Categories
Herbs & Plants

Khaya senegalensis

Botanical Name: Khaya senegalensis
Family: Meliaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Khaya
Species: K. senegalensis

Synonyms: Swietenia senegalensis Desr.

Common names: African mahogany, Dry zone mahogany, Gambia mahogany, Khaya wood, Senegal mahogany, Cailcedrat, Acajou, Djalla, and Bois rouge.

Habitat: Khaya senegalensis is native to Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, and Uganda. It is found in riparian forests and higher-rainfall savannah woodlands; in moist regions it is found on higher ground. Within its first year, the seedling develops a deep root system that makes it the most drought resistant member of its genus.

Description:
Khaya senegalensis is a fast-growing medium-sized deciduous tree which can obtain a height of up to 15–30 m in height and 1 m in diameter. The bark is dark grey to grey-brown while the heartwood is brown with a pink-red pigment made up of coarse interlocking grains. The tree is characterised by leaves arranged in a spiral formation clustered at the end of branches. The white flowers are sweet-scented; the fruit changes from grey to black when ripening.

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Cultivation:
A plant of the moist tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,800 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 29 – 38°c, but can tolerate 13 – 42°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 800 – 1,300mm, but tolerates 650 – 1,500mm. It grows wild in areas with a dry season of 4 – 7 months. Plants are moderately shade tolerant, especially when young, though older trees prefer sunny positions. Grows best in a deep, fertile, moist soil. Very resistant to flooding, the tree can be considered for planting on swampy soils. Prefers a pH in the range 5 – 6, tolerating 4.5 – 7.5. Established plants are very drought resistant. Young trees have a fast rate of growth. During the first year, the seedling develops a strong, deep taproot, which makes it the most drought hardy of all the members of this genus. Except where selectively removed by logging, dry-zone mahogany remains a dominant species in most of its range. Successful plantations of dry-zone mahogany in other parts of the world have generally been in areas with short dry seasons and high rainfall. Trees begin to bear seed when 20 – 25 years old. The tree coppices well. Natural regeneration by seed is poor, though the tree produces suckers and can regrow from these. Although older trees are resistant to fire, seedlings are fairly susceptible.

Edible Uses: The seeds have an oil content of 67% and are rich in oleic acid (66%). The oil is used in West Africa for cooking.

Medicinal Uses:
The very bitter bark has a considerable reputation in its natural range as a fever remedy. It is also used as a laxative, vermifuge, taenicide, depurative and for treating syphilis. The bark extract is used for treating jaundice, dermatoses, scorpion bite, allergies, infection of the gums, hookworm, bleeding wounds (disinfectant). The crushed bark and seeds are regarded as an emmenagogue. The seeds and leaves are used for treating fevers and headache. The roots are used as a treatment against sterility, for the treatment of mental illness, against syphilis, leprosy and as an aphrodisiac.

Other Uses:
Other Uses The presence of oleoresin in the vessels of Khaya species accounts for the durability of the timber and its resistance to insect and fungal attack. The bark is used in tanning. Young twigs are used as toothbrushes, whilst the peeled stem or root are used as chew-sticks to maintain oral hygeine. The seeds have an oil content of 67% and are rich in oleic acid (66%). Wood ashes are used for conserving millet seed. The heartwood an attractive dark red-brown, often with a purple tint; it is usually, but not always, clearly demarcated from the 3 – 8cm wide band of pinkish-tan sapwood. The texture is medium; the grain interlocked; the wood lustrous. The wood is fairly hard to hard; moderately heavy; moderately durable, being resistant to the attacts of dry wood borers, moderately resistant to fungi, but susceptible to termites. The wood seasons normally, with only a slight risk of checking or distortion when in the presence of highly interlocked grain and tension wood; once dried it is stable in service. The timber works well with nornal tools, though these need to be sharp since there is a tendency to be woolly in cross grain; nailing and screwing are good, though pre-boring is recommended; gluing is correct. The wood is favoured for good quality furniture, high-class joinery, trim and boat building. The wood is also used locally for railroad ties, flooring, turnery and veneer. Because of its decorative appearance, the wood is a very popular timber. The wood is used in West Africa for pulp[303 ]. Only limited quantities are available for fuel wood, and trees of larger dimensions are undesirable because of difficulties with splitting and crosscutting. Hence, even if fuel wood is in short supply, larger-diameter sections are not utilized. The gross energy value of the wood is 19 990 kJ/kg

Known Hazards: Used in Cote d’Ivoire as an ingredient in arrow poison. Bark scales are sometimes used as a fish poison.

