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Allium textile

Botanical Name : Allium textile
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. textile
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium angulosum Pursh 1813, illegitimate homonym not L. 1753
*Allium aridum Rydb.
*Allium geyeri var. textile (A. Nelson & J.F. Macbr.) B. Boivin
*Allium reticulatum Fraser ex G. Don 1827, illegitimate homonym , not J. Presl & C. Presl 1817
*Allium reticulatum var. playanum M.E. Jones
*Maligia laxa Raf.

Common Name: Prairie onion or Textile onion

Habitat : Allium textile is native to North America – Saskatchewan to South Dakota, Montana, New Mexico and Arizona. It grows on dry prairies, calcareous rocks and open woods.

Description:
Allium textile produces egg-shaped bulbs up to 2.5 cm long. There are no rhizomes. Scapes are round in cross-section, up to 40 cm tall. Flowers are bell-shaped or urn-shaped, about 6 mm in diameter; tepals white or pink with reddish-brown midribs; pollen and anthers yellow. It is in flower from May to July.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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.

Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Plants require a period of summer rest at which time they should be kept dry or they are likely to rot, they are therefore more easily grown in a bulb frame or cold greenhouse. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Closely related to A. stellatum. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.

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

Bulb – raw or cooked. Fairly large, the bulb is up to 2cm in diameter. It is used as an onion substitute in stews etc. The bulb can be eaten fresh or can be stored for later use. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.
Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
Other Uses:….Repellent…..The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles

Known Hazards:Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_textile
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+textile

Claytonia virginica

Botanical Name: Claytonia virginica
Family: Montiaceae
Genus: Claytonia
Species:C. virginica
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Claytonia grandiflora.

Common Names: Virginia springbeauty, Eastern spring beauty, or Fairy spud,Spring Beauty, Hammond’s claytonia, Yellow Virginia springbeauty

Habitat:
Claytonia virginica is native to Eastern N. America – Quebec to Texas. A garden escape, locally naturalized in Britain. It grows in rich woods, thickets and clearings. Wetlands, seeps, moist woods, riparian hardwood forests, copses, bluffs, ravines and prairies from sea level to 1000 metres.

Description:
Claytonia virginica is a perennial plant, overwintering through a corm. It is a trailing plant growing to 5–40 cm long. The leaves are slender lanceolate, 3–14 cm long and 0.5–1.3 cm broad, with a 6–20 cm long petiole.

The flowers are 0.7–1.4 cm diameter with five pale pink or white (rarely yellow) petals, and reflect UV light. It has a raceme inflorescence, in which its flowers branch off of the shoot. The individual flowers bloom for three days, although the five stamens on each flower are only active for a single day. Flowering occurs between March and May depending on part of its range and weather. The seeds are between 0.2-0.3 cm in diameter and a shiny black. The seeds are released from the capsule fruit when it breaks open. Elaiosomes are present on the seeds and allow for ant dispersal.

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It is also a polyploid, having 2n between 12 and 191 chromosomes. The largest number of chromosomes was observed in New York City.

It is in flower from Mar to April, and the seeds ripen in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Rock garden, Woodland garden. Prefers a damp peaty soil and a position in full sun. Another report says that it requires some shade[188]. Requires a lime-free soil. Special Features:North American native, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow on a peat based compost in spring in a cold frame. Germination usually takes place within 2 – 4 weeks at 10°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division of offsets in spring or autumn.

Edible Uses:
Root – raw or cooked. Rich in starch, it has a pleasant nutty flavour. A radish-like flavour when raw, it tastes like a cross between a potato and a chestnut when cooked. The root is rich in vitamins A and C. The globose tuber is up to 20cm in diameter.Algonquin people cooked them like potatoes. Spring beauty corms along with the entire above ground portion of the plant are safe for human consumption. Leaves and flowering stems – raw or cooked. Added to salads or used as greens. The leaves are often available in the winter.

