Tag Archives: Organic certification

Equisetum arvense

Botanical Name ; Equisetum arvense
Family: Equisetaceae
Genus: Equisetum
Species: E. arvense
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophytes
Class: Equisetopsida
Order: Equisetales

Synonyms:
*Allosites arvense Brogn.
*Equisetum arvense fo. arcticum (Rupr.) M. Broun
*Equisetum arvense fo. boreale (Bong.) Klinge
*Equisetum arvense fo. campestre (Schultz) Klinge
*Equisetum arvense fo. ramulosum (Rupr.) Klinge ex Scoggan
*Equisetum arvense subsp. boreale (Bong.) Á. Löve
*Equisetum arvense subsp. ramulosum (Rupr.) W.F. Rapp
*Equisetum arvense var. arcticum Rupr.
*Equisetum arvense var. campestre (Schultz) Rupr.
*Equisetum arvense var. ramulosum Rupr.
*Equisetum boreale Bong.
*Equisetum calderi B. Boivin
*Equisetum campestre Schultz
*Equisetum saxicola Suksd.

Common Names: Field horsetail or Common horsetail

Habitat : Equisetum arvense is native to Arctic and temperate regions of Europe, including Britain, N. America and Asia. It grows on open fields, arable land, waste places, hedgerows and roadsides, usually on moist soils.

Description:
Equisetum species – horsetail family are Creeping, perenial, Branching rootstocks, rooted at the nodes. The Arial stems may be annual or Perennial, are cylindrical, fluted, simple or with whorled branches at the jointed nodes. The internodes are usually hollow. The Surfaces of the stems are covered with Silica. The Cones are terminal. Equisetum avense is a Perennial from creeping rhizomes, often forming large colonies; to 2 1/2 ft. Stems hollow, riged, jointed. Sterile stems green, with whorled branches ar nodes; leaves reduced to brownish, papery, toothed sheath around node; sheath with fewer then 14 teeth. Fertile stems brownish to whitish, with large “cone” at tip, formed by spore-producing scales; cone produced in early spring.

The sterile stems are 10–90 cm tall and 3–5 mm diameter, with jointed segments around 2–5 cm long with whorls of side shoots at the segment joints; the side shoots have a diameter of about 1 mm. Some stems can have as many as 20 segments. The fertile stems are succulent-textured, off-white, 10–25 cm tall and 3–5 mm diameter, with 4–8 whorls of brown scale leaves, and an apical brown spore cone 10–40 mm long and 4–9 mm broad.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It has a very high diploid number of 216 (108 pairs of chromosomes).

The specific name arvense is derived from the Latin arvensis, meaning “from the meadow, field or grassland.”

Cultivation:
Prefers poor dusty ground. This rather contradicts another report which says that the presence of this plant indicates underground water. Prefers a moist but well-drained fertile soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. A very cold-hardy species tolerating temperatures down to about -30°c. Plants have a deep and penetrating root system and can be invasive. If grown in the garden they are best kept in bounds by planting them in a large container which can be sunk into the ground.

Propagation :
Spores – best collected as soon as they are ripe in the spring and surface-sown immediately on a sterile compost. Keep moist and pot up as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Very difficult. Division. The plants usually spread very freely when well sited and should not really need any assistance.
Edible Uses:
Strobil (the fertile shoots in spring) – cooked and used as an asparagus substitute. They should be used when young but even so it is probably best to change the water, perhaps 3 – 4 times. One report says that they can be eaten raw, they are peeled and the shoot tip is discarded. It is said to be a very tedious operation and they should not be eaten raw in any quantity, see the notes above on toxicity. Some native tribes liked to eat the young vegetative shoots, picked before they had branched out, and would often collect them in great quantity then hold a feast to eat them. The leaf sheaths were peeled off and the stems eaten raw – they were said to be ‘nothing but juice’. Roots – raw. The tuberous growths on the rhizomes are used in the spring. The black nodules attached to the roots are edible. It takes considerable effort to collect these nodules so it is normally only done in times of desperation. However, native peoples would sometimes raid the underground caches of roots collected by lemmings and other rodents in order to obtain these nodules. A further report says that the peeled stems, base of the plant, root and tubers were eaten raw by the N. American Indians, the report went on to say that this may be inadvisable.