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/Khaya_senegalensis
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Khaya+senegalensis

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Kalmia polifolia

Botanical Name: Kalmia polifolia
Family: Ericaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales
Genus: Kalmia
Species: K. polifolia

Synonyms:
*Chamaedaphne glauca
*Kalmia glauca

Common Names: Kalmia glauca, Bog laurel, Swamp laurel, Pale laurel,

Habitat: Kalmia polifolia is native to north-eastern North America, from Newfoundland to Hudson Bay southwards. It grows on cold peat bogs and other wet places.

Description:
Kalmia polifolia is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). Its leaves are arranged oppositely upon its branch and grow to be an inch to an inch and a half in length and tend to be waxy with an entire and revolute margin. Below each leaf base there are ridges, where it appears as though a part of the leaf is curled around the circumference of the stem. This is especially noticeable lower on the plant.The base of the petiole is pressed against the stem as its flowers cluster in a single terminal bunch, which appears to be pink or purple in colour; the near cup-shaped flower spans about three-eighths of an inch in diameter.

It is in leaf all year, in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in September.
These seeds are five-parted, round, and woody
. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.

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Cultivation:
Requires an acid humus-rich soil, succeeding in part shade or in full sun in cooler areas. Prefers almost full sun. Dislikes dry soils, requiring cool, permanently moist conditions at the roots. Succeeds in open woodland or along the woodland edge. A very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -30°c. A very ornamental plant, there are some named varieties. Pruning is not normally necessary

Edible Uses: While caribou do not have specialized food habits, they can eat most plants – preferring fungi, green leaves of deciduous shrubs, and new spring growth of sedges. They often eat Kalmia polifolia in the spring and summer; the plant comprises 11% of their dietary dry-matter protein.

Medicinal Uses:
Kalmia polifolia is a very poisonous narcotic plant the leaves of which were at one time used by some native North American Indian tribes in order to commit suicide. It is little, it at all, used in modern herbalism though the leaves are a good external treatment for many skin diseases and inflammation. The leaves are astringent and sedative. They are used externally to make a poultice or a wash in the treatment of many skin diseases, open sores, wounds that will not heal and inflammation. Used internally, the leaves have a splendid effect in the treatment of active haemorrhages, diarrhoea and flux. They should be used with great caution however, and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. See the notes above on toxicity.

Kalmia polifolia can be used topically for skin wounds, disease, and inflammation, while internal uses may address bleeding and diarrhoea.

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.

Known Hazards: The foliage is poisonous to animals. The whole plant is highly toxic

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalmia_polifolia
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Kalmia+polifolia

Categories
Herbal Beauty & Body Care

Kadsura longepedunculata

Botanical Name: Kadsura longepedunculata
Family: Schisandraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Austrobaileyales
Genus: Kadsura
Species: K. longipedunculata

Synonyms:
*Kadsura discigera Finet & Gagnep.
*Kadsura omeiensis S. F. Lan
*Kadsura peltigera Rehder & E.H.Wilson

Habitat: Kadsura longepedunculata is native to E. Asia – western China.(Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang.) It grows on the stream edges and damp shady places. Forests and slopes below 1000 metres.

Description:
Kadsura longepedunculata is an evergreen Climber growing to 3.5 m (11ft 6in). Plants glabrous throughout. Petiole 0.6-1.7(-3) cm; leaf blade elliptic to rarely ovate-elliptic or obovate-elliptic, 5.5-12(-15) × 2-4.5(-6.5) cm, papery to leathery, secondary veins 4-8 on each side of midvein, base cuneate to rarely broadly cuneate, margin subentire, denticulate, serrulate, or serrate, apex shortly to long acuminate. Flower peduncle 1.2-4(-6.4) cm (staminate), (1-)3-5(-16) cm (pistillate). Tepals 10-15(-20), pale yellow, yellow, or occasionally reddish, largest 4-7(-13) × 3-6(-10) mm. Staminate flowers: stamens 26-54; staminodes absent. Pistillate flowers: carpels 20-58. Fruit peduncle 2.5-9.5 cm; apocarps red, purple, or rarely black, 6.5-11.5(-15) × 4.5-6.5(-11) mm. Seeds 1-3 per apocarp, reniform, 3.5-4.5 × 4.5-6 mm.

It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from October to December. The species is 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). The plant is not self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) 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.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Requires a sheltered position in a moderately fertile well-drained neutral to acid soil. Prefers a position in semi-shade. Flowers are produced on the current year’s growth. Plants do not really require pruning. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed and fruit is required.

Ediible Uses: The fruit is edible – raw or cooked. The globose fruit is 15 – 35mm in diameter.

Medicinal Uses: The fruit, root, stems or leaves are antitussive, anodyne, carminative and decongestant.