Medicinal Uses:
This plant has been used medicinally by the Iroquois, who would give a cold infusion or decoction of the powdered roots to children suffering from convulsions. They would also eat the raw roots, believing that they permanently prevented conception.A cold infusion or decoction of the powdered roots has been given to children with convulsions.

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/Claytonia_virginica
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Claytonia+virginica

Rhus toxicodendron

Botanical Name : Rhus toxicodendron
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Toxicodendron
Species: T. pubescens

Synonyms: Toxicodendron pubescens, Rhus pubescens (Mill.) Farw. R. quercifolia. Toxicodendron radicans. T. pubescens. P.Mill.

Common Names: Atlantic poison oak,Eastern Poison Oak

Habitat:
Rhus toxicodendron is native to South-eastern N. America – New Jersey to Delaware, south to Georgia, Alabama and Texas. It grows on dry barrens, pinelands and sands.
Description:
Rhus toxicodendron is a deciduous upright shrub that can grow to 1 m (3 ft) tall. Its leaves are 15 cm (6 in) long, alternate, with three leaflets on each. The leaflets are usually hairy and are variable in size and shape, but most often resemble white oak leaves; they usually turn yellow or orange in autumn. The fruit is small, round, and yellowish or greenish. It is not closely related to true oaks.

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun. Judging by the plants natural habitat, it should also succeed in poor acid soils and dry soils[K]. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. This species is a small suckering shrub, it can spread freely in suitable conditions. There is some confusion over the correct name of this species. It is united with R. radicans (under that name) by some botanists whilst others split this species off into another genus, Toxicodendron, and unite it with R. radicans as Toxicodendron radicans. Many of the species in this genus, including this one, are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 – 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers in late autumn to winter

Edible Uses: Oil
Medicinal  Uses:
Poison oak has occasionally been used medicinally, though it is an extremely poisonous plant and great caution should be exercised. Any herbal use should only be undertaken under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. See also the notes above on toxicity. A fluid extract of the fresh leaves is irritant, narcotic, rubefacient and stimulant. It has been used with some success in the treatment of paralysis, obstinate herpatic eruptions, palsy and in various forms of chronic and obstinate eruptive diseases. A mash of the leaves has been used to treat ringworm. An external application has also been used in the treatment of herpes sores. A poultice of the plant has been used to treat infectious sores on the lips. The root has been used to make a poultice and salve in the treatment of chronic sores and swollen glands. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh leaves. These should be harvested of a night-time, during damp weather and before the plant flowers. This remedy has a wide range of applications and is one of the main treatments for mumps, it is also used in a wide range of skin disorders.

Other Uses:
The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant. An oil is extracted from the seeds. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke. The milky juice makes an excellent indelible marking ink for linen etc. It is also used as a varnish for boots and shoes.
Known Hazards: This plant contains toxic substances and skin contact with it can cause severe irritation to some people. The sap is extremely poisonous. The sap contains 3-N pentadecycatechnol. Many people are exceedingly sensitive to this, it causes a severe spreading dermatitis. The toxins only reach the skin if the plant tissues have been damaged, but even indirect contact can cause severe problems.

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/Toxicodendron_pubescens
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhus+toxicodendron

Rhus diversiloba

Botanical Name : Rhus diversiloba
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Toxicodendron
Species: T. diversilobum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms:Toxicodendron diversilobum. (Torr.&Gray.)Greene, Rhus diversiloba Torr. & A.Gray

Common Names: Western Poison Oak, Pacific poison oak

Habitat : Rhus diversiloba is native to western North America – Vancouver to California. Thickets and wooded slopes in foothills, along streams, in washes and hedgerows below 1500 metres.
Description:
Rhus diversiloba is extremely variable in growth habit and leaf appearance. It grows as a dense 0.5–4 m (1.6–13.1 ft) tall shrub in open sunlight, a treelike vine 10–30 feet (3.0–9.1 m) and may be more than 100 feet (30 m) long with an 8–20 cm (3.1–7.9 in) trunk, as dense thickets in shaded areas, or any form in between It reproduces by spreading rhizomes and by seeds.