Medicinal Uses:
Horsetails have an unusual chemistry compared to most other plants. They are rich in silica, contain several alkaloids (including nicotine) and various minerals. Horsetail is very astringent and makes an excellent clotting agent, staunching wounds, stopping nosebleeds and reducing the coughing up of blood. It helps speed the repair of damaged connective tissue, improving its strength and elasticity. The plant is anodyne, antihaemorrhagic, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, galactogogue, haemostatic and vulnerary. The green infertile stems are used, they are most active when fresh but can also be harvested in late summer and dried for later use. Sometimes the ashes of the plant are used. The plant is a useful diuretic when taken internally and is used in the treatment of kidney and bladder problems, cystitis, urethritis, prostate disease and internal bleeding, proving especially useful when there is bleeding in the urinary tract. A decoction applied externally will stop the bleeding of wounds and promote healing. It is especially effective on nose bleeds. A decoction of the herb added to a bath benefits slow-healing sprains and fractures, as well as certain irritable skin conditions such as eczema. The plant contains equisetic acid, which is thought to be identical to aconitic acid. This substance is a potent heart and nerve sedative that is a dangerous poison when taken in high doses. This plant contains irritant substances and should only be used for short periods of time. It is also best only used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh plant. It is used in the treatment of cystitis and other complaints of the urinary system . The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Equisetum arvense for urinary tract infections, kidney & bladder stones, wounds & burns.

Other  Uses:     Dye; Fungicide; Liquid feed; Musical; Paper; Polish; Sandpaper; Scourer.

 

The stems contain 10% silica and are used for scouring metal and as a fine sandpaper. They can also be used as a polish for brass, hardwood etc. The infused stem is an effective fungicide against mildew, mint rust and blackspot on roses. It also makes a good liquid feed. A light pink dye is obtained from the stem. It is yellow-gray according to another report. The plant has been used for making whistles.

Equisetum is used in biodynamic farming (preparation BD 508) in particular to reduce the effects of excessive water around plants (such as fungal growth). The high silica content of the plant reduces the impact of moisture.

Known Hazards:
Large quantities of the plant can be toxic. This is because it contains the enzyme thiaminase, a substance that can rob the body of the 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. The plant also contains equisetic acid – see the notes on medicinal uses for more information. Avoid in patients with oedema due to heart failure or impaired kidney function
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/Equisetum_arvense
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+arvense

Advertisements

Rosa Canina

Botanical Name:Rosa Canina
Family:Rosaceae
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division:
Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Genus: Rosa
Species: R. canina

Comon Name:Rosehip,  Dog rose

Etymology:
The name ‘dog’ has a disparaging meaning in this context, indicating ‘worthless’ (by comparison with cultivated garden roses) (Vedel & Lange 1960). It was used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to treat the bite of rabid dogs, hence the name “dog rose” arose. (It is also possible that the name derives from “dag,” a shortening of “dagger,” in reference to the long thorns of the plant.) Other old folk names include rose briar (also spelt brier), briar rose, dogberry, herb patience, sweet briar, wild briar, witches’ briar, and briar hip.

*In Turkish, its name is ku?burnu, which translates as “bird nose.”
*In Swedish, its name is stenros, which translates to “stone rose.”
*In Norwegian, its name is steinnype, which translates to “stone hip.”
*In Danish, , its name is hunderose, which translates as “dog rose.”
*In Azeri, its name is itburunu, which translates as “dog nose.”

Habitat: Rosa Canina is native to Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to N. Africa and southwest Asia. It grows in the hedges, scrub, woods, roadsides, banks etc.

 

Description:
It is a fast growing deciduous shrub normally ranging in height from 1-5 m, though sometimes it can scramble higher into the crowns of taller trees. Its stems are covered with small, sharp, hooked spines, which aid it in climbing. The leaves are pinnate, with 5-7 leaflets. The flowers are usually pale pink, but can vary between a deep pink and white. They are 4-6 cm diameter with five petals, and mature into an oval 1.5-2 cm red-orange fruit, or hip.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The branches bearing two inch (5cm) wide white to pale pink flowers in June followed by glossy red egg-shaped hips in autumn. These are good for rose-hip syrup, or provide excellent bird food in winter.

