate, ca. 3.5 cm in diam., sometimes with subtending bracteal leaves. Involucre subglobose, 7-8 mm tall; phyllaries in 5 series, subequal, outer ones lanceolate, apex acuminate, inner narrow, scarious, ciliolate. Marginal florets in 1 series; lamina yellow, 16-19 × 1.5-2 mm. Disk 1.5-1.7 cm in diam.; corollas ca. 3 mm. Achenes cylindric, ca. 1 mm, 10-ribbed, pilose. Pappus of capillary bristles, sordid, ca. 5 mm, bristles minutely scabrid. It is in flower during Jun-Oct.

Cultivation & propagation:
Inula japonica is easy to grow in almost any soil and sun conditions but it prefers part shade, good loamy soil and adequate moisture. It will survive with considerable neglect. The plant flowers from July to August and seeds ripen from August to September. Propagation is relatively easy from seed, which can be sown directly into the garden in the spring or in a cold frame in autumn.

Plants may also be divided in the spring or autumn. Large clumps can be immediately replanted in the ground though small clumps should be potted and protected in a cold frame until they are rooted sufficiently, and then planted in the garden in spring. The plant may also be propagated by root cuttings taken in winter. Taking about a 3-inch section of root, it should be planted in a pot, grown in a cold frame, and planted in the garden in spring.
Medicinal Uses:
Inula japnoica  used in traditional Chinese medicine as a mildly warming expectorant remedy, it is especially suitable when phlegm has accumulated in the chest. The herb is often prescribed for bronchitis, wheezing, chronic coughing, and other chest complaints brought on by cold conditions (profuse phlegm, nausea and vomiting, hiccups and flatulence. Xuan fu hua also has a bitter action, and it helps to strengthen digestive function. The flowers are normally used in medicinal preparations, but the aerial parts are also taken, generally for les serious conditions. The flowers have an antibacterial action, but this can be destroyed by proteins in the body. The plant has been mentioned as a possible treatment for cancer of the esophagus.

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/Inula
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=3&taxon_id=200024058
https://www.jadeinstitute.com/jade/herbal-detail-page.php?show=73&order=common_name

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Zanthoxylum piperitum

Botanical Name : Zanthoxylum piperitum
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Species:Z. piperitum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms : Fagara piperita

Common Names : Japanese pepper, Japanese pricklyash, or Sansh (Japanese)

Habitat :Zanthoxylum piperitum is native to E. Asia – N. China, Japan, Korea. It grows in scrub and hedges in hills and mountains in Japan.

Description:
Zanthoxylum piperitum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft) by 2 m (6ft). The tree blooms in April to May, forming axillary flower clusters, about 5mm, and yellow-green in color. It is dioecious, and the flowers of the male plant can be consumed as hana-sansh, while the female flowers yield berries or peppercorns of about 5mm. For commercial harvesting, thornless varieties called the Asakura sansho are widely cultivated. Around September to October, the berries turn scarlet and burst, scattering the black seeds within.The plant is not self-fertile.
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The branch grows pairs of sharp thorns, and has odd-pinnately compound leaves, alternately arranged, with 5?9 pairs of ovate leaflets having crenate (slightly serrated) margins.

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:
Easily grown in loamy soils in most positions, but prefers a good deep well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or semi-shade. A very ornamental plant, it is hardy to about -15°c. Flowers are formed on the old wood. The bruised leaves are amongst the most powerfully aromatic of all leaves. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Self-sown seedlings have occasionally been observed growing in bare soil under the parent plant.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seed may requires up to 3 months cold stratification, though scarification may also help. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Germination should take place in late spring, though it might take another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings, 3cm long, planted horizontally in pots in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers, removed in late winter and planted into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:
The finely ground Japanese pepper, kona-zansh?, is nowadays usually sold in sealed packets, and individual serving sizes are included inside heat-and-serve broiled eel packages. While red chili pepper is never used on eel, otherwise, in many usages, the Japanese red chili pepper, or the shichimi blend of peppers can be used in lieu of Japanese pepper alone, according to taste: e.g., to flavor miso soup, various noodles in broth or dipped in tsuyu, Japanese pickles (tsukemono), teriyaki or fried chicken.