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The plant is winter deciduous, so that after cold weather sets in, the stems are leafless and bear only the occasional cluster of berries. Without leaves the stems may sometimes be identified by occasional black marks where its milky sap may have oozed and dried.

The leaves are divided into three (rarely 5, 7, or 9) leaflets, 3.5 to 10 centimetres (1.4 to 3.9 in) long, with scalloped, toothed, or lobed edges. They generally resemble the lobed leaves of a true oak, though tend to be more glossy. Leaves are typically bronze when first unfolding in February to March, bright green in the spring, yellow-green to reddish in the summer, and bright red or pink from late July to October.

White flowers form in the spring, from March to June. If they are fertilized, they develop into greenish-white or tan berries.

Botanist John Howell observed that the toxicity of T. diversilobum obscures its merits:

“In spring, the ivory flowers bloom on the sunny hill or in sheltered glade, in summer its fine green leaves contrast refreshingly with dried and tawny grassland, in autumn its colors flame more brilliantly than in any other native, but one great fault, its poisonous juice, nullifies its every other virtue and renders this beautiful shrub the most disparaged of all within our region.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun. Plants do not require a rich soil. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus. This species is closely related to R. toxicodendron. Many of the species in this genus, including this one, are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 – 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers in late autumn to winter

Medicinal Uses:
Californian Native Americans used the plant’s stems and shoots to make baskets, the sap to cure ringworm, and as a poultice of fresh leaves applied to rattlesnake bites. The juice or soot was used as a black dye for sedge basket elements, tattoos, and skin darkening.

An infusion of dried roots, or buds eaten in the spring, were taken by some native peoples for an immunity from the plant poisons.

Chumash peoples used T. diversilobum sap to remove warts, corns, and calluses; to cauterize sores; and to stop bleeding. They drank a decoction made from the roots to treat dysenter

In view of the potential toxicity of the plant, extreme caution is advised in any use of it. See the notes below on toxicity. A leaf has been swallowed in the spring as a contraceptive. A tincture of the fresh leaves has been used in the treatment of eczema and skin diseases. It is also used in the treatment of warts, ringworm etc. A poultice of the fresh leaves has been applied to rattlesnake bites. The leaf buds have been eaten in the spring in order to obtain immunity from the plant poisons A moxa of the plant has been used in the treatment of warts and ringworm. The juice of the plant has been used as a treatment for warts. An infusion of the dried roots has been taken in order to give immunity against any further poisoning. A decoction of the roots has been used as drops in the eyes to heal tiny sores inside the eyelids and to improve vision.

Other Uses:
Basketry; Dye; Ink; Mordant; Oil.

The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant. An oil is extracted from the seeds. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke. The supple stems are used as the warp in basket making. Slender stems are used as circular withes in basket making. An excellent black dye is obtained by exposing the sap to air

Known Hazards :  All parts of the plant contain resinous phenolic compounds known as urushiols. Direct contacr with the plant, exposure to smoke or fumes from a burning plant or even contact with pets or animals that have touched the plant can cause severe allergic dermatitis in some individuals. There is usually a latent period of about 12 – 24 hours from the moment of contact, this is followed by a reddening and severe blistering of the skin. Even plant specimens 100 or more years old can cause problems

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/Toxicodendron_diversilobum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhus+diversiloba

Ribes glandulosum

Botanical Name : Ribes glandulosum
Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Ribes
Species: R. glandulosum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Synonyms: R. prostratum.

Common Names: Skunk Currant

Habitat :
Ribes glandulosum is native to N. America – Newfoundland to British Columbia, south to North Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin. It grows on wet woods and rocky slopes.
Description:
Ribes glandulosum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It has palmately lobed leaves with 5 or 7 deeply cut segments. Flowers are in elongated clusters of 6-15 pink flowers. Fruits are red and egg-shaped, sometimes palatable but sometimes not.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES ; 

It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality. Plants are quite tolerant of shade though do not fruit so well in such a position. Prefers a cool moist position. Hardy to about -20°c. Plants come into growth very early in the year. The branches are decumbent or spreading. Plants can harbour a stage of ‘white pine blister rust’, so they should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. The leaves have an unpleasant smell.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 4 – 5 months cold stratification at between 0 to 9°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. 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, planting them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 – 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year’s growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors.