Invasive species
Dog rose is an invasive species in the high country of New Zealand. It was recognised as displacing native vegetation as early as 1895 although the Department of Conservation do not consider it to be a conservation threat.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a circumneutral soil and a sunny position with its roots in the shade. When grown in deep shade it usually fails to flower and fruit.  Succeeds in wet soils but dislikes water-logged soils or very dry sites. Tolerates maritime exposure. The fruit attracts many species of birds, several gall wasps and other insects use the plant as a host A very polymorphic species, it is divided into a great number of closely related species by some botanists. The leaves, when bruised, have a delicious fragrance. The flowers are also fragrant. Grows well with alliums, parsley, mignonette and lupins. Garlic planted nearby can help protect the plant from disease and insect predation. Grows badly with boxwood. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed. Rose seed often takes two years to germinate. This is because it may need a warm spell of weather after a cold spell in order to mature the embryo and reduce the seedcoat[80]. One possible way to reduce this time is to scarify the seed and then place it for 2 – 3 weeks in damp peat at a temperature of 27 – 32°c (by which time the seed should have imbibed). It is then kept at 3°c for the next 4 months by which time it should be starting to germinate. Alternatively, it is possible that seed harvested ‘green’ (when it is fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and sown immediately will germinate in the late winter. This method has not as yet(1988) been fully tested. Seed sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame sometimes germinates in spring though it may take 18 months. Stored seed can be sown as early in the year as possible and stratified for 6 weeks at 5°c. It may take 2 years to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Plant out in the summer if the plants are more than 25cm tall, otherwise grow on in a cold frame for the winter and plant out in late spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July in a shaded frame. Overwinter the plants in the frame and plant out in late spring[78]. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth. Select pencil thick shoots in early autumn that are about 20 – 25cm long and plant them in a sheltered position outdoors or in a cold frame[78, 200]. The cuttings can take 12 months to establish but a high percentage of them normally succeed. Division of suckers in the dormant season. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions. Layering. Takes 12 months

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Fruit; Seed.
Edible Uses: Coffee; Tea.

Fruit – raw or cooked. It can be used in making delicious jams, syrups etc. The syrup is used as a nutritional supplement, especially for babies[238]. The fruit can also be dried and used as a tea. Frost softens and sweetens the flesh. The fruit is up to 30mm in diameter, but there is only a thin layer of flesh surrounding the many seeds. Some care has to be taken when eating this fruit, see the notes above on known hazards. The seed is a good source of vitamin E, it can be ground and mixed with flour or added to other foods as a supplement. Be sure to remove the seed hairs. The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute. A coffee substitute according to another report. Petals – raw or cooked. The base of the petal may be bitter so is best removed. Eaten as a vegetable in China. The petals are also used to make an unusual scented jam

Medicinal Uses:
The petals, hips and galls are astringent, carminative, diuretic, laxative, ophthalmic and tonic. The hips are taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, minor infectious diseases, scurvy, diarrhoea and gastritis. A syrup made from the hips is used as a pleasant flavouring in medicines and is added to cough mixtures. A distilled water made from the plant is slightly astringent and is used as a lotion for delicate skins. The seeds have been used as a vermifuge. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Resignation’ and ‘Apathy’. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers. Ascorbic acid in Dog Rose shells (vitamin C, 0.2 to 2.4%).

The hips yield ascorbic acid and are of the greatest value when given to young children. Rosehip tea has a mild diuretic and tonic effect, and the fresh petals can be made into a delicate jam. Rose hips are rich in Vitamin C and are traditionally made into conserves and puries. They were collected from the wild during World War II when citrus fruit was scarce. They will help the body’s defenses against infections and especially the development of colds. They make an excellent spring tonic and aid in general debility and exhaustion. They will help in cases of constipation and mild gall-bladder problems as well as conditions of the kidney and bladder. One of the best tonics for old dogs. Dog rose hips reduce thirst and alleviate gastric inflammation. The hips are taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, minor infectious diseases, scurvy, diarrhea and gastritis. A syrup made from the hips is used as a pleasant flavoring in medicines and is added to cough mixtures. A distilled water made from the plant is slightly astringent and is used as a lotion for delicate skins. The seeds have been used as a vermifuge. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bioactive compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.

Other Uses:
Plants make a dense and stock-proof hedge, especially when trimmed. 

Dog rose in culture
The dog rose was the stylized rose of Medieval European heraldry, and is still used today. It is also the county flower of Hampshire.

Known Hazards: There is a layer of hairs around the seeds just beneath the flesh of the fruit. These hairs can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract if ingested.

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/Rosa_canina
http://www.bucknur.com/acatalog/product_10286.html
http://www.actahort.org/books/690/690_13.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rosa+canina
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Rose Hip

rose hip 1Image by Gaby/Peter via Flickr

Description:
The rose hip and rose haw, is the pomaceous fruit of the rose plant, that typically is red-to-orange, but might be dark purple-to-black in some species.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Rose hips of some species, especially Rosa canina (Dog Rose) and R. majalis, have been used as a source of Vitamin C. Rose hips are commonly used as an herbal tea, often blended with hibiscus and as an oil. They can also be used to make jam, jelly, marmalade and wine. Rose hip soup, “Nyponsoppa”, is especially popular in Sweden. Rhodomel, a type of mead, is made with rose hips.