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/Kadsura_longipedunculata
https://pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Kadsura+longepedunculata
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=242327638

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Funtumia elastica

Botanical Name:Funtumia elastica
Family: Apocynaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales
Genus: Funtumia
Species: F. elastica

Synonyms: Kibatalia elastica (Preuss) Merr. Kixia elastica Preuss

Common Names: Bush rubber tree, Silkrubber, West African Rubber Tree. Lagos silk rubber

Habitat: Funtumia elastica is native to tropical Africa – Senegal to Sudan, south to Gabon, Congo and Tanzania. It grows in Deciduous forest.

Description:
Funtumia elastica is an evergreen deciduous Tree . Its bark is greenish brown to grey and it is a fast-growing. It has a cylindrical bole growing up to 30 m in height and with a diameter of about 75cm. The leaves are broadly oval, opposite, dark green and leathery with yellow to white flowers, in short dense groups, with the lobes of the corolla shorter than the flower tube.

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Cultivation:
A tree of the moist tropics. The plant is amenable to cultivation in forest plantations. Though the quality of the rubber is comparably good with that of Hevea rubber, this species can in no way compete in yield and therefore economically except in time of dire necessity.

Medicinal Uses:
The bark is very astringent, laxative and vermifuge. It is included in prescriptions for troubles associated with blennorrhoea and for painful menstruation. It is pounded up and taken in spirit to cure haemorrhoids. The latex is applied to cracked sores of the feet, to cutaneous fungal infections and to sores. A number of alkaloids is present in the leaves. They are used for treating chest-affections and particularly for whooping-cough. The young leaves are taken by mouth or in enemas for the treatment of diarrhoea, or are mixed with kaolin and administered by enema. The young leaves, mixed with those of Phyllanthus muellerianus, are taken to improve male fertility. An unidentified alkaloid is present in the seed . There has been some commercial interest in the seeds as a substitute for Strophanthus seed as a source of strophanthin (which is used like digitalin to treat heart conditions.

The latex obtained from the stem bark is applied to heal cracked sores of the feet and also applied to treat cutaneous fungal infections and body sores. In addition, the latex/sap from the bark is also topically applied as an antidote on snake bite wounds. The stem latex of Funtumia elastica is also used for washing wounds.

The young leaves decoction is administered orally for treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery and is also useful in treatment of naso-pharyngeal infections. In some communities, the decoction made from the young leaves of Funtumia elastica in combination with the Phyllanthus muellerianus plant is administered to improve male fertility. The leaves decoction is also used as a cure for mouth and venereal diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhoea.

Other Uses:
The bark contains a white latex which coagulates readily. Very high quality, but low yielding compared to Hevea brasiliensis. The seed-pod contains a fine white floss which is used for stuffing pillows and cushions. In some regions of Africa it is preferred over the floss obtained from Bombax and Ceiba. Spinning trials have indicated a suitability for commercial exploitation. The seeds contain about 26% oil with a bitterness in the cake, making it unfit for edible purposes. The wood is white and soft, and undifferentiated between sap and heart. It is not durable. It is used for carving spoons, bowls and other household utensils, and as a timber for beams and rafters in buildings. At one time it was commonly used in Ghana for making Asante stools, and still occasionally is. It has been found very suitable in match-manufacture for the inner and outer boxes and for match-splints, and is recommended for these purposes. It burns well and is said to be superior to Gmelina arborea.

The Funtumia elastica seed-pod contains a fine white floss which is collected and used for stuffing cushions and pillows in some communities. The wood is also used for carving household utensils such as spoons and bowls and the timber for wall beams and rafters in buildings.

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/Funtumia_elastica
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Funtumia+elastica
https://www.southworld.net/herbs-plants-funtumia-elastic-a-medicinal-african-rubber-tree/

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Cedrelopsis grevei

Botanical Name: Cedrelopsis grevei
Family: Rutaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Cedrelopsis
Species: Cedrelopsis grevei

Synonyms: Katafa crassisepalum Costantin & Poisson

Common Names: Katrafay , Kathrafay

Habitat:
Cedrelopsis grevei is native to Africa – western and southern Madagascar. It grows on open woodland, scrubland, secondary forest and seasonally dry forest, at elevations from sea-level up to 500 metres, occasionally to 900 metres.

Description:
Cedrelopsis grevei is a deciduous, monoecious or dioecious, medium-sized tree up to 28 m tall; bole straight, branchless for up to 9 m, up to 60(–120) cm in diameter; bark surface pale greyish to yellowish, rough; young twigs short-hairy.

Leaves alternate, 12–20 cm long, paripinnately compound with up to 10 leaflets; stipules absent; petiole 3–4.5 cm long; petiolules 1.5–5 mm long; leaflets alternate or opposite, elliptical-oblong, 3–5(–8) cm × 1–1.5(–3) cm, base slightly asymmetrical, cuneate, apex slightly notched, margins slightly wavy, densely gland-dotted, hairy, pinnately veined with 12–18 pairs of lateral veins.
Inflorescence an axillary panicle, short-hairy.