Edible Uses: Tea.
Fruit – raw or cooked. A blackcurrant, it is juicy and palatable. Another report says that it has the odour of a skunk and the skin has short bristly hairs. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter. The stems have been used to make a bitter tea.

Medicinal Uses:
The Ojibwa people take a compound decoction of the root for back pain and for “female weakness.” The Cree people use a decoction of the stem, either by itself or mixed with wild red raspberry, to prevent clotting after birth. The Algonquin people use the berries as food.
Other Uses : Can be used as a ground cover plant

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/Ribes_glandulosum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ribes+glandulosum

Illicium verun

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

Synonyms: Illicium san-ki Perr

Common Names: Ba Jiao Hui Xian, Staranise tree, Star anise, Star anise seed, Chinese star anise or badiam

Habitat : Illicium verun is native to E. Asia – China, Vietnam. It grows on the 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 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)Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil….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. 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:
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.[citation needed] 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. 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 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 also used in the French recipe of mulled wine : called vin chaud (hot wine).

Medicinal Uses:
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 elsewhere, star anise remains the usual industrial source. In 2005, a temporary shortage of star anise was caused by 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 fermentation by 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.

In traditional Chinese medicine, star anise is considered a warm and moving herb, and used to assist in relieving cold-stagnation in the middle jiao.

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 deliberate economically motivated adulteration with 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 potent neurotoxins anisatin, neoanisatin, and pseudoanisatin, which are noncompetitive antagonists of GABA receptors.

Star anise is used in the East to relieve colic and rheumatism and to flavor cough medicines. It warms the abdomen, dispels gas, regulates energy, treats belching, vomiting, abdominal pains and hernia.

The fruit is also often chewed in small quantities after meals in order to promote digestion and to sweeten the breath. The fruit has an antibacterial affect similar to penicillin. The fruit is harvested unripe when used for chewing, the ripe fruits being used to extract essential oil and are dried for use in decoctions and powders. A homeopathic remedy is prepared from the seed.

Other Uses:   The pounded bark is used as an incense.

Known Hazards : The fruit is poisonous in quantity.

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/Illicium_verum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Illicium+verum
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illicium_verum

Forestiera neomexicana

Botanical Name : Forestiera neomexicana
Family: Oleaceae
Tribe: Oleeae
Genus: Forestiera
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms : F. pubescens glabrifolia. Adelia neo-mexicana.

Common Name : Wild Olive

Habitat : Forestiera neomexicana is native to South-western N. AmericaTexas to New Mexico, west to California. It grows on dry slopes and ridges below 2000 metres.

Description:
Forestiera neomexicana is a upright spiny branching deciduous perennial Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in).It blooms before grayish-green foliage emerges. Leaves mature to bright green and contrast beautifully with one-year-old black bark. Small, attractive black berries appear in autumn.

It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. Flower color is yellow. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils. Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil. Tolerates dry sites. Flowers are produced in the axils of the previous years leaves. Plants do not fruit well in Britain, probably due to a lack of sunshine.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Easy. Cuttings of mature wood, November to February in a frame or sheltered outdoor bed.
Edible Uses: Fruit. Although only 4 – 8mm long, it has been suggested as a substitute for the true olive, Olea europaea.
Medicinal Uses: Miscellany.

Other Uses: Plants growing in the wild are used as indicators of underground water. Common uses for New Mexico Forestiera are in shrub borders, native plantings, hedges, xeriscapes and as an accent. They can be pruned into a small tree. This plant is ideal for the environment of New Mexico because it requires little water or shade to survive. It is known to be a low maintenance plant.