Health Benefits:
*Particularly high in Vitamin C, with about 1700–2000 mg per 100 g in the dried product, one of the richest plant sources.

*Rose hips contain vitamins A, D and E, essential fatty acids and antioxidant flavonoids.

*Rose hip powder is a remedy for rheumatoid arthritis.

*As an herbal remedy, rose hips are attributed with the ability to prevent urinary bladder infections, and assist in treating dizziness and headaches. Rose hips are also commonly used externally in oil form to restore firmness to skin by nourishing and astringing tissue.

*Brewed into a decoction, can also be used to treat constipation.

*.Rose hips contain a lot of iron, so some women brew rose hip tea during menstruation to make up for the iron that they lose with menses.

Rose hips are the seed pod left after the rose petals fall off. Rose hip tea, recommended because it is so rich in Vitamin C. The oil from rose hips, often called rosa mosqueta, is very nutritious and consists of 80 percent essential fatty acids. It was a mainstay of the Incas, for example, for its nutritional qualities.

Rose hip oil is also renowned for its benefits for the skin. In fact, it has multiple benefits.
It is particularly famous for any scars, including acne scars.

Here are some of the healing aspects rose hip oil is credited with for helping the skin:

*Scars, including acne scars and old scars

*Dry eczema

*Skin burns, including sunburn

*Rehydrates dry skin

*Repair damaged skin cells of all sorts

*Reduce wrinkles

*Benefit for dry, mature, aging skin

There are some pure moisturizing creams on the market (Aubrey for one). If you have a specific problem, it would be beneficial to obtain pure rose hip oil and massage two to three drops of the oil into the affected area every day.

Usage:
Rose hips are used for the creation of herbal tea, jam, jelly, syrup, beverages, pies, bread and marmalade, amongst others.

A few rose species are sometimes grown for the ornamental value of their hips; such as Rosa moyesii, which has prominent large red bottle-shaped fruits.

Rose hips have recently become popular as a healthy treat for pet chinchillas. Chinchillas are unable to manufacture their own Vitamin C, but lack the proper internal organs to process a variety of foods. Rose Hips provide a sugar free, safe way to increase the Vitamin C intake of chinchillas.

Rose hips may also be fed to horses. The dried and powdered form can be fed at a maximum of 1 tablespoon per day to help increase coat condition and help with new hoof growth.

The fine hairs found inside rose hips can be used as itching powder.

Roses may be propagated from hips by removing the seeds from the aril (the outer coating) and sowing just beneath the surface of the soil. Placed in a cold frame or a greenhouse, the seeds take at least three months to germinate.

By indigenous people:
Rose hips were used in many food preparations by the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Rose hips are used for colds and influenza. The Latin binomial for this herb is Rosa laevigata.

You may click to see also:->
Rose hip seed oil
Rosa moschata
Rosa rubiginosa
Rose Hips Recipes
Roses – Medicine for the Heart and Body
Rosehip Tea

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_hip
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/rose-hip-oil-wonders-for-the-skin.html

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

The Art Of Focus

Energy Protection :
Many of us are sensitive to energy, so we make our homes a sanctuary and only leave when we have fully prepared ourselves. We may use gemstones, essential oil, or talismans, or perhaps we call on our angels or surround ourselves in a bubble of light. But we should be conscious of what we are seeking to accomplish. It is important to remember that if we want to shield ourselves, we might inadvertently keep out the good that is coming our way. All of our tools can be helpful if we use them wisely and keep ourselves engaged in all the world has to offer.

If we instead seek to filter distractions, than we can be like prospectors panning for gold. We learn to filter when we are children as we learn about the world around us. At first every leaf on the ground is a reason to stop and investigate. But as we learn where to focus our attention, the rest becomes background. We don’t cut ourselves off from the world, we merely shift our focus.

As humans, we don’t always know what is good for us. Sometimes what appears to be a negative situation contains a gem of wisdom that leads to our highest growth. Rather than focusing our thoughts on what we want to keep out of our experience, we may want to turn the light of our attention to the good we’d like to create while leaving room for something better. By doing this, we allow space for the wisdom of the universe to work its magic on our behalf. If we trust the universe, we know that good is present even if it doesn’t look good on the surface. When we shift our focus this way, we actually attract those things into our lives, and the rest falls away without the effort of filtering. By practicing the art of focus, we invest our attention and energy into making our lives a positive experience.

Source:Daily Om