Flowers unisexual or bisexual, regular, 5-merous, aromatic; pedicel 1–3 mm long; calyx with triangular lobes 4–5 mm long, thick, densely short-hairy; petals free, elliptical-oblong, 8–10 mm long, apex pointed and curled inwards, pink to yellowish, outside short-hairy; male flowers with 5 free stamens shorter than petals, disk lobed, c. 1 mm long, ovary rudimentary; female flowers with 5 rudimentary stamens, disk small, ovary superior, ovoid, 3–4 mm long, slightly 5-lobed, sparsely short-hairy, 5-celled, style c. 1 mm long, thick, stigma 5-lobed; bisexual flowers with slightly reduced stamens and ovary, and biologically non-functional.

Fruit an ellipsoid capsule up to 3 cm long, dehiscing with 5 woody valves, short-hairy to glabrous, brownish to black at maturity, up to 12-seeded.
Seeds ellipsoid, laterally flattened, c. 2 cm long, with a thin apical wing.

Cultivation:
Found in the wild on a wide variety of soil types, often on red or yellow sandy soils, but it grows taller in river valleys than on plateau soils. The tree grows slowly, with annual increments in height of less than 50cm per year. It reaches a height of 50 – 300cm by the age of 7 years. It is estimated to need over 40 years to produce a small pole. This species can be either monoecious or dioecious. If dioecious, then both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.

Edible Uses: The bitter and aromatic stem bark is used to aromatise local rum, and is also an ingredient of bitter, non-alcoholic drinks.

Medicinal Uses:
One of the most important medicinal trees in Madagascar, it is valued especially for the essential oil obtained from the bark, but also has a wide range of other applications. There have been several studies carried out on the plant. The constituents of the essential oil can be extremely variable depending on the location of collection. The main components are ishwarane, beta-caryophyllene, alpha-copaene, beta-elemene and alpha-selinene. The oils from the bark and the leaf were found to have a similar composition, but the relative percentages of some compounds notably differed. Numerous coumarins have been isolated from the stem bark. One of these, cedrecoumarin A, showed agonistic activity on both alpha and beta-oestrogenic receptors as well as superoxide scavenging activity. The hexane extract of the stem bark furthermore yielded triterpenoids, limonoid derivatives, pentanortriterpenoids, a hexanortriterpenoid and quassinoids. The bark extract has been shown to induce a progressive decrease in blood pressure, which is partly due to the presence of coumarins. A crude stem bark extract showed significant cicatrizing effect on skin ulcers, as well as antibacterial activity (e.g. against Staphylococcus albicans and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and antifungal activity (against Candida albicans). The essential oil obtained from the bark is commonly used in massaging to treat general body pain, toothache, broken bones, muscular pain, arthritis and rheumatism, and a massage of the back is given to treat tiredness and fever. It is also used in baths for these purposes. Its tonic effects as well as its aphrodisiac effects are well appreciated, as it is considered to improve physical and mental fitness. A stem bark extract is traditionally taken against cough, asthma, tuberculosis, pneumonia, diabetes, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, rheumatism, intestinal worms, headache, tiredness and as a post-partum tonic. It is also used as a vaginal shower after childbirth for its tonic effects, and is externally applied to wounds and skin infections. Sometimes a root bark decoction is taken to treat diarrhoea or asthma. A vapour bath of the leaves is taken to treat weakness of the blood vessels, headache and a sore throat. The seeds are chewed as an anthelmintic and to treat stomach-ache.

Other Uses:
Other uses rating: Medium (3/5). Other Uses: An essential oil is obtained from the bark. It is mainly used medicinally. The heartwood is pale yellow to pale brown, somewhat mottled and slightly darker than the 25mm wide band of whitish sapwood. The grain is usually straight; texture fine. The wood is scented and contains resin cells. The wood is very heavy, very hard, flexible. It works fairly well with hand and machine tools, but has a marked blunting effect and stellite-tipped sawteeth are needed. Splitting on nailing and screwing is common, and pre-boring is recommended. The wood glues, polishes, waxes, varnishes and paints well. It is reputed for its resistance to wood rot and insect attack. The sapwood is susceptible to Lyctus borers. The heartwood is very resistant to impregnation. The wood has a wide range of used, being employed in heavy construction, carving, cabinet work, tool handles, interior joinery, interior trim, heavy parquet flooring, sliced veneer, plywood, ship and boat building, railway sleepers, vehicle bodies, electricity and construction poles and cattle enclosures. Because of its hardness and resistance to fungal and insect attack, it is considered imperishable and it is traditionally used for making royal Sakalava tombs. The wood is used for fuel and for making charcoal.

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/Cedrelopsis_grevei
https://pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cedrelopsis+grevei
https://uses.plantnet-project.org/en/Cedrelopsis_grevei_(PROTA)