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/Forestiera
http://www.finegardening.com/new-mexico-privet-forestiera-neomexicana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Forestiera+neomexicana
http://aces.nmsu.edu/pes/lowwaterplants/new-mexico-forestiera.html

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.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

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

Artemisia ludoviciana gnaphalodes

 

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

Common Name : White Sage

Habitat: Artemisia ludoviciana gnaphalodes is native to N. America – Ontario and Illinois to Alberta, Missouri, Texas and Mexico.It grows on prairies, plains and dry open soils.

Description:
Artemisia ludoviciana gnaphalodes is a perennial plant. It grows about 2-3′ tall when it is mature, branching occasionally in the upper half. The stems are covered in a dense mat of short white hairs. The alternate leaves are up to 3½” long and 1″ across. They are usually oblanceolate, narrowly ovate, or linear. The lower leaves may have a few lobes or coarse teeth towards their tips, while the upper leaves have smooth margins. Like the stems, the leaves have a dense mat of short white hairs, especially on the lower surface. This variety of White Sage has dense white hairs on the upper surface of the leaves as well, except for the oldest leaves toward the bottom of the plant. The leaves are sessile against the stem, or have short petioles. Some of the upper stems terminate in elongated spikes or narrow racemes of compound flowers. Each flowerhead is only 1/8″ (3 mm.) across, and contains numerous whitish green disk florets that are inconspicuous. The blooming period is late summer to early fall, and lasts about 2-3 weeks. There is no floral scent, although the foliage of this plant is quite aromatic. Pollination is by wind, rather than insects. The tiny seeds are without tufts of hair, but are small enough to be distributed by the wind. The root system is rhizomatous, and can form a dense mat of roots near the surface of the ground. As a result, this plant has a strong tendency to form clonal colonies that exclude other plants….CLICK & SEE THEPIC TURES
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. Slugs are attracted to the young shoots in spring and have been known to destroy even well-established plants. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

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

Medicinal Uses:
An infusion of the plant is used to treat stomach problems, coughs, colds, headaches etc. A decoction of the leaves is used as a bath to treat fevers and can be applied as a wash to sores, rashes, itches, skin eruptions etc. An infusion of the leaves has been used as an eyewash. The powdered leaves can be applied to the nostrils to stop nose bleeds, sprinkled on sores they will hasten the healing process. The crushed plant can be rubbed on the body as a liniment to treat rheumatic joints, soreness or stiffness. The plant can be placed in the shoes to keep the feet from sweating.
Other Uses: Bunches of the plants have been used as towels. The plant can be burnt as an incense.

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_ludoviciana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+ludoviciana+gnaphalodes
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/prairie/plantx/white_sagex.htm

Asthma

Definition:   Asthma is a common long term inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs. It is characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include episodes of wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. These episodes may occur a few times a day or a few times per week. Depending on the person they may become worse at night or with exercise.

Asthma is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Environmental factors include exposure to air pollution and allergens. Other potential triggers include medications such as aspirin and beta blockers. Diagnosis is usually based on the pattern of symptoms, response to therapy over time, and spirometry. Asthma is classified according to the frequency of symptoms, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and peak expiratory flow rate. It may also be classified as atopic or non-atopic where atopy refers to a predisposition toward developing a type 1 hypersensitivity reaction…..CLICK & SEE 

There is no cure for asthma. Symptoms can be prevented by avoiding triggers, such as allergens and irritants, and by the use of inhaled corticosteroids. Long-acting beta agonists (LABA) or antileukotriene agents may be used in addition to inhaled corticosteroids if asthma symptoms remain uncontrolled. Treatment of rapidly worsening symptoms is usually with an inhaled short-acting beta-2 agonist such as salbutamol and corticosteroids taken by mouth. In very severe cases, interavenous corticosteroids, magnesium sulfate, and hospitalization may be required.
Symptoms:
Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. One may have infrequent asthma attacks, has symptoms only at certain times — such as when exercising — or have symptoms all the time.