Young leaves and shoots, pronounced ki no mé or ko no mé (Japanese: lit. “tree-bud”) herald the spring season, and often garnish grilled fish and soups. They have a distinctive flavor and is not to the liking of everyone. It is a customary ritual to put a leaf between cupped hands, and clap the hands with a popping sound, this supposedly serving to bring out the aroma. The young leaves are crushed and blended with miso using pestle and mortar (suribachi and surikogi) to make a paste, a pesto sauce of sorts, and then used to make various aemono (or “tossed salad”, for lack of a better word). The stereotypical main ingredient for the resultant kinome-ae is the fresh harvest of bamboo shoots, but the sauce may be tossed (or delicately “folded”, to use a pastrymaking term) into sashimi, clams, squid or other vegetable such as tara-no-me (Aralia elata shoots).
The immature green berries, blanched and salted, are called ao-zansh? (lit. “green sansho”). The berries are traditionally simmered into dark-brown tsukudani, but nowadays are also available as shoyu-zuke, which is just steeped in soy sauce. The berries are also cooked with small fry fish and flavored with soy sauce (chirimen jako[ja]), a specialty item of Kyoto, since its Mount Kurama outskirts is a renowned growing area of the Japanese pepper.

The thornless variety Asakura sansho derives its name from its place of origin, the Asakura district in the now defunct Yokacho[ja], integrated into Yabu, Hy?go.

Wakayama Prefecture boasts 80% of domestic production. Aridagawa, Wakayama procuces a specialty variety called bud? sansh? (“grape sansho”), which bears large fruits and clusters, rather like a bunch of grapes.

Confections:
In central and northeastern Japan, a non-sticky rice-cake type confection called goheimochi [ja], which is basted with miso-based paste and grilled, sometimes uses the Japanese pepper as flavor additive to the miso. Also being marketed are sansho flavored arare (rice crackers), snack foods, and sweet sansho-mochi.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiperiodic, antitussive, carminative, diuretic, parasiticide, stimulant. The fruit contains a essential oil, flavonoids and isoquinoline alkaloids. It is anthelmintic, antibacterial, antifungal and stomachic. It inhibits the synthesis of prostaglandin and, in larger doses, is toxic to the central nervous system. It is used in Korea in the treatment of tuberculosis, dyspepsis and internal parasites. The resin contained in the bark, and especially in that of the roots, is powerfully stimulant and tonic.

The husks are used medicinally. In traditional Chinese medicine it finds uses similar to the hua jiao or Sichuan pepper.

In Japanese pharmaceuticals, the mature husks with seeds removed are considered the crude medicine form of sansh?. It is an ingredient in bitter tincture[lange]. It also contains aromatic oils geraniol, dipentene, citral, etc.

Other Uses:
Timber uses: The thick wood of the tree is traditionally made into a gnarled and rough-hewn wooden pestle, to use with the aforementioned suribachi.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanthoxylum_piperitum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zanthoxylum+piperitum

Siddha

Introduction:
Siddha  is usually considered as the oldest medical system known to mankind.  Contemporary Tamil literature holds that the system of Siddha medicine originated in Southern India, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Siddha is reported to have surfaced more than 10,000 years ago.

“Siddhargal” or Siddhars were the premier scientists of ancient days.  Siddhars, mainly from Southern India laid the foundation for this system of medication. Siddhars were spiritual adepts who possessed the ashta siddhis, or the eight supernatural powers. Sage Agathiyar is considered the guru of all Sidhars, and the Siddha system is believed to have been handed over to him by Lord . “Agathiyar” was the first Siddhar,   and his disciples and Siddhars from other schools produced thousands of texts on Siddha, including medicine, and form the propounders of the system to the world.