Asthma signs and symptoms include:

*Shortness of breath
*Chest tightness or pain
*Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
*A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
*Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu
Signs that your asthma is probably worsening include:

*Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent and bothersome
*Increasing difficulty breathing (measurable with a peak flow meter, a device used to check how well your lungs are working)
*The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often

For some people, asthma signs and symptoms flare up in certain situations:

*Exercise-induced asthma, which may be worse when the air is cold and dry
*Occupational asthma, triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases or dust
*Allergy-induced asthma, triggered by particular allergens, such as pet dander, cockroaches or pollen.

Causes:
Asthma is caused by a combination of complex and incompletely understood environmental and genetic interactions. These factors influence both its severity and its responsiveness to treatment. It is believed that the recent increased rates of asthma are due to changing epigenetics (heritable factors other than those related to the DNA sequence) and a changing living environment…..CLICK & SEE

Asthma triggers:

Exposure to various irritants and substances that trigger allergies (allergens) can trigger signs and symptoms of asthma. Asthma triggers are different from person to person and can include:

*Airborne allergens, such as pollen, animal dander, mold, cockroaches and dust mites
*Respiratory infections, such as the common cold
*Physical activity (exercise-induced asthma)
*Cold air
*Air pollutants and irritants, such as smoke
*Certain medications, including beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve)
*Strong emotions and stress
*Sulfites and preservatives added to some types of foods and beverages, including shrimp, dried fruit, processed potatoes, beer and wine
*Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acids back up into your throat.

Diagnosis:
While asthma is a well recognized condition, there is not one universal agreed upon definition. It is defined by the Global Initiative for Asthma as “a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways in which many cells and cellular elements play a role. The chronic inflammation is associated with airway hyper-responsiveness that leads to recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing particularly at night or in the early morning. These episodes are usually associated with widespread but variable airflow obstruction within the lung that is often reversible either spontaneously or with treatment”.

There is currently no precise test with the diagnosis typically based on the pattern of symptoms and response to therapy over time. A diagnosis of asthma should be suspected if there is a history of: recurrent wheezing, coughing or difficulty breathing and these symptoms occur or worsen due to exercise, viral infections, allergens or air pollution.
Physical exam:

To rule out other possible conditions — such as a respiratory infection or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — your doctor will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your signs and symptoms and about any other health problems.

Tests to measure lung function

One may also be given lung (pulmonary) function tests to determine how much air moves in and out as you breathe. These tests may include:

*Spirometry. This test estimates the narrowing of your bronchial tubes by checking how much air you can exhale after a deep breath and how fast you can breathe out.

*Peak flow. A peak flow meter is a simple device that measures how hard you can breathe out. Lower than usual peak flow readings are a sign your lungs may not be working as well and that your asthma may be getting worse. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to track and deal with low peak flow readings.

Lung function tests often are done before and after taking a medication called a bronchodilator (brong-koh-DIE-lay-tur), such as albuterol, to open your airways. If your lung function improves with use of a bronchodilator, it’s likely you have asthma.

Other additional tests:

Other tests to diagnose asthma include:

*Methacholine challenge. Methacholine is a known asthma trigger that, when inhaled, will cause mild constriction of your airways. If you react to the methacholine, you likely have asthma. This test may be used even if your initial lung function test is normal.

*Nitric oxide test. This test, though not widely available, measures the amount of the gas, nitric oxide, that you have in your breath. When your airways are inflamed — a sign of asthma — you may have higher than normal nitric oxide levels.

*Imagingtest:   test:A chest X-ray and high-resolution computerized tomography (CT) scan of your lungs and nose cavities (sinuses) can identify any structural abnormalities or diseases (such as infection) that can cause or aggravate breathing problems.

*Allergy testing. : This can be performed by a skin test or blood test. Allergy tests can identify allergy to pets, dust, mold and pollen. If important allergy triggers are identified, this can lead to a recommendation for allergen immunotherapy.

*Sputum eosinophils. This test looks for certain white blood cells (eosinophils) in the mixture of saliva and mucus (sputum) you discharge during coughing. Eosinophils are present when symptoms develop and become visible when stained with a rose-colored dye (eosin).

*Provocative testing for exercise and cold-induced asthma. In these tests, your doctor measures your airway obstruction before and after you perform vigorous physical activity or take several breaths of cold air.

Risk Factors:
A number of factors are thought to increase your chances of developing asthma. These include:

*Having a blood relative (such as a parent or sibling) with asthma
*Having another allergic condition, such as atopic dermatitis or allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
*Being overweight
*Being a smoker
*Exposure to secondhand smoke
*Exposure to exhaust fumes or other types of pollution
*Exposure to occupational triggers, such as chemicals used in farming, hairdressing and manufacturing

Complications:
Asthma complications include:

*Signs and symptoms that interfere with sleep, work or recreational activities
*Sick days from work or school during asthma flare-ups
*Permanent narrowing of the bronchial tubes (airway remodeling) that affects how well you can breathe
*Emergency room visits and hospitalizations for severe asthma attacks
*Side effects from long-term use of some medications used to stabilize severe asthma
*Proper treatment makes a big difference in preventing both short-term and long-term complications caused by asthma.

Treatment:
While there is no cure for asthma, symptoms can typically be improved. A specific, customized plan for proactively monitoring and managing symptoms should be created. This plan should include the reduction of exposure to allergens, testing to assess the severity of symptoms, and the usage of medications. The treatment plan should be written down and advise adjustments to treatment according to changes in symptoms.

The most effective treatment for asthma is identifying triggers, such as cigarette smoke, pets, or aspirin, and eliminating exposure to them. If trigger avoidance is insufficient, the use of medication is recommended. Pharmaceutical drugs are selected based on, among other things, the severity of illness and the frequency of symptoms. Specific medications for asthma are broadly classified into fast-acting and long-acting categories.

Bronchodilators are recommended for short-term relief of symptoms. In those with occasional attacks, no other medication is needed. If mild persistent disease is present (more than two attacks a week), low-dose inhaled corticosteroids or alternatively, an oral leukotriene antagonist or a mast cell stabilizer is recommended. For those who have daily attacks, a higher dose of inhaled corticosteroids is used. In a moderate or severe exacerbation, oral corticosteroids are added to these treatments.

Lifestyle modification:
Avoidance of triggers is a key component of improving control and preventing attacks. The most common triggers include allergens, smoke (tobacco and other), air pollution, non selective beta-blockers, and sulfite-containing foods. Cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke (passive smoke) may reduce the effectiveness of medications such as corticosteroids. Laws that limit smoking decrease the number of people hospitalized for asthma. Dust mite control measures, including air filtration, chemicals to kill mites, vacuuming, mattress covers and others methods had no effect on asthma symptoms.[48] Overall, exercise is beneficial in people with stable asthma.

Medications:
Medications used to treat asthma are divided into two general classes: quick-relief medications used to treat acute symptoms; and long-term control medications used to prevent further exacerbation.

*Short-acting beta2-adrenoceptor agonists (SABA), such as salbutamol (albuterol USAN) are the first line treatment for asthma symptoms. They are recommended before exercise in those with exercise induced symptoms.

*Anticholinergic medications, such as ipratropium bromide, provide additional benefit when used in combination with SABA in those with moderate or severe symptoms. Anticholinergic bronchodilators can also be used if a person cannot tolerate a SABA. If a child requires admission to hospital additional ipratropium does not appear to help over a SABA.

*Older, less selective adrenergic agonists, such as inhaled epinephrine, have similar efficacy to SABAs.[130] They are however not recommended due to concerns regarding excessive cardiac stimulation.

Long–term control:

Fluticasone propionate metered dose inhaler commonly used for long-term control.

*Corticosteroids are generally considered the most effective treatment available for long-term control. Inhaled forms such as beclomethasone are usually used except in the case of severe persistent disease, in which oral corticosteroids may be needed. It is usually recommended that inhaled formulations be used once or twice daily, depending on the severity of symptoms.