The Siddha science is the oldest traditional treatment system generated from Dravidian culture. The Siddha flourished in the period of Indus Valley civilization.  Palm leaf manuscripts says that the Siddha system was first described by Lord Shiva to his wife Parvati. Parvati explained all this knowledge to her son Lord Muruga. He taught all these knowledge to his disciple sage Agasthya. Agasthya taught 18 Siddhars and they spread this knowledge to human beings.

The word Siddha comes from the Sanskrit word Siddhi which means an object to be attained perfection or heavenly bliss.  Siddha focused to “Ashtamahasiddhi,” the eight supernatural power. Those who attained or achieved the above said powers are known as Siddhars. There were 18 important Siddhars in olden days and they developed this system of medicine. Hence, it is called Siddha medicine. The Siddhars wrote their knowledge in palm leaf manuscripts, fragments of which were found in parts of South India. It is believed that some families may possess more fragments but keep them solely for their own use. There is a huge collection of Siddha manuscripts kept by traditional Siddha families.

Generally the basic concepts of the Siddha medicine are almost similar to Ayurveda. The only difference appears to be that the siddha medicine recognizes predominance of Vaadham, Pitham and Kabam in childhood, adulthood and old age, respectively, whereas in Ayurveda, it is totally reversed: Kabam is dominant in childhood, Vaatham in old age and Pitham in adults.

According to the Siddha medicine, various psychological and physiological functions of the body are attributed to the combination of seven elements: first is ooneer (plasma) responsible for growth, development and nourishment; second is cheneer (blood) responsible for nourishing muscles, imparting colour and improving intellect; the third is oon (muscle) responsible for shape of the body; fourth is koluppu/Kozhuppu (fatty tissue) responsible for oil balance and lubricating joints; fifth is elumbu (bone) responsible for body structure and posture and movement; sixth is elumbu majjai (bone marrow) responsible for formation of blood corpuscles; and the last is sukkilam (semen) responsible for reproduction. Like in Ayurveda, in Siddha medicine also, the physiological components of the human beings are classified as Vaadham (air), Pitham (fire) and Kabam(earth and water).

Concept of disease and cause:
It is assumed that when the normal equilibrium of the three humors — Vaadham, Pittham and Kabam — is disturbed, disease is caused. The factors assumed to affect this equilibrium are environment, climatic conditions, diet, physical activities, and stress. Under normal conditions, the ratio between Vaadham, Pittham, and Kabam are 4:2:1, respectively.

According to the Siddha medicine system, diet and lifestyle play a major role in health and in curing diseases. This concept of the Siddha medicine is termed as pathiyam and apathiyam, which is essentially a list of “do’s and don’ts”

Diagnosis:
In diagnosis, examination of eight items is required which is commonly known as “enn vakaith thervu”. These are:

1.Na (tongue): black in Vaatham, yellow or red in pitham, white in kabam, ulcerated in anaemia.
2.Varnam (colour): dark in Vaatham, yellow or red in pitham, pale in kabam.
3.Kural (voice): normal in Vaatham, high-pitched in pitham, low-pitched in kabam, slurred in alcoholism.
4.Kan (eyes): muddy conjunctiva, yellowish or red in pitham, pale in kabam.
5.Thodal (touch): dry in Vaatham, warm in pitham, chill in kapha, sweating in different parts of the body.
6.Malam (stool): black stools indicate Vaatham, yellow pitham, pale in kabam, dark red in ulcer and shiny in terminal illness.
7.Neer (urine): early morning urine is examined; straw color indicates indigestion, reddish-yellow color in excessive heat, rose in blood pressure, saffron color in jaundice, and looks like meat washed water in renal disease.
8.Naadi (pulse): the confirmatory method recorded on the radial art.

Drugs:
The drugs used by the Siddhars could be classified into three groups: thavaram (herbal product), thadhu (inorganic substances) and jangamam (animal products). The Thadhu drugs are further classified as: uppu (water-soluble inorganic substances or drugs that give out vapour when put into fire), pashanam (drugs not dissolved in water but emit vapour when fired), uparasam (similar to pashanam but differ in action), loham (not dissolved in water but melt when fired), rasam (drugs which are soft), and ghandhagam (drugs which are insoluble in water, like sulphur).

The drugs used in siddha medicine were classified on the basis of five properties: suvai (taste), gunam (character), veeryam (potency), pirivu (class) and mahimai (action).

According to their mode of application, the siddha medicines could be categorized into two classes:

Internal medicine was used through the oral route and further classified into 32 categories based on their form, methods of preparation, shelf-life, etc.
External medicine includes certain forms of drugs and also certain applications (such as nasal, eye and ear drops), and also certain procedures (such as leech application). It also classified into 32 categories.

Treatment:
The treatment in siddha medicine is aimed at keeping the three humors in equilibrium and maintenance of seven elements. So proper diet, medicine and a disciplined regimen of life are advised for a healthy living and to restore equilibrium of humors in diseased condition. Saint Thiruvalluvar explains four requisites of successful treatment. These are the patient, the attendant, physician and medicine. When the physician is well-qualified and the other agents possess the necessary qualities, even severe diseases can be cured easily, according to these concepts.

The treatment should be commenced as early as possible after assessing the course and cause of the disease. Treatment is classified into three categories: devamaruthuvum (Divine method); manuda maruthuvum (rational method); and asura maruthuvum (surgical method). In Divine method, medicines like parpam, Chendooragyhtyjm, guru, kuligai made of mercury, sulfur and pashanams are used. In the rational method, medicines made of herbs like churanam, kudineer, or vadagam are used. In surgical method, incision, excision, heat application, blood letting, or leech application are used.

According to therapies the treatments of siddha medicines could be further categorized into following categories such as purgative therapy, emetic therapy, fasting therapy, steam therapy, oleation therapy, physical therapy, solar therapy, blood-letting therapy, yoga therapy, etc.

Sidda education:
Siddha has lost its popularity after modern medicine was introduced, as a scientific medical system, even in Tamil Nadu. Still, there are a few ardent followers of the system who prefer Siddha for only a few diseases like jaundice. After some modern doctors, such as Dr. Ramalingam, IMPCOPS, president, Chennai, C.N. Deivanayagam, tried to popularize the Siddha system, a few modern doctors have started suggesting Siddha. In 2012, VA Shiva Ayyadurai, a Tamilian and MIT systems scientist, launched an educational program for medical doctors through the Chopra Center with Deepak Chopra which integrates concepts from traditional systems medicine such as Siddha, Ayurveda, and traditional Chinese medicine, with systems science and systems biology.

The Tamil Nadu state runs a 5.5-year course in Siddha medicine (BSMS: Bachelor in Siddha Medicine and Surgery). The Indian Government also gives its focus on Siddha, by starting up medical colleges and research centers like National Institute of Siddha  and Central Council for Research in Siddha. There has been renewed interest in Siddha, as many started feeling modern medicine is not complete and changing its stands/theories frequently. The health minister of Tamil Nadu in 2007 claimed that Siddha medicine is effective for chikungunya

Educational institutions:
Government of Tamil Nadu runs two Siddha medical colleges:

Government Siddha Medical College, Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli district
Government Siddha Medical College, Anna Hospital Campus, Arumbakkam, Chennai – 600106

.
Government of India runs a Siddha medical college:

National Institute of Siddha, Grand Southern Trunk Road, Tambaram Sanatorium, Chennai – 600047

.
Colleges available in Kerala:

*Santhigiri Siddha Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram
*Private Siddha colleges (approved by Dept. of AYUSH, Govt. of India and affiliated to TN Dr. MGR Medical University, Chennai):

*Velumailu Siddha Medical College and Hospital, No. 48, G.W.T. Road, Opp. Rajiv Gandhi Memorial, Sriperumbudur – 602 105
*Sri Sai Ram Siddha Medical College & Research Centre, Sai Leo Nagar, Poonthandalam, West Tambaram, Chennai – 600 044
*R.V.S. Siddha Medical College & Hospital, Kumaran Kottam, Kannampalayam, Coimbatore – 641042
*A.T.S.V.S. Siddha Medical College, Munchirai, Pudukkadai Post, Kanyakumari – 629171
*Sivaraj Siddha Medical College, Siddhar Kovil Road, Thumbathulipatty, Salem – 636307

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Government of Sri Lanka runs three… Siddha medical colleges offering BSMS degrees:

*Department of Siddha Medicine, University of Jaffna, Kaithady, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
*Unit of Siddha Medicine, Trincomalee Campus, Eastern University, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddha_medicine

Ash, Prickly (Xanthoxylum Americanum)

Botanical Name: Xanthoxylum Americanum (MILL.)

Family: N.O. Rutacea
Subfamily: Toddalioideae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms: Toothache Tree. Yellow Wood. Suterberry. Clava-herculis and americanum
Common NamesPrickly Ash Bark , Szechuan pepper, chuan jiao, Tooth Ache Tree, yellow wood,Hercules’ Club.
Parts Used: Root-bark, berries.

Habitat : Native to central and eastern portions of the United States and Canada.  Rare in the South, it is more common in the northern United States. It is listed as Endangered in Florida, Maryland, and New Hampshire; and as Special Concern in Tennessee. It can be found in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Washington, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia in the United States, and in Ontario and Quebec in Canada. It is found on upland rocky hillsides and on moist low-lying sites, in open woods, on bluffs or in thickets.

Taxonomy
Originally described by Scottish botanist Philip Miller in 1768, Zanthoxylum americanum is a member of the wide-ranging genus Zanthoxylum in the Rutaceae family, which includes many species with aromatic foliage. Miller, who spelled the name Xanthoxylum, described the plant in the eighth edition of his Gardeners Dictionary, as “grow[ing] naturally in Pensylvania [sic] and Maryland


Description:

It is  is an aromatic shrub or tree .It can grow to 10 meters (33 ft) tall with a diameter at breast height (DBH) of 15 centimeters (5.9 in). It produces membranous leaflets and axillary flower clusters. The wood is not commercially valuable, but oil extracts from the bark have been used in alternative medicine and have been studied for antifungal and cytotoxic properties

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES…>..(01)….…(1).…….(2).…..(3).…….(4).……(5)…..(6)..
The plant has membranous leaflets numbering between 5-11 and growing in opposite pairs. It has “axillary flower and fruit clusters”. The buds are hairy. Dark green leaves are bitter-aromatic, with crenate margins.  The berries begin red   and turn deep blue to black,   with stalked fruit pods.   Flowers are dioecious, with yellow-green petals.
Cultivation:
Prefers a good deep well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or semi-shade. A relatively fast-growing plant in the wild, it often forms thickets by means of root suckers. All parts of the plant are fragrant. The bruised foliage has a delicious resinous orange-like perfume. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Flowers are formed on the old wood[206]. Special Features:North American native, Attracts butterflies, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms, Blooms appear periodically throughout the year.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seed may requires up to 3 months cold stratification, though scarification may also help. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Germination should take place in late spring, though it might take another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings, 3cm long, planted horizontally in pots in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers, removed in late winter and planted into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Seed – cooked. It is used as a condiment. A pepper substitute. The fruit is rather small, about 4 – 5m in diameter, but is produced in dense clusters which makes harvesting easy. Each fruit contains a single seed.

Constituents:
The barks of numerous species of Xanthoxylum and the allied genus Fagara have been used medicinally. There are two principal varieties of Prickly Ash in commerce: X. Americanum (Northern Prickly Ash) and Fagara Clava-Herculis (Southern Prickly Ashj, which is supposed to be more active. Although not absolutely identical, the two Prickly Ash barks are very similar in their active constituents. Both contain small amounts of volatile oil, fat, sugar, gum, acrid resin, a bitter alkaloid, believed to be Berberine and a colourless, tasteless, inert, crystalline body, Xanthoxylin, slightly different in the two barks. Both yield a large amount of Ash: 12 per cent. or more. The name Xanthoxylin is also applied to a resinous extractive prepared by pouring a tincture of the drug into water.

The fruits of both the species are used similarly to the barks. Their constituents have not been investigated, but they apparently agree in a general way with those of the bark.

The drug is practically never adulterated. The Northern bark occurs in commerce in curved or quilled fragments about 1/24 inch thick, externally brownish grey, with whitish patches, faintly furrowed, with some linearbased, two-edged spines about 1/4 inch long. The fracture is short, green in the outer, and yellow in the inner part. The Southern bark, which is more frequently sold, is 1/12 inch thick and has conical, corky spines, sometimes 4/5, inch in height.

Medicinal Uses:
Traditional
An oil extracted from the bark and berries of the prickly-ash (both this species and Zanthoxylum clava-herculis) is used medicinally. The extract may act as a stimulant, and historic medicinal use has included use “for chronic rheumatism, typhoid and skin diseases and impurity of the blood…” as well as for digestive ailments. Grieve states, “The berries are considered even more active than the bark, being carminative and antispasmodic, and are used as an aperient and for dyspepsia and indigestion; a fluid extract of the berries being given, in doses of 10 to 30 drops.” The bark has been chewed for toothaches, and a tea from the berries has been used for sore throats and as a diuretic.

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses prickly ash to warm the “middle burner,” the energies in the middle of the body that power the immune response and help digest food.

It acts as a stimulant – resembling guaiacum resin and mezereon bark in its remedial action and is greatly recommended in the United States for chronic rheumatism, typhoid and skin diseases and impurity of the blood, administered either in the form of fluid extract or in doses of 10 grains to 1/2 drachm in the powdered form, three times daily.

The following formula has also become popular in herbal medicine: Take 1/2 oz. each of Prickly Ash Bark, Guaiacum Raspings and Buckbean Herb, with 6 Cayenne Pods. Boil in 1 1/2 pint of water down to 1 pint . Dose: a wineglassful three or four times daily.

On account of the energetic stimulant properties of the bark, it produces when swallowed a sense of heat in the stomach, with more or less general arterial excitement and tendency to perspiration and is a useful tonic in debilitated conditions of the stomach and digestive organs, and is used in colic, cramp and colera, in fever, ague, lethargy, for cold hands and feet and complaints arising from a bad circulation.

A decoction made by boiling an ounce in 3 pints of water down to a quarter may be given in the quantity of a pint, in divided doses, during the twenty-four hours. As a counter-irritant, the decoction may be applied on compresses. It has also been used as an emmenagogue.

The powdered bark forms an excellent application to indolent ulcers and old wounds for cleansing, stimulating, drying up and healing the wounds. The pulverized bark is also used for paralytic affections and nervous headaches and as a topical irritant the bark, either in powdered form, or chewed, has been a very popular remedy for toothache in America, hence the origin of a common name of the tree in the States: Toothache Tree.

The berries are considered even more active than the bark, being carminative and antispasmodic, and are used as an aperient and for dyspepsia and indigestion; a fluid extract of the berries being given, in doses of 10 to 30 drops.

Xanthoxylin. Dose, 1 to 2 grains.

Both berries and bark are used to make a good bitter.


Modern studies

There have been some modern studies of the oil’s constituents and antifungal properties  and cytotoxic effects.

Other Uses: Landscape Uses:Border, Massing. The fruits have been used by young men as a perfume. Wood – soft. It weighs 35lb per cubic foot. Of little use.

You may click to see
:-> What Is Prickly Ash Bark? :

Known Hazaards:  Tannins may reduce gut iron absorption. Possble nervous system stimulation. Excessive ingestion may interfere with anticoagulant therapy

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.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail403.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanthoxylum_americanum
http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/ashpr077.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zanthoxylum+americanum

Achyranthes Aspera

Botanical Name : Achyranthes aspera
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Achyranthes
Species: A. aspera
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Name:Apamarga,Latjira,Chirchita or Onga,Apamarga,Kanarica,Kharamanjiri,Merkati, Varisa, Puthkanda, Umblokando,  Prickly chaff-flower,Devil’s Horsewhip
Vernacular Names: Sans: Apamarga; ; Eng: Prickiy-chaffflower.
Parts Used: The whole herb

Habitat: It grows as wasteland herb every where.Open dry places at elevations up to 2000 metres in Nepal. More or less naturalized as a weed in waste ground in southern Europe,E. Asia – Himalayas to Australia.

Description: Achyranthes aspera  is a   perennial or annual herb . Stems erect to ascending . Leaves opposite, petiolate ; blade elliptic , ovate to orbiculate, or broadly rhombate, margins entire . Inflorescences terminal and axillary , pedunculate , elongate , many-flowered, simple spikes or few-branched panicles; flowers crowded together at tips , becoming more widely spaced toward base . Flowers bisexual , often becoming deflexed with age; tepals 4 or 5, basally connate , without ornamentation, coriaceous , becoming indurate in fruit, ± glabrous ; filaments basally connate into short tubes or cups ; anthers 4-locular; pseudostaminodes 5; ovary obovoid or turbinate ; ovule 1; style elongate; stigma 1, capitate. Utricles enclosed by and falling with indurate tepals, elliptic or cylindric , membranous, indehiscent. Seeds 1, inverted , obovoid or ovoid , smooth .

You may click to see the pictures of   Achyranthes Aspera

Species 8-12: c and se United States, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, tropical , subtropical , and warm-temperate regions of the Old World.

The groups of plants referred to as Achyranthes and Alternanthera have been subject to considerable nomenclatural confusion, primarily because P. C. Standley (1915) designated Achyranthes repens Linnaeus as the lectotype species of Achyranthes. As a result, species that had been placed in Achyranthes were transferred to Centrostachys Wallich, and species that had been in Alternanthera were transferred to Achyranthes. A. A. Bullock (1957; see also R. Melville 1958) showed that Standley’s lectotypification was incorrect and that the type species of Achyranthes is Achyranthes aspera Linnaeus. The generic concepts of Achyranthes and Alternanthera then returned to those prior to 1915.

Physical Description:
Species Achyranthes aspera
Plants perennial or annual . Stems 0.4-2 m , pilose or puberulent . Leaf blades elliptic , ovate , or broadly ovate to orbiculate, obovate-orbiculate, or broadly rhombate, 1-20 × 2-6 cm, adpressed-pubescent abaxially and adaxially. Inflorescences to 30 cm; bracts mem-branous; bracteoles long-aristate, spinose ; wings attached at sides and base . Flowers: tepals 4 or 5, length 3-7 mm; pseudostaminodes with margins fimbriate at apex, often with dorsal scale. Utricles ± cylindric , 2-4 mm, apex truncate or depressed .

Achyranthes aspera is a variable, pantropical species divided into six varieties (C. C. Townsend 1974), two of which occur in the flora . The variety with a long perianth and acuminate leaves has long been called var. aspera; the variety with a short perianth and blunt leaves, var. indica. However, A. Cavaco (1962) showed that the type of var. indica must be the type of the species A. aspera, thus var. indica is a homotypic synonym of var. aspera. Townsend made the combination A. aspera var. pubescens for plants previously called var. aspera.

Cultivation:The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.Cultivated as a food crop in China. A very variable species.

Propagation: Seed – sow spring in situ.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed.

Leaves cooked. Used as a spinach substitute. Seed cooked. The seeds are said to be eaten with milk in order to check hunger without loss of body weight. The brown oviod seed is about 2mm long.


Chemical Constituent:
Plant yields achyranthine.

Medicinal Uses:Antispasmodic; Astringent; Diuretic; Odontalgic.
Since time immemorial, it is in use as folk medicine. It holds a reputed position as medicinal herb in different systems of medicine in India.One of the more important mdicinal herbs of Nepal, it is widely used in the treatment of a range of complaints. Ophthalmic. The whole plant is used medicinally, but the roots are generally considered to be more effective. They contain triterpenoid saponins. The root is astringent, diuretic and antispasmodic. It is used in the treatment of dropsy, rheumatism, stomach problems, cholera, skin diseases and rabies. The juice extracted from the root of this plant, mixed with the root of Urena lobata and the bark of Psidium guajava, is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery. The plant is astringent, digestive, diuretic, laxative, purgative and stomachic. The juice of the plant is used in the treatment of boils, diarrhoea, dysentery, haemorrhoids, rheumatic pains, itches and skin eruptions. The ash from the burnt plant, often mixed with mustard oil and a pinch of salt, is used as a tooth powder for cleaning teeth. It is believed to relieve pyorrhea and toothache. The leaf is emetic and a decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery. A paste of the leaves is applied in the treatment of rabies, nervous disorders, hysteria, insect and snake bites.

As per Ayurveda:It is tikta, ushnnveerya .and katu; alleviates deranged function of kapha; useful in the treatment of piles, pruritus, dysentery and dyscrasia; astringent and emetic.

Leaves made into a paste with water are applied to bites of poisonous insects, wasps, bees, etc. Powdered root, mixed with honey, is given internally in haemorrhoids.

Decoction of the root is prescribed in diarrhoea. Root paste is given to stop bleeding after abortion. A pinch of root powder, in combination with pepper powder and honey, is a good remedy for cough; seeds,rubbed with rice-water, are prescribed to patients suffering from bleeding piles.

Decoction of the whole plant is diuretic; it is efficacious in renal dropsies and in combination with that of Kakajanga (Leea aequata) useful in insomnia.

Dry plant is beneficial in gonorrhoea and colic. It also acts as a laxative.

Ashes of the plant with water and jaggery are effective in ascites and anasarca;sesamum oil medicated with ashes of the plant is applied as eardrops.

Traditional Medicinal Uses: According to Ayurveda, it is bitter, pungent, heating, laxative, stomachic, carminative and useful in treatment of vomiting, bronchitis, heart disease, piles, itching abdominal pains, ascites, dyspepsia, dysentery, blood diseases etc.

Ayurvedic Preparation: Apamarga Taila, Agnimukha etc.

The plant is highly esteemed by traditional healers and used in treatment of asthma, bleeding, in facilitating delivery, boils, bronchitis, cold, cough, colic, debility, dropsy, dog bite, dysentery, ear complications, headache, leucoderma, pneumonia, renal complications, scorpion bite, snake bite and skin diseases etc. Traditional healers claim that addition of A. aspera would enhance the efficacy of any drug of plant origin.    Prevents infection and tetanus.  Used to treat circumcision wounds, cuts.  Also used for improving lymphatic circulation, strengthens musculatured, improves blood circulation; Cold with fever, heat stoke with headache, malaria, dysentery; Urinary tract lithiasis, chronic nephritis, edema; Rheumatic arthralgia (joint pain). Used traditionally for infertility in women: Two ml decoction of root and stem is administered orally thrice a day for three months. Younger women respond better to this therapy.

Other Uses
*Useful for reclamation of wastelands.
*Leaf is consumed as potherb.
*Seeds rich in protein, cooked and eaten.
*Used in religious ceremonies in India.

Soap; Teeth.
The ash from the burnt plant, often mixed with mustard oil and a pinch of salt, is used as a tooth powder for cleaning teeth. The dried twigs are used as toothbrushes. The ash of the burnt plant is a rich source of potash. It is used for washing clothes.

Click to see:->Achyranthes aspera elevates thyroid hormone levels and decreases hepatic lipid peroxidation in male rats

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.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/CropFactSheets/onga.html
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Achyranthes+aspera
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Achyranthes+aspera
http://www.hear.org/starr/plants/images/species/?q=achyranthes+aspera+var+aspera
http://zipcodezoo.com/Plants/A/Achyranthes_aspera/

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

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