*Long-acting beta-adrenoceptor agonists (LABA) such as salmeterol and formoterol can improve asthma control, at least in adults, when given in combination with inhaled corticosteroids. In children this benefit is uncertain. When used without steroids they increase the risk of severe side-effects  and even with corticosteroids they may slightly increase the risk.

*Leukotriene receptor antagonists (such as montelukast and zafirlukast) may be used in addition to inhaled corticosteroids, typically also in conjunction with a LABA. Evidence is insufficient to support use in acute exacerbations. In children they appear to be of little benefit when added to inhaled steroids, and the same applies in adolescents and adults. They are useful by themselves. In those under five years of age, they were the preferred add-on therapy after inhaled corticosteroids by the British Thoracic Society in 2009. A similar class of drugs, 5-LOX inhibitors, may be used as an alternative in the chronic treatment of mild to moderate asthma among older children and adults. As of 2013 there is one medication in this family known as zileuton.

*Mast cell stabilizers (such as cromolyn sodium) are another non-preferred alternative to corticosteroids.

Alternative medicine:
Many people with asthma, like those with other chronic disorders, use alternative treatments; surveys show that roughly 50% use some form of unconventional therapy. There is little data to support the effectiveness of most of these therapies. Evidence is insufficient to support the usage of Vitamin C. There is tentative support for its use in exercise induced brochospasm.

Acupuncture is not recommended for the treatment as there is insufficient evidence to support its use. Air ionisers show no evidence that they improve asthma symptoms or benefit lung function; this applied equally to positive and negative ion generators.

Manual therapies, including osteopathic, chiropractic, physiotherapeutic and respiratory therapeutic maneuvers, have insufficient evidence to support their use in treating asthma. The Buteyko breathing technique for controlling hyperventilation may result in a reduction in medication use; however, the technique does not have any effect on lung function. Thus an expert panel felt that evidence was insufficient to support its use.

But regular Yoga with Pranayama (the breathing exercise) under the guideline of an expart shows lot of improvement among most asthma patients.

Some home remedies:

*Express the juice from garlic. Mix 10 to 15 drops in warm water and take internally for asthma relief.Mix, onion juice ¼ cup, honey 1 tablespoon and black pepper 1/8 tablespoon.Mix licorice and ginger together. Take ½ tablespoon in 1 cup of water for relief from asthma.

*Drink a glass of 2/3 carrot juice, 1/3 spinach juice, 3 times a day .

*Add 30-40 leaves of Basil in a liter of water, strain the leaves and drink the water throughout the day effective for asthma.

Prevention:

The evidence for the effectiveness of measures to prevent the development of asthma is weak. Some show promise including: limiting smoke exposure both in utero and after delivery, breastfeeding, and increased exposure to daycare or large families but none are well supported enough to be recommended for this indication. Early pet exposure may be useful. Results from exposure to pets at other times are inconclusive and it is only recommended that pets be removed from the home if a person has allergic symptoms to said pet. Dietary restrictions during pregnancy or when breast feeding have not been found to be effective and thus are not recommended. Reducing or eliminating compounds known to sensitive people from the work place may be effective. It is not clear if annual influenza vaccinations effects the risk of exacerbations. Immunization; however, is recommended by the World Health Organization. Smoking bans are effective in decreasing exacerbations of asthma

Progonosis:
The prognosis for asthma is generally good, especially for children with mild disease. Mortality has decreased over the last few decades due to better recognition and improvement in care. Globally it causes moderate or severe disability in 19.4 million people as of 2004 (16 million of which are in low and middle income countries). Of asthma diagnosed during childhood, half of cases will no longer carry the diagnosis after a decade. Airway remodeling is observed, but it is unknown whether these represent harmful or beneficial changes. Early treatment with corticosteroids seems to prevent or ameliorates a decline in lung function.
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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asthma
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma